Insurance 
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comments

Give Local Insurance Agents A Shot

My wife wrote an article last week about how you can save money going local for balloons and flowers, but here’s another reason you might want to go local – superior service.

In working for my how to buy term life insurance post yesterday, I emailed my insurance agent, Deborah from State Farm, to get some updated quotes on term life insurance. I’ve had the need to email her on several occasions and each time her responses were usually back in minutes. She knew me as Jim Wang, a recent new customer, and not as customer #XXXXXXX in a database somewhere.

It really underscored one thing I had missed when I was with Geico and Traveler’s, personalized service with a real person.

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 Insurance 
33
comments

Researching Life Insurance

We dont have accident insurance.I’m 28 and I don’t have any life insurance. For many people, they don’t begin thinking about life insurance until they start a family and I’ll be no different. While we don’t plan on starting a family in another year or so, it’s important to learn things before you need it (before emotion and time pressure begin affecting judgment) and today I spent some time looking at life insurance.

I’m not an insurance professional and everything I wrote in this article is simply my opinion. I understand that I may have made some mistakes or misunderstood some things, so take what I write with a grain of salt. Insurance can sometimes be a confusing topic and I, like many of you, am learning it as I go along. If you do see anything inaccurate, please let me know so I can fix it!

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 Insurance 
25
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Review Your Insurance Policies Annually

Insurance SucksI hate insurance.

Actually, I take that back, I don’t hate insurance. I hate paying for insurance.

Every time I get an email from GEICO or a mailing from Traveler’s, I think about how I pay them every six months and, in the nearly ten years of driving and four years of living in this house, I’ve never filed a claim. At least with medical and dental, I get some regular checkups and routine cleanings (I hate getting a teeth cleaning but I love getting stuff for “free”). Don’t get me wrong, I’d still get insurance even if I wasn’t required to by law, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy paying for it!

So, once a year or so, I have an insurance review day. I get a little antsy and start asking for quotes from other insurance companies to see if I’m getting the best price. (Well, I’ve been more in the “or so” category, I haven’t done this in two years)

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 Taxes 
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List of Free Tax Preparation Services

I bet the first thing you thought after you screamed “Happy New Year!” was how it was now time to do your taxes. (no? me neither) Unfortunately, it’s now February and it’s time to start thinking about doing taxes! Wheee! To help you along, I wanted to outline all the free resources you have for tax preparation. By this I mean I’m listing every single way I think you can get absolutely free tax preparation based on your financial situation. Some tax prep companies offer free tax filing if your situation is simple (1040EZ, or plain 1040), the IRS offers free tax filing if your adjusted gross income was under $54,000 in 2007 (it’s through third party companies), and some other companies offer free tax preparation for their customers as a fringe benefit. I’ll try to list them all. If I miss one that you know of (one that expands on the group of eligible taxpayers, we don’t need another company that offers free tax prep for the same groups already covered below), please leave a comment or email me and I’ll add to this list.

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 The Home 
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Quoting Premiums for Combined Homeowners and Auto Insurance Coverage

So they say that getting your auto insurance and homeowners insurance with one policy underwriter and in the next week or I’ll be figuring out whether I can find a better deal than I’m getting right now. Currently my auto insurance is through Geico, my homeowners insurance is through Travelers, and while they have an agreement with each other, neither gives an additional discount because the other policy is through their partner (as confirmed by a CSR on both ends). So, my plan now is to get a quote for both auto insurance and homeowners insurance from State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, Erie Insurance, and any others I may have missed (please leave comments if you know of one I should request a quote from).

My current auto insurance premium from Geico General Insurance Company is $344.90 per six months, or $689.80 per year. My current homeowners insurance premium from St. Paul Travelers Company is $712.00 per year.

That puts my annual total for both at $1401.80, or around 116.82 per month, let’s see if any of the above listed insurance companies can beat that.


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