Possible Car Refinancing Outcomes

Not all car loan refinance deals are the same, but customers who chose to refinance often seek one of the following outcomes (this list is not exhaustive).

Lower Your Monthly Payments

Most of the time, people seek car loan refinancing to lower their monthly payments. This priority is understandable because monthly car loan payments can have an immediate impact on a household’s monthly finances. However, your monthly payment should not be your only consideration when refinancing as the sections below describe.

You have two ways to lower your car loan monthly payments. You can get a lower interest rate, you can extend your loan term, or you can do both. Usually, the best way to lower your car loan payments dramatically is to extend the number of months over which you pay for your car. However, when you extend your loan term, you may end up paying more for your car in total than you would without extending it. Still, if your lender allows you to extend your loan term and gives you a lower interest rate, you may both lower your monthly payments and pay less in total for your car. The example below will illustrate how this outcome can occur.

Decrease Your Interest Rate/Reduce Your Interest Charges

While it is interrelated with the goal of lowering monthly payments, some refinance customers prioritize lowering the interest rates on their loans. If during the course of your car loan, you improve your credit worthiness in the eyes of lenders (they sometimes evaluate you according to the Four C’s of Credit), then you usually can get a new loan on your car with a lower interest rate, and when you lower your interest rate you may reduce the total interest charges you pay on your car loan – assuming your car loan term is not extended or not extended by too many months.

Want to see how much refinancing may save you? Try our auto loan refinancing calculator.

Change The Length Of Your Loan

Sometimes refinance customers seek refinancing with an aim to change their loan term lengths. However, this goal usually has more to do with lowering monthly payments than just changing how many months over which a customer pays for his/her car.

Remove Or Add Someone As A Co-Signer To Your Loan

For various personal reasons, sometimes car loan borrowers want to refinance to remove someone from or add someone to their car loans. Refinancing is an easy way to take someone off of your car loan because the refinance process gives you a new loan with a new contract.

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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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An extended auto warranty is still a necessity

Buick has announced that for the 2006 model year all models will come with a 4 year or 50,000 mile manufacturer’s warranty. This makes Buick and Cadillac the only models to have better than General Motors standard 3 year or 36,000 mile coverage.

The question that frequently comes up is do I still need to purchase a extended warranty or vehicle service contract. The answer in our opinion is a resounding yes. These vehicles are jam packed with high tech electronics in addition to the normal powertrain items. These items usually fail sometime after 50,000 mile threshold. Statistics have shown that more than 89% of the auto warranties purchased pay out more than the amount they were purchased for.

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IoT Security in the Auto Industry

When we consider the Internet of Things (IoT) in the automobile market, most of us will think about the connected car or the Google car. Today, these benefits are consumer orientated and provide basic convenience, maintenance and safety functions. In the future, especially with the ongoing development and testing of the self-driving Google car, our entire experience with how we interact with our cars will be revolutionized. Someday, we may just all be passengers where vehicles communicate with one another, to maximize safety and optimize efficiency to get us from point A to point B.

If we then mention security, the 60 minutes piece that aired in 2015 about hacking the internet-connected Jeep most likely will be top of mind. Was it sensational? Sure, but it did highlight a potential critical flaw and security vulnerability that resulted in 1.4 million vehicles being recalled. Additionally, car manufacturers are increasingly marketing their connected features from onboard Wi-Fi, to mobile apps that control the locks and even start vehicles. In these cases, the novelty of these “cool” features often outweigh the negative impacts. So what happens when the consumer’s phone is stolen? Are there appropriate security and authentication measures in place to ensure their car is then not stolen as well? These are all things to think about.

Should we as consumers be concerned? Maybe, maybe not, as it may still be too early for these issues to turn into an epidemic. However, we should start becoming more aware of these connected features and how they can impact us, both positively and negatively. Security will need to be addressed especially as more vehicles offer internet-connected features. Our safety and the privacy of our personal information and property will depend upon it.

New Risks Facing Auto Manufacturers

For now, the people who should be really concerned about these vulnerabilities are the auto manufacturers. Negative high-profile news like the 60 minutes piece can be quite damaging to their brands and reputation. Additionally, these vulnerabilities put consumer safety at risk and significantly drive the cost of warranty replacements up when repairs are needed on potentially more than a million vehicles. Nobody wants to be associated with a story such as that and have to deal with expensive reputation repair and resulting financial losses. Fiat Chrysler has had to do a lot of damage control, including an extensive and costly recall of their vehicles. Now, if something tragic had resulted from this, the damage could have been unrepairable and affected whether the manufacturer would be able to stay in business or not.

But, issues like this may just be the tip of the iceberg of security concerns for car manufacturers. While hacking a vehicle and taking control over some of its functions gets the media attention, what happens during the engineering and manufacturing stages could be the most critical. Here are a couple of examples…

Security Concerns on the Manufacturing Floor

The automobile manufacturing process needs to be very precise and meet the highest quality standards to put a car on the road. The safety of everyone on the road depends upon the quality of vehicles being manufactured and sold. The manufacturing process is now very automated (almost fully). To further optimize the process, manufacturing facilities and the equipment are being interconnected to share and analyze important data. This is Industrial IoT (IIoT). What can be done with this data can be very powerful and potentially save manufacturers millions of dollars. However, connecting this equipment does open new vulnerabilities, which can put the manufacturer, its employees and consumers at risk.

If a malicious attack is successful at compromising a piece of manufacturing equipment or software service, serious issues can occur. If a hacker is able to gain access to a sensor that monitors the operating temperature of a piece of manufacturing equipment, how could that potentially affect the safety of the employees? Now, what if an attack is successful at making a simple modification to the software that instructs a piece equipment as to how many bolts it installs to brace the framing of the car in the assembly process? How would that impact the safety of the consumer? It’s these behind-the-scenes IIoT security scenarios that must be addressed before they become the next sensational news story.

Ensuring Firmware Integrity

Now that cars have basically become computer processors on wheels, there is a significant amount of software and firmware on board that controls many of the vehicle’s functions. The initial install of this software and firmware is carried out during the manufacturing process and generally conducted in a controlled environment. However, as the vehicle hits the road and ages, it’s inevitable that there will be software and firmware upgrades. These upgrades could be performed by certified dealers or any mechanic that has access to the vehicle. How do you know that right software or firmware is being installed in your car? You probably have no clue and your mechanic may not know either. However, if the software/firmware was signed, the integrity can be validated and ensure that only the proper updates are made and malicious software, or firmware is not installed in your vehicle.

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What is Full Coverage? Understanding your Car and Auto Insurance Policy


Do you know what the term "full Coverage" actually means when it comes to your Car or Auto Insurance policy? 
The truth is that "full Coverage" is a very loose term that does not have an exact definition. Insurance companies do not offer a full Coverage option for you to pick. The term full coverage is generally associated with comprehensive coverage and collision coverage but can be interpreted many ways.
State Minimum Requirements
Every state in the U.S. has the ability to set its own state minimum requirements for auto insurance. In the State of Florida, The state minimum requirements include 10,000 per person and 20,000 per accident for bodily injury liability and 10,000 in Personal Injury Protection.

Comprehensive
Physical damage for all the things that can happen to your vehicle other than a collision is covered by comprehensive coverage. Full coverage cannot be possible without comprehensive coverage.

Collision
The collision is the coverage that gives you the broadest coverage and is always included in full coverage auto insurance. Collision coverage ensures your vehicle will be covered regardless of what causes the damage. Collision covers damage for all accidents and since collision cannot be purchased without comprehensive coverage anything other than an accident will still be covered.

Additional Coverage that is not necessarily included with Full Coverage 

Towing

Car Rental Coverage

Uninsured Motorist

To be sure you are fully protected from every scenario it is a good idea to talk with your agent and ask him to explain what your policy covers and what optional coverages are available.

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CAN YOU BE DENIED AUTO INSURANCE IF CONVICTED OF A MOVING VIOLATION?

A moving violation can be a serious mistake or a minor one. In many situations, your auto insurance provider is there to help you through mistakes you might make. However, there are some situations where it can become difficult to obtain auto insurance. If you are labeled a high-risk driver, it may be hard to obtain car insurance or affordable plans. There are several things to keep in mind in this situation.

Can You Be Denied?

Most states have requirements that those who operate a motor vehicle (or own one) must have auto insurance in place. This is required for nearly all drivers. However, car insurance providers are able to deny individuals coverage if the driver is too high of a risk to insure. It can be hard to obtain insurance if you have such a label because the risk of another mistake, accident or moving violation is high.

By definition, a high-risk driver is someone who has a higher potential of filing a claim at some time in the future. Insurers view these individuals as high risk and costly, therefore charging a significant amount more to cover individuals, or simply denying coverage altogether. There are many reasons for this outcome, including a DUI/DWI conviction, illegal street racing, excessive speeding, reckless driving, driving without licensing and traffic violations in which a person died or got seriously injured.

What Should You Do?

If you are a high-risk driver, you will need to work to minimize such risks going forward. More so, if you find a policy that offers coverage to you, be sure to do everything you can to reduce your points. In some cases, you may be able to take a driving course to reduce your points. You may need to obtain an SR-22 as well, which generally is a requirement by the department of motor vehicles. Most people can find a policy available to them, though it can be expensive and hard to do without the help of an independent insurance agent. The right auto insurance provider is likely available even for high-risk drivers.

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