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Car Insurance Online

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The enormous advantages that the Internet has to offer have prompted car insurance companies to advertise their policies online. Initially, car insurance was available only through a car insurance agent. The process was tedious and time consuming and required immense paperwork and assessments. This factor alone has made a large number of people opt for online car insurance.

Car insurance companies now offer online services that have made it very easy for clients to acquire information they may need. Car insurance quotes and auto insurance claims can be obtained or filed at any time of the day. Online car insurance helps provide interactive and spontaneous customer care, rather than wait on the phone line for long periods of time. Insurance companies are using this medium to sell car insurance directly.

Opening online accounts with car insurance companies is also proving to be beneficial. In case clients misplace an insurance card it is possible to simply acquire a printout of the original copy. Car insurance online accounts with existing insurance providers puts an end to storing piles of insurance paperwork. Online car insurance even allows people to receive updates and file claims whenever needed.

Car insurance online sites have gone a step further by making the online experience easy and user friendly. Car insurance terminology and verbiage may be difficult to understand. Most car insurance online services are aiming at providing simple and understandable information. Online car insurance allows customers to learn about various types of auto insurance coverage, limits and deductibles.

Certain states even allow people to purchase a car insurance policy online. These methods are considered to be safe since most Web sites use secure connections. This prevents outsiders from attaining personal information about a prospective client. However, it is important to realize that car insurance online is at times only a part of the entire process. Car insurance online often complements and eases the car insurance procedure.

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South African Entrepreneurs

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Understanding South African Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship Development

It has often been said that economic development in any country is directly related to the level of entrepreneurial activity that takes place within the country. It has also been said that both enterprise development and entrepreneurship are amongst the best ways to create wealth and add value to society as a whole.

In South Africa, with all its historical imbalances, enterprise development in particular is seen as a key to enabling black South Africans (in particular) to take a rightful place in business.

You may well have read this kind of thing before, but how much do you know about enterprise development, South African entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship development in this country?

South African entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship development are key to our national economy

South African entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship development defined

If you open a dictionary and look for the definition of an entrepreneur, you will see that this is a business person who is prepared to take initiatives and calculated risks in order to make a profit. If you are going to be an entrepreneur, you will have to take risks. And to be successful, you need to make money out of your endeavours.

Taking risks does not imply stupidity, or suggest that entrepreneurs are gamblers. But it does mean they are able to rise to challenges that will increase profitability.

The most significant factor about entrepreneurs – including of course South African entrepreneurs – is that they need to be able to identify a feasible opportunity and then ascertain whether the opportunity they have identified is in fact a viable idea. If the idea isn’t feasible, anyone who is likely to become a successful South African entrepreneur will drop the idea. But if the idea IS feasible, that very same person will have the capacity to take the idea further to see if it is in fact viable. If it is, they will usually do a business plan and then launch a new business.

Basically, entrepreneurs are able to take their own creative ideas and combine these with the skills, resources and people who are needed to be able to form a successful business.

In essence, they need to be able to:

  • Identify new or different opportunities that may be products or services.
  • Be creative and innovative.
  • Start a business that he or she can call their own.
  • Manage that business with or without the help of other people.
  • Finance, produce and market products and services successfully.
  • Find the finances if not immediately available.
  • Organise and control all the resources needed to run a successful business (this includes finding and managing the capital required for the business, as well as the people and materials needed for it to operate).
  • Take risks. Remember that these will be calculated risks and not just stupid risks!

A lot can be said about entrepreneurship development, but really what is important is that the concept involves literally developing entrepreneurship and making entrepreneurial enterprises happen. For this reason, enterprise development helps South African entrepreneurs of all colours and creeds achieve their desires.

Extending the concept of South African entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship development

There are many different types of entrepreneurial businesses, and also many different types of entrepreneurs.

For instance, entrepreneurial businesses may be micro – which means they are really small, one-person businesses – or they can be small, medium or large. Generally it is the SMME (which stands for small, medium and micro enterprises) sector that carries the South African entrepreneur. This is partly because the more entrepreneurial businesses there are, the more jobs there will be for people who aren’t entrepreneurs.

In fact it is believed that 97.5% of all businesses in South Africa are SMMEs – although not all of these are entrepreneurial businesses, and not all grow and become successful.

A business entrepreneur, regardless of what he or she might do for a living, may be described as a person who undertakes a wealth-creating and value-adding process by developing ideas, getting resources together and making things happen. The success of a business entrepreneur is measured by performance and return (or profit).

Then there are social entrepreneurs, who are people who recognise social problems and use entrepreneurial principles to organise, create and manage ventures in an endeavour to bring about social change. The success of social entrepreneurs is measured by the impact their work has on society.

A relatively new sector, social entrepreneurship has a vital role to play in emerging markets. Because social entrepreneurs are passionate about what they do, they are able to make change happen and so help in the transformation process.

Then there are corporate entrepreneurs, or intrapreneurs, who create a new, profitable business within a business that already exists. One of the best known examples of successful intrapreneurship involving South African entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship development, is the formation of Outsurance and Discovery Health from within the highly successful existing business structure of First National Bank (FNB). What made Outsurance entrepreneurial was that it offered direct, short-term insurance to people without the traditional intermediary insurance brokers being involved. Over the years it has grown from a small corporate entrepreneurial business to a large, highly successful insurance business.

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Online Degrees – What Online College is the Best?

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If you’ve been thinking about getting an online degree you may be wondering what online college is the best. I’m asked this question often. There are many variables to consider however.

You probably know that a traditional, well-known school with a campus, such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford and others, is going to have a better reputation. However, the cost of attending these schools is prohibitive for many, besides having to go through the acceptance process.

But there are many other schools that have excellent reputations that are worthy of attending or taking classes from online. There are also vocational and traditional schools that are limited to online degree programs only.

The program and major you plan to pursue and whether you want an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s degree or doctorate will greatly influence which online school you decide on.

Online colleges and online degree programs are becoming more and more popular and are more and more accepted by employers, much more so than they used to be. Many of the largest companies in the U.S. readily accept applicants with online degrees, especially from accredited online colleges.

Technology is also gaining and improving every year so you have better access to your professors and to other students as well.

You want to avoid schools with unrecognizable names that offer promises of quick diplomas or degrees. These are called diploma mills and they’re still operating. Some of these schools report that you can get your bachelor’s degree in 72 hours. You don’t want to present this kind of degree to a prospective employer. It will work against you.

Recently in our community, I read that it was discovered that three state (highway) patrol officers had online degrees from diploma mills and were fired.

Staying with a recognizable name school and checking to make sure they are accredited is very important. You can check through the Council of Higher Education Accreditation to make sure they are accredited.

If you’re unfamiliar with the school here are a few questions you can ask of any online college or school that you’re considering. What is the acceptance rate, can they help with financial aid, what is the retention and graduation rate and what is the number of years the school has had accreditation. You also want to make sure that any school you transfer into later will accept your credits. Know this before you sign up.

What online college is best is going to depend on your needs, as there are many variables. Your location, how much money it will cost, whether you’re on a budget or have plenty of money to spend on an online degree or do you want to get to go free or cheap? It will also depend on the program you choose and how specialized it is.

There is plenty of federal financial aid and other money available for online degree programs so you may want to check this out. There are also grants and scholarships available for online students and many go unawarded every year. There are many scholarships available in specialized areas too. Some students go free. Just take a little time to do some research and you can save a lot of money.

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The Pedestrian Drinking Problem

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In 2003, the Department of Transport released figures to show that drunk driving caused half of South Africa’s accidents. Statistics continually prove that drunken pedestrians are also an ongoing problem on our roads.

Drinking and road usage has received the benefit of considerable funding and concern in recent years, but the figures are still escalating. Are we treating the symptoms and not the cause when we endeavour to keep heavy drinkers off the roads? What is it that causes so many people to drink so heavily? Where many pedestrians are concerned, it can be assumed that most would benefit if the money they ‘sink into drink’, was used more meaningfully.

But the poor and unemployed are not the only people drowning their sorrows on a regular basis. Car owners/drivers behave just as badly. Their sin is generally considered worse, because the influence of their alcohol is backed by the sheer weight of heavy machinery. Since previous strategies appear not to have worked, how then, do we plan to improve the status quo?

Call to action

The good news came in the form of an open letter from the Minister of Health (Mercury 22/12/2004). She acknowledged the report from the United Nations General assembly stating that road safety has received insufficient attention at international and national levels and that multi-disciplinary collaboration is needed to tackle it effectively. Lack of political responsibility was also cited.

She wrote that she believes that an increase in road accidents is synonymous with development, an attitude that many would consider defeatist – development should surely encompass all spheres of life. Despite this, she agrees that the Department of Health must become involved in primary prevention strategies, including public campaigns to reduce alcohol intake and encourage behavioural change.

Welcome news, no doubt, for Transport, which has been trying to achieve a level of intra-departmental co-operation since the start of Arrive Alive in 1997. The minister further explained that “Health has a social responsibility to prevent injuries due to the enormous amounts of taxpayer money that are spent on emergency care, hospital care, rehabilitation and social security grants.”

It was gratifying to note that the Minister intended to rally her department to achieve the World Health Organisation 2004 objectives regarding road safety. A year later, few can see any sign that her department remembers her promise to help turn a growing national drinking problem around? Does she need more motivation to act?

Research Factors

Effective research has repeatedly highlighted the effects of alcohol on both body and brain. Only two examples are noted here, since they are considered sufficient to highlight interesting facts of which every drinker should be aware.

The first part of the brain to be affected by alcohol is the frontal lobe, which controls conscience and executive control (including co-ordination and dexterity). This obviously means that drinkers are less able to control machinery or react in sufficient time to avoid accident situations, but that they have also lost any natural urges to behave well or to evaluate their behaviour with honesty. This can be seen in their assurances that they are ‘just fine’ to drive or walk home, even after several drinks.

The cerebellum is the next part of the brain to feel the effects of alcohol consumption. It controls coordination of all types, but especially hand/eye co-ordination. After a few drinks, the drinker slurs his/her speech, suffers memory loss and double vision, though it appears to him-/herself that there is no more than a warm, fuzzy, comfortable haze in the atmosphere.

After a big night out, even after blood and breath alcohol levels have returned to normal, the brain still has not recovered its former capacity to perform normally. Hangovers translate into ‘still drunk’. Due to alcohol’s dehydrating effects, the brain shrinks and a hangover is actually part of the recovery process. Until the fluids in our bodies have completely returned to normal, our reactions and judgement are severely affected, though reaction improves before our judgement does.

Gender bias

“Researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College, London found that women are now more likely than men to indulge in regular binge drinking (Binge drinking ladettes at risk, Daily News, 22/1/2004). A five-year study into the drinking habits of 20 000 adults between 20 and 60 showed that deaths from alcohol abuse among women trebled in only seven years.

One in five women can be considered a binge drinker – the result of greater financial and general independence. Because female hormones do not process alcohol as well as those of men, their livers are more vulnerable than those of the men who match them drink for drink.

Interestingly, during drinking sessions, female testosterone levels escalate four to five times faster than those of males. Their sex drive rises and they find it difficult to keep their urges and impulses under control. Others appear to be more attractive than they actually are, so women are likely to link up with men who, in sober circumstances, they might avoid or not spare a second glance. This information becomes fascinating when related to young girls who accept lifts from men who are not fit to drive and those who develop trust for male acquaintances after only a few drinks.

The article also reported that heavy drinking in women can be linked to breast cancer and that women are more likely than men to suffer brain damage induced by binge drinking. Good enough reason not to need to say about your teenage daughter, “She’s going to do it anyway”?

Every year in South Africa, too many babies are born with foetal alcohol syndrome, a condition that stunts their growth, health and brain capacity. It results from maternal drug and alcohol intake during pregnancy and very often the babies, who are born, already ‘damaged’, will receive as little care and attention throughout their lives as they received consideration, during the gestation period.

Very often, they become part of the growing orphan problem; their mothers dumping them as soon as they realise that their children are not normal. There are insufficient orphanages and special schools for them and they seldom find secure surroundings where they can develop to their limited potential. Moreover, alcoholism, besides being a certified illness, is also an expensive habit. Even if their mothers keep them, many have been repeatedly raped and/or sodomized before the authorities step in.

Pedestrian shoes

Despite the fact that drunken pedestrians are not essentially part of the drunken driving problem, they are a very real cause of accidents, serious injuries and fatalities on South African roads. The effects of alcohol on body and mind relate just as much to the ability of drunken pedestrians to cross a road in safety, without endangering vehicular traffic (and themselves) as they do those who get behind the wheels of their cars when ‘under the weather’.

Although many would argue that the pedestrian is far more vulnerable and does not, as such, control imminently dangerous machinery, every drunken pedestrian who is a danger to him-/herself, is as much of a danger to vehicular traffic. When motorists hit drunken pedestrians, there are no statistics to show how many vehicles have already managed to avoid the same person. When a motorist is unable to avoid a drunken pedestrian, the lives of everyone in his vehicle, and in surrounding vehicles, are also put at risk.

It is realistic to suggest that a single drunken pedestrian on the road, could ultimately be liable for the death of an entire minibus taxi or bus full of passengers. In fact, in some cases, where tragic bus accidents have claimed the lives of several passengers, it is unlikely that evidence proving the presence of a drunken pedestrian would surface, despite investigation after the incident.

Arrive Alive figures for 2002 reported 126 drunken pedestrian fatalities. In the first ten months of 2003, 56 drunken pedestrian fatalities were reported. It should be remembered here that people who die after admission to hospital are reported initially as ‘serious injury’ cases and fatality figures could have risen during the days after the accidents.

Alcohol survey

An article, Pedestrian injuries – some of the facts (Peden & Van der Spuy, Trauma and Emergency Medicine, June/July 1996) reported on the Adult Pedestrian Alcohol Survey undertaken by National Trauma Research: all of 196 consecutive adult pedestrians who presented to Groote Schuur over a nine-week period, in 1993, were clinically assessed, had specimens taken for blood-alcohol analysis (BAC) and had breath alcohol levels determined.

A staggering 61.2% of the total had taken alcohol; only 2.6% had BACs in the 0.01-0.07g/100ml range. 18.4% were between the levels of 0.08-0.15g/100ml, while 40.3% were 0.16g/100ml or higher (more than three times the legal limit for drivers). The mean BAC, for those who had taken alcohol, was 0.19g/100ml.

Not surprisingly, there is a cluster of such injuries over weekends, particularly on Saturdays and most can be linked to paydays. The most common were lower limb injuries (contact with bumpers causing the primary injury) and pelvic lesions, which were usually fractures. Next most common were head injuries, caused by victims falling and hitting their heads. No mention was made of whether victims might have fallen before being hit by a vehicle.

A clear trend of alcohol consumption was apparent. Findings also mentioned the fact that the drunken pedestrians were not conspicuous. This angle has been argued extensively. Frankly, light clothing seldom makes pedestrians visible enough at night, to avert disaster. Only retro-reflective devices are likely to alert drivers within sufficient time, to slow down in order to avert a collision. Table 1 illustrates the pedestrian injuries that can be expected at two different impact speeds, one slightly above and another below our urban speed limit, even before darkness or alcohol become part of the equation.

Impact speed % Deaths % Injured % Uninjured

65 km/h 85 15 0

50 km/h 45 50 4

Source: Urban safety and Calming, Tiwari & Patel

Table 2 depicts the blood alcohol levels measured during the adult pedestrian alcohol study. Further annual drink-rate surveys undertaken by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, on behalf on DoT, showed that, in several metro areas, of adult pedestrians walking about after office hours, but not involved in collisions, 10-13% were found to have blood alcohol levels > 0.08g/100ml (these surveys were undertaken before the legal limit was reduced to 0.05g/100ml). This highlights a tragedy – over 10% of urban pedestrians are in no fit state to cross a road alone, on many evenings.

It is a miracle that no more are hit by passing vehicles.

Table 2: Proportion of pedestrians seen at Groote Schuur with blood alcohol levels of >0.08g/100ml

Description of injuries % Pedestrians with blood alcohol levels >0.08g/100ml

In-hospital deaths 70

Severe injuries 61.2

Lesser injuries 50.9

Source: Adult Pedestrian Alcohol Study, National Trauma Research

The results of the adult pedestrian alcohol study also showed, in Table 3, that patients with substantially raised alcohol levels, increased patient management requirements. In other words, nursing became more complex – the drunker the pedestrian, the more attention and skill were needed to nurse and subsequently to rehabilitate him. Alcohol presence also impacts on the use of drugs and anaesthetic and the ability of patients to recover from emergency surgery.

Table 3: Proportion of pedestrians seen at Groote Schuur with blood alcohol levels >0,08g/100ml

Disability BAC+

BAC-

None 15 (12.5%) 12

(15.8%)

Short term ( 8 weeks) 33 (27.5%) 21 (27.6%)

Permanent (such as severe closed head injuries, amputations, etc.) 18 (15%) 7

(9.2%)

Died in Hospital 7 (5.8%) 3

(3.9%)

Source: Adult Pedestrian Alcohol Study, National Trauma Research

From the sample included in the research, pedestrian injuries and deaths appeared to be predominantly adult, black male. Injuries were severe, cost of treatment is high and alcohol plays a major role in both deaths and injuries. The consequences of drunken pedestrian collisions are serious – to the pedestrian, the vehicle driver, the health-care system and to the state.

Fund facts

Given that pedestrians are, on occasions, the cause of their own deaths and the cause of accidents in which others are killed and severely injured, should they not also contribute to the RAF coffer? Drivers are the group who bear the entire responsibility for eventual payouts. Should drivers forever be expected to fund the claims of those who carry a proportion of guilt?

The generous and timely sponsorship of the RAF towards road safety at the advent of the Arrive Alive campaign failed as an exercise in claims reduction. Seasonal promotion is also insufficient to change the bad habits of any individual. Advertising and PR spend does not guarantee change of attitude or behavioural change among road users.

Serious, ongoing, formal, social education is possibly the only strategy that will affect the habits of people, aside from prohibitive legislation. The dangers of alcohol consumption, in general, do not appear to have caught the public imagination. Or that of the DoH: it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise that alcohol addiction must cause at least as much misery in this country as tobacco addiction – ask any family member of a ‘mean’ drunk…

Nobody, no body or organisation, seems to feel a responsibility towards drunkenness, other than Road Safety, Traffic and Alcoholics Anonymous. The sensitivities of the liquor and hospitality industries, the profits at stake and their individual rights, are still considered fairly sacred. Smoking reform was considered a priority, where alcohol consumption is not.

There is no reason why alcohol abuse (in general) could not face a similar onslaught to that which tobacco has survived. Yet the ill effects of alcohol abuse on those who do not drink, are considered by many to be far worse than the ill effects of smoking on those who do not smoke. South Africans do love their pariahs, and here is a cause that does not discern between race, colour creed or political affiliation!

Education

Previous strategies for limiting drinking and road usage have not worked. A full-scale nationwide campaign against the misuse of alcohol is warranted and DoT should not be afraid to take the lead in respect of persuasion, due to the appalling statistics concerning drinking and road usage.

Teaching individuals to know when they have had enough, when alcohol is poisoning their systems and when regular intake is jeopardising their jobs and destroying their health and families, would be no easy task, since every situation is so individual, but there is no reason why a similar strategy as that used against smoking could not be taken by the government. As an illness/disease, alcoholism is the direct responsibility of DoH.

Sufficient proof of the consequences of alcohol abuse should be easily garnered from organisations such as the MRC, child and family help lines, child/gender abuse centres, places of safety and trauma centre/hospital records, to ensure a persuasive proposal for the attention of the State President and the National Minister of Health.

Legislation

Having publicly aligned herself to the cause of road safety and promised follow-up, immediate action could have been expected from the Minister of Health. The objective for lobbyers should be to clarify the costs to Health of drunken behaviour, in general, and drunken driving/walking, in particular.

It is the culture of drinking that causes these problems, not the culture of transport/traffic. Random breath testing amongst pedestrians should become the norm, since pedestrian enforcement has long been neglected. Why the alcohol levels of pedestrians are considered a traffic/transport ailment, when they are clearly far more a social ailment, seems strange.

If restaurateurs and hoteliers are expected to clamp down on smoking, why should they not also police alcohol consumption? Why not limit public consumption as is done on beaches? As smokers have learned, it only takes one really determined National Minister of Health to turn a status quo inside out and re-channel history, should she choose – and she claims to choose.

Legislative changes (not only in the interests of road safety, but also in the interests of general population health) should consider cost to the economy of consequential social programmes, emergency services and rehabilitation. A legal limit for pedestrians should be legislated. Since passengers are also pedestrians either side of their trip, it would also apply to them.

Limiting the amounts of alcohol served per customer in any public place would be an essential element and all public venues where alcohol can be purchased could be required to stock pocket breath-testing kits. Customers could be obliged to buy them to prove their sobriety before their orders are taken (pub crawling was invented by those who did not wish to be seen to be over-imbibing) and the price of the kit could be charged to the customer.

New drinkers enter the system continually, as they come of age, so no initiative could be considered short-term – at least for several years – until lower drinking levels among all South African road users becomes a way of life. It’s the week before Christmas. Let us hope that by this time next year, someone will have considered doing something rational to help drunken pedestrians help themselves.

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The Changing World Of Web Designing In 2017

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These days, there is a consistent argument that almost all sites are beginning to look the same. Much of this has to do with the way web designers are always using the user interface and user experience patterns. It is strange that the naysayers are not seeing how much these patterns have helped the common users – the web world has become much friendlier for the users now. There is a good reason too as to why web designers are using these patterns so often. There is tremendous competition these days in the online world among the different brands and there is no way anyone is going to take any chance with how the users feel in their websites. The journey has to be as smooth as possible.

It is all about making sense

They are sticking to what has worked for them so far, what is tried and tested, and considering how it has helped them stay in circulation it makes sense as well. They have moved far beyond dynamic & static web designing, so to speak. They are using these as and when they think that they would be appropriate in their sites. Their only aim is to make sure that their sites look better.

User interface kits

In this day and age they have become quite popular as tools for web designing. What further makes things better is that there are plenty of user interface kits out there that feature the best practices in the domain. These kits can be styled and changed rather easily and with them you get design functionality, which happens to be tried and tested and therefore guaranteed to help you succeed in the long term. A major example of such kit would be the Material Design Language started by Google during 2014. This language contains a collection of guides and principles of web designing that have been developed in such a way that the user can have a far-better experience no matter which platform or device he is on.

Consistency remains the key

As may be evident with the Material Design language the main purpose of web design these days is to create a single system that allows the users to have the same kind of experience across various platforms as well as devices such as smartphones and laptops. One reason why Google leads this field – and may continue to do so in 2017 as well – is the way it has brought into effect these principles in their own apps. This is how it has managed to stay ahead of the curve.

Following suit

The upshot of all this is that other companies are now following suit as well – once again their main aim is to make sure that the users have a far-better experience than they are used to on their sites previously. Experts state that in 2017 and beyond these user interface and user experience patterns shall continue to evolve and the number of brands implementing them in their websites will only head north. They will try to make sure that the users have a consistent and pleasant browsing experience.

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Term Life Insurance – Making the Right Choice

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Temporary vs. permanent Life Insurance

Life insurance comes in two basic types: permanent and term. Permanent insurance is purchased to cover an individual for an entire lifetime, and it may also be used as a savings vehicle and wealth transfer vehicle. In addition to providing a cash benefit if the insured person dies, these types of permanent policies are designed to build up a cash value. Withdrawals or low interest loans may taken from the policy. These are legitimate uses for life insurance, but may not meet many working families needs right now. Examples of permanent life insurance are whole life insurance and universal life insurance.

Term life insurance is a simpler product, which is just purchased to provide a death benefit over a specified span of time. The term of the life insurance can vary. One year renewable term products are marketed, and so are thirty year products meant to cover an individual for their working years.

Advantages of Term Life Insurance

Because the insurer is only taking on the risk of having their insured customer survive a specified span of years, the premiums will much less expensive than a comparable amount of permanent life insurance. The face value, or amount of the death benefit, that can be purchased will usually be much larger. On the other hand, when the term of the policy has ended, the coverage is gone, and the policy will not have any cash value.

Most people look for the larger face values of temporary term life insurance to protect themselves when they have dependent children or spouses, or need to cover a large debt like a home mortgage. They purchase term insurance as a pure insurance product, without intending to use it as a savings vehicle. Since the premium will usually be much less than it is for a permanent policy, the extra money can be used for other savings and investment strategies.

Now many term life insurance policies come with options, or riders, that will provide extra benefits for an extra fee. Even with the riders, the premium will still be an affordable option. Return of Premium riders cost extra, but refund premiums at the end of the term. This provides a nice check right when the insured person is ready to retire, or perhaps a sum that can be used to purchase a smaller, permanent life insurance policy for final expenses. Other benefit riders can provide disability or critical illness coverage, or they can cover premiums in case of unemployment, accident, or sickness.

Some term policies come with an option to convert the policy to a permanent life insurance policy if the insured person’s needs change. This means that a working person with young children and a mortgage could purchase a large term policy to protect his or her family. Later in life, when the children are self supporting, he or she could convert the policy to a smaller whole life policy that can be used to leave money to heirs, cover funeral expenses, or settle debts.

If people depend upon you, do not leave their future to chance. Term policies are affordable, and will give your family peace of mind. Plus, with optional riders, they can be used to provide cash or permanent protection far in the future.

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Tread Lightly! What You Should Know About 4 Wheelers

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My husband and I live in a recreational area in central Minnesota. As with most recreation areas throughout the country this means many frequently use 4 wheelers around us. We have 4 wheelers ourselves that we use to plow snow from our driveway, haul wood from the wood pile to the house and to travel the recreation trails of the area. We also use our 4 wheelers during the deer hunting season to get back to our deer stands and to transport the deer out of the woods. I think they are a useful and fun vehicle; however there are so many people who use their 4 wheelers to destroy the natural beauty of our State unknowingly or purposefully.

It all starts from the fortunate fact that there are several paths in the acreage behind our home for 4 wheelers. We normally use these paths to go from one neighbor’s home to another and to simply walk in the beautiful woods. The wooded area where the paths are located has quite dense vegetation filled with very old beautiful hardwood maples and ash trees. This wooded area is classified under tax forfeited land, so it is collectively owned by the State of Minnesota. There is an agreement among the neighbors that we will all do our best to keep the paths clear of brush and fallen debris. However, there are no rules or guidelines whatsoever about the use of 4 wheelers on the paths. Everyone used common sense and was courteous to each other as well as to Mother Nature.

Everything seemed to be going well, until one particular day. Recently our path system was discovered by a group of 4 wheelers that are now using it as a connection from one racing area to another. The racing causes an excessive amount of noise and some serious damage to the wooded area, which prompted the interference of the department of natural resources which stepped in and banned the use of ATV’s in this wooded area.

This has been a great disappointment to those of us who were using our 4 wheelers responsibly. When I mentioned this to some of my co-workers I was surprised to find out a majority of them thought that all ATV trails should be closed. Many people see these trails as dangerous and harmful to the environment. I was amazed that they saw the 4 wheelers as a bad thing per se. A close look at the situation should reveal that the real culprits are those irresponsible people driving them.

The woods behind our house are much quieter now. People still use the paths for walking and nature-gazing. The thing that still bugs me is that others are getting the message that 4 wheelers are bad for nature, when the true message should be irresponsible people are really what are bad for nature. It is unfair that thoughtless behavior by some people is over – generalized and affects the entire community. I love Nature. I love my 4 wheelers, too. They can co-exist.

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