Cheap Auto Insurance quotes are designed in many different ways to cover your specific insurance needs. One needs to analyze these quotes in detail before making a decision. It also helps if you have basic knowledge on all or at least some aspects of cheap Auto Insurance. You can find literally hundreds of online resources offering you thousands of attractive cheap Auto Insurance quotes. But should you opt for them, just because they are cheap? It depends. When it comes to insurance, sometimes the cheapest policy is not the best way to go.
Attention! Have a look at the type of car you drive. Certain types of cars attract higher Car Insurance rates.
You need to know the rules, which govern your state, with regard to Auto Insurance. Certain states, for example, may require you to have comprehensive liability coverage, which is also known as third party liability in some countries. This covers you in case you are at a fault during an accident, whereas in other states, you are simply required to carry a ‘no-fault’ policy.
Attention! Policy Period ? This is the specific time period that the policy is effective. Some Car Insurance policies have an annual renewal and others have a six-month renewal.
Once you have chosen the cheap insurance quote that works for you, go through the entire policy in detail. Find out more about the coverage levels. You have to carefully study the general policy options. Next comes choosing your policy period. This is an important criterion, because your insurance coverage is only in effect during the period specified by the insurer in your policy. Most Auto Insurance policies cover a span from six months to one year. It is, however, possible to get Auto Insurance for a longer or shorter span of time. Generally speaking, the longer the time specified, the lower the premium you need to pay and vice-versa. Ultimately, the choice is left to you.
Attention! Find a good online discount Car Insurance broker before renewing. The Internet is a fabulous resource.
Always try to find out whether you can cancel your policy before the expiry date, and if so, what are the procedures that one must follow. You can get this information directly from your insurer. Based on the cheap Auto Insurance quote, you can decide whether you want to pay an annual or semi-annual premium upfront, a down payment on the premium and the reminder in several equal monthly installments, or you want to pay an equal monthly amount spread out over a period of 10 to 12 months. Also ask whether or not you insurer charges any interest on the premium. Once you have this basic information, it is easy to see what the best Auto Insurance for you will be – and you should go ahead and take that policy.
Attention! Drive carefully. Although it sounds a little trite to say it, your Car Insurance cost is a factor of your risk profile.
A great deal is at stake when choosing an auto insurance carrier. In addition to the financial considerations, there are issues such as reliability, quality of service, and integrity. Luckily, there are certain steps you can follow to ensure that you select an auto insurance company that will meet your needs.
When choosing an insurance carrier, reputation carries a great deal of weight. For instance, Allstate, Nationwide, and State Farm are well-known companies that have managed to hold onto some clients for years. For additional guidance, you can consult your state’s department of insurance website. The website might offer consumer complaint ratios which indicate exactly how many complaints an auto insurance company has received for every 1,000 claims filed. This information can help you to better evaluate companies so that you have some idea how their customer service rates. You can then compare the list of companies with low complaint ratios with the list of companies with low premiums and see if you can come up with any matches. Those companies that combine stellar customer service with low rates offer you the best deal for your money.
If for some reason you cannot locate complaint ratios for your state, try looking at the complaint ratios for other states. While an insurance company’s operations may vary from state to state, if a company posts a high complaint ratio in a number of states, you should consider that to be a warning sign. It is best to simply cross off your list any insurance company with consistently high complaint ratios.
Another technique you can use when evaluating insurance carriers is to determine which insurers body shops in your area recommend. Because body shop managers must deal with a number of insurance adjusters, they can provide you with an inside look at insurance companies. The managers will know, for instance, which companies offer the most convenient claims procedures. They’ll also know which companies are particularly slow in processing claims.
Another important source of information is J.D. Power and Associates, which rates insurance companies in terms of variety of coverage, rates, claims processes, and customer service. In recent years, Amica and Erie have posted the best rankings with J.D. Power. These two companies have earned raves for finding ways to cover claims, when at all possible. You might also want to consider an insurer’s financial strength by checking out ratings from A.M. Best and Standard and Poor’s. These ratings determine an insurance company’s ability to pay claims. Still, you should be aware of the fact that most well-known carriers are considered to be financially sound.
Finally, you might select your insurance company based upon the professionalism of an individual agent. Since you will have to work closely with your agent, it is important to find one that you can trust. You might consider consulting a relative or friend to find out the names of some particularly efficient agents.
In the end, you may not find out just how responsive your insurance company is?until you are faced with an accident. However, if you conduct extensive research before selecting an insurance company and agent?if you pay close attention to complaint ratios?and you ask plenty of questions, chances are good you will find insurance coverage you will be happy with.
Is your car insurance bill really bothering you? Are you anxious to lower the premium you are paying every year? If your answer to all these queries is yes, then you need to look for low rates rather than less coverage. What you don’t want to do is to reduce the amount of money you can claim should you have to.
You might think that you would never need car insurance because you are an experienced driver and you have had no bad driving history. But you cannot predict your future; anything can happen anytime and anywhere no matter how much caution you take. For this reason auto insurance is a must. It is also a legal requirements to have at least minimum coverage enforced by your state or government, if you own a vehicle.
People often avoid buying car insurance policy because of its high cost. But nowadays with the availability of many car insurance companies in the market, the rates of car insurances have come down a lot.
Apart from that you need to do a little research to find a low rate car insurance policy. You should at first ask the car insurance company about any discounts they offer. Each car insurance company will have its own level of discounts, so it is better to find about all these discounts and buy for yourself a low rate car insurance policy.
You can chose to pay higher amount of deductibles and by doing so you can lower your vehicle insurance. However, you need to remember that this strategy comes with risks especially if you don’t have enough savings in the bank.
The car that you drive and its repair cost will affect your insurance rate. If you still haven’t bought a car, it is advisable to choose a car that has less complicated features and whose engine is not too heavy and costly. If you do this you can avail a low rate car insurance policy for your cars. It is also advisable for you to install some safety measures in your car.
The most important thing while searching for low rate car insurance is to do a comparative research of all the quotes available in the insurance market. This will help you to comprehend better about different quotes and ultimately assist you in procuring low rate car insurance for your cars. With internet facilities, your search for low rate car insurance is made easy and less time consuming. So, shrug off all tensions and buy low rate car insurance today.
When buying car insurance, there are many important things to consider. In order to become a smart and savvy car insurance consumer, and get the best rates possible for your policy, you need to understand what insurance companies do, and how to best communicate with them.
Insurance companies are in the business of taking risk. The amount of risk they take to insure you and the rate they will charge you are based on a number of variables. Your driving experience and history, where you live, your age, how many drivers and vehicles are on your policy, what discounts are applicable to you, and numerous other variable are all used to determine the rate or cost for your policy.
There are numerous discounts available for the consumer on car insurance policies today.
A multi-car discount will lower the premium on each vehicle on the same policy. Some companies will sell you a separate policy for each vehicle and still give you the multi-car discount. Keep in mind there can be overhead or additional cost for each policy, so having all of your vehicles on the same policy could save you money.
Most insurance companies will give full time high school or college students with a 3.0 or higher grade point average a discount. This discount could be as high as fifteen percent on the primary vehicle that the student drives. If the premium for the student driver is one to two thousand dollars per year, a good student discount could be a savings of one hundred and fifty to three hundred dollars per year. Multiply that by the number of years in school, and that will add up to a huge savings.
Some insurance companies will give you an occupational discount depending on your educational background and job title. Teachers, Medical Professionals, Scientists, Engineers, Computer Professionals, and other jobs that require a college degree, license, or certification.
An anti-theft discount can lower the comprehensive (theft & vandalism) portion of the policy premium. This is generally considered to be a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) based system where your car can be located via a satellite if it is stolen.
Department of Motor Vehicle certified mature driving courses are available for senior citizens and can lower your premium as much as ten percent.
And of course, maintaining a good driving record will allow your insurance carrier to give you a good driver discount and keep your rates down.
All car insurance policy owners should check with their current carrier to see if they are getting all of the discounts that apply to their policy.
With auto insurance premiums rising across the country, comparing premiums for similar auto insurance coverage has become the ultimate test of your shopping savvy. Have you checked with every insurer to be sure you?ll be paying the lowest premium for the most coverage? Did you check on all the discounts for which you might be eligible, such as good-grades discounts for your high school student, driver?s education and defensive driving course discounts, anti-theft device price breaks, and multi-car rates? Putting it all together to know you?re getting the best price is challenging, but the money you?ll save on your premiums makes the extra effort well worth it in the long run. Follow these three steps to be sure you’re making the right choice.
First, log onto http://www.naic.org to find out if there are any online resources that pertain to your area. This is the website for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Find the link to NAIC States and Jurisdictions. From there, you can find out if your state or area has a website listing the current rates of local auto insurance companies. If so, you’re already a step ahead of the game. Just keep in mind that the rates quoted on these sites cannot take your personal situation into account. If you have bad credit or a poor driving record, your premiums will probably be higher than those listed on your local insurance commissioner?s website, but at least you can study trends of different companies in your area from an unbiased source, making useful comparisons that can save you time when you’re calling around. Even if your state doesn’t have a site, the NAIC website contains consumer guides with valuable information to which you may want to refer during your search.
Next, you need to shop around for coverage. Be honest with the companies you call or visit online about your personal situation, your insurance needs, and your driving history. When you receive a quote, confirm that you know exactly how much coverage is being offered for the premium amount mentioned. Remember that your auto insurance is actually a group of several different types of coverage. Ask how much coverage the quoted premium provides to you and how much each coverage is worth. Make sure you?re comparing similar plans, and know what’s required by law in your state.
Finally, it?s time to talk discounts. Once you?ve narrowed your choices, compare the discounts offered from one insurer to another. Get a quote on the final premium amount after all discounts are taken. One insurer may offer you two discounts good for 5% each while another may offer you only one discount. However, if that one discount offers you a savings of 15% total, it will make more sense to purchase your policy from the second insurer. Take a look at the bottom line (the final premium amount) for a true comparison.
Look at the information the NAIC has to offer you, shop around for the lowest premium and best coverage, and make sure you receive every discount to which you’re entitled. If you follow these steps, you?ll have the peace of mind of knowing you got the best auto insurance deal available to you.
How much insurance does one need? You have the big four: home, health, life, and car insurance. Then there’s a second category, which starts getting a little hazy with credit card insurance, purchase protection plans, fraud insurance and more. Extended warranties, also called extended service contracts, or extended service policies fall into the mist of this second category.
Extended warranties are supposed to pay (in full or in part) for specified repairs for a specific period of time after the expiration of the factory warranty. They can be a great value. They can also be a significant waste of money. It gets quite foggy in the details. What exactly is covered? How long? How much? Are there hidden charges?
There are numerous extended warranty companies and an even wider variety of warranty packages available: silver, gold, platinum, platinum-plus, and a host of other confidence-building words. What?s the best plan, and are extended service contracts worth the money? Extended warranties, like life insurance policies, are a numbers game. They’re a gamble. You pay $2500-$4500 for a 2 year, 100,000-mile protection plan and hope that you get at least that back in warranty repairs. The provider on the other hand, hopes to pay out less than it insured.
There are three major types of plan providers: The manufacturer, the dealership/third party, and third party providers. Each one has its assets and liabilities (discussed ahead).
What exactly is covered in an extended service plan? As mentioned above, what?s covered depends on the package purchased. Some plans only cover the power train: the mechanical components of the engine, transmission, and rear-end. Others cover the power train plus some electrical components. Still others cover electrical, advanced electrical, and computer components. Some only cover what?s listed in the contract. This is called a ‘Stated’ or ‘Named’ contract. This means that if it’s not stated, it’s not covered. Some cover bumper-to-bumper, similar to a manufacturer warranty, except trim pieces, upholstery, exterior components, cosmetic items, and a number of other exclusions.
Never before has the adage, ‘The devil’s in the details,’ been so applicable.
Manufacturer Extended Plans:
Extended service plans from the manufacturer are the best in terms of coverage, convenience, and quality. Coverage is similar to the warranty while the vehicle was under its original factory warranty, with similar exclusions stated above. The billing is direct, meaning you don’t have to pay out-of-pocket, except for a deductible, if applicable. Quality is great too, as an extended warranty from the manufacturer will only use factory parts. They also have money, so there’s less risk of bankruptcy.
The down side of manufacturer extended service plans is that they are not cheap. These plans are generally the most expensive, require low mileage standards, and necessitate servicing your vehicle at a dealer for coverage.
Dealership/Third Party Plans:
Extended warranties from a dealership are actually from a third party insurer. These providers are “generally?” reputable, but not always. However, if there is an issue (such as the warranty provider filing chapter 11, which is quite frequent in the extended service contract business), the dealer may step in to cover any repairs that would have been covered under the defunct plan. Also, claims are easier: billing is direct because the dealership has a working relationship with the provider, and there is usually agreement on price.
Some dealers set up their own ?internal extended warranty,? which is honored by the selling dealer. This is rare, and should not be confused with a manufacturer warranty. Important: extended warranties are often passed off as “manufacturer” warranties. They’re not. This is a sales trick. Also be aware that there is a significant mark up, as the dealership is merely acting as the middle man. Lastly, extended warranty companies often go bankrupt without warning.
Third Party Plans:
These plans are called third party plans because they are outside the responsibility of the manufacturer and the service center performing the repairs (unless there’s a working relationship with a repair shop as stated above).
There are hundreds of extended service contract companies. Some have good reputations, some don?t. Third party plans are frequently sold by used car dealers. You may also receive an official looking notification in the mail stating that your warranty is expiring, and directing you to call an 800 number ASAP. This is a marketing tactic by an independent warranty provider. Despite the “official” appearance of the postcard or envelope, it?s not from the manufacturer. Manufacturers do not send out reminders about warranty expirations.
Given the wide-variety of third party plans there are numerous red flags.
1) Claims: Extended warranty companies will be quick to tell you that filing claims is easy, and that the service center gets paid immediately via a credit card. Thus, there’s no out-of-pocket expense for you. However, the warranty company can?t dictate a service center’s policies. Some service centers will only accept payment from the repair customer. Thus the burden is on the repair customer to fill out the forms, contact their warranty company, and await reimbursement via check, which can take 2-8 weeks.
It is the service center’s responsibility to contact the extended warranty company to let them know what’s wrong with the vehicle and to check coverage. This process can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 20 days, sometimes more, depending on the degree of repairs and especially the amount. (See $1000 and Adjusters ahead)
Service centers and extended warranty companies frequently battle over the “fair” price of repairs. Many repair shops no longer negotiate, and just state the price, leaving the contract holder (i.e., the service customer) responsible for the difference.
2) Rentals: Rental coverage is a great benefit. However, there are fixed rates and time limits. In other words, the warranty company is not going to pay to have you drive a Mercedes-Benz, even if you drive a Benz. Rental allowances range from $25 to $35 per day. Also, rental coverage is based on the number of hours it takes to repair the vehicle, NOT how long your car has been at the shop.
3) $1000 and Adjusters: Repairs that approach $1000, or that require a significant amount of work, will be cause for the warranty company to call in an adjuster to confirm the diagnosis. This will delay the repairs by a minimum of 24-48 hours. It may cost you additional money when an adjuster is involved. You may be charged to have your vehicle pulled back into the shop for inspection, as well as for the time spent with the adjuster.
4) Tear-down Charges: In many cases, an extended warranty company will require that a particular component be taken apart for inspection to determine if the repair is indeed needed and covered. This puts the service customer in a very awkward position. The customer will have to authorize potentially hundreds of dollars of tear-down expense in the hopes that the repair is covered. If it’s not, the customer is out the hundreds in tear-down PLUS the actual repair. This does happen!
1) “Extended warranties cover maintenance services and brake work.”
No. Extended warranty plans do not cover maintenance or wearable items. Brake pads and rotors are wearable parts. Maintenance such as coolant, brake and transmission flushes, tune-ups, services, oil changes, bulbs, wipers, and more are not covered.
2) “They told me it’s bumper-to-bumper, so it covers everything right?”
Wrong. Not even a factory warranty covers everything. When pitching the sale for the extended warranty, one is very often lead to believe that he or she will have nothing to worry about. This is just not true on so many levels. For example, if your bumper falls off it?s not covered.
3) “I don’t have to pay anything, right?”
Wrong. Despite the claims of 100% coverage, there are many factors involved. The labor rates, labor hours, diagnostic times, parts prices, and machine work are just a few items that often conflict with a service center’s policies. Some extended contracts only pay a maximum of $55 per hour, and only allow one half hour for diagnostic time. This is generally unacceptable to the service center, as labor rates have skyrocketed to over $100 per hour at many dealerships, and average $75 at local shops. Moreover, with the complexity of today’s vehicles, diagnostic time is at a premium. The customer pays the difference.
4) “If I have an expensive problem, I can just purchase an extended service contract.”
It?s unethical, but it’s an option many attempt. However, most service contracts have a minimum time requirement before the first claim can be filed: usually three months. Also, many contracts require that your vehicle be inspected by a service center to check for pre-existing conditions, just like life insurance.
5) “My contract lasts up to 100,000 miles.”
Only if the time limit doesn’t run out first. All extended warranty plans have a time limit. For example, a typical contract will state that the vehicle is covered for two years or 100,000 miles, which ever comes first. During the sales pitch, however, the emphasis will be on the 100,000 miles, not the time.
6) “If my car breaks, it gets fixed like new.”
Actually, depending on the contract, an extended warranty company can insist on installing remanufactured or even used parts.
Items commonly not covered by extended warranties:
1. Any component with a pre-existing condition
2. Any component related to a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB)
3. Many components that has been updated by the manufacturer
4. Extra components necessary “due to manufacturer updates” to complete the repair
5. Trim pieces: molding, cup holders, dashboard, console, body parts, glass
6. Many accessories: radios, DVD players, TVs
7. Many expensive electronics: climate control units, navigation assemblies
Service contract positives:
Some service contracts are transferable, and may thus increase the resale value of a vehicle. Many come with trip interruption reimbursement, towing and 24-hour road side. Some plans can also be financed, or have E-Z Pay Plans. Others offer a money-back guarantee.
What should you do?
You’ll get lots of advice about doing the research, comparing plans, and reading the fine print. This is all sound advice. But what about doing the math?
Let’s say a plan costs $2500 for 2 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. To break even you’ll need a minimum of $1250 per year in covered repairs, excluding regular maintenance. Remember covered is the vital word here.
Another way to break it down is to anticipate having to pay $104.17 per month over the next two years in “covered” repairs. Do you want to take that bet?
What could happen?
You could double your money or more in repair work. You could conceivably get a new engine and transmission (or used ones anyway). You could also easily spend $2500 for a service contract, and still have to pay another $2500 for repairs, which for a variety of reasons, were not covered under your plan. Now you’re out $5000.
Alternatively, you could keep the initial $2500. In many ways all an extended warranty does is prepay for repairs. You could stick the money in the bank and collect interest. Then you could withdraw the money for repairs as needed.
Another consideration that’s rarely discussed is the cause of the problems. Many car repairs problems are the result of wear and tear, neglected maintenance, physical damage, or acts of God?such as flood damage. None of this is covered. The gamble only covers failed components.
If the vehicle you’re driving does cost $2500 to $4500 in repairs due to outright failed components, is it a vehicle you even want to consider keeping? A vehicle that needs this kind of repair work due to mechanical, electrical, or computer failures may not be worth it. The $2500-$4500 would be better spent on an upgrade to a quality vehicle rather than insuring a lemon.
There’s no question that auto repair is expensive, and even quality cars break from time to time. But do they breakdown to the tune of $2500-$4500? That?s a hefty bet on a “possibility.”
Terence O’Hara from the Washington Post makes an excellent assessment about extended warranties in general. He writes:
“extended warranties play upon a basic human trait to avoid loss, even if it means sacrificing a possible future gain’the gain is all the other things of value that a consumer could buy with the money that was spent on a warranty.”