Bottle Beach – A Review and a Retrospective

Bottle Beach or Haad Khom is a beautiful, small beach tucked away in the jungle in the north of Koh Phangan Island. Until a few years ago it was inaccessible by road. That made the place when I first went there in the mid 1990s. It was so remote, so cut off, so peaceful. It was the perfect place to recuperate and have fun swimming, lying around, playing Frisbee and just generally have a mellow time. Back then all the accommodation was simple bamboo and coconut thatch bungalows and just one business called Cookies, if my memory serves me right.The sea was always calm, clear and warm. The beach was always nearly deserted and the night stars shone loudly; and that was the only thing that was loud – there were no late night raves because the generator couldn’t take that type of workload.The only way in was by a long tail boat from either Thong Nai Pan or Chaloklum. It cost $3 and when the sailor took the short cut between the cliff face and an islet of rocks on a stormy day I was happy to get there and not washed up against the rocks demanding a refund.Now in 2010 things have moved on. Bottle Beach is still one of the most remote and perfect beaches on Koh Phangan but it is finally and sadly connected to the world via a dirt track which only a 4 by 4 can attempt that goes to Thong Nai Pan beach. It is a small improvement, but a massive symbolic change.And with symbolic change comes material change. Now Cookies is BFKA or bungalows formerly known as, and the inspired name of Bottle Beach 1 is preferred. Bottle Beach 1 is in competition with Bottle Beach 2 and 3. The accommodation on Bottle Beach has also gone up-market. Bathrooms, constant electricity, concrete reception and restaurant areas are all signs of better business. Prices have gone up and more people are showing up.For all of these detractors (from my point of view), I went back recently and found that I still loved the place. It was still an adventure in itself getting there, and the nature was still pristine and thriving. Some of the same people were still working and living on the beach. It was still relaxed and thankfully free of that Thailand phenomenon called ‘The All Night Party’. And best of all, the dog called ‘Cookie’ was still alive and getting into trouble with the kitchen staff. Bottle Beach is no longer Robinson Crusoe Beach but it is still one of the preeminent places to be in the world, in my humble opinion.

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Tips and Tricks to Enjoy Cheap Home Insurance Quotes

Tips and Tricks to Enjoy Cheap Home Insurance Quotes:A few decades ago, who could have thought that shopping for homeowners insurance could become so easy? Gone are the days when one had to spend hours together roaming to different insurance companies, calling them over and over again just to compare a few quotes from two or more of them. Online insurance shopping has made it very much convenient for the shoppers to sit in the comfort of their homes and compare quotes from various companies to find cheap homeowners insurance. One can easily back away from all the hassle and get hundreds of quotes, both from local and national insurance companies by simply giving away a few details.With this said, some people may not really like to give away information online to look for cheap home insurance, because some tools ask for personal credentials as well. But, one need not worry about this issue anymore, because online tools these days just ask for the shopper’s zip code and that’s it, a whole list of quotes from well-known insurance companies from over 50 States will appear on the screen. This method of online shopping to search for cheap home insurance quotes is easy, quick and above all it is free.Getting the best and cheap home insurance is something that every online shopper looks for. But in search for cheaper home insurance quotes, one should not miss the actual benefit of having homeowners insurance. A full coverage home insurance is a protection for one’s home and the property within it. Hence, comparing insurance quotes simply based on their cheap rates is not worth it. One should be clever enough to identify affordable quotes that provide complete benefits of having a home insurance rather than just opting for some cheap homeowners insurance quotes that are not really worthy.But one need not think that in order to avail a full coverage home insurance, one will have to pay too much of premiums. It is definitely possible to enjoy low cost homeowners insurance and at the same time get a decent coverage plan. In order to choose cheap homeowner insurance quotes, one must first be aware of what are the different types of coverage plans available and then finally decide on one that suits their needs the best.What is Covered Under a Homeowners Insurance Policy?
According to Insurance Information Institute (III), homeowners insurance is divided into different categories, which are denoted as HO-1, HO-2, HO-3, HO-4, and so on until HO-8. Of all these policies the first type, i.e. HO-1 is no longer available as it provides very basic coverage scheme. The other policies are discussed below:
HO-2 and HO-3: These two policies are the most prevalent ones. The HO-2 policy is also known as ‘broad-form policy’ and HO-3 as ‘special-form policy’. People having these types of coverage can claim for money in any of the following 16 situations:
1. Damage caused due to current shocks generated artificially.
2. Unexpected damage caused due to aircraft
3. Vehicle rampages that damage the house
4. Damage due to falling objects
5. Damage to the house due to heavy snowfall, ice or due to the weight of sleet
6. Lightning or fire blasts
7. Damage due to Volcanoes
8. Windstorm damages
9. Unpredictable blasts
10. Damage caused due to excessive smoke
11. Malicious mischief
12. Loss of possessions due to stealth/theft
13. Damage to the house or other possessions due to riots or rallies
14. Accidental damage such as cracks or swollen appearance of appliances such as air conditioners, water heaters, and fire-protectors.
15. Damage caused to home appliances due to extreme cold weathers resulting in their freezing.
16. Damages due to steam or water leakage from water heaters, air conditioners, fire-protectors or other appliances.
While both HO-2 and HO-3 provide coverage for damages caused due to above 16 issues, but there is a small difference that makes one more advantageous over the other. The HO-2 policy does not provide coverage for damages apart from the above list. Whereas, the HO-3 policy not only covers the above-listed damages, but will also provide coverage for any other type of damage as well, except a few natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and other severe issues such as nuclear disasters, wars, and pests.
HO-5: This policy is similar to HO-3, but with an extension that it provides coverage for one’s possessions in the house as well.
Special Policies:
HO-4: This policy is special in the fact that it provides coverage for renters.
HO-6: Coverage for condo owners can be availed by opting for this policy.
HO-7: If one is in search of cheap mobile home insurance, then the HO-7 policy is the right choice.
HO-8: If the house one lives in is an old construction, then choosing HO-8 policy will help them to avail cheap home insurance.
What damages are not covered?
The following are the damages that are not covered by any type of home insurance and require separate policies for protection:
● Earthquakes
● Landslides
● Sinkholes
● Floods
● Sewage damages
● Damages due to negligence
● Damages due to pests
How to Calculate Home Insurance?
Another important element to finding affordable homeowners insurance is to know how much insurance one would actually need. This estimation will help the homeowner to have an idea of the cost for damages or loss of possession; he/she can face in case of any calamity and then appropriately judge the amount of home insurance one should avail. Here are the basic steps using which one can estimate one’s home insurance:
● The first step in order to calculate one’s homeowners insurance is to estimate the total cost of rebuilding one’s home after heavy damage. This calculation should be done by considering all the costs at the rates one has built the home.
● Secondly, one should estimate the total cost of all the possessions that one might think would be damaged in case of any disasters. Experts suggest that the cost of possessions or property should generally amount up to 50-75% of the rebuilding cost of one’s home. For instance, if one estimates the rebuilding cost as $250,000, then the cost for possessions should be estimated as $125,000. Also, expensive jewelry or artifacts will require additional coverage.
● The next step is to calculate the liability coverage, i.e. the amount one would be liable to pay if someone gets injured on the homeowner’s property. This amount could range between $100,000 and $500,000.
● The final step is to estimate the extra charges one might face. This includes damage due to natural disasters that are not covered by home insurance policies.
Hence, a careful examination and estimation of all the points discussed above can help one to get the best and cheap home insurance possible, while enjoying the maximum benefits.

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Car Insurance for Low-Mileage Users

What you need to know about Car Insurance for Low Mileage
Insurance Companies may require your annual odometer reading verification

Insurance by the mile bills you monthly insurance payments based on your used mileage

It is possible also to receive car insurance discounts without asking from insurance companies that bundle up insurance policies with a specific insurer.

The discounts are awarded to loyal customers or accident-free and low mileage drivers over a period.

Drivers on an average 5,000 miles annual range may alert an insurance company so as to receive a low-mileage discount.

Do you own a car that barely leaves the garage on most days? Most insurance companies offer a conventional low-mileage discount to drivers who maintain annual mileage under a particular brink, such as 6,000 miles a year. In most states, the discount reduces the insurance rates on a full coverage policy by 2 percent. The premium savings are bigger in California.Insurance Companies may require your annual odometer reading verification. Some may ask you fill a form to countercheck your estimate against readings taken from other sources. Others use agents to take a photo of the reading.There are ways to get a low-mileage discount that will give you cheaper car insurance coverage.1. Pay-as-you-Drive
Pay-as-you-drive vehicles such as In-Drive, install telematics gadgets to monitor your vehicle, offer larger discounts for less frequent drivers and careful drivers as well. Precautious drivers on low mileages can save up to 25 percent or more. Most of the pay-as-you-drive plans give a discount of 5-%10 upon enrolling, they later use gathered data to award a discount at your renewal period. Attach a telematics gadget into the car’s onboard port (OBDII) to get a discount. Nearly all cars from 1996 onwards have an inbuilt OBDII port.2. Pay per Mile Car Insurance
Insurance by the mile bills you monthly insurance payments based on your used mileage. This mode of payments saves you an estimated 45% in savings for careful drivers doing less than 5,000 miles a year. The device tracks the distance traveled, which is used to set your mileage rates.This way, you are guaranteed low mileage on types of car insurance under each plan; instead of cutting coverage to save money, it limits the risk faced by insurance companies when you hit the road.Customers are charged a standard monthly rate based on individual rating factors: age, driving record, location, type of car, credit and insurance history in some states. Every month, the driver pays the flat rate plus a mile fee charged on the miles recorded through the mileage device.How to Qualify for Low Mileage Car Insurance Discount
It is easy to be eligible for many auto insurance discounts, and many insurance companies offer these discounts, but you have to ask. A Princeton Survey study found that 16% of motorists have car insurance standard discounts.It is possible also to receive automatic car insurance discounts from insurance companies that bundle up insurance coverage with a specific insurer. The discounts are awarded to loyal customers or accident-free and low mileage drivers over a given period.However, you may request for discounts such as:
a short travel discount or no commute

Paying your coverage renewal check in advance

Having an academic degree/s

Police officers or teachers

Common Low Mileage Discounts
Many people are not aware of car insurance discounts such as Low-Mileage premium discount: This is for individuals who reduced their driving mileage by either working from home or park their vehicles because they no longer need to drive. A mileage research from Quadrant Services found that driving an average 6,000 miles annually, pays nearly of 7.5 % less than driving 16,000 miles annually. 16,000 miles is, in fact, more than regular Americans drive yearly, based on the U.S Department of Transportation.Huge Mileage Savings in Selected States
The disparity on low mileage drivers is bigger in selected states, California tops the list.The top five states where drivers save under 5,000 miles annually are:
California – 17 %

Washington D C – 11.1 %

Alaska 11%

Alabama- 10 %

Hawaii – 10 %

However, some states have little or no effect on insurance coverage rates on reduced mileage. The states where little driving distance hardly moves a dime include:
North Carolina -0

Utah -1 %

Texas -3 %

Connecticut – 3 %

Rhode Island-3%

Vice president of, Loretta Worters, says insurance companies hike premiums for high mileage drivers because they are a risk. High mileage drivers are more likely to cause accidents than the low mileage drivers. California, for example, has insurers charging higher premiums because the State has many drivers on the road.The role of insurance state laws passed in 1988 limits the factors California motor insurers use when determining rates for the following:
Mileage driven

Safety driving record

Driving experience

Insurers can set minimum rates based on these three main factors. This law magnifies the impact of driving mileage.Insurance expert/consultant – Douglas Heller says asking for higher premium rates from high mileage drivers is fair to charge insurance policy holders. He adds on that basing rates on mileage is far better than another criterion like an education level and income.Does Ignoring Driving Mileage Pay?
At the extreme, experts do not understand precisely why North Carolina insurers and other selected states practically ignore miles when rating auto policies.North Carolina insurance commissioner, Wayne Goodwin says a hike in mileage doesn’t amplify the level of risk on the road. He, however, says the state’s different pricing is a key factor to prevent insurers in the state from hiking premiums on mileage.In some states, such as North Carolina, insurers independently apply for premium rates with the state’s insurance bureau -insurers file rates with the local State Rate Bureau. The State Bureau proposes one base rate for all its insurance companies in NC. Goodwin’s office reviews the requested rates and attaches a cap indicating the exact figure insurers should charge consumers.The bureau chief says that Mileage driving is a price factor. However, it doesn’t have any significant effect. The local government has maintained low motor insurance rates in NC State, which is ranked one of the lowest insurance premium costs in America; according to figures from NAIC.How to Reduce Motor Insurance Mileage Rates
For drivers on an average 6,000 miles annual range, they may alert an insurance company so as to acquire a mileage discount. But, several lower mileage drivers miss the available discounts due to nondisclosure. On the contrary, not everybody reduces their mileage so as to save on insurance costs.Additional Ways to Decrease High-mileage Usage

Increase your deductible

Shop for price quotes in several insurance companies

Avoid highway speeding tickets and other road violations

Car drivers may attempt to forge miles on the speedometer to avoid higher insurance coverage rates. This is unethical, and a policyholder can lose out on the entire insurance and get black listed too. Lying to the insurer is an illegal act, its insurance fraud. The best way to earn a discount on mileage is to buy a car that has done average mileage and the driver should ensure that they maintain their speed levels at all times.

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