Archives for December 2011

When an Elderly Parent Moves In

La nonna Clara e Ricci 23-11-2011

There’s loads of great aspects to having an elderly parent move in with you: a chance for your children to bond with their grandparents, an extra pair of hands around the house and an opportunity to repay the sacrifices they made for you when, in childhood, you were unable to look after yourself.

But, if it’s not carefully thought through, what initially might seem like the less expensive, more traditional and caring alternative to a retirement home can turn into a situation that’s not comfortable for anyone – least of all your mother or father. So, think thoroughly about the changes that you and your parent are going to have to make to co-habit happily.

There are, of course, financial concerns to be taken into consideration: though the addition of their pension to the household income might offset expenses, there are hidden costs to having an extra person living with you. Electricity and water bills will of course be higher, and things like home insurance might be more expensive; it’s worth trying and project a year’s incomings and outgoings factoring in everything so you know what to expect. And remember, even if it looks impossible, you might be able to apply for a carer’s grant.

Also, there’s the question of what you’re going to do with their possessions: though they might be open to selling some on or putting things in storage, it’s likely they’ll want to bring a few of their most treasured pieces of furniture or trinkets to personalize the space you’re providing for them. This means you’ll need room and understanding: it might be harder than you think to relinquish control over your décor but having their own things around them will make your parents much more at ease.

At a more basic level, you need to think about your house’s layout in relation to what your parent can manage: they might find stairs challenging and are likely to feel the cold more than the younger members of your household. They’ll probably also want a bathroom on the same floor as their bedroom, so they can easily access it at night; think about how big it needs to be in order for them to manoeuvre about in.

Of course, if your parent has Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia, your problem is infinitely more complex but still, not impossible: you need to make sure that locks are placed on your front, back and kitchen door, as well as carefully check the house for anything that might hurt them.

A ground-floor bedroom might be best for access, but does it mean they’ll find it easier to wander off if a door is left open? A balance needs to be struck between their private needs and the provision of care they require. Don’t forget it works both ways, too: you’ll need a good level of privacy for yourself and space to unwind. Think about getting an extra television for your bedroom so you can watch separate programs and take into consideration how you’re going to organize social time with friends.

Finally, remember that they as well as you are used to living more independently, so any frustrations you feel are likely to run both ways. Encourage them to explore other interests now you’ve removed some of the burden from their living arrangements. Community centres, sports clubs and schools all offer courses and activities for seniors, so make sure that they’re making the most of their time with you and you’re both enjoying your precious moments together.

Creative Commons License photo credit: BGO1

What is Public Liability Insurance?

A public liability insurance policy is one that will pay for a legal defense if someone walks into a place of business and is injured in an accident. These types of lawsuits can result in large judgments against the business owners. Many businesses have decided to settle out of court but, this also requires a large sum of money.

How Public Liability Benefits Business Owners

When business owners have a public liability insurance policy, their insurance companies pay for their legal defense and the money they are ordered to pay the plaintiffs if they lose in court. The price of the policy is worth it if the cost of such legal action would diable or impair the business.

Establishments Most In Need of Public Liability Insurance

The types of businesses that benefit most from public liability insurance are:

  • Retail stores
  • Bars
  • Nightclubs
  • Theaters
  • Sports facilities
  • Hotels

Some industries are very expensive for insurance companies to insure. These types of companies may be denied a policy because they are considered such high risk, or they may just be charged extremely high rates. In order to find the insurance company that will charge rates that are reasonable for any business in any genre, business owners can visit InsuranceQuotes.org to find out what more than one insurance company will charge them for a policy. This will help them find low quotes for a policy that will adequately cover them.

Without public liability insurance, a business has the potential to be closed if there is an accident. The policy will provide a legal defense and payment of the award to the plaintiff. Those who refuse to purchase these policies will be financially responsible for everything, and they may not be able to afford it.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Garry Zeweniuk

Guide to Landlord Insurance

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 by Alan Boswell

Being a landlord brings with it a whole host of challenges. Not only do you need to pay the mortgage each month, you have to protect both your property and your tenants. It’s a common misconception that a standard buildings and contents insurance policy will cover all three once it’s let – but unfortunately this is not the case.

In practice, landlord insurance is very similar to a standard household insurance policy – the buildings are covered and you can still get contents insurance to cover furnishings as well as accidental damage. However there are a few main differences…

The main difference is that, because you are physically not living in the property, it is not classed as ‘owner-occupied’. Standard insurance policies are not designed to cater for the process of earning an income through letting a property, nor is it designed to cover your legal obligations to protect your tenants whilst they are living there.

Public Liability Insurance

All landlord insurance policies include what is known as a ‘Public Liability Insurance’. This is designed to protect landlords for injury or damage to others, including tenants, as residents in the property. It will cover your legal costs in defending a claim and the legal costs of the claimants if you are judged to have been at fault. It will also cover damages awarded to the claimant as well as loss of earnings – without it you could be in for an expensive time!

Loss of Rent

Another standard cover found within landlords insurance policies is ‘Loss of Rent’. This is very important as it covers landlords against expenses they could incur should their property become uninhabitable. You could have to find and fund alternative accommodation for your tenants, as well as make up the loss of rent during the period the property is out of use – Loss of Rent covers all of these circumstances.

If you are worried about your tenants not paying you your rent each month ‘Rent Guarantee Insurance’ can often be added to most policies. It isn’t normally standard on landlords insurance but may be available as a bolt-on or as a separate insurance policy itself.

What about contents insurance?

What insurers consider contents in landlord insurance is usually slightly different than for a standard household policy. Most policies will only cover accidental damage to the contents that the Landlord has provided for the use of the tenants. This can include, but is not limited to, carpets, white goods and communal contents in hallways.

It is also worth remembering that it will only cover items and furnishings owned by the landlord and not any contents owned by the tenants – they will have to arrange their own contents insurance separately.

And remember…

How much you pay for landlord insurance will all depend on the type of property, its age, location and the buildings sum insured. It will also take into account your history of claims and how many tenants will be in the property.

But in order to benefit from all the cover of your particular landlords insurance policy then you will have to have a number of measures in place. This may include a boiler that’s checked annually by a registered Corgi engineer, and proper measures in place regarding the structures of the building.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Regina Rentals

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