Archive for the ‘Auto Insurance News’ Category

Is The Cost of Auto Insurance Advertising Driving Up Your Premium?

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

What is it costing your auto insurance provider to advertise each year? SNL Financial set to find out. Geico Corp is the King of auto insurance advertising, data shows, with annual spending of close to $1 billion! This number is up 10 percent from spending in 2010, which shows that insurers are becoming increasingly more competitive for your dollars.

What Are Other Auto Insurers Spending?

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. — the largest home and auto insurer in the U.S. — took second place in the advertising war. Geico spent 22 percent more than State Farm last year, but State Farm increased their ad spending by 29 percent — three times’ the rate of Geico’s ad spending increase. Allstate Corp was the third biggest spender at $745.3 million in 2011.

Do Auto Insurance Companies Have To Spend So Much?

Allstate Corp has felt the pain of cutting back during the recession. An internal presentation indicated they had been losing ground with consumer awareness due to reduced TV ad spending in the previous year. They also lost 30 percent of their typical call center volume due to reduced direct-mail solicitations. So, it’s no surprise they ramped up their efforts last year to keep pace with the big dogs.

Does Increased Auto Insurance Advertising Affect Premiums?

Insurance companies are in the business to make money, so you can be sure they are charging you more than enough to cover any accidents and fund their companies’ growth. Research indicates that there has not been a major churn in the industry, despite increased spending. Progressive and Geico are growing, but most insurers aren’t able to grab major market share. On the bright side, 25 percent of auto insurance customers shopped for a new policy last year — and 43 percent of them did end up switching providers. This is the highest switch rate since 2008.

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Why not shop around for a deal on your auto insurance here & now?

Same-Sex Couples Find Freedom With New Auto Insurance Rates

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012
Esurance, the online affiliate of Allstate auto insurance, will be giving same-sex partners in civil unions or domestic partnerships in 21 states the same discount that is typically extended to legally married couples. This is good news for more than  646,464 households that can now receive an additional 10 percent or more off their auto insurance premiums compared to unmarried policy holders.

What Changed?

Previously, same-sex couples living in California, Illinois, Oregon and Washington were given discounts. The program is  now expanding to include motorists in: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

“Esurance is firmly committed to recognizing and supporting diversity for its customers,” says Esurance president and chief executive officer Gary Tolman. “Offering additional savings to consumers, regardless of where individual states stand on the issue of same-sex marriage is another measure of those commitments.”

Several Other Auto Insurance Providers Offer Savings Too…

State Farm and Allstate were two of the progressive leaders in offering same-sex couples the right to lower auto insurance premiums — announcing the discounts in states that recognized or performed civil unions last August. Rumor has it, Geico also offers a discounted rate, although it is unpublished and you have to ask for it.

Steps To Get Lower Auto Insurance

  • Spend a few minutes on our site looking up a free online auto insurance quote.
  • Call your insurer and ask for the discount.
  • With most online quote searches, you can select “Civil Union (Certified)” as your official status.
  • Have your marriage license or certificate of civil union handy if needed.

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    Now many more same-sex couples can enjoy auto insurance savings!

New Auto Insurance Study Reveals Buyer Preferences

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

The Insurance Buyer Insight Study found that price is the #1 concern for buyers of auto insurance, with 65.8 percent of the 878 people polled saying that price was the main factor driving their decision-making. The Consumer Price Index found that auto insurance costs have increased 33.3 percent from 2002 to 2011.

How Much Have Auto Insurance Costs Gone Up?

Last year alone, insurance costs rose 3.6 percent, driving consumers to hit the internet in search of better deals. This rate was faster than medical costs (3 percent) and housing (1.3 percent), and almost on par with escalating food prices (up 3.7 percent). Worse yet, the average auto insurance buyer can end up with a raw deal if he or she does not shop around. The study looked at auto insurance quotes from 17 different carriers over a three-year period and found that the average difference between the lowest and the highest auto quotes is $1,437!

What Else Do People Want In Auto Insurance?

Prices aside, the study also revealed that consumers care about…

  • Finding trustworthy information about a provider,
  • Having confidence they are getting the coverage they need,
  • Being able to design a suitable insurance package, and
  • Accessing great customer service.

Where Can I Get Help Buying Auto Insurance?

Unlike most other shopping choices, consumers said that recommendations from family and friends DID NOT influence their purchase decisions. They also said that “knowing the company from advertisements” did not sway them one way or the other. Instead, it seemed most buyers were using the Internet to arrive at an unbiased solution.

  • 70.4 percent said they would like to use a site that compares quotes and offers reviews before buying coverage.
  • 26 percent said they used an insurance agent or perused auto insurance provider websites before buying last.

For your convenience, we offer free online auto insurance quotes right here, right now.

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Hey, Low Risk Driver: Are You Paying Too Much For Auto Insurance?

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

AAA’s annual Your Driving Costs brochure found that a low-risk driver with a clean driving record can expect to pay $1,001 a year for insurance on a sedan this year. This week, the Consumer Federation of America found that moderate-income individuals with clean driving records were being quoted high rates for minimum liability auto insurance coverage.

How Much Are We Paying For Auto Insurance?

According to the CFA, four companies — State Farm, Allstate, Progressive and GEICO — have 48 percent of the car insurance industry nationwide. In their research, they looked up what a 27-year-old male laborer and a 35-year-old female bank teller with perfect driving records and decent credit would pay. They drove paid-for 2002 Honda Civics 10,000 miles per year and made over $30,000 a year. They found:

  • 56 percent of the auto insurance rate quotes were over $1,000.
  • 32 percent of the auto insurance rate quotes were over $1,500.

Worst of all, quotes to the same woman from four auto insurers ranged from $762 to $3,390!

What’s Going On?

Insurers argue that their rates reflect risk and cost, but it’s hard to justify rate fluctuations that are off by thousands of dollars. The Insurance Information Institute believes that the highly competitive auto insurance industry leads insurers to price however they choose in the open market economy. The III added that city-dwellers can expect to pay higher premiums because theauto insurance claims payouts are generally higher.

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Are you paying too much? Search auto insurance quotes! It’s quick, easy and free to do!

Auto Insurance News: Big Brother Is Watching UK Drivers

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Drones, surveillance cameras, satellites and tracking devices are nothing new. Yet, many motorists hate the idea that the government could be using these tools to spy on its own citizens. That is exactly what’s happening in the UK right now.

The Plan

This spring, the British Government announced a proposal to use a license recognition program on the cameras to cross-reference the plates with a list of drivers who have auto insurance and updated registration documents in order. Anyone found driving without these two things would be unable to pump gas and local authorities would be alerted. The idea is: if they can’t get gas, they can’t drive!

The Problem

There are 1.4 million drivers — 1 in 25 — who do not have any auto insurance, says The Mirror. While authorities believe this is one of the worst records in the world, the US has them beat. USA Today reported that, in 2009, 14 percent of US drivers — 1 in 7 — are uninsured. Furthermore, places like Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma and New Mexico have over 20 percent of their populations driving without any protection.

The Backlash

So far, ideas have been proposed in America, but there has been significant backlash. Mary Catherine Roper of the ACLU says she is “fairly creeped out” by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell’s idea to have highway cameras identify uninsured drivers to be fined. She explains, “We’re always skeptical when the government sets up yet another system of monitoring people who have done nothing wrong. How do I know that information isn’t going to be shared with other agencies? How do I know that information isn’t going to be used for other purposes?”

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Telematics Auto Insurance: What Does This New Technology Mean For The Future?

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

In George Orwell’s 1984, all daily activities were overseen by a seemingly omnipotent being known as “Big Brother.” Telematics auto insurance seems like one step closer to “Big Brother” watching over us. Yet, on the other hand, telematics may also be the key to reducing the number of car crashes and also reducing our auto insurance premiums.

What Is Telematics?

Telematics involves satellites tracking a person’s driving habits — including the miles driven, the amount of time spent behind the wheel, as well as braking and acceleration patterns — to calculate a safe driving score. The score is then used to determine how much you should pay in auto insurance. While it may sound fanciful, this technology is already quite popular in Europe, as more and more drivers voluntarily agree to put this black box in their car to gain access to lower insurance rates. In America, companies like Progressive are just starting to offer this type of car insurance.

Is Telematics The Future Of Auto Insurance?

According to research firm Celent, the technology “radically reduces the frequency and severity of motor vehicle accidents,” so insurers see reduction in their revenue — from about 39 percent down to 13 percent. The firm adds that, in addition to telematics, it’s believed the next 10 years will hold more cars outfitted with collision avoidance equipment, more automated traffic law enforcement, and (to a lesser extent) robot cars.

Do People Really Save With Telematics Auto Insurance?

Drivers with a safety score of 4/5 save about 15 percent on their premiums, according to the UK website This Is Money. Those who score a 1 or 2 may wind up paying 20 percent more. Two-thirds of customers are estimated to save with reductions as high as £800 ($1,287).

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To save today, get a free auto insurance quote!

News: Auto Insurance Companies Raise Rates In Illinois

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Allstate Corp. plans to raise car insurance rates for Illinois drivers by 3 to 5 percent, according to company filings with the Illinois Department of Insurance. New rates will go into effect May 17th. According to the company, this decision reverses the “hometown discount” advertised since 2009. They added that the size of the increase will depend upon how long a customer has been with the insurance company. This decision comes after Allstate posted its largest profit gain since 2007.

Why Raise Rates?

Allstate has been struggling to keep pace with the lower-priced competition lately. This last price hike is their attempt to gain more ground. Company spokespeople say they’ve set aside more than enough money for accident claims, which has led to bigger profits than previous years. Similarly, Geico is raising rates 2.5 percent, which will go into effect May 10th for new customers and June 25th for most drivers. So Allstate didn’t really have to think twice about raising rates if everyone else is doing it too.

Is Everyone Raising Illinois Auto Insurance Rates?

Not everyone is jacking up prices, however. The largest auto insurance provider in Illinois — State Farm — just slashed rates 2 percent this past December after three years of annual increases.

How To Get Lower Auto Insurance Rates

Since prices are always fluctuating, the best thing a consumer can do is to shop around for competitive quotes. Each company has a different method of determining how much to charge a customer, so the numbers can really vary widely. Just a few minutes entering information online can save customers thousands of dollars per year in some cases.

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Auto Insurance Payments Are More For The Poor, CFA Says

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

A new study by the Consumer Federation of America found that America’s poor are being overcharged for their auto insurance. These findings apply to 40 percent of Americans with annual incomes below $40,000. The CFA says they were legitimately surprised by how badly auto insurance companies treated their low-income clientele.

How Much More Do The Poor Pay For Auto Insurance?

Each state has its own minimum liability coverage law, but there are many other factors that can drive up a person’s auto insurance costs, including type of vehicle driven, age, and driving record. Unfortunately, many safe drivers who have no accident record and who drive very few miles are being charged hefty rates. Take, for instance, a 30-year-old executive (with a perfect driving record and 20-mile daily commute) living in an exclusive St. Louis suburb whose auto insurance rate is only $558 per year. A poorer person with the same perfect driving record and habits could end up paying $2,095 a year for the same level of coverage!

Here’s How…

  • He’d pay $60 more if he needed to pay installments, instead of lump sum.
  • He’d pay $71 more if he only has a high school diploma, rather than a college education.
  • He’d pay $84 if he had been unemployed at some point this year.
  • He’d pay $337 more if there was a time when he didn’t have a car.
  • He’d pay $347 more if he lived in a lower-income zip code.
  • He’d pay $638 more if he suffered a period of being uninsured for whatever reason.

Worse yet, states like Arizona, Texas and Arkansas charge drivers higher premiums for selecting the minimum state coverage levels, rather than the higher liability coverage wealthier drivers can afford!

What We Can Do

The CFA has suggested several necessary reforms, such as:

  • Lowering the minimum liability requirements and the rates associated with them
  • Establishing a low-income auto insurance program
  • Including other risk factors — like miles driven — which might lower rates for low-income motorists

However, the best thing that you can do is to shop for better auto insurance rates through our free quote system!

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