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Generous Gifts Might Call for New Coverage
Did you get a big gift over the holidays or some nice jewelry for Valentine's Day? Luxury items often need proper insurance for protection, as they are valuable possessions. In some cases, your current coverage is sufficient. However, many times, a change or expansion of coverage is needed.

If a special occasion has added a luxury item to your personal inventory, it might fall into one of the following categories.

It needs expanded coverage: Your homeowners or renters insurance has certain coverage limits. Standard policies typically top out at $5,000 for such personal belongings. If your new fur coat pushes beyond these limits, you can expand your current policy. Ask your insurance provider about adding a rider, floater, or endorsement. You will most likely need a receipt or appraisal to verify the value of the item.

It needs increased value coverage: Some items appreciate in value over time. If you received a family heirloom or a work of art, you can obtain special coverage that will keep up with this increase. Consider adding a rider that will provide this coverage. You will probably need to reappraise the item every one to three years in order to keep the policy active.

It needs a standalone policy: Single high-ticket items such as $10k+ jewelry, electronics, or boats may require a separate policy. These standalone policies are definitely needed if the items cannot fall under existing homeowners insurance. For example, if the item might be used for work, it would be excluded or limited to smaller inner limit like $2,500

Contact your insurance agent to determine whether any of your recently received treasures need additional coverage.

Petunias or Poinsettias? Which Flowers for Which Occasion?
Roses are red. Violets are blue. Which kind of petal is best for you?

Like precious stones, flowers have symbolism. Different varieties have different meanings, as do their hues. There are flowers to represent friendship, romance, sympathy, well wishes, and more. Here's a quick guide to the best blooms for a variety of occasions.

For anniversaries and Valentine's Day: Red and pink roses are representative of love and passion, making them a timeless choice. For something less obvious, tulips also signify love. Stay away from yellow, as the color most commonly symbolizes friendship.

For sympathy: Lilies, daisies, and roses are suitable options for flowers you're sending or bringing to a grieving person's home. Funeral flowers are different; these are often large, specialized wreaths or baskets delivered to the funeral home by the florist. It's important to note that flowers aren't appropriate in the Jewish mourning tradition.

For those who are sick: Get-well flowers differ depending on whether the ill person is at home or in the hospital. If he or she is in the hospital, stay away from highly fragrant flowers, which might be irritating to patients. Tulips are your best bet. If the person is at home, a houseplant, which offers more permanence and whose greenery can signify life and well-being, is a nice idea.

For friends: Whether it's to say thank you or just because, the best flowers for friends are their favorite variety. Not sure what they like? Opt for orchids, lilies, daisies, or carnations (just not yellow carnations, which represent disappointment).

Bad Driving Habits You Might Not Know You Have
Not many drivers think of themselves as being "bad" behind the wheel, but even great drivers can make mistakes. When you've been driving for long enough, bad habits can start to creep in and go unchecked.

Let this be your reason to check them. Here's a look at three of the most common bad driving habits that you might not know you have.

Not looking to the right when turning right: You're waiting to make a right turn at a stop sign or a red light. You look left, to make sure there's no oncoming traffic. But do you look right? This is a very common mistake with very grave potential consequences. Pedestrians may be crossing in front of your car, in the direction of the green light. Without checking your right side, you could easily hit them.

Giving right-of-way to someone else: Following the rules of the road, including right-of-way, is what keeps everyone safe. While waving someone else through and giving them right-of-way might seem like a polite gesture, it could be more trouble than it's worth. This may confuse other drivers who are expecting you, not another car, to turn or proceed.

Turning your wheels while waiting to turn: This seems like a pretty benign action, right? Wrong. Your wheels should always be positioned straight ahead, even when you're briefly waiting for a car or pedestrian to clear the path of your turn. If your wheels are turned and another car hits you from behind, you could be pushed into trouble, endangering yourself, pedestrians, and other drivers.

Car Shopping? Look for These Safety Features
Not all cars are created equal. Some offer greater speed. Others offer better gas mileage. Another important difference is safety. Did you know certain safety features can reduce insurance costs and claims? To protect your passengers and your wallet, look for some of these top safety features the next time you're in the market for a new vehicle.

Crashworthiness: If you're considering a car, check out its crashworthiness rating. This indicates the vehicle's ability to reduce the risk of injury and death during a crash based on its roof strength, front and side structures, head restraints, and seat design. You can look up a specific vehicle's rating on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website.

Size and weight: A tank offers more protection than a smart car does. But bigger isn't always better. An SUV may be more likely to roll over than a sports car. Be sure to review all factors of size and weight as you choose your vehicle. The safest option is typically a midsize sedan with a high safety rating.

Restraints: Modern vehicles offer far more than a simple seatbelt. For the best restraint systems, look for side airbags, locking head restraints, and lap and shoulder belts with crash tensioners. For steering column airbags, make sure you can reach the pedals without putting yourself too close to the steering wheel, as close proximity can cause serious injury if the bag is deployed.

Daytime lights: Many cars now feature daytime running lights that are activated when you turn on the car. These make vehicles more visible to other drivers and decrease the chances of daytime accidents.

Backup cameras: Rear-view video systems allow you to see the area behind your vehicle when you drive in reverse. These cameras can be very helpful in avoiding collisions with cars, objects, and pedestrians.

Additional safety features such as anti-lock brakes and warning systems can help you steer clear of crashes and further reduce the likelihood of claims. Check with your insurance provider about potential discounts on premiums based on specific vehicle features.

Most important, stay safe out there!

Are You in Danger from Identity Theft?
At least nine million Americans have been the victims of identity theft. Don't be one of them!

Discover how to protect yourself and those you love from the pain and expense of having your identity stolen by requesting my free guide, "Inside the Mind of an Identity Thief."
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Sausage, Sage and Squash Skillet Pizza
Makes 1 12" pizza
Preheat oven to 525 degrees
Flour and cornmeal for dusting
1 pound store-bought pizza dough
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 ounces marinara sauce
2-3 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup cooked, crumbled mild Italian sausage
1 cup cubed, cooked butternut squash
1 tablespoon fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried
Honey
Red pepper flakes
Directions
Place a 12" cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Dust pan lightly with flour and cornmeal. On a countertop, flatten the dough into a round disc and carefully place in skillet, pulling the sides of the dough up the sides of the pan. Brush dough with oil and allow it to cook for 1-2 minutes. Spread marinara sauce evenly over the dough, then top with cheese, sausage, squash, and sage. Place in oven for 10-12 minutes or until melted and golden. Mix two tablespoons honey with half tablespoon water and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Brush mixture over hot crust and serve.
This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter.
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Posted 3:08 PM

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