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

The Internet and Auto Insurance

If you were told to look for vehicle coverage where would start? If you are the typical sixteen seventeen year old and own a personal computer you are automatically going to the internet. This is the first place we now go for everything. Is it because we gave up on the yellow pages of the telephone book? No, not really it is because we can have the information at our fingertips in the matter of minutes. Everyone is getting used to having information within the first ten minutes that if it takes longer than that why bother. Do you think an auto insurance webpage has the information available to answer that quickly? Yes, I do.

Why, because if they want to stay competitive in a technology driven world they will make it happen where they provide sufficient information for the person to make the final telephone call or provide the contact information that is needed for the agent to call them back. At some point there is information that will need to be verified. Initial information can be preliminary and for that you can answer yes and no simple questions. For example, some of the questions could have been you over eighteen? Do you have a current drivers license? Do you have current auto insurance? What state do you live in?

These few questions will tell you whether or not you will be able to make payments or make a onetime payment to get started on your auto insurance premium. The age will tell you whether or not you are eligible for a discount being under or over twenty five. The state will give you an idea if auto insurance rates because all states are not created equal when it comes to auto insurance rates. If you are able to get contact information after answer the few questions listed above then you most likely have a very good chance at providing auto insurance to this new client. People want information and not a life story.

So unless you are asked a bunch of questions let the auto insurance company sticks to the answers. If you look at it another way with the technology, yes we are getting the information quicker and we are becoming a population that does not always like to talk. Instead we want the bottom line and that is the cost of your auto insurance.



Source by Anthony M. Peck

Mexican Tourist Auto Insurance – Tips on How to Purchase Insurance For Mexico

Congratulations – you are embarking on an exciting road trip adventure to Mexico. You have your vehicle tuned and all of your gear packed, and now it is time to purchase your Mexican tourist auto insurance. Your Mexican auto insurance coverage decision could be the most important decision you make, but unfortunately it is often one of the most rushed and least researched decisions that many Mexico travelers make. Do not make the mistake of assuming that all Mexican insurance is the same, because the differences in insurance coverages and benefits can vary tremendously between Mexico insurance companies. Even though researching insurance coverage is not very exciting for most people, this article will show you how 5 to 10 minutes of research on the internet could save you thousands of dollars and many frustrating hours if you were to actually need to use your Mexico insurance to pay for a loss.

Use the internet to quote and purchase Mexican tourist auto insurance

The vast majority of Mexican auto insurance is now purchased directly from the internet. There are a number of websites that sell Mexico insurance, and buying your insurance from the internet makes a lot of sense for the customer. Would you rather wait till the last minute to buy your insurance at the border, or would you prefer to buy your insurance from the convenience of your own computer before you leave on your trip to Mexico? Most customers prefer to get their insurance taken care of ahead of time.

The best websites to buy your Mexico insurance from are ones that offer multiple Mexico insurance companies. This allows you to do comparison shopping through one website instead of filling out multiple quotation forms on multiple websites. One good Mexican insurance website with a comparison insurance rater will save you a lot of time and confusion.

Which websites can be trusted?

Before getting your insurance quote, make sure to look for a valid insurance license and contact information. Also, you may want to look for a ‘Surplus Lines Broker’ license number. A surplus lines broker is an insurance broker who has a direct contract with the Mexican insurance companies and is licensed to sell foreign insurance coverage within the United States. A surplus lines broker license is a good sign that the website is run by a company who specializes in Mexico insurance. If the insurance license is not a surplus lines broker license, this means the website is most likely run by an insurance agent who is selling through a surplus lines broker. This does not mean the products on the website are not valid, but you may not receive the same level of customer service as you would from a surplus lines broker who specializes entirely in Mexican insurance. You may also want to look for a Better Business Bureau listing and some sort of internet security approval such as Hacker Safe or McAfee Secure to ensure that your information will be secure during your internet transaction.

Mexico insurance coverage to look for

Once you have selected a website that sells Mexico tourist auto insurance, you will fill out the quick insurance quote form. Within a minute, you should be able to get a firm quote and begin researching the benefits of the insurance products offered. Remember, this will be a much quicker and streamlined process if you use a website that offers multiple competing insurance companies all under one quoting system (a comparative quote rater).

Look for a chart below or above the insurance prices that clearly explains exactly what the Mexico insurance limits are and what is actually covered. In this chart, you will want to look at the following categories:

Deductibles: The best Mexican insurance policies will offer fixed deductibles, meaning the deductibles will be locked at a set amount regardless of what the value of your vehicle is. Some of the less expensive policies will base deductibles on a percentage of the vehicle value. If the vehicle’s value is less than $20,000, percentage based deductibles may be fine, but when vehicle values get up in the $30,000 range or higher, the percentage based deductibles can get very high. If the website does not specifically list the deductibles, you should not use that website!

US Hourly Labor Rates for Repairs Made in the US or Canada: In the old days, most Mexican auto insurance companies tried to make customers repair their vehicles in Mexico. Repairs made in Mexico instead of the US were often much less expensive for the Mexican insurance companies, and many customers were unwilling to leave their car in Mexico, so the company got out of paying these claims. Today, many of the better Mexico insurance programs allow you to fix your vehicle in the US or Canada if you wish. The catch is that some of the less expensive Mexican insurance programs will only pay a limited hourly labor rate for repairs made in the US (some as low a $20 per hour). This means the customer would have to pay the difference in hourly labor rates out of their pocket. The best Mexican insurance programs will pay very high US labor rates such as $70 per hour or state that they will pay whatever the current US hourly labor rate is. These policies could significantly minimize your out of pocket expenses in the event of a claim. If the Mexico insurance website does not specify if repairs in the US are allowed or what the hourly labor rate is, do not use that website to purchase your Mexican insurance!

Vandalism and Partial Theft Coverage: Vandalism and partial theft (meaning only part of the car is stolen such as the tires, door panels, etc) is typically not covered by standard Mexican auto insurance. In the past few years the higher quality Mexican insurance programs have started to offer this coverage in their enhanced coverage programs. If you want to protect yourself against as many types of losses as possible, you should look for this coverage.

Liability Limits: This is the portion of the Mexican insurance policy that pays for damages you cause to third parties. This coverage is essential when traveling in Mexico. Most people in the industry feel that $50,000 worth of liability insurance is probably the minimum you should consider. Some of the best Mexican insurance programs will go up to $300,000 combined single limit (a lump sum for property damage or bodily injury damages), but it will also increase the insurance premium. Some customers wish to carry these higher limits to work in tandem with their US umbrella liability policies. You may want to ask your US insurance provider if your umbrella insurance will recognize your Mexico auto insurance as a primary coverage.

Medical Payments: This is the portion of the Mexico insurance policy that pays for medical costs for you and your passengers (people inside your vehicle). $2,000 per person with a total of $10,000 per accident is the lowest limit you should consider, but many policies will offer much higher limits. Some of the better policies will also increase this amount if you are hit by an uninsured motorist who is at fault. You may want to check with your US or Canadian health insurance provider to make sure they will cover you for medical costs incurred while traveling in Mexico. If not, you may also want to research an international health insurance plan – but that is a different subject.

Legal Service: Make sure your Mexico insurance includes legal service or legal assistance. This coverage will pay for any court costs, attorney fees, or bail payments that are a result of a traffic accident in Mexico. The service will also dispatch a legal representative to hold your hand through any legal procedures. This coverage is absolutely essential, so do not purchase any Mexico auto insurance that does not include this coverage!

Road Assistance: Most of the better Mexico insurance companies will include some level of road assistance that will cover towing expenses, flat tires, locksmith, and other services. This is a great coverage to have, so make sure this is included with your Mexico insurance policy.

Medical Evacuation: As the market for Mexican insurance becomes more competitive, many Mexico carriers are now bundling in extra special coverages to make their products stand out. When medical evacuation is automatically included with your Mexico auto insurance, it is an incredible value and convenience. This coverage will coordinate and pay for air or land ambulance services in the event of ‘grave illness or injury’. This means life threatening or very serious illnesses or injuries. Purchasing a medical evacuation program on your own will often cost hundreds of dollars per year, and can often have many limitations. The quality Mexico auto insurance programs that bundle in the medical evacuation coverage will usually cover multiple people in your travel group automatically up to four or more people. Make sure to look for how many people are covered by the medical evacuation. If the amount of people covered is not listed in the insurance quote details, you can assume that the medical evacuation may only cover the driver. Other websites do exist that specifically cover 4 or more people in your travel group, so it is highly recommended that you look for websites that offer this broader medical evacuation coverage.

Plane Tickets Home: Another great benefit that many of the better Mexico insurance websites are offering is plane tickets home in the event that your car is stolen or not drivable. This can save you thousands of dollars, and alleviate the nightmare of needing to coordinate your transportation back to your home from Mexico. If this benefit is offered, make sure to see for how many people the policy will provide plane tickets home. If plane tickets home is not listed, or the website does not specify how many people are covered, you should check a different website. A few websites do offer coverage for four people or more in your travel group.

When in doubt, call the website customer service phone line for help

The reputable Mexico insurance websites will encourage you to call their customer service departments if you have questions about the Mexico insurance. If nobody answers the phone, or does not call you back within a few minutes (during normal business hours), you may not want to purchase your insurance from that website! Most Mexico insurance websites are like ATM machines. The website is there for your convenience if you want to write the policy yourself, but you are also welcome to call the website customer service insurance agents and have the agents write the policy for you over the phone.

If you check for each of these insurance coverages and website features while shopping for Mexican auto insurance on the internet, you are guaranteed to purchase the best insurance for your situation. Five to ten minutes of research could save you thousands of dollars and hours, if not weeks, of headaches in the event that you need to file a Mexican insurance claim. Be safe, and have fun in Mexico!



Source by Jeff Nordahl