McCurdy Group - Insurance and Financial Consultants

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wedding Insurance

You can now purchase insurance in the event that something goes wrong with your wedding in spite of all your careful planning. There are many things that can go wrong - things that are beyond your control - like your reception venue going out of business, your bridal shop closing, wedding rings getting lost or sudden serious illness.

A wedding is an investment; the average cost is now up to $27,000. For as little as $200, you can purchase wedding insurance that help make things right when things go wrong.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Do You Need Special Insurance When You Rent a Hall?

Do you need special liability coverage if you rent a hall, room, the town common, etc. for an event such as a wedding, anniversary or birthday party? The answer is NO as long as you have a Homeowners Policy. The standard Homeowners Policy provides liability coverage for various "insured locations", one of which is "part of the premises occasionally rented to the "insured for personal use." It would also be a good idea to have an Umbrella Policy which would give you an extra $1,000,000 in coverage.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Make Your Computer Safe from Identity Thieves

Here are some tips to reduce the chances of compromising your computer:
  • Update your computer to include the latest virus protection software and use a firewall
  • Avoid downloading files from strangers or clicking on unknown hyperlinks
  • Use a secure browser
  • Don't store financial information on your laptop
  • Avoid the use of an automatic log-in feature
  • Delete personal information before you dispose of a computer
  • Read website privacy policies
  • Avoid phishing, which is a scam that uses spam or pop-up messages to deceive you into disclosing your personal information.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Rental Car Contract Cautions

Have you felt pressured when renting a car to purchase the Collision Damage Waiver? Most rental car contracts include provisions that will invalidate the Collision Damage Waiver (for which you pay a hefty fee) for any of the following reasons:
  • if you leave the keys in the car
  • if you drive on dirt roads
  • if you let anyone other than drivers listed on the contract drive the vehicle (Note: this includes valets!)
  • if you drive under the influence of intoxicants

Remember that Collision Damage Waivers are not insurance and therefore are not regulated by insurance departments. You are at the mercy of the rental car companies so be sure to read the contract carefully.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Energy Credits Available on Your Tax Return

This year we have had several taxpayers taking advantage of the Energy Credit on their tax returns. There are several items that can qualify – furnaces, pellet stoves, insulation, windows and doors. When purchases are made, the company you buy them through provides the documentation that states they qualify for the energy credit. In the example of windows, they must be of a certain type to be energy efficient.

A couple items that do not qualify are appliances and siding. Appliances, although they are energy star rated, are not part of the energy credit. They may have rebates from their manufacturers though. In the case of siding – vinyl siding and even insulated vinyl siding do not qualify. Siding provides structural support for the house and therefore is not part of the credit program.

The good news is even higher income earners qualify for the 30% credit this year. The credit is not unlimited, there is a cap on the maximum credit per taxpayer still.