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High Performance Car Insurance For Sports Cars

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Research Last Updated: 07/22/2010

Things to consider when insuring high-performance vehicles and when to look at exotic coverage

beautiful red sports car

What you need to know to insure this beauty!

High performance car insurance operates much the same way as car insurance for any other car. But it’s not cheap.

That’s why shopping around is even more important. It may even land you a good deal.

How High Performance Car Insurance Works

You need to understand the basics of insurance underwriting before seeing how high performance car insurance works. Basically, insurance underwriters rate risks based on cars, drivers, and hundreds of other factors. If the company decides to take on your risk, they assign a premium to the new customer – and you get a policy.

Since the type of car is a factor for underwriting, some automobiles cost more to insure than others. Rates differ from company to company, but high-performance sports cars like Vipers, Camaros, and Mustangs rank among the most expensive to insure. From an underwriter’s perspective, there’s more risk involved.

But it’s not just about the car you drive.

Other factors, such as safety record, play a large role as well. If you haven’t already purchased your high performance car, it may be a good idea to research insurance rates before buying. The differences can be quite significant between models and companies for reasons that may not be readily obvious.

Coverage for Your High Performance Car

Theoretically high performance car insurance can be purchased legally at state minimum liability limits. However for a variety of reasons that’s probably not a good idea.

For one, minimum liability limits are often insufficient for even lower-cost models. Repairs and other associated costs for larger-than-fender-bender accidents can easily exceed minimum limits if you’re at fault. When dealing with high performance vehicles, the problem will probably be larger because it’s a more conspicuous car.

In addition, high performance cars represent an investment. As such, good material coverage is often recommended even after the bank is paid off. You wouldn’t want to treat your sports car in the same way as you would an old beater. After all, it may become a bona fide classic in a few years.

Exotic Coverage for Your High Performance Car

A standard full coverage policy may be sufficient for a domestic high performance vehicle. But it doesn’t work that way for all sports cars.

If you own a six-figure vehicle like a Ferrari, Lamborghini, or Masarati, you should consider exotic car insurance. Standard companies that would insure other high performance models may need to refer you to a special insurance broker.

As a general rule, when the car becomes more like an investment than a means of transportation, special insurance considerations should be addressed.

Fleet Car Insurance For The Company Cars

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Research Last Updated: 11/06/2010

Why fleet auto insurance is different and what you need to know about fleet coverage

small fleet of trucks

Why you need fleet insurance for company vehicles.

Fleet car insurance is different from a typical auto insurance policy. For one, it’s handled by a commercial insurance company.

As such the considerations for writing a fleet policy are different from personal auto insurance.

What’s Different about a Fleet Policy?

A fleet car insurance policy usually requires two or more vehicles owned by a company – not an individual. The company can be a sole proprietorship, but there must be a certain commercial element to the ownership.

If you have a company trying to get a fleet policy, be sure to include all vehicles when writing the policy. This includes trailers and other secondary vehicles, as they all need to be listed separately.

Another factor is that material damage options and deductibles. These can be different for each vehicle, but the liability limits are usually the same for all vehicles. In other words, changing liability limits on one vehicle means changing them on all of them. One should keep this in mind when getting a new policy.

Equipment that is commonly used with the vehicle but not intrinsically part of the vehicle itself may need to be insured separately. This policy is called an “inland marine” policy. This can include things like generators and mobile construction equipment. These items are typically insured at a stated value and depreciated based on age. Talk to your commercial agent or broker when getting this policy – they’re not covered under the fleet car insurance policy alone.

List Each Driver on the Fleet Policy

In addition, all drivers should be listed separately on fleet auto insurance. This is interpreted much more strictly than with a personal auto policy. There can be more than one driver per vehicle on the policy, but all drivers should still be listed along with the amount of driving they are expected to do.

If a claim occurs in an insured vehicle, but the driver is not listed, the claim could be denied. While drivers don’t need to have perfect driving records, they should also not have any serious problems. Drivers with poor driving records can also be declined. Many insurance companies will not accept drivers younger than 25 on commercial policies regardless of driving record.

Also keep in mind that drivers need to show they’re properly licensed to drive your vehicles. If you have a truck larger than 26,000 GVW, for example, your driver needs to document proof of having a CDL license.

Changes to Fleet Car Insurance

Fleet car insurance is always subject to change. Vehicles are bought and sold. Employees come and go. As a result it’s normal to change policy items on a fleet insurance policy regularly. Commercial insurance agents and brokers are used to this, so don’t be afraid to call them.

Bottom line: make sure you keep your policy as up to date – or there could be a problem when there’s a claim.

Continuous Coverage on Your Auto Insurance

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Research Last Updated: 07/19/2010

Why having continuous coverage helps keep you out of high-risk insurance companies

Older couple in convertible car.

Longevity and continuous coverage count with car insurance.

Having continuous coverage on your car insurance is very important. A 35-year-old driver could have a problem when getting insurance again if he lets his policy lapse.

He may have a spotless driving record, but if he hasn’t driven for a couple years the insurance company will view him with suspicion when he gets a new policy – almost like a first-time driver.

So what’s the problem?

The Importance of Continuous Coverage

Continuous coverage is one of the most important things insurance companies look at when considering a new policyholder. Regardless of past history, if you’re unable to document at least six months of past insurance coverage it’s enough to disqualify you from a standard auto insurance company. In such cases a high-risk company is often the only alternative.

(Exceptions can be made for spouses and children of existing policyholders.)

That’s why keeping continuous coverage makes sense so that you avoid the ‘first-time car insurance pitfall’. This can be accomplished even when one doesn’t own a car through a non-owned auto insurance policy. This type of auto insurance policy insures the driver rather than a vehicle. Since there’s no car involved, non-owned policies are liability-only.

Continuous Coverage or High-Risk Insurance

But what if you don’t keep continuous coverage and you can’t get standard auto insurance. A high-risk company is probably your next step. A high-risk insurance company specializes in drivers who have a spotty driving history or who can’t document previous coverage. As a result premiums with these companies are higher than comparable policies with standard companies.

The good news is first-time car insurance policyholders with good driving records only stay with the high-risk company for a short time. Most standard companies will take new drivers after they spend six months in a high-risk company without incident. Unless there’s a ticket, accident or claim during that period, it’s rarely necessary for a new driver to stay in a high-risk company longer than that.

Non-owned policies are often available in high-risk companies. If you don’t have a car, but plan to get one soon, getting a non-owned policy can be a cost-effective way to establish that all-important insurance history sooner rather than later.

Moving from High-Risk to Standard Coverage

Most property and casualty insurance carriers have a high-risk subsidiary. When a driver becomes eligible to move over to the standard company it’s usually a seamless process.  The company simply transfers the driver’s information. Proof of prior insurance is already there.

If a driver wants to change companies, they must provide proof of coverage to the new company. An insurance liability card or policy declaration page documenting six months of continuous coverage will do the trick.

Even so, it’s the driver’s responsibility to initiate the process. Otherwise he or she may simply be renewed in the high-risk company, paying more than necessary.

Bottom line, keep continuous coverage on your car insurance whenever possible. If you’re not going to be driving for awhile, get a non-owned policy to maintain coverage and avoid high-risk insurance.

Classic Car Insurance And Why You Need It

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Research Last Updated: 07/19/2010

Why insuring a classic automobile is different from insuring a normal car

Classic Model-T

Why you may need to get a special policy for your classic car.

Classic car insurance is not the same as run-of-the-mill insurance for older cars. Just like a 1966 Ford Mustang isn’t the same as a 1995 Ford Festiva, classic auto insurance is different.

With older cars auto insurance is usually liability-only. The car is often paid for and there’s no need to satisfy a bank or lien holder with full coverage. Repairing an old beater is usually more trouble than it’s worth.

But classic car insurance is quite the opposite. A classic car is generally not a means of day-to-day transportation. Like temporary car insurance, classic car insurance is unique. For instance, it’s a collectable item with significant intrinsic value. In other words, when insuring a classic car you’re more interested in protecting against material damage than against a liability claim.

When was the last time you saw a Model T in a fender bender, anyway?

Why Classic Car Insurance is Different

Classic car insurance is more interested in material damage than liability. It’s possible to get classic car insurance with no liability coverage at all. Of course, no liability coverage usually means it’s not street legal. But if all you’re going to do is store a collectable car in a garage and unveil it at car shows, it’s not a bad option.

Also unlike most standard auto insurance policies, classic cars are routinely insured for a stated value. That means you’re not referencing blue book values. Owner and insurance company simply agree to an amount to insure the vehicle when the policy is written. As with any valuable item remember: if it’s worth insuring, it’s worth appraising first.

Because of these differences, it’s often not sufficient to insure a classic car with standard auto insurance, even with a generous full coverage policy. Liability is rarely a concern here. Material damage claims on a standard auto insurance policy would be based on blue book or similar values. In the case of a classic car this may be significantly different from the vehicle’s stated or appraised value, and never a difference to the owner’s advantage.

Getting Classic Car Insurance

To qualify for classic car insurance, in most cases the vehicle must be at least 20 to 25 years old and be considered collectable. Some classic car insurers won’t consider certain makes and models even if they meet age criteria. That’s because many vehicles built in the 1970s and 1980s weren’t as well-built as models that preceded them.

Other factors to consider include condition, rarity, historical significance, body style (two-door sports cars are usually considered more collectable than four-door sedans from the same era), and country of origin. One shouldn’t have any problem getting a classic car insurance policy for a 1981 DeLorean, but a 1974 Mercury Comet – even in good condition – may prove to be a challenge.

Classic car insurance can be obtained in one of two ways. First off, you can get it through an endorsement on your existing automobile policy through a standard property and casualty company.

Secondly, you could get it separately through a company that specializes in classic car insurance. Many agents will recommend the latter since classic car endorsements on standard policies tends to be expensive and may leave gaps in coverage. Several companies specialize in classic car insurance. Hagerty is the dominant player in the field.

Multi-Car Insurance: Discounts for 2+ Autos

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Research Last Updated: 10/14/2011

Getting multi-car insurance and the discounts to go with it.

multi-car insurance discounts save you money

Saving a couple hundred bucks is entirely possible with a multi-car insurance discount.

Most consumers know insurance companies offer car insurance discounts. However, not everybody knows exactly what discounts are offered with each insurance company. Discounts even change depending on your state and what vehicle you drive.

The basic discounts that are seen most often on all car insurance policies are safe driver discounts, car alarm discounts and even good student discounts. One of the larger discounts insurers offer is the multi-car insurance discount.

Multi-Car Insurance Discounts

Getting multi-car insurance, also known as the ‘multi-car discount’ can turn into big savings on your auto insurance premiums. To get the discount you have to have multiple cars on your policy (of course), but they don’t have to all be owned by you.  You and a significant other that are not legally married can both have your vehicles on the same insurance policy so that you can get the discount.

Just keep in mind though that a bad driving record for anyone on the policy will increase the premium for everyone.  Even with the multi-car insurance discount, if you are the one with the clean driving record, your insurance may be higher if you combine insurance.

As for the multi-car insurance discount, you can save 10% or more on your monthly, semi-annual, or annual premiums depending on the company – not a small amount when you’re insuring more than one vehicle. Discounts vary between insurers and will sometimes change, so it’s important to check with the company to find out what the current multi-car insurance discount is.

By insuring multiple vehicles, insurers can charge less premium to a family. Either way, that translates to savings for you.

How to Get Multi-Car Insurance Discounts

The easiest way to get the multi-car insurance discount is to ask. Most of the time, insurance companies will give the multi-car insurance discount on a new quote. However, you should still ask to include the multi-car insurance discount in each quote. Here are some times to ask about the discount.

Whenever you…

  • Buy a new car.
  • Buy a used car.
  • Inherit a car.
  • Win a car.
  • Combine two households with more than one car.

Whatever the case, if you have more than one car in your household, you’re probably eligible for multi-car insurance. Make sure your insurance company is giving you credit for each car to maximize your savings.

One final consideration about multi-car insurance is the different discounts each company offers. Your current insurer could be a great price for one vehicle, but their multi-car insurance discount may be paltry. Whenever you add another vehicle to your insurance, get a price from your current company, then get some more quotes. A new policy with another company could mean significant savings on your auto premiums, especially if they have a better multi-car insurance discount, so it’s always good to shop around.

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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.