5 Insurance - Related New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthier Life and a More Organized World
Number 1. What’s Inside the House Counts, Too.
Fires happen. Houses burn to the ground. Homeowners purchase insurance because with every dwelling, there is a possibility of this occurring. Advice from an insurance professional, take a home inventory. A house fire is one of the most stressful experiences a homeowner can deal with. There are instances when every single item you own, is gone. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to sit down with heartbroken, confused and traumatized clients who have no idea what is contained on the inside of their home, or what the value is of those items. They are at a loss. In case of a disaster, (be it fire/flood or theft) the insurance policy claims will go so much more smoothly if an itemized household inventory is available. There are tools to help you with this:
- “Know Your Stuff” Free Home Inventory App from the Insurance Information Institute.
- “The Home Inventory” for Android or IOS
- “Sortly” for IOS
Number 2. Do Not Leave the Stove, Even for a Minute.
·The National Fire Protection Association released a report in November 2016, discussing the causes of home fires from 2010 through 2014. The top-line results are as follows:
- Ranges or cooktops, with or without ovens, accounted for the majority (62%) of home cooking fire incidents and even larger shares of civilian deaths (88%).
- Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in these fires and fire deaths.
- If you need to walk away from the stove to answer the front door or run a quick errand, simply turn off the burner. You can continue cooking when you are done.
Number 3. Take the Temptation Away.
Everyone knows that it is illegal to text and drive or use a handheld cell phone while driving. People do it anyway. They need to sneak-a-peek. That “quick look” is taking 8 seconds in a car that is moving 65 miles an hour. Pedestrians walk through intersections and disobey traffic signals because they are monitoring their Facebook "likes" or watching an entertaining video.
Distracted driving/walking is a national obsession and problem that is holding steady. At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010*
Take the temptation away. Put the phone out of reach. Trunk/hatch/bottom of pocketbook.
*Statistic via www.Distraction.gov
Number 4. Take an Hour and Truly Understand Your Insurance Coverage.
It is not exactly the kind of activity a person wishes to do on a sunny summers day. But now that it is winter and a quiet time, January is the perfect opportunity to sit down and read your insurance policy. Maybe you need to update it? Maybe you want to challenge us to see if we can get you a better rate or additional coverage. Maybe something is missing? Similar to going to the Doctor for an annual visit, read your Declarations Page, make sure everything is in order, and then put it away until next year.
Number 5. Get your Paperwork in Order.
If something should happen to you, is your house in order? Does your family know about bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, credit accounts, life insurance policies, financial records, and health coverage? Or are they destined to comb through desk drawers and piles of paperwork trying to make sense of your life? CNBC recently reported that over $1billion dollars in life insurance payouts remain unclaimed, simply by the fact that families did not know that these insurance policies existed. Take the time to create a document that your loved ones can use in case of an emergency, and gather and sort your important paperwork and place them in file folders.
These few simple resolutions are easy to do, they do not cost you anything and they will make you feel more secure and orderly in the year to come.
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