Car Insurance – Watch Out Before You Buy!

What to watch out for while choosing car insurance?

The most important criteria include the five “C”s. Here’s a brief description of each:

• Claim settlement policy – The true test of an insurance company is at the time of an actual insurance claim. This is possible to check by looking at the company’s past records of claim resolution. Now is the time to check if the existing insurance can be transferred to another insurance company without loss of benefits already paid for.

• Coverage – What is the right coverage for you? Usually, car insurance policies cover third party liability and own damage. According to the Motor Vehicles Act, it is mandatory to opt for third party liability insurance cover while own damage is optional. Opting for both is the standard procedure since they cover any damage due to accidents and loss from third party mishaps. Most insurance companies offer “add-ons” with the basic policy.

• Customer service – Thanks to technology, insurance policies are now issued instantly. Besides this, other issues such as changes in policy or cancellations are processed quickly. In the event of a claim, cashless settlement is also available so that post-repair delivery is quick without incurring bills at the workshop. It is therefore important to check the insurance company’s network for this facility. The bigger the network, the better the claimant’s options.

• Communication access – The insurance company’s contact information must be easily accessible. If there is a problem the insured individual must know whom to get in touch with and the procedure to follow.

• Cost – Last but not least, is the price or premium. Car insurance premium is based on “insured declared value” or IDV and the rate multiplier and depends on the car model, the age of the car, daily mileage and the terrain of the location. It is important to declare the right IDV and select a policy that offers the maximum IDV even if you have to incur a slightly higher premium.

Besides the above, the following are the benefits to look for:

• No claim bonus – if no claim has been filed during the insurance period, a no-claim discount is offered on risk cover against own damage at the time of policy renewal. For each consecutive claim-free year, the discount increases progressively. The point to note is that the no claim bonus eligibility holds good even in the event of a new vehicle purchase or existing insurance renewal before the due date from a different insurance provider.

• Opting for deductible – Drivers with a good record can opt for “voluntary excess” or deductible to lower their premium payments, in addition to the compulsory excess. In the case of a compulsory excess, the insured is liable to pay a specific amount if a claim is filed.

• Premium based on car type – If your car has extra security features such as anti-theft alarms the chances of theft is lower and insurance can come at a lower premium.

• Timely insurance renewal – If car insurance is not renewed before the expiry date the renewal premium can result in loss of coverage especially if there is an accident and also mean no discount for the no-claim bonus.

• Choice of Add-ons- Besides the basic car insurance coverage, insurance providers offer several optional add-ons. It is important to select the right ones and only pay for those. For example, if there is a medical expense cover or hospital cash cover, check to see if you have a medical insurance policy that already covers these.

• To renew or not to renew – with the same insurance provider? When it is time to renew your car insurance, compare insurance providers to see what they are offering before making a decision. The car insurance industry is very competitive and for the same coverage, you can probably get a better price elsewhere.

Some final precautions to bear in mind are:

• Check that the insurance policy is genuine. Always buy your car insurance directly from the insurance company or from its authorized agent.

• Always get a premium payment receipt.

• When you receive your policy document, check the IDV, no claim bonus and deductible details to make sure it is what you opted for. Any discrepancies must be notified and rectified immediately.

• Make sure only you sign the proposal form and always read before signing

• Do not opt for monthly payments as this is more expensive than annual payments

Remember that car insurance protects you and the occupants of your car on two counts: from accidental damage and from third party claims when you are responsible for the accident. Therefore, choose with care.

10 Things About Car Insurance That You May Not Have Known

Many people don’t take a great deal of notice of their car insurance and, when the time comes for their auto insurance to be renewed, they simply renew it with their existing insurer. If you don’t shop around for car insurance, then you will end up paying more than you need to and, if you don’t check the small print on your policy, you might actually not be insured at all. So, if you don’t give a second thought to your motor vehicle insurance, check out these facts and tips about car insurance that might surprise you.

1. Pay your insurance premiums in one go

It may be convenient to pay your car insurance in twelve monthly payments, but it will nearly always be far more expensive than paying the whole amount up front. Most insurers add an exorbitant price for spreading the payments. It could cost you as much as 30% more.

2. Don’t overdo the excess

A lot of people get caught out by agreeing to an insurance excess over and above what they can really afford to pay. Yes, a high excess will reduce your car insurance premiums, but don’t forget that, if you have an accident, you are going to have to find that cash for repairs.

3. Tell the truth to your insurer

Be honest about what you use your car for, where you park it, and who is going to drive it. If you say that your car will be locked in a garage overnight, and it is stolen from the street outside your home, you could be in for a nasty surprise when you come to make a claim.

4. Check how comprehensive your fully comprehensive cover really is

The word ‘fully’ in fully comprehensive can mean different things to different insurers, especially if you opted for the cheapest policy that you could find. Typically, the cheaper car insurance policies won’t include a courtesy car, windscreen cover, or legal cover, so it’s worth checking your policy to see exactly what you are getting for your money.

5. Don’t make a claim unless you really have to

If you have a minor accident, it is very often cheaper to pay for the repairs yourself than to claim it on your insurance. You should still tell the insurer about the accident, because that is often a policy requirement, but claiming may well result in an increase your premiums and excess.

6. Your premiums can still rise, even if you have protected your no claims bonus

If you have an accident, your premiums could still rise, even if you have protected your no claims bonus. Your percentage bonus may well stay intact, but the underlying cost of your insurance will rise and, therefore, you will pay more.

7. Always take photographs if you have an accident

If you do have an accident, however slight the damage may seem, always take photographs of both your vehicle and the other persons. Unfortunately, there are a lot of dishonest people who will exaggerate their claims to their insurance company and lie about the circumstances of an accident. If you can, get the contact details of any witnesses too.

8. Don’t just automatically renew, shop around first

Insurance companies offer their best deals to new customers, so it is always worth shopping around for your car insurance. You can get your insurance broker to do for you, or check out a price comparison site, but always get several quotes before you decide.

9. Always notify your insurer of any changes in circumstances

Don’t forget to notify your insurer of any changes in circumstances, or you could invalidate your insurance. That includes moving home, changing jobs, any modifications you make to the vehicle and even if you have started driving your car to work.

10. Don’t rely solely on comparison websites for the best deal

Don’t forget that not all the insurance companies allow their details to be published on price comparison websites. To enable these companies to compete, they often offer better deals than you will find on the comparison sites.

Car Insurance – Understanding the Significance of Car Insurance

Any kind of motor vehicle in public places is considered as a potential threat to the life of the driver, the passengers as well as pedestrians. It can also cause damage to your own or third-party properties. Keeping these probabilities in mind, the motor vehicle insurance law, has made it mandatory for every car owner or driver to insure their vehicles as well as themselves.

Car insurance is nothing but a safeguard against the financial risks involved in an accident. Not everyone can afford the unexpected expenses as well as the legal issues that are brought about by an accident and trying to pay all of them by yourself may empty your pocket.

However, car owners who are safe drivers may ask why do they need car insurance if they follow all the safety measures while driving – like wearing seat belts, maintaining enough gap between his car and the one in front and breaking well on time? At the end of the day if he is driving carefully and is confident and comfortable behind the wheel, he need not fear about meeting with an accident.

The question above might sound justifiable, but there is a flip side to it. You might be a careful driver and follow safety measures. But does that really immune you from all dangers? Accidents need not always happen due to a mistake of your own. As one of the famous tire brand commercials rightly says “Roads are full of idiots”. Accidents are never pre-planned, it just happens at the flick of a moment. Expenditures due to accidental damages are mostly high and to cover all of them from your pocket can cost you a fortune. It is in these situations that car insurance comes to your financial aid.

There are more reasons that prove car insurance is important? Consider a situation where somebody’s rash or uncontrolled driving causes death of a pedestrian or damages the property belonging to somebody else. If the driver is not able to pay for the damage and if the vehicle is not insured, then he will be in a soup. Besides, physical damages and third-party casualties generally involve extensive legal procedures to find the perpetrator, which is also highly expensive. You will be covered for all these expenses if you have a car insurance policy.

The above points thus clearly explain why car insurance is made mandatory and not optional. So if you own a car, do not have any ambiguity about buying car insurance. Just compare all the relevant policies online as per your requirements and get the best one to shield yourself, your car and the co-passengers any unforeseen incident.

Classification of Vehicles Insured

Classification of vehicles insured

The vehicles are generally divided in the following four categories for the purposes of insurance:

(1) Private cars.
(2) Commercial vehicles which refer to any type of mechanically driven vehicle used for business or trade purposes. They may be passenger vehicles, goods vehicles or tractors.
(3) Trade vehicles.
(4) Motor cycles.

Rates are promulgated for each classification, and for rate-making purposes further classification on the basis of the use to which the vehicle is put is made within those classes.

Tariff and Non-Tariff Offices

The insurance companies are of two types. Those which are members of the Motor Tariff Association are called ‘Tariff Offices’ and those which are not the members of the Tariff Association are known as ‘Non-Tariff Offices.’ Most of the companies are tariff offices. The premium rates and policy conditions of all the tariff offices are regulated by the Tariff Association. In Bangladesh there is one Tariff Association for commercial vehicles for the whole country, but for the private cars and motor-cycles there are regional tariffs. The country is divided in seven divisions, Dhaka, Rajshahi, Chittagong, Khulna, Sylhet, Barisal and Rangpur any insurance company lying in a particular division has to become the member of that particular regional Tariff Association. Of course there are no territorial limits and restrictions for the driving of vehicles in any division but the insurance must be affected in a particular division. Similarly a tariff office in a particular region can insure a vehicle in some other region but the premium and the conditions must be governed by the Tariff Association of the region in which the vehicle is.

Types of coverage

Each vehicle policy can be divided into the following three types:

(1) Act Policy

An Act Policy covers all risks for which a policy is necessarily to be taken by the owner of a vehicle under the Motor Vehicles Act. According to this Act, a policy must be taken to cover any liability which may be incurred by the insured in respect of the death of or bodily injury to any person caused by or arising out of the use of the vehicle in a public place. The extent of the amount to which a policy should be taken is also specified in the Act. Again a policy of insurance is also necessary to cover any liability arising under the provisions of the Workmen’s Compensation Act 1923, in respect of the death of or bodily injury to any paid employee engaged in driving or otherwise in attendance on or being carried in a motor vehicle. All these provisions together with the exceptions are printed on the policy itself. It should be seen that insurance is compulsory as to personal injury only and not as to damage to property.

(2) Third Party Policy

This policy covers not only those third party risks for which an insurance policy is legally necessary as explained above but also covers such risks for which the insured may be held liable under various laws, such as Fatal Accidents Act 1855 and common law. Here the policy includes also the damage to property of third parties for which the insured is liable. The insurer undertakes to pay in addition to the compensation, all sums including claimant’s costs and expenses for which the insured becomes legally liable.

(3) Comprehensive Policy

A comprehensive policy covers a wide variety of risks under single coverage. There are some very common risks which alone are covered by this policy and if any other risk is to be covered it can be added to the risks insured after the payment of extra premiums. A comprehensive policy for private cars usually covers the following risks:

(a) Loss of or damage to car. The car including necessary Lamps, Tyre’s, and Accessories thereon is insured against loss or damage by accidental external means, fire, explosion, self-ignition, lightning, frost, burglary, housebreaking, theft, malicious act and in transit by road, rail, inland waterway, lift or elevator.

(b) Removal charges in respect of removal of the car to and from the premises of the nearest repairers for any accident up to a certain limit.

(c) Third party liability, i.e., risks covered in third party policy.

(d) Costs and expenses incurred with the consent of the company.

(e) Repair charges for the car due to accident for which company is liable upto a certain limit.

(f) Medical Expenses up to a certain limit incurred in connection with injuries sustained by the insured or any occupant of the car.

In addition to the above risks, the insured can also secure additional benefits after paying extra premiums. These benefits may be (I) death or bodily injury of the insured alone or together with wife, and of unnamed passengers, (ii) riots and strikes, etc., (iii) loss of rugs, coats or luggage by theft, larceny or f.re, etc.

Policies relating to commercial vehicles are not as comprehensive as those by which private cars are insured. The main difference being the omission of personal accident benefits and the limitation of third party indemnity in respect of damage to property to Tk. 20,000 on any one accident. The policies on motor cycles are issued on similar lines as the cars.

The conditions of different policies are different and must be studied carefully.

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Car Insurance Quotes – Understanding Policies, Conditions and Buzzwords

To get the best value from car insurance quotes, it is important to understand the various terminologies included in your insurance policy. A thorough understanding of these conditions and catchwords will ensure that you are not caught off-guard in the event of a claim. It is important to remember that the point of car insurance is to offer a safety net in times of crises to ensure that you don’t need to dip into your savings account to replace or repair a vehicle.

In order for this safety net to work efficiently, it is important to recognize the various limitations, conditions and terms. Not only will this understanding offer you peace of mind, it will also ensure that you are educated on your insurance company’s various legal and practical procedures.

When it comes to car insurance quotes, most of us can feel a little overwhelmed by the many terms, conditions and buzzwords that appear in our insurance policies.

Few of us understand the jargon of the insurance industry and often find ourselves agreeing to terms that we do not fully understand in the hope of obtaining reliable and efficient vehicle insurance.

I compiled a list of 9 commonly used terms which will arm you with all the necessary information to assist in making a sound decision before singing on the dotted line.

1. Policy Schedule or Coversheet – When it comes to taking out reliable car insurance, you will be required to enter into a contract. This contract can be entered into via telephone, online or, in some cases, in writing, but by law your insurer is obliged to confirm the conclusion of the contract in writing within 30 days. This confirmation is in the form of a policy schedule (Coversheet) summarising all of the specific information of your insurance policy.

2. Claim – You submit/report a Claim to your insurance company when you have suffered a loss or damage to an insured item and you need your insurer to get you back into the same financial position you were in prior to the loss. The merits of your Claim will be validated – and based on the terms and conditions of the policy, the Claim will be accepted or denied (rejected) by the insurance company.

3. Excess – An excess is an agreed amount of money that the policyholder is liable to pay in the event of an insurance claim being settled. For example, if the excess on your car is $300 and the damages amount to $5000 your insurance company will pay the remaining $4700 once you have paid your excess to the repairer. Insurance companies charge an excess to assist clients in managing their risks by not claiming for minor incidents – as well as to ensure that customers do not submit minor or fraudulent claims. If the claimed amount is less than the excess, there would be no claim.

4. Perils – Perils refer to a variety of risks that can cause damage to your car. These include accidental and intentional damage, theft, hijacking, attempted theft or hijacking, fire or explosion, earthquake, storm, hail, flood or snow and glass damage.

5. Premium – A Premium is the amount of money that is paid upfront on an annual or monthly basis to ensure that your vehicle is covered. Your insurance Premium will increase or decrease depending on a variety of factors, referred to as underwriting criteria.

6. Retail Value – Retail Value is the average current selling price (on a dealer’s floor). If you were to insure your vehicle for its Retail Value, it would be insured for the value closest to the replacement cost. Although it is the more expensive option, it has a large number of benefits if anything had to happen to your car. It is also important to remember that the Retail Value of your vehicle decreases on a monthly basis.

7. Market Value – Market Value is the average between the vehicle’s retail and trade value. It is important to note that although you are paying less for your insurance, you are covered for a substantially lower value.

8. Trade Value – When searching for car insurance options, the most attractive deals are those that seem to be the cheapest. If you choose to insure your car for its Trade Value, it would be valued at the average price that a motor dealer will pay you for the vehicle. Trade Value is the lowest value.

9. Specially Agreed Value – This is applied to unlisted, vintage and collectors’ vehicles, caravans and trailers from an authorised source.

To fully understand the details of your car insurance quote, it is best to read through the documentation supplied by your insurance provider and use these definitions for your reference. Not only will this clarify the complexities of car insurance terminology, it will also ensure that you are up-to-date with that which you are covered for and the parameters thereof.

Car Insurance Rates in Ontario

Without a doubt, car insurance rates represent the highest insurance cost for Canadians. This type of insurance is significantly more expensive than home and life insurance. Car insurance rates vary significantly across Canada. Did you know the average rate in Ontario is $1,920 per year, but it is only $912 in Quebec and $1,092 in Nova Scotia?

Why Car Insurance Rates in Ontario are the Highest in Canada

Despite the fact that there have been government-led initiatives to reduce car insurance rates in Ontario, they continue to be the highest in the country. There a number of reasons for this, including:

Sufficient space for insurance fraud leading to high claims payouts
Highest population density
The worst roads
High rate of vehicle theft

There are a lot of factors that are considered when determining insurance rates in Ontario, such as: location, car make and year, driving experience, driving history, age, marital status and even gender. The ones with the largest impact on car insurance rates are gender, driving history, and age.

Gender: On average, women pay slightly less than men; and this is based on accident history. However, it’s important to note that women don’t have less accidents than men, their accidents just tend to be less costly.

Driving History: A driver’s history is a factor that greatly impacts car insurance rates. On average, drivers with a clean driving record in Ontario pay $1,812 per year; whereas those with more than two violations in the last three years, or a license suspension in the last six years, pay $3,252 per year, which is almost double the amount.

Age: Car insurance rates are higher for individuals under 25-years old because they are considered high risk drivers. Older drivers, on the contrary, benefit from lower insurance costs.

How to Reduce Your Rate

The good news is that there are dozens of ways to reduce your car insurance costs; and they range from buying your insurance in a bundled package with your home insurance, to completing a driving course, to customizing your protection options and deductibles.

Other ways to reduce your car insurance rates are completing a driver course, adjusting amount of your coverage (e.g. buying only liability protection if your car is old and does not need a comprehensive coverage), increasing your deductibles (i.e. amount that you would pay for each claim before an insurance payment kicks in), and many others.

Insurance broker vs insurance agent.

An insurance broker has access to several different products across a variety of suppliers, as opposed to an insurance agent who sells products of one company only. Brokers are compensated by the insurance companies, so you don’t pay extra to use one.

How to Cut the Cost of Car Insurance

Less desirable and low value cars are cheaper to insure

When I was 17 I wanted to own a Ferrari and live life in the fast lane. Even if I could have afforded the car, then I couldn’t have afforded the insurance to cover it. At 17 you are brand new to the world of driving and statistically you are more likely to make an insurance claim. Mixing high-powered cars with inexperienced drivers is not something car insurance companies are super-keen about, the chance of a claim shoots through the roof with the price of the premium following it. When you are young and inexperienced, buy a low-powered, low value car to try and keep your car insurance premium to a minimum. If it is worth less then it will cost less to fix/replace when in your youthful exuberance you crash it. The same logic actually applies to everyone, the lower the value of the vehicle and the lower the car insurance policy will be in most cases. Sports and premium cars will always cost more to repair in an accident so the insurance will reflect this. New cars now feature myriads of anti-theft and driver aids that in many cases will help to reduce the cost of insurance so keep an eye on the spec sheet when looking at a new car. A good rule of thumb is that less desirable and low value cars are cheaper to insure.

Age is a concern

I mentioned it above and it bears repeating. Generally the younger you are the higher your car insurance premium. This is down to inexperience and the youthful belief that bad things will never happen to you. The statistics say otherwise, which is often a shock to an unsuspecting young driver who ends up in a crash wondering how it happened to him…Driving experience and age are usually linked and that leads to a method of reducing your insurance premium – whatever age you are you will benefit from advanced driving courses and many car insurers offer discounts for these qualifications. It may only be a five – 10 per cent saving for the course but on a premium of £1000 it’s worth having the saving and it will remain with you for years, so it should be a good investment, not to mention make you a better driver.

Keep adding to the no-claims bonus

The more years you can accumulate without making a claim the better as most car insurers will offer a discount on your insurance for this. Effectively you are proving you are good business to have and because you haven’t made any claims then you are a good risk for them to underwrite. There’s nothing you can do here but keep your nose clean and don’t make a claim. If you own a low value vehicle and dent it parking, you’d be advised not to make a claim on comprehensive insurance because it would reduce your no-claims bonus, likely to be for a small amount of money and you may even end up paying for most of it depending on excess. In that case, provided you have not caused damage to any other vehicles or property, keep quiet, fix it yourself and your saving on no-claims bonus will be sweet the following year – in time, when you have built up three or more years no-claims bonus, you can actually protect your bonus, meaning even if you make a subsequent claim you will not lose your bonus.

Convictions aren’t cool

If you are an inner-city teenager then an ASBO may be a badge of honour. Insurers are less impressed by convictions though, so it is best to avoid them if you can. Minor speeding offences are certainly not in the same category as serial killer though, so if you have a couple of points it will not be the end of the world or have a major influence on your premium depending on the insurer.

If you’ve got a garage, use it

What are garages for? If you ask the average person they’ll probably say for storing all the kids’ toys, the home gym, bicycles, the freezer and tumble-dryer. I have news for you all; the garage is designed to house your vehicle when you are not using it. The fact that it puts a physical barrier between any opportunist thieves and your car is a real good thing and car insurance companies will recognise this and reduce your premium if you park in a garage overnight. Using your garage will save you money; it doesn’t get any easier than that.

Anti-theft devices

Most modern cars come with immobiliser and alarms factory fitted and if you notify your insurer it will check to make sure they are to approved standards and will apply discounts if applicable. You can get other devices that slosh around in the passenger footwell until you park and then fix to generally your steering wheel or gear-stick. These are mechanical devices and some do attract further discounts if used, just do your homework before buying. Thatcham is the organisation which grades security devices and generally a decent mechanical security device will feature its Thatcham approval very prominently along with any premium discounts you may expect, so choose carefully.

Use a reputable broker

Car insurance is very big business with around 30million+ vehicles on the UK roads, so there is a wealth of car insurance companies to choose from. Ironically, the big names you are familiar with are probably in your head because of massive marketing campaigns on television, on-line etc. Regardless of the message, those marketing campaigns need to be paid for and that means they may not actually have the best rates, although the sheer scale of some of these businesses means prices will be keen due to buying or underwriting power. The best advice is to compare a couple of different prices from different companies. Call the insurer and then call a comparable competitor and then perhaps a small car insurance broker. Each one will ask you if you have a price already and you should tell them what it is. Generally if they want the business they know what to beat. The moment you get a broker saying they can’t match the price then you are probably close to the best market price or else speaking with a broker that is not a specialist in the area.

A word of caution on price comparison sites

There are plenty of price comparison sites around which promise to drive the cost of your insurance policy down – Money Supermarket, Go Compare, Confused etc. They certainly do help reduce the cost of insurance as most of the major players are fighting for business on the same platform. Where these price comparison sites do not perform so well is actually advising you on the sort of policy that’s best for you or your car. Would comprehensive be cheaper and more suitable than third party fire and theft? The point is you cannot ask the price comparison site for any advice, that’s where car specialist brokers have the edge. Compare it to buying a new house, would you buy one without a survey? You might and then when it subsides into the sea you’ll be praying your insurance will cover it…the point is you shouldn’t buy insurance without talking with an expert either.

Pick up the phone

The internet is a great shopping and selling tool, you know my feelings on that from previous articles…but I suggest if you speak to a real person at a brokerage then you have a much better chance of getting cheaper car insurance. They can ask more questions, clarify your requirements and if needed they can even delegate the rate (set the price themselves) if they really want the business. There is no substitute for human contact, just make sure you speak to at least three different brokers to get a true comparison.

Got a nice postcode?

If you live in a postcode where there are few thefts and claims then your insurance premium will be lower than living somewhere that is a known crime hotspot. If you can afford it, move to a posh area and you’ll benefit from lower insurance premiums. Not the easiest way to save on the cost of insurance for sure…

Mileage and use

The more miles you drive the more chance you have of being involved in a claim. It’s simple statistics. The fewer miles covered, the less your insurance premium should cost. Don’t tell lies though, if you exceed the stated mileage by a distance then it could invalidate your insurance.

Married with kids?

Insurers like selling car insurance to married couples mortgaged and with kids and jobs. You are very easy to credit check and generally display responsible behaviour which hints at a lower risk for the insurer. That can reduce your car insurance quote.

Don’t modify your car

We all see the bling bling cars that haunt Supermarket car-parks late at night and whether you like the tacky neon colours and loud exhausts is neither here nor there – the fact is that any sort of modification is likely to hike your car insurance premium. Modifications can draw attention, invalidate warranties and in the case of loud exhausts, can also be illegal (if above the noise limit). If illegal, then it could invalidate your insurance as well. The fact is that car manufacturers spend a lot of time developing their products so they work well and if you modify them then it’s all out the window and your insurer will be scratching his head wondering what he should charge – and it will almost always be more than a standard vehicle.

What Exactly is Direct Car Insurance? And is it Cheaper?

Direct car insurance is exactly what it describes, you make all the cover arrangements yourself and purchase the policy directly from the Insurer who underwrites the cover.

The advantages of buying ‘direct’ are that in some cases the premiums offered will be less than if you bought through a middleman, though this is by far the case for the majority in reality.

Most direct motor insurance companies are able to make savings in commission and data handling, which many do pass onto their customers in discounted premiums or advertising ‘tempters’ such as offering twelve months cover for the price of ten, or throwing in some additional cover for free, such as car breakdown insurance.

These marketing sweeteners should always be looked upon sceptically by a prospective purchaser of insurance, as it may well be the case that the costs of the ‘sweetener’ are absorbed elsewhere in the quote offered.

With so many different types of motor insurance distribution points available these days it is sometimes difficult to determine whether you are purchasing your cover from a direct company, or not.

You can purchase car insurance by either picking up the phone and dialling a company that you found in the telephone book, visiting a high street outlet, or by shopping on the Internet where you have access to many different types of car, auto and motor insurance retail distribution products.

Whichever method you choose to purchase, it can still be difficult to determine from the onset, whether you are dealing with a direct insurance company or one of the many other intermediaries that exist.

The types of insurance intermediaries that exist within the UK insurance market these days are numerous but can broadly be defined as belonging to one the following groups:

Underwriters, Direct Companies, Insurance Companies, Scheme Providers, Brokers, Comparison websites, Agents, Introducers, Affiliates and Affinity Groups.

Those at the top of the group are those most likely to be considered direct suppliers of car insurance.

Those at the bottom of the list are those that are most likely to charge a commission, agents, or an introducer fee.

To understand and benefit from purchasing direct from an insurer we need to look at the goods and services supplied by each of these above groups and how they are components of the price you pay as a premium.

As with all insurance, the power of the pen, that is the ability to set a price for a risk , ultimately lies with the underwriters of the car insurance policy. These are the people who will suffer financially should you make a claim. Underwriters manage your risk and set the rates and charges. It obviously follows then, that the nearer to the source or base risk that you purchase your car insurance from, the more likely it is to be able to get the cover at the best possible price for the risk.

It is possible to directly negotiate a price for a policy with certain motor insurance underwriters. However this task is usually carried out by a specialist insurance broker, and in practice this negotiation is probably best left to a specialist broker who is skilled in communicating risks to underwriters or car insurance companies, and does so as part of his or her job on a daily basis.

Similarly the power of the underwriting pen is available to certain sales teams of Direct insurance companies. If you phone them up and talk to them direct, it is possible that even though they have to follow a script and set system screen procedures, that they have some system codes to discretionally discount your insurance premium down to a fixed minimum premium level. It’s often a question of don’t ask – don’t get!

Car insurance schemes are tailored bespoke policies for a certain type of driver or car such as Lady drivers insurance. Schemes may be offered direct from an issuing insurance company specialising in motor schemes, or more likely from a specialist car insurance company or broker. Because the schemes have been designed for a certain distribution channel the company offering these insurance schemes is often given the power of the pen and allowed to make underwriting and pricing decisions themselves, within certain pre-arranged limits of authority.

Often overlooked by the large part of the car insurance buying public, these schemes offer the best value for money if you are lucky enough to fit into one.

If you buy direct from a broker it is probable that they have an underwriting contact at an insurance company who can vary premiums and match quotes that you have obtained from another source. The advice that car insurance brokers offer can often be worth the small additional premium they might charge, as they will help you get the correct level of cover and more importantly communicate any claims or problems you might be having direct to the underwriters of your insurance policy, saving you time and money in what can be a minefield to the insurance world uninitiated.

The large Insurance comparison websites that you so often see advertising on TV, sell policies on behalf of insurance companies and brokers. The majority of these companies do not have access to the pen, and are not allowed to discount premiums. Many do however offer and present a wide choice of insurance policy to a prospect and through the ability to compare rates for mainstream car insurance, are usually able to offer policies which are cheaper than what a customer may currently be paying.

Beware when you are comparing policies online that you are comparing not just on the premium price quoted, but also take account of the variations in levels of cover, and only compare on a like for like basis. To fully understand the levels of cover it is essential that you always read the small print of these policies. Unfortunately in the case of Internet comparison sites that do not underwrite themselves, it is often the case that there are additional premium hikes when you come to complete, often made by the contract fulfilling underwriting insurance company, to the original quote offered. This practice known as ‘after loading’ occurs when you arrive at the underwriting company’s site to complete the transaction the price has risen considerably from that originally being quoted.

However you decide to purchase your car insurance, it should always be with what is right for your particular circumstances and your particular car, in mind.

You should always make comparative decisions on a like for like basis. If one policy being offered a few hundred cheaper than a competitor, you should check carefully the levels of cover in the small print, and compare the limits of indemnity.

Check also which covers are included in the basic cost of the motor insurance policy and which are included as extras. Windscreen damage cover is an example of this. Do you really need a courtesy car when you are a two car family? This extras can soon mount up.

If you need advice or help in deciding what covers you require, you should always call a broker or insurance company direct and they will be able to explain exactly what they are offering and allay any fears and misunderstandings you may have regarding the insurance that they are offering.

It is now possible to combine the best of both the direct insurance offerings with the associated savings of cheap car insurance schemes. Specialist schemes car insurance company Lancaster, offer such a proposition at their online portal Car-insurance.tv where over a hundred exclusive schemes can be compared.

Car Insurance Best Rates

Most consumers do not bother reading the terms in their insurance policy – they simply call around for lowest insurance quotes and purchase the lowest bid. In the long run, this isn’t always the best approach, and won’t always save the most money. However, let me assure you, car insurance best rates are achievable. Saving money on car insurance requires a combination of techniques that improve your insurability, decrease the rate of insurance for your vehicles, and provide you with a unique advantage when it comes to purchasing car insurance.

This article will outline seven techniques that will ensure that you receive the lowest possible car insurance rates.

#1 – Choosing the Best Insurer
Cost is certainly one factor when considering car insurance, but your insurer selection should be weighted more heavily on reliability. You could easily call a number of insurance companies, ask for quotes, and simply select the lowest bidder. However, even if the lowest cost insurer saves you hundreds of dollars a year in premium payments, that savings does you no good if you find yourself in an accident, needing car repairs or medical attention, with an unreliable and unresponsive insurance company. A good company is crucial. It’s not just about car insurance best rates.

#2 – Customize Your Policy
Before you begin calling around, it’s important that you determine the level of insurance coverage you need. Not everyone’s insurance needs are the same. Some families own two or three very expensive vehicles, while other families own only older used cars. Some people are members of AAA, while others are not. The specific terms of a policy should be determined by your life situation and the value of the items being insured.

#3 – How to Become Highly Insurable
Whether you’ve already purchased car insurance, or you are getting ready to start looking, one of the best things you can do to obtain the lowest possible rates is to improve those things that car insurance companies look at when they calculate your insurance premium. There are several things you can do in the short term to improve your insurability standing, and there are also things you can do over the long term to improve it as well. This section will describe four major elements of this technique to save money on your car insurance.

#4 – Reduce Your Car’s Insurance Rate
Another extremely effective technique to obtain the lowest possible insurance rate is to improve those things about your car which car insurance companies value the most when they calculate your insurance premium. There are several things that you can do before buying a car that will dramatically decrease your insurance premium. If you’ve already bought a car, however, and are looking for ways to decrease your existing insurance costs, there are still methods you can use that will substantially cut your premium costs.

#5 – Gaming the System
In addition to all of the techniques already listed in this article, there are also additional ways that you can use the insurance industries rating rules and premium calculation system in ways that will reduce your costs. Again, use the industry’s rules to get car insurance best rates.

#6 – Constantly Update Your Policy
One of the most important things that you can do to keep your insurance premium at a minimum is to always remember to update your insurance provider of any changes in your life that can reduce your insurance costs. Forgetting to do this can be very costly.

#7 – Deciding on Liability Only
There comes a point in the life of a car when the decision needs to be made whether or not it is worthwhile to maintain collision and comprehensive insurance coverage.

Getting Rock Bottom Insurance Rates
If you carefully follow each of the sections outlined in this guide, you are guaranteed to receive the lowest possible insurance rates for anyone within your calculated risk bracket. No one should ever overpay for car insurance – especially given the fact that there are so many insurers in the industry competing for your business.

Most people overpay for car insurance out of sheer laziness. However the consumer that understands how car insurance works, and is clever enough to take advantage of all of its loopholes, will save significantly on their premium in the long run.

Before you step foot into another insurance office, or visit another insurance website, make sure to print this guide and follow it carefully in order to ensure that you get the best insurance deal possible. Remember, car insurance best rates are achievable.

How to Find the Best Auto Insurance For a Classic Car – Tips For Finding Cheap Antique Car Insurance

How can one find the best auto insurance for a classic car? Is it even possible to find cheap antique car insurance? Classics cars can be well worth the sometimes pricey cost of upkeep and storage – there is no need to have to pay more for insurance coverage than necessary. Read on to learn some of the things that you should know before you purchase a classic car auto insurance policy.

Who hasn’t turned their head while driving down the road to get a better look at a classic or collectible car? We’re enamored with the lines of the car as well as its pristine condition. But the detailed attention in maintaining a classic car’s flawless appearance and operation is not only to draw admiring looks, it is also necessary in order to keep up the market value of the car. For this reason, along with others, specialized classic auto insurance policies were developed to meet the needs of classic and collectible car owners.

Another reason (a very important reason), for insuring your vehicle as a classic or collectible is the greatly reduced cost of classic car insurance relative to standard auto insurance. Standard auto insurance can cost as much as 200%-300% more than classic auto insurance. So, what is the biggest factor that causes such a great disparity in price between classic auto insurance and standard car insurance? Generally, collector vehicles are driven on a limited basis (the garage is where they are usually found). As a result, the risk of accident and loss to collector vehicles is considerably lower than the risk involved in vehicles that are regularly driven.

DOES YOUR VEHICLE QUALIFY?

The following is a list of classifications for collectible cars.

Antique cars – 25 years or older
Custom cars – 1949 to present
Classic cars – 20-24 years old
Collectible cars – 15-19 years old
Exotic cars – less than 15
Street rods – Pre-1949

This is the standard listing for those cars that are considered eligible for classic car auto insurance, but certain cars may be accepted at the discretion of the insurer. Sometimes, classic car insurers will customize an insurance policy for a particular vehicle.

WHAT ARE THE RESTRICTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH COLLECTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE?

To keep collector auto insurance rates low, certain usage limitations are placed on the insured vehicle.

Cannot be used for everyday use. This rules out using it to drive to work, run errands, or go out for that bite to eat. Under a classic car insurance policy, car usage should be limited to driving to and from car shows and the occasional parade.

Cannot be driven more than 2,500 miles per year. 2,500 is a fairly standard number among insurance companies that offer classic coverage, but there are some insurance companies that have mileage plans that allow up to 5,000 or 6,000 miles per year. This increased mileage limit was put in place to accommodate those drivers who like to take their cars to distant car shows. Of course the premiums are greater.

Must be kept in a locked garage. A locked enclosed trailer will also do, but a carport will not meet the grade even if you live in a gated community with a security guard. (The weather is also an enemy of the classic car). Some policies might stipulate that a car cannot be left unattended in a parking lot. This means leaving your car in a motel or hotel parking lot might present a problem.

WHAT CONSIDERATIONS SHOULD BE KEPT IN MIND WHEN CHOOSING CLASSIC AUTO INSURANCE?

Does the company offer Agreed Value Coverage or Stated Value Coverage?

Agreed value lets the classic car owner and the insurance agent set a value for the auto that does not necessarily reflect the market value for that car. Usually, the insurance agent will have to do a thorough inspection of the car both inside and out and will require photos of the vehicle.

What are the usage and mileage restrictions?

Find the policy that best suits your plans for using the car. Why pay for a plan that covers mileage for 5,000 when you know that you won’t even come close to using the 2,000 miles available in a cheaper policy.

Can you choose your own repair shop?

The Mom and Pop shop down the road might do a good job on your regular car and offer the lowest repair bid in town, but do you really want them working on your classic “baby”?

What company underwrites the policy and what is the rating for that company?

You want to be sure that the underwriter has a good track record and is going to be able to fulfill all of their obligations even if for some reason there is a larger than normal influx of insurance claims.

Are there any discount programs available?

A good insurance company should always inform you of any discounts that are available to you, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Does your insurance offer insurance for classic or modified cars that are under construction?

Some companies will monitor the progress that is being made on your vehicle while it is in the garage for repairs and modifications and allow you to adjust the value of the car as the project continues. Also, this type of insurance covers damages to your auto in case of a catastrophic occurrence such as a fire, or the hydraulic lift fails, or the tool cart falls on your car (with a little imagination the possibilities are endless.)

WHY CAN’T I JUST ADD MY COLLECTOR CAR TO THE FAMILY AUTO INSURANCE POLICY?

You can, but it could be a costly mistake. If repairs are needed you may be forced to accept the lowest repair bid, or if the car is badly damaged, the insurance company could opt to have it totaled. And although a discount is usually given for cars combined under one policy, that discount still may not provide the savings available if the car was insured under a classic auto insurance policy.

Finally, make sure your insurance company has a good understanding of classic cars. In the event that your car is totaled, you want to be able to work with a knowledgeable representative and receive the full value for your car.