Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Reporting Car Insurance Claims

Folks do a lot of things to keep their car insurance premiums low. One of the cheapest car insurance tricks I know is to not file minor claims. The reason some people do this is to avoid their premiums from going higher. Before anyone decides to do this, here are a few things to consider.

  • How extensive was the damage? If the damage to your car or the other persons vehicle was pretty bad, then you may wind up paying thousands of dollars in repair bills. Even more if the accident was your fault. However, if it was just a minor scratch that could be easily fixed or ignored, then you probably shouldn't file a claim.
  • Your recent driving history. If you have had any recent accidents or claims against your automotive insurance, then you may not want to file another one too soon. The more claims you file, the higher your premium will go.
  • The other party. If the other driver wants to file a claim with their car insurance company, then that company will eventually get in touch with yours. That may inevitable raise your premiums anyway.
  • Injuries. If anyone was injured in the accident, then you'd do best to notify first the proper authorities and emergency personnel, then your insurance company.
  • Whose fault it was. If the accident was your fault, then the other party will almost certainly report it to their company. In that case, you might as well let your car insurance company know the deal.
Keep these thoughts in mind when considering filing a claim with your insurance company.

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Comprehensive Auto Insurance

A lot of people are confused about their car insurance. Sometimes they think their car insurance policy covers more than it really does.

Most people who only have liability, or the bare minimum, are not covered for damage to their car. Your liability insurance only covers damage you cause to someone else's property.

If your car is damaged in a storm or hurricane, or if there are winds that knock a tree branch onto your car, your liability policy will not cover that.

What you need is comprehensive auto insurance. Comprehensive auto insurance will cover things such as wind damage, storm damage, flooding, hurricanes, damage caused by animals and theft. Yes it costs more. Is it worth it? That's up to your. It really depends on your finances and the type of car you drive.

So, to simplify it once again:

  • Liability coverage: Mandatory in all states, only covers damage you cause with your car to someone else's property.
  • Comprehensive Auto Insurance: Voluntary coverage that covers damage to YOUR car caused by "Acts of God", theft, animals, etc.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Major Car Insurance Fraud in Pennsylvania

I talked about other car insurance frauds involving fake insurance cards in a previous post.

Penn State police have busted a major car insurance and life insurance scheme involving undocumented aliens.

The scheme went like this:

Since illegal aliens are not allowed by Penn State law to acquire drivers licenses, A-Affordable signed up several undocumented workers with their auto insurance policy. Then, A-Affordable pushed the paperwork through so these aliens could get vehicle registration, tags, and licenses.

But the scam didn't end there. The auto insurance company charged the illegal aliens with all sorts of crazy fees for their insurance quotes. The payees most of the time, didn't even know what they were getting into or what they were paying for.

But since it's illegal in the first place for these guys to even have insurance, the auto insurance policies A-Affordable gave out were worthless as were the car insurance cards and documents they processed.

There's more. In addition to the car insurance fraud, A-Affordable also signed the aliens up with Global Life Insurance policies. The aliens didn't even know they were getting signed up for this stuff. A-Affordable just signed them to it, then paid the monthly premiums (usually around $16) for a few months.

After a few months of receiving premiums, Global Life paid A-Affordable a $200 commission for selling the policies. Global Life never knew the policies were bogus resulting in thousands of dollars of stolen commissions.

The pepetrators face 190 years in prison if convicted and over $300000 in fines.