Your dwelling is often your most precious asset that you need to protect. We created a list of all savings opportunities associated with Home insurance. This list is the most complete perspective on home insurance savings tips. Numerous insurance brokers contributed to this list. So, let’s start!1. Change your content coverage: Renting a Condo? You can often lower your content coverage. No need to insure your belongings to up to $250,000 if you only have a laptop and some IKEA furniture!2. Renovations: Renovating your house can result in lower home insurance premiums, as home insurance premiums for older, poorly maintained dwellings are usually higher. Additionally, renovating only parts of your dwelling (e.g. the roof) can lead to insurance savings.3. Pool: Adding a swimming pool to your house will likely lead to an increase in your insurance rates since your liability ( e.g. the risk of someone drowning) and the value of your house have increased.4. Pipes: Insurers prefer copper or plastic plumbing – maybe it is a good idea to upgrade your galvanized / lead pipes during your next renovation cycle.5. Shop around: Search, Compare, and switch insurance companies. There are many insurance providers and their price offerings for the same policies can be very different, therefore use multiple online tools and talk to several brokers since each will cover a limited number of insurance companies.6. Wiring: Some wiring types are more expensive or cheaper than others to insure. Make sure you have approved wiring types, and by all means avoid aluminum wirings which can be really expensive to insure. Not all insurers will cover houses with aluminum wirings, and those that would, will require a full electrical inspection of the house.7. Home Insurance deductibles: Like auto insurance, you can also choose higher home insurance deductibles to reduce your insurance premiums.8. Bundle: Do you need Home and Auto Insurance? Most companies will offer you a discount if you bundle them together.9. New Home: Check if insurer has a new home discount, some insurers will have them.10. Claims-free discount: Some companies recognize the fact that you have not submitted any claims and reward it with a claim-free discount.11. Mortgage-free home: When you complete paying down your house in full, some insurers will reward you with lower premiums.12. Professional Membership: Are you a member of a professional organization (e.g. Certified Management Accountants of Canada or The Air Canada Pilots Association)? Then some insurance companies offer you a discount.13. Seniors: Many companies offer special pricing to seniors.14. Annual vs. monthly payments: In comparison to monthly payments, annual payments save insurers administrative costs (e.g. sending bills) and therefore they reward you lower premiums.15. Annual review: Review your policies and coverage every year, since new discounts could apply to your new life situation if it has changed.16. Alumni: Graduates from certain Canadian universities ( e.g University of Toronto, McGill University) might be eligible for a discount at certain Insurance providers.17. Employee / Union members: Some companies offer discounts to union members ( e.g. IBM Canada or Research in Motion)18. Mortgage insurance: Getting mortgage insurance when you have enough coverage in Life insurance is not always necessary: mortgage insurance is another name for a Life/Critical Illness / Disability insurance associated with your home only but you pay extra for a convenience of getting insurance directly when lending the money. For example a Term Life policy large enough to pay off your home is usually cheaper.19. Drop earthquake protection: In many regions, earthquakes are not likely – you could decide not to take earthquake coverage which could lower your premiums. For example, in BC earthquake coverage can account for as much as one-third of a policy’s premium.20. Wood stove: Choosing to use a wood stove means higher premiums – Insurance companies often decide to inspect the houses with such installations before insuring them. A decision to get rid of it means a lower risk and thus lower insurance premiums.21. Heating: Insurers like forced-air gas furnaces or electric heat installations. If you have an oil-heated home, you might be paying more than your peers who have alternative heating sources.22. Bicycle: You are buying a new bicycle and thinking about getting extra protection in case it is stolen when you leave it on the street e.g. when doing your groceries? Your Home insurance might be covering it already.23. Stop smoking: Some insurers increase their premiums for the homes with smokers as there is an increased risk of fire.24. Clean claim history: Keep a clean claim record without placing small claims, sometimes it makes sense to simply repair a small damage rather than claim it: you should consider both aspects: your deductibles and potential raise in premiums.25. Rebuilding vs. market costs: Consider your rebuilding costs when choosing an insurance coverage, not the market price of your house (market price can be significantly higher than real rebuilding costs).26. Welcome discount: Some insurers offer a so called welcome discount.27. Avoid living in dangerous locations: Nature effects some locations more than others: avoid flood-, or earthquake-endangered areas when choosing a house.28. Neighbourhood: Moving to a more secure neighbourhood with lower criminal rate will often considered in your insurance premiums.29. Centrally-connected alarm: Installing an alarm connected to a central monitoring system will be recognized by some insurers in premiums.30. Monitoring: Having your residence / apartment / condo monitored 24 hour can mean an insurance discount. e.g. via a security guard.31. Hydrants and fire-station: Proximity to a water hydrant and/or fire-station can decrease your premiums as well.32. Loyalty: Staying with one insurer longer can sometimes result in a long-term policy holder discount.33. Water damages: Avoid buying a house which may have water damage or has a history of water damage; a check with the insurance company can help to find it out before you buy the house.34. Decrease liability risk: Use meaningful ways to reduce your liability risk (e.g. fencing off a pool) and it can result in your liability insurance premiums going down.35. Direct insurers: Have you always dealt with insurance brokers / agents? Getting a policy from a direct insurer (i.e. insurers working via call-center or online) often can be cheaper (but not always) since they do not pay an agent/broker commission for each policy sold.36. Plumbing insulation: Insulating your pipes will prevent them from freezing in winter and reduce or even avoid insurance claims.37. Dependent students: Dependent students living in their own apartment can be covered by their parents’ home insurance policy at no additional charge.38. Retirees: Those who are retired can often get an additional discount – since they spend more time at home than somebody who works during the day and thus can prevent accidents like a fire much easier.39. Leverage inflation: Many insurers increase your dwelling limit every year by considering the inflation of the house rebuilding costs. Make sure this adjustment is in line with reality and that you are not overpaying.40. Credit score: Most companies use your credit score when calculating home insurance premiums. Having a good credit score can help you to get lower insurance rates.41. Stability of residence: Some insurers may offer a stability of residence discount if you have lived at the same dwelling for a certain number of years.
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Let’s face it, these are difficult economic times in the job market and for getting promoted within your organization. Budgets are tight. There are hiring freezes and lay-offs. Advancement within your organization seems a distant possibility. For those that are getting laid off, this is a terrible time.So what are you doing about it?The most important thing in any of these tough circumstances will be to pay attention to your management skills. Among the most important of these will be effective delegation and people management. A serious effort to improve your skills and effectiveness will reduce the chance of losing your ground and increase your chances for advancement. Companies and businesses seek results, now more than ever. Take a close look at what the organizations needs are for their management teams.
Ability to execute. Managers are charged with getting things accomplished through others. Leading and managing a team to execute assignments and projects. This has not changed. Most managers do not focus on their management skill improvement in this critical area.
Team building skills. A manager who excels at building a stronger more capable business unit will always be sought after and rise to the top. A candid assessment of the manager’s interpersonal skills such as communication and relationship building id needed in all situations.
Project management skills. The ability to plan and execute projects and assignments is a core competency. Yet managers spend so little time thinking about how to get better at planning the work they are managing. Putting effective project action plans together, even for basic team assignments, really boosts execution and results.
Managers and leaders can not stand still and continue to assume they have these important areas down pat. That kind of “head in the sand” approach can derail a career for sure. What makes a great manager? Taking action and getting things executed. So, why not take action on paying attention to your own development and focusing on continuous management skill development? This starts with making periodic assessments of your skills and setting new professional development objectives. Here, are three things any manager can do to set themselves on a positive course.
Take some time to complete a “self-assessment” of your management skills. Being totally candid, what areas are you falling short in related to getting business unit results? Ask yourself, “if I were a senior manager, looking at my progress and the results of my business unit, what constructive suggestions would be made?
Seek feedback from key members of your team or peers in the organization. The strongest managers seek and accept constructive feedback. Everyone has one or more “management blind-spots.” Things you can not see clearly about your-self, your skills and your performance. Don’t be blind-sided by your blind-spots. Have the courage and maturity to ask how you can get better.
Learn to delegate effectively. It is a premier skill for top performers. Most managers are really rather average at delegating work effectively, but most think they are good at it. You can learn more about the management skills for effective delegation and improve upon them quickly. They are at the heart of superior execution and building high-performance business units.
The benefits of paying attention to your professional skills are worth every effort. Upper management will start to see your focus and dedication. The effectiveness of your team’s ability to execute will increase and will be noticed. If you are seeking a new position, the time and effort you can demonstrate you have invested in your own development will separate you from the competition. Your business unit will feel the positive effects of your skill development and be will be motivated to perform at higher levels. If you were hiring someone or considering a manager for advancement, wouldn’t you take notice of the consistent self-development efforts and increase in skill? Of course, you would and that’s why you must take action to get better.
Social MediaSocial media marketing is a strategy that is just that, social. It is typically done on an Internet platform that engages the public in your content via your computer, smartphone or tablet. Social media allows your target consumers to engage with you and your brand. Some of the most common social media platforms used in marketing today are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Managing your Social Media Marketing can be very time-consuming. So, I recommend focusing your time and content on a few sites. Here are some recommendations:Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are visual platforms that will connect your art with customers. With Facebook you can create a business page this is separate from your personal page. The business page will allow you to create a community of followers that can like, comment, and share your images and content. Instagram has the same basic framework as Facebook in that you can create multiple profiles and navigate between them within the app on your phone. This similarity is nice if you have a personal and a business profile. Instagram is a social media outlet that focuses on images which are perfect for visual artists. Again, you can create a community of followers. For Instagram, the usage of the hashtag is vital in generating traffic to your profile, unlike Facebook that is better built on sending requests and calling for people to share your page.YouTube allows the public to take a step into your studio to see you working on your most current pieces. It may not seem like YouTube is a form of social media but in fact, by definition it is. Social media is any networking platform that allows users to communicate and connect in a social way. Due to the ability to like, share, and comment on videos on YouTube it is truly a social network. YouTube is actually a social media platform before it is a video marketing technique. In the next section, I will share a bit of information about how you can turn this social media platform into a video marketing tool!Video MarketingVideo marketing is meant to call your consumer or viewer to action. For a video, you create to be considered video marketing it should either generate interest back to your website or to something they will need to pay for in order to gain additional access. Videos are a great way to share your talent with the public and generate interest in your art. Videos also allow your followers and subscribers to get to know you. Viewers enjoy the feeling of developing a relationship with you. When you can create a sense of loyalty, your viewers can become some of your best marketing partners because they may share your videos with their friends.Since YouTube is free this is a great way to share videos that focus on your art technique or provide short free tutorials for a specific art medium. Don’t forget for this to be a marketing technique it needs to generate something the viewer will need to act upon or purchase. By running a link at the end of your video to send them to your website or offering more in-depth instructional videos for a price at the end, will qualify as a video marketing tool. With YouTube, you can create a channel that may focus on the techniques of your particular style of art or you can post instructional videos with step-by-step information to complete a unique piece of artwork. Free and low-cost video editing software, like Apple’s iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, is available to allow you to truly customize your videos before uploading to YouTube.Let’s use a watercolor artist who focuses on floral still life, as an example. The artist posts a 5-minute painting tutorial on the subject matter of roses on YouTube. The video was created through the iMovie software that comes standard on most Apple computers currently. At the end of the free 5-minute video, the artist then advertises a paid 30-minute video from their website that will walk the viewer through painting a floral still life with roses from start to finish. The webcam and software come standard with Apple products. The cost for creating this example of video marketing was free.Social Media and video marketing are both virtual ways to reach your target audience. A low-cost type of marketing that is more tactile and leaves a lasting impression on your audience is through guerrilla marketing.Guerilla MarketingGuerilla marketing is a grassroots, low-cost, fun, and in-your-face marketing strategy. Often guerrilla marketing takes the form of visual art like spray paint tags or unique posters and decals allowing it to seem like a natural fit for visual artists. This marketing strategy is meant to create interest and cause the bystander to be curious enough to investigate the advertisement. It takes more imagination and creativity than money to make guerrilla marketing work for you.Implementing guerrilla marketing can be a fun and exciting. Some ideas for guerrilla marketing might be to use vinyl stickers or paper posters; this is called wild posting. Walking billboards or quick pop up galleries of work in public places are another trending approach. It should also be stated that legal issues can arise in regard to how or where wild posting and pop-up galleries appear. Posting decals or posters can cause an issue especially if they are placed on paid advertising or local, state or federal fixtures. In most municipalities, there are permits that are required for setting up in public places. Don’t let the risk of legal infringement deter you from using this strategy. With the proper research and planning, guerrilla marketing can be a quick and fun way to create buzz about your art.Social media, video marketing, and guerrilla marketing are ways to increase awareness and create artist loyalty from the community near and far. Successful marketing will help you increase brand awareness and loyalty among art consumers.