Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Emergencies and Insurance

Most of the blogs that I have read talk about insurance of some type at some point.  Life, health, disability, house, car . . . the list goes on.  In the spirit of Emergency preparedness let me speak to you of one of the cheapest forms of insurance I have ever found.  You want to know what the great thing is?  It covers life, health, disability and house in one fell swoop.  This insurance has two parts.  Part 1 is $20 flat rate and a yearly cost of maybe $5.  Part 2 is a $50 flat rate, no maintenance required.  Part 2 can even be used to cover your car!  Is that great or what?

Ok, so where do I get such a great deal?  Try your local hard ware store.

I'm sorry . . . what?  Oh you were under the impression that this was typical insurance.  You know, the kind that pays after your house burns down, or you have medical bills, or you're dead.  No, this is much better, this is the kind that helps to prevent any of that from ever happening.

Meet Plan 1

His name is Clive, his brother Jobb lives upstairs.  (Ok, so I named the smoke detectors, why not show a little appreciation to them?)  I have always considered myself a stickler for fire safety.  In fact during my four years in apartment buildings (always on the 11th or higher floor, a couple of which had faulty fire alarms) I was always one of the 5% who evacuated the building.

So when I bought my first home the first thing I did was check out the smoke alarms.  The one downstairs had been removed (not sure how long ago) and I promptly replaced it.  Up stairs was a different story.  There were two of them side by side.  Unfortunately the one that was suppose to be hard wired into the house had been hung but not connected.  Not a big deal, I figured that they had hung a stand alone unit next to it because it was the cheaper (and no less safe) solution.  The stand alone unit looked fine, until I found out that no one had ever bothered to put batteries in it.

I was shocked.  Honestly?  We spend hundreds of dollars on house insurance and we can't be bothered to put batteries in our smoke detectors?  Do you want the insurance company to have to pay up?  Worse, the family who sold me the smoke detector-less house had 4 kids.

Check Your Smoke Detectors People.  

Every. Six. Months.

If you're lucky they won't have to save your life.

Meet Plan 2

I'd love to say that I am impeccably safe in all things.  That would be a lie.  Truth is I knew that I needed a fire extinguisher for my kitchen.  I knew that fact for almost three years.  But going out to buy one . . .

Why I'd have to go into a store!  YEWWWWWWW

I'd have to pay money!  GASP

It got put off, and off and off.  I'd forget it for months on end, then it would end up on my to-do list and just never get done.  What changed?  There was a fire in the apartment building next door.  As in glass-popping-due-to-heat, flames-shooting-out-the-windows fire.  As in damage two floors down and five stories up, the whole apartment had to be gutted fire.  This made me realize two things.

1. No matter how careful I am accidents will happen, I need to do my best to make sure that they don't turn into major incidents.

2. No matter how careful I am other people will happen.  I can't guarantee that somebody who lives around me isn't going to do something that will endanger me and mine.

Protect your life, protect your possessions, and save the money I would cost you if your house burned down.

PS. I'm still thinking of a name for the fire extinguisher.  Alfred has a nice ring to it.  Suggestions?

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