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Should You Buy The Insurance When Renting A Car?

You have prepared everything you need for your vacation. You’ve booked your plane tickets and made arrangements for a rental car.  However, once you land and get to the rental car counter, the company representative asks if you want to get their insurance for the car you’re renting. You don’t want to run the risk of having to pay big expenses if something happens to the rental car. What should you do in this case?

Understand The Offer

The car rental companies usually offer to cover the car for collision and theft. This coverage could cost as much as $19 a day. Liability insurance could also be offered at a rate of $7 to $14 per day. And medical insurance that provides coverage for ambulance and doctor costs might also be offered.

However, the coverage offered by the rental company doesn’t actually include everything.  If you clearly are negligent, like leaving the keys in the car with the doors unlocked, you won’t have coverage if the rental car is stolen.

Although the coverage they are offering you is referred to as insurance, what they are actually offering is a loss damage waiver. This waiver releases you from the financial responsibility in the event your rental car gets damaged or stolen while you are renting it.

Understand The Coverage You Already Have

Do you own a car already? If so, you surely have a personal auto insurance policy that provides liability coverage. Plus, if you already have comprehensive and collision coverage on your own car, that coverage will extend to your rental car as well, and it wouldn’t make sense to pay extra for coverage that you already have.

You should consider that the comprehensive and collision coverage offered by the rental car company may have no deductible, or a deductible that is lower than you have on your own policy.  If you do not have comprehensive and collision insurance, you should definitely get the coverage offered by the rental car company.

Coverage Provided By Your Credit Card Company

Almost all credit card providers provide collision-deductible waivers if you pay for your rental car with their credit card. This means the credit card company will pay for any deductible that you might be responsible for.  Check with your credit card company to make sure this coverage is included.  

Understand the Details

If you’re actually buying the rental car company’s insurance coverage, ensure that you have read the fine print. Understand the coverage of the policy. You might be surprised that some policies provide coverage for only one driver, meaning you will have to pay extra for another driver. 

Do Your Homework

In most cases, your auto insurance policy doesn’t provide coverage when you rent a car overseas. Sometimes, your credit card company might give you the coverage you need abroad. Do your homework by checking out what you already have before buying into the rental company’s offer.

It might be required that you bring proof that you actually have an existing policy. You might have to show proof to the car rental company to avoid charges. Learn a particular country’s insurance requirements. Sometimes, it is a must for you to have higher coverage than what you have on your existing policy. Finally, you might want to add car rental coverage to your travel insurance policy, especially if you don’t have any other type of coverage.

Back To School Safety Tips

School Safety Tips

It is both exciting and hectic when your child leaves for college. Among the many new concerns you and your child should consider, safety and the proliferation of crimes on college campuses should be high on the list.

The US Department of Education stated that in 2014 there were 14,000 reported burglaries on college campuses in the U.S. Your children can be safer if you engage them frequently in safety discussions and encourage them to follow some common sense tips.

Safety At The Residence

Students can let down their guard and be complacent when it comes to their safety at college. Whether your student lives on campus or off, there are steps they can take to make them and their property more secure:

  • Be in open communication with the Resident Assistant (RA) or any person in charge of the residential area.
  • Immediately report damaged locks, lost keys, or any broken security item.
  • Regularly check if carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are functioning.
  • Lock the door always, even when making a quick trip to the restroom.
  • When someone is knocking on the door, do not open it unless you know the person on the other side.
  • Keep your valuables hidden as much as possible.
  • Avoid keeping large amounts of cash in your room.  Watch your checkbooks for missing checks.
  • If your keys are lost, replace your locks immediately.
  • Keep all windows locked when away, and when windows are open, limit the opening to 4 inches or less with special locks or a cut-off broom handle.
  • Immediately report suspicious activity.

School SafetySafety Of Property

Usually, students will bring their valuable items, such as laptops, TV’s and other electronics to campus with them. They should be advised to leave artwork, jewelry, and other nonessential items of value at home.

Here are some recommendations for your child:

  • Never leave valuable items, backpacks or purses unattended, especially in common areas.
  • Secure lockers all the time.
  • Ensure bikes are kept secure and are properly locked before leaving them in common areas.
  • Keep vehicles locked and keep valuables out of sight.
  • Never leave your vehicle running and unattended.
  • Keep a list of valuables and a detailed description of each item.
  • Use protection devices such as backpack and laptop locks whenever possible.
  • An engraver is usually available at the security office of the campus. Use one to engrave valuable items with a driver’s license number.

Department of Campus Safety

Usually, campuses have their own safety or even police departments. Your child should be encouraged to:

  • Get familiar with the contact information and location of the campus safety departments.
  • Be familiar with emergency phone numbers, and keep them in their saved numbers on their cell phones.
  • Attend campus safety presentations and obtain college provided safety brochures.
  • If you notice any suspicious activity, report it to the campus safety department.

Living through college can be tough for your child. That’s why it’s best to help them through the process by having frequent discussions on how to safely secure and protect not only their belonging but themselves as well.

 


Downsizing Your House: Here’s How To Do It In 6 Steps

Moving

 

Moving from one location to another can have its challenges, especially when you are downsizing your home. However, downsizing can actually have its perks. For example, it helps you cut on expenses and save money, and allows you to declutter your life.

 

So, how do you actually downsize your home properly? Let's get started.

Steps To Downsizing Your Home

1. Make An Inventory. Creating an inventory of every item that you own can be very helpful. Do you have three different microwaves or crockpots? It is probably not important to keep them all. The inventory you create helps you keep track of which items are duplicated, unnecessary, or outdated.  Include the market value and condition of each item. The list of your belongings can serve as a packing list and can be helpful for estimating the cost of your move.
 

2. Take Measurements. You should check out the actual dimensions and the floor plan of the house you’re going to move into. This helps you get a sense of what actually needs to be moved in and what needs to be disposed of.

  • Take the measurements of the new house and then do it again for your furniture including bulky items. In this way, you can check out items that will not fit inside your new house. Or, you can rule out belongings that won’t flow naturally with your new space’s layout.
  • It’s actually more convenient to dispose of these items ASAP as opposed to paying for them to be moved to the new house and finally deciding that they’re not a good fit.
     

3. Take Your Lifestyle Into Consideration. Do you have your own backyard in your old house? Are you moving to a condo complex or an urban place where a yard will not be a concern? If so, you garden tools and outdoor equipment might not be necessary.

Are you heading to a warmer location? Then, you might not need winter clothing and gear. You should decide on disposing of items you might not need in your new location or that you would use rarely.
 

4. Weigh Costs. There is another factor you should take into account when determining which items to downsize. This factor is the quality and condition of each item. For example, if you have worn-out sofas and furniture, it might be more practical to sell them.

We are talking about cost effectiveness in this situation. You might want to discard items that are already worn out and replace them with new ones after your move. This leaves you with more room for antiques and other valuable items that you can bring to your new home.
 

5. Organize Yourself. Declutter your entire house if you haven’t already done so. It is important for you to have an actionable plan on what to do with items you will discard or leave behind. Mark the items in one of these categories:

  • Recycle/ Trash - Some things seriously needs to be thrown away. These include broken appliances, old toiletries, and other items that cannot be donated. You can rent dumpsters to help you dispose of these items properly.
  • For Sale - Those items that are in good condition can actually be sold to others. This can help you make a few bucks as well.
  • Donation - You can actually donate some of your belongings to non-profit organizations. You can even give them to your friends, family members, or neighbors. There are even non-profits that visit your house just to pick up furniture that is in good condition.
  • For Packing - Items that you wish to bring to your new house should be packed properly with related items and labeled as well. Your inventory can be taken to another level by including the specific box (number/ code) each item is packed in.

 

6. Be The Early Bird. The process of moving and downsizing takes up more time than        you actually think. Give yourself about two to three months to create an inventory and sell unessential items or arrange for friends or family to pick them up.

 

Go through your “For Packing” items again. If you think it’s still too much for your new home, then try to trim it down a little bit.

 

Downsizing is a serious thing and you have to make hard decisions to pull it off properly. Remember that if you allow yourself a few months for preparation, the process will be much easier. You can actually evaluate each item you have and decide what is still useful and how it will fit into your new home.
 

Downsizing Houses

 


Should I Hire A Mover Or Do It Myself?

Moving

Planning to move?  You might be debating between hiring a moving company or doing it yourself.

 

One consideration you should look into is cost. However, your ultimate decision will depend on a variety of factors. These include the distance between the place you are moving from and the place you are moving to, the flexibility of your schedule, and how comfortable you are doing the moving yourself. 

 

 

If you are simply moving across town, you can just ask for help from your friends. This could be less expensive and more convenient compared to hiring a moving company.

 

However, if you’re moving out of a two-story house with big furniture located on the second floor, you might look into getting a mover. This is true especially if you have to move long distances. Moving companies are more experienced in getting furniture through small staircases and loading them into a truck.

 

Doing It Yourself

What Are The Costs?

Doing the moving yourself can be less expensive compared to hiring a moving company. However you have to take all costs into account before you try doing the process yourself.

If you wish to rent a truck, for example, what specific truck size would you actually need to fit everything you want to move out? For insurance, what are the costs for coverage of both the truck and your belongings? How much will it cost to fuel the truck?

 

What Is The Timeframe Necessary To Complete The Moving Process?

When you move yourself, it provides a certain degree of flexibility. There is no moving company  showing up at a specific time with the expectation that all boxes are packed, labeled, and ready for loading. 

However, the actual process of moving yourself can take a bit longer. Also, you might have to make several trips from point A to point B to get the job done. You have to take into consideration the worth of your time and determine if you will have the free time necessary to do the moving yourself.

 

Who Is There To Help?

Do you have friends whom you can actually ask for help? You have to think about the meals they need while doing the entire moving process. You might also think about giving them a gift to show that you value the effort they have put in to help you.

Letting The Moving Company Do It For You

How Will You Select The Right Company?Moving

You always have to select a reputable moving company.  You can ask your friends and family for suggestions. You can also check out reviews online and look at the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for possible complaints or recommendations. Narrow down your list to about three companies and request quotes from each of them.

 

What is Included?

You need to know what is included in the estimate given. Moving companies usually charge a specific amount based on weight. You can also ask for a refund if your belongings end up weighing less than expected.

You can also inquire about other charges included in the moving process. One thing you have to consider is the cost of insurance. Tips are not included in the estimate. However, it is common practice to give tips to movers.

 

Do You Need Additional Help?

A lot of moving companies provide a comprehensive moving service. If you opt for it, the company usually packs your belongings, loads them into the truck, and unpacks them in your new place.

Obviously, this will cost more than a less comprehensive option. However, it might help you save time and free you of the stress you might experience with moving yourself. If you wish to get full service, you should ask for estimates from at least 3 reliable moving companies.

 

When Will Your Belongings Arrive?

Sometimes it takes a couple of weeks before your belongings are delivered to your new location. This can add stress and should be taken into consideration.

 

Protecting Your Belongings

Whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring a moving company, you have to make sure your belongings are covered by insurance. Renters insurance and homeowners insurance policies protect your personal property for loss or damages. However, there might be certain limitations and exclusions when property is being moved.

 

Some moving service providers include insurance in their fees. You must review the policy to ensure that the coverage is enough for your needs.

 

You should talk to an insurance professional to find out about the coverages, limitations, and exclusions of your policy when it comes to moving from one home to another.

 

 


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