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.

7 Search Engine Optimization Mistakes and Solutions

To many websites, webmasters discover that major sources of website traffic come from search engines. Therefore, they are

all keen on gaining top search engine placements through search engine optimization.

Based on our several years of SEO experience, we point out some common mistakes and shed some lights to correct it.

1. Cannot Get Indexed by Search Engines, Really?

A garment ERP software solution provider came to me and asked a question: “I have established a new website for 1 year, and found a SEO company to submit my website. However, my website can be found in search engines only when I type my domain name http://www.indigo8-solutions.com in search query box. The SEO company told me

my domain got banned. What can I do?”

Ah, I told them they have been fooled by that SEO company. If you type your domain name in search box and your website can be found, which means your website has not been banned. Interestingly, your SEO company’s domain name is no longer found in Google. Their domain got banned only.

To help them find out their real problems, I found the following in search engines:

a. When typing their domain name in search query box, their site will be displayed in search result. Instead of displaying

Title Tag in the search result, search engine displays their domain name only.

b. Only 1 page is being indexed.

What’s the problem then?

With a closer look to their coding, I found that at the top of their webpage, they heavily use Javascript to present their

heading, company name, visible content, and website menu. Actually, many search engines have difficulties in reading Javascript codes.

Solution?

Put those Javascript in external js files and leave the webpages with plain HTML codes. Search engines usually have problems in crawling Javascript. Since their whole site navigation menu is written in Javascript, they should build a sitemap using plain HTML so that search engines can read all of their pages.

One more tips: When you cannot get indexed by search engines, do not blindly believe someone saying that your website get

banned. You should firstly look at your website structure and see if your coding are clumsy and make search engines hard to

“read” your website.

The problem created by Javascript is not uncommon nowadays. Even a very big Asia

Market Research Firm also commits this error. They are now starting to rectify it.

2. Link Building

In many forums, some people are strongly opposed to link exchange and claim that it is a devil and it hurts your search

engine ranking and even get you banned.

I personally do not agree. Evidence shows that many top sites are doing link exchange and getting top rankings across all

major search engines. In addition, link exchange has been a long used way for traffic building by smaller websites. I do

not see why search engines will block people to promote websites using this simple and long used method.

Indeed, link exchange becomes a problem only when you manipulate link text with a pure purpose of tricking search engines, exchange links with link farms, or buy hundreds of domain names and cross-link with your site.

A solution to avoid link exchange hurting you includes:

- Use a wide variety of link text

- Seek link exchange with sites of similar theme

- Emphasize on how many traffic you can get from your link partners instead of search engine ranking

Some webmasters know the importance of link exchange. However, they think that it consumes most of their time and finally give up doing it. A solution is that you can consider using Linkautomate.com to manage your links. This kind of software saves you time in link checking and link page update.

3. Use of Flash Intro

Web design companies try hard to persuade you to use a Flash introduction as your homepage. You think that “Wow! The flash

animation is very appealing and it makes your site looks more attractive”. However, do you know that it can hurt your website in search engine ranking?

Let me explain..

Search engines analyze website based on text. Flash, unluckily, is not text. According to “How to Design Website Guideline” of Siuchu Suga, search engines are not able to read content presented by

Flash. They just treat Flash as an embedded object or graphics only. If you use a Flash Intro as your homepage, you will never get good rankings.

In addition, many Flash intro do not offer additional and meaningful content to visitors. Ask your visitors, how many of

them are really interested in reading your Flash Intro before going straight to your website content?

A solution to use Flash or not, please ask yourself whether the Flash intro is really useful and can offer additional information to your visitors? Secondly, instead of a Flash homepage, you may consider making a Flash header together with

content at your homepage.

4. Hidden Text and Meta Tags

Webmasters understand that keyword density is a way to improve search engine ranking, and some webmasters use a technique

called “keyword stuffing”. They will stuff keywords into their webpages repeatedly, e.g. “keyword 1, keyword 2, …. keyword

1, keyword 2….” Well, everyone knows it does not make sense to visitors. Therefore, those “clever” webmasters will make

those text invisible. For example, make the text color identical to background color.

Unluckily, this trick no longer works. Search engines are able to detect it, and penalize websites using this nonsense technique. If you do not want your site being penalized, remove those text immediately in case you have adopted this method.

Okay, some webmasters only stuff keywords in Meta Keyword Tags, an area for putting keywords. I am sorry to say that stuffing keywords in Meta keyword tags is also no good. You can only repeat a keyword for 3 times at most. Nowadays, search engines place less emphasis or even no emphasis on Meta keyword tags. So, what is the point of risking yourself by stuffing keywords there?

5. Use of Dynamic Pages

Many websites use content management system (CMS) to generate their webpages. As generation of dynamic pages are easier for

website development, CMS generally use dynamic pages. However, search engines have difficulties to spider and understand them.

To solve the problem, you can consider using Mod Rewrite in case you use Apache server or finding a CMS that can generate

static HTML pages.

6. Be a Pagerank Monster

Many search engine marketers are too focused on their website’s pagerank. Everyday, they are talking and checking pagerank.

They perform link building based on pagerank only. In fact, pagerank is only one factor for Google to determine search

engine ranking. It also cannot affect your rankings in other search engines like Yahoo and MSN. If you are too concerned

about pagerank, you finally will ignore other important optimization criteria.

Therefore, you should repeatedly remind yourself that pagerank is only one of the many factors and you cannot only work on it.

7. Too Believe in Sandbox

Some webmasters propose that a new website will be put into sandbox by Google so that you cannot get any high rankings for

highly competitive keywords. Even though their website cannot get any rankings after 1 year, they still believe that it is

sandbox effect. Some even says Yahoo has Sandbox, MSN has Sandbox, etc…

From Google’s patent information, there is no clue that such sandbox occurs. From my experience, if your site is new and cannot rank high in highly competitive keywords, it is solely because other websites are more established in search engine

world. For example, they have more inbound links, more content, etc. Therefore, webmasters should not focus on finding how to get out from sandbox. Instead, you should put more effort in link building and content optimization. Eventually, you will see your website’s rankings rise.

Summer Vacation – Preparing For Your Summer Vacation

We all know that planning and preparation for anything goes a long way to minimizing problems later. There is no better example of this than taking a summer vacation. Are you thinking about this year’s summer vacation? If you are, have you already started planning and preparing for your vacation or trip? Why not?

There is actually no excuse as there are a large number of planning and preparation tips available for summer travelers online, in seasonal magazines, even from some travel agents. Having said that, some advice may put us off because it pertains a specific location or country. When planning and preparing for your summer vacation, however, we are encouraged to keep our destination in mind.

No matter what your vacation destination is, you will need to take the time of year and the climate conditions at that time into consideration. If you are visiting a tropical location, you will need to bring along the appropriate clothing. Bathing suits, shorts, t-shirts, and tank tops are common appeal found at beaches and aboard cruise ships. While you may be expecting warm and sunny weather, it is still advised that you prepare for the worst. Raincoats and an umbrella may be a great addition to your summer clothing.

Need a very good example of this? What if due to a miscalculation or a mistake in planning, you ended up at your tropical destination during their “rainy” season!!!

No matter where you are traveling to, overseas or even in your own country, I would encourage you to always have the proper forms of identification. For example, living here in Spain, we are obliged by law to always carry proof of identification which may be an id card or passport. Although this is not the case in all countries, it really isn’t worth neglecting this.

Part of our planning and preparation for our summer vacation is considering all possible eventualities. So, I would strongly encourage everyone to have the following documentary proof with them while traveling…

  • Passport
  • Driving Licence
  • Health Insurance
  • Car Insurance
  • Car Rental Agreement which may include the car insurance

For many the most popular summer vacation destinations, especially in southern Europe, are the coastal regions and the beaches. Each year millions of individuals and families flock to beaches. If you are spending your summer vacation at the beach, or you know that a great deal of time will be spent there, it is important that you bring along the appropriate clothing and sunscreen.

Believe me, I know from observing painful experiences that many of us still do not realize the dangers of sunbathing or just being out in the sun without sunscreen. The worst is when I have seen young children having a great time in the pool during the hot summer months here in southern Spain. I have then seen them the following day with painful looking blisters and sores because they had not used sunscreen or enough of it.

Always have sunscreen and plenty of it. In addition to sunscreen, you will need to make sure that you have beach towels and plenty of water or liquids on hand.

Cruises are becoming more popular as a summer vacation choice for many individuals and families who are looking for something different. If you are taking a cruise, you are advised to start preparing for your trip as soon as you book your reservation. Unlike many other vacations, a cruise often requires a larger amount of planning and preparation.

When preparing for your cruise, it is important to keep in mind where your ship will be going and what stops are planned as part of the itinerary. When on international waters or traveling to a foreign country, a passport is required.

Please don’t make the mistake of leaving this too late if you do not have a passport. Each country has its own process for receiving and approving applications. Make sure you know what to do in yours.

I have not only seen the disappointment of people who have had to cancel their vacation and lose money, I have also seen all kinds of problems arise mid vacation when passports expire. Don’t take the risk.

We all have our favorite things we take on vacation. This can range from tooth paste and soap to washing detergents. People take all sorts of things with them – just in case.

For the most part, if you forget to bring along certain supplies you can always find and purchase replacements. The only downside to purchasing what you need at your vacation destination may be the price. Popular vacation destinations may have inflated prices. Others will surprise you at how inexpensive your favorite brand is.

With the recent increase in airport security and new travel restrictions, we may all need to accept that we will need to wait until we get to our destination before buying certain products. Part of our planning and preparation is to check what we can and cannot take in our luggage.

There’s a final point I wish to make about summer vacation or any vacation preparation. We all need to make sure that we can make contact and be contacted by others.

Make sure you have the details of all the important contacts you may need at a given time. This may be family or friends. It may be your country’s consulate or your car rental company. The point is, just think how much easier it will be if you have the details at hand.

Equally, develop an itinerary and give copies of your travel plans to those that need to know so that they can contact you should the need arise.

I cannot over emphasize how important the preparation for your summer vacation is. To some, preparing for their vacation may seem a daunting task. To others, it may seem unnecessary or even boring.

How ever you may regard preparing for travel or vacations, please ensure you follow the tips suggested as well as any others you can think of.

Are you bored with the same summer vacation routine? Struggling to find that vacation of a lifetime? Then open your mind to the unique possibilities by visiting qdmarbella.com below. You will be delighted by the choice and the great comments made by clients from North America and other countries.

Long Lasting Outcomes of Business Gifts

Business gifts are employed by commercial organisations in order to promote their company identity and establish it as a brand name. The motive is not of creating a shallow appeal but a long lasting impact that is persistent in maintaining its presence in the minds of the audience. . Among the numerous promotional item companies that already exist and those that are upcoming, online stores are the place that comes foremost to the mind. They have carved a niche for themselves in the domain of corporate gifts only because their products show the potential of rendering advantageous long lasting outcomes.

Investing in business gifts is extremely beneficial. Unlike the much tested print, electronic and cyber media, purchasing corporate merchandise acts as a one-time expenditure. Once distributed to the intended set of audience, they spread brand awareness to more and more audience groups in a gradual and natural process. The business gifts continue to create brand exposure in the respective business and social network of the first hand recipients. This phenomena rolls over to a wide audience arena and to an extensive geographical periphery. The time till the promotional gifts are extant among the first hand users, they persistently make the brand presence felt among both the existing as well as the prospective clients.

The second long lasting output is that of a well positioned brand image in the memory of the target audience. The business gifts are so crafted that they can be brought into everyday application. The regularity and frequency of usage of these promotional articles repeatedly strikes the visual concentration of the users thereby getting the brand image embedded in the memory of the audience. The resultant effect is that the brand name occupies a major share of their consciousness which leads them to ask for the brand when they go for purchasing similar products.

The third outcome of business gifting is making a loyal set of existing consumers and a wide base of prospective clients. The business gifts act as the source of appreciation to the present consumers for their association with the brand for a long period of time. This would further make them loyal to the brand. On the other hand, the promotional products also motivate the potential clients in initiating a rapport with the brand and thereby gain new audience for the brand. The overall effect is that of a heightened brand prospect in terms of its awareness and sales.

For more information on business gifts, visit online stores.