Tag Archives: insurance

5 Ways To Defend Your Home Against A Storm

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5 Ways To Defend Your Home Against A Storm

When bad weather strikes, it can cause devastating amounts of damage to a home that hasn’t been suitably storm-proofed. Here are just a few ways that you can defend your home against the elements:

Seal up cracks:

Not only will rain get into a crack and cause water damage, strong winds could also get into the crack and possibly make it worse. Small cracks can be easily sealed up with caulk, whereas larger cracks may need professional intervention. Draft protectors, meanwhile, may be able to stop wind from getting into gaps beneath doors and windows.

Reinforce windows and doors:

Old windows and doors could be ripped off of their hinges in bad weather. It may not necessarily be the door or window that is the problem – most commonly it’s the result of a broken frame or hinges. As for those living in flood-risk areas, it could be worth fitting a flood guard to the bottom of your door. These barriers may look ugly, but they could save you thousands in interior damage.

Get a backup generator installed:

Serious storms can often lead to power cuts. Investing in a backup generator could help provide you with an extra power source in the event of a blackout. There are companies out there that can do generator installations for you. You could alternatively invest in a sustainable backup solution such as solar panels, although these may be costlier to install.

Attend to outside dangers:

There could be many objects outside that pose a danger to your home during a storm. Loose garden items should be locked away in a shed the moment that you get a storm warning – you don’t want a garden table crashing through your patio doors. Trees may also be a danger, especially those that have been partially uprooted by a previous storm or seem to be dying. Removing a tree may involve getting planning permission and you may want to pay an arborist to do it for you.

Another danger to be aware of is old guttering. This can be particularly dangerous in winter, as water in the gutter can freeze up, effectively turning the whole thing into a giant ice block. If this is loose or broken, a strong wind may have the power to rip it off and cause damage to your home. If you think this could be a problem, consider hiring a professional to see to repairing your guttering.

Get insured:

Getting insured won’t prevent storm damage from occurring, but it could help pay compensation for home repairs. Not all home insurance companies will cover storm damage, especially if you live in an area prone to storms and flooding, in which case you may need to seek out a specialist storm insurance or flood insurance company. Insurance rates vary from each provider, so it’s worth spending some time shopping around for the best deal.

Taking measures to make your home safer when inclement weather strikes is important for you and all who live in your home. And, as always, it’s better safe than sorry.

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3 Types Of Insurance That You Need To Have

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3 Types Of Insurance That You Need To Have

There are a lot of different types of insurance, but it isn’t always clear why you need them. Insurance can feel like you are paying a lot of money each month or year for something that ‘might’ happen. You might feel like insurance isn’t worth getting, but you would be wrong. Here are three types of insurance that you simply need to have:

Car Insurance:

It is illegal to drive and operate a car without insurance. That is a simple truth. You need to get car insurance, but how much coverage you get is up to you. You might feel that you only need the minimum and that you will never get into a car accident. But what if you do? What if you are in an accident and then have to make a huge payout either to fix the car or to somebody else? What if your car breaks down by the side of the road and you have to pay extra or can’t get a road site pick up? What if you lose the only key to your car and can’t get into it?

There are so many things that can go wrong when driving and owning a car and the above are only a few possibilities. You want to ensure that you are covered for a myriad of problems. They might just be something that could potentially happen, but you will be kicking yourself in the behind if it does happen and you aren’t covered. Instead, you want to make sure that you have roadside assistance, key coverage, breakdown coverage, and decent all around insurance to make sure that you can drive safe in the knowledge that you are properly insured.

Medical Insurance:

Medical insurance is something that you might not need to use for years, but then you are suddenly ill, and it becomes the most important thing in the world. If you have a health & medical insurance plan, then you are ensuring that you will be taken care of should you become ill. This might be something as simple as needing to have your appendix removed or something as serious as having cancer. You need to make sure that you have decent medical insurance. It might be costly, but you need it. If you become ill and need to go to a hospital without medical insurance, then your standard of care will be far lower, and you might not be able to get treatment for certain things without paying incredible sums of money that you cannot afford. The amount that you get back if you need to claim your medical insurance dwarfs the amount that you would be paying each month or year.

Home & Contents Insurance:

Home and contents insurance cover your house in case you are burgled or if something else happens to your home such as a flood, burst pipe, or anything that will damage your property or your items within. If you own a lot of expensive goods such as electrical items, then you should get the insurance to cover them and make sure that if they get stolen or break, then you aren’t left having to pay out of pocket for new ones. Home and content insurance is just another cost of living that you need to factor in, because if you don’t have it and something happens, then you might be left with nothing.

Paying for insurance is an admitted hassle, but can you imagine the trouble you would be in if you went without it?

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Planning On Moving Abroad? Make Things Easier On Yourself!

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Planning On Moving Abroad? Make Things Easier On Yourself!

There are a lot of things to consider when moving overseas. Currencies change, cultures vary, and there are always moving arrangements to consider. Somewhere between all of the planning, packing, and stress, there are a few key factors that tend to get overlooked. Blending into the local environment isn’t always as simple as it might sound. This article is here to help take some of the stress off of your shoulders and help make your transition an easy one:

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Planning For The Unexpected:

No one can see the future, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t plan ahead for some minor issues. In the same way you’ll take extra care to pack your personal belongings, take a moment to consider what health coverage you will have in the event that you become sick.

Depending on your new destination, it can be difficult to know where to go for advice when you feel sick. Unfortunately, Medicare coverage plans do not travel with an individual when they move overseas, unless you’re planning on moving to a U.S. territory like Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands. It might seem overwhelming when you consider having to find new health insurance, but don’t panic just yet.

The vast majority of countries offer an all-inclusive, government-sponsored health care plan. That means doctor visits, hospitalization, prescriptions, and more are all covered under one plan that usually costs a small percentage of your income. Even if you opt for a private plan instead of a public one, the cost is often one-fifth less than it is here in the U.S.

Should you get sick and need to see a doctor, you will require the same medical care that you would here. Thankfully, that coverage is easily obtained and you won’t have to worry when the unexpected happens.

Adapting To The Culture:

There is no single sure-fire way to adapt to every culture on the planet, but there are a few things that you can practice that the majority of cultures do take part in. One of those things is to focus on living a little greener or eco-friendly. While we might not think about it, the amount of waste that we throw away here in the U.S. is astronomical compared to several other first world nations.

A simple rule of thumb is to take something like metal, plastic, or even cardboard and reuse it wisely. In most cases, that just means recycling it properly. Countries like Austria and Germany have the world’s leading recycling programs, which means that it is a large part of their culture.

While you might never get used to some customs, choosing to take part in a country’s recycling habits can help you blend in with them in a heartbeat. It shows that you care about the same things they do. Plus, it’s great for the environment!

Eliminating Some Stress:

It’s easy to pack a couple of bags when heading on vacation, but moving all of your belongings to a new country can seem like a nightmare. Just like you would turn to UPS or FedEx when you need an important package delivered, why not turn to international shipping experts when moving abroad?

What used to be a complicated and expensive process has been made much simpler by a few companies who specialize in shipping luggage overseas. This will help you to avoid extra costs on airline baggage fees (Which can add up fast.), while taking some the burden of moving off of your shoulders. One less thing to worry about is always a good thing.

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Choosing to move overseas is a big decision that requires a lot of planning and work. Thankfully, there are a few things that you can prepare for ahead of time to make the process go over as smooth as possible. Happy travels!

The Fallout: Steps To Take After Suffering Extreme Damage To Your Home

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The Fallout: Steps To Take After Suffering Extreme Damage To Your Home

It’s never something we would like to think that would affect any of us, but with the rise of inclement weather all over the world, it seems more and more likely with every passing year that your home will be involved in some kind of disaster. Whether it be a flood, tornado, earthquake, or a fire, it is a terrible situation to be in. But what happens after the event to your home and to you personally? Let’s try and address the issues about how to repair all the damage after a disaster.

The First Thing To Do:

The first sort of call when it comes to a disaster happening to your home, once everybody is safe, is to get in contact with your insurance company and file a claim. Depending on whether you are renting your home or not, you would still need to make a claim based on the damage to your property or your worldly possessions. It’s your prerogative at the start whether you would want to use a loss adjuster to deal with the entire process of the claim, which could help with the buildings insurance, contents insurance, as well as providing emergency accommodation. And the sooner you are able to engage with one, the bigger the burden they can remove from your shoulders. Once you have met with the loss adjuster, they will undertake a fact-finding mission throughout your property, and based on the circumstances of the claim, forensic specialists may be called to undertake an investigation, especially if this was a house fire to determine the cause.

The Next Steps:

Once you have met with the loss adjuster, they will submit a report to the insurance company based on the circumstances surrounding the disaster and they will also recommend whether the insurer should pay your claim or not. They will make a decision on whether the policy you have is sufficient enough to cover the damage, which is a big problem a lot of policyholders have, being “underinsured”. From there, the emergency contractors will be appointed to carry out any works that are urgent, and this could include water damage restoration companies, which will provide their own investigation into the causes. If you have issues in your home with things like running water, they will provide a restoration plan for you.

Other companies may weatherproof your property or make your home more secure by boarding up the windows or covering the roof. It’s important to note that the insurers might not pay for this work until the claim has been processed, so it would be your responsibility in the meantime to prevent additional damage to your property. After this, the surveyor will assess the overall damage to your property and put together a plan for the reinstatement of it.

The Contents Claim:

If your home was very badly damaged and all of your possessions have been destroyed, it’s important for you to make a detailed list of all of your contents including the cost for replacements. A lot of insurance companies act on a “like for like” basis. But if you are claiming for things like clothes and bedding, they are replaced on what is called an indemnity basis, meaning that there will be a reduction in their value based on the wear and tear of your original items. And if you’ve got a lot of high-end items such as electronic equipment or designer clothes, you need to provide the proof, the makes, models, etc., before the insurance company will accept the claim completely.

The Personal Impact:

As it would be expected, the process of dealing with loss adjusters and the insurance company can be a trying one, especially if you are without a home. During the process, you will be in temporary accommodation, and this could be the emergency accommodation provided at the outset of the disaster. After that, you would have to find long-term temporary accommodation that suits you and your family during the restoration of the property. This can be difficult to acquire, especially if you have a big family or have pets.

It’s at this point where the stress can get the better of you, as you’re not in your own home. During your dealings with the insurance company, you may feel like you’re being passed from pillar to post, but this is a fact of the situation, unfortunately. If your claim is in limbo, it can take some time. And during your negotiation with a loss adjuster, you may not get everything that you wish in terms of suitable emergency accommodation, as you need to agree on a budget with the loss adjuster.

The Final Pieces Of The Puzzle:

Once the ball has been rolling after the tense negotiations, the process of tendering will begin. At this point, the contractors will be appointed to do the work on your home. The contractors are usually specialist ones appointed by the insurance company, but if you want to use your own contractors, you need to be careful with your choice as there are many out there who may not have a good track record. It is at this point where the surveyor will meet with the contractors to solidify the final parts of the work, which will progress until your home is fully restored. It’s important to note that at this point, you may wish to make some alterations to your home, pending the approval of the surveyor. After this, your contents claim would be agreed, items are secured, and you can return home.

While we all hope that it doesn’t happen to us, it’s important that if your home suffers from any type of disaster that you have the right policies in place. If you don’t have any insurance, it is recommended that you get something for peace of mind. If your home is ever going to suffer a disaster, with the right insurance policies in place you know you can, at least, rebuild your life.

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Sick Of High Medical Bills?

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Sick Of High Medical Bills?

If medical bills are starting to drive you into an unhealthy debt, don’t despair. You shouldn’t have to financially ruin yourself in order to care for your health. There are many sly ways of cutting expenses on your medical bills that could be worth taking advantage of. Here are just a few to take a look at:

If your boss offers an FSA – use it! More and more companies are supplying Flexible Savings Accounts as an option to their staff. Every contribution you make to these accounts is tax free and can be used to cover all manner of out-of-pocket medical costs including prescriptions, medicines, and dental care. You’re allowed to save up and spend a certain allowance each year – which should be fully taken advantage of. Even if you don’t have a medical problem throughout the year, FSA spendings can be used to buy over-the-counter drugs, baby products, bandages, crutches and in some cases eye wear such as glasses or contact lenses.

Ditch big brand medicine: Only buying medicine from big brands is a rip off. These brands may have enough popularity and money to advertise on TV, but they’ll have had to pass exactly the same quality tests as lesser known drugs from small brands. These small brands are likely to be much cheaper. If you’re on a prescription, shop around for other similar medicines that you could be saving money on. Ask your doctor and switch to generic brands to save a very pretty penny.

Tailor your insurance plan to you: Taking the time to really shop around for health insurance plans can save you a lot of money. Use comparison sites and check companies that are off of these comparison sites, too. Companies such as Health Insurance Innovations are known for being able to offer customized plans to suit your needs. You may also find a good family bundle somewhere that could also save costs. And remember that you can lower your premiums by raising your deductible.

Join a farm bureau: Every state has its own farm bureau – an organization primarily set up for farmers, although practically anyone can join (farmer or not!). Joining will cost a small monthly or annual fee, however, you usually will get all kinds of perks, a common one being huge medical discounts. Always check the incentives offered by your local bureau first before signing up, as perks do vary from state to state.

Get help from an advocate: Advocacy programs are largely in place to help those in need who may not be able to make a medical decision for themselves. However, advocates can also help out those that are financially struggling with healthcare. An advocate may be able to shop around for you, come up with alternative treatment plans, and negotiate better rates from hospitals and insurers. This isn’t a service that everyone can take advantage of – your financial situation may have to be assessed first to determine whether you really cannot pay off these medical bills.

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Back Up! Let’s Talk About Backup.

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Back Up! Let’s Talk About Backup.

Anything can go wrong at the drop of a pin nowadays. We are always told to back things up;  to make sure that there is a ‘Plan B’ should anything fail, an emergency route of sorts to go down. But what if you don’t know how to prevent the unexpected? Realistically, there are a number of things which can require back up in your home. Some, however, are more major than others – mainly in order to preserve your lifestyle, your health, and on a more sentimental note, your memories.

Start With the Memories: Any picture can now be uploaded onto a computer to preserve it. Old photographs can be scanned in and saved, forever immortal in cyberspace. Whatever you choose to do with them, remember that your laptop or computer is not the be all and end all in keeping these memories safe; the average lifespan of a laptop is actually just five years. You could consider investing in an external hard drive or buying up some cloud space to keep the photos alive for generations to come – just remember to pass on the password to your account to keep it going and have the files accessed forever.

Next, Your Lifestyle: Backing up your lifestyle? That’s a weird one. But, when you think about it, it’s not – that’s what insurance companies were born to do. Make sure that you are properly and fully covered for whatever is to happen. If you lose your job and have a mortgage, it is vital that your insurance will pay out any premium required to save you from having to sell up, rent out, or lose it altogether. Then think about even more material things to do with your lifestyle, such as all of your electrical equipment. What if something was to happen to your power supply? It wouldn’t be the end of the world until you needed an appliance, and we are all too reliant on such things in this day and age. Consider purchasing whole home generators to make sure that everything is covered when things get critical.

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Finally, Your Health: Health is a funny one. You can’t really back it up, but you can take drastic measures to ensure that you are living the healthiest lifestyle possible. Health insurance is the classic way of backing yourself up, so invest in a premium plan which will cover whatever life throws at you

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🙂

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