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Getting New Car Insurance Quotes Doesn’t Have to be Tedious

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 10/31/2017

Q: I don’t like how much I am paying for car insurance, but I don’t want to spend all day getting insurance quotes either, what should I do?

A: If you have all of your information together and ready to go it really doesn’t take all that long to get a new insurance quote. Best thing to do is to print out the declarations page of your current insurance policy, take it into an independent car insurance agency and hand them your declarations page. Tell them you are unhappy with your current car insurance rates and are looking for the same coverages for a better price.

After that you have nothing else to do, you don’t even have to hang out in their office if you don’t want to. The agent will put together a bunch of quotes for all of the different companies they write for and you simply have to choose which quote you like the best when they give you the information. They can do it all while you are in the office or you can arrange to come back at a later time.

If you prefer to do the quoting yourself and don’t want to go from one website to another, find a website (like ours) that has a quote aggregator. A quote aggregator allows you to put all of your information one time and will present you with quotes from a number of different companies. Again, you just have to choose which one you want.

In the end, the little amount of time you spend getting quotes this way is very much worth the amount of money you can save on your car insurance premium.

US Car Insurance for a Temporary Canadian Citizen

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 10/31/2017

Q: Hi! I’m a US citizen and I am coming to Canada for a year through IEC working holiday visa, so I’ll be a temporary resident and I’ll be bringing my car with me. Do I need to get Canadian insurance on my car?

A: This is a great question for your car insurance agent as there are a couple of things going on here. First, I am located in the United States, so I can only speak of our insurance rules and regulations here. Second, your car insurance here in the US does normally cover you while you are traveling in Canada, so normally you would not need Canadian car insurance. However, with you being in Canada for a year as a temporary resident this changes your residency and the regular location of where the vehicle is for that long of a period of time; both items car insurance companies use to determine what state and country your car insurance should be from.

Your car insurance agent will be able to tell you if your car insurance company here in the United States would still extend coverage during your time in Canada or if you would need to purchase car insurance coverage on a Canadian policy.  The good news is, even if you do have to get Canadian car insurance, your US policy will still provide you at least temporary coverage while you are getting your Canadian car insurance coverage in place.

Self Driving Car Insurance

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Research Last Updated: 10/12/2017

Self driving car technology: Changing the auto industry in the next 20 years

The advent of self driving car technology has the potential to disrupt the auto insurance industry immeasurably in the next twenty years.

There are already several car companies rolling out some form of “autonomous vehicle” (AV) that assists the driver:

  • Audi
  • Cadillac
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Tesla
  • Volvo
  • Ford

All will offer vehicles in the near future that do some of the driving for you. Ford actually plans to roll out a fleet of driverless cars without a steering wheel or pedals in 2021.

Revolutionary effects

  • Reduction in auto accidents: According to a report by McKinsey & Co, widespread adoption of self-driving cars could eliminate 90% of auto accidents in the US.
  • Less need for collision insurance: With fewer accidents taking place, the need for collision insurance will plummet. In a February 2017 interview with CNBC, Warren Buffett theorized that “when a significant portion of the cars on the road are autonomous, it will hurt Geico’s business very significantly.”
  • Shrinking of auto insurance sector: Furthermore, according to a report by the global accounting firm KPMG, the personal auto insurance sector could shrink to 40% of its current size within 25 years as cars become safer thanks to self-driving technology.

Elon Musk’s perspective: reducing insurance premiums for self-driving cars

Elon Musk of Tesla has argued that insurance premiums should be adjusted to account for its cars being safer. The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTA) has found that crash rates for Tesla vehicles have plummeted 40% since Autopilot was first installed in 2015. Musk asserts that Tesla owners should be rewarded accordingly with lower insurance premiums.

 

Today, the market is highly focused on service, price, and other factors. Thus, consumers are seeking out car insurance reviews before choosing a policy. It’s certain that a lot will change when insurance is bundled to the car or service provider, rather than the driver (as it is today). It may actually be similar to the fleet insurance model.

Change in responsibility for accidents–blame the automaker

As more AV technology is employed in cars, the responsibility for accidents will shift from the driver to the automaker–it will increasingly be faulty technology that will cause accidents rather than driver mistakes. Already automakers are announcing that they will take full responsibility for accidents that take place in Autonomous Vehicles. Volvo set a precedent when it announced in 2015 that it will accept full liability in the event its self-driving car gets in a crash.

Exciting possibilities

Time and accident litigation will tell how adoption of AV all shakes out. The US government will also face challenges to develop laws that reflect the new reality of self driving cars on the roads. Regulatory agencies tend to err on the side of caution, so this may end up slowing the adoption of fully autonomous vehicles. But overall, Autonomous Vehicle technology opens up an exciting new future for drivers while disrupting the auto insurance industry.
Self Driving Car Insurance

Vandalism Damage and “Full Car Insurance Coverage”

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 10/31/2017

Q: I have a 2001 vehicle that I only have full coverage on and my car was vandalized but I don’t have collision and comprehensive because age of car, does full coverage still cover the damage?

A: Full coverage does not actually exist, but when that term is used it means that you have both liability coverage and physical damage coverage for your own vehicle on your car insurance policy. In the absence of collision and comprehensive coverage, you don’t have what is commonly called “full coverage”.

With that being said, what you are protected from on your car insurance policy is determined by the specific coverages you have and not an all-encompassing term. Towing coverage will pay for your vehicle to be towed, bodily injury liability coverage will cover the medical payments for those you injure in a car accident, personal injury protection covers your medical payments, etc. Just because you are told you have full coverage, it doesn’t mean that everything you can think of is covered.

In the absence of comprehensive coverage, you do not have protection under your car insurance policy that will cover the vandalism damage to your vehicle. I understand that your vehicle is older, but I would highly suggest that you sit down with your car insurance agent and go over your policy to make sure you understand what coverages you have and don’t have. Also, what car insurance coverages you need, regardless of the age of your vehicle.

Why Doesn’t my Tracking Device Decrease my Car Insurance Premium?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 10/01/2017

Q: I have a tracking device on my car, but my car insurance company won’t give me a discount on my car insurance for having it, why? Isn’t this a safety feature for if the car gets stolen?

A: Yes, it is a safety feature for WHEN the car gets stolen. The car insurance companies look at tracking devices as a safety feature that will help in the recovery of a stolen vehicle, not one that would prevent the vehicle from being stolen in the first place. This is why they don’t offer a discount for it off your car insurance premium and instead will waive your comprehensive deductible if your vehicle is ever stolen and you do have a tracking device on it.

This may sound silly because that tracking device will help get your car back to you and you won’t need the claim anyway, but if they do find your vehicle after it has been stolen and it has been stripped for parts, the offer is really not as silly as it may sound at first.

Also, tracking devices are not always dependable. I checked mine from the bus the other day and it said my car was parked 100 miles south of me up in the mountains, not at the transit center where I had parked it that morning. I went into full panic mode that my car had been stolen, only to find it safely parked right where I had left it that morning.

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Car Insurance Guidebook Unravels the Car Insurance Mystery

Unless you work in the car insurance industry, the topic is probably a mystery to you. The words deductible, comprehensive, collision, liability, premium, loss of use and bodily injury are all gibberish when they reach your ears.

Unfortunately, insurance is something that you are required to have by law if you want to drive. Because of how confusing it is many people go around in almost an insurance daze while they get car insurance quotes from the auto insurance companies that they have heard of. In reality, they are completely lost as to what they are actually buying.

Instead of looking at what each insurance company offers in the terms of protection for both themselves and their car, they are instead looking for cheap car insurance. Finding the cheapest car insurance coverage makes having to buy the required product all that much less painful, but misses the whole point of having insurance.

Learning about insurance through your insurance agent or websites like Car Insurance Guidebook will give you the upper hand when you looking for car insurance. You can take your knowledge and not only find the best price for insurance, you can use it to find really great insurance to protect you and your assets. Then you aren’t stuck settling for just average car insurance that can hurt you financially if you ever need it because there isn’t enough protection.

For example, when looking for insurance the car insurance rates are just the first of many factors that need to be taken into account when you are shopping around for car insurance. You also need to take into account the type of vehicle that you are driving. Many people don’t know this.

Are you driving around a vehicle that is a new sedan and can be protected under any blanket insurance policy? Or do you have an old car that you fixed up that needs special protection and could be better covered under classic car insurance?

Don’t just assume that when you compare car insurance that it will be a one-size-fits-all policy. This is where the insurance knowledge will come in handy; you will know what you need to protect yourself and your vehicle.

You will understand what your insurance agent is talking about when they use insurance terms and you will actually be able to make an informed decision. This is much better for you instead of the “nod and smile” approach people take in their insurance agent’s office.

Also just like your life changes your insurance needs will change. This year you may just need to learn about the best deductible to have. Next year you may need to educate yourself on car insurance for young drivers. As the years pass, motorcycle insurance may be something you will need to know.

Many wise people say that you never stop learning, so take their advice and educate yourself on the insurance that you spend a lot of money on and can’t get away with not having.