auto insurance http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7855/all en-US 7 Times You Shouldn't File an Insurance Claim http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-you-shouldnt-file-an-insurance-claim <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-times-you-shouldnt-file-an-insurance-claim" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_examining_broken_down_car_on_sunny_day.jpg" alt="Friends examining broken down car on sunny day" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It may seem like a waste of money to pay insurance premiums every month, then avoid filing a claim when you actually have damage. Yet sometimes, this is exactly what you should do to save money.</p> <p>The strategy of filing a claim whenever you have home or auto damage may get you more payout from insurance companies, but your insurance premiums will likely go up significantly, and you may even be dropped from coverage altogether. Both home and auto insurance companies report claims to industrywide databases, so all of the major insurance companies can see your claim history. Even if you move on to a new insurance company after filing a lot of claims, your premiums will likely be very high.</p> <p>Filing a lot of claims is almost certain to cost you more in higher premiums over time than you will get from claim settlements. According to a 2015 study from InsuranceQuotes.com, a single auto insurance claim can drive your rates up 41 percent to 76 percent, and multiple claims can drive rates up even higher.</p> <p>Insurance companies set your rates based not only on their assessment of your risk of having property damage, but also for the risk to them that you will file a claim. As a result, there are situations where you are better off not filing a claim with the insurance company &mdash; even if your damage is more than your deductible and you could get a payout.</p> <h2>1. The claim would be less than the deductible</h2> <p>The first thing you need to know before deciding to file an insurance claim is your deductible. The deductible is how much you have to pay out of your own pocket before the insurance company will pay to settle a claim.</p> <p>For example, if your auto policy has a deductible of $1,000 and your total repair bill is $1,100, then the insurance company will only pay $100. If the total damage is $900, then the insurance company won't pay anything, and your premiums could still go up.</p> <p>There is not much point in going through the hassle of filing a claim, getting the damage appraised by an insurance adjuster, and risking higher insurance premiums if it is likely that the damage is below your deductible and you won't get a payout anyway.</p> <h2>2. You have filed recent claims</h2> <p>Even if your claim would be more than the deductible and you would get a payout, if you have filed other recent claims, you are risking a significant increase in rates by filing another one. The average person files a claim about once every eight to 10 years, so if you file claims more frequently than average, you could be setting yourself up for higher rates.</p> <h2>3. There is no accident report and no injuries</h2> <p>For auto insurance, the payout from a small damage claim can easily be offset by the years of higher rates you'll pay afterward. For small incidents, it can be much less expensive to simply pay to repair the damage without going through the insurance company if there are no injuries and no accident report is filed. If a police report is filed, your insurance company will likely find out about the incident whether you report it or not.</p> <h2>4. There is no potential for lawsuit</h2> <p>One of the benefits of getting your insurance company involved is to handle a potentially very expensive lawsuit. Even if your incident is minor, you may want to talk with your insurance company if you get the feeling that the other party may pursue a liability claim. If a lawsuit does not seem like a possibility based on the incident and the parties involved, this can tip the balance in favor of paying for the damage yourself without involving the insurance company.</p> <h2>5. You have an emergency fund</h2> <p>If the damage is a few thousand dollars or less, you might still come out ahead by paying out of pocket rather than filing a claim. You can avoid the risk of higher premiums for years, and getting a record that can follow you even if you look for insurance from a different provider. For example, the back window of my car shattered, and I decided to take care of this $300 repair without going through the insurance company at all.</p> <h2>6. Watch out for expensive home policy claims</h2> <p>Dog bites, water damage, and slip-and-fall claims are most likely to trigger rate increases on your homeowners insurance, according to Bankrate. Think twice before making a claim in these categories if the claim would be fairly small and you can handle the expense on your own.</p> <h2>7. Inquiries can make your rates go up without even filing a claim</h2> <p>Some insurance agents are obligated to report inquiries to the insurance company, and a mere <a href="http://www.aarp.org/money/insurance/info-12-2011/phone-call-raise-insurance-rate-ask-sid.html" target="_blank">inquiry about your coverage</a> can be used to raise your rates due to the increased risk that you may file a claim.</p> <p>You may want to investigate your coverage on your own by looking at your insurance policy and deciding whether it is worth it to call your insurance agent. You can also ask your agent if they are obligated to report the inquiry to the insurance company before you start talking about a potential claim.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-times-you-shouldnt-file-an-insurance-claim&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Times%2520You%2520Shouldnt%2520File%2520an%2520Insurance%2520Claim.jpg&amp;description=7%20Times%20You%20Shouldnt%20File%20an%20Insurance%20Claim"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Times%20You%20Shouldnt%20File%20an%20Insurance%20Claim.jpg" alt="7 Times You Shouldn't File an Insurance Claim" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-you-shouldnt-file-an-insurance-claim">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-your-insurance-may-not-cover-these-8-losses">Beware: Your Insurance May Not Cover These 8 Losses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-when-bundling-insurance-doesnt-make-sense">4 Times When Bundling Insurance Doesn&#039;t Make Sense</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-things-you-should-know-about-rental-car-insurance">3 Things You Should Know About Rental Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-you-should-buy-the-rental-car-insurance">6 Reasons You Should Buy the Rental Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-a-claim-will-impact-your-car-insurance">Here&#039;s How a Claim Will Impact Your Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance accidents auto insurance claims damages deductibles homeowners insurance policies Fri, 07 Jul 2017 08:31:04 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1976049 at http://www.wisebread.com Beware: Your Insurance May Not Cover These 8 Losses http://www.wisebread.com/beware-your-insurance-may-not-cover-these-8-losses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beware-your-insurance-may-not-cover-these-8-losses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-498559502.jpg" alt="Man learning his insurance may not cover these losses" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You might think that you have enough insurance protection. After all, you have car, homeowners, life, health, and disability insurance coverage. What else could you possibly need?</p> <p>Here's an unsettling truth: Even if you've taken out all the insurance policies necessary to protect yourself and your family, you might still face coverage gaps. Review your policies regularly. And when you do, watch for these potential gaps in your coverage.</p> <h2>1. Life insurance</h2> <p>Many employers offer group life insurance to their workers as an important financial benefit. The American Council of Life Insurers said that at the end of 2015, group life insurance represented 44 percent of all life insurance policies issued in the United States.</p> <p>Employees like this insurance because it is usually inexpensive. But there are some negatives: Most group life insurance policies end if you leave your employer, and the next company at which you work might not offer this coverage. Secondly, the payouts for group life policies tend to be smaller than for an individual life policy that you'd buy for yourself. Usually, the death benefit with a group life policy is one to two times your annual salary. That's a nice bit of cash, but it's certainly not enough to provide for your family long-term should you unexpectedly pass away.</p> <p>That's why you should use a group policy as a supplement, not a replacement, for an individual life insurance policy. Yes, an individual policy will cost more, but you'll also receive a far larger death benefit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-your-group-life-insurance-is-not-enough?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why Your Group Life Insurance Is Not Enough</a>)</p> <h2>2. Dog bites</h2> <p>According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability funds paid out in 2016. That equaled 18,123 claims, with the average cost for each claim coming out to $33,230.</p> <p>The challenge with dog bites is that many insurance providers won't insure homeowners who own certain breeds considered &quot;dangerous.&quot; Insurance companies vary on this, but many won't insure pit bulls, Rottweilers, German shepherds, or Doberman pinschers. If you have a dog, check with your insurance company to make sure that it is covered. Paying for a dog bite without the help of your insurer can prove costly.</p> <h2>3. Transportation expenses</h2> <p>Your car insurance policy will cover the damages to your vehicle following an accident as part of its collision coverage. But what if you need to rent a car to get around while your vehicle is in the shop? That can be expensive.</p> <p>Unfortunately, most auto policies don't provide what is known as transportation expenses coverage. And when policies do provide it, the amount they'll give you to rent a car &mdash; often as little as $20 a day &mdash; might not be enough to cover the whole cost.</p> <p>Check your policy to determine if it will cover a rental car. If it does, make sure you know exactly how much you'll be getting. If you're not satisfied, it might be time to pay to boost this coverage.</p> <h2>4. Extra liabilities</h2> <p>What if a neighbor drowns while swimming in your pool? Will your homeowners insurance provide enough coverage if your neighbor's family files a costly lawsuit against you?</p> <p>Probably not &mdash; and that's where an umbrella insurance policy comes in. An umbrella policy provides extra liability coverage above the limits of the coverage provided by your auto or homeowners insurance. Maybe your homeowners insurance policy provides liability coverage of up to $500,000. If someone sues you for $1 million, you then might be on the hook for the extra $500,000.</p> <p>An umbrella policy can protect you from this. It kicks in when a legal action against you supersedes the amount of liability coverage you have. In the example above, your umbrella policy would cover the extra $500,000 that the homeowners policy would not. An umbrella policy can offer you the same kind of extra protection if you cause a serious car accident.</p> <p>Umbrella insurance isn't overly expensive. The Insurance Information Institute says that consumers typically pay between $150 to $300 a year for $1 million worth of umbrella liability protection. This investment might help you avoid a financial catastrophe.</p> <h2>5. Not enough disability coverage</h2> <p>You might think you've taken the steps to protect yourself and your family by taking out a disability policy. If you are injured or become ill and can't work, this policy will kick in to provide you and your family regular payments.</p> <p>Here's the challenge, though: Most group disability insurance plans only pay out 60 percent of the insured's base salary. And employees who rely on bonuses and overtime won't receive any pay out for those extras.</p> <p>Receiving 60 percent of your pay even though you are not working might sound like a good deal. But it can be challenging to live on just a portion of your regular income. Could you afford to cover all your monthly expenses if 40 percent of your income suddenly disappeared, especially if you've got medical deductibles and other costs to cover?</p> <p>If not, consider investing in supplemental disability insurance. You will have to pay for this, of course, but this extra coverage could protect you in case medical problems keep you out of work.</p> <h2>6. Wind or hurricane damage</h2> <p>A 2016 report from Travelers Insurance identified heavy wind storms as the cause of the greatest number of homeowners insurance claims from 2009 through 2015.</p> <p>You better make sure, then, that your homeowners insurance policy provides adequate coverage for wind damage.</p> <p>The Insurance Information Institute says that many insurers, especially those clustered along the Atlantic seaboard and Gulf of Mexico, include deductibles for hurricane and wind damage that are separate from those for incidents such as fire or lightning strikes. These can be expensive. Your standard deductible for most forms of home damage might be as low as $500, meaning that you'll have to cover the first $500 of any repairs before your homeowners insurance kicks in. But an extra deductible for wind or hurricane damage may instead be a percentage of the insured value of your home.</p> <p>Say your home's insured value is $300,000 and your insurer's wind or hurricane deductible is 5 percent. This means that you'd have to cover $15,000 in damages out of your own pocket before your insurance coverage would kick in.</p> <p>If you live in a storm-prone area, check your coverage. If the deductible for wind or hurricane damage is too high, it's time to shop for a new policy.</p> <h2>7. Flooding</h2> <p>If a heavy rainstorm causes your basement to flood, a standard homeowners insurance policy won't cover the damages caused by the water.</p> <p>If you want to protect yourself from floods, you'll need to purchase a separate form of protection known as flood insurance. You can usually purchase one of two policies &mdash; one that covers your home for up to $250,000, and a second that covers your personal property for up to $100,000.</p> <p>Flood insurance will <em>only</em> cover water damage resulting from a flood. It won't provide coverage if your water heater bursts and floods your basement or if water backs up from your toilets.</p> <p>Flood insurance doesn't do much to protect your personal belongings if they are stored in a basement, either. This insurance only covers damages to mechanical systems, electrical systems, and structural elements. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-surprising-things-your-homeowners-insurance-doesnt-cover?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Surprising Things Your Homeowners Insurance Doesn't Cover</a>)</p> <h2>8. Fire</h2> <p>What if a fire destroys your home? Yes, your homeowners insurance policy will help you rebuild. But don't expect it to pay for the full cost.</p> <p>Most insurance policies place caps on the amount of coverage they'll pay out. They also factor in depreciation when determining the value of the possessions that were destroyed in the fire. You might receive a much smaller payout than you expect when it's time to rebuild your home.</p> <p>Call your insurer to make sure that you will receive enough coverage should a fire destroy your home. If that coverage isn't enough, you might have to pay for extra protection.</p> <h2>9. Theft</h2> <p>According to the Insurance Services Office, the average loss in a home burglary is $3,786. Your homeowners policy can help you recover some of the costs from your stolen personal property, but don't assume it'll reimburse you completely. Often, the payout comes up very short.</p> <p>In order to keep premiums down, homeowners policies put caps on some valuable items, such as jewelry, electronics, or artwork. Even cash often has a measly limit of $200. Let's say your homeowners policy puts a $1,000 threshold on jewelry, and your $3,000 diamond ring is stolen, along with several other expensive necklaces. You'd be out thousands of dollars. The payout wouldn't come close to the value of what was stolen.</p> <p>If you have valuable items in your home, you may want to consider purchasing an additional rider (or &quot;floater&quot;) policy that will cover items beyond what homeowners will offer. Some providers offer special riders for unique items, such as jewelry or camera equipment.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-your-insurance-may-not-cover-these-8-losses">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-you-shouldnt-file-an-insurance-claim">7 Times You Shouldn&#039;t File an Insurance Claim</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-when-bundling-insurance-doesnt-make-sense">4 Times When Bundling Insurance Doesn&#039;t Make Sense</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-you-need-to-know-about-disability-insurance">4 Things You Need to Know About Disability Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">When Should Single People Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-unexpected-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance">11 Unexpected Things Covered by Homeowners Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance auto insurance damages disability dog bites fire floods gaps homeowners insurance hurricanes liabilities life insurance policies theft weather Fri, 19 May 2017 08:30:08 +0000 Dan Rafter 1949204 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How a Claim Will Impact Your Car Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-a-claim-will-impact-your-car-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-a-claim-will-impact-your-car-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-475427309.jpg" alt="Man learning how a claim will impact car insurance" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You sideswiped a parked car. Or maybe you slammed on the brakes too late and rear-ended the driver ahead of you. Whatever happened, the accident is clearly your fault. Now it's time to give your insurance a call.</p> <p>When you file a claim, your auto insurer will pay for the repairs to your vehicle and, if you are at fault in the accident, whatever repairs are needed for other vehicles involved in the collision. Your insurer might also pay for any injuries suffered by you or other drivers.</p> <p>But filing a claim also comes with a negative: In most cases, it will cause your insurance rates to rise. How much your policy's rate rises depends on a host of factors.</p> <h2>Mitigating Factors</h2> <p>On its website, Geico says that drivers' rates don't automatically rise after an accident. Instead, the insurer looks at several factors before deciding whether to issue a rate increase. These include your driving record, the number of claims you've made in the past, and the amount of money that the insurer has paid out to you during the life of your insurance policy.</p> <p>Esurance also states that insurance rates don't automatically jump after an accident. The company says that minor accidents and fender benders don't always equal a rate increase, especially if you have a record of safe driving.</p> <p>Fault matters, too, of course. Esurance says that if you weren't at fault in an accident, your premium might not jump.</p> <h2>When Are Rates Most Likely to Jump?</h2> <p>Both Geico and Esurance say that premiums are more likely to increase if you are found at fault in a major accident. Again, your past driving record plays a big role in determining not only if your rate jumps after a major accident, but by how much.</p> <p>Your insurer, though, might increase your rate even if you weren't the driver who caused the accident. That's because car insurers have determined that even after an accident that isn't your fault, you are still statistically more likely to get into another accident. This makes you more of a risk to your auto insurer.</p> <p>Some states regulate how much of an increase you'll see after an accident, no matter who was at fault. Consider New York. Here, insurance companies can boost rates only if you were found at fault in an accident that caused injuries or more than $2,000 in property damage. In Massachusetts, insurers can only raise your premiums if you are found to be more than 50 percent at fault in an accident.</p> <p>You might also live in what is known as a no-fault state. In these states, each driver's insurer pays part of the costs involved in an accident, no matter who caused the incident. If you live in a no-fault state and file a claim, odds are that your insurance premium will rise even if the other driver was the cause of your accident.</p> <h2>How Long Before Your Rates Fall Again?</h2> <p>Fortunately, a rate increase isn't permanent. Esurance said that several factors play a role in how long your insurance premiums will remain at an elevated level after an accident. These include the severity of the accident, who was at fault, and whether alcohol was involved.</p> <p>Some states will regulate how many years back insurers can look when calculating premiums. In Massachusetts, drivers' at-fault accidents can only impact their auto insurance rates for three to five years.</p> <p>In general, you can expect your elevated rates to remain in place for three to five years.</p> <h2>How Much of an Increase Will You See?</h2> <p>Here's the big question: How much will your insurance rates rise after an accident? Again, this depends on a host of factors: Who caused the accident, were people injured, was there significant property damage, was speeding involved, were you drinking?</p> <p>A 2016 report by NerdWallet found that rates typically rise by $300 or less a year for an accident that you caused resulting in under $2,000 worth of damage. That rate increase jumps to $300&ndash;$600 a year if you cause an accident with $2,000 or more in property damage. If you cause an accident that results in any human injury, your rates will typically increase by $400&ndash;$800 a year.</p> <p>And if you are found at fault in multiple accidents causing $2,000 or more in property damage, your rates could rise by $1,000 or more a year.</p> <p>If your rate is going to rise, it won't come as a surprise. Insurers will notify you of any upcoming increase. Geico, for instance, says it will send you information about any rate increases about 30 days before your policy is up for renewal. At that point you can shop around to see if another company might give you a better rate.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-a-claim-will-impact-your-car-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-things-you-should-know-about-rental-car-insurance">3 Things You Should Know About Rental Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-you-should-buy-the-rental-car-insurance">6 Reasons You Should Buy the Rental Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-youre-in-a-car-accident">What to Do (and Not Do) When You&#039;re in a Car Accident</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-you-shouldnt-file-an-insurance-claim">7 Times You Shouldn&#039;t File an Insurance Claim</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance accidents at-fault auto insurance crashes fender benders no-fault premiums rate increase Fri, 17 Mar 2017 11:00:11 +0000 Dan Rafter 1909972 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Times When Bundling Insurance Doesn't Make Sense http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-when-bundling-insurance-doesnt-make-sense <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-times-when-bundling-insurance-doesnt-make-sense" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-486437284.jpg" alt="Learning when bundled insurance doesn&#039;t make sense" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Insurance companies offer a host of ways to reduce the premiums you pay for auto, life, home, and health insurance. If you have a clean driving record, you might qualify for a discount on your auto insurance rates. If you install a security system to protect your single-family home, you might have to pay less for your homeowners insurance. And if you don't smoke, you'll certainly pay a lot less for life insurance.</p> <p>One of the most popular ways to qualify for a discount is to bundle different insurance policies together &mdash; say, your homeowners and auto policies &mdash; from the same insurer. Insurers will give you a discount as a reward for buying more than one policy from them.</p> <p>Bundling is popular. A 2016 story by InsuranceQuotes.com cited a U.S. National Auto Insurance study by J.D. Power and Associates saying that 58% of policyholders bundle their homeowners and auto insurance policies. InsuranceQuotes.com also reported that bundling insurance can save policyholders about 10% off their annual rates, if they land the best bundling deals available.</p> <p>But, there is a catch here, and sometimes taking out life, auto, and homeowners policies with different companies makes the most sense. Even though bundling might sound like the obvious choice for consumers hoping to save money on insurance coverage, there are a few times when bundling actually doesn't result in the biggest financial savings.</p> <h2>You Didn't Shop Around</h2> <p>The best way to nab the lowest rates on insurance is to take the time to shop around with different companies. This is far easier today, with insurers providing online quotes to potential customers.</p> <p>It can be tempting to skip the shopping phase if, for example, your auto insurer offers to provide a bundling discount for your homeowners insurance, too. But resist the temptation to take your insurer's offer until you've shopped around. You might find another insurer that will provide you a policy with a premium low enough to outweigh your first insurer's bundling discount. Armed with a lower quote from a competing insurer, you might even be able to convince your current insurance company to provide you an even bigger discount.</p> <h2>You Have a History of Health Problems</h2> <p>You'll pay far less for life insurance coverage if you have a history of good health. If your past is dotted with serious health issues, you can unfortunately expect your life insurance premiums to be higher. This spotty health history might also make it less financially sound to bundle your life insurance coverage with auto or homeowners insurance. Again, it's especially important to shop around with life insurance providers, especially when you have a complicated health history &mdash; including if you smoke or have a chronic condition.</p> <p>It's also worth noting that you may not want something as important as your life insurance coverage bundled through a company that specializes in say, auto insurance. In that case, it may be worth having it be its own separate policy.</p> <h2>Your Driving Record Isn't Exactly Flawless</h2> <p>Claim an accident on your auto insurance, and you can expect your premiums to soar. Again, it makes sense to shop around with different insurers to find the lowest rates when you are stuck with a spotty driving record.</p> <p>If you instead simply bundle your auto policy with the company that provides your homeowners insurance, you might miss out on lower premiums that will outweigh the bundling discount. Do your homework &mdash; even if it takes time &mdash; to discover if there are other insurers out there willing to give you a bigger break for your past driving mistakes.</p> <h2>You Need Specialized Homeowners Coverage</h2> <p>What if you need your homeowners insurance policy to cover an expensive jewelry collection? What if you need to insure solar panels on your home's roof? This coverage can be complicated, and cost more. Again, when you have such specific needs, if often makes more sense to talk to different insurers than blindly accept your provider's bundling offer.</p> <p>The main point here is that often, bundling will save you the most money. But there are exceptions, and you won't know the savings you might enjoy if you don't first shop around with other providers &mdash; even if your current insurer is promising a bundling discount.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-when-bundling-insurance-doesnt-make-sense">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-your-insurance-may-not-cover-these-8-losses">Beware: Your Insurance May Not Cover These 8 Losses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-you-shouldnt-file-an-insurance-claim">7 Times You Shouldn&#039;t File an Insurance Claim</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">When Should Single People Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-pay-as-you-drive-auto-insurance-worth-it">Is Pay-As-You-Drive Auto Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-being-a-safe-driver-will-save-you-big-money">4 Ways Being a Safe Driver Will Save You Big Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance auto insurance bundling discounts homeowners insurance life insurance policies rates savings Tue, 14 Mar 2017 10:30:18 +0000 Dan Rafter 1905172 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways Being a Safe Driver Will Save You Big Money http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-being-a-safe-driver-will-save-you-big-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-being-a-safe-driver-will-save-you-big-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_driving_car_000052861520.jpg" alt="Woman learning how being a safe driver will save her big" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>That speeding ticket can cost you &mdash; to the tune of an initial fine of $100 or more. That's bad enough, but then comes the hit to your insurance premium. You can expect the cost of your auto insurance to jump by at least 20% if you're caught driving 15 miles per hour over the speed limit, according to a study by InsuranceQuotes.com.</p> <p>But if you follow the speed limit, you don't have to worry about this financial hit. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-new-car-costs-the-dealer-is-hiding-from-you">10 New Car Costs the Dealer Is Hiding From You</a>)</p> <p>That's just one of the ways that being a safe driver can save you a load of money. Here's a look at the financial benefits that a safe driving record will bring you.</p> <h2>Lower Insurance Rates and Discounts</h2> <p>A clean driving record &mdash; one free of auto accidents, speeding tickets, or other moving violations &mdash; can dramatically reduce the amount you pay to your auto insurer each month.</p> <p>Insurance Quotes and Quadrant Information Services studied the impact of traffic incidents on insurance rates, and discovered that driving under the influence increased auto insurance premiums by an average of 93%. Reckless driving boosted it upward by an average of 82%. For speeding, the average increase varied, but those drivers going up to 15 miles per hour over the limit generally saw their insurance premiums jump by 21%.</p> <p>Another study by InsuranceQuotes.com, released in early 2015, found that drivers who make one accident claim will see their auto insurance rates jump by an average of 41%. Those who make two claims in a year will see their auto insurance rates increase by 93%.</p> <p>If you're a safe driver, you can actually be rewarded and save money by way of discounts. Allstate offers savings of 22% on policies after three consecutive years without any violations or accidents. After five years without any violations or accidents, drivers can reduce their insurance rates by 35%. Allstate also offers a defensive-driver discount. Under this program, drivers who are 55 or older and who complete six or more hours of defensive-driving courses can save up to 10% on their auto insurance.</p> <p>Don't have Allstate? Geico offers a discount of 26% for drivers who have been accident-free for five years. American Family offers drivers without accidents, violations, or claims a discount of 5% to 10%. Contact your auto insurance provider and see what safe driver discounts are available.</p> <h2>No Speeding Tickets</h2> <p>Getting a speeding ticket isn't much fun. It's costly, too. Last year, NerdWallet took a look at what a speeding ticket can cost drivers in California. According to the site, those drivers who were ticketed for going 15 miles per hour over the speed limit paid an average of $234 when fees and surcharges were taken into account.</p> <p>In 2013, insurer Esurance reported that the average speeding ticket costs drivers throughout the United States $150. That's a lot of money. And it doesn't even take into account how much your insurance rate will jump after a speeding ticket. Speaking of which...</p> <h2>Gas Savings</h2> <p>You might not think that driving the speed limit will save you money at the fuel pump, but it will. According to the Department of Energy's FuelEconomy.gov, aggressive driving &mdash; which includes speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking &mdash; can lower your car's gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% when you're driving in town.</p> <p>By driving the speed limit, and by avoiding rapid acceleration and braking, you can save up to 21 cents per gallon in fuel costs.</p> <h2>Fewer Traffic Accidents</h2> <p>Car accidents are terrifying events. They're also expensive ones.</p> <p>Speeding, not paying attention, or driving under the influence can not only result in terrible injury or death, but tremendous economic impact. According to a 2010 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the overall cost of motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. amounted to nearly $1 trillion. By being more aware, you can save yourself and others the costly financial burden of deductibles, auto and property repairs, rate hikes, and bodily injury.</p> <p>Driving safely and at the speed limit won't completely protect you from car accidents and their costs. But it will help.</p> <p><em>Do your driving habits help or hurt your wallet?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-being-a-safe-driver-will-save-you-big-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-steps-you-must-take-if-youve-been-in-a-car-accident">10 Steps You Must Take If You&#039;ve Been in a Car Accident</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-when-bundling-insurance-doesnt-make-sense">4 Times When Bundling Insurance Doesn&#039;t Make Sense</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-youre-in-a-car-accident">What to Do (and Not Do) When You&#039;re in a Car Accident</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-what-that-ticket-you-got-will-do-to-your-car-insurance-rate">This Is What That Ticket You Got Will Do to Your Car Insurance Rate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-know-how-to-use-a-parking-meter-serious-question">Do you know how to use a parking meter? Serious question.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation auto insurance discounts driving rates safety tickets Tue, 05 Jan 2016 18:00:07 +0000 Dan Rafter 1629243 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Steps You Must Take If You've Been in a Car Accident http://www.wisebread.com/10-steps-you-must-take-if-youve-been-in-a-car-accident <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-steps-you-must-take-if-youve-been-in-a-car-accident" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car_accident_000035665620.jpg" alt="Guy making phone call after car accident" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting in a car accident can be one of the most unnerving moments in a person's life. The unexpected has just happened. If you're lucky, no one has been injured.</p> <p>Then comes all of the hassles that can be part of being in an accident: filing police reports and insurance claims, getting your car fixed or replaced, and many other things. Remembering what steps to take can be difficult. Here are some things drivers should do after a car accident. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-youre-in-a-car-accident?ref=seealso">What to Do (and Not Do) When You're in a Car Accident</a>)</p> <h2>1. Stop</h2> <p>Don't drive or run away from the scene of the accident &mdash; you could be arrested for leaving, even if it's minor.</p> <p>If your car is still operable, drive it off to the side of the road and out of traffic. If you can't safely drive it, leave it to a tow truck. Assuming you can safely get out of your car, put warning flares out and turn your flashers on to warn traffic of your accident.</p> <h2>2. Seek Medical Care</h2> <p>Are you, or is anyone else in your car, injured? How about in the other car? If you think someone needs urgent medical help, call 911. Injuries often aren't immediately apparent in auto accidents, so you may need to see your doctor or go to a hospital emergency room a day or so later.</p> <h2>3. Call the Police</h2> <p>Even if no one is injured, calling the police is a good idea. They can help with traffic control so another accident doesn't occur, and can collect evidence, talk to witnesses, and file a report that will help both drivers with their insurance claims. Unless the vehicles interfere with traffic, they should remain where they are so police can determine what happened.</p> <p>When talking with the police, tell them exactly what happened. If you don't know certain facts, don't fudge them and say that you're unsure. If an officer asks if you're injured and you don't know, say that you're uncertain instead of no. Pain from an accident can come hours later, so saying you're not injured when you don't know could be held against you later in an insurance claim.</p> <h2>4. Take Notes</h2> <p>To help your insurer, draw a map of the accident scene and write down property and vehicle damage. Also take note of the weather conditions, which can negatively affect drivers ability to travel safely. According to the Federal Highway Administration, <a href="http://www.buyautoinsurance.com/ultimate-bad-weather-driving/">weather related factors</a> account for 24% of the 6.3 million car crashes each year. Get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses, as well as the other driver involved in the accident. Also be sure to get their insurance information, and write down their license plate number.</p> <h2>5. Take Photos</h2> <p>Even if you have a dash camera going at all times, get out your smartphone and take photos of the accident scene. Take videos if possible. Without getting in the way of the police, take pictures of any visible damage to the vehicles. If you can't get photos at the scene, take them as soon as you can afterward.</p> <p>Some smartphone apps have <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2012/07/smart-phone-apps-that-can-help-after-a-car-crash/index.htm">insurance reporting tools</a> that help collect photos, audio, and provide checklists of what to do after an accident.</p> <h2>6. Exchange Information</h2> <p>If police are on the scene, they'll be gathering contact information from everyone involved in the accident. But if police don't respond, you should still get the name, phone number, and address of everyone involved, including drivers, passengers, and any witnesses. Don't stand between two cars while exchanging information &mdash; your cars could be hit by a rubbernecker.</p> <p>Ask to see the insurance card of the other driver. If police are there, ask for the police report number so you or your insurer can get a copy of the report later.</p> <h2>7. File an Insurance Claim</h2> <p>Once you've received medical attention and are in a safe place, call your insurance company to file a claim. Your insurer should be available 24 hours a day, so contact them as soon as you can. A claims adjustor may need to see your car, either at your home or the repair shop.</p> <p>If your car has a black box in it, your insurer may need access to the data port. These black boxes record vehicle data from the last 20 seconds before the crash and help determine how it happened. This information can include vehicle speed, wheel direction, when airbags were deployed, and if the brakes were applied.</p> <p>Find out if you have medical benefits as part of your auto insurance coverage. If you do, you'll likely have to submit any medical bills related to the accident directly to your insurer.</p> <h2>8. Get Your Car Repaired</h2> <p>Your insurer should help you with a lot of this by recommending repair shops, and help you get a tow truck to the scene if necessary. They should also help you get a damage appraisal, and tell you when, if at all, you'll have to pay a deductible for repairs. If your car is totaled, ask when you can expect to receive a check.</p> <p>If you have rental car coverage, they can also help you arrange for a rental to use while your car is in the shop.</p> <h2>9. Keep a File</h2> <p>To keep track of all of the paperwork, start a file with the insurance claim number on it so you can keep on top of what's happening with your vehicle. It should include the contact information for the claims adjustor who is handling your case, along with contact information for everyone involved in the accident. Also keep receipts for your rental can and other related expenses.</p> <p>Your insurance company should be your first contact to make sure everything is being done to fix your car and your medical needs are being paid for. Your insurance agent or claims adjustor should contact the insurer for the other party in the accident.</p> <h2>10. Alert the DMV</h2> <p>Within a day or so of the accident, contact your local DMV office and tell them your car was in an accident. This is required by most state laws.</p> <p>After doing all of this, you should hopefully be able to relax and get back to driving.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been in an auto accident? What steps did you take?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-steps-you-must-take-if-youve-been-in-a-car-accident">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-youre-in-a-car-accident">What to Do (and Not Do) When You&#039;re in a Car Accident</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/disguise-your-stuff-to-prevent-car-break-ins">Disguise Your Stuff to Prevent Car Break-ins</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-being-a-safe-driver-will-save-you-big-money">4 Ways Being a Safe Driver Will Save You Big Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/keys-locked-in-the-trunk-heres-what-to-do">Keys Locked in the Trunk? Here&#039;s What to Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-ssn-can-now-be-accurately-guessed-using-date-and-place-of-birth">Your SSN Can Now Be Accurately Guessed Using Date and Place of Birth</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation General Tips auto insurance car accident insurance claim safety Fri, 20 Mar 2015 11:00:04 +0000 Aaron Crowe 1349077 at http://www.wisebread.com This Is What That Ticket You Got Will Do to Your Car Insurance Rate http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-what-that-ticket-you-got-will-do-to-your-car-insurance-rate <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-is-what-that-ticket-you-got-will-do-to-your-car-insurance-rate" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/speeding-ticket-452522717-small.jpg" alt="speeding ticket" title="speeding ticket" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are two types of drivers in America: those who've received a ticket; and those who haven't.</p> <p>In the past five years, <a href="http://www.insurancequotes.com/auto/traffic-tickets-insurance-premiums" style="text-decoration:none;">25% of drivers</a> have received traffic tickets. That's one in four. Of course, tickets can range from the minor (such as driving with a broken headlight), to the very serious (a DUI). Tickets carry penalties, including fines and point violations, and if you hit 12 points your license is taken away. Typically, you'll automatically get 12 points for a DUI. However, the biggest hit your wallet takes will not come from fines and fees, but from the insurance rate hikes that accompany tickets. Here are five of the biggest insurance rate increases you'll get from traffic tickets.</p> <h2>DUI or DWI &mdash; 93% Rate Increase</h2> <p>That's <a href="http://www.carinsurancecompanies.net/how-much-does-car-insurance-cost-after-a-dui/" style="text-decoration:none;">almost double</a>, if you're lucky; many insurance carriers will actually drop you altogether, and some will triple your rate.</p> <p>The insurance industry does not like people driving under the influence. They consider you to be a very high-risk driver, and rightly so. <a href="http://alcoholism.about.com/od/dui/a/dui_insurance.htm" style="text-decoration:none;">Drunk drivers</a> are a danger not only to themselves and their own property, but also to everyone else on the road. If you can afford to pay the increased rate, it will be that way for three years. That equates to thousands of dollars. If your policy is cancelled, you need to get SR-22 insurance from another carrier before you can legally drive your car. And guess what? You now have a cancellation on your record, so it will be even more expensive. Of course, depending on your blood alcohol level, you may not even be able to get behind the wheel for another nine months.</p> <p>The bottom line is, <strong>never ever drive under the influence of alcohol</strong>. With the insurance hikes, penalties, classes, interlock devices, and everything else, it will cost you $10,000 and stay on your record for a long, long time. How much does it cost to get a cab, or spend the night in a nearby hotel? It's not $10k!</p> <h2>Texting &mdash; 21% Increase</h2> <p>Texting rate hikes have not come in line with DUI rate hikes yet, but they will. Research has shown that texting and driving is the same as driving after four beers &mdash; something that would easily get you a DUI conviction. Worse still, you are <a href="http://www.textinganddrivingsafety.com/texting-and-driving-stats/" style="text-decoration:none;">SIX TIMES</a> more likely to cause an accident if you're texting, as opposed to driving while intoxicated. Not only that, but 25% of all car accidents are now caused by drivers who text.</p> <p>It's an outrage that the insurance companies, and the laws, are not seeing texting for what it really is; one of the greatest dangers to road safety today. As it stands right now, if you get a ticket for texting and driving you can get as little as one point and a $20 fine, plus a 21% increase in your insurance rate (it's treated the same as a 15 mph speeding violation). It's very possible that if you have a good record, your insurance company will forgive you.</p> <p>But like I said above, expect the penalties for texting and driving to start increasing.</p> <h2>Reckless Driving &mdash; 82% Increase</h2> <p>If you're driving without using your hands, reading a book or map, erratically changing lanes while speeding, tailgating, road raging, or basically your attention is anywhere but the road ahead, you can get a ticket for reckless driving. Also, some DUI cases will plea down to reckless, or &quot;wet reckless&quot; (meaning alcohol was involved), and this results in slightly lesser charges and penalties. But don't go celebrating. Reckless driving is not something your insurance company likes to see on your record, and they will heavily penalize you for it.</p> <h2>Careless Driving &mdash; 27% Increase</h2> <p>On the other hand, careless driving brings much smaller penalties.</p> <p>While reckless driving is seen as intentional, <a href="http://law.freeadvice.com/general_practice/traffic_law/careless-driving.htm" style="text-decoration:none;">careless driving</a> is not done on purpose. You may forget to signal while changing lanes, or may fall asleep at the wheel (which brings disastrous consequences, but was never something the driver wanted to do). If you are ticketed for careless driving, you'll get a few points on your license and your insurance rate could rise by as much as 25%. Of course, your previous record will come into play, and your insurance company may let you off easy. There's a world of difference between forgetting to signal, and falling asleep behind the wheel.</p> <h2>Failure to Stop/Running a Red &mdash; 19% Increase</h2> <p>Whether you run through a stop sign or a red light, you can get a ticket.</p> <p>These days, cameras at intersections are grabbing offenders and sending tickets out automatically. You can always try to fight it, especially if you went through a yellow and the camera or police officer has you down as running a red. But, chances are you'll probably be too busy to go through with a court case, and will simply pay the fine and take the reduced points. Expect your insurance to go up about 19%, unless you have an exceptional history.</p> <h2>Speeding &mdash; Up to 30% Increase</h2> <p>The big one. Almost everyone, at some point in his or her driving life, is going to go over the speed limit. Even if it's just a few miles per hour over, it's breaking the law. Of course, most police officers don't usually bother unless you're going 10 mph or more over the limit (unless it's a very slow day). Depending on how much over the limit you were going, your insurance hike can range from 21% up to 30%. If you were doing something crazy, like 160 mph in a 55 mph zone, you may get a reckless driving ticket instead.</p> <h2>Driving Alone in a Carpool Lane &mdash; 18% Increase</h2> <p>It seems so trivial to get a ticket for driving in a HOV or carpool lane without passengers. However, those lanes are put there to ease traffic congestion, and if we all disobey the rules of the road they will become futile. While nothing major is going to happen, you can expect almost the same rate hike as a low-end speeding ticket. It's really not worth the hassle. Or the cost.</p> <p><em>Have you ever gotten a moving violation? What was the hit to your pocketbook?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-what-that-ticket-you-got-will-do-to-your-car-insurance-rate">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-being-a-safe-driver-will-save-you-big-money">4 Ways Being a Safe Driver Will Save You Big Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-a-claim-will-impact-your-car-insurance">Here&#039;s How a Claim Will Impact Your Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-youre-in-a-car-accident">What to Do (and Not Do) When You&#039;re in a Car Accident</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-you-shouldnt-file-an-insurance-claim">7 Times You Shouldn&#039;t File an Insurance Claim</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-when-bundling-insurance-doesnt-make-sense">4 Times When Bundling Insurance Doesn&#039;t Make Sense</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance auto insurance Cars driving DUI moving violations tickets Mon, 04 Aug 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Paul Michael 1173261 at http://www.wisebread.com Things You Must Know to Protect Yourself in an Auto Accident http://www.wisebread.com/things-you-must-know-to-protect-yourself-in-an-auto-accident <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/things-you-must-know-to-protect-yourself-in-an-auto-accident" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car-456014081.jpg" alt="auto accident" title="auto accident" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every year there are six million car accidents in the United States, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year">with over 30,000 involving fatalities</a>. Knowing what to do in a life-threatening situation can be crucial to your survival. Here are some tips on what to do in a car accident. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-emergency-situations-you-must-prepare-for-and-5-you-can-ignore?ref=seealso">Emergency Situations You Must Prepare For</a>)</p> <h2>1. Prepare Yourself in Advance</h2> <p>Being prepared for emergencies is always beneficial. Consider keeping these items in your glove box as you never know when they'll come in handy: a cheap multifunctional tool like a combination seat belt cutter and window breaker, pen/pencil and paper (for taking notes at the scene or copying down insurance information), an emergency backup battery for your phone, a disposable camera for photos, and a first aid kit. If you're planning on driving your car often, always make sure your car passes safety inspections with flying colors, as a faulty system can mean the difference between life and death. Also make sure flammable materials are secured before driving.</p> <h2>2. If You Know the Collision Is About to Happen, Prepare Your Body</h2> <p>Relaxing the body before impact is a popular myth, but <a href="http://universalchiropractic.net/index.php?p=219508">most chiropractors believe it will not help</a> minimize injury sustained in a car crash. If you do anticipate a car accident, keep your wrists straight and your hands on the steering wheel at 10 and 2 and keep your head back against the headrest instead of leaning forward to minimize the force of impact of the air bag. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-lifesaving-skills-everyone-should-know?ref=seealso">Lifesaving Skills Everyone Should Know</a>)</p> <h2>3. Assess Your Situation</h2> <p>This sounds easier said than done, but making a conscious effort to focus on what is happening can be the difference between life and death. Assess your situation, take an inventory of your body and your surroundings, and notice if there are any injuries or anything that seems like it will turn into a hazardous situation (like leaking gasoline). By figuring out what exactly has happened you allow your mind to create a plan and work out the next steps.</p> <h2>4. Call 911 Yourself If You Can</h2> <p>The &quot;<a href="http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/we_are_all_bystanders">Bystander Effect</a>&quot; describes the situation when a group of two or more individuals don't act during an emergency because they think the other(s) have probably already taken action. This is not the time to make assumptions. If you're able to do it on your own, call 911 and report the situation. If you're unable to but are able to communicate with another person at the scene, explicitly point to them and say &quot;Call 911.&quot; By giving them a direct order, you remove the Bystander Effect, as now one specific person has been given the responsibility.</p> <h2>5. Turn Off Your Engine and Don't Smoke</h2> <p>As soon as you're able to, put the car in park and turn the engine off. This minimizes the potential for further circulation of flammable materials. Also, if you're a smoker, then chances are this is definitely one of the times you need a smoke to calm down. But don't light up just yet, as there could be flammable materials in the air or on your clothing. Don't let others smoke around the accident, either, until police or the fire department have assessed the situation.</p> <h2>6. Get to a Safe Area</h2> <p>If you're able to get out of your car, you should move to a safe clearing away from the scene as soon as possible. Not only will this prevent further injuries from the aftermath of the crash, but it will also help you to assess the situation and treat any minor sustained trauma. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-youre-hit-with-a-huge-medical-bill?ref=seealso">What to Do If You Get a Huge Medical Bill</a>)</p> <h2>7. Exchange Details</h2> <p>If another driver has been involved in the accident, and they're safe, now is the time to get all relevant details to each other. Make sure to get names, addresses, insurance information, phone numbers, and any other relevant details that you feel will be needed.</p> <h2>8. Approach Witnesses</h2> <p>If there were bystanders who are able to give accounts of the accident, it's best to get their information, too, and ask them to stay until the police show up to take a statement. If there are serious damages or injuries, having a witness testimony can help you when it's your word against the other driver's.</p> <h2>9. Contact Your Insurance Company</h2> <p>Most policies require you to contact your insurer within 24 hours of an accident so make sure to let your insurance agency know as soon as possible. Some agencies now have smartphone apps that will help you take pictures and file your claim. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mistakes-to-avoid-when-shopping-for-car-insurance?ref=seealso">Car Insurance Shopping Mistakes</a>)</p> <p><em>Have you ever been in an auto accident? How did you get through it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/megan-brame">Megan Brame</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/things-you-must-know-to-protect-yourself-in-an-auto-accident">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-steps-you-must-take-if-youve-been-in-a-car-accident">10 Steps You Must Take If You&#039;ve Been in a Car Accident</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-places-to-stash-cash-in-your-home">The Best and Worst Places to Stash Cash in Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips auto accident auto insurance Fri, 21 Mar 2014 10:24:43 +0000 Megan Brame 1131542 at http://www.wisebread.com What to Do (and Not Do) When You're in a Car Accident http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-youre-in-a-car-accident <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-youre-in-a-car-accident" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car-emergency-4796220-small.jpg" alt="car accident" title="car accident" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've ever been in a car accident, chances are that taking photos of the accident scene and remembering to get the other driver's insurance information weren't your first thoughts. (See also: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-do-you-have-the-best-auto-insurance-coverage-for-your-needs">Financial IQ Test: Do You Have the Best Auto Insurance Coverage for Your Needs?</a>)</p> <p>Making sure you, your passengers, and anyone else involved in the accident are safe, and that medical help is on the way, should be the first step. But once things have calmed down and you have a few minutes to gather your thoughts, there are some things you shouldn't do, and a few you should, right after a car accident.</p> <h2>What You Shouldn't Do</h2> <p>It's hard to think straight after a trauma like an auto accident, but these mistakes can hurt you later, even if you follow all of the &quot;shoulds&quot; outlined below.</p> <p><strong>Talk Too Much</strong></p> <p>Police, insurance investigators, and the other driver may want to talk to you to find out what happened. If it's a minor fender-bender that you're at fault for, cooperating with police is a good idea. But if it's a criminal or negligent act, such as running a stop light, you may want to first talk to a lawyer after providing basic information such as proof of insurance, driver's license, and car registration to police.</p> <p>Talking to someone other than your attorney&nbsp;&mdash; including your own insurance company&nbsp;&mdash; after a car accident can hurt because your statement can be obtained by the other side's insurance company and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.onlineautoinsurance.org/6-things-not-to-say-to-your-insurer-or-a-cop-after-an-accident/">used against you</a>. Something as simple as an apology after the accident can be taken as an admission of guilt and liability.</p> <p><strong>Share Too Much Personal Info</strong></p> <p>It may be instinctive to give your home address and telephone number to the other driver involved in the crash, but you don't have to. To avoid having your personal information stolen, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners <a target="_blank" href="http://www.naic.org/Releases/2012_docs/wreckcheck_mobile_app_auto_accidents.htm">recommends not sharing personal information</a> such as a driver's license number. Since many retailers use that information to verify identity over the phone, it's best to only give your name and vehicle insurance information to the other driver.</p> <p><strong>Fail to Call the Police</strong></p> <p>Close to 20% of people believe the only reason to call police after an accident is if someone is injured, according to the NAIC, which has a free smartphone app called <a target="_blank" href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wreckcheck/id543290503?mt=8">WreckCheck</a> to walk users through creating an accident report. Filing a police report, however, can help facilitate the insurance claims process, the NAIC says.</p> <h2>What You Should Do</h2> <p>While you're avoiding saying too much or giving up too much information, you should also be aware of safety and gathering information you will need later.</p> <p><strong>Get Off the Road</strong></p> <p>Get to safety as soon as you can. If it's a minor fender-bender, move your car safely off the road and out of traffic. If you can't move your car without creating more damage, don't try &mdash; leave it to a tow truck. State Farm <a target="_blank" href="http://www.statefarm.com/insurance/claim-center/auto/what-to-do-after-an-auto-accident.asp">recommends keeping flares or other warning devices</a> in your trunk to alert traffic of your emergency.</p> <p><strong>Take Photos</strong></p> <p>If you have your cellphone with you, videotape or photograph the accident scene, so that your insurer can see where it happened and get an idea of how it might have happened. You don't want to get in the way of police, and you should only do this if you, any of your passengers, and people in the other car (if one is involved) are safe. There are lots of <a target="_blank" href="http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2012/07/android-iphone-smart-phone-apps-that-can-help-after-a-car-crash.html">auto insurance smartphone apps</a> that include accident reporting tools to help you collect photos, audio recordings, and other information so you can more easily file a claim with your insurer.</p> <p><strong>Take Notes</strong></p> <p>You should draw a map of what happened for your insurer, and write down how you remember the accident, along with weather and traffic conditions, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">property and vehicle damage</a>, and injuries to you or others. If there are witnesses nearby, get their names and phone numbers. And of course, get the name and insurance information from any driver whose car was in the accident. If your insurer doesn't provide you with an accident form to keep in your car, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.insureuonline.org/auto_accident_checklist.pdf">print one out from insureuonline.org</a> (PDF) and fill it out if possible at the accident scene.</p> <p><strong>Tell the DMV</strong></p> <p>Most states require drivers to report accidents to the DMV, so be sure to do that within a day or so of the accident.</p> <p><strong>Keep Your Documents Handy</strong></p> <p>If you've kept your proof of auto insurance forms that most insurers mail to policyholders in your glovebox, then a lot of this should be easy, and you'll have your insurer's phone number handy to call as soon as possible. Some states allow <a target="_blank" href="http://www.pciaa.net/web/sitehome.nsf/lcpublic/926?opendocument">electronic proof of insurance</a> on a cellphone.</p> <p>You'll probably get a visit from an insurance claims adjustor soon after the accident, which won't be as traumatizing as the accident, but will make life a lot more interesting as you try to recreate the accident and explain what happened. It'll be a lot easier if you've followed the advice above.</p> <p><strong>File Your Claim</strong></p> <p>Now that you're safe and have exchanged information, file an insurance claim with your carrier. Your insurer should be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so don't delay in making the call.</p> <p>If you can do all of this after an accident, you should congratulate yourself on <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-items-you-might-have-forgot-in-your-emergency-kit">being prepared and getting through a traumatic experience</a>.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been in an auto accident? What do you wish you had done, or hadn't done, afterward?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-youre-in-a-car-accident">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-steps-you-must-take-if-youve-been-in-a-car-accident">10 Steps You Must Take If You&#039;ve Been in a Car Accident</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-a-claim-will-impact-your-car-insurance">Here&#039;s How a Claim Will Impact Your Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-do-you-have-the-best-auto-insurance-coverage-for-your-needs">Financial IQ Test: Do You Have the Best Auto Insurance Coverage for Your Needs?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-being-a-safe-driver-will-save-you-big-money">4 Ways Being a Safe Driver Will Save You Big Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance auto insurance car accident emergency safety Wed, 24 Jul 2013 10:36:30 +0000 Aaron Crowe 980560 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Auto Insurance Discounts You May Be Missing http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-auto-insurance-discounts-you-may-be-missing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-auto-insurance-discounts-you-may-be-missing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/7765941456_161d00a11c_z-1.jpg" alt="Auto Insurance Discounts You May Be Missing" title="Auto Insurance Discounts You May Be Missing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on auto insurance discounts you may be missing, date night on a budget, and creating a more flexible work environment.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.doughroller.net/insurance/15-auto-insurance-discounts-you-may-be-missing/">15 Auto Insurance Discounts You May Be Missing</a> &mdash; You may be missing out on airbag discounts or pay-in-full discounts on your auto insurance, [The Dough Roller]</p> <p><a href="http://howsmarriedlife.net/date-night-on-a-budget">Date Night on a Budget</a> &mdash; Have a fun date night without breaking the bank by watching a movie outside. [How's Married Life?]</p> <p><a href="http://cashmoneylife.com/can-you-create-a-more-flexible-work-environment/">Can You Create a More Flexible Work Environment?</a> &mdash; Ask your boss if there are any flexible leave policies available to you. [Cash Money Life]<a id="fck_paste_padding"></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2012/08/stuff-all-over-the-place.html">&quot;Stuff&quot; All Over the Place</a> &mdash; Having a lot of &quot;stuff&quot; increases your stress levels and doesn't make you very happy. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.joetaxpayer.com/5-ways-you-can-spend-money-to-save-money/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Joetaxpayer+%28JoeTaxpayer%29">5 Ways You Can Spend Money To Save Money</a> &mdash; Spending a little more money on a tankless water heater can save you money in the long run. [JoeTaxpayer]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://ptmoney.com/best-degrees-to-get-that-promise-job-security/">Looking for Job Security? Here Are the 5 Best Degrees to Get</a> &mdash; If you want job security, consider getting a degree in occupational therapy. [PT Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-College-Students-Can-Stay-Safe-5859560">Stay Safe On Campus With These 5 Things</a> &mdash; Keep yourself safe on campus by investing in a personal steel dorm safe. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2012/08/28/our-enemy-is-resistance-and-we-shall-defeat-it/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+thesimpledollar+%28The+Simple+Dollar%29">Our Enemy Is Resistance, and We Shall Defeat It</a> &mdash; Don't let resistance defeat you. Instead, forge a new path of least resistance. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/8-steps-to-survive-living-apart-from-family">8 Steps to Survive Living Apart From Family</a> &mdash; To make living apart from family a little more tolerable, build a support system. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thefrugaltoad.com/personalfinance/5-ways-businesses-can-reduce-energy-consumption">5 Ways Businesses Can Reduce Energy Consumption</a> &mdash; Businesses can reduce their energy consumption by offering work from home opportunities whenever possible. [The Frugal Toad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-auto-insurance-discounts-you-may-be-missing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-being-a-safe-driver-will-save-you-big-money">4 Ways Being a Safe Driver Will Save You Big Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-used-car-salesman-reveals-dirty-tricks-and-how-to-beat-them">A Used Car Salesman Reveals Dirty Tricks (and How to Beat Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-new-tires-really-6-year-old-ticking-time-bombs">Are your new tires really 6-year old ticking time-bombs?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/would-you-drive-one-of-the-10-smallest-cars-ever-made">Would You Drive One of the 10 Smallest Cars Ever Made?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cars-that-thieves-dont-touch-and-5-simple-anti-theft-tricks">5 Cars That Thieves Don&#039;t Touch (and 5 Simple Anti-Theft Tricks)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation auto insurance automobiles best money tips Cars discounts insurance Wed, 29 Aug 2012 10:00:42 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 952435 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Cut Auto Insurance Premiums in Half http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cut-auto-insurance-premiums-in-half <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-cut-auto-insurance-premiums-in-half" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3075975592_1fbe76daf0_z-1.jpg" alt="Cut Auto Insurance Premiums in Half" title="Cut Auto Insurance Premiums in Half" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on how to cut auto insurance premiums in half, saving money while getting fit, and reasons you should have a side business.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thedigeratilife.com/blog/lower-car-insurance-rates-auto-insurance-premiums/">Lower Your Car Insurance Rates! How To Cut Auto Insurance Premiums In Half</a> &mdash; Get lower car insurance rates by having good credit. [The Digerati Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2012/03/how-to-save-money-while-getting-fit.html">How to Save Money While Getting Fit</a> &mdash; Get fit without breaking the bank by heading to a local park and going for a jog. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thousandaire.com/blog/10-reasons-you-should-have-a-side-business/">10 Reasons You Should Have a Side Business</a> &mdash; Having a side business diversifies your income and helps you learn new skills that will make you more valuable. [Thousandaire]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Items-Keep-Office-15196610">9 Items a Forgetful Person Must Keep in the Office</a> &mdash; If you tend to be a forgetful person, have a small whiteboard and whatever chargers you need on hand at your office. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/benefits-of-higher-gas-prices-and-tips-to-save-at-the-pump/">Unexpected Benefits of Higher Gas Prices and Tips to Save at the Pump</a> &mdash; Save money on gas by turning your car off if you are going to be idling for more than 30 seconds. [Credit Sesame]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://onecentatatime.com/51-diy-tips-for-home-maintenance/">51 DIY Tips for Home Maintenance</a> &mdash; It is simple to fix a leaky faucet on your own. Just replace the washer! [One Cent at a Time]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifespy.com/2012/ways-to-invest-your-savings/">Ways to Invest Your Savings</a> &mdash; Invest your savings by getting insurance and retirement funds. [LifeSpy]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/online-videos-help-special-needs-families-connect">Online Videos Help Special Needs Families Connect</a> &mdash; If you have a special needs child, check out Rock CF or My Autism My Voice. [Parenting Squad]<a href="http://kiplinger.com/slideshow/cheapest-cars-to-own-2012/1.html"><br /> </a></p> <p><a href="http://kiplinger.com/slideshow/cheapest-cars-to-own-2012/1.html">10 Cheapest Cars to Own</a> &mdash; The Ford Fiesta 4dr and Kia Rio LX 4dr are among the cheapest cars to own. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifeoptimizer.org/2012/03/16/ways-to-train-your-taste-buds-and-eat-healthier/">5 Ways to Train your Taste Buds and Eat Healthier</a> &mdash; Train your taste buds and eat healthier by not overcooking your food. [Life Optimizer]</p> <h2>News &amp; Events</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/news/2012/03/best-of-money-carnival-147-hosted-by-yes-i-am-cheap">Best of Money Carnival #147: Hosted by Yes, I Am Cheap</a> &mdash; The Best of Money Carnival features the ten best money-related posts of the past two weeks.</p> <p>Be sure to check out our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/news">News &amp; Events Calendar</a> to see all the awesome upcoming events in the personal finance world!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cut-auto-insurance-premiums-in-half">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-a-claim-will-impact-your-car-insurance">Here&#039;s How a Claim Will Impact Your Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-your-insurance-may-not-cover-these-8-losses">Beware: Your Insurance May Not Cover These 8 Losses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-you-shouldnt-file-an-insurance-claim">7 Times You Shouldn&#039;t File an Insurance Claim</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-when-bundling-insurance-doesnt-make-sense">4 Times When Bundling Insurance Doesn&#039;t Make Sense</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance auto insurance best money tips premiums Mon, 19 Mar 2012 10:00:12 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 911576 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get Cheap Auto Insurance for Young Drivers http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-cheap-auto-insurance-for-young-drivers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-cheap-auto-insurance-for-young-drivers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_driver.jpg" alt="Young boy driving a car" title="Young boy driving a car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Students, teenagers, and first-time drivers typically pay a premium price for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance">auto insurance</a> because car insurance companies put these drivers under the &ldquo;high risk&rdquo; category. Shopping around for the best price usually isn&rsquo;t enough to get the lowest rates. Young, inexperienced drivers need to prove that they are responsible and won&rsquo;t be prone to serious accidents and injuries when they&rsquo;re on the road. While it may take some time to negotiate the best rates with the car insurance provider, it is possible for young drivers to reduce their insurance premiums.</p> <p>Here are some tips for getting cheap auto insurance for young drivers.</p> <h3>Choose the Right Car</h3> <p>Economy cars and even newer cars are deemed &ldquo;safer&rdquo; in the eyes of the insurance company than luxury cars and flashy sports cars. If the student is in the market for a car, do some research to find out what average insurance rates are for that particular make and model. You&rsquo;ll be surprised how much this amount varies by car manufacturer. A younger driver insuring a Honda Civic will be paying much less than one insuring a BMW Z3. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/drive-the-old-car-or-buy-a-new-car">Drive the Old Car or Buy a New Car?</a>)</p> <h3>Share the Report Card</h3> <p>Some insurance companies extend a &ldquo;good student&rdquo; discount to high school and even college students. These drivers need to provide a copy of their report card and make sure the insurance company stays updated on their latest GPA. Above-average and honors students can get some of the best rates available, because the insurance company feels that these drivers are being responsible with their academic life and therefore may be more responsible on the road as well. A &ldquo;good student&rdquo; usually needs to maintain at least a B average to qualify for this discount.</p> <h3>Buy Only Necessary Coverage</h3> <p>As long as the student isn&rsquo;t driving a brand new car, a financed vehicle, or a car purchased with a loan, they don&rsquo;t <i>have</i> to get comprehensive and collision insurance coverage. Find out what the basic state insurance coverage requirements are and choose a plan that meets the student&rsquo;s basic needs. For example, electing for only liability insurance when the student only uses the car to drive to and from school may be a wise financial decision.</p> <h3>Inform the Insurance Carrier About All Safety Features</h3> <p>If the car has advanced locking systems, anti-theft devices, or aftermarket safety features that make the vehicle less likely to be stolen or vandalized, make sure the insurance company knows about them. Most insurance providers do offer a safety discount because they feel that the car will be less likely to be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/disguise-your-stuff-to-prevent-car-break-ins">broken into</a> or stolen &mdash; which, in turn, means a lower likelihood of a claim.</p> <h3>Take a Driver Safety Course</h3> <p>Driver safety courses, or remedial courses, are often court-ordered when a driver is close to losing his or her license or has several traffic tickets. Younger drivers who are trying to build up a good driving history can also take these courses. Just make sure the insurance company has a copy of the certificate or a signed letter stating the driver has successfully completed the course. Plus, training programs improve a driver&rsquo;s skills overall, so parents can have more confidence that their teens or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/college/college-resources">college students</a> are safer on the road.</p> <h3>Ask About Family Discounts</h3> <p>If the teenager or even college student is still living with his or her parents, you may be able to get their insurance through a family policy. Most insurance companies offer family packages that insure multiple drivers under a single policy. The younger driver&rsquo;s rate may end up being much lower through this type of insurance plan.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sabah-karimi">Sabah Karimi</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-cheap-auto-insurance-for-young-drivers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-a-claim-will-impact-your-car-insurance">Here&#039;s How a Claim Will Impact Your Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-youre-in-a-car-accident">What to Do (and Not Do) When You&#039;re in a Car Accident</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-do-you-have-the-best-auto-insurance-coverage-for-your-needs">Financial IQ Test: Do You Have the Best Auto Insurance Coverage for Your Needs?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance">Auto Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance auto insurance young adults Thu, 24 Nov 2011 11:37:02 +0000 Sabah Karimi 797034 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Financial Perks of Marriage http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-perks-of-marriage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-financial-perks-of-marriage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/99127128_7059dacbf5_z.jpg" alt="wedding" title="wedding" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you heard the stories about how finances are one of the leading causes of divorce? What exactly are people arguing about? Being married actually has some pretty good financial perks!</p> <p>I don't mean to downplay the financial challenges of married life. We've had our share of heated discussions over money; but there are some definite benefits to pooling together your resources in marriage. Here are ten ways that you and your spouse are hooking each other up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-planning-a-last-minute-wedding" title="8 Tips for Planning a Last-Minute Wedding">8 Tips for Planning a Last-Minute Wedding</a>)</p> <h3>1. Employer benefit options</h3> <p>If you're both working, you have access to each other's employee benefit plans. You can mix and match between the two to pick the best fit for your family. If one spouse loses their job, they can fall back on the other's benefits. If only one spouse is working, then the obvious benefit is that the non-working spouse has access to benefits.</p> <h3>2. Multi-car auto insurance discount</h3> <p>As a married couple, you have the added benefit of being able to add multiple cars to one insurance policy. This multi-car discount can help you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">save money on car insurance</a>.</p> <h3>3. One rent/mortgage payment</h3> <p>For those who live separately before getting married, the notion of combining homes or apartments is one of the best financial perks of marriage. By consolidating to a single mortgage or rent payment you can save hundreds of dollars each month.</p> <h3>4. One utility bill</h3> <p>Similar to making only one rent or mortgage payment, married couples enjoy the added advantage of having to only make a single payment for their utility bill. When you take away a whole set of water, gas, electric, and trash bills you'll definitely save money each month.</p> <h3>5. One insurance bill</h3> <p>See a pattern here? Consolidating to one set of bills can really make a difference. Not only are you getting rid of an insurance bill, now you're covering all the same stuff with only one deductible instead of two.</p> <h3>6. One set of furniture/appliances</h3> <p>When married couples move in together, they often downsize their furniture and appliances to only one set. Not only does this mean less to take care of and maintain, you can also make decent money by selling your furniture and appliances.</p> <h3>7. Fewer property taxes</h3> <p>This one only applies if you owned a house or apartment before getting married. Since marriage usually means moving in together, you only have to pay property taxes on a single property instead of two.</p> <h3>8. One tax return</h3> <p>Filing your taxes can cost a chunk of change if you hire an accountant. If you file jointly, suddenly you have one tax prep bill instead of two. It won't save you as much if you're just using tax prep software, but it still saves you at least an e-file.</p> <h3>9. More valuable rewards points</h3> <p>If you use a rewards credit card with a tiered reward structure, having both spouses using the same account can boost you into the higher tier of rewards more quickly. For example, we share a credit card where the higher tier means 5% cash back instead of 1% &mdash; a big difference.&nbsp;</p> <h3>10. Spending accountability</h3> <p>While everyone likes to splurge on purchases every once in a while, doing so too often can put a big dent in your bank account. If you know your spouse is going to see a big charge on your card or debit from your bank account you may be less likely to spend money on something you don't really need.</p> <p>It's not just the fear of being quizzed by your spouse about a big bill that keeps you honest with your money. Having to share the same financial resources means you're more likely to discuss spending ahead of time and make shared decisions. That other voice of reason can sometimes help save you from bad money choices.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ben-edwards">Ben Edwards</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-perks-of-marriage">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation">How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-stop-your-spouse-from-overspending">4 Ways to Stop Your Spouse From Overspending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-a-divorce-improve-your-finances">Could a Divorce Improve Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family auto insurance marriage rewards points taxes Thu, 07 Oct 2010 14:00:06 +0000 Ben Edwards 256528 at http://www.wisebread.com Financial IQ Test: Do You Have the Best Auto Insurance Coverage for Your Needs? http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-do-you-have-the-best-auto-insurance-coverage-for-your-needs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/financial-iq-test-do-you-have-the-best-auto-insurance-coverage-for-your-needs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car_in_surf.jpg" alt="Car in the ocean" title="Car in the ocean" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How well do you know your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance">auto insurance coverage</a>? Have you read &mdash; and do you understand &mdash; all the fine print? Is it structured it properly? Have you researched and comparison shopped for your ideal policy? And are you sure you&rsquo;re getting all the discounts available to you?</p> <p>Following is a Financial IQ Test to help you determine if you have the best auto insurance coverage for your needs. <strong>Simply look at each statement, and answer it with a YES, NO, or NOT SURE.</strong> Keep track of your answers, and we'll see how you score at the end. Then, check out the resource articles below to increase your knowledge base.</p> <h3>Researching and Applying</h3> <ol> <li>I understand how my credit rating can affect my insurance premiums.</li> <li>Before I buy a car, I <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance-rates">shop around for insurance rates</a> to ensure I can afford it.</li> <li>I understand how telecommuting can reduce my insurance rates dramatically.</li> <li>I&rsquo;ve weighed out the option of participating in a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/car-sharing-why-own-when-you-can-just-share">car sharing</a> program instead, since insurance is included.</li> <li>I shop around for my insurance, and take the time to ensure I&rsquo;m comparing apples to apples with each quote.</li> <li>I&rsquo;m honest about my mileage in the application &mdash; if it&rsquo;s higher than actual mileage driven I&rsquo;ll pay more than I need to, and if it&rsquo;s lower than mileage driven I could get into trouble if I make a claim.</li> <li>I know what the exclusions are on my policy, and have agreed to them.</li> <li>I use an insurance broker who can help me comparison shop.</li> <li>I&rsquo;ve looked into group insurance options through my employer or industry association.</li> </ol> <h3>Policy Structure</h3> <ol> <li>I&rsquo;ve selected the highest deductible I can afford to reduce my premiums.</li> <li>I know the book value of my car, and pay only for collision insurance if I can&rsquo;t cover it myself.</li> <li>I only insure regular drivers on the car.</li> <li>If I have good <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-how-healthy-is-your-health-care-plan">health insurance coverage</a>, I lower the medical payments portion of my auto insurance policy.</li> <li>If the annual premium is 10% (or more) of the book value of my car, I drop the collision coverage.</li> </ol> <h3>Saving Money</h3> <ol> <li>I&rsquo;m aware of the discounts applicable to me, and I&rsquo;ve asked my insurance company to apply them.</li> <li>I&rsquo;ve compared monthly to annual rates, and selected the cheapest option.</li> <li>I&rsquo;ve combined my auto and home-owner&rsquo;s/renter&rsquo;s insurance policies with the same company for additional discounts.</li> <li>I ask about &mdash; and ensure I&rsquo;m getting &mdash; a no-claims discount (if I&rsquo;m accident free).</li> <li>I&rsquo;ve asked about other ways I can reduce my premiums (such as having an alarm or immobilizer).</li> <li>I negotiate my auto insurance rates with my insurer.</li> <li>At renewal, I shop around for new quotes. If I find a better deal, I call my insurance company to see if they will match it.</li> </ol> <h3>Policy Maintenance and Making Claims</h3> <ol> <li>Every few years I calculate the deductible, book value, potential payout, and premiums, and I adjust the policy to minimize my expenses and maximize my available protection.</li> <li>When my car is fully paid off, I let the insurance company know so we can adjust the coverage and lower my rates.</li> <li>I call my insurer before making any modifications to the vehicle.</li> <li>After an accident, I get the other driver&rsquo;s details; including name, address, license, registration, insurance company name, and insurance policy number.</li> <li>I don&rsquo;t file small claims with my insurance company, as it&rsquo;s too detrimental to my record and no-claims discounts.</li> <li>I keep detailed records of phone calls and copies of all correspondence and receipts in making a claim.</li> <li>I keep proof of insurance with me all the time (for example, in my wallet).</li> </ol> <h2>Scoring</h2> <p>Did you keep track of how many times you answered YES, NO, and NOT SURE? Great! Give yourself the following points for each answer:</p> <p><strong>YES = 4 points</strong></p> <p><strong>NO = 0 points</strong></p> <p><strong>NOT SURE = 2 points</strong></p> <h2>Analysis</h2> <h3>Score 0-44: Start Researching and Reading Your Policy!</h3> <p>Chances are you&rsquo;re paying more than you need to for auto insurance, or you don&rsquo;t have the coverage you need and could end up in a jam if you make a claim. Pull out your policy, read the fine print, and research any terms you don&rsquo;t understand. To make the task less painful, consider using an insurance broker for relatively unbiased advice and the ability to educate you on various terms.</p> <h3>Score 45-88: The Devil is in the Details</h3> <p>You&rsquo;re part way there in that you&rsquo;ve covered off some of your bases and are maximizing value in some areas. But the devil is in the details &mdash; make sure you know exactly what coverage you have now, and not when the time comes to make a claim. Don&rsquo;t be afraid to ask how you can save money and what discounts are available to you. Go over your policy with a fine tooth comb, and make sure you understand every word &mdash; one word in the policy can quite literally make a world of difference.</p> <h3>Score 89-112: Top Dollar</h3> <p>You&rsquo;re doing a great job of researching the industry, structuring the policy in a way that suits you, and making sure you are saving money in the meantime. Take a look at any questions you said &ldquo;no&rdquo; or &ldquo;not sure&rdquo; to, and make sure you incorporate those strategies into the fold, as you may be able to save even more money and/or adjust the policy to suit your needs.</p> <h2>Wise Bread Resources on Auto Insurance</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-on-insurance">Save Money on Insurance</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-a-telecommuter-paying-commuter-rates-for-auto-insurance">Are You a Telecommuter Paying Commuter Rates for Auto Insurance?</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to Drop Collision Coverage on Your Car</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/car-sharing-why-own-when-you-can-just-share">Car Sharing: Why Own When you can Just Share?</a></p> <h3>Other Financial IQ Tests on Wise Bread:</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-how-healthy-is-your-debt-management">Financial IQ Test: How Healthy is your Debt Management?</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-how-healthy-are-your-bank-accounts">Financial IQ Test: How Healthy are your Bank Accounts?</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-how-healthy-is-your-budget">Financial IQ Test: How Healthy is your Budget?</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-how-healthy-is-your-health-care-plan">Financial IQ Test: How Healthy is your Health Care Plan?</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-how-healthy-is-your-disability-insurance">Financial IQ TEST: How Healthy is your Disability Insurance?</a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-do-you-have-the-best-auto-insurance-coverage-for-your-needs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-a-claim-will-impact-your-car-insurance">Here&#039;s How a Claim Will Impact Your Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-youre-in-a-car-accident">What to Do (and Not Do) When You&#039;re in a Car Accident</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-cheap-auto-insurance-for-young-drivers">How to Get Cheap Auto Insurance for Young Drivers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance">Auto Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance auto insurance financial IQ Test Fri, 14 May 2010 12:00:15 +0000 Nora Dunn 78351 at http://www.wisebread.com Auto Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/auto-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/crash car.jpg" alt="crash car" title="crash car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Auto insurance is meant to cover the expenses that can go along with a car accident. But it's not just something that's nice to have. In many states it's required by law. That makes it especially important to get the best car insurance rates. There are a lot of factors that go into determining just how much you'll pay to insure your car, from your age to the zip code you live in, but there are ways to get the best possible price.</p> <h3>Car Insurance Options</h3> <p>Just what kind of car insurance is available to you can vary from state to state. In general, though, there are seven different types of car insurance that you should consider:</p> <p><strong>1. Liability insurance</strong><br /> In the event that you are at fault for an accident, liability insurance will cover the cost of the injuries and property damaged caused by the crash, with the exception of your injuries (and those of other people on your policy) and the damage to your vehicle. In general, it's best to go beyond state minimum requirements because you are personally liable for claims that exceed your auto insurance's coverage.</p> <p><strong>2. Collision insurance</strong><br /> With a collision insurance policy, your insurer will cover repairs to your car in the event of an accident. If your car is totaled, your insurer will pay you the value of your car before the crash &mdash; not what it was worth new. Many insurers do offer you the option to add coverage so that you would receive an amount closer to the price of a new car, but you will be required to pay extra.</p> <p><strong>3. Comprehensive insurance</strong><br /> Collisions aren't the only thing that can happen to your car. Theft, animal collisions and other damage can be costly. A comprehensive insurance policy covers such situations.</p> <p><strong>4. Uninsured / underinsured motorist protection</strong><br /> If the other driver in an accident has no insurance (or not enough to cover your medical expenses and vehicle damage), an uninsured motorist policy will cover at least the injuries to anyone riding in your car. In some states, it may also cover property damage.</p> <p><strong>5. Medical / personal-injury protection</strong><br /> As long as you have good <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/insurance/health-insurance"><span>health insurance</span></a>, you may not need medical or personal-injury protection. However, such a policy can provide coverage for you and your passengers, no matter who is at fault for an accident.</p> <p><strong>6. No-fault insurance</strong><br /> Currently available in 12 states, no-fault insurance covers injuries and property damage no matter who is determined to be at fault.</p> <p><strong>7. Gap insurance</strong><br /> If you owe money on your car, especially if you owe more than the car is worth, gap insurance allows you to pay off the car in the event that it is totaled.</p> <p>It's important to be very familiar with your financial situation before you sit down to get auto insurance quotes. Depending on your financial situation, you may need certain types of insurance more than others. For instance, if you could easily replace your car if it was totaled, you may not need collision or comprehensive insurance, bringing your costs down. You should also have an idea of what sort of deductibles you can afford out of pocket. If you can't afford the deductible, having insurance doesn't help you as much as it should.</p> <h3>Finding Car Insurance</h3> <p>It's important to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance-rates">shop around</a> when looking for car insurance, because your rates can differ dramatically between companies. But you don't necessarily want to pick the insurance company with the lowest rates. Check into the record of any company you're considering purchasing car insurance from. You can learn about a company's consumer record through the <a href="http://www.consumeraction.gov/insurance.shtml">Consumer Action Handbook</a> from the U.S. government. In particular, you need to know about your insurance company's history of claims, because many of the cheapest auto insurance providers keep their rates low by making the process for filing a claim virtually impossible.</p> <p>Many car insurance companies offer a variety of special discounts. Whether you're dealing with an insurance agent or directly with the company, make sure to ask about what discounts are available. From rewarding good driving records to good grades (for drivers still in school), discounts can make a big difference in the rates you pay.</p> <h3>Keeping Your Insurance Rates Down</h3> <p>Your auto insurance rate isn't based solely on your driving record, no matter how good a driver you are. In order to keep your rates at a reasonable level, there are several steps you should take. One of the most important is to keep your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debt/credit-scores">credit score</a> up. Insurance companies use your score to set your premiums and doing something that hurts your credit score, like failing to pay all of your bills on time, will increase your premium.</p> <p>You should also take insurance into account when purchasing a new car. Certain cars, such as sports cars, are more expensive to insure &mdash; as are those with high-tech features. While the cars that are the least expensive to insure may not catch as many eyes on the street, they are often among the safest cars available.</p> <p>You will find that major life events, such as marriage or having a child, can have a positive effect on your insurance premiums. Combining policies with your spouse will often make you eligible for a discount. Adding a teenage driver to your policy, however, can increase your premium up to 20%. It is often cheaper to buy an old car and list your child as the driver rather than listing your child as a driver on your car.</p> <p>In the event of an accident, it's important to inform your insurer right away. It's worth noting that telling your insurer is not the same as filing a claim; it may be more cost effective not to file a claim, depending on the specific situation. However, keeping your insurance company in the loop will protect you in the event of injuries that are not apparent at the time of the collision. It's important to read the details of your policy, preferably before you have to make a claim. How an auto insurance company handles a claim can differ significantly between states and even between policies.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance-rates">Click here to view the current auto insurance rates in your state.</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-a-claim-will-impact-your-car-insurance">Here&#039;s How a Claim Will Impact Your Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-youre-in-a-car-accident">What to Do (and Not Do) When You&#039;re in a Car Accident</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-do-you-have-the-best-auto-insurance-coverage-for-your-needs">Financial IQ Test: Do You Have the Best Auto Insurance Coverage for Your Needs?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-cheap-auto-insurance-for-young-drivers">How to Get Cheap Auto Insurance for Young Drivers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance auto insurance Fri, 09 Apr 2010 04:28:18 +0000 Thursday Bram 10390 at http://www.wisebread.com