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Posts tagged ‘Electronics’

About Rental Insurance

Many renters don’t stop to think about what happens if there is a fire, someone breaks in and steals their new TV or stereo, or a visitor slips and falls on their property. The sad truth is; you will be responsible! While your landlord has insurance that covers the actual building, that coverage does not include your personal property or liability for injuries which occur in the space you rent ~ be it an apartment or a house and yard.

If a fire should destroy or damage your home, your landlord’s insurance will cover the structure. It won’t cover damage or loss of your belongings. Neither will it provide for the cost of temporary housing for you and your family.

You may think you don’t own enough personal property to make the cost of insurance worthwhile. You’re probably wrong! If you sit down and add up the cost of everything you own, you may be in for a big surprise. Consider what you have invested in such things as:

• Furniture and accessories • Electronics like TV, stereo, computers • Small appliances like microwaves, toaster ovens, etc. • Clothing • Art work like paintings or prints • Dishes, silverware and cookware • Sporting equipment • Books • Jewelry

Could you afford to replace all of these things?

Even worse, what would you do if a friend is injured on your property and decides to sue you for medical costs and more? It’s a scary thought, isn’t it?

Are you beginning to see why rental insurance may be a very wise investment?

The cost of rental insurance is based on several factors:

• The dollar amount of your coverage

• Deductibles

• Whether you choose to be reimbursed for Actual Cash Value or Replacement Costs (more about that in a minute)

• Where your rental property is located and the number of previous claims made, not only by you, but by others living in the same area.

Let me explain the difference between Actual Cash Value (ACV) and Replacement Costs. ACV is the value of your property at the time a loss takes place. For example, if your television set is five years old, it’s valued at much less than if it were brand new. The lesser amount is what you are reimbursed.

However, if you opt for Replacement Cost, you’re paid whatever it costs to go out and buy a new TV with similar features. Insuring for replacement cost raises the amount of your premium so it’s a good idea to get quotes for both ACV and Replacement Cost policies. Then you can decide which option fits your needs and budget.

Another thing to keep in mind is that jewelry, valuable collections, and guns are usually covered under a separate policy or “rider”. If you own these kinds of items, be sure to tell your insurance agent. You don’t want to find out after disaster strikes that they aren’t covered or that they aren’t covered for their true value. One way you can reduce the cost of your rental insurance is to check with whichever company insures your car. If they provide rental insurance you may be eligible for a multi-line discount.

Rental insurance may be worth the investment just for the peace of mind it offers you.

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Selling Your Computer Looking At Alternatives

At some point, your needs are going to outgrow the capabilities of your computer. You may find yourself in need of more hard drive space for all those videos and mp3s that you download, for example. Or maybe that cool new programming language you’ve been dying to try requires more memory than what your computer currently has. Unless the activities on your computer are restricted to pure textual output (plain text files), your computer is going to get filled with a lot of “stuff” – stuff that can overfill a PC’s capacity too much for the computer to function well.

The problem is that while upgrading a computer is always an option, technology advances so fast that newer products (such as memory chips, new drives, etc.) aren’t always compatible with the machines that we own. This is a common occurrence when newer pieces of hardware require the programming of a newer operating system. Sure, one could upgrade the operating system to accommodate the demands of a new piece of hardware, but trouble starts when that new operating system requires new hardware in return. If we’re not careful, we could end up replacing almost every hard and soft part of a computer that we own – all in an effort to upgrade! Upgrading in this fashion is not only silly to do so, it’s also costly – more costly than simply buying a new computer.

But once the decision to buy a computer is set in stone, what can be done with the old one? There are alternatives to selling a computer and this article is going to introduce a few of them.

1. Give it to the kids. This is of course, assuming the kids are too young to whine about not having enough SDRAM or less than a 160GB hard drive. Today’s “older” computers are perfectly capable of accommodating the needs of young PC users, and they’re excellent machines for playing educational CDs, small multimedia files, or games downloaded from the Internet. And don’t forget the most important role they play in a child’s homework-clad life: A simple encyclopedia CD on a used computer makes excellent research tool (not to mention a rather fancy calculator!).

2. Donate it to a less-fortunate or less-literate family member. We often joke around the office about the “grandma” who refuses to use a computer until she can afford the “latest” one. Chances are, Grandma isn’t ever going to shell out the bucks to buy the latest computer on the market, nor is she going to know how to use it once she gets it. What Grandma doesn’t realize however is that a used computer is an excellent training tool that she can use to prepare herself for something “better” in the future. We always say, “‘Tis better to screw up something on an old, used machine than to screw up everything on a brand new one!” A couple of errors on an old, used machine are easier to fix because someone is going to have the experience and knowledge to fix it. Errors on a new machine however can be a beast to fix because we’re all knocking at Microsoft’s door looking for answers.

3. Convert the machine into a storage area. As another alternative to selling that machine, we suggest that people disconnect it from the Internet and use it to store personal documents, records, or files. This way, personal data (such as bank statements, store receipts, health records, etc.) is protected from prying viruses or hackers, while the newer machine is used to surf the net.

As you can see, old computers still serve a purpose either for you or for someone else. And although selling an old computer is always an option, there are a number of things that you can do with an old computer. All that’s required is a little “out of the box” thinking and a grateful recipient.

Air Travel Rules: Traveling With Electronics

In this day in age, it seems as if all individuals have at least once piece of electronic equipment with them, often at all times. That electronic equipment may include a cell phone, a beeper, a laptop, or a personal data assistant, commonly known as a PDA. If you are one of the individuals that regularly travels around with one or more of these electronic items, there is a good chance that you will be taking them with you when you board an airplane. If so, there is a chance that you may be concerned with whether or not they are a violation of air travel rules.

When it comes to determining which electronics are prohibited aboard an airplane, you will find that almost all are allowed.  Despite this allowance, it is still a good idea that you check with your airline or airport, in advance.  Since most electronic items are expensive, you not want to get to the airport only to learn that you are prohibited from bringing all of your belongings with you, especially something as expensive as most electronic equipment. 

As previously mentioned, many individuals keep a cell phone or pager with them at all times.  All cell phones and pagers are permitted aboard airplanes. In addition to being permitted onboard, they are allowed to be stored in your carry-on luggage.  Your cell phone or pager, like most other electronic equipment, will be suspect to inspection, if need be.

Laptops and personal data assistants, commonly known as PDA’s, are also permitted aboard airplanes.  You are also allowed to store them in your carry-on luggage, if you choose to.  If stored in your carry-on luggage, your laptop or personal data assistant machine will need to be scanned along with the rest of your carry-on luggage. This screening process is safe and should not hurt your equipment.

While the screening process is safe for most electronic equipment, it isn’t for all.  There is a chance that your film, especially film that has yet to be developed, could be ruined by the x-ray machines.  In the event that you are storing a camera in your carry-on luggage, you will need to notify airport security.  They have alternative ways of checking your camera or film equipment. Other recording devices, such as digital cameras or camcorders, are also permitted aboard an airplane, even in your carry-on luggage. It is safe for these items to go through the x-ray screening process.

As previously mentioned, many of the above mentioned electronics can either be stored in your carry-on luggage or your checked baggage.  If you are able to store the items in your carry-on luggage, you are advised to do so. It is no secret that checked baggage gets tossed around in a number of different fashions.  With expensive electronic equipment, your equipment is less likely to suffer damage if you are the one in charge of caring for it.  In addition to a reduction in damage, most airlines are restricting the use of baggage locks.  This means that it may be unwise for you to store expensive equipment in your checked baggage, especially if you cannot lock it.  Honestly, you never know who may have access to it.

By keeping the above mentioned information in mind, you should be able to pack correctly for your next trip, whether or not that trip is a business trip. Although most airlines do not have restrictions on the electronic equipment that you bring onboard, you will find that the use of these items is often restricted.  A large number of airlines will only let you power up your camcorder, cell phone, pager, PDA, or laptop during specified times.