Winter tips for keeping pipes from freezing

Don’t Let the Cold Get to Your Pipes This Winter

It’s hard to think of a worse start to a winter day in Minnesota than turning on the faucet and … nothing. Maybe there’s a trickle of water, but it’s clear you have a frozen pipe. So, what now? Here are some smart tips to help you prevent or address what could easily become a very messy and expensive situation:

  • See to your outdoor water lines: Before cold weather arrives, drain water sprinkler and swimming pool supply lines, and remove, drain and store outdoor hoses. If possible, close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs, and open the outside hose bibs for draining. Keep them open so any remaining water can expand without breaking the pipe. If you can’t shut off the water from the inside, pick up some foam faucet covers.
  • Keep your home warm: Maintain an interior temperature of at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit, even when you’re sleeping or not at home. Seal any drafts and leave interior doors open to help keep an even temperature from room to room.
  • Tend to those pipes: Leave the cabinet doors open in the kitchen and bathroom so your pipes aren’t shut off from the warm air. You can also insulate your pipes with sleeves, heat tape or heat cable. Insulation is especially important in unheated areas, such as your attic, basement, garage or crawl space, and for pipes running along exterior walls. During severe cold spells, you may want to leave all faucets, both hot and cold, running at a slight trickle.
  • Call in a professional: Frozen water in your pipes can cause them to burst, meaning you’ll have a mess on your hands once that water unthaws. So, act quickly to shut off your main water supply, and call in a licensed plumber to see to the situation.

Finally, be sure to touch base with us at Deleski Insurance Agency to check what your homeowner’s insurance covers when it comes to frozen pipes.

Happy Holidays from Deleski Insurance!

Can I borrow my friend’s car?

I’m borrowing my friend’s car … am I covered?

Most people have an idea of what’s covered and not covered under their various insurance policies. But at Deleski Insurance Agency, we get a lot of questions about borrowing or loaning a car and the short answer is yes, you can borrow your friend’s car and you will be covered just as if they are driving (as long as you have their permission to take it).

Generally, auto insurance coverage follows the vehicle rather than the driver. So in most instances, as long as the owner of the car has insurance, it’s covered even if someone other than the owner is driving it — as long as they have the owner’s permission.

The borrower’s car insurance is considered secondary, meaning that in the event of an accident, it could apply if the owner’s insurance is insufficient to fully cover the damage.

It’s important to note that there are some exceptions to what is called “permissive use” coverage. For example, permission must be given by the owner, unless the borrower has a reasonable belief that they are allowed to use the car. However, the borrower cannot give permission to someone else. So if your teenager allows one of his or her friends to drive your car to {local destination}, your coverage likely won’t apply.

Coverage might also be denied if the borrower operates the vehicle in a negligent or criminal manner. And if the borrower is using your car for business purposes, your personal auto policy likely won’t cover that.

If you have a regular long-term arrangement to either borrow or lend a car, the borrower should probably be added to the owner’s personal auto policy. Those who don’t own a car, but often borrow one, might also consider “named non-owner coverage,” an endorsement that provides bodily injury and property damage liability, uninsured motorists coverage and more.

Ultimately, it’s usually safe to loan your friend your car for occasional errands or projects. And the same goes for borrowing a car. Just make sure it’s for “normal” use. You’ll want to confirm that the car has coverage and that your insurance, whether you’re the owner or borrower, will apply.

Condo Insurance

Condo or Condon’t — Condo Insurance


You’ve taken the plunge and opted for condo life.  Now that the papers are signed, it seems like everything is taken care of for you—building maintenance, roof repairs, landscaping, insurance, etc.  It’s time to relax because everything is covered, right?


Not quite.  The insurance policy provided by the condo association covers the building structure and common areas, but what about potential structural damage to your unit and covering your belongings?  Without a personal condo insurance policy, you could be left high and dry if a pipe bursts, it is damaged in a fire, etc.


Most condos need two insurance policies.


Master Policy:  Generally provided by your condo association, this policy covers the physical structure of the building, including basement, roof, walls, elevators, lobbies, etc.  Coverage usually includes both physical damage and liability. Get a copy of the policy so you know what’s covered.  The personal condo policy will pick up where the master policy leaves off, but beware, the master policy usually has a very high deductible.  Most master policy deductibles are $10,000 and some are even $25,000, so even though the master policy will cover building damage, you NEED to have this deductible covered elsewhere so you’re not out a large sum of money.  Enter the personal condo policy.


Personal Condo Policy:  This will cover additional structural damage to your unit, including cabinets, appliances, personal belongings, and more (if the master policy does not – it picks up where it leaves off).  This also covers living expenses if you fall victim to a fire, theft, or other covered disaster and will cover the master policy deductible in the event that the building itself is damaged.  The personal condo policy alone will be responsible for covering your belongings (anything you moved into the unit).  So don’t get left with a gap thinking everything is covered with the master policy.  For a few hundred dollars a year you can safeguard your personal belongings and take care of the master policy deductible if there is a loss to the building.


Other coverage to consider:


Umbrella Policy:   If someone were to trip and fall inside or near your condo, they could sue both you and the condo association.  Umbrella provides additional layers of liability protection and can protect against lawsuits that target both your current and future earnings.



Ridesharing Coverage

Right now your current auto policy excludes the time you are in transit to pick someone up with UBER and LYFT!  Most people assume they are covered under their personal auto policy until they pick someone up and then the TNC or Transportation Network Company coverage kicks in when the person gets in their car.  Not so!  The personal auto insurance policy stops when the app is turned on and you are driving to pick someone up.  This gap can leave you uncovered if you have an accident on the way to pick someone up using UBER or LYFT.

Now there is an endorsement you can add to your personal auto policy to fill this gap.  It is called RideSharing Coverage and we, at Deleski Insurance, can make sure your policy includes this coverage or is added to your current policy.  So if you are using UBER or LYFT in St. Paul, Minneapolis, or any of the Twin Cities or Minnesota area, we would be happy to take a look at your coverage to make sure it is adequate.

Call Deleski Insurance 651-633-0400 to make sure RideSharing Coverage is added to your auto insurance policy today!

Don’t let appliance hoses sink you

Should You Be Worried About Your Appliance Hoses?

There’s a ticking time bomb in your Minnesota home right now, waiting to strike when you least expect it. In fact, there might even be more than one. And each can cause thousands and thousands of dollars in damage.

We here at Deleski Insurance are talking about faulty appliance hoses, of course.

Consider your humble washing machine: According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), washing machine failures cost an average of more than $5,000, and faulty hoses are responsible for more than half of those failures.

You can take steps to defuse these ticking time bombs — or at least make them less likely to go off. Here are the common hoses and tubes you should be checking:

Washing Machine
Most washing machines come with rubber hoses that connect to your water supply — hoses that can wear out and eventually burst. The IBHS says to check frequently for blisters, worn tubing, stress cracks and loose connections. Even if there is no obvious wear, replace hoses every five years. Use a reinforced steel-braided hose, as they are less likely to fail.

Although you should clean the lint trap in your dryer with every load, danger lurks behind the dryer as well. Flexible plastic or foil ducting can easily trap lint and increase the risk of fire, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The agency recommends the use of a rigid or semi-rigid metal duct instead. Whichever you use, be sure to disconnect and clean the ducting annually.

If your refrigerator has an icemaker or water dispenser, it also has a hose connecting it to the water supply. Replace the standard hose with a steel-braided line for added security.

Dishwasher leaks can easily go undetected, so it’s important to check these connections regularly as well. Make sure that hoses and lines have no kinks, and periodically remove and clean the filter in the dishwasher, which is designed to stop food pieces from making it into the drain hose.

Gas Grills
At least once a year (typically when you fire up the grill for the first time after winter), check the hose connecting the fuel source to the burners. Simply brush it with some soapy water, turn the gas on (do not light the grill) and check the hose for air bubbles. If you see any, replace the hose and fitting.

In addition to checking your hoses regularly and replacing them when needed, there are monitoring systems available now that can automatically shut off your water supply in the event of a failure. Some detect leaks with moisture indicators, while at least one new system actually checks your water meter for unusual activity.

To further protect you, your homeowners insurance may cover certain damage that results from appliance hose failures. But, it all depends on the circumstances of your situation and on your specific policy. You may find that an appliance hose failure is not covered by your insurance, so it’s best to maintain your appliances to avoid damage in the first place.  The rule of thumb is “sudden and accidental” for appliance hose losses and water damage.

If you have questions about your homeowners insurance coverage we here at Atlas Insurance Brokers – Deleski Agency are happy to help.  Keep an eye on those appliance hoses and save yourself a big headache later.


Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

10 Ways to Keep You and Your Family Safe This Independence Day

In Minnesota, summer truly begins when the Fourth of July arrives. It’s a holiday full of fireworks and food, barbecues and boating, family and friends. It can also be full of danger — and we’re not only talking about the fireworks.

Whether you’re lighting your own fireworks at home in Roseville, MN, going to a community show in St. Paul, Minneapolis, or heading somewhere else, here are 10 ways to help ensure a happy and healthy holiday:

  1. Stay protected — and hydrated. If you’re going to be outdoors during the day, use plenty of sunblock (and bring extra). You’ll also want to drink water throughout the day, particularly if you’re drinking alcohol (in which case don’t drive). It’s easy to get dehydrated in the heat.
  2. Watch what you eat. We’re not talking about counting calories. We’re talking about making sure your food is fully cooked. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, meats (steaks, roasts or chops) need to be cooked to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, ground meats to 160 and poultry to 165.
  3. Watch what you serve. If you’re heading to a party and bringing food, put it in an insulated cooler with ice or ice packs so it doesn’t grow harmful bacteria between the time you leave your house and the time people dig in. Pull it from the fridge right before you leave for the party.
  4. Don’t drink and drive. We shouldn’t need to tell you this, of course, but the period around the Fourth of July holiday is a deadly one for drunk-driving fatalities.
  5. Don’t drink and boat. Alcohol is a factor in about one-third of recreational boating deaths, says the Coast Guard, so boating under the influence is never a good idea.
  6. Make sure everyone’s got a life jacket. If you’re going to be near or on the water, life jackets are a must. On a boat, there should be enough life preservers for everyone, and remember that kids need an appropriately sized jacket.
  7. Lighting fireworks? Be prepared. Keep a hose or bucket of water close by, and make sure you’re not aiming at people, animals, homes, plants or cars.
  8. Supervise the kids. Youngsters shouldn’t be lighting fireworks at all, and older kids need to be watched closely. Even sparklers get much hotter than you think.
  9. Keep your distance, too. Thousands of people show up in the emergency room this time of the year with firework injuries. Don’t be one of them!
  10. No matter what you’re doing, keep safety in mind at all times.

Those of us at Deleski Insurance Agency wish you and yours a happy and safe Fourth of July!

Auto Insurance

Auto Insurance
The right auto insurance policy can help get you back on the road quickly if your car is damaged or destroyed by accident, fire, theft, or other covered event. Your policy may also provide protection against medical and legal expenses resulting from injury, loss of life, or property damage caused by an accident involving your vehicle.
An auto insurance policy is a contract between you and an insurance company. You pay a premium, and in exchange, the insurance company promises to pay for specific car-related financial losses during the term of the policy. Work with us to determine the best coverage for you.

Insure your Motorcycle, Classic Car, Motor Home & RV, Boat & Jet Ski, and ATV too!  Link the policy with your home and get a discount!  Progressive Insurance gives a discount for just having home insurance, condo insurance, or renter’s insurance – no matter what company you’re with!  This is a great way to get the most discounts on your insurance.  Deleski Insurance Agency is a Progressive authorized agency and we can help you save the most money possible.

Hopefully you’ll type in one of these queries and land on our page!

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Concealed Carry Insurance

Concealed Carry Criminal Defense Reimbursement Bond

Concealed Carry Criminal Defense Reimbursement Bond – As a permit holder of a legally possessed weapon, the bond provides for the reasonable legal fees, expenses, and costs of defense up to the maximum bond limit chosen, after declaration from the prosecuting attorney that no criminal charges will be filed, a dismissal of all filed criminal charges, or acquittal of the “permit holder” following a trial and verdict is upheld on appeal.


Fall home maintenance

10 Things to Do to Prepare Your Home for Fall

Fall is a wonderful time in Minneapolis and Saint Paul — if your home is ready for it.


Yes, this is the time of year to fix small problems before they become big, and big ones before they become catastrophic. Here are 10 tips to help:


    1. Look up. Examine your roof closely. Remove moss, clear debris from your gutters and downspouts, and repair any damage.
    2. Look down. Check for signs of animals and insects around your home and garage, including in the basement and crawlspace. Bring in a professional to get rid of unwanted guests.
    3. Keep things warm. Heat escapes through leaks around windows and doors, so seal up any drafty areas. Outside, put covers over faucets before temperatures drop.
    4. Keep things dry. Drain outdoor hoses, faucets and irrigation systems. Look in the basement and crawlspace for wet spots. And, make sure your water heater or boiler isn’t leaking.
    5. Clear the air (or vents and filters, at least). When’s the last time you checked your dryer vent? You should take a look at attic vents and exhaust ducts, as well. And, change that furnace filter!
    6. Take a walk. Cracks in your driveway or walkways will only get bigger, so get them fixed soon. If your deck has signs of wear, make repairs now.
  • Get a tune-up. You or a professional should clean and tune your furnace, boiler and/or water heater, as well as your oven and range.

  • Don’t play with fire. Before building your first fireplace fire of the season, check for soot or creosote build-up.
  • Don’t play with fire extinguishers, either. But, check them to ensure they still have pressure. Don’t have fire extinguishers? Put them on your shopping list, ideally one for each floor.
  • Don’t forget those smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors. Replace batteries when needed, and test regularly that alarms are working.



Keeping your home insurance policy in tip-top condition is smart, too. Remember to check in with us at Deleski Insurance at least once a year to update your policy so you’re covered for your new remodel, additions, new roof, new furnace, or personal possessions.

Defensive Driver Discount – save 10% on your auto insurance!

So You Need (or Want) to Take a Defensive Driving Course in Minnesota?
Are you 55 years of age and looking to save some money on your auto insurance?  Why not take a Defensive Driver course and save 10% for three years?


But, which is right for you? Here are some tips to help you decide:


  1. Search for Defensive Driver courses in your city online or ask your insurance professional to help you find one.  At Deleski Insurance, we are more than happy to help you find a course near you that works with your schedule.


  1. Check with your agent.  See if it’s time to take the course again or ask how much of a discount you’ll get if you take it for the first time.  Typically you will receive a 10% discount on your auto insurance for three years.  You may renew the discount again by taking a “refresher course”.


  1. Choose the type of course – there are online and classroom options, typically ranging from 4-8 hours depending on the course material. A first-time course will be eight hours, whereas the refresher course will be four hours.  The discount will last for three years from the date you took the course.


  1. Determine how much you want to spend.  Is it less expensive to take an online course?  Or do you prefer a classroom setting?  See which one works with your schedule and your budget.


Whether you are looking in Minneapolis, Roseville, Shoreview, or St. Paul, taking the Defensive Driver course will lower your premiums and help you remain the responsible driver we, at Atlas Insurance Brokers, know you are!