August 11, 2014 |
Nnamdi Asogwa's green 2010 Camry sits in his Upper Darby driveway, shiny and tagless testimony to the small nightmare he's been living. Asogwa, 33, is a Nigerian immigrant, and a U.S. citizen since 2011. He has a bachelor's degree in political science, an M.B.A., and a job as a project manager at Siemens Healthcare in Malvern. He also has a story that illustrates, at the very least, the risks of running even slightly afoul of the rules followed by the police, auto insurers, and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
September 16, 2013 |
Education. Occupation. Credit score. Like it or not, all are factors that at least some auto insurers have come to use in setting premiums, even if they have a questionable role in predicting a driver's performance behind the wheel. Now, we can add "stickiness" to the list - not the kind that comes from a messy toddler, but the kind businesses covet: a customer's tendency to stick around despite higher prices. And the Consumer Federation of America is crying foul. In a letter last month to state insurance commissioners, the group's insurance advocate, Bob Hunter, quoted a consultant's report saying that nearly half the largest insurers squeeze higher premiums out of predictably sticky customers through methods known as "price optimization" or "scientific pricing.
May 7, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Bank of America led a rally in big-bank stocks in mostly quiet trading Monday. Stock indexes ended little changed following a record-setting run last week. News that Bank of America and MBIA, a bond-insurance company, had reached a settlement over a long-running dispute propelled both companies' stocks. BofA will pay $1.7 billion to MBIA and extend the troubled company a credit line. MBIA soared 45 percent, or $4.46, to $14.29. Bank of America gained 5 percent, or 64 cents, to $12.88, making it the leading company in the Dow Jones industrial average.
March 13, 2013
John J. Byrne Jr., 80, the chairman and chief executive of Geico who was credited with leading the insurance giant from near-bankruptcy to profitability in the late 1970s - an achievement that remains one of the celebrated turnarounds in modern business history - died Thursday at his home in Etna, N.H. His death, from cancer, was confirmed by his colleague Bob Snyder. For years, Mr. Byrne was one of the most prominent businessmen in Washington, and for decades, he was one of the most noted executives in his industry.
February 15, 2012 |
When Regis Philbin stepped away from Live With Regis and Kelly last year, it was widely assumed that his record of 17,000 hours of airtime amassed over a career was unassailable. Instead it's being pecked away at in innumerable 30-second increments by a perky lady in white overalls and a little walking, talking lizard. You're not imagining it - commercials for car insurance, many of them featuring the aforementioned Flo or the Gecko, have overrun TV. Why the tsunami?
March 3, 2011
IF YOU'RE ONE of the folks who fainted during "127 Hours" last year, you can thank a guy named Tony Gardner. He's the Hollywood effects artist (you can see his latest work in "Beastly") who built the fake muscle and bone for the arm that James Franco self-amputates during the movie's most notorious scene. "Yeah, we just put a little carbon fiber in the silicone muscle to make it look like a real muscle," he said, with a dude-like California drawl that belies his formative years in Cleveland.
December 4, 2010 |
ALLENTOWN - For some victors, it's not always easy keeping track of the spoils. Kevin Burns can verify that. Just don't ask him for too many details. The 5-11, 180-pound Burns is a senior linebacker for West Catholic High and last night, shortly after the Burrs dismantled Northern Lehigh, 55-14, in a PIAA Class AA quarterfinal at frigid J. Birney Crum Stadium, someone handed him a game ball. Burns' smile was big and he certainly looked appreciative, but to paraphrase one of those new Geico commercials, this was not his first time at the game-ball rodeo.
March 27, 2010 |
Look out, Joyce Kilmer. Your poetry may be timeless, but as the name of a New Jersey Turnpike rest stop, your days may be numbered. James Simpson, the new commissioner of the state Department of Transportation, is contemplating selling naming rights to the turnpike's rest stops as he scrambles for new revenue. "The 'Nike Stop' . . . maybe that would be worth $10 million," Simpson said in a recent interview, pondering ways to wring more money out of turnpike concessions.
March 9, 2010 |
You might not recognize Stephanie Courtney even if you were riding in a cramped elevator with her. This despite the fact that she's on TV more than Neil Patrick Harris and Ellen DeGeneres combined. That's because Courtney makes her innumerable appearances in the persona of Flo, the crazily congenial, unbelievably upbeat commercial icon for Progressive Auto Insurance. Flo's look was sculpted for her debut TV spot in 2007. "It all comes from the talents of the hair and makeup ladies," Courtney says.
October 28, 2009 |
"I would like some way to disappear where people don't see me anymore at some point. I don't want to grow old. I never want to look in the mirror and see that. " - Michael Jackson TOO LATE, too late. Michael Jackson won't be growing older, true, but disappearing? Amelia Earhart, he isn't. For one thing, there's the documentary "Michael Jackson's This Is It," a chronicle of his preparations for the comeback tour that never happened. The film, which opened in select theaters at midnight, is expected to attract lines out the door.