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Written by lordsinsurancelog

August 10, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Posted in Insurance Tips

Getting divorced? Review your life insurance for potential changes

Going through divorce negotiations can be very tricky, even if your divorce is a friendly one. In addition to the division of property, determining custody for children and finding new living arrangements, you might also need to review any life insurance policies you have.

Sometimes the state you live in may determine how property – including insurance policies – is divided. Some states are equitable distribution states, where the value of cash from a whole life insurance policy would be equally divided. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by lordsinsurancelog

July 28, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Posted in Insurance Tips

How to avoid hospital bills from doctors that don’t take insurance

Marissa Dennis had a relatively uneventful labor and recovery when her son was born at a New York City hospital in 2008. So she and her husband were taken aback when they received a bill for more than $800 for the handful of routine check-ins they received from the on-call pediatrician.

“It was 10 times what the entire rest of the bill came to,” she said. It turned out that while the hospital took the family’s insurance, the pediatrician didn’t. Dennis and her husband managed to pay the unexpected bill, she said, “but it really ticked us off.”

Such stressful surprises aren’t unusual in medical care today, billing experts say. Doctors who have privileges at hospitals typically aren’t employees and aren’t obligated to accept the same insurance the hospitals do. Often, functions like anesthesia, radiology, pathology or emergency room services are provided via contracts with a single large group that accepts little or no insurance because they prefer not to settle for the discounted payments that insurance companies routinely negotiate. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by lordsinsurancelog

July 27, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Posted in Insurance Tips

The car you own has a big impact on your insurance rates

Does the type of car that I drive really influence my car insurance premiums that much?

The vehicle you own and drive has a large effect on car insurance rates. The difference will quickly become apparent when you compare car insurance quotes.

Car insurance rates vary for a number of reasons – some understandable, some that might cause some head scratching. Vehicle value, popularity, cost to repair, incidence of theft, and perception of driver types can all affect auto insurance rates.

While most auto insurance rates are based on hard data, some premiums are also related to the aforementioned “perceptions.”

Vehicle price or value

Make, model, age, and extra options can all cause auto insurance rates to increase or decrease. If you were to compare insurance rates for a 2005 Ford Taurus and a 2010 Mercedes, for example, you will undoubtedly see a large premium difference. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by lordsinsurancelog

July 25, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Posted in Insurance Tips

Insurance you didn’t know you had

If you took an ax to your kitchen floor, the damage typically wouldn’t be covered by your homeowners insurance. Insurers generally don’t cover intentional damage, and whacking a floor with an ax is considered pretty intentional.

Except when the blows are inflicted in the course of dispatching a rattlesnake that slithered into your kitchen, threatening your wife and 3-year-old child.

That’s what happened to a friend of Bill Sirola, a spokesman for the nation’s largest homeowners insurer, State Farm, and the insurer paid up without a murmur.

“It took him five or six good whacks to kill the thing,” Sirola said.

There are plenty of things that insurance won’t pay for. But in writing about insurance over the years, I’ve stumbled across some unexpected things that are covered. Some are pretty esoteric, like actresses insuring their legs or policies that pay out in case of alien abduction. But others are fairly common, and I’ve picked my 11 favorites among them, starting with my No. 1 of all time:

Waterbed liability

Cue the rotating disco ball and the 1970s funk music, because many renters and condo insurance policies provide coverage if your bodacious berth bursts. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by lordsinsurancelog

July 21, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Posted in Insurance Tips

How Does Insurance Work? The video.

Written by lordsinsurancelog

July 12, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Posted in Insurance Tips

Traffic Violations and Your Auto Insurance

California newspaper The Daily Breeze recently published an article about a man who was issued a $35 ticket for failing to come to a complete stop, which became a $234 ticket after added penalties. (State legislators have been adding new penalties, such as a “state conviction fee,” since 2009, thanks to a $10 billion budget deficit. The base fine for running a red light is $100 in Los Angeles County, for example, but after added penalties the ticket will cost a grand total of $480.)

Even if you live in a state without these hefty additional penalties, the cost of a traffic violation doesn’t end with the cost of the ticket. If you want to keep the infraction off your driving record, there’s the added cost of a traffic school fee and the cost of the traffic school course. If you choose to pay the ticket and not attend driver’s ed, your ticket might get even more expensive — you’ll incur the long-term costs of higher auto insurance.

Violations can raise premiums by 50%
According to an Insurance.com analysis of more than 32,000 insurance policies, drivers who purchased a one-car, single-driver policy in 2010 and had one violation on their record paid about 18% more on average than drivers without any violation. Drivers with two paid 34% more for their policy, while drivers with three violations paid a staggering 53% more for auto insurance than those with zero violations.

The following are the average annual premiums paid, according to the analysis:

  • No violations: $1,119
  • One violation: $1,318
  • Two violations: $1,497
  • Three violations: $1,713

Violations aren’t equal in the eyes of the insurance company, of course. A speeding ticket might not bump up your premium much, but two in quick succession could and might even get you dropped by some insurers. More serious offenses, such as driving while intoxicated, will send your rates up even more. The Insurance.com analysis lists the following as violations that can raise your insurance rates:

  • Speeding
  • Driving under the influence
  • Reckless driving
  • Running red lights
  • Failure to yield or stop
  • Fleeing from police
  • Driving the wrong way
  • Improper passing
  • Illegal u-turn
  • Failure to use proper child restraint

The cost of each type of violation will vary by state, insurance company, and driving record. Also, not all traffic violations will affect your insurance rate. More than likely, tickets for offenses like talking on your cell phone while driving (a violation in some states) and parking citations won’t raise your premium.

What to do if your insurer raises your rates
If your rates go up after a traffic violation, take steps to see if you can lower your premium, such as the following:

  • Shop around to compare several car insurance quotes. It’s easy enough to compare quotes from different companies to find the lowest rate. First, figure out how much auto insurance you need. Compare it to your current coverage and rate, then start making calls for quotes. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by lordsinsurancelog

June 21, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Posted in Insurance Tips