The Home Improvement Crime Prevention Guidelines

Everybody loves home improvements – a loft conversion here, a conservatory there and, most importantly, jealous neighbours. But while this is all well and good, there are potential pitfalls involved in the decision to move ahead with home improvements. Go about it the wrong way and your home could be left less secure. Here we provide a guide for those wanting to safely renovate their homestead.


The lock is a symbol of safety and security. However, if you are making home improvements you may well need to rethink how many locks you have around your house. Windows on the ground floor are often more secure than those on the second or third level, for obvious reasons, but home improvements can change things. The last thing you want is for your new porch or roof to provide a stepping stone for a local thief. If renovations do compromise the higher levels of your home then locks should be applied to these windows too.


Doors are the main entry point for burglars, and if the improvements you are making to your home include the installation of new doors, it is vital to ensure that they are adequately secure. Door sets that comply with British Standard (BS) PAS 24-1 represent the most effective way to guarantee quality. After all, fitting a high quality lock is useless if the door frame that surrounds it is weak. One strong barge and down it comes. When thinking about new doors for your property it is also essential to consider whether there is a window. Should you choose a composite door, which often lack glass panes, it is a good idea to request that a spy hole be fitted as the door is constructed.


Gardens can contain many elements that help burglars in their attempts to access your home. Taking a few precautions can reduce this risk significantly. For example, garden sheds close to the house should be avoided, and in many cases an unlocked shed will provide all the tools a burglar requires to break in, while any newly constructed garden fences should be at least 2m in height. Extra safety measures include trellising on top of the fences so as to make them harder to climb.

Renovating your home is a joyful time and should not be ruined by small little details. In addition to the precautions above, a visit to your local police station for some advice can never hurt. Enjoy your refreshed home.

Factors That Affect Your Health Insurance Premium

Health insurances are generally designed to protect a person’s health by providing financial assistance for the expenses incurred during medical treatment ranging from routine checkups to more critical surgeries or stays at hospital. People buy the insurance to reduce their risk of having to pay higher fees from their pockets for this care, but in return health insurance companies also gauge their risk of covering a person.

In order to calculate this risk of covering a person, insurance companies look at stored data to create risk profiles to decide whether or not they will provide coverage and at what cost. If the insurance company provides coverage, there are some obvious factors that companies bring into consideration in deciding the premium costs that generally include physical, medical, lifestyle and personal risk factors.

Some of the physical and medical risk factors that can play a role in health covers include:

  • Body mass
  • Tobacco use
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Family history

Generally, people those who have high body mass indexes need to bear higher premiums than those who are at normal levels. Obesity can lead to diseases like diabetes, sleep apnea and heart and joint problems. Insurance companies may take not of this and charge a person more for their health insurance because of the increased risk of these diseases and medical problems.

The particular gender and age of the customer also play a significant role. Women usually pay higher medical premiums than men because they typically have more reason to visit the doctor regularly, tend to take more prescription medication and have a higher risk of certain chronic diseases. Younger individuals tend to have lower premiums because they tend to not need to visit the doctor as regularly, have fewer diagnosed conditions and are less likely to develop health problems.

The medical condition which are pre-existing and family history can also play a role in health insurance premium costs. When the insurance company sees a pre-existing condition on a person’s risk factors they know that it can be costly to them. The insurance company may not cover the condition but because the person may be increasingly likely to have additional issues related to the condition, the insurance company may raise premium costs. People who have a family history of cancer or other hereditary illnesses will likely have increased premiums.

Other factors generally considered are lifestyle that impact insurance costs. What the customer does for a living can impact cover. For example if you work in a factory or lab where you are exposed to hazardous chemicals or have an increased risk of injury, your health insurance will be more expensive than if you have an office job that has limited risk to your health.

Insurance companies take into due consideration the statistics on health trends in specific areas, meaning that where you live may impact your cover costs. If their data shows that people are healthier in your area than in others, than your health cover cost may be lower than if you lived in an area that was seen as a high health risk.

If you are buying health insurance coverage for the first time and have previously been uninsured, then your rates will likely be higher. Research shows that people who are married live longer and are healthier people than those who are not married, which is why married couples see a drop in their premiums.


These are some of general factors that can impact your health insurance premiums. When sitting down with your local independent health insurance agent, one should ask about these factors and how they may impact various coverage options. HDFC ERGO’s health insurance policies assure to give more benefits at affordable prices.

Presents You Should Not Give and What Hidden Messages Your Gifts Convey

Presents that are most likely to be rejected:

Obligatory gifts would be at the top of the list:

When somebody arrives with a bottle of cheap after-shave lotion or any other useless gift that will be instantly put either into a trash or a donation bag, they will clearly come across as somebody who bought a gift only from obligation.

Message: I don’t care about your likes and needs, I don’t really care what you will think of me either.

When not sure if the person really needs a certain item it’s always safe to go for something that at least is not going to clutter up the house unnecessarily for example some wine gifts or gourmet food gift baskets, brand perfume gifts or other presents that get used up.

Gifts that are designed to ‘improve’ the recipient:

Even if you think your husband is a real couch potato and needs to lose some weight a membership in the health club is not going to inspire him unless this is what he desires.

Your girlfriend or wife is not necessarily going to love the black filmy lingerie that you gave her, thinking it will make her look more sexy.

Don’t try to change the person into what you want them to be. Anything that is pushing it on to the receiver is most likely to be rejected.

Message: I am not happy with who you are, I don’t appreciate who you really are.

Overpractical gifts:

Nothing’s as mean as giving a little child something useful for Christmas,~ Kin Hubbard

And not just for children.

Unless you are totally sure that the person really needs and wants another pot or a set of tools try to avoid these kind of gifts. A gift is not really a gift if it doesn’t give a person a break from the daily household routine.

Message: with this gift I am reminding you of your role in domestic upkeep

Unless your wife or mother asked you for one, instead of buying her a fancy ironing board make her feel admired by giving her favourite perfume gift or a piece of jewellery. Or give her a break from the daily chores by presenting her with a gift certificate to a pampering spa centre.

Gifts that the giver shopped for themselves:

We’ve all got sweaters that we shoved in a closet somewhere or a book we never came to read, as it didn’t match our style nor our interests etc.

Make sure the gift isn’t about you. Remember not everyone shares your taste in fashion, music and blue is not everyone’s favourite colour. Be a thoughtful giver. Pay attention to the person’s hobbies and interests, styles and colours the person likes and is likely to use. Choose a present that will bring pleasure to the receiver.

Message: I don’t have a clue or consider important what you like. After all I think my taste is better than yours.

Challenging gifts:

One of the examples of this kind of gift is when parents buy their kid a game or a book that is too challenging for their age.

Only because parents think it’s time for their 3 year old to learn how to play chess is not going to bring pleasure to the child.

Message: I chose you this gift because I know better what you need, it’s not really important what you need.

Some of the gifts that are highly unlikely to impress:

Appliances people already have

Gift-boxed meat selection for vegetarians

Clothes that don’t fit

Tasteless, cheap synthetic clothes

Socks and ties for the sixth year in a row

Things that someone else didn’t want or you need to get rid of

Gadgets that wear out after a week or two

Expensive toy gifts for kids they will be not allowed to play with when parents are not around

Slim Fast for Valentine’s Day.