Your Auto Insurance Coverage Could Be Less than You Might Think

Determining what exactly is covered in your auto insurance coverage may not be easy though it is very important. This is why it essential that you engage with your insurer to understand the ins and out of the coverage fine print. Although insurance is aimed at serving you against damages you cause to yourself and other motorists including bodily injuries and damages on vehicles, there may be some loopholes in what is covered and when. And as Bill Willson, the associate vice president of education and research for the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America said, “Insurance is not a commodity”.

Willson noted that buying insurance is like purchasing a bicycle because you have to evaluate its features including the reputation of a company and its reliability and then match the bicycle for how you intend to use it. This means that you not only need to compare auto insurance quotes but also the details of the policy before you sign the agreement.

It is better to know what exactly is covered in an insurance policy than to wait and find out when things have gone haywire. There are a number of aspects which could indicate that your coverage is far less than what you might think and they include step down provisions, how underinsured coverage works and exclusions for doing business.

Step down provisions for car liability coverage could lower the policy coverage. Some insurance companies will lower the liability policy coverage limits to adhere to the minimum insurance requirements if you allow another driver to use your own car. If you have liability limits of 80/250/40 meaning $80,000 for bodily injury liability for a single person, $250,000 for entire injuries and 40,000 for damages on property through an accident, and your friend uses the car and causes an accident, these limits could go down significantly.

If you have a relative visiting you and he or she will use your car, you need to call your insurance company and get clarifications on this issue. Under-insured motorist coverage applies when the driver at-fault has insufficient liability coverage to pay for medical expenses when you suffer injuries from an accident.

Although this may seem simple, it is quite a complicated aspect. This is because the amount paid from the at-fault motorist coverage is deducted from what you can actually claim against your own underinsured motorist coverage. If you incur a medical bill of $40,000 and the at-fault motorist has $20,000 in bodily injury coverage and you have $20,000 in underinsured coverage, the payment from the underinsured motorist would be deducted based on what you can claim on your $20,000 of the underinsured coverage.

This means that your underinsured motorist insurance would settle nothing and you would be $20,000 short of the $40,000 that you need for the payment of the medical bill. In essence, for the underinsured coverage to do anything good for you, you need to have your own underinsured coverage that is higher than that of the at-fault motorist. These are some of the issues that you need to discuss with your insurer before you buy coverage.

The following article was provided by the editorial team from InsuranceRQ and leading portal for consumers to compare and research auto insurance online, with custom rates quotes by state, consumers can search and compare local brokers in markets like georgia, ohio, utah and oregon to find the best rates coverages for their area.

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Hybrid Costs Could Eventually Outweigh Gas Savings

auto tips article

As fuel prices continue to climb it can be tempting to consider a hybrid car to save money. While an electric hybrid car will provide better gas mileage than a traditional gas-powered car, gas prices would have to rise by at least a dollar every two years for a hybrid owner to make up for the initial cost of the car itself. Government subsidies and discounts for car insurance Ontario can help a little, but over time a hybrid car will actually cost more to maintain and drive than a traditional gasoline-powered car. If you are thinking of finding a car to help you save money on fuel, a diesel engine is a better bet than a hybrid with current prices and technology.

Inefficient for Highway Driving

Hybrid vehicles really pay off if they are driven in stop and go city traffic. Their electric engines are ideal for cutting out the extra fuel consumption of a gas-powered car when it is constantly stopping and starting and running at slow speeds. Once you get the hybrid on the highway, though, the heavy machinery of the electric system becomes a gas-burning burden. Highway driving utilizes the gasoline portion of the engine at higher speeds, which means all the electronics are just more cargo for the car to haul along. Heavier cars burn through gasoline faster, so a hybrid is less fuel efficient on the highway than a traditional compact car.

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Complex Systems Need More Repairs

The technology that allows a hybrid car to run on electricity is incredibly complex. As with any machine, the more moving parts there are, the more possibilities of something breaking. Unless you trade in for a new hybrid car every other year, you could face a number of expensive trips to the repair shops as the complicated components begin to naturally wear down. Although repair work is reasonably priced, the cost of the parts will continue to rise as technology advances quickly from one system to the next. It is possible that this year’s hybrid technology will be completely obsolete five years from now.

Battery Swaps are Expensive

The most expensive aspect of a hybrid car is the very thing that makes it more appealing as gasoline gets more expensive. The battery provides the energy you would otherwise get from your gas tank. No energy source can last forever, though. Eventually the battery will run down and you will need to replace it. Unfortunately, these specialized batteries are high dollar items. Hybrid owners can look forward to spending top dollar on a new battery every 5 to 7 years. That makes the long term cost of owning a hybrid much higher than the long term cost of keeping up with fluctuating gas prices.

Tony LaSarge shares his expertise on finance and cars at

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How to file an insurance claim and win

Insurance is likened to gambling because both you and the insurance company are wagering on the possibility of you filing a claim and the amount therein. Since the insurance company is here to do business, it will do everything in its ability to find out loopholes so that they can decline the claim. But, if you lay bare the facts as they are, they will have to honor the claim. Actually, filing an insurance claim is a simple process and if it is done properly, you can easily win the claim.

When you file a claim, you should contact your insurance agent, fill out a claim form and wait for an adjuster to inspect the damage. Most insurance companies can cancel your policy if you make two or three claims in a short period of time, like say, in one year. However, if you are making claims only when needed and still the insurer is not being swift enough in helping you out, you can get in touch with your state’s insurance department. Here are some guidelines that can help you in filing an insurance claim and wining it

1. File your claim immediately after the event – If you go through the policy document, it may say that you have to file the claim within a certain period of time. So, get your insurance agent involved to speed up things so that you get priority.

2. Read your policy document carefully – Not reading the policy document is a mistake that most people make which in turns results in the insurance claim getting declined. So find out what is actually covered and what is not, in order to avoid disappointment later. Secondly, find out what the costs of deductibles are. The higher the cost of deductible (the upfront money that you pay from your pocket), the lesser is the premium cost.

3. Keep a copy of valuable documents – Things like the police report and other supporting, important documents can always help you in getting the claim processed faster.

4. Keep adequate proof – Photograph or take a video with a cell-phone or a digital camera of your home before the disaster and after it, if you are fling for homeowners’ insurance claim. Take the footage of the home before you start the clean-up process. Keep a copy of receipts of the things that you buy so that the insurance company knows the cost of the valuables that you have bought. .

5. Follow the protocol – If you find that you are not getting the claim settled quickly, first contact the state insurance department. If you threaten them with lawyer at the beginning, they will communicate with the lawyer only or get their own attorney to work in the case, which makes the process even lengthier.

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How to save Money on Insurance In 2012 Online

Tips for saving in 2012 on your insurance

We need insurance as a tool of risk management so that there is compensation for life and property. Did you know that an average American spends close to $2200 every year as premium on life, homeowners’ and auto insurance? On an average, only 1 in 15 people actually make a claim. But that does not mean you should not go for insurance, because it covers risk. After all, nothing is predictable in today’s world. Also, considering that auto insurance is required by law, you really do not have much of a choice.

Let us look at how we can save money on various types of insurance

1. Auto Insurance – The most common types of auto insurance is collision and comprehensive insurance. Collision covers the repair cost after your vehicle has met with an accident and comprehensive insurance provides immunity against relatively common risks like theft and fire. One of the best ways to save money in auto insurance is by increasing the cost of deductibles. So increasing the cost from $250 to $1000 on comprehensive insurance can give you a savings of $100 or 40 percent per year. A smarter way is to put this $1000 in an interest bearing account that is managed especially for these risks. So, when there is an incident of fire or theft, you can divert the money from this interest bearing account to pay as deductible rather than pay from your own pocket.

2. Homeowners Insurance – Look for competitive bids online for a good deal of homeowners insurance. Do not make claims for small accidents, you can handle them yourself. Also take adequate precautions to keep your home theft-proof and fire-proof by installing security camera, fire alarms etc.

3. Life Insurance – Do not look at life insurance as an investment but as a pure risk cover. If you tie it up with retirement plans, you may end up paying more money because a major component goes as investment rather than covering life. Also stay healthy, do not smoke, do regular exercises and be as fit as possible.
Commonly speaking, here are ways in which you can save money on insurance

• Read your policy carefully – Not only should you read your policy terms and conditions before applying for insurance, you should also pay attention to the policy changes that happen in future.

• Get insurance from just one provider only – If you get insurance from one provider which is providing very good service, you can get discounts as well because the insurance company will like to reward you for buying most types of insurance from them. Also since you will be dealing with one company, it becomes easier to manage and pay the premium.

• File few claims – If you keep on filing claims for every small thing, the insurance company will raise the cost of the insurance.

Raise the deductible – The lower the deductible amount, the higher is the premium.

• Get insurance quotes online – Do a though check for low insurance quotes online and find out the best quotes from authority websites and make your decision.

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Never Overpay For Car Insurance Again!

In most places you have to buy car insurance in one form or another in order to drive. Many people just accept this expense as something you can do nothing about, but the truth is there are a number of steps you can take to get the insurance you need while still holding down costs. Many of them can be researched at helpful informational sites, such as

  • Know What You Are Buying

Too many people buy car insurance without even understanding the basic components of car insurance, such as bodily injury liability, property damage liability, medical payments coverage, collision coverage and uninsured motorist protection. To be sure to get what you need, first you have to understand the components of what you are buying!

  • Know Your Car

How much you pay for car insurance is strongly influenced by what kind of car you drive. The newer and more expensive the model, the more it will cost to repair or replace, thereby requiring higher premiums. One of the best times to consider your future insurance rates is BEFORE you even buy your car, by asking yourself how much the insurance will be and whether you are okay with paying it.

  • ­Know Yourself

The next biggest factor in determining your car insurance rates is YOU. How old are you? What gender? How's your driving record? These and other factors are all taken into consideration by auto insurance companies when factoring your premium. Some things like your age and gender you can't do much about, but whether you have a clean driving record or live in the city or the suburbs are factors you can have at least some control over.

  • Know What You Need

Do you even know what your car insurance needs are? Avoid an expensive or even tragic mistake by determining exactly what would be the right level of insurance for you. Only you fully understand all the relevant factors based on your personal circumstances, so go into the market already knowing what you'll need.

  • Know the Market

With car insurance it pays to shop around. Only a little effort is required to compare and contrast prices between companies. It is well worth the extra time to determine who is selling what for what price, thereby making sure that you pay no more for car insurance than you absolutely have to.

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Tips to Save Money on Your Auto Insurance

Most people understand that auto insurance is essential. As per the Insurance Information Institute, the average driver in the USA spends $850 annually on their car insurance only. However, no one likes to pay too much for their auto insurance. To ensure that you are not spending more than necessary, you need to make your choice cleverly. Following are some tips for saving money on your auto insurance.

Increase Your Deductible

You can cut down your premium costs quickly and easily by increasing your deductible. The premium prices charged by auto insurance companies are higher for low deductibles. If you raise your deductible, then you will have to pay a higher amount of money from your own pocket in case an accident occurs. However, a small rise in your deductible could result in considerable savings on your insurance premiums.

Consider the Value of Your Vehicle

Auto insurance companies don’t pay more money in repairs than the value of the insured vehicle. Therefore, if you drive an old car that is worth just a couple of thousand dollars, then you should think about dropping the collision coverage from your policy, particularly, when you take your deductible into account.

Compare Different Quotes

Get the quotes from various companies and compare them with your existing policy periodically to ensure that you are not paying more. Different insurance companies determine their premium rates differently. Getting quotes from several companies will help you to find out the best deal that suits your needs and budget.

Group Insurance

Many car insurance companies offer lower premiums to people who apply for coverage under a group plan. If you’re a member of a business group, trade association or any other group, then you should check with them to find if they provide an auto insurance plan with low premiums.

Consider Getting Different Policies from a Single Company

Purchasing your homeowners insurance and auto insurance from one company may save you a significant amount in premium costs on one or both insurances.

Multi Car Insurance

Most auto insurance companies offer discount on premium rates if you insure more than one vehicle from them.

Determine If You are Eligible for Any Discounts

As an auto insurance policy holder you may be eligible for different types of discounts. Many auto insurance companies offer discounts for long-time policy holders, accident-free driving records and theft-protection devices installed in your car. Ask your insurance provider to make sure you’re not missing out on any of these discounts.

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Shopping for car insurance, Things you likely need to know

Here are some pointers on things you need to review before shopping for a new auto insurance policy.

With increasing costs of living and unpredictable job scenario, it becomes imperative to save on monthly bills. It is thus important to look for ways in which you can reduce your car insurance premium. Instead of going to just one auto insurance company and signing up, it is better to go to an independent car insurance site and go through various quotes from different vendors at one single place.

1. Features of a low cost quality car insurance – You can get a budget car insurance with enough coverage if you have a good driving record and a good credit rating. Check with your existing insurance company that covers you on other aspects like life insurance, if they have something better for you. Also, you can get discounts on car insurance if you have taken enough precautions to minimize risk like for instance, anti-theft device, airbags in the car etc.

Contact the DMV to find out if your car driving track record is spotless. If there are some issues, find out if you can get them sorted. Contact three of the top credit rating agencies and find out your credit report, if there are discrepancies, you can get them checked as well. The bottom line is if your credit rating and driving record is good, then you can get car insurance premium at an affordable price.

2. Types of car insurance – The most comprehensive type of car insurance is the comprehensive insurance. In case, you are financing your car, this is the type of car insurance you should go for. Increasing the deductible can lower the rate of the insurance. The second type of auto insurance is called the ‘Fire and Theft Insurance’. One way to get this at a lower cost is to own a low end car which is less likely to be stolen. Then finally, there is a third type of auto insurance called ‘Third Party’ which covers damage caused to property, car or person by the insured. This is also the cheapest type of car insurance.

3. Grounds in which you can get low cost auto insurance – The less expensive is your car, the lower is the insurance premium that you pay. Also, the profile of the driver, the area in which you drive the car, the age of the driver also affects the premium cost. If you want to go for cheap auto insurance, having cars with four or six cylinders, domestic vehicles, minivans and four-door cars can tilt the decision to your advantage. Also, you can get multi-vehicle discount if you own more than one car.

4. Be wary of the ‘catch’ in various auto insurance deals- When you shop for various car insurance deals online, you may come across flattering offers and add-ons like roadside assistance, rental car provisions etc. But they do come at a cost and there may be hidden fees or a short life span. For instance, the reduced insurance rate may be for an initial period of six months, after which the cost may rise as you factor in these add-ons. So do not be shy to ask questions and go through the fine print carefully before you sign up for auto insurance.

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