Personal Finance Advice and Commentary

Friday, October 28, 2011 9:00 am
By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com

Next Monday, all sorts of mayhem may test the limits of your homeowners insurance, auto insurance, health insurance – and BOO!, maybe even your life insurance! I’m talking about Halloween, of course, lest you were thinking Occupy Wall Street. On the hideously disfigured face of it, Halloween ranks second behind the Fourth of July as

Tuesday, July 12, 2011 9:00 am
By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com

Talk about irony: It is entirely conceivable that we will look back on the Great Recession as the good old days – of homeowners insurance rates, that is. Despite a passing nod to the recession that saw a rare 3.8 percent decrease in national average premiums to $791 in 2008, homeowners insurance rate averages rose to

Friday, June 17, 2011 9:00 am
By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com

How rough have the recent natural disasters been on insurance companies? So rough that they could trigger a climb in homeowners insurance rates not seen since the aftermath of 9/11. According to a report by Marsh & McLennan reinsurance brokerage, global catastrophes during the past 16 months have cost insurers $100 billion. The losses have

Friday, July 30, 2010 9:00 am
By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com

Ever wonder what Lindsay Lohan’s wild ride will cost her on her auto insurance and life insurance policies?  The good folks at Insurance Journal sensed that inquiring minds would want to know, so they contacted the Insurance Information Network of California for answers. The IINC crunched the numbers using Lindsay’s Beverly Hills 90210 ZIP code,

Tuesday, July 20, 2010 9:50 am
By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com

What does life insurance have in common with computer programming? My inner wise guy would probably answer: You can’t understand either one. And while that may be true for many, if not most, Americans, the answer I had in mind was: Both depend on “if/then” scenarios. Anyone who has visited robust insurance comparison sites like

Friday, July 16, 2010 11:57 am
By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com

Now the delicate courting dance begins between the Obama administration and health insurance companies like Aetna, Cigna, WellPoint and UnitedHealth Group who fought like trapped ferrets to avoid being dragged to the “Obamacare” prom. The foot-dragging is understandable: These are the same health insurance companies that Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has been beating about the

Friday, July 09, 2010 11:59 am
By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com

Q: What do insurance, fire extinguishers and Kenny Rogers albums have in common? A: They’re all things we purchase that we hope we never have to use. On a more serious note, insurance in general, whether in the form of car insurance, health insurance, life insurance or homeowners insurance, is our best hedge against the

Saturday, June 19, 2010 9:00 am
By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com

What’s better than one health insurance policy?  Why, dual coverage, of course, as typically happens when both spouses sign on for group coverage through their respective employers. In theory, dual coverage should eliminate most out-of-pocket expenses; the primary insurer would typically pick up 80 percent, the secondary insurer (the spouse’s carrier) the remaining 20 percent. But

Tuesday, June 08, 2010 11:04 am
By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com

Amid all the Punch-and-Judy punditry surrounding President Barack Obama’s historic passage of health care reform, somehow we lost sight of what it’s likely to save living, breathing Americans across the economic and political spectrum on health insurance. A new report, “The Impact of Health Reform on Health System Spending” released by the nonprofit Center for

Thursday, May 20, 2010 11:38 am
By Jay MacDonald · Bankrate.com

What do your credit score, debt utilization ratio, the quality of your credit cards, and your student loan and mortgage history have to do with your homeowners and auto insurance rates? Plenty — at least if you insure through a company that uses credit-based insurance scoring. Insurance companies commonly consider the above personal financial information