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Tips for Lowering the Cost of Homeowner’s Insurance

Following a few Tips for Lowering the Cost of Homeowner’s Insurance can save you a bundle of money

Owning real estate property is something nearly everyone aspires to. That being said, being swamped under with homeowner’s insurance is something everyone can do without. While you can always talk to your local insurance agent to see what can be done about lowering your rates, there’s even more you can do to save on your insurance while still enjoying quality coverage.

Take Steps to Protect Your Home

Anything you can do to protect your home from intruders, fire, earthquakes, water damage and the like is sure to help lower the cost of your insurance. This is because a well-reinforced home is less likely to suffer damage, which means you’re less likely to have to file a claim later on down the road. While you might balk at the initial investment of making such improvements, you’re sure to appreciate how much you save in your insurance costs over the years, and there’s also the fact you can rest easy knowing your home is well-protected.

Shop Around

While you might be happy with your current insurance provider, that doesn’t mean you can’t shop around. If it’s possible for you to get the same coverage with a lower price tag by switching providers, take the leap. You might hate to part with your current agent or company, but you also probably hate parting with your hard-earned cash when you don’t have to. Right? Before you change providers, see if your current home insurance company can do anything to lower the price of your premiums without compromising your coverage.

Raise Your Deductible

Increasing your deductible is another way to better save on the overall cost of your homeowner’s policy. Know that it’s possible to lower your premium cost by as much as 25 percent if you’re willing to raise your deductible to $1,000. No matter what your deductible might be, make sure you always have quick and easy access to that amount should you ever have to file a claim. Even better, put the money in an interest-bearing account so it works for you.

Ask About Discounts

Simply asking for a discount is another way to save money on coverage for your home. If you’ve been with your insurance company for a while, you might be eligible for savings. You might also be able to bundle policies if you also need auto insurance or the like. If you’ve never filed a claim, or if it’s been several years since you’ve filed a claim, you might qualify for a discount.

Review Your Policy

Have you had your homeowner’s policy for a while? If so, your coverage needs might have changed in recent years, which means you might not need the same type or policy or need to pay the same price for your premiums. Sit down with your agent to talk about your life and lifestyle. A single conversation can reveal you have coverage on your current policy you don’t need to pay for.

Think Before You Make a Claim

In the event you have to make a claim, think before you reach out to your agent. This is because making a claim can potentially drive up your premiums, and there’s also the fact your insurance company might view you as a policyholder who’s more trouble than you’re worth if you have a history of filing a claim for an issue you can easily take care of on your own. You might not like having to take care of the cost on your own, but it’s better than developing a bad reputation in the insurance world.

Paying home insurance is a necessity, but paying more than necessary for it most certainly isn’t. Let these tips guide you to getting the coverage you and your home deserve without an inflated price you don’t need.

The laws of meetings: How to maximise your business efficiency

It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a large or small company; views on meetings are largely universal. They’re often overused, inefficient, and generally a waste of time.

Of course, there are plenty of exceptions, but in a nutshell, meeting dynamics across the world can be reformed.

Taking this into account, when it comes to your own company’s meetings, how should you approach matters? Should you go with the flow and “become one of them”, or should you challenge the norm and take matters into your own hands? Suffice to say, today’s post is on how to achieve the latter.

Tread carefully with recurrent meetings

The software companies gave themselves a huge pat on the back when they allowed recurrent meetings to be scheduled at the quick of a button. In truth, this is a worthwhile feature for many meetings – but not all.

After all, while you might build a case for a weekly performance meeting, many other recurrent ones aren’t perhaps needed.

Now, before you suggest that you can simply “play it by ear” and decide when you get to the meeting, this is one of the easiest mistakes to make. After all, by the time everyone has arrived and discussed the matter at hand, regardless of how briefly, valuable time has been eaten away.

The moral of the story? Carefully decide whether your recurrent meetings really need to be recurrent.

Get the agenda out there – and make it actionable

There’s nothing worse than being called into a meeting only to find that there is no structure or agenda. In these cases, it often leads to a free-for-all where people can talk about anything and everything, regardless of how important it actually is.

Of course, there will always be exceptions to the rule, but in general, an agenda is key. Not only does it give the meeting some much-needed structure, but it also allows you to assign actions to specific people. This, in turn, makes the meeting far more actionable and less of a time waster.

Stop people from going off on tangents

There’s always one person in every meeting that just can’t help themselves. They see the meeting as an opportunity to show off their knowledge, regardless of how relevant it is to the discussion.

While it’s important to allow some level of creativity, you also need to rein people in when they start to go off on tangents. After all, if everyone in the meeting starts to do this, it quickly descends into a free-for-all where nothing gets done.

Could a remote meeting do the trick?

It would be fair to say that we’re now well and truly in the age of remote meetings. Most of us are used to them now and like them due to how much time they can save us.

However, they don’t always work. This is particularly true if you want to impress new clients or perhaps need a whiteboarding session. In these instances, nothing quite beats the dynamics of a face-to-face affair. If you decide to go down this route, the obvious caveat is the knock-on effects. Whether booking that dreaded meeting room or ensuring your insurance obligations are up to scratch ahead of receiving external visitors, make sure you’re prepared for in-person meetings.

Keep it short and sweet

There’s no need to drag out meetings unnecessarily. If you can achieve everything you need to in 30 minutes, there’s no need to make it an hour-long affair.

How to Use Poker as a Mindfulness Practice

Most common mindfulness practices are fundamentally simple. Things like deep breathing, counted breaths, and short breaks and walks can help to calm us, clear our minds, and generate simultaneous states of relaxation and awareness. As much purpose as these small, simple practices have though, there are also some more involved activities that can assist with the development of greater mindfulness. And it may surprise some to learn that the game of poker is among them.

Gaming and Meditation

It is first important to understand that a link has been established between gaming and meditation in general. For a long time there were a lot of misconceptions about gaming as an active, almost violent practice meant solely for young people. But perceptions have changed over time. We now understand that people in all age groups play games of all kinds, and we further accept that a lot of these games have meditative qualities. Gamer testaments and a few scientific studies alike have indicated that the right game can have a soothing effect on one’s mental state.

This is the case with poker as well. A passion for many around the world, it’s a unique game that doesn’t necessarily fall under the umbrella of traditional “gaming” as we tend to think of the term. It is nonetheless similar with regard to mindfulness, however. Approached with intention, it can be a calming, almost meditative hobby for players.

Mental and Emotional Calm

When considering the game of poker specifically, one tends to think first of strategy, luck, and mathematics. In some sense, these are the building blocks of any given game of poker, and it will of course be important for any aspiring player to learn how they all factor in. However, what really helps successful players to win at poker is a sound mindset. The manifestation of a sound overall poker game requires that players learn to accept defeat and to avoid getting too high from a win. It demands reasonable approaches to betting and competition, clear-eyed social interaction, and the ability to operate without ego.

Add those factors up, and what success in poker really demands is mental and emotional calm. Players need skill and strategy to be sure, but above all else they need to be able to clear their minds of various pressures and shut out hasty impulses. This in and of itself is nearly a form of meditation, and certainly serves as a sort of training for mindfulness practice.

Focused Meditation

Beyond helping players to establish a general sense of mental and emotional calm, poker also leads to an ability to focus that, in its own way, is meditative. Generally, a focused meditation is described as the practice of focusing on something intently as a way of staying in the present moment and slowing down inner dialogue. It more or less means zeroing in on one subject to the exclusion of all else for the purpose of clearing one’s head — which is pretty much exactly what one has to do in poker! Even the slightest distraction can be a problem, and while the game demands a lot of attention it still makes for such narrow focus that one can clear one’s mind in a useful and soothing way.

Even given all of these benefits, poker does not comprise an entire mindfulness or meditation routine. For those interested in working on these aspects of personal wellness though, it’s always good to have one more option! Some will find this simple, popular card game to be legitimately beneficial.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like our piece on how to boost your energy, especially useful as we enter a new year and search for fresh motivations!