Insurance companies have started using credit ratings of their policyholders to determine risk. Drivers with good credit scores get lower insurance premiums, as it is believed that they are more financially stable, more responsible and have the financial means to better maintain their vehicles. Those with lower credit scores can have their premiums raised or insurance canceled outright. It has been shown that good drivers with spotty credit records could be charged higher premiums than bad drivers with good credit records.
Insurance companies are changing their insurance rates all the time. Sometimes they raise them when there have been a large number of claims, and sometimes they lower rates when they are looking to pick up more clients. What all of this amounts to is that a cheap policy might just represent a market shift or a change in the needs of a particular company. In other words, don’t just give the hairy eyeball to all cheap rates; seek them out. Just make sure that the policy represents your needs well.
Another important factor in determining car-insurance premiums involves the annual mileage put on the vehicle, and for what reason. Driving to and from work every day at a specified distance, especially in urban areas where common traffic routes are known, presents different risks than how a retiree who does not work any longer may use their vehicle. Common practice has been that this information was provided solely by the insured person, but some insurance providers have started to collect regular odometer readings to verify the risk.
To initiate the process, insured is required to submit a detailed estimate of loss to the insurance company. Independent automobile surveyors with engineering background are given the task of assessing the reason and extent of loss. They carefully inspect the damaged vehicle and submit their survey report with the insurance company who will review and examine it in accordance with the recommendations mentioned therein The usual practice is to authorize repairs with the repairer to whom letter is issued in this regard.
In September 2012, it was announced that the Competition Commission had launched an investigation into the UK system for credit repairs and credit hire of an alternative vehicle leading to claims from third parties following an accident. Where their client is considered to be not at fault, Accident Management Companies will take over the running of their client's claim and arrange everything for them, usually on a 'No Win - No Fee' basis. It was shown that the insurers of the at-fault vehicle, were unable to intervene in order to have control over the costs that were applied to the claim by means of repairs, storage, vehicle hire, referral fees and personal injury. The subsequent cost of some items submitted for consideration has been a cause for concern over recent years as this has caused an increase in the premium costs, contrary to the general duty of all involved to mitigate the cost of claims. Also, the recent craze of "Cash for crash" has substantially raised the cost of policies. This is where two parties arrange a collision between their vehicles and one driver making excessive claims for damage and non-existent injuries to themselves and the passengers that they had arranged to be "in the vehicle" at the time of the collision. Another recent development has seen crashes being caused deliberately by a driver "slamming" on their brakes so that the driver behind hits them, this is usually carried out at roundabouts, when the following driver is looking to the right for oncoming traffic and does not notice that the vehicle in front has suddenly stopped for no reason. The 'staging' of a motor collision on the Public Highway for the purpose of attempting an insurance fraud is considered by the Courts to be organised crime and upon conviction is dealt with as such.
The regulations for vehicle insurance differ with each of the 50 US states and other territories, with each U.S. state having its own mandatory minimum coverage requirements (see separate main article). Each of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia requires drivers to have insurance coverage for both bodily injury and property damage, but the minimum amount of coverage required by law varies by state. For example, minimum bodily injury liability coverage requirements range from $30,000 in Arizona to $100,000 in Alaska and Maine, while minimum property damage liability requirements range from $5,000 to $25,000 in most states.
If a vehicle is to be "laid up" for whatever reason, a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) must be submitted to the DVLA to declare that the vehicle is off the public roads and will not return to them unless the SORN is cancelled by the vehicle's owner. Once a vehicle has been declared 'SORN' then the legal requirement to insure it ceases, although many vehicle owners may desire to maintain cover for loss of or damage to the vehicle while it is off the road. A vehicle that is then to be put back on the road must be subject to a new application for VED and be insured. Part of the VED application requires an electronic check of the MID, in this way the lawful presence of a vehicle on the road for both VED and insurance purposes is reinforced. It follows that the only circumstances in which a vehicle can have no insurance is if it has a valid SORN; was exempted from SORN (as untaxed on or before 31 October 1998 and has had no tax or SORN activity since); is recorded as 'stolen and not recovered' by the Police; is between registered keepers; or is scrapped.
More commonly purchased is third party, fire and theft. This covers all third party liabilities and also covers the vehicle owner against the destruction of the vehicle by fire (whether malicious or due to a vehicle fault) and theft of the insured vehicle. It may or may not cover vandalism. This kind of insurance and the two preceding types do not cover damage to the vehicle caused by the driver or other hazards.
In several countries insurance companies offer direct repair programs (DRP) so that their customers have easy access to a recommended car body repair shop. Some also offer one-stop shopping where a damaged car can get dropped off and an adjuster handles the claim, the car is fixed and often a replacement rental car is provided. When repairing the vehicle the car body repair shop is obliged to follow the instructions regarding the choice of original equipment manufacturer (OEM), original equipment supplier parts (OES), Matching Quality spare parts (MQ) and generic replacement parts. Both DRPs and non OEM parts help to keep costs down and keep insurance prices competitive. AIRC (International Car body repair Association) General Secretary Karel Bukholczer made clear that DRP's have had big impact on car body repair shops.
Now that the industry has changed such that you can get insurance rates for free, you need to know how to compare insurance rates so that you are getting the best deal to protect your home, car, business, health or family. First, once you fill out a form on netQuote, your work isn’t finished. You now need to compare the exact policies from each company and see: