9 Tips For Understanding Deductibles

Written by on 9/6/2011 7:47 PM . It has 0 Comments.

How much you pay for insurance protection usually depends on the amount you agree you'd fork out of your own pocket during a claim before the insurance company kicks in. This is your deductible. Its main attraction is that the higher the deductible, the lower the sum you pay for your insurance (the premium). Simple? Well, here are 9 things to know: You pay a deductible only when you're making a claim. It may apply to each claim you make (as with car insurance) or a whole year (e.g. most medical policies). There may be different levels within the same policy (e.g. one for a home and another for its contents). Some insurers waive deductibles in certain circumstances (e.g. preventive healthcare). You must choose from available options (e.g. $500, $1,000).  Your mortgage lender may stipulate the maximum deductible, so you don’t end up with one you can't pay. The Government stipulates the lowest health insurance deductible you can have to qualify for a tax-sheltered ...


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Protecting Yourself When Working From Home

Written by on 8/30/2011 8:01 PM . It has 0 Comments.

Changes in technology and the economic downturn mean more of us than ever are working from home. Depending on how you define them, the US now has between 20m and 40m home-based businesses, plus another 30m home offices, many of them used by "telecommuters" – people working from home for another employer. Add those figures together and it means a sizeable chunk of the population now spend at least part of their work-time at home. And the trend is growing. What many people don’t realize is that this practice has special insurance needs because it likely either won’t be covered by your homeowners policy – for liability for instance – or there'll be restrictions on the level of protection against damage. If you're employed by someone else, the first thing you should do is check with them on how their insurance protects you but if you're self-employed you almost certainly need to arrange additional coverage. Obviously, if your activity involves visits from clients – a sewing a ...


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How To Insure Your Sports And Recreational Vehicles

Written by on 8/22/2011 6:10 PM . It has 0 Comments.

Boats, jet skis, ATVs and recreational vehicles are exciting modes of transportation. They provide a great means of escape on weekends and vacations, but ownership of these thrill-seeking vehicles creates the need for special insurance to protect you, your passengers and others. While all recreational-type vehicles can be protected by the same basic coverages, each one has its own special requirements and restrictions. BASIC COVERAGES At a minimum, boats, jet skis, ATVs and recreational vehicles need "liability" and “comprehensive” insurance coverage. Liability protects you if your vehicle injures someone or damages someone else's property, and comprehensive insurance protects your property in case of vandalism, damage or destruction caused by theft or fire. Depending on the age and value of your investment, you may want to purchase collision insurance, which provides coverage for damage you cause to your own property. BOATS The amount you pay for your boat insurance will depend on many facto ...


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Sprinkler Systems Now Required In New Homes

Written by on 8/16/2011 5:08 AM . It has 0 Comments.

Starting this year, homes built in Southern California and throughout the state will be sold with a virtual firefighter in every room, on duty 24 hours a day to save lives. That is the way fire marshals describe California building code amendments that now require every single-family home and duplex built anywhere in the state to be equipped with a fire sprinkler system. The provision, which became effective Jan. 1, 2011, is hoped to make a dent in fire fatalities, which nationally claim the lives of eight people a day. A March 2010 report from the National Fire Protection Association found that, in a five-year period, the death rate per 1,000 reported home fires was 83% lower when sprinkler systems were present than when they weren't. The home building industry, which resisted sprinklers in single family houses for more than two decades, says in California, it will add about $4,000 to the cost of an average house, or about $2 per square foot. Before Jan. 1 California had no statewide building code requi ...


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Uninsured Motorist Coverage - How Important Is It?

Written by on 7/19/2011 6:14 PM . It has 0 Comments.

A personal story from Julie Sweeney, manager of our Tustin office. Do you know what uninsured motorist coverage is? Or better yet, do you know how much coverage you have, or if you have coverage at all? Let me tell you a story… It was Easter time, my dad drove my brother back to the base at Camp Pendleton after a family dinner.  On his way back home to Orange County, he was rear ended by a drunk driver, driving at over 100 mph.  The last thing that my dad remembered was seeing his car veer toward the center divider. He woke up in the hospital a lucky man.  He was alive, but with significant injuries, including several cracked vertebrae--a broken neck.  He would spend several weeks in the hospital and months at home in a hospital bed recovering. They did catch the driver of the other car, and he was jailed for drunk driving.  But, the other driver had NO INSURANCE. Fortunately, my dad did have excellent medical insurance through his work that paid the majority of his me ...


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How To Protect Your Pets From Fires

Written by on 7/12/2011 5:34 PM . It has 0 Comments.

It's a stunning fact that half a million pets are affected every year by home fires and since July 15 is National Pet Fire Safety Day, there's no better time to make sure you're doing all you can to protect our furred and feathered friends. It's also true that many house fires are actually caused by pets, so you'll be doing yourself a favor too by taking sensible precautions. For example: extinguish open flames which often arouse pet curiosity, remove glass bowls from wooden decks (they can ignite wood), secure or remove loose wires, and keep young animals away from potential fire-starting hazards. Every summer, Southern California is threatened with the presence of wild fires.  Therefore, it's better to be prepared and think about how to protect your beloved pets should an unexpected fire threaten your house or apartment. If you’re going out, leave pets near entrances where they're more easily rescued if there's a fire, and place a decal on a window that requests pet rescue and explains how man ...


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10 Vital Safety Tips for Oceans, Rivers and Lakes

Written by on 7/5/2011 6:30 PM . It has 0 Comments.

There's nothing quite like the joy of splashing around in water during the long hot days of summer. But while most of us are alert to swimming pool safety, especially where children are concerned, it's easy to overlook the fact that natural water – our oceans, lakes and rivers – have their own set of dangers, some of them equally risky to adults as well as youngsters. If you're planning a beach or waterside trip this year, here are 10 hazards to watch out for. Fast-moving currents in rivers and oceans. You can't see them but they can quickly sweep you away. Look for warning signs and do research if you're visiting somewhere new. Sudden changes in tides. Muscle power often isn’t enough to get back to shore when tides go out. Or you can be trapped on a sandbank when it sweeps in. Get to know tide times. Hidden depths. Gradients can fall away very quickly in rivers, lakes and oceans. Carefully test the ground in front of you and don’t swim in areas you haven't tested. Don ...


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How to Get Insurance Coverage for Long-Term Travel

Written by on 6/28/2011 5:20 PM . It has 0 Comments.

While most of us think of being away from home, for a vacation or family visit, as being a week or two at most, travel is a long term affair for others. That may be because you're taking an extended break or perhaps traveling outside the US on a church-based mission. But whatever the purpose, the longer you’re away the more you run the risk of a mishap, and while some people choose not to take out travel insurance for regular US trips, coverage for longer trips especially abroad is essential. The nature of this type of travel is usually quite different to a regular vacation. For example, you might be visiting multiple destinations, planning numerous "adventure" sports activities, or, in some cases, visiting areas where there are increased risks to health or personal safety. The good news is that it's possible to put together comprehensive insurance that fits your needs, including coverage for up to 12 months, health care for the particular countries you plan to visit and even specialist term life insur ...


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Hands-On For Home Safety

Written by on 6/21/2011 5:45 PM . It has 0 Comments.

Preventing home injuries, including falls, fires/burns and poisoning, should be something that's upper-most in our minds all the time, but the subject has an extra focus this month because June is National Home Safety Month. Organized by the Home Safety Council, the aim is to educate and motivate families, especially children, under the banner of Hands on Home Safety. The Council has created stacks of ready-made resources to share with family and friends, co-workers and others to encourage them to take a hands-on approach to make their homes safer. They include copy-ready newsletter articles, brochures dealing both with home safety and disaster preparedness, a series of lesson plans such as weekly reader program, a curriculum kit for elementary school classroom and a falls prevention program for older adult activity centers. Every year, home-related injuries cause nearly 20,000 deaths and 21 million medical visits. Says the Council: "There are many simple things you can do to help save lives and prevent in ...


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Safety Tips for Two Wheels

Written by on 6/13/2011 5:07 PM . It has 5 Comments.

No doubt about it: Hitting the open road, or even a dirt track, on two pedal-powered wheels is good for your heart… and great for your soul, especially now the weather is warming up. But it's not so good for your well-being if you fail to follow some commonsense safety and security rules, both when you're riding and when you park your bicycle. Latest figures suggest the number of bicycle accidents and fatalities is falling but the numbers are still high – around 50,000 and 600 respectively. And the number of thefts is not falling at all – about 1.5 million of them are stolen every year, according to the FBI. But a few simple measures could cut the accident rate further and really slash that theft figure. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) lists the following 10 Smart Routes To Bicycle Safety: Protect your head. Wear a helmet. Make sure your bicycle is adjusted properly. Always check brakes before riding. Ensure you can see clearly and be seen ...


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