A Major, but Under-Appreciated, Risk

Frances O'BrienHiding in your home is an unforeseen – and often overlooked – risk that may cause major stress, disruption and financial loss. The culprit? Water damage.

Regardless of your home’s location, be it on the coast, a flood-prone area or inland, water damage poses an enormous risk to your home and valuables within. In fact, water damage is seven times more likely to occur than a fire and six times more likely than a burglary – and more than half of homeowners who experienced water damage in the past two years reported spending over $5,000 in repair and clean-up costs, with 15% of respondents spending $20,000 or more, according to a Chubb survey. Continue reading

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Protecting Your Personal Information

Bobbie GoldieOur world continues to interconnect digitally. We regularly communicate, work, shop, research and store information in cyberspace. As cyber criminals and bad actors are becoming more refined in navigating through cyberspace, it is important to actively keep your information secure online.

Personally identifiable information is any information that can be used to identify a specific person. This information ranges from medical, legal, educational and financial records. Identifiable information can be stolen during a cyber breach, which can lead to identity theft. Continue reading

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Sapphire: The Stone of Romance and Royalty

Racquel ClemonsPart of a series of articles about birthstones.

Sapphire, the birthstone for the month of September, is a beautiful gemstone that comes in a wide array of colors with the most popular being blue. Indeed, it is widely held that the word ”sapphire” is derived from the Latin word “Saphirus” and Greek word “Sapheiros,” both meaning blue. Others believe the name sapphire is derived from its association with the planet Saturn as it can be roughly translated to mean “Dear to the planet Saturn.” Continue reading

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The Hidden Risks of Holding Assets in Trusts and LLCs

Frances O'BrienIt’s not uncommon for assets such as homes, boats or other properties to be placed into trusts and limited liability corporations (LLCs). However, these vehicles can present unexpected risks if inadequately or improperly insured – or inadvertently, not insured at all. Continue reading

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What Every Homeowner Should Know About Fire Extinguishers

According to the National Fire Protection Association, every 23 seconds a fire department responded to a fire in the US in 2015. Equipping your home with portable fire extinguishers can assist in minimizing fire damage from small, self-contained fires before much-needed help arrives.

You may be unsure of which fire extinguishers are best for your home, where they should be located, or even how to use them. Let’s take a look at the different types of fire extinguishers and review some tips for buying, maintaining and using a fire extinguisher in your home. Continue reading

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A DIY Guide to Creating a Home Inventory

Milissa Malloy

Although optimism is an attractive quality, hoping that your home will never be affected by water damage, fire or theft won’t lessen your risk. If catastrophe strikes, consider how difficult it would be to recall every possession that you own. That’s why proactively taking a home inventory is so important.

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Great Walls of Fire!
Fencing Considerations for Wildfire Prevention

Matt HunterFences (and walls) have been around since ancient times. They are functional, provide privacy, and keep cities, businesses and homes secure. However, during a wildfire, a fence may do more harm than good. Continue reading

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Peridot: The Evening Emerald and Gem of the Sun

Ly Rosenberg

Part of a series of articles about birthstones.

Peridot’s beautiful olive green color has subtle variations, but, unlike most gems, it is only found in one color. And it is due to that unique green color that it is known as the “evening emerald.” It also serves as the birthstone for the month of August. Continue reading

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Art – Inside and Out – Protecting Outdoor Sculpture

Maggie ReynoldsArt is now more frequently being displayed and enjoyed both inside and outside of the home. If you invest in outdoor sculpture, developing a solid plan for protecting art that is constantly exposed to the elements should be a priority.

However, it can be challenging to find an ideal balance between the sculpture and outdoor conditions. Key items to consider include construction, materials of the object, location and maintenance of the space itself, professional installation, conservation and maintenance. Continue reading

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What to Know Before You Go: When Your Travel Plans May Involve Danger

Frances O'Brien

In the past, many American travelers divided the world into two categories: “safe” and “unsafe” zones. Today, however, this line is becoming less defined as more Americans are traveling to areas around the world that were previously perceived as risky, while traditionally safe areas present new potential for danger. Needless to say, regardless of where you go, there are important safety measures all travelers should follow. Continue reading

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