Curious Klepto Critters Steal Cameras: Will insurance cover this?


Cameras are a prime target for theft — and not all thieves are of the human variety. Apparently, animals are almost as intrigued by cameras and selfies as we are. See the cute video clips below.

If a monkey or an eagle steals your camera while you’re on vacation, will your insurance cover that? If you have homeowners, renters or condo insurance, it should – most policies would cover your possessions at home and away, up to a specified dollar limit. Of course, it depends on your particular policy, so check with your agent about your coverage and limits — and to discuss any particularly expensive equipment, collections or items. If these exceed your limits, you may need a valuable property rider. And remember – keep a home inventory, if you don’t already have one.

When you buy expensive technology, it’s a good idea to register it with the manufacturer – not just for the warranty but also for the serial numbers, which can help with tracking in the event of a theft. There’s an online database that might help with recovery — at least if your thief is human. If your thief is of the animal variety, you’re on your own!

Just remember –  don’t put yourself in any danger if you are being robbed, whether animal or human. Property is replaceable – you aren’t.

The geography of baseball: borderline rivalries


Here in New England, we live on a fault line that could result in earthquakes, yes — but there’s an everyday fault line that wreaks a certain amount of havoc every baseball season: We’re talking Red Sox vs Yankees, folks, it’s the stuff of legends. Now you can map that baseball rivalry out with a fantastic feature from the New York Times, Up Close on Baseball’s Borders. There’s a U.S. map, as well as 14 sectional maps detailing baseball’s biggest rivalries. They’ve aggregated Facebook data down not only to the county level, but also to ZIP codes to show how the fans and the borders breakdown. Always wondered whether Hartford and New Haven are Yankees or Sox fans?

Steve Rushin of Sports Illustrated has called the line running through Connecticut that separates Yankee fans and Red Sox fans the Munson-Nixon line. Mr. Rushin came up with the name — in honor of the late Yankee catcher Thurman Munson and the retired Red Sox right fielder Trot Nixon — in 2003, and he had to guess where the line ran: “north of New Haven but south of Hartford, running the breadth of central Connecticut.”

We don’t have to guess anymore.

And what’s all this got to do with insurance?

Well, here at Renaissance Alliance, we have independent agency members dispersed throughout New England. Most insurance shoppers pick a local agency to work with based on factors like convenience, service and reputation … but now with this interactive map, you have a new tool to target your agency selection — by geographic baseball team loyalty!

April is Financial Literacy Month: Test your money smarts


POP quiz, financial wizards: If you could have $1 million right now or a penny doubled every day for a month, which would you pick?

To learn the answer, take this quiz to test your financial savvy – it’s got a few tricky questions so you will probably learn something. And if you haven’t already taken the Financial Literacy Quiz in our post from last month, try that one too. You can compare your results to others in your state and in the nation.

April is Financial Literacy Month.

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) recently released results of its 2014 Financial Literacy Survey conducted by Harris Poll among more than 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18+. Of the survey respondents:

  • 61% admit to not having a budget
  • 41% graded their financial knowledge as C, D or F
  • 60% have not reviewed their credit score and 65% their credit report within the past 12 months
  • The top worries were insufficient “rainy day” savings for an emergency and retiring without having enough money set aside
  • 32% do not save any portion of their annual income for retirement

financial literacyClick the graphic to access the full NFCC infographic and to use interactive features.

Here are some other great free tools for learning more about money management.

MyMoney.Gov – Making the most of your money starts with five building blocks for managing and growing your money. MyMoney.Gov offers tools and information on five key areas of money management: Earnings; Saving & investing; Protecting; Spending; and Borrowing.

360 Degrees of Financial Literacy – A free program by the nation’s certified public accountants to help Americans understand personal finances through every stage of life.

Insure U – Unbiased insurance information for consumers sponsored by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Information is organized by life stage and lines of coverage: auto insurance, home insurance, health insurance and life insurance.

Your Life, Your Money – a PBS special featuring real-life stories of young people facing and overcoming economic challenges. It offers sound, simple financial advice – raising awareness on banking, credit, investments, budgeting, insurance, self-employment, and more.

Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy – a national non-profit organization
of about 150 national organizations and entities from the corporate, non-profit, academic, government and other sectors that share an interest in advancing financial literacy among students in pre-kindergarten through college. Check out their site for tools and information – or check out your state coalition.

What kills us?


Aaron Carroll is a physician and health policy researcher. He produces a series of videos called Healthcare Triage which answer a lot of questions people have about medicine, health, and healthcare. In his recent video, he talks about risk and mortality, saying:

One of the things that baffles me about people is how they completely misunderstand risk. Lots of my friends panic about things that have no real chance of killing them, but ignore the things that will. This can lead us to make irrational decisions, and sometimes irrational policy. What really will kill us? Watch and learn.

Read more about where he got his statistics:

No matter the odds, we never know what life has in store for us … and that’s where insurance comes in. Take reasonable precautions to lower your risk of injury or death and have protection in place to minimize the financial impact of any problems that do occur. If you have dependents who rely on your income, be sure to have adequate life insurance in place.

Boston Strong: Hope & Resiliency One Year Later


Portrait of Heather Abbott by @dearworld

Portrait of Heather Abbott by @dearworld

On this, the one year year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, we revisit some of the lives that were touched by the terrible events of that day and bring you inspiring stories of strength and resilience.

First, we note with pride that Renaissance Alliance Agency Principal, Jeff Helm will be running the Boston Marathon for Mass General’s Emergency Response Fund Marathon Team. He and his teammates, many of whom were caregivers at last year’s tragic bombing, are raising money to support disaster preparedness training throughout the city and state. You can donate to this great cause at MGH Emergency Response Fund Team. You can also read recovery stories and donate to the Boston One Fund or donate blood in honor of the Boston Marathon anniversary.

Here are some stories of a few of the people who were profoundly affected by events last year. They are stories of courage, hope and community.

DEAR WORLD: Boston Marathon is a very moving photo tribute of survivors and responders returning to the finish line. See the short clip below. We opened this post with a portrait of Heather Abbott from this series. She chose the message “Less Leg, More Heart” and explains why:

“…since I lost my leg at the Boston Marathon, I’ve become what the world considers and certainly America considers a handicapped person. And that’s a very new concept for me having been a healthy woman in my thirties before the marathon. I have a new appreciation for people who are considered handicapped and a new compassion for them and the struggles they go through. I think that the experience of losing my leg has made me become more compassionate, so I may have less of a leg now, but I think my heart is bigger because of it.”

Marathon Bombing Survivor Loses Limbs But Finds New Life

Surviving the Finish Line

For Richard family, loss and love

Amid chaos near finish line, bond was forged

Resources
For a list of help resources and information about coping with PTSD, see Boston Marathon Anniversary Resources. Also, residents and first responders should note that today and again on race day next Monday, free counseling will be available to residents. The counseling sessions, which will be operated by trained mental health clinicians, are available at the Boston Public Library on Tuesday, the anniversary of the marathon bombings, and at Our Lady of Victories Church in Copley Square on April 22. Additionally, counseling will be available over the phone via the Mayor’s Health Line.

Hug a First Responder today
Last year, 3 people died and 16 lost limbs. The total fatalities could have been far worse if it weren’t for the courage and bravery of first responders, many of whom still struggle with the events: First responders still in grip of Marathon’s horror. While the first human reaction to danger is to run away, our first responders run towards it to save lives. Nothing exemplified the difference that they make like their bravery in the Boston bombing. Hug a first responder today!

Posted in Events, Misc