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Does Your Insurance Cover Identity Theft?
They're not you, but they're using your credit card. They've also dipped into your bank account.

Identity theft can be a devastating experience. Victims may spend months or even years sorting through the disaster left in the wake of an identity thief. Educating yourself about this crime and how to protect yourself will help you avoid its damaging effects.

First, understand how identity thieves typically get their hands on someone else's secure information. The most common methods include stealing physical documents (wallet, checkbook, credit card, bills or statements), stealing hardware (thumb drives, laptops, tablets), obtaining information via phone calls (scammers posing as legitimate professionals), and obtaining information online (email scams, hacking).

Take steps to protect your personal information from each of these methods. Keep all documents secure and never give out personal information to unverified sources. Appropriate security software can also help prevent online breaches.

Even with the proper precautions in place, you may suffer from a determined identity thief. In this case, it is important to have proper coverage. Many credit cards provide some liability relief, and homeowner's or renter's policies often include some limited protection for loss of cash or credit cards. However, this is not sufficient coverage if your identity is stolen.

To protect yourself from the financial loss, reputational consequences, and credit issues that can result from identity theft, look to insurance products that cover these costs. Policies vary, and can cover everything from minor assistance to major restoration services. Your coverage can provide a consumer fraud specialist or case manager, replacement of government-issued identifications, reimbursement of attorney's fees, assistance with credit restoration, and assistance with hearings and charges related to fraud.

Extending beyond basic coverage, these restoration services can be life-changing. Consult with your insurance provider to learn what options are available for you.

Climbing the Branches of the Family Tree
Curious about your ancestry? Sorting out your family tree can require some tricky digging. Fortunately, resources are available to help you trace your roots. There are many online genealogy sites, although many of them charge for their services. Still, it is entirely possible to build a family tree by investing nothing more than time. Family tree software and online chat rooms can help you get started. The website My Heritage offers a family tree template at

There are many online genealogy sites, although many of them charge for their services. Still, it is entirely possible to build a family tree by investing nothing more than time - and help is close at hand. Family tree software and online chat rooms can help you get started. Google offers a family tree template at You can click on YouTube for easy how-to explanations.

Once you've decided to dig into your roots, begin with what you know - your family. Ask questions to discover names, spellings, and birth places. Go through family albums. Visit graves and scour religious records. If a relative has done any research, use this as a starting point. Trace your ancestry lines as far back as you can, adding relevant details such as birthdays, marriages, and death dates. Here are a few tips as you work your way up the family tree.

Begin with a direct route, starting with yourself; then add your parents and grandparents, and add branches from there. A simple web search may help with details.

Search the census records. Since names and their spellings may have changed along the way, be diligent. Find your most recent ancestors on each census, and then work your way into the past.

Use documents and physical records such as naturalization papers and marriage and birth certificates. And remember, if you get stuck, you can always try a genealogy service.

Is Good Health Part of Your Genetic Makeup?
The growing cultural interest in unearthing family histories could be good for your health. Your family's medical history can help reveal what diseases you may be at risk for developing and help you plan a good lifestyle to prevent them.

Ailments including asthma, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes and cancer can run in families. To determine whether these might be in your genes, research your family's medical history. Read death certificates and medical records, if available. Pay attention to the ages of death and the causes of death. Notice whether more than one close family member has the same disease and whether family members develop diseases at a younger-than-usual age. Some combinations of diseases in the same family can also be dangerous: heart disease and diabetes, or breast and ovarian cancer.

Genes can also impact your mental health. Bipolar disease can run in families. Researchers are investigating whether depression can also be hereditary. If a close family member has or had Alzheimer's, your risk increases. Research into the genetic links of dementia and Alzheimer's is fairly new, but it's important information to know.

Genetics can be a factor in non-life-threatening diseases as well. Glaucoma, for example, can run in families. If you have a family history of glaucoma, make sure you get your eyes tested regularly, including for glaucoma.

Your family history can help you determine what genetic tests you want to pursue and can help guide a strategic healthy lifestyle. You can't change your genes, but you can control your diet and exercise.

Attention Vacationers! Info about Insuring Second Homes
You enjoy the freedom a second home offers. You can escape cold weather or plan an easy getaway for a day, a week, or an extended stay. But owning two properties comes with additional responsibilities. One of the list-toppers is insurance. Maintaining proper coverage for both properties is essential. Here's how it's done.

First and foremost, consult with your insurance provider. They can recommend the best policies for appropriate coverage. For example, your homeowner's policy may extend some coverage for a vacation rental property, but it's likely insufficient for full coverage of a second home.

In most cases, it's best to establish a separate policy for your second home. In doing so, you can set up the coverage to make it appropriate for each property. For example, the second home may face hazards that the first does not, such as flooding or tropical storms. Additionally, a vacation home may experience long periods with no occupants. This makes it more susceptible to burglaries and unchecked leaks.

If your second home will be used as a guesthouse or rental, this also affects the type of coverage you should maintain. In this case, you might be liable for injuries to tenants or damages they cause. A landlord policy would likely be the appropriate coverage for this situation, rather than a second homeowner's policy.

To offset costs for multiple policies, you may be able to add a security system or other safety features. Your insurer can further advise you on how to reduce your premium for each property.
Are You Making a Mistake with Your Homeowners Insurance?
Buying a home is the biggest investment you'll ever make. With that kind of commitment, you owe it to yourself to protect it. Before you make a decision on which policy to buy, it pays to be informed. Get up to speed by requesting my free guide, "What You Need to Know Before Buying Homeowners Insurance."
Just reply to this email and I'll send it right out to you.

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Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad
Perfect for busy back-to-school days. It's easy to throw together, and it keeps well, so it can be made in advance for a quick dinner.
Serves 4
1 large head broccoli, raw
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon (optional)
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups halved green grapes
1 bunch of spring onions, green and white parts sliced
1 cup raisins
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup yogurt
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
Break raw broccoli into florets and place in a large bowl. Add almonds, bacon, celery, grapes, spring onion, and raisins.

For the dressing, combine remaining ingredients and pour over broccoli mixture. Toss, and serve at room temperature.

Add rotisserie chicken, cubed ham, or canned garbanzo beans for a delicious twist!
This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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