Does Santa Pay Higher Premiums If His Sleigh Is Red?
Whether or not you believe in Santa is up to you. But regardless of your opinion on the jolly man in red, don’t fall for the following myths about insurance for his sleigh (or your car):
The color of the sleigh affects the premium: Many believe that a flashy red sleigh is more expensive to insure than one painted reindeer brown. What actually matters is the type of sleigh. Vehicle insurance premiums are based on make, model, body type, safety record, and the cost of repair – not on color.
Santa’s age means his insurance will cost more: No, it does not cost more to insure your sleigh when you get older. In fact, many drivers over fifty-five may qualify for reduced rates. Check with your agent about senior or reduced-driving discounts.
Making the “Nice” list means you can go with basic liability: Basic liability may meet law requirements, but it’s rarely enough. Accidents often cost more than the minimum. Plus, standard liability usually doesn’t cover you if your sleigh is stolen by the Grinch, vandalized by South Pole elves, or damaged by snowstorms. However nice you are.
If an elf borrows the sleigh, the elf’s insurance will cover him: Typically, the policy that covers the sleigh is considered primary. This means that Santa’s insurance company must pay for damages, regardless of who has the reins. Laws differ by region, so if you’re considering loaning out your sleigh, check with your agent to ensure proper coverage is in place.
Five Techy Gifts That Don’t Cost the Earth
This year’s crop of great tech gifts, gadgets, and gizmos come with amazingly low prices. So, whether you’re buying for clients or friends and family (or indulging in a little retail therapy for yourself), consider these convenient, useful, low-cost items.
Video Streamers: At under $50, Google’s Chromecast is one of the most affordable video streamers on the market. For just a few dollars more, the Fire TV Stick adds a dedicated remote control so you don’t have to use your phone or tablet. The Roku Streaming Stick offers a wider selection of channels.
Audio Streamers: An audio streamer, such as the Chromecast Audio, enables you to beam music from your phone, tablet, or PC to any speaker in your house via Wi-Fi – for under $50. For travelers, consider a small, lightweight, economical Bluetooth audio streamer, such as the modestly priced Logitech X100.
Item Trackers: This year’s hottest gift item may be a tiny, thin, lightweight device with a GPS receiver that attaches to keys, cell phones, wallets, bags, or even pet collars. Press a button and your item tracker emits a sound to help you find it. Choose from many brands, including Tile and TrackR Bravo, for less than $50.
For the diehard griller, spend a bit more on the Grillbot Automatic Grill Cleaner. It’s similar in feel and function to the Roomba vacuum – no elbow grease required.
There are literally thousands of low-cost tech items to choose from this holiday season, including economical fitness trackers, headphones, tools, accessories, and toys. So, happy shopping!
Whew! Seems You’re Not Lazy, You’re Smart….
Inactivity may be a sign of intelligence.
According to an article in the U.K.-based Independent newspaper, new research from Florida Gulf Coast University suggests that brainy people tend to spend more time lazing around than their more active, and less brainy, counterparts.
Researchers found that individuals with high IQs generally don’t bore as easily, which leads them to spend more time lost in thought. On the flip side, people who are more active tend to get the additional stimulation they need by engaging in activities. The researchers suggested that this need for stimulation may be because these people are avoiding blue-sky thinking or because they get bored faster and easier.
The study consisted of a small participant pool of thirty “thinkers” and thirty “nonthinkers.” Both groups wore devices on their wrists that monitored their movements and activity levels for a week. The results: the thinkers were far less active over seven days than their nonthinker counterparts.
But if you find yourself in the lazy-but-smart category, take a moment before you start boasting about your intellectual prowess. The downside of these findings is that even though being lazier may put you in the “thinkers” group, it also may lead to a sedentary lifestyle, and that could be affecting your health in a number of less-than-positive ways.
Although the study’s results may seem odd, they could have value, according to the Research Digest of the British Psychological Society.
“Awareness of their tendency to be less active, coupled with an awareness of the cost associated with inactivity, (means) more thoughtful people may then choose to become more active throughout the day.”
Perhaps anecdotal evidence may help here. Apparently, many people say they have good ideas while walking or swimming. It may not be as pleasurable as out-and-out lazing, but for the thinkers in the crowd, it does kill two birds with one stone!
Grinch Protection: Wrap Up Your Home This Season
Grinches aren’t always scary green creatures in caves. Sometimes they are masked men who pick locks and carry away all your presents in their sleighs.
Take steps to stop the Grinches this season. With the proper precautions, you can protect your home and ensure your holiday stays bright. Consider the following:
Chimneys aren’t the only access: Some people develop a habit of leaving patio doors unlocked or propping open apartment-building doors. Keep doors and windows locked. It’s also good to check window hardware regularly to verify it’s secure.
Make a list and check it twice: Create an inventory of your personal property. Be sure to include items you have purchased as gifts. This will allow you to know what’s missing in the case of a burglary.
Santa isn’t the only one who needs landing lights: You do, too. Dark, vacant houses make prime targets for thieves. Leave lights on or set a timer, to give the impression someone is home.
Don’t advertise your trip to the North Pole: Will you be traveling? Keep that under wraps. If you announce on social media that your home is empty, the wrong kind of elf might find out and decide your house is prime for pilfering.
Santa’s not yet in the building: Wait until Christmas Eve to put out your gifts. This avoids putting them on display for potential thieves.
Protect presents: If you’re expecting a package but won’t be home, arrange with the company to have it left at a local shipping center or placed in an inconspicuous area. Even better, ask a neighbor to take it in for you.
Holiday peace: Unfortunately, no matter how much you prepare, a theft could still occur. But you can have peace of mind by investing in homeowners or renters insurance. These policies will help you recover your cheer if the Grinches steal it.
Have a cheery holiday!
Recipe: Holiday Peppermint Fudge
Makes 48 servings
This fudge is equally great for holiday giving and solitary gorging!
1 cup butter, cubed
2 cups sugar
1 5-ounce can evaporated milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate
¾ cup marshmallows
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Crushed peppermint candy for decoration
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil so it hangs over edges. Grease with butter. Lightly grease the sides of a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and add cubed butter, sugar, and milk. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium-high heat, then set to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat. Add chocolate, marshmallows, peppermint, and vanilla. Stir to melt and combine all ingredients, then beat for 1 minute until consistency is smooth and even. Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out surface. Sprinkle with candies, cover, and refrigerate for two hours or until firm.
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