Category Archives: Rental Insurance

insurance scams

How to Avoid Insurance Scams

These days, it seems like scams are more prevalent than ever. Most of us have become acutely aware of people online trying to get our money through shady practices, but the fact is that they can happen anywhere. Thus, it’s imperative that you stay vigilant at all times and learn the various ways that insurance scams can occur.

Insurance scams are especially troubling because they can take advantage of you relatively easily. In most cases, if you’re not aware of the potential for fraud, you could get duped without knowing it.

So, with that in mind, we want to help you learn to avoid insurance scams. Knowing what to do in these situations will ensure that you don’t become another victim.

Types of Insurance Scams

The fact is that shady people can take advantage of you and your insurance in a multitude of ways. Some of the most common methods can be-

Fake Insurance Companies – these scammers get you to buy insurance through them, only to find out that they don’t provide the services they promised.

Intentional Damage or Injury – usually, this type of fraud occurs with your car. Because all states require drivers to carry some insurance, scammers target them all the time. In this case, they will cause collisions intentionally, either with another vehicle or as a pedestrian.

Inflated Prices – whether it’s after a natural disaster or it’s your mechanic inflating the cost of your repair bill, scammers will try to get more money from you or your insurance company.

How to Avoid These Scams

Knowing about the various ways that people will try and take your money is a significant step toward avoiding them. However, here are some other tips to make sure that you don’t get duped.

Do Your Homework
If insurance representatives or salespeople contact you, don’t take their word at face value. Thankfully, it’s easy to look up illegitimate businesses online, which you can even do from your phone.

Don’t Agree to Anything if You Don’t Understand It
If you’re going to be signing off on anything, you have to make sure that you know what’s going on. With many insurance scams, the scammers will be pushy or aggressive and try to get you to either pay immediately or provide your information before you have a chance to figure out what’s going on. If this happens to you, make sure to walk away before agreeing to anything they say.

If It’s Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is
This adage is valid when talking about insurance scams. For example, if an insurance company comes to you with a substantially lower rate, you want to question whether it’s really a good deal. In many cases, filing a claim is next to impossible, which means you have to pay out of pocket if something does happen.

Bottom Line – Be Cautious
Insurance scams are out there, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a victim. Keep a vigilant eye at all times, and don’t be afraid to say no to scammers. They thrive on misinformation and persistence, so don’t let them get your hard-earned money.

If you have any questions regarding your coverage always feel free to reach out to us at Northeast – Metro West Insurance.
fireplace safety

Top Fireplace Safety Tips

There are so many things to enjoy as the weather gets cooler and the leaves start falling. One of those simple pleasures is using your fireplace on a cold night. Something you might not think about, however, is fireplace safety. Any other time of the year, it might blend into the walls in your house, so it’s easy to forget. The truth is, misuse and neglect can lead to dangerous consequences. So before you get cozy, make sure to follow our tips for being safe this fall and winter.

Check the Chimney

Anything that is constantly, or even seasonally, in use needs a cleaning. Your chimney is no different. A buildup of highly flammable material will occur if you don’t take care of it. As old-fashioned as it sounds, chimney sweeps still exist, and you should definitely hire one to clean it. Once a year should be sufficient.

How old is your chimney? Check out its walls to make sure no loose pieces are coming apart from the foundation. Any blockage and structural issues require attention, sometimes from professionals.

When lighting a fire, open the flue so smoke can properly move out of the chimney. This keeps smoke and ash from redirecting into the house, especially during windy weather. Having the flue closed at all other times prevents animals or other debris from getting inside.

Inspect the Firewood You Use

The type of wood used is vital for fireplace safety. Dry wood, specially seasoned, is the best to burn. Seasoned wood is dried or aged over a period of time. The opposite of that is green wood, wood that was recently cut. Greenwood and wet wood will produce more residue and smoke. Burn the wood in smaller pieces if you want a faster burn. Of course, once the fire is out, clean any ash and wood left behind.

Be Responsible

When you want to be completely sure, use common sense to confirm all precautions are taken. Think about possible scenarios and ask yourself some questions to see if you are prepared. Are the batteries in your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors new or working? Is someone constantly tending to or watching the fireplace? Is there any decor or items near the fireplace that are flammable or at risk of damage? Are you using a protective screen? Do you have a fire extinguisher? When you are alert and responsible, fireplace safety will be easy.

If you have any questions about your Homeowners or Rental Insurance Policy be sure to give us a call.

Northeast – Metro West Insurance Agency
(800) 443 7007