Tuesday, December 14, 2010
How Much Are You Over-Paying For Your Auto Insurance
In good times, it's natural that we pay less attention to our individual expenses. But today, regardless of our current situation, we all need to save as much money as possible.
And when it comes to saving money, the experts agree one of the best places to start is with your auto insurance.
While it’s natural that companies want to generate as much profit as they can, auto insurance is one area that many people end up paying way more than they should. That’s because they are unaware of some key information which insurance companies aren’t in a particular hurry to share.
What you need to know to make sure your Insurance Company is not getting rich off you
1. Rates are constantly changing. In fact, in certain states and for certain policies rates have actually dropped significantly in the past 12 months. And if your record has improved you may even be eligible for additional reductions. You can be sure, however, that your insurance company isn’t going to call you up and let you know their rates have dropped.
2. You're not locked in to your policy. Even if you have pre-paid your current insurance company for an entire year, you have the right to cancel the policy at any time and receive a pro-rated refund. In fact their is no cost to switch policies from one company to another.
3. Comparing quotes from multiple insurance companies delivers the most savings. Today there are online services that let consumers quickly shop for the best rates from a nationwide selection of auto insurance companies, all competing for your business. You simply enter your requirements, and instantly receive quotes from a wide range of reputable companies so you can immediately see how much you could save by switching.
One of the most comprehensive of these comparison services is offered by a website called AutoInsuranceTips.com They operate a free service that will quickly get you auto insurance quotes from a wide network of premium insurers. It makes it quick and simple to learn which company is willing to ensure you for less. The site also contains a wealth of reference information that helps you understand how different policies work and how to save the most money possible.
The fact is that with a minimal amount of time and the help of a service such as AutoInsuranceTips.com you may be able to quickly save hundreds of dollars.
So, if you're into saving money, start by finding out how much less you could be paying every month for your auto insurance coverage.
Posted by Steve Douglass at 8:13 AM
Monday, December 13, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Five former claims adjusters were arrested today for their roles in several auto insurance fraud schemes
By JESSICA SICK and HANK TESTER
Five former insurance company claims adjusters were arrested today for their roles in several auto insurance fraud schemes.
The arrests come after last year's investigation by the Hialeah Police Auto Theft Unit, Miami-Dade Auto Theft Task Force and National Insurance Crime Bureau that led to the arrest of 26 people involved in the insurance schemes in which vehicle owners conspired with auto shops to bilk insurance companies out of $5 million.
According to authorities, in order to avoid payments on financed vehicles, the vehicle owner stages a crash and takes the vehicle to a repair shop, where the shop causes further damage to the vehicle, namely tampering with the airbag so that it appears it deployed during the crash, which ups the claim amount.
Today in a joint press conference addressing "Operation Crash and Bash for Cash," State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Hialeah Police Chief Mark Overton, and representatives from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Allstate and State Farm announced the arrests of Allstate employees Roman Hernandez, Eduardo Quinonez, and Roy Stella, and State Farm employees Jeremazine Kirland and Julio Ravelo.
All five suspects were charged with various counts of grand theft of the third degree and RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, not Suave).
Rundle said this case is the first she can remember in which employees for the insurance companies were involved in the insurance scam.
"They betrayed their employers, they betrayed their colleagues and the betrayed the consumers of South Floriday," she said. "Ultimately, all of us."
"Florida is ground zero for this activity," said Overton during the press conference, "and we won't tolerate
Posted by Steve Douglass at 10:00 PM
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, urges you to be skeptical of mail and phone calls warning that the warranty on your car is about to expire. The companies behind the mail and calls may give the impression they represent your car dealer or manufacturer. With phrases like Motor Vehicle Notification, Final Warranty Notice or Notice of Interruption, they are trying to make the offer seem urgent — and to get you to call a toll-free number for more information.
More than likely, these pitches are from unrelated businesses that want to sell you extended warranties — more accurately known as service contracts — that often sell for hundreds or thousands of dollars. If you respond to a call from a business pitching so-called extended warranties, you’re likely to hear high-pressure sales tactics, as well as demands for personal financial information and a down payment, before you get any details about the service contract. And if you buy a service contract, you may find that the company behind it won’t be in business long enough to fulfill its commitments.
So how can you steer clear of scam auto warranty offers? The FTC says:
If you get mail or phone calls about renewing your vehicle warranty, don’t take the information at face value. Your vehicle’s warranty may be far from expiring — or it may have expired already. If you have a question about your warranty, check your owner’s manual, call the dealer who sold you the car or contact the vehicle manufacturer.
Be alert to fast talkers. Telemarketers pitching auto warranties often use high-pressure tactics to hide their true motive. Take your time. Most legitimate businesses will give you time and written information about an offer before asking you to commit to a purchase.
Never give out personal financial or other sensitive information like your bank account, credit card or Social Security numbers — even your driver’s license number or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) — unless you know who you’re dealing with. Scam artists often ask for this information during an unsolicited sales pitch, and then use it to commit other frauds against you.
Be skeptical of any unsolicited sales calls if the call is a recorded message or if your phone number is on the National Do Not Call Registry. You shouldn't get recorded sales pitches unless you have specifically agreed to accept such calls, with few exceptions — read New Rules for Robocalls to learn more. And if your number is on the National Do Not Call Registry, a salesperson may call you only if you have agreed to accept calls from the company the salesperson works for, if you have bought something from the company within the last 18 months or if you have asked the company for information within the last three months. To report violations of the National Do Not Call Registry or to register a phone number, visit DoNotCall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.
A service contract is a promise to perform (or pay for) certain repairs or services. Although a service contract is sometimes called an extended warranty, it is not a warranty as defined by federal law. A service contract may be arranged any time and always costs extra; a warranty comes with a new car and is included in the original price. Used cars also may come with some type of coverage. The separate and additional cost distinguishes a service contract from a warranty.
Auto service contracts may be sold by vehicle manufacturers, auto dealerships or independent providers. If you want to buy a service contract, shop around so you understand just what you’re buying. Coverage varies widely. Other tips:
Research the company responsible for paying your claims (usually called the contract administrator or the service contract provider). Service contract sellers (also called brokers) do not decide what repairs are covered under the service contracts they sell, and they may assert that they have no further responsibility to you once you buy the service contract.
Check on licensing and registration within your state. While many states do not regulate contract administrators, some states (including California, Florida and New York) have strict regulations.
Before you do business, check out the seller and the contract administrator with your state Attorney General (naag.org), local consumer protection agency (consumeraction.gov) and the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org) to make sure no unresolved complaints are on file. The phone numbers for these organizations are in your phone book or available through directory assistance or Internet directories.
Posted by Steve Douglass at 8:47 AM