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Tips to Reduce Insurance Premiums for Your Teenage Driver
While most parents would prefer to keep their teenagers off the road, you probably won't have much success encouraging them to withhold from getting that long awaited ticket to freedom.
Unfortunately, because teenagers are at a higher risk for traffic accidents and tickets, their insurance rates can easily be 50 to 75 percent higher than their parents. Furthermore, premiums for teenage drivers generally won't be significantly reduced until they turn 25, get married or both. In the meantime, they'll stand to save money by having themselves added to your insurance policy instead of getting their own policy.
Here are some ways to reduce car insurance premiums, courtesy of the Independent Insurance Agents of America:
Make sure your teen stays in school and studies to make good grades. Many insurers offer discounts to good students. A "B" average or better in school carries a lot of weight in keeping insurance costs down.
Sign up your teen for a supplementary driver's education course. Many insurers will offer a discount to offset your investment.
If your teen will be driving a family car, designate one vehicle he or she will drive.
Consider a higher deductible. Moving from a $250 to $500 or $1,000 deductible can save you 10 to 20 percent on your premium. Consider whether you can absorb the extra out-of-pocket expense in the event of an accident.
Reward safe driving. More than anything else, an accident- and ticket-free driving record will keep your premiums at their lowest
How to Prevent and Treat Mold in Your Home
The impact of mold has become a prevalent topic recently, but do you know all you need to know about its impact on you and your home?
Although certain molds may be discussed more than others, all molds are treated the same when it comes to their potential health risks and their removal.
It is easy to know if you have a mold problem. Large mold infestations can be seen or smelled. Mold grows naturally in the environment and may enter your home through open doors, windows, and ventilation systems such as heating and air conditioning. Mold spores may even attach themselves to your clothing and pets, which then bring them inside the home. Once inside, mold attaches itself to areas with moisture, such as a leaky roof, pipes, wet wallboard, plant pots, areas of condensation, and where flooding has occurred. Many building products make a hospitable place for mold to grow.
Stachybotrys chartarum is a greenish-black mold, which grows in areas with a high cellulose and low nitrogen content, such as fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, dust and lint. Even carpet, fabric and upholstery can easily support mold growth.
The most common health concerns resulting from mold exposure are allergy-type symptoms. The severity of the reaction depends on the amount and duration of the exposure to the mold. Individuals with chronic respiratory disease, including asthma, may experience difficulty breathing. Also, those on immune suppression therapy may be at an increased risk for health problems associated with mold. If you feel that you or your family members are at risk for infection, see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Prevention is the key to combating mold. Just as with termites, buildings should be inspected for mold growth. Areas affected by water damage should be inspected thoroughly. Leaks and other conditions that supply moisture should be corrected, so as to prevent mold from taking root. Remove and replace flood-damaged carpets and carpet pads. Helpful tips are to keep humidity levels in your home below 50%, using air conditioning or a dehumidifier if necessary. Also, make sure your home is well ventilated, checking heating and air conditioning units as well as exhaust fans. Clean bathrooms and kitchens with mold-killing products. And, consider using paint that contains a mold-inhibiting agent.
If you are going to rid your home of mold, a bleach and water solution will suffice for most jobs. Mix 10 parts water to 1 part chlorine bleach and never mix bleach with ammonia. Clean walls and other flood-damaged items with the bleach solution and discard moldy items. Professionals may be needed to clean larger areas of mold.
Insurance Fraud Raises Prices for more than just Policies
When people deceive insurance agents or companies to collect money they are not entitled to, this is considered fraud.
Fraud can be considered soft or hard. Soft fraud happens when people embellish facts to obtain more money. For example, a policyholder might exaggerate the value of an item stolen from his or her home to receive a higher claim payout, or a business owner may say there are less employees than there actually are to avoid a higher workers' compensation premium. When people deliberately fake losses to their vehicles, homes or businesses, this is considered hard fraud. They may act alone or be part of a crime ring.
Why Everyone Should Worry
Insurance fraudsters are picking the pockets of consumers so they can pad their own. Insurance fraud is becoming one of the biggest crimes in the United States. It happens on a daily basis in all 50 states. People who commit this type of fraud come from all backgrounds and fall into all age groups as well as income brackets. The same is true of victims of this crime. According to insurance experts, fraud schemes are responsible for consuming about $80 billion every year.
It is important to look past the high costs. Careers, families, businesses and finances can be destroyed by insurance fraud. Honest and hard-working people are the ones who ultimately pay the price for it. People may lose their savings over investment schemes when they trust the wrong people. Older individuals are especially vulnerable to this. Consumers' health conditions are also in danger sometimes. If they buy health insurance policies that come from swindlers, they find out the hard way that they actually have no coverage or very little. Alternately, they may receive inadequate care that is inflated in price to maximize insurance claims.
When these things happen, insurance premiums will assuredly remain high. Home and auto insurers must pass the costs of dealing with fraud on to their customers. This means the prices of consumer goods will be higher. When businesses pass on higher costs, they do so through the price tags on their goods or services. In addition to this, honest businesses end up losing money, and these losses total into the millions every year. When fraud causes increases for employee health coverage, they must make their workers pay more as well.
Fraud can cost good workers their jobs, health coverage and even their future careers if their employers go bankrupt due to being scheme victims. Innocent individuals may even be injured or killed. Some of the more sinister schemes involve staging fires or auto accidents. Heartless crooks do not care that victims may be families and even little children or pets, and some people are murdered so a beneficiary can attempt to claim the life insurance benefit. It is important to report suspected fraud immediately. To learn more about how to report insurance fraud or for further information on this topic, discuss concerns with an agent. by calling 314-351-HALO(4256).
Group Life Lapses After 30 Days of Not Working
MANY EMPLOYERS may offer group life insurance and death benefits to their employees and these policies are purchased to help your family in case of your death.
When group term insurance is provided through your employer, the employer usually pays for most (and in some cases all) of the premiums. The amount of your coverage is typically equal to one or two times your annual salary.
But one thing that you need to know about is the extent of these policies. The older you get, the less the payout.
Also, there are provisions that require you to work a certain amount of hours for the policy to stay in effect.
For the most part this is not a problem, but if the worst should happen and you come down with a terminal illness and miss work for an extended period of time, there are some things you need to know.
That's because group insurance contracts have what's known as an "actively at work provision."
This requirement stipulates that coverage will be effective for an employee provided he/she is not absent from work due to sickness, injury, or other reasons on the date that coverage begins.
Once coverage is in effect it continues for as long as the employee is working for the employer at least 20 hours a week, and as long as required premium contributions are made.
Also, an employee cannot be away from work for more than 30 days. If they are, the policy will lapse for that employee.
Many employers, upon finding out that an employee is terminally ill, will try to keep them on the group life insurance policy, but because of these restrictions, the employee who is out for this reason may well find that the life claim will be denied.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance of having a terminal illness, and you know you'll be missing work and maybe not returning, you will have 30 days to convert your group coverage into an individual policy.
This provides you reasonable time to replace the group coverage that you had in effect while employed.
To learn more about your group plan and your options to start an individual plan talk with an agent, today at 314-351-HALO(4256).