Car Insurance Articles
Auto insurance is commonplace: everyone needs it, most people have it, but not everyone talks about it. So it’s always a kick whenever the topic turns up in unlikely places.
Check out our previous articles on those unlikely places, when we touch on some oddball, auto insurance-related stories across the U.S., around the globe and on television and in video games.
In this entry, we review instances where the commonplace topic of auto insurance is invoked in unsavory situations.
Progressive Comes Through in Unsavory Situation
A change of location can be hard. For one carjacking victim, it was literally hell on wheels.
WTVM reported from Columbus, Ga., where new resident Richard Dudley was taken for an early-morning joyride (minus the joy, add some terror) in his Chrysler 300.
According to police, 21-year-old gunman Boris Norris demanded that Dudley drive him around looking for an ATM. Norris eventually made off with Dudley’s money, but crashed the victim’s vehicle “doing 80 miles per hour.”
Since 1993, car dealers have been required by law to keep on hand a booklet with information on damage susceptibility for different makes and models of cars. The booklet was intended by the Department of Transportation to be an informational guide for consumers who want to get a feel for a specific car’s crashworthiness and its relative insurance costs.
But a group of federal lawmakers is saying that only a tiny fraction of consumers actually request to review the booklet and that dealers should no longer be required to keep it on hand. So what is this booklet, and can it actually be a reliable indicator of relative insurance costs?
The booklet contains model-specific information, compiled by the Highway Loss Data Institute, based on claims data collected from insurers across the country. The data in the booklet show how the size of claims for a specific model of car compares with the average for all cars. The average score is set at 100, so cars with scores that are above 100 tend to have larger-than-average claims costs and cars with scores below 100 tend to have smaller-than-average claims costs.
What does this tell consumers? In theory, it tells them 1. that they can expect larger repair bills for cars with higher scores and 2. that they can expect to pay larger insurance premiums for cars with higher scores. But is that the case?
Shopping around for automobile insurance can be an effective way for vehicle owners to save money. People who are in search of auto coverage for the first time can compare quotes to find the lowest possible prices, and individuals who are already insured may be able to find cheaper rates from a different insurer. To efficiently evaluate pricing information, drivers are encouraged to shop online, where dozens of sample rates can be found at once.
However, before setting out to compare auto insurance quotes online it’s important for people to fully understand which coverages they are required to buy, and which ones are optional. In almost every state there is a mandated minimum amount of vehicle protection that all licensed drivers need to purchase to legally drive. In most cases, this includes bodily injury and property damage liability, but other options are available as well. People should determine beforehand the amount of coverage they want to buy, and evaluate estimates for plans that include similar levels of protection.
To produce an accurate estimate, insurance companies need to know a handful of details about applicants and their automobiles. Premiums are based on the perceived possibility that the policyholder will file a claim in the near future. To accurately predict a person’s level of risk, motorists typically need to relay their age, gender, marital status, location, annual mileage, and driving record for the past three years. In many situations, insurers will also require an applicant’s general credit rating to produce an estimate, although many states place limitations on the use of this information for rating purposes.
Before buying an expensive product, consumers typically shop around for the lowest prices and explore as many options as possible. Automobile insurance is very similar because different insurers often provide unique quotes and different levels of coverage. To get affordable auto protection from a reputable policy provider, motorists are encouraged to take advantage of online resources to gather sample rates and investigate the quality of services that different companies can offer.
To gather pricing information, vehicle owners would usually have to contact multiple companies individually. If a motorist wants to research multiple policies, contacting several providers individually could become time consuming. To gather data more efficiently, drivers are encouraged to complete an online auto insurance quote comparison. By using the Internet, vehicle owners can see dozens of sample rates at once, often making it easier to pinpoint an affordable option.
In addition to affordability, motorists should consider the kind of services they may be receiving from their insurer. While policy price is one of the major details that are typically examined when shopping for coverage, service quality can also have a big impact on overall customer satisfaction. For example, if an insurer cannot be easily contacted after an accident, or handles claims slowly and inefficiently, motorists may wish they had invested more time in researching alternatives.
If a Florida resident wants to register a motor vehicle with four or more wheels, they are required to buy auto insurance from a licensed coverage provider. Drivers must maintain at least $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection and $10,000 of bodily injury liability to meet state requirements. When it comes to choosing an insurer, however, residents have many different options.
Individual coverage providers often employ different rating techniques when determining policy prices, resulting in quotes that are likely to be unique for every motorist. To help save money, residents are encouraged to make auto insurance comparisons in Florida that include estimates from as many companies as possible. One of the more efficient ways to do this is to shop around online.
The Internet can allow residents to view dozens of sample rates at once, giving motorists a general understanding of how much coverage is going to cost, and which insurers can offer the lowest rates. However, when comparing insurers it is also important to look at qualities other than price. After an automobile accident it is essential to have a coverage provider that is helpful, easy to contact, and quick to handle claims. A company that can offer exceptional service quality may be well worth paying a higher price.