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Category Archives: Auto Insurance

Breakdown Cover

When you compare this to an average call out fee from a breakdown truck of at least double that for one call out and in some areas in the UK could be many times that, you wonder why it isn’t an automatic purchase. The truth is many of us don’t see the need until we actually breakdown, suffered the costs, the inconvenience and possible the safety risk of being stranded somewhere.

If you have ever been burgled it is probably very unlikely you would not risk not having home contents insurance ever again, the same rules apply to breakdown cover. Another argument is that modern cars are more reliable these days. That is true but when you consider that most call outs are due to flat tyres and flat batteries, which are pretty much the same on every car, that argument becomes weaker.

Also modern cars are harder to work on with electronics replacing mechanical parts, needing specialist equipment. This year I do not expect to have an accident with my modern car but I would not risk driving without motor insurance, I also do not expect to breakdown either, but I will be covered just in case. My final comment is safety. If you are going to breakdown, it could be at anyplace at anytime of day or night. Being stranded on a lonely road by yourself at night is not the most enjoyable experience, knowing you will be attended within the hour can be worth more than money.

Auto Insurance Shopping

We all know we need the protection auto insurance provides in case of an accident; but shopping for the right company with the right policy at the right price can take an investment of time and energy we’re just not sure we’re ready to expend.

After all, we work hard enough already, right?

But most people don’t know that shopping for car insurance doesn’t have to take a lot of time or effort. With a little reading and education on the subject in general, you can actually find great coverage at a minimal price–and have money left over for other things.

Besides, knowledge is power!

So, what should you know before jumping online or picking up the phone to ask for car insurance quotes?

Here it is, in a nutshell:

  1. Your auto insurance premiums are determined mainly by ratings. Insurance companies rate you according to the amount of claims risk you present, and then group you with others like you who have similar risk rates. Such factors as age and gender, where you live, your driving record, your marital status, prior insurance coverage, the number of miles you drive yearly, and your vehicle’s make and model all come into play when determining ratings.
  2. Discounts can dramatically lower car insurance rates. Rewarded to those considered low risk by their auto insurance companies, discounts are available for insuring multiple vehicles, taking driver education courses, being a good student, installing safety or anti-theft devices, being a good driver, low-mileage driving and purchasing more than one policy type with the same insurer.
  3. Auto insurance requirements are set by each state individually. Depending on whether your state is a tort or a no-fault state, the type and amount of car insurance coverage required by law varies. Check with your state insurance department to find out which system your state operates under and the legal limits you must carry on auto insurance.
  4. It’s wise to consider optional coverage. It makes sense to purchase collision and comprehensive coverage on your car, unless you drive an older vehicle. Collision covers damage to your car when it impacts another car or fixed object. Comprehensive pays for auto damage from almost all other causes, including fire, weather, vandalism, floods and theft.
  5. If you drive an older car, the claims you file under these circumstances may cost your auto insurance company more than your car is worth–which makes purchasing collision and comprehensive an ill-advised move.

  6. Protect yourself at all costs. Don’t even sign an application for car insurance until you contact your state’s department of insurance to make sure any companies you’re considering purchasing from are licensed in your state! It’s illegal for unlicensed insurers to sell insurance–and you may get stuck without coverage if you fail to check them out first.
  7. Once you’ve purchased an auto insurance policy, remember it is a legal contract. So read it carefully, make sure you understand the rights and responsibilities it spells out, and ask questions about anything you don’t understand. Both your insurance agent and your state department of insurance are valuable resources for information.

Get Cheap Auto Insurance

1. Liability: This coverage pays for third-party personal injury and death-related claims, as well as any damage to another person’s property that occurs as a result of your automobile accident.

2. Collision: This coverage pays to repair your car after an accident. It is required if you have a loan against your vehicle because the car isn’t really yours – it belongs to the bank, which wants to avoid getting stuck with a wrecked car.

3. Comprehensive: This coverage pays for damage incurred as a result of theft, vandalism, fire, water, etc. If you paid cash for your car or paid off your car loan, you may not need collision or comprehensive coverage.

In addition to the coverage listed above, other optional coverage types include the following:

a. Full Tort/Limited Tort: Your insurance will be reduced by a few dollars if you give up the right to sue when you get an accident. However, giving up your rights is rarely a smart financial move.

b. Medical Payments/Personal Injury Protection: Personal injury protection pays the cost of medical bills for the policyholder and passengers. If you have good health insurance coverage, this may not be necessary.

c. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: This type provides for medical and property damage coverage if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

d. Towing: Towing coverage pays for a tow if your vehicle cannot be driven after an accident. If you are a member of an automobile service, or if your vehicle comes with roadside assistance provided by the manufacturer, this coverage is unnecessary.

e. Glass Breakage: Some companies do not cover broken glass under their collision or comprehensive policies. In general, this coverage is not worth the long-term cost.

f. Rental: This insurance option covers the cost of a rental car, but rental cars are so inexpensive that it may not be worth paying for this coverage.

g. Gap: If you demolish that $35,000 sport-utility vehicle 10 minutes after you drive it off the lot, the amount the insurance company pays is likely to leave you with no vehicle and a big bill. The same thing applies if your new set of wheels gets stolen. Gap insurance pays the difference between the blue book value of a vehicle and the amount of money still owed on the car. If you are leasing a vehicle or purchasing a vehicle with a low, or no, down payment, gap insurance is a great idea.

Vehicle Insurance Online

Once you have gathered information about your car, driving record, and personal information, you can enter the information once at an insurance comparison site and get instant quotes from several different companies. These sites give you side by side comparison of the same coverage plan from several different vehicle insurance companies for free.

Check Around

It is also a good idea to go to a couple of insurance comparison websites to find the best deals. The same insurance company may offer different rates at different websites.

Look at the Deductible

Another way to get a cheaper quote is to change the coverage plan by raising the deductible or reducing coverage. Both options can save you hundreds a year, but you need to have the financial resources for such a risk.

Receive Information Online

Once you find a price and plan that interests you, you can select it to receive more information from that insurance company online or through the mail. After an insurance agent has time to look over your information, they may be able to offer you an even lower quote.

Check Any Time

Besides comparing quotes from vehicle insurance companies, you can also apply for insurance online at any time that is convenient for you. You can start your application, stop for a snack, and finish it later on. If you prefer, you can also schedule to talk to someone over the phone or at an office.

Check Often

A yearly check of vehicle insurance rates is a good practice. Increased safety features in cars and aging baby boomers have resulted in a drop in accident rates. With increased competition, insurance companies have been pressured to reduce their rates and pass the savings on to you. This is a trend likely to continue for some time.

Must Protect Your Assets

Car manufacturers, in order to solve these problems, put additional parts in cars to enhance their safety components. They put seatbelts and air bags to protect the driver and the passengers. They also make the body of cars durable enough to withstand collisions. Car manufacturers usually put every car through several tests to determine how it will react to collisions, before putting it in the market to insure its durability.

Even with these safety measures performed by car manufacturers, accidents still happen. Most accidents are caused by reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcoholic drinks. On the average, a motor vehicle crashes every 5 seconds, a person is injured in an accident every 11 seconds and a fatal injury occurs every 12 minutes. These statistics are convincing evidence of why auto insurance coverage is so necessary.

Drivers are not the only reason why accidents occur. Sometimes, the cars that drivers use can also be the major cause of an accident. Passenger cars and light trucks accounted for nearly 95% of the 11 million vehicles involved in motor vehicle crashes in 2004. Large trucks accounted for only 15 % of the vehicle accident. Regardless of the severity of the crashes, the majority of the accidents occurred during daylight, in normal weather conditions, while driving on a straight roadway. This pattern shows that no one can say that he/she is safe riding in any type of vehicle.

As stated, accidents do happen, but you can avoid them by following simple safety measure, include the wearing of seat belts and the following of simple traffic rules such as paying attention to speed limits and being cautious of your surroundings. Having car insurance is also advisable for your protection. This will serve as a protection for you and your family. It does not protect you physically in the same way that seat belts and air bags or helmets do, but it can protect you and your family financially.

Reduce Car Insurance Premiums

1. Shop For A New Policy. Even with “loyalty discounts” in place, many consumers will find that a competing company will offer significant savings over your current plan. This especially holds true if your state recently opened up the market to invite more competition in.

2. Change Your Coverage. If your vehicle is old, you many want to consider dropping collision coverage. Your comprehensive coverage may also be due for reexamination. Finally, make sure that there aren’t duplicate costs included such as towing insurance if already offered through your automobile club.

3. Family Status. You may be paying more for your insurance if your policy shows that you are single when, in fact, you were recently married. Rates are generally lowered for married folks as well as those over a certain age.

4. Up Your Deductible. You can realize instant savings by raising the deductible you are willing to pay. Maybe you don’t need a $200 collision deductible when $500 is sufficient.

5. Get Security Discounts. If you park your car in a locked garage and/or have an alarm system installed make sure that your insurer is aware of this as your premium will be adjusted downward.

Lower Auto Insurance

Always compare insurance policies. There are states which regulate auto insurance rates, but the insurance premiums can vary by hundreds of dollars for the exact same coverage. It is definitely worthwhile to shop around. The first thing you can do is to check with your state insurance department. They often provide information about the coverage you need, as well as sample rates from the biggest companies. You can also ask your friends or look up the yellow pages. Checking consumer guides and asking insurance agents can pay off as well. You can easily find out the price range for your insurance policy, as well as discover the lowest prices in town.

However, you should not be shopping based on price along. The insurance company should provide good service at the best price. Excellent personal service is available as well, and they provide added conveniences, although they cost a fair bit more. Ask the company how you can lower your costs, and also check their financial ratings. The rule of thumb is always to get three price quotes from three different companies, and pick the one with the best value.

It can also be a good idea to increase your deductibles. When you file a claim, the deductible is the amount you pay before the insurance company pays for the rest of the damage. A higher deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage can lead to a much lower premium. For example, increasing your deductible from $200 to $400 can reduce your premiums by up to 25%. However, you must ensure that you have the financial resources to handle the largest deductible when the time comes.

Remove certain types of coverage from your policy. Almost all the states require liability coverage for your car, but the rest of the coverage is probably dispensable. However, you do not want to be underinsured if you’re in an accident, so it isn’t advisable to remove all of your additional coverage. Optional coverage includes medical payments, uninsured motorist, collision, and comprehensive coverage.

Drop collision and comprehensive coverage for older cars. If you drive an older car that’s worth less than $2,000, it’s probably more cost-effective to drop collision and comprehensive coverage since you’ll probably pay more for the coverage than you’ll collect for a claim. You can find out the worth of your car by asking auto dealers and banks.

Make sure your credit report looks good. Car insurance companies often look at your credit history as there is a correlation between the risk to the company and your credit history. If you pay your bills on time and maintain a good credit history, you can enjoy lower insurance rates.

Drive less. Insurance companies often offer low-mileage discounts to motorists who drive less than a predetermined number of miles each year. You can use public transportation more often, car-pool with friends, and take the train or a plane instead of driving to another state. And you’ll save on more than your coverage as you’ll need to spend less on gasoline (of which prices are incredibly high).

Maintain a clean driving record. The company will give you a price break and you can save on your insurance policy after a specified period of a clean driving record. This means that you have no accidents, no serious driving violations etc, during this period of time. The simplest and surefire way to qualify for this discount is to drive carefully and defensively all the time.

Choose a low-profile car. Insurance rates vary among difference models of vehicles. Generally, sports cars and high-performance cars tend to cost more to insure, mainly because they represent more risk of theft and the drivers are often the people who drive more recklessly. Newer cars will cost more to repair or replace than older ones, so naturally they can more to insure. Low-risk vehicles include station wagons and sedans.

Auto Insurance Comprehensive Coverage

The definition could include basically (2) trains of thought. Often the term comprehensive merely applies to thorough physical damage in the event of loss to the vehicle itself. That’s when auto insurance comprehensive coverage comes into play.

The other thought relates to overall benefits that include bodily injury, uninsured motorists, medical payments, under insured motorists, comprehensive and collision features. That essentially provides broad and pretty thorough coverage.

A broad range of coverage’s naturally determine the final premium to be paid. You can adjust by picking and choosing, then requiting and eventually come up with a tailored policy the suits you and hopefully your pocket book.

Laws require we at minimum carry liability insured and lenders that finance our vehicles insist on comprehensive and collision during the time they are financing your auto – that’s of course to protect their investment. Once the loan has been paid off you no longer are required to provide that coverage. Of all the elements available that portion of the coverage generally by far is the most expensive.

The costs of insurance are impacted by age, past driving experience, type of use, and what the vehicle is and its costs. It’s worth checking out some quotes online before you even purchase a vehicle because in some cases you could be in for a huge shock and may want to re-think your choices.

Pricing Plans

Assessment

Common factors that will be used to assess the premium are the value of the car you’re driving, the safety of that vehicle, the coverage you want, will there be deductibles or limits etc.? How much you’ll drive the car, how your driving record stands, how long you’ve held your license, your age, and if you are young, also your sex.

The premium is then calculated. Usually there is a flat per car, per year rate that everyone pays, regardless of other factors. The other factors will then alter this rate, generally upwards. So if your car is especially fast or dangerous your rate will be increased by a set amount. If it is very old, your rate goes up. If you’ve had one or more accidents in the past, your rate will go up. If you’re young and male, your rate will go up. The more of these factors you satisfy, the more your rate will be going up.

Discounts

As a sales enhancement, many car insurers offer a “low estimated future mileage” discount to customers who predict that the car’s mileage will be below some stated limit during the next premium period. There is no verification involved and no additional charge if the car is subsequently driven more than the stated amount. This arbitrary discount tends to foster customer belief in the mistaken idea that “miles” are just one of many classification factors used to raise or lower prices from the territorial base rate. In fact, odometer miles (which insurers do not use) are not a factor but a metric – the only valid basis for measuring each car’s consumption of insurance protection in on-the-road use.

Save On Car Insurance

1. Shop Around. Yes, it pays to shop and compare. Regulatory changes at the state level may have encouraged new companies to jump into the market, thereby increasing competition and reducing rates for consumers.

2. Raise Your Deductible. A $200 deductible sounds wise until you learn that the cost for having a deductible at this threshold can drive your rates through the roof. Consider a deductible as high as $1000 to save on premiums. You can always fix minor mishaps on your own.

3. Drop Collision. If your automobile is worth less than two or three thousand dollars, consider dropping collision altogether. Sure, you will get nothing from your insurer if your car is totaled, but the savings you realize by dropping collision can be used as a down payment for your next car.

4. Look For Discounts. If your car has certain safety features, make sure that your insurer is aware of this. Older cars, for the most part, do not have air bags but if you have a model that has airbags, you will save money on your insurance.

5. Business Deduction. If you drive your car for business, a portion of your insurance costs may be deductible. Conversely, your rates may be increased if your insurer knows that you use your car more for business than pleasure.