Archive for October, 2012
The latest national statistics show drivers will have an accident once every ten years. The whole point of averages is that they hide the performance of individuals, some of whom may drive all their lives and never have an accident, to the young men who seem to hit something every time they leave the driveway. There’s one fact that remains worrying. Every year, about 88 people a day are killed on our roads. As with all figures, it’s the tip of a big iceberg made up of all the people who are only injured. No matter where you drive, it’s always better to arrive in the same state as you left but, with the more challenging conditions in cities, the risk of a collision is significantly higher. How do you give yourself the best chance of arriving safely?
It all starts with speed. All the scientific evidence from US and the developed countries shows that speed kills. If there’s a collision, the higher the closing speed, the more likely serious injury. To reduce the risks, everyone should drive within the speed limits and follow the rules of the road. This means staying alert. There are always more people walking and likely to step into the road. Although this is controllable during the day, remember there are fewer streetlights and there are often long distances between them. This means the majority of side roads are relatively dark and, with fewer crosswalks, people can suddenly appear in front of you.
Finally, always make sure you stay a safe distance when following behind any vehicle. Once you get off the main roads, you will often find larger vehicles making deliveries. Remember drivers of semi-trucks have reduced visibility so, if you are going to overtake, ensure there’s plenty of space and you have time to do it safely. Keeping cheap car insurance available for all depends on everyone following these simple rules. Hopefully, this is not too much to ask. If there are fewer accidents, there’s less money claimed, premium rates will fall and bring cheap car insurance for everyone.
The Insurance Commissioners have many important functions, but the one with the most immediate impact for the consumers is complaint handling. Anyone who does not feel they have received the best service from local insurers can contact their state’s Commissioner.
There will be an investigation. All Commissioners have the power to order compensation in cases found proved. If the problem is systemic, the Commissioners can issue regulations to change the current practices. Perhaps because everyone waits anxiously for the payout on a claim, the most complaints are made about the way in which the claims are handled.
A failure by most people to read their policies until they are faced with the need to make a claim is a common fact. At this point of sometimes high emotion, people can discover problems. The most obvious revolve around precisely what risks are covered and the level of evidence required to support the claim. People find insurers reluctant to explain exactly what is required or to help in filling in the relevant forms.
There can be delays even if claims for defined risks are submitted on the right forms with the right documentation, which is even more annoying. Even though all Commissioners lay down timetables, many insurers fail to respond within the limits or, if there is an acknowledgement, there is no explanation of the cause of the delay.
What adds to consumers feeling aggrieved is the increase of car insurance quotes for all the drivers…
When it comes to the valuation of claims, there can also be disagreements with assessors offering obviously low settlements on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. Even when settlements are agreed, there can still be unreasonable delays in paying out. If you have paid the premiums on time, you are entitled to a proper level of service as directed by the wording of the police and regulated by the Commissioner. Indeed, if insurers did make payments more promptly, it would boost their reputations and improve sales by word-of-mouth. Car insurance quotes would therefore fall as business increased. As it is, additional money is spent in defending complaints to the Commissioner and the cost is passed on to us in the next car insurance quotes.
Looking ahead in order to plan your budget, you love any spendinghs to be easily or at some degree predictable. But the real life is rarely a predicatble thing so, without any warning, you can suddenly find all your careful plans thrown out of joint. Insurance rates are no exception to this. To understand why, we need to remind you how auto insurance works. Everyone pays into a central fund. When accidents happen, people claim and the money is paid out. The rest must cover the administrative costs and provide a profit. So, in their business model, insurers are looking for drivers who will never claim or only make small claims. If you suddenly look like a bigger risk, your personal rates will rise. If too many people have been claiming, your rates will rise. But there may be other less obvious reasons for your rates to rise.
Let’s start with changing your vehicle. Most people upgrade, buying a new or newer vehicle. With more money at risk, you may decide to buy collision and comprehensive cover. This will be required if you have taken out an auto loan. Inevitably, this means you will pay more unless your new vehicle is cheaper to insure. Look carefully at the theft rates and insurance ratings before deciding what to buy. Now think about changing your job. If you now have to commute a longer distance during peak hours, the risk of an accident rises and so will your premium. If your new job will involve more driving, the rates will also rise. Similarly, before you change your address, look at the premium rates associated with the proposed ZIP code. Many people face an increase even if all they are doing is moving across the street. If you manage to take these three factors under your control, you can minimize their impact on your auto insurance quotes next time. Failure to plan could mean a very unpleasant surprise when the next auto insurance quotes arrive and throw all your careful budgeting into disarray.