Port Royal Luxury Insurance Program

Port Royal Luxury Insurance Program

By Arnold & Barton Insurance

At Arnold & Barton Insurance Group , we work with individuals and families who face complex risk issues related to multiple holdings and significant responsibilities and need to protect assets. Many of our clients have multiple homes, significant collections, high-value assets and property, high-profile lifestyles, board-of-director responsibilities, public company leadership roles, or extensive multi-generational family to consider.

  Luxury  Home

Standard homeowner policies are great for most homes, but they usually don’t include the amount or types of insurance coverage owners of luxury homes require. Insurance company claim adjustors, who routinely see insurance claims on more average homes, often don’t develop the expertise necessary to properly estimate and settle claims on customized homes of high value.

  Luxury  Auto  &  Fleet

The Port Royal provides comprehensive car insurance includes protection for regularly used vehicles, antique cars, luxury motor homes, motorcycles and golf carts and often at significantly lower rates. Receive quality coverage while saving money insuring your vehicles. Our claims professionals are dedicated to providing personalized, efficient service, especially in the event of a claim.

  Luxury  Property  &  Assets

Your personal property includes a wide variety of valuable assets and may include anything from fine jewelry and accessories to a collection of vintage wine. Some of these assets may be on display in your home, vacation home or yacht and some will travel with you. Our comprehensive coverage protects your valuables from all types of losses, whether you are at home or traveling abroad.

 Personal  Excess  Liability

Personal excess liability policy protects you from lawsuits filed against you and your family for personal injury and property damage. Excess liability coverage is essential to a household’s financial security, and can provide vital support in the event of a lawsuit. The Port Royal offers broad, competitively priced protection you and your loved ones.

High  Value  Flood

Flood insurance can be a surprisingly affordable investment for your property against the high cost of an unforeseen disaster. People often don’t buy flood insurance due to common misconceptions that their homeowners insurance will cover the damage or the government will provide relief. With shifting weather patterns and increasingly dramatic storms a reality, many individuals who never worried about flood damage are paying painful out-of-pocket costs.

 Yacht  &  Watercraft

Arnold & Barton Insurance specialists can arrange insurance coverage for all categories of yachts and pleasure craft worldwide. We provide the finest and most affordable marine boat and yacht insurance products available. Our insurers represent the yachting spectrum from coastal cruising small boats to mega yachts worldwide.

Dell

Dell to acquire EMC in $67 billion record tech deal

Computer maker Dell Inc said on Monday it had agreed to buy data storage company EMC Corp in a $67 billion record technology deal that will unite two mature companies and create an enterprise tech powerhouse.

The acquisition will help privately held Dell diversify away from a stagnant personal-computer market and give it greater scale in the faster-growing and more lucrative market for managing and storing data for enterprises.

“Dell wants to become the old IBM Corp, a one-stop shop for corporate clients. That model fell apart a couple of decades ago. Reviving it would be a stunning coup for Dell,” said Erik Gordon, clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

The deal valued EMC at $33.15 a share as of the end of trading Friday. Dell will pay $24.05 per share in cash and will also give EMC shareholders a special stock that tracks the share price in virtual software provider VMWare Inc.

EMC shares surged 2.7 percent to $28.62 in premarket trading.

“The combination of Dell and EMC creates an enterprise solutions powerhouse,” said Michael Dell, who will lead the combined company as chairman and chief executive.

EMC’s board has approved the merger and will recommend that shareholders do so as well.

‘GO SHOP’

The merger agreement includes a 60-day ‘go-shop’ provision that allows EMC to solicit bids from other parties and pay a discounted breakup fee to Dell if a deal is made with another company, as Reuters first reported on Sunday.

While IBM, Cisco Systems Inc, Oracle Corp and Hewlett-Packard Co could potentially be suitors for EMC, the chances of them challenging Dell with a rival offer are slim, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

“We view this as a good outcome for EMC shareholders after a nightmarish few years of slowing growth and an antiquated federated strategy,” said FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives.

Activist hedge fund Elliott Management, which has a 2.2 percent stake in EMC and had been calling for a break-up of the company, welcomed the deal with Dell and said it was the best outcome for EMC shareholders.

“Elliott is pleased to participate in VMware`s ongoing upside through the tracking stock, which will benefit from both meaningful synergies as part of Dell’s organization as well as far greater liquidity than VMware shares have today,” Jesse Cohn, senior portfolio manager at Elliott, said in a statement.

The deal will be financed through a combination of new equity from Dell’s owners – founder and Chief Executive Michael Dell, its investment firm MSD Partners, private equity firm Silver Lake and Singapore state-owned investor Temasek Holdings – as well as the issuance of the tracking stock, new debt and cash on hand.

VMware will remain an independent, publicly traded company. VMware shares were unchanged at $78.65.

Morgan Stanley, Evercore Partners Inc, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP advised EMC.

JP Morgan Chase & Co advised Dell and Silver Lake and provided financing alongside Credit Suisse Group AG, Barclays Plc, Bank of America Corp, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and RBC Capital Markets

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP offered legal advice to Dell and Silver Lake. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is legal advisor to Michael Dell and MSD Partners.

BY GREG ROUMELIOTIS

www.ArnoldInsGroup.com

Business Insurance

Small Business Insurance Tips

Every business should be insured, but as a first-time business owner, you may find it hard to navigate through the maze of plans and providers. Speaking with fellow entrepreneurs is a good start, but commercial insurance agents are familiar with a wide range of business needs, and can provide insight into what’s best for your company.

Start with a business owner’s policy

For affordable, broad-spectrum coverage for your new business, it’s best to start with a business owner’s policy (BOP). This type of policy combines both property and general liability insurance, and typically covers events that cause suspended operations, property damage or lawsuits. Depending on the type of business you own and the number of employees you have, you may need additional specific types of insurance, but a BOP will at least provide basic protection from common business losses.

Cheaper isn’t always better

When you’re trying to get a business off the ground, keeping a low budget is often a top priority. For certain expenses, it’s smart to go with the least-expensive option. In the case of business insurance, cost shouldn’t be the only consideration. Shop around for a provider that’s in your price range but that also offers comprehensive coverage and business support services.

Be prepared for an audit during your first policy period

In general, the cost of an insurance policy is based on a business’s annual gross sales. As a startup with no sales history, your policy premium will be based on your estimated annual sales for the first year.

Consider all possibilities for your business’s future

Although an accident, disability or illness that could threaten the viability of your business may seem unlikely, it’s important to consider what it would mean for your company if these situations were to occur.

www.ArnoldInsGroup.com

Originally published on Business News Daily.

Goliath Grouper Season

Should we open a Mini Season For Goliath Grouper in South Florida?

This has been a debate between myself and many of my fisherman friends. There is a lot of information out there yet never seems to be enough. We have decided to make a page dedicated to this and welcome everyone to visit, share and comment with your opinions.

Thank you and Enjoy!

Visit and Like our page here:

Goliath Grouper Mini Season

apple computer

The Top 50 Inventions of the Past 50 Years

In the past half-century, scientific and technological advances have transformed our world. PM convened a panel of 25 experts to identify innovations that have made the biggest impact, from the hospital to outer space to the kitchen. Here, then, are the breakthroughs of our time.

1955—TV REMOTE CONTROL

It marks the official end of humanity’s struggle for survival and the beginning of its quest for a really relaxing afternoon. The first wireless remote, designed by Zenith’s Eugene Polley, is essentially a flashlight. When Zenith discovers that direct sunlight also can change channels on the remote-receptive TVs, the company comes out with a model that uses ultrasound; it lasts into the 1980s, to the chagrin of many a family dog. The industry then switches to infrared.

1955—MICROWAVE OVEN

In 1945 Raytheon’s Percy Spencer stands in front of a magnetron (the power tube of radar) and feels a candy bar start to melt in his pocket: He is intrigued. When he places popcorn kernels in front of the magnetron, the kernels explode all over the lab. Ten years later Spencer patents a “radar range” that cooks with high-frequency radio waves; that same year, the Tappan Stove Co. introduces the first home microwave model.

1957—BIRTH-CONTROL PILL

Enovid, a drug the FDA approves for menstrual disorders, comes with a warning: The mixture of synthetic progesterone and estrogen also prevents ovulation. Two years later, more than half a million American women are taking Enovid—and not all of them have cramps. In 1960 the FDA approves Enovid for use as the first oral contraceptive.

1958—JET AIRLINER

The Boeing 707-120 debuts as the world’s first successful commercial jet airliner, ushering in the era of accessible mass air travel. The four-engine plane carries 181 passengers and cruises at 600 mph for up to 5280 miles on a full tank. The first commercial jet flight takes off from New York and lands in Paris; domestic service soon connects New York and Los Angeles.

1959—FLOAT GLASS

There’s a reason old windowpanes distort everything: They were made by rapidly squeezing a sheet of red-hot glass between two hot rollers, which produced a cheap but uneven pane. British engineer Alastair Pilkington revolutionizes the process by floating molten glass on a bath of molten tin—by nature, completely flat. The first factory to produce usable float glass opens in 1959; an estimated 90 percent of plate glass is still produced this way.

1961—CORDLESS TOOLS

Black and Decker releases its first cordless drill, but designers can’t coax more than 20 watts from its NiCd batteries. Instead, they strive for efficiency, modifying gear ratios and using better materials. The revolutionary result puts new power in the hands of DIYers and—thanks to a NASA contract—the gloves of astronauts.

1961—INDUSTRIAL ROBOT

The Unimate, the first programmable industrial robot, is installed on a General Motors assembly line in New Jersey. Conceived by George C. Devol Jr. to move and fetch things, the invention gets a lukewarm reception in the United States. Japanese manufacturers love it and, after licensing the design in 1968, go on to dominate the global market for industrial robots.

1962—COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE

Telstar is launched as the first “active” communications satellite—active as in amplifying and retransmitting incoming signals, rather than passively bouncing them back to Earth. Telstar makes real a 1945 concept by science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, who envisioned a global communications network based on geosynchronous satellites. Two weeks after Telstar’s debut, President Kennedy holds a press conference in Washington, D.C., that is broadcast live across the Atlantic.

1962—LED

Working as a consultant for General Electric, Nick Holonyak develops the light-emitting diode (LED), which provides a simple and inexpensive way for computers to convey information. From their humble beginnings in portable calculators, LEDs spread from the red light that indicates coffee is brewing to the 290-ft.-tall Reuters billboard in Times Square.

1964—UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES

Widespread use of remotely piloted aircraft begins during the Vietnam War with deployment of 1000 AQM-34 Ryan Firebees. The first model of these 29-ft.-long planes was developed in just 90 days in 1962. AQM-34s go on to fly more than 34,000 surveillance missions. Their success leads to the eventual development of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles widely used today.

1962/VIDEO GAMES MIT programmers write Spacewar; 43 years later 89 percent of school-age kids own video games. 1955/POLIO VACCINE The year Jonas Salk finds a way to prevent polio, there are 28,985 global cases; by 2005, the number drops to 1200. 1957/THREE-POINT SEATBELT According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 15,000 American lives are saved in 2005 by Nils Bohlin’s device.

The first general-purpose computer, the nearly 30-ton ENIAC (1947), contains 18,000 vacuum tubes, 70,000 resistors and 10,000 capacitors. In 1959, the INTEGRATED CIRCUIT puts those innards on one tiny chip. Before the entire world is networked, there is the ARPANET—four computers linked in 1969. It introduces the concept of “packet switching,” which simultaneously delivers messages as short units and reassembles them at their destination. The Apple II, Commodore Pet and Radio Shack’s TRS-80 are introduced in 1977—four years before IBM, soon to become synonymous with the term “PC,” unveils its PERSONAL COMPUTER. In 1989, Sir Tim Berners-Lee creates “hypertext markup language” (HTML) to make Web pages and the “Uniform Resource Locator” (URL) to identify where information is stored. These breakthroughs form the foundation of the WORLD WIDE WEB.

1964—MUSIC SYNTHESIZER

Robert Moog develops the first electronic synthesizer to make the leap from machine to musical instrument. Moog’s device not only generates better sounds than other synthesizers, it can be controlled by a keyboard rather than by punch cards. The subsequent acceptance of electronic music is a crucial step in developing audio technology for computers, cellphones and stereos.

1966—HIGH-YIELD RICE

The International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines releases a semi-dwarf, high-yield Indica variety that, in conjunction with high-yield wheat, ushers in the Green Revolution. Indica rice thrives in tropical regions of Asia and South America, raising worldwide production more than 20 percent by 1970.

1969—SMOKE DETECTOR

Randolph Smith and Kenneth House patent a battery-powered smoke detector for home use. Later models rely on perhaps the cheapest nuclear technology you can own: a chunk of americium-241. The element’s radioactive particles generate a small electric current. If smoke enters the chamber it disrupts the current, triggering an alarm.

1969—CHARGE-COUPLED DEVICE
Bell Labs’ George Smith and Willard Boyle invent a charge-coupled device (CCD) that can measure light arriving at a rate of just one photon per minute. Smith and Boyle’s apparatus allows extremely faint images to be recorded, which is very useful in astronomy. Today, its most noticeable impact is in digital cameras, which rely on CCD arrays containing millions of pixels.

1970—DIGITAL MUSIC
James Russell, a scientist with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, invents the first digital-to-optical recording and playback system, in which sounds are represented by a string of 0s and 1s and a laser reads the binary patterns etched on a photosensitive platter. Russell isn’t able to convince the music industry to adopt his invention, but 20 years later, Time Warner and other CD manufacturers pay a $30 million patent infringement settlement to Russell’s former employer, the Optical Recording Co.

1971—WAFFLE-SOLE RUNNING SHOES
Bill Bowerman, the track coach at the University of Oregon, sacrifices breakfast for peak performance when he pours rubber into his wife’s waffle iron, forming lightweight soles for his athletes’ running shoes. Three years later, Bowerman’s company, Nike, introduces the Waffle Trainer, which is an instant hit.

IN THEIR WORDS

1962 Computer Mouse

“I don’t know why we call it a mouse. It started that way, and we never changed it.” —Doug Engelbart, engineer, Stanford Research Institute, 1968

1969 Automated Teller Machine

“On Sept. 2, our bank will open at 9:00 and never close again!” —Long Island branch of Chemical Bank, advertisement from 1969

1973 Cellphone

“Joel, I’m calling you from a real cellular phone.” —Martin Cooper, leader of Motorola’s cellphone team, to Joel Engel, research head of rival AT&T’s Bell Labs, April 3, 1973

1978 In-Vitro Fertilization

“We’d love to have children of our own one day. That would be such a dream come true.” —Louise Brown Mullinder, the first test-tube baby, on her wedding day, in 2003

1979 Sony Walkman

“This is the product that will satisfy those young people who want to listen to music all day.” —Akio Morita, Sony Chairman, February 1979

RADICAL FIBERS

From easy-on shoes to lighter tennis rackets and stronger planes, revolutionary materials have changed our lives.

In 1955, Patent No. 2,717,437 is issued to George de Mestral for VELCRO, a fabric inspired by burrs that stick to his dog’s fur. In 1961 researchers in Japan develop high-quality CARBON-FIBER COMPOSITES, capping a decade of experimentation with plastics reinforced by carbon fibers. Thanks to DuPont’s Stephanie Kwolek and Herbert Blades, who in 1965 invent a high-strength polymer calledKEVLAR, the body armor of 2920 police and correctional officers has protected them from fatal attacks. The term “FIBEROPTIC” is coined in 1956, but it isn’t until 1970 that scientists at Corning produce a fiber of ultrapure glass that transmits light well enough to be used for telecommunications.

1972—ELECTRONIC IGNITION
Chrysler paves the way for the era of electronic—rather than mechanical—advances in automobiles with the electronic ignition. It leads to electronic control of ignition timing and fuel metering, harbingers of more sophisticated systems to come. Today, these include electronic control transmission shift points, antilock brakes, traction control systems, steering and airbag deployment.

1973—MRI
Everyone agrees that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a brilliant invention—but no one agrees on who invented it. The physical effect that MRIs rely on—nuclear magnetic resonance—earns various scientists Nobel Prizes for physics in 1944 and 1952. Many believe that Raymond Damadian establishes the machine’s medical merit in 1973, when he first uses magnetic resonance to discern healthy tissue from cancer. Yet, in 2003, the Nobel Prize for medicine goes to Peter Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield for their “seminal discoveries.” The topic of who is the worthiest candidate remains hotly debated.

1978—GPS

The first satellite in the modern Navstar Global Positioning System (GPS) is launched. (The GPS’s precursor, TRANSIT, was developed in the early 1960s to guide nuclear subs.) It is not until the year 2000, though, that President Clinton grants nonmilitary users access to an unscrambled GPS signal. Now, cheap, handheld GPS units can determine a person’s location to within 3 yards.

1981—SCANNING TUNNELING MICROSCOPE

By moving the needle of the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) across a surface and monitoring the electric current that flows through it, scientists can map a surface to the level of single atoms. The STM is so precise that it not only looks at atoms—it also can manipulate them into structures. The microscope’s development earns IBM researchers Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer a Nobel Prize and helps launch the emerging era of nanotechnology.

1984—DNA FINGERPRINTING

Molecular biologist Alec Jeffreys devises a way to make the analysis of more than 3 billion units in the human DNA sequence much more manageable by comparing only the parts of the sequence that show the greatest variation among people. His method quickly finds its way into the courts, where it is used to exonerate people wrongly accused of crimes and to finger the true culprits.

USES

1958/LASER BEAM Whitens teeth, removes tattoos, corrects vision, scans groceries, tracks missiles.1978/GENETIC ENGINEERING Produces insulin, creates vaccines, clones sheep, increases shelf life of tomatoes, manipulates human cells to prevent disease. 1958/SUPER GLUE Repairs a broken taillight, reassembles a vase, strengthens knots on a hammock, closes wounds, lifts fingerprints.

LIFESAVERS

Over the past 50 years, a few pivotal medical discoveries have helped to boost adult life expectancy dramatically.

In 1956, Wilson Greatbatch grabs the wrong resistor and connects it to a device he is building to record heartbeats. When the circuit emits a pulse, he realizes the device can be used to control the beat; in1960 the first PACEMAKER is successfully implanted in a human. Rene Favaloro performs the firstCORONARY BYPASS SURGERY in 1967, taking a length of vein from a leg and grafting it onto the coronary artery. This allows blood to flow around the blocked section. Thanks in part to these advances, the number of deaths from heart disease declines in the U.S. by almost 50 percent. The outlook for people infected by HIV also dramatically changes. The FDA approves Invirase, the first of a class of drugs called HIV PROTEASE INHIBITORS, in 1995. By blocking the function of enzymes used in the virus’s replication, the inhibitors can reduce HIV to undetectable levels for sustained periods in up to 90 percent of patients.

1985—POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION

Biochemist Kary Mullis invents a technique that exploits enzymes in order to make millions of copies of a tiny scrap of DNA quickly and cheaply. No matter how small or dried-out a bloodstain is, forensic scientists can now gather enough genetic material to do DNA fingerprinting. With PCR, doctors also can search for trace amounts of HIV genetic code to diagnose infection much sooner than by conventional methods.

1987—PROZAC

Prozac becomes the first in a new class of FDA-approved antidepressants called “selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors,” which block the reabsorption of the mood-elevating neurotransmitter serotonin, thereby prolonging its effects. Though at times controversial, Prozac helps patients cope with clinical depression, reshaping our understanding of how personality and emotion can be chemically controlled. Within five years, 4.5 million Americans are taking Prozac—making it the most widely accepted psychiatric drug ever.

1998—GENETIC SEQUENCING

Scientist Craig Venter announces that his company will sequence the entire human genome in just three years and for only $300 million—12 years and $2 billion less than a federally funded project established to do the same thing. Venter uses a method called “shotgun sequencing” to make automated gene sequencers, instead of relying on the laborious approach used by the government program. The result is an acrimonious race to the finish, which ends in a tie. Both groups announce the completion of the human genome sequence in papers published in 2001.

1998—MP3 PLAYER

Depending on who you ask, the MP3 is either the end of civilization (record companies) or the dawn of a new world (everyone else). The Korean company Saehan introduces its MPMan in 1998, long before Apple asks, “Which iPod are you?” When the Diamond Rio hits the shelves a few months later, the Recording Industry Association of America sues—providing massive publicity and a boost to digital technology.

2002—IEEE 802.16

The geniuses at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers publish a wireless metropolitan area network standard that functions like Wi-Fi on steroids. An 802.16 antenna can transmit Internet access up to a 30-mile radius at speeds comparable to DSL and cable broadband. When it all shakes out, 802.16 could end up launching developing nations into the digital age by eliminating the need for wired telecommunications infrastructure.

FORWARD DRIVE

With 196 million licensed drivers in the U.S., a little automotive innovation can conserve a whole lot of oil.

The fuel cell goes back more than 150 years, and the first FUEL CELL VEHICLE—a 20-hp tractor—is built in 1959. But it isn’t until 1993 that a Canadian company, Ballard Power Systems, demonstrates the first zero-emissions fuel cell bus. Since then, progress toward an economically viable fuel cell car has remained slow but steady. Likewise, Ferdinand Porsche wins his class at the 1902 Exelberg Hill-Climb in Austria in a front-wheel-drive HYBRID-ELECTRIC CAR. But it is almost a century later, in 1997, that Toyota surprises its rivals by unveiling the hybrid Prius to Japanese consumers. It takes nearly three years for the Prius to reach North America.

PM’s Panel Of Experts
TO SELECT THE 50 most pioneering inventions of the past 50 years, PM consulted 25 authorities at 17 museums and universities across the country. Their collective expertise spans aeronautics, biology, physics, medicine, automobiles and technology. An initial call for suggestions resulted in a list of 100 inventions, which was then circulated for a formal vote and reduced via a points system determined by each expert’s top picks. Any such list is open to debate, of course. We welcome your suggestions of other worthy inventions here at popularmechanics.com/50inventions.

Dennis Bateman

 

Home Insurance

5 Homeowners Insurance Facts and Savings Tips

There’s no place like home, but owning one is a huge investment. In addition to the cost of a mortgage and property taxes, homeowners insurance can take a massive bite out of your budget.

No one likes to pay for homeowners insurance – until you need it. Fortunately, there are smart ways to get high-quality home insurance and still save money.

Who Needs Homeowners Insurance?

Who needs home insurance?
Who needs home insurance?

When you buy a home, lenders require you to have a minimum amount of homeowners insurance, in order to protect what they’re financing. You must be able to repair or replace the property if it gets damaged or destroyed by a covered event, such as fire, wind, or hail.

But in order to protect your own interests, you should have a comprehensive homeowners policy that goes above what a lender requires. For instance, every homeowner should have liability coverage to stay safe from a lawsuit, plus loss of use coverage, which pays for when you’re forced to move out while repairs are made due to a covered disaster.

However, unlike with auto insurance, there’s no law that says you have to purchase any amount of home insurance. So once your mortgage is paid off, you can drop coverage if you like – but I don’t recommend it.

Fact #1: Credit is an Important Rating Factor

Credit
Credit

If you’re a regular Money Girl reader or podcast listener, you already know that your credit history reaches its tentacles far into your financial life. Not only does it play a role in things like the interest rate you pay for credit accounts, and whether you can rent an apartment, but it also affects your insurance premiums.

A 2014 insuranceQuotes.com study found that if you have fair or median credit, you pay 29% more on average nationwide for home insurance than someone with excellent credit. But if you have poor credit, your premium nearly doubles – and you’ll pay 91% more!

Only a few states currently prohibit insurers from using credit when setting home insurance rates. So in every state except California, Maryland, and Massachusetts, keeping your credit in tip-top shape will help you save a substantial amount of money on home insurance.

Fact #2: Making a Claim Affects Your Rate

Claim
Claim

Insurance is one of the only products you buy that you hope you’ll never have to use. Not only is repairing damage to your home a real hassle, but you may not realize that simply making an insurance claim can cause your rate to skyrocket for years!

Insurance companies have statistics showing that after making one home insurance claim, you’re more likely to make a second and third one. So the company typically adjusts the cost of your coverage to compensate for that future potential risk.

Depending on where you live and type of claim you make (such as property damage or liability), your annual premium could increase 9% on average nationwide after making just one claim. Texas is the only state that prohibits a rate hike after making just one home claim’ to see how your state stacks up, check out a national map.

To save money, carefully weigh whether making a claim is in your best financial interest over the long run – then only make one when it’s absolutely necessary.

Any prior owners’ insurance claims made over the previous 7 years can affect the homeowner insurance rate that you have to pay.

Fact #3: A Previous Owner’s Claims Can Affect Your Rate

Bad Home Owner
Bad Home Owner

One of the ways different insurers track your claims history is a little-known database called the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE). It maintains all insurance claims you’ve made for your home and vehicle for up to 7 years.

What’s interesting about claims history on a home is that even any prior owners’ insurance claims made over the previous 7 years can affect the homeowner insurance rate that you have to pay. While that may seem unfair, an insurer views a property with multiple claims as a higher risk for having more claims in the future, and may charge you more based on that.

But what’s even more surprising to many is that simply talking to an insurance company or agent about specific damage to your home can result in higher rates. In most states, insurers can make a notation in your CLUE report if you simply inquire about a loss.

Insurers say that the fact that you inquired about a loss is an indication that a loss occurred, and that makes your property riskier. They can raise your rate at renewal even if you never filed a claim, or if you filed one that was denied.

So when speaking to your insurer, be clear about whether you’re making a formal claim for damage, or simply inquiring about whether a type of damage is covered by your policy.

You can view your auto and home CLUE reports at LexisNexis for free every 12 months. Just like with your credit report, you should review it carefully and dispute any errors right away.

Here’s a quick and dirty tip: When you’re buying a home, always request a copy of the CLUE report from the seller, so you can see what insurance claims have been made on the property in the past. Aside from insurers and lenders, only the property owner can access a home’s CLUE report, so you need to ask the owner to obtain a copy for you.

Fact #4: Some Dog Breeds are Blacklisted

Aggressive Dog Breeds
Aggressive Dog Breeds

Dog bites make up a third of all liability claims – and the average cost of a bite is $30,000.
If you love your dog as much as I love mine, you may be surprised to know that your furry friend could cause problems with your home insurance.

Since coverage typically includes liability for all members of your household, including your pets, insurers are particular about which dog breeds they’ll insure – especially since dog bites make up a third of all liability claims, and the average cost of one is $30,000.

Large, powerful breeds may be blacklisted altogether, or cause you to pay an inflated home insurance rate. Some breeds most commonly excluded from coverage include:

Akita
Alaskan Malamute
Boxer
Cane Corso
Chow chow
Doberman Pinscher
German shepherd
Great Dane
Mastiff
Pit Bull or Staffordshire Terrier
Presa canario
Rottweiler
Siberian husky
Wolf hybrids

If your dog is blacklisted, consider buying a separate, inexpensive umbrella liability policy. You could get a $1 million of coverage for less than about $300 per year.

Fact #5: Not Everything Is Covered

Not Everything is covered
Not Everything is covered

While a standard homeowners insurance policy gives you many protections – such as coverage for the structure of your home, your personal belongings, loss of use, and liability – it doesn’t cover everything.

Policies often state that for something to be covered, it must be “sudden and accidental.” That means if you’ve had a leaky faucet that caused damage over many months, it probably won’t be covered, because you neglected proper maintenance.

However, even if they are sudden, some natural disasters are never covered and require separate insurance, including floods from ground water, and earthquakes. Additionally, mold and sewer backups are perils that may not be covered, unless you add them to a standard home policy.

If you have a home-based business—with customers who come into your home, special equipment, or inventory—that typically isn’t covered, and requires a separate commercial insurance policy. You’ll also need a different type of policy if you turn your home into a rental or vacation property.

Finally, certain types of expensive personal belongings have coverage caps. For instance, jewelry, artwork, computer equipment, silverware, and firearms might only be protected for $5,000 or $10,000. You should raise the coverage amounts for any special items you own to make sure your home policy pays out enough in the event of a loss.

www.ArnoldInsGroup.com

By Laura Adams

911

Nation Honors Victims of Sept. 11 Attacks

Friday marks the fourteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 on the United States.

. Mitch Ellicott, a lieutenant with the Sussex County Sherriff’s office, is flanked by his sons Zachary, left, and Benjamin, both firefighters in Stanhope, New Jersey, take a moment to remember a family member lost in the attacks of September 11, 2001, on the 14th anniversary of the attacks.

At ground zero in Lower Manhattan, families of the lost gathered for a touchstone of the annual remembrance — the reading of the names of the almost 3,000 people killed there 14 years ago.

911 roses
911 roses

. Flowers are laid at the 9/11 Memorial site on Sept. 11. Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the attacks in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania in 2001.

911 flag
911 flag

. A tiny American flag stands on the memorial in New York.

Andrew Burton / Getty Images

Artificial Leaf

This Artificial “Leaf” Can Produce Fuels From Carbon Dioxide And Sunlight

Researchers say they have developed an artificial “leaf” that can produce fuels such as methane and gasoline from carbon dioxide. The team claimed it is a major step towards using fuels made renewably from sunlight for everything from heating our homes to running cars, without emitting any greenhouse gases.

The breakthrough, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was led by Peidong Yang and his team at the Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. It builds on the natural process of photosynthesis, where water and carbon dioxide are turned into sugar – organic fuel – by plants. By tweaking the process, via synthetic photosynthesis, it could be possible to create a whole host of different products.

To demonstrate this is possible, the team were able to make their system produce methane, rather than sugar, from carbon dioxide. Their equipment used a combination of semiconducting nanowires and bacteria to work. Using inorganic catalysts, water was split into hydrogen, which was then used by living cells to convert carbon dioxide into chemical products – in this case, methane.

“We’re good at generating electrons from light efficiently, but chemical synthesis always limited our systems in the past,” said Yang in a discussion on the breakthrough. “One purpose of this experiment was to show we could integrate bacterial catalysts with semiconductor technology. This lets us understand and optimize a truly synthetic photosynthesis system.”

A similar system devised by Yang and his team earlier this year produced butanol, a component of gasoline, and various biochemical building blocks. Next, they will attempt to make an entirely synthetic system, without the need for bacteria, that builds on designs in nature to replicate the process of photosynthesis, and ultimately produce liquid fuels that can last months or years.

“This is not about mimicking nature directly or literally,” said Ted Sargent, the vice-dean of research for the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto, in the discussion. “Instead, it is about learning nature’s guidelines, its rules on how to make a compellingly efficient and selective catalyst, and then using these insights to create better-engineered solutions.”

So, you won’t be using artificial leaves to power your home or car just yet. But this could be a significant step in that direction.

by Jonathan O’Callaghan

Nestle CEO

NESTLE CEO: WATER IS NOT A HUMAN RIGHT, SHOULD BE PRIVATIZED

Is water a free and basic human right, or should all the water on the planet belong to major corporations and be treated as a product? Should the poor who cannot afford to pay these said corporations suffer from starvation due to their lack of financial wealth? According to the former CEO and now Chairman of the largest food product manufacturer in the world, corporations should own every drop of water on the planet — and you’re not getting any unless you pay up.

The company notorious for sending out hordes of ‘internet warriors’ to defend the company and its actions online in comments and message boards (perhaps we’ll find some below) even takes a firm stance behind Monsanto’s GMOs and their ‘proven safety’. In fact, the former Nestle CEO actually says that his idea of water privatization is very similar to Monsanto’s GMOs. In a video interview, Nestle Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe states that there has never been ‘one illness’ ever caused from the consumption of GMOs.

The way in which this sociopath clearly has zero regard for the human race outside of his own wealth and the development of Nestle, who has been caught funding attacks against GMO labeling, can be witnessed when watching and listening to his talk on the issue. This is a company that actually goes into struggling rural areas and extracts the groundwater for their bottled water products, completely destroying the water supply of the area without any compensation. In fact, they actually make rural areas in the United States foot the bill.

As reported on by Corporate Watch, Nestle and former CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe have a long history of disregarding public health and abusing the environment to take part in the profit of an astounding $35 billion in annual profit from water bottle sales alone. The report states:

“Nestlé production of mineral water involves the abuse of vulnerable water resources. In the Serra da Mantiqueira region of Brazil, home to the “circuit of waters” park whose groundwater has a high mineral content and medicinal properties, over-pumping has resulted in depletion and long-term damage.”

Nestle has also come under fire over the assertion that they are actually conducting business with massive slavery rings. Another Corporate Watch entry details:

“In 2001, Nestlé faced criticism for buying cocoa from the Ivory Coast and Ghana, which may have been produced using child slaves.[58] According to an investigative report by the BBC, hundreds of thousands of children in Mali, Burkina Faso and Togo were being purchased from their destitute parents and shipped to the Ivory Coast, to be sold as slaves to cocoa farms.”

So is water a human right, or should it be owned by big corporations? Well, if water is not here for all of us, then perhaps air should be owned by major corporations as well. And as for crops, Monsanto is already working hard to make sure their monopoly on our staple crops and beyond is well situated. It should really come as no surprise that this Nestle Chairman fights to keep Monsanto’s GMOs alive and well in the food supply, as his ideology lines right up with that of Monsanto.

Watch the video below for yourself: ( via naturalsociety.com )

Nestle Continues Stealing World’s Water During Drought

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apple-tv

If Apple TV Is An iOS Ouya It Will Pose No Threat To PS4 Or Xbox One

Apple AAPL +2.66% has an event in San Francisco today to unveil some new products and services, one of them being a revamped Apple TV that has more power and a greater focus on gaming. It will reportedly come with some kind of controller, and have access to Apple’s iOS games library, meaning you can play loads of mobile titles on your TV.

The New York Times originally reported on this, saying it had the potential to “shake up” the gaming console industry, and they brought in some experts that sounded very suspiciously like they have no idea what they’re talking about.

“I think Apple’s going to create a big new category in gaming, one that others have tried and failed to create before,” said Jan Dawson, chief analyst at the technology research firm Jackdaw Research. “What the Apple TV has the potential to do is to bring casual gaming to the living room and make it a much more social activity.”

The key phrase there is that “that others have tried and failed to create before.” The most notable example of this was the Ouya, the tiny console which was a Kickstarter miracle baby and delivered on its promise to let fans play Android games on their TVs. As it turned out, however, people seemed to not be very interested in the idea of playing Android games on their TVs, despite initial claims to the contrary, and the mini-console failed spectacularly. Similar devices from Amazon and Nvdia have not had much impact on the industry either.

ouya

Now, I’m not under the delusion that if Apple were to invest more heavily into gaming with Apple TV that the resulting product would be as bad as the Ouya. While I believe the concept itself, mobile games on a TV, is fundamentally barking up the wrong tree, the delivery of the Ouya was just bad, with poor hardware mixing with poor software to create a poor product.

The New York Times article cites the Wii as having “tapped into the casual games market,” but again, the difference is clear, and the problem is that no matter what kind of hardware Apple has to deliver its iOS games store, a fundamental problem remains.

95% of mobile games are garbage.

I do not mean to disparage hard working mobile devs out there, and there are certainly a number of great titles, but when you pull back and look at the mobile scene on iOS and Android as a whole, there is a serious quality problem that the “traditional” games industry simply doesn’t have. It’s like if the entire industry is Steam Greenlight, full of half-finished, broken, rip-offs, with only a few emerging as original ideas and true contenders. And with the Nintendo example, it’s important to remember they succeeded with the Wii because of A) the motion control gimmick and B) they’re Nintendo, the gold standard for high-quality first party games.

clash of clans3

Apple themselves, of course, makes no games, so they have to rely on the thousands of mobile devs all trying to be the nextClash of Clans or Flappy Bird. Sometimes this results in a diamond in the rough, but most of the time, the rough seems like its winning.

A good chunk of the appeal of mobile games is that they are in fact, mobile. Commuters play them on trains, others during breaks at school or work, kids play on iPads at restaurants much to my parents’ dismay (“that’s so rude!”). Also, these mobile games are all designed to work with direct touch, and obviously that doesn’t translate to a TV unless you have a Microsoft Surface Hub hanging on your wall, so Apple better have a hell of a solution for that input problem. If it’s just using an iPad or iPhone somehow, Apple TV’s $150 “competitive” price point just went to about $750. Supposedly the new Apple TV will have an actual controller, but it’s taken Xbox and PlayStation practically two decades to refine their instruments in that realm, and I have trouble believing even Apple would knock it out of the park on their first attempt.

While the mobile market itself is huge and growing, it’s going to be a very limited slice of the public that feels the need to play these games on Apple TV and a big screen in their living room. Not to mention it’s going to take some pretty solid work from most game devs to make sure their titles don’t look like garbage, now formatted for a wide TV instead of an (often) vertical phone. Some can perhaps easily make that transition, but others? Not so much. If Apple gives “full access” to the game store with Apple TV on day one, a ton of games are going to look like absolute disasters onscreen, not to mention they’ll have to work seamlessly with Apple’s new control scheme, whatever it turns out to be.

I really doubt that Apple has some enormous reveal up its sleeve where they unveil the fact that Apple TV suddenly has the power of a PS4 and Xbox One and hey look Metal GearSolid 5, Fallout 4 and Black Ops 3 are all going to be out for it this fall.

I’m guessing at best maybe they’ve found a way to craft some port version of maybe one or two “traditional” console games (an Assassin’s Creed or something, maybe?) and act that like they’re a big gaming console as a result. But the reality is Apple TV will likely focus mainly on moving the iOS game library to the TV, and I still fundamentally doubt the existence of the market for that.

Perhaps it’s unwise to question the wisdom of Apple, and maybe they can defy logic and succeed where the Ouya failed. But with the mobile games market in a pit of quality, simply moving it to TV won’t be much of an earth-shaking switch, even if a few solid games make the transition well.

It seems like it could be a nice feature for Apple TV, but if Apple suddenly starts thinking they’ve made a fully-fledged gaming console with that functionality alone, they’re going to be laughed out of the room.

www.ArnoldInsGroup.com

by Paul Tassi