Articles Posted in Insurance

Nationwide Insurance and USAA are required by California to adjust rates for auto insurance. The request was caused by a report form ProPublica and Consumer Reports. According to that report, several minority neighborhoods paid more for their car insurance than those in predominately white neighborhoods with the same risk factors.

Insurance regulators confirmed price differences are linked to incorrect usage of a California law provision. The provision allows insurance companies to put several neighborhoods in the same area into one rating territory. The two insurers affected, Nationwide and USAA, are numbered in the top ten largest providers by market share in the United States. The proposed adjustments to rates will greatly reduce racial inequalities in the two providers pricing.

The analysis from Consumer Reports showed USAA pricing was 18% higher on the average. Nationwide had a 14% higher rate. These rates were higher in economically challenged, minority areas than in neighborhoods with more white people but the same high accident costs. According to the California Department of Insurance, it is impossible to quantify how adjustments will affect insured’s premiums. Revisions are just too complex. Making it even harder, these revisions are happening at the same time as a general rate increase. Insurers are now required to show more justification for their measure of risk in underprivileged, minority neighborhoods. California designates these areas as underserved in the auto coverage industry.

California says you must carry auto insurance before putting your car on the road. It is a legal requirement of all California drivers. Besides fulfilling the legal requirement to drive, auto insurance policies also protect the car and driver from a variety of threats and risk. Even if it wasn’t required by law, auto insurance is a good idea in California. The hard part is figuring out which policy is right for you and exactly much coverage you need in your particular situation. To make it just a little harder, factor in the ever-rising cost of insurance premiums in the state. It is natural instinct for most people to simply seek out the cheapest policy they can find and legally get away with but that is a recipe for disaster. To get the most out of your policy, since you have to have it anyway, you must search for the policy with the most coverage for the lowest price. Simple as it is, there are a few tried and true auto insurance life hacks that will have your hair whipping in the California breeze with a lot more money in your pocket.

Go Big or Go Home

In the world of auto insurance, it is usually best to opt in for the bigger deductible. The most obvious reason to do this is it lowers your premiums considerably. The down side is you pay more if something does happen to your car. However, having a lower premium equals quite a bit of savings in the long run. It is important to remember to keep enough cash aside to meet the deductible at any moment. You never know when a piano will fall out of a top floor window and smash your car to smithereens.

A new auto insurance policy from Tesla was released in October 2017 without much fanfare among North American car owners. The new policy, called InsureMyTesla, is a venture in part with Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. Earlier partnerships have been launched in Canada, Hong Kong and Australia.  The automaker hopes the policy will give its vehicle owners deeply discounted rates tailored specifically to the highly advanced safety features of Tesla autos. The autopilot system is unique in its field and highly-touted.

InsureMyTesla is a revolutionary type of coverage that takes into account that autonomous vehicles will make insurance coverage obsolete eventually. Self-driving cars are designed to be able to avoid every type of accident and they are coming closer and closer to that goal every year. Until the time that only self-driving cars populate the roads, it seems that all of the advanced safety features of Tesla cars would reduce insurance rates. Some owners, however, have reported rate hikes in their premiums for their Tesla cars.  

A recent example is that of AAA. They raised rates on Tesla automobiles in June, citing information which showed the Model X and Model S had higher than usual claim frequencies and higher costs of claims compared to others in the same class. In turn, Tesla called AAA’s analysis flawed and unrealistic. They noted that the comparisons were not among cars of the same caliber.

Have you recently been involved in a car accident? It doesn’t matter if it was your fault or someone else’s, there are probably a lot of questions popping into your head. The first few questions are usually centered on injuries, insurance and attorneys.  These three things will affect you the most immediately after an accident as well as later, just when you think it’s all over. While nothing will completely ease your stress and anxiety after an accident, having all your ducks in a row can make things a lot easier. It also eases the confusion when you make your first contact with a car accident attorney.

The Scene of the Accident

Although it is hard to, victims of a car accident should stay extremely aware the first few moments after it occurs. The more details you can recall and document from these initial moments could prove highly important to your case. Take notes of your immediate thoughts. What happened. What did you see? Write down witness statements and take down their phone numbers. Don’t forget to take down the license plate number of all vehicles involved. Everyone has a camera on their phone these days and now is the time they really come in handy. Take photos of the accident scene, damage to the vehicles involved and any injuries obtained. Do not remove your car from where it was hit unless there are no damages or injuries. Leave it where the accident happened until police arrive.

Many drivers do not fully understand what huge impact car accidents have on the cost of their insurance. It is easy to understand why your own wrecks increase your rates, but harder to comprehend the correlation of the nation’s crash rate and insurance costs. What’s more, there are specific types of car accidents that happen more often than others and make the biggest impact on car insurance costs. Not only do your own accidents influence your car insurance rates, but those in the community around you, especially if they are one of these five specific types.

Five Most Common Types of Car Accidents in the United States

While the specific circumstances will vary, there are five different types of accidents that happen repeatedly in the United States. A large majority of these accidents are minor and end up in nothing more than a few dents and bruises. Unfortunately, a smaller percentage end tragically in a death or with serious and life-altering injury. Any accident can be deadly. The five most common types of car accidents are:

Car insurance can be hard to understand. What makes it even harder is that you don’t really know what can happen until you have an accident. The tiny fine print you skimmed over or the legal terms that you didn’t really understand can come back to haunt you at the worst possible moment. The pain and emotional stress of a car accident is overwhelming, add approximately unsettling and costly surprises from the insurance company and you have the recipe for a nervous breakdown.

Some people don’t realize it, but many of us cause our own policy cancellations and other issues that result in not as much coverage as we thought we had or not having any at all. Some things we all do, on purpose or not, that put us in danger of being without coverage. If the insurance carrier decides you’ve broken any of their diehard rules, they can drop you in a second. Some of these things are obvious to most people, others are surprising but all can have you without accident coverage.

DUI or Otherwise Impaired

Insurance company statistics show more fraud occurs in down economies. As the economy gets shakier, people start to look for more and varied ways to turn some quick cash. Insurance fraud often looks like an easy payday when times get tough but the truth is, it can not only cost you some hefty fines but some jail time as well. Fraudsters believe that if their fake claims are small, they will slide by under the radar but that just isn’t true. When times get tough, insurance companies know fake claims will be on the rise. That is why they have special teams of agents with experience in law enforcement to conduct thorough investigations and sniff out false claims.

Insurance fraud is any deliberate action from a consumer, agent, company or adjuster made to obtain an unlawful financial gain. This deliberate action can happen at any juncture of the insurance process including selling, buying, using or underwriting. Insurance fraud will either be from an individual committing fraud against the consumer or against the insurance company. It is estimated that over a hundred billion dollars in false claims are made each year causing higher prices for consumers and an inability of the companies to properly compete with other companies as well as their future feasibility.

Stopping insurance fraud and even recognizing it, is harder and harder as fraudsters come up with more elaborate and efficient ways of ripping off the companies. Insurance scams occur in every realm of insurance. Workers comp fraud is rampant as well as medical and health insurance fraud. Auto insurance fraud is the most costly and prevalent. While difficult to prevent, auto insurers Special Investigative Teams have identified the most often used scams and are constantly on the look-out for them.

When people think of insurance scams, they usually assume it is the consumer doing the scamming. That is not always the case, however. There are a plethora of dishonest insurance agents and fake insurance companies that thrive by bilking consumers of their hard-earned cash. Scams run the gamut from misappropriation of funds to collecting premiums on fake policies without any intention or ability to pay out on claims. They will offer policies at incredibly low prices to lure unsuspecting consumers into thinking they are getting the deal of a lifetime when all along they are just getting ripped-off. Knowing their tricks and what to do when you suspect you are a victim are the best ways to prevent getting swindled.

Stolen Premiums and Lapping

Agents can steal premiums by taking them from one customer and appropriating them to a fake customers account. They are then able to steal the money from the nonexistent customer account and place it in their own pocket. They use the money to feed addictions like gambling and drugs or to better their own lifestyle with luxury goods and services. They can also steal the money you give them for premiums before it is ever credited to your account.

When you’re in an auto accident, you might feel as if you’re being pulled in so many different directions. You’re worried about your own injuries and how they will affect your personal life and your ability to hold down a job. You might also be worried about any loved ones of yours who were also injured in the accident. Finally, your car has probably taken some serious damage, and it might be awhile before you have the money to either fix it or get a new one.

sacramento auto accident attorneyWhat you do need to be keenly aware of, out of all these issues, is the matter of statutes of limitations. After you’re in your accident, you have a set amount of time during which you need to get your claim filed. These limitations can change how you and your insurance claims are handled. If you file a claim past the deadline, you will not be able to file a case or a claim with your insurance.

If you have a personal injury claim resulting from an accident, then you have two years to file a lawsuit with regards to auto insurance. If you have property damage to your vehicle or personal property, then you have three years for which to file a lawsuit.

When you get a quote for your auto insurance, you see one lump sum, but what exactly makes up that lump sum. You might be surprised to learn that the state laws of California actually have a lot to do with how much you pay for auto insurance. Certain laws can give you discounts for certain things while raising your rates for others.

Car Accident Attorney SacramentoIf you’re planning on moving out of California or to California, then you need to be aware that your auto insurance might go up or down, depending on where you’re moving to and which laws apply to your situation. Here are a few laws and protections you should be aware of if you’re planning to move in the near future.

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