April 2015 - Susman
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Car Insurance. Bad Eyesight Threatens Your Insurance Cover.

If you have an accident and it’s found that you’d failed to keep your car roadworthy, for example excessively worn tyres, and that was a contributory factor in the accident, your insurer will probably refuse to pay up. And the police may also show an interest too! Quite reasonable many of you will say. But what if it’s you that’s un-roadworthy?

How many driving accidents are accompanied by the comment “I didn’t see the other vehicle”? And what happens if the problem was your eyesight? Has it deteriorated to a dangerous extent?

Well all of us clearly know if we have an eyesight problem but there are opticians to help on every high street. Remember, if you need contact lenses or glasses for driving then you must wear them and if your eyesight deteriorates you should get a new prescription. It’s the legal responsibility of all drivers to ensure that they’re safe to drive.

Only last week I drew up alongside an elderly driver who was clearly having trouble reading the junction signs. He was leaning forward trying to read the signs indicating towards Leeds and rolling forward at 10 mph – all this at traffic lights that by this time had turned red – and he clearly hadn’t seen those! He was lucky that the cars coming across from the right saw him early. I’m not even sure he saw them either!

The law is quite straightforward – it states that any driving licence holder who cannot meet the minimum level of eyesight must not drive. They are also required to surrender their licence.

The eyesight test for drivers’ states that you must be able to read a number plate containing letters and figures 50 mm wide and 79mm high (that’s a legal number plate) from a distance of 20 meters. But you can use your driving glasses.

Having said that there’s no legal obligation for you to have regular eyesight tests but you are required to tell the DVLA if you develop any medical problem that affects your fitness to drive. If you don’t tell them, it’s a criminal offence.

In some American states drivers have to take an eye test every five years but not in the UK. Here, driver aged 70 and over must complete a medical form every three years confirming their fitness to drive and the definition of “fitness” includes eyesight. If theses drivers fail to send in their medical form, they lose their driving licence. (I wonder what that elderly gentleman at the traffic lights said on his?)

On the insurance front, if you are involved in an accident where your defective eyesight was a contributory factor, your insurance company may well argue that you were negligent and refuse to pay out. This could be simply because you needed glasses to drive but weren’t wearing them at the time.

So drive carefully, and keep your eyes peeled – elderly gentleman in Leeds please take note!

Car Insurance

Nothing is easy even in today’s one-click world. Buying car insurance can be a big hassle, and take most of a day calling around, talking to different companies to get quotes. A lot of people don’t have the time to waste to call several different companies out of the phone book, haggling for the best deal and the lowest car insurance rates. Yet everyone still wants to find the best deal, whether or not they have a lot of time on their hands to shop around with. If you’re a bargain shopper, then you know the Internet is your best bet to find the greatest deals – on anything. If you buy your car insurance online, you’re liable to come away with a great deal.

Every car insurance company says they can offer you the best deal and the lowest rates, and it seems almost impossible to get a straight answer when you get a quote over the phone. Many shoppers feel more comfortable buying car insurance online, in a quick and easy process that doesn’t mean sitting through a long series of automated questions and answers. By gathering quotes on the Internet, you won’t have to talk to anyone on the phone, answer any questions posed by automated voices, or sit and wait for a human to have the time to talk to you. The Internet allows you to move easily through the process of getting quotes, and many consumers prefer this method.

If you want to get quotes online, the first rule of thumb is not to go to car insurance company’s web site. This will limit your quotes and your options. There are tons of sites out there that allow you to fill out a single questionnaire and then compare quotes side-by-side. You can, in this fashion, look over the rates and coverage of several different companies at once. Using the phone as your only tool, getting that many quotes could take hours. With the Internet, you can compare a large list of quotes, immediately weeding out companies whose prices don’t fit your budget. Any Internet search will produce web sites that offer comparison-shopping and multiple quotes for your car insurance needs.

Another good way to go when it comes to buying car insurance is to buy through an independent agent. Independent agents do not work for any one company but for you, the consumer. They do all the work of comparing quotes for you, and in the end they can usually provide you with a much better deal than what you can find on your own. Independent agents are offered select deals through car insurance companies, policies and rates that aren’t available to the average person. You will never have to talk to your car insurance company, and will only have to send them a check every month or six months (depending on your payment plan). If there is any problem, simply contact your insurance agent and they’ll take care of everything. The best part is, there are no fees involved with using the independent agent – you only pay your car insurance bill.

Most people have to have car insurance because of state laws, and others just know that having car insurance is a good idea. Just because you have to have it doesn’t mean you can’t get a great deal at the same time, and the less you have to pay, the better. You can find the best car insurance rates without wasting a ton of time or staying on hold for hours. Really, doesn’t everyone deserve the best possible deal on affordable car insurance?

Canadian Travel Health Insurance

With Canada so close to the US, it is easy to forget that Canada is another country and even though we feel at home when we go there, there are formalities one must have in mind – like having a travel health insurance because the American healthcare system does not pay for treatment outside the US.

There is hardly anything special in purchasing a travel health insurance plan when going to Canada that is very different from doing it for any other part of the world. Maybe one difference is that Canada has a high standard of living and therefore you can reasonably expect that there, like at home, medical and dental services will be more expensive than those in some Third World countries. And this is one more reason to look for the best, not the cheapest travel health insurance plan.

As far as money is concerned, a regular basic plan usually provides coverage for you and your family amounting about $50,000 CAD (about USD 43,000), which is usually enough to cover ambulance service, laboratory examination, doctor’s fees, a short stay in the hospital, etc. But if you are afraid that this is not enough, there are companies that offer over USD 1,000,000 as coverage. And if you go to ski in Calgary, for example, or go on a fishing trip to Ontario, do not let a broken limb ($400-500 with therapy, crutches, etc.) break both your mood and finances.

There are many Canadian companies that offer travel health insurance to Americans and there are many American companies that offer the same for Americans going to Canada, so the choice is unlimited. Just visit their sites and spend some time with the online calculators that allow to enter your age, the duration of the trip, the destination province and your medical condition, and in no time at all you will have plenty of offers to choose from!

Can You Afford To Have Health Insurance?

You may think that the best way to acquire health insurance coverage, is simply to obtain the complete coverage that you can afford. Off course to some extent it is true, and if you have many liquid resources then it is a good idea to obtain a good complete individual health insurance plan that includes everything from a small fees for hospital visits to full dental coverage. But, if you are not good budget, you may consider getting a smaller policy that you can afford and pay for some of medical expenses from you regular budget.

If you are trying several other methods that are costly to fill and refill, or that need regular check ups with your medical adviser or doctor to make sure that you have the right cure, it is important to obtain a complete health plan. However, if you are searching for other ways to meet your health costs, it may make sense not to get such plan. If you do not have any dependents and do not need to make regular hospital visits for any reason, consider whether you really need a full health insurance plan that gives you complete coverage. Paying more cost than your requirements for health insurance can be a heavy burden, so it is good to think creatively and realistically about what you really require and if it is possible to get the care you require without a large monthly payment to a health insurance providers.

Many people know that using a combination of free clinics and lower health insurance coverage, they are able to get by much less money that they would pay for comprehensive health insurance. It is a cool idea to have coverage that can help alleviating the burden if you suddenly develop a condition that requires urgent care. However, it is a good idea to look for different kinds of plans that are available, as one of the most plans designed specially to give you emergency coverage may be a much better way than a plan that will leave you generally well insured.

It is not a good way to apply different trick with your health care, so make this sure that you if do not opted for the maximum amount of insurance that you can afford, then you have a plan for how to meet any medical cost that may arise in future. Think about other possibilities that you can use to get money for your health care needs, such as starting an investment savings account where you store away the money you would be paying for insurance every month. This will help you to get prepared for anything. Don’t forget coverage entirely though.

Can You Afford Not To Have Health Insurance?

Many people think the best way to get health insurance coverage is simply to get the most complete coverage one can afford. This is, to some extent true, and if you have a lot of liquid resources it is a good idea to get a comprehensive individual health insurance plan that includes everything from a small deductible for hospital visits to full dental and vision coverage. However, if you are on a very tight budget, you may want to consider getting a smaller plan than you can afford and paying for some of your medical expenses out of pocket.

If you are juggling several different prescriptions that are costly to fill and refill, or that require frequent check ups with your doctor to make sure that you have the right dosage, it is important to get a full health plan. However, if you are looking for ways to economize on your health costs, it may make sense not to get such a comprehensive plan. If you don’t have any dependents and don’t need to make regular hospital visits for any reason, consider whether you really need a full health insurance plan that gives you complete coverage. Paying more than you need for health insurance can be a heavy financial burden, so it is worth thinking creatively and realistically about what you really need and if it is possible to get the care you require without shelling out a large monthly payment to a health insurance provider.

Many people find that through a combination of free clinics and minimal health insurance coverage, they are able to get by spending much less money than they would pay for comprehensive health insurance. It is still a smart idea to have coverage that will help alleviate the financial burden if you suddenly develop a condition or meet with an injury that requires emergency care. However, it is a good idea to look into what kinds of plans are available, as one of the many plans designed specifically to give you emergency coverage may be a much better choice than a plan that will leave you generally well insured.

It is never a good idea to gamble with your health care, so make sure that you if don’t opt for the maximum amount of insurance that you can afford, that you have a plan for how to meet any medical expenses that may arise. Think about other ways that you can designate money for your health care needs, such as starting a savings account where you store away the money you would be paying for insurance every month. This will help you make sure that you are prepared for anything. Don’t forgo coverage entirely though. At the very least purchase a high deductible plan that will cover you in the case of a serious illness or injury. Otherwise one serious illness or injury could wipe you out financially.

Can I Buy Auto Insurance Online?

Yes, you can get car insurance quotes online.

You can sit in the comfort of your home and get quotes from several insurance companies for the best rates for your auto insurance.

Do your homework first. Make sure you are familiar with state limits and requirements. Know what you want. You can save money with minimum limits as required by the state, but higher limits will protect you better.

Make sure you have the right underwriting information and be aware of your losses. If you’ve had many losses with your current carrier, it will affect your rate with the new carrier.

Even though you can do everything on line it still pays to speak to a representative. Person to person contact may elicit little money saving tips and information on credits companies may offer. For instance, did you know that if you have a teen driver with grades of B or above, you may be entitled to a rate credit? Online applications may not offer this advice.

If you have your eye on a brand new sports car, sometimes you might want to speak to a person before you go ahead and get a quote. They might be able to advise you on which features to get in order to save a dollar here or there.

Make sure the company is reputable. Because they have an online presence it doesn’t mean that they are a reputable company. Do your research. Check with AM Best, an agency that monitors the financial responsibility of insurance companies. Also check with your state to see if there are any outstanding complaints against the insurance company you’re getting quotes from.

The internet makes it very easy to get auto quotes, just do your homework.

Please see our list of references below for low rate insurance quotes. These are also great sources for insurance information and tips on saving money every month.

Calling all smokers. A dream ticket for two to Paradise Island – for all of you!

Sorry to remind all you died in the wool smokers but November was Lung Cancer Awareness month. But no don’t click away – spare a few moments of your time, please ……..

If hard words on packets wash over you, let me put the financial case to you for quitting. As well as feeling healthier I can offer you a holiday for two on Paradise Island in the Maldives, for two, for every year of your longer life!!

OK, I know you don’t believe me. Let’s explain.

Say the average smoker is 40 and smokes 20 a day. With cigarettes at £5 a packet that’s £1,800 a year. Then you’ll save loads on the cost of your your life, critical illness and medical insurance. Just how much was highlighted in a recent snapshot study by www.express-life-insurance.co.uk. This found that the average smoker paid 56% more for life insurance than a non-smoker. Therefore, giving up could easily save you £50 per month on your various insurance premiums.

So as a non-smoker you could be £2,400 per year better off. Wearing a financial hat I can show you that if a 40 year old man put those savings into a personal pension plan with NFU, then at 5% per annum growth, he’ll have a healthy retirement fund of £97,860. On retirement that could give an in the pocket tax-free sum of £24,465, plus an annual lifetime income of £3,830 (or £5,100 per year if the tax-free cash was left in the pension).

On the other hand let’s have more fun!

For £2,400 you can have a 5 star 10 day holiday for two on Paradise Island in the Maldives. Give up smoking forever and you could afford to go back to Paradise Island every year!

QED – makes you think doesn’t it?

California Earthquake Authority rates go down

An article written by the Insurance Journal, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has just approved a rate reduction of up to 10% for earthquake insurance policies issued by the CEA.  This rate reduction should be reflected in policies that renew after January 1, 2016.  In addition, new deductible options will become available ranging from 5% up to 25% and coverage enhancements on personal property and loss of use or additional living expenses.

As an FYI, the California Earthquake Authority or CEA for short has around 865,000 policyholders in California.  They estimate that they issue around 75% of all residential earthquake policies purchased in California.