Tuesday, December 4, 2012
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Super Storm Sandy: Insurance Claims
If just reading the title to this article gave you a headache, imagine how the people going through it feel. Dealing with contractors and insurance companies can be a nightmare in any situation, but especially if you are trying to rebuild after a storm. You may be without a place to live, without electricity, without plumbing, without a job, or any combination thereof. In addition, you may have to deal with two or three insurance companies. The whole process may seem insurmountable. Here are just a few things to consider if you find yourself in this situation.
Your first step should be to contact your insurance company to get the ball rolling on your claim. The sooner, the better. Your insurance company will tell you their procedures for submitting a claim and any documentation they may require. If you are dealing with more than one insurance company, just realize that each company may have different requirements.
Not only can procedures vary from insurance company to insurance company, but they can also vary from claim to claim within the same company based on the size and complexity of the claim. Sometimes insurers will ask you to submit pictures of the damage; some will send someone out to evaluate the damage in person. Sometimes the insurer will send you a check for the entire claim up front; others will send you only a portion up front and then hold on to the rest of the funds until the repairs have been completed. Certain insurers will send someone out to inspect the completed repairs before the final check is disbursed; sometimes not.
Another aspect to consider regarding insurance claims is whether or not you have a mortgage on your property. If you do, the check or checks you receive from your insurance company will be made payable to you and the mortgagee (the bank or mortgage company holding the lien). You will have to discuss the claim with the mortgagee. If you have more than one mortgage on your property, a mortgage and a home equity loan for instance, you will have to speak with both mortgagees.
Each mortgagee may also have different procedures for dealing with insurance claims. It is common for a mortgagee to request copies of your insurance claim paperwork, pictures, and copies of repair estimates. Be prepared to provide them if asked. The mortgagee may also send someone out to inspect the damage, either before or after the repairs are completed, or both. For large claims, it is common for a mortgagee to require you to deposit the insurance funds with them. They disburse funds to you as repairs are completed.
These are just a few of the common procedures used by insurance companies and banks/mortgage companies for insurance claims for an overview of what you may need to do. Look for Part 2 of this article in a future edition of The GCFlash to give you some tips on hiring a contractor.
The fashion world is making a bold, new statement. But you won't see runway models donning this gear in New York or Paris.
This garb might just save your life.
Wearable medical technology is expected to be a $6 billion market by 2016. There are already 14 million items to choose from, expected to climb to 171 million within four years.
Today, most wearable devices track or transmit healthcare and wellness metrics, like glucose and heart rate monitors. Sleep sensors and hand-worn terminals are on the horizon.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCCX) recently approved a Medical Body Area Network (MBAN) that aggregates results of each function being monitored and transmits them to a central location for evaluation. Initially to be used in hospitals, eventually you'll be able to use them from home.
Flutter combines textiles and robotics to enable the deaf to detect sounds in their environment. The garment vibrates in the direction of a loud sound or alarm to alert them to dangers they would not otherwise be able to detect.
Patients being treated or recovering from a chronic illness may soon be able to do it from the comfort of their own home. A new t-shirt embeds sensors to monitor designated parameters. The sensors are connected to a smartphone or PDA, and then relayed to the care provider.
The blind will see. It's not a Christmas miracle. It's a photovoltaic prosthesis implanted directly into the eye. The implant converts light into electrical currents that restore sight for those that may have never seen. An array of silicon photodiodes send signals to the brain to create the vision.
Not all technology holds such noble purpose. The long awaited Google Glass will finally be available after the first of the year. They come with a $1500 price tag and will be the next tech gadget to become all the rage.
A mini rectangle mounts over the lens of your eyeglasses or sunglasses. It's a computer monitor that displays your email, text messages, maps, calendar reminders, etc. right in front of your eyes.
Sounds distracting, but the device will actually put you more in touch with the real world rather than the virtual realm. Or so its creators say.
There are still kinks to be worked out. The miniature keyboard is hard to adjust to. But imagine being in a sales meeting when you realize you left a key file back at the office. With the Goggle, the file will be delivered instantly.
Or you're traveling to a new town and trying to find your way around. Load the map and direction bubbles will appear on the sidewalk in front of you.
Sony and Pebble Technology have both introduced a product for all of you who find pulling your smartphone out of your pocket too much trouble. Apple is rumored to be joining the market soon.
It's the smartwatch, a nano computer that connects as a companion screen to a smartphone. Sony's runs Android, Pebble Technology can connect to an Android or iPhone. Apple's, of course, will connect to an iDevice.
Not only can you learn the time, but you can check your email, read news alerts, and display caller ID.
A group at Duke's Pratt School of Engineering have boldly gone where no man has followed. Or if he did, he never saw it.
The invisibility cloak won't really allow you to remain unseen. It bends light around an object so that you see a reflection of what's behind it. But there's much work to be done before it's ready for mainstream use.
For now, it only works from one direction. And it only hides objects so small that they're nearly invisible to the naked eye anyway.
The technique only works in wavelengths longer than what the human eye can see, such as infrared, microwaves and radio. It holds promise for radar and has several potential military applications.
We may not yet be driving hovercraft or beaming our particles from one location to another, but we're seeing technology in our lifetime equal to anything conjured up in a sci-fi thriller. Can't wait to read the next chapter.....
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