Homeowners insurance covers damage caused by fallen trees, said Loretta Worters, spokeswoman for the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group in New York.
Policies should cover damage to the structure as well as removal of the tree. However, if the tree does not do any damage, the insurance policy will not pay for removal.
Also, repair of a car is covered if you have comprehensive insurance on the vehicle. Many people with older model cars do not carry this coverage, she said.
But storm damage to trees, plants and shrubs is not covered.
To find out exactly what coverage your company offers, read the “declarations” section of the policy.
Once your property is damaged, report it to your insurance representative. Don’t make extensive permanent repairs until after an insurance claims adjuster assesses the damage to ensure your reimbursement.
Another hint: Make a list of all the damage and take photographs.
Motorola top club stock
Motorola Inc. is the most popular stock among U.S. investment clubs, according to the Madison Heights, Mich.-based National Association of Investors Corp., a nonprofit organization of such clubs.
Motorola unseated McDonald’s Corp., which had held the top spot for the past six years.
After Motorola, the most popular stocks were PepsiCo Inc.; Merck & Co. Inc.; McDonald’s; Intel Corp.; AFLAC, Inc.; The Coca-Cola Co.; Lucent Technologies; RPM Inc.; and AT&T; Corp.
More than 4,600 investment clubs participated in the 14th annual survey.
A complete ranking of the 100 most popular stocks is available in the April issue of Better Investing magazine.
Savin’ Dave riffs on thrift
April has been designated as National Saving Month by Merrill Lynch, which is offering a free comic book on saving called “The Adventures of Savin’ Dave and the Compounders.”
The company is also sponsoring a national contest where children of all ages are invited to illustrate the importance of saving through the creation of a poster, video or essay. More than $45,000 in U.S. Saving Bonds and cash prizes will be awarded to winners.
For a copy of the comic book or to get an entry form for the contest, call (800) 637-7455, ext. 2271, or check the Web site’s Family Saving Center at www.ml.com/.
Elderly parents sap college saving
For the first time ever, many Americans are scaling back financial help for college-aged and adult children in order to support aging parents, according to the 1997 Phoenix Fiscal Fitness Survey.
About 40 percent of the respondents whose parents are still living are either currently providing them with support, or expect to do so in the future, the survey found.
That’s twice the 1994 figure of 22 percent.
More results of the survey of 1,000 people aged 30 to 59 are available from the Phoenix Web site at www.phl.com/.
Avoid markets that mirror U.S.
Diversifying into foreign stocks can sharply reduce the risk in your portfolio, but make sure you buy stocks from the right countries - whose markets don’t rise and fall in tandem with our own.
World Money Analyst (1-800-556-2022), found that markets in Canada, Sweden and Britain were closely linked to U.S. markets - thus, not very good for diversification.
Japan was the market least correlated, followed by Italy.
Among the larger emerging markets, the least correlated (so, most attractive) were India, Taiwan, South Korea, Chile and Brazil.
Stock picks from these countries? WMA recommends Canon Dai Nippon Printing and Sony (Japan), Andina and Soquimich (Chile) and Telebras (Brazil).
Another good bet: closed-end single-country funds.
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