How to Prevent Car Stealing to Avoid High Premiums

There is a question that must not leave the minds of car owners: “What’s the best approach to secure my car against being stolen?”

Skilled thieves make their living out of car theft.  They can do this because they know the deception that you’re not aware of.  To eliminate this, take a few precautions to avoid becoming a victim of car theft.  Consider the following tips on how to prevent car stealing to avoid high premiums.

Layer your protection

By layering anti-theft devices, it creates a strong way of stopping car stealing.  If you have the right combination, you safeguard your car in various ways and eliminate the opportunities of having it stolen.

Add an alarm system

The sound of an alarm will definitely control the thief in his attempt to steal your car before he even succeeds in doing it.

Consider immobilization device

The use of immobilization device will put an additional protective layer.  It discourages the thief from hot-wiring your car.

Many car models have already the built-in hidden button which the driver pushes to get it started.

Likewise, smart keys contain an installed chip which keeps the car from starting if another key is used.

Prevent Car Stealing to Avoid High Premium

This is the best tip to find a stolen car.  The market offers a number of monitoring devices to use:

  1.  A passive system that looks like a black box carried by an airplane.   It stays there in the glove box and gets GPS details like trip time, speed and distance.
  2. Real-time tracking system that lets you track your car in real time using a mobile device.

With several products, disabling the car’s starter is possible.  This system alerts you when the car drives from where it is parked.

When installing an anti-theft tool, put a sticker or a notice anywhere in the car so the robbers can see it.

Use common sense

Discontinuing a bad habit has long-term benefits toward controlling car theft:

  1. Never leave your keys inside the car. Whether you hang them in the ignition or store them in glove box, you’re helping the thief get what he needs if he wants to steal your car.
  2. Lock the car doors. Make a habit of regularly locking your car door.  Before leaving the car, always double check to ensure your keys are in the proper place.
  3. Park in a properly-light space. Parking area without lights is the first thing thieves always look for.

Auto theft has the effect on the rates of car insurance—whether direct or indirect.  The rising incident of car stealing pushes the car insurance companies to raise premiums.

If you have filed a claim previously, chances are your premium will be higher if you renew your car insurance next time.

It’s worth the money and time finding ways to protect your car.

To get additional information about How to Prevent Car Stealing to Avoid High Premiums, please contact us at DMG Insurance and Financial Services, Inc. (http://www.dmginsurance.com) at 543 N State Road 7, STE 106, Royal Palm Beach EL, 33411, phone 561 422 7071, Fax 561 422 7072.

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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. 

Four to six inches of rain could fall on Palm Beach County

by Eliot Kleinberg

Four to six inches of rain, perhaps more in spots, could fall across Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast from Tuesday afternoon to late Wednesday as a result of a weather system now in the Caribbean, the National Weather Service said today.

The atmosphere is loaded with water at historic levels, and rain bands could drop 2 to 4 inches over an area in as many hours, meteorologist Dan Gregoria said today from the weather service’s Miami office.

The heaviest rain will be from Tuesday night through Wednesday afternoon.

A flood watch might be issued early Wednesday for coastal urban areas.

Rainfall could be a little less pronounced along the Treasure Coast, but the threat also extends inland over Lake Okeechobee and west to the Gulf of Mexico, Gregoria said.

“We are concerned about heavy rain in a short time,” he said.

And it might not be the end. One to two more waves of saturated atmosphere might move through later in the week.

Thunder and lightning will be isolated, there’s a minimal tornado threat, and whether strong winds accompany the deluge will depend on whether the system develops tropical characteristics before moving over the peninsula, Gregoria said.

The National Hurricane Center’s 2 p.m. tropical weather outlook upped to 40 percent the chance the storm will do just that, and become a tropical depression or Tropical Storm Nicole, by Wednesday afternoon.

A National Science Foundation jet that flew into the system found it did not yet have a well-defined center of circulation, but conditions are favorable for more development, the outlook said.

The outlook mentioned two other systems way out in the Atlantic, but chances were low either will develop into anything in the next 48 hours.

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This entry was posted on Monday, September 27th, 2010 at 2:12 pm and is filed under 2010 season storms, Developing storms, Nicole, Season forecasts, South Florida weather. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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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?