Compare Rates From Top Providers
Save Up To 46% on Car Insurance
Enter Zip Code:

What Causes Auto Insurance Increases?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Rates, Research Last Updated: 04/23/2011

Auto insurance can increase because of your own driving habits and also for reasons that are out of your control, like other drivers — and the economy.

Car Climbing the Increasing Stacks of Insurance Premium

Many factors can make your auto insurance continue to increase.

Insurance rates go up for all different kinds of reasons, some of the reasons you can control and some you cannot. Factors such as other driver’s unsafe driving, weather and the economy are all factors that you have no control over.

But, the one thing that you can control is your own driving habits, which is the one factor that is what causes auto insurance increases the fastest.

The Economy Increases Auto Insurance

While this one can’t be seen immediately it does have an effect on your insurance premiums.  An insurance company usually doesn’t just have their business dealings in auto insurance. They have investments, they are insuring businesses and homes and they themselves are usually owned by stock holders.

So when the economy takes a down turn and stocks start to fall, businesses fail and homeowners stop paying their insurance premiums insurance companies start to lose money. They have to still turn a profit so that their own stock holders don’t start selling their stock and they do this by raising rates on the clients they still have, including car insurance customers.

Statistics Increase Auto Insurance

Insurance is all about numbers and insurance companies love statistics.  Statistics show what categories of drivers are the safest, what geographic locations have the highest theft rates and what credit ratings are most likely to commit insurance fraud. A negative change in the statistics of any of the categories that you are in can make your insurance go up at your next renewal.

Other Drivers Increase Auto Insurance

Your driving record is not the only driving record that can make your insurance premiums go up. Drivers that are not even insured with your insurance company have a large impact on making insurance premiums go up, especially uninsured drivers. When an uninsured driver hits another driver that is insured with your insurance company, your insurance company has to pay out for the damages for their driver (if there is coverage).

This means that there is no other insurance company to reimburse your insurance company and getting the money that was paid out for the accident from the other person can take a long time. So to make up for the money they had to pay out, they increase everyone’s premiums.

You Make Auto Insurance Increase

The only factor that you have any real control over is your own driving habits and how safe of a driver you are. Drivers that cause accidents and are ticketed for unsafe driving are going to be charged higher insurance rates. Insurance companies want to collect as much premium as they can on these unsafe drivers before they cause the accident that they are at high risk to.

Driving safe and obeying traffic laws will keep your insurance premiums down. Also if you are a good driver and go a certain period of time without a ticket or an accident, not only will you be paying lower rates, you could also qualify for good driver discounts that could decrease your premiums even further.

Car Insurance Card for Proof of Insurance

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Definitions, Research Last Updated: 04/23/2011

Car insurance cards are the compact version of your insurance policy and should be kept in your vehicle at all times to provide proof that you have valid insurance.

Evidence of Insurance

Not all proof of auto insurance comes in the form of a card.

A car insurance card is your verification of proof that you have insurance coverage in place on your vehicle and are carrying the minimum amount of insurance required by your state.

Insurance cards come in many different shapes and sizes and are needed for a wide array of reasons. But, one thing that is the same no matter what is that just like your driver’s license, you have to have it with you whenever you drive your vehicle.

What’s On an Insurance Card?

The front on an insurance card contains all of the important information that pertains to you and your coverage. It includes the name of the company that you are insured with, your vehicle information, the name of the person that holds the policy, policy number and your policy effective dates.

The back of the card can vary from company to company, but usually contains how to contact your insurance company with questions about your policy or how to file a claim. It could also list the steps that you need to go through in the event of accident, to keep everyone safe from any additional harm and to gather the information that you need for an insurance claim.

What Insurance Card?

Not every insurance company sends out an actual insurance card. The insurance card is simply proof of insurance and can take many forms; the phrase insurance card has just become a universal term for all small sized verifications of insurance.

Some companies provide two 4”x4” pieces of paper that are separated from the rest of the paperwork in the insurance packet. Others have a single insurance verification that is the same width as the rest of the insurance packet but only 1/3 the length. No matter the size, it is important to pull the verification out of the packet and keep it with you when you drive.

Why Do I Need a Car Insurance Card?

Your car insurance card is your proof that you have at least the minimum liability insurance that is required to be able to drive in your state. This verification is needed first and foremost in the case you are pulled over for a traffic violation. The officer that pulls you over is also going to check that you are carrying the minimum insurance on your vehicle or you will be getting a second ticket.

Insurance cards provide the needed information that needs to be exchanged with the other party in the case of a case accident. They are also required when you want to drive a vehicle that is not yours, such as test driving a new vehicle from a car lot or if you are renting a car.

Where Should I Keep My Card?

A good number of people keep their insurance card in their wallet thinking that this is the best place to put it as they always will have it with them. But what happens if you have multiple drivers in the house or you allow someone else to drive your vehicle?

Insurance coverage follows the vehicle you are insuring, not the driver so it is best to actually keep your insurance car with the vehicle.

Auto Insurance Call Center Tips

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 04/18/2011

How to get what you need when you call an auto insurance call center, not be treated as a hostile client and have your issues resolved without additional agitation.

Auto Insurance call Center Agents

Agents working in auto insurance call centers are people just like you.

We all have horror stories of being treated badly by someone on the other end of the phone when we call a company’s call center. But, call center agents have the same horror stories to tell about the clients that they have talked to. Here are some tips from a former auto insurance call center agent on how to get more from your phone call and not end up as one of the horror clients that they talk about.

1) Being Nice Could Save You Money

Call center agents are attached to their phones anywhere from 8 to 12 hours a day and no matter how good at customer service they may be, all call center agents get tired and have a snapping point. If you call in and are immediately rude we do everything that we can to get you off the phone as quick as possible even if that means not offering any additional assistance that you may benefit from.

The nicer and more friendly you are with the person that you are talking to the more they will do to assist you, which could include offering you tips on how to save more on your insurance rates.

2) You Only Get One Warning

If your call takes a turn for the worse and you allow a certain category of explicatives to escape your lips, you will only be warned once to stop. Call center agents are here to help you with your insurance needs, not to be abused. If you insist on continuing to use these types of words you will be hung up and then will have to start over with the next person that you get on the phone.

In addition to being hung up on, you can almost be certain that the person you spoke to at the auto insurance call center will have put very detailed notes on your file as to the conversation that you had with them. Every person you speak to at that company from there on will read those notes and you will be treated as a hostile client every time you call in so it is best not to go down that road.

3) Keep It Short

Auto insurance call center agents are timed on everything. How long they are away from the phone if they need break, how long they take in between phone calls to finish up work and how long they take to help you. A good call center agent will help you until your problem is resolved and will not rush you through any call. But, as polite as they act they really don’t want to hear about your vacation, your kids, pets, entire insurance history and especially about any medical procedures that you have had or will have.

4) Ask for a Call Center Supervisor

If you are already upset before you even call, you need to immediately ask to speak to a supervisor. The first person that answers the phone generally cannot do anything for you and you will just get angrier if they attempt to help you and either doesn’t understand your problem or they end up defensive and argue with you.

Supervisors have usually been with the company longer and have dealt with all types of issues so they most likely can resolve your problem if it is reasonable. They are also paid more to handle upset callers and asking to speak to a supervisor also prevents you have having to tell your story more than once.

When to Drop Car Insurance

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Research Last Updated: 04/20/2011

High rates, bad service, discounts not being applied, and unfulfilled claim contracts all tell you when to drop car insurance.

A Broken Car Insurance Contract

When an insurance companies doesn't live up to their end of the contract, it is time to drop car insurance.

Sometimes it is just easier to stay with an insurance company even when you are not happy. Finding a new company takes time and most people know very little about insurance so trying to make sure that that they have the right coverage for them can be a daunting task.

But when things get bad enough with your current carrier there are just certain times you need to know when to drop car insurance.

Drop Your Insurance When the Rates Get too High

Every six months your insurance premium seems to be creeping higher and higher. While it may only look like a little bit of an increase on this renewal compared to last renewal, how high has it gone up since you first started with this insurance company?

Maybe you have had a couple of tickets also or even an at-fault accident and now your rates have really jumped. If you have had enough of the rate increases, no matter what the cause may be, you can always start shopping around for rates with other insurance companies.

When you do shop around to get new quotes with other agents or right here on our site, make sure you are getting rates for the same coverages that you have right now so that you can see if you are really saving money or not with a new carrier. Also always keep your current coverage in place, just in case you can’t find a better rate. If you do find a new policy, purchase the new less expensive one and cancel your old more expensive one as soon as possible.

Drop Your Insurance When the Service is Bad

There is no excuse for bad service with an insurance company – it doesn’t matter if you are working through an agent or directly with the insurance company. If you are doing business with a company, you expect to be treated with respect and dignity because you are making it possible that they have income. So when the service is not what you expect it to be and is consistently bad no matter how much you complain, it may be time to move to a friendlier insurance company.

Drop Your Insurance over Discounts

Good driver, multi-car, multi policy and good student discounts are just some of the car insurance discounts available out there to decrease your insurance policy. If you are not sure if you have these discounts, talk to your agent.

Now, if your insurance company does not offer any discounts or says that they offer them and fails to provide them for you, this is when to drop car insurance.  Insurance companies are in the business to make money, but if they are doing so at your expense they do not deserve your money.

Drop Your Insurance When They Fail to Deliver

You purchase car insurance for one reason and one reason only, to be covered in the event of an accident. If you have had an accident and your insurance company does not follow through on its end of your mutual binding contract, this is how you know when to drop car insurance. But, don’t drop it until you have fought your insurance company and got your claim paid (if it is a valid claim).  If you need help contact you state’s Insurance Commissioner and file a complaint.

Once the issue has been resolved, find a new insurance company and drop the old one as quick as you can.

Cameras on Traffic Lights

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Related Stuff Last Updated: 04/18/2011

How cameras on traffic lights work, what happens if one catches you, and the impact it will have on your insurance.

Sign Advising of Camera on Traffic Light

Sign giving fair warning to would be red-light runners that they are being watched.

No matter how much of a hurry you are in or how impatient you are, running a red light is dangerous. Per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, red light runners cause 22 percent of all traffic accidents in the country.

Because of this and the increase in the amount of red-light violations that are ticketed by police officers, cities have started putting cameras on traffic lights to catch and hopefully deter red light runners from continuing this behavior.

How Cameras on Traffic Lights Work

Cameras on traffic lights are mounted high above the intersection so that they have a clean view of the vehicles going through the intersection. You can usually spot them mounted on a street light or even on the traffic light itself and are usually placed in intersections that are the busiest or have the highest percentage of red-light runners.

There are four per intersection and each single camera is set up to view one of the four directions that come through the intersection. When a person runs a red light a sensor is triggered and the camera takes a picture of your license plate.

What Happens if You get Caught on Camera?

If you run a red light and the camera gets your license plate, the police can gather all of the information that they need from these cameras to issue you a red-light violation ticket. After they have processed all the evidence, you will receive a ticket and even a picture of you committing the violation in the mail a month or two after you ran the red light.

What Happens to Your Insurance if a Traffic Camera Catches You?

Getting caught by a camera on a traffic light has the same negative effect as any other ticket on your insurance. The points added against your driving record are no more and no less than if you were to have been caught running a red light by a police officer. Because there is no difference, the amount that you insurance premium may increase will be just the same.

Why are Cameras on Traffic Lights Needed?

Cameras prevent cities from having to post a police office at an intersection at all times to catch red light runners to keep other drivers safe. This makes it so that the officers can be used in other needed areas that require a police presence rather than a camera.

Other Devices on Traffic Lights

Not all devices above traffic lights are camera’s that are taking pictures of red light runners. Some devices are simply sensors that gather data of traffic flow through a certain intersection and others are sensors that tell the traffic light to change when there is someone waiting for a green light. But, if you just make it a habit not to run red lights, you won’t have to be concerned as to which one is a camera and which one is not.

For more information on red light cameras visit the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.

Save Up To 46% on Car Insurance
Enter Zip Code:

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.