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Hobe Sound, Florida 33455

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Landscape Your Way to a More Secure Home

| May 01, 2018
Properly maintained landscaping can add beauty and value to a property. Poorly developed or neglected landscaping does the opposite. Did you know landscaping has the same effects on insurance premiums? Applying specific landscaping techniques can help keep your premiums low. Here's how:

Keep trees trim. Overgrown trees and bushes can cause property damage, which results in claims. Branches that creep too close to your property can destroy roofs, harm siding, or break windows. Dead limbs are at risk of falling and causing further property damage or personal injury. To keep them safe and attractive, trim trees every one to two years.

Get a good grade. Healthy drainage is essential. To protect your property from expensive water damage, ensure the land is graded properly. If you add or remove landscaping, keep this important factor in mind. Consult with professionals who have experience in land grading to avoid disastrous results.

Thwart thieves. Reduce your risk of burglary with thief-deterrent landscaping. Prickly bushes in front of your windows can make your home less inviting to burglars. Keeping large bushes and trees neatly trimmed also eliminates potential hiding places for would-be thieves.

Mind the vines. Climbing vines can add aesthetic appeal to a property's exterior; however, they can also cause serious damage. As ivy grows up the wall, it can harm the paint, destroy siding, or separate bricks. If it gets tall enough to reach the roofline, the vine can damage gutters and roof tiles. If you are considering planting vines, keep these risks in mind.


Beat Online Scammers at Their Own Game

The Internet of Things (IoT) has made life quicker and easier than ever before. With the touch of a button, we can now bank, shop, and even look for love, all from the comfort of our couch. 

The problem: with so much ease and accessibility, we have become vulnerable to online scammers looking to gain access to our personal information. 

According to a 2017 report from Herjavec Group, a cybersecurity solutions company, cyber crime is on the rise and could cost "the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015."

Similarly, a report by Wombat Security states that the number of scam emails sent in 2017 was up 155% over 2016. These "phishing" scams are sent to your email or social media, and mirror legit businesses or financial institutions.

Don't despair. You don't have to disconnect and go off the grid. There are ways to outsmart the scammers and keep yourself and your bank account safe.

Do your homework. If you receive notifications requesting that you need to update an account or provide any personal information, utilize the google search formula 
"(company name) scam." Don't hesitate to call the phone number and google the address for these companies, too. 

Be wary of downloading attachments. This is another trick used to infect your hard drive with malware and steal information. Always protect your device with antivirus and malware software.

Trust your gut! If some promise or promotion sounds too good to be true, chances are, it is.


How to Stretch Your Prescription Dollars

Typically health insurance plans will cover your prescription drugs. But in some cases the drug or drugs you need may not be covered. And the cost of these drugs may be considerable.

According to a 2017 article from Johns Hopkins University, spending on prescription drugs in the U.S. in 2017 was $425 billion, and costs are likely to continue rising. But you can stretch your prescription dollars. Here's how:

Never skip medications such as cholesterol drugs to save money. The consequences are simply too great. Many pharmaceutical manufacturers offer reduced prices for those who cannot afford their medication. Visit your drug manufacturer's website, where the company will likely provide information on its assistance program.

Choose generics whenever possible. Make sure your doctor believes the generic equivalent is as effective; if so, ask him or her to write generic.

Be careful with drug discount cards. Never pay a fee to enroll, and avoid registering online. Reputable cards offer a toll-free number to call. Before you use a discount card, ask your pharmacist to determine its legitimacy.

Normally you can't combine these cards with your insurance prescription plans. To find which method offers the lowest copayment, ask your pharmacist to price the prescription two ways—using the card and using your prescription plan.

Use your health insurer's mail-order service, if one is available. With generic drugs, you can usually order by mail for less; with specialty drugs, however, your local drugstore may be cheaper. It pays to compare.


Is There Such a Thing as Wedding Insurance?

Weddings can be simple, but they rarely are. Most involve a million moving pieces, from the caterer to the florist to the unpredictable in-laws. 

This massive event holds the potential for myriad mishaps. That's why wedding insurance is now available. 

This policy is a specialized type of event insurance that covers a wide range of disasters that could affect your big day. 

You can customize the policy to insure major damages to your venue or other aspects of your wedding. Enjoy protection with:

Event cancellation protection. What if the weather doesn't cooperate with your plans for a picturesque wedding at the park? What if the officiant becomes ill? This coverage insures deposits for rental cars, flowers, the cake, and more, in case circumstances beyond your control cause a cancellation or delay of the ceremony.

Special coverage. Are you concerned about your rings, gifts, photographs, or tuxedos? Wedding insurance can provide coverage for these costly items. If the best man loses the rings or the ring bearer spills grape juice on his lapel, wedding insurance can prove quite helpful.

Liability. Large events always carry the risk of property damage and personal injury. This coverage protects you from liability in the event your guests damage the venue or suffer injury. Public venues may have their own coverage for these situations, or they may require you to provide a policy.

Compared to the price of the event, wedding insurance is typically quite affordable. If you encounter a hitch in your plans, this policy can help you save significant costs. 

If you're planning a wedding, consult with your insurance agent to determine the best coverage for your event. 

The right policy can provide peace of mind to help keep your feet steady as you walk down that aisle.