Five Tips for Choosing the Right Auto Body Shop

Choosing an auto body shop doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience. Estimates from different shops will likely fluctuate, sometimes to the point where you wonder if you are getting quotes for the same repair on the same vehicle. Consider these five tips to help guide you in making your decision:

1. Get Multiple Estimates

This one is obvious. Not only will multiple auto body shop quotes give you some idea of the “middle ground,” you’ll feel better knowing that you did your homework and you aren’t simply going with the cheapest… or worse yet, the most costly proposition.

2. Are They Certified and Insured

Do they seem reputable and carry all the appropriate certifications insurance?

Is the location a direct repair facility for your insurance company?

If you are completely new to the facility and going in with very little information on them, check for appropriate licensing hanging on the wall near the register.

Things can go wrong with any repair shop and your vehicle will be living there for a while, so you want to make sure that the repair facility you choose is protected in the event of fire, theft, or natural disaster.

3. Parts and Warranty

What is the warranty on repairs? Depending on whether they are a direct repair facility for your insurance company, you will likely get anywhere between 1 year and a lifetime warranty. Comparing warranties between locations can be a big indicator of the quality of parts and workmanship. You want to hire someone willing to stand by their craft.

Do they use aftermarket or used parts? Used parts don’t necessarily mean quality is bad, but when comparing quotes, you want to make sure you are comparing apples to apples. If one location is offering used parts and another new, and their estimates are the same, look closer. What is making up the extra cost in the estimate for the shop offering the used parts? The per-hour labor costs may be higher at that particular shop.

What kind of paint matching technology do they use? You want to be sure that they can make an exact match of the paint code for your vehicle, and that they are using a high-quality coating.

4. Reputation

Do they have a good local reputation? Are they part of a social network where you can check for reviews? Ask around to friends and family; almost everyone has used an auto body shop at some point, and you’ll be surprised how much information you can gather by listening to other people’s experiences.

5. Trust Your Gut… and Relax

If you are searching for an auto body shop, you and your car likely just went through a stressful experience. Trust your gut after visiting the location; you want to leave feeling that the customer service seems knowledgeable about their industry and genuine about service. If anything about the experience seems not above board, keep looking, and use the tips above to guide you until you find a professional you can feel good about.

A Complete Guide on Getting Drone Liability Coverage

Unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs, more commonly known as drones, are high technology devices used for various purposes. The increasing popularity of drones has enabled many entrepreneurs to use them to their advantage. This is a relatively new business in the whole world as many people are still not very well informed about this latest technology. For those who already are indulged in this business, it is very important to get the drones insured. It looks a relatively new concept, right? Well, yes it is.

It is a very new concept but extremely effective in the coming years. If you have a very successful business with drones then in case of an accident, most of the cost would be saved if it is insured. Getting drone insurance will even help in gaining more clients as some people are reluctant in investing without insurance. With insurance coverage in hand, you will have comfort knowing that you are covered in case of any mishap or loss because UAV technology still has not taken perfection. The first question I’m asked is does every drone need insurance? The answer is a simple no. Not all drones need insurance. If the drones are used as a hobby or are only confined to your home then there is no need to get any insurance.

Currently, there is no requirement to have insurance in the US for recreational use of drones but in Canada, if you are using drones commercially or residentially, you need a $100,000 liability to get covered. Getting insurance helps sell the notion that your business is reputable. To understand everything about drone insurance and liability, we first need to look at some basic questions which people like to ask before getting an insurance policy.

What is Drone Insurance?

Drone insurance works as any regular insurance policy. You can also relate drone insurance with car insurance. The better your performance and training is, the better the policy will be. You will need to pay less for your insurance if your skills are good. For all the pilots who want to become good pilots and safely handle drones it is always a good option to get a good insurance policy. This will bring out the best in you if you want to become a trained and professional drone pilot. Pilots should have operating manuals and maintenance logs so that it becomes easier for them to attain the professional standard. Any kind of guidance would be helpful in achieving the desired goals.

These are some areas where the insurance company would help you in getting insurance:

– Homeland Security

– Fire and Rescue

– Real Estate

– Traffic Patrol and Accident Assistance

– Emergency Response (FEMA)

– Law Enforcement and SWAT

– Corrections Facility Security

– Agriculture

– Maritime and Shipping

– Architecture and Construction

– Archaeology and Geology Exploration

– Recreational Parks and Gardens

– Movies and Cinematography

– Media and News

What kind of loss is covered?

Under this category, all losses occurring under commercially used drones are covered.

– Third Party Legitimate Liability

– Advertisement Liability

– Personal injury

– Loss or damage to the UAV or other related equipment

– Manufacturer Product Liability

– Aircraft operator Coverage and non-pilots working on ground

– Premises Liability

– Independent Contractors Liability

– Coverage of Fellow Employee

– Any damage to your rented premises

– Hijacking, Terrorism or War

– Your Property or Office Contents

Cost of Drone Insurance

The next question most commonly asked is:

How much does drone insurance usually cost? Drone insurance policies are divided into two parts:

– Liability which is the damage or claim to third parties

– Hull damage which is the damage to your own UAV

Different companies deal with insurance policies differently. Some companies include hull damage insurance while others do not. Some companies give a 333 exemption while others do not. It depends on the company you are trying to reach for your insurance. Before choosing the best insurance company, you need to talk to some people from different insurance companies to give you an idea about the overall cost of the insurance and what is covered under it. When once you are satisfied with the company’s guidelines, procedures and policies then you need to make the correct move. The common questions that the company could ask you would be:

– Have you maintained a maintenance log?

– Is 50 to 100 hours of flight time have been utilized?

– Do you plan on flying indoors or over water?

– Are you the owner of the drone or have you leased it?

– Are you able to automatically record your flight data?

These questions need to be answered satisfactorily in order to access the company’s drone insurance policy. Very clear and detailed answers would help in attaining the insurance you desire.

Next step will guide you on how to get insurance so that the steps are effectively followed.

How to get insurance?

To get an insurance of your choice, you need to get a quote from different companies. Getting a quote is an easy task by just visiting the company’s website and click the “get quote” button. The website would take you to a form where all the necessary details would be asked and then after filling all those, you will be returned with a quote. The information mostly asked is:

– Your complete name and address

– Specific information regarding your UAV

– The cost of each part of your equipment

– The total time you have flown the device

– The place you would be operating your UAV at

– The amount of training you have acquired

– Any other details related to the equipment and yourself

– Type of coverage whether a liability or hull damage

Once all these details have been entered, a quote would be given stating all the cost you would have to pay for the insurance. If you feel comfortable about the price and policies, it is best to get it done as soon as possible or else you can get a quote from another company.

Can you lose your insurance at anytime?

People often ask are there any chances of losing insurance and the answer to this question is yes. In certain cases, you can most likely lose your insurance. In case of not logging your flights properly and not being able to tell what exactly happened during the accident. This could surely mean ambiguity from your end which could end up in the loss of insurance. Similarly, if you fail to put the correct serial numbers and identification numbers on your drone, this could also result in losing your insurance. Lastly, not having an ethical flight and not reporting any maintenance changes can again cost you your insurance. You need to be very careful when dealing with such scenarios. It is best to keep a track of all your flights, the duration, the place everything needs to be shown. If your flights would be tracked then there would be enough evidence for you to claim an accident.

How to claim?

You should also need to be fully aware of how to file a claim in case of an accident. The claim should be easy to make but first you need to study and understand the insurance company’s guidelines and policies. The policies of the company will tell you that what the company can actually do and what it can not. It would be a good approach to first read everything the company has written on paper. Secondly, you need to report to the correct authorities and refrain from making any statements without letting your insurance company know. The insurance company would be able to assist you if you provide the correct information to them first. You should not leave the device unsupervised at any time. You need to stay with your equipment in case of an accident. These points should be kept in mind when dealing with an accident.

This guide provides a comprehensive approach towards getting drone insurance effectively. As stated earlier, commercially used UAVs need to be insured. It is highly recommended for commercial pilots to get their desired insurance so that they know they are covered in times of accidents. If you are taking this as a hobby and only restrict your drones to your house, then there is no need to get insurance. Your home owner insurance would be enough to let you enjoy flying drones. We have dealt with all the procedures taken to get insurance done. Each and every detail is provided as to how and when you need insurance. It is always better to talk to different companies and look at their different policies and procedures. After accumulating quotations from all companies you have been in talks with, you can always compare their prices and policies.

CCC Valuescope & USAA Conspiring to Defraud, Committing RICO Act Violations?

I am filing a consumer complaint against CCC Valuescope (CCCG) and my insurer USAA for falsely alleging a fair “market value” of my automobile.

My insurer USAA has breached its duty to exercise the utmost good faith to me its insured. By using CCC Valuescope (a company I allege violates the U.S. federal RICO Act) USAA has intentionally provided me a low and fraudulent valuation of my automobile in hopes of obtaining an unreasonable and unfair settlement.

CCC Valuescope (formerly known as CCC Information Services Group Inc – CCCG) can by no means be deemed a fair and market value of automobiles as CCC Valuescope works exclusively for insurers and therefore has an economic interest to supply valuations that are intentionally below the actual fair market value of what insured vehicles are truly worth.

It is known fact throughout the insurance industry that CCC gathers its values from what car dealers would sell a vehicle for at basement wholesale prices, not the true “retail value of an auto of like kind and quality prior to the accident” as mandated by FL insurance regulations. Moreover CCC Valuescope uses a mix of vehicles formerly leased, used, and abused among wrecked cars when compiling valuations to afford their insurance company customers paying out total losses the lowest possible “values” to present their insured.

Ironically, nearly every vehicle in CCC Valuescope’s appraisal of my car report consisted of vehicles that had over 20 records indicative of issues such as accidents and faulty cars. Among the report, some cars had 28, 31, and 32 records.

Cutting costs and denying its insured “the utmost due care” historically can be documented against USAA beginning with the class action lawsuit against USAA in Washington’s King County (March 12, 1999) for compelling auto repair shops to use “imitation” parts in repairs, while simultaneously hiding this practice from policyholders. Beyond auto insurance, USAA has countless complaints filed against it in 27 states across the country.

CCC Valuescope is not independent in their valuations since they are a hired gun for the insurance companies! Upon conducting a VIN search on the vehicles within the CCC report 39813905, many cars had over 20 records indicative of numerous collisions, issues with the vehicle, and several changes of ownership. By relying upon CCC’s intentionally low valuation of my vehicle, USAA is breaching its fiduciary duty to act in good faith in handling my claim. No fair and honest evaluation of my claim can be performed by CCC as it is contracted by insurers for the primary purpose of minimizing monies paid out by insurers to its fiduciaries. By using CCC Valuescope, USAA is clearly not exercising the “utmost due care” in the interest of me its insured as required by Baxter v. Royal Indemnity.

CCC admitted itself in its SEC Filing on 3-16-2005 that “the Company sometimes pays a new customer for the remaining commitment of its previous contract with third parties as an incentive”. In regard to regulation, CCC mentions in the same filing “in most states, however, there is no formal approval process for total loss valuation products”. CCC itself confesses in the same report “individual state departments of insurance have taken positions as to whether the use of CCC Valuescope valuations is in compliance with a states claim handling regulations”.

“The Company is aware that since 2002 the California Department of Insurance has advised some of the Company’s customers (which management estimates to be approximately 14% of the total revenue earned in 2004 from the Company’s CCC Valuescope valuation product and service) that the Department believed that their use of CCC Valuescope had not been in compliance with the California insurance regulations in effect prior to October 4, 2004, with respect to certain components of the products methodology. The Company believes the product was in compliance with the applicable California regulations.”

“On April 24, 2003, the California Department of Insurance formally adopted new regulations that required the Company to change its methodology for computing total loss valuations in California.” There is good reason therefore to believe CCC Valuescope’s valuation methodology is terribly flawed and skewed to favor its insurance company customers.

In CCC’s annual report filed February 13, 2004 the legal proceedings and numerous class action lawsuits against CCC are documented in pages 35, 42, 43, and 44 of the 53 page report.

On page 35, CCC Valuescope admits to setting aside $4.3 million as an estimate towards potential settlement to “resolve potential claims arising out of approximately 30% of the transaction volume of CCC Valuescope”.

By acknowledging 30% of transaction volume becoming potential claims, CCC Valuescope thereby makes it public record that it anticipates a sizeable percentage of lawsuits for unfair and fraudulent valuations. Such a high percentage of transaction volume alone attests to the flawed methodology of CCC’s report, its unscrupulous dealings, and wholehearted commitment to protect the financial interests of the insurers it serves.

Ironically, four of CCC Valuescope’s automobile insurance company customers have made contractual and, in some cases, also common law indemnification claims against CCC for litigation costs, attorneys’ fees, settlement payments and other costs allegedly incurred by them in connection with litigation relating to their use of CCC’s flawed TOTAL LOSS valuation product.

Certainly the countless class action lawsuits filed across the United States against CCC Valuescape provides further evidence concerning the grossly low and inaccurate valuations of vehicles they give the insurers they serve. Among the many are:

CCC Settles Class Action Suit on Valuation of Total Loss Vehicles (July 15, 2005)

Chicago-based claims software-maker CCC Information Services Inc. announced that it and 15 of its customers signed a settlement agreement with the plaintiffs in various class action suits pending in Madison County, Ill. These consolidated suits, Case Nos. 01 L 157, et al., relate to the valuation of vehicles that have been declared total losses by insurers.

Terms of the settlement agreement will require CCC to pay notice and administration fees and other costs associated with the settlement. The company estimates that these costs will total about $8 million, and including available insurance proceeds of $1.8 million, the company is fully reserved for these payments. Other settlement costs, including claims by class members, will be paid by the insurance companies that are participating in the settlement.

August 23, 2000, a putative statewide class action was filed in the Circuit Court for Hillsborough County, FL, against CCC and USAA Casualty Insurance Company (Peter Sintes et al. v. USAA Casualty Insurance Company and CCC Information Services, Inc., Case No. 00-006308). Plaintiffs allege that USAA contracted with CCC to provide valuations of “total loss” vehicles and that CCC supplied valuations that were intentionally below the actual fair market value of the insured vehicle.

Iinsurance companies “owe a duty to the insured to exercise the utmost good faith.” Baxter v. Royal Indemnity Company, 285 So.2d 652 (Fla. 1st DCA 1973).

Given the countless and ongoing class action lawsuits against CCC Valuescope there should now be no question that CCC Valuescope is not independent in its auto valuations and is guilty of violating the U.S. federal RICO Act and National Insurance Regulations, along with many of the complicit insurance companies such as USAA who willingly and knowingly use their product with the intent to deceive.

Mobile Oil Change Business and General Liability Insurance Considered

Not long ago, I got an email from a gentleman wishing to set up a mobile oil change business in Florida. He was concerned about what sort of insurance he might need and was under the impression that a 1 million dollar commercial liability policy was needed up and beyond his work truck vehicle commercial auto policy. Okay so, let’s talk about this; is he correct?

It turns out that he most definitely is, you see commercial auto is not the same as completed operations or the potential liability while working. For instance, if a car catches on fire that you are working on, your commercial auto policy isn’t going to cover it. Do you see that point? So, this is the advice I explained to him;

You will need most likely want to get a commercial insurance policy; $1 million aggregate, 300K per occurrence general liability, with a “garage keeper’s liability” notation, and there will be some customer who may demand more, and also demand to be additionally insured, not just a certificate of insurance on file.

Commercial Auto Insurance is another need, but most commercial business policies will write them together as one. Find a good “commercial insurance broker” and have them scout out their sources, usually the broker-agent knows the underwriters very well (as in speed-dial) and can get you a good rate and the underwriter will understand the difference between mobile and fixed costs. Generally the commercial liability insurance is partly based on your estimated gross income.

Don’t over estimate or you will pay too much, and don’t underestimate or you may get audited by the insurance company or they might simple decide you are not a viable risk. Believe it or not most commercial insurance policies do have a clause in their insurance contracts that they may audit you and by signing the policy you pre-agree to those audits. Thus, it’s unwise to falsify information or underestimate. If you find that you may have underestimated you need to call your agent-broker and explain that, sometimes they will add to the premium, sometimes up the next year’s estimates for gross sales.

Now then, Florida is a great market for mobile oil changes, however, let’s not forget there is some competition there, some long-standing 25+ years in fact and so, insurance is only one aspect or piece of information which one needs to consider before starting a business of this type. Please consider all this and think on it, and develop a strong business plan.

Excuses to Not Have Insurance

Have you ever wondered what goes through the minds of individuals who have a car but no car insurance? Do you ever let someone else drive your car? Have you ever wondered while driving if the person next to you has car Insurance? I think about it all the time. The truth is that there’s no real way to ever know who has insurance and who doesn’t have insurance until something drastic happens. I want to talk about some of the myths that I have heard either in person, on the radio driving or in court. Yes, I said court. You would be surprised of the responses someone gives a judge regarding not having car insurance.

One of the top excuses to not have car insurance is the mindset of not getting caught. If you have been in the car with someone without insurance you can normally tell by the way they’re driving. They are constantly looking in the mirrors, slowing down to avoid attention when they see a police car. As a car owner you should know that most states require drivers to have the states minimums for bodily injury and liability coverage to drive legally.

Another excuse is that their car is a piece of junk so no insurance is needed. Well, rather you think your car is junk or not they realize it or not the car gets you from one place to another. So, protecting your car is worth it. After all, working hard to purchase the car should give you the desire to preserve it? Just imagine your life without it. At the same time all vehicles require insurance no matter the condition.

You might hear someone say I have my own medical insurance and that should be enough to protect me if I get hurt. Personal insurance and car insurance are separate entities. If you think about it most people take out the bare amount of coverage on their jobs due to price. Do you realize when you’re in a car accident there are other cost involved? Will your work insurance pay for the ambulance expenses? These expenses can add up if there’s more than one car involved in the collision and it’s your fault. If you know you have the bare amount of coverage go ahead and get a quote for insurance that offers medical. That will give you one less thing to worry about.

I will never get sued is another saying people think is a reason to not have coverage for their cars. We live in a lawsuit happy society. People will sue you over the smallest of things and win because the either know the law or have a great lawyer. I learned from a popular movie that with the legal system that it’s not about what the crime is but rather what you can prove.

I got luck on my side. I can tell you right now that luck has nothing to do with someone wanting to steal, vandalized, or damaged your car. What happens if a storm comes and damages the car? Who pays for it? Can you afford to pay out-of-pocket expenses? Don’t risk the losses.

At the end of the day having a piece of mind is what comes when you’re covered. Great auto car insurance with a quality policy protects you against whatever may happen to you on the road.

Climate Changes Due to Global Warming

While the drastic effects of global warming has been discussed in many scientific circles, had their run on TV and even had major exposure through well-meaning (but sadly inaccurate) Hollywood films, it’s a concern that has a broad political, economic, social and geographical significance to countries all over the world. Quite literally, for all of us, there is nowhere to hide, nowhere to run and we can’t stop the climate from changing. It’s just way too big for us.

How to recognize global warming

Whether or not it’s brewing something good or something bad, Nature always tries to warn us through many signs. The slow process involved in global warming results in many different things and some of its signs include:

Melting of glaciers

Most of the mountain glaciers on our planet that have been monitored for the past 150 years are reportedly shrinking. The glaciers most affected by global warming those located in the lower latitudes and many of them are disappearing. If glaciers continue to shrink, it could affect water supply in areas that depend heavily upon mountain watersheds.

If the scenarios of global warming continue, most of the glaciers that still stand today will disappear by 2100.

Ocean warming

Sea level increase is attributed to warmer temperatures, which in turn result to the melting of ice glaciers. Over the last 100 years, sea level has increased from 10 cm to 25 cm. Projections over the next hundred years indicate that sea level will rise higher, from about 15 cm to 90 cm. Based on the higher figure, that’s about 3 feet.

Translated, this could mean that beaches lose about 50 feet of area for every foot of increase in sea level. Some islands may even disappear beneath sea water completely.

Heat waves

Heat waves and periods of weather that are unusually warm are also signs of global warming. These may come about with varying degrees of their severity and frequency, causing concerns in the economics and health on a global scale.

How global warming brings climate change and what it means to us

The earth’s climate has always been changing, although not at an abrupt rate. There had been periods of warming and cooling in the earth’s 4.65 billion-year history. Strange as it may sound to some, this is the reason why life became possible on this planet millions of years ago. Unfortunately, not all of the changes in climate brought about by global warming may be beneficial to many of us.

For one, global warming will raise the temperatures in some regions of the Northern Hemisphere, causing the melting of mountain glaciers. This means that areas that are currently experiencing light snow may no longer experience snowfall anymore. Snowlines found in mountains in temperate regions may also be higher and packs of snow will melt earlier than before.

Spring may be experienced earlier and temperatures during night time and in winter will rise. The world will experience a more humid atmosphere since sea water will have a higher rate of evaporation. With greater humidity, rainfall is expected to increase on average.

Storms will also occur with more frequency and intensity. Ironically, water in the soil will evaporate faster, causing dryness between rains. Regions that are already considered dry will experience more dryness. Some semi-arid regions in the African continent, for example, may suffer more while areas that depend on their region’s mountain snow packs for irrigation will not benefit from earlier melting between growing seasons.

With warmer weather, some hurricanes will be more severe and winds are expected to blow stronger. It is also possible that wind patterns may shift. Extremely cold periods may be experienced as well.

The phenomenon known as El Nino may occur in more frequency and severity. This is expected to affect different regions in many countries. All in all, scientists will have some difficulty in predicting weather patterns.

With changes in climate brought about by global warming, health concerns and risks may also increase. Heat stress and diseases may become common in places that did not have any problems with them before.

Global warming is an issue that requires immediate action. Even plants and animal species are adversely affected by it. While many of the changes that occur in our planet are totally out of our hands, we have been direct contributors to events that have had negative effects on our environment. This is why many leading social and scientific organizations have urged nations to cooperate in the move to counter this worldwide problem before it’s too late.

Neck Injury? Whiplash Do’s and Don’ts

Whiplash can be a very serious neck injury. The neck is hyperextended, the muscles sometimes torn or stretched. Nerve damage can result. In really severe instances, the spine can sustain permanent damage. In most cases, whiplash results from a car accident. The victim is driving along when suddenly their auto is struck from behind, causing their head to snap in the direction of the body’s momentum. What’s actually happening in this scenario, is that the body is unexpectedly thrust forward, the head lags behind and then “whips” forward in an effort to catch up to the body. Though this is the most common occurrence, it’s certainly not the only one. Whiplash victims are sometimes pedestrians who are struck by cars. Other whiplash injuries include, but are not limited to falling off a horse, motorcycle or bicycle. Typically, the symptoms range from stiff neck or back muscles to headaches or sometimes, much worse. Because the symptoms range in severity and sometimes don’t show up immediately, whiplash is an injury to be taken very seriously. Proper medical care should be sought and one should consider filing a whiplash injury claim.

Stated below are your basic do’s and don’ts for filing your whiplash injury claim:

Do: seek medical help immediately. Very often the symptoms of whiplash are not felt right away. Many times the victim is “caught up” in the emotional rush of the accident and is not aware of any discomfort.. Other times, there is simply a gradual intensifying of pain. Whatever the case, the full details of the injuries must be reported and documented by a doctor.

Do: plan and keep regular office visits to your doctor or caregiver. When dealing with whiplash, new or developing symptoms often arise. They must also be treated and documented.

Do: hire or consult with a personal injury solicitor or whiplash attorney. The insurance companies have lots of “small print” that you must be aware of. There are provisions and special terms that must be gone over and fully understood. A top notch, experienced attorney can help you recover any out of pocket expenses incurred by you, such as automobile or medical costs.

Don’t: Delay. Far too often whiplash victims put off treatment. This isn’t very smart for 2 reasons:

Almost 50% of whiplash victims report new symptoms two years from the date of accident. Whiplash symptoms may grow gradually. Delaying treatment will often cause existing milder symptoms to evolve into more painful ones and cause new symptoms to develop.

If whiplash related injuries are not fully reported and documented, It makes it much more difficult to get full compensation from the insurance company.

Don’t: Rely solely on x-rays to find whiplash injuries.Soft tissue damage does not show up. A comprehensive exam must be given and the victim’s medical history must be taken into consideration.

Don’t take the insurance first offer if you agree to settle. They will low ball you, for certain. Do your due diligence. find out what payout averages are. Speak with other whiplash victims. Pick your lawyer’s brain.

Minor may be the accident, whiplash is not…

Does Travel Insurance Cover Fear of Flying?

Fear of Flying has been a problem for many people since passenger flights began. It is a fear or phobia, the same as many people may fear spiders, public speaking, or heights. Fear of flying has probably increased dramatically in the past decade – especially since 9/11. It’s understandable. How many people happily boarded planes after that terrible event? After all, when you think about it, flying is not a very natural thing for humans to do – we weren’t born with wings!

In today’s tight security climate we hardly ever get to see the pilots or cockpit crews who have our lives in their hands. It might be helpful to remember that they are human beings too – with lives and families of their own – and they fully intend to return home to them! Gone are the days when you might be lucky enough to obtain the captain’s permission to visit the cockpit on a long-haul flight. The pilots are locked in behind a bullet proof door and the entire process of flight is a mystery for many passengers! It’s a real shame.

Fear of flying is an annoying and often debilitating problem for those afflicted but, not only that, it can also cause disruption to holiday plans, affect career paths, and cause financial losses. Those who are required to fly frequently on business could find themselves held back in their career or even out of a job because of their fear of flying.

Most people, if they were honest, would admit to feeling some jitters or nerves before take off or landing, or when experiencing turbulence. Some have a stronger reaction, perhaps exacerbated by an existing anxiety condition.

It’s no secret that many people make out their will before flying! We all know about the statistics that you are much more likely to be involved in a car accident than a plane crash, but for many this is little consolation.

It is normal for a lot of people to feel the urge to cancel their flights or holidays if there has been a recent problem with hijacking, terrorism, or a plane crash. Fear of flying is a valid condition which is recognized medically. The anxiety can be so bad that it can cause physical reactions such as panic attacks, sweating, trembling, palpitations, dizziness, intestinal problems, clammy hands and nausea. Blocked ears during descent can be a problem – especially for children – but there are simple techniques to alleviate this pain which can be learned; chewing gum can help.

Most people will know of someone who is afraid of flying. They may be unable to go on holiday abroad because of it, although for many people their desire for a holiday in the sun may eventually outweigh their fear! It is often a form of claustrophobia, combined with a lack of understanding of how an aircraft operates and stays in the air. Young mothers are one group who tend to be more susceptible because of their protective instincts towards their children.

If someone you know is afflicted, you could make a difference in their life by encouraging them to seek help. There are several independent companies, as well as major airlines, which offer courses to help people overcome their fear of flying. Virgin Atlantic offers a Flying without Fear programme. British Airways/Aviatours offers a one-day course. The course instructors include trained pilots and psychologists.

During the courses the various stages of flight and the noises associated with them are simulated. For example, the sound of aircraft engines powering up or down can cause fear that something is wrong or the plane is going to crash. The loud whirring and clunking noises of the wheels (landing gear) being lowered and locked into place can be very frightening for those who don’t understand what is happening. The courses may include relaxation techniques and end with an actual short flight where everything is explained as it occurs. Once a passenger has a basic understanding of the way an aircraft works the fears are usually greatly diminished. Other self-help methods are available such as books, DVDs, CDs and computer courses. Online support forums may be helpful for those who wish to share their thoughts and fears with other sufferers or hear from those who have found successful ways to cope.

Natural approaches, such as relaxation techniques and hypnosis can be very helpful. It’s worth checking if your GP would be willing to prescribe something to help you stay calm during a flight. It’s never a good idea to resort to drinking alcohol or taking sleeping tablets. Alcohol combined with the dehydrating effects of flying can make you feel even worse, and who wants to start their holiday in a groggy haze after taking sleeping pills!

Unfortunately, the bottom line is that travel insurance does not provide compensation for cancelled flights due to a fear of flying. The cancellation would be deemed ‘self-inflicted’ and you would find yourself personally liable for any financial losses. Therefore, if you want to be able to join your family and friends for holidays in the sun, it is never too late to obtain help for your fear of flying. One of the methods outlined in this article may hold the key to overcoming the fears and unlock many years of flying and happy holidays abroad!

Car Parking Systems With Efficient Parking Solutions

The space in our world is not going to increase but the number of cars travelling on the roads certainly will. What we need is car parking systems that manage these spaces for us in a more convenient manner and utilizes the limited space we have in the best possible manner.

For the developing communities where businesses are growing every day and almost every family owns more than one or two cars the need for efficient parking is more pronounced than it was a few years back. The increase in number of cars is posing a problem for shopping plazas, organizations and malls that are faced with the challenge of providing easy parking for their customers or employees as it directly interferes with the sales outcome.

Many companies are feeling the need to develop such parking software systems that make it easy for their employees to park their cars. Some companies have such parking software that have a charge system making the process simple and easy to operate. The charges can be different for different areas and the charges can be set by allotting budget codes. For example on Saturdays and Sundays no charges are taken. Car parking fees can be automatically calculated. The organized spaces not only save time but also prove to be beneficial from a security point of view.

While designing spaces for parking systems it is important to consider the ventilation systems. Very often we see that not much consideration is given to this aspect resulting in dark suffocating underground car parking spaces. Exhaust fans or other ventilation system must be there to ensure circulation of fresh air.

Today very easy to use parking systems that clearly display free spaces and allow the users to identify the availability of free space instantly are quite popular.

Conventional parking systems are no longer the answer to the growing need for parking spaces. Parking systems are being designed for managing the car spaces in a more coherent and orderly manner, accommodating more number of cars within the available space. There are puzzle parking systems and multi-level state of the art automated systems for vehicle parking being used that prove beneficial in reducing wastage of space.

The emphasis today is on automated procedures that are quick and require less time and effort and for this purpose more car parking lots are using car parking software that are responsible for the parking procedures.

Texas Landlord Home Insurance Information

Texas landlord home insurance is different from a standard homeowner’s policy in several ways. Because of this a landlord will usually get a specialized type of homeowners insurance. This is sometimes called a dwelling policy.

Personal property (contents) is not usually standard with a landlord home policy. There is often an option to get this at extra cost. That is a good idea if the home is furnished with appliances and or furniture. You will probably be able to select the dollar amount of this coverage that you want. Personal property theft is normally excluded from coverage.

Personal liability and medical payments to others coverage will probably by optional with a landlord’s home insurance policy. There will probably be an option to have liability coverage added with extra cost. This is usually inexpensive and I recommend getting liability coverage.

Texas has standardized packages of coverage and most landlords get a Texas Dwelling Policy (TDP1, TDP2, or TDP3 package.) TDP1 is the least expensive and covers basic risks. TDP2 covers some additional perils including rupture or bursting of water pipes, fall of trees, glass breakage, and collapse of building. TDP3 includes TDP2 plus trees, shrubs, plants, special form (broader coverage) on the building, and additional living expenses. (Please note that your actual policy may vary from my description and you should ask your agent to explain all details of any policy that you get)

In many cases I suggest the TDP3 policy because it has better coverage for only slightly more than a TDP1 plan. Then ask about your options to upgrade by adding things like some content coverage, personal liability, and medical payments to others coverage.

Your agent should discuss all available discounts with you. This can include things like an alarm system, newer home, updated electrical or plumbing, claims free, good credit, and senior citizen discounts.

Flood coverage will not be included with your policy. If you are in a high risk area this is essential. If the home is not at high risk the cost will be very low. I usually suggest getting at least some flood coverage.

Another consideration for landlords is a renter’s insurance package for the tenants. This is important for them and you. You want their property to be covered to reduce the possibility of a claim against you if they have a loss. For example, if there is a fire and they have $50,000 in property destroyed, they might claim it was your fault because the home had an issue with the electrical system. You could also have exposure for a liability claim in the event of an injury. I suggest requiring the tennant to have a high level of liability coverage. A renter’s package policy is usually inexpensive and is typically in the $100 to $300 per year range. Consider making renters insurance a requirement in your lease. You may want to require proof of a 1 year paid-up policy at move in time. Ask your agent to advise you about how much coverage is sufficient.