September P&C Newsletter

 

How to Reduce the Risk of Household Claims

Prevention really is the best policy when it comes to reducing the risk and cost of household-related insurance claims. Fortunately, thanks to new technology and the help of a few tried-and-true old-timer tricks, it’s easier than ever to prevent a small problem from growing into a major catastrophe. Following is a checklist to get you started:
 
1. Security and Surveillance: Security comes in all shapes and sizes, including dead bolts, entry alarms, complete electronic household security systems, and even motion-activated lighting and recording devices that can be remotely controlled. Perform a quick review of the house and surrounding yard to ensure secure access at every entry point.
 
2. Alarms and Alerts: Fire alarms are fairly standard in most homes, but far fewer people have taken the time to install other valuable alarms or alert systems that can save property and even lives. Carbon dioxide and natural gas detectors, radon detectors, water/moisture leak detectors, and even thermal leak detectors provide early notification of common household problems.
 
3. Prepare and Practice: Flashlights, battery backups, automatic shutoff valves and other basic emergency equipment contribute little if members of the household don’t know how to use them. Have a process in place and practice age-appropriate responses for commonly encountered situations. Not only does having a procedure in place help ensure an orderly response during times of trouble, but it reduces the possibility of accidental injury and further property damage.
 
4. Quick Fixes: The final step in reducing the risk of household claims is to ensure the safety and security of visitors and household members by doing a quarterly evaluation of property maintenance and quick fixes. Remove clutter and provide nonslip surfaces for steps and walkways, evaluate plumbing and electrical systems to ensure proper performance, and take care of any areas of the home that show signs of excessive wear or deterioration. Not only will proper maintenance reduce the risk of many common claims, but it keeps your home looking its best throughout the year.


Easy Ways to Replace Those ‘Bad for You’ Foods

A sugar-filled donutLearning what to eat is just as important as learning what to avoid.
 
Eat the wrong foods and chances are you will undermine all attempts to control your appetite.
 
Eat the right foods and you might be surprised at how easy it is to give up even the worst habits.
 
Following are the leading culinary culprits that leave you wanting more, as well as some easy replacements sure to satisfy:
 
Salt: High sodium intake not only increases blood pressure, but it leaves you wanting more. Substitute salt with fresh herbs to enjoy the flavor without the craving.
 
Sugar: Satisfy a sweet tooth by using natural alternatives like stevia instead of sugar. Not only will eliminating sugar also control cravings associated with fluctuating glucose levels, but eliminating sugar is a great way to lose weight and reduce the risk of late-onset type 2 diabetes.
 
Fat: Fat comes in all shapes and sizes, but butter and oils are often the most frequently encountered in the modern diet. Replace fats with slow-burning carbohydrates or proteins to obtain the same fullness and fuel your body.
 
Most foods combine two or more of the above ingredients to create an even more powerful sensation designed to increase cravings.
 
Limit the ingredient list to only one of each item to minimize the impact. Better yet, replace them with an easy-to-use alternative.
 
Within weeks you will feel satisfied without the constant cravings.

Picture credit.


How to Make the Airport a More Pleasant Experience

A plane awaits boardingFrom extensive security checks to lost luggage, it’s no wonder millions of Americans list a trip to the airport right up there with a visit to the dentist.
 
Fortunately, with a bit of planning and preparation it’s possible to make your next trip nearly painless – if not downright pleasant.
 
1. Allow Yourself to Lounge: A one-day lounge pass is one of the best-kept secrets among those in the know. Frequent flyers are not the only ones who are able to enjoy the benefits of the VIP lounge. With a one-day lounge pass even occasional travelers can enjoy the benefits of service, comfortable seats and knowledgeable staff.
 
2. Ship Your Stuff: This is such a simple but effective idea that you might wonder why it’s not more popular. Instead of paying premium prices to check your baggage only to encounter minimal reimbursement in the event of damage or loss, simply ship your bags ahead of time. Not only is it convenient and cost-effective, but the insurance is substantially better in the event of a claim.
 
3. Learn What to Ignore: Air travel involves a lot of distractions, so learning what to ignore not only makes time on the flight go by faster, but it reduces tension and fatigue associated with travel. A good set of earplugs goes a long way toward minimizing the sound of everything from crying babies to the engine. Likewise, skip the free food and focus on relaxing instead. It’s a great way to arrive at your destination rested and ready to enjoy the remainder of the trip.

Picture credit.


Why Good Photos Can Help With Your Insurance

A photographic inventory is helpful in the event of an insurance claim, but it’s important to get it right.
 
A photographic inventory does more than simply jog the memory and prove you actually owned the product. It also provides important information about condition and value and even helps in establishing replacement value in the event an updated appraisal is required.
 
Learn how to show it rather than blow it, with the following quick tips:
 
1. Plan Ahead: Keeping good records is critical to a good inventory, and the more the merrier. If possible, obtain a copy of the blueprints to your home along with receipts for major appliances, improvements and other additions. Permits, bid sheets and photographs all assist in documenting the condition of the home or belongings at the time of the claim. Be sure to include general photographs of the home as well as close-up pictures of personal belongings, including jewelry, electronics and other valuables.
 
2. Light Up Your Life: Photographs are a great idea, but only if the quality of the pictures is adequate. Take photographs during daylight or invest in a good flash to ensure that enough detail is visible. It’s also a good idea to take several photos from various angles.
 
3. Share and Save: Make copies of the photographs and store them in a safe location. Safe-deposit boxes and online storage are popular options. Send a copy to your insurance agent for safekeeping, but be sure to revise and update annually in order to ensure the latest acquisitions are included.

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