car insurance guide

If you run a car you have to insure it - that's the law. The type of insurance you get varies according to the extent of protection it provides and how much it costs you.

The options

Fully Comprehensive is the most expensive and covers everything - damage to your car, personal injury costs and any third party's vehicle and property.

On very old, cheap cars, annual comprehensive premiums can cost more than the car is worth. But it's a must if you are buying a car using a credit agreement or a loan because if the car is a write-off or stolen you still have to continue paying the finance.

Third Party insurance is the minimum legal cover allowed and is comparatively cheap. It covers damage to the other person's car or compensation but if your own car is stolen, burnt out or damaged it is not covered. Third Party can be beefed up using add-on insurance such as Fire and Theft.

The costs

The price of insurance can add a lot to the cost of motoring so it's worth knowing the factors that affect the premium you are quoted. Shop around and compare quotes from different insurers. They base their premiums on their claims experiences, which naturally differs.

One company may see your area as higher risk than others. One may charge more because of your occupation. Shopping around on the internet makes it even easier because you can quickly see the effect of, for example, accepting a larger excess.

The starting point is the type of car you want to insure. There are many different insurance categories, with price, performance, and the cost of replacement parts the main factors that dictate the one your car falls into. Driving a smaller car is the best way to cut the cost of insurance.

Your age, sex and address all affect the price you are quoted. Young male drivers generally are charged the most, while women in their 50s pay the least. And you will usually pay more if you live in a city rather than in a rural area. Parking your car on the street overnight, rather than in a garage, will also mean higher premiums.

High risk categories

Your age, sex and address all affect the price you are quoted. Young male drivers generally are charged the most, while women in their 50s pay the least. And you will usually pay more if you live in a city rather than in a rural area. Parking your car on the street overnight, rather than in a garage, will also mean higher premiums.

Some insurers might class you as higher risk if you are a sports professional, entertainer, barman, chef or builder, among other occupations. But you may be able to avoid having your premium loaded by shopping around. Some insurers specialise in covering people traditionally regarded as higher risk, or non-standard. Even if you can't avoid having your premium loaded, the extra you are charged is now typically in the region of 10%-15%, down from 30% or 40%.

If you suffer from a health condition that could affect your ability to drive, including epilepsy, vision impairment, certain heart conditions or sleeping disorders, or if you are taking any medication that could do the same, you must inform the DVLA. If you don't, you could be charged with a criminal offence.

How the no claims discount works

You typically get a 30% discount after one year of claim-free driving, rising to 65% after four or five years. But companies vary. Some go up to a 70% maximum while others specialising in younger drivers will give higher discounts at an earlier stage.

Many insurers now offer the opportunity to pay a bit more to protect your no claims bonus. The rules vary but you may be able to make two claims in three years, for example, before your bonus is affected. Protecting your bonus will not stop your insurer from hiking up the premium at renewal following a claim. But at least you won't lose your no claims bonus on top.

Making a claim does not automatically mean you lose your discount. It depends whether the claim is a 'fault' or 'not fault' claim.

This is not just a question of whether or not you were to blame for the accident, but depends on whether your insurer can recover all its costs from someone else.

For example, if you skid on black ice and hit a wall, your claim would be classed as 'Fault', even though you were not to blame, simply because your insurer can't recoup the cost of fixing your car from anyone else.

Where another driver is involved, unless it can be proved beyond doubt that the other driver was to blame, the two insurers will often settle a claim on a 50:50 or 80:20 basis. This means both drivers will lose some of their no claims bonus. With most insurance companies, you will lose two years of no claims bonus if you have a fault claim.

Making a claim

If your car is stolen, report it to the police first and then your insurer. You will have to wait a while because many cars are stolen by joyriders and later recovered.

If it is never found or is a write-off, then you may face another problem. Your car may have been in good condition with a low mileage, and the amount the insurer gives you may not allow you to replace it with an equivalent machine.

In that situation, get hold of a car buyer's guide - Glass's Guide is the most frequently used. If its tables support the insurance company, you'll find it hard to get a better offer, even if the car was in good condition.

If you have been in an accident and the other driver was uninsured, personal injury claims and some damage claims will be met by the Motor Insurers' Bureau - (01908) 240 000).

This is financed by a levy on all insurance companies and was set up to compensate victims who would otherwise lose out through no fault of their own.

It will also pay out if you are hit by a driver who has bought insurance from one of the fly-by-night unauthorised companies that offer cheap insurance. If you find yourself in this position, tell the police.

Drivers caught out by insurance sneak fees

Motor insurers are following the example of mortgage lenders by charging high fees for relatively small administrative tasks.

Many insurers impose 'admin' charges of up to £25 for basic paperwork, such as changing a customer's address during the term of an insurance policy.

Where the changes affect the risk - when drivers move from a safer to more dangerous area, for example - it is understandable that premiums will increase, but customers are objecting to charges levied supposedly to cover only the administration.

Research from the price comparison website uSwitch.com claims that 14 million motorists a year are hit by steep fees for altering their car insurance policies mid-term, earning insurers more than £330m.

The worst offenders include Budget Insurance - which charges a flat fee of £25 for mid-term changes made to a policy - and More Than, which imposes a fee of between £15 and £25. Churchill levies an extra £21 and esure and Sheilas' Wheels charge £17.50. Tesco charges £15.75.

Ian Crowder of the AA says his organisation does not charge for a change of address made mid-term, but will levy a fee of £25 for 'major changes' such as adding a permanent additional driver to the policy.

A spokeswoman for Budget Insurance says its customers are made aware of the charges for mid-term changes both in phone calls and in the policy documents. 'This fee is in line with many of our competitors, she says.' Those that will make changes free of charge include swiftcover.com, RAC Direct and Zurich.

Debra Williams, managing director of price comparison website confused.com, warns drivers to bear in mind administrative fees when choosing an insurer.

'We recommend that everyone checks the terms and conditions carefully to ensure that they are aware of the costs of making any amendments,' she says.

Williams says high administration fees could discourage policyholders from being open and honest with their insurers, leading to problems when claims are made.

James Gray, 24, who works in business development for an events company, has moved house three times in the past two years and now lives in Thatcham, Berkshire, where he plans on staying.

He had to pay elephant.co.uk, his former insurer, three administration fees of £14 for changing his address details - even though he was not paying more for the actual cover.

'Given that most changes can be done at the push of a button, it seems unfair that the fee is so high,' he says.

When his annual policy ended, James turned to price comparison websites, including confused.com, to find a better deal. He eventually decided on Admiral - which does not charge a fee for mid-term changes.

James says: 'I have no plans to move again, but at least I know that if I need to make any changes, I won't face a hefty administration charge.' To add to the financial pain felt by drivers who make changes mid-term, possible large premium increases can be imposed when policies come up for renewal.

Premiums are based partly on the area in which people live, so moving to a different area could mean a rise in the cost of cover.

Switching car will also affect premiums, while people who commit a driving offence or have an accident - even if they were not at fault - could also see costs go up.

James fell foul of this. In November, he had three penalty points added to his licence for using his mobile phone while driving.

Though Admiral made no change to his policy or premium at the time, when it came up for renewal, the cost rose by more than £300 to £1,500 to cover both his cars - a Vauxhall Corsa and the sporty VX220.

Latest Car Insurance Headlines

Man Charged With Selling License Plates to Illegal Immigrants
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
A Guatemalan national made it easy for illegal immigrants on the Eastern Shore to drive, according to the FBI. The FBI arrested Felipe Jesus Mazariegos-Perez at his home Tuesday on federal charges of buying hundreds of Tennessee and Mississippi license plates and car titles and selling them to immigrants who cannot prove their residency, as Virginia requires.The FBI raided Mazariegos-Perez's home in Nelsonia, Accomack County, on Tuesday morning, looking for the out-of-state plates and titles....

/C O R R E C T I O N -- CNinsure Inc./
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
In the press release entitled, CNinsure Establishing Joint Venture with Car Dealer to Further Penetrate Auto Insurance Distribution Channel, issued earlier today by CNinsure Inc. through Xinhua PR Newswire, we are advised by the company that the second paragraph, first sentence should read "second quarter" and not "first quarter" as originally issued inadvertently. The full sentence should read, "The transactions are expected to close in the second quarter of 2008 subject to certain consents, authorizations and other customary closing conditions." CNinsure Inc...

Business in Brief
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Man charged with car insurance fraudBOSTON - Former Boston resident Tu Quy Mai was charged in federal court on Wednesday with 54 counts of mail fraud in connection with an alleged scam to defraud auto insurance companies out of an unknown amount of money between 2000 and 2006. Boston Stock CEO Curran to advise Cramer company...

Insure.Com, Inc. Reports First Quarter 2008 Financial Results
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Insure.com reported revenues of $4.0 million for the first quarter of 2008, a decrease of 5.6 percent from revenues of $4.2 million for the same quarter of 2007. Net loss for the quarter was $512,000, or $0.07 per share, compared to a loss of $882,000, or $0.12 per share, for the first quarter of 2007.These agencies will receive leads from us and provide local life insurance brokerage services to those Insure.com shoppers who may wish to buy insurance locally....

Admiral Signals It is on Track to Hit City Targets
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
CAR insurer Admiral has reassured investors it is on track to at least meet market estimates for 2008, though it saw little movement in UK insurance rates in the first quarter of the year. According to analysts, the group is expected to post a 6.5 per cent increase in 2008 pre-tax profit, coming in just shy of GBP 194 million. The insurer, which warned of continued tough conditions in the UK motor market last month, said first-quarter turnover increased 14 per cent year-on-year to GBP 232m, while turnover at its price comparison site Confused.com rose 15 per cent, in line with analyst expectations....

Drivers Could Save If Insurance Limits Lowered: Bill Would Change Mich. No-Fault Law
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Apr. 29--LANSING -- A new, bipartisan -- and in several ways unlikely -- coalition wants to change Michigan's no-fault insurance law to allow drivers to buy less medical coverage and save lots of money. Lawmakers from Macomb County and Detroit, who are often at odds, and organizations as diverse as the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and Detroit Urban League have joined to lead the coalition. Their push is certain to rekindle debate over how to reduce auto insurance rates, especially in Detroit, where estimates suggest half of motorists drive illegally without insurance because of its high cost....

Doer Government Grilled on Crown Donations to Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
WINNIPEG - Manitoba's official Opposition says the government was "sneaky and underhanded" when it suggested to its Crown corporations that they should donate to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.Manitoba Public Insurance, the province's monopoly auto insurer, and the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission, have both donated $1 million for the construction of the museum, which is to be Canada's first national museum outside Ottawa.Tory Leader Hugh McFadyen says the New Democrats basically directed the Crown agencies to put money into the project....

Infinity Celebrates Cinco De Mayo in a BIG Way
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
LOS ANGELES, April 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Infinity Plus (http://www.infinityplus.com/) announces the Grand Opening of its latest store located in Santa Ana at 316 E. 4th St. A ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled from 2pm to 4pm on Saturday, May 3rd. The event will be attended by local dignitaries and is open to the public. Cozmo from the L.A. Galaxy and Snoopy from MetLife will be on hand courtesy of Infinity Insurance (http://www.infinityauto.com/)....

The Bacs System is Out in Front After 40 Years
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
The UK's automated payments system Bacs has handled more than 68 billion transactions since it was first launched 40 years ago.More than 5.5 billion payments were made through the Bacs system during the past year - an average of 90 for every person in the UK, the group said.Three-quarters of adults now have at least one direct debit set up on their account, while 90 per cent of workers are paid through the Bacs direct credit system....

$62 Billion Savings on Auto Insurance in California Since Voters Approved Insurance Reform Proposition 103 Twenty Years Ago, According to National Study
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- California has the best automobile insurance regulation in the nation, with the slowest-growing premiums and one of the most competitive markets in the country, according to a state-by-state study the Consumer Federation of America released in Washington, DC today. In 1988, California voters approved Proposition 103, which enacted the nations toughest insurance reform.Ironically, Allstate is in a San Francisco Superior Court today asking a judge to block a 15.9% rate cut for its auto insurance customers that was ordered by Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner last month....

Driver Banned
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
A MAN failed in his bid to persuade magistrates to let him keep his driving licence. Wayne Thompson, of Easington Avenue, Gateshead, pleaded guilty to driving his girlfriend's car without insurance cover in February. The 20-year-old already has six penalty points on his licence for driving without insurance in November 2006 and was due to be banned....

Bipartisan Plan to Save Drivers Money on Auto Insurance Unveiled
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
DETROIT, April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers from the federal, state and local levels joined community, business and law enforcement leaders at the Detroit Urban League this morning in announcing a statewide legislative and grassroots effort to reduce the mandated cost of auto insurance in Michigan."The State of Michigan requires drivers to purchase expensive and rarely used insurance coverage that puts the cost of auto policies out of reach for many drivers struggling in Michigan's economy," State Senator Alan Sanborn, R-Richmond, sponsor of the legislation, said. Chairman of the House Insurance Committee, Rep. Virgil Smith, D-Detroit, added: "For too long, many drivers, especially in urban areas, have had to choose between buying insurance and going without in order to afford other things they need for their families....

Progressive Recommends Rejection of Below-Market ``Mini-Tender Offer''
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
The Progressive Corporation (NYSE: PGR) today said it has become aware of a "mini-tender offer" by TRC Capital Corporation (TRC) to purchase up to 5 million shares of Progressive's common stock at a price of $16.60 per share. Progressive cautions its stockholders that TRC's unsolicited offering price of $16.60 per share was more than 4 percent below the $17.37 per share closing price of Progressive's stock on April 15, 2008, the day before the mini-tender offer was commenced, and approximately 11 percent below the $18.64 per share closing price of Progressive's stock on April 25, 2008.Progressive urges investors to obtain current market quotations for their Progressive shares, consult with their broker or financial advisor and exercise caution with respect to this offer....

AssuranceAmerica Corporation Announces First Policy in Indiana
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
ASSURANCEAMERICA CORPORATION (OTCBB: ASAM - News), an Atlanta based insurance holding company with operations primarily in the Southeastern United States, and expanding into select Southwestern and Midwestern states, announced today that AssuranceAmerica Insurance Company wrote its first auto insurance policy in the state of Indiana. While its insurance company or managing general agency (MGA) is licensed to conduct insurance business in fourteen states, Indiana becomes the ninth state in which AssuranceAmerica actively conducts business.In announcing its newly initiated sales effort in Indiana, Lawrence (Bud) Stumbaugh, President and CEO, said "Indiana is attractive because it is a top 20 auto insurance market and its demographics favor non standard auto insurance....

Defensive Driving Class Offered
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
A defensive driving class sponsored by AAA North Dakota is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Best Western Doublewood Inn, 1400 E. Interchange Ave., Bismarck.The National Traffic Safety Institute class covers concepts necessary to stay safe and free from injury. Those attending the class, which is open to everyone, may be eligible for auto insurance discounts and reduced points on their driving record....

Interest in Royal's Insurance Arm Sale
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
PRIVATE equity bidders were yesterday lining up to compete with trade buyers to secure a slice of Royal Bank of Scotland's insurance arm as Aviva became the first insurer to rule out a bid.Royal Bank shares bounced some way back from a torrid week yesterday gaining 8.25p to close up 2.42per cent at 349p.Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Apax Partners are thought to be putting together a consortium....

Car Insurance Quote Facts News

Deciding for auto or car insurance is not an easy task in the United States. Not only understanding a few factors can change the money you spend in buying car insurance but also helps to get the best quotes and value for your money. Understanding the car insurance can be sometimes very tricky and absolutely confusing and that sometimes lets you take decisions where you end up spending more money and usually the insurance you buy actually doesn’t suit your needs. That is why here we have tried to simplify the general insurance facts for you so that you can develop a good understanding of this dreaded but compulsive subject i.e. Car Insurance. Here are some very important facts which you should always consider before buying car insurance. Appropriate Insurance Coverage is important Generally the half of insurance covers the liability factor that depends on how you are going to use the vehicle. The amount you pay decreases in case for ex. If you are commuting for home to office and vice versa for work and also if your driving record is clean without a speeding ticket. If your driving record is not clean you end up paying more money as insurance premium. The second half of insurance premium covers damage or loss to your vehicle along with comprehensive and collision coverage. Shopping around pays Shop for insurance ad always get more than none quote. There are in fact hundred of companies competing for insurance business from you and in many cases you can save hundred of dollars because of multiple quotes. So, shop around for quotes. Find out insurance discounts Many companies in general offer discounts to the customers. You can avail the discount if you are buying more than one insurance policy viz. auto and home insurance. You can also get discounts on factors like air bags, anti-lock brakes, daytime running lights and anti-theft devices. Consider higher deductibles You could lower your insurance bill by increasing your deductible but before that just make sure you can pay the higher deductible if you file a claim. Stacking coverage’s while you file Insurance claim Stacking uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage’s means you can collect from more than one of your auto insurance policies. Most states prohibit this practice, but there are about 19 states that either allow stacking or don't address the issue either through legislation or litigation. Be sure to check your auto insurance contract to see if it's allowed. Probably you are likely pay a higher insurance premium if you have stacked coverage. Car gives you benefits Insurers depend on the model of car you buy, its sticker price, features which may reduce maintenance or accidents or theft. So consult your insurer while you finalize which car to buy. Notify Insurer of Change If you wish to terminate the insurance coverage notify the insurer of the same. In many states you get penalty for the number of days you go uninsured so notify your company the change in writing or through phone, terminate the insurance and change the company after that. Go with your budget It is always recommended that you strictly follow your budget and choose the payment which fits into your budget. You can get monthly, quarterly, half yearly or yearly mode of payments and choose which suits your pocket.

Compare Cheap Car Insurance

Car Insurance News 4th March 2008
Hello everyone, today you'll find a summary of the Chrysler 300c which is growing in popularity in Australia. Some sad news today for our website, we're not #1 on google for the word "car insurance" anymore. We're very sad about that.

14th February 2008
At last, we'll be experimenting today with our new car insurance comparison service. For a couple of hours on the 14th of February, we'll be taking phone calls at a new office and will actually be comparing auto insurance prices from different companies.

Car Insurance News December 2007
Captain Compare would like to wish you and you family a very merry Christmas and a happy + safe new year on the roads.

Don't become a death statistic by driving your car dangerously. Please also be sure to have your car insurance in place before driving.

November 2007
There's some fantastic end of year sales coming up soon so if you're in the market for a new car, so some people often sign up for insurance BEFORE they drive their new car home. Some insurance companies have a instant "over the phone" product that you can purchase so that insurance will save you on your way home. You'll need to check with the car insurance company for details.

6th September 2007
It's TRUE!! Telstra are involved in helping to build the future of online car insurance comparison. The technology will also compare property insurance and Captain Compare will try to be one of the first to make it available to the public.

3rd September 2007
Allianz are finally making their presence known to the public eye with some heavy advertising campaigns that I think are quite effective. They are even featuring a discount if you sign up for car insurance on their website

The cameras have been rolling. This is a funny yet eye opening clip from youtube about driving a car or bike in India and it shows why we have traffic lights in Australia and they probably don't even have comprehensive car insurance.

5th March 2006
If you feel you're a better, safer driver than the regular Joe, give us a call and it's most likely that your car insurance costs will be cheaper. If you're a safe driver, you should be rewarded so!

If artificial intelligent technologies shown in this video are anything to go by, we may not even need auto insurance one day.

5th February 2006
The January customer survey results are in! 5% of our customers in Australia have performed or attempted to do a burn out in their lifetime. We find that hard to believe and were expecting it to be much higher. Perhaps it is because they know if you're doing a burnout out at the time of an accident, your car isn't insured and you'll have to pay for any damage yourself. It would be interesting to see the results if the test was done on a non insurance website.

1st February 2006
2007 is well and truely on the way. Staff at captain compare have started to give up their new years resolutions already. ouch! But we haven't given up on finding car insurance deals just yet. Allianz is still rated as Australia's best general insurers and recently won an award for their products. (not just for auto insurance) They offering welcoming prices, especially when you have a good driving history.

4th December 2006
Captain Compare.com doesn't have a phone number just yet so if you have any trouble getting your car insurance quote online, feel free to use the contact information on this site for an instant quote over the phone.

Insurance Broker Wanted!
Are you or do you know anyone who is an insurance broker? If so, Captain Compare would like to hear from you regarding a business proposition. If not, and you are simply looking for low cost car insurance, browse the companies on our menu to help find the cheapest.

1st November 2006
People often get confused with purchasing insurance in their state. It doesn't matter if you're from Sydney, Cairns, Brisbane, Melbourne or even smack bang in the middle of Ayres Rock. Australia is lucky enough to be able to get good quality car insurance from companies such as RACQ, RACV, NRMA, Suncorp and QBE.

21 October 2006
If you've recently purchased a vehicle, the Captain strongly recommends you speak to an insurance professional first and be sure to closely read the product disclosure statement before making a final decision. You can learn general information about car insurance products on this website still.

27 August 2006 Australian Hail Alert
As the weather heats up again, we're due to see some nasty hail storms which can devastate suburbs of cars and autos. If you're car is worth under $3000, a hail storm can write off your car so be sure to keep it under cover, especially if you don't have comprehensive auto insurance. For people who's car / auto is worth over $3000, be sure to get your comprehensive insurance signed up ASAP to avoid any potential hail costs this year. Need an auto insurance quote? Ask Captain Compare!

These 2 new smart cars collide head on. (They weren't insured because it's only a safety test of course, but you can see the cabins are both still in tact.)

1st August 2006
Live in Brisbane? The Royal Exhibition will be starting soon so be sure to check it out for some new car specials. Unfortunately, the captain won't be able to make it this year, but if you do end up buying a car, check back here for motor insurance information.

Captain Compare has been watching the new car deals at the moment and shiver me timbers, he likes what he sees. There's some fantastic deals from Ford, Holden and Mazda. It's another round of FORD Vs HOLDEN, fighting it out for the best deal. Holden are offering for $32,990 a special edition Commodore SVZ which comes with $6000 of extras. Ford has a similar deal for a similar price with $7000 worth of extras. Ford vs Holden thing has been a long long battle, but they're both pretty damn good cars so simply choose one which feels the best when you take them for a test drive. Oh, and remember to get a cheap auto insurance quote from CaptainCompare after you purchase your car.

Welcome to Captain Compare cheap car insurance. Feel free to browse around to learn more about auto insurance or get an instant online quote with one of the well known companies on our website.

Is it worth making a $500 insurance claim if the excess is $400? Let us know what you think here. Email richard (at) captaincompare.com

Captains Log. 25 April 2006
It's so close we can taste it: a tool to search car insurance costs for Australia's top insurance companies such as NRMA, RACQ, Allianz, RACV and Suncorp. Until then, get an instant quote below for a no-nonsense quote. Good luck, drive safe and Happy Anzac day. Update - October 2006, we're still in negotiation with other car insurance companies. It's as if no one wants some good solid business!

18 April 2006 - We hope everyone had a happy easter with no insurance claims required. Please continue to drive your car safely during the year. To all new car owners, we hope you found a great buy and be sure to get a quote from Captain Compare for your insurance.

So what is captain compare all about? It's cheap car insurance! It's not Quantum Physics. It's not Civil Engineering. It's not Rocket Science. We compare the best car insurance companies in Brisbane, Adelaide, Cairns, Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin, Canberra and all other cities in Australia. Use our site to compare various insurance companies such as AAMI, NRMA, RACV, RACQ and Allianz.

Insurance Photo, Picture, Capture, jpg bmp

See and watch the draw.


Chiropractor pleads not guilty in car insurance fraud case

SALEM, Mass. (AP) - A Haverhill chiropractor has pleaded not guilty to fraud and larceny charges for his alleged role in an auto insurance fraud ring.

Prosecutors say 40-year-old Troy Wheelwright of Amesbury was involved in a ring that staged four car accidents between October 2002 and February 2003.

Wheelwright was arraigned Tuesday in Salem Superior Court on a variety of charges, including motor vehicle insurance fraud and larceny over $250. He was released on personal recognizance and ordered to surrender his passport.

Six other alleged members of the ring, including another chiropractor, are scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

Wheelwright is due in court again on May 20 for a pretrial conference.

Car Insurance Coverage Questions

Ask your insurance agent these questions - it helps to understand the types and extent of coverage you have. There are a lot, but you’re paying a lot.

Want more questions about accident coverage and possible rate increases? Read our article Accidents - Ask Your Insurance Agent for an additional list of questions to ask.

What is ...
Who or What is Covered?
How Much ...
Accident, Damaged, Stolen

What is ...
What is a deductible?
What is Personal Injury Protection and how do I know if I need it?
What is included on an umbrella liability policy and when do I need one?
What is the difference between liability, comprehensive, collision and full coverage insurance in terms of financial costs and also in terms of extent of coverage?
What is the difference between cancellation and non-renewal of a policy?
What is the amount provided for medical payments and personal injury payments? Is this a reasonable amount? What is the national average for this? What is the state average for this?

Who or What is Covered?
Describe the different levels of coverage that are available for my car's make and model, and for my family situation.
Who is covered under this policy? Are other licensed drivers (friends, family members) covered if they drive my car?
How do I insure my teenage driver? What factors can reduce or increase the cost of his/her insurance?
If I use my car for my business, is it covered under my policy?
Can I take cars on and off my policy? For instance, if I have a car I only drive in the summer, can I put it on insurance for only June, July and August? What kind of lead time does the insurance company need?
Does the policy include roadside assistance?
If not, does the company offer it, how much is it and what geographic areas does it include?
Are there certain times that are/aren’t included?
Are there services that are/aren’t included?
Uninsured, Licensed, Non-Licensed Passenger, Driver

Are other licensed drivers covered if they drive my car? What about non-licensed drivers?
Are passengers covered? For how much? Is that amount enough/does it fit with recommended averages by your firm?
Rental and Leased Vehicle

Are leased or rented vehicles covered under this policy?
If I choose not to add this coverage, do I need to get insurance that a rental car company offers when I rent a car?
Does this insurance policy cover me anywhere in the country? What about outside of the country?

Accident, Damaged, Stolen
Are personal items in the car covered in case of an accident or theft? Do I need a rider on certain items if I’d like that option?
If I am in an accident, does the policy include legal fees if I have to go to court? If not, how is that paid for? Is that an additional charge?
In your experience, if my vehicle is damaged, how quickly can I expect to see an adjuster?
If the adjuster determines that the car is repairable, can I choose to take a check (less than my deductible)?
If my car is damaged or stolen, will the policy pay for a rental vehicle until I get my car back?
Does this policy offer a percentage or full reimbursement?
If not, how much more does it cost to get that?
Am I covered if the damage to my car was due to an uninsured or under-insured motorist?
If my car is damaged as a result of a non-collision event (such as a fire at my home or natural disaster), is it covered?
What situations DOESN’T my insurance cover? Is there something I’m missing?
Read our article Accidents - Ask Your Insurance Agent for an additional list of accident coverage questions to ask.

How Much...
How much insurance do I need if I have one car, two cars, etc.?
Tell me where I fit in with national averages – am I paying average, more, or less, and what factors into your answers?
Are there certain models of car that cost more to insure? Do I have one?
What vehicles get the lowest insurance rates?
If I owe money on my car, does that affect how much insurance must I carry?
If I have a lower deductible, how much are my payments? With a higher deductible, how much are my payments?
What are my payment options? Annual payments, bi-annual, monthly, etc.?
What coverage is available for a "basic" auto policy? How much is that?
Please give me a breakdown of the benefits I have, and how much it will be to insure myself at the level I’m comfortable with.
What factors increase a policy cost? What can I do to decrease the cost of my policy? (Safe driving record, increase deductible, multiple policies [car, home, etc.]? Other?)
What discounts do you offer? Many insurance companies offer a discount if you insure multiple cars with them, or have multiple policies (home, theft, auto, business, etc.)
What does my zip code have to do with my car insurance?
What is the length of time that the policy is in effect? What can result in the policy being canceled or premiums raised?
What do I do if can’t get insurance through traditional private insurance companies?
Visit your insurance company’s site for background information, descriptions and definitions of insurance terms. For any question, tell the agent to discuss options available to you, what situations warrant certain kinds of coverage and how much services add to your policy. They are always happy to help.

Consumers Guide to Auto Insurance

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InsuranceInsuranceAutoAutoConsumer’s Guide toLOUISIANADEPARTMENTOF INSURANCEJames J. Donelon, Commissioner of Insurance
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Some of us spend up to a quarter of our income each year oninsurance. Yet many do not take the same care when buying insurancethat we take with buying the cars we are insuring. Many of us tend tojudge insurance by the cost of the premium, calling five or six produc-ers (agents) and picking the cheapest policy.We would never dream of calling an automobile dealership, ask-ing for the price of the cheapest car, and then choosing the car sightunseen just because it cost the least. The same should be true for ourauto insurance.No matter how low the premium might be, an inexpensive policydoes you absolutely no good if the insurance company cannot coveryour claim when your car has been involved in an accident.Whatever your insurance needs, you should choose a companythat is financially sound, has a history of providing good service, andcharges a fair rate. This guide will help you find the auto insurancecompany that is right for you.A message fromCommissioner of InsuranceJames J. DonelonThis public document is published at a total cost of $1,758.16. Fivethousand copies of this public document were published in this sixthprinting at a cost of $1,750. The total cost of all printings of thisdocument including reprints is $11,192.78. This document was pub-lished by Consolidated Graphics, 10848 Airline Hwy., Baton Rouge,LA 70806 to inform consumers of their auto insurance options un-der special exception by the Division of Administration. This mate-rial was printed in accordance with standards for printing by stateagencies established pursuant to R.S. 43:31. Printing of this mate-rial was purchased in accordance with the provisions of Title 43 ofthe Louisiana Revised Statutes.Department of Insurance2006
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What’s InsideWhat do I do first? __________________________ 2Insurance buying tipsFrom our consumer hotline __________________ 3What insurance do I have to buy? _____________ 4Liability coverageWhat about other coverages? _________________ 4Medical payments coverageUninsured motorist coverageUninsured motorist property coverageTowing and labor coverageCollision coverageComprehensive coverageLouisiana Automobile Insurance PlanRental reimbursementWhat if I don’t have proper coverage? _________ 7Does my coverage fit my needs? ______________ 8What factors affect my premium? _____________ 8What kinds of discounts can I get? ____________ 9What if I am involved in an accident? _________10Cancellation and nonrenewal _________________10Automobile insurance worksheets _____________12
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Louisiana Department of InsuranceWhat do I do first?Shop around for the policy that is right for you.Do not buy the first policy you hear about.Get quotes from several companies before you sign anapplication and pay a premium.Be aware of insurance scam artists and unauthorizedinsurance operations.Buy only from authorized insurance companies andproducers. Unauthorized insurance operations are illegal andtheir policyholders are unprotected if the company goesbroke.If you would like to check on a company, call theLouisiana Department of Insurance. See page 11 for all ofthe information you need to contact us. We can answermany of your questions including the following:Am I buying from a legitimate company?Ask about a company’s or producer’s licensestatus.Will the company be around to pay myclaims? Ask for the company’s financialletter grade from at least one nationwiderating firm.inding auto insurance that meets yourneeds does not have to be difficult.F2
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Consumer’s Guide to Auto InsuranceWill my teenager becovered when he goes tocollege out of state? Ifyour teenager is not takingpermanent residence inthat state, most companieswill not require you to makeany changes to your policy.Is there another way to shop around for auto in-surance other than calling every company in the phonebook? You can start by getting your free copy of the“Auto Rate Comparison Guide,” published by the Depart-ment of Insurance. It compares auto rates among the state’stop insurers. However, you may find that a company notincluded can best provide the coverage you need.If I let my friend drive my car and she has an acci-dent, will she be covered? As long as your friend has theowner’s permission to drive the car, she is covered underthe owner’s policy. The exception would be a person whohad been excluded from coverage under that policy.Does the company treat policyholders fairly? Ask abouta company’s and a producer’s complaint history and com-pare it with others.From our consumer hotline:3
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Louisiana Department of InsuranceUnder Louisiana law, you must carry liability cover-age on any automobile you own. This coverage pays forproperty damages or personal injury for which you may belegally responsible, up to your policy’s dollar limits. In Loui-siana, each vehicle is required to have 10/20/10 liabilitylimits. Those limits provide payments of $10,000 for bodilyinjury to one person, $20,000 for bodily injury to morethan one person in a single accident, and $10,000 coveragefor damage to someone else’s vehicle or other property.Liability insurance covers bodily injury or prop-erty damage caused by you, your family members, and oth-ers driving your vehicle with your permission. You and yourfamily members are also covered when driving anotherperson’s automobile including rental private passenger ve-hicles. Company cars and other non-owned cars regularlyavailable to you are not covered.Medical payments coverage pays for medical ex-penses for a designated period of time following the acci-dent, up to your policy’s dollar limits and it includes funeralexpenses. Payments are made regardless of who is to blamefor the accident. Medical payments covers you, your familymembers and other passengers in your car.What insurance do I have to buy?What about other coverages?4
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Consumer’s Guide to Auto InsuranceUninsured/Underinsured motorist coveragepays benefits to you if your car is hit by a driver who hasno insurance or too little insurance to pay for the full amountof your injuries. Any bodily injury you or an occupant ofyour vehicle suffers due to an accident caused by anotherdriver is covered under this policy. Hit-and-run drivers maybe classified as uninsured motorists if there is a disinter-ested witness to the accident.You may choose to purchase uninsured motoristeconomic-only coverage. This coverage is the same asuninsured motorist coverage except that it covers only theactual costs of injuries to you and the occupants of yourvehicle. Pain and suffering are not included under this cov-erage.Uninsured/Underinsured motorist propertydamage coverage provides for repairs to your vehicle ifyou are in an accident with an uninsured driver. A $250deductible applies under this coverage, and your recoveryis limited to $10,000 or the actual cash value of the vehicle,whichever is less. If your policy includes collision insurance,this coverage is not available.Towing and labor coverage pays for towing costsand labor costs when your car is disabled. Most automobilepolicies limit this coverage to $25 per tow, and some com-panies will not write towing and labor coverage for oldercars.5
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Louisiana Department of InsuranceComprehensive coverage pays for specified dam-ages to your automobile, such as those resulting from fall-ing objects, fire, explosion, vandalism, theft or additionalnamed causes other than collision, subject to any exclu-sions or limitations specified by your policy. The deduct-ible, the amount you must pay out of your pocket for aclaim, can range from $0 to $250.Collision coverage pays for damage to your carthat results from an accident. You can collect under yourown collision coverage, whether or not you were at fault.Collision coverage is always sold with a deductible.Many people drop their collision and comprehen-sive coverage when their cars are about five years old,because they may be worth only a few thousand dollars. Ifyou borrow money to buy your car, the bank or otherlender may require you to carry comprehensive and colli-sion insurance until the vehicle is paid for.The Louisiana Automobile Insur-ance Plan allows companies to write autoliability insurance for persons who havebeen turned down when they tried to getcoverage through the regular channels. Thisassures the availability of insurance to ev-eryone licensed to drive in this state.Rental reimbursement provides coverage for arental car for you if your car is damaged by a covered haz-ard or accident.6
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Consumer’s Guide to Auto InsuranceLouisiana law requires that all registered owners ofan automobile carry liability insurance. Uninsured motor-ists are subject to penalties such as fines, limited recoveryof damages, and impoundment of the uninsured vehicle.Motorists who fail to provide proof of insurancecan have their vehicles immediately impounded or havetheir license plates removed and a yellow sticker affixed tothe back windshield of the vehicle. The motorist is thengiven three days to provide proof of insurance to the Of-fice of Motor Vehicles. After three days, if the motorist isstopped again, the officer can impound his or her vehicleuntil proof of insurance is given and all towing and rein-statement fees are paid. The fines range from $75 to $100on the first conviction, $100 to $250 on the second con-viction and up to $700 on each conviction after that.The law known as “NoPay, No Play” prohibits unin-sured motorists from collectingthe first $10,000 in propertydamages and the first $10,000in personal injuries regardless ofwho causes the accident. This law also includes a provisionthat may allow you to waive your right to make a legalclaim for pain and suffering if you buy economic-only un-insured motorist coverage.What if I don’t have proper coverage?7
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Louisiana Department of InsuranceDon’t hesitate to ask questions about what your policycovers. Start by asking your producer what “full coverage”means, and take it from there.If your car is older and paid for, you may decide not tocarry collision and maybe even comprehensive coverage.Look at the cost of your annual premium compared toyour car’s “Blue Book” value, minus your deductible.If you belong to an automobile club, you may alreadyhave towing and labor coverage. Check to be sure.You may not need medical payments coverage for your-self if you have health insurance. However, medical cover-age will also pay for injuries to your passengers.Your age. Generally, single male drivers under 25 andfemale drivers under 21 have much higher insurance coststhan other drivers.Where you live. Urban areas have a higher incidenceof accidents and auto thefts than rural areas, so urban ratestend to be higher.Type of car. Luxury, sports and high-performance carshave the highest comprehensive and collision rates.What factors affect my premium?Does my coverage fit my needs?8
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Consumer’s Guide to Auto InsuranceYou are often eligible for adiscount under a “multi-car”plan if you insure two or morecars with the same insurancecompany.Your deductibles. A deductible is your share of thecost of comprehensive or collision coverage. If you optfor a high deductible, your premiums will be lower. Forexample, buying collision coverage with a $500 deductiblewill cost less than the same coverage with a $250 deduct-ible.Your driving record. If you have a good driving record,some companies offer a discount. Tickets and at-fault acci-dents can mean higher premiums.You may get an auto insurance discount if you have lifeor homeowners insurance with the same company.Most Louisiana insurance companies will give discountsto full-time students with a B average or higher. Farmersand senior citizens may also qualify for discounts.Some companies may reduce your liability and collisionpremiums if you take a defensive driving course. Teenag-ers who have taken driver education may get a similar dis-count.What kinds of discounts can I get?9
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Louisiana Department of InsuranceCancellation and NonrenewalCall the police immediately.Make sure you get the other driver’s name, address, tele-phone number, license plate number, driver’s license num-ber and insurance information. Give the other driver thesame information about you.Notify your insurance producer or company.Be sure to obtain a copy of the police report for yourrecords, whether or not you are at fault.You may be entitled to a discount if you have extrasafety features on your vehicle. Examples are anti-lockbrakes, anti-theft devices and air bags.What if I am involved in an accident?When you purchase a new auto insurance policy, theinsurance company may cancel it within 60 days. If it iscancelled for nonpayment of premium during that time,the company must give you a 10-day notice. If it is can-celled for any other reason, such as a traffic violation or anat-fault accident, a 20-day notice is required.A company cannot cancel your auto insurance policyif it has been in effect for more than 60 days or is a renewalunless:10
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Consumer’s Guide to Auto InsuranceYou fail to pay your premium.You file a fraudulent claim.You or a member of your household has a driver’slicense or motor vehicle registration suspended dur-ing the policy period.After the 60-day period, if a company cancels yourpolicy because you fail to pay a premium, it must give you a10-day notice in writing. For any other reason, you must begiven a 30-day notice in writing by certified mail. If yourinsurance company decides not to renew your policy, itmust provide you with notice 20 days prior to the policy’sending date. Your company is required to give you thereason for cancellation or nonrenewal if you request it inwriting.Within 30 days of cancellation, the company mustrefund all unused premiums that did not pay for coverage.How to contact the Louisiana Department of InsuranceToll Free, statewide: 1-800-259-5300E-mail:Baton Rouge: (225)342-0895public@ldi.state.la.usLocation: The Poydras Building1702 N. 3rd StreetWeb site:Mailing Address: P.O. Box 94214www.ldi.state.la.usBaton Rouge, LA 70804-921411
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Louisiana Department of InsuranceSHOPPING FOR AUTO INSURANCE:AUTOMOBILE WORKSHEETUse this worksheet for a place to record information a producer orcompany will need to give you an accurate premium quote.1. VEHICLES TO BE INSURED:Miles to Work2. PRINCIPAL OWNER AND OPERATOR OF VEHICLES:_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________3. DRIVERS TO BE INSURED ON THE POLICY:4. ACCIDENTS OR MOVING VIOLATIONS OF EACHDRIVER DURING THE PAST THREE YEARS:____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________5. CHECK DISCOUNTS YOU MAY BE ABLE TO GET:Defensive drivingDriver educationAnti-theft devicesHigh GPA for studentsMake/ModelYearVehicleIdentificationNumberAuto #1Auto #2Auto #3__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Name_________________________________________________________________License #__________________________________________________________________________Age___________________________________________________________________Sex_______________________________________________________________________________Marital Status________________________________________________________________12
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Consumer’s Guide to Auto InsuranceSHOPPING FOR AUTO INSURANCE:COMPARISON CHARTUse this chart to record coverages you want and the prices quotedby each company you contact.ANNUAL PREMIUMSCompany 1________________Company 2________________Company 3_________________COVERAGE:LIABILITYBodily Injury$_____per person$_____per accidentProperty Damage$_____per accident$____________ $______________ $______________COLLISION$_____Deductible: $_______________ $_______________ $_______________COMPREHENSIVE$_____Deductible: $________________ $_________________ $_________________UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED MOTORISTBodily Injury$_____per person$_____per accident$____________ $_____________$_____________Property Damage$_____per accident$_____________ $_____________$_____________OTHER COVERAGES:_______________________________________________$_____________$______________$_____________$_____________$_____________$_____________$_____________$_____________$_____________TOTALALLCOVERAGES:$_____________ $______________ $______________13

What are the penalties for driving without insurance? I know someone that got pulled over for the 3rd time in 10 yrs and he didn't have insurance. Wha

The penalty for driving without insurance varies from state to state. In some states, your vehicle tag can be seized and your car impounded. In addition, some states impose heavy fines for those who drive without auto insurance. Limited sates fine a fee of $150 to $500 for driving without insurance.

The consequences can be far more serious if you are involved in an accident and do not have insurance. You may have to comply with the financial responsibility laws (SR22, SR22s, SR16) including having to pay for any injuries or damages out of your own pocket.

CarInsurance.com understands that state complacency allows for states to not uphold the laws of the land. As you will understand from our comments, the states don't consider this offense as a serious offense.

For every dollar you pay in insurance premium a portion goes towards those states that aren't aggressive toward uninsured drivers.


Questions To Ask About Auto Insurance

Finding good automobile insurance at a reasonable rate can be a tiresome process, but breaking it down into simple steps can make it a bit more bearable. Start out by determining your needs, and ask yourself a few questions.

Before venturing out to find an insurance agent or company, ask yourself: What can you afford to pay? Will you be able to pay the lump sum, or do you have to make payments each month? How many people will be driving the vehicle? Do you need collision and comprehensive coverage? Do not forget about the immediate resources around you: Ask friends and family what kind of coverage they have, who they are insured through and, most importantly, what they like and/or dislike about their plan.

Having a basic understanding of your insurance needs, before approaching an agent, will give you more confidence during a discussion and relieve the unneeded stress of being lost in the process. Face it, you probably aren't an expert on the subject, and you need to understand what your money is going toward. Make a list of questions before sitting down with an agent - the list will act as a security blanket for the comparison process and keep you focused on what answers you need.

Here are a few questions you may want to think about while hunting for an agent: What are the available coverages, and what do they cover? Do you get a discount if both your home and car are insured with the same company? Is there a way to lower your premiums? What payment options are available? Will it be easy to add a new or used car to the policy? Will rates go down if you get married? Will everybody in your household be insured to drive the vehicle?

While talking with an agent, don't get distracted by the jargon and numbers that fly at you. If you have a question and the agent keeps talking, jot it down to ask later. If there are terms you do not understand, ask questions -- you are the one paying for the coverage. Remember, insuring people is the agent's job; if you feel they are not meeting your standards, find somebody else. Agents are there to serve you and figure out how a plan will most benefit your lifestyle -- not theirs.

When purchasing insurance, do not be afraid to ask questions. Most of your research can be accomplished over the phone; call around and find out the basics of a company before going in to meet with them. Find out what the state you live in requires for insuring new vehicles and the minimum on used ones. Inform yourself first, write down your questions, and proceed, armed with the knowledge that you will get the best deal you possibly can.

Noble founder Elman turns scrap into gold

HONG KONG (Reuters) - In an office full of modern Chinese paintings overlooking Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour, Richard Elman, founder and head of Asia's largest commodities supplier Noble Group, says he has been lucky.

Elman, who began his career in a scrap yard in England at the age of 15, is among the few non-Chinese listed by Forbes magazine as the wealthiest in town.

"I've just been lucky...being in the right place at the right time," Elman said, adding he has always believed in fate.

Noble, which he set up 21 years ago with his savings of $100,000, is capitalized at around $4.8 billion.

It supplies raw materials from coal, iron ore to coffee, chartering more than 100 ships at any given time. Its assets stretch from iron ore reserves in Brazil and ports in Argentina, to coal mines in Indonesia and soy crushers in China.

Fuelled by surging demand from Asian countries such as China and India, Noble's net profit spiraled to $258 million by 2007, rising more than 10-fold since 2000.

"I never had any great ambition. I did it for fun, because I enjoyed it, and to make a living. That's what I still do," he told Reuters on Friday, sipping his tea, relaxed in an open white shirt with beige Chinese bead bracelets dangling from his arm.

Elman, 67, said nobody knew much about commodities when Noble was established. The company moved its stock listing in 1997 to Singapore from Hong Kong, where they felt they had not been understood and appreciated.

"We started in the years when nobody even talked about commodities," he said. "We built the company during years of disinvestment, very tough years."

Noble has expanded through economic downturns, taking over a series of companies in financial difficulties such as Andre & Cie SA from Switzerland, once one of the world's top five grains traders with a history of more than a hundred years, earlier this decade.

Noble prides itself on building pipelines from production to consumption, controlling and profiting from every link in the supply chain of raw materials, including ships and warehouses.

"At the beginning we could sit with two telephones and make a living. But over the years that disappeared," he said.

"We don't have to actually own the assets but to secure more long-term marketing rights we bought some assets."


Elman said he hoped Noble would be larger and more professional in five years. It already employs more than 10,000 people and has over 100 offices in 40 countries.

"The company has grown about 20 percent every year in physical volume," he said. "For us to increase physical capacity gives us the ability to work with very tight margins."

Combining its business and geographical presence, the company is expanding rapidly into new businesses, such as biofuels and carbon credits. It had a market share of 28 percent in certified emission rights to the carbon credit market last year.

Despite Noble's growing ethanol business, Elman said he was not fully convinced about biofuels, which many countries have promoted with generous subsidies.

"I am selectively convinced," he said. "Ethanol works in Brazil. There's no question about it. (But) if you look closely at biofuels around the world, it often has its challenges."

With global food prices soaring, prompting riots in some countries, the biofuels industry has come under growing criticism as it eats up corn, sugar cane, rapeseed, soy and palm oil.

One area of potential expansion is uranium, which has seen prices soar to historic highs in the past five years, due to a nuclear power renaissance in the face of energy shortages and global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

"I think the future energy requirements of the world will come from nuclear," he said. "We'd start with (uranium) mining...if they're the right price, we'll pursue them."

Elman said Noble would look at each opportunity and there was no shortage of offers coming its way, even though some of the easier targets had already been taken.

"There's consolidation in all these industries. We live off the crumbs of the big boys, which could develop into loaves of bread."


As a teenager in the 1950s, Elman started out sorting non-ferrous scrap metal after dropping out from school in London. His barrister father and his mother, who made women's clothes, got him his lucky break into the business.

He first landed in Hong Kong in 1968 as a metal merchant for a U.S. company. Following a stint in New York, he returned to Hong Kong to set up his own company after leaving Phibro, now part of Citigroup Corp.

Elman moved commodities in and out of China in the 1970s, when it was ruled by Chairman Mao Zedong. He was the first to sell China's Daqing crude oil to the United States.

"That was a place you could make a lot of money. You had one customer for everything," he said. "So it was very easy, and volume was enormous because they were buying for a country."

Asked about the key for success, Elman said: "Don't forget where you came from. Don't forget your origins. Don't forget you're fallible. Respect people, trust people."

Within Noble, Elman likened his role to a music conductor, pointing to a portrait of Herbert von Karajan, a renowned conductor of the last century, behind his desk.

Recalling a TV program on the conductor, Elman said: "It occurred to me that this guy was a huge disciplinarian, but he managed to create beautiful music because he got everybody playing together."

Asked about his pastime, Elman, father of four and grandfather of two, said: "Not very much, apart from spending time with my family."

Yet pointing to model cars on the shelf, he said: "I like to watch motor racing. We sponsor some cars at the Macau Grand Prix. But I don't drive (racing cars). They drive too fast for me."

(Editing by Mathew Veedon)

Health Insurance For Part-Time Employees?

Best Answer
I understand your frustration with finding cost-effective insurance that will cover pre-existing conditions. You have several options. You can have your husband ask his employer to add your family on to the group plan. He will be paying for the plan completely out of his paycheck, with no help from the employer. However, if he is on GROUP health, there are generally less hang-ups about pre-existing conditions with the insurance company, and the rates can be cheaper. The other option is - don't disclose everything!! Please, please see my site, http://www.health-insurance-low-cost.net, to learn how to navigate these treacherous waters, especially the page on "Medical History". Basically, you need to make decisions on how you will USE your insurance from now on, and decisions about disclosure, BEFORE you ever talk to an insurance company. When an insurance company asks you about pre-existing conditions, they are not so much wanting to know about your past, but trying to figure out what expenses they will be paying for in the future. You need to make decisions on how you will be using the insurance, then reflect that back to the insurance company. I know your frustration, I've lived it, and that's the whole reason I created my site. You CAN find a good policy if you do your homework (and yes, Blue Cross is too expensive, I've used them and dropped them). Best wishes!

What car insurance companies DON'T use a credit score when deciding rates?

Best Answer
whether you're against it or not, it's a factor. and sorry, i don't know of ANY companies out there that don't use it. i know about 99% use credit scores, so good luck finding the one or two that havent jumped on that wagon... yet. I've bookmarked this site to go back to... http://www.safelinked.info/go.php?link=insurance All the best to you.

Can an employer cancel your insurance without telling you that it has been cancelled?

Best Answer
Well, the problem is, this is a PARTNERSHIP. If this was a corporation, you can certainly sue the corporation, and you'd probably win. You'll probably get a judgement against them. If it's legally a PARTNERSHIP, and your husband is a partner, well, he'd be suing himself. Also, if this was an individual health policy that she was paying, and NOT a group policy, she has no liability - only if it was a GROUP policy. So there's not enough information here . . .

New insurance and ongoing treatments of old injury? Which insurance applies?

Best Answer
Its up to the old insurance

I have liability insurance. If I lend my car out to a friend, will my insurance pay in case of an accident?

Best Answer
Yes. However, does he have regular access to your car? If he borrows it more than once a month, or more than ten times a year, you should add him as an operator. Also, if he cracks it up, it's great that the other guy is covered, but . . .can you afford to buy a new car? Because you won't have any coverage for YOUR car.



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Auto Insurance Word Search Puzzle: Solution

Discover one important way to avoid car accidents
The hidden message in our puzzle is: "Please, do NOT drink and drive!"

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Helping Named Drivers Keep Their Auto Insurance Premiums Down

Many teenagers see their driver's license as a passage of independence from their parents or a chance to head out on the open road with their friends. That is until they find out how much auto insurance is going to cost them - then being on Mom and Dad's policy doesn't seem so embarrassing!

Due to the lack of funds, many teenagers elect to become a named driver on their parent's auto insurance policy. This solution works for a while, but eventually these teens graduate from school, land their first job and purchase their first automobile - only to be faced again with the high cost of auto insurance premiums as a first time policyholder. It's a vicious cycle many young adults just can't seem to avoid.

However, one auto insurance company in England has developed a solution to help named drivers develop a driving history while they are on their parents' or guardians' insurance policy. This new plan allows the named driver to build up a no-claims discount in the event they do not make a claim while on another driver's policy. For instance, under this arrangement a teenager who spends three years as a named driver and does not make a claim could potentially receive up to a 50% discount when they switch over to their own plan. That's a considerable discount when you are just starting out on your own!

Even though this policy is not yet available in the U.S., there are steps young adults can take to help reduce their auto insurance premium, such as:

Buying an older car vs. a newer model. Typically older cars cost less to insure verses newer, faster models
Avoid modifying your car. Adding chrome rims and grills, customized murals, Spree wheels (spinner rims), pipes, decked out stereo systems, ground effects and hydraulics will only increase your auto insurance premium, possibly making it more than you can afford.
Drop collision coverage on less valuable cars. Multiply your current annual insurance premium by 10. If your vehicle is worth less than that amount, consider dropping the collision and /or comprehensive coverage portion of your policy. Not sure how much your car is worth? Visit the Kelley's Blue Book website to find out.
Ask for higher deductibles. Requesting a higher deductible can help lower your auto insurance rate by 15 to 30 percent. However, if you decide to do this, make sure you have enough money set aside in the event you have to make a claim.
Take a defensive-driving class. Often, auto insurance companies will offer drivers a 10% discount just for taking a defense-driving course. Check with your local city or town to find a class near you.
Combination discounts. Many times insurance companies will give a 10% - 20% discount to customers who insure both their house and car, multiple cars or take out renters' insurance and car insurance with the same company. It's a potential savings worth inquiring about.
Maintain a good credit history. Numerous insurance companies base your insurance premium on your credit score. So the better your credit score, the lower your insurance rate will be!
Low mileage discount. Some insurance companies offer discounts to motorists that drive lower than the average number of miles allotted per year. So if you work close to home or take the train or bus to work each day you might be eligible for this discount.
Group insurance discounts. Membership has its rewards! If you belong to an alumni group, club or organization then you might be eligible for a group discount just for being a member. Check with your organization or ask your insurance company if your club is eligible.
Shop around. Prices vary from insurance company to insurance company. So make sure to do your research first before you make your final decision. For assistance, logon to Insurance.com's auto quote comparison module. Here you will be able to compare the quotes of up to 12 insurance providers, helping you save time and most importantly money on your auto insurance rate.

The Consequences of Not Having Auto Insurance

When young adults graduate college they have aspirations of starting their first "real world" job, getting their own place and buying a brand new car - one that does not need a screwdriver to start. However, college students are also graduating with much more than just a college degree and a dream, they are graduating with a substantial amount of debt. In fact, many students graduate with an average of $3,262 in credit card debt - 10 percent of that group owing more than $7,000 in credit card charges.

Students forget to factor in other life costs, such as health care, 401K deductions, income taxes, car payments, auto insurance, rent, utility bills, student loans, credit card bills and food expenses into their monthly budget. "After you graduate and land your first job, you do not think about having to pay for all of these expenses," stated a graduate from Ohio University. "Unfortunately, reality sets in pretty fast and you realize you do not have the money to make ends meet - it is a hard lesson to learn!"

College Debt
Why is there so much credit card debt among college students? "Many credit card companies set up kiosks on college campuses offering free pizzas and t-shirts to try and entice students to sign up for a credit card," noted David Roush, CEO of Insurance.com. "The problem is many college students do not have the income or financial knowledge to manage a credit card - a problem that is leading students into a lifetime of financial despair."

In addition to the outrageous credit card bills, students are also graduating with student loans ranging from $10,000 to $52,000 or more. Often students figure they will be able to pay everything off once they get a job and start making "real" money, but that simply is not the case.

Not only are credit card and student loan bills financially crippling to many new graduates, it is also forcing grads to cut back on other necessary expenses, such as auto insurance - one bill you legally cannot drive without! "Driving without auto insurance is illegal in all 50 states, however, many young adults elect to go without auto insurance because they think they cannot afford to have it," stated Roush. "A scary thought when 15.3% of all automobile accidents are caused by drivers between the ages of 20 - 24."

While deciding not to pay for auto insurance may seem like a good idea at the time, graduates are not considering the expense of getting caught without auto insurance or the cost of getting into an automobile accident. "Imagine if you had to pay the medical bills of someone who gets injured in car accident when you are at fault - suddenly paying for car insurance does not seem so bad," says Roush.

The Penalty of Driving Without Auto Insurance
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the cost of driving without auto insurance can vary from state to state, depending on the percentage of drivers who are uninsured in that state. For instance, in Massachusetts residents can be charged anywhere from $500 to $5,000 in fines and receive a one-year jail sentence. In Florida, Louisiana, Connecticut and New Jersey, drivers operating a vehicle without the state required minimum will have their vehicles impounded - which can cost you thousands depending on how long it takes you to get your car out.

To find out the auto insurance state minimum and fines and penalties for driving without insurance in your state, visit the Department of Motor Vehicles' website.

How to Budget For Auto Insurance
As you look for auto insurance, make sure to check if the insurer offers a 6-month or 12-month payment plan to help you manage your auto insurance payments better. In addition, many auto insurance providers offer a variety of discounts, including alumni discounts. So make sure to ask if your college or university is eligible for a discount, because every bit helps when you are first starting out on your own.

To help make researching auto insurance rates easier, Insurance.com offers an auto insurance comparison application. Here, you will be able to evaluate multiple rates from best-in-class insurance providers - helping you find the best auto insurance coverage for your newly graduated budget.

Insurance.com's Steps to Take When You're in a Car Accident

If you've been in a car accident, then you know how scary and confusing it can be. It is easy to find yourself mixed up and unsure of the details you need to protect yourself and your passengers. Your auto insurance company will handle a lot of the logistics out of your control. To help you remain organized and focus on what you can control, the following are steps to take when you're in a car accident.

Car Accident Kit
Just in case the worst ever happens, prepare a car accident kit to keep in your glove box. Your kit should include a pen, a pad of paper, your vehicle's registration, a copy of your auto insurance card, emergency contact numbers and a disposable camera. Also, you should include road flares (available from many auto part stores) or 'light sticks' that can be used at night to warn drivers of the accident. Small reflective road signs are also available that can be placed several hundred feet before and after the accident to make other drivers know they have to slow down or avoid the area.

Stay Calm
Car accidents can happen quickly. That is why it is important to stay calm, collect your thoughts and evaluate the situation at hand. Staying calm will not only help you remember the details of the accident, but it will also help keep all parties involved focused on the accident.

Make Sure No One is Hurt
Check for injuries to yourself, your passengers and the other parties involved. Do not move any injured people; instead call 911 for medical assistance.

Move Your Car
In the case of a minor impact or fender bender, you should pull over into a shoulder, taking your vehicles out of the main stream of traffic. However, if the accident is more serious, do not move any vehicles. Instead, set down flares, warning triangles, light sticks or other such items to alert both oncoming and following traffic. Set these warning signs up both ahead and behind the incident, and if the accident occurred near a bend in the road, set up the warnings on either side of the bend.

Call the Police
No matter how minor of an accident, call 911 to report the incident. If the police are unable to come to the scene, make sure to exchange the following information with all parties involved including;

Phone number
Auto insurance company name and phone number
Policy number
Driver's license number
License plate number
Year, make, model and color of car
In addition, make sure to get the names, address, phones and driver's license numbers of all witnesses.

File a Report
In the event that the police are not able to respond to your call, you'll need to go to the nearest police station and file an accident report. This report will also help your auto insurance company during the claims process.

Document the Accident
Use your disposable camera from your car accident kit to photograph the cars involved, the position of the cars and any damage done to the vehicles. If you don't have your camera available, make sure to write down detailed notes of the accident for your auto insurance company.

Know What to Say and Not Say
While at the scene, do not tell the other drivers or the police officer that you think the car accident was your fault and don't discuss the specifics of the accident with anyone other than the police officer or your auto insurance company agent. In addition, do not accept any monetary compensation from the other driver; your auto insurance agency will take care of reimbursing you for the damage.

Call Your Auto Insurance Company Immediately
As soon as you can, report the car accident to your auto insurance company. To help expedite the call, make sure to have the following information in front of you,

Date and time of the car accident
The direction and speed you and the other drivers were going
How the car accident occurred
Name and information of the parties and witnesses involved
If anyone was injured in the car accident
Where and what damage was done to your car
Police report number

Know What Your Car Insurance Policy Covers
Depending on the damage to your car, you may need to rent a car while your vehicle is in the repair shop. If part of your car insurance coverage, your auto insurance company will reimburse you for the use of the rental car. However, if rental coverage is not part of your auto insurance policy, then you will be responsible for the cost of the rental car - a hard lesson to learn after you've been involved in a car accident.

Your best option is to do your homework first and find out if rental coverage is part of your policy and if not, call your auto insurance company and request to have it added. To assist you with your research, Insurance.com offers an auto comparison application that helps you compare the rates of up to 12 auto insurance companies - helping you save time and money on your auto insurance.

Top 10 Things to Know About Life Insurance

We all recognize the importance of life insurance. After all, we want to make sure that our loved ones are taken care of when we die. But before you run out and purchase a policy, do some research ahead of time. That way, you'll be sure to get the best possible coverage at the right price. Here are some helpful tips to get you started:

1. Shop around
2. Never buy more coverage than you need
3. The healthier you are, the better the rates
4. Buy sooner rather than later
5. Realize the importance of periodically reviewing your coverage
6. You don't necessarily have to pay a commission
7. You may be paying more for monthly premium payments
8. Don't rely solely on the life insurance offered by your employer
9. Tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth
10. Buying more is sometimes cheaper

Shop around
When it comes to life insurance, it pays to shop around because premiums can vary widely. And thanks to the Internet, it's now easier than ever. Try out one of the many insurance websites that can provide you with instant quotes. Make sure the website you shop from takes into consideration the factors in your medical history that can affect the premiums.

Never buy more coverage than you need
The key to purchasing the right amount of life insurance is to have just enough coverage to meet your needs. If you have more life insurance than you need, you'll be paying unnecessarily for higher premiums. On the other hand, it's important not to have too little coverage, resulting in you being underinsured.

The healthier you are, the better the rates
It's true – healthy people get better rates on life insurance. You will be asked to pay a higher rate for anything that shortens your life expectancy (e.g., if you smoke, take medications regularly, are overweight, have a bad driving record).

Buy sooner rather than later
If you've been putting off purchasing life insurance because you don't want to pay the premiums, you may be doing yourself a disservice in the long run. The younger you are when you purchase life insurance, the lower your premiums will be.

Realize the importance of periodically reviewing your coverage
Any life change signals the need for a review of your overall financial plan. When it comes to life insurance coverage, you'll want to make sure that this major life event (e.g., birth of a child, children are grown) won't leave you underinsured or overinsured.

You don't necessarily have to pay a commission
One of the reasons for higher premiums is that most life insurance policies pay commissions to the agent/broker. However, you may be able to purchase a no-load policy through an insurer that sells no-load policies directly to consumers.

You may be paying more for monthly premium payments
You may not realize it, but you may be paying more for your life insurance if you pay your premium in monthly installments. Many insurance companies charge extra fees if you make monthly premium payments instead of paying the annual premium.

Don't rely solely on the life insurance offered by your employer
Many employers offer their employees some sort of group life insurance. But this amount of coverage is usually not enough to adequately meet your life insurance needs. In addition, group life insurance policies are not portable, meaning that if you leave your job, you can't take your life insurance coverage with you.

Tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth
If you're thinking about lying on your insurance application, think again. If your insurance company finds out that you lied about a health-related condition or your lifestyle (e.g., smoking habit), they may be able to terminate your coverage.

Buying more is sometimes cheaper
Life insurance usually costs less per thousand dollars once you get into higher coverage amounts (e.g., $250,000). If the numbers work out, you may be able to pay a lower premium while increasing your coverage.

Need Auto Insurance? There is Help!

Not every driver on the road is insured. This is a danger to you and to other motorists. The responsibility of being a driver doesn’t apply to the road alone. Taking the extra measures to secure your financial safety should an accident occur is equally responsible and important. When you are ready to make the commitment of being a good driver, buying the auto insurance coverage that is right for you is important.

Even with all of the facts that we know as motorists and drivers, there are still those who prefer to drive without coverage. Sadly, too many people treat auto insurance casually, as if it were an accessory to their vehicle. The reality is that in many states, especially the state of California, driving without proper auto insurance is against the law. Doing this will result in having your vehicle impounded.

You can avoid this traumatic and embarrassing event by simply following the laws of your state and getting the required auto insurance that is needed. When some folks see that the prices of auto insurance is beyond their financial capabilities, they forego auto insurance completely and make the mistake of driving uninsured. We want to help you find the best coverage at the price you can afford. The fact is, if you drive a car, you need car insurance. Plain and simple.

Avoid the high costs of auto insurance by firstly driving safe. Follow the rules of the road and avoid accidents. When the auto insurance company sees this, they recognize that you are a safe driver and will usually reward you with low rates. Another way to enjoy the low auto insurance rates is to get good grades, if you are a student, and to follow up with proof of these good grades.

Auto insurance companies and agencies will give you options that you can choose from. Get some of the lowest quotes from various sources. Getting low rates starts with low quotes so you may have to do some research to find the lowest ones. More recently, people find the low auto insurance quotes that want from the internet.

The internet is a valuable tool for many pieces of information. In this case, finding an auto insurance company is the best possible way to get the cheap and comparable quotes you want. When you sign onto any search engine, you simply type in the type of insurance you are looking for. Some companies cater specifically to auto insurance while others are large enough and cover insurance for home, health, and auto insurance. In this day and age, there are so many ways to protect yourself and your valuables that auto insurance is simply a “given” when you buy your vehicle.
Some states require that you show proof of insurance before you drive a new car off the lot. This is standard for many car dealerships and protects all parties involved. From the dealership to the driver and others on the road, you should always be aware of the level of protection necessary in order to drive with peace of mind. Be aware that you are responsible for purchasing at least the minimum requirements when it comes to buying insurance.


Buying Car Insurance for the First Time

Purchasing car insurance for the first time can be quite confusing. Insurance4usa.com is here to help. A few items are needed to complete this transaction.
First the insured must be of legal age in the state the insurance will be purchased (usually age 16), must have a valid drivers license and own a vehicle in their own name (technically, you need the insurance prior to purchasing the vehicle and driving it off the lot). Once these requirements are met, insurance can be purchased.
Contact an insurance agent or insurance company to purchase a policy. A series of questions will be asked and must be answered truthfully in order to get the best rate. The information the agent will need is the following: Name, address, phone number, date of birth, driver’s license number, social security number, vehicle identification number, how far you travel to and from work/school, the insurance coverage you're looking for, and discounts available on the vehicle (the agent will ask these and you can answer yes or no).
The agent should be able to obtain a quote on the same day, however allow one day of lee time to make sure the agent can be thorough in getting the best coverage and price. We recommend that you obtain at least three insurance quotes to be sure you are making a fair comparison and determine the best price. Use the quote form below if you would like Insurance4usa.com to help with this process. Once your decision is made, you will need to sign applications and deliver a down payment to the agent. The agent will give you Identification cards for your vehicle to show proof of coverage.
After the insurance coverage is in force, take the proof to the department of motor vehicles (DMV) and register the vehicle with the necessary paperwork (title, driver’s license, insurance). The DMV will issue you license plates and temporary registration. Place the plates on the car and registration in the window and you’re all set to go. Now you just need to make the car and insurance payments to stay current.
To review:
1. Obtain drivers license
2. Purchase a vehicle
3. Contact insurance agent or company to obtain coverage
4. Register vehicle (bring proof of insurance and other paperwork to your state DMV)
We hope this helps. Good luck with your new car and drive safely.
Car Insurance Rate Factors that are Under Your Control
Did you ever wonder what the major factors that impact your insurance coverage are? Most people do. I am going to use a pretty broad brush to go over the factors that should concern you.
1. You.
2. Your Car.
3. Your Location.
You are one of the main factors in determining your car insurance rate. By 'you' I am referring to your age, your driving record, your education, and your accident history. What is it about 'you' that is under your control? Well, it isn't your age. It is your driving record and/or your loss history to some extent, but accidents and tickets aren't always under our control. Mainly I am referring to your ability to educate yourself by taking a defensive driving class. A defensive driving class will save you about 10% on your insurance premiums with most companies. The classes are usually about $30 and some employers will offer them for free.
Your Car doesn't have to be the latest 300hp sports coupe, or the very expensive to repair foreign SUV. You can select a car that costs less to insure and keep your rate down in the process. Now, you probably aren't going to win any races with a conservative vehicle, but in the long run, you will save a couple of bucks. Talk to your agent, or company, about the best vehicles in terms of insurance costs. You might be surprised to find that it isn't all about the cost of the vehicle. The safety rating and the average repair cost are also major factors in determining a rate. Shop for your next car with list in hand.
Your Location is going to be the factor that can cause the most swing in your insurance rate. You might be shocked at the difference in rate from one side of the street to the next (they have to draw the line somewhere). I have seen cases, where someone on one side of the street was paying $500 per year. If they moved across the street, they would have paid $1,500 per year. Most people who do not own their own home will move every couple of years. Be sure to talk to your agent about insurance costs from one area to the next. You would hate to sign a lease on a place that is $50 a monthly less, only to find that your insurance cost is now $100 a month more.
Of course, there is a bit more to it than that, but remember, this is the broad brush version of this story and if you want further detail, seek advice from an insurance company or agent, not a web article.


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Tips on Buying Auto Insurance

When shopping for a car it is as important as buying the car itself to plan the best auto insurance coverage. That should also be part of your budget when buying a car, along with other expenses you may have to deal with, like accessories, auto registration, or finding parking space for your car (if you live in the city, perhaps).

Here are tips on how to buy insurance and to get the best deal.

Always ask for discounts. Every car insurance company has discounts to offer. Auto insurance companies offer either or all of theses three types of auto insurance discounts: (1) driver-related discounts, (2) vehicle related discounts and (3) discounts based on your driving record, your occupation, and level of education and even multiple insurance packages.

Pick out the best auto insurance coverage. You can choose either comprehensive, collision, uninsured motorist, personal injury protection, etc. Take a good look at each of the policies so that you decide if you need these or not.

Don’t let your auto insurance lapse. If you keep your insurance active, and if you renew early you can qualify for discounts and lower premiums and a much higher paying base rate.

Pick a yearly policy than a six-month policy. It may a bit expensive the first time, but it gives you bigger savings in the end and longer coverage period