Home Security is easier – and Better- Than Ever

Think home security is still about bulky camera equipment and wires running all throughout your home? Think again.

Today, things have changed quite a bit, and the playing field has been leveled. Advanced tools and security systems are more accessible and affordable than ever. (And installing them might get you a discount on your homeowners insurance, too.)

Full-service systems are still a popular option with many people. Companies offer central monitoring, video surveillance, smoke/carbon monoxide detection and more. Some even include home automation tools so you can control appliances from anywhere, and many will send text-message alerts in response to specific occurrences, such as when the kids enter the house after school.

Do-it-yourselfers who don’t want an all-in-one system have many choices as well. Here are three of the newest and most popular security tools:

1. Smart (and small) cameras

Cameras today can be tucked anywhere and don’t require wires. With a good battery and wi-fi connection, you can see what’s happening outside — or inside — with a glance at your phone or computer.

2. Key-free doors

Say you have a friend stopping by to check on your dog while you’re gone for the day. You don’t have to risk leaving a key outside. With a code-based entry system, you can simply provide your friend with temporary access that turns on and off when you want.

3. Home automation products

It’s easier than you think to give yourself remote access to the lights and appliances in your home. At least one available product can be used with your existing power outlets; simply plug it in and control the power to that outlet from an app on your smartphone. Don’t ever worry about forgetting to leave a light on again.

Of course, even “old-school” tools, such as motion-activated outdoor lights, can still have a big impact on security. So whether you choose high-tech tools or stick to the basics, you’ll be making your home here a less attractive target for burglars.

Despicable Me 2 Movie Claim Monday

Movie Claim Monday: where our insurance minds speculate whether certain incidents in the cinematic universe would in fact be considered a covered claim.*

This week’s movie claim Monday is on Despicable Me 2**. Again, I have a 2 year old, the only movies I watch anymore are cartoons.  So here we go!  This one isn’t exactly on claims, rather than just the coverages needed.  The scene I’m going to be going into is when Gru and Lucy break into Salsa & Salsa restaurant to see if the bad guy they are looking for is El Macho (spoiler alert: it is!).

  • El Macho better have some small business insurance.  There is property damage to most of his tables and chairs and a hole gets put in his ceiling.  He would want property coverage as well as loss of use, since he may have to close down while repairs are made.
  • Also, his business coverage would be useful for the safe that is broken into, but the coverage may not apply, as not valuable was taken and the only valuable in there was a jar of salsa.
  • The mall would also want good property insurance, as the minions break quite a bit of glass driving a car through the side wall.  Lots of damage and lots of clean up.
  • Finally, how would Lucy’s car be covered?  I mean, it obviously needs auto insurance, but it is also a submarine and an aircraft.  Three insurance policies seems a bit excessive, so maybe she can find a non-standard carrier that can create a custom policy for her specific vehicle.  You never know.

*Disclaimer: Each insurance policy is different, and while we speculate here for enjoyment purposes, you will need to discuss your insurance policy directly with your agent or CSR.  Our speculations here are in no way an indication that a similar occurrence would in fact be covered.

**All characters described and mentioned are copyrighted by Universal Pictures

Your Insurance and Renting Out Your Home

Your Insurance and Renting Out Your Home

 

Home sharing has become more and more popular over the past few years with companies like Airbnb and Homeway.  But before renting out a room or the whole house, it’s always best to consult with your insurance agent to make sure you have the right coverage.  Below is a blog that gives a some information to consider before you begin home sharing.

 

Educating homeowners about home-sharing insurance coverage

Home-sharing continues to grow in popularity as owners use their homes for income generation, and travelers look for unique experiences. If fact, experts are predicting vacation home rentals will increase 25% this year – up from a 19% jump last year – and it’s expected this growth trend will continue for some time.

 

Employee Spotlight-Katie Martin

 

This month’s employee spotlight is on our lovely Katie Martin.  Katie started with Brown & Brown about 2 years ago as our receptionist and has since moved up to small business technician.  She and her husband Chris have been together for 11 years and are new parents to their baby boy Chase (who, in our opinion, is one of the cutest babies ever).    Outside of being a mom, Katie says that her favorite things to do are go bowling, read Harry Potter, and relax with friends at breweries.  Katie’s mom and grandpa were both in insurance long before she came to Brown & Brown, so she’s keeping the tradition alive.  We are so happy to have her as part of our insurance family!

Employee Spotlight Shane Neal

Employee Spotlight Shane NealThis month’s employee spotlight is on our fabulous producer Shane Neal.  Shane has been in the insurance industry for 15 years, specializing in commercial insurance and contract bonds.  He has been married to his beautiful wife Christa for 23 years, and they have 6 children.  When he’s not working, Shane likes to fly fish, go backpacking, and do wood work.

We asked Shane for some interesting facts about himself and he did not disappoint.  Shane has flown a plane, is an Eagle Scout, has a Welsh Corgi named Charlie (who is too cute for words!) and bred and trained quarter horses when he was younger.  Shane is such a fun guy and we love having him on our team!

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