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What To Do in a Car Accident

Apr 30, 2013

Unfortunately, car accidents are a regular occurrence on our streets and highways. If you are in a accident it might not be your fault, but what you do after an accident is important, regardless of who the at-fault party might be. Here’s what you need to do and to think about if you ever get into a car accident:

1. Safety

The most important factor to consider in a traffic accident is that everyone is OK and that there are no major injuries. If you even suspect that someone has been injured, call an ambulance. If people are only a little shaken up, you should call the police – this is the first step in recording the incident. It may be a legal necessity, so make sure to follow protocol.

2. Record

After you have determined that everyone is OK or you have taken care of those who are injured, you must write down and take pictures of everything that happened.  After all, there’s no way you can recall all the details later on. You’ll need to recall:

  • Names, numbers, registrations and witness information, and details of what happened
  • Time of accident
  • Conditions of the road
  • Make, registration and the types of cars involved
  • Insurance details
  • Any people injured
  • Diagram or picture of the accident

3. Insurance

If you are filing a claim, the insurance companies will also need to know that an accident has taken place. This should also be done immediately after you take account of the details above. They may need these details to process the claims.

4. Recall Details

The details are so important in an accident — they can make or break a claim. Get the numbers of the police, other people’s insurers and witnesses’ numbers and names. When it comes to legal issues and insurance claims, having these details at hand is crucial. Other details that are important to know are towing costs, storage charges, whether you are using a contract hire or car rental, and any other costs incurred.

5. Doctor

Many people tend to feel OK immediately after an accident. However, they may not feel the full effects of the accident until later on. If you feel ill or sore, consult your doctor. Often, aches and pains take time to develop. If you do go to your doctor, make sure to document the issues at hand in case there is a hearing or investigation.

6. Last but Not Least

Never admit you were wrong after an accident. Admitting cause is considered a statement of guilt. Give all the facts but never admit you were wrong. Also, never sign paper work and never blame anyone else. These actions can lead to all sorts of issues.

Cormac Reynolds writes for a variety of websites and insurance blogs and has also written a substantial amount on automotive topics.


5 Ways to Lower Young People’s Insurance

Apr 30, 2013

For younger people, getting their first car is just the beginning of the costs and responsibilities that they must bear to join the ranks of America’s motorists. There are a number of other burdens, most of which are financial. From the price of driver’s-ed to the cost of gas, owning a car is expensive business. However, it’s insurance that can really be a budget buster. So, here are some tips on how young people can lower their car insurance costs.

Advanced Driving

Governments in most countries offer some form or another of advanced driving course and most of these are certified. These courses teach advanced driving techniques and go above the level of standard drivers education courses. Many insurers see these advanced courses as a sign of competence and so will offer lower premiums to those who complete them. Though they may cost money to take, they will lower premiums substantially and also improve driving ability, which in turn lowers the risk of an accident.

Tracking

Some insurers are more than happy if young people add tracking devices to cars. These devices are quite similar to the little black box in airplanes, but they track the speed of the car and other details on the driver’s performance. These are recorded or transmitted to the insurer. Usually, young drivers get a number of chances before a sum is added to the premium and in some cases if they break the rules of the road a number of times, their insurance will not be renewed next year. However, on the upside, these tracking devices can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars.Car leasing and rental companies often install these devices to help ensure the well-being of their cars.

Auto

The car itself is also a major factor in the cost of insurance, and some very similar cars will have very different premiums. Check the price of a premium before purchasing a car. This can greatly save on the price of the premium. Cars with modifications are more expensive and are seen as a significant risk – so avoid these changes if you can.

Driver

Adding an experienced driver’s name to the policy will often lower the cost of the insurance substantially. Insurers often believe that someone with experience will be driving or accompanying a new driver and this may lower costs. It depends on the insurer, but it’s worth a try.

A specialty insurer may be able to lower your insurance. Some insurers cater to certain groups, including young people. They sometimes offer lower insurance for those with no accidents, but who may also little or no experience. Of course, shopping around is the best way to get a deal, so use comparison sites, call brokers and do your homework before buying insurance.

Insurance is a necessity but with some thought you can lower it substantially and it can become a lot more affordable for young drivers.

–Cormac Reynolds


Insurance Myth Debunked Part 4: Home Insurance

Apr 30, 2013

Today we will debunk the last bunch of myths in our series, and this time we’re be dealing with property insurance. We have corrected assumptions and myths about life, auto and health insurance, and today we turn to your property to show you what you actually need to know.

 

Myth #1 Termites Are Covered in Home Insurance

When you purchase a policy, you should know what is included in it. Some buyers think that their policy covers all kinds of damage to a building. Termites and mold can cause real damage to homes, so you should protect yourself from an unpleasant surprise. However, most policies don’t have an option that will cover termite damage and exterminators. If termites eat through your walls or roof, you will pay for the repairs out of pocket. If you are worried about that kind of damage, ask your agent for additional coverage to protect your home.

 

Busted

Myth #2 Flood Damage Will Be Covered By My Insurance Policy

A lot of people forget that flood damage is not mentioned in most policies. If your house has been harmed by flood, you will not be compensated for your damages unless you’re carrying the right coverage. You might need flood insurance if your house is in a flood risk zone.

 

Busted

Myth #3 Earthquake Damage is Covered

Have you ever heard that your property will be covered for damages caused by earthquakes? This kind of protection is not included in regular policies. To be covered for this kind of damage, you would must get earthquake insurance.

 

Busted

Myth #4 When Renovating, My Policy Stays the Same

You already have a good policy for a good price that has a lot of needed extra features, but you have decided to add rooms to your home. Remember that your insurance company pays for what is included in your policy only. As soon as you decide to make changes, call your insurance agent to change your policy because any renovation can increase the value of your home. To cover any new additions you may need more insurance.

 

Busted

Myth #5 My Medical Expenses Are Covered By Home Insurance

You probably saw something about medical expenses in a policy where bills are covered if someone is hurt on your property. Your insurance policy may cover medical expenses for others who sustain injuries on your property, but it won’t cover your medical bills.

 


How to Find an Existing Insurance Policy

Apr 30, 2013

When a loved one passes away unexpectedly, financial difficulties can ensue. But when the deceased has life insurance coverage, concerns about financial burdens are eased. But what if your relative dies and you don’t have a clue about which company holds his or her life insurance policy?  Sometimes spouses don’t necessarily share all their family’s personal financial information. Here are some tips to help you find out what you need to do if you are the beneficiary for another’s life insurance policy.

Here are some things you might try:

  1. Try to find the policy or evidence that it exists, like checks or a credit card bill. Look in unexpected places, since people sometimes hide valuable and important papers in books, by taping them to attic rafters, or by stuffing them in a freezer.
  2. In case you don’t find what you were looking for, talk to an insurance agent or professional who might be able to help. The agent who sold the deceased a home or auto policy might know of a life insurance policy. Accountants, attorneys, and financial advisers also may be helpful.
  3. Contact your relative’s current and previous employers to see if they had life insurance through their company.
  4. If you find the name of the insurance company, you can do an Internet search to find contact information and make a claim. In some cases, the insurer is no longer in business under that name, but don’t worry; the policies have been transferred to another company.
  5. If your initial search fails to produce results, contact the state department of insurance. You can check on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners map for state-regulator contact information. Several states plus Puerto Rico have new resources to help track down lost life insurance policies.
  6. If your state does not have any special program to find lost life insurance policies, it may still have resources that help you with your search. Ask the state insurance department for contact information for life insurers licensed to do business in the state and contact the companies yourself. This department can also help you to find current contact information for insurers that may have merged since the policy was purchased.
  7. If the policy goes unclaimed for a long time, insurers are supposed to turn the money over to state unclaimed property funds. Run the policy holder’s name through the free state-run online database.

According to the New York Times hundreds of millions of dollars go unclaimed each year.

Before you make a claim you should be aware that there are two types of life insurance policies exist: term life insurance and permanent life insurance. If it was a term life insurance policy, you will receive the death benefit if the insured person passed away before the chosen term ended. If the policy expired before the date of death, you don’t receive any death benefit. And in case the person has a permanent life insurance policy, you will receive the money if he or she died while the policy was “in force,” meaning the premium payments had been made up until the deceased’s death. The important thing is no matter when you find that policy, if it was in force at the time of the death you can collect on it, even decades later.

Whatever the case, the best thing to do for the policyholder is to make sure his or her relatives are aware that they have life insurance. It’s not the most pleasant topic to talk about, but it is the responsible thing to do. There are certain resources that might help beneficiaries track policies. Don’t hesitate to register your life insurance policy with FindYourPolicy.com. You can store your name and insurance company free of charge. It’s quite simple, since you don’t have to enter your full Social Security number, policy number or other account information. The beneficiary can search the database for a small fee.

The process of retrieving a lost policy is not as easy as you might have thought. It takes time to find such important information. The right thing to do is to organize financial documents like your life insurance policy in one place and let your beneficiary know as soon as possible.


Insurance Myths Debunked Part 3: Health Insurance

Apr 30, 2013

The next set of myths that we will be debunking are about health insurance. A lot of people wonder about the types of coverage and the Affordable Care Act. Everybody wants to live a long and happy life, and no one wants to have serious health concerns, and health insurance helps people cure illnesses before they get out of control. But health insurance is a complicated thing, so let us help you navigate it a little.

Myth #1 Sick people can get only the most expensive policies.

This popular myth can make you think that if you have a preexisting condition, you can only qualify for the most expensive policies. Remember that insurance premiums are always based on potential risk. Insurance can protect your from the things which didn’t happened yet. The truth is that your insurability depends on how severe your condition is.  Fortunately no one can be excluded for having a preexisting condition.

Busted.

Myth #2. Health Insurance is expensive.

This myth is based in reality, but it’s not the whole truth. Your premiums depend on options and services in your policy. When you buy private insurance you should ask your agent to explain all costs and help you to find the best policy for your needs. Some policies are customizable and if you choose to add some features your agent can help. Choose the company you could trust and try to find different discounts. Try to buy insurance when you are young and healthy.

Busted.

Myth #3 The quality of medical service depends on the quality of insurance.

When you buy a policy you choose the features in it. Medical services you receive from doctors. This means that the quality of service you get will depend on your doctor and not your insurance plan.  There is no insurance plan that offers mediocre doctors for less money.  Every insurance policy strives to give great care.  After all, it is actually more expensive for insurance companies if you are sick, so they try to prevent this.

Busted.

Myth #4 I have group insurance plan and I don’t need an individual plan.

Some people are mistaken about group and individual insurance plans. Group plan are usually cheaper and come from your work. But there are a few things to keep in mind about your work group insurance plan. The first piece of harsh information to remember is that your plan could be cancelled if you lose your job or change employers. Another important detail to look into is who is paying for the majority of it. Sometimes it makes more sense to choose and pay for your own plan than to stick with what is given to you.  It might not even be much more expensive.

Busted.

When you are looking for a policy, always determine exactly what you need and spend some time doing research to find out what’s available and what kind of prices there are.  A professional agent will always help you to choose the best price and the right features. When you invest in your health care policy, you protect your future from unexpected expenses which you possibly couldn’t afford. If you get regular check-ups, you can prevent serious illnesses.

What kind of misconceptions about health insurance did you always believe until you realized they weren’t true?


The History of Insurance

Apr 30, 2013

Provided by BMCC Insurance

 


Celebrity Insurance Policies

Apr 30, 2013

When it comes to insurance, we usually think of life, health, home and auto. But celebrities have been known to insure other assets, such as their hair, face or hands — their best features, Here are some of the most outrageous examples of celebrity insurance:

 

Heidi Klum

Supermodel Heidi Klum’s legs are insured for $2.2 million dollars. She is a beautiful woman who makes the bulk of her money with the help of her legs. If something happened to one of her legs, it could hurt her income. But the strangest part of the story is that she insured the right leg for $1.2 million dollars, while the left is insured for $1 million dollars. The left leg has a tiny scar, thus making it worth less.

 

Tom Jones

Tom Jones once tried to insure his chest hair for $7 million. Not the chest, mind you, but the chest hair. Well if that’s not unusual, we don’t know what is. Insuring his vocal cords would seem like a more obvious choice, but clearly he considers himself to be more of a sex symbol than a singer.  Or at least that’s how he makes his money.

 

Ben Turpin

Ben Turpin, a silent film star of the early 20th century who was a contemporary of Charlie Chaplin, insured his crossed eyes for $25 million.

 

Merv Hughes

Merv Hughes may have been the weirdest case yet. He decided to insure his trademark walrus mustache for $370,000. Apart from his outstanding talent that made him one of the most recognized cricket players in the world, he is owner of the outstanding trademark mustache.

 

America Ferrera

The star of television’s “Ugly Betty” insured her smile for $10 million. The policy was taken out by Aquafresh White Trays, a manufacturer of teeth whitening products. Ferrera worked with the company on a charity campaign that gives jobless women free dental care.

 

Angela Mount

Just imagine that one day something happens to your taste buds and you are not able to taste food or drink. Wine expert Angela Mount decided to take the precautionary measures to protect her fortune by insuring her taste buds for $16 million. We hope her taste buds are safe.  Life without the enjoyment of food would be no life at all.

 

David Beckham

David Beckham, the owner of two of the most valuable legs in the world, purchased a an insurance policy for $70 million. This was a good call since the sports industry is quite fickle and you never know whether you are going to get injured and your whole life might change.

Most of us don’t require these kinds of insurance policies. But we still can insure ourselves against bodily harm in the event of an accident or a natural disaster that could hurt us or our property.

Visit our website to find more about insurance and to get quotes for the best policies available. We cover a wide range of insurance quotes for life, health and auto insurance.


What Wikipedia Won’t Tell You About Renters Insurances

Apr 30, 2013

Many kinds of insurance policies are available to us, including health, life, and auto. They help us protect ourselves, our families and our property. But renters insurance is rarely on that list, and it is something that tenants should not overlook.

What does renters insurance covers?

There is only one notable difference between homeowners and renters insurance: renters insurance does not protect the dwelling from damage caused by disasters. That is because you, the policy holder, are a lessee, not owner of the building. The owner insures his building but bears no responsibility for your personal property, so renters insurance premiums are lower than those for homeowners insurance. Like homeowners insurance, a renters insurance policy can include personal property, personal liability and relocation assistance, depending on how much coverage you choose.

Kinds of renters insurance policies

  1. Actual Cash Value Insurance

Your insurance company will compensate you for the reduced cost of your property if it is damaged. For example, if your laptop has been stolen and you purchased it for $3,500, you might be reimbursed $2,000 because it depreciated.

  1. Replacement Cost Insurance

Your insurance company reimburses a specific sum of money for a new purchase. For example, you will be repaid the amount to purchase a new laptop, even if your laptop was seven years old. But a replacement cost policy is more expensive.

Cost of renter’s insurance policies:

Many of the less expensive renters’ insurance plans cover $10,000 of your personal property — $30,000-$35,000 is standard.

How Premiums Are Determined

  1. How much coverage you need

The worth of your possessions is considered the determinant factor. The more personal property you have the more coverage you need.

  1. Location

Obviously, location of your apartment matters. If your building is in a high-crime neighborhood, a seismic zone or in a tornado-prone area, you will pay higher premiums.

  1. Deductible

The higher the deductible, the lower the premium.

  1. Claims

Existence of previous claims will lead to higher premiums. Some insurance companies can refuse to sell you a renters policy if you have had many claims over the past few years. Conversely, if you have no claims, you will obtain lower renters insurance premiums.

What disasters are not covered by renters insurance?

Most renters policies don’t cover loss from earthquakes or floods. If you want to have protection from these disasters, you should purchase separate renters insurance policies. Renters insurance does not compensate losses caused by negligence or intentional damage.

 


Insurance Myths Debunked Part 2: The Most Popular Auto Insurance Myths

Apr 30, 2013

The purchase of a car goes hand in hand with the purchase of car insurance.  In “Insurance Myths Debunked, Part 2” we busted common myths of life insurance.  This article will focus on car insurance myths; separating fact from fiction.

Myth #1. Color matters.

On more than one occasion I’ve had a friend tell me when I’ve been car shopping, “don’t buy a red car because they’re in the most accidents;” or “white ones cost more to insure, don’t buy those.”

Guess what?  There may be some bits of evidence here or there about car color affecting accident rates, (trust us, distracted driving, like using your cell phone is a WAY BIGGER factor) but the color of your car affecting car insurance rates?  Not true.

So if you want to impress your friends with a red or a white car…do it.  The insurance you pay will be exactly the same as it is for a blue or black car.

Busted.

Myth #2.  New cars are more loveable for thieves.

The myth goes like this.  People steal new cars because they’re more valuable.  They are under the mistaken belief that people steal cars to be resold in whole.  Not true.  They are stolen to be stripped for valuable parts.  The valuable parts are in older cars.

But there are other reasons why older cars get stolen more often.  New cars have built-in alarm systems, whereas older cars don’t; thus, new cars are harder to steal.

The most stolen cars of both 2011 and 2012 were mid 1990s Hondas.

Busted.

Myth #3. I need the cheapest insurance and nothing more

Auto insurance protects four main entities:  Your body, your car; and other drivers’ bodies and cars if you should be the cause of an accident. Passengers in both cars are included in coverage as well.  Many people think that they only need the minimum and least expensive coverage.  And they might get lucky and get away with the minimum coverage.  But many people do not get that lucky.

Towing, rental reimbursements and additional levels of coverage do not ultimately cost the driver much more, but it will cost much, much more if you don’t have the coverage and do get in an accident.

Insurance is about peace of mind.  Having the proper levels of coverage that protect you in a variety of circumstances provides peace of mind.

Busted.

Myth #4. An accident will increase your rate. Dramatically. 

Everyone believes that an at-fault accident will cause their insurance rates to skyrocket.  This may or may not be true.  Many companies offer first accident forgiveness programs, which mean that a driver will not pay additional premium on their first accident.

Let’s say your company does not have an accident forgiveness program.  If you have a great payment record, as well as no points or tickets, you will likely not be increased as much as drivers who are chronically late with their payments and have a couple of speeding tickets. Insurance companies will make a determination that the second kind of driver is a greater risk, and will likely raise his rates.

The bottom line is, if you cause an accident, and it’s your first one, your rates will not go up dramatically … if you have followed the rules up to that point.

Busted.

It’s a big, noisy world out there with lots of information and misinformation floating around. Our advice is to leave the myths to the ancient Greeks and when it comes to car insurance do your homework.


Life Insurance Myths Debunked

Apr 30, 2013

Life is filled with unexpected events. You may be wondering how you can protect your family if you have a health emergency or die. One answer is to get insurance. But you probably wonder what kind of insurance is needed, where to get it from and how much it will cost. It can be hard to figure out what is the right amount of coverage for you, so we have created a list of some of the most common misunderstandings about insurance coverage.

Myth #1: The smart way to purchase insurance  is to buy cheap.

Some people buy life insurance policies with the impression that the price is the most important factor. And it’s a mistake to think that the cheaper the policy, the better the investment. Of course, it’s better to get something instead of nothing, but if you have dependents you run the risk of reducing their quality of life if you die. The cheaper the policy, the less coverage it provides.

Busted.

Myth #2: All polices are identical, so why pay more?

Different policies have different amounts of coverage. Look through your contract to see what is covered and what is not. You may pay different prices for different amounts of coverage, so find out what you are being charged for.  First read – then buy!

Busted.

Myth #3: I have an illness, so I  can’t get insurance.

Did somebody tell you that you are not able to get a policy because of your health? That’s not necessarily the case. If you really have a serious illness but want to protect your family and their future, remember that the Affordable Care Act states that insurance companies can’t deny you coverage because of a preexisting condition.

Busted.

Myth #4: Don’t bother with insurance agents; you can find the best deals online.

The idea that the best deals are only online is a mistake. There are many insurance agents who are glad to help you and will find you the best policy for the best price. The Internet can be a good place to search too, but if you search only online you could miss important details that an insurance agent could explain to you. If you like personalized service with great results, agents are a great way to go.

Busted.

Myth #5: If you have life insurance through work, you don’t need any other life insurance.

     This one is a myth for many reasons:

  • Your insurance is only active while you are working at that company.
  • Insurance through the workplace usually pays out three to five times your annual income. Will it be enough for your family if something happens to you?
  • Usually life insurance through the workplace is very limited.

If you don’t have a family or any others who depend on you and your income, you may think that you don’t need any other policy. But if you look to the future and you care what will happen to those close to you, you will look into an independent policy so that your loved ones won’t have to pay for funeral expenses.

Busted.

Myth #6: I don’t need any life insurance.

If you are young and healthy you might wonder why you would need the protection of life insurance, But most polices are much cheaper if you purchase them when you are young. You also should consider who will care for your parents, as well as your own family. Life insurance is critical if you have a mortgage, credit card debt, personal loans, auto loans and other kinds of loans. The future is capricious, so prepare yourself for the unexpected.

Busted.

Life insurance is the only way to protect your family if you pass away unexpectedly. The proper policy will allow your beneficiaries to continue living in the way in which they are accustomed instead of having to reduce their quality of life.

 


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