Coping with loss in a catastrophe

tree-down-on-wires

Safety should be the No. 1 priority
after a natural disaster.

Protecting yourself and your family is your first priority when your auto, home, business or personal property is damaged or destroyed by a tornado, hail, flood or other catastrophic event. Promptly treat any injuries. Remain calm and carefully survey the damage.

Be cautious during post-catastrophe activities to avoid injuries during rescue attempts and cleanup. Watch for downed power lines, gas leaks and electrical hazards that could result in fire, explosion or electrocution. Listen to local officials and emergency management personnel, who can assist you with locating emergency medical treatment, temporary accommodations, clothing, food, water and other needs. Read More

When water is not your friend

Automatic shut-off systems can help prevent costly damage or frustrating cleanup.

Automatic shut-off systems
can prevent costly damage.

Refrigerators, water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines and toilets can be sources of leaks that can cause significant damage if not detected early.

A burst pipe with as little as a one-eighth-inch crack can release 250 gallons of water a day, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.

The most effective way to prevent costly water damage in your home is to install a leak detection and water shut-off system. There are several levels of protection that can meet the needs and budgets of all homeowners: Read More

Choose your card wisely to protect your money

Consumer rights differ for debit and credit cards.

Consumer rights differ for debit and credit cards.

Many people find it convenient to use credit or debit cards rather than carry cash or write checks for each purchase. Recent headlines concerning account information breaches should be of concern to card users.

Important differences between credit cards and debit cards may affect your decision about which to use for your purchases. Keeping these differences in mind when making purchases might help you protect your money if your accounts are hacked.
Read More

Data Privacy Day: Protecting your personal information

dog_wifiData Privacy Day, observed annually on January 28, encourages all of us to make protecting privacy and data a greater priority.

Given the number of privacy-related events in 2013, it’s no surprise that Dictionary.com named ”privacy” as word of the year. Privacy and protection from identity theft go hand in hand. Identity theft is a major problem that is growing each year. Criminals can use your name, date of birth, Social Security number and other personal or account information to steal your identity.

You can minimize the chances of being an identity theft victim by: Read More