8 Crucial Steps to Take If You’re in a Car Accident

Car Accident

Nobody ever plans to be in a car accident, but maybe you should. According to the experts, the average driver will be in a car accident serious enough to require an insurance claim every 17.9 years. And if you’re a, shall we say, less than excellent driver? Oof. You could have five or six accidents by the time you’re 90. Once you wrap your head around the fact that you’re going to be in an accident some day, you need to get ready. Obviously you wear your seatbelt all the time — right? — but you’ll also need to know exactly what to do after that fender bender to work within the law, meet your insurance company’s expectations, and protect your assets. Grab a pencil — you’re going to want to take some notes. 1. Stay at the Scene — But Stay Safe Never, ever leave the scene of an accident without talking to the other driver. If someone is hurt, you can get in serious legal trouble for leaving the scene. No matter how scared you may be, or how big a hurry you’re in, you definitely don’t want to be on the evening news labeled as a hit-and-run

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What's The Best Car Insurance Policy?

Best Car Insurance

For the new driver, understanding and purchasing auto insurance for the first time can be a difficult process. Regardless of the minimum coverage offered by nearly every auto insurance provider, deciding on the additional costs of extra coverage can be like understanding a whole new language. Even those who have driven for decades without so much as a parking ticket may have a difficult time looking beyond price when searching for auto insurance quotes. Does comprehensive coverage really matter after the car loan gets paid off? More importantly, is the stuff inside your car actually worth covering? From someone who has done everything from watch a car catch on fire off an Amish highway, to dealing with the aftermath of a vehicle collision, I understand how difficult it may be to determine just how much auto insurance is needed to properly cover your car. However, by taking some time to understand what coverage is and how it affects your personal situation, everyone can make sure they are properly covered in the worst case scenario. What is minimum coverage? By definition, “minimum coverage” is the least amount of liability insurance every driver of an automobile is required to have under state

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Try This Car Insurance Hack to Lower Your Premiums

Try This Car Insurance Hack to Lower Your Premiums

If you’re like most people, you rely on your car to get you places so you can live your life — and that includes getting back and forth to work so that you can earn your daily bread. Unfortunately, the price of freedom comes with a lot of extra line items in your household budget: fuel, maintenance, unexpected repairs, excise taxes, parking permits, license and registration fees, and mandatory auto insurance. Cars aren’t cheap. Still, if you’re working to embrace a more frugal lifestyle to pay down your debts and gain more control over your finances, there’s a lot you can do to cut expenses when it comes to your vehicle. One of the easiest hacks is one you’ll barely even notice, since you probably only deal with your car insurance policy once a year. The Universal Law of Insurance If there’s one thing to remember about insurance, it’s this: When your deductible goes up, your premiums go down. A pessimist would argue that all this means is that you’ll pay through the nose for insurance no matter what you do. I’ve got better news: You can play the odds to make smarter choices that will allow you to put

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Top 8 Ways To Save on Your Homeowners Insurance

Top 8 Ways To Save on Your Homeowners Insurance

The cost of homeowners can vary by hundreds of dollars from one company to another. To find the best rate for the right coverage, you'll have to do more than getting quotes from multiple companies. Getting a deal is more about how you shop and what you ask for. Here are 8 ways to save: 1. Increase Your Deductible Your deductible is the amount of money that you pay out of pocket before the insurance company starts paying. The lower the amount you have to pay out of pocket the higher the premium will be. In most cases anything less than a $500 deductible is not recommended. Raising your deductible to $1000 can cut your premium by up to 25%. On a $750 premium that adds up to a $187.5 savings. Depending on where you live, you may have separate deductibles for windstorm or earthquake damage. You may also want to consider raising these deductibles as well for additional savings. 2. Bundle and Save Many insurers will offer discounts to gain more of your business. If your auto and homeowners policies are with different companies, ask your agent or broker to provide you with new quotes for both policies under

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Do You Need Gap Insurance?

gap insurance

From a return on investment perspective, the worst thing you could do is buy a new car. That's because a new car can lose up to 15% or 20% of its value the second it leaves the dealer's lot. That means the $40,000 car you just purchased is only worth $32,000 by the time you get it home. Before you snicker and think to yourself that you're smarter than the other guy because you only buy gently used cars think again. Used cars are not immune to instant depreciation; it's just not as severe as with a new car. What is the Gap? When you finance the purchase of a new or used car the difference between the amount you owe and the value of the car is called the gap. The gap is significant because if your car is totaled, insurance will only reimburse you for the value of the car, not the amount you owe. Gap insurance bridges the difference between your car's value and your loan balance. It comes into play when the maximum payout from your collision insurance is less than the the amount you owe on the loan. If you're like most people,  you're probably wondering

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Is Rental Car Insurance a Rip Off?

Is Rental Car Insurance a Rip Off?

If you've ever walked up to a rental car counter you've met Bob or Donna the enthusiastic rental agent. It's their job to speed you safely on your way. They will ask you what kind car you prefer, and how long you will need it. They will explain how you should bring it back with the same amount of gas it has now. They will tell you that if you don't, you will charged a premium for them to do it. They'll ask for your driver's license and whether or not anyone else will be driving the car. Then they will recommend that you take their insurance in order to provide yourself with the best possible protection. The Options Depending on the car you choose rental car insurance can cost up to $50 per day, but what exactly does rental car insurance cover? Liability – This covers you for damage to property other than the rental car that occurs while you are behind the wheel. It also protects against bodily injury to the passengers and driver of other vehicles and pedestrians. On its own this coverage costs on average $5-$15 per day. Personal Effects – This optional coverage protects your

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Most Common Reasons Insurance Claims Are Denied

Most Common Reasons Insurance Claims Are Denied

Sooner or later you're going to have a claim denied by an insurance company. The best way to avoid having a claim denied is to not give insurance companies reason to reject your claim in the first place. Here are the most common causes of denied claims that you need to avoid: All Types of Insurance 1. Cancelled or Lapsed Coverage This is the leading cause of insurance claims being denied for all types of insurance. There is usually no wiggle room or grounds for appeals in these cases. The reason is that all forms of insurance are contracts, and both you and the insurance company have obligations under the contract. The insurance company is required to protect you from risks and you are required to pay them on time. If you haven't been holding up your side of the bargain, state insurance departments and courts recognize that you broke the contract and will do nothing to help you. Where this gets tricky is when something called the "grace period" comes into play. The grace period is the amount of time after an insurance payment is due that the policy still remains in effect. For example, if your policy has a 7-day

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Cyber-Insurance is the Future of Business Insurance

Cyber-Insurance is the Future of Business Insurance

The news is full of stories of celebrity photo hacks and mega-retailers having customer information stolen by cyber-thieves. The danger of cyber attacks includes more than theft of information. It includes business interruption that is the result of both undirected and directed malware that can be covered by cyber-insurance. Just as wearing a seat belt reduces your risk of serious injury in a car accident, there are measures that businesses can take to reduce their risk of breach. At the end of the day cyber attacks, like car accidents, are going to happen and cyber-insurance goes a long way to limiting the effects. What is cyber-insurance? "Cyber-insurance" is a catchall phrase. It includes a variety of policy configurations that protect against a range of threats. In other words, different policies from different insurers may cover different threats. Cyber-threat or cyber-liability insurance coverage may include these threats: Data breach — The extent of the coverage will vary from policy to policy and can include some or all of the following: Expenses related to managing the breach. Cost of investigating the sourcecause of the breach. The cost of repairing the vulnerability. Notifying affected parties. Increased call management costs. Credit checks for affected

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8 Topics Worth Discussing With Your Insurance Agent

8 Topics Worth Discussing With Your Insurance Agent

Insurance is a highly regulated business. Each state has its own rules that are strictly enforced by a dedicated department of insurance. The regulations are intended to protect you from fraud do a good job. That may not be enough to protect you against being taken advantage of in other ways, such as from a dishonest insurance agent. For example, an agent might try to sell you a policy that you really don't need or coverage that doesn't match your risks. To get the right coverage at the best price you need to know what questions to ask, especially the ones they don't want to hear. Here are eight topics to keep in mind when talking to insurance agents: Specialty insurance Whether it's a disease specific policy that guards you against cancer or AIDS, or flight insurance, specialty policies are seldom worth the expense. Many of these life insurance policies are sold on the basis of fear and in most cases you are probably already covered by other insurance. If you are truly worried about the risk of contracting a deadly disease due to a family history consider an upgrade to your comprehensive medical insurance instead.

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How to Decide if You Need Long-Term Care Insurance

How to Decide if You Need Long-Term Care Insurance

Unlike health insurance, including Medicare, long-term care insurance offers a way to pay for assistance if you are unable to care for yourself. This type of coverage pays for care ranging from respite care for family members to in-home assistance. Long-term care insurance also pays for assisted living residences and nursing home care. Most people will start thinking about long-term care insurance as they approach retirement. This usually happens between becoming eligible for senior discounts and cashing your first Social Security check. Experts disagree about the best time to consider long-term care insurance. One school of thought believes that you should wait until you are at least 60 before taking the plunge. Other advisers suggest sometime in your mid-50s as the optimal time. Ultimately the decision is a personal one that balances the cost of about $2,000 a year with risk. However, waiting too long can result in your becoming ineligible because of pre-existing conditions. Postponing the decision until too long after retirement can result in your being priced out of the market. Healthcare insurance and Medicare It's a common misconception that your private healthcare insurance or Medicare covers long-term care. Health insurance will provide for short term nursing care

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