How best to prepare for floods in Baton Rouge, LA

Flash flooding is the most hazardous natural disaster in the United States. Floods can damage infrastructure, cause power outages, trigger landslides, and many other damages. Some parts of Baton Rouge, LA easily get flooded after heavy rainfall over a short period. 

What you need to do

When you discover you are living in a flood zone, how do you prepare to face or fight floods? Lack of preparedness can lead to a slow recovery, which can be stressful and expensive. The Insurance & Financial Services Inc. will help you prepare in advance for an emergency through a proper flood plan. You will need to:

  • Understand the level of flood risk in your area
  • Prepare your home and property
  • Respond when the floods arrive

Before a flood

When it comes to floods, communication is critical. You need to ensure that you have multiple ways of reaching your loved ones. Have a plan in place on how you will get in touch with your family in case of an evacuation. Stock enough supplies, including water. As water floods around your home, you may not be able to go out for a while.

Prepare your home and self

It is essential to be mentally prepared. This way, you can prepare your home and manage floods when they arrive. Preparing your home means buying flood insurance around Baton Rouge, LA as flood policies need at least one month to become active. Check your pipes and drainage and ensure that none is blocked. Have a plumber check and install valves on your pipes to help avoid contaminating your lines with floodwater.

While floods are frequent, they can be destructive and hazardous. Knowing what to do and doing it early can help save your property and loved ones. Consider making a proper flood plan and buy flood insurance as early as possible. If you are not sure of how to go about it, the Insurance & Financial Services Inc. can help you stay prepared. Visit us for inquiries, quotes or new policy discussions.

Why does someone in Louisiana need health insurance?

Those that are in the Baton Rouge, LA area are going to need to have many different forms of insurance. One of the most important forms of insurance that someone will need to have is health insurance, which provides you coverage for your healthcare needs. There are several reasons why someone in this area needs to have a quality health insurance policy. 

Provides Access to Healthcare

The main reason why someone should get health insurance is that it will provide you with access to healthcare. To ensure that you are in good health and to receive preventative care, all people need to see a doctor on a regular basis. If you have a quality health insurance policy, you will be able to see a doctor and get access to prescription medication that you need. 

Legal Requirement

An additional reason why having health insurance is important is that it is actually a legal requirement. Today, all people are required by law to carry at least a minimum health insurance policy. When you go to file your taxes at the end of the year, providing evidence of your insurance will be a requirement. If you do not have health insurance, you could be hit with a penalty that needs to be paid out of your tax return. 

If you are in the Baton Rouge, LA area, it is very important that you get into a good health insurance policy. Since it can be hard to find a quality policy that meets your needs, working with the team at Insurance & Financial Services Inc. could be a great option. When you meet with Insurance & Financial Services Inc. the insurance team will carefully assess your situation to make sure that you are fully and properly covered. 

Three convenient features to look for in a home insurance policy

At Insurance & Financial Services Inc., we recommend that homeowners put adequate research into choosing the right home insurance policy for their needs. Homeowners need to know what features a good home insurance policy should have for both convenience and financial security.

The following are three important home insurance policy features that homeowners in Baton Rouge, LA might want to have on their policies:

Coverage for temporary living expenses

If your home becomes severely damaged as the result of a natural disaster, burglary, or another damaging event, you might not be able to live in it while it is repaired. However, you can get the costs of temporary living expenses for such situations covered if you add coverage for temporary living expenses to your policy. 

Automatic payments

A home insurance payment is a payment you need to make regularly for an extended period of time. If you forget to make a payment, your policy could potentially lapse so that damages to your home won’t be covered. This could lead to huge financial consequences.

However, many policies will offer an automatic payment feature. With such a feature, payments on your policy are automatically charged to your bank account so that you don’t have to remember them every month.

Coverage for damage to outbuildings

You can’t assume that standard home insurance will cover damage to outbuildings on your property. If your property includes outbuildings, you’re probably going to have to add on coverage to damage to these structures separately. 

Find the right policy for your home in Baton Rouge, LA by contacting us at Insurance & Financial Services Inc. and learning more about our insurance offerings. 

Security Checklist for First Time Homeowners

While buying, decorating, and preparing your new Baton Rouge, LA home, don’t forget about security. Home security is an important part of protecting your family, belongings, and investment. Use this security checklist from Insurance & Financial Services Inc. to ensure your property is well-protected at all times.

  • Get a good insurance policy. Your homeowner’s insurance helps you pay for damage, loss, and physical injury on your property. Talk to the agents at Insurance & Financial Services Inc to customize a policy that fits your lifestyle.
  • Think beyond the porch light. Install lights around your property to keep creepers from sneaking up on you. The most important areas to cover include windows, doors, and unattached storage areas.
  • Make sure your home number is visible. If your house number isn’t clearly displayed, it can be tough for emergency services to find you. Remove foliage that might block the view from the street, paint your number on the side of your mailbox, or install a light over your front door to make the numbers stand out.
  • Clear outside obstructions. Tackle cracked and crumbling cement, fix faulty pavement, and clear out any tangled brush that crosses walkways. This will help avoid accidental injury to those who walk around your property.
  • Install and routinely inspect alarms. Fire and carbon monoxide monitors are important for keeping your family safe. Include a fire alarm in each bedroom to ensure everyone can hear if a problem occurs. Check the batteries and function of the alarm every 6 months.
  • Anchor large furniture pieces. Your wooden display cabinets, couches, and other heavy furniture should be securely attached to the wall to keep them from falling over accidentally. 
  • Change the locks. If your home isn’t brand new, someone else may have a set of keys to it. Get your locks changed to prevent unauthorized injury.

Need more ideas on keeping your Baton Rouge, LA home safe? Contact the experts at Insurance & Financial Services Inc. for more ideas.

How to File a Commercial Insurance Claim

Filing a personal claim and filing a business claim differ. With a personal claim, you can pick up the phone and file a claim quickly. With a business claim, you have a multi-step process you must adhere to in order to properly file. You probably will need to file because 40 percent of businesses do at some point in their business lives. Insurance & Financial Services Inc. of Baton Rouge, LA wants to make it easy, so here is a straightforward guide to the process.

Commercial Policy Claims

Your filing process begins with determining which policy on which you need to file your claim. You need the policy number of the appropriate policy. This means you need to know whether the claim would apply to your general liability or errors and omissions or commercial property policy, etc. The business insurance claim requires a formal notification from you to your insurance company that tells them you incurred a loss or damage. It lets them know you are requesting compensation for a loss caused by a named peril in your policy. When the insurance company receives your claim, it investigates and approves or denies it.

Steps to File a Claim

The steps to file a business claim start far before the event triggering the need for the claim. The claims process begins with your business procedures.

  • Plan ahead by writing the process to follow into your business procedures.
  • As a preventative measure, install surveillance cameras to record vandalism or theft.
  • File a police report, if applicable.
  • Take photos to document the damage.
  • Make note of any witnesses present at the event.
  • Create an inventory of damaged items.
  • Complete your insurance company’s standard reporting forms.
  • Include a copy of the police report with your claim.
  • Phone your insurance agent to confirm receipt of the claim.
  • Set up an on-site visit with the insurance adjuster.
  • Provide evidence to the adjuster.
  • Obtain and complete the required proof of loss form. The adjuster provides proof of loss form.
  • Get repair quotes and estimates from local professionals. You need at least two estimates.
  • Consult an insurance lawyer, if the claim or event is complicated or a dispute arises between you and the insurance adjuster.
  • If needed, hire a forensic accountant to help document the loss.

Typically, states set legal timelines for the length of time an insurance company can take to pay out a claim. Check with Insurance & Financial Services Inc. of Baton Rouge, LA as soon as a covered peril occurs and let us help you recover your business losses.

Can Renters Benefits From a Home Security System?

Renters who live in Baton Rouge, LA face many of the same risks as homeowners when it comes to theft and vandalism. The agents at Insurance & Financial Services Inc. are able to help them lower their risk of being a victim. Many people believe that home security systems are only for homeowners. That isn’t true. They can benefit renters as well. The size of the apartment or home being rented will determine what type of security system will provide the best protection.

Do It Yourself Home Security Systems

A do-it-yourself home security system is often the best choice for renters who live in apartments. They are easy to install and can be monitored through a downloadable app on your smartphone. Most are battery-operated so there is no need to splice the devices into your apartment’s wiring. Systems often come with window/door sensors, a motion sensor, and a programmable keypad. You can also buy video cameras.

Interactive Video Surveillance

Indoor video cameras and video doorbells are now equipped with two-way voice communication that allows you to interact with whoever is in close proximity to the camera. You can speak with family members or visitors from almost anywhere using the app.

At Insurance & Financial Services Inc., the agents know the peace of mind a home security system can provide to their clients. If you live in or near Baton Rouge, LA, call and schedule an appointment with one of their agents. They can discuss your renters’ policy and work with you to find the right home security system to meet your needs. Get the answers you need! Call today!

 

3 Reasons You Need Umbrella Insurance

Umbrella insurance can add additional liability coverage in case you exhaust the coverage included with your other policies. For example, if someone slips and falls on your property, he or she may file a personal injury claim. In the majority of cases, your homeowner’s insurance policy would cover the claim, including medical payments. However, the amount could exceed your homeowner’s policy limits. This is where an umbrella policy would kick in. While you are not required to take out a personal umbrella insurance policy in Baton Rouge, LA, it can be a good idea under several scenarios.

Inadequate Liability Coverage

One of the features of umbrella insurance is that it can be used to supplement your auto, homeowner’s, or other types of liability policies. While it can be convenient and cost-effective to maintain the minimum liability coverages under an auto or homeowner’s policy, there are instances where it could be insufficient. Talk with a licensed agency such as Insurance & Financial Services Inc. about the different types of coverage an umbrella policy can cover.   

Comprehensive Coverage

Since any umbrella policy that you obtain in Baton Rouge, LA will pick up where your other policies end, the coverage can be both comprehensive and convenient. It can cover incidents that other policies won’t. An umbrella policy can also extend coverage to your family, others living with you, and cover your legal expenses. 

Unforeseen Circumstances

While your auto, homeowner’s or renter’s policies are probably enough to cover you and your belongings, these policies may not cover the unexpected. This is where an umbrella insurance policy can help. For example, what would you do if you accidentally damaged an apartment or condo unit next to yours?

Ready to learn more? Contact Insurance & Financial Services Inc. today!

Does Flood Insurance Cover Damage From Putting Out A Fire?

There can be many questions surrounding what home and flood insurance covers. Although flood insurance is designed to cover instances of flooding and water damage, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will cover all scenarios. There are times when your home insurance will cover damages that are even caused by water.

Damages From Extinguishing A Fire

If there is a fire in your home or on your property that causes water damage, you will be covered by your home insurance rather than by flood insurance in most cases. If you want to provide complete coverage from all threats to your home and property, you should work with a knowledgeable insurance agent who can help you pair your home insurance options with flood insurance to give you comprehensive coverage. If you live in the Baton Rouge, LA area, you can count on Insurance & Financial Services Inc. to guide you through the process and help you achieve complete security.

Finding An Established Agency

One of the keys to getting the type of coverage that works best for your situation is finding an agency that has top insurance agents with a focus on customer service. The insurance agents of Insurance & Financial Services Inc. serving Baton Rouge, LA will give you the one on one attention you need to achieve your goals. Schedule an appointment to discover what options are available currently.

Get complete coverage with the assistance of professional insurance agents who know which products will work best for your needs. The right combination of products will give you around the clock protection from a variety of threats. 

How Pre-Existing Conditions Affect Health Insurance

Health insurance laws have changed a lot over the past decade. As such, there is a lot of confusion when it comes to purchasing a health insurance plan. Here at Insurance & Financial Services Inc. serving Baton Rouge, LA. we want to help you understand health insurance and get answers to the questions you may have. One question that we are frequently asked is how pre-existing conditions affect health insurance. How a pre-existing condition affects health insurance varies based on the type of insurance you are looking at. Here are three common types of health insurance and how pre-existing conditions affect each type of insurance. 

The Health Insurance Marketplace

If you are purchasing health insurance during an open enrollment period through the Health Insurance Marketplace, pre-existing conditions will not affect your policy. The medical company cannot ask you about any pre-existing conditions, cannot charge more for pre-existing conditions and cannot deny you coverage due to pre-existing conditions. 

Private Health Insurance

If you are purchasing health insurance through a private company, you may be asked about pre-existing conditions. Pre-existing conditions can affect your policy amount and may even play a role in whether you are denied coverage. 

Group Health Insurance

Group health insurance plans, more commonly known as employer-sponsored plans, cannot ask you about pre-existing conditions, increase your rate because of them or deny you coverage because of them, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. However, a group health insurance plan can ask you if you smoke and increase your rates based on that. 

Are you looking to purchase health insurance in the greater Baton Rouge, LA area? Contact us at Insurance & Financial Services Inc. today to get answers to any questions you may have and help to purchase a great plan for your needs. 

How Homeowner’s Insurance Protects You From Personal Injury Liability

Personal liability is a standard part of many homeowners insurance policies. It includes bodily injury and property damage for which you and others living in your house are responsible. Ask the experts at Insurance & Financial Services Inc. for more information on what’s included in your Baton Rouge, LA homeowners insurance. In the meantime, here’s more on how it protects you from personal liability.

What Is Personal Liability Insurance?

Personal liability insurance is available in most homeowners policies, and it covers the cost of lawsuits filed against you for accidentally injuring someone or damaging their property. It can be purchased in a stand-alone policy but is standard in homeowners, condo and renters insurance. Here’s a closer look at the two types of coverage.

Bodily Injury covers you when a mail carrier or contractor is injured on your property. The injured party may decide to sue you for medical bills and missed work. Thanks to personal liability insurance, you don’t have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses, even if you’re legally liable.

Property Damage covers you in cases such as a tree that falls over in a storm, damaging your neighbor’s roof. Homeowners insurance with property damage coverage pays for the damages.

Bodily injury may cover you for events outside your home. For example, your dog could get loose and bite someone. Your homeowner’s insurance with personal liability would cover medical and legal fees if the person bitten takes you to court. On the other hand, your personal liability coverage doesn’t cover you in a car accident.

Contact Insurance & Financial Services Inc. with any questions on what else may be covered by your homeowner’s policy. Feel free to make an appointment for a free quote for your Baton Rouge, LA home.