Archive for the ‘Car Insurance’ Category

Will Obtaining Insruance Quotes Affect your Credit Score?

Will Obtaining Insruance Quotes Affect your Credit Score?

Anyone that has recently shopped around for home or auto or home insurance quotes may realize that most insurance companies will now check your credit score along with your driving record and other insurance history. In turn, the better your credit score the more likely you will be offered a more affordable rate quote.  Therefore the question has been asked: although your credit score may affect your insurance rate, will shopping for insurance quotes affect your credit score?

The short answer is “no”. Shopping for multiple insurance quotes will not affect your credit score. When it comes to credit checks, we must differentiate between two types of inquiries: “hard pulls” and “soft pulls.” A hard pull refers to credit inquiries for actually acquiring credit, such as from a credit card company or a lender. A soft pull is an inquiry that will review your credit score only, will not lower your score and often is not even recorded on your credit report. Insurance companies generally do not look at your actual credit report. Instead, it receives your credit score or your insurance score from one or more of the three major national credit repositories — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. “An insurance score is going to be less concerned with your propensity to take on new credit and more interested in how long you’ve been managing credit,” says Craig Watts, a FICO spokesman. “Insurance scores focus on issues of stability.” Therefore, this is what most insurance companies will focus on.

The bottom line on this issue is as follows: Insurance companies and agents that see a potential client with a high credit score will consider you a low-risk client, someone who promptly pays their bills on time and is responsible. They will then be able to offer you more affordable insurance quotes. The best thing you can do if you have good or bad credit is to shop around for insurance quotes and narrow your choice down by the reputation of the insurance company (and staff) and premium and coverage quoted. As a starting point please visit Staten Island Insurance for a free insurance quote.

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GPSAuto accidents are the number one killer of teens. Teens account for approximately 14% of all motor vehicle accident deaths. 5,288 teens died in motor vehicle accidents in 2005 in the United States. Unfortunately, car crashes are the leading cause of death among teens, accounting for more than one-third of all deaths of 16 to 18 year-olds.

Once they get behind the wheel, they think they can control their car at any speed and tend to push the limits. The problem is that inexperience and immaturity contribute to their reckless behavior and unfortunately, the results can be disastrous.

Naturally, the question arises as to how can I ensure that my teen drives safely. Recently, in New York State, we have begun to see an increase in sales for GPS monitoring systems. Constant and direct supervision or monitoring with a GPS tracking system for at least the first year of driving can significantly reduce teen driver auto accidents and give parents some much needed peace of mind. In the past year, a number of companies have come out with tracking systems that can help parents monitor their new teen drivers. While we believe that education is the most important component of safe teen driving, there are also some situations where parents might want to have some monitoring capability. Here are some guidelines if you are considering a teen monitoring system:

1. Make sure you understand how the system works and that it will work with your model and year of car.
2. Check the total fees. They might include an installation fee as well as a monthly fee.
3. Find out if there is a minimum time limit for a contract.
4. Find out what data will be monitored and transmitted to you: speed, location, etc
5. How does the system notify you of your teen’s location.
While GPS is a technology with a proven track record, the ultimate impact it can have on teen driving safety is still being explored. But one thing is clear–with millions of Americans nationwide focused on helping teenagers drive more safely, GPS tracking services will play a significant role.  To find out more ways you can help your teen driver’s saftey, contact your insurance agent.

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Graduated drivers license systems in the United States are designed to give young drivers the opportunity to practice driving with various restrictions in place. With traffic accidents being the leading cause of death among teenagers in the United States, graduated licensing programs have been designed to reduce teen accidents and fatalities. Graduated licensing laws vary and not all states have an official program. Recognizing the importance of driving experience, New York-like many other states-has adopted a graduated driver’s licensing program for drivers under the age of 18.

In general, an individual must have a New York State driver license or a valid driver license from another US state or from Canada to drive in New York. Additionally, in most cases you can drive in New York if you have a valid driver license from another country. The minimum driving age in NYS is 16.
The State of New York has what is called a “graduated license law”, as mentioned above. It was enacted in September of 2003 and it affects all junior drivers (16 and 17 years old) and senior permit holders in New York State.

What is a “Limited Junior License?
According to this article , a Limited Junior License is an “intermediate step between a learner permit and a “full” Junior license, allowing young drivers (16 and 17-year olds) time to gain driving experience before obtaining unsupervised driving privileges”.

What Can’t You do with a Limited Junior License
For all permit holders, regardless of your age or when your received your learners permit: Your supervising driver must be at least 21 years old.

For all junior learner permit and junior license holders, regardless of when you received your learner permit: No more than two passengers under the age of 21 are allowed in the vehicle unless they are members of your immediate family; this does not apply if the accompanying driver is your licensed parent, guardian, person “in loco parentis,” driver education teacher or driving school instructor.

Are there any restrictions on Limited Junior Licenses?
Limited Junior Licenses are subject to the restrictions listed below. These restrictions based on what specific area in New York you are from.

In Nassau County, Suffolk County (including Long Island), Westchester County, Putnam County, & Rockland County, the restrictions are:

Between 5AM and 9PM: Driver is not allowed to drive alone. They are required to be supervised by a parent/guardian who is 21 or older and has a valid license for the specific vehicle that he/she is driving.

Between 9PM and 5AM: Driver is not allowed to drive under ANY circumstance.

How should a parent keep track of teen drivers?
If you have a child under 18 years old that is driving, you have the option of being automatically notified by mail whenever the teenager has a traffic conviction, license suspension, or reported accident.

To enroll in this program, fill out this form and mail it to:
Office for the Younger Driver
NYS Department of Motor Vehicles
6 Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12228

For more information about this specific program (known as TEENS – Teen Electronic Event Notification Service), please read this document, published on the New York State DMV site.

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When you are in the market for home insurance or renters insurance in New York City or anywhere in New York for that matter, it’s important to not only check the price of coverage, but also to check the  insurance company ratings. Ratings give you information about a company’s financial strength, customer service record, claims records, and more valuable information that you can use when you shop for insurance.

By taking the time to check these ratings, you can select the best company with the best rates and the most affordable coverage.thumbs-up


How to Check Ratings

It’s very easy to check the ratings of insurance companies, especially if you go online.


Find out how many complaints have been lodged against insurance companies.  The New York State Department of Insurance will tell you how many complaints have been lodged against insurance companies. You will also be able to determine whether the company is actually “admitted ” in New York to do business.  To see how the companies stack up, click here.


Find out what consumers think of their insurance company.  J.D. Power conducts consumer surveys and then rates companies on their policy offerings, cost, billing and payment policies, and ease of contacting an agent. 

To see how they rate Home Insurance companies, click here

To see how they rate Auto Insurance companies, click here

To see how the companies rate on the customer’s buying experience, click here

To see how the companies rate when it comes to claims processing, click here.


Find out how financially stable your insurance company is.  A.M. Best Company, which evaluates the strength of insurance companies on a scale from AAA (extremely strong) to CC (extremely weak). They also include a rating of R for Under Regulatory Supervision.  To view their ratings, click here.


Standard & Poor’s, which looks at an insurance company’s ability to pay claims and meet financial obligations on a scale from AAA (very strong financial security characteristics) to BBB (good financial security characteristics). To see their ratings, click here.



Using Ratings When You Shop for Insurance

Checking home insurance and renters insurance company ratings will help you narrow down your choices when you shop for insurance, especially if you shop on the phone or online to gather information.


Why use a reputable company that is financially stable?

Although the answer is obvious, many people are attracted to the lowest rate that they have been quoted. This, of course, may not be the wisest decision as the company may have poor service, high complaint ratio’s and may be financially unstable. Therefore we recommend you do your research, speak to an actual agent that is accessible and knowledgeable, get a few quotes and then make a decision on which company to choose. State Farm Insurance has served policyholders for over 50 years and their service exceptional-this should be your starting point.


We know that ratings and customers’ opinions are valuable.  Please check out the reviews posted about our office:

Reviews written about Long Island Insurance

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You may not realize it, but the insurance rates you pay for your car can vary dramatically depending on the insurance company,  the coverage you request and the kind of car you drive. Listed below are a number of things you can do right now to lower your insurance costs.


1. Ask for Higher Deductibles.

Deductibles represent the amount of money you pay before you make a claim. By requesting higher deductibles on collision and comprehensive (fire and theft) coverage, you can lower your costs substantially. For example, increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 or $1000 could reduce your collision and comprehensive cost by 15% to 30%.
2. Drop Collision and/or Comprehensive Coverage’s on Older Cars.
It may not be cost effective to have collision or comprehensive coverage on cars worth less than $1,000 because any claim you make would not substantially exceed annual cost and deductible amounts. You can go to many online sources to check the value of your car. 

3. Buy a “Low Profile” Car.
Before you buy new or used car, check into insurance costs. Cars that are expensive to repair, or that are a favorite target for thieves, have higher insurance costs.


4. Take Advantage of Low Mileage Discounts.
Some companies, such as
State Farm Insurance, offer discounts to motorists who drive fewer than a predetermined number of miles a year. 


5. Consider Insurance Cost When Making a Move.  

Costs tend to be lowest in rural communities and highest in center cities where there is more traffic congestion. 



6. Find out about Automatic Seat Belt or Air Bag Discounts.
You may be able to take advantage of discounts on some coverage if you have automatic seat belts and/or air bags. 


7. Ask about Anti-lock Brakes.

Anti-lock brakes improve steering control and stability when a car is brought to a stop, thus reducing accidents. Some states, including Florida, New Jersey and New York, require insurers to give discounts for cars equipped with the brakes and some insurers have a nationwide discount in place. 


8. Inquire about Other Discounts.
Some insurers, such as State Farm, offer discounts for more than one car, no accidents in three years, drivers over a certain age, driver training courses, anti-theft devices, and good grades for students. 


If you live in the state of New York and have more questions about insurance coverage, contact Long Island Insurance for more info.







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A lot of young drivers these days are trying to find out how they can lower their car insurance payments.  Here are a couple suggestions:


  1. Take an accident prevention course – see http://www.nysdmv.com/pirp.htm for list of course providers. This will reduce 10% from your base insurance rate.
  2. See if you can get a multi-policy discount – at companies like Long Island Insurance (www.insurancelongisland.net) it is actually cheaper if you have more than one type of insurance.  For example, if you just have car insurance and your premium is $153/month, you could actually be paying $151/month to get both car insurance and renters insurance.  This is because the discount you will get on the auto policy may be more than the actual cost of the renters insurance in certain areas, making the overall payment cheaper.
  3. Vegas or Bust
  4. See if you can get a student discount – Good grades pay off in a lot of areas – getting scholarships, getting more money out of your parents, and yes, lowering your insurance costs.  If you don’t already get a discount for being a student, call your agent and see if you qualify for one.
  5. Take 10 minutes to fill in an online quote – you’ll never know if you could be paying less by insuring with another company until you check to see what’s out there.  A lot of companies have online quote forms on their websites that will take about 10 minutes to fill out.  By doing this, you’re making them do all the work to try and beat the rate you’re currently paying.  You can start by filling out our Car Insurance Quote form. 

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According to this website the bodily injury liability limit is $25,000, the maximum per accident is $50,000 and the total coverage per accident for property damage is 10,000.

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