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*Life Hack: A small, but useful piece of information

August 28, 2019

At Chartwell, in our continuous effort to be a resource we have put together our favorite Life Hacks. Some of these are our own and some are collected from various sources including  one of our favorite books: “Life Hacks”  by Kevin Bradford.

Chartwell’s Collected Life Hacks

Small Insurance claims will come back to haunt you. You may feel the hefty insurance premiums you pay should entitle you to file a claim whenever the damage exceeds your deductible.  However, you should first speak with your agent and discuss whether or not to file a claim if the amount is small enough that you can pay out of pocket. All claims made against personal lines insurance companies are recorded, the data is shared among insurers, and a significant aggregation of claims may penalize the policyholder with the current carrier and possible alternative carriers even if the claim is closed with $0 paid.

You can’t text and drive with a stick shift . Distracted driving – typically caused by cell phone use – will soon overtake drunk driving as the leading cause of road accidents. Consider buying a stick shift car for your student driver, or maybe for yourself.   Thanks to Jill Daniels for this suggestion: https://www.jilldanielslaw.com/

Accept  Multi-Factor Authentication [MFA] whenever it is offered  for your email servers  and other services that you employ which contain your sensitive personal data.  MFA offers another level of user authentication, usually through a text or a code to verify the user’s identity.

Use a password manager such as LastPass, 1Password, or Password Safe.  Read more from an earlier Chartwell Bulletin: “The Unfriendly Internet: Cyber Attacks and Your Defenses” https://www.chartwellins.com/unfriendly-internet-cyber-attacks-defenses/

Ask your lawyer to prepare a medical power of attorney for family members, especially for students over age 18. HIPPA legally prevents hospitals and doctors  from sharing health information to anyone without a medical power of attorney, including children over the age of 18. We wrote about this in our Chartwell Bulletin:” Sending students to college? Insurance and other important issues.” https://www.chartwellins.com/sending-students-college-insurance-important-issues/

Protect your exterior faucets during the winter months with a faucet cover. Exterior faucets used to connect the hose to homes and to decks in condominiums are vulnerable to freezing.  For our Southern readers be advised that your homes are at risk too.  There have been freezing temperatures recorded in every state!  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-weather-cold/all-50-u-s-states-feeling-freezing-temperatures-idUSKCN0J227820141118

Check Power Strips
Go through your home and check all the power strips. Overloaded power strips are a common cause of fires because too many devices plugged into one can cause them to overheat. People tend not to check whether they are overloading a circuit, because they assume the circuit will trip if overloaded, but according to an article in the Wall St. Journal “… if you are coming close to max amperage, you are risking damage.” Bringing High-end Homes back from the Brink  6/12/19 

  • Power strips should be listed by a nationally recognized testing Laboratory (NRTL) such as Underwriters Labs (UL) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA). Their  logos “UL” or “CSA” are found on the data plate.
  • DO NOT exceed the load (ampacity) rating of the power strip. Most 120-volt power strips are rated at a maximum cord and plug load of 12 amps. Most appliances and lab equipment list the wattage and voltage on the data plate. Use the following equation to determine current load (amps):

E – voltage =         P- power (watts) /   I – current (amps),

High wattage household equipment includes toasters and hair dryers. Remember to unplug these when not in use!

Replace the rubber hoses on your washing machine with metal braided hoses.  Metal braided hoses are about $10-$15 and are much less prone to bursting.  Now auto-shutoff houses are available too. Note that some of the hoses contain lead, so be sure to read the product label before purchasing.

Don’t home brew your Kombucha. Or beer.  Yes, the damage is probably covered by your insurance policy but is it really worth the trouble and potential danger?
Wall Street Journal May 9, 2019 Is your Kombucha Fermented Enough? (Or Is It About to Explode?)

Safeguarding Your Residence (from the Chicago Police Department)

  • Install deadbolt locks on all exterior doors.  All lockset strike plates should be installed with screws long enough to drive into the wall construction, not just the door frame.
  • Never allow strangers without proper identification into your home, preferably speak to them with a door chain in place. An unexpected, uninvited stranger knocking on your door typically means they want something from you.
  • Be wary about what you post on social media. Crooks scour these sites for possible targets.
  • Burglars like to look through open windows especially at night, so use shades, drapes or special glass to maintain your privacy.
  • Burglars hate bright lights, barking dogs and nosy neighbors.
  • When you will be out of town have someone remove all packages, newspapers and flyers.  If it snows ask them to make footsteps or car tracks. And give them a small token of appreciation when you return.

Our favorites from Kevin Bradford’s “Life Hacks” 
(Kevin Bradford’s website 1000lifehacks.com inspired his book published in 2014)

#1 For a faster charge, put your phone on airplane mode
#6 To reopen a browser you accidentally closed CTRL+SHFT+T
#15 Refresh the Hulu screen at the ad-break to watch only a 30 second ad.
#47 Press 1,2,3 to jump 10%, 20% 30% on a YouTube video.
#52 Lost or stolen digital camera?  Take some time to upload your digital photos to another device. If your camera is lost or stolen these uploaded photos have a unique serial number, and Stolencamerafinder https://www.stolencamerafinder.com/
will show you if someone has been posting images with the same serial number. (Unfortunately iPhones don’t store the serial number of the phone in their photos.)
#70  10MinuteMail  https://10minutemail.com/10MinuteMail/index.html
offers a free, temporary, anonymous email service if you need an email for validation and don’t want to be contacted again.
#107 Use the same wrong answers for account and identity questions for websites that don’t need to know your real information.
#211 A glass of cold water will wake you up faster than a cup of coffee.

It’s Not the Rubber tires on a car that protect you from lightning strikes 
Although you are safer inside a car than out in the open, it is not the rubber on a car that makes the vehicle safer — it’s actually the metal, often on the vehicle roof and in doors, according to the National Weather Service. When lightning strikes a vehicle, the electric charge typically goes through the metal frame into the ground. Don’t lean on car doors if waiting out severe weather.

Convertibles, motorcycles, bicycles, golf-carts, open-shelled outdoor recreational vehicles and cars with fiberglass shells generally offer little or no protection from lightning.

If you’re stranded outside when a storm moves in, the best thing is to keep moving and get to either a building or an enclosed car. It is usually not safe to take shelter under a solitary tree or small group of trees. In fact, being under a tree is the second leading cause of lightning casualties.
Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-cb-chicago-weather-thunderstorms-lightning-dangers-20190430-story.html
 April 30 2019

Life hacks that can save a life! 
Move a patient to the floor before performing CPR.  Home mattresses are generally too soft to provide much resistance.
New York Times July 3, 2019 Don’t Perform CPR on a Bed https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/03/opinion/phone-call.html

If you haven’t been trained to administer CPR register for a class contact your local Red Cross https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/cpr or at least watch this video from the American Heart Association https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpEvQuOWME0

Home alarm systems should include heat sensors in attached garages and attic spaces.  Relying only on smoke sensors in living areas may not allow enough time to alert the occupants so they can escape the home if fire breaks out in monitored areas.  This will also delay notification to the fire department where minutes count in preventing the spread to what will sometimes become a fatal fire. There is considerable appeal in IoT (Internet of things) alarm systems. These “DIY” alarm systems connect to the internet, are purchased either in a commercial store or online, and sold in packages with a
pre-determined number of components. Common brand names include SimpliSafe, Vivint, Nest, FrontPoint, Ring, and ADT LifeShield. These alarm systems at this time do not offer heat sensors among their components.  For this reason we caution the use of these systems if the residence being monitored has an attached garage, an attic, or a mechanical room where heat sensors are recommended for maximum life safety protection.

EXPO Chicago returns to Navy Pier from September 19-22
600 E Grand Avenue

Chartwell Insurance Emerging Collector Tours A top art advisor will offer a guided tour of select exhibitors at the exposition, especially designed for EXPO CHICAGO guests looking to start a collection with works in the $15,000 range.
Friday, September 20 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Tour departs from the Information Desk located inside the main entrance of EXPO CHICAGO
RSVP for the tour to lfigueroa@chartwellins.com by September 7. Space is limited and includes complimentary admission to the fair on September 20.

2019 Art Crime & Professionals Forum 
September 18 – 19  8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Location: University Club of Chicago (10.5 CLE), 76 E Monroe Street,
September 20  1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Navy Pier, Festival Hall (1.5 CLE), 600 E Grand Avenue,

Art Vérité LLC organizes the annual Art Crime and Professionals Forum in partnership with EXPO Chicago’s International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art.  Chartwell Insurance Services is proud to be a sponsor of this year’s Forum featuring presentations from the U.S. Department of Justice, FBI Art Crime Unit, law firms, museum professionals, international auction houses and gallerists, wealth management attorneys, and a forensic science specialist.

(Access to EXPO CHICAGO | September 19-22, including VIP Preview, Vernissage, and weekend admission complimentary with full program registration).

This CLE accredited program offers essential insight for art professionals, art law attorneys, institutions, collectors, wealth management strategists, artists, and heritage stakeholders through keynote presentations and interdisciplinary panel discussions from international experts on current issues in art law, ethics, and market practice. Learn more here :

As a guest of Chartwell Insurance Services, you will receive a $100 discount off the $575  admission to the 2 1/2 day event and a VIP EXPO pass. Click here for the link to the discounted registration 

NOTE: For attorneys who would like to receive CLE credits,  register here  on the regular site for General Admission  – $575  (and under “ARDC # (optional)” write “Guest of Chartwell CLE Request” on the line.

Professionals Forum Only (1.5 CLE Credit)  September 20  1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Navy Pier, Festival Hall, 600 E Grand Avenue.  Admission is $35 (complimentary to EXPO VIP holders).  Register here:

Chartwell Bulletins are produced by Chartwell Insurance Services an independent insurance broker specializing in the personal asset protection of successful individuals.

Chartwell Bulletins address issues of general interest and since coverages vary by company and by state should not be taken as an interpretation of a particular policy or advice on any individual situation. Chartwell Insurance Services, Inc. is not affiliated with Kevin Bradford or 1000lifehacks.com and is a sponsor of EXPO Chicago and the Art Crime & Professionals Forum but does not benefit financially from attendance to these events. 
A representative of Chartwell Insurance Services, Inc. will be pleased to discuss all aspects of your personal insurance.  Contact: Rebecca Korach Woan 312.645.1200    rwoan@chartwellins.com

Chartwell Bulletins are produced by Chartwell Insurance Services, Inc., an independent insurance broker specializing in the personal asset protection of successful individuals. Chartwell Bulletins address issues of general interest and since coverages vary by company and by state should not be taken as an interpretation of a particular policy or advice on any individual situation.

A representative of Chartwell Insurance Services will be pleased to discuss all aspects of your personal insurance.