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.

March 07, 2009

12 Great Ways to Save Money On Your Car Insurance (5-8)

5. High-Profile Vehicle Means Higher-Cost – The type of car you drive is a major factor in what you pay for insurance. Is your vehicle a magnet for thieves? Is it more expensive to repair than most cars? If the answer to either of the last two questions is yes, you’re paying more than the average car owner for insurance.
Note. To get detailed information on your vehicle(s) – or a vehicle you’re thinking of buying – write to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety at 1005 North Glebe Rd., Arlington, VA 22201 and ask for the “Highway Loss Data Chart.”

6. Raise Your Deductible – The deductible is the amount you pay before insurance kicks in if you have a claim. For example, if you have a $250 deductible and you have an accident in which your car sustains $1,000 in damage, you pay the first $250 and your insurer pays the balance, $750. The lower the deductible you choose, the more you pay. If you have assets, you can probably afford to absorb at least $250 and probably $500 if you have a claim.
Tip. If it’s been years since you’ve had an accident, you may be better off raising your deductible and paying less each year for insurance.

7. Drop Unnecessary Coverages – Let’s say you have an older car, one not worth very much. There’s really little point in having collision and comprehensive coverages. You don’t have much to protect. Remember, too, that you have to subtract your deductible from any potential payout you might get.
Tip. As a general rule, any car worth less than $1,000 shouldn’t have collision and comprehensive coverage. Between the deductible and the extra expense of these coverages, the cost is probably greater than the benefit. How much is your car worth? An auto dealer can tell you, or there are plenty of books that have values of vehicles going back many, many years.
8. Discounts, Discounts, Discounts – Auto insurance companies offer several discounts for a variety of reasons. The car has automatic seat beats, air bags, anti-lock brakes, anti-theft devices, etc. The driver is a good student, which is especially valuable if you have teenage children who will be on your policy.
Tip. Make sure you are taking advantage of all the discounts available to you! Ask your agent if there are any discounts that you are NOT currently receiving.

March 06, 2009

12 Great Ways to Save Money On Your Car Insurance (1-4)

1. One Company, Multiple Policies – Do you have a homeowners or renters insurance policy? If so, is it with the same insurance company that provides your auto insurance? If the answer is no, you may be paying too much – for both policies. Almost every insurance company that sells auto insurance wants its policyholders to also buy homeowners or renters insurance from that company. These insurers offer so-called multi-policy discounts. Usually, these discounts are at least 10% and some insurers apply the discounts to both the auto and the homeowners/renters policy.
Tip. Talk to your agent about multi-policy discounts.
2. Good Driver, Good Price? – It’s no secret that the better your driving record, the less you will pay for auto insurance. But did you know that most people qualify as “good drivers” and are eligible for discounted premiums? Some good drivers pay a lot more than others, however. Many auto insurers are actually a collection of several insurance companies in which each caters to a certain type of driver. The worst drivers go in one company, the best in another, and a lot of people wind up in one of the middle companies. These “middle” people pay less than the worst drivers, but more than the best. Many of these middle people have driving records that are just as good as those who are insured by the companies that offer the lowest rates. Yet these middle people are paying more. Why?
The usual reason is that they don’t know any better. No one told them which insurance company in the group had the best prices. And, probably, no one told them there was even a group of insurance companies. If you have a spotless driving record, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be paying the lowest price a group of insurance companies has to offer.
Tip. Make sure you’re getting the best discount for your driving record. Talk to discounts, which some insurers offer. your agent. And remember, be a safe driver. It will save you money.
3. Discounts for Taking the Bus (or Other Mass Transit) – Do you drive to and from work? If you do, you are literally paying a premium to do so. Insurance companies charge you significantly higher premiums if you drive to work. And, the longer your commute (in miles, not minutes), the higher the premium.
Tip. Some drivers should consider mass transit. Remind your agent that you are NOT driving to work so you receive the appropriate discount.
4. Low Annual Mileage, Lower Price – On average, people drive 1,000 to 1,250 miles a month. That is what insurance companies consider average use.
Tip. If you drive less than the average, you could be eligible for low-mileage

March 05, 2009

Loss of or Damage to Your Car

If your car is lost, stolen or damaged, we may:
  • pay for your car to be repaired;
  • replace your car; or
  • pay you a cash amount equal to the lossor damage.
When we settle claims, we may take off an amount for wear, tear and loss of value. The same cover also applies to your car’s accessories and spare parts while they are in or on your car or in your private garage. We will also pay for loss of, or damage to, your car’s audio equipment or satellite navigation system (up to £500, unless it was fitted by the manufacturer). The equipment will also be covered while it is away from your car or private garage if it:
  • has been designed to be totally orpartially removed;
  • cannot work without being attached toyour car; and
  • has been temporarily removed forsecurity reasons.
The most we will pay will be the market value of your car at the time of the loss.

If you cannot drive your car as a result of damage insured under this policy, we will pay the reasonable costs of:
  • protecting your car and removing it to the nearest Norwich Union Direct approved repairers; and
  • delivering your car back to your address in the British Isles after the repairs have been carried out.
If we know that you are still paying for your car under a hire purchase or leasing agreement, we
will pay any claim to the owner described in that agreement. Our liability under this policy will then end.