Auto Insurance News Archive for September, 2009

  • Texas to Increase Auto Insurance Requirements

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Texas to Increase Auto Insurance Requirements

    Car owners  can expect Texas auto insurance rates to go up as the state government mulls increasing minimum liability requirements. According to insurance experts, there are plans for revising existing provisions regarding insurance liability in the state. Already, insurance providers are gearing up for the next round of changes slated for 2011. Despite the target date still more than a year away, analysts warn that insurers may begin introducing higher rates at a much earlier date. Before April 1, 2008, the Texas Department of Insurance required car owners to have a minimum insurance liability amount of $20,000 for a single … (more) September 22, 2009

  • California Auto Insurance Ballot Undergoes Changes

    by Jeanny Hopper
    California Auto Insurance Ballot Undergoes Changes

    A highly controversial proposal in the state of California is being met with criticism and support from to opposite sides in the California auto insurance market. Californians are divided over a pending bill that some say would result to lower premiums for policyholders who have had continuous coverage. Consumer rights advocates like  Consumer Watchdog, however, decried the initiative, saying that it would only result in struggling motorists paying hefty penalties and fines. On the opposite side of the legal debate, Californians for Fair Auto Insurance Rates (CalFIR) believes that the new legislation would benefit a large majority of car owners … (more) September 21, 2009

  • Experts Say Insurance Premiums Affected by Bankruptcy

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Experts Say Insurance Premiums Affected by Bankruptcy

    Auto insurance experts are cautioning American car owners against filing for bankruptcy. According to recent studies conducted by financial firms and media organizations, the number of individuals that have filed for bankruptcy has risen dramatically. In fact, during the period from October 2007 to October 2008, bankruptcy filings have risen by 34 percent. Some economists say that the worsening economic situation can mean more individual bankruptcies in the foreseeable future. Americans who feel that they cannot pay off mounting debts often turn to Chapter 13 bankruptcy to break free of their creditors and bad loans. Many experts believe that the … (more) September 21, 2009

  • Wisconsin Mulls Banning Insurers from Using ZIP Codes

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Wisconsin Mulls Banning Insurers from Using ZIP Codes

    A new proposal is being considered by Wisconsin’s State Senate, which would prohibit insurers from basing insurance rates on a car owner’s ZIP code. Wisconsin is one of several states that allow providers to use their policyholders’ ZIP codes to come up with insurance premiums. Insurers argue that ZIP codes are most often the best basis for rates since motorists living in urban areas are more prone to get involved in accidents than drivers who live in rural areas. The proposal, Senate Bill 289, would disallow Wisconsin auto insurance companies from ever using ZIP codes to set rates for any … (more) September 20, 2009

  • Local Policyholder’s Auto Insurance Qualm Ignites Debate

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Local Policyholder’s Auto Insurance Qualm Ignites Debate

    The plight of a local woman from the town of Clermont regarding her auto insurance premium has resulted in a fierce debate over the use of credit reports in determining insurance rates. Kimberly Abbes, a 40-year old cosmetologist living in Clermont, Florida, was surprised to see her insurance premiums go up by 50 percent this year. Abbes claimed that she did not incur traffic tickets or was convicted because of traffic violations. She also stayed clear of traffic accidents and paid for car insurance policy on time last year. For the past 12 months, she has also avoided filing for … (more) September 20, 2009

  • Chicago Motorists Expect Cheaper Insurance with New Law

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Chicago Motorists Expect Cheaper Insurance with New Law

    Car owners and policyholders in the windy city are eagerly anticipating the implementation of a new federal law that can result in lower premiums for motorists who follow traffic rules. According to insurance experts in Chicago, the approval of the Alert Drivers Act of 2009 on Capitol Hill can signal the start of a new era in the Chicago auto insurance industry. The said legislation will require states to penalize motorists fond of using their mobile phones for texting while driving. If the states fail to comply with the guidelines issued by the federal government, then they can stand to … (more) September 19, 2009

  • Government-run Insurance Program Draws Flak in Maryland

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Government-run Insurance Program Draws Flak in Maryland

    Several citizens and prominent bloggers living in Washington D.C. recently revealed a previously overlooked insurance program funded by the government. According to some motorists, some drivers who have been involved in crashes claim to be under the protection of the Maryland Auto Insurance Fund or MAIF for short. Unlike regular insurance companies, the MAIF is not that well-known. Experts say that the said program was created by state legislature way back in 1972 to insure drivers who could not afford to pay for insurance themselves. Now, the same program is drawing criticism from some insurance providers as well as private … (more) September 19, 2009

  • New Wisconsin Drunk Driver Laws to Affect Insurance

    by Jeanny Hopper
    New Wisconsin Drunk Driver Laws to Affect Insurance

    As Wisconsin’s state senate reconvenes this fall, legislators and policymakers are bracing for another series of discussions regarding changes to the state’s drunk driving laws. Democrat senators promised earlier this year to initiate changes to state laws that govern alcohol consumption and driving. With the Democrats controlling most of the state legislature, plans to alter the present provisions are expected to push through without much opposition for Republican senators. The senate Assembly is set to start Wednesday next week and lawmakers are expected to tackle a wide host of issues. However, leading Democrats in the senate are pushing for immediate … (more) September 18, 2009

  • Ohio Car Registration Loophole Raising Insurance Fears

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Ohio Car Registration Loophole Raising Insurance Fears

    State officials, law enforcement agencies, and Ohio auto insurance providers are unraveling a flaw in state policies regarding car registration. In a startling revelation, thousands undocumented immigrants were reported to have acquired Ohio plates without having to undergo scrutiny from the state’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). Details are not becoming clearer after some officials and insurance experts pointed out the irregularities being encountered. Law enforcement agencies from other states also raised questions to the BMV after seeing Ohio plates on cars owned by and registered to mostly undocumented Latino immigrants. Further investigation revealed a burgeoning cottage industry of … (more) September 18, 2009

  • Praises Aired for Ex-Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Praises Aired for Ex-Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner

    Insurance companies, government officials, and national organizations hailed Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Nonnie Burnes for the changes she introduced to the auto insurance industry. State Gov. Deval Patrick recently announced that Burnes would step down to pursue a teaching career at Northeastern University. Burnes finished her law degree at the said university and became the state’s insurance commissioner in February 2007. During her term, she introduced a new car insurance scheme which ushered in more providers, increasing competition, which eventually led to cheaper auto insurance coverage. Burnes’ firm decision to abolish the state-set rating system draw flak from conservatives and Republican … (more) September 17, 2009

  • L.A. Motorists Fear for Cars in Wildfires

    by Jeanny Hopper
    L.A. Motorists Fear for Cars in Wildfires

    The raging wildfires just outside Los Angeles is causing many car owners to panic and fear for their investments. Insurance experts say that there has been a sudden spike in the demand for Los Angeles auto insurance since the fires started in August of this year. Firemen and volunteers from several counties in the state of California are racing to control the spread of the deadly flames. However, strong winds and dry conditions are making it almost impossible to push back the wall of flame not inching closer to larger urban centers. With some smaller neighborhoods on the outskirts of … (more) September 17, 2009

  • Insurance Experts: Do not Eat and Drive

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Insurance Experts: Do not Eat and Drive

    For any motorist involved in an accident, it is always the other driver’s fault. While it may be natural to blame the other party for a car crash, research has found that most accidents are caused by distractions affecting the driver’s ability to react swiftly to any situation. In fact, a study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that some 80 percent of all car accidents were caused by driver distraction. The same study also pointed to driver distraction as the cause of 65 percent of all near-accidents. Researchers concluded that … (more) September 16, 2009

  • Insurers Hint Hybrids May Be Cheaper to Insure

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Insurers Hint Hybrids May Be Cheaper to Insure

    Sources from the auto insurance industry say that American motorists can get substantial discounts on their policies by buying hybrid vehicles. Car experts say that often providers slash premiums on these cars in unified efforts to promote more economical vehicles. In recent years, federal and state governments have also given tax credits and rebates in a bid to boost sales of eco-friendly cars. Aside from tax and discount incentives, owning hybrid vehicles generally leads to lower than average premiums. The answer, many experts say, lie with statistics. According to sales figures and demographic studies conducted by insurance providers and independent … (more) September 16, 2009

  • Car Owners in Dallas Area See Insurance Rates Jump

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Car Owners in Dallas Area See Insurance Rates Jump

    Motorists and policyholders in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas have seen insurance premiums climb steadily over the past few months. Insurance analysts say that while premiums have been on the rise in Texas, rates in the Dallas area have gone up particularly faster. Industry representatives and consumer advocate groups have fought over the real reasons for the increase, with insurers claiming that rising medical costs are to blame. Consumer rights representatives, on the other hand, argue that providers are jacking up premiums because they are unable to recoup from massive losses in the stock market and other investments. Insurance … (more) September 15, 2009

  • Rental Car Insurance Advised for Travelers

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Rental Car Insurance Advised for Travelers

    Auto insurance experts are advising motorists to purchase additional protection for any rental vehicles they may use during out of town travels. Rising repair costs and increasing prices of spare parts are forcing many rental companies to become stricter when dealing with any damage to company vehicles. Having the proper protection can help drivers avoid paying substantial amounts for repair expenses. Specialists also add that the motorists’ problems can even be compounded especially if they are renting vehicles abroad. This can mean not having the same insurance coverage as they did back in the U.S. Experts add that this can … (more) September 15, 2009

  • Critics Express Anger over Credit-based Insurance

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Critics Express Anger over Credit-based Insurance

    Consumer rights group reiterated calls for car insurance companies to stop basing insurance rates on credit scores and ratings. Several experts pointed out that while some states do allow insurers to determine premiums based on how well policyholders fare with their credit histories, the controversial practice has to end. Rising unemployment figures and the economic crunch are leading to lower credit scores across the U.S., making credit-based insurance rates unfair for motorists facing tougher financial problems. Even government regulators are calling for an end to the dubious practice by the auto insurance industry. The practice has been in place since … (more) September 14, 2009

  • Proper Insurance for New Yorkers Urged

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Proper Insurance for New Yorkers Urged

    The great city of New York is known for being the melting pot of all races. Millions of Americans and immigrants trace their roots to the Big Apple. The city is undoubtedly one of the busiest, if not the busiest metropolitan in the U.S. New York is also renowned for its maze of streets, avenues, boulevards, and of course, the bumper-to-bumper traffic. Insurance experts say that policyholders who live in urban areas typically shell out more for insurance than motorists who reside in the country. Congestion and heavy traffic can easily result in more car accidents. Naturally, car owners who … (more) September 14, 2009