Auto Insurance News Archive for July, 2009

  • “Cash for Clunkers” Insurance Clause Irks Wisconsin Lawmakers

    by Jeanny Hopper
    “Cash for Clunkers” Insurance Clause Irks Wisconsin Lawmakers

    Legislators in the state of Wisconsin are expressing outrage over a provision of the “Cash for Clunkers” program that requires car owners to present valid insurance for the past year. According to U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), the requirement is unfair to most Wisconsin car owners and drivers because auto insurance is not required in the state. Feingold wrote a letter to the program’s implementing agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)about the issue. Feingold argues that because car insurance is not mandatory in Wisconsin, the federal government should not make insurance a requirement for car owners to participate … (more) July 31, 2009

  • Insurance Fraud Cases on the Rise on California

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Insurance Fraud Cases on the Rise on California

    State insurance officials in the state of California have noticed a sharp spike in insurance fraud cases recently. According to State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, there has been an increase in the number of suspected auto insurance frauds. Poizner told reporters Tuesday in San Diego about the rise in suspected incidents. He added that the economic slump is mainly to blame for the recent events. The state official held a press conference at the San Diego Fraud Office. The state insurance official also cautioned Californians against committing insurance fraud despite the tough economy. He pointed out that while the sluggish … (more) July 31, 2009

  • 12,000 Traffic Deaths Linked to Higher Speed Limits

    by Jeanny Hopper
    12,000 Traffic Deaths Linked to Higher Speed Limits

    A recent research published in the American Journal of Public Health is forcing many insurance companies to reconsider their risk assessment practices. Based on data collected from 1995 to 2005, some 12,500 vehicular fatalities are believed to be directly linked with higher U.S. speed limits. The federal government gave states the right to set their own speed limits in 1995. Prior to that, Americans had to drive below a 55 mph speed restriction implemented in 1974. The national speed limit was imposed in the wake of an oil embargo in 1973. Experts say that the federal speed limit also lead … (more) July 30, 2009

  • Ohio Insurance Loophole Raising Eyebrows

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Ohio Insurance Loophole Raising Eyebrows

    A possible loophole being exploited by many car insurance providers has caught the attention of Ohio state officials. According to industry experts, car owners and drivers in Ohio may not be as safe as they believe they are. A particular clause in many car insurance contracts and policies can leave many families high and dry and without any insurance in the event of an accident. Because the state government allowed insurance companies to include a certain provision called “intra-family exclusion”, policyholders involved in car accidents may not be covered at all by their policies. State law essentially allows providers to … (more) July 30, 2009

  • Insurers to Refund N.C. Drivers $50 Million

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Insurers to Refund N.C. Drivers $50 Million

    In the latest victory for North Carolina’s 1 million car owners and drivers, the State Insurance Commission has reached a settlement with insurance companies to refund some $50 million. The recent spat between the insurance commission and the insurance industry has also resulted in major benefits for the state’s policyholders. Aside from the refund, private car owners will also enjoy lower rates thanks to an out-of-court agreement between the providers and the state government. Rates will also remain frozen for the next two years as part of the settlement. Wayne Goodwin, North Carolina’s insurance commissioner, said that some of the … (more) July 29, 2009

  • Less Miles Mean Cheaper Insurance

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Less Miles Mean Cheaper Insurance

    A new insurance program being adopted by more and more insurance providers are raising the hopes of drivers who drive significantly less than other motorists. Called prepaid insurance by some insurers and behavior-based insurance by other companies, this particular scheme is attracting plenty of attention from American motorists. At present, prepaid and behavior-based insurance programs are undergoing testing phases in several states including California, Nevada, and not Texas. Officials from the different states say that the new system would different benefits for car owners. State insurance officials in California say that the new system can drastically reduce the number of … (more) July 29, 2009

  • More Americans Cutting Back on Car Insurance

    by Jeanny Hopper
    More Americans Cutting Back on Car Insurance

    Insurance agents and industry experts say that the sluggish economy is forcing many Americans to amend their policies to save money. Worse, some policyholders are dropping their policies altogether to cut expenses. According to one insurance representative, Keith F. Doakes, the economic slump is making many policyholders reconsider how they spend money on their insurance. Doakes, who has been in the industry for 24 years now, says the current situation is the worst he’d seen, especially because the tough economic conditions is making it harder to find new customers. He points out that people often trim down their costs by … (more) July 28, 2009

  • Insurers Argue Hybrid Cars are Worth Discounts

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Insurers Argue Hybrid Cars are Worth Discounts

    Despite criticism from many car experts, insurance companies are still standing their ground regarding discounts for hybrid vehicles. Most insurers slash 10 percent off premiums for hybrid vehicles, claiming that ‘green’ cars help reduce carbon emissions and delay the effects of global warming. Critics of the discount, however, point out recent studies conducted that seemingly single out hybrid cars as more prone to accidents. According to a recently published study, hybrid vehicles are 13 percent more expensive to repair in the event of accidents. Researchers claim that conventional cars are far less expensive to repair. The same research also revealed … (more) July 28, 2009

  • Wisconsin Car Insurance to Benefit Consumers

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Wisconsin Car Insurance to Benefit Consumers

    With one year to go before Wisconsin implements new car insurance rules, many car owners in the state are gearing up for more expensive insurance. Wisconsin is one of only two states that do not require car insurance. The remaining state, New Hampshire, is also considering requiring its residents to purchase insurance. According to legal experts and insurance specialists, Wisconsin’s new insurance rules will benefit car owners and motorists. At present, there are fears that mandatory insurance will mean more expenses for consumers struggling to meet payments and keep their jobs. However, analysts contend that the demand for mandatory insurance … (more) July 27, 2009

  • Risk Factors Driving Insurance Costs

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Risk Factors Driving Insurance Costs

    With the economic recessions not showing any signs of slowing down, many Americans are cutting back on their car insurance. Experts warn that the recent data about uninsured drivers should be a cause of concern. Some states are reporting that their uninsured motorists are nearing the 20 percent mark. As a result, more Americans are at risk of getting in an accident with them. This would mean that car owners and drivers have to shell out more money to purchase additional insurance to protect themselves. Industry specialists, however, contend that car owners need not skimp on insurance to save money. … (more) July 27, 2009

  • Drivers Hail Off-season Car Insurance

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Drivers Hail Off-season Car Insurance

    Americans looking for ways to slash monthly expenses often consider dropping their car insurance coverage. For motorists who own vehicles they rarely use during off-season, paying for full insurance coverage can be a waste of money. Fortunately, car owners can now opt for a new coverage option. Many businesses flourish during specific seasons only. Snowplowing businesses take off during winter but for the rest of the year, most trucks and vehicles lie unused in their garages. Many business owners contend that paying for full coverage while their vehicles are not even on the road can be a huge drain on … (more) July 26, 2009

  • Car Owners Told to Ask Five Questions to Save Money

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Car Owners Told to Ask Five Questions to Save Money

    According to a recently conducted study, the U.S. is facing more uninsured drivers on the road. Experts say that more car owners are choosing to forgo their insurance policies to save money. With car insurance costing upwards of more than a thousand dollars, many Americans are dropping their coverage. Analysts say that doing so can only lead to more financial problems and legal troubles especially if uninsured drivers get involved in accidents. With no insurance to protect them, motorists can lose their houses and other assets in the event that the other party decides to file a lawsuit. Fortunately, car … (more) July 26, 2009

  • Live Insurance for a Year Required for CARS Trade-in

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Live Insurance for a Year Required for CARS Trade-in

    Americans who wish to trade in their old gas guzzlers must have active insurance for the past twelve years, the Insurance Information Institute or I.I.I. said earlier this week. Under the federal government’s Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), car owners who want to collect money from trading in their old vehicles must have proof that their vehicles had insurance a full year before the trade-in. The program is popularly known as the “cash for clunkers” initiative. To implement this policy, the National Highway Traffic Safety Authority (NHTSA) has issued guidelines for interested car owners. According to the NHTSA, drivers can … (more) July 25, 2009

  • Experts: Don’t Drop Insurance, Get Cheaper Ones

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Experts: Don’t Drop Insurance, Get Cheaper Ones

    Industry analysts have expressed concern over the growing number of Americans hitting the road without insurance. They say that with the poor economy, more and more drivers are choosing to drop their coverage completely and risk fines, penalties, and even jail time. Experts add that costly traffic tickets and possible prison time are not the worst things uninsured motorists have to face. Physical injuries and other damages from an accident can cause uninsured drivers thousands of dollars in liability claims. They can even lose their homes and other assets if the other party decides to file a lawsuit. Economists say … (more) July 25, 2009

  • Insurance Research Reveals Top Driver Distractions

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Insurance Research Reveals Top Driver Distractions

    A recent study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute revealed alarming details regarding driver distractions. The research findings showed that of all the car crashes documented in the U.S., 80 percent were caused by some form of driver distraction. Sixty-five percent of all near crashes reported by Americans were also caused by distraction inside the vehicle. Researchers were also able to find out that the majority of accidents involving single vehicles were caused by driver distraction. They also arrived at the same conclusion with rear-end collisions and similar incidents. The … (more) July 24, 2009

  • New York Approves Online Driving Classes

    by Jeanny Hopper
    New York Approves Online Driving Classes

    The state of New York is not new to adult driving classes. In fact, the AAA has been conducting regular drivers’ education courses since the 1970’s. But for the first time, New Yorkers can attend these classes without even stepping inside a classroom. The state’s DMV has just recently approved several online driving courses for drivers who want to refresh their memories and improve their driving skills. Without leaving the comforts of their homes, motorists can enroll in a class of their liking and even qualify for insurance rate cuts, point reductions, and other benefits. Industry experts say that the … (more) July 24, 2009

  • Man Jailed for Threatening Insurance Company

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Man Jailed for Threatening Insurance Company

    A man from Ohio who threatened to burn an insurance company after an argument over its marketing policy was recently jailed. Forty-three year old Charles Papenfus was put behind bars last month after failing to post bail over terrorism charges. Papenfus was unable to come up with $45,000 to get temporary freedom while his case was still pending. According to investigators, the trouble started when a car insurance firm sent a letter to Papenfus, warning that their car’s warranty was about to expire. Angered by the communication, Papenfus phoned the insurance company to complain. Mr. Papenfus’ lawyer, Douglas Forsyth, says … (more) July 23, 2009