Teen Drivers Cost Double

August 16th, 2011 Chad Posted in Articles No Comments »

So, you’ve got all your ducks in a row, including low premiums and low monthly payments on your car insurance. You’ve worked super hard to get the best car insurance rates to cover all the adults in the family. You maintain an impeccable driving record, so you can keep some money for bingo night. Furthermore, you feel that you have things covered, because you got a good deal on the best full collision, accident or liability coverage policy in your city.

You’ve heard horror stories of sky rocketing car insurance rates from your friends that needed to add their teenager to a policy. However, you thought to yourself, “Maybe they’re exaggerating, or maybe they didn’t do enough comparison shopping to find the best rate for teen car insurance coverage.” Will you have to face the same wild expense just so your teen can be on the road? Will you have to forgo a few bingo nights to afford the best rate for your teen driver?

Hold Your Horses! A Driving Teen Means More Green

Your fears are warranted when it comes to finding affordable car insurance rates for your teen.

Your teenager is about to be of driving age, and everyday she’s been asking you about driving. Somewhere in the back of your mind you’re wondering just how much it’s going to cost you to cover her. Do teen drivers really cost double? Although you heard it, you’re still hoping you’ll only pay a 10% or 20% adjustment in your monthly car insurance payments.

Conservatively speaking, you really could see an increase of 58% to more than a 60% increase in your normal car insurance coverage by adding your teen. However, this percentage monster also depends on if you are in a lucky part of the country. Do you live in Scottsdale, Hartford or Culver City? These are just a few places that are seeing family insurance rates increase between 94% and 232%! Yes, these rates are unbelievable!

Why are the car insurance rates for teen coverage so much more expensive? Teen drivers present one of the highest driving risks, because of their lack of experience and judgment. Teens have far more accidents and tickets on their driving record than any other category of drivers. Specifically, your teen is almost four times more likely to get into an accident or collision than any other driving class, according to statistical data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Still Hoping for a Lower Rate? Then Execute a Plan

Besides the nightmarish possibility of your teen getting into an accident, looking at all the factors that cause insurance premiums to go up can be overwhelming. Is there anything you can do to get a reasonable or affordable car insurance rate to cover your teen with full comprehensive coverage? Can you still find an affordable rate to cover hospital or therapy in the event that your teen will need it? How can you lower premiums cost when it comes to uninsured motorists? Where do you draw the line in coverage cost?

Your first step to saving money on car insurance to cover your teen driver is to jump online and do some comparative shopping. Using the phone can sometimes be a drag and time waster when trying to find the best rate in car insurance. However, plenty of sites offer rate information on insurance companies that cover your area.

You can even find insurance companies that specialize in the hard-to-cover teen drivers that have already gotten a ticket or accident on their driving record. Conveniently, you can get information on the cost of teen car insurance coverage based on age, type of car, and even good grade discounts. Furthermore, it will only take you a few minutes to pull up several companies to compare their rates.

Next, encourage your teen to get good grades. Insurance companies see this as a sign that your teen is responsible in one area, and therefore will be a responsible driver. Discounted car insurance for teens with good grades can be as much as 10% to 15%. Additionally, you can always threaten to take away the car, if they don’t get good grades, before your six-month car insurance payment is due.

Driving Monitor

Do you already know that your teen drives responsibly? Then, ask your insurance company if they provide a discount for the installation of a driving monitor. Driving monitors are electronic systems that let you see how your teen is driving by recording driving data and sometimes even providing a video feed for parents to observe. Knowing Mom and Dad are always looking makes teens drive more carefully and take fewer risks. Teens only break the rules when they think they won’t get caught. Driving monitors take away the temptation to misbehave.

Ask your current insurance provider if they have a teen driver safety class that comes with a discount. Also, one of the best ways to save on teenage car insurance costs is to shop for the car that will give you the best rate. Therefore, you may need to hold off on purchasing a vehicle until you find out how much it will cost you in insurance. Keep in mind that a cheap car may not always be the best choice for safety. Car insurance companies may see a cheap car as an additional risk, due to the likelihood of total collision of the vehicle in an accident.




Choose Car Insurance Based on What Matters to You Most

August 16th, 2011 Chad Posted in Articles No Comments »

Every family situation is unique in terms of life events and circumstances. Perhaps your family is young and in the early stages of formation. Maybe you just got married and haven’t had any children yet. If you do have kids, and they happen to be teenagers, you are definitely familiar with the travails and rites of passage they go through.

Getting car insurance is one of those rites of passage. No matter what stage of life you are currently in, car insurance is probably a part of it. Choosing car insurance is not a simple matter; the number of options has expanded greatly.

You have to choose a policy and the features you want from it. Not only that, you want a company that is there for you in your time of need. It must offer good customer service for claims and be financially stable so it has the money to pay those claims.

The ideal is to choose it based on what matters to you the most. You have to carefully look at your life circumstances and decide which car insurance policy is warranted given them. Without the right policy, you could face paying for any damages that result from unfortunate events. The factors you have to consider include cost, coverage, service and financial stability. All four come together to create the right policy for you.

Cost

Price has become more prohibitive in the last few years, thanks to the financial collapse of 2008. Rising commodity prices have put pressure on consumers’ wallets as they are struggling to make ends meet in a dismal job market. The cost of any car insurance policy is definitely an important factor to consider in trying economic times. You can avoid spending more money than you need if you shop around before purchasing a policy. The total cost of the premiums and any deductibles will vary depending on your coverage amount.

Your state’s insurance department mandates specific minimum coverage amounts for various types of damages. Check the website of your state insurance department to find out your minimum coverage requirements. You can use them to figure more realistic estimates based on your situation. Insurance specialists usually recommend that you purchase enough coverage to cover your assets. Attorneys for the other party in a car accident can go after your assets if the other party’s damages exceed your coverage amount.

A good coverage plan is 50/100/25. That is $50,000 bodily injury liability, $100,000 for all people injured in an accident and $25,000 property damage liability. This should cover you pretty well in all cases, although you can lower the amounts if you have little or no assets. Aside from coverage amounts, another element going into cost calculations is your driving record. Do you have any points assessed against you? If your state uses the point system, your premiums could be higher. Check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for your driving record to find out.

Coverage

All insurance companies have special features and offers that can sweeten a deal. Whether they are relevant to you depends on your particular considerations. Every company offers standard coverage types such as bodily injury and property damage. Other types of coverage include collision coverage, comprehensive coverage and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Your state insurance department has minimum coverage amounts specified for each of these categories. Major big-name car insurance companies like Progressive, Allstate and Nationwide have special deals of their own detailed below.

Progressive: Name Your Own Price – Progressive allows you to tell them what monthly price you want to pay. They offer the policy closest in price to the price you specified, and then you can further customize it to meet your needs. After you’ve customized it, you can either purchase the policy or tweak it a little more to fit your needs. This approach puts customization to work for you, making your policy more affordable.

Allstate: Your Choice Auto – Allstate offers a variety of rewards programs that make the policy easier for you. Under their accident forgiveness provision, the company will help keep your premiums low even if you are in an at-fault accident. You can earn a Safe Driving Bonus of up to 5 percent of the premium for every six months of accident-free driving. Allstate also offers $100 off your collision deductible when you sign up. $100 more will come off every year without an accident, up to $500 total. Allstate will give you a new car if yours is totaled within three model years.

Nationwide: Vanishing Deductible – Similar to Allstate’s benefit, Nationwide will take $100 off your deductible for every year of safe driving with no accidents. The precise rules will vary based upon what state you live in. The maximum amount is set at $500.

Service

Not all insurance companies are equal. You have to discriminate between each one by discovering which one has the highest qualifications. A good place to start is your state insurance department. Check the company’s complaint ratio, which tells you how many complaints the company received for every 1,000 claims filed. Also take time to check the company’s rating from J.D. Power and Associates, a well-known consumer research firm.

Financial Stability

Finally, check the company’s financial ratings. Ratings agencies like A. M. Best will tell you if the company has enough funds on hand to pay all the claims it expects. Choose only a company with a BBB or B+ rating and higher. Only financially secure companies can pay guarantee that covered claims are paid.




Automatic Braking Saves Lives

August 16th, 2011 Chad Posted in Articles No Comments »

Soon enough, your car will be a much better driver than you are. Why shouldn’t it be? You have a million different things to think about during the day, like what time the kids have to be at school, what you have to get done at work, and what to fix for dinner. All your car has to think about is driving from Point A to Point B, and in this technological age, car manufacturers are racing to come up with new ways to make your car smarter and safer on the road.

Automatic Braking

Enter automatic braking, intelligent braking, pre-collision systems, collision warning with brake support, or whatever fancy name the car company gives it. The system scans for possible hazards ahead of the car and measures factors such as speed and steering angle. If the readings imply a collision is imminent, the car will charge the brakes or apply them outright.

The technology is a futuristic driving fantasy that has become a reality in order to help save lives on the road, and there is a good possibility it will come to a car dealership near you. Automatic braking is currently available in several high-end car models, such as Audi, Lexus, and BMW. As development continues, more affordable cars, including some Chrysler models, will be outfitted.

The theory behind the automatic, or intelligent, braking system is that it allows the car to react more quickly than most drivers can. In most systems, sensors on the front of the car read obstacles ahead, other cars in particular, and judge their velocity. Advanced systems can stop the car, avoiding a collision entirely. Less-advanced systems will apply the brakes and slow the car to help lessen impact. Other systems tighten the seatbelts to help reduce the risk of injury to drivers and passengers in the event of an unavoidable collision.

Forward Collision Avoidance Assist Concept

Nissan, for example, has developed a system called the Forward Collision Avoidance Assist Concept. This wordy system combines radar with a computer to scan objects in front of the vehicle. If the speed appears to be too high when approaching an object, the system will alert the driver with a sound, lift the gas pedal, and press the brake pedal. This is not, however, a jarring, wheel-screeching, rubber-burning event; it is, rather, an indicator to the driver to take action soon or risk the consequences.

With their sights on new technology, many car companies are becoming computer hardware and software engineering companies as well, inserting advanced computer systems toeing the line of artificial intelligence into their cars. These computers are programmed to be aware of information about the vehicle a normal driver might never even consider, right down to the amount of air in the tires and how that might affect the ride. With intelligent traction and handling, the car can adjust its performance based on weather and road conditions, preparing for situations when a driver bundles up his or her fists into white knuckles on the steering wheel while hoping for the best.

Automated Cars are the Future

It is a lesser-known fact, for instance, that some car companies, primarily BMW, are working on vehicle prototypes that can drive themselves. They have turned their cars into giant sensors, radars, and GPS receivers that receive a constant flurry of information from the road, everything near the road, and from outer space, using satellite coordinates to program their routes. BMW has demonstrated a working prototype, which, with some guidance input, can navigate its way around a racetrack at optimal speeds without driver input.

The days of completely self-driven cars are far in the future, but some of these technologies, especially advanced braking systems, are working their way into everyday cars in order to achieve the ultimate goal: to make roads safer. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (“IIHS”) recently released solid evidence of the impact automatic brakes are making on the roads, indicating the automatic braking version of some Volvo SUVs is preventing one out of four low-speed crashes. That’s a 75% success rate for avoiding those exceptionally annoying fender-benders that tie up traffic and bump up insurance rates.1

These reports of low-speed collision avoidance systems boost the IIHS’s optimism. Their success in avoiding minor accidents bodes well for systems meant to help prevent major accidents. The IIHS expects to have more solid information on high-speed automatic braking systems within the year, and hopes its findings will affect the rules set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Stopping 1.9 Million Crashes a Year

In addition to a host of other crash avoidance features currently in research, automatic braking systems could have a great effect, not only on safety, but also on insurance rates. The IIHS estimates that crash avoidance features could prevent or lessen the impact of 1.9 million crashes a year and help prevent one out of three fatal crashes. Those numbers could make a marked difference in the price owners of such cars pay for insurance. It could reduce the costs of insurance for everyone as well since it also reduces crash rates by not colliding with other cars.

Automatic brakes could be, literally, a lifesaver. Why shouldn’t your car be a better driver than you? Driving is its job, its only job, and with the technology of automatic braking, the future of the road is a safer one. Soon enough, we’ll all have the pleasure of sitting back and enjoying the ride.