How About Cars Come to Your State

The day when self-driving cars will be sharing the road with human drivers is closer than you might think.

And in some ways, it’s already here.

But vehicles that take the driver out of the equation aren’t as futuristic as they sound. In fact, according to Business Insider, it is estimated that nearly 10 million self-driving cars will be on the road by 2020.

There were 22 companies testing autonomous vehicles in California as of February 2017, and Uber began offering autonomous vehicle rides, with a backup driver, in Pittsburgh last October.

Ford has announced plans to have a “high-volume, fully automated” autonomous vehicle commercially available by 2021 through a ride-sharing service. The vehicle will not have a steering wheel or pedals.

“Full autonomy is really just around the corner. It’s all the more amazing when you think about all the various hurdles that still have to be overcome between now and that point in time,” says Ed Kim, vice president of industry analysis for the automotive research firm AutoPacific.

A new report suggests that states will need to take the lead in dealing with the traffic and safety issues that will arise when autonomous and driver-operated vehicles start sharing the roads. The Governors Highway Safety Association issued the report in February. As of today, no state has enacted a law prohibiting autonomous vehicle testing or operations, and  self-driving cars can operate legally in most, if not all states without any explicit authorizing legislation, according to the report.

One of the key challenges is how drivers of more traditional cars will react when they’re sharing the roads with autonomous vehicles, says Kara Macek, spokeswoman for the GHSA.

For example if autonomous vehicles are following the speed limit, will human drivers become aggressive around those vehicles? Research shows that they could, Macek says.

“Should they be programmed to break the law? We don’t have the answers, just the questions,” she says.

Repair a Cracked Windshield

Just one tiny rock hitting your windshield can trigger a chain of events that can ultimately lead to costly repairs and potentially compromise the structural integrity of your vehicle. Even a small chip can crack and spread across your windshield over time.

And in most states, you can get a ticket for driving with a damaged windshield if the crack is large enough to impair the driver’s vision.

Needless to say, there are financial and safety reasons for fixing a damaged windshield in a timely manner. The good news is that as long as the damage is caused by something other than a collision, most insurance companies will not count auto glass damage as a claim on your policy, as long as you’ve comprehensive coverage.

Many companies pay for windshield repairs at 100 percent coverage.

Here are a few things you need to know about windshield repair and what’s covered by insurance. Be sure and ask about windshield repair coverage when shopping for auto insurance.

 

Why you should fix a chipped windshield

The windshield provides a significant portion of structural support to the cabin of a vehicle and helps keep the roof in place in the event of a rollover. According to the Auto Glass Safety Council, the windshield provides up to 45 percent of the cabin’s structural integrity in a front-end collision, and up to 60 percent in a rollover.

It also allows the airbags to properly deploy to cushion passengers, and it prevents people from being ejected in a serious collision.

ALSO: How Much Is Traffic Congestion Costing You?

When the damage is minor, taking early action almost always prevents the damage from spreading.

“Even if it’s a small chip, don’t wait. Because the glass layers in windshields are now thinner, most chips will eventually crack,” says Melina Metzger, spokeswoman for Safelite Group, a third-party administrator of auto glass claims for more than 175 insurance companies.

Cold and hot weather can make small chips spread quickly, so repairing chips as soon as they occur helps to eliminate the need for replacements in the future.

The Future Car is Already Here

If you live in Silicon Valley or Washington D.C. for that matter you may have seen a car driving itself down the road. While an autonomous car may seem futuristic they are the wave of the future, and much closer to reality than most people imagine. While Google is the industry leader at this point they are not the only company interested in computer driven cars.

When these cars become a reality, in addition to freeing up your driving time they could have a big effect on your insurance premiums.

Driverless Cars are coming

Autonomous cars are coming; almost all automakers are currently working on driverless or semi-driverless cars. Google is out in front having logged over 200,000 miles on their fleet of Toyota Priuses. They have driven them in the city, on the highway and even on tricky mountain roads, without a single accident that could be blamed on the computer. Audi’s autonomous car navigated itself up Pikes Peak.

While the transition to autonomous vehicles will be slow, the very technology that drives these vehicles may already be in your car. Mercedes and Audi recently unveiled Traffic Jam Assist, which adds automatic steering to their adaptive cruise control. This lets the car drive itself at speeds up to 37 miles per hour. Cadillac is developing Super Cruise, a technology that allows the car to deal with the gas, braking, and steering.  Experts predict that we could see fully autonomous vehicles on the road within 10 years.

What are the Benefits?

Safety is the number one benefit of these cars. In 2009 there were 10.8 million accidents which killed 35,900 people, 93 percent of these accidents were caused by human error. Computers never drive drunk, they don’t text and they can react faster than any human driver. Computers don’t get tired and they have a 360-degree view of traffic.

While safety is a key benefit, there are others. Convenience and traffic jams are just a couple worth mentioning. Autonomous cars can drive at the exact same speed mere inches apart which would make a huge difference in commute times. Convenience is another big factor. Imagine the time you could save if your car dropped you off and then parked itself. When the car drives itself you can read, text or simply enjoy the scenery.

Affects on Insurance

So what would happen if everyone were driving an autonomous car? Experts predict that fatalities could fall from around 40,000 per year to 400. This kind of significant drop would have a game changing effect on car insurance. Celent recently released a report entitled, A Scenario: The End of Auto Insurance which looks at what might happen to car insurance rates in a world of driverless cars.

Donald Light, the author of the report suggests that by 2022 auto liability premiums could drop up to 80 percent from 2012 levels. A gradual decline of rates would accelerate as collision avoidance systems combined with automated traffic enforcement take effect around 2018, price drops would continue until liability and collision premiums were a fraction of what they currently are.

In addition to insurance issues there are legal issues. In most states driverless cars are illegal or fall into a gray area. Nevada recently become the first state to specifically legalize and license autonomous vehicles. Other states are following suit.

Once they are on the road other legal issues crop up. Who is responsible when a computer glitch causes a collision? Most legal experts see liability shifting from the car owner back to the vehicle manufacturer, but this is uncharted legal water. As autonomous vehicles become more common both insurance and legal issues will have to be ironed out.

The Affect of Car Insurance Premiums

Insurance premiums are set by your insurance company using set criteria. Basically, it all comes down to statistics. They look at specifics of mortality rates for certain groups of individuals of different age groups, men and women.

 

What Affects My Premiums?

Most times when you get into an accident or get a ticket your premium goes up. When you get into an accident you will most likely file a claim with your insurance company. This is what you are paying for when you purchased your insurance policy. You purchased protection so that if you get into an accident you are covered and your damages will be paid for and fixed.

 

Filing A Claim For An Accident Where You Are Not At Fault

Even though you did not cause the accident and you were not at fault you should file a claim through your insurance carrier. This is important for a few reasons. First, if the other driver does not have insurance your comprehensive/collision coverage should cover your damages minus your deductible. If the other driver does have auto insurance it is still important that you file a claim with your carrier as they will assist you and assure that the other insurance company covers the claim. If there has been any injuries your medical coverage (as long as you have it) will cover your injuries.

 

Filing A Claim For An Accident Where You Are At Fault

It is very important to file a claim immediately following an accident. Your insurance will be responsible for your damages and medical along with the other party if you are at fault.

The United States are currently uninsured

An estimated 12.6 drivers in the United States are currently uninsured. What impact does this have to a licensed, law abiding driver? It means costs might not be covered when someone with no insurance hits your car, leaving you to pay out-of-pocket for damage and/or medical bills. Drivers with minimum insurance may not have enough liability coverage to pay your expenses.

Plus, chances are that these people with inadequate or no insurance do not have the money to pay for the damages on their own, which is where uninsured motorist property damage insurance comes into play.

Today, many insurance companies offer uninsured motorist property damage in their coverage to protect insured drivers from uninsured drivers. Uninsured motorist property damage insurance coverage can help pay for damage — up to your coverage limits — when accidents with uninsured motorists occur.

To help you better understand the situation, autoinsurancecenter.com has compiled a list of important questions, topics and items to know when it comes to uninsured motorist property damage insurance and how you can be best protected against uninsured motorists when they are the at-fault party.

 

What is an uninsured motorist?

An uninsured motorist is defined as “one who has no insurance, does not have insurance that meets state-required minimum liability amounts, or whose insurance company is unwilling or unable to pay the claim.”

Furthermore, a hit-and-run driver would be considered an uninsured motorist, as the cost of fixing the damage is left up to you.

 

What is uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage insurance?

First, uninsured motorist property damage coverage comes into play when the other driver involved is determined to be at-fault (or at least partially at-fault) for the accident. This at-fault driver must have either no insurance or inadequate insurance coverage. An underinsured motorist is a driver whose liability limits are too low to cover vehicle and medical costs in an accident where they are at-fault.

ALSO: Switching Car Insurance Companies: When Can You Cancel?

The function of uninsured motorist property damage insurance is to pay for the vehicle damage when the at-fault party does not have auto liability insurance. Most uninsured motorist property damage insurance will pay only up to the value of your vehicle, but it depends on your coverage and what state you currently reside.

If under your insurance policy, you do not have collision coverage, uninsured motorist property damage will pay up to a certain amount for car repairs. Depending on your state of residence, the limit might be up to $3,500. Some states will have the limit that matches the actual cash value of the vehicle. Again, check to see what your limit is within your current state. This goes the same for deductibles, as some states have uninsured motorist property damage insurance with a deductible, normally ranging from $200 to $500.

Auto Insurance Company

If Big Brother is watching, he just may be your insurance company. No matter what insurance company you use, it is guaranteed that they know plenty more about you than you know about them. When you apply for a new insurance policy or when you submit a claim, the insurance carrier gathers a wealth of information about you.

The insurance carriers obtain your credit score and utilize in making decisions. However, they use your score to create something different. By giving different weights to different factors than the credit bureaus, they come up with what is called an insurance risk score. You can obtain your credit score, but you cannot find out what your insurance risk score. Studies have been done that show a direct correlation between someone’s credit score and on how likely they will be to file a claim. The better the credit, the less you will pay for insurance coverage.

Your insurance company will certainly check your driving record. This has a direct effect on whether or not they will insure you and on how much your insurance premiums will be. Driving records are essential as a predictor of insurance risk, and are utilized by all insurance firms.

Insurance firms often buy comprehensive information about potential customers from large database companies. This information could contain your credit report, your driving history, your claims history, your address history, criminal records, lawsuit history, aliases, and the history of vehicles. As much information that can be gathered will be used in making any decisions.

You can double check much of the information that is used by insurance firms. You can obtain a copy of your credit report from Equifax, Transunion, or Experian. You can write to the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state to get a copy of your driving record. It is always good to check for errors on a regular basis. Errors are common, and one error can cost you.

How To Do So In Two Easy Steps

There are multiple commercials around talking about how much you can save by switching auto insurance. Let’s say that you’ve made that call and found a cheaper auto insurance out there. Now you’re wondering how to drop auto insurance without a problem.

Dropping auto insurance is actually a fairly simple process. Auto insurance may not be canceled over night but it is a fairly smooth process that is easy to handle if the auto insurance holder knows the proper steps to follow.

The first step to dropping ones auto insurance is to make sure that the insurance company that is the current insurance provider is contacted. This is just making a phone call to either the local branch of insurance or to the nationwide number that is provided. Make sure when making this phone call that the customer service rep adds a note to the insurance file of the date that the phone call is taking place.

After the phone call it is a good idea to type up a letter to the insurance company. The letter does not have to be lengthy or wordy but simple put that the insurance holder would like to cancel the auto insurance effective by a certain date. When the letter is finished send it to the insurance company via certified mail. By sending the letter certified mail this gives the insurance holder the proof that the letter was actually received by the insurance company. This can come in very handy if there is a depute about when the insurance was canceled.

Sometimes with auto insurance companies the insurance policy is paid for ahead of time. If one were to cancel after the policy was paid for the auto insurance company might owe the policy holder some money. By many state laws the insurance company has to refund the money back to the holder for any days that were paid for but not covered. It is best to know ones state laws about this or ask the insurance company about this policy.

Suffering How To Deal With It

Once you’re involved in an auto accident many chain reactions can happen to you which you may not realize. An auto accident can be very hard to deal with as well as the pain and suffering that could follow many years to come. Many times when you’re in an accident you try not to seek medical attention. Most people do not realize that injuries can come later down the road. This is why getting prompt medical attention after an accident is very important. If you do incur pain and suffering it must be documented if you hope to recoup the added expense that it will cost you in the future. Let us take a closer look at pain and suffering after an accident and the steps you need to take.

If your injuries do need medical attention you need to keep accurate records if you hope to recoup lost wages and compensation for what you are going through. Make sure your doctor notes all the aches and pains you have from your accident and that it is documented. You will need this information when you talk to the insurance adjuster. By informing the insurance adjuster of the lingering issues of pain and suffering you are dealing it will be easier to reach a settlement. Many times the insurance adjustor will question your pain and suffering. This is why documentation is crucial to your success. Pain and suffering for many is tough to see so having as much proof as possible is the key. Most insurance companies will work with you, but if they will not the key is to have proper documentation.

Pain and suffering is something that can linger on for years and even the rest of your life. A lot of times people do not like to go through the hassle of keeping good records. The truth is if you are in an accident and got hurt and you’re not at fault you are in titled to compensation. Right now it may seem like a lot of work, but in the end it will be worth it. Pain and suffering is never easy to deal with and going it alone should not be an option for you. Compensation for your injuries is a right you have so exercise it if you need to do that.

Insurance Adjusters With Deal

How to deal with insurance adjusters can be a little scary to say the least. If you’re like most people, this will probably happen a few times in your life. It can be an experience that can be painful or painless depending if you know the fundamentals of dealing with the assigned insurance adjuster handling your claim. First things first let’s not assume that the adjuster is your personal friend and that he or she has your best interest at heart, this is just not true. Remember who keeps the bread and butter on the insurance adjusters table it’s the company he or she is employed by.

Now that we have those elementary fundamentals out of the way we can begin understanding how we are to deal with the Insurance Adjuster.

The Insurance Adjuster wants to settle the claim for the smallest amount possible while providing you the customer with satisfaction and value so that you will continue to patronize their company. The best way to deal with the insurance adjuster is to be honest and direct with the acting agent, but keep documentation to everything that you discussed, or give to the agent. If the agent is a professional they will understand the need for this to be the case.

Provide all receipts and documentation in a timely manner when asked by the adjuster. Make all appointments and meetings when asked. This will result in the case being settled in a faster and more equitable time frame. Never speak unprofessional to the acting agent and never discussed non important facts about your claim. Always keep the discussion in a tone of professionalism. Your agent goes through this same scene dozens of times a week and is a seasoned veteran to the “does and don’ts” of the craft of being an insurance agent the last thing they want is a hassle or long drawn out story about non related facts.

Know More About Canadian Car Insurance

While it is always necessary to be covered by auto insurance, there are several factors of Canadian car Insurance that differ from American insurance. The minimum and maximum coverage varies slightly, as well as how your auto is insured. The mandatory coverage varies by providence or territory.

First, the required minimum liability insurance for most of Canada is $200,000, while it is advisable to purchase more than the minimum. In Quebec, the minimum liability requirement is $50,000.

You must purchase your Canadian car insurance through a private auto insurer if insuring within the Northern territories. These territories include (but are not limited to): Yukon, Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia.

In British Columbia and Saskatchewan, you have the option to purchase car insurance via private insurer or a government agency. You will also have the option to add additional coverage to suit your needs.

In Quebec, the insurance procedure is similar to the above, with some notable exceptions. Here, Canadian car insurance is provided by both private insurers and the government agency, SAAQ (Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec. There is a mandatory coverage called Civil Liability, which can only be purchased through the private sector. The SAAQ provides residents of Quebec coverage for sustained bodily injury (when in an accident).

Canadian car insurance does not require you to purchase insurance for damages to your vehicle, but it is advisable to do so – especially if you are insuring a new car. The best option for this situation is to purchase Collision and Comprehensive coverage. Additionally, you will often be required to purchase this type of coverage if your vehicle is financed or leased.

 

Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Canadian Car Insurance:

Ask for discounts – Many insurance companies will offer a discount on your policy if the vehicle you are insuring already has safety features: anti-theft devices, alarm systems, Anti-lock brakes, child safety locks, and dual airbags. Additional discounts are given to British Columbia insurers who enroll in a collision avoidance course with Canadian insurance companies such as Canadian Direct.

Choose your car wisely – If purchasing a new vehicle, it is advisable check with your insurance company if your auto is “high risk” for vandalism and/or theft. These types of vehicles will have a higher premium. You can also check the safety record of your car and get additional tips by contacting the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

The Cheapest Cars to Insure

There are many things that effect the insurance amount that you are going to pay for a car. Among these things are your age, zip code, driving record, gender, annual mileage, and even your credit score! The biggest thing that effects how much your insurance is going to cost though, is the car that you drive. The cheapest car, does not necessarily mean the cheapest insurance. There are a lot of things that insurance companies look at about a car before determining whether it will be more cost effective to insure or not.

The three main things that an insurance company looks at when deciding how much insurance for the particular car is going to be is the theft rate of the vehicle, the safety rating on the vehicle, and how often that particular vehicle has been reported to be in accidents. Generally, insurance is higher for sports cars than anything else because they are known to have a high accident and theft rate. Family cars usually have a cheaper rate because they are not driven carelessly and are stolen less frequently.

The number one cheapest car to insure on the market right now is the 2009 Mercury Grand Marquis. It has a five star side and frontal safety rating making it one of the safest cars on the market. It also has an extremely low theft rate and and accident rate.

Next in line after the Grand Marquis is the 2009 Buick LaCrosse. This car has a five star frontal safety rating. The theft rate and accident rate are also low on this one. It is believed that the insurance on this particular car is cheaper because it is a choice of older drivers who do not do a lot of driving and also drive safer than many other drivers on the road.

With a five star frontal and side safety rating, the Toyota Avalon comes in third on the cheapest cars to insure list. It is also another favorite of more mature drivers making the accident and theft rate low on it as well. This car has remained on the top cars to insure list for quite a while.