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Why Did My Car Insurance Premium Go Up?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 07/30/2016

Q: I just got my car insurance renewal and my premium went up, but I have had no claims or tickets. Why did it go up?


A: If you have not had any claims or tickets, your car insurance most likely went up because the company had a state-approved rate increase since you last renewal. Increases can also be because the safety and claims data for your vehicle has been updated, this can happen on any year vehicle but more often on current or next year vehicles.

Your credit score can also have an affect on your car insurance premium.

If you have seen a recent increase in your premium, talk to your insurance agent to find out why. If you are unhappy with the answer you can always have your car insurance agent get you quotes from other companies to see if they cant find you a better rate.

Claim with Fast Moving Car

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 07/29/2016

Q:  July 11 I was driving on the highway at 10:20 pm and collided with another car when I tried to change lane. I honestly said that I checked my rear mirror first to make sure of any cars and turned my signal to the right, check my right side mirror to make sure two lights are visible and checked the passenger side window to the right to make sure there’s no car beside me before I changed lane. I was driving 60 mph and slowed down when I tried to changed lane. Was I at fault? She was driving pretty fast. The paint on the passenger side door of her car were scratch on the surface, though mine was OK, just very little. How will this affect my insurance?

A: If she was not in the lane and was speeding to the point that she came up on you during your lane change, then most likely she is at fault.  I don’t know how it will affect your car insurance premiums, as there is a lot of information that goes into creating the premium specific to your needs and details.

Questionable Claims Call

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 07/29/2016

Q: Last May 15 I had an accident that lead to me filing a claim, I was at a stop sign in a parking lot when another driver back up and hit my car. There are two big dents and the paint were scrapped on the left rear side of my car. Obviously I am not at fault. Since that was a first incident ever happened to me, it didn’t occurs to me to call the police or the management to verify what happened and all we did is exchanged Info like insurance, driving license and took some pictured of both cars. I told my adjuster that I was not moving and at a stop sign when this happened and they concluded that I was not at fault. But the other driver told a lie and said that I was driving the car and her company put me at fault for “failing to keep a safe distance and drive past her and scratched her rear side and bumper” but they are willing to pay 50% of the repair on my car. Now we have to pay $500 deductible before the rest are covered by my insurance and hers. I felt wronged because I have to pay for someone else mistake but my insurance/GEICO said they cannot do anything and advised us to go repair our car otherwise they can’t proceed with the claim.

A: Unfortunately, without a police report or any other evidence the only evidence to go off of is the he said/ she said.

However, with that being said there are two things that are glaringly sticking out at me. First, usually in a rear ending case (like what the other insurance company is accusing you of) the driver doing the rear ending and “failing to keep a safe distance and drive past the other driver” is found 100% at fault. But, they only found you 50% at fault, which makes me wonder why they found their own driver 50% at fault for something that they should have found them 0% at fault for.  If there is nothing else, like your state being a comparative negligence state, it sounds like they are just trying to get out of paying the full 100% of the claim. I would ask your claims adjuster about why the other company would find their own driver 50% at fault for what they are claiming to be a rear ending accident.

Second, I would ask a repair shop to look at the damages to your vehicle and see if they can determine what happened by the way the scratches and dents are placed or facing. They may be able to provide you with the claims evidence you need to prove that the other driver backed into you.



Insurance Coverage for the Oldies but Goodies

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 06/29/2016

Classic and antique cars can qualify for different insurance than regular everyday vehicles.

Older cars come in many different conditions. Some owners restore them to better-than-new condition and others look like they need to be stored in a Ziploc bag so they don’t lose anymore parts when they fall off. Other old cars fall in-between the two categories and are just there. The condition of your vehicle will determine exactly what type of insurance is best for you.

Classic Car and Antique Insurance Coverage

Classic cars actually have a special old car insurance of their own. This is due to the age and that some of these cars have been modified or restored to conditions that are better than when they were new. Most classic cars insurance coverages are on a stated value. A stated value is when the owner tells the insurance company the value of the car rather than the insurance company telling the owner.

There are also restrictions placed by the insurance company as to the use and the storage of the vehicle by the owner. If the owner does not comply they no longer qualify for this special category of old car insurance. They will instead have to get insurance coverage for their classic car under a normal car insurance policy which may not protect their car as well as the special classic old car insurance.

Insurance Coverage for Old, But Not Classic or Antique

Insurance coverage for those cars that are not classics, but aren’t junkers yet either depends on you and your financial situation. If your older model car is in good shape and is still retaining a good value, you may want to consider keeping comprehensive and collision coverage on it. There is no reason to go without this coverage if it will benefit you in the event of an accident.

However, keep in mind that your car insurance company is only going to pay out so much on your old car insurance. If the amount that you are paying exceeds the amount that they would pay out if your vehicle was a total loss, drop the comprehensive and collision coverage from your old car insurance. Just like with the junker, put that money in a bank account. Only use this money when you need to pay for damage to your old car or need to buy a new car.

There is just no reason to keep handing the insurance company money for old car insurance if you would be better off financially with paying for any damages yourself.

Earned Insurance Premium

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 06/29/2016

Question: I canceled my insurance with thr general they told me I was going to get a refund than days later I get an email tjat I owe them I cancel 5/26/16 last payment was 5/2/16 they say I have a balance of 633 but I don’t understand why they told me when I was canceling I was getting a refund of 200 and some I still don’t get why where dis they get the 633 from.

Answer: You need to contact them back and ask them how they got this number and also to make sure they have your cancellation date correct.  Now, with your last payment being made on 5/2 and a cancellation date of 5/26, you could still have earned premium. However, I don’t know your billing cycle or your premium to be able to tell you.

Earned premium is the insurance coverage that the insurance company provided for you, but that you had not paid for yet.

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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.