All posts tagged insurance

5 Easy Tips for Lowering Your Car Insurance Rate

Every time you flip on the TV or drive past billboards, you’re likely to see at least one advertisement for car insurance. Providers everywhere bombard us with their competitive rates and incentives for choosing their plans. But no matter your insurance provider, you can do several things to lower your rate. These few tips can get you started.

Drive a Low-Cost Vehicle

Driving a clunker certainly has its drawbacks, but insurance isn’t one of them. The lower the value of your car, the lower your premium.


Because car insurance is there partially to pay for any damages to your car in an accident. But if you’re driving a car from the ’90s in 2014, chances are that car wouldn’t last much longer after your accident anyway. For the most part, it costs your provider much less money to pay for those repairs.

This doesn’t mean you need to drive a straight-out clunker. Your premium will also be lower if your car is considered safe. If your car scored highly in a crash test, your provider will usually lower your rate for that too.

Drive Fewer Miles

Many auto insurance companies reduce your premium if you drive less than 7,500 miles per year. If you can, limit how much you use your car. Switch up your commute by taking public transportation or carpooling with coworkers. You don’t have to drop your car altogether (why else are you paying auto insurance?). Just cut back on unnecessary miles.

Get an Insurance Package

Insurance companies tend to provide a discount if you combine insurance plans. Rather than using three different providers for car, home, and life insurance, combine them into one package.

Make the Most of Good Grades

Insurance companies reward good students. If your teenager or college student is driving a car you insure and they do well in school, tell your provider. They’ll typically provide a discount (of about 15%) for students on the honor roll or with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Sometimes, the higher the GPA, the higher the discount.


Because good grades tend to indicate safer drivers. Insurance companies use statistics that show good students have better decision-making skills and safer driving habits. So if your student driver qualifies and is under the age of 25, get that discount.

Be a Safe Person

Hopefully, you have higher incentives than your car insurance to be safe, but safe habits will definitely lower your rate. Most providers recognize a clean driving record and habits that indicate strong decision-making skills, like grades do. Try the following ideas to be safer every day:

  • Kick bad habits like drinking or smoking. Drinking puts you at a higher risk for driving under the influence, and a DUI charge may mean that you must find a great DUI attorney in Athens or your particular area or risk a criminal record. Furthermore, both smoking and drinking risk your health. The healthier (and less distracted) you are while driving, the less likely you are to get in an accident.
  • Take a driver’s ed course. You’ll learn valuable skills like how to avoid accidents and combat driving in poor weather.
  • Avoid getting into accidents or getting tickets. Easier said than done, but drive defensively and stay within the speed limit. Be more careful with those preventive measures. Your driving record helps establish the rate you pay.
  • Establish good credit. Like good grades, solid credit indicates you’re responsible.

Inherent factors like your age and gender also play a role in your rate. If you’re an older driver or a female, you’ll pay less because you’re considered lower-risk.

Ask whether any of these qualities and habits qualify you for a lower rate. Wherever you get your auto insurance, it’s very likely you qualify for a discount and can cut back on that rate. Just communicate those qualifications to your provider so they can reward you for being a safe, low-maintenance driver.

How to Protect Yourself after Being Hit by a Drunk Driver

Car accidents are dangerous. The aftermath of a car accident can often be a significant portion of the overall danger, because it is then the financial realities, medical issues and the overall burden of car repairs, wasted time and inconvenience manifest themselves.

All of these things are only magnified if the accident involves a drunk driver.

Technology to the Rescue

In the age of mobile technology, phones and tablets, every human being is equipped with virtually unlimited capacity to document any event on their own. Photographic and video evidence are both incredibly powerful and often conclusive in any legal matter.

The practical ramifications of this are clear. After an accident, you should be taking pictures of everything, especially anything with letters or numbers on it. License plates, VIN numbers, driver’s licenses, insurance cards, and so forth.

Secondly, don’t forget to take pictures of the surroundings, starting with the road in both directions. Take pictures of the pavement and nearby structures. Photograph the accident from every angle and be sure to photograph any accident evidence: skid marks, glass, metal, paint, dents, scrapes, car parts, etc.

The Authorities

If it is at all possible, anyone involved in a drunk driving accident should interview all of the relevant authorities, starting with the responding police department. However, you should not answer any questions until you have a chance to speak with legal counsel, even if you aren’t at fault.

Firefighters and ambulance drivers or emergency medical personnel should be at least identified. Get numbers and names if possible. All of these people will become crucial sources of information and possibly testimonies at a later date.

Legal Advice

Even if you don’t think you’ll need an attorney, it is often a good idea to at least speak with someone involved in personal injury or vehicle accident litigation. Firms like Racine Olson will often alert you to things you may not have considered. A qualified and experienced attorney can also often be a good candidate for organizing all the information related to your case.


It goes without saying that if you are ever in a car accident, your second call should be to your insurance company. This is doubly and triply true when dealing with an accident with potential criminal liability, even if you are not at fault. Your insurance company can coordinate their efforts with your legal representatives and assist you in obtaining any official documents related to the accident, the aftermath and your case. You pay premiums for this service. You might as well use it.

Keeping your cool and making sure you approach an accident with a calm and reasoned attitude will often be the difference between major financial problems an accompanying legal trouble versus a favorable outcome.

5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Car Insurance

In order to get the most out of your car insurance, a driver must be informed. They must be informed about how their car insurance policy works with the kind of car that they have. There are several ways to get the most out of their car insurance. Some are widely known while others are not. The following will present different ways to get the most out of your car insurance.

Show Your Repair

Inform your car insurance of any recent auto repairs to your vehicle. Provide them with receipts as proof to those repairs. Doing this will increase the value of your vehicle. If your vehicle were to be later damaged, you will get a greater compensation for you losses. Keep in mind that this is just for general repair. If you are in a car accident that causes significant damage to your car, you will have to show the reports to your insurance company anyway if you want them to cover any of your expenses of your car repair.

Contact the Department of Insurance

If your vehicle is damaged or totaled, meaning either unrepairable or repair costs are at least 75% of the retail value of the vehicle, your insurance company should cover the loss. However, if you feel that their offer is unfair, you can contact the Department of Insurance in your state. The Department of Insurance will then review your claim and assist.

Clean Your Vehicle

If possible, clean your vehicle after damages. If your vehicle is totaled, you can lose money on your estimate simply by having soiled seating. Cleaning your vehicle will prevent it from losing value and help you get the highest settlement. Avoid cleaning any evidence of the accident such as skid marks. The insurance company will need to view all damages caused by the accident in order to access its worth.

The Driving Classes and Other Discounts

Consider taking defensive driving classes and lower your premiums after you complete the course. Paying less for the same coverage is certainly getting the most out of your insurance. Check with your insurance company and local Department of Motor Vehicles for inquiries.

You can also look into other discounts. Many insurance companies will offer discounts for being a good student and getting good grades. Be sure to talk to your insurance provider to see what kinds of discounts that they offer and try to achieve them if they are possible for your current situation.

More Tips

Some more ways to get the most out of your car insurance are assuring that your insurance company has the correct mileage, condition, features, and cover options of your vehicle. You also always want to compare prices of competing companies. Lastly, drivers are often left with a balance after settlement which can be very stressful. Securing GAP (Guaranteed Auto Protection) insurance will help in covering the remaining balance after a settlement.

As presented, there are many ways to benefit the most from our insurance. Saving money, increasing or maintaining the value of your vehicle, and receiving the highest settlement all account for getting the most out of your car insurance. Drivers who are informed and diligent will achieve this goal.

Teen Driving: 5 Ways to Help Your Kids Understand Car Insurance

When you’re teaching your kids how to drive, you’re doing much more than showing them the how-to’s and handing them the keys: you’re opening a new world of responsibility for them. Car insurance is one of those things that you may take for granted in terms of knowing how it works, but you can’t take anything for granted when it comes to the safety of your kids.


You may want to use the word “consequences” sparingly. Depending on your parenting style, your teenager may associate this word with an empty threat, or something minor. But your teenager needs to understand how costly accidents can be. If you’ve ever had an accident, show them in black and white how much the repairs cost. Express it as a percentage of all the household income for the month, or how many hours you need to work to make that money. This should effectively demonstrate the need for a solution other than paying for everything out of pocket.

Not a “Product”

Your teen needs to understand that, contrary to some popular ads, insurance policies aren’t a product that’s manufactured somewhere, shipped, then bought in a store. It’s more like a club. They also need to understand that it can be a very expensive club that they pay to be a part of every so often. They need to understand that if they are in an accident whether it is their fault or not, the insurance premium could go up in price. They also need to consider the kind of vehicle and the age of the vehicle as newer, sporty, or luxurious cars will cost more in insurance premiums. They also need to understand that their gender and age also play a role in terms of pricing of being in the insurance “club.” Teach them how to research each insurance company and how to find insurance quotes. This will help them determine which insurance company will be right for them.

The Club Analogy

In buying into the policy, you’re buying into the club. In this club, everyone agrees to regularly put money into a big pot. These payments are called the premium. If something happens to anyone in the club while driving, everyone agrees to use the money in the pot to help them cover the expenses.


Make sure they understand, however, that insurance isn’t cure-all magic. Even with an insurance policy, there is always a deductible. Explain that insurance doesn’t cover everything: it just makes the costs bearable if something should happen. For example, if repairs from an accident cost $10,000, then the company will pay those costs minus the deductible. If your deductible is $5,000, then you and the insurance company are splitting it down the middle in this case (Source: Meyer’s Insurance Ltd).

No Magic

No matter how good the policy is, it can’t make you safe. No amount of insurance can undo the trauma of an injury or bring back a human life. While your teen should feel safe enough to not be driving to school with white knuckles, they also don’t need any help feeling invincible. Outlining the realities of insurance, what it really covers and what it doesn’t, can help your teen enjoy their new found freedom safely.

Beating the System: 6 Keys to Reduce Your Car Insurance Rate

One of the most perilous things that we can do is a drive a car. It can become a very severe or expensive situation if one driver makes a mistake. This potential high cost is transferred to car insurance premiums. There are many factors involved when it comes to determining car insurance rates. Insurance customers have no control over that part of it. There are some things that you do have control over. There are ways that you can reduce your car insurance rates.

Switch Vehicles

Every vehicle is assessed a different risk variable. This depends on a number of factors. This includes cost of replacement parts, crash test rating, classification, price, how often the model is stolen, and horsepower-to-weight ratio. You should avoid newer vehicles, expensive vehicles, sports cars, and those that are not considered top class when it comes to safety. These are generally smaller vehicles. Insurance make and model comparisons are reported every year. Every insurance company will share similar information if you ask for it.

Pay Up Front

If you pay for the year ahead all at once instead of paying a monthly payment, some insurers will offer a discount. You should pay up front if you have the cash on hand. If you switch insurers, you don’t have to worry about losing your cash. Your insurance company is required to pro-rate you the total bill. They will refund you for the days that you will not be covered under them.

Drive Safely

Your driving record is still considered to be one of the top factors that insurance companies look at. An accident or a traffic violation within the last few years can have a major impact on your premium. Some insurance companies look back about three years. Others look back further than that. You can also reduce your premium the longer you drive without any accidents or citations. There are also driving training courses that you can take as well. This can help reduce your car insurance. Some car companies have begun installing functions into their vehicles which automatically track avg mileage, driving patterns, speed patterns, and braking patterns among others. These features which are directly reported to insurance companies help them evaluate your risk to them. It is a potential savings option if you are confident in your driving.

Reduce Miles

If you drive less miles, a number of auto insurance companies will offer you a lower premium. You may want to consider moving closer to your job. This can save money on fuel and commute time. It will also reduce your car insurances rates. You can reduce your miles by doing this. There are pay-by-the-mile programs that are offered by insurance companies as well. This can cost you less if you rarely drive.

Improve Credit Score

Credit history is being looked at lot more by insurance companies. It is a much highly valued variable that helps insurance companies evaluate your financial standing. Financial standing holds a strong correlation to potential insurance loss. It is important to remember that the less you come across as a liability to insurance companies the cheaper your rates will be.

Purchase Vehicle With Theft Device

You can buy a vehicle with a theft device or you can have one installed. This is important to insurance companies because the liability factor of them having to cash your insurance decreases substantially.

There are plenty of ways to reduce your car insurance rates. Some of these options may vary in different states. You can also look into deductibles, safer car benefits, and sponsored programs to try to get a discount on your car insurance as well.

Informational credit to Drayden Insurance Ltd., an Edmonton car insurance company (free quotes).