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Insurance and phone costs

Insurance and phone costs

Old Feb 22nd 2011, 12:32 pm
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Default Insurance and phone costs

Hi All,

we will be moving to Indiana in the next few months with my husband's company and I wondered if someone could give me a rough idea of prices for the following things?

Mobile phone: I currently have an Iphone 3gs that I will bring over with me so will need a sim card with a contract. Do they tarriffs like we do with minutes and texts and data included? What sort of price will I be looking at for something like 100 minutes and 100 texts a month?

Mobile phone insurance?

Pet insurance: I have two cats who are 7 and 8 years old. What are veterinary bills like? What is the rough cost of insurance?

Car breakdown cover: do you tend to get this free with your insurance or do you have companies that specialise in this? Any idea on cost?

Thanks.
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 1:40 pm
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Default Re: Insurance and phone costs

I think that the only full provider for a UK iPhone would be AT&T - Verizon is a different format and T-Mobile USA have a different 3G frequency to the UK.

T-Mobile USA does allow you to use the iPhone on their network, but it just won't have 3G speeds.

Go here for AT&T plans - you need to enter your prospective zip code to find the ones that apply.

The above is assuming that you are out of contract on the 3GS and have unlocked it from the UK carrier.

I'm sure that someone will be along shortly to answer the insurance questions
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 1:46 pm
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Default Re: Insurance and phone costs

Can't help you with the pet insurance question really (though from what I've heard, although pet insurance can be quite expensive, it still generally works out cheaper than vet bills if your pet does end up having an issue)

As for car breakdown cover, it's possible that an insurance company offers this if you get your auto insurance coverage through them, but I don't think it comes standard. Ask an advisor at your insurance company. But I would recommend joining the AAA Plus service, which would run somewhere between $110 and $130 I think per year, for a couple (I forget exactly what our last bill was for). With that you get their breakdown/towing service, plus you get to use all AAA's other services which includes insurance, travel, certain DMV services (for car title issues etc). And you get to show your AAA card for discounts at certain places like restaurants and hotels etc. I think there are cheaper membership options too, with more limited towing service.

Another random tip, but if you are going to be insuring a lot of things e.g. house, car etc, it might be cheaper to do it all with one company (if they have multi policy discount).
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 1:51 pm
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Default Re: Insurance and phone costs

Thanks, that helps with the monthly cost. I won't be out of contract but should get something from the company to pay off all contracts outstanding before we go. I am already on T-Mobile and all of their Iphone 3GSs are unlocked I believe but I'll sort that out nearer the time.

Thanks again.
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 1:53 pm
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Default Re: Insurance and phone costs

If you really want an iPhone 3gs, sell yours and get an at&t one. Since they list the exclusive contract they are selling them for 50 bucks. Not sure about the plans now but you werent be able to get plans with that little minutes, maybe 500 or 700 plus min $15 a month data plan. Remember you get charged minutes and texts for oncoming and outgoing. You can probably pick up a 250 text plan for $5 or so.

Pet insurance is expensive, more on the long term than paying out of pocket unless something major happens like cancer.

Breakdown cover is tricky. You can buy a service like AAA, if you bit a new car some companies throw in a few years of it and most insurance plans gave it as an add on. I think I pay a couple of dollars a month for 2 cars. It's not great coverage but will get you a tow, a gallon of gas or a quick fix off needed.

Be prepared to pay more than you do now for pretty much every service or utility.
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 1:59 pm
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Default Re: Insurance and phone costs

Originally Posted by Lakersdarge View Post
Can't help you with the pet insurance question really (though from what I've heard, although pet insurance can be quite expensive, it still generally works out cheaper than vet bills if your pet does end up having an issue)

As for car breakdown cover, it's possible that an insurance company offers this if you get your auto insurance coverage through them, but I don't think it comes standard. Ask an advisor at your insurance company. But I would recommend joining the AAA Plus service, which would run somewhere between $110 and $130 I think per year, for a couple (I forget exactly what our last bill was for). With that you get their breakdown/towing service, plus you get to use all AAA's other services which includes insurance, travel, certain DMV services (for car title issues etc). And you get to show your AAA card for discounts at certain places like restaurants and hotels etc. I think there are cheaper membership options too, with more limited towing service.

Another random tip, but if you are going to be insuring a lot of things e.g. house, car etc, it might be cheaper to do it all with one company (if they have multi policy discount).

Thanks, breakdown seems reasonable then. I've found the pet insurance prices on the petplan website, although if it's like the UK, they will be the most expensive choice.

Thanks again.
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 2:01 pm
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Default Re: Insurance and phone costs

Looks like Duncan has it all covered for you!

If you buy a house you may want to consider some form of Home Warranty to cover ALL the appliances especially the furnace/AC etc.

Indiana... I hope you're not going anywhere near Gary, IN. Stinky!
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 2:05 pm
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Default Re: Insurance and phone costs

Originally Posted by Duncan Roberts View Post
If you really want an iPhone 3gs, sell yours and get an at&t one. Since they list the exclusive contract they are selling them for 50 bucks. Not sure about the plans now but you werent be able to get plans with that little minutes, maybe 500 or 700 plus min $15 a month data plan. Remember you get charged minutes and texts for oncoming and outgoing. You can probably pick up a 250 text plan for $5 or so.

Pet insurance is expensive, more on the long term than paying out of pocket unless something major happens like cancer.

Breakdown cover is tricky. You can buy a service like AAA, if you bit a new car some companies throw in a few years of it and most insurance plans gave it as an add on. I think I pay a couple of dollars a month for 2 cars. It's not great coverage but will get you a tow, a gallon of gas or a quick fix off needed.

Be prepared to pay more than you do now for pretty much every service or utility.


Thanks, pet insurance seems about double the price but that's for a petplan policy.

Unfortunately, I couldn't live without my iphone now! Would like to get the Iphone 5 when it comes out this summer I hope so may just go without for a few months instead. I don't really use many minutes or texts and when in the USA, I expect this will drop dramatically, I want the data use more.

Thanks again.
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 2:09 pm
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Default Re: Insurance and phone costs

Originally Posted by scubalady View Post
Hi All,

Pet insurance: I have two cats who are 7 and 8 years old. What are veterinary bills like? What is the rough cost of insurance?
I have never used pet insurance, but there are always brochures for a company called VPI Pet Insurance at my vet's office, and I understand that a number of customers use it and are happy with it. Their Web site is petinsurance.com

Also, the ASPCA offers a pet insurance program, but it isn't available in all states. You may want to look into that. I think their site is aspcapetinsurance.com
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 2:15 pm
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Default Re: Insurance and phone costs

Originally Posted by Lakersdarge View Post
As for car breakdown cover, it's possible that an insurance company offers this if you get your auto insurance coverage through them, but I don't think it comes standard. Ask an advisor at your insurance company. But I would recommend joining the AAA Plus service, which would run somewhere between $110 and $130 I think per year, for a couple (I forget exactly what our last bill was for). With that you get their breakdown/towing service, plus you get to use all AAA's other services which includes insurance, travel, certain DMV services (for car title issues etc). And you get to show your AAA card for discounts at certain places like restaurants and hotels etc. I think there are cheaper membership options too, with more limited towing service. .
On the more limited towing service, it is limited in the number of times and the distance they will tow. The Southern California affiliate will sent out a specialized truck if the problem is battery related -- not only will they try a jump, but they will test the battery and electrical system and if you need a new battery -- will have them in the truck [or van] and will sell and install a new one -- at a reasonable price!
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 2:26 pm
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Default Re: Insurance and phone costs

I just bought pet insurance for our five year old boxer - it was $450 for the year from ASPCA following our first emergency visit to the vets in Indianapolis. I'd say that is pretty good value and includes continuing care option.
Vet bills are expensive - Oscar just had an Xray on his tummy and it was $250 and the examination was $95 and apparently he was just a bit windy!!

Dont know about iphones but our 2 Blackberrys with a fixed data plan with Sprint run to about $200 a month.

Last edited by Orangepants; Feb 22nd 2011 at 2:30 pm.
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 2:35 pm
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Default Re: Insurance and phone costs

Originally Posted by scubalady View Post
Thanks, pet insurance seems about double the price but that's for a petplan policy.

Unfortunately, I couldn't live without my iphone now! Would like to get the Iphone 5 when it comes out this summer I hope so may just go without for a few months instead. I don't really use many minutes or texts and when in the USA, I expect this will drop dramatically, I want the data use more.

Thanks again.
You won't have the option for an AT&T contract with only a few minutes on it. It's an all-in-one package deal. I think the smallest/cheapest plan will include 500 or 700 minutes. You cannot just buy the data only.

As far as pet insurance goes, I have found them to be not really worth the cost. Unless you have cats of a certain breed that are more susceptible to cancer or other health conditions, I wouldn't bother.

Some car insurance companies will include some basic towing, but AAA is a better service as it does cover you nationwide. Although if your car breaks down 1000miles from home, you're screwed no matter who you go with.

Mobile insurance can be added to your phone contract. I've never bothered, but then I don't buy expensive smartphones. Usually you still have to pay a deductible even with mobile insurance, so with the deductible you have to pay if your phone breaks, you can buy a much cheaper replacement. That's all up to you though.

Last edited by Bluegrass Lass; Feb 22nd 2011 at 2:48 pm.
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 4:05 pm
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Default Re: Insurance and phone costs

Originally Posted by sunflwrgrl13 View Post

Some car insurance companies will include some basic towing, but AAA is a better service as it does cover you nationwide. Although if your car breaks down 1000miles from home, you're screwed no matter who you go with..
One time, younger daughter had a major breakdown [necessitating an engine replacement -- avoid timing belts on an "impact" engine] outside of that major metropolis of Gilroy, California. She was towed by the AAA truck to an AAA approved garage and they were excellent.

Last edited by S Folinsky; Feb 22nd 2011 at 4:09 pm.
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 7:22 pm
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Default Re: Insurance and phone costs

We have Banfield optimum silver health plan for our two cats (5 yrs old now).

Monthly payment for both is $49 and includes twice a year wellness exam (blood, stool checkup), once a year teeth cleaning and I believe 20-30% discount on any other services they may need. Also all vaccines are covered even though we declined the FelV and one other.
We can also show up any time for any issues or questions we may have.

You can find Banfield pet hospital in almost every Petsmart store. The vets are qualified and patient with pets, not a lot of wait time if you have a scheduled appointment.
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Old Feb 22nd 2011, 7:41 pm
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Default Re: Insurance and phone costs

Contract, well they aren't as cheap as in the UK, plus no credit history means you'll have a deposit to put down or not get the best plan rates going...they don't do the £20 a month 02 rate which covers everything over here.

Don't bother with pet insurance, vets are pricey, but insurance is rubbish.

AAA is pretty decent, the cheapest plan they offer is only something like 5 miles free and then $1 a mile, but if you pay something like $40 more a year, you get the plus account which is 100 miles towing free. If you didn't have AAA, standard is $80 call out and anything around $10-20 a mile. Other benefits to AAA as well, but if you've got a new car, or certain car insurance, they might already include this.
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