Rodent Damage & Preventative Steps to Take This Winter in Bremerton, Washington

Rodent Damage & Preventative Steps to Take This Winter

Rodent Damage & Preventative Steps to Take This Winter in Bremerton, WashingtonAs the temperature continues to drop this time of year, humans aren’t the only ones seeking warmer areas to rest. Mice, rats, and other rodents move indoors this time of year to nest as well as look for more food sources that may be stored. It is your responsibility to protect your house from rodent damage as damages caused by rodents or other animals is not covered by an insurance policy.

What types of damage can rodents cause?

Rodents that nest in crawl spaces under a home can wreak havoc on your insulation as well as any items that you may store in there. They will make bedding out of anything soft including pulling down your insulation, shredding up paper, cardboard, and fabric so if you store things in your crawl space, be sure they’re in a sealed plastic bin so the rodent can’t chew or scratch its way through.

Urine & Droppings: Mice and rats can make a smelly mess. The adage that says don’t go to the bathroom where you sleep isn’t true for mice and rats. They don’t seem to mind and if your home has a rodent problem, you’ll see (and often smell) droppings on everything.

How did a rodent get into my house?

Rodents are crafty and will burrow under a home and enter through a dirt floor (like in a crawl space) or they can squeeze through cracks in a foundation, a broken window, or gaps around the home such as exterior boards. Once inside, they can squeeze up into your walls and make their way all the way around your home. Rats often make their way up into attics. If you have a rat in your attic, you’ll likely hear it scurry around.

Preventative Steps to Protect Your Home from Rodent Damage

To protect your home, do a visual inspection for any obvious places a rodent could squeeze in. If your home has a crawlspace, look for vents around the foundation and inspect those as oftentimes, the screens that keep things out become damaged and allow for room to get in.

Never store food in your garage or crawl space. Food will attract rodents. If you do store food, make sure it is in air-tight containers.

How do you get rid of rodents in a house?

Unfortunately, the only way to get a rodent out of a home is to trap it. There are a variety of traps available but beware of using any that contain poison if you have children or animals in your own home. Additionally, poison traps can leave a dead animal in an area you can’t reach, leading to a stinky problem for quite some time. Consider calling a professional or even using humane traps to remove the rodents.

Before you trap, be sure you’ve remedied the entry point. Because the problem will quickly return if you haven’t solved the entry point issue.

Will my insurance pay to repair rodent damage?

No, rodent damage is not typically covered by a home insurance policy because this type of damage occurred over an extended period of time. Rodents can take months or years to create noticeable damage, but by then it is too late and the damages you couldn’t see are extensive. Your best option is to call several crawl space cleanout or insulation companies. They can give you a quote to fix the damage as well as seal up your crawl space to avoid future issues.

Take care of your home and your home will take care of you. If you’re needing a quote on a great insurance policy to help protect it, give us a call. We represent the top-rated insurance companies and can give you multiple options for coverage as well as pricing.

Home and Auto Insurance in Bremerton, Washington

Home & Auto Insurance Have Increased & We Explain Why.

Home and Auto Insurance in Bremerton, WashingtonInsurance premiums are calculated based on how much it will cost to replace or repair your home or vehicle as well as your overall risk. Your overall risk is broken up by several factors that can impact your auto insurance such as your driving record, claim history, age, credit score, zip code, the make and model of your car, and the type of insurance coverage limits & deductible you choose. Your home insurance premium factors can be based on the age of your home & condition, your zip code, credit score, home safety features, the coverage limits & deductible you choose, claim history, and more.

We are seeing a trend that many customers continue seeing an increase in auto and home insurance premiums at renewal, even if their overall risk has not changed.

Home insurance has increased because construction costs have gone up due to a shortage of building materials and labor. Not only has there been a shortage in materials and labor, but the cost of materials and labor wages have also increased. Lastly, there has been an increase in home insurance claims due to natural disasters. Anytime an insurance carrier experiences an increase in insurance claims, they will increase their future premiums for customers. This can even extend across state lines.

Car insurance has also gone up for several reasons such as more accidents occurring, a shortage of skilled labor, and car parts have increased in price. All these factors make insurance premiums more expensive.

If your home or auto insurance policy premium increased significantly at renewal, don’t panic & give us a call. We represent the top insurance carriers, which means we work for you. We have the ability to shop your current coverage with all of our carriers & provide you with several quotes. This gives you the option to have competitive prices, as well as several choices.

We can also provide you with professional insurance advice. We always want you to have plenty of insurance coverage to ensure you are protected in the event you have to file a claim.

Here are some things to consider when it comes to lowering your premium: 

1.) Bundle your home or renters insurance policy with your car insurance.

2.) Stay on top of home maintenance to lower your risk of a claim. A few areas to assess are your roof, plumbing and electrical. Insurance claims can impact your future insurance premium so if there is a way to prevent a claim, this is crucial.

3.) Talk to your agent about an insurance review. When you increase your deductible, your premium gets lowered. Please note if you do experience a home insurance claim, out-of-pocket expenses would be increased due to a higher deductible.

4.) Ask for a re-quote with other carriers. This is a big advantage of working with a local, independent insurance agency. We have many choices for insurance!

Contact our agency today with any questions or concerns you have about your insurance policy.


in Bremerton, Washington

Three Things to Consider for Halloween This Year

in Bremerton, WashingtonHalloween is a great holiday in many ways. Whether it is dressing up, decorating your home, watching a scary movie or simply enjoying some fun size candy, Halloween brings joy to all ages. Here are a few things to consider making the most out of your holiday.

  1. Be aware of tripping hazards around your home

If your plan is to stay home and pass out candy, it is important you prep your home first. Whenever strangers step foot onto your property, you do have a liability risk. To lower your liability risk, be sure to check your driveway or stairway for tripping hazards. This can include hoses, extension cords, debris, loose decking boards, decorations or outdoor toys.

If someone were to trip or fall on your property, there could be a chance you are liable. Walk your property to make sure you do not have anything someone could trip on. If you live in a cold environment, you should also evaluate if there are any areas that are slick that someone could slip. While most people think of icy stairs, wet leaves and algae growth can also be something to think about.

Lastly, if you own a dog, have a plan. Some dogs do not like having strangers walk up to the door or may be disturbed when the doorbell rings. If your dog falls in this category, make a plan for what you can do to keep your dog calm. The last thing you want is to have your dog bite someone, as you could be liable.

  1. Have a plan if trick or treating

Whether you are going trick or treating with your child or if your teenager wants to go trick or treating with friends make sure you have a plan for the night. What neighborhood provides good sidewalks? What are safety tips you can share with your teenager about walking in the dark or talking with strangers?

  1. Pack safety gear & be extra cautious when driving

Whenever you are walking or driving at nighttime, you want to be extra cautious of your surroundings. If you plan to be walking around & trick or treating, be sure you pack safety gear such as a flashlight or a bright vest or reflective clothing. You want to be visible to drivers on the road and those two items can help. Glow sticks are also fun for kids to hold at nighttime.

If you will be out & about, be aware of trick or treaters. Drive slowly when entering your neighborhood. Some individuals may not be visible with flashlights or bright vests, so it never hurts to drive cautiously.

We hope you enjoy your Halloween. If you have questions about your insurance coverage, reach out to our agency. We are happy to do an insurance review or provide you with multiple quotes.