Saturday, 3 December 2016

Affordable Online MBA Programs in 2016 | Help

This is the final article in a series on affordable online education. We previously covered specifically online colleges and various degree programs, including online bachelor’s and master’s degrees

If you missed the other articles in this series, you can navigate to each of them here: most affordable online colleges, affordable online bachelor’s degree programs, and affordable online master’s degree programs.

Getting a Quality MBA Online 

A master’s in business administration (MBA) is traditionally one of the most sought-after graduate degrees by online and traditional students alike. That still holds true in 2016, according to a study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. MBA programs help students expand their skills and gain practical knowledge they’ll be able to put to use in the business world. 

Several well-known colleges offer affordable online MBA programs, each with different specialties. All programs start out with some general business classes and then allow students to specialize in areas like management, marketing, finance, and more.

Deciding on an online MBA program should entail some careful consideration. You want a program that has a solid reputation — and you also need to actually learn something to apply to your career. Besides the cost, there are other obvious things to consider. When we we built our list of affordable online MBA programs, we chose to highlight the best online MBA programs for the money, not just the schools that have the lowest tuition. 

The five best online colleges for affordable MBA degrees

  1. University of North Dakota 
  2. West Texas A&M University 
  3. Mississippi State University 
  4. University of South Dakota 
  5. Arkansas State University—Jonesboro 

A Look at the Best 

University of North Dakota 

 The University of North Dakota offers one of the most inexpensive MBAs around at just $286 per credit, even for out-of-state students. To put that in perspective, that’s less than a fourth of the cost of many other lower-ranked MBAs. It’s also a quality program, ranked 32nd in the nation for online MBAs by U.S. News & World Report, with particularly strong faculty credentials and selective admissions. 
The two-year interdisciplinary program includes one live webinar per week, and students can choose to concentrate in international business. The curriculum tackles core skills including problem-solving and decision-making for planning, organizing, and operating a business.

West Texas A&M University 

West Texas A&M University cracks the list of the best cheap online MBA degree programs by delivering a nationally ranked, exceptionally flexible program for only $328 per credit for out-of-state students. Texas residents pay even less, at $298 per credit. 
This online program is tied at 32nd in the nation with the University of North Dakota, according to U.S. News & World Report, showing very high scores in most assessed categories, including faculty credentials and student engagement. 
Like most of the best online MBA programs, the one at West Texas A&M delivers a set of required core courses designed to provide broad-based training in practical business skills. Once core courses are complete, you have the option to select one of four degree concentrations or follow a general business path that enables you to choose elective courses that match your unique career goals. 

Mississippi State University 

Mississippi State University’s online MBA degree costs a little bit more to earn at $392 per credit for in- and out-of-state students, but that’s still very inexpensive compared to competitors. It’s also a top-20 online program, according to U.S. News & World Report, rating particularly well for selectivity and faculty credentials. 

Students can opt for a general MBA that emphasizes management, marketing, finance, economics, business information systems, and quantitative analysis. There’s also an MBA in project management aimed at students in technical fields that requires nine hours of industrial engineering coursework along with MBA credits. A minor in business information systems is also available. 

University of South Dakota 

The University of South Dakota is a solid choice if you’re looking for an affordable online MBA program at a school with a strong reputation for quality and rigor in business education. The program costs $415 per credit and admission is very selective. U.S. News & World Report ranks the program as one of the top 15 most selective online MBA program in the country, with an overall rank of 41st. 
University of South Dakota students have a few MBA degree options. The first delivers a standard MBA curriculum with a general management focus. Students learn managerial skills utilized in all areas of business operations to prepare for executive-level leadership positions in industry and government. 
The second option prepares students for careers in health administration working in hospitals, medical facilities, and healthcare organizations. The curriculum is designed to deliver balanced training that covers health services, management, and practical business skills. 
The third option emphasizes business analytics, building problem-solving abilities and data skills in operations management, sales, marketing, finance, and economics. 

Arkansas State University—Jonesboro 

Arkansas State University—Jonesboro’s online MBA program easily stands as one of the best cheap online MBA programs anywhere. For $480 per credit, students get to engage in a program that delivers the top online MBA faculty in the nation as ranked in a 2015 survey of online MBA programs by U.S. News & World Report. 
The program is ranked an impressive 12th overall among online programs — and tuition is roughly a third of the cost of degrees at several similarly ranked schools. The Jonesboro online MBA program offers two study options. The standard MBA program delivers a broad-based curriculum with special focus on leadership, business ethics, and technology. The second study option delivers focused training in supply chain management and logistics to prepare students for work in firms that operate on a global scale. Students who pursue this option begin with the same core courses that all students take.

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Thursday, 1 December 2016

Total Cost of Health Insurance UAE

Planning your health insurance 

In today’s times of rising medical costs and lifestyle related illnesses, a medical emergency can happen to anyone at anytime,

significantly impacting the individual both financially and emotionally. Therefore, it is wise to invest in a health insurance plan early on in life. Before zeroing-in on a plan, one has to consider the total cost of health insurance in Dubai. The premium is the most important component in overall cost, but other aspects have to be taken into account as well.
The major components of a medical policy that influence the cost of health insurance in Dubai are 
  • Premium

The fixed amount that you pay to purchase a health insurance policy irrespective of whether you receive medical treatment or not. The amount is charged on a yearly basis and doesn’t change whether the policy is acquired through a broker or from the insurance company directly. 
  • Deductible

It is your share of medical expenses that must be paid before the insurance company starts paying. For example, let’s suppose that you have a health plan with a AED 50 deductible. If you go for a consultation and the cost of the visit turns out to be AED 300, you’d have to pay AED 50 and the insurance company would pay AED 250. 

Deductibles are not applicable to every type of treatment. Certain treatments, especially in-patient ones, are covered in full which means that you wouldn’t have to pay anything out of pocket. The deductible amounts can vary between AED 25 and AED 75. Plans that have higher deductibles will generally be less expensive. The deductible amount will therefore influence the total cost of your health insurance policy. 
  • Coinsurance

This is similar to deductibles, but your share of medical expenses are represented as a percentage of the cost. For example, if your policy specifies 10% coinsurance for maternity, and you have a bill of AED 1,000 for a consultation, then you must pay AED 100 and the insurance company will cover the rest. Coinsurance amounts are usually higher for prescription medications. As is the case with deductibles, the lower the coinsurance amounts, the more expensive the policy. When purchasing a policy, you have to take into account how coinsurance amounts would influence the total cost.
  • Expenses resulting from exclusions

Most health insurance policies have a long list of exclusions. It is imperative that you become familiar with theses exclusions to avoid unpleasant surprises. Hair loss for example is generally not covered. This means that if you go to dermatologist for a consultation about hair loss, the cost will be completely borne by you. To keep the total cost of your health insurance policy at bay, make sure that you stay away from excluded treatments that are not medically required.

Choosing a plan that suits your needs 

The health insurance plans that may suit your colleagues or friends could not be the right fit for you. So before opting for the policies that they’ve purchased, take a step back to think about what your specific needs. 
Here are a few of the key factors that you should consider while making this decision: 
Do you want a basic coverage health insurance policy or a comprehensive plan? 
Basic healthcare plans only have the minimum benefits required by the Dubai Health Authority. The deductibles are higher for these plans but the premium are generally much lower. However, for most Essential Benefits Plans, the applicant must have a salary of AED 4,000 or lower.

  • Deductible vs. Coinsurance – which should you opt for? 
The main differences between the two is how your share of medical costs would be calculated (fixed amount vs. percentage). Healthcare insurance plans may offer either only one of these or a combination of the two for different depending on the policy. Your decision to go for either or should depend on whether you think you’ll be using your policy for more expensive treatments or not. 
  • How much are you willing to spend on a health insurance policy? 
It is important to balance-out the cost and the comprehensiveness of the policy you purchase. Try to figure out how much you might spend on excluded treatments and accordingly decide how extensive your coverage should be (of course, it would be difficult to factor in emergency treatments as they are not possible to predict). You also have to consider whether you’ll have to add your spouse and children onto the plan. 

  • Are the doctors and hospitals you usually go to in the network? 
Insurance companies will provide you with a list of medical facilities that you can access without having to pay out of pocket depending on the plan that you choose. Make sure that you choose a policy that has all (or most) of the healthcare providers that you usually use. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay for the consultation or treatment and get reimbursed. It usually takes a few weeks to do so and you end up getting back around 80% of your money back. 
  • Do you need a plan that has worldwide coverage? 
If you are a frequent traveler you need to ensure that your plan covers you in all geographic locations that you are usually in to make sure that you get reimbursed for the medical costs that you incur. Some policies also offer direct billing facilities abroad. So remember, it is very important to take some time time to evaluate not only the healthcare plans available, but also your own needs. You can contact one of our insurance consultants or use our comparison platform to make an informed decision. Medical emergencies are not in your control, but a smart choice early on, can help you be prepared for one. 

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What You Need to Know When Buying Life Insurance

There are two basic types of life insurance: term and permanent.

The fundamental difference is right there in the name

Term life insurance is only in force during a set period or “term,” while permanent life insurance is yours for your entire life. So why doesn’t everyone just get permanent? Because it’s much more expensive — 10 times more than term, on average. The higher cost makes sense, since the insurance company knows it will be paying out eventually (whereas with term, there’s a good chance you’ll outlive the policy and cost the company next to nothing). However, it also means that most people can’t afford permanent life. 

For most people, term is the way to go. 

Term life insurance is way simpler than permanent. You pay a (much lower) premium for a set period of protection, which typically coincides with your prime working years. You can think of it as insurance on the income you haven’t yet earned. The advantage is pretty obvious: You can guard against uncertainty by securing a large death benefit for relatively little money. And if you invest the money you save by not going with a permanent insurance policy, you can wind up with more cash at the end of your life than a permanent policy would’ve paid anyway (of course, the tricky thing is actually putting aside that difference rather than spending it). 

But even if you don’t invest the balance of what you’d pay for a permanent policy, term life insurance still offers a ton of value by safeguarding your dependents when they’re most vulnerable. You can buy a 20- or 30-year term policy with the expectation that your kids will be able to provide for themselves by its end, and when you and your partner will also hopefully be reaping the rewards of prudent investing, not to mention Social Security and pensions. Sure, your term policy has no value once it expires, but that’s OK — you were paying for the protection.

But there are some cases when permanent makes sense. 

Life insurance is all about covering need, and in some cases the need for it lasts your entire life. One example is for those with special-needs children who will always require care. Permanent life insurance also makes sense if you’ve built up enough wealth that your heirs will need to pay an estate tax — this year, that bar is set at $5.45 million. Life insurance death benefits are not subject to income tax, so if you get a permanent policy, you’ll know that your heirs will have cash-on-hand to pay the estate tax. This may make even more sense if the majority of your wealth is in property or other non-liquid assets.

Permanent life insurance should never be purchased as an investment for the policyholder. 

The value of life insurance is in the death benefit, but insurance companies realized they could sell more of it (and justify higher prices) if people believed it was a sound investment not only for their dependents, but also for themselves as well. As a result, permanent life policies come with a cash-savings feature that you can access during your lifetime. A portion of each premium you pay goes into the “cash value,” which earns interest over time based on how the company invests it. It sounds good, but the returns are generally low because insurance companies are obligated to invest mostly in safe, low-yield securities like bonds.There are also limits on how you can use the cash value in your policy. 
You can apply it to future premiums or use it to purchase more death benefits, but you can never allow it to run out completely — that will cancel your policy. You can also take out a loan based on your cash value, but if you do, you’ll need to repay it with interest — even though you’re the one who funded the account in the first place! 
As a rough example, imagine you buy a permanent life insurance policy with a $500,000 death benefit at age 55. If you leave the cash value untouched, after 30 years it might be worth in the neighborhood of $250,000. You could cash that out (and cancel the policy), but your investment wouldn’t have generated as much return as it would have in, say, an index fund. However, if you keep the policy active, the death benefit for your heirs might be double what you put in.

“Permanent life insurance is rarely a good investment for the policyholder. However, it can be a very good investment for their heirs.” 

Paul Puckett 

Independent Life Insurance Agent & Investment Advisor Representative 

Your health and age at the start of the policy are the biggest factors in determining your premiums. 

The formulas life insurance companies use to set premiums are incredibly sophisticated, but they’re all designed to gauge life expectancy, which means age and physical health are the primary factors. However, your physical health is only actually measured once, via that medical exam when you first apply for coverage. The insurance company then uses population data to project your average risk of dying over the course of the policy (and sets your premiums accordingly). 
This means that the younger and healthier you are at the start of the policy, the lower your premiums will be. It’s also why guaranteed renewability and a guaranteed conversion option are so important, because they too rely on that initial health picture, which is most likely the healthiest you’ll be at any time during your coverage. The following table shows how age and smoking affect monthly premiums, based on a 20-year term policy with a $100,000 death benefit (I excluded Lincoln Financial because it requires a minimum death benefit of $250,000). 
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Sunday, 27 November 2016

How to Use This Debt Calculator

This calculator is set up to help you get a handle on all of your debt. There are three main parts:

Understand Your Total Debt

First,enter your debt balances, interest rates, and the monthly payments you’re making, and hit “calculate.” Add as many accounts as you need by clicking “add debt” below each module. The calculator will show you how much interest you’ll pay overall and when you’ll pay off each account if you stick to your current payment plan. 

Use the Sliders to See What Happens When You Pay a Little Extra 

 Next is where you can play around a bit and create a plan to tackle your debt. Use the sliders to see how paying even a little extra each month can drastically hasten your payoff date and reduce the total interest you’ll pay over time. You can also select a desired payoff date and see what kind of monthly payments you’d need to make to be debt-free by that time.

Compare Your Current Approach to Your Accelerated Debt Payoff Plan 

When you’re done tweaking numbers, check out the two summary tables below each debt, which give you a side-by-side comparison of the approaches. The table on the left tells you how much your debt will cost you and when you will pay it off if you stay on your current payment schedule. The table on the right takes into consideration the extra payments you used with the slider tool to show you how much your accelerated payoff plan can save you, and when you can realistically be free from that debt.

When Does a Balance Transfer Credit Card Make Sense? 

A powerful tool that some people may be able take advantage of is a 0% balance transfer credit card. This type of credit card lets you transfer a portion of your high-interest balance and take advantage of a 0% interest offer for a specific period of time, usually 12 to 18 months. If you qualify, you can eliminate interest while paying off your debt, which can help you make progress more quickly. 
If you primarily have credit card debt, use the calculator above to see if you could feasibly pay off your balance in 18 months or less if the interest rate were zero — as it would be during an 18-month introductory period. If you can make those payments without adding new charges to your card in that time, you won’t incur any interest charges and you’ll eliminate that high-interest debt! But once that introductory period is over, the interest rate will shoot upward again.

What Are My Other Options for Getting Out of Debt? 

If your debt is too overwhelming to take on without outside help, you have other options. We’ll present the most common below, but keep in mind that these methods have downsides — sometimes significant ones — that should make them a last resort for most people.

Debt Consolidation 

With debt consolidation, you take out a single, bigger loan at a lower interest rate and use it to pay off your existing smaller debts. This has several advantages. Chief among them: A longer-term, lower-rate loan can dramatically lower the total amount you pay each month, giving you some financial breathing room. It’s also easier to stay on top of one payment instead of several, keeping you organized and more likely to pay on time. Finally, you’ll still be paying everything you owe, so your credit won’t take a hit. 
Unfortunately, you’ll be able to get a lower payment because you’re simply spreading out the pain of paying off your debt for a long time — sometimes a very long time. That means more time for interest to accumulate, leaving you with a bigger total bill. Debt consolidation can also be especially risky for those who overspent their way into debt in the first place. If you suddenly have extra room in your budget, it’s tempting to fall back into bad habits and start accumulating more debt. 

Debt Managemen 

With debt management, you sign up with a company that pays off your debts for you with money you deposit into a special account. The company attempts to negotiate lower interest rates or payments with your creditors, but you’ll still ultimately owe the same amount. 
The chief benefits here are the same as with debt consolidation: You pay less every month and you’re better able to stay organized. Also, signing on for debt management may give you some relief from constant calls and letters from creditors. 
Debt management plans can take several years to finish, however, and it’s common for participants to drop out. You’re also trusting a company in a very precarious financial situation, and your credit can suffer if they ever flub a payment. You’ll usually be prohibited from opening any new credit accounts while you’re signed up. Finally, perhaps the biggest downside is that you’re paying someone to do something you can do yourself — there’s nothing to stop you from trying to negotiate with your creditors on your own.

Debt Settlement 

With debt settlement, you also sign up with a company that negotiates with your creditors on your behalf, and pays back your debt with money you deposit into a special account. The major difference is that the debt settlement company tries to reduce the principal, or overall amount you owe, instead of simply trying to lower your payments or interest rate. You’ll need to show significant financial hardship to qualify for a settlement program. 

Debt settlement has one main advantage (ultimately paying back less than you owe) but a whole lot of disadvantages. First, you will pay a significant percentage of the money the company saves you in fees — and you’ll probably be on the hook for taxes on forgiven debt, too. Next, you will need to save enough money to begin settlement, which could take away from money you need to stay afloat with your debts. Finally, if your debt is marked as “settled” on your credit report, that can make future creditors less likely to take a chance on you.


If you’re considering something as drastic as debt settlement, bankruptcy may be on your radar, too. There are two main options: Chapter 7, which essentially blasts away your unsecured debts, and Chapter 13, which puts you on a payment plan for several years. Your assets and income will dictate which kind of bankruptcy you can file. To learn more about the difference, see our article on Seven Things to Know When Filing for Bankruptcy. 

The biggest advantage of bankruptcy is that it can mean a fresh start. In the case of Chapter 7, you can even be free of crushing debts in as little as a few months. Collection calls and letters will stop. And depending on your situation and the type of bankruptcy you file, you may not lose property or other significant assets. However, bankruptcy exacts a high toll: It will stay on your credit report for up to a decade, which can make it very hard to get a loan, buy a house, or simply get a new credit card. Landlords and future employers may consider bankruptcy a black mark when you’re looking for an apartment or a job. And bankruptcy may not wipe your slate completely clean if you owe student loans, back taxes, or other non-dischargeable debts.

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Thursday, 24 November 2016

How to know what your insurance covers in the UAE

As an expat, it can take some time to get used to the extreme weather conditions in the UAE.

However, good career prospects, tax free income and a better quality of life more than compensate for the harsh climate. The UAE’s superior standard of living is also reflected in its world class healthcare facilities. Naturally, top of the line medical care is often expensive. To make sure that healthcare costs don’t get the best of you, take your time in selecting a comprehensive insurance policy.
There is a plethora of policies available in the market but one has to always consider various factors to ensure that the policy provides the most comprehensive and relevant benefits. Many insurance companies offer basic insurance policies, but such plans do not cover a host of common medical issues. An ideal insurance plan offers an extensive area of coverage, a wide network of hospitals and medical centers, efficient customer service and convenient claim settlement when treatment is received outside the network.
Understanding health insurance plans can be a nuisance. Most people don’t know where to look or who to consult for information on available healthcare products. Here are a few important things that you must consider before choosing an insurance policy for you and your family.

1. General aspects of coverage 

The maximum coverage limit of an insurance policy is the overall amount that an insurer will pay for all of the medical expenses incurred by a member during the policy period (usually a year).
The area of cover refers to the geographical coverage of the policy (i.e. the countries in which you are covered under your policy).
The coverage amount and area of cover are two important factors that impact the premium that you will have to pay for your insurance plan. Another important detail to look into is whether the policy covers pre-existing conditions. For instance, if you have a pre-existing heart condition, would a cardiac surgery or angiography be covered by your plan or not?

2. Medical Network 

Make sure that all major hospitals and medical providers that you normally go to, especially the ones closer to your residence, are part of the insurance provider’s network. Furthermore, it would be a good idea to ensure that the medical facilities in the network provide the types of treatments that you are most interested in (you can look at the specialties available at each of the facilities). 

3. Benefits 

One should also look at the list of benefits provided. Note that a policy may or may not have a sub-limit for specific benefits. In addition to the usual benefits, some policies offer extra covers such as dental, optical and wellness benefits. These optional benefits can often be availed by paying an extra premium. 

4. Deductibles and co-insurance 

Deductibles and co-payments are also important factors that should be considered. A deductible is the fixed amount that you have to pay from your pocket for a covered treatment (your share of the medical costs). It can range from AED 20 to AED 75 per treatment or consultation and is usually applicable for out-patient treatments.
Co-payment or co-insurance is the percentage of the total cost that has to be paid by you for a covered treatment.For example, if the maternity benefit is covered with 10% co-insurance, then you will have to bear 10% of the maternity treatment cost and the insurer will cover the remaining 90% of the cost. 

5. Exclusions 

Just like there are treatments or conditions which are included in your plan, there are certain exclusions or excluded treatments in the plan as well. Exclusions are the medical conditions or treatments that will not be covered by the insurer for your chosen plan.
No plan is completely comprehensive; thus, every plan will have a long list of specific conditions which are excluded. Some common exclusions are obesity, hair loss, cosmetic surgery, infertility, HIV or AIDS, vision correction, allergy testing, epidemics, etc.

6. Claim settlement 

Another important component to be considered by the insured is the claims settlement procedure. Generally, the insurer provides direct-billing facilities for both in-patient and out-patient treatments. For out-of-network treatments, you can apply for reimbursement of the expenses incurred. 
This is not a major concern if you are dealing with a small claim but it can obviously cause serious financial burdens if you have to pay out of pocket for a significant treatment or surgery. You should also note that if you opt for treatment outside the insurer’s network, the insurer might not reimburse you 100% of the healthcare costs. 

7. Premium 

A standard insurance policy from a good health insurance provider can cost anywhere between AED 1,500 to AED 10,000 depending on the coverage amount, area of coverage, age and gender of the insured, and the network selected. However, there are other factors that could affect the price of an insurance policy such as chronic and pre-existing conditions. 

8. International Validity 

If you have a job that requires you to travel outside the UAE frequently, you must ensure that coverage travels with you. Choose a plan that has international coverage to avoid coughing up large sums of money if you need medical attention while on a trip.
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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Tips for Choosing a Mesothelioma Lawyer

Did you know that more than $30 billion has been set aside for victims of mesothelioma and asbestos related diseases?

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed, contact our team immediately for a free legal consultation by calling toll-free: 855-993-5502 Since most mesothelioma cases are caused by occupational exposure to asbestos, they may have been prevented had anyone warned the workers about the hazards of this material or provided them with proper safety gear.

Therefore, liability can sometimes be attached to diagnoses of asbestos disease. People who are diagnosed with mesothelioma – which usually claims the lives of patients within two years, if not much sooner – may feel that pursuing a case against the company or companies whose negligence contributed to their disease is worthwhile. Since asbestos awards can sometimes be substantial, it’s understandable that they and their families decide to file suits.
If you are among those individuals whose lives have been devastated by a mesothelioma diagnosis, and who want to explore legal options for compensation, it’s important that you do some research and choose the right attorney to handle your case.

Choose a mesothelioma lawyer with whom you feel comfortable working.

Asbestos cases can take some time, and you will be in frequent contact with not only your attorney, but also their paralegals, administrative team, and other employees. You will be building a relationship based on trust, understanding and respect.

Find a mesothelioma attorney who has experience in litigating asbestos cancer related cases.

Although any lawyer could conceivably help you, these cases can be technical and complicated. You may feel more comfortable if you have someone on your side who really knows the ropes, and who can avoid any hurdles which will be put in place by the defense’s legal team.

Find out how many of your potential mesothelioma attorney’s cases were settled out of court,

versus how many actually went to trial. There may be advantages to both approaches; you may be more interested in getting compensation as quickly as possible, in which case a settlement may be the goal. Some people prefer to see their lawsuit go to trial, however, and have it heard in front of a jury, both in order to increase the potential amount of damages, and to “have their day in court.” 

Evaluate their track record when choosing a mesothelioma attorney.

You want the best possible lawyer for you, that you can find: experience and success may factor into that. However, keep in mind that there are no guarantees in trials and that each case is different. The success of a mesothelioma law firm on a particular case is not an indicator as to how your specific case will end. An attorney that has a solid record of successful trials and settlements may be a clear choice for you, provided that all the other requirements are also met. This does not necessarily mean, however, that a lawyer who has lost cases should be dismissed out of hand. The law is a tricky business, and there are many variables that go into a court case, including the jury, the opposing attorney, and the facts and evidence that are presented. Take a look at the big picture of your attorney’s career, not any one case which he or she has won or lost.

Learn if the attorney will handle the case personally,

or has the ability to turn it over to someone else who may be in a better position to handle your case based upon the facts. Some firms are very large, so the resources are there to prosecute your claims to the fullest. Be certain that they assigning cases to smaller teams of attorneys and staff or you may not get the personal service that you thought you would be receiving. This smaller team approach provides the personal touch of the small firm and the powerful resources of a large firm. If the case needs to be filed in a state where your attorney does not practice, it may be in your best interest to be with a larger firm so they can hand over the reins to someone in the firm, or associated with the firm, who is licensed to practice there.

How payment is handled 

may be another crucial element which should be discussed before you agree to hire an attorney for your mesothelioma lawsuit. As in other personal injury cases, the attorney may agree to take your case on a contingency basis, which simply means that they only get paid on the contingency that they recovery money on your behalf. The attorney’s fees, in this case, are a percentage of the recovery – typically about 40 percent – whether the case goes to trial or is settled out-of-court. Nevertheless, the financial arrangement may be discussed before entering into an agreement. An attorney who is preparing a case may incur many expenses, including but not limited to the costs of travel, research, hiring expert witnesses and acquiring depositions.

Will your claim be a part of a bundled suit, or pursued on an individual level?

Since there may be a large number of asbestos-related lawsuits filed in the same court, there is a chance that your claim may be bundled with others for discovery and trial; this is not a class-action lawsuit. Or your lawyer may feel it is more advantageous to pursue your case on an individual level. Again, there are pros and cons to each of these approaches – if your lawyer feels your claim is not as strong as it could be, a bundled suit may help you, while your particularly strong claim may be weakened or strengthened by adding others’ cases to it – and you may want to discuss the options with the attorney before you agree to anything.

Trust your instincts.

No matter how good an attorney may look on paper, if you don’t feel that they are the right attorney to handle your mesothelioma case, you can move on and find someone with whom you can build a strong working relationship. Cited From: 

Tips for Choosing a Mesothelioma Lawyer
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Saturday, 19 November 2016

Why Donate to Goodwill Car Donation? Help

When you give away your vehicle to Goodwill, you enjoy all kinds of benefits in the process, such as

  • We take care of hauling away your car 
  • You free space at your property 
  • We send you a tax receipt in the mail 
  • And you get the joy that comes from helping those who need it 
On your end, the process takes mere minutes! 

When you donate your old vehicle, you essentially enable us to provide vital job training, life skills, and employment prospects to hundreds of thousands of needy individuals.
What, to you, might just be an old beater that you haven’t had time to deal with, to someone else, could make all the difference in being able to start a new life.

What Happens to Your Car or Truck 

After we pick up your donated vehicle, we auction it for sale, depending on what sort of condition it’s in when we receive it. Then, we take the resulting funds and invest them directly into local community programs that help local members of YOUR community in YOUR area. We’ll also send you a tax receipt in the mail a few days later. Then, you’re free to cancel any insurance and/or registration details that apply.

What Vehicles We’ll Accept For Donation 

Simply put, we take many kinds of vehicles, whether or not they are in working condition.

Feel free to give us your running or non-running cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, motorcycles, motor homes, campers, riding lawn mowers, airplanes, jet skis, boats and more!

Because we can generate funds from any of these vehicles, we’re more than happy to take them off your hands and reinvest them in the community.

The Tax Benefits of Giving Away a Vehicle 

At Goodwill Car Donation, we strive to get you top tax benefits for your donation, so just a few days after we pick up your car or truck; we send you a receipt you can use on your annual taxes when they’re due. 

Because tax rules vary from state to state, benefits also vary — check with the IRS or call us directly to learn more about the rules in your area.

When it comes to convenience, tax benefits and a chance to make a real difference, there’s no better way to get rid of old cars, trucks and SUVs than by choosing to donate a vehicle to charity.

Call us at 1-866-233-8586 or fill out our online donation form to start the process, and we’ll set up a time to pick up your vehicle at no cost to you! Let’s make a difference together!

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Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Best Car Insurance Company for Customer Service and Interaction

State Farm is the largest car insurance company in the nation, per Insurance Journal in 2016. Fortunately, it’s also one of the best — especially when it comes to the customer service experience.

In 2015, State Farm received high praise from J.D. Power for its service interaction and claims handling. And of all the insured drivers I 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 Pocket Agent 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.


  • Superior claims handling: No other insurer makes it easier to file a claim — a fact corroborated by its high service rating, 18,000 agents nationwide, and excellent mobile app. Sure, most other auto insurers offer the basic trifecta of phone, app, and email contact to agents, but State Farm’s is the easiest to use by far.
  • Great financial standing: State Farm has an A.M. Best outlook of stable, and a “Superior” overall rating — the highest given.
  • Best online quote tool: Out of all the competition, State Farm has the simplest online quote tool. In less than five minutes, it’ll guide you completely through the process, replete with thorough examples of coverage options.


  • Missing a few common driver discounts: Like Amica, State Farm lacks two extremely common discounts: pay-in-full, and automatic pay. These two discounts don’t save a ton of money, but are definitely nice options to have — and are offered by my third pick, The Hartford.
  • Lacks a couple of important coverages: Unlike its competitors, State Farm doesn’t offer stacked uninsured motorist or new car replacement coverages. That could be a deal breaker for someone who lives in a state with an incredibly high rate of uninsured drivers.

    The Hartford: Best Car Insurance Company for Policy Options

    The Hartford is only the nation’s 11th largest insurer, but it still packs a punch. In fact, it had the highest score in my 12-category feature evaluation (92 out of 100). It also 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) and was the only insurer to score a perfect 100 in my vehicle-discount evaluation.


    • Mechanical breakdown coverage: Mechanical breakdown insurance helps cover the cost of repairs that aren’t covered by your car’s warranty. The Hartford is the only one of my top picks that includes this coverage.
    • Useful policy benefits: The company provides not only a solid set of coverages, but also a great selection of policy benefits. For instance, frequent travelers will appreciate The Hartford’s towing and roadside assistance programs.
    • Excellent purchase experience: The Hartford is one of two national providers to receive a perfect “Overall Purchase Experience” score from J.D. Power.


    • Less-than-average claims satisfaction: The Hartford received a perfect score in my claims management evaluation, but according to J.D. Power, customers are still less than satisfied — it received only a 2-star rating for service interaction.
    • Fewest online educational resources: The Hartford offers the fewest online learning materials among this field of competitors.

    USAA: Best Car Insurance Company for Members of the Military

    Throughout my research, I found that the company’s stellar reputation holds true. If you are a member of the US armed forces, or are related to one, there is no better option than USAA.
    It is one of the three highest-rated automotive insurers in the country. The only downside is its limited availability: USAA only services the immediate families of active and former members of the military. Given those restrictions, the quote process is a bit more intense compared to its competitors, but that’s a small price to pay for its exemplary service.


    • Rated no. 1 nationally for purchase experience: USAA received the only perfect score in J.D. Power’s 2016 report.
    • Solid financial stability: A.M. Best gives USAA the highest possible stability rating: “Superior.”


    • Membership restrictions: USAA is only available to members of the military and their immediate family. 
    • Missing three key vehicle coverages: USAA doesn’t offer GAP insurance, interior vehicle coverage, or new car replacement coverage.

    Other Car Insurance Companies to Consider


    Progressive is worth noting due to its variety of discounts and special coverages that could shave a decent amount of green off your monthly bill. For example, the Snapshot tool allows Progressive to reward you based upon your driving habits. Have an anti-theft device? There’s a discount for that too.
    The company also offers pet injury coverage — which is included with collision, and comes standard in most states. However, Progressive’s scores across the board were only average, and I couldn’t justify recommending it over my top picks. And, despite what Flo, Progressive’s famous, peppy insurance cashier, would lead you to believe, its mobile apps ratings average out to just under 3 out of 5 stars.

    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, but didn’t make it into my top four recommendations due to limited availability — it only serves residents in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and certain parts of DC. 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 particularly comprehensive coverage options that include extras such as money toward rental cars after a crash (this is usually an add-on policy with most insurers).


    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 if you prefer talking to a human being, Auto-Owners is a great choice. The company also scored a nearly perfect score in J.D. Power’s 2015 satisfaction report, falling short only in the realm of its rental car experience.
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Saturday, 12 November 2016

The Best Auto Insurers Companies of 2016

The best auto insurers offer more than just a low price.

The best auto insurance companies have more than just competitive prices; they also offer versatile coverage options, superior customer service, a solid financial report, and an excellent shopping experience.
I researched all of those factors and discovered that only four of the nation’s biggest insurers impressed me enough that I would recommend them to family and friends.Price is the single most important factor for a lot of car insurance shoppers.

Choosing a policy based on rates alone could cost far more out of pocket when filing a claim, however. Statistically speaking, that will happen to each driver at least once every 18 years. It pays to get the right amount of coverage, whether it’s the cheapest package or not.

The Simple Dollar’s Top Picks for Best Auto Insurance Companies 

  • Best Overall: Amica 
  • Best Customer Service: State Farm 
  • Best Policy Options: The Hartford 
  • Best for Military: USAA

How I Picked the Best Car Insurance Companies

First, I conducted an in-depth analysis of 15 auto insurance providers. I gathered data on 86 different features (like a 24/7 claims center or discounts for electric vehicles), organized them into 12 categories, and scored each company on a 100-point scale. Below are the categories I used, along with the weight each one was given in the test.

Next I incorporated learnings from auto experts, insured drivers, and third-party studies into my evaluation and calculated the final scores. I organized this research into three distinct categories, which are outlined below.
  1. Claims and Price Satisfaction: I looked at J.D. Power’s 2014 Auto Claims Satisfaction Reports,’s Best Car Insurance Companies for 2014, and Consumer Reports’ 2014 Car Insurance Ratings to get a bird’s-eye view of the industry across the nation. I also conducted a survey of 100 insured drivers who had filed a claim within the past 12 months.
  2. Ease of Shopping: I applied for quotes from over 15 auto insurance companies to evaluate the shopping experience. I also considered J.D. Power’s 2014 Auto Insurance Purchase Experience Ratings, which asked customers about their personal take on local agents, call-center representatives, and websites.
  3. Financial Strength Ratings: I used A.M. Best to gauge financial stability. Any company with a “B” grade or below is considered vulnerable, so I chose companies with an “A-” or above.

The Best Car Insurance Companies of 2016 

Amica: Best Overall Car Insurance Company

Amica was the strongest company overall in my research, and ranked number two in J.D. Power’s 2015 customer satisfaction report — that means out of 11,469 surveyed drivers, it had the second highest satisfaction rating among more than 20 different companies. It also received the highest Consumer Reports rating among auto insurance providers. Consumer Reports even noted that an overwhelming number of customers reported “relatively few” problems during the claims process.


  • A high J.D. Power satisfaction rating: Amica received a perfect score in 4 out of 7 categories in J.D. Power’s 2015 auto insurance study 
  • High financial stability ratings: Amica boasts a “Superior” financial stability rating from A.M. Best, which is the highest rating available.
  • No repair facility restrictions: Unlike most every other insurer, Amica has zero restrictions on which body shop you use for repairs.
  • “Platinum Choice” coverage: Amica offers an additional tier of coverage called Platinum Choice, which costs more, but includes identity fraud monitoring, full glass coverage, prestige rental coverage, and rewards for good driving.
  • Best array of coverages: Amica offers the most driver and vehicle coverages of all my top recommendations. Its list includes GAP insurance and interior vehicle coverage, which aren’t offered by State Farm, The Hartford, or USAA.


  • Quote process is less than desirable: Whether you start online or over the phone, you will eventually wind up on the phone to get an official quote — that can tack an extra 20 to 30 minutes to the process.
  • Fewer driver discount opportunities: Amica is missing a few key driver discounts, including pre-pay, low mileage, and military discounts. Consequently, it scored only 46 out of 100 in my driver discount evaluation. 
  • Few online resources: There are a few FAQs on the site, but Amica lacks in-depth online materials to help customers get a complete grasp on their purchases without having to talk to someone. Additionally, some policy changes require direct assistance from an Amica agent, which can be time-consuming.

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