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CHUCK'S CORNER

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N.Y. HIGH CAR INSURANCE RATES?
By Chuck Wells

As you know, we pay through the nose for the privilege of living here in New York where life is worth living. But how about your car insurance rates? How do they stack up against what people pay in other states? This question has probably been bothering you for a long time.

New York has the second highest car insurance rates in the nation. Only New Jersey beats us and that is only by a few dollars. The average premium for car insurance here is about $950 for the year. Keep in mind that if you lived around New York City, you should take what you pay and triple that amount because they have more lawyers down there.

So you are probably wondering where you should move now so you can get cheap insurance. Right? Iowa has the lowest rates (half of what we pay) followed by South Dakota and Wyoming. I know some of you are city slickers who hanker for being cowboys and living out in the sticks so now is your opportunity. Move out!

If you are average (arenít we all?), you pay about 6% of your income on insurance (includes hospitalization, life, auto, and home insurance). Thatís half of what you pay for food and about a third of what you pay for your transportation. You only put about 8% into retirement.

So what do the car insurance companies make? In 2001, they paid out $112 in claims for every $100 they collected in premiums for the liability part of your policy (pays for lawsuits). The only real money they make is on their investments so if that is down, they donít make squat.

Want to see your car insurance rates go down? Move to Iowa as I only see rates going up in the future here in New York.

LADY SUES AFTER TAKING SHOWER

Alethea May, age 75, sued the owner of her apartment building in White Plains because she was scalded in her shower. The landlord said May did not open the cold water valve prior to getting in the shower so that is why she got burned. May says her daughter had notified the landlord that the shower was dispensing sporadic bursts of hot water and they did not correct the problem. The jury gave her $2.5 million. We got the bath.

DONíT DIE AT THE GYM

I go to the gym on a regular basis and it never ceases to amaze me how close people need to park to the front door so they can save a few steps before going in to run the treadmill. Anyway, a 55 year-old guy died of a heart attack while working out at his gym in Englewood, Colorado. He was probably trying to keep up with one of those heart-stopping Stairmaster machines. Iím sure they were invented by a cardiologist. After the guy dropped dead, other people who were working out less than 6 feet from the body, refused to stop their workout. That is real dedication!

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