All posts in Auto Insurance

5 Things You Might Not Know About Your Car Insurance

The process by which our car insurance rates at are determined appears to be arcane, arbitrary, and supremely frustrating. Although we know that our personal payments can go up from accidents or other problems entering our driving record, we have no clear idea what the base rate of insurance payment is or even should be. Take a look at these general guidelines and suggestions and maybe you will be able to bring your premium down a bit.

Credit Score

The best place to begin is to repair your credit score. American businesses view the credit score as the first and foremost barometer of the economic responsibility of the citizen, and a better credit score is generally associated with propriety and responsible action in other aspects of life. The California legislature has forbidden insurers to take the credit score into account when determining the automobile insurance premium, but for every other state in the union, it may be the single biggest deciding factor on payments.

Education

If you have attained higher levels of education, then you may see a small reduction in your monthly payment. Although there is not a large reduction, there is a gradual perceptible decrease of the premium as the policy holder’s education level progresses from high school through college and even to the graduate level.

Location

There are enormous differences in the insurance premiums between one state and the next. For example, Louisianans pay some of the highest auto insurance rates in America while North Carolinians pay some of the lowest. Moving from one state to another could make a difference of over a thousand dollars a year in payments. Though moving just for lower insurance premiums probably isn’t a good financial move, if you’re moving anyway, consider a state you could save some money.

Gender

According to insurance company statistics, women are generally better drivers. This means lower premiums in general. An average woman will pay about $15,000 less for auto insurance over their lifetime than a man would. Sorry guys, but men do tend to be more aggressive drivers in general, and thus tend to make insurance claims more often. This leads to approximately 12% higher premiums for male drivers than for female drivers.

Age

As with gender, there is not much you can do about your age. However, if you are married or in a family situation, then it may be wise to consider which member of the family would be the one best to carry the insurance.

Automobile insurance is one of the many areas of American life where information is power. Even if you have been in an accident, planning, forethought, and attention to detail can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Car accident lawyers in Boise, ID, recommend taking a copy of the police report, photographs, all involved parties’ information, and the contact information of any witnesses to your lawyer if you’ve been in an accident. This will give you a legal advantage when insurance companies start calling and accusations start flying. There is no reason to pay too much for insurance when there are options.

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.

Why?

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.

Why?

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.

Understanding the Ins and Outs of Car Insurance

When it comes to car insurance, you have to have it, but you hope to never have to use it. That makes it important to pay as little as possible for the coverage you need. Fully understanding how car insurance works can help you get the right coverage and not pay too much for it.

Types of car insurance

Liability is the minimum amount of insurance coverage mandated by just about every state and provides coverage in an accident that you cause. If you have a loan on your car, you will be required to carry collision, which covers damages to your car, and comprehensive coverage, which provides coverage for damage caused by something other than a collision, such as hail. Other types of coverage include uninsured motorist, which will cover you if you are hit by a person without insurance or who is underinsured, and personal injury protection, which is a type of coverage that pays for injuries to your passengers.

How rates are set

While your driving record, including how many accidents and tickets you have gotten, plays a big role in what kind of rates you get, insurance companies consider many other factors. Your age, sex, where you live and what type of car you have will help determine your rates. For example, if you are a teenage male, your rates will likely be very higher because statistics show that most severe accidents are caused by young male drivers. Young female drivers also have higher rates, but they tend to be somewhat lower than young males. Other factors that are considered in your insurance rates are the grades you get in school, and if you have already been in an accident or involved in some other traffic violation. Any traffic or accident that you may be involved in can also cause your insurance rates to go up later even after purchasing your insurance. Also note that, some insurers even consider whether you have a high credit score in setting your rates.

Being proactive

While you can’t do anything about some characteristics used to set rates, such as your age and sex, there are other things you can do to pay less. A perfect example of this is going to driving school. Taking a driver’s education course, especially if you are a young driver, will lower your rates. According to North Shore Driving School Ltd., most insurers give significant discounts to drivers who have taken a driver’s ED class or a defensive driving class.

Other ways to lower rates

In addition to taking driver’s ED, there are a number of other things you can do to help lower your rates. If you are a student, getting good grades is even more important than going to driving school. Bundling policies by getting more than one with the same insurance company will get you discounts and save you money on rates. You can also lower the rates you pay by agreeing to pay a larger deductible.

Car insurance doesn’t have to be expensive, and there are a number of things you can do to lower your rates.

The Big No-No’s of Car Insurance: A Look at the Biggest 5 Mistakes You Can Make

While car insurance is a requirement, paying an arm and a leg in monthly premiums is not. Each year, thousands of consumers across the country purchase car insurance blindly, without finding out the best ways to maximize monthly premium savings. Before you hand over your hard earned cash for car insurance, avoid the following five biggest mistakes you can make when getting quotes from agents:

Rushing the Process

Because the process of shopping and buying insurance can cause massive headaches, consumers understandably want to get it over with as soon as possible. Like any other major purchases, rushing through the process can be a mistake. Be prepared to answer a variety of questions and complete some tasks that can save you money prior to getting quotes.

  • Get a printout of your driving record from the DMV. You’ll be able to have an accurate picture, and may be able to dispute any records that appear when you apply for insurance.
  • Take defensive driving course. If you have a poor driving record, this will greatly reduce your monthly premium.
  • Always ask for discounts. There are many discounts that both you and the insurance agent are likely overlooking. Remind them to look at any potential discounts that might be missing.

Choosing the Wrong Deductible

The deductible you choose plays a large part in how high or low your monthly premium will be. Choosing a higher deductible means your premium will be lower, but you’ll have to shell out more cash if you’re involved in an accident. A lower deductible means a high premium payment but will require less out-of-pocket money after a collision. Be sure to consider how the price of your deductible will work into your monthly budget before signing on the dotted line.

Always Read Before You Sign

Like any other contract, signing an insurance contract binds you to its terms and conditions. Take time to read through the paperwork. While it may take several minutes to complete, it could save you money in the long run. Finding out later after you’ve been involved in an accident that you’re not covered because of a clause in your contract can lead to a huge, unexpected dent in your expenses.

Buying Too Much Coverage

How much do you really care for your old beat up car? Do you really need full coverage or a large deductible? Buying too much coverage for your car is a mistake people make every day. If your car is more than a decade old, you’ll likely only need the minimum amount of insurance required under state law. Double coverage is also an issue that can cost you hundreds of dollars every year. Towing and vacation coverage clauses aren’t needed if you’ve got those covered when using your credit cards.

Everything Must Be in Writing

Some agents might promise everything under the sun, but may forget to leave some details out of the contract. Get everything in writing before you sign on the dotted line. Not doing so could potentially leave you open for financial headaches down the road.

Saving money while getting enough coverage should be your top priority when purchasing car insurance. Ask for a policy and cost breakdown so you have a better chance of cutting out coverage that you don’t need. The more informed you are about your own policy, the more likely you are to save money.

The information for this article was provided by the professionals at Steers Insurance Limited, who provide car insurance in Corner Brook.

Bad Driving Record Bumping Up Your Insurance Prices? How to Repair the Damage

Whether it is one too many speeding tickets, or a few unfortunate fender-benders, we all have things on our driving record that we regret. The biggest cause for remorse usually comes when our insurance prices are raised due to a poor driving record. Many drivers become frustrated when their driving record starts to take a dive, feeling like there is no way to repair the damage. The truth is, there are a few things that can be done to help improve your driving record and bring those insurance rates back down.

Take a Class

When you have a bad driving record, remember that your insurance is going up based on the risk that the insurance company considers you to be. That is why taking a good traffic class on defensive driving can reduce your payments; as you get more experience, you will simply be safer behind the wheel, making the risk of insuring you substantially less. Many defensive driving courses or traffic school classes are available online, so you can complete it at your convenience. Other courses will require you to attend a class at a nearby location in order to get credit.

Put in a Theft Deterrent Device

Though the insurance company is worried about your driving tendencies, they are also concerned with the safety of your car. One way to improve your insurance rates is to make it harder for people to steal your car. Put in a car alarm, invest in some kind of GPS tracking, or simply park your car in a garage at night. Mentioning these changes to your insurance provider can help lower your rates almost immediately. Once you can prove that you have taken measures to keep your car safe, the insurance company will consider it less of a liability.

Improve Your Credit

If you are working on improving your credit, or if your credit has substantially improved since your rates raised, bring it up to your insurance company. Though the laws vary from state to state, many insurance companies will use credit scores as a way to determine whether or not you should have a lower rate of insurance. Even a few points can make a difference, so consider whether your score could change your rates.

Negotiate

Be willing to go over your policy with a fine-toothed comb and to make sure that you are getting what you are paying for. There are some riders and protections that you might not need in your circumstances. By simply by talking to the insurance company, you may find that an adjustment of your policy can help to lower your rates. Going over the policy on your own, and asking questions to an agent will ensure that you aren’t paying for anything that you don’t need. Another thing to inquire about is whether types of payment or a certain payment schedule can reduce the amount that you pay overall. For example, if you state that you will pay your insurance in one lump sum, you may get a lower rate.

When you want to reduce your insurance prices, take a moment to do your research and get creative. It will take a little effort on your part, but you can easily lower rates by making adjustments or improvements, and working with an agent. Your insurance rates do not need to be as steep as they are, and just a little work can help you reduce them significantly.

The information for this article was provided by the professionals at Thomson Schindle Green Insurance & Financial Services, who provide custom built car insurance in Medicine Hat.