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Monday, January 17, 2011

Car Insurance Exclusions and Limitations

In the US and elsewhere, once you purchased a car it's automatic too that you be given an auto car policy. This policy covers two type of loss or protection for you; No fault Car Insurance coverage and the so called comprehensive car insurance policy. The latter will cover loss arising from collision or contact with another person and as the name suggests it is not your fault because it is accidental. This will indemnify the person you accidentally bumped and other damages to property you met. The limit of compensation would vary from state to state, certainly no payment will be made on drunk drivers and unauthorized drivers.

The comprehensive car insurance policy on the other hand deals with loss or damage you encounter on your own vehicle. The title says it's comprehensive but take note it is a misnomer because it does not cover everything. It has its own car insurance exclusions and limitations which will be discussed hereafter.

Wear and Tear. This means your policy does not cover your car's normal trouble. Example rust on the hinge door, once you have it repaired it will not be reimbursable but when damage is brought about by collision then you can make a claim on it.

Mechanical Breakdown or Parts Failure. Car transmission requiring rebuild or replacement is not covered however when damaged in a car accident or other legitimate auto claim it is covered. But when trouble is mechanical breakdown you may look into the various warranty cover attached when you bought the car.

Aftermarket Parts and Equipments. A common example of this when a non-factory installed stereo system is stolen out of your car, this will not be covered. However, insurance carrier has a provision for this; it must be attached as endorsement in your policy that a stereo system is installed in this case.

Damage Caused Intentionally. You cannot make a claim on damages to your vehicle you intentionally made, otherwise once discovered you will be charge on insurance fraud.

Damage to Tires. Damage to tires per se is not covered by comprehensive policy, unless again when the vehicle itself is also damaged.

Nuclear Risk Explosion. It does not cover risk when accident occurs as a cause of nuclear explosion.

Bear in mind though that the enumerated pieces of information above are only exclusions and limitations, there are a lot more things that insurance carrier covers, and they simply cannot afford to take care of every little thing for the simple reason that owners cannot afford to pay the premium when doing so. Suffice it to say that misnomer or not getting comprehensive car insurance policy will do a lot of good than harm in a car owner. The very reason why insurance was introduced in the first place is for people not to bear all the loss.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cheap Car Insuranse

You can get a better price if you shop around for cheap car insurance. You could actually save hundreds of dollars so it is worth the time and effort. You goal is to reduce your premiums and get cheap car insurance and the best deal.

Cost is important but it should not be your only consideration. You should choose a company that has good customer service and are financially stable. Even if you are looking for the cheapest car insurance, it is important to buy from a licensed insurance agent. Your state insurance department can give you this information.

Policyholders of licensed companies have protection in case they go bankrupt. If you have insurance from an unlicensed company that goes bankrupt, you will have no protection, and your claims might not be paid. Before you buy insurance, get price quotes from several companies and compare the rates and coverage.

Where To Find Cheap Car Insurance

In addition to using our service to find cheap car insurance, you can find rate guides that can help you find cheap car insurance. The guides have a list so you can compare premiums ; you can get information about the complaint record of the company by visiting the Consumer Information Source on the website of the National

Independent agents usually represent several companies and can give you several quotes, so you should tell them you are looking for cheap coverage. Think about the coverage you want and need. If you have valuable car stereo equipment, you may need to add coverage for that, but your premiums will be higher.
Ways To Lower Your Premiums

Your policy probably will have a deductible (the amount you have to pay out of pocket on your claim before the insurance company pays.) The higher your deductible is, the lower your premium. You can do more to get the cheap auto insurance you want by choosing the highest deductible you can afford.

Insurance companies may offer cheap car insurance policy discounts that will lower your premium. Ask your agent what discounts and payment plans the company offers. Never cancel your existing policy until you get a new policy or at least written binder. A binder is an agreement that proves you have coverage until the company issues your policy, which you will receive in the mail.

Remember, why should you pay hundreds of dollars more if you can get cheap auto insurance by shopping around a little?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

UK Car Accident Insurance Claims Double Due to Snow and Ice

By Jo Bilson
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As snow ploughed through much of the U.K. and Northern Europe, it was reported by AA insurance on December 2010 that snow causes car accident insurance claims to increase. The highest percentage of snow and ice claims was made this holiday and snowy season. Indeed, 70 per cent of all claims are snow- and ice- related.

Drivers Who Drive on Icy Roads are Only Inviting Car Insurance Claims

Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, said: "If you take your car out on icy roads, you are at significantly greater risk of suffering a collision." He added even those who have fitted winter tyres or snow chains are at risk because it won't stop someone else from sliding into their car. He urged drivers to heed the advice of local police and only drive if absolutely necessary.

Highway authorities are unable to clear all roads and those that have been treated are re-freezing because in many areas the temperature is lower than minus 9 degrees C, below which salt becomes ineffective, thus inviting the car accident insurance claims.

Snow- and Ice-related Car Accident Insurance Claims

The most common accidents with regards to snow- and ice related car accident insurance claims were tail ends, usually occurring at roundabouts or junctions. Collisions with parked cars after slipping on the ice or snow were also another common trait.

The car accident insurance industry is preparing itself for a rough winter as the arctic conditions have hit a lot earlier than expected. Last winter, which was reported to have been the coldest in 30 years, saw the insurance industry pay out an estimated £650 million, according to the Association of British Insurers.

What is Car Accident Insurance?

Accidents caused by snow or ice will be covered under comprehensive car accident insurance policies. The cost of breakdowns or vehicles that fail to start is usually not covered. Drivers should contact their breakdown or roadside assistance provider, which is often bundled with car accident insurance policies. Car insurance claims against other drivers will be valid only if negligence can be proved.

What Affects Car Accident Insurance Premiums when Driving in the Snow?

Many drivers are unsure of the effect snow tyres are likely to have on their car accident insurance premiums. When buying new tyres, drivers should try to purchase the same wheels they already have. If they are different, drivers should check with their car insurer, as some wheels may be considered to be a modification and incur an additional car accident insurance premium.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How to сhoose the right insurance company

To help answer this question, we consulted two insurance experts: Dennis Howard, director of the Insurance Consumer Advocate Network (I-CAN) and a retired insurance adjuster, and Doug Heller, a consumer advocate at The Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights, a California-based consumer advocacy group. Both had several ideas for consumers determined to make sure their car insurance investment is directed toward a trustworthy company, one that will pay on time and in full.
1) Visit your state's department of insurance Web site. Although you may not be familiar with it, your state, and every state, has a department of insurance. Most departments have Web sites, and many publish "consumer complaint ratios" for all of the insurance companies that sell policies in their state. This ratio tells you how many complaints a car insurance company received per 1,000 claims filed.
Both experts recommended that consumers use complaint ratios to screen prospective insurers. "Just because they're a big name doesn't mean that they'll be a 'good neighbor' or that you'll be 'in their hands,'" Heller noted.
If you've done your homework, you should already have a list of car insurance companies with the lowest premium quotes. Now jot down the companies with the lowest (or best) complaint ratios. Then, compare your two lists — the companies that rank best on both lists merit your strongest consideration.
If you can't find complaint ratios for your state, Heller recommends examining the complaint ratios published by other states. Keep in mind that a single insurance company's practices can vary significantly from state to state — a subpar ratio in one state doesn't necessarily mean the situation is the same in your state. But watch for general trends. If an insurer is getting a lot of complaints in several other states, you probably don't want to get involved with this company. The I-CAN Web site provides links and contact information for every state's department of insurance.
Also note that insurance department Web sites often provide basic rate comparison surveys. These can give you a rough idea of which insurers might interest you on a financial basis without the hassle of typing in all your personal information (as you must when you use one of the online quote sites).
2) Find out which insurers body shops recommend. One of the best ways to identify reliable insurers, according to Howard, is to contact local body shops that you trust and ask for their recommendations. Body shop managers have a unique perspective to offer, since they regularly interact with insurance adjusters. They know which companies have the smoothest claim processes, which affects how quickly the work can be completed on a damaged vehicle. And they know which companies are pushing aftermarket parts, in lieu of genuine original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, to cut costs.
3) Check the J.D. Power Ratings. J.D. Power and Associates collects data from individual policyholders nationwide and rates them according to coverage options, price, claims handling, satisfaction with company representatives and the overall experience. A quick visit to the J.D. Power Consumer Center will give you a feel for how the major carriers stack up. J.D. Power also publishes an annual survey of major auto insurers — Amica and Erie have finished at the top for the last three years. These are also companies that Howard recommends: "Erie is sold by independent agents, who are very knowledgeable about the product. I like their claims handling approach. Almost all other companies look at a claim and find a way to not pay it. Erie and Amica will look at it and try to find a way to cover it."
4) Consider insurers' financial strength ratings. As a final check, you can take a look at the A.M. Best and Standard & Poor's ratings. Both companies publish financial strength ratings for all insurance companies — these "measure" an insurance company's ability to pay out a claim (they have nothing to do with the way a company treats its customers).
For the general consumer, looking up these ratings is only a formality, since most of the well-known carriers are going to be a safe bet. Moreover, independent agents would be unlikely to recommend a company with dubious financial standing. Still, if you're considering a smaller, unfamiliar insurance carrier, you might consider this research time well spent. Insurance companies often provide this information on their Web sites, but if not, you can run a search at the A.M. Best and Standard & Poor's sites.
The A.M. Best rating is expressed as a letter grade from A++ (the highest) to D. Some companies may be assigned ratings of E (indicating regulatory action regarding the company's solvency), F (in liquidation) and S (suspended). In any case, you should only work with companies that have at least a B+ rating.
The Standard & Poor's ratings range from AAA (the highest) to CC. Additionally, some companies receive ratings of R (under regulatory supervision) and NR, which means "not rated." The letter grades might be modified by a plus or minus mark. Consider only those companies that have at least a BBB rating.
5) Still confused? Consider working with an agent. It used to be that everyone purchased auto insurance from an agent, but now, car insurance companies like EsuranceGeico and others allow you to purchase insurance directly — over the phone from a customer service representative or online. Still, many of the major players have preserved their national networks of local agents — even if you use State Farm's or Allstate's Web site, you will still be assigned a local agent.
There are two kinds of agents:
  • a) the captive agent, who represents only one insurance company (major carriers like AAA, Allstate and State Farm sell policies through captive agents).
  • b) the independent agent, also known as a broker, who represents several insurance companies and therefore does not have a vested interest in selling you a policy from one particular company.
The main advantage in having your own agent is that this person has a vested interest in keeping you happy. Accordingly, he can become familiar with your situation and guide you toward a suitable policy. Howard favors the use of agents and advised, "Don't rule out direct providers, but my personal preference is to have an agent, preferably an independent agent, write your policy for you.... An independent agent would become aware of less advantageous conditions with one company [and help you move to another]. You can change carriers without changing your agent. I encourage consumers to develop a relationship with their agent."
The prospect of good working relations with an agent may help you to make a decision: When Heller purchased auto insurance for the first time, two insurers gave him similar quotes, but he went for the slightly higher one because the agent had been highly recommended by a friend. "You shouldn't go direct without always checking out other options," he said.
But, he cautioned, "Never feel pressured by a broker or an agent. Take the time to talk with an agent or a broker as well as do your online research. You may not need an agent — you may find a better deal with a company that operates direct."
Independent agents sometimes charge a fee for their services, but you may be able to negotiate that. You should agree upon any fee in writing before making a purchase. Look for agents who are certified by Independent Insurance Agents of America (Big "I") or Professional Insurance Agents (PIA).
Of course, we know you have better things to do with your time than think about car insurance. Realistically, most people won't be able to do everything on this list before choosing an insurance carrier. But if you feel that you've been burned during the claims process in the past, consider at least one or two of these suggestions — you'll thank yourself if you're ever involved in another accident.

Chooising best car Insurance broker

Do you notice that most people stick with their car insurer for the long term? Is it always because the company always provides the best rates and insurance terms? You would be surprised that most of them do not really want to go through the hassle of trying out new processes other companies may offer.

We may find ourselves bombarded with so many companies advertising about their insurance policies and why you should choose them. With all the rates and conditions they promise, how do you know which insurance policy is best for your budget?

Here are simple ways to compare car insurances and get the best one for you. It all begins with knowing who the companies so that you can apply for the best rate for you.

Who are the car insurers?

One of the easiest ways to categorize these insurance companies is by their marketing efforts and company size.
Sales agents – There are companies that have chosen people to sell policies as agents. The agents meet with the customer personally or call them up over the phone. You can be assured of a good and personalized service at reasonable rates. Company hotline – Companies that use a hotline sell to their customers directly through the use of marketing or advertising. Insurance policies are applied over the phone as there are no direct agents that go door to door just to look for new policy sign ups. The company mainly relies on their customers to contact their call centers or apply online. The service may not be as personalized as direct sales agent however you can be assured that you are getting your policy directly from the company with no false information. Freelance agents – These sales agents offer different insurances from different companies. Their expertise lies on finding the best rates and offering the information to customers for a fee. They can also be consultants and offer solutions on how to overcome problems in getting approved for insurance.

Who is the best car insurance?

A good insurer will have a good grasp of the whole picture before they create a policy for you. They will check your driving and credit history. To get a good rate, it is advisable to retain your good driving record. Most insurers analyze these factors before they calculate the rate they give to you.

Applying for an insurance policy can be a daunting task. But with good research and spending time on these matters will save you some money while your policy runs.

Insurance Quote Websites

In the past shopping for insurance meant speaking with an agent that had access to a handful of insurance companies. Today, you can use an online service to connect with thousands of agencies. Unlimited access and speed offer the consumer many advantages such as:

  • Time: There are thousands of insurance agencies in the US and Canada that offer various levels of coverage. However, it would require a huge investment of time to talk to hundreds of agents in order to find the most affordable plan or a unique type of coverage. Most services can offer a quote within the same day, without having to talk to an agent.
  • Location: You can search by zip code to find agents in your area that offer the kind of coverage you need. 
  • Multiple Quotes: Most sites can connect you with several agents in your area; many advertise that they can generate as many as five quotes.
  • Cost: All of the insurance quote services we reviewed are free. Most services have access to thousands of agents that can offer a wide range of pricing, so you can shop for the lowest rate available. 
  • No Obligation: All the sites offer quotes with no obligation to buy, and an agent will not contact you by phone unless you request it.
  • Security: The best sites publish an extensive privacy policy and use VeriSign SSL certificates to encrypt and protect your personal information.
Since these services are free, strive to protect your personal information and require no obligation, you lose nothing by shopping around. It's like window-shopping without having to stand out in the rain.
In this site, you'll find articles on insurance-related issues, as well as comprehensive reviews and a side-by-side comparison to help you make an informed decision on which service is right for your insurance needs.

What to Look for in an Insurance Quote Website

There are many services out there to choose from, but finding the service that best fits your needs can be a challenge. We chose fifteen of the most reputable services available and rated them based on several criteria.
Below are the criteria TopTenREVIEWS used to evaluate insurance quote websites:

Types of Insurance Quoted
The most comprehensive services offer many coverage options and have access to thousands of agencies. Some services offer only basic policies such as auto or home insurance, whereas others have access to special coverage like professional liability or medical malpractice.

Ease of Use of Service
These sites should be easy to navigate through the first time, and the quote request form should only take several minutes to fill out.

Quotes Supplied
The more quotes a shopper receives, the more choices they have with regards to policy options and pricing. A good service will offer up to five quotes or alternative links to agencies that may be able to help them if they have a special need.

Help/Support Options
Customer support should offer a variety of contact methods including telephone, email, mail or instant message. Online support may range from help menus to FAQs pages to glossaries.

Top car- insurance websites:

Car Insurance: Progressive Auto Insurance
Compare auto insurance policies at Progressive and other leading companies. Start a new quote or retrieve a saved quote. Payments can be made online should you decide to purchase a Progressive plan.
Car Insurance: Geico

Shop for auto insurance at the well-known company, get a quote online, and learn how to save money on your plan. Access news, advice, and profiles of insurance for vehicles other than cars.
Car Insurance: Insurance Information Institute
Read up on car insurance basics, policy buying and money saving advice, claim filing, and safety issues. Be sure to read the article on basic auto 
policy and the typical six coverage's.

LoveToKnow Insurance 
Wiki site covers all sorts of insurance, including a section on 
car insurance.

Car Insurance: Liberty Mutual
Insurance company's website contains an car insurance premium quoting tool that allows you to receive a quote in 5-15 minutes. Details qualifications for consideration. Customer service contact information available.
Car Insurance Tips:
Tips and articles on 
choosing the right insurance company, ten important steps to take before purchasing a plan, and insurance info for teenage drivers. Learn of different auto insurance rates in the Insurance Center.
Car Insurance:
Receive up to four quotes from top insurance companies by simply answering one set of questions. Start a new quote or retrieve an existing one. Read the 
FAQ on auto insurance and learn how to get a warranty quote.

Car Insurance Guide

If you have any questions at all about what to do in order to get the right car insurance policy, how to keep your premiums as low as possible or what to do if you're involved in an accident and need to make a claim, our car insurance guide is a great place to start.

Here we're dedicated to driving down the cost of your motor insurance, and we've covered some of the most common questions and concerns encountered by our customers in the following pages.

An introduction to car insurance

Of all the financial products, car insurance is one of the most common. The reason for this is simple: to drive a vehicle on the road legally it needs to be insured, and with 26 million cars on our roads, that's a huge number of people insuring a vast number of vehicles.

Most of these people are given the chance to review their policies each year, allowing them to switch to a different company should they desire based on price, and the quality of service provided.
Many people simply allow their policy to renew itself each year when it expires, potentially losing money by not shopping around for a more competitive quote or only changing insurer when rising car insurance prices become particularly noticeable.
Unfortunately, the reverse is also true on occasion: Many people take out extremely cheap car insurance, only to find out that the policy isn't as comprehensive as they initially thought - and these people often don't find out about this until they make a claim, by which time it's too late.

The first thing anybody considering a new car insurance policy should do is shop around. Remember the cheapest car insurance policy may not necessary be the right option for you!

Knowing the ins and outs of how car insurance policies work could save you even more money, as well as making sure you are receiving the correct services and level of protection from your insurer. This guide will help you to do just that, as well as answering some common questions about insuring a car.

These questions range from the factors that affect your premium, how you can make your premiums cheaper, and what to do in the case that you need to make a claim on your policy.

Coverage you must have

Bodily injury liability. Should you cause an accident, the "liability" part of your insurance coverage pays the medical, rehabilitation, and, if necessary, funeral bills of your passengers, the other driver, his or her passengers, and any pedestrians involved. It also covers pain and suffering awards as well as legal costs.

Buy coverage that will pay at least $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. If you have sizable assets, consider increasing those limits to $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident. Such added coverage will raise your premium at least 10 percent. We recommend that people with a high net worth have a separate "umbrella" policy to insure against a lawsuit seeking an amount beyond their auto policy's limits. You may need to buy higher insurance limits to qualify for an umbrella policy.

Property damage. This coverage pays to repair or replace another person's vehicle or other property damaged by your car. States typically require only $10,000 to $25,000. We suggest buying coverage of $100,000.

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. This covers medical bills, rehabilitation, and funeral costs, as well as losses for pain and suffering for you or the passengers in your car when an accident is caused by a hit-and-run driver or someone who has little or no insurance. Get the same amount of this coverage as you do bodily injury coverage. That way, if someone who has no insurance hits you, your medical costs will be covered.

Coverage you'll probably need

Collision and comprehensive. Collision coverage pays to repair or replace your car no matter who or what caused the accident. Comprehensive pays to repair or replace your car if it's stolen or damaged as a result of a storm or other natural event. Coverage kicks in for the amount above your deductible. Choose the highest deductible you can afford to pay out of pocket--at least $500. Once the cost of this coverage equals 10 percent of your vehicle's book value, you might want to cancel it, since you will collect no more than your vehicle's market worth. Antique vehicles or cars with collector value sometimes are insured through a separate rider; or you may have to find a separate, specialty insurer.

Personal-injury protection. PIP reimburses you for lost wages and in-home care needed as a result of an accident. If you have separate health and disability policies, you can buy just the state-required minimum for PIP. The other policies should cover the balance of your needs.

Medical-payments coverage. Sometimes called med-pay, this covers medical bills for you and your passengers, regardless of who's at fault. When this coverage isn't automatically included in your policy, its costs are minimal. You may not require any if you have good health insurance. To protect passengers who may not have their own health coverage, you may want to carry at least $5,000 of this coverage.

Additional types of coverage

Roadside assistance. This coverage pays to have your vehicle towed. If you already have an auto-club membership or your car's manufacturer provides this service for free, don't buy this extra coverage.

Rental reimbursement. This coverage typically costs $30 per year and pays for a rental car--usually for up to 30 days--if your vehicle is stolen or is in the shop for repairs sustained in an accident. There's usually a cap on the amount you're reimbursed per day and per occurrence.

Types of car Insurance

America has become a culture of cars, SUV's, minivans and sports coupes. With all this traveling in and out, back and forth around the maze that is the United States infrastructure, its easy to understand why auto insurance is required in order to own an drive a car.
For car buyers, an effort needs to be made on the part of insurance companies to provide information on the different types of auto insuranceavailable. These include bodily injury and liability, collision, comprehensive, full glace, liability, medical coverage, personal injury protection, and underinsured or uninsured motorist.

There are several other types of car insurance
These include glass replacement insurance, towing insurance etc. These types of insurance are often not required and are not popular as they are often costly.

- Uninsured or under-insured drivers insurance will pay any costs that you or your passengers may experience if an accident should occur with adriver who is uninsured or underinsured.
- Liability insurance coverage is imperative to have as a driver. This insurance covers any injuries or damages to property that may occur during an accident. Two types of liability include bodily injury liability insurance and property damage liability insurance.
- Medical insurance is different in that it focuses on the driver and passengers of the car. This will cover any medical treatment for the driverand the passengers. In addition, the medical insurance may or may not offer disability insurance and pain and suffering compensation. 
- Collision insurance deals with the cost of damage caused by a collision to your car that may affect the book value. Comprehensive deals more with damage caused by vandalism, natural disasters, theft or other kinds of damage.

Now that you know what types of car insurance are out there, the next step is to find a credible insurance agent. The first place to investigate this is through family and friends. Referrals will help you sort those agents that you want to investigate further. You will want to speak with several different agents before you make your final decisions. Ask any and all questions you may have. That is what the agent is there for. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

What are common mistakes people make when choosing car insurance?

- Do not limit yourself to a quote from only one company worrying about how the multiple credit rating requests may affect your credit.

- Most insurance policies do not automatically include rental car coverage.

- The lowest price does not always mean the best value. Compare similar policies.

- It is most likely the policy holder will contact the toll free customer service number if a need arises and should call the toll free number to assess the quality of service when choosing car insurance.

- Many people do not reduce their coverage after paying off a vehicle or after significant depreciation. Older vehicle’s value should be assessed to be sure collision coverage is cost effective.

- Many people do not carry sufficient liability coverage, make sure liability coverage meets the cost of commonly seen luxury vehicles and SUV’s.

- Most people do not ask for auto insurance discounts. When choosing car insurance consumers must be aware of different terminology between different companies. Each may call similar policy features by different names.

- Payment plans often carry administrative fees.

- Many insurance companies factor credit score as a risk factor. If your credit score dramatically drops it may not be the best time to change or buy car insurance.

- Drivers who go periods of time with no coverage do not end up saving money, as the insurance companies assign a lack of a previous policy as a significant risk factor.