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.