Scoring a Deal: Common Car Insurance Quandaries to Be Aware Of

Car insurance can be extremely confusing. There’s of course basic coverage and protection to have.  There are also additional items and sub limits that you need to be aware of. Not every motorist’s situation will call for additional coverages or higher than minimum protection.  However, you never want to guess with insurance coverage. After all, it’s designed to protect your financials in case something unexpected happens.

Here are some of the more common options that you should be considering with your car insurance situation:

Uninsured and Underinsured Car Insurance Coverage

The law says that every driver must have car insurance.  Still, there are many people who drive without.  Additionally, there are countless more people who are covered but underinsured.  These are scary thoughts.  What if your car is worth $30,000 and when someone slams into you, you find that their minimum coverage only covers $15,000?

In addition to the other damage that could be caused (hitting a fence, causing damage to a neighboring building or tearing up the yard where one of the cars ends up, just to name a few), you now have someone either with zero car insurance or with the “cut rate” state minimums and they will be responsible to pay all of that money. The chances that it actually happens are slim to none.  If it does, you can use the uninsured and underinsured options your policy provides you with to cover any resulting gaps.

Common Exclusions and Barred Drivers

You need to know the specific language of your actual policy to know what it excludes and covers. What if you’re towing a trailer and your policy doesn’t allow coverage on the trailer due to the size? What if you deliver pizzas or drive for Uber and find that your policy doesn’t cover work driving?How about  if your roommate needs to back your car out of the drive, and damages another car in the process?

All of these things not only can happen, but they do, each and every day. You have to know that your specific auto policy is not just a guideline.  It is actually a legal contract that you are responsible to maintain and follow the directions and agreement within. If you suffer a loss while doing something that’s not covered,  you’ll have a vehicle needing repair but no money to do so. Know the specifics ahead of time.  Verify that the company you receive a quote from will in fact step up when something goes wrong.

Know What Your Limits Are

It is extremely important to know what is excluded.  You also want to know every benefit afforded to you when shopping for new car insurance rates. There are many cool sites out there that can provide comparisons.  Something like this can be helpful so that you’re getting equivalent information.

What if your limits do include the perks like rental reimbursement and towing after a collision? Do your limits include lost wages if you can’t work? What about the coverage for your passengers that are inside the vehicle? Some people think that every car insurance option is exactly the same.  But there are so many options offered that if you don’t know the particulars, you could have a big problem.

Knowing the amount of car insurance you pay as well as the amount of coverage you have are essential to know.  Other pertinent information still lies within. Drivers need to know that their vehicle and their financial assets (as well as their health) will be protected in case something does happen and an accident does occur. By taking the time to thoroughly quote auto insurance with a provider that knows their stuff, you have a much better shot of being covered in the worst-case scenario of an auto accident.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

How to Compare Auto Insurance Quotes to Get the Best Price

You would never consider buying a car without doing some cost comparison to see how much money you would save. So why would you sign up for an auto insurance plan without doing the same? If you have little to no clue on how to compare auto insurance quotes, here are a few tips that are likely to save you some money.

Gather Up-To-Date Information

If there have been significant changes in your life since the last time you went shopping for auto insurance, make sure all information is updated in your new quotes. For example, buying a home or getting auto insurance after marriage usually means cheaper rates for you since homeowners and married people have a tendency to file fewer claims. If you add a teen driver to your household, or looking to move to a new ZIP code, then what you pay may drastically change.

Comparing quotes usually requires information you can easily identify: your name, address, the make and model of your car, insurance history and a list of past claims and violations. Once you find a policy you like, continue to get more information before purchasing it.

It is advisable to have information such as your vehicle’s VIN, driver license number and any additional drivers who’ll be operating the vehicle ready ahead of time to tell your potential carrier.

Compare Deductibles

The deductibles on comprehensive and collision coverages offer you the best option of influencing the rates you get. Many claims are small and when you choose higher deductibles, you take on more of the risk associated with paying such claims. Choose amounts you are able to pay from your savings or are sure you can easily scrape together should the need arise.

Payment Plans

A majority of carriers offer their clients various payment plans. Typically, you are required to offer an auto insurance down payment of anywhere around 8 to 33 percent. Always expect to pay a certain fee for the privilege of using a certain payment method. Many carriers do not accept all types of payments, some payment methods include:

  • Bank pay
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Money order or check
  • Electronic Funds Transfer (ETF)

On the other hand, you may receive a discount for making your payment in full.

Compare Coverage

Ensure that every auto insurance quote you compare is for the same type and amount of coverage. The best place to start is with the policy declarations page, which is a list of coverage types available, deductibles and limits, and of course, overall premiums. Here are some important coverage comparison details to weigh:

  • Will liability insurance limits still protect your assets such as savings and your home in case of an accident? With modest assets, you don’t need to sweat about getting high limits. However, if you are recently married, just bought a house or are building a nest egg, you may require more liability insurance.
  • How will you pay for medical treatment in case you get injured in an accident that is your fault? If you have no health insurance, this is the time to add some kind of coverage. For someone with health insurance, consider whether you have the cash required for co-pays and deductibles, and whether your regular passengers have medical insurance.
  • It is advisable that you visit an auto insurance quote comparison website, such as CoverHound, to calculate what policies drivers like you are purchasing.
  • Do you need collision and comprehensive “full coverage” to replace or repair your car? Sometimes, the premiums you pay would be better utilized when channeled towards a savings account for a replacement.

Look for Big Discounts

A firm that sells both home and auto insurance wants you to purchase both. If you have more than one car in your family, they’ll want to insure them all. Home, auto and multi-car insurance discounts can bemb-2015-12-accident quite substantial.

A slightly expensive premium from an insurance firm offering a bundle on home and auto coverage may be even cheaper when discounts are applied to both policies. For a household with a teen, be on the lookout for an attractive student discount.

Read the Fine Print

If your credit, insurance or driving history have black marks, you’re likely looking for insurance from nonstandard firms. These firms are known as “nonstandard” because their policies may have exceptions to typical coverages and situations. Some exceptions include:

  • Limit on permissive drivers. While the typical policies offer you leeway to lend your vehicle to any licensed driver, nonstandard policies may limit the coverage the permissive driver gets.
  • No automatic coverage. A standard policy may insure you behind the wheel of a rental or new car, with limitations. Nonstandard policies may not allow this.

If you compare auto insurance quotes line by line, you will find that not all policies are the same. It’s easy to assume that the cheapest policy is the best one, but that is not always the case. Sometimes, the lowest cost policy is also the one that offers you the lowest coverage limits. Always do your research to ensure that you get the best value on great auto coverage.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

No Rise In Health Care Premiums Next Year

Next year will see a first for me.  My out of pocket health care premiums will not rise next year!  Well, technically, we’ve had a couple of years where they went down, but it was because we chose a plan that had less coverage.  But never before have we kept coverage the same and had costs not rise.

So this is great news.

How did it happen?

Well, I work for a health system herein Detroit.  The insurance company we use is affiliated with our health system, and the plan that we have is somewhat restrictive in that we can only go to doctors that work for the health system.  You can get plans where you can choose outside doctors as your in-network doctors, but they’re a lot more expensive.

So, in order to encourage our employees to use our own doctors, they’re keeping the costs for that plan the same, and raising the rest.

Kind of makes sense that they’d want their own employees to support their business.

It’s really no different than when you work for a car company and get a discount for buying one of their automobiles.

I’m pretty mb-2015-11-insuranceexcited.

Other Costs

Looking through the initial documentation, it looks like we will have some slight increases in some of the other areas of coverage, like dental and long-term insurance, but it looks like it won’t be more than $5 or $6 higher across the board.

Which is unprecedented.

Two Items To Check

I just have a couple of items that I need to clarify before we sign up for our 2016 coverage.

  1. Looking at all of our doctors. I know that our primary doctors are in the plan.  The office is in one of our nearby medical buildings.  Other physicians that we use (e.g. pediatricians, OB/GYN, etc.) are not directly employed but have, through 2015, maintained the affiliation with our plan and accepted the rates and such.  I just need to verify that they are going to stay in-network, and see what options might exist otherwise.
  2. Go to the doctor. The plan we have is a consumer driven health plan, where we pay the first $2,600 or so of our out of pocket costs, with the advantage that our employer will deposit $1,000 per year into our Health Savings Cost, making the effective out of pocket $1,600.  In order to get the full $1,000, you have to complete a checkup every two years if you’re healthy or every year if you’re not (it’s based on a score that takes account things like whether you smoke, your cholestorol and other variables).  My wife and I both passed and were exempt last year, but have to re-qualify this year.

That’s it.  I had been a little nervous about what was coming.  Health care costs are something that have caught us by surprise.  History shows that you really never know from one year to the next how things will look.  I was very pleasantly surprised this year!

Readers, how are your health care costs for 2016 looking?

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

No Exam Life Insurance: Guaranteed Issues vs. Simplified Issue

Not all no exam life insurance policies are created equal. There are two primary differences when it comes to these policies.  These are guaranteed issue and simplified issue. One aims to make the process more convenient while the offer is a last attempt at getting life insurance when you’ve been denied or may be denied elsewhere.

Have you had issues getting life insurance coverage with other carriers?  If so, you might be familiar with these two types of policies. Understanding how these work is important for you to get a good perspective on what to do next.

Comparing the Two

Caps are higher with simplified issue because it’s still geared towards healthy people. This means that the coverage obtained is guaranteed but limited. The bar for declines is higher with simplified issue since it is not meant for people with serious health issues. If you have medical concerns, it is a possibility that you could be declined for coverage with simplified issue. Simplified issue is intended to make the process easier.  However, the challenge with this is that you must still qualify in general.

Bear in mind that being denied for one company does not mean you will be declined for all coverage. Do not jump the gun and apply for guaranteed issue because you’re concerned about not getting coverage at all. Do some shopping and speaking with a life insurance expert.  They will help you to learn all your options. Some carriers have specific red flags that might cause you to be declined there.  This does not mean you are out of choices. Get the details from someone who knows as soon as possible so you’re not limited by your next steps.

When Is It Best to Go Traditional?

Even though both of these types of policies have their benefits, there are times when it just makes more sense to go the traditional route and get an exam. Knowing the carriers and which ones will be friendlier to the medical issues you have makes the application process much simpler. As is the case with no exam life insurance, various carriers view issues in different ways. Do not get hung up just because one company gives you a bad rate or a decline.

If you decide to go the traditional route, you might get better rates, the potential to look at more carriers overall, and more coverage options. With caps being such a big issue in simplified issue and guaranteed issue, traditional exam life insurance opens the potential for your beneficiaries to get more value from a life insurance policy. If this appeals to you, consider working with an independent life insurance agency that can recommend the best option for your individual situation.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.