Sibcy Cline Insurance Services Ranked Among the Largest Property and Casualty Insurance Agencies in the Region

Business Courier Sibcy Cline Insurance Services

Sibcy Cline Insurance Services ranked number 18 on the Business Courier list of largest regional property and casualty insurance agencies.

Says Ben O’Brien, Vice President of Sibcy Cline Insurance, “It is exciting to make this list once again. Our team has worked really hard to provide great  service and forge strong relationships with our Realtors. In the past year, we have had a 12% percent increase in new business.”

Sibcy Cline Insurance Services was founded in 2000. The company represents many insurance companies including: American Modern, ASI, Chubb, Travelers, Safeco, Liberty Mutual, MetLife, Progressive, State Auto and Foremost. The company provides homeowner and renter insurance as well as auto, life, umbrella and business insurance services.

Business Courier Sibcy Cline Insurance Services

Tree Care and Maintenance Tips for Your Home’s Property

Tree Care and Maintenance Tips
Trees provide shade and can esthetically enhance the beauty of your home’s property. But, trees can also pose a safety hazard if they are not properly inspected and maintained. Here are some tree care and maintenance tips from Sibcy Cline Insurance Services to consider:

Before a Storm Hits

  • Remove any dead trees on your property
  • Enhance the health of your trees with watering, fertilization and protection from soil compaction. Healthy trees will remain firm in the wind.
  • Prune dead or broken limbs to help a tree maintain its structure. It’s also a good idea to thin our excess branches every three to five years.
  • If your tree suffers from a pest issue, it is best to treat it right away. Be careful, however, not to over-treat tree hollows. Do not remove decayed wood from hollows unless it falls away in your hands. (Cleaning hollows can cause additional internal damage.) If you can, cover the opening to hollows.

Read more about maintaining your trees here and here.

Monitor Your Tree
If your tree displays any of the following characteristics, be sure to contact a professional tree service for assistance:

  • Cracks in the trunk or major limbs
  • Signs of hollowing and decay
  • Mushrooms growing from the bark
  • Significant leaning to one side
  • Limbs in contact with power lines
  • Branches hanging over your house or garage

Will my homeowner’s insurance cover a tree toppling over?
A strong storm can make a healthy tree fall down. Your homeowner’s insurance policy coverage will depend upon: what caused the tree to fall and what kind of damage happened. Usually insurance protects your home and your property’s structures against “perils” such as wind. Your insurance will not cover damage caused by neglect or a maintenance-related problem. (If the tree was already rotten, insurance probably will not cover any damage from this tree.)

If a tree falls down but does not cause damage, your policy usually will not cover the cost of removal.

Have more insurance questions about trees? Contact Sibcy Cline Insurance Services.

Source and Video: TheTravelersCompanies

Preventing Water Damage in Your Home

花火8There is a hard rain or one of your appliances leaks. You worry – will my home have water damage?

Home water damage accounts for billions of dollars in losses every year. In fact water damage is much more likely to happen versus a fire. This particular winter, with the massive flooding of the Ohio and the Great Miami rivers, many insurance claims have been made from home owners. Although a nature disaster is unavoidable, here are some tips to consider to avoid other types of water damage to your home.

Check Appliances Regularly
Inspect the water heater, showers, tubs, toilets and sinks. Look for signs of leaks or corrosion. Check caulking around showers, tubs and toilets. If your refrigerator has an ice machine or water dispenser, the hose from the wall and the appliance should be made of braided copper (which is more cracking and corrosion resistant.) Check all appliance hoses for bending or breaking.

Watch a video about preventing water damage from a washing machine:

Roof
It is always a good idea to have your roof checked yearly by a professional. Bolts to air ducts can become compromised and allow water to enter. Also, be sure to have roof gutters cleared of leaves and other water-blocking debris.

Main Water Supply
Know where your main water supply shut off valve is located so you can shut off water in case of an emergency. If you are leaving for an extended period of time be sure to shut off the water supply and drain the pipes. (Note: If you live in an older home, be sure to check with a heating pro to make sure it is safe to turn off the water for your heating system. Also, if you have a fire sprinkler system in your home, you should not shut off the water.) Check pipes for cracks and leaks.

Air Conditioning System
Have a professional check your air conditioner regularly and make sure drain lines are cleaned out.

Clearing out the Sink
It is recommended to use a drain snake in lieu of chemicals for clogs. Caustic chemicals eat away at pipes. And, never pour grease down the drain. It can stick to pipes. It is best to pour grease into an empty can and let it sit. Once it hardens, toss the can in the trash.

Planting Trees
Roots need to be kept away from any water lines. Before planting a tree in your yard, make sure the species of tree does not have invasive roots.

Have Insurance Questions?
Contact Sibcy Cline Insurance Services! They handle homeowner/renter, auto, umbrella, business and life insurance.

Protect Your Home in Winter!

Frozen Water ConnectionJanuary and February are busy months for insurance adjusters in the northern parts of the country because wind, water and snow can all do serious damage to a home. Fortunately, homeowners can prepare their properties for these issues and spot potential warning signs before they turn into bigger problems.

Perhaps the most important aspect of insulating a home from major damage over the course of the winter is to make sure pipes won’t freeze, according to the City of Cleveland Division of Water. At a minimum, when pipes freeze, they can disrupt a home’s water supply, but more seriously, they can burst and spray a lot of water all over the floor in a short amount of time. The resulting water damage can take quite a while and cost a lot to clean up.

Where to Begin
With such a risk in mind, homeowners should make sure they are able to identify any uninsulated pipes that may be in their basements and attics, under sinks or running along outside walls. Homeowners should also properly insulate pipes either with spray-on insulation or tubes of fiberglass that are available at just about any major hardware store for relatively low costs.

In addition, homeowners would also be wise to make sure any issues that allow cold air into their homes at all, such as cracks along the outside of doors and windows or open air vents, are properly sealed up. As an added bonus this will save a bit on heating costs over the course of the winter.

Another issue to keep in mind with heating is that if a home’s temperature dips below 55 degrees (especially if the heat goes out), it’s probably wise to open all faucets and leave them running on a drip. The constant flow of water can keep pipes from freezing even in frigid conditions.

Turning Attentions Outside
Many of the things that can damage a home during winter originate outside the home, according to Top Reveal. For instance, older trees that get weighed down with snow and ice can pose a threat. If they fall over in the wrong direction, they could crash onto a car, garage, home or other structures on the property, causing significant damage and representing a safety risk. It might be wise for owners to trim ominous branches or cut a weaker tree down altogether.

Furthermore, it’s vital for homeowners to make sure gutters and other drainage areas are clear of debris because backups can cause water damage to a home or yard, and the cleanup can be costly. In addition, owners should keep a close eye on any icicles that form outside a home and steer clear of any areas where they may fall.

A little common sense and vigilance is key to any home safety issue, but during winter in particular, staying on guard should be a homeowner’s top priority. With this in mind, it might be wise to invest in a home warranty plan, which can help insulate homeowners from some of the costs associated with repairs in the event of a winter accident.

Need help with insurance or a home-service activity? Contact Sibcy Cline Insurance Servcies for a competitive quote for home owners and auto insurance. Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services for any home-related service or vendor need.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.

Sibcy Cline Insurance Services is Ranked among Cincinnati’s Top Property and Casualty Insurance Agencies

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Sibcy Cline Insurance Services was ranked among the Cincinnati region’s top property and casualty insurance agencies by the Business Courier. The company ranked at #18, rising up from a #20 ranking in 2016.

Ben O’Brien, Vice President of Sibcy Cline Insurance says, “We are thrilled with the recognition as a top agency in our region. Our team worked very hard this past year to provide the best-in-class of service to our clients. We had great results with an increase in business by 12 percent.”

Robin S. Sheakley, Vice President of Sibcy Cline Core Services adds, “We are very proud of our insurance team and their success in 2016! Our insurance agency is a valued resource not only for the public, but our Sibcy Cline employees and agents as well. Convenience, trust, and customer service are most important whether we are helping people buy, sell, finance, close, or insure their home.”

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Founded in 2000, Sibcy Cline Insurance Services creates insurance programs that are personalized to each client. The company represents many insurance companies including: Travelers, Safeco, MetLife, Progressive, State Auto, Foremost, Specialty Underwriting Group, Diversified Brokerage and Marketfinders.

Drive Safely Going Home in the Snow and Ice!

Snow_Car

The winter season is here and we will experience snowy and icy days. Here are some tips from Sibcy Cline Insurance Services for driving safely to and from your home:

Icy Roads

  • Slow down and leave plenty of room to stop. Allow at least three times more space than usual between your car and the car in front of you.
  • If you need to brake, do so gently to avoid skidding.
  • Keep your windshield clear.
  • Use low gears to keep traction.
  • Be very careful when traveling along overpasses and bridges as these type of roads freeze first.
  • Remember, even four-wheel and front-wheel vehicles can skid on ice.
  • If you do start to slide, remove your foot from the accelerator and steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go. If your rear wheels are sliding left, steer left. If you have standard brakes, pump gently. If you have anti-lock brakes, do not pump. Use steady pressure (you will feel the brakes pulse.)
  • If your front wheels skid, remove foot from the gas pedal and shift to neutral. Do not steer. As the wheels skid sideways, they should slow the vehicle and traction should return.

If You Get Stuck

  • Do not spin the wheels. This will dig you deeper.
  • Turn wheels from side to side. Use a light touch on the gas and try to ease the car out.
  • You may need to use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels. Use gravel, salt or kitty litter to help with traction.

Best Cars for Snow
Go here to see the Forbes list of the best vehicles for snow.

Be Prepared
Go here to see the 10 items you need to keep in your car as a “Winter Survival Kit.” The only item missing from this list is a whistle to alert for help.

Other Tips

  • Keep your gas tank full so you do not become stranded.
  • Tell someone where you are going before heading out on icy roads.
  • Check your tires! Do you have enough tread?
  • Postpone a trip. Let the road conditions become more drivable.

Holiday Fire and Safety Tips for Your Home

Christmastree_Firepl_LR.jpegThe holidays are a time of cheer and your home will reflect that with all of its festive decor. Here are some tips to keep your home safe from fire during the holiday season:

Kitchen
Since 40% of home fires reported start in the kitchen, ensure smoke alarms are working and can be heard everywhere in the house. If you do not have one, now is a good time to install carbon monoxide detectors since peak CO2 season is November through February.

Holiday Lights
Read and follow manufacturer’s instructions for your holiday light sets. Do not overload outlets and connectors either indoors and outside. Electrical fires often start in the walls of your home, without visible signs. Be mindful and use preventative measures.

Christmas Tree
One in every four December home fires start because the Christmas tree is too close to a heat source. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) suggests having three feet between the tree and any heat source – fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, candles and furnace vents.

Candles
Burning candles should be at least 12 inches from anything else that burns. Always keep candles within your sight. The top three days for candle fires are Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve  – when distractions are plentiful.

Fireplace
Fireplace safety is critical during these cozy times as well. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually – contact Sibcy Cline Home Services for recommendations. Never leave the fire unattended for even the shortest amount of time. And although popular, fire salts and color packets contain heavy metals that can cause intense irritation and illness if swallowed or inhaled.

Fire Extinguishers
Check and replace your household fire extinguishers. Suggested placement for extinguishers are: kitchen, each room with a fireplace and garages/sheds. Practice PASS (Pull the Pin, Aim at the base of the fire, Squeeze and Sweep) and emergency evacuation plans with your family.

Have a safe and wonderful holiday season!

Article courtesy of Sibcy Cline Insurance Services

Sources: United States Fire Administration (USFA), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)