As Winter Storm Titan finally finishes with the East Coast, it’s time to look back on what a bad season it has been for homeowners – and home insurance providers. A number of locations in the U.S. had experienced near-record snowfalls even before Titan struck what we hope will be the final blow from Old Man Winter this year.
The damage, according to the Insurance Information Institute, is huge and growing. Continue reading →
Movie stars won’t be the only things shining Sunday during the 86th Annual Academy Awards show. Over the years, the Oscar red carpet has created quite a cult following of fashion lovers and celebrity gawkers alike. Millions of viewers tune in to see the gowns, the accessories, and, arguably the main event – the jewels.
In the weeks leading up to the Oscars, the world’s finest jewelry can be found in Hollywood, ready to adorn the necks, wrists and ears of the most talked about starlets. The precious gems usually come complete with armored vehicles and their very own security guards. So why go through the trouble of loaning out millions of dollar in bling? The same reason advertisers shell out millions for the Super Bowl – to be the talk of the town.
It was in 1943 when jeweler Harry Winston first had the idea to loan his priceless jewels for stars walking the Oscar red carpet. When Best Actress winner Jennifer Jones (for The Song of Bernadette) appeared wearing Winston’s diamonds, a tradition was born. Since then, actresses have been stunning viewers on the red carpet with unforgettable gems.
It raises a question: What happens if one of these loaned pieces is broken or lost? Continue reading →
Starting a business, even a home business, is a daunting process filled with questions. For many new home business owners, insurance protection is not a top priority. It should be, however. One half of small business owners do not have adequate insurance coverage because they wrongly rely on their home insurance policies, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).
Answer these 20 questions to determine what kind of insurance your business needs. Continue reading →
Many of us can get caught up in home improvement shows. And why not? They show us the home equivalent of a butterfly transformation. In 24 hours, this dim little caterpillar of a room can become a beautiful, bright, wonderful space. The catch: home improvement shows can give homeowners unrealistic expectations. Don’t wait until it’s too late to find out that your renovation dreams are unrealistic. Continue reading →
It has only been a short time since Snowpocalypse I, the winter storm that left thousands stranded in their cars in the Atlanta area. Now winter storm Pax is burying the East Coast and leaving residents from Atlanta to North Carolina stranded yet again as it headed north with Snowpocalypse – the Sequel.
Residents of the Northest may be more equipped for Pax’s punch, but it’s never a bad idea to go over some basic winter storm car safety tips. Whether you are picking up your child from school or just trying to make it home from work, here’s what to do if you get stranded in your car. Continue reading →
As the Winter Olympics roll on in Sochi, U.S. athletes continue to collect medals in a variety of events. The question remains: What happens to those medals after the games end? Some, of course, are taken home and shown off, some are cherished and forever locked in a safe deposit box, and some are donated to charity or for display in museums.
What would an athlete do if his or her medals were lost or stolen? Replacing a medal isn’t simple. Before this year, an Olympian with a lost or stolen medal would be responsible for navigating the difficult process of applying for a replica, paying $500 to $1,200 out of pocket to have it made, and keeping it safe from harm. Continue reading →
Looking for a house that can spice up your love life? Take a look at the 5 most romantic homes on the market in the U.S. (as of early February). These are the dreamiest dream homes, with out-of sight amenities that could make any homeowner go weak in the knees. (For more information on the homes, click on the photos, which will link to their Zillow.com or Estately.com listings.) Which one is YOUR favorite?
1) Nantucket, MA: The Cozy Cottage
13 C St., Nantucket, MA 02554
The definition of a cozy cottage town? Nantucket, MA. It’s no wonder that people flock here to find cottages like this one. This cabin’s qualifications for romantic evenings include a newly rebuilt private dock, a back patio with room for two and a killer view, and a fireplace to cuddle by at night. The advantage of a cottage? Only 2 bedrooms.
2) Malibu, CA: Beach Sunsets
24352 Malibu Rd, Malibu, CA 9026
If your ideal romantic evening is a stroll on the beach followed by views of a terrific sunset over the water, you can live your dream every night in this house. Floor-to-ceiling windows on both levels of this house highlight the ocean’s natural beauty. Your ocean-facing windows? They can open fully to give you access to the beach at any time of day. Combine the view with some huge steam showers, glamorous hardwood floors, and a hot tub on the balcony, and you’ve got the perfect beach escape. Malibu provides the perfect backdrop – friendly while still private, with the perfect beach vibe.
3) Charleston, SC: Antebellum Nostalgia
2 Water St., Charleston, SC 29401
Isn’t there a small part of romantics who crave the hoopskirt glamor of Gone with the Wind? Well, the Old South doesn’t feel like a bygone era in Charleston. You can walk the stone streets, feel the southern sea breeze, and take shelter under shady oaks covered in Spanish moss. And with this house, you can reclaim the old Southern glory. It’s located on the Battery, one of the most beautiful historic neighborhoods in the city. Built in 1810, the house has the big windows, high ceilings, marble fireplaces, and shady patios you expect from antebellum architecture. Its romantic edge? You can see the sparkling water of the bay from almost every window. It isn’t in Georgia, the setting for GWTW, but if this isn’t your idea of romance, then “frankly my dear, (we) don’t give a damn.”
4) Park City, UT: Mountain Escape
105 White Pine Canyon Rd, Park City, UT 84060
This isn’t your average mountain ski home. It could be Valentine’s Day every day with this stunning private chalet. This amazing Park City house has ski-in-ski-out access. Don’t feel like heading to the slopes? Stay in and relax in your steamy outdoor hot tub next to a fireplace. Or have a wine-tasting session in your private cellar and tasting room. Hold a private movie night in your own theater. Or enjoy the mountain views from your Jacuzzi in the master bedroom. If you just want to curl up next to a stone fireplace, you have five inside to choose from. The house has the rustic charm that Park City residents and visitors have come to know and love, with amazing luxury amenities that can light your fire.
5) Hillsborough, CA: Castle
835 Chiltern Rd, Hillsborough, CA 94010
Last, but certainly not least: Your real-life Tudor castle in sunny California fit for any knight in shining armor or dazzling queen. Stone walls and cathedral windows draw you into wood-paneled rooms with elaborate entry arches (some of which are actually from the 15th century), and huge fireplaces. Step into the library to be transported back in time. This castle, however, isn’t at all stuck in the past. The property includes indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, an indoor racquetball court, movie theater, and greenhouse. Not enough luxury for you? The grounds include several gazebos, a koi pond, a 50-tree orchard, rose gardens, and a maze.
You don’t have much choice about buying home insurance – your lender likely made it a condition of your mortgage. You don’t have much choice about buying auto insurance – every state but one requires you have liability insurance, some require uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and your lender will mandate that you have collision and comprehensive coverage. Health insurance? There’s that new federal law you may have heard about. Life insurance? Your family’s future is at stake.
But you do have a choice about buying an umbrella insurance policy – even if you don’t know what the term means. Continue reading →
So you caused a minor crash as a result of one of the numerous winter storms we’ve had this year? Don’t worry, it happens. In fact, inclement weather causes about 24% of vehicle crashes each year (around 1.5 million), according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. So now for the important question: Will your insurance provider help pay for the damage? Continue reading →
Much of the South woke up blanketed today in snow and ice. Northerners deal with winter weather on a regular basis; but all you have to do is turn on the television coverage from Atlanta and Alabama to see the trouble it causes in places where residents don’t prepare.
When severe winter weather strikes, you should have a plan to deal with it. What if the power goes out or a freezing pipe bursts? Preparing ahead of time can save you from a lot of future headaches. Continue reading →