Empty Property Insurance – What you need to know

Unoccupied property is always going to be at greater risk of things like theft, vandalism and break-ins. The mere fact that it’s unoccupied will certainly attract thieves and vandals so it’s vital to protect any unoccupied property you have with a good insurance policy.

When is Unoccupied Property Insurance Needed?

Unoccupied property insurance is needed in more scenarios than you might imagine. Let’s look at the first group of people who take out unoccupied property insurance – homeowners.

Homeowners will take out unoccupied property insurance for a few different reasons. A very common reason is when the house will be left unoccupied due to going on a long holiday. Most home insurance policies will provide cover for up to 30 days but after that it’s necessary to get additional cover. Another common reason homeowners take out unoccupied property insurance is when having extensive renovations of extensions carried out.

The second group of people who get unoccupied property insurance are landlords. Landlords often have unoccupied property for a variety of reasons – whether it’s because the property is newly acquired, is being renovated or they just don’t have a tenant.

Biggest Risk Factors

When thinking about whether or not you need unoccupied property insurance, it’s useful to look at where the biggest risks come from. One of the biggest risks to unoccupied property is from thieves, vandals and squatters. When a property is left unoccupied for a long period of time then word gets around very quickly, especially if the property contains a lot of valuables.

Another risk factor that people often don’t consider is from structural damage. Let’s say for example a small fire breaks out, or a water pipe breaks. If there is someone living at the property then this might not be a big deal but when left unattended, small incidents can soon result in a lot of damage. This is why building insurance is always recommended for unoccupied properties.

Types of Cover Available

  • Building Insurance – Building insurance is always important with unoccupied property insurance. It will cover any structural damage that occurs to your property that can occur as a result of extreme weather, vandalism or flooding.
  • Contents Insurance – When you’re unable to remove valuable items from inside a property then contents insurance is always recommended.
  • Property Owner’s Liability – If a member of public were to become injured as a result of your property being unsafe then you could easily end up facing a hefty liability claim, so property owner’s liability is always recommended.

Ways to Save Money

  • Make Your Property Secure
  • Shop Around
  • Take out Short-Term Cover

Finding Quotes

Finding quotes is very simple when you do it in the right way. The recommended way to obtain quotes is online and specifically through using insurance comparison services. Insurance comparison sites are very common nowadays and for good reason. They enable you to obtain quotes in the easiest way possible. All you have to do is provide a bit of required information and then you’ll be given tailored quotes from different insurance providers to choose from.

How Do Online Singing Lessons Work?

About 20 years ago, you need to go to a local music school if you want a vocal coach to learn how to sing. Nowadays, you can do online singing lessons at places like TheSingersCorner.com. How do online singing lessons work? Do they really work? Of course, you need to try it out to know if online lesson works better for you than in-studio teaching. Here are some insights on how online singing lessons work.

Choose a vocal coach. Think about your goals and do some research on who you think would be the best coach to help you reach these goals. You need to find the right match for you. Some only teach a specific music genre, others only work with beginners. Browse through their website or clarify if they offer what you are specifically looking for by sending them an email. You also need to consider your budget. Paying a higher fee for a more experienced teacher may save you more in the long run if you only have to do a few lessons with them.

You need to have the technical requirements. In doing online singing lessons, you need to have a webcam, a microphone and an internet connection with reliable speed and bandwidth. You may encounter some problems in online lessons like delay in audio or the picture can freeze but if your bandwidth is sufficient, this will not cause much trouble.

Book your first lesson. Once you had chosen a teacher and have the equipments necessary, you can book your first lesson. Most online teachers will require an advance payment, which is normal as a protection for them. Who would want to work without being paid? Make sure you understand the terms and conditions to avoid problems later on.

Start your sessions at the appointed time. Most teachers will explain what to expect, discuss your goals and do a vocal assessment. As you go on with the lessons, you will get updates on how you are progressing. There are some difference with online lessons and in-studio tutorials like your teacher correcting your posture and delay in audio so singing while the teachers plays the piano may not result to the sound you are expecting. In general, your teacher will still be able to teach you the right posture and how to sing properly.

Online singing lessons may not work for everyone but why not try it first? You may get the same results as with face-to-face lessons without leaving the comfort of your home.

Wonks for Geeks?

In my more recent interactions with government I’ve been discovering a number of cases where policy people lament that they don’t have access to various “tools” that would let them explore things that matter to them. These range from data visualizers (“I wish I could explore my data better and make quick and dirty infographics”) to social media tools (“How do I track a twitter stream better”) and to “data search” tools (“How do I know whether the EPA facilities database tracks so and so?” “Does anybody have that data?”)

We here at RPI have been developing a number of demos using technologies that help us to do rapid demonstrations and some powerful tools (see the p.s. below) but we are looking for ideas that can really help policy folks. If you have anything you really wish you could see or do, let us know (comments to this post are a good way to start) – we’d love to figure out what we could do next that could really help policy-makers make better decisions.

 

Geeks Seeking Wonks: Law School Project Based Learning Class Seeks Wonk Projects

New York Law School’s Institute for Information Law and Policy runs a year-long, faculty supervised “tech law lab” course where tech-savvy law students work in teams of 4-8 students to design prototypes of law, technology, and/or policy projects with social impact.

For example, our students have:

  • Designed content and technology for the federal government’s first expert networking system: Peer to Patent.
  • Designed content and technology for a kiosk to aid litigants in landlord-tenant court.
  • Authored a white paper on next generation citizen consultation systems.
  • Developed a wiki to connect volunteer intellectual property lawyers to public school administrators wishing to acquire open source technology for student assessment.

The course begins in the fall and we are seeking interesting projects with a legal and policy dimension. “Clients” must be willing to have monthly conference calls with the student team to provide direction.

For more information, please contact Beth Noveck at beth dot noveck at nyls dot edu.

The Case for Metrics

First, congrats on putting together this great resource to bridge the unnecessary divide between geeks and wonks. I confess to being a bit of both so plan to blend into the background here quickly. I come to this having served as a evaluation/measurement lead volunteer for OpenTheGovernment.org when the US federal agencies released their initial Open Government Plans and then went on to champion new metrics for evauating implementation. Now I work in the “Health Department” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) sitting on the other side of the table from the grassroots open government community and startup with a differently-informed view of the many collaborations that OGD makes possible.

 So what is the case for metrics? Something I learned years ago when I headed an R&D team at Accenture “What gets meausred, gets done” – Once we get beyond good intentions and ideals, we must push to set the bar, to know what failure is and to create a propagand-free zone to exchange ideas. There are two forces that can destroy a good movement – Jeerleading and Cheerleading. We don’t need to fill the room with criticism or worse unwarranated praise. So this is where metrics come in. At the end of the day, the media indusrty has a lot to offer us to understand the lowest levels of impact. Five citizen reporting pot holes is perhaps not evidence of transformation of government and meaningful levels of citizen engagement. If not five, what is the number? Who is doing a good job in other domains reaching critical mass? These are areas for metrics that we should all have in mind when we birth these innovations.

Now to blend into the background…

Open Government and Public Sector Innovation Research

On his first day in office, President Obama issued the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, calling for changing the culture of government and creating more effective institutions characterized by unprecedented transparency, participation, and collaboration. Every major department and agency now has its own Open Government Plan with proposed innovations.

At the Open Government R&D Summit on March 21-22, 2011 at the National Archives of the United States, government officials and academics gathered to:

set the foundation for a robust R&D agenda that ensures the benefits of open government are widely realized, with emphasis on how open government can spur economic growth and improve the lives of everyday Americans.

The goal of the conference was to articulate how best to gauge the effects and effectiveness of open government and encourage the engagement of the research community with the government community — Geeks and Wonks — across various disciplines in identifying the most important questions that must be studied.

To make it easier to connect Geeks and Wonks for this purpose, we are inviting academics seeking projects for themselves or their students and public officials seeking help with assessing impact to “advertise” to one another. If you are a policymaker experimenting with open data, enhanced citizen participation, prizes and challenges, and public-private partnerships or you are a researcher who wants to study these phenomena, this is the place for you!

  • Post a project seeking data
  • Post a class/clinic seeking projects
  • Post a problem/challenge seeking research help

To list your project/problem, please email info@geeksforwonks.org to receive an account on this blog or to have your request posted. If you have a project in mind, try to be specific about the scope, any deadlines, skills and disciplines implicated, whether there will be faculty supervision, and  any other conditions of the project. Even if you don’t have a project, if you are simply open to hearing from academics/govvies who do, let people know your interests.

If you need assistance developing your request, email us.

We want as many authors and partners for this site as possible.

Great idea: Geeks for Wonks

Thanks to Beth Noveck for creating this site, and I’m pleased to try to be part of the Do Tank. A quick introduction – for years I’ve been working on how we bring data to the Web in machine-readable forms, esp the Semantic Web and its now-maturing linked-data technologies.

I discovered data.gov soon after it opened, and some students and I started playing around with it — we learned we could visualizations and “mashups” pretty easily. Within a few months we had about 50 demos built by students that showed different govt datasets in various ways.

As well as lots of demos, we’ve tried to take our academic mission very seriously – we want to help people learn how to do this stuff more easily.

For a good example of some undergraduate generated projects, the page at http://logd.tw.rpi.edu/projects_web_science_class_spring_2010 was created by RPI undergraduates in my “Web Science” class – none of these students had seen RDF or SPARQL before the project, and they had only one lecture on how to create these, mainly they built them copy and paste. (We did help them convert datasets that they found on open govt sites into linked data formats – we’re working on making that easier)

We welcome ideas for meaningful demos, we hope you’ll steal the ideas here and make really effective tools for enhancing government transparency, and we hope that we can help small communities to learn how they can use the data assets of government to help themselves.

Open Government and Public Sector Innovation Research

On his first day in office, President Obama issued the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, calling for changing the culture of government and creating more effective institutions characterized by unprecedented transparency, participation, and collaboration. Every major department and agency now has its own Open Government Plan with proposed innovations.

At the Open Government R&D Summit on March 21-22, 2011 at the National Archives of the United States, government officials and academics gathered to:

set the foundation for a robust R&D agenda that ensures the benefits of open government are widely realized, with emphasis on how open government can spur economic growth and improve the lives of everyday Americans.

The goal of the conference was to articulate how best to gauge the effects and effectiveness of open government and encourage the engagement of the research community with the government community — Geeks and Wonks — across various disciplines in identifying the most important questions that must be studied.

To make it easier to connect Geeks and Wonks for this purpose, we are inviting academics seeking projects for themselves or their students and public officials seeking help with assessing impact to “advertise” to one another. If you are a policymaker experimenting with open data, enhanced citizen participation, prizes and challenges, and public-private partnerships or you are a researcher who wants to study these phenomena, this is the place for you!

  • Post a project seeking data
  • Post a class/clinic seeking projects
  • Post a problem/challenge seeking research help

To list your project/problem, please email info@geeksforwonks.org to receive an account on this blog or to have your request posted. If you have a project in mind, try to be specific about the scope, any deadlines, skills and disciplines implicated, whether there will be faculty supervision, and  any other conditions of the project. Even if you don’t have a project, if you are simply open to hearing from academics/govvies who do, let people know your interests.

If you need assistance developing your request, email us.

We want as many authors and partners for this site as possible.

To get updates about new projects/problems without having to visit the site, click on the RSS link in the sidebar to sign up with the reader of your choice or sign up to get updates via email.

Beth Noveck and the Do Tank Team