Teen Auto Insurance – Auto Insurance Rating Factors for Younger Drivers

Teen Auto Insurance in Florida

In general, teen auto insurance tends to be more costly than the auto insurance for older drivers. Obviously, teens are more aggressive, stronger and more inexperienced than their parents.  Younger drivers are still on their way up the rank to enjoy road adventures and travelling.

Why do teens pay higher insurance rates?

Based on statistics, teens are more likely to face road accidents, commit traffic violations and get traffic tickets compared to mature drivers.  Almost all auto insurance companies consider these things in determining the high risk factors when it’s time for teens to get their teen car insurance.  Fortunately, they can keep their insurance rates less expensive the way it should be.

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Auto Accident and Fraud Prevention Checklist

 Auto Accident and Fraud Prevention Checklist

 Having an accident is often a very stressful, emotional situation. Multiple people can be involved and many things can happen very quickly. To help ensure the circumstances of the accident are accurately recorded, we suggest you use the following checklist.

To aid you to accurately record the facts, we also suggest you keep a fresh, disposable  camera in your vehicle and take pictures of:

 – The scene

-The vehicle damage to all involved vehicles license plates of all involved vehicles drivers, passengers  and witnesses

-Any identification and insurance documents.

Note:   Use your cell phone camera if another camera is not available.

Be sure to contact your insurance agent  or broker as soon as possible to report the claim.

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Get Anything Nice for The Holidays? Insure it!

Get Anything Nice for The Holidays? Insure it

 If Santa left a new TV, video game system or other pricey gift under your Christmas tree this year, you may need to update your home or renters insurance coverage. The electronics salesman at Wal-Mart or Best Buy will tell you every single detail about the new Toshiba big-screen lightning-fast laptop, but he won’t tell you that you probably don’t have enough insurance to replace it if it’s damaged or stolen. For instance, homeowners who get a $2,500 laptop in their stocking may need a rider to fully cover it against damage or theft. This is because their home insurance policy may consider it a “luxury item.” Similarly, renters need to be mindful of pricey items also. If your renters insurance only provides $2,000 in coverage and your new plasma TV is damaged during a rowdy New Year’s Eve party, you probably won’t have enough insurance to replace it. You’ve probably seen the Lexus commercial where a husband buys his wife a brand new SUV and wraps it in a huge red bow in the driveway. As you might have guessed, luxury cars cost an arm and a leg to insure, so if you’re one of the lucky few who got a new ride for Christmas, it might be a good idea to compare auto insurance quotes with InsWeb and keep your insurance premium low. Nobody wants to think about a lame topic like insurance before the Christmas spirit has completely worn off, but Santa would be mighty disappointed if your new plasma TV goes up in smoke and your insurance isn’t adequate to replace it. So don’t upset Santa, otherwise you may get a lump of coal in your stocking next year. In the old days, Christmas was all about families coming together and enjoying the Christmas spirit as a loving family–or so I’ve been told. But these days, Christmas is a time for eggnog and high-priced consumer goods, so make sure your valuables are 100 percent covered. December 27, 2010 | By: Robert Read more: http://blog.insweb.com/2010/12/christmas-gift-insurance.html#ixzz1AwQqJKXd .

25 Tips for Smarter Holiday Travel

25 Tips for Smarter Holiday Travel

Published December 20, 2010 | FoxNews.com

Holiday travel is a bit like dental surgery. You likely don’t do it unless you have to, you have to sit for a long time, and eventually you may be subject to some invasive probing. And when it’s all over you get presents, be it a toothbrush from your dentist or, assuming you’ve been good this year, something better than a toothbrush from your loved ones. How else are the two experiences similar? Neither is ever quite as bad as you think it’s going to be. But if you suspect I’m being foolishly optimistic about holiday travel not being torture, here are 25 tips that may make your trip a little jollier.

1. Be flexible with your travel dates when booking holiday fares, says Anne Banas, executive editor of SmarterTravel.com, so that you can “avoid holiday surcharges on peak dates. Surcharges this year cost from $10 to $30 extra each way.”

2. Identify smaller airports near the major ones you ordinarily use “for some great deals,” says Casey Wohl, author of the Girls Getaway Guide.”For example, I found some better deals flying in and out of Sanford, Florida vs. Orlando International, and Sanford is just 30 minutes north of OIA.”

3. Know which airlines are most and least likely to bump you, says Hilary Stockton of Travel Sort. “JetBlue has a policy of not overbooking, so it very rarely denies boarding to passengers, followed by Hawaiian Airlines. The airlines most likely to bump passengers? American Eagle, US Airways, and Continental,” she says, based on analysis of early 2010 data. You’re less likely to get bumped, she says, if you snag a seat assignment early, check in online, and enroll in your airline’s frequent flier program.

4. Know which airlines commonly offer refunds when your airfare drops before the holidays, says Will Aldrich, vice president of TripIt.com.  The top refunders “are Virgin America, Alaska Airlines, JetBlue and Frontier Airlines, each of which has offered refunds in conjunction with over 20% of their flights. The average traveler is saving between $100-$150 when they contact the airline for a refund.”

5. Don’t get jacked by your credit card company if you’re flying overseas, urges travel guide author James Kaiser. “Make sure your credit cards don’t charge a 3% international transaction fee, he says. “Most do, Capital One doesn’t. That 3% fee will add up quick on large purchases like hotels.”

6. Know which airlines are offering free Wi-Fi during the holidays, says Banas, noting that AirTran, Delta, and Virgin America are providing fliers with the free service through January 2.

7. Get a few workouts in before taking off for the holidays, suggests trip wellness specialist Elaine Masters. “Just as an athlete prepares for a marathon, another stress-buster is to get extra cardio in the week to few days before you leave,” even “walking briskly for 30 minutes a day,” she says. “This will help relieve accumulating stress about traveling, boost your immune system, [and will help your] circulation and digestion adjust to being sedentary on long drives and flights.”

8. Arrive at the airport in time for the flight that leaves before the one you’re booked on, says airefarewatchdog founder George Hobica.”If for some reason your scheduled flight or a connecting flight is delayed or canceled, this gives the airline the opportunity, assuming seats are available, to put you on the earlier flight.” When faced with this situation Hobica says “the airline offered me the next-earliest flight” telling him he’d “better hightail it through security because I’m leaving in 15 minutes.”

9. Know ahead of time how early your airline is checking passengers in, says Brooke Spillberg, eCommerce manager at Lonely Planet. “Some airlines have a very early check-in and if you aren’t there on time, they will immediately put you on stand-by even if you paid full price months in advance.”

10. Know how to safeguard your bags at the airport, says Robert Siciliano, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com. “Whenever at a counter always place bags on the counter or between your legs,” he says, because if the bags are to your left or right “a distraction thief will approach your opposite side and talk to you while their accomplice takes your stuff.”

11. Follow this sequence when placing valuables on the airport x-ray belt. “Shoes and belt in their bin go in first,” suggests Larry Kramer, president, of the Personal Safety Group. “Next your carryon bag, then the laptop bag followed by your” 3-1-1 toiletry bag. “Only let the laptop onto the belt as you are about to step through the metal detector. You don’t need for your laptop to be floating around unattended on the ‘other side’ for longer than necessary.” Also slap on your laptop’s bottom a label with your first initial, last name, and phone number as the laptop won’t be in its case during its belt ride, says Kramer.

12. Stow snow globes in your checked bag, as evidently enough of us try so hard to bring these holiday gems to and from our destinations that the TSA has a rule about not having them in carry-ons. “They are sealed containers full of liquid that would have to be opened and destroyed to test,” explains the TSA.

13. Feel free to bring pies and cakes through airport security this holiday season, though the TSA notes that the baked goods are “subject to additional screening if our officers see any anomalies.”

14. If you have kids, prepare them for the possibility that they may be patted down, assuring them that they will not be separated from you. Likewise, assure little ones that you will be okay if you’re pulled aside for additional screening.

15. Help yourself avoid a pat-down, Banas says, by not wearing “jewelry, belts, or anything with metal, adding that “some belts, even non-metallic [ones], can interfere with the body scanner imaging, so it’s best to keep them off so you won’t get slowed down.”

16. Remove any body piercings before heading through security, because if the metal sets off the detector the TSA reserves the right to have you remove the piercings privately as an alternative to a pat-down. Also keep in mind that bras with under wires and hair barrettes with metal pieces may set off the metal detector, so consider amending your travel outfit accordingly.

17. If you’re picked for a pat-down or body scan, don’t leave your valuables on the x-ray belt, says Sally Treadwell, communications director at www.PeopleClaim.com. “The agent should allow you to either retrieve your belongings or retrieve them for you. On a recent trip to the UK I was very unnerved to find someone huddling over my laptop bin. Nothing was taken, but I sure was glad my pat-down hadn’t lasted any longer.”

18. Thwart carry-on thieves on board the plane by shoving your luggage “in the compartment over the person’s head across from you,” Siciliano says. “This way you can watch it. Otherwise if it is over your head someone can act as if they are getting something out of their luggage when it is yours.”

19. Download white noise or sleep-stream apps onto your iPhone, suggests frequent traveler Lori MacGregor. “I like the white noise setting but plenty of iPhone apps have ocean waves, rustling leaves, etc. that basically just calm the mind and drown out screaming children.”

20. Pamper yourself in flight by placing a small pillow or its equivalent behind your lower back for support, suggests holistic family doctor Tom Potisk, as “aiding the natural curvature of the lower spine in this way will prevent the back pain. To avoid swollen ankles, make sure you stand up and walk every few hours, or at least rotate your feet while sitting, as if drawing a circle with your big toe.”

21. Don’t succumb to “wrap rage” when opening gifts, says Chris Noble, general manager of WorldNomads.com. “It’s easy to laugh at this, but there are a significant amount of injuries related to opening gifts, especially with those notoriously difficult ‘oyster shell’ plastic seal enclosures,” he says. “The Consumer Product Safety Commission made an estimate that 6,500 Americans visited emergency rooms in 2004 with “wrap-rage” related incidents — some requiring serious treatment.”

22. If you’re not going home for the holidays, seek out deals, says Lonely Planet U.S. travel editor Robert Reid, because while “hotels and airfares tend to go up from Dec 23 or 24 through” New Year’s, he says he’s “finding some traditional tourist destinations, like Vegas and Orlando, actually have some reduced fares that week, costing a bit less than they do in mid-December.”

23. Save money on a holiday getaway by considering the type of trip you want rather than thinking about a specific destination or property, says Andrea Mooney, site editor for Cheapflights.com. “Be open to a cruise to anywhere in the Caribbean rather than just to Aruba. Or decide on a ski trip and look at Wyoming, Utah, and Oregon rather than a specific resort in Colorado.”

24. Ski the week before Christmas and save, suggests Stephen Daimler of vacation rental marketplace PackLate.com, who says that upon analyzing rentals in more than 10 resorts out west he found that if you ski the week before December 25 versus anytime through January 1, “there is 50% more availability and the average price of a vacation rental is 25% less.” The average rental price the week after Xmas is $647, he notes. The week before? $493.

25. Adjust your attitude for holiday travel and “keep things in perspective,” says psychologist and author Elizabeth R. Lombardo. “If you have to wait an extra couple hours at the airport because of some unforeseen event, such as bad weather, remind yourself that you are safe and on the ground,” and whether you’re stranded at the airport or in holiday traffic it might help to “ask yourself ‘what is good about my life right here and now?’ Consider the fact that you are going to visit people you love [and] you have the means to travel,” she says, adding that you should “force yourself to come up with at least five positives” in your life.

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Tropical Storm Targets South Florida

 

System aiming at South Florida becomes Tropical Depression 16; could be Tropical Storm Nicole in hours

by Eliot Kleinberg

The system on a collision course with Florida, arriving as early as this afternoon, became Tropical Depression 16 at 11 a.m. today. At 2 p.m., top sustained winds were near 35 mph, just below tropical storm strength, and the system is expected to become Tropical Storm Nicole later  this afternoon. But the official forecast calls for a 60 percent chance that Palm Beach County never will see tropical storm force winds. And the National Weather Service’s Miami office says there’s a “very low” chance. It says top sustained winds in Palm Beach County will be in the 25 mph to 35 mph range, with gusts up to 45 mph, although it said stronger winds still are possible depending on the system’s path. 

mflwindthreat_smA tropical storm warning is in place from Jupiter Inlet south to the Keys and a tropical storm watch north to Sebastian Inlet as well as for southwest Florida.

Also, a flood watch is set to be posted at 4 p.m. today and run through 2 p.m. Wednesday for Palm Beach County and points south. While heavy rains should start tonight, it’s most likely tropical storm force winds won’t affect Palm Beach County until Wednesday, if ever, the National Weather Service’s Robert Molleda said this morning. As much as 8 inches of rain could fall on South Florida, with the heaviest rains expected south and southeast of Lake Okeechobee, according to water managers at the South Florida Water Management District. They said Broward and Miami-Dade counties likely will see more rain than Palm Beach County. 

The heaviest rains are expected late this afternoon and tonight and then overnight, with a good chance they’ll make Wednesday morning’s commute an unpleasant one. The center of the system was expected to near southeastern Florida by Wednesday afternoon and east of Boynton Beach around 8 p.m. Wednesday. The system should be gone by Thursday morning. National Weather Service forecaster Brad Diehl said. At  2 p.m., the depression’s center was about 370 miles south-southwest of Miami. It was moving north-northeast at 10 mph. 

There's less than a 40 percent chance of tropical storm force winds for PB County There’s a 40 percent chance of tropical storm force winds for PB County 

145212w_sm1With the strongest winds east and south of the system’s center, if it stays right at or near the coast, tropical storm force winds would stay off shore, Molleda – warning coordination meteorologist at the weather service’s Miami office – said this morning. “Since it’s such a disproportionate distribution of wind and rain, if the system tracks offshore, even if it’s by a few miles, that’s the different between getting tropical storm force winds and not getting any at all,” he said. If the storm stays off shore, that also could reduce the projected deluge, Molleda said. But with the storm so close, and its status changing nearly hourly, “we’re walking a big of a tightrope,” he said. 

Assistant Palm Beach County administrator Vince Bonvento said the county does not expect to go into full storm mode but is watching the storm’s progress. He said the county’s final budget meeting still is set to go on at 6 p.m. Palm Beach Schools officials said at midday they’ll decide later today whether the storm will affect schools on Wednesday. The system is forecast to dissolve into a front on Thursday. Post staff writers Christine Stapleton and Jennifer Sorentrue  contributed to this report. 

15 things you didn’t know your car and home insurance policies cover

15 things you didn’t know your car and home insurance policies cover

By Insure.com

Last updated Aug. 29, 2010

Your insurance policies probably include coverage you’ve never thought about. In order for you to get the most value from your policy, check out these things that may already be included for your premium payments:

1. A lawyer for your problem

Americans have a 10 percent chance of being sued in any given year and a 33 percent chance of being sued in their lifetimes, according to IFG Trust Services Inc., an international investment firm. Both your home and car insurance will provide you with legal defense if you’re sued for an incident that’s covered by your policy. For example, your home insurance company will provide a lawyer if you are sued because someone is injured on your property — whether it’s inside your home or outside on the sidewalk.

If a court finds you negligent and awards damages to the other party, your insurance will pay up to the liability limits defined by your policy. If you have assets to protect, such as a house, savings or investments, consider buying an umbrella policy. Umbrella coverage, which provides liability coverage above and beyond your home and car insurance, typically starts at $1 million. Read how umbrella policies extend your coverage.

2. Your naughty dog

home insurance for dogs

Say your normally mild-mannered tail-wagger has a bad day. One of your neighbor’s children wants to play but your pooch isn’t in the mood and responds negatively. The bite causes the child an injury that requires hospitalization. Your neighbor sues you, seeking reimbursement for the child’s medical bills. Depending on what breed of dog you own, where you live and your insurance company, home insurance may have you covered. Some home insurers have lists of breeds and crossbreeds they will not insure; other insurers consider such breeds on a case-by-case basis, or charge more for certain “biting” breeds such as pit bulls. Check your policy or call to see if you have coverage. For more, read home insurance for dog lovers.

11. Flat tires, lockouts and more A number of things can go wrong with your car. Maybe you hit a pothole on your way to work and suffer a flat tire. Perhaps you mindlessly locked your keys inside your car. It’s possible that your gas gauge malfunctioned and you ran out of gas. If you added roadside assistance coverage to your car insurance policy, you’re covered for most of these things. For example, Progressive’s Emergency Roadside Assistance coverage includes towing, flat-tire changes, battery jumpstarts, emergency fuel and fluid delivery and locksmith service. Roadside assistance coverage is optional and relatively cheap.

12. Bad checks, fake cash and other fraud 

If someone writes you a bogus check, your credit card is stolen or you unknowingly accepted counterfeit cash, you could be covered. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), home insurance coverage can include unauthorized use of credit cards, forged checks and counterfeit cash. However, policy limits are generally very low, such as $500.

13. Family grave markers 

If a grave monument on a family plot has been vandalized or otherwise damaged, such as struck by lightning, it may be covered, depending on your insurance company. Many companies provide up to $5,000 for damage to a grave marker, including headstones, monuments and urns, according to III. However, policies generally exclude damage resulting from a catastrophe, such as a hurricane. There’s no additional charge for this coverage.

14. Trees, plants & your lawn 

Many home insurance policies automatically cover damage to trees, shrubs, plants and lawns on your property. Damage can be the result of theft, vandalism, an aircraft crash, riot, explosion, fire or lightning. Generally, there’s a $500 limit for any one tree, shrub, plant or re-sodding a lawn.

15. Spoiled Food 

If the food in your refrigerator spoils due to a power outage from a covered peril, you may be covered — depending on your insurer and where you live. However, the power outage must be the result of a covered peril such as windstorm, lightning, fire or hail. Some companies automatically include this under your homeowners policy. Others sell food spoiler coverage as a separate endorsement.

3. An injured pet

Car accidents are dangerous not only for people but also the pets riding with them. And because pets don’t have the benefit of seat belts, even a minor collision can result in pet injuries and major veterinary bills.

Depending on your insurance company and where you live, your auto insurance could pick up the bill. For example, Farmer’s Insurance will pay for pet medical costs up to $600 if you have comprehensive and collision coverage — in some states. You don’t pay extra for this coverage. Coverage applies in the event of your pet’s death or injury in a car accident, hijacking or theft (exotic animals not included). Here’s more about insurance coverage for pets in car accidents.

4. Terrorism

If a group like Al-Qaeda bombs your neighborhood, your property is covered under both your home and car insurance policies. Standard homeowners insurance policies include coverage for damage to property and personal possessions resulting from an act of terrorism. If your car is damaged or destroyed in a terrorist attack, your car insurance policy will cover the damage if you have purchased comprehensive coverage. But if you carry only liability coverage, your car would not be covered.

While terrorism is covered, acts of war are excluded. After an attack, the government would declare whether it is terrorism or war and your insurance will respond accordingly. Note that biological and nuclear attacks are not covered. Here’s how insurance takes cover from war and biological attacks.

5. Your stolen gun

Say your teen invites a few friends to your home and later you discover that your .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun is missing. You would report the theft and your home insurance will likely cover it. Most standard policies cover theft of firearms for up to $1,500. If you own an extensive collection of guns, consider purchasing extra coverage.

6. Your drunk friends

If you’ve just hosted a rollicking party but one of your guests left drunk and caused an accident, the finger of blame could point at you. In most states, you can be held responsible for his actions and find yourself in court. If a civil claim is filed against you, your home insurance pays for your legal representation and any damages the court awards — up to the limits of your policy. See where you could be held liable under “social host liability” laws. It’s important to have adequate liability coverage. Most insurance agents recommend buying liability coverage between $300,000 and $500,000.

7. Those reckless friends

If you loan your car to a friend for a few hours and he crashes it, your own insurance policy will come to your rescue. (It doesn’t matter whether or not your friend is insured, because your policy kicks in on your car.) Your policy insures your vehicle plus “you, any relative and anyone else using your car if the use is with your permission.” Even if your friend has his own car insurance, your insurance will pay for damage caused to others and, if you carry collision insurance, for damage to your car. However, you’ll have to pay your deductible for any collision claim. For more, read about what happens when your friend crashes your car.

8. Stolen gifts

We’ve all stashed purchases in our car in a mall parking lot and gone back in for more shopping. But car insurance does not cover personal possessions that are stolen from your vehicle. Fortunately, theft of personal property is covered under your home insurance. You’ll need to file a police report and pay a deductible to make a theft-related insurance claim. If your receipts are stolen along with your gifts, you will need to document your purchases, perhaps by obtaining duplicate receipts from the stores.

9. Your lost luggage

home insurance for lost luggage

Any trip can turn sour if your luggage does not return with you. Fortunately, many home insurance policies will reimburse you for lost or stolen luggage. Loretta Worters of the Insurance Information Institute says that this falls under “off-premises coverage” in some home insurance policies. Sometimes coverage is automatic, but some insurance companies may charge extra, she says.

If you made expensive purchases while on vacation that are gone with your luggage, you won’t recoup your expenses. Generally, you will be reimbursed only up to $500 for loss of personal property in luggage. If you know you will be making expensive purchases, you should probably have certain items insured separately.

10. Your child’s college dorm

If a thief robs your child’s college dorm, your home insurance policy should have you covered. Most home insurance policies will extend coverage to theft of personal belongings in your child’s dorm. However, coverage does not extend to an off-campus apartment rented by your child; for that you’ll need renter’s insurance. Also, your child must be a full-time student and be considered your dependent for coverage to apply.

Should credit scoring be used to determine insurance rates?

Should credit scoring be used to determine insurance rates?

The National Consumer Law Center says insurer use of credit scoring “creates wide racial disparities and is fundamentally unfair to consumers”, but carriers argue the tool actually lowers premiums for most and encourages them to write more coverage.

Recently, the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, part of the House Financial Services Committee examined this issue. 

Regulators are presently investigating the following:

  • The components of an insurance score;
  • The extent to which any one rating factor affects a consumer;
  • Whether consumers have an appropriate understanding of the credit factors that affect a particular insurance policy; and
  • Whether insurance score vendors should be subject to enhanced transparency or supervision.

David Snyder, American Insurance Association vice president and associate general counsel,  appeared before the subcommittee and stated that credit scoring provides an objective, cost effective risk measurement tool for all, components of auto insurance coverage.  In addition “by providing a comparative and quantitative measure for each risk, it has allowed insurers to move toward pricing which is much more tailored to individual risk, replacing the old system that relied exclusively on large group classifications, such as geographic territory or age.”  Finally, he said insurers say “they have more confidence that they are able to accurately predict and price for all levels of risk”. In short, credit scoring encourages them to write more coverage.

Without credit scoring there will be higher premiums for most consumers and less availability of insurance for marginal insurance risks according to Ms. Fortney, whose law firm specializes in consumer financial services.

Many critics argue that data supports the notion that the use of credit scoring has a higher than average impact on the poor and minorities.  But Ms. Fortney says that “the existence of a disparate impact on a protected group would not, standing alone, constitute a violation of the Fair Housing Act or the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.               

Currently 48 states regulate the use of credit scores for insurance and none allow scores to be used as the sole basis for increasing rates or denying, cancelling or non-renewing policies.

What do you say?