Dolly Parton’s Car Crash and the Importance of Insurance

Better Get to Livin'

Better Get to Livin’ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

America’s country sweetheart, Dolly Parton, was in a car accident recently. Although she was only a passenger in this minor fender-bender, she still suffered some injuries requiring a quick hospital visit and rest. The offending driver did not stop as he was supposed to and struck Parton’s vehicle. Parton surely has auto insurance, and hopefully the offending driver has coverage as well.

Auto Insurance 101

Every month, you pay a premium toward your coverage balance. Coverage varies by state, from hospital bills to repairing damaged street items, like guard rails. People with expensive cars pay higher premiums while inexpensive cars have lower amounts. Some buyers only purchase the bare minimum of coverage, called comprehensive. This coverage does not help in the Parton crash because it typically covers vehicle damage from objects, like flying rocks, rather than a collision situation.

How Much Does That Part Cost?

Repairing a vehicle after a car crash can lead to astronomical figures. A simple dent in the bumper may warrant an entire part replacement costing thousands of dollars. The offending driver in Parton’s accident is at fault. His insurance should cover Parton’s insurance deductible and any other expenses that arise. If he is not covered, she could technically sue him for damages, although there may not be many funds to pay out.

Those Medical Bills

Coupled with a car repair, Parton and her driver also went to the hospital. The offending driver uses his auto insurance to cover their medical bills. Any bills generated from the driver or passenger’s injuries goes directly to the offending driver’s insurance. If he is not properly covered with this policy feature, he must pay for the bills out-of-pocket. With medical bills costing thousand of dollars, he probably called his insurance agent right away to see if his policy has that coverage.

Luckily, Parton’s accident was not severe, but ongoing injuries can slowly siphon funds out of the offending driver’s account. If Parton has whiplash, for example, she may need multiple visits to a chiropractor or other specialty doctor. Each visit should be covered by the offending driver’s insurance. Because she has good insurance coverage does not mean that her policy should pay out. The party at-fault always pays for both car repairs and medical bills. With treatment that takes several weeks to a few months, the offending driver’s insurance rates will typically jump next policy year.

Someone Has To Pay For It

Depending on the insurance company, an accident on your record causes your premiums to rise. You are now considered a risk to the company. It is possible that you will cause another accident incurring more cost. Insurance companies must weigh their risky customers with their good drivers. Hopefully Parton recuperates quickly so the offending driver’s rates do not remain high for several years.

You may not think of auto insurance as a top priority, but the reality of Parton’s fender-bender shows everyone that accidents happen at any time. Even celebrities must cover their vehicles with good insurance to protect their assets.

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Nigella Lawson and the High Cost of divorce

Nigella Lawson Eats A Banana

Nigella Lawson Eats A Banana (Photo credit: Kaptain Kobold)

Heartache and heartbreak are hard enough to endure but imagine having to go through the loss of a relationship while the world looks on. Such is the high price of celebrity divorce and the latest victim is the beautiful and talented television chef, Nigella Lawson. Shocking photos of Nigella apparently being choked by her husband, Charles Saatchi, surfaced in the media following the June 9th dinner at Scott’s restaurant in Mayfair, London, where the incident occurred. Saatchi’s advisors urged him to humble himself and admit a public apology for the assault. Saatchi denied any wrongdoing, saying he never assaulted her and in fact, was actually removing mucous from his wife’s nose. Nigella was stunned by the admonition of “nose-picking” and his refusal to apologize. She left Saatchi and their family home in Chelsea.

The two sides continued to disagree about the pictures; Saatchi claiming it was just a “playful tiff” and Lawson hurt and humiliated by the public’s assumption of her as victim of domestic violence and her husband as her tormentor. Insult was added to injury on July 7th, when Saatchi announced his intent to divorce his wife in the media instead of directly to her. Lawson, who had been waiting for a public apology, was blind-sided by his cruel divorce announcement. Lawson and Saatchi have been married for 10 years; Saatchi has claimed that the couple had become “estranged” the last few years. Saatchi claims that he had no choice but to act publicly since his wife “failed to defend” him with a statement to the media. In fact, Lawson has remained silent at the advice of her publicist so as not to further affect their children. Lawson (53) and Saatchi (70) have three teenage children from previous marriages that they were raising together.In addition to the “he said, she said” controversy, Lawson and Saatchi will have to fight over $150 million in shared assets, including their $12 million Chelsea, West London home. Both brought substantial assets into the marriage. Charles Saatchi is worth $100 million from the high-profile, highly-successful New York advertising firm, Saatchi and Saatchi. Nigella Lawson is a celebrity chef, bestselling author and television star with a net worth of $15 million. By the time lawyers for both sides duke it out in court and attempt to untangle the shared assets, those net worths will be considerably less.But it’s not just a monetary cost to this celebrity divorce. Saatchi had grown increasingly resentful of his wife’s high-profile career that he helped established. It’s a common theme in celebrity couples; one partner becomes the higher earner or the more recognized celebrity and the other gets bit by that green-eyed monster, jealousy. In Nigella’s case, there is the public humiliation at the hands of someone she loves to endure. It seems that Saatchi is determined to do whatever he can to make her suffer in the media. And then there are the children; children always suffer in a divorce. It can be lessened when parents work together to keep it private and amicable. But it’s incredibly painful to have your lives dragged through the media. In this case, it is Nigella and Saatchi’s children that are paying the ultimate price.
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Paying For Heart Surgery When You’re Not as Rich as Randy Travis

Travis performs

Travis performs “Three Wooden Crosses” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Very sad news broke this week about Randy Travis. The country crooner, whose hits ironically include a song titled “From the Hard Rock Bottom of my Heart,” was hospitalized with a life-threatening heart problem that arose from viral cardiomyopathy, a condition that is characterized by a weakening of the heart muscle due to a virus. The virus that caused this disease is usually pretty harmless, but in some patients, extremely dangerous complications can arise. For Travis, the complications weakened his heart, and he required hospitalization and emergency heart surgery.

Travis is pretty fortunate, financially.  He is also pretty wealthy. Therefore, the costs associated with this problem are not likely to set him back financially like they would most Americans. How can people who are not rich like Randy Travis pay for heart surgery?

The easiest way to pay for a heart surgery is to let someone else pay for it. This tip may sound like a joke, but it is the way most people pay for heart surgery. Insurance is a risk management system in which many people pay premiums so that they do not have to bear the entire brunt of a financial loss. Some will come out ahead by paying less in premiums than the amount of the health benefits they will receive. Others will be on the opposite end of the stick. Health insurance can come from the private market or the public coffers through programs like Medicare and Medicaid. While there might be a copay for these procedures with insurance, the insured will not have to pay the whole tab.

Another way to pay for heart surgery is by raiding a retirement account. This is not really advisable in most instances, but desperate times can call for desperate measures. The money can then be paid back over time in the best-case scenario, and getting the doctors paid off will take a major burden off of the back of any heart patient.

Taking out a home equity loan can also be a way to pay for a heart surgery. Those who have some equity built up in their home can sometimes find enough to pay off some emergency bills. Of course, it usually takes years to build up this equity, so many will not have this option available to them.

One final way to pay off a heart surgery without being rich like Randy Travis would involve getting a second job. This might cut down on the amount of time available for cardiac rehab, but the doctor will want his or her cut. It is likely that the hospital will be even more serious about getting paid. This will especially be the case if the hospital is for-profit. It might take some time, but those who are able to survive the extra work should be able to eventually pay off their bills.

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Kris Jenner’s $125 Million Divorce

In what could end up being an incredibly expensive divorce, Bruce and Kris Jenner, of “Keeping up with the Kardashians” fame have announced that their separation will be permanent. Reports suggest that the couple had no prenuptial agreement and that 125 million dollars is on the line. In California, anyone who decides to get divorced without a prenup will split assets right down the middle.

LOL Just divorced. And no, that's not my car.

LOL Just divorced. And no, that’s not my car. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bruce Jenner found fame in the 1970s when he attended the Montreal Olympics and won a gold medal in the decathlon event. After that momentous achievement, Bruce was able to set up licensing and endorsement deals that netted him millions of dollars. In the decades after the marriage, Bruce’s star began to fade as he started eschewing his motivational speaking career in favor of staying at home, to raise the two children that came from the marriage.By the time Kris married Bruce in 1991, she’d just divorced famous defense lawyer Robert Kardashian after a marriage that lasted about 13 years. She already had 4 children by the time she married Bruce that year. It wasn’t until 2007 when daughter Kim’s infamous “sex tape” hit the airwaves that the family started skyrocketing to fame, and the fortune started to grow.

Rumors suggest that Bruce wasn’t enthusiastic about his permanent role as sidekick to his wife and that he wasn’t allowed to help with any major decisions impacting the family.

Although a joint media statement from the former couple suggests that the split was “amicable,” it’s difficult to believe that two decades of marriage and a 125 million dollar fortune would just end with a friendly split. What seems clear from rumors and reports about the couple; however, is that there was no specific event which pushed the couple apart.

In their statement, the soon-to-be divorced couple said:

“But we will always have much love and respect for each other. Even though we are separated, we will always remain best friends and, as always, our family will remain our number one priority.”

In addition, sources also suggest that the reality television empire won’t come screeching to a halt. Interestingly, soon after the news broke that Bruce and Kris would be separating, Bruce and some of the couple’s children were seen at a golf course. When the family noticed a paparazzi taking a picture from across the green, the Jenner family each flipped the bird to the photographer while each had a huge smile on his or her face.

Interestingly, it seems that Kris was the first to take her wedding ring off after the divorce announcement while Bruce was photographed still wearing his ring.

There haven’t been any reports of infidelity or abuse between the couple and many of the anonymous sources who have come out to offer insight on the divorce have said that the split was a long time in coming. Bruce was already staying at a rental property for several months at the time of the divorce announcement and hadn’t been living inside the Kardashian compound in Calabasas for some time.

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