Chimney Safety

Ignore chimney safety and it won't be Santa on your roof.  Poor Chimney safety may lead to a visit from the fire department.
Damaged Chimneys Significantly Increase the Risk of Home Fires

Chimneys often enhance a home’s roofline as well as add a decorative interior feature (fireplace) to a home’s interior. However, it is the chimney’s function that deserves the most attention. They are intended to safely disperse the heat and smoke that result from the use of a fireplace. Fireplace fires reach very high temperatures that take their toll on chimneys. It is risky to regularly use fireplaces without making sure that the chimney is in a safe condition.

An April 2015 report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reveals that, on average, more than 20,000 fires occur annually across the U.S. that are directly related to chimneys and chimney connections (found with wood-burning stoves and fireplace inserts).

One particular danger when buying an existing home that has a fireplace is that the chimney may have experienced a previous fire. There are certain signs to look for that are red flags, such as the following:

Chimney problems may go unnoticed by most.  Missing chimney flues., creosote on the ground, bubbled creosote, warped dampers, dark cracks, and  damaged shingles or rain caps.  These are all great indications of potential chimney problems.
Unsafe Chimneys: Know the Signs
  • Chimney flue tiles are missing or damaged
  • Creosote (tar colored) flakes appear on roof or ground adjacent to the chimney
  • Creosote that looks puffed or bubbled
  • Chimney damper appears warped
  • Exterior masonry has smoke-darkened cracks
  • Rain cap appears darkened from smoke and/or has a distorted shape
  • Roofing near chimney appears heat or smoke damaged

Chimney fires can be hidden, intense and even explosive, typically causing very serious levels of damage, often life-threatening. If you make use of a fireplace, wood-burning stove or an insert, it is very important to get them regularly and professionally inspected.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2016

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

What Fisherville residents need to know about condo insurance

The real estate market continues to be very strong due to the local economy and new developments opening up all over the place. When you are looking to buy real estate in Fisherville, getting a condo could be a great option. If you do buy a condo, you need to make sure that you have it properly covered by a full condo insurance policy. There are several things that a Fisherville, KY resident needs to know about condo insurance. 

Valuable Coverage 

Most importantly, you need to remember that you get very valuable coverage from condo insurance. This will include coverage in the event your property is damaged or destroyed and will also include liability coverage. In the event of an accident or unfortunate situation, this could prove to be very helpful for you. A home associations policy will not cover your property.

Likely Requirement

Another factor to remember is that you will likely be required to carry the condo insurance policy at all times. If you took out a loan to buy the condo, your lender will likely want you to have condo insurance to make sure that their collateral is protected. Even if you don’t have a mortgage the condo association will likely require that you have coverage. This ensures that you have liability coverage in the event you cause damage to another condo or the common areas.

Your Kentucky condo is a major asset that you need to properly cover by insurance. When you are trying to cover your condo with insurance, you should reach out to TruePoint Insurance in Fisherville, KY to start the process. The insurance professionals at TruePoint Insurance can help you to better assess your individual risks. We will then help you find a condo policy that will properly cover you and your condo. 

Halloween, Insurance for Haunted Houses, and other Special Events

Halloween is pumpkin patches, corn mazes, trick or treat, hayrides and haunted houses.
Corn Mazes, with and without the Bogey Man

Haunted houses have been a part of Halloween in America for over 75 years. Many of the first haunted houses were associated with corporations. Yet, it was the nonprofit sector that made haunted houses a part of Americana.

In recent year’s haunted houses started to fade.  Sponsoring organizations such as churches, and school groups, have backed away.  Like so many other things in our lives, the culprit is government red tape.

Personal Injury Claims and Haunted Houses

Are you or a group you're involved with, having a haunted house this season?  If so the first place to start is with a trusted independent insurance agent.
Haunted House

In the past, successful lawsuits against haunted houses have been limited. We can point to three factors that significantly contributed to this:

Consumers can readily identify and assume the risk

Haunted houses are open for only a brief time each year.  The risk of something going wrong increases with time.  Since these events are seasonal dangerous conditions are less likely to develop.

Proof!  Claims of injury or damages were often dismissed due to lack of proof.  What’s changed?  Cell phones! 

Access to information relative to compensation for injuries or damages. 

It’s not the haunted house; it’s the Attorneys that scare me!

That was the past. If someone is injured at a Special Event today, they are much more likely to seek compensation. Recently I did an online search for “Haunted Houses.” I should have known better. But the truth is, what I found was horrifying. On page one of my search results was a blog post from a personal injury attorney.

Times have changed.  Seasonal Events have become considerably riskier.   If you are planning a haunted house, hayride, or any other seasonal event, take a moment an to consider the risk.   It’s also wise to reach out to an independent insurance agent for input. Most agents will likely recommend insurance if appropriate. They may also provide insights into your process.  Identifying opportunities to reduce or avoid risk.  They should also present products to transfer risks associated with production. Some of the more common suggestions are:

Waiver or Release

Before allowing entry most all require a signed release or waiver of liability.  As long as the disclosures describe the risk, consumers to sign the waiver assume the risk.

Limited Liability Company (LLC) or Incorporate (Inc.)

Setting up a business entity is an excellent way to limit liability. Undertakings done with these corporate structures are separate from your personal assets.

General Liability Insurance

General Liability Insurance protects a business against bodily injury or property damage claims. Tripping over a cord, cuts caused by exposed nails, injuries or losses caused by chemicals, and falling props: are a few examples where GL coverage would provide protection.

Workers Compensation Insurance

Work Comp protects employees that become injured while working for you. If your special event has employees, you need this coverage. There are very few exceptions to this. Special rules apply to partners, sub-contractors, members, and volunteers. Call an Independent Insurance Agent for a better understanding of your requirements.

Property Insurance

Your Special Event may alter coverage needs on buildings that you own or lease. It is essential to discuss your event with your insurance agent.

Inland Marine

You may use mobile equipment or other property in your haunted house or corn maze.  This should be covered with inland marine coverage.

Commercial Auto

Most automobiles used in your Special Event will already have coverage. The question is, will they have enough? Unless your vehicles are owned by an LLC or other business, then your entity is exposed. It needs to be! In the event of legal action, your organization most likely will be named in any lawsuits. To protect yourself from this, you should consider Hired and Non-Owned Coverage.

Volunteer Accident Insurance

Injuries to employees are covered by the work comp policy. But what happens if a volunteer is injured? They can most likely be covered by purchasing a Volunteer Accident Policy. However, there are many gray areas where you might run aground.  We suggest that you speak with an independent Insurance Agent beforehand.

Fall is the season for haunted houses, corn mazes, and other seasonal events. Common sense, caution, and communicate with a commercial insurance agent.  It’s the best approach if your planning to host any of these.

Call a TruePoint Insurance Commercial Agent at (502) 410-5089. They will be happy to discuss your options in managing your specific risk.

Making Mobile Homes Safer

Insurance for mobile homes can be expensive.  Proper anchoring will give your home a great chance of survive the next wind storm.
Properly Anchoring
Mobile Homes are Critical

Mobile homes are vulnerable to serious damage from winds and storms since they are smaller and much lighter than stick-built or factory-built homes. It is important to use reinforcements to make them more stable; such as tie-downs.

Tiedowns come in two basic types; over-the-top tie-downs and frame anchors. Over-the-top tie-downs are straps that resist lifting forces and minimize tip-overs. They are usually used with single-wide mobile homes. Strapping is placed with over the top of the roof or over the structure’s sides. Frame anchors are reinforcements that resist lateral forces, making a structureless vulnerable to sliding off supports

In order to stabilize a structure, the tie-downs must be properly anchored to a foundation, slab or the ground. Anchor types include the following:

insurance for mobile homes: Properly setting a mobile can help reduce the cost of insurance.
Tying down Mobile Homes

·         Hard Rock Anchor

·         Concrete Slab Anchor

·         Cross Drive Rock Anchor

·         Drive or Barb Anchor

·         Auger Anchor

·         Disc Anchors

Straps and anchors have to be used properly and they have to meet various standards such as placement of anchors, anchor fittings, method of installation and ground/site conditions. When anchored to the ground, it may be necessary to make test its suitability as an anchor. If piers and footings are used they must be able to meet various requirements regarding weight support, dimensions, material quality, pier placement, and other areas. Straps and anchors also have to meet requirements in order to be depended on to withstand the stresses winds and other forces.

Use of tie-downs varies by state, state regulations and soil type. Local building inspectors and mobile and manufactured home builder associations are excellent sources for anchoring and tiedown requirement information. Use of that valuable information, along with insurance, is great methods for fully protecting a mobile home.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2017

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

Get a Grip on Zip(lines)

While accidents have been relatively low, the magnitude for zip line insurance claims has been quiet high.
Insuring Zip Lines

Ziplines are a newer and wildly popular attraction. They are known by various names such as:

  • zip wires
  • rope slides
  • aerial runways
  • flying fox
  • death slides

They consist of a steel cable (or, increasingly rarely, rope), mounted at an incline between two points. They are traversed by a person attached to the line by a harness and pulley.

Ziplines are quite old, originally developed as a way to more easily access remote areas, such as mountain terrain, forests or as a way to cross rivers and as an aspect of climber training. They are more recently used for entertainment such at adventure camps, hiking areas in parks, amusement parks, festivals, fundraisers, in team-building exercises and, in current development, at private residences.

Using the proper equipment and development of operating procedures focused on safety is essential.  Without these in place it will be hard to insure zip lines regardless of ownership or location.
Safety is Critical

Ziplines are now so popular; they are sold in kit form for private use. A standard kit consists of a cable, pulley, installation kits (bolts, eyebolts, swivels, cable tensioners, turnbuckles, cable clamps, braking device, cable slings etc), handlebars, lanyards or harnesses, and other accessories. Some kits include tools such as cable grabs and cutters.

While accidents involving zip lines are low, in comparison to their use, the consequences of accidents are very high, so safe operation is incredibly important. Much of the safety has to do with ziplines being installed professionally and operated by trained personnel. The residential use of ziplines is likely to result in more accidents because of the absence of those two, critical factors.

It is important that ziplines have safety features that match the installation and use. Residential ziplines are likely to consist of short runs and be close to the ground, still it is important to make sure that there is control over the speed, that the equipment is regularly checked, that the use is properly supervised, that there is proper clearance so that hands, clothing or hair don’t become entangled and that the launch and stopping points are properly supported. Items that help make zipline use safer is the use of a shock-absorbing landing zone, backup lanyards or harnesses, goggles, thick leather gloves (for emergency braking), helmets, masks, and knee pads.

Of course, it is supremely important that the zipline use the right type of cable, have a proper incline, be properly tensioned and that the right attachment and anchor points are used and that the space for the installation is adequate. The installation site must be absolutely free of obstacles, so site preparation is often necessary. Maintenance is very important, particularly with regard to line wear and tension and zipline owners must inspect their installation and gear carefully and regularly. Safe procedures and supervision is also critical.

You may also find it helpful to see our article titled, “Who Cares about Attractive Nuisances” for related information.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2015

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

Proof that your car insurance IS TOO HIGH?

Buying car insurance in Kentucky is expensive.  Only five states pay more to insure their autos.
Kentucky is one of the most expensive states for auto insurance.

If you live in Kentucky and own a car, then you’re paying too much for Automobile Insurance.

If someone is telling you otherwise, I’ve got some excellent advice for you. Stop listening to that person!  They obviously don’t have a clue about the cost of auto insurance in Kentucky.

.

Kentucky has the 6th highest car insurance in the US.
Proving that the cost of Kentucky Auto Insurance is High

The Proof

Which states would you expect to pay the most for insurance? States with bigger cities, and heavy traffic? Commonsense would lead most of us to expect to find New York, California, and New Jersey at the top of the list.  Using the same logic we can also add Massachusetts, Illinois, Florida, and Connecticut.  And while not a state, I would also expect to see Washington D.C. on a list of states with higher auto insurance premiums. 

Six states have average auto insurance rates that range from $1,750 to $2,500.  Starting with the most expense:

1. Michigan

2. Louisiana

3. Florida

4. Connecticut and,

5. New York  

6. Kentucky

For the most, this likely seems appropriate. But for many it  will be eye-opening to find how high car insurance is in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  Surprisingly the residents of Kentucky pay more for auto coverage than California.  The same is true for Washington D.C., Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Illinois.

Who is this person that says you’re car insurance is not expensive?

Kentuckians on average spend $1,752 annually for auto insurance. That’s almost 30% more than the national average.  It is a fact; your auto insurance is expensive.

  • If you are a good driver in Kentucky, you pay too much for insurance.
  • If you’re a bad driver you pay too much.
  • Kentucky car owner’s that drive too fast, pay to much.                                                                     

 Compared with most other states, Kentucky auto insurance cost more.  While this is true for most residents, not everyone in Kentucky overpays.  Uninsured and underinsured drivers clearly don’t pay too much for car insurance.  But don’t read that to say that this group doesn’t have a hand in cost of car insurance in Kentucky.  Their contribution is significant.  Those that drive with inadequate auto coverage, raise auto premiums for everyone.  This increase in state demand for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Which in turn places upward pressure on the overall cost of auto insurance premiums.

Where you live has a big impact on how much your insurance cost.  Take a look at Kentucky.  Their very high auto insurance rates significantly impact home and auto packages.
It’s a fact that Auto Insurance is higher in Kentucky than it is in most states

The price for car insurance in Kentucky is high.  Some may try to argue this.  Beware of those that argue against the facts. 

Kentuckian plays about $400 a year more than the U.S. Average. Why is Kentucky auto insurance so expensive? 

How does Kentucky compare to other states in our region? To the north, Kentucky borders, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Each of these states is ranked as one of the ten least expensive U.S. States for car insurance. The average auto premium for the three is $973. Compared to these three Mid-Western states, Kentuckians are paying almost $800 a year. 

Why are we still listening to the nuts that still think we aren’t paying too much to insure our personal auto?

If you would like to have an insurance agent look you in the eye and tell you:

 “Yes, you are paying too much to insure your car,” then try TruePoint.

Want to learn about factors that make Kentucky auto insurance the 6th highest in the U.S.?

Give us a call at (502) 410-5089.

Serious about lowering your auto insurance cost?  Then get your insurance documents together.

Call or drop by, and we will do our best to help you reduce the value of your home and auto insurance.

Gun Liability – It’s Complicated

Guns aren’t tools, always treat them with respect

In 2010, during a party that involved minors drinking alcohol, one guest was shot and killed when a gun, being played with by its owner (another party attendee) went off. The parents of the deceased sued the parents of the gun handler. The latter requested coverage from their homeowner insurance company. The company denied coverage and, eventually, a court ruled that no obligation existed under the insurance policy. The company was released from the lawsuit.

Homeowners coverage, like other insurance policies, is intended to protect against losses that are accidental. Often, accidental losses can be readily determined, but incidents involving firearms are complicated.

Accidental discharge of a gun can be a crime

When one person injures another, both the act and the intent are considerations of whether an incident is an accident. In the shooting incident mentioned above, it was determined that the gun handler was guilty of negligently handling the gun and was jailed. Since a court determined the incident was a crime, it did not qualify as an accident. A loss caused by a crime is ineligible for coverage.

When a loss involves firearms, it is often treated far differently than other circumstances. Consider the following:

Jim is hosting a party at his house for a bunch of high school friends and Fran is one of the persons attending it. Jim, well known to his friends as the group’s clown, is fooling around with an item. Fran, who is nearby, is seriously injured. Later, Fran’s family sues Jim’s parents and they file the lawsuit with their insurance company.

Scenario one – Jim recently became interested in tennis. He brings out a very expensive tennis racket he just received. He brags about how light and powerful it is and he demonstrates strokes. When he demonstrates a backhand, Fran is passing behind him and she is hit, suffering a broken nose and several shattered teeth!

Scenario two – Jim recently became interested in firearms. He brings out a very expensive pistol he just received. He brags about how light and powerful it is and he demonstrates how it is supposed to be handled. When he demonstrates how to aim it, the gun fires and Fran is struck. The bullet hits and fractures her shoulder.

In both scenarios, the injuries are a result of Jim’s immature and careless action. In both situations, no harm was intended. In both instances, Fran is seriously injured. In all likelihood, the losses will not be handled similarly. A tennis racket is a piece of equipment that is intended to be used for a particular sport. It is used for hitting tennis balls and other uses are considered unusual and, for the most part, not dangerous. This loss has a very high chance of being treated as an accident.

A gun is a weapon. It is used for both defensive and offensive purposes and, by nature, is capable of extremely serious, often deadly harm. It is considered to be a dangerous instrument. Therefore, the stakes are far higher whenever a gun or other firearm causes a loss. In many instances, even when harming another party is completely unintended, acts involving firearms also involve far more accountability and may not be classified as accidental. In the shooting scenario, the chance is very high that the loss would be denied.

Because of the danger inherent in guns, it’s important to be aware that losses involving them are often ineligible for insurance protection. That makes it critical that their ownership is treated seriously and every possible precaution against unintended injury be taken.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc., 2016

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

A Dry Source of Loss

Americans complain to much.  Take just one of our modern day conveniences away for a week.
I promise to never complain about doing laundry again!

Handling our many household chores is all about convenience. For many decades, the incredible washer and dryer power duo have made it possible for us to enjoy easy access to clean, ready-to-wear wardrobes. However, these appliances have a dark side that can result in serious loss, particularly dryers.

The United States Fire Administration (USFA), a federal agency that collects and shares data on fire-related losses, reminds us that dryers, while extremely handy, can also be dangerous. In a recent agency report, fires caused by clothes dryers result in losses of $35 million per year, nationwide. Let’s repeat that – $35 million in dryer-related losses each and every year.

Dryer cause 2,900 home fires each year in the US.  A third of those fires are due to a failure to clean the dryer.
Preventing a home fire

According to the report, such losses occur more frequently in cooler weather, occurs mostly in residences and, for a bit of good news, most fires are limited to the dryer itself. However, such fires can and do easily spread to other parts of an apartment or home.

More than a third of dryer fire losses are created by insufficient dryer maintenance and improper use. Therefore, dryers, as a source of loss, are quite controllable by homeowners. Here are some suggestions to help minimize dryer fires:

  • Properly and regularly clean out lint traps – that should include vacuuming out the area housing the lint trap too
  • Avoid putting items in a dryer which are more prone to igniting such as items containing foam (lined drapes, athletic shoes, bathroom rugs)
  • Remove lint that accumulates underneath and in areas outside of the dryer which is also sources of fire
  • Regularly clean out dryer vents. A thorough job is necessary to keep vents free of accumulated lint and, even more serious, bird or rodent nests
  • Do not overload dryers since fires are more likely due to restricted airflow and higher heat build-up
  • Make sure the dryer vent pipe is properly installed and is free of kinks (again, to avoid airflow restriction and heat build-up
  • Consider using a dryer that has a moisture sensor which can end dryer cycles with less of a heat build-up that is permitted by dryers that use thermostats

These simple few safety steps are all that it takes to help avoid a potentially serious fire. Be clean, be dry……and be smart!


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2015

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

2019 Spencer County KY High School Football

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Bears-logo-1.jpg
Spencer County Football

Aug 24 Anderson County at Nelson County 7:30 PM
Aug 30 Bullitt East away 7:30 PM
Sep 6 Nelson County away 7:30 PM
Sep 13 Collins away 7:30 PM
Sep 20 Bardstown at Nelson County 7:30 PM
Sep 27 Marion County away 7:30 PM
Oct 5 Moore at Nelson County 7:30 PM
Oct 11 Valley away 7:30 PM
Oct 25 John Hardin away 7:30 PM
Nov 1 Henry County at Nelson County 7:30 PM

Head Coach: Mike Marksbury Location: Taylorsville, KY

2018 Record: 4-6

Friday Nigh Football Football, it;'s an American Thing.  Kentucky High School football following the Spencer County Bears.
EnteFriday Night Football, it’s an American Thing!

For the last eight years passion, knowledge, commitment, and compassion have been on display on Friday nights. Anything less would have ended in failure. That’s why in 2011 when Mike Marksbury walked onto the field, the fans welcomed a new coach. Little did they know that this man would become the cornerstone of the Spencer County Football program.

The last couple of years have been tough for the Bears. But even the casual observer can see that those days are behind this punch. While still young, this sleuth of Bears has it all. Talent, drive, and heart. The bottom line is that even though they are still learning, Spencer County has a group of real Football Players coached by Real Coaches.

Home field advantage his huge in any sports, however, it seems that it means the most for football and basketball. The area experienced extremely wet weather throughout the spring and early summer. As a result, improvements to Spencer County facilities are very far behind schedule. So for the 2019 season, the Bears will be nomads, a team with no home. Another challenge that will be overcome by this “never says quit” group.