Do I Need More Than Liability Insurance?

September 8th, 2009 insuranceposter Posted in Accidents, Costs, Insurance Categories, Insurance Companies, States No Comments »

more-liability-insuranceEvery state in the nation except for Wisconsin and New Hampshire requires that you have liability insurance. The level of mandatory coverage varies from state to state. It is easy to think that this is enough to protect yourself and your property in the event of an accident, particularly since you expect them to be a relatively rare event in your life. Liability insurance represents the bare minimum of coverage however. It is the lowest amount of insurance coverage that your state thought that you could get away with.

As a result, having only liability insurance can lead to your being woefully underinsured, particularly if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. You might be covered, but if someone else is injured in an accident where you are at fault, their medical expenses might not be totally covered. If they decide to sue you for damages, you will have no protection for your personal property.

Additional insurance can cover the costs of repair for damages caused by natural disasters like fir or flood as well. It can even help protect you in the event of a breakdown, coving roadside assistance or towing. Although further insurance coverage can add up, you can raise your deductible to help keep your monthly costs down. In the end, you’ll be glad you have the coverage when the moment arrives that you finally need it.




How Do I Make A Car Insurance Claim?

September 7th, 2009 insuranceposter Posted in Accidents, Insurance Categories, Insurance Companies, States No Comments »

car-insurance-claimIn the event of an accident, you will need to be prepared to make a car insurance claim. Knowing what to do ahead of time can greatly ease the stress of a potentially unpleasant process. The good news is that most claims are for physical damage to vehicles, not personal injury. Begin the process of filing a claim at the accident site, where you should make sure you call the police and medical assistance to treat any injuries. Exchange as much information as possible with the other driver, make sure you get contact information, license plate numbers, and complete insurance information from them. Ask the police to file either an accident or an incident report to provide a third party record of the accident. This will help determine the fault of the accident later on.

Once you have done all this, call your insurance company and file a claim with them. They will walk you through the process. They will consider your story, the other party’s story, the police report, witnesses, damage at the scene, and their own assessment of the damage in making decisions about the case. The accident can be either your or the other party’s fault or in some states, like Alaska, it can be considered comparative negligence and your settlement will be based on a degree of fault. If the accident is the other party’s fault, contact their insurance to file a claim. You will make a statement about the accident and an adjustor will determine the extent of the damage. Then, depending on the fault, you will receive a settlement from one of the two companies.




Things To Look For In A Car Insurance Agent

September 5th, 2009 insuranceposter Posted in Accidents, Costs, Insurance Categories, Insurance Companies, States No Comments »

car-insurance-agentAn insurance agent can be of invaluable assistance in guiding you though the maze of choosing the best insurance policy as well as the best insurance company for your needs. The first thing you should know about an insurance agent is whether he is an independent agent or one who works for a specific insurance company. Although most insurance companies are offering policies for direct purchase these days, there are still many with dedicated local agents in their employ. Unless you have a personal relationship with a specific agent or company, you may want to look at an independent agent whose knowledge of a variety of companies and their policies can provide you with a certain amount of flexibility in your choice.

An independent agent will know how the service a company offers varies and what the best options are for you in Washington versus your cousin in Nevada. He or she offers personalized service that a directly purchased policy might not. Still, you should ask your agent a few questions. Know how the agent is compensated and agree on any fee in writing before purchasing a policy. Ask your agent who they do business with and which carriers they work with most often. Finally, make sure that you feel comfortable with your agent, as you will need to discuss very specific financial information with them. You will need to be able to turn to them with all of your questions and concerns regarding the policy.




Things To Look For In A Car Insurance Company

September 4th, 2009 insuranceposter Posted in Accidents, Costs, Insurance Categories, Insurance Companies, States No Comments »

look-for-insurance-companyChoosing an insurance company is both intensely personal and immensely important. By the time you need them, when you file a claim, it is too late to make another choice. You need the first company you choose to be the one that is right for you.

There are several different factors that you should consider when you make this choice. The obvious factor is price. You should be prepared to begin compiling a list of prospective companies by collecting a variety of personalized insurance quotes. Insurance money is money you don’t expect to get back so you want to make sure that you are not paying any more than you need to for your coverage. The next things you want to consider are your company’s ratings with services like J.D. Powers and associate, AMBest, and your state’s department of insurance website. If you can’t find your state look for trends in the numbers of complaints across several states. Choose a variety like Minnesota, Florida, and Vermont for a good picture. This will help you predict the quality of the company’s service. Check into the customer service and the claims systems of you choices as well. You can call the companies with simple questions to check customer service. For the claims system, you will need to talk with other consumers. Ask your friends and acquaintance about their insurance companies and their experiences with them.




With So Many Car Insurance Companies, How Do I Choose?

September 3rd, 2009 insuranceposter Posted in Accidents, Costs, Insurance Categories, Insurance Companies, States No Comments »

choose-car-insuranceCar insurance companies proliferate these days. With the removal all over the country of laws protecting local insurance companies, national and internet-based chains have expanded the consumer’s options immensely. All of these companies, local, national, and internet are in fierce competition for your insurance dollar. The result can be pure confusion for the inexperienced insurance shopper. Luckily there are several commonly available sources of information on insurance companies that can help you arrive at an informed decision. The key, as always, is to do your research.

Begin an insurance search by determining the type of policy you are looking for and gathering the quotes you need to narrow the list down to a few competitors. Once you have done that, take your list to the authorities. Look the companies you have chosen up on your state’s department of insurance website. Whether you are in Iowa or Ohio, you can use this resource to discover what the rate of complaint against each company is. You want an insurance company that will process your claim quickly and pay on time and in full. Try talking to local body shops that you have a relationship with. They can share their experiences with the companies in question and reveal who processes claims without a hitch and who pushes aftermarket parts. There are other resources that can reveal information about your prospective choices as well; the J.D. Power and associates ratings and the companies’ financial standings are good places to start. One other resource you might consider is an insurance agent. An agent has a vested interest in your happiness




What If My Car Insurance Lapses?

September 2nd, 2009 insuranceposter Posted in Accidents, Costs, Insurance Categories, Insurance Companies, States No Comments »

car-insurance-lapsesA lapse in your car insurance coverage is something that you should avoid at all costs. The results can have a powerful impact on your credit history as well as your legal right to drive and even your ability to obtain coverage in the future. Everyone makes mistakes however, or allows an odd bill or notice to slip through the cracks. If you realize that you have allowed your insurance to lapse you should contact your insurance company immediately to try and resolve the problem.

If you do not realize this in time, your insurance company will notify the proper agencies that you do not have insurance coverage. Your non-payment will appear in your credit history and lower your credit score. Once government agencies have been notified of your lapse, you will receive a notice requiring you to pay a lapse fee and obtain the minimum legal coverage. You will be required to show proof of insurance to the proper authorities when you have done so. Failure to comply can result in the suspension of your license or registration. It gets worse; if you are caught driving without insurance you may be subject to fines and vehicle impoundment.

If you are involved in an accident while you are not insured you may be responsible for the damages to one or both vehicles depending on whether you are at fault. In states like Louisiana with no pay, no play laws, you cannot collect on bodily injury or property damage claims if you are uninsured. Without insurance, you are completely unprotected. If your car insurance lapses, do your best to reinstate it as soon as possible.




Do I Really Have To Have Car Insurance?

September 1st, 2009 insuranceposter Posted in Accidents, Costs, Insurance Companies, States No Comments »

car-insuranceYes. You not only really have to have car insurance; you will inevitably find that you really need it. To begin with, in most states some level of insurance is required by law. Getting into an accident without proper insurance coverage in a place like Oregon can land you in a world of hurt. But even without the law, having some car insurance is just sensible. The fact of the matter is that a car is one of the most expensive items that you will buy in you life. It’s an investment and you want to treat it as such.

No matter how skilled and defensive a driver you are, you will inevitably get into an accident at some point in your life. Car insurance cannot protect you from that, but it can help you protect yourself financially in the event of an accident. If the accident is your fault, the proper insurance will help you cover the damages to the other parties involved. Regardless of whose fault it is, your insurance will help you protect your investment. Car insurance can also have other benefits. It can help pay for medical bills after a crash, protect you from uninsured or under insured drivers, and it can cover the effects of natural disasters. Some policies include perks like roadside assistance or free towing service. These services can greatly ease the stress and difficulty associated with a breakdown. Car insurance is literally, legally required and even if it weren’t, it just makes sense to have it. It is the single most important thing you can do to provide yourself with peace of mind on the road.




Getting Overseas Car Insurance

August 31st, 2009 insuranceposter Posted in Costs, Insurance Categories, Insurance Companies, States No Comments »

car-insurance-overseasThe key to a pleasant trip is planning ahead. When it comes to car insurance, this is especially important. Whether you are living overseas, or just visiting you need to know that you will be covered ahead of time, so that if something does happen, you’ll be protected. Although most stateside insurance policies are ineffective once you are overseas, you can arrange for coverage purchased specifically for overseas use.

Begin by finding an insurance company that will cover you in the area where you will be. There are U.S. companies that have subsidiaries and partnerships with overseas insurance companies. This means that its possible that the same company that will cover you in South Dakota will also be there for you in Belgium. This can be reassuring if you already have a relationship with a specific insurance agency. You should be able to get liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance from your chosen company in most countries.

Generally you should plan for coverage similar in nature to what you have at home. Do your research and make sure you know what types of coverage are required for visitors to the country in question. You can get this information, as well as other important information on requirements for foreign drivers, from the local embassy. Make sure you will be able to sign and read any necessary documentation in English. With the proper insurance, you can drive comfortably throughout your stay overseas.




Do I Really Need All Those Car Insurance Extras?

August 27th, 2009 insuranceposter Posted in Costs, Insurance Companies, States No Comments »

accesoriesCar insurance can come with many types of extras, some of which you may feel are unnecessary to your lifestyle. In order to determine what is and is not necessary within your policy, you need to understand the coverage it contains and then do a little homework.

Car insurance packages often contain little extra services and options that can make life easier if they come into play at the right time. Options like free towing or roadside assistance are something you might greatly appreciate having if or when your car breaks down. Especially if you live in a rural area like Pasco, Washington (I know, I’ve never heard of it either, but I was stuck there once and needed a tow.)  If you find yourself without a car for a period of time due to an accident and need a rental, you’d be pleased to discover that the cost of the rental was covered by insurance. These types of service are nice to have, but be aware that you will pay for them one way or another. For this reason, you should know what the options are when it comes to extras.

Take the time to do the math and determine whether you are really saving money by paying a hundred dollars a year for free towing. How many times were you towed in the past year, after all? In the last three? If it costs you a hundred dollars out of pocket for one tow would you rather pay that money when you need a tow or ahead of time, just in case? These are the questions you need to ask yourself when you consider either adding or cutting so called extras in order to cut costs.




Driving Your Car In Canada

August 23rd, 2009 insuranceposter Posted in States 1 Comment »

canadaDriving in Canada is not much different than driving in the United States; Canada is cris-crossed with an extensive network of roads and highways. The limitations for driving in Canada are much like our own in that you will be required to have a valid driver’s license in order to drive a rented vehicle there.

If you are planning on staying in Canada for any length of time that is less than a year, you will not need to acquire a Canadian driver’s license. If you plan on staying in Canada a year or longer, you will need to transition to a Canadian license. Transitioning from a license from anywhere in the United States that has been in your possession for two years or longer, procuring a Canada license is only a matter of exchanging the one you have for the new one.

Unlike the United Kingdom, Canadians drive on the same side of the street as we do. They also have road markings and signs that are familiar to United States residents. This will make transitioning or just visiting Canada and driving their streets easy to get accustomed to. If you are going there to visit, you may want to do a little research into their traffic laws as there are bound to be some discrepancies.