7 Easy Ways To Slash Your Auto Insurance Costs

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Here’s 7 easy ways to get the best possible auto insurance deal.

* Multiple Quotes

Get multiple quotes – use the internet and call a few brokers. It’s easy to gather some good comparison quotes.

Remember to get different types of quotes e.g one from a direct-sell insurance company; another from an offline broker who keeps a database of quotes; and a couple from the internet.

Cheapest might not mean best. Will they pay out if you make a claim ? How financially secure ? How reputable ? Check around with family and friends, and look for online reviews.

* Different type of car

Insurance costs vary depending on car type. Obviously, that $100k sports model costs more to insure than your average runabout. If you’re planning to buy a new car, check insurance costs before you buy. I once set my heart on a beautiful, high performance, highly tuned Pontiac.

Luckily I checked the auto insurance before I bought it, because I couldn’t get insurance. Every broker, every insurance company flat turned me down because I lived in a high car-crime area. So I had to forget the car of my dreams until I moved up-town.

* Age and Value of Car

Maybe you’re buying a used car ? Maybe your car saw better days a few years ago, and now values much lower ? So why pay for high-priced auto insurance ? In particular, do you still need fully comprehensive coverage ?

A good rule of thumb multiplies insurance premium by 10, and compares that figure with your car value. So if you’re quoted $1000 premium and your car is worth less than $10,000 you may want to think if comprehensive represents good value. If you drop collision and/or comprehensive coverage, you should get big savings.

* Higher deductibles (excess charges)

Most auto insurance companies use deductibles to keep policy cost down. Deductibles, or excess charges, show what you pay before your auto insurance policy kicks in. Try requesting quotes with different levels of deductibles, and see how your quotes vary.

Most internet quote forms contain a box where you can specify preferred level of deductibles. Ask your broker his recommended level. For example, going from $250 to $500 deductible can slash your insurance costs by 20% or more. Go to $1000 and you save a lot of money. But you must pay the deductible if you need to make a claim !

* Multiple Insurances

I guess this might come under the ‘Get Multiple Quotes’ heading, but it’s still worth mentioning separately. You usually get an insurance break if you buy multiple policies with the same insurer.

This might mean multiple vehicles, or homeowner and auto insurance. Either way it’s worth asking about multi-policy discounts.

* Low Mileage

More and more people work at home. No more commuting. Fewer business trips. Low mileage on your car. Maybe you do travel to work, but car pool ?

Either way, look for low mileage discounts.

* Good Driving Record

A good driving record always reduces your auto insurance costs. Keep a clean drivers license. Don’t speed, don’t drive dangerously, and you’ll save money (apart from other benefits !)

* Bonus Tip

Okay, I said ‘7 Ways…’, but here’s some extra tips. Fit anti-theft devices to your car. Go on an advanced driver training course. Use daytime running lights. If you’re a college student away from home, consider adding to parents policy.

This short article covers the things you must consider when shopping for auto insurance. Follow these tips and you’ll slash your auto insurance costs.

Older Americans put their money… and their trust… in FDIC-insured bank accounts because they want peace of mind about the savings they’ve worked so hard over the years to accumulate. Here are a few things senior citizens should know and remember about FDIC insurance.

1. The basic insurance limit is $100,000 per depositor per insured bank. If you or your family has $100,000 or less in all of your deposit accounts at the same insured bank, you don’t need to worry about your insurance coverage. Your funds are fully insured. Your deposits in separately chartered banks are separately insured, even if the banks are affiliated, such as belonging to the same parent company.

2. You may qualify for more than $100,000 in coverage at one insured bank if you own deposit accounts in different ownership categories. There are several different ownership categories, but the most common for consumers are single ownership accounts (for one owner), joint ownership accounts (for two or more people), self-directed retirement accounts (Individual Retirement Accounts and Keogh accounts for which you choose how and where the money is deposited) and revocable trusts (a deposit account saying the funds will pass to one or more named beneficiaries when the owner dies). Deposits in different ownership categories are separately insured. That means one person could have far more than $100,000 of FDIC insurance coverage at the same bank if the funds are in separate ownership categories.

3. A death or divorce in the family can reduce the FDIC insurance coverage. Let’s say two people own an account and one dies. The FDIC’s rules allow a six-month grace period after a depositor’s death to give survivors or estate executors a chance to restructure accounts. But if you fail to act within six months, you run the risk of the accounts going over the $100,000 limit.

Example: A husband and wife have a joint account with a “right of survivorship,” a common provision in joint accounts specifying that if one person dies the other will own all the money. The account totals $150,000, which is fully insured because there are two owners (giving them up to $200,000 of coverage). But if one of the two co-owners dies and the surviving spouse doesn’t change the account within six months, the $150,000 deposit automatically would be insured to only $100,000 as the surviving spouse’s single-ownership account, along with any other accounts in that category at the bank. The result: $50,000 or more would be over the insurance limit and at risk of loss if the bank failed.

Also be aware that the death or divorce of a beneficiary on certain trust accounts can reduce the insurance coverage immediately. There is no six-month grace period in those situations.

4. No depositor has lost a single cent of FDIC-insured funds as a result of a failure. FDIC insurance only comes into play when an FDIC-insured banking institution fails. And fortunately, bank failures are rare nowadays. That’s largely because all FDIC-insured banking institutions must meet high standards for financial strength and stability. But if your bank were to fail, FDIC insurance would cover your deposit accounts, dollar for dollar, including principal and accrued interest, up to the insurance limit. If your bank fails and you have deposits above the $100,000 federal insurance limit, you may be able to recover some or, in rare cases, all of your uninsured funds. However, the overwhelming majority of depositors at failed institutions are within the $100,000 insurance limit.

5. The FDIC’s deposit insurance guarantee is rock solid. As of mid-year 2005, the FDIC had $48 billion in reserves to protect depositors. Some people say they’ve been told (usually by marketers of investments that compete with bank deposits) that the FDIC doesn’t have the resources to cover depositors’ insured funds if an unprecedented number of banks were to fail. That’s false information.

6. The FDIC pays depositors promptly after the failure of an insured bank. Most insurance payments are made within a few days, usually by the next business day after the bank is closed. Don’t believe the misinformation being spread by some investment sellers who claim that the FDIC takes years to pay insured depositors.

7. You are responsible for knowing your deposit insurance coverage.

Know the rules, protect your money.

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