Friday, March 13, 2009

Travel Insurance - Travel insurance is “vital” even in the UK

Holidaymakers must not assume that travel insurance is unnecessary when travelling even in the UK, it has been warned. With a growing number of travellers opting to spend their holidays in the UK this year, according to a number of insurers, a majority of Brits are forging travel insurance assuming that it is not required if they are staying in the UK.

According to research by a price comparison website, only two per cent of holidaymakers planning to spend their holiday in the UK have sought travel insurance quotes. Steve Williams, head of travel insurance of the price comparison website said that “travel insurance should be seen as a vital part of any holiday.”

He said: "The number of UK insurance policies sold is dwarfed by that of European and worldwide policies, and in our experience fewer people shop around for UK cover.” Williams advised that travel insurance would be “vital” especially during the current financial crisis as although holidaymakers travelling in the UK would not be required to purchase the insurance for medical reasons, flight cancellations or airline failures could leave holidaymakers losing more cash than what they would have spent on the cover.

According to Direct Travel Insurance, redundancy is one of the common reasons of cancellations and without insurance, holidaymakers would be left with large cancellation charges.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Brunswick city employees to pay portion of health insurance costs to help cut budget

BRUNSWICK -- Several employee policy changes have been implemented at city hall over the past week in an ongoing effort to slash the city's operating budget. After approving more than $500,000 in cuts to the 2009 budget last month, City Manager Robert Zienkowski said city council OK'd several emergency cost-saving measures Monday, starting with a move that will require city employees to pick up a portion of their medical insurance premiums. Effective April 1 all city employees will be required to pay 10 percent of their medical insurance, in addition to any regular deductibles and co-pays. The policy change is expected to save the city approximately $30,000 in 2009, said Finance Director Bill White.

Efforts to lower the cost of city medical benefits will continue in 2010, Zienkowski said, at which time the city is looking to rework its medical plan. In addition to raising co-pays, he said the city is also considering an increase in its deductibles. The changes, Zienkowski says, will be permanent and will not change even if voters approve the proposed 0.5 percent income tax increase on the ballot in May. "We can't continue to operate the way we did 10 to 15 years ago," Zienkowski said. "Moving forward, we're going to have to continue to makes changes based on the economic times in order to be able to provide the level of service the community expects."

Among the policy changes that are temporary, Zienkowski says, is the citywide hiring freeze the city enacted in February. Along with that, he has opted to suspend all out-of state travel until further notice unless employees are willing to pick up 100 percent of their travel costs. Additionally, he said, the city has revoked its employee meal reimbursement policy that allocated employees a daily stipend for breakfast, lunch and dinner when they were traveling in or out of state. It has also eliminated paid vacations for part-time employees hired after March 15. Zienkowski says the city has also implemented a wage freeze for all non-bargaining employees starting in 2010.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Job losses jeopardize health coverage

RALEIGH, N.C. _ Nettie Shafer has a house, a car and about $1,000 left in savings. But the 59-year-old divorced bank teller risks losing all if she doesn't find a job with health insurance soon. Shafer, who lives in Raleigh, is on about a dozen medicines, seven of them to prevent a third heart attack. Now, the insurance coverage she retained from her former job at Wachovia has run out _ and the backup she has available covers only a fraction of her medical costs. "I'm still looking for a job, every day," Shafer said. "Something's around the corner. I truly believe that. "A survival job is all I need," she said.

The recession has not only cost thousands of people their jobs, it has also cost them affordable health insurance. People who had employer-sponsored health insurance are, when laid off, usually eligible for up to 18 months of continued coverage under COBRA, the federal law more formally known as the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. But COBRA is expensive.
Unemployed workers must pay the total premium. The monthly average is more than three times as expensive as what workers with employer-sponsored health insurance pay, according to data by the Kaiser Family Foundation and FamiliesUSA.

That can take a hefty chunk out of unemployment benefits. In North Carolina, the average COBRA premium for a family eats 82.4 percent of an unemployment check, according to data from FamiliesUSA, a consumer advocacy group. Many decide to take their chances and don't sign up for COBRA.At the end of 2008, an estimated 175,000 North Carolinians were out of work and uninsured, according to the N.C. Institute of Medicine. Though this includes people who lacked insurance before they became unemployed, the estimate represents a 75 percent increase since the end of 2007. The fourth quarter was particularly brutal in boosting the state's growing number of unemployed who are at risk of becoming uninsured, said John Quinterno of the N.C. Budget and Tax Center.

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Monday, March 9, 2009

ING Confirms It May Pull Out Of One China Insurance JV

AMSTERDAM -(Dow Jones)- ING Groep N.V. (ING) confirmed Monday that it may pull out of one of its two insurance joint ventures in China.

The South China Morning Post Monday cited the chairman and chief executive of ING Insurance and Investment Management for Asia-Pacific as saying that ING is reviewing the joint venture operations to improve capital allocation and comply with Chinese regulation.

ING spokesman Nanne Bos confirmed Monday that the group is reviewing its position in Chinese insurance business, including pulling out of one of the joint ventures. "We have been looking at this for quite some time, even before the financial crisis started," Bos said, adding that no further announcements will be made at the moment.

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Self-employed Likely to Get Unemployment Benefits

Mom-and-pop store owners who go out of business will likely be eligible for unemployment benefits or job training incentives. The Strategy and Budget Ministry and the Labor Ministry said yesterday that employment insurance law will undergo revision before the end of June in the wake of the rising number of small business owners going under amid the economic recession.

A finance official said the Strategy and Finance Ministry has considered allowing small business owners to be eligible for
unemployment insurance, but is now discussing with the Labor Ministry advancing implementation due to the economic crisis. Unemployment insurance gives money to workers who have lost their jobs for a certain period of time and offers incentives for those who take job training.

The government is considering giving choices to small business owners to join the unemployment insurance system, but will limit it to those who run a business employing less than five workers. In addition, the state contribution to regional credit insurance funds will rise to offer low-interest loans to unregistered business owners running street stalls.

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Friday, March 6, 2009

Auto Insurance Agent Alert: Smart Consumers are Shopping For Auto Insurance

Auto insurance rates may be on the rise in the United States, but shopping for auto insurance can ease consumers’ worries about saving. While consumers are witnessing auto insurance rates rising by the day, reviewing auto insurance policies is one of the best ways to save money.

Consumers everywhere are noticing big-time insurance companies increasing their car insurance rates at a faster pace than usual to make up for clients who have dropped their policies. In Florida and other states, auto insurance policyholders are facing the chance of their auto insurance premiums increasing exponentially by 10 percent in the upcoming years.

Most auto insurance companies are asking for higher premiums from strapped policyholders. But with job loss on the rise, a stifling recession, and a growing amount of people making strict budget cuts in the way they live and spend money, more policyholders are likely to drop their insurance. However, consumers can save money by receiving multiple insurance quotes from several different insurance carriers to gain the best coverage package at the lowest rate.

Although it will take some time for the recession to end, the article posted by encourages consumers to follow its tips to better organize their finances and to get the best out of their insurance plan with specialized auto insurance agents. Its goal is to help consumers save money during one of the worst financial crisis in America.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Older drivers offered help to find car insurance

People who have been refused car insurance by direct providers and big name brands can get help, it has been claimed. The British Insurance Brokers' Association (Biba) stated older motorists, particularly those with certain medical conditions, can struggle to find cover. However, it pointed out it has already managed to assist tens of thousands of individuals in the same situation. The group urged drivers who were having trouble even securing a quote to contact its consumer helpline.

Graeme Trudgill, technical and corporate affairs executive at Biba, explained: "Insurance brokers use their expertise to arrange cover for older consumers and those with medical conditions, placing them with suitable providers." The organisation issued this latest advice after the Association of British Insurers released a report titled Age and Insurance: Helping older customers find the cover they need. Although some older drivers may have difficulty finding insurance, others may find the cost of their premiums start to fall, as more mature motorists are generally regarded as a lower risk.

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Health agreement with UK to end next month

ISLANDERS who fall ill or have accidents in the UK will soon have to pay for their treatment, Health announced today following confirmation that the UK is scrapping the reciprocal health agreement from 1 April.

Health Minister Jim Perchard was notified of the decision by Dawn Primarolo, the UK’s Minister of State for the Department of Health on Friday. Not only does the ruling open the possibility that Islanders will be left with huge bills for medical care if they do not have adequate travel insurance, it also leaves Health significantly out of pocket.

The JEP has learned that the agreement was extremely profitable for Jersey and will leave Health with a £3.9-million hole in its budget. Health’s finance director, Russell Pearson, has already warned that that could mean Jersey patients suffer. ‘Health and Social Services cannot afford to take a reduction of £3.9 million,’ he said. ‘We would have to prioritise and reduce services to manage that. The Council of Ministers are aware of that impact.’ As of 1 April, Islanders visiting the UK will only be eligible for free treatment in accident and emergency departments.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

US travel insurer fails leaving customers without cover

Cruise travelers who purchased travel insurance from Colorado-based Prime Travel Protection are learning that the insurer has gone out of business. A statement on the company’s website informed customers that it had “initiated an orderly liquidation of services.” The brief statement added that customers would be contacted in writing regarding claims processing and that appointed counsel would handle all inquiries. Customers have been advised that if they hold a policy issued by Prime Travel Protection for upcoming cruise travel, they will not be covered and need to arrange for alternative travel insurance. They will need to dispute charges for any coverage purchased with their credit card company for a refund.

One particular situation that customers have been told to be aware of involves the waiting period for pre-existing medical conditions. Typically, to receive a waiver for such as condition the insurance needs to be purchased within 14 days of making an initial trip deposit.
For those affected by this provision, Access America, a travel insurer, has indicated that given the demise of Prime Travel exceptions might be possible and will be considered based on individual circumstances, according to spokesman Mark Cipoletti. One travel agency has come forward to help Prime Travel’s clients. Ron Russo, the vice president of Best Price Cruises has said that all of the failed insurer’s customers who purchased their travel insurance along with their booking with Best Price will receive a replacement policy at no additional charge, provided by the fully-licensed insurer, iTravel Insured, Inc.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Times Are Tough, But Cutting Car Insurance Costs Now Could Cost You Later

Cutting Car Insurance Costs is tempting when money is tight...but there can be some devastating consequences to doing that. Be careful how you decide to save money and cut costs. Auto insurance is an important asset! (NAPSI)-In times of economic uncertainty, people look for ways to save money--from clipping coupons to limiting meals out. But cutting back on certain things now could mean heftier bills later. That definitely holds true for car insurance--an accident could cost hundreds, and you don't want to be stuck with the bill. Drivers need to stay insured to protect themselves, but there are ways to save real money on your insurance. Here are a few tips from leading car insurer Progressive:

Stay Covered. If finances are tight, you might consider downgrading to minimum-limits, liability-only coverage to save money. But that may not be enough--if you cause an accident, your insurance might not cover all the damages. Carry the right physical damage and liability coverages with sufficient limits to meet your needs so that fender bender doesn't cost you big bucks. If you're considering dropping coverage altogether, you might want to reconsider: Doing that is illegal in most states, and if you drop your insurance now, you'll pay more to get a new policy later because most insurers want to see proof of continuous coverage.

Protect yourself from uninsured and underinsured drivers. You might not be the only one who's looking to save a little dough--other drivers might cut costs by canceling their policy or reducing their coverage. And if one of those drivers hits you, you could be left paying for the damages. Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage can help protect you. Shop around. Rates can vary greatly from company to company, so shop around to find the best deal. A local independent insurance agent can offer more choices and savings because he or she can review multiple options to find the right mix of companies, policies and rates for you. Make sure your policy is up to date. If you've moved, gotten married or bought a home, check with your agent--you may be eligible for lower rates.

Raise your deductibles. According to the Insurance Information Institute, raising your deductibles to $500 could reduce your Collision and Comprehensive costs by 15 to 30 percent. Research before you buy. Before you buy a new car, ask your agent what it will cost to insure. Generally, smaller cars with lower horsepower are less expensive to cover. Check coverages. Owners of older or inexpensive cars could consider dropping Comprehensive and Collision coverages. Doing that can save hundreds of dollars each year. Check for available discounts. Talk to your agent about discounts your carrier provides. You might be eligible for a car insurance discount if you pay in full, are a loyal customer, sign up for paperless billing or list another car on your policy.

For information and to find an agent nearby, visit the Progressive Web site, If you've moved, gotten married or bought a home, check with your auto insurance agent--you may be eligible for lower rates.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Unemployment insurance payments might triple in Estonia in 2009

Employees' insurance payments in Estonia in 2009 may grow from 0.6% to 2% of gross salary, LETA reporteed via Eesti Päevaleht. Currently employees must pay 0.6% of their gross salary and employers add 0.3%. In November, the government increased the payments – 1% from employees and 0.5% from employers, the amendment will come to force on July 1.

Meelis Paavel, the chairperson of Unemployment Fund's management board, said that this growth is not enough in current economic situation. "The supervisory board should tell the government there is not enough funds, and the management board proposes the supervisory board to increase payments to maximum or to 2 and 1%, respectively," he said.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

D80 student insurance rates see increase

MT. VERNON — In spite of an increase in student accident insurance rates, the plan is still a good deal, according to District 80 Superintendent Dr. Kevin Settle. “During the past four years, they are paying out more than we are paying in premiums every year,” Settle said. “The increase is still much less than we would have paid without the insurance coverage.” Members of the District 80 Board agreed, and have approved renewing the insurance policy for another year. The cost of the insurance coverage will cost the district $12,625 annually, up 21 percent from $10,365.

Settle said an average of nine claims are made to the accident insurance company — First Agency — annually. “We have kids who may get hurt on the playground equipment or playing sports , things like that,” Settle explained. “The insurance company pays 100 percent of the claims. ... The parents’ insurance is still the primary, but for those who don’t have insurance and an accident happens while they are at school, this policy covers those students.”

And, Settle said with the number of students in the district whose families are at the poverty level, the number of children without insurance coverage has risen over the years. District 80 has about a 75.5 percent low income enrollment, according to state statistics.“Most schools don’t do this,” Settle reported. “We’re one of the few who provide insurance for our students.” The district began offering the accident insurance about eight years ago.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

KOCHI: The Ernakulam region of Life Insurance Corporation of India has been retaining the topmost position in terms of first premium receipts for several years. A boom in economy had prompted employees and businessmen to take insurance cover on a large scale. But the situation is not so bright now as the slowdown in the economy is taking its toll on the industry also.

About 40 per cent of the policyholders are postponing payment, says R. Sahasranaman, a senior member of the agency network of the LIC. The payment can be postponed for six months and will be accepted with interest. But there are many customers who want to surrender the policies as they are not confident of being able to remit the premium after a few months. The trend is more visible among those employed in the IT sector. About 20 per cent of his clients are interested in surrendering the policies, according to him. The policy-holders were being advised to hold the policies at least for a year so that the surrender value would be more, he said.

The people are not evincing much interest even in new policies. Jeevan Astha, a policy announced recently which had a minimum premium of Rs.25,000, could not get the expected support from clients, he said.
Development Officer N. Muraleedharan too aired a similar view. The business generally goes up in March every year, but the expectations are moderate this time because of the meltdown, according to him.

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Business insurance from online companies. How to purchase?

If you are running your own business, you know that it can be hard to keep all the plates spinning at once. The success of your company depends on numerous factors. You need to deal with suppliers, manage your bank accounts, look after your employees, keep accurate records of business expenses and analyze where your business stands financially.

When you are so busy running a business, insurance is probably the last thing on your mind. But you can’t predict everything! Even if you run your business with the greatest care and attention, something unexpected may happen. For example, a courier may slip and fall on your front steps and you will face liability for his/her injury.
Business insurance will protect you against a variety of potential risks, for example fire, tornado, business interruption or a death of a key employee. You won’t need to pay a lot of money out of your pocket to cover expenses and keep your business running.

Most people know how home or automobile insurance works. It protects you financially in case of an accident or disaster to your home or vehicle. The same principle applies to business insurance. If unexpected events occur, then the insurance company will cover your financial loss.
That’s why getting business insurance is a necessary step. Just as you shouldn’t drive without car insurance, you should not run your company without business insurance! However, you need to understand your company’s needs to buy suitable coverage.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Health insurance falls prey to recession

BANGALORE: Battered by the current economic crisis, the Indian corporate sector is resorting to innovative methods to keep its balance sheet sound. One such method is scrapping of insurance benefits to the employees. Rising medical costs, slowdown and rising premium on employee health insurance policies are being attributed as the reasons, by the industry sources, behind the current decision. It is to be noted that healthcare cost is rising at an annual rate of 15 per cent in all metros and, consequently, premium for health insurance too.

An official of ICICI Lombard, which is the largest health insurance provider for the corporates, confirmed the development, “More than 75 big corporates have already asked for cancellation of group insurance policies.” The official who has to remain nameless, however, declined to name the companies owing to Lombard’s non-disclosure agreement with the companies.
Another cost-cutting method that is slightly employee friendly is the co-payment method that has been introduced by the companies. According to this method, the employee will have to share 50 per cent amount. This scheme, however, cannot be availed by freshers among many other allowances that they are denied of owing to recession.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Utah to increase jobless benefits

The 44,000 Utahns who receive unemployment benefits will receive an additional $25 to $75 per week beginning Sunday, although the amount may not be reflected in their checks until sometime around mid-March, according to a statement Wednesday by the Utah Department of Workforce Services, which administers the unemployment insurance program in Utah.

The increase is part of the federal stimulus package and lasts from Sunday through Dec. 31, with a phase-out program until June 30, 2010. The state is required to enter an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor to send out the money. In the meantime, Workforce Services is programming its systems to begin paying the extra money by March 16 and backdating money from Feb. 22.

Also part of the federal stimulus package is the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which authorizes up to an extra 20 weeks of unemployment benefits, not for each claimant but rather for the entire program through Dec. 31 with a phase-out provision until May 31, 2010. About 4,400 Utahns have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits and are receiving emergency unemployment compensation.
Last year at this time, 16,400 unemployed workers were filing for unemployment.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The 10 most frequently stolen cars in 2008

Should you wait until your car is stolen to worry about protecting it? Of course not! Your car is a crucial part of your life, and it's important to keep it protected. With that in mind, here's the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's list of the most frequently stolen 2005-2007 model year vehicles in 2008:

1. Cadillac Escalade ESV 4-door 4WD

2. Ford F-250 SuperCrew 2WD/4WD

3. Cadillac Escalade 4-door 4WD

4. Dodge Charger

5. Ford F-350 SuperCrew 2WD/4WD

6. Hummer H2 SUT 4-door 4WD

7. Dodge Magnum

8. Hummer H2 4-door 4WD

9. Dodge Durango 4-door 2WD/4WD

10. Honda S2000 Convertible

If your vehicle is on the "most frequently stolen list," you're at even greater risk for theft -- and you're probably paying more for car insurance as a result.

4 Easy Ways to Prevent Car Theft

If your car made the "most frequently stolen" list, don't worry: there are a number of things you can do to keep it safe. Prevention is the best defense against car theft, and the NICB recommends using these four "layers of protection" to safeguard your vehicle from would-be thieves:

Layer 1 - Use Your Head!

This first layer is a no-brainer: lock your car's doors! An unlocked vehicle with a key in the ignition is an open invitation to any thief, regardless of which anti-theft device you use. Keeping your doors locked is the simplest and most cost-effective way to thwart would-be thieves.

Layer 2 - Purchase a Security Device

Installing a visible or audible device which alerts thieves that your vehicle is protected can help protect your car. As a bonus, a car alarm could land you a car insurance discount. Types of devices include audible alarms, steering column collars, steering wheel locks, brake locks and wheel locks.

Layer 3 - Immobilizing Device

If a thief does enter your vehicle, an immobilizing device can help prevent the car from being hotwired. Some electronic devices have computer chips in ignition keys. Other devices inhibit the flow of electricity or fuel to the engine until a hidden switch or button is activated. Popular third layer devices include smart keys, fuse cut-offs, kill switches and starter/ignition and fuel disablers.

Layer 4 - Tracking Device

The final layer of protection is a tracking device which emits a signal to a police or monitoring station when the vehicle is reported stolen. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles.

Safety Devices = Car Insurance Discounts

Taking measures to protect your car against theft could save you money on car insurance! Anti-theft devices could save you 10% or more on your car insurance rate. Even better, using a LoJack® anti-theft device could cut your insurance costs as much as 30% with a participating insurer.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau estimates that over one million vehicles are stolen in the U.S. each year-35% of which are never recovered. Now more than ever, make sure your vehicle is protected with a car insurance policy.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Record Numbers Headed For Early Retirement

Unemployment is rising sharply among the older segment of the working population. According to the Unemployment Insurance Fund, the rate at which over 56-year old workers are losing jobs is higher than during the depression of 90's. Compared to last year, twice as many have been shifted into early retirement plans.

Unemployment Insurance Fund Managing Director Heikki Pohja is critical of how many companies speak of pension arrangements for older workers, when it would be more honest to say that they are being fired. "In most cases, it is a matter of the employee losing his or her job and living on unemployment benefits for several years before it is time to get an old-age pension," points out Pohja..

The rise in firings of older employees is in conflict with the government's target of keeping people in the labour force as long as possible. The chairman of a committee that has been examining an overhaul of social welfare, Markku Lehto, has expressed fears that the same thing will happen as during the last serious economic downswing: the job market will lose skilled people and know-how that it will never get back.

"This is clearly a setback. Finland was just turning over a new leaf in appreciation of older people in the workforce. It will be very difficult to get them back into the job market, even if the situation changes within two or three years," argues Lehto.
Matti Kokkinen, in Forssa, is being moved into early retirement this summer after 34 years of working at a house construction plant. As late as at the end of 2008, his job looked secure, but the situation changed rapidly. While the early retirement scheme is voluntary, he feels that he is being forced into it.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Car Insurance - "The ideal city car to cruise through the credit crunch

A car manufacturer has launched a new model especially designed for those suffering from the current economic crisis, car insurance customers may like to hear. Citroen has launched the new C1 Splash, described as "the ideal city car to cruise through the credit crunch," as a bid to help motorists cut costs during the current crisis. According to the manufacturer, the new model offers 62.8 mpg and falls into insurance group one, providing its customers with both cheaper fuel and insurance costs.

The C1 Splash is cheap on road tax letting off 106 g/km CO2 emissions and it also includes air conditioning, central locking, side airbags and electric front windows with a choice of two colours- metallic Electra Blue or Lipizian White, which are exclusive only to this model.
Prices for the C1 Splash model begin at £7,345. Meanwhile, Tayside police have ordered drivers to ensure they take adequate safety precautions during the weather conditions. Chief Inspector Sandy Bowman said: "Maintenance is key and ensuring that the vehicle is serviced correctly is extremely important…Brakes, tyres, lights, batteries, windscreens and wiper blades must be in good working order."

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Unemployment call center to be built

SALISBURY -- A 20,000 square-foot call center for screening unemployment insurance claims is breaking ground --at an undisclosed Wicomico County location -- and construction can't come fast enough, says the director at the cramped Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulations' regional office where the workload has reached record proportions.

Claims for first-time benefits recently doubled in the last year at the Salisbury center, one of five opened a decade ago to consolidate walk-in unemployment insurance services in Maryland counties and enabling victims of unemployment to file claims by phone or on the Internet.
Claims center director James Wolf isn't revealing the 3-acre location of the new call center ---- or the current one, either -- because the facility is structured to render services strictly by telephone or online.

"We've been on the phone system for 10 years; I don't discuss where we are," said Wolf, a 33-year veteran with DLLR. "We absorb a great percentage of the state workload, taking calls from where an operator is available."
Southern Builders has won the contract to erect the single-story building in the Salisbury area. By this fall, the operation should be moving into a space that can comfortably accommodate its 60 workers, with room enough to increase staffing by 30 positions, Wolf said in an interview. Currently, the office rents space to field 20 percent of the state's unemployment insurance claims
Nationwide, applications for first-time claims are expected to rise as economic uncertainty continues. Since last year, the Salisbury center is handling more than 1,000 a week, Wolf said. The number reflects a national recession that last week alone added an additional 500,000 or more Americans to the ranks of the unemployed and further swelled the number of former workers eligible for unemployment insurance. By comparison, the Salisbury office, which consolidated six offices in Easton, Cambridge, Chestertown, Crisfield, Salisbury and Snow Hill, handles between 500 and 600 "during what I call normal times," Wolf says.

"We need more space and we need more people now," he said. "Whether we (hire to capacity) depends on economic conditions down the road, but that is our plan."
Jobs at the Eastern Shore call center, for the most part, start as contractual with an opportunity to become full-time. Pay starts at $13.42 per hour for claims takers and $15.14 per hour for adjudication specialists, the bulk of positions. Many current workers were recruited with call center experience from former Call Center Services and Bar None, an auto loan center, Wolf said.

The new location becomes the last among the state's five centers pre-equipped specifically for call center functions, behind Baltimore, College Park, Cumberland and Towson, he said. "The rub now is that rented space is not enough to add additional staff; we've needed additional space for some time," he said.
"We've had an unprecedented increase in the number of initial unemployment claims."

news source :

Friday, January 16, 2009

Car Insurance

Unlike other types of insurance like pet or health, this is one type of insurance you must have by law if you drive a car on the roads. The Road Traffic Act 1988 says that you must have some kind of insurance or protection against liability to third parties in the event that personal injury is inflicted upon them, or that their property is damaged, as a result of your use of the road. Quite simply, other people must be protected against any damage caused by using a vehicle. By being insured, the car driver protects innocent parties against costs due to injury, damage to their vehicle, and legal costs.

• Types of car insurance

There are three main types of car insurance:

• third party

• third party fire and theft

• comprehensive insurance cover

• Third party only

Third party is the minimum legal level of insurance you can take out. ‘Third Party Only’ insurance only covers damage or injury caused to someone else, including passengers. It doesn’t provide any cover at all for your own car or property. So if your own car is in an accident and needs repaired you’d have to either pay the repair bill yourself, if you are responsible (legally viable) or claim from the other party if they are responsible. You won’t get any money back if your car is stolen either.

• Third party fire and theft

‘Third Party Fire & Theft’ is similar to ‘Third Party Only’ but also covers your losses if your car is stolen or catches fire. Again, though, just like third party it doesn’t cover you against accidental damage.

• Comprehensive

Just as its name suggests, comprehensive car insurance provides a high level of cover and if your car is worth more than £5,000 then you’d have to choose this type anyway.

You will usually be covered for everything that a Third Party Fire and Theft policy would cover but even better. It will pay out, up to a certain limit, if you accidentally damage your own vehicle and lose or damage your personal belongings from the car. Broken/damaged windscreens will usually be covered too. You can also opt – or it is sometimes included – to add 'personal accident' or 'medical expenses’ cover to your policy.

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Small firms seek health care fix

Pam Knuth has worked at Kennewick's The Purple Parasol for nine years, but does not have employer-provided health coverage to show for her years of work at the bridal and special occasion store. "If you don't work for a big company you can't get medical insurance, and you can't afford to get your own," said the 45-year-old Kennewick woman. Knuth is covered by her husband's plan, but some of her co-workers haven't been so lucky. Shirley Giarde, co-owner of The Purple Parasol, which also has a Walla Walla location, said several employees have left because she hasn't been able to offer health insurance as a small-business owner.

"That's why we lose some of our really good employees. They need insurance," Giarde said. "I totally understand, but there's no insurance out there I can buy." And even Giarde pays more than $700 monthly for her and her husband's health insurance, yet still was more than $100,000 in medical debt after her husband was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy in 2007. Some small-business owners across Washington and the country echo Giarde's plea for government playing a stronger role in guaranteeing access to quality, affordable health coverage in a report released Thursday by the Washington Small Business for Secure Health Care Coalition, a group of more than 1,000 small-business owners and self-employed people who advocate for affordable, quality health care.

Taking the Pulse of Main Street: Small Businesses, Health Insurance and Priorities for Reform is based on a survey of 1,200 small businesses in 12 states -- with nearly 200 respondents from Washington and more than half of those from Eastern Washington. In Washington, 94 percent of small-business owners surveyed considered the affordability of premiums, co-pays and deductibles "very important," while 82 percent said the same about coverage for all necessary medical services, according to the report. Ana Ochoa, who owns La Estrellita, a Pasco children's clothing store, said her husband had to get a second job that provided health coverage for their family, which includes six children. But the coverage still doesn't cover many medical costs for her 5-year-old son who suffers from a disorder that causes medical problems like seizures. The family pays more than $7,000 yearly on his medical costs, Ochoa estimated

"And that's just one of my kids," Ochoa said. "If they do put (health insurance) out there, make sure it's worth it and it's affordable. You want it within reach." One-third of survey respondents said they offered health coverage to employees, and 81 percent of small employers with coverage estimated they pay 5 percent to 10 percent or more of payroll for health insurance, the report said. "We as small-business owners, we're the engines that drive this economy. But the health care crisis is driving us into the ground," Giarde said. "The country is looking to small businesses to create jobs and help revitalize our economy. We need a real health care fix to fulfill that promise."

Twenty-six percent of Washington survey respondents said they'd be willing to contribute 4 percent to 7 percent of payroll to quality health coverage, while 29 percent said they'd contribute 1 percent to 3 percent of payroll. Twenty percent said they wouldn't contribute, according to the report. "We are willing to contribute to health care, but we can't go it alone," Giarde said. In Washington, 54 percent of small-business owners surveyed said they supported a public alternative to private coverage, while 30 percent wanted the creation of more private plans.

A majority of state respondents also supported more public oversight of private insurers and believed government should play a strong role in health care, the report said. "For all that we've done in this country," Knuth said, "we can go to the moon but we can't figure out how to make health care work."

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Welcome to All-Type Insurance

All-Type Insurance & Financial Services is an independent insurance and financial agency that provides comprehensive coverage in property and casualty, life, health (including group services) and financial products, notably 401ks, IRAs, retirement planning, rollovers, and college funding to individuals, businesses and institutions in Texas.

Between them, our principal officers and professional staff have over 60 years of professional insurance and financial experience. We are proud of our professionalism and constantly seek to upgrade, improve and enhance our knowhow and skills, to better serve our customers.

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