Main menu


Some things your auto insurance company won't tell you

1. How to determine the value of "total loss".

Most companies will tell you that they use at least three methods or diagrams to determine the total total value of the vehicle, including books of value, computer-generated quotes from dealers, and local market research. In this case, you will probably think of the local area as your current neighborhood, but the insurer does not define it specifically. If, in any case, the company cannot find a replacement car in your community and therefore should not find it in your “region”, the total value of your car will certainly be affected. For example, if you currently live in New York, replacing your vehicle totaled in the suburbs will be cheaper than in the city. The insurance company will, of course, use the quotes from the suburbs as the most reasonable estimates. The main purpose of a vehicle total is to enable the consumer (the insured person) to purchase the same car that was totaled in an accident in the local market. Since they use three different diagrams to determine the true value of a totaled car, a consumer may end up with a cheaper car than the totaled one. It's impossible to know what value you'll get if your business doesn't tell you how it determines it.

Fortunately, there are smart methods you can use to help you and your business determine value. First of all, you must produce valid proof that your car was in good condition at the time of the accident; the car in good condition has better value than a wreck. Bring a copy of any maintenance records, including oil changes and inspection by an authorized mechanic. Records will tell your company that your car was regularly serviced, meaning that it was actually in great condition (in terms of appearance and performance) at the time of the accident. Plus, you probably had some special features installed like an infotainment system, anti-theft system, anti-lock brakes, rear view camera, or 5-harness seat belt. The auto insurance company may charge you more for some special improvements, so make sure your insurer includes this in the assessment.
Another good thing is to find at least three dealers and get replacement quotes from them; make sure you have all the dealers in your area or at least a short drive from your home. Present quotes to your insurer and ask your insurer to provide you with a list of some car dealers who can probably afford a car at the price stated in the quotes. If you are not satisfied with the determination of the value of the business or if you are getting less than expected, you may choose to mediate. So this means that you take the case to a (neutral) third party for help in settling the dispute or arbitration, or you can even ask for a formal investigation in court.

2. If you want to cancel your policy, do so officially.

Most companies say consumers can cancel their policies on any date, but you need to let the insurer know exactly when you want to end coverage. The statement is pretty clear; in other words, he says consumers should let their business know when they want to cancel their policies. However, consumers often think that when they ignore the last bill before renewal, the company automatically terminates the policy. Too bad, that's not how it's done. People can forget and deliberately miss an invoice, and the company understands that. After this first missed invoice, your insurer will send you another invoice for the payment of the premium; if you do not pay the bill, you will be canceled for non-payment and the record will adversely affect your credit score.

Credit history always matters

The use of credit information to determine approval and the premium rate is still common, although some states have already started to ban this practice. Some (if not most) businesses use credit history to generate a risk score. They believe that it is strongly related or correlated with the likelihood of the consumer reporting a complaint. A higher likelihood of filing a claim is the same with a high risk driver who usually also pays higher premium fees than the "safe driver" or "preferred class.
Some credit card issuers offer a free credit score check, but in most cases, you have to pay for the service. Unlike the credit score, the risk score for insurance-related issues will not be available to you, but both likely indicate the same thing, namely financial stability. If you are currently in the market for auto insurance and it turns out that you have some pretty unusual activity on your credit history within the allotted time, you can wait a month for the credit activity to recover. return to its usual state. state. If you can't keep the credit score stable, be prepared to pay the higher premium fees.

3. Budgeting in tranches is not always effective.

Installment payments can pay off almost any item, and consumers believe this is indeed the best way to budget for expenses. In auto insurance, you can ask the company to divide the annual premium into a monthly, quarterly, or six-month basis. Please keep in mind that splitting the annual premium will cost you a “fractional premium”. You may want to consider these additional service charges to arrange the payout. It can be as cheap as $ 10 per payment; the more you break it down, the more fractional the premium to pay.

Most companies will probably offer you to pay in installments because it earns them more. When purchasing insurance, it is wise to ask if there is any additional charge for the installment option, and then you can compare the difference. If the fractional premium is not very expensive, it might be worth it. Another big difference between upfront payment and installment payments is that some companies will immediately cancel your coverage if you miss a payment; worse yet, they can do it without notification. It's best to pay up front if you can; the whole process will be easier and you can indeed save a few dollars.

Each model and type of vehicle has a certain premium rate

Of course, you all know that sports cars need more expensive insurance policies than a pickup truck, but insurance companies won't give you the exact numbers. In general, an attractive, sporty and luxurious car with a turbocharged engine will indeed go on the road very quickly, and this increases the risk of an accident, but this is not always true given the reductions in safety functions, safety features, mileage (especially when you drive less), etc. Auto insurance companies have a specific system to find out the premium for all car models you can buy, based on the system's assessment by the Insurance Service Office (ISO). Each type of car is rated from 3 to 27; a higher number means a higher premium. The Bureau of Insurance Services says it will not release the rating system for publication because its clients are insurance companies.
You will not get the rating system from your insurer; you might not even find it at all. The best thing you can do when you want to buy a new car is to ask the insurance company how much insurance premium you have to pay for a new car you want to buy. If you keep a good relationship with an independent agent, he / she should at least be able to predict the price based on a gross calculation.

4. Filing a claim increases your premium.

People are always interested in seeing insurance companies lower premium fees to attract potential customers. This is indeed one of the best things that customers get from the competition in the market, but your insurer can increase the price immediately after filing your first claim. The industry standard is to increase premium charges up to 40% of the base rate after the first at-fault accident. With the help of an online auto insurance calculator, you get a base rate of $ 500, your premium increases by $ 200. Some companies have different rules, but there is always a great chance that your premium will increase after the first manager claims. Some insurers offer “first accident remission”, which means that your first actual claim will not affect the premium at all, but the variable and the eligibility requirement may be different from company to company. You should ask your insurer if such a discount is available and how to qualify for it.