The moment has finally arrived — you’ve done all the research, test driven your favorites and decided on the brand new car you want to buy. You simply need to make a down payment, call your insurance company and drive that baby home. Since you have full coverage on your brand new wheels, you’re all set in case the unthinkable happens, right? Not so fast!
Insurance and Your Vehicle
It’s a well-known fact that the minute you drive your vehicle off the car lot, it starts depreciating. This is because your brand new car is now considered to be used and its value declines sharply. In fact, the average car loses about 30 percent of its value in the first year alone. This is important to know because without gap insurance, your insurance coverage may pay only for its current value, not what it would cost you to replace it.
Gap Insurance Explained
Gap insurance is designed to cover the shortfall that often exists between the amount your insurance company is willing to pay for your vehicle and what it would cost you to replace it. While you might think this amount is nominal, it could add up to being several thousand dollars. This could make it difficult for you to enjoy a comparable vehicle.
Do You Need Gap Insurance?
There are certain situations when you should consider gap insurance — if you put less than 20 percent down, if your car loan is for five or more years, if you put more than 15,000 miles on your vehicle each year, if you combined negative equity from another vehicle into your current loan or if you lease your vehicle. If you own your vehicle outright or if you have a great deal of equity in it, you probably don’t need gap insurance.
According to the California Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973, every employer in the state is legally obligated to provide a safe workplace that is free of hazards. As part of that regulation, each employer is also required to have an Injury and Illness Prevention program. The following are practical tips that can be implemented to help reach the above goals.
Use Personal Protective Equipment
Depending on the job, there are different types of personal protective equipment that are a necessity to keep employees safe. Goggles are a must in any workplace environment that involves dust, chemicals or other objects that could injure the eyes. In workplaces where heavy objects could fall on the heads of employees, hard hats must be provided. Steel-toe shoes are also mandatory if the environment includes hazardous and heavy materials that could injure the feet.
It should be noted that simply making the equipment available is not enough. Employees must be properly trained on its use and must not be cleared for work in areas where such equipment is needed until they are fully trained.
Keep the Workplace Tidy
Clutter and debris can seem like the norm for a workplace but they can increase the chances of an accident. Employers need to ensure that there are an adequate amount of space to store items neatly. Spills should be cleaned up immediately to help prevent falls or reported to the right person so that they are taken care of as soon as possible.
Ensure Company Vehicles are in Good Working Order
Many people are injured while driving company vehicles each year. Each month, a visual inspection, as well as one that test the working order of items such as turn signals, should be completed. If repairs are needed, they should be taken care of as soon as possible.
The beginning of the new year is a good time to take stock of your financial situation. One of the best ways to put yourself on firm ground financially is to look over your homeowners insurance. While this insurance is mandatory when it comes to bank-financed mortgages, there is often much you can do to reduce your premiums.
Complete a Yearly Deductible Review
It is a good idea to get into the habit of looking over your homeowners insurance deductibles every year. If you are like many people, you probably have not thought about your deductibles since you first purchased your policy. Low deductibles that seemed like a good idea when you bought your first home could be costing you money now.
Purchasing a home is a big financial step that can leave you with little disposable income in the event of an emergency. It can make more sense to lower your deductible for your homeowners insurance at that point. As you begin to feel more secure in knowing just how much money home maintenance and other necessities take of your paycheck, you can add to your emergency fund.
Raising the deductibles of your homeowners insurance can help you balance out the premiums you pay. With a suitable emergency fund, for example, that is equipped to cover those emergencies like the deductible for a replacement roof caused by a storm, you can enjoy savings all year round.
Talk to Your Insurance Adjuster
For the best results, it is a good idea to make an appointment with your insurance company to sit down and go over your insurance policy. A few adjustments for your deductibles could save you hundreds of dollars each year.
Breaches in some worldwide retailers could have you wondering if your personal information is safe. After all, those huge conglomerates that have been targeted recently, such as Zappos and Target, have millions of dollars at stake so why would a cyber-criminal want to target a single person? The answer might surprise you.
Valuable Personal Information
Identity theft is a big business in this day and age of inter-connectivity. Whether a cyber crook is a small-time player and simply looking to have a good time with your credit card or they are part of a larger ring that sells the information they obtain, personally identifiable information such as your birth date, current and former addresses and social security number are all valuable to them. With just a few bits of information, these criminals can easily steal your identity, making your life a nightmare for many months or even years.
Email Addresses Sell
Even if a cyber-criminal is not able to get enough information to assume your identity, they can still steal your email address and sell it. Email addresses are valuable to legitimate businesses and criminals alike. They can easily be sold for a nominal amount that quickly adds up for those crooks who are adept at breaching security parameters.
Fraudulent Credit Card Activity
If you are like many people, you assume that retailers that have an online presence are safe to share your credit card information. While huge businesses such as Target have invested millions of dollars into their cyber security systems, it is still possible for them to be infiltrated. You should always see a lock in the address bar of any website that you are inputting sensitive information. Even with this assurance, though, you need to keep a close eye on your credit card statements each month.
When you purchase homeowners insurance, you probably think that all the items in your home and on your property are afforded the same type of coverage. While this is true of most things that can be classified as everyday items, some of your other possessions might not fall into that category. In some cases, they might be insured but not enough to allow you to fully recoup your loss. In other cases, though, your items might not be covered at all.
Vehicles of All Types
Antique vehicles and other vehicles that you drive only occasionally might be covered under certain conditions on your homeowners insurance. Without specialty insurance, though, you will not recover their replacement value. ATVs, motorcycles and other recreation vehicles also need their own specialty insurance so that you can recover all of the money that they are worth.
Another item that people assume is covered under their homeowners insurance is flooding. In nearly all cases, though, flooding is not typically covered unless you have this particular specialty item as part of your regular coverage.
If you collect stamps, fine art or another collection of value, you might think that these items are covered under your homeowners insurance. Without specialty item coverage, however, that specifically denotes which items are being covered, you could find out too late that they are not. For collections that have a significant value, you will likely need to have them appraised by someone trained in the field to be sure that you purchased enough insurance to replace their value.
Talk to your insurance agent to determine if you own an item or collection that needs specialty insurance. Doing so could save you a great deal of heartbreak in the event of a loss.
It’s Presidents Day and while many of us will be taking the opportunity to enjoy 30% off bath towels and other linens, it’s important that we also spend a moment reflecting on the commanders-in-chief we’ve elected thus far.
With that in mind, we once again present 44 lesser-known facts about the leaders of this nation. Ever wanted to imagine John Quincy Adams naked? Too late, you will now.
So enjoy your day off by learning a few things… and seriously, take advantage of those sales. You NEED new sheets.
- Washington’s Teeth Weren’t Wooden. Contrary to popular belief, the country’s first president had dentures made of gold, ivory, lead, and animal teeth.
- Adams Used To Skip School. As a young boy, John Adams would often skip school, choosing instead to spend his time hunting and fishing.
- Thomas Jefferson Founded The University Of Virginia. Jefferson founded the university in 1819 on land that once belonged to eventual President James Monroe. Jefferson is the only president to have ever founded an institution of higher learning.
- Madison Was Princeton’s First Grad Student. After finishing his undergraduate degree in 2 years, James Madison stayed at the university for an additional year, making him the Ivy League institution’s first graduate student.
- The Capital Of Liberia Was Named After Monroe. Because of his prominent support for the colonization of Liberia, the country decided to name their capital city, Monrovia, after James Monroe.
- John Quincy Adams Regularly Skinny-Dipped In The Potomac. Adams was known for his early morning dips in D.C.’s main waterway, always in the nude.
- Andrew Jackson Taught His Parrot To Curse. The parrot had to be removed from President Jackson’s funeral because it wouldn’t stop swearing.
- Martin Van Buren Popularized The Phrase “OK”. Supposedly, President Van Buren popularized one of the most commonly used phrases to date: “OK”, or “Okay”. Van Buren was from Kinderhook, NY which was also called “Old Kinderhook”. His support groups came to be known as “O.K. Clubs” and the term OK came to mean “all right”.
- William Henry Harrison Had A Pet Goat. During his brief tenure as President, Harrison had a pet billy goat with him at the White House.
- John Tyler Was An Awesome Violinist. During his presidency, Tyler often played violin at parties to entertain guests at the White House, and he actually aspired to be a concert violinist.
- James Polk Promised Not To Seek A Second Term If Elected. Polk, probably aware that many other politicians desired to run for the office, made an explicit campaign promise that if he was elected president, he would leave after 4 years, a promise that he kept.
- Taylor Had A Really Cool Nickname. Zachary Taylor’s nickname was “Old Rough And Ready”, which he acquired from admiring soldiers while he was fighting in the Seminole War.
- Millard Fillmore Married His Teacher. Though she was only about 2 years older than him, Millard Fillmore’s first wife Abigail was actually his teacher while he was a 19-year-old student at the New Hope Academy.
- Franklin Pierce Didn’t Swear His Oath Of Office. He instead affirmed it, placing his hand on a law book rather than the Bible.
- Buchanan Was A Bachelor. James Buchanan was the only president to never marry, instead remaining a bachelor his entire life.
- Lincoln Was A Great Wrestler. When Abe Lincoln moved to New Salem, Illinois in 1831, he ran into a local bully named Jack Armstrong. Armstrong challenged Lincoln to a wrestling match outside of Denton Offutt’s store, where Lincoln was a clerk, and townspeople gathered to watch and wager on it. Lincoln won.
- Andrew Johnson Was Drunk During His Inauguration. He reportedly put back a significant amount of whiskey beforehand and was noticeably drunk during his speech.
- Ulysses S. Grant Got A Speeding Ticket On A Horse. The 18th President Of The United States was given a $20 speeding ticket for riding his horse too fast down a Washington street.
- Hayes Banned Alcohol From The White House. During his presidency, Rutherford B. Hayes banned alcohol from the White House, allegedly for political reasons as he tried to gain support from anti-alcohol Prohibitionists.
- James A. Garfield Was Ambidextrous. Not only was he the first president to be both righty and lefty, but it was said he could write a sentence in Latin with one hand and write it in Greek with the other hand.
- Chester A. Arthur Was A Sharp Dresser, Night Owl. Not only was Chester A. Arthur a very sharp dresser (he owned over 80 pairs of pants) but he often took late night strolls around D.C. with friends, not returning home until 3 or 4 in the morning.
- Grover Cleveland Was Legal Guardian To The Girl He Later Married. When Grover Cleveland’s law partner Oscar Folsom died, Cleveland became the girl’s legal guardian. Frances Folsom was 11 years old at the time. Oddly enough, ten years later, they got married at the White House. She remains the youngest First Lady in the history of the United States, having been just 21 when they married.
- Benjamin Harrison Was Afraid Of Electricity. Benjamin Harrison was the sitting president when electricity was first installed in the White House. However, he was scared of being electrocuted and refused to touch the light switches.
- Grover Cleveland Had An Artificial Jaw. Since Cleveland is the only president to ever serve two non-consecutive terms, he warrants two slides. While he was president, doctors discovered that Cleveland had a cancerous lesion in his mouth, and they had to remove most of his upper-left jaw as a result. A prosthodontist then installed an artificial jaw made of vulcanized rubber. Cleveland kept the surgery a secret, fearing public concerns over his health, and the entire operation took place on his friend’s yacht.
- McKinley Was Tech-Savvy. William McKinley was the first presidential candidate to campaign using the telephone.
- Theodore Roosevelt Had Really Bad Asthma. In his early childhood, Teddy Roosevelt suffered from very severe asthma. Because there were no inhalers or special treatments for asthma at the time, he was often sick as a young boy. However, he began to regularly exercise in order to combat the illness and, aside from the occasional asthma attack, he eventually overcame it.
- Taft Swore In Later Presidents. After leaving office, William Taft became the only ex-president to serve as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, effectively becoming the only person to serve as the head of two branches of government. In doing so, he swore in both Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover to the presidency. (On an unrelated note, he also lost 150 pounds after leaving office.)
- Woodrow Wilson Had A Ph.D. To date, he’s the only president to hold a doctorate degree, making him the highest educated president in the history of the United States. He was awarded the degree in Political Science and History from Johns Hopkins University. He also passed the Georgia Bar Exam despite not finishing law school.
- Warren Harding Lost The White House China In A Poker Game. Harding really like to gamble, although it seems he wasn’t very good at it. In one poker game, he bet the White House china collection and lost it all in one hand.
- Calvin Coolidge Had A Really Weird Morning Ritual. Calvin Coolidge had a morning ritual in which someone rubbed Vaseline on his head while he ate breakfast in bed.
- Hoover Spoke Chinese. Herbert Hoover moved his family to China before becoming President, and he and his wife learned to speak Mandarin Chinese fluently. They would speak the language around the White House to prevent others from understanding them.
- FDR Has A Movie Credit Late one night at a dinner party, President Franklin Roosevelt regaled guests with a premise for a mystery novel. Magazine editor Fulton Oursler was in in attendance, and he hired some mystery writers to flesh out the premise to a novel, which was then adapted into a movie, “The President’s Mystery.” FDR received a “story by” credit.
- Truman Was A Failed Haberdasher. Before becoming the President of the United States of America, Harry Truman owned a haberdashery business (a men’s outfitter), which went bankrupt in 1921.
- Eisenhower Almost Had His Leg Amputated. As a freshman in high school, Dwight Eisenhower injured his knee, and the wound caused an infection that doctors feared could kill him. They recommend the leg be amputated, but Eisenhower loved playing sports so much that he refused the operation, and he somehow made a miraculous recovery.
- JFK Had A Shoddy Harvard Application. John F. Kennedy’s application to study at Harvard was fairly unimpressive by today’s standards. Not only that, but his own father, a Harvard alum, gave him a pretty underwhelming recommendation, saying that young Jack was “careless and lacks application.”
- LBJ Was Very Comfortable In The Bathroom. President Johnson was famous among White House staffers for having no shame about asking people to follow him into the bathroom to continue conversations as he relieved himself.
- Nixon Was A Card Shark. While in the Navy, Richard Nixon noticed that his friends were winning money in poker games. Always the opportunist, Nixon had the best poker player in his unit teach him how to play the game. Within only a few months, Nixon had won around $6,000 in poker games, which he used to fund his first congressional campaign.
- Gerald And Betty Ford Were Fashion Models. In the 1940’s Gerald Ford did a bit of modeling and even posed on the cover of “Cosmopolitan”. His wife Betty was also a dancer and fashion model, who signed with the John Robert Powers modeling firm to finance her dance education.
- Carter Was A Peanut Farmer. When he was younger, Jimmy Carter took over and ran his family’s peanut farm. As a tribute to his past, he had a giant peanut-shaped balloon in his inaugural parade.
- Ronald Reagan Did Stand-Up. In 1954, Ronald Reagan’s acting career was going so badly that he took a gig as a Las Vegas stand-up comic for a few weeks.
- George H.W. Bush Was A Really Good Athlete. In high school, Bush was the captain of both the varsity baseball and soccer teams, and he played as a forward on the school’s basketball team.
- Bill Clinton Is A Two-Time Grammy Winner. Clinton took home the 2004 Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album For Children along with Mikhail Gorbachev and Sophia Loren for their narration on the Russian National Symphony’s “Wolf Tracks and Peter and the Wolf”. Then in 2005, he won the Best Spoken Word Grammy for the audiobook of “My Life”. His wife, Hillary Clinton, also won a Best Spoken Word Grammy for the audiobook of 1997’s “It Takes A Village”.
- George W. Bush Was A Cheerleader In High School. As a high school student, in addition to playing baseball, George W. Bush was the school’s head cheerleader. He would often organize exuberant pep talks and skits during weekly assemblies.
- Barack Obama Is A Comic Book Nerd. President Obama collects “Spiderman” and “Conan The Barbarian” comic books, and has even read every “Harry Potter” book.