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Why Are My Bags in Bermuda, When I’m in Kansas?

| January 01, 2017
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It's every traveler's nightmare. You're standing at the baggage carousel ... waiting ... and waiting. The bag you cleverly marked with a red bandana never shows up. With a sigh, you find someone in a uniform and explain your sad situation. After much research, you discover your bags have hitched a ride somewhere else, and the airline hopes to return them to you "before long."

Meanwhile, you have a vacation to take, or relatives to visit, or meetings to attend. At the very least, you'll need a toothbrush and a change of clothes. But the airline will reimburse you, right? Well, sort of. It may take months for an airline to declare your luggage lost; they rarely pay adequately and they always depreciate the value of your items. Plus, they may reimburse you in travel vouchers. Not cash. With these facts in mind, you may want to consider travel baggage insurance, which offers several benefits:
  • Baggage-delay insurance provides compensation for essential emergency items while the airline searches for and returns your luggage.
  • Luggage insurance can be helpful if the value of your items exceeds the limits of the airline's coverage. Contact your airline or check their website to view their policies.
  • Lost-luggage coverage provides protection during your flight, at your hotel, and anywhere else on your trip. It even includes souvenirs. While homeowners or renters policies may offer coverage for your possessions, it may be limited.
So, before your next trip, talk to your insurance provider to determine what travel baggage insurance is right for you.

 
True Value: What's Your Commercial Property Worth?
 
As a business owner, you know your commercial property has value. But how do you establish this value for insurance purposes? Gut feelings aren't the answer. 

For example, if it's essential to the success of your business, you may see it as "priceless." If it's expensive to maintain, you may assume its value is high. If it's older, you may think it is inexpensive to replace. But these "feelings" can't establish a true value for insurance purposes. When insuring your business property, it's important to understand what the property is truly worth, and how this value is determined. 

Following are three terms that are often used interchangeably - and incorrectly so. Understanding these different terms may help establish your property's value and identify the insurance coverage that's best for you.
  • Market value is the estimated dollar amount your property would sell for today, including the land it's on. This value is affected by location, condition, and the commercial real estate market, and is the value used when selling a property.
  • Replacement cost is the dollar amount it would take to replace or repair your building with the same materials used currently; it includes the cost of hiring contractors, but not the value of the land. Typically, replacement cost is lower than market value.
  • Actual cash value is the cost to replace or repair your property, less depreciation. This will likely be the lowest value of the three.
Your insurance agent can help you decide which policy best suits your circumstances.

 

Life Is Good: So Why Are We Rocking the Boat?

Rocking Boat
Why, when everything is going so well, do we rock the boat?

In a recent article on greatist.com, writer and life coach Susie Moore reports, "Self-sabotage is most common when life is at its best."

It sounds odd, but some people simply can't abide success. When they achieve it, they don't believe they deserve it, and they subconsciously frighten themselves into failure. Others feel guilty for leaving less successful friends behind - or they believe success is a burden and sabotage themselves so it doesn't happen again. 

In her article, Moore highlights the work of author Gay Hendricks, who writes, "Conquer your fears and take life to the next level" in his book The Big Leap. Hendricks calls it "the upper limit problem," and asserts that everyone suffers at least a little from the conviction they've gone as far as they should or could go - their upper limit - and as a result, they give themselves a subconscious reason to build defeat into their next efforts.

Says Hendricks, "...the more successful you get, the more urgent it becomes to identify and overcome your upper limit problem." He insists that each of us must combat our upper-limit problem to achieve our full potential. 

How? Face those fears. As Moore herself found, "Knowledge of these fundamental fears allows us to help release their power over us." She adds, "Transcending your upper limits is possible. You can choose an upward spiral. Your very own big leap awaits."

So choose the upward spiral...and don't rock the boat!

 

When a Hobby Is So Much More Than a Toy!

 
"In polite society, we call our obsessions hobbies," notes author Stephen King. So what are your obsessions/hobbies? 

Do they involve a significant investment in collectibles? Expensive equipment? If your hobby is running, you probably don't have additional insurance concerns. However, if you collect rare coins, build and operate radio-controlled vehicles, or restore and sell antiques, you likely have a lot more to consider. 

If your home houses a hobby that is vulnerable to loss, it's important to evaluate what insurance coverage you need. Limits on homeowner and renter policies may be too low, or the causes of loss that are covered might not be appropriate. These may not be sufficient to cover your hobby. For example, consider the following:
  • The value of your items: does the total push you over your homeowners coverage limits? You might need to increase limits or add a policy.
  • All the ways you could lose your collectibles: theft, vandalism, fire, etc. Do your current policies cover all the potential types of loss? If not, you may need to expand coverage.
  • Any risks your activity may pose: does your hobby require any equipment that could be dangerous to others? You might need liability insurance.
  • Whether it's partly business: do you sell items from your home? You may need business insurance.
  • Any unique risks created by your hobby: do you travel to trade shows with your items? Perhaps you need travel insurance, or additional liability insurance. If your hobby involves a single high-ticket item, such as an ATV or an electric guitar, you might need a separate rider to cover this item.
If you have a financial investment in your hobby, it's important to insure it properly. Your insurance agent can help you determine what coverage you need for the best protection. Which is what it's all about. After all, your beloved obsession is so much more than a toy!
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