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Your Hot Water Heater Explodes and Causes Property Damage! Are you Covered?

Wellhot Water Heater-online then.  Lets hope this never happens to anyone…..  So, lets break this down a bit.   Explosion is a covered peril under the Homeowners 3 Special form.   Coverage is    provided under Section I Property Coverages extending coverage to both the dwelling structure and personal property. So, if your hot water heater explodes, you have coverage under your Homeowners 3 Special form for your structure and personal property.

Now, what if your hot water heater is located in your garage, blows up and damages or destroys your riding lawnmower, car, and motorcycle?

Good and bad news here.  The good news is that your riding lawnmower and any other personal property that was destroyed or damaged by the explosion would be covered under your Homeowners 3 Special form.  The bad news is that the car, and motorcycle are not covered by your Homeowners policy.   Motor vehicles and motorcycles are subject to registration and separate insurance requirements.   In other words, you would need to file a claim against your car and motorcycle insurance policy and hope that you purchased comprehensive coverage, of which Explosion is a covered peril.

Again, I hope this never happens to anyone.

To learn more contact your independent insurance agent or visit

Driving and painting!

Don’t get caught driving and painting!

So, this morning I was driving to work when I noticed  a trail of yellow along a secondary highway.  The deep yellow trail ran down the center of the two lane highway scattered between both lanes.  It appeared dry.  As I continued on, I noticed that the yellow was spreading more and more.  Then, I saw yellow tire tracks.  About two miles later at a stop light, I saw many vehicles with yellow tires, rims, and lower body panels.  I also saw the culprit!  A large truck, covered in yellow paint with an apparent leak in its paint tank…..

driving and paintingNot an ideal way to start your morning.  You jump into your new white car and receive a free paint job on the way to work.  You park, get out, and notice that you have yellow tires, rims and body panels…

Your first thought is Ugh! Or worse!  Your second thought is – Who is going to pay for this!!

Lets answer this question.

If you carry comprehensive coverage on your vehicle you could file a claim under this coverage minus your deductible.  Comprehensive coverage will pay for direct and accidental damage to or loss of your auto other than damage caused by collision.

Comprehensive coverage  covers :

  • Vandalism
  • Fire and theft,
  • Missiles
  • Falling Objects
  • Larceny,
  • Explosion,
  • Earthquake
  • Windstorm
  • Hail
  • Water
  • Flood
  • Malicious Mischief
  • Riot
  • Contact with a bird or animal

Filing a comprehensive claim is probably the quickest and easiest method of obtaining coverage.  Now, with that said, if you can find the cause of the damage, i.e. the name of the company or individual that leaked the paint causing damage to your auto, you may be able to file a claim directly with that party and their insurance company.

In either case, it is important to provide your insurance agent/company with as much information as possible.

Simply contact your independent insurance agent for more information or visit

New England Weather – Keeping Your Car In Shape

New England weather takes a toll on us physically.  Whether the weather is 70 degrees in March or 30 degrees in April, we feel it.  So, if we feel it, our vehicles must feel it too.

Keeping your car in Shape is as important as keeping yourself in tip top shape.  Here are some Tips:

Keeping Your Car In Shape

Keep Your Engine Properly Tuned

Getting a tune-up

Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4 percent, though results vary based on the kind of repair and how well it is done.

Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent.

Fuel Economy Benefit:4%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings:$0.14/gallon

Keep Tires Properly Inflated

Sample tire pressure label

You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.

The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is usually found on a sticker in the driver’s side door jamb or the glove box and in your owner’s manual. Do not use the maximum pressure printed on the tire’s sidewall.

Fuel Economy Benefit:Up to 3%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings:Up to $0.11/gallon

Use the Recommended Grade of Motor Oil

API energy conservation label

You can improve your gas mileage by 1–2 percent by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil. For example, using 10W-30 motor oil in an engine designed to use 5W-30 can lower your gas mileage by 1–2 percent. Using 5W-30 in an engine designed for 5W-20 can lower your gas mileage by 1–1.5 percent. Also, look for motor oil that says “Energy Conserving” on the API performance symbol to be sure it contains friction-reducing additives.

Fuel Economy Benefit:1–2%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings:$0.04–$0.07/gallon

NEW INFORMATION: Replacing a Clogged Air Filter on Modern Cars Improves Performance but Not MPG

Air Filternew studyAdobe Acrobat Icon shows that replacing a clogged air filter on cars with fuel-injected, computer-controlled gasoline engines does not improve fuel economy but it can improve acceleration time by around 6 to 11 percent. This kind of engine is prevalent on most gasoline cars manufactured from the early 1980s onward.

Tests suggest that replacing a clogged air filter on an older car with a carbureted engine may improve fuel economy 2 to 6 percent under normal replacement conditions or up to 14 percent if the filter is so clogged that it significantly affects drivability.

The effect of a clogged air filter on diesel vehicles will be tested in the near future.

Note: Cost savings are based on an assumed fuel price of $3.61/gallon.




Homeowners Guide to Getting in the Spring Swing of Things

Well, Spring has arrived.  I guess, even though it doesn’t feel like it today.  The swing of Spring with temperatures in the 70’s earlier this week and now a balmy 37 degrees and according to it feels like 29 degrees.   So, lets look on the bright side, April showers will bring May Flowers.  Below is your homeowners guide for Getting in The Spring Swing of Things:


Check for roof damage

Winter’s snow, ice and wind can wreak havoc on your roof.  As the shingles age each season, the fine grains of stone get washed and worn off the surface.  Check to see whether any damaged shingles need to be replaced.

Monitor your gutters and drainage

Remove blockages and look for signs of damage and bending.  Many gutter repairs are inexpensive and involve only adjusting brackets, hammering out bent areas, and if necessary, replacing damaged sections of the gutter.



Check all home detectors

Press the test button on carbon monoxide and smoke detectors!  Be sure to change the batteries at the same time.  Both detectors are available at your home supply store.

Prepare your air conditioner

Check your refrigerant levels to make sure the air feels cool, replace your dirty air filters which put more strain on your AC and increase your energy consumption.  Check the outside compressor condensing coil for damage or blockage.  Not sure how?  Look up your AC manufacturer online to find out.



Dump your sump pump’s gunk

Your sump pump saves you a lot of money in repairs by protecting against flooding – so make sure it works properly!  If the water in your pit is moving slowly, it may be blocked by debris.  Make sure to clean it often.

Prevent a home dryer fire

The build-up of lint in your dryer causes an average of 15,000 fires each year.  Clean the lint trap after every laundry load, and check the outside vent where hidden build-up can cause additional damage to your appliance.



Check your deck for wear

Use a screwdriver or ice pick to test areas exposed to water and parts of your deck that are constantly damp.  If the ice pick can penetrate the wood or the wood is soft, that’s a clue the wood is decaying.

Replace Flashing if needed

Is the flashing that keeps water from collecting between the house and the deck still doing its job?  If not, replace it.


For coverage questions please contact Chase, Clarke, Stewart & Fontana, or your independent insurance agent.