Some Things Your Car Insurance Company Won’t Tell You

1. How to determine the value of “total loss.”

Most companies will tell you that they use at least three methods or schemes to determine the actual a totaled vehicle’s value including value books, computer-generated quotes from dealers, and local market research. In this case, you will probably think that local area is your current neighborhood, but it is not specifically defined by the insurer. If, in any case, the company cannot find an auto replacement in your neighborhood, so they have to find it not from your “local area,” your totaled car’s value is certainly affected. For example, if you currently live in New York, replacing your totaled vehicle in suburbs will be cheaper than in the city. Insurance company will, of course, use quotes from suburbs area as the most-reasonably-priced estimates. The main purpose in totaling a vehicle is to allow the consumer (the insured person) to purchase the same car that is totaled in an accident within the local market. Since they use three different schemes to figure out real value of a totaled car, a consumer may end up with a cheaper car than the totaled one. It is impossible to be sure what value you will get when your company does not tell you how they determine it.

Fortunately, you can do some smart methods to help yourself and your company to do the value determination. First, you have to produce valid proof that your car was in good conditions when the accident occurred; car in good condition has better value than a wreck. Bring a copy of maintenance records including oil changes and inspection by an authorized mechanic. The records will tell your company that your auto was regularly maintained, meaning it was actually in great shape (in terms of appearance and performance) when the accident occurred. Moreover, you probably had special features installed such as multimedia system, anti-theft system, anti-lock brakes, rear view camera, or 5-harness seat belt. The car insurance company may charge you more because of some special upgrades, so make sure that your insurer includes that in the evaluation.

Another good thing is to find at least three dealers and get quotes on replacement from them; make sure all dealers in your local area or at least within short driving distance from your home. Present the quotes to your insurer and ask your insurer to provide a list of some car dealers who probably can provide a car for the price listed in the quotes. If you are not satisfied with the company’s value determination or you get less than you expect, you can choose to do mediation. So, meaning you present the case to third party (neutral) to get help to settle the dispute, or arbitration, or you can even request a formal inquiry to the court.

2. If you want to cancel your policy, do it officially

Most companies say that consumers can cancel their policies at any date, but you need to notify the insurer concerning the exact date you want to end the coverage. The statement is clear enough; in other words, it says consumers have to notify their companies when they want to cancel their policies. However, consumers often think that when they ignore the last bill before renewal, the company will automatically end the policy. Too bad, this is not how it is done. People can forget and deliberately miss a bill, and the company totally understands that. After this first missed bill, your insurer is going to send you one more bill for premium payment; if you don’t pay the bill, you will be cancelled for non-payment, and the record will hurt your credit score.

What you should do when you want to cancel auto insurance policy is to let the company know that you are canceling. Please make sure that you provide a specific date; it helps you avoid being totally uninsured for a certain period, time, term. The cancellation request will be sent to you, and all you have to do is to put your signature. It is recommended that you carefully check the document before signing it. Some companies may require you to provide valid proof that you indeed have another coverage before they can approve the cancellation. If you’ve financed your car, the dealer needs the updated policy information because valid proof of insurance is required in the purchase contracts.

Credit history still matters

The use of credit information to determine approval and premium rate is still common, despite the fact that some states already started to ban such practice. Some (if not most) companies use the credit history to generate risk score. They believe that it strongly linked or correlated to the likelihood of the consumer reporting a claim. More likelihood of filing a claim is exactly the same with high-risk driver that usually also pays more expensive premium fee compared to “safe-driver” or “the preferred class.” The preferred consumers are those with stable credit card history as it suggests financial stability, meaning they are not likely to miss a payment. People of this category are safer consumers to insure compared to people with shaky credit history. Auto insurance companies do not like consumer who pays sporadically or changes accounts quite frequently.

There are some credit card issuers who offer free credit score checking, but in most cases, you need to pay for the service. Unlike credit score, risk score for insurance-related matters will not be available for you, but both probably indicate the same thing which is financial stability. If you are currently in the market to purchase auto insurance, and it turns out that you have quite unusual activity on your credit history within only certain time frame, you can wait until one month to allow the credit activity to go back to its usual condition. If you cannot keep the credit score stable, prepare yourself to pay more expensive premium fee.

3. Budgeting by installments is not always efficient.

Installments can pay almost all items, and consumers think that it is indeed the best way to budget the expense. When it comes to auto insurance, you can ask the company to divide the annual premium into a monthly basis, quarterly, or on six month. Please put in mind that dividing the annual premium will cost you “fractional premium.” You can consider this additional service fee to arrange the installment. It can be as cheap as $10 per payment; the more you break it down, the most fractional premium to pay.

Most companies will probably offer you to pay in installments since it makes more money for them. When you apply for insurance, it is wise to ask whether there is any additional charge for installments option, and then you can compare the difference. If the fractional premium is not very expensive, then perhaps it is worth it. Another big difference between upfront payment and installments is that certain companies will immediately cancel your coverage if you miss one payment; even worse, they can do it without notification. It is best to pay up front if you can; the entire process will be easier, and you can indeed save few dollars.

Every vehicle model and type has certain premium rate

Of course, you all know that sport cars need more expensive insurance policies than a van, but insurance companies will not tell you the exact numbers. In general, it is true that attractive, sporty, luxurious car with turbocharged engine will go very quickly on the road, and it increases the risk of accidents, but this is not always true considering the discounts for safety features, security features, mileage (especially when you drive it less), etc. Auto insurance companies have a specific system to know the premium for all car models you can buy, based on the system rating by ISO (Insurance Service Office). Every type of car is rated from 3 to 27; higher number means a higher premium. Insurance Service Office says that it will not release the rating system for publication because its clients are insurance companies.

You will not get the rating system from your insurer; you may not even find it anywhere at all. The best thing you can do when you want to purchase a new auto is to ask the insurance how much insurance premium you need to pay for a new car that you want to purchase. If you keep a good relationship with an independent agent, he/she should be able at least to predict the price based on raw calculation.

4. Filing claim increases your premium.

People are always interested to see insurance companies reduce premium fee to attract potential customers. It is indeed one of the best things customers get from the competition in the market, but your insurer can increase the price right away after you file your first claim. The industry standard is to increase premium fee up to 40% of the base rate after first-at-fault accident. With the help of an online car insurance calculator you get a base rate of $500, your premium increases by $200. Some companies have different rules, but there is always a big chance your premium will go up after the first-at-fault claim. Some insurers offer “first-accident forgiveness,” meaning your first actual claim will not affect the premium at all, but the variable and requirement for eligibility can be different from company to company. You should ask your insurer if such discount is available and how to qualify for it.

Teenage Weight Loss – How Teenagers Can Safely Lose Weight

Teenagers with body mass measures between 25 and 30 require immediate medical attention. The internal stress caused from so much weight almost guarantees the premature development of medical problems such as diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and stroke.

There's no question that aggressive weight loss methods are necessary and these teenagers need to be followed by medical experts for years to come. But what about teenagers with body mass measures just below 25? Is it safe for this group of overweight and mildly obese teenagers to lose weight?

The verdict is still out – the weight loss community continues to wait for more evidence supporting aggressive weight loss methods for overweight teens. I say while we wait, let's lose some weight.

But we do not need to be so aggressive with this group. Overweight teens need to lose weight, but in a slow, gradual process. Lasting weight loss and the development of positive habits should replace the push for immediate weight loss in adolescents with body mass measures between 22 and 25.

The there's the teenager wanting to lose weight for purely cosmetic reasons. How do we approach this fragile situation as parents and professionals? We can not just say no to her for fear she might turn to unhealthy means to lose weight. But we can not just give him a green light and say go for it, either.

The rest of this article focuses on the cosmetic teenage weight loss dilemma. The best thing I can do is at least provide some ground rules for teenagers with body mass indices less than 22 who insist on losing weight.

Cosmetic Teenage Weight Loss – The Ground Rules

Here's a simple, straight forward list of ground rules for teenagers wanting to lose weight for cosmetic reasons:

  1. Losing weight with a body mass index less than 19 is not recommended and might even be harmful. Things like eating disorders, endocrine abnormalities, stunted growth, and anorexia are all well documented consequences from unnecessary teenage weight loss.
  2. Teenagers with body mass measures between 20 and 22, can lose 5 to 10 pounds in a safe and effective manner.
  3. The primary mechanism for teenage weight loss is always the "burning" of excess calories through increased physical activity. A combination of aerobic exercises and resistance training works fast and produces the best results.
  4. Teenage weight loss by restricting calories should be kept to a minimum. A slow, gradual, and controlled restriction of calories is key. I recommend starting with a 5% reduction of calories from baseline for two weeks. This is followed by a 10% reduction for one week and then a 15% reduction (if necessary) for one week.
  5. Dedication to a consistent exercise program typically produces the weight loss desired without any changes to the caloric intake. A more natural way to reduce calories comes from eating a more balanced and nutritious diet, including more servings of fruits and vegetables.
  6. Emphasizing consistent exercise and a nutritious diet is often all that is needed for a teenager to drop some weight, firm and tone muscle, and achieve her "cosmetic" goals.

For the actual steps to safe and effective teenage weight loss, additional information on resistance training, and guidelines for restricting calories, use this link …

Teenage Weight Loss Plan

To Healthy Living!

Michael A. Smith, MD

Chief Medical Consultant

Diet Basics Website

Is it Possible to Control Blood Sugar Levels Without Medicine?

Scientists have advanced knowledge about the proteins that help control blood sugar, or glucose, during and after exercise, and this knowledge could lead to new drug therapies or exercises more effective for the prevention of Type 2 diabetes and other health problems associated with high levels of blood sugar.

Insulin resistance occurs when the body is not produced by properly stimulating the transport of glucose, a type of sugar inside the cells as an energy source. Too much glucose in the bloodstream can cause a variety of medical problems including Type 2 diabetes, said Gregory Cartee, a professor in the School of Kinesiology and principal investigator of the study. Katsuhiko Funai is the co-author, graduate student and researcher in the School of Kinesiology.

Insulin and muscle contractions are the most important stimuli that increase glucose transport into the interior of muscle cells. The cells can then use glucose for energy, said Cartee. But scientists do not know exactly how this works.

The group reacted Cartee watched two different proteins that were considered important in stimulating the transport of glucose by two different enzymes, linked also with the transport of glucose. The goal of this study was to understand the contribution of the two proteins, called AS160 and TBC1D1 in skeletal muscle stimulated by insulin.

“Trying to rule out or determine what proteins are important in the exercise,” said Cartee.

The results indicate that the protein TBC1D1 was the most important for the transport of glucose stimulated by exercise and suggested that the second protein, AS160, may be less important for this effect of exercise. Give attention to the protein works best, in this case the TBC1D1, scientists can develop methods for making proteins that work best for people with insulin resistance, Cartee said.

Insulin resistance is a major health problem affecting millions of people, he said.

“Almost all people with diabetes have Type 2 muscle resistance to insulin,” said Cartee. “This does not cause diabetes by itself, but it is an essential component that contributes to type 2 diabetes. This affects millions of people. Even people who are not diabetic insulin resistance is linked to numerous health problems. “

In the longer term people who have insulin resistance or whose muscles do not respond normally to insulin are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, said Cartee.

“Apparently the muscles have the machinery to respond to exercise even if they do not respond normally to insulin. If we knew how the exercise could develop more effective protocols for exercise, “he said. “In other cases of people who can not exercise, we could design a drug therapy or something else to control insulin.

An Overview Of The Benefits Of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation

The acronym for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation is TENS. This is a pain relief method that involves a device that transmits electrical impulses via electrodes on the skin to a specific area of ​​the body that is painful. It is useful for the relief of acute and chronic pain. Electric stimulation for pain management goes back to the Ancient Greeks and, more recently, Benjamin Franklin was a great proponent of the concept. However, the first patented modern machine made its debut during 1974 in the USA.

TENS has proved to be effective for many types of pain. It is commonly used during childbirth, after surgery, for bursitis, tension headaches, tendonitis, cancer, chronic wounds, arthritis, migraine headaches, injuries, and other painful conditions. Medical practitioners believe that the technique stimulates the body to produce endorphins which are natural painkillers. However, they do not claim that this therapy addresses the root cause of pain. Its primary use is to offer short-term relief while healing is occurring.

A TENS device enterprises of an electric unit that is connected to electrodes. These are attached to the skin near the targeted area. When the device is switched on, a low-voltage current is delivered into the body. During therapy, the patient will feel a warm, tingling sensation.

A session usually lasts between 5 and 15 minutes. Treatment may take place as often as necessary according to the severity of the pain. TENS can best be described as an electrical massage. It is widely used by physiotherapists, massage therapists, and chiropractors. Portable systems are available so that patients can apply the therapy at home.

In the USA, there are over 100 different types of portable TENS machines which have received approval from the Food and Drug Administration. However, the public may not use them unless authorized by a medical practitioner. Some units deliver the electrical impulses via acupuncture needles. This method has to be performed by a qualified health care practitioner.

Research indicates that TENS therapy has shown some efficiencies with cancer patients, especially those who have neuropathic pain which is related to nerve or tissue damage. In such cases, TENS works best when combined with medication. It has shown to be particularly helpful to relieve painful bones and muscles after major surgical procedures.

Patients who are allergic to adhesives may react adversely to the electrode pads. This therapy is not suitable for patients who have heart problems. Also, it should not be administrated to people with implanted defibrillators, pacemakers, infusion pumps, or any other internal device that may malfunction due to the electrical current. If a woman suspects she may be pregnant, she should advise the practitioner because the effects on an unborn fetus are not yet known.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation is otherwise considered to be safe. Anyone applying the treatment at home should take care that the current is not too intense because it may irritate or burn the skin. Never place the electrodes near the throat, brain, heart, or over the eyes. Always ensure that you know how to operate the device correctly and that you have received instruction from a professional practitioner.