A Checklist to Complete If You’re Leaving Your Home for an Extended Period of Time

How to prepare your Eugene, OR home for when you leave on vacationWhether you are a snow bird who flocks to warm weather in the winter or you’re taking a vacation, you should always protect your home while you’re away. The last thing you want to hear while vacationing is that a pipe burst or your home was burglarized. Follow these simple steps to ensure your home is safe while you’re away.

Protect from Theft

  • Alert the post office to hold your mail until you return. If you are staying at your vacation home for a long period of time, perhaps forward your mail to that mailing address.
  • Stage your home as if you are still there. Use an automatic timer to turn on and off your lights. You can set them up in different rooms to make it look like you’re moving around the house. To keep it efficient, use LED bulbs in your lamps you intend to leave running throughout the night.
  • Set an alarm. There are countless great, affordable video surveillance options that sends you a text when there is motion detected at your home, both inside and out. You can then pull it up and watch a live video stream allowing you to record the activity as well as call police. Additionally, if you see a package is delivered you could ask a neighbor to pick it up off the doorstep until you return.
  • Place small valuables in a hidden place or safe. If you own jewelry, guns or cash, or have social security cards, memory cards or other valuable items, put them into a safe. Safes are typically extremely heavy and unable to be moved by one person even if not bolted to the floor.
  • Hire someone or notify your neighbor to do the simple things. For example, if you are gone for the weekend and the trash gets picked up on Fridays, ask your neighbor to pull your waste bin in for you.

Protect Your Home From Damage

  • Always turn off your water. You would hate to have a pipe burst or refrigerator leak while you’re away. If you live in a cold weather environment, drain all your pipes of water. Laundry supply lines are bigger, so be sure to turn those off at the junction box if you decide not to turn off all water.
  • Set your thermostat. Keeping your thermostat on will stop pipes from freezing in your ceiling or walls. It doesn’t take much, say 60 degrees or so.
  • Clean out your gutters. If you’re planning to be away for a while, cleaning your gutters can ensure any heavy rains won’t overflow the gutters and flood your home or damage the roof.

Going away for a while can be exciting. You shouldn’t have to worry about your home while you’re away so completing some simple tasks beforehand can ease your concern.

LeDoux Insurance Agency is committed to improving the quality of our community by insuring your life’s hard work. Setting a standard of excellence, our professional staff will help you understand your current and future risk exposures by building a lifelong relationship. Our clients can be confident in the proven stability and years of insurance experience. LeDoux Insurance Agency is dedicated to continuous improvement through the use of technology in order to provide the most comprehensive and cost effective solutions for your insurance needs. Whether you’re looking for auto, home, renters or business insurance, LeDoux Insurance can help. Visit us online anytime.

Simple Steps to Keep Your Jewelry Protected

Insurance for your jewelry in Eugene, ORJewelry is valuable not only because of its beauty, but the special meaning behind it. Does it represent 30 years of marriage? Was it passed down from a great grandmother? Was it given to you to celebrate a special moment? Between its sentimental value, as well as financial value, our local insurance agency wants you to be fully protected.

Anything can happen to your jewelry, whether it’s stolen, damaged or accidentally slips off your finger while swimming in the ocean. While memories of the jewelry itself cannot be replaced, a good insurance policy can provide financial protection to an unfortunate situation.

If you own jewelry that’s valued over $1,000, consider getting an insurance policy endorsement to insure its value.

Like other valuables coverage, insurance for your jewelry can simply be added to your home or renters insurance policy on something called a “floater.” It’s a simple insurance policy extension. A good policy will cover everything from theft and damage. The cost of coverage varies, typically $1 – $2 per $100 in value for a yearly policy. So, for a $5,000 ring, you’d expect to pay $50-$100. By calling LeDoux Insurance Agency, we will ensure we find the best coverage for your jewelry. We can also help answer any questions regarding ‘what if’ situations.

Here are some questions to discuss with our agents so you fully understand your insurance coverage.

  • If your jewelry is stolen, will you be reimbursed the full amount you paid? What happens if it was accidentally lost?
  • If your jewelry has appreciated over the course of owning it, will your insurance company honor its new value or what you paid for it?
  • What happens if you simply lost a small piece of your jewelry? Would you insurance cover the cost of replacing the stone?
  • Don’t forget to ask for discounts! If you plan to safely store your jewelry when you are not wearing it, you could qualify for a discount from some insurance companies.

While we hope you never have to experience an insurance claim for your jewelry, it’s always important to be prepared.

Items you need in case your jewelry is lost or stolen:

  • Original Receipt
  • An appraisal – if you don’t have the original receipt, at least have an appraisal.
  • GIA Certificate or similar reputable certificate
  • Take photos of all of your jewelry and store them on the cloud or a zip drive that’s stored in your safe.

Keep these items in a safety deposit box or safe in your home. If you’d like to know more about insuring your jewelry, contact an agent at our office. We’ll give you the best options for insuring your jewelry as well as answer any other questions you may have.

Follow These Simple Tips to Avoid Holiday Theft

How to prevent holiday package theft in Eugene, ORThe holiday season is a joyous time, but unfortunately, it is also top season for theft. If you walk around your neighborhood, it isn’t hard to see all the holiday deliveries left on porches of unsuspecting homeowners. Protecting yourself from theft is all about prevention. To avoid being a victim of holiday theft:

  • Have your deliveries sent to your work (if allowed)
  • Request valuable shipments be held by the shipper for in-person pickup. Most major shipping companies even have apps now that can help streamline this process.
  • See if your shipping company has additional options. Amazon recently introduced “lockers” where they will place your shipment in a locker with a special code just for you.
  • Does a retired relative live nearby? Have packages delivered to them. It is always a great opportunity to see family anyway.
  • Sign up for delivery notifications. Many companies send this to you by email, but many carriers have text message notifications.
  • Install a home surveillance system that focuses on the area where your packages are delivered. A pricier alternative if you can’t always be there to monitor your home.
  • Discuss with your neighbors to keep an eye out for unfamiliar vehicles.

Enjoying the holiday season is easy, but preventing theft isn’t always. We hope your holiday season is free of criminal activity.

LeDoux Insurance Agency is committed to improving the quality of our community by insuring your life’s hard work. Setting a standard of excellence, our professional staff will help you understand your current and future risk exposures by building a lifelong relationship. Our clients can be confident in the proven stability and years of insurance experience. LeDoux Insurance Agency is dedicated to continuous improvement through the use of technology in order to provide the most comprehensive and cost effective solutions for your insurance needs. Whether you’re looking for auto, home, renters or business insurance, LeDoux Insurance can help. Visit us online anytime.

This One Quick Tip Can Get You Your Stolen Bicycle Back

How to register your bike in Eugene, ORAccording to the National Bike Registry, 1.5 million bicycles are stolen each year. With college campuses being the biggest source of bicycle theft, it would be great if there was a way to protect your investment that was quick and easy. The good news is that more than 48% of bicycles that are stolen are recovered, but of those, only 5% are able to be identified and returned to their owners.

The National Bike Registry and 529 Garage have partnered to create a database to track and store bicycle VIN numbers. Not only can you register your bike, but you can search their database for recovered bicycles in an effort to get yours back.

Bicycle theft is a rampant problem in the US and unless you want to submit a homeowner claim (please talk to your licensed insurance agent prior) you likely won’t see you bicycle again or be able to recover your losses. Bicycles are likely covered under your home, renters or condo insurance policy with your insurance carrier.

Register your bicycle today and rest assured that your bicycle is better protected and more likely to be returned in the event of being stolen.

LeDoux Insurance Agency is committed to improving the quality of our community by insuring your life’s hard work. Setting a standard of excellence, our professional staff will help you understand your current and future risk exposures by building a lifelong relationship. Our clients can be confident in the proven stability and years of insurance experience. LeDoux Insurance Agency is dedicated to continuous improvement through the use of technology in order to provide the most comprehensive and cost effective solutions for your insurance needs. Whether you’re looking for auto, home, renters or business insurance, LeDoux Insurance can help. Visit us online anytime.

5 Simple Tips to Avoid Having Your Vehicle Stolen

How to prevent car theft in Eugene, ORAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a vehicle is stolen every 44 seconds in the United States. Having your vehicle stolen is not only a huge inconvenience, but it is also frightening and violating experience that can sometimes be avoided by taking certain precautions.

5 Tips to Avoid Your Car from Being Stolen:

  • At nighttime, always park your vehicle in well-lit areas. Thieves thrive in dark places where they can easily be hidden.
  • Keep the inside of your car clean and avoid leaving valuables exposed. Use your trunk if you are transporting valuables.
  • Always lock your car door and windows. The most basic tip of them all. Many people feel comfortable leaving their car unlocked while it’s parked at their home or other safe areas. Get in the habit of always locking your car to avoid any unexpected surprises.
  • Keep your spare key in your home, not under your car. Thieves tend to check for spare keys in common areas like under the car.
  • Invest in an alarm system or anti-theft device. The simplest form of protection is an anti-theft device like an alarm or a wheel locking device such as “The Club.”

While these tips can’t guarantee your car will never be stolen, protecting your assets in the event of a car theft can be as simple as having the right insurance policy. Investing in comprehensive coverage will cover the loss of car theft. Contact your licensed insurance agent at LeDoux Insurance Agency to make sure you have this coverage is on your insurance policy.

LeDoux Insurance Agency is committed to improving the quality of our community by insuring your life’s hard work. Setting a standard of excellence, our professional staff will help you understand your current and future risk exposures by building a lifelong relationship. Our clients can be confident in the proven stability and years of insurance experience. LeDoux Insurance Agency is dedicated to continuous improvement through the use of technology in order to provide the most comprehensive and cost effective solutions for your insurance needs. Whether you’re looking for auto, home, renters or business insurance, LeDoux Insurance can help. Visit us online anytime.

Preventing Mail Theft

How to prevent mail theft in Eugene, ORMail theft is an unfortunate reality in most of the country. Thieves drive around during the mid-day and night time looking for mail that has not yet been picked up. What are they looking for? Gift cards, credit card applications, and utility bills – pretty much anything that would allow them to steal your identity.

Take these steps to avoid being the victim of mail theft:

  1. Get a locking mailbox

This is one of the easiest steps you can take and also the most effective. While the cost of a locking mailbox varies (usually starting around $80) it can be enough of a deterrent to stop theft. If you live in a community with other neighbors, consider getting together with other neighbors and purchasing a community box. If a neighbor is handy, they can easily install the mailbox. One quick tip, be sure to check for postal service approved mailboxes. It usually requires some minor paperwork.

  1. Pick up mail frequently

Make it a habit to routinely pick up the mail as close to delivery time as possible. Most of us work throughout the day, so grab it on the way in from work. Do your best to not leave mail in the box until the next day.

  1. Avoid using the red flag

 If there is one “red flag” (pun) for thieves, it is using your outgoing mailbox’s red flag. Simply waiting until the time the mailman is coming or even better, bringing your outgoing mail to work (with your postage paid already of course). This will ensure a secured delivery.

  1. Have a neighbor help you out from time-to-time

Do you know you have something valuable coming in the mail? Perhaps it is your birthday or around the holidays. Ask a neighbor to pick up your mail for you. Since the USPS is now delivering for Amazon on Sundays, if you have a small package coming, be sure to check your mailbox on Sundays for special deliveries.

Do you have other ideas about how mail theft could be avoided? Feel free to share your thoughts on our Facebook page!

If you have questions about your insurance, call LeDoux Insurance. LeDoux Insurance Agency is committed to improving the quality of our community by insuring your life’s hard work. Setting a standard of excellence, our professional staff will help you understand your current and future risk exposures by building a lifelong relationship. Our clients can be confident in the proven stability and years of insurance experience. LeDoux Insurance Agency is dedicated to continuous improvement through the use of technology in order to provide the most comprehensive and cost effective solutions for your insurance needs. Whether you’re looking for auto, home, renters or business insurance, LeDoux Insurance can help. Visit us online anytime.

Owning a Home Safe & What to Store in It

Why you should own a home safe in Eugene, ORIf you don’t own a home safe, it might be time to make the purchase. Not only can they help with theft of valuables or family heirlooms, but they can also protect special documents. A home safe is priceless when the unexpected occurs. Documents and valuables can be kept out of harm should you ever experience a home fire or burglary. These reasons alone should be a good motive to invest in a home safe.

Where to place your home safe

When shopping for a home safe, make sure it’s heavy enough so a burglar couldn’t walk away with it. If you can, bolt it to the floor or install it into a wall. An additional thought is to store it in a unique place in your home unless you’re using it daily such as in an office. You don’t want to simply not use it because it isn’t convenient. Some additional things to consider is the size of the safe. Safes that are heavy and require a hand truck to move should be placed on the ground floor. Safes that can be moved with a couple of people are okay to have on the second floor. If your main concern is fire, you should try to place your safe on a cement slab.

Twelve items to store in your home safe

  • Passports, original birth certificates, marriage/divorce papers, social security cards
  • Cash
  • Wills or other important legal documents
  • Valuable watches or jewelry
  • SD cards, important computer back up discs or other electronics that are important, but you may not use on a weekly basis
  • Annual tax returns
  • Small firearms
  • Spare car keys and titles to all vehicles
  • Important papers regarding bank accounts, retirement or other investments

Investing in a safe today could prevent an unfortunate headache in the future. While owning a safe is important, having the right home insurance policy is just as valuable. For all insurance questions, call the insurance agents at LeDoux Insurance. We have years of experience and will help you find the best coverage for your needs.