Homeowners: Things to Tell a Public Insurance Claims Adjuster

Hiring a public claims adjuster makes filing an insurance claim much easier. You can make it even easier by understanding what information to have ready when they arrive. Public adjusters are quite familiar with the claim-filing process and are able to navigate it with ease—and there are some details you can share that will streamline the process even more. Here’s what to tell a public adjuster when or soon after you hire them to handle an insurance claim.

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Actions You Took to Mitigate Losses

When disaster strikes, your first concern should always be the personal safety of yourself and those around you. After the immediate threat is over, however, you have certain responsibilities as a policyholder. Policyholders are generally expected to take reasonable measures that will help mitigate or prevent any further damage or loss. Your public adjuster will want to know what steps you took to minimize losses after the incident you suffered was over. They’ll likely need to relay this information to your insurer, and having a detailed account of the actions you took may help the adjuster negotiate a better settlement.

Items That Were Were Lost or Damaged

If you’re filing a claim for lost or damaged property, your adjuster will need to know precisely what was lost or damaged. They’ll want to create the most comprehensive list possible, for your insurer will want each item detailed.

During the claim-filing process, your adjuster will probably review your losses with you. They’ll likely already have an idea of what was damaged or lost, for similar incidents often result in similar losses. They might even mention a few items that you didn’t think of. Nevertheless, it can help to list what was lost or damaged on your own. Reviewing the items yourself before your adjuster goes through this step with you will help, as your specific knowledge and their general knowledge of the losses will ensure everything is thought of. Additionally, taking stock of damaged areas of the home can help you down the line with disclosures if it ever comes time to sell your place.

Expenses You Incurred Because of the Incident

In some cases, policyholders are entitled to reimbursements for expenses they incur following a covered incident. For example, a homeowner whose house is destroyed might be reimbursed for meal and lodging costs.

Whether your claim entitles you to any reimbursements will depend on the nature of your claim and the coverages included in your insurance policy. Rather than waiting to find out whether you’re able to get reimbursed, however, you should begin keeping track of all your expenses immediately after an incident occurs. Tell your public adjuster what you paid for, and they can help you determine whether any are eligible for reimbursement.

Any Deadlines You’re Aware Of

Most insurance policies include strict deadlines regarding when claims must be filed, and failing to meet these deadlines may jeopardize the validity of a claim. Your public adjuster will review your insurance policy to see how long you have to file a claim. It’s still a good idea to tell your adjuster about any deadlines you’re aware of, though—especially if they’re coming up soon and you have just contacted your adjuster about your situation. This can help them estimate a timeline for filing your claim.

Hiring a public adjuster makes filing an insurance claim much easier than it is to do on your own. They’ll need information from you at times to make sure they catch everything, though. Make sure to tell them about your actions, lost items, expenses and deadlines, and you’ll make the filing process go more smoothly and faster.

US builders increase home construction in April

Builders ramped up construction of new homes in April, suggesting that the market remains solid despite sluggish economic growth at the beginning of the year.

Housing starts climbed 6.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million units, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. The increase makes up for much of March’s 9.4 percent drop in starts, a decline that partially reflected the volatile swings in residential construction on a monthly basis.

Ground breakings are running ahead of last year’s pace, largely because of a dramatic increase in the construction of single-family houses, especially in the Midwest and South. Relatively few existing homes are listed for sale, creating an incentive for developers to expand supplies through building during a period of low mortgage rates.

But a slow economy and turbulent stock market has overlapped with construction slipping so far this year in the West, where housing is generally more expensive.

“This was a decent report and shows that housing will continue to be one of the stronger pillars of the U.S. economy, as long as rates stay relatively low and job growth continues,” said Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.

Starts rose 22.2 percent in the Midwest and 14.1 percent in the South last month but dropped 10 percent in the West and 7.6 percent in the Northeast.

During the first four months of the year, home construction has advanced 10.2 percent. Single-family houses account for much of that gain. Apartment construction_a major driver of growth in recent years as more Americans shifted to rentals_has dipped slightly so far this year, although the sector drove much of the gains in April.

Applications for permits to build new homes, an indicator of future activity, rose 3.6 percent in April to an annual rate of 1.12 million.

Image result for Half of Chinese property buyers delay UK deals until after EU voteThe residential market has yet to fully recover from the dramatic crash brought about by a flood of subprime mortgages nearly a decade ago. Home construction remains well below its annual pace of roughly 1.5 million during the 1990s, a reflection of both higher housing costs and the damaged financial credit that remains more than 6 years after the recession officially ended.

But builders expect customers to come back into the market as home values rebound.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Monday held at 58 in May for the fourth straight month.

Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor. The index had been in the low 60s for eight months until February. Builders’ outlook for sales over the next six months increased to the highest level since December.

Mortgage Rates Remain Flat in U.S. in Early August

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), the average fixed mortgage rate changed little from the previous week and remaining near historic lows.

Sean Becketti, chief economist of Freddie Mac, “A surprisingly strong July jobs report showed 255,000 jobs added and 0.3 percent wage growth from last month, exceeding many experts’ expectations. In response, the 10-Year Treasury yield rose to its highest level since June and the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased 2 basis points to 3.45 percent.”

Image result for Half of Chinese property buyers delay UK deals until after EU voteFreddie Mac News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.45 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending August 11, 2016, up from last week when it averaged 3.43 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.94 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.76 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.74 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.17 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.74 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.73 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.93 percent.

UK house price growth hits five-month high in March: RICS

British house prices grew at their fastest pace in five months in March, fuelled by a shortage of properties, a survey showed on Thursday, adding to other signs that a cooling of the market may be ending.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) monthly house price balance rose to +21 in March, above all forecasts in a Reuters poll, from +15 in February.

There were signs that uncertainty about the May 7 election was causing sellers to hold off from putting properties on the market, RICS said.

“But underlying the trends visible in the latest survey is a very real housing crisis which will urgently need to be addressed by the next government,” said Simon Rubinsohn, RICS’ chief economist.

Housing has become a big issue in the election with Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party and the main Labour opposition running neck and neck in opinion polls.

Image result for Half of Chinese property buyers delay UK deals until after EU voteEarlier this week, Cameron said he would expand a “right-to-buy” programme to allow families to buy new homes cheaply, including social housing owned by non-profit organisations. The move was dismissed by Labour as a “bribe” to voters.

Rubinsohn said there were tentative signs that the momentum of house prices could pick up again as the supply of stock to the market continues to fall.

The net balance of surveyors expecting prices to rise in the next 12 months hit a 10-month high of 70 percent.

The RICS survey is the latest to suggest the housing market might be picking up again after moderating through much of 2014. when tougher mortgage lending rules took effect.

Bank of England data last month showed British mortgage approvals hit a six-month high in February, while house prices rose more strongly than expected last month, according to mortgage lender Halifax.

London rents fall for first time since 2010

 Residential rents for new lets in London have fallen for the first time in six years, according to the first study published on the issue since Britain voted to leave the European Union.

A monthly survey published by Countrywide estate agents on Monday found that new rental contracts were priced 0.5% lower in July than for the same period last year.

The average monthly rental contract in July was £1,280 ($1,647, 1,470 euros), around £7 cheaper than a year ago.

Property-London-UK“The large rise in numbers of homes available to rent has certainly slowed rental growth, even with tenant numbers increasing,” said Johnny Morris, research director at Countrywide.

He highlighted the increase in stock levels due to buy-to-rent investors bringing forward house purchases before new tax laws kicked in in April.

“Added to that, uncertainty in the sales market in the run up to, and after the EU referendum has caused more discretionary sellers to turn to the rental market,” he added.

Nationally, rents for new contracts increased by 1.5 percent last year.

Britain’s decision to leave the EU has led to predictions of a slowdown in the property sector, particularly in the booming London market.

UK farmland demand falls sharply as Brexit adds to price woes

Demand for farmland in Britain fell sharply in the first half of 2016, hurt by low commodity prices and uncertainty around the European Union membership referendum, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said on Wednesday.

Forty-nine percent of chartered surveyors said they expected prices to fall across all types of farms in the coming year, according to RICS and the Royal Agricultural University survey.

“Commodity price volatility was already negatively impacting sentiment in the rural land market prior to the EU referendum, and the outcome of the vote has added further uncertainty,” said Jeff Matsu, RICS senior economist.

“For now, this appears to be weighing heavily on demand and prices have begun to slide.”

uk-house-prices-riseMany farmers have expressed concern about the possibility of diminished subsidies for British agriculture once the country leaves the EU. But others have said they will be better off without the EU’s rules and regulations.

Matsu said the Bank of England’s decision to cut interest rates and restart its bond purchases could bolster confidence, while the fall in sterling ought to help agricultural exporters.

The survey added to signs of a broader slowdown in property markets since the vote to leave the EU.

A RICS survey last week showed housing market activity ebbed last month, with gauges of house price growth and transactions falling to their lowest level in years.

Best home and kitchen deals from Black Friday to Cyber Monday including Nest, Oral-B, Nutribullet, Krups and more

In the market for a new connected camera or coffee machine? Dreaming of a white goods Christmas? You’ve come to the right place.

The best Dyson deals for Black Friday.

We’ll be updating regular like, so keep checking back. Obviously, there are a billion deals out there right now, but we’ll sift through to find the cream of the crop: big brands with big discounts.

The rest of our Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals, from mobiles to cameras to audio to laptops.

Shoot on over to John Lewis and nab yourself an Amazon Echo Smart Speaker with Voice Recognition & Control for only £119.95.

 John Lewis is also selling the Amazon Echo Dot Smart Device with Voice Recognition & Control for a tidy £39.95! BARGAIN ALERT!

Do you like tools? Of course you do. Wickes has a cracker of deal for you this Black Friday. Customers can save £10 off a minimum spend of £50 and £20 off a spend of £100, both in store and online, using the codes BLACK10 and BLACK20.

Need more DIY deals? How about a Bosch 18V Li-ion Cordless Combi Drill (only £99.99), which comes with 241 accessories for all your screwdriving, hammering and drilling needs.

Grab a Roomba 960 for under £500 from Hughes.co.uk – just add the code roomba10 at the checkout and clean up this SUPER DEAL. You can also invest in a clever little Roomba 880 for £349.99 from John Lewis.

Buy a PicoBrew home brewing kit today for $799 (£643) from PicoBrew.com and you’ll get a free Brewing Keg and Stingray IPA pack (worth $130/£105). Just the the code #PicoBF at the checkout.

John Lewis has the Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation, Copper) going for as little as £169  (that’s a saving of £30).

Amazon Echo. Deal of the day! Amazon’s Echo is £30 off at £119.99 , or, if you already have a speaker, get the Amazon Echo Dot at just £39.99 – a tenner off. 

John Lewis has a classic Kitchenaid mixer for just £299, that’s £150 off. It’s the one used on Great British Bake Off, so, you know…

Also at the nation’s favourite middle-class store are a number of blenders, with perhaps the best deal being the Bosch one that’s had £80 knocked off, leaving it at just £39. Yes, 39 quid!

Want to prepare food like you’re from the future, or the 1970s? The Samsung MC28H5013AS microwave is half price at a tasty, but uncooked-looking £132.

AEG STM6201-U UltraMix Pro Hand Blender is a fantastic device that we’ve used many a time. It’s £15 off and well worth it at £55 

Most Important Questions That Should Always Be Asked Before Doing Home Additions

There are several reasons behind home additions. It could be to make a room for your child, to have an extra bathroom in the house etc. Home addition is a better option than completely moving out of the house. It is not only easy on your pocket, but it also has a long time advantage associated with it. However, the process is not cheap and involves your hard earned money. Therefore, it becomes very important to go through all the steps carefully and know that you are doing the right things. Here is a list of questions, which will help you have a better opinion on home additions.

  • How much money should I have budgeted for my home additions?

Once you have made up your mind, you should ask for quotes from different contractors. This would give you an idea about the rates per square foot prevailing in your area. Then carefully observe the service conditions and other factors related to the contractors and make a good decision. Simply choosing the one with the lowest quote may not be the wisest option. The cheapest quote may not provide you the service you deserve, so going with the average rate contractors makes sense here.

  • Will these additions add value to my home?

While making home additions, one should always think of the future. You may add some extra income by renting out the extra rooms you have added. So always keep in mind the basic amenities required for your area. If you are in a cold area, make sure that proper heating arrangements are made for that extra addition. Same is true if you live in an area that needs air conditioning. This will surely add value to your home.

  • Any government Restrictions that should be considered?

This is a very important aspect of additions to your home. Most municipalities have strict rules on where an owner can build. How much space he can build? One should always check and keep these things in mind while making any additions to your home.

  • Is it an easy process?

Adding new features to your house can be a noisy experience. Due to the construction going on day and night, one should be prepared to live in a noisy environment for the time the additions are not complete. There may be certain parts of your house that may be taken out. This may make you feel a little more inconvenient. This is all worth it. Once the additions are in place and ready, you will surely enjoy the benefits of it.

If your kitchen is being modified, it is best to setup a temporary kitchen. Being prepared reduces the inconvenience that may be caused to you.

Keeping these things in mind will surely help you if you have chosen a room addition construction. Being prepared before the beginning of the process makes you aware and less anxious about the process. One should always be careful in the choice of contractors, costs involved and the design they want for the additions. The government rules regarding the same should always be kept in mind.

Organize your various entertainment accessories

House is built with the main aim of providing luxuries and necessities to family members. You must have heard of the fact “no play makes the jack, a dull boy” very well emphasize on the importance of entertainment. We collect all the necessary things in our house which makes our life enjoyable and comfortable. Presently entertainment had become a need of everyone. Be it a kid or an elderly or an adult or a woman everyone like to squeeze some free moments from their life which they can spend on entertaining themselves.

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To amuse our self we buy many things and then place them in the house at our favorite place from where we can easily operate them and enjoy them at fullest. For placing these units we need entertainment units which are sold at the MyGubbi web portal to help the people who know the art of living. These entertainment units come in various designs, sizes, variety, color, etc. to meet the needs of customers.

These entertainment units are specially designed for people of today. All those people who understand the importance of life and wish to spend some quality time with them. Life is not mere earning it calls for spending as well. Take out some time for entertainment by buying entertainment units from MyGubbi website which has displayed an array of entertainment units which you would not like to miss.

It wills no wonder provide enough space to meet your home theatre at ease. It will provide enough space for placing various speakers and the music system. It is a work of imagination which possesses the perfect blend of colors and spacing requirements. Moreover, you will find spacious drawers to take care of your remotes, CDs, games and cables which you don’t have to search later on. It will also provide you with enough space to take care of your newspapers and magazines.

Have you ever wondered how untidy it looks when your magazines and newspapers are littered here or there? With these planned entertainment units you will be amazed to see that how it beautifies your wall that you placed in your living room. Apart from catching envious looks it will ease out your work of unnecessary look after. With its help, you can easily keep your tits and bits in its well carved drawers which will take care of them.

One of the most significant units we all need is the TV entertainment unit. Every house possesses a TV to take care of their entertainment needs. With these TV, set top boxes are made compulsory which has messed out the entire living room. This is the time for you to look for TV entertainment units which will take care of set top box by properly placing it at a place and as it is spacious as well gives you enough space to keep your TV and set top box remotes along with the necessary brochures.

5 Care Tips for a Greener Lawn

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Now that spring is officially here and things are starting to thaw out, it’s time to evaluate your lawn situation. Here are 5 ways to make sure that your lawn stays the healthiest it can.

Don’t over-fertilize. It can be easy to think that the more fertilizer you use, the healthier your grass will grow. In fact, too much of one of fertilizer’s main ingredients, nitrogen, can actually burn grass. Fertilize just twice a year, in the spring and fall. Plus, make sure you get the right formulation for your grass and soil type.

Rake your lawn. Raking isn’t just for fall. Once the snow has melted and the ground is dry, lightly running a rake over your lawn will dislodge the dead grass and make more room for new growth.

Mow at the right time of day. Surprise—there is a right time of day to mow your law. In the morning, dew weighs grass down, making it difficult to cut. In the warmer months, though, noon is also a bad time to mow. The heat combined with cutting can stress your lawn. Instead, cut grass in the late afternoon and evening.

Let your grass grow. The longer the grass, the deeper the roots, and the deeper the roots, the hardier your grass will be against problems like droughts, pests, and diseases. So keeping your grass slightly higher than usual may actually make for a lusher lawn.

Don’t water every day. Watering too often and for too short a period of time encourages grass to grow shallow roots, meaning that they’ll need to be watered frequently to survive. Instead, water just once or twice a week for about an hour in the morning or evening, to give the water the best chance at penetrating deep into the soil.