Avoid Sales Pressure with Online Car Insurance






A lot of people never really worry or think about their automobile insurance. They just keep paying their premiums and enjoying their protection for awhile. However, when rates start to creep up even though nothing has changed on the driver’s driving history or in his or her life in general, many people do start to wonder what is going on.  If you are currently in this situation yourself, then it might be a good idea to start looking around to see what other car insurance options are out there. You may find, by comparing rates, that you already have a great deal, or you may find that you could be saving a lot more money and enjoying much more consistent rates elsewhere.

The absolute best way to learn about other car insurance options is online. If you actually go and visit other providers, then not only are you wasting a lot of time, but you’ll also have to deal with the high pressure sales techniques of insurance agents. From the moment you step in the door, they’ll start telling you about how great their services are and won’t let you get a word in edgewise. You might just end up leaving having not accomplished your purpose and maybe even with some car insurance already decided upon.

To avoid all of this, do your research online first. You can read more about different insurance providers in your area by visiting their individual websites. Pay attention to customer service options, how accessible the company appears to be, the claims handling process, online tools offered to customers, and anything else that is important to you. Also take the time to read online reviews of different providers. These reviews should be written by past or current clients of the company and should be located on a site not affiliated with the provider. Use the information you find to determine which car insurance companies you would like to see rate quotes from.

You can request rate quotes right from the provider’s website, over the phone, or in person. We suggest avoiding in person requests, because those can cause you to fall prey to the same high pressure sales techniques discussed above. As a word of caution, make sure that you never pay for any rate quotes.  If a provider asks you to do so, this should be taken as a red flag that you need not have any dealings with that company.

When you have obtained all of the free rate quotes you want, it’s time to compare them to your current provider. If you could get better coverage and a lower rate elsewhere, then it’s probably a good time to make a switch. However, you very well may find that your current provider is doing a great job. If that’s the case, then you’ll be more appreciative and will have peace of mind knowing you are not overpaying for your coverage. However, you’ll want to repeat this process every few months or so just to make sure you’re still getting the best deal.




Automobile Insurance Reduction Act Helps People Acquire Cheap Car Insurance






If you are on the lookout for cheap automobile insurance – and these days, who isn’t? – you may be able to benefit from the Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act, if it has been passed in your state. This important act helps people of all income levels to afford reliable automobile insurance by making it so that insurance companies have to provide their customers with the cheapest option possible. If this act was passed in your state, then you’ll never have to worry about an insurance agent lying to you or not telling you about cheaper policies that exist.

The good thing about the act is that, though the policies are cheap, they are still required to meet certain minimum coverage amounts. So, this means that when you drive, you’ll not only be saving money, but you’ll be fully protected as well. In fact, under the act, the requirements that must be met are higher even than most state minimums. Divers will get at least $15,000 in personal injury protection, bodily injury liability or up to $250,000 per person, and $5000 to cover accidental damages or injuries caused to others.

 Even if your state did not pass the act, however, you can still find affordable car insurance that offers adequate protection. With or without the act in place, it’s your responsibility to research different providers to find the best possible deal that you can. A good way to start out on the process is to compile a list of all licensed providers in your area. You can then do research on each company, such as visiting different companies’ websites and reading online reviews written by past or current customers. As you do your research, you can cross providers that you are no longer interested in off your list.

When you have your list narrowed down to a few prospective providers, then it’s time to start requesting free rate quotes from each provider. Usually, you’ll have a lot of choice as to how to do this. Most providers will give quotes online, over the phone, or in person – whatever works for you. Once you have all of the quotes spread in front of you, though, it’s easy to compare amounts of coverage and actual rates to choose the best deal for yourself. Just make sure you look at the whole picture and not just the price as you make your decision.

So, yes the Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act is an excellent way to save money on your car insurance. However, the act alone won’t really help if you’re not willing to go out and do the work of finding and securing the best possible auto insurance. Remember too that providers will likely try to find ways around cooperating with the act and some might even blatantly ignore it, so at the end of the day, the responsibility still falls on you. If you want to truly save money on car insurance, you’ll put in the effort.




Multi-Car Discounts: What Insurance Companies Give You the Best Deal?






If you own more than one vehicle and are responsible for insuring both, then you know just how important it can be to get that multi-car discount from your insurance company. Without it, you’re basically stuck paying for the full cost of insurance on two vehicles. With it, however, you’ll pay a lot less, or at least that’s how it probably seems. The truth of the matter is, though, that not all insurance companies give you the same multi-car discount and, in fact, some of them don’t even offer one at all.

As an owner of multiple cars, then, your first and most important step is to make sure that your current insurance provider offers you this discount. You’d be surprised at how many people think they are getting this deal, only to find out that they are not. If you don’t currently have an insurance provider and are in the process of looking for one, make sure that you discuss available discounts with potential providers. During the searching process is also a good time to ask the discount percentage and to compare them amongst different car insurance providers before making a decision.

As mentioned earlier, different providers offer different degrees of discounts for multi-vehicle owners. Popular car insurance company, GEICO, for example, offers its multi-car owning customers a 25% discount on most of their insurance coverage. What this means is that some areas of coverage may not receive or qualify for the discount. When you hear this stipulation used by your car insurance provider, it’s important to ask which areas of your policy won’t receive the discount and why. Usually, however, this is fairly standard practice, and a 25% discount or higher is considered very good in the car insurance world.

All State is another popular car insurance provider, but it offers only a 10% discount on car insurance coverage. However, this is over the total amount of your coverage. So, depending on what policy you have, this seemingly smaller discount could be a better, more money saving choice than one that only offers you coverage on certain select parts of your insurance. Thus, the best deal might not always be so easy to see, and it’s important that you read and understand the fine print. If you ever don’t, do not be afraid to ask your insurance agent or potential insurance agent to explain it to you in layman’s terms.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that multi-vehicle discounts are not the only ones that matter. Overall, if discounts are important to you, you should be judging potential providers on how many discounts they offer, how much of a discount is offered, and how many of these discounts apply or could apply to you. You’ll want to pick the provider that offers affordable coverage, adequate protection, and the best discount package to suit your own personal needs and situation in life. To find this out though will require a lot of research on your part. If you’re willing to put in that work, you’ll be much more likely to be satisfied with your car insurance in the long run.

Other discounts that could possibly help you include the safe driver discount, given to those drivers who have not had any accidents or ticketable offenses within a set period as defined by their providers – usually around five years;  the early signing discount, given to those who switch their insurance policies over to a new provider before their contract with the last provider has completely run out; and the good student discount, for drivers age 16-25 who are enrolled fulltime in high school or college and who maintain at least a B grade point average. Drivers can even benefit and earn discounts from installing approved safety features, such as passive restraints, anti-lock brakes, and airbags on their vehicles, or from installing ant-theft features, like car alarms and steering wheel locks. You can also get a discount for insuring your home or your apartment through the same insurance provider. Do keep in mind, however, that you often have to bring up discounts to your provider or notify them when you qualify for a new one, so being proactive is important.




Today’s Bad Credit Car Insurance Rates






In today’s troubled economic times, many Americans are finding that they have increasingly poor credit. Unfortunately, you can acquire bad credit in a number of ways. Falling into debt and not paying off your bills, of course, is the main one. Credit card debt is also huge, and is in fact the number one cause of poor credit scores among Americans. However, some people who pay their bills may have bad credit from simply paying late a number of times or from falling behind, even if they do end up paying off their debts. The only way you can know for sure what your credit score is is to obtain a credit report. This can be done for free at many locations on the internet.

If, once you have your credit report, you discover that your credit is poor, you should know that this can cause your car insurance premium to rise significantly. It can also make it difficult for you to secure an insurance provider. The reason for this is that one of the factors that car insurance providers use to determine your premium rate is your general “risk.” A poor credit history makes you a “risky” investment for a car insurance provider.

The bright spot in all of this is that there are many things that you can do to raise your credit score and lower your premium. First and foremost, check over your credit report carefully. Companies do sometimes make mistakes and if you find one, you should be sure to report it instantly to have it removed from your credit report. Secondly, you’ll want to eliminate high interest credit cards whenever possible. Then, just make an effort to start paying off your bills on time. If this is ever not possible, make sure that you talk to the company and try to work something out. You’d be surprised at how few people do this, and how much most businesses appreciate it. Many will work with you to avoid negatively impacting your credit if you are open and honest.

Additionally, creating a budget that you can actually stick to and then living well within your own means can help you to significantly improve your credit rating. The longer that you can go without making a late payment or falling behind in your bills, the more your credit rating will improve, and thus, the lower your car insurance premium will be.

Once you have done all you can do to improve your credit, the rest will depend upon the insurance provider you choose. There are lots of good providers out there, but it can take a bit of work to find the one that will best meet your needs and that will offer you a premium that you can afford. Make sure that you take the time to research all of the providers in your area and that you request free rate quotes from several different providers. Then, it is easier to compare all of the quotes and to choose the provider that offers you the most coverage at the most affordable price.

Also keep in mind that, while most people go with the “big name’ provides, such as GEICO and All State, there are also many smaller, more local providers out there. These providers will often offer better customer service, even and often especially to those with poor credit, and affordable premiums in an effort to keep up with the vast competition of the other providers. As long as a company is licensed in your state, then you don’t have to worry about how well known it is, but only about the level of service and protection it offers you.

Also remember that, no matter which insurance provider you choose, opting for a higher deductible can give you lower car insurance premium rates. You should also opt for a payment plan and schedule that you can afford. Remember to factor your car insurance premium and the payment schedule into your budget, and you should be well on your way to improving your credit score and driving in greater safety, security, and peace of mind. That, after all, is the most important thing.




Traveling Overseas, Will Your Car Insurance Cover You?






Many people are surprised to find that their car insurance, though it may keep them very protected while in the United States, does not extend to trips that they take outside of the country. While some – but not many – policies will, they must explicitly state that they offer overseas coverage. In general, if you haven’t asked to be covered when you’re outside of the country, then you can find yourself in a heap of trouble on your vacation, especially if you get into an accident. So, always make sure that you read the fine print and know for certain that you are obeying the rules.

The good news, however, is that most of the major automobile insurance providers, and a few of the smaller ones as well, will give you the option to purchase overseas or traveling insurance when you need it. Generally, these providers work with a subsidiary company based outside of the country. This company will become your temporary insurance agent while you’re abroad and, after collecting details about your trip, will work with international insurance agencies to get you temporary coverage.  Even if you just plan on going on a weeklong trip, if driving is part of the plan, you’ll need to make sure you are protected – and legal – to drive.

Generally, when you travel overseas, you’ll be able to choose from a few different policies. Your choices will vary depending upon the exact country and location you are visiting, of course, since you are subject to the basic rules and regulations of that country. Most of the time, though, you will be able to get some level of both comprehensive coverage and collision coverage. Do be aware that most insurance companies will not insure business vehicles or rental vehicles that you use while on your trip. If your car ends up needing repairs while abroad, however, then any rental car you drive will usually be covered while your car is getting fixed.

When choosing a provider that offers coverage overseas, the most important thing you can do is to choose a company that you can easily get into contact with, even while you’re abroad. So many times, vacationers will end up having little car emergencies or even just policy questions and then being unable to get into contact with their providers to get the answers they need. A good provider should allow you to make changes to your policy, with certain limitations of course, online. Usually, only small changes, like adding on a new driver, can be done online, but this can be a big help. Additionally, the company should have a toll free number that can be reached from outside of the country and that, ideally, should be answered twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to accommodate for any time differences.

Some other important things to look for in an overseas provider include availability of worldwide claims services, making it easier for you to file a claim in the event of an accident while on your vacation; claims that can be settled in American money as opposed to the money used in the country you are visiting; policies that are written in English and that are “American” in nature; stable premiums that do not go up if exchange rates changes while you are overseas, which happens frequently;  actual, physical offices located in the area you will be staying while on your vacation; flexibility in payment plans;  and automatic renewal for lengthy stays. Fortunately, many providers offer these great benefits, though you should make sure by asking your provider about them specifically.

Also note that if you plan to live abroad, then you will need to permanently change your insurance policy to one that fully meets the rules and regulations of the country where you will be staying. Generally, you can only keep car insurance from your current, American provider if you are going on a vacation or a planned extended stay. If you travel frequently for work or pleasure, you might consider choosing a policy that always includes international insurance, so that you won’t have to set it up every time that you travel.




Spring Clean Your Car: Added Weight Costs More in Gas






We all know that gas prices cost a fortune these days. In some areas and, in particular, with some gas guzzling vehicles, it is not uncommon for filling up your tank to cost as much as $100! While you can’t do anything about what your local gas station is charging per gallon, you can take tiny steps that can help you to reduce the amount of gas your vehicle requires bit by bit. These things might not seem like they’d make much of a difference but, combined, they can end up costing you more.

Did you know that the heavier a car is, the more gas it will use? The more a vehicle weights, the more gasoline it takes to fuel it and get it moving. Just as sport utility vehicles (SUVs) take a lot of gas because of their size, a car that is loaded down with heavy objects will end up costing you more in gas. So, get to cleaning! Rid your car of heavy books, boxes you’ve been carrying around, or anything else that’s taking up weight and space. Not only will your car look neater and better, but it will also cost you a lot less to fill it up.

Another thing you can do to send those sky high gasoline rates back down is making sure you take proper care of your vehicle. Getting regular tune-ups from a qualified mechanic is especially important. A tune up helps to correct any little problems or imbalances that have occurred as you’ve been using and driving your car. Some of these imbalances, such as wrong fuel ratio or broken spark plugs, can cause your vehicle to guzzle more gas! So, fixing them can get your car running much better and have you spending less on gas.

Since it’s spring outside, you likely won’t be needing the air conditioner much. Even if you do get a little too toasty for comfort, however, think twice before you crank up the air conditioner. Choosing to roll down the window instead can save you money on gas. The reason is because the compressor that the air conditioner uses to operate is run, of course, by the engine. So, when you use it, the engine has to work harder, thus sending out more gas than it would if you were just driving without blasting the cool air.

Slowing down just a little bit can also keep your gas prices down. Did you know that traveling at consistently high speeds, such as at around 75 miles per hour, uses a lot more gas than traveling at a slower, more steady pace. If you travel at 55 miles per hour, for example, you would save about 25% more gas than you would if you traveled at 75 miles per hour. A lot of people are confused by this, thinking that if you get somewhere quickly, it must take less gas. But that’s not the case at all; gas is applied to the engine each time you press the gas pedal, and the faster you drive the more times you’re going to be pumping that pedal and the more gas money you’ll be spending!

The oil you use in your vehicle can also make a big difference in how much you’ll pay for gasoline. Make sure you’re using, first of all, a synthetic oil or a standard oil. Then, make sure that oil comes with a special additive used to reduce friction; this additive is usually advertised on the front of the oil packaging. Oil such as this allows your engine to perform better, and those who switch from standard or cheaper oils often get about 12% better fuel economy.

While these changes might not be world changing rocket science developments, they are some very simple things that you can do to save yourself some money on gasoline. Furthermore, many of these steps will also serve to make your car healthier and in better shape, so you really can’t go wrong with trying them out. Your car will run better and stronger, and you’ll be able to ride easy, knowing that you’re saving money on gas as you do.




Gas Card Giveaway!






Update: We are extending our contest until June 20th!

The team at Car Insurance Quotes Comparison knows you are feeling pain at the pump!  We can help with our 2011 Summer Gas Card Giveaway.  Between now and June 20th you can qualify to win a $50 Mobil Gas Gift Card.  We will select two winners on June 20th. 

Mobil

Want to enter to win?  Simply signup for our free newsletter (full of great $$ saving tips on your auto insurance) and you will automatically be entered to win one of our two $50 Mobil Gas Cards.  Fill out the form below, confirm your signup and you are entered to win!




Can You Buy Auto Insurance by the Mile?






Did you know that you can actually choose to pay for your automobile insurance by the mile? If you didn’t, then don’t feel bad; this money saving little secret is something that few people are aware of. Despite the fact that many don’t know about it, there are many automobile insurance providers that allow their customers to pay for their insurance based on the amount of miles they accumulate. Such a policy enables drivers to pay only for the insurance that they actually use. Most providers don’t consider how often you drive and simply charge you a flat, yearly rate. If you have a vehicle, however, that you don’t drive often or use only for special occasions, then a by the mile insurance provider is a great way to save money and to avoid overpaying for cars that you don’t use all that often. Even those who work long days or nights and keep their cars parked safely most of the day can benefit from these programs.

There are quite a few insurance providers to choose from that offer by the mile rates. The original company to offer this program, Milemeter, is considered to be one of the best. This provider gives you six month policies. Your coverage with this company and with others like it is based on the amount of miles you think you will drive. You can choose between 1000 and 6000 miles for each policy term with each provider. If you overstep your miles, however, be aware that your insurance policy will not be effective. Therefore, it’s important to be honest with your provider about the amount of miles you think you will put on your car. In the event of an accident, you’ll be glad that you told the truth. Mileage is taken when you sign up for such a policy, so there’s really no way to get out of a dangerous and possibly expensive lie.

The company mentioned above, Milemeter, is not your only choice when it comes to choosing by the mile automobile insurance. Though Milemeter has a solid reputation in the automobile insurance industry, it may not be the right fit for you, your car, and your particular needs. As such, make sure that you look at a lot of different providers that offer this unique insurance and that you request rate quotes from all of them. You can use your free rate quotes to find the most affordable provider that offers the best coverage for your vehicle.

Keep in mind, as well, that some traditional providers do have by the mile programs, though these are not usually widely advertised. If you’re working with a traditional company, don’t be afraid to ask if they have any by the mile programs available that you can switch to for a particular vehicle. Switching policies is often a lot less hassle than switching providers altogether if you can avoid it. Also, make sure that you only insure those cars that you don’t drive that often in this manner.




J.D. Power Auto Insurance Company Ratings Explained






J.D. Power and Associates is a company that collects data from customers all over the United States. It asks them about their overall satisfaction with various companies, with automobile manufacturers, and, perhaps most importantly, with automobile insurance providers. It then compiles the data collected to find the average rating for a variety of insurance providers, judging them in several different areas. Currently, the insurance providers that are reviewed by J.D. Power and Associates include 21st Century, Alfa Insurance, Allstate, American Family, Ameriprise, Automobile Club Group, Automobile Club of Southern California, Auto-Owners’ Insurance, California State Automobile Association, Commerce, Country, Encompass, Erie Insurance, Esurance, Farmers, GEICO, GMAC, Grange, Kemper, Liberty Mutual, Mercury, MetLife, Nationwide, Progressive, Safeco, Shelter, State Auto, State Farm, The Hanover, The Hartford, Travelers, New Jersey Manufacturers, and USAA.

The first criterion that J.D. Power and Associates looks at when rating an automobile insurance provider is the overall satisfaction level. The score, which ranges from one to five stars or points, is based on how most customers rated their general experience with the specific automobile insurance provider. If you’re only going to judge a company based on one criterion, this would be the one to use, since it looks at the company as a whole and rates the entire insurance experience.

Secondly, a score is given for the customer’s ability to make contact with the provider. This score details how easy or difficult it generally is to communicate with the insurance provider. This score includes data collected from both those who are customers of the provider and the experiences they’ve had setting up their accounts, contacting customer service, or e-mailing via the company’s website, as well as those individuals who may not be customers but have had some kind of contact with the provider within the last year, such as requesting a rate quote or asking for more information.

The third level of scoring is based on different policy options. Customers or prospective customers are asked to rate the number of different insurance policies offered by the provider and how well those policies meet or do not meet their needs. This is a good way to determine the amount of flexibility you would have with your policy and all of your coverage options and is an important score to look at if you’re considering going with a provider from the list.

A score is also given for billing and payment. Customers are asked to rate their experiences on receiving billing statements, such as how quickly the bills arrived and whether or not they were easy to understand. The score also takes into consideration how fair payments are and how quickly they are processed. A low score could also represent a provider that charges hidden fees or that routinely raises its prices, so this is also an important score to take into consideration.

Some of the scoring from billing and payment leaks into the final score, which is for pricing. With this score, customers are asked to rate how fair they feel their policy amounts are. Also, they are asked to base their rating on whether or not they feel they are paying a fair amount for the level of coverage that they are receiving. A good score does not necessarily indicate the cheapest coverage, but is more likely to indicate adequate protection at an affordable rate, which is actually more important than the actual price paid.

The lowest score that can be received by an automobile insurance provider is between one and two points. This score, humorously referred to as “the rest” by J.D. Power and Associates indicates a company that should really only be used as a last resort and never as a top or first choice. A score of three points indicates an average company, that does not provide superior service but that also doesn’t provide really horrible coverage. A four point company is considered to be “better than most,” meaning it is a superior provider but hasn’t quite reached the top tier of car insurance companies just yet. Finally, a score of five points means that the provider is “among the best,” and considered to be one of the top providers in the nation.




Cheap Automobile Insurance Quotes






If you are in the market for insurance for your car, truck, or van, then you might be tempted to just cut to the chase and go with the first insurance provider you can find in your area that offers you a decent quote. This, however, would be a big mistake. Car insurance is something most people will pay for the majority of their lives; in fact, it’s estimated that the average person will spend fifty years or more paying for car insurance. That’s definitely a long time to overpay – even by a little bit. Therefore, you will want to be very cautious and thorough as you search for the perfect car insurance provider.

Your first step when trying to find car insurance should be to obtain a list of all licensed providers in your area. This includes both the major big name providers that everybody has heard of, like GEICO and All State, as well as the smaller, more local companies. You can obtain this list from the department of transportation or insurance bureau in your area. Usually, the list is made available online for your added convenience. You will work from this list during your search.

Once you have the list, it’s time to get down to work – researching each company on the list. Visit the providers’ websites, reading over information on their policies and discounts offered. Then, take it a step further and read online customer reviews, written by past or current clients, about each provider. These reviews need to be unaffiliated with the company, or else they will be nothing more than testimonials, which are glowing promotions for the provider and do not tell you anything about how the company really operates, handles claims, and treats its customers. As you read through the information, you can cross off providers that aren’t up to your standards, that don’t offer the insurance you require for your vehicle, or that have overwhelmingly negative reviews.

When your list is sufficiently narrowed down, it’s time to start asking for cheap automobile insurance quotes from the remaining companies. An important piece of advice is to never pay for an insurance rate quote. If a company asks you to pay, you can just go ahead and cross it off your list, as this is not standard practice and is a big red flag that the company is only after your money. You can request free rate quotes from insurance sites, from the provider’s site, or over the telephone or in person with the provider, whatever is the most convenient for you. Just make sure that you give all necessary information about your vehicle, your driving record, and any discounts for which you feel you qualify.

After you’ve obtained your rate quotes, it’s time to start comparing them. Make sure you aren’t just looking at price though. While everyone wants a good deal on automobile insurance, there are other factors that are far more important. First of all, you’ll want to make sure that you are getting the coverage that you need. Your coverage should, at the very least, meet the minimum standards put in place by your state. Really, though, a good policy needs to go above and beyond the minimum requirements. After all, if you pay very little for car insurance but it really doesn’t offer you the protection you need, you’re basically throwing your money away. Don’t lose sight of the fact that the overall reason for having car insurance is to keep you protected in the event of an accident, and that is what a good policy should do.

Also, make sure you are aware of the provider’s stance on customer service. If you have any problems, questions, or concerns about your policy or if an accident occurs, you’ll want to make sure that you are able to reach someone, ideally twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, since accidents can happen anytime. When you find a provider that offers you a lower than average affordable rate, superior customer service, and the protection you need and deserve, then that is the company that you will want to go with and stay with for the long haul.