News from Aspen Claims

Your guide to the Denver underwriting process


February 19, 2020

You are on your way - you’ve found the perfect house, have saved the down payment you need, and are ready to sign on your perfect home. But first, you do have to go through the underwriting process, which might sound intimidating. While it sounds intimidating, and it can be overwhelming, we have compiled your go-to guide.

Wait, what is underwriting? 
Underwriting is more simple then it sounds. What this is, is just the process that lenders take to establish and verify your credit score, income, assets, and additional supporting documents. While it can seem overwhelming to have all of this checked, it doesn’t mean that you won’t get the loan. Thousands of people go through the underwriting process every month - don’t fear!

What’s the process? 
Your underwriter is really just a financial expert - they are the person who will go through all of your finances, assets, and ultimately advise the lender on your ability to handle the loan. There are a few things that the underwriter can, and most likely will do. If any of these happen to you, don’t fret. All of the following are normal occurrences. 
Employment: Your employment history will be verified, including your current employer and longevity. This will demonstrate your reliability when it comes to a steady source of income.
  • Income: When it comes to employment, they’ll need to also verify income. This is to ensure you are able to afford the home you’re purchasing.
  • Credit History: Credit history is used to determine your reliability to make payments on time. This is important to your lender.  
  • Down Payment/Savings: Finally, they’ll want to be sure you have the money to make the formal downpayment! 

Timing
The amount of time underwriting takes does vary person to person, but make it easier on yourself by being responsive to your underwriter, and not making any large purchases. In addition, you should avoid applying for any new credit cards, car loans, or anything else that could hit your credit card report.

We wish you all of the best with your new home! If you need any help during the home buying process, Aspen Claims Service can help. Our large team of nationwide adjusters help with any size claim. Contact Aspen Claims Service today to see how we can help you. 
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How to prepare your home for winter


February 5, 2020

Nothing can deteriorate a home’s value faster than poor maintenance and care - which is especially important during the winter months. Winter care is easy to overlook, but it’s extremely important. If you have an accident during the winter, it can be costly when it comes to your Denver insurance policy. We’ve compiled some of our best Denver home maintenance tips to help you keep your home in tip-top shape.

The HVAC
The dreaded HVAC - there is truly nothing worse than your Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning dying in the middle of winter. In fact - a non-working HVAC in the middle of winter isn’t only inconvenient, it can turn deadly for residents living in the home and cause more issues with your home than you realize. Make sure you take time to…
  • Check filters
  • Schedule an inspection
  • Consider an annual maintenance agreement...if you don’t already have one
  • While the above won’t eliminate all chances of something going wrong with your HVAC system, it can certainly help you catch any long standing issues, or in the case of an annual maintenance agreement it’ll help guarantee you can conduct regular maintenance on your home. 

Exterior Inspection 
Take time to look around the outside of your house. Are there any faults such as caulk that needs re-sealed, or even some rotting wood? It’s important to make sure your exterior is ready to go before the winter months get in full swing. You might have experienced your first snow of the season, but there is still time to re-caulk the exterior or even paint on warmer months.

Interior Maintenance
This one is simple. If you have a wood burning fireplace, make sure you get it professionally cleaned. While it seems like an inconvenient expense, and unnecessary expense, a fireplace that hasn’t been properly cleaned is at risk for a fire. Make sure you have someone come out and do a thorough cleaning.

Also, it’s important to make sure you have tested your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors - particularly if you are planning on having more fires during the winter. The rate of home fires spike during winter months, so be sure to protect yourself. 

Improper care of a home, particularly during the winter can lead to an increase in claims submitted to insurance companies. If you find you are in need of assistance processing claims in Denver with your insurance provider, Aspen Claims Service can help. Our large team of nationwide adjusters help with any size claim. Contact Aspen Claims Service today to see how we can help you. 
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Four ways to protect your home from flood damage


January 22, 2020

There are many things that can cause serious damage to your home, among them flooding. While flooding seems to be a rare occurrence in the winter (and honestly it is) it is quite common in the spring. We’ve compiled our X ways that you can start to do to protect your home from flood damage. We recommend you start budgeting these things out, and even reach out to your insurance agent to upgrade your insurance policy if need be.

Take a look at your water valves
One of the things you can start by doing is to take a look at your water valves. Installing an interior or exterior backflow valve can help keep water at bay. By installing and ensuring you have the right water valves, you can also prevent sewage from backflowing into your system. This is something that can cause massive damage and a major headache.

Spend time outdoors
You’ll need to spend some time outdoors for this one. If you have expensive furniture, grills, etc., that sit outside you’ll want to spend time and anchor them down. This will keep them from floating away in a large flood.

Minor adjustments
If you are looking for something you can do that’ll take less time and cost less, you do have a few options! Take a look at some of our favorite recommendations: 
Purchase a waterproof safe - Waterproof safes are a great place to keep your documents and other important personal belongings.
Prepare a disaster kit - Sure this won’t help you protect your belongings, but it will give you peace of mind when it comes to food, water, and other essential survival tools such as tarps, sleeping bags, matches, and first aid kits.

Last minute adjustments
So you’ve taken all the steps you can to prevent spring flooding...and you are still getting a flood! Here are some things you can do quickly to try to minimize damage:
  • Take all valuable belongings and place them on the highest level of your home. If you live in a ranch style home, put them on top of cabinets/appliances...or a waterproof safe if you have one.
  • Shut off the electricity in your home. 
  • Move rugs, furniture, or other important pieces off the ground - or if they are too large to move elevate them. 

If you find you are in need of assistance processing claims with your insurance provider, Aspen Claims Service can help. Our large team of nationwide adjusters help with any size claim. Contact Aspen Claims Service today to see how we can help you. 
 
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The winter claims you need to be ready for


January 15, 2020

Cold weather is here, and while that means a lot of fun in the snow...it can also mean some pretty serious issues for your home. While you are enjoying your snow days and time with family, be sure that you keep an eye out for some of the house issues that can make a big dent in your checkbook and cause issues with your insurance claims. We have compiled the most common claims you need to be on the lookout for this winter.

Freezing Pipes
This is a big one, and something that can happen before you know it. If you don’t treat your pipes properly, water within the pipes can get stuck and result in freezing...and even bursting. Bursting pipes can result in costly damages, and big headaches. Before a big freeze, make sure you’ve shut off and emptied your outdoor pipes. When it comes to freezing temperatures, turn all indoor pipes slightly on (so that a small stream is coming out) so that it keeps the water flowing.

House Fires
Enjoying a fire in your fireplace during the colder months? We love a good fire, but house fires are more common in the winter months. While fireplaces are certainly a big contributor, house fires can spark from outdated electrical systems, space heaters, and bad ductwork. If you have an older house, be sure you get your systems inspected and never leave a fire unattended.

Collisions
Icy road conditions can make driving difficult, and even if you are being extremely careful you can’t always see the path of black ice just around the corner. While driving, make sure you have an emergency supply kit in your car and take extra care while driving around turns.

Roof Failures
One of the most common claims during the winter is due to roof failures. Accumulations of snow and ice put extra weight on the roof, and depending on temperature fluctuations this can severely damage your roof and cause a dangerous situation. Make sure to keep an eye on snow accumulation, and if needed get some assistance with removing snow from the top of your roof.

If you find you are in need of assistance processing claims with your insurance provider, Aspen Claims Service can help. Our large team of nationwide adjusters help with any size claim. Contact Aspen Claims Service today to see how we can help you. 
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Claims Adjusters Advice to Prevent Freezing Pipes


January 10, 2020

In late January 2019, more than 90 million Americans in the north and Midwest braced themselves for frigid temperatures that haven’t been seen in decades due to the Polar Vortex.  January is here again, along with the snow and cold.  When temperatures are low, wind chills can be even worse. These dangerous temperatures not only had an impact on human lives but also their homes including broken heaters and frozen pipes. As a homeowner or property owner, it is crucial to know what to do in temperatures as frigid as have been recently seen. Take a few pointers from claims adjusters in Denver on how to ensure the safety of homes during freezing weather conditions. 

Why Pipes Freeze
As temperatures dip below freezing, it puts pipes in a home at risk of freezing—especially pipes that are poorly insulated. When water in a pipe freezes, it expands. Eventually, there comes a time when the pipe gives and bursts, becoming a headache and hassle for homeowners. While most common in pipes near the outer walls of a home, or with little or failing insulation, it can happen anywhere. And freezing pipes is not something only homeowners that experience traditional winters need to worry about. Anytime temperatures fall at or below around 20 degrees, pipes can run the risk of freezing. During periods with these cold temperatures, it is essential to learn how to tell if you have a burst pipe in your house. 

Best Practices
  • Homeowners and property owners can take advantage of some best practices to help prevent pipes from freezing. 
  • Set proper indoor temperature: Keep the home set at a warm temperature. If you are not home, make sure the house will at least be 55 degrees or higher. 
  • Open cabinet doors: Well-circulated rooms help keep warm air around pipes. Circulation is important for kitchens, bathroom and other areas with pipes. If you have pipes in a garage, be sure to keep the door closed to reduce chances outdoor temperatures will make a negative impact. 
  • Leave a small drip of water going from a sink: On a sink that is on an outside wall of the home, leave a faucet on a small drip. It will help remove some of the pressure in the pipe that leads to ruptures. 
  • Invest in insulation for pipelines: Homeowners can purchase insulation for pipes, such as sleeves or heat tape that help keep pipes from getting too cold. Insulation, in general, helps to keep pipes from freezing, as well as a variety of other costly issues. If your home is poorly insulated, consider investing to improve them. 

In weather as treacherously cold as Polar Vortex temperatures, it could lead to an increase in claims to your insurance company. If you find your staff with a higher call volume than you can handle, Aspen Claims Service can help. Our large team of nationwide adjusters help with any size claim. Contact Aspen Claims Service today to see how we can help you. 
 
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