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Moving to a new home can be an exciting time for a family. It can also be stressful and hectic if things are not planned out and some simple thing are kept in mind. There are a few tips for moving to a new home that will make the transition smooth and enjoyable.

The first consideration would be moving costs and the family budget. This can vary greatly depending on the circumstances. Variables would include the distance of the move, any company compensation, and the extent which moving companies are used.

A moving budget should be set up in the early stages of the transition. If the move is for a new job or a relocation, check to see if some if not all of the costs can be payed for by the employer.

The use of a moving company is a large expense, but is often quite necessary depending on the amount of household items to be moved and the timeline for the family. It may be appealing to save some money and do all of the moving with friends and family, but consider the time and physical effort involved in this undertaking. There are many levels of service when it comes to the use of a moving company.

Finally, insurance coverage needs to be clarified with any move. Some existing homeowners insurance policies will protect a family during the transition into the new home. Some policies may have gaps in this area. Be sure to clarify what the exact coverage is during this time of transition and make certain there are no gaps.

With some basic planning and a moving budget, a transition to the new home can be a smooth and a joyful time. The work prior to such a move will prove to be very beneficial.

Fire pits 101

Backyard fire pits are one of the top design features in backyards, and for good reason. A fire pit is an inexpensive and attractive way to extend the use of your yard into the colder fall and winter months. If you’ve decided that a fire pit is right for you, here are a few things you need to know first.



In areas of the country that are prone to wild fire, your policy may require you to disclose your fire pit to your insurance agent, so your first step should be to contact your personal agent and ask how a pit affects your homeowners insurance coverage.




Next, you need to find the right pit for you. Wood burning pits can be either built-in or portable, and are the most common. The main drawback is that wood burning pits are fairly high maintenance. You need a steady supply of wood and a place to store the wood to keep it dry.

Propane fire pits are generally easy to maintain, but they will need a constant supply of propane, and are usually larger than wood burning pits, requiring more space. Similarly, natural gas pits require a gas line to be run, and are permanently installed in one location.




Finally, make sure to your pit is in a safe location. A fire pit should be located at least 10 feet away from fences, buildings, and trees. Place the pit on gravel or stone slabs, that extend at least 2 feet beyond the perimeter of the fire, with debris such as twigs and leaves cleared an additional 5 feet. Also, be certain to not place the pit under low-hanging branches or a covered deck.


Properly used, fire pits are an excellent addition to any backyard.

There are a few home safety tips that should be observed during a traditional barbeque party on Father’s Day. A barbeque grill enables families to quietly relax on a patio while grilling steaks but is also a fire hazard that should be used with precautions. Accidents may be unavoidable, which requires that the homeowner’s insurance coverage must include adequate protection. Fire safety is important for protecting lives and personal property.

Propane Gas

Propane gas tanks are not toys and should be kept inside a locked cabinet or garage. Children or strangers could inadvertently cause a problem if a gas grill is stored on a patio or deck instead of being safely secured in an area that is not easily accessible. A gas grill should be handled with precautions in the same manner that a swimming pool is used with safety precautions to prevent the loss of life.


Charcoal is also a source of serious fire hazards because the charcoal will prolong the burning time for a fire that would have otherwise been extinguished after a newspaper or letter had been burned away. If a fire has no other contact with a flammable material, then a fire should slowly burn down to glowing embers. Flammable materials include wood, cloth, paper, gasoline, grease and acetone. Charcoal should be safely secured inside a locked cabinet.

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are important tools for family safety. The fire extinguishers should be rated for controlling the appropriate kind of fire such as for wood, flammable liquids or electrical fires. Family members should also be trained with techniques for fire safety. Insurance coverage can be used to cover any costs that have been caused by unavoidable mishaps. A Father’s Day celebration should be a joyful event that is not marred by house fires or injuries.

Spring is here. It’s time to get the cover off of your boat and get that boat back in the water. But before you do, make sure you have the right insurance coverage or your fun might spring a leak before it even gets started. Whether you need standard boat insurance or are in need of full marine insurance, getting your vessel covered year round allows for more hours of enjoyment and less hours figuring out if you can have your boat on the water.

If you are a recreational waterman, standard boat insurance typically covers any issues you may have when owning a watercraft. There are a variety to choose from with specific coverages depending on the type of boat you own: jet boat, sailboat, fishing boat, etc. Boat policies for insurance coverage are common in most insurance agencies and typically can be added to existing policies.

Maybe you’re a maritime entrepreneur and find yourself with cargo precious to both you and its owner. Marine insurance covers your ship, cargo, and terminals between birth and final destination. Travel with peace of mind knowing your ship, and everything on board, is covered with the annual marine insurance you were savvy enough to purchase. Marine insurance isn’t as common as boat insurance, so you may have to search somewhere other than where you have your car insurance to get your marine insurance policy.

Your boat is an investment, one you want to protect with the right insurance coverage. Whether you decide on more common boat insurance or get full marine insurance, having year round insurance coverage will keep your ship safe whether you’re docked for an extended stay or have set sail with no final destination.

Mother’s Day is yet again right around the corner this year, and families all over the world are scrambling to get their wife or mother that perfect gift that she will cherish forever. With some gifts, a little extra care in a way you may have not thought of just might be the gift your wife of Mom may thank you in the long run for. Insurance coverage for your potentially expensive gift could be a very valuable investment for a multitude of different reasons.

Perhaps you have finally saved enough money to buy your special woman that beautiful diamond ring she has always wanted, and after receiving it, she loves it so much that she wears it everyday, and brings it with her wherever she goes but it is not covered by an insurance plan. During a family outing, your wife or mother washes her hands in a restroom, and accidentally leaves her beloved gift on the edge of the restroom sink.

On the way home, realizing what she has done, she hurries back to the restroom to find that the gift she loved so much was not to be found. This is a situation where jewelry insurance coverage could mean the difference between temporary or permanent heartbreak. Different types of insurance provide a certain security for your possessions and provide you peace of mind, so do look into the different options.

People who want to protect the items in their homes purchase homeowners insurance coverage. Responsible drivers purchase incidental insurance coverage to protect themselves legally, and financially. So remember to keep in mind this Mother’s Day that when you are searching for that perfect gift, sometimes going the extra mile to make sure it stays safe and with her forever means the most to Mom this year.

One of the top worries on a business owner’s mind is insurance coverage for such claims as theft or damage to property. While these do occur on a regular basis, there are some more common claims that you should take into account as well:

Burglary and Theft By Employees

Theft by customer does occur, but theft by employee is much more prominant.

Commercial auto insurance does cover for this type of theft, as does homeowners insurance coverage if the theft happened at home. On average, the cost of employee theft is about $8,000 per occurance in the United States.

To prevent this type of thing from happening again, install security lighting, cameras and perform background checks on everyone before you hire them.

Water Damage

Water and freeze damage to pipes accounts for about 15 percent of claims filed by small business owners every year. Regardless of the type of business insurance you have, the costs you incur when fixing the damage should be covered by your policy.

Avoid this in the future by keeping the interior area of your store warm. Perform routine checks on your pipes during the coldest months of the year.

Fire Damage

Last year, fire damage accounted for more than 10 percent of all commercial insurance coverage claims. On average, each claim cost about $35,000 when insurance companies were done making payments.

In the future, test all fire alarms and systems, and always keep your nose open for gas leaks.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents accounted for about 10 percent of claims that were filed last year. This number is surprisingly low for many business owners who have experienced these types of lawsuits in the past.

Save your customers from falling by mopping up your store every hour or two. If you have a large store, be sure to check for areas that are prone to wet spots.

Business Auto Losses

Many businesses use vehicles as part of their daily business to serve clients. In some cases, small businesses have nothing but their vehicles to run their companies.

While not a major part of the type of business insurance coverage claims that were filed last year, adequate auto insurance coverage is always needed to help protect from unforeseen losses, especially if you operate in a major metropolitan area.

Types of Commercial Insurance for Small Businesses

The type of insurance a commercial client needs does depend on statistics for their type of business and location.

For example, a pizza parlor will likely need commercial insurance that includes fire protection, auto coverage if they do deliveries and some type of theft coverage. A company that specializes in tax preparation probably doesn’t have a need for fire protection or auto insurance coverage, but will need theft coverage and vandalism, if necessary. If the business is not located in a climate that experiences extreme cold conditions, insurance that includes protection from water and freezing pipes is likely unnecessary as well.

Each company should purchase a policy that is catered to his or her own business to save as much money as possible while ensuring they have enough protection for their assets.

Know Your Insurance Coverage

A common question many policy holders ask is, “Does my insurance coverage reimburse me for actual cash value or will it cover me for the replacement cost of damaged or stolen item?” There are significant differences between the two and it is a question you should have answered prior to signing on the dotted line of your policy.

Replacement Cost Coverage

Let’s say that your homeowners insurance coverage is a replacement cost policy. One day you come home to find the neighborhood kid who won’t stay off your lawn has just hit a baseball through your window and smashed that new LED television to dust. Your replacement cost policy will allow you to file a claim for a brand new television that is the same brand and of similar quality, so all in all, not a bad deal.

Actual Cash Value Policy

Let’s look at a different situation now. You have auto insurance coverage that will allow actual cash value claims on damaged or stolen property that is covered. So one day you are leaving work and see that a city bus took a turn too wide and totaled your 1995 Ford Taurus.
With your ACV policy the cost of depreciation will be factored into your reimbursement. The legal system also has different ways of interpreting “actual cash value” which could further affect your claim. In other words, you won’t be getting that 2015 Taurus thanks to a bad bus driver.
These types of coverage plans can apply to many types of coverage from renter’s insurance, homeowner’s, auto and even commercial insurance coverage. You may see lower premiums on a cash value policy but may end up losing out in the long run if you need to file a claim. It’s helpful to know the difference because being in the dark has the possibility of hitting you right in the pocketbook one day.
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