Zombies and Insurance – An Unlikely Duo

 

With all the buzz around the new season of AMC’s The Walking Dead, what if a literal zombie apocalypse happened tomorrow? While it’s highly unlikely that zombies will really take over, it’s good to know that insurance is there to protect you when things go wrong, like a telephone pole falling on your house or your TV getting fried by an electrical surge.

Zombie and Insurance Video

Learn more about the ways ERIE can cover you and contact an ERIE agent today.

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The 10 most affordable electric vehicles to insure

The list is based on the Mercury Insurance price for full coverage in California.

Electric vehicles have come a long way in the past four years, as the market has seen a strong growth in sales and the number of makes and models available to consumers.

Insurance cost


Mercury Insurance put together a list
 of the 10 most affordable electric vehicles to insure.

Mercury’s research and development team examined the 2017 electric vehicles available at car dealerships today or in the near future to compile a list of the most affordable vehicles to insure. The list was created based on the Mercury price for full coverage — liability, comprehensive and collision — in California.

Consumer interest increasing

“Consumer interest and intent to buy electric vehicles has increased substantially,” said Chong Gao, senior product manager, R&D for Mercury Insurance. “We put together this list to help inform your decision, because many people don’t consider what it will cost to insure a vehicle before they buy it.”

Related: Volvo to pull plug on gasoline engines

Mercury Insurance developed the list using a 30-year-old male with a clean driving record, who lives in Newport Beach, California, and travels 13,000 miles per year. The full coverage with a $500 deductible includes liability limits of $100,000 in injuries per person, $300,000 per accident, and $50,000 in property damage.

Here are the 10 most affordable 2017 all-electric vehicles to insure:

Tesla Model 3

(Photo: tesla.com video screenshot)

10. Tesla Model 3

Tesla has characterized the Model 3 as its inroad to

mass-market drivers — the base model, before options or incentives, at $35,000, will be roughly half the price of the company’s cheapest Model S, according to Bloomberg.

Related: Choosing a plug-in electric car

A blue and black 2017 BMW i3

(Photo: bmwblog.com)

8. BMW i3 (tie)


The new BMW i3 received the inaugural 2017 World Urban Car award at the New York International Auto Show, in April.

Related: Best eco-friendly cars for Earth Day 2017

A white 2017 Hyundai Ioniq electric vehicle

The 2017 Hyundai Ioniq electric vehicle is shown at the New York International Auto Show, Wednesday, March 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

8. Hyundai IONIQ Electric (tie)

The Ioniq Electric is EPA-rated at 124 miles of range from the 28-kwh battery pack that powers an 88-kilowatt (118-horsepower) electric motor.

Related: The best cars for senior drivers in 2017

Red 2017 Ford Focus electric car

(Photo: ford.com)

7. Ford Focus Electric

The Ford Focus Electric is now in its sixth model year, although it’s still sold in limited numbers and only in certain regions of the U.S. This 5-door hatchback is currently the only full battery-electric vehicle (EV) sold by Ford, as noted by CarGurus.

Related: 10 things you don’t know about electric vehicles

white 2017 Mitsubishi i-Miev

(Photo: mitsubishi-motors.com)

6. Mitsubishi i-MiEV

With a base price of less than $24,000, the i-MiEV is the least expensive electric car available in the U.S., according to Kelley Blue Book.

Related: 5 reasons why auto accidents are on the rise

2017 white & green Smart ForTwo Electric Drive car

(Photo: smartusa.com)

5. Smart ForTwo Electric Drive

The 2017 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive Cabriolet is actually the only convertible EV on the market.

The ForTwo battery is 17.6 kWh, and range is up from 68 miles to between 70 and 80. It now has a faster on-board charger, so it takes only about 3 hours to bring the battery from empty to full — twice as fast as it was before, notes CNET.

Related: Shocked! The dangers of electric vehicle charging stations

A white 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf electric car

The 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf is shown during the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

4. Volkswagen e-Golf

Now in its third year, the 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf is the first and so far only all-electric VW offered in the U.S. and Canada. The 2017 e-Golf’s range is substantially improved over previous versions. This year, VW says the e-Golf will travel up top 124 miles on a charge, according to The Car Connection.

The VW e-Golf has launched only in 10 Northeast and West Coast states, although the company says it will expand distribution in future.

Related: 20 best cars for the money in 2017

2017 Nissan Leaf electric car

(Photo: nissanusa.com)

3. Nissan Leaf

The Leaf arrives into the 2017 model year all but unchanged as Nissan prepares a redesigned second-generation model for launch at some future date, according to Green Car Reports.

With the 30-kWh pack, the Leaf gets an EPA-rated 107 miles of range. A full charge from a 240-volt Level 2 AC sources takes around 7 hours with the 3.6-kW charger, and around 6 hours with the 6.6-kW charger, according to Nissan.

Related: 20 best car insurance companies of 2016 ranked by consumers

2017 Kia Soul EV electric car

(Photo: kia.com)

2. Kia Soul EV

The 2017 Kia Soul EV offers more space for people and cargo than many other small battery-electric cars, but you can only buy it in limited regions.

The range for a fully charged Soul EV is 93 miles.

Related: 10 states with the worst drivers

2017 Fiat 500e electric car

(Photo: fiatusa.com)

1. Fiat 500e

The 500e is unchanged for 2017. The 500e is powered by an 83kW electric motor with a single-speed transmission that provides a range of 87 miles, according to Autoblog.

Original Article

7 monthly bills affected by your credit rating

Brian Acton, Credit.com Published 4:02 p.m. ET June 1, 2017 | Updated 4:02 p.m. ET June 1, 2017

You probably know your monthly bills can impact your credit, as late payments or accounts in collections can land on your credit report and bring down your credit score. But are you aware your credit score can affect the payment amount on a number of your monthly bills?

Here are seven monthly bills with payments your credit score can determine.

1. Rent payments

When you apply for a lease, your landlord might request a background check that includes your credit report. They can’t run a background check without your permission, although refusing may prevent you from moving forward with the lease.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the landlord can take adverse action if they find red flags in your credit report. This action could include denying your rental application or raising your rent higher than they would charge another applicant. The good news is they are legally required to give you written notice if they take adverse action, provide you the report they used (if you request it within 60 days) and give you the chance to dispute the information.

2. Credit cards

Consumers with good credit tend to qualify for much lower credit card interest rates than those with poor credit. Interest is applied to your credit card balance each month unless you pay it off in full within the monthly grace period. (You can go here to learn more about how credit card interest is calculated.) If you tend to carry a balance month to month, your poor credit could be costing you extra in interest.

3. Mortgages

Your mortgage payment is also directly affected by your credit. Mortgage lenders consider you a riskier borrower if you have a lower credit score. To hedge against that risk, they will charge you a higher interest rate.

4. Auto loans

Credit scores impact the interest rate lenders offer when you apply for an auto loan. While interest rates vary between lenders, having excellent credit generally results in lower interest and a lower monthly payment. Those 0% financing offers you see on car commercials usually require excellent credit.

Your credit score doesn’t generally affect federal loan payments, but if you plan on financing your education through private loans, lenders can use your credit score to determine your interest rate and fees. The worse your credit, the more interest you’ll pay on the loan.

6. Auto insurance

According to The Zebra’s State of Auto Insurance Report, there’s a correlation between credit and car insurance rates. On a national level, drivers with poor credit can pay more than twice as much as those with excellent credit for insurance. Some states have banned insurance providers from using credit scores to determine rates, but it’s a common practice in the states that allow it.

7. Homeowners insurance

Insurance companies use credit-based insurance scores to determine what you’ll pay for homeowners insurance. These scores are industry-specific and aren’t exactly the same as your credit score, but they use the information in your credit report to determine your score. The same negative marks that bring down your credit score can impact your insurance score, and affect your payment.

Given your credit’s affect on nearly every bill in your mailbox (among other things, of course), it’s important to regularly monitor your credit for errors (you can go here to learn how to dispute those), identity theft or legitimate negative items that are affecting your score. You can pull your credit reports for free each year at AnnualCreditReport.com and view your free credit report snapshot every month on Credit.com. You can generally improve your bad credit by paying down high credit card balances, shoring up accounts in delinquency and limiting new credit inquiries while your credit score rebounds.

More from Credit.com

This article originally appeared on Credit.com.

Brian Acton is a freelance writer and contributor at Credit.com. Several years ago, as he worked to pay down debt and purchase a home, Brian became interested in personal finance and credit. He has been covering these topics ever since. Brian has a BA in History from Salisbury University and an MBA from UMUC. He lives in Maryland with his wife and two dogs. More by Brian Acton

 Original Article

Keep kids safe with these 5 tips to prevent heatstroke in cars

JUL 31, 2017 | BY ROSALIE L. DONLONDENNY JACOB

Summer is a favorite time of the year for many with warm, sunny days. But it’s important to remember extremely hot summer temperatures can be dangerous and even deadly.

During periods of elevated temperature, your body must work more intensely to maintain its internal temperature of 98.6 degrees, leading to the threat of dehydration, among other things. Beyond the risks to people, extreme heat increases a number of exposures. For example, vehicles can break down if there aren’t enough fluids to keep the car cool and functional as it reacts to the increased heat.

Of the numerous risks that can occur with increased heat, a heatstroke is often overlooked. Children, especially those under a year old, are at risk because their body’s temperature rises 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s, and they’re often too young to alert others for help.

In the span of 10 minutes, a car can heat up by 20 degrees — enough to kill a child left alone in a vehicle. On July 31, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will tweet every 15 minutes for 24 hours to raise awareness about the dangers of heatstroke. You can follow the conversation through NHTSA’s Twitter page and participate using the hashtag #HeatstrokeKills.

The risks of vehicular heatstroke

Vehicular heatstroke happens when a child is left or trapped inside a car or truck. As NHTSA explains, the temperature inside a vehicle can quickly rise high enough to kill a child—even when it doesn’t feel that hot outside. Understanding how and why these tragedies happen is the key to protecting our children. In 54% of cases, the child was forgotten by the caregiver. In 28% of cases, children got into the vehicle on their own.

High body temperatures can cause permanent injury or even death. It begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees and the thermoregulatory system is overwhelmed. A core temperature of about 107 degrees is lethal.

Regardless of the temperature, heatstrokes pose a risk at any given time; they can occur in temperatures as low as 57 degrees. Heatstroke fatalities have occurred even in vehicles parked in shaded areas and when the air temperature was 80 degrees Fahrenheit or less — rolling down a window does little keep a vehicle cool.

The warning signs of a heatstroke can vary, but may include: red, hot, and moist or dry skin; no sweating; a strong rapid pulse or a slow weak pulse; a throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; being grouchy or acting strangely.

Follow these five tips from NHTSA to keep children safe from vehicular heatstroke:

Look before you lock

Get into the routine of always checking the back seats of your vehicle before you lock it and walk away. It sounds unthinkable that you’d forget your child in the back seat, but if the child is asleep and you’re distracted or in a rush to get somewhere, it does happen.

Have a gentle reminder

Keep a stuffed animal or another memento in your child’s car seat when it’s empty, and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat. Or place your phone, briefcase or purse in the back seat when traveling with your child.

Do a routine check

If someone else is driving your child, or your daily routine has been altered, always check to make sure your child has arrived safely. Set a reminder on your phone to call and check in.

Keep track of your car keys

Keep your vehicle locked and keep your keys out of reach; nearly 3 in 10 heatstroke deaths happen when an unattended child gains access to a vehicle.

If you have a newer model car that has a keyless entry, check with the vehicle’s manufacturer on ways to keep children from getting into the car unsupervised.

Act to save a life

You should act if you see a child alone in a vehicle. Call law enforcement immediately, and free the child from the vehicle to protect that child’s life. Don’t be afraid to break a window if necessary.

Original Article

Protect Your Pets from Hot Cars

by Jennifer Sonntag on July 7, 2017

To a dog, there’s nothing more exciting than going for a ride, having the window rolled down and feeling the wind in your ears. However, when the car stops and owners run a “quick” errand, what can happen to your pet is dangerous. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), hundreds of pets die in hot cars each year. Time passes faster than owners realize and car temperatures can climb to well over 115 degrees, putting your pet’s life in danger.

How fast does a car’s temperature rise? Here are some examples:

When it’s 70 degrees outside, your car’s temperature inside is 89 degrees after just 10 minutes and up to 104 degrees after a half hour. If you’re traveling with your pet on an 85 degree day, your car’s temperature is 104 degrees after 10 minutes and nearly 120 degrees after a half hour. Pets cool themselves by panting and through their skin and have a harder time cooling down in hot weather. In a hot car, heat stroke can happen in just a few minutes.

What to do if you see a pet in a hot car

Take caution when you see a pet in a hot car. If you identify a pet is in distress in a hot vehicle, the best thing to do is contact local law enforcement. Some states have laws against leaving a pet in a hot car, however, it varies. Obtain guidance from law enforcement before taking action and breaking a car window on your own. Once you call law enforcement, stay by the vehicle and keep an eye on the pet until help arrives.

How to treat a pet with heat stroke
First, it’s important to know the signs of a heat stroke:

Warning signs: panting, drooling and lethargy
Advanced stage: grey or blue gums, limp body posture with heavy breathing and the pet may be in shock

Cooling the Pet Down

  • Get your pet to an air-conditioned environment
  • Work to cool the pet down by wetting the ears and pads of the feet with cool water (do not use frigid water, use cool water).
  • Place cool, wet towels over the shoulder/neck, under the front legs and in the groin area
  • Refresh the water frequently
  • If the pet will drink, provide cool water or small ice chips


What to do if the pet is unresponsive

  • Call an emergency veterinarian immediately and tell them you’re on your way.
  • If the gums are gray/blue, they are in need of immediate treatment and should be rushed to the nearest emergency treatment center.
  • They will help cool the dog and administer subcutaneous fluids.


Additional Tips for Pet Owners in the Summer

  • Short-nosed, long-haired and young dogs are more at risk and prone to heat stroke.
  • On hot days, limit exercising your pet to early morning or evening hours.
  • Asphalt gets very hot and could burn your pet’s paws.
  • Pets with light-colored noses or light-colored fur on their ears are vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancer. It’s safe to use sunscreen on their noses and ear tips.

If you’re going out during the summer, it’s best to keep your pet at home, in a cool, air conditioned environment.

To protect your family, visit Scott Lynch Agency