เรื่อง: Get Your Insurer to Pay Up
 
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My Name: anyaha ออฟไลน์
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19 พ.ค. 20, 00:45:49น.
Get Your Insurer to Pay Up
Follow these steps to minimize hassles and get all the money you deserve. BY KIMBERLY LANKFORD

MANUEL PULIDO RETURNED TO HIS townhouse in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood one evening last December to find water spewing from the chandelier in his dining room. A pipe had burst in the second-floor bathroom, and the explosion of water quickly made its way into the master bedroom and leaked through to the dining room on the floor below. The ceilings, floors, walls, carpets, furniture (including some antiques) and light fixtures were drenched. Pulido turned off the water and electricity and called his agent, who contacted Chubb, his insurance company. A water-remediation service arrived within 1½ hours to start drying out the damaged areas. The service spent five days in his house with giant fans and wet/dry vacuums to prevent further damage.

When Pulido and his wife, Rena, were shopping for insurance several years ago, they met with independent agent Rebecca Korach Woan, who gave them price quotes and discussed the pros and cons of several companies. They chose to pay extra for the Chubb policy because the company had a reputation for handling claims efficiently and taking care in repairing or replacing special items, such as antiques and artwork. The company had sent an appraiser to the house to itemize valuable property and take pictures of the items in every room. When the pipe burst, Chubb’s claims rep was able to access those “before” pictures.

An adjuster came to see the damage and returned a few times with experts to check on special items, such as an antique table. By February, the Pulidos had received more than $200,000 from Chubb to cover the damage to their home and possessions. “I made one phone call and everyone followed up with me,” Pulido says. Most insurance claims take more phone calls—sometimes many more. If you have a homeowners or an auto claim, here’s what you need to know to avoid hassles and get a fair payment from your insurance company.

HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE
Andrea Johnson went for years without filing a homeowners insurance claim. Then on the afternoon of May 20, 2013, the sky went dark and a tornado with 200-mile-per-hour winds ripped through her town of Moore, Okla. The tornado wiped out so many houses that she had a hard time finding her street when she returned. “The neighborhood behind ours was totally destroyed and was just debris,” she says. Only a few houses on her block were still standing. One side of her house was completely gone, “and my neighbor’s house was in my house.”

Act fast. When you file a claim that involves damage to your home, an adjuster usually comes within 24 to 48 hours, but it can take longer after a catastrophic event. Johnson contacted her State Farm agent after the tornado, and she met with the adjuster three days  later to determine the extent of the damage. Johnson also contacted a builder who came to the site with an engineer and sent the insurer a report explaining why the house was unfixable. “The insurer finally decided it was a total loss,” she says.

Your insurer or agent may be able to help you find contractors, waterremediation services and other experts to help make the repairs, or you can use your own contractors. It can help to have your contractor at your house  when you meet with the adjuster. “They can walk through together, and we can assure they’re both seeing the damage from the same perspective,” says Patrick Gee, senior vice president for auto and property claims at Travelers. The insurer may adjust the payout if the contractor finds more problems after starting the work.

Take inventory. Filing the claim for the contents of Johnson’s home ended up being complicated. By the time the adjuster arrived, she had little evidence of her missing possessions; many items had been scattered by the tornado, and some had been tossed by well-meaning volunteers who came to Moore to help homeowners remove debris. “They asked for page after page of information to tell them about everything—how many pairs of shoes, how long you had them, how much they cost. Who remembers that?” she says. Johnson wishes she had kept a home inventory or had taken pictures before the items were removed.

Keeping an updated inventory isn’t the tedious hassle that it used to be. Many insurers have home inventory apps you can use, or you can go to. “Take pictures of your rooms, closets, attic and your backyard,” says John Doak, Oklahoma’s insurance commissioner. Open drawers and cupboards so that the photos show all your possessions. Keep the photos and copies of receipts for valuable items outside of your home, with your insurance agent or online. If possible, have your insurance agent visit your home, take pictures and let you know if you’ve reached your policy limits, says Doak. Know what’s covered.

Most homeowners policies pay for additional living expenses—including rent, food and other costs—for up to a year while you’re unable to live in your home. Keep the receipts for reimbursement; some insurers provide debit cards for these expenses. State Farm paid Johnson’s rent for a small apartment while she waited for her claim to be settled. In a disaster area, you may be out of your house a long time because of a shortage of contractors. “You could potentially be paid more for the additional living expenses than for the home if you’re out of your home for a year or more,” says Doak. Johnson decided to take the insurance money and move to Oklahoma City rather than rebuild her house.

Periodically review your policy or ask your agent what is and isn’t covered and how to fill the gaps. Flooding isn’t covered by homeowners insurance, but you can get a policy from the National Flood Insurance Program; your home-insurance agent may sell those policies. Sewage and drain backups usually aren’t covered automatically, but it may cost just $50 to add about $10,000 in coverage, says Rene Hernandez, an independent agent in Oklahoma City. Most policies cover only about $5,000 worth of jewelry, but you can add a rider to provide coverage at the items’ appraised value.

How to fight back. If your insurer drags its feet or you don’t think you’re getting adequate reimbursement, you can get help from your state insurance department. “If there’s an impasse, the insurance department can step in and speed things up,” says Doak, whose office fielded about 30,000 calls to help policyholders last year. The Oklahoma Insurance Department, like departments in many states, sets up a mobile office to answer consumers’ questions about their coverage and rights after a major disaster. It also offers a mediation program to help resolve disputes between homeowners and their insurance companies, an option that several state insurance  departments offer.

AUTO INSURANCE
The steps you take immediately after a car accident can make a huge difference in how quickly and smoothly the claims process goes. Gather evidence. You’re likely to have a smartphone camera with you when you drive; if not, keep a camera in the glove compartment. If you’re in an accident, start taking pictures as soon as it’s safe—of your car, the other car, the intersection, and the other driver’s license and insurance card. You may even want to take a photo of the other driver. Also keep a notebook and pen by the driver’s seat so you can jot down a license plate number quickly, says Sharon Jansma, who owns a Farmers Insurance agency in Visalia, Calif.

If there are witnesses, get their contact information. Having a police report can help, especially if there’s a question of who’s at fault. “Don’t tell anyone the accident was your fault, even if you think it was,” says Kip Diggs, a State Farm spokesman. “Don’t sign any document unless it’s for the police or your insurance agent.” Some insurers, including State Farm and Travelers, have mobile apps that make it easy to submit photos and walk you through the next steps. Or you can call your insurance company or agent.

Find the right shop. You can usually use any body shop, but most insurers have preferred shops that work directly with the adjusters and guarantee their work. This can speed up the claims process, but it can help to have a second opinion. “I always tell my insureds to get a few estimates to make sure there’s consistency,” says Hernandez. If you have rental-car coverage, your insurer will pay for at least a portion of the cost of a rental car while yours is in the shop.

If the car is a total loss, the insurer will generally pay the car’s “actual cash value” (the market value for a car of its age and condition). Ask how the insurer came up with the number. Farmers compares the cost of cars selling in the area that are the same make and model, with similar mileage and upkeep, then adjusts the figure for your specific details. “I like to see a sample size of five to 10 cars selling in your area,” says Jansma. If you think the number is too low, gather your own list of similar cars for sale locally. The insurer will either send you a check for that value (minus your deductible) or pay the financing company and send you any additional money, if you have a loan.

Claims can get complicated—and take longer—when another car is involved. It usually takes 60 days or less, says Jana Schellin Foster, who owns an independent insurance agency in Carson City, Nev. “Anything beyond that, somebody is dropping the ball.” In that case, Foster will generally have a conference call with the agent, the insurer and the customer. “That way there is no miscommunication,” she says. The final payment can be delayed while the two insurers decide who is at fault. A typical scenario: Your insurer pays the claim while you pay your deductible, even if there’s a good chance you weren’t at fault. Your deductible could be returned to you months later, after the insurance companies determine who is to blame. That process, called subrogation, can take anywhere from 10 days to a year, says Jansma.

How to fight back. If the insurer seems to be lowballing the repair costs, ask your body shop to provide a detailed estimate of what needs to be fixed. If that doesn’t help, find out if you have an “appraisal clause” in the policy, under which a third party reviews your body shop’s appraisal and the insurer’s and settles on a number. Your agent may be able to help with stalled claims. “You may have one claim in a lifetime, but we do this every day,” says Sarah Brown, of Keller-Brown Insurance Services, in Shrewsbury, Pa. As an independent agent, she often has contacts at the other driver’s insurance company as well as at her client’s and can find out what’s causing the delay. The state insurance department can also explain your rights and get the insurance companies moving.

5 TIPS TO PREPARE FOR YOUR PROPERTY SETTLEMENT
8 HABITS OF WEALTHY AND SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE
WHY MILLENNIALS CHOOSE TO BUY HOME
7 TIPS EVERY HOMEOWNER NEED TO KNOW ABOUT INSURANCE

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My Name: anyaha ออฟไลน์
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ตอบกลับ #1 19 พ.ค. 20, 00:46:21น.
10 WAYS TO DERAIL AN AI PROGRAM
Despite big investments, many organizations get disappointing results from their AI and analytics efforts. What makes programs go off track? Companies set themselves up to fail when:
1. They lack a clear understanding of advanced analytics, staffing up with data scientists, engineers, and other key players without realizing how advanced and traditional analytics differ.
2. They don’t assess feasibility, business value, and time horizons, and launch pilots without thinking through how to balance short-term wins in the first year with longer-term payoffs.
3. They have no strategy beyond a few use cases, tackling AI in an ad hoc way without considering the bigpicture opportunities and threats AI presents in their industry.
4. They don’t clearly define key roles, because they don’t understand the tapestry of skill sets and tasks that a strong AI program requires.
5. They lack “translators,” or experts who can bridge the business and analytics realms by identifying high-value use cases, communicating business needs to tech experts, and  generating buy-in with business users.
6. They isolate analytics from the business, rigidly centralizing it or locking it in poorly coordinated silos, rather than organizing it in ways that allow analytics and business experts to work closely together.
7. They squander time and money on enterprisewide data cleaning instead of aligning data consolidation and cleanup with their most valuable use cases.
8. They fully build out analytics platforms before identifying business cases, setting up architectures like data lakes without knowing what they’ll be needed for and often integrating platforms with legacy systems unnecessarily.
9. They neglect to quantify analytics’ bottomline impact, lacking a performance management framework with clear metrics for tracking each initiative.
10. They fail to focus on ethical, social, and regulatory implications, leaving themselves vulnerable to potential missteps when it comes to data acquisition and use, algorithmic bias, and other risks, and exposing themselves to social and legal consequences.

5 TIPS TO PREPARE FOR YOUR PROPERTY SETTLEMENT
8 HABITS OF WEALTHY AND SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE
WHY MILLENNIALS CHOOSE TO BUY HOME

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lowest mortgage ratesbusiness line of creditmortgage broker near mebest small business loans
low interest personal loanscredit union loanshelp to buy equity loan
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commercial real estate loansworking capital loanelastic line of creditmortgage application
second mortgage ratescurrent home mortgage ratesfirst bank mortgagevehicle finance
commercial loan ratestypes of mortgage loansprivate money lendersbad credit business loans

My Name: anyaha ออฟไลน์
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ตอบกลับ #2 11 ต.ค. 20, 23:31:55น.
Guatemala’s Mayan trail
The Mayan civilisation of South America was in deep decline long before the Spanish arrived, says Sarah Gilbert in Wanderlust magazine. In Guatemala, many of its “jungle-clad cities” had been abandoned by the ninth century and its population greatly reduced. So it’s a mystery how this culture and its traditions have survived beyond the Spanish conquest of the 16th century and, more recently, a “brutal” civil war. Today, 40% of Guatemala’s population is indigenous, largely descended from the Maya. A three-night glamping trek “up, down and along ancient Mayan trails”, from Antigua to Lake Atitl?n, takes you to the heart of “a civilisation that seems far from gone”.

The “challenging” trek covers up to nine miles a day, climbing to 2,745 metres. Beyond the city, a broad trail leads to a cloud forest, shrouded by an “impenetrable mist”. The higher it goes, the more “otherworldly” the landscape becomes, sprinkled with bromeliads, old man’s beard and abundant ferns. Crossing valleys, slopes, rivers and deep gorges,  you’ll follow the trail along spectacular landscapes, passing small family farms and rural communities. At night, camps offer “spacious safari-style tents”, double mattresses, “marshmallow-soft pillows” and dinner under the stars – while far in the distance, Mount Fuego performs its nightly volcanic “display of lava pyrotechnics”.

One camp hosts an evening cookery lesson; in another village you can see women weaving on traditional looms. For a more spiritual insight, head to San Andr?s Itzapa’s Temple of San Sim?n, where “believers wait patiently in line” before the effigy of Maxim?n, as San Sim?n is known locally, to leave offerings of alcohol, tobacco and food. To some, this “harddrinking, heavy-smoking” Mayan deity is a saint; to others he is the devil, who has survived the arrival of Catholicism. Either way, he remains a “potent force” in this ancient culture that is “still very much alive”.

Norway’s midnight sun
In far-north Norway, 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle, the sun doesn’t set for the whole of June and July. Of course, there’s “nothing supernatural” about this, yet knowing it and experiencing it are “two different things”, says Paul Bloomfield in The Times. Being in 24-hour daylight alters your “psyche in unexpectedly uplifting ways”. The island of Sommar?y (“Summer Isle”) made headlines recently with a campaign to become the world’s first time-free zone. On this “gorgeous speck 35 miles west of Troms?”, residents want to be free to “paint their house” at 2am if they please. With a “solarcharged spring in my step”, I set out to hike Sommar?y and neighbouring Senja.

With glittering fjords and “winsome fishing villages”, the region has all the appeal of Norway’s more southerly Lofoten Islands, but without the Instagrammers and cruise ships. This is “terra incognita”; I barely see another soul. A rocky scramble gets me to the summit of Hilles?ya, a 300ft-high headland, where “gleaming” beaches are “fringed by the clearest of jade-green waters”. I can see why this is known as the “Arctic Caribbean”, although dipping a toe in the water reminds me how far north I am. Later, I climb ?rnfl?ya, a “mini-mountain” from which I can see colourful clapboard houses clinging to the coves of nearby isles, and all is “silent save for the swoosh of waves below”. I’m entirely alone. With a “wistful sigh” I wish this day will “never end”. And it doesn’t.

A short ferry ride will take me to Senja, where “the roads are quieter, the paths wilder”. The island’s “most photographed landmark (which isn’t saying much)” is Segla, a “dramatic” monolith of a mountain. On my final evening – “at least, so my watch told me” – I sat on my veranda in Senja, “gazing west at the honeyed sun hanging low” above a nearby archipelago. Inntravel.co.uk provides walking holidays to northern Norway. Early booking for next summer is recommended.

Sensory overload in dazzling Singapore
“You have to expect the unexpected in Singapore,” said Doug Hansen in The San Diego Union-Tribune. A face-toface encounter with a toothy, 30-footlong, red-and-yellow cloth dragon taught me that on the day my wife and I decided to explore the city’s famed Orchard Road, a leafy boulevard lined with upscale shops and hotels. The dragon and the drum-driven parade it was leading turned out to be only one of countless pleasant surprises that greeted us during our five days in the vibrant island city-state. Of the six weeks we spent touring Southeast Asia, those days proved the highlight. “In fact, Singapore has become my favorite major, modern city in the world.”

I should mention two drawbacks. First, Singapore is a hot, humid, equatorial city: The average daytime high temperature hovers near 88 degrees. Second, it’s one of the most expensive cities in the world. But its wealth has created something special.

Visiting the National Museum, we were impressed by Singapore’s rapid rise in the first several decades after it was founded in 1819 as a trading post for the British East India Company. A global, multicultural powerhouse by the end of that century, the city—comparable in size to New York City’s five boroughs—is today a leader in education, finance, technology, and entertainment, as well as one of the world’s safest, cleanest, and healthiest countries. And English is the official language.

We changed hotels twice to explore different areas of the city, anchoring ourselves at one point within short walks of several major museums, the famed Raffles Hotel, and a spectacular bayside park. Both the 203-acre Singapore Botanic Gardens and the Gardens by the Bay are must-sees, the latter being the home of the world’s tallest enclosed waterfall. But as beautiful and green as our surroundings were by day, “after nightfall the city transformed itself into a nocturnal kaleidoscope of color, especially down by the bay.” At the Supertree Grove, in the Gardens by the Bay, a light and sound show bathes a stand of 100-foot-tall, man-made trees with music and changing colors.

Exploring untamed France in a classic Citro?n
The C?vennes captured my imagination before I’d ever set foot in that corner of France’s south-central highlands, said David McAninch in The New York Times. “One of the wildest and most sparsely populated parts of the country,” the ancient mountain range with its 5,000-foot peaks and deep river gorges seemed like the perfect place to fulfill a lifelong dream of mine: making a road trip through rural France in a vintage Citro?n 2CV. My wife, fortunately, was willing, and when I discovered Drivy.com, a site that’s like Airbnb for cars, I quickly located an owner in Lyon willing to rent us his 1976 2CV for $70 a day.

The first day didn’t go well. It “rained ropes,” as the French say, and our mintgreen Deux Chevaux lacked a defogger or any wiper speed beyond medium-slow. But when we woke to clear skies the next morning near the village of Anduze, the surrounding landscape was “every bit as beautiful as I’d imagined: terraced foothills backed by craggy, sun-dappled mountains, with pockets of mist nestling in between.” We started to enjoy coaxing our underpowered mule through the mountains and up their “preposterously steep switchbacks.” The idiosyncratic machine coughed and wheezed but mostly carried on. And when we passed a matching mint-green Citro?n, its passengers smiled and waved wildly, just as we did.

On the morning of our final day on the road, the car simply wouldn’t start. Because it was Sunday, and we had a flight to catch, we quickly exhausted all other options and had to leave the car outside our hotel. We made it to Paris in time for dinner and wine at a bistro in the 10th Arrondissement, and the car’s owner was not upset. The repair turned out to be routine, and we had parted ways with the car in a beautiful spot, a riverside village called Sainte Enimie. It sits at the end of a cave-pocked river canyon favored by motorcyclists, and just past the “beautifully bleak” uplands of the Causse M?jean. On Drivy.com, owners offer cars for rent starting at $30 a day.

Exploring Morocco through its music
Though there are countless ways to explore Morocco, “I went in search of the heartbeat,” said Mickey Rapkin in National Geographic Traveler. The music of Morocco is “as varied as its landscapes, from the Atlas Mountains to the red walls of Marrakech to the expansive deserts,” and today, a new generation is integrating traditional sounds with electronic dance music. Live music festivals have multiplied, and when I attended one just outside Marrakech, I felt as if I were witnessing a revolution. And I say that even though the headliners, the Master Musicians of Joujouka—a group of traditional Sufi trance artists that Beat writer William S. Burroughs once described as “a 4,000-year-old rock band”—fit right in.

From the moment I enter Marrakech, music is everywhere—starting with the five daily Islamic calls to prayer and the horn melodies of the snake charmers in the ancient marketplace. Down a narrow alleyway, my guide and I sit for tea with Mohammed Sudani, a master of Gnawa music, which combines hypnotic rhythms with Islamic poetry and is said to have healing powers. “The music is a doctor,” Sudani explains as he strums a guembri, then sings in Tamazight, the ancient language of the Berbers. Later in Anraz, a remote village high in the Atlas Mountains, I listen as eight men and women perform ritual music that “rings out in a gleeful call-andresponse.” Suddenly, the men pull me into the circle, dress me in a flowing jellaba, and hand me a drum. “While the rhythm eludes me, the joy does not.”

During my week of chasing such moments, the single best show I see transpires at a Marrakech caf? where four women perform traditional music at a deafening volume “while young people dance like nobody is watching.” But nothing tops the Marrakech festival for bringing together the new and the old. A Gnawa legend first shares the stage with celebrated British DJ James Holden, and once the 13 Masters take the stage—some pushing 90—they play nonstop for two hours. “The music is visceral—the high-pitch whir of the lira flutes like a snake worming its way through my earholes and taking hold of my brain stem. It is that loud from the first drumbeat.”


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