Tips to maximize your auto insurance benefits

by brevan1112 » Fri Aug 28, 2009 01:41 am

There is a state minimum limit of auto insurance that all of you need to have. You pay a certain amount of premium and the insurance company pays you back the benefits when you need it. These are only the general benefits that an insurance company is entitled to offer its customers. Everyone looks for cheap auto insurance with the maximum benefits. But what if you have ideas on how to maximize the benefits you receive from your insurance company?

Here are few tips to maximize your auto insurance benefits:
  1. Raise your deductibles:
    Many a time customers opt for a low deductible policy and hence receive the minimum auto liability coverage. But if you can raise your deductibles you may be able to increase your liability coverage with roughly the same amount of premiums. You must talk to a dependable insurance professional who can guide you best with deductibles and the associated benefits. Another way to save money from auto insurance is the Personal Injury Protection (PIP). If you have health insurance, you can seek coverage from that. Medical payments may be mandatory in your state but if you have health insurance already, then don't buy more PIP coverage than you need.

  2. Check your total liability coverage:
    Check what total coverage your insurance company provides. See, if the total coverage per accident matches with the coverage that you will receive per person injured. It may so happen that your insurance company commits to pay $400, 000 as liability cost if you are found liable for an accident but only $100, 000 per injured person. So if that means that you have to pay $200, 000 as liability cost for one person, your insurance company will pay only half and the rest you will have to pay. Hence, it would be best to have your agent write your policy in such a manner that the total coverage per accident matches with the coverage that you will receive per person injured.

  3. Consider an umbrella policy:
    For those of you who already have a good amount of assets or plan to buy considerable assets in the future, you may consider buying umbrella policies to cover your home and auto.

  4. Seek good professional help:
    If you are seeking insurance advice from an insurance agent then look for experience.

  5. Good credit score:
    Your credit score may be used to determine how much your insurance company must charge you. Your credit history will help the insurance companies decide how good or bad you are in handling money. If you have a bad credit history, your premiums may go high, but if you have a good credit history you may find a cheaper insurance rate.

  6. Get rental insurance:
    It is advisable that you get car rental insurance in case your car needs repair and you have to rent a car. Generally everyone worries about repairing costs of a car and seldom do you think about the expenses of renting a car. But the truth is that, car rentals can cause quite a few hundreds to roll out-of-pocket. Hence, it is advisable that you get rental insurance to pay for such a situation.

  7. Shopping:
    Is there any point paying more for an insurance policy that pays the same benefits for a lesser price? No. So, it is better that you shop around to get a better deal instead of settling for the only insurance company that you get quotes from. You may seek independent insurance agents to guide you through your shopping. Independent agents are not bound by any one single insurance company and hence they may be able to get you good offers from different companies.

  8. Be specific:
    While you seek auto insurance quotes, be as specific as possible. Don't simply ask for a quote. Tell your agent the exact numbers that you want to compare. Each insurance policy has its own share of extra benefits. So make sure you get the best that you deserve. See what provisions each company and each policy has in store for you.

  9. Get the maximum discount:
    Insurance companies may offer discounts on various grounds. Make the maximum use of it. If you have been a safe driver for a considerable period of time you may be entitled to certain discounts. You may also get discounts if your car has safety features like anti-theft device, airbags, tracking system an alarm or anti-lock brakes. If you are buying auto insurance from the same company that covers home insurance or health insurance, you may get added discounts on the policy amount. Some senior citizens taking defensive driving course may get dollars off their premiums. Even teenagers who maintain good grades in school or who take driving education may receive good discounts.

  10. Teen drivers:
    Teen drivers usually add to insurance premiums. But there are several insurance companies that will offer discounts when there is no possibility that the child may drive the car because she/he is away at school. Another option would be to remove the teenager from your policy but this is a provision that may involve risk. So it may not be a good option.

  11. Do your own calculations well before dropping collision:
    Carefully go through the policy you are trying to buy. Do your calculations well. See if the amount of coverage that you are seeking is being provided through the policy or not. See how much of your premium goes in to collision coverage.

  12. Shop for both services as well as price:
    How your insurance company treats you is something that is very important. There are some companies that will help you settle a claim at a reasonable amount and there are some that don't. If you want to get prior information about any complaints against any insurance company, you may seek help from your state insurance department and the National Association of Insurance. They will share the information with you. Another way you can assure good service is by finding out if the company has the financial strength to settle claims (if any) in future.

  13. Deep understanding of the claims process:
    Get details of your claims process from your insurance agent. Find out if your insurance company will pay for branded spare or generic parts after you meet an accident. Ask if you will have limitations as to which body shop to opt for. If there is anything unclear in what your contract tells you, ask your agent to put it in writing.

  14. Diminished value:
    Ask your agent or the insurance company about diminished value. Find out if your car will be worth less after an accident. Your state insurance department will be able to tell you about new regulations or new auto insurance laws and rulings.

  15. Contact your agent immediately after an accident:
    Let your agent or the insurance company know immediately after you have an accident (if you are in a state to do so). Give in as many details of the accident as possible.

  16. File your claim:
    When making an insurance claim, prepare a separate file wherein you may keep all the documentary evidences as well as other important documents relating to the claim.

  17. Make an extra effort in the claims process:
    Since it is your claim, you are expected to take an extra interest in the process. You may either be asked to get damage repair costs from a couple of body shops or you may be given names of body shops trusted by your insurance company. If you go to the recommended shop, you may also get a guarantee on the repairs for the life of the car.

  18. Mention everything when estimating loss:
    Get in touch with your state insurance department and your insurance agent in order to find out what you must include in your estimates for loss.

  19. Ask for what you need:
    Ask for what you think you need. Keep an even temper while settling your claim. Compare what the company gives with what is mentioned in your policy.

  20. Inform your old company if you want to switch:
    If you switch company, notify your old company in writing. Make sure that there is no gap between the two policies. This is for your protection so that if your old company wants to goof up and complain that you are driving without insurance; your state may begin processing suspension of your driver's license. Act immediately if you get any sort of warning letter from the state.

I need to get a car registered but dont have a DL

Total Comments: 10

Posted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 09:31 am Post Subject:

Well, my friend you've not mentioned which place you're from?

Posted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 09:58 am Post Subject: insurance

(Putting my '2 cents' in). I'm from PA. I have Nationwide Insurance...have dealt with them a VERY long time. I couldn't get automobile insurance with them, unless I had a valid DL. I really don't know about any other state, regarding this.

Posted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:33 am Post Subject:


It would seem that owning & insuring a car would be Legal in most states (with or without a drivers license) ...... BUT......... it would also seem that one would Pay a higher Price for that coverage. Along with being limited to buying insurance from A Specialty Company [ similar to that of being insured after a DUI ].

One would think the reason for the Higher price would be due to the Owner *NOT* being the primary driver of this car (since they don't have a driver's license) which would leave the Insurer taking on an unknown amount of Risk. How would the Insurer know if the frequent driver of this car was being driven by a Good driver [low risk] or some Really Really bad driver that can't insure him/her own car [high risk]. Thus leaving the Specialty Co. setting rates with the assumption that the primary driver is a High Risk driver.

This is Just My Opinion and not necessarily even close to being correct.

Posted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:38 am Post Subject: insurance

I see your point on this one, FK. But..I would think if you went to an Insurance Comapny and tried to get Auto Insurance and didn't have a valid DL, this would be a 'red flag' for the Insurance Company. Some people, on the Forum ,had talked about insuring OTHER people's autos. Why, in the world would you want to do that!!?? If the car gets wrecked, the driver of the car has been DUI, etc....ALLL of this can go AQAINST the 'owner' of the Insurance policy.

Posted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:13 pm Post Subject:



Let me offer an example.

Lets say I'm 80 years old, own a good running reliable car, but I don't feel capable of driving it, and let my driver's license expire. The nearest Pharmacy is 18 miles away. I can't walk that far....

My neighbor's son has a license but no car. Soooooooo, I hire him to drive me to town in my car to get my prescriptions, groceries, etc. It's a great solution too my problem. My teenaged neighbor earns a little extra cash and I can get to town without feeling like I'm accepting charity from the neighbors. :)

Its a Win, Win, for us all.

PS. also... I will be in the passenger's seat each & every time that car is driven by my neighbor or anyone else. There will be NO speeding, reckless driving, or drinking.

Posted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 05:20 pm Post Subject: Many Texas insurers will cover non-licensed drivers

There is quite a market for auto insurance for drivers that do not carry a valid drivers license in Texas, particularly since the Texas Department of Public Safety adopted Admin rule 37 T.A.C. 15.171 on August 25, 2008. This rule requires applicants to prove they are lawfully permitted to be in the US before they are issued a Texas drivers license.

With that said, many insurers have loosened their underwriting guidelines and actually advertise for the "non-licensed" business. Apparently many find it profitable.

Posted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 06:19 am Post Subject:

With that said, many insurers have loosened their underwriting guidelines and actually advertise for the "non-licensed" business.

I'm sure they'd be fetching a higher cost out of these non-licensed drivers. But I'm wondering about the clauses they'd need to modify in order to avoid more risks.

Posted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:11 pm Post Subject: Defensive Drivers Class Complete

I completed the Defensive Drivers Class and need to know how I submit my information for a possible discount on my auto insurance policy?

Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 02:24 am Post Subject:

Defensive driving discounts are generally made available to drivers age 55 and older. Just contact your agent or insurer directly to inquire about the discount that might be available to you. You'll probably be asked to provide the name of the course vendor and/or any certificate of completion you received.

Posted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 01:25 pm Post Subject:

Won't such discounts be available for drivers in their 20s if they maintain a great driving record for a period of 5 years? What do you think?

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