Best Way To Determine The Insurance For Your Car

Auto insurance can be confusing and mind boggling sometimes and it's hard to determine exactly why some individuals are receiving rates which are lower than others. There are many factors which contribute to the rate of auto insurance, some you have control over and others you don't.

Below you will find valuable information regarding the factors which are compiled in order to determine the rate of your car insurance. These will help you understand important aspects of auto insurance and why some individuals receive higher rates than others. Here are the top five factors which auto insurance companies will consider when determining your rate of insurance:

1. Age - Your age will greatly affect the rate of your car insurance. Teenagers and individuals who are just beginning to drive will have higher rates for no reason other than their age. There is nothing you can do about this, as you get older and become a more experienced driver your rates will go down. Although they will go down, they will not stay down. When you reach a certain age your car insurance rates will go back up because you are an elderly driver and your eyes and coordination may not be as effective anymore.

2. Auto Insurance Companies - This is a factor which you have control over. Some car insurance companies offer lower rates than others for many reasons. It is up to you to choose which one will benefit you the most both now and in the long run.

3. Gender - Whether you are male or female will also affect the rate of your car insurance. This is yet another factor which you have no control over. Females generally have lower car insurance rates because according to insurance companies men are seen as potential dangerous and careless drivers who are more likely to be involved in car accidents.

4. Type of Vehicle - As much as we would all love to be driving a shiny silver Porsche Boxter all around town, the insurance rates for these types of vehicles are unreal. If you want your auto insurance rates to be low, I would suggest driving a car with a lower price tag. The more money your car is worth, the higher your car insurance rate will be.

5. Driving Violations - This is another factor which you have control over. I know how tempting it is to race your friends the moment you get your license for the first time, but the amount of money you will pay in the long run hardly seems worth it. Any form of ticket you receive can potentially raise the rate of your car insurance. If you want to pay less for car insurance I would suggest abiding by the rules of the road.

Although these are the most important factors in determining your rate of car insurance, there are many other factors which also play a part in how much you will pay. Auto insurance is something we all have to pay for, but by researching and understanding the aspects of this form of insurance you are learning how to reduce your rate to your best ability.

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How to Get Cheap Auto Insurance via Internet?

Most states make it mandatory for you to have car insurance. The minimum the authorities accept is liability coverage on your car. A liability cover will protect the other person if ever you are involved in an accident. Nowadays Internet is becoming a major information center for those looking for auto cheap insurance.

Now car owners have lot of reasons to hunt online for their car insurance. This is because most of the major insurance companies now provide online car insurance quotes. Most of them also allow you to buy insurance online. This makes obtaining cheap online car insurance quote for your motor vehicle easier than ever before. Another important factor is that there are numerous insurers who provide a discount for buying online.

Saving money is one of the main reasons why people tend to find online car insurance quotes. There are several websites, which offer instant car insurance quote comparison services. This helps the drivers to compare the same service provided by different auto insurance companies before sticking into any insurer. This assures that the drivers can easily find out the low cost quotes. By choosing for online car insurance you can save time spent to see an insurance agent or being hassled over the phone.

The number of people looking for cheap online car insurance quote is growing by day. The number of financial companies who claim they are the cheapest car insurance company are many. With unparalleled growth in auto cheap insurance arena both companies and brokers are on the look out for business and this gives the customer in search of auto cheap insurance scores of options. Before deciding on the on the cheapest online car insurance quote you should do a thorough homework, as the prize range varies considerably. Try to get as many quotes as possible before coming to a decision.

But you should never be carried away by the thought of getting the cheapest car insurance company. By doing so most of the important aspects are ignored and in process you also stand to lose better deals, which you could have enjoyed if you had opted for an insurance for a slightly more pay. Drivers with a clean slate are given better deals and families with teen drivers are offered competitive quotes by certain insurance companies. Cheap online car insurance quote makes this an easy task.

It is good to opt for cheap online car insurance quote. But you must give utmost importance to the diverse aspects of each policy. With a little search and thought you might come up with a decision that benefits your valet and policy.

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Car Insurance - Prevention Is To Protect Yourself

One of the first and most important things to do when purchasing a new car is to get a car insurance policy. In most countries, every vehicle needs auto or car insurance and this is required under the law.

It provides protection to the car and compensates the driver and other passengers on any damage or injury sustained or caused to others in an accident as well as other occurrences such as theft, vandalism and other unforeseen circumstances. Without proper auto insurance, the owner has to bear the full cost of these payouts.

Here is some information on the various types of car insurance available. These include personal injury protection, bodily injury and liability, medical coverage, collision, comprehensive, uninsured or underinsured motorist and rental reimbursement insurance policies.

A personal injury protection auto insurance policy is sometimes known as the "no-fault" coverage. It pays the driver and his passengers for medical expenses and treatments as a result of a car crash, regardless of who may have been at fault. Some of such insurance policy also reimburse on the replacement of services, lost earnings and even funeral expenses.

The bodily injury and liability car insurance is imperative to have as a driver. It covers any bodily injuries or property damages to others that may occur during an accident, for which the policy owner is the responsible party. Bodily injury damages include medical treatments or lost of wages whereas property damage includes damaged or loss of use of property.

Medical coverage focuses on the driver and passengers of the car. This type of protection policy will pay for any reasonable or necessary medical treatments and expenses for the driver and passengers. In addition, it may even be extended to include disability or pain and suffering compensation.

A collision car insurance policy pays for the cost of damage caused by a collision to the insured car that may affect its book value. This will include damages caused by another vehicle or any other stationary or movable objects.

A comprehensive auto insurance package pays for damages caused by theft, vandalism, fire and various natural disasters like wind, hail, flood, storm or lighting strikes.

Uninsured or underinsured motorist auto insurance will pay for any cost to an insured person, who is injured in an accident, caused by another person, who is uninsured or does not have enough car insurance to cover the full amount of the damages. This will also include a hit and run accident.

In the event that a car is damaged due to a vehicular accident, a rental reimbursement policy will pay a daily allowance for the fees incurred to rent another vehicle.

The price or premiums of the car insurance may vary widely with different insurance companies. There are several factors that may lower the premiums and these include:
a) clean driving records such as never involved in any accidents or no speeding tickets
b) the price of the car and the cost to repair the car or replace its accessories in the event of damage, theft or destruction
c) the purpose or usage of the vehicle as well as the frequency of using it
d) opt for the least number of installments to pay the premiums such as half yearly or even annually as monthly installments are the most expensive
d) drop the collision coverage as the vehicle gets older or is priced lesser

There are some car insurance companies that give multi-vehicle discounts or lower rates if there are two or more vehicles to be insured. It is also a common practice for these companies to give competitive discounts to drivers over 55 years of age or those who complete the safety driving courses with very good grades. Nevertheless, a responsible driver always puts in an effort to ensure an accident-free life on the road.

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Cheap Auto Insurance Should Still Have You Covered

With many upstart companies offering cheap auto insurance, there's no reason for most consumers to have to pay too much for coverage. But, there's a difference between cheap auto insurance and decent insurance. Making sure you have good coverage is vital not only to meet legal requirements, but to ensure you're protected in the event of an accident.

When it comes to buying auto insurance, you need to make sure certain minimum requirements are met by the policy you buy. It's also vital to make sure the company you're dealing with is reputable and has the backing to pay claims and does so in a timely, fair manner.

Let's take a look at the first requirements for car insurance. To ensure you have a good policy, you'll need to have some basic coverage types. These are:

* Personal injury protection. No matter the price of auto insurance, this tends to be the law in most states, so make sure you have it. This coverage pays for medical expenses in the case of an accident.
* Liability. This coverage also should be included in most basic insurance policies. This helps cover you should you cause damage to another person's property. Most states require a minimum amount of liability coverage for drivers whether they have inexpensive auto insurance or not.
* Comprehensive and collision. These coverage types are considered optional and they might make cheap car insurance a little more expensive, but if they're needed to fulfill the requirements of an auto loan, they're vital. The two combine to cover the vehicle you're driving from everything from accident-related damage to acts of god, such as falling trees and flood.

A cheap auto insurance policy can still come with all of the above, but it might not be a good policy. The reputation of the insurance company involved will tell you if the policy you've found is worth even its cheap price or it should be avoided. Checking into an insurance company and its background will be vital for helping you decide if an inexpensive auto insurance policy is a good one or not.

Here's what to look for in a cheap auto insurance company:

* Check consumer reports to see if your insurance company has good reviews from past clients. A good company, cheap or not, will review claims with expediency and will also have a track record of paying out in a timely fashion when the situations warrant it.
* Inquire with state regulatory agencies to see whether complaints have been filed against the company. If there are too many, the it might not be a bargain after all.
* If the company is publicly traded, ask about its financials. Even a cheap auto insurance company should have good backing.

Cheap auto insurance can be found, especially from companies that deal in bulk and have a propensity to eliminate the middlemen, but that doesn't mean they're all cracked up the same. Check into a cheap auto insurance company's background before settling on a policy. If you need the insurance down the road, you'll be glad you did.

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Getting The Best Bargain With Your Car Insurance

It's not an optional expense and it isn't necessarily cheap either, but that doesn't mean car insurance needs to break a person's budget either. There are a number of options available to help people pay their car insurance premiums in a manner that best suits them. Some options will save a car insurance buyer money, but others will ease the pain of a lump sum payment.

The first step in making sure budgets stretch well when it comes to car insurance is to be certain a decent policy has been bought. This means shopping around for the best insurance quotes and being particular about coverage options, limits and add ons. Buying car insurance from the first company you come across is almost never a good idea, but shopping around to find the best rates is.

Once a good policy has been found, budgeting to handle the price must come into play. Fortunately, many car insurance companies offer a variety of payment alternatives to make this easy, or at least easier. The option that will work the best for you will depend on your individual situation.

Here are the basic insurance payment options most companies provide for their customers:

* Full payments. No self-respecting car insurance company would turn down this arrangement. This is the best possible way for a buyer to go, too, since it generally comes with some major discounts. Over the course of the policy, this option could save a policy holder hundreds of dollars.

* Credit card payment. An outright payment this way will come with the cost savings of a cash payment, but there will be financing fees added in through the credit card. Weigh the options. Oftentimes, the financing a car insurance company offers is cheaper than a credit card rate. A smart buyer takes a look at the total cost involved both ways before deciding.

* Installment payments. This is the option that most people go with to pay for their car insurance. Typically, a car insurance policy that's paid for this way will have some fees added on, but the break up of payments over the course of a policy will make it easier on customers to handle.

For those who go the monthly payment route, insurance companies might also charge a deposit amount that's greater than the regular monthly payments will be. The amount charged will vary depending on the company involved and your personal case, however. Deposits and payment fee rates tend to be based on a person's personal credit history rather than any other factor when it comes to auto insurance. Even still, the charges are generally minimal.

Choosing the best payment option for car insurance policies will depend on your personal circumstances and your finances. An outright payment is almost always the best, but when this isn't possible, payment options work well, too. The most important thing to remember is that car insurance is a necessary buy and going without it can cost you a whole lot more in the long run.

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Car Insurance Quote

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Arkansas Auto Insurance Quick Guide

McGhee Insurance Agency presents this Quick Guide to provide a brief description of Arkansas Auto Insurance. For more detailed information, visit our website at www.mcgheeinsurance.com, or give us a call at any of the numbers listed below.
Automobile Insurance Coverage
An automobile insurance policy is made up of several types of coverage options: LIABILITY, COLLISION, COMPREHENSIVE, PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION, UNINSURED MOTORIST, UNDERINSURED MOTORIST and other options. You are not required by law to purchase all of these options. Your finance company may require certain coverage options.
Arkansas Law requires that all motor vehicles driven in the state must be insured with a minimum amount of liability coverage: $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in any one accident; $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more persons in any one accident and $25,000 for damage to or destruction of the property of another.
Liability Bodily Injury protects you against a claim made by someone who has been injured in a automobile accident for which you are legally liable. The amount of coverage you have is stated in your policy.
Liability Property Damage protects you against a claim for damage to another person's auto or other property, real or personal, in an accident for which you are legally liable. The amount of coverage you have is stated in your policy.
You may purchase higher limits of liability if you feel the minimums required by law are not enough to protect you. Our agents can assist you in determining the appropriate amount.

Collision coverage pays for damage to your automobile as the result of colliding with another vehicle or object, regardless of who is at fault. Collision coverage has a deductible that you must pay; the insurance company then pays the balance owed to the repair company.
You should always consider the deductible amount you can afford. The larger the deductible, the less premium you will have to pay. Be careful that your deductible is not so large that you cannot afford to pay it if your automobile is damaged.

Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your automobile caused by collision with an animal or damage caused by something other than a collision with another vehicle. Comprehensive coverage includes fire, theft, vandalism, water, hail, windstorm, and flood.
Comprehensive coverage can be purchased with or without a deductible. The lending institution that finances your automobile will require that you have coverage on your automobile. The lending institution will be named as a loss payee on your policy so that its financial interest in the automobile is protected. You should be aware that in the event of a total loss of your automobile, the actual value of your car may be less than the balance you owe to your lender.
If you should fail to purchase or maintain coverage on your automobile the lending institution will purchase coverage and you will be required to pay the lending institution any premium it had to pay for this coverage. This lender placed coverage is much more expensive than coverage you can purchase and may protect only the interest of the lender.

Personal injury protection is offered in three optional parts. You may purchase any one or all three options. If you decide you don't want any of the options you must reject them in writing.
These options are medical payments, which include payments for doctor bills, X-rays, ambulance and funeral expenses; lost wages (with certain restrictions) and death benefits.
This protects you and members of your household who are injured or killed while riding in your automobile. It also covers passengers in your automobile who are not members of your household if they do not have this coverage under any auto policy of their own. It also covers any pedestrian or cyclist you might strike with your automobile.

This coverage is available in two parts -- uninsured motorist bodily injury and uninsured motorist property damage. You may purchase the bodily injury without purchasing the property damage coverage, but in order to purchase the property damage coverage, you must first purchase the bodily injury coverage.
Uninsured motorist bodily injury covers you and members of your household who are injured by an uninsured motorist. This portion pays medical bills, disability and death benefits resulting from the accident.
motorist. A deductible may apply. Uninsured Motorist Coverage will be included in your policy unless you sign a statement rejecting the coverage.
Underinsured Motorist pays should you be struck by another driver who does not have enough liability coverage to pay for all of your medical bills. This is designed to pay those uncovered medical expenses up to the limit of the amount of coverage you purchase.

Arkansas Automobile Assigned Risk Plan
If you are unable to obtain auto liability insurance through normal means, your McGhee Insurance Agent can apply for coverage for you through the Assigned Risk Plan.

Notes About Purchasing Automobile Insurance
You should be aware that different insurance companies charge different amounts for essentially the same coverage. If an insurance agent represents only one company (like Allstate, State Farm, Farmers, etc) it would be necessary for you to call several companies in order to find the best deal you could.
McGhee Insurance Agency is an independent agency. As such, we represent many different insurance companies, and our agents do the shopping for you. Our goal is to help you get the best possible coverage at the best possible price.
Here are a few ideas that may help you save money when purchasing your automobile insurance.
Consider increasing the amount of your deductible. Decide how much of the initial loss to your automobile you can afford to pay and see what deductibles various companies offer.
Consider having a deductible on your comprehensive coverage rather than no deductible at all. You may even want the same deductible on both Comprehensive and Collision.
Submit proof that any young drivers have completed a driver education course which meets the standards set by the National Conference of Driver Education. You may be entitled to a discount.
If you have a driver over the age of 16 and under the age of 25 who is either a full time student or a graduate of a college or university with a "B" or better grade average or a 3 point average on a 4 point scale, this driver may qualify for a good student discount.
High performance cars, sports cars and exotic cars are usually rated higher by insurance companies. In fact, it may be difficult to find a company that would be willing to insure the automobile.
McGhee Insurance Agents are trained to search for any discounts the company may offer. If you insure more than one automobile, you may qualify for a multi-car discount. Discounts to nondrinkers, nonsmokers, and accident-free drivers may also be available.
Arkansas law requires insurance companies to give a discount on auto premiums to persons over 55 years of age who have completed a motor vehicle accident prevention course approved by the Office of Motor Vehicles.

Filing a Claim
Your insurance policy will explain your duties to the insurance company in case of an accident. You should:
Report all accidents to the police.
Report the loss to the company as soon as reasonably possible.
Use reasonable care to prevent further damage to your car.
Cooperate with the company in settling the claim.
File a proper proof of loss which the company will provide to you.
Forward all documents concerning any lawsuit arising from any accident to your company immediately.

An insurance company may cancel your policy after it has been in effect for over sixty (60) days for only the following reasons:
(1) Nonpayment of premium;
(2) Fraud or Misrepresentation in your application for insurance;
(3) Homicide arising out of use of a motor vehicle;
(4) Three separate convictions of speeding and/or reckless driving within the policy period and three months prior to the beginning of the policy period; or
(5) Conviction of driving while intoxicated.
A company must give you a 20 day written notice of their intent to cancel for the above reasons. However, a company must only give you a 10 day written notice if cancellation is due to nonpayment of premium. Your McGhee Insurance Agent will also receive these notices and will contact you about necessary steps to take to insure you maintain auto insurance coverage.

If your company decides not to renew your policy on the expiration date, it must give you a 30 day written notice of its intent. Your McGhee Insurance Agent will then help you apply for coverage with another company. You cannot be refused coverage based solely on the fact you have been previously non-renewed


Auto Insurance Coverage for Rented, Owned, and Leased Vehicles

Over the past few months the University Treasurer’s Office has received a number of general inquiries about the University’s auto insurance programs for vehicles that are owned by the University/State and for vehicles that are leased by the University. In addition, we have received some very specific questions about what types of auto insurance University employees should be purchasing from rental companies when renting vehicles for University business. The purpose of this memorandum is to provide an overview of the University’s auto insurance programs, as well as to provide guidelines for University employees to consider when renting vehicles for University business. As you review the information contained in this memorandum, it is helpful to remember that in general there are two types of insurance coverage related to vehicles: Liability Insurance and Physical Damage Insurance. Liability Insurance covers bodily injury or property damage to a third party. Physical Damage Insurance (Collision and Comprehensive) covers property damage to the insured’s vehicle.

When a University employee is renting a vehicle for University business, the employee needs to INCLUDE the “University of Massachusetts” next to their own name on the rental application. This will help to ensure that the University’s Hired and Non-owned Excess Liability policy, which is described below, will provide excess liability coverage, if warranted.
When renting a vehicle, there are a number of important decisions that need to be made with regard to insurance. The employee will most likely be given the option of buying the following two types of rental insurance: Liability Insurance and Physical Damage Insurance (Physical Damage Insurance is often referred to as a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) or a Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) in the rental agreement). The information that follows will help the employee decide when it is necessary to purchase the insurance from the rental company and when it is appropriate to waive the coverage.
Liability Insurance - The University has a Hired and Non-owned Liability Insurance policy for vehicles rented for University business. The University’s policy is only an excess policy. This policy has a $1,000,000 combined single limit for bodily injury and/or property damage to others. It is a good idea for the employee to have a copy of the Certificate of Insurance with him/her when renting a vehicle as it maybe required. A copy of the Certificate of Insurance evidencing this coverage can be obtained from the University Treasurer’s Office.
When renting a car for University business, the employee should:
Decline the Liability Insurance offered by the rental company, if the employee is renting the vehicle in Massachusetts and will only be driving the vehicle in the State of Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, rental companies are required by State
Law to carry the minimum liability coverage on their rental vehicles (the rental company’s liability insurance serves as the primary liability insurance), so purchasing the additional Liability Insurance from the rental company is not necessary due to the University’s existing excess policy.
Purchase the Liability Insurance offered by the rental company, if the employee is renting a vehicle outside of the State of Massachusetts or for use outside of Massachusetts.
Physical Damage - The rental vehicle also needs to be covered by Physical Damage Insurance (Collision and Comprehensive).
When renting a car for University business, the employee should:
Decline the Physical Damage Insurance offered by the rental company, if the employee is using a University issued business credit card to rent the vehicle and that credit card provides primary coverage for physical damage. Please note that it is important for the employee to carefully review the terms of their University credit card to make sure that it does provide primary Physical Damage Insurance when renting a vehicle. The employee will also want to make sure that the type of vehicle he/she is renting is not excluded from the coverage provided by the credit card.
Purchase the Physical Damage Insurance offered by the rental company, if the employee is using a personal credit card, or any other means of payment, that does not provide primary Physical Damage Insurance coverage.
If in doubt as to whether or not the employee’s University issued business credit card provides primary physical damage coverage, it is a good idea to purchase the coverage from the rental company. The Physical Damage Insurance coverage offered by the rental company is a good protection at usually a low daily rate. Please contact the University Treasurer’s Office if you have any questions regarding a rental or credit card contract.

Owned Vehicles
The University is self-insured for auto liability associated with University/State owned vehicles. Our office manages this program and settles all claims. Settlements are generally paid directly by the at-fault campus, unless the settlement/judgment exceeds $2,500, in which case the State Attorney General’s Office needs to approve it, and payment will be made by the State Comptroller. The State Comptroller assesses an annual premium based on the average of all negligence settlements and costs paid on behalf of the University over a five year period. The University relies on certain protections from Massachusetts State Law Chapter 258 when self-insuring. In particular, University employees are generally immune from personal liability associated with damages resulting from their negligence while working within their job responsibilities. The University’s liability is capped at $100,000 per claimant for the actions of its
employees. Therefore, only University employees should be driving University/State owned vehicles.
The University is prohibited from insuring University/State owned property per Massachusetts State Law Chapter 29, Section 30. Therefore, University/State owned vehicles are NOT insured for Physical Damage (Collision and Comprehensive). Any damages that our office is not able to subrogate to a third party would be paid for by the applicable department or campus.

Leased Vehicles
Before a vehicle is leased, the lease agreement must be approved and signed by the University Treasurer’s Office.
The University purchases Liability Insurance and Physical Damage Insurance (Collision and Comprehensive) for all leased vehicles. The title to a leased vehicle remains with the leasing company and, as a result, the University is required by the lessor to purchase insurance on the vehicle. When leasing a new vehicle, University departments should request that the University Treasurer’s Office add the leased vehicle to our existing policy, a yearly premium would be assessed to the department, and coverage would extend to anyone driving the vehicle with permission.
Regardless of the type of vehicle used, our office should be contacted if a University employee is involved in an accident while on University business. However, please note that if an employee uses their own personal vehicle while on University business and he/she is in an accident, their personal insurance is primary and they would be responsible for any deductibles.
Our office will continue to keep you apprised of any new information about, or changes to, the University’s auto insurance programs. Please share this memorandum with the appropriate staff and departments on your campus. In addition, this information is available on our website at http://treasurer.umassp.edu. Finally, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact the University Treasurer’s Office at (508) 856-4700.

Guide To Car Insurance

The first thing to note is that over 100 insurance companies offer motor car insurance in England, Scotland and Wales and each companies' policy wording can be different - so always take advice and, if in doubt, make sure you ask!

This is meant as a general guide and is by no means a definitive, legal guide - so please ensure that you use it for information only. We will briefly cover the following questions:

What is 'Third Party Only' Car Insurance Cover?
What is 'Third Party Fire & Theft' Car Insurance Cover?
What is 'Comprehensive' Car Insurance Cover?
What type of car insurance cover is best for you?
Why do costs of motor insurance cover vary so much?
Any other things I should be aware of when choosing my motor insurance?
And finally, shop around…
There are three main types of motor insurance policy, namely:

Third Party Only (often referred to by the initials,TPO)
Third Party Fire & Theft (often referred to by the initials,TPF&T)
Comprehensive (often referred to as Fully Comp.)
Each of these different types of cover can be briefly explained as follows:

What is 'Third Party Only' Car Insurance Cover?
This covers the policyholder against damage to a third party's property or to the third party themselves.

In other words, if you run into another car and cause damage to that car and injure the occupant(s) of that car, a Third Party Only policy will pay for the repair to that other vehicle, and will pay for any medical claims or injuries suffered by the occupant(s) of that other car and any passengers in your car other than you. A Third Party Only policy will not pay for the costs of repairing your own vehicle nor will it pay anything toward your medical expenses if you are injured.

In addition, if your vehicle is stolen or catches fire, a Third Party Only policy will not make any payment toward the theft or repair of the vehicle.

What is 'Third Party Fire & Theft' Car Insurance Cover?
This is exactly the same as the Third Party Only policy, set out above, however a Third Party Fire and Theft policy will pay out in the event that your vehicle is stolen or sets on fire.

What is 'Comprehensive' Car Insurance Cover?
A comprehensive (normally known as a "fully comprehensive") policy will pay-out for third party damages and injuries, will pay-out in the event of your vehicle being stolen or set on fire, and will also pay for any damage to your own vehicle (regardless of whose fault the accident was).

What type of car insurance cover is best for you?
This is a more difficult question to answer than you might think at first sight. Obviously, everyone's circumstances are different and again, you should take care to make sure that you ask the right questions to get the right cover for you.

However, as a general rule of thumb, the following points are worth noting:

If you are young and driving an inexpensive first car then you will probably find the cost of comprehensive motor insurance very high (an example would be a 17 year-old living in a main city, buys a second-hand car for £1,000. The cost of a comprehensive policy could be as high as £2,500 and the cost for a Third Party Fire & Theft policy could reduce to approximately £1,700. So, the saving of £800 on the annual motor insurance policy is a large part of the value of the vehicle). If you hold a TPF&T policy and have an accident, providing that the accident was not your fault, the other driver's insurance policy will pay for repairs or offer a replacement value of your car (if it cannot be economically repaired). However, if the accident is your fault and your car is a "write-off" or is badly damaged then it is up to you to pay for the repair or replacement of the car.
If you are young and driving a more expensive car then it can make more sense for you to have Comprehensive insurance. A motor insurance premium of £2,500 for a Comprehensive policy can appear to be money well spent if you have an accident, which is your fault, and your car has a value of (say) £7,500. Your Comprehensive policy will pay for repairs to your car or will offer you either a cash sum or a replacement car of similar age and mileage (as opposed to you being £7,500 out-of-pocket).
Once you are over the age of 25 years old, and providing that you do not have a poor driving record (either by way of a number of accidents or motoring offences), the cost of obtaining Comprehensive insurance can drop quite considerably and therefore you should always look at obtaining Comprehensive insurance.
Of course, when you ask for a motor insurance quote, you can always ask for a quote on Third Party Fire & Theft terms and a quote on Comprehensive terms - that way you can look at the difference in cost of each type of cover, and make up your own mind as to which policy best suits your particular needs.

Why do costs of motor insurance cover vary so much?
Each Insurance Company employs underwriting staff who are responsible for underwriting the costs that the insurance company may have to pay out to the policyholder or third party. Underwriters have a wealth of statistical information, and it is from this that they calculate the likely (risk) cost of insuring a particular vehicle for a particular individual.

You may disagree with some of the points below. However, the cost of motor insurance in the UK is largely dependent upon the following main factors:

Your age - The younger and less experienced a driver you are, the more likely it is that you will have an accident and make a claim on your insurance policy.

No Claims Bonus / Discount - Each year that you insure your car, and do not make a claim on your policy, you receive what is called a "no claims bonus" (or discount). This can allow you a discount of up to 70% off the cost of your insurance (if you have driven accident and claim free for five years). So, the more "no claims bonus" that you have, the cheaper the cost of the insurance.

You can apply to have a protected no claims bonus, so that in the event of you having an accident you do not lose your "no claims bonus". Most Insurance Companies will offer "protected no claims bonus" terms in their policies however, this will cost more (but is, in most cases, a worthwhile additional sum to pay - after all, a 40% no claims bonus on a motor insurance policy costing £2,000 before discount, is worth an £800 per annum saving. So a small additional premium of (say) £50 to protect your "no claims" bonus is often a good investment).

Insurance Group - Most motor cars are given an insurance group ranking - which is an analysis by the motor insurance industry of the level of risk involved with each car type and group (often based purely on the likely repair costs). A high-powered car will be a group 20 (the highest possible risk, and therefore the most expensive car to insure) whereas a small "mini" hatchback may only be a group 4 (and therefore a cheaper car to get insurance cover on). Most motor dealers and garages are able to advise you of the likely insurance group rating on each car.

Engine size - The more powerful a car is, the more likely it is to be involved in high speed accidents (which cost more to repair than lower speed accidents).

Your occupation and how many miles a year you drive - What you do for a living can make you a higher risk. An example would be someone who travels regularly in their car, as part of their job, is seen as having a higher risk of being involved in an accident, than someone who only uses their car at weekends.

Where you live and whether the car is garaged or parked on a road. The density of traffic in the area that you live in can dictate whether you are more, or less, likely to have an accident. In addition, theft and break-in to cars is more prevalent in certain towns and cities. Of course, if your car is simply parked on the street (rather than being put in a locked garage each evening), then this too can have a bearing on how susceptible your car is to theft or break-in.

The value (cost) of your car and the make and model - The value of your car is a factor in the risk that the Insurance Company is taking. If your car is a £50,000 "super-car" then you can expect to pay a higher premium than someone driving a £5,000 "super-mini". After all, if either car were involved in a serious accident, the Insurance Company will be left with a bill for £50,000 or £5,000. In addition, some cars are cheaper to repair than others (availability of parts, specialist body-shops for more specialist cars etc). Each of these factors plays a role in determining the cost of your motor insurance policy.

Whether you have had a history of accidents or motoring offences - Fairly obvious - if you have spent your entire driving experience careering from accident to accident (and thus costing Insurance Companies lots of money) then you can expect to pay a far higher premium than someone who has been driving for ten years without any accidents. In addition, if you have speeding fines and reckless driving fines (i.e. penalty points on your license) then the Insurance Company will charge you at a higher rate than a more "sedate" driver.

Benefits included in your motor insurance policy - Many insurance companies offer benefits that other insurance companies do not offer. The most common example is you being supplied with a free courtesy car in the event that your car is off the road due to an accident. There is a cost associated with the benefits that you receive in your motor insurance policy. The more the benefits, the higher the price that you will pay.

The excess charge that applies to your policy - Insurance companies issue policies that have a "compulsory excess" (and often allow for a voluntary excess). An "excess" is the amount that you are responsible for, in the event of you making a claim on your policy. Lets take the example of you having a policy with a £100 excess. If you have an accident and the repair bill is £500 then you have to pay the first £100 and the Insurance Company will pay for the balance of £400. (Of equal importance is that if your policy has a £100 excess, and you chip the paintwork of your car, resulting in a £50 repair bill, you cannot claim from your policy as the amount of the claim is lower than the excess amount of £100). You can see that the larger the excess (i.e. the amount that you have to pay if you make a claim), the less that the Insurance Company will have to pay out. So, policies that have large excesses are often less expensive than policies with smaller excesses.

In addition, whilst most insurance company policies have a compulsory excess, you can also agree to take a voluntary excess charge, over and above the amount of the compulsory excess. If your policy has a £100 excess charge and you agree to an additional excess of (say) £500, then in the event of a claim you have to pay the first £600 of the claim, and the insurance company has to pay for any balance above this amount - a voluntary excess can often reduce the cost of your motor insurance policy however, you will have a larger amount to pay in the event of you being involved in an accident.

Car security (alarms, immobilisers etc) - It's a sad fact that car theft and break-ins are commonplace within most towns and cities. If you have fitted a car alarm and immobiliser it is less likely that your car will be stolen - you can therefore expect to pay less for your motor insurance policy than someone who has no security device on their car.

Any other things I should be aware of when choosing my motor insurance?
Yes - lots of them, lets go through the most important ones :

Motor insurance is a legal requirement - A motor insurance policy provides you with cover (and therefore peace of mind) against potentially very high costs. After all, if you cause an accident that results in loss of life or permanent injury to other people, the cost of the claim can be into millions of pounds. You cannot drive a motor vehicle without a valid motor insurance policy, and there are stiff fines and penalties (including a jail sentence) if you are found to be driving without having motor insurance cover.

Proposal Forms - written and verbal - When you arrange your motor insurance you will either: complete and sign a written Proposal Form; or you will complete the Proposal Form verbally (over the telephone with a sales operator - in which case the telephone call will be recorded and can be replayed if required). Each of the questions that you answer at the Proposal Form stage is the basis of the insurance contract. So, if you have answered any of the questions incorrectly then the Insurance Company can declare the policy null and void from inception. A worst case scenario is that you have altered the engine management chip in your car, or you have fitted high performance parts to your car - but at the Proposal Form stage you simply said that your car was a basic 1.6 GL. You then have an accident and look to your Insurance Company to pay for the cost of your car, as it is a total write-off. The Insurance Company sends an Inspector to view your car and the Inspector identifies that your car was not a basic 1.6GL but had been modified. The Insurance Company can declare your policy to be null and void from inception and can (legally) refuse to pay you any money whatsoever. So, always make sure that you answer every question accurately (and honestly).

Your motor insurance Certificate and Policy - Your motor insurance certificate is often a "shortened" one-page document and is normally accompanied by your insurance policy document (which can often run to many tens of pages). You must study your policy, as this is the document that forms the basis of the contract between you and the Insurance Company. There are many different types of policy wordings/rules (for example, your policy may not cover drivers of your car who are under 25 years old) so make sure that you read it and that you have asked about the policy conditions at the time you take it out.

Value (cost) of your car - The value that you put on your car at the time you take out the policy is not necessarily the amount that you will receive if your car were to be written-off. All cars depreciate on a monthly basis and are therefore worth less at the end of a year than at the beginning of a year. In addition, you may have paid full dealership price for your car a few years ago and the cost of buying a similar car today may be much less. So, if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident that results in your car being declared a total loss (write-off), you have to be prepared to be offered less than you might think your car was worth. Most Insurance Companies will now try and find you a replacement car, with similar age and mileage to your own car, and supply it directly to you rather than settle a cash amount upon you.

Multiple policy discounts - Many Insurance Companies will offer you a discount if you have more than one policy with them (for example you may have your household insurance policy and car insurance policy with a different insurance company, as they were the two best quotes that you obtained when you took out your insurance). It's worth checking out when you next obtain a quotation.

And finally… Remember to shop around and get the best cover at the best price (if something appears to be cheap, you may well regret it if you come to make a claim and find policy exclusions, large hidden excesses, poor claims service etc.). An independent intermediary (like us), agent or broker is always worth trying, as well as one or two of the "big name" direct insurance companies. Remember, there are over one hundred companies out there, all trying to make a profit out of motor insurance - and each of them will have a different set of underwriting criteria, such that what may be deemed to be a poor (and high cost) risk to one insurance company may be seen as an acceptable (and low cost) risk to another insurance company.

The old adage about "you get what you pay for" is never more true than when choosing your insurance cover - make sure that you get the best cover at the best price.