Handy Car Gadgets You’ll Want to Have For Your Next Roadtrip

If the warm summer weather creates a sense of wanderlust in your adventurous spirit, it can lead to various road trips being planned. Before you set out on your next road trip adventure, however, you should purchase some handy car gadgets that will improve your convenience and safety while out on the open road.

Portable Jump Starter Kit

While keeping a set of jumper cables in your car will assist you in a battery emergency, they’re only beneficial if there’s another car in the area to provide you with a charge. Being out on a road trip means that you’ll encounter many solitary miles with no other drivers around to provide you with assistance should your battery malfunction. Bringing a portable jump starter kit will ensure that you can jump start your car battery on your own since it holds its own charge. Additionally, some jump starter kits, such as the Bestek Jump Starter, also features a flashlight and USB ports so that you can charge your various mobile electronic devices.

Car Safety Tool

Although it’s something that no one wants to experience, a car accident is an unfortunate reality of venturing out in any automobile. It’s better to prepare for such an eventuality rather than to hope you never experience one. In keeping with this proactive mindset, investing in a car safety tool will prove to be invaluable to you and your companions’ survival in the event of an accident. A car safety tool acts as a hammer that can shatter windshields or door windows to allow you to escape from a wrecked car. There are also blades on the safety device that can cut you free from a malfunctioning seat belt. Be sure to keep the car safety tool in an easily accessible place such as inside the glove compartment or the console between the driver’s and passenger’s seats.

GPS Keychain

While out on your road trip adventure, the last thing you want to deal with is a set of lost keys. Some clever tech-savvy entrepreneurs have realized this and invented a keychain that is Bluetooth-equipped. This GPS keychain will allow you to locate your lost keys using a mobile app that can be downloaded onto any of your mobile devices for quick and easy use.

Handy Car Gadgets You’ll Want to Have For Your Next Roadtrip

The Most Expensive Cars of 2018

Automobiles have been around for over 100 years, and in that short time, they’ve managed to become relatively affordable. However, much like any product or service, there are still quite a few vehicles in the world that cost exorbitant amounts of money. Considering my deep passion for cars, I figured I would highlight some of this year’s most expensive vehicles that most of us can only dream to obtain.

Rolls Royce – Sweptail – $13 million

I thought we should start the list off with the absolute most expensive car on the planet. If you’re familiar with cars, you know that Rolls Royce is synonymous with vast amounts of money. However, even the most automobile savvy person would be forgiven for not knowing just how expensive the company’s models can be. The Sweptail, however, is a bit of an oddity, in the fact that it is not a mass-produced vehicle. It is actually a one-of-a-kind model that was specifically created for an undisclosed client. The Sweptail seats two, features a full panoramic sunroof and has an interior made of wood and leather. It is a shockingly “basic” car, in terms of features and design.

Koenigsegg – CCXR – Trevita – $4.8 million

If you aren’t an automobile buff, you’ve probably never heard of Koenigsegg. The Swedish company produces high-end sports cars, and its CCXR Trevita is the most expensive of them all. The Trevita stands out, first and foremost, for the fact that it is literally coated in diamonds; technically speaking, the car is covered in a special kind of fiber that is coated with a diamond dust that allows it to shine with a silver color. It’s absolutely gorgeous. The Trevita also comes packed to the brim with features and power; boasting a dual-supercharged V8, iconell exhaust system, infotainment center and a dual carbon rear wing, the Trevita gives you a great deal of bang for your buck.

Lykan – Hypersport- $3.4 million

The Hypersport will literally blind you with its price. The car’s headlights are comprised of a whopping 240 15-carat diamonds! It also features a unique, slick design that gives the car an appearance similar to that of a pebble. It’s incredibly modern and very beautiful. The car not only features beauty, but also power, and can reach top speeds of up to 240 mph.

All three of these vehicles are all incredibly expensive and feature some of the most outlandish features on any car. This year is shaping up to be one of the greatest for car enthusiasts.

The Most Expensive Cars of 2018

The Worst Cars of All Time

The automobile is, undoubtedly, one of humanity’s most important inventions. Since the creation of the first car, engineers have worked tirelessly to improve upon their designs, resulting in better and better iterations. And although car manufacturers have created some of the greatest designs imaginable, there have certainly been some mistakes along the way. With that being said, I figured I could highlight just a few of the worst cars in history.

Overland OctoAuto

Aside from motorcycles and tractor trailers, almost every single vehicle on the road has four wheels. However, during the 1910s, when society was still figuring out the best design for cars, certain engineers felt that four wheels wasn’t enough. Milton Reeves, a pioneer in American automobiles, spearheaded efforts to incorporate a minimum of six wheels on his automobiles. His theory was that more tires meant a smoother ride. And so, he created the Overland OctoAuto. The vehicle measured in at 20 feet in length and featured eight wheels. Unfortunately for Reeves, not a single order was placed for the OctoAuto, and it went down in history as one of the biggest flops in automobile history.

Renault Dauphine

Let’s head over to France, the birthplace of the Renault Dauphine. A cheaply made car that still managed to appeal to the masses, the Dauphine was known to be a cheap, unreliable piece of junk. Its most well-known disadvantage was its speed. The Dauphine took 32 seconds to reach a speed of 60 mph.

Ford Edsel

The Ford Edsel is quite possibly one of the automotive industry’s largest failures. It is the definition of overhyped. At the time of its release, the Edsel was being touted by Ford as the next generation of automobiles. The marketing hype around the vehicle was off the charts and when the car was released, it flopped tremendously. The car’s design was hideous, it was a gas guzzler and it was far too expensive for the time. In the end, Ford lost a reported $250 million due to the Edsel.

Cars have come a long way since their creation. We want to continue to push our engineers forward so that they may further refine their designs. However, sometimes, it doesn’t hurt to look back on history so that we can avoid future mistakes.

The Worst Cars of All Time

What Is A Car Subscription Service?

Purchasing a car is one of the largest decisions a person can make. Humans rely heavily on cars to get them from point A to point B and everywhere in between. You’ll likely be spending several years with your vehicle, which makes it a very important investment as much as it is a simple purchase. Traditionally, in order to purchase a vehicle, you had two options: purchase it outright or pay for it in installments through a lease. But this is 2018, and we do things differently now.

In the last few months or so, several of the world’s most revered and successful car companies have revealed their newest plans for customers to purchase the latest and greatest models: subscription services. While each individual company’s service is slightly different, overall, they work on the same principle. In essence, customers pay a monthly fee in order to rent out the vehicles.

Cadillac’s subscription service, dubbed “Cadillac Book,” works very similar to Spotify or Netflix: you pay a monthly fee of $1,500 for the ability to rent out a car, but you never own it. For the acute observer, you will notice that, with that rate, you will likely wind up paying more for the car through Book than through a traditional financing payment plan, however, with Book, users are not responsible for insurance or maintenance costs on the device. Additionally, users can switch out cars whenever they desire, through the use of the mobile application.

Volvo’s version, dubbed Volvo Care, offers a slightly different service. With Care, subscribers pay a flat rate to lease a car (ranging from $600 to $700 per month) which includes insurance, maintenance, wear and tear, and no money down. At the moment, the Care program can only be used with the XC40 Momentum (from $600/month) and the R-Design (from $700/month).

Now, BMW is looking to get in on the subscription service action with their own spin on it. According to multiple reports, the service will be tested in Nashville, Tennessee to ensure its scalability.

Could these new subscription services be the way of the future? Will our grandchildren only know of leasing out a car through a subscription service? Although it is far too soon to call, it is most certainly a possibility.

What Is A Car Subscription Service?

What is Health IQ?

Health IQ has introduced an innovative idea that transformed the life insurance market. Established in 2013, the company advocates for health consciousness in the process of providing insurance.

 

This change in mindset highlights the importance of taking charge of managing one’s health and none of the hassle of proving the necessity of paying for better insurance rates. Health IQ provides an incentive to the client to continue living healthy by offering savings anywhere from 4 to 33 percent. As a licensed company across 50 states, Healthy IQ partners with Assurity, SBLI & Ameritas, and global reinsurer Swiss Re in implementing a more health-responsive underwriting process.

 

Through this program, individuals who take care of themselves, eat a balanced diet and lead an active lifestyle pay less and generate savings. Even those with preexisting conditions like diabetes and heart disease, who have overcome their illness through positive health choices, can still get a fair rate.

 

Munjal Shah, Co-Founder and CEO of Health IQ, in a press release, mentioned what the company pushes for, “We believe the best way to change the world’s health is to celebrate the health conscious rather than harass the people who aren’t.”

 

Health IQ developed their concept based on data generated from research. They found out that runners have a 50 percent lower risk of dying from heart diseases, and that vegetarians are less prone to develop colorectal cancer, among other findings. Through a combination of these studies and findings, Health IQ found out that there is a 41 percent lower mortality rate for the health conscious.

 

Qualifying for the reduced insurance rates involves a process where the client has to score the ideal rate on a Health IQ test with 30 random questions. Verification of the individual’s fitness regimen through an app is also part of the requirements. As an example, the app registers the number of running or cycling miles the individual registers on a certain period. The qualifications also take into consideration other active lifestyle choices, such as the individual’s participation in a yoga and exercise program on a regular basis.

 

Mainstream life insurance policies rarely give importance on health consciousness. With Health IQ, individuals who live healthy reap the rewards of their positive life choices by paying better prices for insurance and earning savings. Even those who have conquered certain health conditions or have taken healthy preventative steps to address a family medical history are recognized for their efforts through a better rate.

What is Health IQ?

The New Tesla Roadster

Even though it was the Tesla Semi truck that was the showstopper at last week’s Tesla event, the newly unveiled Roadster was also a runaway success, at least in the eyes of many industry professionals. Though doubts remain about CEO Elon Musk’s ability to run the company in the black, there’s no doubt that he has turned out an incredible piece of machinery.

 

Bent on “disrupting the automobile industry,” Tesla seems poised to do just that. With a 0-60 acceleration time of 1.9 seconds and a top speed of over 250 mph, Musk claims the Roadster will be one of the, if not the most, fastest production cars in existence. Throw in a 620 mile driving range and 10,000 Nm of torque, and you’ve got an electric car that can rival most gas-powered ones, none of whom can rival the overall metrics of the Roadster.

 

If there’s one drawback to Musk’s Tesla demonstration, it’s in the financials. The base price of the Roadster currently sits at $200,000, with a reserve price of $50,000. Unfortunately, there’s no word on the Model 3 that has 400,000 customers already in the wings, but it does shine a bright spot on the future of the company. Musk has already stated that he wants to hit a production rate of 5,000 Model 3s per week to meet the demand, which is convenient, since that’s also when the company will announce their first quarterly results for 2018.

 

Not everyone is convinced that the Model 3 will live up to the hype. Bloomberg reports that it is a “sedan plagued by production problems,” although there are reports that the first invites have been sent out to customers to pick up their Model 3s. Whether it continues remains up to the company. Regardless, Tesla needs the Roadster and the Model 3 to be a success, as reports are that the company is burning through $8,000 a minute, or nearly half-a-million every half hour.

 

Furthermore, the claim of a 0-60 speed of 1.9 seconds is also in doubt, since the fastest some professionals have been able to get the car to 60 is 2.3 seconds; the actual finished product may be significantly lighter than the ones out now, but matching that alongside a top speed of 250 MPH, faster than the take-off speed of a jet aircraft can be tricky.

 

Regardless of claims, there’s no doubt that Tesla is fulfilling Musk’s vision of disrupting the industry, and given automobile enthusiasts a car that is the incarnation of their wildest fantasies.

The New Tesla Roadster

What You Need to Know About Ethos, a New Kind of Life Insurance

Some of the most difficult financial challenges faced by members of the Millennial Generation are related to making decisions about their futures. We are talking about a generation that was raised in the shadow of the Great Recession and rising income inequality; for this reason, it should not be surprising to learn that Millennials are often apprehensive when discussing financial products such as life insurance.

 

The problem with the life insurance industry is that many companies have not adjusted to the ethos of Millennials, which means that they are still chasing profits through the sale of ancillary financial products. Millennials tend to be suspicious of such motives because they know about the history of the subprime mortgage meltdown, the Dot-Com bubble and the excesses of the student loan industry.

 

Many insurance companies have tried to lure Millennials through fancy mobile apps, but none of them have been able to accomplish the simplicity and transparency of Ethos, an insurer that focuses on the true nature of life insurance.

 

Ethos does not rely on networks of salespeople or intermediaries to offer term life insurance, which is the kind of policy that makes the most sense to young families who rely on a sole breadwinner. Ethos presents term life insurance clauses, costs, payouts, and conditions as they are; this is a company that does not rely on trying to sell investment products to individuals who are mostly interested in providing protection to their loved ones should they pass away unexpectedly.

 

Term life insurance does not have to be complicated; Ethos allows policyholders to define the basic elements such as the term, cash payments and beneficiaries. The terms of the policies last between 10 and 30 years, meaning that they are ideal for providing protection during some of the most financially challenging periods in the life of a family. Single parents whose relatives do not enjoy financial freedom stand to benefit the most from term life insurance since they can have peace of mind insofar as providing a cushion to their children in case of the unthinkable.

 

Ethos allows prospective policyholders to get a solid idea of what their financial life will be like with a term life insurance policy. Since there are no salespeople trying to make commissions, applicants can take their time discussing this important decision with their loved ones, and they can do so without being pressured into considering investment plans to go along with their policies.

What You Need to Know About Ethos, a New Kind of Life Insurance

The Answer to Today’s Life Insurance Problem? Tomorrow

The life insurance industry is facing a problem. Millennials simply aren’t purchasing policies. They seem to not see it as an important part of life. They associate life insurance with senior citizens and assume that they should only care about it when they are older. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Life insurance is incredibly important as soon as you become an adult and it is smarter to purchase a policy when you are younger, when premiums are cheaper.

In order to appeal to millennials, life insurance companies must use the tools of today: smartphones and applications. In order for today’s youth to become interested and engaged in the life insurance discussion, they must be approached in a manner that they are familiar with. This is exactly what one company is attempting to do.

Tomorrow Ideas, a startup company based in Seattle, has created an app that will, hopefully, get millennials excited about their life insurance. The startup has earned $2.6 million in seed funding from venture capitalists and is expected to be a hit with its demographic. The Tomorrow app takes the process of setting up a will and living trust and buying life insurance and boils it down into a simple and easy-to-manage app. Users can make small or large changes to their will in the blink of an eye. The idea behind the app is that users don’t need to go to a lawyer every time they want to change their will. It makes the process simpler and much more user friendly.

One of the founders of Tomorrow, CEO Dave Hanley, was inspired to create the app when his father died without a will. He had to take care of his father’s estate while also dealing with a mother with dementia. He was in need of a quick way to make changes to a will, living trust or to purchase a life insurance policy. And so, Tomorrow Ideas was born.

While there are other services very similar to Tomorrow, Hanley and company believe that what sets Tomorrow apart is its friendly mobile user interface as well as the fact that it is something of a one stop shop for life insurance, wills and living trusts.

Will the application be able to appeal to the millennials of today? We will have to wait and see what Tomorrow brings.

The Answer to Today’s Life Insurance Problem? Tomorrow

The Different Types of Insurance

My career, as well as this blog, is focused on life insurance and life settlements. However, I do not mind discussing different kinds of insurance and policies every now and again. I think it is crucial to inform everyone of the importance of insurance in general. We, as a collective society, must be well-informed and well-equipped in the case of emergencies. That is why I wanted to walk through a few of the different types of insurance and briefly touch on their importance.

Car Insurance

When most people purchase a car, they do not drive it for one or two years before getting another one; they tend to use it for all its worth, with most using their vehicles for around six years. That is a lot of time. Cars are not simply man-made machines used to get from point A to point B; they are investments. And you should take care of your vehicle for as long as you possibly can. That is why car insurance is so important. In fact, car insurance is so important that it is legally required to drive a car in all but two states (Virginia and New Hampshire). Car insurance will ensure that both your car and your life are protected from potential damages (depending on the circumstances of the incident). Car insurance can take care of your dented bumper as well as your whiplashed neck. Again, the circumstances of each individual incident are crucial in determining what exactly your insurance will cover, but it is always a great idea to have your car insured.

Home Insurance

Owning a home can be an amazing experience. It is a major step in a person’s life. Much like a car, a house is an investment. Your house is where you grow your family and create new and warm memories. Unfortunately, accidents happen and at a moment’s notice, your house can fall victim to a bevy of attacks. Burglary, fire, flooding and hurricanes are all legitimate threats to your home. If your house isn’t insured, you could potentially lose everything you own and not be able to pick up the pieces quickly, if at all. You must be vigilant in purchasing the best possible insurance you can for your home, and you must know exactly what your insurance covers. Regardless, it’s a great idea to protect both your belongings as well as your loved ones.

Health Insurance

Ive discussed this before in a previous blog, so I will keep this short. Health insurance can cover any medically related issues that arise. It can cover everything from doctor’s visits to surgery to prescriptions. With how expensive healthcare is in America, it is a necessity to own a health insurance policy.

The Different Types of Insurance

Cautionary Tales: Life Insurance Mistakes

As a life insurance agent, I promote truth, honesty and transparency. These are three crucial characteristics of a great life insurance salesperson. Unfortunately, not everyone abides by these three principles. While life insurance can be a tremendous boon for grieving families, it has also been used by those with nefarious intent. I wanted to highlight a few examples of life insurance fraud and use them as examples of why you shouldn’t even consider attempting this.

The Infamous John Darwin

A man by the name of John Darwin had once tried his hand at life insurance fraud. In 2002, John Darwin decided to fake his death in a canoeing accident. For five years, John and his wife, Anne, pretended as though John had actually passed, with John secretly living with his wife while also living next door to his house in a bedsit. During that time, John and Anne had been spending the money from John’s life insurance policy on trips and material items. In 2007, the couple was caught red handed and arrested. Both John and Anne were sentenced to six years in prison and eventually released on parole in 2011.

A Dishonest Agent

Unfortunately, sometimes, it isn’t just policyholders who try to abuse the system. There have been many cases wherein the life insurance agent attempts to scam the system. For example, there was a situation where a Minnesota life insurance agent stole approximately $1.6 million by cashing in fraudulent refund checks. The agent also enlisted the help of a friend in order to cash the vast majority of the checks. While the former agent was able to steal millions of dollars, the reward was short-lived, as the employee was caught and sentenced to almost 3 years in prison.

The Dedicated Fraudsters

This last cautionary tale is absolutely mind-blowing. A pair of Los Angeles funeral home workers decided to create an imaginary relative, purchase a policy in his name, and kill him off. They were incredibly dedicated to the fraud, even going as far as to host a fake funeral. In order to do this, they had to bribe a doctor to forge medical documentation, which he did. The plan went without a hitch; until the doctor they had bribed decided to turn himself, and the pair, in. The two masterminds were sentenced to prison.

Fraud is a very serious crime and should not be taken lightly. Life insurance companies are subject to hundreds of fraudulent claims costing the industry several billions of dollars. Try as you might, if you commit fraud, you will be caught and you will serve time.

Cautionary Tales: Life Insurance Mistakes