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Car Insurance

Car insurance is a necessity to keep yourself safe financially in the event that you have to file a claim. It has the potential to save you thousands of dollars in exchange for a small monthly premium. However, car insurance companies must do more than tote affordable coverage to keep up with the demands of consumers. Today’s best auto insurance companies must have high customer satisfaction scores, a straightforward claims process and better accessibility such as tools like smartphone apps. We’ve analyzed recent reports from J.D. Power, AM Best, Consumer Reports the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to bring you the top car insurance companies worth checking out.

 

1. Best overall car insurance company: Amica

Amica was the strongest company overall in our research and received the highest rating in the New England region in J.D. Power’s 2019 customer satisfaction report. The insurer also received the highest Consumer Reports rating among auto insurance providers — as it has every year since at least 1999. Consumer Reports noted that an overwhelming number of customers reported “relatively few” problems during the claims process.

Pros Cons
A high J.D. Power satisfaction rating Fewer driver discount opportunities
High financial stability ratings Few online resources
No repair facility restrictions
“Platinum Choice” coverage
Best array of coverage options
Discounts on multi-line and multi-auto policies

2. Best for customer service and interaction: State Farm

State Farm is the largest car insurance company in the nation, per the Insurance Information Institute in 2019. Fortunately, it’s also one of the best — especially when it comes to the customer service experience. In 2019, State Farm received high praise from J.D. Power for its service interaction and claims handling. And of all the insured drivers we surveyed, it received the most positive remarks by far.

It is incredibly easy to get in touch with State Farm. You can call one of the company’s 18,000 agents, go online, or even send a picture of your damaged car with your smartphone using the State Farm mobile app. Compare that to Amica, which doesn’t allow you to connect with an agent via an app, or file a claim through an agent.

State Farm also gets high marks for a pain-free shopping experience that lets prospective customers call their local agent or chat with a representative online if they have any questions.

Pros Cons
Superior claims handling Missing a few common driver discounts
Great financial standing Lacks a couple of important coverages
Best online quote tool

3. Best for discounts: Progressive

Progressive is the fourth-largest auto insurer in the U.S. and offers an impressive array of discounts and special coverages that could significantly reduce your monthly bill. For example, the Snapshot tool allows Progressive to base your rate on your driving habits. Progressive also earned an “A+ Superior” stability rating from AM Best, so the company is on solid financial footing to cover any claims.

Pros Cons
Pet injury coverage Room for improvement
Widely available discount options
Solid consumer experience

4. Best policy options: The Hartford

The Hartford is only the nation’s 11th largest insurer, but it still packs a punch. It offers a wide range of policy options and benefits, including rates based on how much you actually drive your car and a new car replacement program for cars totaled shortly after purchase.

Pros Cons
Mechanical breakdown coverage Merely average claims satisfaction
Useful policy benefits Fewest online educational resources
Excellent purchase experience

5. Best for tech-savvy consumers: Geico

We’ve all seen the ads: The gecko with the charming accent, the cavemen, the “wee” piggy and that camel who loves Wednesdays. Catchy advertising aside, what makes Geico stand out from its competitors? Like most car insurance companies, Geico advertises low rates (“15 minutes could save you 15 percent or more on your car insurance”). But what else?

According to J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, “The last decade of seemingly non-stop direct-to-consumer advertising and heavy investment into digital self-service technologies have driven roughly one-fourth of auto insurance customers to adopt direct distribution models that bypass agents in favor of do-it-yourself tools.” Geico’s response to this seems to be its very popular mobile app.

Geico is the second-largest car insurance provider in the United States. While it’s considered second-tier by Consumer Reports (listed under parent company Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group), customers rate Geico high in the categories of ease of reaching an agent, promptness of response, agent courtesy and timely payment.

Not bad in terms of customer service.

Pros Cons
Superior mobile app Doesn’t offer gap insurance
Good number of discounts Predominantly digital experience

6. Best for members of the military: USAA

Throughout our research, we found that USAA’s stellar reputation holds true. If you’re a member of the U.S. Armed Forces or you’re related to one, there is no better option. USAA is one of the three highest-rated automotive insurers in the country.

The only downside is its limited availability: Only active service members, veterans, and their families are eligible. Given those restrictions, the quote process is a bit more intense compared with its competitors, but that’s a small price to pay for its exemplary service.

Pros Cons
Flawless purchase experience Membership restrictions
Solid financial stability Missing three key vehicle coverages
Predominantly digital experience

Other car insurance companies to consider

Not all of our top picks for the best car insurance companies are available in all areas of the country, so here are some other good insurers worth checking out.

Erie Insurance

If you live in the South, Midwest or Mid-Atlantic regions, Erie Insurance is worth your consideration. Erie has consistently received high marks from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports. In 2019, Erie Insurance ranked first in the Mid-Atlantic region in J.D Power’s annual study.

The reason it didn’t make it into our top five recommendations is due to limited availability — it only serves residents of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and certain parts of the District of Columbia.

Outside of that, Erie is one of the best commercial auto insurers, offering policies that come standard with coverage for road service, lawyer fees, and loss of earnings. It also has comprehensive coverage options that include extras such as money toward rental cars after a crash — which is an add-on policy with most insurers.

Auto-Owners Insurance

Auto-Owners Insurance is available in 26 states located primarily in the South and Midwest. It uses an agent-only model that promotes customer relationships, so it’s a great choice if you prefer talking to a human being. The company also scored a nearly perfect score in J.D. Power’s 2019 satisfaction report, falling short only in the realm of its rental car experience.

Here are the states where Auto-Owners Insurance operates: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

1. That time a waitress punched her for no reason:

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2. That time she asked what an Emma Rock was:

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3. That time she claimed

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4. That time she renamed a hurricane:

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5. That time she begged for even more fans:

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6. That time she attempted to meet Chris Brown:

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7. That time she got pissed at Amanda Bynes due to the fact that she needed to go to jail and also Amanda didn’t:

That time she got pissed at Amanda Bynes due to the fact that she needed to go to jail and also Amanda didn't:

 

8. That other time she begged for even more fans:

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9. That time she asked a website to want her happy birthday celebration:

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10. That time she had slim snacks with Girl Gaga:

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11. That time she brought all her dramatization to Twitter:

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12. That time she brought all her dramatization to Twitter:

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13. No, truly. Lindsay Lohan always brought her dramatization to Twitter:

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14. Seriously, Lindsay Lohan invented messy Twitter drama:

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15. That time she clarified that her finger was duped:

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A Quick Introduction to Football Betting

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Ready to start a new side-hustle and make some extra money? With a little bit of betting knowledge, you can turn your love of football into cash. And even if you’re not a die-hard football fan, football betting is a way of making money fast.

There are a lot of ways to bet on football but this article will walk through football betting basics and the information you need to get started.

Types of Bets

There are several ways to bet on football, starting with the winner of the game. For each game, there is a favorite and an underdog. The favorite is the team that is expected to win. You will see a minus sign (-) next to the odds of that team winning the game and a plus sign (+) for the underdog team.

Betting on the underdog is riskier but could lead to a bigger profit. You can also win money by betting on the favorite.

Another way to bet is the total points that will be scored in a game. This is often called the over/under of a game. The over/under score is determined by the sportsbook. If you think both teams’ total points will be more than the amount set by the sportsbook, you bet the over. If not, you bet the under.

Point Spread

Part of betting for beginners is understanding the point spread. Let’s say the Packers are playing the Falcons and the Packers are expected to win (they are the favorite). You would see the point spread as a number with a plus or minus sign.

For example, the Packers are -7 they are expected to win by 7 or more points. If you bet on them and they win, but only by 3 points, they did not “cover the spread”, so your bet would lose. But if they win by more than 7 points you win your bet.

The point spread or “line” is subject to change but whatever the spread was when you placed your bet is used to determine if you won or lost.

Football Betting Tips

The best betting advice is to have a budget. Don’t risk losing money that you can’t afford to lose. Next, do your research. Watch football betting shows, listen to podcasts, and see what the experts recommend. You can also try buying sports picks to save time and get football bets sent directly to you.

Watching the games and understanding how different factors like where the game is or injured players affect the game will help you be a more informed gambler.

Get Started Today

Football betting could help you make some extra money this year. There are many ways to bet on games including the winner of the game or the total points scored. The point spread is the number of points a team is expected to win or lose by which is indicated by a minus or plus sign.

Being a responsible gambler means setting a budget and researching your bets before placing them. The more you know about football betting, the more likely you will make winning bets.

Searching for other articles like this one? Browse our site for business, travel, tech, real estate content, and more!

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General Dentist vs Pediatric Dentist: What’s the Difference?

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Do you remember your first trip to a dentist’s office? Maybe you remember meeting your dentist as you reclined on the chair, a bright light over your head as they scraped your teeth. If you were like most children, you were probably a little nervous.

Not many people enjoy going to the dentist. However, the process is especially intimidating for children. A dental office is full of unfamiliar sights and sounds, not to mention faces.

So, when it’s time for your child’s first dentist appointment, it helps to know the difference between general dentist vs. pediatric dentist services. These are the two primary types of dentists a child is likely to see.

How do you choose between them? If that’s what you’re wondering, you’re in luck! We’ll explore all you need to know about these types of dentists in the guide below.

What Is a General Dentist?

General dentists, or family dentists, tend to treat adults more than children. Their training pertains more to permanent teeth and the problems they face.

As such, general dentists diagnose, treat, and prevent issues that affect adult teeth. These can include overall health needs as well.

However, this isn’t to say that general dentists cannot treat children. They may be able to assist your child with any dental problems they have. Moreover, they can recommend a pediatric dentist if you don’t have one already.

But, general dentists have not received the additional training that pediatric dentists receive for treating children’s oral health. So, while they could provide essential teeth cleaning, they aren’t the best choice for general children’s oral care.

Below are some of the treatments general dentists provide:

  • Teeth cleaning
  • Root canal
  • Fillings
  • Sealants
  • Crowns and/or bridges
  • Gum disease care
  • Dental implants
  • Disease prevention
  • X-ray interpretation

As you can see, some of these services may help a child. In general, though, their emphasis lies more with adult care.

What Is a Pediatric Dentist?

A pediatric dentist has specific training to work on a child’s developing teeth and jaw. However, they also have training in children’s behavior, physical growth, and development. As such, they know how best to handle children and calm their fears.

Pediatric dentists have these skills thanks to specialized training after receiving their DMD or DDS. During this time, they undergo a post-graduate residency program for 2-3 years.

As you’d expect, these dentists have specialized knowledge on issues affecting children’s teeth. For example, they can treat problems like tooth decay or tooth placement, crowding, crooked teeth, etc.

Other common pediatric dental treatments include:

  • Teeth cleaning
  • Sealants
  • Fluoride
  • X-ray interpretation
  • Cavity fillings
  • Tooth removal
  • Fixing broken teeth
  • Addressing teeth spacing issues
  • Educating children on good oral health habits

As you can see, their specialties differ from a general dentist. They have the expertise to assist children through the critical transition from baby teeth to adult teeth.

Pediatric Dental Equipment

If you’ve ever been to the dentist, you know that sometimes dental tools cause discomfort or pain. You may wonder, “If I hate these so much, how can my child deal with them?”

Indeed, most children struggle to sit still during general dentist appointments. The reason for this is that the equipment is too big for children’s mouths, which makes them uncomfortable.

Fortunately, pediatric dentists have kid-friendly versions of most dental tools. While these don’t guarantee your child has a painless or comfortable experience, they certainly help.

Pediatric dentists have tools for children of all sizes, ranging from infancy to adolescence. As such, you won’t have to worry about the dentist using ill-fitted equipment.

Moreover, these dentists aren’t stingy with their tools. They often show parents how to use tongue cleaners or finger brushes to care for their infants’ teeth.

Pediatric Dental Office Layout

Usually, walking into a general dentist’s office feels like walking into a medical facility. They have muted colors and glossy, sterilized floors. These features can intimidate children, especially on their first visits.

However, most pediatric dentists dedicate their practice to children. As a result, their offices have starkly contrasting layouts.

Instead of the muted, professional colors of a standard dental office, these spaces often use bright colors and wall murals to make children feel at home. Some offices may even include game consoles or toys for kids to play with during waiting periods.

How to Choose a Pediatric Dentist

As you can see, a pediatric dentist is a much better choice for your child’s oral health than a standard general dentist. However, that’s not always enough information. What do you do if you must choose between multiple pediatric dental offices?

If you want to know how to choose a pediatric dentist, keep these tips in mind. First, get feedback from people who have used this dental service in the past.

These can be other parents you know or reviewers online. Ask if the dentists were efficient, the facility was clean, and how well they interacted with children.

If the offices seem well-liked by patients, see if they accept your insurance. Dental services can be pricy, so find offices whose rates fit your budget.

Next, consider if your child would like the place. After all, you know your kids better than any other adult. When you look at pictures of the office online, does it seem like a space your child would enjoy?

Finally, it could help to call the dental office and ask about your child’s needs. Do they provide the treatments she currently needs?

If so, then excellent! You may have found the best pediatric dentist for your child.

Choosing General Dentist vs Pediatric Dentist

If you were struggling between a general dentist vs pediatric dentist, we hope you’ve found an answer! Pediatric dentists offer more specialized care for children’s health. If you haven’t found a dentist yet, start your search today!

We hope you enjoyed this article! If so, check out our other content today.

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Property Problems: Can You Live In an Investment Property?

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According to some research, 7.4 million homes in the United States are classified as second homes.

If you are interested in classifying your investment property as your primary or second home, you’re not alone.

There are many people who find a way to make investment properties a residence, so keep reading to find out how!

Make It a Primary Residence

If you’re buying a home that has multiple units, then it’s your right as the owner to live in any of those units.

This is a great way to reduce the cash outlay each month, and the rent from the other units will help to offset some of the costs as well. Living and owning in your rental building is allowed by a mortgage lender.

According to the lending guidelines, when you live there, you classify the whole property as your primary residence. This gives you access to a lower mortgage rate so you can boost your rental profits.

If you live in a building that has multiple units, then you’ll have access to FHA, VA, and other mortgage loans as well.

Classify It As a Second Home

If you don’t buy something that has multiple units, then you should consider making your property a second home. You’ll have to live in it for part of the year.

You’ll also need to buy something that is within fifty miles from your current residence in order to qualify.

Some people use a second home as a vacation home or a residence for work. For it to be a second home, it also can’t qualify for a timeshare. You’ll also have to live in it at least fourteen days a year.

Declare the Change

If you already bought an investment property and now you want to make it a residence, you’ll have to get started on declaring the change.

This means that you’re no longer allowed to rent it out, but you will live in it. This means that it’s not tax-deductible anymore since it isn’t an investment property.

Some people want to buy a second home and claim it’s a second home yet still rent it out. However, this is known as fraud, and the FBI could investigate you if you find out. If you’re guilty, you’d have to pay large fines.

Contact your lender to see about switching your investment property mortgage into a residential one.

Learn More About If You Can Live in an Investment Property

These are only a few things to know about living in an investment property, but there are many more steps you need to know.

When in doubt, consult with a realtor or a financial advisor for more steps on how to legally live in your investment property.

We know that dealing with the housing market and investing can be stressful, but we’re here to help you out. If you’re interested, explore our website to find even more articles!

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