Monday, September 9, 2013

Emploeyers should take action against the problems around the Worker's Compensation rigths

Some jobs are more dangerous than others and, over the years, there's been a debate about how to strike a balance between the duty of the employer to offer as safe a working environment as possible and the need to compensate anyone who is injured when that duty is breached. In the middle of the nineteenth century, a number of European countries began to introduce national programs to protect citizens who were injured at work. Rather than allow them to fall into poverty if, through no fault of their own, they were unable to continue working, a financial safety net was introduced. Between 1855 and 1907, twenty-eight US states introduced laws to allow injured workers to sue their employers. If the courts found the employers negligent, they had to pay compensation. This liability obviously encouraged employers to insure. The drawback to this approach is that the courts overflow with personal injury claims. Worse, it fails to address the need for safety in the workplace and treats every case as if unique. So at the turn of the century, some US states began to introduce statewide compensation laws. By 1949, all US states had a law in place striking a balance between private liability and public compensation. The problem has always been the amount of fraud in the system. To pay lower premiums, employers lie about how many people they employ and the level of experience the employees have. Employees fake injuries or exaggerate old ones. Nevertheless, with the exception of Texas which has a unique system, all states have introduced a right for employees to receive treatment if they are injured on the job. This has a direct effect on the amount of small business insurance the employers need to buy. The small business pays the relevant premium into the local compensation plan run by the state instead. Where the state-run scheme is comprehensive, it replaces the right of the injured employee to sue the employer for negligence with the right to treatment and compensation from the state. So long as the small business follows the local law, this is a reasonable balance of public and private rights. A problem has been emerging in the way many of the Workers' Compensation plans work and there's an epidemic of opioid addiction as doctors overprescribe medication. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are now involved in trying to prevent excessive prescription. For employers looking to re-employ disabled staff, this may be a problem requiring attention from the small business insurance provider. Drug testing as part of the recruitment process and during employment may be expedient. As a national statistic, some 40,000 adults die of drug overdoses every year. Opioid deaths now exceed heroin and cocaine deaths combined. If your small business insurance includes any form of cover that may be invalidated if the employee is an addict, you need to know early. This problem is more common among the injured workforce. Take action now.

There can be drawbacks to getting cheap air tickets

Flying cheap is definitely one of those things all travelers take as a blessing. First of all, because it can really take off the pressure off your traveling budget. But also because it's an opportunity that doesn't come around all that often. Still, travelers tend to find various ways of buying cheap air tickets and often succeed in their intension to keep traveling costs within reasonable limits. That's how all those tips on cheap air tickets are created. However, besides the obvious advantage of reduced prices, cheap flights have certain drawbacks that tend to surface more often than with ordinary priced tickets. Some people tend to overlook them, focusing solely on the price of the flight, but this doesn't necessarily mean that you won't feel them. So in order to be ready for possible drawbacks of cheap air tickets make sure to understand the price they usually come at: A lack of convenience The most common price you have to pay for cheap air tickets is the convenience of your flight. Quite often the cheapest fares are available for odd-time flights such as nighttime flights, between secondary airports on off days of the week. This means that you will have to take additional measures for getting to your exact destination, get up very early (or don't get any sleep at all) and spend extra days somewhere you may not want to stay for too long. Not to mention connected flights that can stretch a routine several hour flight into a whole day of flights and spending time at airports. As a rule of thumb, the most convenient flights will cost you more, so in order to get cheap air tickets you will have to sacrifice the convenience factor of your trip. Limited comfort Cheap air tickets are usually available through discount airlines, which are primarily known for their minimalistic approach towards all forms of comfort during flights. Not that you will have a hard time finding a pillow or getting a meal on board, only that it will cost you additional money, which will diminish the whole idea of getting cheap air tickets in the first place. Traditional airlines may sometimes adopt the same approach when selling cheap air tickets, so get ready to give away some of the usual comforts if you want to fly cheap. Possible issues with availability One of the main tips on getting cheap air tickets is booking them well in advance, which makes the question of availability all too evident. Cheap flights aren't as easy to find, especially if you have to fly soon. So you will always have to settle with the options available at the time of your purchase, which aren't very broad in most cases. Moreover, the selection of airlines, through which you will be able to get cheaper airfares will always be limited of compared to standard fares. And that is why the problem of availability is one of the most pronounced questions when trying to get cheap air tickets. A lack of flexibility All of the articles providing tips on cheap flights will suggest that you become more flexible in your choices when flying. Flexibility should be exercised in everything, starting with the class of seats to when and where you fly. Of course, being flexible to an extent is certainly a great thing and it can really save you money. But what if you're already used to a certain level of comfort, convenience and service quality? Wouldn't it mean that by becoming more flexible you will simply have to refuse from all the things you actually find pleasing during a flight? In this perspective, becoming too flexible is often a synonym to putting your personal needs behind. And it's up to you to decide whether this price is fair enough for getting cheap air tickets.

Rental companies across the globe

It isn't surprising that car rental companies all around the world tend to all look the same, especially in an age when all types of services are subject to globalization and it's easy to find the same things at opposite sides of the planet. Sure, there's a local flavor to any type of service and you can't deny the influence of local competition, gas prices and economy in general. However, wherever you go, car rental companies will tend to offer virtually the same services and the same options. The only things that will differ are the car selection and the rental rates. Well, that's how it all looks at first. But if you take the time to take a closer look at car rental companies around the globe you will realize that there are certain specifics you must learn before renting a car, if you don't want to end up paying an enormous extra charge. Here are the things to watch out for when reviewing the services of car rental companies across the globe: Local taxes Local taxation should be the first thing to consider when you are travelling around the globe and are looking for rental cars. Special taxes for all types of services provided on their territory, including vehicle rental, are quite often carried by large airports, seaports and train stations. Quite often, large airports, train stations and sea ports carry special taxes for all types of services provided on their territory, including vehicle rental. This doesn't actually depend on car rental companies but this can add up to the cost of renting the car, and the difference can be significant depending on your destination. So make sure to learn about the local airport and station fees before renting the vehicle on site - it's often more convenient to take a taxi to the city and find a rental office there that doesn't carry any additional taxes and fees. Extra charges, fees and penalties Extra charges and hidden costs are the most popular tools used by car rental companies to make you pay more, and they tend to get very tricky when travelling abroad. If you know your domestic rental fees and extra charges this doesn't mean anything when traveling abroad, since car rental companies around the world will use different methods and charge different extra rates. This is especially important when going to such places as the European Union, where the services market may seem regulated but where every country has its own rules, practices and extra charges respectively. So it can make a huge difference if you rent a car in Berlin and leave it Prague, for example, or if you do the same in Lisbon and Rome - there will be different charges and regulations involved. Insurance Insurance is another common tool for making customers pay more, and it can make a big difference depending on where you want to go. In most countries car insurance is mandatory and car rental companies are obliged to have all their cars insured before offering them for rent. However, in certain countries the responsibility may be transferred to the customer, so the rental insurance will be mandatory. Make sure to learn about local insurance requirements in order to decide whether you actually need insurance or if it's just an option. Traffic rules Knowing the traffic rules of the country you will go to is a must. Sure, in most cases all the rules are similar if not identical, even for countries with different traffic directions. However, minor regulations and rules can make a big difference, especially when renting a car. For example, in some countries baby seats are required to carry a child in the car by law, while in other countries it is an option. The same goes for mobile phone use while driving. All these small regulations may require you to get extras with your car such as hands-free cell devices, child seats and others. That's why it is important to learn the traffic rules before renting the car abroad. Competition Learning the local competition can give you an advantage when shopping around car rental companies overseas. Depending on how crowded the rental market is, you will get different rates and different extra costs. So it may be more affordable to rent a car in a large city where the competition is fierce and drive to your destination, instead of paying more in a smaller town where there's only one rental office.

Take the Burden of Funeral Organization from Your Loved Ones

As people age, the fear of death and the grief it will cause loved ones creates anxiety and stress. Much of the senior population has few debts, and homes and cars are usually paid off by the time they reach their 70s or 80s. This relieves the stress of blanketing a spouse with never-ending bills, or the fear of losing a beloved home after a death, and negates the need for standard life insurance. Yet many people don't quite comprehend the extraordinary costs involved in a funeral and burial. For this reason, the elderly population is strongly encouraged to investigate Final Expense Life Insurance quotes. This kind of life insurance will cover all the obvious, and the not-so-obvious costs of laying a loved one to rest. There are several types of final expense insurance which can be tailored to needs and budget. The greatest advantage to purchasing final expense insurance is the ability to pre-plan all details of your funeral, making family members grateful to be spared this painful and confusing task. The average cost of a basic funeral is about $6,000. This doesn't include extras such as flowers, newspaper obituaries, limousines to escort family, grave-site services, or plots. Considering these details, the price of a funeral can reach $10,000. When a person dies, his or her family members are clouded in grief and often unable to make rational decisions. Many times family members will feel so bad they agree to unnecessary, over-priced caskets, and other extras that help cushion the grief of the moment. By pre-planning your own funeral, and obtaining final expense life insurance, the people you love won't have to make any agonizing decisions. Final Expense Policies to Choose From When searching for final expense life insurance quotes, be aware that there are two kinds of policies. One is 'term life,' which will only cover a policyholder for a specific amount of time or up until a certain age, and then it will expire. But 'whole life' insurance covers a person for the remainder of his life. Another type of insurance is 'Pre-Need Life insurance.' This kind of policy is purchased from a funeral home director, not from a typical life insurance agent. The funeral home is the beneficiary and this policy is a good choice for those who wish for their specific arrangements to be paid for and executed as planned, and also saves family members any arrangement involvement. They only need to attend the funeral and celebrate your life. A 'Pre-Need Trust' is an insurance policy that entails putting money into a trust, always a federally insured bank, where it sits until it is distributed to your funeral director upon your death. With any of these policies, be sure when shopping for the best final expense life insurance quote to get written guarantees on every cost of all funeral and burial expenses. Death is a certainty, and difficult to cope with for those left behind. Make it easier on them by investing in final expense life insurance.

Recommendations to help you avoid the common car insurance mistakes

It's hard to blame people for wanting to get cheap car insurance at any cost. Seeing how car insurance rates increase year after year and having to spend thousands of dollars on it, more and more people are finding it rather expensive and incompatible with their budget. It even comes to situations when it's actually cheaper to buy a decent used car than to insure it. That's exactly why people are looking for different methods that would allow them to obtain cheap car insurance. But in this pursuit for economy too many car owners end up dealing with the disadvantages of cheap car insurance, which can sometimes result in additional spendings and inconveniences. If you don't want to become one of such drivers, you should carefully plan your insurance purchasing and avoid the most common mistakes associated with cheap car insurance: Stripping down the policy to bare essentials One of the most widespread practices that allow having cheap car insurance is striping down the insurance policy to the bare minimums required by law. This usually involves dropping all types of optional coverage such as comprehensive, collision, uninsured motorist and so on, and on top of that, reducing the limits of third party liability to the minimums required by local legislation. Sure, this will definitely bring down the cost of insurance for you but it will also make you financially vulnerable in case of an average or serious accident. The problem is that state minimum requirements do not reflect the actual state of affairs in the insurance market and aren't sufficient for covering repair or medical costs in case of a serious crash, so you will end up paying much more out of own pocket than you'd pay the insurer. Buying according to rates, not contents Another very common mistake a lot of car owners commit is shopping around and judging only by the rates. Sure, the rates will tell you exactly how much the insurance will cost you and that's really important. But the contents of the policy are important too, and you will be surprised to learn that they differ significantly from one company to another. For example, a particular insurer is offering you cheap car insurance but their policy has so many exclusions that you will end up paying out of own pocket in most situations, while another insurer is offering average rates but with much less exclusions and special provisions. The overall financial advantage is often on the side of the latter insurer, and that's why you always have to check the contents of the policy as well. Buying from unreliable or shady providers When shopping around for insurance you may run across very cheap car insurance policies offered by insurers you're not particularly familiar with. The offer may look very tempting and the contents of the policy may be outstanding, but are you really sure that you'll be able to get all the coverage if disaster strikes? That's why checking the background of the company you're looking forward to buy is also important. Check if there are any complains coming from other car owners, read the financial market reports, see if the company is financially stable and try to learn how they handle claims. You can start by browsing the web or addressing your local state insurance department to see if the company is blacklisted or not. Remember, when it comes to insurance you always have to work with a reliable and financially stable provider even if it results in having a slightly costlier policy. Getting separate policies for each car Having two or more cars in the household is nothing strange for the US and it's easy to imagine the insurance costs implied with such convenience. However, too many car owners simply vanquish their chances of getting cheap car insurance by getting separate policies for each of their cars. Remember, insuring all of your cars with the same single policy is always cheaper than having separate policies, any insurance expert will tell you this. Unless, of course, each of your cars is a collectible vehicle that requires a special customized package. But in such case, you probably don't need to worry about insurance rates much. Purchasing the first policy offered The importance of comparison shopping is stressed in every piece of information you will find about cheap car insurance. Still, there are many people who simply avoid it either because they don't like doing so or simply because they are lazy. But the golden rule of insurance shopping is still the same: you can always find a better deal if you shop around. So don't rush buying the first policy even if it looks very attractive and get least 3-4 more quotes from other providers to see if it's really competitive.

Why your location plays such an important role for calculating auto insurance quotes

Of all the factors affecting auto insurance quotes, the car owner's location seems to be the most confusing and discriminating. Looking at the quotes people get in the neighbor state or simply in another city within the same state, many car owners feel as if there is injustice in place. Why does the location have such a significant weight in the final auto insurance quotes regardless of the provider? Well, unfortunately for all those who feel discriminated there are several reasons for things to be this way, and it's really useful to know them. First of all, each state has its own legislation and people actually love such differences in the legal framework when they are beneficial to them. However, legal requirements concern vehicle insurance too and in some states this may actually be a disadvantage. There may be higher lower limits of third party liability coverage, additional coverage types made mandatory and special provisions that push the base cost of an average policy higher. Besides, the local repair and medical costs may also be different from those in the other state, and they also influence the average auto insurance quotes to a high degree. That's why people always get varying auto insurance quotes for exact same policies depending on the state they're registered in. Another factor that plays its role in the location-influenced quoting practice is the local population. You probably know that rural areas always get lower quotes compared to heavily populated cities. There's a simple explanation to that: traffic density. The heavier the traffic, the more likely for a car to get hit and for insurer to pay for the damage. That's why large cities and metropolitan areas always get higher auto insurance quotes compared to less populated areas with fewer cars on the road. But even when it comes to different parts of the same city there can also be significant fluctuations in average auto insurance quotes. This is explained by local crime rates that influence significantly the average payouts insurers make through comprehensive coverage. If car theft and vandalism rates are higher in a particular neighborhood, then you are very likely to pay more for the same policy that would cost you much less in a safer area. All of the aforementioned factors determine the average costs of insurance for different locations and every insurance company takes them into account simply because they keep track of their costs and are never late to charge their customers. So if you feel that your auto insurance quotes are too high because of the place you live in, ask yourself if it's really safe, if there aren't too many cars, and if the local legislation is on your side.

Do you need to get car insurance quotes for a leased vehicle?

Do you need to get car insurance quotes for a leased vehicle? Let's start with the easy question. Should you lease rather than buy a new vehicle? One of the best known of all the men who've made millions, John Paul Getty, is on record with a very simple answer. If the asset is likely to appreciate in value, you should buy it. If it always depreciates, you should rent or lease it. The sad reality when you buy any new vehicle is it loses value the moment you sign the agreement to buy (some states make this worse by imposing a sales tax). Indeed, the fastest rate of depreciation is during the first year of ownership. Then the longer you own it, the more of its value it loses. Of course there comes a point when it can't lose any more and, assuming you've paid off the auto loan, it then costs you nothing but gas and the maintenance bills to continue driving. But up to that point, you've paid a big price for the privilege of driving. So before taking the decision, look carefully at the terms of renting or leasing to see which option offers the best deal. Given that some rental and leasing deals come as an all-in package covering all the costs except the gas, this can be a better deal than owning, particularly if you strike unlucky and have a major repair bill early on. But most companies refuse long-term rental, i.e. more than two months, preferring a lease. Now from a purely technical point of view, buying and renting/leasing are different. When you pay off the auto loan, you're the owner of the vehicle. At the end of the rental or leasing period, you have to return the vehicle. But if you ignore this legal nicety, the practical result is the same. You're paying a monthly amount to drive a vehicle on the road. The only real question is which payment offers better value for money. The typical lease runs for thirty-six months which, by coincidence, is about the average period covered by a manufacturer's warranty. This gives you peace of mind. Not only are you paying less than the average loan repayment for driving a new car, you don't have to worry about repair bills during the time you have possession of the vehicle. That leaves only one problem: insurance. Let's start with the big question first. Because of the rapid depreciation in the vehicles value during the thirty-six months, you will owe more on the leasing payments than the vehicle is worth. If you total the vehicle, there's an inevitable gap between the fair value amount payable on a total loss and the amount you'll owe on the leasing agreement. Check the small print of the insurance cover sold by the leasing company. If gap insurance is not included, buy your own. It only costs a small amount. Here's the situation in Texas explained: Now on to more general questions. There's been considerable consolidation in the leasing market and so, with less competition, it's more difficult to find terms and conditions that protect the consumer unless those terms also profit the leasing company. If you're entering into a thirty-six month lease, it's less likely you also own another vehicle with its own insurance policy. Let's say this is a family deal. You own one vehicle and you're going to add a second by leasing. If this is going to change the mileage of the vehicle you own, tell your insurer immediately. Low mileage entitles you to a discount. If the mileage will increase, this increases the risk of an accident and the leased car insurance quotes will rise. It will also change the risk if you propose to use the leased vehicle as the family's main vehicle. Unless you add this new vehicle to your existing policy, the insurer will refuse to pay on a claim. There's a world of difference between you using a rental for a few days or weeks in a year, and you driving another vehicle for thirty-six months. If you don't have an existing vehicle, you must either rely entirely on the cover sold by the leasing company or investigate your own cover. Now let's come to the problem of liability cover. You can almost always rely on the leasing company to take out adequate collision and comprehensive cover. They own the vehicle and will lose the value of their investment if the vehicle is damaged or lost. Subject to the question of gap cover, you can relax. But the same is definitely not the case for liability cover because this is your problem as the driver. All states require leasing companies to make the mandatory minimum cover available through the agreement. This will leave you exposed to pay any larger amounts out of your own pocket. If you hit a fence, repair costs are likely to be within the mandatory minimum. If you hit the top-of-the-range sports car driven by a CEO earning $1 million a year, you're potentially facing a big claim. The claim is unlikely to be filed in court if you have no assets to your name and no significant pay. Attorneys like to get paid and only sue when there's a reasonable amount of money to collect at the end of the case. So you're at risk if you own your own home (and it's not underwater), you have a 401k account or a salary that can be garnished. In such circumstances, you should always top up the liability cover to realistic levels. It'll be unduly pessimistic to buy umbrella cover, but you should certainly consider the risk of having to pay significant amounts in an at-fault state for medical expenses and the labor for repairing expensive makes and models.