Renters Insurance Quote – Do You Really Need It?

Are you a renter wondering if a renters insurance quote is something you really need? Well, if you’re undecided about this coverage here are some things to think about. A home or apartment renter insurance policy will replace your contents in the event of a fire, burglary and other perils, as we all know. That’s important enough, but this type of policy also covers you in many other ways.If you, or a friend, were to damage the landlord’s property, your policy would cover the damages. If someone were to get hurt you’d be protected by liability coverage and the list goes on. Here are some of the main pieces to a renter’s insurance policy.Contents CoverageI always recommend having replacement cost coverage on any policy. If you don’t then you’ll get the actual cash value, and depending upon the age of the property, could be pennies on the dollar.Replacement cost coverage is very inexpensive and means that if you have a covered loss, you’ll be reimbursed the current cost of replacing the item, period.DeductibleYou’ll need to choose a policy deductible. Standard deductibles are $100-$250 and $500. Of course, the higher the deductible, the lower the policy premium.Loss Of UseEvery home or apartment renter insurance policy includes protection from loss of use. If you can’t live in your apartment for any reason, your policy will cover the expenses of food and lodging until you can move back in.Other Coverage OptionsDo you have expensive jewelry or other collectibles? You can add on endorsements to fully cover these items in the event of a loss. This includes furs, electronics, etc.How much is renters insurance? It’s very inexpensive, and depending on where you live it may only be $20 a month for $25,000 in contents coverage. I think you can see the value of having a home renter’s insurance policy if you’re a renter. The low cost and high benefits make them a real asset.All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Reprint Rights: You may reprint this article as long as you leave all of the links active and do not edit the article in any way.

How to Choose a Great Home Cleaning Service and Ensure You Get Top Notch Service

Okay, so you are ready for a service to clean your home. Good for you! But, in addition to wanting top-notch service at a fair price, you may ask: “How can I trust someone in my home, or better yet, with a key to my house?”The demand for professional home cleaning services continues to grow. More and more people are realizing that outsourcing these, sometimes less than desirable tasks, can have a great return on investment. Often, the biggest pay off for hiring a home cleaning service is not just the time you are not cleaning, but the total time – and energy- you reclaim formerly spent dreading or avoiding cleaning.Hiring a service to clean your home is a big decision, with many considerations. Trust is vital since it is, after all, your personal space. All too often customers are not asking the right questions or doing their homework.Two Big Issues
Deal with a professional company – There are many persons or “private parties” that will clean your home and may do a good job. However, if you hire an individual rather than a company to clean your home and pay them a certain amount in a year; you are their employer. If they fail to pay proper taxes on the money you pay them, you could end up being liable (not to mention the next time you are up for a cabinet position, this is sure to end up all over CNN!) Also, if someone comes into your home to work for you, and is hurt or injured, you could be liable.When you hire a professional maid service, you are, ideally, avoiding all these risks. The service owner should carry the burden of payroll taxes, Worker’s Compensation, and liability insurance. A professional service will also offer training for their employees. All of the risk and liability is no longer your responsibility as the customer. That kind of peace of mind is worth an extra $20. Isn’t it?Go for professional, but not on image alone – Just because a business has glossy business cards, and a Web site that rivals Microsoft, you still need to do your homework. Keep these questions in mind when making your decision on which cleaning company to hire:1. Who will be cleaning my house? Do they use employees or independent contractors? Whatever the answer is, you need reassurance that you are getting the protections that should come with a professional service. Do they use individuals or teams? Ask them why they use the model they do. Different business models work for different reasons. Just be sure the company you want to hire is doing it for the right reasons. The IRS has a useful guide on their Web site to determine what defines an employee and independent contractor relationship.2. Do they perform criminal background checks and pre-screen employees? Every service should have a policy for background checks and pre-screening employees. With today’s technology, even the smallest company has access to low cost tools over the Internet. You will want to know the policy they follow and what their process is for due diligence when hiring.3. Are they properly insured? Insurance includes general liability insurance and Workers Compensation. It does not hurt to ask for a copy of insurance certificates. As much as insurance costs, they should be more than happy to show it to you.4. Do they offer a satisfaction guarantee? What does it entail? How long after the service is performed, do I have to call to report problems that need to be addressed? No matter how good a service is, or how great the employee training program, it is imperfect human beings cleaning the house. As the customer, you should have reassurance that if the team has a “bad day”, the company will make it right.5. Who will have the key to my house? What is the policy? How can I be sure I am safe? This should be a huge concern, and most customers don’t think to ask this question. Are the keys signed out each day? How are the keys kept at other times? Where are they kept? Are they locked up? Who is responsible for them? If they were to be lost or stolen, are there any markings that identify where they go? Make sure there is nothing to identify your address on the key. Also, ask up front, in the event the key is lost or stolen, what is the replace / re-key policy?6. “Are you bonded?” Please don’t ask this, and tell all of your friends, family, and loved ones that this is not the question to ask. All joking aside, don’t even bother asking this. It really means nothing except in extreme cases. How a bond works is that it is purchased (it is not insurance, but insurance agents issue them) usually for as little as $200 a year for a small company. Why is a bond so cheap? They are low in price because there are rarely any claims paid out on them. A bond will pay if an employee is caught stealing, is tried, and convicted. In the days before the information superhighway, thoroughly checking into a person’s background was beyond the means of most small companies. In years past, the hiring process was hard to navigate and “situations” would occur. With all of the tools available today, every small business owner has easy access to evaluate whom they are hiring to clean your home. With that being said, most home cleaning companies go ahead and buy the bond just simply because it is easier to spend the $200 bucks a year and politely answer when asked, “yes we are bonded”, rather than going into the above narrative. Also, just imagine how cool you will look when you are in a group discussing this at the cocktail party, when the subject of cleaning services comes up!7. Are you both on the same page? All too often, the culprit of the cleaning service-customer relationship going south is a lack of communication. An astute cleaning service owner should walk you through what their service will do for you and your home and give you a clear picture of what you can expect. Be sure that you pay attention to what they tell you. Better yet, perhaps they have flashy print materials that also convey what their service can offer you. Everyone has their “hot buttons” (what clean means to them); what one person thinks is clean may not be “clean” to another person. It’s just human nature. For some people it is the bed made just the right way; for others, it is a clean sink. Figure out where you fall from one end to the other in the spectrum of being picky. If what really matters to you is not being done, bring it up. You should not simply assume that it will be done and that they should “just know”.8. What should I do if I am not happy with the service I receive? Perhaps it is not until the first, second, or third cleaning that you discover what your cleaning “hot buttons” are. (Side note: pay attention to what these are. It can save you YEARS of therapy if you pay close attention to what they are).I hope that some of these discoveries will be good things your professional cleaning team has done that you did not expect to impact you the way they did. However, if you find “things” that grate your nerves, you should address them. Make sure it was not simply the day at the office that is affecting your perspective. CALL, express your concerns to the owner/ manager. Believe it or not, the most successful service owners APPRECIATE and welcome constructive criticism. It is the best way to build a better business, and professionals will see your input as a gift. If it is something small, let it slide until the next visit. If it does matter to you, then ask that they send the team back to correct it. They should be happy to do so as soon as reasonably possible. Remember, this is an intimate relationship and relationships require communication; relationships without communication fail!Now you know what to ask (and you have a few other unsolicited pieces of life changing advice to boot). Ask the right questions; receive the great service you need and enjoy. It is sure to add to the quality of your life. A little insight: the best days will be when you forget the cleaning team is coming and you come home to a clean fresh smelling home … Nice!

Combine the Best Family Games and Family Activities For Bonding

Combine the best family games and family activities for bonding with your children. In this century, it is increasingly evident that most families are busier than ever. Commonly seen is that both parents are employed in the workforce having just enough allowable time to transition from work (most likely during the commute home), be present for school activities, help with homework, dinner and bedtime.Weekends tend to be even busier seeing that Johnny and Suzy are involved in sports and need to be shuttled to and from their destinations. There are the household chores, grocery shopping, and home maintenance that seem to devour free time as a family. A system has to be created so that free time will not be sacrificed and for the possibility of generating more.Make time for family gamesChoosing the right games can be easy to do. You will want to make sure the games will be compatible for all family members to participate. The important ingredient for playing the games is for everyone to make the time to come together. For this to happen, it may take some sacrificing of time allowed for other activities such as television and chores.A great way to approach the game playing is to set aside 30 minutes of free time that will be convenient for all. Playing the games may take longer than the time set aside but you can always continue the play the following day. There is no need for alarm if the play falls short of time allowed. The object is to have fun without judgment, criticism, or teasing.Bond together with other fun activitiesAlong with the family games, bond together with other fun things to do. You can find quite a few fun activities for families from your local newspaper or magazine. Some of the activities may be free of charge while others charge a nominal fee. Be prepared to adjust the free time for everyone to enjoy the activity. Get input from family members as to what they would like to do so they can be part of the decision process.Another great activity for bonding that is truly overlooked is chores. As unpleasant as it may be, it can create the perfect time for closeness. It serves a wonderful space in time to socialize together or one on one with a family member. It also affords the opportunity for parents to listen to their children and facilitates a channel of communication. Chores can be a fun activity when everyone cooperates and works together. The trick is to work on a chore collectively not individually. It will speed up the process to complete the task and eliminate the doldrums of doing the routine alone.Looking at the big pictureThere is no doubt that family bonding takes effort and commitment especially for those families with busy lifestyles. Families will have to figure out what strategies and techniques will work best for them. A key factor to keep in mind is that it is not the quantity of time but the quality of time devoted to the activities. Once a system has been created, a family is on their way to successful bonding.