Category Archives: General Topic Articles

Preparing Motorists and Cars for Safe Winter Driving

Winter conditions are much more punishing or at least painful than any other season. It would only take few hours outside in freezing weather to suffer hypothermia and frost bites. Motorists need to be always prepared for the worst weather and worst thing happening on the road. It may be a routine weekly walk in the woods but you may be stranded with a flat battery in your car and perhaps on your cell phone.

You Should Keep Winter Cloths in Your Automobile and Wear Sensibly

No matter how short you expect the journey to be you should always get your coat in the winter. A short journey can be extended with tire punctures, accidents and other unexpected hold ups. Motorists get stranded in most unexpected places at odd hours. There may be moderate level on snow on the roads but a turn in the wind would bring all on the road and close it.

Rescue will take time even you manage to request one. They may have to face the same problem that stranded you or bogged down with many other calls. If you have warm clothes, blanket, hat and glows you will be able to hold out even overnight if you have to. It is a good idea to keep some energy food like chocolates in the vehicle to help you out.

What Precautions You Should Take with Your Car in Winter?

There are certain maintenance precautions you can take with automobiles especially in colder regions. This involves topping up antifreeze in the water containers and changing oil with freeze resistant alternatives. Usual oil and lubricants may be prone to freezing. You should always check oil and water levels regardless of where you are and what season it is.

All-season tires may be alright for occasional snow. But for heavy snow regions it would be a wise decision to buy set of tires for winter. This will make sure that pressure on them will remain the same and traction will always be reliable. Many cars skid and end up on the side of the road or in the ditch because of lost traction in the winter even on a straight road. These tires become extra important in hilly areas.

Windshield wipers are cheap to replace and repair but they carry an important function. They may need to be replace with winter ones that are made especially for freezing conditions. Experts advise that you should keep your fuel tank filled in winter. Empty tanks can result in freeze in the fuel pipes that stop engines or prevent them from starting. Furthermore, there are gas line anti-freeze additives to reduce this possibility.

For the possibility of being stranded in worse winter conditions you should prepare a survival kit in the car. Clothing, blankets, gloves, hats, non-perishable food and drinks are some of the essentials for yourself. A battery jump cable, ice scraper, flashlights and may be a shovel are some of the essential items for your automobile. When the outside is freezing cold your vehicle may be the safest place to be. Unless you are only a short distance away and sure to make the next help point you should wait it out.

When Would A Vehicle Be Considered Total Loss?

A total loss means that the automobile is beyond repair or the repair costs are too high. Policyholders can be for or against this decision. Some people may want their car to be totalled for personal, financial or physiological reasons. Others may want exactly the opposite and keep their beloved car.

Who Makes the Decision to Total A Car?

Regardless of how you feel this decision is usually based on calculations, company policies and industry standards. This decision is usually taken by claims adjuster. They inspect the vehicle and make a quick judgement based on their experience or they go through the process of working out how much it would cost to repair it.

When An Auto Is Usually Totalled?

This could depend on many factors. The decision may be easier with the older vehicles as they are closer to their economic life. Many companies would total a car when the repair costs are at about 70-80% of its open market value which is the value a car would fetch if it was sold today in before accident condition.

Companies usually save around 10-15% when they wrap up a claim quickly. They don’t spare any more employee times, pay extra money to claim handlers and they do not have to deal with repair shops. Also, they could get money from salvage companies for it. Overall, they can afford to write it off quickly and do away another claim.

What Would Insurers Get Out of Totalling an Auto at 70% Repair Costs?

Some companies can even go lower than that and write off a vehicle that costs only 50% of Value to repair. Especially when the car is old this would probably please the policyholder. They could get their money fast and go out and buy another one. Perhaps they put a little out of their pocket or get a loan and buy a better one as well. In other words, they would have the option. The company can send the check next day. It is not a bad deal after all; one happy customer and one claim off their hair.

This would almost guarantee that the policyholder stays with the company. In that case, it would be better for the insurer that customer does not have accident repaired car. Besides, if the repairs are not satisfactory the company would be having the customer back on them. You never know how the repairs will turn out and if the customer would be happy with it.

What If You Don’t Want Your Car to Be Totalled?

You can talk to the claims adjuster but they would not probably reverse their decision unless their decision was on the border line. Another option is to buy the salvaged auto from the insurance company and get it repaired yourself. There are a few things to keep in mind if you are going to go this route.

First of all, you will need to get the vehicle tested for road worthiness and re-register after the repairs complete. In that case the title will be re-washed and most auto insurers you go for insuring it again will know about the crash. A few of them may decline to quote or apply a surcharge for its history.

What Are Auto Insurance Surcharges and Their Implications?

When car insurance companies calculate premium quotes they use rate charts applied according to drivers’ history, age, type of car insured, zip code and so on. Each company determine own rates and therefore quotes would be different from each of them. Then, each company may apply discounts to bring down the costs a bit more.

A surcharge is an extra charge applied on top of premiums once they are determined by rates. In other words, it is the opposite of discounts and it raises your premium at certain percentage. Most companies talk a lot about how much discounts they offer to their customers. They hardly talk about possible surcharges and why would you face them.

What Are Possible Surcharges and Why They Are Applied?

Auto insurers set rates for certain group of people, cars and other factors. They group policyholders and set rates accordingly. An applicant may fit well in certain rate group but would have something that bother the insurer. So, the company would set the rates for this person and apply a surcharge for the one mishap they see. For example, they may decide to increase the rates for this otherwise a good driver around ten percent because the company found out about the 6 points in the driving license. Here are some of the possible surcharges.

Traffic moving violation tickets such as getting caught by a red light camera or for speeding are common reasons for surcharges. These tickets go onto your DMV records and can be seen by auto insurers. Policyholders need to inform their insurer of such mishaps. Even they don’t companies will find out about them at some stage and increase the rates accordingly.

There points on the driving license of a perfectly good driver may get a five percent surcharge while a DUI can get as much as three hundred percent surcharge with some companies. It is simply a way of an insurer saying get lost. Some companies may just refuse to offer any renewal terms or cancel the policy the moment they hear about DUI. This would be the ultimate surcharge.

Accidents and claims are common reasons for surcharges as well. When you have a claim you will see some increase in your premium at renewal. For example, if the over claim payments were large and your insurer had to pay them all as you were 100% at fault you would see a surcharge of around thirty to forty percent. This may increase if you got a ticket as well for the accident.

Who Determines Vehicle Insurance Surcharges and Amounts?

Each state may have certain rules and regulations about maximum surcharges and maximum period they can be applied. But in most cases each auto insurance company is free to determine why they would apply surcharges, how much and how long. They should normally disclose their surcharge charts but with most companies they will only provide it if you ask.

While one company charges thirty percent extra for one issue the other one may only charge ten percent. That is why surcharges are as influential as discounts on the final premium requested.

How Long These Automobile Insurance Surcharges Are Applied For?

Luckily they are not forever and usually most surcharges expire after three years. This may be enforced by states or become an industry standard since most companies follow it. For example, a speeding ticket could cost you four points on your license. These points would be removed from your license after three years and your insurer would remove the surcharges.

Varying levels of surcharges may be applied during this period. For example, you may get a forty percent premium increase at your first renewal after a serious at fault accident. If you have no other issued in the following year, it may be reduce to twenty percent for the second and ten percent for the last year.

Again, one company may apply the surcharges in a scaled down fashion as above while the other company would be applying a flat surcharge. They are not set in stone and each company chooses their own application. Therefore, it is always best to get alternative quotes at each renewal and see which company is more advantages for you following the changes in your circumstances.

Competition in the USA Auto Insurance Industry

There are hundreds of vehicle insurance companies in the United States of America. Quite a few of them operates in most states and otherwise there are enough companies licensed in every state. However over seventy percent of all policies are sold by top ten companies. This may suggest that there is over concentration of business among a few select providers.

Another way of looking at it is that there are at least ten great companies to get car insurance quotes from. These companies are not connected with each other and each of them is strong, reputable and well-known enough to make top ten. Any one of them would be good enough insurer. This does not mean that many other large, medium and smaller companies are not good enough.

How Different Automobile Insurance Quotes Can Be?

Even you stick with the top ten for the sake of easy comparison in terms of quality, reliability and security the rates applied to you by each company can be widely different. For example, a recent report suggest that basic liabilities coverage costs can be over thousand dollar different between two top companies in some zip codes.

Each company has a different culture, underwriting background and criteria and they consider each factor’s importance differently. While you are getting large discounts for being a good driver from one company the same one may ignore the fact that you have excellent credit score. So, you may need to find a company that will offer you the maximum overall savings for your good driving and credit history. Don’t be afraid of exploring your options at all.

How Come Car Insurance Rates Be Different When They Have to Be Approved?

State insurance commissioners do check and approve vehicle insurance rates set by each company. However, they do not interfere with their level but more with their fairness and equality across policyholders. Insurance commissioners are not underwriters to determine how much a company can charge for insuring cars.

There is a considerable misunderstanding on this area. Many motorists are led to believe that the rates would not be different regardless of which company they go to. This is to suggest that shopping for lower premiums is pointless and makes the lives of agents who are working only for one company easier.

Unfortunately this point is taken as if it was fact by many policyholders. Many of them do not bother to look for alternative quotes and may be losing thousands of dollars over the years. You have to make the most of competition as a consumer and purchasing automobile insurance policies are not different.

What Is the Best Way of Checking Your Options in the Market?

First thing to do is to look at your requirements and priorities. For example, you may only want to be insured by a household brand or a large company. Even then you have plenty options to choose from. Any motorist can easily count a few auto insurer names. Then, think about what coverage you would want your policy to include.

The next step is to get several quotes without compromising from your needs and wants. Since you have already pre-qualified the companies you are getting quotes and determine the acceptable level of coverage it should not be difficult to choose one of the quotes by considering their price.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

Is Zip Code A Factor In Automobile Insurance?

Have you ever asked yourself why zip code is always the first requirement when you are looking for auto insurance quotes? Many people think differently and they will give you lots of answers. One thing is sure that it will definitely affect your premium positively or negatively when your insurer will be doing some premium calculations for you.

There are two main reasons for this; one is because it will not make sense if you enter your search and be given quotes from another state. Zip code identifies where you are located in and in this case your state. You will have to know that there are hundreds of insurance companies the USA today and if you won’t identify yourself you will not be given right quotes.

Another reason is to know where you reside since they will want to know more about your area and how security is there. This is because they want to include it in your coverage; if it is a secure place you will get discounts which will lower your premium.

Also they will want to know is the distance from where you are staying to your place of work. For instance if your home is a short distance away you can walk or use the public means which will lower the premium. If you want to drive yourself to work and it is not far then the number of mileage is less and this will help you. This is one of the benefits. Please note that the longer the driving mileage the higher the premiums are likely.

Zip code will tell your insurer where you stay. If it is a populated area you will be affected since such a place is likely to have many accidents. Another thing is that if the area is known in crime and theft your insurer will raise the premium so as to get enough to compensate if the car happen to be stolen or damaged.

There is an option which may help you save. This is by buying a car that has security devices or installing these devices in your car. In insurance industry, there is one thing which doesn’t change at any chance. No matter where you stay and you have a clear driving license you will receive discounts. If you stay in a place where crime rate is zero you will not be charged much to start with.

One thing that you should notice is that you may be staying in the same area with your friend with a difference of one mile but you end up paying more than him. That is why it is important to consider this factor when you are planning to purchase or rent a house.

Apart from that it is also advisable to check on the distance between your home place, where your children go to school and where you work. This is to help in reducing the number of mileage per day. A better option is to live in a place where there is a train. This is because you can be going for shopping and be dropped next to where you stay and you can still use it to travel more than a car. This will also lower the cost of maintenance and fuels since it will not be used often thereby lowering your premium.

Three Things Not Covered In Vehicle Insurance Policies

As a policyholder in United States of America, you must be aware of some of these things that an insurance company may exclude in case of any accident. The policy explains this very well and as a buyer you have to agree with the terms before buying a cover. This is to avoid confusion that may arise when an accident or incident happens. The insurer will ensure that you know all because they do not want to disappoint you when you find yourself in a situation where you need them and they are not available. Another reason why they may demand that you go through the policy is to avoid having their name destroyed in the insurance industry.

Let’s now look at these three things that the insurance company will not be accountable for. Number one is causing an incident knowingly. In many cases people make a mistake of being careless with a mind of ‘if anything happens to my vehicle the insurance will pay for it.’ This is not the case. The company will insure a vehicle and cover for an accident that was not expected and not intentional. Getting angry with your spouse and taking it out of the family car with a bat is not something insurance companies are willing to pay for.

In this case, the insurer may pay you when someone hits your car or when anything hits your car and breaks a side mirror or something of the same kind and you were not in control of it. Note that this may only happen when your cover has an inclusion of it.

Number two is being involved in an accident while running away from a crime that you have committed. Sometimes you may have owed someone a debt and you don’t want them to catch you, or from a roadblock because you are carrying illegal things. In this case your insurer will reject you and your claim will not be listened to. This will mean that no matter how small or large the damage is you will have to pay with your own money.

Last but not the least is a case here the driver causes an accident because of drunkardness. The driving rules are very clear and no one who doesn’t know them. This is something that a driver does knowing that it is wrong. If you have to drink it is advisable that you get another driver who is sober to take you to your destination. This being one of the car accident causes, the driver has to pay for all the damages he caused to his own vehicle. Third party liabilities may still have to be paid by the insurer.

This may not only force you to pay for the damages but also lose your insurance policy. If your insurer gets the information of the accident they may decide to terminate your cover at renewal. Another cause that you may incur on your shoulder is getting another agreeable car insurance rate.

As a policyholder, you should understand that you are still the owner of that vehicle and the work of the insurance company is not to take care of it but they have you to take care of it. This means that you will know how it is, who drives it, where it is and its condition daily. This will not only ensure that your vehicle is in good state but also cut down your cost of maintenance. Also you will qualify for goo driver discounts.

Remember the insurer has to do this in order to avoid loss. This is to avoid schemes of getting money easily from them by paying you for a vehicle that might be new but has lost its value. Another thing is making the insurer pay you for a cause that you could have prevented.

Searching For Low Car Insurance Rates

A good auto insurer should be offering competitive car insurance rates as well as great policies. And the top carriers on our panel are well aware of the fact that they need to be sharp with pricing if they want to compare well with the rest. When a company starts overcharging customers they face to lose business regardless of its reputation.

When companies are determining their rates they use large number of factors. Each company can place extra importance on some of those factors and does not pay much attention to one or two of them. If your particulars fit well within the ideal policyholder profile a firm have you get the best rates on offer. It is in a way finding the best matching provider for your circumstances.

For example, larger companies can offer the cheapest auto insurance quotes in the market. However, they can be picky as to whom they offer such rates. If they consider an applicant a high risk they can up the premiums considerably. Again, they can be great when you are not making any claims. But they may not be much sympathetic towards you the minute you have a claim. They can pick and choose who they insure because they are able to create large interest for their products.

Regardless of size, there can be huge differences in the premiums offered by two separate companies. Say a motorist get quotes from top ten vehicle insurers it is almost certain that there would be a few hundred dollars difference between the lowest and highest. This sum would be helping many people with tight budgets. Let’s face it, there cannot be that much of a difference among the top ten companies in the United States of America in terms of customer satisfaction.

You really do not need to be financially struggling to be looking for the best automobile insurance premiums. Everyone likes a good deal and it is all about it. A good deal is buying a similarly satisfying and quality product at much cheaper prices. It is not buying the cheapest without paying much attention to comparative qualities of it. So, it can only be a good thing to get the best coverage you can at lower cost.

So, why don’t you have a look at the latest packages offered by well-known companies in our results page. Once you enter your zip code you will instantly be taken to a page where we display the cheapest and most attractive policies in your area. Once you are happy to proceed with any of them you will be able to get a quote within five minutes directly from the carrier.

As mentioned above, it is possible to keep the same coverage but still cut the costs. Unless you have special ties with the current provider (like you own large number of shares) there is no reason for you to hesitate about shopping around a bit. You are in total control at the end of the day. It is not like walking into a store and getting intimidated by the salesperson into buying something. You can click in and click out whenever you want online.

How to Find A Decent Auto Insurance Company

There are hundreds of auto insurers in every states of America. Yet, it is may be confusing when it comes to choosing one of them. Especially the new drivers may not know where to start when they are looking for auto insurance coverage. There are several established ways of going about it. The possible sources of recommendation or information are listed below.


Asking around to your parents, friends and college is a good starting point. Nearly everyone has a car and knows an insurance company that you should hear some names. Ask if they ever needed to fill a claim and how the company responded. You are buying insurance just in case you may have to make a claim in the future, not to financially support a giant insurance firm.

Current Insurer

You may have already had a contact with an insurer as a renter or homeowner. If you know such company you could start with them. Most insurance companies offer policies for cars as well. In addition, you can possibly demand around 10% discounts for buying another policy with the same firm.

State Insurance Departments

Every state insurance department operate differently. Nonetheless, they provide plenty information about the insurers licenced within the state. Some of them will publish additional information like possible rates from each firm and the number of complaint they received from customers.

Online Auto Insurance Comparison Sites

These sites are probably the fastest and most useful sources of information for vehicle owners. By just entering your zip code you can see quite a few offered displayed from top car insurers in your area. It does not stop there. Should you decide to explore further there is a link you can follow through. This will take you straight to the selected company’s official site.

These sites serves very well when you like to shop around first to find out all your offers. One of the main mistakes young motorists do is to go with the first quote they receive. There is no way of knowing if it is a good quote or expensive one when you do not look at the alternatives. Getting at least 4-5 quotes is highly recommended by most experts.

Then, you will need to have a look at the level of coverage offered as well. Actually you should have an idea as to what is the acceptable coverage for you. And use this information when you are getting quotes. Still some companies will offer extras within the package they offer. Who does not want little bit more for the same money.

If you like the best and get it at the cheapest premium you will need to do a little leg work. But you do not earn the money you are spending easily either. So, another good way of increasing your living standards is to make the money earned go a little further.

How to Arrange Satisfactory Car Insurance Coverage

The term satisfactory is a subjective one. Perhaps we should concentrate on how to go about arranging a satisfactory auto insurance policy rather than trying to guess what is it. A good approach to buying coverage can help motorists deal with their insurance needs efficiently.

How to get started

Probably the first thing you need to determine is the minimum level of coverage acceptable to you. Then set your mind not to go below it and it would be great if you could achieve above. There is not much point in talking about Liabilities coverage since it is a legally required minimum. If this is what you are looking for it is easy to arrange them.

Motorists should think if they want to insure their car for possible collisions, theft, fire, flood, storm damages and vandalism. If the car is relatively new the answer would be yes in most cases. It would be very stressful to drive a brand new automobile without proper insurance. Losing it after all the investment would be sad.

Possible Policy Components

Collision and Comprehensive Coverage would compensate an owner of such damages. First you should see if the quotes including these covers on top of liabilities are coming at affordable levels. If they do you could go ahead and choose the cheapest car insurance quote or one above if you are not happy with the insurer offering the lowest deal.

Otherwise, you may look at other alternatives before giving up on such valuable protections. The first one would be to increase the deductibles to see if you can pull the premium down enough. This would usually work to offer you enough discounts so that you can comfortably pay the premium. In this case, deductibles offer a choice to motorists between accepting a little risk and saving money now. Or leaving most of the risk to the auto insurer should an insured loss happen in the future by paying higher premium.

Next you should check if your policy is coming with Uninsured Driver Coverage or not. In some states this is required to be provided automatically with policies sold. Otherwise, this is one of the important cover to consider. Should an uninsured motorists crashes onto your vehicle or you suffer from a hit and run incident you want your own insurer to compensate you. This saves you a lot of hassle. It is very hard for people to sue drivers who cannot even bother to buy basic liabilities coverage. There is a high chance they do not have the money to buy the policy and therefore, they do not have money to pay for your damages out of their pockets.

Once you decide on these main parts of the coverage and still looking to add little bit more protection you can start looking into Rental Reimbursement cover. Should your car get damaged as a result of an insured peril and sent to repair shop you can rent a car until it is back. Rental reimbursement provides money to pay for such arrangements.

Finding the right price

Essentially this is a practice of balancing coverage with costs. In order to keep the costs down you need to search for cheaper auto insurance providers for your circumstances. This could change depending on your driving history. For good driver with good education, credit history and profession most insurers would be reasonable priced. When you have a troublesome driving records things can get complicated. In that case, you would be looking for a company that is accepting higher risk drivers at a reasonable premium. If you have doubts about this company you can work hard to keep a clean record and switch back to main stream insurers just a year later.

Online Auto Insurance Quotes and Brokers

Experienced motorists can make decisions by themselves about a policy. Yet some less experienced drivers may need a little help. Those people may follow the convenience and flow of online auto insurance providers and buy coverage without considering the importance of agents. This leads them to making mistakes such as applying for insurance without sufficient knowledge.

Motorists can consult an independent broker before or after picking an insurer in order to go through the options and buy the right one. This will reduce chances of paying more premium for less coverage and vice versa. While still online, you can find out more about the insurer by having a live chat with an insurance agent. You may have other questions which the website cannot answer or the person who is chatting with you. In this case you will need an expert in this field.

There are also other means of finding help. In most cases the insurer will provide their contact details on their website. This is where you can call them or send an email. After applying a policy you may want some updates or make some changes. Other ways in which an agent may help is by answering any queries related to your policy.

Giving them your details will help them solve it quickly and be in peace. This gives us the importance of having an agent since he or she can connect you and update you on any recent news. Some websites are good since they offer different means of communication. Others are programmed in a way that you can make a payment or file a claim.

As a policyholder you may have included another person or family members. A time may come when you need to change or add something on it. This is yet another time when you need to get in contact with your insurance agent. All you have to do is give him or her information you want included or removed from your policy. You will also be required to give details such as the car number, names, number of policyholders, the condition of a car in case it was involved in an accident and report of any previous claims. This means that you should trust his work. This shows the importance of creating a relationship with an agent.

Another way a broker or agent can help you is by finding all the available discounts for you. Also they can tell you what to do to qualify for these savings in the future. Such things like adding security devices, upgrading your driving knowledge and improvement of driving habits. This creates a great chance of discovering a lot of things about your insurer. It will reduce chances of regretting afterward of the mistakes that you could have created alone.

Remember another person putting a thinking cap for you will help in getting the most favorable policy. There are different ways of qualifying for discounts, how will you know this especially if you are a first time insurer? As a result you may end up paying a lot more than you should. The word of an insurer agent is to help all the consumers who are purchasing policy online or from their marketers.