Posts Tagged ‘auto insurance rate’

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.

auto insurance

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

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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Auto Insurance Tips: Mechanical Breakdown Coverage

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Failing to plan for mechanical breakdowns is one of the quickest ways to find yourself in dire financial straits. While most of us purchase auto insurance to protect ourselves from a calamity, you will still want to consider mechanical breakdown insurance through your car insurer, dealer, bank or credit union. A standard auto insurance policy does not cover wear-and-tear maintenance should you need new major repair work.

What Does Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Cover?

You will need to save money on the side to cover wear-and-tear repairs like:

  • Transmission
  • Brakes & Rotors
  • Engine Parts (Oil Pump, Pistons, Timing Gears, Flywheel, Valves)
  • Drive Axles & Joints
  • Electrical Components
  • Cooling / Air Conditioning
  • Fuel System
  • Steering

If your vehicle should need towing or if you needed a rental car in the meantime, you will be glad to know this type of auto insurance would have you covered. You often will see roadside assistance and lock-out service added on as well.

How Much Does Mechanical Breakdown Auto Insurance Cost?

Unlike traditional auto insurance, your rate does not fluctuate if you make a claim. Instead, service contracts are based on the type of vehicle you own, the length of coverage, the number of miles driven, and the level of protection you desire.

Levels of Insurance

For instance, Mercury offers four levels of insurance all the way up to Platinum, which covers things like brakes, tires, shocks and windshield wiper blades. Like regular auto insurance, choosing a higher deductible (if possible) will lower your cost. It is important to know that this insurance is fully transferable should you decide to sell your car. If you do not want to transfer the policy, you will get a check back for the prorated amount of unused insurance.

auto insurance breakdown

Does your auto insurance policy cover normal wear and tear? You might want to consider adding this on. Until then, why not shop for a better auto insurance quote?

Auto Insurance Claims Adjuster Advice

Monday, June 25th, 2012

You may feel as though the auto insurance claims adjuster has arrived on the scene to act as your own personal lawyer. “Here is someone who has my best interests at heart because I’m the client,” you may think. It’s not that a claims adjuster is a crook, but keep in mind that this person’s job is to settle the case as quickly and affordably as possible. It’s up to you to ensure you get a fair deal.

Rule #1: Say As Little As Possible.

Talking too much is the biggest mistake people make. Drivers who’ve just been involved in an accident are often blabbing emotionally — which may not be the best recourse. Claims adjusters love to hear admissions of guilt and apologies, details that contradict what bystanders say, complaints about whiplash or what a “piece of junk” your car is, or background information about what a horrible day you’ve been having. Anything you say can and will be used against you!

Rule #2: When In Doubt, Hire Counsel.

You don’t have to answer questions that seem loaded. For instance, an auto insurance adjuster might ask:

  • How could you have avoided the accident?
  • How much do you think you are responsible?
  • Do you think the weather affected you?
  • Did you have any previous injuries or pain before the wreck?

Ask that all questions be directed through your legal representative first.

Rule #3: Take Your Time.

If you settle too fast, you may be forfeiting some of your consumer protections. An auto insurance claims adjuster might offer you a $1,000 check on-the-spot to fix your vehicle, plus another $500 for the inconvenience. But what if you have a soft tissue injury that hits you three days later like a ton of bricks? Once you take the money and settle, you are no longer entitled to compensation. Keep in mind you may be entitled to rental car reimbursement, which could buy you more time.

Auto Insurance Claims Adjuster Advice 1

Get a fair shake by surfing auto insurance quotes today.

Auto Insurance & The Blame Game

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Deciding who is at-fault is all part of the circus in deciding whose auto insurance company will pay for an accident. In a rear-end collision, the vehicle making impact is typically deemed fully responsible. Yet, most claims are not so straight-forward. Once a loss is reported, both companies will need to conduct a full investigation.

How Are Investigations Handled?

Two separate investigations are made — even if both drivers have the same auto insurance provider. The drivers, passengers and witnesses will be interviewed. Investigators may visit the scene of the crash, review police accident reports and examine the damage done to both vehicles. More often than not, each driver is charged for “a percentage” of fault. The claims are then handled in accordance to state law.

How State Law Affects Auto Insurance Claims

In some cases, you may be deemed 70 percent responsible for an accident, but you may still collect the other 30 percent from the other person’s insurance.  In other states, you may not recover damages from the other person’s carrier if you are more than 50 percent at fault. Some states (like Florida, New York, Utah and others) have no-fault insurance laws where everyone just pays for their own damages, regardless of who was at fault with the idea that this will bring down expenses due to litigation.

What To Do If You Get Into An Accident

If you get into an accident, be sure to follow proper protocol by exchanging contact information, taking photos of the vehicles, consulting witnesses, and filing a police report. You should then notify your auto insurance company right away. Once you get into an accident, your rate might go up, so be sure to shop around to find the best rate!

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Theft Drives Up Auto Insurance Rates in Washington State

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Washington state is a hotbed for auto thefts, according to National Insurance Crime Bureau statistics. Even though there has been a 1.6 percent decline in auto thefts since last year, Spokane is still fourth-highest in the nation for auto theft rates again. Yakima jumped five places from the 10th spot to the 5th. The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area is responsible for 54 percent of all stolen vehicles in the nation — up 18 percent since 2009. This is bad news for Washington consumers    who are looking for affordable auto insurance rates.

How Many Vehicles Are Stolen In Washington?

Last year, 28,833 vehicles were reported as stolen. That’s 79 vehicles stolen every day or more than 3 per hour! NW Insurance Council President Karl Newman says, “American consumers continue to pay billions of dollars each year for auto theft.” He explains that the cost of replacing stolen vehicles and repair the recovered vehicles gets reflected in our auto insurance rates. It costs Washington auto insurance providers more than $170 million per year, in fact, with most reimbursements costing around $6,500.

How Can Consumers Protect Themselves?

When buying a new vehicle, consumers should elect for anti-theft technology. The NICB recommends four layers of protection:

1. Common Sense – Which means removing keys from the ignition, locking your doors, closing your windows and keeping valuables out-of-sight.

2. Warning Device – Which means choosing a steering column collar, audible alarm, brake lock, VIN etching, or decaling.

3.  Immobilization Device – Which means smart keys, fuse cut-offs, kill switches or wireless ignition authentication.

4. Tracking Device – Which means enabling the vehicle to be tracked via monitoring station.

Sick of Overpaying on your Auto Insurance?

You may be able to save thousands off your current auto insurance rate by switching providers. It is a very competitive market out there. It will only take you a few moments to enter your information into the search engine to get the best possible deal.

WA auto insurance

Protect yourself by adding anti-theft protection to your vehicle and shopping for the best auto insurance rates!

5 Reasons To Shop Around For Auto Insurance

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Everyone is looking to save money these days. Taking just a few moments can save you hundreds — if not thousands — on your auto insurance policy. Here are five situations where shopping around for the best rates online is wise.

You Just Got Married.

In all your excitement about the Big Day and your Honeymoon, you may have forgotten that marriage opens up an opportunity to potentially save money on your auto insurance policy. Most companies offer multiple car discounts. If you get your homeowner’s insurance or life insurance through the same company, you will be eligible for a multiple line discount as well.

You Just Moved.

If you are moving to the suburbs or a more favorable part of town, you can save money on your auto insurance rate. National studies in big cities find that the discrepancies can vary by the hundreds of dollars!

You Just Retired.

Statistically speaking, retirees drive far less than their commuting peers. You may be eligible for special discounts if you are 55 and older or recently retired. Furthermore, your decades of driving experience and years of clean records can stack up in your favor too.

You Got A New Job.

Engineers, scientists, mathematicians, educators and military members statistically get in fewer accidents and are rewarded with lower rates at some auto insurance companies.

You Got A New Car.

New cars can sometimes increase your rate if you were driving your old junker around with collision insurance. However, increased safety features and the willingness to pay a higher deductible can offset those increases and actually end up saving you money.

5 Reasons To Shop Around For Auto Insurance 2

Retire recently? You could be saving on your auto insurance rate!


How an Auto Insurance Rate is Calculated

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Do you know how an auto insurance rate is calculated? Insurance companies look at a number of factors when determining how much to charge policyholders. The exact formula varies, depending on the company involved, and is a well-kept secret.

Insurance providers gather information about an applicant to determine the level of risk that he or she presents for coverage purposes. The higher the risk, the more that driver will pay for his or her coverage. To make this determination, the insurance company will pull the applicant’s driving record to discover whether he or she has been involved in any accidents or accumulated moving violations over the past few years.

The insurance company will also look at the make and model of the vehicle when setting rates. Some cars cost more to cover due to repair costs or the fact that they are likely to be targeted by thieves. Customers who drive sports cars will pay more for their coverage because these types of vehicles are meant to be driven fast. SUV owners also pay more for their insurance because of the increased likelihood that they will tip over in a collision.

Location also matters when auto insurance rates are being set. Policyholders who live in urban areas where there are a lot of cars on the road will likely pay more for their coverage than those who live in rural areas. More cars on the road means a higher likelihood of an accident occurring, which means paying more for coverage.