Lowering Your Auto Insurance as a Senior

rear ended vehicle

When you are involved in an automobile accident you suddenly have a lot of unplanned expenses that may cause you considerable financial hardship. Auto insurance is designed to protect you against these expenses. The cost of your auto insurance policy depends on the type(s) of coverage you purchase as well as your personal driving record. Some types of coverage are required by the laws of the state in which you live. Read on to discover what Insurance Doctor has to say about how you can obtain the insurance the law requires while lowering your annual costs.

Basic Automobile Insurance

Any automobile policy is made up of different types of coverage. Some are basic types required by law and the others, while not required, provide additional layers of financial protection for you. Each type has its own exclusions and limitations. When seeking cheap car insurance, always review your policy yourself and go over it carefully with your insurance agent to assure you are receiving all the coverage you want. Don’t sacrifice protection if you can afford it.

Basic Insurance Requirements

Let’s take the states of North Carolina and Virginia and compare their minimum auto insurance requirements. Liability insurance is the most basic type of insurance coverage. It will pay for property damage and bodily injury for which you become legally responsible. It covers you whether you are driving your own car or someone else’s vehicle. With Liability coverage, there are separate liability limits per accident and per person injured.

North Carolina requires all drivers to carry liability insurance. Virginia requires all drivers with insurance to carry liability insurance. Virginia offers an exception if you are willing to pay Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) an Uninsured Motor Vehicle (UMV) fee of $500. This registration must be renewed periodically with another $500 fee. You don’t receive insurance with this fee. It merely allows you to drive an uninsured automobile at your own risk. “At your own risk” means just that. If you have an accident, the financial responsibility is all yours.

North Carolina requires higher amounts of minimum coverage than Virginia does. Read and compare the following:

north carolina state


North Carolina Minimum Coverage

Bodily injury liability, per person per accident $30,000
Bodily injury liability, total per accident $60,000
Property damage liability, per accident $25,000

North Carolina law specifically requires you to have the financial means of covering injuries and property damage costs resulting from an auto accident in which you are at fault. Auto insurance is the most convenient way to do this. Unlike Virginia, North Carolina also requires you to carry coverage for uninsured motorists (to protect yourself). When searching for cheap car insurance, be sure you purchase at least the legally required minimum coverage.







Virginia Minimum Coverage

Bodily injury or death of one person $25,000
Bodily injury or death of two persons or more $50,000
Property damage per accident $20,000

Both states impose severe financial and other penalties for non-compliance. These include monetary fines as well as other actions, up to losing your vehicle’s licensing and your driving privileges.

Optional Auto Insurance Coverage

Two other major types of coverage include Collision (covering damages to your car from other moving vehicles) and Comprehensive (covering your car for damages not related to a moving vehicle accident, such as vandalism). If you are still making payments on a car loan or lease, your bank or finance company will require you to purchase these.

Other available coverages include but may not be limited to total disability benefits coverage; automobile death indemnity; specific disability; extended transportation expenses (rental reimbursement);towing and labor costs; coverage for rental vehicles; and coverage for damage to auto (on data, visual and audio electronic equipment). These are strictly optional choices.

How to Lower Car Insurance Costs

The best method of maintaining low-cost auto insurance rates is to be a good driver, obeying all traffic laws and driving safely. If there are other drivers on your policy, they should be good drivers also. Bad driving is always penalized with higher car insurance premiums. A new inexperienced driver will also impact your premiums. North Carolina and other states use a point system that penalizes bad drivers. The more points you have, the higher risk you are to an insurance carrier so accordingly you pay more. In North Carolina, one point on your license means a 30 percent increase in your insurance premium.

Take Advantage of All Available Insurance Discounts

Some discounts are fairly automatic with most insurance companies but it never hurts to ask your insurance agent about each of them specifically to make sure you receive all the discounts that apply to you and your situation. These discounts include:

•Good driver
•Anti-lock brakes, airbags and other built-in safety features
•Multi-car coverage
•Multi-policy (car insurance bundled with homeowners insurance)
•Low Mileage
•By Payment Method: Discount for paying entire policy at one time annually or Cost savings for setting up automatic debits for payments.

There are other potential discounts for which you need to specifically ask your agent. These include:

•Good student
•Distant student (if your young driver is away at college with limited access to any of your covered cars)
•Auto theft alarm
•Defensive driving course( particularly for drivers 55 and over)
•Driver Education course

Always get quotes from a variety of companies to find the one that gives you the best price for the coverage you need and want. This is the best way to purchase cheap car insurance.

Questions to Ask When Searching For a Spinal Surgeon


Do you have severe back pain and are considering spinal surgery to alleviate that pain? We have developed this list of questions you should be asking your surgeon to make sure they’re the perfect fit for your operation. Before we move on, I would briefly like to mention that back surgery is almost always an elective procedure. Meaning that there are usually many options to consider before you decide you need spine surgery. The spine surgeon in question should act as an adviser, educating their patients about each option, and helping them in the decision-making process. If your surgeon only talks about the spine surgery he wants to perform on you, this may be a red flag that he or she doesn’t have your best interest in mind. So, here is out list of questions you should be asking when trying to find the perfect spine surgeon.

1.      Are you board certified and a member of any major spine organizations? Don’t be afraid to ask your surgeon about their specific qualifications and certifications. In most cases, you can look on their wall to see certifications, but you may have to do some additional digging to find out about the major spine organizations. Some spine surgeons list this information online, such as Dr. E. Claiborne Irby at richmondspine.com. A list like he has with many affiliations is usually an indicator of a good spinal surgeon. We suggest your spine surgeon be a member of the North American Spine Society, as they require that their member’s devote at least 50% of their practice to spinal treatments.

2.      How many times have you completed my specific operation? Surgery is a lot like everything else in life, in that the more repetition you have in something, the better you are at it. Be sure that your spinal surgeon has successfully completed your specific operation many times. You may even be able to speak to clients who have your exact operation by your surgeon.

3.      What type of training/fellowship have you completed? Make sure that the surgeon in question has completed a fellowship in spine. Most back surgeons complete a general surgery residency after medical school, and then a year-long fellowship focused on spinal surgery. If your surgeon has not completed this fellowship, this should be a red flag.

4.       Could I have a second opinion? Most surgeons should have no problem with you wanting a second opinion. In fact, this is fairly common practice when it comes to back surgery. Ask which doctors they would recommend for a second opinion, as they should have many colleagues in mind to do so. A surgeon urging you to not get a second opinion should be seen as a red flag.

I hope this list of questions to ask your spinal surgeon has gotten you on the right track. Spinal operations can be a scary undertaking, but making sure you have the right surgeon is key to having the best experience and hopefully to making a full recovery.


Helping Seniors Save on Car Insurance

happy old manIn the US, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle on public roads without adequate auto insurance coverage. Of course, car insurance rates vary widely depending on factors such as your age, driving history, gender, and past car insurance claims. As such, you should shop around for the best car insurance deal. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to lower your car insurance along with some information on car insurance regulations in both Virginia and North Carolina:


How to Lower Your Car Insurance

  1. High deductibles

According to the Consumer Federation of America, you could lower your insurance rates by between 25 and 40% by raising your deductibles from $250 to $1,000. However, you should only do so if you can afford to set aside the extra amount of money to cover the costs in the event you have to submit a claim.

  1. Security and safety features

Most insurers offer discounts to consumers with cars that have built-in security and safety features such as anti-theft systems and alarm, engine immobilizer, child safety door locks, strategically located airbags, side guard door beams, post-collision safety systems, traction control, electronic brakeforce distribution and tire pressure monitors. This is because cars with such features are safer to drive and more difficult to steal compared to cars that lack such features.

  1. Repair your credit score

Robert Hunter, insurance director at the Consumer Federation of America, says people with bad credit scores could end up paying 50% more on car coverage premiums compared to people with good credit scores. As such, you should take steps to repair your credit score before shopping for vehicle insurance. Some of the steps you can take include paying outstanding bills on time, avoiding the temptation to add on more debt, resolving errors on your credit report and reducing your credit card debt.

  1. Low mileage

Some insurers offer generous discounts to consumers whose cars have lower annual mileage than the average. To enjoy this benefit, consider moving to a residential property near your workplace, use public transport to commute to work or school, or join a carpooling community.

  1. Shop around

Another great way of finding cheap car insurance and affordable premiums is by comparing quotes from different insurance companies. While shopping around, remember to ask insurers if they offer discounts to consumers in specific professions, members of particular organizations such as veterans groups, or certain demographics such as senior citizens.

Virginia Car Insurance Regulations

The Virginia Financial Responsibility Law requires all registered cars to have both liability coverage and uninsured motorist coverage. The minimum coverage required includes:

  • Minimum bodily injury (BI) cover of $25,000 per person and $50,000 for two or more people involved in a car accident
  • Minimum property damage (PD) of $20,000 per car crash limit
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury (UM/UIMBI) minimum of 20/50 per car accident
  • Uninsured/Underinsured motorist property damage (UM/UIMPD) minimum of $20,000 per accident limit

Any individual caught driving under the influence (DUI) is required to have an FR-44 insurance policy for at least three years. In simple words, an FR-44 policy doubles all the minimum coverage requirements listed above. Besides these, optional policies include collision coverage comprehensive coverage, Medical Payments (MedPay) coverage, and Lost Income Benefits coverage or Medical Expense Benefit, which is mandated by the Virginia Insurance Code.

North Carolina Car Insurance Regulations

In North Carolina, it is not mandatory for car owners to have an SR-22 document (verifies that one has auto insurance). Nevertheless, you must provide proof of insurance when registering your car. You may use your car’s car policy, a DL-123 form issued by your insurer, or a valid insurance card as proof of insurance. Adequate car insurance coverage in North Carolina comprises the following:

  • Minimum bodily injury (BI) coverage of $30,000 per person per accident
  • Minimum bodily injury (BI) coverage of $60,000 per accident
  • Minimum property damage (PD) of $25,000 per accident
  • Uninsured motorist coverage

It is worth noting that North Carolina traffic laws require automobiles to have continuous coverage, meaning you would have to keep your monthly premium payments up to date for as long as you own a car. If you fail to do that, you will have to pay a license plate fee, insurance violation fees, and revocation of license plate for 30 days.


To lower your car insurance premiums, go for high deductibles, repair your credit score, maintain low mileage, look for an insurer who offers car security and safety feature discounts, and compare quotes from different insurers.

Your Options With Senior Care Assistance

grandfater. grandaughter

With the baby boomer population well into their senior years, many people are finding themselves having to care or find care for their older family members, such as parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Although many family members will not freely admit it, this can be quite a dilemma and a burden, as younger generations want to be sensitive to the needs of the older generation, yet are still obligated to their own jobs, families, and other endeavors.

What Seniors Need

Most seniors prefer to stay in their own homes as long as possible. Many can be resistant to change and like the familiarity of their home and whatever belongings they choose to have there. This is their comfort zone. It can sometimes be difficult for this aging generation to realize that they have additional needs that may, at times, supersede, their need of familiarity and comfort.

Seniors also need socialization. Isolation can lead to depression and even have a negative impact on their memory and mental sharpness. Safety is another prime need of the senior. Some seniors can quickly, and unfortunately, lose the ability to properly care for themselves and perform the tasks of daily living, such as bathing, hygiene, elimination, cooking, and cleaning.

What Families Need

Most families need to feel that the seniors in their life are safe and well-cared for.  They want their seniors to be comfortable and live out the last years of their life in a comfortable setting that is as stress-free as possible. Families and caregivers want their family members to enjoy their lives and be around other people. Above all, they need to know the senior members of their family are safe.

However, families also need their own freedoms and the ability to live their lives how they need to.  They need to be able to care for their own children, hold down their own jobs, and enjoy their own lives as well.

Needs Collide

While seniors and their family caregivers all have their own valid and unique needs, more often than not, these needs will collide and compete. This can make life very difficult for both caregivers and seniors. It can also lead to animosity and distrust.


Thankfully, there are now many different options for senior care in Fort Lauderdale.  Seniors do not have to move in with a family member or into a nursing home if these options are not ideal for the senior or their family members. One option, home care, can work towards meeting the needs of seniors and of their caregivers all at the same time and provide a happy medium. Hiring a home care company or a home caregiver to come into the home of the senior on a regular basis can allow the senior to stay in their own environment for as long as possible. At the same time, the senior gets help with cooking, cleaning, shopping, bathing, and even gets the benefit of socialization, all the while remaining relatively safe in their own home.

A home care solution can lift a burden off of family members and allow them the freedoms they need while giving them the peace of mind that their family member is well cared for, safe, and having their needs met. Options in senior home care give quality of life and freedoms back to both seniors and their families.

Senior Alert: Are You a Male at Risk of Infertility?

happy senior couple

In the most simple of terms, male infertility is the inability to cause a viable pregnancy. Infertility is a more common problem than many assume, as it is not widely disused. According to the Centers for Disease Control (the CDC), nearly 10 percent of United States couples, which equates to about 6.1 million women ages 15-44, have difficulty either getting pregnant or staying pregnant.

Infertility Can Affect Anyone

Both men and women can have issues that lead to the inability to maintain a pregnancy, which leads many to the doors of an infertility clinic. In fact, nearly one-third of infertility cases are caused by male-specific problems. The most important thing to keep in mind, however, is that many men who experience fertility issues can and will go on to become fathers.

Male infertility is often directly due to a lower than normal sperm count. This is because a man’s fertility is generally dependent on the quality—and the quantity–of his sperm. Normal sperm densities range from anywhere in the realm of 15 million to more than 200 million sperm per milliliter of semen. A male is considered to have a low sperm count if he has less than 39 million total sperm per ejaculate. If the number of sperm a man ejaculates is lower than 39 million, or the sperm are poor quality, it will be much more difficult for him impregnate a woman.

Reading the Infertility Symptoms

The symptoms of a low sperm count may include problems with sexual function (a low sex drive, or erectile dysfunction). Pain or swelling in the testicular area, as well as decreased facial or body hair, may also point to a hormone abnormality. These symptoms alone may bring a man to an infertility treatment center.



The good news is that successful treatment is available. A semen analysis with a board certified fertility doctor or fertility specialist is often the first step in getting help. Depending on the results of this test, an infertility doctor may suggest medication, hormone, treatment or surgery—or even a combination of the three—to treat many of the issues men face.

Those employed by a fertility treatment center will also typically counsel a man on making healthy lifestyle choices, since a man’s sperm—not to mention his overall reproductive health–can be impacted by both his lifestyle and overall health and well-being.

Factors That Affect Male Infertility Rates:

– Smoking cigarettes (even socially)

– Heavy and prolonged alcohol abuse

– Age (as men age their sperm counts to tend to lower)

– Environmental toxins such as paints, pesticides and lead

– Certain medications

– Cancer treatment (especially chemotherapy)

– Serious Health conditions such as kidney disease or advanced hormone problems


Another less common cause of male infertility is a sexual problem that does not allow semen is to enter the woman’s vagina.

Surgery is typically the most invasive form of treatment (and carries the longest recovery period), so it is often used as a final solution in a fertility clinic. An infertility specialist may surgically correct a varicocele or an obstructed vas deferens. Additionally, any prior vasectomies can be reversed, which will restore the ability to impregnate a woman. In cases where sperm is not present in the ejaculate, sperm can often be retrieved directly from a man’s testicles by employing various sperm retrieval methods.

Car Insurance Catered for Seniors

When you are asked to pull over by the police for not having car insurance you had better choose your words carefully. Going on a careless rant about irrelevant specifics is the last thing you need. Rather, this should be a wake-up call to make concrete plans to get insured. The importance of auto insurance can never be emphasized enough if you take a leaf from those who have been caught wanting and regretted it for the rest of their lives

The list of things that could possibly go wrong is literally endless. But when it comes to the worst, third party liability certainly tops the list by yards. Most auto insurance policies have third party liability cover for the occasional mishap or error of judgment that results in the interests of innocent third parties being affected. If you are not insured it is as inevitable as the sun rising that you will be personally liable for car damage and medical expenses -if any- that result from a car accident. And who knows for how long the victim(s) will be hospitalized, out of employment or unable to use their own car. All these expenses will normally be paid for by your insurer if you were smart enough to secure insurance, however, since you thought it was an unnecessary inconvenience, you will have to fork out the money and be responsible for someone else’s welfare for the rest of your life.

Not only is insurance a safety net for the free-falling motorist whose fault or otherwise causes harm to others, it is also a form of disaster alleviation. Depending on the extent of the damage to your motor vehicle, you may have to make arrangements for repairs, and if you’re unlucky, save up money to buy a new car. A car insurance agency will come to your rescue by paying for repairs, or if need be, by replacing the car completely and giving you a new set of wheels; now how’s that for being organized? And if you have caused damage to another person’s car your insurer will be contractually bound to reimburse, repair or replace the wronged party.


driving mercedes

Not so Much of a Needle in the Haystack

It is normal to find yourself at great pains in finding a reliable insurer; after all, we all go through the hassle at some point. As a rule of thumb, your first priority should be to compile a comprehensive list of random insurance companies from which to streamline your search for a final decision. Going online and simply searching through insurance databases is the first step in compiling the list. Once you have a list, streamlining it is not difficult if you work with reviews and independent online surveys. The latter is an excellent source of customer related opinions as in most cases people do not mince their words if they have had a torrid time with particular insurers.

Another excellent way of finding a reliable car insurance company is to ask around at work and from family and friends. Chances are that insurers who features prominently in such fact-finding conversations will be worth their salt and not just run of the mill. And last but not least, when you finally get to the point of negotiating a policy be sure to be honest in answering questions put forward to you as there are perks that come with being in certain life and employment circumstances.

Why Your Child Needs an Excellent Preschool Program

preschool kidsOne of the best things you can do for your child is to get him or her enrolled in a reputable child care center. This is because early childhood education is vital to the development of your child. Many day care centers offer excellent preschool classes and they have exciting activities that will aid the cognitive development of your child. Below are some excellent reasons to enroll your toddler in a good preschool in Liberty.

Prepares your toddler for kindergarten

The basic advantage of preschool is that it offers your child a great opportunity to experience a school environment for the first time. Your child will learn to share, follow instructions and develop social skills. Your child will also learn to sing, dance and make friends at the day care center. In fact, the preschool is the perfect opportunity to prepare your child for the nursery school because the toddler will meet teachers and fellow students for the first time here.

Develops pre-math and numbers skills

Preschool children show great interest in numbers and figures from an early age. Preschool teachers use this opportunity to teach your child how to recognize shapes like triangles, squares and rectangles. Teachers in these institutions also introduce the kids to pre-math using an abacus, puzzles or other interesting games. This experience prepares your kids for pre-math in kindergarten so it is a great foundation for them.

Promotes language and communications skills

A good preschool program can dramatically improve your child’s vocabulary and communication skills. This is because the teachers give the little ones opportunities to sing, act, and talk about their best storybooks. These activities boost your child’s confidence and improve language and communication skills.

Preschool develops motor skills

A vital aspect of early childhood education is the development of motor skills. Children should be allowed to play, run around and generally have fun. This improves physical coordination and makes the kids stronger. A good preschool teacher encourages kids to run, climb, jump and play physical games. These institutions also have swings, seesaws and other equipment to cater for the physical needs of your child. Physical training under the teacher’s supervision helps your child develop motor skills, balance and excellent hand-eye coordination.

Promotes social skills

A good day care center is not all about physical and mental activity. These informal schools also offer your child an opportunity to develop social skills. Kids are taught to make friends, communicate with their friends and build relationships. These social skills help them fit in easily when they get to kindergarten or nursery school.

Nurtures the child’s curiosity

Children are naturally curious and adventurous. Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing but some teachers in primary schools try to repress children’s curiosity. Fortunately, this is not the case in preschool. Teachers in these schools nurture your child’s creativity and encourage them to use their imagination. In fact, a “correct answer” does not exist in day care centers. This encourages your child to think outside the box and make the most of his or her creative imagination.

Final word

You have no reason to rush your child to a kindergarten without letting the toddler enjoy a preschool experience first. A great child care center teaches your child vital skills and prepares him or her for kindergarten. Give your toddler a happy preschool experience and the child will be great student in future.