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Joseph M. Ghabour & Associates LLC

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As a personal injury firm, we get asked a lot of interesting questions. Check out our FAQs and see what people are asking! If you have trouble finding what you're looking for, please let us know and we'll be sure to help!

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  • What determines the cost of my car insurance?




    • Who you are

    • How you drive (and how much)

    • Where you live

    • What you drive


    Who you are

    Just about everything insurance companies do is based on statistics, and statistics show that your likelihood of getting into an accident depends to a significant extent on who you are. For the purposes of car insurance, “who you are” boils down to three things: your age, gender, and marital status.
    • Age: Regardless of whether you chalk it up to inexperience or developmental immaturity, young drivers get in far more accidents than their older counterparts.
    • Gender: Males are involved in more collisions than females.
    • Marital Status: Married people get in fewer accidents than their single friends.
    That means that young, single, male drivers, who get into the most accidents of any group, typically pay the most for car insurance. Married women, on the other hand, generally enjoy the lowest premiums.

    Your driving record

    If you have a spotless driving record—no tickets and no accidents in which you were at fault—your rating factor will naturally be lower than someone with a number of blemishes.

    Where you live

    As you would probably guess, there are more accidents in cities than in rural areas—more cars, more traffic, as well as more break-ins and theft. That’s why urban drivers, on the whole, are stuck with higher rating factors.

    How much you drive.

    The more you drive, the more time you spend in your car, and the more time you spend in your car, the higher the probability of getting into an accident over a given period of time.

    The car you drive.

    From the perspective of an insurance company, who has to pay for your car repairs, denting your Ferrari is a great deal different than getting into a fender bender in your old truck. If you drive an expensive car, it’ll cost more for comprehensive and collision insurance.
    Aside from the cost of repairs, the car you drive can impact your rating factor in other ways as well. One variable is the theft rate—how often your make and model is stolen. If your car is a favorite among thieves, it’ll likely cost more to obtain comprehensive coverage.  Another consideration is the safety of your vehicle. A high safety rating and a good safety record on the road mean that the injuries you might suffer in an accident would likely be less severe than if you are driving a car that was rumored to flip or crumple like tin foil.
    [Excerpted from Joseph M. Ghabour's book, Accidents Happen: Guide to NJ Auto Accident Claims]

  • What is PMI?

    Private mortgage insurance or PMI is a type of mortgage insurance usually required with conventional loans.

    When you make a down payment of less than 20% or refinance a conventional loan with an equity of less than 20%,

    it’s usually required in these scenarios as well. PMI is provided by private insurance companies and protects the lender

    if you stop making payments on your loan.


    Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau



  • What is flipping?

    The act of purchasing a property, renovating it and selling it for a profit, usually in a very short amount of time.

  • Why can't I use my parking brakes in the cold?

    According to the US Army Corps of Engineers, it is unsafe to engage your parking brake in cold temperatures.

    The emergency brake cable can become frozen and fail to release when the lever is disengaged. Parking in a garage or other protected area can help you to avoid this problem. But if you have to park outside and it freezes up, you should not attempt to drive your vehicle. Solutions include waiting it out or jacking up the car and using a hairdryer. The best option in freezing weather is to simply not use the emergency brake at all.

    [Source: http://www.nad.usace.army.mil/cold_weather_driving_tips.htm]

  • Does My Pet Need a Seat Belt?

    How do you travel safely with your furry friend?

    Do you think pets should be placed under the “Click-it-or-Ticket” law?

    According to the NJ government, the answer is yes.

    Believe it or not there are so many dangers for pets that aren’t properly strapped. Here are some reasons why you would want your pet to be properly strapped:

    • Distracting: Pets are just as distracting as our cell phones. Pets are just as anxious as children, and if these pets are out of control, drivers can get distracted and lose focus on the road.
    • Protect them: Not only are pets are distracting; they are things that families love and cherish. In an event of an accident, pets can seriously get injured or killed.
    • Keep them in one place: Pets can easily escape cars and get lost. Keep them secure in your car so that it doesn’t happen.
    • Protects your car: No one likes to have their interiors scratched, ripped, or worse. Keeping your pet in one place can protect your car from any damages if they aren’t roaming around.

    Fines for not having your pet properly secured can lead to a fine from $250-$1,000.

    There are multiple ways of securing your pets. From harnesses to special seat belts, to travel crates, there are various ways of properly securing your pet. Shop around, but make sure that it fits the standards of safety.

    Humans aren’t the only ones that need to “click-it-or-ticket!”



    "Car Safety for Dogs!" Squidoo. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 July 2014.

  • What does it mean to "sublet?"

    To allow someone else rent your home (for example: townhouse, apartment, condo, etc.), in which you are currently renting, over a period of time.  

  • What are the steps to filing a complaint under civil litigation?

    If you want to file a civil case/complaint against someone, use: http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/prose/10554_ans_cmplt.pdf

    It will link you to the forms you need to fill out before a trial is set. Also, it helps you weigh in the pros & cons of having an attorney represent you vs. representing yourself. 


  • What is phishing?

    It is a fraud, often that occurs online, that pose as banks, providers, or other organizations, in order to get a hold of your personal information including, your bank account, credit card, social security number, or any other confidential information.  

    How do you prevent yourself from phishing?

    • Don't reveal any of your personal information without double checking if the website is reliable or not. 
    • If you aren't expecting any calls or emails from these organizations that they claim they are, don't answer them!
    • If an offer seems too good to be true, it most likely isn't true. Call the organization for a follow-up.
    • Don't be too quick to reveal information through the internet. 

  • What is the standard insurance policy?

    The standard policy under the NJ law that requires everyone to at least, is the Standard Policy. Under this policy, your liability insurance will have a minimum limit of $15,000 for a single death or injury, $30,000 for death or injury to more than one person, and $5,000 for property damage. You can, and should always, opt for more liability coverage. The standard policy provides for up to $250,000 PIP coverage and underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage. It also allows you to opt for Comprehensive and Collision coverage for additional premiums. 

  • What is a deductible?

    The amount that a policyholder (you) will have to pay before your insurance will pay the rest in an accident.

    High deductible policies are less expensive because you’re assuming more financial risk.

    Low deductible policies will mean higher monthly payments as a way of compensating because the insurance company is promising to pay a greater amount of money in the event of a claim.

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