UPDATE

May 5, 2006

On finance and practice

Should you trust your money with a CEP, CFA, or ChFC?

Higher limits for mortgage loans

Limits in Alaska and Hawaii are 50 percent higher, because Congress has designated those states as high-cost areas.

Car policies raise the most ire

Auto insurance customers complained most heartily last year, putting in 41 percent of all the formal complaints filed with state insurance regulators, says the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Health insurance coverage came in second, with 34 percent of complaints. For all kinds of insurance, consumers were angriest about delays, denials, and unsatisfactory settlement offers. About 200,000 complaints were filed last year, a 22.5 percent decline from 2004.

How to recheck an SAT score

If you're worried that grading errors will lower your high schooler's SAT scores, you can get a copy of his or her answers, says the College Board, which gives the test. The Question-and-Answer Service (QAS), which costs $24, includes a copy of the test taken, a record of the answers given, the correct answers, and scoring instructions. For another $10, you can get a copy of your kid's original answer sheets, too.

Students can order the QAS when they register for the test or by completing an order form sent with the score report. The material can be ordered up to five months after the test date. Within this same time period, you can also ask that test scoring be rechecked if you think an error was made. Verification of a multiple-choice or essay score costs $50 each.

Who's paying for those new hotel beds?

Hotel rates will go up by about 6 percent this year, thanks at least in part to those new mattresses and pillows that chains are bragging about in TV commercials. Rooms in New York, San Francisco, Honolulu, Boston, and other popular destinations will rise even higher, up 7 to 10 percent, or more, says the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. Occupancy rates are rising, as are the costs of renovations by many owners who added flat-screen televisions, high-speed Internet connections, better sound systems, and other improvements.