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Have These Items in Your Home? You May Need Valuable Items Insurance

You may have many assets in your home that are high-value items either in terms of monetary or sentimental value, and you want to make sure that those items are protected. It is important to take into account that a homeowners insurance policy does not cover everything you own, and the items it does cover are only partially insured if they’re high-priced items. Instead, you’ll want to supplement your existing coverage with Valuable Items Insurance. Some homeowners don’t think about it until it is too late. Take the steps now so all of your most valuable and irreplaceable items are protected. These are a few commonly-owned items you should consider insuring beyond your normal policy. Jewelry Normally homeowners and renters insurance policies have a limit well below the value of more expensive pieces even if jewelry is an included coverage.  It is smart to have the jewelry appraised first and then add it to your policy or purchase a separate policy. Computer Equipment What is the purpose of your computer equipment? If it’s for personal use ,it is possible that it is already covered. If you use a computer for work, your employer likely has a policy covering the equipment. If you’re self-employed, you need a policy that covers your business assets. Be sure to properly insure any business-related computer equipment. Artwork There is certain artwork that may require special coverage. If you own expensive artwork that stays on your wall, insure it with a supplemental policy if your homeowners or renters insurance doesn’t cover it completely. If the art is ever on public display, it is beneficial to obtain a public liability policy to protect the piece from damage. Specialty Tools Certain lines of work require tools that should be insured. If you’re a mechanic or work in any trade that requires specialty tools, be sure to check your insurance policy for guidance. You may want to include the tools in your business insurance coverage if they’re stored at your home but primarily used for your business. Pets No animal lover would ever want to consider his or her beloved friend as property, but most laws recognize animals as something you own. Insurances related to pets include health and liability insurance.  It is important to note that sadly, depending on the breed, your pet may be excluded from your homeowner’s policy….
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The Realities of Owning a Home: Recurring Costs

Home ownership is one of the biggest goals in one’s life. However, more goes into home ownership than simply paying a mortgage each month. In fact, there are some other recurring expenses that can put you over your budget if you don’t plan accordingly. In this article, we’re going to cover some of the most common monthly expenses that you can plan for if you’re in the market for buying a home in the near future. Most importantly, protect your new dwelling with a tailored New York Home Insurance policy. Mortgage loan. This is the most obvious, and will vary in cost depending on the home’s price, how much you put down, and your interest level that you work out with your lender. If it’s a fixed loan, the price will remain the same over the life of your mortgage loan terms. Otherwise, an adjustable loan changes as your benchmark changes. Insurance. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average annual U.S. homeowners insurance premium was $1,132 in 2014. However, homeowners insurance premiums can vary from year to year based on changes in your home’s appraised value, your policy’s deductible and coverage amounts, your claim history, and your credit score. As with property taxes, you pay one-twelfth of your annual homeowners premium with your monthly escrow payment, says Money Crashers. Private mortgage insurance. If you put down less than 20% of the home’s price in your down payment, you’ll need to pay an additional monthly expense for private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI protects your lender from financial loss if your home is foreclosed upon and sold at a discount relative to your purchase price. If you have good credit, your lender may assess PMI premiums until your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio (the ratio of your current mortgage balance to your home’s total value) reaches 78%. However, lenders generally honor borrowers’ PMI cancellation requests once LTV reaches 80%. If you pose a higher credit risk, your lender may require you to carry PMI until your LTV is lower. Property taxes. Depending on where you live, your city’s property taxes will vary each year. You will typically pay 1/12th of the total amount each year. Utilities/maintenance. Finally, you’ll need to factor in costs for utilities. Everything from water, gas and electricity to phones, internet and cable are recurring monthly expenses you’ll need to budget for. In addition, monthly maintenance is another…
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Westchester County Home Insurance: Keeping Critters Out

Westchester County Home Insurance: Keeping Critters Out Housing developments in former woodlands often have to contend with the areas previous residents. Squirrels, insects, raccoons, deer, and rodents all coexist with homeowners, often to the owner’s discontent. Westchester County Homeowners are looking for new ways to evict their unwelcome guests. According to the Wall Street Journal, about 30 percent of Americans used pest-control services last year, up from 20 percent in 2004. For animals, the suburbs is a win-win. The landscaping in suburbs, buffet line of garbage cans, and supply of food in the pantry are all enticing prospects for animals looking for a bunk. But the damage from critters can be significant. Deer forage your foliage and landscaping, raccoons ravage the garbage, and rodents including squirrels, rats, and mice chew their way into the house, damage soffits and electrical wires in the process. The threat of rabies and excrement from wild animals also raises health concerns. A rodent or animal infestation issue isn’t typically a reflection of the house’s years or cleanliness. In fact, sometimes newer houses are often the problem, being built with gaps allowing rodents to get in even when there isn’t a crumb in sight. Dangerous chemicals pose risks to homeowners, especially if they have pets or children. But there are other steps homeowners can take to rid themselves of unwanted house guests (at least the furry kind). Reinforcing houses, examining every nook and cranny to ensure there aren’t any construction gaps is one of the best ways to insure your house is fortified. Homeowners should check their dark garages and basements on a sunny day, looking for any hidden animals. Worn weather stripping around doors and spots where the cables runs through the wall are common entries for animals. And of course, if the problem persists and interferes with your daily life, it is best to hire an exterminator.

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How to Cope with Stress at Home

How to Cope with Stress at Home Our jobs are stressful. With endless amounts of paper work, harrowing deadlines, overbearing bosses and coworker spats, the daily grind can be pretty stressful. Without a doubt, work is one of the number one causes of stress. But what about when you head home? Home is our escape, our sanctuary. But, home life can be just as stressful as work. Job losses, economic difficulties, and conflicts with spouses or children can make a home incredibly tense. Stress at home can disrupt your daily routine and affect your mood and relationships with others around you. While it is unavoidable, there are tactics you can take in the home to manage stress. Declutter. Twice a year, schedule a time to go through everything that has accumulated in your home. Throw out clothes the kids have outgrown, file away that stack of papers. You will feel much better walking into a clean, de-cluttered space. Don’t let the small things build up. Every night, take the time to pick up that book you were reading or clean the plates in the sink. If you take care of small, menial chores little by little, it won’t pile up and overwhelm you. Let the light in. Natural light is an instant mood booster. Open the windows wide, and take away the blackout curtains so you get the maximum amount of natural light. Healthy snacks. A healthy diet can help reduce stress. Not to mention you feel better and have more energy to tackle those daily tasks. Designate a calm space. Find one room, or spare corner to call your own. Decorate it with personal mementos and things that make you happy. Disconnect. Turn off smartphones, tablets, iPads, iPods, the television, laptops, and every other technology gadget you have in your possession. Designate quiet time for you and your family. No email, no television, no texts. Even if it’s just during dinnertime, shutting out technology for an hour gives you a break, not to mention providing invaluable family time. The experts at A.J. Benet know how hard you work to protect your family year long. A package policy allows you to take advantage of benefits by consolidating multiple policies, such as  home insurance, with one insurance company. A.J. Benet offers Westchester County Home Insurance policies from top-tier insurance companies that are designed to insure…
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