Jan Dubauskas is the Vice President of Healthinsurance.com.

We have experienced a lot of change throughout the course of the pandemic that has required us to reconsider our priorities and become nimble in the way we work and how we reach out to our clients. Many were skeptical that these changes would lead to similar productivity. However, as we prioritize our health during the pandemic, working from home has become important, and many (24%, according to CNBC) have adapted so well that they want to keep doing it.

When we first started working from home, the primary concern for many was to set up an office, retain camaraderie, and continue meeting with clients. During the spring, as I watched as annual springtime conferences got canceled or sent to an online format, I keenly felt the void previously filled by those intense social interactions. It seemed that with a bit of luck, the shutdowns would pass and we would return to our normal activity. But as the pandemic stretched into the summer and many lost their jobs due to the pandemic, it dawned on all of us that we are approaching a different way of working that will likely have lasting impacts.

Before the pandemic, workers appreciated but likely undervalued their employer-sponsored health benefits. In response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, many health insurance companies quickly adjusted their benefits packages to ensure coverage for Covid-19 testing and more. So with general health and fear of illness weighing heavily on our minds, health insurance during a pandemic has become a vital benefit. And in a recent survey from my company, 64% of respondents rated their health insurance coverage as “excellent” or “good.”

The economic slowdown to curb the virus could cause approximately 27 million Americans to lose employer-sponsored health insurance during

If you’re buying a home, one question you might wonder is this: Is home insurance required when you own a house?

In many cases, homeowners insurance is indeed mandatory—and even in cases where it isn’t absolutely necessary, it’s still a good idea. To help you understand why, we’ve put together this Home Buyer’s Guide to Home Insurance, which will help walk you through what you need to know from beginning to end.

In this first article, we’ll introduce you to what homeowners insurance is, why it’s often essential, and what can go wrong if you don’t have it.

What is homeowners insurance?

With home insurance, as with other types of coverage (including health insurance), you pay a relatively small amount of money either monthly or annually in exchange for the promise that your provider will help you pay for unexpected costs you might incur as a homeowner.

What can go wrong? So much, including natural disasters, fires, crimes, accidents, and other emergencies, many of which can be expensive to fix. Without home insurance, you run the risk of getting stuck with a bill that could be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Home insurance offers protection and peace of mind that you won’t get hit with expenses that might be hard to pay on your own.

Why you need home insurance with a mortgage

If you need a mortgage on your home, most lenders will require you to get home insurance before they approve your loan and close the deal.

The reason: By loaning you money for the house, lenders are also investing in your property. If this investment suddenly plummets in value—since, say, a tornado turned it into a pile of rubble—it’s in your lender’s interests for you to have a home insurance plan that will rebuild

Even with its bankruptcy exit still not final, J.C. Penney is attracting new national brands to get ready for a holiday shopping season that’ll begin earlier than usual.



J. C. Penney at Collin Creek Mall in Plano last year during the holiday shopping season. That store is still open but is among the 150 stores closing soon.


© Staff Photographer/Nathan Hunsinger/The Dallas Morning News/TNS
J. C. Penney at Collin Creek Mall in Plano last year during the holiday shopping season. That store is still open but is among the 150 stores closing soon.

Penney’s new brands are mostly in its home department, which is where Americans have been spending money during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Plano-based Penney plans to exit bankruptcy this year so it has to stay in the game. It responded to Amazon Prime Day with its own Cyber Days Monday through Wednesday.

Retailers including Walmart, Target, Best Buy and others are moving up Black Friday discounts to compete with Prime Day. The two-day Prime Day was delayed from its usual mid-summer dates as even Amazon was overwhelmed with new demand from shoppers who were staying at home due to the coronavirus. This year, Amazon’s Tuesday and Wednesday U.S. sales are expected to exceed $6 billion, up from $4.4 billion last year, according to eMarketer.

In a statement, Penney CEO Jill Soltau said her team is “working to secure partnerships with new national brands and to expand our product offerings as part of our efforts to provide compelling merchandise and deliver an engaging shopping experience to our customers.” She has declined interview requests during the bankruptcy.

Among Penney’s new brands announced Monday are Schott Zwiesel wine glasses and Luminarc glassware, Cambridge flatware and Nordic Ware cookware. Those brands are also sold at specialty stores Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table and Bed Bath & Beyond and direct competitor in the mall, Macy’s. New brands include Taste of Home cooking magazine bakeware, which is also sold at Macy’s and

KEY POINTS

  • Every $1,000 increase in home price pushes 150,000 buyers away: Report 
  • Rental prices have dropped by 0.1% since last month: Report
  • Homebuying is currently led by people with jobs and equity

Rising demand for homes, unprecedented levels of mortgage rates and low supply have pushed home prices out of reach for prospective homebuyers, which could make America a ‘renter nation,’ Grant Cardone, a real estate investor, told Yahoo.

“Homeownership is still dead in this country because the only people that are buying homes right now are people that have equity, great credit, and a job,” Cardone said.

For every $1,000 increase in home price, 150,000 buyers are priced out of a possible home purchase, according to a recent report by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

The fall season is known to be good for real estate as home prices fall during this time. Realtor.com, however, suggests that median home prices rose to $350,000 in the week ending Oct. 9, almost matching summer highs. This was 12.9% higher than the previous week.

On the other hand, the rental market is looking more desirable and economic with prices dropping. Data from rental website Zumper suggests that the median rent price for a one-bedroom apartment slid 0.1% from last month.

Cardone said a secure job is a way to secure a home loan. Americans would need a better credit score now than they did before COVID-19 to get a home loan, he told Yahoo.

As the pandemic progressed from early February, the American public, especially renters, have higher rates of unemployment, fewer savings to be used for a down payment, and lower credit scores, Elizabeth Renter, an analyst at Nerdwallet, told Yahoo.

Even though the public is struggling with finances, banks have increased their requirements to give out loans,

“I do feel very sorry for younger people in this business,” says Malik Karim, the founder of Fenchurch Advisory Partners.

“This is a relationship business. It is a business where you learn talking to people or sitting alongside people or listening to their calls. But the young people who are starting and have been thinking about coming to the office are going to be stuck at home.”

Karim, 59, is one of very few people working from Fenchurch’s new offices in 110 Bishopsgate, the 46-floor skyscraper that towers over Liverpool Street station. This year was supposed to mark the next phase of development for the business, an investment banking boutique that specialises in financial services. Instead, Karim is working hard to keep his team together.

“It’s all our problem,” he says. “We have to find a new way of working and staying in touch. We can’t have 330 people on a Zoom call having a drink together. Even eight is hard. So however the next few months work out, it is going to be disruptive.”

Yet deals are being done. Fenchurch is advising the mutual insurer LV= on its potential buy-out by the private equity firm Bain. Karim’s team is also helping the Post Office examine the options for its insurance business. Fenchurch has done 10 deals so far in 2020, including the £1.7bn buy-out of Hastings, and expects to complete more even as coronavirus restrictions tighten and the economic recovery is cut off.

Hunt for talent

The firm is part of the long-standing trend in investment banking towards specialist boutiques that can provide advice free of the potential conflicts of big banks. The giants of the City and Wall Street want to provide financing as well as advice.

Karim left that world when he was sacked by Credit Suisse