Save On Auto Insurance

Comparing Quotes in Massachusetts

Auto insurance is mandatory to drive a vehicle in Massachusetts, and with good reason. Auto insurance will help pay the cost of damages to another person’s auto or property, your own vehicle, even your passengers medical bills depending on the types of coverages purchased. Although the benefits of insurance are obvious, choosing the right carrier is more difficult.

Talk to your friends, family, and co-workers about their auto insurance. Ask if they have any tips from their experience comparing quotes or have anything to say about their current carrier. Also be sure to take a look at any insurance carrier through the Better Business Bureau and National Association of Insurance Commissioners websites. Read up on the number and severity of complaints made against any auto insurance company you may be considering. Signing a policy with an company that consistently has bad reviews and serious complaints may not be in your best interest.

Try shopping online, finding and comparing quotes may be easier than you believe. After the Massachusetts auto market was deregulated many drivers have stayed with their previous insurer. A great way to save money is to compare quotes from different insurance companies.When comparing these quotes however make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. The Massachusetts Division of Insurance warns drivers:

When comparing quotes, keep in mind that coverages, limits, deductibles, and discounts have big effects on prices.  A small difference in even one of these areas can make a bad quote look like a good one.

An even easier way of comparing auto insurance quotes is through a auto insurance broker. A broker represents you, helping drivers compare and find the most affordable plan. Brokers can look over insurance quotes and explain the benefits and differences between them. When shopping around give MassDrive a call. Your insurance shopping experience will be breeze when someone who knows the ins and outs of auto insurance compares the quotes for you.

The Harsh Reality for College Graduates

College graduates come out with hopes, aspirations and debt. That’s right, debt. College graduates are graduating college with an average of 3,262 in credit card debt. In addition to credit card debt, students are also graduating with student loans ranging from $10,000 to $52,000 or more. It is a common misconception that after graduation these debts will be easy to pay off. Graduates often believe they are going to start making the “real” money that will provide them with everything they need and then some.

The harsh reality is that once graduates factor in bills and expenses they are not left with much. Factors such as, health care, 401K deductions, income taxes, car payments, auto insurance, rent, utility bills, student loans, credit card bills and food expenses. These expenses can be financially crippling to graduates, forcing them to cut back as much as they can. Unfortunately, some graduates are looking at auto insurance as an unnecessary expense. In reality, it is far from unnecessary. Not only because it is illegal to drive without auto insurance in all 50 states but the risk one takes without coverage can prove to be detrimental to ones finances.

On the other hand, this doesn’t mean you can’t save on auto insurance. People all over the nation are overpaying on auto insurance, whether its because they have the wrong policy or the wrong carrier. Don’t make this mistake! MassDrive can help you compare policies and carriers until you find the right fit. Our agents would be happy to field any questions you may have free of charge. Insurance can be confusing, so let us help you!

Check Insurance Before Driving Rentals

As the holiday season takes full swing many travelers find themselves in need of a rental car. When purchasing rental cars most businesses will offer the option of additional insurance. It’s important for a driver to check in with their current carrier  to find out what coverages would follow members of the policy.

Many drivers who already have an auto insurance policy will find their current coverage offers identical or better coverage than what rental companies offer. A number of drivers will decline the coverage without knowing what their own auto insurance policy covers leaving themselves under or uninsured. While on the contrary other consumers purchase the additional coverage which their current auto insurance would cover.

Not only is it important to consider current auto insurance, but other insurance policies held. For example someone with renters or homeowners insurance policies may cover burglary of things from inside the car. Also health insurance policies may cover the driver’s medical bills should an accident occur.

Another great alternative to checking with your current auto insurance policy is to check with your credit card company. Some credit card compaies will offer secondary auto insurance when you charge the rental. If they do offer secondary coverage, it’s still very important to call your auto insurance carrier to confirm between the two coverages damages would be paid for by them and not out of your own pocket.

Mass Home Sales on the Rise

The Warrner Group, a publisher of real estate information based out of South-Boston, reported last week Massachusetts single family home sales have have risen 17% from October or 2008. This has made October the 4th consecutive month of increased home sales. Many of the sales seem to be driven by first time homeowners looking to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit, that was to expire the end of November but has been extended into 2010.

This increase in sales will also mean a number of new homeowners are looking for homeowners insurance. To save money on your insurance policies ask your insurance carrier for a companion policy. For example MassDrive offer these policies, when you sign up for your auto and homeowners insurance together you receive discounts on both.

Determining Auto Insurance Premiums

Auto insurance rates are generally determined by the same standard factors. In addition to your previous driving record your rates depend upon the following factors:

1. The type of vehicle you drive: Statistically some vehicles have a higher rate of accidents and may be more expensive to repair. Also some vehicles are stolen more often than others.

2. Use of the vehicle: If you use the vehicle for work your premiums will most likely be higher than if you used the vehicle for personal use.

3. Your age, sex, and marital status: Studies have shown older drivers, females, and married individuals are involved in fewer accidents, thus they will receive a lower premium.

4. Your neighborhood: Where you live will have a good effect on your premiums as well. More densely populated areas will be more prone to accidents, thus a higher premium.

5. Prior insurance: If you lack prior insurance or you’re a resonably new driver insurance companies see you as a high risk. With less experience than other drivers you’re premiums will be higher.

Life Events Affecting Your Auto Insurance

Ever wonder before those big changes, how exactly is this going to affect me and the rest of my life? Here’s the skinny on how a few life changes may affect your auto insurance…

Marriage: Many changes come with marriage from filing taxes to adjusting bank accounts and discounts on your auto insurance as well. Combining spouses on the same policy saves money on the plan itself, not to mention the multi-car discount couples receive.

Getting Older: Auto insurance tends to drop after the early 20’s. These years increase your driving  as maturity level and ability to make decisions. In fact the safest drivers seem to be ages 55 – 65 years.

Retirement: After retirement you’re no longer  driving Monday through Friday to and from the office. Your leisure diriving is likely to be less than it your total driving prior to retirement. Likely decreasing your annual mileage, and thus your insurance premiums as well.

Drunk Driving and the Consequences

Drunk driving can lead to more intense consequences than you may thing. From fines and jail time to a suspended license and interlock devices the penalties are harsh. Once convicted of a OUI or DWI insurance companies see you as too big of a risk and may choose to drop you from their coverage. You can bet your search search for auto insurance after drunk driving charges will include sky high premiums.

On the first offense Massachusetts drunk driving laws mandate a fine from $500 to $5,000 and/ or face up to  two and a half years in prison after driving with a blood-alcohol-content of .08 or more. Not only will you face these hardships, but your license will be suspended for a full year.

On your second offense the consequences are more sever. A second conviction comes with: guaranteed jail time of at least 60 days no more than two and a half years, fine of $6,000 – $10,000, suspended license for 2 years, and an interlock device installed in your car. If the first offense consequences didn’t deter you from drunk driving, the second offense punishment should.

After a night at the bar or drinks at a firend’s house, do yourself a favor and call a taxi. The cash spent on cab fare may have just saved you hundreds of thousands of dollars if you would have been caught driving under the influence.

Startling Statistics on High Risk Teen Drivers in MA, and Ways to Lower their Premiums

If you’re a parent, you know the feeling. You’re daughter or son has just received his/her driver’s license and is now legal to drive. While this is a joyous time for them, it doesn’t have to be you’re worst nightmare. Being aware of these facts and informing our teens of the dangers of the road may be half the battle.

I stumbled across an article from that had some startling facts about teen drivers here in the Bay Sate.

  • Teens receive the highest number of traffic violation in the state
  • MA teens are involved in more fatal night time crashes than any other group of drivers
  • MA teens (16&17) are 4x more likely get in a crash

Parents need to be aware of the facts and teens need to be educated. It’s hard to think of the repercussions of speeding when you’re late to meet your friends for 9:05 movie. But traffic violations raise a driver’s SDIP, and higher SDIP’s mean higher policy premiums.

However, despite being considered higher risk drivers, there are ways to lower their premiums.

  • Driver Education- Having teens enroll in driver’s education classes is a way to reduce insurance costs. Teens that have completed this training are considered to be safer drivers.
  • GPA- Teens with a high Grade Point Average are considered more responsible and therefore offer discounts to the driver
  • The vehicle- While your teen would probably love to drive a new luxury car, they may not love the higher premium. Older cars are typically less expensive to insure

Teens get a bad rap with insurance companies. Talk with your teen about the responsibilities they take on when getting behind the wheel. And who knows, in 2020, teens here in the Bay state could be the group 4x LESS likely to get in a crash.

Managed Compeition… Success.

April 1st 2008 Massachusetts let the auto insurance industry loose. Shifting from state regulated rates to a managed competition many changes were brought to the Massachusetts auto insurance industry and consumers.

A study by the Department of Insurance analyzing this change included: a preliminary survey of 1,100 consumers, a comprehensive 30-minute survey of more than 4,500 drivers and one-on-one interviews with over 50 insurance agents and executives. This study has shown the overall shift to managed competition to be a positive step for the average Massachusetts auto insurance consumer.

The study showed in the first year of managed competition….

  • Massachusetts drivers saved over $270 million in auto insurance premiums.
  • The auto insurance premium dropped by an average of 8.2 percent.
  • Nine new insurance companies entered the Massachusetts auto insurance market. These new companies entering sparked a competition among themselves, bringing lower rates and better service options to customers.
  • There was a 13% decrease in the number of uninsured cars on Mass roads.

As many consumers saved bundles on affordable auto insurance rates, only three out of four consumers were aware of the insurance market change. The government realizes the lack of knowledge consumers have concerning the new auto insurance industry and hopes to educate the public with more education and outreach.

Cancelling Your Auto Insurance

Write it on a post it note. Program it into your phone. Leave yourself a voice mail at home. What ever it takes, don’t allow your auto insurance to lapse.

Here are a few things to remember about auto insurance cancellations:

  • Driving with out insurance is illegal. Should anything happen while you’re driving, not only will the violation be added to your driving record with a citation, raising your insurance rates – if you’re at fault for an accident, all damages your insurance company would have paid will come straight out of your pocket.
  • You don’t need to wait for renewal time to cancel a policy. Shopping around to find another policy with better rates is a great idea. No need to wait until your current policy is up to start saving.
  • Never ever ignore your insurance bill. Ignoring your insurance bill may be cause for cancellation due to non-payment. When this occurs not only will future insurance companies see you as a higher risk, they may ask you to pay the full insurance amount up front.
  • Cancellation must be done in writing. When you notify your current insurance company of your cancellation allow a reasonable amount of time for cancellation. When notifying the company, be sure and include the date you would like cancellation to take place giving yourself peace of mind for when you’re old coverage is up and your new one is to begin.
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