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PICKING THE RIGHT INSURANCE

Money Saver (sometimes) Many insurance company's offer great discounts, relating to the following:

AIR BAGS & AUTOMATIC SEAT BELTS Some companies might discount up to 20% off Personal Injury Protection and Medical Payments coverage if the driver and passenger sides have air bags and automatic seat belts.


ANTI-THEFT/ALARM Some companies give discounts off the Comprehensive premium when an active anti-theft device, such as a intruder alarm. Some companies may discount more if the alarm arms itself automatically when you turn off the vehicle.


ANTI-LOCK BRAKES (ABS) If you have Anti-lock brakes (ABS), This is tied to your Bodily Injury and Property Damage coverage.


DRIVING SCHOOL Some companies give drivers who have complete a state approved drivers education class a discount their Bodily Injury, Property Damage, Medical Payments, Personal Injury Protection and Collision coverage.


SAFE DRIVER Sometimes if you're a safe driver, usually 3 years with no points, you qualify for additional savings on different types of coverage. The insurance company will let you know. Usually on your insurance bill you'll see something that says "Your premium reflects the maximum discount allowed for safe driver".


MULTI-CAR FAMILY If you insure two or more vehicles on the same policy some companies may give you a discount.

Get a copy of your driver’s license record prior to shopping for insurance. Many have errors in their driving report that run up auto insurance rates. Just like your credit history determines your car loan approval, your driving record determines how expensive your auto insurance will be. Your personal credit history can also have an effect on the price of your Auto Insurance. Go online to get competitive and accurate pricing from Auto Insurance providers. Make sure that you are accurate about the information you enter. Make certain that you enter the exact same coverage request from each online site you visit, to get a identical quote. These sites will give you quotes to compare before making your final decision. Get quotes from as many sites as possible to get your best price, then when you are ready to buy, call the company you chose and verify the price with them. Usually they will have all of your information already in hand, because, when you did your online inquiry, you provided them with your address, telephone number and driver’s license number.

Raising deductible is the amount you pay when you make a claim before your insurance company pays. The disadvantage of raising your deductible is that when you do make a claim, you will pay more on your end. The advantage is that your annual insurance costs go down. You can raise your deductible on the comprehensive and collision sections of your insurance policy. Drop your collision and/or comprehensive insurance on older autos. If your car is not worth much to begin with, then it may not be worth paying for collision and comprehensive insurance. That is because the amount you pay for the deductible plus the amount you pay for the insurance may be more than the value of the car itself.


Proof of Insurance: Always carry a copy of your insurance card in your purse or wallet.


Auto Rental: Check with your insurance carrier to see if you have insurance coverage when you rent a car. Don't assume you do!


When you have an Accident: "Notify your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible".


- Move your vehicle to a safe place, then stop and identify yourself to the other driver. (Some state or local laws may require the vehicle be left as is.) If it can’t be moved, turn on the hazard lights. Seek medical help if you or other parties require it, and notify the police. Tell them who you are, where you are, and about any obvious or claimed injuries.


-You are required by Law in every State, that you must immediately contact the police, if there are injuries.


-Do not assume that you have no injuries from an accident. Sometimes it takes a few months to surface.


-Do not settle immediately with the other parties’ insurance company. Considering that you may initially have unknown injuries.


-Exchange information with the other driver(s) including driver’s license numbers. Get the driver’s name, address, telephone numbers and name of insurance company. Also, list any passengers and witnesses.


-Get names and badge numbers of any police officers who arrive at the scene. If there are injuries or extensive damage, the police should file a report. Ask to get a copy.


-Avoid any extensive discussions at the scene about who is responsible for damage. If the other person admits responsibility, offers a money settlement and you accept, any future claim against the driver may be compromised. You or the other party may later find damage and bodily injury not apparent at first.


- Write a complete description of the accident as soon as possible. Include weather conditions, estimated speeds, and as much precise information as you can observe. Take photographs if a camera is available.


Lock your car: Recent statistics show that cars stolen in the U.S, 55% were unlocked, 34% left the windows open, 6% left keys in the car!

What is the meaning?

Bodily Injury and Liability Insurance: This insurance protects you from claims made against you which you are obligated to pay if you cause bodily injury to someone in a crash. This also covers your defense costs. Bodily Injury Liability limits usually specify two separate dollar amounts, the first amount limiting payments to a single person per accident and the second amount puts a cap on the total amount of payment for all persons injured per accident.

Collision coverage pays for the damage to your vehicle by collision with another vehicle or fixed objects like trees, signs, buildings, etc. This coverage is what gets invoked when the accident is your fault.

Comprehensive Coverage: This is for fire and theft coverage, and covers damage to your car for anything other than a wreck, such as theft, (usually windshield) floods, etc.

Car Rental: If your vehicle is in the shop for more than a few days for repairs resulting from an insurance claim, many policies with this coverage all or part, for usually up to 30 days, or some maximum value to rent a car while you wait for repairs. Higher limits are available.

Medical Coverage: Covers medical expenses from your crash injuries and covered persons in your car, no matter who was at fault.

No-Fault, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) In most no-fault states, PIP covers medical and rehab, work loss, burial, and other expenses incurred by you, your family, passengers in your vehicle, and pedestrians injured by your vehicle. Not every state has this coverage, and it pays for damages regardless of who is at fault in the accident.

Liability: is similar to Bodily Injury coverage. Liability covers only the damage caused by you to someone's property, car, fence, lawn, telephone pole, house, etc. When you are at fault in a wreck, this coverage is invoked when the other driver makes a claim against your insurance to repair their car.

Towing: If your car breaks down, this coverage will pay for a tow truck or roadside assistance to get your car going again. Normally this includes towing you to the nearest authorized garage. Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist pays for your injuries up to the policy limit when the other driver either has no insurance, or their lame coverage can't pay for you injuries or property damage. This coverage usually includes hit and run drivers as well.


CAR RENTAL INSURANCE TIPS:


Do's & Don'ts

Check with your credit card company, personal and auto insurance carrier, and the rental car company itself. You do not have to buy the rental company's insurance. You might already have it covered. Take the time to check your own existing policy first. Note that there could be certain restrictions to your own policy and that certain rental vehicles might not be covered.

If you already paying auto insurance, then your rental might be covered by your own insurance policy. A simple phone call to your insurance agent will provide your answer. If you do not own a car (and therefore not already have auto insurance) then it is a good idea to accept the rental company's insurance policy regarding damage and accidents. If you are using a credit card in your name to rent the car, then the credit card might cover some insurance as well.

FYI (rental agency language)


-CDW: Collision Damage Waiver usually covers loss and/or damage to the rental car. CDW releases you from financial responsibility under rental contract if you crash the car. This agreement can be voided if you are caught using the car in an unsafe manner. -LDW: Loss Damage Waiver. This is similar to CDW, but with some differences. -SLI: Supplemental Liability Insurance usually pays over and above what your personal or business insurance coverage pays. -PAI: Personal Accident Insurance provides a one-time payment for you or an accompanying passenger in case of death or injury from a car accident


Automobile Insurance Providers:


  • AIG

  • Allstate

  • American Family Insurance

  • Amica

  • CapitalOne

  • CarInsurance.com

  • Esurance

  • Farm Bureau Insurance

  • Farmers Insurance

  • GAINSCO Auto Insurance

  • GMAC Insurance

  • Geico Direct

  • The General

  • The Hartford

  • Liberty Mutual

  • Nationwide Insurance

  • Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

  • Pemco

  • Progressive

  • Safeco

  • Shelter Insurance Companies

  • State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company

  • The St. Paul Travelers Companies, Inc.



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