How Well Does Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Jewelry?



Did you unwrap your Valentine’s Day present to find jewelry inside? Many people enjoy receiving gemstones and precious metals as a symbol of love, friendship, or appreciation. While you appreciate your lovely gift, make sure you understand how your homeowner’s insurance protects your most valuable possessions.

How Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Fine Jewelry?

A standard home policy will cover your possessions in the case of theft or damage because of a covered hazard. Typically, your maximum coverage for the contents of your home is a percentage of the total coverage for your entire home. If you have your home covered for $300,000 and your home contents covered at 50 percent, you may have up to $150,000 in protection for most of the things in your house.

You should know that your policy limits for jewelry, antiques, artwork, and other luxuries could be much lower than the limits for other items in your house. You should take time to read the details of your own insurance contract because it may limit coverage for jewelry to as little as $1,500 to $2,500. In some cases, it may impose lower limits to jewelry lost because of theft than for jewelry damaged in a fire or windstorm.

How to Ensure Adequate Coverage for Jewelry

According to the Insurance Information Institute, you have two options to increase insurance protection for jewelry and other luxury items:

  • Increase policy limits: If you just need to increase your limits slightly over your standard policy, you can contact your insurance company. For example, you might be able to pay a bit more to increase your limits from $2,500 to $5,000. You should certainly keep photos and documents of your valuables organized in a home inventory to make sure you can prove your losses to the insurance company if you need to make a claim.
  • Add a floater policy: If you have a lot of value tied up in high-end watches, expensive jewelry, and other valuables, you may choose to purchase a floater policy. This kind of coverage will increase your protection and even cover certain incidents that your basic home policy may exclude. For instance, these policies can reimburse you if you accidentally leave your wedding ring in a hotel or drop a diamond stud down the drain. Before you buy a floater policy, you should ask your insurance agent to help you find a reputable appraiser.

We Can Help You Protect Your Valuables

Here at Overbay Insurance in Waynesfield, NC, we want to help you find the best solutions to protect all of your possessions. We can suggest the best kinds of coverage, acceptable appraisers, and affordable insurance companies. We will also suggest ways to gather and store documentation about your valuables to help make the claims process quick and satisfying.  Contact us today to let us know what you need.


Using Financial Wellness Month to Improve Your Small Business



The U.S. Census just issued a press release to remind Americans to celebrate Financial Wellness Month in January. As the press release mentioned, this unofficial holiday has been timed to land right after people tend to make resolutions after New Year’s Eve.  This celebration isn’t just intended for individuals and families, so many small business owners can also resolve to improve their financial stability over the coming year.

How Can Your Small Business Make the Most of Financial Wellness Month?

For many small businesses, January offers a mild lull between the busy holiday season and preparation for tax time. If so, Financial Awareness Month might be the perfect time to consider making some improvements that will help manage cash flow and reduce stress through this year and for many years to come.

Improve Your Accounting System

Few small businesses every regretted keeping too many records. The right information can help you make good decisions, apply for funding, and satisfy the tax authorities. At the same time, most small business owners lack the time or knowledge to keep really good accounting records.

Small business accounting software saves time and helps enforce good accounting practices. You can find small business accounting software that has been created for use by people without an accounting background too.

Manage Computer Security Better

Your small business is as vulnerable to computer attacks and accidents as large corporations are. You can use this time to make sure your networks and computers are secure, that you can easily restore your systems from backups, and to follow other small business computer security tips presented by the SBA.

If you don’t have the time or expertise to secure your computers and networks, you might consider investing in security consulting or third-party security management.

Control Your Risks

As a small business owner, you have probably succeeded by learning to plan for as many risks as possible. However, you can’t plan for everything, so you purchase commercial insurance to protect you against unexpected hazards. For instance, think about how devastating it would be if you had to close your doors for several days because of a storm or cyber attack.

With business interruption insurance, you can be certain you’ll receive income to help you stay in business while problems get addressed. You might buy business interruption insurance packaged in a business owner policy, or you may purchase it as a stand-alone policy.

Call Upon Us for Help

At Overbay Insurance in Waynesville, N.C., we not only run a small business, we work with many small business owners to help them assure their financial security. As independent commercial insurance agents, we will suggest the best, affordable insurance for your needs. In addition, we can offer many tips to help you manage risks better, so you lower your risk of making claims in the first place.


Travel and Home Safety During the Holiday Season



We wish you all a meaningful and fun holiday season. At the same time, we know that many of our clients face additional risks when they decide to travel or stay home for the holidays. Just a few precautions can prevent a lot of stress and possible financial losses.

Travel and Home Safety Tips for the Holidays

We’d like to offer you a few home safety tips that will help you enjoy the holidays without having to regret any bad experiences:

Fire Safety

Sadly, the holiday season is also the home-fire season, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Cooking, electric lights, drying Christmas trees, and candles pose the main risks. You might take a moment to browse some holiday fire-safety tips to make sure that you’re managing these risks well.

Keep Your Home Safe When Traveling

If you plan to travel to visit friends and relatives, you might consider a few suggestions to keep your home safe while you’re away:

  • If you’ve decorated your home for the holidays, unplug decorative electric lights when you’re gone.
  • Don’t post travel plans on social media because burglars scout these platforms to find unoccupied homes.
  • If you haven’t already, this is a good time to invest in a home security system that can automatically call for help in case of a fire, intruder, or other hazard.
  • If you live where there is any potential for a hard freeze, you might consider insulating vulnerable pipes or even keeping a few faucets dripping while you’re gone.

Get Travel Ready

The beginning of winter usually signals the time to have your car serviced. Your mechanic might suggest a check-up for your tires, windshield wipers, battery, and antifreeze. Some folks say it’s also a good idea to wax and buff headlights and taillights. Consider packing an emergency kit with an insulated blanket inside the vehicle.

If you plan to fly, you should also plan to get to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Other holiday travelers and winter roads can slow you down, and you won’t want to miss your flight.

In either case, you should make sure your phones have a strong charge before you leave home. You can also buy a handy power source for a few dollars at any department or discount store. These slim batteries fit in your pocket, purse, or keychain, and they can give you an extra charge or two in case you need it.

We Can Offer You More Peace of Mind During the Hectic Holiday Season

You can do a lot to manage risks during the holiday season; however, nobody can anticipate everything. Contact us at Overbay Insurance to make certain that you have updated your home and auto policies. If you need new coverage, we can also look for competitive rates that may help give you even more peace of mind with lower bills next year.

Four Tips For a Safer Thanksgiving Celebration



Thanksgiving is one of the happiest days of the year for many families across the United States, but it’s also a time for unique and often overlooked dangers. The same activities that bring you and your loved ones so much joy, can also start fires or even injure your loved ones. Make sure you all have the best possible holiday this year by following this four safety tips.

Don’t Deep Fry Your Own Turkey

Deep fried turkeys are a great recent innovation in Thanksgiving dining, but they’re not the safest thing to try to cook at home. With so many grocery stores, restaurants, and other outlets offering pre-cooked turkeys in any flavor you like, there’s no reason to risk the very real and very dangerous fire that can start. Just check out any of the hundreds of Youtube videos showing deep fryer explosions and uncontrollable oil fires if you’re still considering a DIY fried turkey.

Watch Out for Candles

Candles, especially scented ones, are considered an absolute must-have for holiday decorating by many. However, swapping the real flames for LED ones is a good alternative. Avoid multi-wicked candles if you must burn real flames since they can start a large cone of flame when left unattended for even a moment.

Use Portable Timers

Kitchen fires remain the bulk of the emergencies reported on Thanksgiving, and letting the turkey get a little too crisp does more than just ruin dinner. On average, homeowners spent around $20,000 to repair their homes after a kitchen fire. If you’re the kind of person who carries their phone around at all times, don’t break this habit for the holiday. Setting a timer that rings and buzzes is a great way to prevent fires, and you’ll know it’s time to take that pie out even when you’re far from the kitchen and unable to hear the usual oven timer.

Install Fire Alarms

Finally, make sure you have fire alarms installed in the kitchen, the dining room, and outside of every bedroom in the home. In over 50% of Thanksgiving Day fires, the homes were found to have no alarms installed anywhere near where the fire started. Current US building codes mandate quite a number of fire alarms in the average house, and a single one in the kitchen isn’t good enough to protect you and your family. Of course, check the batteries before the holidays as well, since some fire alarms can run down a set of batteries in as little as three to six months.

Take the Scare out of Halloween With These Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips



For kids across the U.S., the end of October is a time of anticipation — the one time of the year when dressing up in disguise and begging door-to-door for candy and other goodies is actually encouraged. As exciting as Halloween is for kids, it can be kind of nerve-wracking for parents who worry about their kids staying safe while they’re out and about – and even once they’re home. If your kids are planning a trick-or-treat extravaganza, here are a few simple safety tips to help ease your mind:

  • If your kids are going to trick-or-treat on their own, establish a route ahead of time and make them promise to stick to it. Stick to your own neighborhood and avoid unfamiliar areas.
  • Never send your child out alone — they should always go out with at least one other friend. A group is even better. Have a list of names and numbers for all the kids in the group, just in case.
  • Make sure your children’s cell phones are fully charged and easily accessible while they’re wearing their costumes.
  • Invest in a roll of reflective tape and place some on your child’s costume to make it easier for cars to see them.
  • Make sure costumes don’t impede walking or make it easy to trip. If your child is wearing a mask, have them try it on ahead of time and show them how to secure it so it doesn’t block their vision. Even better, get creative with face makeup.
  • If your child’s costume is loose or flowing, make sure they know to look out for jack-o-lantern flames when approaching neighbors’ porches.
  • Give each child a glow stick or flashlight and make sure they understand the importance of carrying them at all times.
  • Tell kids not to eat any treats before they get home. Giving them supper or a filling snack before they head out will reduce their urge to snack. For young ones, carry their treat bags for them so they’re not tempted.
  • Once your kids are home, carefully inspect all their candy and other trick-or-treat goodies before they indulge. Look for any packages that appear to have been opened, poked with a pin, or otherwise tampered with and throw them away. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Halloween comes but once a year, and as a parent, you don’t want to turn a fun event into a safety lecture. By planning ahead of time and discussing safety issues casually, you can help your child enjoy the evening while still enjoying your own peace of mind.

Don’t Neglect Your Life Insurance: Reviews Are Simple, Fast and Free!



Do you have life insurance? If you don’t, you have plenty of company. In fact, in a recent survey, while nearly all respondents said they thought having life insurance was a good idea, just a little over half reported having life insurance themselves. That’s not just surprising – if you’re one of those who opt not to have life insurance, it can also have devastating consequences for the ones you leave behind. Each year in the U.S., millions of people – including spouses and kids – are left without any financial safety net when a loved one unexpectedly passes away.

Life insurance is an important financial planning tool, one that can help ensure your loved ones have the funds they need to pay for your final expenses as well as provide them with the funds they need to manage their expenses once you’re gone. Plus, an insurance policy can help provide your kids and grandkids with a legacy that can help your memory and your influence live on for years to come.

So if life insurance is so important, why do so many people put off investing in a policy? Lots of reasons. Plenty of consumers neglect to buy life insurance or don’t bother updating their coverage simply because thinking about their own mortality is, well, kind of depressing, while others tend to put off the life insurance discussion with the intention of doing it “in the future.” Some men and women are confused by the types of life insurance that are available to them – and which type (and how much) is the best for their needs, or they mistakenly think life insurance has to be expensive (hint: it doesn’t!).

At Overbay Insurance Services, we’ve been helping consumers find the right life insurance policy for their individual needs for decades. Our agents work with the nation’s top providers so you have the broadest selection of options. Plus, they can help you understand the differences between term life, whole life, and other life insurance options you may never have even heard of.

Our agents are also skilled at assessing each client’s needs and goals to help them create a policy structure and determine the best amount so their wishes can be carried out once they’re gone. Plus, we help every client find the policy that suits their budget so they can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from having life insurance without taking away from their current budget and financial needs.

It’s never too late to find out more about life insurance and the important peace of mind it can provide for you and for your family members. And since September is Life Insurance Month, it’s a great time to set up a new policy or to revisit your existing life insurance policy to make sure it’s still optimized for your needs, your goals, and your legacy. Our agents can review your needs with just a simple phone call. Take control of your financial future, and call Overbay at  (828) 452-4699.

3 Safety Tips To Help Your Child Tackle the Challenges of Teen Driving


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As school goes back into season once again, there’s a whole new crop of teen drivers hitting the roads for the first time on a regular schedule. While they may have gotten their licenses over the summer and spent some time practicing at their leisure, it doesn’t quite compare to getting up at 6 or 7 am every day for a potentially drowsy commute. Make sure your child is prepared with these three safety tips written specifically for the challenges of teen driving.

Wake Up Early

Get up with your teen at least an hour before they need to get on the road and make sure they’re fully awake and no longer drowsy before leaving. If your teen is still nodding off a little or has trouble keeping their eyes open, hop in the car with them or make them take another family member who can help them stay awake. Drowsy driving is now considered even more dangerous than drunk driving, so letting your teen out the door too early could be a life-altering mistake. You can’t count on a teen to accurately measure their own level or drowsiness either, which is why it’s essential to get up with them and make that decision yourself.

Ban the Phone

Aside from drowsy driving, using a cellphone is one of the biggest safety risks common to teen driving. Every teen thinks they can quickly read a text message or tell their friend they’re on the way, and thousands of them are proven wrong each year by ending up in serious accidents. Since there’s such a strong pull to use the phone while you’re in the car, parents have the option of using remote control software to limit phone functions. These software options allow you to coordinate the phone’s functions so that when the car is running, texts and phone calls won’t go through to the phone. The outgoing options are also limited. This allows you to make sure your teen has their full attention on the road without any safety distractions.

Follow a Graduated Program

Does your state simply award a full license when a driver passes the test regardless of previous experience? Many states are switching to a graduated license system, even for those over the age of 18, and it’s proving very powerful in terms of safety. Teen driving accidents are down by around 40% in these states. You can create your own graduated system if your state doesn’t have one by requiring your teen to get more hours of experience with you in the passenger seat before you let them get a full license.