Friday, 7 October 2011

Cautions: Your Car During Hurricane

As Hurricane Irene approaches the East Coast, we have prepared a few helpful safety tips related to your car, which can play a key role in surviving such a natural disaster.
People will be affected in a wide range of ways from this storm system from direct home damage and power loss, to the interruption of goods and services. The most important tip is knowing that extreme weather is no place for driving. Don’t drive in the storm. Risks such as hydroplaning and striking unexpected submerged objects in deep puddles are too real, and emergency services will have their hands full. Don’t add to their challenges.
That said, here are some things to consider.

Fill the gas tank.
If your county loses power for days, it may be essential to drive to shelter or travel to obtain services. In good weather, that is an easy task, but when millions of other people also need a hotel, the distance you must drive can be considerable. And in the end, you may end up sleeping in the car.
Install new windshield wipers, or at least freshen the existing ones by wiping with a paper towel moistened with window cleaner. In our tests, we have found that simple action can often add months of service.

Check the tire pressure, including the spare tire. When it is time to go, you don’t want a simple flat tire to hold you back. If debris litters the streets, the chance of a tire puncture is much greater.

Pack a go-bag. It is highly recommended that each family member prepare a go-bag. Likewise, you should have a go-bag in the car, with cash, water, food, clothes, and other living essentials in case you have the need to bolt. Should the house sustain significant damage, you can’t count on being able to retrieve everything that you might otherwise want for travel.

Maps. Have paper maps with you, including an evacuation route printed from your state government’s website. A GPS with traffic services can prove valuable, but of course, some traffic information may be compromised by power outages. (Connecticut, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia.)

Car charger. A cell phone can provide a vital lifeline to friends, family, and emergency services. Should the neighborhood lose power, make sure you have a charger in the car to power up your phone.

Check the windows. It seems simple, but it is important. Make sure the windows and sunroof are all closed tight.

Take pictures. This goes for the car, as well as the house. Snap a few before pictures in case you need to prove damage was caused by the storm.

Park the vehicle on high ground, removing the risk of flooding. A water-damaged car is an expensive, disappointing boat anchor.

Protect the garage. In the south, modern homes are built to hurricane codes, with structures and even garage doors engineered to withstand harsh storms. That is not the case for much of the region about to be introduced to Irene. Consider parking your car outside, tight against the garage door—sideways—to block high-speed winds and hopefully preserve the door’s integrity. Should true hurricane-force winds break through the garage door, the storm can do serious structural damage. With an attached garage, that damage can quickly translate to the house.

Insurance paperwork. If possible, keep a copy of the car insurance paperwork in a Ziplock within your go bag. Should the car be damaged, don’t delay calling the insurance company for days. Chances are, you’re not alone. The insurance phone lines will be clogged, and the local repair shops will quickly be booked up.

Evacution. If you decide to drive away from the storm, before the harsh winds arrives, drive safely. Don’t speed, especially in the rain. The faster you drive, the greater the risk of hydroplaning—when water causes a vehicle's tires to lift off the road surface. Stick to major roads. Avoid short cuts, as they are more likely to have problems, especially after the storm (trees down, flooding), and less likely to have emergency workers keeping the road clear. Try to limit the family to one car, so as to minimize road congestion. And stay away from flooded areas and downed power lines.
With some quick preparation, your car can play a key role in weathering the storm. Good luck.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Thumb For Canceling Car Insurance

Canceling your car insurance is something that everyone has to go through.  Trust me, I know that I have done it quite a lot of times and I know that it can be difficult, however there are some things that you need to know whenever you are thinking about canceling your car insurance.
One of the first steps that you need to do is make sure that you know exactly what you policy says.  Before anything else is done, you want to just take a peek at your policy and ensure exactly how the payment structure works.
Next, make sure that you contact your insurance provider.  Every car insurance broker actually will have to follow a lot of different steps to cancel a policy, so keep that in mind.

Save cash on your insurance rates!

Saving money on car insurance is something that everyone in the world … especially right now want to do.  Did you know that it is actually one of the easiest things in the world to do?  Well, I did not until I actually did just a little bit of research.  Below, I am going to explore some of the ways that you can cut the costs on your car insurance premiums and make sure that you get the most of your policy!
One of the first things on my list is going to be do not … I repeat, do not modify your car or truck.  If you are thinking about it, it is going to, in the long run going to catch up with you in the form of a higher car insurance premium.  So make sure that you stay away from the modifying of your car as it will save you a whole lot of money!
The next thing that can save you a lot of money is not filing a claim with you car insurance company if the amount is five hundred and under – to be honest, you can save up to 30% on your car insurance premium by not filing small claims … that’s a lot right?  Stay tuned for more tips and tricks in how to save some cash on your car insurance premiums!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

What does home insurance cover you for?

Home Insurance is split into two types of cover; buildings insurance and contents insurance. Usually insurance providers will offer the option of taking each type individually as well as offering a deal which includes both. Most insurers will tell you in detail about what their policies cover you for on their websites. It’s always important to know you’re insurer and if you have any questions about items that you’re not sure will be covered, be sure to ask them before you take out the policy.
In general both buildings and contents insurance will cover you for loss or damage caused by fire, lightning, explosions, earthquakes, smoke, riots, theft, subsidence, storms and floods.

Buildings insurance will generally cover structural areas like walls, ceilings, floors, roofs windows, doors, drainage, garages and any outbuildings, as well as permanent fixtures such as work-tops and bathroom suites.
Contents insurance will generally cover you for items categorised as ‘items you’d take with you if you were to move’ for example sofas, fridges, bikes, T.V’s, computers, beds, curtains. Depending on the provider some will also include or offer additional cover on items like: large amounts cash kept in the home, jewellery, external locks and freezer contents etc.
You can understand why most people opt for the package deals that cover both buildings and contents. Again it’s vital that you check with your provider what your policy covers you for, make a list of everything and go through over the phone before making any sort of payment.

Importance of home insurance

Are we personally capable to financially withstand if our property were to be hit by a Tsunami? The dream of the average lower or middle class people in India is to own a house with probably an area of 1000 sq ft costing at least 15 lakh rupees.
Most people borrow a loan to help fund their dream. What if this dream home is destroyed due to a natural disaster?
Who can we blame for this unexpected happening? Though the government will support with relief fund but will this fund help us to rebuild the same house which we had? Or can you save Rs 15 Lakh in cash to rebuild the house?
The basic five elements of nature – earth, air, fire, water and space along with the various forces of nature, can create any sort of disturbance in this universe. This disturbance may be once in thousand years, this day may be today or tomorrow or a week later. But it’s very much unexpected.
Are we prepared to withstand this loss financially? Naturally we may not be prepared because the impact or cost of any natural disaster may be abnormally high. But on a personal front we do have some recourse
The solution is to insure the home under standard fire & special perils policy given by almost all general insurance companies. It could be good thing to do so when you apply for a home loan as there maybe some benefits attached to it.
Fire and Special Peril Policies provide protection against damages/fortuities triggered by the following perils:
1. Fire
a) Fire – Excluding destruction or damage caused to the property insured by
- Its own fermentation, natural heating or spontaneous combustion.
- Its undergoing any heating or drying process.
b) Lightning
c) Explosion/Implosion
d) Excluding destruction or damage caused to the boilers (other than domestic boilers), by its own explosion/implosion
e) Aircraft Damage
f) Destruction or damage caused by Aircraft, other aerial or space devices and articles dropped there from excluding those caused by pressure waves
g) Riot, Strike, Malicious and Terrorism Damage
h) Loss of or visible physical damage or destruction by external violent means directly caused to the property insured
i) Storm, Cyclone, Typhoon, Tempest, Hurricane, Tornado, Flood and Inundation
j) Impact Damage
k) Impact by any Rail/Road vehicle or animal by direct contact
l) Subsidence and Landslide including Rock slide
m) Bursting and/or overflowing of Water tanks, Apparatus and Pipes
n) Missile Testing operations
o) Leakage from Automatic Sprinkler Installations
p) Bush Fires
2. Earthquake
The above mentioned covers are more than sufficient for any house building. This covers all natural disasters and any kind of fire occurrences. The fire can be of any sort. For example cooking cylinder bursting is also covered
(For more personal finance stories, you can also visit
But not everything is covered!
a) 5% of each and every claim resulting from the operation of Lightning. STFI (Storm, Tempest, Flood and Inundation) and Subsidence & Landslide including Rockslide covered under this Policy.
b) Loss, destruction or damage caused by war.
c) Loss, destruction or damage directly or indirectly caused to the property insured by nuclear forms.
d) Loss, destruction or damage caused to the insured property by pollution or contamination.
e) Loss, destruction or damage to bullion or unset precious stones, works of art for small amount exceeding Rs. 10000/-, manuscripts, plans, etc.
f) Loss, destruction or damage to the stocks in Cold Storage premises caused by change of temperature.
g) Loss, destruction or damage to any electrical and/or electronic machine, apparatus, fixture or fitting (excluding fans and electrical wiring in dwellings) arising from or occasioned by over running, excessive pressure, short circuiting, arcing, self-heating, or leakage of electricity, from whatever cause (lightning included)
h) Expenses necessarily, incurred on
i) Architects, Surveyors and Consulting Engineer’ Fees and
j) Debris Removal by the Insured following a loss, destruction or damage to the property
k) Loss of earnings, loss by delay, loss of market or other consequential or indirect loss or damage of any kind or description whatsoever.
The Exciting news!
Premium – Surprisingly the premium for this product is 0.06% + Service Tax. This means per lakh you may have to pay Rs. 67 per annum. What’s even more interesting is that one can avail a 50% discount on premium if one wishes to insure his/her house for 10 years by paying the premium upfront.
Valuation of the Building – It is advisable to take the valuation at the prevailing market price.
So the next time you hear of natural calamities destroying houses or wiping out villages, you can rest assured that your family can overcome the financial burden caused if god forbid such a thing occurs to you. All that you would need is to spend a few hundreds to get covered and get peace of mind too!

What is liability insurance?

Liability insurance covers an organization in the event that someone is hurt or property is damaged as a result of any action or inaction by your CHDO or its representatives. Liability insurance also covers your organization if faced with a lawsuit. A suit might be brought against your organization for anything, from damage of someone’s property by one of the organization’s employees to, for example, the injury of a customer who trips on your uneven front steps. The financial and staff-time costs of one lawsuit could potentially destroy your organization, so you should work with your insurance agent to plan a policy that is as comprehensive as you can afford.
Your commercial general liability policy (also referred to as “standard” or “basic” policy) will provide protection against lawsuits alleging personal or bodily injuries or damage to property caused by the operations of your organization.     
A liability policy does not, however, cover damages sustained as the result of governance and management decisions. The cost of defending against these types of lawsuits and of awarded damages is insured against with directors’ and officers’ liability insurance and professional errors and omissions.
According to Charles Tremper, Executive Director of the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, the surest strategy to avoid being sued is to avoid causing harm. This holds true for the board, the staff, and the volunteers involved in your organization.

Why do I need insurance?

What types of insurance and how much coverage to purchase for your CHDO are important management decisions. The business environment is constantly changing, and your managers must take the time to understand the risks your organization faces and choose how to manage them. This chapter briefly explains the types of insurance that are available, suggests ways to minimize your risk, discusses insurance companies, and gives a few pointers on how to administer your insurance program.
Not-for-profit organizations, like any other legal entity, need insurance coverage. While your organization needs to have insurance for a variety of possible occurrences, it should also take the time to plan and implement procedures that will reduce the chance that it will need to take advantage of that insurance.  For example, your CHDO should:
·                      Carry workers’ compensation insurance, but at the same time, develop an employee safety program, examine your workplace for hazards, and take the necessary steps to eliminate those hazards.
·                      Carry directors and officers (“D & O”) liability coverage, but at the same time, develop a board of directors and managers who carry out their duties responsibly.
·                      Bond your employees and board members, but at the same time, develop financial controls that minimize the chance of losing  money and the ability of employees or board members to steal from the organization.
Insurance is complicated. Use this chapter as an educational starting point. Develop a relationship with an insurance agent or broker who will take the time to educate you and help you design and implement systems and procedures that will reduce the likelihood that your organization will file a claim or defend a lawsuit.

Does your CHDO currently have liability insurance? Besides being complicated, insurance is also costly. Often, by working with one agent for all your CHDO’s insurance needs, you will be able to get package discounts on property and liability insurance. After a year or two with no claims, your good track record will translate into lower premiums or slower rate increases. For example, state unemployment insurance drops from 2.7% of payroll to 0.35% of payroll if you have no claims for 18 months. That is an 87% decrease!
Your board and staff must exercise the level of care a reasonable person would exercise to reduce the likelihood of insurance claims. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.