Archives for July 2014

Arizona Wildfires


forest and house on fireArizona is a beautiful state that enjoys a unique set of seasons, cool winters, no fall, and sweltering hot summers. This summer alone we’ve seen 19 wildfires spark up so far and the season is still heating up. To keep you and your family safe and out of harms way we’ve provided a few tips to consider when fire danger is this high.

A surprising fact: wildfires can happen in almost every state

While wildfires strike more frequently in the West, nearly every state has been devastated by fires in the last century. Each year hundreds of homes are destroyed as more people choose to live closer to nature.

Know what your insurance covers and how much you need

  • It’s beneficial to know if your insurance policy covers repair or rebuilding costs. If your home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss you can rest assured knowing your home insurance carrier will pay for additional living expenses while your home is being repaired or rebuilt—typically for up to 12 months. It’s important that you review your policy for detailed coverage explanations and exclusions.
  • Business owners should also consider business income insurance, which is designed to cover the costs of replacing lost profits, payroll and operating expenses if you are shut down while repairs are being made.
  • It is important that you review your insurance policy once a year to make sure you have enough coverage to rebuild based on current construction costs. We recommend you work with an independent appraiser to get a precise estimate and make sure you inform us about any special or unique features of your house.

You can reduce the chance of losing to wildfire

No building is fireproof, but there are steps you can take to better the chances when wildfire strikes.

  • Define your defensible space—a 30-foot, non-combustible zone around your home.
  • Choose fire-resistant plants and trees.
  • Remove or prune low hanging tree branches.
  • Cut grass and weeds regularly and keep your roof and yard clean, especially from dry yard debris.
  • Stack wood piles or other burnable materials at least 30 feet from your home or other buildings on your property.
  • Keep signs and addresses visible so firefighters can easily locate your property.
  • Rate your roof—is it fire resistant?
  • Recycle yard debris and branches instead of burning.

When a wildfire strikes, protect yourself and your family

If a wildfire starts in your area, monitor local news reports for evacuation procedures. Prepare for evacuation by turning off gas valves and pilot lights, closing all windows and doors and packing your car for quick departure, if there is time and it is safe to do so. Return to a burned area only when local authorities have instructed you to do so.

Stay safe this summer and always be on the look out for possible dangers around the house.

Here’s a look at the wildfires that have flared up and burned acreage in Arizona this wildfire season, according to the Arizona Interagency Wildfire Prevention.

  • Odonnell Fire – April 21, 2014
  • Brown Fire – April 23, 2014
  • Fisher Fire – May 7, 2014
  • Redington Fire – May 8, 2014
  • Squaretop Fire – May 13, 2014
  • Iron Fire – May 13, 2014
  • Basin Fire – May 15, 2014
  • Research Fire – May 23, 2014
  • Badger Fire – May 23, 2014
  • Barlow Fire – May 25, 2014
  • Skunk Fire – June 10, 2014
  • Black River Tank Fire – June 14, 2014
  • Galahad Fire – June 20, 2014
  • Jack Fire – June 25, 2014
  • Slide Fire – June 25, 2014
  • Dehose Fire – June 25, 2014
  • Oak Fire – June 26, 2014
  • San Juan Fire – June 26, 2014
  • Assayii Lake Fire – June 26, 2014

Captive Agent vs Independent Agent – Is there a difference?


How to chooseMany people consult an insurance agent or broker for their car insurance needs, and for good reason: agents can help you navigate the complicated world of insurance and help you get the best deal.

But did you know that there are different kinds of insurance agents and brokers — and the one you choose can make a big difference in the type of service you get and the choices you’re offered?

Here’s the difference:

Captive agents represent just one insurance company. As part of their business agreement, they offer only that company’s products, services, and coverage.

Direct markets are much like a captive carrier in the sense that they’re only able to provide one line of products, services, and coverage. In addition you will be provided an 800 number for customer service and will never get the true value of having your own agent to assist you every step of the way.

Independent agents and brokers offer products from different companies. Often, they can offer more choices and savings because they can review multiple options to find the right mix of companies, coverage, and rates for you.

Because they represent many different insurance companies, independent agents can allow you to shop around with competing carriers and get you the best deal. So rather than spending hours gathering quotes from various companies, you can get it done with one simple call or visit to CityScape Insurance

Another plus to working with an independent agent or broker is their ability to offer guidance for all your insurance needs. Getting to know your exposures isn’t just part of the job for an independent agent, it’s a lifetime commitment to you.

To learn more about the options available to you, call us today and we would be delighted to speak with you.