What are the benefits of using telematics, or digital tracking devices, in my car for my automobile insurance?

The goal of any insurance provider is to assess the risk that a driver presents, as well as the likelihood that he or she will eventually need to file a claim. While there is no way to predict the future, insurers are taking advantage of modern technology to better determine the driving habits of policy-holders. With telematics, some drivers are paying lower auto insurance premiums than they ever have before.

What are Telematics?

Telematics are digital tracking devices installed on a vehicle to monitor driver speed, acceleration, and sudden braking. Though these devices are optional, there are benefits to allowing insurers to track driving information.

These benefits usually translate to auto premium savings for insured drivers — especially those with a history of insurance claims or traffic violations. Drivers in high risk groups, such as teenagers and the elderly, can also benefit from telematics. Insurers receive actual data for each individual driver instead of relying solely on statistical information and driving records. For those who drive safely, this can mean significant monthly savings.

Telematics are also making it possible to pay for auto insurance on a pay-as-you-go basis. In other words, drivers who operate a vehicle only on the weekends or for leisure may find their premiums decrease as digital tracking devices report less time behind the wheel. This is advantageous for anyone with sporadic driving habits, such as a student home from college during the summer or a retired person who only goes to and from the grocery store.

What is Accident Forgiveness?

Accident forgiveness is a type of automobile insurance policy you can buy that will “forgive” your first accident and not surcharge your policy premium.   Many insurance companies are advertising this type of automobile insurance policy as a great way to not get caught in the financial pinch of having your automobile insurance premiums increase over your first accident, or your first accident in a long time. The idea is that you are not charged additional premium, or a surcharge, for the accident.  The drawback is the fact that the insurance policy cost up to 50% more than a policy without the feature known as accident forgiveness.

So do you choose to pay more now, and for the next five years?  Or do you take your chances, save money on automobile insurance premiums now and gamble to see if you have an accident?

Some of us are very safe drivers, never had an accident in all our driving years.  Maybe you would like the luxury to know if that first accident happens that you are not going to have to pay higher automobile insurance premiums for it.

Things to know about accident forgiveness:

  • This policy will not keep tickets, accidents or claims off your driving record.
  • The policy is not transferable, so if you choose to switch automobile insurance companies, you will have to start over with a new policy, and new premiums.
  • The premiums for accident forgiveness are higher than the lowest pricing tiers insurance companies offer.
  • If you often shop for your insurance, or if you have tickets and/or accidents on your driving record, this is not the best policy for you.

Keep in mind most insurance companies now surcharge you for all claims, whether they are your fault or not and whether they are non-collision claims such as vandalism and hail.  Accident forgiveness will keep your first claim off your policy, but if there is a 2nd claim or a 3rd claim, your policy will be surcharged.   And since the accident forgiveness policy cost quite a bit more than insurance policies without accident forgiveness, those surcharges will be significant.  Or the insurance company may have to take you off the accident forgiveness policy all together, and place you on another type of policy at which point the first accident is not forgiven, and now you are being charged for 2 or 3 accidents.   General, one accident surcharge is not so bad, add another and you will see a much bigger increase, make it 3 accidents, and your policy will be surcharged tremendously.

If you still have more questions, go to AgentInsure.com and search for a licensed independent agent in your area that will answer your questions.

3 Ways to Lower your Car Insurance

3 Ways to Lower Car InsuranceEveryone wants to cut down on bills and save money. There are three easy ways to lower your car insurance and still maintain the coverage you need. One of the best ways to save money is to compare quotes from multiple providers to find the rate that fits your budget. Automobile insurance companies vary from state to state and finding a reputable provider is important. When you are comparing quotes you need to make sure you are getting the same amount of coverage and that you can feel confident that the provider will take care of your car insurance needs.

A second way to lower your car insurance is to ask for a multiple car discount. Most families have more than one car, but if you recently got married or if your grown children have come back home, you may not realize using the same insurance company can save everyone money. Also, don’t forget about your RV or even your home. Since you need insurance for these items also, ask your insurance provider for a discount.

A third way to save money on car insurance is to increase your deductible. This is easily overlooked when you are trying to cut back on expenses and lower your budget. Instead of a $200 deductible, you can choose a $500 deductible and potentially save hundreds of dollars each year. This does not reduce the amount of coverage you have, it just means that you will need to pay more out of pocket if you are involved in an accident. Usually, this is a great way to save money and still retain great auto insurance.

Before you renew your automobile insurance policy for the next six months, take some time to compare quotes and make sure you are getting a great deal. To make it even easier you can use an independent agent who will compare the quotes for you and find a great rate.

Age, Location, Status. 3 Things that Influence Your Auto Insurance Rates

Factors Affecting RatesIt’s easy to feel like you’re being stereotyped when you make an attempt to compare automobile insurance and are quoted a price that seems a bit outlandish—especially if you’ve got a clean driving record, don’t drive a high profile sports car, and don’t have any plans on challenging others on the road to impromptu drag races. But the fact is, there’s a lot more to landing cheap rates when doing an auto insurance comparison that doesn’t include your driving history or what you drive.

For example, did you know…

• Your age has a lot to do with the price you’ll be quoted when you compare automobile insurance. It’s true. Men under the age of 25 always pay higher rates because statistically, they’re far more likely to be involved in accidents and are a higher risk to the insurer.

• Where you live greatly impacts the cost of your premium. If you live in an urban area, you’re going to end up paying much more than someone of your same age and driving history who lives in the country. The more cars there are around you, the greater risk of you being hit—and therefore, you’ll be quoted a higher rate when you run an auto insurance comparison.

• If you’re married, you’ll pay less. Again, it’s all about statistics, and married men and women tend to be more “responsible” behind the wheel and are therefore involved in fewer accidents.

Although there is a lot you can do to lower your car insurance rates, in some cases the only thing you can do is wait for the passage of time. Either that, or move to a less densely populated area. But before doing so, make sure that the money you’ll save on car insurance will be worth the cost of your move. Otherwise, you could end up worse off—or no better than you were before.

Age, Location, Status. 3 Things that Influence Your Auto Insurance Rates

It’s easy to feel like you’re being stereotyped when you make an attempt to compare automobile insurance and are quoted a price that seems a bit outlandish—especially if you’ve got a clean driving record, don’t drive a high profile sports car, and don’t have any plans on challenging others on the road to impromptu drag races. But the fact is, there’s a lot more to landing cheap rates when doing an auto insurance comparison that doesn’t include your driving history or what you drive.

For example, did you know…

• Your age has a lot to do with the price you’ll be quoted when you compare automobile insurance. It’s true. Men under the age of 25 always pay higher rates because statistically, they’re far more likely to be involved in accidents and are a higher risk to the insurer.

• Where you live greatly impacts the cost of your premium. If you live in an urban area, you’re going to end up paying much more than someone of your same age and driving history who lives in the country. The more cars there are around you, the greater risk of you being hit—and therefore, you’ll be quoted a higher rate when you run an auto insurance comparison.

• If you’re married, you’ll pay less. Again, it’s all about statistics, and married men and women tend to be more “responsible” behind the wheel and are therefore involved in fewer accidents.

Although there is a lot you can do to lower your car insurance rates, in some cases the only thing you can do is wait for the passage of time. Either that, or move to a less densely populated area. But before doing so, make sure that the money you’ll save on car insurance will be worth the cost of your move. Otherwise, you could end up worse off—or no better than you were before.

Temporarily Lowering Insurance Costs

Lower Insurance CostsWhether you have California auto insurance, California homeowners insurance, or both, if you are thinking of taking action to temporarily lower your insurance costs, you better think twice. If you cut back on your coverage, you are adding to the risk and may expose yourself to higher out-of-pocket expenses in the event of an accident that results in bodily injury or property damage.

In today’s difficult economy, many people are struggling just to be able to pay their regular monthly bills. If you are thinking of raising your deductible or temporarily cancelling some optional insurance in order to save some money on your monthly premium, you could be making a bad decision.

Imagine what would happen if you cut back on your coverage on your automobile insurance and then got in a serious accident. Trying to save $100 or $200 per month can wind up costing you thousands of dollars because of inadequate coverage or high deductibles. Instead of cutting back on insurance, maybe it would be better to give up the premium TV subscription or cut back on some other non-essential expenses.

California homeowner insurance can protect you if your home is damaged by fire, wind, or other forces of nature. Depending on the type of coverage you have, you will be reimbursed for theft, vandalism or other types of contingencies that might occur on your property. Temporarily lowering your insurance costs can wind up costing you a lot of money. If a tree falls through your roof and you do not have coverage, it could cost you thousands to repair.

Why take a chance? If you have a house, you do not want to lose it because you were trying to save a few dollars. As hard as it may be to pay the extra premium amount, it is the responsible and right thing to do.

Tips to Temporarily Lower Your Insurance Costs

Tips to Lower RatesMany consumers are looking into temporarily lowering their homeowners or automobile insurance costs by eliminating some services, such as high deductibles they feel they can do without. Every dollar they save adds to being able to pay a mortgage down more quickly or do more with their family.

Here is some information that may assist you with saving:

  1. Increase your comprehensive and collision deductibles from $250 to $500 and see what you save. If not enough, ask the agent how much a $1,000 deductible would save. Since you are a careful driver and if the accident is the other party’s fault, your insurance company will most likely get your deductible back anyway.
  2. If you just got married, let your car insurance company know this as your rates are lower when married.
  3. Take a defensive driving course and also have security alarms on your vehicle.
  4. If you pay your car off, you may consider switching to liability insurance instead of having full coverage.
  5. If your teenager attends college in another state and leaves the car behind, your insurance rates may be lower.
  6. If you move from the city to a rural area, this may also lower your automobile insurance rate.
  7. If you change jobs and work from an office inside your home, you have eliminated much traveling, so your risk of accident is much less.
  8. Many auto insurance companies give you a percentage off when you also insure your home with them.

Talk to your agent and go over both your homeowners and your auto insurance so that he can save you money.

 

How do I shop for the best deal for insurance in Texas?

compare quotes on line and then buyThere is actually a bit of strategy involved when shopping for the best deal for insurance in Texas. All insurance companies are different and they all have different standards when determining rates and which applicants get the best premiums. It is up to the individual to shop around for the best deal possible.

What Type of Insurance are You Looking to Buy?

Many times an insurance agency will sell different lines of insurance. They may offer automobile, homeowners, life, medical and several other types of policies all under one roof. As a consumer, you may find that a particular company has especially low rates on automobile insurance, but higher than average rates on medical insurance. If you are shopping for car insurance, then you are in luck. If you want medical coverage, it would be to your benefit to continue shopping around.

Comparison Shopping

Before you actually set out to buy insurance, you should define your needs and then do a comparison on the exact same coverage between several companies. Unless all the variables are kept the same, you can not truly evaluate which insurance company is offering the best deal on coverage.

Cheapest is Not Always Best

Just because an insurance company might save you $10 or $20 on your premium does not necessarily mean that you should sign up with that insurance company. Other factors such as customer service and the way claims are handled are very important even though they do not have a direct monetary value. You do not want to have an accident, file a claim and then be kept on hold forever. It is definitely worth paying a little extra for great customer service.

Recommended Insurance Coverage

Insurance for home , car and lifeThere are all different levels of insurance, from the minimum required by Texas State law to absolutely the best coverage that will protect you against just about any possible contingency. The recommended insurance coverage for different types of insurance usually falls somewhere in the middle. Listed below are some good levels of insurance coverage that are suitable for most people.

Automobile Insurance

The basic minimum coverage by state law is 30/60/25, which translates into $30,000 in liability coverage for physical injury you caused in an accident to one person or $60,000 for all occupants and $25,000 for property damage that was your fault. A more appropriate amount would be 100/300/50 because if you are in a serious accident, the damages could far exceed the minimum coverage amounts and you may be held personally liable for the difference.

Homeowners Insurance

Your home is probably your most valuable asset. It is prudent to get as complete coverage as possible, which is normally a HO-C policy. The HO-C is the most comprehensive of the standard homeowners policies and protects against most losses with full replacement value coverage. That is important, because it will allow you to get a brand new mattress equal to the cost of an equivalent mattress that might be 10 years old and that has only a fraction of the cash value of a new mattress. The HO-C policy costs a little more but covers just about everything except those specifically excluded in the policy.

Life Insurance

Term life is a much better value for your dollar than whole life coverage. Term life is strictly insurance coverage, while whole life has a savings component to it that does not warrant the much higher cost than term. Recommended coverage would be about 10 times your annual income.

 

Questions To Ask A Texas Insurance Agent

Ask Your AgentInsurance is something everybody needs but nobody wants to use. Insurance protects us from both life’s unexpected problems and occurrences as well as events that we can foresee. If you were to sit down and pick the brain of a Texas insurance agent, these are some of the questions you might ask.

Why Do I Need Homeowners Insurance?

You need homeowners insurance to protect against substantial loss of your personal or real property and also to cover any claims that might be filed by someone that is injured while on your property. Damage or destruction from fire, flood or other causes can run into the tens of thousands and most people do not have the means to self-insure against that possibility. If you have a mortgage, the lender will insist that you have adequate coverage to protect their interests in the property.

Why Do I Need Automobile Insurance?

If you live in Texas and want to drive a vehicle, the law requires you to buy insurance. Insurance is required by every driver to protect other drivers and passenger in the event that you were the cause of an accident with injuries or property damage.

Is Life Insurance Really Necessary?

It depends on your personal situation. If you are single and do not have a family or any dependents, you probably do not need life insurance. The purpose of life insurance is not to protect the insured, but rather the named beneficiaries of the policy. If you have a wife and maybe a few young children, you would want to provide for them financially in the event of your demise.

How much Life Insurance Do I Need?

There is no set formula, but generally speaking, you should have about 10 times your annual income. If you make $50,000 per year, you should buy a half million dollar life insurance policy.