Auto Insurance FAQs

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What is auto insurance?
Auto insurance is an agreement between you and your insurer to whom you pay the premiums and who in return pays you benefits.
Related reading:
Auto Insurance online - How it protects you and your vehicle
What are the auto insurance laws?
Auto insurance laws may vary from one state to another. What is mandatory in one state may be a little relaxed in another. It is always better to check the auto insurance laws with your stateís insurance department.
Related reading:
State-wise Information on Auto Insurance
Are auto insurance rates falling?
Auto insurance rates had been on an uphill mode but recently the rates may have started to fall. The rates keep fluctuating with time. You must keep a watch on the rates if you are interested in buying a policy.
Related reading:
Dropping auto rates
Why do auto insurance rates vary?
Auto rates vary for various reasons. The types of car you buy, your driving record, your age and several other factors contribute to determining auto insurance rates.
Related readings:
Why are my rates mounting so higher?
Rise in insurance costs
My auto insurance costs
Why should you insure teen drivers?
Teen drivers may be more at risk of accidents since they are not as mature and experienced as drivers in their middles ages or more. However, teen drivers may also get some discounts based on their educational scores.
Related readings:
Do I have to put my teenageer on my policy?
Auto insurance for teens
How to get a teenager off your auto policy
Does my out of state daughter need to be on my auto ins.?
When can auto insurance be cancelled?
An auto insurance policy can be cancelled by an insurance company only in case of any default in payment of premiums. However, before canceling any policy, the company needs to inform the policy holder beforehand and vice versa.
Related readings:
Auto Insurance Policy Cancellation
Insurance sample cancellation letter
Selling a car without canceling insurance
Should you buy rental car insurance if you have an accident?
If you do have to rent a car because your car was damaged in an accident, it is advisable that you buy a rental car insurance too. Usually, as you rent a car you will be entitled to a few coverage plans.
Related readings:
Rent a car accident, driver unisured
Rental Reimbursement
No rental car insurance
Is auto insurance mandatory?
Yes, there is a state minimum auto insurance that you need to have if you own a car. However, you may want to purchase additional auto insurance coverage to provide extra protection for your car.
Related readings:
Compulsory Auto Insurance
Is auto insurance optional in any state?
Is it necessary to buy uninsured motorist coverage?
No it is not but in case you get hit by an uninsured motorist, what would you do? You canít get the other partyís insurance company to pay. But if you have UM coverage, you can make a claim with your insurance provider.
Related readings:
Just crashed with an uninsured motorist...what to do now?
Difference between stacked and unstacked coverage
Uninsured neighbor bummped into my car
Should'nt uninsured driver automatically be more at fault?
How to make an auto insurance claim
Auto insurance claims follow certain simple procedures. They look for evidence and if you can provide such evidence it may prove fruitful for your claim.
Related readings:
How do auto insurance claims affect your policy?
How to determine a 50/50 insurance claim
Auto insurance: comprehensive claim

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:27 am   Post subject: Auto insurance signup queries  

Hi all,



I've to apply for Auto insurance within a few days. I would just like to ask you a few questions prior to my application submission. Is it possible for me to check my carrier's ratings anywhere? Are there any chances that I may need to pay more for premiums than the amount stated by my agent? What steps do I follow if I find my carrier has turned bankrupt in the long run?

Regards, Polo-gemini8


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:27 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
Is it possible for me to check my carrier's ratings anywhere?
If you are in the USA your states dept of insurance maintains records on your carrier...and a website...
Quote:
Are there any chances that I may need to pay more for premiums than the amount stated by my agent?
Yes, if after the underwriting dept finishes their job and your agent has incorrectly rated you...
Quote:
What steps do I follow if I find my carrier has turned bankrupt in the long run
Generally these types of carriers are bought up by another which have to honor your contract until it runs out...(the policy period)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:31 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
Is it possible for me to check my carrier's ratings anywhere?




Yes, its absolutely possible to check the carrier's rating, in fact its suggested to check the background of the insurance provider before signing for the policy in order to avoid obscurities in the future. Following are some of the renowned rating institutes where you can check the rating of the insurance carrier.



  • A.M. Best

  • Standartd & Poor

  • Moody's investor Service
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:36 am   Post subject:   

Rupert's first option is unavoidable. You may go through the A. M. Best Company's P&C ratings. Such information would be available at ambest.com. You may also choose to go through their book. CD-ROMs are also available regarding this. Hope you'd be quite satisfied with this service!

Plasticmind


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:27 pm   Post subject:   

Hi, you may go through the definitions of individual ratings for each of the said services. Remember that all of these services would use individual rate plans. It would be much better for you to go through the ratings of those companies which have been rated as the best. But yeah, please make sure that these ratings have been stable over a period of time. Crossbreed


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:35 pm   Post subject:   

Hi..you may have access to the bankruptcy status of any carrier by calling up their customer support. Please try and explain to them your cause of asking them about the same. I'm sure, they would be more than eager to tell you how financially sound they are, in case they wanna have you as their prospective customer.

Mermaid-attitude


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:40 pm   Post subject:   

Hi,

In case you don't come across a carrier who seems exited..it would be advisable that you call up the State insurance dept. The officials over there would be able to give you a hint as to the financial status of a particular carrier. You may rest assured that the information that you would obtain from their side would be true and updated.

Caromel_merquez


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:46 pm   Post subject:   

See, there could be circumstances concerning an absorption. If your carrier hasn't had too bad a track record...you have the chances of getting absorbed by a good company. In my belief, such companies would value your policy with all its initial terms and conditions in place. In due course of time, you'd stand the chance of getting a fresh policy with your new carrier.

Thanks, Purpleheaded08


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:02 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
Are there any chances that I may need to pay more for premiums than the amount stated by my agent?




I don't see anything illegal in it. The premium stated by the agent is definitely not the ultimate one. The predictions of an agent regarding your premiums don't often take into account a number of other factors e.g. your accident history, claims history or your credit score. So, you see in the absence of all these important factors it can't be possible for an agent to give you an exact estimation of your insurance cost. Roddick
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:15 pm   Post subject:   

Guys,



lemme tell you..that any such premium analysis that you're talking about could only be done by the underwriters. These professionals would take into consideration all the necessary factors to determine your insurance premiums. So, they are into knowing and analyzing the risks associated with covering you for a specific purpose. Crossbreed


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:22 pm   Post subject:   

Yes, many times the applicants would just try to hide facts concerning their accident experiences. Even when they are being asked regarding the smaller traffic violations they would not be able to recall the dates. So, if you have had more of such experiences, you're bound to pay more in terms of insurance premiums.

Regards, Fatman

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:36 pm   Post subject:   

Hi all,



It seems quite fair since the real figure is determined out of facts concerning our real life risks. They are certainly not based on someone's whims and fantasies. Once you receive a rate from a carrier, it is again your call...whether you'd love to accept it or deny it.



If you think its not acceptable to you, you'd always have the opportunity to try out other carriers.It is quite natural for a prospective consumer to go for shopping with at least 4-5 carriers and then compare the rates offered by them. Only this would give them an idea of the actual worth of risks concerning them. Roddick

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:15 pm   Post subject:   

We run everything for the quote except MVR (we do that when the customer is pretty certan they will go with us). That is why we stress the importance of being upfront with their driving record. We explain all this up front - not running the MVR until the end, etc.



My main suggestion would be stick with a company who specializes in insurance (Allstate, State Farm, etc). AIG had their fingers in too many places - granted, their auto insurance side is stable, but it's the rest of their greediness that brought the company down - and the insurance fell with it.



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:55 pm   Post subject:   

I like to use ambest.com to check out insurance companies ratings. Even though the ratings are great today doesn't mean it can or will not change in the future and each driver should check at least twice annual at their insurance company and even more to be safer.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:46 am   Post subject:   

The financial health of the insurance companies has become a great concern for the global insurance consumers. We all are worried about what will happen to my money if the insurance company goes bankrupt.



However, its kind of a norm that whenever an insurance company goes bankrupt another insurance company comes forward to its rescue, i.e. the new company will take up the liabilities of your pervious carrier. Hence, you can be rest assured that you may continue receiving the benefits even if your carrier goes out-of-business.

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