Umbrella Insurance: The Safety Net You Need


Umbrella Insurance: The Safety Net You Need

by Amy Lignor


The realm of insurance is just about the most difficult maze to get through. Each and every day it seems the financial and insurance industries are changing. What is not changing, however, is the fact that lawsuits fill up the courts more and more – lawsuits that award cash to third parties even if you don’t happen to have that cash saved. More and more, the words “umbrella insurance” are coming up in both conversation and in advertising on TV. Before getting lost in another “maze,” it is best to look into exactly what umbrella insurance means and why you should consider it for yourself.

excess liability insurance policy, financial future, lawsuits, protection, coverage, peace of mind, assets, future income, risk

Umbrella insurance is a personal excess liability insurance policy; meaning that it protects you above and beyond the limits that already come on your homeowners insurance, car insurance and other personal insurance policies you already own. Umbrella insurance was specifically designed to give you added liability protection, and it is definitely an inexpensive way to protect your financial future or already established assets.


It is added insurance, which means to attain an umbrella policy you first need to have a primary policy in place. Your primary policy would first pay out on a claim before the umbrella coverage would go into effect. Take, for example, a home insurance policy that you own. If something occurs and you are liable (whether it be accident, roof damage, property damage, etc.), your primary policy will pay out. If and/or when the homeowner policy is exhausted or maxed out, the umbrella insurance would kick in, which means there is more protection for you and your family.


Umbrella insurance can help with a great many things, such as litigation arising from property damage or injury, as well as associated legal defense costs if you get sued for damages to other people’s property. People with established assets that they want to protect can lose significant amounts of money in a lawsuit, which means having the extra umbrella insurance gives them more peace of mind.


So…what if you do not fit that criteria? Umbrella insurance is still something to give careful consideration to even if you have no established assets. We live in a world that loves to bring lawsuits, and if you are just starting out, don’t think for one moment that a court won’t award benefits if you are held liable for damages. They really are uninterested how many assets you have; if you’re at fault, you will still be obligated to pay off the damages awarded – which means your future income is already at risk.


And you’re really not talking about a large added cost when it comes to purchasing a personal liability umbrella insurance policy. Depending on how much coverage you decide to purchase, it could cost as little as one hundred dollars annually for 1 million dollars of coverage, and would increase depending on how much coverage you have. It is literally the cheapest “million dollars” you could ever buy. And it is important to note that some companies can double or even triple the coverage you receive, yet the cost of the coverage does not double or triple. Getting quotes from various companies is a must.


When it comes to trying to establish how much coverage you should put in place, there are three very simple questions you need to ask yourself: What are the value of your assets? What is your potential loss of future income? What risks do you think you might face? Once you do this and research policies that are out there, it will be easier to find the policy that will work best for you.


Just remember, in order for the umbrella policy to start paying out coverages, a primary liability policy must be in place, and have maxed out on payments. With the more assets you have, the greater the requirements you have to protect yourself, so make sure that the policy you choose is the right one.


Lawsuits aren’t going away anytime soon. You will need a safety net now and in the future, and the “umbrella policy” is the best net possible.


Source:  Baret News



Transporting Elephants: Will It Be Worth It?


Transporting Elephants: Will It Be Worth It?

by Amy Lignor


There are things that conservationists and lovers of animals do in order to protect creatures that most definitely need protection. From the struggle of the wolves in Yellowstone to the White Rhino in Africa, there are humans out there in the world who wish to annihilate a breed without giving a second thought to what that actually means.


conservationists, animal lovers, African elephant, protection, Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, transporting elephantsWell, now…we have a new “attempt” that may seem backwards to some. In a location where poachers have been prevalent in the past and have actually wiped out entire species, conservationists are trying with all their might to save the African elephant by moving them back into this location where they almost perished at the hands of humans once before. Two national parks (Majete and Liwonde, to be exact) are struggling with an African elephant surplus. So, to solve this, 500 of the creatures are being transported from those parks to the once dreaded wildlife reserve.


There is a goal when it comes to moving these 500 creatures into the Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, and that goal is to repopulate the area with the once-threatened species. And, if this works, to repeat the process in other locations.


There is certainly a ban on the trade of ivory internationally. However, poachers go after the African elephants because of the demand made by mostly Asian countries, where they use the priceless ivory to carve jewelry and décor/ornaments that sell at high prices.


Photos and stories have been accumulating across the internet when it comes to this “move.” And these photos and stories, from afar, may seem absolutely horrific. The photos tend to make this “heroic” project seem far more dangerous and, quite frankly, mean to the creatures. More dangerous than simply just leaving them where they are.


It was just two weeks ago that a photo of an elephant being lifted by a crane in an upside down position cropped up. In Lilongwe, Malawi, the photo was taken and the AP reported that the elephants will be moved this month and next (and again next year) when “vehicles can maneuver on the rugged terrain during Southern Africa’s dry winter.”


Keep in mind these animals weigh between 5,000 to 14,000 pounds, so the photos look even worse, even though moving them is not an easy feat. The process was this: An elephant is shot with a dart from a helicopter. A veterinarian is in the helicopter and the darts being shot are filled with a sedative in order to more easily gather the animals together for the move. More photos show numerous immobilized elephants lying on a riverside plain as a vet fits them with tracking collars…then the crane lifts the creature, hanging upside down, onto a truck.


According to the conservationists, the elephants are given another injection once they are in crates that bring them back to life, so to speak, where they are then herded into a transport container. This is how they must do it for the elephants to take the 185 mile journey to the reserve. All anyone can hope is, after going through all of this, that once at the reserve the elephants will not be taken out by poachers yet again.


You be the judge, of course. Yes, it seems definitely nerve-wracking for the animal in the wild, but the process (according to the “saviors” of these creatures) has been refined, and is the easiest way to keep the animals safe as they move them. Not to mention, give them the ability to keep the elephant families together.

Source:  Baret News

Checks & Balances are Necessary for the Healthy Habitat

Checks & Balances are Necessary for the Healthy Habitat

~ Samantha Lewis

The one thing that animal rights’ activists, environmental workers, scientists, and even government agencies seem to be able to agree on is that the world is a place of checks and balances. In order for a country to remain level and not slide too much to either side that ends up hurting the planet, people must work together and be educated. If a habitat has too much of this, but needs that, the check and balance system comes into play. However, there are certain issues around the globe that still cannot be solved with the check and balance system, because the taking of species is either a conclusion someone has come to that is not working, or an illegal job where animals and habitats are the poorer for it.


Diceros_bicornisExamples of this are easy: The Black Rhino. The habitat needs this species, and this species is dwindling because of illegal activity. They are hunted for their horns and horns alone, and then their carcass is just left. There is no reason for this killing except to line pockets, which means this is a failing of the check and
balance (and legal) system. Wolves. Where there was once none, there are now a great deal. But instead of initiating the ‘move’ to other states that need them, the way to take care of them is simply to shoot – destroying the ecosystem. Sharks, dolphins…hunted, caught in nets, having the fin ripped off the shark for the creature to die just to make soup even though the creature is now disappearing from the seas and causing the oceanic habitats to die out as well. This is, yet again, where checks and balances are not being watched.


But there is yet another in the headlines. Wild horses. Some come out and claim that the species are killing habitats. (No offense, everyone, but before we got here the animals and the habitats thrived, so perhaps we should be looking at our own tastes and non-environmentally friendly choices before turning to the animals). In other cases, there are actual arguments being made that people are too close to their horses. That’s why they cannot be killed, or thrown into the old glue factory, or sent to France as a dining choice…because humans have too much nerve to like them. Make up your mind.


Here is what the truth is. These are facts that can most definitely be checked with any (real) organization. In North America, wild horses are necessary because they complement the ecosystem. Because of their lives, everything from soil building to plant seeding to reduction of dry vegetation to the prevention of catastrophic fires, has been helped by these particular animals.


Perhaps there are arguments that the horses are ‘liked’ more than other animals, such as cows, that can just be killed because people want hamburgers, Nokota_Horses_croppedbecause the law on wild horses is more a ‘beauty’ law than anything else. It was in 1971, that the U.S. Congress recognized wild horses as: “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West, which continue to contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people.” Fast forward to the world of 2014, and these horses, these wild mustangs, are actually far more necessary than a symbol…they DO contribute greatly to the diversity of life forms. In other words, without them, you are taking out the balance that will bring about, yet again, environmental disuse and disrepair.


Before getting all angry, the balance works both ways. If the wild horse population exceeds the capability of the habitat then the environment will no longer thrive either. However, the Bureau of Land Management conducts the removal of wild horses from public lands to keep the balance after years of monitoring the habitat growth and the expanse or decrease of the herd. It is unnecessary to just go out and shoot – even though that is the mindset of many.


This is the work that should be understood:


“Poor rangeland health can accelerate a decrease in the health of the animals. Therefore, the BLM annually monitors the condition of the animals and their habitat. The BLM will also periodically count wild horses and burros. Resource specialists from other disciplines also monitor the rangelands. The BLM assesses the monitoring and census data and determines if and how many animals must be removed from the range. When the BLM determines that there are too many wild horses or burros, a “gather plan” and environmental analysis is made.”


Short and sweet and to the point. There are already people in charge of making sure the checks and balances work, and when people take matters into their own hands they are actually risking their own property that they work hard to achieve. Animal adoptions also exist. Animal movement to other states, exists. If you remember, that is how the wolves set up shop in Yellowstone, because they were moved there to HELP the environment. When a pack or a herd or any gathering of a particular animal grows too expansive, they are moved, not killed.


Yes, protection is a must. Protection for you and your family. But that is not the majority of kills that are happening when it comes to various animal species. And that should be remembered.


Source: Baret News Wire

Preserving the Reserves

Preserving the Reserves

 ~ Amy Lignor

When it comes to the outdoor enthusiast, environmentalist, or simply the lover of the Great Outdoors – the natural reserves across the globe are a much-needed part of life as we know it.


Spoonbill Rosette-Habitat-Roadtrekin.comPhotographing the beauty of nature; riding bikes, running, walking, canoeing – you name it, the world is one big landscape that offers millions a way to rest, relax and rejuvenate. But as the world grows and the human population overtakes nature, preserving habitats and creating natural reserves becomes a far bigger problem to solve.


These protected areas are extremely important, seeing as that all types of wildlife, flora, fauna, and some truly amazing geological formations have to be kept alive. The nature reserves located in the U.S. come from various sources, with the government basically setting up protection by opening National Parks or designating certain acreage as private so that nothing can be harmed and the habitats can remain healthy.


In addition to the government, there are private landowners, charities and research centers that create natural reserves in order to make sure that this land and the creatures in it are not erased by the growth of suburbia or the ever-increasing energy and industrial issues.


Believe it or not, creating a natural reserve is not a modern idea. In fact, it was all the way back in the 3rd century BC that the first area was reserved for animals by King Devanampiya Tissa of Sri Lanka. Although conservation was not the issue then. It was because of cultural beliefs, as well as religious convictions, that had countries put aside lands and protect their animals and vegetation. These beliefs, as our world grew, seemed to fall off the radar when more homes were needed in order to take care of the human population.


In this new era, it was not America but Germany that claimed the credit for creating the very first natural reserve in our time. The land was actuallyGreat Blue bought in 1836 to protect it from quarrying – which was beginning to rip the area apart. Although the U.S. was not the first, it was the first when it came to creating a major natural reserve. It was Yellowstone National Park that took the title as being the largest and most stunning protected property in the world. Protected by the Federal government, Yellowstone – although having issues with hunting over time – is still the largest protector of animals, vegetation and geologic formations this world has ever seen.


When it comes to the global scene, there are many countries that have made sure to protect lands in order to save the habitats for the next generation to enjoy. Australia is one country that actually has a National Reserve System that comprises Commonwealth, state and territory-controlled reserves. But they do not stop there; there are also Indigenous lands and a slew of other protected areas that are overseen and managed by not-for-profit organizations.


Egypt boasts 29 nature reserves, with the largest being Gebel Elba (13,700 miles). Denmark is on board with three national parks and several nature reserves; Germany has over five thousand; and the list goes on and on.


It is, or should be, a source of pride to know that no matter what the issues, battles, wars, etc., there are between countries out there – we all seem to be on the same side when it comes to protecting and preserving what little is left of the habitats and stunning animal kingdoms we need.


And the work does not stop when the land comes to an end; marine life reserves are also being opened and ‘declared’ by governments as protected areas all across the globe. Although there are still species that are endangered, people are working together to try and stop any animal, bird, fish, or plant from being taken away from the stunning, unique landscape that is Planet Earth.


Until Next Time, Everybody,




The Core of the ‘Village’ is Mom

The Core of the ‘Village’ is Mom

 ~ Carmen Schwartz

Whenever we speak about animals, the environment, helping kids, doing things better in order to make the next generation not only proud, but also have the ability to live in a good, clean world with good, clean air – there is an important person in the equation that we just celebrated yesterday.

Super-MomDad is a major part of the village, as is the child. The seniors, the grandparents, the people moving into the later years of their lives, are also a huge factor in having a brilliant world because they have the knowledge to educate the rest of us on what to do right, and what mistakes to avoid. And then…there is Mom.

Mom was made, in fact, to take care of the village that then takes care of the world. Mom is the person you head to in order to cry, talk, laugh, vent…she is the person you run to for a hug. And when it comes to the natural world, Mom is also that hands-on person who will do anything for their child.

With Mother’s Day over for 2014, it is important to remember as we move forward that Mom is not celebrated in a single day – nor are the rest of the family members. The family unit is always important – whether that unit is comprised of a Mom and Dad; a single parent; adoptive parents; Uncles, Aunts – you name it, no matter what your family dynamic may be, the unit is what cares for one and all. And without these families who truly care, the environment would be far worse than it is today.

No, no yelling about this. Mistakes were made in the past with everything from technology to war to building cities and increasing the business and industry around the globe. BUT, the people – the strength and courage behind all of these ideas (whether good or bad), still work together to this day in order to make corrections, revitalize the nation, and attempt to throw out the ‘bad’ ways to usher in the ‘good’.

Education is a big deal when it comes to being ‘green’. With each new day comes new advice, new information, new energy sources, and new ways to bring back everything from forests to parks. And part of this, a major part that most people will agree is the backbone to all this continuing education and building a world that the next generation can enjoy – is the Mom.

So…just because the celebration day passed, let us remember that the woman who stands behind you for support, beside you for strength and friendship, and in front of you at times for absolute protection from the dangers out there, deserves far more than a pat on the back.

And…this does not only go for humans. Celebrating the true loving Mom’s in the animal kingdom is just as important. Without these Mom’s, the species we love to look at and learn from would dwindle to nothing. There are many different species that have been given a ‘shout out’ this Mother’s Day, but here are just a couple that will perhaps remind you of the strength and wisdom your own human Mom brings to your life.

One of the most beautiful, and most frightening Mom, is the polar bear. Coca-Cola made them the cutest and sweetest and cuddliest, but make no mistake – this is one species that will make sure their children are safe at all times. What most people may not know is that the polar bear actually changes their entire lifestyle when they become a mom. The freedom of the roam is erased and the polar bear’s dedication is amazing. A lot like us human Mom’s, they experience that huge weight gain and spend their 9 months preparing for the birth. Unlike us, however, (unless you went on a hugely wrong diet after your child was born), do not eat for four to eight months after birth. Brining the children into the world in an isolated den all alone, the polar bear waits for springtime and then leads her cubs into the great, wide world – protecting them all the way.

From orangutan’s to the Emperor penguin that will actually trek 50 miles for their babies in order to catch food and bring it back to them, the awesome Mom exists in both human and animal kingdoms.

…And the best part is, they truly work in order to make their kingdom better and cleaner! Support the village, people – and support the mom who will do anything they can to erase the mistakes of the past and create a better future.


Thanks Mom!