What Does Ford Focus Insurance Cost?

January 3rd, 2012 Chad Posted in Costs No Comments »

The Ford Focus is a popular small vehicle due to its good fuel efficiency, often up to 35 mpg, its low sticker price, and its affordability to insure. Comfortable, stylish, and easy on the wallet, the Ford Focus has become a favorite for all age groups looking to save money on transportation.

couple in their car

What it will cost to insure a Ford Focus will depend on several factors. Age, driving record, and location are the most important demographic factors affecting your car insurance rate.

If you are a young male who has had a major accident in the last two years and lives in a large city, you will naturally pay more than an older, married female with a perfect driving history who lives in a small town.

Credit rating is also becoming an important factor in car insurance prices, as a high credit rating is statistically tied to more careful driving habits.

These things you may not have much control over; however, there are some ways you can save money on your insurance, the car you choose to drive is one of the most effective ways to lower your insurance costs.

In this regard, the Ford Focus shines. Insurers like the car because it speaks of economy and good financial sense; these qualities tend to translate into better driving records. Moreover, the Ford Focus is not very expensive to fix when compared to “luxury” sedans or SUVs, so even if you are involved in an accident, it will not cost the insurance company as much money to fix your car as if you had a more expensive model.

Ford Focus tends to hold its resale value, so insuring your car for full coverage is an important consideration. In many cases, cars lose value so quickly that once they are paid off, it is not worth it to keep full coverage on the vehicle. With a car which retains value, however, this may not be the case; be sure to assess the value of your Ford Focus before making a decision to drop any coverage.

The features on your Ford Focus will also determine how much you pay for insurance. You will pay far less for insurance if you have anti-theft devices, anti-lock brakes, air bags, and other safety features on your Ford Focus.

Many companies have great prices on Ford Focus auto insurance. For the average driver, the Ford Focus costs between $900 and $1,300 per year to insure. You can expect a drop of only about $20 per year for the first five years, however, so long-term costs of insurance are greater than immediate costs.

Of course, many factors can change this amount, but considering that the averages for many cars are much higher than this, it is a good indication that the Ford Focus is an insurance bargain. Insuring a Focus is not significantly higher than most other sedans, and you trade off the slight increase in price with an increase in value of your vehicle.

One thing working against the Focus on insurance costs is that the car itself depreciates so slowly. Your 2005 Focus is probably worth at least half of what you paid for it seven years ago. If you recently bought a Focus, it is probably worth at least 80% of the purchase price.

Insurance companies take this into account, knowing that they will have to pay out more on an older Focus than on some other cars. Consequently, you may pay more for your Focus insurance for the duration of your policy than you would for a car which depreciates more quickly. However, you will also gain a much greater payoff if your Ford Focus is wrecked, given the high retention in resale value.




How Much Does Camaro Car Insurance Cost?

December 27th, 2011 Chad Posted in Costs No Comments »

The Chevy Camaro has been one of the most popular sports cars of all time. Relatively affordable, sleek, stylish, and with plenty of perks, the Camaro has been in continuous production since 1966, making it one of the longest-running lines of the Chevrolet brand.

Traditionally, the Camaro runs a V-6 engine with 304 horsepower, although a V-8 426 horsepower model is available. Most models run between $20,000 and $30,000 sticker price, making this car a tad on the expensive side for a first-time car buyer. For aficionados, however, the Camaro is a cult classic and many are sold each year.

The Camaro has a couple of strikes against it when it comes to insurance prices. Because it is a sports car, insurance rates will be higher than those for sedans or family wagons. The Camaro is a popular car, which makes it easy to move and sell, and it may become a target for thieves if parked in the wrong neighborhoods.

However, your rates for car insurance on a Chevy Camaro are going to depend in large part on your own driving history, age, and location. Like any other car, a Camaro can be relatively inexpensive to insure if you are a 45-year-old married male with a good driving record living in the suburbs. On the other hand, if you are a 20-year-old single male living in an urban area, your rates are going to be much higher.

The age of your Camaro is also going to have a large impact on your insurance costs. A new model will be more expensive to insure, by and large, than an older model. If you have a true “classic car” and do not drive it often, you may be qualified to buy specialized classic car insurance, which will generally be much cheaper than traditional liability insurance, but also does not give you the same coverage.

Premiums for a new Camaro can run anywhere from $1,200 per year for a good driver to $2,500 per year. While these rates are highly variable depending on where you live and your driving record, expect to pay anywhere from $120 to $200 per month to ensure a new Camaro. Prices come down substantially once a Camaro is five or more years old.

Some companies to consider when you are looking for insurance for your Camaro are State Farm, Allstate, GEICO, and Progressive. These are the largest insurers in the country and can often give you the most competitive rates. Progressive offers an online quote engine which will give you comparison rates from their own company as well as several others.

You can also visit an independent insurance agent and get quotes from several companies. Independent agents represent a variety of companies and can often give you “competitive quotes,” meaning that they can compare not only the premium price but also the coverage offered by each company, giving you an “apples-to-apples” coverage matrix which will show you exactly how much coverage you are getting from each company. This is an important consideration when you are looking at coverage for a new car, as many companies will only ensure “book value” rather than what you owe on the car.

If you have an older, or classic, Camaro, consider Hagerty Classic Insurance. This company has been in business since 1983, insuring boats and classic cars, and offers specialized insurance policies which meet the particular needs of older car owners. This type of coverage is especially valuable if your Camaro is a “show car” or one which is on the road only under certain conditions. You can often get classic or collector car insurance at a much lower rate than traditional insurance, with better coverage.




3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Lie to Your Car Insurance Company

December 14th, 2011 jess Posted in Costs No Comments »

Buying car insurance is expensive, even if you’re over the age of 30 and have never had an accident or even a ticket. Even with good driver discounts, memberships in automobile clubs, and other membership savings, insurance can take a bite out of a budget.  And for those who have blemishes on their driving record, credit report or have to insure high-risk drivers such as teens, the cost can be astronomical.

This is why some look for ways to shave their premiums down. Stating they only drive 12,000 miles a year, when in actuality, they drive 15,000. Reporting their car is garage-kept, when it actually stays parked in front of the house. Even “forgetting” to include the 17-year-old new driver on the insurance policy – these are ways people try to save money on auto insurance.

But it’s a bad idea, folks. And here are a few reasons why.

1. Insurance companies always find out. If you take your car in for an inspection, and you your odometer reading doesn’t match the mileage you gave your insurance company, they will know you lied. For example, if your car has 100,000 miles on it, and you told your insurance company you only drive 12,000 miles a year, that’s an average of 1,000 miles a month. So, let’s say in June, you take your car in for its annual inspection. The odometer reads, 107,500. If you were really only driving 1,000 miles a month, the reading would be 106,000, give or take a few miles. That difference of 1,500 miles could be enough to trigger a further inspection of your insurance policy, and if it found that you lied about the mileage, the insurance company can cancel your policy.

2. Payback. Let’s say you “forgot,” and didn’t add your teenage daughter to your insurance policy. And let’s say your teenage daughter is answering a text, loses control of the car, and sideswipes five parked cars. You now have two issues: an uninsured driver was driving your car, which means your insurance company does not have to pay to repair your vehicle. But the bigger issue is that because she lives in your house and you didn’t include her on your auto insurance, the insurance company does not have to pay to repair the cars she hit either, and is also well within their rights to cancel your policy.

3. You don’t save anything. One of the reasons insurance premiums are so high, are because un- and under-insured drivers cost insurance companies billions of dollars each year. Auto insurance companies lost $15.9 billion in 2008 due to uninsured or improperly insured drivers. Insurance companies have to recoup those losses from somewhere, so they raise rates for drivers. So, by lying, you are just causing the rate that you are trying to pay as little of as possible, to increase. Which means you try to find something else to lie about to lower the rate.  The lies create a vicious cycle.

So, the next time you’re tempted to lie on your policy — think again. It’s not worth it.




Auto Insurance- Why Paying Monthly is not a Good Idea

December 13th, 2011 jess Posted in Costs No Comments »

We all know why people pay their car insurance premiums monthly.  It’s easier on a tight budget.   Most people don’t have enough money for an upfront payment for 12, 6 or even 3 months of auto insurance.

Monthly insurance is also easier to cancel, and makes it easier to switch agents, but it’s not always the best option when paying for car insurance.  There are many fees associated with paying a monthly insurance premium, and if you miss a check, you’re car insurance is automatically cancelled until you reinstate it.

Less Budgeting after the Insurance Is Paid

A monthly payment may be easier to afford, but once the insurance is paid for 6 or 12 months, you can essentially forget about it and save the extra money.  You’ll no longer have to budget for your auto insurance.  It’s already paid, and therefore frees up money for the duration of the policy.  It’s a great way to lower overall monthly bills.

Cheaper

Paying an insurance policy up front is also cheaper.  Many insurance agencies require a deposit when you start your plan on a monthly basis, and they charge monthly service fees.  These can range from a $1 a month to several dollars a month and adds up over the life of the policy.  A deposit can be as much as the first month’s premium.

Neither of these fees is incurred when you pay your entire insurance policy up front.  It makes the overall cost of the policy cheaper.  In the best-case scenarios, you could save as much as $50 in service fees on your policy by paying for the entire thing up front.  That takes a $350 policy down to $300.  When paying the entire policy, you actually don’t have to come up with your monthly payment multiplied by the number of months on the policy.  It’ll be less than that.

Cancelling

Paying for yearly insurance can be a hassle when you wish to change automotive insurers.  However, if you cancel your policy before the due date, you’ll actually receive money back.  Once you get that “extra” money, you can apply it to your new insurance policy.  It’s like receiving a windfall when you need it most, or like getting an instant discount on your next automotive insurance policy.

Insurance Lapses

Insurance lapses are more common with monthly payment plans that with a premium that’s paid entirely up front.  This is because many people forget to make the payment especially if they’re manually writing the checks.  It could also happen if the individual is set up for automatic drafts, doesn’t have the money and isn’t signed up for overdraft protection.  If you miss a monthly payment on your automobile insurance policy, the policy is automatically cancelled.  Once the policy is cancelled, it has to be reinstated just like a new insurance policy.




Guide to Selecting the Best Car Insurance Policy Online

December 8th, 2011 jess Posted in Costs No Comments »

The first car insurance policy I got on my own as an “adult” after I graduated college was through a local agent in my hometown.  He was, in stereotypical insurance salesperson fashion, loud, obnoxious, and completely overbearing.  Before I wised-up, he cajoled, intimidated, and ruthlessly steered me towards years of unnecessary coverage and policy upgrades.  Obviously, the internet and online insurance shopping has eliminated many of the issues that I faced as a younger driver, but buying insurance online is still a challenge for the unprepared.

Make Sure You Research Your Provider

If you are like most people, you probably know more about fictional caveman and CGI rendered lizards than you do about the actual company that they represent.  While most policies and companies may seem homogeneous, there are actual differences beyond the nature of their marketing campaigns.  A great jingle or clever mascot is going to be little consolation in the event of an accident if the nearest agent is located hundreds of miles from your house.

Additionally, many insurance companies offer discounts for a number of reasons, including occupation, current military status, and for having a home insurance policy with the same company.  While most companies are going to use a similar software algorithm to determine baselines insurance rates, it is the hidden costs, and benefits, that often make all of the difference.

Understand What Impacts Price Variation

While it is obvious to most people that the amount of coverage in a particular policy affects the overall monthly cost of the policy, it may not be as obvious when it comes to evaluating the things about them personally that impact the overall cost.  Both driving record and personal credit score have a direct impact on the total monthly rate.

One of the most common deceptive, yet totally legal, practices that companies engage in when providing an online quote is that during the initial stages of the application process they will provide consumers with a generic quote that doesn’t include their personal driving information or credit score.  Once the consumer signs off on a particular company and becomes invested in the application process, pow! The actual, individually calibrated rate is revealed.

Understand What’s Being Compared

One of the biggest advantages of shopping for car insurance online is that it is easy to examine quotes from several different companies at the same time and make a decision based on a real-time comparison.  However, not all insurance policies are created equal.

Discrepancies in coverage amount and type can lead to a comparison that is not as accurate as the raw data may imply.  Whether it is a result of the data being entered into the quote generator or simply a flaw in the software itself, this type of issue can make it difficult to accurately compare providers.

Play with the Numbers

The best thing about technology is that now, everything happens instantly, with virtually no hassle.  In the dark ages of pre-internet insurance shopping, understanding how minor shifts in coverage amount affected the overall cost of the policy involved an extremely grumpy agent.  With the ability to instantly update policy details and costs it is possible to quickly decide exactly how much a specific reduction in coverage amount is worth relative to the bottom line.




It Pays To Be Meticulous When Shopping For Auto Insurance

December 2nd, 2011 jess Posted in Costs No Comments »

When shopping for auto insurance it pays to pay attention.  There are some questions you should ask and warning signs you should heed when shopping for auto insurance.

BBB

It’s always a good idea to check the Better Business Bureau before accepting a car insurance plan, and it’s even better if the insurance agency is BBB accredited.  Businesses that are BBB accredited have to pass certain standards to become BBB accredited.  Those standards involve being in business for at least 12 months,  meeting all licensing and bonding requirements pertinent to the industry, meet all advertising and selling standards, honor promises, protect customer privacy and have integrity when doing business.  If the business doesn’t meet those standards, they will not have BBB accreditation.

If the company is not accredited by the BBB, it’s a good idea to research the BBB database to see any complaints have been lodged against them.  The idea is to be fully aware of the practices and past issues of the insurance agency you’re about to do business with.

Read the Quote

Once you decide on an actual insurance agency and receive the quote, read it in its entirety.  Sometimes there are hidden fees in the billing statements and deductibles before any insurance payment is paid out in the event of an accident.  It’s important to know those hidden fees prior to signing the paperwork and to fully understand the deductibles.  A $5,000 deductible doesn’t do you any good if you don’t have $5,000 in the bank no matter the cost of the monthly insurance, and chances are good that if it’s a really low quote, it has a really high deductible or doesn’t cover everything you need it to cover.  Remember, insurance is for what you can’t afford to replace, and if the deductible is for more than the car is worth or more than you can afford to pay out of pocket, the insurance policy doesn’t do you any good.

Check License

Make sure the auto insurance company you’re about to do business with has a current license.  It is illegal to sell insurance without a license, and you’re almost guaranteed that the company is fraudulent if they don’t have a license.  To make sure they are legitimate, also check with your states insurance department to make sure the insurance company you’re about to do business with is registered.  If they aren’t registered, they aren’t legitimate and you should avoid them at all costs.

Outline Hidden Charges

The last thing to ask your insurance agent about is any hidden fees.  Do they charge a processing or transaction fee?  Do they charge to accept checks?  Is it cheaper to have an automatic debit or to make manual payments?  These are things you need to know before you sign the paperwork.  Hidden fees and charges can add between $5 and $10 a month to an insurance bill.  It’s also imperative to ask what they do with overpayments.  Occasionally, insurance companies will reassess your insurance policy and determine if you owe more or less than you’re currently paying.  Ask what they do with overpayments and how they handle underpayments.




How Your Auto Insurance Rates Are Affected by Statistics

November 30th, 2011 jess Posted in Costs No Comments »

Insurance companies make a profit by collecting more in premiums than they pay out for claims. Customers who are at a high risk of getting into an accident, or whose vehicles would be expensive to repair in the event of a claim, pay higher premiums to compensate for the cost.

In order to determine what rates to charge, insurance companies rely heavily upon statistics, especially in instances where data for a specific driver is unknown. Insurance companies invest a lot of time into collecting claims data and compiling the information, and look at everything from the age of the driver to the times of a day a person drives or the amount of traffic in a driver’s city.

Types of Statistics Considered

Insurance companies cannot discriminate against a driver based on ethnicity, race, or disability. Gender and age do affect insurance premiums, however, as does credit score.

Credit score affects insurance premiums not just because people with poor credit may not pay their premiums on time, but also because people with poor credit are more likely to file claims than those with good credit. People with poor credit may not be involved in more accidents, but they’re less likely to have extra income on hand to pay for repairs, and insurance companies recognize this statistical correlation.

Teen Drivers

Drivers under age 25 have much higher premiums than older drivers. There are several reasons for this:

·         Young drivers do not have any driving history go base premiums on, so the company relies heavily on statistical data.

·         61 percent of teenager passengers who die in car accidents are passengers in a vehicle driven by another teen.

·         Teens are at a high risk of driving under the influence; 25 percent of teen auto accident fatalities involve alcohol.

Once a teenager has driven for several years and proven himself safe, his rates will be decreased. Teens can enjoy some relief from high premiums by taking additional driver’s education courses, as these encourage safe driving habits and are seen positively by insurance companies.

Geographic Considerations

In addition to demographic information about a driver, insurance companies also take a driver’s location into consideration when deciding on rates. More accidents happen in cities and congested areas than in rural areas, due to the number of drivers and the likelihood of accidents occurring in heavy traffic. People who live in highly populated states will tend to pay more in insurance than those who live in sparsely populated areas, as do people who live in big cities as opposed to suburbs or small towns.

Insurance companies rely on statistical information to determine base rates for policies, but drivers are always able to save money on car insurance by driving safely, taking advantage of company discounts, or increasing security on a policy. Overall, statistics serve as a baseline for an insurance company; specific rates are always changing to reflect your driving record. By making safe choices and utilizing discounts, you can counteract the effect of statistics on your insurance rates.




You Won’t Save Much on Car Insurance without Good Customer Service

November 24th, 2011 jess Posted in Costs No Comments »

There is an old saying that you get what you pay for. In car insurance, that could mean the difference between having your car repaired quickly and painlessly and waiting for weeks to speak to an agent while your car sits broken in your driveway. Grabbing the cheapest car insurance is tempting during these times when every penny counts, but in the long run, it could cost more than it’s worth in time and frustration.

The Temptation of Paying as Little as Possible

Cheap insurance is not too hard to find right now. Several national insurance companies offer web-based coverage for a song. It’s easy to sign up online, and you’re guaranteed to spend less than you would spend for an insurance company that offers more personal service. You will enjoy the satisfaction that comes from saving money on your insurance as you send off your lower premium payment every month. You’ll stay in compliance with the legal minimums while you pay as little as possible. In fact, you won’t notice any difference between your inexpensive insurance company and any other insurance company until you need to file a claim.

Potential Problems with Poor Service

When something happens and you need your insurance company, you might begin to wish you had spent a little extra on the policy. Cheap insurance costs less because the insurance companies generally invest less in service. You might find that your policy is handled by an agent who covers three or four states. You might spend weeks trying to contact an agent about a claim without ever reaching the agent in person. Some inexpensive insurance companies use call centers to interact with any customer call, which means that you might have to go through several layers of phone calls to reach a person who will be able to help you with your claim.

The Personal Touch is Worth a Little More Money

Avoiding bad service from a cheap car insurance company doesn’t mean you have to spend top dollar on your policy. Customer service can improve dramatically for just a few dollars more each month. That extra expense can be worth it if you ever need to file a claim for damages to your car. A good insurance company will handle your claim in a timely manner so that you can be on the road again as quickly as possible. The time and hassle you save by using a reliable company is worth paying for.

Striking a Balance Is Best

The key is to find good service at an affordable price. Do a little research before you commit to a new insurance company. Look online for customer review forums to see what kind of experiences previous customers have had with the company. It’s important to compare more than just price with insurance coverage. Remember, these are the people you’ll need to call when something bad happens to your car. When that day comes, you want the personal support that some of the cheapest companies simply can’t offer.




How Much Car Insurance Rates Can Increase after an Accident

November 1st, 2011 jess Posted in Costs No Comments »

Most people expect their insurance rates to go up after an accident that was determined to be their fault, but very few realize that their insurance rates can also go up after an accident that wasn’t even their fault. Even one tiny fender bender can cause your rates to go up when the time to renew your insurance policy finally rolls around again.

Here are some reasons why your insurance rates will increase after an accident as well as some estimations of how much they will most likely increase.

The Risk Factor

When deciding how much to charge you for an insurance policy, insurance companies have to take into account something called the risk factor. Every time you have an accident, the risk factor of you being involved in an accident increases slightly. If you are involved in one accident, there is a greater risk that you will be involved in another one. Even if you are involved in an accident that is deemed to be the fault of the other driver, if you have even one other accident on your record that was deemed to be your fault, you will begin to look prone to accidents to your insurer, and they might decide to increase your rates a second time.

Some insurers will increase your rates if you are involved in multiple accidents even if none of them were deemed to have been caused by you. Because you were the common factor in all the accidents, the insurer may posit that something about your driving habits seems to tend to cause accidents, and they may deem you a greater risk to insure. Insurance companies also have to factor in the possibility of insurance fraud. You might, after all, be staging all those accidents in order to receive the payouts.

How Much?

The reason the amount by which your rates will rise is so hard to predict is because it varies greatly between states, insurance companies, and even accidents. If your accident was extremely severe, your insurance rates could increase by a substantial amount. If additional incriminating factors were involved, such as the presence of alcohol, you might not even be eligible for a policy renewal. You may still be able to find insurance, but it will probably cost you an arm and a leg.

Although each insurance company is different, the average amount by which the average rate goes up after the average accident is usually somewhere around 20 to 40 percent. This may continue for as few as six months or as many as two or three years, after which you may be completely forgiven for the accident and your rates may begin to steadily go down.

Any insurance discounts for which you may have been applicable prior to the accident will probably not be available to you in the aftermath. Defensive driver or safe driver discounts may never become available to you again, especially if you were at fault.

The Exceptions

The good news is that some states allow insurance companies to forgive or overlook minor accidents. If your insurance company has a lenient rating plan, your accident was small enough, and your state allows it, your rates might not go up at all.




Can Red Light Cameras Cut Car Insurance Rates?

October 25th, 2011 jess Posted in Costs No Comments »

Red light cameras have been touted by law enforcement agencies as a great tool for reducing traffic fatalities. The cameras take a picture of any car that is caught in the intersection after the light turns red. From the photo, law enforcement can track down the driver and mail them a hefty fine. Traffic officers believe that the cameras will cut down the number of people racing through red lights, which would cut down on the number of deadly side impact accidents.

Trading One Type of Accident for Another

In practice, however, the cameras seem to merely trade side impact collisions for rear impact collisions. As people approach the intersection with the camera installed, they tend to slam on their brakes as soon as they realize the light is changing. In many cases, this quick stop will lead to a crunch because the driver in the car following the braking vehicle doesn’t have enough time to adjust to the quick stop. It is true that rear impact collisions are far less dangerous than side impact collisions, but they still cause someone to need to file a claim with the car insurance company.

Claims Have Not Been Reduced

Typical numbers from areas that use red light cameras show that the number of fatalities has decreased somewhat, but the number of accidents has remained steady. In fact, there are some areas where the fatality rates actually increased due to the unpredictable behavior of drivers as they approached these intersections. Since the number of accident claims hasn’t changed, there is no reason for car insurance companies to offer reduced rates for people who live in areas with the cameras. If the cameras can be directly related to increased accident rates, there is even a chance that car insurance premiums for people in these neighborhoods will go up based on their increased risk of filing a claim.

No Specific Red Light Camera Discounts

Drivers in Florida have petitioned their car insurance companies for a special discount related to red light cameras. Car insurance companies typically offer discounts for drivers who find ways to decrease their risk of being involved in an accident, and the Florida drivers point to the cameras as accident deterrents. Local insurance company representatives have been resistant to the idea of creating a red light camera discount because they feel it would be redundant and unnecessary. Statistics have not supported claims that the cameras make intersections safer or reduce the number of insurance claims from residents who drive in the areas with cameras.

Rates Related to Claim Frequency

Insurance rates are based in part on the overall safety of any geographical area. The companies examine accident rates and the severity of injuries in an average accident in a particular zip code, and they put together premiums based on a driver’s risk of being involved in an accident. If the cameras do reduce accidents, then the insurance rates for drivers in the districts with cameras would drop automatically as their intersections became safer. There is no need to create a new discount to cover dropping rates that could be attributed to the red light cameras in local intersections.