19465 Deerfield Ave., Ste 210
Lansdowne, Virginia 20176
Phone: (703) 777-7774
Fax: (703) 777-7156
Informative articles on insurance, safety and risk for you, your family or your business. Each article includes a link for you to share with anyone who may benefit.
Asbestos is a hidden health hazard that can lurk right in the place where you should feel the safest: home. While those who work in the construction industry are considered the most vulnerable to asbestos exposure, especially repeated exposure, it's important to keep in mind that even very limited exposure-such as what you might experience during a simple renovation project-can have long-term negative effects. Make it a priority to prevent you and your family members from coming into contact with this dangerous material.
Asbestos is the term used to describe a group of natural minerals-including chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, and actinolite. Together, these minerals can resist heat and corrosion, which is why they have historically been used in the construction of homes and other structures.
Asbestos has been used in innumerable products, even vehicle brakes and clutches. It was used most heavily between 1930 and 1970, but in the U.S. and Canada, the two nations that have not yet banned it, asbestos is still in use today in spite of the fact that it is a known human carcinogen. At home, it may be present in the following places:
Asbestos can be present in the ceiling that shelters you, the walls that support it, and the floor under your feet.
It's surprising that something "natural" can pose such a threat, but asbestos can cause a number of serious diseases, some of which may develop slowly over time. But once they manifest, there's often little that can be done to remedy them. Asbestos is, in a word, deadly. Some of the health-related consequences of asbestos exposure include:
Even though asbestos may be present in various parts of your house, you aren't likely to develop mesothelioma just by living there. You are most likely to be exposed to asbestos during DIY home renovation projects or repairs. And if you have professionals come in to do renovations and repairs, it is extremely important that they understand asbestos and do not release any fibers of damaged or crumbling asbestos into the air, where they can circulate and be inhaled by everyone around. When renovating or repairing home areas where asbestos is present (or may be present-you don't always know, especially if you live in an older home), take the following precautions:
Do additional research before beginning any home project during which you might encounter asbestos, and keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
Homeownership is one of the great American dreams, an achievement virtually all of us aspire to. There's something about having a little part of planet Earth to call your own that inspires a sense of both security and pride. Getting the keys to your very first home is almost always cause for celebration: you open the door, cross the threshold, and enter your very own castle - whether it be an apartment, a condo, or a single-family home - and prepare to reign happily over a kingdom characterized by peace, coziness, and serenity, a haven and sanctuary from the travails of the world outside.
But what happens if you're one of those unfortunate homeowners who makes the bone-chilling discovery that you, your family, and your pets are not the only ones inhabiting your home sweet home? Perhaps a series of unexplainable occurrences, sounds, or sensations has led you to conclude that the house you worked so hard to obtain is actually (gulp) haunted.
As horrified homeowners have known for centuries, ghosts make their presence known in a variety of ways, including the following:
Living in a haunted house can be stressful for a variety of reasons. There's the psychological stress that comes with being perpetually spooked, as well as the financial stress that can result when particularly aggressive ghosts wreak havoc around the house: they break things, and send the energy bill sky high with their constant tinkering with the lights! Moreover, it's certainly unsettling to feel as though you are never alone, and always being watched, especially in the one place you hope for a little privacy.
What's the owner of a haunted house to do? Here are a few options:
For any other spooky questions about insurance, call or contact Independent Insurance Center today.
What would we do without our handy power strips? Those convenient blocks of electrical sockets, which enable us to convert one outlet into several, make it possible to plug in all the gear that we can't live without these days. A typical location for a power strip is the home office, where it helps computers, speakers, printer, monitors, and all sorts of other necessities come to life. But many households have power strips in multiple rooms, if not every room, since there are so many items that require plugging in these days. Hairstyling tools, cooking equipment, and phone chargers come to mind!
If a power strip has 10 outlets, it's safe to assume you can go ahead and use them all, right? Not necessarily. In fact, power strips are culprits in many devastating house fires. Use the following power strip safety tips to protect your home and property:
Needless to say, if you notice anything out of the ordinary with your power strip, such as a failure to work, don't wait and see what happens, replace it promptly. Some electronics recycling services take unwanted power strips, as well as a variety of other materials, like USB cords and more, for green disposal.
For most of the children in the Virginia, the end of August means those lazy dog days of summer are coming to a close, and those books and desks are what will be opening up next. For parents, the back-to-school season is a great time of year to look over insurance policies, and make sure they are up to date. Here are some insurance situations to consider as the kiddos hit the books.
Do you have a new driver in the house, or one that will be in driver's education this school year? If so, it's time to talk to Independent Insurance Center about setting them up on your auto insurance policy. Although new drivers can be a costly addition, there are some ways to save money, including the completion of safety courses and good grade discounts that you may want to discuss. That's right, what a great incentive for your child to boost grades, right? Typically, the child needs a B average or more to be eligible, and we will line you out on the specifics as they pertain to your car insurance policy.
Do you have a child going off to college? Is your child prepared for the inevitable onslaught of cold and flu season that seems to occur each fall and winter, with germs that spread quickly throughout the schools? This is a good time to make sure you and your family are adequately covered for any medical emergencies or random sicknesses that may occur. And with the college students, you can generally keep them on your policy if they are attending school full-time. However, many universities offer affordable health insurance for full-time students, and this may be worth looking into.
Because we seem to acquire new things year round, it's always good, anytime of year, to make sure your home and belongings are adequately covered in your home insurance policy in case of a fire or robbery. And if you have a child going off to school, they are most likely toting some of their own valuables (or yours!) with them, such as a stereo, sports equipment, and jewelry. It's a good idea to talk to your insurance provider about ways to add this onto your home insurance policy, in case of dorm room theft.
Back to school, whether it's a first timer entering kindergarten or a child packing up for college, is an exciting time for families. It's also a great time to cover all of your bases insurance-wise.
Call or contact Independent Insurance Center today to discuss back-to-school insurance needs.
Contractors are people, too. What does that mean? Well, even though they may have licenses and many years of experience in their profession, they are fallible. There are good ones and bad ones. Some are ethical and honest, while others seem to be missing a conscience. Just as you would be careful about choosing a nanny, a personal accountant, or a used car salesman, so should you use caution in selecting a contractor before you begin that home building project, renovation, or repair. Here are some good tips to avoid getting taken for a ride:
If you are hiring a contractor in Virginia to help rebuild after any sort of natural disaster or accident, and your insurance company is footing some or all of the bill, don't hesitate to involve your insurance company or agent if you have any questions or concerns. He or she will be a good, trustworthy resource as you navigate the ins and outs of employing a contractor.