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Flood Claim Tips

As our region continues to undergo some of the worst flooding we’ve seen in years we thought we’d provide these important flood claim tips for the benefit of our policyholders:

  • Call your Yennie & Jones agent as soon as you realize you will need to submit a claim
  • Check for structural damage before entering
  • Don’t dry anything that will have to be removed (carpet, drywall, insulation)
  • Take photos, save all receipts and track your time spent cleaning.
  • Make a list of damaged personal property
  • If property is removed (contents, drywall, carpet, carpet pad), keep it on the premises until released by a claims adjuster
  • We have included the Flood Claims Handbook to assist you in answering questions.

If you haven’t reviewed your insurance protection recently this is a good time to make sure that you have adequate coverage.  Remember that your homeowners or business owners policies do not cover ‘flood’ and a separate policy must be in place.

These flood claims tips also apply to some other water situations including:

  • Water backup or sump pump failure which may be covered if you have elected to include it on your home or business policy
  • Burst pipe claims which are covered on most property policies for occupied, heated structures
  • Groundwater runoff entering the premises which is caused by landscaping issues

Safeguard Against Ice Dams

What in the world is an ice dam? To put it simply, it is an accumulation of frozen water in the gutter system and at the roof edge that prevents subsequent drainage of melting snow from leaving the roof/gutter system. Ice dams are common in areas (e.g., think Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin) that receive heavy snow buildups.

In most cases, ice dams begin inside the house when heated air leaks up into the unheated attic. In the winter, the roof above this attic is cold. When warm air leaks into the attic, it creates warm areas on the roof, which cause the snow on the exterior of the roof to melt. The melting snow moves down the roof slope until it reaches the cold overhang, where it refreezes. The process continues, causing ice to build up along the eaves and form a dam. Eventually, this dam forces the water to back up under the shingles and sometimes into the ceiling or wall inside the home. This phenomenon may cause structural framing members to decay, metal fasteners to corrode, and mold to form in the attic and the wall surfaces. Few homeowners policies pay for ice dam removal. Interior or exterior damage, however, caused by an ice dam on the roof is typically covered under a special perils homeowners form.

There are measures that home owners in colder climates can take to reduce the chance of ice dams, including the following.

  • Use heated cables, attached with clips along the roof’s edge in a zigzag pattern. These cables will help combat ice damage, allowing you to equalize the roof’s temperature by heating it from the outside.
  • The services of a professional should be employed to remove heavy snow from your roof. This eliminates one of the ingredients necessary for the formation of an ice dam. Professionals are also able to address emergency situations in which water is flowing into the house structure. This is accomplished by making channels through the ice dam to allow the water behind the dam to drain off your roof. However, the channel becomes ineffective within days and is only a temporary solution to ice dam damage.
  • Your ceiling/roof insulation should be increased to reduce heat loss. Some state codes require an R-value of 38 above the ceiling for new homes. In narrow spaces, insulation products with high R-value (6–7) per inch are recommended. It is imperative that the ceiling is made airtight to prevent warm air within your home from flowing into the attic space.
  • Verify that there are sufficient soffit and gable end vents in your attic. These help to quickly vent any of the warm air that does get into the attic out into the atmosphere.

Copyright 2017
International Risk Management Institute, Inc.

ACA Tax Credit Means IRS Form 8962!

If you received a tax credit or subsidy under the Affordable Care Act on your individual health policy we want to remind you that you were required to file IRS Form 8962 with your 2014 Federal Income Taxes.  The Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC) or income-based cost sharing reduction (CSR) transfers a portion of the monthly premium for some individual health insurance policies from the policy owner to the Federal government as part of the Affordable Care Act which is known to some as Obamacare.

We strongly encourage you to reach out to your tax professional if you believe that you received APTC or CSR cost reductions to confirm that they properly filed your IRS Form 8962.


  • If your Form 8962 was properly filed with your 2014 income taxes then you don’t need to do anything.
  • If you have not filed your taxes with Form 8962 then take action immediately (i.e., electronically file your 2014 return and Form 8962).

If you have questions on this requirement you can call your tax professional or contact the IRS directly at or 1.800.829.0922.

National Insurance Awareness Day

June 28th is National Insurance Awareness Day.

Unfortunately, many of us take insurance protection for granted, but other than family and friends…who’s with you on the worst day of your life?  Often, it’s your insurance professional.

Depending on the protection you’ve elected your insurance professional will be there to:

  • Repair or replace a vehicle damaged in an accident
  • Pay those hospital bills or give a loved one the opportunity to seek the best treatment available
  • Replace your income after a disability
  • Keep your family in their home after an untimely death
  • Replace your home and personal possessions in the event of a devastating fire
  • Make up for the money lost to drought on your farm
  • Give you the money to pay for an injured employee’s medical bills and lost wages after an on the job injury
  • Provide you legal defense if you’re the target of a frivolous lawsuit
  • Replace your business’ inventory after a theft, fire or tornado.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce U.S. insurance companies paid out nearly $48 Billion in losses related to the 54 catastrophic (hurricanes, tornados, major inland storm systems, floods, earthquakes, wildfires, etc.) events in 2012 & 2013.  Take a moment right now to think about how your life would be impacted by a catastrophe such as these with and without insurance protection coverage…how about just an everyday injury, accident or electrical fire…

Don’t take your insurance protection for granted develop a good working relationship with your agent and review your insurance protection plan with him or her regularly.  Happy National Insurance Awareness Day.

Become a Safety Fanatic and Save

At Yennie & Jones Insurance we want to help our clients with employees protect not only their bottom line, but also their people. That’s why we encourage you to participate in Missouri Employers Mutual’s WorkSAFE Week Aug. 18-22. Missouri Employers Mutual has great tools to help you become a Safety Fanatic and eliminate these top workplace accidents whether we have your workers compensation insurance protection placed with MEM or another of our highly rated workers compensation companies:

  • Slips and falls
  • Vehicle crashes
  • Strains and sprains
  • Machine/tool related injuries

Check out MEM’s materials at Passion For Safety today.

Computer Travel Tips

Whether we’re traveling for business or pleasure, most of us can’t dream of taking a trip without our computer or tablet. How else would we check our email, prepare for our business meeting or see what our friends are up to on Facebook? Follow these tips to make sure your device is safe while flying:

  • Place your laptop in a separate bin when going through airport security. This is required by the TSA, but will also save your laptop or device from being damaged by other items.
  • Charge, charge, charge. Make sure you have a full battery before taking off. You never know when you’ll find an electrical outlet next. If your computer can accommodate a spare battery, be sure to have one with you.
  • Keep an eye on them. Electronics are often stolen. If you leave your seat to walk around or use the lavatory, be sure put your laptop or tablet in a protective case and place it inside your briefcase. It is much less likely to be stolen if it is packed away.
  • Ask about on-board use. Each airline has different rules about using your device in-flight. Make sure to ask a flight attendant before taking out your laptop and hitting that power button.
  • Your laptop does not count as your carry-on item. According to the TSA, a laptop, even if it is in a laptop bag, does not count as a flyer’s carry-on item.

Additionally, don’t forget to check out Yennie & Jones’ travel insurance protection options before you leave home.  We offer a number of options including:

We can even offer Kidnap & Ransom Insurance in certain circumstances.

Call us at 816-540-2114 or look at our Travel Insurance Protection Webpage for more information.

Remain Vigilant with Credit Cards

Credit CardsMega retailer Target revealed last month the unauthorized access of its customers’ credit card data to hackers. It admitted that approximately 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been adversely impacted by this breach. This is not the first time hackers have illegally accessed credit card information, and it won’t be the last. So what type of advice can you give your clients to reduce the chances that they become victims of identity theft, particularly when it comes to the wrongful access of their credit card information? Here are some tips to pass on them.

  • Periodically check your credit card statement online to verify that the charges are correct. If you believe a hacker has gained unauthorized access to your credit card, or if you are unsure about a charge, contact your credit card company immediately.
  • Federal law stipulates that a consumer can order a free copy of his or her credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit-reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). If you discover information on your credit report arising from a fraudulent transaction, you should request that the credit-reporting agency immediately delete that information from your credit report file.
  • You can add a fraud alert to your credit report from any of the three credit reporting agencies to help protect your credit information. A fraud alert can make it more difficult for a criminal to get credit in your name since it instructs creditors to follow certain protocols to protect you. Note that you need to contact only one of the three agencies. As soon as that agency processes your fraud alert, it will notify the other two agencies, which will then place the same alert into your file.
  • To take it a step further, you can also contact one of the credit reporting agencies about placing a security freeze on your credit report to prevent a credit-reporting agency from releasing credit information without your explicit authorization.
  • Creditors should be contacted if various bills do not arrive in time. A missing credit card bill could mean an identity thief has taken over the credit card account and changed the billing address to cover his or her tracks.
  • All old financial documents, including bank statements and credit card bills, should be shredded to reduce the exposure to what is called “dumpster diving.”

Copyright 2014 International Risk Management Institute, Inc.

Craig Says:  We have a number of Identity Theft endorsements available to add on to personal auto, home and even some commercial policies but these protections are passive and assist you after a loss.  A much better alternative is an active identity theft deterrent like Lifelock.


High Interest Rates Where?

This morning I opened a statement on one of my daughter’s life insurance policies and was pleased to see that the cash value portion of her life insurance policy is still paying 4.2% interest…not a high interest rate in normal times but it’s astronomical in today’s market.

While we don’t sell Life Insurance as a financial investment, these financial times are unusual and if you have an existing policy with ‘high’ guarantee interest rates you might consider parking some money in your life insurance for now.  Many permanent, cash value policies can have additional money added to their interest earning cash values at any time.

Also, don’t forget that the internal rate of return in a life insurance policy is usually tax free growth which means that my measly 4.2% is the equivalent of 6.27% in a taxable investment (Tax Equavelent Yield assuming a 33% marginal tax rate  [4.2%/(1-.33)=6.27%]).

Call your Yennie & Jones agent at 816-540-2114 if you have additional questions on this little known feature of many life insurance policies.


Package Your Home & Auto Insurance For a Discount

One of the best ways to decrease your insurance premiums is to insure your home and auto with the same company. This can save as much as 20 percent off each policy by insuring with the same company. Some companies give discounts for longevity, so staying with a company for a longer period of time can earn you discounts as well.

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