Archive for August, 2013

Auto Insurance The Woodlands

What are the things you look for most in auto insurance?

  1. Cost
    When looking for auto insurance, the amount of premiums can vary greatly in price. As low as $50 per month on up to $150 per month or more, just for one person. If you have your spouse and your children on your policy, you can possibly get a group discount, but not always. If also thinking by paying more than the next guy you are getting the best coverage, think again. You could be paying more for less! Sometimes companies will keep you locked into the same rate with the same coverage and will only offer cost adjustments at your request. Be sure to ask your auto insurance agent about any discounts or policy changes you can make to reduce the amount of your premium.
  2. Amount of Coverage
    The amount of coverage you need is only important when you have to use it, so make sure you have the most coverage you feel comfortable paying for. If you have a brand new vehicle and you’re making payments, you will most likely have full coverage, and that is because your bank wants to protect what they still own. Once the vehicle is yours, you can have any kind of coverage you desire. With an older vehicle, you may feel it is time to drop to liability only since damage to your vehicle may not give you much back in return. If your vehicle gets totaled and you have been paying $80 per month for 2 years, that will be $1,920, and if your vehicle is only worth $2,500, then after a deductible of $500, you will get back what you paid plus $80. If you are paying $50 per month for 2 years, that will be $1,200, and if your vehicle gets totaled (assumming it’s not your fault), after a $500 deductible you will get back what you paid plus $800.
  3. Reliability
    When (and if) you finally need to use your auto insurance, you need to know the company you chose will be there for you. Most of the major insurance companies have been around for decades, and they are all fighting to be your insurer. At certain times some will offer better rates than their competitiors, so it’s always good to shop around every few years and see if you can get better coverage for a lower price. We all like staying with whom we  comfortable with, but when an insurance agent just wants to quote you, that is all it is. They just want to give you a chance to offer you something better.

Major Companies Raising Home Insurance Rates

Two of the major insurance providers in America are raising their home insurance rates 20-50%. Rate increases or decreases are based on how well the company is able to manage losses and expenses. A company with higher losses or expenses may be required to increase rates, while a company with lower losses or expenses may be able to lower their rates. So, while your lack of claims may contribute to the company’s bottom line, it is the company’s entire line of business that will determine whether rates go up or down.

Most states require insurance rates to be approved by a state insurance regulator. While this varies by state, companies are not allowed to charge rates that generate excessive profits. Your state insurance regulator determines what a company is allowed to make as profit, and will adjust their rates accordingly.

Companies use inspections to ensure customers are properly insured and charged what they deem to be a fair premium. Inspections can uncover valuable credits, incorrect coverage values, or liability exposures that you may have been unaware of. You have the right to question any change to your policy as the result of an inspection and have your insurance provider explain it to you fully.

If your insurance rates have dramatically increased over the years, it may be time for a change. Many people have been with the same insurance provider for over 15 years, thinking they’re getting the best rate and the best coverage, only to discover the policy they’ve been paying on for $4,000 per year can actually be reduced to to under $2000 a year, with no reduction in benefits. Keep in mind that the best insurance is valued by the customer service you will receive, especially when you have a claim, and not who has the cheapest rate. In the unfortunate event you have a claim, you want the company with a great reputation for customer service and fairness. Additionally, meet with your agent to be sure you are getting all the discounts you are entitled to, that you understand what your policy covers, and to make sure you are adequately insured.