Category Archives: Finance

Unlisted Drivers Can Cause Your Auto Insurance Rate to Skyrocket

Very few circumstances can cause your auto insurance rates to rise the way an unlisted driver can.

First, the basics. Auto insurance policies are written to cover your car, not necessarily the operator. What this means on the surface is that as long as you have given an individual “permissive use” of your vehicle, should that person become involved in an automobile accident, there should be coverage. The type of coverage that can be applied, of course, would depend on the type of car insurance you originally purchased. For instance, in the event your “permissive driver” is involved in an at fault accident, and you have purchased collision insurance coverage, collision would pay for the damages to your car, minus your deductible. But conversely, even if that driver was involved in a not at fault accident, you can expect your insurance company to take a closer look at your policy come renewal time.

As an example, assume that you loan your car to a friend on a one time basis for whatever reason. You can establish that this friend is not a consistent driver of your car, and you can verify that your friend does not live with you. What happens if your friend, the unlisted driver, becomes involved in an at fault car accident? Under the circumstances, your insurance policy would pay for the damages to your vehicle. Even if your friend has his own policy, that policy is not responsible to pay for your damages.

Will this create problems for you with the insurance company? Probably.

Normally, when insurance companies pay for an at fault accident, you can expect to suffer the consequences. Even though you are making payment on the relevant premiums, your insurance company will “penalize” you if you are involved in at fault accident. How is the penalty imposed? By way of a higher auto insurance rate.

And what about the fact that you permitted a friend to drive? Will that also boost your chances for a higher auto insurance rate? Probably so. Insurance companies tend not to respond well to “unlisted” drivers, at fault or not. In fact, with an unlisted driver in the driver’s seat, count on your insurance company to launch a claims investigation into the circumstances. More specifically, they will be looking into the possibility that the driver could live in your home. And, more than likely, they will also examine the driving history of the unlisted driver as well as whether or not that driver has insurance of his own.

Should you expect an increase in your auto insurance rates? Most definitely if the investigation divulges factors that increase your risk rating.

If the insurance company investigation reveals that the unlisted driver has a poor driving record, you can be fairly sure that this will be used against you when your auto insurance rate is calculated at the end of your insurance policy period. By association, if you allow an irresponsible driver to operate your insured vehicle, your risk scoring increases. The higher the risk, the higher the rates. And, if the insurance company can determine that the unlisted driver does not have his own insurance, your insurance company will certainly want to know why? Is it because that driver lives with you?

Applying for insurance without disclosing relevant and applicable risk data – such as the identity of all drivers in that residence – is what auto insurance policies define as “misrepresentation”. If a subsequent claims or underwriting investigation determines that you failed to reveal all drivers in the household, it is likely that the auto insurance policy will be cancelled for misrepresentation. In the event that happens, there will be no coverage for that at fault-unlisted driver accident.

Behave responsibly if you must loan your car to other drivers. Should it be revealed that those drivers are unlisted members of your household, you’re in for some major problems. If the unlisted driver is simply a one-time, responsible driver you can expect to be questioned, but you can also expect to be covered. In the long run, however, once your auto insurance policy is up for renewal, you can expect to face either a non-renewal, or a higher auto insurance rate. Unlisted drivers can be “expensive”.

How and Why You Should Compare Insurance Quotes

Did you ever think that someday you would compare insurance quotes from the privacy of your own home? I bet you never thought that you would compare insurance quotes from a Panera Bread or WIFI hotspot. What a great world we live in these days. We can accomplish almost everything we need to sustain life-online.

Let’s talk briefly about attaining car insurance. The main tip for buying your insurance online is to compare insurance quotes and compare policy content. This can be quite easy as there are websites that will do the work for you.

Just keep some things in mind while you compare insurance quotes:

Decide on what you “must” have
You need to decide what best suites your family’s needs in the policy you are shopping for. Know the limits you need and any of the extra riders you may want on your policy before you start to compare insurance quotes.

Be completely honest
Your insurance company will want to know about that “fender bender” you may have had last month or the speeding ticket your teenage daughter received. Don’t try and lie about these items, they will run a DMV history on each driver on your policy and find out anyway.You don’t want to risk them increasing your rates after you’ve already attained the policy because you omitted some important details. So, be smart when you compare insurance quotes.

Consider taking defensive driver courses
There are courses that your states DMV offers that are usually reasonably priced (under $50.00) and only take a few hours to complete. Completing these courses will make your insurance company much happier and will lower your premiums. Take the whole family along – it can’t hurt to teach your teenagers a thing or two about safe driving.

Know the key items that will trigger discounts
Of course every insurance carrier is different and will offer different details on your policy. There are some common items that most carriers will provide discounts for and it would be in your best interest to learn those.

I had been recently interested in possibly changing my insurance carrier to see if I could save some money, so I figured I would compare insurance quotes and see who was the cheapest. While I was talking on the phone to my current carrier, Progressive, I found out about three different programs that I could implement that would save me money.

After speaking with the agent, I ended up saving $125.00 a year from the three items I had changed. The great thing about the changes I made is that they won’t affect me in anyway.

Read further for a few ways you can save when you compare insurance quotes.

  • Paying your premium in full for the year will create a cheaper premium. All insurance companies offer several options to make payments on your insurance policy but will charge you extra for the “luxury” of having those payments.
  • Giving all your business to one company can lower your premium. If you have a motorcycle, boat, motor home or other item you need to insure it will provide a good bargaining tool that you can negotiate with a carrier to get lower premiums.
  • Clean driving records are a great way to save money. Your tickets, accidents or other motor vehicle infractions will remain on your record for 3 years and your insurance company will increase the premiums as they view you as a risky driver.
  • If you cannot get your teen driver to study, here is a good way to encourage them. A lot of insurance companies will offer a discount for teen drivers if they maintain an A-B average in school. You can make your teen responsible to pay the difference the insurance company will charge you if they do not sustain an A-B average.
  • I recently found out that my insurance carrier, Progressive, offers a discount if I chose to be paperless. This means you no longer receive those pages and pages of policy information that you never read anyway. You can easily log onto the carriers website to print up any needed documents. We all need to do our part to save a few trees and this will save a tree and will save a few pennies.

Of course there are many more discount opportunities; you should do your homework before you compare insurance quotes. Being prepared with knowledge is going to give you leverage when it comes time to haggle with your carrier.

When Should You Reassess Your Auto Insurance Policy?

As one of the most purchased types of insurance, many auto insurance holders do not realize that the premium they pay is not a permanently set price. Insurance companies factor in a number of variables when deciding the price of a policy. Over time, these factors can change for an individual driver which can affect the price of the policy. Experts recommend that consumers reassess their auto insurance policy each year or if there has been a sudden change in their personal situation that will affect the price they pay as well as their coverage. If you have auto insurance, below are a number of situations where it would be wise to reassess your policy:

1. Vehicle Type: The type of vehicle you drive will affect the price you pay for insurance. For instance, the cost of car insurance for an expensive and high performance sports car will be much higher than for a traditional family car that is used to do local errands and such. It is important to inform your insurance provider if you get a new vehicle. The history, make, model, and year of the vehicle will all affect premiums. As well, if you buy a fuel efficient car such as a hybrid, you should be able to get a discount on your car insurance.

2. Driving History: If you have a history of traffic violations, speeding tickets, and accidents, you will be assessed as a high risk driver and pay more for your policy. However, if you clean up your record and maintain a good driving record, after a specific number of years, the penalties will be removed from your record. If you have restored your driving record, you should contact your insurance provider and inquire about paying a lower rate.

3. Personal Life Changes: Statistics are used to determine the price of a policy. Because research has shown that married people with children tend to have lower incidents of accidents because they drive more carefully, if you have recently married, you should check with your insurance provider to see if you can get a better rate. As well, you should contact your insurance company if you get a divorce or your spouse dies.

4. Where You Live: The location of a driver will affect the price they pay for their insurance. For instance, more densely populated places that have a high crime rate will be assessed as a high risk so people living in these areas will pay higher premiums than people living in more rural and low crime areas. If you have recently moved from a city to a rural area, or even to a quieter and less populated residential community, you should contact your insurance company to see about getting a discount. As well, if the security factors have changed such as you now park your car in a garage at night instead of on the street, or you have recently installed anti-theft devices, you should contact your insurance provider.

Insurance companies rely heavily on research and statistical data to set their policy rates. Because car insurance is something we all must have in order to drive, it is always beneficial to take steps to reduce costs. As well, it is important that we all have the proper coverage. To reduce costs and avoid financial hardship, people should reassess their policy at least once a year.

10 Things About Car Insurance That You May Not Have Known

Many people don’t take a great deal of notice of their car insurance and, when the time comes for their auto insurance to be renewed, they simply renew it with their existing insurer. If you don’t shop around for car insurance, then you will end up paying more than you need to and, if you don’t check the small print on your policy, you might actually not be insured at all. So, if you don’t give a second thought to your motor vehicle insurance, check out these facts and tips about car insurance that might surprise you.

1. Pay your insurance premiums in one go

It may be convenient to pay your car insurance in twelve monthly payments, but it will nearly always be far more expensive than paying the whole amount up front. Most insurers add an exorbitant price for spreading the payments. It could cost you as much as 30% more.

2. Don’t overdo the excess

A lot of people get caught out by agreeing to an insurance excess over and above what they can really afford to pay. Yes, a high excess will reduce your car insurance premiums, but don’t forget that, if you have an accident, you are going to have to find that cash for repairs.

3. Tell the truth to your insurer

Be honest about what you use your car for, where you park it, and who is going to drive it. If you say that your car will be locked in a garage overnight, and it is stolen from the street outside your home, you could be in for a nasty surprise when you come to make a claim.

4. Check how comprehensive your fully comprehensive cover really is

The word ‘fully’ in fully comprehensive can mean different things to different insurers, especially if you opted for the cheapest policy that you could find. Typically, the cheaper car insurance policies won’t include a courtesy car, windscreen cover, or legal cover, so it’s worth checking your policy to see exactly what you are getting for your money.

5. Don’t make a claim unless you really have to

If you have a minor accident, it is very often cheaper to pay for the repairs yourself than to claim it on your insurance. You should still tell the insurer about the accident, because that is often a policy requirement, but claiming may well result in an increase your premiums and excess.

6. Your premiums can still rise, even if you have protected your no claims bonus

If you have an accident, your premiums could still rise, even if you have protected your no claims bonus. Your percentage bonus may well stay intact, but the underlying cost of your insurance will rise and, therefore, you will pay more.

7. Always take photographs if you have an accident

If you do have an accident, however slight the damage may seem, always take photographs of both your vehicle and the other persons. Unfortunately, there are a lot of dishonest people who will exaggerate their claims to their insurance company and lie about the circumstances of an accident. If you can, get the contact details of any witnesses too.

8. Don’t just automatically renew, shop around first

Insurance companies offer their best deals to new customers, so it is always worth shopping around for your car insurance. You can get your insurance broker to do for you, or check out a price comparison site, but always get several quotes before you decide.

9. Always notify your insurer of any changes in circumstances

Don’t forget to notify your insurer of any changes in circumstances, or you could invalidate your insurance. That includes moving home, changing jobs, any modifications you make to the vehicle and even if you have started driving your car to work.

10. Don’t rely solely on comparison websites for the best deal

Don’t forget that not all the insurance companies allow their details to be published on price comparison websites. To enable these companies to compete, they often offer better deals than you will find on the comparison sites.

The Goal of Insurance

Not because you are insured means that you are going to act recklessly on the roads or in general, life. There are some companies which give you part of your premium when your insurance has not been used for a specific period.

To make your task a lot easier, there are a number of online insurance websites which compares different rates of insurance with specialist criteria to give you the best result. When shopping for any type of insurance compare which company has a higher claim bonus.

It is a good habit to shop around when looking for a good motorcycle auto insurance. It is obvious that each insurance company will differ in various things, such as, rates and coverage. For this reason you are to do all the necessary research and also evaluate yourself and see what would best fit you. That is the main purpose. It makes no sense in getting a plan which is not only over your budget but also does not cover accidents which are more likely to happen in your specific case as compared to someone else.

Some may have more coverage but may cost more and vice versa. The insurance company is trying to determine both how much you will be using your vehicle and how much experience you have on it. This is very important to the insurance companies because they realize that your chances of having an accident will increase based on how often you drive. The years you have been using your vehicle or a vehicle will also be contributing to the determination of your rates.

Very often people get confused on this topic but it can be simple once some research is done or an insurance agent is consulted on the matter. There is always help out there waiting for you to ask, whether it be online or in person, you have the chance to learn and educate yourself on the variable that make a significant change in your insurance rate. Nowadays people are becoming more and more aware of the necessity of their insurance and the important role that it plays in their lives.

It is also important that you consult with an agent if you have further questions or would like to clarify something you read online. When it comes to your insurance you have to be dead on, a mistake can cost you money and in these hard financial times I think it is safe to say that we would like to save every penny. Keep note of what affects your insurances rates which type it may be and try to follow them so that your rates may be lower. There is always help out there waiting for you to ask, whether it be online or in person, you have the chance to learn and educate yourself on the variable that make a significant change in your insurance rate. It is always best to do your research yourself even after consulting with a professional, that way you know what needs to be done for future reference.