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Generous Gifts Might Call for New Coverage

| February 01, 2019

Did you get a big gift over the holidays or some nice jewelry for Valentine’s Day? Luxury items often need proper insurance for protection, as they are valuable possessions. In some cases, your current coverage is sufficient. However, many times, a change or expansion of coverage is needed.

If a special occasion has added a luxury item to your personal inventory, it might fall into one of the following categories.

It needs expanded coverage: Your homeowners or renters insurance has certain coverage limits. Standard policies typically top out at $5,000 for personal belongings. If your new fur coat pushes beyond these limits, you can expand your current policy. Ask your insurance provider about adding a rider, floater, or endorsement. You will most likely need a receipt or appraisal to verify the value of the item.

It needs increased value coverage: Some items appreciate in value over time. If you received a family heirloom or a work of art, you can obtain special coverage that will keep up with this increase. Consider adding a rider that will provide this coverage. You will probably need to reappraise the item every one to three years in order to keep the policy active.

It needs a standalone policy: Single high-ticket items such as jewelry, electronics, or boats may require a separate policy. These standalone policies are definitely needed if the items cannot fall under existing homeowners insurance. For example, if the item might be used for work, it would be excluded from most homeowners policies.

Contact your insurance agent to determine whether any of your recently received treasures need additional coverage.


Petunias or Poinsettias? Which Flowers for Which Occasion?

Roses are red. Violets are blue. Which kind of petal is best for you? Like precious stones, flowers have symbolism. Different varieties have different meanings, as do their hues. There are flowers to represent friendship, romance, sympathy, well wishes, and more. Here’s a quick guide to the best blooms for a variety of occasions.

For anniversaries and Valentine’s Day: Red and pink roses are representative of love and passion, making them a timeless choice. For something less obvious, tulips also signify love. Stay away from yellow, as the color most commonly symbolizes friendship.

For sympathy: Lilies, daisies, and roses are suitable options for flowers you’re sending or bringing to a grieving person’s home. Funeral flowers are different; these are often large, specialized wreaths or baskets delivered to the funeral home by the florist. It’s important to note that flowers aren’t appropriate in the Jewish mourning tradition.

For those who are sick: Get-well flowers differ depending on whether the ill person is at home or in the hospital. If he or she is in the hospital, stay away from highly fragrant flowers, which might be irritating to patients. Tulips are your best bet. If the person is at home, a houseplant, which offers more permanence and whose greenery can signify life and well-being, is a nice idea.

For friends: Whether it’s to say thank you or just because, the best flowers for friends are their favorite variety. Not sure what they like? Opt for orchids, lilies, daisies, or carnations (just not yellow carnations, which represent disappointment).


Is There a Virtual Doctor in the House?

Back in the 1940s, 40% of physician visits were house calls. This trend declined over the next two decades, but now it’s resurfacing in a whole new way. Your doctor can now visit you at home—virtually.

Using your smartphone, tablet, or any similar electronic device that has a camera, you can visit a doctor without leaving home. This method, called telemedicine, is exploding in the United States. According to the American Telemedicine Association, at least 200 telemedicine networks now serve 3,500 sites.

Of course, telemedicine is not appropriate for complaints such as wounds, chest pains, or broken bones. However, virtual visits offer many advantages for an initial visit if you have a minor, temporary health issue, such as cold or flu, sore throat, headache, back pain, diarrhea or vomiting, rash, or pink eye.

What are the advantages of telemedicine?

Convenience is major, especially if you live in a rural area or if leaving home is difficult. In addition, you save driving time, and you avoid sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, exposed to other patients’ illnesses.

Further, your doctor can easily monitor any chronic condition you have, such as high blood pressure, and you can often get a second opinion from an expert no matter where that health care professional lives.

Finally, telemedicine saves money. According to Berkeley Wellness at the University of California, doctors often charge less than half the cost of an office visit for a telemedicine consultation.

If you think telemedicine might work for you, contact your health insurer to see whether they offer this technology.

Worth Reading

Teach Your Teens These Five Things About Money

By Christine Burke

If your teenagers went to a restaurant for dinner with friends, would they be able to calculate without issue their share of the bill, along with a tip? This article drives home the importance of teaching older children about money and outlines the most crucial topics to discuss: using an ATM, applying basic accounting, writing a check, and, of course, calculating tips. More: https://tinyurl.com/worthread219-1

How to Survive a Kitchen Remodel

By Becky Harris


Piles of dust. A useless sink. Seemingly endless drilling. Welcome to your kitchen remodel. This article outlines survival tactics for living through a kitchen renovation. Make a list of what not to pack; you’ll go crazy if your must-have tools are in a box. Creating a makeshift kitchenette in another room will help you rely less on takeout. A menu of simpler meals means less prep and less cleanup. More: https://tinyurl.com/worthread219-2

The Dying Art of Conversation

By Rashmi Oberoi


Digital technology and social media have dramatically changed our world. In many ways, their influence has been positive—except, perhaps, when it comes to conversation. This article examines how face-to-face conversation may be a dying art in a world that so often relies on email, text messages, and Instagram comments. More: https://tinyurl.com/worthread219-3


Car Shopping? Look for These Safety Features 

Not all cars are created equal. Some offer greater speed. Others offer better gas mileage. Another important difference is safety. Did you know certain safety features can reduce insurance costs and claims? To protect your passengers and your wallet, look for some of these top safety features the next time you’re in the market for a new vehicle.

Crashworthiness: If you’re considering a car, check out its crashworthiness rating. This indicates the vehicle’s ability to reduce the risk of injury and death during a crash based on its roof strength, front and side structures, head restraints, and seat design. You can look up a specific vehicle’s rating on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website.

Size and weight: A tank offers more protection than a smart car does. But bigger isn’t always better. An SUV may be more likely to roll over than a sports car. Be sure to review all factors of size and weight as you choose your vehicle. The safest option is typically a midsize sedan with a high safety rating.

Restraints: Modern vehicles offer far more than a simple seatbelt. For the best restraint systems, look for side airbags, locking head restraints, and lap and shoulder belts with crash tensioners. For steering column airbags, make sure you can reach the pedals without putting yourself too close to the steering wheel, as close proximity can cause serious injury if the bag is deployed.

Daytime lights: Many cars now feature daytime running lights that are activated when you turn on the car. These make vehicles more visible to other drivers and decrease the chances of daytime accidents.

Backup cameras: Rear-view video systems allow you to see the area behind your vehicle when you drive in reverse. These cameras can be very helpful in avoiding collisions with cars, objects, and pedestrians. Additional safety features such as anti-lock brakes and warning systems can help you steer clear of crashes and further reduce the likelihood of claims. Check with your insurance provider about potential discounts on premiums based on specific vehicle features. Most important, stay safe out there!


What to Do with Your Worn-Out Wardrobe

Seasons change. Fashions evolve. Clothes get old. When they do, you purge your closet. Then what? Recycle, reuse, re-create!

When you’ve examined your wardrobe and decided to discard everything you will never wear again, don’t send it all to a landfill. Give clothes a second life. Here’s how.

Clothes in good condition: Donate. Pop them in a drop box or take them to a shelter. Can’t afford to part with something new? Try a swap meet and trade for something new to you.

Stained or torn clothes: Try different stain removers and washing techniques to eliminate stubborn stains. Try repairing tears yourself or find a skilled professional. Search for a local repair café where folks help each other.

Recycle: Clean, natural fabrics can be composted, and some clothing brands now accept their own used clothes for recycling. The Blue Jeans Go Green program takes old jeans and uses them for insulation. There are other possibilities too; check online.

Upcycle: Turn old sweaters into scarves, flannel shirts into tote bags, and old tees into quilts. Refashion old clothes into craft projects, or simply use them as cleaning rags.


5 Quick Car Hacks to Keep Your Ride Sharp

Some car owners are fastidious about vehicle maintenance. For others, upkeep happens only when it’s really needed (like when the layer of crushed Goldfish crackers on the floor becomes unbearable). Want to become a more attentive car owner? These car hacks can help.

Find a bottle of nail polish in a similar hue as your car and keep it in the glove compartment for concealing small scratches. To prevent dings, cut a pool noodle in half lengthwise and bolt it to your garage where the car door meets the wall.

Use a slim plastic cereal container as an in-car trash can. For extra storage, install a mesh bungee net from the car’s interior overhead hooks.

Have small kids? Keep Magna Doodle toys in the car; they work as both eating trays and entertainment.


Worth Quoting

This month, some famous quotes about love:

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

Lao Tzu

Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness.


There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.

Bryant H. McGill

Love has no age, no limit; and no death.

John Galsworthy

Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail.

Kinky Friedman

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.

Martin Luther King, Jr.