10 Things to Consider About Insurance When You Pay Off Your Car Loan

The following information is not advice, it’s just my thoughts and opinions. I’m just a girl on the web, not currently licensed in insurance or anything else in any state. You should absolutely seek the counsel of an insurance agent licensed in your state before taking any action at all. Coverages and programs discussed may or may not be available in your state.  Coverage and descriptions are summaries, subject to the terms and conditions and definitions in your own policy .  Talk to your agent!

PT at Prime Time Money just paid off his car, and he wrote a post about the decision he must make about what to do with the extra money.  He mentioned the possibility of changing his insurance coverage now that he no longer has a loan.  I, being me, always have something to say, and that’s especially true when insurance is a topic.

So, should you change your insurance when you pay off your car loan?

That depends.  Here are some things to consider:

Only two coverages have anything to do with the type of car you have: Comprehensive and Collision.  Those are the only two coverages that cover the car itself.    That’s why the lienholder requires it – they don’t care if you’re hurt or if you hurt someone else; they just care that their collateral is covered.

Collision covers damage to your car when your car hits or is hit by another vehicle,  or other objects.  It pays whether the incident is your fault, no one’s fault or a hit and run.  Most people carry a deductible, so the insurance pays the amount of loss after your deductible is reached (paid by you).

Comprehensive (also called Other Than Collision) covers most other things that physically happen to the car – if it’s stolen, damaged by a hurricane, flood, falling object, or animals. Most people carry a deductible, so the insurance pays the amount of loss after your deductible is reached (paid by you).

So, what should you think about doing?

  1. Find out how much you pay for each of those coverages, and determine your deductible.
  2. Get quotes for raising the deductible(s) and for eliminating the coverages altogether. Get the quotes for each individual coverage so you can see what they cost separately, for all your cars.
  3. Consider what you’d be giving up. I suspect you’ll find that you won’t save as much as you think, especially with Comprehensive coverage.  Also, keep in mind that if you remove them you will be completely out of luck if you get into an accident that is your fault, if it’s a hit and run or if the at-fault party doesn’t carry enough coverage to fix your car (Florida only requires $10000 property damage coverage.  Have you thought  about what happens if they hit more than one car, or if you drive something that $10000 wouldn’t fix?).  Also, you’d have no coverage if it’s stolen, damaged in a hurricane, etc.
  4. Figure out how much of a loss you could absorb without too much financial difficulty. Compare it to the cost of the coverage. Could you come up with the money to replace your car to fix it if the damage is $1000?  $5000?  If it is a total loss could you replace it?  Is it worth it to you to spend X dollars for that peace of mind?
  5. Figure out how much of a loss you could absorb without too much mental/emotional difficulty. Will you be able to sleep at night knowing that you’re not covered?  Is it worth it to you to spend X dollars for that peace of mind?
  6. Consider starting a Deductible Fund.  Think about increasing the deductibles on all of your insurance (including health insurance) and putting that into a fund to pay those deductibles if you incur a loss.  You might be amazed at the money you can save, and over time you’ll almost always come out ahead (well, unless you’re really unlucky). I used to write an individual health policy where the difference in premium between the $500 deductible and the $1000 deductible was  (depending on the insured approximately) $600 per year – more than the deductible difference!  If you chose the $500 deductible you started off $100 in the hole.  Ridiculous. If the patient chose the $1000 deductible they paid less, and if they didn’t get sick they could save as much as $600!  That’s what they call a no-brainer.
  7. If you decide to drop these coverages, consider keeping just Comprehensive. It doesn’t cost much at all, and in many states you can get your windshield replaced if broken without having to pay your deductible.  Many of my clients kept Comprehensive with the largest deductible just for the glass coverage.  My company actually would replace any of the glass on the car (side glass, mirrors) without requiring the insured pay their deductible, and the coverage often cost about $10 every six months.
  8. You don’t want to reduce your liability or uninsured motorist coverage. They have nothing to do with the type of car you drive – you can do just as much damage with a brand new car as an old clunker!  In fact, you may want to get quotes to increase these coverages…
  9. Consider getting quotes from other companies. Hey, as long as you’re doing the work.  And if you do, read my series on  Auto Insurance 101 to get some good tips!
  10. Don’t forget to remove the lienholder! Make sure your insurance agent removes them as the loss payee – sometimes they forget.  It’s not that the bank could actually collect the insurance money if you had a loss, but it would delay your payment at claim time while they straighten it out.

Everyone’s risk tolerance is different.  There’s a reason why “insurance” is synonymous with “risk management”.  Whatever you decide, make sure you can sleep soundly.

And to anyone who pays off their car loan, congratulations!!!!

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If you liked this post, check out these related posts:

Auto Insurance 101: Part 1 ~ Before We Shop Let’s Understand What We Have

Auto Insurance 101: Part 2 ~ 10 Tips for Shopping Smart

Auto Insurance 101: Part 3 ~ What to Do With The Quotes Now That You Have Them

Be This Way Saves Time in the Kitchen

I’m pretty lazy.  I cook, and sometimes I even enjoy it.  But I’m all about making things as easy and inexpensive as I can, and with the least amount of effort.

So, this is how I do hamburger.

I go to Costco and buy it in bulk.  Costco’s meat is far better than the meat from the grocery store, and their regular price is less expensive than Publix’s sale price, at least most of the time.  I also make sure to buy the least expensive package they have out because I’ll likely have the same number of patties either way, albeit fractionally smaller.

When I get home I go ahead and season the meat.  I’m not very creative in the kitchen, so I season it the same way every time, more or less:

  • Garlic powder (occasionally fresh garlic)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • A splash of teryaki (my secret ingredient!)
  • Onion flakes
  • Lawry’s Salt
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Whatever else I feel like throwing in

Then I immediately form hamburger patties.  This package was $14.18, and I was able to make nineteen patties, bout 75 cents apiece.

meat-001

I then package them in groups of three, two or one so that I can use only what I need for each meal.  There are three of us and Husband eats two burgers, so I need four if we’re having hamburgers.  If  I’m using it to make meat sauce or homemade Hamburger Helper I need two patties. You get the  idea.

meat-005

Then I stick them in a bag in the freezer.  This saves me so much time, and on a day like today when 5:15 pm rolls around and I have no idea what I’m making for dinner, all I need to do is pull out two patties, make some spaghetti and once I plate the leftover salad I have dinner in twenty minutes with minimal effort.

Just the way I like it.

A Thanksgiving Kitchen Tip From Be This Way

If you have Tapioca mix that expired several months ago it’s fine if you don’t want to use it, especially when you are taking a chance of poisoning everyone at the Thanksgiving table.

What is decidedly NOT fine is Tapioca, so don’t even think of putting it down your garbage disposal, at least without running the water for a few moments to make sure it all gets through your pipes.

Why, you ask?

Well, Tapioca expands.  And if it’s sitting in the pipe under your sink it will turn into a solid mass the consistency of glue, and you will have your husband cursing you as he takes apart the garbage disposal to dig it out.

Just so you know.

But don’t worry about us.  Making up is always tres’ fun.

Didn’t Get Your Economic Stimulus Payment? Maybe the IRS Has the Wrong Address!

The Internal Revenue Service owes nearly $4 million to South Florida residents alone, courtesy of unclaimed tax refunds and economic stimulus checks.  I don’t know what the nationwide number is, but it’s got to be huge.

I cannot for the life of me understand why someone who hasn’t gotten their payment yet isn’t jumping up and down screaming, and trying to find the reason.    For many of those people it’s a pretty stupid reason, too.

Bad mailing addresses.

Come on, people!  We’re talking hundreds, and in some cases thousands of dollars!  If you’ve moved in the past few years MAKE SURE THE IRS KNOWS YOUR ADDRESS!

Excuse me.  Stupidity makes me insane.

And if you’re one of these people, you have Just four days remain to correct an address with the IRS so that the agency can reissue the checks.  Taxpayers expecting an economic stimulus check must have their addresses updated with the IRS by Friday so that the checks can be reissued by Dec. 31. Taxpayers expecting regular refunds have more time to claim their refund but must contact the IRS to update their addresses.

There are ways for taxpayers to update mailing information:

1. Via the IRS Web site: www.irs.gov. Taxpayers without Internet access should call 1-800-234-2942.

2.  Visit your local IRS office.

3.  Check with the United Way in your area to see if they offer taxpayer assistance.

Please, go get your money folks!

Edited to add some helful links:

My Economic Stimulus Check Didn’t Arrive When Promised!

My Economic Stimulus Check Didn’t Include Money for My Kids!

Your Economic Stimulus Check Didn’t Include Money For Your Kids? You’re Getting Another Check!

Didn’t get the amount you were supposed to get for your kids? You may be getting another check! Click here for info!

When will your economic stimulus payment arrive?

Frequently Asked Questions: Received the Stimulus Payment?

Economic Stimulus Calculator – Or How Much to Expect

Deal of the Day November 16, 2008


From Golden Corral’s website:

The 2008 Military Appreciation Monday dinner will be held on Monday, November 17, 2008 from 5 pm to 9 pm in all Golden Corral Restaurants.

The free dinner is available to any person who has ever served in the United States Military. If you are a veteran, retired, currently serving, in the National Guard or Reserves, you are invited to participate in Golden Corral’s Military Appreciation Monday dinner.

Hmmm.  Would have been kinda nice to do this on Veteran’s Day, even if it was a Tuesday.  But any day, any way we can honor our veterans – and their families – is perfectly fine with me!

Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

Subscribe to my RSS feed to make sure you don’t miss a thing!

Kitchen Tips from BeThisWay

If you’re melting two cubes of semi-sweet baking chocolate for a recipe, and it took you two minutes in fifteen to twenty second increments to melt the first batch to perfection, please do not assume that you can just put the next batch in for two minutes straight.

If you do you will have some very burnt chocolate, which smells just like you’d  think it would.

And, when you put the glass dish you melted it in into the sink, make sure the cold water isn’t flowing.  Unless you really hate the glass dish and don’t mind tossing the now-cracked bowl in the trash.

And if you toss the now-cracked bowl in the trash, you may want to put the pieces in a paper bag to prevent  serious injury.

Just saying.

To List the House or Not List the House, That is the Question

We were sooooooooo close.

We were so close to listing the house.

We’d decided against a realtor and for a listing service, which would give us a realtor-quality listing that would stay up until we sold the house.

We’d started packing and put items in storage to make the rooms feel bigger.

We’d taken the photos of clean and de-cluttered rooms.

We’d snuck onto realtor.com looking at houses in Georgia.

We’ve even come up with a list of Twenty Things to Do Before We Buy a House.

We were one day away from listing the house when the floor – a.k.a. the economy, fell out from under us.

Banks aren’t lending money. Credit card companies are reducing credit limits, affecting credit scores for even those with excellent credit histories.

Car dealerships are closing because no one is spending money to buy cars, and banks won’t give car loans to those few who do.

Now we’re unsure what to do. If we find someone willing to buy our house they probably won’t be able to get a loan, at least until banks start lending money again.

And if we do sell the house Husband has to find a job in Georgia before we buy a new place. After all, no lender is going to give us a mortgage with no income. And in this economy advertising agencies are laying people off, not doing much in the way of hiring…

On the other hand, no one’s going to even want to buy our house if they don’t know it’s for sale. I’m also thinking that sitting on the market for awhile will not have the same stigma it has had in the past. Almost all houses are languishing, aren’t they?

So, what’s the smart decision? Do we list the house and take those risks? Do we put it on the market even though no one is buying and we’re uncertain about the future of everything?

Or do we wait, for our home value to decrease more, staying in a place we don’t want to be, and wait for things to get better while we sit here uncertain about the future of everything?

Stay tuned.

43 Good Facts to Know

A friend sent me this in an e-mail and I thought that some were good to know. I can;t attest to the veracity of these assertions, so enter at your own risk…

GOOD FACTS TO KNOW:

1. Budweiser beer conditions the hair.
2. Pam cooking spray will dry finger nail polish.
3. Cool whip will condition your hair in 15 minutes.
4. Mayonnaise will KILL LICE, it will also condition your hair.
5. Elmer’s Glue – paint on your face, allow it to dry, peel off and see the dead skin and blackheads if any.

6. Shiny Hair – use brewed Lipton Tea.
7. Sunburn – empty a large jar of Nestea into your bath water.
8. Minor burn – Colgate or Crest toothpaste.
9. Burn your tongue? Put sugar on it!
10. Arthritis? WD-40 Spray and rub in, kill insect stings too.

11 Bee stings – meat tenderizer.
12. Chigger bite – Preparation H .
13. Puffy eyes – Preparation H.
14. Paper cut – crazy glue or chap stick (glue is used instead of sutures at most hospitals).
15. Stinky feet – Jello
!

16. Athletes feet – cornstarch.
17. Fungus on toenails or fingernails – Vicks vapor rub.
18. Kool aid to clean dishwasher pipes. Just put in the detergent section and run a cycle, it will also clean a toilet. (Wow, and we drink this stuff).
19. Kool Aid can be used as a dye in paint also Kool Aid in Dannon plain yogurt as a finger paint, your kids will love it and it won’t hurt them if they eat it!
20. Peanut butter – will get scratches out of CD’s! Wipe off with a coffee filter paper.

21. Sticking bicycle chain – Pam no-stick cooking spray.
22. Pam will also remove paint, and grease from your hands! Keep a can in your garage for your hubby.
23. Peanut butter will remove ink from the face of dolls.
24. When the doll clothes are hard to put on, sprinkle with corn starch and watch them slide on.
25. Heavy dandruff – pour on the vinegar!

26. Body paint – Crisco mixed with food coloring. Heat the Crisco in the microwave, pour in to an empty film container and mix with the food color of your choice!
27 Tie Dye T-shirt – mix a solution of Kool Aid in a container, tie a rubber band around a section of the T-shirt and soak.
28. Preserving a newspaper clipping – large bottle of club soda and cup of milk of magnesia , soak for 20 min. and let dry, will last for many years!
29. A Slinky will hold toast and CD’s!
30. To keep goggles and glasses from fogging, coat with Colgate toothpaste.

31. Wine stains, pour on the Morton salt and watch it absorb into the salt.
32. To remove wax – Take a paper towel and iron it over the wax stain, it will absorb into the towel.
33. Remove labels off glassware etc. rub with Peanut butter!
34. Baked on food – fill container with water, get a Bounce paper softener and the static from the Bounce towel will cause the baked on food to adhere to it. Soak overnight. Also; you can use 2 Efferdent tablets , soak overnight!
35. Crayon on the wall – Colgate toothpaste and brush it!

36. Dirty grout – Listerine
37. Stains on clothes – Colgate toothpaste
38. Grass stains – Karo Syrup
39. Grease Stains – Coca Cola , it will also remove grease stains from the driveway overnight. We know it will take corrosion from car batteries!
40. Fleas in your carpet? 20 Mule Team Borax– sprinkle and let stand for 24 hours. Maybe this will work if you get them back again.
41. To keep FRESH FLOWERS longer Add a little Clorox , or 2 Bayer aspirin , or just use 7-up instead of water.

42. When you go to buy bread in the grocery store, have you ever wondered which is the freshest, so you “squeeze” for freshness or softness? Did you know that bread is delivered fresh to the stores five days a week? Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Each day has a different color twist tie.
They are:
Monday = Blue
Tuesday = Green
Thursday = Red
Friday = White
Saturday = Yellow.
So if today was Thursday, you would want a red twist tie; not white which is Fridays (almost a week old)! The colors go alphabetically by color Blue- Green – Red – White – Yellow, Monday through Saturday. Very easy to remember. I thought this was interesting. I looked in the grocery store and the bread wrappers DO have different twist ties, and even the ones with the plastic clips have different colors. You learn something new everyday! Enjoy fresh bread when you buy bread with the right color on the day you are shopping.

43. Gatorade for Migraine Headaches. PowerAde won’t work.

Did you learn something new? I did!!!

Easy To Use Tips To Get Better Gas Mileage

Fellow Blogger Kyle from Rather-Be-Shopping.com Blog has asked to do a monthly guest post here, and since I’ve used his site several times to save myself some money I thought we’d give it a try. Let me know what you think!
~
Easy To Use Tips To Get Better Gas Mileage
I was reading through the archives when I found a terrific post Be This Way did back in March, titled, Change Some Habits, Save Some Gas. And Some Money. It really made me think of how the price of gas has changed the way I think about driving. I no longer take the scenic route and instead opt for the one that will use the least amount of gas. It is actually kind of sad to me. I have fond memories of my Grandmother telling stories of when she was a young mother and how they would take a scenic drive through the countryside on a lazy Sunday afternoon after church. Those days are gone, and if you drive a big ol’ truck like me, you have a 2 ton paper weight sitting in the garage.
But it is not all gloom and doom from this eternal optimist. I have come up with a handy little checklist that will insure you are getting the best bang for your buck at the pump in terms of better gas mileage. Drumroll, please…
~ Properly Inflate The Tires. This isn’t just about under-inflated tires, if you put to much air in them you will lower your gas mileage as well. Follow the prescribed PSI that is on the side of your tire.
~ Don’t Be Cheap on Car Maintenance – Use quality motor oil, change oil filter regularly, keep air filters clean. Heck, just by keeping your air filter clean and replaced when need be, you can boost your MPG’s by up to 10%. Follow your car’s recommended maintenance schedule! By doing so, not only will you keep your car running efficiently, but it will also add to your engine’s life and your sanity.
~ Listen Up Lead Foot! – Slow down there Speedy Gonzales and avoid those fast accelerations and drive the speed limit. Both of which will help significantly when trying to get the most miles per gallon of gas. Also, coast up to stop signs and stop lights. It always baffles me when people have the pedal to the metal until the loss possible second and then pound the brakes. What a total waste of gas!
~ Use The Cruise ControlBe This Way mentioned this one in her post as well. This is a tried and true way of getting better mileage on the freeway and interstate.
~ Alternative Transportation – This one is by far the most effective. After all, you can’t use petrol when you are not using your car. So stop by your local bus station and pick up a schedule, or ask that colleague who lives close to you if you want to carpool, or ride your bike or walk to the store a couple times a week. The key is to take the initiative and find other ways to get where you need to be.
Please add to my list. Other than only driving to places that are downhill from you, what are you doing to get better gas mileage. Looking forward to your comments!
~
About The Author: First of all, I want to thank Be This Way for giving me the opportunity to try a monthly feature on her blog. Very exciting! A little about me, my name is Kyle James, I am married, and my wife and I have 3 young children. I own and operate a website called Rather-Be-Shopping.com which specializes in online coupons for over 500 stores. I also have a blog, where I write about creative ways to save money, and other musings about the adventures and mis-adventures of raising 3 active kids.

Freezing Increased Food Costs

Publix has a special on sour cream right now. Two for $4. YIKES!!! That’s the sale price?!!!! Not long ago the sale price was 99 cents!!!

Oy.

With the price of gas, food prices going up and the grocery shrink ray working overtime, buying in bulk when items are on sale is a great way to mitigate some of the increased costs. Consider buying an extra freezer (they’re not expensive, especially second hand!) so you have space to stock up on those really good buys.

But what can be frozen, and for how long?

The USDA has a terrific site that will answer these questions and more, including this handy dandy chart:

Freezer Storage Chart (0 °F)
Note: Freezer storage is for quality only. Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely.

Item Months
Bacon and Sausage 1 to 2
Casseroles 2 to 3
Egg whites or egg substitutes 12
Frozen Dinners and Entrees 3 to 4
Gravy, meat or poultry 2 to 3
Ham, Hotdogs and Lunchmeats 1 to 2
Meat, uncooked roasts 4 to 12
Meat, uncooked steaks or chops 4 to 12
Meat, uncooked ground 3 to 4
Meat, cooked 2 to 3
Poultry, uncooked whole 12
Poultry, uncooked parts 9
Poultry, uncooked giblets 3 to 4
Poultry, cooked 4
Soups and Stews 2 to 3
Wild game, uncooked 8 to 12

Buying more in one trip also means less trips, which means more savings in gas. And it also means more time to do the things you really want to be doing, like spending time with family.

Sigh.

This is getting ridiculous.  It’s straining our finances, but we’re lucky.  An extra $50 for gas and $50 for food per month isn’t going to kill us.

But others are not so fortunate.   I know there are plenty of families out there for whom every penny counts.  These are families for whom a $20 increase in gas per week can mean the difference between three meals per day and two.  Or two meals and one.  Or choices between lights and water.

And I worry about them.

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