What to Know about Nevada Credit-Based Insurance Scores

Posted on April 1, 2013

If you live in Nevada and are wondering how a recent ding on your credit history could affect your financial life, you may have to look no further than your auto insurance renewal bill.

Nevada is one of the 47 states in the country that allow insurers to incorporate credit information into their pricing formulas. And, according to a recent study quantifying the effects of credit on Nevada insurance rates, a driver’s credit standing can make a significant impact on premiums.

If you’re a Nevada driver wondering why no one informed you of this, the truth is that your insurer likely did. For the majority of insurers that do look at credit, they are legally required to inform you, the policyholder, that credit can affect whether they end up offering you coverage and how much your policy will cost. On Progressive’s standard application for coverage, for example, the company includes the following declaration:

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The $5,000 Car Wash, and How You Can Stop It from Happening to You

Posted on March 20, 2013

Ever get the nervous feeling that your car wash is taking just a little bit too long and that you might never see your ride again? If so, this story may not help calm your nerves.

Last week, Las Vegas TV station KLAS reported the story of Daniel Lane, a Nevada man whose recent car wash ended up costing him a little over $5,000.

KLAS reported that Lane dropped off his car at a local car wash and left to get a haircut, but when he returned he came across a huddle of worried car wash workers. “All the guys that work there standing in the middle of a huddle, looking at me with puppy-dog eyes, say, ‘Oh, we though you took your truck.’ Ah no, I’m right here,” Lane told KLAS.

Someone had stolen the truck while it was in the care of the car wash, and, Lane found out later when the car was recovered, whoever stole it left it with some damage. According to Lane, it was more than $5,000 worth of damage.

Unfortunately for Lane, he had only purchased a basic Nevada auto insurance policy, which comes with liability coverage only. That means the damage to his car isn’t covered under the policy and he would likely have to pay for the repairs himself.

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Michigan Attorneys Publish Insurer Guide

Posted on March 18, 2013

Looking for a Michigan auto insurer that will do right by you after you’re involved in a serious accident? Well a group of Michigan attorneys called Michigan Auto Law has just published an online guide that may be just the thing you’re looking for.

The attorney group has put together rankings for major insurers in the state based on information from state regulators, company-specific customer-satisfaction surveys, and their own experience representing clients in court.

The guide is not definitive, but it does provide advice from professionals who have had a lot of experience dealing with insurance companies, which could be useful for consumers looking to learn more about a particular coverage provider.

“For nearly 20 years, I have sued almost every insurance company in America,” attorney Steven Gursten says in the guide. “I am an insurance attorney who has spent his entire career helping people who have been seriously injured in automobile accidents.”

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Could a Ticket for Skateboarding without a Helmet Affect Your Auto Insurance?

Posted on March 11, 2013

A recent article from the Canadian Broadcast Corporation about one man who got the boot from his insurer is shedding light on an odd auto insurance rating factor that insurers north of the border are able to use.

According to the article, a 25-year-old man living in Halifax, Nova Scotia, was recently dropped by his insurance company. But the move wasn’t because he got into one too many accidents, paid his payment late, or committed a serious violation while behind the wheel. His insurer did it because it found out he had received a ticket for skateboarding without a helmet.

A follow-up from The Globe and Mail confirmed that, yes, Canadian insurance companies can in fact use helmet violations to raise your rates or drop you entirely. And Canadian parents can even feel the financial pain when their kids get ticketed for riding a bike or skateboarding with no cranial protection.

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Why Comparing Car Insurance Rates between States Is Problematic

Posted on February 28, 2013

In December, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) released its annual “Auto Insurance Database” report that, among other things, includes average auto insurance expenditures for all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

According to the report, New Jerseyans spent the most on coverage between 2009 and 2010, forking out an average $1,157 on a policy. At the other end of the spectrum, South Dakotans had the lowest average expenditure, coming in at $525.

Many media outlets use the NAIC’s figures to put into perspective how expensive a particular state’s average policy costs are in relation to other states. But comparing how much car insurance costs between states is actually rather complicated, and it may not be prudent to put too much stock in the rankings. The reason is that, when you compare rates between states, it’s nearly impossible to do one of the things all auto insurance buying guides tell you to do: make sure to compare rates for the same coverage.

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