What To Do If You Have A Water Claim

Moving? Don’t Forget to Pack Your Moving Insurance
Your belongings are boxed. Your closing is scheduled. You’ve filed dozens of change-of-address forms. What’s left to do for your move?

Have you thought about moving insurance? If you’re hiring professional movers, you may assume you’re covered. This might not be the case. All moving companies are liable for the property they transport. However, their basic liability falls under either “full value” or “released value.” If you pay the extra cost for “full value,” the mover has to repair, replace, or pay for any damaged items. Under “released value” obligations, the mover only has to pay 60 cents per pound per item. If they damage your solid wood bedroom set, those cents won’t add up for you.

Some moving companies offer insurance policies. These work like most coverages: you pay the premium up front as well as a deductible for any claims. If the price seems fair, this policy may be worthwhile. However, check your state regulations to ensure it’s legit. Not all states allow moving companies to sell insurance policies, and it’s not unheard of for moving companies to sell bogus coverage.

The better option may be to obtain your own coverage through your insurance provider. Your homeowners policy may include move coverage, or you may need to add it for a small additional premium. If you need a separate policy, rates are usually based on the value of your possessions.

Is it worth the cost? The answer may depend on how trustworthy your movers are. And how much you care about your belongings.

Symphony in F Flat: Ding, Click, Beep

You start your car. It dings repeatedly until you fasten your seatbelt. You open the door, and you hear an alerting chime. You might have hit that deer, but your car’s collision warning alarm shrieked at you.

Did you know car manufacturers invest significantly in choosing these sounds? They’re not simply random noises added to your vehicle. According to CBS News, it’s someone’s job to find just the right tick, click, or beep for each situation. These “vehicle harmony engineers” hope to ensure the noises you associate with their vehicles enhance their brand; if you find your car’s chirps annoying, your next vehicle may be from another manufacturer.

As cars become more complex, these noise engineers have their work cut out for them. Today’s vehicles require a lot more than turn signal clicks and horn honks. Advanced safety alerts and luxury climate systems all add new pings and pongs to the musical melody of your car’s interior, and manufacturers may spend up to a year trying for the perfect sound. They even consult Hollywood sound engineers to produce these ideal jingles and jangles. So remember, the next time your car clicks, time and money went into that noise.

Eat Veggies and Meat …. The Solution: Flexitarianism

More people, even foodies, are making a conscious effort to eat less meat. But not everyone has it in them – nor is it always easy – to be a vegetarian.

Enter flexitarianism – eating mainly, but not exclusively, as a vegetarian. Voted 2003’s most useful word by the American Dialect Society, flexitarianism offers an alternative to other, sometimes strident, anti-meat movements. The concept was also given a boost recently when Whole Foods, the well-known purveyor of healthy food, dubbed flexitarianism the top food trend of 2017.

This recent development has further fueled the popularity of a related phenomenon: Meatless Mondays. The meatless movement has roots stemming back to World War I, when North Americans were encouraged to participate in “Meatless Monday” and “Wheatless Wednesday” in order to conserve resources and reduce consumption. These conservation efforts proved highly successful.

However, it wasn’t until 2003 that Meatless Mondays became a certified movement with a simple message: once a week, don’t eat meat. It was reintroduced as a public health awareness campaign in an effort to combat the rising number of preventable illnesses linked to excessive meat consumption. (The Meatless Monday website says the average American eats “as much as 75 more pounds of meat each year than in generations past!”) Since this reinvention, Meatless Monday has become a global mainstay for menu planners, with participants ranging from individuals to hospitals to schools and even corporate cafeterias.

Meatless Mondays are popular with families, as reducing meat consumption is as beneficial to our wallets as to our bodies. And rather than pushing back, most family members are now enthusiastic when meatless dishes are added to the weekly meal plan. Why? Online, on-air and in-restaurant chefs are constantly devising and sharing new and delicious vegetable-based recipes.

Finally, the Meatless Monday concept ties in well with other eat-healthy initiatives, including grow-your-own food, shop local, and of course, the significant trend of this year – flexitarianism.

When Your Living Room Becomes a Lake …
Your home is underwater, and it’s not about its market value. Literally, your home has been consumed by floodwaters. Now what?

Whether the cause is a broken pipe, a storm, or a flooded river, take the following three steps in this order.

Stay safe: It may be tempting to rush in to salvage your belongings, but water can create hazardous conditions. Check for a weakened structure as well as damage to gas or electric lines. It might be extremely dangerous to walk on cracked floors or wade through standing water near electrical shorts. If you even suspect the property is unsafe, don’t enter. If you can safely turn off electrical sources and/or gas, do it before you go in.

Document everything: Take photos (or a video) of the damage before draining the water, removing items, or making repairs. For insurance purposes, it will help to have an accurate depiction of the extent of the damage.

Contact your insurance provider: Notify your agent as soon as possible. Some flood damage is not covered by typical homeowners insurance policies. Communicate with your provider to discover what, if any, coverage is available. Let them know of any repairs you intend to make. Your agent can advise you if you need to wait for an adjuster to inspect your property first. If you do make repairs, document the process with pictures and receipts.

Throughout this process, it’s important to stay in touch with your insurance provider, particularly if yours is not the only property impacted by a flood.

The insurance company can also provide contact information for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which will be an important source of information if your flood is part of a wider problem. Should your region be declared an official “disaster area” by the government, you may receive additional financial assistance.

Check with your insurance company for information about these and other resources.