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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Discount Car Insurance Brokers - Get Amazing Comparisons

To get the cheapest possible quote for your car insurance, your best bet is an online discount car insurance broker. A broker does not deal with one specific car insurance company, but rather searches through every available company to find you the best possible quote. When you contact a discount car insurance broker online, you just supply the information about the make and model of the car, your age and driving record to get the discount quotes you need.

When you contact a discount car insurance broker, you can get as many as 20 free online car insurance quotes at the same time. When you submit the necessary information to the broker, he/she sends it out to all the insurance companies he/she deals with. Each of these comes back with a quote as to how much they would charge for your car insurance needs.

When you submit the information, make sure you specify the coverage you need to have with the policy. The price you get in a free online car insurance quote depends on the coverage you request. This way you know that each quote you get from the discount car insurance broker is for the same type of policy and that you are comparing the prices of the same thing.

Once you receive all the quotes, then you can sit back and compare them. The best thing about going through a discount car insurance broker for car insurance is that you have a chance at getting a cheaper insurance rate from a company in another city that you would probably never contact on your own. Once you decide which one you want to select, the broker will make the necessary arrangements and take care of getting the policy printed for you.

You do not have to pay a discount car insurance broker for his/her services yourself over and above the cost of the car insurance. This cost is already included in the free online car insurance quote you receive and the insurance company pays the discount car insurance broker a commission for making the sale. Using this type of service for your car insurance is almost like one-stop shopping. A broker takes all the guesswork out of getting the best possible deal.

However don’t assume that once you have your quote from a discount car insurance broker this is all there is to car insurance. Make sure you insure with a good company.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Need A Car Insurance Comparison? Don't Have Time?

If you decide not to do a car insurance comparison and simply renew your insurance at the same rate, you could be paying away needless amounts of your hard-earned money. By doing a car insurance comparison, you could get a cheaper rate than what you are presently paying.

A car insurance comparison rate is quite easy to do from home on your computer. This way you don’t have to spend time during the day contacting the various insurance companies during their business hours. You can sit down at any time of the night and do the car insurance comparison yourself by requesting free quotes from the various online car insurance companies.

Most of the online insurance sites will return a free quote as to the rate they charge for your insurance needs within 24 hours. It is best to request at least three quotes so you can do a car insurance comparison when you get them. If you print them off, then you can sit back with your coffee and do a car insurance comparison of the rates. Take your time and make sure you are actually doing a comparison of the same types of coverage.

Another way you can get the car insurance comparison you need without spending too much time on the computer is to contact an online car insurance broker. Using a broker takes all the work out of car insurance comparison. Rates vary from company to company and some of them give discounts for certain things.

You may find when doing a car insurance comparison that some companies give a discount if you are over age 50. Others might have a discount if you have a perfect driving record and still others may offer a discount if you work in a certain industry or if you do not drive your car to work. It does pay to shop around for a car insurance comparison rate.

The type of car you have will affect the quote you get with a car insurance comparison rate. A sports car will cost you more in insurance, as will city driving as opposed to all rural driving where there is less traffic and therefore less chance of having an accident. There are some companies that will give you a break if you have had accidents in the past. If you have several vehicles, you need to do a car insurance comparison to find a company that will give you a lower rate when you insure all the vehicles under the same policy. Shop around and don’t be afraid to ask questions about the company and its system of rates that it charges. Although some people say knowledge can be dangerous, it will save you money when it comes to getting car insurance.

Do a car insurance comparison, you may be surprised.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Avoiding The Potholes Of Car Insurance

Car Insurance is an issue that we all of face in our lives. Do we insure our car or not?
For example, what type of policy should you get? What should you look out for when signing on the dotted line? Car insurance can be a minefield if you do not investigate and take time out to research and evaluate the many types of insurance on offer in today's market.
Some of the main questions you need to ask yourself include do you want car insurance in the first place or are you willing to let luck prevail? Do you want comprehensive cover? Do you want to be covered just for fire and theft or do you want third party property damage insurance?
There is a significant difference in each of these policies and they vary from company to company. Basically comprehensive cover is full cover of your car and the other person's car (or the traffic light you demolished).
Third Party Fire and theft insurance is the next step down and then you have third party cover. Third party protects you for damage to some else's car but not yours.
After working out what type of insurance you want, ask yourself do you want to insure the car at an agreed value or current market value of the car? This is very important to consider. If your car is a special model with lots of modifications, you might consider the agreed value option because it allows you to include added extras.
The majority of people go for the market value option but it is important to read the fine print. This option has a catch. The insurance company pays out the amount the car is worth at the time of the accident. Hence the amount could be different to the market value originally spelled out in the policy when you signed up because of depreciation.
Once you have worked out what type of cover you want you start getting down to the smaller, more tedious options.
Some of the main ones you need to consider include:

(i) How much is the excess?

(ii) Do you want to choose the repairer?

(iii) Do you want loan vehicles if your car is stolen?

(iv) Do you want the policy to cover the car for business use?

(v) What drivers are covered?

(vi) Is it repaired using only genuine spare parts?

(vii) Is there a limit on towing fees?

(viii) Does it cover damaged property and personal belongings inside the car?

(ix) Does it Cover taxi fares?
RAC's Assistant General Manager for Insurance Services, Sam Mola believes it is very important for people to research and investigate all options before taking out car insurance.
"People need to watch out and make sure they are signing up for cover that suits their needs. You need to review the benefits provided and then make an informed decision," he said.
"People need to make sure they are familiar with the cover provided by the policy and not just compare policies on price. They need to make sure the company can provide the appropriate claims service when a claim is made. For example the company should provide a high quality of repairs for a minimum amount of fuss. People need to consider the reputation of the organization. Cheaper does not always mean better."
The Australian Insurance Council's Group General Manager for Western Australia and the Northern Territory Daryl Cameron said in 85 per cent of cases policies are bought on price alone, which can be dangerous for people who do not read their policies extremely carefully. He also said if you are not honest with your potential insurer they may refuse to pay out if the time comes.
"It is vital that all known information regarding the vehicle or any intended driver is fully disclosed to the insurer when taking out a policy or when one is up for renewal. If anything changes that may effect your policy you must tell the insurer; It is extremely important, remember you have a duty of disclosure," Mr Cameron said.
"If you smash into the back of a Mercedes, and you forgot to tell your insurance company about your dangerous driving conviction, they may refuse to pay out despite the fact you are covered by them. So be careful otherwise you may have to foot the bill yourself," he warned.
So be careful, take your time and watch out for the traps that catch many unsuspecting motorists. It is important that you understand what you are getting into and ask as many questions as you can. Remember there is no harm in asking and it could save you a lot of money in the long run.
Here are 10 points to remember when considering car insurance
  1. Research, investigate and take your time when looking for car insurance.
  2. Get something that suits your needs not the insurance companies.
  3. Answer the question, market value or agreed value cover?
  4. Make sure you understand and know exactly what you are covered for.
  5. What is excluded from the policy?
  6. What is the excess when making a claim?
  7. Remember cheapest it not always the best.
  8. Tell your insurer about anything that happens to you that may affect your policy, for example driving convictions. Don't take short cuts.
  9. Work out a payment method that suits you.
  10. For an 'At Fault' claim can you protect your no claim bonus?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Do An Auto Insurance Comparison And Benefit From The Savings

It is very important to do an auto insurance comparison when you need insurance for your vehicle. Even if you are happy with the quote you get from your regular auto insurance company, it helps to shop around just to make sure you are getting the lowest possible rate. It is not hard to do an auto insurance comparison when you do an online search. There are many sites that will give your side-by-side quotes from at least three insurance companies and often you can get as many as six quotes.

You can get as many quotes as you want to compare one auto insurance quote to another. All you have to do to get an auto insurance comparison is fill in the online form to request a free quote for the coverage your want. On thing that you have to make sure of when doing an auto insurance comparison is that you are comparing quotes for the same type of coverage.

The price is not the only factor to look at when you do an auto insurance comparison. You really have to look at how long this company has been in business. When you compare an auto insurance quote you may find that newer companies are offering much lower quotes just to get your business. While this may be great, it is very likely that the rates will go up the following year, leaving you scrambling for another insurance company with a cheaper rate.

If you don’t have any traffic violations or convictions you won’t have any difficulty getting a good price when you compare auto insurance quotes. If you have had several accidents, then you may have to do an extensive auto insurance comparison to find one with a price that suits your budget. This is because your record of accidents puts you in a bad risk category and that drives up the rate.

Experts advise that you should always ask for free quotes on auto insurance from different insurance agents well in advance of the expiration date of your present insurance. This gives you plenty of time to do an auto insurance comparison and to contact the company to ask about any discounts that may apply to you, such as a military discount. Then when you have done your auto insurance comparison you are better informed when you sit down and actually pay for the policy. You know what specifics to ask questions about and some of them may surprise the agent you deal with.

Do an auto insurance comparison, you may be surprised.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ever Wondered What An Auto Insurance Claim Adjuster Does?

An auto insurance claim adjuster works for the insurance company with whom you purchase a policy. Some insurance companies use independent adjusters so that they get an unbiased report. When you have an accident and make a claim on your insurance, the company will send out an adjuster to access the damages and come up with an amount of money that will be needed to complete the repairs. The auto insurance claim adjuster has to contact the garages to get an estimate of what the parts and labor will cost.

When you report a claim for an accident to your auto insurance, they will contact the appropriate adjuster. The auto insurance adjuster assigned to your case will contact you to get the details on where he/she can assess the vehicle. Then you will receive a report from the insurance company regarding the assessment the auto insurance claim adjuster submits. If the damages exceed the value of the vehicle, it will be “written off”.

The amount you get on your auto insurance policy depends on the policy itself. If the auto insurance claim adjuster determines that the vehicle is written off, the insurance will pay you the book value of the vehicle. This could be more or less than what the car is worth. With some auto insurance policies, you can pay extra to have a clause included stating that if the vehicle is written off within the first two years, you get the full amount that you paid for the automobile.

There is a certain process that an auto insurance claim adjuster has to use to come up with the amount the insurance company will pay. You will usually get two quotes – one that will see the car getting repaired at a top of the line garage and another if you take a cash settlement on the claim and get the work done yourself. The auto insurance adjuster knows that many people have friends who can do the work cheaper and often take the money.

Once you decide how you want to proceed, the insurance company will issue a check. If you are paying on the vehicle, the check will be made out jointly to you and the lender. Otherwise the check comes directly to you. The job of the auto insurance adjuster is only to access the damages, Any dispute you have regarding the report made by the auto insurance claim adjuster has to be done through the insurance company. Keep this in mind because the adjuster is only an ordinary person like yourself trying to make a living.

An auto insurance claim adjuster doesn’t have an easy job.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Discount Auto Insurance - Keep Your Hard-Earned Money

Finding discount auto insurance is so easy when you do an online search. There are many insurance companies that do offer this option for many customers who want to search through several different companies to get the best possible quotes. With many of these sites, all you have to do is select the type of discount auto insurance you need, fill in a short form and receive quotes from as many as six different online insurance companies.

An online automobile insurance quote saves you time and money. You no longer have to spend time using the telephone trying to get discount auto insurance or take time off from work to visit each of the automobile insurance company offices. You can do an online search at any time of the day or night and receive an instant quote in your inbox. Depending on the site, you may have to wait up to 24 hours for the quote or longer if you submit the quote request on a weekend.

When you look for discount auto insurance there are many types of discounts that you can avail yourself of. For example, many of the online automobile insurance quotes provide a discount if you are over the age of 50. Discount auto insurance is readily available if you have not had an accident in the last six years and have not had any traffic violations.

You do need to be truthful when answering the questions for an online automobile insurance quote. If you are switching to another auto insurance company, even though you submit the information online, the discount auto insurance quote you get won’t come into effect until you also submit supporting documents, such as a driving record and a record from your former auto insurance. If you haven’t been truthful, it could result in your automobile insurance being cancelled or having to pay a higher rate.

Another thing you have to be careful about when searching for an online automobile insurance quote is that the site is secure. You wouldn’t want your information to become public information just because you are looking to save money on discount auto insurance. This could be a lot more costly than the insurance if someone steals your identity.

Discount auto insurance is around, but not easy to find. And it’s not available to everyone.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Check Out The Variety of Auto Insurance Texas Style

They say everything is bigger and better in Texas, and this is true when you look at the wide variety of different auto insurance companies offering auto insurance. Texas drivers have to consider four main options when they choose an auto insurance company. These include:

· The price of the insurance is the bottom line

· How long this particular car insurance company has been in business

· The customer service that you get from the company

· The comfort level you feel when dealing with the auto insurance representative

For auto insurance, Texas drivers are now turning to the Internet to get the lowest possible quotes.

Getting car insurances quotes in Texas is as close as your computer. There are many online companies selling auto insurance and Texas is no different. Check out the different types of coverage that each of these offers and request free quotes from at least three of the online companies for car insurance.

With at least three car insurance quotes, you can sit back in the comfort of your Texas home and compare the rates of each one. You have to make sure that each quote has the same type of coverage so that you are comparing apples and apples, not apples and oranges. Check out the quotes to see whether or not the auto insurance Texas company gives an age discount or if one charges more than another for drivers under 25.

Some online sites will actually compare the car insurance rates from several auto insurance Texas companies for you so that you can see at a glance which one would be best suited for your needs. This way you actually get the car insurance quotes without having to wait for three or four emails to come in and print off the quotes in order to do the comparison.

Use the Internet to your advantage. It is not just for chatting to friends or playing games. When you start looking for auto insurance in Texas, thumbing through the telephone directory for your city is an exhausting chore. Take the work out of getting a suitable quote that will save you money by searching online.

Auto insurance Texas style. Check everything out properly.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

5 Strategies To Reduce Your Car Insurance Premiums

Your latest car insurance bill has arrived and it is not a pretty site. In fact, it is downright ugly! What can you do? Must you remain hostage to the ever spiraling rate increases foisted upon you when your policy renews? In a word, no. Let’s examine five strategies you can practice today to help reduce your car insurance premiums immediately.

1. Shop For A New Policy. Even with “loyalty discounts” in place, many consumers will find that a competing company will offer significant savings over your current plan. This especially holds true if your state recently opened up the market to invite more competition in.

2. Change Your Coverage. If your vehicle is old, you many want to consider dropping collision coverage. Your comprehensive coverage may also be due for reexamination. Finally, make sure that there aren’t duplicate costs included such as towing insurance if already offered through your automobile club.

3. Family Status. You may be paying more for your insurance if your policy shows that you are single when, in fact, you were recently married. Rates are generally lowered for married folks as well as those over a certain age.

4. Up Your Deductible. You can realize instant savings by raising the deductible you are willing to pay. Maybe you don’t need a $200 collision deductible when $500 is sufficient.

5. Get Security Discounts. If you park your car in a locked garage and/or have an alarm system installed make sure that your insurer is aware of this as your premium will be adjusted downward.

In many cases you can also save on car insurance by bundling it with your homeowners insurance. Finally, talk with your broker to see whatever other measures you can take to realize additional savings.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Car Insurance Rates - Can You Lower Them?

Car insurance rates are prohibitive nowadays. Many families really struggle to pay the car insurance bill each month. And car insurance rates vary all the time. So if car insurance cost is an issue for you, what can you do about it?

The car insurance industry is a massive industry. It is also a highly competitive one, and car insurance rates vary over time as car insurance companies compete for business. Car insurance rates are often highly fluid.

It is entirely possible to lower the cost of your auto insurance rates by altering your behaviour, and you can do this by having a better understanding of how the rates are assessed.

Car insurance rates are based on an assessment of risk. Whilst insurance companies vary their rates to compete with other insurance companies, they also vary their rates based on their assessment of the risk posed by a particular driver driving a particular car. They do this because there is no point in buying business with low car insurance rates and then insuring high risk drivers at these rates. This is a recipe for losing money.

So, if you lower your risk, you lower your car insurance. How do you
lower your risk? Well there’s a number of ways that your own driving and car behaviour can affect your car insurance rates.

Have a look at the car you drive. Is it suitable for your current needs? If not then would it be worthwhile to consider a change?

Different cars attract different auto insurance rates. Sports cars, high powered cars and cars at greater risk of theft attract higher rates. How long have you had your car and would it be wise to think about another one that would be cheaper to insure and more useful to you?

Are you a safe driver? Do you stick to the speed limit? Are you at risk of other driving offences? Many people do not think about some of the consequences of speeding tickets and driving offences until after they have seen their subsequent car insurance bill.

Your risk profile is a direct result of your driving record. A clean driving record and you will be rewarded by cheaper rates. A poor driving record and you will be penalised, usually for quite a while.

Are you willing to attend driver training courses? Many car insurance companies offer specific discounts for drivers who have attended a course. Why? Lower risk.

Are you willing to drive less? Could you car pool or use public transport to get to work? Car insurance companies look at the amount of driving their clients do when assessing their car insurance rates. Why? Lower risk. Less miles driven equals less risk. And you’ll save on other car costs too.

So if auto insurance costs are an issue for you and your family there are things you can do. These are just a few of those things, there are many more. Car insurance rates are not set in stone.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cheap Car Insurance - 7 Tips To Reduce Your Car Insurance Costs

With the cost of car insurance becoming more and more of an issue for the average American family, there are increasing numbers of people looking for cheap car insurance. But although it is possible to find cheap car insurance, the question remains, is it worth buying?

Everyone knows that car insurance companies are not all equal. Cheap car insurance is wonderful when paying the bill, but make a mistake on the company you select and you could find that the cheap car insurance policy that you found may turn into a nightmare. Cheap car insurance may not turn out to be so attractive when making a claim.

So if you have found a discount car insurance broker don’t just take the cheapest quote that you get. You need to find out a little about the insurance company that is offering the cheap car insurance rates.

And there’s ways to reduce the cost of your car insurance even with the best of companies. Here are some tips for those looking for cheap car insurance to help reduce the cost of car insurance without compromising other things.

7 Cheap Car Insurance Tips

1. Look at your deductible amount. This is the amount that you pay first out of any claim. The cost of your policy is directly related to this amount. Many people, particularly those who have had their insurance policy for a long time, have never considered whether they ought to vary their deductible. If you have a good driving record and are prepared to increase the risk of paying a larger amount in the event of a (hopefully unlikely) claim you can save money by increasing your deductible.

2. Have a look at the type of car you drive. Certain types of cars attract higher car insurance rates. Cars such as sports cars and also certain makes and models that are prime theft candidates cost more to insure. If you are buying a car then find out which makes and models these are before you buy.

3. Drive carefully. Although it sounds a little trite to say it, your car insurance cost is a factor of your risk profile. You won’t get cheap car insurance if you have had 3 speeding fines and 2 accidents in the last year. These things are all taken into account and you should take care with how you drive. It all adds up onto your bill. There are big safe driver discounts available.

4. Considering installing safety and anti theft devices in your car. Again these affect your risk profile. If you have a car that is safer and less at risk of theft it should be cheaper to insure. And if you have a car with certain safety devices now check that your insurance company is aware of these, if not tell them.

5. Look at your policy when it comes to renewal time, don’t just pay. There are some things that you can vary in your policy that will affect the cost. Often there are some things there which duplicate other insurance that you may have that can be eliminated. Be critical, look carefully and ask questions about all these before you renew your policy.

6. Have a look at who your other insurers are. Many insurers offer a discount for multiple policies. If you insure your house with a certain company then ring them up and find out if they do car insurance. Get a quote from them. Find out what discounts they offer.

7. Find a good online discount car insurance broker before renewing. The internet is a fabulous resource. Use it. There are all sorts of discount insurance brokers online where you can get fast quotes from a wide range of companies. Don’t just settle for the same company you always use. Car insurance rates vary all the time. Always get comparable quotes before renewing any policy.

So if you’re in the market for cheap car insurance there’s some ideas for you. Don’t just accept that car insurance is always prohibitively expensive, get out there and do something about it.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

10 Ways To Save On Car Insurance

For most people car insurance is a the single largest insurance expense after health insurance. Rates are high and are forever climbing, at least it seems that way. You can save money on your car insurance premiums by following these easy to implement steps.

1. Shop Around. Yes, it pays to shop and compare. Regulatory changes at the state level may have encouraged new companies to jump into the market, thereby increasing competition and reducing rates for consumers.

2. Raise Your Deductible. A $200 deductible sounds wise until you learn that the cost for having a deductible at this threshold can drive your rates through the roof. Consider a deductible as high as $1000 to save on premiums. You can always fix minor mishaps on your own.

3. Drop Collision. If your automobile is worth less than two or three thousand dollars, consider dropping collision altogether. Sure, you will get nothing from your insurer if your car is totaled, but the savings you realize by dropping collision can be used as a down payment for your next car.

4. Look For Discounts. If your car has certain safety features, make sure that your insurer is aware of this. Older cars, for the most part, do not have air bags but if you have a model that has airbags, you will save money on your insurance.

5. Business Deduction. If you drive your car for business, a portion of your insurance costs may be deductible. Conversely, your rates may be increased if your insurer knows that you use your car more for business than pleasure.

6. Combine Policies. Purchase your homeowners, auto, and life insurance policies from the same broker and you may save on your premiums. Some insurance companies reward policyholders if they “one-stop” purchase all of their insurance needs through one company.

7. Consider Before You Buy. The Porsche Boxster may be your ideal car, but it could also sharply raise your insurance rates. Maybe a less sporty model would be ideal.

8. Driver’s Ed Course. You may have taken a driver’s education course and your insurance company has not factored that in when determining your premium. Let them know that you are a safe driver!

9. Deleted Points. If you had moving violations that were reported to your insurance company, make sure that your insurer adjusts your premium downward if several years have gone by since the occurrence. You could be paying a premium higher than you deserve.

10. Check Your Policy. If the insurer has the wrong address, town or zip code on your policy you could find yourself paying more than you should.

Reducing your car insurance costs should not be an impossible feat. By following these steps you should realize some savings the next time your policy comes up for review.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Car Insurance Monitoring for Discounted Insurance Rates - Privacy Devouring Monster Eating Us One Bi

For a price, would you let car insurer along for the ride? -
asks a USA Today technology story by Kevin Maney. It seems
that Progressive Insurance and IBM have worked out a scheme to
pay drivers to be safer - by monitoring their every move in
their own cars, and how fast they make that move, and where
they park, and what time they drive.

The program is being tested in Minnesota and in the U.K. in a
privacy busting program that rewards drivers for keeping under
the maximum speed limits and driving during safer times of
day. It's an interesting twist that is compared here to a
shopper reward card that monitors what you buy, although it
doesn't give you lower prices if you buy healthy food - which
seems like the best analogy. (But it does let the food chains
know how often you shop and how much you spend on what types
of food, and alcohol, and cigarettes and trashy tabloids.)

Drivers must attach an electronic monitor to their cars that
downloads information which is generated and stored there in
diagnostic chips included in most newer model vehicles. As they
drive, it stores current driving behavior - and location - and
driving times and at the end of the defined time, drivers take
the unit into the house, attach a USB cable and download that
information into their computer and transmit it to
Progressive.

But the insurance discount program does have an interesting
twist in the Minnesota test. Apparently drivers who see from
their downloaded information (or just know they drove badly at
times) that they exceeded maximum speed limits, drove during
expensive times (2am when bars close is most expensive, after
11pm is next) can choose NOT to send that information to
Progressive and pay the normal undiscounted insurance rate.

It appears to have the true benefit of making drivers become
more cautious and drive within limits of the law during safe
hours. There is nothing wrong with this for those willing to
give up the information. This allows those willing to be
monitored the choice to send the information to their insurer
and get a discount or NOT send it to pay normal rates. It's
worth considering.

I'm among those who continues to use supermarket loyalty
cards, even though I despise the fact that they can see my
purchase history and note my travel habits. The savings are
just too great to pass up. (I used a false name to set the
card up, but quickly noted that they tied together my debit
card name and loyalty card purchases, thus gaining that
information that I had denied them with the false name - now I
use cash.) You certainly can't do the same with the insurance
driving discounts. Information must be accurate to properly
insure and discount the policy.

The UK program is more invasive and offers far less choice.
Drivers must always download the information from the car
module to gain insurance discounts and the British company
monitors more information from those UK drivers.

The US version may have some merit if choice remains a part of
the equation upon full rollout to American drivers who want
that ten percent discount on auto insurance policies in
exchange for giving up the privacy of their driving habits.

The disturbing part of this, again, as always, is the possible
merging of multiple databases to form near perfect
surveillance pictures of us with each new development. Our
supermarket discounts show that big database what we eat,
what else we buy at the grocery, the insurance information
defines our travels and schedule, our credit and debit card
use defines our spending, travel and lifestyles, while
multiple other databases from airline security info to phone
records can be merged at any time to form near perfect
pictures of our lives for anyone that wants to access it.

Once a national ID (driver licenses will soon carry mandatory
magnetic information and will serve as a defacto national ID),
we can be fully monitored, tracked, analyzed and digitized to
form a truly invasive database of numbers and bits of
information about each of us.

The sources of data about each of us are growing daily. The
concern is the loss or abuse of that data through commercial
and/or governmental negligence and/or criminal intent. The
methods to access that data are growing as the sources
proliferate.

Privacy is something we give up in small bits for small
benefits, like cheaper produce using supermarket loyalty cards
and insurance discounts using car monitors hooked up to our
insurance carrier. We need laws to control and safegaurd each
of those databases and stop any merging of those multiple
sources of data into the ultimate Big Brother database.

I want my car insurance reduced and I'm willing to consider
this newest scheme if I have choice of whether to send my info
to my insurer. I will send it when I've been good and won't
when I have been less good. But I don't want it merged with my
other sources of data or shared among commercial interests who
may see fit to sell it to each other.

It gets more interesting daily. Who is in control of this
privacy devouring data monster?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Auto Insurance Primer

What is auto insurance? Auto insurance (or car insurance, motor insurance) is insurance consumers can purchase for cars, trucks, and other vehicles. Its primary use is to provide protection against losses incurred. By buying auto insurance, depending on the type of coverage purchased, the consumer may be protected against:

* The cost of repairing the vehicle following an accident

* The cost of purchasing a new vehicle if it is stolen or damaged beyond economic repair

* Legal liability claims against the driver or owner of the vehicle following the vehicle causing damage or injury to a third party.

Liability insurance covers only the last point, while comprehensive insurance covers all three. Even comprehensive insurance, however, doesn't fully cover the risk associated with buying a new car. Due to the sharp decline in value immediately following purchase, there is generally a period in which the remaining car payments exceed the compensation the insurer will pay for a "totaled" (destroyed, or written-off) vehicle. So-called GAP insurance was established in the early 1980's to provide protection to consumers based upon buying and market trends. The escalating price of cars, extended term auto loans, and the increasing popularity of leasing gave birth to GAP protection. GAP waivers provide protection for consumers when a "gap" exists between the actual value of their vehicle and the amount of money owed to the bank or leasing company. In some countries including New Zealand and Australia market structures mean that people are more likely to buy a nearly new car than a new car so this is less of a problem.

In the United States, liability insurance covers claims against the policy holder and generally, any other operator of the insured's vehicle, provided they do not live at the same address as the policy holder and are not specifically excluded on the policy. In the case of those living at the same address, they must specifically be covered on the policy. Thus it is necessary for example, when a family member comes of driving age they must be added on to the policy. Liability insurance generally does not protect the policy holder if they operate any vehicles other than their own. When you drive a vehicle owned by another party, you are covered under that party's policy. Non-owners policies may be offered that would cover an insured on any vehicle they drive. This coverage is available only to those who do not own their own vehicle.

Generally, liability coverage does extend when you rent a car. However, in most cases only liability applies. Any additional coverage, such as comprehensive policies, i.e. "full coverage" may not apply. Full coverage premiums are based on, among other factors, the value of the insured's vehicle. This coverage may not apply to rental cars because the insurance company does not want to assume responsibility for a claim greater than the value of the insured's vehicle, assuming that a rental car may be worth more than the insured's vehicle. Some states, such as Minnesota, may require that it extend to rental cars. Most rental car companies offer insurance to cover damage to the rental vehicle. In some regions, the costs associated with not having access to the vehicle ("Loss of Use") is also covered.

Monday, August 4, 2008

10 Ways to Lower Your Auto Insurance

Nowadays, auto insurance is really expensive. A typical insurance policy can cost a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars a year. And the insurance rates you pay are hugely dependent on the insurance company or agent, your age, your car type, your driving record, and even the area you reside in!

You should never go without auto insurance though, despite the costs. Almost all the states require you to protect yourself with a minimum amount of liability coverage. Naturally, the bare minimum is not adequate enough for the average car owner. And as you add in additional coverage for your car, you realize that you will be paying a fairly large sum annually.

So, understanding auto insurance can actually help you to decide on a suitable insurance policy that won't vacuum clean your wallet! Here, we have gathered 10 of the best tips for lowering your auto insurance, by as much as 40%!

Always compare insurance policies. There are states which regulate auto insurance rates, but the insurance premiums can vary by hundreds of dollars for the exact same coverage. It is definitely worthwhile to shop around. The first thing you can do is to check with your state insurance department. They often provide information about the coverage you need, as well as sample rates from the biggest companies. You can also ask your friends or look up the yellow pages. Checking consumer guides and asking insurance agents can pay off as well. You can easily find out the price range for your insurance policy, as well as discover the lowest prices in town.

However, you should not be shopping based on price along. The insurance company should provide good service at the best price. Excellent personal service is available as well, and they provide added conveniences, although they cost a fair bit more. Ask the company how you can lower your costs, and also check their financial ratings. The rule of thumb is always to get three price quotes from three different companies, and pick the one with the best value.

It can also be a good idea to increase your deductibles. When you file a claim, the deductible is the amount you pay before the insurance company pays for the rest of the damage. A higher deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage can lead to a much lower premium. For example, increasing your deductible from $200 to $400 can reduce your premiums by up to 25%. However, you must ensure that you have the financial resources to handle the largest deductible when the time comes.

Remove certain types of coverage from your policy. Almost all the states require liability coverage for your car, but the rest of the coverage is probably dispensable. However, you do not want to be underinsured if you're in an accident, so it isn't advisable to remove all of your additional coverage. Optional coverage includes medical payments, uninsured motorist, collision, and comprehensive coverage.

Drop collision and comprehensive coverage for older cars. If you drive an older car that's worth less than $2,000, it's probably more cost-effective to drop collision and comprehensive coverage since you'll probably pay more for the coverage than you'll collect for a claim. You can find out the worth of your car by asking auto dealers and banks.

Make sure your credit report looks good. Car insurance companies often look at your credit history as there is a correlation between the risk to the company and your credit history. If you pay your bills on time and maintain a good credit history, you can enjoy lower insurance rates.

Drive less. Insurance companies often offer low-mileage discounts to motorists who drive less than a predetermined number of miles each year. You can use public transportation more often, car-pool with friends, and take the train or a plane instead of driving to another state. And you'll save on more than your coverage as you'll need to spend less on gasoline (of which prices are incredibly high).

Maintain a clean driving record. The company will give you a price break and you can save on your insurance policy after a specified period of a clean driving record. This means that you have no accidents, no serious driving violations etc, during this period of time. The simplest and surefire way to qualify for this discount is to drive carefully and defensively all the time.

Choose a low-profile car. Insurance rates vary among difference models of vehicles. Generally, sports cars and high-performance cars tend to cost more to insure, mainly because they represent more risk of theft and the drivers are often the people who drive more recklessly. Newer cars will cost more to repair or replace than older ones, so naturally they can more to insure. Low-risk vehicles include station wagons and sedans.

Ask about safety and security discounts. The insurance companies sometimes offer discounts on your insurance if your car is equipped with the following: anti-lock brakes, air bags, automatic seat belts, car alarms, tracking systems. These reduce the injury risk to you, as well as the chances of your car being vandalized or stolen.

Finally, ask about other discounts. You may receive a discount if you buy more than one type of insurance from the same company or if you insure multiple cars under the same policy or company. You may also receive discounts for taking a defensive driving course, staying with the same company for a few years, being a driver over 50, good-student discounts, and being an AAA member. If you already have adequate health insurance, you can also eliminate paying for duplicate medical coverage, thus lowering your personal injury protection costs by a substantial amount.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Who Sets Auto Insurance Rates?

Auto Insurance rates are a complicated business. Have you ever wondered who sets your auto insurance rates and how the rates are actually derived?
Many factors determine how much you will pay. Most of these are common sense and you probably already know but let’s go over them just in case.
The very first thing that occurs is that the insurance company determines all its costs for the previous year. This includes all claims, the cost of operations, and what ever costs they incur. They then take those costs and divide them among all the drivers insured with them. This sets a base line for them but it doesn’t mean that’s what you will pay.
Your driving record plays a major role in how much your premiums will be and whether you earn a discount. The better your driving record the lower your total cost to insure your auto is going to be. Your driving record includes auto accidents and speeding tickets. If you haven’t insured a vehicle for a few years they will also penalize you. This sounds crazy but it’s because they have no way of following up on your driving habits so they consider you a bad risk.
What coverage you purchase will be reflected on your premiums. Deductibles are a good way to save money. Check with your insurance company and find out what effect raising and lowering your deductibles does to your policy. Remember to never take a deductible that is more than you are willing or able to pay in the event of a claim. Your insurance company will not divvy up their share until you do.
Age is also a determining factor. Studies have shown that younger drivers are involved in more accidents then older drivers. Some of this is due to their lack of experience. Most insurance companies charge you more until you reach the age of 25. Although some will offer some discounting for every year you drive accident free and without driving infractions.
The type of vehicle you drive and how far you drive affect your rates. That fabulous sports car you’ve been eyeing could cost you a bundle. You should check rates on any vehicle before you purchase to make sure you are willing to pay the rates.
Some cars get better discounts than others because they more safety devices such as anti theft immobilizers. Some cars also rate list because thieves don’t like them and so they don’t steel them.
Your insurance company also charges you more if you drive lots. The less you drive the cheaper your premiums will be. Most insurance companies use an average of 10,000 miles in a year. If you exceed this you can expect your premiums to go up.
Where you live also affects your rates. Big city drivers will pay a lot more than some one lives in a rural area or small village. That’s because cities have more thefts, more accidents, and more trouble over all.
Follow this information to help save on premiums. Don’t forget to shop on line. Rates can vary dramatically from one company to another. With a few clicks of the mouse you can have several quotes and get low cost insurance.