How to File a Car Insurance Claim



 Getting into a car crash can be stressful and cause panic, even if you are protected with car insurance. Many folks have coverage, but don’t know what to do after an accident and don’t know how to file a car insurance claim. Keep calm and read on.

The car insurance claim process may seem daunting, but it is easier than it appears. Here is some information on what to do after a collision and how to file a claim with little hassle.

Things You Should Know Before the Worst Happens

No one plans to get into an accident, but it’s important to know what your policy covers in case you have file a car accident injury claim or any other insurance claim. Read through your policy so you always know where you stand. Know how much liability coverage you have and if you have collision and comprehensive coverage. If you notice any coverage you want that isn’t included in your plan, contact your insurance company to get it added to your policy. Reading over your policy can also inform you on how to best file an auto insurance claim with your insurer if you cannot proceed with traditional methods.

After the Accident

There is a whole guide on what to do after getting into an auto accident and there are some steps that take priority before filing accident claims. In short, pull over and park away from traffic if possible, check yourself and others involved in the accident for injuries, call the police to report the accident, and exchange insurance information with the people involved with the collision. Also, take pictures of the accident scene if you are able, write down license plate numbers of all vehicles involved in the collision, and write down the names and contact information of any witnesses.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Regardless of whoever caused the accident, you should call your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident and file a claim. There should be a national or local phone number on your insurance card that you can call. When you speak with your insurance representative, ask if there are any particular forms you need to fill out or other information they need in order to swiftly process auto accident claims. Knowing what information you’ll need to obtain, usually items such as repair bills and the police report, will save you from making follow-up phone calls later on.

Take Your Car to a Repair Shop

While most state laws prohibit insurance companies from favoring specific auto body repair shops, many will provide you a list of local shops that are backed by repair and labor guarantees. Ultimately, you will be the one to choose which repair shop will fix your car. Make sure you know what your settlement amounts are before signing off on an estimate for repairs. You don’t want to end up paying beyond your policy’s limit if you can help it. Keep and make copies of all paperwork.

Cooperate With Your Insurer

Depending on the severity of the accident, you may be required to give your insurer additional information. They may call the repair shop to discuss the estimate for repairs or send an insurance adjuster to inspect the car. You may need to send copies of any legal papers or settlement offers you receive in relation to the accident. This can help your insurer defend you if you are sued as a result of the accident. It may seem like a hassle, but it is all in the interest of providing you the protection you purchased.

Keep Records of All Related Expenses

If you get a car estimate, hospital bill, a bill for a rental car, or any other expense related to your car accident, you need to be able to show proof of it to your insurance company. Keep any and all receipts or paperwork that indicates how much you paid or need to pay. You should also write down and report anything that could be considered lost wages. This can help you get reimbursed properly for these expenses.

Keep and Store Copies of Paperwork

This has been mentioned previously multiple times, but it bears repeating. It is important to keep any and all paperwork related to your accident in order for your insurance provider to refer to it when filing your car insurance claim. Keep the originals and make copies of any forms, bills, or other items related to your accident. You should also consider keeping your records organized in a file and kept in a safe place in your home.

If You’re Dissatisfied, Talk to Your Insurance Agent

If your claim has been processed and you aren’t satisfied with your payout, don’t be afraid to talk things over with your insurance provider. You can both review what was outlined in your policy agreement and see if there was any information that was overlooked or forgot to provide. It could also be an opportunity to update your insurance policy to include certain coverages that weren’t available to you in this instance.

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How to Finance an Auto Purchase

When you walk into a dealership, you won’t be there long before a salesperson asks how you intend to pay for your new car.

When the dealer starts in, just explain that you intend to pay in cash. Saying you’ll be paying in cash doesn’t mean you’re going to open up a briefcase with bricks of money inside, it just means that you’re not interested in dealer or manufacturer financing.

In some cases (if you have perfect credit if the car is about to be replaced by a newer model) dealer-sponsored financing might be a good deal, but most of the time it isn’t. You can usually find better deals on car loans at credit unions and banks.

Telling the dealer that you’re not interested in their financing takes away an opportunity for the dealer to pad the deal with an extra profit. Dealers make money on charging you, so they have ways of slipping various extra fees and charges into your financing arrangement. Forgoing dealer financing also allows you to focus on the features and purchase price of the car you want — a far more important and useful task than focusing on the monthly payment figure.

After declining financing, your next task is negotiating the purchase price of the car. Some survival tips:

Resist the temptation to lease. Leasing is basically an extended car rental. When you lease a car, you must return it at the end of the lease or buy it from the dealer at a predetermined price — usually higher than what you’d pay for a similar used car. When you take a loan out to buy a car, you pay down the loan and then the car is yours, free and clear. The only payments you’ll have to make after that are for gas, repairs, and insurance.

Lots of people lease. Smart, respectable people lease. It’s not a terrible thing to do, but it’s not the best way to keep a car because you’re always making payments. Lease a car for three years and, when the term expires, you need to look for a new lease or shell out thousands to purchase the car you’ve been driving.

Consider factory certified pre-owned cars. “Certified pre-owned” is another term for “used.” But these cars do come with extra assurances about the car’s condition. Going pre-owned can be a really smart move because most cars lose 18% of their value in their first year. A certified pre-owned car is one that has been inspected and fixed before it goes on the market, and comes with a manufacturer-backed warranty like new cars do.

Size up your future car loan. Once you decide you want a new car, the first thing you should do is figure out how many cars you can afford. Calculate this amount before you go shopping; don’t let a car dealer influence your decision.

Figure out how big a loan you should get. A good rule of thumb: Your monthly car payment should be no more than 20% of your disposable income. That means that after you’ve paid all your debts and living expenses, take one-fifth of what’s left. That’s your maximum monthly auto expense. Ideally, this number should cover not only your car payment but also your insurance and fuel costs.

Decide how long you’ll give yourself to repay your car loan. A monthly payment is, essentially, the amount of your loan, plus interest, divided by the number of months you have to pay back the loan. The more months you have to pay it back, the lower the monthly payment will be. But stretching out a car loan too long—or any loan, for that matter—will ultimately cost you a truckload more in interest payments.

For example, say you take out a $20,000 car loan at 5%. If you borrow the money over four years, your monthly payment will be $460.59. At the end of four years, you’ll have paid $2,108.12 in interest.

If you borrow the money over ten years, your monthly payment will only be $211.12, but at the end of 10 years, you’ll have paid $5,455.72 in interest.

Keep your loan term to five years or less (three is ideal) and you should be in good shape. If the monthly payments are too much even for five years, the car you’re looking to buy is probably too expensive.

Consider all pools of money. Should you sell investments to pay for the car instead of borrowing at 7%? That’s a tough call; usually, we’d say no. Do not spend any of your tax-sheltered retirement savings (IRAs, 401(k)s), as you’ll pay through the nose in penalties and taxes and rob from your future. As for taxable investments, consider whether cashing out would have tax implications (you’ll pay 15% on capital gains for investments held longer than one year; investments held less than a year are taxed at your ordinary income-tax rate) or whether you may need that money for something else over the next two to three years.

Should you take out a home equity loan to pay for a car, since the interest of those loans is tax-deductible?

Many people think home loans are the perfect way to finance the purchase of a new car. But the length of the term for a home loan — most require payments over at least 10 years, with penalties for early repayment — will send your total costs through the roof, even after the tax savings. Borrow for no more than five years, lease (if you must) for no more than three. If you’re considering a home-equity line of credit to pay for your car, remember that most HELOCs have a variable interest rate, so it’s possible your payments will rise over time.

How to Find the Best Auto Loan

You’re going to show up at the dealer with your own loan, but where should that loan come from?

Begin by getting a sense of the prevailing rate for a new-car loan. Focus on is the APR or annual percentage rate offered by each lender. The APR is the annual cost of the loan or interest rate. With this number, you can cross-compare loans from one lender to another, so long as the duration of the loans is the same.

You’ll probably get the best deal at a credit union— a members-only, nonprofit bank that can offer lower-cost loans than a traditional bank can. But check out rates at traditional banks and online-only car lenders such as AutoWrranty Auto Loans.

Don’t be distracted by dealerships offering rebates or zero-percent financing if you obtain your loan through them. “Zero-percent financing” means you are not charged any interest on the loan. So if you were buying a car that cost $24,000 and you had a 48-month car loan, your monthly payment would be $500, without any added interest. A rebate is a money taken off the price of the car. Rebates are also called cash-back deals.

Here’s the thing about those offers: The money you save via interest and rebates is probably coming from somewhere. If you qualify for 0% interest (and most people don’t, as it’s given only to people with near-perfect credit), your dealer won’t budge on the sticker price. If you take the rebate, you won’t get a rock-bottom or 0% interest deal.

That’s why splitting up the financing and purchasing of your car is a good idea: First, you can shop around for the best credit-union car loan, and then you go to the dealer and focus on negotiating the purchase price of the car. Bundling the transactions can lead to lots of stress and added expense — you may be so focused on financing costs that you the punt on the purchase price — to keep them separate.

If you do choose dealer financing, be extra vigilant about what you agree to, and what you’re signing—it’s not uncommon for dealers to add in various unnecessary fees (rustproofing, extended warranty) that fatten their bottom line. Question everything that wasn’t explicitly discussed during negotiation, and don’t be afraid to walk away.

There are some easy ways to catch a break with your dealer when negotiating the price of your car. Timing can be everything:

Shop early in the week
. Weekends are prime time for dealers. But if you show up on a Monday, a salesman may be more motivated to cut a deal because business will be slow for the next few days.

Shop at the end of the month. Car dealers get monthly bonuses if they move enough metal. If you show up on the 30th and your salesperson is two cars short of a bonus, he or she may cut you a better deal so to make numbers.

Shop for a car that’s about to be replaced/discontinued. Pretty simple logic here: Things that are about to be considered “old” sell for less. If you’re looking at a 2008 Honda Accord and the 2009s are about to arrive at the dealer, you usually can get a bargain. If the 2009 model is completely new and different from 2008, you’ll save even more. (Who wants to be seen driving the old-looking model? Smart, frugal people, that’s who.) And if Honda decides the Accord isn’t selling much anymore and kills it after the current model year? (OK, fat chance, but this is just an example.) Untold riches await. As do potential maintenance headaches — remember, some cars are unpopular for good reason.

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IS YOUR CAR STILL WHERE YOU PARKED IT?



According to FBI reports, in 2015 in the US alone, a motor vehicle was stolen every 45 seconds.

We spend only a fraction of our time in our cars that we spend a lot of money on, so it’s good to know what goes on with our cars when we’re not around to watch them.

We can’t scare the thieves away or arrest them, but you’ll get a notification to your phone every time someone tries to compromise your car or tamper with the device – even when someone just hits your car while it’s parked, and tries to get away with it. The notification you receive from We will allow you to catch thieves or reckless drivers.

Even if you’re too late to catch the perpetrators on spot, We allows you to monitor the movement of your vehicle and report the location of your car to the authorities so they can retrieve it and return it to the safety of your garage.

With we car tracking feature you can even park your car wherever you like while you run your errands, without ever worrying if your car is safe or if you can remember where you parked it. We provides you peace of mind while your car is parked.

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How does a car refinance loan work?

Whether your goal is to lower your monthly car payments or reduce the total interest you pay on your car loan, it’s important you understand how refinancing your car loan works.

Refinancing your car loan is replacing your current auto lender with another lender. This involves changing the name of the company that is listed on your car’s title, which is a document that details proof of official ownership. That means you will make payments to the new lender until your loan is paid off.

Before checking your rate for a car refinance loan check to make sure that when you obtain a quote it won’t be a hard inquiry on your credit report. This can impact your credit score. When you apply, a lender will look at your credit profile, as well as the make, model, trim and mileage of your car to determine your rate. You won’t need to have your car appraised the way you do when you refinance a home. Lenders will look at the value of your vehicle relative to how much you owe on the vehicle, called your Loan-to-Value ratio.

What else lenders will look for

Lenders will also look at how many payments you have left on your current auto loan to understand if refinancing is worthwhile for both parties. Typically, you need a minimum of a few months to show on-time payment history but after that, the more recent your current loan is the more potential refinancing will have to save you money. The way that many auto loans work is that the majority of the interest is paid during the beginning of the loan. Check the amortization schedule of your current loan to see what percentage of your payments are interest payments.
Once you get your rate, you should evaluate if the rate or terms offered to meet your financial goals. You should also make sure that you understand any additional fees or prepayment penalties so you can understand the total cost of the loans you’re comparing.

The process

Once you select your lender there are certain documents you need to refinance your car loan. For example your insurance and registration cards.

Once everything is verified and approved, you may be asked to complete a Power of Attorney (POA) form so your car title can be transferred from your previous lender to your new lender. A POA shows that you have authorized the title transfer to the new lender.

Your current lender will then pay off your previous lender. When you receive confirmation that your refinance is complete, your new lender will be responsible for your loan. You’ll make payments directly to them and contact them for any questions or concerns.

Depending on how fast you can submit your documents, many lenders will take between a few days to a few weeks to complete the refinance.

Want to check your rate to see how much you could save with a car refinance loan through Lending Club? Check your rate with no impact to your credit score.

 

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WHY ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE MATTERS

A ROADSIDE STORY

Many drivers take roadside assistance for granted. Some driver might not even know they have it. I personally cannot tell you the number of times that roadside assistance has come to my rescue. Locked keys, flat tire, or battery jumps; roadside assistance is a wonderful tool.  “I can jump my own car” some might say. My response is to imagine the following…

EYES ON THE ROAD

It is the middle of the week. With just a quarter past ten, the streets seem to be clear. With limited cars in sight, you can probably shorten the stretch in reaching your cozy destination. Then suddenly, so you see something. Up ahead, a man frantically waves his hand at oncoming vehicles but none stopped. Then you pull over.
This middle-aged guy Jimmy tells you that his automobile won’t start shortly after you came out of your pick-up truck. He has stopped at a convenience store in order to buy some bread. When he started the engine, what he hears is the tapping sound akin to someone tapping on a Morse code apparatus. Then it hits you.
So here you are, offering roadside assistance to somebody. A lot of scenarios suddenly pop out of your head. Do have the necessary tools to help the guy out? More importantly, do you have enough knowledge to jumpstart his automobile?

LEFT SOMETHING OUT

Let’s try to backtrack here a bit. Prior to jumping into your car, there has been no indication that you’ve taken the necessary preparation for a road trip. Although vehicles usually have tools, there is no guarantee that these materials are complete. Missing out on trip preparations can, at times, be disastrous for you.
For instance, even if you have the alligator jack or the lug wrench but you forgot to bring the early warning devices, changing a flat tire can still be dangerous for you. So preparing the necessary tools is definitely vital.
Going back to the guy who needed road assistance, it will be a double whammy if he himself had not brought in the necessary materials. It will even be more disastrous if, like you, he has a very limited knowledge about fixing cars.

WHAT NOW

You must take note that troubles on the road are doubly catastrophic if it happens in solitary or less populated highways. How will you and that person you intended to help get through the problem? Here are the practical approaches to this predicament.
Primarily, you need to have the contact numbers of your mechanics with you. That way, you can call them up when you need roadside assistance. It also helps if you know the area that you are treading on the way to your destination. Doing so allows you to have the exact locations of nearby service centers.

LEARNING TRULY HELPS

Secondly, it is best if you have at least some practical know-how about vehicles. The tapping sound on the car of the person you’ve tried to help can probably be attributed to loose battery terminals. However, you will not know that unless you have previous knowledge about such thing. The truth is you don’t need to be a mechanic in order to survive on the road. Having some solutions about common automobile troubles is all you need.
Third, you need to be receptive about the situation that you are in. The guy who needed your assistance may have parked his car properly but in most roadside troubles, the cars usually stall or lose power in the middle of nowhere. Now that is very dangerous. Imagine yourself being in the center with speeding vehicles zooming around. That early warning device will come in handy in such situation.

BRING IN THE ESSENTIALS

To sum it all up, you need three things to keep roadside assistance essential. Preparation is key to everything. One, you need all the numbers from people that will help you in case things get complicated on the road. Talking about contact information, you should take note that this is not only limited to mechanics and towing companies. This also means that you should be able to reach persons with authority like policemen or firemen. At some point, these people will provide you with the resources or services that you need.
Two, acquiring practical knowledge about car troubles will not hurt you. In fact, it will be your gateway towards greater facts where automobiles are concerned. Three, equally important is that sense of awareness. Car troubles always happen unexpectedly. You need to be on top of the scenario when that happens.

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THE DIFFERENT CAR WARRANTY DEALS AVAILABLE

Automobiles are generally the worst investment a person can make because they depreciate faster than almost any other commodity on the market. Even when buying a car brand new it depreciates the second it is driven for the first time off the dealer’s lot. Because all cars will eventually need some form of repairs, get a car warranty to help protect against the high prices of car repairs.

To begin the process of looking for the best warranty, make sure to see if the dealership offers a limited time warranty on the car in question before signing the title. After a few thousand miles or a limited amount of time, dealership warranties will expire causing motorists to seek out alternative avenues for coverage. When these service plans expire, look into the most recognizable types of warranty coverage.

One of the first and usually most acquired varieties of warranties that people obtain is the bumper to bumper package. This package provides solutions to a variety of different problems a motorist may be forced to face while operating their vehicle. Some of the benefits to choosing this package are having a towing and roadside assistance coverage, trip interruption and rental car protection, and it can repair things from gaskets to electronic equipment.

People who do not like to sign onto a large coverage package also have the option of comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage is more geared to the individual though they usually follow a few set guidelines that are laid out by the coverage company. Full comprehensive warranties are usually the most favorably priced. However, the drawback to this style is that a driver must read through and be sure of all the ins and outs of policy before signing it.

The powertrain warranty has become a national phenomenon because of the great coverage it affords anyone who uses it. Powertrain warranties are set up to help a person pay for large automotive repair projects which usually cost the most money to fix. These projects include general engine repair and transmission fixes. Wheel axles and the driver shaft are also covered with this style of warranty.

Along with a car warranty, the enhanced powertrain warranty can take a person deeper the automotive security blanket than ever before. These warranty type covers all the same materials that its original predecessor included, only it adds a few more pieces on top. Wheels, all electrical appliances and equipment, and even the air conditioning is covered when getting this package.

Finding the best car warranty for a personal situation is really a great way to help stem the costs accrued by taking a car into the shop. By paying a meager amount of money dedicated to a monthly premium, people will save money in the long term because they will avoid being at the mercy of mechanics. Find a coverage package that best fits people’s money and transport needs to make a well informed decision on the topic. Remember, a few bucks a month may be worth it as compared to paying out thousands at one shot for a new transmission.

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