6 months ago ·
by Donna ·
Most people don’t realize they need life insurance until it’s too late. When we die, our loved ones are left with the burdensome expense of a funeral, burial, or cremation if we don’t have an insurance policy in place. The average cost of a funeral and casket burial ranges from $10,000 to $12,000. Cremation services that include a funeral can cost $8,000 to $10,000. A cremation without a funeral will still run around $2,000. This expense should be a general starting point for you to determine precisely how much coverage you will need.
Life insurance isn’t just about paying for your memorial and burial. It is important to consider how the loss of your income can affect your family to determine the amount of coverage you may need. A professional insurance agent can help you calculate your family’s financial needs should you pass away. Your expenses, debts, savings, and assets will be taken into consideration using an insurance analysis tool. A general rule of thumb is to purchase a policy that is ten times your annual salary as a death benefit. This amount will ensure your family will have a comfortable nest egg for years to come. Other things to consider are:
- Child care costs
- College education
- Amount of debt to pay off
- Elderly parents who may need care
- Future inflation
You want to make sure to buy insurance as soon as possible. Insurance premiums increase as we age and the chance of health problems increases. There are two types of insurance policy’s whole life and term. There are several subcategories including universal life, variable universal life, variable life, and traditional whole life. Term insurance will pay your beneficiary a benefit only if you pass away during the policy term. You can choose to have the death benefit remain the same during the policy term, or you can decrease the benefit amount each year. Whole life also known as permanent insurance will pay your beneficiary no matter when you die. With a whole life policy, you usually get a death benefit along with a savings component. Having insurance that builds cash value such as the universal life policy, will reduce your monthly premium. You will also have access to that cash to be used whenever you need it.
Sadly, there are fewer Americans with term life or whole life policies now compared to thirty years ago. Many people that do rely only on a life insurance policy through their employer. In most cases, your employer’s plan isn’t enough. You can request a free quote online or speak with your local insurance agent who can also save you money. With so many coverage options available it can be daunting to determine which is best for you. Licensed insurance agents can educate you and guide you step-by-step through the application process. For an accurate quote, you will need to provide your agent with your family history, health history, height, weight, and financial information. If you are considering a term or a guaranteed universal life policy, you will need to have a complete medical exam.
6 months ago ·
by Donna ·
In the recent past, uber and lyft has done something very revolutionary to the world in terms of their business model. If you have a car and want to either make a passive or a full-time income, you could set your own schedules, drive as much as you want and make a proportionate amount of money. Now, this is not just limited to the United States as the ridesharing options are spread in so many countries across the globe. Uber and lyft have certainly changed the way passengers commute and have also created thousands of jobs. And with such perks, there are also risks associated in terms of accidents and if you are the driver, then your personal insurance might not be sufficient and hence it is imperative that you get good coverage.
But before we delve further deep, let’s understand what a rideshare insurance is. In simple terms, it is the car insurance every driver needs to have if they are working with a ridesharing company. It is required as the vehicle is no longer used for personal use; it is indeed operated for business purposes. And not having this type of car insurance could prove astronomical to the drivers if anything unfavorable happens. One of the reasons why the insurance is required is the fact that the taxi drivers are bound to be on road for longer durations which augments the risks of getting into an accident. Since there is a passenger involved, drivers are likely to be responsible for passengers’ safety and hence any medical damages.
In the earlier times, almost all of the insurance companies did not offer a great deal of service while customers were looking for a car insurance to drive for transportation network companies (TNCs). Some of the drivers even had their policies canceled once the insurance firms were aware of the fact that they were working for TNCs. But as the popularity of these ride-sharing companies grew, there was a much better cooperation and now more and more insurance firms are coming forward to helping out the drivers. You would not be deprived of making extra money if you do not have your personal car. There is quite a bit of service who offer rental vehicles for ridesharing purposes and offer some competitive advantages to the drivers. Some of them include the insurance as a part of the contract which also includes the comprehensive coverage.
Let’s now discuss the most important aspect of this rideshare insurance, the costs associated. In the past, drivers had to pay hefty amounts to these firms, but with the popularity of these ridesharing services, they are competing like never before to attract more consumers. The positive side for the drivers is that it has become much more affordable than before and if you include the added monthly costs, it could be as less as $10, based on the circumstances. When you drive for these ridesharing companies, you are more like a contractor and not their direct employee and hence these companies take no responsibility if anything happens during the off-duty time.
In instances where you use ridesharing vehicles for personal use, it becomes the responsibility of the personal insurance to cover any damages in the event of an accident. But once the insurance firm discovers that you are using the car vehicle for commercial reasons, it is unlikely that you will get assistance from them. This is more like a gray area and to understand better, let us examine three different types of events that might happen:
- The first possibility could be when you as a driver have the ridesharing company app open and waiting for a passenger. In such instances, you are not likely to get any coverage from your personal insurance since the app is on.
- The second instance could be when you are on your way to pick up the passenger. In such instances, the transportation companies are likely to offer increased coverage.
- The final possibility could be when the passenger has already boarded the cab. This is when you are likely to get full coverage provided by the TNC.
While you may be the safest driver and have all the possible coverage you could think of, accidents might happen as driving on roads is all about risks. You could get into a fatal accident even if it’s not your mistake. But if something unfavorable happens, it is imperative that you follow the protocol. In case you are not completely sure about the procedure, it could be understood through the following steps:
• Your foremost priority is to make sure that everyone in the car is safe before even thinking of anything else. This would also be the top priority of all the ridesharing companies.
• Try to exchange insurance information with all the parties involved so that there are no hassles in the future during claims.
• Contact the transportation company and report the incident. This is an obligation on the part of all the drivers to report any incidents.
When the first possibility mentioned above happens, the driver is at a huge risk and this is where having rideshare insurance could be of immense help. Almost all the top 10 insurance firms in the United States offer this coverage. All you need to do is contact them and discuss the coverage options that best suit your needs. If you are in any way thinking of skipping this option, you might be up for a catastrophe in the event of an accident.
6 months ago ·
by Donna ·
It is a sad but true statistic for anyone who drives an automobile. If you have not already been rear-ended in a car accident chances are you will in your lifetime. It is one of the most common type of car accidents involving more than one vehicle. Most believe that the person who hits the car in front of them is the one who is at fault. This is simply not true. The best advice for any driver is to have insurance coverage to help you if you are in one of these accidents. Here are a few things to consider if you are rear-ended.
Documentation – To help prove who is liable it is in your best interest to document the accident thoroughly. Contact the police and emergency services as needed. The police will write an accident report stating their findings and conclusions. Someone might even be ticketed. Be sure there are photos of the accident; they could be necessary if you must attend court. If possible see if there are any witnesses who can corroborate what happened.
Burden of proof – If you are the one who hit the vehicle in front of you many will assume you are guilty. If there are mitigating circumstances that caused you to hit the car in front of you be sure to make them known. Much like a lawyer has to prove a person’s guilt it might be necessary for you to prove you were not at fault. A few of the reasons that might show that are: the car in front of you has faulty brake lights, the driver in front of you made an unsafe or illegal lane change or show that the driver in front of you being distracted drove dangerously causing the accident.
Multiple car accidents – When there are more than two cars involved in a rear-ended accident, liability is even harder to determine because there are so many parties involved. Again begin with as much documentation as possible. The more parties involved you will get conflicting stories about how the accident happened. The first car could start a chain reaction where following traffic has no way of avoiding the rear-end collision. Or it could be simply the car in the middle hit the car in front and made it impossible for the third and following cars to stop before getting involved. In other instances the third or more car could be driving negligently and runs into the cars in front of them; essentially pushing them all together. As you can expect the more cars involved in a rear-end accident the harder it can be to accurately determine the initial cause.
This is where as a responsible driver needs to realize the importance of having full and comprehensive coverage with a reputable insurance agent. So if you find yourself involved in this type of accident; no matter where the fault lies; you can rest easy knowing you and your car are well represented.
6 months ago ·
by Donna ·
As you know, keeping your home in good shape is critical to its long-term health. Often, a homeowner can go for interior tasks because it is easy to remember and forget to maintain the exterior of their home as they think it doesn’t affect them much. That is wrong. In fact, when you maintain the exterior of your house, it can help you to avoid interior related issues as well as keep pests, moisture, rots and decay away from your home.
Well if that sound news to you and you don’t remember the last time you maintained your exterior, it’s time to do it before the small issues become the significant repairs. Here are some homeowner maintenance tips that can get you started:
Roof, chimney and gutters
When maintaining any home exterior, homeowners should keep cleaning your gutters, roof and chimney a top priority. It is not hard, but if you are not comfortable with heights, you can hire someone else to do the work for you. You need to clean out the gutters, check for broken or cracked bricks in the chimney and power wash the winter grime from the roofs. Also check if there are any damage shingles, on your roof, reattach loose gutters sections and re-caulk skylight’s leaking and weathered sections.
Inspect your wall to identify cracks or gaps in siding panels, broken sidings, and stucco. If you find any of the imperfections, you should reattach, scrape and paint any exposed parts. If you have vinyl siding, you can greatly benefit from power wash, and if it is a wood siding, it should be treated to protect it from elements.
Doors and windows
Look for broken screens, sticky locks, loose handles and hinges, and cracked seals. Make sure you check on the front doors which are often overlooked even though they are numerously used each day. Check the caulking that seals the gaps of the home siding and be cautious of the wood rots that often occurs because of water on the door thresholds, windows sills and the vertical kicks below the door.
Foundation maintenance is vital to keeping your home dry and comfortable. If there are foundation cracks in your home, you might suffer from rodent troubles, leaks and insect infestations. To avoid this, you should always check your home’s foundation for cracks twice a year. If you find any, fix them with a concrete patch as soon as possible. Make sure you have not left them unattended for too long because might result in more significant problems that require even more time and resources to repair.
Also, be cautious of large cracks, which could indicate structural problems. If found, it is better to consult a professional.
Check the drains around your home, because all water that runs or meltdown has to go somewhere. If there are poor drains around your home, the water might end up in your house basement leading to moulds. To avoid this, fix it by sealing the broken path or adding an extension to the gutter downspout.
Vegetation can invite rodents into your home. To avoid this, you should make sure that no tree branches are hanging around your roof and damaging shingles. Also, make sure that no dense shrubs and other growth on your siding by keeping them at least two foot away from your home.
You should keep the trees around your home trimmed and remove dead branches that can fall and damage your home or injure someone.
As we conclude with our homeowner maintenance tips, you should know that owning a house comes with significant responsibilities. You should regularly check for any issue and fix them as soon as they arise to avoid bigger problems that you might require professional to help you find a solution.
7 months ago ·
by Donna ·
Everyone knows, cars break down a lot. And when they do, it is often a very traumatic and messy affair, resulting in canceled plans, lost opportunities, problems with one’s employer, and a whole lot of stress. If you are not mechanically inclined, the problem is made all the more frustrating by the fact that you do not know what to do in order to fix the problem. So naturally, you call a mechanic to deal with the problem. Although they often will fix the problem, it will often be an expensive affair that leaves you playing financial “catch up” for weeks or even months afterward.
Although these kinds of situations cannot be totally avoided, there are many things one can do to make them less frequent and less likely. As any good mechanic will tell you, the lifespan of your car is greatly affected by how well you treat it.
Think of it like a garden. If you do not tend it, it will develop all kinds of problems. Weeds will grow in, bugs will move in, and fruit will rot on the vine. A vehicle is kind of the same way. Careful tending of its needs will keep it from wearing itself down and greatly prolong the life of the vehicle. So without further ado, let’s get into these 8 simple and easy car maintenance jobs that anyone can do.
1. Change your air filter frequently
Your air filter is meant to keep airborne debris out of your engine. As an engine runs, it takes in air to mix with the fuel and combust, so in effect, it “breathes”. When you understand it that way, you can also understand that a good clean filter is necessary for a vehicle to breathe properly. The dirtier that filter is, the more it will obstruct the air flow to your engine, affecting performance in negative ways. It needs to be changed once a year.
This is an extremely cheap and easy thing to do. Most air filters cost about $10 and should take no more than ten minutes to replace. Underneath your hood, you will see a large, black, rectangular box with metal clips holding it together. Check your owner’s manual if you have trouble locating it. Pop these clips and open up the casing. Pull out the old filter and inspect it. If it is dirty, just put a new one in its place and put the cover back on. Simple as that.
2. Changing your windshield wipers
This is something that is so easy, it almost needs no explanation. Like the previous task, it should take no more than ten minutes. All you have to do is lift up the blades and detach them from their bases. You may have to push a little tab to get them to detach. Different models vary, but most are simply hooked on. If you see how they came off, you can easily see how to put the replacement on.
3. Changing your spark plugs
This one is slightly harder, but not much. A new set of plugs will normally cost you ten to fifteen dollars. Most engines require spark plug replacement every 30,000 miles, but you should check your owner’s manual for an exact figure.
Finding your spark plugs should be pretty easy. They are usually on top of the engine, and there are thick rubbery wires leading to all of them. They go directly into the engine itself and have a small rubber boot at the end. Every model of engine looks different, but all you really have to do is look up a parts diagram for your car. It will tell you where your spark plugs are and how many there are. You will also need to look up the exact order in which you change the plugs, as this also varies.Locating them is actually the hardest part. Once you have found them, pull the boot off the first plug. At this point you will need a ratchet, a socket that fits, and an extension for the ratchet. They make special sockets for this exact purpose, which are made to grip the plug as you loosen it. These are very handy and will save you much frustration. Put the new plugin its place and tighten it down. BE VERY CAREFUL not to overtighten! If you tighten too much, the plug can break, as it is partly made from ceramic.
From here you just repeat these steps for the remaining plugs, making sure to do them in the correct order.
4. Oil and oil filter
Your oil should be changed every 3000-5000 miles. You begin by letting the engine cool completely. You’ll most likely need to jack up your car, because you are going to get under it and locate the oil plug. It should be located on the underside of the oil pan. Once again, consulting a good diagram can help a lot here. The pan is usually front and center on the underside of your car, so it shouldn’t be hard.
Place an oil container under the plug and loosen it. It will come out quickly so be ready to get out of the way. Let all the old oil drain, replace the plug, and add more oil.
Once again, you will need to consult a parts diagram to find the exact location of your oil filter, but it usually just screws right into the engine. You may need an oil filter wrench to remove it. Replace it and you’re done. Make sure you dispose of the old oil properly.
5. Battery maintenance
Often, corrosion and residues will build upon the terminals of your battery, causing various electrical problems. To deal with this, simply remove both battery cables and clean the posts with a solution of water and baking soda. Use a little clean water to rinse the posts, dry them, and reconnect your battery cables. Simple as that!
6. Radiator flush
This process is similar to an oil change. Radiators tend to build up deposits over time, which can clog and ruin them if not corrected. Flushing the radiator helps to keep it running nice and clean, and should be done about once a year. To do this, start by letting your car cool completely, then locate the drain plug at the bottom of the radiator. Unscrew this plug and let the fluid drain into a container. Replace the plug and add the flushing solution through the top. Now fill the rest of the radiator with water and replace the radiator cap.
Next, you will need to let your car run until it reaches normal operating temperature. Now, turn on the heat full-blast and let it run for ten minutes. Now let the engine cool down again, and drain the radiator one more time. Now you just fill it back up with fresh coolant and that’s that.
7. Brake Pads
This is another easy job that should be done anytime your brakes are making a grinding noise, or every 20,000 miles (whichever comes first).
Start by loosening the lug nuts on one wheel. Continue by jacking up your car and putting it on jack stands. Now remove the tire. You should see the brake pads being held in place by the caliper. That caliper will have two bolts holding it in place. Loosen those bolts and the pads will fall right out.
In order to replace the caliper, you will need to use a big C-clamp to push the cylinder in. This cylinder is located on the interior of the caliper. Push this drum-shaped cylinder in and you should be able to replace everything the same way it came out. Now do the other wheel and you’re done!
NOTE: most cars have brake pads on the front, but not on the back. Most back brakes are drum brakes, which are harder to work on.
8. Changing the fuel filter
This one can be harder, depending on your vehicle, but not too bad. Start by pulling the fuel pump fuse so that fuel won’t spray everywhere when you detach the hoses leading to the filter, which is step two. You will probably need wrenches to do this. When you put the new one back in, make sure to change the washers. Now you just replace your fuse and start the car. Using all of these simple processes, you can help your car to serve you well for years to come.