How much auto insurance

driving-and-insuranceThe best way to ensure optimum utilization of your auto insurance dollar is by appreciation the major role of insurance. Sites like can help you save money. From this perspective you will be able to design an auto insurance bundle that that will effectively protect you from all the risk you are exposed to in relation to your ownership of automobile. It is, therefore, important to begin by clarifying the core role of auto insurance in general i.e. to restore the auto insurance policy holder to the original position the policy holder was in case an insurable loss which is covered by the auto insurance policy occurs.

In the effort to ensure optimum auto insurance coverage, policy holders run two main risks in determining how much insurance cover to purchase. One of the risks is what is referred to as over (auto) insurance. This is where the policy holder overstates the value of his automobile. This could happen as a result of ignorance, where the automobile owner does not have know how much his drive is worth; it may also be a result of design, where the automobile owner hopes to profit from higher compensation in case an insured loss occurs.

This is what happens if the automobile owner suffers the loss of over insured automobile: it is deemed to be an illegality and therefore the auto insurance provider is protected under the principles of insurance, from paying the over insured amount. So, the maximum the auto insurer will pay is the correct amount that reflects the true worth of the loss suffered. Another thing may happen, under the law of contract, the auto insurance provider may plead fraud and hence avoid reimbursing compensation.

Another risk the automobile owner may suffer from in determining how much auto insurance he or she requires to purchase is referred to as under insurance. This may also be as a result of ignorance or a plot to under declare the extent of the potential loss, so as to receive reduced premiums payment obligation. These may seem attractive because the cost of auto insurance is reduced but if a loss occurs this is what happens: the auto insurance provider pays up to the actual extent of loss covered. The automobile owner is, as a result, inadequately covered.

Therefore in determining how much auto insurance to take the automobile owner will, where necessary, require to ensure accurate disclosure of information regarding the full extent of the nature of potential loss. Other important issues that require due consideration include investigating available discounts. It is, for example, possible to obtain auto insurance discounts for your proactive efforts in mitigating risks such as by installing anti lock brakes to your automobile or for taking defensive driving lessons.

Also important, in determining how much auto insurance, is your driving, or your drivers’, history. Accident free drivers will attract discounted premiums which will add to the amount of savings towards auto insurance coverage. Consider also including glass insurance as an integral part of your auto insurance to avoid taking a separate cover e.g. for the windshield of your automobile.

Below is a helpful safe driving video. From Australia, but what the hey…

Below is a list of car insurance companies in California. In other words, these are the companies currently licensed to sell auto insurance in and by the state of California. This should not be considered an exhaustive list, and for current and up to date information, as well as contact info for these car insurance companies, you should do additional research.

If you live in the UK, and have had a car accident click here.

For convenience, I have listed the auto insurance providers alphabetically:

Letter A
Affirmative Insurance Company, AIG Indemnity Insurance Company, AIU Insurance Company, Alliance United Insurance Company, Allied Property and Casualty Insurance Company, AllState Indemnity Company, AllState Insurance Company, AllState Property and Casualty Insurance Company, AMCO Insurance Company, American Economy Insurance Company, American Home Assurance Company, American International Insurance Company of California, INC., American Sentinel Insurance Company, American States Insurance Company, American States Insurance Company of Texas, American States P Insurance Company, Amica Mutual Insurance Company.

Letter B
Balboa Insurance Company.

Letter C
California Capital Insurance Company, The California Casualty Indemnity Exchange, CastlePoint National Insurance Company, Century-National Insurance Company, Civil Service Employees Insurance Company, Clarendon National Insurance Company, Coast National Insurance Company, Cornerstone National Insurance Company, CSE Safeguard Insurance Company.

Letter D
Danielson Insurance Company, Danielson National Insurance Company, DeerBrook Insurance Company, Depositors Insurance Company, Delos Insurance Company.

Letter E
Eagle West Insurance Company, Esurance Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Empire Fire and Marine Insurance Company, Encompass Insurance Company, Everest National Insurance Company.

Letter F
Farmers Insurance Exchange, Federal Insurance Company, Fidelity National Insurance Company, Financial Indemnity Company, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, First American Property & Casualty Insurance Company, First National Insurance Company of America.

Letter G
GEICO Casualty Company, GEICO General Insurance Company, GEICO Indemnity Company, General Insurance Company of America, The Glens Falls Insurance Company, Government Employees Insurance Company, Granite State Insurance Company, Guideone Mutual Insurance Company, Guideone Specialty Mutual Insurance Company.

Letter H
Harbor Specialty Insurance Company, Hartford Casualty Insurance Company, Hartford Underwriters Insurance Company, Horace Mann Insurance Company, Horace Mann Property & Casualty Insurance Company, Hudson Insurance Company.

Letter I
IDS Property Casualty Insurance Company, Infinity Insurance Company, Integon Preferred Insurance Company, InterInsurance Exchange of The Automobile Club, Ironshore Indemnity Inc.

Letter K
Kemper Independence Insurance Company.

Letter L
Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company.

Letter M
Markel American Insurance Company, Maryland Casualty Company, Mercury Insurance Company, Merastar Insurance Company, Meritplan Insurance Company, MGA Insurance Company, MIC General Insurance Corporation, Mid-Century Insurance Company.

Letter N
National American Insurance Company of California, National General Insurance Company, National Interstate Insurance Company, Nations Insurance Company, Nationwide Insurance Company of America, NorthBrook Indemnity Company, Northern Insurance Company of New York, Northwestern Pacific Indemnity Company.

Letter O
Occidental Fire & Casualty Insurance Company of North Carolina, Ocean Harbor Casualty Ins. Company, Oregon Mutual Insurance Company.

Letter P
Pacific Indemnity Company, Pacific Property and Casualty Company, Pacific Specialty Insurance Company, Paris Re American Insurance Company, Permanent General Assurance Corporation, Personal Express Insurance Company, Preserver Insurance Company, Progressive Choice Insurance Company, Progressive West Insurance Company.

Letter R
Redland Insurance Company.

Letter S
Safeco Insurance Company of America, Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois, Safeway Direct Insurance Company, Safeway Insurance Company, Southern Insurance Company, Standard Fire Insurance Company, Starnet Insurance Company, Starr Indemnity Insurance Company, State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, State Farm General Insurance Company, State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Company, Sterling Casualty Insurance Company, Sutter Insurance Company, Starr Indemnity Insurance Company.

Letter T
21ST Century Casualty Company, 21ST Century Insurance Company, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Company, LTD, Topa Insurance Company, Transguard Insurance Company of America, Twin City Fire Insurance Company.

Letter U
Unitrin Auto and Home Insurance Company, Unitrin Direct Insurance Company, Unitrin Direct Property & Casualty Company, USAA.

Letter V
Victoria Fire & Casualty Company, Vigilant Insurance Company, Viking Insurance Company of Wisconsin.

Letter W
Wawamesa General Insurance Company, The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company, Western General Insurance Company, Western United Insurance Company, Workmen’s Auto Insurance Company.

This list of car insurance companies in California is current as of . As always, the best way to shop for car insurance in California is to get competitive quotes at least once every six months, no matter which of these companies your current policy is with. That way, you can always have assurance that the rates you are paying are the lowest they can be.

car-coverageWhen it comes to car insurance coverages, the types that are available and exactly what they cover and whether or not you need them, there always seems to be a great deal of confusion. As a consumer and purchaser of auto insurance and insurance related products, you will find it helpful if you gain a greater understanding of what these types of coverage are, and how they may impact you. In this brief primer we will discuss the primary kinds of car insurance coverages, and details you need to know.

Collision Coverage

Exactly like it sounds, car collision coverage is the component of your policy that will typically pay you when your car is damaged as the result of a motor vehicle collision with another car or light truck, or with a structure or object. What normally happens is that you will obtain an estimate of the damages from an approved body repair facility or from your insurance firm itself. After that, the repairs will be made at the repair facility of your choice, and then your insurance company will either send you a check for the repairs or pay the repair shop directly, less your collision deductible, which is the amount you are personally responsible for.

So, for example, if the repairs total $5,000, and your deductible is $500, the insurer will pay $4,500 either to you, the insured, or directly to the California collision repair shop. You then pay the $500 deductible and take your newly repaired vehicle home, good as new!

Do I need Collision Insurance?

You may not, and it pays to think carefully about whether you need to be paying the high premiums collision coverage often carries. After all, what if the car or truck you drive is old, worn out, and nearly worthless. You probably don’t need to carry collision. However, if you couldn’t easily afford to replace your vehicle, especially if it’s a newer model, you should have collision coverage. And, if your vehicle is leased or financed, the leasing company or lender will most likely require you to have collision.

Liability Coverage

One of the most important car insurance coverages is liability, which pays in the event that you cause damage to others or their property when you or someone else is behind the wheel or your covered automobile. Every state requires this, so you should fully understand it. Liability coverage falls into three main types:

  • Bodily Injury coverage, per individual person;
  • Bodily Injury coverage, per each accident occurrence;
  • Property Damage coverage;

When you want to know how much liability coverage a particular policy carries, you will normally see three numbers, like this: 50/100/50. What this means is that the liability coverage limits are $50,000 maximum for bodily injury per person, $100,000 maximum per each accident occurrence, and $50,000 maximum for property damage. Another common coverage limit is 100/300/100, but check with your agent or carrier to determine what the requirements are in you state.

In California the minimum limits are 15/30/5 but you may want to carefully consider paying a little more for higher coverage limits, depending on how much personal property and assets you have and care to put at risk.

Medical Coverage

Another of the car insurance coverages you need to know about is medical, which will pay for medical related costs and expenses in the event of personal injuries. This coverage is not mandatory, but you will want to seriously consider adding it to your policy. After all, this valuable coverage will pay for injury to you or you passengers no matter who is determined to be at fault, in vehicular collisions. This coverage will even pay if you, as a pedestrian, are hit by a motor vehicle and need medical care or treatment.

There are many types of treatment and care covered by this policy component, including hospital and doctor care, surgeries, x-rays and tests, ambulance fees, skilled nursing and long term care, artificial limbs, and final expenses.

Comprehensive Coverage

Sometimes things happen that are not the result of a motor vehicle accident or collision. These may include weather or storm related damage, theft and destruction due to vandalism, things that fall on your vehicle, animal related damage, and stone-chipped windshields and broken glass.

These things and many others are typically covered by comprehensive, another type of the car insurance coverages you need to be familiar with. Similar to collision, this kind of coverage is subject to a deductible which you choose at the time you purchase your policy. The higher your deductible, the less this type of coverage will cost you.

Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Sometimes, people drive with no insurance. Other times, they may get behind the wheel without the proper amount of coverage. Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage makes sure that if you’re involved in an accident or collision with a person like this, you and the other occupants of your vehicle are still covered, if the other motorist is found to be at fault.

As with many other kinds of auto insurance coverages, how much of this coverage to carry depends a lot on your personal finances. If you have a lot of money and assets to protect, you may want to consider increasing the amount of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in your policy, for increased peace of mind. On the other hand, if you have few assets, or your tolerance for risk is high, you could even forego this coverage altogether.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Simply stated, this is one of the most overlooked car insurance coverages. PIP will pay for such expenses as child care, funeral expenses, and loss of income in the event you’re injured in an accident and unable to work or provide for any or all of these services. Consider carefully if you might need this valuable coverage when getting a car insurance quote.

Now that you have a better understanding of the different kinds of car insurance coverages available, you will be a better informed consumer.

Are You Overpaying For Your Car Insurance?

Are we paying too much?

How much coverage do we need?

Ever wonder if you are overpaying for your car insurance? I mean, every time you get that bill in the mail, and you open it and see just how much it is, don’t you ever ask yourself how much other people are paying, and if there isn’t maybe some way to lower your auto policy rates and keep more of your money in your own pocket, where it belongs? Before you do anything drastic however, like raising your deductibles all the way up to the moon, or cutting the amount of coverage you have and leaving yourself unnecessarily exposed, why not peruse this brief narrative and see if you are applying all of the money saving tactics at your disposal.

Got Good Credit?

OK, this may not be the fastest fix, but by improving your credit score you can help insure you’re not overpaying for your car insurance. How? Well, the fact is that auto insurance companies determine your rates by how much risk you pose, and they have figured out that a poor credit risk is often also a poor insurance risk, hence the higher rates for bad credit customers.

The answer of course is to pay your bills on time, all the time. Slowly, your credit score will rise, and, assuming you get competitive quotes every few months to keep your insurance carrier honest, your rates will go down. By itself, this strategy won’t cut your bills in half or anything like that, but every little bit adds up, right?

Drive A Safer Car

A few years ago my wife was involved in an automobile accident in which she was rear ended by a dump truck. Making matters worse, she was pregnant at the time. Needless to say, I was scared and worried for her safety. I needn’t have been, because she was driving a Volvo, and the awesome safety design of that car acted just like a giant shock absorber, transmitting all of the energy from the crash throught the body, frame, and even the roof of the vehicle. The Volvo was a total loss but, thank God my wife was only shaken up and none the worse for wear.

The truth is, safer cars are, well, safer, and insurance companies understand that. Their actuarial charts show which cars provide the safest crash test results and are, therefore, the lowest risk for them to insure. These cars and light trucks receive the lowest car insurance rates. The end result is that buying and driving a safer motor vehicle translates into NOT overpaying for your car insurance.

Before you shop for a car, check the government’s safety ratings at their website, and look for a vehicle with a 5 Star Safety Rating.

Keep Your Car At Home

Well now this might seem like a no-brainier, but folks who drive fewer miles have cheaper auto insurance premiums. You may have noticed that when you call and ask for a car insurance quote from one of the big national firms, or even from your local agent, they always ask two questions. First, what type of driving will you be doing with your car? For example, commuting back and forth to work, business travel, or just around town. Next, they ask approximately how many miles per year you intend to drive. Usually, the answers are in ranges, such as less than 10,000, 10,000 to 15,000, 15,000 to 25,000, and over 25,000 miles per year.

Finding ways to cut down the amount you drive may not be easy, but it may be worthwhile, because the amount you save on your bill will help make sure you’re not overpaying for your car insurance. For instance, consider whether you can work at home. Many people can, thanks to cothe internet, smart phones, and email. If it works for you, you could literally slice your mileage in half, or more, and put yourself well on the way to some of the cheapest auto insurance rates around. Don’t laugh, because it worked for me, and has worked for countless other insured motorists as well.

Buy A New House

Of course you’re not going to consider purchasing a brand new home just to save a few bucks on your automobile policy premiums. However, consider this. People who reside in suburban and rural areas pay on average 10-15% less than folks in urban locales do. So, to avoid overpaying for your car insurance into the far future, when the time comes to go house hunting, move out of the city.

It’s true and most insurance shoppers aren’t aware of it, but if you stop to think about it it makes sense. People in less urbanized settings get into fewer vehicular collisions, and their risk of car theft is greatly reduced as well. Not zero, but certainly lower than city-dwellers. Again, less risk for the insurance firms means lower premium payments for you.

If you’re thinking about a move now, ask your realtor about these statistics, and which area’s residents incur the lowest cost of insurance. If he or she is experienced, they will have access to this data, and be able to steer you to a neighborhood whose residents enjoy safe streets and cheap car insurance.

Take Advantage of All Available Discounts

For this article, we’re going to end with this bit of car insurance advice. Ask your carrier or local agent if you qualify for any discounts you maybe never thought of before. What about the discount for having multiple policies with one insurance company? Sometimes it’s a simple matter to bundle your homeowners and automobile policies and save on both, yet another way of not overpaying for your car insurance.

Or consider the discount for having specific safety equipment on your car or truck, such as airbags on both driver and passenger side, and anti-lock braking systems. These features are found on almost all modern vehicles, and your insurer needs to know about them so they can rate you accordingly

These are a few of our best tips for making sure you’re not overpaying for your car insurance. The single best way is, of course to obtain instant, competitive quotes on a regular basis.

driving-car-coverageI attended an insurance briefing by my insurance provider recently and learned quite a number of things about what exactly comprises comprehensive coverage, as far as insurance is concerned. The discussion about comprehensive insurance cover drew a lot interest from the participants because there seemed to a lack of consensus on the use of the term comprehensive. Some felt that insurance companies use the term comprehensive coverage as a marketing ploy to make potential insurance providers to imagine a possibility of eliminating all the risks they hope to insure against.

The insurance executive who was leading the plenary had a lot of hard time explaining what is comprehensive coverage is all about. I managed to jot down some notes which I revisit in this article. One thing our insurance guy was specific about the term comprehensive cover refers to the most detailed auto cover that is available in the market. He was emphatic that the term comprehensive cover does not denote a special ability to mitigate your auto insurance risk, subject to conditions set out in the policy. In other words, the comprehensive cover can only cover the occurrence of stated risks up to a given maximum extent.

This, according to the insurance executive, works as follows: the minimum auto insurance cover, accepted by law for an automobile to be on the road, is the third party auto insurance cover. In this case the registered automobile owner displaces the risk that may arise from the use of his/ her automobile. However, being only the barest form of auto insurance, the third party does not provide protection to the owner and his/ her interests. In other words the owner is left, alone, to assume his risk exposure. Anyone else who suffers loss, save the owner, is however eligible for compensation.

The third party auto insurance cover moves a notch high when it becomes: third party fire and theft. This, according to the insurance executive, covers the third party (described above) plus the risk of loss to the owner that arises from the automobile being stolen or destroyed by fire. In other words the owners’ interests are included to include two other specific risks: fire and theft. This is therefore, as the explanation was put to us: more comprehensive auto insurance cover than the third party. However, all other risks are not covered, and the name adopted for this auto insurance cover clearly indicates this: ‘Third party auto insurance, Fire and Theft. Period.

The third form of auto insurance is the comprehensive insurance. So, what is comprehensive auto insurance coverage? Our insurance executive managed to impress us on this. He explained that comprehensive auto insurance cover, unlike the other two auto insurance covers, integrates losses suffered by the owner in respect to his/ her automobile. This, therefore, implies that the owner will get compensated for loss or damage to his or her vehicle. Note that these losses are not limited to fire and theft only. Rather the comprehensive auto insurance will reimburse for owner’s interests as far as his/ her automobile is concerned, up to the extent of coverage.