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Encompass® Insurance Insights & Articles

Front of home decorated with pumpkins.
Creating Autumn Curb Appeal for Your Home

Elevate your home's autumn charm with these tips for creating vibrant curb appeal. Welcome the season with style and get your home ready for cooler weather.

Hand gripping the last rung on a ladder leading to an open attic
How To Get a Bat Out of Your House Safely

Learn how to get rid of bats in the attic or elsewhere in your house as you protect your family and property.

Person uncovering house key under rock.
Top Burglar-Proof Ways To Hide a Key

To hide a key outside, consider concealing it in a household object, fake rock, or another spot a burglar is unlikely to find.

Man raking leaves in backyard.
Preparing for the Changing Season as a Homeowner in Fall

How can you improve your curb appeal, increase the value of your investment, and reduce unnecessary costs? Read these homeowner tips to learn more.

Overhead view of a man mowing the grass.
Safety Tips When Mowing Your Lawn

Mowing the lawn is such a basic chore that people sometimes overlook the fact it can be dangerous. Here are some tips to stay safe.

Person's finger touching the number keypad on safe lockbox.
What Kind of Documents Should You Keep in a Safe?

Do you have important documents like your birth certificate lying around? You need to protect it and other documents by putting them in a safe.

Women searching her purse near a locked door.
What To Do If You're Locked Out of Your House

Learn a few tips that help you open a locked door and safely get into your house even if you forget or lose your keys.

Person's hand plugging cord into a surge protector outlets.
What Is a Power Surge and What Is Its Impact on Electronics?

Power surges can destroy electronic devices in an instant. Learn what causes them and how to keep your devices safe.

Oil streak on driveway coming from car.
Removing Oil Stains From the Driveway

From cat litter to baking soda to specialty degreasing products, here's a look at how to remove oil stains from your driveway.

View of solar panels on the roof of a house with the sun glare in the distance.
The Pros and Cons of Installing Solar Panels on Your Home

Are residential solar panel systems worth the cost? Read on to see the top pros and cons of installing solar panels on your home.

Contractor with a hard hat inspecting the siding of a home.
Home Siding Tips: Materials, Maintenance, and More

Home siding is your first line of defense against anything from sun to hail. This guide maps out what you should know before installing.

Father and son having fun cleaning the kitchen counter.
Establishing a Cleaning Routine at Home: Your Housekeeping Checklist

Simple steps for an effective daily cleaning routine and weekly housekeeping checklist.

View of a child's clean bedroom.
6 Budget-Friendly Tips for Updating a Kid's Room

Budget-friendly tips for updating a kid's room.

A professional cleaner grabbing leaves from a home gutter.
A Fall Cleaning Checklist Protects Your Home This Winter

Make time this fall to prepare your home for winter weather. Use a fall cleaning checklist to complete essential tasks inside and outside.

Section of a dark hardwood floor with a few scratches.
My Hardwood Floor Is Scratched - What Should I Do?

From a gentle cleaning to a light sanding to a full-blown refinishing, there are several methods to removing scratches from hardwood floors.

Woman holding a handheld drill while viewing instructions for a wooden box.
Tools You Need When Renting an Apartment

Renting an apartment? Then you'll probably face several DIY projects. Here are the most important tools you need to have in your apartment toolkit.

Money bag labeled Utilities positioned next wooden cut out houses on top of a calculator.
Tips to Reduce Your Monthly Energy and Water Bills

Making a few changes and adjustments could help you save considerably on your energy and water bills.

Sprinkler watering the grass.
5 Ways To Cultivate a Beautiful, Lush and Healthy Lawn

Learn how to cultivate, groom and maintain a healthy lawn that boosts your property's curb appeal and supports your family's fun.

Light from a candle, two flashlights, and an electric lantern surround emergency supplies.
Supplies to Have on Hand for a Power Outage

Are you prepared for a power outage? Here is a blackout supply kit checklist of things to keep on hand in case of a blackout.

Small wooden cutout house next to a calculator.
Home Selling

If you're considering selling your house, ask yourself these 5 questions before you make a decision about putting your home on the market.

White dresser next to an open door leading to a bed room.
How to Prevent Door Drafts

It's estimated that drafty doors can increase your energy bills in the winter by up to 20 percent. Here's how to stop door drafts.

Woman decorating a room in a apartment.
Quick Ways to Freshen Up a Rental Property

You want your rental house to feel like home, but you don't want to violate your lease. Here's how to add that personal touch.

Kid's shoes on a hopscotch drawn board.
Driveway Games for You and Your Kids

From hopscotch to four square, learn the rules to classic sidewalk and driveway games kids will love.

Woman scrapping leftover vegetables into a compost bin
Composting at Home

Home composting offers benefits, from a smaller waste stream to a reduced carbon footprint. Here's how to turn spoils into soil.

Elderly couple in their kitchen looking over paperwork with an agent.
Pros/Cons of Downsizing Your Home

Thinking of downsizing? Here are the pros and cons, benefits and disadvantages, of trading your home for a smaller model.

Water forming on the corner of a window.
Sealing Your Home Against Air Drafts

Easy steps for identifying, locating and sealing your home against air drafts, including drafts around windows and doors.

Woman holding a basket of three small plants.
How to Start an Indoor Garden

How to start an indoor herb garden and indoor vegetable garden: easy tips for indoor gardening success.

A man and woman cleaning in the kitchen.
Spring Cleaning Checklist for Your Home

Get your home ready for spring with our spring cleaning checklist, organization tips, and DIY cleaning product tips.

Storage containers in a pantry cabinet.
4 Pantry Organizing Mistakes You Don't Want to Make

Are you making these mistakes when you reorganize the pantry? Save yourself some time and money with a better food storage system.

Mother on the couch reading to her son.
Nighttime Safety Checklist

Nighttime safety checklist to reduce the risk of burglary and fire. Tips to keep your home safe at night.

A home security camera.
Home Safety Devices: Protecting Your Home and Loved Ones

Alarm systems, doorbell cameras, smoke detectors, and other devices to keep your house and loved ones safe.

Clean bedroom.
5 Ways to Freshen Up Your Home in the New Year

Inexpensive design trends and staging secrets to freshen up your home for the new year, no major remodel required.

People discussing paperwork.
Annual Insurance Review: Coverage Considerations

Don't assume last year's insurance coverage will still meet your current needs. How to review and update your home insurance and auto insurance policies.

Person shoveling snow.
Tips for Shoveling Snow Safely

Snow shoveling safety tips to reduce the risk for injury, back pain and heart attack. Learn the proper form and how to stay safe.

View of a kitchen with nice appliances.
Home Appliances — Repair or Replace?

The appliance repair vs. replacement dilemma is one every homeowner faces eventually. Learn how to decide which option is right for you.

Cleaning product ingredients.
Tips for DIY Cleaning Products

DIY cleaning recipes for kitchen cleaning, all-purpose cleaners, garbage disposal deodorizer, stainless steel cleaner and the best homemade cleaners that actually work.

Family in kitchen.
Five Home Safety Tips for Children

With more children at home full-time, it's important to create a safe environment. Six tips keep your children safe in every room of your home.

Mother spraying bug spray on her child.
Shoo, Fly: How to Get Rid of Mosquitos, Flies and Pesky Insects

Don't let flies, mosquitos, ticks and other annoying insects ruin your summer fun. These bug-banishing tips will help keep your yard insect-free.

House collage made of home improvement tools and equipment.
Thinking of home renovations? Know and understand the costs behind even small touch ups

The real cost of small home renovations: how to estimate expenses and budget for kitchen and bathroom upgrades and DIY projects.

Kitchen view of a townhome.
Before Renting Your Townhome

If you're considering renting out a house or townhouse, you may want to read these suggestions before doing so. These tips can help you be better prepared to be a good landlord to your tenants.

Woman cleaning her microwave.
Ready Your New Home with a Thorough Cleaning Before Move-In

Whether you're moving into a new rental home or buying a new house, someone has probably lived there before you. Enjoy a fresh, clean start with these steps.

Dad lifting up his daughter in the air with mom sits near them.
Why Hazard Coverage is an Important Part of Your Homeowners Insurance Policy

Is homeowner's insurance the same as hazard insurance? Learn about the differences, types of hazard coverage and what to ask your independent agent.

A view of a row of houses.
Home Buying: Should You Buy a Single-Family Home or a Condo?

In the market for a new home? Learn what the pros and cons are of buying a single-family home or a condo, so you can make an informed decision.

A man looking on his smartphone for apartments available to rent.
Renting Checklist

Refer to this handy apartment checklist to find a safe, well-maintained rental property that will match your lifestyle and meet your needs.

Three model homes stacked on top of coins.
Top Tips to Help You Save Money for Your First Home

Looking to buy your first house? Start saving now with these top tips. They prepare you to achieve your goal of becoming a successful homebuyer.

Flooding in the laundry room area.
Navigating the Unpleasant Waters of a Sewer Backup

A sewer backup is an often unexpected and always unwelcome event. Learn what causes a sewer backup and what you should do if you're faced with one.

View of kitchen's stove-top area.
DIY Staging Tips to Help Sell Your Home

6 home staging DIY tips to help sell your home faster and save some money.

Man holding a dryer's full lint tray.
Preventing Dryer Fire

Keep in mind these 4 tips to help prevent a dryer fire in your home.

Man inspecting a dryer's lint tray area.
Tips for Better Washer/Dryer Maintenance

Your washer and dryer will function better when it's well-maintained. To keep your home and family safe, here a few maintenance tips to optimize performance.

A couple hold blue buckets under water leaks in the ceiling.
How to Minimize the Risk for Water Damage to Your Home

Reduce your risk for water damage to your home or basement with these tips, including how to inspect your roof, maintain your sump pump and reduce the risk for frozen pipes.

Couple sitting on the couch watching their daughter on the floor playing.
Radon Prevention and Protection

Radon is a colorless, odorless and radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. Encompass explains how to help protect yourself and your family from its effects.

A view of unorganized closet.
8 Tips To Help Rid Your Closet of Clutter

Has your hall closet become a messy multipurpose storage unit? Take the clutter out with these quick and simple closet organization tips.

Man arming his home security through his smartphone.
6 Ways to Protect Your Home While You're on Vacation

Home burglaries cost Americans billions of dollars in property losses each year. Learn six ways to protect your home while you're traveling

A woman sitting in her couch smelling her cup of tea.
Should I Get a Humidifier for the Winter Months?

A humidifier can offer an effective and affordable solution if the relative humidity level inside your home is too dry for comfort during the winter.

A street sign for storm warning.
Quick Tips to Help Prepare your Car and Home for the Unexpected

Severe weather events can adversely affect your home and vehicle. These tips can help you prepare your property so you can ride out the storm safely.

A lockbox open showing money and passports.
Fireproof Safes: 5 Things to Know Before You Buy

How to choose the right fireproof safe or lockbox to store important documents and external drives.

A For Rent sign posted out a residence.
12 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Rental Property

When managed properly, rental properties can be a lucrative long-term form of income. Encompass gives 12 tips for getting the most out of your rental property.

A woman sitting a chair reading a book near her house plant.
Greening Your Home: How to Choose the Right Houseplants

Which houseplants don't need to be watered? Which houseplants are toxic to pets? How to choose the right houseplants for your home.

A couple planning a DIY project for their kitchen.
Home Improvement: DIY or Hire a Professional Contractor?

Home improvement projects can be exciting and help you get the look you've always wanted. But which projects are safe to DIY and which are better left to the professionals?

A family packing their valuables in moving boxes.
7 Tips to Prepare for a Move

Moving into a new home can be one of life's most stressful events. Check out these 7 tips to help you and your family have an easier moving experience.

A couple walking up to a rented property.
How to Prepare Your Home for Renting

Are you considering renting out your abode through a home-sharing website? Check out these tips on prepping your home to help guests have a comfortable stay.

The roof of a home with some damaged areas.
How to Tell if You Need a New Roof

Your roof protects one of your biggest investments — your home. Learn how to recognize signs that might tell you when it's time to get a new roof.

A woman with headphones on mopping hardwood floors.
Making a Fresh Start: 6 Things to do Before Moving in to Your New Home

Before you unload the moving truck, take advantage of your empty home by replacing certain items and giving other areas a deep-clean.

Storm clouds looming over houses.
The Difference Between a Storm Watch and Storm Warning

Learning the indicators of a storm watch compared to a storm warning can help you and your family be prepared to take action should dangerous weather conditions develop.

Exterminator examining a house with the homeowner.
Pest Control for Your Home

All homeowners need to think about pest control for the safety of their family. Take these steps to make your home less inviting to pests, and know when it's time to hire a professional service.

A woman inspecting the kitchen.
House Hunting Checklist for Buyers and Renters

Looking for a new home can bring a host of unknowns. Use this checklist to make sure you ask the right questions before signing on the dotted line.

A fence wrapped around home.
Key Considerations When Installing a Fence at Home

If you're thinking about building your own fence, there's a lot of factors to consider including which material you're going to use, what equipment you need and maintenance required down the road.

Home for sell sign outside a property.
Trends to Consider When Selling Your Home

See which trends can give you the most bang for your buck when looking to sell your home.

A shop vac hose in the water of a flooded floor.
How Sump Pumps Help Keep Your Basement Dry

Learn how a sump pump works, along with essential maintenance tips will help keep your pump functioning smoothly and help prevent unexpected flooding in your home.

A woman looking at mold damage on the wall.
Found Mold in Your Home? Now What?

For most homeowners, finding mold can be an unexpected surprise. If you spot mold in your house, here are the steps to take to help ensure it's removed swiftly and safely.

A person plugging in an device into the wall outlet.
Electrical Safety Tips for Your Home

Don't let winter sneak up on you without taking care of these vital winterizing household tasks first.

Long ice shards hanging from the side of a roof.
How to Prevent Melting Snow From Damaging Your Home

Melting snow can wreak havoc on your home. These seven tips can help you proactively address any potential issues and prevent damage to your property.

A person doing maintenance on their water heater.
Safety and Maintenance for Your Water Heater

If you have an electric, oil-fired or gas-fired storage tank water heater, observe these maintenance requirements to help it operate safely and effectively.

A finger pushing the button on a CO2 home detector.
Preventing Carbon Monoxide in Your Home

Carbon monoxide is the toxic byproduct of the combustion of fuels such as wood and gasoline. These tips can help you prevent carbon monoxide in your home.

Couple sitting near their fireplace.
Top 5 Tips to Winterize Your Home

Unsafe or malfunctioning electrical equipment in the home can cause extensive property damage and result in severe injuries. Learn how to protect those you love.

A fire extinguisher near an exit doorway.
Operating a Fire Extinguisher

Learn the PASS method to operate a home fire extinguisher, which fire extinguisher to choose for your home, and how to maintain home fire extinguishers.

A lady holding a battery and smoke detector in both hands.
National Fire Safety Week: Fire Prevention at Home

Take steps now to protect your home and your family from residential fires. These home fire prevention tips will help you prepare for National Fire Safety Week.

A person unlocking the door with their mobile phone.
The Pros and Cons of Smart Home Technology

With smart home technology, all of these scenarios are possible. If you're interested in investing in this type of technology, it's important to be aware of the pros and cons.

A woman receiving her new condo home keys.
What You Should Know Before Buying a Condo

From the number of cabinets in the kitchen to how many owners live in the complex, be sure to check these quick tips to help you get started.

A man standing on a ladder inspects his roof.
How to Keep Your Roof in Good Shape

Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home, as it protects the structure of your house and everything inside against the elements. It's also a big-ticket item that requires a significant investment to replace.

hail damage.
Hail Damage

What should you do if a severe hailstorm damages your home or car? Hail can be scary, but these simple tips will help guide you through the aftermath of the storm.

kids in pool.
Pool Safety Tips

Splashing in the pool on a hot summer's day is refreshing and fun. These tips will help the whole family stay safe this summer!

yard tools.
Organizing your Garage

Is your garage so full of stuff that you can't park your vehicle in it or retrieve the items you need? Reclaim the garage with this five-step organization plan.

installing windows.
Updating Your Home: Window Check

Upgrading your home's windows is a great way to lower energy costs, increase market value, qualify for insurance discounts, and protect your property

Hurricane-Prep Tips

Prepare for a big storm before it hits. These hurricane-prep tips will help keep you, your family, and your home safe when a storm is on the way.

daughter and mother.
Insurance Checkup: College Kids Return Home

Make sure to have the right insurance coverage for your college graduate returning home. Conduct an insurance review now.

flooded road.
Flood Safety Tips: What to Do Before, During, and After a Flood

Unfortunately, floods can cause a lot of material damage and even place human lives at risk. Learn about flood safety before, during, and after a flood.

Storm Preparation Tips

Storms occur during every season, no matter where you live. Keep these seven tips in mind to be prepared before the storm hits.

Backup generator.
Power in a Pinch: Emergency Generator Maintenance Tips

Power outage? Be sure your backup generator is ready for use with these maintenance tips.

kids playing.
Earth Day: Being Green in Your Home

For this year's Earth Day, why not become greener in your own home? Learn how to reduce plastic waste, use green products and dispose of organic waste.

What to consider when bringing home a new pet

Key considerations before bringing a new pet home, including how to introduce your new pet to children or other animals.

broken furnace.
What to Do If Your Furnace Breaks

Furnace trouble in freezing weather can cause serious problems for homeowners. This article gives steps to follow if your furnace fails this winter.

family playing inside of home.
Eight Things to Do When You're Stuck at Home During a Winter Storm

Winter's not over, so there still are days when you're stuck at home. These eight ideas can stop you from getting bored or cabin fever when you're stuck inside.

Home Checklist for new year

Give your home a fresh start this New Year with six home maintenance and security tasks.

Frozen Pipes

5 tips to reduce your risk for water damage from frozen pipes and what to do if your pipes freeze but haven't burst yet.

National Child Safety and Prevention Month

National Child Safety and Protection Month is in November. This post details some savvy childproofing tips for your home and auto.

Top Safety Tips when Hosting Holiday Parties

Your holiday party should be epic... and safe. These tips will help you host a memorable and safe holiday party to celebrate the season.

Tombstone Vandalism: Not a Halloween Prank

Tombstone vandalism is more common than people realize. Learn what to do if your loved one's gravesite is a victim and if homeowner's insurance can help.

5 Surprising Signs You're at Risk for Home Burglary

It's Crime Prevention Month: Reduce your risk for a home burglary with five essential home safety tips.

What You Need to Know Before Renting a Home

Renting the ideal property can be an exciting experience, but it requires due diligence. Read this post to learn how to get a great deal that can help protect your assets.

Big Ticket Household Items: How Long Do They Last?

Knowing precisely when to replace a roof or windows isn't always easy. To help, read this useful guide on the lifespans of common "big-ticket" household items.

Hiring Help Around the House.
Insurance Considerations When Hiring Help Around the House

If you're a homeowner, chances are that at one point or another you will hire someone to do work in or around your home. What would you do if a worker caused damage to your home?

Kitchen Remodel Trends.
Kitchen Remodel Trends: Maximizing Your Renovation Investment

Top kitchen remodel trends and cost considerations to maximize the value of your kitchen renovation.

Smart Childproofing Tips for National Home Safety Month

Household accidents are one of the chief causes of serious childhood injury. This post explains how to take a comprehensive approach to childproofing your home.

Swimming pool.
5 Essential Pool Safety Tips

Helpful pool safety tips to consider.

living room.
Home Renovations Under $5,000 That Could Make a Big Impact

Home renovations don't have to break the bank to have a big impact. These under $5,000 renovations could make a big difference and add value to your home.

living room.
Top 5 Tips for Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor

Dreaming of a new kitchen or a larger master suite? Ready to finally get rid of that outdated bathroom or complete your basement renovation? These tips will help you get started in finding a contractor for your renovation needs.

Home Energy Appliance Face-off

Are you frustrated by high energy bills? While it's natural to blame heating and cooling costs for your high bills, the culprit could actually be your older home appliances. Could an appliance upgrade save you money?

A tiny house.
Considerations Before Moving Into a Tiny House

Dreaming about a simpler life in a tiny home? Keep these considerations in mind.

A remodeled bathroom.
Upgrade your Bathroom Before Selling Your Home — Helpful Tips

This article discusses how bathroom improvements can help sell your home and lists four suggestions for upgrading your bathroom including replacing the vanity and doing a full upgrade.

winter tips
Home Maintenance Tips for Winter

Ice damage can wreak havoc in your home's walls. Learn how to stop ice dams from forming and check if your homeowner's insurance covers ice dam damage.

Holiday Presents.
7 Tips to Freshen Up Your Home After the Holidays

Winter doldrums got you down? These seven tips can help you beat cabin fever while freshening up your home post-holidays.

Holiday Presents.
Holiday Safety Tips

There's a lot that goes into preparing your home for the holidays, but we have you covered. Check out our tips on how to make sure your home is ready for all your festivities!

Home Maintenance Checklist: Keeping Your Home Healthy & Safe

From roof to basement, keeping your house's maintenance up-to-date means a healthier, safer home. This seasonal home maintenance checklist will help get you started!

break in.
10 Home Burglary & Auto Theft Prevention Tips

Home burglaries and auto thefts cost Americans thousands of dollars each year. Learn how you can keep your home and car more secure.

Smart Home, Connected Home: The Latest Tech to Improve Your House

Is your home connected? The latest technology gadgets are designed to help make your home smarter, safer and better.

Are You Ready To Purchase A Second Home?

There are both pros and cons to owning a second home. To help you make the best decision before purchasing your second home, check out some helpful tips!

Going Green at Home

Want to green up your home? Going eco-friendly offers a number of environmental, health, and financial benefits to your are some ways to get started.

How to Protect Your Home Against Wildfire Damage

If a mandatory wildfire evacuation warning were issued today, would your family be prepared? Learn how to better protect your home, prepare for an evacuation, and plan for a safe return.

Hurricane Season.
Getting Ready for Hurricane Season

Hurricanes can cause massive amounts of damage - are you ready if one hits? Check out some helpful resources to get started.

Planting a tree.
Tree Damage

Trees are a beautiful addition to the yard, but have you ever thought about how they may bring damage to your personal possessions? Here are some things to keep in mind.

Cleaning a counter top.
Spring Cleaning

Spring has sprung, which means it's time to clean, maintain, and get your home in order. Tackle these jobs and see what a difference it makes.

Man using a snow blower.
Winter Storm Prep: Keeping Your Family and Home Warm

Blizzards and cold air bring power outages and frozen pipes with them. Are you prepared? Check out our helpful checklist before the storm hits.

Packing up the van.
Tips for Closing Up Your Winter Home

Things to consider when shutting down your second home for the season to cleaning and unplugging the appliances.

Planting a plant in the ground.
How to Prepare Your Garden for A Bountiful Spring

Are you ready for spring gardening? As winter draws to a close, these easy tips will help you to prepare your garden for a bountiful spring.

Electrical socket going into plug.
Electrical Safety

When was the last time you checked your electrical systems? Before you get started, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Keys in the front door.
Keep Your Home and Your Family Safe: Home Security Tips

Did you know that in the U.S., a house is broken into every 14 seconds? Protect your home, your possessions, and your family with these home security tips.

Lightning strikes.
Severe Weather is on the Way: What Can I Do?

Severe weather is on the way… what do I do? These tips can help you, your family and your home stay safe and secure during the next big storm.

Tools arranged in the shape of a home.
8 Smart Upgrades and Fixes to Boost Home Value

Learn which 8 affordable home upgrades don't cost a fortune and can help boost your home's re-sale value. Make these repairs today.

winter home.
Winterizing Your Home in a Few Simple Steps

By taking a few simple steps to winterize your home, you can mitigate the risks presented by cold, wet weather.

New Year's Insurance Check: Is your Coverage Up to Date?

Take the Encompass "New Year's Insurance Check Up" to find out if you have the right homeowner's insurance for your lifestyle.

Benefits of Cold-Weather House-Hunting

Home buying can be stressful but shopping when prices are the lowest will alleviate some stress. Our article on off-season buying is an absolute must-read!

Designing Your Home Office

If you work from home, you need a functional yet pleasant office where you can be happy and work hard. Read our tips for designing that space.

Burning Issues: Fireplace and Chimney Safety

Woodstoves alone are the primary cause of more than 4,000 private residence fires annually. Ensure your chimney is in good working order.

Flood Cleanup

Protect your family by understanding what flood cleanup actions to take after a flood—and by knowing how to prepare for the possibility of a flood.

Checklist .
Tornado Safety Precautions

Tornadoes can unleash their fury with practically no warning, so it's critical to know what tornado safety precautions you can take to protect your family.

Family in the kitchen.

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