Author Archives: N. Johnston

Pay Car Insurance Premiums Upfront and Save

Auto insurance premiums are large expenditure for most people. Many people are prepared to go without insurance because they just cannot afford to pay the costs. For those people our title may not make any sense or even anger them. On the other hand, many people have the option to get credit from auto insurers or from credit card companies.

What Are Car Insurance Premium Payment Options

Most companies are flexible enough to cater for variety of payment needs. However, the way they do and additional charges they apply differ considerably. For example, some insurance companies get their money upfront whichever way you pay the premium. You would ask how it would be possible when you are paying the premiums monthly.

What they do is to set up a loan agreement for you with a finance company. You pay the premiums and interest to this company and in return this company pays your insurer the full premium. Should you cancel the policy or payment option they let the insurer now. Then, the insurer cancels your policy and pays the company back whatever is due. As a result you may be paying interests and loan set up fees within your monthly payments.

This does not mean that there aren’t companies who are happy to let their customer to spread the premium over a longer period of time. You just have to check the payment options and the additional charges if it is important to you and you can only make the payments on monthly basis. A cheaper quote may end up more expensive once you add the finance costs of monthly payments.

Monthly Payments allow policyholders spread the costs over a longer period with equal payments. Usually, automatic payments set with the bank and money is collected at specified day of each month. As long as you keep enough money in the bank you should be alright with this arrangement. Of course you need to check the additional costs for this service. Also, most companies would carry out a credit check on you to make sure you will not miss payments. If your credit score is low you may not be able get this option with many companies.

Shorter Instalments may be available with some companies. Not every company allows instalments over 10 months or longer. They may allow five instalments at no or lower costs. This option may suit you as you get your instalments and not get charged much. Besides all you may need is just few months to pay for the premium.

Upfront Annual Payment is an option that has the least complications and most preferred by insurers. They get their money right away and this reduces the chances of policies being cancelled half way through due to no payment or switching to cheaper insurers. If you are only monthly payment it is easier to switch since you have not paid the whole premium and all you need to do (in most cases) is to cancel the payment through your bank.

Companies like this full upfront payment option so much that they are willing to offer around five percent discounts to persuade policyholders. However, they may not offer this discount automatically if you are ready to pay the premium in full before they even ask. It is always worth checking if you would get discounts for paying now and in full.

Even you do not get the discounts by avoiding the interest charges on monthly payments you may save money. Remember that every company is different and you should check the options available through your preferred provider.

Do You Qualify for Auto Insurance Accident Forgiveness Coverage?

We assume there is a chance that we can have accidents even when we are careful. That is why we buy car insurance. How about buying premium protection from accidents? Wouldn’t it be nice if the next at fault accident you have is forgiven and does not affect your rates? This way you can protect the low rates you earned by being a good driver for so longs.

What Accident Forgiveness Offers?

Accident forgiveness is additional coverage you can buy if you qualify. Most companies offer this feature in most states. Once you buy the cover your premium is not increased after the first at fault accident you cause. Generally it is offered on the one forgiven accident per policy basis. Some companies may restrict it to the main policyholder while others allow this to be applicable to all the drivers in the policy. But only one at fault accident can be forgiven for each policy.

An Accident may be forgiven but is not forgotten. It will go on your records but companies will not push up premiums for it. So, when you are looking to switch insurers following one forgiven accident you will have to mention that you had an accident when getting quotes from other insurers. This could make alternative quotes more expensive than you renewal terms. It is a reward for long standing customers. But looking at the above example companies may be benefiting from it as well since their rates will be lower than competitors for about three years. Simply because they do not count the accident you just had while competitors will have to.

Who Qualifies for Accident Forgiveness?

Most companies look for clean driving license and history for about four to five years before you are eligible to buy the coverage. Usually, you have to be policyholder of one company in that time. So, in fact you need not to have claims and be with the same company. Occasionally new company that you switch may offer this facility just to get the business over with them. You will need to discuss this before buying the policy and ask them to carry your accident forgiveness over. Some companies may send you an invitation to buy the cover with your renewal. If not, you can talk to them about the qualifications and price.

How Much Accident Forgiveness Coverage Costs?

This totally depends on your insurer. Some companies may use this to sweeten the deal or reward the long standing policyholders. They will not be charging much for this. On the other hand, there are companies that use this facility to make more money from an existing good customer. A kind of up sale technique many companies utilize to make more money.

Is It Worth Paying Money to Keep Premiums from Rising?

This depends on how you see your chances of causing an accident. If you have not had an accident for the last fifteen years and you do not expect one anytime soon you may keep the money in your pocket. People who are living in quieter surroundings may be confident that they are not likely to need this coverage. Also, those people can still find affordable premiums elsewhere if their current insurer increases the rates.

However, if you are living in a city center your chances of having at fault accidents are greater. Furthermore, premiums increases will be greater as well in high risk zip codes. And of course you need to look at the costs as well. If the amount quoted is reasonable you can added. Otherwise you will need to think about it. It may be only $100 per term but you will need to keep paying it every year to keep the coverage in place.

Low Mileage Car Insurance Discounts

There are many reasons why many motorists may be driving only few miles a year. It is not easy to let go of an automobile as it represents independence and option to pick up the keys and drive away. It does not matter that we do not use this option often. When many senior drivers are asked in a survey they said that they want to be able to drive very late in their lives. Simply because they do not want to feel like stuck in the house and cannot get out.

Looking at Your Driving Habits and Lifestyle

Generally work affects how many miles people drive. People who are working long hours and weekends in the cities do not have much time to use their cars. They have convenient public transport and constant availability of taxis. When they like to go away they usually like to go very far away. It is still highly likely that they keep a car around. Considering how expensive it is to insure a car in the city they can save a few hundred dollars by driving less than 7,000 (or 10,000 for some companies) miles a year.

Again, car insurance is expensive for young and older drivers. Young drivers can save considerable amount if they are not driving much. If they are living in a college campus they are unlikely to use their car to go to lectures and back. Even in their free times students do not go far out of the campus.

The same is true for elderly drivers. They keep cars around only for going to doctors’ appointments, do grocery shopping and few errands around.  Most of them do not take a long trip because of their health and medications. They do not go out during rush hours and at night. They too can save money on their expensive vehicle insurance premiums.

What Are the Cutting Off Points In Which Car Insurance Rates Changes?

Usually under 3,000 miles is for occasionally used cars like classics or seasonal cars like open cars. They normally manage to get really reasonable rates due to their occasional usage. Driving under 7,000 miles a year can save you between ten to fifteen percent. Usually the premiums start picking up after 12,000 miles. Nearly eighty percent of motorists drive between 7,000 to 12,000 miles a year. Once you go over 25,000 miles a year you are seriously on the road and start seeing its effects on your premiums.

Enlightening Your Auto Insurer with Accurate Mileage Details

As mentioned above your work can dictate how many miles you will drive with your private car. If you are in the sales business and making the calls on your own vehicle you can cover a few thousand miles a year. This may not be a problem if your company is paying allowance for using your own vehicle. Also, you may have a company car which you can take home to complete the commute. In such case, your own one may be sitting in the garage most of the time. Work out how often it goes out and how many miles it travels each term.

It is worth getting the mileage right as many companies do their own estimates based on your occupation, background and commute distance. They may have been over estimating your mileage. If we look at the above salesman example, they may have estimated a high mileage for you. However, you would not be driving anywhere near to that with your own automobile if the company is providing you with one.

Remember that there are variations as to how companies look at the mileage. Some companies consider below 7,000 as low mileage while few of them may have this number at 10,000. It is always worth checking what the position is and you should never buy insurance or renew without getting alternative quotes.

Insuring Materially Modified Automobiles

Many motorists make changes to their cars. Most of these changes do not bother auto insurers and it is not necessary to tell them. Changes in interior decoration or audio system are not really important unless they cost you a lot and you like to insure them for possible losses explicitly. Remember auto insurers do not usually cover any portable item or equipment.

A material change is the one that will affect performance of the automobile, increase possible damages to other vehicles and passengers in case of crashes or reduce the protection provided by the original auto. In short, anything that will increase the risks accepted by the insurer in the first place. Changing the seat covers, floor mats, stereo and likes are not considered to be material.

Installing a brand new and especially larger engine, adding or taking away auto body parts, and modifying suspension, tires and exhaust are some of the material changes. There are people who redesign the whole car with new and modified parts. For example, they use the main body of a vehicle and change all the other parts including doors and exterior body with lighter material like fiberglass.

Then, they install a sports car engine to this lighter body to make the car go even faster. You can straightaway see a few serious problems with it. First of all, it is now a sports car regardless of how it looks. In fact it may need to be re-inspected by auto licensing authorities for safety and new license plate to be issued for it.

The second serious problem is that while taking out the heavy parts the safety features like airbags and seat belts can be disturb or taken out that makes the automobile less safer. Now, it is lighter, faster and more harmful to the driver and passengers. This may be exactly what the owner was aiming to achieve but this is not the car that has been insured in the first place.

The reason we have given an extreme example is to demonstrate how the insurance contract would have been broken with such changes and make policy null and void. In other words, you have a very little chance of any damages being paid should you fail to inform the insurer before starting to drive such automobile.

If you were to make similar changes as our example some insurers may refuse to carry on the cover when you tell them what you did to the car. This will force you to find alternative insurer. That is why it is important to discuss possible changes you are planning on doing. This will allow you to make alternative arrangements in time and find the best way of insuring after modifications.

Unfortunately the losses would be double should you neglect to tell the insurer in time and pay whatever additional premium required. By arranging an appropriate new policy or make changes to existing one you make sure two things. First of all you make sure that damages to original car will be paid. Secondly, your new investment on the car will be protected.

All those extras, changes and parts costs money and this requires you to arrange a higher valuation for your automobile based on the new look. You can do this in two ways. Either you could agree a valuation for the end product (the modified car) or add extra coverage for the parts installed as an endorsement.

What you have in mind may be much simpler and you may not have to pay a lot extra in terms of premiums. So, talk to your insurer so that both parties are clear on where they stand.

Insurance Implications of Friends Driving Each Other’s Cars

Most of us do not think much of picking up the keys of our friends’ or relatives’ automobiles. In the same way, we may not think twice before generously handing over the keys to our own cars. Maybe it is a good idea to have a look at the implications as to what would happen should there be an accident. There is a possibility that our friendship may not stand up to the strains an accident with a friend’s car can cause.

Insurance Implications of Lending Your Car to Occasional Drivers

We should first look at what would happen if we borrowed our car to someone of a chance happening. Most standard automobile insurance policies would not have a problem with covering this driver for this occasional borrowing of the insured vehicle. Quite a few policies would have a condition stating that anyone who drives your car must be at least 25 year old and has a valid driving license. This way, insurers can have some sort of control over who can drive the insured vehicle. They consider young drivers to be high risk and therefore they exclude them for even a short few hours.

Some cheaper or non-standard vehicle insurance policies may exclude any other driver unless except they are listed on the policy. There is a high chance you know this condition before you bought the policy. It is a way of bringing the premiums down and many people voluntarily take this option. So, first you should familiarize the terms of conditions on your policy about occasional drivers.

One point to keep in mind is that usually auto insurers do not consider people living with you to be occasional drivers in this sense. They like to know who else live with you over the age of driving. They would take a note of them even though they are not listed on the policy. It would make sense to include them on your policy to clarify the position. Normally, it would cost nothing or not much to include drivers over the age of 25 with good driving records to be included on your policy.

Borrowing Someone Else’s Automobile and Insurance

We now know that insurance usually go with the car from above context. When your friend lends you his vehicle he should have insured it for your use as well. To make sure you can ask if that is the case and you would be insured while driving the auto in question. Normally owners are supposed to insure their cars properly and control its use.

You cannot insure someone else’s car although there may be exceptions in the case of partners living in the same house. It may not matter who owns the car and either partner may be able to insure it. As an outsider you can only buy insurance for others’ cars in two ways. You may be able to extend your liabilities insurance with your own car to include accidents you had with others’ vehicles.

Secondly, you may be able to buy non owners auto insurance to cover liabilities arising from driving cars belong to others. Non-owner vehicle insurance normally only covers liabilities. In both arrangements we are only talking about excess liabilities. The first call of third party claim payments would still be the insurance of the vehicle’s owner. Should he/she not have insurance, have insufficient coverage or damages go well beyond the limits of owner’s policy your liability insurance arrangements kicks in.

In some cases, people may choose to sue the driver separately. This would be the case if they consider you negligent in the accident. Then you would feel lucky that you have own liability coverage. It is always a smart decision to buy sufficient amount of liabilities coverage especially in this age of litigations and ambulance chasing lawyers.

Young Driver Car Insurance Coverage

Sometimes we see articles or videos suggesting that it is almost impossible to find car insurance policies for teen motorists. This is not true as there are companies willing to insure young people at reasonable rates. Remember that today’s young and high risk drivers are tomorrow’s mature, careful and highly profitable low risk drivers. Some companies like to get in early in this market. Besides they have got to start from somewhere. We were all young at some stage.

What Car Insurance Rates Are Waiting for Teenagers?

It is no secret that it will never be cheap to insure a teenager whichever way you look at. They may benefit from their parents good driving history if they were added in their policies. This will considerably increase parents’ premiums but it will still be cheaper than getting a policy just for the teenager. Furthermore, the companies that would not want to insure a young driver would accept them to be listed on parents’ policies. Parents may be long standing customer of the company with great records. This may work as a reference for the new driver.

The bottom line is that you are looking to pay thousands of dollars to insure a young person on a separate policy even you were to only buy a third party liability policy. The actual amount would depend on many other factors like zip code, the type of automobile insured and the company you choose to get a quote.

What to Do to Lower Vehicle Insurance Premiums Charged for Youngsters?

If the youngster is in college he/she may need own policy. In these cases, they may find more affordable policies from companies that offer good rates to students living in campuses. They are relatively safer in a campus environment and therefore it is worth mentioning this fact or look for companies offering such discounts. The other young drivers in the college would be able to recommend some good auto insurers.

The other options are to look for possible savings. The first one that comes to mind is to get good grades at school. This would normally qualify you for around ten percent discounts. The second option is to take advance or safe driver courses. This option does help youngsters to learn better driving habits and it may as well save their lives. They can save another ten percent once they complete their courses.

Youngsters should never accept the first quote they receive. As the amount in question is large the possible savings can be huge as well. They can achieve to find cheaper quotes from other insurers by shopping around carefully. The difference between a high quote and a low one can easily be a thousand dollar. This would pay for a lot of things in a young person’s life.

Why Youngsters Are Being Charged High Auto Insurance Premiums

Usually any new driver would be considered high risk due to lack of experience. When you add the lack of life experience, high testosterone and tendency to take unnecessary risks it is not hard to see why companies are worried about insuring them. Generally male drivers between the age of 16 and 19 are considered the highest risk drivers.

The chances of a new driver having an accident in the first year are pretty high. Also, crashes involving young drivers are more serious than others with fatalities and serious damages. Unfortunately many accident statistics work against youngsters in terms of claims and consequent high automobile insurance costs.

What Happens to Car Insurance Rates after Accidents

Automobile insurance companies have certain risk levels and premium charges go with those levels. Depending on your driving history your risk level goes up or down. The more likely to cause accidents the higher risk you are for auto insurers. What better way of proving you are pretty low risk than showing them a clean driving history? It is to say that you are capable of running your vehicle without getting involved in accidents.

What Benefits Drivers Get for Making No Claims?

Motorists start getting discounts for every year they manage to have no incidents or traffic tickets. They can get as much as thirty percent savings after three years of no claims. It is therefore important to keep a clean sheet and keep saving money on premiums. Good driver discounts are the highest discounts most companies offer for a single reason.

After four or five years you can buy accident forgiveness from your current insurer. They sell this coverage usually to their loyal customers with long enough clean driving history. Then, you can keep your rates even though you may be unlucky to have one accident. The insurers take a note of it but already promised not to increase your premium because of it.

How Much Premium Increases You May Suffer After Accidents?

This usually depends on your current savings and seriousness of accidents. If you are found at fault and you caused some damage you expect to see some rises on automobile insurance charges. What this is in fact losing your no claim discounts and getting a little surcharge. So, if you had a few years of no claims bonus you would see considerable rate increases after an at fault accident.

When you apply for your first policy companies have no idea as to how good and sensible driver you are. At that point they will not offer you any discounts for your driving records. But having an accident proves a point in the negative direction. Now you have proven that you can cause accidents and you are higher risk. This may mean you now face surcharges.

A claim would normally be considered important in your records for about three years. Most companies are happy to overlook your driving history more than three years. Therefore, if you just had an accident you will need to wait for three years until your record is considered clean again. However, you would still be seeing discounts on your premiums for every year that you remained accident free following your accident.

Depending on other factors the premium increases could be serious or minor. For example, teen auto insurance premiums would considerably go up following accidents. On the hand, mature drivers with years of experience and otherwise good driving history may not see much change on their rates. Being hundred percent at fault and getting traffic violation tickets and license point deductions will increase the rates more.

Can Car Insurance Companies Cancel Policies Following Accidents?

This is unlikely to happen and they are not allowed to cancel policies midway into the term because of an accident. Policyholders do have accidents and that is why they buy policies to protect themselves. Nonetheless, they are unlikely to have mercy on drunk drivers causing the accidents and they can cancel the policy on that basis.

Car Insurance Discounts for Certain Professions

Historically many large companies of today started their business life as a specialist insurer to certain sector or group. Some of them still work mainly with the same group of clientele. Others build business models on offering good car insurance rates to certain group of people. This does not necessarily mean that they will offer you the lowest rates. Nonetheless, you should at least get a quote from them before checking with the rest of the market.

What Professionals and Groups Can Get Discounts?

Various companies offer different discounts for different groups. GEICO is one of those companies that offer around fifteen percent savings to over 270 professional groups, clubs and associations. USAA Insurance offer policies exclusively for military service personal, their immediate families and retirees. There are other companies that offer discounts for teachers, academic staff, nurses, doctors, engineers, fire fighters and many more.

Not related to your profession you can get discounts for being member of certain automobile clubs like AAA, working for companies with special deals with certain insurers and being member of associations with good ties with insurers. You can check these online and may even become member there and then to qualify for immediate savings.

Why Auto Insurers Offer These Savings?

You may not actually be interested in hearing the answer and the fact that they do may be enough for you. However, there are several reasons. First of all, they study certain professions and find them to be low risk. For example, some companies consider engineers to be low risk maybe perhaps they are more methodological about driving.

Secondly, some companies have chosen certain part of the market as their speciality and they corner that market better than anyone else. For example, USAA Insurance is one of the largest auto insurers in the USA and they achieve it even though they only sell policies to army personnel. They also provide home insurance and banking services for this group. It is clear that it worked out well for them.

Thirdly, it is better to win customer in thousands rather than in ones and twos. By offering discounts to certain groups they manage to lure them in with little advertising efforts. Also, word of mouth works very well when you are targeting certain group that communicate with each other on a regular basis. So, the discounts offered may just be the savings they keep from advertisements.

Would Education and Success in Life Help As Well?

You should absolutely make it clear that you have got a degree and you have a good desk job. Also, being a home owner and living in nice neighborhood qualifies you for lower auto insurance quotes. Some companies care about education, profession, financial standing and background as much as driving history.

This fact has been proven with researches carried out by online brokers. They have chosen several top vehicle insurance companies and got quotes from them using prototype applicants. Results are that applicants with good education, home ownership and married life managed to get better rates than single parents with blue color job and living in a rented apartment.

If you can qualify for any discounts whatsoever why would you not go for it and keep your costs low? Look into what your qualifications are and which companies value those more.

What to Do for Affordable Car Insurance Rates

Some drivers may find themselves stuck with high vehicle insurance premiums. Others may simple want to lower their costs. It is not desirable to be paying over thousand dollars more than your friend with similar details. You need to ask yourself what they are doing to be rewarded by auto insurers. Then, you should look into the areas you can improve. Here are some of the key points to getting the most discounts and lowering your premium.

Driving Related Factors That Affect Auto Insurance Costs

One of the most important and most rewarding factors is driving history. The largest discounts are usually offered to those motorists with no claims and no points on the license. What better way of showing that you are a low risk for automobile insurers than making no claims on your policy. In return you will be rewarded with discounts up to fifty percent.

Good Credit History Is Important These Days

Many people may still struggle to see the relation between credit history and auto insurance. However, most companies are convinced that there is a correlation. Statistical data is strong to show that people with good financial standing are less likely to make a claim. Having above average credit score may mean twenty five percent lower auto insurance premiums.

Buying Safer and Securer Automobiles and Saving on Insurance

Tons of money invested on improving safety and theft prevention solutions on automobiles. These improvements are followed closely by insurers. Companies do reward owners of safe cars since they reduce injuries, property damages and they prevent accidents. Many motorists keep changing their vehicle every three or four years to make sure they have the latest features. Look for the cars that have high insurance ratings and save money.

Your Zip Code and Home Can Reduce Car Insurance Rates

Where you live is very important in terms of premium calculations. Detailed zip code risk assessments tell companies where motorists are more likely to make claims. If you live in a high risk area with congestions, auto theft and vandalism you will pay for it as a way of high premiums. Also, having a garage, off street parking or secure place to park your automobile can save you money. Furthermore, home owners can save money in two ways. Companies offer discounts to people with more settled lifestyle like owning a home or being married. You can increase the savings by insuring your home and car from the same company and get around ten percent savings.

What Else You Could Do to Reduce Vehicle Insurance Premium?

Probably the best place to start is to look at the current coverage. Motorists can find excellent package policies on the market today. The more you customize your policy the more it may cost. Most full coverage policies offer liabilities, collision, comprehensive and uninsured driver coverage. This would be good enough for many people especially when they like to reduce the costs as well as getting a decent policy.

Shopping around is another effective method. The best part of it is that you do not have to wait for years to gain the discounts as it is the case with good driver discounts. You can start searching for a decent coverage at affordable premium right away on your computer.

How Car Insurance Companies Are Regulated?

When choosing a policy people are naturally worried about the security provided behind it. This security comes from financial stability of the firm issuing the policy and industry regulations. Auto insurance companies are regulated heavily for two main reasons. They are financial institutions as well as insurers.

What Sort of Regulations Auto Insurers Must Follow?

For being a financial business, they need to follow regulations similar to banks and investment firms. They need to declare where they invest the funds and there are restrictions as to where they can invest. An insurer must keep funds pretty liquid and stay away from speculations. They cannot collect the premium from you and invest it in the stock market the next day.

Key regulations are imposed because they are an insurance business. First of all, they keep policyholders’ money. Premiums are usually collected in advance before even policy coverage start. This makes the companies owe to customers and this money must be protected. Generally, the premiums must be kept from their running capital. They must be deposited into a different account and their daily business activities carried out from different funds. The same rules apply to brokers and agents. They must account for the moneys until the premiums are paid to the insurers.

Who Regulates Insurers and Insurance Intermediaries?

Every state in the USA has own insurance laws and rules. They have an insurance department to license, regulate and inspect the businesses operating in the state. This department is headed by usually elected insurance commissioner. Insurance companies and intermediaries must have a license to handle selling of policies within state borders.

State insurance department has to make sure that all the laws are followed. They check the capital requirements, solvency, accounting and banking practices of these firms. Insurance commissioner must approve the car insurance rates structure of each firm as well. This does not mean that they set the rates for these companies. They make sure that it is fair and uniform.

Financial Scrutiny and Solvency Tests

As well as the rules of each state companies must follow usual financial scrutiny similar firms are subject to. Their accounts must be audited and certified. They must prove solvency and account for the investments they make. There are limitations as to how the premiums are used and how the company can invest. There is a degree of separation between their financial and insurance activities to protect premiums collected.

How Information Collected by State Insurance Departments Are Shared?

While they are carrying out their usual checks, inspections and dealing with complaints insurance departments collects awful amount of information about each insurer. Many of them publish this valuable insight on their website or policyholder can request them separately. Many states publish policies sold, complaints made and the outcome. They can be a valuable source for a keen policyholder to check and determine which company they like to go with.

Data provided by regulatory bodies and independent firms offer further insight into a company. In addition consumers can check the forums, websites and blogs for customer satisfaction information about companies. They can also compare prices on vehicle insurance comparison websites. Overall, car insurers are not black boxes. They are operating under regular scrutiny from regulators, investors, policyholders and prospective customers.

Automobile Open Market Valuation for Insurance Purpose

Quite a few people are highly disappointed with the valuation of their automobiles by claims adjuster when it is totalled. This is because they have a different idea of how much their vehicle is worth. Some even believe that they will receive the amount noted as the value in their policy. This is not the case as depreciation is taken into account.

It is best to understand how insurance works to avoid disappointments and paying too much premium over the years. When a policyholder provides a valuation for their vehicles insurers will charge them the appropriate premium based on this figure. They will not argue about it or care what you like to put down. And when you have a total claim they will make their own judgements although you might have a little say in it. If you over value it you will only be paying extra premium.

However, if you under value you may have a problem later on. For example, if the car is worth $10,000 and you told the insurer it was $7,500 the claim payment will work on a pro-rata basis. In other words, you would be assumed to have insured 25% of the vehicle by yourself.

When a vehicle is totalled the claims adjusters look to ascertain the open market value of it. Normally, they would take at least two same model, age and condition cars that are being sold right now in the market and they will offer you the average of two prices. You may be able to take another two similar cars and show them that the average is little higher than what they offer you. There is high chance that they will agree to offer you a little more for the sake of keeping you happy and closing the claim quickly.

When you are insuring the auto you can have a look at the latest price of it if you were to sell it now. It is not hard to figure this out as there are many websites listing used car sales. Quickly check the ones similar to yours and you will see how much it would be worth. You can add a little bit more for the extras you bought or installed over the years. Remember that insurers will not pay for removable electronic items like navigation.

If insurers were to pay the amount listed on the policy there would be many fraudulent attempts to make money from this process. People would insure cars at a lot more valuations and torch it to get a lot more money than they paid for it. It is only logical that insurers replace your losses. The idea is that you are neither better nor worse off following an insured loss.

Arranging a car insurance policy is not a complicated task. Nonetheless, a few points should be kept in mind. Also a little attention should be paid to make sure that you only pay a fair and reasonable premium. If you do not understand any point, term or condition in your policy it is best to find out about it by checking online or asking the agent.

When to Assume Higher Risk with Auto Insurance

When motorists buy car insurance coverage they pass the risk with accidents and other losses to insurers. The more of the risk you take on the lower your premium should go down. This process is called self-insurance and commonly used by individuals and companies. It is a balance between paying premiums or accepting to pay some losses out of the pocket should they ever happen.

There are several ways of achieving this goal of reducing insurance costs by accepting lower risks yourself. These can be categorized as below;

–          Lowering or dropping some of the cover on older vehicles

–          Increasing deductibles that lower the premiums

–          Paying small damages out of pocket so that you keep premiums low.

Dropping Full Coverage on Older Automobiles

When your car is as old as ten years its value would be low enough for you not to bother insuring it for collision and comprehensive coverage. You should check the value of your auto and see if it is something you can handle. This is especially true when you are planning to buy a replacement car or you are already not using it much.

For example, if the vehicle is around $2,000 worth and you are paying $1,000 for collision and comprehensive coverage and have $1,000 deductible it is sensible to drop these covers. Otherwise, you would have already paid $1,000 for the premium + $1,000 deductibles you will have to pay should you suffer an insured loss. By dropping collision and comprehensive cover you would have the option to use the money saved for a new vehicle.

Adjusting Deductibles to Save on Premium

When the deductibles increased the premiums should come down because you are taking on more of the risk. This also effectively means that you would not be able to make a claim for small losses. For example, increasing deductibles from $500 to $1,000 may save you several hundred dollars. This option may be better than dropping the coverage completely in some cases.

While doing that you should keep a few points in mind;

–          Do you have enough savings in the bank to cover the deductibles? If you have only $500 on your name in your bank account increasing deductibles to $1,000 is obviously going to cause cash problem for you should you suffer a loss.

–          Do you save enough by this practice? If the premiums are not coming down even when you increase deductibles there is no point. Check the savings before going ahead with the decision.

–          Are you likely to have accidents? When you are living in a quite area and you have not had accidents for years you may benefit from increased deductibles.

Paying for Small Damages Out of the Pocket

When you make a claim on your policy you can bet that your premium will go up at next renewal. Paying for small damages out of the pocket allows you to keep quiet about small incidents. Also, remember that you have deductible that will need to come out of your pocket before the insurer pays anything. If your deductible is $500 you will only get $200 when you make a $700 worth of a claim.

You need to consider if it is worth it especially when you will see much more than $200 increase in your premium at the next renewal. The problem will be a lot worse when you have another accident that is out of your budget as well.

What to Do in Accidents Involving Parked Cars

Likely that older drivers have at least once faced with accidents involving parked vehicles. If you hit a parked car it is definitely your fault. If you found your automobile damaged by another driver when you are back you would wish they left a note. Even though it is not your fault you would have to deal with the losses unless you can identify the responsible party.

About seventy percent of hit and run accidents happen in the car parks. Luckily most damages are only scratches or bumps. The most common one is the rear-view mirror damages. That is why many cars allow you to fold them with a click of a button. It is a good practice to fold them as drivers see the body of the automobile but fail to calculate the mirrors.

What to When Someone Hit Your Parked Auto?

You are in luck if the responsible party admits fault and happy to co-operate or pay for the damage privately. But this may not be the case and it may be hit and run. There is chance someone has seen the accident or it is caught in the camera. You should ask around if anyone has seen anything or it is possible to get a copy of the tape. If you can identify the make and model of the car as well as the plate number your insurer should be able to find the owner of the vehicle.

Normally Uninsured Driver Coverage would pay for such damages if you have it even though you may not be able to find any information about the vehicle caused the damage. The downside is that it will increase your car insurance rates for at least three years starting from the next renewal. That is why you may like to assess the damage first before calling the police and auto insurer.

Many people may want to get the repairs done and forget about it when the loss is not much. Consider how much your premium may go up and take into account that your rates will be affected for three years. If you have another accident in the meantime this could aggravate the costs. Generally you may want to pay for the damages when the loss is not going to be more than the likely premium increases. It is not fair that you have to pay for it but it may be smart under the circumstances.

When there is a serious damage you should call the police and let them prepare a report for your insurance company. Furthermore, they may have better luck with finding the culprit. They have larger powers when it comes to getting the copies of the camera recording and asking around for any evidence. A car that caused serious damage to yours will have damages as well for the policy to trace and track down.

What to Do If You Hit a Parked Automobile?

Remember how you would feel if someone did this to you and ran away. In worst case you can leave your number and ask the owner call you. You should take the details of the vehicle just in case someone else finds the note and try to take advantage of the situation.

Remember that authorities do not take kindly to drivers who hit and run. Someone might have seen you or it might have been recorded. To say the least it would be embarrassing to be identified as the hit and run driver.

Considerations for Car Insurance Policy Shoppers

A good way of starting the auto insurance shopping process is to figure out what it is you are looking for. Go through every type of coverage you may need, find more about it and what it is called in the insurance world. With this you will be able to make a quite decision easily without much sweat. If you do not know where to start check what usually people buy.

It may also be helpful to list them down from most important to the ones it may not matter that much but would be nice to have. Obviously the liabilities coverage will be on top of the list since it is required in every state. In an ideal world you would want to get all the coverage you need but the extent of what you want may be too much for your wallet.

Start with getting a few quotes. The best place is usually online comparison sites. You can find the top auto insurers on these platforms with their best deals. These companies can come up with really full in coverage and mean in price policy packages. They know how to bring the competition to their rivals and they know what they want. If you are a good driver they will compete for your business.

After a few quotes if you are feeling that you are never going to be able to afford the coverage you like you may start playing around with the figures. The first figure you need to look at is deductibles. You can ask the companies to increase the deductibles to a level you can still afford to pay if you had two accidents in a year.

Sometimes this method can bring down the costs considerably. It is often used by drivers with no claim history for a few years. If you have a worrying driving record and hardly any savings this option may not be for you. You really do not want to start dropping coverage before trying this method.

When choosing insurer, you may come across different offers, do not let them confuse you. Go for what you need without considering any other explanations that a broker may give you. You may have reach to the final part of getting your premium and as you know the insurer may tell you that there are some differences between the first quote and the final premium and it might go high. If this happens, do not hesitate to leave it and start again until you find the most suitable one. Nevertheless the insurer may convince you with the explained details of why the premium has gone up. In this case you should not be blinded but if you trust them it is okay.

After getting your policy, check whether you are quoted for the right information that you gave. Remember there are many insurance companies which are looking for new policyholders and you can always approach them in case your current insurer goes too high.

Finally do not forget that things keep on changing and you have to keep up with them. There will be renewal periods which are open doors for any policy holder who want to make any changes. It is also a good chance to get another insurer if you are being charged a lot of money and you can get better rates somewhere else. Revisiting your policy even before the renewal period may also be very helpful. This is because you may realize that you need to add some coverage or make any adjustments.

Avoid Dangers While Driving By Learning Them

The statistics shows that there have been great changes in American roads. The report says that the road accident death rates have gone down to 3 percent as from 2010. Nevertheless, people need to be more careful as still thousands of people are dying due to road accidents every year. That is why it is important to avoid these crashes if you do not like to be in the next statistics as one of the people who died on American roads.

It have been reported that many people cause accidents on the roads every day. This is because they are usually confident of driving and knowing that they know all the corners, bump and any pot hole that is in any place. This makes it hard for them to cause accidents in other roads because they are careful of not making any mistake.

Most road accidents are reported to be coming from the countryside than in the city. This shows that there is a difference between driving in the city and rural places. This is because roads in such areas are very narrow with a thin line in the middle. If any of the drivers make a mistake it can lead to a lot of losses. This is where we find a lot of collisions than in other roads while single vehicle crashes are reported in the highways.

This means you can survive from a city accident but it is a bit cost when it comes to insurance. It is very easy to get high rates when you are staying in the city. This is because of small accidents that happen and damage your car. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the accident has to hurt somebody only but it can damage your car. The damages will go to the insurer who will help in dealing with it and for injured people. You may choose not to involve the insurer in this but the fact is you have ended up spending money in a way that you had not planned for.

There are places where accidents happen often and you should avoid them. A good example is in the parking areas. In most cases these are where you may find that your car has been dented by another driver who was trying to park. This happens during busy hours when everyone is trying to park where they want and the same space maybe wanted by someone else. You should as well avoid parking near the exit and entrance since when another person is entering or leaving the parking and there are other vehicles moving in an out there are likely to scratch your car.

City junctions are other places where vehicle collision takes places. People fail to recognize the speed of other automobiles, wait for their turn or get back on speed fast enough. It has been report that in the year 2008 thirty percent of accidents were such crashes. It is important that each and every driver be mindful of another.

There are some drivers who think driving in their lane is enough and they do not need to do anything else. This can cause fatal accidents in any roads since there may be a driver who is under the influence and if others are not checking they might find themselves in the trap of death.
It should be the same for the day or night since this seems to have no difference. Remember during the day there are many drivers on the roads than at night. On the other hand the numbers of drunk drivers are more at nigh which raises the chances of causing a lot of accidents thereby making it more risk to drive at such an hour.

The climatic conditions have a lot of influence in the roads too. There are people who would say that many accidents are likely to happen at such times but it doesn’t seem so. This is because when climate changes many people are readily set with the right tires and they drive very carefully unlike other days when they drive without much worry and they increase speed which can cause accidents.

The curves also contribute to this and it has been discovered that that accidents on a straight roads are caused by curves. As a driver you must be very careful on the roads so as to save lives and also money by keeping auto insurance rates low.

What Most Drivers Like to See on Auto Insurance Policies

Every policy and every motorist needing arranging it is different from each other. There are a few components that most people like to see on their policies. According to statistics about 70% of drivers in the United States of America like to buy comprehensive and collision coverage on top of the minimum liabilities coverage enforced.

When they are looking for these policies most people mind certain points. The most common one is the discounts. More than half of the drivers like to see that they get some sort of discounts when they are buying a policy. A good driver discounts are the most common one and offered by almost every carrier. These can range from ten to fifty percent depending on your driving history and the company you applied for auto insurance quotes.

It appears that many people care about the amount of deductibles. They like to get lower deductibles and they say that it plays an important role in their decision making in the surveys they attend. That is why many companies offer decreasing deductibles along with savings. In that, your deductibles go down for every year that passes without a claim.

Motorists should remember however that lower deductibles may come in the expense of high premiums. Given the choice many people would have wanted the discounts rather than the reductions in deductibles. In the same way, you may want lower premiums rather than lower deductibles. This point should be kept in mind next time you renew the policies.

Also, many people state that they are looking for well recognized firms. They appear to be taking a lot of comfort from knowing that the company which insures them has many customers and highly popular. There is not much you can argue about this point. Being insured by a long established firm with financial muscle is comforting.

Nonetheless, many people may be confused about real reputation. Seeing them on the television every night would make you recognize them quickly. And those companies do aim to achieve exactly that, high brand recognition. Some companies establish brand recognition by year after year of hard work and customer care. But the same thing can be achieved with having a long running advertisement campaigns. Those two should not be mixed with each other.

A few motorists like to see some extras when they are searching for policies. Some look to see if the roadside recovery is included in the policy. Others like to see rental reimbursements or rental car coverage in the policies they buy. These are all useful additions to coverage. We should also include Uninsured Driver Coverage as well as part of a highly desirable requirement.

The point to keep in mind is that you can always add these on to any policy package available. So, you should consider this flexibility when you are comparing auto insurance quotes with each other. For example you may come across a great package without roadside recovery in it. You should not put it aside just because of it. You can either have it added on at the time of purchase or you can buy roadside recovery from an independent firm.

Which Are the Best Car Insurance Companies For You?

Depending on individual circumstances the companies offering the best car insurance rates and policies changes. In the same way, when the circumstances changes it may be beneficial to switch to more suitable insurer. Companies that suit your needs best can be found by approaching from different angles.

Product Based Choices

First one would be to find them by looking at the products offered. Again, you will need to determine what you are looking for to start with. For example, if you are looking for pay as you go type of policy there only few companies offering these products. The first one to come to mind is Progressive which has a snapshot technology to monitor drivers’ behaviours. Then the rates are set and premiums are charged accordingly.

Wide Number of Options

If you are a good driver with regular vehicle usage from home to work and leisure outings you may be looking for a standard policy. Being a good driver extends your horizon in terms of choices. Most companies offer great packages for them. At this case, rates can play an important role in your choice. If there are so many great companies with similar policy packages you may as well go for the cheapest one of them all.

Decide on the basic level of coverage you must get and start applying for quotes. If you can achieve more coverage than your minimums it is great. Sometimes companies can offer packages that include several extras. If they do not cost you much extra why would you not get them? However, you should not go down your minimum coverage no matter how cheap the policies are.

It is not a good way to bring down premiums expenses by cutting the coverage. Those cheap policies may not really be cheap when you have a proper comparison based on rates applied for coverage acquired. If you are getting a similarly good cover from an agreeable auto insurer but the price is lower you get yourself a real cheap auto insurance. Simply, you need to buy the same quality product with similar guarantees to be able to say that you are getting a good deal.

Finding Hard to Get Affordable Policies

Things can get complicated when the claim and traffic violation conviction numbers increase. A few good companies will price themselves out. Unless you pay silly money you cannot get a policy from them. Then, you may be looking at mid-size to specialist carriers who are a bit more flexible about the type of risk they will accept. You should still get several quotes from traditional companies just to make sure. There is a chance they may come back with still agreeable auto insurance quotes.

Once you have serious convictions like DUI or several accidents you may have to sign up with state insurance programs for uninsurable drivers. Every state arranges special deals with insurers who are virtually forced to accept some of these uninsurable drivers. You can get help from your state insurance department once you realize that you will not be able to find a reasonably priced policy in open market.

Searching Online For Low Auto Insurance Premiums

So many new methods are used by companies to attract customers that sometimes you need to keep an eye on these deals. A few of them may be just empty promises of cheap deals. Once you check carefully you may realize that you do not qualify. Even worse, they may be offered by your own insurer but existing policyholders are excluded. If that happens, you will probably be angry with them.

However, it is a constant change and you will need to be on the lookout. Many consumers may believe that prices should be around the same range. Maybe few dollars higher or lower and that is certainly not worth wasting time searching for the lowest price. This is exactly the reason why so many motorists are very surprised to see that they can save hundreds of dollars if not thousands every year. This is the beauty of it. You keep saving every year or end up paying higher for ever.

Getting the search going is as easy as a pie. All you have to do is enter a search term on your favorite search engine and off they go to find you a discount or a website where you can check them out.  Sometimes these searches can bring up interesting deals. You may find them on Facebook, Twitter or Google. It really does not matter how you get them as long as you save money.

In social media, many people are sharing what they like and passing on valuable information. Sometimes they tweet about a great deal they found on automobile insurance. At times, agents may direct you there as well. All you have to do is ask if there are any special deals going on. They will tell you to go to a certain Fan page or direct to their official site to get them.

Also, some companies run interesting programs to raise awareness among their policyholders. They may be holding safe driving courses online or offering classes. Once policyholders successfully complete them they are eligible for savings. This is a great way of qualifying for discounts. You learn something and get paid for your efforts, just great.

Even you cannot find a special promotion you will be able to get some rate cuts by shopping around for a better deal. First you should better decide on the level of cover you need. Then start getting several automobile insurance quotes. This will allow you easily compare all the offers on the table. One of them has got to offer good enough savings for you.

Alternatively, you can place a friendly call to your current insurer and ask what’s up. There is no need to be hesitant if you are looking to save some money on your policy this year. Just tell them straight and they will look if there is something they can do. The fact is that if they do not do anything you are likely start looking elsewhere. They know this will happen and they will offer you enough discounts to stop messing around and sign for another year.

How Vehicle History Reports Help Policyholders?

Vehicle history reports are great in reducing insurance issues especially when purchasing a second hand auto. Finding out how a certain vehicle’s condition is important. There are various sources where this information can be found. They will tell you a lot about an automobile you are interested like number of accidents, major works done, certain damages (like flood) and number of owners. Some of the sources include auto insurance companies, automotive repair shops, law enforcement agencies and states vehicle departments.

Reports

This will help you determine the cost of that specific vehicle and find out whether it is worth the amount that the seller is asking. The search doesn’t take long especially if you know where to find the right information. You do not have to tell the seller that you are doing all the checks since some would be hiding something so as to have their car out of their compound.

When finding out about a vehicle on sale you may need to see several reports to get the full picture. For instance the seller may have not told you of any mechanical problem that a vehicle have but when you approach a source like state vehicle department they can alert you of this. Another thing is when trying to find out whether the vehicle belongs to the person or a company that is selling it. Remember there are thousands of car thefts which are reported per year and it could be that the car you are interested was stolen.

To avoid having such issues it is wise to do some research before making that step of buying. It is good to know the condition of the vehicle too so as to be aware of what is to come and how to handle it not forgetting that the value of the vehicle will determine the price tag.

As you know most of the sellers are not individual people but organizations. When looking for vehicle reports there are those who will sell it for you while others provide it for free. This is to increase credibility with their client while some try to make money out of it. The reports are sold at 40 to 60 dollars by different sellers. Some come with the whole report which is referred as title information. This comes with all details that you may need to know.

If in case you do not find it there are other source where you can check the missing package especially if you feel it is more important. In most reports you will find details like the vehicle title holder with inclusion of the number of reported claims, when it was serviced, damages have occurred to it among others.

Insurance

You can still purchase a car despite the condition or any problem it may have. One thing that the buyer should be aware is that sometimes safety may become a major challenge. A report that comes with major safety issues will alert you to be careful. Remember some of these vehicles are sold due to some problems such as damages caused by flood, road accident among others. One may decide to buy salvage parts or have them fixed. When you approach your insurer one thing that you can be sure of is that they will come and check whether the vehicle is in line with state law and safety.

Details To Consider When Taking Business Car Insurance

Apart from having a personal car, you may have a business vehicle which is used to transport people and goods to different destinations. This is different from a personal car since it will be going to various places and carrying valuable thing. This type of automobile is not insured like a personal one though the insurance cover doesn’t have a lot of differences.

Drivers

There is a high chance you will need a driver for this car if you are not a one man business. When going to look for a driver, there are several things you should consider so as avoiding negative effects that may increase premium and cause less profit to your business. The first one is the driving license. You should not risk hiring or employing a driver without an approval of a valid license. Driving history is yet another important detail that you should not leave behind.

This is the point that you don’t have to favor someone because of their status since it may not favor your business. If the driver has been in driving school and has a commercial driving license it would be preferred. Such drivers would keep your insurance costs down. When the driver has points in his license you will face problems. It would be near impossible to insure one with DUI conviction or similar past problems.

Vehicles

Just like your own auto insurance cover would go about the car model, this is also applied to the commercial ones. If the vehicle is expensive the premium will be high. Another thing is the age of the vehicle. When purchasing a new auto for a business you should check with your carrier which models are cheaper to insure.

Insurers

There are three types of insurers that you may consider going to. One is the bigger organizations who are popularly known, the medium ones and third are the upcoming insurers. When insuring a commercial car, it is important to go to the big fish. This is because they are known and you can easily get their reviews concerning the services they offer.

Going to the insurer you know may be a good choice as well. For example, your personal auto insurer can be a good one to try. Most car insurance companies in the United States of America is well regulated. So, you should ask your broker or check online when you come across a company that you do not know. Because you do not know them does not mean they are no good. They may be the specialized subsidiary of a giant insurer. Or it may be a highly established smaller company.

Sources

There are different sources of information in regard to insurance. One is through online means such as review websites and forums. Visiting these sources will be effective because you will get to know a lot of things which can help you get discounts. You can as well go on and do some thorough research on a company from background to where they are at the moment. This will help you get the best insurer for your commercial cars. Agents can help but they will have to sell policies for their companies. You have to remember that is what they do.