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

My Blog

What Holiday Hazards Are Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

December 21, 2015 2:09 am

Despite the merriness of the season, the hustle and bustle of the holidays poses a number of hazards for homeowners and renters. A whopping 23 million Americans have had packages of gifts stolen from their homes, for instance, and 16 million have experienced a house fire during the holidays, according to insuranceQuotes.com—and that’s just the beginning.

“The holidays are a great time, but all the commotion and celebrating can sometimes cause people to be too relaxed,” says Laura Adams, senior analyst for insuranceQuotes.com. “No one is thinking of a broken leg or a house fire as they’re sipping eggnog and socializing with family, but these things do happen and it is better to be prepared than to let it ruin your whole holiday."

Other causes for concern? Guest injuries, which have occurred in seven million households, and sewer backups, which have occurred in 47 million households.

Homeowners and renters insurance policies typically cover claims related to these hazards, but only up to a certain amount. Purchasing extra liability coverage, often called umbrella insurance, is a wise move, says Adams.

And if you plan to give jewelry or end up receiving jewelry as a gift this year, take care to insure it, too.

“It can be a very expensive mistake not to insure a valuable piece of jewelry,” Adams says. “Most standard homeowners and renters insurance policies only insure jewelry up to a couple thousand dollars. Additional jewelry insurance can be purchased for as little as a few dollars each month—a very affordable price, especially when compared to the cost you would incur if you had to replace the item out of pocket,” Adams says.

Source: insuranceQuotes

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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The Smartest Home Products of 2015

December 21, 2015 2:09 am

From learning thermostats to smartphone-enabled locks, the presence of connected technology in the home grew leaps and bounds in the last year—and in fact, before the year’s out, tech research giant Gartner predicts connected devices will number somewhere near three billion. Without a doubt, 2015 is the year of the smart home.

“2015 was huge because we saw products become easier to use and less expensive,” says Jason Ballard, president and co-founder of home improvement firm TreeHouse. The smartest home products of the year, according to Ballard, include:

• Air Quality Monitors – These smart devices monitor the air in your home and tell you how to make it better. The Foobot, for example, detects volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, carbon dioxide, temperature and humidity.

• Combination Smoke Alarms – The combined smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that hit the market in 2015 have features including industrial-grade smoke sensors, self-tester functions and durability to last up to a decade. One brand in this category, Nest Protect, is the first home alarm you can hush from your phone without any extra hardware required.

• Home Security – Smart locks and video cameras are becoming easier to install, and less expensive. For about $200, you can use your phone to lock and unlock your door. Certain smart locks, such as those produced by August Lock, have the ability to create virtual keys for guests and keep track of who comes and goes. Nest Cam, a home security camera, boasts live streaming, night vision and activity alerts.

• Lighting – In the biggest lighting innovation since LED bulbs hit the market, you can now automate your lights completely to make it seem like you're home when you're not. With geo-fencing technology, your lights can welcome you home or switch off automatically when you leave your home. Most brands in this category let you change the color of lighting in your home, and some, like Philips Hue, can even keep you informed about the weather or incoming calls.

• Smart Sprinklers – Today’s smart lawn watering control systems use your laptop to schedule watering times and automatically adjust for the weather. The Rachio Intelligent Sprinkler Controller, for instance, saves 20-50 percent on water bills.

“‘Smart home’ no longer means building the Jetson’s house,” Ballard adds. “It means adding products to your home that make it safer and healthier.”

Source: TreeHouse

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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