Navigating the Thrills and Spills of Insurance

With all of the recent natural disasters you may have taken stock of your own home and thought about what you might do to replace items you might lose in such a scenario. Here is a helpful link from the site United Policy Holders that helps explain how you might go about dealing with such issues.

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United Policy Holders is a non-profit [501 (c)(3)] dedicated to helping consumers successfully navigate various types of insurance to make sure each gets the best deal and fair shake when it comes time to both buying and using insurance. Think of them as a sort of Consumer Reports of insurance.

In fact, here is their mission statement posted on the home page:

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Just to the right of the mission statement is a short list of broad topic areas covered on the site:

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Today let’s focus on what can be done in the event you have to make a claim on your property due to some sort of disaster. They have a detailed, step by step tutorial on how to successfully make claims to replace much of, if not all of, your damaged property here:

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They even offer tools to help inventory your household items in advance to avoid having to complete the arduous task after a disaster has struck. There is even an app to assist in the process, if you get into that sort of thing:
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Another helpful feature I found was an example of an actual letter sent to an insurance company requesting an extension on the time allowed to complete a claim:

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This site offers a wealth of information from which anyone may benefit because nearly all of us have insurance of one type or another. This site aims to help us identify how to proactively take advantage of all our insurance carriers promise and to avoid being taken advantage of by what can be a bloated, dense bureaucracy.

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Freesound

http://www.freesound.org/

Freesound is a database of 120,000 sounds, not songs. The sounds can include anything from a pipe banging against the wall to water dripping. Many of the sounds have been used in movies and in ccMixter remixes. Keywords and “sounds-like” type of browsing  are available for searching. From the site, “Freesound is a collaborative database of Creative Commons Licensed sounds. Browse, download and share sounds.”

Global Change Master Directory: Earth Science Data & Services Directory

From Neat New Stuff:

http://gcmd.gsfc.nasa.gov/

“Offers ‘more than 20,000 descriptions of Earth science data sets and services covering all aspects of Earth and environmental sciences’ courtesy of NASA. Among the wide range of topics: soil temperature, drought severity, el nino oscillations, atmospheric radiation, glacial landforms/processes, volcanic ash/dust, reforestation, environmental assessments, diseases/epidemics, ice core records, etc.”

CDC Disasters: Emergency Preparedness Information

www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/

This site from the CDC offers thorough information on preparing for, or responding to, many types of disasters (Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Floods, Power Outages, etc.)  Selecting a specific type of disaster leads the user to more in-depth information on topics such as food safety, hazards, animal protection, etc.  Information is also available in Spanish, French, Vietnamese, Haitian Creole, German and Portuguese.