Tired of keeping track of that piece of paper that shows that you have an auto insurance? More and more states allow you to use an electronic version instead.
Kentucky is the latest state to clear a bill that allows drivers to keep an electronic version of their auto insurance card to show proof of coverage. This bill was signed on March 22.
When pulled over, you can show proof of insurance with a smartphone app or PDF copy of your policy.
When you buy auto coverage online, you get proof of insurance immediately. After a renewal, updated information is sent directly to your smartphone. This means you have the most up-to-date version handy at all times.
Both Arkansas and Wyoming have cleared similar bills this year. Other states that allow electronic proof include: Alabama, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana and Minnesota.
Close to 20 states will probably consider new bills or regulations in 2013.
Insurance companies are also catching up. State Farm offers digital identification cards via its “Pocket Agent” app and Geico also offers a digital ID card via its mobile app.
Hyundai and Kia will lower their fuel economy (MPG) estimates for the majority of 2012 and 2013 vehicle models as the result of an investigation of test data.
Manufacturers like Hyundai test their own vehicles and report the results to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA is responsible for the fuel economy label (or window sticker) that you will see on all new cars and light trucks. 10-15 percent of all models will also be tested by EPA at the National Vehicles and Fuel Emissions Laboratory.
It was recently discovered that Hyundai overstated the fuel economy for one third of the vehicles they sold in U.S. the last two years.
The largest difference was found for the Kia Soul, where the difference was 6 MPG on highway. On average, the Hyundai/Kia fleet fuel economy is now reduced by an average of 3 percent.
If you have a new Hyundai or Kia, you may be reimbursed for additional fuel costs incurred to date, and in the future.
Check for affected models here: Hyundai – Kia.
If your vehicle qualifies, you can use an online Reimbursement Estimator for an estimate of your reimbursement amount, which will be based on the model you own, your odometer reading, and the average gas price in your area. In addition, as an acknowledgement of the inconvenience, Hyundai will add an extra 15% to your reimbursement amount.
J.P. Power has released the 2012 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study today.
For a fifth consecutive year, Auto-Owners Insurance ranks highest in overall satisfaction.
The company has provided broad, flexible auto insurance coverage since 1916. Today, Auto-Owners Insurance operates through more than 6,300 independent agencies across 26 states.
The J.P. Power study is based on responses from more than 12,500 auto insurance customers who settled a claim within the past 6 months.
Following Auto-Owners Insurance are Amica Mutual and Erie Insurance in a tie (876) and Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA) and COUNTRY in a tie (874).
Companies like Liberty Mutual, Geico, Progressive, Farmers, and 21st Century, all end up below industry average.
Source: J.P. Power
Gift cards are multi-million dollar industry in U.S., and an easy target for scammers. Many people could be in for an unpleasant surprise when they want to spend the gift card they received. It could already be worthless.
Gift cards often has a magnetic strip. This strip holds information about card and PIN number (if it has one). By scanning all cards with a simple reader in the store, a scammer collects that information. He or she then just waits until the cards are activated. And before the rightful owner uses the card, the scammer runs the balance down to zero.
Unfortunately, there are few protections offered by the gift card issuers. Once the balance is gone, it is gone.
But there are a few things you can do to protect yourself.
First, carefully examine the card you want to buy or you receive. If the PIN is scratch off in the store, let them know. The PIN should always be covered. When you receive a card, do the same thing, and check the card out. Contact the issuer, if necessary.
Avoid getting cards from public racks in your store. Those aren’t protected and easily accessible by scammers.
Use gift cards as soon as possible. If it is possible to register the card online, do that. Otherwise go and spend the money as soon as you can. It gives less time for a thief to empty the card.
Get a receipt and keep it, make it go with the card. There is no reason not to hand it over with the gift card. It might give a little extra protection.