Monthly Archives: February 2016

Traffic Tickets Affect Insurance Rates

Posted on by

To keep the premium rates affordable, you must focus on safe driving

Insurance companies want to provide coverage because they basically think you are worth protecting. For them, there are generally two types of customers: safe-driver (which is the preferred class) and high-risk driver. Each type receives different treatments as the former has the bigger advantages such as discounts and generally cheaper rates. On the other hand, providing coverage for high-risk drivers is quite risky; insurers think that those drivers have tendencies to get involved in accidents. Based on this assumption, high-risk drivers will have to pay more without discounts and other good benefits. You are categorized as either safe or high risk type based on DMV’s data concerning driving records. Traffic offenses such as speeding, reckless driving, or driving while intoxicated are some of most important violations which will adversely affect your premium. Not wearing seat-belt is probably a minor one, which can be dismissed from the record after paying fines, will probably never affect anything. You can actually figure out whether you are in the “safe-driver” or “high-risk” category by using car insurance estimator; this tool provides a simple way to use some of your personal data to determine the cost.

Why Traffic Tickets Increase Your Premium Rate

Traffic laws are written to keep everybody who uses the roads safe. Hundreds of different routes have distinguishing features, for example speed limit, number of lanes, signals, road signs, etc. When obeyed properly by everyone, there is almost no possibility of accidents. Failure to comply with all the rules put everybody to risk of fatal injuries due to road accidents. You are not allowed to keep on going at red lights, speeding at school area, or driving to the wrong direction on certain lanes. Even if those offenses do not end up in accidents, you will be pulled over if you commit any of them. You will receive a fine for those violations. The fine are documented by DMV, attached to your records, and eventually will be checked by your insurers. If any important violation appears on the records, your company can simply transfer you from safe-driver category to the high-risk one, meaning you need to pay higher for the coverage. In worst case, your policies will be cancelled. When your policies are cancelled, it can be very difficult to get full coverage insurance, unless you purchase the policies from new insurers who accept high-risk drivers as customers.

A different traffic ticket affects the rate differently as well; some will only increase the premium slightly, while others can break the bank. Parking fines will not affect premium no matter how many you have collected. The biggest problem they can cause is vehicle registration renewal difficulties, but they will never increase your rate. A DUI (Driving under Influence), however, can be quite a problem. There are some types of citations including minor, major, and criminal. More severe offense means greater consequences. Some of the most common citations that will simply increase are excessive speeding, driving while intoxicated, careless or reckless driving, and driving without insurance. Each of them is considered major violation simply because it increases the likelihood of fatal accidents which end up in heavy injuries.

Note that accidents are not the only variables on driving records. There are many other things that they use to determine rates. It means even if you are never involved and at-fault in accidents, any fine will be enough for insurers to charge you more for the coverage. If you think the increase is too much, you can always find new less expensive insurer as long as you meet the minimum coverage requirement in your state. Some websites provide car insurance calculator services for not cost at all, meaning you can estimate the cost before even asking for the quotes. If you properly enter personal data, kind of car, and driving records, the results of the calculation will be accurate.

How Much Will My Rates Increase?

It is difficult to determine the actual amount of the increase. There are some important factors playing their roles such as the specific laws in your state and contractual agreement. A single auto fine for a minor infraction may not increase the rate at all. Your insurer will also consider your previous driving record. If this is your first offense and you have been good customer so far, you will probably be able to discuss the issue and ask them to ignore it. However, a DUI ticket is very serious and there is very little chance that you can get away with it without paying more for the coverage. Your driver license can be suspended for this offense as well. Also, repeated offense is often a reason that insurer cancels your policy. Some companies will not give coverage to high-risk driver, meaning you need to find new insurer before you can reinstate driver license. There are some big firms providing coverage for high-risk drivers; most even give free auto insurance quotes to potential customers. You can compare the quotes to find one that is suitable for your circumstances before deciding to make a purchase.

Please put in mind that any increase in the premium will only occur during renewal. You will probably not realize the increase months after the offense is committed. Bottom line, the best way to avoid any increase is to drive safely obeying any law and road sign you see while you are driving. If you stay on the safe side, your insurer has almost no reason to ask for more money to provide coverage for you. If you drive safe, any increase should be normal or caused by certain circumstances such as changing address to a more crowded area or bad credit score.

A different firm has different rules. You need to consult insurance agents or call your insurers for the details. Some of them simply cannot afford to provide coverage for high-risk driver, and they will cancel your policy due to any major infraction you commit. Luckily, you can find new insurer easily via Internet; you can access almost any company’s official website to get quick car insurance quote. It eliminates the hassles of making appointments with agents or making phone calls to all companies in your state. This is probably the quickest way to get back insured after policy cancellation.

About Parking Tickets

As previously mentioned, parking fines are highly unlikely to increase estimates. Other violations including Driving while intoxicated and speeding have clear correlations with the likelihood of accidents, but that almost has nothing to do with it. Parking tickets are non-moving violation, meaning the offense is committed while the vehicle is not moving. You will receive this fine if you park in the wrong place, such as fire zone or handicap park area. Furthermore, it does not demonstrate any lack of skill as driver. A parked vehicle is not liable for accident; even when the parked auto is involved in an accident, the fault rest on the moving vehicle that crashes into it. A driver must avoid fixed object of any kind including parked auto. When the vehicle is parked (even in the wrong place), it does not pose risk to insurer and will not affect your rates.

The problem is that being not-at-fault does not always mean that your company will pay for the repair. It certainly depends on the coverage you have. There are various types of coverage including comprehensive, liability, collision, medical payment, etc. A minimum requirement may not cover hit-and-run cases, for example when your parked auto is hit by another driver in a moving vehicle.

Parking tickets cause driver license suspension

While parking fines will not directly affect rates, they can unfortunately cause driver license suspension. It will only occur if you get too many tickets and you fail to pay the fines in time. A fine in a parking lot is considerably cheap, but many of them can be very expensive. Suspended driver license means you are not allowed to drive anymore, or you cannot legally drive your car anywhere. The companies will only want to provide coverage for legal drivers, and suspended license can cause policy cancellation. In such case, you need to re-apply for insurance as soon as your license in reissued. A suspended license due to parking fines is not major violation, so you can apply to new company easily. Some major companies give free quotes to potential customers. Just because you ask for the quotes, it does not mean you must purchase it. You can use it merely for comparison before you finally decide to make a purchase.

Fines from another state

In the past, you could get away with speeding fine issued in another state. You did not even have to pay it because the information concerning such issue would never reach your actual local DMV. Nowadays, information is sent electronically in an instant, and DMVs can access central database to all drivers. The database, popularly known as DLC (Driver License Compact), makes information available and easily accessible by almost all DMVs in the country. Therefore, fines from another state will affect insurance as well. All states are member of DLC except Michigan, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Georgia. Unless traffic offenses are committed in those states, it is almost impossible to avoid an increase in your premium rates. There is also another database known as National Driver Register which keeps all suspension records and reports them. In case your driver license is suspended, you cannot simply apply for a new one in another state.

There is always a way to reduce the impact of premiums related to fines. Depending on the types of offense, you are obliged to conduct punitive actions. This may include paying the fines or filing SR-22 document as a proof of insurance. All states have certain programs to help you dismiss the tickets from driving records, but they are most likely for minor infractions. You may be able to erase the record by taking driving courses or do some community services. Classes through the internet are also available to delete them from another state without having to go there very often.

Underwriting Auto Policies

Posted on by

It is the most affordable type of auto insurance, yet it complies with state’s regulations. All optional coverage for example Rental Reimbursement and Roadside Assistance are not in the policy to reduce the premium without losing the necessary protections.

Standard and Non-Standard Insurance Market

There are two different types of insurance markets including standard and non-standard markets. The former is the typical auto insurance for drivers with little to zero traffic tickets in the driving records. Insurance companies regard consumers of this market as low-risk drivers. Non-standard is for drivers who have major traffic violations histories such as speeding or DUI. For these drivers, acquiring auto insurance from the standard market can be difficult due to strict approval requirements by providers.

Standard market insurers are reluctant to provide policies because of the following reasons:

· High-risk drivers have tendencies to commit the same traffic violations

· There is a chance that the insurer must pay a considerable amount of compensation for repeated violation

· Some drivers get their high-risk status because of policy cancellation from the previous company as a result of frequent late payment

Non-standard market insurance consumers or high-risk drivers must pay a higher price for the policies, but the system allows them to get an easy approval. Regardless of past driving records or involvement in the accident, all applicants should acquire auto insurance policies to help them get back on the road without problems.

Minimum Auto Coverage

Every driver only needs to acquire the state’s minimum coverage requirements to drive without breaking the law. Depending on the states, the coverage limit can be different, but most states require at least the following coverage in the policy:

· Bodily Injury Liability: the coverage that provides payout or compensation following an accident in which the policyholder is at fault. The payout is for someone else who sustains injuries.

· Property Damage Liability: similar to Bodily Injury, the payout is for someone else whose properties or cars suffer from damages in an accident. The at-fault party must help cover repair or replacements.

In some states, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is also a mandatory coverage. This applies in states that use no-fault regulation.

Collision coverage is a financial protection for a policyholder’s vehicle in case it suffers damages from the accident. The payout from this coverage is available to help repair or replace vehicle’s parts.

Comprehensive also has the same purpose, but it only applies when damages are results of non-accident occurrences for examples falling objects, flood, theft, or hitting an animal. Both optional coverage types are sometimes mandatory by a leasing or financing company.

Payment Options

All high-risk drivers can revoke their high-risk status after taking some obligatory courses for example Defensive Driving or Driver’s Education Course. Please remember that driving without insurance is an illegal act. The price for insurance from non-standard market is higher, but the company allows for flexible payment options as follows:

· Economy Plan: payment system which allows policyholder to pay the down payment to acquire a policy. Installment every 30-day applies for the remaining amount.

· Quarterly Plan: another installment plan in which policyholders can spread the payment and pay once every four months for a year.

· Annual Plan: this is the simplest payment method with one-time payment up front for a year policy.

The rates remain the same throughout one-year policy period regardless of the payment plan applied. The insurance firm guarantees the rate for a full calendar year.

High-risk Drivers

Many people associate the term “high-risk” with repeated violations or major infraction, but most insurers have different views towards the case. Besides bad driving records, some other factors can determine whether or not someone is high-risk including:

· Age: new or teen drivers fall under high-risk category because they have very little experience in driving. Elderly people (70 years or older) are also high-risk due to hearing/vision issues. The company helps these people to get auto insurance in an easy way.

· Address: living in an area where the crime rate is high makes a driver high-risk as well. Cars in such neighborhood often fall victim to vandalism or theft.

· Credit history: The company does not use drivers’ credit history to determine approval.

Apart from those three factors, insurers use many variables to decide whether an applicant deserves approval or cancellation. the company only needs basic personal data to start underwriting auto insurance policies for customers.

Discounts

To help policyholders save money on insurance, the firm offers multiple discounts. There are three categories for discounts:

· Driver Discounts: eligibility requirements include taking Defensive Driving Course or Driver’s Education. Students with good grades are eligible for the discount as well.

· Policy Discounts: more affordable premiums for policyholders who registers multiple vehicles under one policy. Those who pay in full get 31% off premium.

· Vehicle Discounts: installing safety devices such as airbag, passive restraint, cell-phone blocking, and anti-theft system grants more discounts, too.

Best Vehicle Insurance Coverage

Posted on by

It is a legal obligation of every vehicle owner to have at least state liability insurance. This is applicable in all states except New Hampshire because of its delay in passing the insurance requirement laws for drivers in the state. However, there are some confusing laws like the R-S-A 264:3 statutes that suspend your driving license and registration if your car is uninsured and you are involved in an at-fault accident.

On the other hand, as a resident of the other 49 states which accommodate more than 99% of the population of the United States, you must get an insurance policy or face legal implications that can financially cripple you. It will, therefore, be wiser to obtain the best affordable vehicle insurance coverage for complete coverage, to satisfy your state’s insurance specifications, as well as a good match for your budget. Here is a summary of the basic types of vehicle insurance

Vehicle Liability Insurance

This basic type of car insurance covers you or another insured driver on your policy, in case an at-fault vehicle accident occurs, this will compensate for the cost or the bodily injuries and the repairs of the car of the third party. Individuals who usually obtain this form of coverage are on a tight budget and minimal assets.

In the event a fatal accident occurs, leading to severe damage, the chances are that the insurance claim will far exceed your policy. Hence the need for an extensive coverage as your assets increases.

Collision Insurance

This form of coverage pays for the damages sustained by your car as a result of a vehicle-related accident, regardless of who is at-fault. So, this policy covers you when you collide with another vehicle or your car gets damaged by some other elements different from colliding with another vehicle. Several scenarios may cause damage to your vehicle that is not resulting from an accident with another automobile and of which may require that you file a claim.

Such scenarios involve colliding with a pole, losing control of the wheels and running into a guard rail. Also, remember that a collision insurance covers only your damaged car and not liable for the third party’s damaged car or property. Liability insurance for damaged property would be responsible for the damaged properties of a third party.

Comprehensive Auto Insurance

This form of insurance offers you a critical cover that keeps your mind at rest. Comprehensive insurance will also protect you against damages not caused to your car by a vehicular crash, but by other causes like fire, water, or in the event your vehicle gets stolen.

A comprehensive cover is best if you reside in an area with high crime rate, where there is a high possibility of your car getting stolen.

Uninsured Motorist

In recent times, auto insurance rates have skyrocketed which makes a lot of people to take the risk of moving around without any vehicle coverage. Now, you could easily guess what would be the outcome in the event an uninsured driver damaged your car; could you afford the cost of replacement? Assuming you recently completed the payment for the vehicle, after six years of committed payment.

It is smarter to increase your premiums slightly and obtain an uninsured motorist protection. This insurance covers you, your passengers, and your car, in case you get hit by a motorist who is under-insured or uninsured. You may either get a UMPD or uninsured-underinsured motorist protection damage or collision deductible waiver (CDW). People with a liability are often the buyers of UMPD; they often ignore the comprehensive or collision policy.

Get Free Quotes for the Best Rates Only

The web is where you can find the most affordable vehicle insurance coverage. Most insurance firms have become aware that customers first search the web and compare different quote before deciding what coverage they will purchase. These carriers are competing to have you obtain their policies; hence, they offer amazing discounts online.

 

Avoiding Increases in Auto Insurance

Posted on by

If you receive an update from your provider about an increment in your insurance premium, you can reduce the rates by taking some few steps. When your insurance rates are going up, don’t worry yourself, these tips will help you avoid a rise in your insurance rates and get lower rates.

1. Safe Driving

Although this sounds common, so many people are ignorant of the role their driving manner plays in determining the amount they pay as premium. The tickets you have gotten and the severity of those infractions you have recorded are key factors. Avoid the tickets if you must reduce your insurance bills. Ensure you remove any ticket you have gotten from traffic school. If all you have is a single infraction, that won’t get your rates up. On the other hand, multiple incidents, especially when you are at fault, will cause your rates to jump up quickly. Hence the need for careful driving; always have safety in mind.

2. Avoid Drinking and Driving

The fastest and easiest way to boost your premiums is by obtaining a DUI. Every year, thousands of people lost their lives to alcohol-related auto crash. And this translates to huge claims being paid out to policyholders for the at-fault driver’s carelessness. If you wish to cut down your rates, then don’t drive after some drinks; even if you think you are OK. The risk is not worth taking; you may be creating an instrument for a rise in your insurance cost, as well endangering your life and those of other innocent road users. While you may have an increase in premium for DUIs for some insurers, others will terminate your coverage for the first violation. If you wish to maintain a low rate, avoid being drunk while driving.

3. Maintain a good Credit Rating

When a lot of people notice an increase in their premiums, they are confused, because they can’t trace the cause. Even after contacting their insurance providers, they are given a general response which does not resolve their confusion. This premium explosion can be traced to your credit ratings. Insurance companies take cognizance of these scores in calculating your premiums. Although some people think it is unfair, that wouldn’t stop the trend; if your credit score is low, so you should act now. Evaluate your credit score, immediately remove all wrong items and this will improve your rating. Then, you should also clear off your bills as at when due and reduce your debt profile. You will enjoy both a more robust financial wellbeing and reduced insurance rates.

4. Your residence determines your Auto Insurance Rates

Your Auto Insurance Premium is determined, among other factors, by your zip code area. If you wish to relocate, first carry out a survey for some insurance rates before you finally decide. Clearly fill in the information of your car and your Zip Code and you can have your rates in less than 5 minutes. Urban areas attract higher rates which are as a result of the greater possibility of accidents and car thefts. So, relocating from a city to a suburb might reduce your insurance rate by 10% or more.

5. Get Cheaper Quotes Online

After trying all you could to cut down your insurance rates but still to no avail, keep calm. The best thing to do now is to check online and make some comparison on different auto insurance rates. The list comprises of top competing firms with their direct rates. It is highly recommended to save money and time; do direct online shopping. A lot of policyholders have testified of saving over $500, and they are also impressed at the easy and fast procedures. Get a free custom quote now; you stand to lose nothing!