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DEAR READERS: Do you know what goes into determining the insurance premium for your auto insurance? Surprise! One factor may be your credit score.

Not long ago (the 1990s), many insurance companies decided that your credit may be a good indicator of how likely you are to have a loss. That's only one facet of the formula, though.

Where you live, the age of the drivers, what kind of car you drive and how many miles you put on the vehicle each year also go into determining how much you pay for coverage.

All of this can vary from state to state, so check with your insurance company, and also peruse the National Association of Insurance Commissioners ( website for more information.

DEAR READERS: It's that time of year again, and here are some Halloween trick-or-treat safety hints:

• Going in a group is always safest.

• Only go to a house if the porch light is on, and don't go inside the home.

• Walking, not running, is safer, and a flashlight is a must.

• A mask can be a hazard. Can you use makeup instead?

• Wear reflectors on your costume, and make sure you won't trip over your costume.

• Check candy and treats before allowing kids to consume them.

DEAR HELOISE: Is it safe for the grandbabies to play with the toilet paper cores? They are free, but are they safe?

-- Merri C., Texas

DEAR READER: Infants can put everything in their mouths, so the cores would not be good for them to play with, but older toddlers can use them to build a fort, a tower or a "house." Let their imaginations run wild!

DEAR HELOISE: Two weekly bouts of unbearable left hip pain. Two X-ray sessions. Two doctor visits. Nothing found.

I removed my wallet from my pants pocket. No pain.

-- Francis D., Reading, Pa.

DEAR READERS: Fellas, sitting with your wallet in your pants pocket is terrible for your back and can cause nerve pain and stress on your spine. The wallet in the front pocket can cause pressure, too.

Carrying your wallet in your jacket pocket is your best bet.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

Style on 10/30/2018

Print Headline: Helpful Hints

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