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Peer-to-Peer Home Rentals: Here's What You Need to Know
Are you considering renting out your home, guest room, or basement? Peer-to-peer home rentals and services such as Airbnb have grown in popularity. Discovering the income potential in these opportunities may entice you to hand over your keys.

While this may be a good option for you, it's important to first consider the insurance implications involved. Do you have the right coverage for peer-to-peer rentals? If a renter starts a fire in the home, will you be covered? Always consult with your insurance provider before pursuing any rental arrangements.

If you will be renting all or part of your property on a regular basis, your homeowner's policy is likely insufficient. You may need business coverage, such as a hotel or bed-and-breakfast policy. Month-to-month home-sharing liability policies may also be available that suit your circumstances. On the other hand, if the rental situation is a one-time occurrence, you might be covered by your current homeowner's policy, or you might be required to add an endorsement.

Either way, notify your carrier about your intent to determine whether your current coverage is appropriate. Your agent can help you make any changes needed to ensure you and your property are fully protected.

Additionally, if you are considering renting someone else's peer-to-peer rental space, confirm your coverage with your carrier. Typically, your homeowner's policy will provide coverage for stolen possessions and accidental injuries you cause to others. However, you should verify this with your agent before making any rental agreements.

Is the Era of Television Ending?
It wasn't that long ago when friends and family would crowd around a TV to watch their favorite shows in real time. But those days are seemingly over.

According to digital media agency Zenith, the television's dominating streak as consumers' favorite source of media is nearing its end, thanks to the rise of mobile and desktop internet use. Zenith predicts that, by 2020, "daily internet consumption will surpass daily television consumption for the first time."

This might not come as a surprise to anyone. The slow decline of the television has been evident for years. More and more people are streaming content on their phones and computers, which has been aided by faster internet speeds, smarter smartphones, and the production of more digestible content created specifically for smartphones.

The rise of mobile has been swift. In 2011, Zenith found that 5 percent of media consumption was on mobile. Now, mobile use has skyrocketed, with 24 percent of all global media consumption happening on these devices. Zenith forecasts that this will go up to 28 percent by 2020.

Recent trends also show that the total amount of time people spend on the internet and watching TV is increasing, too. Just nine years ago, people spent around four hours around their TV and on the internet. By 2020, people are expected to spend six hours a day consuming content, but more minutes will be devoted to the internet than TV.

So, is the era of television finally ending after decades of dominance? All signs point to "yes."

Take This Tech with You to Enhance Your Travels
Not every trip includes cutting the technological cords. Getting away - whether for business or pleasure - comes with its own technological needs. Here are some tips to ensure you pack accordingly.

Make sure you're able to use your devices away from home. Pack a universal adapter so you can plug your devices in regardless of the local electrical system design.

Remember, though, that you likely won't be spending all your time indoors. Bring a portable charger so your devices are able to capture all your memorable moments. Keychain USB chargers are available that can save you the hassle of finding the right cords.

You also might want to consider purchasing a travel router. Not only will these help you stay online, but some also act as chargers and adapters.

Be realistic about what work you want to get done on your trip and how you want to do it. Portable keyboards are a compact way to turn tablets and phones into laptops. This means you may not need to sandwich your computer into your carry-on luggage - if you need to bring it at all.

If you do plan on using your tablet often, be sure to take care of yourself, too. Buy a standing case so you don't strain your neck.

Remember to pack for fun as well. An e-reader is a great way to bring a library without adding extra weight to your bags. Invest in some good headphones too, so people know when you're trying to tune out distractions.

Back to School Tips

In honor of back-to-school season, take a moment to review your family's transportation plans and make sure everyone's commute is as safe as possible. Whether you have a kindergartener who is taking the bus or a high schooler with a new license, keep these best practices in mind.

School Bus Safety

School buses are some of the safest modes of transportation -- if students board and exit them correctly. If your kids will be riding the bus, encourage them to:

  • Stand back from the curb where the driver can see them at all times
  • Approach the bus only when it's completely stopped
  • Fasten seat belts when they're available and face forward while the bus is moving
  • Look both ways when crossing the street after exiting the bus

Walking and Biking

Riding a bike and walking to school are great ways to get a little exercise. Anyone who commutes this way should always:

  • Wear a bicycle helmet that's fitted and properly fastened
  • Use hand signaling to alert drivers of intended turns
  • Cross the street at designated lights or with a crosswalk guard
  • Use sidewalks and bike lanes whenever possible

Driving Tips for Everyone

Car accidents are the leading cause of death among U.S. teens, according to the CDC. Before letting teenagers drive themselves to school, make sure they follow basic safety rules -- and if you're the one driving, model this good behavior for them:

  • Don't eat or drink while driving
  • Insist everyone buckles up (and for teen drivers, limit their number of passengers)
  • Never use cellphones to text or call while the car is running
  • Observe school zones and watch for pedestrians to avoid injuries and traffic tickets

By embracing and encouraging these habits, we can all help make the roads a little safer.

Busted: Five Auto Insurance Myths You Might Believe
Of all the information circulating about auto insurance, what is rumor and what is real? Are you basing your choices on fact?

To cut through the fiction, keep the following myths in mind.

1. My car color affects my premium.

If you prefer hotshot red, go ahead and get it. You don't have to worry about higher premiums because of the car's color. Your insurance cost is based on several factors, but this isn't one of them.

The car's make, body type, model, age, and engine size affect the premium. The vehicle's safety record, price, and the cost to repair it also come into play. If you want a lower premium, consider these factors rather than the paint job.

2. As my age increases, so will my premium.

Typically, the opposite is true. Those over 55 years of age may be eligible for discounts. These include reduced driving discounts and programs available through AARP. Discounts vary by region, so check with your insurance provider about your options and eligibility.

3. Bare-minimum coverage is sufficient.

Most states require drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. However, it is generally recommended to obtain coverage that goes beyond this bare minimum.

A serious accident can quickly generate expenses far exceeding the minimum coverage. A good rule of thumb is to have $100K in bodily injury per person and $300K per accident.

4. When I give my keys to a friend, my friend's insurance takes over.

In many cases, the policy that covers the vehicle is considered primary. If an accident occurs while your friend is driving your car, it's likely that your insurance will be responsible for coverage, not theirs.

5. My car is fully protected from all types of damage.

This could be true, but it depends on your policy type. A standard policy may not include theft, vandalism, or natural disasters. For full protection, choose collision and comprehensive insurance.

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."
Just reply to this email and I'll send it right out to you.

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Bleeding Molten Chocolate Cakes
Perfect for Halloween. Serves 8
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 pound semisweet chocolate chips
8 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Strawberry syrup, to taste
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease eight 6-oz, ovenproof coffee cups or ramekins with butter, and place on a baking sheet. Gently melt butter and chocolate in a bowl over a double boiler or in short bursts in the microwave until smooth, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula.

Place eggs, sugar, and melted chocolate into a food processor and process until smooth. Add the flour and process another few seconds. Stop, scrape down the sides, then process until fully combined. (This step can also be done by hand.)

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cups and bake for about 20 minutes or until batter has risen and is still slightly soft to the touch. Carefully invert onto a plate and drizzle with strawberry syrup.
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. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.

Posted 9:17 AM

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NOTICE: This blog and website are made available by the publisher for educational and informational purposes only. It is not be used as a substitute for competent insurance, legal, or tax advice from a licensed professional in your state. By using this blog site you understand that there is no broker client relationship between you and the blog and website publisher.
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