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Tag Archive | "Auto Insurance"

Simple ways older drivers can save money on auto insurance

_CAR-Simple-ways-older-people (BPT) – Are your auto insurance premiums too high? Maybe they are, but not for reasons you might think. Insurance companies aren’t charging you higher premiums because you’re in an over-50 age group. You may be paying too much because you haven’t done anything to lower the cost of your premiums. Check out these money-saving tips – they could be right up your alley.

* Comparison shop. You don’t need to stay with the same insurance company forever. Prices vary from company to company. Just be sure you discuss the identical coverage with each company representative. Also, don’t go by price alone. Consider the company’s reputation, customer service and available discounts. Look online at customer reviews to get a better picture.

* Combine policies with one carrier. You may save money if you insure all your vehicles on a single policy. Your premium may also go down if you have life or homeowners’ insurance with that company, too.

* Consider asking about higher deductibles. In some cases, if you increase your deductible, you could lower your premiums. Of course, that means you’ll have to pay more money out-of-pocket if you’re in an accident.

* Take an AARP Driver Safety course. Available both online and in the classroom – in English and Spanish – this course teaches valuable defensive driving techniques and provides a refresher about the rules of the road. When you complete the course, you could qualify for a multi-year discount from your auto insurance company (check with your insurance agent for more details). Visit www.aarp.org/drive to find a course in your area.

* Consider dropping collision and/or comprehensive coverage. It may not make financial sense to pay premiums over many years to maintain collision and comprehensive coverage. If your car is worth less than 10 times the premium, purchasing the coverage may not be cost effective, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). But don’t drop your liability coverage, which can help cover expenses for property or bodily damage you cause while driving your car.

* Take advantage of low-mileage discounts. Some carriers offer discounts to drivers who put less than a predetermined number of miles on their vehicles each year. If you’re only using your car to drive to your kids’ houses, the grocery store, the mall and the gym, this could be a money-saving opportunity.

* Ask about car-safety discounts. Some insurers give discounts for having certain safety devices in your car, such as air bags, automatic safety belts, anti-lock brakes, daytime running lights, or even an approved alarm system. In addition to lowering your premium, these features will help keep you safe on the road.

* If you’re in the market for a new car, consider purchasing a low-profile vehicle. It’s more expensive to insure a vehicle that’s expensive to repair, popular with thieves or known for not having a good safety record. To find out vehicles’ risk levels, visit the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website.

Everyone’s trying to save money these days. By following these tips, you’ll be in the driver’s seat when it comes to auto insurance premiums.


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Catastrophic Auto Insurance rates rise

From the Insurance Institute of Michigan


Fireworks aren’t the only thing going up this week. An insurance assessment to reimburse insurance companies for catastrophic injuries resulting from auto crashes increased 6 percent on July 1.

The Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) assessment, which covers unlimited lifetime medical costs for those injured in auto accidents, rose $11, from the $175 to $186 starting July 1, 2013.
“Just like health insurance, the cost to provide unlimited, lifetime care and medical treatment for those injured in auto crashes is rising at a staggering rate.  In 2012, the cost neared the $1 billion mark,” said Pete Kuhnmuench, Executive Director, Insurance Institute of Michigan.

Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance system is unique in that it provides unlimited medical benefits for motorists injured in auto accidents.  Michigan is the only state in the country with such a high medical benefit mandate. The MCCA was created in 1978 to reimburse auto insurance companies for injury claims that exceed a certain threshold, which will be $530,000 on July 1. The MCCA then assesses all auto insurance companies to cover the costs of those catastrophic claims. The assessment is reflected in the premiums paid by Michigan policyholders.

The MCCA is required by state law to assess carriers the amount it is expected to pay for those injured in auto accidents during the upcoming year. The MCCA evaluates expectations for medical cost inflation, economic conditions, investment returns and number of claims. It is adjusted for fund surpluses or deficiencies from earlier assessments. Currently, the MCCA faces an estimated $2 billion deficit, which represents $300 per insured car. Of the $186 assessment, $29.19 is designated to recoup part of the deficit.

In 2012, the MCCA paid out $947 million, primarily for closed-head injuries, paraplegia, quadriplegia and burns. Since 1978, when the fund began, more than 29,474 claims have been reported, which will cost an estimated $83 billion over the life of the injured motorists.

Each year, an increasing number of individuals are receiving benefits from catastrophic auto accidents. Payments to full-time family or agency attendant and residential care providers comprise 60 percent of the claim payments.

The liability of the MCCA falls upon auto insurance companies in Michigan, according to Kuhnmuench. Five of those insurance companies that write over 40 percent of the state’s auto insurance serve on its Board of Directors. Those member companies are appointed by the Director of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services.  The Director serves as an ex-officio member. Information on the MCCA, including claim payment statistics, audit reports, financial statements and answers to frequently asked questions is available at www.michigancatastrophic.com.

IIM is a government affairs and public information association representing property/casualty insurance companies and related organizations operating in Michigan.   IIM member companies provide insurance to 74 percent of the automobile and 65 percent of the homeowners markets in Michigan. For more information about insurance, visit the website, www.iiminfo.org.

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Ray Winnie
Kent County Credit Union


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