1. Shop Around
Prices vary from company to company, so it pays to shop around. Get at least three price quotes. You can call companies directly or access information on the Internet. Get quotes from different types of insurance companies. Some sell through their own agents. These agencies have the same name as the insurance company. Some sell through independent agents who offer policies from several insurance companies. Others do not use agents. They sell directly to consumers over the phone or via the Internet. Don't shop price alone. Ask friends and relatives for their recommendations. Pick an agent or company representative that takes the time to answer your questions.
Identity Theft. It's in the news and on the tongues of most Oregonians. You see and hear ads all over the media offering you identity theft prevention, protection and clean up services. How do you lose your personal information and what can you do to protect it? What are the potential points of personal data loss? This article will address these and other issues regarding the security of your personal data.
Auto insurance prices seem to be going up steadily. Some companies have gotten bailed out by the government. Other insurance companies have been purchased or merged into other insurers. Changes in plans, names, ownership, regulation of insurance companies leaves many car insurance buyers bewildered. We can help you understand the changes and find affordable insurance plans from companies with a good service track record.
These tough economic times call for drastic changes. Exclusive or captive insurance agents are being given the opportunity to sell their businesses to other larger more profitable agencies. Some independent agents are selling out to large out-of-state conglomerates who are bullying their way into the State of Oregon charging outrageous fees to start your auto insurance policy and will only place you with insurance companies who are willing to pay above market commissions.
Independence. It's a word that gets thrown about with beneficial properties. For one to be independent implies choices. You get the feeling of freedom. Free to grow, free to choose, free to learn. With that independence one might feel a little be lonely. There is an aspect to independence that begs for solitude. When it comes to buying auto insurance, you are independent to choose the company, coverages and agents you want and need. But, you are never alone.
Good question! In Oregon, car insurance follows the car. Yes, you bought an auto policy from an independent or exclusive agent or from a direct writer company and it has your name at the top of the policy. However, the auto insurance is for the vehicles listed on the policy not any car you drive. The owner of each vehicle is responsible for insuring his or her own automobile. If he lends it out to someone else, he must keep it covered for at least the basic coverages.
You are probably asking yourself, "How can so many car insurance companies advertise and claim they can save me so much on my car insurance if I switch my policy to them?" That's an excellent question if you are a sharp and savvy car insurance shopper.
If every auto insurance company makes that promise, which car insurance company are they comparing themselves to? Is there an auto insurance carrier out there which purposely charges $459 more a year so the rest can make that claim?
Driving Distracted. That's what it is called when you are operating a motor vehicle and doing something else that takes your attention away from the road. Putting on make up. Shaving. Yes, I have actually seen guys with their cordless shavers exceeding the speed limit, late for work, looking in the rear view mirror to make sure they don't miss a spot. Reaching in the bag and looking for that last french fry. Changing the radio station or searching for a song on a CD. Smoking. All of this MONKEY BUSINESS and more pull your attention away from the most important activity that requires your complete attention.
Credit and Insurance. What does one have to do with the other? If you have bad credit your auto insurance will cost more in Oregon. If you have no credit, even worse. It's a good idea to establish some kind of credit if you have none.
How do you get credit? You have to take out a credit card. Debit card doesn't count. Must be a credit card like VISA or MasterCard. Then buy something with it or pay a bill. Then, take a couple months to pay it off. Just don't get used to using the card. You want to be able to show on the credit bureau reports that you are creditworthy; if you borrow something, that you give it back!
A new customer from Beaverton, Oregon came in to buy insurance today that I quoted about three days ago. He told me about how he'd been shopping around since he got my quote from companies he found through searches and banners he clicked on while surfing online. His best quote was initially from one of the big television, radio, billboard and online companies. He gave the agent on the phone his entire information, included drivers license and social security number. The quote he got was amazingly inexpensive. He then authorized that agent to proceed with the policy. At the moment he gave the agent his credit card information, he told him that the price had tripled. My customer then questioned how that was possible. The agent told him it was because he hadn't checked the customer's credit and driving record until that moment.
I've heard this and many other stories like it. What is worse is the company sells you the policy at the 'unscored' rate (meaning they haven't checked your insurance credit score or driving record) and then the policy gets issued at the 'scored' rate which can be hundreds of dollars higher.
Moral of the Story
Before you approve the direct writing insurance company from taking your hard earn money, be sure and ask if he or she has run your:
If the agent cannot guarantee that those reports have been received and used in the calculation of the premium, you cannot be guaranteed that the quote he gave you is the actual price you will be paying. Accuracy in quoting is extremely important when shopping for insurance. There is no excuse now, with the technology we have, for getting an inaccurate quote.
You've lost your job. Your hours have been cut back. You are on Oregon unemployment. Your unemployment benefits have not kicked in yet or you've passed the unemployment benefit period. Now it's time to make some really tough decisions. Which bills get paid first?
Food, shelter, clothing. Those are the essentials. Water and electricity may be next in the ranking of expenses. If you own your car out-right, in other words, you don't owe the finance company or bank on your car, then you don't have to pay a car payment. Next would be gas for the car and the car payment if you do owe money on it. Transportation costs are high, that's true. Gas prices are fluctuating wildly. Repair costs of your automobile can be as much as what your car is worth. Gambling on selling your car and buying another one may land you with even higher repair costs.
Together with the cost to operate your car in Oregon with gasoline, repairs and car payments is the cost of Oregon car insurance. You must figure in auto insurance as part of the total cost or leave your car at home. Leaving your car just parked is entirely an option either as Oregon law says if you have a registered car you have to keep insurance on it at all times. When you budget your limited resources and you are trying to figure out whether to drive your car or not, you need to figure in the auto insurance. Driving your car without insurance could cost you more than two years of car insurance.
That's right. Up to two years of car insurance. We figure that it will cost you at least $1,000 if you are caught driving without insurance in Oregon. Yes, $1,000! When you add up the cost of the
It will cost you just about a grand. If you keep your record clean and have decent credit, you can get your insurance for about $250 for six months. Hmmm... $1,000 to get your car out of impound most of which you've got to pay right now or spend that money on buying real protection in case you get in an accident. You can't afford not to spend the money on an Oregon car insurance policy.
Otherwise, you'd be better off riding the bus or carpooling with someone who has insurance. If you have insurance and are having difficulty in paying the bill, call us. We'll talk you through the options. Most companies have flexible grace periods. We'd be happy to help you through this tough economic time in any way we can. Let's see what options you have to save and where you can cut back. You may be paying for coverages you don't need. We can review your current policy or go over the coverages we quote you if you don't.
Don't get caught stranded on the street and watch your car get towed away. Oh, and if your car is a PO* car, and you think that just leaving with the tow company is an option. Think again. They will sue you in court for the cost to tow and store your vehicle. That's right. Sue you! They will calculate the cost of the tow and the daily storage rental charge for weeks or even months until your car has been sold. They will then subtract the sale price from their towing, storage and legal expenses and sue you for the difference. If you do get your car towed, get in there to the tow company and negotiate with them immediately. Turn in the title and pay them the difference. Racking up weeks and months of storage fees will only make your bad situation worse.