Is Your Insurance Legit? You Sure?
Scammers fool thousands of folks each year. Are you one of them?
By Kate Ashford

(MONEY Magazine) – INSURANCE POLICIES HAVE A way of sitting unread in drawers. Time to pull yours out. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners reports that bogus insurers dupe thousands of people a year (200,000 from 2000 to 2002 alone), and not just your dotty Aunt Betty. Prime targets include people who normally know better but bought in a time of need--they purchased a larger family car, say, or endured a natural disaster. "It's anybody who has a need for affordable insurance," says Maryland associate insurance commissioner Todd Cioni.

• WARNING SIGNS A plan that costs 15% to 20% less than the competition or that claims to cover any person regardless of age, history or risk.

• HOW THEY FIND YOU The Web, junk faxes and telemarketers. Some discount plans offer only discounts on drugs and medical bills but deceptively use the term "insurance" anyway, and sham insurers often use a legit-sounding name to sell fake plans.

• WHAT TO DO Call your state department of insurance (find its website via naic.org) and make sure both the insurer and the agent are licensed. That way you'll know exactly who you're dealing with.

...That mighty teachers union: 8% of students who named teaching as their top career choice say they expect to earn a $250,000 salary by 40...

SOURCE: Junior Achievement.

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.