Finding the Right Charity

Donating to a charity is a great thing to do for many reasons, most importantly because it's helping out others in need. By making the decision to donate to a charity you are making a great decision. However, the next step is hard: deciding the right charity to donate to. There are so many charities out there, which is great because they are helping out so many people in need and giving resources to many different causes. However what's the right charity for you to donate to? Here are a few steps to help you in finding the right charity. First and foremost choose a problem or cause that you care about. Sounds easy enough? However, there are so many charities out there, this only begins to narrow the field. Second, decide if you want to invest globally or locally. While local charities seem to work on a smaller level scale, they are more personal. Global charities also have their benefits. Thirdly, DO YOUR RESEARCH! After the first two steps you have narrowed down the playing field. Now it's time to do your own research on these charities. Some things you might want to look into are

If the charity is local, look into meeting with the director. If the charity is larger, email them with any questions or concerns you might have. Asking questions is essential in learning more about the charity. This brings me to my next point, Look for Red Flags. Like many things in life sometimes charities seem too good to be true. That being said look for things such as excessive salaries. For example an executive director whose paycheck takes up a large percentage of the organization's budget. Another red flag would be if a charity asks for should want its records to be traceable and clean, which means that cash is a not a good idea. A check or a credit card is considered the best way to make a donation.

At this point, if you haven't already, meet up or call your finalists. Every organization has staff or volunteers who can talk to you about its goals and how they're reached. Take advantage of this. Another great way to check them out is to spend a day volunteering. This gives you a hand on experience about how the organization is being ran. Finally get started early. Before the end of the year many offices are closed which will make getting information harder to do. Most importantly, choose what speaks to you. Whichever charity you choose, you are going to be doing good.

PIP: Insurance Coverage That You Want Together With Your Auto Policy

Ever hear of PIP? For those unfamiliar, we’ll give you the long form name for this form of coverage. Personal Insurance Protection is an extension of an auto insurance policy that is an optional coverage in some states, a required coverage in others and not available in still other states.

What is it?

PIP or Personal Insurance Protection is a medical insurance that protects you or your passengers if there is an injury from a car accident. If you have acquired it, PIP will cover medical costs and more even if you are responsible for the accident or collision.

Understandably, the coverage is also known as ‘no-fault insurance’ due to the nature of coverage not being dependent on liability.

Of course in states like New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Florida where the Personal Insurance Protection is mandated, drivers need only get a minimum required amount of coverage.

This is where the insurance professionals put in their advice.

“Don’t get the minimum amount of PIP coverage,” they say. “Even if you find your overall auto insurance premium on the rise due to our recommendation of at least $250,000 in the associated coverage, you’ll be thankful if the need arises.”

The ensuing example of a policyholder illustrates the truth to the claim.

A man did not like the fact that his car insurance would increase with the acquisition of $250,000 in PIP so he decided to stay with the status quo of $15,000 in related PIP coverage and no increase in overall auto premium.

But luck was not on his side in this case.

After getting into an accident and remaining in the hospital for two days, the associated bill was over $45,000!

This was a hard lesson, spurring him on to requesting additional PIP coverage as recommended by his agency.

“Like me,” he said, “most folks do not comprehend how important an adequate amount of health related coverage is in regard to vehicle protection. I learned the hard way that it pays to listen to the professionals who understand the impact of an accident – something that can occur at any given moment anytime. “

Personal Insurance Protection can provide the following coverage after a crash that may result in injury.

• Medical costs, rehab costs, ambulance, medication, durable medical equipment

• Loss of wages if applicable

• Substitute of service by the injured party, if applicable

• Funeral costs if injury leads to death and if applicable in coverage.

For more information about this important coverage, speak to the experienced professionals.

Keep Records of Charitable Contributions to Avoid Fines and Penalties

You should keep proper records to prove your charitable contributions. Contributions can be of 3 types. Your contributions may be in cash or you may make non-cash contributions or you may get reimbursement of expenses while donating your services. Usually, the organization accepting your donation which is more than $75.00 in value, gives you a written statement of confirmation. However some additional records are required for specific contributions.

1. Cash contributions under $250 – You may donate in cash, by check, by credit card or by electronic funds transfer. You may also donate by allowing a deduction from your payroll. You need to keep the following records for such a donation:

a. A canceled check, a bank statement or a credit card statement.

b. A receipt from the qualified organization which should show its name, and the date and the amount of the contribution.

c. If you are making a contribution by a payroll deduction, a pay stub or Form W-2 showing the date and amount of contribution. You should also keep a pledge card issued by the qualified organization.

2. Contributions of $250 or more – You must have a separate acknowledgment for each contribution of $250 or more. If you have made several contributions to the same organization, you should not combine them.

3. Non-cash contributions – if your contribution is not made in cash, you must keep a receipt of that contribution showing the name of the charitable organization, the date of the charitable contribution and a reasonable description of the property given towards contribution. You should also keep a record of the fair market value of the property and the basis on which such fair market value was arrived at. If you want to reduce the fair market value of the property, you should keep the working of the basis on which you made such a reduction. If you attach any terms while gifting the property, a written statement of such terms must be with you. When you leave the property at an un-attended drop side of the charity, you need not keep a receipt.

If you are claiming a deduction over $500 but below $5000, in addition to be the above records, you must keep records showing how you got the property, the approximate date on which you got the property and the cost of such property. If you are unable to get such records, you should attach a statement explaining the reasons for not having the records.

If you are claiming a deduction over $5000, in addition to the above records, you must also get a qualified written appraisal of the donated property from a qualified appraiser.

The acknowledgment you get from the qualified organization must be on paper, mentioning the amount of cash you contributed. If the organization gave you any goods or services depending on your contribution, the fact must be mentioned on the acknowledgment. If you get only intangible religious benefit, a statement to that effect should be attached. The acknowledgment and this statement must be with you before the date you filed your return for the year in which you make the contribution. If the acknowledgment does not mention the date of the contribution, you must have a receipt or a bank statement supporting your claim for payment.

4. Out of pocket expenses -If you volunteer service to a qualified organization, you may get reimbursement of out of pocket expenses while rendering such services. You must have adequate records to prove the amount of expenses. You must also have an acknowledgment from that organization specifying the services you provided, a statement on whether or not the organization provided you any goods or services towards reimbursement, and a statement that the only benefit your received was an intangible religious benefit, if that was the case. You must have this acknowledgment before the date you file your return.

In case you claim expenses towards use of your car, you must keep written records of your expenses. These records must show the name of the organization you were serving and the date every time you used your car for this purpose. If you are claiming the standard mileage rate of 14¢ a mile, you might sure the miles you drove your car for charitable purpose. If you claim deduction of actual expenses, then your records must show the costs for operating the car for this purpose.

You should keep excellent records of your charitable contributions to avoid fines and penalties later.

How a Probate Attorney Help Resolve Estate Claims

There comes a time when certain home based issues cannot be solved by family members due to certain differences which prove quite complicated. In such cases a Probate Attorney is hired to come up with reasonable solutions. Such cases crop up when the owner of the estate passes away and it’s left in the hands of his children or relatives. Although the deceased must have left a valid will documenting the criterion to be used when inheriting such properties, this hardly ends the problem until a legal procedure is followed.

The role of a Probate Attorney

  • These professionals in the law have enough knowledge of ensuring that an estate that has been left after the owner has passed away is given to the right person as dictated by their will. The will act as a reference document and it should not be violated by providing a false verdict that contradicts it. Therefore such attorneys are supposed to practice the highest level of transparency while solving family issues.
  • The will should remain intact and no alterations made whatsoever as such steps are against the law. However, certain attorneys hardly follow the required procedure in solving such issues and this can further complicate the issues if not well schemed.

How to get a good Probate Attorney

  • The best Probate Attorney should not corrupt the documents provided and one should be careful when looking for such a lawyer to avoid such instances. So many sources are available for meeting such lawyers but the problem arises on how to determine the best one. One can check on the reviews provided for such lawyers before making a comparison as such comments shows the effectiveness of such lawyers in their services.
  • Nevertheless, other factors like the charges imposed by various lawyers should follow in determining the best lawyer for your probate case. One should consider hiring a lawyer who is perfect in this field and as well cheap so as to cope up with his/her charges.

Such claims must be settled with dignity to avoid further misunderstanding among the victims thereafter. This explains why a competent Probate Attorney is required in these kinds of cases. When a poorly equipped lawyer is used instead, those issues continue to bring more inconveniences and complications among the affected and other problems can result thereafter following what was decided in this probate. A good lawyer is therefore highly recommended.

Uninsured American Children

There are currently 9 million uninsured children in the US. Census data shows that 70% of those children live in a home where at least one parent works full-time. The same data indicates that about two thirds of these children would qualify for government-sponsored health insurance if the parents were to apply for it. Uninsured people are far more likely to go without essential medical care, including vaccinations and treatments for potentially fatal illnesses. This is especially sad when children are involved, because they are so dependent on their parents and the social organizations that are set up to help them. A complicated enrollment process and lack of knowledge about the programs are the main reasons given for why so many of these eligible children are not enrolled in government sponsored health insurance programs.

Perhaps the government likes keeping things the way they are in order to avoid paying for health care for all eligible children? If not, there is no reason that the enrollment process for government-sponsored health insurance should be complicated. Everything could be done on a single sheet of paper with a copy of a tax return attached to prove financial eligibility. These forms could be available in any doctor’s office or hospital. They could be simple enough that anyone could understand them and have time to complete them.

The issue of parents not knowing about the availability of the programs could also be solved if the government really wanted to appropriate adequate resources to provide health insurance to them. The money is there, it’s just not always used in the most efficient ways. The availability of public health care for eligible children is something that should be actively advertised. Public schools could send notes home with children. Hospitals could explain the program and help parents enroll newborns before they leave the hospital. The IRS could send information to families with qualifying incomes. If the enrollment process became straightforward and simple, and parents were made aware of the availability of the programs, our country could have 3 million children without health insurance instead of 9 million. That’s a big difference.

5 Useful Ways to Lower Your Auto Insurance

Driving a car and keeping it maintained has the potential to cost a lot of money over the long-term. So, it can benefit to look at ways to cut costs where possible, such as on a mandatory expense like auto insurance. Here are a few practical steps that have the ability to lower the auto insurance rates:

Get a quote before buying

Calling one or two insurance agents before buying a brand new vehicle can give an early indication of the likely insurance costs. The premiums for insurance can vary significantly with the different makes, models and age of vehicle. If the insurance for a particular vehicle is likely to be too expensive, it may be more practical to look elsewhere.

Revise coverage on old vehicles

For the older car that is free of finance, it may be worth revising the insurance coverage for collision only. This is the type of protection that is required if damage is coursed to a third-party vehicle. In many cases, this simple step can help to make a useful saving on the cost of insurance.

Use a single insurance company

Try to use a single insurance company for multiple policies, such as auto, home, travel, etc. A benefit of this is the ability to gain a multi-line discount, which is usually in the region of 10-15% of the total annual premium.

Careful driving

There are plenty of insurance policies that offer incentives for a lower premium. One of these incentives is a proven record of careful driving, which can include staying out of accidents and avoid speeding. This has the potential to give a further discount on the annual premium of about 5-7.5%. Also, by avoiding any traffic violations over a period of 3 years; it is possible to get a further deduction of costs.

Increase the deductible

A further simple step to control the costs is to increase the deductible amount. This is the first amount paid by the policy holder at the time of making a claim. By increasing the deductible from $250 to $500, there is the potential to make a substantial difference. The deductible can even be increased to an amount like $1,000, which should go a long way to control the insurance premium. But, it is sensible to only raise the deductible to an amount that is affordable, and easily payable in the event of needing to make an insurance claim.

What Types of Insurance Coverage for the Ice Cream Truck Business?

Ah, the wonderful sounds of summer: the joyful chirping of birds, the slap of the seashore, the laughter of children frolicking outdoors – and the chiming tunes notifying neighborhood kids of all ages that the ice cream truck has arrived.

Ironically, that happy sound of music announcing the ice cream truck brings untold sadness to some. For the mothers, fathers and siblings of those kids killed in a related accident, the sound will never be reconciled with.

Although accidents can occur and associated insurance coverage can come with financial shielding, the dangers associated with this type of mobile frozen confection store and excited children looking forward to a favorite treat need careful consideration. There are things that parents, caregivers and ice cream truck operators can do to mitigate the risks of fatalities and serious injury. These include installing more mirrors on the vehicle and a safety bar to block children from getting in the blind spot’s way, as well as other safety mechanisms.

As far as the insurance companies are concerned, any equipment installed to prevent accidents may result in some form of discount on a commercial auto premium. It can also make rates lower on an already-discounted insurance package that combines commercial auto insurance with a business owners policy.

For reading convenience, we’ve listed the various forms of coverage related to this business below.

Special Commercial Auto Insurance for the Ice Cream Truck Business

• Commercial Auto Liability Coverage

Every US state requires commercial auto liability coverage to protect businesses from bodily injury liability when an accident occurs. This coverage also protects from property damage liability when the other car is damaged or when buildings or other property is damaged.

• Collision Coverage

If the driver of an ice cream truck caused an accident resulting in damage to his or her own truck, this insurance will help with the costs of repair or the costs to replace the truck if repair work is not an option.

• Medical Payments Coverage

This insurance will help pay for medical costs if the truck driver or passenger is hurt in accident.

• Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage can help pay for damages incurred to the truck by another driver if he or she is either uninsured or underinsured and cannot fit the repair or replacement bill entirely.

For further information on insurance – commercial auto or business – speak to a professional independent agency that has its customers’ interests at the forefront.

One More Article About Auto Insurance

What Is Auto Insurance?

Auto insurance is a product that is purchased and also that can pay for damages to your vehicle or others’ vehicles in the event of a car accident or non-accident related harm. Each state has its laws regarding the amount of car insurance that each person should have to be able to drive legally. Many different factors influence auto insurance rates, as well. It does not even base on various companies; it is up to the insurance industry to determine what car insurance is and how much each person will pay for auto coverage.

What is car insurance? It seems like a very fundamental question. However, there are many different facets and elements to consider about car insurance that it can get complicated very fast if you’re not that prepared for what you’re getting in. You need to know how rates are more calculated what types of coverage are available, how much coverage you need or can get, and which companies offer the best auto insurance for your needs.

What Does Auto Insurance Cover?

Auto insurance is used to protect you the individual or a business or organization from financial loss in regards to a motor vehicle. Financial loss can happen due to many reasons, and having auto insurance can cover your losses in a variety of ways.

Liability for Property Damages

Responsibility for property damages is coverage against damage you or a person driving your vehicle with your permission does to someone else’s property. Costs can include the other vehicle, utility poles, fences, buildings, homes, businesses, or almost any type of structure your car comes into touching.


Collision coverage usually protects your vehicle from damages resulting from an accident with another vehicle, pothole, car flipping over, etc. Collision coverage will pay for repairing your vehicle, or if your vehicle has damaged in the accident, it will reimburse you for the value of the car subtracting deductible and in many cases other costs.


Auto insurance is a necessity, and this is amply evident from the fact that all states of the USA have made it mandatory to have car insurance on all vehicles. Most of the time, this appears to be a bothersome exercise, but why to wait until you get involved in an accident to find out how taking an auto cover takes care of your assets and you. High medical expenses and lawsuit judgments on the rise make it worthwhile to protect yourself and your precious vehicle with car insurance.

Furthermore, all jurisdictions have made it compulsory to have two auto insurance systems – the no-fault system, and the Tort system. The former type of insurance favor in most states dictates that your insurance carrier shall pay the injury claims no matter who caused the accident in reality. The amount payable is up to a specified limit, and if you are involved in an accident, your carrier is liable to pay for the injury. As against this, the Tort system the injured party will have to take care of the medical expenses from their packet and then claim it from the guilty driver’s insurance carrier as recompense.

With the number of accidents and theft occurring widely in the USA, it is essential for every auto owner to buy such an insurance coverage to secure both the vehicle as well as its owner in times of need.

In the USA if you want to have a car on the road you have to have auto insurance. Some states even have coverage minimums where you have to have a certain dollar amount of coverage; usually, this is called primary coverage.

How To Get Better Auto Insurance In The USA

Auto insurance covers accident to a car. The insurance company pays for the financial loss to the owner in return for a small amount of money paid periodically. The amount paid annually is called premium, and the contract you draw up with the insurance company is known as the insurance policy. The insurance company allows you to hold the contract, and you become the policyholder.

Car insurance may not come cheap. However, under unforeseen circumstances of loss or damage to your vehicle, compensation will seem like a godsend. Periodically shelling out lumps of money for protecting your car or cars owned by your business, may look expensive. There could be a tendency to try and cut corners by availing the minimum motor insurance packages. However, even minor car damage is overly expensive; therefore, a minimum package may not give you the extensive coverage at a time when you need it most.

Types Of Auto Insurance In the USA

The most common types of auto insurance available in the US are the Liability Insurance, Auto Collision and Comprehensive Insurance, Medical Payments and Personal Injury Protection, and the Uninsured Motorists and Underinsured Motorists coverage. Most modern companies offer these.

Liability insurance cover pays for the damage you cause to others and their property. It pays for the legal expenses involved and for the expenditure for the victim going to the court claiming damages, within your liability limits. In a case of an accident, the costs of repairing your car are covered by the collision insurance. The comprehensive insurance covers damages caused by incidents other than car accidents, such as natural calamities, theft, fire, vandalism, and hitting an animal.

In a case of the insured person and the co-passenger needing medical treatment for bodily injury due to an accident, this is covered by the Medical Payments coverage. Personal Injury Protection will cover the medical expenses and the wages lost by you and the co-passenger if injured in the accident.

Why You Need Auto Insurance

The primary objective of any insurance is to protect the policyholder and his family against the consequences resulting from an unexpected injuries or death and financial burdens in the event of these disasters. It is a contract between the related insurance company and you, where you agree to pay the premium for the losses that the insurance company will need to cover in the event of accidents.

The auto insurance covers these three main areas:

Property coverage – refers to the damage or the theft of your car

Liability coverage – relates to your legal responsibilities to others whom might in the cause of the property damage loss be incapacitated

Medical coverage – refers to the medical treatments, therapy charges, rehabilitation, lost in the ability to work, or even funeral expenses where there are faculties.

The Work Of Auto Insurance

The auto insurance also protects you from uninsured drivers or motorists. In this case, the uninsured motorists or drivers have no insurance company to pay you for the damage which had happened, but luckily you still have your insurance company to bear the losses.

Protect the bank which had provided the car loan to finance your vehicle. Because if there are any disaster happening to your vehicle, no one will be able to lend or provide any additional money to you to fix the car other than the auto insurance company. Otherwise, you will need to repair the damage made to the car by your own, and this would prevent you from paying for the periodic monthly loan payment on time. The consequences are that the bank will not lend you any more money in the future, with the bad credit standing which you are in at least for some considerable amount of time.

5 Solid Strategies For Low Cost Car Insurance Quotes Online

Looking for the low cost car insurance quote online but did you know that you can take your savings even further?

Here are 5 solid strategies for for finding cheap online auto insurance quotes:

These strategies can cut your premiums dramatically for the long term and free up a lot more cash. Save hundreds of dollars every year by following them.

1st Strategy for Low Cost Car Insurance

Vehicle Equipment:

Air Bags: Having air bags (may be standard on many automobiles already).

Anti-lock Brakes: Once a rarity these may already be factory installed on your vehicle

Anti-theft System: If you are purchasing a car look for one with a built-in anti-theft system. It will save you money month in and month out.

2nd Strategy for Low Cost Auto Insurance

Driving Record History:

No Accidents for 5 years+: This can seriously transform your savings because you demonstrate that you are a low risk driver.

Seat Belts: Automobile Insurance companies want you to be safe because it will cost them less which costs you less in your car insurance.

Note: Having a pristine driving record can set you up for receiving accident forgiveness from some auto insurance companies too!

3rd Strategy for Low Cost Car Auto Insurance Quote

Driver’s Education: A quick drivers education class can earn you a discount right away.

Defensive Driving Discount: Depending on the state you reside in you may be able to take a course on defensive driving and receive a discount just for taking that course.

Full Time Student Good Student Discount: Studies have shown that students that do well in school also are better drivers and it will reflect in your auto insurance premiums. They look for a “B” Average in the young drivers grades.

4th Strategy for Low Cost Quotes Auto Insurance

Organization Affiliation: If you belong to specific organizations in the fields of:

Accounting, School Alumni, Attorney, Credit Unions, Education / Teaching, Engineering, Federal, Financial, Medical, Military, Professional Development, Scientific, Student Organizations, Technical, etc.

You may receive a discount depending on your car insurance company.

5th Strategy for Low Cost Quotes Car Insurance

Compare Car Insurance Rates: When you compare auto insurance rates from several reputable auto insurers you FORCE them to compete for your business.

These automobile insurers know that if they do not provide their most inexpensive online car insurance quotes to you they lose that opportunity for your business.

This is the single most important strategy for finding lowcost car insurance.

Want to get the best auto insurance quote?

Compare auto insurance quotes now and you will be able to implement each one of the above car insurance quote online strategies in the application.

Remember, a little extra effort can save you literally hundreds (These savings add up) on your car auto insurance quote premiums not just one time but year in and year out.

Know the Benefits of Hiring a Business Insurance Broker

Insuring your business is very essential, especially when your business involves lots and lots of risk factors. These policies not only cover you from such hindrances but also gifts you a peaceful life. Whatever be the size of your business, policy coverage is highly essential. There are several professionals in the market, who can help you choose the best policy for your company. If your business is a small one, go for an agent. But if it is a big one consider hiring an insurance broker.

Comparing Sites Does Not Prove Beneficial Every Time:

There are many people who depend on the internet for selecting the cheapest business insurance policy. But this does not prove beneficial all the time. Comparing various sites for getting the most affordable policies may not always give you the best results. Hence, it is always better to take help of the broker who is highly skilled and knowledgeable in this subject.

Here Are A Few Advantages Of Hiring An Insurance Broker:

There are multiple reasons for which, you should hire a broker.

Comparison sites never give you best results for your research because they try to promote the products of the companies who pay enough commissions to these websites for selling their products. These things never happen with the insurance broker. They ask for a nominal amount from their clients and in exchange of that genuinely helps them to buy the perfect policy.

• Know The Various Options:

When you directly approach an assurance company, they never offer you or discuss with you about all the variety of insurance policy that they offer. But with the help of a broker, you get the opportunity to know every policy in detail. They even help you point out the various types of policy covers that your business might need to stay secured from every kind of risk factors.

• Helps You Finds The Perfect Policy:

Brokers will analyze the risks factors and dangers that your company mostly faces and also asks you about your demands and requirements for selecting the right policy. They will also help you know whether your existing policy needs an upgrade. Moreover, they know every detail about the various insurance companies in the market and thus, can help you find the best policy for you at a reasonable price.

These are some of the most common advantages that you can get by hiring a broker. Apart from these, there are various other advantages that your insurance broker may offer to you and your business.