Stuck

Upgrading your space while stuck at home? Get it insured

As many Americans face months on end stuck indoors, some are using their time (and money) to create a change of scenery or upgrade their surroundings. Office equipment purchases are on the rise, and people are tackling more renovation projects than usual.

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But expensive new stuff and significant home improvements can leave you underinsured. If you’re considering making changes to your home — or if you already have — it’s smart to revisit your homeowners or renters policy. Here’s how to ensure it covers the new additions.

TELL YOUR INSURER ABOUT YOUR PLANS

There’s a good chance you’re underinsured before you even make changes, according to Don Griffin, vice president of personal lines at American Property Casualty Insurance Association. Talk to your insurer before making any expensive purchases or changes to your home to inform the company of your plans and clarify your policy’s current coverages and limits. If your home costs more to replace after you’ve improved it, some insurers will pay the new expense to rebuild, but “that’s not every policy, and it may not cover everything you need,” Griffin says. He also recommends once a year reviewing what your home insurance policy covers.

In some cases, you may need to change carriers to get the coverage you need. Frank Jones, an independent agent and partner at Mints Insurance Agency in Millville, New Jersey, has seen clients switch insurers because an addition wasn’t covered. “It’s in your best interest to have these conversations now rather than to have a claim denied,” he says.

A new desk and computer for remote learning, plus that monitor and chair in your home office will add up and could exceed your personal property coverage limit.

Renters insurance policies cover your stuff, but they have limits too. If you have new

India’s Central Bank Is Stuck in a Halfway House

(Bloomberg Opinion) — India’s worst economic slump is no time for the government to sow doubts about the credibility of its institutions.

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On Monday, the Reserve Bank of India postponed its three-day, rate-setting meeting without giving a reason. It was probably canceled because the panel didn’t have enough people to convene; the six-person committee requires four officials to proceed. The terms of three members have expired, and requests that the government extend their tenure were met with the formation of a group to select new ones instead. (By law, they can’t be appointed to second terms.) 

No matter how you read this, the signals are discouraging. If it’s purely a scheduling snafu, then the timing is particularly poor. Gross domestic product dived 23.9% in the second quarter from a year earlier, easily the worst performance in Asia. India is crumbling beneath the toll of the coronavirus, with more than 6 million cases and is at risk of overtaking the U.S. for the unenviable mantle of most infections. The RBI postponement was announced after markets closed Monday; traders were already wrestling with record government borrowing. 

If this is yet another example of Prime Minister Narendra Modi undermining the RBI, which is on its third governor in four years, investors are left wondering whether India has become something of a halfway house. It has the form of a modern central bank but lacks the substance of a truly independent institution. Current chief Shaktikanta Das’s two immediate predecessors left after spats with the government. Das, who has held the job since 2018, hasn’t directly opposed New Delhi. Indeed, his first decision of any import was an unexpected rate cut in early 2019.

The RBI was forecast to keep its benchmark rate unchanged at 4% this week, reflecting the persistence of inflation