Smart Home Vulnerabilities

One of the benefits of the Internet is the rapid development of home security and home automation systems, which are now accessible through Internet Protocol (IP) networks. By connecting devices to IP networks, you can now monitor your surveillance cameras, set your air conditioning, or answer your front door intercom from virtually anywhere in the world.

But along with these conveniences comes increased vulnerability to cyberattacks. Each connected device, including cameras, intercoms, routers, smartphones, tablet computers and more, becomes a potential entry point for cyber criminals. A skilled hacker can gain access to your computer-based system and steal personal information, commit identity fraud, monitor or disable your surveillance cameras and cause other disruptions.
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Preparing for the Storm

Every year from June 1st to November 30th, coastal residents brace for “Hurricane Season”. One of nature’s most fierce natural disasters poses problems if you’re not prepared. Knowing your vulnerabilities and having a plan can help save your family’s lives and protect your property.

A preparedness plan addresses vulnerabilities and provides guidance on how to best protect your family and property. The following preparations are a good starting point for protecting your most prized possessions and should be part of your plan.
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Protecting Your Income Property Investment

Owning an income or rental property can bring many benefits. When done right, an income property provides additional income, allows diversification of investments, and can offer significant tax deductions. The property value could even appreciate over time.

In the perfect scenario, you will have a long-term tenant that pays the rent regularly and on time, the property will never be vacant, and maintenance issues won’t ever arise. However, the reality is that you will more than likely face times without a tenant, have a tenant that falls behind in rent payments, or have a tenant that doesn’t care about the condition. While there is no guarantee that these situations will always be avoided, we have created a checklist to help prevent loss and protect your income property investment.
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Time for a Spring Cleaning to Protect Against Chimney Fires

Although spring may have sprung, it’s never too late to pay attention to chimney safety. The arrival of warmer weather also is a good time to conduct routine maintenance on your chimney and heating system after a busy winter season. Continue reading

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From Private Collector to Gallery Owner:
What to Know When Opening a Private Museum

Regardless of the reason—or combination of reasons—for opening a private museum, many overlook related property and casualty insurance risks. Unfortunately, if not addressed, these exposures could negate some of the associated financial benefits and lead to significant out-of-pocket costs.

If you’re thinking about opening your own private museum, here are three things to consider when getting started:
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Dispelling the Misperceptions About Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems

Most homes in the United States are protected from fire by smoke detection systems, but have you considered a residential fire sprinkler system? Residential sprinkler systems reduce the chances of dying in a fire by 69% when compared to a … Continue reading

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When the Earth Moves Under Your Feet: What to Do When an Earthquake Strikes

There is no way to predict when or where an earthquake will strike. It can happen any time of year, any time of day and in any kind of weather. For those of us who live in earthquake prone areas of the country, it is a surreal and scary experience when it does happen. Continue reading

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Preventing Frozen Pipes

Have you taken the proper precautions to protect your home from frozen pipes? Cold winter weather can cause pipes in your home to freeze and potentially burst, leading to water damage or flooding. A few simple preventative measures can help save you from the costs and headaches associated with frozen pipes. Continue reading

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Own an Older Home? Retrofit Against Earthquake

One important consideration for homeowners is whether your home is structurally sound enough to withstand the forces of an earthquake. Depending on the age of your home, number of stories, and ground soil conditions, a house can experience catastrophic damage, fire or collapse during an earthquake if measures have not been taken to fortify the home. One way to seismically retrofit is to bolt the house to its foundation and brace the cripple walls around the crawl space with plywood. Continue reading

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Is There a “Leak” In Your Earthquake Preparedness Plan?

Third in a series of articles about earthquake preparedness. For residents in California and other seismically active regions of the county, the word “earthquake” conjures up frightening news footage images of toppled walls, collapsed roofs, and cracked foundations. As disturbing and devastating … Continue reading

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