If Only I Could Find A Lizard Offering A Low Car-Insurance Rate

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Finance

Budget Wedding Tips

With Americans still feeling the effects of the recession, many engaged couples are looking for ways to save money on their wedding by holding a smaller ceremony, hunting for deals, and more.

Commonly Overlooked Tax Credits

As Americans rush to fill out their tax forms before the April 15 deadline, many may not realize that they are eligible for multiple tax credits that would earn money back from the government.

Man Completes Life $130,000 Over Budget

SAN FRANCISCO—Having drastically underestimated the expenses required for such an elaborate production, recently deceased local man Norman Dennison is said to have completed his 84-year life Tuesday approximately $130,000 over budget.

Newlywed Couple Looks So Deeply In Debt

CHICAGO—Saying that you could tell by the way they stared into each other’s eyes, friends and family of newlywed couple Patrick and Heather Vaughn told reporters Friday that the bride and groom look so deeply in debt.

How Powerball Works

With no winner from the previous drawing, the jackpot for Wednesday’s Powerball lottery is expected to surpass $450 million, as gamblers around the nation buy more tickets in hopes of drawing the lucky numbers.

The Pros And Cons Of Free Community College

As part of an effort to make higher education accessible to all Americans, President Obama has proposed offering two free years of community college to qualified students, a plan critics say is too expensive and misses the mark on education reform.

Allowance To Teach Child Importance Of Parental Dependence

MUNCIE, IN—Saying that they wanted to instill lifelong financial habits in their young son, the parents of 9-year-old Jeremy Lambert explained to reporters Monday that they give him a weekly $10 allowance to teach him the importance of parental depe...

Online Shopping vs. In-Store Shopping

While brick-and-mortar stores like Walmart and Target are advertising door-buster deals to get consumers in their aisles on Black Friday, many Americans are opting to take advantage of the ease and product variety of online shopping.

Scientists Receive $10 Million Grant To Melt Stuff

COLLEGE PARK, MD—Saying the money would help further researchers’ understanding of the awesome scientific phenomenon, representatives for the American Institute of Physics announced Tuesday that they had received a $10 million grant to melt st...

The Cost Of Raising A Child

According to a new report by the USDA, the cost of raising a child until age 18 now exceeds $245,000, after which many parents will also have to foot the bill for college.

How Public Schools Spend Taxpayer Money

Public school districts in the United States receive billions of taxpayer dollars in state and federal funding every year to pay for teacher salaries, school bus transportation, building maintenance, counseling services, and more.

Bank Of America Introduces New $50 Underdraft Fee

CHARLOTTE, NC—Saying the penalty will cover the costs incurred by the financial institution whenever a customer makes a withdrawal that results in a positive account balance, Bank of America introduced a new $50 underdraft fee Tuesday on all checkin...

How To Protect Your Personal Information Online

Following the recent data breach at retail giant Target, which exposed credit card numbers and personal information of as many as 110 million people, many Americans have grown concerned about their safety and privacy online.

Report: Gap Wider Than Ever Between Ultra-Rich And Reality

PHILADELPHIA—A report released Wednesday by economists at the University of Pennsylvania confirmed that the already massive gap between the world’s ultra-rich and reality is now at historic levels and only continues growing wider each year.

'That Seems About Right,' Says Soon-To-Be-Audited Man

CAMDEN, MN—While filling out a 1040 form and other documents Tuesday in preparation for filing his 2012 federal tax returns, local man Robert Moran, a blog writer who will shortly be audited by the Internal Revenue Service, announced that his calcul...

New Visa Talking Credit Card Urges Buyers To Go For It

SAN FRANCISCO—Financial services giant Visa held a press event Tuesday to introduce "Visa Voice," a new line of talking credit cards that urges shoppers to just go ahead and buy it if that's what they really want. "Whenever ...

Lawmaker Seeks To Ban U.S. Currency

Mike Pitts, a representative in the South Carolina legislature, has proposed a law that would replace dollars with gold and silver in his state. What...

Fed Bans Debit Overdraft Fees

The Federal Reserve is prohibiting banks from collecting overdraft fees on purchases paid with a debit card unless customers opt in to programs that...

Nicolas Cage Broke

Owing $6.3 million in back taxes and facing financial ruin, Nicolas Cage, star of such hit films as Ghost Rider,...

No Rise In Social Security

For the first time since 1975, there will not be a cost-of-living increase for Social Security payments. What do you think?

Wachovia's Record Losses

Last week, Wachovia posted a quarterly loss of $23.9 billion, the largest ever for a bank. Where did it lose the money?

Swaggering Down 87%

NEW YORK—A wide-legged gait accompanied by an overconfident smile and a jauntily raised eyebrow may soon be a thing of the past due to recent economic turmoil.

Protecting Our Banks

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the body that insures bank deposits up to $100,000, has raised the number of "troubled banks" to...
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  • Night Out Consecrated With Opening Exchange Of High-Fives

    CHARLOTTE, NC—Kicking off the evening with their customary expression of excitement and camaraderie, a group of friends reportedly consecrated their night out on the town Friday with a ceremonial opening exchange of high-fives.

If Only I Could Find A Lizard Offering A Low Car-Insurance Rate

I'm an experienced car owner. As such, I have what I consider an above-average knowledge of what constitutes a competitive rate for automotive insurance. The policy I have now is fair, but I could probably do better if I shopped around. Trouble is, I don't have time to page through the phone book or search for information online all day—I'm a busy professional. That's why I'm currently looking for a lizard who will explain the various policies to me and help me figure out which company has the best deal.

I feel no loyalty to my existing car-insurance provider. If a better offer were made to me by a lizard, I would have to consider it very seriously.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not interested in a lizard with a hard sales pitch. I don't want some slick, fast-talking lizard bullying me into a big commitment. I demand a refined lizard, one with class. He might even be British, or an American educated at British schools.

I don't think my request is unreasonable. When I first started thinking about switching car-insurance companies, I encountered a stoic elk who offered a full range of financial services. But an elk is just going to follow the herd. And he's warm-blooded, subject to sudden changes in climate. How do I know he's not going to migrate when the going gets tough?

I'm prepared to put my trust in a lizard. When I was young, I got my breakfast cereal on the advice of a tiger. When I made a tuna sandwich, I reached for the can endorsed by the tuna fish. There was a brief time when I got my tuna on the advice of a mermaid, until I came to the conclusion that mermaids don't exist. Later in life, a small immigrant dog advised me on matters pertaining to fast-food burritos. And today, my puffed cheese snacks come with the seal of approval of a cheetah.

I want to make it very clear that I am not interested in some kind of lizard snob. I won't lie to you: My driving record isn't perfect, and it's important to me that a lizard understand that, and not look down his nose at me just because I've been in an accident or two. I want a lizard I can relate to. One who, when he's not selling insurance, does puzzles, or goes for a drive in his convertible, or maybe just watches TV.

I've had mixed luck bowing to the wisdom of amphibians and reptiles in the past. I once switched brands of beer at the behest of a trio of frogs, who made a convincing argument that the beers the bear and the dog were offering didn't have the same rich flavor as theirs. They opened my eyes to the fact that the dog was more interested in partying than in beer itself. A couple of years after I made the switch, I lost confidence in the brand when lizards came by and complained about the frogs.

I'm not interested in a lizard's opinion about beer. That's ridiculous.

With car insurance, on the other hand, the safety of my family is on the line, so I need the counsel of a cold-blooded reptile, one who understands the hard realities of the insurance business. One who understands facts and figures and has sticky toes that are able to cling to almost any surface.

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