Connecticut Education Association
CoverVantage Logo
Helpful Tips from CoverVantage

CoverVantage® Tips


Look to CoverVantage® for friendly, helpful safety tips that can help protect you, your family, your home, and your auto from many of life’s everyday hazards.

February 27, 2017

Protecting Valuable Items with Best-in-Class Strategies

Don’t Leave Coverage for your Valuables up to Chance

Homeowners’ insurance policies typically have limitations on coverage for valuable items such as jewelry, fine art, furs, antiques, silverware and memorabilia. Many people discover critical coverage gaps in the most desperate of times; when they file a homeowners’ insurance claim. USI Insurance Services offers the following tips to identify and prevent exposures that exceed the limits within your homeowners’ policy for valuable items.

Itemizing vs. Blanketing

Compared to blanket coverage, which covers a group of items, scheduling involves creating a specific list or “schedule” of valuable articles, and itemizing the replacement cost and description of each piece to be insured. This option allows policyholders to determine the value of each item and insure those items to the exact amount by segregating the high-value items that exceed the homeowners’ sub-limits while obtaining broad coverage with enhanced protection for those specific items.

Appraisals and Keeping Values Current

Typically, insurance companies will require appraisals to validate the item, substantiate the value, and create a description used in the event of a loss. Additional protection for scheduled items is available in the form of a market value endorsement, which provides coverage if the market value raises the cost of replacement above the scheduled limit. Factoring in market conditions can be very critical with high value pieces, such as precious stones, gold or silver.

Best-in-Class Strategies for Valuables

Collectors and owners of valuable items should consider the following additional information concerning insuring valuables:

  • Certain carriers offer discounts for valuables kept in a safe or vault
  • Some carriers restrict coverage items while in transit and require notification and approval in order to retain full coverage
  • In situations where a lost item is part of an itemized pair or set, such as earrings, certain specialty carriers will provide coverage for the entire set if they are provided with the remaining pair
  • Transporting insured collectibles often requires specific packaging and handling to avoid suspending coverage

December 15, 2016

Keep Fires Burning Safely

Tips on keeping warm and safe this winter

When the colder temperatures start to set in, many homeowners will turn to their fireplace, wood or pellet stoves as an additional heat source. While fireplaces can provide warmth and comfort, if you are not careful, they can also be a hazard. Keep in mind the following precautions to help ensure a safe winter season.

Be sure the flue is open before lighting your fire to help ensure the fireplace will vent properly. Do not close your damper until you are sure the fire is out.

  • When starting a fire, only use a match or commercial firelighter. Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.
  • Glass doors of a fireplace should be kept open while burning a fire. This allows the fire to receive enough air for complete combustion and to help reduce creosote build-up in the chimney.
  • Metal mesh screens should remain closed whenever your fireplace is in use to help keep embers in the fireplace.
  • Only use dry wood in your fireplace. Wet wood can increase creosote buildup, which can lead to chimney fires.
  • Do not burn plastic because it can release toxic chemicals and cause damage to your chimney, fireplace or wood stove.
  • Never burn a Christmas tree in your fireplace as the sparks from the burning needles can increase the risk for a chimney fire. Also, do not burn cardboard boxes, wrapping paper or trash in your fireplace.
  • Never leave a fire in a fireplace unattended. Before leaving the house or going to bed, you should make certain to fully extinguish the fire.
  • Allow ashes to cool completely before disposing of them — ashes can take several days to cool completely. Never empty ashes directly into a trash can. Instead, place ashes in a covered metal container located at least 10 feet1 away from your home and any other building.
  • Firewood should be stacked at least 30 feet away from your home.
  • Your roof and chimney should be kept clean of leaves, pine needles and other debris. Prune trees and branches to keep them away from your chimney.
  • Install a chimney cap with spark arrester to help keep debris, leaves, branches and animals out, and to help prevent burning embers or sparks from escaping and creating a fire hazard.

These tips are brought to you by USI Insurance to ensure the safety and security of you and your family. Learn more and find out how to get your auto and homeowners insurance in sync with your needs at special group rates by calling 1-888-577-7771, or by clicking here to contact us.

Read More

What We Offer

Learn more about the insurance options available to you through CoverVantage.

auto icon

home icon

umbrella icon

Have an agent contact you to discuss your coverage options.


Catch Up on Past Tips

Insurance Premiums

Winter Driving

How to Handle Auto Recalls

Safe Cars for Teens