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Home Insurance: 7 Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

Home Insurance: 7 Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

Home insurance policies can become complicated, so it is in every owner’s best interest to brush up on some key information before diving in.

Here are some tips for homeowners looking for coverage and ways to make the process as stress-free as possible.

Knowing you are covered is priceless.

Having a piece of mind is valuable, so sleep better at night knowing you are covered rather than worrying about breaking the bank. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are 4 basic kinds of coverage:

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  1. Coverage for the structure of your home
  2. Coverage for your personal belongings
  3. Liability protection
  4. Additional living expenses if you are temporarily unable to live in your home because of an insured disaster.

The truth is, most people will never have a use for the majority of the coverage they acquire. But in the event of a natural disaster, emergency repair or any other pitfall that could occur it is worth the extra money to know that you are covered.

Purchasing auto and home insurance from the same company can save money.

In some cases, insurance companies will offer a discount on either home or auto insurance if you buy both from the same place. For example, Progressive offers a potential 8% discount on auto insurance if a property policy is added. This can become tricky, so be sure to crunch the numbers and make sure it will be less expensive to do both rather than purchasing separate policies from different companies.

Research insurance companies and premiums.

Insurance companies will determine the premium of your policy based on several factors. You can get a ballpark figure of what it might cost by simply entering your information at the website of any number of insurance companies. For example, Chill.ie Home Insurance provides fast quotes without even having to speak to an agent.

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Anything that puts your home at a higher risk of damage will affect how high the coverage premium is set. Do some research and find out what insurance company could potentially save you the most money. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has tons of information on their website as well as recommendations for insurance companies within your region.

Secure the home as much as possible

It’s any homeowners’ nightmare to imagine something happening to the home when no one is there. Improve the security as much as possible, but keep in mind that effective alarms and monitoring systems can be expensive. But the good thing is some insurance companies will offer discounts for things like burglar alarms and smoke detectors. So, you can essentially save money while simultaneously protecting your home.

Know how much your possessions are worth

There is also coverage for things inside of the home. Keep an itemized list of all of your possessions because it is important when trying to recoup expenses. There are even online inventories that can assist with keeping things organized. According to Bankrate, the average household can have anywhere from $10,000-$30,000 worth of valuables. That sounds like a lot, but when you really break it down piece by piece the numbers make sense.

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Attach dollar amounts to every single thing you own and a clearer picture will start to develop. Also, remember to make several copies of the list and receipts and keep them in a safe place. Either store them digitally or keep them someplace away from any possible hazard involved with the home, as damage/loss will render them useless.

Purchase earthquake and flood insurance

If you live in an area that could potentially be affected by a flood or earthquake it is a good idea to get some extra coverage. Standard policies cover fire, hurricanes, lightning, hail and many other disasters but not floods or earthquakes. Know the history of your region to be sure you are not at risk.

Less is not always more

It can be tempting to simply go with the insurance company that charges you the least amount of money. That is not always a wise decision because the service and support they provide are also very important. Ask questions about the company’s reputation. Find out their track record with satisfied customers. Weigh those things and try to find one that provides the right balance of cost efficiency and quality service.

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Featured photo credit: ybimmobilier via ybimmobilier.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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