Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Insurance: Auto Insurance Centre

by Nicholas Tan
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Are you looking for a great way to compare auto insurance companies and the rates available to you? Then you need to check out the Auto Insurance Center at free-article-info.com/auto-insurance/auto-insurance/index.php. There are wonderful articles to read as well regarding various auto insurance topics. Find out how to keep your auto insurance rates low and the consequences of driving without vehicle insurance.

The terminology surrounding auto insurance can be quite confusing at times. Auto Insurance Center offers a great section that explains all the terms in very simple language. This really helps to take the complexity out of deciphering the various terms involved with auto insurance quotes and policies.

Hopefully, you will never be involved in an auto accident, but should it happen, do you know what to do? Go through the check list provided on the site to find out what items you need to carry in your vehicle for such incidents as well as the information you need to collect and share. Also find out the process for reporting the accident to the authorities and to your insurance agent.

Auto Insurance Center allows you the convenience of entering all your information and then getting several great insurance quotes. This is the perfect way to find out who can offer you the very best deal on auto insurance without having to spend hours on the phone compiling the information yourself. They feature insurance quotes for every state so you are sure to find the valuable information you need.

If you don't find everything you need at Auto Insurance Center, you can contact them by phone or email. They offer a very friendly and knowledgeable customer service team that can assist you with any questions or concerns. In addition to auto insurance, you will find information on renters insurance, health insurance, and life insurance.

The Auto Insurance Center offers consumers a great one stop resource for all of their auto insurance needs. The site offers quotes that allow you to compare prices, information on getting the best rates, and wonderful articles to help you stay on top of the events taking place in the world of auto insurance. All of this information is free to use, so take the confusion out of your auto insurance needs and start using Auto Insurance Center.

More auto insurance sales to happen via net

MUMBAI: Following liberalisation, buying auto insurance may get a lot similar to buying airline tickets. In a couple of years, a significant share of auto insurance sales is likely to take place through the internet.

In case of airlines, there are web-based aggregators such as makemytrip.com or cleartrip.com who obtain quotes from a host of airlines and offer a platform for flyers to get the best deal. Similar on-line intermediaries are likely to help buyers do comparison-shopping for auto insurance.

According to K N Bhandari, chief executive, General Insurance Council — an association of non-life insurance companies, the industry is in favour of healthy price competition and companies are open to providing quotes to such intermediaries. Already dealers for new cars are providing such aggregator service by offering quotes from a host of companies for new car buyers. This is possible because the dealer has floated multiple entities — each of which has a corporate agency relationship with one insurance company.

But so far this aggregator facility has been available only for new car owners as dealers do not see insurance as a core area.

Another reason why aggregators have not come forward is that IRDA regulations require that any entity offering products of multiple companies should have a broking license. This means that the intermediary has to fulfill all conditions -- including setting up a new entity with a minimum capital of Rs 50 lakh. But given that auto accounts for more than 50% of the non-life industry premium, insurance companies are confident that brokers will start looking at the retail segment.

The good news for insurance buyers is that following the removal of price controls, the reaction of players has been to grab as much market share as possible. This has prompted companies to bring down rates across the board. Motor insurance rates, which were ruling at around 3% of the insured value of the car, are down to 2%. “Outside India the lowest rates are around 5% of the car value. Even in neighbouring Pakistan, motor insurance rates are around 5% of the car value” says Bhandari.

To ensure that there is some discipline in the market, the IRDA has said that insurers cannot cancel old tariff governed policies and replace them with new policies. This would mean that for car-owners new products would start becoming available gradually over a 12-month period depending on their date of renewal. But insurers feel that these rates are unsustainable. With the latest cars are being launched in India, even small repairs are expected to result in large claims forcing insurers to start looking at their bottom line. They are therefore intensifying their risk-based pricing approach.

A Rewards Plan for Auto Insurance

Allstate Hopes Discounts
Will Attract New Customers
As Premium Increases Slow


Taking a cue from the credit-card industry, Allstate Corp. unveiled auto-insurance plans that give such perks as "free accidents" and discounts on deductibles or premiums to customers who pay 7% to 15% more in premiums or pay electronically.

Allstate's rewards are divvied up much like the different levels of cards offered by American Express Co., and other credit-card issuers at one time, with gold, platinum and value plans. For customers willing to pay an additional 15% in premiums, the platinum protection plan, for instance, offers a 5% credit toward the next six-month policy for every six months of accident-free driving.

Both the platinum and gold protection plans also allow customers a certain number of accidents before their premiums rise and include an immediate $100 reduction on a collision-coverage deductible.

Previously, Allstate automatically gave accident waivers just to customers in some states who had been accident-free for five years, similar to what other insurers do.

The new policies, marketed as "Your Choice Auto," are available in Oregon, Utah and Tennessee. This month, Allstate plans to start offering the policies in Texas and Arizona, and in 75% of the country by year's end. The company plans to roll out similar products for its homeowners business.

Like most auto policies, the plans offer basic liability coverage and allow customers to buy additional coverage, such as collision, based on their needs, with safe-driving and other discounts sometimes automatically offered. And as with traditional policies, the coverage and the deductible amount, along with other variables such as car type, determine customers' premiums, and whether they qualify for special rates or discounts.

But with Allstate's tiered plans, drivers can pay for discounts or rewards that they, not the insurer, picked out for themselves. Customers also can pick packages of protection beyond a standard package.

Allstate's new take on auto insurance comes as attracting customers is becoming more difficult. Increases in auto-insurance premiums have slowed amid a host of factors during the past couple of years, including a declining number of accidents and a crackdown on insurance fraud. According to the Insurance Information Institute, auto-insurance premiums will increase 1.5% this year, down from 2.8% last year. As a result, customers are less likely to switch providers in search of lower premiums, forcing the companies to look for ways other than price to differentiate themselves.

Allstate hopes to lure customers by encouraging them to consider more than just price and deductibles. The idea of the rewards plans is to give policyholders not just a choice of coverage options, but also a choice of discounts. The company expects the plans to boost its policy-renewal rate, which currently is about 90.7%.

Consumer advocates, however, warn that along with increasing customer choice, Allstate may be increasing customer confusion. "The more confusing it gets, the more likely it is people will be thrown into plans that are more expensive without knowing they have other options," says J. Robert Hunter, director of insurance at the Consumer Federation of America.

Each new protection plan comes with the coverage choices of Allstate's standard insurance policy, including liability. The company's average six-month auto premium is about $450. Customers of the gold plan, which is available for an extra 7% in premiums, or $31.50 on average, get one free accident over three years. (Allstate's accident surcharges to premiums typically last three years and are imposed when customers are at fault.) Platinum customers, who would pay an additional 15% or $67.50 on average, would receive perks such as unlimited accidents, among others.

Both platinum and gold customers can pay an additional 2%, or $9 on average, for coverage that would replace a new car that was totaled. The value plan adds nothing to a premium but requires customers to have their premiums automatically deducted from a checking or savings account in order to get 5% off their premiums.

There are caveats to the perks. Certain types of accidents, such as those that occur when the policyholder is drunk, wouldn't be waived.

Tom Wischmeyer, who has had a couple of "fender benders" in the past 15 years, signed up for the gold protection plan earlier this year because he felt it was more comprehensive and cost-effective. "The way I look at it, if there's an accident, your rates don't go up and if there's not an accident, your costs come down," says the 60-year-old retiree in West Linn, Ore.

Anita Sally, an Allstate agent in Bartlett, Tenn., says her sales of the Your Choice products are up 20% to 30% over sales of Allstate's standard product. She says those that buy into it tend to be younger drivers ages 18 to 20, single people and individuals who have caused accidents in the past five years. "Those particular individuals buy into it really quick," she says.

When deciding whether to opt for the new policies, consumers might want to look at their likelihood of being in an accident. Drivers age 24 and under tend to be involved in the most accidents, according to the National Safety Council. Allstate says the average driver has an accident every 10 years.

Mexican auto insurance: What you need to know

By GEOFF HILL, Bajabound.com

As the Baja real estate market grows at a frenetic pace, the number of Americans driving south of the border is increasing as well. Whether you are driving down to Baja for business or pleasure, it is important to buy auto insurance for your trip across the border. The following Q&A examines some of the most common issues regarding Mexican auto insurance.

My U.S. auto insurance provider covers me 50 miles into Mexico, so why do I need to buy Mexican auto insurance for a short trip across the border? This question addresses one of the most common misconceptions about taking a car into Mexico. Some U.S. insurance companies provide coverage a short distance across the border, but only for physical damage and theft. Liability coverage from U.S. insurance companies is simply not recognized by the authorities in Mexico. If you are found to be at fault in an accident you will have to pay for damages to the other vehicle(s) on the spot. However, having a Mexican auto insurance policy would provide the necessary "proof of financial responsibility" and pay for damages to third parties in this situation.

How are Mexican auto insurance claims settled?
The way claims are settled really depends upon the Mexican insurance underwriter you buy the policy from. We recommend buying a policy from an underwriter who settles claims in U.S. dollars and who will allow you to get your car repaired here in the United States. Otherwise you may have to leave your car in Mexico to get repaired, or take a settlement based upon Mexican repair rates, which will only cover a fraction of the cost to get it fixed by your preferred body shop at home.

Do Mexican auto insurance policies provide roadside assistance or legal aid?
Once again, the services included are dependent upon who is underwriting the policy. Some underwriters include roadside assistance and legal aid as standard features, while others sell it at an additional cost. Regardless, it is highly recommended to have both included in your policy.

How and where can I buy Mexican auto insurance?
The easiest way to buy Mexican auto insurance is online. Coverage is available from one day up to one year and it takes less than 10 minutes to buy and print out a policy. Buying online also allows you to choose a policy with features that best suit your insurance needs.

I take my car to Baja for business purposes; do I need a different type of policy?
Yes. It is important to buy a "business use" policy when you are driving in Mexico for work purposes. Some underwriters apply a surcharge, while others sell business use policies for the same rate as a standard "tourist use" policy.
Hill is vice president of business development for Bajabound.com, an online Mexican auto insurance provider based in downtown San Diego.

Auto Insurance Quick guide: How Rates are Calculated

By: K. Phillips

How Do Car Insurance Companies Calculate the Rates They Charge?

Depending on your jurisdiction, the insurance premium you pay, can be either set by the government or determined by individual insurance companies, based on a framework of regulations that are set by the government.

Figuring out the insurance premium that an individual companies will charge you, is a bit like putting different pieces of a puzzle together, because car insurance companies combine a number of different elements to arrive at your individual premium. The interesting part of it is that they all have a slightly different way of looking at things, and this produces a variation in prices between companies.

The following is a brief explanation of how the different elements may affect your final insurance rate:

What kind of car do you drive?

Car insurance companies have two basic methods of establishing premiums for your automobile. They use the relative claims experience of the makes and models of automobiles to establish your insurance premium. This means that they will check into the repair costs, the rate of injury, and the likelihood that the particular car may be stolen, to establish their risk and then price it accordingly. The current value of your vehicle is another factor, and insurance companies use a variety of methods to establish the current fair market value of your vehicle.

How is your vehicle used?

It stands to reason, the more you use your auto, the higher the odds that you'll of be involved in an automobile accident at some time. So, all other factors being equal, people who don't do much driving tend to pay much lower premiums than than those that have a long commute to work, or do extensive amounts of driving for other reasons. Also of major importance, is who is using the vehicle.
Your automobile insurance premium costs will also likely be higher if you have inexperienced drivers in your family or a number of different drivers using the car.

Where do you live?

Car insurance rates are generally higher in metropolitan areas. Cities with their considerably higher density of traffic and people, mean that there is a higher likelihood of accidents, theft or vandalism claims.

What's your driving record?

Your driving record is based on the number of years you've been licensed to drive, your previous insurance experience, and the number of at-fault accidents (usually up to the last 6 years but sometimes even longer.) If you drive safely and defensively to avoid convictions and at-fault accidents, your premium will be lower than if you've had a conviction or accident. In a nutshell, the better your driving record, the lower your insurance rates.

What optional coverage limits and deductibles do you choose?

When you purchase your automobile insurance, you can select some of the coverage limits and deductibles.

Most states require the purchase of at least a minimum amount of coverage for Third Party Liability. If you choose a higher coverage limit, you can expect to pay a correspondingly higher premium. If you select a lower deductible, you'll also pay a higher premium. Why? Because in both examples, you're asking the insurance company to assume more financial risk if you're involved in an accident or claim. If you select a lower limit of coverage or a higher deductible, you can reduce your premium costs, but you also shift more of the financial burden of liability and repairs onto yourself.

You could decide not to purchase optional coverage, and this is one way to save on your insurance premium costs. For example, if you have an older automobile, you might want to consider not purchasing collision or comprehensive coverage if the automobile is not worth the additional premium cost.

Interestingly, most insurers have a slightly different take on all of this data, and this is what leads to the wide differences between quotes that one sometimes sees for essentially the same insurance.

Whatever your auto insurance requirements are, be sure to get several comparison auto insurance quotes through kanetix before you buy your policy. You'll be glad you did.


The above description/explanation is intended as a guideline only, and is not to be interpreted as a recommendation to buy or sell any insurance products, or to provide legal or financial advice of any kind. Also, Kanetix Ltd. does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed.

Article Source: http://www.a1-optimization.com/articles

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Benefits of getting auto insurance online

By: James

Throughout the world if you want to drive your vehicle you have to get it insured. Having vehicle insurance means that driving is safe and at the same time affordable. It’s very stressful not to have insurance. Having a good insurance policy puts your mind at ease as you drive. It’s the basic duty of a vehicle owner to consider auto insurance seriously, because every time when you are behind the wheel you are running a risk.

Presently it’s possible for you to get auto insurance online, the internet offers you much options and convenience. You can even sit in the comfort of your home and apply for insurance. The following article throws light on the various benefits of getting auto insurance online.

Simple online tools

The simple online tools make getting online insurance very easy. The host of help online will help you to select the right type of insurance for you even though you know nothing about auto insurance. The information the internet provides makes it simple to find the best suited insurance coverage.

Online forms

These forms are very easy to fill, this also helps in prompt and accurate elimination of errors and you can get a printed copy for your proof. This also helps you to save your valuable time. Moreover getting insurance online makes sure that you are accessing to the correct forms.

Uncomplicated claim processes

Today almost all companies dealing with insurance will allow their customers to make their claims online. This can be considered as a great advantage as it reduces your botheration in relation to the claims, along with saving of your time. This is treated as a major plus point as many people are of the opinion that getting insurance claims is a daunting task.

Ease and confidentiality

Making use of the internet for getting the best suited auto insurance is not a demanding task. It’s very simple and you can even enjoy the comfort of your room for selecting the best auto insurance.


After finding the insurance you want the next step is to point and click in order to get the best deals on cheap auto insurance online. As there are many providers to choose from you can be sure of getting the cheap and best prices.

Quick quotes

The online insurance application helps you to get fast quotes, they also provide you with an opportunity to compare several insurance policies by price and by coverage. This provides you with a chance of selecting the right type of insurance from the right company.

The above article tells you about the several benefits that you can enjoy if you are buying auto insurance online.

About the Author

http://www.knowautoinsurance is a site specially dedicated to information regarding cheap auto insurane. It provides valuable ideas in relation to insurance resources and design tips.

Article Source: http://www.a1-optimization.com/articles

About the Author www.knowautoinsurance is a site specially dedicated to information regarding www.knowautoinsurance.com”>cheap auto insurane. It provides valuable ideas in relation to insurance resources and design tips.

Florida Hurricane Season Demands Smart Auto Insurance

Florida Hurricane Season Demands Smart Auto Insurance
Copyright © 2006, Erin Shaughnessy

Does your car insurance policy cover hurricane damage?  If you
are living in the state of Florida, or another high-risk region,
be sure to purchase a comprehensive policy to cover damages in
the event of a storm.

Automobile damages resulting from Hurricane Wilma have resulted
in more Florida insurance claims than either Hurricane Katrina or
Hurricane Rita. Vehicle damage can range from scratches and
dents to shattered windshields, and sometimes the complete
wreckage of an automobile. Windborne debris and fallen trees may
be responsible for most storm-related claims. More complicated
claims arise when drivers collide at intersections without
working traffic signals due to power outages.

State Farm and Progressive are the two largest auto insurance
providers in the state of Florida. One week after Hurricane
Wilma hit Florida, State Farm had received over eighty-seven-
thousand claims, almost thirty-five-thousand of which were for
automobile damage. Progressive Insurance reported that it
received more automobile insurance claims related to Hurricane
Wilma than for any other hurricane last year.

Not all cars have insurance coverage for hurricane damage. The
policy holder has to have purchased the 'comprehensive' policy in
order to be insured for damage to their vehicle resulting from a
hurricane. While homeowners must purchase a separate policy to
cover flood damage, auto insurance includes flooding in the
comprehensive policy.

One problem for hurricane related automobile damage is the high
volume of claims occurring at one time. Body shops can be
inundated with damaged vehicles and policy holders may experience
a delay in getting their cars repaired and returned. Adjusters
typically check on the most severe claims first. Larger auto
insurance carriers, such as State Farm, can call on insurance
claim adjusters from other states to share the burden of visiting
damaged vehicles. Due to general hurricane damage to hard-hit
areas, insurance company representatives may have trouble gaining
access. Even if access is not a problem, adjusters can still
face heavy traffic and long lines at gas stations, just as
residents do following a hurricane. It is important for
insurance company representatives to survey damaged vehicles
quickly, as policy holders are often encouraged to refrain from
having their automobiles repaired until the adjuster has visited.

Following Hurricane Wilma, about 225,000 automobile claims were
filed in the state of Florida. According to the Florida Office
of Insurance Regulation, there were approximately 180,000 claims
filed by Floridians in 2004 for damage to vehicles resulting from
Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne.

According to Insurance Services Office Inc., (ISO), property and
casualty insurers would pay approximately $6.1 billion to policy
holders in the state of Florida for losses from Hurricane Wilma.
The ISO Property Claim Services unit asserted, in a November 28,
2005 press release, that ninety percent of the catastrophe losses
from twenty-two events resulted from three hurricanes. The year
to date catastrophe losses could be as much as $50.3 billion,
according to the ISO Property Claim Services unit. Hurricanes
Katrina, Rita, and Wilma were responsible for $45.2 billion of
catastrophe losses. ISO Property Claim Services expected to
receive approximately 750,000 claims relating to damage of
personal and commercial property, automobiles, boats and yachts.

In a press release dated January 26, 2006, Insurance Services
Office, Inc. revealed that United States property and casualty
insurers would pay a record breaking $56.8 billion to homeowners
and businesses for property losses in 2005. The actual amount of
property damage insurers will pay exceeded the estimated amount
by $6.5 billion. This number breaks the previous record, of
2004, when $27.3 billion was paid by insurers for catastrophe

Ninety-three percent, or $52.7 billion, of the insured losses for
2005 were accounted for by Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma, Rita,
Ophelia, and Dennis. ISO also reported that over eighty percent
of these claims came from policy holders in just five states;
Louisiana ($27.2 billion), Mississippi ($12.2 billion), Florida
($9.9 billion), Texas ($2.9 billion), and Alabama ($1.5 billion).

Writer's Resource Box:
Erin Shaughnessy is a freelance writer of political and
consumer advocacy articles. She is a contributor to
SmartAutoInsurance.com and has most recently covered
Florida auto insurance topics related to Hurricane