How to Save Money in the Winter with Fall Home Prep

The winter months are some of the most expensive in Evergreen Park, IL due to the amount of energy you use to heat the house. At Martin Insurance Team, we want to help reduce those bills while ensuring your home is comfortable throughout the year. By performing a handful of these monthly saving fall prep tips, you’ll have your home ready for whatever mother nature has to throw at you. 

Check for Cracks

Search the home, around window and door frames plus around the foundation for any possible cracks you might have. Fill in these areas with caulk or sealant (depending on where the crack is) in order to reduce energy loss through these areas. It will have a direct impact on the overall cost of running the heat in your home. 

Programmable Thermostat

If you have not upgraded to a programmable thermostat (or better yet, a WiFi controlled thermostat), now is the time. This way, you can program the thermostat to reduce heat when you’re gone at work. Doing so helps you save a considerable amount of money. After all, there is no reason to pay an arm and a leg to heat your home when nobody is around. 

Prep the Windows

More heat energy is lost through your windows than anywhere else in the home. Adding an additional layer of protection around the windows can help with your energy bills. Specially designed plastic wrap can attach to the windows with the air of heat (through a hair dryer). It acts like another window pane, so you should see a noticeable difference in energy bills.

HVAC Inspection

Have your HVAC system inspected and cleaned out. The pros will tighten everything up and clean out the vents, which reduces energy usage. 

Is Your Vehicle Ready for Winter?

Wintertime in Evergreen Park, IL can get very cold.  While you may know the steps to take to prepare your home and yard for the colder weather, did you know that your car needs to be winterized too?  At Martin Insurance Team, we want all our clients to be well-informed and protected while driving this winter. Use these tips to make sure that your vehicle is prepared to handle the cold weather this season.

Tips to Winterize Your Car

If you have never heard of “winterizing” your car, it means that you perform regular maintenance on it each winter.  This ensures it can handle the colder weather and potentially hazardous driving conditions of winter. You can do much of this yourself, or hire a mechanic to take care of it for you. 

Tip #1: Make sure that your thermostat works and that the heater and defroster are both fully functional.  You don’t want to be caught in the cold without them working.

Tip #2: Winter road conditions can be treacherous.  Make sure that your tires have plenty of tread to handle them.  If not, replace with winter tires or all-weather tires.

Tip #3: Keep your gas tank full. While this is not always possible, keep it at the full level as much as you can because a full tank of gas can help to keep the fuel line from freezing when it gets really cold outside.

Tip #4: Check antifreeze levels. Adequate levels of antifreeze will help to prevent freezing.

Remember to always check the weather in Evergreen Park, IL and anywhere else you are going before you head out the door.  And if you need us, give us a call. Your friendly agents at Martin Insurance Team are here and ready to help.  

Signs of Mold in a Home

Having mold in your home can be dangerous to your health. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not know what the signs are that mold is present. If you do suspect you have mold, or know you have mold, you will want to contact your homeowner’s insurance company to find out if mold is covered and contact a professional to remove the mold. Here are a few signs mold may be present in your home in Evergreen, Park, IL.

Constant Allergy Symptoms

One of the signs that mold may be present in your home is you or a family member always suffering from allergy symptoms. It is rare that the same allergen is blowing around outdoors year round. If your symptoms persist year round, it is more likely to be something in your home, like mold, causing the problem.

A Musty or Mildew Odor

There is a difference between mold and mildew. However, these two grow in similar environments. They both love dark, damp areas and thrive in them. If you smell a musty or mildew-like odor, there is a strong possibility mildew and potentially mold, is growing in your home.

You See Small Amounts of Mold

You may see a small amount of mold on the baseboards of your home or in the corner of a wall. If there are small amounts visible, there are likely huge amounts not visible. Call in a professional if you notice any mold growing in your home to find out how extensive the issue may be.

If you are looking to purchase a new homeowner’s insurance policy, or want to change insurance companies in Evergreen Park, IL, give Martin Insurance Team a call today. We can help you with all of your homeowner’s insurance needs, including ensuring your home is covered if mold pops up.

Are you ready for the next phase in life?

Life is full of phases, and each new phase bring new excitements, rewards, and challenges. When you enter a new phase of life, chances are that you adapt your life to meet what is coming. When you get a new job, your priorities change to accommodate your career goals. When you get married or have children, your long-term goals change to include your family. When you retire, your focus may change to do some of the things you’ve been putting off.

When you move into a new phase of life, it’s important to make sure that whatever protection measures you have in place can be changed to meet the new needs of your life and your family. When you get married and have children, you have additional people to care for. When you retire, you don’t have the same income providing for your financial needs. By changing what protections you have in place as you prepare to enter a new phase, you can be sure that you and your family will be provided for in any situation that may occur.

Life insurance is one of the protections that has to change when your family needs change. Just because you have life insurance doesn’t mean it meets your family’s needs at every phase of life. As you enter each new phase of life, it’s important to check that your life insurance policy will protect your family in the event the unexpected happens. That way, no matter where you are in life, you will have the right protections in place.

For more information about getting life insurance to meet the needs of your current phase of life, contact a local agent at the Martin Insurance Team today.

How to Safeguard Your Business Property

Smart business owners will take whatever measures necessary to safeguard their business property. Lax security can pose a risk of theft or vandalism, costing you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars’ worth of damage or loss. By taking the following precautions, you can increase the security and safety of your business property.

Maintain Business Premises

Regular maintenance and repairs will keep your building in good shape, reducing the risk of break-ins, fire or electrical hazards that can compromise your safety. Your business environment should be free of clutter and well maintained to reduce the risk of accidents. Plumbing and heating facilities should be up to par and there should be no risk of water leakage. Good work conditions will increase productivity while safeguarding the safety of employees.

Improve Security

A high security standard will help keep your business safe from theft and vandalism. Hiring security guards can help keep undesirable people at bay. Security personnel can monitor suspicious activity as well as check visitors as they enter and exit your premises.

At closing time, security personnel can check windows and doors to ensure they are locked up tight. Installing an alarm system can also help deter what would be intruders at night.  

Follow Fire Safety Standards

To protect your business from fire, make sure all employees follow your fire safety standards to include no smoking rules. Have someone check smoke alarms, fires extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors on a regular basis to make sure this equipment is working properly. Your business should also have clearly defined fire escape routes to help people escape safely in the event of a fire.

By obtaining commercial insurance coverage from Martin Insurance Team, you gain valuable protection for your business property. Contact us today to see how we can meet your business insurance needs.

Why Insurance is a Necessary Investment

When it comes to having a family and career, we often think about our long-term goals alongside our short-term ones. However, often some of the most essential of needs are overlooked. One of these is insurance.

So, why is insurance an important investment for you, your family, your business or all of the above? Insurance is a protection that serves as a source of income in the event that you are hurt or suffer an accidental death and can cover your home, car or business in the case of different types of damage that may occur. Depending on what type of insurance you are purchasing, each serves a different purpose.

Most Common Types of Insurance and Their Purposes

Life Insurance

Life insurance covers your family in the event of your death. It can pay for funeral expenses at the time of your death and should serve as income to cover the loss that your death would create. Often, the payout from life insurance policies is initially used to pay off outstanding debts and expenses. Thus, life insurance policies should cover at least ten times your income. I.e.. if your income is $50,000 annually, your policy should be $500,000.

Commercial Insurance

A commercial insurance policy is a protection for your business and your company. Dependent on the size and type of business that you run, a commercial insurance policy may be required by law. Your policy will cover damage to your business in case of a natural disaster like fire, flooding or even burglary. Further, it may cover disability insurance for your employees. The most type of common commercial insurance is a general liability policy.

Home Insurance

The most common general homeowner’s insurance policy will cover natural disasters. Some of these include fire, rain, vandalism, burglary, lightning and hail. Often, flooding and earthquakes is excluded from a general policy. Thus, additional protection will need to be purchased alongside the general policy to assure that you are covered for those events.

No matter what type of insurance policy you are seeking, Martin Insurance Team can help get you covered. Contact us for a free quote and evaluation of your insurance needs today!

What a Lack of Home Insurance During the Winter can Cause

Some states experience harsher winters than others. Generally, if you live in the Northeast or the Midwest, you can expect to take a greater beating as far as winter weather goes. This definitely is the case for residents of Evergreen Park, IL and neighboring cities who have grown accustomed to dealing with the unfortunate winter weather, whether these efforts are based around protecting their equipment from rust, properly insulating their home from the cold weather, or preparing their property for the potential risks of slips and falls. Unfortunately, no matter how prepared a person may think they are, we at Martin Insurance Team knows that it is never going to be 100% perfect.

In the event that an unfortunate incident occurs in spite of all of the efforts put towards avoiding such a thing from happening, the last thing in the world you want to have happen is for you to be caught with your pants down. If you experienced damage to your furniture or your home’s woodwork from the dry weather, you will have to pay out of pocket in order to get these things fixed or, even worse, replaced. This also applies to things like fencing, tool sheds, and the like. As a bonus, if your home needs to be repaired (such as if a tree were to fall on it), your plan may cover the living expenses you incur during the repair. Worse yet is to have an injury occur on your property; if you are uninsured, you may find that you are stuck with a lot of bills. Medical bills, paying for the person’s lost income, etc.

Martin Insurance Team can get you a good selection of insurance plans that suit your budgetary and general needs in minutes, so come seek our assistance before it’s too late.

3 Reasons Why You Should Review Your Commercial Insurance Annually

When you live in Evergreen Park, IL, it is important to be a responsible business owner. Commercial insurance is a necessity, and there are multiple reasons why you want to review your policy on an annual basis.As your business grows, there may be the need to obtain additional types of commercial insurance. When you first started, for example, you may not have any commercial vehicles. However, you may obtain vehicles during the second or third year of business – and these need to have commercial insurance over them.

Additionally, insurance companies may offer new and different types of coverage each year, which can provide you with additional financial protection for your business.

Increase Coverage

There may be the desire to increase coverage in one area or another. For example, if you have grown considerably and you are doing more business than ever, you may want to increase liability coverage. This way, you are less likely to pay out-of-pocket in the event that someone sues you or injures themselves on your property.

Coverage can be added in a variety of areas. Particularly if you don’t have an umbrella policy, you may want to increase coverage, and it may not be as expensive per month as you initially think.

Obtain a Better Price

You should always want to pay the lowest premium possible. The only way to do this is to explore the commercial insurance costs annually. There may be new discounts that you are eligible for. Costs can vary from insurance company to company, too, and it can be beneficial to work with an insurance agent who will obtain quotes for you and help with the comparison process.

At the Martin Insurance team, we can help to review your commercial insurance to ensure you are getting the right coverage at the right price.



What type of motorcycle insurance is best for you?

Your motorcycle is one of your most prized possessions.  That’s why it’s crucial that you take steps to protect it as much as possible.  While you can’t avoid accidents, however, you can make an investment in motorcycle insurance.  Deciding what type and how much coverage you need can be tricky, though.  To figure out how much you need, ask yourself these questions.

  1. What would I do if I couldn’t ride my motorcycle?  For some people losing their bike would be absolutely devastating.  It would mean that they couldn’t get to work or do the things they love.  If that sounds like you, then you need to make sure to get a comprehensive policy that protects you against practically any scenario.
  2. Do you still have payments on your bike?  If you have a motorcycle loan, then your loan company may require you to carry insurance that will cover any accidental or intentional damage or theft.  At the very least, you’ll want a collision policy that will get your bike repaired after an accident.
  3. Can you afford to repair your bike yourself?  If you are in an accident, can you afford to make repairs on your own?  If doing so would be a big financial burden, then you might want to consider a comprehensive and/or uninsured motorist policy.  This coverage would provide funds so that you could make repairs or replace your motorcycle.

If you live in the Evergreen Park, IL area and you need to get motorcycle insurance, call the agents at Martin Insurance Team.  They have years of experience helping people find the right motorcycle policy.

5 Tips for Choosing Home Insurance in Evergreen Park

Without sitting down with a magnifying glass to read over pages and pages of the fine print on home insurance, it may seem like there aren’t a lot of resources to turn to when you want to buy a policy. It can often come down to the carrier you choose, but there are also a few things to consider before you start the process. 

1. It’s What’s Inside that Counts 

Well, that’s not exactly true. Obviously, the outside of the building matters too, but people often don’t realize that their expensive possessions may not be covered under their policy, especially if that policy wasn’t updated after you bought that new computer or TV. 

2.Start Talking About the Details 

Asking questions is absolutely pivotal in finding the right coverage, and the more detailed, the better. Even if you never experience the situation you inquire about, you’re more likely to feel prepared about what could happen. 

3. Weather or Not 

Earthquakes in Illinois is not necessarily on everyone’s mind, but stranger things have been known to happen. Many weather events like earthquakes and flooding aren’t covered under standard policy terms, making homeowners surprised when they call for help. Find out your odds of experimenting a weather-related emergency, so you at least understand the terms. 

4. Getting More Than You Need

People with tight budgets may think they’re getting away with something when they choose the cheapest plan, but few are able to cope when they have the bare minimum of support after a disaster. 

5. Finding a Trustworthy Source 

You need someone you can actually talk to in order to make any of the above happen. Evergreen has Martin Insurance Team, so give us a call if you need some help with choosing the right policy.