Candle safety can prevent home insurance claims

Use candles safely to avoid a home insurance claim Candles can be a great way to add ambiance to a dinner party or special event. They can also be a great gift or decorating piece for your home. But candles have a darker side. From 2003 to 2007 firefighters responded to an average 15,260 home fires per year that were started by candles, according to a 2010 report by the National Fire Protection Association. The fires caused an annual average of 166 deaths, 1,289 injuries and $450 million in property damage. Candles were the culprit in 4 percent of all reported home fires, 6 percent of home fire deaths, 10 percent of home fire injuries and 7 percent of property damage during the four-year period, the association says. Falling asleep while candles burned was a factor in 12 percent of home candle fires and 36 percent of deaths. More than a third (36 percent) of candle fires started in bedrooms. 5 ways to safely carry a torch Follow these five candle safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association: Blow out candles when you leave a room or go to bed, and extinguish them before they get too close to the holder or container. Keep candles at least a… (continue reading......)

Insurance protection for your valuables

Home insurance protection for valuables If you've inherited or were given a valuable piece of jewelry or art, you need to do more than find a special spot for safe keeping. You need to make sure you have enough insurance to protect it. Standard home insurance policies provide coverage for household belongings, but they have limits for precious items, such as jewelry, fine art and furs. The standard home insurance policy's coverage limits for theft of jewelry, for instance, is usually $1,500, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.). To increase coverage, you can pay a higher home insurance premium to raise the coverage limit or purchase a "floater" policy. Raising your coverage limits is probably the cheaper way to go, but you might still face a limit on how much you can claim for the loss of an individual piece, the I.I.I. says. Consider adding a floater to your home insurance policy A floater is a separate policy that provides supplemental insurance for valuables and covers losses that wouldn't be covered under a standard home insurance policy, such as losing a ring in a hotel room. Follow these tips to make sure your new valuables are covered: Ask your home insurance agent about limits… (continue reading......)

Help, a tree fell on my house!

Home insurance and fallen trees Falling trees are among the common hazards you could face as a homeowner during snow and ice storms, but the ins and outs of insurance coverage depend on the situation. Generally, standard home insurance doesn't pay for damage to trees, shrubs and other plants from a storm, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). But it does cover damage a falling tree causes to structures that are covered under the insurance policy. Here's how coverage would work under the following scenarios: A tree in your neighbor's yard fell over and broke a window in your house. File a claim under your home insurance policy. It should cover the damage and the cost to remove the tree. A tree in your own yard fell on your detached garage and damaged the roof. Standard home insurance covers detached structures. The damage and removal of the tree would be covered under your policy. A tree on your property fell on your neighbor's house and caused damage. Your neighbor should file a claim under his or her insurance policy. A large branch fell on your roof but caused no damage. Generally, home insurance would not provide coverage for the tree or… (continue reading......)

Spending spree: 8 hard-to-insure luxury items

Finding the proper insurance for your spending spree may prove difficult Luxury items motivate some of us to work hard, in the hope that we'll be able to purchase the expensive merchandise one day, and they could be the reason some lottery winners end up broke a few years after buying their winning tickets. If you find yourself in a position to own one or all of these luxury items, just keep in mind that costs of these goods continue even after the initial purchase. No matter how you end up with the wealth to buy any one of these products, you'll want to protect your high-end merchandise with insurance. Whether you're the agent or the policyholder, hard-to-insure luxury goods presents a number of insurance challenges. 1. Seabreacher X The Seabreacher X makes for a pretty cool over-water/underwater vehicle. The submersible watercraft looks like a giant stainless steel shark bolting up out of the water. The watercraft can reach speeds of 50 mph on top of the water, and when this sweet submersible dips beneath the surface, it is capable of travel speeds of 25 mph. The Seabeacher X allows two people to enjoy the deep blue sea without making compromises to comfort and features an onboard stereo system with an… (continue reading......)

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