Top Tips for Buying Car Insurance

Are you shopping for insurance for your vehicle? Here are some things that you need to know:

How Insurance Rate is Determined

Two factors determine how much you will pay for car insurance: rating and underwriting. Insurance companies usually underwrite to evaluate the risk associated with applicants then group them with other similar risks to determine if they will accept their applications.

Based on underwriting results, the company assigns a price based on what it believes it will cost to assume financial responsibility for your potential claim. Every insurance company has a different rating system, which is usually affected by claim frequency.

Specific Factors that Affect Your Rating

Your driving record – if you have previous accidents or violations, you are considered high risk.

Prior insurance coverage – have your previous insurance policies been cancelled because of failing to pay premiums? This is also taken into account.

Your geographic location – urban locations have more claims than rural ones

Your age and gender – male drivers have more accidents and some ages have more claims

Vehicle use – higher mileage means more risk

Your marital status – married people usually have fewer claims

Vehicle make and model – sports and luxury cars have a higher number of claims

Ask Your Agent about Discounts

If the insurer sees you as a better risk, you might be given a discount. You should look out for a number of discounts, including anti-theft devices, good student, good driver, and driver education courses. However, you should know that not all states offer discounts.

Check Optional Coverage

The most commonly recognized coverages, aside from the basic liability coverage, include comprehensive and collision coverage. The latter pays for physical car damage when your car collides with an object such as another car or a tree. Although this coverage is reasonably priced, it is also optional.

Comprehensive coverage, on the other hand, pays for car damage caused by all other factors, including fire, floods, vandalism, and theft. It is less expensive than collision coverage and optional.

No Fault vs. Tort System

Each state should implement a no-fault or tort system, which determines the type of insurance that will be available to car owners. The tort system has three basic coverages, which include uninsured motorist coverage, property damage liability, and bodily injury liability insurance. If your state has the no-fault system, the insurer will pay you directly for losses resulting from accident injuries regardless of who is at fault.

Shop Around Before You Buy Insurance

When buying car insurance, premium quotations are helpful for comparing products from different companies. Therefore, when asking for quotations, you need to give the same information to all companies. An agent usually asks for the following information: the coverage limit you want, your driver’s license number, and the description of your car.

Where to Shop

When looking for cheap car insurance online, you should visit several websites and do a comparison. Moreover, you can check the yellow pages for agents and companies in your area of residence. When talking to neighbors and friends, you should ask for the specific claim service they got from the companies that they recommend.

For Your Protection

Once you pick the insurance coverage and company that you need, you can take several steps to ensure that you get your money’s worth. Before you sign any insurance coverage application, you should verify that your prospective insurer is licensed to operate in your state by calling your state insurance department. It is illegal for unlicensed companies to sell insurance; this means that if you buy from them, you have no way of knowing whether the coverage will be honored.

 

Do you need life insurance?

canstockphoto17959883There are all sorts of reasons to think about getting life insurance. Whether you have a partner, children or other relatives who you wish to support after you have died, or you are simply looking to avoid having your family deal with the expense of your funeral, many people can benefit from this form of insurance. But is it really something that you need? Let’s take a closer look at life insurance and who should have it.

How do life insurance policies work?

Life insurance policies either pay out a lump sum or make regular payments to dependants on your death. They are generally put in place to ensure that your family is financially secure after you have passed away.

What is your marital status?

It is arguable that for single people, life insurance is a relatively unnecessary expense. You need to remember that life insurance is generally taken out to cover costs that you would cover if you were still alive. If you are single and live in a property, clearly you will no longer have a need for that property if you have passed on.

However, if you are the only earner in a family, your partner and children may rely upon the money that you provide. In this case, your death will present hardship for them and life insurance will effectively prevent them from suffering financially from your death.

Who is depending on you?

For the majority of people who take out life insurance, it’s done to ensure that a partner or children are not placed in a difficult financial situation if they die. Even if both partners in a relationship work and pay towards the household, the burden of your death might make it impossible for your partner to stay in the same property and support the family without you.

Alternatively, if you have already paid off your mortgage and you perhaps have grown-up children who no longer live with you, life insurance is probably unnecessary. While your death would clearly cause emotional distress to your loved ones, it would not place them in financial trouble.

You could cut your inheritance tax bill

One interesting reason that some people consider life insurance is to cut their tax bill. This is especially true if you are concerned about inheritance tax. This is because when you die you will be charged inheritance tax at 40 per cent of your assets over £325,000 – and remember that your family home is included as an asset.

That means that, for example, if your house is worth £1m when you die, your family will be charged a bill of 40 per cent of the £675,000 (the total over the £325,000 threshold). This means that simply to continue living in the home, your family would need to pay an inheritance tax bill of £270,000.

For many people this is simply unrealistic and unaffordable. However, if you had taken out life insurance, the policy would pay a lump sum on your death which can either pay off or contribute to the inheritance tax bill.

What affects the premiums?

As with all forms of insurance – the greater the risk to your insurance company, the more you will have to pay. With life insurance that means that you insurance premiums are affected by your age and your health, as well as aspects of your lifestyle. If you smoke heavily or drink regularly, this will mean that you need to pay more to take out the policy.

Do you already have it?

It may be the case that you already have life insurance in place. If you work for a business that offers employees death-in-service benefits, they may continue to pay your salary to your family in the event of your death. Given that this is likely to be your major source of income it means that you probably won’t need to take out an additional policy. Check through the terms of your employment to find out if you are already covered.

Would another type of insurance be preferable?

It might be the case that life insurance isn’t actually the ideal option for you. There is a range of different types of insurance that may be better in your situation. For example, income protection insurance pays regular payments to you and your family if you cannot work because you have become injured or seriously unwell.

Talk to a reputable insurance broker and they will be able to give you excellent advice on which kind of insurance policy could be right for you.

Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the financial sector. For the information in this post, Kent-based independent health insurance broker Flexible Health were consulted.

 

Lying on Your Life Insurance Application: What is a Lie?

canstockphoto8654543Unfortunately, in some cases, those who are looking into making a life insurance purchase are doing so with a bit of reluctance. They understand its necessity and benefits, but the idea of factoring it into their budget brings on migraines; especially, if they have any kind of significant medical history, or ongoing medical struggles.  You can click here to visit Suncorp directly.

This is where scribbling a few little white lies down on their life insurance application becomes a temptation—after all, when one little lie can possibly save you a few hundred bucks a month, what’s the harm?

What most don’t understand is that there is a lot of harm that can be caused from committing insurance fraud. I know what you might be thinking… “I mean, that’s an exaggeration, right? It’s not really insurance fraud, right? …. RIGHT?!”

It is! Sure, it will save you money while you’re alive and well, but what happens when you pass away and the very purpose of your life insurance policy comes to fruition; who pays the price? Your loved ones. That is, if you don’t get caught right from the get-go.

Before you hyperventilate, it’s important to understand what is and what isn’t a lie. In some cases, there is such a thing as just having bad luck and poor timing.

A WARRANTY LIE

This is any item on your application that can be filled in with full guarantee from the applicant that it is the whole truth and nothing but the truth. With these items, there’s no wiggle room—if it’s determined to be a lie, there’s going to be almost nothing you can say to get out of it.

This kind of lie would be to note on your application that you’ve never had any kind of previous heart condition, when you in fact had open heart surgery a month before your application.

Typically, you won’t succeed in getting away with a lie on one of these items, either. They are extensively investigated by the insurance company when you apply and if you’re caught, you will not only have your application rejected, but a record of this offense will be filed with the Medical Insurance Bureau (MIB: mibgroup.com), which will alert any other insurer that you might apply with.

If you do make it past the application phase with the lie and it’s discovered later, your contract will be voided and your premiums refunded.

A REPRESENTATION LIE

This is any item on your application that is filled in only with the applicant’s fully educated belief to be true. To the best of your ability, you know this to be true, but there is the possibility for human error, or discovery that it could be false.

Using the same example as before, this type of lie would occur if you noted on your application that you’ve never had any kind of previous heart condition, and then a week later it is discovered that you did all along (a first diagnosis).

When this kind of lie occurs, with no deliberate intent to fool the insurance company, there typically won’t be repercussions, only adjustments. From insurer to insurer, it will be different; some policies come with a contestation period attached and they will alter your policy and premiums according to what your new condition is. Others, will only look at your health at the time of the application and as soon as it’s accepted, you’re free and clear.