September 7, 2011
Could a Traffic Ticket Save Your Life?
September 7, 2011 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Nobody likes getting a traffic ticket--they're expensive, cause your auto insurance rate to increase and are a real pain in the you-know-what. But according to a new study, a ticket could save your life.
August 22, 2011
Why Isn't Texting While Driving as Taboo as Driving Drunk?
August 22, 2011 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Research has shown that a driver texting while behind the wheel is as dangerous as a drunk driver. In fact, drivers who send texts while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident than those who don't.
Yet, for whatever reason, texting while driving is still deemed acceptable by many drivers while drunk driving is considered taboo.
August 9, 2011
10 Most Stolen Vehicles in America
August 9, 2011 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Last week, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released a top-10 list of the most frequently stolen vehicles in the United States.
July 7, 2011
More Drivers Use Social Media for Car Insurance Advice
July 7, 2011 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
In the good old days--that is, the era before MySpace--drivers interested in learning more about car insurance might rely on their insurance agent, a family member or even Consumer Reports to guide them.
But in today's high-tech world, that's quickly changing.
June 21, 2011
Car Theft Rates Lowest Since 1967
June 21, 2011 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Incidents of car theft have dropped to their lowest levels in over four decades, according to new research from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
May 27, 2011
Safety Ratings Improve for Smaller Vehicles
May 27, 2011 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Small cars are notorious for poor safety ratings, but new research finds that smaller cars are becoming safer than ever.
May 19, 2011
9 Things You'll Love About High Gas Prices (Part 3)
May 19, 2011 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
With gas prices soaring across the United States, we are taking a glass-half-full approach to the situation.
May 10, 2011
9 Things You'll Love About High Gas Prices (Part 2)
May 10, 2011 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
National gas prices are currently $3.94 per gallon--a pretty penny. But, believe it or not, there are a number of benefits to high gas prices.
May 4, 2011
9 Things You'll Love About High Gas Prices
May 4, 2011 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
For Americans, filling up the gas tank has become more painful than a dentist appointment. National gas prices are currently $3.95 per gallon, and many experts predict we could see $5-per-gallon gas this summer.
There is a silver lining, though. High gas prices bring golden opportunities that can actually improve our quality of life in the long-run.
April 29, 2011
New Study: High Gas Prices Reduce Auto Accidents
April 29, 2011 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Need something positive to start your weekend? How about this: High gas prices help to reduce the number of auto accidents.
March 14, 2011
The Return of High Gas Prices - 7 Gas-Saving Tips
March 14, 2011 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
If you've filled up your gas tank lately, it probably cost you a small fortune. High gas prices are putting a dent in everyone's wallet and summer--when gas prices traditionally peak--is still far on the horizon.
As of March 9, the national average for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.54. That's up a significant amount from a year ago when the national average was $2.79.
March 3, 2011
InsWeb Releases 2011 State Median Car Insurance Rate Report
March 3, 2011 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
InsWeb has released its 2011 State Median Car Insurance Rate Report. The report ranks the six-month median rates of all 50 states and Washington D.C. in order from lowest to highest. Idaho currently has the lowest median rate at $436, while Louisiana currently has the highest median rate at $1,111.
To learn more about the rates, visit InsWeb's Car Insurance Rate Report.
February 17, 2011
Unsolicited Insurance Repair Provider Scams a Growing Problem
February 17, 2011 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Insurance scams account for upwards of $30 billion in total losses to the insurance industry each year, according to NICB.org. And one particular type of fraud--unsolicited repair provider scams--are on the rise.
January 26, 2011
Don't Skimp on Auto Insurance, Especially During a Recession
January 26, 2011 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
In these trying economic times, it may be tempting to cancel or reduce insurance coverage to save money. But it's a disastrous idea, especially since there are simple ways you can slash insurance costs without reducing coverage.
January 5, 2011
More Insurers Sue Toyota
January 5, 2011 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Seven more auto insurance companies have joined Allstate in filing civil suits against Toyota Motor Corp. The suits are based on payouts the insurers made related to unintended acceleration in Toyota and Lexus models.
December 27, 2010
Get Anything Nice for Christmas? Insure it
December 27, 2010 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
If Santa left a new TV, video game system or other pricey gift under your Christmas tree this year, you may need to update your home or renters insurance coverage.
December 13, 2010
1 in 5 Drivers in Fatal Accidents Test Positive for Drugs
December 13, 2010 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Nearly 20 percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2009 tested positive for drugs.
December 3, 2010
40% of Drivers Have Fallen Asleep at the Wheel
December 3, 2010 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Two out of every five drivers admit to having fallen sleep at the wheel at some point, according to a new AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study.
November 10, 2010
Most/Least Expensive Vehicles to Insure
November 10, 2010 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
InsWeb today released it's 2010 Most and Least Expensive Vehicles to Insure List. Check it out!
October 27, 2010
Distracted Driving and the Invisible Gorilla
October 27, 2010 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
According to a new study, our ability to multi-task simply isn't what we think it is. Check out this video by Daniel Simmons.
Why does it matter? For one thing distracted driving is a major cause of auto accidents. Many drivers think they can safely drive and talk on the phone, converse with passengers, read and/or send texts and more. According to the study behind this video, drivers need to think again.
October 19, 2010
InsWeb's Revamped Facebook Page Is Live
October 19, 2010 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Check out InsWeb's revamped Facebook page! It's a great place to get the latest news and information from InsWeb's insurance experts. You can also visit InsWeb's Quick Car Insurance Quote Tool on Facebook.
September 29, 2010
Squeeze Every Last Mile Out of Your High-Mileage Vehicle
September 29, 2010 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
In the old days, vehicles topping the dreaded 100,000-mile mark were destined for the junkyard. But that has changed. With routine maintenance and a little TLC, modern vehicles can run 200,000 miles or more without major repairs.
September 23, 2010
Women Pay 9% Less than Men for Car Insurance
September 23, 2010 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
According to information collected by InsWeb, the median car insurance rate for women is about 9% lower than the rate for men.
September 16, 2010
10 Reasons to Update Your Insurance--Part 4
September 16, 2010 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
#7: Your Teenager Is Ready to Drive
Yikes. As scary as this scenario is, it's puppies and lollipops compared to the car insurance rates you're going to be paying soon.
August 24, 2010
10 Reasons to Update Your Insurance--Part 3
August 24, 2010 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
#5: Home Renovations and Homeowners Insurance Changes
You've just ripped out that leaky shower and replaced the countertops in the kitchen. Congratulations! But have you contacted your home insurance company to update your policy?
August 10, 2010
10 Reasons to Update Your Insurance Coverage--Part 2
August 10, 2010 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
#3: Having a Baby
This is obviously a major life event and an excellent opportunity to review all of your insurance needs. But the first thing that should jump to mind is term life insurance. If you don't have term life insurance, get some today. If you do, make sure your policy is updated and that you have enough coverage to pay the costs to raise your new child, as well as to cover future expense such as a college education. Most financial experts recommend a coverage amount in the realm of 6-10 times your annual income.
August 3, 2010
10 Reasons to Update Your Insurance Coverage--Part 1
August 3, 2010 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
As your life changes, so do your insurance needs. For example, if you moved to a new neighborhood or remodeled your kitchen this year you'll need to update your homeowners or renters insurance policy. And buying a new car or joining a carpool means it's time to consider an updated car insurance policy.
Here are 10 "life" situations that require changes in your insurance coverage, starting with #1: Getting Married or Divorced, and #2: Switching Jobs.
July 26, 2010
Could a Blind Person Drive a Car?
July 26, 2010 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
These days, technology can do virtually anything, including putting blind people behind the wheel.
July 7, 2010
State-by-State Breakdown of Texting While Driving Laws
July 7, 2010 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Not sure if texting while driving is legal in your state?
This infographic from NPR offers a detailed look at each state's current or proposed law for texting while driving.
July 2, 2010
4th of July is the Deadliest Driving Day of the Year
July 2, 2010 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Here's a 4th of July shocker: Fireworks, alcohol and automobiles don't mix. In fact, a combination of the three leads to nearly 500 fatalities annually, making Independence Day the deadliest driving day of the year.
May 27, 2010
20 Percent of Drivers May Be Unfit to Drive
May 27, 2010 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
According to a new poll commissioned by GMAC, approximately 1 in 5 licensed drivers--or nearly 38 million American--lack fundamental driving knowledge.
May 20, 2010
Honda's Surprising Take on Electric Vehicles
May 20, 2010 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Perhaps I'm the only one that's surprised, but I thought this was pretty interesting. Basically, Honda doesn't think the time for electric vehicles is here.
May 7, 2010
California Prop 17 Debate Heating Up
May 7, 2010 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
The debate over the California car insurance "loyalty discount portability" initiative is heating up. But what in the heck does "loyalty discount portability" mean? And why should you care?
May 3, 2010
New InsWeb Auto Insurance Savings Video
May 3, 2010 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
April 28, 2010
Allstate Sees Spike in Texas Weather Auto Claims
April 28, 2010 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
According to an Associated Press report, Allstate has seen a notable spike in Texas weather-related auto insurance claims.
April 2, 2010
The Automotive World Has Gone Crazy Loco
April 2, 2010 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
What happened to the days when just about any automotive brand could be defined in a word or two? Porsche: Performance. Ford: Big Trucks. Hyundai: Cheap. Mini: Well, mini.
These days, just about every car company is reaching to be something new in order to appeal to a wider audience and sell more cars to more drivers.
January 29, 2010
Texting Banned for Drivers of Big Rigs and Buses
January 29, 2010 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced Tuesday that text messaging by drivers of large trucks and buses has been banned.
January 26, 2010
Does it Really Pay to Compare Quotes?
January 26, 2010 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
If you're still skeptical about the value of shopping around when buying insurance, here's some proof that playing the field actually can save you a bundle.
December 31, 2009
New Laws 2010 - Distracted Drivers Beware
December 31, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Drivers in Illinois, Kansas, New Hampshire and Oregon will celebrate the new year with a slew of new cell phone laws for 2010 that ban the use of handheld phones and text messaging while driving.
December 18, 2009
Insurance for Flying Cars?
December 18, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
OK, I admit it, I don't think the Geicos and Progressives of the industry are calling emergency board meetings to figure out how to underwrite the flying cars of the future, but it is an interesting question. And there's at least one flying car getting closer and closer to reality.
November 20, 2009
Pricey Airline Fees Drive Travelers Back to the Road for Thanksgiving
November 20, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Flying to mom's house for Thanksgiving is going to be a little trickier this year--and a whole lot more expensive.
According to USA Today, several airlines are charging $50 surcharges for flights around Thanksgiving. Airlines are also slashing the number of available flights, leading to more layovers, less convenient flight times, fewer seats available for people who miss connections, crowded overhead luggage space and jam-packed seating arrangements.
November 13, 2009
InsWeb's Top-10 Least and Most Expensive Cars to Insure
November 13, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
The editors at InsWeb have compiled their list of the least and most expensive cars to insure based on an analysis of 2009 InsWeb.com customers and over 400 vehicle make/models.
November 11, 2009
So, How Does a College Student Save $372 Per Year on Car Insurance?
November 11, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
When part-time college student Dennis Heiskill got nailed with a traffic ticket, he was afraid his car insurance rate would skyrocket. So what did he do? He decided it was time to slash his car insurance rates.
November 4, 2009
Test Your Eco-Driving Skills!
November 4, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
While browsing the web, a colleague came across a nifty little driving game that helps drivers learn to drive more fuel-efficiently.
October 26, 2009
Meet the Most Dangerous Driver on the Road
October 26, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
The reason auto fatalities are so high? Blame this guy.
October 23, 2009
New iPhone App Unlocks and Starts Car
October 23, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Is there anything an iPhone can't do? Apparently not. A California electronics company has released an iPhone application that allows drivers to lock, unlock and remotely start their vehicle using their phone.
October 20, 2009
Driver Racks Up 15 Tickets in 11 Minutes
October 20, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Think your driving record is bad? On Sunday, an Italian man was nailed for 15 traffic violations in 11 minutes in Switzerland.
October 8, 2009
Worst Day Ever: Couple Hit By Car, Then Have Their Car Stolen
October 8, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Talk about a bad day. Last month, an Ohio couple's car was stolen while they were in a hospital recovering after being struck by a vehicle.
September 25, 2009
Man Follows GPS to Edge of Cliff
September 25, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
A man in England followed the directions of his in-car GPS unit so far off the beaten path that he came to the edge of a 100 foot cliff.
September 23, 2009
10 Ways to Get Out of a Speeding Ticket (That I Haven't Tried)
September 23, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
I'll admit, I have one speeding ticket on my record. I got pulled over on a cross country road trip when I was moving from California to North Carolina for college. I got pulled over in the middle of Wyoming for going 92 in a 75. My mom was in the car with me so I bowed my head in shame and took the ticket. But I think I have come up with a couple of ideas to get out of a ticket.
September 21, 2009
Car Insurance Claim Tips
September 21, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
We've all been there--pulled off on the side of the road, staring at the back bumper with the huge, fresh dent, wondering who's at fault (them, of course) and if the car insurance company will honor your claim. Filing a car insurance claim doesn't have to be intimidating, and with these tips, you'll get the claims process started quickly and easily.
September 17, 2009
Men vs. Women: Who Really Are the Safest Drivers?
September 17, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
As it turns out...women. But it's a close race.
To figure out whether men or women have "safest-driver" bragging rights, we looked at almost 2 million consumers who requested auto insurance quotes at InsWeb.com since January 1, 2009. Of those 2 million, 52 percent were men and 48 percent were women--a solid sampling of each.
September 15, 2009
Tailgate Parties: Do you have Enough Collision Coverage?
September 15, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Here at InsWeb headquarters we are celebrating the kick-off of football season with a Tailgate Party. While ours is in our lunch room, many folks across the country will be filling stadium parking lots with grills, ready for hamburgers and ribs. Crowding around the truck and chowing down on hot wings is an American tradition that marks the beginning of Fall almost as much as the first red leaf.
August 24, 2009
"Cash for Clunkers" Ends Today, But Watch Your Car Insurance Premium
August 24, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
With the "Cash for Clunkers" program ending today at 8 p.m. Eastern, consumers are flocking to dealerships across the country to land up to $4,500 in rebates before the deadline. But here's something most drivers looking to trade in their 'clunker' before tonight's deadline don't realize: a brand new vehicle will cause their car insurance premium to skyrocket.
August 20, 2009
Cash for Clunkers Program is Over, Again
August 20, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
The Associated Press has learned that the government Cash for Clunkers program will end Monday, August 24 at 8pm Eastern. This comes only 2 weeks after $2 billion more was added to the clunkers program.
August 19, 2009
New Legislation Would Ban In-Car Texting Nationwide
August 19, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Four U.S. Senators have introduced a bill that would make it illegal to send text messages while operating a vehicle.
The "ALERT Drivers" bill--known as Avoiding Life-Endangering and Reckless Texting by Drivers Act--would require states to ban drivers from texting or emailing while behind the wheel. States that fail to ban in-car texting within two years will lose 25 percent of their annual federal highway funding.
August 13, 2009
Get an Extra $900 a Month Just for Driving Your Car?
August 13, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Do you drive a lot? Ever get stuck in traffic and find yourself think "I wish I was getting paid to sit in traffic?" Well, if you don't mind turning your car into a billboard on wheels, it is possible to get paid to drive around.
August 10, 2009
Trading In Your Clunker? Better Trade In Your Car Insurance Policy Too
August 10, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Undoubtedly, you have heard of the CAR Allowance Rebate System (CARS), or as it's more commonly referred to, the "Cash for Clunkers" program. This government program is designed to help get more people into new cars while getting cars that aren't as fuel efficient off the roads.
GM to Sell Cars on eBay
August 10, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
General Motors and eBay are teaming up to sell cars. Could this step be just the boost the lagging auto industry needs?
August 7, 2009
$2 Billion More for Cash for Clunkers
August 7, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Good news. Looks like the Cash for Clunkers program is rolling once again. This morning, President Obama signed a congressional bill adding $2 billion to the program. Now car buyers can continue to receive rebates for trading in older cars for new, more fuel-efficient cars.
Soon, Red-Light Cameras May Verify Car Insurance
August 7, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
In Ohio and Illinois, officials want red-light cameras to do more than just catch speeders--they want them to verify car insurance, too.
July 31, 2009
Not So Fast! Cash for Clunkers Confusion
July 31, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Will the Cash for Clunkers program be around much longer? That's what many consumers, and car dealers, are wondering. Reports that the money has run out much sooner than expected are circulating. Some congress members say it will be good through the weekend, while others say they are working to add another $2 billion to the program. So what's really going on?
July 29, 2009
Auto Insurance Fraud on Rise in California
July 29, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Auto insurance fraud is on the rise in California, the California Department of Insurance (CDI) Commissioner said Tuesday. The reason for the uptick in auto insurance fraud in the Golden State: the down economy.
July 28, 2009
Researchers Call for Ban of Texting While Driving
July 28, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Researchers at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) found that texting while driving is 23.2 times more dangerous than not using a cell phone. Because of this staggering find, they have recommended banning texting while driving.
July 17, 2009
Tata Nano Hits the Streets
July 17, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
The world's cheapest car, the Tata Nano, hit the streets of Mumbai, India today. The first Tata Nano LX in Lunar Silver was received by Ashok Raghunath Vichare. Two other Tata Nanos (one in Sunshine Yellow) were also received today.
July 16, 2009
Cash for Clunkers
July 16, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Have you thought of taking advantage of the government's new Cash for Clunkers program? If so, here are a few things you may want to know before heading off to the car dealer.
July 9, 2009
GM No Longer in Chapter 11
July 9, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
GM's chapter 11 days came and went faster than a Chevy Corvette. GM filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on June 1, 2009, and a judge's ruling allowing the sale of GM's assets became effective today.
July 7, 2009
The Toll of Fourth of July in California
July 7, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
The country celebrated its Independence Day last Saturday with barbecues and firework shows. However, the Fourth of July is a dangerous time to be on the roadways, especially in California.
July 2, 2009
Traffic Deaths Lowest Since 1961
July 2, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
The U.S. Department of Transportation reported today that the number of highway traffic fatalities in 2008 was the lowest level since 1961, and traffic deaths continue to decrease in 2009. Sadly, motorcycle deaths continue to increase.
July 1, 2009
Fewer Drivers Predicted this July 4th
July 1, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
According to AAA, car travel will be down this July 4th holiday. It is estimated that more Americans will celebrate our country's birthday by traveling by plane instead of car due to lower airfare prices. What might this mean for those of us who are still planning to pack up the car and head out on the roads?
June 25, 2009
The Age-Old Question: Are Bigger Cars Safer?
June 25, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Last month, President Obama announced new fuel efficiency standards that require new vehicles to average 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. But some opponents argue that the mandate would "kill more Americans than the Iraq War."
The statement may sound like a bunch of baloney, but it actually has some merit, and here's why.
June 22, 2009
Road Trip and Driving Songs
June 22, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
With people pinching pennies and gas prices much better compared to last year, it looks like more people may be hitting the road for vacations this summer. And isn't it pretty much a requirement that a special mixed CD or iPod playlist be brought along for the drive? There are just some songs that demand we be behind the wheel, windows down, wind blowing, and cruisin'. Here's a great group of driving songs for your next road trip.
June 16, 2009
Father's Day Gift Idea: Emergency Roadside Kit
June 16, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
My dad has always taken great pride in his car. From his former pick-up to his current luxury sedan, Dad has it detailed, has it serviced regularly, and don't you dare mess with his stereo. If your dad is like mine, anything relating to his car will be appreciated this Father's Day. But what do you get the Dad who already has every car accessory out there? How about a roadside emergency kit? It's simple and Dad will love it.
June 9, 2009
Best Selling Car in America
June 9, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
What is the best selling car in America? It's not the Toyota Camry, or the Honda Accord. BMW 3 Series? Nope. Ford Mustang? You will never guess. (Hint: it's an American car.)
June 8, 2009
Lindsay Lohan's 5 Worst Car Accidents
June 8, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Think your car insurance premium is high? Imagine the ridiculous rate Lindsay Lohan pays after these five well-publicized smash-ups.
June 3, 2009
June 3, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Do you blare your horn at the person driving the speed limit, or cars waiting for a stopped school bus? There is a drastic difference between an occasional shaking fist and downright road rage. People with road rage, aka aggressive drivers, are very dangerous. They tailgate, speed, run red lights, and weave in and out of traffic among other things. These are the people you and I yell at while we drive because they nearly took off our back bumper.
June 2, 2009
Can Improved Fuel-Efficiency Standards Increase Pollution?
June 2, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Last month, President Obama announced a new national policy that will increase fuel efficiency for all new vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2012. By 2016, a new phase of the program will require cars, small trucks and SUVs to achieve at least 35 miles per gallon.
But some experts have slammed the policy on the grounds that it will lead to an increase in pollution. But is it true? Can improved fuel-efficiency standards actually increase pollution caused by vehicles? Let's examine the facts.
May 28, 2009
Put Down the iPod: Distracted Driving Means Danger
May 28, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
We all know using a hand-held cell phone while driving is dangerous. But did you know reaching for a falling cup can increase crash risk 9 times? What other things can distract us from driving safely?
May 21, 2009
Bike to Work and Save on Car Insurance
May 21, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
While our office bicycling expert and fellow blogger Matt is away on other business (congrats!), I've decided to attempt a short bicycling article.
May 18, 2009
More People Expected to Hit the Roadways This Memorial Day
May 18, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
With manageable gas prices and an abundance of travel deals, more people are expected to travel this Memorial Day weekend. Around this time last year, the national average gas price was $3.76, this year it is around $2.26. The combination of these factors lead the American Automobile Association (AAA) to predict that 32.4 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles this holiday weekend.
May 14, 2009
Good News for California Drivers
May 14, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
On July 6th 2009, State Farm's 3.3 million California auto insurance policyholders will get a break on their car insurance premiums. As reported by the Insurance Journal, the California Department of Insurance approved an 8% decrease in car insurance premiums.
May 12, 2009
Americans Reluctant to Upgrade Vehicles in Struggling Economy
May 12, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
New research from R.L. Polk & Co. found that nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of consumers said they were "very or extremely likely" to keep their vehicles longer than usual due to the economic downturn.
May 8, 2009
Popular Baby Names of 2008
May 8, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Even if we share our name with 5 other people at the office, a name gives us identity and individuality, and how we are named has a profound affect on how we see ourselves. This is probably why parents sometimes struggle with finding the perfect name for their children.
April 29, 2009
Norway May Ban Gasoline-Only Cars After 2015
April 29, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
In an effort to stem the rise in greenhouse gas emissions, politicians in Norway have put forward a proposal to ban the sale of new gasoline-only vehicles after 2015.
April 27, 2009
The End of Pontiac
April 27, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
The end of an era is upon us once again. In November 2008, the last Yugo rolled off the assembly line in Serbia. Now, struggling auto maker GM has announced the cancellation of the whole Pontiac brand.
April 22, 2009
Hybrid Car Insurance Discounts
April 22, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Happy Earth Day! Today we are reminded to do our part to keep this planet healthy. Some people are trying to save the environment by swapping gas-guzzling cars for a hybrid car. A hybrid car uses an electric motor along with a conventional gas engine. The electric motor takes over when less horsepower is needed, resulting in less fuel usage, making the vehicle more efficient.
April 21, 2009
Green Snobbery: Be Seen Being Green
April 21, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Ever noticed how some people seem to have a holier-then-thou attitude about their "green" contributions to the Earth. I'm not talking about your typical citizen doing their part to keep the Earth clean and habitable for the next generation. I'm talking about eco-snobs.
April 15, 2009
Mini Cars: Fuel Efficiency vs. Safety
April 15, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
When gas hit $4 a gallon last summer, the cry for smaller, more fuel efficient cars could be heard from coast to coast--and Detroit listened. The problem is, when you drive a car that looks like you can barely put a set of golf clubs on the back but it is legal to drive on the freeways, how do you think it would fair in an accident with a larger car?
April 14, 2009
Top 10 Worst Cities for Car Theft 2008
April 14, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Do you live in Modesto, Calif.? Well if you do, you'd better lock you car doors, and get a car alarm, and maybe get a kill switch. For the second year in a row, the Modesto area has the highest car theft rates in the country, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
1.5 Million GM Cars Recalled
April 14, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
General Motors has recalled 1.5 million Buick, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile and Pontiac cars made between 1997 and 2003 because a possible engine oil leak could cause engine fires.
April 13, 2009
New Car for Dog-Lovers
April 13, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
There are dog parks, dog-runs, dog shows, and now there is a dog car.
April 9, 2009
Insurance Needs of the First Family Part I - Auto Insurance
April 9, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
This month, the InsWeb.com Blog is taking a look at the insurance needs of America's first family. Auto, health, term life, home/renters--we cover it all.
First, let's start with auto insurance. Do you know how much Barack Obama might pay for auto insurance? The answer may (or may not) surprise you.
April 3, 2009
How to Find Houston Car Insurance
April 3, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
If you're looking for a cheap Houston car insurance policy, you've come to the right place! Car insurance in Houston can be expensive if you don't know how to save money on Houston car insurance. But luckily, with a little advice from InsWeb.com, drivers can find cheap Houston auto insurance in minutes!
April 2, 2009
GM, Ford Following Hyundai's Example
April 2, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Looking to buy a new car but worried about becoming a victim of downsizing at your job? Three auto makers have come up with innovative programs to hopefully create some confidence for car buyers who want to get a shiny new car, but are afraid of losing their jobs.
March 27, 2009
Does California Want to Ban Black Cars?
March 27, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
If the California Air Resources Board has its way...no, California won't ban black cars. But the Internet has been abuzz about rumors that California would ban black cars from being sold in the state after 2012.
The story has spread like wildfire across the Internet the past few days, but representatives from the California Air Resources Board say it's not true.
March 24, 2009
My Maserati Does 185: Lindsay Lohan in Maserati Accident
March 24, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
According to reports, actress Lindsay Lohan dinged her brand-new Maserati Monday night, only 2 weeks after she purchased it.
March 23, 2009
World's Cheapest Car Sells for $6.00!
March 23, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
How would you like to pay only $6.00 for a brand spankin' new car? No, this isn't a scam.
March 17, 2009
Los Angeles Auto Insurance is Affordable
March 17, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
If you're looking for a Los Angeles auto insurance policy, you're in luck! Los Angeles auto insurance can be extremely affordable if you shop around! Not only that, free Los Angeles auto insurance quotes are easy to find using InsWeb.com.
With InsWeb.com, consumers can get quotes from local Los Angeles auto insurance companies as well as national insurers, absolutely free. Simply visit our quote form, fill out a single quote and voila! You're provided multiple Los Angeles auto insurance quotes. Getting Los Angeles auto insurance quotes is that simple!
March 16, 2009
10,828 Reasons Not to Drink and Drive on St. Patrick's Day
March 16, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, a day when green clothing and bad Irish accents will dominate the English-speaking world. It's a fantastic holiday full of joy, laughter, and corned beef and cabbage--but it's also one of the deadliest days of the year for drivers.
There are over 47,984 drinking places in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And on "wet" holidays like St. Patrick's Day, research has shown that drivers are 23% more likely to be injured or killed by a drunk driver than on a non-holiday.
March 5, 2009
My Dead Battery or I Should Have Stayed in Bed
March 5, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
A few days ago I took a sick day because of a very nasty cold. But my pantry was bare, so I thought I'd risk the pouring rain and cold symptoms and drive to the supermarket 30 seconds from my home to get some soup.
I should have stayed in bed.
Celebrities Caught Driving 100 mph+
March 5, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
When thinking of celebrity fender-benders, you probably imagine Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan plowing into a parked car in Beverly Hills after a night of drunken partying. But every so often, thrill-seeking celebs ditch the familiar byways of Rodeo Drive and head out for the open road--and that's when the real trouble starts.
Remember the film "Red Asphalt" from driver's training? Here are a few celebrities who obviously never saw it.
February 24, 2009
Is the End of the American Muscle Car In Sight?
February 24, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
With auto bailouts being in the news and the focus on fuel economy, is the muscle car going to be a thing of the past? I have absolutely nothing against the Prius or other hybrid cars, aside from the fact I think they look kind of weird, but I am hoping that the financial situation that the country is in will not lead to the demise of the American muscle car.
February 23, 2009
New Teen Auto Safety Program Uses "How's My TEEN Driving?" Bumper Sticker
February 23, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Steer Straight, an automotive advocacy group based in Boston, Mass., has launched an innovative teen driver safety program that uses a "How's My TEEN Driving?" bumper sticker to allow motorists to phone-in comments about the teen's driving habits.
February 5, 2009
5 Ways to 'Green' Your Vehicle Without Spending a Dime
February 5, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
In last month's 'Grassoline' series, we explored the alternative fuels and vehicles being researched, developed and debated in national headlines. But in this economy, drivers are looking to 'go green' without spending an arm and a leg.
Here are five ways to 'green' your vehicle and save money at the pump without spending a dime.
January 29, 2009
Zombies X-ing? Better Check Your Car Insurance Coverage!
January 29, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Yes folks you heard right--thar be Zombies afoot! At least that is what hackers in Austin, Texas, would like drivers to think. On Wednesday, hackers changed several roadside electronic signs to read "Zombies Ahead! Run for your lives!" Others read: "The end is near! Caution! Zombies ahead!" Hackers recommended that drivers "Run for cold climates!"--apparently zombies like warm weather.
January 28, 2009
Toyota Recalls Over 130,000 Yaris'
January 28, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Toyota announced a recall today of over 1.3 million cars, including 134,900 model year 2006 and 2007 Yaris cars sold in the United States. According to Toyota, in severe front-end crashes the driver and front passenger seatbelts are at risk of causing a foam pad in the car to ignite.
January 22, 2009
President Barack Obama's New Limo
January 22, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Newly inaugurated President Barack Obama rode in a brand new presidential limo on Tuesday. Designed by Cadillac, the new presidential limo has been reported as able to withstand an asteroid! While that may be far reaching, Obama's limo is a definite upgrade from the presidential limos of the past.
January 21, 2009
Getting Divorced and Car Insurance
January 21, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
When you got married, you and your spouse probably consolidated your insurance policies. But now if you are going through a divorce, you are going to have to get your own insurance policies again. In my last post I talked about how getting divorced affected your life insurance needs; in this post, I will talk about how getting divorced affects your car insurance needs.
January 20, 2009
Coolest Presidential Cars
January 20, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
During the primaries, we looked at cars the 2008 presidential candidates drive. But now that the dust has settled and Barack Obama is set for his presidential inauguration, it's time to take a look at some of the coolest cars ever to grace 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
January 19, 2009
'Grassoline' - A Guide to Alternative Fuels (Part III)
January 19, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
In this three-part series, the InsWeb blog is taking a look at the alternative fuels being researched, developed and debated in national headlines.
In the second chapter we explored ethanol, flex fuel vehicles, hydrogen, and fuel cell vehicles. In this third and final installment, we'll investigate propane, hybrids, and electric vehicles.
January 14, 2009
'Grassoline' - A Guide to Alternative Fuels (Part II)
January 14, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
In this three-part series, the InsWeb blog is taking a look at alternative fuels being researched, developed and debated in national headlines.
In part one, we explored natural gas and biodiesel. In this installment, we'll investigate ethanol, flex fuel vehicles, hydrogen, and fuel cell vehicles.
January 13, 2009
Costly Car Insurance Mistakes You Could be Making
January 13, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
With the economy in the state that it is, everyone is trying to save money. Did you know you could be overpaying on your car insurance and not even know about it? Check out these common mistakes to see if you are overpaying for your car insurance.
January 12, 2009
'Grassoline' - A Guide to Alternative Fuels (Part I)
January 12, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
With fuel prices fluctuating, American engineers are scrambling to reduce the nation's dependence on crude oil. Many experts believe research and development of alternative fuels is the best way to achieve that goal.
If you've turned on a news broadcast in the past year or so, you've probably heard terms such as "fuel cell vehicle," "ethanol" or "natural gas" being discussed--and for good reason. In 2007, there were 1.8 million alternative fuel vehicles sold in the United States. But what the heck do these terms mean?
This three-part guide will help you make sense of the alternative fuels and vehicles being researched, developed and debated in national headlines.
January 8, 2009
Tennessee Car Insurance - 1 in 5 Drivers Don't Have It
January 8, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
If you're driving in the Volunteer State, keep a watchful eye: one in five drivers in Tennessee is without car insurance.
January 7, 2009
Nissan Recalls Over 240,000 SUVs
January 7, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Nissan is recalling over 240,000 2005-2008 Pathfinders, Frontiers and Xterra SUVs for malfunctioning frontal airbags. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration explains that any of these vehicles originally sold or currently registered in cold winter weather states are at risk of airbag failure due to exposure to high amounts of road salt.
Insurance Bills Still Paid by Cash-Strapped Consumers
January 7, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
With the state of the economy today, more people admit to dipping into their savings to pay for everyday living expenses. Paying the bills is still very important to most people, but some bills end up being more important to pay than others. In a recent survey by Online Resources of more than 1,000 American households, consumers ranked the bills most important to pay--the insurance bill is the number 2 priority.
January 6, 2009
Indiana: Many Hoosiers Dropping Car Insurance to Save Money
January 6, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
With the economic crisis hitting us all, everyone is looking for ways to save. However, a growing number of people in Indiana are cutting back, or even canceling, their car insurance in hopes of saving a buck. What many people fail to realize is just how bad of a financial strategy this is.
January 5, 2009
InsWeb's Industry-First Car Insurance Quote Tool
January 5, 2009 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
InsWeb has launched an industry-first car insurance quoting tool that allows customers to instantly view car insurance estimates based on the latest industry rate data.
December 31, 2008
New 2009 California Driving Laws
December 31, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
The InsWeb blog has already explored some of the new laws for 2009, but here are some new California driving laws that will affect drivers in 2009.
December 30, 2008
Top 10 Fatal Cities for Teen Drivers on New Year's
December 30, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
We all know that teen drivers lack experience behind the wheel. But according to a recent survey by Allstate Insurance Company, there are some cities where New Year's Eve and New Year's Day can become even more deadly for these new drivers.
December 22, 2008
Gas Prices Fall to 5-Year Low in Time for the Holidays
December 22, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
According to a survey by industry analyst Trilby Lundberg, the average price of gas fell 9 cents in the past 2 weeks, bringing the price to its lowest point in 5 years.
Auto Insurance Options in Tough Times
December 22, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Everyone knows that times are tough, and we're all trying to find ways to spend less money. But take it from me, cutting back on your car insurance coverage is not the place. Car insurance is meant to protect you against financial losses if you have an accident, and according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners more than half of consumers are inadequately insured. But if the amount you're paying for car insurance looks somewhat intimidating, you can find additional savings.
December 19, 2008
New Study - Bright, Colorful Cars Involved in Fewer Accidents Than Dark Cars
December 19, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Owning a red car won't affect your car insurance rate, but it might help prevent automobile accidents, according to a new study.
December 17, 2008
Chrysler Takes Drastic Measure
December 17, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Chrysler announced today that they will be closing all 30 of their manufacturing plants for a month. The move is meant to match their production numbers to slowing consumer demand in hopes to save money.
New Device Jams Teens' Cell Phones While Driving
December 17, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
University of Utah researchers have created a car ignition key that prevents teenagers from talking on cell phones or sending text messages while driving.
Money Saving Tips: Holiday Savings
December 17, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
What puts you in the Holiday Spirit? For me it's a sparkling Christmas tree, watching A Charlie Brown Christmas, and my mom's fruitcake (oh yeah, it's wonderful--the family fights over who gets the last piece!). For some people it is the lavish Christmas dinner, or hearing the Salvation Army bell. Maybe it's seeing your kids tell Santa what they'd like him to bring. Or maybe it's hearing The Chipmunk Song. Whatever your Holiday traditions, when some are missing, it just doesn't feel right.
December 16, 2008
December 16, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
What will the future hold for automobiles? Will they ever break the bond of gravity so we can fly around like the Jetsons? Or will they stay grounded? Maybe they will be so sophisticated they drive themselves and we get chauffeured around? Until that day comes, automakers are using technology to help drivers avoid accidents.
December 15, 2008
Cell Phones Distract Drivers More Than Passengers
December 15, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
A study released earlier this month by University of Utah psychologists has shown that drivers are much more distracted by talking on a cell phone than by talking with passengers. Frank Drews, David Strayer and Monisha Pasupathi found that when drivers talk on a cell phone, even hands-free cell phones, they drift out of their lanes and miss exits more frequently than drivers talking with a passenger.
December 8, 2008
Ohh Dear, I Hit a Deer
December 8, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
What if instead of Grandma getting run over by a reindeer, it was Grandma who took down the deer? Accidents involving animals, mostly deer, spike in November but are a threat all year round. 223 people were killed in 2007 in accidents caused by animals according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Unfortunately, I know first hand what it is like to hit a deer while driving.
December 4, 2008
Are You a Safe Driver?
December 4, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
How safe of a driver are you? Do you see every red light as an opportunity to show off your drag racing skills? Or do you drive at exactly the speed limit and use your turn signal and hand signals when you go to make a turn? Do you drink your morning coffee while reading the newspaper and talking on the phone and use your knees to steer? A good indicator of how well you drive is obviously how many accidents or tickets you have on your driving record. But that isn't much fun.
Do High-Speed Chases Void Auto Insurance?
December 4, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
If someone involved in a high-speed chase crashes their vehicle, are they covered by their auto insurance policy?
The Texas Supreme Court is currently debating this question. The court will decide if an auto insurance company should pay medical costs for a boy who was injured in a collision with a driver fleeing police.
December 2, 2008
The World Bids Farewell to the Yugo
December 2, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
In a bit of sad news, the last Yugo rolled off the production line in Serbia last month. Serbian automaker Zastava, producer of the Yugo, closed its doors to revamp operations in a joint venture with its new owner, Italian automaker Fiat.
Once the pride of Yugoslavia's automobile industry, the Yugo will be missed in Serbia, but certainly not in the United States.
November 11, 2008
Veterans Day--Veteran's Car Insurance Discounts
November 11, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
This past March, I was lucky enough to visit our nation's capital. All across Washington D.C. there are memorials reminding us of the sacrifices brave soldiers and sailors have made for our freedom. Visiting these memorials, especially the WWII and the Vietnam War Memorials, was an experience I won't soon forget.
November 10, 2008
The New-Car Smell - Is It Toxic?
November 10, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
If there's a person on the planet who doesn't love the smell of a new car, I've yet to meet them. In fact, the InsWeb blog has already explored this topic at some length. But a new study finds that the new-car small we've all come to adore might be hazardous to our health.
November 6, 2008
Getting Enough Sleep? It Could Save Your Life
November 6, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Did turning the clocks back last weekend throw you off? Are you one of the many people who don't get 8 hours of sleep a night? While not getting a good night sleep can leave you feeling sluggish all day, driving while you are drowsy could have deadly consequences.
October 29, 2008
Can GPS Devices Help Your Teen Become a Better Driver?
October 29, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Most of the technology that goes into your vehicle is meant to keep you safe in the event of an accident. But can the same technology that gets you directions when you're lost also help novice drivers become better drivers?
Safe, Stylish and Affordable: The 10 Best Cars for Teens
October 29, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Getting a driver's license is one of the most eagerly anticipated events in a teenager's life--and one of the most stressful for parents.
When parents and teens go car shopping, they face a dilemma: parents want a car that's safe and affordable; teens want one that's stylish. But with so many safe and affordable vehicles on the market, who says teens and parents can't have it all?
October 20, 2008
That New Car Smell Saga
October 20, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
There is nothing like buying a new car: the test drive, holding your keys, that new car smell that many reports say is hazardous yet we still breathe deeply. Ahhh...
Just a few weeks ago my boyfriend Walt bought a brand new car. And like most car buying experiences, getting from old car to new car wasn't exactly a smooth ride. You see, Walt bought his old car, which served the noble purpose of getting a starving college student back-and-forth to class, 10 years ago from an elderly woman who only drove it to church once a week. Buying a car from an old lady is much different than buying one from a shark--I mean car salesman.
October 15, 2008
Car Recall: Nissan Recalls More Than 200,000 Vehicles
October 15, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Do you own a Nissan? Today the AP wrote that Nissan is recalling more than 200,000 thousand vehicles in the U.S and oversees. The potential problem is with the passenger side airbag.
October 7, 2008
As Gasoline Prices Soar, Fuel Thieves Run Rampant
October 7, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Recently, a thief confessed to stealing at least 20,000 gallons of gasoline in a series of thefts in the Pacfic Northwest. The value of that fuel? Close to $75,000.
As fuel prices remain high, incidents like this are becoming all too common throughout the U.S. and Canada.
October 3, 2008
Do Men Really Drive Better Than Women?
October 3, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Who are better drivers - men or women? As with most Battle of the Sexes debates - each gender can make a legitimate case. Women may claim they're safer drivers and less prone to road rage, while men may argue they're more adept at driving at high speeds and avoiding obstacles on the road. The debate can continue ad nauseam. But insurance companies can use statistics to answer the question - who pays more for car insurance - men or women?
October 2, 2008
Teen Driving Age Controversy Raises Questions
October 2, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
In September, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recommended increasing the minimum driving age from 16 to 17 or 18 based on the results of a study that compared the number of 16 year-old drivers involved in fatal crashes in New Jersey and Connecticut. While protecting teen drivers is something we can all get behind, many are asking if raising the driving age really the best way.
September 25, 2008
The Cost of Going Green: Are Hybrids Really Worth It?
September 25, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past half decade, chances are you already know that hybrids are the hottest vehicles on the road. They promise to keep emissions low and wallets fat, and with some models boasting fuel efficiency well over 40 mpg, going green will save you a ton of money, right?
The answer is a resounding maybe. Followed closely by eventually. Topped off with a big fat well, it depends.
September 11, 2008
Are Foreign Car Drivers Smarter?
September 11, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Well, at least they tend to be more educated.
That's what a recent study of the data shows at insurance shopping site InsWeb . The data was from 750,000 consumers randomly chosen who completed the auto insurance question set at InsWeb at some point during 2008.
September 3, 2008
Fuel-Saving Tips That Waste Gas
September 3, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Are you as desperate as I am to save fuel? If so, you've probably been going crazy trying to improve your car's fuel efficiency.
While I haven't resorted to extreme fuel saving measures--like turning off my air conditioner and rolling up the windows in the middle of summer--I have done quite a bit of research in hopes of finding some useful efficiency tips.
But I've discovered a dark side of fuel-saving: tips that do more harm than good.
August 29, 2008
857,735 GM Car, SUV, and Truck Recall
August 29, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
General Motors reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that they are voluntarily recalling 857,735 cars, trucks and SUVs due to a problem with heated wiper fluid systems. The problem is a circuit may overheat and cause a fire.
With Gas Prices Soaring, Fuel-Efficient Old Clunkers Make a Comeback
August 29, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Let's face it--going green can be difficult. Organic food costs a bundle, those fancy energy-saving light bulbs look strange, and keeping the air conditioner set above 82 degrees is nearly impossible in summer. But saving the planet can be even more expensive when it comes to vehicles.
August 25, 2008
Getting Married and Car Insurance
August 25, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
I am getting married in May 2009 to my lovely fiancée Jackie. While we have been told that we have plenty of time to make our wedding arrangements, we are trying to get as much done as early as possible. And while it isn't probably on her to do list, I know we need to start figuring out our insurance policies; beginning with our car insurance.
August 18, 2008
Mercedes-Benz or BMW?
August 18, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Have you ever pondered that question? If you were to buy a car (not necessarily a new one), and your choice was between the two, which would you prefer? I realize that's not a simple question to answer. Particularly since there are multiple models for each make, presumably to suit all ages and budgets.
May 15, 2008
Who Pays More for Car Insurance - Men or Women?
May 15, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Who are better drivers - men or women? As with most Battle of the Sexes debates - each gender can make a legitimate case. Women may claim they're safer drivers and less prone to road rage, while men may argue they're more adept at driving at high speeds and avoiding obstacles on the road. The debate can continue ad nauseam. But insurance companies can use statistics to answer the question - who pays more for car insurance - men or women?
April 15, 2008
The Gas Price Crisis: 10 Cars That Cost More at the Pump
April 15, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Lately the news has been jam-packed with reports about soaring oil and gas prices. We all feel a little extra squeeze at the gas pump these days with the average gas price now up to almost $3.30 a gallon, and experts predicting the price of gas to top $4 per gallon in some states this summer.
January 24, 2008
10 Ways Your Car Insurance Can Help You Get Ahead in 2008
January 24, 2008 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
With the arrival of 2008 comes a new time to make resolutions, and hopefully keep them. While some may vow to quit smoking, lose 5 pounds, or start saving more money, this is the perfect time to start reaching your goals. One way to save some extra money that you might not be conscious of is lowering your car insurance rates. While comparing car insurance quotes is the best way to save money, there is still between 20% and 30% of the population that doesn't comparison shop.* Here are InsWeb's Top 10 Ways to Save on car insurance.
December 13, 2007
Holiday Season DUI's: How Much Your Insurance Rates Will Celebrate
December 13, 2007 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
'Tis the season to be Jolly. But it is also the season to be safe on the roadways. Nothing could change your Holiday spirit to bedlam faster then a DUI. Every year there are nearly 17,000 alcohol related traffic fatalities; or one death every 31 minutes. The social and financial implications of a DUI can be devastating; from expensive lawyer fees, to bail, and other court fees. MADD estimates a DUI could cost a first time offender over $10,000. A DUI conviction could double, or even triple your current car insurance rates. Shopping around for car insurance rates after a DUI is the best way to find an affordable car insurance rate and help you move past a DUI.
A DUI's Impact on Your Car Insurance
All emotions aside: a DUI dramatically increases the degree of risk an insurance company assumes in order to underwrite your car insurance policy. After a DUI, you will be categorized as a high risk driver and can expect your current premiums to double--if your carrier doesn't just simply non-renew your policy.
MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) reports that the average first time DUI offender can expect his/her car insurance rates to range between $3,600 and $6,600 a year. Depending on how long a DUI remains on your state's driving record, these rates are known to continue for up to 7 years. Furthermore, any additional accidents and tickets (past or future) can easily make the situation exponentially more difficult--like tripled insurance costs!
Other Mandatory Costs of a DUI
Aside from increased car insurance rates, there are many other financial implications that come with a DUI. Unless you live in a major city, there really is no substitute to driving. From the perspective of life's real world priorities, being able to drive ranks just below air, water, food, and shelter. Salvaging this privilege after a DUI though involves more than just expensive car insurance rates. Depending on the state you live in, additional costs can include:
• Towing: $300 - $1,200
• Bail: $250 - $2,500
• Fines and Court Fees: $500 - $2,500
• Attorney Fees (average): $2,500
• Mandatory Education and Treatment: $350 - $2,000
• Electronic Home Monitoring: $150 - $2,250
• Ignition Lock: $730 - $2,800
Total Cost: approximately $10,828
What the above estimates fail to account for are the daylight hours it takes to satisfy all the corresponding obligations. Time spent in court, at classes and treatment, restitution services, and even jail time can turn a person's world upside-down. Interestingly, states like Washington make matters more complicated by automatically suspending driving privileges for 90 days upon the first offence. Think of how you would even get to court?
Furthermore, since a DUI is criminal offence, your driving record will be complemented by a criminal record. If your vocation values the integrity of such a mark (medical, transportation, finance, etc.) finding a new job can become as complicated as finding affordable car insurance.
Moving On After a DUI
Although a DUI is a mistake that ravishes a person's finances, it is possible to bounce back after a conviction. Every day that passes after your DUI conviction can lower your rates, because older charges have less of an impact on your risk profile, especially if you were a teenager or young adult at the time of your conviction. Comparison shopping for car insurance is essential for a driver with a DUI on their record.
Although you won't have as many options, don't fall into the trap of signing on with the first company that approves your application. Conduct research, compare quotes, and make a careful decision. In the meantime, take a conservative approach to driving and don't get any tickets or become involved in accidents. Party smart and enjoy your Holiday season.
December 3, 2007
Parking Lots and Holiday Shopping
December 3, 2007 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
In December, parking lots closely portray scenes from Mel Gibson's "Mad Max." Ravaged shoppers desperately prowl among crowded parking spaces amid lurking criminals that target those unsuspecting. Before returning to "Thunderdome," let us be reminded of three things: 1) Don't be a dangerous driver; 2) Protect your car from being broken into; and 3) Be aware of your personal safety.
November 19, 2007
Your Credit Scores and Car Insurance Rates: The Difference between 760 and 600
November 19, 2007 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
"Do you know what your credit score is?" Perhaps you have heard or read phrases like this from a company telling you how important it is to check your credit score. But why is your credit score important? Your credit score affects your ability to rent an apartment, get a loan, buy a car; it even impacts your car insurance rates. Car insurance companies have found a direct correlation between a person's credit score and the likelihood of filing a claim. Insurance companies use what's called an "insurance score," which is a numerical ranking based on a person's credit history.
Good or Bad--Your Credit Affects Your Auto Insurance
Many people might be unaware about how their insurance score affects their car insurance rates.
Some consumers are disturbed by the fact that, when applying for insurance, one insurer will reject an application based on an applicant's insurance score, yet another company will find it acceptable. This underscores the importance of shopping around for car insurance.
What is a Good Credit Score?
A good score is typically above 760 and a bad score is below 600. Many people have no idea they are beneficiaries of insurance scoring. Insurers say more than 50% of policyholders have a lower premium because of good credit.
How to Maintain a Good Credit Record
Pay Your Bills on Time: Pay all of your bills on time. Late payments and delinquent accounts can have a major negative impact on credit scores, as well as give creditors the right to increase your interest rates. Your goal should be to build a long history of reliable bill paying behavior.
Only Carry a Few Credit Cards: Limit yourself to a maximum of three or four cards and keep your balances low. Use no more than 30% of your available credit at any given time and try to pay off your balance in full whenever possible. If you decide to crack down on your credit card usage by cutting up a credit card, go ahead and do it. However, don't close the account as this will raise your balance-to-credit-limit ratio, and can have a negative impact on your credit score.
Check Your Credit Report Annually: Look for errors and correct them as soon as possible. By law, you are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three reporting agencies once a year. You can request your free annual credit report from the only online authorized website, AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling the toll free number 1-877-322-8228. Also, if you apply for credit and are turned down, you have a right to request a free credit report from the agency used by the creditor. If you would like additional information regarding credit scores, or would like to purchase your own FICO® credit score used by most lenders, visit MyFico.com.
Make sure you keep your credit under control. Since car insurance providers use your credit score differently, make sure you compare multiple car insurance quotes when buying your policy.
Source: Insurance Information Institute (III.org)
October 25, 2007
5 Safety Features that Could Save You 15% on Car Insurance
October 25, 2007 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Safety features are obviously an important aspect you think about when purchasing a car. Some safety features, such as anti-lock breaks and airbags can save you up to 15% on your car insurance premium. Other safety features such as security systems, automatic seat belts, and etching your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on your windows can also lead to savings on your car insurance premium.
Airbags: Saving Lives and Money
In 2005, 2,741 lives were saved due to airbags. While auto insurance discounts vary from state to state, some states require that car insurance providers give discounts for people who own a car with airbags. In September 2006, a directive by the NHTSA made having an advanced frontal airbag system a Federal regulation. This includes passenger side airbags and newer, safer, frontal airbags. Passenger side airbags are activated only when there is a person sitting in the seat. If the sensor in the seat doesn't detect the weight of a person, then the airbag will not deploy in the event of an accident.
States such as Florida, New Jersey and New York, insurers are required to give discounts to drivers who have vehicles with anti-lock brakes. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, anti-lock brakes are on about 63% of all new cars sold and 90% of light trucks. Anti-lock brakes are designed to keep your wheels from locking if you slam on your brakes. Anti-lock brakes help you keep more control during a violent stop and reduce your stopping distance.
In 2005, 55% of those killed in passenger vehicles were not wearing seat belts. Wearing a seatbelt is not only the law in most states; it is also the best way to protect yourself. Having automatic seatbelts in your vehicle--seatbelts that are attached to a rail above your door and moves into place when the door closes--ensuring that you will be wearing a seatbelt at all times.
Having a noisemaker car alarm on your vehicle should scare away thieves as well as save you money on your car insurance. Car alarms can be purchased and installed on older vehicles. Most new cars come equipped with safety features like audible alarms or keyless entries. If you do install an audible alarm on your vehicle, make sure you notify your car insurance provider. With car alarms, the louder the alarm doesn't mean more savings. Just having a car alarm on your vehicle will do the trick.
Window etching is when you get your VIN etched onto the windows of your car. It serves as a visual deterrent to would-be thieves much in the way a "Beware of Dog" sign would on a fence. VIN etching also makes the parts useless for re-selling; making your car less likely to be stolen.
Shopping around and comparing quotes is still the number one way to save on auto insurance. If your car is equipped with some of the safety features mentioned in this article, make sure you notify your insurance provider. Not only can these safety features save lives and help prevent accidents and theft, they can also save you money on your car insurance.
September 24, 2007
2007 Top Safety Pick Winners: Driving One Could Save You on Car Insurance
September 24, 2007 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
The Audi A6 and Honda Pilot are among the 2007 Safest Vehicles according to the IIHS, the organization behind the "Crash Test Dummies." Next to your driving record, vehicle safety is one of the most important factors to how carriers determine your premium. Is your car on the IIHS' 13 Safest Vehicles list?
Every year the IIHS rewards the safest cars with the Top Safety Pick award. To earn such a rating, each vehicle has to achieve a ranking of "Good," the highest possible ranking, in three tests:
high speed front crash, high speed side impact, and a test of the seat restraints to see how well they prevent head and neck injuries.
A new standard for 2007 is all vehicles must offer Electronic Stability Control (ESC) to earn a Top Safety Pick award.
Driving a Safe Vehicle can Mean Savings
Many car insurance companies offer discounts for various safety features on your vehicle, including air bags, alarms, factory-installed mechanical seatbelts and antilock brakes. When getting updated insurance quotes, be sure to indicate such safety features as they might lead to additional discounts.
The Safer You Drive-The More You Save
It seems pretty obvious that if you avoid accidents and don't get any tickets or moving violations, your car insurance rates should be reasonable.
Avoiding accidents and tickets for a year can lead to safe driver discounts. If you have had a fender bender, or received a ticket, shopping around and comparing car insurance quotes can help you find a reasonable auto insurance rate.
Where You Live and Your Car Insurance Rates
Where you park your car at night has an affect on how much you pay for car insurance. There are some areas, mostly urban, where car thefts are more likely to happen. Living in an area where crime is more likely to occur will likely raise your car insurance rates. Finding other discounts that relate to you can help keep your car insurance rates reasonable.
Whether the car you drive won the Top Safety Pick award, or recieved negative results on a couple tests, you can still find ways to save. Avoiding accidents and tickets, and choosing a safe place to live can all help keep your car insurance rates manageable. Shopping around and comparing quotes is still the easiest and most effective way to find savings on your car insurance.
August 21, 2007
10 Most Expensive Cars to Insure vs. 10 Least Expensive
August 21, 2007 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
American culture attributes the car we drive to our persona -- defining our values, our sense of style, and to some extent, our eccentricities. It's the reason that Corvette owners wave to each other, and why everyone feels the need to catch a look to see who's driving the Hummer. In the same manner, the car we drive also determines how much we pay for car insurance.
Easily an afterthought to the monthly car loan payment, many owners are "car-broke" because of their insurance costs, and don't know it. Are you driving one of the most expensive cars to insure?
|10 Most Expensive to Insure
1 Lexus IS 300
2 Land Rover Discovery Series II
3 Audi S4
4 Jaguar X-Type
5 Mercedes SLK Class
6 Lexus GS 430
7 Land Rover Freelander
8 Mitsubishi Montero
9 BMW X5
10 Toyota 4Runner
|10 Least Expensive to Insure
1 Oldsmobile Silhouette
2 Pontiac Montana
3 Saturn L Series Sedan
4 Chrysler PT Cruiser
5 Saturn L Series Wagon
6 Chevrolet Venture
7 Chevrolet Astro
8 Saturn Vue
9 Jeep Wrangler
10 Oldsmobile Bravada
There are a handful of factors that determine how much a person pays for insurance, including gender, age, driving record, location of residence, annual driving mileage, credit scores (in most states), and most importantly, the car we drive.
Although common-sense holds that the more expensive a car, the more expensive the insurance, this is not always the case. Insurance rates differ greatly between makes and models. If a car performs well in crash tests, it's not frequently stolen, and has additional safety or anti-theft devices, it will generally cost less to insure it. On the other hand, if your car is flashier, attractive to thieves, and doesn't wow anyone in the crash tests, it will cost more to insure.
What's the Fastest You've Taken It?
If you drive a high performance vehicle with more horsepower than General Washington's Army, insurance companies have no other choice but to assume that you will use it and practice riskier driving. Should you get into an accident, regardless of fault, the cost of returning your vehicle to its original condition can be extraordinary-- even for a seemingly innocuous fender bender.
Bigger is Safer, But Cause More Damage
Although SUVs, large trucks, and other large road warriors might be safer than compact cars in accidents, they tend to foster a more expensive liability coverage rate given the fact that they inflict more damage than most standard cars in accidents. On another note, there are still many SUVs that have inherent safety flaws in their design, specifically with rollover tests. Accordingly, insurance companies share these additional financial risks onto the driver in the form of higher premiums.
Car Insurance Companies Love Family Cars
Cars that are particularly associated as "family cars" tend to have lower insurance premiums. These types of cars include minivans, family sedans, and station wagons. Cars that are used primarily to transport a family are generally involved in fewer accidents, due to safer driving habits associated with those who transport family members.
It Doesn't Matter Which List You're On: Don't Over-Pay for Car Insurance
Insurance companies specialize in different types of financial risk and demonstrate this best in their insurance rates. Just because your insurance company affords you a wonderful rate on your homeowners insurance policy, doesn't mean they'll offer you the same deal to insure your Jeep Wrangler. Remember, the same policy can differ by hundreds of dollars from company to company, not to mention that rates are always changing. Regardless of which list your car is on, you can always get quotes to identify potential savings from a new insurance company, or any previously unrecognized discounts from your current company.
July 24, 2007
Auto Insurance: Mid-Year Car Insurance Review
July 24, 2007 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
It might be hard to believe, but 2007 is already halfway over! In fact, the holiday shopping season starts in just 145 days. More pressing, you may have noticed a little more strain on your travel budget this summer thanks to soaring gas prices. Need some financial breathing-room? A mid-year review of your auto insurance premiums may be able to offset some of those unavoidable costs.
It's a fact that insurance companies are always changing their rates, whether you know it or not. In fact, in some parts of the country, an industry price war is mounting among carriers, in the same manner that airlines slash prices: to gain consumer market share.
In these times, it's the shopping consumer that benefits from the competition through lower premiums. Accordingly, even if you haven't made any claims in the first half of the year, or received any tickets for that matter, you may be a different driver now than you were at the beginning of the year. It takes a 6-month review of your premiums to identify such savings though.
Don't continue to overspend on your car insurance in 2007 -- and don't wait till the end of the year to make adjustments. Your potential savings are better used for the cost of gas, vehicle registration costs, tolls, parking, and the other hidden costs of owning a car.
1. Shop and Compare Rates Every 6 Months In 2007, if you check your car insurance rates in January, make sure your check them again in the summer. According to an independent study, people who compare rates and switch carriers at InsWeb.com save an average of $301* on a six-month policy. Consider the savings over 12 months!
2. Select Higher DeductiblesSimply put, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium. Indeed the cost of an accident will be that much more expensive; however, if the damage is minor (grey zone in making accident claim), you'll be spending the same out-of-pocket amount regardless.
3. Make a Cheaper Policy Even Cheaper: Don't Pay in Monthly Installments Additional administrative fees are commonly applied to payments when you split your premium into installments (i.e. monthly, semi-annual, annual). Be aware that a monthly fee of even $7 can add up to $84 over 12 months.
4. Look for Multi-Line Insurance Discounts The most under recognized car insurance discount results from the multi-line insurance policy: buying your auto insurance and your homeowners insurance from the same insurance company. According to the Insurance Information Institute, a multi-line policy can save you up to 15% on both premiums.
5. Collect on Your Good Driving Most insurance companies reward good driving with lower premiums. In fact, in some states a good driving discount is required by law. If you haven't had any accidents or tickets in the last three to five years, shop at InsWeb.com and see whether you are missing out on this money saving discount.
6. Don't Overpay for Tickets Unfortunately moving violations are an accurate reflection of your liability to an insurance company, and your rates can skyrocket as a result. Perhaps you deserve a higher rate, but don't let the insurance company unduly punish you. Shop around and see if you can find a more reasonable rate with another company.
7. Look for Safe Vehicle Discounts Many companies offer discounts for various safety features on your vehicle, including air bags, alarms, factory-installed mechanical seatbelts and antilock brakes. In getting updated insurance quotes, be sure to indicate such safety features to benefit from available discounts.
8. Don't Pay for Unnecessary Coverage You may be paying for coverage that you don't need. For example, you may be a member of an auto club that provides towing services, yet you're also paying for towing on your auto insurance policy. Look for opportunities to eliminate unnecessary costs.
9. Look for a Good Student Discount or Senior Discount Students currently enrolled in school often receive a discount on auto insurance for good grades, as many companies feel conscientious students make conscientious drivers. Similarly, insurance companies are known to value the wisdom of an experienced driver, offering discounts to drivers over 50 as a result.
10. Pay Less for Driving Less Many insurance companies will offer discounts on vehicles that incur low annual mileage. In fact, some companies have a predetermined number of what they consider low mileage. Has your commute changed? If so, it might save you money to get an updated quote.
* Based on average savings information from InsWeb policyholder survey data from 4/27 to 7/4/2005.
June 24, 2007
Gas Prices Continue to Soar: 6 Ways to Help You Save Money
June 24, 2007 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
As we head into the summer, gas prices continue to reach record breaking highs. Remember the days you could fill up your vehicle for around $18? As of last week, gas prices average $3.22 per gallon nationwide (as of 6/4/07). That's 12 cents more than the previous week and 40 cents more than last year.
While we can't do anything about the price of gas, we can do something about the frequency we stop to fill-up. Below you will find six proven ways to save money on gas during the summer months, however; recognizing that the cost of driving is still going to be outrageous, you can easily offset the extra expense by saving on your monthly car insurance bill instead.
1) Drive at Steady Speeds (Save $0.10 to $0.20/Gallon)
It may sound a bit like an elementary drivers-ed lesson, but driving steadily at the speed limit is the best way to control gas consumption.
Experts estimate that for every 5 mph you drive over 60 mph, you are effectively adding $0.10 to $0.20 to each gallon of gas you purchase. As stops and starts negatively affect your gas mileage, try to avoid stop-and-go traffic whenever possible. Similarly, try to control the horses in your engine and limit your rapid accelerations.
2) Keep Your Car Tuned-Up (Save 11.4 Miles per Gallon)
Some mechanics estimate that a poorly tuned engine can use up to 50% more gas than one that is running well. In fact, according to the National Car Care Council (carcare.org), if you combine under-inflated tires, a dirty air filter, worn spark plugs, a worn oxygen sensor, dirty oil, and a loose gas cap, you could be loosing up to 11.4 miles per gallon of gas.
3) Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated (Save 3.3% on Gas)
Underinflated tires will cause you to consume more gas. The U.S. Department of Energy says that drivers can save an average of 3.3% by keeping their tires properly inflated. The proper inflation for your tires should be specified in your owner's manual.
4) Cut Down on A/C and Extra Baggage (Save 2% on Gas)
While on the highway, closed windows decrease air resistance, but when you are driving down city streets and in stop-and-go traffic, it's a good idea to open the windows rather then run the air conditioner. Additionally, limit the amount of stuff you keep in your trunk or on your roof racks. An extra 100 pounds in your trunk or on your roof rack, reduces a typical cars fuel economy by 1-2%.
5) Try to Minimize your Driving
Try to plan one long trip instead of several short trips. If you can, try to carpool or use alternate forms of transportation (busses, trains, subways), or ride your bike or walk to nearby destinations. These are the more obvious ways to save gas and they also have a positive effect on the environment. You can also try to stagger your work hours so that you aren't driving in prime traffic hours.
6) Consider Buying a Smaller, More Fuel Efficient Car
Smaller cars are not only often less expensive and cheaper to insure then larger cars, but they also use less gas (because they are lighter). Also cars with automatic transmissions get an average of 5 miles a gallon less then manual transmissions. Six-cylinder engines get about 4 to 5 miles per gallon less then four-cylinder engines. Also, certain hybrid cars can get up to 48 miles to a gallon of gas.
May 29, 2007
4 Ways Most People Overpay for Car Insurance
May 29, 2007 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Tax-Time: you're either waiting for your gravy train tax refund, or you're fearing the event of paying even more to Uncle Sam. Car insurance can take on a similar dichotomy, but the difference is that you don't get a refund for overpaying for coverage -- it just renews and overcharges you until you find a more affordable policy. Most people don't see this, and miss out on hundreds of dollars in savings that could be used like a big fat tax refund.
Auto Insurance Quotes are Not Final: How to Make Them Lower
When you shop and compare multiple auto insurance quotes, recognize that even if the quotes are about the same as your current policy, or lower for that matter, they can still be even lower. There may be too much coverage, or extra options tucked into the quote that you really don't need.
Although higher limits provide you with greater protection against possible losses, you may be carrying limits that are not in line with the value of your total assets and your lifestyle. As you review your quote, consult with an insurance agent before making any final coverage decisions. Additionally, you may be a member of an auto club that provides towing and labor protection, therefore, paying for it in your auto policy could be unnecessary. The same may hold true for car rental coverage: do you really need it?
Trying to Make "Accidents" More Affordable
Many drivers make the mistake of carrying the lowest deductibles in order to help offset the costs associated with filing a claim. The fact remains, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium. Indeed the cost of an accident will be that much more expensive; however, if the damage is minor, you could be spending the same out-of-pocket amount regardless. Save on your policy, not the accident; raise your deductibles if you can afford to.
Paying for the Policy in Monthly Installments
Just like any bill, it is common to pay for insurance in monthly installments, either by check or automatic bank withdrawal. Be aware that additional administrative fees are commonly applied to payments when you split your premium into installments (i.e. monthly, semi-annual, annual). A monthly fee of even $7 can add up to $84 over 12 months.
Overpaying for Tickets and Moving Violations
Perhaps you deserve a higher rate for your driving record, but don't let the insurance company unduly punish you. Although having moving violations on your driving record can limit your selection of insurance companies, don't believe that finding affordable car insurance is as intimidating as appearing in traffic court and paying fines. To the contrary, there are companies that specialize in insuring higher risk drivers at reasonable prices. The only way to identify such companies though, is to compare multiple quotes from multiple companies.
Don't count on your tax refund to save money! Instead, you may be able to save hundreds by simply taking 10 minutes to analyze your auto insurance policy. Even if last year seemed uneventful, the chances are good that your individual circumstances have changed enough to qualify you for lower car insurance rates. And even if nothing changed on your end, many large insurance companies may have reduced their rates since you last shopped.
April 17, 2007
The Science of a Fender Bender
April 17, 2007 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Oh my goodness, I just hit that car!"
"How much is this going to cost me, and what's going to happen to my insurance?"
In the heat of the moment, these are the instinctual thoughts of any driver who's had the unpleasant experience of a fender bender. Even the smallest and most innocuous auto collision can have lasting financial repercussions -- regardless of fault. What's a driver to do?
There is an abundance of misinformation floating around the Internet that will convince you why you should pay out-of-pocket for small fender benders -- especially if you have any previous accidents or moving violations on your driving record. At the scene of a collision, don't be so quick to financially resolve the accident by writing a check or accepting the other driver's available cash on hand.
There is a reason that your state requires a certain level of car insurance: car repairs always have unexpected costs and personal injuries sometimes take unforeseen turns towards chronic physical injury. If you choose to not report an accident to your insurance company, you are taking an uncalculated risk that you are probably not prepared for. If the other driver chooses to sue you months later, your failure to report the accident might cause your insurer to refuse to honor the policy. Imagine the financial and legal challenge of taking on an insurance company all by yourself.
Auto accidents are expensive and inconvenient; however, having the lowest possible deductible probably isn't going to make a difference in the long-term costs of such an event. Instead, you should consider increasing your deductibles to lower the overall cost of your premiums. It's one of the best ways to save on your car insurance. Yes, a collision will be a little more expensive, but you're probably not going to experience enough accidents to justify the forgone savings. If you're a safe and responsible driver, save on your overall premium, not on the out-of-pocket costs in an accident.
As with anything, preparation is the key to successfully navigating the administrative headaches of a fender bender. Always have a pen and paper readily available next to your proof of insurance. You'll want to collect the names and addresses of all drivers, passengers, witnesses, and law enforcement officials involved; in addition to license plate numbers, the make and model of each car, driver's license numbers, insurance information, and as much scenario detail as possible. There are two points of wisdom that strongly support any resolution that most people overlook: 1.) Never admit fault, and 2.) Have a disposable camera handy to take undisputable images of the scene. In any type of auto accident, everything happens in a flash and "hindsight is 20-20".
If a fender bender has bruised your driving record and you are suffering from what seems to be unreasonable premiums, don't be a prisoner to your insurance company. There are companies that specialize in insuring high risk drivers with reasonable rates. To find them you must shop around and compare multiple quotes from multiple companies. The same policy can vary by hundreds of dollars from company to company.
February 9, 2007
Tickets and Moving Violations: Don't Be a Prisoner to Your Insurance Company
February 9, 2007 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
When you shop for car insurance, one of the first questions you will be asked is: "Have you had any moving violations (tickets) in the last 3 years?" If the answer is 'yes,' you should take comfort in knowing that you're not alone. In fact, you have a lot in common with millions of drivers: you're subject to higher auto insurance rates. Even if you accept responsibility and rightfully deserved your tickets, don't be a prisoner to your insurance company. You have the right to shop around and avoid insurance rates that may seem excessive.
Tickets and Moving Violations: Don't Be a Prisoner to Your Insurance Company
For drivers that already pay for moving violations in their current auto insurance policy, shopping around for a new policy could uncover significant savings. Although having multiple violations on your driving record can limit your selection of insurance companies, don't believe that finding affordable car insurance is as intimidating as appearing in traffic court and paying fines. To the contrary, there are companies that specialize in insuring high risk drivers at reasonable prices. The only way to identify such companies though, is to compare multiple quotes from multiple companies.
In most states, traffic violations remain on your driving record for three years, although some states keep them for as long as five. Interestingly, many drivers continue to pay high insurance rates for infractions that have since fallen off their record. Don't expect insurance companies to simultaneously lower your premiums with magical synchronicity according to your driving record. They generally only check driving records when you first apply for a policy, therefore; the responsibility rests on you alone to maximize your savings.
Americans drive almost 3 trillion highway miles a year. In all this activity, moving violations will happen as we're all capable of making poor driving decisions. Regardless, it is essential that you try to keep tickets off your record. Although drivers typically experience modest increases in their insurance premiums from their first moving violation, premiums can skyrocket with any additional infractions. Depending on the nature of your violation, most states will allow you to take traffic school in exchange for a dismissal of the ticket. When you have the opportunity to do so, take it. Alternatively, if you feel that your moving violation is not warranted, and can be explained to a judge, challenge the ticket in traffic court. It is believed by many that simply making the effort to appear in traffic court can improve your likelihood of having your fines reduced, if not dismissed entirely. Keep in mind however, even though a fine may be reduced or eliminated by the court, a moving violation may still be added to your driving record.
Insurance companies statistically correlate your moving violations to the likelihood of you filing an insurance claim in the future. At its simplest: if you have tickets, you're probably a riskier driver that will experience higher car insurance rates. However, the same policy can vary by hundreds of dollars from company to company. If you have any moving violations on your driving record, it is in your best interest to shop around and see if you can find a more reasonable rate. You should compare auto insurance rates at least every six months, regardless of your driving record, as insurance companies are always adjusting rates.
January 5, 2007
10 Easiest Ways to Lower Your Car Insurance Bill in 2007
January 5, 2007 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Happy New Year! As you begin 2007 with a renewed determination to improve your finances, take 10 minutes to analyze your auto insurance bill. Even if last year seemed uneventful, the chances are good that your individual circumstances have changed enough to qualify you for lower car insurance rates. And even if nothing changed on your end, many large insurance companies reduced their rates in 2006.
Don't overspend on car insurance in 2007: Your potential savings are better used for utility bills, cell phone calling plans, or better yet, personal entertainment. In shopping for a new car insurance policy, use InsWeb's 10 tips for lowering your rates.
1. Shop and Compare Rates Every 6 Months
In 2007, if you check your car insurance rates in January, make sure your check them again in June. According to an independent study, people who compare rates and switch carriers at InsWeb.com save an average of $301* on a six month policy. Consider the savings over 12 months! Tickets or no tickets, you're a different driver than you were last summer. Get updated quotes and see what your individual savings could be.
2. Select Higher Deductibles
Simply put, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium. Indeed the cost of an accident will be that much more expensive; however, if the damage is minor (grey zone in making accident claim), you'll be spending the same out-of-pocket amount regardless.
3. Make a Cheaper Policy Even Cheaper: Don't Pay in Monthly Installments
Additional administrative fees are commonly applied to payments when you split your premium in to installments (i.e. monthly, semi-annual, annual). Be aware that a monthly fee of even $7 can add up to $84 over 12 months.
4. Look for Multi-Line Insurance Discounts
The most under recognized car insurance discount results from the multi-line insurance policy: buying your auto insurance and your homeowners insurance from the same insurance company. According to the Insurance Information Institute, a multi-line policy can save you up to 15% on both premiums.
5. Collect on Your Good Driving
Most insurance companies reward good driving with lower premiums. In fact, in some states a good driving discount is required by law. If you haven't had any accidents or tickets in the last three to five years, shop at InsWeb.com and see whether you are missing out on this money savings discount.
6. Don't Overpay for Tickets
Unfortunately moving violations are an accurate reflection of your liability to an insurance company, and your rates can skyrocket as a result. Perhaps you deserve a higher rate, but don't let the insurance company unduly punish you. Shop around and see if you can find a more reasonable rate with another company.
7. Look for Safe Vehicle Discount
Many companies offer discounts for various safety features on your vehicle, including air bags, alarms, factory-installed mechanical seatbelts and antilock brakes. In getting updated insurance quotes, be sure to indicate such safety features to benefit from available discounts.
8. Don't Overpay for Your Unnecessary Coverage
You may be paying for coverage that you don't need. For example, you may be a member of an auto club that provides towing services, yet you're also paying for towing on your auto insurance policy. Look for opportunities to eliminate unnecessary costs.
9. Look for a Good Student Discount or Senior Discount
Students currently enrolled in school often receive a discount on auto insurance for good grades, as many companies feel conscientious students make conscientious drivers. Similarly, insurance companies are known to value the wisdom of an experienced driver, offering discounts to drivers over 50 as a result.
10. Pay Less for Driving Less
Many insurance companies will offer discounts on vehicles that incur low annual mileage. In fact, some companies have a predetermined number of what they consider low mileage. Has your commute changed? If so, it might save you money to get an updated quote.
*National average savings information based on InsWeb 6-month policyholder survey data from 4/27/05 to 7/4/05.
November 30, 2006
Preparing Your Car For Winter With A Seasonal Tune-up
November 30, 2006 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
As the straggling Indian Summer days have finally given way to the inaugural frosts of the season, we shift our focus to preparing our cars for the cold winter months. For cars, winter weather conditions magnify existing problems; graduating small pings and hard engine starts to failed heaters and dead batteries -- always at the wrong time. With freezing temperatures, rain, snow and ice on the horizon, responsible drivers should now take the time to prepare their cars with a standard winter tune-up.
Winter tune-ups are like vaccinations to people: they ensure the health of your car and prevent some nasty disorders from ever occurring. But even though conventional wisdom holds that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," the National Car Care Council reports that only 30% of motorists winterize their car. Similar to its spring counterpart, a basic winter tune-up does not have to be expensive, nor performed by a mechanic. Without any type of winter tune-up though, older engines will run rough and lose power, and newer cars suffer advanced wear and tear.
The basic winter car tune-up should first focus on the oil and the battery. Winter conditions generally require a thinner oil weight to minimize engine wear. For example, an engine that normally uses 10W-30 oil, should consider changing to a thinner 5W-30. In regards to the battery, cold temperatures drastically slow a battery's chemical reaction upon starting the engine. In fact, a strong battery can lose up to 50% of its output in freezing conditions. A simple rule-of-thumb is that if the battery's connections are noticeably loose or corroded, the battery is likely to be weak and in need of replacement. Just as a car's oil requires close attention, the same applies to the vehicle's other fluids, including the antifreeze, brake, transmission, and power steering fluid levels. Check your engine's hoses and belts for wear and tear as they can affect the electrical system, air conditioning, power steering, and the engine's cooling system.
In preparation for compromised road conditions, car tires should be inspected regularly for proper inflation and tread wear. When the tread is worn down to 1/16 of an inch, tires must be replaced. A "penny-test" is a reliable tool to check tire tread. Take a penny and put Lincoln's head into one of the grooves of the tire tread. If part of his head is covered by the tread, you're driving with the legal amount of tread. If you can see all of President's head though, it's time to replace the tire.
As visibility is certain challenge every driver in winter, be it with fewer hours of daylight or fog, snow, and rain, check your headlights (both high-beam and low-beam) to ensure that bulbs are aimed in the proper direction. Now is the time to change your windshield wiper blades as well, especially since the summer heat more than likely compromised their effectiveness. Experts recommend changing them every six months regardless.
Winterizing a car also involves preparing for a bit more of a survival-based emergency resulting from inclement weather. A basic winter kit should be stowed in your trunk in case you become stranded in your car for a period of more than a couple hours. Use the trunk space to store survival essentials including bottled water, blanket, flashlight, matches, snacks, and warmer clothing. For the Boy Scout troop leaders, we also recommend carrying paper towels, a red flag, a bag of sand, transistor radio, first aid kit, small shovel, and Danielle Steel's latest.
October 10, 2006
Insurance and Your Credit Report
October 10, 2006 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Insurance companies use several factors to determine your premiums, including your driving record, age, the type of car you drive, marital status, and your address. But increasingly, companies are using your credit history as an indicator of how likely you are to file a claim. Called an insurance risk score, this controversial number is calculated using a special formula similar to a credit score but developed specifically for insurers. This formula is currently unavailable to consumers; however, many states are currently considering legislation to regulate the use of this score. In fact, Maryland and Washington have passed laws that restrict the use of credit information by insurance companies.
A few things have been made public about your insurance risk score recently. We now know that five main financial factors are evaluated to calculate your insurance risk score:
1. Your payment history: Your record of paying credit bills in the past, number of adverse public records (i.e. bankruptcy, collections, liens), and the amount of delinquencies on your credit record account for about 35% of your insurance risk score. This is the largest factor in your insurance rating.
2. Amount of debt you owe: The number of accounts you have open, the types of accounts, and the amount you have charged all combine to count as 30% of your risk score.
3. Length of credit history: The amount of time that you've had credit and the specific length of time that you have had certain accounts make up 15% of your risk analysis.
4. New credit: 10% of your risk analysis is calculated based on your recent credit activity. Your number of new accounts, recent inquiries, and efforts to re-establish troubled credit are grouped into this category.
5. Types of credit in use: The number and activity of credit accounts including credit cards, retail store accounts, and mortgages count for another 10% of your risk evaluation.
Although consumers can't access their own insurance risk score, simply knowing that your credit history is used by insurers can help you get a better deal. If you have excellent credit, you may want to use it to your advantage and shop around for the best insurance rates possible. If you have troubled credit, you may want to stay with your current insurer until your finances improve.
By understanding some of the credit factors that go into your insurance assessment, you are empowered to improve your insurance risk score. Take charge of your credit and get the insurance rate you deserve.
October 4, 2006
Does Your Car Insurance Only Cover Aftermarket Parts or Original Manufacturer Parts?
October 4, 2006 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
As aftermarket parts are an affordable alternative to the expensive OEM parts, insurance companies will not always reimburse 100% of the repair costs when OEM parts are used. In fact, some carriers require the policyholder to pay the difference between the OEM part and the otherwise fully capable non-OEM substitute part."
Auto accidents teach drivers many expensive lessons about their insurance policies, and why drivers should understand exactly what they're paying for -- before an accident happens. For example, the cost of knowing if your policy covers towing or rental coverage can be hundreds of dollars if the driver is not covered for such resources. Furthermore, when it comes to actually repairing your vehicle and returning it to the original pre-accident condition, the costly lesson becomes: Does your auto insurance only cover aftermarket parts or original manufacturer (OEM) parts?
Demonstrated best in a repair estimate, the difference between aftermarket parts and OEM parts is generally cost alone, however, we promptly alert all drivers: "buyer beware." Comparing costs between OEM and aftermarket parts is not always an apples-to-apples comparison. There are potential hidden future costs and risks associated with a vehicle's insurance coverage, sustained resale value, and even safety.
OEM parts are a vehicle's "original" part, and are literally produced by the same auto manufacturer. Aftermarket parts on the other hand, are a replicated part manufactured by a company other than the original. As aftermarket parts are an affordable alternative to the expensive OEM parts, insurance companies will not always reimburse 100% of the repair costs when OEM parts are used. In fact, some carriers require the policyholder to pay the difference between the OEM part and the otherwise fully capable non-OEM substitute part.
According to many car owners, aftermarket parts do not necessarily restore the car to its pre-accident condition. Some believe that aftermarket parts decrease the resale value upon trade-in or private resale. Even worse, for those who lease their vehicles, using aftermarket parts can complicate matters at the completion of their lease contract. If the leased vehicle is returned with aftermarket parts, the lessee faces the risk of not returning the vehicle in the original condition.
An industry rule-of-thumb is that for more expensive luxury vehicles, it is recommended to maintain your vehicle's resale value with OEM parts, especially considering the fact that car dealers monitor the repair history of most vehicles. For those owners that do not have aggressive resale objectives or have a car that is not worth much, then aftermarket parts may be the best route to go.
Understanding the difference between aftermarket and OEM parts is often overlooked when purchasing an insurance policy. Don't wait until an accident happens to learn what your policy actually covers. Take this time to review your insurance policy and use this knowledge to shop for a policy that best covers your needs.
October 3, 2006
Preparing for Fall and Winter Driving
October 3, 2006 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Fall is upon us once again and it is time to go through my yearly routine of preparing my vehicle and self for the winter driving months. I have lived in several climates in my lifetime and learned that preparation for the winter driving season is important in all of my living locations. Below is a list of tasks/items I make sure are completed on my vehicles every fall:
• Replace wiper blades
• Check vehicle fluids (Oil, Anti-Freeze, Cold-Weather washer fluid)
• Check brake pads
• Check tire treads (penny test)
• Pack winter car survival box (water, blanket, packaged food, jumper cables, flashlight and flare, and chains if needed)
It is also good to remind yourself that the first few rains of the season will result in oily and slippery roads. I always use extreme caution when driving in the winter, it is not me doubting my winter driving abilities...but doubting the winter driving abilities of the other drivers on the road.
You can find some more important winter driving tips here:
October 2, 2006
Underinsured Motorists With Changing Driving Patterns And Insurance Needs
October 2, 2006 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
More than 4 of 10 families survey by Trusted Choice® who said they had a young driver move away from the home hadn't updated their family's auto insurance coverage to reflect that change. Of those who are frequent carpool drivers to a job, school or activities with children, an alarming 85% hadn't changed their liability insurance coverage to reflect the increased risk of additional passengers in the automobile.
Also, if you have purchased property or a home since you first purchased your auto insurance policy, you may want to consider upping your Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability coverage levels. If you own a home and make more than $75,000 a year, most insurance experts recommend that you own at least $100,000/$300,000 of Bodily Injury coverage and $100,000 total of Property Damage Liability coverage.
Remember to keep yourself adequately covered; while having the bare minimums required by each state may keep you in compliance with state laws, they may not be enough to protect your assets if you have a major incident. Insurance experts recommend that you review your insurance policy often and thoroughly.
September 27, 2006
Driver Cell Phone Usage on the Rise
September 27, 2006 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) came out with an interesting report earlier in the year which addressed the increasing usage of cell phones in cars. The report states that driver cell phone usage increased in 2005, with 6% of drivers on hand-held phones in 2005 nationwide, compared to 5% in 2004.
The 2005 rate translates into 974,000 vehicles on the road at any given daylight moment being driven by someone on a hand-held phone. It also translates into an estimated 10% of vehicles in the typical daylight moment whose driver is using some type of phone, whether hand-held or hands-free.
The 2005 survey also reported:
• Hand-held cell phone use increased in a number of driver categories, including female drivers (from 6% in 2004 to 8% in 2005), and drivers age 16-24 (8% 2004 to 10% in 2005).
• The incidence of drivers speaking with headsets on while driving also increased in 2005, from 0.4% of drivers in 2004 to 0.7% in 2005.
If you are wondering about the methodology of this research, the report states that trained observers sampled intersections controlled by a stop sign or stoplight, where motorists are observed from the roadside. Data was collected between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
September 26, 2006
Anti-Rollover Technology for All Vehicles by 2012
September 26, 2006 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Considered the greatest life saving improvement since the safety belt, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) announced a new proposal to require auto manufacturers to install electronic stability control (ESC) as a standard feature on all new passenger vehicles by 2012.
ESC systems use automatic computer-controlled braking of individual wheels to help the driver maintain control in situations where a vehicle without ESC would skid out of control and likely leave the road. According to the NHTSA, nearly all rollover crashes occur after a vehicle leaves the road. The NHTSA estimates that ESC reduces fatalities in single-vehicle crashes by 30% for passenger cars and 63% for SUVs. Accordingly, the agency estimates that ESC will save between 5,300 and 10,300 lives annually and prevent between 168,000 and 252,000 injuries. ESC will prevent between 4,200 and 5,400 of the more than 10,000 deaths that occur each year as a result of rollover crashes.
Auto manufacturers are on board with this direction in safety. In fact, since 2004, the NHTSA has urged manufacturers to voluntarily add ESC as standard equipment on vehicles. As a result, almost 29% of all 2006 models (57% of SUVs) are already equipped with ESC.
For those concerned with the added cost to already expensive vehicles, ESC-enabling of cars is estimated to be only an additional $111 per vehicle, on vehicles that already include ABS brakes.
Source: NHTSA: http://www.nhtsa.gov/
September 21, 2006
No More Hand-Held Cell Phone Use While Driving In California
September 21, 2006 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
California's governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, signed a bill this week that will ban drivers in the biggest U.S. state from talking on hand-held cell phones will driving. The ban will go into effect in July of 2008. From the first day of July day on, the law will allow drivers to talk on cell phones as long as they use a hands-free device, such as ear pieces wired to phones, speakers, and wireless ear pieces.
With New York and a few other states already having similar laws in effect, many experts predict that the rest of the nation will soon follow.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the key provisions of the law, effective July 1, 2008, are:
• Violators can be fined $20 for the first offense and $50 for further infractions.
• Tickets will not be reflected on a driver's record, protecting insurance rates.
• Emergency calls are exempt.
• Drivers of commercial vehicles can use handheld walkie-talkie style radio phones until July 1, 2011.
• Existing laws that limit cell phone use while driving school or public transit buses still apply.
You can read the full article at: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/state/20060916-9999-1n16cell.html
What I want to know is this: What do you as drivers think of this new law?
September 19, 2006
Adding A Teen Driver To Your Insurance Policy? 5 Ways To Keep Costs At Bay
September 19, 2006 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
In our two-part series addressing teen drivers, last month we focused on safety tips for parents of teen drivers (as well as for teen drivers themselves). This month, we discuss the 5 proven ways of keeping your insurance costs at bay once you add your teen driver.
September 5, 2006
Auto Insurance and Staged Auto Accidents
September 5, 2006 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
There are a lot of dishonest people out there who for whatever reason make decisions that compromise the safety and well-being of innocent people. A reflection of this is in the auto insurance scams that happen every day, under the guise of an everyday small fender bender. Imagine getting into a small accident that results in a small dent and then wrangled into an enormous and stressful insurance claim that could cost you thousands of dollars over the course of years. According to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud (CAIF), "often these accidents are staged by organized crime rings that bilk dozens of unsuspecting drivers."
August 18, 2006
Good (And Bad) News: Your Teenager Is Now A Teen Driver
August 18, 2006 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Imagine this: Not only is it back-to-school time, but your teenager has just passed their driving test and they're ready to start driving around. This is great news, right? It means they can drive themselves to school, you don't have to fit in driving them to their endless activities around your already busy schedule, maybe they can even help with errands, and so on. But is having a new driver in the house all good news? Most parents in this situation may not think so. Possibly because it also means that your insurance is going to cost more (often double what it cost before), there will be more people vying for the family car(s), and you're going to worry about what kind of a driver your darling offspring will be.
August 14, 2006
Safer Cars Are Reason Behind Fewer Roadway Deaths
August 14, 2006 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
As I was watching TV this past weekend, I noticed those shocking, in-your-face, Volkswagen commercials are back again. You know the ones where the common person is driving with a friend or two, having the same conversation that we all might have in a car...and then...."BAM" all of the sudden the viewer is involved in a car accident with these people. The ad campaign addresses the fact that accidents happen and the car you drive can significantly influence your safe outcome. Whether you think the ad is too extreme for TV or not, the fundamental message may in fact be very legitimate.
August 8, 2006
My First Car Accident
August 8, 2006 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Yes, we've all heard all the sayings about "those crazy teenage drivers," but my first "incident" at the tender age of 16, only about a week after getting my license, really wasn't my fault. Really. I know you've heard that from many teenage drivers, but in this case it's true.
July 31, 2006
Teenage Drivers and Safe First Cars
July 31, 2006 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
OK, if this quote doesn't make you worried, I don't know what will: "The first years teenagers spend as drivers are very risky. In fact, teen drivers have the highest death rates of any age group. In 1997 alone, more than 5,700 teenagers died in motor vehicle crashes, and many more were left severely and permanently injured by crashes." Source: Teenagers & Safe Cars
July 28, 2006
Who Has Time For The DMV?
July 28, 2006 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
I just received my car registration renewal notice, and fortunately, this year I only have to drop my payment in the mail or go online. Last year though, I had a few special circumstances that didn't afford me the luxury of an automated processes. In fact, like hundreds of people that day (and everyday for that matter), I had to go to the DMV and stand in the long lines and witness the amazingly irrational behavior from ill-prepared drivers who simply fail to follow instructions.
July 17, 2006
Aggressive Driving and Road Rage
July 17, 2006 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
As more drivers hit the highways for summer weekend excursions and road trips, many will lose their basic sense of life's priorities and drive aggressively. Whether it's the false sense of control and power that being behind the wheel gives them, or the feeling of anonymity for their actions, aggressive drivers overlook the immediate safety and wellbeing of themselves, their passengers, and the human life in the vehicles around them. For some, it's only a matter of time before their emotions blind their shortsightedness and their behavior escalates to the domestic assault of "road rage." According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than 1,500 people are injured or killed each year in the United States as a result of "aggressive driving."
July 7, 2006
My Teenage Years and Car Insurance
July 7, 2006 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
When I first began driving, I was probably like most teenagers that came before and after me, I had a feeling of invincibility behind the wheel. It is really difficult to explain, but a teenager behind the wheel of a vehicle for the first time is provided with a sense of freedom that most of us have never felt before. The story of my teenage driving saga goes like this:
June 30, 2006
The Saga of My Stolen Car
June 30, 2006 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
About a year or so after I graduated from college, I lived in Chicago. My apartment was right off the Blue Line train in Logan Square. For those who are not familiar with the area, Logan Square is characterized by fenced in mansions intermixed with, what was at the time, inexpensive housing and rent. Due to its centralized location it was a natural fit for young, fresh out of college people, students, "artsy" types, and, of course, crime. In the one year I lived in Logan Square I witnessed a variety of criminal behavior and malcontents, including a drunk person passed out on a front lawn, and my girlfriend being robbed. I also had the unfortunate experience of having my car stolen.
Yes, I am among the 1 in 10 Americans who is a victim of vehicle theft (According to a NICB/Gallup study). I was a statistic and was treated as such by the apathetic police department I contacted after I arrived at the conclusion that my car wasn't where I had parked it two days earlier before the start of the 4th of July weekend. While I did roll-up the windows and lock the doors, there were a couple of extra things I could have done to possibly deter this unfortunate event from happening -- such as anti-theft devices (like a steering wheel lock) or decals placed in the window of my car as mentioned in the article "Vehicle Theft Prevention Devices"
Even though these things would have cost me a couple of extra bucks, in the end it could have saved me anguish of having to recover my car and it could have possibly saved me some money on my auto insurance. The police department eventually told me that my car had been found and gave me the street address to where it was. However, I came to find that the street address they supplied didn't exist. I contacted the police again to discover it had been towed and was now impounded. I quickly discovered that it was going to cost some money to bail my car out of jail. Something like $50 to get it out of impound and then another $200 to get it towed again since the steering column had been broken and hot-wired.
The car was close enough to death that I decided to transfer the title to the tow company. I have a conspiracy theory that the whole system was in on my car getting stolen and it's no secret that Chicago is rife with corruption. In the end the City got its money from having the car impounded and the tow company got its money from me eventually signing over the title. I came to find out that my car's title was never properly transferred. I started getting parking tickets in the mail long after I gave the car to what I thought was a legitimate tow company. Needless to say, it cost me time and expense to get the parking tickets dismissed and have the ownership of the car properly recognized as being terminated. In any case, I had a couple of things that made my car more susceptible to theft. Car insurance premiums are typically higher if you live in a city or park your car on the street at night.
Thankfully, now that I work in Sacramento and live out in the "burbs" with a garage, the risk of having my car stolen has dropped a bit. The biggest risk of my auto insurance rates going up nowadays is getting speeding tickets with all the driving I do.
Another interesting read: Is Your Car On The Most Stolen List
June 28, 2006
How I Really Overpaid Rental Car Insurance in Hawaii
June 28, 2006 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
We were in Maui, renting the King of all rental cars: The Chrysler Seabring! I reserved the car through my favorite travel site three months prior, and felt satisfied that I actually got a great deal. At the time that I reserved the car, I selected the 'add-on' insurance protection without hesitation. From an online shopping perspective, this was my impulsive "Add gift wrapping?" behavior of which I've recently become much more liberal. Without another thought, I printed my confirmation number and called it a day.
Meanwhile, back at the rental car agency counter, I was asked if I wanted the standard auto insurance package. With an online shopping hubris, I held a printed confirmation and claimed that I already had it; blocking the rental company from further depleting my then "hard cash" travel budget. I was annoyed (mostly at myself) to learn that the insurance that I previously purchased was nothing more than a general form of Travel Insurance with Rental Car "Loss" protection. Failing to read the 25-page 'Certificate of Insurance,' which only provided $72.00 of insurance that didn't meet my immediate vacation needs, I was forced to purchase the rental company's house insurance package for both myself and my wife.
To add the proverbial insult to injury, after I returned from Hawaii, I read the March InsWeb Newsletter Article titled "Do You Really Need Rental Car Insurance?" The article simply explained how I failed as an insurance consumer to understand my primary auto insurance policy, and how I need to pick up the phone sometimes and ask my insurance carrier about what I'm already covered for, so I can save my money for an overpriced beverage at an overpriced hotel in Hawaii!
Although it was after the fact for me, the article taught me about the importance of communicating with your carrier or agent before you purchased rental car insurance. Many auto insurance policies already provide various types of protection for rental cars. The article advised consumers to check with their agent or policy before purchasing unnecessary rental coverage.
The article warns readers about how various rental car agencies can overwhelm their customers with different types of auto insurance coverage types that will add money to the base rental rate. Again, you may already be covered for this under your primary auto insurance policy.
The article explained why everyone should understand CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) protection which can cost an extra $8-11 per day. CDW covers both the cost of damages to the rental car if you are involved in an accident and the "loss of use" that the rental company will charge you. "Loss of use" means the time and money the rental car company lost since the vehicle could not be rented. While the damage to the vehicle itself may be covered by your personal auto insurance policy, the "loss of use" very likely will not be.
The article went into detail about rental car insurance and credit cards. This is a subject of much misunderstanding and travel myths.
The article touches on renting cars in foreign countries and the implications of your personal insurance coverage, which may not extend to a rental car.
June 20, 2006
Buying a New Car this Summer? Remember To Check Its Insurance Rates First
June 20, 2006 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
In summer car buyers flock to dealerships during the pleasant afternoons and evenings to check out the new models and take advantage of those heavily advertised model year-end sales extravaganzas.
Automobiles are generally the second largest purchase (next to a house) that a person makes, and there are many factors that a consumer should consider when making a decision. Before you become distracted by the myriad of incentives, rebates, extended warranties and convoluted financing terms, do not overlook the cost of insuring the vehicle that you are considering. Insurance rates differ greatly between cars. If the car is safe and performs well in crash tests, is not frequently stolen, and/or has certain safety or anti-theft features, it will generally cost less to insure. If on the other hand the car is flashier, has a history of being frequently stolen, or is more expensive to repair, you can bet your insurance rates will be higher.
Many people overbuy on cars, leaving them straining to make ends meet and forcing them to severely alter their current lifestyle. It is always a good idea to prepare a budget before you even begin looking for a new car. Figure out how much you can afford and keep in mind that just because you get approved for a certain loan amount does not necessarily mean you can realistically afford the monthly payment. In your budget, include the cost of gas, vehicle maintenance, and of course, the cost of insurance. Determining the ideal monthly payment without recognizing the corresponding cost of insurance is a mistake that will deliver a financial rude awakening with an unpleasant feeling of buyers' remorse.
It is recommended that you purchase a car using sound shopping principles of research, comparison, and preparation. Print out any research, including price quotes and trade-in values, and carry it with you when you begin test driving cars. Use the Internet to find multiple sources for shopping, financing and insuring the various vehicle models that you are interested in and follow the following tips to help you in your car buying process:
1. Determine how much you realistically can spend on a car (loan payment, insurance, gas, maintenance, etc).
2. Identify which dealers or sellers are offering incentives or rebates.
3. If you are trading in your current vehicle, be sure to check the trade-in value. Remember, there are two different trade-in values: one for selling it to the dealer, and one for selling it privately.
4. Make sure to test drive all the cars you are considering buying. You may be surprised to find you like the way the less expensive (or safer) car drives just as much as the models on your wish list.
5. Shop around and don't impulse-buy. Remain emotionally indifferent and never show Larry the Dealer your excitement.
6. Dealerships are not the "end all, be all." Don't rely exclusively on them for financing and all other related products and services.
7. Take your time to carefully read all the contractual paperwork during the purchase process. Be aware of all the extra charges the seller might build into your contract. If you become confused or overwhelmed, ask for another explanation or give yourself time to discuss with a trusted friend or family member.
8. Although additional safety and anti-theft devices add to the price of vehicle, consider additional devices as their initial cost may be offset by the savings on your insurance premium.
Ultimately, when you purchase your new vehicle, be sure shop around for auto insurance. This is the best way of saving money on insurance. Many people find it easy to stay with the same company for years, but fail to realize they have the potential to save hundreds of dollars each year by comparing quotes from multiple companies. You should shop around at least twice a year to see if you are getting the best deal possible.
June 14, 2006
Hurricane Damaged Vehicles in Used Car Market: NAIC Warns Consumers
June 14, 2006 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
I came across an interesting article provided by the NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners) which warned consumers of purchasing flood-damaged vehicles that may have originated from the states that were affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
According to the warning, thousands of submerged vehicles were abandoned in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas and were shipped to other parts of the country through car wholesalers. The NAIC warns consumers to take extra precautions to save time and money when buying a used vehicle. They provide five key steps to protecting yourself which is available at:
May 26, 2006
Automotive Spring Tune-ups: Save Gas and Prevent Accidents
May 26, 2006 | By: Robert | Comments (0) | Posted in: Auto
Spring is here and summer is around the corner. Just like your home needs a spring cleaning, your car may need the same attention with a seasonal tune-up. Cars take a lot of abuse in the winter with rain, snow, ice and extremely cold weather. Performing a spring tune-up will give you a safer, more reliable car, and even help you squeeze a few more miles out of each gallon of gasoline.
Gas prices are hitting record highs. While we can't do anything about the actual price of gas, we can keep our cars running efficiently to maximize the distance we get out of every gallon. Some mechanics estimate that a poorly tuned engine can use up to 50 percent more gas than one that is running well. In fact, according to the National Car Care Council (carcare.org), if you combine under-inflated tires, a dirty air filter, worn spark plugs, a worn oxygen sensor, dirty oil, and a loose gas cap, you could be loosing up to 11.4 miles per gallon of gas.