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Questions About Auto Insurance and Accidents



  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,943
    Yup. I'm a speeder (twice over 4 years). But my statement still holds true. Never cost them a dime in claims. I'll never understand why 75 mph on the Parkway translates into doubling your insurance, not to mention the state banging down your door for what they call an "insurance surcharge" when its money that never even goes to the insurance company. What a scam! ARRR..... alright, alright, relax ..... ooohhhmmmm.... ohhhhhhhmmmmmmm.... ok, ok, i had to work hard to let this go last year when it happened, and now you got me all riled up again. I'm better now.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • Hi,

    Can anyone give me the require insurance coverage for a car that's funded via a financial institution in Southern California? Is there a set minimum?

    I used Progressive's online quote generator to see how much a 05 Nissan Xterra would cost with 100/300/100 full coverage insurance with a $1,000 deductible and got a quote for $1,055.90/six months. Also, a Scion tC would cost me $950.90/six months. Why are the quotes so high? Am I setting the coverage too high?

    I'm 25 yr old male, no moving violations in the last 3 years, no accidents in 5 years and have been driving for almost 8 years.
  • I don't know what the minimum requirements are in SoCal. I've been blindly accepting the minimums that insurers have been quoting me. They all seem similar to one another, so I feel okay about it.

    I'm a 30 year old guy, totally clean driving record, and a 2004 Accord V6. My deductible is $250/$500. My premium is between $900 and $1200 PER YEAR (depending on whether I live in Santa Barbara or Oxnard). Amica (highest rated by JD Power consumer satisfaction and they have an online quote estimator) and AAA SoCal (also well rated but had to call the guy back) gave me the least expensive quotes.
  • Bob,

    Honestly, there's no such thing as "setting the coverage too high". I suggest carrying limit as high as you can afford. Further, I'm sure you will find the difference between the state minimums and the 100/300/100 to be much smaller than you think--that is, it's a good idea to go with the better coverage for the little bit of money (unless, of course, you have the misfortune of being subject to NJ rates--as one poster has found).

    Most finance companies couldn't care less what your liability limits are--only with a lease will there be required limits--because the lease company is titled owner and they sometimes get dragged into vehicle crash claims with injuries--a big reason most larger companies don't do leases in NY, RI and a couple other states. With a loan, however, you are titled owner and I guarantee you, the bank or finance company only cares about themselves. Thus, most have rules as to how high your deductibles can be, not how low your liability limits can be. (In fact, I would be cautious with a $1000 deduct as most institutions require a deduct at or less than 500).

    The state of CA, since I believe it is a mandatory insurance state, in requiring coverage, also likely has a requirement of minimum liability limits, but typically, those laws require absurdly low limits, like 25/50/10 or I've seen states that require 15/30/10. You can check with your DMV on that, but I wouldn't decrease the limits if I were you--I would just continue shopping if you feel the rate is too high. Finally (about time, right?), I would point out that most companies still impose a higher-than-normal type rate for unmarried males under 30. So, although I received a large reduction when I turned 25, I am still paying a higher rate than a guy my age that's married or an unmarried 30 year old.
  • Even though I work in the industry, I tend to agree with you re: the tickets. I understand the premise...getting violations means you are doing "higher than proper" risk driving and that translates over time into higher risk of a crash.

    Some tickets are obvious--drunk driving, reckless driving, failure to obey sign (hmm, you're not stopping at stop signs, what are the chances you'll hit someone?) but I could never wrap my head around speeding tickets.

    The problem, however, is insurance companies are always trying to match price to risk as best they can. The real easy ones are people with prior accidents--if you have had an accident, you're more likely than the person without an accident to have another. But, what about the bad drivers out there nobody "knows" about? They don't drive drunk, don't have accidents, but they're bad nonetheless. Raising rates for all moving violations is a way of trying to catch those bad drivers when a clue presents itself. I'm not saying YOU'RE a bad driver--but insurance is what it is--a pooling of resources to offset a pool of risk. There's no way to tell the occasional good driver with a ticket from the rest of those that probably are bad drivers that have tickets.

    (I would note, too, it's not just bad luck--you have 2 tickets in 4 years). In my own case, I have 1 at-fault loss in my life--I was 18 and turned into someone. A truly boneheaded move, honestly. But, claim free since (age 28, driving since 16 1/2). I have one ticket and that was 4 years ago. Fortunately, n the preferred division of the company I have, the occasional moving violation does not affect my rate.
  • manamalmanamal Posts: 434
    Be careful when you talk about your clean driving record....Last time I did was at a party on June 29, 2002. I commented that I had not had a ticket in nine years, or an accident in 18 years.

    Guess what happened at 5:00 PM on June 30? I turned my 6 month old SAAB into the path of a 4 month old Caddilac (that I think was running a light and was traveling 60 in a 40 zone). in about 1/10th of a second, two cars totalled, with damages aproaching $75000. But, no one was injured.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Everywhere, USAPosts: 126,124
    Same here.. I used to drive for a living.. No tickets in ten years, no accidents in ten years.. yada, yada, yada.. One day, pulled right in front of a Honda Civic.. $11K damage to it, mine totaled, and my pride took a very large hit.

    Fortunately, no injuries..

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  • Thanks for all the details tornado. While I probably won't go down to a 25/50/10 when I get my new car, I'd probably won't go too high either. Don't want to make insurance payments equal to half my car payment.

    Darn I was hoping to get a break when I hit 25 yrs old or 8 years driving experience. I guess I just have to marry a woman that will let me use her as a tax/insurance break and asks for nothing in return.
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    When my wife and I got married, she wasn't thrilled about the insurance rates we had to pay.

    She has a spotless driving record (I think one ticket in 20+ years, and no accidents), while I, Crash Corrigan (as my parents called me), seemed to average 1 accident every 18-24 months for the first 10 years I was driving, plus a couple of speeding tickets. I've gotten better as I got older (no accident claims in past 10 years and only 2 tickets in the same time frame).

    Her opinion changed after her oldest son got his license 2 years ago. 5 weeks later he rolled his Chevy Tracker on a dirt road coming home from school. Car totalled, 3 kids to hospital (one via helicopter) and $37000 in claims. Fortunately, no serious injuries (some stitches and a "moderate" concussion) came about.

    State Farm processed the claim with absolutely no hassles.

    Wife no longer has a problem with insurance premiums, regardless of size.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,943
    I would note, too, it's not just bad luck--you have 2 tickets in 4 years

    that all depends on your perspective, I guess. I average about 28K miles a year, so I think I'm about twice as likely as the average (12-15K/yr) driver to get caught. Not to mention that spending that much time on the road, I believe, makes you more likely to speed given the likely increased comfort level and the fact that sometimes you "just want to get the hell home."

    You're right, of course, about trying to average risk vs price, but the big flaw to the equation is that they don't take the actual crime into account, but merely the points. So they say "ok, 4 or more points and you get a price hike." But that means the guy with 2 minor speeding tickets (me) gets lumped into the same category as, for instance, someone who runs a red light while passing on the shoulder of the road. OR someone who doesn't stop at a stoplight, has an accident, and flees the scene (yup, according to jersey, that's 4 points total - 2 for not stopping and 2 for fleeing the scene). Yeah, its a great system.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • "You're right, of course, about trying to average risk vs price, but the big flaw to the equation is that they don't take the actual crime into account, but merely the points."

    Not necessarily. Tickets of equal points typically are of the same type of thing. (I'll address your point about leaving the scene below a bit later). In WI, most minor moving violations are 4 points. Most majors are 6. Most insurance companies here couldn't care less if it was 62 points, 1 point or none. They DO look at the violation. Period. Of course, this is WI, not NJ.

     So they say "ok, 4 or more points and you get a price hike."

    They do? You know for a fact that's the way it works? Not, "each ticket equals an increase", but rather, "somebody's looking just at the points"? I doubt it, but as I've said, anything's possible in NJ.

    "But that means the guy with 2 minor speeding tickets (me) gets lumped into the same category as, for instance, someone who runs a red light while passing on the shoulder of the road. OR someone who doesn't stop at a stoplight, has an accident, and flees the scene (yup, according to jersey, that's 4 points total - 2 for not stopping and 2 for fleeing the scene)."

    If that's the case, you need to find a new carrier. Here, fleeing the scene (and I do not care how many point it is) is a major and grounds for cancellation.
  • akanglakangl Posts: 3,651
    $4005 per year for car insurance here in Alaska. That's 3 vehicles and 1 camper, full coverage on the vehicles and comp/coll on the camper. Hubby has one accident in the past 5 years and I have one speeding ticket that's almost 4 years old.

    My 04 Titan is the most expensive to insure, but I can only carry $500 deductables on it too. The 04 Focus ZX3 and the 99 Ram 3500 both have $1k deductables. The camper I'm not sure about, but its only $180/year, so no biggie. We carry 100/300/50 I believe for liability limits and we have uninsured/underinsured on there too.
  • Well according to the most quotes I've gotten on the internet, if I buy a 05 xterra/frontier/tacoma, and select to have coverage for uninsured drivers and 100/300/50 and $500 deductible, I'd have to pay $2,000+ a year for one car. Think I'll just go for the 50/100/whatever coverage when I buy the new car and buy the side curtain air bags just in case.
  • "Think I'll just go for the 50/100/whatever coverage when I buy the new car and buy the side curtain air bags just in case."

    Just in case, what? Just in case you blow the stop sign and t-boned? Then, with the side airbags you will live and can work to pay off the judgement because you didn't carry high enough limits? Don't get me wrong, I see where you're going with this, (the "I'll just get the coverage I need to and use the savings gained in selecting lower coverage to put toward something worthwhile) but I also get the impression you might be wrapping 2 issues into one.

    Mind you, despite being in the industry, I can't sell you a policy anyway, don't live in NJ and don't know anyone there. So I gain ZERO by telling you this--it's not a come on--it's practical advice I've gained.
  • Think you're confusing me with another poster. I live in Southern California. Anyways, did some more research and come to the conclusion that that only difference in cost between the 50/100/? and the 100/300/50 is only like $100 or so more a year. So I probably will go with the higher coverage.

    I'm just bitter that I will have to pay $2,000+ a year for insurance. That's almost half a year's worth of car payments.
  • Whoops, you're right. Sorry about that, Bob. I didn't mean to come off hostile.

    Anyway, to be nicer, my point is still the same. I'm glad you looked into it and found it to be reasonable.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,943
    actually, yeah, that's how they do it here. I received the rundown from my insurance company recently, in writing. If you're really interested in exact wording, I can get it for you. But the jist of it is just as I stated. 4 points kicks you into the "high-risk" tier (and there are more categories beyond that for more points, points plus accident, etc). I've gotten price quotes from other places and the best quotes are right around what I'm paying now, so its not just my insurance company. Its because its Jersey. Maybe I'll move to WI. :)

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • Man, as sympathetic as I am to what undoubtedly is a bad situation no matter what you look at, I'm sure glad I don't live in NJ or have any plans to ever live there. Geez, what a screwed up system. The worst part? The legislature passed all these laws to protect the consumer, supposedly. Even ones that on their face that sound good make it virutally impossible for an insurnace company do good business in NJ and THAT ultimately hurts consumers.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    I carry 250/500/150 liability and deducts of $250 comp and $500 collision. A lot of people slack on that third liability number... property damage. This is the portion that pays for someone else's car if you hit them. With car prices today, just $50K of property damage coverage can be wiped out by a single wrecked luxury car - the rest is on you, out of your pocket.

    Increasing liability limits is relatively inexpensive - the consumer has to think "protection", not "cost savings" - everything costs more, and your insurance limits MUST reflect that.

    Smart Shopper and Wagons Message Boards
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,714
    Pretty much all drivers with multiple accidents also have speeding tickets.

    But not all people with speeding tickets have accidents.

    It's like alcohol... it's not that it's really any better or worse than not-paying-attention or driving-while-tired, it's just so much easier to measure.

  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 6,747
    If you have significant assets or significant income, you can get 100/300 or 250/500 auto liability (depending on your insurer's requirements), ~500? homeowner's liability, and an umbrella policy to cover the difference up to $1M is only a few hundred dollars a year. WORTH IT!
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 6,747
    A State Farm Certified First body shop did some shoddy body work to my Altima. Their own claims adjuster identified a dozen corrective issues on two repairs which totalled $1600 at the outset. The estimate for correcting the repairs is $1600-$1700--they did not disclose this to me until I began threatening them. I had already attempted to resolve the corrective issues with the original shop, but I am convinced they are incapable of performing the repairs properly, and it would require travel time of 3 hours each way to return the car to that shop. The adjuster got them to agree to do the corrective work and supply a loaner, but I informed him and the first claims representative that this was unacceptable. The solution I proposed all along was to have a different, local shop perform the corrective repairs. I argued with the first claims rep about whether the body shop was acting as their agent, was or wasn't recommended, and told him if this wasn't resolved I would be unlikely to remain a State Farm customer. I ended our conversation and called back later. I told the new claims rep that, after having considered their solution, if this was the best they could offer, and they were unwilling to use their leverage against the original body shop, I would be filing a complaint against them to my state's board of insurance. He put me on hold for five minutes and told me I could have the corrective repairs done whereever I wanted, and they would handle the rest...

    Moral of the story: Insurance companies don't really care about losing a customer. Threatening action from an administrative agency is often the most effective way to resolve a dispute. (Also, from my contracts class: Insurance is not really insurance, it's an agreement to litigate about who's responsible at a later date.)
  • You bring up very interesting points. Don't these "certified" body shops guarantee their work to your satisfaction? Of course, it brings up this point: if you aren't satisfied with the initial repair, why would you even want to trust them to "correct" their mistakes?

    Among other insurers, AIG and GEICO also have a list of "preferred" or "certified" body shops who agree to repair the damage according to the estimate by the insurers' adjustor. This smacks a little of "steerage," a practice which is illegal in our state. This does not prohibit the insurers from "suggesting" the use of these shops, with the "satisfaction guaranteed" provision the main thrust. Our laws merely reiterate the right of a claimant to use the "shop of his/her choice." Any disputes about the repair costs are resolved between the insurer and the shop. The claimant is on notice that disputes they may have with the quality of the work will be with that shop, not the insurer.

    It may well be that your state may have similar laws about your right to use a shop of your choice. The adjustor was probably trying to convince you to use the original shop until your demand not to forced him to accede.
  • vsaxenavsaxena Posts: 211
    While selling my 1999.5 Pathfinder today to a Nissan dealer I lost $750 after CARFAX showed two accidents. These accidents happened about four years ago. In both the cases, our vehicle was rear-ended at low speed. The primary damage was to the bumper area and the cars were in drive-off conditions. The car was fixed with OEM parts at a body shop attached to the local Nissan dealer.

    We had done the sale deal with the local dealer at $12.5K (LE with 52.2K miles). I had signed all the paper work, and had left the car with them. 20 minutes later the dealer called me saying that the CARFAX shows the two accidents and they can not offer me the same price. Their argument was that they heavily advertise CARFAX on their used car sales, and it will be more difficult to find a buyer because of the two accidents.

    Though I could have stuck to the signed papers, I agreed to their logic. We finally struck a deal at $11,750.

    The question I have for the insurance folks is this:

    How could I have defended my interest when the original insurance company settled the claim?

    At that point we got them to pay for the repairs and the rental car and that was pretty much it. In retrospect, I should have asked for more money to account for the depreciation.

    The car was about an year old when the accidents happened and had less than 10K miles. Common sense dictates that a car with an accident on the record will go for 10% less in the early years. The damage to the value of the car will go down only when the car is worth $5-7K (which can take 7-8 years).

    What do local State laws say with regards to this issue? What is the standard policy on this issue?
  • but, in all honesty, it's Saturday night, and it will be beter if I reply later....
  • Hi,

        Does anyone know after how many years are insurance points dropped while buying insurace? My insurance company still takes into account 5 points from an accident in May 2001. When will these points go away?

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,943
    well, i'm not sure its mandated by law, to tell you the truth. My company only looks 3 years back for traffic violations (new jersey manufacturers insurance). Not sure about accidents, though. On the other hand, when I went through Geico's online application, they wanted to know the past 5 years of violations. what company are you with?

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • qbrozen,

        I am with Liberty Mutual.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    I have First Trenton (Travelers' NJ subsidiary). They only looked back three years when I switched to them from Hanover in Oct 2002.

    Smart Shopper and Wagons Message Boards
  • Three years for all moving violations except DUI, which stays on for FIVE years.
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