Prepare Your Property for Summer Storms

Summer storms have been particularly devastating for the past few years, and this season the same pattern of frequent and intense thunderstorms, tornadoes and heavy rain is predicted to continue. Although you can’t avoid stormy weather, being prepared is the most effective way to prevent damage to your property. Before the storm season kicks into high gear, take the time to do a little maintenance around your home or office, verify that you’re insured against storm damage and assemble a few emergency preparedness supplies.
Outdoor Summer Storm Preparation

Severe storm damage takes its toll on trees, in both summer and winter. During winter storms, ice-covered branches can take out power lines. During the summer, entire trees can come down, landing on cars, roofs and utility poles. Trees may be stressed from last winter, so now is the time to have preventive pruning done. Pruning removes dead branches and thins the tree’s canopy to reduce wind resistance. Cleaning out gutters will ensure that heavy rains are diverted away from your home’s foundation instead of toward it, as can happen when gutters overflow. Inspect the roof, looking for loose or broken shingles, and contact a roofer to make any necessary repairs.

Verify Your Insurance Coverage

Most people don’t think much about their insurance coverage until they need it. Contact your property insurance carrier to discuss your level of coverage. Verify that your policy provides for replacement value of your property, rather than actual cash value. Talk with your agent about what specifically is covered, what your deductible is and how the claims process works. Ask whether your policy covers burst pipes and, if necessary, a total rebuild of your home, as these are common exclusions that property owners may not be aware of. Finally, remember that most standard insurance polices do not cover flood damage. If you want flood coverage, you must purchase the policy directly from FEMA.

Assemble Your Emergency Information Resources

If you know devastating weather is on its way, you have a better chance of being prepared. The National Weather Service has implemented emergency alerts that allow you to be notified by cell phone if extreme weather is headed your way, so your family can seek shelter. Your local electric utility may also have system alerts that can keep you updated about outages and downed power lines. Put together a summer emergency kit that includes flashlights (with fresh batteries, of course), bottled water, convenience food, a transistor radio and an emergency phone. The recent trend in summer storms has seen more frequent and long-lasting power outages. Consider finally investing in a generator this year.

Prepare for the Worst

Despite your best efforts at preparation, summer storms can still cause significant damage. As a part of your summer storm preparation, identify a local emergency services and restoration company in your area, and add their contact information to your emergency kit. If damage does occur at your property, the last thing you need or want is to be scrambling in the dark to find a phone number. A full-service restoration contractor can provide water extraction, mold remediation and board-up services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Preparation won’t prevent disaster, but this year, ensure the best possible outcome for you and your family by preparing now for the upcoming summer storms.

When to Contact Your Insurance Company About Updating Your Policy

An insurance company offers policies to the public either by selling directly to individuals or through other sources such as employees’ benefits packages. This provision allows you some peace of mind in case of a misfortune. It is best that you review your coverage from time to time. There are a few reasons why you would need to upgrade or change your coverage. Let’s touch upon a few of those reasons.
Have you rented a new home or apartment?

Of course, the landlord will be responsible for insuring the building, but you are accountable for covering your possessions. Rental coverage is readily available and inexpensive, plus it provides liability coverage, which protects you in case anyone is injured while at your home or apartment.

Have you made any new renovations to your home?

If so, these changes are not included in your warranty. You should contact your insurance company and inform them of the changes so you are covered. Most people don’t think about this and it is very important to make sure you don’t have to come up with your own money to maintain your present living conditions.

Have you recently purchased any new fine art, expensive jewelry, or antiques?

A standard homeowner’s policy will not necessarily cover these types of items. You will need extra coverage. You should have your new purchase appraised and add extra coverage to your policy.

Have you recently had a baby?

Review your policy and disability income safety net. You may well need more coverage for your family if something happens to you. Make sure you update the beneficiary descriptions on your policy to include your new baby. Also, make sure your disability options are up to date to help if you get sick or are injured and cannot work.

Have you recently started a new business?

In today’s society, the fact that you may be sued is a distinct possibility. It would help if you had a human resources department. Employees’ rights are numerous, and in down economies, employee lawsuits increase radically. The cost of defending any accusations alone can put a small company out of business. To help with the risks, the Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) is a policy to help meet small business insurance needs. EPLI generally covers your company for wrongful termination, sexual harassment, discrimination, and workplace wrongdoings.

On a side note, if you have your car covered by one company and your home by another, you can combine all your needs with one company and possibly receive a big discount.

As you can see, the details of this subject are varied and complicated. Only experts can possibly answer all the myriad of questions you may have. If you use the Internet to gather information on this subject, next you should talk to an expert. An insurance company is a good place to start. Contact your local representative today.

Insurance and Driving Licences for Courier Workers

Most responsible people who make a living from courier work will have a number of forms of insurance protection.
Some of those may be mandatory (such as third-party vehicle cover) but other components might be highly advisable for your own protection – such as carriage of goods cover and professional indemnity protection.

Yet it might be easier than you think to put that cover at risk.

A Basic Tenant of Insurance

It’s often missed that many insurance policies can become invalid (thereby offering little to no cover) under one of four general circumstances: • You failed to make a materially significant declaration at the time you took out the cover. This is sometimes called a ‘fraudulent application’. • You have not complied with the conditions of the policy (e.g. a mandatory requirement to notify the provider of a change in your circumstances). • The reason for your claim came as a result of your engagement in a criminal activity. • You are not in compliance with the laws relating to your activities.

The Reality

There are several circumstances that could leave you facing huge bills, without the support of your existing insurance policy. Take, for example, driving with an expired photo-id driving licence. If this is not renewed when required, several forms of your insurance cover could become null and void. So if your vehicle is later damaged in an expensive accident, your insurance may not cover you.

Another example might arise should you fail to declare a medical condition that had some impact on your capacity to drive. This could not only be an issue for your insurance cover but may also cause you problems from a legal point of view.

A final and classic scenario is when somebody starts to take on courier work using their own vehicle. It is important to be aware that, by operating your car or van for ‘hire or reward’, you could be automatically invalidating any personal cover you might have on the vehicle.

Keeping on top of things

In many cases where courier work insurance is accidentally invalidated, it arises because of a lack of awareness.

Some people are quite casual about renewing their driving licence and others assume it’s possible to start using their own vehicle for courier work without taking out specific commercial cover.

While it’s true that insurance can be complicated, there’s little excuse for making such errors. Most insurance providers are more than happy to answer questions and clarify where you may need to do things differently in order to keep your cover in place.

So, it’s important to be vigilant in periodically checking that all your documents are current and that nothing has changed since you initially completed the policy application forms.

If you’d like to rest easy at night knowing that you’re fully and safely covered for your courier work activities, it may be worth asking for a quick review with your insurance provider.

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world’s largest neutral trading hub for same day courier work in the express freight exchange industry. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe ‘wholesale’ environment.

Buying gorgeous pageant dresses for your daughter

What should you consider while buying pageant dresses for girls?
There are quite a few questions you need to ask before setting out to purchase pageant dresses, particularly for the girls. Should the dress cover the shoes? Does your girl need to wear gloves or tiaras to complement the gown? Are there materials that are excluded for your girl’s age group? Such questions will help you arrive at a decision on what type of dress you really need.

An important aspect is picking a dress that is appropriate for the occasion. Choosing the right pageant dress to match the event is crucial to steal the show. Besides, a gorgeous hairstyle matching the pageant dress is important as well.

One factor that most parents miss out on is choosing the color that will best fit their daughter’s hair and eye color. The right color can unquestionably add to the glamour and beauty. You should be an expert on the best colors, fabrics and style choices that will give your little girl the advantage over other girls. For instance, if your daughter has a reddish undertone in her skin, she will look awesome in purple, pink, lavender and baby blue colors. If you want your little one to look really pretty in portraits and under bright stage lights, choose vibrant colors.

Buying pageant dresses for girls, toddlers and infants

The best way to buy pageant dresses is to choose a wholesaler who offers unbelievable discounts and offers. Besides, choosing to buy from online stores is an excellent idea because these online companies usually have a comprehensive range of dresses at affordable prices. They have dresses for kids of all age groups with a wide variety of designs, colors, styles and fabrics. Once you are ready with the accurate measurement of your child, you can readily go for a smart purchase in these online portals. Another advantage is that you can afford free shipping as well.

Whatever kind of girls dresses you require, be it flower girl dresses, party wears, girls pageant dresses, Christening gowns, holiday dresses or birthday outfits, choosing a good outlet, offline or online, is quite important. It is never a bad idea to ask for referrals and do some research before buying the right dress for your daughter. The time you spend on identifying the right boutique will help you in making your little one look at her best as well as you can certainly save a few dollars.