Is Your Patio Ready for Summer Fun?

With warm weather on the horizon, now’s a good time to prepare your patio for summer entertaining. A comfortable and attractive patio will make BBQ’s and summer parties that much more enjoyable for the whole family. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

Clear and Clean

Clearing and cleaning are the first steps toward getting your patio back in shape for summer. Get rid of clutter that may have collected over winter, dust down furniture and sweep and mop flooring.  Look around to see if surrounding landscaping is in order. You may need to clear out weeds, prune trees and shrubs or replant your garden to spruce up the area. Surrounding your patio with beautiful plants and flowers will greatly enhance its decor.

Renovate Patio Furniture

Next, evaluate your patio furniture to see if it needs refurbishing or replacing. If your metal or wooden pieces are old and worn, a good paint job could give these items a more polished appearance. Power-washing teak furniture and applying tung oil will help bring out its beauty and preserve its finish. If you plan to use your patio extensively over the summer, you may want to invest in new furnishings and accessories to create the patio environment you desire.    

Prep Your Grill

Unpack your grill and set it up for the summer season, making sure you have all the grilling tools and supplies you need. Test your grill before organizing a BBQ or party to ensure it’s working properly.  

Before hosting summer events, take time to review your homeowner’s insurance to ensure you have the coverage you need.  Your Cordell Insurance agent in Baton Rouge, LA can help with any updates to your policy. Adequate insurance coverage from Cordell Insurance will protect your guests and home in Baton Rouge, LA against any eventuality.   

5 Tips to Preventing Major Home Accidents

Having home insurance from Cordell Insurance in Baton Rouge, LA ensures you and your family are well protected against accidents. By taking necessary precautions, however, you can create a safe home environment that makes accidents nearly impossible to happen. The following safety tips can help in preventing major home accidents.

Fire Safety

During winter, supervise the use of portable heaters to reduce the risk of fire. Replace real candles with LED operated ones and keep cigarette lighters and matches far from a child’s grasp. Never leave pots unattended on the stove as they could catch fire. Make sure all smoke detectors are working properly and keep a portable fire extinguisher handy to keep fires from spreading.    

Accidental Poisoning

Keep all medicines, chemical cleaners, and garden products out of a child’s reach, preferably in a locked cabinet. Label all medications and keep them stored in their original boxes. Store cosmetics and perfumes out of sight as they can pose a threat to small children if inhaled or swallowed.

Slips and Falls  

Keep your home free of clutter to avoid tripping and falling. Secure rugs and runners with tape or non-slip pads so they don’t slide about. Install a safety gate on staircases to protect small children from taking a tumble down the stairs.  

Bathroom Safety

Always supervise small children in the bathroom, especially when bathing. Keep water heater at 120 degrees F to avoid hot water scalding. Store electric appliances such as hair dryers, electric shavers, etc., out of reach of children. Install grab bars in bathtubs and showers to prevent slipping and falling.

Lighting

Make sure stairways have ample lighting for safe usage, especially at night. Install night lights in hallways, kitchen, and bathrooms to prevent unnecessary accidents in the dark.

For more accident prevention tips or information on home insurance coverage to protect your family, contact Cordell Insurance in Baton Rouge, LA.

First Time Homeowners in Baton Rouge: What You Need To Know

Homeowners insurance policies can be hard to understand, but as a first-time homebuyer, you are in a more difficult position; trying to find an insurance plan designed to protect your largest asset, without knowing the basics of what it covers. Being under-insured can leave you dangerously exposed when you need protection the most. Here’s what you need to know about homeowners insurance.

Is Homeowners Insurance Flood Insurance?

This is a common misunderstanding among Baton Rouge, LA first-time homebuyers. Homeowners insurance isn’t the same thing as flood insurance. Flood insurance will protect your residence and property against damage caused by water, such as flooding, snow melt, rain, etc. Homeowners insurance doesn’t offer protection for this event. If you happen to live in a flood zone, you will be required to carry flood insurance by your mortgage lender. The coverage is optional, but recommended, if you do not live in a flood zone.

What Are Limits and Deductibles?

A deductible is the amount of out-of-pocket money you will have to pay for an insurable incident. Your policy may have more than one. Your insurance policy won’t offer a benefit payment unless the amount of your claim exceeds the deductible.

Limits are the maximum amount of benefits stated in your policy that your insurance company will pay out in the event of a covered incident. They should reasonably cover the value of your home and possessions, as well as exposure to liability claims. To increase your limits, ask Cordell Insurance about adding an umbrella policy for extra coverage.

Is My Personal Property and Contents Covered?

In addition to providing financial reimbursement for damages and losses to your home, homeowners insurance also offers protection for the value of your home’s contents and your personal property. This includes furnishings, electronics, clothing, music purchases and intangible software. You may need to purchase additional coverage for jewelry, art or antiques.

What is Liability Coverage?

You may be responsible for paying damages such as medical expenses and lost income if someone is injured in your home or on your property, even if the injury wasn’t a result of intentional negligence on your part. Homeowners insurance offers protection from these liabilities so that you can relax and not worry about inviting people into your home.

What Else Do I Need To Know About Homeowner’s Insurance?

There are a variety of events and incidents which are and are not covered by each specific homeowners insurance policy. In order to determine which policy limits and deductibles are necessary to fully protect your new Baton Rouge, LA home, and to learn what types of incidents are insurable, contact our office today. At Cordell Insurance, we’ll help you arrive at the perfect amount of homeowners insurance coverage for your individual needs.

Keep Your Home in Tip-top Shape in 2017

The holidays have passed and now is the time that many of us make New Year’s resolutions. We plan to work more towards getting in shape, eating right, getting organized, or finally achieving a goal we have set.  In addition to setting personal goals, have you thought about goals for your home? At Cordell Insurance of Baton Rouge, LA, we care about our clients’ personal lives and also their homes. We hope you will use these tips to keep your home in tip-top shape throughout the year of 2017.

Quarterly Maintenance Tips

Some tasks are performed quarterly. Do these at the beginning of each new season to keep it simple:

  • Check the water heater’s pressure relief valve.
  • Clean the range hood filter.
  • Clean out the refrigerator and freezer.

Monthly Maintenance Tips

Monthly tasks must be performed often for good home maintenance. These include checking the HVAC air filters and changing them out. Test your smoke alarms and electrical outlets on a monthly basis. It is critical to your home’s safety that these are functioning properly. To keep up with home maintenance, yet not overload yourself with chores, set up a schedule of tasks to perform each month. Here is an example for the first six months of 2017:

January – check and repair caulking on windows, bathrooms, and kitchens.

February – check water drainage around the home.

March – get AC inspected.

April – clean gutters and check for damage.

May – clean interior and exterior vents, including HVAC vents.

June – clean window surfaces, sills, and screens.

At Cordell Insurance of Baton Rouge, LA, we hope your home stays in tip-top shape all year long.  If you have an issue we can help with, contact one of our knowledgeable insurance agents.    

What You Should Know About Flooding and Home Insurance in Baton Rouge, LA

If you live in Baton Rouge, LA, you know that flooding is a distinct possibility at any time. You should make a point of being aware of what kinds of damage home insurance will actually cover in the state of Louisiana if you want to make sure that you have the appropriate coverage to protect your home and belongings.

One common misconception is that home insurance policies will cover damage that occurs as the result of a flood. Generally speaking, home insurance will not cover this damage. In order to have your home protected financially in the event of a flood, you will need to purchase a flood insurance policy in addition to your home insurance policy. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has said that flooding is the number one in terms of natural disasters in the United States, and this is especially applicable to the state of Louisiana, which is considered by FEMA to be a flood zone. As such, you should make sure that you are prepared for the event of a flood. You cannot rely solely on your home insurance policy to help recover your home and belongings in the event that they are destroyed by a flood, so you will need to purchase a flood insurance policy as well.

If you are a resident of Baton Rouge, LA, and you are interested in knowing more about home insurance and how it applies in the event of flooding, you can feel free to contact the professionals at David Cordell Insurance. The agents at David Cordell Insurance can tell you everything that you need to know about home insurance in the state of Louisiana and answer any questions that you might have. They can tell you what you need to do in order to be able to ensure that you will not lose your home and everything you own in the event of a flood.

Getting Your Home Fall Ready

Getting your home ready for fall is an important process, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Baton Rouge, Louisiana doesn’t see very low winter temperatures, but there are still steps you need to take to get your home fall-ready.

Check your roof. To get on top of roof problems, you can use binoculars to conduct an inspection from the ground and hire someone to clean your gutters. You can also use a ladder and clean your gutters while inspecting your roof if you prefer to do it yourself.

If you have a fireplace, it needs to be inspected every fall. Creosote buildup can cause a fire hazard, so you will want to check your flue with a flashlight. If you find build up over 1/8 of an inch thick, it’s time to get it cleaned. While you are checking the flue, you should also make sure that there is nothing blocking it near the top. If you have a wood stove, you will need to check your flue in the same manner. You also want to make sure that your damper is working properly, and inspect your fireplace and chimney for any signs of damage. 

Check your windows and doors for cracks and drafts. Your windows and doors can let in lots of cold air if they aren’t sealed properly. These gaps can cause a 10% increase in your energy bills. You can hold a candle up to your windows and doors to check for any drafts and conduct a visual inspection. Replacing weatherstripping or caulking the area should prevent any drafts.

While you are getting your home ready for fall, you should also take a look at your home insurance coverage. Cordell Insurance can help you with your insurance needs. Call Cordell Insurance today to make sure your home is fully protected this fall.

Prepare Your Home for a Vacation

Whether you will be away for a few days or a number of weeks, you should get your home prepared before you leave on that much needed vacation. There are a few smart ideas you should follow to avoid any stress during your time away.

Hold newspaper and mail deliveries. Contact your local newspaper company and post office to have those deliveries stopped during your vacation. If mail or papers pile up on your doorstep, thieves may take advantage and realize that there is no one at home.

Have a night timer. Use a timer that will automatically turn your lights on in the evening and then turn them off when you would normally go to bed. This will deter anyone that is lurking in your neighborhood.

Clean the refrigerator. Remove any perishable items that will spoil. Milk, vegetables, and leftovers can be removed and thrown out before you leave. When you return from your vacation, you can relax without having to tackle this situation.

Take care of the laundry. Wash the laundry the day before you leave. It doesn’t take long for mold and mildew to buildup. Wet towels and clothing could become damaged in a short amount of time. If you take a shower the morning you leave, hang the towels and washcloths up to dry.

Don’t forget your plants and pets. Ask a neighbor to water your plants and feed your pets. If you have small reptiles or aquatic animals, such as lizards, fish, or frogs, give your neighbor a strict feeding schedule. For larger animals, select a boarding facility that will care for your creature while you are gone.

In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the independent agents at Cordell Insurance can offer you advice and information on new and existing home insurance policies.

 

Tips To Make Packing and Unpacking Easier

Packing and unpacking are the worst parts of any move, especially if you have hired movers to actually take your items from one place to another. This is the part that people dread because they do not want to spend a lot of time packing just to have a mess to unpack. However, there are several ways you can make the unpacking part easier. The key is to take some time while you are packing to organize the boxes and make sure you have things where you want them. Use these tips for a better unpacking experience and contact us at Cordell Insurance for all of your homeowners insurance needs.

  • Color code all of your boxes based on room. When you are packing up different rooms, use stickers to label where they should go. That way, you can easily unpack each room and have all of the boxes in there as you go. Make sure you know what color goes in what room so that you do not get them all mixed up during the move. 
  • Label your boxes and keep an inventory. At the same time that you are color coding your boxes, make sure that you are labeling boxes so that you know what is in them. It is also a great idea to keep an inventory so you can find any boxes that you need in no time at all. 
  • Pack a first night box. It is a nightmare to move everything in and have no idea where your toothbrush is on the first night. Save yourself from this by packing a first night box with all of the essentials you will need. Then you can get some good sleep and start tackling the rest of the home the next day. 

In the Blink of an Eye

When it comes to technology, you don’t get much faster than Baton Rouge, Louisiana. LSU’s Supermike computer was named the top computer cluster in the world in 2001, and is still considered one of the top clusters in the world. Our fiber optic infrastructure has proven fast and reliable for the area. When it comes to technology and Baton Rouge, things can happen in the blink of an eye.

Unfortunately, when it comes to injuries on your property, things can also happen in the blink of an eye. It only takes a second for an accident to result in a personal injury claim. A pizza or package delivery person who stumbles on an uneven concrete path, a neighbor child who falls off your swing set or who cuts themselves on an unseen nail. Personal injury claims can come from a lawn service worker who runs over a rock or breaks an ankle in a hole in your yard. Even inside your house, a guest could slip on a loose area rug. While you can do your best to prevent them, accidents happen and they can happen on your property.

That is where the liability coverage of your homeowners insurance comes into play. Your liability coverage can protect you financially from a personal injury claim. That is, as long as your coverage is sufficient. Personal injury claims can be very expensive. Are you confident you have adequate limits? If not, contact us at David Cordell Insurance. We can quickly give you a homeowners insurance review. What’s more, if you choose, we can search multiple insurance providers to see if there may be better coverage available at a more affordable price. We invite you to visit our website and get a comparative quote on your homeowners or auto insurance.

Things can happen in the blink of an eye. If you live in the 70809 zip code area, make sure you are prepared by contacting David Cordell Insurance.

Five Spring Maintenance Tips for your Louisiana Home

Spring is here and that means those of us in Louisiana will be getting out more and enjoying the great natural resources around us. It also means we will be busy getting our homes ready for the heat and storms that are sure to follow. If you are a homeowner in the Pelican State, here are five spring maintenance tips for your home.

  1. We know you rarely look at you roof, but now is the time to give it a good visual inspection. Take a walk around your home looking for loose or missing shingles or uneven places that may indicate a small leak.
  2. Give your yard a good cleaning by picking up all sticks, stones and other foreign objects it may have collected through the winter. Never mow over sticks as they can become projectiles.
  3. Check your outdoor air conditioning unit to make sure it is clean and free of obstructions that can inhibit airflow into the unit.
  4. Check your home’s foundation. Look for cracks in the cinder blocks or bricks. Make sure your porch isn’t sinking. If your windows and doors start becoming difficult to open and close that could be a sign of a foundation problem.
  5. Clean your gutters and downspouts. Yes, we know it is a nasty task but clean gutters and downspouts protect your roof, eaves, and foundation. Make sure water is free-flowing.

Spring is also the perfect time to check on your homeowners insurance with a review from David Cordell Insurance. We are an independent agency that can make sure you have the coverage you believe you have. We can also get quotes from multiple companies to ensure you are getting the best rate without cutting corners on your coverage. Visit our website for an online quote on your homeowners or auto insurance. By answering just a few questions, you can be on your way to savings. If you have questions, simply contact us at David Cordell Insurance.