Sunday, September 13, 2009

Your Policy for Your Car

Getting your first insurance policy for your car may not be a priority, but it should be. Your first car insurance policy protects one of your first investments, your car. But buying your first insurance policy for your car can be complicated and often new car insurance shoppers fail to compare car insurance rates and in turn fail to reap the financial benefits of finding the best and affordable car insurance available to them.

Shopping for Your First Insurance Policy: Who Needs Car Insurance?

The question asked by most people shopping for their first insurance policy is who needs an insurance policy and why? The answer is simple: it’s the law. The DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) requires that you take financial responsibility for owning and operating a car in all fifty states. Car insurance protects you when you cause property damage or bodily injury to someone else when driving your car. If you are caught driving without car insurance you will be charged hefty penalties. Violators can face up to hundreds of dollars in fines for a first time offense. Also, if you are involved in an accident and do not have car insurance, your license may be suspended whether you are at fault or not.

Understand Your First Insurance Policy

Now that you know you know how important it is to get your first insurance policy for your car, you will want to understand how car insurance works before you start deciding on which company you will choose for your first insurance policy. The best place to start is Auto Insurance 101. This article will take you step by step in understanding car insurance. Once you understand how car insurance works and have an idea of what type of car insurance you need, you are on your way to the next step of finding the best and most affordable car insurance for you.

Just Because it is Your First Insurance Policy, that Does Not Mean You Have to Pay Too Much

This is often where first insurance policy buyers get sucked into paying too much for their car insurance. Don't just assume since you are purchasing your first insurance policy that you will have to pay extremely high premiums. Yes, you will pay higher premiums than people who have had car insurance for some time, but that does not mean you can not find affordable car insurance. You ask then how does one find the best and most affordable car insurance? Here is a checklist of ways to find affordable car insurance and the best first insurance for you:

Tips for How to Find the Best Affordable First Insurance

1. Compare first insurance rates online and locally.
2. Know what you need and how much of a first insurance policy so you don't buy more than you want.

3. Tell the car insurance company that you are comparing X amount of companies so they know that you are looking for the best deal.

4. When shopping online or locally for your first insurance policy, make sure you know what car insurance discounts you may be eligible for. If you are unsure, ask the insurance agent of all their discounts.

5. If you are choosing full coverage car insurance, remember the higher your deductible, the cheaper your car insurance premium will be.

6. If you feel an insurance company or agent is treating you unfairly or breaking the law, know how to file a complaint.
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Insurance Fraud Protection

If you become a victim of car insurance fraud, you pay. Not only will you pay higher premiums because you may acquire a costly claim, but, as with any car accident, you and your family could pay with your lives. It is important to learn more about fraud protection so you can protect yourself from others who may choose you to be a part of their next car insurance accident fraud scam.
Insurance fraud began when insurance first began. Incidents have been recorded as far back as ancient Greece. Ship scuttling was an insurance scam in ancient Greece where ships were purposely sunk. Later insurance fraud traveled to England then to America. When automobiles were introduced it opened a whole new arena for fraudulent insurance claims. Today, with modern technology, many fraudulent car accident claims do arise from sophisticated organized crime rings that can be hard to detect. Don't let this make you a victim of an insurance scam. Whether the insurance scam is from an organized crime ring or an individual, there are fraud protection steps you can take to help you be more aware and avoid being a scammer’s next victim.

First, it is important to know what types of insurance scams are used. There are many types of car insurance scams. Set-up car accidents can range from vehicles deliberately stopping in front of a driver to cause a rear-end car accident to drivers who pretend they are being helpful but intend to cause a car accident that will look like the innocent drivers fault. Scams can also involve people one would generally trust such as doctors and lawyers.

Educating yourself more about fraud protection against car insurance accident scams is the best way to avoid being someone's next victim. Here is a list of common scams to be aware of:

Staged Rear-End Car Accidents: A scam driver will quickly get in front of an innocent car and then slam on their brakes. This causes the innocent driver to rear-end the scam driver. Along with collecting money for vehicle damages, the scam driver will often fake medical injuries to collect even more.

Adding Damage: After an accident, either staged or not, the scam driver will go to another location and cause extensive damage to their vehicle and claim that the damage happened during the original accident.

Fake Helpers: Scam Helpers will wave an innocent driver into traffic, but then crash into the innocent driver. When it comes time to file the claim, the scam driver will deny waving anyone in. Other ways fake helpers try to scam people is by offering to help an innocent driver find a auto repair shop, doctor, or lawyer. In this case, everyone is in on the scam. The body shop charges you enormous rates, the doctor and lawyer also lie to collect more from your insurance.
Since these scams can happen at any time and place, it is important to be prepared. Awareness is the most important. Watch for drivers who may be following you or examining your driving habits. Also, make sure you leave plenty of room in front of you in order to stop. If an accident does happen, take notes on everything about the other car, the accident, and everybody that was in the other car. Keep a disposable camera in your car to record damage to both vehicles. Furthermore, use your judgment in driving, not others. Make sure you have enough room to get out and just let other cars pass instead of letting others "waive you in." And, when you talk to your insurance company, let them know if you felt something was suspicious.
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5 Steps to Filing Your Auto Insurance Claim

1. Evaluate whether or not you should file a claim: Did you know that just when you call your insurance company with a question about possibly filing a claim it is often recorded on your insurance record? It is important to keep your insurance record clean and one way is deciding whether or not you should file a claim. It doesn’t matter if the accident is your fault or not, you should ask yourself first if you can pay for the damage. Simply put, if you can pay for it yourself without financial hardship, don’t file the claim.

2. Fill out your What to do After an Auto Accident Worksheet: This worksheet, which when you click on the title is provided for print-out, will help you keep track of the information you will need to file your auto insurance claim. It is important to get every detail of the accident documented and to try to find witnesses that would be willing to talk to your insurance company to back-up your story.

3. File the claim ASAP: You will want to file the claim as soon as possible with your insurance company. Even if it is not your fault, your insurance company will handle the claim process as your advocate.

4. Prepare for a possible call from the other insurance company: If there is a dispute between the two parties in the accident, you may get a call from the other driver’s insurance company asking for your version of what happened at the accident scene. If this happens make sure you document everything you say and the name of the customer service agent you talked too.

5. Finally, getting your car fixed: If you had body damage to your vehicle this is when you will finally get it fixed. After your claim is approved, you will likely get a call from your insurance company about sending an insurance adjuster out to assess the damage or asking you to send your car to a pre-approved shop to get it fixed.
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Auto Insurance 101

Why do you need a five step guide to auto insurance shopping? Because, if you want to get the best coverage for your buck, shopping smart for your car insurance is the way to do it. Also, car insurance is one of the top ways to chisel down your insurance budget if you know how to do it right. Let's start with deciding what car insurance coverage you need:
1. What Kind of Coverage Do You Need?: Before calling the insurance company and getting your insurance quote, take the time to decide what kind of coverage you need. In every state you have to have at least liability coverage. But, you need to decide if you would like to add these additional car insurance coverages:


If you choose comprehensive and collision coverages, you will need to decide what deductible amounts you would like. And, it is important to know what policy limits your state requires so you can decide what policy limits you would like. Other coverages you may also be interested in:

Emergency Roadside Service
Gap Insurance

2. Choosing an Insurance Company: When you are ready to select your insurance provider, besides just looking for the best car insurance premium, you will want to take some time to research what insurance company you want to go with by learning about their financial strength. Another important aspect of choosing your insurance provider is knowing if and how they will use your credit score to determine your rate. Take the time to research different companies and then make a list of the providers you are interested in contacting for an insurance quote. Here are some tools to help you research your car insurance company:

Car Insurance Company Report Card
Your Credit Score and the Insurance Company

3. Making the Call: When you have your list of selected car insurance providers you are ready to start calling around to search for the one who can give you the best deal. It is important to have certain paperwork handy, such as your drivers license number. In addition, having a list of discounts you may be entitled to can save you some extra money. Here are some resources to help you when you are ready to make the call:

Car Insurance Savings Checklist
Online Car Insurance Company Quote Worksheet

4. Understanding Your Car Insurance Policy: Now that you have your car insurance policy, do you understand what it means? Did you get what you paid for? It is important to know how your car insurance policy works and how it can work for you. Here is some help in understanding your policy:

Getting What You Paid For
eCourse: How to Know if Your Insurance Contract is Legal
Car Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

5. Filing a Car Insurance Claim: Let's hope you never have to file a car insurance claim, but if you do it is important to learn some things before the accident comes. Learning what things you need to do when you have an auto accident can help the claims process go much smoother. Here are some claim filing tools you will want to learn before you file a car insurance claim:
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Thursday, May 28, 2009

aunto insurance

auto insurance
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