Affordable Auto Insurance

Rising fuel prices significantly affect the cost of owning a car. Something most people don’t consider is that you can considerably reduce your vehicle’s operating expenses by finding affordable auto insurance. It is vital that you evaluate the various components of the insurance policy to obtain the right value for your money.

Ways to research available options for car insurance

  1. Check rates among insurance providers on an annual basis

Compare insurance rates among insurance companies to ensure you get the best offer. You can visit state insurance departments to learn about available services. You can also compare insurance provider offers by checking their websites to save some time.

  1. Settle on reputable insurers

Check whether an insurance firm and their services have been rated. Rated companies provide quality services, and you can feel more comfortable about considering establishing a policy with them.

  1. Coverage reviews

Conduct reviews on liability coverage to ensure the plan covers bodily injury and damage to property proportionate to a level of risk you are comfortable with.

  1. Find more about crash repairs

Check to determine that your insurer would not send you to repair garages that fix your vehicle using cheap parts instead of using original manufacturer parts. Even though these parts might be a perfect fit, they are probably of low quality and won’t last long.

Top 10 tips for finding the right car insurance policy

When a cheap insurance plan might make sense

  1. Type of vehicle and its usage

You can opt for a cheap insurance plan if you own an ordinary vehicle that would have modest repair costs and has a minimal chance of getting stolen. Additionally, if you rarely use your car, it might make sense to get a cheaper insurance plan since your chances of making an insurance claim after an accident are lower.

  1. Area of residence

The probability of being involved in a road incident, and consequently being in need of making an insurance claim for your car, varies from one region to the other. If you reside in an area with relatively few road incidents, it could be reasonable to cover your vehicle with cheap insurance. For example, it could be an area where it rarely rains or snows.

  1. Driver’s experience

It could make sense if you are an experienced and mature driver to cover your vehicle with a cheap policy. However, you should have a good driving record for insurers to agree to provide you with a lower policy premium. Your chances of being found at fault after an accident are lower if you have no accident history. Keep in mind that the driver who is at fault is held responsible for repairs to the other car, so you won’t have to worry about accidents you don’t cause.

  1. You have never filed big-payout claims to insurers

If you have never made large-payout claims to your car insurer in the past, it could make sense to get a cheaper insurance plan. Most of the time, people with premium insurance plans do not make use of the extra features that are included, such as towing and recovery. Generally, the insurance firm covering the driver who was at fault covers these services for them instead.

10 reasons why your car insurance is so expensive

Disadvantages of having a cheap car insurance plan

  1. Insufficient Coverage

A cheap insurance plan generally only covers the basic requirements in the event of an accident. If you are at fault for an accident, you may have to foot charges on towing and recovery for the other person, renting a replacement vehicle for you and/or them, and living without an income in the event of permanent disability after an accident.

  1. Poor Customer Service and Claim Processing

Cheap auto insurance may not provide quality customer service. The company might not have an online presence, making it necessary to physically visit their office when making a claim, which could be an unnecessary waste of time. Many companies offering cheap car insurance are start-ups that might have a longer processing time for your claims to be settled. This could be due to financial challenges or even just a lack of standard operating procedures.

Is cheap car insurance really worth it?

Comparing a cheap car insurance plan to a more expensive one

  1. Essential features

You should consider the extra benefits made available to you in an insurance plan, even if they come at a higher price. Premium car insurance plans have additional benefits such as personal accident coverage, rental reimbursement, and roadside assistance riders, among others.

  1. Insurer’s reputation and financial capacity

Find out the reputation of the insurance company for claim settlements. Look out for things such as how long it takes before compensation is made, the kind of customers being served by the company (individuals vs. businesses, luxury car owners vs. modest car owners, etc.), and amount of payouts to customers.

  1. Customer service

You should also consider the insurer’s soft skills and how they handle their customers. Check whether the insurer has a social media presence and how they respond to customer queries and complaints.

  1. Out-of-pocket costs

You should consider the deductible amounts you would be responsible for in the event of an accident. You could choose a plan with lower monthly premiums and higher deductibles that covers fewer situations. Alternatively, a plan with higher monthly premiums and lower deductibles might cost you more to insure but covers all costs when you need to file a claim.

6 factors to consider when choosing a car insurer

Steps to Take When Filing a Car Insurance Claim

I got in an accident, what do I do?

You’ve just found yourself in an unfortunate car accident. You know that you need to call your car insurance company to file a claim, but what steps can you take to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible? Before you go can home and lie down you’ll need to make sure you’ve got all the information you need to present to your car insurance provider.

You never know if you might be taken to court so it’s best to record as many things as you can following the accident. After you’ve made sure everyone is okay talk to the other driver(s) involved in the accident to get the following information:

* Their full name, address, and phone number

* Their car insurance information

* The other vehicle’s license plate number

Beyond this, don’t discuss anything about the accident with others involved. You might have heard the phrase “never admit fault.” Even if you feel you might have caused the accident, you don’t want to say anything, otherwise that admission could be used in a claim against you or you could be put in a much worse situation if you are taken to court. Also try to get the contact information of any witnesses who are willing.

A picture is worth a thousand words

You will want to make sure that you take as many relevant pictures as possible. Take several pictures of the exteriors (and interiors if necessary) of all cars that were involved. Take pictures that capture the surrounding area along with the cars to provide a context for the accident. If there are any injuries, be sure to take pictures of those as well.

Start making calls to those you’ll need help from

Unless the damage is just a scratch or small dent and nobody is injured, you’ll want to also call the police. This is when you should talk about what occurred. Give as many details as possible but still don’t make any admissions of fault or blame yourself. Stick to the facts and allow the insurance companies to figure out who’s to blame.

Make sure that you call your insurance company the same day the accident occurs (if not possible the same day then as soon as you can afterward). Cooperate as much you can and chances are, since you’ve recorded the specifics of the accident so well, they will be more willing and able to accommodate you. Make sure you also check with your car insurance company before planning for any repairs. They’ll most likely want to inspect your car for larger claims and you don’t want to repair your car only to find out later that they won’t cover it. Keep all receipts and records of any car repairs or visits to the doctor following the accident as these will be relevant to the claims process.

Of course the best outcome would be to avoid an accident altogether, but life isn’t always so ideal. When you do run into these sorts of situations, it’s best to get more information than you need because that’s what will help you later on. Stay safe and be prepared!

How To Reduce Your Insurance Rates

Car insurance rates vs. premiums

The first thing to know in order to reduce how much you pay for car insurance is the difference between car insurance rates and car insurance premiums. A car insurance rate is what you can think of as the baseline for an insurance provider. This baseline is then modified based on your individual differences and the end result is your car insurance premium. So the more important question then becomes, how can one decrease his/her auto insurance premium?

Many factors can come into play here. To understand how these factors play into how much you’ll pay, you are going to have to think about things from the insurer’s point of view. Which things about you or your behavior might increase the risk to the insurance company? As you’ll soon find out, there are a multitude of components that go into determining this risk, some you can control and many you actually cannot.

What role does age or gender play?

Someone who has just started driving will definitely have to pay higher rates. Teenagers are much more likely to get into accidents due to lack of experience. Until you’ve aged a little and have a track record that proves you’re a safe driver, the premium will be high. If however, you do get into an accident and end up filing a claim, your premium will promptly be raised.

Even your gender can affect these premiums. If you’re a young man, all factors equal you’ll pay more than a young woman. But strangely enough, older men will pay less than older women (though this difference isn’t as much).

Your costs will go down if you’ve maintained a good credit score. Apparently good credit habits coincide with a lower probability of causing an accident.

How your car affects the price

The characteristics of your car has a major effect on your car insurance premium too. A car that is safer will obviously yield a lower cost. Some factors that can affect this safety include better traction, airbags, and car frames that are well designed for crashes. If your car is big and is considered relatively safe then you won’t have to pay as much because it will be less affected by a collision. If you have a newer more expensive model you’ll accordingly pay more since repairs will also be more expensive. On the other hand, if an old car gets totalled it might make more sense to just have it replaced instead of trying to get it repaired; therefore older cars will usually have less expensive car insurance.

Where you live will change your price

Your area of residence will also affect how much you pay (the more accidents occur in your area, the more you shell out). More claims will be filed in places with a higher population density, because the more people there are the more likely for accidents to happen. If the unemployment rates are high then less people will be able to afford car insurance which unfortunately translates to a higher premium for yourself.

As you might be able to tell, you can influence these factors to varying degrees. The most notable of which are how safe of a driver you are and what kind of car you drive. Of all the factors, one has the most control over these two. If you want to reduce your car insurance premium, being wary of collisions and choosing a safe, less expensive car can’t be overstated.