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Tag Archive | "National Association of Insurance Commissioners"

Teenager danger: Five rules for young drivers


CAR-teenager-danger_driving_infographicCAR-Teenager-Danger(BPT) – If you’re feeling nervous about handing the car keys to your teenager for the first time, you’re not alone. It’s a common sentiment given some sobering statistics. According to teendriversource.org, 20 percent of all 16-year-old drivers will be involved in an accident during their first year behind the wheel. And studies show more teenage motor vehicle fatalities happen during the summer than any other time of year. But there are some things you can do to help keep your teenager from becoming a statistic. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has some tips and tools to keep your teen safe.

Though auto accidents are a fact of life for most drivers, even a minor fender bender can impact insurance rates, costing parents and teens for years to come. The good news is research shows teen drivers who follow rules are half as likely to get in an accident. Before your teen hits the road, consider establishing some simple guidelines to protect his or her safety and your wallet:

1. Set a driving curfew. More than 40 percent of teen auto deaths occur between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Set a curfew to keep your teen off the road during these times.

2. Limit passengers. A teen’s relative risk of being involved in a fatal crash increases with each additional passenger. More passengers equal more potential distractions.

3. Make the cell phone off limits while driving. Talking and texting can double the likelihood of an accident. If your teen must use the phone, instruct him or her to pull over before doing so and be sure to set a good example when you are behind the wheel.

4. Empower your teen to exercise his or her rights as a passenger. Only 44 percent of teens say they would speak up if someone were driving in a way that scared them. Remind your teens they are just as vulnerable in an accident as the driver, so they should speak up if they feel unsafe.

5. Be Prepared. Arm your teens with the knowledge of what they should do if they do get into an accident. Mobile apps such as WreckCheck can help take the guesswork out of a tense situation, guiding users through a step-by-step process to create an accident report. WreckCheck uses your device’s location service, camera and audio recorder to document all pertinent information about the incident and provides tips on how to file and follow up on a claim.

A Teen Driver Contract is a simple way to keep your teen accountable. It establishes basic driving ground rules and clearly lays out the consequences associated with driving privileges. The NAIC has developed an online tool to guide parents through building a customized Teen Driver Contract. There’s also a downloadable sample contract to help get you started. Just visit www.insureuonline.org/insureu_special_teendriving.htm.

Educating yourself and your new driver about the risks and insurance implications of unsafe driving can save lives and money. As your teen begins his or her journey on the roadways, take time to speak openly and candidly about your expectations for behind-the-wheel behavior.

 

 

 

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Clever tips and tricks to save on auto insurance


CAR-Tips-and-tricks(BPT) – Car insurance can take a bite out of your budget. On average, consumers shelled out nearly $800 for auto insurance for each vehicle in 2011, according to a recent report from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. In some states, the annual cost to insure one car topped $1,100.

To cut insurance costs, the first thing to do is talk to your agent. Your agent can tell you about discounts and other painless ways to reduce your premiums, says Charles Valinotti, a senior vice president with insurer QBE North America.

“Insurance companies reward drivers for behaviors that reduce risk,” Valinotti says. “But you have to ask your agent which discounts and savings apply to your situation. You may be surprised to learn the number of ways you can lower your premiums.”

For example, if one of your teenage drivers earns As and Bs in school, you may be eligible for a good student discount, Valinotti says. You may also be eligible for a discount if your son or daughter attends college more than 100 miles from home, and does not have a car at school.

Other ways to save include:

* Owning two or more cars and covering them on one policy.

* Owning a vehicle that’s outfitted with safety equipment like anti-lock brakes, air bags or a security system.

* Having a passive anti-theft device, such as a “smart” chip embedded within a car key.

* Paying the full cost of the premium up front.

* Safe driving. Keep your driving record accident-free for 36 months.

* Buying your auto and homeowners, renters or condominium insurance from the same company.

Whatever you do, don’t cut corners with coverage. While it may be tempting, it is best not to buy a policy that offers bare bones coverage. A savvier way to save money would be to increase your deductible, Valinotti advises.

“Rather than buying minimal coverage, think about increasing your potential out-of-pocket cost if you have an accident,” Valinotti says. “If you can handle it, raising your deductible can lower your premium without reducing the amount of coverage on your vehicles. Your agent can tell you exactly how much you’ll save in premiums by choosing a higher deductible policy.”

Don’t focus strictly on cost when choosing an insurer. A company that offers auto insurance at rock bottom prices may not be your friend if it takes forever to handle claims. Do your homework on a company’s record of claims service before you buy coverage.

 

 

 

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