Wedding Tips: 3 Ways to add Insurance Coverage on Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands

422-1220979453yjiz

by Angela Cavallari Walker

It’s wedding and engagement season. If you have recently gotten engaged or tied the knot—congrats! I remember the month—heck the first six months after I got engaged. It was as if I was walking on a cloud of love. Corny? Yeah, I know but love is a big life seller and it certainly inspired the best songwriters in history.

Cupid’s arrow is certainly one of the biggest distractions to securing more, very important subjects or topics. Caterer….check, DJ….check…dress…..check, insurance for your engagement rings and wedding bands? That is a box that if, left open, could potentially cost you more than perhaps renting out the wedding venue. Don’t worry, we’ve got tips that are easier than picking out invitations.

Here are 3 tips to insuring your engagement ring, wedding bands and jewelry.

  1. Get an appraisal from a reputable source. If you just purchased your engagement ring or wedding bands the process is quite easy. You need to have a copy of your receipt or paperwork when you purchased the rings and any certifications related to your rings including Gemological Institute of America or the (GIA). If the ring or rings are an heirloom you will need a professional appraisal. Insurers like to receive documentation from reputable firms such as Jewelers Mutual.

2. Finding Coverage.  Believe it or not getting coverage is easier than saying, “I do.” If you are a homeowner, you can simply add a rider or basically an extension to your already existing homeowners’ policy. However, if you are not a homeowner yet it’s a good idea to get renters’ insurance and simply add the extension to your insurance policy.

3. Cost of coverage. The cost is perhaps the lowest you will incur compared to wedding expenses. This will depend on the cost of your rings and other outside factors related to risk such as: crime and break-ins in the area and policy deductibles.

Still have more questions? Feel free to contact Rob Semans Insurance Agency.

Boating and Watercraft Safety Tips You Need to Take Onboard

motor-boat-at-sea

It’s that time of year again when Florida’s beaches and waterways will become crowded with boats, jet skis and other recreational vehicles on the water. ​Increased traffic also brings additional risk and dangers associate with boating and recreational watercraft accidents.

The three biggest accidents that can lead to death or injury on the water include: a capsized boat, a passenger that goes overboard, or when one boat collides with another, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Before you hit the waterways this summer take these “must-do” safety tips onboard.

Life jackets—  Think of life jackets as the seat belts of the waterways. Each soul aboard your watercraft needs a Coast-Guard approved life jacket. Here’s why: in 2014 78% of boating deaths were attributed to drowning and nearly 84% of those that drowned were not wearing a life jacket.

Create a checklist before departure—   Check the weather before heading out, have a tool box for quick or needed repairs and a well-stocked first aid kit.

Changes in weather—   Florida thunderstorms can form quickly so pay attention to any changes in weather. Drastic changes in wind speed or dark, gray clouds are signs that you should get off the water right away.

Consider a safety course—   It’s worth every penny and your time. Check into local courses offered at your nearby marina.

Designate and skip the booze—   Alcohol can inhibit decision making and you need your wits about you on the water where the risks are much higher.

Memorial Day Weekend 2017 Road Travel Safety Tips

cars-in-a-rush-hour-1476873313Kfg

Memorial Day travel is expected to be at its highest since 2005, according to AAA. The recent spike points to growing consumer confidence and Americans are willing to loosen the grip on their wallets to enjoy this extended holiday weekend.

One staggering statistic is that there will be an additional million drivers on the road this year when compared to 2016.

Here are some Memorial Day Weekend Road Travel Safety Tips to help protect yourself and your family while driving on the road:

-Download a traffic and navigation app before hitting the road. There are many to choose from but one popular and free app is, Waze which tracks traffic and eases navigation through crowdsourcing.

Consider traveling during hours when less drivers are on the road. If you can adjust your travel plans, hit the road on Saturday morning before 7am. Thursday and Friday have the highest number of drivers on the road.

Designate two experienced drivers. This is not the weekend to allow teen drivers to take to the road. If you have at least two reliable drivers that are willing to take turns driving when one person gets too fatigued. Tired driving is considered one of the most dangerous states that can lead to traffic accidents and fatalities. If you are not able to switch off driving, DO NOT risk driving tired. Find a safe hotel and get some sleep and restart the next day fresh.

-Buckle Up and use proper safety restraints and seats for kids. NEVER drive without making sure everyone is properly secured and seat belts are clicked.

Never look down at your phone while driving. It goes without saying that texting and driving is a dangerous trend but even taking your eyes off the road for a second is equally as bad. If you are  traveling alone, find a safe place to pull off the road (do not use shoulder or emergency lane) and return calls, check your navigation or return a message. Otherwise, simply have one of your passengers check your phone for you.

New Study Sheds a Little Light on Mobile Homes and Tornadoes

68-sportcraft-tornado-mobile-home

Each year, the US leads the world in at least one non-brag factor—we have the most tornadoes. An estimated 1,200 twisters touch down each year and with the mercurial climate changes headed will yield more flooding and challenges for homeowners.

Adding to the worry over weather, those that also own or mobile homes face even bigger risks than just the average Florida homeowner, according to a study from Michigan State University. 

It’s no epiphany that mobile homes or manufactured homes are the most susceptible to the worst weather including hurricanes, severe thunderstorms and of course, tornadoes. Over the next couple of decades, mobile homes are expected to feel the most wrath of the worst weather, say researchers.

The study’s most startling findings included:

  • Poverty level and the building quality of homes were very important factors when determining the number of fatalities.
  • There are currently 9 million mobile homes or manufactured housing in the US.
  • We still have much to learn about how to curb tornado-related fatalities as little research has been done to determine how to save more lives where it strikes.

For ways that you can be prepared BEFORE a tornado hits check out our blog on Tornado Preparedness Tips 

 

How to Plan a Successful Yard or Garage Sale

14051701_10210342720233031_30152940379798167_n

They say one man’s junk is another man’s treasure and that clique couldn’t be any truer when it comes to yard sales. So, are you ready to earn a little spending money for an upcoming vacation this summer and tired of the clutter that requires acrobatic skills to maneuver?

Currently, the weather and timing are right for a successful yard or garage sale. We’ve put together some tips to help you maximize getting your home organized and your earnings.

If you are lucky enough to have a garage, I highly recommend setting up shop inside your garage so that you can literally open for business over the whole weekend.

Let’s get started with these tips!

*Plan your dates.   You will want to decide how much stuff you want to sell and whether you want to advertise your sale the entire weekend. Saturdays are the most popular day to hold a garage sale so may decide to just have it for one day.  Check the weather and make sure it’s not ridiculously hot or the forecast indicates it will be filled with non-stop thunderstorms and rain all day.

*Create a plan of attack for decluttering and what you will be selling.   Personally, I like to tackle this Herculean task by going room to room. Set aside a pile to keep, to throw away and to sell. For instance, toss out broken toys and severely stained clothing.

*Order the necessary permits for your yard/garage sale and be sure to ask if the permit also includes any free ad space.   Then, place your ad in the newspaper for your upcoming sale with a start date(s) and time. Most bargain hunters like to start early in the day to try not to make it a start time later than 8:30am. Additionally, don’t waste your time going past the hour of 1:30 pm. Don’t forget to

*Organize your goods to sell.   It’s a good idea to use tables but clean blankets work just as well. Just make sure you have your electronics, clothing, kitchenware, gardening items, books, toys, etc.. in separate sections. Pro tip: Put out toys and stuffed toys where they will catch the eye of children and hot times such as furniture, electronics or lawn mower where anyone driving by will see it and stop.

*Supplies.   Neon poster boards, balloons, ribbons, neon pricing stickers and large black magic markers are standard staples. Create pricing stickers for your items so that you can maximize your sales and avoid haggling on certain items. Especially, the big ticket items such as furniture. Display your poster boards with large letters and attach balloons. Again, certain neighborhoods have rules so be sure and check first before hanging any signs. You will want a sign leading them from the busiest intersection to your house and at least three more with arrows to your home.

*Last-minute prep.   Sometime the morning of or the night before, make sure you have plenty of change and single-dollar bills. Keep the money close in a money back or fanny pack or use a lock box to that you can protect your till. You will also want to hang your yard sale signs the morning of your sale approximately one hour before it kicks off.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide Ideas

tulips-in-basket-mother-day-card

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and we’ve compiled a list of links where you can do your shopping from the sofa. The good news is…it will look like you spent hours at the mall. These gift ideas are perfect for any woman in your life.

Personalized throws and blankets.  Wrap her in soft fleece and love with these throws with a heart pattern filled with the names of family members. right now, they are offering free rush delivery for mother’s day $66.96 plus tax
Fruit-infused water bottles.    These water bottles are the perfect gift for any mom on-the-go. She will love that she can add any healthy addition to her water and at just $10, you can afford to buy more than one.
Bath Gift Set.    This site has put together some nice sets all ready and filled with all the essentials that she needs for a relaxing soak. Prices start at $19.99
Birchbox Subscription.   Monthly subscriptions might just be today’s jelly of the month club, but at least they come with more than just jelly. One of the most popular is Birchbox which allows you customize products based on length of subscription and choose from a variety of health and beauty items. Prices start at just $30.
Dinner Break.  Give mom a break from grocery shopping by ordering a service such as hellofresh or blueapron. Both offer fresh foods complete with all dinner ingredients to eat a healthy and delicious meal. better yet, take over in the kitchen and give her the night off by cooking.

Florida Tornado Preparedness and Safety Tips

tornado-funnel-cloud

Florida ranks the highest for tornadoes based on frequency over each 10,000 square miles, according to FloridaDisaster.org. Yes, those particular stats even rival Oklahoma and Kansas. If that stat wasn’t frightening for Florida homeowners tornadoes can also form from hurricanes.

Given that these stats would frighten Dorothy out of her own signature ruby slippers and send Toto running, we put together a list of:

Florida Tornado Preparedness and Safety Tips—

At Home:        Unlike hurricanes, tornadoes leave no time for prep so having an escape plan and emergency kit are essential. Let’s start with your emergency kit. Your kit should include: an emergency with NOAA Weather Alert, enough canned goods or non-perishable foods for at least 5 days, bottled water, a first-aid kit, a supply of medicine, a copy of important documents such as your homeowners insurance policy.

NOTE—if you live in a mobile home find shelter in a sturdy building or tornado shelter nearby and better yet…know where your closest shelter is before disaster strikes.

The safest place in your home is an interior room without windows. If you don’t have a basement, that room will typically be a closet or bathroom. Practice tornado drills and designate someone to corral pets and bring them with you into that designated area. Additionally, designate an adult or family friend as a point of contact should you become separated and a place to meet when the danger has passed.

Inside Your Car:        If you happen to be driving do not try to outrun the tornado. Instead, seek out a strong structure or sturdy building and get out of your car. If it’s too late, get out of your car and seek out a ditch or the lowest ground area nearby.

Lastly, know the difference between a tornado watch and tornado warning. A tornado WATCH means that the current weather conditions could produce tornadoes. A tornado WARNING means that a tornado is imminent or one might form in the area. Basically, a warning is more dangerous and if sirens are nearby will usually sound off. Once that happens, seek shelter immediately and take your weather radio with you to your safe place.