Fire Claims – Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim

After suffering a fire the homeowner will need to do file a claim for property damages so they can clean up and start to rebuild. Fires are devastating and sometimes homeowners will make a costly mistake during and after the settlement of their fire claims. Most will let a fire claim adjustor come survey their property and make the claim but there can be things that are missed during the initial claim. One thing to note is that after the insurance company sends you a check and closes the fire claims the homeowner has three years to add to the existing closed claim. This can be done if it is found that the damages were not assessed correctly. To help make sure that you get the right settlement for your fire claims, here are some tips to help you.

Document the damage to your home and other buildings

Take the time to inspect and document all of the damage yourself. If the home is not a total loss make sure that you take pictures of the damaged rooms. Try to take overviews and some close-up photos. Before you enter the room, hall, or closet take an overview. By doing this it will help you to organize your pictures and which ones belong to which room. For example, with the living room, take an overview, then go from top to bottom of the walls, ceiling, doors, and the floor.

Document damage to your contents

The next step is to go back to each room and closet to inventory your contents. For everything that is damage, including clothes, shoes, furniture, paintings, etc that have been damaged by the fire making sure to show the damage on the picture. Yes, this is going to take a lot of pictures but everything needs to be documented in order to get the right settlement. Make a list of all contents that have been damage. Once you have listed the damaged items and have the pictures take another look around the room to make sure that you have not missed anything. Make an inventory list for each room with the pictures attached.

Review your insurance policy

Yes, insurance policies are hard to understand but before filing fire claims you should take the time to review your police basics, such as how much coverage you have on your home, how much coverage is on your personal belongings, and how much will the policy pay for you to stay in a hotel.

Once you do fire claims the fire claims adjuster will cover to the site of the fire and start their own claim. Do not give them the original photos and inventory claim sheet but a copy. This will help them expedite the claim.

Divorce Mediation Not Working? When to Get a Lawyer

When facing the difficult decision to divorce, many couples consider either litigation (each spouse uses their own attorney), or mediation (both spouses work with one neutral divorce mediator to reach an agreement) and usually believe these two options are exclusive of each other. While mediation tends to encourage cooperation and communication between spouses, an experienced mediator will never advise separating partners against seeking legal advice at any time during the divorce proceedings. In fact, family law attorneys are often involved at one step or another of the mediation process.

Unlike litigation, which puts both spouses on the defensive from the beginning, divorce mediation establishes a neutral and non-adversarial environment where spouses can reach a final marital settlement agreement (MSA) by resolving the many issues particular to each couple, such as division of assets, debts, bank accounts and retirement or pension plans, child custody, child support, and spousal support (aka alimony). The divorce mediator acts as a third-party negotiator, who guides separating spouses and helps them resolve any areas of conflict by encouraging cooperation and compromise. While divorce mediation can be a very effective way to handle divorce, it’s essential to remember that a divorce mediator is not acting as an attorney and can’t provide independent legal advice. Even if the mediation process goes very smoothly, the mediator will usually encourage couples to have separate attorneys review and explain the marital settlement agreement to them before they sign it.

Another time when consulting a lawyer may be useful is when spouses aren’t sure they’re getting the right results. They may seem to agree on an issue but still wonder if that decision will work long term for the specific situation. Additionally, an attorney is sometimes necessary when couples are left with a few issues they can’t seem to agree on during the divorce mediation process. While litigation of these issues in court will be a lot more expensive than mediation, sometimes a judge will need to step in and help couples reach an agreement.

Since trust is an essential part of the mediation process, it’s important to understand that mediation shouldn’t be encouraged for couples who have been involved in domestic violence or substance abuse, couples who have been affected by mental health issues, or if one spouse is trying to overpower the other. When a divorce mediator is asked to help those couples facing these sensitive issues that may require a lot of legal advice and possibly legal protection, he/she will advise them to seek individual attorney representation before attempting mediation.

Mobile Auto Detailing Public Relations and Promotional Events

Many times small business mobile auto detailing companies fall short in their promotions and public relations. Generally one could attribute this to the fact that business is always good and cars in the United States are quite plentiful, even more than people. In fact there are 1.2 cars for every man, woman and child in this country, including all the school buses, postal jeeps, delivery vans and police cars. Think about it; all the boats, motorcycles, trailers, motor homes, SUVs, mini-vans and cars? Sure there is a lot of business to be had indeed. But certainly since it is a cash business for the most part, there is no reason you cannot run it like a real business and grow it to a large endeavor. Here are some promotional ideas:

Call up a radio station.

Find out when their next event will be. Offer to wash everyone’s car who shows up. Tell them you will even wash the radio station van. They will announce on the radio all week that “Joe’s Mobile detailing and Car Wash” are washing cars at location X for free. Show up and bring the whole family.” Yes, you will be working your little rear end off all day, but the referrals and good will and future customers will be enough to add a second or third unit to your little company.

Blood Drive.

Offer to wash anyone’s car that shows up for a blood drive providing it will be a big turn out. Challenge your local car wash and any other competitors to a competition, who can get the most people under 25 to donate blood. ‘Alert the media’ to the event. Use a public official – the mayor, etc. – to judge the contest. Don’t charge customers. Make it a real big event. Go for quality and number of units washed in one hour or in thirty minutes. Even if you lose, it’s great publicity.

Look if you want to win the promotional game, you must think out side the box, so what are you waiting for anyway? Embossment on an invite; please that is ridiculous. Get out there and kick butt.

Excuses People Use to Avoid Making a Lasting Power of Attorney and Why They Are Wrong

Setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a must in today’s society. But despite this, many people do not have anything in place should the worst happen and they need someone to step in and manage their finances and well being for them.

A Power of Attorney is a document that allows someone you nominate to step in and manage your finances should you not be mentally capable of doing so.

Losing our capacity is not something any of us like to consider a possibility, however it is something that can happen to anyone and we should all be prepared. A few cost effective actions now can save a great deal of time, expense and emotional upset at a later date. As if you lose your capacity without having a LPA in place then your next of kin will have to go down the route of obtaining a guardianship which is a long and very expensive process.

Again, despite this being basic fact many people still make excuses not to put a Power of Attorney in place.

Some of the excuses that I have heard include:

I’m to young to need a Lasting Power of Attorney, those are for old people.

No, they are not, you’re never to young to need a LPA. When people think of losing capacity most of us think of elderly people with dementia, however losing capacity is not something that just happens to the elderly, and there are other ways besides dementia to lose our capacity. There are many ways to lose your mental capacity, an illness, a road traffic accident, a medical accident/negligence, or an assault are just some of the unfortunate events that can lead to a loss of capacity and these can happen at any age.

Lasting Powers of attorney give to much power to other people

No, attorneys cannot do whatever they like. You nominate your attorneys and hopefully that means you would nominate someone you would trust, and if you fall out or have a mishap in the meantime you can amend your Power of Attorney anytime before it is registered. You can also set limits on what your attorneys can and cannot do in the document. If you don’t want them to be able to sell your home for instance then you can stipulate that. As well as you having control of what the attorneys can and cannot do via the document you sign, the attorneys are also bound by laws to always act in your best interest and there are repercussions if they fail to do this.

If I make a Lasting Power of Attorney I have to register it right now, I’ll wait until it is needed.

No, it is entirely possible to write and sign a LPA but keep hold of it until you want to use it. This is because in order for a LPA to be used it must be registered, until it is registered it is just a piece of paper. So, you can make one when you are in your 30’s and not register it until you need it in your 70’s. Waiting until the LPA is needed is very dangerous, as you cannot make a power of attorney when you have lost capacity

In order to make a power of attorney the person making it must have capacity. They must be able to understand and agree to and what they are signing.

A Lasting Power of Attorney doesn’t last forever so what’s the point

There are different types of power of attorney, LPA are permanent, but an Ordinary power of attorney is not. An ordinary Power of Attorney is a document that you can set up to allow someone to look after your affairs while you are not able to, if for example you are out of the country, or unable to leave the house, or are in hospital for a while. This document gives someone else authority to act on your behalf. It is only valid while you still have mental capacity to make your own decisions about your finances. You can limit the power you give to your attorney so that they can only deal with certain assets, for example, your bank account but not your home.

I can only have one attorney and I don’t want to choose, it will cause fights in the family

No, you can have more than one attorney. The role of attorney is difficult at times and there is a lot of responsibility. So you can spread that about by having more than one attorney. This is called a joint attorney. You can appoint any number of attorneys in the same lasting power and you can specify if they can act on their own separately or if they must act jointly and come together. You can have them act jointly on some issues such as sale of property but have them act singly on all other issues there is a lot of flexibility and it is entirely up to you.

It’s too expensive to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney

It might have been expensive at one point in the past but these days it really isn’t. you can hire a solicitor to do this for you at a fixed fee, usually a couple of hundred pounds. Or you can have a go at it yourself using the government website which guides you through the process by asking you basic questions and completing the form on your behalf. It then provides you with instructions on how to sign the document to make it compliant with the regulations.

As you will have noticed the excuses people have for avoiding a LPA are simply untrue. The majority of people do not have a LPA waiting in the wings simply because it is one of those jobs that is often put aside for later, dismissed as unnecessary or considered too expensive.

You should now have a much clearer understanding of why a Lasting Power of Attorney is essential.

Workers' Compensation Attorney: Understanding the Process and When to Hire a Lawyer

If you get hurt at work, you are traditionally covered by workers' compensation insurance. There are, however, some things that you have to do to ensure that the medical bills are paid by your insurance plan instead of out of your pocket. In some cases, you may need to enlist the help of a workers' compensation attorney, who specializes in these types of proceedings.

Understanding the Process

To know when to get help, you must first understand what types of injuries are eligible for coverage. The injury must occur while on the job during regular or overtime duties. If it occurs during lunch or regular breaks, it is not always covered because you are not supposed to be working during those times. The impairment must be something that is related to your job performance.

In order for insurance to cover cumulative injuries, such as carpal tunnel or back injuries due to sitting or standing, they must be filed in a timely manner. These injuries are hard to prove just based on an x-ray or a medical exam. Unless there is accurate medical documentation, some companies treat these complaints as suspect. Employees then have a harder time getting the company to take care of any medical bills.

In order to increase your chances of approval, you do not want to wait to file a claim. Filing early, however, does not guarantee that you will be approved for compensation. If you are denied, you can appeal the decision and this is where a qualified workers' compensation attorney is your best ally.

Meeting with your lawyer

When you meet with your lawyer you need to explain the circumstances of your injury. Explain all the steps that you took to have the injury documented. You should also tell them how soon you filed and provided copies of all documentation.

At this time, he or she will give you information on your options. You may end up in court or there could be a negotiation set up between you and the business's insurance company. Your lawyer will be with you for any of the proceedings.

Some employers do not carry the recommended insurance to help cover costs in the event of workplace injury. If this is the case, your workers' compensation attorney can help you negotiate a settlement in which your employer will reimburse you for medical expenses related to the injury. There are times this may go to court and end with you suing for a settlement. The entire process is different as there may be no formal documentation filed with your employer.

Workers' compensation attorneys can also help if you have been fired due to an injury. Workplace injuries cannot be the reason for being let go and you can sue for wrongful termination. While you most likely get your job back, you can be compensated for lost wages until such time as you can obtain a new job.

Because laws vary from state to state it may be in your best interest to contact a workers' compensation attorney before you submit any paperwork to ensure that it is correctly completed. This helps ensure that the application for insurance reimbursement is approved and avoids a long legal proceeding.

IRS Tax Audit – Why Should You Hire a Tax Lawyer?

When you receive an IRS audit, it can be a scary event and it is difficult to find out what you should do next. For anybody who is not really an expert on taxes and audits, most of the tax terminology seems like it could be another language. Many people are unsure about how to safely proceed when they were selected for an IRS review. Should you simply go through the motions alone or do you require expert help? How can you properly evaluate your tax filings? Several such questions come up in your mind when you receive the news of tax audit, but do not get stressed. All hope is not lost and you can bounce back out of this nerve-racking event.

The IRS audit can be frustrating to any person and one need to manage them effectively. They might cause fear in anyone who they make contact with and it really is important to get assistance during this threatening time. You have to carry out number of processes in order to beat an audit and if you are not good in taxes, the end result will be very damaging. This is the time for you to get the help of IRS tax lawyers since they are the ones who can assist you during these turbulent times. This is the most important step to succeed an audit.

Beating an IRS tax audit is a lot more than just auditing numbers. There are a lot of steps involved that will require a great deal of time and effort to properly do. You will not only have to deal with the numbers and reports, but you will also need to make your story as sympathetic as possible as well. If the auditor doesn’t believe in your story or does not sympathize with you, it can have catastrophic results. A tax attorney can help you here where they can explain your situation in such a way that makes the auditor to understand your position.

Tax lawyers will attend every meeting, deal with all the paperwork, and will even help you present your story to the auditor. They can handle any challenging scenarios and as they are expert with tax terminologies, they can deal with the auditor more effectively. An IRS tax attorney will make it easy to understand for you so that you know what is going on. There are several cases where individuals have received back thousands of dollars from the IRS as a result of lawyer’s effort and hard work.

Common Excuses for Not Giving To Charity

For the most part, people like to look at themselves as helpful people with altruistic motives. They like to think that they would be willing to do the right thing in any circumstance. But the world has a tendency to harden people and make them more skeptical. Inevitably, focus will shift almost exclusively to people’s own problems. When asked to participate in charities, it will be easier to make excuses and come up with reasons to stay out of them.

There are a few excuses in particular that regularly come up as explanations for not giving to charities. Each of them can be overcome and people will always be satisfied with the end result. Charities play an important role in increasing the quality of lives of people all around the world. If someone has the means to donate of his or her money, time, or possessions, someone’s life will be better off because of the selfless actions.

One of the most common excuses for not donating to charity is that a people don’t think they have enough money. In some cases, this is a legitimate excuse and such people may actually be in need of charity themselves. But every little bit counts, and if you have just $5 to donate at a given time it will be appreciated. Instead of paying for an unnecessary item, donate the money to charity. Pack a lunch from home for a week instead of buying lunch every day and give the money you saved to an organization that will use it to help someone in tough circumstances.

The skepticism that comes into people’s lives over the years will lead them to question whether donations to charity are actually going to help people in need. After all, charities need funds themselves to continue operations and some of the money will go to the people running the organizations. This concern can be overcome by searching for a charity with an established reputation and that provides services that you feel passionately about. Charities are more than happy to provide potential donors with specific examples of people they have helped.

Many people worry about being tricked into donating to a scammer posing as a charity organization. Unfortunately, such operations do exist. This is another obstacle that can be overcome by a little bit of research. Don’t let a few bad people keep you from contributing to quality charities that actually make the world a better place.

Last of all, it can be tough for a person to comprehend that their contribution is actually helping in the grand scheme of things. If a company receives $1 million in charitable contributions throughout the year, for example, what difference will it make for a person to donate $15? The key here is to not think of it collectively. Think of what your donation will do to a specific individual. That may be what pays for someone’s medicine or food.

If you can overcome the common excuses to avoid giving to charity, consider donating your car when you no longer need it. It can serve a purpose after you are finished with it and charitable organizations will ensure that it will be a tool in helping the overall mission of the charity.

Why You Need an Attorney for Estate Planning

If you believe estate planning is something you can do on a do-it-yourself basis, you might want to think again. The estate tax relief legislation of December 2010 raised the value of property that could be left free of estate tax by an individual to $ 5 million adjusted for inflation each year. Another crucial change involved reducing the highest federal estate tax rate to 40 percent.

As a result, an increasing number of people want to avoid paying for the services of an attorney for this type of law. What they don't realize is that estate planning is a complex business. All it takes is a single missing signature or incorrect word to alter a will or trust's entire content. Keep reading to discover three compelling reasons why it is necessary to hire an attorney for estate planning.

Specific State Laws

Every state has its own laws when it comes to determining who can and can't be in a trust, will, medical power of attorney, or financial power of attorney. There are also differences between the formalities that need to be observed when signing an estate planning document. What is required in Arizona may not be necessary in Florida and vice versa.

For example, some states require a personal representative to be related by marriage or blood, or else they need to be a resident of the state. Failure to meet the above criteria means that individual will not be allowed to serve as personal representative.

Caveat Emptor

This is an old Latin saying that means "buyer beware." The evolution of the Internet has led to a plethora of legal documents easily available online. This may make legal representation appear unnecessary. The trouble is that you can fill in your online forms quite happily, only to discover that part or all of your trust, will, financial power of attorney, or medical power of attorney is either invalid or does work as you expected. If this happens, your family may need to pay thousands of dollars to fix the mistake and will end up hiring an estate planning attorney in any case!

Complexity

As we mentioned above, estate planning is a complex business, and if you own a business, are in your second marriage, have no children or children who are still minors, want to leave money to charity, or have real estate in another state, You will need the advice of an estate planning attorney. Indeed, there are dozens of other situations not outlined above where things can get complicated quickly.

Regardless of how much research you have performed, you are likely to be lacking legal expertise, and this could prove costly. If you are unwilling to pay for an estate planning attorney in a bid to save money, it is likely your family will spend 3-5 times more money on the back-end. In order to make things easier for your loved ones and to alleviate any stress you may feel, get in touch with a trustworthy real estate attorney today.

Common Questions When Considering a Social Security Disability Attorney

For those who have a case involving disability, it may become necessary to hire a Social Security disability attorney. There are a variety of benefits that come with utilizing legal assistance in these cases, and the fees are fairly reasonable. In fact, many lawyers will not charge if a case is lost. Clients and potential clients often have many questions when it comes to hiring a lawyer.

When Is a Social Security Disability Attorney Necessary?

One of the most common reasons for hiring a lawyer for these instances is to improve the likelihood of receiving approval for benefits. While some people are able to have a positive outcome without assistance, those with legal counsel almost always have a better chance of winning a disability case than those who do not.

While these attorneys are most commonly sought out after an initial denial, they can be very helpful at the application stage. In fact, their knowledge and expertise during the application stage may often result in an approval in one application period. On the application, the Social Security disability attorney can help argue that an individual’s condition meets the required list of impairments or provide advice on an alleged onset date of disability. During hearings or appeals, he or she can assist in collecting relevant medical evidence, such as doctor’s opinions, and preparations for any questions that may come from the judge. They can also assist with finding individuals to testify on behalf of the client.

When Should a Lawyer Be Called?

A Social Security disability attorney can be called at any point during the process, but it is best to call one as early on as possible. For those who may be on the fence on whether or not legal counsel is necessary, it is often beneficial to call, as many will provide a free consultation. He or she will be able to examine a case to determine the strength of the case and provide assistance with the application.

Another consideration to think about is final attorney fees. Those who are approved for benefits at the first try will owe smaller fees since there will be no back benefits owed to the client once the benefits are finally approved.

Hiring an attorney after an initial denial can greatly increase the chance of a positive outcome on the second application, and it is also possible to have the case moved through the process more quickly. This is often the case for terminal medical conditions or for extremely dire financial circumstances. However, this tends to be rare, as many must wait for several months before a case is resolved.

For those who are still on the fence about hiring a Social Security disability attorney, there is an instance in which it may not be helpful. For those who have submitted an initial application and are awaiting word, there is no need to get a lawyer yet as there is no point in paying a commission of past-due benefits unless there is a denial in coverage. However, in many other situations, having representation can be incredibly helpful.

4 Factual Determinants of Insurance Premiums

Without any shadow of doubt, insurance is an important mechanism that succors the individuals, states and the nation at large. You ought to or might have been maintaining one or more policies because of the peace of mind, confidence and security against financial losses that insurance proffered. Then, let me ask this question. Have you ever taken the pain of knowing the nitty-gritty of the premium you paid to the Underwriters annually, whether it’s reasonable or otherwise? The purpose of this article is to bring you to the limelight and be acquitted with the composition of the premium you paid.

Risk premium: Anyway, insurance is all about risk and in order to rate a risk appropriately the underwriter must know the degree of exposure of that property to a particular risk. So that portion of the premium that is allocated to the risk element of the cover is refers to as risk premium which accounted for about 50% of the total premium.

Expense loading: Based on the literary meaning of expenses. This is the apportionment that covers the expenses of the insurance companies like overhead, lighting and heating, rents, staff salaries etc. Conservatively, this will accounted for about 25% of the premium paid to the insurers.

Profit loading: Insurance like any other business operates on the principle of profit centre. To this end, they are in business to make an increasing profit on annual basis. Borne on this fact, the underwriter put this into consideration in charging their premium. The profit element is about 15% of the premium chargeable.

Contingency loading: As you are fully aware that the financial market is dizzy and highly volatile. And to make the situation worst, here come the issue of global economic meltdown that ravaged the whole world. Guess what, insurers behave like a seer (prophet) that is they subjected their businesses to reasonable foreseeability. That part of the premium that is used to cushion the effect of bad wealth or unfavourable business year(s) is referred to as contingency loading.

Here you are, ‘am sure you are no more a novice on factors that constitute the determination of office premium. Have a good day and see you again, your insurance intelligence is my concern.