Car Insurance – Watch Out Before You Buy!

What to watch out for while choosing car insurance?

The most important criteria include the five “C”s. Here’s a brief description of each:

Claim settlement policy – The true test of an insurance company is at the time of an actual insurance claim. This is possible to check by looking at the company’s past records of claim resolution. Now is the time to check if the existing insurance can be transferred to another insurance company without loss of benefits already paid for.

Coverage – What is the right coverage for you? Usually, car insurance policies cover third party liability and own damage. According to the Motor Vehicles Act, it is mandatory to opt for third party liability insurance cover while own damage is optional. Opting for both is the standard procedure since they cover any damage due to accidents and loss from third party mishaps. Most insurance companies offer “add-ons” with the basic policy.

Customer service – Thanks to technology, insurance policies are now issued instantly. Besides this, other issues such as changes in policy or cancellations are processed quickly. In the event of a claim, cashless settlement is also available so that post-repair delivery is quick without incurring bills at the workshop. It is therefore important to check the insurance company’s network for this facility. The bigger the network, the better the claimant’s options.

Communication access – The insurance company’s contact information must be easily accessible. If there is a problem the insured individual must know whom to get in touch with and the procedure to follow.

Cost – Last but not least, is the price or premium. Car insurance premium is based on “insured declared value” or IDV and the rate multiplier and depends on the car model, the age of the car, daily mileage and the terrain of the location. It is important to declare the right IDV and select a policy that offers the maximum IDV even if you have to incur a slightly higher premium.

Besides the above, the following are the benefits to look for:

No claim bonus – if no claim has been filed during the insurance period, a no-claim discount is offered on risk cover against own damage at the time of policy renewal. For each consecutive claim-free year, the discount increases progressively. The point to note is that the no claim bonus eligibility holds good even in the event of a new vehicle purchase or existing insurance renewal before the due date from a different insurance provider.

Opting for deductible – Drivers with a good record can opt for “voluntary excess” or deductible to lower their premium payments, in addition to the compulsory excess. In the case of a compulsory excess, the insured is liable to pay a specific amount if a claim is filed.

Premium based on car type – If your car has extra security features such as anti-theft alarms the chances of theft is lower and insurance can come at a lower premium.

Timely insurance renewal – If car insurance is not renewed before the expiry date the renewal premium can result in loss of coverage especially if there is an accident and also mean no discount for the no-claim bonus.

Choice of Add-ons– Besides the basic car insurance coverage, insurance providers offer several optional add-ons. It is important to select the right ones and only pay for those. For example, if there is a medical expense cover or hospital cash cover, check to see if you have a medical insurance policy that already covers these.

To renew or not to renew – with the same insurance provider? When it is time to renew your car insurance, compare insurance providers to see what they are offering before making a decision. The car insurance industry is very competitive and for the same coverage, you can probably get a better price elsewhere.

Some final precautions to bear in mind are:

• Check that the insurance policy is genuine. Always buy your car insurance directly from the insurance company or from its authorized agent.

• Always get a premium payment receipt.

• When you receive your policy document, check the IDV, no claim bonus and deductible details to make sure it is what you opted for. Any discrepancies must be notified and rectified immediately.

• Make sure only you sign the proposal form and always read before signing

• Do not opt for monthly payments as this is more expensive than annual payments

Remember that car insurance protects you and the occupants of your car on two counts: from accidental damage and from third party claims when you are responsible for the accident. Therefore, choose with care.

Get a Car Insurance Quote – Get One Online For Free

You’ve been dealing with the same car insurance company for years now. And you might feel that you should be contemplating a new insurance company that actually gives you a lot more benefits than you are actually getting.

Sometimes, it doesn’t mean that because you’ve used it for a long time, means it’s the only one that would work for you. Through the years, insurance companies have sprung up like mushrooms in the corporate world. And because of the competition, these companies have been giving very good deals to their consumers. Deals that are not only affordable, but service that consumers really need.

If you currently doubt the benefits that you’ve been getting, you need to get a car insurance quote today. By getting a new car insurance quote, you will be able to learn new services and new rates that would help you with your car insurance and your finances.

To get a car insurance quote, there are two ways on how you can go about it. One, you can do it the old school way, having agents visit you, making phone calls and visit company to company, requesting for these car quotations.

Second, you can now also get rate quotations online. For those who are not internet savvy, doing the old way might be the easier way for them. Not only will you waste time with the endless agent meetings or repetitive phone calls or the hassle of going from one agency to the other, but you might well end up having incomplete information and possibly having you purchase a coverage that you don’t actually need.

An online quote on the other hand, is easier to access and is less time consuming. Having a computer, an internet access and the needed insurance websites will be the only basic things you need to get a car insurance quote.

Getting to access this sites, will allow you to fill up a form, then an electronic quotation of your requirements will be emailed directly to you. Another advantage of these online websites is getting to compare quotations from multiple insurance companies.

These multiple insurance quotations will allow you to have a variety of possible companies to review on and choose from. Because of comparison shopping you will end up getting the best possible quote that will surely be affordable and which will work for you.

You don’t need to get a car insurance quote like the olden days. Save time and money by getting your old insurance company a makeover. It’s about time you have an insurance company you can trust.

What Exactly is Direct Car Insurance? And is it Cheaper?

Direct car insurance is exactly what it describes, you make all the cover arrangements yourself and purchase the policy directly from the Insurer who underwrites the cover.

The advantages of buying ‘direct’ are that in some cases the premiums offered will be less than if you bought through a middleman, though this is by far the case for the majority in reality.

Most direct motor insurance companies are able to make savings in commission and data handling, which many do pass onto their customers in discounted premiums or advertising ‘tempters’ such as offering twelve months cover for the price of ten, or throwing in some additional cover for free, such as car breakdown insurance.

These marketing sweeteners should always be looked upon sceptically by a prospective purchaser of insurance, as it may well be the case that the costs of the ‘sweetener’ are absorbed elsewhere in the quote offered.

With so many different types of motor insurance distribution points available these days it is sometimes difficult to determine whether you are purchasing your cover from a direct company, or not.

You can purchase car insurance by either picking up the phone and dialling a company that you found in the telephone book, visiting a high street outlet, or by shopping on the Internet where you have access to many different types of car, auto and motor insurance retail distribution products.

Whichever method you choose to purchase, it can still be difficult to determine from the onset, whether you are dealing with a direct  insurance company or one of the many other intermediaries that exist.

The types of insurance intermediaries that exist within the UK insurance market these days are numerous but can broadly be defined as belonging to one the following groups:

Underwriters, Direct Companies, Insurance Companies, Scheme Providers, Brokers, Comparison websites, Agents, Introducers, Affiliates and Affinity Groups.

Those at the top of the group are those most likely to be considered direct suppliers of car insurance.

Those at the bottom of the list are those that are most likely to charge a commission, agents, or an introducer fee.

To understand and benefit from purchasing direct from an insurer we need to look at the goods and services supplied by each of these above groups and how they are components of the price you pay as a premium.

As with all insurance, the power of the pen, that is the ability to set a price for a risk , ultimately lies with the underwriters of the car insurance policy. These are the people who will suffer financially should you make a claim. Underwriters manage your risk and set the rates and charges. It obviously follows then, that the nearer to the source or base risk that you purchase your car insurance from, the more likely it is to be able to get the cover at the best possible price for the risk.

It is possible to directly negotiate a price for a policy with certain motor insurance underwriters. However this task is usually carried out by a specialist insurance broker, and in practice this negotiation is probably best left to a specialist broker who is skilled in communicating risks to underwriters or car insurance companies, and does so as part of his or her job on a daily basis.

Similarly the power of the underwriting pen is available to certain sales teams of Direct insurance companies. If you phone them up and talk to them direct, it is possible that even though they have to follow a script and set system screen procedures, that they have some system codes to discretionally discount your  insurance premium down to a fixed minimum premium level. It’s often a question of don’t ask – don’t get!

Car insurance schemes are tailored bespoke policies for a certain type of driver or car such as Lady drivers insurance. Schemes may be offered direct from an issuing insurance company specialising in motor schemes, or more likely from a specialist car insurance company or broker. Because the schemes have been designed for a certain distribution channel the company offering these insurance schemes is often given the power of the pen and allowed to make underwriting and pricing decisions themselves, within certain pre-arranged limits of authority.

Often overlooked by the large part of the car insurance buying public, these schemes offer the best value for money if you are lucky enough to fit into one.

If you buy direct from a broker it is probable that they have an underwriting contact at an insurance company who can vary premiums and match quotes that you have obtained from another source. The advice that car insurance brokers offer can often be worth the small additional premium they might charge, as they will help you get the correct level of cover and more importantly communicate any claims or problems you might be having direct to the underwriters of your insurance policy, saving you time and money in what can be a minefield to the insurance world uninitiated.

The large Insurance comparison websites that you so often see advertising on TV, sell policies on behalf of insurance companies and brokers. The majority of these companies do not have access to the pen, and are not allowed to discount premiums. Many do however offer and present a wide choice of insurance policy to a prospect and through the ability to compare rates for mainstream car insurance, are usually able to offer policies which are cheaper than what a customer may currently be paying.

Beware when you are comparing policies online that you are comparing not just on the premium price quoted, but also take account of the variations in levels of cover, and only compare on a like for like basis. To fully understand the levels of cover it is essential that you always read the small print of these policies. Unfortunately in the case of Internet comparison sites that do not underwrite themselves, it is often the case that there are additional premium hikes when you come to complete, often made by the contract fulfilling underwriting insurance company, to the original quote offered. This practice known as ‘after loading’ occurs when you arrive at the underwriting company’s site to complete the transaction the price has risen considerably from that originally being quoted.

However you decide to purchase your car insurance, it should always be with what is right for your particular circumstances and your particular car, in mind.

You should always make comparative decisions on a like for like basis. If one policy being offered a few hundred cheaper than a competitor, you should check carefully the levels of cover in the small print, and compare the limits of indemnity.

Check also which covers are included in the basic cost of the motor insurance policy and which are included as extras. Windscreen damage cover is an example of this. Do you really need a courtesy car when you are a two car family? This extras can soon mount up.

If you need advice or help in deciding what covers you require, you should always call a broker or insurance company direct and they will be able to explain exactly what they are offering and allay any fears and misunderstandings you may have regarding the insurance that they are offering.

Qualities of Good Car Insurance Companies

We all want to pay a low premium for car insurance, but in addition to the cost of the insurance we should be sure that we have chosen a good car insurance company. Some of the qualities that make a good insurance company are accessibility, deductible percentage, and payment record.

When you are looking for a good insurance company, accessibility is a prime factor. You want a company that is easy to contact and that has reasonable rates. Many times, online companies offer instant chat or email access and quickly respond to your questions. They have answers that are easy to understand and are willing to work with you until you are reasonably satisfied with the information that they provide. Obviously, if the policy premiums are exorbitant, you do not want to go with that company.

Most car insurance companies will have a standard deductible percentage as part of the insurance package they offer you. This is an important aspect of any quote, and you will want to pay close attention to this part of your quotes from every insurance company you are looking at. If all else is equal but one company requires a very high deductible percentage, then you will want to stay away from that company. The amounts for the deductible ought to be something you can increase if you want to lower the overall premium; they shouldn’t be sky high to begin with.

One very important quality that a good car insurance company should have is a good payout record. Of course, we hear about insurance companies working hard so that they don’t have to make a payout if an accident occurs, but there are many good companies who work hard to come through for you after an accident. These companies pay particular attention to quick response in the case of an accident and work hard to make sure that they are paying what was agreed upon in the policy. It is a good idea to check with consumer protection organizations such as the Better Business Bureau to find out if there are any complaints against the companies you are considering. Knowing that the company you have chosen has a good payout record will give you peace of mind that in the case of an accident, you will be paid as agreed.

By verifying accessibility, the percentage generally charged for the deductible, and the payout record of the companies you are considering, you should be able to choose a good car insurance company.