What Influences Your Car Insurance Premiums?

It is a given fact that knowing the details is certainly advantageous for individuals who are entering into different types of transactions. This is also the case when it comes to car insurance. Since the amount of premiums significantly affect the cash flows of policyholders, identifying the factors that affect car insurance premiums is absolutely useful in decision making.

Car insurance premiums are affected by inherent characteristics that policyholders cannot totally adjust according to their preferences. This includes the age, gender and marital status of the policyholders. Insurance companies maintain varying premium differentials that are appropriate to these groups according to various studies that were conducted. As per the age factor, drivers who are younger than twenty five years old and above sixty years old are revealed to be more susceptible to vehicular accidents. As a result, insurance premium rates for individuals in these age groups are typically higher.

When it comes to gender, women are considered to be statistically careful drivers compared to men. This is the reason why female policyholders shell out less premium expense compared to the male ones. Individuals who are married also are given lower premium quotes as compared to single individuals.

There are also factors that are entirely controllable and can be the result of the actions and decisions of the policyholders. This includes the type of vehicle, driving style and record, credit rating, professional responsibilities, profession, mileage counts and car safety features.

Insurance companies tend to increase the premium rates for high-end automobiles that are categorized as high-performance, sports cars, rear-engine models and intermediate performance. It can be formulated that more expensive cars commands higher insurance premiums. This is due to the fact that these car types have more expensive spare parts and is more susceptible to theft.

Driving styles and record also play an important role in car insurance premiums. Insurance companies investigate and examine the driving profiles of their policyholders in order to correspond with the insurance premium offers. People who have traffic violations and accidents in their driving records tend to have higher premiums. Credit rating also has an impact to the amount of car insurance premiums. Insurance assumes that individuals who do not possess good credit rating are financially negligent and this can be manifested in their driving style as well.

The profession of the policyholder also has an effect in the insurance premium rate. Statistically, there has been an observed correlation between risk and occupation of policyholders. If the occupation requires long distance travel or travel in accident-prone locations, the premium rate charges are higher. Premium rates are cheaper for policyholders who work in the office or urban institutions.

Low annual miles driven by the policyholders also reduce the probability of being in a vehicular collision which in turn, results to lower premiums. Vehicles which are intended for business purposes also have lower insurance rates as compared to vehicles that are operated for commuting purposes.

Lastly, car features can also have influence in the rate of the insurance premiums. A vehicle which has safety features and theft prevention gadgets installed in it also cuts the insurance premiums. These features include airbags, anti-lock brakes, chassis quality, tracking devices and burglar alarms.

Determining Your Life Insurance Premium

When you’re purchasing life insurance, you don’t have much say about your insurance premium. It’s decided by the company and your only decision is whether or not to accept their offer.

However, there are some known factors that go into determining the premium. While you can’t control some of them, it will help you fill out your application and talk to the company intelligently if you know what they’re looking for.

Factors You Can’t Control

Age is a primary factor the helps determine your life insurance premium. Younger people will have the best premiums, as older people have a higher risk of dying.

Gender also contributes to your premium. Women usually go to the doctor more often than men, so they catch dangerous conditions earlier, and they typically live longer, so they will pay less for insurance.

Your health history also goes a long way when a insurance company is figuring out your premium. Any diseases you’ve had or have currently, as well as your family history of disease, are all contributing factors. It may be tempting to stretch the truth about your health history when applying for insurance. Doing this, however, puts you at risk for policy cancellation if the company finds out.

Showing that you have recovered from a life-threatening or serious condition, like cancer, or that you are taking care of something chronic, like diabetes, can help lower your premium, depending on the company and type of insurance you’re applying for.

The insurance company will also want to know if you have anything in your past that indicates you might engaged in risky behavior. This includes anything from bankruptcy filings to mental illness. Any risk you’ve demonstrated in the past will cause you to pay higher premiums.

Factors You Can Control

If you’re a smoker, you will pay more for insurance than a non-smoker. Note that this normally pertains to people who smoke regularly and not to those who smoke cigars or pipe tobacco occasionally with their friends.

In addition, your general physical condition, especially your weight, contributes to your life insurance premium. If you are over or under weight for your height, you will pay more. Those with a low-average weight will have the best premium.

What you do for a living and what you do for fun also help determine your premium. If your job is dangerous or you have potentially lethal hobbies (like extreme sports) you will pay more for your life insurance than an accountant who likes to read.

Finally, the amount of foreign travel, as well as the places you’ve travelled to and how long you’ve stayed there, also influence your life insurance premium. If you travel frequently and spend a lot of time overseas, your life insurance will cost more.

Purchasing Life Insurance

Hopefully, knowing these factors will help you as you seek the life insurance and life insurance premium that is right for you, your family, and your circumstances. If you have questions about how your particular insurance company handles one of the issues mentioned above, be sure to ask about it before you purchase the insurance.

The Best Way to Pick a Florida Take Out Homeowners Insurance Company

Citizens Property Insurance is Florida’s state run home insurance company. It was formed to offer home insurance coverage to consumers unable to find coverage from a private Florida home insurance company. Homeowners in Florida turn to Citizens for coverage due to one or more risk factors that make their home undesirable to private insurance companies. These risk factors include among other things – the home’s age, distance from the coast, construction materials, and roof type.

Citizens Property Insurance depends on a mix of pre-event hurricane borrowing and imposing after the storm surcharges on all Florida home insurance policies if it doesn’t have the money it needs to pay claims.

This potentially lethal mix of high risk homes along with being under funded is one of the reasons that it’s always been a good idea to try to reduce the number of policies in Citizens Property Insurance. The smaller the number of policies that the company has, there is less chance that policyholders across Florida will have to pay large special assessments for many years after a major hurricane.

One of the ways that is done is by encouraging private home insurance companies to assume or “take out” policies currently covered by Citizens Property Insurance – hence the name “take out companies”. The take out process is also referred to as depopulation.

Attracting companies to assume or take policies out of Citizens Insurance Florida is good public policy.

In addition to moving more of Florida’s wind risk to the private market, customers may also get better customer service from a private take out company that doesn’t have a massive base of over 1 million customers like Citizens. They are also usually rewarded with annual insurance premiums that are lower than what they were paying Citizens. Finally, policyholders with private insurance companies are subject to smaller special assessments after major hurricanes.

Florida take out home insurance companies come to life with an immediate customer base of policyholders without having to make the usual investments in marketing and adverting. When these companies are initially capitalized, its easier for them to raise money because investors know that the take out companies will have an immediate customer base and money coming in immediately after they assume policies from Citizens.

Despite all the good that comes from reducing the number of Florida home insurance policies in Citizens Property Insurance, the take out program is not without its problems.

Policyholders are often concerned about the financial stability of the take out insurance companies. Many are start up companies and have a small surplus available to pay claims of $20 million or less. With Florida hurricane claims averaging $30,000 or more, even after a company’s reinsurance kicks in, there might not be enough money to pay all of the claims.

A significant number of take out companies were created after Florida’s 2004/2005 hurricane seasons. Policyholders are concerned that if their home has a hurricane claim in 2009, that their home will be “on-the job” training for the customer service staff at these newly formed companies – inexperience that could cause delays in paying claims fairly and prompty.

Many of these take out companies milk the policy base they assume and never go on to write any new business beyond the policies they take out of Citizens. Companies that don’t diversify their policy base beyond the original take out policies are more vulnerable to collapsing after a major Florida hurricane.

Last but not least, Florida insurance agents who originally wrote the policies that are being removed from Citizens might not want to become an agent with the new take out companies – even if it means they will lose the business. They simply might not want to add a new company to the mix of companies they already represent. Or they could have real concerns about the financial stability of the new take out company. The agent can’t stop consumers who want to benefit from a take out offer. However, an agent’s reluctance to be an agent with a particular company should at a minimum cause a consumer to pause and move forward with caution.

Here are the questions you should be asking your current Florida insurance agent if you are with Citizens and you are sent a take out offer – before you decide whether to move your Florida home insurance from Citizens to the new take out company:

How long has it been in business? Has it ever handled Florida hurricane claims before? If so, how many customers have filed complaints against that company for inadequate customer service.

How financially strong is the take out company? What are its financial ratings? How diversified is the company’s policy base across both Florida and other states? Are the policies being assumed by the take out company in North Central Florida, or in hurricane ground zero along the South Florida coast?

If your agent is not willing to become a new agent of one of the take out companies, that alone should be a warning sign to you. By taking this position, your agent is risking the loss of the commission your policy. Find out from your agent why they don’t want their agency to accept an appointment with the new take out company. The answer your agent gives you, might tell you everything you need to know about whether you should accept the offer from the new take out company.

Last but not least, ask your agent if there are any other Florida home insurance companies who might want to cover your home. The private home insurance market in Florida is always changing and there might be other companies now covering homes like yours that are a lot more stable.

Don’t forget, if you don’t bother to investigate these take out insurance companies, you will be the one that could be living with an unpaid claim after the next Florida hurricane.