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.

Consider This Before Jumping into Vacation Property Ownership

Vacation Property Insurance in Eugene, OROwning a secondary home or vacation property can be a rewarding experience and allow you to build so many memories! While owning a vacation home can have countless advantages, it does bring some unique responsibility and maintenance.

Regardless of whether you’re buying a cabin just a few miles away on the lake or an oceanfront condo in Hawaii, you’ll use twice per year, you’ll want to make sure your property remains adequately protected. Renting the property adds an entirely new level of complexity to secondary home ownership and yet a better reason to review your coverages with your licensed insurance agent.

Consider these items when talking to your agent:

  1. Will you need a separate insurance policy for your vacation property liability?
  2. What liability limits are adequate for a home that is vacant more often than is occupied?
  3. If you’ll be renting the property, consider purchasing additional liability limits as well as an umbrella insurance policy to protect you.
  4. Is your vacation home in an area that is affected by natural disasters such as forest fires, hurricanes, floods or earthquakes? You may need a separate additional policy for these.

Follow these insurance tips to reduce the risk of having a claim:

  1. Keep valuables out of your vacation home. Take them with you when you leave.
  2. Ask a neighbor to keep an eye out for any unusual activity at your home.
  3. Consider getting a video surveillance camera such as a Canary or Ring to alert you if someone enters your home. These do not require service contracts and alert you by phone.
  4. Keep your heater set to 60 to prevent any pipes from freezing.
  5. Turn off your water if you plan to leave for extended periods of time. This takes only a few seconds.
  6. Consider a management company if you want to rent the property. They will help keep an eye on things.
  7. Check for obvious liability concerns if you plan to rent the property such as rotten decking, trip hazards, or other deferred maintenance.

We wish you years of memories and relaxation with your secondary home or vacation property. When you’re ready to insure your property, give us a call.

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.

Planning a Road Trip or Vacation to a National Park This Year? Here Are The Top Five!

Top National Parks in the United StatesThe United States is known world-wide for having amazing National Parks. There are 59 National Parks scattered throughout our beautiful country, with fourteen being considered UNESCO World Heritage Sites (WHS). Whether you are a nature lover or enjoy traveling, here are the top five most visited National Parks around the country.

1.) Great Smoky Mountains (WHS)

Nearly 10 million people visit a year to camp, picnic, hike or enjoy a tour. This park is known for their ancient mountains, wildflowers and plants as well as their animal life. There are many enjoyable hikes like Rainbow Falls, Charles Bunion, Alum Cave Bluffs or Andrews Bald.

2.) Grand Canyon (WHS)

At a mile deep and 18 miles wide this national park attracts nearly 5.5 million visitors a year. See with your own eyes the colorful landscape of this National Park.

3.) Rocky Mountains in Colorado 

Visit one of their 450 miles of streams or 150 lakes in this popular national park! They are known for Bear Lake and their famous Trail Ridge Road.

4.) Yosemite National Park (WHS)

This park is known for their granite cliffs, waterfalls and forests. Here you are able to see the glacier carved Yosemite Valley, waterfalls like Yosemite Falls and giant sequoias.

5.) Yellowstone (WHS)

It’s officially the first National Park and nearly 4.1 million visitors make a trip here a year. Its great expanse touches three states; Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Not only are they known for their geysers but the lakes and wildlife is equally amazing.

Traveling to one of these great National Parks is one of our nation’s greatest pastimes. Whether you’re pulling a travel trailer, driving an RV or motoring there in your car or motorcycle and staying in one of the park’s lodges, you’re sure to build fond memories for yourself or with your family. Be sure to plan ahead as reservations at these great parks fill up quickly, usually months in advance. Also, be sure to drive slowly through the parks and keep an eye out for wildlife. This will ensure both your and their safety.

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.

Seven Areas to Look Before Buying a Used Camper

Simple Tips to Prevent an Unwanted Repair

Tips Before Buying a Used Camper in Eugene, ORSpring is a great season to start looking for good used campers. Whether you’re looking at a dealership or from a person off of Craigslist, it’s important to know how to look for possible damage or wear.

Look for these trouble areas to save yourself on repairs:

  1. Delamination

RV’s are typically made of a laminated plywood and adhered with an adhesive. This adhesive over time can become deteriorated and cause the side of the RV to delaminate. This delamination can become worse over time and unfortunately, there is not an inexpensive fix. Reasons for delamination can be moisture, heat or simply age. To look for delamination, look down the side of the RV. You’re looking for a change in the plane – it looks almost like a large bubble. Take your hand and press on it. Does it flex or feel like there is air between the exterior fiberglass shell and the interior plywood?

  1. Tires

Tires are easy to inspect. What you’re looking for is small cracks in between the tread. As RVs sit, they develop flat spots and weather cracks. These cracks while largely cosmetic in nature, can over time deteriorate the tire. If the tires are worn or cracked, consider this into the cost of purchasing the RV.

  1. Rodent Damage

Rodents get into everything. Your RV or trailer is no different. In fact, they make ideal homes for rodents because most of the year, they’re sitting undisturbed. When looking for signs of rodents, pull up some seat cushions and look in storage spaces. You’re looking for rodent droppings. Mice and rats leave droppings everywhere. This can both be a health hazard and also damage your RVs interior as they nest.

  1. Water Damage

RV’s are incredibly susceptible to water damage. Truth is many manufacturers in the US don’t build the RVs with as much quality as they could. Water damage is usually pretty easy to spot or smell. If the RV smells musty or feels damp, this is a big indicator. Look for mineral stains or water stains on wood, around skylights and air conditioners on the roof. Also, go around the RV or trailer and push in on all of the sides all the way around. If water got into the walls, it can quickly rot the structural portions of the RV. Pushing on the sides will identify any areas that may be compromised. An RV should be stiff and hard, if it flexes, it is possible there is water damage. Check closely around windows and on the roof.

  1. Appliances

RV appliances are incredibly expensive to replace because of their compact size. If you’re considering a used RV, have the owner or dealer fire up the refrigerator prior to you getting there so you can feel it cool. RV refrigerators can run on electricity, battery or propane. They take about 2 hours to cool down, so before your arrival, ask them to turn it on. Also, while there, test any water heaters and/or other systems that may be important to you.

  1. Canvas

If your trailer or RV has any canvas, look it over closely for mold and staining. Also, if any windows are plastic on your RV, check all zippers and windows for cracks. New canvas tops for a pop-up camper can cost upwards of $3,000.

  1. Floor

The floor of an RV is one of the most common places an RV, camper or trailer is damaged. The floor is typically made up of simple plywood and in older RVs was not protected by anything. Additionally, floors that were protected underneath often time trapped water that entered from above causing the floors to rot. When inspecting a trailer for a rotted floor, get on your hands and knees and push all over the floor looking for flex. If the floor flexes or feels mushy, it is likely rotten and may require replacement. You can also take a small screwdriver or pick and lightly push from underneath (for exposed wood floors only) and see if the material is rotted.

Taking these steps can save you a lot on costly RV repair. We hope you enjoy your camping season. Many memories can be made while camping so we hope we’ve been successful in helping you be an expert when shopping for a used RV.

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.