Although car insurance is a recurrent expenditure, it is an important one since it will protect you against financial liability or loss if your car is involved in a collision resulting to property or physical damages. In the united states, auto insurance rules differ among states, but in most cases, liability insurance is required as a proof of financial responsibility, or to put it simply, to demonstrate that you, as the car owner, can cover the cost of damage to other people or property in the event of an accident where you are at fault.
Some jurisdictions, such as Wisconsin, have less stringent “proof of financial responsibility” rules. In the state of Virginia, insurance is also not required, and people living there can instead pay the state an annual fee, around $500 per car, if they opt out of buying liability insurance. By comparison, there are a few states such as North Carolina where it is mandatory for you to buy liability insurance prior to the issuance of a driver’s license. Because of these variations in insurance requirements, it is best to check with your state’s transportation bureau.
Understanding required car insurance in USA
When looking at your state’s insurance requirements, you would probably encounter numbers like 25/50/25. The first two numbers refer to bodily injury liability limits and the third number refers to the property damage liability limits. To elucidate, 25/50/25 signifies each person hurt in a car accident would receive a maximum of $25,000, but only $50,000 is permitted for each accident. This means, if there are three individuals hurt, and each of them need $25,000, whoever submits a claim first gains first access to the $50,000 limit. As for the last number, it indicates that the total coverage per accident allotted for property damage is $25,000.
In the event of an accident, these state required limits often could not adequately cover all of your liability and property damage requirements. As such, even though purchasing a policy that satisfies your state’s minimum requirements is all that is required to operate a vehicle legally in your state or avoid being penalized for not showing proof of financial responsibility in the event of an accident, this is not always the best choice. This is because doing so would translate to more out-of-the-pocket expenses for you, and the possibility of jail time or being sued if you cannot pay for your liabilities.
How much insurance should you buy?
Insurance agents may tell you that you should purchase as much as you can pay for. While that may seem rational, it is not necessarily practical. For instance, you don’t have to shell out a lot of money on a personal injury protection policy if you already have a health insurance or disability insurance through your employer.
The choices for West Virginia insurance review options are extensive. When you are reading a statement, you want to use some caution. A person who is dissatisfied with anything about the coverage will likely leave a comment that might be misleading such to their dissatisfaction when in truth the company may be very good.
Reading reviews about companies can help you get a basic understanding of the atmosphere that is projected by that company. However it is important to read several reviews to get a good understanding of any problems that there may be. For example it is impossible for a company to have a completely favorable review with no negative comments.
If you are finding that the carrier you are considering has absolutely no negative reviews, you might want to use caution. It is likely that any unfavorable comments have been removed to improve their image. However, smart consumers know that no one is perfect and that there will likely always be at least one customer who is not completely happy.
Many of the reviews that a person might read will include the feeling projected by the organization toward the customer who is writing the review. Through the use of these reviews you might determine if the person had any real problems. It is key that you understand that some negativity will always be found when a person is dealing with any organization. Because of this it is key that you read the statements carefully to determine if the company truly is as awful as the person is claiming they are.
You should realize that some people are simply negative about everything surrounding this requirement of the state. When you are forced to pay for something that you do not agree with or that you do not understand, it is understandable that you might become upset by the charges. When you need the coverage however and have a bad experience with the adjuster for the company, your review is not tainted and you are justified in the comments you make.
The use of West Virginia insurance review comments should be taken with a grain of salt so to speak. You must remember that any comments can be removed if they are negative. Many times those making the comments might be upset about the cost and just simply unhappy overall. They might let their unhappiness with the requirements cloud their judgement and their statements might be unjustified. Using your own judgement is the best way to make your own decision.
Shopping online for car insurance is a common method many consumers use to lower their current premiums. Almost all of the large car insurance companies allow you to view their quotes online, compare options and apply for coverage without paying any fees.
Reputable carriers such as Allstate, Nationwide, Progressive, Geico and Travelers are available on the Internet at their lowest available rates. However, consumers do not have to go directly to their website to secure the best rates. Many reputable websites owned by brokers offer a combination of great rates and constantly updated information.
What Type Of Car Insurance Website To Look For
Obviously, there are hundreds… and perhaps thousands of websites that will provide car insurance quotes. Selecting the site that provides the lowest available rates is your ultimate goal, along with educating yourself with information that will help you understand your policy.
A website that offers numerous articles and information about vehicle insurance is typically going to be a very good resource. If their articles and content appear to be updated daily, it is likely that the owners of the site have a good working knowledge of what companies are the best choices for your specific situation.
It also is important that the website is “state-specific.” This type of destination offers excellent research articles on topics related to your state.
As an example, if you are searching for Virginia auto insurance quotes online, a website that is rich in Virginia insurance-related content will most likely be able to help you. Whether it is pointing out discounts or recommending which companies to quote, the “local flavor” is always helpful.
How Much Information Should Be Given Out
To view accurate quotes from different carriers, it will be necessary to provide some information. The most common items are your zip code, the type of car you own, how the car is driven, the drivers in the household and their dates of birth, and of course details regarding any recent tickets or accidents. Although additional information may be required, it generally is not necessary to provide your driver’s license number, social security number or billing details until you are ready to apply for coverage.
Once the actual application process begins, you will probably be required to furnish the serial numbers of the vehicles you are going to insure along with other detailed information. You will be able to select the method of billing, which can be changed at your request.
What Fees Are Paid To The Broker?
When shopping online for car insurance, you should never pay any fees. There are no costs to using a broker or applying for coverage. If you are ever asked to pay an agent or broker a fee for their services, immediately find a new person to work with.
Brokers are compensated directly from the insurance company and the rate you pay is the same whether a broker is involved or not. However, it is always advisable to utilize an experienced broker’s website because of the unbiased information you receive and the help in the application process that you get.
Buying car insurance online doesn’t have to take much of your time. And often, you’ll be richly rewarded with the money you save on your auto insurance premiums.
Virginia requires drivers to demonstrate that they are able to provide financial compensation for any damages or injuries that they are responsible for in an accident. One way to comply with the state’s financial responsibility requirement is by getting basic liability insurance. Virginia insurance consumer information is dispensed by government agencies to protect citizens and assist them if they have concerns or questions.
Prior to purchasing a policy, you should find out what each type of coverage means and how it will help you if you are in an accident. Sometimes people will only get the minimum coverage required by state law because it is the cheapest. Getting minimum coverage or basic liability may not be in your best interests. The Insurance Consumer Advocate Network is an impartial third party that can answer any questions you have regarding policy coverage and limits. It is beneficial to be informed of your options before making a decision.
The reason to buy coverage is to ensure that you will be financially protected if an accident occurs. If you have concerns regarding the solvency of an insurer, you can contact the State Corporation Commission. You can verify if an insurer is licensed to issue a policy in the state. You can also check the insurer’s financial data and credit rating.
It is important to know your rights while dealing with an insurer. Insurers are prohibited from refusing to issue a policy based on race, gender, age, marital status, and other forms of personal identification. If the insurer wants to terminate your policy, it must submit a written notice to you at least 45 days prior to the termination date. The written notice needs to also state why your policy is being terminated.
If you are experiencing difficulties with an insurer or agent, you have the option of filing a complaint with the Bureau of Insurance. The Bureau will investigate the complaint and seek a resolution. The Bureau’s services are free of charge to consumers. Keep a copy of all records and documents so that they can be forwarded to the Bureau, if necessary. Providing as much detailed information as possible will help the representatives at the Bureau develop an in-depth understanding of the pending issue.
Consumers are able to make the best decisions when they are well-informed of their options and rights. Buying a policy is a common practice that millions of drivers engage in within the state. Government agencies are available to protect your rights and assist you during the process.
Some individuals just don’t think ahead and by the time they realize they need a life insurance policy, they are already suffering with a serious illness. It can seem impossible at that point to find affordable life insurance but that’s just not the case. With all the cheap life insurance that can be purchased online in Virginia, residents here have several different viable options.
Virginia insurance companies are permitted to sell a type of life insurance that is referred to as all risk. This really means that the consumer takes all the risk. People interested in this type of insurance can gather quotes online from some of the insurance companies that offer it. It should be noted that even though they will have a policy in place, if they die within a specified time period which may be up to two years, the beneficiary they named won’t get anything.
Another point to keep in mind when looking for cheap life insurance online in Virginia is how frequently each insurance company you get a quote from, wants to be paid. Most people like the idea of spreading their payments out over the course of a year, but that can actually result in a higher overall premium. If their quote is based on a twice yearly payment, try and adapt to that to save yourself some money. You can even save a little each month in a separate bank account so that when the payment does come due you’ll be prepared.
There’s another hidden cost that comes with the convenience of paying more frequently and that’s service charges. Although this can seem minimal if they are just a few dollars a month, when you add that up over the course of a year, it’s quite a bit of wasted money. Most insurance companies will note the frequency of payments they prefer on their website during the quote process.
Already known as the state with the highest rate of car-deer accidents, West Virginia also might be the costliest with an average $44 million in auto insurance claims paid annually due to collisions with deer.
Between 2002 and 2009, car-deer accidents annually inflicted an average $44 million in damages covered by auto insurers, according to the West Virginia Insurance Commission. But because state officials only tallied auto insurance claims paid, the actual amount of damages exceeds $44 million when factoring in deductibles and coverage limits. The state has a deer herd of about 1 million.
Passenger vehicle collisions with deer are more frequent during the deer migration and mating season of October, November and December, and the combination of rising deer populations coupled with loss of habitat to urban sprawl are increasing the odds of car-deer collisions in states like West Virginia.
Based on auto insurance claims data from the last half of 2007 and the first half of 2008 and motor vehicle registration counts by state, and insurance officials estimate the odds of a driver in West Virginia hitting a deer over the next year at 1 in 45. A year ago, the odds of hitting a deer while driving in West Virginia were 1 in 57.
West Virginia drivers are about twice as likely to hit a deer while operating a vehicle in the state than a U.S. taxpayer is to be audited by the Internal Revenue Service in 2009 and 1,100 times more likely to hit a deer than win a state lottery if purchasing one ticket per day for the next year.
Michigan drivers face 1 in 78 odds of hitting a deer, placing Michigan second among states where drivers are most likely to hit a deer. Pennsylvania, 1 in 97, Iowa, 1 in 105, and Arkansas, 1 in 108, ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively. South Dakota, Wisconsin, Montana, North Dakota and Virginia rounded out the top 10. Hawaii ranked last among states in which drivers are most likely to strike a deer with odds of 1 in 10,962.
The United States averages about 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions every year, killing more than 150 drivers and passengers and causing $1.1 billion in property damage, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Auto insurance claims data indicate the total number of deer-vehicle collisions in the United States increased nearly 15 percent from five years ago. The average auto insurance claim from car-deer accidents during the past year was just over $2,950, up 2.5 percent from a year prior.
Now you have a good means of transportation, that will get you from point A to point B. Now you have to protect it. Yes we all know that automobile insurance is a “must have”. It is very expensive especially in Virginia. Here some ways you can save money:
1. Compare and Analyze. You can confer with different online insurance quote services in order to see what’s available out there. You can also consult consumer information provided by Virginia insurance department. These guides will tell you what kind of policy or coverage you made need and give you sample rates just so you can get a feel of how much it will cost you and what you need.
2. Request higher deductibles. When you file a claim the deductible is the amount you have to pay out of your pocket before your insurance company starts helping paying for the deductible. The higher your deductibles are the less you will have to pay on your monthly premiums. This can save you hundreds and hundreds of dollars a year.
3. Opt out on collision and comprehensive coverage on old cars. If your car is not even worth $2,000 then you can end up paying more for the coverage than you would if you were to file a claim.
4. To make sure you save as much as you can you should look into the discounts available. Some insurance companies will give you discounts for having airbags and other safety features.
5. Maintain a good credit record. Most insurers don’t tell you this but if you have a good credit report you will definitely have to pay less. If you have a good credit report than insurers know that you pay your bills on time, don’t skip payments and that you don’t open and close accounts frequently. They use all this information to settle on a insurance risk score.
Insurance is your protection. Yet when it comes to purchasing Virginia insurance, many people make huge mistakes that cost them thousands of dollars. Here are the five deadly insurance mistakes that are made by consumers over and over:
1. They don’t use the insurance shopping checklist. Many agents will provide you with a free checklist that will evaluate what coverage you need and don’t need. This will also outline any questions you need to ask as you “interview” your agent. Many people are underinsured or over insured because they don’t take the time to truly consider their needs.
2. They mistake “cheap” for “value.” You may get a low premium, but you sacrifice with a higher deductible. If you have a claim, you may end up paying thousands of dollars that would have been covered if you had increased your premium by just a few dollars. Make sure your coverage really protects your assets-even if it costs a few dollars more. And most insurance agents offer discounts. You can find value in these discounts without sacrificing coverage.
3. They don’t thoroughly read the Virginia insurance policy. Your agent will explain the policy to you, but it is your responsibility to know what is covered and not covered. Once you have signed the policy, you can’t claim you didn’t know what the policy entails.
4. They trust their family’s protection to a $5 an hour temp operator. Many of the larger companies advertise great service but that service comes from customer service operators, not claims specialists or agents. Is this who you want when you are in a crisis? You want a professional agent who will handle your claim promptly and personally. Better yet, find an agent that offers a 24-hour response guarantee.
5. They have their policies with different agencies. Combining all polices (home, auto, life, boat, etc…) can save you up to 40 percent. If you haven’t asked your agent about combing policies, you are cheating yourself out of hundreds of dollars.
These mistakes may not seem so bad to you but consider this example. You are involved in a car wreck at 2 a.m. You call the 800 number provided by the agency. The overnight “customer service specialist” says no one is available to help you at the time. You are stranded, injured and upset. You are not exactly sure what type of coverage you have. Three days later, someone comes to inspect your car and assess your injures. With a home auto specialist, you will have someone respond within 24 hours and begin processing your claim immediately. Which type of service do you prefer?
Here are the Top 5 Things I see people miss when reviewing their Northern Virginia Homeowners Insurance Plan
1. Understand your deductible – Many clients who come to me to review their Virginia Homeowners insurance policy realize they have a deductible they didn’t know about or even understand. Some Insurance Companies offer split deductibles meaning they offer one deductible for theft say $500 but a much bigger one for windstorm or tropical cyclone say 5%. ( on a house that’s insured for $250,000 that’s a $11,250 deductible) that’s a huge deductible and while your premium will be super low. If a windstorm drops a tree on your house you pay the first $11,250.00 before the insurance company pays a dime. I usually recommend high deductibles, but It is never a good thing when it’s a surprise
2. Make sure you have adequate Replacement Cost Dwelling Coverage…Many customers just rely on their agent to tell them how much to insure the house for. You should be proactive and use several sources to come up with a number. Here are 2 you can use right now.
Remember you don’t have to insure for the value of the land!
a.) Find your latest appraisal and look on page 2 or 3 where they show the Cost Approach to Value.
b.) Know any contractors or home builders? Call one and ask about the average cost per square foot. Measure your house and do the math. Pro’s Tip** the links above for your property assessment will give you the above ground square footage of your house. Don’t forget to add in the cost of finishing your basement. Do you have imported Italian marble floors or a Viking Range??? Probably should go with higher than average amount!.
3. Sewer and Drain Coverage- Expands the type of water that is covered under your policy I recommend it to everyone. Understand what the difference between a Sewer and drain back up and ground water. Be diligent and keep all exterior drains to your house clear of leaves and debris.
4. Combine Virginia Homeowner and Auto Insurance to get discounts. Most Virginia Insurance companies offer a discount for combining the two policies. With this added discount you can often use those saving to protect your assets with a Virginia Liability Umbrella Policy. The savings on combining the coverage often allows you to pick up this valuable excess bodily injury and property damage liability very affordably.
5. Watch out for Jewelry limitations. Most Virginia homeowner’s insurance policies carry a limitation for Jewelry coverage for theft and breakage. Theft and Breakage are the real threats to your jewelry. A separate annual policy or as an endorsement to your homeowner policy you can add this coverage. You usually just need a full description of the item or a recent appraisal. It’s not expensive at all.
Virginia Insurance Requirements
Minimum insurance rates in Virginia require:
$25,000 bodily injury per person
$50,000 per accident
$20,000 property damage
The state of Virginia allows drivers to pay a $500 Uninsured Motor Vehicle fee if they want to drive without insurance, and at their own risk. This fee has to be renewed when the car registration expires. Drivers that do not carry auto insurance, or pay the state fee can have their driver’s license suspended, be required to fill out a SR-22, or financial responsibility insurance certificate, and pay a reinstatement fee.
Virginia requires that car insurance policies include:
Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability: this covers the driver if they are responsible for causing injury or damage to another person or property. Under insured/uninsured Coverage: Under insured pays if you are involved in an accident and the other driver doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for damages. Uninsured covers if you are in an accident and the driver has no coverage.
Virginia State Law: How It Affects You
There are several laws that are important to remember when shopping for car insurance in Virginia. Car insurance rates are based on driving records, and if these laws are broken they can affect your auto insurance rate.
In Virginia a DUI is considered a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of 0.08%. A BAC over 0.15% increases the penalty for DUI. Virginia has several cell phone/texting laws that prohibit drivers from using a cell phone while driving. Teen’s can drive with a permit at 15 years and 6 months. The state of Virginia uses a Graduated Driver Licensing system for teen drivers. Visit a local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) office to get more information about licensing your teen driver.
The state of Virginia wants to help drivers get reliable, and affordable car insurance. A quick search on the state of Virginia’s DMV site will connect you with valuable information on shopping for car insurance. A quick web search will connect you to the auto insurance companies in the state that you can get quotes from. The state of Virginia has also established the State Corporation Commission which provides guides, resources, and information on vehicle insurance companies. This is a good website to visit when preparing to shop for car insurance in Virginia.
Now that you are equipped with the information you need about car insurance, in Virginia, then chose at least three companies to get car quotes from, and begin shopping. With a little information and some time you can get the best car insurance rate in Virginia, and be on your way to safe driving.