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Archive for September, 2009

Auto Insurance Coverage Keeps You Relaxed When Driving

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Just being armed with auto insurance is not all; you have to know if the auto insurance coverage is sufficient to stand you in good stead if you meet with a car accident. Having no insurance coverage for your vehicle is illegal in a majority of the states, so you need to have one. It is not a good idea to carry very little auto insurance coverage as that might land you in trouble in the future.

The many types of insurance coverage

If you cannot make up your mind on how much coverage is essential for your vehicle, you can go through the following types of coverage. It will come in handy.

* Collision Coverage pays for car repairs, even if you were at fault. Your dealer will be asking you to carry this coverage even if you purchase or lease a car. You can get the highest deductible that is possible for you to afford.

* Liability Coverage pays your legal fees. It meets any claims that are made against you if you end up killing or injuring someone, or may be damaging someone’s property with your car. In case, you own a lot of assets, it is wise to get the highest amount that will shield you from the lawsuits. You can have this coverage as standalone coverage or you can also combine it with other coverages.

* Medical Coverage is for personal injury protection. Incase, you meet with a car accident, this coverage pays for your medical expenses as well as the passenger’s medical expenses. This coverage is an optional one and can only be present along with the liability coverage.

* Comprehensive Coverage is a good coverage that pays for the damages that were made to your car from theft, fire or vandalism. The damages that this coverage pays for also include natural disasters like hurricanes and hailstorms.

* Uninsured Motorist Coverage is for paying for the damages that are done to you. The payment that is made is also for the damages made to your car and passengers by underinsured or uninsured hit and run drivers.

Make use of the websites

You can surf through the reputed websites that can give you good and detailed information on the many kinds of auto insurance coverage available. Analyze them well and settle for the one that suites you and your lifestyle. Your ultimate goal should be to get the right kind of auto insurance coverage for your self and your family.

Drunk Driving Effects On Car Insurance

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Thinking about driving home after knocking a couple back at the bar? Think again. Drinking and driving can not only have devastating effects on yourself and other drivers, it can wreak havoc on your insurance premiums; making it almost impossible in some instances to even become insured. Whether your state call it driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, if you are convicted of drunk driving you can expect your insurance rates to rise. But how much of an effect will it have?

It Varies.

One of the biggest effects a drunk driving conviction has on your insurance premiums has a lot to do with the state you live in. At the very least you can expect to have your driving privileges suspended for 30 days for a first offense and even longer for a second or third. Some states even require mandatory jail time. After the suspension period many states will require you to give your licensing agency an SR-22 form which proves that you carry the policy. The insurance agency is also required to inform the state if your insurance in suspended or cancels at any time. SR-22 insurance involves a lot more hassle for your insurer and can be very expensive.

How Expensive?

When you file an SR-22 form with your insurance company you will automatically be considered high-risk. If you have been convicted of drunk driving even a previous preferred status with your insurance company will not save you. If you are able to keep your present insurance company you can expect to pay at least double, if not triple, what you previously paid for insurance premiums. Many auto insurance companies refuse to carry SR-22 insurance policies, however, and in this case you will have to look for a new insurer and expect to pay even more because you now have a cancellation on your record as well.

When Will It End?

Like driving and insurance laws, every state is different when it comes to how long the effects of a drunk driving conviction will stay on your record. Generally, you can expect it to affect your insurance premiums for your first offense and even longer for subsequent infractions. Other states also incorporate enhanced penalties for circumstances where another person was injured, underage drinking, an exceptionally high blood alcohol level or when a child was in the vehicle.

The easiest way to avoid these issues is to not drink and drive. Unfortunately, everyone makes mistakes and if you have been convicted of drunk driving you may want to consider public transportation or walking. Even if you do not own a vehicle you are still required to purchase a non-owner policy and have an SR-22 form on file. Does it seem like a big hassle? Use a designated driver or call a taxi if you have been drinking. A 20 dollar cab ride is a cheaper alternative than years of fines and high premiums.

Rental Car Insurance – Necessity or Waste?

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

On a recent trip I stood patiently at the rental car window waiting for my turn to secure my luxury compact for my week long trip. When the representative placed the paperwork before me to sign she smiled and pointed to the dreaded rental car insurance box.

Now comes the conundrum. Should I bypass the extra auto insurance coverage altogether or are the risks of getting in a fender bender in a strange city great enough to warrant overpriced coverage? Depending on the rental car company, the cost of extra insurance can range anywhere from $10 a day to a whopping $40. Possibly more as this has been just my personal experience. And rental companies often offer additional coverage to negate any deductible which could be charged.

The truth of the matter is if you have an auto insurance policy, or even if you paid with a credit card (pretty much a requirement with rental companies) you are probably covered anyway. To be on the safe side you will want to check with both your car insurance company and your credit card company before making the reservation. Otherwise, there is a chance you could be driving around uninsured and taking an unnecessary risk.

So what do you do if you’re not already covered? Unfortunately you’ll have to take the hit. And chances are it will cost you. Most car rental companies offer a number of insurance options, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
* Collision Damage Waiver – This protection is used to shift the accident liability from the driver of the vehicle in question to the insurance company and covers not only damages but also the loss of use of the vehicle. Unfortunately, the Collision Damage Waiver can be voided if you are found to be at fault.

* Personal Accident Insurance – Costing between $1 and $5 per day, personal accident insurance covers the medical bills for you and your passengers in the event of an accident.

* Liability Insurance – Like traditional liability insurance, this protection covers damage to the other vehicle but also covers the rental vehicle up to $1 million. A liability insurance plan generally costs between $7 and $14 per day.

* Personal Effects – Usually costing an extra $1 to $4 per day, personal effects insurance covers any personal items in the vehicle that are stolen or damaged in an accident.

But the question remained as I stared at the box. Is it worth it? Like most of us, I have a full coverage policy that includes rental insurance and a home policy which offers coverage while I am away to cover my personal effects. Therefore, I declined the costly additional coverage. And my advice to anyone else is to investigate their own policies before spending the extra money to see if you are already covered as well.

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