Charles Hagerty No Comments

Price or Value…Have Both

TLIG understands that in today’s economic environment the line between price and value has become increasingly blurred. This is especially true in the area auto insurance. Although admittedly humorous, the onslaught of creative auto insurance marketing campaigns has shifted the focus away from personal asset protection to that of comic relief snippets. We believe that “real people” provide greater value, superior advice and better service than cartoons, cavemen and crazed cashiers. Don’t choose between price and value…have both!


Charles Hagerty No Comments

Perspective…Changes Everything

Sweat the small stuff! Why? Because TLIG understands that small details, deviations and slight changes determine the effectiveness of your risk management and insurance program. We understand that no two organizations, or two families for that matter, are the same. We don’t make assumptions about your business or personal insurance needs. Rather we invest the time, resources and expertise needed to gain a full understanding of your specific situation. TLIG believes in delivering tangible results for our clients.

Charles Hagerty No Comments

Stay Cool with Swimming Pool Risks

It’s summer, and thoughts of Americans everywhere turn to water. Whether it’s in the pool, on the lake, at the ocean or in the river, water draws people almost magnetically as the weather turns hot. In fact, swimming pool trade groups teamed up to make May “National Water Safety Month” in the United States to make consumers “water aware.”

Swimming pools are popular but also present a risk to a homeowner. While homeowners are welcoming friends and family with a clear, clean pool, they’re also assuming significant financial risks by doing so. What’s more, they are unwittingly facing liability from strangers since pools are an attractive nuisance that can pose a risk to uninvited guests, children in the neighborhood and intruders. Homeowners can be found liable for injuries to uninvited guests.

Drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years, reported the American Red Cross. Its survey of more than 1,000 adults showed that more than 90% of families with young children plan to be in the water this summer, and almost half (48%) plan to swim in a place with no lifeguard. If that’s on your property, be prepared.

Insurance plays a key role in protecting consumers who have pools on their property. Homeowners and liability insurance cover bodily injury and liability protection in the event of an injury or claim. Plus, insurance carriers, by virtue of inspecting or requiring compliance with building codes, can make a swimming pool safer.

If you have a swimming pool:

1) Let your insurance agent or insurance carrier know. Coverage is most likely to be provided if the structure and risks are known prior to a claim. Insurance carriers view pools as presenting a unique and heightened set of risks. Put simply, a swimming pool will increase the risk of property damage or a liability claim, as compared to a home without one.

Typically, a homeowners insurance policy covers property damage to a home and additional structures. An in-ground pool usually is considered an “additional structure” in insurance parlance, as are sheds and detached garages. An above-ground pool may be considered “personal property” and insured under that section of the homeowners policy.

Homeowners insurance also offers liability coverage in the event a homeowner is hit with a claim or lawsuit as a result of an incident in or near the swimming pool. Friends and family who are injured in a pool accident may not want to sue, but may need to sue in order to pay medical bills and replace lost income.

2) Check the amount of homeowners property coverage. A standard coverage amount for additional structures on a property is 10 percent of the amount written for the home itself. Thus, a $500,000 home might have $50,000 of property damage coverage for other structures. Ask your independent agent to help you determine the proper amount of property coverage.

3) Check the amount of homeowners liability coverage. One claim can pierce a standard homeowners liability insurance limit, so check with your insurance professional to discuss increasing the limit and/or adding an umbrella policy. An umbrella (or excess liability) policy pays up to a limit (usually $1 million) for claims.

4) Check the perils covered. Homeowners insurance comes in a variety of types, and some policies protect against additional “perils” in addition to fire, lightning and windstorm. Other perils may be excluded. Check which type of policy you have and whether it suits your needs. For pool owners in the north, note that damage by freezing/thawing is usually not covered by homeowners insurance.

5) Check that your pool is up to code, and whether any features are specifically not permitted or insured. Plumbing, fencing and deck requirements all can vary by state and locality. A homeowner increases the risk of loss if a pool is not up to code. Additionally, amenities such as diving boards and slides are particularly hazardous and may be excluded by building code or can be uninsured.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control noted that drowning prevention requires appropriate adult supervision while children are in the water, as well as multiple layers of protection (such as four-sided isolation fencing, pool alarms, and locked gates) to keep children away from swimming pools.

TLIG is a local Trusted Choice® agency that represents multiple insurance companies, so it offers you a variety of personal and business coverage choices and can customize an insurance plan to meet your specialized needs.

Visit us online at or call us at (434) 582-1444.


Charles Hagerty No Comments

A Growing Threat – Roots and Sewer Lines

Ever drive down the street and see a front yard with a trench that looks like someone is dredging a channel from the front door to the street? While a select few may be installing an expensive irrigation system, most are having the sewer line replaced. This line consists of a pipe that runs from the home to the mainline under the street. The lucky among them have undertaken this project on the advice of a proactive plumber who warned of the consequences of backup or leakage due to cracked or clogged pipes. The unfortunate majority have already experienced those consequences.

There are many substances that can clog a pipe. Most can be controlled, others cannot. Consider tree roots: a common reason for clogged and cracked pipes, which can cause most unpleasant damage to the inside of your house. Remedying this unfortunate situation can be costly, and depending on the nature of the project, is not covered by standard home insurance.

Consider the costs: (1) cleaning up damage to/in the house caused by the roots growing into the pipe, and (2) fixing pipes damaged by the roots.

In the case of the former, some home insurance policies will cover damage to your home if a clog causes your plumbing to overflow; others will not. Thus, if the root clog causes a toilet to send water the wrong way (which falls on people’s “biggest fear” list somewhere between death and clowns), resulting damage such as warped tiles, soaked carpet and furniture may not be paid by insurance.

Luckily, most standard home insurance policies can be modified to cover this significant exposure for additional premium. Cost of the modification varies but can be inexpensive; some providers will add the coverage for only a few dollars.

Consider the latter. In addition to paying for damages caused by the clogged or cracked pipe, homeowners will need to protect their property by having roots removed and installing piping that is not damaged. This could mean digging up several square feet of your yard, conducting repairs, and closing the hole as if nothing ever happened- not an easy or inexpensive task.

If this happens to you, don’t panic! While unmodified home insurance does not cover resulting damage, it may cover the cost to tear out and replace the damaged pipes. The kicker is “damage”—the home insurance policy will often cover the cost to fix the pipes if they are physically damaged by the roots, such as when the root penetrates a joint causing it to crack. It is possible for a root to clog a line without damaging the pipe- if this happens there would be no coverage to fix the pipe because it is not physically damaged.

There are many unexplainable phenomena in nature and the unpredictable root structure of trees and plants certainly qualifies. Talk to your independent agent about how to amend your home insurance to control the impact of this “growing” threat.

TLIG is a local Trusted Choice® agency that represents multiple insurance companies, so it offers you a variety of personal and business coverage choices and can customize an insurance plan to meet your specialized needs.

Visit us online at or call us at (434) 582-1444.