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NEWS
August 25, 2014 | By Karen Heller, Inquirer Columnist
The empty nest is vastly overrated. Turns out, teenagers, especially when they are yours, are rather fun to have around, and far better conversationalists than toddlers. They make a joyful racket. I was dreading the moment when our daughter, our younger child, left for college. I made a list of choices. Travel more. Upend life. Acquire dog. The dog, it appears, will have to wait. After quite a few years and a couple of thousand bylines, this is my final column for The Inquirer.
NEWS
May 12, 1988 | By Ginny Wiegand, Inquirer Staff Writer
On the way up to Harrisburg on the bus Tuesday morning, the Lawncrest seven had plenty of time to stew over Philadelphia's high car insurance rates. They had their protest signs ready, mounted on wooden poles, and, as Lawncrest Community Association president Phil Grutzmacher described it at the association's meeting back home that night, "You can really get caught up in this thing. " The seven association members joined about 200 other Philadelphians for a rally at the Capitol to demand cheaper auto-insurance rates and to lobby for reform of the insurance industry.
NEWS
September 13, 1989 | By Rich Heidorn Jr., Inquirer Staff Writer
South Jersey motorists could save 30 percent or more by shopping around for their car insurance, according to a rate comparison released Aug. 21 by the New Jersey Insurance Department. "Competition works only if people shop around," said Patrick Breslin, public affairs director for the department, which surveyed 78 companies that insure virtually all of the state's drivers. "Competition will never work if people just go to the JUA (Joint Underwriting Association). " The survey shows that a married couple in their 40s, living in Cherry Hill and driving a 1987 Ford Taurus, pay an average premium of $904 (including JUA surcharges and using the "verbal" threshold limiting lawsuits)
NEWS
August 27, 1997 | By David E. Wilson, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
State Senate candidate Marie Hall, using the Marlton Circle as her backdrop, yesterday called for an immediate 15 percent reduction in auto insurance rates and the appointment of a state insurance-fraud prosecutor. Hall, a Democrat from Medford Lakes, is seeking to represent the Eighth District. She took the opportunity to needle the Republican incumbent, Martha Bark, for her lack of leadership on the issue. "I am here today at the busiest intersection in the Eighth District to say, 'Yes, Martha, this is a problem,' " Hall said, referring to a comment by Bark that auto insurance has been a problem for 20 years and didn't require a rushed solution.
NEWS
August 27, 1997 | By Tom Turcol, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In a one-two punch that essentially opens the fall campaign, Gov. Whitman and New Jersey Republicans went on the air last night with separate commercials holding the Democrats and their gubernatorial candidate, James E. McGreevey, responsible for the state's high car-insurance rates. McGreevey, who has made car insurance the top issue in his bid to unseat Whitman, countered that the governor and her party were trying to shift the blame for their failure to do anything about the problem.
NEWS
August 24, 1989 | By Chris Conway, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Drivers fed up with New Jersey's high auto-insurance rates will get a chance to vent their feelings at the ballot box in the fall in nonbinding referendums in every county calling for a 20 percent rate rollback. Mercer County on Tuesday night became the last of the state's 21 counties to agree to place the referendum on its November ballot, according to supporters of the referendum effort. And yesterday, a Mercer County Superior Court judge upheld the action by Mercer's Board of Freeholders and rejected arguments by the county counsel that the referendum would be illegal.
NEWS
July 21, 1988 | By Laurie Hollman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
On the eve of what could be yet another increase in automobile insurance costs, Gov. Kean said yesterday that to reduce rates, he would be willing to agree to a reform package that does not include all the changes he has sought. One such legislative package is now on the governor's desk, the unfinished product of negotiations between key lawmakers who say they can save motorists up to $300 a car in annual costs. Further negotiations are expected. Though Kean refused at a news conference to commit himself absolutely to the compromise, he called it "a good bill . . . even though it's not everything I want," and promised to act on it early next week.
NEWS
November 26, 1996
One of the hidden taxes for Philadelphians may finally come down a bit - if the insurance companies do the right thing. The hidden tax is your auto insurance. Philadelphia has some of the highest rates in the region - three times higher than the statewide average. A four-figure insurance bill that rivals the cost of a used car is common for city drivers. Reasons vary for the whopping bills. One reason is that Philadelphians have an usually hefty appetite for suing one another after a traffic accident, driving rates up. Another culprit: the large number of uninsured drivers on the road.
NEWS
February 11, 1990 | By Jodi Enda, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
They met in secret at all hours of the day and night, even on weekends, squirreling themselves away, hiding from the spotlight and from the creatures who lurked outside. They worked vigorously, their intensity heightened by public pressure and by the importance of their mission. When they emerged from hiding, they revealed the newest plan to tackle one of the largest crises facing the state - and Philadelphia: sky-high auto- insurance rates. In past years, this handful of men meeting behind closed doors would have been lobbyists, working to craft insurance legislation that would profit special-interest groups.
NEWS
April 9, 2003
CONSIDER this a call to arms. Get your arms (and legs) down to City Council this morning at 10 for an important hearing on car insurance rates. This is the next big battle worth fighting in the city. We consider it the "other" tax. The one that's not officially a tax, but eats a big enough hole in Philadelphians' wallets to have as big a detrimental impact as a high city wage tax. It's part of the unholy three items - the schools and the wage tax are the other two - that make push come to shove and sends many people to the suburbs.
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NEWS
August 25, 2014 | By Karen Heller, Inquirer Columnist
The empty nest is vastly overrated. Turns out, teenagers, especially when they are yours, are rather fun to have around, and far better conversationalists than toddlers. They make a joyful racket. I was dreading the moment when our daughter, our younger child, left for college. I made a list of choices. Travel more. Upend life. Acquire dog. The dog, it appears, will have to wait. After quite a few years and a couple of thousand bylines, this is my final column for The Inquirer.
NEWS
March 28, 2014 | BY CHRIS BRENNAN, Daily News Staff Writer brennac@phillynews.com, 215-854-5973
ON PAPER, it may look like state Rep. Pam DeLissio moved back to Philadelphia on Tuesday. That's the day DeLissio renounced a homestead exemption on a townhouse she has owned near Harrisburg since 2006, paying back the $341 in property taxes she had saved there in the last five years. She also transferred her driver's license, car registration and insurance from there to her other home in Philadelphia. The question now before a judge: Was that too little too late for DeLissio to stay on the May 20 primary-election ballot?
NEWS
February 4, 2014 | By Ellen Gray
IT'S PROBABLY just as well most people's yards aren't zoned for Clydesdales. Because golden retriever puppies - already too popular for their own good - are likely to be in even more demand after Budweiser unveiled its latest cross-species love story before millions at last night's Super Bowl. Let's pause while everyone goes, "Awwwww. "; And to remember that the ad, "Best Buds," was posted to YouTube by Budweiser last Wednesday and had already had more than 33 million views a few hours before kickoff.
NEWS
January 11, 2014 | By Michael Matza, Inquirer Staff Writer
Should immigrants living here unlawfully be permitted to drive? Should they be eligible for city-issued photo IDs? Eight states and the District of Columbia said yes to the driving question with controversial laws passed last year. At least nine municipalities nationwide, including Trenton, have since 2007 adopted "muni-ID" programs on the premise that many of their residents - including undocumented immigrants, the homeless, and the indigent - lack the credentials needed to lead normal lives.
BUSINESS
January 6, 2014 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Columnist
You may or may not think it's fair that your credit history could play a key role in setting your auto-insurance premiums - a long-running debate in insurance regulation, though a battle that insurers so far appear to have won. Only a handful of states - California, Massachusetts, and Hawaii - have limited credit scores' use in insurance pricing. If you pay bills promptly and have a top credit score, you likely benefit. But you suffer if you occasionally fall short, which is why groups such as the Consumer Federation of America contend that the practice discriminates against low- and middle-income drivers.
BUSINESS
November 12, 2013 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Three weeks ago, Daniel J. Hilferty, 57, president and chief executive of Independence Blue Cross, joined other insurance executives in Washington to meet with U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. The topic? The massive computer software nightmare that has complicated enrollment in the new health insurance exchanges and set off a war of partisan sniping in Washington. Question: What's your reaction to the glitches and what did you tell the White House?
NEWS
September 27, 2013
I COULDN'T help but read your article on Philly gambling and "all there is to know" about the six proposals that want to make Philly a new home for their casino, and wonder when you say "Learn more about the 6 proposals" if you are really being honest. For each proposal, you gave us insight on "the bidder," "the backers" and "the connected," but what I think is the most important information that you forgot to provide was: "The opposition. " What I am trying to say is, how about a story on those (and there are a lot of them)
NEWS
May 17, 2013
FOR MANY DRIVERS, the fear of rising auto-insurance rates keeps them from driving too fast or leaving their license at home. Get into an accident or get a ticket, and what's the second thought you might have? "Oh my gosh, my insurance will go up. " You might use stronger language, but the sentiment is the same. AAA estimated that last year almost 31 million Americans traveled by car during the Memorial Day weekend, and an additional 36 million during the July Fourth holiday.
NEWS
March 9, 2013 | By Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Delaware County Council has decided to seek to continue two grant programs that have led to arrests and convictions in car theft and insurance fraud. "We've had results" with the programs over the last 10 years, District Attorney Jack Whelan said at this week's council meeting Wednesday. The council voted to submit an application to the Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority for a one-year, $335,009 grant and to seek a two-year $874,005 grant from the Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority.
NEWS
October 26, 2012 | By Harry Gross
DEAR HARRY: I own my home free of mortgages. I was going over my financial situation, and I came up with some money-saving ideas. One is to cut my auto insurance down to the state minimum. My car is a 2004 Mazda with 120,000 miles on it. The car is still in great shape, both mechanically and in appearance. I have never had a major accident. What's your take on this? My policy comes up for renewal in three weeks. WHAT HARRY SAYS: Let's start by looking at those minimums. The liability minimums are $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident, and $5,000 for property damage.
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