Monday, January 15, 2007

Why Is Your Car Insurance So Expensive?

Why Is Your Car Insurance So Expensive? by Nicholas Hunt

Although these days it's pretty easy to arrange your car insurance online, comparing quotes at the click of a button and paying by credit card for instant cover, one ever present difficulty still remains: the high cost of insurance policies. The fact that having car insurance in place is both a legal requirement and a sensible idea doesn't detract from the annoyance of having to pay what seems to be an exorbitant sum, and most of us would jump at the chance of reducing the bill.

To do this we need to know what factors insurance companies use when deciding how much our premiums will be.

Perhaps the most important influence on the level of your premium is your own history as a driver. If you've a history of having accidents, then naturally you're a higher risk to the insurer and so they'll charge you more. Worse, if you've been convicted of a motoring offence such as speeding or driving while under the influence, then your insurance will cost you even more - especially if your licence was withdrawn.

On the plus side, a history containing no black marks such as accidents will result in cheaper insurance as you build up a 'no claims' discount over the years.

The next most important factor is what kind of car you're trying to insure. Naturally, more expensive cars will cost more to replace, and so the insurance will cost you more too. This isn't the whole story though, as other features such as engine size, the availability of cheap spares, and the difficulty of repair will have an influence too. Finally, some models of car are well known for being easier to break into or steal than others - the insurance companies are well aware of this and will adjust their quotes accordingly.

How you use your car will also affect the price you pay for cover. If you rarely drive and have a low annual mileage, then your premiums can be cut as you're on the road for less time, and therefore have less chance of needing to make a claim. City drivers may also have to pay more compared to those who drive in quieter areas.

Where you keep your car is important too - if you have a secure parking area, preferably one that keeps your vehicle out of sight and under cover, then your risk is lowered, as will be your premiums. Cars that are regularly parked at the roadside are at a higher risk of being stolen or involved in collisions, and so will be more expensive to insure.

One final point to cover is that of how attractive your car is to thieves, and not just in the obvious way of how desirable your vehicle is! An expensive car with a good security system including an alarm and window etching etcetera will be more of a hassle for criminals to profit from, and so is less likely to be stolen than a cheaper car with little or no security. Also, a car featuring plenty of gadgets such as an expensive audio system or satellite navigation will attract greater interest from potential thieves.

So as we can see, even though car insurance is an expensive business, it's not always as simple as it seems, and by looking at what insurers want in a 'perfect' customer, you may be able to drive down your premiums.

Nicholas has been writing on financial issues including car insurance for several years. Visit his site for more insurance tips and tricks, including how to get cheaper insurance for female drivers.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Five Easy Steps to Finding and Keeping the Perfect Life Insurance Coverage

Five Easy Steps to Finding and Keeping the Perfect Life Insurance Coverage by Janna Chan

Do you have some type of life insurance, but you know that $100,000 won't provide for your family's needs for very long? Are you leery of depending on insurance coverage provided through your job because you know that as soon as you lose the job, you'll lose your life insurance coverage?

Would you like to find life insurance coverage that truly protects your family, but you're mystified by terms such as whole life coverage, term life coverage, and variable life coverage? Does your confusion tempt you to just sign-up for the first life insurance coverage program a salesperson offers you instead of finding an insurance policy that's perfect for you and your family?

If so, researching and acquiring the perfect life insurance policy by using the following steps may be the key to finding coverage that genuinely suits your needs:


Do you need a policy that pays a simple death benefit for a reasonably low premium? If so, a term life insurance policy may be perfect for you. However if you'd rather have a policy that builds cash value or serves as a type of investment, a variable life or whole life policy may be your best option.


You can, at any time, ask your state's insurance commission which insurance carriers are licensed to do business in your state. You can also inquire about the number of complaints and the nature of complaints filed against any approved insurance carrier in your state.

Furthermore, you can check almost any insurance company's rating by visiting the websites of the following organizations that are well-known for evaluating the financial stability of hundreds of insurance carriers: A.M. Best, Moody's Investor Service, Fitch Ratings, Standard and Poors, and Weiss Ratings.


Asking friends and coworkers to recommend an insurance agent with whom they've had a good experience is usually the best way to find an agent. You can also contact professional insurance associations in your area to see if they have any insurance agent referral services.

Insurance agents/brokers have varying customer service skills, degrees of product knowledge, and years of general professional experience. Some insurance agents are considered "captive" because they can only sell coverage for one company. Other insurance agents/brokers are considered "independent" because they can sell insurance products for a variety of companies. Some insurance agents offer specialty insurance coverage products for people whose health conditions make them difficult to insure, while other agents only offer products for extremely healthy individuals.

You can also ask your state's insurance commission about whether complaints have been filed against any licensed insurance agent in your state.


Would you rather have $500,000 of life insurance coverage providing a simple death benefit or $100,000 of life insurance coverage that builds a cash value asset for you and your family? Is it more valuable to spend $75/month on a policy through an agent/insurance company with a reputation for providing personal tailored customer service, or would you rather spend $45/month on a policy through a company that provides little customer service?

Once you've determined which policy is best for you and your family, notify the relevant company/agent and get the ball rolling on acquiring your perfect life insurance policy.


Even after acquiring the perfect life insurance policy for you and your family, continue to monitor the financial status of your insurance carrier as well as your own insurance coverage needs. Insurance companies have their ups and downs just like any other financial institution. If your insurance company/coverage no longer meets your needs, consult your insurance agent and start researching other life insurance coverage options.

Contemplating your family's life insurance coverage needs takes time and energy. However, finding the perfect life insurance policy and learning more about the insurance industry in the process is a lot more fun than just signing on the dotted line of an insurance policy that may not meet your needs.


Copyright (c) 2007 Janna Chan

Janna Chan writes articles on different health and financial services topics ranging from finding good health and life insurance coverage to conquering insomnia and using meditation to alleviate illness and improve focus. contains more resources for finding and researching the perfect life insurance policy.

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Monday, January 1, 2007

Saving Money On Car Insurance With A Teenage Driver

Saving Money On Car Insurance With A Teenage Driver by Barry Brenner

Are you paying a fortune to insure your teenage driver? You really don't have to.

Some car insurance companies will charge you for your teenage driver when they turn sixteen. Some won't. Call your carrier ahead of time to find out what their policy is.

The most costly coverage on your auto insurance policy is the collision coverage. Collision coverage covers damage to your vehicle when it is involved in an at-fault accident. I.e. you hit someone or something. New drivers, no matter what age, are rated higher and cost more due to their lack of driving experience.

To save on the cost of the collision coverage on a new driver, consider purchasing a used vehicle that cost between one thousand five hundred and three thousand five hundred dollars. Make sure that it is mechanically sound for your driving needs. If you want to cover this vehicle for theft and vandalism, you can purchase comprehensive coverage. Instead of purchasing collision coverage on this vehicle, purchase uninsured motorist property damage coverage.

Uninsured motorist property damage coverage protects your vehicle for up to a limited amount if an uninsured motorist hits it and you can identify the driver and the vehicle. That way if anyone hits you, even if they have no insurance, your vehicle will be repaired or you will receive payment from your insurance company for the fair market value of the vehicle. Some insurance companies include a deductible with this coverage. Your savings could be anywhere from five hundred to two thousand dollars per year for your first three years of driving. How much does that add up to after three years?

When my daughter turned sixteen this year, I was faced with this dilemma. I own a 2002 Honda Accord and a 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer. My auto insurance carrier wanted to increase my premium by two thousand dollars every six months to add her onto the policy.

I bought her a 1970 Plymouth, in good mechanical condition, and found a different top insurance company that charged me $642.00 every six months for the Plymouth with her on the policy. This policy came with permissive driving as a standard feature. This means that any other car she drove, including my other cars, were covered by this policy.

After I purchased the policy on the Plymouth, I was then able to add her onto my current policy for my Honda and Mitsubishi as a not rated driver without any additional cost. If she causes an accident while driving my Honda or Mitsubishi, the policy on the Plymouth would come first with its' coverage's. Then my current policy would come second, if necessary.

My current carrier wanted $1,200.00 every six months if I added the 1970 Plymouth and my daughter onto the policy. So I ended up saving over $1,100.00 a year on my car insurance.

Barry Brenner is a licensed auto insurance agent with extensive experience selling car insurance. For more information on understanding car insurance, monthly money saving tips, or looking to quote car insurance, you can visit

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