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CHUCK'S CORNER

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CREDIT AND YOUR INSURANCE
By Chuck Wells

About 90% of insurance companies now use your credit history to determine how much you will pay for car and home insurance. Thatís right; if you have lousy credit, you are going to get lousy rates for your insurance in the future.

Most people (who have poor credit) tell me thatís not fair. After all, how they pay their bills should not influence their insurance. Well, insurance companies say there is a connection. They say that statistics show those who do not pay their bills on time, go bankrupt, have too much debt, and default on loans are bad news and will probably turn in more claims than those who have good credit. They may be right but is it fair?

If you have a perfect driving record but have poor credit, you will be paying a higher premium for car insurance. I donít agree with that. If you have an older car that does not need collision coverage, you may also pay a higher premium because insurance companies donít want people who just drive older cars as they have more claims. I donít agree with that either. Some companies will not touch you if you had an assigned risk policy because they think you are a loser.

How can you get better insurance rates?

  • Pay your bills on time and do not default on loans.
  • Do not have too many credit cards and for the ones you have, do not borrow against them for more than about 50% of the maximum available.
  • Do not apply for credit too often. Every time someone checks your credit, it reduces your credit score. If you go on line with the computer and apply for credit with a dozen different companies, your credit will not look good.

New York State Assemblyman Jose Rivera of the Bronx has introduced legislation that will prohibit insurance companies from using your credit for insurance. Good for him. I think this practice should be outlawed and insurance companies should only use your driving record and claims paid as a basis for your rates. Pretty soon you will have to give us a blood and urine sample before we can give you a car insurance rate!

AT LEAST HE CAN TYPE

The new Mayor of Chester, PA got in hot water when citizens found out who she appointed as chief assistant. Her new appointee served 9 years for beating and stabbing (17 times) an insurance agent to death on a dare when he was 14 years old. After he got out of jail, he raped a 16 year old girl and served another 3 years. The Mayor said he paid his debts to society and besides, he can type 95 words per minute.

WORRIED ABOUT YOUR HEALTH?

I get a kick out of all the health nuts out there who are consumed with what they eat and drink. Fish wasnít healthy for us but now it may prevent Alzheimerís. Butter wasnít good for us but now studies show margarine is worse. We werenít supposed to eat eggs but now it is ok. Studies at Jikei University in Tokyo found that people who concentrate on their health (no smoking, eat right, get enough sleep, etc.) had 6% higher blood pressure than those who donít care so much. Eat different foods in moderation, get some exercise, and donít listen to nutritionists or politicians. According to Chuck, that is how you will stay healthy!

POLICE DOG VIOLATES CRIMINALíS RIGHTS?

A drug dealer in Australia said his rights were violated by a police dog during his arrest. It seems that Rocky the police dog nuzzled the drug dealerís crotch during the arrest and the drug dealer thought that should be some kind of violation. Supreme Court Justice OíKeefe disagreed saying: it was merely a ďsocial gestureĒ that dogs habitually do rather than an indecent assault.

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