Thursday, October 14, 2010

Comparing Online Auto Insurance

It is easy to use the internet to compare car insurance quote online, and also to use that comparison to negotiate an insuring agreement that is the cheapest you can secure for your own particular circumstances.
Each person is individual in the auto coverage they are seeking, and also in the circumstances that can affect the price of their cover. Auto insurance rates vary considerably between different car insurance companies, and the internet makes it a simple task to compare these differences, and to end up with a short list for personal contact by telephone. There are also a number of comparison sites online that can be used to compare auto insurance companies for basic prices, service and reliability, and that you can use while compiling your list of insurers to contact.
The internet has removed the hard work from finding the right auto insurance policies, and the days when we had to trudge from office to office are long gone. Private passenger autos can now be insured completely online, although if you want the best price you will likely have to use the telephone to complete the negotiation procedure. The way to get cheapest possible automobile insurance policy is first of all to decide what level of cover you want. Auto insurance rates vary widely according to the options you choose, and these will largely depend upon the type or cost of
the vehicle that you are insuring.
Take collision coverage, for example. That covers you for damage to your car caused by a collision, irrespective of who causes it. Strictly, the person that causes the accident should pay for repairs to or replacement of your car, and collision should only be needed if you caused the accident yourself. However, there is also the problem of underinsured drivers, if your car is particularly expensive to repair, or even uninsured drivers.
For these reasons, many owners of high performance or luxury cars feel that collision cover is a necessary expense, while those whose cars would likely be totalled in the event a collision would probably feel it a waste of money. The same is true of comprehensive cover, so the auto insurance rates that people are prepared to pay are very personal to their circumstances and the cars they drive. An automobile insurance policy that is more than adequate for one person might be completely inadequate for another.
Auto insurance companies realize this, which is why there are so many options available. In addition, the statutory state liability cover is so variable from state to state that many drivers in one state might feel it necessary to take out extra personal liability that is not necessary in another state with a higher minimum level. You therefore have to decide on the level of cover appropriate to you personally before you compare car insurance quote online.
Once you have done so, it is relatively simple to get a quick auto insurance quote online. All it takes is to choose an online insurer, fill in the form and wait for the quote to be emailed to you. Sometimes it is provided immediately online. However, if you want the best cheap car insurance you can get, you have to compare a number of quotes from different online auto insurance companies, and then either choose the cheapest or negotiate with the cheapest two or three by telephone.
When you do telephone them, you should have some other facts available that have not been entered into the online form. For example, you might have taken an advanced driving course, or live in a zip code that is relatively free from car crime. There are many such factors that could enable you to negotiate a lower price, not the least of which is your deductible: the amount you pay before the insurance company has to pay anything. The higher the deductible the lower the price of your insurance.
All of these factors have to be taken into consideration when you compare car insurance quote online, and each online form has to be provided with as close to identical information as possible if the quotes are to be true comparisons. If you do that, then you should be in a position to choose the cheapest between them without sacrificing the level of insurance.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Car Insurance Claim Rejected? Here's What To Do:

So you've made a claim. You wait patiently to for the insurance companies decision on what to do about said claim. Finally, you get there reply. However, to your dismay, they're not accepting your claim. How can they do this! Here's a list of reasons they may reject such a claim: 
  • Your insurer may come to the conclusion that you were largely (or even entirely) at fault if your claim is related to a theft from the vehicle or of the vehicle itself
  • Your car insurance policy may contain a clause witch invalidates the claim
  • It is decided the claim should be settled under another policy such as your home contents insurance (particularly in the case of theft from the vehicle)
  • You provided information that was untruthful or inaccurate
  • You are unable to provide receipts to backup claims of theft of items from your vehicle
  • The book price of the car is considerably less than the money you've invested in restoration or enhancements
With any insurance policy your insurer will expect you to disclose any information that could be of importance to them. You are obliged to do this even if the details are not requested; this is known as “utmost good faith”.

Insurance companies often use this extremely wooly approach to sharing information to justify rejecting or downscaling claims. Should this situation arise with your car insurance claim there are some important points to remember:
  • The small print of your policy carries a lot of weight; study it thoroughly before, during and after your claim (and ideally before taking out a policy in the first place)
  • Keeping accurate records of conversations and correspondence along with receipts can make a huge difference in backing up your claim as well as the eventual success of your claim
  • The payout figure announced by your insurance company is not set in stone. Rather than just accept the amount on offer you are perfectly entitled to question the payout and put forward you case for why it should be increased
If after all that you still disagree with your insurers decision to reject your claim or the payout level awarded your next step should be to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service.

The FOS acts as an independent arbitrator to resolve conflicts between insurance companies and customers, they deal with thousands of complaints every year.

The first step in complaining to the FOS is to confirm your car insurance claim has been dealt with in full by your insurance company. You can raise your complaint with the FOS once your insurer has provided a letter or final response to your complaint or has failed to do so within eight weeks.

Delays in resolving a car insurance claim can lead to massive disruption in people’s lives. Hopefully this post will help make your next claim run more smoothly. We all need help from time-to-time so please don’t be discouraged from contacting the FOS for support with your claim.