auto Insurance

How to Make Sure Your Car Accident Claim Has a High Success Rate

Car accidents can be a frustrating, scary, and time-consuming problem It’s important to remain calm during the entire process and keep your mind sharp. Making an accident claim can be a strenuous task, but it’s vital to help pay for repair costs, damages, and medical fees that might occur as a result. To prepare yourself in case it happens to you, here are some tips you should follow.

Photo courtesy of Pexels

Stop and Remain Calm

If the accident has left you dazed, then stop immediately. If you can feel pain, then make sure to remain calm and don’t make any sudden movements that could increase the pain or make the injury worse. It’s an offense to move your car after an accident no matter how minor you might think it is. Never drive off and stay put where you are. Turn off the engine, switch on the hazard lights, and set up a warning triangle some distance away from your car. If someone has been injured, then you need to make sure you phone emergency services and call for an ambulance.

Collect Information

It’s vital that you collection the registration numbers of all vehicles involved in the accident. If anyone tries to escape and drive off, then make sure you take down their license plate numbers first. If the other drivers are cooperative, then take down their phone numbers and addresses as well. If they refuse to give information, then that fact can be used in your claim as well. You’ll also want to take down any car insurance details of other drivers.

Contact Your Insurer

To make your claim stand out, you’ll need to tell your insurer several important pieces of information. Give them everything that you collected during the accident, such as details of the other drivers. If another driver didn’t have insurance, then you can contact the police because it’s required by law for all drivers to have insurance. Make sure your insurer knows every detail that you can give: the time and date, the location, what the weather was like, what happened, and any witnesses that were willing to give a statement.

Photo courtesy of Pexels

Additional Tips

The majority of a claim involves collecting information, however, there are some more pointers that you can follow to make sure that your claim is successful.

Never admit to the accident, especially if you’re unsure what happened. Law firms can assist with even the harshest DUI, DWI, or other similar accidents. Never lie about what happened—especially to your insurer or lawyer, but never admit to anything without proof.

Take plenty of photos. Make sure to include the location as best as you can, and don’t focus just on the damage of your car or your injuries. Take pictures of the surrounding area with the cars in view, photos of license plates, and snap a few shots of the drivers and witnesses that are willing to make a statement.

If your claim is successful, then don’t expect a huge sum of cash as compensation. Wait for your insurer to contact you about what you’ll be awarded. Most of the time, it’ll just be enough to carry out repairs, but in some rare circumstances, they’ll agree to replace your car if it’s suffered a lot of damage. They will also cover medical expenses in case you’re injured.


How to Reduce Your Insurance on Your Van

As your insurance is likely to be one of the biggest expenses incurred when you own a van? it makes sense to try and cut the cost down however you can. This is particularly important when it is used in conjunction with your business as the costs can easily mount and eat into your profits. Here are some tips on how you can cut down on your insurance costs: –

Improve your driving

Improving your driving will not only reduce the risk of you being involved in accidents but will also reduce the chances of you having to make claims which are sure to bump up your insurance premiums. Another option is to take an advanced driving course. This will help to show insurances companies that you are a ‘safe’ driver and should help to lower your premiums.

Named Driversfleet

Although having named drivers may be necessary for your work? it could be costly when it comes to your insurance. You can try to keep this to a minimum by ensuring that you keep you add as few a named drivers to a minimum and by thoroughly vetting those that you do add.

Security

Another simple way of reducing the cost of your insurance, and which you might like to do anyway, is to secure your vehicle. This can be done by adding an alarm, extra locks or even an immobilizer. This will not only help to keep your vehicle and any tools that you are likely to keep in it safe but will also reduce the risk your insurance companies perceive your van to be in.

Type of Cover

The type of cover that you choose could also reduce the amount of your insurance premiums. Although it is important that you have sufficient insurance coverage to protect yourself and others it is also worth considering, realistically, how much cover you actually need. After all if you have a really old van that is worth very little you may not feel that you need the same coverage as if you have a brand new van. In either circumstance you will need at least third party or third party with fire and theft coverage but you may not feel that you need fully comprehensive cover.

Voluntary excess

You may also be able to reduce your voluntary excess by agreeing to a higher voluntary excess than they initially offer you.

Ask the Experts

One final way you could save money on your car insurance is to get a company such as A­Plan to do the leg work for you. Insurance brokers will look at all of the different policies for you and come up with cover that is tailored to you.


Is Nationwide’s Vanishing Deductible Option Something You Should Consider?

auto Insurance

Car insurance innovations are possibly the greatest example of follow-the-herd mentality in the financial services industries. Whenever a leading car insurance company launches a national campaign to tout a new coverage option or feature, it’s not long before competitors are close behind like drivers drafting behind a leader in a stock car race. One of the more recent features goes by many names accident forgiveness, diminishing deductible, safe driving deductible rewards, etc. but they all essentially offer the same promise. Go for an extended period of time without a claimable accident and the insurer will reduce the deductible on select coverage options carrying one.

Nationwide has tagged its version of this option with the catchy phrase, Vanishing Deductible, and has even built several memorable television commercials around it.

Here’s a quick overview of how it works and a few things you may want to consider before adding it to your policy.

How it works

One of the first things to know about Nationwide’s Vanishing Deductible option is that it isn’t available everywhere. Some states do not allow Nationwide to offer this option to drivers, so be sure you check into what options are available in your state.

If you do have access to the Vanishing Deductible option, Nationwide tries to make it easy to understand and to add. They offer it as a stand-alone option and you are not required

to have a specific coverage package to apply for eligibility. You do have to have a coverage option that calls for a deductible and the two obvious ones are collision and comprehensive. Here again, Nationwide makes it a little easier in that you can choose to add either collision or comprehensive (many car insurance companies force you to have both, even if you want just one.)

If you elect to add Vanishing Deductible to your

Nationwide car insurance plan, you’ll be charged a flat rate (usually around $60-per year for the first car and $10-per year for any additional cars.) Once in place, Nationwide will immediately and automatically reduce a select deductible by $100. For each year you keep the option in place and go without an accident that generates a claim on the option where the deductible is “vanishing”, Nationwide will reduce that deductible another $100. Nationwide caps the total you can have a deductible reduced at $500.

An example

Let’s say you have a Nationwide car insurance plan with comprehensive coverage that comes with a $500 deductible (which is, by the way, the average deductible for a Nationwide comprehensive option.) You add Vanishing Deductible and you go a full year without filing a comprehensive claim. A couple weeks into your second year with Vanishing Deductible, a tree falls on your car requiring $1,800 in repairs. Instead of having to pay $500 out-of-pocket before Nationwide starts reimbursing your expenses, you only have to pay $300 out of-pocket. In this case, the $120 extra you’ve spent to add the option has paid for itself.

If you do have to file a claim while on the Vanishing Deductible option, Nationwide doesn’t make you go all the way back to square one to start earning credits against deductibles. You still get the original $100 reduction in a deductible for having and maintaining the option. In the above example, say a hailstorm wreaks havoc on your car three months after the tree incident, leaving you with $900 in new repair costs. Your out-of-pocket expense on that claim would be $400 (not the full $500 deductible you originally selected for your comprehensive coverage.)

Is this a bargain?

Take a few moments to pencil out whether adding Vanishing Deductible to your Nationwide car insurance plan is a bargain. A good way to go at this is to add up all of what you have to pay to get Vanishing Deductible. First, you will need to have a coverage option in place that comes with a deductible. In most cases this will be a collision or a comprehensive option (or even both) and take some care in determining if you even need any of those options on your car.

A simple rule of thumb for determining if adding collision or comprehensive is a value-added idea is to total the increase in premium you will pay for adding the option over the time you’ll have that car, plus add in the deductible you’ve chosen. If this total exceeds the current market or cash value of the car you’re insuring, it probably isn’t a wise financial move to add that option. In the case of Nationwide, adding either collision or comprehensive options to your policy will add an average of $20-$25 in monthly premium to your bill (for each separate option and depending on the state where you live and other options you have in place.)

One other thing to factor in with the Vanishing Deductible option is that it is capped at $500. If you have a $1,000 deductible, the most the option can offer you is to cut that deductible in half. If you happen to have a $500 deductible, you’ll spend more than you will ultimately save in just over eight years.

Generally speaking, Nationwide’s Vanishing Deductible option is a little more flexible and forgiving than many of its competitors, but it’s still an option that you’ll want to carefully consider before adding it to your policy.

(Note: this article is intended solely for informational purposes and is in no way a promotion or a solicitation. The author has no affiliation with Nationwide or with any other car insurance provider.)

Featured images:
  • License: Royalty Free or iStock source: Image courtesy of Nationwide Insurance.

Jeffrey Davidson is a writer and marketing consultant with more than 25 years of experience working with insurance and financial services companies. He currently writes about auto insurance products and services for Reply!. You can find his article on other options to consider for your car insurance plan.


Five Automotive Features That Lower Auto Insurance Premiums

auto insuranceHaving a good driving record, and years of experience, are a great start to lowering your auto insurance premiums. You can also take defensive driving classes – those should help out a lot. However, there’s more that goes into premium pricing than just your experience. Many times, insurance premiums can be dramatically reduced just by buying the right make and model car. Other times, you can modify your existing vehicle to lower your premiums. Try looking at factors you haven’t considered before.

Age of The Car

The age of your car can dramatically impact the premiums. Too old, and your vehicle might not have the safety features insurers look for. Too new, and your premiums might skyrocket due to the expensive nature of replacement parts on new cars (i.e. replacement or repair on newer vehicles almost always requires expensive diagnostic equipment and the repair or replacement of expensive electrical components).

Try to buy vehicles that are up to 5 years old. If you’re purchasing a vehicle that’s older than 5 years, make sure it has excellent ratings in crash tests and replacement parts are not only plentiful but inexpensive.

Airbags

Airbags are universally recognized by insurers as being an awesome safety feature. Because of this, discounts are basically guaranteed if your vehicle has airbags. It should go without saying that, if you’re buying a newer car, it should come with a driver’s side airbag at minimum.

Look for vehicles with optional airbags though. A passenger-side, rear, and side airbags all add to the safety of the vehicle and reduce auto insurance premiums.

Anti-Sleep Alarms

Ever get so tired while you were driving that you started to fall asleep? That’s a dangerous situation, and insurers know that people who travel long distances (or work the night shift) will eventually have to figure out how to keep from falling asleep at the wheel. Some car manufacturers have capitalized on this by installing anti-sleep alarms.

Lexus and Saab’s systems track driver eye movements while Volvo and Mercedes’ systems are activated when there’s a change in vehicle performance or position. Sleepy drivers are jolted awake – and kept alive. You can bet that insurers will give you a discount for this as almost every one of them sees this as a giant leap forward in safety technology.

Active Theft Protection

Active theft protection includes a car alarm or some type of active anti-theft system that disables the vehicle’s ability to start. Car alarms have come a long way with features that can include infrared wireless ignition shut off – preventing would-be thieves from stealing your vehicle or even finding a wire to cut to disable the alarm. Some alarms also offer anti-hijacking protection. At the touch of a button, the system is armed. When you’re car-jacked, you simply get out of the vehicle and let the thief have your vehicle. As soon as the crook shuts the door, the system activates a countdown countermeasure. At the end of the countdown, the vehicle’s engine decreases speed and shuts off – unable to be restarted. This leaves your vehicle safe, and you can call the police.

Etched VIN Numbers

Etched VIN numbers are new, but insurers are picking up on this trend fast. With etched VIN numbers on your windshield, front and rear windows, your vehicle becomes harder to steal and part out. Everything is traceable and insurers love this as it reduces costs to them. That improved security, in turn, earns you a nice discount on your premiums.

Natasha Risinger is an auto insurance consultant who also enjoys blogging. Her articles mainly appear on personal finance websites. Check out the progressive auto insurance rates from www.autoinsurance.us, visit the link.

Image source :http://www.flickr.com/photos/insuranceinbradenton/8151813732/


Purchasing Car Insurance For The New Year

Purchasing Car Insurance For The New Year

The New Year marks a great time to double check you have the right motor insurance. As your life changes, your insurance coverage should as well, but checking your policy is often the last thing on your mind during a life changing event. The wrong coverage could leave you paying more than necessary for coverage and still be left with out-of-pocket expenses in the event of an accident.

Purchasing a New Car

Check your coverage whenever you buy a new car. Collision and comprehensive coverage should cover the complete value of the new car, not the lesser value of the old one. Also, make sure you have adequate rental car coverage to pay for a comparable replacement vehicle if your car ever has to go into the shop.

Purchasing a New House

A new house doesn’t seem like the time to check your auto insurance, but it may help you save money. First time homebuyers should look for the company offering the best homeowner’s discount. People who’ve owned a home before should check whether rates in their new neighborhood are cheaper if they leave their current insurance company.

Marriage

If you’ve got married, shop insurance companies for the best discount on insurance. Discounts for married couples are priced differently, so shop around. You may get a discount for staying with you or your spouse’s old companies, so shop there first.

Birth

A new baby means you need a change in your motor insurance coverage. Verify you have enough medical coverage to cover your new addition. Additionally, some insurance companies give you a discount for a new baby, as babies are signs of increased responsibility and maturity. All companies price these things differently, so shop around.

Divorce or Widowing

A divorce or death is always tough, but it’s definitely time to make sure you’re not overpaying for auto insurance. Make sure the coverage levels reflect those likely to be in the vehicle and you remove any cars you no longer own. The company with the best rates for married couples may not have the best rates now you’re single, so look away from your current insurance provider.

Retirement

If you’ve retired in the last year and you haven’t checked your auto insurance policy, you’re probably paying too much. You can drastically lower your weekly and yearly mileage because you’re no longer commuting, and you may also be missing out on additional benefits for seniors. As always, comparison shop different companies to make sure you’re getting the best discount.

Any of these life changing events should mean you’re shopping for new insurance, but even if you haven’t, it’s still be time to check you’re not overpaying. Periodic pricing changes from the insurance companies and gradual life changes may mean you can get a better deal by looking outside you current insurance company. Why not make a New Year’s resolution to spend less? Shop around for new insurance coverage today.


Electric Revolution In The Canadian Auto Sector?

Electric Revolution In The Canadian Auto Sector?

Industry leaders are planning for a mass influx of electric cars in Canada in the coming year. Hybrid cars were received well in the country, and aided by government rebates, saw many motorists embrace them. The same is slowly happening with electric cars, and it is anticipated that there will be at least 500,000 electric cars on Canadian roads in 7 years. This number may not be high enough to justify a revolution, but it is a major step. Chances are the units on sale are likely to surpass the given figure.

There is a desire with most of the population to shift from oil and gas dependence, fanned by the rising gasoline prices and a shaky economy. A large percentage of car users only need to drive short distances to get to work or run home-related errands. This can be easily done with an electric car, saving on money. Most of the electric cars already sold in the country are owned by people who drive short distances every day. Instead of spending so much on gas, many are now opting to go for rechargeable batteries as in electric cars, which attracts as little as $1.75 a day.

This growing interest and demand for electric cars has caught the Canadian government’s eye. The municipal and provincial electric utilities are currently running pilot projects on usage and other modalities, in readiness for the growing market. Several Canadian energy companies are also carrying out tests of various plug-in electric cars in different provinces, to check viability and long term probabilities.

All this attests to one fact: Canadians are embracing electric cars. The national outcry that was seen when the government blocked the sale of Zenn, Canada’s best electric car, is testament. Extensive research precedes any form of testing. That leading companies such as Hydro-Quebec and the government are conducting tests and pilot projects shows that the results of whatever research they conducted were positive.

The argument to buy or not to buy is easily resolved by thinking long term, which many Canadians have done. The cheapest electric car at the moment goes for about $15,000. Those who argue that this is too expensive see only half the picture. In any case, luxury cars cost far more than this, less fuel expenses. It is true that one can buy a gas-powered vehicle for much less, but the real difference is in the cost of operation. You spend about a tenth or less to keep an electric car going, than you would a gasoline vehicle.

As more people face this reality, the need to buy an electric car becomes more real. There are hurdles along the way but by providing the necessary support, the government can encourage the growth of electric cars in the country. Of course there are the usual disadvantages over gas-fueled vehicles, such as a lower mile range.

For the person who drives less than 50 miles every day, which is a majority of the working and student population, this is not a problem. This lot can use the electric car effectively to get to the school, office and home. Depending on model, electric cars cover between 40 and 100 miles on one charge, and can reach speeds of 135 mph. This also varies with model, but not by much.

For now, you still need an extra car – hybrid or gas-fueled – for when you need to drive longer distances. Those who do not want the inconveniences of paying for the upkeep of two cars are a little shy of buying the electric car, preferring to wait longer in the hope that more powerful batteries that can support close to the 300 gas car mile range will be developed. Unfortunately, this will take a while.

Jamie Connelli is an insurance agent from Newmarket, Ontario who occasionally writes blog posts on upcoming trends in the automotive sector. Recently he had a few guest posts published on Kanetix.ca about electric automobiles and car insurance opportunities.


5 Tips for Reducing the Cost of Your Auto Insurance

Auto insurance is one of the rare monthly bills that you actually have some control over. To begin with, you can shop around for insurance to find the best rates. Additionally, there are certain things you can do to lower the cost of your insurance once you have it. You can’t say that about your rent or credit card payments. Where do you begin? Read these five tips for reducing the cost of your auto insurance:

Raise your deductible. If you feel safe in knowing that, in the case of an even that requires you to file a claim, you will be willing and able to meet higher deductible requirements, then have your insurance agent raise your deductible amount. Higher deductibles can improve your car insurance cost significantly.

Consider carrying only liability coverage on older model vehicles. If your car’s value is less than the amount of ten times your insurance premium, then it may not be cost-effective to invest in comp and collision coverage. Check with Kelley Blue Book to find your car’s value, then use that figure to weigh the replacement cost of your car against the amount you pay in car insurance each year and what your deductible is.

Buy your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance from your car insurance provider. Most auto insurance companies offer discounts to customers who use them for their other insurance needs. This is something you should inquire about before you ever purchase auto insurance, when you are calling around for quotes.

Keep a clean driving record. This is perhaps the single most important thing you can do to reduce the cost of your car insurance. In addition to maintaining a reasonable rate that you already have locked in, a clean driving record can get you discounts on a year after year basis. This means that every year you go accident and/or claim-free equals an additional discount to your insurance rate.

Ask about discounts. Every insurance company offers a variety of discounts for its carriers. These discounts include safe driver discounts, straight A discounts for high school students, college student discounts, low mileage discounts, and discounts for groups, clubs and associations.

As you can see, there are several ways to reduce the cost of your monthly auto insurance bill, and some of those methods are as simple as just asking. Car insurance is truly one of the most flexible monthly expenditures when it comes to pricing, as long as you’re willing to do a little bit of footwork. Avoid wasting your hard-earned money by using these suggestions to cut your auto insurance bill.

About the Author: Deborah is a full-time writer and blogger with more than 10 years experience in the insurance industry. She enjoys writing about personal finance, health, medical careers and education and is a regular contributor at aboutmedicalbillingandcoding.org.


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