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Liabilities of Renting Your Home

March 4th, 2019 | No Comments | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

Protecting Your Personal Property

You may be considering renting out your home for extra income while you’re away for an extended period of time. Though this seems like an ideal solution for families with extra room to spare, it can pose liabilities. Take the following considerations to heart in order to protect your home.

American Heart Month

February 4th, 2019 | No Comments | Posted in inSIGHTS, Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

Every February is designated as American Heart Month, which makes it a great time to review your health and reduce your chances of developing a cardiovascular disease. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease accounts for 1 in 3 deaths in the United States.

Many factors contribute to your heart’s health, including your diet, blood pressure and cholesterol. Here are some tips you can use during American Heart Month to lower your risks of cardiovascular disease:

 
  • Get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, four or more times a week. Even if your first workouts are slow, you can increase the time and intensity as you progress.
     
  • Get frequent medical checkups that include blood pressure and cholesterol tests. You can also talk to your primary care physician about medications that can improve your heart’s health.
     
  • Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Also, try to avoid pre-prepared foods, saturated fats and trans fats.
  • Avoid drinking excess amounts of caffeine and alcohol.
     
  • Keep your stress levels low by practicing relaxation techniques and maintaining a healthy sleep schedule.
     
  • Limit your sodium intake to 1,500 to 2,400 milligrams per day.
View more InSights here.

Protect Your Home from Snowmelt

February 4th, 2019 | No Comments | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

Fireplace Safety & Maintenance

February 4th, 2019 | No Comments | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

Making 2019’s Resolutions Last

January 3rd, 2019 | No Comments | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

In One Year and Out the Other—Making 2019’s Resolutions Last

New Year’s resolutions can be a great way to motivate yourself and make positive life changes. However, sticking to resolutions like new diets or spending habits can take some serious dedication. Here are a few tips to help your resolutions last all the way until 2020:

  • Start resolutions early. When setting a resolution for 2019—such as losing a certain amount of weight or saving a specific amount of money—don’t wait until it’s too late to get started. Instead, focus on what you can do now and on a regular basis.
     
  • Make your resolutions as specific as you can. While a simple resolution like exercising more may seem like a good idea, it’s easier to follow through if you have clear goals. Make a schedule for when, where and how you’ll accomplish a specific resolution.
     
  • Go one step at a time. Resolutions should last for the entire year, not just for a week or a month. Don’t try to overexert yourself early in the year by doing too much too quickly—instead be sure to stay consistent and take your resolutions one step at a time.
     
  • Find a friend or family member to work on your resolution with. Completing your goals with a partner can help you stick to your schedule. Plus, a little friendly competition can help you stay motivated!
     
  • Know when to take a break. Although it’s important to work on your goals regularly, remember to pace yourself and take a break every now and then. That way, you’ll be able to come back to your resolutions with a relaxed and refreshed mindset.

View more INSIGHTS here.

Snowmelt Protection Tips

December 7th, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

Use these four tips to help reduce your home’s risk of snowmelt damage:

  1. Clear snow from your home’s foundation. Shovel snow away from your home, including stairwells, window wells, downspouts and doors to help prevent water from seeping in through cracks.
     
  2. Maintain your roof and gutters. Any heavy snow that has accumulated on your roof should be cleared away to avoid water damage. Keep your gutters clear of debris to avoid ice dams – melted snow that refreezes at night, causing gutter clogs.
     
    1. Ensure proper drainage. Make sure your downspout drains away from your home, and keep any street storm sewer drains clear of snow to prevent buildup and freezing.
       
    2. Check your sump pump. Test to see that your sump pump is in good working order in case your home experiences flooding. If you notice any small leaks, take care of them before they become a bigger hazard.
View more Home Matters tips here.

Holes in Standard Home Policies

December 7th, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

Holes in Standard Homeowners Policies

Sewage Backup
Sewage backup in one of the several hazards that people widely assume is covered by their homeowners insurance. Standard policies do not cover damage from sewage and water backups. To get this protection, you need to buy special coverage.

Check with your agent to see if you have this coverage. If you don’t you should

consider adding a rider for approx. $50 a year that would pays up to $10,000 for sewage backup damage. It will also cover damage from sump pump malfunction.

Flooding
Most people who live near a river or coastline know that homeowners insurance does not cover flooding, and they purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. But Flooding can be a problem even if you don’t live near water.

Consider adding Flood Insurance. It is sold at government set prices, depending on your proximity to a flood zone. For more information on the cost of flood insurance and how to buy it, see the NFIP’s Web Site ( www.fema.gov/nfip), or call 888-225-5356.

Home Office
If you have a home office, don’t assume that your equipment is protected by the personal possession coverage in your homeowners policy. Homeowners and renters policies typically cap the coverage for business personal property at $2,500. The coverage drops even more if you take any of the property out of the house. It only pays $250 if your laptop is stolen on a business trip.

Also, a typical policy provides no liability coverage for business related claims.  For instance if your delivery person slips on you front stoop while delivering a business package and ends up suing, your homeowners may leave you high and dry.

Consider adding a rider for approx $200 a year that would set the business personal property and liability coverage to the same amounts as stated in your homeowners policy.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

November 5th, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

One of the messiest and most costly homeowner repairs is fixing a burst, frozen pipe. Water from a burst pipe can cause damage to carpeting, short out electrical appliances and ruin furniture. Luckily, there are several ways to protect your home:

  • Keep the heat in your house at a minimum of 50° F.
     
  • Allow faucets to drip slightly, which can alleviate pressure in the piping system.
     
  • Keep interior doors open. This allows heat from the rest of your house to spread, keeping your pipes warm.
     
  • Seal any cracks and holes found near your pipes. This can help keep cold air out of your home.
     

  • Add extra insulation to your pipes. Experts recommend fitting your pipes with foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves.

Water expands as it freezes and puts significant pressure on the metal or plastic pipes that hold it. If you fail to take the proper precautions, your pipes can easily fail during a cold winter, which can be incredibly costly to repair.

Time Management Tips

November 5th, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

One way to reduce workplace stress is through time management. Proper time management allows you to complete pressing tasks efficiently and allocate enough resources to complete future projects as well.

Workplace stress is a common aspect of employment, particularly if you often find yourself with a heavy workload. While it may not be possible to completely eliminate stress, it’s critical to manage it effectively. One way to reduce workplace stress is through time management. Proper time management methods allow you to complete pressing tasks efficiently and allocate enough resources to finish future projects as well.

The following time management tips can help you reduce workplace stress caused by heavy workloads:

  • Complete the most important tasks first.
  • Learn how to say no to projects that aren’t time sensitive or fall outside of your responsibilities.
  • Get plenty of rest so you are productive during the workday.
  • Eliminate distractions and focus on the task at hand.
  • Get an early start on upcoming projects whenever possible.
  • Stay organized.
  • Budget time between tasks to address any issues and to prepare for upcoming projects.

If workplace stress persists, it may be a good idea to speak with your supervisor. They will be able to provide ways to help limit your workload and able to provide ways to help limit your workload and improve your situation.

10 Health and Safety Tips for Laptop Usage
The use of laptop computers simplifies work, improving workplace mobility, quality and productivity overall. However, overuse of laptops can increase your chance of injury. Read on to learn more.