March 09, 2009

Why Should You Buy Auto Insurance?

If you cause an auto accident, you may be responsible for the losses of the other people involved. A claim may be made or a lawsuit filed against you for those losses. You may have to pay not only for the property damage you cause, but also for the medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering of any injured person. The amount of money you may have to pay could be substantial.

If you don’t have insurance, anything of value that you own, including your home, savings, future wages, and other assets, may be taken to pay for those losses. Auto liability insurance can help protect you so that this doesn’t happen. Liability insurance also pays for an attorney to defend you against any claim or lawsuit that may be payable under the policy.
You can also buy insurance to cover damages to your auto. This optional coverage will help pay for your losses whether or not you were at fault.

Insurance is based on the theory that only a small portion of all drivers will be involved in accidents. The premiums paid by all drivers during the year are used to pay for the losses of those drivers who have accidents. When you buy insurance, you receive financial protection in case you become involved in an accident. You also make sure that a person injured through your fault will recover for losses you cause.

March 08, 2009

Shopping Arround for Cover

You must renew your car insurance each year. Your insurance company must make sure you get a renewal notice at least 15 working days before your policy ends. The renewal notice must contain details of any no-claims discount you have, so that you have a chance to shop around before you renew.

There are two main ways of buying car insurance.

You can:
• buy directly from an insurance company; or
• buy through an intermediary, such as a broker.

You can shop around in person, by phone or on-line.

If you are part of a group insurance scheme (perhaps through your job or other associations), you may be able to get better-value cover through the scheme than as an individual buyer. So, it is worth checking this out first.

Premiums on car insurance policies can vary widely depending on the insurer and on how you buy the cover. For example, you can get special rates for buying on-line or if you are insuring an unusual risk, such as a vintage car, using a broker.

12 Great Ways to Save Money On Your Car Insurance (9-12)

9. Taking the Defensive – Many insurance companies also offer discounts to those who have taken defensive driving courses recently. If you have taken one or were thinking about it, make sure you tell your agent.

10. Low-Cost and High-Cost Areas – Are you planning to move? If you are, you should take into account the cost of insurance. Generally, the more urban the area, the higher the premium. The costs can vary even within a community.
Fact. Rates can really vary from state to state. If you’re living in New Jersey, Massachusetts or Hawaii, you’re paying several times more, on average, than you would in North Dakota, South Dakota or Idaho.

11. Credit Where Is (Or Is Not) Due – Is your credit record better than your driving record? If you have a good credit record, you could be eligible for discounted premiums from several auto insurance companies.
Fact. Many insurers now use your credit history as a major factor in determining what to charge you for auto insurance. In some cases, with some companies, you could save money by shifting your business to an insurer that uses credit as a rating factor – even if you have a so-so or poor driving record. There is another side to this coin. If you have a poor credit history, you could save money by moving your auto insurance to a company that does not use credit as a rating factor. Many insurers do not use credit as a factor.
Tip. Regardless of your credit status, you should talk to your agent to make sure you have the best situation given your credit record, good or bad.

12. One Call is All it Takes Sometimes – Every so often call your agent, especially if he is an independent agent. Ask if there are ways he can reduce the cost of your auto coverage. Sometimes an agent receives a new company appointment or has special programs that come up from time to time, and he can move your coverage for a lower rate. Many times, if an agent doesn’t hear from a client, they will assume the client is satisfied.