Low Income Car Insurance Works Well in California

Every state has established a minimum legal requirement for car insurance that must be met by every person who drives in that state, regardless of the person’s income. California has recently started a low-income insurance program that offers extremely low rates to people who can’t afford to purchase the legally required insurance through a standard agency.

The program is picking up momentum in California and the outlook is remarkably good. Drivers who would have been limited to public transportation or forced to drive without insurance are able to travel legally in their own vehicles as they try to work their way out of their low-income situations. The California model’s success could indicate that other states would benefit from the same type of program.

Rates Continue to Rise as Economy Struggles

Car insurance rates across the nation have been rising by an average of 11% per year for the last five years. Unfortunately, the American economy has been battling a deep recession over that same period. Record numbers of people have lost their jobs due to the recession, and many of them are settling for lower wages just to get by. Car insurance can seem like a luxury that does not fit into a tight budget when you are scraping to pay your regular utility bills.

Low Income Drivers Have Few Choices

Even though it is illegal to drive without insurance, many low income drivers are beginning to make that choice more often so that they can still get to work every day. Very few cities have the public transportation infrastructure to allow a person without a car to get to work easily. If someone is searching for a job, public transportation schedules could slow him or her down considerably. Even though it is a serious risk, uninsured drivers are driving anyway in the hopes that they will find the right job and make enough money to cover insurance costs eventually.

Consequences of Driving Without Insurance

The consequences of choosing to drive without insurance can be far more severe than the cost of paying for a high annual premium. In many states, uninsured drivers can have their licenses suspended or lose their cars when caught. If an uninsured driver is involved in an accident, he or she becomes personally liable for the cost, faces steep court costs and may even see jail time. California decided to implement their low-income insurance program because uninsured drivers cost the state time, money, and labor as police officers and courts have to manage the problems related to these accidents. The low-income insurance program helps keep low-income drivers out of trouble and allows the state employees to work on cases that are more important.

How the California System Works

Drivers who are California residents and have good driving records can apply for the low-income insurance program. Qualified applicants must be at least 19 years old without any accidents that involved injury or death within the past three years. Applicants must drive a vehicle that is valued at less than $20,000, and they must have held a valid driver’s license for the last three consecutive years. The drivers must also meet the program’s low-income requirements before consideration for the program. Once a driver qualifies, he or she will be allowed to purchase a basic car insurance policy through an agent for as little as $400 annually.

Driving History Makes a Difference

Even with the California low-income insurance program, a driver’s history is important. Drivers with more than one point on their driving records will not qualify for the program. California also stipulates that drivers must maintain their good driving record in order to continue receiving the program’s low rates.

Drivers who pose a higher risk for being involved in an accident may not qualify for the low income insurance rates. This limitation of the low-income program protects insurance companies from taking on high-risk drivers at minimum rates, but it could also keep many low-income drivers with just one blemish from being able to take advantage of the program. The high-risk drivers will continue to drive without insurance, which dampens the benefits of the program.

Specialty Agencies for Low Income Individuals

California’s new program may be working well, but it is only helping a small fraction of the nation’s low income drivers. Residents of other states who cannot afford to purchase insurance from standard agencies still need to find options for driving legally. There are agencies designed to offer only the standard legal minimum insurance for lower rates than a normal insurance agency can offer. These specialty agencies can afford to lower their rates because they do not have to pay for claims on collision or comprehensive policies.

Other Options for Affordable Car Insurance

Every large city is home to hundreds of smaller insurance agencies. These agencies can be far less expensive because they do not spend as much of their overhead purchasing television advertising campaigns or paying for multiple branches throughout the nation.

The Internet also offers a source of affordable insurance policies. Because insurance quote websites are accessible to more people, the competition is stiff, driving down insurance rates. Quote websites have access to many insurance companies, some of which consumers may not even know about. Those who have trouble meeting the costs of a minimum insurance policy through a well-known national insurer may have a better chance finding a policy that is priced lower through an online quote.

Low Income Program Relatively New

California has been using the low-income car insurance program for a short period. The initial results seem to indicate that the program is working successfully, but there has not been enough time to tabulate all of the data regarding the difference the program has made. Other states may be waiting to see how the program works over a matter of years before they begin to consider creating their own low-income programs. Since the California program does not use tax dollars to operate, other states may move more quickly than expected in a continuously struggling economy.

source : http://www.carinsurancequotescomparison.com/Low-Income-Car-Insurance-Works-Well-in-California.php

Get the Best Settlement For Your Total Car Loss

Car accidents are stressful enough and even worse when your car is a total loss. Sadly, many cars aren’t’ even worth the amount owed on the loan. When that happens, it’s especially important to get every dollar you can from the insurance company.

Assuming no one was injured in the accident, there are two different sources of insurance for your car. The first is the collision coverage for damage to the vehicle. Second is rental insurance for the cost of a rental while you are settling your claim with the insurance company.

Call your insurance company immediately after the accident and agree to let the company take possession of your car. After you sign over the title, the company will sell the car for parts. If you delay in giving permission, the car will accumulate storage charges, and you will be responsible for payment. Also be sure to ask about rental insurance during this conversation. The company will authorize a rental car for a set number of days and authorize additional time if needed, usually up to 30 days.

If you want to keep the car for yourself, there are many rules you need to know about. First, the company will estimate how much they could expect to get for the car at auction. They will deduct this value from your settlement if you keep the car. Also, many states have strict laws about repairing and reregistering total loss cars that could give you many headaches. Be sure you educate yourself about the laws in your state before deciding to keep the car. For most people, it’s just easier to let the insurance company take it.

After you have cleared who will take possession of the car, you and the insurance company need to agree on how much your car is worth. The company will hire a company to place a value on the car and call you with the figure. It is important that you NEVER accept this first figure. Understand that cars are valued within a range and the insurance company is obligated to its policyholders to try to save money. Therefore, the company will offer the lowest figure first.

If you think the initial offer is too low, do not get angry. Simply tell the adjuster that you think the car is worth more. The adjuster will ask you to submit for-sale car listings that show your point. You will need to collect three listings, easily found online for most cars. Be sure to choose vehicles that match the year, make and model of your car. They should have similar mileage and options as well. In most cases, the adjuster’s second offer will be more in line with what you want. You might even negotiate a little higher.

Once you have settled the value of your car, don’t forget to ask about other expenses that might be covered. Ask about additional title and registration fees on the replacement car you will need to get. As long as you treat your adjuster with respect during negotiations, you should be able to collect the full amount available.

Car Insurance Quotes Comparison

Many people who own car insurance tend to let their policy stay the same year after year. If you never update your information with your auto insurance company, you could be paying quite a bit more for your insurance than you need to. If you own a computer and can get online, you can compare car insurance quotes from several different insurance companies to see if you are paying more than you should be paying for your current insurance.

Who Benefits Most From Comparison Quotes?

Car Insurance Quotes Comparison
Car Insurance Quotes Comparison

Anyone who owns a car and pays for auto insurance can benefit from online comparison quote technology. The quotes that you receive are tailored to the information that you provide about yourself and your lifestyle. No matter how old your car is or how long you have been an insurance customer, you will probably learn something new about your insurance rates if you take advantage of comparison quotes. The quote system allows you to choose as many quotes as you would like. It is suggested that you look at three or more quotes to gain an accurate understanding of the differences between the policies of different insurance companies.

Each insurance company has a different system for determining your premiums, which means that there are probably companies that would offer you a less expensive premium with the same features. There are also probably insurance companies that would charge more for the same service. The only way to know what you ought to expect from a car insurance company is to put each quote side by side and compare the details of each policy directly.

How Often Car Owners Should Check Their Options

Everyone should look at a new set of auto insurance quotes at least once a year. The reason for checking your quotes more often is that you experience life changes regularly. Many things could happen in your life in the course of a year that would have a direct impact on how high your insurance rates are. Since most insurance companies offer premiums on an annual basis, it makes sense to consider your insurance options with your updated information each year. You may find that your current premiums are standard for your particular demographics, but you may also find that you could save money by switching carriers.

There are other times in your life when it makes sense to check insurance quotes. When you move from one home to another, your rates could be dramatically changed. You should compare new insurance quotes when you change jobs, graduate from school, get married, or buy a new car. Any time that your life changes in a substantial way, your car insurance premiums can change. There is no reason to continue paying an insurance rate that you qualified when you first bought your car if your demographics have shifted since then.

Things That Impact Insurance Rates

Insurance rates can be affected by several different things. When your premium was originally established, the insurance company examined all of the risk factors for an accident that were present in your personal information. If you live in an area that experiences a high number of car accidents, your rates went up a little bit. If you drove a long way from home to work each day, your rates would go up a little bit as well. There are things like gender that affect your insurance rates as well. Some of the factors that determine how much you pay for insurance are things that will not change. Others, like your age, are constantly changing.

Buying a new car can cause your insurance rate to change quite a bit. When you purchase a new car, it is the best time to look at your auto insurance options because you are opening a new insurance account. The make and model of the car, as well as the age and condition, are all significant points that can alter your insurance rates. Using an online insurance quote system will allow you to compare several different quotes on your new car at the same time, which can cut down on the amount of time you spend talking to insurance agents and trying to find the best policy.

Multiple Quotes are More Helpful

The more quotes you receive, the better informed you will be. If you only look at one or two online quotes, you will have very little information from which to work. It is possible that the two quotes you choose are the highest rates available for your car. They could be dramatically different. If you choose to look at three or more quotes, you will have the opportunity to see a better range of prices from a range of different companies. You may find that a pattern emerges that gives you a good idea of the kind of insurance coverage that would be the most affordable for you.

Online quotes are a powerful tool to help you find the most attractive rates on your car insurance coverage. It makes sense to compare several insurance companies at once so that you can experience the full spectrum of coverage options that are available to you. One or two quotes will only give you a small piece of the insurance premium puzzle to work with.

How to Find Online Auto Insurance Quotes

Finding online auto insurance quotes is very simple. All you need to do is enter your zip code into the field at the top of this page to begin the quote building process. Make sure you select three or more quotes from different insurance companies so that you will have a decent amount of information to work with as you make your auto insurance decisions. Once you receive your quotes, you can contact the companies you are most impressed with and create a new auto insurance policy that fits your budget and your coverage needs. The quotes offered through this site are from traditional insurance companies as well as web-based companies.

From :http://www.carinsurancequotescomparison.com/Car-Insurance-Quotes-Comparison.php