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Don’t Laugh, You Do It Too!

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Don’t Laugh, You Do It Too!

I’m generally not in the habit of paying for something I can’t see, feel, hear, read, eat, wear, etc. But that’s exactly what I’m doing and the really strange part about it is that I continue to do it each month! Is there something wrong with me? Who in their right mind would do such a thing? I’ll tell you who – any person with a driver’s license (although there are some that try to get around this requirement – but that’s another story). The big bad word here? Insurance. Yep, that’s the culprit – the idea of our getting a policy on the chance that something "might" happen. So, if that holds true, should I go out and buy a new bathing suit just in case someone invites me on a cruise to the Bahamas? Should I get a new dress in case there is a wedding invitation in the works? No, I buy something when the situation calls for it, not when I think it just might happen.

Insurance is one of the few things we are forced to buy whether we need it or not. It’s an odd concept, this buying something "just in case." It’s similar to when we buy any kind of appliance or electronic gadget and the salesman asks if you want to purchase the extended warranty. You then think to yourself, "Am I buying such an inferior product that I am going to use it?"

Oh sure, it’s great to have when you need it. There’s no denying that. But just think for a minute, and add up all the money you have spent on insurance premiums over the years. Wow, money out the window! Don’t get me wrong – I feel secure when I am out on the road and I see all these other clowns who think they can drive. It is a good feeling to know I am protected should one of them do something crazy.

I remember when I visited California and l anded at LAX. The sun was shining so bright and it was a glorious day. I decided once I got settled, it would be the perfect time for a drive along the Pacific Coast Highway. I had always heard how scenic it is and wanted to find out for myself.

Once in my rental car, I began my voyage into unknown but exquisitely beautiful territory. The only shameful part was that I wanted to keep stopping to take pictures of the incredible views in this part of the country. I would never reach my destination at this rate. With its steep drop-offs and no guardrails, this is driving to pay attention to! But as I approached one particularly dangerous curve in the road, I noticed the red and blue flashing lights and slowed down to see a crash of two cars obviously going too fast for their own good. I slowly passed the accident scene but thought it would be in poor taste to yell out, "Hey, I hope you threw your money out the window too!" Judging by the vehicle damage, I hope they did!

Size Really Does Matter!

Driving in California is like dodging snowflakes in winter, the smaller the car the better your chance of avoiding a gas station. Not everyone owns a Prius, either. There is also an abundance of Camrys, Accords and Civics darting in and out of traffic. It seems the smaller the car, the longer the distance between fuel stops. By the same token, larger trucks are an oddity on West Coast highways. Hummers and SUVs st and out like sore thumbs, probably because they can mostly be found bellied up to a gas pump.

Contrary to popular belief, there is not a Beamer in every drive way and Hollywood is not full of sports cars. Granted, there are areas that look like Germany had an overflow problem, but for the most part drivers in California want a quality car that is good on gas. Traffic in the Golden State can be insane sometimes, so purchasing a smaller car that is dependable as well as affordable is part of the territory.

In a state where economy is the key, a fuel efficient vehicle can mean the difference between living from pay check to pay check or saving for your children’s college fund. While smaller seems to be better in some cases, the choice is yours to find the right car to fit your individual needs.

Trouble Doggin’ My Soul

[youtube]http://youtu.be/g9BOrU4Melk[/youtube]

Travelers’ use of the Sheltie and his bone, with the music and lyrics of Ray Lamontagne’s song Trouble, is nothing short of brilliant. We all have an item — a mere bone to others — that we hold near and dear, struggling to determine if the item would be safer locked away in a Century City bank or if we need to see it and reassure ourselves daily of its continued presence in our lives. What is there to do to quiet the incessant worry that dogs our sleep whether we’re canine or human? The purchase of an endorsement rider with our property insurance to cover especially unique items can quiet our concerns. Get a proposal here.

Life Insurance – live forever

The human quest for immortality has led us down many roads–religion, science, exploration, meditation and just about anything else we could think of that might give us some glimmer of hope that we might manage to miss our final destination. Maybe we’re missing the obvious answer, though. Maybe we just need to buy life insurance.

Have you ever walked around downtown in a major city? The next time you do, look up at some of those big, beautiful, expensive buildings. Notice the names on them. You’ll see a common theme, with names like Prudential, AIG and Kemper appearing on some of the biggest. Insurance companies can’t build modern day palaces like that if they’re losing money. Since the idea behind life insurance is that you pay the insurance company until you die, then they pay your family the only way for the insurance companies to be making so much money is for the insured to be staying alive, right?

Oh sure, you could make the argument that the insurance companies just charge more to offset the cost of paying out death benefits, but the fact is that life insurance rates have actually been coming down over the last several years according to an article in USA Today. Perhaps a better argument is that people are living longer, meaning that insurance companies get to collect your premiums for a few more years before they have to pay up.

But maybe there is a link between owning life insurance and living longer. A life insurance company will use a number of factors to set your premium amount. An article on CNN.com explains that insurance companies will look at your health, lifestyle, occupation, family history and more, basically with the goal of determining exactly how likely you are to die at a young age. Really, if you want to know when you’re going to die, don’t talk to a fortune teller; talk to an insurance adjuster–they’re far more accurate. Anyway, the more likely you are to die young, as determined by the insurance adjuster, the higher your premiums will be. The logical conclusion would be that if you were really likely to die soon, your premiums would be so high that you couldn’t afford them. Therefore, the fact that you can afford life insurance might mean that you are not very likely to die soon. And if you can still afford your life insurance 50 or 100 years from now–so be it.

So the bottom line is that life insurance companies are in the business of knowing when you’re going to die, so if they’re willing to offer you life insurance as a decent price, the odds are that your number is going to be up for quite awhile. As for immortality, well, make friends with an insurance adjuster and I’m sure they’ll do what they can.

Do You Walk and Text?

We are all in agreement that texting while screaming down the 405 is a bad idea. Even the ones who continue to do it know it’s a bad idea, but they do it anyway, but that’s a subject for another post. Let’s talk about texting while walking.

Now, you’re thinking, “Texting while walking? How hard can THAT be?” Believe it or not, pretty hard. Don’t think so? Try it. Place a straight line on your floor with a piece of tape (4 or 5 feet should be fine) and walk either on it or next to it (without stepping or crossing over it).

Simple enough, right?

Now, whip open your cell phone and try the same task while sending a text message. No worries, we’ll wait…

<whistling the Jeopardy Theme>

Not as easy as you thought, huh?

This is becoming the next serious issue with cell phones, now that states are passing no-texting while driving laws. People have suffered serious injuries because they are texting and not watching where they are walking. A woman in Michigan walked off the edge of a pier and had to be rescued. And according to a study conducted by Ohio State, over 1,000 pedestrians have been injured due to accidents caused by texting and walking.

Don’t know how you feel about it, but we can’t imagine a text being so important you walk in front of a bus.

Now towns and cities are taking action. A Ft. Lee, New Jersey is imposing a $85 for walking while distracted. A town in Delaware is taking a different approach: They have placed signs on the ground to remind people to look up and be aware of their surroundings. It is dangerous to not know what is going on around you. Bad things can happen.

Like walking off the edge of a pier. How do you not notice the pier is ending?

But enough about that. New York and Arkansas lawmakers are working on legislation that will restrict the use of cell phones and personal music players, because they are convinced that distracted pedestrians are dangerous pedestrians. Judging from the people who are texting and walking into poles, tripping over things on the street, falling down stairs and walking out into oncoming traffic, it’s hard to argue their point.

So, if you walk and text, stop. Either stop walking and read and respond to the text message, or wait until you are seated somewhere and then read and send the text. In other words, do the same thing on your feet that you are supposed to do in your car. This will cut down on the chances of you walking into or off of things…

Like piers.

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