10 Ways to Get Cheap Auto Insurance in the USA

It is almost a miracle to find two drivers with identical particulars, car and risk factors. Similarly, auto insurers are so much apart from each other in the way they provide protection and price their policies. Although individual circumstances determine how much you are charged to insure your automobile there are a few common ways of getting cheap automobile insurance quotes. Here are ten of those ways to help you save money.

  1. Have a Good Credit Score

We are living in such a material world that your credit score may be more important for some insurers than your driving history. While some companies offer only 10% discounts for having good driving records, they can offer up to 25% discounts for having a great credit score. They see a clear correlation between credit score and claims.

When someone is managing his/her finances well they are not likely to claim for small damages each time. People may think that why should companies worry about small claims. Those claims may not cost a lot of money to settle each time. But collectively they cost more than the larger claims costs in total. There are too many of them that the numbers soon add up to become a serious concern.

  1. affordable vehicle insuranceBe a Good Driver

Good drivers don’t get traffic tickets or claim every so often. They are careful on the roads to avoid breaking traffic laws and getting involved in an accident. They take it seriously enough to pay attention all the time. They hold the highest value in the eyes of vehicle insurers and it is no surprise that they would get the best car insurance rates.

On the other hand, many motorists with bad driving history will be refused quote or demanded high premiums. Companies don’t mind offering great rates when the risks are low. But they don’t want to take a chance with someone who has demonstrated unacceptable behaviors behind the steering wheel. It really is hard to blame them for being choosy especially when they are struggling to increase the rates due to competition.

  1. Make Sure to Get Membership Discounts

Membership discounts are the easiest way of saving money on vehicle insurance. If you are a member of an association or organization that qualifies members for lower premiums you don’t need any other qualification requirements. One of the easiest discounts is offered to AAA members. Many companies recognize this breakdown membership and offer around 10% savings. Many other associations are recognized by some companies as well and members get discounts.

  1. Avoid Payment Credit Fees

When you want to spread your premiums you are asking credit from the insurer. They are usually happy to oblige but charge a fee for extending credit facility to you. As a result you will end up paying more money to insure your automobile. This is against your wishes of wanting cheap auto insurance prices and therefore should be avoided.

  1. Bundle Policies

This could work in several ways. Most common one is to bundle home and auto insurance. Companies are keen to upsell their existing customers. They want to get in before other insurers and tie all your insurance needs with them. They usually offer discounts when you buy another policy from the same company. They can offer discounts when another member of your family buys a policy from your insurer as well. For example, they can extend some of the discounts parents enjoy to a teenage son/daughter.

  1. Buy Multi-car Policies

Buying one policy for all your cars is easier than bundling. It could save you money as well as offering you obvious administrative benefits. This could work well when you want to insure a classic car alongside your everyday automobile. It is obvious that one will be left at home while you are driving the other. Hence you should get good discounts.

  1. Take a Safe Driving Course

Most states allow around 10% discounts for drivers over the age of 50 years old when they complete a safe driver course. Few states have lower age limits. However, younger drivers can take advance driving courses to qualify for discounts. Some companies may offer discounts if you complete their own online drving courses, too.

  1. Avoid Auto Modifications

Modifying your auto can make it less attractive to insure. Companies generally don’t like cars that are not as they are built anymore. They probably trust manufacturers but don’t trust the body shops that do modifications. Check with the company before spending a lot of money changing the vehicle the way you want to avoid disappointments and additional costs.

  1. Avoid Policy Customizations

Generally, companies work hard to prepare policy packages that will meet the needs of large numbers of motorists. They can sell them at reasonable prices because of large numbers of sales. It makes their life easier. When you start making changes to a standard policy you can pay a lot more premium. Instead, you should try to find a better standard policy that meets your needs.

10. Don’t Automatically Renew

Always get alternative quotes before renewing your policy. Many surveys show that policyholders who keep renewing without questioning their terms and prices are likely to lose out on the savings. You may need to switch car insurers to save money. When it is worth doing so you should not worry about making the change. The process is fairly easy and your new insurer may be as good as the old one or even better.

How to Avoid Vacation Traffic Jams

Getting stuck on the road is always an unpleasant experience and we face them every day particularly in big cities. However, we don’t want traffic eat away few vacation days we have. Every holiday time there is this rush of people trying to leave cities and get on the few main highways that we should have a plan to avoid them already.

Afternoon congestion in the cities the day before a big holiday or a return traffic after it is now classic. We all know them and somehow end up getting stuck in them. A few simple tricks can help us a lot in that sense and we will discuss them below.

family holidayLeave Early If You Can Find a Way in Your Schedule

We all work harder to finish tasks in hand so that we can relax during our break. And companies are getting a lot more flexible with their working hours. Talk to your boss and ask if you could leave the day before if you can make up the time days leading to it. You offer to come earlier and leave later a few days so that they don’t lose out and work gets done.

If you can leave only couple of hours earlier than everyone else you would make your way out before roads get congested. So, make everything and everybody ready to get out in a short notice if you have to. Generally, getting out of big cities is the problem and you want to be smarter than everyone else who leave an hour or two earlier anyway.

Plan your Journey Ahead and Look for Alternative Routes

If you are hitting the big cities on your route around the rush hour every time you are doing something wrong. You need to identify the bottlenecks on your route and make sure you pass them as quickly and smoothly as possible. Calculate the distances and work out your route accordingly. Also, make sure to book overnight stays on your trip in advance. During holidays those places can fill up pretty quickly.

There are many online tools, maps and you have the GPS in the car. But nothing is more effective than old fashion maps. Open them up and see how the trip is laid out and how you are going to avoid some of the problem areas. You may need to circumnavigate some areas and avoid highway where necessary. Try to think what everyone else would do and you do the opposite.

Get up early and Travel in the Morning Cool

Starting the journey late in the day is one mistake many motorists do and irritate the whole family under the summer heat. Mornings are cool and children may fall into sleep again and leave you alone to drive. If they had their full daily sleep you will have a long day with whining children in the vehicle.

Furthermore, roads will be free at early hours and you will be able to cover some distance. This would give you a lot of time to take a long break in between and enjoy other attractions. Of course you need to go to bed early as well to get up well rested.

Look into Taking a Flight and Hiring a Car

Flights and car rental are a lot cheaper these days especially when you book in advance. Normally, your auto insurance or credit card will provide coverage for the rental automobile that you won’t probably spend money to insure them separately. This will save you a lot of money as vehicle insurance coverage bought from rental companies can be very expensive.

Getting on a plane and hiring a car at your destination can be a good option even if your destination is in your driving range. This can work out a lot better when the holiday is short. Instead of spending your time on the road you may be able to get to your destination early and enjoy more.

10 Safe Driving Tips for Teenagers

You don’t become a safe driver because you passed the driving test. It is only the beginning and there are a lot more to learn. Either you could observe the rules and laws and keep improving your skills or be part of the accident statistics. Here are a few tips for teen drivers and parents to go over with them. Let’s reduce accidents and worrying number of teenage deaths.

  1. Never ever drive without seat belts and make sure that your passengers do the same. Did you know that someone at the backseat without a seat belt may cause serious injuries to the people on the front seat in cases of full frontal crashes? Everyone in the vehicle must wear seat belts.
  2. Don’t even think of texting or answering your cell when you are behind the steering wheel. Just a quick glance can turn into reading the text and next thing you are writing one as well. Teens are more daring and that is one of the reasons for accidents. You have nothing to prove and if you are going to prove anything you should prove how good a driver you are.
  3. Concentrate on driving and don’t engage in other activities like playing with the stereo or satellite navigation. Set them before you start or stop and re-set them.
  4. Where possible new drivers should not be driving with their young friends. They are generally very distractive. And accident statistics suggest that having other young people with a teen driver increases crash risks several time. Parents should never allow their sons or daughters who just past their driver tests to go out with their friends for a drive especially at night.
  5. Don’t attempt doing make-up, fixing your hair and eating while driving. Divided attention is not good particularly when you are a new driver.
  6. Think ahead and be prepared. You should give your signals about 100 feet before making the turn or changing the lane, and not just seconds before doing it. Also, get into appropriate lane in time and slow down.
  7. You should use legal passing lanes when you are taking over. You are not allowed to take over from the right side or hard shoulders in the highway. If you cause an accident while taking over inappropriately it will go down as your fault and you will probably receive a ticket and license point deduction.
  8. Pay extra attention to curves which most young drivers cannot handle well. There are thousands of accidents that are caused by teen who has gone into curve to fast or was taking over. You should never take over on the hills, curves and intersections.
  9. Have lane courtesy. Stay within your lane and give way to drivers wanting to go faster. Don’t sit in the middle lane after taking over and move back to the slower lane. The outer lanes are always safer for new drivers as they can get out onto shoulder quickly if there is any problem.
  10. Don’t Drink and Drive. This is not at number 10 because it is least important but because we believe you are smart enough to know this already.

Parents and teenagers should pay extra attention in the first year of driving. This is the most dangerous period of driving in your life. Also, the habits you pick up in this time may stay with you until the end of your driving days.

Consequences of Reckless Driving Attitudes

Some people have a totally wrong idea about being cool. Taking risks behind the steering wheel to show off is teenage phenomenon that leads to thousands of accidents and death every year. Being silly has never compensated for achievement at school, sports or anything in life. And being successful never offers you James Bond like licenses.

What Are Common Reckless Driving Signs?

Texting: Almost everyone has cell phones and some people have internet connected automobiles. The problem with texting is that people assume they will never get caught but never think about getting killed. You start with “it’ll only take a second”, “I am going to have a quick look”, “need to send this quickly”. But accidents take only second to have or avoid. If you are looking at somewhere else at the time how are you going to deal with driving?

You would expect parents to be smart about it and educate their teenage drivers but they are no good either. The fact is that only few people haven’t texted or check their text while driving in the last month. There aren’t reliable figures as to how many people end up in accidents because of texting for obvious reasons. They are not going to admit to the offence if nobody saw it and they cannot anyway if they are dead. But experts believe that this problem is much worse than assumed.

bad driver auto insuranceSpeeding: Do you ever feel that your life is a constant rush and this reflects to your driving? This could be one of the reasons for speeding. The other obvious one is that you like to go fast. You may think that this problem is more apparent on the highways but you would be wrong. Yes, you can go a lot faster on highways but they are made for this purpose.

The real danger is speeding in residential areas and near schools. They are called back street joy riders who are terrorising quite neighborhoods. The problem with driving fast on a residential area must be clear to most sensible people. There are pests and children on the streets and going only ten miles over the limits on these roads is usually the difference between stopping in time or killing someone, most likely a child.

Red Light Running: Most drivers said that they must stop at a red light when asked by researchers. And nearly two thirds of them said that are worried about getting hit by a car that didn’t stop at red light. This is an indication that many of us are thinking of running it. It is easy to trust your eyes and make a move but you will be totally at fault of an accident if you ever involve in one.

Being Ignorant: You see some drivers that are somehow in a different world and they don’t see you. They don’t watch out for cyclists or care to give way to another vehicle. You may think that you are not doing anything but not being observant and realizing that you need to share the road with others is a problem. Staying right in the middle of a highway when you are traveling at a less than modest speed is a reckless driving and you could be ticketed for it.

Drunk Driving: This is so obvious that it embarrasses me to list it. Yet, so many people get behind the wheel when they cannot even walk on a straight line. If you ever drink and drive never expect sympathy from me, the law enforcement or your auto insurer. There is a high chance you will lose your license and face hefty fines.

Consequences

Injuries and Deaths: The obvious one is that you may kill someone or yourself. The worst part of it is that most likely someone you cause serious injuries will be a friend or family member. Who else would get in your car? You will have to live with the guilt for the rest of your life in that happens. This is probably worse than any penalty or fine you will receive.

Traffic Tickets: Many of us think that we will never be caught. And even worse we think it was a bad luck to get caught. Anything but accept the responsibility. You have got to accept the responsibility and work on improving your skills and knowledge if you need to. There are millions of speed, red light and junction cameras that it is nearly impossible to miss them. You will get caught, pay fines and receive license points.

Car Insurance Rates: Every ticket and accident on your record will be visible to vehicle insurers. They can check them through your DMV record and accident data center. They are getting smarter these days when they are calculating premiums. Most companies aim to offer the lowest possible rates to drivers with established good records and want to penalize the bad drivers.

Several reputable companies are going even one step further and cutting their ties with bad drivers. You don’t have to have countless accidents to be rejected auto insurance coverage. One or two accidents coupled with traffic tickets can be enough to see a risky pattern. They don’t sit and wait those small fender benders turn into fatal crashes for you to learn a lesson.

Solutions

You can either carry on the way you drive thinking all the time that you are so cool, rebellious or whatever your justifications. Or do something to change your habits. People aren’t born as a good or bad driver. They choose to learn and improve. What is it going to be? The first step is accepting that you are a bad driver and imminent danger to yourself and others.

Asking help from a friend to tell you what you do wrong may be inviting flow of criticisms. But an outside observation may be the best. People cannot see their mistakes easily since it becomes habit. You need to find a way of turning them into good habits; you automatically give way to others, observe the flow of traffic and do whatever necessary to be safe.

It may be a good idea to take some corrective lessons or join an advance driving course. Insurers do take these into account in premium calculations. And they offer around ten percent discount if you are over fifty and just took a safe driver course. But you are not doing it because you can get discounts. You are doing it because you realize something has got to change.

5 Ways to Get Cheaper Car Insurance for College Students

Being a student you may be the type of driver who needs the most savings but you cannot get it because you are young and inexperienced in driving. So, you need to look at other ways of saving money on auto insurance premium. And there are a few of them still available to you.

For young people the cheapest way of getting insured is probably going on the parents’ policies. This could especially be a good option when you are not taking a car to campus and only driving during the semester breaks. By communicating with the insurer clearly about how much you drive your parents may be able to get pretty good deals.

For those college students who wants to take their automobile with them and buy a separate policy here are a few ways of saving money.

Get Good Grades: You can qualify for up to fifteen percent discounts with some companies if you can achieve average B and over grade at school. Studies prove that students with better grades are less likely to cause accidents.

Take Advance Driving Courses: Many companies offer discounts to young drivers who passed an approved auto accident prevention courses. Car crashes is the major cause of death among young people. Furthermore, it causes serious loss concern for insurers and they like to encourage youngsters to take these courses by offering discounts.

Buy the Right Car: You can save substantial amount of money by going for the right type of automobile at your early driving years. You should go for safe family type sedans and definitely avoid sports and SUV type vehicles. You may also want to consider buying a used car at much cheaper cost and insure it only for liabilities.

Increase Deductibles: You may be able to bring down costs by making slight adjustments to your policy. Raising deductibles usually lower premiums but this may be more visible when you are a young driver with high automobile insurance costs. However, if you make claims you will have to spend more out of your pocket.

Save by Protecting Your Auto and Yourself: Safer automobiles with latest airbag and seat belt technology may be all you need to save money. Anti-theft devices help in getting lower quotes as well. Further discounts can be achieved by parking your car in a private garage or parking lot.

Discounts heavily depend on your state and the insurer. Some states would not allow certain discounts while others encourage them. And some companies would not be interested in insuring a teenager no matter how good a driver they are and always quote high rates. Quite a few companies like to get in on the ground level with the young drivers as they will be insuring cars for years.

Therefore, you should get a few vehicle insurance quotes and see which companies are happy to insure you. Some companies may offer special discounts for students who live in the campus as well. You should check a few companies that advertise to be specialist for students as well as checking a few traditional providers.

Effects of Good Personal Finance on Auto Insurance

Most of us have limited budget to cover our expenses and require effective money management. Besides, you cannot get rich if you cannot handle your money well, save and invest. Personal finance is something every household should learn a bit and improve in time. This is more obvious as we get older as we have to think about buying a home, send children to school and put money aside for retirement.

personal financeAlso, our choices affect mortgage and loan interest rates we can qualify. Other less obvious areas that are affected by our finances are insurance policy purchases, rental approvals by landlords and employment checks. More and more people and companies like to look at your credit history before they make their mind about your application.

Credit Score and Auto Insurance

In most states companies are allowed to look at your credit records when they are offering car insurance quotes. Credit score may not be taken as it is but a way of assessing risk is established for premium calculation purposes. Each of them has their own formula to determine insurance credit rating. Therefore, the effect of your personal money affairs on your rates may vary depending on the company.

Only few companies don’t look at credit score before they determine policy prices. However, all of them would look at your credit records if you want to pay by installment since it is a kind of credit arrangement. It is hard to say that companies who don’t look at your financial affairs are going to offer you better rates if you have bad credit rating. They may be already expensive companies that are specialized on certain types of clientele.

How Can You Improve Your Chances of Getting Cheap Auto Insurance?

Generally, it is a good housekeeping to pay your bills in time and don’t create a trail of unpaid bills. Lenders, utility companies and debt collection agencies regularly share payment troubles a person is having with credit agencies. So, you cannot really expect or hope that it will go undetected. You may be able to stall them until you have money to pay if you contact them in time and arrange a new payment plan. Some companies may offer to spread the payment for a longer period that can allow you to avoid negative effects in the long run.

Of course spending your money wisely and not going over budget will help you. The best solution is to avoid the problems altogether by planning your purchases carefully. Many people save money first before they make a large ticket purchase. Credit cards may allow you to enjoy certain services and goods before you can save enough money. But you have to remember that you need to pay those credit card debts at some point.

Conclusion

If you don’t want to be chased by debt and ruin your financial standing you need to budget and plan how you will spend your earnings. The benefits of such control in your life are many like lower auto and home insurance premiums, cheaper mortgage and loan interests and less stressful life altogether.

Personal & Business Car Insurance and Differences

Both arranging personal and business vehicle insurance should start with looking at your or your company’s requirements. You need to identify the type of coverage and levels of protection. Most people can arrange private and small business auto insurance with little assistance. You should keep in mind that help will be available from independent brokers or agents whenever you need.

Personal Car Insurance

Most automobiles are bought for private use. They are driven from home to work, take children to school and other social activities including going on holidays and family visits. They are driven by one driver or family members. They don’t cover long distances and travel mainly around the neighborhood.  They may have friends and colleagues in them but they don’t carry goods and passengers for financial gain.

Every vehicle should have minimum auto insurance liabilities coverage and every driver who is likely to go behind the steering wheel should be insured within the policy. Then, you may want to insure for damages that can come to your car. Collision, comprehensive and uninsured motorist coverage are usually bought by most motorists.

business and private auto coverageCommercial Vehicle Insurance

Business use of an automobile may not be covered by a private policy. You need to check your documents to see what activities are covered. Each state may have different regulations and each company offer varying level of protection. Usually, automobiles that are owned by businesses should have a commercial policy.

Business vehicles are utilised to increase sales, deliver goods and carry employees. Company may charge a fee for the use of a vehicle or as a result of it. Also, they are owned by the company and driven by employees. Therefore, commercial policies are requires to include these usage and drivers as well as goods and passengers carried.

Differences between Personal and Business Policies

1. Fundamentally, both types of policies are bought to cover the risks associated with the usage of the vehicles and will have similar elements. The main difference is that private cars are looked after by the owner who is likely to be more careful and attentive. Commercial vehicles can normally be driven by any employees of the business.

2. Their purpose is another point that differentiates them. With a personal policy you want to protect yourself and any other drivers you allow. Business coverage is to protect the company and its assets and employees.

3. Most people drive automobiles with few minor changes. Commercial vehicles may be modified to carry various tasks. So, you will need to explain their purpose and changes made on them.

4. Motorists may insure one or two cars with the same policy. But businesses normally insure a few of them and a fleet. Their fleet may include cars, vans and trucks. You can insure all of them under a commercial coverage but you will need to pay attention to details.

5. Most private policies may be readily packaged and can be bought with hardly any changes. There are so many types of companies with different needs and they would require more customized policies.

6. When damages and injuries are caused by a company vehicle the firm will need to face the liabilities claims even though it was driven by one of their employees. So, the liabilities requirements can be different and may need to cover the liabilities claims against the employees and from the employees.

7. Most private policies will not allow you to carry goods and passengers for financial gain. On the other hand, commercial vehicles are bought and insured purely for this purpose.

If you are running a small business and using your private car for some of the tasks you may be able to have a business extension on your private policy. You should discuss this with your auto insurer.

Other than the points considered above there are a few similarities naturally. The coverage requirements are quite the same apart from adopting for business use. Both would want to insure for liabilities, collision, comprehensive and uninsured motorists. The perils like fire, theft, vandalism, flood and other natural damages would be almost the same as well.

You may need to seek out a specialist commercial vehicle insurance broker but most companies offer both types of policies.

Maintaining Cheap Car Insurance Rates

Maybe by luck or careful driving and planning you manage to bring your premium down. Now you know how much you can save if you could qualify for the discounts. It is natural that you would worry about losing your low rates. As you probably know you need to keep getting those discounts if you want to keep great prices.

In order to understand what you need to do you have to understand how you got them in the first place. There are several factors that affect rates the most. Below we will have a look at them and talk about what needs to be done from here onward.

Clean Claims History

Being able to tick the box that says “no claim” can qualify you up to thirty percent discounts. You need to keep it that way from here. Essentially, you need to be a careful driver to stay away from accidents. Many motorists choose to ignore small damages to their automobiles for the sake of keeping clean driving history.

Furthermore, you need to make sure that no other damages come to your vehicle. These could come from theft, fire, vandalism and natural accidents like falling bricks. If you have a secure car you are half way there. In addition you can mind where you park it and where you go. If you are living in a rough area there is high chance someone will vandalize it.

Avoid Traffic Violation Tickets

Minor tickets may not be a big problem for a driver who otherwise has a great record. But speeding tickets and other discretions can land you in trouble and push you over to the zone of high risk drivers. You need to follow the traffic laws on the land.

Companies regularly check if you have had a recent ticket and they can do this by looking at your DMV records. One thing you must at all costs avoid is to drink and drive. Your coverage can be dropped with immediate effect as soon as the carrier finds out about it. In addition it would be harder to get affordable premiums from other companies.

Look after Your Finances

Some people may suffer as a result of recent job loss and see their finance is crumbling. In a short sequence, that will start affecting credit history. Companies care a lot about credit history these days and you may be charged about twenty percent more with poor credit.

Be prepared for the rainy days by saving a little money on the side. Generally, it is advised that you should put aside enough cash to cover at least three months of your living expenses. This will allow you to function as normal until you find another job.

Stay with Safe and Secure Automobiles

happy policyholderAlong with your personal details, specification of your automobile is taken into account when premiums are set. Suddenly, if you decide to buy a sports car or one that lacks safety features and easy to steal you will need to give back some of the savings you have been enjoying.

It is a good practice to get quotes and find out how much it would cost to insure a new car you are considering buying. You don’t have to own the vehicle to be able to get a quote for it.

What Happens If You Lose Some of the Savings?

If you get unlucky and have an accident for which you end up claiming, it will affect your car insurance rates for the next three years at least. So, if this happens do give up the discipline. Every year that passes without another incident you will start seeing the discounts again.