Maintenance Tips for Winter

Maintenance Tips for Winter

Home Maintenance Tips for Winter

Get a head start on winterizing your home, so you can comfortably enjoy the approaching colder month. These maintenance tips for winter will get you on your way!

Winter Maintenance Tips

Winter weather can be unpredictable, and cold temperatures, high winds, ice and snow can cause serious damage to your home. To avoid costly weather-related repairs, it’s important to prep your home and property for winter. Consider the following maintenance tips to keep your home cozy and safe inside:

  • Weatherproof windows and doors—Check your doors and windows for gaps, and seal them up with caulk, weatherstripping or thermal window treatments.
  • Clean the dryer hose—According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. firefighters respond to more than 14,000 house fires caused by dryers each year. Remember to clean the lint filter, empty or replace the hose, and regularly check the vent for blockage.
  • Inspect the fireplace—Clogged chimneys can also lead to house fires and can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s important to schedule an annual fireplace inspection and professional chimney sweep.
  • Check the HVAC system—Before the weather cools down, change the filters and schedule your annual HVAC system inspection and tune-up.
  • Prevent freezing pipes—To help keep pipes at a constant temperature, ensure there is sufficient insulation and that heat can circulate in your home.

Download our Winter Tips Checklist Today!

Equally as important, consider the following preventative measures outside the house:

  • Trim tree branches—Keep tree limbs at least 3 feet away from the house to prevent excess water from seeping into potential cracks on the roof or siding.
  • Seal cracks—Take a walk around your home to look for any exterior cracks in caulk, paint, wood or concrete surfaces. It’s critical to protect the exterior from the elements and prevent water leaks and drafts into your home.
  • Clean out the gutters—Clogged gutters or downspouts can damage the foundation or cause ice dams—which may require expensive repairs. Remove leaves, twigs and other debris from gutters to ensure they aren’t holding water.

Maintenance Tips for Winter Driving

Even if you live in an area where the winters are mild, you still need to perform a car care check as the days grow shorter. Consider the following tips to prep your car for winter roads and unpredictable weather:

  • Inspect your tires for tread wear and have tires rotated during every oil change. Consider switching to snow tires if you live in an area that gets heavy snow to gain better traction on slippery roads.
  • Regular vehicle maintenance can help prevent car troubles. Consider changing your oil and antifreeze, replacing wiper blades and inspecting headlights and brake lights.
  • Inspect your battery—Battery capacity decreases in cold weather, so get your battery tested before the chill sets in. Consider parking your vehicle in a garage to further protect the battery from the cold elements.
  • Fill up your tires—Monitor your tire pressure and, as needed, fill up tires with air. It’s best to keep up with the monitoring process once a month.
  • Check the heater—If you don’t have a working heater in your car already, be sure to fix it. In the event that you have car troubles and are unexpectedly stuck in your car for an extended period of time, you’ll want that heat until help is on the way.

Besides prepping and keeping your vehicle running well, stash an emergency kit in your car to help in the case of a winter car emergency.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more. The GDI team has developed an “insurance cost reduction” quoting plan, that provides you with the best coverage at the best rate!

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business.

Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive personal insurance quote!

CDC Guidance for Thanksgiving Celebrations

CDC Guidance for Thanksgiving Celebrations

CDC Guidance for Thanksgiving Celebrations

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated guidelines for safe Thanksgiving celebrations this year.

These updated guidelines focus on remaining safe during small gatherings, which the CDC points to as being a contributor to the current increase in COVID-19 cases.

As a reminder, the CDC’s guidelines are not meant to replace—but rather supplement—any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules and regulations with which all gatherings must comply.

What’s the Safest Way to Celebrate?

The guidelines reiterate that the safest way to celebrate is with people from your household or virtually.

Thanksgiving Celebration

Considerations for In-person Thanksgiving Celebrations

Gathering with people who are not from your household poses varying levels of risk. If you’re considering attending or hosting an in-person celebration for Thanksgiving, there are some things you need to consider, which include:

  • Community levels of COVID-19—Do you live in an area that’s experiencing a high number of COVID-19 cases? Are other attendees coming from highly affected areas?
  • Potential exposure during travel—In addition to considering the community levels of COVID-19, consider your or other attendees’ level of exposure during travel.
  • Location of gathering (indoor or outdoor)—Indoor gatherings are considered to be a higher-risk activity than outdoor activities.
  • Duration of gathering—Generally speaking, the longer you’re in contact with someone who has COVID-19, the more likely it is that you will get it too.
  • Number of people expected to attend—Although the CDC doesn’t have a limit or recommended amount of guests per gathering, the more people attending an event increases the risk for COVID-19 spread.
  • Behaviors of attendees prior to gathering—If attendees have not been practicing social distancing, wearing masks or following hand-washing guidance, the risk for COVID-19 spread is greater.
  • Behaviors of attendees during gathering—If social distancing, mask-wearing and hand-washing behaviors are not followed during the gathering, the risk for COVID-19 spread is greater.

This holiday season, consider how your holiday plans can be modified to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to keep your friends, families and communities healthy and safe.

Those Who Should Not Attend or Host an In-person Celebration

The CDC’s guidelines explain that certain people should not attend in-person celebrations for Thanksgiving.

  • High-risk guests—Individuals who are at a higher risk for severe illness, or live or work with a high-risk individual, should avoid attending or hosting in-person celebrations. Those who are considered to be at an increased risk include:
  • Older adults
    • People with underlying health conditions
  • Symptomatic guests—Those who have symptoms of COVID-19 or are waiting to receive results of a viral COVID-19 test should not attend or host in-person celebrations.
  • Guests who have or have been exposed to COVID-19—Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive should not attend or host in-person celebrations.

Carefully consider your personal situation and decide whether it’s safe for you and others to attend or host an in-person Thanksgiving celebration.

Guidelines for Safely Hosting an In-person Gathering

If you are hosting an in-person Thanksgiving celebration, keep these tips from the CDC in mind to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Sit and eat outside, if possible. If an outdoor gathering isn’t feasible, try to keep windows open during the indoor gathering.
  • Limit the number of guests you invite.
  • Set safety expectations with guests ahead of time (e.g., mask-wearing, social distancing and hand-washing expectations).
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use.
  • Consider asking guests to bring their own food, drink and utensils.
  • If sharing food, have one person serve food, and use single-use utensils.
  • Limit the number of people in food preparation areas.

In addition to the above guidelines, be sure to promote social distancing at your gathering whenever possible; encourage guests to wear masks; and have soap and water, or hand sanitizer available for guests to clean their hands.

Guidelines for Attending In-person Thanksgiving Celebrations

If you’re attending an in-person celebration, keep these tips in mind to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Bring your own food, drink, utensils, plates and cups.
  • Wear a mask whenever possible.
  • Avoid areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as the kitchen.
  • Use single-use plates, drinkware and flatware when possible.

In addition to these guidelines, be sure to practice social distancing and hand-washing techniques while at the gathering.

Thanksgiving Celebration

Guidelines for Traveling

  • Get your flu shot before you travel. Contact your doctor or click here to see where flu shots are available.
  • Wear a mask in public settings and when on public transportation.
  • Practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet apart from people you don’t live with.
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Do not touch your mask, eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Bring extra masks, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes.

In addition, avoid making any unnecessary stops while traveling to limit your potential exposure as much as possible.

What to Do if You Were Potentially Exposed While Traveling or Celebrating Thanksgiving

If you were exposed to COVID-19 at a holiday gathering, the CDC recommends that you self-quarantine for 14 days and consider getting tested for COVID-19, even if you don’t have any symptoms.

While quarantining, monitor your symptoms and contact a doctor or hospital immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Constant pain or pressure in your chest
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Sudden confusion

Click here for a full list of COVID-19 symptoms.

What’s Next?

Although the holidays are generally a time of getting together and celebrating, the CDC is urging everyone to be smart this year in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Please stay safe and healthy this Thanksgiving weekend from all of us at GDI Insurance Agency, Inc.

Are You Prepared For Wildfire Season?

Are You Prepared For Wildfire Season?

Are You Prepared For Wildfire Season?

Wildfires are a natural and essential part of a healthy forest’s life cycle, helping to recycle nutrients and allow vegetation to spread and diversify. However, wildfires also pose a threat to both the lives and property of anyone who lives in or near a forested area. On average, more than 100,000 wildfires clear 4 to 5 million acres (1.6 to 2 million hectares) of land in the U.S. every year. Being prepared for wildfire season could save your home and your family.

prepared for wildfires

If you weren’t personally effected by a California wildfire last year, odds are you know someone that was. The 2018 wildfire season was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire season on record in California, with a total of 8,527 fires burning an area of 1,893,913 acres, the largest amount of burned acreage recorded in a fire season, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) and the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC).

What Causes Wildfires?

Nearly 85 percent of wildfires in the U.S. are caused by humans. Often, these fires are the result of unattended campfires, the burning of debris, equipment use and malfunctions, negligently discarded cigarettes and intentional acts of arson. The remaining wildfires are typically caused by lightning or other weather events.

Whatever the cause, these wildfires can spread to communities and force people to evacuate their homes. While firefighters will do all they can to prevent the spread of a wildfire, their limited manpower and resources may prevent them from defending your home.

Although you may not be able to reduce the risk of wildfires occurring in your area, there are measures you can take to be prepared for a wildfire and reduce the risk of your property being lost to a wildfire. This guide includes methods for reducing the chances that a wildfire will damage or destroy your home.

prepared for wildfire

Getting Prepared For Wildfire Season

Wildfires are unpredictable, and preparation is key. While specific, preventive action is the primary way to protect your home from the elements, there are some additional, up-front steps to consider:

  1. Evaluate your home and vulnerabilities—Every property is different and has its own set of unique risks. As such, it’s critical for homeowners to have a thorough inspection done to better understand the risks specific to their property. Inspections, when completed by a certified professional, can provide valuable insight into your property’s ability to withstand a wildfire.
  2. Work with a qualified insurance broker—While wildfires pose a real threat to your property, many of the risks can be addressed through the proper insurance. To get a better understanding of your options, it’s important to meet with a qualified insurance broker. They can provide a review of your unique exposures and the policies available to you.
  3. Reach out to your local government—In many cases, your local government can prove invaluable when it comes to protecting your home from the elements. Government websites, public works organizations, utility companies and building departments can all provide expertise and tips on protecting your home.

When completing the above steps, it’s critical to take any home protection advice you receive seriously, whether it be securing additional property insurance or completing an inspection to help you improve your home’s defenses. Only then can you begin taking steps toward protecting your home from specific wildfire risks.

Wildfire risks can vary depending on the location and makeup of your property. While you cannot relocate your home, there are steps you can take to protect your home and be prepared for wildfire.

wildfire preparation

Be Prepared For Wildfire: Clear the Zones Around Your Home

Wildfires rely on heat and embers moving between fuel sources in order to spread. Accordingly, one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of a wildfire to your home is to provide less fuel for the fire to spread. You can achieve this by creating cleared zones around your home. This entails moving or removing vegetation and other sources of fuel from close proximity to each other in a way that makes it difficult for a fire to reach your home.

prepared for wildfires

First Cleared Zone: 30 Feet Surrounding Your Home

The area immediately surrounding your home, or about 30 feet in any direction from your home, is the most important zone to clear from anything that a wildfire could use as fuel. Flammable species of plants, such as pine, spruce and juniper trees, should not be present in this zone at all. If you are unsure about the flammability of various plants, contact your local fire department for more information.

In addition to vegetation, it’s important to keep this area clear of other objects that might easily catch fire. Regularly clear your yard and gutters of sticks, leaves and other debris that might collect there, move any piles of firewood away from your house, keep grass cut short and avoid using bark mulch or pine needles for decoration. Debris can also collect beneath stairs, in pots or barrels and underneath decks. While these may seem like small hard-to-reach places, it only takes a single spark to start a dangerous fire.

Additionally, there are ways that you can prepare your home to withstand a fire, such as using fire-resistant materials and protecting compromised areas from sparks and embers. For example, windows should be tempered and double-paned, doors should be fire-rated with a good seal and solid shutters, and metal fire screens can provide additional protection for windows and doors. Wooden fences or boardwalks should have a metal gate to slow the advance of a fire. Vents can be screened with wire mesh, and eaves can be fitted with soffits and fascia to reduce the chances of embers and heat reaching wooden rafters. As for the largest surfaces of your house, the roof and siding, below are some fire-resistant materials to consider:


  • Metal
  • Asphalt
  • Clay
  • Composite rubber tiles


  • Stucco
  • Metal
  • Brick
  • Concrete
  • Fiber cement

Second Cleared Zone: 30 – 100 Feet Surrounding Your Home

Slowing or stopping the spread of fire in the area between 30 and 100 feet of your home can greatly reduce the chances of a fire spreading closer to it. In this zone, fire can spread easily between trees. Accordingly, it’s important to prune trees and clean up fallen branches, leaves and needles. Space trees in this zone at least 10 feet apart, measured by the outermost branches of each tree, and prune all tree branches that are within 6 feet of the ground. This helps prevent fire from spreading from tree-to-tree, as well as ground fire from moving into the treetops. To avoid damaging a tree, never prune more than a third of the canopy, and leave the main trunk and bark of the tree intact when pruning branches.

Third Cleared Zone: 100 – 300 Feet Surrounding Your Home

For any area between 100 and 300 feet around your home, the goal is to create an environment where fires will be less intense and easily extinguished. To do this, continue to thin and prune trees as in the second zone, creating firebreaks that make it difficult for fires to jump between trees and other vegetation. If your house is on a hill, consider extending this zone further since fire moves quickly uphill. If you do not own the property within 300 feet of your home, talk to your neighbor about agreeing to follow these methods to keep each other’s houses safe from a wildfire.

wildfire prevention

Avoid Becoming the Source of a Wildfire

Large wildfires can be started by a single small accident, and all the preparation to the area around your home will be for naught if your property is the source of a wildfire. Make sure your chimney is up to current building code requirements and includes spark arrestors. Keep burn barrels and fire pits away from buildings and at least 10 feet away from woodpiles and other materials that may catch fire. Burn barrels should also be properly ventilated, covered with a screen and never unattended. Clear vegetation from possible sources of fuel, such as propane tanks and power lines. Keep fire extinguishers, garden hoses, sprinklers, shovels, rakes, axes and other tools on hand that could be used to put out or cut off a small fire before it grows into a wildfire. In the event of a fire at your property, do not hesitate to contact local fire officials.

Wildfire-related risks can affect your home unexpectedly, often leading to major property damage. While you can’t always predict the movement and spread of a wildfire, the proper insurance can go a long way toward protecting your finances. To learn more about the specific policies available to you, it’s important to work with a qualified insurance broker.

Contact GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. today to learn more 209-634-2929. Download our checklist to make sure you are prepared for a wild fire.

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more.

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business. Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive home insurance quote!

How To Avoid Underinsuring Your Home

How To Avoid Underinsuring Your Home

How To Avoid Underinsuring Your Home

Your home is one of your greatest assets and a significant long-term investment. As such, it’s vital to protect your home and its contents with adequate homeowners insurance. Nevertheless, recent research found that many homeowners lack proper coverage. In fact, nearly 2 out of every 3 homes in America are underinsured—which means that the home is protected to an extent by a homeowners policy, but that policy doesn’t have sufficient limits or coverage features to cover the full expense of a potential claim. What’s worse, the average underinsurance amount is over 20%, with some homes being underinsured by as much as 60%. Read on to find out how to avoid underinsuring your home.

Don’t let your home become another statistic and suffer the devastating consequences of inadequate coverage in the event of a loss. Review the following guidance to ensure your homeowners insurance policy meets your unique needs and can offer the best possible protection when disaster strikes.

Avoid Underinsuring Your Home

Coverage Elements to Consider to Avoid Underinsuring Your Home

Homeowners insurance offers financial protection in the event of an unexpected disaster or accident involving you, your home or your personal property. However, homeowners insurance policies consist of several different types of coverage. With this in mind, it’s important that you review each form of coverage included on your policy to make sure you avoid underinsuring your home and specific risks.

Here are some key coverage elements to look out for:

  1. Dwelling coverage is the portion of your homeowners insurance policy that can offer compensation for the cost of repairing or rebuilding the physical structure of your home if it gets damaged or destroyed by a covered event (e.g., a fire, a windstorm or vandalism). To secure proper dwelling coverage:
  2. Make sure you have enough coverage to compensate the full cost of rebuilding your home in the current market—including construction expenses (e.g., labor and materials) and the associated costs of making sure your home is compliant with any new or updated building codes within your community. Many homeowners make the mistake of only purchasing enough coverage to compensate the real estate value of their home—which is typically far less than the cost of rebuilding.
  3. Don’t forget any important features of your home’s structure when determining the cost of rebuilding. This includes the flooring, countertops and the type of or quality of materials used throughout the structure. Further, avoid making a rough estimate when determining the cost of rebuilding. Be as exact as possible and consider getting assistance from a qualified property valuation expert to ensure a correct calculation and adequate coverage.
  4. Be sure to recalculate the cost of rebuilding your home and review your coverage needs whenever you make changes to your home—such as renovating the bathroom, remodeling the kitchen or adding an attached garage.
  5. Other structures coverage is the portion of your homeowners insurance policy that can help cover the cost of repairing or rebuilding any detached structures on your property (e.g., a shed or fence) if they get damaged or destroyed by a covered event. Similar to dwelling coverage, it’s crucial to ensure that you have enough other structures coverage to compensate the full cost of rebuilding any of your detached structures. In addition, be sure to reevaluate your coverage needs whenever you make changes to any of your detached structures or add a new detached structure to your property.
  6. Personal property coverage is the portion of your homeowners insurance policy that can provide reimbursement for the cost of stolen or damaged items inside your home, such as furniture or electronics. To ensure adequate personal property coverage:
  7. Review your policy to ensure you have the best form of coverage for your unique needs. At a glance, there are two forms of personal property coverage—replacement cost and actual cash value. Replacement cost coverage can offer compensation for the cost of replacing your stolen, damaged or destroyed property with a brand-new version (as long as it’s similar in kind and quality) following a covered event. Actual cash value coverage, on the other hand, can offer compensation for the depreciated value of your property. This value is determined by the age, condition and expected remaining useful life of your property prior to the covered event. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons of each form of coverage before making a final selection.
  8. Maintain an up-to-date home inventory checklist (be sure to include photos) of all of your belongings and their original value, as well as an estimate of their current value. This practice will help you better determine just how much coverage you need to fully protect your personal property. However, keep in mind that certain high-value items—such as jewelry, collectible items or fine art—won’t be covered by your homeowners insurance policy and will require specialized coverage.
  9. Loss of use coverage is the portion of your homeowners insurance policy that can help pay for temporary living expenses in the event that you have to move out of your home while it’s being rebuilt or repaired due to a covered event. Loss of use coverage typically equates to up to 20% of the insured value of your home. That being said, make sure you consult your broker if you are concerned that such a value won’t offer enough financial protection for your temporary living arrangements. Also, remember that if you conduct business within your home, this form of coverage will not protect against any loss of income related to your business. You will need to secure specialized coverage for business-related risks.
  10. Liability coverage is the portion of your homeowners insurance policy that can offer compensation for the expenses that may result if you are found liable for injuring another person or damaging their property. These expenses include medical payments, pain and suffering settlements, lost wages, legal costs and death benefits. Because these expenses can be significant, it’s vital that you have adequate liability coverage tailored to your specific risks. Otherwise, a liability claim could wreak serious havoc on your assets and financial well-being. Most homeowners insurance policies typically offer a minimum of $100,000 in liability coverage. But, depending on your personal risk profile, you may need to consider securing additional coverage. After all, various property features (e.g., having pets, a trampoline or a pool) can increase your liability risks and require further protection. You may even want to consider purchasing personal umbrella insurance, which can provide additional compensation if your liability coverage is exhausted following a covered claim.

Lastly, keep in mind that some events—including overland floods and earthquakes—are not always considered covered events on your homeowners insurance policy. If you live in an area that has an elevated risk of these weather-related catastrophes, you will need to obtain additional, specialized coverage. Also, don’t forget that you will usually (with the exception of liability coverage claims) have to pay a deductible before your homeowners insurance kicks in. What’s more, each form of coverage is subject to a limit, which is the maximum amount your policy will pay for a covered claim.  Be sure to review your coverage limits to ensure maximum protection and to avoid underinsuring your home.

We’re Here to Help

There are a variety of factors to consider to make sure your home is properly insured. GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is here to walk you through your homeowners policy and help you secure ultimate insurance protection for your personalized risks—ensuring full coverage in the event of a claim. For further insurance guidance, contact us today.

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more. The GDI team has developed an “insurance cost reduction” quoting plan, that provides you with the best coverage at the best rate!

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business.

Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive home insurance quote!

Barbecue Safety Tips for The Grill Master

Barbecue Safety Tips for The Grill Master

Barbecue Safety Tips for The Grill Master

For some barbecue season is year round and for some grilling starts when it gets a bit warmer outside, in California we could barbecue nearly all year round. No matter when you grill, barbecue safety should be a top priority. Every year barbecues cause property damage and injury. In 2011 – 2015, fire departments went to an annual average of 9,600 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year, including 4,100 structure fires and 5,500 outside or unclassified fires.

As the weather gets warmer, there is nothing like the scent of food on the grill or the taste of a bbq burger or steak, even a Portabella mushroom is amazing. I think we’ve all went outside and caught the scent of our neighbor’s barbecue and were a little envious!

Barbecue Safety Tips

Grilling is one of the most popular ways to cook food. There are risks when barbecuing your favorite foods. A grill placed too close to anything that can burn is definitely a fire hazard. Because barbecues are very hot they can also cause burn injuries. Follow these grilling tips from NFPA to protect yourself and your property:

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it
barbecue safety

Charcoal Grills Safety Tips

For some the love of a charcoal grill is worth the extra work. Amazing Ribs says the following about charcoal grill masters:

Charcoal purists are passionate and border on rabid. They who would never ever never no how no way own a gas grill.

But as we have seen, from a taste standpoint, they do have a point. The best reasons to buy a charcoal grill is that charcoal can get hotter than standard gas grills without infrared burners. In addition, charcoal, especially before it is fully lit, emits stronger smoke flavors that impact food more the longer it cooks.

  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources. KKK There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Gas or Propane Barbecue Safety Tips

  • Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.
  • Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles.
  • If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off both the gas tank and the grill.
    • If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
    • If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department.
  • Do not move the grill. If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 5 minutes before re-lighting it.
barbecue safety

Causes of Grill Fires

  • In roughly one of every five fires, the grill had not been cleaned. To prevent fires, keep the grill clean.
  • Position the grill away from the home and from other things that can burn.
  • Eleven percent of home grill structure fires began when an outside wall caught fire. Six percent began with some type of structural member or framing.
  • Cooking requires attention, and barbecuing is no exception.
GDI Insurance

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is Dedicated To Keeping You Safe

We understand that life gets busy, but taking the time to follow these barbecue safety tips can save injury or property damage. GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. offers solutions to the many risks that homeowners have.

Located in Turlock, CA, we specialize in providing Homeowners Insurance solutions so you can get back to the business of living, knowing one of your largest assets is protected. Contact us at 1-209-634-2929 learn more about all of our personal risk management solutions for your home, auto and life.

Does Your College Student Need Renters Insurance?

Does Your College Student Need Renters Insurance?

Does Your College Student Need Renters Insurance?

With young adults heading off to college, we often get the question “Does my college student need renters insurance?” We put together this blog to cover what you need to know about insurance and your college student. Sending a child off to college is a significant milestone that represents the culmination of years of planning and hard work. As you prepare for the start of the semester, you should consider how your insurance needs may change with your son or daughter away at school.

College student need renters insurance

Protecting Your Student’s Belongings

Many homeowners policies consider a dorm room as an extension of your home, so items your child keeps there may be covered to some extent. However, if your child has expensive electronic equipment or furniture, you may want to consider purchasing additional coverage.

If your child lives off campus, his or her possessions may not be covered by your homeowners policy. In that case, you may want to consider renter’s insurance, which costs as little as $15 per month. Renter’s insurance will cover possessions in your child’s off-campus apartment or house as well as provide liability coverage if anyone is injured in the residence.

college student renters insurance

Calculating Your College Student Renters Insurance Needs

Unexpected events like theft, vandalism or fires can wreak havoc on your personal belongings and cost you a fortune. Renters insurance is an affordable way to protect your belongings from losses—losses that can be far more costly than you may expect.

Let’s examine what renters insurance covers and how to calculate your policy needs.

What Renters Insurance Covers

While policies can vary, most offer coverage for the following:

  • Personal property coverage: This helps cover the costs to repair or replace belongings that are damaged or stolen due to a loss covered under your policy. Furniture, electronics and clothing can all be covered under personal property coverage. Although landlords typically have a form of property insurance, their policy does not usually cover any personal property within your living space.
  • Additional living expenses: If the apartment or home you’re renting becomes uninhabitable, your renters insurance policy can pay for your relocation costs as well as anything considered an extra expense under the policy—such as laundry, meal or storage-related costs.
  • Personal liability coverage: If someone is injured or their personal items are damaged on your rented property due to negligence, personal liability coverage can help pay any medical bills or damages, up to your policy limit.
College Student Renters Insurance

How Much Renters Insurance Do I Need?

In order to determine the amount of coverage you need for your renters policy, there are a few things you can do:

  • Create a home inventory checklist—Simply making this list can help you take note of what your possessions are worth and decide how much renters insurance you would like to purchase. This checklist may also become useful in the event that you have to file an insurance claim—all your possessions and their values are already laid out for you.
  • Deciding on any additional coverage—Once you’ve determined how much your items are worth, you can now decide if you need additional coverage. It may be useful to increase your policy limits to cover your more valuable items or get a separate policy for certain items such as jewelry or artwork.
  • Pick the best deductible for you—A deductible is how much you pay before your insurer starts paying for a covered incident. A higher deductible plan means your payments will be cheaper, but you’ll have to pay more out of pocket in the event of a claim.

Changing Auto Insurance Coverage

If your child moves more than 100 miles away from your home to attend school and doesn’t keep a vehicle there, your auto insurance premiums could decrease by as much as 30 percent. Call us today at 209-634-2929, and see if you can save money while still maintaining coverage for your child when he or she is at home.

Insurance Questions to Ask

Here are some important questions to ask when your child goes to college:

  • Will my child’s belongings be covered if he or she lives in off-campus housing?
  • Do I have to change my auto policy if my child brings the car to school?
  • If my child is an athlete, will he or she be covered under my family health plan if he or she is injured during a practice or game?
GDI Insurance Agency, Inc.

Count on GDI Insurance Agency, Inc.

If you are sending a child off the college and haven’t looked at adjusting your coverage, contact GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. today at 209-634-2929 to learn more. You could save money on your policies and protect your child from expensive incidents while away from home.