RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

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Healthy Home, Happy Home: Choose EPA "Safer Choice" Products

May 11, 2016 1:09 am

A number of household cleaning products are laced with chemicals not only harmful to our health, but also to the environment. How can you identify the safest products?

Look for the “Safer Choice” label, which denotes products that have been federally evaluated and approved for safety. The moniker, recently launched by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is part of a program backed by over 500 partner companies, and is available for more than 2,000 qualifying products.

The program covers a range of household products, including all-purpose cleaners, carpet and fabric shampoos, deck and siding washes, kitchen and bath cleansers, laundry detergents, and more.

EPA scientists have stringently assessed the products with the Safer Choice label, determining that they contain ingredients healthier to humans and less damaging to the environment.

“[The] EPA has developed its new Safer Choice label so that it will be easier for shoppers to choose cleaning and home care products that are safer for families, pets, communities and the environment,” says EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “Our Safer Choice program empowers consumers to protect their health and minimize the impact on the environment through everyday purchasing decisions.”

Source: EPA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Is Earthquake Insurance Necessary?

May 11, 2016 1:09 am

Though an uncommon occurrence, many areas of the U.S. are susceptible to earthquakes. Should homeowners in these risk regions purchase earthquake insurance?

According to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), earthquake damage is not covered under standard homeowners or renters insurance, and, in most circumstances, coverage must be purchased through a supplemental policy.

“All Americans need to be financially prepared, and have an up-to-date home inventory and an evacuation plan,” says Janet Ruiz of the I.I.I. “Purchasing an earthquake policy will protect their home from the disasters that pose a risk to their personal safety and property.”

Generally, the supplemental policy provides coverage for property damage brought on by cracking or shaking—other damage sustained as a result of the quake, such as fire or water damage, is typically covered by the standard policy.

It is important to note that homeowners in California have the option to obtain insurance coverage from the California Earthquake Authority (CEA). The CEA limits coverage to that of the insured value of the home, as stated on the standard homeowners insurance policy.

Earthquake insurance carries a deductible, generally in the form of a percentage of the insured value of the home, rather than a dollar amount. Insurers in states with a higher-than-average risk of earthquakes, such as Nevada, Utah and Washington, often set minimum deductibles at around 10 percent—equal to $10,000 on a home that would cost $100,000 to rebuild. In most cases, homeowners can get higher deductibles.

Only about one in every 10 households on the West Coast has coverage for quake-caused property damage, the I.I.I. reports. Still, earthquake insurance sales have risen, especially in Oklahoma, where fracking-induced quakes have become cause for concern.

“While we’re seeing an increase in earthquake coverage in the most vulnerable states, everyone—no matter where they live—should contact their insurance professional to make sure that they have the right type and amount of insurance,” says Ruiz.

Recently, central states have seen a spike in seismic activity, with a total of 32 quakes registering 4.0 or higher on the Richter scale last year. Umnak Island, Alaska, saw a 6.9-magnitude quake last year—the highest of the year—and a 6.0-magnitude quake hit South Napa, Calif., the year prior.

The costliest-ever earthquake, the 1994 Northridge quake, caused $15.3 billion in insured damages.

Source: I.I.I.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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