Rushmore Financial Group Inc. announced its planned acquisition of a group of financial services companies located in Dallas. The companies have signed a letter of intent providing for RFGI to acquire Northstar Financial Services, Northstar Insurance Agency, Northstar Agency of Arizona, and Northstar Institutional Services. AUTO RATES TO CLIMB: Claiming they are basing their rates on information more current than that used by the Texas Department of Insurance to set benchmark rates, several of Texas’ largest auto insurers are raising their rates. State Farm Insurance, the state’s largest auto insurer, will increase its auto rates an average of 1.7 percent statewide beginning Jan. 28, affecting about a quarter of insured drivers in Texas. Other large insurers, including Allstate, Mid-Century and Geico, also plan to raise their overall statewide average rates by the end of January, according to filings made with the Texas Department of Insurance. Allstate will increase its rates 4.2 percent; as will Mid-Century by 9.5 percent; Geico by 4.8 percent; Nationwide Mutual by 15.2 percent; and Southern Farm Bureau by 3.3 percent. Meanwhile, Texas Farmers Insurance rates were expected to increase 1.3 percent last month. TAKE A BREAK!: A recent survey of Americans conducted by the Insurance Research Council found that 57 percent of those surveyed believe that increasing the number of hours a truck driver is allowed to drive with no break is unsafe. More than half (56 percent) said they would be willing to pay more for goods and shipping to have truckers’ total working hours reduced to no more than 12 hours per day. Eighteen percent were willing to pay 1 percent more, another 18 percent would pay 3 percent more, 12 percent would pay 5 percent more, and 8 percent were willing to pay 10 percent or more for goods and shipping to limit truck drivers to working no more than 12 hours per day.