Posts Tagged ‘auto insurance’

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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How To Switch Auto Insurance

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Shopping online is an easy way to find better auto insurance rates. They say “making the switch” is quick and easy… but is it, really? Simply walking away from an old provider could turn into a mess if you don’t follow all the proper steps to say “Hasta Lavista, Baby.”

1) Have A New Policy In Place.

Ideally, you should begin shopping around for a new auto insurance policy about a month before your current policy is set to expire. Before notifying your insurance provider you’ve moved onto someone new, you’ll want to be absolutely sure your premium has been paid and your application has been approved. The last thing you want is to be caught without insurance!

2) You’ve Set A Date.

When you’re starting up with a new auto insurance provider, it’s important that you talk about when the policy will begin. Overlapping insurance is bad, but it’s even worse to be driving around for a day with no insurance. Get a firm date set.

3) Say Goodbye.

It’s never pleasant, but you’ll need to notify your auto insurance provider that you wish to cancel your policy. You may do this on the phone or in writing. The worst thing you can do is to avoid this task altogether. Burying your head in the sand will lead to collectors banging down your door for nonpayment and a blemish on your credit report. Even if the new provider offers to take this step for you, it’s always best to ensure you are all set.

4) Sign The Documents.

Some auto insurance providers need you to sign official documentation stating that you wish to cancel the policy. Be sure to comply with their protocol and save yourself the hassle of having someone call and mail you constantly to get closure.

5) Don’t Forget About Your Refund.

Some customers are so excited about the new deal they just scored, they forget to see if they have any unused premium coming their way. Ask and you shall receive. Remain mum and you may get a check in the mail… or you may not!

6) Address Any Outstanding Issues.

Usually a new carrier will alert the DMV about your new auto insurance policy, but this is not always the case. Be sure to find out what your responsibilities are. If there is a lien on your vehicle or you are still making payments, be sure to inform the lienholder about the change.

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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.

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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.

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Get a fair shake by surfing auto insurance quotes today.

Choosing The Right Auto Insurance Deductible

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

What deductible would you like — $250, $500, $1,000, $1,500? You’ll notice that is one of the questions we ask you when you’re looking up a free auto insurance quote online. Your answer to this question could save you as much as 40 percent, according to the Insurance Information Institute. By assuming more risk, you stand to save a lot.

What Is A Deductible?

In the world of auto insurance, a “deductible” refers to how much money you are willing to pay, should you get into an  accident. The deductible is the amount you pay before your insurance protection kicks in. So, if you rear-ended someone and caused $10,000 worth of damage, a $1,000 deductible policy would mean that you pay for the first $1,000 out of pocket and insurance will cover the other $9,000. Of course, when you file a claim, your premium will likely go up. Some people with high deductibles will not even bother to file a claim for something like a broken window or cosmetic damage from a hit-and-run.

When To Choose A Higher Deductible For Auto Insurance

Most personal finance experts would advise you to save a cushion in your bank account and opt for the higher deductible. If you have good credit and access to low-interest loans or more than $1,000 in your savings account, this is wise. If you are a relatively good driver with a clean record and rarely — if ever — get into an accident, then you are the prime candidate to reap great savings with a higher deductible.

When To Choose A Lower Auto Insurance Deductible

On the other hand, some people are not very financially disciplined and rely on a bi-annual bill in the mail to help them sock away savings. These people would need a low auto insurance deductible to ensure they are fully covered. If you’ve ever needed to file more than one claim per year, you will want a lower deductible. If you have young drivers on your policy, live in a high-crime urban area, or live in a place that is constantly struck by natural disasters, you will probably want to pay a little more on your premium to know that you are covered for multiple events each year.

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Lots of disasters in your area? Better stick with a low deductible unless you have a good savings cushion.

Getting Low Auto Insurance Rate For A New Car

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Most people understand that buying a new car will be a big investment, since they will be saddled with a new car payment bill each month. But did you know that your auto insurance bill will likely go up considerably as well? You would think that a new car would be cheaper to insure, since it comes with more safety features — but it is also more expensive to replace should it get hit or stolen. Here are a few tips for finding reasonable auto insurance rates on your new ride.

Safety Features

No matter which vehicle you decide upon, look for car features like…

  • Side & Head Air Bags
  • Passive Restraint Seat Belts
  • A Security System
  • Anti-Theft Etching
  • Anti-Lock Brakes
  • Traction Control

Safety Ratings

Also, be sure to check out the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s annual crash test scores. Their list of Top Safety Picks For 2012 includes vehicles like: the Fiat 500, Toyota Yaris, Chevy Cruze, Honda Civic, Toyota Prius, Scion, Audi A3, Chevy Malibu, Ford Fusion, Volvo S60, Buick LaCrosse, Mitsubishi Outlander, Chevy Equinox, Dodge Durango, Chrysler Town & Country, and Ford F-150. Better scores mean better auto insurance rates.

Cheap Repairs

You will also want to look for a car that is inexpensive to repair. The cars you see the most of on the street tend to be the ones that are have the highest number of parts available — Cobalts, Corollas, Cruzes, Focuses, F-150s, Malibus, Tauruses, Impalas, Camrys, Ultimas, etc. Check out Automobile.com’s list of Cheapest Cars To Repair

While you’re considering which new vehicle to buy, why not peruse a couple quotes to compare how much you would pay for your top 2-3 choices? You can do it right here — FREE!

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