SHARP HOME

Friday, 28 June 2013

Grilling safety

It's pretty hard to fathom a summer long weekend—especially the Canada Day long weekend—without the accompaniments of grilled hot dogs and burgers. Nothing quite says warm-weather festivity like the smell of barbecued food. If you're planning on firing up the grill in commemoration of our great nation's natal feast, be sure to observe the safety tips provided below in order to keep your celebration safe and fun.

Only use your gas or charcoal grill outdoors. Unless you have a grill that specifies it is for indoor use (such as a small electric grill) this is an appliance that should only be used outdoors. Certainly, we understand the temptation to violate this safety rule: when you're planning a cookout for many people, and the weather does not cooperate, you may think that moving your outdoor grill indoors would be one way to thwart torrential rain. This is highly dangerous though. Plan on a backup method of cooking your food instead, like roasting in the oven, pan-frying, or using indoor grills.

Read your manual. This sounds so mundane to the enthusiast who just wants to light up the grill and feed masses, but the importance of this step really cannot be emphasized enough. There may be aspects of operating a grill that seem intuitive to you, but there are safety features specific to each particular grill that you have no way of knowing about unless you read the manual. Consult with it at least once at the start of every “grilling season” and also keep it handy while you work.

Keep your grill clean. Your barbecue doesn't need any extra help flaring up: the fuel that ignites it, and the grease from the food that it cooks are already highly flammable. For this reason, any added residue on your grill is just asking for trouble. Removing grease and ash regularly will help your food to cook more evenly, and more safely too.

Work in an open, spacious area. Operating your grill in an open area minimizes this risks of small items drifting towards the grill and catching fire, and of larger objects (or even people) accidentally hitting the grill. Above all though, being in an open area means there will be adequate ventilation, which is of paramount importance: as pleasant as is the aroma of food cooked outdoors, smoke poisoning is serious, and is to be avoided at all costs.


Be prepared for the possibility of fire. Of course, you want to do everything you can to minimize this risk, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't anticipate it anyway. In the event of a grill that catches fire, you should be ready to deal with it right away so that it does not spread. You should have a fire extinguisher handy, and be very familiar with its operation. You should also be aware of how to cut off the grill's fuel supply quickly and correctly. Working in a zone free of debris and clutter will reduce the risk of a fire that spreads. Also, you should never, ever leave the grill unattended (of course).

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Useful add-ons for your homeowners insurance policy


One of the most basic types of insurance you will buy in your lifetime is homeowners insurance. We have peace of mind in dealing with many of the calamities that may befall us in our homes. That said, we need to be careful not to assume a greater degree of coverage than we actually have. This would land us in the most unpleasant predicament of discovering we're on our own, when in fact we thought we had help. In order to be quite sure of the extent of your coverage, you should certainly speak with your insurance provider. In the meantime, Here are some guidelines as to some types of coverage that are not automatically included in your homeowners policy, which you might consider useful to purchase additional coverage for.

Natural disasters. Earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes are generally not included in basic home insurance policies. Neither are mudslides. The reason for this is that you simply may not need all of these types of coverage depending on where you live. However, you should learn which of these disasters your region is prone to, and be sure to get the coverage you need. While earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes rarely affect those of us living in Alberta, mudslides are definitely a pertinent condition in and around the mountains. If you have any doubts, do a little bit of research about the weather history of your area to learn which of these disasters may come about in your lifetime. A note about flooding: Flooding may be the result of natural causes (such as a hurricane) or it may be the result of a compromised building. In either case, flooding is not covered by your basic homeowners insurance policy. Unfortunately, at present, it is not possible in Canada to purchase flood insurance. This is something that definitely needs to change.

Identity theft. While basic home insurance can cover the hard costs of materials removed from your home, something like identity theft, whose costs are much trickier to calculate, is not covered by basic homeowners insurance. We recently discussed several ways that you can protect yourself against this kind of theft, including add-on coverage onto your homeowners insurance policy.

Luxury goods in your home. Jewelry, antiques, artwork, and firearms are tricky: on the one hand, they are covered under your basic home insurance policy, but on the other hand, the coverage may not reimburse you for nearly what these items are worth. Insuring them separately will help you ensure that they are replaced for their actual value to you.

Regular goods in your home. Now these items are definitely covered by your homeowners insurance policy. However, you might not get what you expect for them—especially that the reimbursement values usually take into account depreciation. This means that a computer you paid $2000 for a couple of years ago will be reimbursed for less than that. If there are certain items you want insured for a certain replacement value, talk to your insurance provider.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Preparing take-along emergency supplies

It can be difficult to anticipate emergencies and to plan for them in the midst of our already over-scheduled lives. It can be even harder, though, to be told we have mere hours to gather what we need to carry us through three days of being displaced when we are forced to evacuate our homes. At times like these, even the most basic emergency supply box, stocked with items that are ready to simply be picked up and packed along with us, can be a source of great relief. Here are some items to consider preparing well in advance, even before disaster seems imminent:

Water – because water supplies can become contaminated during disasters, it's important that you have an adequate supply of drinking water on hand. You should plan on one gallon for every member of your household each day. While a three day supply is the minimum you should have, more is really better in this case. Because it isn't a commodity that expires if it isn't used before a certain date, there's no such thing as “too much” when it comes to water.

Food – Food is critical because it may be days before you are able to leave your home to buy something to eat, and you can bet that even when you are able to do so, stores will be packed with people scrambling to find something for their unstocked homes; this often translates to empty shelves. Since you may be without power, you want to look for nonperishable foods that don't rely on a stove (if yours is electric...if it's gas, then you are at an advantage there) or a fridge. In addition to the usual canned beans and tuna that fill this category well, you can purchase freeze dried meals that only require the addition of water to reconstitute them. Again, plan for at least days, but more is better.

Medicine – if there are medications you take on a daily basis, be sure to have an adequate supply of them.

Fuel – have enough gas in your car. Additionally, it may be a wise idea to purchase emergency fuel, which can be used to light fires.

Warmth – adequate blankets and clothing are important. Good shoes, layers (tee shirts, sweaters), rain gear and other articles of outerwear should have you covered.

Health and hygiene – items like toilet paper, toothpaste, and anything else you use daily you'll want to have an adequate stock of. If there is a baby in your home, you'll want to ensure a good supply of formula, diapers, wipes, and baby food.

Technology – a hand crank or battery powdered radio,and flashlight, and cell phones are the basic items you'll need here. You'll also want to have a camera on hand in order to photograph damage to your property.


Reference items – be sure to have copies or images of your personal documents (birth certificates, passports, licenses, insurance policies, proof of address). Also, without internet access, you might be surprised at the information you'll miss. Make sure to have maps of your area, and contact information for family and friends, as well as emergency services.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Flash Flood Safety

We have been seeing more rain than usual in Alberta this spring, and some areas have even experienced flooding. While we tend to think of floods as major nuisances more than anything else, you may surprised to learn that floods actually claim more lives than any other type of weather disaster. So while the weather event paparazzi are busy swarming hurricanes and tornadoes, floods sneak stealthily by, wreaking havoc (relatively) quietly. Of course, the less expected a disaster is, the more severe its consequences, since these consequences cannot be offset by advanced planning. This is why flash floods, in particular, present some of the worst types of flooding there are. They come on suddenly with little warning, stripping you of your control as a driver, and the effects are devastating: four out of every five flood-related fatalities involves a car.

Knowing the signs of an imminent flash flood can help to minimize its impact on you. Red flags should be raised if you notice that rain has been coming down for an unusually long period at an atypically high volume. The start of spring can be a particularly dangerous time for flash flooding because in addition to whatever heavy rainfall there may be, there is also the melt of thawing snow and ice, so be extra wary of driving in the rain when the slush starts melting. While we tend not to be affected by tropical storms in Alberta, if you happen to be visiting the east, you should know that tropical storms produce exactly the kind of rains that cause flash flooding, so if there is a warning of rains that are related to a tropical storm coming up from the southeast, avoid driving then if you can. One other way to detect approaching flash floods is to pay attention to the water levels in streams and rivers. If you notice that they are rapidly increasing, try to get home as soon as you safely can. Lastly, while not all flash floods can be anticipated, some of them can, so frequent weather checks will help you to catch warnings for those. Be extra aware of the conditions around you at night, since rising water levels are much harder to detect then. There isn't a safe way to drive through flash floods, so when you hear of one, be wise, and stay off of the road.

Areas that are particularly susceptible to flash flooding include hilly locations, such as the foothills. The shape of the terrain allows for water to collect rapidly at lower altitudes. If you find yourself on the road when this starts to happen, never, ever attempted to drive through the flooded area. Water that's only a foot a high can wash away a vehicle weighing two thirds of a tonne. It doesn't take much water to cause a lot of trouble. Don't try to race the flood either: move as quickly as you can to higher ground...and if your car won't cooperate and it stalls, turn it off, get out, and move as quickly as you safely can to higher ground.


Hopefully with these tips, you'll be able to avoid falling prey to the dangers of flash flooding, and instead be able to enjoy eagerly anticipated lush crops from our farmers this year, in light of rain we've seen this season.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Travel safety during pregnancy

Traveling in and of itself, while a great convenience and even a luxury, definitely exposes us to risks that we are not exposed to when we are stationary. These risks obviously increase along with the duration of the journey. Proper health and safety during long distance traveling is even more precarious for expectant mothers, since pregnancy makes them more vulnerable in general. If you are expecting, this does not mean that you should halt any travel plans you may have altogether; it simply means that you need to exercise more caution with regard to your well being throughout the course of your journey. There are certain things to look for when traveling by plane or by car.

While there are no time limits to traveling by car, don't assume that it is safer than traveling by plane; this is actually not so. Chances of injury and circulatory problems are often worse when traveling by car. That said, it may not always be a choice; airlines generally do not allow women to fly with them when they are in their third trimester. At any rate, if you are planning to travel via plane, the best time to do so is in the second trimester. This is because the pregnancy should be well established by now (chances of miscarriage are greatly diminished at this point) and generally the mother's health tends to be best during this period—energy levels are high, the sickness associated with first trimester has passed, and the swelling and discomfort of third trimester has yet to come. That said, you should still watch for the following:

Germs – Your immunity, as an expectant mother, is quite weak. The physiological reason for this is that if it were working optimally, your immune system would actually see the baby as a foreign entity and try to fight it (and in women who have hyperactive immune systems generally, this can often be the case). So, with lower immunity, you are far more susceptible to germs. Both airports and the planes themselves are saturated with germs, particularly during the winter season. Frequent handwashing is the best way to keep these germs out. Additionally, avoiding directing contact between your skin and shared surfaces (like doorknobs) is good practice (you can achieve this by using a paper towel as a barrier between your hand and the door when you are exiting a restroom, for example).

Hydration – You may not realize it because you're often “just sitting there” but in pregnancy, your body is hard at work. If you are diligent about increasing water consumption during exercise, then it follows that you should do the same for this different sort of work too. Adequate water intake is especially important during pregnancy as it is the best way to fend off urinary tract infections, which expectant mothers are highly susceptible to. Anything that diminishes the chance of infection during pregnancy is your friend, since you don't want to resort to antibiotics unless it's absolutely necessary. (That said, there are antibiotics which are safe to take during pregnancy, so if you do require them, you should not hesitate to use them.)

Thrombosis – This is actually one of the worst risks associated with either type of travel during pregnancy, but it can actually be more of a risk with car travel—particularly if the expectant mother is one the driving. Circulation is not necessarily at its best in an expectant mother to begin with, and weight is being pushed on vessels that normally have free access. Add to this the long periods of physical inactivity associated with travel, and circulation is further inhibited. The antidote for this is to stand, stretch, and walk about frequently (making rest stops often if you are traveling by car).

Radiation – While increased radiation is not a factor in traveling by car, airport scans are a source of unwanted radiation for the expectant mother. To avoid this, you can let the security personnel know that you would prefer to opt out of the scan, and to be examined physically instead.


Monday, 17 June 2013

Child safety hazards in your kitchen

In many different regards, parenting is quite different from what it used to be. We live in age that demands more research, better products, and more entertaining toys for our children than was acceptable when we were being raised...and yet for all of the sophistication that modern toys can boast of, kids really just want to do what their parents are doing. Sure, giggling stuffed animals are fun to fiddle with for five minutes or so, but is there any comparison between that and real grown-up work? Give them wooden spoons over plastic rings—after all, “if you're using one, why can't I?” One of the prime adult work spaces that children want to co-occupy with their parents is the kitchen...and certainly, everyone has a favourite childhood story or memory set in this room. To keep those memories and stories happy ones, it's important to review safety hazards in the kitchen in order to protect your children from them. Here are the main hazards you should watch for:

Major appliances – Set rules around the distance your child is allowed to be from the oven and stove. When they are in the habit of respecting this distance, you are less likely to have an instance in which you forget to keep them away from it when it is hot from being in use. Also, when you yourself are cooking, use back burners before front burners in order to keep the maximum distance between little ones and your heat source. Dishwashers should be locked when you aren't loading them to prevent little hands from injury owing to sharp utensils and rolling dishwasher racks.

Small electrical appliances – Few things are as enticing to little hands as dangling power cords. Keep cords well out of reach (and out of sight too, if possible). If an appliance is not in use, and is not very large, keep it tucked away in a cupboard. For items that you do leave on the counter, be sure that they are pushed far enough back (corner counter space is ideal for this) so that they are not accessible to your child.

Cleaners – Kitchen cupboards—particularly those under the sink—are often a favourite place for storing cleaners like bleach and all purpose surface disinfectant sprays. However, this space tends to be easily accessed by young children, making it a poison hazard. Try to house toxic materials like these in a remote, infrequently accessed part of your home, locked away, well out of reach. If you must use kitchen storage for this purpose, be sure to use childproof locks on those cupboards. If the issue is simply a matter of wanting to have cleaners on hand in the kitchen, consider replacing your toxic stash with baking soda and vinegar. There are few messes that these old reliable (and non-toxic!) staples can't handle.


Sharp utensils – Most of us know that part of good knife maintenance involves storing knives in a knife block, to minimize the damage done to the blades as a result of hitting other utensils. However, with little ones around, sharp utensils, especially knives, should be in a locked away. If you have a cupboard that you can apply a childproof lock on that is large enough to accommodate your block, this would be ideal. Otherwise, carefully wrapping your knives before placing them in a locking drawer would do quite well also.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Five ways to void your home owner's insurance policy

Your home owner's insurance policy is a valuable investment, and is one source you can count on for peace of mind in the face of disaster. Given that this is something you are paying for, you want to be careful not render it null! That would defeat the purpose of making such an investment to begin with. Here are five mistakes you want to avoid in order to prevent your home owner's insurance policy from becoming void.

Renovations that haven't been approved. Communication is key when it comes to dealing with your insurance provider, so if you intend to carry out renovations on your home, be sure to notify them of this well before the fact. This will give them an opportunity to let you know which renovations would void your policy, and how other renovations might simply alter it.

Neglecting repairs. When money is tight, it seems that anything in the home improvement category can be pushed to the back burner until better days resurface, allowing us to tend to what needs tending. If this is the case for something like upgrading your windows, this isn't something for you to worry about. However, there are certain repairs which, if needed and not tended to, will void your policy. These include problems with plumbing and furnaces. If you are unsure about the urgency of a repair, it is worth asking your provider if putting it off will interfere with your policy.

Renting your home out. Turning your current residence into a rental property in and of itself is certainly not forbidden, but doing so without letting your insurance provider know will render your policy void. This is because you will need a different policy altogether for a property that you are renting out versus one that you are living in. People often erroneously assume that it is much more expensive to insure a rental property than a dwelling place, but this actually is not the case. In fact, the costs are often comparable, so don't let that stop you from getting the right type of policy for your home, risking the voiding of your policy altogether.

Material misrepresentation. Material misrepresentation is the term used to describe a case in which you incorrectly answered a question during your initial application for home owner's insurance, such that if your insurance provider had known what the real answer to that question was, they would either not issue you a policy at all, or would have issued it to you at a higher cost. It can be either deliberate or accidental. If it is determined to be accidental, your provider will usually just update the policy. However, this cannot always be determined, and if it seems deliberate, not only will you have a canceled policy, but you may have legal consequences to deal with as well.


Failing to pay. Nonpayment is one of the most common reasons that insurance policies are canceled. Often people make the mistake of assuming that they can simply re-instate their former plan simply by paying the amount that was outstanding, but this is not so. If your plan is canceled owing to nonpayment, you are actually going to need to re-apply for insurance all over again. The worst part is that you typically lose any discounts you held previously without much of a chance of getting them back, so be sure to make your payment on time.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Airbag safety

Many of us recall driving cars long before the advent of the airbag, and can remember how much of a breakthrough in car safety it was when they first started appearing. Technology was not to replace tradition, however, but to complement it: there was no getting around the necessity of seat belts. In fact, seat belts were still an absolute must because there were several instances in which a seat belt could offer protection when an air bag could not. For example, in collisions occurring at very low speeds, airbags would not be activated. Also, until recently, there were no side mounted airbags, so side sweeping also presented a situation in which the seat belt proved to be more useful than the air bag. Side-impact airbags are only just starting to appear on the car-safety scene now, but even so, they are most effective when used with seat belts, not instead of them.


Additionally, for all of the good that airbags do for us in the event of a collision, they can, in and of themselves, be safety hazards when not handled properly. At the dawn of the airbag era, it was quickly being discovered that the force with which airbags are deployed was strong enough to injure a passenger that was situated too closely to it. This means that you need to make consideration of the distance you leave between yourself and the source of your airbags in order to minimize the risk of injury associated with airbag inflation. The ideal distance to keep between yourself and your steerling wheel is roughly 25 cm. This may prove difficult for shorter drivers. If this is the case, you can adjust your position in several other ways. One way is to give yourself more height. Newer vehicles allow you to achieve this with 8-direction seat adjustability. If your car lacks this feature, not to worry: a cushion will certainly suffice. Another way to put distance between yourself and your airbag, without losing leg-to-pedal reach, would simply be to recline your seat. This will move your chest back, while keeping your legs where they are comfortable.

Airbag safety is quite different when it comes to children, however. In fact, there have actually been instances in which airbags have caused fatalities with young children who were not wearing seat belts. The best way to protect your child from this is simply to ensure that they occupy one of the back seats, and that they are in an age and weight appropriate car seat or booster seat. If there is no way around having the child sit in the passenger seat at the front of the car, then this seat should be moved back as far as it will go. This is less than ideal, however, and should never even be considered with infants and toddlers.


Airbags certainly contribute to the evolution of car safety. That said, they only work effectively when we use them properly. Take the time to learn your specific car's placement and operation of airbags, and to adjust every driver's and rider's seat accordingly.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Rust and your car

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure...this old adage most certainly holds true when it comes to rust and your car. Rust isn't just unsightly, it is actually harmful. Because the body of your vehicle is what shelters its inner workings and components, when the exterior becomes compromised, the “innards” are then threatened. A given car may be perfectly capable of lasting up to nearly 500,000 kilometers of use, and yet be forced into retirement far earlier than that simply owing to rust damage.

In order to prevent rust from finding a home on your vehicle, you should regularly maintain its body. Washing is important, since dirt compromises the body. When washing your vehicle, you should ensure that you don't just pay attention to the parts that are obvious, but also to the undersides and crevices, where salt is most likely to settle in and begin its nasty work of corrosion. Using small brushes will help you to access small, awkward spaces. Be sure to rinse off any cleaner that you use very well (and try to use a gentle one to begin with). After this has been done, be very diligent about drying...excess moisture is, after all, a key ingredient in the production of rust.

If you find that, despite your best efforts at rust prevention, a spot still manages to creep up on your car, the sooner you remove it, the less damage will occur. When removing rust, you should always ensure that you are wearing safety gear: gloves, mask, and protective eyewear are good basics for this. Protecting your car from the work you are about to do is a good idea as well: since you will be spot treating, you don't want the whole car exposed to the mess that may ensue. To prevent dust and debris from traveling to nearby nooks and crannies, seal them off. This will limit those particles' abilities to find new homes to damage elsewhere on your car. Additionally, you should seal off the entire underside of your car using tape and good, thick paper.

The technique you use for removing rust will depend upon how deep the damage actually runs. If it is quite close to the surface, then abrasive techniques will do. You could use sandpaper that you rub the area with manually, or you could use an electronic sander. Either way, you'll want to sand down until you see unpainted metal, ensuring that the entire portion of rust has been removed. Once this is done, clean away the dust and debris very well, apply primer, paint, and a top coat. If, after sanding down to the metal, you find that the rust has actually worked its way into the body of the car leaving pitting (but not actual holes), you'll need to scrape out the damaged portion with a wire brush. Once you have done this, sand the area to a smooth finish, and continue with the steps of cleaning, priming, painting, and finishing as before. If, after sanding down to the metal, you find that trust has made a hole in the body of the car, it's time to seek a professional's expertise. Unfortunately, this type of damage cannot be handled at home, and you'll need an expert to tell you whether it is reparable or not.


Long winters, like Albertan winters, can take their toll on vehicles if we aren't diligent about preventing rust and corrosion. The good news, however, is that the preventative measures we take for this are surprisingly simple: regular cleaning, and wiping of excess moisture. Regularity with these practices should limit the amount of rust you see on your car a great deal.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Be a good steward of the earth, get the most from your insurance

It's no secret that insurance providers favour those who are responsible, and that environmental awareness is one way of demonstrating responsibility. Here are five ways that you can become a better guardian of our planet and its resources.

Change your driving habits. This could be as big a change as making the switch over to a hybrid or electric car instead of the gas-dependent ride you were using before, or as simple as driving your car less frequently. The good news is that in the eyes of the insurance industry, no “green” measure is too small to go unnoticed when it comes to driving: both of these changes will reduce your auto insurance premiums.

Get a home that's Energy Star compliant. The Energy Star for New Homes program was recently implemented to help set guidelines for new homes to be built in such a way as to conserve much more energy than the majority of new build homes, which are only held to each province's minimum building codes. If you are looking to buy a new home, this is an option to consider. At the very least, you will find savings in your energy spendings. On top of that, though, if you have a very environmentally progressive insurance provider, you may be able to use this to get a lower rate on your home insurance premiums too.

Make your existing home Energy Star compliant. You don't have to buy a new home altogether in order to have a home that is recognized as being energy efficient. By upgrading your windows, installing energy efficient climate control, and upgrading your insulation, you are doing plenty to make your home green. This translates to lower energy bills for you, higher resale value, and lower environmental strain for your part.

Limit your use of resources in your home. Because this measure isn't as new and glamorous as some of the cutting edge upgrades you can implement in your home to reduce environmental impact, this step is often overlooked. Yet it is one of the oldest and most reliable methods of doing your part to conserve the planet's resources. Taking shorter showers, being careful with running water when doing dishes, reducing the amount of water your toilet uses in flushing, turning lights off in rooms and closets that are not in use, and unplugging appliances that don't need to be left plugged in are all simple and effective ways to improve your home's efficiency. Some insurance companies will review your utility consumption and give you a break in premiums for doing well in this regard, so it's win-win.


Learn of your provider's incentives to go green. Arranging a time to discuss with your insurance provider your desire to make eco-conscious choices should prove to be beneficial. At the very least, your broker will likely provide you with the option of writing a policy that covers energy efficient replacements for items covered in your home owner's and contents insurance policies. It's never too early to plan for a healthier future!

Monday, 3 June 2013

Getting married? Get insured!

Summer is approaching, which means peak season for weddings is just around the corner. If you'll be taking on nuptial vows this year, congratulations! It's an exciting time for your loved ones to gather and witness this momentous step, and an even more exciting time for you as you embark upon a new chapter of your life. As with any large—and joyous—undertaking, the last thing you want is to fall prey to disaster...so amidst the writing of vows, the selection of garb, and the planning of superb festivities, be sure to budget some time to consider the various mishaps that can be mitigated with good insurance coverage. You should consider:

Wedding liability insurance – This protects you from paying for damages to ceremony and reception sites. It also covers you from alcohol related instances (if, for example, a guest causes/incurs injury or damage as a result of intoxication) and protects you against being held liable for injuries or illness (especially food related) that may occur.

Event cancellation insurance – In the event that your wedding is canceled or postponed by the venue that you have booked, or by a key vendor failing you at the last minute, this type of coverage will protect the financial investment you have put into those things, saving you from financial loss. It also protects you against the financial loss associated with cancellation or postponement due to inclement weather.

Photographer's insurance – This is not something you should be paying for directly, but when you hire a photographer or videographer, it is worth verifying that they are insured so that if for any reason their equipment fails, or if they themselves fail to show, you have not lost any chance of saving memories of your big day. A photographer who is properly insured will be able to send you an equally skilled professional in their place should they—owing to extreme emergency—be prevented from making it to your wedding. They should also be able to arrange for a subsequent photo shoot of the bride and groom, all at no cost to you.

Traveler's insurance – Let's not forget the best part—the honeymoon! Talk to your insurance provider before booking your plans to discuss the various options you have for ensuring that flight cancellations, delays, travel agency bankruptcy, and personal illness don't ruin this voyage for you.

Home owner's insurance – If part of getting married involves the purchase of a new home together, be sure to make time to choose a good home owner's insurance policy together.

Auto insurance – Will you be driving each other's vehicles? If so, you will need to update your auto insurance policies to reflect this; it would be most beneficial to you to combine your policies into one, with one insurer.