Auto Insurance News Archive for October, 2009

  • Advocates Have High Hopes for Auto Insurance Initiative

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Advocates Have High Hopes for Auto Insurance Initiative

    Lobbyists greatly affect state legislations. But with the new auto insurance initiative, consumers can finally speak what is on their mind. At least that is what consumer advocacy groups believe. Since the signature gathering began this week for an auto insurance initiative, advocates have expressed high hopes over the initiative ballot in 2010. Advocates say the initiative will help trim down costs for millions of California motorists who maintain auto insurance coverage. State laws allow insurers to give a discount to policyholders who have maintained continuous coverage with them. This is usually referred to as a loyalty discount. But consumers … (more) October 31, 2009

  • Auto Insurance Claims Involving Pedestrians Rise During Halloween

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Auto Insurance Claims Involving Pedestrians Rise During Halloween

    An independent auto insurance provider in the state reports that the number of Texans hit by cars increase during Halloween week by 23 percent. According to company records, the number of claims involving pedestrians dramatically increase during the trick-or-treat season over the last five years. During 2008’s Halloween celebration, the number of pedestrians who were hit by a vehicle have more than doubled during the last week of October and the first week of November, compared with the rest of the year. The car insurance company’s records coincide with a report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The study … (more) October 31, 2009

  • Wisconsin Legislators Shift Blame to Each Other

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Wisconsin Legislators Shift Blame to Each Other

    Auto insurance providers in Wisconsin began mailing policyholders that their premium rates are likely to go up soon because of new state legislations. But no legislator would take responsibility for the increase and as consumer groups would note it, politicians are scrambling to avoid blame. Changes that will affect premium rates will begin taking place on November 1. More cost increases are expected to come next year when all motorists will be required to carry liability insurance. Minimum levels of coverage are also increasing, so Wisconsin drivers have more reasons to expect to pay more when they renew their policy. … (more) October 30, 2009

  • Lawyers, Chiropractors Involved in Major Auto Insurance Fraud Ring

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Lawyers, Chiropractors Involved in Major Auto Insurance Fraud Ring

    More than two dozen men and women, including some lawyers and chiropractors, were arrested Tuesday in Los Angeles on charges of running a large scale auto insurance fraud ring that netted more than $450,000. The Automobile Insurance Fraud Division of the District Attorney’s Office reports that four lawyers and four chiropractors were among those arrested. The attorneys and physical therapists are accused of defrauding 15 California auto insurance providers by allegedly filing false claims for staged accidents. A case was filed against 28 defendants on Oct. 22. According to prosecutors, the defendants are part of a larger fraud ring which … (more) October 30, 2009

  • Cheaper Insurance Would Have to Wait for Hi-Tech Safety Cars

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Cheaper Insurance Would Have to Wait for Hi-Tech Safety Cars

    Volvo, which has been leading car industry when it comes to safety features, has recently developed an accident avoidance technology that uses radar to detect an oncoming vehicle and automatically steer its driver out of trouble.  But like any other state-of-the-art safety devices, Volvo’s innovations will have to prove itself before meriting auto insurance discounts. Industry specialists say time is the ultimate measure for insurers and giving huge discounts to newly introduced safety devices is not their practice. Without hard data, advanced car safety features will not merit any cut on premium rates. Experts explained that safer cars lead to … (more) October 29, 2009

  • Lawyer Barred from Practice after Auto Insurance Fraud

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Lawyer Barred from Practice after Auto Insurance Fraud

    Charles L. Lonardo was once the top personal injury lawyer in Lawrence, Massachusetts. But he made a mistake few years ago that would permanently bar him from practicing law in the state. He was convicted for auto insurance fraud in 2006 and has recently been disbarred through a Supreme Court decision. Lonardo maintains his innocence but it is still a long way to go before he could appear once more in court as a lawyer. On September 14, the Board of Bar Overseers voted to disbar Lonardo after being convicted of conspiracy to commit auto insurance fraud in April 2006 … (more) October 29, 2009

  • Car Rental Insurance May Not be Needed

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Car Rental Insurance May Not be Needed

    Many companies scare clients into buying additional auto insurance when renting a car. But experts tell consumers who are travelling this Holiday Season that additional coverage may not be necessary. In Minnesota, a person would have to spend $10 to $15 on car rental insurance each day in order to meet the state’s minimum coverage of $35,000. But that amount is only enough to cover the vehicle they are driving. If they do end up wrecking another car, $35,000 most likely would not be enough. According to a 2007 study by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), 42 percent … (more) October 28, 2009

  • Deer Crashes Can Be Costly, Especially During Mating Season

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Deer Crashes Can Be Costly, Especially During Mating Season

    Pennsylvanian motorists know that without auto insurance is not an option for them, especially during October and November. Not only is coverage mandated, drivers also need it during the deer mating season when vehicle-deer crashes increase drastically. But safety experts tell motorists to be extra careful and not to take such crashes lightly since they can be costly both in physical and property damages. Pennsylvania auto insurance providers are reminding motorists that collisions with deer can leave their vehicles undriveable. It could also lead to serious physical injuries and could cause death in some cases. An independent carrier in Pennsylvania … (more) October 28, 2009

  • Shopping Instead of Dropping

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Shopping Instead of Dropping

    Economic recession has pushed many drivers off the road, at least when it comes to auto insurance. Majority of motorists nationwide are having a tough time paying premium rates as costs rose greatly during the height of recession. Job losses and other financial difficulties made many drivers drop their coverage. But experts say driving uninsured is about the riskiest thing a car owner could do. They remind motorists that driving without car insurance is against the law for all but two states in America and could put them into greater trouble in case they meet an accident. Experts advise drivers … (more) October 27, 2009

  • Several Auto Insurance Changes to Spur Prices

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Several Auto Insurance Changes to Spur Prices

    State legislators for Wisconsin passed new auto insurance laws that will take effect in the next weeks and months which would inevitably result in higher rates. Starting November 1, all new policies will be required to have underinsured motorist (UM) and uninsured (UIM) coverage. At present, both are optional for Wisconsin motorists, but once they become mandatory, they will cover other motorists who have lower liability limits than the amount of damages in an accident. Under current laws, only bodily injury liability and property damage liability are required. Motorists who are currently holding  Wisconsin auto insurance policies will have to … (more) October 27, 2009

  • Double-Digit Rise in Auto Insurance Fraud

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Double-Digit Rise in Auto Insurance Fraud

    The California Department of Insurance (CDI) has recorded a huge increase in the number of fraudulent auto insurance claims. The most common methods used by scammers to trick car insurers are vehicle arson and auto theft fraud referrals. Commission Steve Poizner says scams are used by financially trouble individuals who want to cash in on insurance money while California experiences tougher economic times. CDI records a 25 percent increase in fraudulent claims. Poizner warns scammers that they are cracking down hard on anyone who attempts such fraud on California car insurers. He adds that CDI will not allow individuals to … (more) October 26, 2009

  • Discount for Senior Motorists Questioned

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Discount for Senior Motorists Questioned

    New Massachusetts auto insurance data confirm that drivers over 65 are safer behind the wheel but probably do not deserve the full 25 percent auto insurance discount they are enjoying through state law. Some legislators are planning to change the privileges for senior motorists, which could trim down discounts received by drivers of that age statewide. The Automobile Insurers Bureau of Massachusetts (AIB) revealed through a recently compiled data that, as a group, drivers over 65 are lower insurance risks than drivers from all the other age brackets. However, a subset of the 65-over group, drivers aged 75 and above, … (more) October 26, 2009

  • Parents Urged to Keep Children Safe, Auto Insurance Rates Down

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Parents Urged to Keep Children Safe, Auto Insurance Rates Down

    As the last quarter of 2009 approaches, Center for Disease Control and prevention notes that road accidents remain as the primary cause of death for United States teenagers. The same is true two years ago, when 11 teens aged 16 to 19 die each day because of vehicle crashes. That is a total of 4,200 teens dying from crashes in 2007. That is why advocacy groups are calling out to parents to reach out to their kids and them how to save lives and money as well. In the United States, teen drivers pay highest premiums, up to three times … (more) October 25, 2009

  • Texas Auto Insurance Rates Down, Low-Credit Drivers Suffering

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Texas Auto Insurance Rates Down, Low-Credit Drivers Suffering

    The median six-month auto insurance premium rate in Texas has gone down to $744.00, which translates to a 14.2 percent decrease statewide. On the average, male drivers pay $773.25 for their premium rates while their female counterparts pay $722.69. Texans below 19 years old remain the costliest motorists to insure at $1,580 while motorists 75 and above pay the least for six-month policies at $653.75. This makes teenagers pay 140 percent more than senior motorists. Statistics further reveal that men pay seven percent higher than women. As of this week, Texas remains on the 18th spot for affordability factor while … (more) October 25, 2009

  • 5:1 Ratio Increases Chances of Deer-Vehicle Crashes, Auto Insurance Rise

    by Jeanny Hopper
    5:1 Ratio Increases Chances of Deer-Vehicle Crashes, Auto Insurance Rise

    Motorists in Wisconsin know that travelling along State 96 is not the safest drive in Wisconsin. Bounded by forests on both sides, drivers could expect that deer weighing anywhere from 125 to 300 pounds could leap from out of nowhere. But even if residents drive at less than 45 miles an hour, there is still no assurance that they will not engage in a collision with the antelope. In a state where there are 5 million registered vehicles and an estimated white tail population of at least 1 million, crashes are almost imminent especially during deer hunting season. And with … (more) October 24, 2009

  • Competition Hurts Car Insurers, Could be Driven Away Government Action

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Competition Hurts Car Insurers, Could be Driven Away Government Action

    Heightened competition among Michigan auto insurance providers in the United States is hurting, as revealed by a new report. Fitch Ratings Inc., a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations (NRSRO), reported that car insurers are entering tougher days despite their strong operating performance since 2003. Increased competition meant lower premium rates for American motorists since insurers have to outdo each other in terms of the policies they offer, both in cost and coverage. However, competing with each other comes with a great cost for auto insurers. Fitch said it gradually deteriorates income for companies which they need to continue operation. If … (more) October 24, 2009

  • Denver Auto Insurance Costs Could be Propelled by Theft

    by Jeanny Hopper
    Denver Auto Insurance Costs Could be Propelled by Theft

    Police records saw a huge increase in smash-and-grab vehicle thefts from January to September this year. While Denver Police Department says such crimes could be prevented, consumer advocates worry that if the trend continues, Denver auto insurance premium rates could go up for city residents. Over a nine-month period which started in January 2009, police has recorded a 34% increase in vehicle break-ins in Denver. This totals to 5,610 cases since the beginning of this year. As caught by several surveillance cameras from different locations in Denver, smash-and-grab thieves usually ride on a motorbike, stop beside a parked vehicle, and … (more) October 23, 2009