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A Few Insurance Issues to Think About During a Divorce

 

Insurance-FileTabsThere are so many issues to address during divorce proceedings– from child custody to dividing finances and possessions. Insurance happens to be one of them, and it’s one that can be overlooked given all the other pressing issues. But it’s an important part of family and individual protection. So here is a short list of issues to include in your planning. Read the rest of this entry »

Tax and Home Records: How Long to Keep Them

 

personalFilesIf you’re like most people, you don’t have unlimited space to keep your tax and home records. But if you’re ever audited by the IRS or the state, or need to file an insurance claim – you certainly want to have the records that you need. Here’s a list of the records you should be retaining…and general suggestions for how long you should hold onto them!

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Homeowner Oil Heating System Compliance and Insurance

 

Oil System Leak PreventionMassachusetts has a law that addresses oil leaks from home heating systems. This law has two major provisions that require:

  • the installation of either an oil safety valve or an oil supply line with protective sleeve on systems that do not currently have these devices; and
  • insurance companies that write homeowner policies to offer coverage for leaks from heating systems that use oil. In most policies, this is an optional coverage to be purchased.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Internet of Things and Your Privacy

 

IoTYou probably read recently about the network engineers who took control of a Chrysler Jeep Cherokee driving down a highway in St. Louis. They accomplished that using a networked computer 10 miles away. They activated the windshield wipers, turned the radio and air conditioning up full blast, and disengaged the car’s transmission.

 

As a result of this experiment, within days Chrysler’s parent company recalled 1.4 million vehicles that were susceptible to the same kind of Internet attack.

 

That’s simply one example —albeit dramatic—of the security and safety risks associated with the Internet of Things (IoT)—the environment where internet-connected devices and sensors communicate with each other to perform designated tasks. Read the rest of this entry »

Make Sure Your Insurance Agent Is On Your Home Renovation Team!

 

backsplashUnfortunately, it’s all too common for homeowners to fail to inform their insurance agent about home renovation plans because they assume doing so will result in insurance premium increases. While this may be true in some cases, it could be even more costly if you don’t involve your agent in the process. Here’s why:

 

You could actually save money on your insurance.

Fixing your roof or upgrading your electrical system can decrease your insurance premiums. These types of upgrades and renovations lower your home’s risk of loss from the perspective of an insurance company, which could reward you in turn. Read the rest of this entry »

Homeowner “Loss of Use” Coverage – What Does It Cover?

 

loss of useYour homeowner’s insurance policy will pay to repair damage to your home caused by a fire, windstorm or other covered losses. But what if the damage is so severe that you and your family have to move out while repairs are being made? Who picks up the tab?

 

Actually your homeowner’s policy includes “additional living expenses” (also called “loss of use” or “Part D”) coverage for situations like that. This coverage will pay the necessary increase in your living expenses required to maintain your family’s current standard of living while the house is being repaired. Expenses typically covered include the hotel costs, food bills in excess of normal grocery/restaurant bills, cooking supplies and the cost of moving property into storage. Read the rest of this entry »

Kids, Social Media, and Parents’ Liability

 

Personal-liability-insuranceWhen many of us were young teens (many decades ago), we may have said some unkind things in the heat of the moment …things that faded away quickly when everything calmed down. But today, if a teen decides to post those unkind things on social media, those words remain for much, much longer than the heat of the moment. And they can be passed along to large audiences with a speed that is mind-numbing.

 

And beyond hurt feelings, embarrassment, and frustration, that cyber bullying can now potentially damage someone’s reputation and future—impacting a teen’s ability to get into the college of their choice or ultimately secure a job because admissions officers and employers now search social networking sites for information on applicants.

 

And that means parents could be facing a lawsuit if their child engages in cyber bullying. Read the rest of this entry »

Recent Graduates – You Likely Have New Insurance Needs

 

gradIf you’re one of the 1.85 million students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree this year – congratulations! We also have an important message for you as you head out into your new life/career: your insurance needs may have changed.

 

Auto insurance

If you now have a new job and have finally bought that car you always wanted, remember: simply purchasing mandated minimum coverage isn’t a good idea.

The following are recommendations for minimum coverage. (Please understand that these are recommended minimums only and that higher limits are available and recommended.) Read the rest of this entry »

Tips to Help You Protect Your Child from a Dog Bite

 

DogBitesOn average, every year 800,000 people experience a dog bite that requires medical attention, and half of those bitten are children. (The highest incidence is with children between the ages of 5 and 9 years of age.)

 

The ASPCA estimates there were 74.8 million dogs kept as pets in the United States in 2007–2008. That means 800,000 injuries represents roughly 1% of the canine pet population. But that doesn’t and should minimize the importance of teaching your children pet safety because ANY dog can bite – the family pet, a friend’s dog, or an unknown pooch in a neighborhood.

 

So here are tips from the ASPCA to help parents educate their children and help them stay safe. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Avoid Buying a Flood Damaged Used Car

 

flooding_carAll of the recent terrible storms throughout the Midwest and Southeast could impact you if you’re in the market for a used car. Vehicles damaged by floods in those areas can be cleaned up and taken out of state for sale. According to Edmunds.com, ” After the owners of damaged cars settle up with their insurance companies, vehicles are sometimes refurbished and resold. And sometimes, a middleman buyer intentionally hides a car’s history as a flood-damaged vehicle through a process known as “title washing” and sells it to an unsuspecting buyer in a state unaffected by the disaster. Electrical and mechanical problems then surface later — long after the seller is gone — leaving the new owner with an unreliable car and no recourse against the seller.”

 

So how can you protect yourself from future car problems and potentially a vehicle that’s not safe to be on the road? Here’s are some tips: Read the rest of this entry »