5 Ways To Reduce Your Auto Insurance Premiums

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Reducing your car insurance premium can be an easy way to save money. Here are 5 things you can do right away to lower your premiums today!

(1) Car safety and security features. Driving a car that has a number of built-in safety features, such as airbags and anti-lock brakes, and security features, like anti-theft and engine cut-off systems, may qualify you for discounts on your auto insurance premiums. Such vehicles are statistically less likely to be in an accident or stolen than those that don’t have these features.

(2) Set higher deductibles. The higher your deductible—the amount of money you are willing to pay in the event of a claim—the lower your premium generally is. Typically, deductibles range from $0 to $1,500.

(3) Take a defensive driving course. Some auto insurance companies offer discounts for drivers who successfully complete a safe driving course at an accredited institution. Typically, these courses are taken by teenage drivers and seniors, but any driver may benefit from taking one.

(4) Clean out that garage. Many insurance companies offer discounts to people who park their cars inside a garage, rather than out on the street or in a driveway. Statistics show that vehicles in garages are less likely to be stolen or in accidents.

(5) Compare many auto insurance quotes. Be sure to get several auto insurance quotes when shopping around, then compare them side by side to pick the one that’s best for your situation.

Feuling Insurance Group has been passionately protecting over 10,000 clients throughout the last 18 years with the top names in insurance. If you are looking to lower your premiums while keeping top-shelf insurance policy coverage without “gaps” that will leave you financially vulnerable, contact us today at 1-858-750-9176 or Tim@CallTimToday.com There’s no reason to keep overpaying for your auto/home/umbrella/life/professional liability insurance coverage. You have options.

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The Responsible Thing To Do….

Summer was much like her name: bright, bubbly and energetic. She was also hardworking. At 22, she was managing her own household, working full-time as a waitress, while attending school with dreams of becoming a doctor.

She would drop by her insurance agent’s office each month to pay her auto insurance and was always greeted by licensed insurance professional Christie Trahan. One month, Summer revealed that she was expecting a baby. Christie was thrilled for her, but also knew she had to talk to Summer about something more serious: life insurance. Summer listened carefully, but said she’d think about it. Money was tight for the single mom-to-be; she also wanted to discuss it with her mother, Coleen.

After asking her over the course of several months, Christie told Summer that she felt she needed to ask one last time: “Are you sure you don’t want to buy that life insurance?” At $12 a month, Christie felt that it was affordable even for a working student. Summer agreed, saying that she knew it was the right thing to do, even though her mother had advised her to wait.

That was a fateful decision. Just nine months after Summer gave birth to Nathan, she was struck by a car while walking and killed.

That was a fateful decision.

After the accident, Coleen called Christie to ask if Summer had gone ahead and bought the policy. Christie assured her she had. Relief swept over Coleen, as she now had funds to give Summer a beautiful funeral. The death benefit also allowed Coleen to take a leave of absence from her job to take care of Nathan.

Nathan is now a happy 5-year-old, and Coleen has officially adopted him. She set aside the remaining money from Summer’s policy for Nathan to use for college. “I’m so proud of Summer for making that wise decision for Nathan,” says Coleen.

Call us today to get quotes. You can insure your life and your spouses life for so inexpensive and it will be a gift that leaves a legacy after you’re gone. We don’t charge any fees so you get the cheapest prices straight from the insurance companies rate tables – we shop over 3 dozen companies for the best rates.

Feuling Insurance Group
1-858-750-9176 phone/text
Tim@CallTimToday.com

Top 5 Causes of Car Accidents – Easiest Ways To Hurt Yourself, Others and Your Bank Account!!!!

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Keep Your Eyes On The Road And Your Hands On The Wheel

The top five causes of car accidents all have to do with distracted driving. 

  • Texting While Driving – Chances are you have seen television commercials about this issue. Why? Because it has surpassed even impaired driving as a cause of car accidents all here in St. Pete and all across the United States. So how do we solve the problem? While legislation is being seriously looked at, the only real way to stop this problem is not to text while driving. If you have a teenage son or daughter, take extra time to explain to them that texting is just not that important and it can wait until they get where they are going.
  • Changing CD’s/Radio Stations – Like texting while driving, fiddling around with the radio or CD player is a frequent cause of car accidents. We understand that it’s nice to have the tunes you want to hear as you drive, but it isn’t as important as keeping your eyes on the road. Statistics show (across many surveys) that taking your eyes off of what you’re doing for even a second or two can have devastating consequences.
  • Drunk Driving – Drunk driving or otherwise being impaired by any substance still haunts us as serious problem. Just last week a prominent athlete in Dallas was charged with driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter because his blood showed that he was twice the legal limit of BAC (blood alcohol content) when the wreck occurred, killing his friend and teammate. What’s both infuriating and saddening is that driving drunk or on drugs can always be avoided.
  • Speeding Or Reckless Driving – Got the need for speed? Love to take risks? Not only is it unlawful, it’s irresponsible and you put everyone else on the road at risk getting your kicks. At Bassett Law Offices, we advocate responsible, lawful driving. We’ve witnessed far too many deaths because of unnecessary car and motorcycle accidents which would have easily been avoided.
  • Eating While Driving – Like texting or changing radio stations, eating is another form of distracted driving. Besides being dangerous, you really don’t get the opportunity to simply enjoy your meal. Do not eat while driving. It isn’t safe.

Farmers Insurance Faces Possible Class Action Lawsuit By Female Attorneys

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Farmers Insurance Facing Possible Class Action by ‘Hundreds’ of Female Attorneys
An attorney representing a woman suing Farmers Insurance for discriminatory practices filed a motion in mid-October seeking class action status in a suit she says could potentially encompass 300 female attorneys.

The attorney also added five new women to the suit, bringing the total to nine former or current Farmers attorneys involved in the case.

Sponsored by Insurance Technologies Corp. (ITC)
Lori Andrus of Andrus Anderson LLP and Lori Costanzo of the Costanzo Law Firm are representing the plaintiffs.

Andrus is seeking to notify all female attorneys who worked for the Los Angeles-based carrier from June 8, 2012, until now of the option to opt-in to the class action suit.

“If we win that motion we’re going to send notice out to all the female attorneys across the country to opt-in,” Andrus said.

According to Andrus, Farmers has employed more than 800 attorneys over the last few years, roughly 300 of whom have been women.

“We think it’ll be hundreds of women,” she said.

The suit accuses Farmers of unlawfully paying its female attorney-employees significantly lower wages than male attorneys doing the same work.

The suit states: “Farmers does not reward its female attorneys equally compared to their male counterparts performing equal work. Instead, Farmers systematically pays female attorneys less than similarly-situated male attorneys.”

Not only are male attorneys paid more, but they are also routinely given higher profile work assignments, more frequent raises and promotions and are recognized for their accomplishments while female attorneys are not, according to the suit.

“In general, Farmers advances the careers of its male attorneys more quickly while treating its female attorneys more like support staff,” the suit states.

A Farmers spokesman reached for a response to the allegations made in the suit declined to comment.

This is not the first time a carrier has been sued by female employees. A settlement in 1992 was made in a broad ranging, and long-fought a sex discrimination case against State Farm Insurance Co. for a reported $157 million.

The lone plaintiff on the Farmers suit was originally Lynne Coates, who Andrus said was paid less than male counterparts who had “decades less” experience that her.

Three women opted-in on the suit in late summer. They are Angela Storey, who worked at Farmers for eight years, and current employees Keever Rhodes, who has worked at Farmers for 13 years, and Sandra Carter, a Farmers’ employee for 17 years.

Former employees also added to the suit are: Michele Morgan, Chiquita Hartman, Serena Neves, Karen Wasson and Stephanie Torigian.

“Companies that pay women less than male counterparts are basically getting cheap labor,” Andrus said.

Andrus argued that not only have those women been cheated out of years of wages, but other benefits that are wage-based, such as yearly bonuses, retirement and Social Security.

“So it really can build up,” Andrus said.

The case was filed as a proposed class action in April, and the filing of the recent motion seeks to have U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh certify the plaintiffs’ Equal Pay Act claims.

Andrus said she plans to call in a labor economist to perform what she called a multiple regression analysis, which she said will isolate all compensation factors besides gender – education, geographic location, years on job – to figure out what gap remains and calculate the damages that will be sought.

“According to our statistics, the only reason is gender,” Andrus said of the alleged pay discrepancy.

A protective order in the case prevents the pay of those involved from being made public.

According to the suit, paying female attorneys less than male counterparts has been the practice of Farmers since the 1970s.

The suit cites a previous lawsuit, this one brought by the Secretary of Labor against Farmers for unequal pay in the mid-1970s in Marshall v. Farmers Ins. Co., Civil Action No. 75-63-C2, in the U.S. District Court of Kansas.

That suit found Farmers’ salary policy to be discriminatory by excluding women from promotion, among other things.

According to the April suit, on Aug. 17, 2014, Coates filed a discrimination complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and on Aug. 21 the DFEH issued a right to sue notice. On Sept. 10, 2014, Coates filed a charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging discrimination and retaliation on the basis of sex. She received a right to sue notice from the EEOC on April 15.

The lawsuit is Coates v. Farmers Group, Inc., et al., Case No. 5:15-cv-01913 (N.D. Cal.).

reference InsuranceJournal.com

#1 Homeowner Insurance Claim

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Responsible for more homeowner insurance claims than fires, storms or theft, the number one reason homeowners file a homeowner insurance claim is often easily preventable, according to a recent survey.

Gone unaddressed, however, it’s a problem that can quickly worsen — exponentially

It’s water damage.

Not water damage from floods, tropical storms or too much snow up on the roof.

Rather, it’s water damage due to neglected preventive maintenance.

For example, four in 10 homeowners don’t bother to check a washing machine’s water hose lines and, chances are, sooner or later, those lines will fail.

“As certain as night follows day, the hose that connects the washing machine to the water source will fail,” said Jon Osterberg, a spokesman for Seattle, WA-based PEMCO Insurance which recently polled 600 Washington State residents and discovered many of them have water damage waiting to happen.

“It’s simply a matter of time before it (hose line) fails, and when it does, it’s usually expensive,” said Osterberg.

If the always-on water line to the washing machine goes when no one is home, water will leak or flow until someone arrives. Metal-mesh encased hoses, which generally spring smaller warning leaks when they begin to fail, can provide better protection than rubber hoses.

However, because the laundry room is a low-traffic area, even a small leak left undetected over time can cause extensive damage. Likewise, dishwasher hoses, automatic ice-maker lines and hot water heaters, as they age, all pose hidden dangers.

“Home owners also mistakenly assume that because their hot water tank has a liner, it’s not susceptible to leaks,” said Osterberg. “Water sediment eventually sinks to the bottom of the tank and rusts. This creates a flood just waiting to happen,” Osterberg said.

Unless there’s a drain, alarm or some other protective or warning device or system, the cost of a hose that goes is a lot more than just replacing the hose.

The insurance deductible alone can be costly, but that’s only the beginning.

Preventive maintenance is the best solution.

The problem is compounded if water or moisture is left standing for 48 hours and becomes a mold incubator.

It’s largely, the growing frequency of water and mold related claims in recent years that has sent insurance premiums soaring, caused insurance companies not to renew policies on certain homes and has led more insurance companies not to pay benefits for certain water-related claims.

“The danger of a water leak is that if it’s not addressed right away, even a small leak may cause thousands of dollars of damage to your floors and walls that may or may not be covered by your homeowners insurance. It might not be covered because dry rot and mold typically develop over time. They’re maintenance issues caused by excess moisture, which is usually preventable. They’re not sudden losses,” said

PEMCO conducted the 2005 PEMCO Northwest Insurance Poll earlier this year to learn more about its customers habits.

It discovered 64 percent of men check water lines often or occasionally compared to only 55 percent of women, who more and more often are the head of household.

Western Washington households are 10 percent more likely to check water lines regularly than those in Eastern Washington.

Those with more education typically score higher on the-right-thing-to-do issues, but in this case only 51 percent of college graduates said they checked washing machine hoses, refrigerator water lines, dishwashers, and hot water tanks for wear-and-tear leaks often or occasionally, compared to 68 percent of Washington homeowners without a college education.

PEMCO advises:

Check hoses for kinks and cracks every time you do the laundry. Replace your washing machine hoses every five years with a quality high-pressure hose, preferably a durable metal-mesh hose. The hoses cost only $5 to $10.
Checking for signs of leaks, inspect flooring around your water heater and other fixtures or appliances. A licensed, qualified technician should periodically inspect heaters installed more than five years ago. If your water heater is more than 10 years old, replace it.
Inspect the refrigerator, dishwasher and outdoor faucet lines for leaks and crimps. Place a plastic tub under the kitchen sink to catch leaks before damage occurs. If you move your refrigerator to clean, be careful not to overextend or pinch the ice-maker line. If you see signs of brittleness or moisture, call a qualified repair technician.

#1 Myth About Life Insurance

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Myth #1:

I’m Single and Don’t Have Dependents, so I Don’t Need Coverage

Even single persons need at least enough life insurance to cover the costs of personal debts, medical and funeral bills. If you are uninsured, you may leave a legacy of unpaid expenses for your family or executor to deal with. Plus, this can be a good way for low-income singles to leave a legacy to a favorite charity or other cause.

And also you are insuring while you are INSURABLE!! Understand that if you get diagnosed with high blood pressure, depression, diabetes, cancer and many, many other medical issues you may become super expensive to insure or just completely UNINSURABLE!!!

The best time to get into a life insurance policy is when you are young. Educated parents are buying policies on their children (Universal or Whole Life) $25,000 – $100,000 just so the kids have insurance that can’t be taken away from them if they diagnosed with any issue or get seriously injured or start taking anti-depressants, or start smoking, sky diving, base jumping, etc.

There are many reasons for young, single independent people to make the investment today.

Get in touch with a professional you trust to advise you in this area of your life. If you don’t have someone you trust, I can get you many references on the fact you can trust Feuling Insurance Group to professionally advise you on what is best for you in your specific circumstances and assist you in attaining that policy. When you do things online, it is well known that people make mistakes, don’t get the right coverage, get too little coverage, get too much coverage and end up dropping policy because of premium, etc.

Feuling Insurance Group
(Life/Home/Auto/Umbrella/Professional Liability Insurance)

President, Timothy Feuling
1-858-750-9176
Tim@CallTimToday.com 

CALL OR EMAIL US TODAY!!

The Case for Independent Agency Optimism

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Over the past few years, dire predictions about the independent agent’s future have gotten a lot of attention. With consumers increasingly adopting the latest technology-driven shopping and buying behaviors, some industry observers have questioned whether the independent agent will be able to remain relevant.

But new research suggests that the independent agent is uniquely positioned to win with the biggest and increasingly influential segment of consumers.

Survey says … maybe not.

Only the independent agent offers ease, choice and advice — a unique combination with the power to attract today’s consumers, especially Generation Y.
In a May 2015 research study commissioned by Safeco Insurance, 31 percent of Generation Y consumers placed themselves in a segment that values independent advice, choice among insurance companies, an expert advocate, and ease of understanding their insurance options.

Somewhat surprisingly, this proportion is higher than that found among Generation X (24 percent), Baby Boomers (23 percent) and Seniors (18 percent).

The implication: as Generation Y continues to grow into the insurance marketplace, independent agents will see an increase in the share of consumers preferring their unique value proposition of ease, choice and advice:

Provide tools that make it easy to understand, buy and manage coverage.
Provide the widest possible array of options to meet policyholders’ specific needs.
Share your expertise and advocacy to help policyholders make the best decisions about their coverage.
Each channel that sells insurance has its own strengths.

Direct-to-consumer carriers often provide easy transactions for pre-packaged products. Comparison websites provide choice between the products of different companies and online transactions. And consumers can get a range of advice and access to online tools through exclusive agents.

But only the independent agent offers ease, choice and advice — a unique combination with the power to attract today’s consumers, especially Generation Y.
On the “ease” front, the good news is that it is easier and cheaper than ever to deploy the online tools demanded by Millennials. Today any business can stand up a mobile-ready website that supports e-commerce in a few days, with only a modest budget and no technical expertise. All agents need to be active online with their own web and mobile capabilities and through industry portals like TrustedChoice.com.

Think Twice Before Filing That Home Owners Insurance Claim

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Is the claim you’re about to file worth the price you will pay for 3-5 years and possibly longer if you have to file another more legitimate claim?

That nasty hole in your fence from a downed tree may make you cringe, but it won’t be nearly as revolting as the hike in your insurance bill if you make a claim on it.

That’s particularly true if you live in states like Minnesota, Connecticut and Maryland, where a single homeowner’s claim can up an annual premium some 20%. That’s right, a $1,000 claim can lead to years of higher premiums.

“Many consumers mistakenly believe that incidentals should be covered because that’s why I have home insurance,” says Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst at InsuranceQuotes.com. “The reality is that filing a claim is not always in your best interest.”

Let’s put it this way: If you live in Minnesota and pay a $981 average annual premium, you can expect to see your yearly payouts jump to about $1,187 if you submit a claim to fix the fence. That’s a 21% premium hike, the highest in the U.S., according to a recent InsuranceQuotes.com study. After seven years—assuming your claims record is now pristine—you will have shelled out $1,442 extra, or roughly $206 more each year. But what happens if there’s a hailstorm or, worse yet, a hurricane, and you have to make a much bigger and more insurance-appropriate claim? You get another 21% hike on your premium.

“That $1,000 is really where you might want to consider a break-even point,” Adams says.

And don’t think it’s just the number of claims that are paid out that spike your rates. You can get hit hard with a claim that’s been denied. And even if you just innocently ask your agent about a potential claim, she has a right to open a file when you’re making queries, so make sure the agent knows your question is theoretical.

There are a number of factors that influence the costs of your homeowners insurance and much of it is determined by what state you live in, what neighborhood your home is in, and what you want included in your policy. But other issues, like the size of your deductible, your loyalty to the insurer, your credit history and whether you bundled homeowners with auto insurance will play key parts too in most states. And then there’s the house itself. How old it is? Is it a wood-framed house or brick? Is there a pool or a trampoline that are ripe for injuries on the property? Do you have smoke detectors? A burglar alarm? A sprinkler system? What about deadbolts on doors and security devices like wrought-iron bars on windows?

Rates across the U.S. are as varied as a bowl of mixed nuts. That’s partly why the hike on a claim can be so high in states like Maryland or Illinois. In the Old Line state, the average annual premium is $784, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. At 19%, it is one of the top three percentage jumps that InsuranceQuotes.com found. (The No. 2 spot belongs to Connecticut at 21%.) In the Land of Lincoln, the average yearly nut is $793 while the percentage increase is 15%. These would be considered relatively low premiums because, for the most part, they’re in areas of relatively low levels of risk.

On the flip side, Louisiana and Florida—magnets for major hurricanes and tropical storms—carry hefty annual average premiums that are more than double what some states charge — $1,546 and $1,544, respectively. The average bump after a claim in Louisiana is 7%, and it’s only 2% in the Sunshine State. In Oklahoma, where most of the state falls into Tornado Alley, the premiums average $1,246 and will rise just 5% after a first claim.

“Consumers in some states are paying pretty high rates to begin with,” Adams says. “Texas, for example, has a lot going on with disasters and that’s been the norm for decades. But in states like Minnesota, which has had more recent problems, insurers are trying to catch up by compensating on the back end.”

In Texas, the mouth of Tornado Alley, premiums are the highest at $1,560, but there is no rate hike after the first claim because the state doesn’t allow it (the only one to do so in the U.S.)

Here’s another reason why filing insurance claims can backfire: Like credit-ratings firms, insurance companies keep track of your history and judge you accordingly before deciding whether to insure you and how much to charge you. A long history, or even a spotty history, of making claims sends up red flags that you’ll do it again. That could mean you’re a risk that they don’t want to take or that they will begrudgingly handle but at a steep price to you.

Insurers turn to the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange to chart your claim behavior. CLUE, as it’s commonly known in the industry, is a compendium of all the personal auto and personal property claims you’ve made over the last seven years.

Insurance companies—every one you’ve ever used—report all claims that they paid out on, that they set up a file for and even those they formally denied. That’s why it’s important to talk hypotheticals with your insurer when you’re asking innocent questions.

The report then contains this information on each claim:

Your name
Policy number
Type of loss
Description of the covered property
Date of birth
Date of loss
Amount the company paid
Property address for homeowner claims or specific vehicle information for auto claims
Again, like your credit report, you can get a free copy of your CLUE report by filling out documents here. Be prepared to make copies of some form of identification and a major bill statement. This is something you want to get your hands on at least once a year to check for accuracy or unrelated information that could inflate your rates.

So when should you file a claim? Here are some basic rules to follow:

Never file if the claim is bigger than the deductible—mostly because it won’t be covered. Also because you’re putting the claim on your insurance record and it will stay there for at least three years. You should carefully consider the risk-reward profile too if the claim is $1,200 or even $2,000.
Make sure you’re covered for the claim. After heavy rains and hurricanes—remember Hurricane Sandy—many homeowners mistakenly think they have flood insurance and file a claim. Traditional homeowners insurance does not cover water damage caused by floods. That’s separate coverage underwritten by the federal government through the National Flood Insurance Program. But guess what? If you file a claim with your insurance company for something that isn’t covered, the claim itself doesn’t go away.
Think about the last time you filed a claim. If you’re a consistent claimant, you’re going to get slammed on rates. It isn’t unusual for a homeowner to file up to two claims in a 10-year period, but more than one or two in a three-year time span and the alarm bells go off as a high risk.
Don’t submit claims for what is really a home-maintenance project. If the fence is rotting away and you know that one big windstorm will blow it over, budget the household finances for a new fence first. There’s a plus to this too: better maintained homes get better premiums.

Best Used Cars (In regards to safest according to IIHS) For Teen Drivers…….

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According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:

Per mile driven, teenaged drivers are almost three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal auto crash, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The report shows average purchase price for a teen’s vehicle was $9,800; the mid-ranged price-tag for a teen’s vehicle is $5,300.

The report also said bigger and heavier vehicles provide more protection in crashes than smaller and lighter cars.

They should also avoid high horsepower and opt for cars with electronic stability control, which helps drivers navigate curves and slippery roads. Later model years on the list were generally more expensive. The IHHS picks vehicles with good safety rating, four or five stars from NHTSA.

BEST USED VEHICLE CHOICES FOR TEENS

Vehicles on this list earn good ratings in the IIHS moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. If rated by NHTSA, they earn 4 or 5 stars overall or 4 or 5 stars in the front and side tests under the old rating scheme. All come with standard ESC.

All listed vehicles start under $20,000. Prices, rounded to the nearest $100, were taken from Kelley Blue Book on Sept. 1, 2015, for the lowest trim level and earliest applicable model year based on the following criteria: vehicle in good condition, typical mileage and private party purchase in Arlington, Va.

LARGE CARS MODEL YEARS PRICE
Volvo S80 2007 and later $5,800
Ford Taurus 2010 and later $10,900
Buick LaCrosse 2010 and later $11,300
Buick Regal 2011 and later $11,500
Lincoln MKS 2009 and later $12,300
Toyota Avalon 2011 and later $15,700
Hyundai Azera 2012 and later $16,800
Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan and coupe 2010 and later $19,000
Infiniti M37/M56/Q70 2011 and later $19,900
MIDSIZE CARS MODEL YEARS PRICE
Volkswagen Jetta sedan and wagon 2009 and later $5,600
Volvo C30 2008 and later $7,000
Volkswagen Passat sedan 2009 and later $7,300
Ford Fusion 2010 and later; built after April 2010; 2010 Fusions built before May meet “good choice” criteria $7,400
Mercury Milan 2010-11; built after April 2010; 2010 Milans built before May meet “good choice” criteria $7,400
Chrysler 200 sedan 2011 and later $8,000
Chevrolet Malibu 2010 and later; built after November 2009 $8,200
Volkswagen CC 2009 and later $8,300
Audi A3 2008 and later $8,400
Dodge Avenger 2011 and later $8,900
Subaru Legacy 2010 and later $9,300
Hyundai Sonata 2011 and later $9,900
Lincoln MKZ 2010 and later; built after April 2010 $10,000
Kia Optima 2011 and later $10,200
Audi A4 sedan 2009 and later $10,800
Honda Accord sedan and coupe sedan 2012 and later; coupe 2013 and later $10,900
Subaru Outback 2010 and later $11,300
Toyota Camry 2012 and later $11,300
Nissan Altima 2013 and later $12,200
Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan 2009-14 $12,300
Buick Verano 2012 and later $12,400
Volvo S60 2011 and later (price is for 2012, which had lower trim level available) $13,400
Toyota Prius v 2012 and later $14,200
Mazda 6 2014 and later $15,100
Acura TSX sedan and wagon 2012 and later $16,600
Acura TL 2012 and later; built after April 2012 $17,300
SMALL SUVs MODEL YEARS PRICE
Honda Element 2007-11 $6,700
Volkswagen Tiguan 2009 and later $7,900
Subaru Forester 2009 and later $9,000
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2011 and later $9,300
Hyundai Tucson 2010 and later $10,400
Kia Sportage 2011 and later $11,300
Jeep Patriot 2014 and later $13,700
Ford Escape 2013 and later $14,000
Mitsubishi Outlander 2014 and later $14,400
Mazda CX-5 2013 and later $14,800
Honda CR-V 2012 and later $15,400
Buick Encore 2013 and later $15,500
Toyota RAV4 2013 and later $17,600
Nissan Rogue (except Select) 2014 and later $18,500
MIDSIZE SUVs MODEL YEARS PRICE
Volvo XC90 2005 and later $4,600
Subaru Tribeca/B9 Tribeca 2006 and later $6,000
Dodge Journey 2010 and later $8,700
Chevrolet Equinox 2010 and later $11,100
Ford Flex 2010 and later; built after January 2010 $11,700
GMC Terrain 2010 and later $12,000
Toyota Highlander 2008 and later $12,000
Infiniti EX 2008 and later $12,100
Toyota Venza 2009 and later $12,200
Kia Sorento 2011 and later $12,300
Ford Edge 2011 and later; built after February 2011 $13,300
Volvo XC60 2010 and later $13,500
Ford Explorer 2011 and later $16,200
Lincoln MKT 2010 and later; built after March 2010 $16,200
Dodge Durango 2011 and later $16,300
Cadillac SRX 2010 and later $16,900
Audi Q5 2009 and later $17,300
Jeep Cherokee 2014 and later $17,500
Honda Crosstour 2013 and later $17,700
Honda Pilot 2012 and later $18,200
Jeep Grand Cherokee 2011 and later $18,500
Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class 2011 and later $19,100
LARGE SUVs MODEL YEARS PRICE
Chevrolet Traverse 2011 and later $13,500
GMC Acadia 2011 and later $15,400
Buick Enclave 2011 and later $16,100
MINIVANS MODEL YEARS PRICE
Dodge Grand Caravan 2012 and later $11,600
Volkswagen Routan 2012 and later $11,800
Toyota Sienna 2011 and later $13,200
Honda Odyssey 2011 and later $13,600
Chrysler Town & Country 2012 and later $14,600
PICKUPS MODEL YEARS PRICE
Toyota Tundra crew cab (Double Cab) 2007 and later $12,200
Ford F-150 crew cab (SuperCrew) 2011 and later $16,800

How Do Tickets AFFECT Your Insurance Policy Premiums?

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Getting a traffic ticket isn’t great under any circumstance, but your insurance company thinks you should be sweating some offenses more than others.

The Insurance Information Institute notes that spending on auto insurance has held remarkably steady in recent years. Though the average annual cost of auto insurance rose from $798 in 2011 to $815 in 2012, according to a December 2014 report from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, AAA notes that costs differ based on the driver. The average low-risk driver with a clean driving record for a policy with a $500 deductible for collision and a $100 deductible for comprehensive coverage paid $1,023, down from $1,029 in 2012, according to AAA.

“Auto insurance expenditures have remained relatively stable when compared to other life essentials, such as housing, food and health care,” said Robert Hartwig, economist and president of the institute. “People are spending about the same for auto insurance as they did a few years ago, adjusted for inflation. Meanwhile, other expenses continue to eat up bigger portions of their budget.”

But only if they can keep their driving record fairly clean, or at least avoid the moving violations that insurance companies hate most. Laura Adams, senior analyst for insurance information and pricing site, says that only 19% of Americans who got a traffic ticket in the past five years are paying more for car insurance as a result. That’s down from 31% in 2013, with drivers ages 30 to 49 picking up the most tickets and drivers 18 to 49 the most likely to see their insurance rates increase after getting a ticket.

DWI/DUI
Percentage of average rate increase: 92.49%

While driving under the influence is not a terribly surprising list-topper, it’s incredible how much the insurance penalty can vary by state. For a first offense in North Carolina, a DUI conviction results in an average (average!) rate increase of 337%. That’s closely followed by a 289% uptick in Hawaii and a 184% surge in California. While that rate hike goes down to a surprising 15% increase in Maryland (below the 16.49% average nationwide rate hike for driving without a license), insurers tend to keep a DWI/DUI on a client’s record much longer than any other violation.

“If you get a ticket, it’s not just an increase in one year’s premiums: That violation will stay on your record for up to five years depending on your state law,” Adams says. “DWI and DUI tends to stay on your record for 10 years. That’s in a category all by itself because, when you get that kind of a ticket, the state is pretty proactive in telling the insurance company about it.”

Reckless driving
Percentage of average rate increase: 83.29%

This one doesn’t sound bad enough to be the No. 2 most-costly violation in the country, but just consider what it has to entail.

“With reckless driving, the ticket shows that you had some intent to do something reckless,” Adams says. “You were speeding, you were playing a game of chicken with your friends on the highway.”

If you missed a yield sign and caused an accident, however, it may be in your interest to argue that ticket down to careless driving if possible. While it sounds similar to reckless driving, it lacks the intent and, in insurers’ eyes, merits an average 27% premium increase. Considering that reckless driving can double your insurance rates in Massachusetts, Michigan and Illinois, nearly triple them in California and quadruple them in Hawaii, obliviousness is preferable.

Speeding 31+ miles over the limit
Percentage of average rate increase: 29.26%
Thirty-one is the dividing line between “where’s the fire?” and lapping the firetruck.

On most highways, that’s putting you into 95- to 100-mph territory. In cities, it’s roughly or more than doubling the speed limit. Taking it down a notch doesn’t help either, as speeding 16 to 30 mph over the speed limit boost rates by about 28%.

“A lot of people don’t realize that speeding is as harmful to your driving record and insurance as it is,” Adams says. “It’s pretty serious. If you’re speeding one to 15 miles over the speed limit, it’s still raising your rates by an average of 21%.”

As for the more minor violations, some are more obvious than others. Failure to wear a seat belt, the least menacing ticketable offense in an officer’s arsenal, only raises rates 5.6% on average. Driving without a license, somewhat surprisingly, not only merits only a 16.47% increase, but is deemed a lesser offense than driving solo in the carpool lane (17.91%) and failure to signal (18.55%).

by Jason Notte, Main Street….

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