Do you need an insurance agent?

Yesterday, I posted about finding auto & home insurance companies with good customer service. Something that can help you get better insurance company customer service, is having a great agent working for you. However, it’s almost 2014, and it’s easier than ever to buy auto & home insurance online, direct from the company. Do you need an insurance agent these days? Buying direct does not always save you money. You should shop with all the major insurance companies in your state, regardless if they have agents or not, to find the companies with the best rates for you. With some insurance companies, you pay the same, whether you buy direct, or from an agent responsible to serve you. This blog post will explain what value insurance agents provide their customers, and how it can cost you money, and be more than just a hassle, if you don’t have one. Continue reading

Auto Insurance Companies with Good Customer Service

Do you get what you pay for when you buy cheap auto insurance? Can you save $100s on your auto insurance, and regret it when you have a claim? The short answer is, “No.” The price you pay for insurance has nothing to do with how happy you will be with the insurance company’s customer service. So, how do you find auto insurance companies with good customer service? This blog post will give you some tips to finding the best combination of price and service for auto insurance. Continue reading

Nonstandard Auto Insurance: How to Get the Best Rates

Have you called around for auto insurance price quotes, only to be told you don’t qualify for standard rates? Do some auto insurance companies say they won’t insure you? Are the auto insurance companies willing to insure you very expensive? Welcome to the world of nonstandard auto insurance.

From my experience, the people most interested in shopping for better auto insurance, are people paying or being quoted high rates, because they’ve had a lapse in coverage, have not been licensed to drive in the US for enough time, or have tickets, claims, or accidents. Unfortunately, these are the people some insurance companies want to avoid as customers, because they are considered at being a greater risk than the average driver for claims in the near-future. Rather than qualifying for lower standard or preferred rates, these people are offered nonstandard auto insurance rates, or turned away, if the insurance company does not offer nonstandard auto insurance rates.

If most auto insurance companies consider you a high risk driver, what do you do about it? You do what every auto insurance policyholder should do at least once a year — shop for better auto rates. Nonstandard auto insurance is expensive, but if you shop around, you’ll find some companies are much more expensive than others. This blog post will give you tips about how and where to shop for nonstandard auto insurance, and what you can do to get lower auto insurance rates. Continue reading

How Much Do Speeding Tickets Increase Auto Insurance Rates?

Speeding tickets increase auto insurance rates. But by how much? I decided to write about moving violations and your auto insurance, after reading this NY Times Money blog post here. The NY Times blog mentions an study stating one moving violation can lead to 18% higher rates on auto insurance. This strikes me as high, based on my many years experience working with auto insurance companies, and I think the problem might be the study treats all moving violations as equal. For example, a reckless driving or DUI violation is lumped in the same class as a minor speeding ticket. I assure you, insurance companies have MUCH higher rates for major violations, like reckless driving, than they do for a speeding ticket. This blog article will explain how minor moving violations impact auto insurance rates. Continue reading

Auto Insurance Policy Exclusion: Pizza, Newspaper, & Other Types of Delivery May Not Be Covered by Auto Insurance

Cars used in pizza or newspaper delivery, or transportation of any person(s) or property for a fee, are usually excluded (not covered) by personal auto insurance policies, while engaged in these activities. In fact, if you use any vehicles insured by a personal auto policy (instead of a commercial auto insurance policy) for any business pursuit (picking up supplies at office depot, dropping off paperwork with a co-worker, etc.), whether you are self-employed, or work for a company or someone else, you should check with your agent or car insurance company, to see if you are covered, should you be involved in an accident or need to file a claim. This blog post will explain more about this common auto insurance policy exclusion. Continue reading

Progressive, Geico, Esurance Homeowners Insurance: Is it a Good Deal?

Have you seen Geico, Esurance, or Progressive insurance ads on TV? The ads promote their auto insurance, but the ads often mention they offer homeowners & renters insurance, too. In fact, one of these insurance companies is heavily promoting a discount for “bundling” home & auto insurance together, to get low insurance rates. However, buying property insurance from these companies can be misleading, and you might be insuring your home with an insurance company you have never heard of, with a poor customer complaint record. This review will give you information, to help you decide if buying home insurance from Progressive, GEICO, or Esurance is a wise decision for you. Continue reading