Electric Vehicle Car Insurance – Is it Cheaper?

Everyone knows electric cars are cheaper on gas, but are electric vehicles (EVs) really cheaper to insure? The insurance for a gasoline-fueled vehicle is stated to costs nearly ¼ of the cost of ownership, but what does it cost to insure a battery-powered vehicle such as, an EV?

Electric cars are relatively new to the market, therefore, it may surprise you to know that many locations around the US are not yet, prepared to provide coverage to EV owners. Even some insurance providers in the state of California either do not offer insurance policies for electric vehicles or are only able to provide coverage for an EV that is listed as a secondary car. 

While rates can vary, if an EV is listed as a secondary vehicle, the rates are typically lower for an electric vehicle than they would be for a car with a gasoline-powered engine. In some cases, however, electric vehicles can be slightly more expensive to insure than traditional fuel-driven cars.

Some countries such as, Canada, do not require electric cars to meet the same safety standards that are required for traditional fueled cars. However, in Vancouver, the cost to insure an electric car is around the same price to insure a conventional car.

The rate quote comparison site, NetQuote stated that an insurance discount is often given to drivers of electric cars because EV owners convey a responsible image to insurance providers. However, this statement is subject to change as electric vehicles become increasingly more popular.

One major difference between EVs and conventional fuel-powered vehicles is the cost of repair, which can affect the cost of the insurance premium, as well. Right now, most EVs are rare and many of the parts are not yet, readily available, like the parts for most conventional vehicles. In addition, technicians need to be specially trained to be able to repair an EV. Therefore, EV owners are not able to take their vehicle to their local mechanic because he will not be trained or have the right parts, which increases the cost to insure the vehicle – thus, increasing the premium rate, as well. While, the outlook is good for more and more repair shops to receive the right EV training and become skilled on EV parts, it is expected to take some time.

With EV insurance, the same rules apply for a good rate – a risk assessment done by the insurance company. While many companies do not have specific policies for electric vehicles, insurance providers will continue to base your insurance premium on your age, gender, driving record and more. In contrast to traditional vehicles, the make and model of the EV is less important in determining the rate. However, because of the safety aspect of EVs, most insurance providers will offer hybrid and electric owners a 10 percent discount, at least. However, if information about available discounts is not offered up front by the provider, EV owners should ask about electric car discounts, safety discounts or any other discounts that may be available to them in order to take advantage of substantial savings.

Insurance companies are writing insurance policies for Neighborhood Electric Vehicles, golf carts, and Low-Speed Vehicles, which means that EV-specific policies should be available soon. Until then, EV owners should rely on discounts and having a good driving record to get the cheapest rates.

Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt – Which Will Cost Less to Maintain?

Two major automakers have scheduled the release of the first mass-produced electric vehicles (EV’s) in the U.S. In November 2010, Chevrolet will be releasing their version of the electric hybrid, the Chevy Volt and in January of 2011, the rival company, Nissan will release their all-electric version, the Nissan Leaf. Car experts are trying to determine, which company will release the winner in 2011. However, consumers who are considering buying a new EV are wondering, which option will be the most cost-effective. In the following information, we will weigh the pros and cons associated with each new model to help you determine which option is right for you.

Starting Price: Chevy Volt vs. Nissan Leaf

EV car owners are eligible for a federal tax credit of $7,500, just for owning these eco-friendly vehicles. Before the tax credit, the Volt from Chevrolet will cost $41,000, initially, and the Nissan Leaf will feature a starting price of $32,780. While the difference in starting price is considerable (the Volt from Chevrolet is more than $8,000 more than Nissan’s Leaf), that does not necessarily mean that maintenance costs will be lower.

Driving Distance: Chevy Volt vs. Nissan Leaf

The Chevy Volt is not purely electric, unlike the Leaf. A battery powers the Volt for the first 40 miles and after that point, the gasoline-fueled portion of the engine goes into action and provide several hundreds more miles (approximately 300 more) to the driving range. However, the all-electric Leaf offers a 100-mile range, which is said to be adequate for the average distance driven by most Americans each day. However, the Leaf’s driving distance may cause “range anxiety” for drivers.

Charging Time: Chevy Volt vs. Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf can be charged in approximately eight hours with a 220-volt outlet (traditionally used for electric clothes dryers); however, a standard home outlet (110-volt) could take as much as 12 to 16 hours to fully charge. However, Nissan is offering Leaf owners the option of purchasing a home charging station priced around $2,200 (including installation), which can be offset with a 50 percent tax credit with a maximum benefit of $2,000. Considering the average cost of electricity, the Leaf costs approximately $2.80 to charge. The Volt features a smaller battery and does not go as far as the Leaf on electric power, alone and therefore, require gasoline to power the engine. However, Chevrolet’s EV can be recharged in just eight hours using a standard home outlet (110-volt) and in less than four hours with a 220-volt outlet.

While the Volt is able to drive farther than the Leaf with a single charge, the starting price of the Leaf is much more attractive to drivers who have shorter commutes. The Volt would be well suited for owners who drive 20 miles to work. In that case, Volt owners would only need to buy gas if they plan to take longer trips.

GM and Nissan are obviously competing for the affection of the American car buyer by offering matching warranties for their EV’s including an astounding eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty on the battery alone.

Car buyers can decide for themselves which option is best (and cheapest) for them based on the initial starting price, battery-charging needs and daily driving habits.

Company Car Insurance – Does that Cover My Personal Vehicles?

Commercial auto insurance is different from personal insurance. Company auto insurance can be complicated and a variety of questions can arise when deciding to open up a business auto insurance policy. Commercial auto insurance provides coverage for automobiles, vans and trucks that are used for business purposes, but what if a business owner (or employee) is driving their personal vehicle – will personal vehicles be covered on a company car insurance policy?

Commercial car insurance is necessary for business owners for three reasons:

1.    Personal insurance policies are not designed to pay for the cost of risks that are associated with business vehicles.

2.    It is required by law.

3.    A claim will likely be denied under a personal insurance policy if the vehicle was being used for business.

Commercial-style vehicles that are used for personal reasons can also be insured under a commercial truck or van insurance policy. Some examples of personal-use vehicles that are eligible to be covered under a commercial policy include flat bed trucks that are used to transport show vehicles, dump trucks that are used for keeping your personal property clean, a box truck or a delivery van.

Some vehicles work twice as hard – doubling as a company car and a vehicle for personal use (running personal errands and picking the kids up from school), after work.

In addition, commercial insurance traditionally extends liability coverage to employees who are driving their own vehicle for business purposes. However, employees who use their own vehicles for business purposes are covered, primarily under their own personal insurance policy.

Commercial Car Insurance Basics:

To put it simply:

Company-Owned Vehicle: If a business owns a vehicle (or vehicles) that has the company’s name on the title – commercial auto insurance is required.

Owner’s Personal Vehicle for Business Use: If a business owner has no employees and the company vehicle is used for driving to work – a personal insurance policy will provide the necessary coverage.

Owner’s Personal Vehicle for Personal and Business Use:  If a business owner has a vehicle that is used for both personal and business purposes – a commercial insurance policy is required, in order to have the coverage that is mandated by law. According to Nationwide Insurance, when the vehicle is not being used for business, the owner may want to consider a drive other car endorsement to protect the owner or any family members who may be driving the car.

Employee’s Personal Vehicle for Business Use: If employees use their own vehicles for business use – the employee should have sufficient liability on their own personal policy. For example, if an employee is making a bank deposit in their own vehicle and is involved in a collision with another driver, their personal insurance company will be responsible for the damages caused to any other cars or anyone else involved in the accident. However, if the other drivers sue the company for damages, a commercial insurance policy with a non-owned vehicle liability endorsement will protect the assets of the business, in the event of an expensive lawsuit.

Business owners have worked hard to build up their business, so it is important to understand what is required

by law for company auto insurance — to protect their personal assets, the assets of the business and their employees.

Does Car Insurance Cover Towing Costs in an Accident?

If your vehicle breaks down, is involved in an accident, has a flat tire, runs out of gas, gets stuck in water, snow or mud, the battery dies or your keys get locked in your car — you will most likely need to be towed to the nearest auto mechanic, gas station, locksmith or junkyard. Individuals with car insurance may wonder how towing costs factor into their policy. If you are involved in a collision or another situation, where your car needs to be towed — who will pay the towing costs? In the following information, we will answer the question: “In the event of an accident, will your insurance company leave you stranded?”

The answer to this question depends on whether the policyholder has the necessary coverage. Special additions to your policy such as, roadside assistance and tow truck coverage are optional. It is a good idea to look over your policy information to see if you can determine whether you are already paying for tow truck coverage or contact your insurance company for verification. If having this type of coverage is important to you — talk to your insurance representative about having tow truck coverage added to your current policy.

There may be certain limitations concerning the tows that will be covered on your insurance policy. Many times, the insurance company will specify a certain number of tows on the policy or will require the policyholder to use a particular towing company or stay within a limited number of miles (e.g. – the insurance company will pay to have your vehicle towed to any facility as long as the facility is within a thirty mile radius, otherwise the policyholder would be financially responsible). Therefore, it is a wise choice to re-read your policy information to know what you will be covered for, in the event of an accident.

Before you have your vehicle towed, it is a good idea to call your insurance provider ahead of time in order to ensure the entire tow will be covered. Often times, insurance companies have a contract with a particular towing company and in these cases, there may be pre-negotiated rates. Insurance companies pay the towing bill, after you have paid up front. If the insurance company determines the towing rates are excessive (or if they do not like the rates of the particular company you have chosen) — they may only pay part of the towing costs. So, it is important to call ahead.

Policyholders that have roadside assistance are able to receive tow truck service, even if they are not involved in an accident, as well. For instance, if their keys are locked in their car or a tire goes flat — roadside service will pay for the cost of the tow. This service is optional and costs a little extra, however, in the event that your car needs to be towed (especially if it needs to be towed, frequently) — roadside assistance and tow truck coverage can be a lifesaver!

Truck Insurance for Bad Credit Drivers

Big rig drivers and semi truck drivers need to have insurance, regardless of their credit history. The competition is increasing in the world of trucking, which is why owners and operators need to manage the cost of their truck insurance, carefully to ensure they make good profit. But, how does a truck driver with bad credit get a good deal on truck insurance? Learn how to protect yourself from accidents or liability by buying the right commercial truck insurance for your big rig. In the following information, we will explain the different types of commercial truck policies and how to find the cheapest option, if you have bad credit.

In order to get a rate quote for commercial truck insurance, drivers and/or owner/operators need to provide information to the insurance company. The information required is similar to information needed for those who do not drive for a living including, information about the individual’s driving history, credit history, and more is necessary in order receiving a quote. Therefore, it is a good idea to have this information ready for the insurance company.

Rate quotes for commercial trucks are not available on traditional comparison websites. Therefore, it is a good idea to call prospective insurance companies and ask a representative to verify whether they offer insurance plans to truck drivers.

If you have bad credit, there is only one way to lower your monthly premiums — by taking care of your credit. While this process may take some time, the cheap, affordable insurance is definitely worth it in the long run. 

Truck drivers with bad credit (and those with decent credit) are advised to get their insurance policy from an A-rated insurance company, even if you have to pay higher rates. The reason for this is because these higher-ranking companies will have the financial stability to cover losses, in the event of a commercial truck claim.

Information about Your Trucking Business

There are several considerations involved in commercial truck insurance:

*Are you a company driver or an independent owner/operator?

*Would you like to own your own trucking business?

*What is the size of your fleet or how many semi trucks do you manage? 

Information for Getting Commercial Trucks Insured

In order to sign up for a commercial truck insurance policy, the insurance company will need information about you and your rig, including the VIN (vehicle identification number), make, model and year, mileage, equipment lists and loss runs, as well as, information about each truck driver including their commercial drivers license information, information about their driving history and their age.

Truck drivers with bad credit may be able to make payment arrangements to make the regular payments easier on the wallet. It is a good idea to ask various insurance companies that offer commercial drivers insurance about their deductible options and options for a down payment. One example of how truck drivers (with poor credit) can save money on their insurance is by paying higher deductibles, which keeps regular payments lower, but in the event of a claim, you will be required to pay a substantial amount before the insurance pays their portion. In addition, No Deposit insurance for commercial trucks helps to spread the costs throughout the year to make payments easier.

If I Get in an Accident on Vacation – Will my Insurance Cover it?

Accidents happen, even on vacation. So how can you protect yourself and a rental car? In this information, we will explain what you need to do to make sure your rental car is covered.

Q: So, does your regular insurance plan cover a rental, if you are involved in an accident on vacation?

A: If the individual who is driving the rental car is listed on your insurance policy and the policy is collision coverage with comprehensive, then the rental will be covered through your personal policy. Additionally, in order to be covered, the driver needs to be listed on the rental contract. Moreover, the deductible amount listed on your insurance policy will probably apply to the rental car, as well. Every company is different, however, so it helps to read the fine print of your rental contract and insurance information. 

Aside from your regular insurance policy, there is another way of being covered while driving a rental on vacation: Rental Insurance. Rental car insurance is a great option for those who only have liability coverage or do not have collision coverage.

The cost of rental insurance is around $20 to $40 per day. While this may seem pricey for insurance that you most likely, will not need – it beats the alternative of having to replace or repair the vehicle out of your own pocket.

There are several advantages to signing up for car rental insurance. For instance, if an accident occurs, your personal auto insurance premium will not increase because of it. In addition, to keeping your premiums low, if at fault, there is typically no deductible, which is unlike traditional insurance where you always have to pay a deductible. In addition, many vacation destinations are in unfamiliar locations that can be confusing, which increases the risk of an accident.

There are also disadvantages to signing up for rental insurance. The most obvious disadvantage to rental insurance is the cost, which can add up — especially on a long vacation. Also, you will have to pay the deductible, in the event that an accident occurs and it is ruled, your fault. In addition, you will have to deal with the insurance company if something does happen. 

Full coverage policyholders are fully protected, if the rental car is damaged and if another vehicle is involved in an accident, any damages or injuries sustained by them will be covered under your auto insurance policy, as well. The major insurance companies commonly require that you pay the deductible listed on your policy to cover any repairs to the rental car, so it is important to know the amount of the collision deductible. It may be a good idea to lower your deductible while you will be on vacation, therefore, in the event that something happens you will not have to pay so much out of pocket. The major disadvantage to using your insurance during your vacation is if the accident was deemed your fault, then it will typically raise your insurance premiums by 15 to 30 percent for the next three years.

Before you start enjoying your vacation, you may want to start by addressing your insurance needs when you plan your trip. While the cost of rental insurance or traditional car insurance can be expensive, choosing to protect yourself on vacation is one of the smartest things you can do to plan for your trip.

Will my Car be Covered if a Tree Falls on it?

If a tree falls on your car and no one hears it — someone still has to cover the cost of the damages. A falling tree can cause a lot of damage to any vehicle including breaking windows, ruining the exterior paint and causing interior problems, as well. Auto insurance policyholders may wonder, “Will my insurance company assume responsibility for the damage?”. In the following information, we will explain what happens on the insurance side, in the event that a tree falls on your vehicle.

The Difference Between Collision vs. Liability

There are various forms of insurance coverage ranging from the maximum coverage (collision) to the bare minimum coverage (liability). Collision or full coverage car insurance pays not only for damage caused by a collision, but also from damage caused by other events, as well. While this form of coverage is not required by law (liability insurance is required in most states), it is still considered a requirement for many leasing and financing companies.

Comprehensive insurance is the part of collision insurance that pays for damages that are due to natural disasters, flood, fire, vandalism and theft. If a vehicle is damaged because of a falling limb or tree, the automobile will be covered under the comprehensive portion of the policy.

Falling Tree: What is the Payout?

If you have comprehensive coverage on your policy and you experience the unfortunate mishap of having a tree fall on your vehicle, the insurance company will pay the maximum amount, listed on the policy (or the vehicle’s current value) and you will be required to pay the entire deductible amount. Comprehensive coverage is a good investment for any consumer who wants to protect their vehicle and the money they have paid into the vehicle, as well.

Who should get Collision/Comprehensive Coverage?

People who drive cars with a low book value are not recommended to have comprehensive coverage. The insurance company will only pay for the value of the car and the value depreciates each year. Therefore, the cost of monthly (comprehensive) premiums for older vehicles that have depreciated substantially may be higher over time than any benefits for replacement or repairs. According to Consumer Reports, it is a smart move to cancel comprehensive coverage when the comprehensive insurance is at least 10 percent of the book value of the car.

Neighbor’s Tree: Who is Liable?

If the tree is located in a neighbor’s yard and the tree can be determined by the neighbor’s insurance company that the tree was deteriorating because of disease, rot, insects or otherwise, then it should be the neighbor’s responsibility to pay for the damage to your vehicle. In addition, if the fall is caused by a neighbor cutting a tree and making it weaker (or failure to remove a weak tree or limb), the damage can be determined as negligence leaving them, legally responsible. However, if the tree is healthy (or at least looks healthy), then the fall will be legally considered an “Act of God” and the neighbor will not be held liable for the accident.

What to do When my Car Insurance Lapses

In this bleak economy, many people are experiencing financial struggles like never before. The result on the average American is unpaid bills, including car insurance.  Learn more from our guide regarding what to do if you experience a lapse in auto insurance coverage.

Short-Term Lapse: Is Reinstatement an Option for me?

The amount of time a driver goes without being covered by an insurance policy determines their options. For instance, drivers who have gone without coverage for just a few days are often reinstated by their insurance company. If the lapse has been longer than a few days, it is still possible to request a reinstatement from your former insurance company. However, they may deny coverage because of the increased risk and you may be required to search for a new insurance company.

If you realize that your auto insurance policy has lapsed recently (in the past few days), you will need to contact your insurance company, right away. The insurer may decide to reinstate your policy after the bill has been paid. The majority of companies understand that a lapse in payment, can happen and they will most likely extend coverage to you again. While the insurance provider is not required to provide coverage; customers who have been insured through their company for a long period of time will stand a better chance of getting reinstated.

Insurance Reinstatement Options

Insurance companies have different procedures for getting reinstated after a lapse, so you will need to ask the insurance company if you can simply renew the previous policy or if you will be required to reapply for a new policy.

The insurance company may discuss your payment options, if not you may want to ask. Credit card or online banking are probably the best options for paying your premium and getting coverage back, fast.

After a Lapse: Searching for a New Insurance Company

While hard times can happen, having a lapse in coverage does not necessarily appeal to insurance companies, but it is still possible to get the insurance required by law. If the former insurance company will not insure you, you will have to shop around for coverage. Every insurer uses a different rating system when considering insurance applicants, therefore, it is possible to find an insurance company that does not place you in a high risk category just because you had a lapse in coverage. If the lapse was long and you are now considered a high-risk driver, it may be in your best interest to search for companies that specialize in providing coverage to high-risk drivers. However, the premiums for high-risk drivers are usually higher.

Auto Insurance Lapse: The Consequences

In the time when the policy has expired and until the date when your policy has been officially reinstated — you are not covered. So, the insurance company will not only deny payment for any damages, injuries or deaths caused by the uninsured driver, but in most states (except New Hampshire and Washington where liability coverage is not required) you will face legal consequences including, paying court costs and fines, losing your license or even facing jail time), if caught without auto insurance.

All insurance companies are required to notify the DMV in your state whenever you experience a lapse in coverage. After being notified, the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state will send a form to uninsured motorists asking for information about the lapse and the driver’s proof of insurance within the stated time limit. In some states (such as New York), not supplying the required information in the time frame requested by the DMV will result in being forced to turn in your plates. 

As always, when shopping for a new insurance company it helps to compare several different coverage plans and the rates at various companies to find the cheapest plan that fits your auto insurance needs. A lapse in auto insurance can happen, but it helps to know ahead of time, what you should do if this happens to you.

How to Compare Car Insurance Quotes

Most people will drive a few extra miles to save a few cents on gasoline, but many of these people could be paying too much for their car insurance bill, every year. Getting car insurance quotes is all part of getting the most bang for your buck on car insurance. However, many smart consumers are wondering, how to compare quotes and how to choose which option would be best for them. In the following information, we will tell you how to save lots of money and get the best deal by learning to compare car insurance quotes.

Compare Prices

Receiving a rate quote online is the easiest way to compare price quotes for several different companies. Many different websites are available that offer side-by-side price comparison, which helps consumers view (and compare) prices for several different companies to find the cheapest rate. For those who are requesting individual quotes from each insurance company, it is important to enter the exact same (correct information), in order to get a better, more accurate comparison.

In addition, while the price may be what you are looking for when comparing different insurance companies, it is important to realize that finding a good value for car insurance is dependent on more than finding a cheap policy, but it is about finding the policy that is right for you — for the right price!

Compare Policies

Every insurance company offers different plans that can be custom-made to suit your individual (or household) insurance needs. In addition, many websites that offer price comparisons for different insurance companies will also offer side-by-side plan comparisons along with the monthly and/or annual cost of the plan. Comparing different policies is especially important for those who have special insurance needs (e.g. – high-risk drivers) or have multiple members of the household who need insurance. It is important to make sure every insurance need (for the household) will be covered by the policy, before you buy.

Compare Discounts

Knowing which discounts you may be eligible for, is helpful in comparing car insurance quotes, as well, because car insurance discounts are another great way to save money on car insurance. Almost every insurance company offers amazing discounts, but often, it is up to the consumer to find these special deals or it is left up to the insurance agent (who may or may not provide information about the available discounts). Several of the online auto insurance comparison sites, offer detailed information about the possible discounts for each driver based on the information entered by the individual. The possible discounts from various insurance companies include:

*Vehicle Safety discounts (Day-Safe lights, Anti-Lock brakes, Air Bags, Security Alarm, etc.)

*Good Student discounts

*Good Driver discounts

*Over 55 discounts

*Seat Belt discounts and more

In addition, some companies such as, Farmer’s Insurance and State Farm Insurance offer a program called, Discount Double Check, which reviews and re-checks current policies to ensure their customers are receiving every possible discount. 

Comparing car insurance quotes is simple, especially with side-by-side comparison of the prices, policies and discounts for various companies. By receiving fast and easy car insurance quotes and comparing the various options–you can find cheaper insurance, with better coverage and more discounts, today!

Cheap Car Insurance in New York

According to the New York Times, the price for car insurance in the state of New York ranks around the middle, when compared to other states (in terms of cost). Therefore, finding cheap insurance in New York state is pretty easy. In the following information, we will explain the minimum (cheapest) coverage required by the state of New York, some of the penalties for not having the required coverage and information about getting auto coverage, cheap.

Most states require drivers to have a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage (liability) to pay for damages to property, injuries and even, death. New York requires that drivers in this state have a minimum of 25/50/50/100/10 coverage, which means that New York drivers are required to have at least $25,000 coverage for injuries and a maximum benefit of $50,000, $50,000 to pay for any death that may have resulted from an accident and at least a $100,000 payout to cover the costs of a funeral and a minimum of $10,000 to coverage damages to property. The law in this state also mandates that every vehicle that is registered through the New York Department of Motor Vehicles should have the minimum liability coverage. Car insurance in the state of New York should also be in the same name as the registration, which may pose a problem for households with teen drivers (with their own vehicles) because the household premium may increase. Unlike most other states, if the coverage lapses, the registered plates will be returned to the DMV. In addition, car insurance in the state of New York needs to be provided either by an insurance company that is located within the state or by an insurance company that is licensed to provide coverage in New York. New York drivers and those who have recently moved from New York: If the insurance company does not meet these guidelines, the coverage is not valid and therefore, will result in a suspension of the individual’s driver’s license and vehicle registration. New York drivers who do not have insurance according to these guidelines may have a difficult time getting their license again or acquiring registration, even in a new state. Therefore, it’s very important for NY drivers to follow the auto insurance laws required by the state of New York.

There are multiple companies that offer valid insurance to drivers in New York for an inexpensive price. Some of the most popular options (and cheapest) include Progressive, GEICO, 21st Century (formerly AIG) — each of these companies offer the minimum coverage provided by the state, as well. NY drivers who have had issues (accidents, DUI’s, speeding tickets, etc.) have cheap insurance options available to them, as well. While the cost to insure high-risk drivers may be a little higher, monthly installments can offer relief to New York drivers who have a not so good driving history. Regardless of your situation, the best advice when searching for car insurance in New York is to do your homework before you purchase, which means: visit the company websites, request quotes, and ask questions, call the office and find out everything you need to know about your coverage in the state of New York?

Getting cheap car insurance in the State of New York is easy as long as drivers are aware of the stricter requirements in New York state, as well as, the penalties for not having the required guidelines in place. By signing up for a policy with the minimum required coverage and taking other smart consumer options (comparing quotes, plans and discounts), New York drivers can save considerably on their car insurance bill.