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Girl Drivers, Insurance and Risky Behavior

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 05/27/2011

Female drivers aged 16-19 lack the driving experience and sometimes maturity that is needed to be a good driver, leading these girl drivers to be a high insurance risk.

Girl Driving Toy Car

Girl drivers are not quite women yet and are a high insurance risk due to lack of experience driving.

Not quite women yet, but with a new driver’s license they are no longer children either. These girl drivers are still learning how to handle both life and driving at the same time.

Because still they are still learning, they make bad decisions and mistakes in driving situations that they are not familiar with and both lead to car accidents. Because of the higher chance of having an accident, these girl drivers face higher insurance premiums.

Ages 16-19

From the time that they get their license at age 16 until they turn 20 these girls are still learning how to handle dangerous driving situations that may happen quickly and that they are not experienced enough to react correctly to in order to avoid an accident. They are also still learning how to be responsible and can make bad decisions in judgment behind the wheel, which is why this age group pays the highest insurance rates of all females and is second only to the boy drivers of the same age group.

Insurance Rates for Girl Drivers

Insurance rates have always been cheaper for girls than they have been for boys of the same age group. The general rule of thinking has continued to be that girls are less of an insurance risk than boys are because they are seen as less aggressive and less likely to take chances while driving a vehicle.

These chances could be anything from passing another vehicle when it is clearly not safe to do so because they want to drive faster or doing things behind the wheel to impress others that they would not normally do when driving alone.

However, while boys continue to have the higher insurance rates, the girls are closing in. In recent years, insurance companies have seen more accidents and aggressive driving behavior in girls and have started to raise their rates accordingly. While they are still cheaper to insure than a boy, they may not be for much longer.

What Is Going On With Our Girl Drivers?

Is the increase in auto insurance claims and risky behavior behind the wheel something that we need to be worried about with these girls? Yes and No.

Yes, we need to be concerned because bad teen driving, no matter what the gender, has an effect on us all. It may be just minor damage to our property from a teen showing off that they can drive with no hands or it could be a loss of life because a teen driver didn’t want to follow behind a slower moving vehicle and passed them while in a no passing zone.

No, we shouldn’t be concerned because the increase of claims has a lot to do with more girls getting their drivers licenses than they have in the past and also the increased amount of time and miles that girls spend behind the wheel as compared to earlier generations. The more time behind the wheel means more chances for an accident and increases the statistics. It does not mean that our girl drivers are necessarily becoming worse drivers.

C.L.U.E. Reports: Keeping Track of Your Claim Record

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Definitions Last Updated: 11/17/2015

C.L.U.E. reports keep your insurance company in the know about your past claims history so that they can charge you the appropriate premium for your coverage.

C.L.U.E. Reports are a Claims Summary

C.L.U.E. Reports provide the insurance company with a record of your past insurance claims.

When you call to get a quote for new car insurance you may be taken aback when the person giving you your quote goes over your loss history with you.

Wait a minute! You didn’t include that information when you answered their questions. But, there it is right in front of them; every claim that you have had in the last 7 years. Just exactly how did they get that information if you didn’t give it to them?

You can thank your C.L.U.E. report (or CLUE report) for enlightening this insurance company of your past claims history.

What Is a C.L.U.E. Report?

A C.L.U.E. report is a database the insurance companies use to communicate your loss history with each other. C.L.U.E. stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange and is administered by a company called ChoicePoint. A C.L.U.E. report will show every past car accident where a claim was filed with your insurance company and every claim that you have had on your homeowner’s policies as well.

An insurance company has to subscribe to be able to obtain or submit information to this database.

So, if your current insurance company is not a subscriber they cannot submit your claim information to C.L.U.E. and your new company will not see your claim in there. Also if the insurance company that you are getting a quote with is not a subscriber they will not be able to pull any of your past claim information from the C.L.U.E. database.

Think that you will be able to find a cheaper rate by finding a company that doesn’t subscribe to C.L.U.E. so that they will not know about your past claims history? Don’t bother. Most insurance companies today subscribe to this database and even for the few that don’t, they have their own methods to be able to find your information.

Who Uses C.L.U.E. Reports?

The main users of the C.L.U.E. database are insurance companies so that they can accurately base your rates according to your claims history. You can also request your own C.L.U.E. report on yourself for car accidents or for the property that you own.

To request your own C.L.U.E. report call 1-866-312-8076.

What if There Is a Wrong Entry On my C.L.U.E. Report?

If your insurance company is telling you that there is an entry on your C.L.U.E. report that you disagree with or you have requested your own report and there is something there that you don’t feel is correct, just like with a credit report, you have the right to dispute the entry. To file a dispute or even to have a note added to your C.L.U.E. report about a past claim, you can contact ChoicePoint.

ChoicePoint will make a note on your report for you or will contact the insurance company for more information if you are disputing the information that they reported to the C.L.U.E. database.

IIA and CPCU: Education for the Insurance Professional

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Definitions Last Updated: 05/27/2011

Education within the insurance field to enhance the ethical & technical knowledge of its professionals is just as important as in any other field of business.

Graduating from a IIA or CPCU Course

Insurance professionals enhance their knowledge of insurance by earning IIA certifications or a CPCU designation.

Just like with any other professional field, insurance has its own profession specific education and designations. Unlike in other fields though, this education is not a requirement (like a law degree) to get a job in the insurance field. But, having this education under your belt does present you as a better candidate for open insurance positions and also promotions.

What Is the IIA and CPCU?

The Insurance Institute of America (IIA) and the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation program, provide training and education for those that are in the insurance field. Their training is specific to just property and casualty insurance (homeowners, auto and businesses).

They offer classes in claims adjusting, underwriting, reinsurance, premium auditing and also risk management.

Where did the IIA and CPCU Start?

The Insurance Institute of America was the first of the two that was started and was founded in 1909. It is still the oldest national organization that has provided education in the fields of property and liability insurance on a continuous basis.

The American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter started the CPCU designation program and was founded in 1942. It was a combination of all the parts of the property and casualty insurance industry coming together to promote ethical behavior and competence in the technical aspects of insurance.

Both the Insurance Institute of America and the American Institute for CPCU merged in 1953 to provide education to insurance professionals as one entity.

Is There any Significance to these Acronyms?

For an insurance professional to earn a CPCU designation and be a member of the CPCU Society, it takes hard work and a long series of courses and testing. Once they have earned this designation they can put the acronym CPCU after their name in all of their business correspondence. Because it is an insurance specific designation and not something that is general knowledge, only those in the insurance field really understand and respect being able to put CPCU after you name.

But, this designation is the same as being able to put CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or RN (Registered Nurse) after your name in other fields. In insurance the CPCU designation means that this person has meet the experience requirement, passed their insurance knowledge courses and tests and also met their ethics requirements.

Do the Institutes Do Anything Else?

The institutes also include the Insurance Research Council which collects and analyzes insurance data to provide information through research reports. They also offer executive education programs through The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

In addition, there is also the Institute for Global Insurance Education (IGIE) that the institutes are a part of with the insurance institutes of nine additional nations to “provide a forum for members to discuss educational issues with global implications.”

For more information about the IIA and the CPCU visit their website at:

Continuous Car Insurance – Why It’s Important!

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Research Last Updated: 10/21/2011

Having continuous car insurance on your vehicle will save you more money than you would if you were to cancel your current policy to save on the premium.

A Swinging Pendulum and Continuous Car Insurance Are both Best When They Don't Stop

Continuous car insurance works best for you financially if you never stop it.

Even when times are tough financially, dropping your car insurance is one of the worst things that you could possibly do to save yourself money. Car insurance, at least liability insurance, is required to be in place if you are going to drive your vehicle.

If you are caught without having insurance on your vehicle, not only will you be paying for a ticket, you will now be paying more for your insurance than you did before cancelling your policy. In the end you will not have saved yourself much money at all by cancelling your insurance and not keeping continuous car insurance.

High Risk Insurance for Those Without Continuous Car Insurance

If you are caught by a police officer or you have an accident and you have no continuous car insurance in place, you are both legally and financially in trouble. Setting aside the fact that you will have to pay the ticket for not having insurance coverage, any money that you thought that you would save by cancelling your policy won’t even be close to what you will now have to pay out of your own pocket.

First, if you get into an accident with no insurance and it is your fault, you are personally responsible for paying for the damages and medical bills for the other party. This can either happen with you being taken to small claims court by the other party or through subrogation through the other party’s insurance company. Subrogation is when the insurance company goes after the responsible party of a car accident to get back the money that they paid out for their insured’s damages and even their insured’s deductible.

On top of all that, you will then most likely have to carry SR-22 insurance which adds a surcharge on your now new insurance policy that you went out and got after the incident. Thought we were done there? Not even close. You will also be placed in high risk insurance which is significantly more expensive than in the standard market that you cancelled your continuous car insurance from in the first place.

The State of California Requires Continuous Car Insurance

If you live in the state of California, the state tracks your insurance coverage through a database that all insurance companies that sell in that state have to report to. If you fail to keep continuous insurance on your vehicle you are required to stop driving the vehicle and report that it is no being driven. If you do not keep continuous car insurance or at least replace your continuous car insurance with a new insurance policy within 45 days, the state will suspend your vehicle registration and you will face financial penalties.

If you don’t live in California, your state is not far behind – if not already there.

Lose Longevity Discount

One of the discounts that people can take advantage of to lower their insurance premium is a longevity discount. This discount is basically a reward to you for keeping continuous insurance with the same company. If you cancel your continuous car insurance you will lose this discount even if you return to the same company at a later time.

Insurance: What Exactly Does It Mean?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Definitions Last Updated: 05/16/2011

Defining insurance, understanding the concept of indemnity and covered perils and how it relates to auto insurance.

Insurance Files

Insurance puts you back to where you were before a covered peril.

We all know what people mean when they are talking about insurance, but how many people can quote a solid definition?

The Webster’s dictionary description of insurance is: “Coverage by contract whereby one party undertakes to indemnify or guarantee another against loss by a specified contingency or peril”.  Do you understand now? If not, don’t worry we will explain further.

Indemnify After A Loss

As the definition says above, insurance is a contract to indemnify. The word indemnify is not a word that is used in everyday language, but it’s an important word here. Indemnify means to return someone to the condition that they were in prior to an incident happening.

As an example, if your auto insurance company were to indemnify you after you had an accident where you vehicle was a total loss, they would pay you for the worth of the vehicle prior to the accident. A lot of people get upset that their insurance company doesn’t pay them enough for their vehicle and believe they are actually in a worse place as they now have to go and get a new vehicle.

But remember this, your contract with your insurance company is to put you back into the very same place that you were prior to the accident, which means that they give you what the car is worth so that you can buy a replacement car that is similar.  If they were to pay you more so that you can get a better or a newer car, you are no longer being put back to where you were you as you are actually being put in a better position than you were in prior to the accident and this is not indemnification.

Specific Contingency or Peril

A specific contingency or peril is simply what you are purchasing the insurance policy to protect you against. If you purchase a commercial auto policy, you are purchasing protection for your vehicles that are used for your business. If you purchase health insurance, you are purchasing protection from high medical bills that you may have due to health issues. The policy that you purchase is specific to what you need protection for.

At the same time because this is specific, you cannot use one insurance policy to cover every single thing that you need protection for. A health insurance policy cannot protect your home from a fire and your commercial auto policy cannot protect your personal motorcycle in the case of an accident.

The insurance policy that you purchase also has specific perils that it does and does not cover. A peril is something bad that can happen and cause damage to the item that you are insuring. If you are concerned about a specific peril, you need to consult your insurance agent to make sure that you have coverage. If your basic policy does not provide the coverage that you need, they may be able to suggest additional coverage that you can add or a different insurance company that offers the coverage.

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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.