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When to Stop Paying Collision

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

Collision insurance is there to protect you from having to pay for damages that may happen to your vehicle, but it is not required to be able to drive and may not be needed in some cases.

A damaged vehicle needing collision insurance

If you stop paying your collision coverage, at-fault damage like this will not be covered.

Unlike liability coverage, collision insurance is not required to be in place for you to be able to drive. There are situations that you have to carry collision insurance on your vehicle, but this is not something that is required by your state government.

For those situations that you do not have to have it on your vehicle and you are looking to save some money in your budget this may be when to stop paying collision insurance on your car.

Stop Paying Collision Insurnace if You Can’t Afford It

Some people live on a very tight budget and have to cut corners where ever they can. If you need to cut some expenses, dropping your collision insurance from your insurance policy will save you money and you will still be able to drive your vehicle. However, you have to weigh the good with the bad in this situation.

Dropping collision insurance will do you good in saving you money, but you may be in a bad place financially if you cannot afford to fix any damages to your car from out of your own pocket. Because you dropped your collision insurance, your insurance company is no longer going to be stepping in to pay for the cost of damages above and beyond your deductible.

Stop Paying Collision Insurance With No Lienholder

The one situation in which you will be required to carry collision insurance on your vehicle is if you have a lienholder on it. A lienholder is the business that gave you the money to buy your vehicle and who you are now making monthly car payments to. They require that you carry collision insurance on your vehicle because until you pay off your car loan, the vehicle actually belongs to them and they want to make sure that it is protected from damages.

Once you have paid off your car loan and your lienholder sends you the title of the car, you are no longer required to carry collision insurance on this vehicle. If you wish to remove this coverage to save money on your premium you are now free to do so.

Stop Paying Collision Insurance when Your Vehicle is Old

If your vehicle is in pretty bad shape or it is just old, it may not be worth your money to even worry about putting collision insurance on it. If you were to get into an accident and the vehicle is a total loss, the insurance company is only going to pay up to a certain percentage of the vehicles worth.

If you have paid out more in insurance premium for the collision insurance than what the insurance company is going to pay out, you are better off just putting that money in a bank account and paying for any damages yourself. At least with having the money that you would have paid for collision insurance with in a bank account you can earn some interest off of the money.

Should You Trust Car Insurance Reviews?

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

An unbiased car insurance review is a great way to get information on other people’s experience with an insurance company so that you can avoid bad companies and find a good company to go with.

Giving a thumbs up or down to insurance companies through reviews

A good car insurance review will give you more information than any company advertisement.

In the world of business, word of mouth advertising can be just as important as any other form of advertising. Word of mouth advertising is when a client of a business tells people about their experience with that business.

Car insurance reviews are a form of word of mouth advertising for car insurance companies as they are not paid for by the insurance company and are written by people that have had experience with the company.

While this is a great way to see a company in a more realistic light than from the advertising they put out about themselves, car insurance reviews are not without their downfalls and should you trust car insurance reviews?

Car Insurance Reviews Should Be Unbiased

The most important thing that you need to look for is that a review is unbiased. If the review has nothing but good things to say about a company and no suggestions that they could improve on anything or any negative experiences, you may want to question the source of the review.

A good review has a “person looking into a box” type of feeling about it. The person writing the review should be able to see the company as a whole and how each part works together for the insured.

Watch Out for Very Negative Car Insurance Reviews

On the other side of a biased review are those that are extremely negative. If the review has nothing good to say about an insurance company this is not a review to form an opinion of the insurance company from.  A review that is very negative could very well have been written by a person that has had a very unpleasant experience with this company or it could be a former, disgruntled employee.

Either way you are not getting a good idea of how the company works.

Who is Sponsoring the Car Insurance Review?

Take a look around the site that is hosting the insurance company review that you are reading. Is there a company that is listed as sponsoring these reviews and is it the same company that you just read a review about? If that same company is sponsoring the review you can almost be sure that this site is going to present that company in the best light possible.

Now keep in mind that this is only if you see that the company is directly sponsoring the review or the site as a whole. This is not the case if an advertisement for the company is visible on the same page through Google or on a banner on the top of the site’s page. The person that runs the site sometimes has no control over what shows up as advertisements on their page if they have agreed to sell part of the space on their site for rotating advertising to a third party.

Read Multiple Car Insurance Reviews

Never, ever base your whole opinion of an insurance company on a single review. While the review that you read may have a great unbiased view of the company and may have covered all of the information that you need, it is still just one person’s view of the company. To make a solid decision about an insurance company, seek out multiple reviews and notice if there is any pattern in each of the reviews. For example, is the company listed as having rude claims adjusters in all of the reviews or maybe they have a quick pay out time on their claims.

If you are able to see the same information in multiple reviews, this is the information that is best to base your opinion on. For more reviews on car insurance companies, checkout these reviews:

Auto Insurance Customer Reviews

Insurance Commissioner: Helping Insurance Work In Your State

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

The Insurance Commissioner – or Director – for your state handles every insurance complaint, insurance license application and rate request that sets your insurance premiums.

The Insurance Commissioner is found in the state capital

Your state Insurance Commissioner is located in your state capital.

When we hear the word commissioner, the first two associations that come to mind for most is a police commissioner and Commissioner Gordon from the series Batman®. The majority of us have no clue that there is another commissioner that affects our lives almost daily and that is our state’s Insurance Commissioner.

The decisions that are made by your Insurance Commissioner’s office have an effect on every insurance policy that you have purchased to protect your belongings and your life.

Who Is the Insurance Commissioner?

The Insurance Commissioner, also known in some states as the Insurance Director, is the head of all things insurance in your state. The actual commissioner is just the head of the department and oversees the operations, they are not the person that you would see directly if you had to get an insurance license or file a complaint.

The Insurance Commissioner’s office works the same as any other government department, you have the head of the department as a whole (Insurance Commissioner or Director), then you have someone that is in charge of each smaller department (life insurance, personal insurance, ect) and then you have all the employees below them that do most of the work.

So when you are advised to file a complaint or ask a question about an insurance agent in your area with your Insurance Commissioner, you will actually be contacting the Insurance Commissioner’s office and an employee that works in that office will be helping you.

Where is the Insurance Commissioner located?

Insurance Commissioners are located in every state and are usually located in your state’s capital.  If you wish to find out information about your insurance company or to file a complaint you would contact the Insurance Commissioner that is in your state, you do not have to find out what state the insurance company is based out of. This is because your insurance company had to be licensed to do business in your state and is subject to your state’s insurance rules and regulations, which are most likely different from the state that the insurance company is based out of.

To find out who to contact in your state the National Association of Insurance Commissioners has a map on their site that will not only tell you who your Insurance Commissioner is, but also has a link that will take you straight to your state’s insurance website.

What does the Insurance Commissioner Do?

The office of the Insurance Commissioner (or Insurance Director) handles everything that you can possibly imagine that is connected to insurance. This means complaints about insurance companies that write in their states, complaints about rates, they approve or deny an insurance companies request to raise or set insurance rates in their state, they license companies and agents, offer continuing education and they enforce and create the insurance rules and regulations for the state.  They can also answer questions that you may have about the reliability of specific agents or insurance companies that write in your state.

The Insurance Commissioner is not just in charge of auto insurance either, they are the authority for all fields of insurance; auto, home, commercial and health just to name a few.

®Batman is the property of DC Comics.

Is Car Insurance Refundable?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 06/11/2013

You can get a refund on your car insurance if your only vehicle is a total loss, you cancel your policy and have paid ahead on your premium or if you have overlapping coverage.

Cash Being Refunded for Insurance

As unlikely as it may sound, there are instances when insurance companies refund back your money.

Is car insurance refundable?

Because car insurance is not something that you can feel or touch a lot of people ask this question, especially when they never use their insurance.

Unfortunately, there are only certain circumstances where you can actually expect a refund from the insurance company and most involve cancelling your policy.

Refund for Car Insurance Paid in Advance

When you purchase auto insurance it is for 6 months of insurance. You have the option of paying for the coverage term in full, in two payments or monthly. No matter what you chose though you are paying for your coverage in advance.

For the two payment plan you are paying for the first three months when you buy the policy and then the last three months when you are two months into the term. The monthly payment plan is paid from month to month, but you put two months down when you buy the policy and then you are always paying a month ahead for your coverage.

By doing this the insurance companies make sure that they get the premium for the coverage period in advance in case there is a claim. This also means that if you cancel your insurance policy during your coverage term, the insurance company owes you a refund for the future coverage that you paid for.

Refund for Changing Insurance

If you place your insurance coverage with a different company and forget to tell you old insurance carrier, you are entitled to a refund. Because you already have coverage in place in with a new company, your old carrier cannot use the excuse that they cannot cancel your policy to a past date and give you a refund because they would have provided coverage for that time period in the case of an accident. In this situation be prepared to show proof of your policy start date with your new carrier to get your refund.

Refund for a Car that Is a Total Loss

If you only have one vehicle on your policy and it becomes a total loss due to an accident you could be owed a refund for your coverage. As your vehicle no longer needs insurance coverage because it is not drivable your insurance company could owe you a refund of the premium you paid in advance. The refund should be effective back to the day after the accident. This of course depends on the circumstances you are in and you should consult your agent to see if you are owed a refund.

When Car Insurance Is Not Refundable

Car insurance is not refundable if you do not use it. You are paying an insurance company to make a contract with you that they will cover the damages to your vehicle and also the damages you cause to another person. At the same time if you do have an accident, the insurance company could end up paying out a lot more in damages than you have paid in premium.

It is also not refundable if you have a claim and you have paid more premium than the insurance company ends up paying out for your claim.

Motorhome Insurance for Those Who Roam

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Definitions, Research Last Updated: 04/26/2011

Motorhomes are a unique mix-up of an auto and a home and you have the option of protecting your motorhome with your home and auto insurance or a specialty policy just for recreational vehicles.

Motorhome by a Mountain Lake

Having motorhome insurance protects you and the serenity of your vacation.

Motorhomes are a great way to get out and see the country. You take all of your belongings with you and you get to still sleep in your own bed every night even though you are on the road.

Motorhomes do offer a challenge to insure though as you can insure them on your auto policy and let the little bit of homeowners “off-premise” coverage protect what is inside or you could purchase motorhome insurance in the form of a RV insurance policy.

Insuring the Motorhome on Auto Insurance

There are circumstances that you can simply put your motorhome on an auto insurance policy. It is quick and easy if you already have an active auto policy and it will provide you instant coverage. The only problem is that it also only offers the same coverage as an auto policy and a motorhome is a little more complex than that.

With a motorhome you keep valuables inside and they are not covered by your auto insurance policy unless they are attached to the motorhome itself. Your homeowner’s policy could step in and cover the items inside the motorhome in the event that they are destroyed or damaged, but it is only done so at 10% of what personal belongings coverage you have on your homeowner’s policy as the items are considered to be “off-premise”.

You also have liability issues with motorhomes that are outside the coverage of the basic auto insurance policy.

Specialty RV Insurance for your Motorhome

The best avenue to take in insuring your motorhome is to purchase a specialty policy for it, also known as RV insurance. RV insurance offers coverage beyond the auto policy and also the homeowner’s policy for the motorhome and what is kept inside of it. At the same time it also offers additional insurance for issues that may arise in the use of the motorhome such as:

  • Liability coverage for injuries and damages to visiting parties at campsites
  • Replacement of the items kept in the RV
  • Higher limits for towing coverage
  • Living expenses if you are living in your RV and it is a total loss due to damages
  • Gap coverage
  • Reimbursement for hotel stays and transportation if your RV is incapacitated

These are just some of the additional coverages that may be available on a RV policy for your motorhome. The actual coverages depend on the insurance company that you purchase the policy from.

Protecting What’s Inside your Motorhome

The valuables that you keep inside your motorhome should be treated just the same as the valuables that you keep inside your home. You need to keep high priced items tucked away out of the sight of would be thieves and you have to take extra care in making sure that breakable items don’t shift around and break while you are in transit.

Another good practice is to inventory everything that you keep inside your motorhome. You can use a video camera to record everything or you can simply write it all down. Don’t forget to include the make, model and serial number of the items and if you are adding higher priced items, keep all the receipts. You are completing this inventory in the case that your motorhome is destroyed or stolen so that you have a record of everything to provide to your insurance company for compensation.

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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.