Tag Archives: auto insurance

Saving BIG On Insurance – Almost $450 Saved!

Getting the best insuance ratesWhen was the last time you shopped around for your insurance coverage? If you are like most people, you probably did a basic comparison when you purchased your vehicle or home and haven’t given it much thought since then. Insurance agents love customers like that. Automatic renewal sure makes commissions easier to bank on! The downside for you is that you just might be over-paying for your insurance.

We’ve only lived in our house just over a year, so we recently went through the home owners’ policy search. But we hadn’t given much thought to our auto insurance, and even less thought to our boat insurance in the last year.

Researching Insurance Rates

I get a lot of junk email and yesterday I got one offering me the opportunity to get auto insurance quotes from various companies. Since I had about 10 minutes to spare, I went through the motions, not expecting much success. Boy was I wrong! With just a few clicks on my keyboard and then answering some questions in a follow-up email, I’m going to be saving my family $112 this next year – for a policy that is written for a full year, not the normal 6 months. This means our premiums will be locked in for a full year and not increased at the 6 month renewal date.

Even More Insurance Savings

One of the insurance companies was a local agent (actually just 2 blocks from our home), so I popped in to see them. While I was there, I asked if they offer boat insurance. I’m so glad I did! I thought saving $112 was great, but just by asking for a quote, I discovered that this company not only offers boat coverage, but is $335 LOWER than the company we currently have our insurance with! They won’t get the auto business (they weren’t lowest) but they do get the boat policy.

Tips On Finding The Best Insurance At The Biggest Savings

  1. Take a few minutes each renewal period to shop around for the best policy at the best price. You just might be pleasantly surprised at what you discover.
  2. Check out any company you are considering for insurance coverage. The industry rating standard is set by A.M. Best. You can find out more at http://www3.ambest.com/consumers/default.asp
  3. Be sure to compare Apples-to-Apples. That means to be sure that coverage amounts are equal in each of the quotes. You might think a premium is too good to pass up, but then discover that the coverage amounts are half of what you currently carry!

Auto Gap Insurance – Why You Need It

image - upside down car accidentSeveral years ago my daughter purchased a used minivan as her family’s primary car. With two young children and a baby she needed the room and a reliable vehicle. Like many young couples, their lack of a down payment and no credit caused them to over pay for the car to begin with not to mention the outrageous interest rate.

Five months and just five payments after the purchase they were in an auto accident that totaled the car. No one was hurt but the minivan was a total loss. Of course, since they had financed the car, they were required to maintain full coverage auto insurance. It didn’t take long for the insurance adjuster to do their thing and settle up with my daughter and the auto finance company.

Well, settle up might be a bit of an over-statement. It seems that they were over five thousand dollars upside down with their auto loan. By that I mean they owed over $5,000 more on the car than it was worth. Like her, I thought full coverage car insurance payed the car off. That was a huge mistake thinking that. They, the insurance company, cut a check to the finance company for what they determined was the actual value of the car just before the accident. The loan balance was not a factor in this determination. This left a deficit of five grand that was her responsibility. Now not only had she lost her car but still owed $5,000 on a car that was junked. This, of course, prevented her from financing another vehicle.

Learning from my daughter’s mistakes

I was concerned that she was being taken advantage of so I called my own insurance agent for his advice. He said it was perfectly legal and that is how all car insurance policies work. “Even mine?“, I asked. He said, “Even yours, unless you purchased auto gap insurance“. Auto Gap Insurance? I had no idea what gap insurance was and he informed me that I didn’t have it on either car. In other words, I was just an accident away from being in the same boat as my daughter.

Here’s the part that almost made me fire my insurance agent and friend of over a decade. I asked how much it would cost to add the auto gap insurance to the car that I was still paying on. He said $2.97 A YEAR! For less than three dollars a year I could avoid a very huge problem and he never thought to mention it. There’s not any commission on three dollars so I guess it seemed unimportant to him at the time. Of course the rates will vary with different vehicles, who’s insured and other factors but you get the point.

I now have auto gap insurance and one less person I call a friend. If you are paying on a car the chances are you owe more than it’s worth to an insurance company. Call your agent and ask for a quote on adding automobile gap insurance. The name is different in different areas and different companies but they’ll know what you are talking about. You want to cover (insure) the difference between what is owed and the actual value of the car. That way if you are in an accident that totals the car it will at least be paid off. Funny how these things don’t come up when discussing insurance with the insurance company.