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Finding the Best Home Contractor for the Job

Let’s say you’re about to take on a house project, whether it’s a major kitchen renovation or a simple painting job, and you decide to hire a contractor. So, you flip through the phone book and call the first number you see listed under “Kitchen Remodeling” or “Painters.” Not so fast. READ MORE

AAA Study Shows After School Hours Dangerous for Teen Drivers

Parents have always been concerned about their teenagers driving on the weekend, especially at night. However, a new AAA study of crash data reveals that after school hours can be as deadly for teenage drivers as weekend nights. The researchers advise parents that they need to be just as vigilant about monitoring their teens’ driving on weekday afternoons as they are on weekend nights. READ MORE

Thirteen Vehicles Named for Highway Safest Vehicles List

Thirteen vehicles, including four cars, seven SUVs, and two minivans, earned The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick awards for 2007. The award is given to vehicles that best protect people in front, side, and rear crashes based on ratings in Institute tests. Winners are also required to be equipped with electronic stability control. Honda and Subaru each manufacture three of the 13 winning vehicles. READ MORE

Motorists Still Driving While Talking on Cell Phones

The Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association reports that more than 231 million people are currently subscribed to wireless communication devices, namely cell phones, compared to roughly 4.3 million in 1990. This increase in cell phone usage has resulted in a rise in the number of people using the devices while driving. READ MORE

You Maintain Your Car, But What About Your Car Insurance

Your car’s performance relies on a program of regularly scheduled maintenance, and so should your car insurance. In the same way that your car needs to be tuned up for it to operate safely and efficiently, your car insurance needs to be periodically reviewed to ensure it continues to provide the coverage you need. When you review your car insurance, you should pay careful attention to the following: •   The Declaration Page – This is usually the first page of the policy. It shows the insured’s name and address, policy dates, and a summary of the policy terms, the coverage limits and what is covered. You need to review and update the information on this page because it affects your coverage needs and the cost of your premiums. Never overlook any updates that need to be made, no matter how seemingly insignificant.  •   The Insuring Agreement – This specifies what the insurance company has agreed to cover in exchange for the premium. An insurance policy begins by declaring what it covers and then proceeds to restrict, limit and exclude coverages. You can’t just read the insuring agreement to understand the coverage your insurer is providing. You must read the entire policy and refer back to the insuring agreement. This will help you identify coverage gaps. •   The Types of Coverage – The types of required coverage and minimums vary from state to state. The level of coverage is also affected by the age and value of your car. However, there are four types of common coverage that you should include in your insurance assessment.  The first is liability coverage. This protects you if you hurt someone or damage property while you are driving. As you accumulate more personal wealth, it is imperative that you increase your liability coverage. Without sufficient liability coverage, you could have your hard earned assets seized to cover a judgment against you. The second type that needs to be reviewed and updated is your medical payments coverage. This covers you if medical expenses are incurred by anyone involved in the accident regardless of who was at fault. The third type is your Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage. You will be extremely glad you upgraded this coverage if you are ever involved in an accident with a driver who has no insurance, has minimal insurance or is unidentified, as in the case of a “hit and run.” The last type to be reviewed is your collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision covers damage to your car caused by an accident. Comprehensive covers damage caused by anything other than collision.  Both coverages are optional.  However, if you have a car loan or you are leasing a car, you will be required to carry both collision and comprehensive coverage. If you own your car outright, the decision whether to carry this coverage will depend on the age and value of the vehicle.   

Your car’s performance relies on a program of regularly scheduled maintenance, and so should your car insurance. In the same way that your car needs to be tuned up for it to operate safely and efficiently, your car insurance needs to be periodically reviewed to ensure it continues to provide the coverage you need.When you review your car insurance, you should pay careful attention to the following:•   The Declaration Page – This is usually the first page of the policy. It shows the insured’s name and address, policy dates, and a summary of the policy terms, the coverage limits and what is covered. You need to review and update the information on this page because it affects your coverage needs and the cost of your premiums. Never overlook any updates that need to be made, no matter how seemingly insignificant. •   The Insuring Agreement – This specifies what the insurance company has agreed to cover in exchange for the premium. An insurance policy begins by declaring what it covers and then proceeds to restrict, limit and exclude coverages. You can’t just read the insuring agreement to understand the coverage your insurer is providing. You must read the entire policy and refer back to the insuring agreement. This will help you identify coverage gaps.•   The Types of Coverage – The types of required coverage and minimums vary from state to state. The level of coverage is also affected by the age and value of your car. However, there are four types of common coverage that you should include in your insurance assessment. The first is liability coverage. This protects you if you hurt someone or damage property while you are driving. As you accumulate more personal wealth, it is imperative that you increase your liability coverage. Without sufficient liability coverage, you could have your hard earned assets seized to cover a judgment against you.The second type that needs to be reviewed and updated is your medical payments coverage. This covers you if medical expenses are incurred by anyone involved in the accident regardless of who was at fault.The third type is your Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage. You will be extremely glad you upgraded this coverage if you are ever involved in an accident with a driver who has no insurance, has minimal insurance or is unidentified, as in the case of a “hit and run.”The last type to be reviewed is your collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision covers damage to your car caused by an accident. Comprehensive covers damage caused by anything other than collision.  Both coverages are optional.  However, if you have a car loan or you are leasing a car, you will be required to carry both collision and comprehensive coverage. If you own your car outright, the decision whether to carry this coverage will depend on the age and value of the vehicle.   

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Says Death Rates Double for Minicars

Minicars have become increasingly more popular as fuel prices have risen. Because of their newfound popularity, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety included them in their crash tests for the first time in 2006. The agency rated the cars for comparison of occupant protection in front, side, and rear crashes. What the Institute discovered from its testing is that driver death rates in minicars are higher than in any other vehicle category and more than double the death rates in midsize and large cars. READ MORE

Keep Track of What You Own with a Home Inventory

If you suddenly experienced a catastrophic incident where all of your possessions were destroyed, would you be able to remember everything you’ve accumulated over the years? Like most people, your answer is probably “no.” That’s why having an up-to-date home inventory is so important. It can help you settle your insurance claim faster, because it represents an accurate and immediate accounting of what you lost. A home inventory can also be used to determine if you have enough insurance to replace the items you own, as well as verify losses for your income tax return. READ MORE

FTC Says Credit Scores Are a Valid Risk Predictor for Auto Insurance

A report issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says that credit scores are an “effective predictor” of risk when underwriting auto insurance. The study titled, Credit-Based Insurance Scores: Impact on Consumers of Automobile Insurance, confirms what industry professionals have always believed, that credit-based insurance scores provide an objective and reliable tool for determining which drivers present a greater risk and should therefore pay higher rates. READ MORE