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Most Expensive States For Auto Insurance in 2014

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Auto insurance is something we all need, but some people pay three times as much as others. Based on the state you are in, your auto insurance premiums could be significantly higher. Why do some states have higher car insurance rates from others? Here are some things you need to know about auto insurance, and which states in 2014 have the most expensive auto insurance policies.

1. Michigan

The state with the most expensive auto insurance policy in 2014 is Michigan. The annual premium in Michigan is $2,551. Michigan has had among the highest auto insurance rates in the country for years. Why are the rates higher in Michigan? There are comprehensive laws to protect drivers and passengers from personal injury. Michigan places a claim limit over $500,000 on personal injury claims.

The problem Michigan sees is many people choose to go without insurance due to the high claims. This makes the rates higher for people that end up in an accident with an uninsured motorist. Michigan also tends to have high vehicle crime rates further boosting rates for coverage.

Whitetail Doe

2. West Virginia

Coming in a close second to Michigan is West Virginia. Drivers here pay $2,518 per year for coverage. Why are their costs so high? Wildlife is a major concern in Virginia as drivers are more likely to hit a deer in this state than anywhere else in the United States, a surprising reason contributing to the higher rates. The wildlife risk boosts the costs of comprehensive insurance coverage.

3. Georgia

Individuals in Georgia see higher rates from other places in the nation. They pay $2,201 per year for an auto insurance policy. Higher accident rates have increased the policy amounts for Georgia residents.

4. Washington, D.C.

While it is technically a capital district and not a state, the typical policy in Washington, D.C. is $2,127 annually. The rates are higher due to auto theft as Washington, D.C. is a hotbed for stolen vehicles.

car crash

5. Rhode Island

Rounding out the top five most expensive states for auto insurance is Rhode Island. Drivers here pay an average of $2,020. Rhode Island is small but has a lot of congested areas, making it easy for traffic accidents to occur. Population density is a factor in auto insurance costs. Rhode Island also does not have a no-fault policy like other states to help reduce rates.

What can you do to keep your auto insurance rates low?

Your age, your driving record, and the type of car you drive all change your insurance rate. Some other things you can focus on when trying to reduce your insurance premium is to increase your deductible. A higher deductible means a lower monthly or annual payment. Reduce how much driving you do each year as this too will reduce how much you pay toward your auto insurance policy.

Another thing you can do is monitor your credit rating. Individuals with low credit scores have a harder time obtaining the insurance rates needed to cover their car. And of course, don’t forget to comparison shop for insurance and see which company can offer you the best combination of price, coverage, and service.

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What Insurance is Available When a Child is Left in a Car?

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Dozens of children die or are seriously injured each year as a result of being left in a hot car. Nationwide campaigns are focused on “where’s my baby” to encourage parents and others to always look inside their car before locking and leaving the car. While this tragedy occurs too often, does auto insurance cover this tragic event? Read on to find out.

Know Your Coverage

The rules pertaining to car insurance policies can be vague for many motorists. Do you know what your auto insurance policy covers? Having a child can alter your car insurance policy. While most people know about teen drivers increasing their rate, younger children can have an impact on your car insurance policy.

child seat

Preventative Measures

With all the concerns surrounding children being left in hot cars and dying, auto manufacturers are looking for new safety features to reduce the risk of these tragedies from occurring.

If you upgrade your car to allow more room for your kids, always shop for a car with safety devices. These cars can help to keep your car insurance rate lower. Antitheft devices, antilock brakes, air bags, and daytime running lights can lower your policy. There are also smartphones apps that can help remind parents that children are in the car.

Life Insurance

Do you have life insurance policies on your children? These policies will normally cover funeral expenses in the event of your child’s death. There have been troubling situations where people are taking out large life insurance policies on their children to collect on the money after their death. If your child dies due to heat stroke from being left in your car, you need to contact your auto insurance policy.

Some insurance policies cover medical and funeral expenses of the child if you do not have life insurance for the child. It is important to understand who is considered “legally responsible” for the death of the child. Even if it was an accident, insurance companies want to know the facts involved and who is liable for their death. This will help them determine what they are willing to pay under the policy.

Revise Your Policy

Auto insurance policies should be reviewed and updated accordingly when you have a child. While you can obtain discounts for safety devices, and caring for your car properly, children can come with their fair share of risks.

Exiting a vehicle and forgetting a child is a horrible tragedy. Safety steps and taking all the precautions possible are the best policy parents and drivers can take when trying to prevent tragedies with their children and get the protection needed. Contact your insurance company to find out what your current policy covers, and make sure accidental death coverage is included with your policy.

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Will You Need Motorized Wheelchair Insurance?

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There’s a hot debate is underway in Michigan, the outcome of which stands to effect the insurance industry around the nation. The debate is centered around a claim that a paralyzed man who was hit by an SUV while crossing the street in his electric motor scooter should be denied damages, because he did not have an insurance policy similar that required for motor vehicles. Here is a closer look at the debate.

Insurance Is Not Required

Not only is motor scooter or motorized wheelchair insurance not required in any state, but neither is a driver’s license—as with motor vehicles. On to of that, most major insurance companies do not even offer such a thing. Motorized wheelchairs average a top speed of 4-10 miles per hour, and would do minimal damage if they ran into something at “full speed.” In fact, the operator of a motorized wheelchair is likely to experience far more injury than anything they run into.

mobility scooter

It Is A Means Of General Transportation

Unlike cars, trucks, and motorcycles—motorized wheelchairs are a means of general transportation. They allow paralyzed individuals and individuals with limited mobility the freedom to maintain their independence, and a social life outside of their home. Without a motorized option, many would be confined to their home, or unable to venture outside without the assistance of someone else.

The Debate Raises Ethical Concerns

In this debate State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance and Farm Bureau insurance are living up to the stereotype of insurance companies going to any and all extremes to get out of paying for claims. The fact of the matter, is that there have been over 60 deaths, and numerous hospitalizations for individuals riding motorized wheelchairs being hit by cars in the last decade.

The debate has raised many question, such as if a ruling in favor of the insurance companies would be discrimination against disabled citizens. Not to mention, concerns about the additional monthly insurance expense that many individuals cannot afford.

Will it Open Pandora’s Box?

Motorized wheelchairs are pedestrian devices. If individuals in Michigan (or any other state) have to start taking out insurance policies—it opens the door for other pedestrian modes of transportation being subject to insurance coverage.

This could include bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades—and maybe even the requirement for accident insurance for anyone who walks on foot.

Mobility limited individuals across the nation, and around the world, are paying close attention to the outcome of this claim—most in opposition of the requirement for wheelchair insurance.

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Nitrogen in Your Tires: Save Gas, Save Money, and Drive Safer?

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With gas near $4 per gallon, there’s extra incentive for drivers to find ways to cut fuel costs. One of the services many tire shops offer is putting nitrogen in the tires. They tout better fuel economy, less tire wear, and more consistent air pressure but is it true?

Why Nitrogen and is it Safe?

Air is about 80% nitrogen and about 20% oxygen. In order to qualify as a nitrogen fill up, the air added to the tire needs to be at least 93% nitrogen. So while this does not seem like a large difference, oxygen has properties that affect tires much differently. Oxygen is a very reactive element that induces oxidation and as it passes through rubber, it is corrosive. This yields greater wear that ages the rubber and corrodes the steel cords. This is one of the reasons why regular tire checks are so important.

Nitrogen is also a gas like oxygen but is much less reactive and non-corrosive. While it still permeates rubber, it does it much more slowly. Tire deflation rates are minimized, which makes for safer driving. This is also good news for those who too often forget to check and top off their tire pressure. However, this does not mean that tires filled with nitrogen don’t need to be checked for pressure. Nitrogen is still affected by changes in temperature and permeation and tire pressure should still be regularly checked and adjusted.

nitrogen tire diagram

Who is Already Using Nitrogen Filled Tires?

Nitrogen filled tires have already been in use for decades by airplanes and in auto racing. Because it is dry and inert, nitrogen filled tires run cooler, have a more controlled pressure, and actually combat fire, whereas oxygen fans the flames.

Nitrogen filled tires are also beneficial for drivers who have older vehicles such as classic cars, vehicles that may not be used as regularly such as motor homes, or off-road vehicles.

Is it Worth It?

While the costs to nitrogen fill tires varies, it typically should not cost more than $10 per tire. Check to see if the shop of purchase offers free refills or nominal refill charges. While it is okay to add compressed air into tires if needed, it is best to keep your tires at the proper nitrogen fill levels and the appropriate pressure to receive the maximum benefit.

Critics say that you don’t need expensive nitrogen in your tires – you just need to have a good tire pressure gauge and regularly check and fill up your tires. While regularly checking your tire pressure is important, if your like many people who don’t make a habit of regularly checking and adjusting tire pressure, nitrogen filling can be safer, reassuring and make life easier.

In short, since nitrogen filled tires are more likely to be at the correct pressure, they are more likely to allow cars to get better fuel economy. It is not uncommon for some nitrogen tire filled cars to get an additional gallon of fuel from their tank of gas in terms of improved fuel economy but results do vary.

Have you put nitrogen filled your car’s tires? How has your experience been?

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Highest Rated Auto Insurance Companies

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Americans love their cars and they’re increasingly liking their auto insurance companies. J.D. Power has released its 2014 U.S. Auto Insurance Study which showed that customer satisfaction with auto insurers is at its highest level since the study began in 2000. The survey of 44,661 auto insurance customers was performed in March and April 2014.

The reasons for the jump in survey scores may be attributed to lower rate increases. According to J.D. Power, rate increases averaged $86 in 2014, compared to $153 in 2013. Also, years of double-digit percentage increases advertising spending with some insurers spending hundreds of millions and GEICO topping over a billion dollars a year in advertising, much of it with plenty of humor, may also play a role.

Super Boat Racing
Creative Commons License photo credit: theSuperStar

Breaking Down the Categories & Regions

The annual study measures auto insurance customer satisfaction in five different areas: policy offerings, price, claims, interaction, and billing and payment. The annual study provides valuable insights into how companies are serving their customers.

The study ranked insurers by region, which were:

- California
- New York
- Texas
- Florida
- Southeast
- New England
- North Central
- Central
- Mid-Atlantic
- Southwest
- Northwest

first place
Creative Commons License photo credit: EvelynGiggles

The Results

Overall, the highest rated auto insurance company in the survey was USAA. Remarkably, it had the highest rating in each of the 11 regions. However, USAA insurance is only available to U.S. military personnel and their families.

Among larger insurers, the highest ranked were State Farm, Auto-Owners Insurance, The Hartford, and GEICO. They scored in the top 3 in at least 3 of the 11 regions. Looking back at a 2012 Insure.com Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction study, these companies also fared well in that survey. Some insurance companies were excluded from the survey results due to not having enough of a sample size.

The study also showed that consumers are spending less time shopping for new insurance, which helps decrease customer churn, and is important for insurer profitability.

In the confusing landscape of insurance, the results of the J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance study is a valuable tool providing useful information to help consumers make more informed and intelligent auto insurance buying decisions.









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