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Smart Insurance | WHAT PROTECTION do you need when building or renovating?

October 4, 2015 | By Alison Schmidt, AAI | First and foremost, the contractor must be properly licensed and insured. Request a certificate of insurance listing yourself as an additional insured and make sure there is a written contract in place that clearly states what insurance requirements are required by all parties. A properly insured GC will have an underlying policy with limits of $1 million per occurrence and $2 million aggregate.


July 18, 2015 | By Laura Kearney | Liability coverage provides protec­tion against a third party. The cover­age is a central part of most personal insurance policies and, most notably, a staple in auto and home insurance poli­cies. Excess liability policies, some­times called umbrella policies, provide limits “in excess” of the limits offered on underlying policies.

Mortgage Matters | What the Tea Leaves Reveal about Mortgage Rates in 2015

July 18, 2015 | By Melissa Cohn | 10-year bonds are driven by our economy as well as global economies, not to mention the other forces we don’t control. Domestically, the first quarter of 2015 was very weak, showing a contraction of -.2%. Current growth projections for the second quarter are at 2-2.8%. Data related to income, inflation, manufacturing and consumer spending is released weekly and closely watched by bond traders for signs of growth and weakness.

Renting With An Option To Buy

April 23, 2016 | By Barbara Albom, Esq. & Nicholas J. Ferrar, Esq. | A Win-Win under the right circumstances | Most buyers will want to lock in the purchase price along with all of the other terms and conditions of closing. While this may not be problematic for the seller in many instances, it can be disastrous if market values increase significantly during the rental term. The more appealing option is to establish a “base sales price” with a reasonable “escalation” clause to allow for the selling price to be adjusted if the market improves.

Smart Insurance | It's time to get the household staff covered!

April 23, 2016 | By Rosemary Whisler | The reasons you need a separate employment liability insurance policy to cover the household staff | Many high net worth families underestimate such potential costs and misunderstand the affordability of protection. Consequently, they lack proper liability insurance and sufficient coverage. But the reality is that wealth attracts lawsuits. And aside from the financial impact, these individuals risk the stress of protracted legal proceedings and damage to their reputations.

Mortgage Matters | The Fed Feels the Heat

April 23, 2015 | By Melissa Cohn | Pressure is mounting to raise interest rates. When and by how much? | Right now the markets are predicting a rate hike no earlier than September, but the Fed could move more quickly if we start to see strong data in the next couple of months. The good news as it relates to the real estate market is that prices remain firm and are moving higher and there is strength in the reported number of sales.

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Is It Cash or Is It Credit? The Real Deal

February 23, 2015 | By Barbara Albom, Esq. & Nicholas J. Ferrar, Esq. | Having faith in the “All Cash” buyer and getting the deal closed according to plan | In the face of a recovering real estate market, a recent trend gaining steam is that of homebuyers making “all cash” offers. Sellers are often all too eager to jump at these offers, even when higher bids are on the table, relying instead on the purchaser’s assurances of a quick closing – typically thirty days in this scenario. While these buyers usually do have sufficient assets to purchase the property with cash – and do, in many cases, initially intend to close with all-cash in the agreed-to time frame – the reality is…

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Smart Insurance | Renting your home is an insurance red flag!

February 23, 2015 | By Timothy L. Brenneman, CIC | Renting your home for any reason is an insurance “red flag” that should trigger a detailed consultation with your insurance broker or provider. The reason: the exclusions and limitations for renting your home throughout a typical homeowner insurance contract. In a worst-case scenario, renting your home could actually void your protection. This isn’t to say that you can’t acquire the protection needed; rather, the standard homeowner policy may not be the right vessel.