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09 June
Comments Off on Could Driving Less Get You a Lower Car Insurance Rate?

Could Driving Less Get You a Lower Car Insurance Rate?

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Could Driving Less Get You a Lower Car Insurance Rate?

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05 June
Comments Off on A fraudster who left drivers with ‘worthless’ car insurance and pocketed their money is spared jail

A fraudster who left drivers with ‘worthless’ car insurance and pocketed their money is spared jail

A fraudster from Epsom who exploited victims’ inability to speak English to sell them “worthless” insurance policies and defraud them out of nearly £90,000 has been spared jail.

Renan Gomes, 28, of Adelphi Road, Epsom, had a 16 month prison sentence suspended for two years at Guildford Crown Court last week, and has tocarry out 200 hours of unpaid work, having pleaded guilty to fraud.

Between November 2013 and March 2015, Gomes set himself up as an unauthorised insurance broker, and took out polices on behalf of his customers who thought they were getting good deals on their car insurance.

04 June
Comments Off on Top 5 Facts: Car Insurance
02 June
Comments Off on Kiplinger’s Personal Finance – How to cut the cost of car insurance

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance – How to cut the cost of car insurance

QUESTION: How do I know I’m getting all of the breaks on auto insurance premiums that I deserve?

ANSWER: Some discounts you get automatically, such as a break for adding another type of insurance with the same company or if you haven’t had an at-fault accident for three years or more. But you may have to tell your insurer that you qualify for other breaks.

02 June
Comments Off on 3 ways veterans can get cheap car insurance

3 ways veterans can get cheap car insurance

Have you served in the armed forces? You may be eligible for a cheaper car insurance policy.

Its one way insurance providers recognize and show appreciation for the contribution veterans have made through their service to the nation.

If youre a veteran or active duty military member looking for cheap car insurance, here are three things you should do now.

1. Shop for the best deal
Many people purchase car insurance policies without researching and comparing different policies. That is a big no-no, as comparison shopping can help drivers save 32 percent on average on their insurance policies, according to a NerdWallet study.

The key is to get quotes in hand and compare the costs and coverage carefully before signing off on a policy. If two policies offer the same coverage, but one charges $20 more per month in premiums, then youll know which policy is the better deal. You can also check out how each insurance company rates with customers, using resources like the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports.

2. Consider an insurance policy for military members
Another wise move is to look for an auto insurance provider that offers discounts to military members.

United Services Automobile Association is one such company. Coverage is only available to those in the military, veterans and their families. USAAs average customer saved $409 a year by switching from other insurance providers, according to the company. Other potential savings include up to a 15% discount when you garage your car on a military base, and up to a 90-percent vehicle storage discount for deployed military members, if the vehicle is stored in a secure location.

Another contender is GEICO, which offers up to a 15-percent discount on total car insurance premiums for active duty military and veterans, plus emergency deployment discounts to military members when they deploy into imminent danger pay areas, as long as the covered vehicle is stored under one of GEICOs approved storage protection plans.

GEICO also offers discounts on car insurance to members of organizations like the Association of the United States Army, the Marine Corps League, the National Infantry Association and the Fleet Reserve Association.

3. Look for other driver and vehicle discounts
Insurers typically offer discounts for many reasons, such as having a safe driving record, completing a defensive driving course, buying a car with certain safety features (like anti-lock brakes and daytime running lights), insuring multiple vehicles or getting good grades.

At USAA, the company also offers up to 10 percent off if you were previously covered as a dependent on a parents USAA policy, and discounts if you have multiple USAA policies and products.

Other potential ways to save on your car insurance include driving less or carpooling (less time on the road means you pose less of an accident risk, likely leading to a cheaper premium) and maintaining good credit, as your credit score helps insurance companies determine your risk. The latter, however, doesnt apply if you live in Massachusetts, Hawaii or California, which have banned the use of credit histories to determine insurance rates.

This article originally appeared on NerdWallet.

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02 June
Comments Off on Why car insurance is spiking more than it has in almost 13 years

Why car insurance is spiking more than it has in almost 13 years

Insurers are well aware of emerging auto technology and the potential changes that could result in the insurance industry, said Lynch, the insurance trade group official. The changes will be gradual and insurers should be able to manage this change.

For now, however, Lynch said personal car insurance carriers are likely to increase rates roughly between 5 and 10 percent. The vast majority of them have been seeking an increase over the past year or two.

One of the biggest single rate increases so far this year among the major personal auto insurers was Allstates average 25-percent rate hike, effective this month in the state of Georgia. In explaining the rise, Allstate said traffic fatalities increased 21 percent in Georgia in 2015, the first annual increase after a decade of decreases. Whats more, the number of miles driven on Georgia roads and highways grew well above the national average.

01 June
Comments Off on Operation Trivium: ‘I knew I had no car insurance’

Operation Trivium: ‘I knew I had no car insurance’

Police officers from across Europe are in the West Midlands this week as part of a major crackdown on foreign criminals.

Operation Trivium involves teams from the Netherlands, Romania and Lithuania working alongside officers from regional forces to help track people with criminal records.

They say that since Monday, 124 vehicles have been seized and 36 foreign nationals arrested on suspicion of offences ranging from small motoring transgressions to more serious crimes.

Among those stopped was a driver from Slovakia who admitted to a BBC reporter that he knew he had no car insurance.

01 June
Comments Off on Naples man pleads guilty to role in car insurance scam

Naples man pleads guilty to role in car insurance scam

NAPLES, Fla. — A Naples man has pleaded guilty to his role in a $2 million fraud ring that targeted car insurance companies.

Wisler Cyrius, 35, is the fourth to enter a guilty plea following the culmination of a two-year joint federal and state law enforcement investigation called Operation Fraudulent Pain. Cyrius and others conspired to solicit people to participate in staged motor vehicle accidents in exchange for compensation.

The crimes have a ripple effect that affect consumer pocketbooks. Fraudulent claims result in the loss of $40 billion each year for insurance companies, the FBI said. That leads to an added $400 to $700 in premium costs each year for the average US family.

Cyrius faces charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison for each count. Hes agreed to pay restitution to the insurance companies and forfeit the proceeds of the fraud.

31 May
Comments Off on Car insurance rates skyrocket in Florida as crashes mount on busy roads

Car insurance rates skyrocket in Florida as crashes mount on busy roads

Premiums have risen 14 percent statewide since Jan. 1 of last year — nearly the exact opposite of the ubiquitous TV commercials offering savings of 15 percent or more on car insurance.

People are driving more, said former state Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty, and accidents have increased commensurate with that number.

On McCartys watch, which ended May 2, the Office of Insurance Regulation approved dozens of rate increases in the past year and a half. The average for the 25 companies that write most car coverage in Florida is a 13.8 percent increase.

They constantly raise my rates, said Donna Dugan, 67, of St. Petersburg, a claims-free customer of State Farm for 35 years whose policy just went up by $120 a year.

Thats a lot of money, especially when you are on Social Security that did not get a raise this year, she told Gov. Rick Scott in an email. When is anyone going to help the consumer or care about them?

Scott regularly touts Floridas low cost of living when talking about population growth or higher education, but the car insurance numbers tell a different story.

Since 1972, Florida has required all drivers to carry $10,000 of personal injury protection, or PIP, to cover minor accident claims, regardless of who was at fault.

Known as no-fault insurance, it was an attempt to clear the courts of accident-related lawsuits and get payments to victims faster.

Four years ago, Scott and the Legislature retooled the law to attack rampant PIP fraud, especially in Tampa and Miami, that was blamed for increasing premiums.

But after rates fell in the first two years after the bills passage, PIP premiums have risen by nearly 15 percent since Jan. 1 of last year. One major carrier, Allstate Fire amp; Casualty, has raised PIP rates 40 percent.

PIP accounts for about one-fourth of a total premiums cost, the state has said.

Lynne McChristian, the Florida representative of the Insurance Information Institute, an industry group, said the average no-fault claim in the fourth quarter of 2015 was $8,280, nearly matching the figure of $8,520 in 2011 before the new law took effect.

McChristian said car insurance rates are rising all over the country, especially in the Southeast, and she cited the drop in the unemployment rate as the main reason why crashes are increasing. Its an unintended consequence of low unemployment, she said. You have more people with jobs to go to.

The state is commissioning a $125,000 study as it renews a perennial debate over whether no-fault should be repealed as it has in most other states.

Its time to look at other options, said Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg. He filed a bill in the 2016 session that would have replaced PIP with higher bodily injury coverage, but it never gained traction.

Brandes said abolishing no-fault is complicated in Tallahassee because it involves three very powerful competing interests: insurance companies, lawyers and the medical industry.

As Floridas population gets bigger every year, more people are driving and state data shows they are driving more than ever. They drove a record 551 million miles each day in 2014, the most recent data available.

Across the state, car accidents rose last year by nearly 9 percent from the year before, according to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, which promotes safe driving with outreach campaigns such as Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April.

Crashes increased by 14.6 percent in Broward, 12.7 percent in Hillsborough and 9.5 percent in Pinellas. Miami-Dade, cited in numerous surveys as the home of some of the worst drivers anywhere, reported a modest 5.4 percent spike in accidents.

Theres just more traffic, said Detective Alvaro Zabaleta of the Miami-Dade police. The more time you spend on the road, the more likely you are to have an accident.

Crashes caused by distracted driving also are on the rise, even after passage of a new law in 2013 that made texting while driving illegal.

More accidents means more claims, which insurance companies use to justify higher premiums.

State Farm, the dominant insurer in Florida with $2.4 billion in premiums last year, said its losses have been climbing for several years.

Weve seen an increase in claims costs, company spokesman Michal Brower said. We must appropriately match our rates to the amount of risk were insuring.

According to, Floridas car insurance rates were fourth highest among all states at an average of $1,742 in 2015. Only Michigan, Montana and Louisiana were higher.

In a recent filing with the state, Allstate Fire amp; Casualty proposed the use of a mileage rating system, similar to what it uses in New York state, to link premiums more closely to how much its customers drive.

Risk is highly correlated to the number of miles you drive each year, Allstate spokeswoman Cathy Mayo said. This change will allow us to rate more accurately for a risk.

Florida has a taxpayer-funded consumer advocate who looks out for policyholders, but Sharon James, who works for Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, has not questioned a car insurance rate hike. She has only intervened in homeowners and workers compensation rate cases.

Asked why by the Times/Herald, she said she will pay closer attention to car insurance rate filings.

That is something we may do moving forward, James said. We will definitely be taking a closer look at it.

Contact Steve Bousquet at or (850) 224-7263. Follow @stevebousquet.

31 May
Comments Off on Power Report: Don’t fall for cut-rate car insurance

Power Report: Don’t fall for cut-rate car insurance

But by the time you have the keys in your hand, you have probably jumped through hoops at the bank to secure a loan to finance it and bargained hard with the salesman for metallic paint at no extra charge.

So the last hurdle – obtaining competitive car insurance – probably gets the least attention and time. Big pity.

Many first-time car buyers seeking insurance cover are young and financially inexperienced. Theyre also more prone to allowing emotion and impatience to cloud their better judgment. Lets face it, insurance is the least exciting part of the experience.

Insurers, however, can wash their hands of the clients rash choices – as long the company can show it has properly disclosed all contract terms.