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From monthly archives: January 2017

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'January 2017'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

What to Inspect When You’re Inspecting

Taking the time to do a complete inspection of your home, before and after purchasing it, is always a great idea in terms of saving money and preventing extreme damage to your home. By inspecting the house before purchase, you will know in advance what you are buying if there are any areas which may need your attention. Doing further inspection each year after purchase can be useful in order to keep track of preventative maintenance, repairs, etc. Here are some less-obvious areas to pay attention to, when conducting a home inspection: Water Heater: Look particularly at the water heating system to make sure there is no damage. If you hear any water gurgling, popping or snapping, this may mean you need to drain out sediment.  Septic System: If you are not sure, find out how old your septic system is and the last time it was pumped. Also check for any signs of surface leakage.  Roof and Flooring: Check for any damage, sinking, contamination and dampness. Be sure to take a loo ...

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The Importance of Creating a Home Inventory

Creating a home inventory will come in handy when you need to file an insurance claim. When disaster strikes, it can be easy for people to forget what they own, in the midst of all the chaos. In the aftermath of a traumatic situation, most people cannot think clearly. Taking note of your possessions, while you are calm and sound of mind, will help expedite the process with your insurance company. Here are some tips to inventory your belongings: 1. Take a video of your entire home, from the time you walk through the door. Record everything you would want your insurance company to replace. Don't forget the important contents in drawers and cabinets. 2. Keep your receipts and other documents all in one place. 3. Note model and serial numbers of expensive items such as TV's, beds, couches, etc. 4. It is important to add the replacement cost for all the items you own, to make sure you have enough insurance coverage. If you are very close to your maximum coverage limit or go over the amount, you should call y ...

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#FightingFraudFriday: Ways to Avoid Hackers

Shopping online is one of the most convenient ways to purchase items without having to go to multiple stores, but it can also be one of the most dangerous. Cyber criminals use the web to gain access to personal and financial information in order to purchase items for themselves. Unfortunately, consumers end up paying the price. Here are a few ways to avoid getting hacked:  Update Your Computer Security: When it comes to your computer's security software, avoid ignoring alerts and be sure it is up to date for your protection.  Separate Personal and Financial Activity: Avoid using your personal computer (social media, e-mail, shopping) for financial business, since you are using things such as social media platforms and ordering online. Clicking into certain links can be dangerous, and may allow a virus to enter your computer, granting hackers access to your information. If you own or manage a company, it would be best to use a separate computer.  Two- Factor Authentication: Most online accounts of ...

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What to Do with Your Plants During the Winter

Winter gardening can be a challenge. Most people don't even think it's possible. In order to save your plants in the winter, you must guard them against wind, root damage due to fluctuating temperatures and protect them from drying out. Please take these suggestions into consideration this winter in order to save your plants: Avoid exposing your plants: Inconsistent temperatures can cause significant injury to your plants. As a result of this, your plants could even be heaved out of the pot. To avoid this sort of damage, place your pots over soil instead of directly on the pavement can be dangerous, since the sun will quickly heat up, causing your pots to freeze and thaw many times during the day.  Choose a bigger pot: When choosing pots for your plants, bigger is always better. A smaller pot will freeze faster than a large one. The surrounding soil will provide proper insulation for plant roots. You should also choose a pot with at least one inch of thickness for enhanced protection. Smaller pots a ...

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Florida Peninsula's Charity of the Month: Susan G Komen

Susan G Komen is Florida Peninsula's "Charity of the Month". In support of this organization, Florida Peninsula employees will be walking in their annual "Race for the Cure" to help raise money for breast cancer research.

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#FightingFraudFriday: Beware of Home Repair and Contractor Fraud

As spring approaches, don't be a victim of home repair and contractor fraud. Reduce the risk of being scammed by making yourself aware of the following red flags:

Contractors who appear at your doorstep: If someone knocks at your door to ask you if you need their services, or offer to give you a consultation, it is okay to simply take their business card, listen to what they have to say, and shut the door. One thing you should do is research their company online to see if it is legitimate. Often times, there are people who will take your money and run.

Your contractor is pressuring you: If you feel extremely pressured to make a decision because your contractor is pushing you to sign the agreement based on a "special deal" or "today only" offer, it may be in your best interest to decline the offer. AOB (Assignment of Benefit) fraud is also very common and some contractors who require an AOB are known for their high pressure tactics.

#FightingFraudFriday: Avoiding "Dumpster Divers"

One man's trash is an identity thief's treasure. As crazy as it sounds, identity thieves can find valuable information in what you are throwing away. Unknowingly, our trash bins can be filled with personal information including bank statements, credit card numbers and more. What is known as "dumpster diving" may not be the most sophisticated type of identity theft, but it can still cause severe damage to its victims.  You may not be able to keep divers out of your trash, but you can stop them from finding treasure by following these tips: Shred any documents containing personal information, such as your social security number, driver's license number, bills, and bank statements.  If you are getting rid of an old credit or debit card, make sure you cut it up into several pieces before throwing it away.  Use caution when discarding unwanted junk mail. Some junk mail, including pre-approved credit cards may allow a crook to open an unauthorized account under your name.  For more information on d ...

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Steps to Filing a Homeowners Insurance Claim

If there is damage or destruction to your home, you will need to file a claim with your insurance company. It is important to review your insurance policy to see what the rules and procedures are which you should follow. Here are some general tips which may assist you when filing a claim: Immediately contact your insurance company or agent: Generally, insurance companies place a time limit on filing claims. Speak to your representative and ask questions. Find out what the time limit is and if you are covered. So you'll know what to expect, ask how long the process will take and find out if your claim exceeds your deductible, which is the amount of loss you agree to pay yourself when you purchased the policy.  Make temporary repairs: Just because you are waiting for your claim to process does not mean you cannot touch anything. Take reasonable steps to protect your property from further damage. You should also save all receipts for what you are spending and provide copies to your insurance company for reimbu ...

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#FightingFraudFriday: E-mail Scams

E-mail provides us with a convenient, and powerful, communications tool. Unfortunetly, it also allows scammers to lure potential victims. In order to protect yourself from these types of scams, you should understand how they work and what you can do to avoid them. Here are some things you should look out for: Beware of hyperlinks: Watch out for links in e-mails from people or companies you don't recognize. Sometimes, by clicking into these links, you are allowing scammers to enter your computer to access your personal and financial information.  Business/ Investment Opportunities: If someone you don't know is offering you a business or investment opportunity via e-mail, you should mark it as spam right away. Work from Home Schemes: This is considered to be a very old-fashioned fraud scheme. If you would like to work from home, there are plenty of companies willing to hire remote employees. It may be in your best interest to apply directly through a company, instead of mass e-mail link.  Other e-mails you ...

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Florida Peninsula's Charity of the Month: American Heart Association

Florida Peninsula's "Charity of the Month" is the American Heart Association. Their mission is "to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke." We would like to encourage you to have a healthy and active lifestyle in order to reduce your chances of heart disease. Here are some ways you can live heart-healthy lives: Healthy Eating Habits: A healthy diet consists of meals which support your well-being. Start by making a habit of finding healthier options at the grocery store. For example: if your family is big on snacking, substitute the snacks for fruits and vegetables everyone likes. Eating healthy can be fun, and tasty too! When cooking at home, take a look at healthy recipes online which require nutritious ingredients. Healthy eating for the entire family starts in the kitchen. For more ideas for nutritious recipes, take a look at our Pinterest board.  Healthy Lifestyle: Committing to a strict gym schedule while working full-time may seem impossible, but it is necessary to squeeze i ...

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