All Posts by

Zaid Zayto

Nov 27

Most Dangerous Roads and Highways in Metro Detroit

Michigan drivers are already on high alert because of the fast weather changes and potholes. Unfortunately, the weather is only half the battle.

In 2017 there were more than 4,000 car crashes in Metro Detroit.

Crashes happen at random but tend to be more popular in certain areas. So what are the most dangerous roads that you should avoid?

Scroll down to learn about where these accidents are happening so that you can keep safe while on the road!

1. Metro Parkway

Driving down Metro Parkway, otherwise known as 16 Mile Road, can become a little hectic when making your way through Sterling Heights.

The Van Dyke and Mound Road intersections on Metro Parkway tend to see most of the action. The Van Dyke Expressway, General Motors Center, and MJR Theater all contribute to this heavy traffic area.

Try taking 15 Mile Road to avoid unwanted traffic. It has almost all the same intersections and can get you to your destination faster.

2. Hall Road

If you are driving in Macomb County, you probably are not surprised that Hall Road made this list.

Hall Road helps people in Macomb travel to Troy quickly, but not when accidents occur.

At the intersections of Romeo Plank and Schoenherr Road on Hall are where most accidents tend to happen. Romeo Plank and Hall Road bring a lot of traffic with Partridge Creek Mall and other shopping centers.

Around the holidays can be a mess on the road with everyone going from store to store. The speed on Hall Road ranges from 45-50mph and consists of 3-4 lanes.

If you have to drive on Hall Road always be sure to use your blinker and pay attention to crossing traffic. One nice thing about this road is that it has Michigan left turns to help prevent accidents.

Our auto insurance for Sterling Heights, Michigan can come in handy if you frequently drive in this area. Especially on Schoenherr Road.

3. Grand River Avenue

Those traveling in Livingston County should be extra careful while driving on Grand River Avenue.

This is a busy area with several expressways that meet up, causing plenty of traffic. Most accidents occur at the intersection on Whitmore Lake and Grand River.

This area is packed with shopping centers and lakes that draw in the crowds. Unfortunately, there are many ways around these intersections, but driving carefully can help keep you safe.

Be prepared for sudden stops and people switching lanes at the last minute on this dangerous road or you will need to find cheap auto insurance.

4. 12 Mile Road

Oakland County is full of business districts, shopping, and homes.

It is also full of accidents, especially on 12 Mile Road. The Orchard Lake and 12 Mile Road intersection cause a lot of traffic and accidents. Shopping centers and apartments fill the area.

Because there is so much going on in this intersection, people tend to get rear-ended. Another reason 12 Mile is so dangerous is that it runs parallel to I-696. People trying to merge onto the freeway must first cross through these intersections.

The mornings during rush hour and after work is the worst times to drive in this area.

5. Washtenaw Avenue

Are you a U of M fan that is constantly traveling to Ann Arbor for football games?

If you are, you will likely be dealing with Washtenaw Avenue. Stadium Blvd merges into this main road that can get you around town.

This road is constantly busy from the University, homes, hospitals, and shopping areas. The US- 23 and Washtenaw Avenue intersection causes a lot of accidents. This could be due to the clover style ramps to get on and off the freeway.

Don’t get caught up in the traffic on game day if you have to be somewhere quick. A lot is going on in this area and the best thing to do is be patient. Washtenaw Avenue is one of the most dangerous roads in Metro Detroit.

Those that are driving to Ann Arbor from Troy should get full coverage auto insurance to help cover damage if it happens.

6. Big Beaver Road

Big Beaver Road in Troy can become an ugly place filled with cars waiting to get out of traffic.

Troy has a large business district that requires employees to travel on Big Beaver Road. With so many people trying to get in the same area, at the same time, accidents happen.

This road is one of the most dangerous to travel. There are endless amounts of shopping centers that draw in more than just the working crowd too. Watch out for sudden stops on this road or else you may get rear-ended.

Driving Tips for the Most Dangerous Roads

Sometimes we don’t have a choice and we have to drive on these roads.

But don’t worry, there are things you can do to help protect you and others on the road.

Using your blinker and not waiting until the last minute to merge can help avoid accidents. You should also stay off your phone and focus on the road while driving. In 2017 more than 20,000 accidents occurred in Michigan due to distracted driving.

Avoid driving at night and during dangerous weather conditions. If you do have to drive at night, be sure that all of your lights are working. Snow and rain also play a role in accidents.

Using caution and staying at a safe speed limit, similar to drivers around you, can help prevent accidents.

Accidents happen and sometimes we can’t avoid them. Being prepared for them is all we can do. Make sure that you have a spare tire, jumping cables, and emergency packs if you get stuck.

Be Prepared for Your Next Intersection

Driving on some of the most dangerous roads in Metro Detroit may be necessary for you to get around.

Macomb County sees the most accidents on Hall Road. This road is full of shopping centers and restaurants that getting crowded quickly. It is also one of the easiest ways to travel East and West, making it a highly used road.

Use caution around U of M and always around roads that merge into expressways. These areas draw in most traffic and cause backups. Always use caution when driving and avoid traveling in unsafe conditions.

Be sure to contact us so that we can get you the best auto insurance for driving on these dangerous roads!

27 Nov 2019 in Auto Insurance
Oct 24

Navigating the Complex Array of Homeowners Insurance Coverage Types

homeowners insurance coverage types

What comes to your mind when you hear of homeowners insurance? You probably envision it as the kind of protection only people living in their own homes take. The case, however, applies to any home you live in, whether it is a rental, condo, mobile, or you are renting it out to others.

You might be daunted by the array of homeowners insurance coverage types, but don’t worry. There are a limited number of policy types or “forms. We’ll explain.

Home Structure Coverage

This is one of the different types of homeowner insurance policies. It protects your home structures such as ceilings, floors, walls, and built-in facilities in your home. It is a basic cover in homeowners policies and covers damages arising from fire, vandalism, hurricane, theft, and hailstorms.

Depending on your insurance company, the coverage differs in the list of risks it covers. Most policies also cover other structures not attached to the house, such as a gazebo, shed, or garage.

In case of any risk wrecking the home, it can cover the cost of rebuilding your home depending on your policy limit. You may have to include additional policies since the dwelling coverage doesn’t cover everything.

Personal Liability

This is another of the important homeowners insurance coverage types. The policy covers property damage or bodily injuries that you, your family members, or pets cause to others. It also covers lawsuits, paying court awards, and the cost of defending you in court up to your policy limit.

You can also add to the coverage an excess liability policy, which includes claims for higher liability limits, slander, and libel. You need to browse around to find the best homeowners insurance price for this kind of coverage.

Personal Belongings Coverage

This one covers clothing, sports equipment, furniture, and any personal valuables you have in your home. It covers belongings if they are stolen, burned, or destroyed by any other insured risk.

For expensive items such as fur, silverware, and jewelry, if stolen there are dollar limits on them. You may opt to insure your valuables to their real value. To do so, buy a special floater or personal belonging endorsement, and the item appraised value will be protected.

Additional Living Expenses Coverage

If your home becomes inhabitable due to a risk occurrence included in the policy, you will get compensation. The policy covers the expenses of living away from your home. It covers expenses such as meals, hotel bills, and any other that you will incur during the rebuilding of your house.

Standalone Homes Coverage

HO-1– It covers a list of specific 11 perils: fire and lightning; explosion; vehicles; smoke; malicious mischief and vandalism; glass; explosion; theft volcanic eruptions; aircraft; riots and civil commotion; windstorms and hail; and vandalism.

It only covers the perils on the list and no other that is unnamed. It doesn’t include personal belongings.

HO-2– It covers all the 11 perils covered by HO-1 and some more. The additional dangers it includes are water damage from faulty plumbing, falling objects damage, household appliances, and heating air conditioning.

Its terms are the same as HO-1, as it only covers the perils that are on the list. It, however, insures personal property in your home.

HO-3– It’s a common policy as it offers a broad coverage. It covers all the included 16 perils apart from earthquakes, floods, nuclear accidents, sinkholes, and landslides.

It covers the same personal belongings in your home as in the HO-2 policy.

HO-5– It is more like HO-3 as it covers all the 16 perils and others not in the excluded list. It is, however, more comprehensive and insures against all perils apart from the ones excluded. Due to its broad coverage, it’s more expensive than the others.

HO-8– It is appropriate for older homes whose replacement cost exceeds the actual home value. It mostly covers architectural structures and registered landmarks.

It covers 11 risks and is affordable as its payout is smaller. The homes are usually 40 years older and above and do not qualify for the HO-3 policy form.

Renters Coverage

HO-4– Also referred to as renter’s insurance, it covers personal property in a rental apartment or home. The landlord usually takes the HO-1 policy that doesn’t include the tenants’ belongings. HO-4 becomes then the policy of choice for tenants to insure their personal belongings.

It also covers additional living expenses in case the rental home becomes inhabitable due to perils already covered. It does not include liability coverage, and one should consider adding it to the policy at an extra cost.

Co-Op and Condo Owners Coverage

HO-6– This is specifically for owners of condos and co-op associations. As an owner, read through the policy form to ensure it covers all the perils you want it to cover. Some policies may have a lower coverage that, in case of extensive damage, can’t insure your co-op or condo.

For a condo, HO-6 covers it like a single home—as its owned by the policyholder. As such it insures liability, belongings, and additional living expenses.

For co-op, it belongs to the tenants as the shareholders of the home. They, therefore, have to take the HO-6 policy instead of the renter’s insurance as they have ownership. Just as in the condo, co-op policy is also limited.

 Mobile Home Coverage

This policy covers manufactured homes and any other structure attached to them. It covers the same perils as HO-1 or HO-3 homeowners’ policy forms. The mobile home cover only insures the home when it’s stationary and not on transit.

There are different types of home insurance covers that are optional, and they include the following:

Earthquake Insurance

The policy has its deductible and covers damage occurring in your home as a result of an earthquake.

Flood Insurance

It has its deductible and insures your home against damages arising from floods. If your home is in an area prone to floods, consider taking this policy.

Ordinance or Law Insurance

You will need this policy if you want to rebuild your house after a loss, and it has to meet the building codes of the time. It is the best policy if you have an old home.

Ready to Pick Your Best Plan?

Choosing any kind homeowners insurance coverage types is critical as you are never sure when disaster may strike. It gives you peace of mind knowing that in case anything goes wrong, you will not be rendered homeless.

From the information above, you now can choose a policy that befits you well. If you feel like you still need more information on this, you can visit our website or give us a call and all your questions will get answers.

24 Oct 2019 in Homeowners Insurance
Aug 9

The Best Home Insurance Companies in Michigan (Top 5 for 2019)

To help you find the best coverage for your home, we’ll show you the best home insurance companies in the United States. Each company excels in different categories, so we’ll take a deep dive into which companies excel in the coverage you’re looking for.

These 5 companies are considered the best in the industry, as they consistently offer the best products and customer service. They are reliable and provide a wide range of stable, effective home insurance policies that will protect your home if the worse should occur.

SNEAK PEAK: 2 OF THE BEST HOME INSURANCE AROUND

AAAMultiple Policy Deals
  • Has been around for more than 30 years
  • Great Umbrella Coverage
  • Membership get’s you discounts and other perks.
ASIBest Pool Insurance
  • Great if you have a pool
  • Has withstood worst hurricanes in recent memory

The best company and policies will vary from person to person, so we’ve done the work of sifting through the details to give you our top picks. These companies have long, diverse histories that offer the most affordable coverage.

The below companies are highly rated by credit agencies and are all rated well by the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Top 5 Best Home Insurance Companies for 2019

AAA

Although the Automobile Association of America (AAA) is best known for their automobile insurance, AAA offers some competitive homeowners insurance. AAA has covered many homes all over the US for more than 30 years.

Along with homeowners insurance, AAA covers townhouses and condominiums properties. Insurance through AAA covers earthquakes and floods separately. Cost varies depending on how much you buy, what it covers, and the risk your property will get flooded. They also offer umbrella insurance.

You are not required to be a member of AAA to receive a quote, but to receive AAA insurance you must become a member for as low as $53/year. Buying multiple policies could get you discounts up to 20 percent depending on your area. 

Best for: Multiple Policies

ASI

American Strategic Insurance was founded in Florida in 1997 to provide homeowner’s insurance. A few years later, they expanded to cover Texas homes. ASI has withstood the worst hurricanes in recent memory and stayed true to their routes, even when other companies fled the Florida market.

In 2014 ASI was purchased by Progressive Insurance for $875 million. 

ASI’s main focus is home, including flood and umbrella. Their products are sold under the Progressive agent system, which writes traditional homeowners insurance for single-family homes, renter’s insurance, condo insurance and coverage for seasonal or investment homes. Policies are tailored to your individual needs.

ASI provides umbrella policies up to $5 million. 

ASI offers competitive flood insurance that’s available through the National Flood Insurance Program. They offer great rates on pool insurance as well and have a 24/7 toll-free claims line.

Best for: Pools

FOREMOST

Founded in 1952, Foremost is a part of the Farmers Insurance Group and offers home insurance to mobile homeowners. They were the first to write policies for travel trailers, and continue to do so to this day. They are considered the number one mobile home insurance company.

Foremost specializes in homes that aren’t usually covered by other home insurance policies, such as homes that are older, seasonal and vacation, mobile and manufactured homes and rentals. Where they really shine is they can combine multiple properties for landlords into one policy so you’re only pay one bill. 

Landlord insurance is specifically designed for rental homes and provides expert coverage specific to the needs of landlords. These include home protection, personal injury, and loss of rent coverage. You can upgrade this coverage to extend the replacement cost coverage.

Foremost also one of the few insurance companies in Michigan that will insure homes and properties being used for AirBnB. 

Best for: Landlords

PROGRESSIVE

Progressive was founded in 1937 in the small village of Mayfield, Ohio by a group of lawyers who saw a profitable business in insurance, specifically auto insurance. They were the first insurer to introduce a drive-in service where you could come for a claim estimate.

They were also the first to offer 24/7 claims service and added Immediate Response in 1994. Progressive has received great reviews across the board. They promise comprehensive homeowners coverage that’s flexible and designed to fit your needs. Their app is optimized to help you take your insurance on the go.

Progressive gives you tons of ways to save with their multiple policy options. They also provide coverage for money and securities, credit card and theft protection, extra coverage for valuables, guaranteed replacement cost, and inflation guards so your insurance policy will adjust with inflation.

Best for: Flexibility

SAFECO

Safeco was founded in Seattle, Washington in 1923 and offers home insurance for millions of Americans. Backed by Liberty Mutual, Safeco offers comprehensive homeowners insurance with plenty of optional coverage, like endorsements for your jewelry and art and equipment breakdown coverage.

They’ll pay the full replacement costs of your personal property and won’t factor in depreciation if you choose have this option in your policy. Safeco is about making insurance easy. Plans are affordable and flexible, so you’re able to buy whatever you need and throw out what you don’t.

Safeco has a vast network of independent agents that sell insurance in 46 states. They also offer combined packages on home and auto, temporary housing, personal property replacement, and identity theft coverage. They also have an app called the “Safeco’s Home Inventory” app that allows you to create a home inventory so you’ll have that information on hand when you make a claim.

Best for: Consistency

Determining A Company’s Strength

All insurance companies are graded on a letter scale, similar to how we were graded in school. Independent insurance rating agencies, which assess the likelihood the insurance company will remain solvent and pay claims on policies on time and in full.

It’s best to stick to insurance companies that are rated grade A or higher. The best rating agencies to check are A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch Ratings.

CompanyA.M BestFitchMoody’sS&P
AAAA+AAAa2AA+
ASIA+A+A2AA-
ForemostAA-A1AA-
ProgressiveA+AA-A2AA-
SafecoAAA-A2A

Honorable Mentions Home Insurance Companies

Hagerty – This is specific for car insurance, but you’ll need some good car insurance to go with your home, right? Hagerty specializes in classic cars. They are the king of insuring all classic and high-value vehicles.

Minico – If you’re looking for a company to protect your jewelry and valuables, look no further than Minico. They have the best rates in insurance to protect the more important things in life.

Westfield – Westfield was started by farmers in the 1940’s. They have expert claim handing and rates that are shaking up the competition in Michigan.

American Modern – They specialize in rental, vacation, standard dwelling, vacant properties, and mobile homes. They were named the top workplace in 2014, and 2015 and have fantastic customer service.

Vacant Express – As the name suggests, Vacant Express is well known for their specialized coverage for vacant properties and the specific risks associated with them.

Chubb – Chubb is unique in that they focus on character homes or vintage properties. Certain home insurance providers won’t insure an old house because of the higher risks involved, but Chubb will provide that service for you.

Encompass – Encompass offers flexible insurance plays with the EncompassOne Policy, which is “you’ll have one agent, one premium, one deductible.”

We are licensed to sell homeowners insurance, in Michigan but if you own a condo outside of Michigan and you need some condo insurance

 

09 Aug 2019 in Homeowners Insurance
Jan 19

Miles for Missions 5k

Zaid

Signature Insurance is proud to have participated in the Miles for Missions 5k run in October. Our very own Fadi Zayto participated in this great run.

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What was accomplished

We part of a group who were able to raise over $5,000 for Mission Youth Detroit!  We were of the many sponsors who hosted 150 participants who were critical for accomplishing this lofty goal.

Signature Insurance would like to thank Mission Youth Detroit for allowing us to be part such a fun and great cause.

The proceeds were critical to support the financial resources needed to coordinate local and abroad mission trips.

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Race Results

Fadi able to finish the race in 7th place overall and 2nd in his age group. He kept a healthy mile pace of 7 minutes and 30 seconds finishing the race in only 23 minutes and 15 seconds.

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We are so proud of Fadi and the rest of the runners for participating in this event.

Who Else Supported

We could not have imagined doing this single-handedly and were accompanied by some great companies also.

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It takes a community to help a community and it was exciting to be among such great company when it comes to helping. Some of the other sponsors we would like to highlight is:

alliance catholic credit union

With over 60 years of foundation, Alliance Catholic Credit Union is owned by its growing membership.  Established by and for the Catholic Community, Alliance Catholic Credit Union is uniquely qualified to provide financial products and services tailored to meet the needs of our Catholic community.

A fantastic institution whose board of directors are experienced in the banking industry and volunteer their time.

Description is taken from Mission Network Programs USA.

local 228 uaw 2

The United Auto Workers Local 228 is an amalgamated Union representing working people in all different fields of business. The mission is to protect Collective Bargaining rights for all and to provide workers with a voice in the workplace. Local 228 was established in 1948 and currently represents 2457 active Members and 2492 Retired Members. Solidarity Forever!

Description is taken from Mission Network Programs USA.

advisors capital inc 3

Advisors Capital, Inc. is a privately owned, Michigan Corporation, licensed as a First Mortgage Broker and Lender in the State of Michigan. They are also registered as a Second Mortgage Broker and Lender. Advisors Capital in-house mortgage team expedites the process and their technology keeps you informed and connected all the way through closing and beyond.

Description is taken from Mission Network Programs USA.

ggcb 3

Good Girl Comeback is a nationally recognized, 501c3 approved nonprofit that empowers teens to set goals which build confidence, kindness, and personal fulfillment.  The GGCB – through workshops, seminars, one-on-one mentoring, and volunteering – encourages girls to become independent thinkers and virtuous leaders, who see the goodness in themselves and others.

Description is taken from Mission Network Programs USA.

real estate one orig

We believe that the future of Real Estate lies in technology and in service, and the future of real estate is now. Find your dream Home today! We are a team of leaders who have broken new grounds in the world of Real Estate; we have been functioning with an exceptional commitment in our field with strength, credibility, quality, and innovation. We believe in giving the very best to our clients and know a home is not defined by the size or color of the walls; it is about how you feel when you walk through the door.

Description is taken from Mission Network Programs USA.

lucido

Lucido Fine Jewelry was able to expand our reputation of quality, service, and commitment to the Metropolitan Detroit community’s clientele by consistently demonstrating our business principles. Since the establishment of our flagship store in Sterling Heights, we’ve added locations in Downtown Rochester and Birmingham through hard work and dedication. We look forward to extending a warm welcome to you and your family for generations to come.

Description is taken from Mission Network Programs USA.

oex 1 orig

Office Express, a woman-owned business, has been serving the business community since 1986.   We seek to find win-win solutions to assist our customers in saving money, solving problems and increasing their business. We always do our best to deliver our products when our customers need them. We also value the people and suppliers who work with us, treating them as valued partners.

Description is taken from Mission Network Programs USA.

nashs auto

Nash’s Auto is a complete auto repair service provider in Shelby Township, Michigan.  At Nash’s Auto, we believe in providing a fair and honest service to our customers. All our repair work is reliable and comes with a two year warranty or 24,000 miles on the road. We work hard to exceed customer expectations and will go the extra mile to ensure that your vehicle is properly repaired and ready for the road once you leave it with us for a service or repair. Let our experienced mechanics take good care of your vehicle!

Description is taken from Mission Network Programs USA.

neimans logo jpeg 2 1

At Neiman’s Family Market we have brought our family’s history with us. From Grandma Sophie’s recipes to the way we follow Grandpa John’s high standards in quality and customer service. Over the years we have followed two other rules: hiring exceptional staff to serve our guests and growing a deep relationship with the communities we serve.

Description is taken from Mission Network Programs USA.

Conclusion

We enjoy protecting and supporting our community just as much we enjoy protecting and serving our clients every day.

If you need help with your policy or want to know about the next run we would love to talk! Just use the contact form on this page to reach out.

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19 Jan 2019 in Community
Dec 18

How Your Auto Insurance Policy is Ripping You Off – And How To Fix It.

Zaid

Insurance has always been one of the most controversial subjects in the auto world. Of course, we appreciate the fact that it’s compulsory in all the 50 states. Because otherwise, imagine paying your medical bills, and probably even compensating other victims after an accident.

On the flipside, it seems like players in the insurance industry are having a ball, now that it’s impossible to avoid car insurance. Even with over 4.5 million vehicle accidents resulting in property damage, 1.7 million injuries, and 32,000 annual fatalities, insurance companies are still raking in huge profits.

 

 

Number of vehicle crashes per year. Source: Statista

 

Between the year 2011 and 2015, companies in the auto-insurance space lost more than $145 billion, mostly due to insurance fraud. But, it barely made an impact in the industry. Insurance firms are still pouring billions of dollars every year in television ads and digital media. Everyone is loving the status quo- except you, the consumer.

 

 

Annual Costs of Insurance Fraud. Source: Ohio Insurance Institute

 

If you’ve had that feeling in the pit of your stomach that auto insurance companies are probably taking advantage of you, you’re right. You’re only slightly wrong on the part about auto insurance companies. Because it’s not just them. It spreads across the board.

Everyone is ripping you off- from insurance companies, to vehicle repair shops, property agents, and even medical providers. While some blatantly defraud you, most of them are ripping you off legally. They capitalize on some interesting loopholes in the current legislation.

Take Michigan Auto Insurance Policy laws, for instance. Vehicle owners in this state pay the highest premiums in the country, so medical providers can pretty much charge exorbitantly for their services.

Whichever way you look at it, that has been how the bulk of their claims have been ending up.

Because of such cases, a third of millennials and 28% of vehicle owners in the U.S. believe that they are paying way too much for their auto insurance. The insurance companies are particularly fond of leaching off high-income earners since they are not frequent complainers.

Only 24% of vehicle owners earning more than $75,000 per year are not happy with their rates. Compare that to 37% of modest income drivers with income ranging between $50,000 and $75,000 per annum.

There are many interesting facts behind the smoke and mirrors. That’s why we’ve prepared the following guide, to help you finesse your way out of possible rip offs.

 

How Insurance Companies Are Ripping You Off
Failing To Factor In Car Depreciation
Unless you’re rocking an exceptional classic car, the value of your vehicle is consistently losing value with time, and every mile driven.

But some insurance companies don’t see it that way. You still continue paying the same premiums, even after your car has lost half its value.

 

 

Vehicle Depreciation Rates in The U.S. Source: Automotive Fleet

Insurance agents who support this concept argue that aging and increased mileage translates to more frequent repairs, and increase the risk of accident due to mechanical failure.

Well, of course, that’s laughable because, in actual sense, repair costs decrease with increase in a car’s age. Parts become readily available and mechanics continue to familiarize themselves with engine intricacies.

The best and most efficient way to beat this system is switching to ask your insurance agent to revisit your policy. Don’t waste your time, allow an independent agent to shop for your insurance.

Your independent agent will have multiple insurance companies assess your vehicle and charge you cheaper premiums according to its age. sticking to one insurance provider could have you losing way too much in 12 months, let alone 5 or 10 years.

 

Dramatically Increasing Rates After Accidents

If you assumed insurance providers hate car accidents, think again. Of course, they lose money by paying out claims.

But they immediately start recovering their losses by increasing your rates. And sometimes they even make more off you after an accident.
It’s a continuous, unending cycle. Insurance firms make a lot of money off your premium payments.

Then you’d be mistaken to assume that you’ve won the battle, when you receive compensation from cumulative payments. But when that is over, they increase rates as soon as you get behind the wheel again.

All things considered, this may be fair, since it covers an insurance company’s risk of insuring accident-prone drivers. But, in some cases, rates do not climb over time.

They shoot through the roof, punishing you for the accident. It may apply even to incidents which may not even have been your fault in the first place.

 

 

Average Insurance Penalty For Not-At-Fault Accidents. Source: Consumer Federation of America

This game is especially common among insurance providers who offer very cheap rates at the beginning. And you since you’ll assume that they are still the cheapest around, you’ll stick with them despite the high rates.

The only way around this is comparing rates offered by different insurance providers. Some companies may be lenient enough to provide coverage at way cheaper rates.

While this may seem like a pretty obvious thing to do, 38% of vehicle owners have not bothered to compare their auto insurance premiums within the last 3 or more years.

That’s according to NerdWallet, a personal finance website that sampled motorists across the country. Even more surprising is the fact that 17% of these drivers have never checked at all.

As a result, they are missing out on an average of $417 of savings per year. This is silly considering an insurance agent could do the legwork for effortless savings.

Evaluating Rates According To Credit Worthiness Rather Than Driving Habits

If there’s one outrageously ridiculous thing about insurance pricing evaluation, it’s the fact that it’s partly based on credit score. This is one area that you may end up mistaking an insurance company for a bank. They act like insurance claims are loans and financial grants.

Even a good and careful driver may end up paying high rates for a poor credit score. It’s even more amusing when you discover that poor, careless drivers with good credit scores pay lower insurances rates.

And no, this doesn’t just bump the rate up by a few bucks. Going by figures published by Consumer Reports, penalties for poor credit scores are staggering.

Crunching the numbers across the top five national insurers, they established that motorists with excellent credit scores were paying an average of $1409 annually, while good credit score drivers were shelling out $1712. Individuals with the poorest credit scores were paying an astonishing $3826 every year.

Unfortunately, apart from improving your credit score, there’s no other way of finessing your way out of this. It’s almost like the United States is hell-bent on basing everything on credit score. Soon they may even start issuing driving licenses according to creditworthiness.

Rejecting Claims On Incidences Affecting Pre-Existing Injuries

The subject of pre-existing conditions and injuries is not limited to auto insurance policies. All insurance providers, across all industries, always have a clause on pre-existing conditions. No company wants to be held liable for past injuries.

In layman terms, they don’t see themselves making a profit. And that’s understandable. Because whichever way you look at it, insurance is still a business.

But, there is a rather interesting grey area in this. Imagine an accident that aggravates a past injury or condition.

Consider a person paralyzed from the waist down for instance. A car accident may snap his spine further, causing paralysis from the chest down.

Now, of course, most auto insurance firms would counter the resultant claim, citing the clause on past injuries. If he’s not keen in following up, the victim may end up with zero compensation.

Fortunately, insurance legislation addresses this, through the “Glass Plaintiff” rule. The frailty of a victim is not a defense in a claim case.

That means you are entitled to full compensation if a vehicle accident aggravates a pre-existing injury.For fair compensation in future, have your doctor comprehensively document current injuries that your insurance company is aware of. In case of an accident, your insurance provider will have a hard time rejecting a claim on grounds that pre-existing injuries were not affected.

 

Offering Unnecessary Coverage On Rental Cars

If you’ve rented a car before, chances are salespeople pressured you to cough up extra cash for insurance. At first, it may seem like they are trying to protect their vehicles, or they care about your safety.

Sadly, it can never be further from the truth. Rental car salespeople get commissions from insurance companies for every cover sold.

That’s why they’ll never reveal that you won’t actually benefit much from most their insurance covers.

As a matter of fact, most salespeople continue pressing, and persistently offer alternative insurance plans if you reject their propositions. In the end, you’re forced to cave in and say yes because extra cover would hurt, now would it?

Reviewing and researching on such insurance covers would ultimately reveal that you probably didn’t even need them. You would have bought useless insurance, at rates higher than standard market premiums.

If you own a car with its own insurance plan, don’t even entertain the thought of insurance for rented vehicles. You’re already adequately covered.
That’s because rental car salespeople focus on two types of insurance covers:

Liability Insurance at $5 to $15 a day. It should cover damages to third party vehicles and people caused by the rental car.

Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) at $10 to $20 a day. It should cover the damages you might cause to the rented car.
Of course, these are very much essential to rented cars. We are not suggesting that you proceed to get a rental without both. However, your car insurance plan extends to cover these two.

They come with most auto insurance plans and adequately apply to rentals.
So, to avoid paying for unnecessary coverage, check with your current policy and confirm its boundaries and exceptions before approaching a rental car company. That way, you’ll be able to discern factual information from sales jargon by the attendants.

 

Conclusion

We’ve discussed many critical pointers. To help you remember, here’s a breakdown of the most important ones:

Even with over 4.5 million vehicle accidents resulting in property damage, 1.7 million injuries, and 32,000 annual fatalities, insurance companies are still raking in huge profits.

Between the year 2011 and 2015, companies in the auto-insurance space lost more than $145 billion, due to insurance fraud.

Everyone is ripping you off- from insurance companies to vehicle repair shops, property agents, and even medical providers.

A third of millennials and 28% of vehicle owners in the U.S. believe that they are paying way too much for their auto insurance.

Only 24% of vehicle owners earning more than $75,000 per year are not happy with their rates.
37% of modest income drivers making between $50,000 and $75,000 per annum complain about their insurance rates.

Get quotes every 6 months to a year from multiple insurance companies. Contact our independent insurance agents if you don’t have time to do it yourself.

Insurance companies start recovering their losses by increasing your rates immediately after compensation. And sometimes they even make more off you after an accident. Shop for a new policy or have an agent do this for you to minimize the increase in your premium.

38% of vehicle owners have not bothered to compare or have an agent compare their auto insurance premiums within the last 3 or more years. As a result, they are missing out on an average of $417 of savings per year.
Even a good and careful driver may end up paying high rates for a poor credit score.

If you have bad credit, you are paying 2.7 times more than a driver with excellent credit.

Through the “Glass Plaintiff” rule, the frailty of a victim is not a defense in a claim case. That means you are entitled to full compensation if a vehicle accident aggravates a pre-existing injury.

If you own or lease a car, your insurance covers your rental.

Although we’ve covered the major rip-offs, the auto insurance industry is extensive. And so are the laws regulating it. Different stakeholders continue developing new tactics to capitalize on the loopholes. So please feel free to share the ones we’ve not mentioned.

18 Dec 2018 in Auto Insurance