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Friday, July 22, 2016

Car Insurance Rates Shoot Up Because of Pokemon Go Popularity

Pokemon, car insurance, Pokemon accident


Pokémon Go is a free-mium location-based mobile game developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices, it contains some but not all aspects of an augmented reality game. It uses the  GPS and the camera of compatible devices. Players can capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, who appear on device screens as though in the real world and that's where the problem lies this can harm the player specially if they are on the road or driving.

People who are too engage in the game while they are walking or driving can cause serious accident. A lot of people fear that car insurance rates will go up because of Pokemon go popularity. Let’s look at this issue more closely.

The National Highway Institute is one of the many organizations that have released warning about the dangers of driving they have also warn that by not paying attention to the road it dramatically increases the chance of an accident. 

We all know the dangers of being distracted while driving is and Pokémon Go can be worst than texting-while-driving it is a distraction that can cause serious accidents.  In fact, in the short time since its release, there have been reported accidents in every place where it has been released. 

In playing Pokemon Go using your device (smartphone, tablet etc.) the place around you will be filled with Pokémon monster that you can capture, battle, and train. You will need to look in your device to see them, and you need to go to places to capture this Pokemon or hatch an egg which can be dangerous specially if the players main focus is the game and not what going on around the player since the game requires that the player go out into the world around you to collect Pokémon. A crucial part of the game is finding these Pokémon hiding in the real world and catching them.  This is the reason why car insurance rates shoot up with Pokemon go release.  Not paying attention to the road will of course dramatically increase the risk of accidents and injury.  Similar to talking on the phone or texting, Pokémon Go takes your attention away from being a responsible driver or pedestrian.


Friday, July 15, 2016

Hillary Clinton's Plan Against Ballooning Student Debt with $16 a month

 student loan, personal finance, debt, student debt, Hillary clinton, Killary clinton
studet loan


Hillary Clinton's "debt-free college plan" include the imposition of a 3 months moratorium on federal student loan payments through executive action.

"With dedicated assistance from the Department of Education during this moratorium, borrowers will be able to consolidate their loans, sign up quickly and easily for income-based repayment plans, and take direct advantage of opportunities to reduce monthly interest payments and fees," she said.

Implied though not plainly expressed in those "opportunities" are other elements of her college plan, that will cover the ability for borrowers to refinance their student loans at current rates and interest-free loan deferrals for aspiring entrepreneurs. Borrowers who are behind on debt would also get help during the hiatus to rehabilitate their loans.

Financial planner Evelyn Zohlen president of Inspired Financial in Huntington Beach, California said that the 3-month moratorium has a better possibility of coming into fruition than the "tuition-free education at in-state public colleges for families earning as much as $125,000 or less" because it does not need the cooperation of Congress or a major funding initiative.

"It's allowing people to take advantage of programs already in place. The only people quote, unquote hurt are lenders, who may not see as much profit if people refinance to lower rates."

People who are unable to pay their student loan are growing more than 33% of the borrowers have been late on a payment at least once in the past year, and 25% were late more than once based on the report of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education Foundation's 2015 Financial Capability in the United States.

Even though they are struggling to pay, a lot of millennials don't care about their loan management options. Based on a survey released by Citizens Bank, millennials do not have an idea on what they owe on their student loans, the interest rate they are paying, when will they be able pay it or whether college was worth it. On average, graduates owed about $41,000 in student loans.  A shocking 60% millennials of the surveyed said they have no idea when their loans will be paid off and more than a third don't even know the interest rate they are paying, the report said.

Mark Kantrowitz, vice president of strategy for Cappex.com said that "You don't need Clinton's 3 months moratorium to switch repayment plans into income-based repayment. It takes just a few minutes."

Troubled borrowers may be entitled for one or more of the 7 alternative repayment options:

1. Standard Repayment Plan - it requires that you make fixed monthly payments of at least $50 for up to 10 years.
2. Graduated Repayment Plan - Your payments start low, and increase every two years. It will still be paid off within 10 years.
3. Extended Repayment Plan - repayment window for this plan is up to 25 years. You have the option of setting fixed monthly payments, like with the Standard Plan, or increasing them over time.
4. Income-Based Repayment (IBR) - Monthly payments are capped at 15% of your discretionary income, and readjusted each year based on your income and family size for up to 25 years.
5. Pay As You Earn Repayment (PAYE) -      Monthly payments are capped at 10% of your discretionary income, and readjusted each year based on your income and family size.
6. Income-Contingent Repayment Plan - Payments, made for up to 25 years, are based on your adjusted gross income, family size and the amount of your loans. Your payments change as your income changes.
7. Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan - Your monthly payments are based on your annual income.
  
Each of the plan has pros and cons. Just remember a longer repayment term not only lengthens your payment commitment, it also means you'll pay more overall. If you refinance your federal student loans into a new, private loan. I will come at the price of losing federal protections to postpone payments in times of financial hardship.

Also if you cut your loan rate it may not lessen your monthly payment that much. In Clinton's proposal, for instance, estimates that borrowers refinancing into new loans at current rates would save the typical borrower $2,000 over the life of their loan.

"Divided by 120 payments, and that's $16 a month," Kantrowitz said. So She's proposing puny "A free pizza a month."

student loan, personal finance, debt, student debt,


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Toyota Recalls 3.37 million Vehicles for Defects

Toyota Prius Recall, Toyota recall, Toyota defects, car defects


Toyota announced on Wednesday that they will be recalling 3.37 million vehicles worldwide to fix defects, this is the latest troubles for a Japanese auto industry hit by fuel-efficiency scandals and an exploding airbag crisis.

The affected models in the latest recall includes Prius hybrid, Corolla sedan, and luxury Lexus brand, those vehicles were mostly sold in Japan, North America and Europe.

Vehicles that were manufactured between 2008 and 2012 has been found that most have problem with passenger and driver-side air bags that could see the safety device partially deploy and risk injury, the company said. They also said that it is not part of the massive recalls of Takata air bags, which is involve in an airbag defect scandal linked to at least 13 deaths and scores of injuries globally.

Toyota Motor Corp. said it does not know of any fatalities or injuries related to the latest recalls.

Another defect besides the airbags is with the vehicle's fuel emission control unit that could lead to cracks developing in the unit. They said that because of this the cracks could expand over time and, eventually, fuel may leak from these cracks when the vehicle has a full tank of gas. No accidents or injuries have been reported in this defect.

About 2.87 million Toyota and Lexus brand cars are being recalled over the fuel tank defect, Toyota said, noting that some vehicles are subject to both recalls.

If you want to know if your vehicle is included in the recall go to, you'll need to Enter a 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN):
http://www.toyota.com/recall


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Millennials Prefer to Rent but Pass on Renters Insurance

Renters Insurance, insurance, finance, money, personal finance


According to a survey published on insuranceQuotes, Millennials prefer to rent homes, and most of them don't like to get renters insurance. Even though that coverage is not expensive, and having non could cause a huge financial hardship.

Based on the April 2016 survey for insuranceQuotes.com done by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, 66% of 18 to 29 years old are renting their home, compared with just 37% of consumers overall. What is alarming is that less than 33% of Millennial renters have renters insurance.

When questioned about not having renters policy, 59% of renters in the 18 to 29 age group said that cost is not the primary reason. Instead, they believe it’s unnecessary because they live in a very secure property (61%), or they don’t own enough personal property to insure (43%). And 41% of them said they’re avoiding renters insurance because they don’t understand how the product works.

A lot of the consumers are foregoing the benefits of renters insurance because they underestimate the benefits and overestimate its cost. The average annual premium is $188 (or $15.67 per month); however, 25% of 18- to 29-year-old respondents believe they’d have to pay $1,000 or more. People need to be educated since it is an affordable financial safety net that every renter should have.

Other report highlights include:

    Renters who don’t have renters insurance because they don’t understand the product increased from 27% in 2015 to 33% this year.
    Renters who don’t have insurance because they don’t know where to get it also increased from 20% in 2015 to 26% this year.
    College graduates are more likely to have renters insurance compared to high school graduates or those with a lesser education – 64% to 24% respectively.
    35% of respondents mistakenly said a renters policy does not cover personal property damaged in a natural disaster or property stolen from you outside of your rental home (60%).

The full report is available here: http://www.insurancequotes.com/home/millennials-and-renters-insurance-051916.

The survey was done by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) through telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults living in the continental United States.


Here is why Renters Insurance is important for me personally:

1. If my stuff is stolen like my iPhone, iPad or laptop, furniture or bicycles could cost thousands of dollars. Renters insurance covers more than just theft it also covers fire, water problems and vandalism.

2. If you burned your dinner and it resulted to smoke damage. Your landlord will bill you for that damage even if none of your property was damaged since his property has been.

3. Renters insurance is about $12 to $30 a month for $30,000 worth of coverage a small cost with big pay off.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Homeowners Needs to Take Another Look At their Insurance Coverage As Hurricane Season Starts

Homeowners, insurance, homeowner insurance, coverage


Homeowners needs to reexamine their insurance coverage annually, specially those who live in places that are heavily affected by tropical storms. They need to know if the cost of their premiums are shooting up, or if their deductibles have changed, or if they are entitled to new discounts.

This year it's really important to do that because it is expected that hurricane will be most active this year since 2012, according to forecasts released by The Weather Company.
These storms are already affecting the southeast United States. Tropical storm Bonnie battered the Carolinas over Memorial Day weekend, and Colin, which made landfall Monday and resulted in state of emergency declared.

Colin which packed a 50 mile-per-hour winds produces heavy rain, tornadoes and hail that battered residents along Florida's Gulf and Atlantic Coasts. The residents protect their property using sandbags. Officials distributed 13,000 sandbags to residents of Tampa, which has a history of flooding. Some residents have evacuated the area.

This why it is important to reevaluate their homeowners insurance policy. Let's assume that the replacement cost value of the property is correct, a homeowners policy will cover any wind damage caused by a hurricane. However, it will not cover damage due to flooding and homeowners need to be aware of whether they have a hurricane deductible.

Insurance companies sell policies with a hurricane deductible to limit their exposure to devastating storms. Usually, these hurricane deductible is much higher than the standard one for homeowners insurance policies. A total of 19 states have hurricane deductibles, and most of them don't have a set dollar amount but a percentage of the replacement cost value of a home. That can be huge depending on the damage incurred. 

Insurers don't choose to have a hurricane deductible. This deductibles are incorporated in homeowners insurance at the discretion of the insurance company and are activated under the terms of the policy, usually when the National Hurricane Center issues a warning or names a tropical storm.

The Insurance Information Institute issue this different hurricane deductibles across the 19 states that have and it is posted on their website, or consumers can refer to their respective state's department of insurance for details on them.

The states with special storm deductibles include: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Insurance Companies Join the Fight Against Opioid Epidemic


Opioid addiction, health insurance, insurance companies

Health insurance companies are now joining the fight against Opioid addiction. Cigna, a health insurance firm that insures about 14 million Americans, is the newest major health insurance provider to fight the staggering opioid addiction numbers and deaths. The company is targeting what experts are saying the number one cause of the addiction, over-prescribing of prescription painkillers like oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine.
Opioid addiction, health insurance, insurance companies
Other insurance companies like Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield have also taken similar steps over the past several years to prevent deaths and pull down the numbers of people who get addicted to this drugs. It doesn't just save a lot of people, it also makes good business sense. According to research, it cost public and private insurance companies about $72.5 billion annually to deal with prescription painkiller abuse, treatment and “diversion” (when patients sell the medication instead of taking it).

Big health insurance companies do have access to prescription information for its customers. The have records every-time their customer fill a prescription using their insurance. Cigna’s new measure will be to flag customers who are deemed high-risk — either for getting large amounts of opioid medicines, for getting narcotics from different doctors or for being on the medicines for a long time and they will contact with those customers’ doctors.

The doctor can give their patients other treatment options if addiction is an issue. If the doctor feels the patient still needs to be prescribed long-term narcotics, Cigna can limit where the patient is able to pick the medicine up and which doctors are able to prescribe narcotics to them, so that the doctor is able to closely monitor whether that patient seems to be needing more and more painkillers.

Cigna is targeting to lessen the number of opioid prescriptions written to its customers by 25%, back to the number of prescriptions that were being written in 2006, which the insurer calls “pre-crisis.”

Monday, May 9, 2016

Smartphone Insurance 101

Smartphone Insurance, insurance, cellphone protection


Smartphone are expensive and easy to lose, break or stolen, this is why smartphone or cellphone insurance is in demand nowadays. Smartphone insurance covers lost, stolen or damaged phones. However, you should take note of the following information about this kind of insurance:

1. Deductible can be as much as the cost of the smartphone - iPhone 6S with a 2-year contract from Sprint is priced at $199.99. The Sprint’s Total Equipment Protection insurance costs $11 per month. Unfortunately for you if you lost or break your smartphone the insurance deductible will be $200.

This happens since carriers heavily subsidize smartphone prices if you purchased it with a contract. The retail price for an iPhone 6S is about $650. Installment plans, which often require no upfront payment for the phone, they simply spread its cost out over your contract term.

2. The Insurance Company will Determine the Replacement Smartphone - Your insurance company will have the final say on the replacement smartphone it may be of the same make and model, it maybe of different color or type. It may also be refurbished.

3. Carrier companies can dropped you from your plan for making a claim - Most insurance providers limits customers to two claims in a 12-month period. This can be a problem for people that are particularly accident-prone. The trouble is, those are the people for whom cellphone insurance makes the most sense.

Here are Cellphone protection plans:

AT&T -
Monthly fee: $7.99.
Deductible: $50-$199, depending on device. They offer declining deductible program that can give you 25% to 50% less.

AppleCare+ -
Cost: $99-$129 for two years of coverage.
Covers: Damage (two incidents) and phone malfunctions.
Deductible: $79 or $99 per incident, depending on model.

T-Mobile -
Monthly fee: $10.
Deductible: $20-$175.

Sprint -
Monthly fee: $9-$11
Deductible: $50-$200, depending on device.

SquareTrade -
Cost: $119 for two years of coverage.
Covers: Damage and phone malfunctions.
Deductible: $99 for all claims.

Verizon -
Monthly fee: $7.15 (smartphones), $5 (basic phones, tablets).
Deductible: $99-$199 (smartphones), $49-$199 (basic phones, tablets).

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ride-hailing Insurance For Uber, Lyft and other Transportation Network Company (TNC) drivers

uber, TNC, grab, lyft, taxi


If you are an Uber, Lyft and other Transportation Network Company (TNC) driver you'll need more than your personal auto insurance because there are gaps in the coverage.

TNC services three Drive Period. 
Period 1:
App open – waiting for a match. 
Period 2:
Match accepted – but passenger not yet picked up (i.e. driver is on his/her way to pick up the passenger).  Period 3:
Passenger in the vehicle and until the passenger safely exits vehicle.

Ride-hailing coverage like that one that Mercury Insurance offer is design to fill the gaps and provide TNC drivers with insurance coverage that will protect them throughout the entire drive cycle. So if drivers get into an accident in any portion of the drive cycle and are liable they will be insured up to the limits of coverage purchased.

Mercury's ride-hailing insurance increases drivers' personal auto policies to cover Period 1 through Period 3 of the drive cycle, this will fill the gaps and gives the driver protection not provided by ride-hailing companies. Their ride-hailing insurance will also fix the insured's vehicle in a covered loss if those coverage have been purchased from Mercury.  In addition, if the policies provided by both the TNC and Mercury include coverage for the insured's vehicle, then the Mercury policy will pay for any "gap" between the higher deductible on the TNC policy and the lower deductible on the Mercury policy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

What To Do With Your Tax Refund?

You get tax refund when you overpaid the government it's not a bonus money since you earned it through hard work. After filing your taxes you'll find how much refund you're gonna get. If you have a huge tax refund, normally people will buy a new car or that new UHD TV that will blow your mind or a new game console. But if you're smart, just use it to pay off some of your debts. If you have no outstanding debts, then you can start or add some in your savings account.

You can also diversify your portfolio, save for your retirement, start a college fund for your children or add money to your emergency fund. However, you wouldn't want to gamble that money away. That will be a complete waste. Check out the Infographic below on "How to Make the Most of Your Tax Refund"

Click here for proceed to the Infographic

Thursday, March 31, 2016

California Legislature approves $15 minimum wage increase, will be highest in the US

California wage raise increase, $15 minimum wage

California lawmakers approved a sweeping plan on Thursday raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next six years. This will be the nation’s highest statewide minimum wage and it will take effect by 2022.

The Assembly passed SB3 with a 48-26 vote. The the Senate voted 26-12, people cheered the move and "Si se puede" can be heard from the gallery above. The legislation now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown, who is expected to sign it into law after previously working out the plan with labor unions. Brown will sign the wage hike into law in Los Angeles on Monday.

Democrats who control both legislative chambers in California praised the move as a boon to more than 2 million of state’s poorest workers. Opponents complained it was rushed and did not include a wide group at the negotiating table. Business owners and economists fears that the yearly increases will be tied to inflation and will make California hostile to business.

The state of New York was considering a similar move.

Under the plan, California's hourly minimum wage would increase from the current $10 to $10.50 on January 1. Businesses with 25 or fewer employees would be given an extra year to comply. Increases of $1 an hour would come every January until 2022. The governor could delay increases in times of budgetary or economic downturns.

California’s current $10 an hour minimum is tied with Massachusetts for the highest among states. Los Angeles, Seattle and other cities have recently approved $15 minimum wages, while Oregon officials plan to increase the minimum to $14.75 an hour in cities and $12.50 in rural areas by 2022.

In New York, Gov. Cuomo and state lawmakers continued to negotiate Thursday over Cuomo’s proposal to gradually raise the state’s minimum wage from $9 to $15 by the end of 2018 in New York City and by mid-2021 elsewhere in the state.