Best Way to Shop For Car Insurance

Shopping for your car insurance premiums is always a prudent idea. There are different ways to shop for car insurance and like with everything else some ways are comparatively easier than the others.

Most car insurance companies advertise their products online. Unless you are particularly savvy about how car insurance works, purchasing car insurance online may not work for you. However online car insurance shopping can give you a good idea of what you can expect to pay. 

The ideal way to shop for car insurance is to use the services of an independent insurance agent who can access several insurance companies and provide you with  the best quote according to your needs.

Before you start to shop for car insurance, you should identify your unique insurance needs. States do have minimum limits of liability required for any person who operates a motor vehicle. These limits are generally small and hence, do not offer much protection. If you have assets, a home, investments, or a steady paycheck, going with the lowest required limit is never your best option. In the unfortunate circumstance of an automobile accident that you are legally liable for, the lack of adequate liability limits will put your assets at stake. Once you have determined the amount of coverage you will need to protect those assets, look at coverage for the vehicle itself. Also, note that a leased vehicle will require liability limits that are higher than the minimum limits.

Physical damage to your vehicle (comprehensive and collision damage) is subject to a deductible that is applicable per claim. If your financial situation allows you to take a higher deductible it will ultimately lower your premium. 

To get a correct quote on your car insurance shopping, you will need the names, date of birth, and driver’s license number of all drivers in your household. If you have young children who are about to apply for a driver’s license make sure they take driver education courses and maintain a good educational average. Most likely, you will be asked to produce a school report showing their grades.

Knowing the use of each vehicle will help your agent determine your rate. Let your agent know how you use your car; whether  you drive to and from work, or use your car for other personal purposes only pleasure use. If you use your car to drive to and from work let the agent know how many miles you drive one way. You may be asked to present an odometer reading for  each vehicle that you insure. 

You will also be asked to provide the year, make, model and full vehicle identification  (VIN) of each vehicle as well as the value of the car. If you have a lender or a leased vehicle, be prepared to provide such relevant information as would notify them that their interest is satisfied with the purchase of the insurance.

Ask your agent about multiple insurance policy discounts. Also known  as bundling you can placeing your homeowners or renters insurance with the same company that has your automobile insurance, thus receiving a credit on your premiums.



How to Reduce Your Auto Insurance Premiums

Los Angeles automobile insurance premiums are high and seem to get higher  each year. There are ways to reduce your auto insurance premiums but before you do this make sure you are informed of the type of coverage you have or must have before you set about reducing your insurance premiums by reducing your insurance coverage. 

Like any commodity it does pay to shop for your automobile insurance. Using the  services of an independent insurance agent will make this task easier for you as they have access to several insurance companies. The agent can also advise you  to “bundle” your insurance companies for a discount. If you place your house  insurance and automobile insurance through one insurance company you can  realize a nice discount that can help you reduce your auto insurance premiums

When you are looking to purchase a vehicle, look for one that is less expensive to  repair. Expensive cars come with expensive car repair bills and expensive insurance premiums.  Avoid high performance vehicles that will result in much higher premiums.  Maintain a good credit history. Insurance companies do review your credit

rating  when you are buying automobile insurance. Just like any purchase, the better  your credit rating is, the better your premium will be. If your driving record is less than excellent, work to remove violations by not  incurring additional moving violations. If you do get a ticket, look into traffic  school to have the new violation expunged from your record. 

Remove unnecessary coverage. If you have access to an additional vehicle, you  may not need to pay for rental reimbursement coverage.  If your budget will allow for it, investigate the savings to take a higher deductible on your comprehensive and collision coverage.  If your vehicle is older, consider dropping the comprehensive and collision damage on your car.

However, if you have any type of loan against the vehicle as collateral, you will have to maintain the physical damage coverage to satisfy your  lender. If you have a health insurance plan you may want to drop your medical payments  coverage and/or lower your limits of liability for uninsured motorists’ coverage.

Ask your independent local agent for a review of your coverage and you may be  surprised by the options available to reduce your auto insurance premiums.


Minor Car Damage Insurance Claims – What You Need to Know

When should you file a minor car damage insurance claim? The answer to this question will depend on several factors. It is important to understand that any claim you file with your automobile insurance company does become a claim on your record with them. It may not be in your best interest to file a minor auto damage insurance claim such as dings, mall dents, and scratches. The damage to your vehicle might also be so minor to repair that it falls within your deductible. Under such circumstances, a claim would be declined. 

However, you may not be the best judge of the cost of the repair even though it does appear to be minor. Take your vehicle to a local body shop and ask them what the cost would be. If your vehicle is deeply scratched or dented the cost might be higher than you previously expected. If your vehicle is a high-end luxury vehicle the cost to repair even a minor scratch can be quite high. It may require several coats of factory manufactured paint for that particular vehicle so that it will blend in with the car. 

It makes sense to handle small repairs to your vehicle from your personal financial even if the damage is in excess of your deductible. Let’s assume your parked vehicle is scratched when another party opens their car door into your car door. If the damage is $700 and your deductible is $500 it would be better to pick up the difference on your own rather than to have a claim on your insurance record for $200. 

The decision to file or not to file a minor car damage insurance claim depends on the amount of the damage, the deductible you have on your policy and your personal financial resources that can pay for the repairs.


Auto Insurance Claims: A Comprehensive Guide

Automobile accidents happen. If you are involved in an automobile accident and you have to file a claim with your automobile insurance company, there are several ways to do this.  You can file an auto insurance claim directly with your insurance company by phone or online, or you can call your insurance agent, who will take down the details of your auto insurance claim and report the same claim to the insurance company on your behalf.  

There are two types of claims; Liability claims pay for damage you are legally responsible for and Physical Damage claims cover damages to your vehicle. 

Liability claims, often referred to as a third party claim, pay for Bodily Injury and/or Property  Damage you cause to another person’s vehicle or property. You must be found legally liable for this accident before your insurance company will make restitution to the injured party. This section of your West Hollywood personal automobile policy is paid on a “first dollar” basis, which means that you do not pay any money out of pocket. This is assuming that your limits of liability are high enough to cover all damages incurred. Your insurance company will pay only up to the limits of liability you have. Once that limit is exhausted you will be responsible for damages over and above that limit. 

If you are involved in a car insurance claim that you may be responsible for, let your insurance company handle any settlement with that other party. Do not involve yourself with the claim. Your insurance company reserves the right to settle the auto insurance claim as they see fit.  

Physical damage claims are for claims you make against your insurance company for damage to your vehicle and can be covered with a Comprehensive or  Collision coverage. There is generally a deductible that applies to this section of coverage, which is the amount you will pay out of your pocket before the insurance company steps in to settle your car insurance claim.  

When you file an auto insurance claim, your insurance agent or company will ask you for the date of the accident as well as the time and place the accident occurred. They will also want to have as much detailed information as you can provide them of the circumstances of the accident. This will include the information of any third party involved. If a police report was filed at the time of the accident be prepared to provide the information made available by the officer at the scene.

A claims adjuster will be assigned to assist you, who will advise you of your policy limits and  any deductibles that will be applied to your vehicle damage. They will also suggest such additional coverage that may be available to you, such as rental reimbursement coverage. Most insurance companies have contracts with auto repair services they can refer you to that  can expedite your repairs. You are not bound to use the collision repair service that you are  referred to but it is in your best interest to do so. Your damage will  surely be repaired to your satisfaction.


Automotive Aftermarket Parts: An Alternative for OEM Parts

The automotive aftermarket is concerned with manufacturing, remanufacturing,  reconditioning, distribution and retail sales of all vehicle parts, including equipment and accessories, after the sale of the automobile by the original equipment manufacturer. Many automotive aftermarket parts are regulated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration based on safety needs. 

There are two types of auto parts available on the market for use with your automobile. These are identified as original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts and aftermarket parts. An OEM part is one made by your car’s manufacturer or a contracted third-party manufacturer and used in the original construction of your automobile. Automotive aftermarket parts are those automobile parts made by third-party manufacturers and are those not included in the initial list of parts or available options used to build your vehicle. 

When you require maintenance or repairs on your vehicle and take the car to a dealer for service, the parts used to make the repair will be from the manufacturer (OEM). If you go with an independent repair shop, you may have an alternative source of less expensive parts that are just as good and serve the intended purpose. 

Aftermarket auto parts used for repair are typically of comparable  quality comparable to as your OEM  parts and therefore serve the same function under similar operating conditions.  You may also install aftermarket auto parts as upgrades to improve the look or performance of your automobile. Before you use an aftermarket auto parts, you should inquire about how it may affect your car’s value or performance. 

To recap: Aftermarket automotive parts are usually less expensive than OEM parts and can perform just as well if not better than original equipment manufacturer parts.  These can be found by your independent auto body repair shop. Dealers will always use original equipment from the manufacturer. It definitely does pay to shop around and compare the OEM to Aftermarket auto parts. 

Interesting Note: Auto thieves prefer older cars due to the aftermarket value.