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10 Fire Safety Tips

10 Fire Safety Tips

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were 1,345,500 fires reported in the US in 2015.  In the same year, one home structure fire was reported every 86 seconds.   The scariest statistic of all?  You and your family have  less than two minutes to escape before flames/smoke engulf the structure.

There is little time to think or act in the moment of a fire.  This is why it is crucial to educate yourself and your family on fire safety and prevention.  Follow these helpful tips from American Advantage – Petersen Group in New Berlin, Wisconsin:

  1. Install smoke alarms in all levels of your home,  Put them both inside the bedroom and outside. Make sure to test smoke alarms every month to ensure they are working properly.
  2. Create a fire escape plan with your family members and practice the plan semi-annually.
  3. Avoid plugging several appliance cords into the same electrical outlet.
  4. Use common sense while in the kitchen.  Limit distractions while cooking and keep items that can catch on fire, such as wooden spoons or dish towels, away from your stove top.
  5. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen in case of emergency.
  6. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.  Always blow them out when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  7. Store matches and lighters away from young children.
  8. Never leave space heater on when you are not in the room.  Also, keep them at least three feet away from any items that can burn.  Closely supervise children and pets while a space heater is in use.
  9. If you live in an apartment building, know all of the building’s fire escape exists.  Do not use the elevator in the event of a fire, always take the stairs.
  10.  If you have a fireplace or wood burning stove, be sure to only use seasoned hardwood like oak, ash, or maple.

Make sure your home and belongings are properly covered with American Advantage – Petersen Group in New Berlin, Wisconsin!!  

How Your Pet Can Affect Your Home Insurance

How Your Pet Can Affect Your Home Insurance

Having a furry friend in your home is a great way to add a little more love and fun into your house. While most people only consider their pet’s happiness in their home, there are many other factors to consider, such as your homeowners insurance policy.

Dogs are one of the most common household pets and also cause one of the biggest risks to your home insurance. Dogs bite over 4 million people each year, and almost a million of those cases require some type of medical treatment. Luckily, typical homeowners insurance policies will provide coverage in case of a dog bite or any other incident related to your pet. The liability portion of your homeowners insurance policy will provide coverage if your pooch injures someone who is visiting your home.

Depending on the type of animal you have in your home, your homeowner’s insurance policy may increase or decrease. The breed of your pet has a large impact on how they will affect your home insurance premium. Muscular dogs that can inflict serious harm with just one bite can cause your premiums to rise significantly, whereas typically calm breeds may not cause it to rise very much. Insurance providers may even refuse coverage for your home based on your pet or the number of pets that you have.

If you have a pet other than a cat or a dog, such as a horse or potbellied pig, your homeowners insurance can still provide coverage for any injuries they cause. Keep in mind that no matter what type of pet you have, talking with your insurance agent is the best way to ensure that you are protected from any unfortunate situation.

For all of your homeowners insurance coverage needs, contact American Advantage – Petersen Group today!

4 Facts About Life Insurance Every Single Parent Should Know

4 Facts About Life Insurance Every Single Parent Should Know

September is life insurance awareness month.  Life insurance is one of the most important insurance policies to have especially if you have any number of dependents that rely on you and your income.  A life insurance policy is meant to provide financial protection for your loved ones once you are gone. If you are a single parent, life insurance is vital to ensure that your child or children are taken care of after your passing.

When deciding on the right amount of coverage to get with your life insurance policy, there are many factors to consider, including:

  1. At the very least, make sure to get enough life insurance to provide coverage for three years’ worth of your income. The payout of your life insurance policy can help to cover everything from childcare costs when your child or children are young, to their college education later in life. It can also help to cover the cost of your funeral to ensure that your loved ones will not be financially strained and can give you the funeral you deserve
  2.  If the other parent is in the picture, make sure to ask about their life insurance coverage, even if they are not paying child support.
  3. Choose a guardian for your children in case you pass away while they are still under 18. Make sure to choose a guardian that understands the financial and legal responsibilities of being one.
  4. Work with a legal professional to help draft your will. Any of your verbal wishes do not have any legal standing after your passing.

For all of your Wisconsin life insurance coverage needs as a single parent and to ensure that your children will be well taken care of after you are gone, contact American Advantage – Petersen Group in New Berlin, Wisconsin.  We can help you find the right amount of coverage, all at the right price to fit your budget.

Captive vs. Independent Insurance Agents

Captive vs. Independent Insurance Agents

It’s no secret that there are many options when it comes to getting insurance coverage.  From large national providers to your local agent, what really is the best option when it comes to insurance?

Besides purchasing insurance online or from a 1-800 company, the two types of insurance agents that you typically hear of are captive insurance agents and independent insurance agents.  So, what is the difference?  A captive agent represents only one insurance company, while on the other hand, an independent agent brokers through many companies.  One company can typically not meet all of a family’s insurance needs.  With an independent agent virtually anything can be insured, regardless of the cost, uniqueness, or driving record.

Since captive insurance agents only represent one company, there is no option to switch from within if your insurance needs change beyond their means or if there is a drastic change in price.  Working with an independent agent provides the option to shop through multiple companies to maintain the correct coverage at a competitive price.  Since an independent agent does not have to sell and support only one company it ensures that their advice is objective and unbiased.

Having your agent in your corner when a loss occurs makes the difficult process a little bit smoother.  If an issue occurs with a claim, an independent agent will go to bat with an adjuster if needed,  because they do not work for the insurance company, they work for their client.  Typically, a captive agent works for the same company the claims adjuster does and are exclusive to that company.

Policy service through a captive agent will generally come from a call center.  Working with an independent agent the policy service is from the same individual coverage was purchased from, or a personal account manager.

An independent agent has the ability to provide the correct coverage, a competitive price, and access to many insurance companies while creating meaningful relationships with clients.

Do you want to have your insurance agent on your side?  American Advantage – Petersen Group is a local New Berlin, Wisconsin independent insurance agency, helping to protect family’s stories since 1974.   As an independent agency, we partner with multiple insurance companies to secure the right coverage at a competitive price.

One Things Every Bride Needs to Remember to Do

One Things Every Bride Needs to Remember to Do

A wedding is one of the most important days of your life.  From the dress to the food, it is important to make sure that your whole wedding is protected with the right insurance policies.  Keep these commonly asked wedding insurance questions from American Advantage – Petersen Group in New Berlin, Wisconsin in mind to ensure that you are covered from any unfortunate situation on your wedding day.

Will my homeowners insurance policy cover liability for the venue? 

Most existing homeowners insurance policies will provide the right amount of personal liability on the day of the wedding. Make sure to contact your insurance agent to check if you should increase your amount of liability on the big day.

What policy covers the engagement ring before the wedding? 

The best way to protect the engagement ring before the vows, invest in an inland marine policy in both of your names. You can also write the ring into your homeowners insurance policy to provide protection.

Are the wedding gifts covered?

 All of your wedding gifts should be covered under the personal property portion of your homeowners insurance.  You also have the option to add an endorsement to your policy to provide more protection for all of your gifts.

Should I be listed on my spouses home and auto insurance after the wedding? 

Yes. The best way to ensure that you are both covered in case of loss  is to list both of your names on the declarations page of both policies.

For all of your wedding insurance needs, contact American Advantage-  Petersen Group, in New Berlin, Wisconsin. We can provide you with the most comprehensive coverage throughout Wisconsin to ensure that you are protected in any situation.