Check out our updated blog from May. Florida’s auto insurance laws changed in July and many individuals and consumer groups are not happy.
Posts Tagged ‘car accidents’
It’s no surprise that using your phone while driving can cause accidents since your attention is taken away from the road. But smartphones have added a new danger to the mix. Smartphones are addicting and many Americans admit to using their phones to check email, update social sites, and read text messages despite this being against the law.
According to the article “Use Smartphones Smartly Can Help Avoid Car Accidents” by Richard Burton on AutoQuoteNow.com, 72% of people who use their phone while driving say work is what tempts them to break the law. About 33% are drawn to social sites such as Facebook and Twitter while driving.
Fatal accidents have increased dramatically from drivers using their phones, despite laws being passed to ban such usage. These handheld computers are a major distraction for many drivers and it takes self-discipline to wait until the drive is over to check the phone. The good news is that awareness is on the rise and hopefully education will ultimately help to deter using smartphones while driving.
We all know how dangerous drinking and driving is, but the epidemic continues and people are still dying in tragic accidents caused by drunk drivers. According to the article “More Young Women Driving Drunk” by Steven Reinberg on BusinessWeek.com the trend is growing in young women which is very unfortunate.
Men still make up the majority of drunk drivers, but the number of drunk women on the road is growing. A study based on data from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that women drivers involved in deadly car crashes increased over the years 1995-2007.
Weekday accidents with alcohol involved among females increased by 3.5%, and weekend alcohol related accidents increased by 2.2%. With more women consuming alcohol in large amounts there are more women making poor decisions and causing horrific accidents. Simply said, do not drive drunk. Even if you do manage to get extremely lucky and avoid an accident you are at risk of expensive fines, jail time, and carrying special SR22 Insurance for high-risk drivers. None of that is worth it, especially putting lives at risk.
According to the Baltimore Sun’s Liz Kay, 67 Maryland auto insurance companies have been fined by the state’s Insurance Administration. The insurers were found to have under compensated drivers whose cars have been deemed a total loss, by failing to take into account increases in state sales tax and Motor Vehicle Administration fees when calculating a car’s value.
Liz reports that the over 4,000 drivers affected have already received refunds, averaging about $100 each (total restitution being $442,000). The companies (listed here) were also charged a $235,000 fine. Always make sure to make sure exactly what level of auto insurance claim your policy covers, so you aren’t greeted with an unpleasant surprise.
Here’s some great news for drivers with Massachusetts auto insurance: the state’s insurance commissioner, Nonnie Burnes, is no longer going ahead with her plan to shut down the appeals board. The Associated Press reports that her reversal comes after heavy criticism from the Massachusetts Attorney General, as well as the public.
The board, which was set to close on April 1st for new cases, allows motorists to appeal increased auto insurance premiums and added surcharges, levied when their insurance company determines them to be at fault in an auto accident. Annually, about 20,000 out of 50,000 drivers succeed in their appeals. Nonnie believes that despite that statistic, recent deregulation in the insurance market lets consumers buy auto insurance from a competitor if they believe their current insurer’s decision is unfair.
On MainStreet.com, Carl Winfield recently explained important facts about Allstate’s auto accident forgiveness program, which has been available since 2006 but is gaining attention now. It’s a tempting option to prevent increasing auto insurance costs, but it’s not for everyone. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about their accident forgiveness policy.
Q: What exactly is auto accident forgiveness?
A: It’s a policy that will ensure that your auto insurance premiums do not rise after a car accident.
Q: How much does accident forgiveness normally cost on a policy?
A: There tends to be an additional fee added to accident forgiveness plans; an typical fee is about $43 added to the premium every six months. However, premiums can jump far higher with an accident; sometimes they may even double.
Q: Who is eligible for Allstate’s Your Choice policies with accident forgiveness?
- Policyholders on the most inexpensive standard plan will have to maintain a clean driving record for five years before being eligible for accident forgiveness.
- Mid-range plan customers can take advantage of accident forgiveness immediately.
- Drivers with Allstate’s top-line, most expensive plan will also have access to accident forgiveness as soon as they buy the policy.
As of April 1st, Massachusetts auto insurance customers will no longer be able to appeal surcharges on their premiums if they are found at fault in an accident, reports Ron Sanders of WBZ. The state’s insurance commissioner wants to eliminate the Auto Insurance Appeal Board, the only one of its kind in the nation, because of inefficiencies and high costs. Instead, auto insurance companies themselves will be allowed to review appeals.
Ron says that legislators are fighting to keep the appeal board active: almost half of Massachusetts drivers win their appeals, saving them $25 million each year. They worry that insurers will be unfairly biased towards rejecting appeals, although the insurance commissioner counters that people can shop around for auto insurance quotes and switch their provider if they are unhappy with the results.
Have you bought or plan to buy a smaller car to save money on gas? According to Kevin Ransom of CNN, your total savings may be less than you’d think, because drivers of smaller cars (like the Ford Focus, Mini Cooper, Toyota Yaris, Honda Civic, Nissan Altima, Toyota Prius, and Pontiac G6) tend to be charged higher auto insurance rates than those of larger vehicles.
There are several reasons why smaller cars are more expensive to insure:
- They are more likely to be used in long, extended commutes; making them more likely to be involved in accidents.
- Drivers may be more aggressive when driving in a smaller car. For example, they might think that they can squeeze into a small gap in traffic and end up causing an accident. Someone driving a SUV, minivan, or pickup truck probably wouldn’t take that risk.
- With all the larger cars dominating the road, it’s simply harder for other drivers to see you in a smaller vehicle. This results in a greater chance of them crashing into you.
On average, six-month premiums can differ by several hundred dollars depending on the model of your vehicle. However, rates can vary depending on the insurer. Get auto insurance quote comparisons to find the best price for you.
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This is pretty shocking, but it’s more proof that you need to read your auto insurance policy very carefully: Stephanie Day of InjuryBoard wrote that State Farm recently denied a claim to pay for the usage of the jaws of life in responding to an car accident. They refused to compensate the fire department because in their view, the jaws (which extricate an accident victim from a car crash) are not included in the medical payments coverage of the insured, since it is technically a non-medical expense.
I hope you never end up in such a situation, but be sure to do your research and make sure exactly what your particular policy does and does not cover, besides just looking at the premium and deductible costs. Your health insurance may cover this, or it may not.
Get State Farm quotes for auto insurance.
9 News Colorado reports that a new state law (which came into effect on January 1st) is likely to increase auto insurance rates for Colorado drivers. The law requires insurance companies to automatically enroll policy-holders into a MedPay plan that provides an additional $5,000 in medical coverage. Ever since Colorado repealed its no-fault auto insurance law in 2003, there have been many problems surrounding the reimbursement of medical costs caused by an accident. This program is intended to fix many of these issues. Consumers can only opt out via a written form.
The extra coverage can increase your yearly premiums by $40 to as much as $1,200 per car, depending on your auto insurance rate. MedPay coverage isn’t really necessary if your health insurance covers car accidents, but a lot of policies don’t. Experts say you should think carefully before trying to reduce your auto insurance premiums by dropping out of the program; if you end up in a crash not covered by your health care plan, you may end up paying far more in the end.
More information about Colorado auto insurance.
(Photo credit: paraflyer under CC 2.0)