Auto Insurance Blog
Regardless of the condition of your car, it is a helpful thing to get a car warranty, and in case you already have one, renew it before it expires.
The concept of car warranty, itself, however, is not simple, since there are multiple factors that come into play, which greatly determine the type, size and use of your warranty. Moreover, if you do not see carefully, you may just end up paying more than you need to for your car.
You must also know about the difference between your car warranty and your auto insurance and see to it that they neither overlap nor leave you vulnerable, so that both your car and your finance remain protected.
What is a car warranty?
A car warranty is a legal document from vehicle dealer or manufacturer, which promises to cover all repair and replacement-related costs which may occur during the specified warranty period.
Usually, said repairs include broken, defective, faulty, or recalled auto parts.
That being said, vehicle warranties don’t cover damages occurred due to reasons such as collisions, accidents, negligence, damage from weather, chemicals or fire, and most importantly, theft.
A car warranty is either time-based (like 3 years), or mileage-based (like 36,000 miles). The exact times, however, vary depending on the dealer and/or manufacturer.
How much do car warranties cost?
For both used and new car warranties, you, the owner, are required to pay a flat fee in order to be eligible to repair or replacement costs.
Deductibles on warranties vary depending on the brand and the type of ownership of the vehicle (i.e. if the car is new or if it is certified pre-owned).
What is an extended car warranty?
If the original warranty on your car expires, you have the option to extend the time or mileage in exchange for a fee. This is also sometimes called a service contract, which provides for repairs and maintenance.
Sold by car dealers and manufacturers, as well as independent providers, extended car warranties only go into effect once your original warranty is effectively over.
As with the cost of a car warranty, the cost of the extended warranty will vary on the basis of past repairs and mileage count – those with less of these will be available at a cheaper warranty price. While extended warranties are offered by independent third-parties, these can often get tricky. mainly due to the untrustworthy nature of said companies.
What is a used car warranty?
Car warranties are not exclusive to owners of new cars. Those with used cars can get a certified pre-owned car (CPO) warranty, which will cover their repair costs.
Much like new car warranties, used car warranties have their criteria and limitations as regards the type and length of coverages. Generally, though, their coverages are lesser than of a new car’s, and last between 3 months and 3 years.
What kind of repairs are covered by a car warranty?
When purchasing a warranty for your vehicle, you must be clear with your dealer on the following points:
– The time period of the warranty
– Point-of-contact for servicing
– The kind of repairs and the car parts which are covered
– Any and all conditions as well as limitations within the warranty
How are auto insurance and car warranties different?
While the two may sound similar at first glance, they are two very different legal documents. While car insurances cover all kinds of damages and risks like collisions, accidents, weather and chemical damage and even daily wear-and-tear, car warranties are simple a guarantee on the car’s quality that is made by the manufacturer and/or dealer.
Overall, one can say that a car insurance is more stable and wide-ranging.
Is it possible to lose one’s car warranty?
In a word – yes. Vehicle warranties may be deemed ineffective or void if it is found that your car is not regularly maintained, does not follow protocols, and/or is otherwise neglected by you.
Regular maintenance includes periodic tire rotations, fluid checks, oil changes, and checking of parts like brake pads and belt replacement, among others.
A few good practices…
As mentioned before, there are ways to make sure that your car warranty remains active and functional. There are also ways (other than maintenance and upkeep) to get the best out of your car warranty.
– Read your warranty carefully: Doing so will allow you to gain knowledge of the details of your coverage, complete with the warranty period, conditions as well as limitations.
– Keep all records: Receipts for even the most minor repairs performed on your vehicle should be kept safe and separate. One great way to do that is to make a file and keep your repair and inspection-related records, regardless of who covers it. Having these receipts will also allow you to prove your innocence in case your dealer or manufacturer accuses you of being negligent and tries to void your warranty.
– Fight for your rights: If you find that your warranty claim has been unfairly declared void, you must speak with a supervisor. You can also try going to another dealer, contacting the manufacturer, filing a complaint with the FTC.
If you’re one of those who keeps looking for tips to save on insurance online, chances of you knowing this is very high – if the car you own is an older one, you must have a reduced insurance coverage.
While many people know about this tip (and even follow it if its applicable to them), they are not aware of why and/or how they must reduce their insurance coverage. Which is why we’ve decided to save you the trouble and explain it in a way you can understand and act on!
Getting collision or comprehensive insurance is not a mandatory legal requirement
Generally speaking, “car insurance” is a term that refers to a group of different insurance policies rather than a single one. While it is good practice to have all these policies as a part of your insurance coverage, it is not legally mandatory for you to actually have all of them. The legal minimum in all (bar one i.e. New Hampshire) states in the US is to have a liability insurance at the very least. Without a liability insurance, it is illegal for you to drive at all. Even in New Hampshire, drivers have to prove their ability to have enough funds to cover any damage caused by them.
A relatively cheap insurance, liability insurance protects you against the costs that you would have to pay if inflict any harm on people and/or property while driving. This includes both bodily harm as well as vehicle and property damage.
Ironically, most drivers in the US actually have collision and comprehensive insurance, instead of liability insurance. While collision insurance protects you against damage to your own car if it hits (or is hit by) another, comprehensive insurance protects you against losses that were indirectly caused by your collision, such as property damage, flooding or property etc.
If your vehicle is old, you’re probably paying much more than what is needed
If the vehicle you’re driving is an older one, you’re probably paying way to much for your insurance policy – which is basically pointless! By leaving out comprehensive and collision coverage from your insurance policy (which is not a legal requirement anyway), you will be able to save up hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars.
Saving up on money? Don’t go on that spending spree!
Now that you’ve dropped all those unnecessary coverage, you’re saving up on quite a bit of money. It is only natural to want to spend it on something you’ve always wanted. That’s not the smartest idea, though. Even if you’ve dropped the coverage, you’ll need to make repairs and/or pay should you ever be involved in collision. You’re better off making an “emergency fund,” which can act as your own personal insurance plan should you ever need to pay for vehicle repairs out of your own pocket.
How old is too old (your car, that is)?
Typically, there’s not criteria or bar you can use to classify your car as an “older” model. That being said, there are certain guidelines you can keep in mind, and certain questions you can ask yourself.
Here’s one such question: If your car needed multiple repairs all of a sudden, would it be more feasible for you to replace the vehicle? If your answer is “yes,” you’re better off doing away with collision and comprehensive insurance. Check the Blue Book value and see how much your vehicle is worth
Classic cars aren’t “older” cars
Believe it or not, if your car is a “classic,” you’ll have to do with a special kind of insurance called classic car insurance. These are used for older, but collectible vehicles, so long as they’re being used as a secondary vehicle. One car that fits this bill is the 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air.
When you get married, several things cross your mind. Car insurance, however, is generally not one of them. Truth be told, the effect of your marriage on car insurance premiums is something that probably didn’t cross your mind at all.
That being said, you must put your car insurance policy on your to-do list – at least once wedding and honeymoon is done with. Believe it or not, your marital status has a huge bearing on your car insurance policies, and a combined one usually is more effective and less expensive for both of you – bar a few exceptions.
Combining Insurance Policies Will Help You Save Money
Even without changing your car insurance policy, chances are that your ‘married’ status itself will reduce your rates once your current policy is reviewed. Even with other factors being the same, your premiums are bound to go down by around 10-12 %. This usually happens because married couples tend to file a lesser number of claims as compared to single drivers.
When Is It Idea to Combine Policies?
If you’re really looking forward to getting a better discount on your car insurance premiums, you will benefit from combining the separate car insurance policies of you and your spouse’s into a single one. Even better if you are both in possession of good driving records and no coverage gaps.
Furthermore, when you combine your car insurance policy, you get more than one vehicle insured on a (later) single car insurance policy, which often allows you to avail multi-car discount from car insurers. Although you are still eligible for discounts if your family has a single vehicle.
Last but not the least, if you combine your car insurance policy with that of a homeowners or renter’s insurance policy – and from the same insurance company, you can get an even better rate of discount, which will only lead to your saving.
Insurance Quotes for Married Couples
While driving records are a major factor affecting insurance premiums, they are only one of several equally important factors. For instance, in some states, the car insurance company will determine your determine premiums by keeping your credit score in view as well, making your and your spouse’s financial history an equally important factor.
In order to get the best idea as to how your premium will get affected, you must make sure to quotes – both for adding yourself to your spouse’s policy and vice versa. You should also try out other insurance companies to get a good view of comparative rates.
When NOT to Combine Policies
Even with the general benefits, there are certain situation when combining policies is not ideal at all and will in fact do more harm than good. For instance, if any one of you has a low credit score or less-than-ideal driving record, it is best for both of you to keep your policies separate. The combination of a high risk and low risk driver will only serve to increase the car insurance rates of the low-risk driver. Furthermore, the insurance company may decide to not combine a high-risk driver regardless of the price you and/or your spouse may be willing to pay.
In most cases, combining your car insurance policies when you’re married is a great idea. If one spouse does have minor violation on their driving record, these can be mitigated by the combination of policies. That being said, if any one of you is indeed a high-risk driver, you are better-off keeping your records separate.
Before combining your policies, make sure to get proper quotes from multiple companies and work out a policy that functions well with your current requirements and your budget.
Auto Insurance can contain so many different types of coverages in so many different amounts that it can be hard to pin down any exact policy that will work for every person out there looking to insure their vehicle. Your rates can change drastically based on factors like your living area, your driving history and your specific provider. When making the important decision to obtain auto insurance you will not only want to think about the types of coverage you would select but also many additional factors which can also impact your overall premium; we are going to run you through the top choices so you can make a informed and accurate decision that you will not regret.
Your Driving History
Depending on your past experience out on the road and what may show up on your driving record your available auto insurance rates could be either decreased or increased. It is a simple equation here, if you do not have a poor driving record or a whole bunch of tickets and accidents (more than the average individual in your area) then chances are that your rate will be lower than you may expect. On the other hand, if your driving record is scarred heavily then you should expect to pay more for the same coverage.
Available Discounts and Deductibles
When seeking to maintain a low rate on your auto insurance there are two very important things you should be aware of and those are any available discounts and deductibles through your provider. One good piece of advice is to choose a higher deductible to help lower your premium, although this does affect how much you will have to pay out of pocket given an accident scenario. You are going to have to pay up to the amount of your policy deductible out of your own finances if and when a damaging event should occur. There are usually also other ways to save on your premium amount by taking part in various available discount programs, most times these discounts go even deeper if you bundle up your coverage for something like your vehicle and your home or apartment. Often there can also be opportunities to save money by taking additional training courses, make sure to check with your provider to see what you qualify for before making your final decision.
Vehicle Type and Typical Usage
Another factor that can define your insurance rates is the amount of time you spend driving on the road. In most cases, the longer you commute to work or the more time you spend driving (and the longer the distance) the more likely that something could happen out on the road, so your insurance provider would raise your rates depending on your answers for that information. Additionally, you may not have thought about this but the vehicle you are driving also can make a big difference in the insurance rates that you will pay for it. In the same respect and distance and time on the road causing higher chances of an incident, an insurance provider will also look at the make and model of your vehicle and include information about the safety and reliability of your vehicle in their decision making process for your premium.
Where and How You Live
There are still more factors that come into play with your insurance rates that you should be aware of and the next one on our list is where and how you are living. You may ask… how does my living situation have any impact on my car insurance premiums? But the answer is that where you reside and the surrounding areas can play a significant role in your coverage rates. This is another statistics game your insurance provider will have to play as they leverage information about the amount of crime, traffic, level and rate of accidents and much more. It is also likely that if you live in or near a large sprawling city that you may have higher insurance rates to consider but keep in mind that rates can also drop if you own your own residence.
Your Age, Gender and Marital Status
Another factor for consideration in your policy rates are your age, gender and marital status. Oddly enough, it turns out that the statistics say that married drivers are less likely to get into some sort of accident than people who are not married; I personally find that hard to believe as after listening to my wife in the car for an hour I am ready to drive into a wall! Just kidding folks, my wife is a wonderful human being and I love her very very much (Hi Honey!). Additionally younger more inexperienced drivers that may be new to the road or just haven’t had the time to practice very much are more at risk, while female drivers in general pose a lower accident risk than male drivers.
Your Credit Score and History
It can be tough enough to deal with building and establishing a solid credit history but rest assured that once you do it can help you with your auto insurance rates as well! There is a successful correlation made here between people who have higher credit scores and those people encountering lower levels of accident experiences across the road. We suggest staying on top of your credit and its history for many reasons but also because it will help you save money with your policy. This information is not allowed to be available for policy rate consideration in some states.
Your History of Coverage
Insurance providers want someone who is reliable and who has a history of taking care of their vehicle by maintaining auto insurance for it. If you have a lapse in your insurance coverage for your vehicle at any point in your past or if you at some point carried a very low amount of coverage (lower than recommended) then you may have the experience of higher auto insurance premiums.
There are so many different factors that go into addressing, assessing and creating the perfect policy for your car insurance coverage; once all of your information is collected and you state your desired coverages then a trusted insurance provider can help you review your available options. One or more of these various factors could be effecting your current auto insurance rates as well so make sure to gather your information and contact your local representative to learn more about how you can lower your premium or get the absolute coverage you deserve.
As a young adult, beginning to drive for the very first time alone can be very exhilarating. It is seen by most teens and parents as a symbol of adulthood and the starting step to independence. Parents of teens get ready for this day long before the young adults do by building trust and communication. Driving by yourself can be scary but for both parents and young adults it is an exciting process if managed carefully. When your loved one is out driving for the first time you are still able to monitor their actions from home. Many services are accessible and tools available that help to aid in observing your child’s tendencies while on the road. These tools can be purchased at an auto store or many vehicles have them standard nowadays.
Dangerous Driving Begins With Teens
Some parents feel that monitoring your child’s driving habits may be a waste of time, especially if you trust them, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated in 2014 as many as 2,000 teens from ages 16-19 died in vehicle accidents and 200,000 teens were reported to have injuries. It is no coincidence that young drivers are rated to have the highest accident hazard per mile. This is in part because teens have little experience driving and can be immature and brash. It is with the help of each state and the driving laws that enable young adults to begin driving slowly and grow their familiarity on the road. Some states have it so that teens are constrained to driving at certain times and in certain areas. When they are able to gain a driver’s license, it is the parents hope that they will be responsible and not drive preoccupied or under the influence.
It is important to note that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that 1 out of 4 vehicle accidents resulted in death for underage drivers with alcohol. Most parents have confidence in their sons and daughters, but keep in mind your kids may not tell you everything. Young drivers are steadily becoming more distracted with the use of cell phones. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety examined almost 2,000 videos of distracted teen driving crashes involving cellular devices. The study showed that 60% of those vehicle accidents ended up being severe. Another statistic shows that young drivers using a cell phone had little or no reaction in half of the rear end collisions reported.
By establishing open communication at an early age with your child, they will know the proper and improper behaviors while driving. It is important to explain driver safety when teaching them to drive, and also reinforce safe driving habits hereafter. This will ensure that not only your family will be safe, but your car insurance bill will be too.
Drive Tracking Services
New cars are starting to be sold that have tracking devices already installed. Buying a car that’s only a few years old for your teen may help you keep an eye on their driving habits, and below are some features that you might see installed in newer vehicles.
GeoFencing – Sends alerts through text message or email when the vehicle enters or exists a border.
Destination Alerts – Sends alerts through text message or email when your vehicle reaches one of your preprogrammed destinations.
Speed Limit Alerts – Parents are able to limit the cars maximum speed. Drivers may try to speed up but will be unable to do so.
Volume Limit Alerts – Parents are able to limit the cars speaker volume from home. There are some services that allow you to prohibit unappropriated radio stations as well.
Do Not Disturb Mode – While your teen is out driving, this service forwards all incoming calls to voicemail and keeps all messages hidden until your vehicle is at a complete stop.
When shopping for a new car, especially for your teenager, keep in mind that newer vehicles may or may not have tracking devices. This is something to consider when purchasing the car, or trying to add onto your vehicle afterwards. Many services and tracking tools utilize a monthly fee or require a subscription.
After Market Tracking Services
There are some tracking devices that can be purchased at an auto shop and installed into your vehicle. The diagnostic port for your car is normally under the drivers dash and to the left. A study done by Consumer Reports suggests that cars manufactured after 1996 should have this technology available for aftermarket purchase. After the report was published, many more companies began to create different types of tracking devices. Many of these tools such as Zubie, Mastrack and MotoSafety all work similarly but have a few differentiating qualities.
All driving tracking tools can be controlled from a home computer and edited to preference. Parents have the ability to set geographic boundaries that lets the driver see on a map. Parents can also monitor the vehicles destination and course. If your vehicle crosses a limit such as speed, borderline, or volume, a notification will be sent to you directly through either text message or email alert. Almost all driving tools can also be viewed on a mobile device or tablet and not just from at home.
Alerts are also sent to the parents if your child decides to disconnect the tracking device or reconnects one in the vehicle. Drive Cam is an alternative tool that parents can use to video monitor their teens driving from inside the vehicle. A video camera is attached on the inside of the vehicle behind the rear view mirror to record young drivers on the road. This device can be helpful as it films any dangerous driving and notifies the person driving with a series of changing lights. This device makes it easier for parents to review driving habits with their teens and have video examples.
The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute states that teen drivers that utilize driving tracking devices along with constructive criticism from parents change their dangerous habits almost immediately. Teens were less likely to change their behavior if they were notified by the tracking device, but there was no follow up and review from the parents. These Tracking devices can be very helpful when teaching your child how to drive safely, however it must be coupled with education and pointers to be truly effective. Tracking devices can also be installed and utilized in other family member’s cars such as Grandpa or a nanny.
In the past eight years, gas prices have dropped significantly but Americans are still getting excited over saving more fuel with new resourceful vehicles. Recently, the Consumer Reports Study stated that just over half of drivers in America foresee the next car they purchase will have improved gas mileage. For normal car buyers, going green can feel a little intimidating, particularly if you have never owned a fuel efficient vehicle before. Below are the most important green buying tips that can educate you and help save more money in the long run.
History of Green Vehicles
There are many differences in green vehicles today. This can make purchasing a green vehicle a little complicated for your first time. Green Vehicles are either a hybrid, or electric and you need to know the difference to make sure the vehicle you purchase is right for you. Most people would not believe that the use of electric vehicles dates back to the 1830s. Back then electric cars became high in demand and stayed that way through the 19th century. Henry Ford disrupted the green movement with his invention of the assembly line. Ford made engines that were cheaper to produce and therefore made it less expensive for the consumer to purchase. As a result electric cars became less popular and almost nonexistent.
Today, most gas stations and highway rest stops are better equipped to help those driving electric cars. The biggest concern for green drivers is the distance that can be driven on a single charge. Car manufacturers are hoping to increase the mileage driven on one charge and so far Tesla is beating other companies with the Model S 85D that can drive 270 miles on one charge. Generally electric or green cars can drive an average of about 100 miles before needing to stop. Hybrid vehicles were created in 1997 by Toyota to alleviate the gap between internal combustion engines and electric ones. Hybrid vehicles have both motors installed and allow for drivers to still keep the ability to drive many miles while still being ecofriendly.
The HEV or Hybrid Electric Vehicle was the first of it’s kind and it allowed for the driver to use a gasoline engine when traveling at high speeds then switches to electric once a slower pace reached. An HEV never needs to be connected to electricity because the electric motor is able to recharge using the excess energy from the vehicle braking; this concept is referred to as regenerative braking. Hybrid Electric Vehicles come standard with both engines to make the car more resourceful. The electric vehicles that require charging are known as Plug In Hybrid Electric Vehicles or PHEV. These cars vary from HEV because the electric motor, as opposed to the gas motor, is the primary energy source.
This is the main reason why PHEVs require a recharge in between trips. The PHEV will utilize the electric engine up until the charge runs out and then switch to gasoline. The gasoline motor help to recharge the electric battery while keeping your vehicle moving on the road. This is very helpful for drivers that want to go green but still are new to electric vehicle customs. Hybrid cars have come a long way, and both HEV and PHEV vehicles can help save money at the gas station but it is important to do research of the different models available on the market. Some companies may have the same distance limits to their electric engines while one may still be more fuel efficient than the other.
Charging Electric Vehicles
Electric Vehicles and PHEVs require a charging station at home or out traveling and finding an electric station is much more challenging then pulling into a gas station to fuel up.
Owners of electric vehicles take advantage of setting up a charging station at their place of residence. The vehicle is able to charge easily in a garage or even outside while it is storming, as long as there is a usable outlet. There are two types of vehicle chargers, the AC Level 1 that can restock 5 miles per charging hour, and the AC Level 2 that will replenish the battery twice as fast. It is important to consider the monetary saving when comparing the electric motors to gasoline ones. The U.S. Department of Energy stated that cost to recharge an electric battery would be the same expense as running a residential air conditioner for roughly six hours. Electric vehicle owners should always leave the house considering where or when their next charge will be. Luckily, a new website PlugShare allows members to view charging stations that are nearby to their location and also a map of public stations close to your destination. Another great feature in PlugShare is a list of available residential chargers provided by other registered users. Not all charging stations are made the same, so pay close attention to your electric vehicle requirements.
The Government Encourages Green Vehicles
Although hybrid and electric vehicles may be very expensive, and it may difficult worrying about charging stations, the IRS and some local governments have helped to increase the benefits by offering tax cuts for electrical vehicle owners.
Explained in more detail, the IRS applies a credit to all owners who bought an electric vehicle after the date of December 31st 2009. The general amount credited back to owners was about $2,500 but could be at maximum $7,500. Your vehicles battery capacity is another factor in the amount of money credited back to you so it is best to check with your vehicle manufacturer.
The credit received for purchasing your electric vehicle will be shown on your tax statement deducted from the amount of income tax you owe. If your income taxes due are less than the credit applied from the IRS then you will not have to pay any income taxes, however, there will be no reimbursements for the difference. It is important to mention that an electric vehicle must be bought new for the credit to be applied. Electric vehicles available for sale that are used or leased will not qualify for a refund. Another note to mention would be that after the vehicle manufacturer has sold 200,000 electric vehicles, the credit will no longer be valid. When buying an electric vehicle of fuel efficient car, check with your state as there are other discounts for purchasing or installing charging locations.
Other Resourceful Options
Electric Cars and Hybrid Vehicles offer great ecofriendly options for traveling. Although most people think about HEVs when they go green, there are some other options available to the consumer to help reduce waste and emissions as well.
It was once known that diesel engines produced a large volume of emissions, but today, the current diesel engines produce less pollution then the typical gasoline engine. Drivers can also travel a longer distance on a full diesel tank and the price to fuel up is usually about the same as gas. Finding a diesel gas station is not difficult as most stations have a diesel pump installed. Also, can always be an alternative choice for someone who does not want an electric vehicle.
You do not have to go buy a new vehicle to help save on fuel. There are some conscious choices the driver and passengers of the car can make to improve your cars proficiency. Techniques such as rolling down the windows instead of using the air conditioner or changing your driving route to avoid more stops can help increase your gas mileage. Drivers should avoid changing speeds when on the highway and keep the vehicle at a steady pace.
These can help save some money and wear on your car. Another way to save some fuel for your vehicle is coasting to a stoplight instead or slamming on the brakes at the last minute. Also, always remember, the faster you are driving, the more fuel you are using. These conscious driving practices may be difficult to begin, but will ultimately end up saving you money and your vehicle some years.
Caring For Your Car
Caring for your car can help lengthen its life and effectiveness as a vehicle in top condition will be most fuel efficient. Vehicle owners should make a point to read the cars manual and adhere to the recommended service schedule. Having a professional properly inflate the tires and look over the vehicle every so often will prevent future problems and increase fuel mileage. Cleaning out the items in your vehicle can save some gas too because hefty objects can weigh on the car and reduce gas mileage.
Leaving Your Vehicle At Home
Although not an option for everyone, leaving your vehicle at home and driving less is the best possible way to reduce your emissions. Mapping out the best and closest driving routes can make a big change in your gas if taking the bus is not for you. People can research on google and other map services a fuel conscious route to work or everyday stops. Alternatively, scheduling a carpool with some coworkers can help make the drive more fun and save everyone involved some money.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
There are many ways that people are able to reduce their carbon footprint and also save some money. Being conscious about the environment should not mean limiting your daily interactions, but rather change them for the better. Considering an alternative fuel vehicle can help preserve our green earth for generations to come.