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Wishing you a Magical Holiday Season!

All of us at Zeiler Insurance Services, Inc. would like to wish you a magical holiday season

Our holiday schedule is as follows:

December 24th  l  Christmas Eve  l  Closing Early at 12:00pm

December 25th  l  Christmas Day  l  Closed

December 31st  l  New Years Eve  l  Closing Early at 12:00pm

January 1st  l  New Years Day  l  Closed 

Should there be an emergency please call Dan's cell phone at 708.436.2973

 

- The Zeiler Insurance Team



POSTED DECEMBER 06, 2019 11:54 AM
EMC Insurance: Preventing Winter Slips

Winter is a busy time of year for all. Injuries from slips and falls peak during winter months, putting your employees out of commission right when you need them most. If you have retail locations, slippery conditions from winter weather can put your customers at risk too.

Take action to prevent slips when winter arrives.

Become a Hazard Detective

Start by surveying your property, inside and out, focusing on areas where people walk, such as sidewalks, parking lots and building entrances. Look for things that might cause slips or trips:

  • Changes in elevation - Heaved sidewalk sections, tree roots and potholes can create elevated edges in the walking surface that are likely to cause a trip. Just a quarter of an inch is enough to catch a pedestrian's foot.
  • Water collection points - Any water you currently see could become ice once the temperature drops. Puddles and potholes are common culprits, but also look for areas where downspouts or gutters empty onto walkways.
  • Entrances without mats - Precipitation migrates indoors on shoes, creating slippery floors and extra housekeeping work. Entrances should have mats on the inside and outside of doors to catch moisture as people walk in.

Need some help with your inspection? Try EMC's free Walkway Check app, which guides you through a walkway assessment and helps you package findings into a report that can easily be shared with your maintenance team or a contractor.

Start Fixing Problems Now

Once you've identified your issues, you can start making fixes before winter weather arrives.

  • Changes in elevation can be fixed with concrete leveling techniques such as mudjacking, or by grinding down the edges of sidewalk sections. Elevated edges that can't be fixed now should be marked with high-contrast paint and/or cones.
  • Depressions that fill with water can be filled permanently with concrete, or temporarily with gravel or paver base. Downspouts that discharge onto walkways can be rerouted underneath the walking surface.
  • Have a solid mat strategy to protect indoor walkways from outdoor weather. Be prepared to swap out saturated mats with dry ones as needed.

Plan Your Piles

If you get a reasonable amount of snowfall, you'll need to find a place to pile it after plowing and shoveling. Accumulated snow will melt and refreeze, forming a very slippery sheet of ice, so choose a snow collection area where water runoff won't end up covering walkways.

If you contract your snow removal, now is a great time to review your agreement and walk the site to pinpoint problem areas, ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Decide on Deicers

Ice melt is ever-present during winter but choosing the wrong kind or applying too much can have unintended consequences like concrete damage or a slippery film on interior floors.

  • Choose the right ice melt product and consider the best way to apply.
  • Beware of black ice in late winter and early spring. Monitor areas where snow and ice melt and check for refreeze in the morning. Icy areas should be treated and marked because black ice is exceptionally slippery and very hard to see.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Footwear makes a big difference for employees working outside or in slippery areas.

  • For slippery indoor areas, encourage employees to choose slip-resistant footwear with a multidirectional tread pattern to minimize hydroplaning and a softer rubber sole to help grip hard surface floors.
  • Employees working outdoors in snow and ice should wear rubber-soled footwear with wide, deep treads or slip-resistant soles. Consider removable ice cleats for additional slip resistance (these should be removed upon entering a building).

Dan Zeiler

dan@zeiler.com

708.597.5900 x134  



POSTED DECEMBER 04, 2019 6:00 AM
Happy Thanksgiving!

All of us at Zeiler Insurance Services, Inc. wish you a blessed Thanksgiving!

Our offices will be closed on Thursday, November 28th and Friday, November 29th.

Should there be an emergency, please call Dan's cellphone at 708.436.2973

Happy Thanksgiving!

- The Zeiler Insurance Team



POSTED NOVEMBER 22, 2019 6:00 AM
Illinois Homeowners - Clean Those Gutters

A common insurance claim in winter months is water damage caused by ice damming.  These 'dams' are just that, they are blockages of ice that can form just about anywhere on your roof and they prevent water from flowing off your roof.  This water then begins to go backwards up beneath your shingles.


Ice Dams
Ice damming causes damage to drywall, wall paper, trim and even flooring.  I even had a claim where the water traveled down some electrical conduit to a dining room light fixture.  The water proceeded to drip onto a $10,000 dining room table.  The homeowner was out of town for a few days and needless to say - the table was destroyed.  Sometimes the entry of water into your home comes in behind the drywall and is not apparent…  at least not until there’s a major mold issue!

Gutter Maintenance

This is the time of year for a little loss control.  The leaves are about off the trees and clearing them from your gutters is the first step at loss prevention.

Dan Zeiler

dan@zeiler.com

708.597.5900 x134



POSTED NOVEMBER 19, 2019 6:00 AM
Congratulations Liam & Gael for winning our 2019 Halloween Costume Contest Benefiting the ...

Congratulations Liam & Gael for winning our 2019 Halloween Costume Contest Benefiting The Andrew Weishar Foundation!

Liam is a two-time winner and this year his brother got to join him in victory!

They will receive a $500 donation in their name to The Andrew Weishar Foundation. The mission behind this foundation is to uplift the lives of adolescents or young adults battling cancer by providing direct financial assistance and ensuring they know they are not alone in this fight.

They will also receive 2 tickets to Breakfast with Santa at Lincoln Park Zoo as a token of our appreciation.

We would like to thank all contestants and voters for their support and good sportsmanship!

Dan Zeiler

 

 



POSTED NOVEMBER 06, 2019 6:00 AM
A solution to the uninsured mortorist problem

Illinois Mandatory Insurance Verification

The Illinois Secretary of State is now monitoring all registered vehicles in IL, for car insurance. All car insurance companies must now comply with the electronic car insurance verification law (IL HB 2610), which went into effect 01-01-2019. Car insurance companies are forced to send in daily reports to the Illinois Secretary of State on policy information. Including which vehicles have insurance and which do not. The vendor will match the information to vehicle owners/drivers, VIN numbers, and license plates for the Illinois Secretary of State database instantly.

The Illinois Secretary of State will randomly check all vehicles at least twice per year using the electronic insurance verification system. The registered owner will receive a letter requesting proof of insurance or that the vehicle was inoperable during a lapse in car insurance coverage. This 30 day request will be triggered for having even just one day lapse in coverage. The registered owner will only get 30 days to provide the Illinois Secretary of State with the information. Failure to provide the proof will result in an electronic citation. 

Courts will have access to the Illinois Secretary of State Car insurance database. This is to verify if cars had insurance during accidents or at the time a citation was issued for driving uninsured. 

Minimum $500 fine for driving uninsured.
Minimum $1,000 fine for driving a vehicle while on a suspension.

Bill Status of HB-2610

Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code. Provides that the Secretary of State may implement an electronic motor vehicle liability insurance policy verification program to verify insurance coverage of motor vehicles required to be operated with liability insurance under the Code. Provides for information that an insurance company authorized to sell motor vehicle liability insurance in this State shall make available upon request to the Secretary. Provides that if the Secretary implements the program, he or she shall verify insurance coverage at least twice per calendar year and, if unable to verify coverage, shall provide the vehicle owner written notice allowing the owner 30 calendar days to provide proof of insurance on the date of the attempted verification or proof that the vehicle is inoperable. If the vehicle owner provides proof of insurance, the Secretary may verify the proof with the vehicle owner’s insurance company. If the vehicle owner fails to respond to the notice or is unable to provide proof of coverage or proof that the vehicle is inoperable, the Secretary shall suspend the vehicle’s registration. Amends the Freedom of Information Act. Makes conforming changes. Amends the Illinois Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Act. Changes the title of the Act to the Illinois Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention and Insurance Verification Act. Provides that the Secretary of State shall appoint members of the Council (rather than the Governor) and the Director of the Department of State Police shall be the Chairman of the Council. Provides that the Council shall provide funding to the Secretary for the creation, implementation, and maintenance of an electronic motor vehicle liability insurance policy verification program. Makes conforming changes. Amends the State Finance Act to make conforming changes.

 

Dan Zeiler

dan@zeiler.com

708.597.5900 x134 

 



POSTED NOVEMBER 01, 2019 5:00 AM
7th Annual Halloween Costume Contest Benefiting The Andrew Weishar Foundation

We are changing things up a bit! For our 7th Annual Halloween Costume Contest for Kids – we have partnered with The Andrew Weishar Foundation – in an effort to uplift the lives of adolescents or young adults battling cancer by providing direct financial assistance and ensuring they know they are not alone in this fight.

The winning child will receive a $500 donation in their name to The Andrew Weishar Foundation. Take a moment to watch the mission behind this great foundation by Clicking Here.

 

 

 

Participating is simple:  

  • Email or text your child’s costume picture to Karli Zeiler:

           karli@zeiler.com  l  708.408.5279

  • We will post the pictures on our Facebook Page
  • All pictures will be posted by November 3rd and the picture with the most “LIKES” at noon on Wednesday, November 6th will win.

The winning child will also receive 2 tickets to Breakfast with Santa at Lincoln Park Zoo on December 15th. 

Learn about some of our previous winners and contestants:

2018 Winner

2017 Winner 

2016 Winner

2015 Winner

2014 Winner

2012 Winner

 

Thank you & good luck! 

The Zeiler Insurance Team

 

 



POSTED OCTOBER 23, 2019 3:38 PM
What Do Humidifiers Do to Improve Wellness in the Winter?

There's a lot to love about winter - cozy evenings by the fireplace, outdoor sports like skiing or ice skating, and that first magical snow of the season.  Of course, no one looks forward to cracked lips, dry skin, or catching the flu.

There could be a helpful solution for you, though. Just as you would bundle up in a thick coat, scarf, gloves, and hat to go outside in the winter, a humidifier has the potential to be your key for comfort inside your home.

There are a few different types of humidifiers on the market, but the primary purpose for all of them is the same: humidifiers put moisture into the air (aka humidity) by emitting steam or water vapor. The Environmental Protection Agency says the ideal humidity level indoors is between 30 and 50 percent. While levels can go above this happy medium in the summer, they often drop greatly in the winter. A humidifier helps bring those levels into the healthy range.

Not sure if a humidifier is right for your home? You can pick up a hygrometer at your local hardware store and measure the humidity in different rooms around the house. If your humidity levels are below 30 percent, a humidifier may be a good investment for your health this winter. The hygrometer will also be a helpful tool throughout the season to ensure the humidifier isn't bringing the humidity levels in your home above 50 percent (which can also be unhealthy).

Humidifier Health Benefits in Colder Months

Aside from making your home more comfortable, what is the benefit of using a humidifier to add moisture to the air? During the winter, it can make a huge difference in how you look, feel, and sleep. Here are some of the most significant benefits a humidifier can offer when it comes to your health:

1. Better skin
Do you continuously apply lip balm and moisturizer throughout the winter? You're not alone. Our bodies are more than half water, and the dry, cold months love to pull that water right out. A humidifier brings the moisture back to help prevent chapped lips and cracking skin.

2. Reduced risk of infections
Studies have shown that increasing humidity levels to 43% or above significantly reduces an airborne virus's ability to cause flu infections. Viruses and bacteria don't travel very well in moist air—and that can mean great news for your health. And, if you do get sick, a humidifier can help you heal faster and reduce coughing and sneezing.

3. Happy sinuses
What do humidifiers do for sinuses? They can help prevent that tight feeling in your nose and also lessen your chances of getting bloody noses. Instead of sniffling and having trouble blowing your nose, your sinuses should be comfortable and moist. 

4. Less snoring
Dry noses and throats are big culprits when it comes to snoring, so a humidifier can help your partner get a better night's sleep. 

If you're thinking about buying your first humidifier, start small with your bedroom. Find a humidifier that covers the square footage of the space and go from there. Larger units that tackle your whole house can sometimes make a home too moist and don't completely cover each room. That first small humidifier will give you a better idea of your actual needs.

You will also find that some units emit a cool mist while others emit a warm mist. They both serve the same purpose but can vary significantly from there. In general, parents usually feel more comfortable with a cool mist in their child's room, but warm mist humidifiers are often quieter and can help heat a room in the winter. They both have pros and cons, so be sure to do your research before making a purchase.

 

Why Cleaning Your Humidifier Is Important
and how to do it!

 

Humidifiers can do a lot of good for your health, but that's only if you're committed to keeping them clean. What do humidifiers do if you don't? They can quickly breed mold, fungus, and bacteria because of dirty reservoirs and filters. A dirty humidifier can trigger asthma and allergies and cause otherwise healthy individuals to feel ill.

Your best course of action is to follow the manufacturer's cleaning guidelines, but the Mayo Clinic also offers some additional tips:

1. Don't use tap water.
Only use distilled or demineralized water. There are minerals in tap water that can create deposits that promote the growth of bacteria. 

2. Clean the humidifier every three days.
And change the water daily, if possible. You don't want to give your humidifier a chance to allow film or deposits to develop inside.

3. Use a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.
That will help wipe out mineral deposits or film (but check to see what the manufacturer says). And rinse the tank extremely well once you're done cleaning. 

4. Change filters.
Swap out filters as often as the manufacturer recommends—and more often if they get really dirty.


Don't underestimate the importance of keeping your humidifier clean. There are some types of home maintenance projects that are easy to put off for days or weeks, but humidifier cleaning is not one of those. After all, if you're running a humidifier for your health in the winter, it would be silly to make yourself sick because you didn't prioritize the removal of dangerous mold or bacteria.

 

Dan Zeiler

dan@zeiler.com

708.597.5900 x134 

 

 



POSTED OCTOBER 16, 2019 5:00 AM
Smart Road Tips for Halloween Safety

Advice for drivers and trick-or-treaters.

As ghosts, witches, and superheroes wander the roads on Halloween looking for candy and treats, drivers should take extra care to ensure that the holiday doesn’t become truly horrifying.

The scary reality is that Halloween is one of the deadliest days of the year for pedestrians, especially children, statistics show. Pedestrian deaths are on the rise in general, reaching 5,987 in 2016, the highest number since 1990, according the Department of Transportation. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that pedestrian deaths soared by 46 percent from 2009 to 2016, with an increasing share of the deaths away from intersections and on busy and dark city and suburban roads.

"Halloween night is like a 'perfect storm' of risk because it involves darkness, a huge increase in pedestrian traffic, especially children, and all sorts of distractions," says Jennifer Stockburger, director of operations at CR's Auto Test Center. "Everyone needs to be ultracareful to not turn such a fun evening into tragedy." 

Halloween brings out children of all ages walking on, alongside, and crossing streets. It’s important for kids to be aware of their surroundings so they can stay safe.

And there are steps that parents and drivers can take to reduce the risks.

Tips for Trick-or-Treaters

The tips below are from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

  • Parents should accompany children younger than 12 years old.
  • Children should walk - not run - from house to house.
  • Children should stay on sidewalks instead of walking between cars or on lawns, where there could be tripping hazards.
  • Parents should remind children to look for cars when crossing driveways.
  • Pedestrians shouldn't assume they have the right of way, because motorists may not see them.
  • Go trick-or-treating before it is truly dark, especially with young children. 
  • Parents and children should consider choosing costumes that are lighter in color, which make it easier for drivers to see them. Adding reflective material to the front and back makes a costume easier to pick out; it can even be built into the design.
  • Avoid costumes that make it more difficult for a child to see, especially ones that include masks. If a mask is necessary, kids may want to remove it when moving between houses for greatest visibility.
  • Give children a flashlight to walk with in the dark so they can be more easily seen by drivers. Glow sticks can help too.

Tips for Drivers

Drivers can find Halloween to be especially difficult, because children often behave unpredictably and can be difficult to see after dark. These tips are from NHTSA and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

  • Drivers need to understand that Halloween is especially dangerous.
  • Drive slowly in and around neighborhoods and on residential streets.
  • Don't drink and drive. Drunken-driving incidents increase on Halloween. (NHTSA reports that 44 percent of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night from 2012 to 2016 were in crashes involving drunken driving.)
  • Watch for children who may dart out into the street, and always yield to pedestrians. If you see one child, there are likely more ready to cross.
  • If you're driving children around for trick-or-treating, make sure they're buckled up appropriately in a child safety seat or with a seat belt. Make sure they buckle up each and every time they enter the car, and check to make sure they're secure before you drive to the next stop.
  • Pull over at safe locations to let children exit at the curb and away from traffic. Use your hazard lights to alert other drivers of your car. 
  • Try to park in a spot where you won’t need to back up. But if you must, have an adult outside to make sure no children are in the way of your vehicle when you do.
  • Don't use a cell phone or other mobile device while driving. Pull over safely to check voice messages or texts if necessary.

By being cautious and mindful of safety this Halloween, you can make sure the holiday is a treat for all.

Dan Zeiler

dan@zeiler.com

708.597.5900 x134 

 

Source: https://www.getitc.com/content/2019/09/18/smart-road-tips-for-halloween-safety



POSTED OCTOBER 16, 2019 5:00 AM
Understanding your Insurance Deductibles

Deductibles have been an essential part of the insurance contract for many years. Understanding the role deductibles play when insuring a car or home is an important part of getting the most out of your insurance policy.

 Deductible defined

A deductible is an amount of money that you yourself are responsible for paying toward an insured loss. When a disaster strikes your home or you have a car accident, the amount of the deductible is subtracted, or “deducted,” from your claim payment.

Deductibles are the way in which a risk is shared between you, the policyholder, and your insurer. Generally speaking, the larger the deductible, the less you pay in premiums for an insurance policy.

A deductible can be either a specific dollar amount or a percentage of the total amount of insurance on a policy. The amount is established by the terms of your coverage and can be found on the declarations (or front) page of standard homeowners and auto insurance policies.  

State insurance regulations strictly dictate the way deductibles are incorporated into the language of a policy and how deductibles are implemented, and these laws can vary from state to state.

How deductibles work

For dollar amount deductibles, a specific amount would come off the top of your claim payment.

For example, if your policy states a $500 deductible, and your insurer has determined that you have an insured loss worth $10,000, you would receive a claims check for $9,500.

Percentage deductibles generally only apply to homeowners policies and are calculated based on a percentage of the home’s insured value. So if your house is insured for $100,000 and your insurance policy has a 2 percent deductible, $2,000 would be deducted from any claim payment. In the event of the $10,000 insurance loss, you would be paid $8,000. In the event of a $25,000 loss, your claim check would be $23,000.

Note that with auto insurance or a homeowners policy, the deductible applies each time you file a claim. The one major exception to this is in Florida, where hurricane deductibles specifically are applied per season rather than for each storm.

Deductibles generally apply to property damage, not to the liability portion of homeowners or auto insurance policies. To use a homeowners policy example, a deductible would apply to property damaged in a rogue outdoor grill fire, but there would be no deductible against the liability portion of the policy if a burned guest made a medical claim or sued.

Raising your deductible can save money

One way to save money on a homeowners or auto insurance policy is to raise the deductible so, if you're shopping for insurance, ask us about the options for deductibles when comparing policies.

Increasing the dollar deductible from $200 to $500 on your auto insurance can reduce collision and comprehensive coverage premium costs. Going to a $1,000 deductible may save you even more.

Most homeowners and renters insurers offer a minimum $500 or $1,000 deductible. Raising the deductible to more than $1,000 can save on the cost of the policy.

Of course, remember that in the event of loss you'll be responsible for the deductible, so make sure that you're comfortable with the amount.

Homeowners disaster deductibles

Wind/hail and hurricanes are covered by standard homeowners insurance; flood and earthquake policies are purchased separately by homeowners. But each of these disasters has their own deductible rules. If you're in an area that's high risk for one of these natural disasters, understand how much of a deductible you'll need to pay if a catastrophe strikes. Start here, check your policies and speak with us to learn exactly how your particular deductibles work.

  • Hurricane deductibles. In hurricane prone states, special deductibles may apply for homeowners insurance claims when the cause of damage is attributable to a hurricane. Whether a hurricane deductible applies to a claim depends on the specific “trigger” selected by the insurance company. These triggers vary by state and insurer and usually apply when the National Weather Service (NWS) officially names a tropical storm, declares a hurricane watch or warning, or defines a hurricane’s intensity in terms of wind speed. Hurricane deductibles are generally higher than other homeowners policy deductibles and usually take the form of a percentage of the policy limits. In some states, policyholders have the option of paying a higher premium in return for a traditional dollar deductible; however, in high-risk coastal areas insurers may make the percentage deductible mandatory.
  • Wind/hail deductibles work in a similar way to hurricane deductibles and are most common in places that typically experience severe windstorms and hail. These include Midwestern states (like Ohio) and around Tornado Alley (which goes through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska). Wind/hail deductibles are most commonly paid in percentages, typically from one to 5 percent.
  • Flood insurance offers a range of deductibles.  If you have—or are considering buying—flood insurance, make sure you understand your deductible. Flood insurance deductibles vary by state and insurance company, and are available in dollar amounts or percentages. Furthermore, you can choose one deductible for your home's structure and another for its contents (note that your mortgage company may require that your flood insurance deductible be under a certain amount, to help ensure you'll be able to pay it).
  • Earthquake insurance has percentage deductibles that are anywhere from 2 percent to 20 percent of the replacement value of your home, depending on location. Insurers in states that have higher than average risk of earthquakes (for example, Washington, Nevada and Utah), often set minimum deductibles at around 10 percent. In California, the basic California Earthquake Authority (CEA) policy includes a deductible that is 15 percent of the replacement cost of the main home structure and starting at 10 percent for additional coverages (such as on a garage or other outbuildings).

 

Dan Zeiler

dan@zeiler.com

708.597.5900 x134  

Source: www.iii.org 



POSTED OCTOBER 09, 2019 6:42 PM

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