By: Andrea Moyer
Summer season is nearly upon us! What happened to spring? As usual, our spring season is rather fleeting here in southeastern Pennsylvania and we have had quite a bit of precipitation to further forestall it. While we were still trying to establish sensible lawn-mowing schedules, the week leading up to Memorial Day weekend descended upon us and it’s suddenly eighty degrees outside! Time to break out the awnings, fire up the grill and brush up on those softball pitches. Summer has (unofficially) begun!
Memorial Day Origins and Traditions
This American holiday, observed on the last Monday in May, honors the men and women who died serving in the U. S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it was established in the years following the Civil War to honor only those who had died serving in that war. By the late 1860s many Americans held springtime tributes to the fallen soldiers by decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers. On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan (commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic) called for a nationwide day of remembrance to be observed at the end of the month. May 30th was chosen, as it was not the anniversary date of any particular battle.
Although Memorial Day originally honored only those who fought in the Civil War, the holiday evolved during World War I to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars. In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday of the month and which also declared Memorial Day as a national holiday.
There are a variety of traditions that accompany Memorial Day celebrations. Picnics, parades, barbecues and a day off from work top the list. Many observe the holiday traditionally by decorating graves, reciting prayers or perhaps donning a poppy, as is done on Veteran’s Day. It is customary for the president of the United States to give a speech. Our own Bucks County town of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, has held its annual Memorial Day parades every year continuously since 1868. That’s over a century and a half of traditions. Amazing!
Though traditions are woven throughout the preservation of liberty and values, and provide much of its warp and woof, the planning and caring for those who returned home is just as essential. Many came home with permanent disabilities that may require their homes and vehicles to be restructured and refurbished to accommodate their new lives. Naturally, these adjustments impact homeowners and auto insurance, so it is wise to look into the changes that they bring.
Let’s say a ramp is built on to an existing property to accommodate the resident who uses a wheelchair. What is the value of the ramp? What would it cost to replace it? How does the addition of a ramp alter the value of the overall property? The same questions could apply to any feature designed to accommodate persons with limited mobility, such as a special shower or bathtub or an interior transport system.
Personal Umbrella/Inland Marine Endorsements
It is also wise to consider adding a personal umbrella endorsement to a homeowner’s policy to cover any liability concerns, such as if an accident occurs involving the aforementioned ramp or interior transport system. Usually, items such as wheelchairs, prosthetics, respiratory apparatus, etc., would be covered as personal effects under a homeowner’s policy, but adding an inland marine endorsement might be a better option for costly items, since anything covered under a homeowner’s policy is typically subject to a deductible.
Automobile designs have come a long, long way over the years and many models have features that can comfortably and safely support a driver with physical disabilities. How do they impact the insurance in the case of liability or total loss?
As we celebrate the lives and freedoms that have been preserved this Memorial Day, let’s not forget to look ahead as well. Consider the adjustments a physical disability might make to your own or to a loved one’s insurance policies. Contact our Perkasie 215-257-9171 or Harleysville 215-723-9805 location and one of our agents will be happy to go over any questions or concerns you may have.
Enjoy this beautiful season and Happy Memorial Day!
Also Read: Estimates: 20% of Homeowners Are Underinsured