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What Makes Auto Insurance Go Up

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Research Last Updated: 03/07/2011

The drivers and vehicles listed on your policy, new driving statistics, and other things will affect your auto insurance rates.

What Makes Auto Insurance Go Up and More Money out of your Pocket

Certain changes to your auto insurance will mean more money paid by you

People already don’t like paying their insurance premium so when something happens to make that premium increase it makes it all that much worse.  There are many different things that you can do to try and keep your premiums down as low as possible, but let’s take a look at some of the things of what makes auto insurance go up in the first place.

Drivers Make Your Auto Insurance Go Up

The drivers on your policy and their driving records play a big part in the premiums that you pay for your insurance.  Any negative changes such as an at-fault accident or traffic violations added to these records can make your auto insurance go up.   Once a driver reaches a certain age (sometimes even over 50), they are considered an increased driving risk and will cause an increase in insurance premiums.

Drivers being added to your policy can also increase your premium.  Added drivers mean addition time that your vehicles will be on the road exposed to a potential accident, it also means that you will most likely be adding a new car for that new driver, which also will increase your premiums.

But, the steepest increase that you will see in your insurance premium is when you add a new teen driver.  These drivers are inexperienced and are still learning how to be a responsible adult behind the wheel.  They are also the driving group that has the highest number of accidents per year and insurance companies charge high premiums for them to try and collect as much money as possible to cover the accident that they will most likely have.

Vehicles Make Your Auto Insurance Go Up

Adding a new vehicle to your policy will increase your premiums if one of two factors exists.  One, you are adding a vehicle to your life instead of replacing an old one.  Even with a multi-car discount the premium will still increase due to the additional risk that has been added to your insurance policy.

Two, the new vehicle that you now have is newer and/or more expensive than the one you are trading in for it.  New and more expensive vehicles generally cost more to fix and the insurance company wants to make sure that the premium that they collect is appropriate compared to the cost of repair in the case of an accident.

Statistics Make Your Auto Insurance Go Up

Insurance companies are all about the statistics.  Which driving group is statistically more likely to have an accident?  What vehicle statistically causes more damage when in an accident?  So when new statistics come out that a driving group or a vehicle was a higher risk than first thought, insurance companies adjust rates.  What this means to you is that if you are one of those drivers or own one of those vehicles, you will see an increase in your premium at your next renewal.

Provisional Car Insurance for Drivers with Provisional Licenses

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Definitions, Research Last Updated: 03/23/2011

What license requires provisional car insurance, what it really is and how can you keep the rates lower for this type of coverage.

Application for a Driver's License

Applying for a provisional driver's license means you are ready to drive alone.

Provisional car insurance is a bit tricky.

Provisional insurance is not an actual insurance policy for a vehicle, it is extra coverage for a new driver that holds what could be considered a “learners license”.

The License that Requires Provisional Car Insurance

Provisional car insurance is for drivers that hold a provisional license.  A provisional license can be held by either a new teen driver or a driver that has had their unrestricted license revoked due to bad driving activity.  Because most provisional licenses are held by new teen drivers, that is the provisional license group we will concentrate on right now.

In the past it used to be that a new driver went straight from a learner’s permit to a driver’s license once they had reached a certain age or successfully completed driver’s education.  Today, a number of states require a new driver to earn a provisional driver’s license.

A provisional license adds a restricted step in between a permit and the freedom of a driver’s license.  It requires that the new driver gain additional experience behind the wheel without having to have a licensed driver in the vehicle like a permit, but with added rules that are not required with a regular driver’s license.  These can include rules such as: a driving curfew, driving during daylight only, or restrictions on who will be allowed to be in the car with the provisional licensed driver.

What Provisional Car Insurance Really Is

As we already discussed, provisional car insurance is not a policy in itself, it is just the insurance coverage that is available for a new driver with a provisional license.  It is needed because the driver with the provisional insurance is an increased risk for your policy and the insurance company wants to make sure that they are collecting the extra premium needed to cover the increased chance that one of your vehicles will now be in a car accident due to this driver.

Not all insurance companies have specific provisional insurance available to add, to find out how your insurance company will handle a new driver with a provisional license in your household contact your insurance agent.

Keeping the Rates Lower for Provisional Car Insurance

Adding a new driver to your insurance policy is expensive whether it is for provisional coverage or as a regular driver.  As new drivers are usually teens here are some tips on how to keep the rates down on your new driver.

  • Make sure that your new driver keeps their grades up to earn a good grade discount.
  • Enroll your new driver in an accredited driving course.
  • Notify your insurance company that your new driver has a provisional license and not a full privilege license.
  • If your insurance company insists on placing the provisional driver as a rated driver on one of your vehicles, have your new driver driving your oldest and least expensive vehicle – if the company will allow it.
  • Check to see if you can cover your new driver with non-owner coverage.  This coverage is for drivers that do not have their own vehicle and rarely drive your vehicle.

Learner Driver Insurance and the New Driver

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Research Last Updated: 03/23/2011

Learner driver insurance for the permit drivers, the provisional drivers and newly-licensed drivers.

A Student Driver Vehicle

Every driver has to start at the beginning.

Very few people are automatically good at something when they first start learning how to do it; this is no different when you learn how to drive.

Learning to drive a machine that is capable of doing serious damage or even killing someone takes a good deal of time in class and being behind the wheel before you get the hang of it.

In addition to learning how to control the vehicle, you also have more laws than you can count to try and remember (not to mention laws from different states if you live near a state line).  This is why there are different levels of learning for the new driver and each new level brings a different learner driver insurance to work with.

Learner Driver Insurance For Permit Drivers

Does a permit driver have to have learner driver insurance?  This question is asked by parents around the country every year.  To tell you the truth, there is no one correct blanket answer to this question.

Whether a permit driver has to be added to an insurance policy depends on the insurance laws and regulations in your state and also your insurance company.  Some insurance companies do not require that your permit driver be added to your insurance policy until they are actually licensed, other companies want them added to increase your premium to cover the higher chance of an accident happening to your vehicle now.

Like most questionable situations in insurance, consult your agent for your answer.

Learner Driver Insurance for Provisional License Drivers

Provisional drivers are not found in every state, but they do make up enough of a population to take note.  They are new drivers that have graduated from the learner’s permit, but have not quite earned the freedom and responsibility of having a regular driver’s license.  The difference between a provisional license and a regular license is that there are restrictions on the provisional license like; driving curfews and who is allowed to be in the vehicle with you while you are driving.

Provisional drivers, as a general rule, are expected to be added to your insurance policy once they have their provisional license.  Contact your insurance company or agent as to what needs to be done in your situation.

Learner Driver Insurance for Newly-Licensed Drivers

Learner driver insurance for a new driver that has earned their regular driving license doesn’t really fall into the category that most people think of as a learner driver.  But, these drivers are still learning even though they do have their license.

These new drivers are also the most expensive to insure because of their lack of experience behind the wheel. Sometimes they lack a sense of responsibility and the fact that they are still learning how to control the vehicle in different situations.    Even though you may not want to, you have to add these drivers to your insurance policy once they have their license – despite what your checking account is telling you.

RV Insurance

Written by W. Lane Startin. Posted in Research Last Updated: 02/27/2011

Understanding the need for RV insurance, how different RVs are insured differently, and introducing extras often associated with RV insurance.

Insuring this Class A is not that much different than a car.

There’s nothing like a road trip in a fully equipped recreational vehicle. Of course, as with any other vehicle you need to be insured before you hit the road. There are several ways to go about getting that insurance depending on what kind of RV you have, as well as several options to consider.

How an recreational vehicle is insured largely depends on what kind of RV it is. A self-propelled RV such as a Class A mobile home would be insured in much the same way as an automobile. A small, non-wheeled RV such as a camper shell would be insured on an inland marine policy. Finally, an RV trailer would be insured much the same as, you guessed it, a trailer.

Insuring a Self-Propelled RV

Self-propelled RVs range from large Class A mobile homes, which can easily cost six figures, to Class B mobile homes, which are little more than customized vans. There are also Class C mobile homes which fall somewhere in between. Since they are full vehicles in their own right, they are insured in much the same way as any other car or truck. You need ample liability coverage as well as any full coverage required by your bank if you’re still making payments. Of course, you can still choose full coverage if the RV is paid off.

It’s important to be properly licensed to drive these vehicles, especially Class A mobile homes which can be big enough to require a CDL to operate legally.

Insuring RV Trailers

Towable RVs range from large fifth-wheelers and sport utility RVs to modest tent trailers. As trailers, they are insured as trailers. Trailers do not have liability coverage (that is afforded by the towing vehicle), so only full coverage is available on these vehicles. As with a self-propelled RV, make sure you take enough full coverage to fulfill any lienholder requirements.

RV trailers are often insured on an actual cash value basis rather than a stated value basis associated with commercial trailers. Consult with your insurance agent for more information specific to your situation.

Insuring Camper Shells and Truck Campers

It might be something of a misnomer to call these accessories “recreational vehicles” since they have neither motors nor wheels, but they are RVs all the same. These RVs are generally covered on an inland marine policy, however some companies may treat them separately.

Getting the RV Insurance Extras

Because of its special status as both a means of transportation and a living quarters, RV insurance can blur the lines between traditional auto insurance and provide coverages normally found in homeowners insurance coverage. For example, many RV insurance policies provide liability protection at a campsite while the RV is parked, similar to the liability coverage seen in homeowners insurance.

Personal property coverage that extends beyond the standard “factory installed and bolted down” philosophy seen in other forms of auto insurance may also be available, analogous to the personal property coverage in homeowners insurance policies. Consult with your agent to see if these coverages are available and included in your RV insurance package.

Scooter Insurance: What You Need to Know

Written by W. Lane Startin. Posted in Research Last Updated: 02/25/2011

What a scooter is, why scooter insurance is effectively the same as motorcycle insurance, what’s important in scooter insurance liability sections, and how to select full coverage on your scooter.

Why does it look like a motorcycle? Because it is.

What a scooter lacks in power, it more than makes up for in efficiency. With gas prices on the rise once again, a scooter is a great way to cut down on energy costs while still providing a convenient means of transportation, particularly if you live in an urban area.

However, how does one insure a scooter? Are there special, hidden rules governing how they’re insured? The answer is no. Scooter insurance works much the same way as a motorcycle insurance, mainly because as far as the insurance company is concerned, it is a motorcycle.

What is a Scooter?

Evolved from early motorcycles – which themselves were effectively bicycles with motors – scooters have been around in the United States for nearly a century. They first enjoyed widespread popularity after World War II after servicemen returning from the fronts were introduced to them. To this day, scooter manufacturers tend to be Italian or Japanese firms.

Strictly speaking a modern scooter is little more than a small motorcycle. While there is no hard and fast rule governing where a scooter ends and a motorcycle begins, a commonly accepted cutoff point is an engine size of 400 cc, however so called “maxi-scooters” can have engine sizes of of up to 800 cc.

How to Insure a Scooter

Since insurance companies consider a scooter a motorcycle, you insure it in the exact same way as a motorcycle. The same state liability limits apply to scooters as they do to motorcycles and automobiles, but you do want to consider these limits in a slightly different manner. Because scooters are small and top out at slower speeds, they are less likely to do serious damage to other people’s property than automobiles or even their larger motorcycle cousins. This is something to consider when considering liability limits for personal property and personal injury to others.

However, as with motorcycles one place you don’t want to skimp on coverage on with scooter insurance is on medical payments for yourself and your passengers. If you live in a no fault state, this is known as personal injury protection or PIP. As with a motorcycle, as a scooter driver you are exposed to the elements much more so than you are in a car, therefore you and your passengers are more likely to get injured in an accident. It stands to reason you want to ramp up this coverage as much as you can.

Full Coverage on Scooter Insurance

As with other motorcycles, it’s possible to get full coverage on your scooter. Indeed, if you’re still making payments on your scooter you’ll want to to avoid force placed coverage. Full coverage works the same way as it does with automobiles and motorcycles. There are collision and comprehensive sections, both with deductibles.

However, because there simply isn’t as much to a scooter as there is to other vehicles, full coverage is not nearly as important (or expensive) as it is with automobiles. That said, if you want the peace of mind full coverage on your scooter provides, you can get it it quite inexpensively, and probably with a low deductible to boot.

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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.