Things You Need to Set Up an Auto Insurance Policy

Money is an obvious one. And, of course, having a vehicle to insure and a garaging address is another. A completed application with signatures applies to all polices. Also, each company will have their own unique set of guidelines for what you will need. Lastly, legal requirements can change in different jurisdictions.

Payments to start a policy are mostly made by check or credit card. Many policyholders now a days use an electronic form of payment. For credit and debit cards the account number, expiration date, and security code are needed. For an electronic funds bank transfer the account and bank routing numbers. In either case the account holder, which is not always the policyholder, must provide authorization.

Before a policy can begin the exact Vehicle Identification Number or VIN (17 digit alpha numeric) is needed. Providing the year make and model is insufficient. Each car has a unique VIN which identifies the characteristics for that particular car. Air bag, antilock brakes and other vehicle features are verified. CLUE reports (Claims Loss Underwriting Exchange) indicating vehicle claims history require the correct VIN.

Information not provided on computer generated reports such as the MVR and CLUE are necessary to complete the application and issue (begin) a policy. Be prepared to provide the employer (school) name and address for all drivers. When making payments on the car the bank or leasing company name and address is necessary. The application will have to be signed and payment authorized.

Companies often require a variety of documentation supporting the policy. Proof of prior insurance or school transcript for discounts is typical. Photographs of the vehicle or policyholder picture identification are less common. If there are different vehicles in the household covered by another insurance policy you may be asked to provide proof. Not all jurisdictions have the same legal requirements. For example, 7 counties in Florida require mandatory vehicle inspections when starting a new policy that include physical damage coverage.

Most, but not all, of the necessary information for a policy is generated by reports from your name, address, drivers license and VIN numbers. It is imperative that the 17 digit VIN number you provide is correct. Complete information, payment details, specific requirements, and signatures are the things you need to set up an insurance policy.

Have a Bad Driving Record? – You Can Still Get Good Car Insurance!

Accidents definitely have a negative effect on your quick car insurance quotes. The insurance company has to pay for the damages or injuries if you are involved in an accident. Even though it is your fault or not, the premium rate will increase with the record of accident against your name. In addition, if you are found responsible then you will need to face a lot of problems in the future. The insurance you carry at the time of accident might be doubled or tripled. You will be penalized and many companies will not want to provide you the coverage after such incidents.

The insurance coverage will help you and the people involved in the car accident. The types of coverage facilities such as full comprehensive, medical protection, personal injury protection, or collision coverage can be beneficial, but you will need to pay high premiums in the future. The rates will be cut down but you will need to maintain a clean driving record for a certain amount of time. In addition, the rules and laws might vary depending upon your geographical location. The accident claims will be accepted if you have the proper coverage and paying your premiums on time.

The real tough job is to handle the accident claims. The best way is to seek help of professionals in this field. It is really impossible to handle such problems on your own. You will need to collect many documents such as police reports, medical records, vehicle damage reports, and so on in order to qualify for the claims. Do not forget to take plenty of photographs during the event as they might be of some use in the process. In addition, the adviser or adjuster will charge you certain amount of fee. Be prepared because the adjuster is the sensible person to guide you in such situation.

The best way to avoid penalties is to drive safely. Remain alert and take as much preventive measures as you can. Avoid driving cars in unfavorable weather conditions because one simple fault can have a great impact on your life. Many times, you might not be responsible for the event but you must learn to handle all such situations. The damaged vehicle and injuries can be recovered but tragedy such as death will never allow you forget this incident and can create lot of stress in your life.

The competition in the insurance field will allow you to get best deals even with accident records. However, still it is your responsibility to remain cautious and avoid accidents.

Traffic Violations, Auto Insurance, and Your Rates

Auto Insurance is expensive enough. You do not need a traffic ticket to make your premiums go up even higher. That is why it is important to drive carefully, courteously and within the legal speed limits. This way, you will give no reason for a police officer to pull you over and hand you a summons in regard to irresponsible driving patterns.

You may wonder. The ticket itself involves a fine. Why would you be penalized any further by your insurance company?

To be honest, your insurance company is not interested in punishing you. They are solely out for their own interests. When they see you have been convicted for a moving violation, they view that as a peril to their operations. Traffic violations demonstrate to the insurance company that you are at more risk of being a part of a car accident or collision than someone that has a clean driving record. A car accident, in insurance terms, means there will likely be a claim that they will cost them money. The insurance company balances the risk of an auto accident claim with a raised premium or added charge.

Of course each company gauges its response to a poor driving record individually. By and large though, they have a team that looks at the general behavior you have exhibited when you are behind the driving wheel.

And when deciding the amount of the rate increase, the insurance company will consider the severity of the traffic violation.

So, if you are committed of drunk driving, you will find yourself up against an extremely strict reaction in regard to a rate increase. If you have merely been ticketed for a broken headlight, judgement meted out against you will be mild. And if you have been found to be speeding 15 miles above the city limits, you will get a higher increase than if you would have been speeding only five miles beyond the posted mileage.

People often ask about parking tickets. For the most part, the motorist who receives a parking ticket need only worry about paying that ticket. The insurance company will not raise your rates if they see that you are responsible about your bill and they do not view a parking summons as a concern in regard to your likelihood of being involved in a car crash.

The line of thought goes far beyond a car. Whether you drive a truck, van, motorcycle or other type of vehicle, your rates can go up if you have been convicted of a moving or speeding violation.

For more on the topic, speak to an experienced independent insurance agent.

What The Best Car Insurance Company Can Give

There are probably more than ten companies running their businesses in every state of the country. Of course you can check for car insurance ratings online or simply work with an independent agent to guide you through the entire process from choosing a company to purchasing the coverage.

The biggest problem is that the best car insurance for someone is not always as good for you too. Everyone has personal preferences so determining which company is best entirely depends on your own circumstances. Nonetheless, there are some noticeable features of any good company as listed below; you can use these features to help you tell the good from the bad.

1. No Overcharge

Car insurance companies use your personal data, such as driving record or points, as an important variable in determining your rates. Since everyone basically has different records, the insurance rates can be different accordingly, even for the exact same policies. Traffic law violation including DUI, speeding, or car crash are properly documented by the DMV. Every incident probably stays in your record for up to three or five years. When the points are reduced or completely erased due to proper driving this year, insurance company should charge you less. The best car insurance company rewards good driving record by charging you better rates.

Besides driving records, insurers also use other variables such as marital status, location, and age to estimate your premium fee. A good auto insurance company is one that puts everything into account and uses all the necessary variables to determine the proper price for you depending on the circumstances. The correct calculation helps to avoid any possible overcharge. Another easy example is installments fee. Paying by installments is a good idea to avoid spending a lot of money at a time. However, over the course of an insurance policy, the installments may cost additional charge. In total, you have to pay more than you really need to. If you are looking for an insurance company that offers installments method, please choose one that does not require you to pay more.

2. Good Customer Service

Apart from the market that grows to be very competitive in terms of price, one of the most important features of auto insurance is building trust. To maintain good relationship with clients, insurer need good customer service people who work in professional manners. Customer service is the very first department that you call in case you need help either for making claims or asking questions about any relevant issue. People who work in this department must also handle every complaint filed by any client.

Customer service is an indicator to help you properly separate the best car insurance company from the rest. You will not want to rely on a company with a customer service that does not answer your questions immediately, or simply says things you cannot understand, or in worst scenario, the person you call does not seem to care about what you need to say. Fortunately there are some independent research done on behalf of customers to deliver insurers rating based on this particular subject. Some ratings are based on price, discounts, and customer service; simply check for online ratings created by reputable organizations before you decide to purchase policies from any insurer.

3. Quick and Easy Claiming Process

You need your insurance company the most when you want to file a claim. Every insurer will generally say that the company is best, but customers have to be more careful and thoughtful before they can really believe it. Every state usually has an insurance department where you can find every auto insurance company’s complaint ratio. Information about this is provided free of charge, and you will be able to download it easily to your computer. The ratio is built based on the number of complaints for every 1,000 claims by policyholders. The best car insurance company in your state is the one with the lowest ratio.

The complaints can be many things, but they are likely claim-related problems. Ideally, an auto insurance company allows you to file a claim either by phone or online. You need to report specific data about your policy number, date and location of the incident that makes you file the claim, description of how it happens, license plates, names, and more. The company will send representative to explain whether the incident is covered by your coverage, and if it is, the representative will help you to handle all the related issues that come with the incident as far as the coverage allows.

Free Money Saving Auto Insurance Tips

Our money saving auto insurance tips were written for one reason – To Save You Money on your next auto insurance policy. Since in most states you are required by law to purchase a minimum amount of liability coverage we’ve looked for ways to save you money. Additionally many people want more than just the bare minimum in order to provide themselves with adequate protection.

The top two biggest money saving auto insurance tips are to first shop around. There are numerous providers of insurance and generally speaking you can save a great deal of money on your policy if you take the time to find the right provider.

The second biggest tip to lower your rates is to simply raise your deductable. In some cases you can reduce your annual premium by 10 percent or more if you increase your deductible by a few hundred dollars. USE CAUTION HERE: You want to make sure you can actually afford the amount that you raise your deductible to or you’re no better off then before.

Additional tips include eliminating certain types of coverage from your current policy and reducing the amount of coverage you currently have. Generally this is up to each individual based on their needs, wants and desires. You may want to consult an insurance agent before making any drastic changes to your current policy.

Other factors raising the cost of your policy include the amount of mileage you drive annually and the type of vehicle you own and operate.

Did you also know that where you live can determine rates and keeping your car in a garage can lower your rates. Cars parked in garages are less likely to be stolen, vandalized, or struck by other vehicles. Using a garage to store your car may entitle you to a slight premium reduction.

If you have multiple cars and drivers then you could qualify for a multifamily discount. Sometimes your children’s insurance premium can be lowered based on their school grade point average.

Other discounts may be available if you meet certain criteria. Examples may include discounts for taking a defensive driving course, being a AAA member or staying with the same auto insurance company for a number of years. These discounts vary by company.

Finally try using an anti-theft device. This helps to reduce your insurance cost.

Thanks for taking the time to read our money saving auto insurance tips. We hope our free tips and save you some of your hard earned cash.

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.

What’s The Difference With Antique Truck and Car Insurance?

It is difficult to define what antique means when dealing with insurance companies, and that is why it’s a little difficult purchasing antique truck and car insurance. You have to make sure you have the auto insurance to meet your needs, although there are many companies that offer this insurance, you will have to put a bit of work into finding antique truck and car insurance that is right for you

There are two types of insurance you can find with antique automobile insurance companies and also classic collector auto insurance. The difference in the two of these is that most antique truck and car insurance doesn’t allow the car or truck to be used for normal chores. Collector’s auto insurance does, but only if you have a regular second daily car to drive and you can’t use your collector car to go to or from work or to school.

In order to be eligible for special discounts on your antique truck and car insurance, your vehicle has to be defined as antique or vintage. It must be at least 30 years old. This makes life a bit easier for antique automobile insurance companies. As for other cars that arrived later and are loosely regarded as collectibles, then there is an auto insurance that can be obtained for these also.

There are a few ways to save if you’re looking for antique truck or car insurance. Don’t go for the full package of auto insurance if you’re not taking your car on the road or if you don’t use it at all and just have it for show. Although some antique automobile insurance is necessary you may not need all the auto insurance that you have.

To be sure of your needs talk to your automobile insurance company or check with several automobile insurance companies to make sure you are getting the best deal you possible can. You may end up with a discount depending on a few factors that could be the deal of a lifetime, so don’t be afraid to shop around and find out what’s out there for you that will meet your needs. Insurance companies can custom make a package for your antique truck and car insurance just for you.

There is antique truck and car insurance available, but only for antiques, and make sure that you know how you are going to use the vehicle.

4 Things to Consider When Purchasing Auto Insurance

Are you looking to buy a new insurance for your car? If this is the case, then you might be overwhelmed with the wide variety of offers that are present on the market. So how do you proceed? In this article, we will be providing 4 tips to help you make the best decision when purchasing auto insurance.

Know your requirement

You need to know what you are looking for before starting your search for an auto insurance company. Not all companies are equal, and each one of them specializes in one area of insurance. For instance, some companies specialize in low-cost insurance while others might charge a premium but offer a better service. The key here is to determine which type of auto insurance you want, and then you can start your search.

Consider the reputation

It is also important that you consider the reputation of the insurance company. Some companies might offer some fantastic policies only for you to find out later on that they are not easy to deal with when it comes to claims. For this reason, you should ensure that you check the reputation of the company first.

A quick search online should provide you with feedback from other buyers, and there are plenty of forums online where you can interact with other insurance policy holders to find out whether the company you are interested in is a reliable one or not.

Accessibility

Some companies are only available through online channels while others have local offices. In the majority of cases, the ones that are available solely online are the cheapest, but it can be difficult to get in touch with a real person in the event of an emergency.

If you are more confident in dealing with a real person, it might be important that you consider an insurance company that may have local offices in your area. Also, make sure that there is a phone number listed on the website to ensure that you can quick access to the company.

Compare quotes

As mentioned above, not all insurance companies are equal, and it might be interesting to compare quotes. Nowadays everything can be done online or via email, and this can allow you to get numerous quotes quickly. Just make sure that you are comparing like with like as policies may differ between companies.

Once you are satisfied with a quote, you can still call your insurance agent to discuss further and attempt to get a lower rate for your auto insurance.

The Hidden Dangers of "Permissive Use" Restrictions in Your Auto Insurance Policy

One of the most frequent questions I get as an auto insurance agent is “who is insured to drive my car?”

Sometimes the answer to this question can be trickier than most people realize. If you never loan your car to others and you never will, none of the restrictions I discuss here will matter to you and you can stop reading now.

Short answer:

People that are listed on your policy enjoy the full benefits of your policy coverages with no restrictions. For those that borrow your car that aren’t listed, they are generally covered as long as you have given them permission to use your car; this is called “Permissive Use” and all policies have some form of, or interpretation of, permissive use. Excluded drivers are never covered nor are un-named drivers who “use the vehicle without a reasonable belief that the person is entitled to do so” (sometimes referred to as “theft”).

Depending on the company you are insured with, interpretations of permissive use can vary dramatically and some insurance carriers are very strict in their enforcement of the rules.

By reducing or restricting coverages through different applications of permissive use, carriers can reduce their risk (and claims costs) thereby reducing the cost of their policies to make them more affordable for their policy holders.

Three examples of the “Permissive use” restrictions carriers utilize include: “Drop-down limits”; “Double deductibles”; and “No physical damage coverage”.

Drop-down Limits:

Oftentimes there are dramatic reductions in coverage amounts on insurance policies even when a permissive user has an accident. One such reduction is called “drop-down limits”. “Drop-down limits” means that if a person has an accident while borrowing your car, the limits of liability are reduced to what the state’s minimums are. For example, the state of California requires minimum limits of only $15,000 per person for bodily injuries (BI)/$30,000 per occurrence maximum for bodily injuries (BI)/$5,000 for property damage (PD).

Example: Driver “A” has an insurance policy with full coverage with permissive use and his liability coverages are $100,000 per person (for BI)/$300,000 per occurrence (for BI maximum)/$50,000 per occurrence (for PD). His policy has a “drop-down limit” clause. Let’s say he loans his car to a friend (driver “B”) and that friend has a serious accident where the bodily injuries to other party amount to $65,000 and he totals the other car which has a value of $28,000. In this scenario, the “drop down limit” is in effect and the most Driver A’s policy will pay is $15,000 for the other persons injuries and $5,000 for their vehicle which clearly isn’t enough. In this case, Driver A is legally liable for the balance of the damages because he is the owner of the vehicle; $50,000 for injuries and $23,000 for the vehicle. If Driver B has coverage, their coverage would be secondary and their limits would then apply until they run out as well. Otherwise, Driver “A” will most likely be sued by the other party.

Double Deductibles:

One coverage that is available with your auto insurance is called collision insurance. Collision insurance protects your vehicle for damages that are a result of a collision with another object. I.e. another vehicle, a building, etc. Collision coverage has a deductible which is the “out of pocket” amount you have to pay first before the insurance carrier steps in to repair or replace your car. Typically deductibles can range from $100 to $2500 but most of the time they are either $500 or $1,000.

They way the “double deductible” restriction works is if an un-named driver has an accident while driving the car with your permission, the collision deductible is doubled. Hence your $500 deductible is now $1,000, or your $1,000 is now $2,000. Hopefully your friend that borrowed your car is willing to chip-in and pay the extra deductible amount.

Sometimes the “double deductible” restriction is based on the age of the driver who borrows your car. For example, the deductible for collision is only doubled if the driver is younger than 25 years old.

No Physical Damage Coverage:

This restriction works just like the “double deductible” described above. However, this restriction is much more punitive.

Simply stated, if an un-named driver borrows your car and has an accident the insurance company will pay the third-party damages (liability), but the damages to your vehicle will not be eligible for coverage.

All of these “permissive use” restrictions are described in detail in your policy initially and also in your renewals. These restrictions should also be disclosed by your agent when you buy your policy, which is why you want a professional insurance agent/broker who really understands these intricacies and can effectively explain these restrictions to you when you apply for coverage.

Permissive use restrictions are also very common and are employed by some large, reputable nationwide insurance companies so be sure to examine your policy carefully.

Auto insurance policies are not all standardized. They are different from carrier to carrier and there are a multitude of coverage benefits, restrictions and exclusions that are unique to each company. Make sure to consult with your agent to see how your particular policy works.

Food for thought – next time you are considering buying a policy “online” without a human helping you, or from an “800#” with an “order taker”, consider how details like these may not be adequately described or may somehow get lost in translation – it pays to have an agent who can really look out for you.

How Can You Lower Your Auto Insurance Deductible?

Many people raise their car insurance deductibles in order to have more affordable car insurance premiums. By doubling your insurance deductibles, you can shave as much as 40% off the price of your premiums.

However, this is only a good idea if you have money put aside to pay the deductible if you have an at-fault accident. If you cannot access this money easily, you may not be able to pay your portion of repair bills, and your car may not be fixed in a timely manner. Worse, you could be under obligation to pay for a portion of damages to someone else's property, and be unable to do so. Many people without large reserves of cash must keep their deductibles low. In order to do this, however, they often have to pay higher premiums.

Is there a way to lower your deductible and still keep your premiums manageable?

There are several ways you can accomplish this goal. Each method takes some planning and discipline, but each can be achieved by anyone looking for a low deductible and a low premium.

First, you can choose to insure with a company which offers a "vanishing deductible" program. According to these programs, your deductible decreases by a set amount each year that you are accident-free and claim-free. Some of these programs allow you to lower all of your deductibles, and some only allow you to lower your collision or liability deductible. Different companies offer different amounts for the deduction and at different rates. You can compare programs to find one that works well for you.

Another option is to create a plan in which you gradually save the amount of your deductible while slowly raising your deductible each six months. Here is how this would work: suppose that your current deductible is $ 250, the lowest your company allows. Now suppose that you would save $ 100 per renewal period by raising your deductible to $ 500. If you do so and save the money you saved on your premiums, plus your initial $ 250, you would have $ 450 in one year, almost enough to pay your new deductible. You can continue to save money so that you can gradually raise your deductible to $ 750, then $ 1000. You may even choose to raise your deductible higher than this if your company permits you to do so. As you slowly raise your deductible, your premiums will decrease, allowing you to save up the money you will need to pay the new, higher deductible.

You can also find a company which offers "accident forgiveness." With accident forgiveness, you can be "forgiven" for your first accident with no deductible if the accident does not exceed a certain dollar amount in total cost. This is very useful to save your deductible fund if you have a minor fender-bender. You can also save money and pay for damages yourself if the accident is very minor; in this way, by not making a claim, you keep your premiums lower and do not have unexpected increases in the price of your automobile insurance.

Other ways you can lower your deductible are to apply for a deductible reduction with your insurance company, which can be balanced by other discounts for which you may be eligible. If you are not currently taking advantage of all possible discounts, you may be cheating yourself out of savings which could pay for a lower deductible.

Be sure to consider all the separate deductibles which apply to your policy as a whole. If you have full coverage, which includes liability, comprehensive, and collision, you probably have separate deductibles for each policy. In addition, you probably have a deductible for such things as uninsured motorist coverage. Some states set the deductible for uninsured motorist coverage by law; you cannot raise that deductible even if you want to. However, most states allow you to pay with the deductibles on your collision and comprehensive policies, raising or lowering them as you see fit.