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Insurance Articles by A-1 Auto Insurance



What is homeowners insurance?


Homeowners insurance offers financial security when disasters strike. The standard homeowners’ policy covers the home and its contents. Some valuables may need to be listed or have an endorsement on the policy, in order to be fully covered. A1-AutoInsurance.com can help find the coverage you need.
Generally speaking, homeowners insurance is a bundle type policy. It covers damages incurred by your property and the liability or legal accountability concerning injuries and/or property damage members of the household cause to others on the property.
In most cases, natural disasters are covered; however, there are conditions when your homeowners insurance may not cover damages done by floods, earthquakes, and poor maintenance. Separate policies may be purchased for flood and earthquake coverage. Homeowners insurance does not cover issues regarding poor maintenance.
A-1AutoInsurance.com searches for the coverage that is right for you, depending on the information you specify, at the most affordable cost. We will help you find what you are looking for and do it FREE of charge!


Why do you need health insurance?


The escalating cost of health care in the United States and the effects on medical insurance rates places health insurance as an important priority in today’s times. Presently, the health insurance system is complex and ever-changing. Find an affordable, yet efficient, plan is becoming harder and harder. That’s where A-1AutoInsurance.com can help!
Some things to remember:
Family Coverage – Family coverage is defined as the contract holder (person who is the primary insured) and his or her dependents. Dependents are defined as being the following: spouse, unmarried dependent children (including legally adopted children), step-children, and children of a domestic partner (if the child’s support is solely dependent on the contract holder for support).
*Some states include unmarried domestic partners as dependents.
Reduce Premiums – By increasing your deductible and making a more out-of-pocket payment toward your medical bills, you can reduce your insurance premiums.
Catastrophic Medical Expenses – Coverage of only catastrophic medical expenses (major medical issues) may lower your premiums. However, this type of coverage leaves the insured 100% responsible for many charges.
A-1AutoInsurance.com searches for the coverage that is right for you, depending on the information you specify, at the most affordable cost. We will help you find what you are looking for and do it FREE of charge!


Why do you need life insurance?


Imagine what it would be like without it in these cases:
• Replacement revenue for dependents
Q: What would happen to your spouse, children, and loved ones if your earnings were suddenly taken away? Who would pay the bills?
A: Life Insurance – Life Insurance gives you the peace of mind that your family will not bear financial hardships after your death.


• Funeral expenses
Q: How would your family pay thousands of dollars for funeral costs?
A: Life Insurance – No matter if it is a simple burial plan or a more sophisticated life insurance plan, your family will not bear the financial responsibility alone.


• Investment for the future
Q: If you have one, will your retirement plan at work be sufficient to support you and your spouse when you retire? How can you supplement your retirement income?
A: Life Insurance – There are many life insurance plans that accumulate “Cash Value” at varying rates. Investigate the possibilities!


• Inheritance
Q: How will your family deal with the future? Your favorite charity?
A: Life Insurance - Leave an Inheritance to family, charity, or a chosen institution. Or, even after you are gone, you can still put your children through college or leave them a cash inheritance.


• Death Taxes
Q: Will your family find it necessary to sell off your assents to pay expenses and taxes? Where will they find the money?
A: Live Insurance - Life insurance can take care of estate taxes or so called “death taxes” in the event of your passing. While new federal laws have lessened the brunt of these taxes, many states have increased their “death tax” to counteract those laws.


How Does Your Credit Score Affect Your Insurance Rates


Most people are all too aware that a poor credit history will affect their ability to obtain a loan. However, many of these same individuals fail to realize that their credit score also affects the rate they are charged to purchase insurance. The reason is that many insurance companies neglect to explain this to their customers. The end result is a nasty surprise when customers discover that their insurance rates have been increased.



One such case happened to a man named Mathew Williams in New York; he received a notice that his insurance company was increasing his annual premium by $628 as a result of his current credit score. After verifying his actual score online, Mathew discovered that his credit score had dropped to 540 from 680 because of unpaid medical bills following a recent car accident. Therefore, Mathew was forced to pay numerous medical bills, as well as higher premiums for his insurance policy.



Why do Insurance Companies Base Rates on Individual Credit Scores?



Insurance companies calculate risk for each customers and reward individuals who are not as likely to incur a loss by charging them lower premiums. These companies will review your individual credit score, and determine the rate of your insurance based on your current score. The important thing to remember is that insurance companies are evaluating your risk factor, not your ability to obtain a loan.



One insurance research company discovered that a remarkable 92% of the leading 100 auto insurance companies in the United States factored in credit scores when underwriting new insurance policies. Some of the risk-calculating factors they included were collections, judgments, delinquencies and bankruptcies. They also consider the length of a customer’s account history, as well as the various types and numbers of credit accounts they hold. According to research, individuals who do not pay their bills have a higher probability of filing an insurance claim. This is how insurance companies justify their practice of associating increased risk with lower credit scores.



The majority of American auto insurance companies base rates on a customer’s current credit score, and many home insurance companies are beginning to do the same. In fact, the only states that do not allow insurance scoring based on credit are Maryland and California. Each state has its own laws and regulations so where you live will determine what type of information your insurance company can use to calculate your insurance risk and set your premium rates. Policyholders fall under the category of preferred, average or high risk. In order to remove yourself from the high risk category, you should try to remove any negative points from your credit report and increase your score; 300 is the lowest score, with 600 to 650 considered fair and 850 the highest score. This should help you receive a lower insurance rate from your local insurance company.


Why You Need to Report That Accident


If you have recently suffered a car accident, the last thing you probably want to do is report it to the company where you are trying to purchase auto insurance. Many people fail to disclose accidents to their insurance company, because they know they will either be denied coverage or charged a higher premium. As tempting as it may be, it is always important to disclose this type of information to your prospective insurer. First of all, most insurance companies will eventually discover the truth, whether or not you disclose it. If they find out you have hidden the truth about a car accident, they will most likely be refused insurance coverage. If you honestly forgot to mention an important detail regarding an accident, be sure to inform your insurance company right away.


What You Need to Report


If you are shopping around for auto insurance, you need to inform any prospective companies of various pieces of information. These include any accidents in which you were involved, regardless of who was at fault. You also need to disclose any past claims that you have made to other insurance companies, if applicable. Any driving record infractions must also be reported.


Why People Fail to Report Previous Claims


Research indicates that 20 percent of individuals who have purchased a personal or commercial insurance policy fail to disclose information regarding previous accidents. To be fair, some omissions are not intentional. However, the majority of applicants hide this information because they don’t believe their insurance company will take the time to actually substantiate their records. Some people honestly forget to disclose minor accidents, and sometimes the insurance company itself will fail to record the relevant information. Your insurance agent may forget to inquire about your prior accident history, so you may not understand that you have to disclose this information.


What Happens If You Fail to Report Past Claims


You can suffer serious consequences if you fail to report any past claims. You may try to hide this kind of information to you won’t be refused coverage or charged a higher premium. However, you’ll end up in much worse trouble if your insurance company ever finds out about any prior accidents in which you have been involved. Applicants are asked to disclose information regarding prior claims or accidents, and insurance companies actually verify the information you provide. They will often refuse you auto insurance if they discover that you have intentionally concealed relevant information.


Failing to report this type of information also has moral consequences by affecting other drivers. Drivers who have submitted at-fault claims are charged higher rates, whereas people who have withheld this information end up paying much less. This is obviously not a fair scenario, and is yet another reason why it’s essential to report any accidents or previous claims.


Reporting an Honest Omission


You may later remember about a minor accident or claim that you forgot to include when you applied for your current auto insurance policy. You may also not have realized that you were obligated to report this type of information when you were purchasing auto insurance. In either case, be sure to contact your auto insurance agent immediately and inform him or her about the omission. This is always a safer option than hoping your insurance company won’t find out about the error. If you report the information at a later date, most companies will merely adjust your premium according to the new information you submit. You won’t jeopardize the positive relationship between you and your auto insurer. On the other hand, if you fail to disclose any omissions regarding prior claims or accidents, you may end up being denied auto insurance altogether.


How to Collect on an Insurance Claim


Filing an insurance claim can often be an unsettling experience. Most people are used to dealing with transactions that require trading currency for a tangible product. This is certainly not the case when you are trying to collect on an insurance claim. Fortunately, there are several tips you can follow to simplify the process. They will help you to receive proper compensation for your insurance claims and to ensure your claim is processed fairly and quickly.


Remember Your Claim Number


It’s very important to safeguard your claim number if you have ever been victim of a motor vehicle accident, natural disaster or a theft. You will need to prove that you paid for an insurance policy, so be sure to write down your claim number. Place the number in a safe place where you will be able to easily retrieve it when it’s time to collect on your insurance claim. Your insurance adjuster will be able to process your claim much easier and faster if you can provide this individual with your claim number.


Realize the Role of Your Adjuster


If you have to file an insurance claim, you need to remember that your insurance adjuster is not hired to advise you how to obtain more money. This person will also not explain your claim in detail or ensure you receive exactly what you expect. Your insurance adjuster has an obligation to complete your claim as quickly and efficiently as possible. It’s important to realize the nature of your relationship so you are not mislead or disappointed by the process.


Be Respectful


Try to remain calm and treat your insurance adjuster with respect. Collecting on an insurance claim can be an exhausting process, but it’s important not to take out your frustrations on your adjuster. Threatening to take adjusters to court will only get their defenses up and make the negotiation process much more complicated. It will be much easier to process your insurance claim if you have established a relationship of respect and trust with your insurance adjuster.


Prepare Thoroughly


Lack of preparation is another common mistake made by many people who need to file an insurance claim. You should take the time to thoroughly review all of your documents and learn how the claims process works. For example, if you need to file an auto insurance claim, it’s important to find out how your particular state will determine the value of your damaged vehicle. If you don’t know the difference between a Blue Book state and a fair market value state, you need to find out! Similarly, you should discover exactly what compensation you can expect if you need to file an injury claim.


Bargain Fairly


It can be very difficult to bargain with your insurance adjuster. You need to know when it’s time to accept an offer you have received, and when it’s time to continue negotiating for additional money. Arguing for a small amount of money, may cause you to lose out on the original offer. Be prepared to accept an offer that is close to the amount you expect so you will be able to negotiate additional aspects of your insurance claim.


Provide Clear Documentation


If you want to file an insurance claim, you need to provide clear documentation in order for everything to go smoothly. Submitting receipts indicating the exact price you paid for stolen items. Taking photos of the expensive items around your home and keeping a detailed inventory list that includes dates and prices paid for each item is also a good idea. If you can provide documentation to substantiate any insurance claim, the process will be much easier. Unfortunately, too many people submit false claims or exaggerate the amount they paid for stolen or damaged items. Therefore, if you can provide evidence, you are at a significant advantage of having your claim approved.


How to Prevent Vehicle Theft


The reality is that no fool-proof methods exist to guarantee that your vehicle will never be stolen. Determined criminals may find a way to steal your car, regardless of how many precautions you have taken. The good news is that you can deter vehicle theft by taking some simple precautions. This will greatly reduce the risk of ever having to file an insurance claim for a stolen vehicle. Here are some tips on how you can avoid having your vehicle stolen. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure…


Anti-Theft Devices


Using one of the many anti-theft devices currently available will lower your risk of having your vehicle stolen. Better yet, it will also lower the amount you need to pay for your insurance premium. Make sure you lock your car as soon as you park it, and purchase a jack, car alarm or club. Many of the newer car models include built-in anti-theft features that make it virtually impossible to steal them. Whenever possible, park your vehicle in a lit area or inside a garage.


Vehicle Identification Number


Engraving your vehicle identification number inside your vehicle is another good idea. Make sure you choose an area that is not easily visible. This will prevent a thief from being able to alter the number. The hidden etching of your VIN will make it much easier to identify your stolen vehicle, particularly if it has been significantly altered.


Storing Important Documents


Don’t use your vehicle to store any important documents. Make a copy of your registration, driver’s license, insurance information and any relevant receipts for repairs or upgrades to your vehicle. These documents will make it easier to identify your stolen vehicle. However, you will need to ensure that your vehicle registration papers and original insurance remains in the vehicle.


Take Photos of Your Vehicle


Storing some photos of your vehicle will also help you in the event it is ever stolen. You will be able to prove the actual value of your vehicle much easier when you submit a claim to your insurance company. A clear photo may also help the police locate your stolen vehicle.


What to Do If Your Vehicle Is Stolen


It’s everyone’s worst nightmare – returning from the parking lot only to discover that your vehicle has just been stolen! Unfortunately, this is an unexpected event that no one ever expects to happen. That’s why it can be so upsetting trying to figure out what to do after the initial shock.


We’re going to discuss some steps you should take after your vehicle is stolen. Hopefully, it will make the entire process a little easier to bear. Remaining calm and following some simple procedures will increase the chances of having your stolen vehicle recovered.


1.


Call the Police


As soon as you discover that your car has been stolen, be sure to immediately contact the police. Provide a detailed description of your vehicle, as well as any unique features that may help them locate it. Remember to include your license plate number and a description of where the theft occurred. The faster you report the crime, the greater the chances you will have your car retrieved with minimal or no damage.


2.


Follow Police Instructions


As difficult as it may be, you need to try to remain calm and resist the urge to become a vigilante. Instead of searching for your stolen vehicle yourself, follow all of the instructions from your local police. This may include submitting paperwork, a copy of your insurance papers or your vehicle registration to the police department. Complete all of these requests as quickly as possible, so the police won’t lose any valuable time searching for your missing vehicle.


3.


Contact Your Insurance Provider


Once you have submitted all of the necessary paperwork to the police, you should call your insurance company. Your agent can start to process your insurance claim, while the police continue to search for your stolen vehicle. You should also qualify for a rental car at no cost, so don’t delay in contacting your insurance company. They deal with insurance claims on a daily basis, and can walk you through the necessary steps to try and recover your vehicle.


4.


Contact the Police If You Find Your Car


You may end up locating your stolen vehicle before the police. If this is the case, don’t approach the car. Immediately contact the police instead and advise them of the exact location. You don’t want to risk facing the thief who may be hiding nearby. You also run the risk of damaging evidence inside or outside of the vehicle which may lead to an arrest.


Here are some common insurance questions:


What are accelerated death benefits?


Any insurance policy that offers accelerated death benefits pays partial or full policy death benefits while you are still living. However, there are various conditions that need to be met. For example, you need to provide proof that the policyholder has a terminal illness and is not expected to live 12 months, is living in a nursing home or other long-term care facility or has a specified disease that is life-threatening. For group term life policies, you are limited to receiving an accelerated benefit or 50% of your death benefit or $25,000 — whichever is higher. You should also be aware that the proceeds may be taxable and you may no longer be eligible to receive certain government benefits or Medicaid if you accept a payment from an accelerated death benefit policy.




What are accidental death benefits?


This type of benefits is paid to the beneficiary of an individual who has purchased a life insurance policy with an accidental death clause or an accidental death insurance policy and who dies due to an accident. This type of insurance policy requires an examination into the cause of death to determine if the policyholder has satisfied the specific policy’s definition of an accidental death. Many accidental death insurance policies will also pay benefits to a policyholder who has suffered a bodily injury that results in certain types of dismemberment. There are certain double or triple indemnity policies that will pay out two or three times higher than the policy’s face value. You should note that accidental death benefits are not normally paid for injuries or deaths resulting from any type of noncommercial aviation, illegal activities or war. An insurer must meet certain age requirements, and his/her death or dismemberment must occur within a predetermined time period following an accident in order to qualify for accidental death benefits.




What is an HMO?


An HMO or Health Maintenance Organization is one comprised of healthcare facilities and staff that provide a wide range of health services to an enrolled group of individuals for a set amount of prepaid money for a specified time period. The provided health services may include inpatient or outpatient hospitalization, ambulance service, medical consultations and treatments and home health services. They may even include certain pharmacy or dental services. An HMO plan will also cover the cost if you must visit a specialist such as an oncologist if your insurance provider gives you a referral.


Obtaining Affordable Auto Insurance If You Have a High Credit Score


You may realize that you have a credit score, and you may even know the exact number. However, what you may not know is that this number can affect the rate you are charged by your property or auto insurance company. Insurance companies use a very similar ranking system to evaluate the risk factor for every prospective customer. Therefore, improving your credit score can actually help you obtain affordable auto insurance.


The system used by insurance companies is called an insurance score. The evaluation process factors in how quickly you pay your bills, as well as the number and frequency of claims you have had on previous insurance policies, and how much they have cost any prior insurers.



You may be surprised at how much of an influence your insurance score has on the cost of your property and auto insurance premiums. Robert Hartwig is the president of a nonprofit consumer agency called the Insurance Information Institute. He sheds more light on how insurance companies use credit scores to determine premiums: “These scores are basically credit information that an insurance company uses from your credit profile, but they then take that and relate it to actual information regarding your claims history or your legal history."


Insurance companies view individuals with a poor credit history to have a higher risk of incurring a loss by submitting more claims or higher claims. That’s why this group of people tends to pay much higher premiums for their auto insurance. One way to prevent this is to ensure your credit score remains high and avoid submitting more than one insurance claim unless absolutely necessary.


Insurance companies don’t require all of the data that is contained in your credit score; they merely review information that correlates between a person’s potential risk factor and credit history. For example, individuals who are responsible with their money tend to be more responsible in other areas of their life as well, including driving.



Because the ranking factors used to determine your credit score take many years to formulate, you can’t change your insurance score overnight. Insurance companies also won’t disclose the particular insurance score they used to determine your premiums, because insurance underwriters use different methods. By not divulging their ranking methods, insurance companies are able to better compete with their competitors in the industry.



Regardless of these facts, you should always take your time and obtain insurance quotes from more than one insurance company. You may be able to find a much lower rate for the exact same coverage by talking to a different insurance provider. This step, combined with improving your overall credit score, will help you obtain the most affordable auto insurance.


How to Obtain Affordable Business Auto Insurance


You need to consider many factors if you want to pay less for your business auto insurance. The rate you end up paying depends on your driving record, the particular insurance provider you end up selecting and the type of vehicle you drive. By reviewing the following tips, you can save more when you purchase business auto insurance.



Compare Prices at Various Insurance Providers for Business Auto Insurance



The fact that most insurance companies currently provide their rates and insurance details online makes it much easier to obtain rate quotes from different insurance providers. According to the Insurance Information Institute, you should obtain a minimum of three quotes before deciding who to choose for your business auto insurance.


You can phone or email an insurance company or obtain an online auto insurance quote from a company’s website. Your state insurance department may even provide helpful charts that compare auto insurance from various providers. Remember to look at different types of insurance providers when you are comparing rates. Certain companies sell insurance via independent agents who provide policies from different insurance companies, whereas others use their own agents to sell auto insurance policies. Nowadays, you can even purchase business auto insurance via the telephone or online.


However, you need to consider more than merely the price of business auto insurance. You want to deal with a reliable and affordable insurance company that is willing to answer any of your questions quickly and honestly. You also need to find an insurance company that will be able to handle any possible claims fairly and promptly. Don’t forget to ask your family and friends about insurance companies they use or consult reviews in consumer magazines. Another option when you are comparing rate quotes is to consult your state insurance department to obtain consumer complaint ratios for any prospective insurance providers.


Review Insurance Rates Before You Purchase Your Vehicle


Most people tend to investigate their insurance rates after they buy their car. However, the rate of your business auto insurance will vary greatly depending on your make and model of vehicle. Insurance providers factor in repair costs, the possibility of theft, sticker price and overall safety record when they determine rates for auto insurance. Therefore, you may end up saving a lot of money on business auto insurance if you purchase a vehicle that offers a high safety record and low theft rate.


Choose One Insurance Provider for your Auto & Home Insurance


Many insurance companies will offer you a discount for purchasing more than one type of insurance; this is called a multi-policy discount, and it can save you a lot of money every year. You can also save money if you insure multiple vehicles with the same insurance provider. Last but not least, many insurance companies offer lower premiums for long-term customers.






Investigate Safe Driver & Low Mileage Discounts


Many insurance companies offer customers a low-mileage discount if the number of annual miles they drive is lower than average. Choosing to carpool may be one option to help you achieve the low-mileage discount. Remember to inquire about any safe driver discounts. Insurance providers will usually reward drivers who have not suffered any moving violations or accidents within a certain timeframe with lower rates. Completing a defensive driving course may also earn you a lower price for your business auto insurance.



Ask your employer if they cover any business auto insurance. You may also be a member of a business association or professional group that is willing to cover all or part of your business auto insurance premiums. Take note that your credit rating also affects the rate you end up paying for auto insurance. Therefore, be sure to monitor your rating closely and review your credit report each year to ensure the document contains no errors.


Choose a Higher Deductible for your Business Auto Insurance



Another way to reduce the price of your business auto insurance is to request a higher deductible. In fact, you can end up saving as much as 15-30 percent on your comprehensive and collision coverage by increasing your deductible from $200 to $500. Further increasing your deductible to $1,000 can save you as much as 40 percent or even higher! If you’re able to afford the higher deductible if you do end up having to file a claim, you can save a lot each year.


Factors That Affect the Cost of Liability Auto Insurance


Before you race out to purchase the automobile of your dreams, you need to ensure you can pay for the required insurance. The rates of different types of coverage such as liability auto insurance vary depending on the insurance provider you choose. However, you may not realize some of the factors that insurance companies take into account when they determine liability auto insurance rates. While you are comparing auto insurance rates to find the best deal, make sure to review the following statistical components used by many insurance.


CREDIT HISTORY


Many drivers don’t realize that failing to pay their bills on time can hike up the cost of their liability auto insurance. The majority of insurance companies review the credit history of prospective clients to help them determine the cost of their premiums. The reason is that individuals who suffer from a poor credit history are more prone to filing accident claims. Therefore, the insurance companies often charge these drivers more for their auto insurance.


TYPE OF VEHICLE


The make and model of vehicle you drive can also affect the cost of your liability auto insurance. That’s why driving a fast sports car will almost always result in higher premiums than if you drive a trusty sedan. Insurance companies look at factors such as a particular vehicle’s cost of repairs, safety records and likelihood of being stolen. Therefore, if you want to lower your auto insurance premium, you may want to consider purchasing a vehicle that has been proven safe and reliable.


GENDER


Unfortunately, the statistics regarding gender and auto accidents are bad news if you’re a young male. Because statistics show that men younger than 30 end up in more accidents, these individuals end up paying a higher premium for liability auto insurance.


DRIVER AGE


Younger drivers almost always pay much more auto insurance. However, the good news is that your premiums will drop significantly after you reach 25 and have a good driving record.


LIFESTYLE


Believe it or not, individuals who have children or are married tend to be involved in fewer accidents. Therefore, if you fall into either of these categories, you will most likely pay lower premiums for your auto insurance. If you only use your vehicle to travel back and forth to your nearby workplace, you may be able to negotiate a lower premium. Many companies will charge less if you live two miles or less from your workplace. However, you may end up paying a higher premium if you live in an area that has a high crime rate.


DRIVING RECORD


One of the most important factors that determine your auto insurance rate is your personal driving record. You may pay more if you have moving violations such as speeding, but you will pay even higher premiums if you are involved in any motor vehicle accidents. In addition to the damages caused, you may end up paying a higher rate for your auto insurance. Depending on the severity and frequency of accidents in which you have been involved, your insurance provider may cancel your auto insurance coverage.


ADDITIONAL INSURANCE COVERAGE


Certain types of auto insurance such as liability insurance cost less than collision insurance. However, you also need to consider what would happen if you were involved in a serious accident and had purchased only liability coverage. You could end up losing everything you own to pay for the necessary medical expenses.


The factors used by insurance companies to determine your liability auto insurance rates vary with each state. The criteria also changes frequently, so you should check with your local insurance provider to find how they determine premium rates. Some states have decided to stop using some of the factors listed above. For example, in 2008, Massachusetts passed a law that prohibits insurance companies from considering factors such as gender, marital status, education, income, occupation, age (except for drivers older than 65) and credit history.


How to Avoid Driver Distractions


Are you aware that one-quarter of every traffic accident that is reported to the police is completely or partially caused by a driver distraction? There are various accident-causing distractions. However, cell phones and more recently media players such as iPods have caused a greater number of motor vehicle accidents. This is why some states currently have laws that prohibit drivers from using cell phones while they are driving. Regardless of the particular laws in your state, it’s important to avoid driver distractions whenever possible so you can stay safe on the road.
Cell Phones
The debate over whether drivers should be able to use cell phones when driving remains heated. Certain advocates argue that it is only when a driver is actually searching for a telephone number, dialing or physically picking or hanging up the phone that increases the likelihood of an accident. They believe much of the hype concerning accidents caused by cell phones that is spread in the newspapers, Internet and television programs is untrue. On the other hand, there are just as many concerned individuals who strongly believe that the mere act of conversing with another individual on a cell phone can cause an accident while driving. This group of people is fighting to change the cell phone legislation that allows drivers to use hands-free cell phones while driving.
It is unlikely that the issue will be resolved in the near future. However, a greater number of states have decided to introduce legislation and create new laws concerning cell phone use while driving. As research studies continue, it is necessary for every driver to remain vigilant while behind the wheel and try to avoid any dangerous distractions. Just as you buckle your seatbelt as soon as you enter your vehicle, you must be very careful if you choose to use a cell phone when driving.
Many individuals consider a cell phone much more than merely a luxury item; they feel it is just as important as car keys. To be fair, cell phones have saved many people’s lives by enabling stranded or injured individuals to call for immediate assistance, regardless of their location. Many drivers have a cell phone in their vehicle solely in case of an emergency. The cell phone is a very convenient device that can also provide added security while driving.
When you think of driver cell phone use, you may automatically conjure up images of young teenagers chatting with friends while behind the wheel. However, the reality is that many business people use cell phones to make important decisions, negotiate lucrative deals and manage their corporate life while they are on the road. You may use a cell phone in your car to verify your bank account balance, cancel an appointment or check in with your family members. Unfortunately, just one short cell phone call can distract you enough to cause a serious accident. Until laws are passed in every state banning cell phone use while driving, it is up to each of us to exercise caution with these devices when behind the wheel. You can start by purchasing a hands-free device that is less distracting. Another option is to make better use of automatic voice dialing and pick up so you won’t have to physically handle the phone when driving.
More importantly, you should limit the number of phone calls you make while behind the wheel. Before you place a call, ask yourself if the conversation can take place as soon as you get home. For necessary calls, keep them as short as possible and try to remain focused on the road. Try to schedule important calls for time periods when you know you won’t be driving. It’s important to remember that research has proven that an engaging cell phone conversation can distract a driver enough to cause a serious accident.
iPods & Other Media Devices
Driving while listening to your favorite music is certainly not a new concept. The difference is that currently technology enables drivers to interact, rather than merely listen to tunes. In the same way that cell phones can be used for so much more than a simple conversation, media devices such as iPods enable users to complete a huge variety of tasks. With the new electronic devices becoming more sophisticated and permitting larger storage of files, drivers can easily become distracted. Now, you can listen to songs, play games, check the latest stock prices or watch full-length videos anywhere, including your car. That’s why you need to treat iPods and other media devices with caution when driving.
Many iPod users become distracted by the content of the device or by physically using it. Therefore, you should never use any type of ear or headphones when you are driving. You need to be able to hear everything that is going on around you; just one second could destroy your life or the lives of many others on the road. One option is to hook your iPod or media device to your car stereo. There are many inexpensive devices that enable you to enjoy full sound from your car’s stereo system so you don’t need to use dangerous earphones.
Another important tip is to decide on the music you want to listen to before you start to drive instead of fumbling around switching channels. Doing so means you will be taking your eyes off the road which can prove to be a deadly decision. Set up playlists of your favorite tunes or download audio books beforehand so you can enjoy them safely once you are heading to your destination. Also resist the temptation to bring along videos as you can’t possibly give your full attention to the road when you are watching, even if it’s only for a second or two. If you exercise caution when using cell phones, iPods or any other device while driving, you can do your part to reduce the number of driver distraction-related accidents.


Resisting Road Rage


Given the stresses of daily modern life, it is no wonder that the phenomenon known as road rage is becoming increasingly more common. The addition of more vehicles on the streets of towns and cities is also adding to the problem. The problem can consist of merely shaking a fist at another driver to an actual physical confrontation, noisy shouting match or even a shooting. Ironically, road rage is not limited to individuals who normally have bad tempers. It can overtake normally mild-tempered people who are pushed just a little too far while on the road. In order to learn how to resist road rage and protect yourself and other drivers, it’s important to learn exactly what it is and methods you can use to overcome it.


The Definition of Road Rage
In basic term, road rage is violent behavior performed by any driver of a vehicle. There are many causes of road rage, but some of the most common include ignorant drivers, external or internal noise and dense or slow-moving traffic. Regular daily frustrations such as being late or stress can also result in road rage.
Identifying the Road Rage Signs
Everyone experiences stress at some point in their life. This may be caused by any number of factors, but it is also very common to take your frustrations out on another individual. This is particularly true if you have not learned how to vent your frustrations in a positive manner. Taking your frustrations out on another driver is never a good idea, as your vehicle can quickly become a lethal weapon. It’s important to recognize the very first signs that your stress levels are becoming too high. This will help you to avoid contributing to the growing road rage problem.
Road Rage Symptoms
Tailgating
Tailgating another driver is a very common, but dangerous activity performed by many people who regularly suffer from road rage. The problem is that the driver in front of you may have to stop or slow down very quickly and unexpectedly because of an animal crossing the road, pedestrian or object littering the highway. You may end up rear ending the vehicle and causing serious damage to yourself, passengers, your vehicle and the other driver.
Flashing Lights Or Honking Horns
Another common symptom of road rage occurs when you begin to flash your lights repeatedly or honk your horn continuously at another driver that is bothering you. This is not only very rude behavior, but can also be very dangerous. The noise or lights can distract, confuse or surprise other nearby drivers; this makes driving more difficult for everyone.
Shouting
Have you ever found yourself shouting at the top of your lungs at another driver on the road, even if they can’t hear or see you? If so, you’re certainly not alone as this is another common symptom of road rage. Even worse, you may begin to resent the heavy traffic in front of you and start to dodge in and out of lanes in order to arrive at your destination a little faster. It’s important not to risk causing a fatal accident just because you are late or annoyed with traffic.
If you notice nearby drivers who are experiencing road rage, it’s wise to try to avoid them. You should do everything possible to remain calm. Refusing to engage in their dangerous and uncalled for behavior may just save your life or that of other drivers. One possible option is to pull over to the side of the road or take the next freeway exit. Not only will you avoid contact with the irate driver, but you will also give yourself some time to refocus so you can concentrate on the road. It is often impossible to reason with a driver displaying road rage, so you can prevent additional stress by avoiding the situation. Depending on the severity of the situation, you may want to note the driver’s license plate and report their dangerous behavior to the local authorities.
Taking a Proactive Approach to Avoid Road Rage
Learn to Relax
One of the most effective ways to avoid road rage is to learn how to relax. As soon as you feel yourself getting angry or frustrated, try to remember that the goal of most drivers is certainly not to make your life miserable or to cause you harm. Perhaps, the driver who just cut you off or braked sharply was new and inexperienced. They may not even realize the mistake they have just made.
Get Enough Sleep
Another way to prevent road rage is to ensure you are receiving a sufficient number of hours of sleep each night. Driving when you are well rested is much safer than when you are extremely tired. If you don’t get enough sleep, you can quickly become more irritable and find it harder to remain alert and concentrate on the road. Lack of sleep is a common cause of road rage that ends up causing an accident. If you are very tired, try to find another way to arrive at your destination; take public transit or ask that another person drive for that day.
Listen to Calm Music
Choosing calm, soothing music is another great way to help you prevent road rage. Listening to loud, aggressive music can make you even more tense and stressed when driving. Save your heavy metal CDs for your home and bring along some classical or quieter music for your car.
Avoid Distractions Such as Cell Phones
You should also try not to use your cell phone, iPod or other media device while driving. You can quickly and easily become distracted while fiddling to change a channel, read an email or answer a phone call. Removing your eyes off the road for only a mere second can be a decision that ruins the rest of your life.
Take A Break
If you feel yourself becoming angry or stressed because of poor drivers or heavy traffic, try stopping for a small break. Grab a quick cup of coffee or roll down your window and enjoy some long, deep breaths of fresh air. You may be surprised at how quickly you can calm down and defuse your temper. Taking a quick break can often prevent the onset of road rage.
Resist the Urge to Panic If You’re Late
If you are already late for a function or event, it may be difficult not to get angry or panic when you are faced with heavy traffic. It will probably seem that every single stoplight turns red as you approach or that you have managed to choose the lane behind the absolute slowest driver in the world. Rather than becoming angry and starting to drive aggressively, try to change lanes or take some deep breaths to release stress. Driving slower and releasing your negative energy is a much safer option and can help you avoiding an altercation or serious accident. One tip is to ensure you have the exact address of your destination beforehand. Search for the location on the Internet or your GPS so you won’t get lost and lose valuable time. Another helpful suggestion is to plan an alternate route so you will still arrive on time, even if you encounter an accident or unexpected traffic.
The bottom line is that road rage can affect absolutely any driver. The good news is that being proactive and following some simple steps can help you avoid road rage. Do yourself and your fellow drivers a favor and learn how to identify the first signs of road rage so you can avoid it. Resist the urge to panic if you’re late, take a quick break, get enough sleep, avoid distractions such as MP3 players or cell phones, learn how to relax and listen to calm music. This will help you become a safer, more relaxed driver.


Qualifying for Military Auto Insurance Discounts


Are you aware that you may be able to receive a discount on your auto insurance if you are a U.S. service member? These discounts are not available to the general public, and many service men and women don’t even realize they exist.


If you’re enlisted in a branch of the military and take advantage of this discount, you can save hundreds of your hard-earned dollars every single year. You should also note that you can receive an even higher discount if you are deployed to an area that makes you eligible to receive imminent danger pay. That’s why it’s important to discuss your situation with the agent at your insurance company.


Qualifying for A Military Auto Insurance Discount

Check to see if you meet any of the following criteria. If so, you may be eligible to receive discounts when you purchase a military auto insurance policy.


Are you:


Retired Military
Reserve
Officer Candidate
Member of the active-duty force
National Guard
Spouse, Former Spouse or Adult Child of a Military Service Member
You will need to maintain continuous insurance coverage if you want to take advantage of the lower rates. Therefore, it could be a problem if you are a member of the military who is assigned overseas for a period of 6 months, one year or longer. Make sure to discuss your situation with your insurance agent to verify if you are eligible to receive any of the relevant military auto discounts.
Additional Considerations for Military Auto Insurance
If you are a service member, you may decide to cancel your military auto insurance and store your vehicle while you are away on duty. Unfortunately, you may have to pay the higher rate or be denied insurance coverage when you return and attempt to reinstate your former insurance policy. The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents has requested a change is this policy for any returning troops. Therefore, at least half of the states currently do not permit insurance companies to penalize any military personnel who are on active duty.


If you happen to live in one of the states where insurance providers continue to deny coverage or raise insurance rates, you can store your vehicle as long as nobody else will use it while you are deployed. Make sure you verify if you have to receive approval for your storage protection plan to quality for your military auto insurance discount. Some insurance companies require military clients to provide them with the address where the vehicle is stored as well as an odometer reading showing the mileage.


Even if you are storing your vehicle and have canceled your liability insurance, you can retain your comprehensive storage. This will protect you in case your vehicle is ever stolen or vandalized. You won’t end up with a coverage lapse and you may be eligible to save on the cost of your comprehensive coverage while your vehicle is being stored. As soon as you return to use your vehicle again, you can reinstate your liability coverage. You should also be aware the certain insurance companies enable their military clients to pay their auto insurance payments on a schedule that is more convenient to you.


Obtaining Auto Insurance for an Out of State Move


If you are in the process of moving to another state, you will have a lot of details to manage. However, if you will also be transporting your vehicle, there are a lot more issues to consider. Each state has its own requirements regarding transferring your license, registering your vehicle and undergoing emissions and safety inspections. The amount of time you have before obtaining an auto insurance policy that meets the state’s requirement and ensuring your vehicle complies with the local regulations will also vary according to where you move.


One of the first tasks on your checklist should be to visit the local Department of Motor Vehicles branch of your new residence. If you want to do this before you arrive in your new state, you can always visit the website and obtain the necessary information. You can find out exactly how much time you will have before you have to meet all of the requirements to drive your vehicle in your new town or city, as well as defining those particular requirements.


For example, a move to Texas may require you to pass a vehicle safety inspection and show evident of auto insurance before you actually take your vehicle on the local roads. This may be very different from the regulations in the state of California that only requires drivers to inspect vehicle emissions. If you want to learn the location of all the local inspection facilities, you can consult the local phone directory in your new city or town. An even easier option is to conduct an Internet search one of the large search engines such as Google or Yahoo!


County tax offices in the state of Texas require you to submit an original out-of-state title for your vehicle. You can submit a form to obtain one if necessary. You will also be required to pay a title application fee, new resident tax and registration fee. The next step involves visiting the Texas’ DMV, the Department of Public Safety to apply for a driver’s license. That process involves showing proof of vehicle registration, Texas auto insurance on every vehicle, your social security number and proof of your identity. You can purchase temporary auto insurance, depending on your circumstances. Just be sure you don’t show the DMV your valid out-of-state license or they will require you to surrender it.


Anyone who is not a citizen of the United States must show proof of their legal status in the US in order to obtain a driver’s license. Non-citizens of the US can obtain insurance just as easily as US citizens. However, you may pay a higher amount if your insurance company does not accept your prior years of driving experience or is unable to verify your prior traffic violations or credit rating. Most foreigners purchase a vehicle in their new state, rather than transporting their own vehicle. That’s why the procedure is usually the same for individuals who are moving from another state or another country.


It is recommended to obtain auto insurance before you cross the border of the new state. Each state offers different types of insurance, different rates and various minimum prices to obtain that insurance. You should also check if you will be moving to a no-fault state. If so, your insurance company will pay your lost wages, medical bills and rehabilitation costs, regardless of who is to blame during an accident. In at-fault states, the insurance company of the driver who has caused the accident will end up paying. Insurance companies may also pay a portion of the expenses, according to the degree of fault for each party involved in the accident.
As you can see, each state has its own rules and red tape. Your waiting time to obtain auto insurance for your new state will also depend on the particular paperwork and documents you already possess. Inform yourself about the regulations regarding auto insurance in your state and you will save yourself a lot of time and frustration.


Obtaining Teen Auto Insurance


Ensuring teenagers know how to drive safely has become a national priority. This is certainly no surprise, given the fact that traffic accidents are the most common killer of teenagers. Sadly, eight out of every ten auto fatalities involving a teenager are caused when another teenager is driving one of the vehicles involved. Statistics reveal that approximately three million accidents involve teenage drivers every single year.


Certain states require that any driver younger than 18 must drive with a learner’s permit for one full year before they can apply for a license. New drivers with a learner’s permit must also have someone else accompany them in the car at all times, regardless of their age. In some states, you can apply for a learner’s permit as young as fifteen.


Role of Parents

Many insurance companies that sell teenage auto insurance policies expect that parents will make the following decisions:
Regular maintenance requirements, including regular oil changes and monitoring tire pressure
Maintaining the vehicle properly and keeping the interior and exterior clean
Ensuring the vehicle has sufficient gas
Which vehicles are accessible to the teenage driver. Every car should have a solid safety rating, be easy to drive and include an airbag on the driver’s side.
Paying for auto insurance
It’s important to note that the rates to obtain teen auto insurance are often two times higher than the cost for adults older than 25. The reason is that statistics reveal that most teenagers between 16 and 20 years old will be involved in an average of three motor vehicle accidents. Many parents believe that forcing their teenagers to pay the cost of auto insurance by working at a part-time job will minimize the risk of having them drive recklessly and cause an accident. For every accident in which a teenage driver is involved, the rates will spike sharply. In fact, auto insurance for teenagers who have already been involved in prior accidents can end up costing thousands of dollars every year.
Keeping Teenage Drivers Safe
It’s very normal for parents to become concerned when their teenagers first learn to drive. During this time period, the pressure can often cause problems with teenagers’ relationships with their parents. There may be a lot of misunderstandings involved. However, ensuring there is a steady flow of communication between you and your teenagers is essential when they begin driving.
Communicate Openly
This is one of the reasons why insurance companies that offer teen auto insurance encourage parents and their teenagers to communicate frankly with each other regarding the specific driving rules. If you talk openly and honestly about the risk of teen auto crashes and the statistics to back it up, you may end up saving your child’s life. Statistics indicate that parents who take a genuine interest in the driving habits of their teenagers end up in fewer accidents.
Certain insurance companies view younger drivers in a very negative light, even if they do sell teen auto insurance. However, some providers will offer discounts to help lower costs. Regardless, the higher the risk of the driver, the higher the cost of their auto insurance premiums. You must remember this fact when your teenager purchases auto insurance.


Promote Safe Driving


One of the most important steps is to educate yourself about the importance of safe driving and learn more about the various causes of accidents. The majority of insurance companies that offer teen auto insurance also offer driving safety pamphlets. Certain companies even provide videos that parents and teen drivers can watch together. Parents need to maintain regular discussions with their teenage drivers about auto safety so they completely understand how important it is to be careful every time they get behind the wheel. Although the conversations may be somewhat awkward initially, they are well worth the effort and may end up saving your teenager’s life. Another option is to have your teenager enroll in a driver’s education course. Just be sure you continue with your parental responsibilities regarding your teenager’s driving habits.
Draft a Teen Driving Contract

Parents often become very concerned about how much auto insurance will cost when their teenagers decide to begin driving. Many parents also fear losing control of their children. The reality is that most teenagers feel a renewed sense of freedom as soon as they obtain their driver’s license. The problem is that they often fail to realize the responsibilities associated with such a privilege. One way parents can overcome this problem is to draft a driving contract. The document should clearly state all of the rules and the consequences if their teenagers break any of the rules. A driving contract should also include information on proper driving and safety skills.

Elements of the Teen Driving Contract
A teen driving contract should focus on safe driving by including the following rules:
Always ensure everyone in the vehicle is wearing a seat belt
Always obey traffic laws and the posted speed limits
Always advise parents exactly where they will be driving and when they intend to return
Never drive with younger children or with friends for the first 6-12 months, unless accompanied by an adult
Attempt to avoid all distractions, including talking to passengers, using a cell phone or media device or changing channels on a radio
Never drive recklessly or fool around while driving in an attempt to impress others or look “cool”
Never drive while using drugs or alcohol, keep alcohol in the vehicle or be a passenger in a vehicle with a driver who has been using drugs or drinking alcohol
Parents should monitor their teenagers closely to ensure they are not using drugs or alcohol before driving. The main cause of fatal vehicle crashes is currently driving while impaired, and the number of such accidents continues to rise. It’s important that your teenager understands that they can always telephone you for a ride if they become stranded at an event. You don’t want them to feel they have no choice but to enter a vehicle with an impaired driver in order to get home.
Night Driving
Motor vehicle accidents occur more frequently during the hours of 9PM and 2AM than during daylight hours. Because driving at night is often for difficult for new, inexperienced drivers, you should establish realistic curfews. However, be sure your teenage driver understands that you would prefer that they drive safely and arrive home late rather than speeding just to make their curfew. Request that they call you to advise you they are running a little late.


How to Lower Your Auto Insurance Rates


Let’s face it – auto insurance can be very costly. The good news is that you may be able to lower your annual payments by taking advantage of available discounts offered by insurance companies. Many drivers aren’t even aware of many of the discounts available to them.


For example, you will normally find more choices for auto insurance when you visit state and local bureaus or agencies rather than national brands. You should also remember that certain auto associations and clubs may have established a positive relationship with certain insurance providers. This means they can often offer you more competitive auto insurance rates. However, you will have to consider the cost of the fees to join any of these organizations.


When you shop around and begin your search for affordable car insurance, you should consider that insurance companies will review your driver history and credit rating when they quote you their rates. This is obviously not a problem if you have a clean driving record and high credit rating. On the other hand, you may end paying a lot more for auto insurance if you have a poor credit rating or have been involved in several car accidents.


Be sure to review the following factors that may save you money on your auto insurance policy:


Drivers with a clean driving record will often receive insurance discounts
Safe drivers are rewarded, whereas amassing traffic tickets will increase your insurance premiums
Elite and expensive vehicles will normally cost more to insure than common or used vehicles because replacements parts are more readily available and repairs are easier to perform
If you own a residence and have homeowners insurance with an insurance company, you will often pay les to purchase a car insurance policy from the same company
Your age will play a factor as younger drivers pay more for auto insurance because statistics reveal that they cause more accidents
Students who maintain high grades in school may receive a lower insurance rate
Your location will also determine your rate as drivers who live in a residence with a garage will normally pay a lower rate than drivers who must park on a street or in a parking lot
Each state has their own insurance rates based on current accident statistics
Rates are also determined by the use of your vehicle – you will pay more if you use your vehicle to commute a long distance to work rather than making only short or infrequent drives


Before you purchase auto insurance, be sure to investigate the organization or insurance company very carefully. In addition to reviewing the company’s policies and current rates, you should also consider how long the company has been in business, their customer service policies and their reputation. If you are ever involved in a car accident, you want to be sure you are dealing with a fair and reputable insurance company that will process your claim quickly and efficiently and provide you with proper customer service.


Avoiding the Temptation to Drink & Drive


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association or NHTSA, a fatal traffic accident related to alcohol occurs in the U.S. approximately every half hour. Non-fatal injured related to alcohol occur approximately every two minutes. Drugs such as marijuana and cocaine are also involved in approximately eighteen percent of driver fatalities. This is a very sobering thought, and you may be asking yourself what you can do to ensure you and your family remains safe while driving. Fortunately, there are a lot of steps you can take to protect yourself and others.
The Truth About Alcohol
You are probably already aware of the myth that exercise, a cold shower, breathing fresh air or performing exercise will quickly sober you up after an evening of drinking alcohol. Another common misconception is that eating food will prevent you from becoming drunk because it will soak up all of the alcohol. However, the truth is that absolutely none of these methods work to keep you sober or to help you lower your blood alcohol level.
Time is the only way to become sober, and you require approximately one hour for every alcoholic drink if you are a man and longer if you are a woman. Most women need a longer time period in order to metabolize the alcohol in their system. The reason is that most women experience a limited production of alcohol dehydrogenase which metabolizes alcohol, and they have a smaller body size than most men.
An alcoholic drink can consist of a bottle of light or regular beer, a glass of wine or a shot of hard liquor. Many of the mixed drinks that are served at bars and parties are actually several drinks combined. Most drivers don’t realize how little alcohol needs to be consumed to impair their driving ability. In fact, having as little as three drinks over a two-hour time period may be enough for your blood alcohol level to surpass the legal limit. This can make you a danger to yourself and others if you decide to get behind the wheel before sobering up.
Alcohol’s Dangerous Effects
Drinking alcoholic beverages can cause you to act much differently than you would sober. You have probably seen intoxicated individuals acting more childish or downright ridiculous to becoming more playful or affectionate. However, you may not be aware that alcohol will also significantly slow down your reaction time.
Many of your senses, systems and organs within your body are affected when you drink any type of alcohol. For example, alcohol impairs your vision by making it more difficult to focus back and forth from nearby or distant images. Alcohol also relaxes the eyes’ muscles which can cause blurred vision – a condition that can be fatal when you are driving. By impairing eye coordination, alcohol can alter your ability to calculate depth perception accurately and cause double vision. The perception of color, night vision and your peripheral vision also become impaired whenever you drink alcoholic beverages.
This results in drunk drivers who fail to pay sufficient attention to detail or comprehend road situations quickly or efficiently enough while driving. You will also experience much slower reflexes when you have been drinking alcohol; this can affect your ability to brake quickly enough, control the accelerator or turn the wheel to maneuver a corner or to an avoid an unexpected obstacle on the road. As you can see, drinking alcohol before you get behind the wheel endangers yourself and everyone else who shares the road with you.
Legal Changes
Every single state in the United States is focusing on solutions to overcome the problem of driving while under the influence. The country’s legal limit for blood alcohol has been lowered to 0.08 percent, and penalties are currently much more severe if you are caught driving while impaired. These are all efforts to lower the number of serious traffic accident injuries and deaths related to alcohol.
Despite all of the legal penalties, social efforts and improved education efforts, one out of every seven drivers is still considered legally impaired during the hours of 1:00 AM and 6:00 AM on weekends. It’s imperative that we continue our efforts to prevent drivers from driving while under the influence to keep everyone safe on the road.
Steps You Can Take to Avoid Driving Impaired
Plan Ahead
One of the most important steps you can take is to avoid the temptation to drive if you have been drinking alcohol. To make this task easier, it’s wise to arrange to be brought home by taxi or with another individual who is sober, make arrangements to stay the night at the place where you will be drinking or ensure a designated driver is available to take you home safely at the end of the evening. Many pubs and bars also provide free non-alcoholic beverages to any designed driver to encourage the safe practice. Another option is to take turns with you and your friends so you don’t end up being the designated driver for every event or night out.
Call A Friend or Taxi
If you end up drinking too much alcohol unexpectedly, be sure to contact a close friend or family member to request a ride home or call a local taxi company. Certain cities may even provide a free taxi ride to intoxicated drivers who have enough wisdom to avoid driving while under the influence.
Create A Social Environment That Discourages Drinking & Driving
Fostering a social environment that does not encourage drinking and driving is another important step you can take to become a safer driver. Never permit anyone you know, including friends, family member or colleagues to get behind the wheel after they have been drinking alcohol. Better yet, volunteer to become a designated driver so there will be no temptation for anyone to drive drunk.
Do Your Part As Host Of An Event
If you are the host of a party or event, make sure you provide lots of non-alcoholic beverages as well. You can also take the keys from everyone at the beginning of the evening so you are guaranteed that nobody can drive home while intoxicated. It is your responsibility to prevent others from driving while under the influence, and this applies whether you are hosting a weekend party or merely enjoying a pint with some friends after work.
Educate Your Children
Another important element to ensure unsafe drivers remain off the road is to educate your children about the dangers of drinking and driving. Discuss the situation with any teenagers in your household who may be learning to drive and make sure they know that they should never accept a ride from someone who has been drinking or get behind the wheel while drinking.
You should also make it very clear that you are always available to pick them up and drive them home safely if they phone you after an evening of drinking. Although being woken up in the middle of the night with a ride request may be inconvenient, it could end up saving the life of your child or others on the road.
Both adults and teenagers alike need to educate themselves about the dangers of driving while under the influence. If we work hard to foster an environment where drinking and driving becomes socially unacceptable, the roads will become safer for everyone. The number of injuries and deaths related to impaired driving will also drop.


Submitting a False Insurance Application


If you have to apply for any type of insurance, it is often very tempting to lie or tell only part of the truth. You may believe that you will pay less for your annual payments or find it easier to have your application approved if you life. The problem is that the methods used by insurance companies to verify the information provided is more advanced and comprehensive. Therefore, it is much more likely that you will get caught if you submit false information on your insurance claim. If you are caught lying on your insurance application, you also risk having the insurance provider rescind your application. Even worse, you may be required to pay a fine that can be as high as tens of thousands of dollars if you have been proven to submit a fraudulent insurance application.
In addition to any fines that may be imposed by the insurance company, there are also severe legal penalties for individuals who submit false information on their insurance application. For example, according to Section 359 of the California Insurance Code, insurance companies in California have the right to regard your policy as invalid as soon as they discover you have submitted any false information or omitted any relevant details. This means that you will be left without any insurance coverage which could prove to be a very costly mistake.
Scott Edelen who is Deputy Insurance Commissioner of the California Department of Insurance also indicates that an individual may encounter much worse problems than merely having his or her insurance policy revoked. The person may also be held financially liable for submitting a false insurance claim. Just imagine what would happen if your policy ends up being rescinded after you have been awarded claim damages for an auto accident? If your claim was very costly, you could end up owing a large sum of money because you lied on your application.
Edelen recounts one such incident that occurred when a policy holder provided a false address when they submitted an insurance application. The individual’s motive was to obtain a less expensive rate of insurance. The policy had been approved and remained valid for several years with the incorrect address. However, the person’s insurance provider later determined that the address was false and rescinded the insurance policy. This was merely the start of the policy holder’s problems.
The insurance company investigated the situation more closely and discovered that a previous claim had been paid to the individual who submitted the false address. The claim concerned an accident with another driver who did not have insurance at the time. In addition to having his policy revoked, he was also sued for damages incurred throughout the life of the insurance policy. After losing the judgment, the policy holder was required to pay the claim costs that were paid during the existence of the policy with the incorrect address.
This person was also forced to pay the difference between the cost that would have been assessed if the application contained the right address and the cost of the actual policy. In addition, the individual had to pay interest on both of these outstanding amounts. To make a long story short, one small lie resulted in more than $20,000 in charges. This is a much higher amount of money than the person would have had to pay if they had submitted the correct address on the initial insurance application form.
If you are contemplating lying on your insurance application, remember that it will most likely be discovered by the insurance company. Sophisticated detection methods are making it even easier and faster for insurance providers to detect false insurance applications. The majority of insurance providers will not take the word of an applicant without applying some type of verification process to the information submitted. This ensures that the prospective policy holder’s rates and potential accident risk are assessed fairly and accurately.
According to Bill Sirola, a spokesperson for State Farm, insurance companies can easily verify the driving records of any insurance applicant in their home state. They can also use the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) as well as additional claims information databases to gain access to driving record information anywhere in the entire country. Insurance companies can check various details about a prospective policy holder’s driving; they can verify if an individual has ever been involved in an accident or traffic violation or received a ticket.
Most insurance companies will verify the past three years of your driving record when they are reviewing your insurance application. However, they will check to see if you have been involved in any driving offences such as driving while under the influence for a period of seven years. Organizations such as CLUE can also provide information such as whether individuals have ever submitted an insurance claim as well as the exact amount of such claims.
Given the advanced verification methods, organizations and laws currently in place, it is definitely not worth the risk involved to tell a lie on your insurance application. Even one seemingly minor omission or lie can come back to haunt you many years later. For example, if your insurance company runs a check with the Department of Motor Vehicles, they can quickly and easily determine if you have lied about your driving record. If you are caught, your policy may be revoked, your premiums may be raised or you may be fined. As with anything else in life, “honesty is the best policy” also applies when you are completing your insurance application.


All About Assigned Risk Insurance


If you live in the United States, you are required to obtain auto insurance before you are able to drive a vehicle. However, you may experience difficulty locating an insurance company that is willing to provide you with insurance if you are one of the many drivers assigned to the high-risk category.
Contrary to popular belief, most individuals who are in the assigned risk category actually possess a clean driving record. They may be assigned as high risk because they live in an area where a very high number of insurance claims have been submitted or because they fall into a high-risk group. Others may be categorized as high risk because of their age; drivers younger than 25 years old are statistically involved in more motor vehicle accidents. Another reason a person may fall into the high-risk category is the type of vehicle they are driving; certain makes and models have a greater chance of being damaged or stolen.
What is Assigned Risk Insurance?
Anyone who has a poor driving record will most likely encounter problems finding an insurance company willing to provide auto insurance. However, the majority of states help these individuals to obtain insurance coverage, thanks to what is called an assigned risk auto insurance plan. Assigned risk auto insurance companies sell auto insurance to individuals who have been turned down by other insurance providers.


Obtaining Assigned Risk Coverage


If you require assigned risk auto insurance, the first step is to approach an insurance agent and submit an application. If your application for coverage is denied by three insurance companies, the insurance agent will complete a form which is then sent to the state. The form indicates that you have been categorized as high risk and will require assigned risk car insurance.


You should contact your state insurance department and see if they provide any assistance with the insurance provider if you have been placed in the high-risk category. Another option is to visit a different insurance company and attempt to obtain auto insurance coverage. Never assume that just because one insurance provider has denied you coverage that you are forced to obtain coverage from a high-risk auto insurance company.


The rules and rates for new insurance policy holders vary from state to state and are constantly being revised. Therefore, if you have been denied by one insurance company, look for an insurance provider that specialized in providing coverage to high-risk drivers. If these methods are unsuccessful, you can obtain auto insurance coverage through the assigned risk auto insurance plan provided by the state.


What You Can Expect


If you have been placed under the assigned risk category, you have no choice but to purchase the minimum amount of insurance coverage that is required by law in your particular state. You won’t be eligible to apply for additional coverage. Although the cost of such insurance is normally higher than for policy holders who are not high risk, the assigned risk plan must accept your application for insurance coverage. This will provide you with the opportunity to drive legally and take additional steps to have yourself removed from the assigned risk category as soon as possible.


While you are in the assigned risk category, continue to conduct research so you can obtain a less expensive and more comprehensive insurance policy once your driving record improves. The good news is that drivers who submit their premium payments on time and maintain a clean driving record for three years can normally obtain a better deal and be removed from the category of assigned risk auto insurance.


Don’t Rely Solely On Price When It Comes To Auto Insurance


Most people automatically consider the price of an insurance policy when they are shopping around for car insurance or any other type of coverage. Obviously, this is an important factor in your decision. However, choosing an insurance company involves much more factors. For example, you also need to review the various services offered by the company’s insurance agents, the different types of coverage available and the company’s insurance claims process.


Various types of insurance such as property damage liability and bodily injury have different rates. Certain vehicles will also be charged different rates and there are many discounts that may be available from certain insurance companies. For example, some insurance providers offer a discount if you have a vehicle that includes a certain kind of lock or anti-theft device. You may end up paying a much higher rate if your car does not contain that lock system.


No-fault coverage may involve a discount, given that all vehicles manufactured in the United States in 1990 or later are required to include both seatbelts and airbags. You will often pay higher insurance premiums if your vehicle is an older model. It’s also important to note that the premiums you must pay don’t necessarily reflect the dividends mutual insurers must pay.


Certain auto insurance providers rely on classifications, whereas others who rely on combined policies with limits that may be vastly different from what you expected. Merit-rating plans are also used by many insurance companies to assess higher premiums for any vehicles that are statistically involved in a greater number of accidents.


You should also investigate a prospective insurance company’s customer service policies. You want to ensure that any insurance claims you may have to submit will be dealt with efficiently and quickly. Ask people you know to provide you with recommendations of insurance companies they currently use for their auto insurance. Another factor to consider is whether an insurance provider offers an installment plan for your insurance premiums. This may ease the financial burden of obtaining auto insurance coverage. With a little research, you should be able to find a reliable insurance company that offers affordable auto insurance.


How to Avoid Insurance Fraud


You have probably spent considerable time deciding on a reliable insurance company. However, regardless of your time and effort, a percentage of insurance policy holders fall victim to insurance fraud every year. Understanding the various methods that insurance agents utilize will help you become better aware and will minimize your risk of falling prey to one of their schemes. We’ll explain some of the more common schemes involved in insurance fraud and steps you can take to avoid them.
Churning
This scam involves an insurance agent who attempts to sell an additional insurance policy to an individual who already possesses a policy that has a cash value. Agents often use churning to offer a policy holder a new policy at a lower rate. The fraud occurs because despite the low-priced policy, the remainder of the premium is taken from the cash value of the person’s initial insurance policy. The new insurance policy ends up depleting the entire cash value of the initial policy. If the policyholder attempt to arrange for money to pay both policies, his or her coverage will end up lapsing.
Stacking


Usually one policy will cover the needs of an individual in each area of insurance. However, some consumers may want to purchase an additional life insurance policy or annuity for investment. Dishonest insurance agents may attempt to sell you more than one insurance policy needlessly by making you believe you require additional coverage. Known as stacking, this scam often occurs with health insurance or life insurance policies.
Pocketing Premium Payments
An insurance policy will usually be declared void if you don’t pay any premium. Most policy holders will make the require payments by using an insurance agent who has often sold them the relevant insurance policy. One way insurance agents commit insurance fraud is by failing to pay the insurance company the premium on your behalf. This leaves the policy holder with absolutely no insurance coverage. Many fraudulent agents take a gamble that their clients will never have to submit an insurance claim. They end up pocketing your hard-earning premium money and leaving you with no coverage.
You can protect yourself against this type of insurance fraud by paying your premium directly to the insurance company, rather than to the insurance agent. Most companies will accept a money order or check from their policy holders. If you do end up being deceived by a dishonest insurance agent, you should contact the local authorities. The law is on your side and agents who fail to pay the premium money you gave them to the insurance company may lose their insurance license. If they retain your money for personal use, they may also face criminal charges of theft.
Sliding
Some insurance agents will attempt to sell you coverage you either don’t require or don’t even want. This process is called sliding. They will try to convince you that the insurance is part of a so-called package. Sometimes, they will even hide the extra coverage from you. If you are purchasing an insurance policy with a low rate of commission, the insurance agent may try to slide in extra coverage that offers them a much higher commission. The most common instances of sliding occur with memberships to motor clubs, guaranteed renewable term life insurance policies and accidental death coverage.
Twisting
Normally, insurance agents receive their largest commissions during the initial year of an insurance policy, followed by lower commissions in subsequent years. That’s why some agents will lie and try to convince you that you must change insurance companies or policies. This enables them to profit from the extra commission fees. This type of insurance fraud is called twisting, and it occurs most often with life insurance policies.
Before changing any of your existing insurance policies, conduct some research. For example, if you change your health insurance policy, you will not normally receive any compensation for illnesses that were diagnosed before your policy took effect. Other insurance policies may also require a waiting period before you are eligible for coverage. Make sure you weigh both the advantages and disadvantages before ever changing an existing insurance policy.
Additional Methods
Insurance fraud can also occur when dishonest agents sell policy holders a fake insurance policy. Another common scam involves agents using the license of a retired or former insurance agent. Still others will tell you they are representing the state or federal government. You can always verify that the license of a particular insurance company or agent is valid by contacting the Department of Insurance in your state.


What You Need To Know About First Time Driver Auto Insurance


Given new drivers’ lack of experience, first time driver auto insurance can be very expensive. The reason is that the inexperience of new drivers makes them a much higher risk for causing or being involved in an accident when compared to more experienced drivers. This is particularly the case when it comes to new teenagers who are first learning how to drive. In fact, statistics reveal that it is ten times more likely that a teenage driver will be involved in a motor vehicle accident compared to adult drivers aged 30 to 59.


Obtaining First Time Driver Car Insurance

It doesn’t matter whether you are an adult or teenage first time driver, first time driver auto insurance can greatly affect your driving experience. New drivers are legally required to purchase it, but first time driver auto insurance can also protect you if you are involved in any type of car accident. Not having to worry about covering all of the necessary expenses if you do have an accident should make you more relaxed on the road and provide you with some peace of mind.


What is Covered with First Time Driver Auto Insurance


Liability coverage is always included in standard first time driver auto insurance. This is perhaps the most crucial coverage for any driver because it will cover the expenses regarding vehicle damage or physical injuries that you have caused. Most standard first time driver car insurance policies use a baseline of 100/300/100. The numbers mean that $100,000 is designated to cover any bodily injuries, $300,000 is allotted to cover the injuries of every party involved in the accident and the remaining $100,000 will cover any property damage. However, you need to verify the specific minimum amount of coverage with your insurance company as the numbers vary for each state.


Medical payments coverage are also included in standard first time driver auto insurance. This type of coverage will pay for all of the medical expenses incurred by every party involved despite who actually caused the accident. Standard first time driver auto insurance policies may also include personal injury protection coverage which will pay for any lost wages, pain and suffering as well as funeral expenses.


In addition, first time driver car insurance policies include underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage. This is very important as it will pay for your injuries if any other parties involved have no or insufficient insurance coverage.

How to Lower Your Premiums


Many new, inexperienced drivers don’t realize that they may still qualify for lower premiums for their first time driver car insurance policy. Here are some steps you can take to reduce the cost of your premiums:

Never purchase a vehicle such as a sports car that is classified as high risk
Choose an auto insurance policy with a higher deductible which will lower your premiums
Ensure the vehicle you purchase contains numerous safety features and is solidly built
Teenage drivers can reduce the cost of your policy if they are added to your parents’ insurance policy rather than purchasing standalone auto insurance
Maintain a clean driving record by avoiding traffic violations and driving safely every time you get behind the wheel
Permit restrictions such as not driving at night or taking a driving school course to be added to the use of your driver’s license


The Top Ten Steps to Avoid Insurance Fraud


Although most insurance companies and agents are honest, insurance fraud is a part of the insurance industry. The good news is that you can take some simple steps to protect yourself from falling victim to insurance fraud.


1.Never purchase the first insurance policy you see. It is important to conduct some research and comparison shop, just as you would with any other important purchase. Take the time to review the reputation, rates, features and insurance types of prospective insurance providers. Before you pay your first premium, you should obtain quotes from several different insurance companies. Review their rates and benefits and the advantages and disadvantages of each so you can choose the most suitable insurance provider.


2.Review the background and reputation of any prospective insurance company or agent. Find out how long the company has been in business or verify that the insurance license of an agent is valid by contacting the local Department of Insurance. For example, if you receive an insurance quote that sounds far too low, be very cautious. As we all know, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


The low rates may just be a method to lure you into purchasing a fraudulent insurance policy or dealing with a dishonest insurance company. It doesn’t matter how little you paid for your insurance premiums if your insurance company is unable or unwilling to cover your claim or provides you with unsatisfactory customer service.


3.Only purchase insurance policies from authorized insurance agents, companies or agencies. Not only are unauthorized insurance procedures illegal, they leave policyholders without any insurance coverage. This means that you will be completely unprotected if you ever have to submit an insurance claim. If you want to ensure a prospective insurance company is legitimate, contact your local state Department of Insurance. One quick phone call can save you a lot of hassle, time and money.


4.Pay particular attentions to your premium and never pay it in cash. Choose a money order or check to pay for your insurance premium so you have a record. Make sure you always obtain a receipt that proves that you have paid your premium. If possible, pay your premium directly to your insurance company or agency, rather than to an insurance agent.


5.Take time to carefully complete your insurance application. Pay attention to every detail, regardless of how apparently minor. Even one small error may cause big problems later on. Do not sign any blank application forms or blank forms.


6.You also need to be completely honest when you answer any of the questions or provide any information on your insurance application. Submitting false, partial or inaccurate information can have serious consequences; your insurance policy may be revoked, leaving you without any insurance coverage. Even worse, you may be fined or prosecuted as it is considered an offense to falsify information on an insurance claim or application. Never allow an insurance agent to convince you to file false data or submit incorrect information.


7.Request a copy of your entire insurance policy from your insurance agent within a reasonable time period. It’s important to note that an ID card isn’t considered a copy of policy for auto insurance. If you don’t receive a copy of your policy, first contact your insurance agent and then the Department of Insurance in your particular state.


8.Immediately read your entire insurance policy to ensure that it does not contain any errors. You should also make sure that it contains the exact insurance coverage you discussed with your insurance agent. If something does not look right to you, be sure to return your policy and discuss the issue with your insurance agent or insurance company.


9.You should also be aware that you will be granted a period of time in which you can review your insurance policy as soon as you receive it with no obligation. Make sure to take full advantage of this opportunity. Every health insurance and life insurance policy has what is called a “free-look” period of at least 10 days, although certain policies may even have a longer time period.


10. Retain copies of all of your insurance documents such as copies of all your premium payments for future reference. You should keep extra copies in a secure location such as a fireproof and waterproof safe, entrusted individual, legal practitioner or locked safety deposit box.


Filing a Complaint

If you at any time you have questions or concerns regarding your insurance policy, you should talk to your insurance company or agent. If you believe that you have been unjustly declined for a new or renewed insurance policy or your payments for a legitimate insurance claim have been denied, you should discuss the situation immediately with your insurance company. It may just be an error that can be easily remedied with a quick phone call or email. Make sure you include your policy number, telephone number, address, full name, type of insurance policy and the nature of the problem in all correspondence.


If your issue is not resolved to your satisfaction, you can file a complaint with the head of the company. Another option is to file a complaint with the Department of Insurance in your state. They can provide you with a complaint history for a particular insurance agent or company, accept a complaint from you or furnish details of the license standing of an insurance agent or the details of any insurance company.


Reporting Fraud


If you suspect your insurance agent or company of committing insurance fraud, be sure to file a complaint with the local Department of Insurance. They will assist you with dealing with the issue. This may also protect other unsuspecting insurance policy holders from falling victim.


How to Obtain DWI Auto Insurance


If you have ever been arrested for a DWI or driving while intoxicated, you will probably find it much more difficult to obtain auto insurance. The majority of the leading insurance companies in the United States will deny coverage to applicants who have an imminent or recent charge of DWI. The good news is that certain insurance companies will insure you even if you have been convicted of a DWI. It may take longer to find such a company because DWI auto insurance is classified as high risk insurance. That’s why so many insurance providers don’t want to issue insurance coverage to anyone who has a DWI on their record.
Filing an SR-22


If you are trying to obtain auto insurance with a DWI on your record, you may have to file what is called an SR-22 insurance certificate. This form certifies that you have auto insurance with a DWI on your driving record. This form is only required for any drivers who have actually been convicted of driving while intoxicated.


DWI Auto Insurance Rates


The truth is that the cost of DWI auto insurance can be very high. You will pay much more to obtain this type of insurance for the amount of coverage you will receive because of the high risk associated with it. If you have a DWI conviction, you may have to wait many years before your auto insurance rates are finally lowered. You should look for a non-standard high risk insurer if you are trying to find auto insurance with a DWI. Many of these insurance providers will grant you insurance coverage. The downside is that their rates may be two, three or even four times higher than the standard. The bottom line is that DWI car insurance is available if you spend a little time to find an insurance company willing to cover you.


Save Money by Changing Your Auto Insurance


Your auto insurance policy may end up costing you several thousands of dollars annually. This depends on many factors such as your driving record, location, type of vehicle, credit rating and age. Each car insurance company offers different premiums for the insurance they sell. You need to remember that auto insurance companies are competing for your business, so it may be time to switch to a new insurance provider.


Here are some of the common reasons you may want to consider switching insurance companies:


Receiving a group discount offered by a new employer
Obtaining discounts or special offers from a certain insurer
Finding a more convenient location for your insurance company
Receiving lower premiums for the same insurance coverage
Avoiding expensive charges for insurance policy renewals
Looking for better customer service than current insurance provider offers


As you can see, there are many good reasons to switch your current car insurance provider. However, you need to be aware of some important issues before doing so.


Shop Around & Compare


As with any important purchase, you should shop around for the best deal when you are looking for a new insurance provider. Review the rates, type of coverage, customer satisfaction policies, background and reputation of various insurers before making your choice. Fortunately, it is now easier than ever to compare insurance companies. Thanks to the Internet, you can quickly and easily review many companies by visiting their website – without even leaving your home!


Conduct Due Diligence


Before you decide to change auto insurance providers, be sure you have thoroughly read every relevant document issued by your current and prospective insurer. These include recent bills, available discounts, renewal notices, details of insurance coverage and all policy papers.


Best Time to Change


The optimal time to change auto insurance providers is approximately one month before your current insurance policy needs to be renewed. By doing so, you won’t have to pay for the start-up and printing expenses charged by a company for renewing your policy. You can also avoid having to determine the amount of any unused premium that you are owed.


Canceling an Existing Policy


If you decide to cancel your existing insurance policy, you must notify you auto insurance provider in writing and include the exact date you wish your current policy to be canceled. Never cancel your current policy before ensuring you have obtained a new insurance policy. Otherwise, you may find yourself uninsured for a short period of time and without coverage in the case of an accident.


You may also be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles for driving without insurance coverage. This may affect your ability to obtain new insurance coverage and it may ruin your credit rating. Certain states may require you to show proof that you have obtained a new auto insurance policy before they will accept your new policy.
If you are able to find better coverage or a lower rate, it makes sense to switch to a new auto insurance provider. Conduct some research to ensure you are changing to a reliable insurance company. You may be able to complete the entire process in as little as one day if you provide your new insurance agent with the name of your previous insurer, name of your former insurance agent, cancellation date and details of your previous insurance policy.


Insurance Tips


Purchasing an insurance policy is very similar to buying any other major item or service. You need to do a little comparison shopping and examine the pros and cons of each option before choosing which policy and company you end up buying. Regardless of whether you are insuring any type of valuable, including a material possession such as your grandmother’s heirloom brooch or your family’s life, you need to inform yourself as much as possible.
Learn what you can about not only the actual insurance policy you will be purchasing, but also about policies offered by other reliable insurance providers. Take the necessary time to comparison shop, remain inquisitive and don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need and remember to compare not only the rates of insurance companies, but also their benefits and reputation. Be sure you are comparing the exact same type of insurance coverage. Certain insurance policies may cost you much less, but often offer you fewer benefits.
Here are some tips to follow before you decide on the right insurance policy for you and your family:
Review the financial strength of any prospective insurance company
Write down the name, address and telephone number of your insurance agent. If an agent refuses to give you a business card, discuss what company he/she represents or provide you with the requested personal details, stay clear.
Avoid insurance agents who are visiting your area only temporarily, because they may not be available to offer you assistance or answer your questions once you have purchased an insurance policy.
Don’t be afraid to inquire about a particular insurance agent’s education level, insurance experience or relevant qualifications
Contact your local Department Bureau of Producer Licensing if you have any questions or concerns about an insurance broker or agent
Try to set your emotions aside when you are making an insurance purchase
Be very cautious when you encounter insurance companies or agents that claim to be authorized by a labor group, the government, professional organizations or a teacher group
If you don’t have the time available, don’t be afraid to ask an insurance agent to leave your home and return at a more suitable time. If you don’t feel comfortable dealing with a particular agent, ask the person to leave and continue your search.
Never let an insurance agent or company pressure or intimidate you into purchasing insurance coverage you don’t need or want
Take your time deciding on which insurance policy to purchase. If an insurance agent pressures you into making a quick decision, find another person or company to deal with as the insurance will remain available to purchase.
If you want to change insurance policies, be sure you investigate not only the rates, but also the conditions, benefits and specific coverage offered with the new policy. There are often certain risks associated with switching insurance policies. For example, you may no longer be eligible to receive health insurance coverage if you have been diagnosed with a medical condition since your original health insurance policy.
Be sure you know exactly which insurance benefits you currently have before you decide to purchase an additional insurance policy
Make sure you don’t duplicate insurance coverage. Your existing insurance policy may already cover some of the benefits offered by a new policy you are considering purchasing.


Don’t assume that the policy premium you have been quoted will be the actual price you end up paying or that your policy will automatically be approved for coverage. Quotations for premiums are furnished based on current information and can change at any time. If the insurance provider discovers that any of the information you provided is incomplete or incorrect or new information is added, you may have to pay a different premium. The insurance company may even refuse to issue you the insurance policy.
Make sure all of the information you provide on your insurance application form is complete and accurate. Review the document thoroughly before you sign it. Whenever you answer a question on the application, ensure your responses are honest and accurate; you will be held accountable for any information with your signature. If you fail to report accurate information, you may end up having your policy voided. Insurance companies can also terminate your coverage or charge you a higher premium if they subsequently discover omissions or errors on your insurance application.
Rather than paying for your policy in cash, use a money order or preferably a check. This payment form will not only provide you with proof that you have paid in full, but will also enable you to issue a stop payment if required. Another tip is to make your check payable to the insurance company, rather than to the insurance agent.
If you decide to change to another insurance company, never cancel your current insurance policy until you receive the exact rate of the new policy. You also need to ensure you have actually been accepted by the new insurance company or you risk being left without insurance coverage.
Don’t sign any insurance application form until you have read the entire document and ensured all of the information it contains is accurate.
Read through your entire insurance policy as soon as you receive it. Review the specific coverage you will receive and discuss any questions, concerns or omissions with your insurance agent.
If you want to lower your premium, you can choose a higher deductible. This refers to the amount of money you are required to pay before your insurance provider will pay the remainder of your claim. Make sure that you understand exactly how the insurance company defines the deductible. For example, does the company charge per family or per individual, per illness or per occurrence?
Review any available payment options for your premium, as some insurance companies will allow you to finance payments or to pay in installments for a low administration fee.
If you want to verify the licensing status of a particular insurance agent or insurance company, you should contact your local Insurance Department or visit their website.


All About High Risk Auto Insurance


If you have been classified as a high risk driver, you will most likely pay more money for your auto insurance policy. The good news is that you can take some steps to lower your high risk auto insurance payments. Conducting some research before you purchase your auto insurance may end up saving you money every year. The first thing you need to know is how the majority of insurance companies establish the rates for high risk drivers. We will also provide you with information so you can find a high risk auto insurance policy that suits your particular needs.
How Insurance Companies Define High Risk Drivers
Before you discover how insurance companies determine risk for high risk drivers, it’s helpful to understand how they define a high risk driver. Individuals who meet any of the following criteria are categorized as a high risk driver and require high risk auto insurance:
Anyone who has a guilty plea, no contest plea or a single conviction for a hit and run, reckless operation of a vehicle, vehicular negligent injury, operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or similar violation within the past twelve months
Anyone who has a no contest plea, guilty plea or a minimum of three convictions for a moving violation
How Insurance Companies Determine Risk for High Risk Drivers
There are several factors used by insurance companies to determine whether a driver should be classified as high risk and require high risk auto insurance.
Young drivers almost always pay more for auto insurance because teenagers are considered a higher risk than adult drivers
Anyone with a DUI or DWI on their driving record is automatically placed in the high risk category
If you are a first time driver, you will pay more for your auto insurance, regardless of your age
Male drivers are classified as a higher risk than female drivers
Individuals driving in an urban area are considered a higher risk than anyone driving in a rural area
Having a gap in your auto insurance coverage will place you in a higher risk category, but maintaining continuous coverage over several years will count in your favor
If you have received speeding tickets, your insurance company will determine that you are at a higher risk of causing a motor vehicle accident
Being involved in several motor vehicle accidents will place you in a higher risk category, even if they were not caused by you; insurance companies become concerned that you may be a reckless or careless driver. If you have been in any car accidents, you will pay higher auto insurance rates.
Your credit rating also affects the rates you must pay for auto insurance. Drivers with a poor credit rating statistically file a larger number of claims. Therefore, insurance companies classify drivers with a poor credit rating as a higher risk.
If you have been categorized as a high risk driver, be sure you conduct some research before you purchase an auto insurance policy. Talk to several different insurance companies so you can compare rates, coverage options and available options. You may find ways to lower your premium rates for high risk auto insurance.


SR22 Insurance


Have you ever heard of SR22 insurance? This is the type of insurance policy that anyone who has been classified as a high-risk driver must purchase if they want to reinstate a driver’s license that has been suspended or revoked. Although most SR22 insurance policies are valid for three years, they may vary from one to five years, depending on the particular violation.
How Does SR22 Insurance Work?
Each time an insurance company issues an SR22 auto insurance policy, it must include a certificate to the Department of Motor Vehicles. This document verifies that the DMV will be advised if any lapse in coverage occurs. It also guarantees that the insured driver has met all of the local state’s required minimums concerning liability coverage.


If insured drivers cancel their auto insurance policy or fail to maintain it, their driver’s license will be immediately suspended by the DMV and they may have to pay a penalty. Because any drivers who are insured by an SR22 auto insurance policy have revealed a prior lack of responsibility, this type of insurance is designed to make it hard for a person to drive without insurance.


Who Requires SR22 Insurance?
Any drivers who have a serious violation on their driving record will most likely require SR22 coverage before their driver’s license can be reinstated.
The following violations will require a driver to carry SR22 auto insurance:

Failure to maintain auto insurance
Reckless driving
Multiple moving violations
DUI (driving under the influence)
DWI (driving while intoxicated)


Types of SR22 Coverage
The main types of SR22 coverage include SR22 Motorcycle Insurance, an SR22 Non-Owner’s Insurance policy and SR22 Car Insurance. If you do not own a vehicle but wish to maintain your driver’s license, you may be required to purchase an SR22 Non-Owner’s policy. This type of insurance policy normally includes coverage for uninsured motorist bodily injury protection, uninsured motorist property damage and basic liability.


SR22 Coverage Requirements


The requirements of SR22 coverage will vary, depending on a driver’s prior driving experience, particular state of residence, driving offenses and credit history. Not every insurance company is willing to offer SR22 insurance, because they are considered high-risk policies. You need to ensure you obtain auto insurance coverage from a reliable insurance company. Don’t just look for the lowest rates. Try to find an insurance company with a solid reputation, because you may face severe penalties if your auto insurance coverage ever lapses.


International Auto Insurance


If you live in the United States and tend to drive often into Canada or Mexico, you will require international auto insurance to protect yourself and your vehicle. The rates will vary depending on the particular country; driving in Mexico is not considered as safe as driving in Canada.


International Auto Insurance Coverage


Although international auto insurance may be costly to purchase, it is very important if you decide to drive in another country. You may experience a lot of unnecessary expenses and frustration if you are involved in an accident and don’t have the proper auto insurance.


Driving in certain foreign countries without insurance is not illegal. However, you should still purchase an international auto insurance policy from an insurance company in the United States. This type of insurance coverage will protect you from other drivers. It may also protect you from theft, depending on the foreign country. You should discuss the specific coverage options included with an international auto insurance policy with your insurance provider.


Rates for International Auto Insurance


You can purchase an international auto insurance policy that is valid from anywhere to one month to an entire year. This type of policy offers more flexible time periods than regular car insurance policies, because most people only travel for a temporary period of time.


You will often pay much higher to purchase an international auto insurance policy when compared to normal rates of coverage within the United States. For example, the average monthly premium for international auto insurance outside of the United States and Canada is approximately $386 for a vehicle worth less than $10,000 and as much as $900 for a vehicle valued higher than $45,000. Be sure to contact your insurance provider to obtain the current rates for purchasing international auto insurance coverage.


How to Obtain Auto Insurance with A DUI


If you have ever been convicted of a DUI or driving while under the influence, you will be required to purchase a DUI auto insurance policy. The majority of insurance providers will either fail to renew or cancel your current auto insurance policy if you have a DUI on your driving record.


Fortunately, some insurance companies will sell you auto insurance even if you have a DUI. However, you will have to pay a higher premium. Insurance companies will also classify you as a high-risk driver.

DUI Auto Insurance Rates


It is important to note that the cost of a DIU auto insurance policy may be as high as 200 to 300 percent more than a regular policy. Because there are no laws to regular the premiums for DUI auto insurance, the rates can vary greatly across the country. Therefore, you should spend some time comparing rates from various insurance providers before purchasing your DUI auto insurance policy.
If you have been convicted of drunk driving, your driver’s license will either be revoked or suspended. In 41 states of the US, your driver’s license can also be taken if you fail or refuse to take an alcohol test.
SR-22 Insurance Coverage
If you are convicted of a DUI or driving under the influence, you must show your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) proof that you have auto insurance with a DUI. You will normally be required to follow this procedures for a period of three to five years, depending on the state in which you live and your particular situation. Your insurance company will provide your local DMV with an SR-22 form. This provides proof that you have obtained DUI auto insurance so the suspension of your driver’s license can be lifted.


The length of time you are charged the higher DUI auto insurance rate depends on several factors, including the rules in your state and the policy of the particular insurance company. The length of time that a DUI conviction will remain on an individual’s driving record varies for each state. However, you will continue to pay a much higher premium for as long as your driving record includes your DUI conviction.


There are various methods used by insurance companies to rate and verify drivers. An insurance company may check your motor vehicle record only when you apply for a new insurance policy or once every two to three years. Certain driving convictions or tickets may not ever appear on your driving record. However, you will have to pay a significantly higher amount for your auto insurance if you have ever been convicted of a DUI, even if you are a first-time offender. Although the cost of DUI auto insurance is much higher than regular car insurance, you will need to purchase it if you want the privilege of being able to drive. You don’t want to risk driving without insurance in case you are ever involved in a motor vehicle accident.


Obtaining Auto Insurance For Hard to Insure Vehicles


You may have your eye on that expensive sports car when you are deciding which vehicle to purchase. The thoughts that are going through your head probably revolve around color choice, speed, warranty and price. The problem is that you may not be aware that you will pay more to purchase auto insurance for a vehicle that has been classified as difficult to insure.


Whether you lease or buy a new car, you will need to purchase auto insurance. The question is what type of insurance do you require and how much will it cost? If your car is categorized in a list of vehicles that are not easy to insure, you may pay much more than you expect for insurance. For example, vehicles that have been manufactured within the last 10 years or vehicles classified as “common usage” normally appear on the list.


Many insurance companies either refuse to insure these types of vehicles or they may place strict conditions on your auto insurance policy. Insurance companies have various reasons why they aren’t prepared to insure any vehicles that are on their hard to insure list. The main reason is that parts for newer vehicles are often very expensive to purchase and thefts occur much more often on these vehicles. Such vehicles include Bentley, Excalibur, Sterling and Rolls Royce.


The majority of insurance companies provide liability insurance instead of coverage for physical damages. Other insurance providers will only insure vehicles on the list if you pay a deductible for your auto insurance policy that is higher than a specified amount.


Other factors used by insurance companies to determine whether they will actually insure your vehicle include the following: broker or agent commission, vehicle’s age and insurability. However, many insurers will sell auto insurance to vehicles that belong to a particular group such as ones that are newer than 10 years old.


Before you purchase an auto insurance policy, compare the rates offered by various insurance providers. If you can’t find a company that is willing to sell you sufficient coverage for your vehicle, the Unites States offers a plan to help you find insurance. Although you can obtain coverage, you will have to pay much more for your insurance policy than you would for regular auto insurance coverage. In addition to paying a higher rate, the coverage concerning any physical damage may be determined by the market value of your vehicle.


You should consult the list to verify if your vehicle make or model has been classified as difficult-to-insure:


Acura: Legend GS, Legend L, Legend LS, NSX, NSX-T
Aston Martin: All models
Austin Healy: All models
AM General: Hummer
Audi: 5000 & certain Quattro models
Avanti: All models
Bentley: All models
Bricklin: All models
BMW: CS Series, L Series, M Series, 21, Z1 Roadster
Buick: Reatta, Regal GMX, Regal Grand National, Regal GS
Cadillac: Allante, Deville Convertible, Eldorado Models, Fleetwood Limousine
Chevrolet: Berlinetta, Camaro IROC-Z, Camaro RS, Camaro Z-28, Cavalier Z24, Caprice LS, Corvette, El Camino, Pre-1994 Impala SS (396/427), Lumina Z34, Monte Carlo SS, Pre-1994 Nova SS (350/396)
Chrysler: Conquest & Conquest TSI, Crossfire, Laser, TC
DeLorean: All models
Dodge: Challenger, Charger, Colt GTS Turbo, Conquest, certain Daytona models such as Turbo & IROC-Z, Shelby Models, Spirit R/T, Sprinter Vans, Stealth, Viper
Eagle: Vision TSI, Talon, Talon TSI
Ferrari: All models
Fiat: Bertone, Pininfarina, Spider Models, X1/9 Models
Ford: EXP Lightning, Cobra GT LX 5.0, certain Mustang models, certain Probe models such as GT & Shelby Models, Sierra Models, Taurus SHO, Thunderbird Sport Models, SC, Torino GT (390)
Geo (Chevrolet): Metro XF1, Prizm GS1, Storm, Storm GS1
GMC: Cyclone, Typhoon
Honda: Civic Del Sol SI & VT, CRX & CRX Si, Prelude SI & VT, VTEC
Isuzu: Amigo, Impulse Models
Jaguar: Certain models such as XJ-S Models
Jeep (AMC Chrysler): Scrambler, Willie, Wrangler, CJ Series, DJ-5
Lamborghini: All models
Land Rover: All models
Lexus: SC300, SC400
Lincoln: Mark VII B, Mark VII LSC, Mark VIII
Lotus: All models
Maserati: All models
Maybach: All models
Mazda: Miata, certain MX Models, RX-7
Mercedes-Benz: Certain models such as Roadsters
Mercury: Certain Capri models, Cougar XR-7
Merkur: Scorpio
Mitsubishi: Certain 3000 Models, certain Eclipse Models, Ralliart Starion, EVO-RS
Nissan (Datsun): Roadster Models, Pulsar, NX2000, 200SX/240SX, Z Models, ZX Models, 300ZX
Oldsmobile: Achieva with HO Quad 4 Engine, 442 (400), Cutlass Calais Quad 4
Peugeot: Certain models
Plymouth: Conquest, Laser, Prowler
Pontiac: Fiero Models, Firebird Models, Trans-Am, Grand Am GT, LE, SE, High Output Models, Grand Prix GT/G TP, SE, GTO, Sunbird GT, Sunbird SE
Porsche: All models
Range Rover: County, Defender
Renault: Alliance, GTA, Fuego
Rolls Royce: All models
Saab: Turbo models
Subaru: Brat, certain XT Models, SVX, WRT-STi
Suzuki: Samurai, Sidekick
Toyota: Celica GT, Celica Supra, Land Cruiser (2-Door Hardtop), MR2
Triumph: TR3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Volkswagen: Corrado, Phaeton, GTI, Scirocco 16v
Volvo: 850 R, 850 Turbo
Yugo: All models


Components of Auto Insurance


Inexpensive auto insurance may end up costing you much more than you expected if you buy discount car insurance that doesn’t provide you with the coverage you require. It’s important to understand the basic types of auto insurance coverage that are available before you begin comparing rates from different insurance companies. Knowing what is available will help you choose the coverage the best meets your particular needs.
Before you begin looking for auto insurance discounts, learn what basic and optional insurance coverage options are currently available. For example, do you know if you require bodily injure liability protection as well as auto liability insurance? Do you need to purchase gap auto insurance? You may not have even heard of these auto insurance terms. Do you understand the difference between full coverage auto insurance and comprehensive auto coverage? If you answered no to any of these questions, you need to read on to learn more before rushing out to buy your auto insurance policy.


Many people skip right to the rates offered by an insurance company when they are looking for auto insurance. However, they fail to review the specific coverage options that a particular insurance policy offers. There are many different components for auto insurance coverage.


Before you purchase any type of discount car insurance, be sure you verify the specific minimum auto insurance requirements of your particular state. Every state has different requirements so you don’t want to end up purchasing an insurance policy that fails to provide you with sufficient coverage for your area. You can contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or consult the Internet to verify the minimum requirements in your state.


Auto insurance helps to protect you and your family from any losses you may suffer as a result of a motor vehicle accident caused by another driver. Car insurance also protects you and your family from damage to yourself, your passengers or your property.

The following is a list of the basic types of auto insurance available. You can obtain additional information about each type of insurance and its components by conducting some research online. Many websites explain each type of car insurance in detail so you know what type of auto insurance policy to purchase.
Auto Liability Insurance
Bodily Injury Liability Protection
Collision Coverage
Comprehensive Auto Coverage
Full Coverage Auto Insurance
Personal Injury Protection
Property Damage Liability
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Protection
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage
Rental Car Reimbursement Coverage
Towing Reimbursement Coverage


Obtaining an Auto Insurance Student Discount


Many Americans who are younger than 25 dread the mere thought of buying student auto insurance. They have good reason as the average American student will spend between $4,000 and $14,000 on car insurance every year.
The rate they are charged varies depending on several factors, including their location, vehicle make and model and driving record. You should also be aware that you will end up paying very high premiums for your student car insurance if you decide to buy one of those luxury sports cars displayed in your local car dealership!
The reason insurance companies charge American males younger than 25 (certain states set the limit at 21) the highest premiums is based on statistics. Young male drivers tend to be involved in a much higher rate of accidents throughout the country.
Why You Should Purchase Student Car Insurance
Certain younger drivers decide not to bother paying the high cost of a student auto insurance policy. The problem is that this can cause many serious problems if they are ever involved in a motor vehicle accident. The cost they end up paying to cover any relevant damages and losses is often much higher than the actual cost of purchasing an insurance policy in the first place.
For example, if you decide to drive without purchasing student car insurance and you are involved in an accident, you may end up facing the following consequences:
Having your driver’s license suspended
Spending time in jail
Suffering financial ruin
Jeopardizing your future
According to experts in the auto industry, being involved in only one motor vehicle accident can end when you are uninsured may end up ruining your credit rating for a period of ten years. As you can see, it is just not worth the risk to get behind the wheel without purchasing the appropriate auto insurance coverage.
Tips to Lower the Cost of Student Auto Insurance


If you want to pay a lower premium for your student auto insurance, you should review the following list. Many insurance companies such as Allstate Auto Insurance, State Farm Auto Insurance and American Family Auto Insurance offer discounts to students who meet the following criteria:


You are a resident of a state that offers an accreditation program and you pass the program. To find out which states are certified and how you can apply to reduce the premium of your student car insurance, visit the website of the National Safety Council at www.nsc.org.
You are younger than 25, enrolled full-time at an education institution and are maintaining a minimum grade point average of 3.0
You drive a vehicle that is equipped with a recovery or alarm system or other antitheft devices
You drive a vehicle that contains certain safety features such as airbag and automatic seatbelts
Another tip for reducing the high cost of your student auto insurance premium is to ask your prospective insurance provider if they offer discounts if your parents have purchased homeowners and auto insurance from their company. Many companies will provide such a discount if you decide to buy your student auto insurance policy from them.
Choosing to increase the amount of your deductible is yet another way to lower the cost of your auto insurance premium. You only pay a deductible or out-of-pocket expense if you are involved in an accident and need to file a claim. Therefore, the amount you end up saving on your premium every year may end up covering the cost.


State Auto Insurance Minimums


Every one of the fifty states in the US has different legal requirements when it comes to auto insurance. For example, motorists may have to provide proof that they have purchased liability insurance in order to register their vehicle in certain states. On the other hand, other states may operate on the honor system where drivers don’t need to provide proof of insurance until they have obtained a ticket or been involved in a motor vehicle accident.


Currently, only five out of the fifty states do not require drivers to purchase liability coverage. All of the rest require motorists to possess a minimum amount of liability coverage before they get behind the wheel. The minimum amount varies for each state. Therefore, if you live in a state whose law requires drivers to buy liability insurance, you won’t be able to purchase a small amount of coverage such as $1,500. You will need to purchase at least the minimum amount set forth by your particular state.


We are providing a table that will help you determine the liability limits in your area. If you review the table, you will notice that Alabama requires 20/40/10 liability. This means that drivers in that state must purchase at least $20,000 for injury liability for one individual in an accident, $40,000 for all injuries in an accident and $10,000 for any property damage in an accident.


Personal injury protection or PIP is also required in certain states. In addition, you need to verify if your state has “no-fault” laws. If you live in a no-fault state, your auto insurance policy will cover the cost any medical expenses or damages of your motor vehicle accident, regardless of who was at fault. These laws were instigated to reduce insurance expenditures and to reduce the amount of false claims regarding auto accident injuries. The final column of the table refers to a type of auto insurance policy that will cover you for any bodily injuries or property damage caused by a motorist who has not purchased liability insurance.


MINIMUM STATE AUTO INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS





State
Liability Insurance Required?
Liability Minimum (in thousands)
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Required?
No-Fault State?
Uninsured motorist coverage required?
Alabama
Yes
20/40/10
No
No
Yes
Alaska
Yes
50/100/25
No
No
Yes
Arizona
Yes
15/30/10
No
No
No
Arkansas
Yes
25/50/25
No
No
Yes
California
Yes
15/30/5
No
No
Yes
Colorado
Yes
25/50/15
No
No
Yes
Connecticut
Yes
20/40/10
No
No
Yes
Delaware
Yes
15/30/10
Yes
No
Yes
Florida
Yes
10/20/10
Yes
Yes
Yes
Georgia
Yes
25/50/25
No
No
Yes
Hawaii
Yes
20/40/10
Yes
Yes
Yes
Idaho
Yes
25/50/15
No
No
No
Illinois
Yes
20/40/15
No
No
Yes
Indiana
Yes
25/50/10
No
No
Yes
Iowa
Yes
20/40/15
No
No
Yes
Kansas
Yes
25/50/10
Yes
Yes
Yes
Kentucky
Yes
25/50/10
Yes
Yes
Yes
Louisiana
Yes
10/20/10
No
No
Yes
Maine
Yes
50/100/25
No
No
Yes
Maryland
Yes
20/40/15
Yes
No
Yes
Massachusetts
Yes
20/40/5
Yes
Yes
Yes
Michigan
Yes
20/40/10
Yes
Yes
No
Minnesota
Yes
30/60/10
Yes
Yes
Yes
Mississippi
Yes
10/20/5
No
No
Yes
Missouri
Yes
25/50/10
No
No
Yes
Montana
Yes
25/50/10
No
No
Yes
Nebraska
Yes
25/50/25
No
No
No
Nevada
Yes
15/30/10
No
No
Yes
New Hampshire
No
25/50/25
No
No
Yes
New Jersey
Yes
15/30/5
Yes
Yes
Yes
New Mexico
Yes
25/50/10
No
No
Yes
New York
Yes
25/50/10
Yes
Yes
Yes
North Carolina
Yes
30/60/25
No
No
Yes
North Dakota
Yes
25/50/25
Yes
Yes
Yes
Ohio
Yes
12.5/25/7.5
No
No
Yes
Oklahoma
Yes
10/20/10
No
No
Yes
Oregon
Yes
25/50/10
Yes
No
Yes
Pennsylvania
Yes
15/30/5
No
Yes
Yes
Rhode Island
Yes
25/50/25
No
No
Yes
South Carolina
No
15/30/10
No
No
Yes
South Dakota
Yes
25/50/25
No
No
Yes
Tennessee
Yes
25/50/10
No
No
Yes
Texas
Yes
20/40/15
No
No
Yes
Utah
Yes
25/50/15
Yes
Yes
Yes
Vermont
Yes
25/50/10
No
No
Yes
Virginia
No
25/50/20
No
No
Yes
Washington
Yes
25/50/10
No
No
Yes
Washington D.C.
Yes
25/50/10
No
Yes
Yes
West Virginia
Yes
20/40/10
No
No
Yes
Wisconsin
No
25/50/10
No
No
Yes
Wyoming
Yes
25/50/20
No
No
Yes




State
Liability Insurance Required?
Liability Minimum (in thousands)
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Required?
No-Fault State?
Uninsured motorist coverage required?
Alabama
Yes
20/40/10
No
No
Yes
Alaska
Yes
50/100/25
No
No
Yes
Arizona
Yes
15/30/10
No
No
No
Arkansas
Yes
25/50/25
No
No
Yes
California
Yes
15/30/5
No
No
Yes
Colorado
Yes
25/50/15
No
No
Yes
Connecticut
Yes
20/40/10
No
No
Yes
Delaware
Yes
15/30/10
Yes
No
Yes
Florida
Yes
10/20/10
Yes
Yes
Yes
Georgia
Yes
25/50/25
No
No
Yes
Hawaii
Yes
20/40/10
Yes
Yes
Yes
Idaho
Yes
25/50/15
No
No
No
Illinois
Yes
20/40/15
No
No
Yes
Indiana
Yes
25/50/10
No
No
Yes
Iowa
Yes
20/40/15
No
No
Yes
Kansas
Yes
25/50/10
Yes
Yes
Yes
Kentucky
Yes
25/50/10
Yes
Yes
Yes
Louisiana
Yes
10/20/10
No
No
Yes
Maine
Yes
50/100/25
No
No
Yes
Maryland
Yes
20/40/15
Yes
No
Yes
Massachusetts
Yes
20/40/5
Yes
Yes
Yes
Michigan
Yes
20/40/10
Yes
Yes
No
Minnesota
Yes
30/60/10
Yes
Yes
Yes
Mississippi
Yes
10/20/5
No
No
Yes
Missouri
Yes
25/50/10
No
No
Yes
Montana
Yes
25/50/10
No
No
Yes
Nebraska
Yes
25/50/25
No
No
No
Nevada
Yes
15/30/10
No
No
Yes
New Hampshire
No
25/50/25
No
No
Yes
New Jersey
Yes
15/30/5
Yes
Yes
Yes
New Mexico
Yes
25/50/10
No
No
Yes
New York
Yes
25/50/10
Yes
Yes
Yes
North Carolina
Yes
30/60/25
No
No
Yes
North Dakota
Yes
25/50/25
Yes
Yes
Yes
Ohio
Yes
12.5/25/7.5
No
No
Yes
Oklahoma
Yes
10/20/10
No
No
Yes
Oregon
Yes
25/50/10
Yes
No
Yes
Pennsylvania
Yes
15/30/5
No
Yes
Yes
Rhode Island
Yes
25/50/25
No
No
Yes
South Carolina
No
15/30/10
No
No
Yes
South Dakota
Yes
25/50/25
No
No
Yes
Tennessee
Yes
25/50/10
No
No
Yes
Texas
Yes
20/40/15
No
No
Yes
Utah
Yes
25/50/15
Yes
Yes
Yes
Vermont
Yes
25/50/10
No
No
Yes
Virginia
No
25/50/20
No
No
Yes
Washington
Yes
25/50/10
No
No
Yes
Washington D.C.
Yes
25/50/10
No
Yes
Yes
West Virginia
Yes
20/40/10
No
No
Yes
Wisconsin
No
25/50/10
No
No
Yes
Wyoming
Yes
25/50/20
No
No
Yes




Car Insurance for Female Drivers


If you are a female driver, you will need to purchase auto insurance. Not only is failing to purchase the required insurance very irresponsible, it may result in fines, jail time, suspension of your driver’s license or even financial ruin. You have to remember that even if you are a very responsible driver with a clean driving record, the other drivers around you may not be.


Car Insurance Rates For Women & Men


Car insurance policies purchase by women offer exactly the same benefits as the same policies bought by male drivers. The difference is that women’s car insurance is often less expensive. The reason is that statistics indicate that women are traditionally safer drivers who are involved in a lower number of accidents than male drivers. Therefore, insurance companies are willing to offer women drivers lower insurance rates because they represent a lower risk of filing a claim than men.


You may be surprised to read the following driving statistics:


Women are more likely to pass their driver’s license exam on the first attempt
Motor vehicle accidents caused by women cause less damage than those caused by men
Women commit fewer motor vehicle-related crimes than men
The above statistics do not mean that you will not require car insurance if you are a female driver. They merely explain why you normally pay less than male drivers for the same type of auto insurance coverage.
Coverage Options for Women’s Car Insurance
Car insurance policies for women include many different coverage options. Unlike life insurance that may cover only disabled body parts or health insurance that may cover only injuries, car insurance coverage varies. An auto insurance policy may cover various aspects of a motor vehicle. For example, it may cover you, any other drivers involves in an accident as well as damage to both vehicles.
Before you purchase women’s auto insurance, you should review the following coverage options:
Collision “ This type of coverage pays for damage to your vehicle if you cause a motor vehicle accident. If your vehicle is totaled in an accident, you will receive the cash value of your vehicle. Auto loans require you to purchase collision coverage.
Comprehensive “ This coverage pays for any damages caused by your vehicle, as well as theft, fire, vandalism and storm damage. Auto loans also require you to purchase comprehensive insurance. The rate for this type of coverage is reduced as your deductible increases.
Liability “ this type of coverage protects you if you injure an individual or cause property damage during an accident. Although liability insurance will cover the medical expenses for everyone who is involved in an accident, it will not cover your own injuries or any damage caused to your vehicle. The specific liability requirements differ for each state.
Optional Coverage “ You can choose to include additional components when you purchase a women’s car insurance policy. For example, you can buy emergency road service or rental car coverage.
Property Damage “ This type of insurance covers the cost of any property damage for an accident that you have caused. Although the normal limit of property damage coverage is $100,000, you can pay more to increase the amount.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist “ This type of coverage pays for your expenses if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident that is caused by another driver who has no or insufficient insurance coverage.


Purchasing Direct Auto Insurance


If you want to lower the cost of your auto insurance premium, choosing a direct auto insurance policy is a great choice. American drivers typically spend approximately $700 every year on car insurance. However, that amount increases as risk increases if you pay via a reseller or a third party. They will add on their profit in addition to the purchase price of the insurance policy. If you go directly to the source when you buy your car insurance policy, you can lower the cost.


More Ways to Lower the Cost of Your Car Insurance
Buying direct coverage is only one method to lower the cost of your auto insurance policy. If you meet the following criteria, you may be able to obtain a lower insurance rate from a prospective insurance provider:
Age: Most insurance companies charge less for drivers older than 25 because younger drivers statistically cause more accidents
Type of Vehicle: The make and model of your vehicle will also affect your insurance rate; insurance companies look at the possibility of theft, repairs cost, price of the vehicle and safety record
Location: You will pay a lower rate for your auto insurance if you live in an area that has fewer incidences of auto theft and lawsuits, lower medical and repair costs and a lower accident rate
Annual Mileage: If you driver fewer miles than the annual average which is 10,000, you will probably pay less for your direct car insurance rate. This is because you are considered a lower risk.
Carpooling: Certain insurance companies will offer you a discount on your auto insurance if you carpool to work.
Coverage Amount: You will pay more for purchasing higher coverage
Driving Record: Anyone who has a clean driving record normally pays less for their direct auto insurance premium than motorists who have major traffic violations or have been involved in motor vehicle accidents. Just be sure you never allow your insurance policy to lapse, as this may increase the rate of your direct auto insurance policy.
Legal Requirements


If you live in the United States, you require auto insurance before you can drive. Even though certain states don’t mandate the purchase of auto insurance, they still have laws regarding financial responsibility. This means that drivers will be forced to pay for any injuries or damages they have caused if they are at fault in a motor vehicle accident. Some states require motorists to purchase not only standard liability coverage, but also uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This protects drivers if they are ever involved in an accident with another drive who has no or insufficient auto insurance coverage.


What You Need to Know About Family Car Insurance


As your life changes, your insurance requirements will most likely also change. Younger individuals who are first learning to drive may be searching for very basic auto insurance that costs the least. However, as you grow older, you have additional responsibilities which mean you will also have additional insurance coverage needs. For example, you need to determine if your auto insurance policy will also cover your children and your spouse.
Selecting the Most Suitable Family Auto Insurance


It doesn’t matter in what stage of life you are in “ every driver wants to find the best insurance policy at the lowest possible price. However, this goal is even more crucial when you decide to get married; you need to also consider the needs of your spouse and vice-versa when it comes to family auto insurance. Conducting research and learning more about family auto insurance is certainly a good place to start. Also be sure to compare rates from more than one insurance provider.


When your existing car insurance policy comes up for renewal, take the time to thoroughly read your entire policy. You want to ensure there are no changes to any of terms identified in the document. The rates for auto insurance can vary greatly, depending on the insurance company so it definitely pays to do a little comparison shopping. You can easily obtain the current rate for auto insurance premiums by contacting companies by telephone or by visiting their website.


Family Auto Insurance Discounts


If you and your partner decide to purchase a new vehicle, you may want to choose a make and model that will qualify you to receive a discount on your auto insurance. Certain types of vehicles cost more to insure than others so you consider this before you buy your new car. You can conduct an online search or talk to your insurance agent to determine the cost of insuring different types of vehicles.


The majority of insurance companies that sell family auto insurance provide discounts for motorists who drive less than 7500 miles annually. You will also pay a lower premium if you choose to carpool or use public transportation.

Make sure you ask your insurance company about any possible discounts that may be available to you. For example, you may be eligible to receive a lower rate on your auto insurance if your vehicle features certain safety features such as an alarm or airbags. Many companies also offer discounts to policy holders who insure both their home and their vehicle with the same insurance provider. You may even qualify to receive a discount if you don’t drink or smoke very often or enroll in a safe driving course.


Good Driver Discount


You can receive a discount on your auto insurance if you are a good driver with a clean driving record. Making sure you don’t receive any traffic violations and or get into any accidents should result in a good driver discount. Poor drivers who are not careful on the road often pay very high rates to maintain their auto insurance. The better your driving record, the lower your insurance premium.


Additional Ways to Lower Your Family Car Insurance Rate


If your vehicle is currently being repaired, you may want to temporarily discontinue insurance coverage for car rental and towing expenses. The warrant of new vehicles may also include coverage for roadside assistance at no additional charge. Another option is to drop medical coverage from your auto insurance policy if the group health insurance offered by your employer is sufficient. Last but certainly not least, you need to maintain a good credit rating. Many insurance companies will consider your credit score to help them determine the rate they will charge you for family car insurance.

Changing Auto Insurance Requirements
When you first begin to drive, you just have to be concerned about yourself when you purchase auto insurance. If you get married, you have another person to consider. If you both decide to have children, you have even more important decisions to make regarding family auto insurance. You need to remember that crying babies can distract you while you are driving. You may be exhausted from a lack of sleep which also makes it more difficult to focus on the road and what is happening around you. This is why you need to be aware of driving conditions and the road the entire time you are driving so you don’t endanger yourself, your family or others.
Eventually your small children will become teenagers and will want to learn how to drive. This period of your life will result in even more changes to your family auto insurance. For example, you need to decide whether you want your teenage driver to purchase his or her own vehicle or share the family vehicle.


Most teenagers experience a new sense of freedom when they first obtain their driver’s license. However, they may not understand how expensive an auto insurance policy is to purchase. One option is for parents to insure their teenage children under the same insurance policy. Regardless of your decision, you need to remember that the cost of insuring a driver who is younger than 25 will be very high. Insurance companies view younger drivers as a higher risk for accidents “ a fact which is backed up by statistics. Talk to your insurance agent about your available options and methods you can use to lower your family auto insurance premium.


As parents, you want the very best for your entire family. That is why it is so important to ensure you purchase the most suitable family auto insurance policy to suit your needs. You should review your insurance coverage as you grow older and your life situation changes. Once your children are grown up and are living on their own, you can change your auto insurance again to reflect the current situation. You may also require a different family auto insurance policy after you retire. Just make sure to plan well in advance. This will help you prepare for the various stages in your life and ensure you and your family are protected every step of the way.


Teenage Drivers


If your son or daughter requests the use of your car to get back and forth from their part-time job, talk to your insurance company beforehand. You want to ensure everyone in your family is covered by your current family auto insurance policy in case of an accident. Your family auto insurance policy may not cover the expenses of a minor accident that occurs while your teenage driver is making a delivery on the job. Never assume you know the answer to such important questions. Talk to your insurance agent or insurance company before you agree to allow your son or daughter to borrow your vehicle. You will also need to decide when to purchase separate auto insurance for any children who are old enough to get their driver’s license.


It is best to contact your insurance company to advise them that you will be allowing your teenager to borrow the family vehicle to make deliveries “ a necessary part of his/her job. Although you will probably have to pay slightly more for your family auto insurance, it is a small price to pay if your teenager ever ends up involved in a motor vehicle accident. Just imagine what would happen if your child has an on-the-job accident while driving your car and you have not notified your insurance company beforehand. You may end up without any insurance coverage when you attempt to file a claim. If your current insurance provider does not offer you sufficient auto insurance for your situation, you may need to switch to another company.


It may be difficult for insurance companies to assess the risk factor if you have a family vehicle that is driven at many different periods of the day and night. Make sure you compare coverage options and rates for different companies until you find one that offers the exact auto insurance coverage you require. You may have no choice but to purchase a costly commercial auto insurance policy. Although you will pay more than a family auto insurance policy, it will protect your teenagers if they are ever involved in a motor vehicle accident while they are working.


College Insurance Discounts

When children leave home to attend an educational institution, you will require different family auto insurance. Paying the expenses for your child’s education can add up very quickly. However, if you have any children who are attending college or have high enough grades to make the honor roll, be sure to notify your insurance agent. You may be eligible to receive a discount on your auto insurance. Make sure you frequently assess the status of every driver in your family and discuss the situation with your insurance agent or company.


Increase Your Deductible

The good news is that you can lower the rate of your family auto insurance premium by increasing the amount of your comprehensive and collision deductible. For example, you can save a lot of money by increasing your $100 deductible to $1000. This means that you may have to pay for any minor accidents out of your pocket, but you will still be paid for any expenses incurred in a serious motor vehicle accident. Filing a very small claim may not be a wise decision, because you will often pay a higher premium.


Drop Collision Coverage


Another way to lower your family auto insurance payments is not to purchase collision coverage for older vehicles. If your car is older than 7 years, you will most likely not receive a lot of money anyway; your claim is based on the book value of your vehicle. Once your annual premium equals ten percent of your vehicle’s value, you may want to drop collision coverage from your current auto insurance policy.


How to Obtain Affordable Car Insurance after a Divorce


You will have to deal with many sensitive issues if you are ever faced with an impending divorce. Distributing the property you and your spouse have amassed while together can be very emotional and stressful “ not to mention all of the legal difficulties you may face. You will both need to determine who will end up with the vehicle, but you also need to decide how to find affordable car insurance. What makes the situation even more difficult is the fact that the requirements for collision coverage and the insurance regulations vary from state to state.


Advise Your Insurance Agent


If you and your partner have split up, you should immediately advise your insurance company. You may have to buy another auto insurance policy if you and your partner are legally divorced or no longer share the same residence. This will depend on the specific auto insurance laws in your state. If you don’t remove your ex-wife or ex-husband from your existing auto insurance policy, you risk being held financially liable if he or she is ever involved in a motor vehicle accident.


Comparison Shop for the Best Deal


Don’t be afraid to contact several insurance companies to compare insurance coverage options and rates. The insurance provider who sold you your auto insurance policy when you were married may not offer you the best rate for your current situation. Therefore, you should never assume that you are better to continue with the same insurance provider. Fortunately, it is now easier than ever to obtain auto insurance quotes. You can contact an insurance company directly or visit their website. By spending a little time to conduct some research, you can find the best auto insurance policy for your needs now that you are single again.


How Much Coverage Is Required


If you are recently divorced, you should read through your existing car insurance policy to determine if you have sufficient coverage to meet your new situation. Now that you are single, you may require additional coverage options such as car rental coverage, emergency roadside assistance or towing expense coverage.


Ways to Lower Your Insurance Premium


If you drive an older vehicle that is not worth much or has been completely paid for, you can lower the cost of your auto insurance policy by dropping comprehensive and collision coverage. You can also increase the deductible in order to lower your premium. If you are forced to move in with your parents, you may be able to save some money by having them add you to their existing auto insurance policy.


Who Pays for Auto Insurance

Generally speaking, the person who ends up with the vehicle in a divorce is also obligated to pay for the car insurance premiums. Read your new insurance policy thoroughly to verify who has to pay for the premiums. You also need to make sure your insurance agent is aware of your new address and who will be driving the vehicle. If you anticipate major changes to the kind of driving you do or the type of driving now that you are single, notify your insurance agent.


If you have children, the parent who has custody of them may need to purchase a different vehicle so they can properly care for their children. They may also need to drive much more often and pay for more transportation costs. In either case, the non-custodial parent may be responsible for paying all or some of the cost for the car insurance policy for the custodial parent. If you or your ex-spouse needs to buy a new car, you will have to buy a new auto insurance policy or purchase gap car insurance before registering the vehicle.


When You Should Disable Airbags


One of the main driving-related concerns continues to be safety. That is why the majority of newer vehicles include various safety features to protect drivers and passengers while on the road. Most countries require vehicle manufacturers to equip their vehicles with certain safety devices; companies who break these rules are often forced to pay a very high fine.


Airbags are proven safety devices that have saved the life of many drivers and passengers since they were first introduced back in the late 80s. That is why almost all of the current models of American vehicles include airbags as a standard safety feature.


Preventing Chest & Head Injuries


Airbags have been proven very efficient at helping individuals avoid chest or head injuries that would otherwise be fatal. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA conducted a study involved actual vehicle crashes. The results indicated that using both airbags and seatbelts prevented severe head injuries had an efficiency rate of 75 percent, compared to only 66 percent effectiveness for preventing serious injuries to the chest. What do these statistics actually mean? Well, 75 out of every 100 individuals would have suffered a severe head injury and 66 out of every 100 individuals would have suffered major chest injuries if they had not been wearing a seatbelt and been in a vehicle that included an airbag.


How Do Airbags Work?


Airbags help individuals to avoid serious injuries or even death by cushioning passengers or drivers during an accident impact that propels them forward. An individual’s chest, head and neck are prevented from hitting the dashboard, steering wheel or other hard parts of a vehicle’s interior, thanks to an airbag’s cushioning power. In order to work properly, airbags must be deployed with great force and speed.


The Controversial Aspect of Airbags


On the other hand, airbags also remain somewhat controversial. Did you realize that airbags can seriously injure or even kill any individuals who are sitting on top or very near to an airbag when it inflates? Because of the severe force of the airbag, individuals need to be sitting at least ten inches away during an accident. This is considered a safe distance that will enable a person to be protected by an airbag during a motor vehicle accident.
As you can see, airbags do save many lives every year, but they can also cause deaths or serious injuries to a small percentage of people who are sitting too close to them when they deploy. However, it’s important to note the airbags normally cause only minor injuries such as bruises, abrasions or cuts. The brain and chest injuries they prevent are much more serious.
The Activation Switch
This controversy has caused many people to question when they should activate or disable the airbags in their vehicle. Since January of 1998, individuals have been presented the choice to disable installed airbags in their vehicle by using a switch. Consequently, people can now decide if they want to turn these particular safety devices off or on.
How to Decide Whether to Disable Your Airbags
Before you decide whether you should activate or disable the airbags in your vehicle, you need to consider if you will be adequately protected in the case of an accident by using only your seatbelt. It’s important to realize that the combination of airbags and seatbelts provides added protection from serious injuries during a car accident. If you choose to turn off your airbags, you may lose the added protection of your seatbelt.
Special Vehicle Design
Certain vehicles are designed so that the airbags need to work with the seatbelts in order to protect the occupants properly. For example, the seatbelts may yield in the case of a very severe force during a crash. This will prevent your chest from being subjected to excessive force. Once the seatbelts yield, the airbags prevent individuals from propelling forward. If you choose to disable your airbags, you run the risk of hitting hard objects such as the steering wheel inside your vehicle or the vehicle itself.
You should find out if your particular vehicle contains this design. If so, you can contact your local repair shop or car dealer to learn how you can activate or deactivate the airbags in your vehicle. They can also discuss the issues concerning disabling the airbags. Hopefully, this information will help you make a more informed decision regarding whether you wish to activate or disable the airbags when you are driving.
Consider Who Will Be Your Passengers
You must also consider who will be your passengers before you decide to activate or disable the airbags in your vehicle. If the people who will be sitting in the passenger seat containing airbags are disabled, very young, small or elderly, you may want to deactivate the airbags; they could cause serious injuries to these particular individuals because of their tremendous impact when deployed. You should also turn off your airbags if you will be driving anyone who is unable to wear a seatbelt and sit at least 10 inches away from them. Passengers who are older than 12 and can fasten their own seatbelt and sit a minimum of 10 inches from the airbags are considered safe. Because there is a much lower risk that these passengers will suffer a severe injury upon airbag impact, you can safely leave the airbag turned on.
As with any safety device, you should consider their advantages and disadvantages and how they function so you can use them most effectively.


Car Accidents Often Occur Very Close to Home


If you drive often, you should be aware that the majority of accidents happen when you are approaching your own home. Contrary to popular belief, you are much safer when you are driving a far distance from your residence. Progressive Insurance conducted a study that indicated that most car crashes happened in the vicinity of a driver’s residence. Drivers tend to get involved in more accidents on the roads near their home.


Your Location & Your Insurance Rate


Insurance companies use many different factors to determine the rates of different auto insurance policies they sell. Therefore, your location will also play a part in how much you will end up paying for your annual auto insurance premiums. Depending on where you live, you may pay more or less for medical treatment and automotive coverage.


What is Covered by Your Auto Insurance Policy?
The majority of car insurance policies include coverage for medical expenses, liability costs and property damage. The latter includes theft of your vehicle or any damage caused to it. The liability portion of your policy will cover you for any legal responsibility if you cause property damage or a bodily injury to anyone else while driving. Last but not least, medical coverage includes coverage for medical expenses such as rehabilitation, injury treatment or hospitalization. Certain insurance policies will also cover any funeral expenses and lost wages.
Comprehensive Auto Insurance
The most comprehensive car insurance policies will include 6 types of coverage. However, the majority of states require drivers to purchase only some of these available coverage options. If you choose to finance a vehicle, your lender may also require some specific types of auto insurance coverage. As you can see, insurance providers consider many different factors to determine the cost of your auto insurance policy.
Accident Studies
You may wonder why so many studies are conducted on motor vehicle accidents that occur close to a driver’s home. Many drivers believe that the possibility of being involved in an accident is the same no matter where they are driving. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Studies conducted by many insurance companies investigate the frequency of thefts and accidents as well as the medical treatment expenses and repair costs for different areas. These factors are considered when they determine how much drivers are charged for their auto insurance coverage.
Surprising Statistics
If you don’t believe that you have a much greater chance of being involved in an accident near your home, consider the following. Progressive Insurance conducted a survey of 11,000 of its car insurance policy holders who had reported an accident in 2001. Some of the survey’s questions included the distance from their home when any accident happened. Surprisingly, 77 percent of the survey participants indicated they were within 15 miles of their home when they had their accident! In fact, it was discovered that accidents were two times more likely to happen when drivers were 1 mile from their home compared to 20 miles.
The survey confirms the fact that drivers have a greater risk of accidents as they approach their home. However, you also need to consider that most people drive near their home much more often. This is one of the reasons why there are many more accidents in a driver’s own neighborhood. If you happen to live in an area that has a high number of accidents, your insurance company will assume that you also have a greater accident risk.
Approximately 29 percent of the survey participants revealed that their accident had taken place within 2 to 5 miles from their home. Another 23 percent of respondents reported a car accident that occurred 1 or less miles from their residence. Altogether, 52 percent of the individuals in the survey reported an accident that happened fewer than 5 miles from their own home.
Accidents occurred 6 to 10 miles from a driver’s home in 17 percent of the cases. On the other hand, only 8 percent of the respondents indicated that their accident had occurred 16 to 20 miles from their home. Accidents occurred further than 20 miles from a driver’s home only 17 percent of the time. Only one percent of respondents reported an accident that had occurred more than 50 miles from their home. Therefore, the further you are from your home, the less chance you will be involved in a motor vehicle accident.


All About Personal Injury Protection


It is important to understand what is covered by personal injury protection or PIP because it is necessary in certain no fault insurance states. Personal injury protection is considered a first party benefit. This means that it covers bodily injuries and relevant expenses regardless of who causes an accident.


Coverage Offered by Personal Injury Protection


You should know that PIP coverage includes if you are ever involved in a motor vehicle accident. This type of insurance will pay any relevant expenses up to a certain amount, normally approximately $10,000. Personal injury protection insurance will pay any injury expenses incurred by a driver, all passengers in the driver’s vehicle and any blood family members. Certain PIP insurance policies will also cover funeral and service loss expenses as well as certain weekly amount for lost wages. Most PIP claims cover 80 percent of any relevant medical expenses, regardless of who was at fault.


Personal Injury Protection & Health Insurance


If you have purchased both health insurance and personal injury protection insurance, you may experience a coverage overlap. If your health insurance policy already covers service or wage loss, you may be able to drop this portion of your PIP insurance. This will lower the cost of your annual insurance policies. Most personal injury protection policies will cover expenses for any drivers who have no or insufficient medical insurance protection.


What Personal Injury Protection Does Not Cover


Certain expenses will not be covered by your personal injury protection insurance policy. For example, it will not pay for any injuries caused by a motorbike, recreational vehicle or farm equipment. PIP insurance also does not cover intentional injuries caused by an individual or injuries caused while an individual was in the process of committing a felony.


Mandatory PIP States


Certain states require all drivers to purchase personal injury protection insurance. You should consult the following list to see if PIP insurance is mandatory in your state:


Colorado
Delaware
Florida
Hawaii
Kansas
Kentucky
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
New Jersey
New York
North Dakota
Oregon
Utah


If you live in one of the states listed above, you need to buy personal injury protection coverage if you want to drive. The remaining states are called choice or tort-liability states, and they give drivers the choice whether to purchase PIP insurance coverage. If you aren’t required to buy PIP insurance, you should consult your current health insurance policy to verify exactly what expenses it will cover if you are involved in an accident. If you don’t have adequate health insurance, PIP insurance can pay for your costly medical expenses.


Do You Need Small Business Car Insurance


If you own a small business, you should consider purchasing business auto insurance. This type of insurance can cover more than one company vehicle. Small business auto insurance also includes regular coverage, including comprehensive, liability and collision. You can determine the limit of your deductible for your small business auto insurance “ the higher the amount, the lower you will pay for your insurance premium. Many companies sell business auto insurance, so you should have no problem finding an affordable insurance policy.


What Does Small Business Auto Insurance Cover?

Rented company vehicles
Company vehicles for sale
Any vehicles used for business purposes
Leased vehicles


Rates for Business Auto Insurance


Insurance companies consider many different factors when determining the cost of your business auto insurance policy. The use of your company vehicle(s) is just one factor that will affect the rate of your business car insurance. If you employ anyone who is required to drive for your company, you need to purchase small business auto insurance. Failing to do so may result in financial ruin as you could be held financially liable for any damage, injury expenses or lawsuits resulting from an accident involving one of your employees. Fortunately, you can protect yourself and your business by purchasing small business auto insurance coverage.


Discover the Facts About Safe Car Insurance


If you are looking for a way to lower the cost of your auto insurance premiums, safe auto insurance is a good option. Given that insurance rates are based on your level or risk to any insurance company, driving a safe vehicle will cost you less.

Are You Eligible For Safe Car Insurance?
There are many factors that insurance companies use to determine if you are eligible to purchase safe auto insurance. Ensuring your vehicle has several important safety features can also lower your insurance premium even further. You should review the following list to see if your vehicle meets the specified criteria:


Does your vehicle include an anti-theft device such as a protective column steering device, anti-theft recovery system or alarm system? If so, you may be eligible to receive a reduced premium rate on your safe car insurance.


Does your vehicle include passive restraint systems such as automatic or motorized seatbelts or factory-installed airbags? If so, many insurance companies will offer you a safe car insurance discount.


Does your vehicle include an automatic, four-wheel lock ABS or anti-braking system? If so, be sure to inquire about receiving a discount for your safe auto insurance policy.



Additional Safety Considerations
If you choose to drive a vehicle that is not popular among car thieves, you will normally pay a reduced premium. Cars that are more likely to be stolen will also incur higher repair costs which increases your insurance premium. When you are shopping for a new car, look for a low-profile, safe vehicle. Your insurance provider will reward you with a safe car discount. Basically, the lower the risk you are considered by your insurance provider, the lower the rate you will pay for your annual auto insurance policy.


You can also lower your safe car insurance rate by choosing one single insurance company for all of your insurance requirements. For example, if you purchase life insurance, home insurance and auto insurance from the same company, be sure to ask for a multi-policy discount.


Link Between Vehicle Safety Ratings & Insurance Rates

You may be wiser to spend a little extra money to purchase a vehicle with a higher safety rating; it can often save you money every single year on your auto insurance payments. Even more importantly, looking for a vehicle that contains advanced safety features may save your life if you are ever involved in an accident.

Most insurance companies offer safe auto insurance discounts according to the probability of a crash or the safety factor of your vehicle. Certain car manufacturers produce vehicles that contain very similar model names, but are rated very differently. Therefore, make sure your insurance provider has an accurate rating for your car. For example, you may be charged a different rate for your safe auto insurance, depending on whether you drive a four-door or two-door model of the same vehicle. The American Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or IIHS is one organization that conducts crash tests to determine the rates of safe auto insurance policies. The tests evaluate the structural design of different vehicles during frontal offset crash tests that occur at 40 miles per hour.


The Limitations of Auto Insurance


Auto insurance policies include many different limitations and exclusions which can be quite confusing, especially for new drivers. It’s very important to read through your entire insurance policy. Make sure you understand all of the terms such as the specific exclusions, limitations and deductibles, as they vary from state to state. You also need to ensure you have purchased at least the minimum legal auto insurance coverage required for your particular state.
If your auto insurance policy is written with a format such as 100/200/75, the three numbers represent your liability in thousands of dollars for bodily injury and property damage. In the above example, the bodily injury limit for any injuries you cause another individual would be $100,000. The maximum limit, which is represented by the second figure, would be $200,000 for any injury sustained in that particular accident. The last number represents a limit of $75,000 for any property damage you cause during a motor vehicle accident. The actual numbers will vary according to the state in which you live.
No Fault Auto Insurance
Each state has their own requirements concerning the minimum amount of no-fault auto insurance required by drivers and the type of coverage available. The definition of no-fault insurance policy limitations will also differ, depending on where you live. No-fault insurance limits are established according to the amount of recovery or repair costs or the type of injuries or damages that require some type of legal action.


For example, the state of Florida requires drivers to purchase completely liability insurance coverage according to their financial responsibility car insurance law. The limits are 10/20/10 with a personal injury protection or PIP insurance limit of $10,000 per individual for one accident.


Another example is California where all drivers are held financially responsible according to the state auto insurance financial responsibility law. The minimum liability insurance limits in California are established at $15,000 bodily injury for the injury or death of one individual in an accident, $30,000 for all individuals involved in one accident and $5,000 for any property damage caused in an accident.

The state in which you live will establish the required benefits coverage you must purchase; this is called a mandated benefit level. Coverage may include loss of wages, replacement services, medical expenses as well as many other types of expenses. Given that issues concerning no-fault insurance can be very confusing, it is best to discuss the situation with the local state insurance department or your insurance agent.


Limitations Concerning Lawsuits


If you decide to file a lawsuit against a reckless driver or claim monetary damages, you must meet specific criteria concerning your injuries. This is called a lawsuit limitation option. You should consult the following list to see if your injuries meet any of the following criteria. Otherwise, you will not be legally entitled to make a claim or sue another driver:
Type 1: Death
Type 2: Dismemberment
Type 3: Significant Disfigurement/Scarring
Type 4: Displaced Fracture
Type 5: Loss of a Fetus
Type 6: Permanent Injury
Permanent injuries refer to body parts that will never heal sufficiently to enable normal function.


First Party Benefits


First party benefits may cover any funeral costs, accidental death, loss of income or medical expenses incurred in an accident by you and any relatives who share the same residence. Some insurance providers refer to first party benefits as personal injury protection or PIP coverage. You can choose the maximum coverage limits when you purchase your car insurance policy. This type of insurance will cover your medical expenses, regardless of who causes an accident. You should spend time some carefully evaluating the specific type and amount of insurance coverage you require for your particular needs.


Each state has its own state of limitation laws concerning the time limit for the combined benefits of first party benefits insurance coverage. Normally, the benefit must not exceed more than 3 years. This means that your insurance provider will not pay any losses or expenses that you have incurred beyond three years from the date of your accident.


You should discuss the specific coverage limitations and first party benefits with your insurance agent. Another option is to contact your local insurance regulatory department to learn more about the limitation statues in your state. For example, the state of Pennsylvania is known for requiring drivers to purchase first party benefits. In fact, they are sometimes referred to by insurance companies as Pennsylvania Options. Pennsylvania law requires drivers to purchase at least $5000 of basic first party benefits coverage. However, you can choose to increase the limit to $100,000.
Additional Coverage Options


You can choose to purchase other types of insurance coverage. For example, some auto insurance policies also cover the cost of funeral expenses, accidental death benefits and loss of wages. If you decide to purchase auto insurance coverage for personal injury work loss, you will be reimbursed for any wages you lose because of a motor vehicle accident.


Any funeral expenses for your or a family member who dies in a car accident will be covered if you have purchased optional funeral benefits coverage. Other options include accident death which will pay if you or a family member dies in a car accident. You can choose various limits for each type of optional auto insurance coverage.


If you want accidental death benefits, funeral costs and loss of wages covered in addition to your medical expenses, you should purchase combination benefits. You can discuss the maximum limit for this type of auto insurance with your insurance agent.


No Credit Check Car Insurance


Is it time for you to renew your existing auto insurance policy? Perhaps you are looking for more affordable car insurance coverage. If so, you need to be aware that insurance companies are permitted to transfer your insurance account to a subsidiary company, cancel your current insurance policy or raise the cost of your premiums, depending on your credit rating.


That’s right “ most insurance companies consider your credit score, in addition to other factors such as your age, location and driving record to assign your risk factor. Therefore, if you want to obtain auto insurance without having to undergo a credit check, you will require time and patience. Some insurance companies will not permit you to renew your current auto insurance policy if you have a poor credit score. It doesn’t matter whether you have paid all of your insurance premiums promptly or failed to ever file an insurance claim. If you want to ensure you will not be denied coverage, you should look for an insurance company that offers what is called no credit check auto insurance.


Why Insurance Companies Consider Your Credit Score


The majority of insurance companies factor your credit score when they determine your auto insurance eligibility and rates. This is because there is a proven correlation between risk and financial stability. The insurance industry maintains detailed statistics concerning insurance claims and a policy holder’s credit rating. Statistics reveal that drivers who have lower credit scores tend to exaggerate insurance claims more often, are more likely to commit insurance fraud and file a higher number of claims.

Unfortunately, you may be required to pay a higher premium simply because you fall in the category of drivers with a poor credit rating. As the Insurance Information Institute remarks, “Insurance scores don't predict the actual experience of one individual. They predict the average claim behavior of a group of people with essentially the same credit history.” That is why it is so important to try to maintain a high credit score. Any scores below 600 are considered poor, and score higher than 700 are normally considered good. Although individuals with a low credit score often file more claims, exceptions exist. There will always be policy holders with a poor credit score who have never filed an insurance claim and have a perfect driving record.


Reviewing Your Credit Report

If you are denied insurance coverage because of your credit score, you are entitled to receive a free copy of the document, according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. There are three major credit reporting agencies that provide information about your current credit rating: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. The Federal Trade Commission or FTC explains what is covered in this type of document: “your credit report contains information about where you live, how you pay your bills, whether you have ever been sued, arrested or filed for bankruptcy.”


Correcting Errors & Dealing with Identity Theft


A poor credit score may result if you are out of work and unable to pay some of your bills. However, falling victim to identity theft is another reason why your credit score may suddenly drop. Identity theft is becoming a much more common problem, and it can have devastating emotional and financial consequences for the victim. You can obtain more information about this subject by contacting the Federal Trade Commission or by visiting their website.


If you are concerned that you have fallen prey to identity theft, you should request a copy of your credit report. Review the document very carefully to ensure there are no errors and all of the information it contains is accurate. If you discover any errors, you can have them corrected. The problem is that the process can be very time-consuming and difficult.


If you are experiencing difficulty having errors on your credit report fixed, you may want to look for no credit check auto insurance. Obtaining this type of car insurance coverage may be simpler and less frustrating than trying to have any credit report errors fixed. Nonetheless, you should contact your credit reporting agency as soon as possible to notify them of any errors or problems.

Assessing Driver Risk Levels


Most insurance companies need to assess your specific risk level before they will renew an existing auto insurance policy or sell you a new one. They require accurate and objective information concerning each prospective policy holder because they decide to issue an insurance policy. By assessing risk factors of drivers, insurance companies can manage risk and predict insurance claims more effectively. This enables them to offer insurance coverage to a large number of consumers at a lower rate.


Where to Find No Credit Check Car Insurance


The good news is that you can locate insurance providers who offer convenient no credit check auto insurance. It just may require a little of your time and patience. If you have a poor credit rating, you should look for such an insurance company. You can conduct an online search to find insurers who offer no credit check auto insurance or try contacting the insurance department in your state.


Insurance Policy Cancellations


Perhaps you have just purchased a new vehicle using the tax refunds you recently received. You are very happy with your new car and you have purchased auto insurance coverage. You think everything is fine. However, you may subsequently be advised by your insurance provider that your insurance policy will become ineffective in a certain number of days; the notification period will vary in each state. You need to find out why your insurance policy will be expiring, as it may mean the difference between a minor hassle and a huge financial loss if you are ever involved in a motor vehicle accident without insurance coverage.


Change in Insurance Coverage Terms


If you are fortunate, your insurance coverage will still be offered at an affordable rate, and your insurance provider will allow you to renew your existing auto insurance policy for the same price. However, you may discover that this is not the case. Some insurance companies will enable you to renew a current auto insurance policy, but they will specific terms that are different. Insurance companies must provide written notification of any change in terms 60 to 90 days before the expiration of your current insurance policy. However, if the rate is lower than 25 to 30 percent, insurance companies may not have to notify policy holders, according to state law.


Why You May Cancel Your Insurance Coverage

Even worse, your current insurer may decide to drop you as a client. This is not a personal affront. Non-renewals are often caused when insurance companies decide to discontinue doing business in a particular area or stop selling a specific type of insurance. Filing insurance claims, amassing more license points or failing to pay your insurance premiums are other reasons why an insurance provider may choose to cancel your insurance policy. If you fail to report a crime or you cause a particularly severe accident, your insurance policy may be canceled. This applies even if you happen to live in a no fault auto insurance state.


The good news is that insurance providers are required to warn you well in advance of your current policy’s expiration date, and they must provide just cause for no longer covering you. In addition, you are entitled to receive reimbursement for any insurance coverage or services that are not rendered.


Additional Factors to Consider


You should be aware that some insurance companies consider merely calling to ask about an insurance company policy as a claim. Therefore, try to keep your calls anonymous if you have to contact your insurer. Another important consideration is the fact that certain insurance companies do not allow a grace period for renewing your auto insurance policy. Therefore, if you fail to pay the full amount by the specified deadline, you may end up being dropped by your insurance provider.


Lying On Your Insurance Application


It is important to note that there is a big difference between making a mistake when you completed your insurance application and deliberately withholding relevant information or including false or inaccurate details. Insurance providers who discover that you did not fill out your insurance application honestly have the right to terminate your current insurance policy. This can leave you with no insurance coverage. Your insurance company will still be required to pay you back for the remainder of your insurance policy that you have already purchased. However, you may find it very difficult to locate an insurance company that is willing to sell you auto insurance coverage.


What to Do If Your Insurance Policy Is Cancelled


If you receive notice that your current auto insurance policy is being cancelled, you should immediately begin looking for another insurer. You need to find new auto insurance coverage before your current policy expires, and the process may take a while. The notice required for insurance policy cancellations is not as long as the notice period required for non-renewal of existing insurance coverage. The state laws in many areas require insurance companies to provide insurance coverage to every driver. Therefore, as a last resort, you may be able to purchase high risk auto insurance at a more expensive rate.


What You Need to Know About Short-Term Car Insurance


If you need to purchase auto insurance for a temporary period, you should consider short-term auto insurance coverage. You may not even be aware that such insurance exists, but it can be very convenient in certain circumstances. Many insurance companies offer short-term auto insurance, including Progressive Insurance, Countrywide Insurance and AIG Insurance.


Why Purchase Short-Term Auto Insurance?


There are many different reasons drivers choose to purchase short-term auto insurance. For example, you may require insurance coverage for any of the following situations:


Protection against floods or hurricanes for a stored vehicle
Temporary ownership of a vehicle
Foreign driver who is only visiting the US temporarily
Enjoying a national vacation in a rented vehicle


What is Covered By Short-Term Auto Insurance?


Regular annual insurance policies are very similar to short-term auto insurance coverage. For example, you can choose whether to include coverage for medical expenses, full collision repair and liability coverage with both types of auto insurance policies. In fact, many insurance companies consider a short-term auto insurance policy as the same as a regular policy that is renewed twice a year. You will receive insurance coverage for a period of 6 months, and you may be able to pay your premium in a one-lump sum or monthly. This will depend on your current financial situation and the policies of your insurance provider. The only difference is short-term auto insurance is the period of time in which you are covered.


Reviewing Auto Insurance Rates in Various States


It is no surprise that every driver wants to find the least expensive auto insurance possible. However, there are many factors that affect the cost that each state charges for annual car insurance policies. For example, the population size and current economic situation of the state in which you live will results in different insurance rates. It may be interesting to review the following statistics to see how much drivers in your area have to pay compared to motorists in other states.


NAIC Statistics


When the National Association of Insurance Commissioners or NAIC determines the average auto insurance expenses incurred by each state, it assumes that every insured vehicle in that state is covered by liability insurance. However, the NAIC does not automatically assume that every driver has purchased collision or comprehensive insurance coverage.


Calculation of State Auto Insurance Expenditures


The average car insurance expenditures are calculated according to the rate consumers must pay to insure their vehicle, instead of totaling the cost of comprehensive, collisions and liability insurance. The reason is that the majority of drivers do not choose to purchase all three kinds of insurance coverage. In fact, according to data published by the NAIC, only 77 percent of insured motorists purchase liability and comprehensive insurance coverage. The numbers drops to 72 percent for policy holders who also buy collision insurance coverage. The NAIC evaluates the pure premium, frequency of insurance claims, loss ratio, average premium cost and severity of insurance claims for every state.


Highest & Lowest State Auto Insurance Expenditures

According to a report issued by the NAIC in September of 2007, the highest average annual car insurance expenditures were $1,184 in the state of New Jersey. The District of Columbia came in second place with average auto expenditures of $1,182, followed by Massachusetts with $1,113 and Louisiana with $1,076. The state with the least expensive auto insurance expenditures was North Dakota with only $554 annually, followed by Iowa with a close $555.


Factors Affecting Auto Insurance Rates


The rate insurance companies charge for auto insurance is determined by numerous factors such as the type of insurance coverage. If you live in a state with a booming economy, there is a greater chance you will purchase a new vehicle than if you live in an area with a poor economy. New vehicles usually require different and more expensive insurance coverage than older vehicles. Therefore, these states will most likely have a higher annual cost of auto insurance expenditures. Other factors that can greatly impact the rate of auto insurance include the density of traffic, per capita income and urban population. Normally, states that are highly urban and have higher prices, wages and traffic, also pay the most for auto insurance every year.

Various Annual State Auto Insurance Expenditures


In a document published by the NAIC in 2005 that compared annual statewide auto insurance expenditures, Texans paid $845. This ranked Texas as the number 17 state for average auto insurance price. Arizona ranked fourteenth on the list with an annual rate of $926. The 18th state was California with an average rate of $845.


On the other hand, the sixth most expensive coverage was in Florida with insured motorists paying an average of $1,063 every year. Kansas was ranked fifth in the entire country with annual expenditures of only $590. Are you curious which state ranked the lowest for the cost of annual auto insurance? The answer is North Dakota with average auto insurance costs of $554.


All About Classic Car Insurance


Do you own a classic car? An antique or classic vehicle is defined according to its age when it is registered. The specific age varies, depending on the state in which you live. For example, the state of Connecticut considers cars 20 years or older to be antique, whereas Virginia requires a vehicle to be at least 25 years old.


To make it even more confusing, Pennsylvania defines classic cars according to the following: “a motor vehicle, but not a reproduction thereof, manufactured at least 15 years prior to the current year which has been maintained in or restored to a condition which is substantially in conformity with manufacturer specifications and appearance.” However, the majority of insurance companies consider any vehicle that is older than 25 years to be an antique or classic.


Conditions for Classic Car Insurance Policies


Your vehicle may have to meet certain criteria established by insurance companies that sell classic car insurance. For example, your insurer may require you to submit a value documentation or appraisal before they will sell you a classic auto insurance policy. Standard auto policies typically offer the same advantages of classic car insurance. The main difference is that you are usually limited concerning the number of miles you can drive a classic car every month or year. Depending on the age of your vehicle, the limit may range from 1,500 miles to 7,500.
Most classic car insurance policies also place restrictions on how far you can drive your classic car from your home. Certain insurance companies will place other restrictions such as limiting vehicle usage to organized classic car events, car shows or parades. Make sure you review any possible restrictions before you decide which classic car insurance policy to purchase.


Lower Classic Car Insurance Rates


Owning a classic or vintage car can lower the cost of your annual auto insurance. You may be able to find very inexpensive insurance coverage, depending on the main use of your vehicle and how often you choose to drive it. Certain stock cars that are worth approximately $10,000 may only cost $110 every year to insure.


Classic Car Insurance Policies


Many insurance companies such as Grundy Insurance, J.C. Taylor Insurance and Hagerty Insurance sell classic car insurance. The former is based in Pennsylvania and has insured more than 1.5 million collector, vintage and antique cars for the past 60 years. The J.C. Taylor Antique Automobile Insurance Company is also based in Pennsylvania and has more than 50 years experience selling classic car insurance policies.


Hagerty Insurance offers insurance coverage for any antique vehicles that are used only for classic car events, tours, exhibitions and functions, as well as very limited pleasure driving. Their classic car insurance policies state that collector vehicles must be stored in a locked, enclosed garage whenever they are not being driven. This is not usually a problem, as the majority of classic car owners are very protective of their antique cars!

Your Driving Record


If you want to purchase classic car insurance, you will find it much easier to find a willing insurance company if you have a clean driving record. Insurance providers review the driving history of all applicants. It won’t normally be an issue if you have only been involved in a few minor accidents or traffic violations. However, you may be denied auto insurance coverage if you have ever been convicted reckless driving, an excessive speed violation, alcohol-related offense or a major traffic infraction within the past 3 to 6 years. Certain states such as North Carolina, Washington, Louisiana, New Mexico, Virginia and Massachusetts also require drivers to have at least 5 years of driving experience.


If you take the time to compare coverage options and rates from various insurance providers, you are sure to find an affordable classic car auto insurance policy.


Obtaining Seniors Auto Insurance


Given that senior citizens are classified as high risk drivers, it is important to choose the right seniors auto insurance policy. The majority of accidents involving senior citizens occur when drivers get distracted or fail to realize a stop light has changed before continuing into a busy intersection. If you are a senior who has been involved in several motor vehicle accidents, you may need to decide if you should continue driving. The problem is that giving up driving often represents a loss of independence for older seniors.


Seniors Auto Insurance Discounts


If you are older than 75 and still driving, you should discuss the situation with your insurance agent. The reason is that a high percentage of motorists in this age category are involved in deadly motor vehicle accidents. That is why it is also important to undergo regular assessments to ensure your driving skills are still up to par. You don’t want to endanger yourself or others every time you get behind the wheel. Certain states will require older drivers to complete a course in safe driving before they can obtain senior auto insurance. You should also verify the specific rules for senior car insurance discounts as they vary for different insurance providers.


Mature Drivers Course


If you are a senior driver, you may have heard of the course called 55 ALIVE. You can contact your local American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) chapter to see if they offer such a course. You may need to provide proof that you have completed a safe driving course such as 55 ALIVE in order to receive a discount from your insurer.


Enrolling in a safe driving course has many benefits. You will learn about various safety factors such as the design of your vehicle. Other common topics include physical limitations, ability to see the road and freedom of movement for senior motorists. If you are a senior citizen who wants to continue driving, you should ensure your vehicle meets all of the following criteria. This will help you to protect yourself and others while you are on the road.


Easy to use seatbelts
Unobstructed view of the road
Fully adjustable seats
Display panel completely visible
Lightweight, easy to open and close doors
Additional Considerations for Senior Auto Insurance
If you are a senior, make sure you are well aware of any possible reactions to medication you are taking. Certain medications may slow your reaction time, make you drowsy or cause insomnia, all of which make driving dangerous. Motor vehicle accidents have been linked to various health conditions such as diabetes, balance problems, arthritis, vision problems, neurological disorders and foot problems. You must be completely aware of such factors before your insurance company will provide you with a discount for senior auto insurance.


The Cost of Senior Auto Insurance


If you are a senior who is living on a fixed income such as social security, you may need to look for less expensive auto insurance. Seniors may be able to obtain an insurance discount by talking to their insurance agent. Organizations such as the American Association of Retired Persons are also willing to help seniors obtain a discount on their auto insurance policy. You can obtain information concerning seniors auto insurance by contacting your local insurance department. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners also retains information regarding auto insurance for every state.


Before you purchase an auto insurance policy, be sure you review the following list to make sure you are not paying more than you should:


Drop your comprehensive and/or collision coverage if your drive an older vehicle
Choose a higher deductible so you can pay a lower premium
Verify that your credit report does not contain any errors
Inquire about insurance discounts for low mileage
Ask about any available corporate or group insurance discounts. Organizations such as the American Automobile Association (AAA) offer discounts on auto insurance to its members.
Inquire about possible discounts for driving a vehicle with safety features such as automatic seatbelts, antilock brakes or airbags
Find out which car models have the least expensive repair costs and are stolen less frequently. The Highway Loss Data Institute can provide you with this information.
Find out if your insurance provider offers any other insurance discounts when you obtain a rates quote.
Driving & Dementia


Being able to drive represents freedom and control for many people, particularly senior citizens. Driving enables you to easily visit friends or family, visit your doctor, shop, work part-time or volunteer your time at a local organization. However, the onset of dementia can change that for older individuals. Although people can normally continue their daily activities during the initial stage of dementia, they may eventually have to give up driving.

Dementia is very different from other common problems such as slower reaction times and problems with eyesight that often plague senior drivers. Older individuals who are not suffering from dementia can normally adapt the way in which they drive without external assistance. The majority of senior citizens are able to continue driving without ever being involved in a serious car accident.
Unfortunately, this is not the case with anyone who has been diagnosed with certain mental conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Such diseases take a while to progress so functions such as judgment, reaction time and problem-solving skills become impaired over time. These effects, combine with the physical symptoms often caused by the diseases can make it much more dangerous for afflicted individuals to continue driving.


Individuals suffering from dementia normally find it impossible to remain objective about their ability to drive. They may attempt to rationalize their driving by issuing statements such as “I always pay attention when I get behind the wheel,” “I have driven for lots of years without ever being involved in an accident” or “The fact that I sometimes get lost does not mean I’m unfit to drive.” The risk of serious injury greatly increases as an individual’s driving skills begin to decline. That’s why it’s important for close friends or family members to closely monitor anyone who has been diagnosed with dementia. By doing so, they may prevent a fatal car accident.


How Cell Phones Affect Car Insurance


Are you one of the many drivers who just can’t resist placing a call on your cell phone while you are behind the wheel? If so, you need to ensure you have adequate collision and liability insurance in place. Parents of teenagers who always carry a cell phone and are first learning how to drive should also make sure you sufficient insurance coverage for young drivers. The reason is that placing or answering cell phone calls has caused many accidents. If you end up in a motor vehicle accident while fiddling with your cell and driving, you may face heavy fines, hefty insurance premiums or cancellation of your existing auto insurance policy.


Dangers of Cell Phones & Driving


Modern conveniences such as MP3 players and cell phones have results in unsafe driving conditions throughout the world. The Australian Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has conducted research that reveals the dangers of driving while using a cell phone; according to their findings, drivers who are distracted while using a cell phone end up in accidents four times more often. Cell phones impair a driver’s ability to hear people, horns and sirens, and they distract a driver’s attention.


Surprising Statistics


The University of Utah, University of Rhode Island, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of North Carolina also conducted a study involving cell phone use and driving. The results may surprise you; individuals who drive while engaged in a cell phone discussion are just as dangerous as motorists who drink and drive. A further study completed by the University of North Carolina also revealed that a driver who is talking on a cell phone is two times more likely to hit the car in front of them, when compared to drivers who don’t use cell phones while driving. However, a study completed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign also proved that talking to other passengers in a vehicle does not have similar distracting effects.


Solution Attempts


There is no perfect solution to the problem of driving while talking on a cell phone. Studies reveal that requiring motorists to use Bluetooth earbuds, headsets or hands-free mobile phones does not improve driver safety. Turning off your cell phone so you won’t be distracted while behind the wheel is one obvious solution. However, this is unlikely to happen for the majority of cell phone users, thanks to human nature.


One top insurance provider recently conducted a survey that indicated 73 percent of every driver talks on a cell phone while they are behind the wheel. Consequently, certain states such as Utah, Connecticut, Virginia, New York, District of Columbia and New Jersey have instigated laws that prohibit drivers from using a cell phone when driving. Washington and California also enacted similar laws in 2008. Other states have passed laws that restrict or forbid young drivers from using a cell phone whenever they are driving. Believe it or not, authorized personnel in these states can issue a motorist a citation for DWT or Driving While Texting!


Temporary Auto Insurance


If you own a car for a short period of time or want to rent a car while you are on vacation, you may need to purchase temporary auto insurance. This type of insurance coverage is also suitable if a new driver will be driving your vehicle temporarily until they assume their driving responsibilities. Depending on your particular needs, a temporary auto insurance policy can protect you with full coverage options or merely liability benefits. Many of the leading insurance companies, including Geico Insurance, AIG Insurance and Progressive Insurance sell temporary car insurance.


Reasons to Buy Temporary Auto Insurance


There are many reasons to purchase temporary auto insurance coverage, including the following:

To protect your vehicle from hurricanes during hurricane season. Temporary auto insurance policies can offer you protection for a short period of time.


To cover a temporary driver of your vehicle. Perhaps your nephew will be driving you and a friend for one week so you can attend your sister’s wedding. This is another reason to purchase temporary auto insurance coverage.


If you want to avoid having to pay any damages incurred if you have an accident while you are driving your new vehicle from the car dealership lot, you should consider buying temporary car insurance.


Unlike standard auto insurance policies where 6 months is normally the minimum time period, temporary auto insurance policies can be purchased for as little as a few weeks. You have to bear in mind that the cost of your premium will also be much higher than an annual auto insurance policy. You can choose whether you wish to purchase temporary auto insurance that includes full coverage or just liability coverage.


Finding an Affordable Auto Insurance Policy


Most states require drivers to purchase auto insurance before they get behind the wheel. It pays to compare rates from different insurance providers. However, you also need to inquire about any possible discounts that could lower the amount of your annual car insurance payments. We recommend you consult the following list of discounts that may be available to you. Each insurance company and state will offer different discounts which can help you find affordable auto insurance.


Safe Vehicle Discount


You may be eligible to receive this discount if your vehicle contains particular safety features. Safe vehicle discounts are often available if your vehicle includes:


Anti-lock brakes
An anti-theft device
Daytime running lights
Airbags
Insurance companies offer lower auto insurance rates because these features reduce the risk of theft and injuries, and therefore insurance claims.
Safe Driver Discount
Anyone who has not received any moving violations or been involved in any motor vehicle accidents for a three-year period may be eligible to receive a safe driver discount.
Student Driver Discounts
Younger drivers have to pay much higher rates for auto insurance. Fortunately, students who are enrolled full-time and meet minimum GPA and age requirements may be able to lower their auto insurance rates. Each state and insurance company offers their own insurance discounts. Companies such as Allstate require students to be full-time, at least 25 and single in order to receive a student driver discount. However, certain states only require students to be 21. You may also be eligible for a student driver discount if you are a full-time student who lives a minimum of 100 miles from your home.
Senior Insurance Discounts
Drivers who are between 50 and 55 or retired may receive a senior auto insurance discount. Some insurance companies will offer additional discounts to drivers who complete a defensive driving course or driver training program.
Additional Discounts
Here are some additional ways you may be able to lower the amount of your auto insurance payments.


Higher Deductible


You can choose a higher deductible; increasing your deductible to $500 can save you money every year “ as much as 15 to 30 percent. Opting for a $1,000 deductible can save you as much as 40 percent on your auto insurance.


Low-Mileage Discount


If you drive your car infrequently, you may be eligible to receive a low-mileage discount. Drivers who carpool to work normally qualify for this type of discount.


Multi-Policy Discount


Purchasing more than one type of insurance from the same insurance company may qualify you to receive a multi-policy discount. Many companies reward consumers who buy at least two types of insurance such as auto insurance, life insurance or homeowners insurance. Insuring more than one vehicle with the same insurance company is another way to receive a multi-policy discount.


Long-Term Discount


Many insurance companies reward long-time policy holders with a long-term auto insurance discount. You should inquire about this option if you have remained with the same insurer for many years. You may be able to lower your annual insurance premiums.


As you can see, insurance companies offer many different types of insurance discounts. Be sure to ask about them before you purchase any type of insurance policy. Just remember that the final price of an insurance policy is what actually counts, not merely what discounts are available.


Learning More About Gap Car Insurance


Many drivers don’t understand what the term gap insurance actually means. This type of insurance pays for any gap between the present fair market value of a vehicle and the amount you still owe on an auto loan.
It’s important to note that collision and comprehensive auto insurance policies will only pay for the fair market value of your vehicle. Surprisingly, this can be 80 percent lower than the actual price you paid for it. If your car is ever stolen or demolished in an accident, you may end up owing your financing company as much as 20 percent more than the amount covered by your insurance provider for the vehicle.
If your vehicle is stolen and never recovered, your insurance company will consider the loss the same as an at-fault accident. This means that your comprehensive insurance coverage may pay you for the vehicle’s value, but not the entire amount you will owe to your financing company. The end result is paying a lot of your hard-earned money for a vehicle that can’t even be used.
Example of Gap Insurance
Let’s assume you have obtained a loan for $30,000 to purchase a new vehicle. Shortly after you finish signing the relevant loan documents, you are involved in a serious accident that totals your new car. At that point, your insurance company will probably only cover the quoted Blue Book amount for your vehicle. This means that you may receive a check for part of the amount owing, but not all of it. Fortunately, any excess money you still owe on your car loan will be covered by your gap auto insurance.


Who Requires Gap Insurance


If you decide to lease your vehicle, you will often need to buy gap car insurance. However, if you purchase a new car, you may also want to purchase this type of insurance coverage. Generally, the more money your new car costs to buy, the greater need for this type of additional insurance coverage.

How to Obtain Gap Auto Insurance


Given that the value of any new car drops greatly the minute you drive it from the car dealership, you should purchase gap auto insurance coverage. Although this type of insurance policy is not mandatory when you buy a new vehicle, you will be very glad you have it if you are ever involved in a motor vehicle accident. Many leading insurance companies such as Allstate, Progressive and AIG offer gap auto insurance. Certain states even require insurance companies who sell auto insurance policies to carry this type of optional coverage as well. If your insurance provider does not offer gap insurance, talk to another company and buy it as an independent insurance policy.


When You Should Buy Gap Auto Insurance
If you meet any of the following criteria, you should seriously consider purchasing optional gap insurance:
You have leased a new vehicle
You have transferred debt from a previous vehicle to your present auto loan
You have bought a new vehicle with a lower down payment than 20 percent
You are financing a vehicle for a period of more than 4 years
You live in an area with a high rate of auto theft
Gap insurance is a type of coverage that is normally only required for a temporary period. The cost of this type of insurance coverage is relatively low, so you should consider purchasing it if you have recently purchased a vehicle and made a down payment of less than 20 percent of the total cost. For the initial 2-3 years, you will usually owe more money than the actual value of the vehicle if you paid a small amount for the down payment. You don’t want to risk being ruined financially if your vehicle is stolen during that time period or you are involved in a serious car accident. Gap auto insurance can provide you with peace of mind.


Comparing Vintage & Regular Auto Insurance


Most drivers are required to purchase some type of auto insurance before they are legally allowed to drive. This depends on the state in which you live. However, if you own an antique or vintage car, you can also purchase optional vintage auto is to protect your prized possession. Many car collectors purchase this type of car insurance policy so they know their vehicle is protected every time they get behind the wheel of their vintage auto.


Here are a few of the differences between vintage auto insurance and a regular car insurance policy:


REGULAR AUTO INSURANCE
Commercial vehicle use is acceptable
No storage regulations
Coverage available for any model or make
Coverage for first and secondary vehicles
Available for vehicles that depreciate or appreciate in value


VINTAGE AUTO INSURANCE
Commercial use not permitted
Certain storage regulations
Available only to vehicles that appreciate in value
Vehicle must be at least 15-25 years old
Available only to secondary vehicles, not primary
Price of Vintage Auto Insurance


Many leading insurance companies such as Aon Insurance, Hagerty Insurance and Parish Heacock Insurance sell vintage auto insurance coverage. You will pay much less for this type of insurance policy compared to regular auto insurance coverage. One of the reasons is because the majority of car collectors or owners of vintage auto store their vehicle much more often than actually driving it. Another reason is that so many vintage car owners take great care to protect their vehicles both on and off the road. You may end up paying an annual premium as low as $500 to purchase vintage auto insurance.


Discover the Facts About No Fault Auto Insurance


Do you understand exactly what is meant by no fault auto insurance? If so, you’re certainly not alone as many drivers become confused by this type of coverage. Generally speaking, no fault insurance will cover the cost of any vehicle damage or medical expenses incurred in an accident, regardless of who was at fault.


One of the advantages of this type of insurance is the fact that the majority of claims are paid very quickly; litigation is rarely a factor in no fault insurance situations. Certain states require drivers to purchase no fault insurance. Other states leave this decision up to motorists, but they do require drivers to buy first party benefits like personal injury protection or PIP insurance.


No Fault Insurance Threshold


Drivers are not normally legally permitted to file a lawsuit against another driver who has caused an accident that occurs in a no fault insurance state. However, there are special circumstances when this is permitted. In this case, drivers must meet certain criteria referred to as threshold which concerns the severity of injuries. The threshold amount may be verbal or monetary, and it determines when an individual is able to file a lawsuit to be covered for pain and suffering or medical expenses.


The threshold amount varies depending on the particular no fault insurance laws in each state. If you live in a state with a written monetary amount for a threshold, lost wages and medical expenses will automatically quality you for the threshold. However, other states may require you to meet certain written requirements before qualifying. For example, you may need to amass a specified number of days on disability before you meet the amount of the descriptive threshold.


History of No Fault Insurance

In the United States, no fault auto insurance became much more common in the 1990s. The concept was originally created from 1970s legislation which enabled individuals to legally seek reimbursement for medical expenses from their insurance company. The main goal of no fault auto insurance was to prevent complicated, prolonged litigation procedures and any relevant expenditures. If you have no fault insurance, you will receive coverage for lost wages, funeral expenses, lost services and medical expenses through your insurance provider.

No Fault Insurance States


The following twelve states currently have no fault auto insurance laws:

Florida
Hawaii
Kansas
Kentucky
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
New Jersey
New York
North Dakota
Pennsylvania
Utah


Optional No Fault Insurance


Certain states permit motorists to choose between purchasing liability coverage, regular tort or no fault insurance. For example, the District of Columbia enables drivers to choose whether they wish to buy no fault insurance coverage. Any driver can purchase regular tort-liability or no fault coverage. However, some states set specific minimums for personal injury protection or PIP insurance concerning the no fault portion of an insurance policy.



Limited No Fault Insurance


Some states have decided to offer partial no-fault coverage, rather than full coverage. Under this type of system, drivers are only able to file a lawsuit against another driver if they meet the specified threshold for that particular state. For example, Florida is a partial no fault state that requires drivers to purchase first party benefits such as personal injury protection of at least $10,000. However, the local no fault auto insurance laws also require motorists to purchase a minimum of $10,000 per person for bodily injury liability coverage and up to $20,000 for every injured person. This type of auto insurance coverage will pay for any medical expenses incurred by another driver.


Statistics Concerning No Fault Insurance

The Property Casualty Insurers of America conducted a study that revealed that personal injury protection costs have risen by more than 17 percent since 2000 in the state of Florida. Insurance companies believe the higher number of lawsuits has resulted from injuries that are very hard to assess and the rising cost of health care. Many drivers who live in a no fault insurance state automatically want to sue other drivers when they are involved in a car accident; they realize that their insurance claim will be processed very quickly and all of their expenses will be covered. This is why many people believe the no fault insurance system does not work.

Other experts argue that no fault insurance states in the United States charge higher premiums than other states. Critics of no fault insurance believe the system is flawed because it fails to punish drivers who are at fault. They feel that at-fault drivers who are required to face litigation and pay damages will become safer, more careful drivers. Many states are returning to at-fault insurance, rather than no fault insurance coverage.


The Facts About Commercial Auto Insurance


What is Commercial Auto Insurance


Many large and small businesses require commercial auto insurance if they use a vehicle such as a truck or car for their regular operations. If you own a small business and use your own vehicle to work at home, you may only need a regular car insurance policy. However, if you regularly drive other individuals during your business, you should purchase business auto insurance coverage. You should talk to your insurance agent about the particular use and needs of your commercial vehicles in order to find the most suitable insurance policy.


What is Covered by Commercial Auto Insurance


A commercial car insurance policy will include comprehensive coverage, collision damage and liability for each driver. Certain provisions will also enable a business to receive payment for the loss of a vehicle, as well as inventory or items stored within that vehicle that are business-related. Such items can include tools and cargo.


The majority of commercial auto insurance policies will cover the following:

Medical expenses
Underinsured and uninsured motorists
Motor truck cargo
Bodily injury & liability
Property damage & liability
Vehicle damage caused by an accident (collision)
Damage caused by fire, glass breakage or theft (comprehensive)
Various Commercial Auto Insurance Policies
You may require a different kind of auto insurance policy, depending on the type of company vehicles you own. Certain states consider business vehicles according to their type. For example, they would rate a passenger van differently than a tow truck. However, other states classify vehicles according to their weight. The type and rate of your commercial auto insurance policy will vary depending on the particular classification of your vehicles.


Here are some of the available options when you buy a commercial auto insurance policy:
Business Interruption Coverage: this will protect you from lost wages from a covered loss
Umbrella Coverage: this option offers a higher liability limit than primary commercial auto insurance coverage
Tool & Equipment Coverage: this will protect your business tools and equipment that are stores in a company vehicle
Rental Reimbursement: this will cover the cost of renting a vehicle if your commercial vehicle needs to be replaced or repaired
Cargo Coverage: this will protect your inventory while in storage or when being transported
Crime Insurance: this will protect you against a burglary or theft, even if it is committed by an employee of your business
When You Should Purchase Commercial Auto Insurance


If you are a business owner that rents, leases or owns a vehicle used by more than one individual in your company, you should buy a commercial auto insurance policy. If your employees drive their own vehicle during business hours, you should ensure you have purchased sufficient liability coverage for each person. However, the primary auto insurance coverage is the responsibility of the vehicle’s owner.


You should consider the following before you buy any commercial auto insurance coverage:

The owner of the vehicle
The classification and type of vehicle
The number of vehicles of each type used in your business
The number of people who will be driving the vehicle
The people who will be driving the vehicle


 











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