#1 The states often do not require you to buy auto insurance, but regulate that you to are financially responsible in case of an accident. Surety bonds were hard to find and classified under sr-22 high risk, so they were as expensive as auto insurance. Also you don’t enjoy the features of auto insurance with cash deposit and surety bond. don’t Those methods only pay for damage to another driver, car or property, not your car, self or property.
#2 Car insurance costs a lot, but there are common sense things you can do to reduce your premiums or get better coverage. Lower comp & collision on an older car. Don’t get medical coverage if you have health insurance and all your passengers have health insurance. Always get rates from multiple carriers. Slow down.
#3 Insurance salesmen: Car insurance agents are not all that bad. Most really want the best deal for you, it makes them look good. And insurance is a brutally competitive business. Use several agents to shop the best deal. It’s a great time saver. And you get to pick their brains about the carriers and which ones fight claims.
#4 Since car insurance is an ongoing expense, pay your premiums annually or set up auto pay.
#5 It does seem like car insurers are raising prices every year but in some states they have to give you a discount after being a safe driver for 3-5 years (California is 3 years). Also several insurers have have gotten in trouble for hidden fees. Since they must get prior approval for premiums in must states,that has not stopped some insurers from sneaking in misc. fees. of course, you should go elsewhere if this occurs or your insurer raises your premium without a suitable explanation.
Have you gotten tickets or at fault accident since your last renewal? That could also increase your rate, and the carrier would have authority to do so, as long as the incident was on your driving record. So factor in another 3-5 years of surcharges depending on your state.
#6 High deductibles are a good thing, not bad, because if people called in every $5 ding. premiums would be very high for all of us
#7 Car insurers have finance charges if you don’t pay your premium up front, since they have to pay for the coverage ahead of time. Cost of doing business. Cleaning up your credit may also affect your finance charges. You can either find a carrier that chargers lower finance charges or pay annually or semi annually. Ask your insurer what type of payment would eliminate the fees. Quarterly, semi or annual payments?
#8 Car insurance companies do offer bare bones coverage to acquire you as a customer, but you should not stay at low levels (unless you are really broke). Get quotes from other companies on greater levels of coverage like 100/300/50. What? The “100” means a maximum of $100,000 will be paid out on a “per person” basis for their injuries. 300 is the max of $300,000 will pay out as a “total per accident” in the event of multiple injured people. The third number “50” is $50,000 would be the maximum amount of coverage pay-outs for damages caused to other vehicles (not the insured’s) as a result of an at-fault accident. So if you totaled another car worth up to $50,000, you would be covered minus your deductible.
#9 If you have tickets, accidents or DUI your premiums will suck! It’s just a waiting game, usually 3 years for tickets and accidents, 10 years for DUI. Consult a lawyer about getting your driving record expunged, but that may be impossible and probably expensive. It’s much better to slow down and abstain from drinking at all when you know you’ll be driving.
#10 You may not be able to afford a new, high value car. The premiums will be higher, since you’ll have to agree to carry full coverage on the vehicle until it’s paid for. Again, improving your driving record may do a lot to lower your premiums. Can you be trusted with nice things? That’s what the car insurance carriers decide when the calculate your premium.
#11 Insurers may take awhile to pay depending on the adjuster and the info he needs to complete his investigation. The adjuster might have a large stack of cases to go through. Nonetheless, the state usually imposes a time frame the insurer must respond to your claims request. If the adjuster does not respond within the time the law allows (30 days is usually considered reasonable), write the highest exec at the insurer. They might not even be aware of the malfunctions in claims. Getting paid late is better than not getting paid at all.
#12 When the insurer low balls your damages, you can either accept or reject their offer. Usually their 1st offer will be low. Get 3 estimates from Dealers and high end repair shops that will use OEM parts. You claim the middle estimate. Do not go to Jorge’s Discount Auto repair for estimates! Jorge might be using junk yard parts and illegal cash only labor to repair your car up to less than acceptable condition. Also claim depreciation! Your car is not considered damaged and will be worth less, even if repaired back to pre accident condition.
If you see the insurer as offering you an insult and cannot agree with them, you will have to justify your damages to an arbitrator or judge. Your state department of insurance may help, but only if you have not retained a lawyer.
#13 If your get your car insurance policy canceled, that means your rick profile was no longer suitable for the insurer. Like it or not, you really are just a statistical risk number to the carrier. If that number gets too high, either through bad driving, bad credit,and at fault accident, you’ll be cut off. You can pull your driving record to see if there are errors making your risk # too high. You can appeal the cancelation, maybe the insurer made a mistake? Or you can say “sayonara” and find a better company that wants your biz.
That’s the end of my notes, I have a lot more to say (my wife says I have a big mouth), so look for more free car insurance movies and tips.