Category Archives: auto insurance

Top Mistakes When Insuring Teen Drivers

1. Letting teens drive too soon

It is no secret that kids develop at different rates when growing up and it is no different for driving. While some kids are ready to drive younger than others (I was 14 when I started driving to school) it is definitely a conversation parents should have with their children. Some should wait to begin driving because they are simply not ready for the considerable responsibility. When you are driving, you are in control of an object that is extremely large and fast moving and can cause serious damage and even death.

2. Insuring your home and vehicles with two different agents

When you are shopping your insurance, in 99% of cases it is best to have everything with one company. When you have your policies with multiple different providers, you are most likely not getting the best rate. Almost every company out there gives you discounts for having everything bundled together with the most common being auto and home. As time has passed, companies are giving discounts for having policies in addition to just the auto and home. Many providers offer significant discounts for having multiple policies, such as life, business, umbrella, off-road, marine and even rental properties.

Outside of price, having one agent also will make your life a lot easier because you are not having to deal with two different people, which will generally lead to two answers for everything. Not all agents are created equal, so finding someone you can trust-who has the knowledge to help you with any questions you might have, as well as recommending what is best for you-is just as important (if not more important) than price.

3. Having a low liability coverage

One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your insurance is having low liability limits. In this day and age, lawsuits are more prevalent than ever and the payouts are only getting higher as medical costs are constantly going up. If medical costs have gone up 25 percent in the past five years, but you still have the same liability limits, you are now 25 percent more likely to have a claim exceed your liability cap.

There are a lot of assumptions when it comes to insurance, and one of them is that having high liability limits is going to cost an arm and a leg. In reality, that is the farthest from the truth. In many cases, you can double or triple your liability for less than a trip out to dinner each month. Is that meal really worth hundreds of thousands of coverage in the event of a liability claim? I don’t think so.

So, what liability limits should you have? While it will vary from state to state, I recommend having at least have $500,000 on your auto policy and a $1,000,000 umbrella policy as well. I know, you’re probably thinking why on earth would I need $1.5 million worth of coverage?

The first reason is that depending on what state you live in, you may not be able to file bankruptcy on liability claims. What does this mean? This means that if you have $25,000 worth of liability on your auto and were to severely hurt someone causing $300,000 worth of damage, you would be on the hook for $275,000. They can take your car, house, checking and even garnish wages until the claim is paid off. You have to not only think about what you have to lose now but also all of the potential future earning that could be lost.

The second reason is that the average death claim is over $750,000 which means that even if you had $500,000 worth of liability on your auto, which is generally the most an auto policy offers, you could still be on the hook for a quarter of a million dollars.

With insurance, you do have to consider worst case scenarios because that is why we have insurance. By ignoring this fact and purchasing low limits because you’re not willing to spend the equivalent of a trip out to dinner is only doing yourself a disservice.

4. Not informing your insurance company you have a new teen driver

If you are knowingly withholding drivers, it could result in the denial of a claim. You could be paying for insurance but because you did not disclose a driver because you didn’t want to pay the extra premium, you might be on the hook for a claim in its entirety. Sometimes it is hard to stomach that extra $100 a month for that new driver, but I can guarantee you it would be much more difficult to stomach the repossession of your home if your child got into a serious accident and your company denied the claim because the household was rated inaccurately.

The national average annual rate increases for male teens, according to insuranceQuotes.com:

• 16 years old: 109.65 percent

• 17 years old: 99.12 percet

• 18 years old: 90.45 percent

• 19 years old: 69.08 percent

Rate increases for females are much lower than for their male counterparts:

• 16 years old: 81.63 percent

• 17 years old: 72.69 percent

• 18 years old: 64.81 percent

• 19 years old: 47.58 percent

Understanding the Auto Insurance Claims Process

If you own a car, truck, motorcycle or any other vehicle, you know you need related insurance. All is good as long as you pay your monthly premium and do not make a claim.

Then you are involved in an accident. What then?

For many auto insurance policyholders, the auto insurance claim process is very, very complicated. Here, we bring you the basics of understanding with the following oft-repeated questions.

How long does it generally take to process an auto insurance claim?

A: If the insurance company has all the facts, a settlement should be achieved fairly quickly. By providing much of the details involved in the collision, the policyholder him or herself will help get the process off the ground. Any insurance company worth its reputation will do its utmost to process the claim as efficiently as possible.

Why is the estimated cost of repairs less than the actual payment check?

A: This is because the auto policyholder must first pay out-of-pocket for the deductible. Only after this, is the remaining balance given through a check.

What is the reason for the auto lien holder to be placed on the insurance payment check?

A: Many states make this a requirement for the simple reason that the lien holder has an insurable interest in the repair work done on the vehicle. In order for the policyholder to get the funding for the repair, he or she must be in touch with the lien holder.

What is the meaning of Direction of Payment?

A: Most auto repair shops require you to sign a Direction of Payment form so that they have documented evidence that the insurance company has permission to pay them for the repair work they complete.

What is common practice of insurance companies in regard to rental cars during the time the insured car is in the shop for repairs?

A: Most times, an insurance company will supply a rental car if the insured car is inoperable and in for repairs.

What about towing costs?

A: Generally speaking, towing is a covered service provided by the auto insurance company following an accident.

What is the procedure if the insured incurs injury during an auto accident?

A: The policyholder should be in touch with the insurance company if he or she is injured. The claims person will inform the policyholder about the related medical care and treatments that are covered under the policy.

What You Need to Know About Reporting a Stolen Car

Can you imagine how it would feel to park your car somewhere, only to find it missing later on? Many people experience this tragedy on a daily basis. In fact, according to CNBC.com, “Roughly 800,000 to one million cars are stolen in America every single year.” These numbers are extraordinary, making car theft a common occurrence all across the country. This also means that the insurance claim process can be quite complex and tedious.

If you are prepared to report your car as stolen, there are a few important things you should know about car insurance coverage for stolen vehicles, as well as the investigation process for car theft claims. Continue reading to learn what you need to know about filing an insurance claim for a stolen car.

FIRST: Was Your Car Really Stolen?

Once you have noticed that your car is missing, it is wise to reconsider all the possibilities before making an insurance claim and police report. You can check for parking signs to see if it had been towed, ask friends and family if they borrowed your vehicle, or call your car loan company to see if it was repossessed. When there is no other possible reason for your car to be missing, then it is safe to move forward with filing an insurance claim and police report.

Insurance Coverage for Stolen Cars

In order to have insurance coverage in the case that your car is stolen, you must have comprehensive coverage on your insurance policy. This is something that is required in all states. If your vehicle is stolen off of your personal property, you cannot file it under your home owners’ insurance policy; you must have an auto policy with comprehensive coverage to cover the loss.

Car Theft Claims Process

When you are sure your car has been stolen, you must report it to the police immediately for documentation. At the same time, you must notify your auto insurance carrier. Most carriers operate using a 30-day claim waiting period to see if the car is ever recovered, which generally begins on the date of theft. Furthermore, comprehensive coverage does not cover personal belongings that are stolen out of a vehicle. Items like phones, computers, clothing, jewelry, equipment, and more, could be covered in a renter’s or home insurance policy, but not in an auto policy.

Car Theft Investigations

Car theft claims are taken very seriously at insurance companies. They are investigated closely by adjusters to ensure that fraud is not at play. Filing a fraudulent car theft insurance claim is a felony punishable by prison time, fines, and more. They will record all conversations with clients, and ask very detailed and intrusive questions. As long as you are not committing a crime, you shouldn’t take the investigation process personally. The insurance adjuster is just doing their job.

Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer for Fraud Charges

Fraud crimes are charged as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the particulars of a person’s case. If you were recently arrested on facing fraud charges in Indiana, you are facing hefty fines, imprisonment, and other severe penalties. The best step you can take toward securing your rights and protecting your freedoms is calling a licensed fraud lawyer for tough and aggressive criminal defense; otherwise, you risk be sentenced to the maximum levels of punishment in Indiana.

Things to Consider Before Buying Car Insurance

You just have bought this car of your dreams by putting so much of earnings, time and energy on it and thinking through all the options available to you in your range. Surely it’s going to be one of your priced possessions but what is the next thing you are going to do? Of course take your family on a ride. And after that? Car insurance. It is the foremost thing you should do after buying a car. It not only protects your vehicle from damage but provides a huge support in emergency. With myriad insurance schemes on the road it is quite obvious for you to get confused. Here, these are the things you should consider before choosing one

1. Settlement of claim:

Often it is seen that companies fail to claim a good settlement. Don’t go on their words or assurances but research and choose a company with good history of claim settlement. You of course do not want hassles in any emergency.

2. Coverage:

Ask the provider of the coverage options available and how soon can it be issued. Generally, most of the companies take time in issuing coverage. However, it is our foremost need before deciding on any insurance policy.

3. Premiums:

Premium options vary from company to company. You can make this easy by reviewing the quotations of the companies you are interested in. Research thoroughly and choose the one that fits for you.

4. Customer Support:

A good 24*7 customer support should be available in case of any emergency. You can ask people around you about their experiences with the company and their conduct in managing situations with customers.

5. Cashless Option:

One cannot carry huge amount of money all the time. With advent of modernisation in our country, the need for cashless system is mandatory. It will provide you a relief in urgency.

6. Garages:

With quotations of premium, you can also ask for the list of network garages of the company. It is excellent to consider of they have ample amount of garages and especially nearby you. Ask people about their conditions, get feedback and decide.

We do not want any kind of damage to our vehicle but most of the times we become wee bit ignorant in choosing a good insurance company. Do not get trapped by choosing the company the car provider recommends but research on your own. Spend ample amount of time by thinking through all the options and then choose a best one.

Renewing Car Insurance Policies – Do’s and Don’ts

Having an adequate car insurance cover for your vehicle has become extremely imperative while driving on today’s accident-prone, high traffic roads and dealing with uncertain conditions almost every day. Car insurance cover relieves your mind of the financial tension at least, takes your mind off the continuous worry of the expense that may occur from any unintentional damage occurred. So, one must be consciously aware of the car insurance term at any given point of time lest it expires and you are caught off guard with an unwarranted situation, only to find out that your car insurance is due for renewal.

While the mandatory renewal of car insurance every year may seem like a monotonous and rather tedious procedure but it is critical to get it done on time in an appropriate manner. Moreover, it is important to consider certain aspects in mind while renewing your car insurance policy; there are some do’s and don’ts that can go a long way in helping you to have your car insurance renewal done in an informed manner. Let’s have a quick at some of these points and help to smoothen out the process for you and also help in going for relatively cheap car insurance, at best price with the best services.

Do’s – Get it right

1. Comparison among policies– The first and foremost thing to consider while renewing the car insurance policy is the fact that there is a wide variety of insurance covers in the market to choose from with absolutely no compulsion to continue with the same policy taken. In case you experience certain inadequacies in the interim of one year of the policy or you may wish to upgrade your policy as per the changing demands, then, you always have the option of switching to a new one. Before that, it is critical to take note of the varied policies available in the market and make a thorough comparative analysis.

2. Accurate Details in the Form– While filling up the form for car insurance renewal, it is utmost important to fill inaccurate details about your car and to the best of your knowledge so as to get a suitable policy by the company. Thus, it is advised to fill up the form in a relaxed state and on your own as you know your requirements better than any company agent.

3. Policy Record- Once you have renewed the policy, make sure to fill a copy in a file and keep it with for the record or if it’s a soft copy, then save it with you on a hard drive so as to not lose it. It’s important to maintain a proper record as it gives all information required at any point and leaves no room for any confusion when it comes to availing the No-Claim Bonus (NCB) or any other future claim.

4. Add on Covers- Before taking up any policy, it is vital to take note of all the add-on covers and go through them at length so as to choose wisely the ones that suit your needs instead of blindly going for everything and end up paying a huge amount unnecessarily.

5. Registration Certificate (RC)- While renewing your policy, also ensure that your RC is updated with your present address, name and other details. Also, see to it that the vehicle specifications are accurate and the details mentioned on the RC are in sync with the policy details.

Don’ts – Not to Mess Up

1. No blank columns in the form– Do ensure that you end up leaving no columns in the form blank or unanswered that may impact your policy renewal in an adverse way. Instead, one must provide all possible information, just to be sure to be taking the right help from the insurance company.

2. Not to miss timeline for renewal- Keeping in mind the expiry of the car insurance plan is critical not just from the perspective of any damage occurring in the interim when you are uncovered but also for saving up on the late renewal charges if any by the company. Moreover, it gives one time to think and then act rather than being in a hurry to insure with the first plan that comes your way.

3. No Incorrect Declarations– One must never make any incorrect declaration or give any wrong estimate to the car insurance company, intentionally, as that can end up in getting you the wrong cover. Tell them precisely what your requirements are, what the car condition and car value estimation is and your future claims will remain uninterrupted.

4. Not to forget about the transfer of name- In case of acquiring a pre-owned vehicle, make sure to have the policy transferred in your name and do not have it renewed in the previous owner’s name itself by any chance.

Auto Insurance Rates: Do They Rise As We Age?

The auto insurance industry realizes that the senior population has a lot of driving experience under its belt. That does go a long way as far as safety is concerned, and, seniors are rewarded in good measure with low premiums on their policies. But, by the same token, no one can deny the fact that as the years go by, eyesight becomes weaker and people are not as quick to react as before. In addition, compromised health situations tend to develop, necessitating medication.

Studies indicate that all this can translate into car accidents – a significantly large amount of these involve tragic fatalities. The insurance companies know about the resulting damages, injuries and death because of related claims that are submitted by policyholders. And claims are an expensive drawback that triggers rates to go up.

Before you begin to panic, allow us to reassure you that the premium hike for seniors at a certain stage is rather slight and it can be countered by savings rewarded to those who attend approved safety driving classes, as well as discounts that many insurance carriers offer.

For clarity, please view the following synopsis of the varying insurance developments in the course of the senior’s driving life.

• If you are in the fifties, you will essentially enjoy lower premiums than those older and younger than you. This is because you typically are still in good health and you still have quick reflex reactions.

• From sixty years of age to sixty-five, you still will be getting the less expensive auto insurance premiums – something that may shift afterwards.

• If you are in the 65-69 year old category, you might see your auto policy increase in rate. In this case, it is in your interest to seek an insurance agency that has the ability to shop the network to see if you can get a cheaper policy.

• Between the ages of seventy and seventy-nine you will generally see an increase in premiums. This is related to a higher risk of an accident. It does not mean, however, that you will not find a cheaper plan elsewhere with a company that understands you still may be in good physical shape and are not personally prone to a collision.

• Once you hit eighty, you will be viewed as a high-risk to the auto insurance industry and retroactively be billed higher rates. If you choose to continue driving at this age, speak to an experienced independent agency that has the ability to shop for cheaper premiums and get applicable discounts to lower your premium.

Whatever your situation, remember to take all precautions in driving safely. After all, it’s your well-being and others on the road that is at stake.

Guide on Getting the Best Car Insurance Rate

Getting the best car insurance rate can seem exhausting. This is made even more difficult when you consider that lots of insurance agents are reticent to volunteer information on the discounts and deductibles they have available.

Getting the best car insurance rate, therefore, means arming yourself with the facts.

1) Compare Premiums

The first thing you want to do is compare premiums. The rates in your area might be different from one place to another or one agency to another. Sure, they might not be substantially different, but even a percentage point or two can help to save quite a bit of money for longer term.

Visit different insurance company websites and compare the rates you are offered. In state insurance offices they typically have pricing guides but the categories used by the companies you are considering might not match yours so use a guide yourself to figure out the most cost-effective insurance agents in your area.

2) Family

If you have teens in your family, anyone under 25 to be exact, manage them carefully. Young drivers tend to pay more because they are accident prone. Once they reach 25, statistically this decreases.

That said, if you have kids, encourage them to keep their grades high, at a B average or more, so that they get discounts on car insurance. Students can get between 5% and 25% saved. Moreover, if they complete approved drivers education courses it can get them a large discount.

Parents of students who spend part of each year at a school which is more than 100 miles from home, and need the family car to do so, might get a break on the costs too.

3) Careful Driving

Kids are not the only ones who need to be careful drivers on the road. Many insurance companies give a discount of 5% for anyone who keeps a clean record for three years in a row, and 10% for those who go six years without an accident or violation.

You might even get discounts, depending on where it is you live, if you are a female and the only driver in the family, a non-smoker, a senior, or a member of specific profession which is statistically less prone to accidents (usually law or medicine).

Other discounts can be had from taking defensive driving courses, carpooling, or maintaining low miles on your car. If you participate in a data-tracking program, where the insurance companies get to monitor your driving habits, then you can often get a discount for that too.

These rates all vary based on where you are and what company you use. Moreover, you might not qualify for a discount one month, then qualify the next.

You need to keep on top of the insurance company and make sure you are getting the discounts you deserve, because they will not be the ones forthcoming about what ways you can save. Asking about these programs can only help you save, not hurt you. So call your agent today.

All You Need to Know About Auto Insurance

What is auto insurance?

It is an agreement between you and the company that defends you against any monetary loss in the happening of an accident or theft. In trade for your paying a premium, the insurance company agrees to pay your losses as summarized in your guidelines.

Auto insurance is made obligatory by most of the states and this provides you with some economic protection in case of an accident or any misfortune. But this information is not enough for an individual to decide whether he should take up auto insurance or not. For this, you need to more about different kinds of aspects provided by various schemes. So let us learn how this works and what is obtainable from it.
Different types of Auto insurance:

• Property – This includes losses such as damage to or theft of your car.

• Liability – This includes your official responsibility to others for physical injury or assets damage.

• Medical – Includes the cost of treating injuries, therapy and any other kind of medical expenses.

Fundamentals of Auto Insurance

You need to understand some basic things about your scheme. Auto insurance might be different in some ways but here are some common things about it that will mostly remain the same.

• Your policy will cover you and your family members listed on the auto insurance, whether you are driving your car or someone else’s car (with their authorization).

• Your policy will also provide protection if someone who is not in your scheme is driving your car with your approval.

• Your personal vehicle insurance only covers driving for personal reasons, whether you’re commuting to your office, running household errands or taking a trip to another city. But it will not provide any kind of cover if you use your car for profitable purpose. For instance, if you rent out your car or use it for delivery purposes.

• Personal auto insurance will also not offer coverage if you use your car to supply transportation to others through a ride-sharing service such as Uber or OLA. A number of auto insurers, on the other hand, are now offering supplemental products (at an extra cost) that expand coverage for automobile owners providing ride-sharing services as well.

Is Auto Insurance Mandatory?

Requirements differ from state to state and you might have to get it depending on your state’s legal guidelines. If you are financing a car, your lender may also have its own necessities and might want you to get it. Almost every state requires car owners to take:

• Bodily injury liability – which covers expenses related to injuries or death that you or another person has faced in an accident while driving your car.

• Property damage liability – which compensates others for damage that you or another person who was driving your car might have caused to another vehicle or other property, such as any boundary marker, any building or pole in the accident.

These things make it compulsory to enroll in one policy as soon as possible. This will not only help you but also your family members. So make sure you take up a policy as soon as possible for a safe and secure drive.

Essential Car Insurance Facts for Calgary

In Calgary, driving isn’t always easy. Drivers must brave weather that can change quickly, and heavy rush hour traffic. Regardless, you’ll always need car insurance, whether you are daily commuter, weekend adventurer, or an occasional driver.

Average Car Insurance Costs in Calgary and Alberta
Although Alberta has a private insurance market, the insurance rates themselves are still regulated by the provincial government. There are two agencies in Alberta that oversee car insurance rates: The Automobile Insurance Rate Board and the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance.

In 2004, Alberta implemented a premium grid on auto insurers, settings maximum premium levels for basic coverage. The grid takes into account where you live, the number of years you’ve been licensed, the number of claims you’ve had in the last six years, and how many driving convictions you have on your record. But it is still important to shop around because even with the premium grid, auto insurance rates vary wildly within Alberta.

If you are aged 25 or under in Alberta, you are considered young and will pay around $187/month for Alberta car insurance. However, as you get older your premiums will go down. For example, you’ll pay around $152/month at ages 31-35, about $122/month at ages 46-50, and around $100/month at ages 56-60.

Auto insurance rates in Alberta are determined by a variety of factors:

  • Your gender and age
  • Your driving experience
  • Type of vehicle you drive
  • Location and use of your vehicle
  • Your driving record
  • The amount of coverage you’ve selected

How to get the Cheapest Auto Insurance in Alberta

    1. Compare rates among various companies and don’t feel like you must stick with the insurers your parents used. There are many insurance providers available, and often they use competitive pricing, meaning different providers may offer the same policies at greatly different prices. Talk to a broker (who compares auto insurance rates in Calgary for you) or use online tools to see where you can get the best rate for the coverage that is right for you. As well, reading auto insurance reviews will help you avoid unexpected issues. Search online for opinions using blogs and forums.
    2. Sometimes you can get better rates if you bypass the broker or agent and deal with a direct insurer, like Belairdirect or TD Insurance.
    3. Use rate tools and calculators. For instance, if your credit card includes rental car protection, you can save 20 per cent by paying with it. You can use a credit card navigator tool to assist you in finding insurance for a rental car compatible with the value add-ons on your credit card. You can also use an insurance price comparison tool to compare insurance premiums.
    4. Bundle your car insurance in Calgary with other policies. For example, if you have multiple vehicles and a home to insure, you can bundle them with one insurance company to get a bundle discount. Insurance companies reward their customers for giving them more business.
    5. If you got your policy you were a smoker and can prove you have quit smoking since then and have not returned to it for at least one year, they will reduce your insurance premiums. Smokers typically pay double the amount for premiums!
    6. Invest in driving a hybrid vehicle. By purchasing a hybrid, you may save on more than just gas! Inquire with your insurance company to see if they offer discounts for hybrid vehicles.

Let’s Learn More About How to Get Cheap Auto Insurance

Do you have the right car insurance? Well, many people think that it is a must to have the right car insurance. It will be better if you get the best one with cheap auto insurance. While most people know whether they have liability, collision or comprehensive coverage, some people pay much attention to their insurance coverage until after they have been in an accident, the others just do not really care about it.

Shopping for car insurance is an important planning topic that is often overlooked since most teenagers are added to mom and dad’s insurance policy when they first get behind the wheel and then later shop for the least expensive policy when they have to the pay the bill on their own. In this article, we will be discussing car insurance coverage and so you will get some tips to help you get the most for your money.

Cheap auto insurance has two primary benefits. The first one is protecting your assets and the second one is protecting your health. Getting the proper coverage is the first step in the process. These are the basic types of coverage with which most people are familiar:

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.