Car insurance comes in a number of flavors, from liability to collision coverage. With so many different types of insurance plans, it may get confusing what you’re protected against. Comprehensive coverage is one of these plans, and with it, you’re typically protected against a number of events: acts of nature, such as weather damage or animal damage, and non-natural acts such as theft or vandalism.
With comprehensive coverage, what you’re protected against really depends on your provider, but usually you’ll be safe from a number of acts of theft. If your car is broken into and things like your car stereo or even your tire rims are stolen, comprehensive coverage may very likely cover it—but check on these things with the insurance agent before signing on the dotted line. As a general rule, items not permanently attached to your car, such as a computer, mp3 player, or anything else of value are typically not covered by comprehensive coverage. This type of theft falls under homeowners insurance, which will cover losses of personal property if you possess proof that you actually owned the lost items in question. However, many insurers offer what is called “car theft insurance,” which will cover loss of possessions in the event of a car break-in. Additionally, you can often add home owner’s or renter’s insurance to your auto policy for a very low cost.
If you live in an area with a high crime-rate (especially a high rate of vehicle-related crimes), it’s probably a wise choice to invest in comprehensive coverage. However, you have to remember that for every claim you make, you will need to pay a deductible. If the value of the objects stolen from your car (or the value of your car itself, if it has been stolen) is less than your deductible, you likely won’t want to pay a deductible that’s more than what your stolen possessions are worth.
You should also consider the type of vehicle you own, as thieves will target some vehicles more than others. Also remember that your car’s value will depreciate quickly and that your theft coverage will only pay what your car is worth. This means that if you’re still making payments on your automobile, then you could very well lose a lot of money by having your car stolen. Always be aware of exactly what coverage you have—and what it covers.
There are three things that are certain in life: death, taxes, and car accidents. You’ve probably seen an auto collision at least once while driving down the highway. They happen—end of story. They’re common too. But with a little precaution, you help make sure you’ll never be involved in one. Being defensive on the road can ensure both the safety of you and the safety of drivers around you.
Be aware and respectful of other drivers. Never drive too closely to the person in front of you. If your vehicle is too close to another, it significantly reduces the amount of time you have to avoid an accident if the driver ahead of you stops suddenly. Additionally, always use your turn signal when changing lanes or making turns. That’s what it’s there for. Using your indicator requires very little effort and helps let other drivers know what you plan on doing. Be sure to leave your signal on for a few seconds to allow others on the road ample time to see it.
If you’re at a stoplight, don’t accelerate too quickly when the signal turns green. Many drivers run red lights and jumping the gun, so to speak, may cost you. Also, when driving at night, make sure you turn off your high beams when other drivers approach. High beams can be very bright and they can be blinding for those driving towards them.
In addition to driving defensively, remember to keep your car in good running shape. Have your vehicle inspected regularly, making sure to have your brakes, tires, and alignment checked. Having a healthy car prevents you from running into unexpected trouble on the road.
Never, ever get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated. If you are under the influence of something, call a cab, find a friend, or hop on public transportation to get yourself home. Driving while intoxicated is dangerous not only to you but to the people around you. Getting pulled over while under the influence can cost you not only the price of a ticket, but possibly jail time, the loss of your license, or the loss of your insurance policy—and the list goes on. Simply put: it just isn’t worth it. Driving while sleep deprived can be dangerous, too. If you feel exhausted or are told you shouldn’t be driving, then don’t. No matter how determined you are to get home, stick where you are until you’re rested, sober, and feel road-ready.
All these tips and more can keep you and others safe on the road. With a little precaution and luck, you can hope to never be involved in an accident as long as you’re driving.
Many first-time car owners may find the world of owning a car confusing, frightening, and intimidating. Fortunately, simply educating yourself about the process of obtaining car insurance can make the experience infinitely less daunting. Here are a few tips for first-time auto insurance buyers.
First of all, consider your car insurance needs. Do you really need comprehensive coverage, or are you good with just liability insurance? Consider the area in which you live: is there a lot of extreme weather or wildlife? Do you live in a dangerous neighborhood? All of these factors are important to ponder when shopping for insurance. Often times, you can be just fine with the bare basics. However, if you feel safer with a little more than that, such as collision insurance, then by all means go for it.
You should also ask friends and family about what insurance they have and what companies they can suggest. Your premiums can vary widely between companies, as can your insurance quality. Ask your friends who they’re covered under, how much they pay for what they receive, and how well the service is. While simply taking their word for it isn’t the wisest decision, their word can help steer you in the right direction.
Start searching online for the best rates possible. There is a multitude of websites dedicated to comparing and contrasting auto insurance rates. If simple human contact flusters you, many of these sites also offer services that will provide you insurance quotes without ever having to speak to anyone. This is the perfect way to get set up with auto insurance for students, Millennials, and those who like to take their time comparing and contrasting rates and what those rates cover.
Be wise about where you purchase insurance: it probably isn’t the best decision to spring for the insurance company that advertises guaranteed coverage whatever your driving record is—especially if that company advertises with a poor ad on FM radio, for example. Think about it: should you really trust a company that doesn’t care whether you have a DUI or even a driver’s license? Probably not.
Lastly, remember that your premiums will vary depending on a number of factors: age, sex, driving history, make and model of your car, and the state you live in, among other things. If you’re a first-time car owner, you can be assured that you’ll be paying a little more than your parents—but don’t fret—in time this rate will go down as you build up a good driving record and steer clear of tickets and drive defensively.
Does Your Car Insurance Company Factor Education, Credit, And Employment To Determine Rates? How To Avoid The Shakedown
Not all men and women are created equal when it comes to auto insurance. Depending on your zip code, age, sex, driving record, car make and model, and marital status, you may find yourself paying widely different rates than your best friend or family member. In certain states, education, occupation, marital status, and even your credit score can be variables in the complicated equation used to determine insurance premiums.
Recently, a New York Public Interest Research Group study detailed the inequality employed by auto insurance providers. The study utilized numerous requests for insurance quotes using base standards for age, driving record, and vehicle, but with broadly different variables for occupation and education. Many insurers involved in the study offered different rates to the profiles of a bank executive with a college degree and a retail worker with a GED. Strangely, even when a profile without a college degree had a spotless driving record, its counterpart with a college degree and numerous driving violations was given a lower rate.
The reason behind this trend could be due to the practice of data mining for “price optimization.” Insurers use an algorithm that will determine how much companies can charge a customer before they begin shopping for other companies. So, your rates may not simply be determined by how much of a risk factor you are, but by how much a company can charge you before you get tired of it.
That being said, it isn’t wise to assume that your insurer is charging you a fair price. However, some states, such as California, limit the factors insurers can use in calculating rates to only driving-related. Companies in other states feel no shame in upping your premiums based on reasons such as voting or marital status.
While many think the practice of “price optimization” is cruel and unfair, there isn’t much that drivers can do in the current market to avoid it short of moving to a state where it is illegal. Unfortunately, it isn’t really possible to know for sure if your insurance provider uses price optimization, as they aren’t required to provide that sort of information to state regulators. While currently there hasn’t been much noise given to stopping the practice, that doesn’t mean there won’t be in the future—the discriminatory exercise of price optimization may just have an expiration date after all.
While there’s nothing quite like the feeling of buying a brand new car, sometimes drivers may opt to lease a car instead. There’s nothing wrong with that: in fact, leasing a car can end up saving you a lot of money while still providing a great vehicle and experience. However, if you decide to lease a vehicle, you should probably know that you would likely be paying more for your car insurance. Because a leasing company owns the automobile you’ll be leasing, they will certainly want to protect their investment and may require you to purchase more than just simple coverage. Here are a few things to know about leasing a vehicle.
First of all, you must purchase auto insurance. There are no exceptions: not just because it’s against the law, but because it’s plainly irresponsible and you’re not thinking of the health and wellbeing of yourself and others when you forego auto insurance. If you do not already possess car insurance, then you’ll need to purchase it before even leaving the dealer’s lot. Depending on your leasing company, you may need to buy much more than the state-minimum required level of liability insurance, based upon a number of factors that the sales manager at most any car dealership can acquaint you with.
As mentioned above, leasing companies will oftentimes require high liability insurance limits for your car. Additionally, some may force you to carry a lower deductible, as well. Almost always, the leasing lender will want you to also take on collision and comprehensive insurance. Collision insurance pays for any damage your vehicle obtains in the event of an accident. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your vehicle from so-called “acts of God,” such as natural disasters or hitting an animal. It also covers not-so-natural acts, such as theft and vandalism.
Lastly, any leasing companies will require any repairs done to your leased vehicle to use original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, which are typically costlier than after-market equivalents—they may also require that the work only be done at the dealership or mechanic that has the “seal of approval” to work on your make and model lease vehicle.
If reading about all these stipulations has discouraged you from leasing a vehicle, don’t let them. There are still a few ways to save on car insurance with a leased vehicle. For example, if you insure multiple vehicles with the same company, it’s possible that you will receive big discounts on your auto insurance. Additionally, if you’ve kept your driving record clean of any accidents or other violations, you may even receive a safe-driving discount.