In the late 1800s, to become a policyholder of either Ixonia Mutual Fire Insurance Company or Watertown Mutual Fire Insurance Company, one was required to sign an undertaking. The undertaking bound them and their heirs to a pro rata share of all losses, which was a percentage based on the amount for which their policy was insured. After a loss occurred the Board of Directors would levee the assessment to pay for the loss. [Read more…] about By the Minutes: Early Challenges for a Young Mutual
Last week wind gusts in excess of 60 mph left many southern Wisconsin homeowners with fallen trees, damaged structures, and loss of doors or shingles.
What’s the best course of action if this happens to you?
- Call your agent. Report your damage and determine whether you have a claim to report to Forward Mutual.
- Ask for an Adjustor: If you and your agent are unsure of the amount of damage, Forward is happy to send our adjustor out to evaluate and guide your wind repairs.
Wind damage is frustrating. It’s one more thing already-busy homeowners sometimes must add to their list of things to do. That’s why Forward Mutual is here to help and make repairs as stress-free for you as possible. Contact us with any questions!
In 2015, 35% of homeowner damages filed with Forward Mutual occurred when plumbing failed or pipes froze. In 2016, this percentage decreased to only 4.4%. Besides weather, what might be responsible for such a decrease in water damage to our homeowners this past year?
CEO and President Lois Wiedenhoeft believes educating our insureds was an important factor.
“It’s our goal to assist homeowners in protecting themselves,” says Lois. “So many plumbing products have surfaced in the marketplace that help prevent water damage and this is information we want to share. Prevention eliminates frustration.”
Prevention also saves money. This spring, protect your home from expensive water damage. Here are helpful suggestions from Forward Mutual.
Sump Pump Monitoring
Most homeowners discover their sump pump has failed when the basement has already flooded. Monitoring systems alert homeowners before the damage occurs, either by sounding an alarm or by calling/texting your phone.
Water Leak Detection
Dishwashers and washing machines sometimes overflow. Refrigerator ice and water dispensers sometimes fail. These plumbing disasters wreak havoc on a homeowner’s floor unless they are detected and stopped immediately. Water leak detection systems can do just that—detect and stop leaks. Depending on the system, these devices will sense and alert you of water leaks and/or significant changes in humidity within your home. They can also stop the leak by cutting off the water supply.
If you have any questions about preventing water damage in your home, give Forward Mutual a call. We are here to offer personal attention and peace of mind.
College students have a lot on their minds this time of year besides meeting up with friends. They’re purchasing textbooks, finalizing class schedules, applying for jobs, and moving into apartments. With classes underway, has your college student considered purchasing renters insurance?
This young group of renters own a significant amount of electronics (including laptops, cell phones, ipods, televisions, and more), in addition to clothes, appliances, and furniture. These possessions may be protected under the parents’ homeowner policy, but special limits may also apply. If they rent an apartment off-campus, college students may not be covered under their parents’ policies. What’s more, if a fire or storm ravages the apartment, a landlord’s policy would only cover the building, not the renter’s possessions.
In a recent survey of apartment hunters by apartments.com, 67 percent of respondents reported not having renters insurance due to the cost of coverage, ignorance about the existence of renters insurance, or the belief that their possessions were not valuable enough to be covered.
What is renters insurance and how much does it cost?
Renters insurance provides coverage for loss or damage to personal property as well as liability coverage for injuries or damages for which the insured person is held liable.
Renters insurance is not expensive. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average premium ranges from just $15 to $30 per month—approximately the cost of two pizzas or 3-4 lattes per month. Some companies offer discounts if the renter’s vehicle is also insured through them.
How much coverage do you need?
When purchasing renters insurance, it’s important to take inventory of what’s in the apartment or dorm room to determine how much coverage to purchase. When the dollar value of those items is calculated, the total value may be surprising. Should a claim need to be filed, a comprehensive list of items (including purchase prices and serial numbers) will be required by the insurance carrier. It is recommended to make a quick inventory by taking photos or video of the room(s) or use an app like NAIC’s MyHome Scr.APP.book or the Insurance Information Institute’s Know Your Stuff R®. Remember to store the inventory in a secure, off-site location.
The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance also has a helpful article here on insurance coverage for college students, as well as this publication Insurance 101: A Guide to Insurance Basics for College Students.
To learn more the changing insurance needs of college students or renters insurance, contact Forward Mutual. With peace of mind about insurance coverage, your college student can get back to more important things, like studying for their next exam or finding a date for Friday night.
This article is taken in part from our reinsurance company Grinnell Mutual.
Forward Mutual’s reinsurance adjuster Mike Semrow recently wrote this helpful article for our annual report. We’d like to pass this along to our home, farm and rental owners to assist them in caring for their property.
Unforeseen disasters sometimes happen
With the exception of certain life insurance policies, most insurance policies are purchased with the intent of never filing a claim. It is a valuable financial planning tool to help protect against various financial exposures.
Your home or farm owner’s policy with Forward Mutual is your protection against a devastating loss. Even though you purchased the policy with the intent of never using it, sometimes bad things happen to good people. Good record keeping, before a loss occurs, is the key to a smooth claim settlement.
Here are a few things you can do before a disaster to make the claims process easier:
- Keep an ongoing inventory of your valuable personal property items. Record model and serial numbers for expensive items (i.e. televisions, computers, etc.). Keep your receipts for these items. Remember that antiques, family heirlooms, etc., may not be adequately covered unless specifically insured. Photographs of items in a pre-loss condition are always helpful.
- Keep records of improvements made to your home or farm outbuildings.
- Keep detailed repair and maintenance records for your tractors and farm implements. Accurate model and serial numbers will aid in providing a quick and fair claim settlement.
- Review and/or update coverage limits with your agent on an annual basis. Adequate coverage is the best way to make sure you will be made whole after a covered loss.
- Don’t ignore the small ongoing repairs to your property. Deferred maintenance will not be considered part of a covered loss.
- Keep multiple copies of your inventories, maintenance and repair records. Preferably in an electronic format.
For more information on how you can proactively prepare for possible disasters, call us at 920-261-6616 or email our office.