Car Insurance – Watch Out Before You Buy!

What to watch out for while choosing car insurance?

The most important criteria include the five “C”s. Here’s a brief description of each:

• Claim settlement policy – The true test of an insurance company is at the time of an actual insurance claim. This is possible to check by looking at the company’s past records of claim resolution. Now is the time to check if the existing insurance can be transferred to another insurance company without loss of benefits already paid for.

• Coverage – What is the right coverage for you? Usually, car insurance policies cover third party liability and own damage. According to the Motor Vehicles Act, it is mandatory to opt for third party liability insurance cover while own damage is optional. Opting for both is the standard procedure since they cover any damage due to accidents and loss from third party mishaps. Most insurance companies offer “add-ons” with the basic policy.

• Customer service – Thanks to technology, insurance policies are now issued instantly. Besides this, other issues such as changes in policy or cancellations are processed quickly. In the event of a claim, cashless settlement is also available so that post-repair delivery is quick without incurring bills at the workshop. It is therefore important to check the insurance company’s network for this facility. The bigger the network, the better the claimant’s options.

• Communication access – The insurance company’s contact information must be easily accessible. If there is a problem the insured individual must know whom to get in touch with and the procedure to follow.

• Cost – Last but not least, is the price or premium. Car insurance premium is based on “insured declared value” or IDV and the rate multiplier and depends on the car model, the age of the car, daily mileage and the terrain of the location. It is important to declare the right IDV and select a policy that offers the maximum IDV even if you have to incur a slightly higher premium.

Besides the above, the following are the benefits to look for:

• No claim bonus – if no claim has been filed during the insurance period, a no-claim discount is offered on risk cover against own damage at the time of policy renewal. For each consecutive claim-free year, the discount increases progressively. The point to note is that the no claim bonus eligibility holds good even in the event of a new vehicle purchase or existing insurance renewal before the due date from a different insurance provider.

• Opting for deductible – Drivers with a good record can opt for “voluntary excess” or deductible to lower their premium payments, in addition to the compulsory excess. In the case of a compulsory excess, the insured is liable to pay a specific amount if a claim is filed.

• Premium based on car type – If your car has extra security features such as anti-theft alarms the chances of theft is lower and insurance can come at a lower premium.

• Timely insurance renewal – If car insurance is not renewed before the expiry date the renewal premium can result in loss of coverage especially if there is an accident and also mean no discount for the no-claim bonus.

• Choice of Add-ons- Besides the basic car insurance coverage, insurance providers offer several optional add-ons. It is important to select the right ones and only pay for those. For example, if there is a medical expense cover or hospital cash cover, check to see if you have a medical insurance policy that already covers these.

• To renew or not to renew – with the same insurance provider? When it is time to renew your car insurance, compare insurance providers to see what they are offering before making a decision. The car insurance industry is very competitive and for the same coverage, you can probably get a better price elsewhere.

Some final precautions to bear in mind are:

• Check that the insurance policy is genuine. Always buy your car insurance directly from the insurance company or from its authorized agent.

• Always get a premium payment receipt.

• When you receive your policy document, check the IDV, no claim bonus and deductible details to make sure it is what you opted for. Any discrepancies must be notified and rectified immediately.

• Make sure only you sign the proposal form and always read before signing

• Do not opt for monthly payments as this is more expensive than annual payments

Car Insurance – Buy Smart

You can pay anywhere from $500 to $2,000 for the same car insurance policy, so it pays to shop around, and do your homework. However, cost savings shouldn’t be your only concern. When you buy insurance, you’re actually buying protection; and pinching a penny can come back to bite you, if you’re not careful. Here are some tips to help you make good decisions when purchasing car insurance.

In some states, like Texas, 30% of drivers don’t have insurance, or adequate insurance, so it’s critical to get uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to cover your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering in the event that an uninsured motorist injures you.

Think beyond your car. The more assets, and income you have, the more insurance you need. A personal liability umbrella policy, in conjunction with homeowner’s coverage is not very expensive, yet can provide critical protection of your wealth. If you already have good family health insurance, you might be able to avoid paying more for personal injury protection or medical payment insurance related to your car coverage.

Your neighborhood counts. Crime rates are a factor. Consider the types of cars those around you drive. If you live in a nice area, full of high-end cars, you may want to increase your property damage coverage. If you live in a rural area, you’ll probably enjoy lower rates than those living in high-traffic urban areas. Living in downtown Dallas, Texas, is likely to cost you more than living in a quiet suburb on the outskirts of Kansas City, Missouri.

Where you park your car might impact your insurance premium. If you park inside a garage, it’s less vulnerable to theft and weather damage than parking it in a driveway or street, and it may entitle you to a discounted rate. If you work at home, have a short daily commute, or use public transportation, you might also be able to save some money on your car insurance policy with a low mileage discount.

Depending on what you do for a living, you might be able to save on your car insurance premium. Some professions are deemed lower risk. Teachers, scientists, police officers and firefighters often get discounts on their insurance premiums.

College students that go to school more than 100 miles away from home may qualify for a discount, based off the assumption they’re seldom behind the wheel of the family car. Getting good grades pays, in more ways than one. Ask about good student discounts.

It pays to get married. Married men statistically have fewer accidents than single men, so if you are looking for a little extra incentive to take the plunge, consider the savings on your car insurance premium – just don’t make it part of your proposal. If you have more than one car in your home, ask about a multi-car discount.

Drive safe. A speeding ticket can cost you more than just the fine. A bad driving record can also jack up your premium costs. Next time you’re in a hurry, slow down, and protect yourself and your wallet.

Buying the right kind of car can save on auto insurance. Cars with built in safety features like anti-lock brakes, side air bags and automatic safety belts cost less to insure. Cars that are frequently stolen generally have higher insurance premiums. You can check with the Highway Loss Data Institute for theft reports on the make of car you are considering buying.

If you have your heart set on a sporty vehicle, make sure your wallet is prepared to handle the higher insurance premium. Rates can be significantly higher for high-performance vehicles. If you have a loan on your car, the lender has a say in what type of coverage you have on your vehicle to protect their investment. Be wise and ask your insurance agent how much it would cost to insure the car you are considering buying, before you sign on the bottom line.

You can reduce your monthly premium on car insurance if you are willing to live with a higher deductible. If you’re good driver, it could be worth considering. As your car gets older, you may also want to change your coverage to save money. If the actual cash value of your car is very low, you might want to consider dropping comprehensive and collision coverage. However, never skimp on liability coverage, regardless of the age or value of your vehicle, because if you cause a serious accident, you could be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Search for Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes and Don’t Break the Bank With A Car Insurance Company

When it comes to getting your car insured, you will hear people talking about rates that are over a hundred dollars a month. If you are like most, that is extremely high, almost to the point of unaffordable. It does not have to be this way. What many big name insurance companies do not tell you is the fact there are many ways to get cheaper car insurance. Searching on the internet for cheap auto insurance quotes is an indirect way to find affordable and cheaper auto insurance companies.

When you have a teenage child, purchasing a car (new or used) will entail getting that vehicle insured. Many parents require the teen to pay for the additional insurance, as it can cause an additional burden on the family finances. Some families will even choose to put the child on a separate insurance so their own rates will not go up. There are, however, many ways to offset the additional cost making it so keeping your family safe will not break the bank.

Discounts

One of the best ways to lower the car insurance bill is by accumulating discounts. Families that add the child and car onto their plan will discover they are eligible for a multi-car discount. If the child is a good driver, with no traffic infractions, then that will further drive down the rate of the car insurance premiums. Finally, as an additional incentive to keep grades above a C, students will be eligible for an additional good student discount on many insurance plans. If your agent does not tell you about it, ask them. If they do not offer it, consider a different company.

Car Details

Unbelievably, the vehicle you purchase will determine the premiums charged. While this no longer includes the color, it does include the make and model. What is taken into consideration with insurance premiums is the price of the car, the style of the vehicle (sports cars), and if the vehicle is a model that is commonly stolen.

You can combat those insurance premium hikes, however. First, you can purchase a used car. The older cars will have lower premiums, just as your insurance premiums drop as your car ages. Secondly, you can install anti-theft devices in your vehicle. Devices such as On Star will help recover your vehicle if it is stolen, and insurance companies are less likely to be out money. If you park the car in a garage, then you will want to make sure that you tell the insurance company that. Vehicles that are protected from the elements and in a locked location are less likely to be damaged or stolen.

Finally, with the addition of safety devices on the car, you will see insurance rates drop. Air bags and seat belts should all work, and ones that automatically lock when you close the door are ideal. This requires the driver to be buckled in, which will help them remain safer in the event of an accident. Studies have shown that fewer people die as the result of an automobile accident when they are properly restrained and the air bags deploy.

Classes

A teenager can lower their insurance premiums by simply taking a driver’s education course through a licensed school and complete a defensive driving course. You will want to make sure you have documentation showing that the child has completed the courses successfully, in order to have little problem receiving the discounts. Again, if your current insurance company does not offer benefits for taking courses, you will want to reconsider whom your car insurance is through.

Teens that are learning how to drive will make mistakes. It is just like anything that you learn. These mistakes, however, can be costly when it comes to vehicle insurance. Restricting the amount the teen drives until they are more experienced is a way to help them reduce the number of accidents. In addition, the fewer miles put on the vehicle will cause the insurance rate to be lower.

What you have on your car insurance will reflect how much you pay. If you wish to lower your car insurance premium, be willing to pay a little more if there is an accident. If the vehicle is too old to be worth anything in the event of a wreck, remove the collision and comprehensive coverage. Make sure that you are aware of your vehicle’s worth prior to making these changes, as some cars may be worth more than you think.

Search for Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes and Don’t Break the Bank With A Car Insurance Company

When it comes to getting your car insured, you will hear people talking about rates that are over a hundred dollars a month. If you are like most, that is extremely high, almost to the point of unaffordable. It does not have to be this way. What many big name insurance companies do not tell you is the fact there are many ways to get cheaper car insurance. Searching on the internet for cheap auto insurance quotes is an indirect way to find affordable and cheaper auto insurance companies.

When you have a teenage child, purchasing a car (new or used) will entail getting that vehicle insured. Many parents require the teen to pay for the additional insurance, as it can cause an additional burden on the family finances. Some families will even choose to put the child on a separate insurance so their own rates will not go up. There are, however, many ways to offset the additional cost making it so keeping your family safe will not break the bank.

Discounts

One of the best ways to lower the car insurance bill is by accumulating discounts. Families that add the child and car onto their plan will discover they are eligible for a multi-car discount. If the child is a good driver, with no traffic infractions, then that will further drive down the rate of the car insurance premiums. Finally, as an additional incentive to keep grades above a C, students will be eligible for an additional good student discount on many insurance plans. If your agent does not tell you about it, ask them. If they do not offer it, consider a different company.

Car Details

Unbelievably, the vehicle you purchase will determine the premiums charged. While this no longer includes the color, it does include the make and model. What is taken into consideration with insurance premiums is the price of the car, the style of the vehicle (sports cars), and if the vehicle is a model that is commonly stolen.

You can combat those insurance premium hikes, however. First, you can purchase a used car. The older cars will have lower premiums, just as your insurance premiums drop as your car ages. Secondly, you can install anti-theft devices in your vehicle. Devices such as On Star will help recover your vehicle if it is stolen, and insurance companies are less likely to be out money. If you park the car in a garage, then you will want to make sure that you tell the insurance company that. Vehicles that are protected from the elements and in a locked location are less likely to be damaged or stolen.

Finally, with the addition of safety devices on the car, you will see insurance rates drop. Air bags and seat belts should all work, and ones that automatically lock when you close the door are ideal. This requires the driver to be buckled in, which will help them remain safer in the event of an accident. Studies have shown that fewer people die as the result of an automobile accident when they are properly restrained and the air bags deploy.

Classes

A teenager can lower their insurance premiums by simply taking a driver’s education course through a licensed school and complete a defensive driving course. You will want to make sure you have documentation showing that the child has completed the courses successfully, in order to have little problem receiving the discounts. Again, if your current insurance company does not offer benefits for taking courses, you will want to reconsider whom your car insurance is through.

Teens that are learning how to drive will make mistakes. It is just like anything that you learn. These mistakes, however, can be costly when it comes to vehicle insurance. Restricting the amount the teen drives until they are more experienced is a way to help them reduce the number of accidents. In addition, the fewer miles put on the vehicle will cause the insurance rate to be lower.

What you have on your car insurance will reflect how much you pay. If you wish to lower your car insurance premium, be willing to pay a little more if there is an accident. If the vehicle is too old to be worth anything in the event of a wreck, remove the collision and comprehensive coverage. Make sure that you are aware of your vehicle’s worth prior to making these changes, as some cars may be worth more than you think.

How Are Car Insurance Costs Calculated?

What will effect the cost of your car insurance?

Put simply, the price you pay is determined by the type of cover you need (e.g. fully comprehensive cover versus third party) and how often and how much car insurers expect you to claim on your policy.

To work out the likelihood of you making a claim insurers will look at details about you and your car, and these details can greatly affect the amount you will need to pay for car insurance. Below are the key factors that car insurers use to determine the cost of your insurance premium:

About your car:

Car Value – The more expensive your car is the more expensive it will be to replace (and typically, the more expensive it will be to fix too). So, the higher the cost of the car, the more you can expect to pay for your insurance.

Car Power – The faster and more powerful the car, the more likely it is you will be involved in accident. This will increase the likelihood of you both making a claim and also the size of that claim, so higher power cars typically have higher cost premiums.

Car Desirability – The more desirable your car the more likely it is to get stolen. Replacing a stolen car is a huge cost for the insurer and so this risk will be reflected in a higher premium. Some classic cars for example can incur larger than normal premiums.

About you:

Your Age – Younger drivers statistically have a higher risk of having an car accident and so will pay the most for insurance (the 17 – 25 age group typically has the highest premiums)

Your Job – Some professions are statistically seen as including higher risk individuals (e.g. students, journalists, actors etc.) and so will be used as a factor in deciding the cost of your insurance.

Where You Live – As a rule of thumb, built up urban areas are likely to have more traffic on the road (increasing the likelihood of an accident) and more car theft and so living in such areas will increase the amount you will need to pay for insurance.

Car usage and storage:

Your Claim History – Insurers believe that if you have claimed in the past you are more likely to claim again. Most insurers will offer a no claims bonus which can significantly reduce the cost of your insurance.

Previous Penalty Points – Insurers take this as a sure sign that you are a high risk driver and will reflect this in charging you more for insurance than those with a clean license.

Car Storage – Keeping your car in a garage as opposed to on the street can reduce the chance of theft and therefore reduce the amount you will be expected to pay for insurance. This can be particularly important if you live in urban areas where insurers will charge more due to the perceived increase in the risk of car theft.

Mileage – The more you drive the more you are likely to be involved in an accident so higher mileage policies will typically cost more.

Type of cover:
Third Party Vs Third Party Fire and Theft Vs Fully Comprehensive – The level of cover you require is one of the more obvious factors determining how much your insurance is going to cost you.

Voluntary Excess – If you are willing to accept some initial costs of your future claims upfront this will both reduce the amount of claims you are likely to make and also the cost of those claims to the insurer. Insurers will therefore offer you lower cost premiums.

Unfortunately, some of these things you can’t change (like your age), but other things like how you store your car, how carefully you drive and the type of car you buy can all have a significant positive impact on reducing the cost of your insurance.

Cheap Car Insurance – How to Reduce the Cost of Owning a Car

Car insurance is insurance that is purchased for cars, trucks, motorcycles and other vehicles. The primary aim of a car insurance is to provide financial protection against any physical damage and/or injury to people that may be caused due to a traffic collision and also against liabilities that might arise from them. It is mandatory for cars and it adds up to the cost of owning a car. So it has now become a necessity to get a cheap insurance especially when the cost of owning a car has been on the rise.

Cheap Insurance is something that many insurance companies might boast of. But it is a known fact that not all insurance companies are the same. With loads of companies willing to provide you with cheap car insurance, the first step would be to collect insurance quotes from as many insurance companies as possible. Compare the quotes along with the claim procedures and the conditions of the insurance companies before you decide on the company who is going to provide you with cheap car insurance.

The cost of your car insurance is determined by the type of car you drive. Cars that are prone to theft and certain makes and models cost more to insure. If you are looking for cheap insurance, then be wary about the car model you have. Safer cars will help you get cheap insurance. If safety equipment and anti theft device are fitted on to your car, the chances of theft is reduced and this can help you in getting them cheap. Make sure that the company is wary of the fact that you have safety equipment on your car to strike a good deal for cheap insurance. The deductible amount is the amount that you will pay first out of a claim. This has direct impact on the cost of your policy. To get a cheap deal you can increase the deductible provided you are confident of your driving and are prepared to take the risk. If you are having a relationship with an insurance company, you can bargain for good discounts and thereby landing up with a good deal. The companies do offer good discounts for multiple policies. The internet is a great resource to find an online broker who is giving out good discounts. Above all, drive carefully – How you drive also determines the cost of your car insurance. Cheap car insurance is easier for a safe driver as there are good safe driver discounts that are on offer from the insurance companies.

If you are looking for cheap car insurance, then be prepared to spend some time for it. Get comparable quotes from various companies and analyze them before you make up your mind. The tips mentioned above will help you get the best deals from the top insurance companies, so just go ahead and start looking out for the best cheap insurance for your car.

Quotes on Car Insurance Should Include Discounts

When I was a small child, as was the case with most parents, my parents gave me an allowance. It started with 25 cents per week. Now at age 5 that was impressive to me. I remember when I had been given enough “raises” that I finally began to receive $1 per week. Wow! This was great! My parents initially would not allow me to spend much of my money.

I was instructed to put it in my little bank and save. I would dream of things I could save to buy — most of which I would never have been able to get as my “income” would not allow saving that much. It didn’t keep me from dreaming however.

I recall one episode of impatience and addressing my father about an increase in my allowance. When he learned of what my plans were his instructions were to save for it.

When I persisted about the amount of my allowance, he gave good advice. He said, “…you need to save your money. Pennies make dollars…”

Maybe that was not original with him but I have never heard it phrased like that elsewhere. He told me that about 40 years ago and I have never forgotten his words.

So what does a kids allowance have to do with quotes on car insurance? Nothing except that there is application with the principal of saving.

Insurance for Car versus Risk
Before continuing, remember that every insurance company considers providing you with insurance for car, truck, boat, etc., as a risk. As I have noted in previous articles, insurance companies will establish premiums based on your characteristics and they will group you with others with similar characteristics.

Put simply, the company will categorize you (i.e., rate you) based on information such as age, marital status, past driving record, the type of car you will be insuring, etc. They rely on the information you provide on your policy application in making this determination. Based on your information, you are categorized into groups and the insurance company then reviews the claim history of those groups to make projections about future claims. A rate for each group is set based on the historical claims statistics paid by the insurer for the people in that group.

With this in mind, you can see that it is very important to provide complete and accurate information on your application. Doing so will guarantee that your vehicle insurance premium quote will truly reflect your unique situation and that you will be quoted a fair price.

Ask About Discounts for the Cheapest Car Insurance
Ok. Now let’s think about how my father’s advice may apply. All insurance companies offer discounts. You will get lumped into specific groups by your application information; however, are you truly like “everyone else” in that group? Insurers recognize that there are differences in insurance cars and people and positive differences can be rewarded by offering discounts.

Here are some of the common discounts you might want to ask about:

Good Driver/Safe Driver: Have you been accident free for a number of years? Has it been a few years since you received a violation? Here is an additional incentive to practice safe driving.

Senior Citizen/Retired Driver: This discount is based on having reached a certain age or it may be given after you reach a specific age and no longer have a daily commute.

Multiple Vehicle: Most companies offer this to customers who insure more than one vehicle with them.

Low Mileage: The fewer miles you drive, the less chance you have of getting into an accident. Insurers recognize this fact and generally offer discounts for low mileage drivers.

Car Pool: Some companies also offer discounts for drivers that participate in car pools.

Homeowners Discount/Multiple Policy Discount: Some companies will offer a discount if you own your home (you will need to provide proof of homeowners insurance to verify). Additionally, if you have your homeowners or renters policy with the same company, you may qualify for an additional discount.

Safety Devices/Anti-Theft Devices: With this you will need to make sure the insurer understands your car. If you provide the vehicle identification number, the safety features can usually be verified but you need to be sure. Also, make sure you ask about additional discounts available for alarm systems or other safety features.

Driver Education/Young Driver Safety Course: For those with young drivers, the successful completion of an accredited driving course may help offset the higher cost of young drivers car insurance.

Good Student: Similarly, if you have kids in High school and college, some companies will provide a young driver car insurance discount if they maintain a “B” average or better.

Distant Student: If you have a child attending a school located more than 100 miles from your home and your child does not have a vehicle with them, there may be a discount available to reflect the decreased possibility of a loss.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Discounts benefit you by helping you get the cheapest car insurance. Insurance companies also benefit because discounts help them to be competitive, attract customers and keep business. So when you shop, don’t just ask if a discount exists. Be bold and ask, “How much will I save?” It is important to ask because the savings can differ from one company to another. Ask, Ask, and Ask again! Make sure that you receive all the discounts for which you qualify.

My father’s advice was to save even if it was in small amounts. His phrase “pennies make dollars” is certainly applicable with regards to discounts. Today’s high cost of ownership requires you to save in every small way you can; however, finding car insurance cheap is not impossible.

While the list above may not be all inclusive, keep in mind that insurance companies can offer a discount for anything that may reduce their losses and expenses. With this in mind, you need to remember to Ask, Ask, and Ask again about all discounts that may be available for car insurance, compare and save.

Be Proactive – Get New Quotes for Car Insurance Annually
Yes, pennies make dollars, but if you do nothing, nothing will happen. Many people become complacent about the cost of car insurance and never review their coverage or make changes. Being a complacent driver can cost money. Make it your aim to review your coverage’s on at least an annual basis, review your eligibility for discounts and get new quotes to make sure you have the most affordable car insurance for your budget.

Edward Ferrell is a graduate of Auburn University with over 20 years experience in the financial services and technology sectors. He recently started his own marketing and e-commerce company with the intent to focus on a number of niche e-commerce markets.

Edward understands from a deeply personal level that life is filled with challenges. He says that some challenges we face are due to our own good or bad decisions while other challenges are somewhere down the road just waiting for us to get there.

Understanding Factors That Impact the Cost of Car Insurance

Have you ever wondered how the cost of car insurance is determined? Do you feel like the bulls-eye on the dartboard where you are the target of the highest rate imaginable? These feelings can be relieved somewhat by understanding what factors have an impact on automobile insurance premiums.

Risk Affects All Quotes on Car Insurance
First however, this is a good time to mention the term risk. Risk is a basic premise found behind every insurance policy issued and the concept of risk and the idea behind it is relatively easy to understand. In simple terms it is all about statistics and probabilities and can be explained as the chance of something going wrong.

Effective risk management is critical to business success and the insurance industry employs highly skilled individuals known as actuaries to aid in risk management. These individuals use a combination of strong analytical skills, business knowledge and understanding of human behavior to design and manage programs that control risk.

So you say, “That is interesting but how does it apply to what I pay for my automobile insurance?” To answer simply, you are a risk to the insurer.

In order to calculate what level of risk that you will present to the insurer, your characteristics will be analyzed based on two specific factors known as Underwriting and Rating.

Underwriting: How Car Insurance Cost is Evaluated
Although much could be said here, for the sake of time understand that underwriting has to do with the assumption of financial responsibility. If an insurer provides you with a policy, they are underwriting, meaning that the company will have financial responsibility to pay a claim should the need arise. Here the topic of risk comes into focus. How does the insurance company determine how much should be charged for a car insurance premium?

First, with any policy issued, limits are set for specific incidents that could potentially be paid via a claim. Remember that actuaries have worked through the statistics and probabilities of the various aspects of insuring against a specific risk. Their work is a foundation to the underwriting process. Building on this foundation, limits are set for various events that could be covered. By setting limits, an element of control is provided.

It is appropriate to keep in mind that insurance companies are not charitable organizations. They are in business for the purpose of making a profit. Search for the most affordable car insurance you can find, but understand that car insurance prices vary between insurance companies and may change as a result of a company’s financial situation.

Second, the premium is established. The premium is your cost of car insurance. By taking into consideration numerous factors discussed below, the premium calculation is put on an individual and personal level specific to an individual.

Keep in mind, that the underwriting process could determine that you are not a good risk and your application for insurance for your car might not be accepted.

Rating: The Impact of Individual Characteristics on Car Insurance Premium
The second factor is rating. Put simply, rating has to do with determining what the premium will be based on the characteristics of the driver as well as characteristics of the automobile. When you apply for insurance, before you receive a quote on car insurance, you will be asked a series of questions to help determine the cost to insure you. These answers are fundamental to premium calculation. Information collected through these questions include:

Driving Record
Insurers want to know your past driving record and certain personal characteristics and then they group you with other similar drivers. Insurers review the claim history of your group to make projections about future claims.

Age, Gender & Where You Live
There are some rating factors whose characteristics you cannot control. Examples include your age and gender. Then there are some rating characteristics which could technically be controlled but such control may not be practical or realistic. To explain, think about where you live. Geographic location can have a definite impact on rating. For example, if you live if a highly populated area with a higher probability of accidents then this will carry a higher risk of claims versus a less populated area; however, to pack up and move just because of your vehicle insurance rates sounds rather silly.

What You Drive
There are other characteristics that can be controlled, such as the make and model of the vehicle that you choose to drive. A vehicle with few safety devices and a powerful engine carries a greater risk of high claims than a less sporty model. The choice of vehicle however is controlled as it is totally your decision.

Lifestyle Characteristics
Insurers also consider lifestyle characteristics in the underwriting process. These characteristics include marital status and employment history. From prior claims data, insurers know that married persons tend to have lower claim levels than unmarried persons. Other statistics show that persons who work in the same place for a long time tend to have lower claims.

Credit History
Also, underwriting criteria can include credit history. Those with a good credit will be deemed to be more responsible as they handle their finances well. That responsible behavior in turn will be viewed positively as a lower risk and grouped accordingly.

Do you see the pattern? Insurance rates are based on statistics that each company has collected. For example, if statistics indicate that teenage drivers are found at fault in more accidents, then that company will charge a higher rate for that category because, as a group, they will increase the need for funds to cover the expense of claims. In other words, the higher the losses from a group, the higher the rate for that group.

Claims Frequency
Keeping this same thought in mind, it is important to understand that the most influential aspect on the rating process is claim frequency. This does not mean how many times that you personally have made an insurance claim, although that will have an additional effect; however, claim frequency measures how often an insured event occurs within a group relative to the number of policies contained in that group. Persons sharing characteristics with a high claims group will be charged more for insurance coverage.

At the same time, persons who share characteristics with low claims classes will be charged lower rates. In addition, insurance companies offer discounts to individuals that exhibit certain characteristics.

So what can you do? Other than your choice of automobile, the most influential factor over which you have control is your driving record. A person with a clean driving record will pay less than other drivers.

Considering this information, what can you do to find a affordable car insurance plan? Compare car insurance plans! Prices for the same coverage can vary widely from one company to another since not every insurer will rate you exactly the same. One company may consider you higher risk because of where you live whereas the next company may rate that item differently.

Be Proactive – Get New Quotes for Car Insurance Annually
Being a proactive, responsible driver can help you avoid many situations that might otherwise result in a claim against your affordable car insurance coverage. Being a complacent driver can cost money. Make it your aim to review your coverage’s on at least an annual basis and get new quotes to make sure you have the most affordable coverage for your vehicles.

Edward Ferrell is a graduate of Auburn University with over 20 years experience in the financial services and technology sectors. He recently started his own marketing and e-commerce company with the intent to focus on a number of niche e-commerce markets.

Edward understands from a deeply personal level that life is filled with challenges. He says that some challenges we face are due to our own good or bad decisions while other challenges are somewhere down the road just waiting for us to get there.

As a Christian, he says that he finds comfort in the instructions of Romans 12:12 which read… “Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer,” (Holman)

Pay As You Drive Car Insurance – You Have Control Over How Much You Pay

An exciting product was introduced into the insurance car market a few years back. Its introduction means consumers are no longer required to pay hefty car insurance premiums, because, with this particular product, your monthly premiums are based on the distance you drive. The ‘pay as you drive’ insurance plan has the potential to cut down on insurance costs significantly and this particular product is paving its way into many insurance car companies’ portfolio of products to offer potential clients.

With the ‘pay as you drive’ concept, consumers have the opportunity to take out less expensive insurance car policies and thus avoid having to pay huge amounts on car insurance. The most common feedback insurance companies get is that the lower to middle class consumers of the country are unable to afford car insurance on a regular basis. These folks are in the position of having to compromise their cost of living to acquire certain necessities such as car insurance among various other things. In this day and age, an insurance car policy is a vital part of a consumer’s expenses. You could never, and still cannot assume that your car is safe from damage or theft. With the rising crime rates we are forced to take extra precautions with regards to car insurance.

Qualifying for a ‘pay as you drive’ policy is easy. You need only be in possession of a valid driver’s license and be over 25 years of age. Moreover, your monthly driving distance should not exceed roughly one thousand five hundred kilometers. Most of the insurance premiums are based on the number of kilometers you drive. That way you are totally in control of your own premium cost. The less you drive on a monthly basis the less your monthly ‘pay as you drive’ insurance car premium is likely to be.

You should never disregard the importance of having valuable car insurance. With these various ‘pay as you drive’ car insurance policies, you now no longer have an excuse for not acquiring or having car insurance. Think of it as a long-term investment as you may be able to potentially save up to thirty percent in monthly insurance car premiums by just switching to the ‘pay as you drive’ option.

The ‘pay as you drive’ car insurance quote is specifically tailored to meet your needs. There are at least three insurance plans available in this category, each of which offers the best possible coverage at a greatly reduced rate. This particular kind of policy is especially suitable to those that have retired and no longer have to make long commutes with their cars. On average, retired individuals have been found to drive no more than about 500 kilometers a month. With the ‘pay as you drive’ insurance car options our older generation can be in possession of car coverage at a lower cost than what average car insurance would have cost, leaving our seasoned consumers with more funds available to enjoy the finer things they have time to enjoy in their later life.

The ‘pay as you drive’ policy really is a genius concept and can pave the way to financial freedom for many individuals.

How to Cut the Cost of Car Insurance

Less desirable and low value cars are cheaper to insure

When I was 17 I wanted to own a Ferrari and live life in the fast lane. Even if I could have afforded the car, then I couldn’t have afforded the insurance to cover it. At 17 you are brand new to the world of driving and statistically you are more likely to make an insurance claim. Mixing high-powered cars with inexperienced drivers is not something car insurance companies are super-keen about, the chance of a claim shoots through the roof with the price of the premium following it. When you are young and inexperienced, buy a low-powered, low value car to try and keep your car insurance premium to a minimum. If it is worth less then it will cost less to fix/replace when in your youthful exuberance you crash it. The same logic actually applies to everyone, the lower the value of the vehicle and the lower the car insurance policy will be in most cases. Sports and premium cars will always cost more to repair in an accident so the insurance will reflect this. New cars now feature myriads of anti-theft and driver aids that in many cases will help to reduce the cost of insurance so keep an eye on the spec sheet when looking at a new car. A good rule of thumb is that less desirable and low value cars are cheaper to insure.

Age is a concern

I mentioned it above and it bears repeating. Generally the younger you are the higher your car insurance premium. This is down to inexperience and the youthful belief that bad things will never happen to you. The statistics say otherwise, which is often a shock to an unsuspecting young driver who ends up in a crash wondering how it happened to him…Driving experience and age are usually linked and that leads to a method of reducing your insurance premium – whatever age you are you will benefit from advanced driving courses and many car insurers offer discounts for these qualifications. It may only be a five – 10 per cent saving for the course but on a premium of £1000 it’s worth having the saving and it will remain with you for years, so it should be a good investment, not to mention make you a better driver.

Keep adding to the no-claims bonus

The more years you can accumulate without making a claim the better as most car insurers will offer a discount on your insurance for this. Effectively you are proving you are good business to have and because you haven’t made any claims then you are a good risk for them to underwrite. There’s nothing you can do here but keep your nose clean and don’t make a claim. If you own a low value vehicle and dent it parking, you’d be advised not to make a claim on comprehensive insurance because it would reduce your no-claims bonus, likely to be for a small amount of money and you may even end up paying for most of it depending on excess. In that case, provided you have not caused damage to any other vehicles or property, keep quiet, fix it yourself and your saving on no-claims bonus will be sweet the following year – in time, when you have built up three or more years no-claims bonus, you can actually protect your bonus, meaning even if you make a subsequent claim you will not lose your bonus.

Convictions aren’t cool

If you are an inner-city teenager then an ASBO may be a badge of honour. Insurers are less impressed by convictions though, so it is best to avoid them if you can. Minor speeding offences are certainly not in the same category as serial killer though, so if you have a couple of points it will not be the end of the world or have a major influence on your premium depending on the insurer.

If you’ve got a garage, use it

What are garages for? If you ask the average person they’ll probably say for storing all the kids’ toys, the home gym, bicycles, the freezer and tumble-dryer. I have news for you all; the garage is designed to house your vehicle when you are not using it. The fact that it puts a physical barrier between any opportunist thieves and your car is a real good thing and car insurance companies will recognise this and reduce your premium if you park in a garage overnight. Using your garage will save you money; it doesn’t get any easier than that.

Anti-theft devices

Most modern cars come with immobiliser and alarms factory fitted and if you notify your insurer it will check to make sure they are to approved standards and will apply discounts if applicable. You can get other devices that slosh around in the passenger footwell until you park and then fix to generally your steering wheel or gear-stick. These are mechanical devices and some do attract further discounts if used, just do your homework before buying. Thatcham is the organisation which grades security devices and generally a decent mechanical security device will feature its Thatcham approval very prominently along with any premium discounts you may expect, so choose carefully.

Use a reputable broker

Car insurance is very big business with around 30million+ vehicles on the UK roads, so there is a wealth of car insurance companies to choose from. Ironically, the big names you are familiar with are probably in your head because of massive marketing campaigns on television, on-line etc. Regardless of the message, those marketing campaigns need to be paid for and that means they may not actually have the best rates, although the sheer scale of some of these businesses means prices will be keen due to buying or underwriting power. The best advice is to compare a couple of different prices from different companies. Call the insurer and then call a comparable competitor and then perhaps a small car insurance broker. Each one will ask you if you have a price already and you should tell them what it is. Generally if they want the business they know what to beat. The moment you get a broker saying they can’t match the price then you are probably close to the best market price or else speaking with a broker that is not a specialist in the area.

A word of caution on price comparison sites

There are plenty of price comparison sites around which promise to drive the cost of your insurance policy down – Money Supermarket, Go Compare, Confused etc. They certainly do help reduce the cost of insurance as most of the major players are fighting for business on the same platform. Where these price comparison sites do not perform so well is actually advising you on the sort of policy that’s best for you or your car. Would comprehensive be cheaper and more suitable than third party fire and theft? The point is you cannot ask the price comparison site for any advice, that’s where car specialist brokers have the edge. Compare it to buying a new house, would you buy one without a survey? You might and then when it subsides into the sea you’ll be praying your insurance will cover it…the point is you shouldn’t buy insurance without talking with an expert either.

Pick up the phone

The internet is a great shopping and selling tool, you know my feelings on that from previous articles…but I suggest if you speak to a real person at a brokerage then you have a much better chance of getting cheaper car insurance. They can ask more questions, clarify your requirements and if needed they can even delegate the rate (set the price themselves) if they really want the business. There is no substitute for human contact, just make sure you speak to at least three different brokers to get a true comparison.

Got a nice postcode?

If you live in a postcode where there are few thefts and claims then your insurance premium will be lower than living somewhere that is a known crime hotspot. If you can afford it, move to a posh area and you’ll benefit from lower insurance premiums. Not the easiest way to save on the cost of insurance for sure…

Mileage and use

The more miles you drive the more chance you have of being involved in a claim. It’s simple statistics. The fewer miles covered, the less your insurance premium should cost. Don’t tell lies though, if you exceed the stated mileage by a distance then it could invalidate your insurance.

Married with kids?

Insurers like selling car insurance to married couples mortgaged and with kids and jobs. You are very easy to credit check and generally display responsible behaviour which hints at a lower risk for the insurer. That can reduce your car insurance quote.

Don’t modify your car

We all see the bling bling cars that haunt Supermarket car-parks late at night and whether you like the tacky neon colours and loud exhausts is neither here nor there – the fact is that any sort of modification is likely to hike your car insurance premium. Modifications can draw attention, invalidate warranties and in the case of loud exhausts, can also be illegal (if above the noise limit). If illegal, then it could invalidate your insurance as well. The fact is that car manufacturers spend a lot of time developing their products so they work well and if you modify them then it’s all out the window and your insurer will be scratching his head wondering what he should charge – and it will almost always be more than a standard vehicle.