How To Read an Insurance Policy

If the word insurance makes people's eyes glaze over, the thought of reading an insurance policy puts them into a catatonic state. Just as understanding the basics of insurance is not difficult, neither is reading an insurance policy.

First of all, insurance policies nationwide bid to be complied of standard boilerplate language – this is to keep apples with apples and oranges with oranges through all insurance companies and all types of insurance. This boilerplate language also pretty much steers away from typical "legalese" so all words within the policies is plain and simple. Boilerplate forms does not mean that all policies are the same – they are not – but like coverages, etc., are explained in the same way so if you can read one policy, you can reasonably read another.

The first place you should start is with the Declaration Page , commonly referred to as the " Dec Page ". In fact, if you do not get any further than this, this part of your policy is very important for you to be familiar with for all the reasons. What is the "Dec" page? The Dec Page is a summary of what your policy is providing for you and includes your policy number, the specific named insured, the effective and expiration date of the policy, what is being covered, how much it is being covered for, what it is costing you in total and per individual coverage, your agent's name and contact information and will show any loss payee (lien-holder) if applicable. If this is an automobile policy, the Dec page will also list the vehicles and drivers being covered. In short, the Declarations Page is a wealth of information that you should give some study to until you feel comfortable with it. This accomplishment alone will make you feel more enlightened in regards to what your insurance policy is all about.

The next step is to look at every heading in the policy, one by one. You will see things like Agreement, Definitions, specified Coverages, Insuring Agreement on the specified Coverage, Exclusions, Limit of Liability, Out of State Coverage, Other Insurance, etc. These are not scary words, right? Two very important sections are Definitions and Exclusions – found in various places in the policy and if you do not go over any others, you need to read these. Definitions will tell you who is considered an insured, etc., and the information listed will remove assumptions from your thinking and clarify what is what. Exclusions are assumption busters, as well. It is not written in Greek and you really need to know what exclusions apply to your policy. Ignorance is not bliss when you have a claim!

Too often, too many of us buy insurance for the lowest premium. Let's use an auto policy as an example. People buy what is mandatory by the state (and by the bank, if the vehicle is financed) and look only at the premium. With the cost as the only focus, these people have no clue what their policy does cover. Then they have a loss that is not covered because they did not elect to take the particular coverage that would apply and they are angry.

The solution to this frustration is to READ YOUR POLICY. Know what covers you have elected and what they are for; know the exclusions under your policy; know your responsibilities to the company in the event of a loss. Failure to know these things will most assuredly result in disappointment and unnecessary frustration in the event of a claim.



Source by Finley Jones Keller

How to Cut the Cost of Car Insurance

Less desirable and low value cars are cheaper to insure

When I was 17 I wanted to own a Ferrari and live life in the fast lane. Even if I could have afforded the car, then I could not afford the insurance to cover it. At 17 you are brand new to the world of driving and statistically you are more likely to make an insurance claim. Mixing high-powered cars with inexperienced drivers is not something car insurance companies are super-keen about, the chance of a claim shots through the roof with the price of the premium following it. When you are young and inexpensive, buy a low-powered, low value car to try and keep your car insurance premium to a minimum. If it is worth less then it will cost less to fix / replace when in your youthful exuberance you crash it. The same logic actually applies to everyone, the lower the value of the vehicle and the lower the car insurance policy will be in most cases. Sports and premium cars will always cost more to repair in an accident so the insurance will reflect this. New cars now feature myriads of anti-theft and driver aids that in many cases will help to reduce the cost of insurance so keep an eye on the spec sheet when looking at a new car. A good rule of thumb is that less desirable and low value cars are cheaper to insure.

Age is a concern

I mentioned it above and it bears repeating. Typically the younger you are the higher your car insurance premium. This is down to inexperience and the youthful belief that bad things will never happen to you. The statistics say otherwise, which is often a shock to an unsuspecting young driver who ends up in a crash wondering how it happened to him … Driving experience and age are usually linked and that leads to a method of reducing your insurance premium – whatever age you are you will benefit from advanced driving courses and many car insurers offer discounts for these qualifications. It may only be a five – 10 per cent saving for the course but on a premium of £ 1000 it's worth having the saving and it will stay with you for years, so it should be a good investment, not to mention make you a better driver.

Keep adding to the no-claims bonus

The more years you can accumulate without making a claim the better as most car insurers will offer a discount on your insurance for this. Effectively you are proving you are good business to have and because you have not made any claims then you are a good risk for them to underwrite. There's nothing you can do here but keep your nose clean and do not make a claim. If you own a low value vehicle and dent it parking, you'd be advised not to make a claim on comprehensive insurance because it would reduce your no-claims bonus, likely to be for a small amount of money and you may even end up paying for most of it depending on excess. In that case, provided you have not caused damage to any other vehicles or property, keep quiet, fix it yourself and your saving on no-claims bonus will be sweet the following year – in time, when you have built up three or more years no-claims bonus, you can actually protect your bonus, meaning even if you make a consequent claim you will not lose your bonus.

Convictions are not cool

If you are an inner-city teenager then an ASBO may be a badge of honor. Insurers are less impressed by convictions though, so it is best to avoid them if you can. Minor speeding offences are certainly not in the same category as serial killer though, so if you have a couple of points it will not be the end of the world or have a major influence on your premium depending on the insurer.

If you've got a garage, use it

What are garages for? If you ask the average person they'll probably say for storing all the kids' toys, the home gym, bikes, the freezer and tumble-dryer. I have news for you all; the garage is designed to house your vehicle when you are not using it. The fact that it puts a physical barrier between any opportunist thieves and your car is a real good thing and car insurance companies will recognize this and reduce your premium if you park in a garage overnight. Using your garage will save you money; it does not get any easier than that.

Anti-theft devices

Most modern cars come with immobilizer and alerts factory fitted and if you notify your insurer it will check to make sure they are to approved standards and will apply discounts if applicable. You can get other devices that slosh around in the passenger footwell until you park and then fix to generally your steering wheel or gear-stick. These are mechanical devices and some do attract further discounts if used, just do your homework before buying. Thatcham is the organization which grades security devices and generally a decent mechanical security device will feature its Thatcham approval very prominently along with any premium discounts you may expect, so choose carefully.

Use a reputable broker

Car insurance is very big business with around 30million + vehicles on the UK roads, so there is a wealth of car insurance companies to choose from. Ironically, the big names you are familiar with are probably in your head because of massive marketing campaigns on television, on-line etc. Regardless of the message, those marketing campaigns need to be paid for and that means they may not actually have the best rates, although the sheer scale of some of these businesses means prices will be due due to buying or underwriting power. The best advice is to compare a couple of different prices from different companies. Call the insurer and then call a comparable competitor and then possibly a small car insurance broker. Each one will ask you if you have a price already and you should tell them what it is. Usually if they want the business they know what to beat. The moment you get a broker saying they can not match the price then you are probably close to the best market price or else speaking with a broker that is not a specialist in the area.

A word of caution on price comparison sites

There are plenty of price comparison sites around which promise to drive the cost of your insurance policy down – Money Supermarket, Go Compare, Confused etc. They certainly do help reduce the cost of insurance as most of the major players are fighting for business on the same platform. Where these price comparison sites do not perform so well is actually advising you on the sort of policy that's best for you or your car. Would comprehensive be cheaper and more suitable than third party fire and theft? The point is you can not ask the price comparison site for any advice, that's where car specialist brokers have the edge. Compare it to buying a new house, would you buy one without a survey? You might and then when it subsides into the sea you'll be praying your insurance will cover it … the point is you should not buy insurance without talking with an expert either.

Pick up the phone

The internet is a great shopping and selling tool, you know my feelings on that from previous articles … but I suggest if you speak to a real person at a brokerage then you have a much better chance of getting cheaper car insurance . They can ask more questions, clarify your requirements and if needed they can even delegate the rate (set the price themselves) if they really want the business. There is no substitute for human contact, just make sure you speak to at least three different brokers to get a true comparison.

Got a nice postcode?

If you live in a postcode where there are few thefts and claims then your insurance premium will be lower than living somewhere that is a known crime hotspot. If you can afford it, move to a posh area and you'll benefit from lower insurance premiums. Not the easiest way to save on the cost of insurance for sure …

Mileage and use

The more miles you drive the more chance you have of being involved in a claim. It's simple statistics. The fewer shares covered, the less your insurance premium should cost. Do not tell lies though, if you exceeded the stated mileage by a distance then it could invalidate your insurance.

Married with kids?

Insurers like selling car insurance to married couples mortgaged and with kids and jobs. You are very easy to credit check and generally display responsible behavior which hints at a lower risk for the insurer. That can reduce your car insurance quote.

Do not modify your car

We all see the bling bling cars that haunt Supermarket car-parks late at night and if you like the tacky neon colors and loud exhausts is here here nor there – the fact is that any sort of modification is likely to hike your car insurance premium. Modifications can draw attention, invalidate warranties and in the case of loud exhausts, can also be illegal (if above the noise limit). If illegal, then it could invalidate your insurance as well. The fact is that car manufacturers spend a lot of time developing their products so they work well and if you modify them then it's all out the window and your insurer will be scratching his head wondering what he should charge – and it will almost always be more than a standard vehicle.



Source by Maurice Gertski

Investing In Quality Auto Repair Services – Is It Worth It?

Auto Repair Services- Why You Should Invest In Quality Auto Repair Services?

Investing in quality auto repair services can help you enjoy a safe and smooth drive. While you can always take a DIY approach for the general car maintenance services such as an oil change, tune-ups or diagnostics but always hire a professional for the complex car problems. If you want to get a better value of your car in future then you should know how to take care of your car.

Choosing A Quality Repair Shop

Always get referrals/recommendations from your friends, relatives, coworkers and other people you trust. Co-workers can help you find a good repair shop in your locality. It is always a good idea to find a good repair shop before you need one. This way you won’t have to pick someone randomly.

Thanks To The Internet!

Look online to learn about the top repair shops operating in your locality. Compare the different quotes to choose the best deal. Ask them to show the license and also check whether it’s an updated license or not.

Consult local consumer protection agency to see if there is any complaint against the repair shop from the old or existing customers. Above all, you should make sure that they can fix the problem easily.

Tips

Have a look at some of the following tips to consider before you start your search for the best repair shop:-

Tip 1

Read The Car Manual

You should always take time to read the manual and understand the specific instructions mentioned in the schedule. A manual has all the necessary information. So you should go through all the instructions carefully before choosing any repair station.

Tip 2

No Quick Decisions

Remember, it’s always a good idea to shop around for the best deal before you meet a breakdown. It will help you to make the right choice because you are not choosing someone randomly. Never ever choose a repair shop/repair mechanic without checking the testimonials. A little bit of research can help you choose the right service provider for your car.

Tip 3

Word Of Mouth

It is always a good idea to get referrals/recommendations from your friends and family. Word of mouth is still considered as one of the best ways to find a reliable professional.

Conclusion

Put a little bit of effort to find quality auto repair services. It will give you many benefits in the long run.

Happy Driving!



Source by Robert Unatnas