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Currently serving customers in Missouri and Illinois with Residential and Commercial Insurance Products. Car, Home, Motorcycle, Boat, RV, Condo, Renters, Rental Dwelling Insurance, Fire policies, Umbrella coverage, Flood, Earthquake, Term, Universal and Whole Life, Health, Worker's Compensation, General Liability, Commercial Auto, Inland Marine and more.
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We already have two space heaters set up in our house. One for my basement office and the other in our living room.
A lot of people bring out space heaters during this time of year and it’s easy to forget that guests or little kids may not know how to safely use a space heater. Watch this short safety video from one of our top carriers, Travelers, and make sure everyone coming into your house, or using their own space heater, does so safely!
Purchasing condo insurance can be complex, so it’s imperative to work closely with your broker or agent to obtain the best price and policy.
Why Are Condos Different?
Due to the use of shared space and amenities, there are special considerations to keep in mind when obtaining insurance. Most condos include special fees to cover routine maintenance and repairs, as well as specialized insurance for the entire complex or condo association.
Insurance is important for anyone residing in a condo, townhome, co-operative or other shared organization, whether you live in it year-round or use it as a vacation home.
Unit-owner policies are one of the most popular forms of individual insurance used by condo owners or occupants. This insurance picks up where the master policy leaves off by providing insurance for modifications or improvements made to the unit or for other uncompensated damages. Additional coverage may be required for personal property and even liability depending upon your individual circumstances. Ask your agent or broker about special situations, including small home business, increased personal property limits for valuables or collectibles, and enhanced loss assessment coverage. Your agent or broker will be able to provide specific insurance that complements the existing master policy to make sure you have the best policy. Loss of use is another popular form of coverage that every condo owner is likely to need. If you’re unable to use your unit due to a fire, weather-related damage or another problem, the loss of use coverage provides the protection needed to maintain a roof over your head until repairs are made.
Common Exclusions and Add-on Considerations
Every policy is different, but a few of the more common exclusions found in many policies include flood damage, earthquake- or mudslide-related expenses, pest- or pet-related problems, and business-related activities. Ask your agent about specialized coverage needs.
Is there a parent alive whose heart sings when children come home with pillowcases full of candy, as young, sugar-soaked brains misfire on all cylinders?
A common defense is the Switch Witch, or Candy Fairy. After children have picked out a few pieces of sugary loot, they put the rest out for the Switch Witch. This beneficent witch comes while children are asleep to whisk away candy and leave a little gift in its place.
For treats to give out, among the most popular healthy alternatives are Fair Trade organic chocolates and organic fruit leathers. Favored non-food treats include nontoxic crayons and recyclable temporary tattoos.
Costumes and Decorations
Do It Yourself is the motto with costumes and decorations. Buying these things shortchanges children of the fun they have creating them, as well as putting more non-recyclable, petroleum-based garbage in landfills. It is time to reinvest in imagination instead – it’s more fun. There are countless ideas online for great, self-made costumes that cost little or no money.
Out and About
The plastic Trick or Treat bag is dead. It’s one creature that needn’t rise again this Halloween night. Pillowcases and canvas sacks are wonderful options.
Parents no longer sit behind the wheels of idling cars while their ghost lings float door-to-door. Walking along with children gives parents a chance to share their joy close-up, to look at the Halloween moon, and to revel in the spooky atmosphere.
We spend at least a third of our day at work, so it makes sense to try to make each day as happy as possible. Part of the solution is a result of the type of work environment you choose — but there are other things you can do to make any workplace happier.
Take control. Good employers know that workers who have some control over their day-to-day tasks are generally happier. So, if you can, choose a job that gives you a lot of say over how you organize your day and how you complete tasks.
Avoid negativity. It’s easy to get sucked down into the “unhappiness crowd” if you spend too much time moaning about work and criticizing other people.
Socialize. Spend time chatting with your coworkers — perhaps go for lunch with them once in a while. You’ll build a network of support and resources that will be there for you when you need it.
Do something you love. Try to find one part of your job you really love. If you can’t do that, maybe it’s time to start looking for work elsewhere. There’s no point sticking with something that bores you — or that you dislike — when there are other opportunities available.
Be aware of who you are and what you need. Get acquainted with your strengths and your weaknesses, and figure out what you really want from work — and from life. That makes a good starting point for fixing the things that need to be fixed and developing your career.
Choose happiness. You can focus on the things that make you happy and dismiss those that don’t. It’s sometimes only a matter of changing your outlook.
It seems that every day we have more and more to do — and unfortunately the day is still only 24 hours long. But it’s a fact that most of us are not as productive as we could be — either at work or at home.
Productivity experts say one of the first things to do in order to accomplish more is to become aware of how you are spending your time now. Keep note of what you are doing throughout the day. You are likely to be surprised how much time you are wasting on distractions such as checking email, surfing the Web or chatting to people.
Experts say the biggest thing you can do to improve your productivity is to focus on the task at hand without distraction. When you start a task, don’t stop until you are finished, unless it’s to take a break. (Breaks are important for productivity, as they keep you fresh and alert, so don’t neglect those.) Just don’t get distracted by another task (such as your incoming email or a job that seems more interesting) until you’ve completed the task you set out to do.
That’s easier said than done, of course, as distractions are everywhere. However, they say it gets easier with practice, particularly if you are aware each time you are being distracted.
Another trick is to actually reduce the time you allow yourself to complete tasks. That sounds counterintuitive, until you think of Parkinson’s Law — that a task fills the time allotted to it. When you put yourself under a little bit more pressure to get things done, you are forced to focus more on the task.
You might have an ice dam on your roof and not even know it until damage shows up inside the home.
An ice dam is an accumulation of ice at the lower edge of a sloped roof, usually at the gutter. Once an ice dam forms, the potential damage can be serious as the ice creeps under the protective roof cover and blocks proper water flow. The result is ruined carpets and damage to your ceilings and walls as water flows to the inside of the home.
You may be able to avoid the resulting aggravation and expense by taking basic steps right now to prevent this kind of damage.
Take these steps now to avoid trouble later:
Keep the attic well-ventilated. The colder the attic, the less melting and refreezing on the roof.
Keep the attic floor well insulated to minimize the amount of heat rising through the attic from within the house.
Make sure your gutters are clean and free flowing throughout the year.
Have a roof inspection completed every few years to look for damaged flashing, pipe boots, or sagging decking.
If you need the name of an outside contractor or roofing specialist, don’t hesitate to call. I am always happy to introduce you to quality contractors I have worked with in the past.
People who rent a car for the holidays can get the right insurance without paying too much if they follow a few simple steps.
First, renters should call their insurance agents or brokers to clarify what type of coverage they need, taking into account limitations and exclusions as well as special situations that may apply to anticipated travel plans.
If you drive an economy car most of the time, be sure to ask about additional coverage if you intend to rent a luxury vehicle while on vacation.
Make sure that you are covered when crossing state lines or renting a car in another country. Most insurance companies will not cover your car if you drive into Mexico.
If you plan to share the driving, make sure everyone is equally covered before making a final determination about who will get behind the wheel of the rental car.
Renters should consider the pros and cons of all available options before making a final decision about rental car insurance.
While many credit cards claim to provide very affordable, or even free, rental car coverage, there are often major limitations and exclusions that should be fully understood. For example “Loss of use” is often excluded from auto insurance policies and credit card company policies. So if you you damage the rental car and it’s in the shop for three weeks, you’re going to be charged by the rental company for the “loss of use” of that vehicle.
Likewise, car rental companies provide insurance that tends to be quite costly, so read the fine print and find out how each plan supplements your own insurance to find the right balance between coverage and cost.
Life insurance is one of the most important considerations when it comes to planning for your family’s financial future, according to experts.
But for those who are self-employed, there is an even greater urgency.
The following information and tips will assist you in finding the best rates:
Loss of Income: Life insurance provides your family with protection from the loss of income that could result should you pass away. Your family will suffer a loss of income, but potential assets of the business could also be impaired or held in probate. Life insurance helps bridge the gap while providing important protection against the loss of a lifetime of income.
Personal and Professional Security: Not only does your family depend upon you, but so does your small business.
Clients, lenders and employees often feel more secure when adequate life insurance is in place on key employees. This is especially important for those who hope to seek angel or other start-up funding as well as those who have personal assets at risk.
If you’re a small-business owner and you’re not sure about what’s right for you, speak to your insurance agent to learn more about the different types of policies.
Some of the more common forms of life insurance for small businesses include term life, whole life, variable life, universal life, variable universal life and business owner policy.
If you have never purchased life insurance or if it has been a while since you bought your policy then you may be under-insured. Use these tips to help calculate your life insurance needs.
Plan ahead for life-changing events: Marriage, retirement, childbirth, starting a business or even buying a home can alter the amount of life insurance required to care for your family. Make a point of reviewing your life insurance needs at least once per year.
Define your goals: Depending upon your life stage, the purpose of life insurance may be to replace a lost income or supplement a retirement pension and health benefits. Whatever the main financial goal may be, include the actual annual amount plus benefits and intangibles such as health insurance, care-taking and help with household duties. Remember, it will be necessary to pay someone else to perform those same duties in the event of an untimely death.
Add Inflation: After you have derived an estimate of the total base benefit amount, include anticipated rates of inflation. Don’t use the average government inflation rate, especially for college or health care expenditures which tend to rise far above those of other goods.
Draw-Down Period: Ideally the “perfect” amount is one that allows your family to use a combination of interest on the funds plus principle until the amount is exhausted.
Taxes: Depending upon how the life insurance is purchased and held, some portions may be taxable.