Three Ways to Lower Your Car-Insurance Premium

Auto-insurance premiums dropped last year for the first time since 1999, but only by an average of 1 percent. So getting that lower rate might still mean work. We looked at how insurers are calculating premiums these days — even your credit score can matter — and compiled a few tips.

Shop Once a Year

A little research can go a long way. Bob Hunter of the Consumer Federation of America suggests checking price ranges on your state insurance commission's Web site. If you're working with an insurance agent, he adds, ask him to match online price quotes, which are typically lower. No-frills insurers are another good starting place; InsWeb.com lists some.

Fess Up

Late credit card payments and where you park your car can now boost your price. But insurers will factor in other details in your favor. Teens, for instance, get discounts off their usual sky-high rates if they maintain at least a B average or take a driving course. And savvy shoppers can remind agents of any professional associations, fraternities or alumni groups they belong to. At Geico card-carrying members of American Mensa, the American Dental Hygienists' Association and the William and Mary Alumni Association — as well as more than 200 other groups — get up to 27 percent off.

Pay for What You Use

Good news for second cars: Some companies now offer pay-as-you-go insurance, tied to how many miles a car-mounted Global Positioning System says a vehicle drives each year. GMAC, for one, offers a 54 percent discount to those who drive less than 2,500 miles annually. And if you trot out your tennis bracelet more often than your Mercedes-Benz, consider package deals. High-end insurer Chubb offers auto policies that pair up with jewelry or yacht insurance for discounts of 10 to 20 percent.

Test-Driving Rates

A reptile with an English accent. A hipster cartoon secret agent. And an actor who played the president on 24 pitching "safe driver" insurance. Which of these spokesbeings really offers the lowest auto-insurance rates these days? We took three staffers with different driving records and shopped for the best rates we could get in New York and New Jersey.

The results, of course, couldn't have been more varied: For six months of coverage, we got quotes ranging from $189 for a longtime road warrior to $1,190 for a currently uninsured driver. Allstate quoted us the highest figure for one of our staffers and refused to cover the uninsured one. (No other company declined us coverage.) Progressive did better, offering one of our drivers the lowest premium — $634 for six months — plus a $50 discount if we provided our email address.

Esurance offered the second-best rate twice. But the winner by far was the insurer with the clever commercials: Geico. It would have saved us over $790 and $1,200, respectively, for two of our drivers. And lizards don't lie: We got our quote in less than 15 minutes.

Copyrighted, SmartMoney.com. All Rights Reserved.

Q&A Auto Insurance

I have liability insurance. If I lend my car out to a friend, will my insurance pay in case of an accident?

Best Answer
Yes. However, does he have regular access to your car? If he borrows it more than once a month, or more than ten times a year, you should add him as an operator. Also, if he cracks it up, it's great that the other guy is covered, but . . .can you afford to buy a new car? Because you won't have any coverage for YOUR car.

What car insurance companies DON'T use a credit score when deciding rates?

Best Answer
whether you're against it or not, it's a factor. and sorry, i don't know of ANY companies out there that don't use it. i know about 99% use credit scores, so good luck finding the one or two that havent jumped on that wagon... yet. I've bookmarked this site to go back to... http://www.safelinked.info/go.php?link=insurance All the best to you.

Tips For Newcomers In The Auto Insurance Industry

Anyone new to auto insurance has much to learn about how the industry functions. Special rules apply to consumers who opt for it, and a dizzying amount of different options and rates are available for all types of people and even different age groups. But getting to the bottom of the matter only takes a little patience- and of course the will to stay knowledgeable about the intricacies of auto insurance.

The first lesson in car insurance is probably already learned- shopping around for auto insurance in the first place. But an important lesson that stems from this is the fact that staying with an auto insurance agency isn't required. Switching to a new agency is more than possible, and best if the new agency has more appealing rates. Just keep in mind that some insurance agencies charge based on six month or twelve month intervals, which means there are specific times where a driver can and can't switch agencies.

New drivers are almost always going to be classified as a student- whether going to a certain high school or university. Drivers of this nature will be penalized with high fees, since they are young and not experienced enough to drive safely like older adults can. The common remedy to this expensive problem is to simply grow in age, in which certain age groups observe huge discounts in auto insurance over others.

Thankfully, the insurance industry isn't too unforgiving. Insurance companies will usually offer special discounts to students, as long as they exhibit proper responsibility and behavior. Getting good grades, having a clean driving record, and staying in the top percent of one's classmates will yield honorable discounts each month to the total bill.

Drivers should always check with their agency as to the terms of agreement. New drivers don't often take advantage of advantageous terms of agreement that adults can. New drivers, for instance, will commonly not receive money if a friend was driving their vehicle when it was wrecked. Knowing what new drivers can and can't do in terms of receiving auto insurance money upon the event of an accident is direly important.

A good idea to keep in mind is to learn more on the subject of insurance, but by conferencing with the insurance agent by one's self. Only then can the facts be made straight on a one-to-one level. After all, some people learn better by hearing terms rather than reading a book full of hard to read print. If this is the case, casually schedule an appointment to talk to one's insurance agent, and ask as many questions as possible- even write down information if needed.

In Conclusion

There's much to learn with the auto insurance industry. Newcomers to the industry will have a lot to understand and to keep in mind. But the process isn't completely tedious- the thought in knowing that one's investment in their car and their very life is insured is motivation enough to try and do all that is possible to get the best deal, rates, and terms of conditions in an auto insurance plan.

Concord Auto Insurance - Las Vegas Auto Insurance - Cincinnati Auto Insurance 285

There are a number of ways you can obtain insurance quote. First of all, life insurance premiums are now up to 40% cheaper than they were a few years ago due to advances in medicine helping us all to live longer, so now may be a good time to either check your existing arrangements or take out a policy. Remember, your premium will remain constant during the time you are covered unless you choose otherwise. Are you in the market for a whole life insurance policy? If so, you can take advantage of accessing online a free life insurance quote. The bottom line is you want to make sure you go with the company that has been around for quite a while. If you are a single parent then it is all the more important to get a life insurance online quote at the earliest and buy the best and most suitable life insurance policy thereafter, Your life insurance amount is also decided by your economic and family situations. As you know, insurance rates and coverage are different from state to state, and therefore it will be necessary for you to obtain a free life insurance quote by researching the various companies online, or calling your insurance representatives directly. Cheap life insurance policies are of a permanent nature and incorporate your desired coverage till the time the insurance elapses. That would be a great idea if the investment portion were paying high dividends. This means that should you die and it turns out you lied on your application form, the insurers legally dont have to pay out your claim. If you are still alive at the end of the term, then no payment is made hence why premiums are so cheap as the insurer cannot justify charging a huge amount for your premiums as there is no investment element to a term life insurance policy. Lastly make sure you shop online across several websites to obtain the best life insurance online quote there is. Since a broker is not tied down to just one insurance company, he can get insurance quotes from several companies. Remember, however, that quotes are a guide only and they could change once you have completed a full application. Term life insurance policies are active as long as you pay the premiums. The urgent needs would probably be the funeral expenses, final medical expenses, repayments of any loans and outstandings due to the insured name, any mortgages that need to paid off and such others. The result will be accurate and systematic as long as you do not lie about your weight and age. The following suggestions should be able to allow you a thorough insight on how to go about acquiring a cheap life insurance. They would like you to furnish them with your personal information too. No one wants to pay more than they have to for their life insurance, so how do you go about getting cheap term life insurance?. No one wants to pay more than they have to for their life insurance, so how do you go about getting cheap term life insurance?. If you get your life insurance online quotes and find that they are too expensive you must review them. If you are still alive at the end of the term, then no payment is made hence why premiums are so cheap as the insurer cannot justify charging a huge amount for your premiums as there is no investment element to a term life insurance policy. Some of the factors that appear daunting to most people is how much coverage is require, which insurance policy will suit an individuals budget, whether a lifelong or term policy is appropriate, what are the best alternatives for individuals who have a high mortality risk, what are the penalties for cancellation, and so on. Getting life insurance is significant decision that leaves no room for imprudence and negligence. If you are a single parent then it is all the more important to get a life insurance online quote at the earliest and buy the best and most suitable life insurance policy thereafter, Your life insurance amount is also decided by your economic and family situations. Insurance Quotes provides detailed information on Insurance Quotes, Car Insurance Quotes, Life Insurance Quotes, Health Insurance Quotes and more. The following suggestions should be able to allow you a thorough insight on how to go about acquiring a cheap life insurance. As an example, your term life insurance policy can match the repayment term on your mortgage so that if you die before the end of the mortgage repayment term the life insurance lump sum will clear your mortgage debt.


New Jersey Has the Highest Car Insurance Rates in the U.S. - Can Anything Be Done?

The state of New Jersey gets a bad rap from the media and in popular culture. Until the Sopranos came around, seemingly nothing about New Jersey was very cool. Adding insult to injury (or more appropriately, injury to insult), New Jersey residents pay the highest car insurance rates in the entire country. This is because so much of the state is urban, the urban areas are densely packed, and more urban residents drive cars than in other areas like New York City. This leads to more accidents, and the high density of people leads to more instances of vandalism and theft.

What Could Be Worse Than Wrecks, Vandalism, and Theft?
But even worse than all of this is the high number of uninsured drivers that come with exorbitant car insurance rates. Uninsured drivers put a strain on the entire system, causing everyone's rates to go up. Therefore, the state government of New Jersey has always tried to play a role in keeping prices down to limit the number of uninsured drivers. Until recently, they did so with a 1983 law that capped urban rates at thirty-five percent above the average rate, but it was argued that this coercive measure led to too much inefficiency in the market.

Now the market may be more efficient, but it sure is costly. A thirty-five-year-old man living in urban Jersey City would pay $1,118 for Allstate coverage, which is seventy-two percent more than if he lived in rural Sussex County. Rates this high inevitably lead to uninsured drivers, which is why Governor John Corzine has proposed a plan to cap urban rate increases until the state completes its efforts to create a better car insurance marketplace by easing regulations and encouraging competition.

The Pros and Cons of Regulation
Opponents of regulation say that it distorts the market and makes low-risk drivers pay more to subsidize high-risk drivers. "The less restrictions you have, the more you let the marketplace work," says Richard Stokes, a lobbyist for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. But on the other hand, you have to look at the consequences of not regulating. "If rates go through the ceiling and people can't afford to pay, you are just going to increase the number of uninsured motorists," says New Jersey state senator, Joseph Doria Jr. And uninsured motorists make everyone's costs go up but their own.

The good news is that, with or without the government's help, you can get yourself the lowest possible car insurance rates by shopping around. Rates vary greatly from company to company, so while one insurer may charge seventy-two percent more for urban dwellers, another may charge only thirty-five percent more. Furthermore, yet another company may offer discounts that lower your rates even further! You have to look around to find the best deals, and carinsurancerates.com is a great place to begin your search. Just scroll up to the top left corner and select a type of quote under "Start Your Quote." Good luck!

The Pros and Cons of Car Insurance Regulation - Case Study: California & State Farm

The car insurance industry is regulated by state governments, and as a result, there are 50 separate sets of car insurance rules (51 if you count D.C.). Some states have more "consumer-friendly" regulatory environments, while others are considered to be "pro-business." The truth is that regulations have both positive and negative effects, as evidenced by the current situation in California.

The Case of the Lame-Duck Insurance Commissioner
Each state has its own Insurance Commissioner (IC), a person who serves as the head of the state’s insurance board. As his term was approaching its end, California’s IC, John Garamendi, was determined to make an impact while he was still in office. Garamendi had actually begun the process six months earlier, in June of 2006, when he called on California’s four largest insurance companies - Farmers, Safeco, Allstate, and State Farm - to justify their rates. It was Garamendi’s opinion that these companies were charging too much for both homeowner’s and car insurance.

In California, companies must justify their rates when called on to do so, but instead of going through that lengthy and expensive process, State Farm jumped the gun by requesting the insurance board’s permission to lower its rates. Essentially, State Farm was admitting that it was charging too much and offering to charge less in order to avoid additional scrutiny. The total amount that will be saved by State Farm’s customers in 2007 will be $500 million - including $259 million by its car insurance customers!

The Downside of Regulation
As a result of California’s Insurance Commissioner’s actions, the average State Farm customer in California will save 10% on his or her car insurance bill. Since State Farm will be dropping its rates, its competitors will have to follow suit or risk business to State Farm. So what could be the downside?

Think about it - State Farm had to ask permission to lower its rates! In California, companies are forbidden from radically lowering their rates without the insurance board’s consent. Now in this case, things may be working out fine, but in the future, what is to stop the other car insurance companies involved from using their political clout to prevent a competitor from lowering its rates? We all know how politics works!

In other words, car insurance regulation keeps prices up as much as it keeps them down, and even less stringent regulations have unintended consequences. Would we be better off in a laissez-faire regulatory environment? Probably not; especially since car insurance is the one product that the government says you have to buy. But the important thing to realize is that even the most well-intentioned regulations can have adverse effects, and that both the pros and cons of all regulatory legislation should be thoroughly evaluated.

It’s Your Choice
Sometimes it isn’t just the bureaucrats at the state capital who get to decide. For example, Oregon voters recently had the opportunity to cast their ballots for or against a measure deciding whether or not insurers could consider an individual’s credit score when determining his or her car insurance rates. The citizens struck it down, probably because most voters have above average credit, and they knew that giving good drivers with bad credit a break on their rates would translate into higher rates for both good and bad drivers with good credit.

Regardless of direction in which the political winds are blowing, you can always save on your car insurance. Shop around for the best deal, but first, browse this site to become familiarized with how car insurance works. Not only will you be a more educated voter and citizen, but you’ll also have the knowledge necessary to save money on your rates.

Texans Can Save Big on Car Insurance

We know that there are many factors that affect the cost of our car insurance, like, age, type of car, credit history, geographic location, number of previous tickets, etc. But one thing that generally doesn’t go into the equation is how many miles a day that we drive. Very high mileage drivers are sometimes assessed an additional fee, but the number of miles driven per day to qualify can vary greatly with different companies. Oftentimes, customers are only asked to report their daily commute to work, but are not asked about their other driving habits. Someone may only have a three mile round trip to work, but might drive 300 miles every weekend to their cabin. It’s an inexact science, to be sure.

Savings By the Mile
What this amounts to is that a man who drives twenty miles each week would pay the same amount as someone with the same profile who drives five hundred miles a week. This clearly makes no sense, since the more you’re on the road, the more likely you’ll end up in an accident. Luckily Texas is taking steps to rectify this imbalance. Legislation has enabled auto insurance companies to offer by-the-mile insurance, so you’d pay for insurance the same way you pay for gas! You only use what you need.

This new practice will be more equitable, since previously people paid by the same formula whether they are rich or poor. Obviously this is an unfair practice, since someone making minimum wage and someone making $500,000 a year could easily commute the same distance. However, the person with greater means is going to drive much more. Vacations, trips to the golf course, or visiting friends and family are all things that take extra money, even if it’s just buying gas. Our minimum wage earner is more likely to drive just to and from work, and maybe stop at a corner store on the way home. Why should he pay to subsidize accidents that the wealthy person causes on his drives to his vacation home at the beach?

Good for the Environment as Well as the Wallet
It’s hard to turn on the television or open a newspaper without seeing a reference to our dependence on foreign oil. We know that when gas prices rise, we tend to drive less. Even if you earn a nice salary, you’re probably going to think twice about taking that road trip when you think about how much gas will cost. For people who live paycheck to paycheck, they may have a limited gas budget and will even choose which grocery store to frequent based on the distance from their home. Their decision may be purely economic, but they are, if inadvertently, doing their part to reduce the amount of oil that we need to procure from other countries.

Now imagine if your insurance payment weren’t fixed. How would you drive if you paid for your insurance based on the number of miles that you traveled? Would you choose a closer store rather than the mall in the next town over? Would you think about taking the bus to work? How about riding your bicycle to the video store or park? Could you walk to a convenience store to get a loaf of bread instead of driving to a supermarket?

All of those choices become doubly financial when you consider not just the price of gas, but the price of insurance, too. And without intending to do so, you’ll be helping to reduce our oil consumption - and probably making yourself healthier in the process! It’s a win-win situation.

This new practice of by-the-mile is catching on, and not just in Texas! So Texans, call your auto insurance company and ask if they offer by-the-mile payment. No matter where you live, do some comparison shopping. Using websites like carinsurancerates.com, you can find a company that will serve your needs the best, however much you drive!

Montana Car Insurance: A Quick Guide to Car Insurance for Residential and Urban

For whatever reason every state in the US has elected to establish their own set of insurance rules, and Montana is no exception. Prior to purchasing car insurance all residents should discover the precise details of their state’s requirements. In Montana residents can do this by contacting the Montana State Auditor in Helena by calling (406) 444-2040 or visiting their website at http://sao.mt.gov/.

Montana’s only requirement for its residents is that they carry liability insurance on their vehicles in case they are responsible for an accident. Minimum liability will pay twenty five thousand dollars for a single occupant’s medical expenses, fifty thousand dollars for the total medical expenses of all the occupants of a vehicle at the time of an accident and ten thousand dollars for any property damages resulting from the accident, including but not limited to those damages suffered by the vehicle of the other driver.

With medical care and auto repair costs on the rise these expenses can quickly rise above these levels. Since the insured will be held personally liable for any expenses not covered by insurance it is strongly recommended that all drivers carry more than the minimum level of insurance. It is also strongly recommended that all drivers purchase a comprehensive and collision policy to pay for the damages to their own vehicle following such an accident. Comprehensive insurance will pay for repairs up to the Blue Book value of the car; if the cost of repair exceeds this amount the vehicle may be considered “totaled” and the owner awarded the cash value of the car. For this reason many lenders require that any vehicle purchased with an auto loan carry comprehensive insurance.

Uninsured motorist insurance is also not required but strongly recommended. Many states in the US do not require that their drivers purchase liability insurance. That means that at any given point in time there could be hundreds of drivers on the road with no insurance, and any one of them could cause an accident. MT uninsured motorist insurance helps pay for medical expenses and vehicular repairs following an incident with one of these uninsured drivers or a hit and run.

Virginia Car Insurance: Regulations Made Easy

The regulations regarding the purchase of car insurance in Virginia is really very simple; for the most part there aren’t any. The only type of insurance coverage that Virginia drivers are required to have is uninsured motorist coverage, no doubt stemming from the fact that their drivers are not required to have liability insurance. This means that in the event a driver who does not possess any liability is responsible for an accident their victim will have some opportunity to pay for the necessary medical car and vehicular repairs without putting themselves into the poor house.

That said, every driver knows that it is very foolish to drive with no insurance; the cost of vehicle and medical care today is just too high. It is strongly recommended that every driver carry at least a minimum liability policy. Liability will pay for damages incurred in an accident for which the insured is responsible up to and including the amounts of twenty five thousand dollars for medical expenses incurred by a single driver, fifty thousand dollars for the combined medical expenses of all of the occupants of the vehicle and ten thousand dollars to assist with repairs to any property damaged in the accident, including but not limited to public property and the victim’s vehicle.

It is also recommended that every driver carry comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive (or collision) coverage will help pay for the damages to the vehicle of the insured up to the Blue Book value of the car that result from an accident with another vehicle for which they are responsible or from an accident caused by another source, such as inclement weather or the local wildlife. Comprehensive coverage may be required for any vehicle currently under lien.

More information regarding VA auto insurance policies may be obtained by contacting the Virginia Bureau of Insurance in Richmond by calling 804-371-9741or by visiting their website at http://www.scc.virginia.gov/division/boi/index.htm.

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Washington Car Insurance: Requirements for Car Insurance

Unlike Washington D.C. Washington state is not home to five million people crammed onto three major highways; however, auto insurance is no less important. For complete information regarding auto insurance in Washington consumers can contact the Office of the Insurance Commissioner at 800-562-6900 or by visiting their website at http://www.insurance.wa.gov/.

Washington requires that all of its drivers purchase at least a minimum liability policy for their vehicle. Liability will pay for the damages suffered by the other driver and their passengers in the event that the insured is responsible for an accident, and minimum levels of coverage are twenty five thousand dollars for medical expenses for a single occupant, fifty thousand dollars for the combined medical expenses of all of the occupants of the vehicle and ten thousand dollars for any property damage resulting from the accident, including repairs to the victim’s vehicle.

As medical expenses and repair costs can quickly rise above these limits, and the insured will be held liable for the excess, it is strongly recommended that when purchasing liability insurance the consumer choose a level that is greater than the minimum. In addition, it is strongly suggested that every driver purchase comprehensive coverage for their vehicle (if a vehicle has been purchased with an auto loan this will probably be required). WA Comprehensive coverage will pay for damages to the vehicle following an accident the insured was responsible for, and should the cost of repairing the damages exceed the Blue Book value of the vehicle the car will be totaled and the owner awarded the full cash value of the car.

With every state having a different policy on insurance requirements it is very important that all drivers purchase an WA uninsured motorist policy; this is not required by the state, however. Uninsured motorist coverage will pay for damages to body and vehicle of those persons unlucky enough to be involved in an accident with a driver who does not possess liability; it also helps those who are the unfortunate victims of a hit and run.

Are SUV’s harder to insure or more expensive?

Not only do they have a higher ticket price at the dealership and cost a mint to fill-up, SUV’s are also a magnet for high insurance premiums. On average, it costs 10-20 percent more to insure a SUV than a regular car.

So why the big increase?
More often than not, SUVs cause more damage to other vehicles when they are in accidents. Chances are that a goliath SUV will do some pretty hefty damage to a two-door convertible. This raises the payout rates for the insurance company, and therefore liability premiums increase.

Even if you are a safe and careful driver, SUVs have historically fared much better than their counterparts in accidents. This is not to say that a driver in an SUV is safer necessarily, but they feel safer. And this feeling of safety is exactly the reason why many drivers still choose to drive the behemoths. It is estimated that about 12% of all vehicles on US roads are Sports Utility Vehicles.

But SUVs aren’t without their own inherent dangers. While progress has been made in safety design and roll-over prevention in the past years, SUV’s still have a greater potential to flip during high-speed turns, in collisions, or when avoiding accidents. They sit higher off the ground, which means their center of gravity is less balanced and they become “top-heavy”. To the insurance company, rollover accidents are very costly in terms of vehicle repairs and personal medical expenses.

SUVs have also recently become very coveted among car thieves, costing millions of dollars in replacement claims. According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, the Cadillac Escalade was the most stolen vehicle in 2004. To replace the Escalade, an insurance company can pay upwards of $18k.

Repairs on an SUV are also quite expensive. Insurance companies will pay quite a bit of money towards body and engine work, even in the most negligible collision. This is because SUVs do not have to meet the bumper standards set by the federal government’s in terms of withstanding fender benders. Just a slight tap on the rear can cost hundreds of dollars.

The high risk factors of SUVs equate to a potential for high medical, liability, and settlement payments for the insurance company, and they must recoup those costs in the form of higher premiums.


AARP Car Insurance

As much as the AARP may do to fight it, age discrimination is an unfortunate fact of life - and nowhere is this more the case than in the world of car insurance. Few other industries blatantly and admittedly discriminate against seniors, and the worst part of it is that drivers ages 55-65 pay far higher car insurance rates than they should have to. This is because, from an actuarial perspective, the cost of insuring drivers ages 70 and over would be too high for them to bear, so car insurance companies make younger seniors, 55-65, subsidize them. Well the good news is that Arkansas seniors can do something to lower their costs - the state government says so!

AARP Driver Safety Courses

AARP (The American Association of Retired Persons) offers driver dafety courses throughout the United States, and many car insurance companies gladly grant discounts to seniors who pass the courses. In Arkansas, however, it isn’t a voluntary matter - every car insurance company within the state must give seniors who pass the test a discount - by law! You do not need to be a member of AARP to take the test, but there is a fee involved - in most cases it’s only $10, which is a pittance compared to what you will be saving once you pass.

In Arkansas, the AARP class is a four-hour course designed as a refresher for drivers 50 and over. It focuses on learning to deal with the demanding task of driving in today’s busy streets and highways, and it gives strategies for adjusting to age-related changes in hearing, sight, and reaction time. The course also goes over recent changes to Arkansas laws.

Not only will you save by taking the course, but you might also save your life. After all, as the AARP says: “The roads, vehicles, and traffic patterns of today are much different than when drivers first learned to drive. As the conditions of driving have changed, so has the driver. The course is designed to extend driving years in a safer manner.”

How to Enroll - In Arkansas and Elsewhere

AARP driver safety courses are given regularly in Arkansas and throughout the U.S. Two upcoming courses in Arkansas are April 6 from 8:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. at the Hubach Center in Searcy, AR (for more information, call Lisa Blount at 501-380-1053); and April 17 from 1-5 P.M. at the Valley Baptist Church, 3328 Hwy 36 North, Searcy. If you miss these courses, simply ask your car insurance agent when there’s another one close to your home.

If your car insurance agent isn’t the type of guy you can just call up and ask that question, then perhaps it’s time you started looking for a new agent. In fact, if your agent is an old friend, you’re probably even a better candidate to begin comparison shopping. After all, if your agent views you as a “captive customer,” he’s much less likely to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Shopping around for the best car insurance rates is easy thanks to the internet and websites like carinsurancerates.com. In fact, there are several car insurance companies that give even bigger discounts for passing a driver safety course than mandated by Arkansas law. You’ll never know how much you can save until you try!

Arkansas Car Insurance: A Quick Guide

Car insurance can seem like a literal quagmire of choices for the new motorist; however, there are some rules that all drivers need to know going into the game. Complete information regarding the various ins and outs of Arkansas’s insurance requirements can be obtained by contacting the Arkansas Insurance Department in Little Rock at 1-800-282-9134 or by visiting their website, http://insurance.arkansas.gov.

AR requires that all drivers have liability insurance; this will pay for damages inflicted to the person and vehicle with whom the insured is in an accident that was of their making. Minimum state coverage is 25/50/25, which means that if there is only one person in the vehicle that was struck the insured’s insurance provider will pay for twenty five thousand dollars worth of medical expenses, if there is more than one person harmed in the accident fifty thousand dollars of their combined expenses will be covered, and if property was damaged (such as a private residence or a guardrail, as well as the other vehicle involved) twenty five thousand dollars will be allotted for repair.

AR does not require that their motorists carry any more than the minimum liability when they are driving; however, it is recommended that all drivers have more coverage than this. Comprehensive/collision insurance exists to pay for damage to the vehicle of the driver responsible for the accident, preventing them from finding themselves with thousands of dollars worth of repair. This will also pay for vehicle damages in the event that a car is struck by a deer or is damaged due to inclement weather conditions. In the event that the cost to repair a vehicle is greater than the vehicle’s blue book value per the Kelley Blue Book the vehicle will be declared totaled and the blue book value awarded to the driver. Gap coverage may also be an option for those individuals whose auto loan value exceeds the blue book value of their vehicle.

Even though most states require that all drivers carry liability not all of them do, and even those that do have drivers that choose not to comply. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage provides for payment medical and repair expenses for damages to the vehicle and person of the insured if they are involved in a hit and run or are struck by a car whose driver either does not possess insurance or whose insurance is insufficient to cover the total costs incurred.

Kelley Blue Book, Your Best Friend

Why Kelly Blue Book is Your Friend
If you’ve ever purchased or sold a used car, then you’ve almost certainly heard of Kelley Blue Book. They are universally king when it comes to determining a new or used vehicle’s value. In fact, the term “blue book value” has become used so often that it is now virtually synonymous with the car’s market value. Many car dealerships turn to Kelley Blue Book when estimating the trade value of a customer’s car. It’s all pretty impressive for a company that started as a two man dealership in 1918. The owner, Les Kelley, began circulating lists of all the vehicles he wanted to purchase and how much he was willing to pay for them. Before long, Kelley’s lists became popular among local banks and dealers, who considered his estimates as a standard. In 1926, the first ever Kelley Blue Book was released. The guide was mostly used around the Los Angeles region until the 1940’s when it went nationwide. Since then it’s gone on to become one of the most popular and well known consumer and trade publications available. You can even find most of its information online now through the Kelley Blue Book website. Here’s an idea of what you can find in a Kelley Blue Book.

What Information does Kelley Blue Book Provide?
While you already know that Kelley Blue Book provides used and new car values, it also does the same for motorcycles, RVs, snowmobiles, mobile homes, and even personal watercrafts. Of course, used and new cars are the main focus and Kelley Blue Book provides a plethora of information about them, such as:

A vehicle’s manufacturer suggested retail price or MSRP
The dealer invoice price
A car’s trade-in value
What people and insiders are saying about a vehicle
Private party prices


Car Insurance Quandaries

How to find the right car insurance that you need will depends on many different factors. Where you live, what type of car you drive, how much medical coverage you may need, as well as deductibles you can afford, need to be taken into consideration. The important thing is to take your time and not rush into the decision.

One of the first things that you need to look at is where to shop. The best place to look for insurance is by actually visiting a local insurance agent. A local agent can explain the different types of policies as well as the considersations that you need to take into account. Talk to family and friends about where they are insured and how the service is, especially those that have had an accident or stolen car. Local agents will also provide a written quote. This quote will help you compare when you move to your next step, shopping online.

With written quote in hand, continue your search online. Go to a favorite search engine and find a car insurance company that offers to give you multiple quotes from different companies. Most of the larger companies for which you are given quotes should have an agent in your area but if you live in a small town, the agent may be located in a nearby town.

After printing out the needed information about these companies, your next step is to compare prices. Keep in mind that different companies will provide quotes using different factors, so really try to balance them out by selecting similar coverages for each company. Some of the areas where quotes generally differ are in the amount your vehicle is determined to be worth, how much they will pay for medical coverage for each passenger and the amount they will pay for damage to other people or other people's property.

If you are at fault in a car accident, you will find that may not have the insurance coverage that you need. If you do not have enough to pay for the injuries of another person or their property, they can bring a lawsuit against you. In our rush to get through our daily lives, we do not realize that one accident could lead to financial ruin. The right insurance coverage will prevent this calamity.

If you decide to purchase a new car and your car is stolen (which happens every few minutes in the United States), you could end up with a car payment for a vehicle you no longer possess. The correct amount of car insurance will protect you from having to make payments on a car that has been stolen. However, if you make modifications to your car, the insurance company will still only pay what the car would have been worth without your modifications.

If you decide to have a $500 deductible, make sure that you can afford to pay $500 in the event that something happens to your car. If a rock hits your windshield and you have to get it replaced, you may pay the entire amount if it is anything less than your $500 deductible. You may hit an animal that runs in to the road: you will have to pay the first $500 for any repairs your car needs. It is very important to select the best deductible that you can afford unless you keep significant funds on hand to cover any potential vehicle repairs.

Knowledge is key when it comes to selecting and ultimately purchasing the correct auto insurance for you and your family. Comparison shop to find the right coverages and prices but then also trust your gut when it comes to selecting a company: the customer service you receive when purchasing a policy will likely be the same to the customer service you receive when you need to implement your policy. Good luck!

Free Auto Insurance Quotes - Learn How To Get Free Auto Insurance Quotes Fast

Searching for auto insurance quotes was once a big hassle for vehicle owners in desperate need of relatively inexpensive insurance. It used to take several hours to flip through the yellow pages and call around for quotes. Then you have to give out all your details to and either wait on the line for them to tally their sums or wait for them to call back and hope you weren’t on the line with another agency. The whole process was too frustrating and time consuming.

Now with the Internet available you can gain access to free auto insurance quotes with just a simple click of the button! At no cost to you, you can access various referral services which aid you in easily locating the auto insurance coverage you need at an affordable cost.

Your decision about the best auto insurance company with which to trust your finance and automobile insurance is made simpler, with all quotes available to be compared, and less time and effort required. This is why many of us enjoy comparison websites on the internet!

The importance of insurance for your automobile must never be underestimated. Neither should you forget that an inexpensive auto insurance quote doesn't necessarily mean it's the right policy for you, or that expensive insurance doesn't necessarily indicate higher quality service. It's always smart to be picky about selecting auto insurance coverage for your automobile, even though it's understandable that most people choose the most inexpensive option. Sometimes cost and quality are disproportionate. There are some insurance plans offered online which do give maximum coverage at minimums costs and there are millions of various auto insurance providers (both offline and online) who can provide you with an inexpensive auto insurance premium for your car. However, be sure to concern yourself with how practical and beneficial cheap insurance can be.

The demands and preferences of customers have to be top priority for insurance providers, who are operating in the free market. To remain competitive, providers offer cheap auto insurance that will service to a wider range of customers.


A.M. Best Takes Various Rating Actions on 53 Canadian Property/Casualty Insurers

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength ratings (FSR) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of 30 Canadian property/casualty companies; upgraded seven FSRs and ICRs; upgraded seven ICRs (with no change to the FSRs); assigned four FSRs and ICRs; and downgraded five FSRs and ICRs. (See below for a detailed list of the companies and ratings.)

These ratings are based solely upon public information and present the most informed view A.M. Best can offer, short of an insurer participating in the full interactive rating process. A.M. Best uses the same rating scale and definitions as it does for its long-term financial strength interactive ratings, but applies a pd modifier to ensure the user is aware of the more limited information basis for the rating.

A.M. Best has affirmed the FSRs and ICRs of the following Canadian property/casualty companies: -0- *T Company Name FSR ICR Algoma Mutual Insurance Company B+ (Good) "bbb-" Allstate Insurance Company of Canada A- (Excellent) "a-" Antigonish Farmers Mutual Insurance Company B+ (Good) "bbb-" Aviva Insurance Company of Canada A- (Excellent) "a-" BCAA Insurance Corporation B+ (Good) "bbb-" Canadian Direct Insurance Inc. B+ (Good) "bbb-" La Capitale, Compagnie D'Assurance Generale A- (Excellent) "a-" Certas Direct Insurance Company B++ (Good) "bbb" Clare Mutual Insurance Company B+ (Good) "bbb-" The Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company A- (Excellent) "a-" Economical Mutual Insurance Company B++ (Good) "bbb" Federation Insurance Company of Canada B+ (Good) "bbb-" Fenchurch General Insurance Company B++ (Good) "bbb" First North American Insurance Company B++ (Good) "bbb" Glengarry Mutual Insurance Company B++ (Good) "bbb" The Kings Mutual Insurance Company B+ (Good) "bbb-" Legacy General Insurance Company A- (Excellent) "a-" London and Midland General Insurance Company A- (Excellent) "a-" The Missisquoi Insurance Company B++ (Good) "bbb" The Mutual Fire Insurance Company of B.C. B++ (Good) "bbb+" North Waterloo Farmers Mutual Insurance Company B++ (Good) "bbb" Pacific Coast Fishermens Mutual Marine Insurance Company B++ (Good) "bbb" The Personal Insurance Company B+ (Good) "bbb-" Perth Insurance Company B+ (Good) "bbb-" Pool Insurance Company B+ (Good) "bbb-" The Portage La Prairie Mutual Insurance Company B++ (Good) "bbb" Promutuel Reassurance B++ (Good) "bbb" Saskatchewan Mutual Insurance Company A- (Excellent) "a-" Traders General Insurance Company B+ (Good) "bbb-" Waterloo Insurance Company B++ (Good) "bbb" *T

A.M. Best has upgraded the FSRs and ICRs of the following Canadian property/casualty companies: -0- *T Company Name FSR ICR CUMIS General Insurance Company B+ (Good) "bbb-" Grain Insurance and Guarantee Company A- (Excellent) "a-" Pembridge Insurance Company A- (Excellent) "a-" RBC Insurance Company of Canada A- (Excellent) "a-" RBC General Insurance Company B++ (Good) "bbb" Red River Valley Mutual Insurance Company A- (Excellent) "a-" L'Unique Compagnie D'Assurances Generales A- (Excellent) "a-" *T

A.M. Best has affirmed the FSRs and upgraded ICRs of the following Canadian property/casualty companies: -0- *T Company Name FSR ICR Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company (Lindsay) B++ (Good) "bbb+" Gore Mutual Insurance Company B++ (Good) "bbb+" Green Shield Canada B++ (Good) "bbb+" Industrial-Alliance General Insurance Company C++ (Marginal) "b+" Pictou County Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Company B++ (Good) "bbb+" Prince Edward Island Mutual Insurance Company B++ (Good) "bbb+" Western Surety Company B++ (Good) "bbb+" *T

A.M. Best has assigned FSRs and ICRs to the following Canadian property/casualty companies: -0- *T Company Name FSR ICR Alpha Assurance Company A- (Excellent) "a-" Desjardins Assurances Generales Inc B (Fair) "bb+" Personal General Insurance Inc. C+ (Marginal) "b-" TD Home and Auto Insurance Company B+ (Good) "bbb-" *T

A.M. Best has downgraded the FSRs and ICRs of the following Canadian property/casualty companies: -0- *T Company Name FSR ICR Alberta Motor Association Insurance Company B++ (Good) "bbb" Elite Insurance Company B (Fair) "bb" Primmum Insurance Company B (Fair) "bb" Security National Insurance Company B+ (Good) "bbb-" TD General Insurance Company B (Fair) "bb+" *T

Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is a global full-service credit rating organization dedicated to serving the financial and health care service industries, including insurance companies, banks, hospitals and health care system providers. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

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Top things to know
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In Lesson 22

the test

Top things to know

Why insurance costs so much

1. You're a statistic.

To an insurer, you're not a person, you're a set of risks. An insurer bases its premium (or its decision to insure you at all) on your "risk factors," including some things that may seem unrelated to driving a car, including your occupation, who you are, and how you live.

2. Insurers differ.

As with anything else you buy, what seems to be the same product can have different prices, depending on the company. You can save money by comparison shopping.

3. Don't just look at price.

A low price is no bargain if an insurer takes forever to service your claim. Research the insurer's record for claims service, as well as its financial stability.

4. Go beyond the basics.

Most states require only a minimum of auto-insurance liability coverage, but you should look for more coverage than that.

5. Demand discounts.

Insurers provide discounts to reward behavior that reduces risk. However, Americans waste some $300 billion a year because they forget to ask for them!

6. Ask for the real thing.

Insurers cut costs by paying only for car parts made by companies other than the car's manufacturer. These parts can be inferior. Demand parts by the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

7. At claims time, your insurer isn't necessarily your friend.

Your idea of fair compensation may not match your insurer's. Your insurer's job is to restore you financially. Your job is to prove your losses so you get what you need.

8. Prepare before you have to file a claim.

Keep your policy updated, and re-read it before you file a claim so there are no surprises

When to get long-term-care insurance

It can be a great way to protect your heirs - or a giant waste of your savings. Here's how to tell which.
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April 29, 2008: 6:07 AM EDT

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(Money Magazine) -- It's not alarmist to think that you'll need long-term care in your lifetime. Among Americans who reach their 65th birthday, 45% will have to pay for some kind of long-term-care services, according to the actuarial firm Milliman.

Yet the decision whether to buy a long-term-care insurance policy, which pays out for nursing-home and certain at-home care, is one of the toughest calls you'll ever have to make. Insurance could preserve your estate for your heirs and save incredible heartache. On the other hand, it's expensive and chances are you won't need it.

Unlike most stories you'll read in Money Magazne, this one won't give you a definitive answer. But we'll tell you what to consider as you weigh your comfort level with playing the odds.

Strictly by the numbers
There's no question that years in a nursing home can decimate your savings. The average facility now costs $213 a day, according to a MetLife survey; based on last year's 3% yearly price increase, by 2030 you can expect to pay $408 a day, or $148,967 a year. For a 2½-year average stay, the tab would be about $372,000.

The chances that you'll need that much care, however, are small. Only 9% of 65-year-olds can expect a lengthy nursing-home stay, according to Milliman (another 18% will need long-term assisted-living care).

But even a long-term stay could be a matter of months, not years. Suppose you're a healthy 58-year-old. You'd pay at least $1,000 a year for a policy with a $150 daily benefit that adjusts for inflation each year.

Invest that money instead and you'll end up with $65,330 at age 80 (assuming 8% annual returns). While that wouldn't even cover six months in a nursing home in 2030, it's money you can spend or leave to your heirs if you never need long-term care.

But wait...
What if a debilitating illness runs in your family? In that case, your odds of needing expensive long-term care increase. Or perhaps you want the peace of mind of knowing that a lengthy nursing-home stay wouldn't financially devastate your spouse or your kids.

Even if you feel that you're a candidate for this insurance, you have to confront the policies' expense. Don't buy unless you can afford a premium hike of 10% to 20% and can continue to make payments for 30 or so years.

A good rule of thumb: Spend no more than 7% of your income on premiums. And keep in mind that the average $1,000-a-year policy pays $150 a day, only 70% of the typical cost of care today.

If you want to avoid a shortfall - or if nursing- home costs are high in your area - you may need a more expensive policy. And if you can't pay at any point, you'll likely be left with no coverage at all. Then the money would really have been wasted.

Keep in mind
If you want to purchase long-term-care insurance, get the maximum flexibility you can afford. To keep your premium down, pick a 90-day elimination period (the long-term-care version of a deductible). But opt for 5% yearly "compounding" inflation, which costs more but will ensure that your coverage keeps up with price hikes. And keep saving - even if you have insurance, you'll wind up paying for a portion of your care.

Is universal life too good to be true?

Take charge of your health care


Auto Insurance

Is Your Auto Insurance Company Rated?

Several national rating institutions rate insurance companies. Do coverages, rates, and service vary from company to company? Why can you pay less with one company than another can for the same coverages? find the solution now.....


Auto Insurance

Is Your Auto Insurance Company Rated?

Several national rating institutions rate insurance companies. Do coverages, rates, and service vary from company to company? Why can you pay less with one company than another can for the same coverages? find the solution now.....