Best Dental Insurance

Best Dental Insurance

Looking for an Affordable Dental Plan?

In my search for the Best Dental Insurance last month, I failed to come up with anything that was substantially less money than my current, company-sponsored dental plan. Over the course of a few years, and the cost associated with porcelain crowns and amalgam fillings for a family of four, things can get quite costly. So, I decided it might be just a tad too risky to do without insurance at all. My current dental premiums are about $672 per year for a family of four. According to my dentist, the likelihood that I will need to pay for 3 or 4 porcelain crowns in the next two years is about 80%. A crown will cost about $400-$500 each, with any insurance plan. Without insurance, Crowns cost around $900 – $1200 each. So, the question for me is, “can I cut down on those premiums and still save $400-$500 per crown as they are needed?”  I need to find the best insurance plan that covers 40-50% on crowns and has lower premiums. Fortunately, I received an email from a reader of my blog who referred me to such an affordable dental plan that really does appear to be the best plan, particularly for individuals without company group insurance.

The Careington Dental Plan by costs just $15.95 a month for a family of 3 or more. If you need Dental Insurance coverage for just yourself, you pay only $6.95 per month.

The chart below shows what is covered under the Careington Plan and how it compares to the cost of having no Dental Insurance at all. There can only be one best dental insurance plan so see how it stacks up against the rest.

Dental Insurance Comparison

Dental Work NO Coverage 1Dental Savings
Oral Exam $46.00 $14.00 $32.00
Full Oral X-Ray $117.00 $40.00 $77.00
Cleaning $84.00 $29.00 $55.00
Filling $126.00 $40.00 $86.00
Porcelain Crown $927.00 $447.00 $480.00
Root Canal $653.00 $272.00 $381.00
Full Dentures $1,525.00 $595.00 $930.00
Tooth Extraction $155.00 $56.00 $99.00

Using my own family and self as an example, I decided to see how the costs under my current dental insurance would compare to the 1Dental coverage above. To do this, I calculated the premium costs and dental expenses that I expect the whole family to incur over the next three years. Based on our last three years of dental expenses and my dentist’s warning about needing crowns: I estimate the following Dental Needs:

8 Fillings, 4 Crowns and, 12 Cleanings and Exams. Here is how the savings for  the Careington Dental Discount Plan compares to my current dental insurance coverage:

3-Year Savings Example for Family
Dental Work Current Plan 1Dental Savings
Current Premiums $2,016.00 $574.20 $1,441.80
Cleanings and Exams $0.00 $828.00 ($828.00)
Fillings $408.00 $320.00 $88.00
Crowns $2,000.00 $1,788.00 $212.00
Savings over 3 Years $913.80

Why 1Dental is Rated Best

As you can see, the savings of the 1Dental plan are significant. In my case, it adds up to over $300 per year or roughly $25.00 per month. I should note that there is a $20.00 activation fee to get started, but once you are signed-up, your coverage is immediate. The 1Dental plan seems to be the best dental insurance I’ve found anywhere. There is no screening or preliminary waiting period. One other consideration is whether or not you have a favorite dentist who is not currently enrolled in the Careington Dental Discount Plan. Fortunately, there is a very large network of Dental Care Providers currently enrolled and if your dentist is not one of them, you can fill-out a form to get him/her nominated. The best plan doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the best dentist, so shop for one you like. The only real reason I can see for someone to stick with a more expensive, company dental plan is if you value teeth cleanings for your entire family every 6 months or twice a year. So, if you’re one who enjoys sitting in a dentist chair twice a year, the free cleanings and exams, will eventually off-set the additional cost you’re paying in premiums. If you’re looking for the Best Dental Insurance (and who isn’t?), the Careington Dental Discount Plan is for you.

If you’ve found the best dentist, it’s time to see if he/she fits into the best dental insurance plan.

I vote Careington or 1Dental as the best dental insurance.

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Best iPhone Screen Protector

Are iPhone Screen Protectors Worth the Money?

best iphone screen protector
iPhone Screen Protector

Remember how excited you were when you got that new iPhone for the first time? If you were like me, the new iPhone instantly became your most valued technological possession. The sales rep at the AT&T store – or in my case, Best Buy, tried to get me to pay another $20.00 on top of my already, hefty, $349 bill by talking me into an Invisishield screen protector. Invisishield was a name I had heard before, but had no idea if it was the best protector and worth the money. I knew I would have to get a screen protector eventually, but didn’t want to add to my big phone expense all at once. I decided I would use the phone for a while than shop around. As it turns out, I couldn’t relax without one. I was so protective of my new iPhone that I couldn’t enjoy it until I knew it’s beautiful, high-res, glossy screen was properly corrected. I went to Target and bought the off-brand, Case Logic which included 3 screen protectors for about $9.95. As it turns out, I was glad it came with three Screen Protectors instead of just one.

Screen Protectors are Difficult to Install

When I attempted applying the first Case Logic Screen protector, I feared I would do more damage to my iPhone pushing on it so hard to attempt to remove all of the little air bubbles that formed under the transparent shield. Additionally, I noticed unavoidable fingerprints that formed under the sticky surface. I gave up; discarded it and went on to screen protector number two. I applied the 2nd screen protector more smoothly, but it was still not perfect. I decided I could live with it. The fact is, I never felt 100% comfortable with the slightly defected looking screen left by the 2nd Case Logic Screen Protector. By the time, I used the 3rd one, I decided to try another brand. I bought a 2-pack of the Belkin Screen Protectors, also for $9.95. The first one went on much better. Not perfect, but it was certainly something I could live with. After several months went by, the 2nd Belkin iPhone Screen Protectorhad worn out. I bought another 3-pack and foiled the very first one. The 2nd one went on okay and lasted for 1 month. The 3rd was given to my son, who had gotten a new iTouch for his birthday and had already destroyed an entire 3-Pack of Case Logic Screen Protectors trying to put his first one on. Yikes. I was getting a little disheartened with screen protectors. My iPhone was nearly 9 months old, though, and still without a scratch. I decided to try a pack of do-it-yourself-cut-out-screen-protectors because they were only $5.00. Having already spent about $40.00 on Screen Protectors, I was in no mood to mess around. I couldn’t cut the screen straight and there was no way I could match the round hole for the home button or the little slit cut-out for the speaker. So, it dawned on me. There is a much better way to protect your iPhone Screen

The Best Screen Protector is the one You Cannot See

The best iPhone Screen Protector is the inside of your front pants pockets. In other words, the best iPhone screen protector is no screen protector at all! That’s right – keep your iPhone screen facing the inside of your pants and avoid mixing it up with coins, keys and other hard items that might present the risk of marring and scratching of your prized possession. I finally figured out that I would spend far less time and money simply being careful with my iPhone rather than the obsession of spending money and countless hours trying to properly apply one of those silly sheets of transparent plastic.

Liberation from Gadget Screen Protection

The feeling of freedom I got once I made the decision to stop the expensive habit of screen protection is almost too good to describe. No more costly sheets of plastic; no stressful moments trying to kneed out the annoying little air air pockets affecting the purity of your beautiful toy. The best part of all, is being able to enjoy an iPhone screen that looks as pure and clean as the day you bought it. No matter how what they say about iPhone Screen Protectors, they just don’t look, feel and work as good on your iPhone as it does when its in the original birthday suit. Let’s remember something else about these expensive technological gadgets: Their lifespan is very short. If you can keep your screen looking glossy and scratch free for over a year, you’ve pretty much outlasted its useful life in ‘tech-years’. The whole idea of a screen protector kind of reminds me of those plastic protective coating used on sofas and furniture back in the 70’s. Thirty years later, does anyone really care that an old, antiquated couch covered by a yellow-stained protective piece of plastic is completely free of the wear and tear caused by those who could have fully enjoyed its natural comfort? We, human beings have one thing in common with tech gadgets. Our life is too short to worry about how long beauty lasts beneath an artificial surface. So, fully enjoy the beauty of your iPhone while you have it. The best iPhone Screen Protector is the one you never had.

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Cheap Pet Insurance

Cheap Pet Insurance
Cheap Pet Insurance

Is Pet Insurance Worth it?

Should we find Cheap Pet Insurance for our pets is it worth the money? Like any other type of insurance, we should hope that the cost of the premiums we pay over the life of our pets outweighs the potential use of those bills. I’ve had several cats over the last 25 years, and one Yellow Labrador dog that lived a pretty good life of 15 years. All of my cats, except for one that was struck down by a car, lived very long lives. I’ve never had pet insurance of any type. Perhaps, I was lucky, but I’ve never been in a situation where I felt I really needed it. I guess the questions should be, “what does pet insurance cover and if there ever was a catastrophic medical event suffered by my cat or dog, would my insurer cover it?”

I looked at a few of the pet insurance policies. My conclusion was that like any other type of insurance, there is no such thing as a cheap pet insurance policy. You will not find one that is going to save you money on the normal maintenance over the entire lifetime of your pet. If that were true, pet insurance companies could not possibly hope to stay in business by offering cheap pet insurance. They are banking on your pet’s health and premiums outliving the risk of some type of catastrophic health expense. You cannot possibly hope to pay for an insurance policy over the life of a healthy pet that will save you money long-term. The math simply does not add – up. On the other hand, our beloved pets can sometimes be stricken with emergencies that require extremely expensive medical bills. Do we want to take the chance on having to make a very painful decision on the life or death of a young pet whose medical bills we cannot afford? This is why we should consider some form of pet insurance, but only if this type of insurance will cover those types of costly risks. For this reason, you have to wonder if there is really any such thing as cheap insurance. Some quick research has revealed what your typical pet insurance plan covers:

Where to Find Pet Insurance?

Typical Pet Insurance Plan

  • Pets Best Insurance
    Covers Illnesses accidents and injuries. X-Rays, MRIs and Cat Scans. Surgeries. Cancer Treatments. Prescription Medications. After Hour Emergency Visits. Specialists. Acupuncture. Chiropractic Therapy and Hosptilization. Costs start at $22.00 per month and cover 80%, after deductible ranging from $100 to $500. After Deductible is met, the really expensive things are 80% covered: Vet and Emergency Visits, Lab and Diagnostics, Surgery, Prescriptions, Treatments, Hospitalization and outpatient care. The lifetime limit ranges from $42,500 to $100,000, depending on your deductible. Ouch, can you imagine ever having costs that exceed $42,500 for just one pet? I would guess none of us have ever come close to that (knock on wood) Aside from deductible coverage, routine care is provided: $50 for annual exams, $100 for spaying/neutering, teeth cleaning; $60 for blood tests, $25 for heartworm tests, $15.00 for stool testing, $25.00 for urinalysis. This is a plan that really could provide you some peace of mind. If a $5,000 surgery is needed, your portion of the cost would be $1,000 plus your deductible. At $22.00 per pet, though, You’re going to pay a minimum of $22.00 per month or $264.00 per year to get this coverage (and that doesn’t include your deductible) to get 80% coverage. I’ve been lucky with my pets, but I can’t see this type of medical insurance being worth the cost for me, personally.
    Trupaninon Petco Pet Insurance

  • This one truly looks like nothing more than a disaster insurance plan. I got a price quote for my 8 year old male cat online. The monthly premiums are $22.00 and the deductible is $500. What is covered: In case of sickness or injury? Surgeries, diagnostics, Lab work medications. What is not covered? routine care, exam fees and pre-existing conditions. Coverage is 90%. In other words: In summary, unless your cat or dog  has an unusual or emergency illness, you’re going to pay at least $264 per year to prepare your pet for an emergency surgery or medical condition. In addition that, you will still pay for the cost of routine care, such as regular vaccinations and check-ups.  Let’s say your pet requires an emergency surgery that costs $1,200. You’re still going to have to pay the $500 deductible, plus 10% of the surgery: $620.00. Add the cost of the $264.00 in premiums for just one year, and you’re already up to 74% of the surgery. Unless, you are the type who is obsessed over things you have no control over, I’d look for a cheaper plan.
    Pet Assure

  • Pet Assure is basically a discount membership card for pets. The discount is normally 25% for medical and up to 50% off of other things such as pet supplies and pharmaceuticals. The cost is $59.00 per year for cats and $99.00 per year for dogs. What is covered? Routine care, exams, surgeries, speying, shots, neutering, hospitalization. There are some exclusions on things you take home such as medications, boarding and lab work done outside of the vet’s care. While this is basically a cheaper form of pet insurance, Pet Assure considers their program a more cost effective alternative. Using some quick math based on the 25% savings, I estimated that I would have to spend about $472 a year per cat in medical bills to save the $59.00 per year spent on the Pet Assure membership. In a normal year, shots and occasional exams needed for my cats usually only cost me $180-$220.00.  It’s hard to say if the savings on pet supplies, medicines and other products would make this membership worthwhile. At 25%, it certainly doesn’t take the place of catastrophic pet insurance if that’s what you want.

Saving Money on Pet Insurance

It’s difficult to assess how much money you can or will save on an insurance plan you hope to never use. The value of true pet insurance is peace of mind. Don’t expect to come out ahead dollars-and-cents-wise on a Petco Trupanion plan if your pet never encounters an emergency need. Cheaper insurance plans don’t give you that same peace of mind, but if you’re thrifty, like to shop for savings, and your cat or dog seems to need frequent trips to the vet for routine care and procedures, you might look for one of the discount card plans like Pet Assure. The bottom line, though, is that there is no such thing as cheap pet insurance.

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Womens Shaver

womens shaver
Electric Razor For Women

What are the most common objections women have to using electric razors as opposed to traditional razor blades in the bath or shower?

  • Electric Razors Hurt and Pull hair
  • Electric Razors don’t shave as closely and smoothly
  • Electric Razors are too expensive

The reason so many women are still shaving their legs with a traditional razor blade in the shower or bath is that they’ve had a difficult time finding a Womens Electric Shaver that does as good a job, is not painful to use and doesn’t cost a fortune. On the other hand, using a traditional razor blade is not nearly as convenient. Over the course of a year, replacing the blades will probably be just as expensive as finding an effective, good quality womens shaver. There are several advantages to finding a good electric razor that women like: For one thing, an Electric Razor certainly saves on water; no need to spend extra time in the bath or shower to get nice, smooth legs. The other reason is that it saves time and money on replacing blades and shaving cream. The third reason is longer lasting smoothness of skin and slower hair growth.

There has to be a product out their for ladies that will do the job of a traditional razor blade quicker and easier and won’t cause pain. I decided to do some research and locate such a product. I believe I found a couple of models that won’t disappoint:

  • Okay, you’re a demanding woman. You’ve tried an economy razor, but still want something better. The ultimate way to remove your hair smoothly and keep it from growing back quickly is through epilation. Epilation removes the hair from the follicle (root level) and provides ladies with the smoothest skin possible. The Braun 5270 Silk-épil X’elle Body System Epilator provides something better: If you want to remove hair so it grows back more slowly, it will epilate. If your hairs are too short to epilate, the unit still works just fine as a shaver . The best endorsement of the Braun 5270 is that over 1,000 women have rated it 4.5 stars. That is one of the best product endorsements from Amazon I’ve ever seen! The price is quite a bit steeper than the Panasonic, but the results speak for themselves!
  • The Braun SE7280 Silk-Epil Xpressive Epilator Body System is similar to the Braun 5270 but with a Swiveling Head and thinner, lighter body style. Over 60 women have also rated the Braun SE7280 4.5 stars. It seems that with this newer, more expensive SE7280 model, more women complained it was painful at first, but later really appreciated the results which they say is every bit as good as waxing!

Over 50 women have used and rated the Panasonic ES2207P Electric Shaver on Amazon and have given it a very respectable 4.5 stars. They like this razor for it’s close, smooth shaves, relatively, pain-free operation, but most of all – for it’s extremely cheap price. While women admit the Panasonic ES2207P doesn’t shave as close as a blade, it gets close enough to remove visible hair and make your legs smooth. Users say that this product is a very sturdy woman’s shaver for the price. For under $30, the Panasonic ES2207P makes a compelling case for women wanting to try the convenience of an electric razor for the first time.

Rechargeable Epilator by Braun

The previous two models get excellent scores, but if you want something rechargeable you’ll have to pay a little bit more.

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Cheaper Home Insurance

Home Insurance Ratings

Where to Find Cheaper Home Insurance

Cheaper Home Insurance
Cheaper Home Insurance?

Are you looking for cheaper home insurance? Your average homeowner pays $50-$100 per month in premiums for a home-owner’s insurance policy, depending on the price of the home being insured. This cost may seem insignificant compared to how much most of us pay for auto insurance. Because of the huge difference we pay insuring a car vs. our home, Home Owners insurance may seem like an afterthought to many of us. In my last 23 years as a home owner, I never gave much thought to shopping for a better deal. I’ve been insured by four different companies: State Farm, All State and California Casualty.  In each case, I saved about 5-15% on my home insurance policy by having a couple of my cars insured by the same company. In other way to save on home insurance premiums is to raise your deductible from $500 to $1000.  Sometimes, you can save as much as 25%.  The best way, though, is to simply shop.

Besides looking to save money, though, the most important thing you can do is choose a company that is highly rated. Thankfully, AM Best rates home insurance companies the same they do automobile insurance. You can look up an insurance company’s risk factor and financial stability online at anytime. Choose a company with a high rating of integrity and security. Even better, JD Powers has provided a very useful ranking of the top Home Insurance Companies. As they did with the Car Insurance Ratings a few months back, JD Powers has ranked the top insurance carriers. Home Insurers are rated JD Powers on Five Key Factors: Insurers are ranked by JD Powers on Five Key Factors: Overall experience, customer interaction, policy offerings, billing & payment, and price. I’ve selected 10 of the most popular home insurance companies and posted the results below.  Amica Mutual is number one with a perfect score of 100% in all five categories. No other company comes close. In case you didn’t see the article on Car Insurance Ratings; Amica won that contest too back in 2009. One thing worth mentioning: If you are employed by a company that is involved in a union, both your home and car insurance savings could be huge by going with the company union insurance plan. My wife is a teacher, so we went with California Casualty a few years ago, and are saving a bundle on both Home Insurance and Car Insurance. Why such a huge savings? Because you can take advantage of large group discounts – that are significantly greater than company life and health insurance plans. Because unions can cover such a widespread number of companies or establishments, the group discounts can be amazing. For instance, Amica Mutual, who according to JD Powers offers the best Home Owners pricing, was about 25% higher when I compared them to California Casualty a few months back.  I would take the ratings below with a grain of salt. I know other people who have shopped for cheaper home insurance and their quote from Amica didn’t fare as well as other popular home insurers such as Allstate, Farmer’s or State Farm. I’m not sure if these rankings below are biased geographically or in some other way that may not reflect the needs of everyone. At any rate, it’s a good starting place to shop for home and car insurance.

The bottom line: Go to AM Best and find a company with a good solid stability rating. Increase your deductible to $1000 if you can, and ask for a discount if your Automobile Insurance is through them. Meanwhile, feel free to use the rankings below for a rule of thumb, next time you’re shopping for a cheaper home policy.

Home Insurance Ratings

Insurance Overall Contacting Policies and Billings and Pricing
Company Experience the Insurer Offerings Payment
Amica 100 100 100 100 100
The Hartford 80 60 80 80 80
State Farm 80 100 80 80 80
Allstate 60 60 60 60 60
American Family 60 60 60 60 60
Liberty Mutual 60 60 60 60 60
Met Life 60 60 60 60 60
AIG 40 40 40 40 40
Farmers 60 60 60 40 40
Fireman’s Fund 40 60 40 40 40


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