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July 4, 2012

Saving Money on your Car Insurance

When it comes to getting a good deal on your car insurance quote, there are a few neat tricks that you can use to ensure that the price stays low. A lot of people will stay with the same company when it comes to car insurance for years, and while this is often a great option, there are also many other great deals out there. Here are a few of the best tips to ensure that your car insurance premium doesn’t break the bank.

#1 – Try not to claim for small amounts

Let’s say that you have an accident; the first thing that you will probably do is call your insurance company and let them take care of everything. Now, this isn’t always the best thing to do and in fact, we recommend that in a lot of cases you don’t do this if at all possible. Making claims on small amounts when it comes to car insurance can often pump up your quote for the following year. In fact, we’d say that anything up to a cost of £500, you should ideally fix without claiming through your car insurance company.

The reason for this is that you will just be charged a higher premium when it comes to renewing your insurance the following year. You can also make sure to keep your excess high when you apply for the insurance to get a lower quote.

#2 – Be specific when it comes to your occupation

When you are filling in the forms on the comparison websites or even the insurance websites themselves, you will often be asked for your occupation. You might not have realised, but there are a handful of occupations that insurance companies don’t favour at all. If you have one of these occupations, your insurance premium might skyrocket. For example. many insurance companies don’t like sales reps or estate agents. This is usually because they will be traveling quite a lot.

By being more specific, you can lower your insurance premium. For example, let’s say that you do work for an estate agent but you only usually work at the office and do the admin work, you might put “administrative assistant” instead to lower your premium. Little things like this can add up to a big difference in your costs.

#3 – Don’t modify your car

A lot of people like to add extras to their cars these days, especially those that are young. However, adding a state-of-the-art surround sound system or colour neon lights to your car is only going to increase your insurance premium even more; and this is far from what you want, especially if you are young and have a high premium already.
By ensuring that you don’t modify your car too much with accessories, you can ensure that your premium stays as low as possible.

#4 – Add an extra driver to your policy

This might seem like a bit of a strange tip but in a lot of cases, this actually lowers your insurance costs. By adding another driver to your policy, you might see a reduction in your costs and it also means that a friend or family member can drive your car (should you allow it of course).

This is something to be careful with as it really does depend on a variety of factors. Age, relation and many other factors are taken into account by the insurance companies so make sure you explore this option before you go ahead with it.

#5 – Buy a used car

Again, this is a neat little trick to ensure that your premium is as low as possible. By purchasing a used car, you will be able to make sure that the value of the car your are insuring is much lower than if you purchased a brand new car. This means that should you opt for fully comprehensive insurance and the insurance company has to pay out should your car be stolen, they won’t have to pay out as much.

In effect, the cost of your car will be part of the algorithm used by insurance companies when it comes to calculating your premium. Used cars can be reliable and cheap too so this is actually a plus point for a lot of people.

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June 27, 2012

Swinton Car Insurance Release the Speedometer

Recent data from Swinton Car Insurance reveals the makes and models of cars which have recorded the lowest number of speeding convictions in the UK. The research compiled from Swinton Car Insurance covers 545 from over 60 manufacturers. Input your car make and model into the app and discover whether you are a speed demon or a road angel.

Research suggests that the safest road users include drivers of the Volvo 360, Hyundai I40 and the Datsun Cherry. On the opposite end of the spectrum we have the speed demons including the Chrysler Ypsilon, Daewoo Lacetti and TVR Griffith 500 Convertible. What type of driver could you be? The Swinton Speedometer is linked to Facebook and Twitter allowing you to share your result with your friends and followers.

When looking at new car insurance policy it is vital to ensure that all eventualities are covered so that you are protected. Car insurance policies vary dependent on your needs. Classic car insurance for example may have extra emphasis on maintaining the bodywork of your vintage car in pristine condition. Car insurance for young drivers also varies; it can be a long process to find a great deal if you have only recently passed your test.

If you are looking for a great deal on your car insurance why not contact the specialist team at Swinton Car insurance who search the UKs top car insurance companies on your behalf to ensure that you get the best cover for your needs.

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April 25, 2012

Growing Trend of Insurance Automation

The insurance industry is dynamic and changing every day, and with advancements in technology, many insurance companies are improving their level of efficiency. Instead of relying on manual systems to handle business operations, many insurance companies are instead relying on insurance automation to do the job for them. With current insurance market trends, more and more insurance companies are starting to automate many of the processes that they engage in on a regular basis.

What is Insurance Automation?

Insurance automation is a process that involves leaving some regular functions up to automated systems. Instead of having employees engage in these activities, they have automated computer systems that handle the functions. This makes it possible for employees to focus on other areas of business and allow the automation systems to handle the rest.

Claim Processing

One area in which many insurance companies rely on automation is in claim processing. When an insured has some kind of damage that he needs to be reimbursed for, he must file a claim. While some insurance companies still have call centres and agents that file claims, others set up automated systems to handle this task. With these automated systems, customers can file a claim on the insurance company’s website or call into a phone number. If a customer calls the phone line, you will talk to an automated system that will ask them for information such as his policy number and details about the claim. At that point, the information will be entered into the claim tracking system so that an adjuster can be assigned to the claim and begin working on it. This cuts down the amount of labour that it takes to run the insurance claims coming in.

Follow Up

In addition to handling claims in this manner; many insurance companies also lead to follow a process through an automated system. For example, when a claim has been handled, the insurance company may want to check back with the customer to make sure that all of his problems were handled in a professional manner. An automated system can mail out a survey or send one via email to all of the appropriate customers at the right time. Sometimes, an automated phone system can be used to call all of the customers in a particular area. This makes it possible to check back with customers on a regular basis to make sure that they are being taken care of in a timely manner.

Considerations

When it comes to using insurance automation, insurance companies can use a number of different systems and tools to make their jobs easier. They can cut down on costs by eliminating some jobs that employees traditionally had to do. Because of the improvements in technology, it is possible to save money on labour costs and get things done more efficiently. Insurance companies have to walk a delicate line to make sure that they don’t try to automate too much so that they seem like they are getting away from a customer-centred position. Otherwise, automation can play a valuable role in the industry.

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April 11, 2012

How To Make a Claim on Your Long Term Care Insurance Policy

So you have purchased a long term health care insurance policy just in case you needed it and now after several years have passed you do in fact need to use it. At this point you probably are wondering what you need to do in order to file a claim. The answer is going to vary depending upon which insurance agency you bought your policy through, but the general process is as follows.

Step #1 – Determine Who Needs to File the Claim

Like many health insurance policies, long term health care insurance claims can either be completed by you or your health care provider. Before you start any paperwork determining if your health care provider will file the claim for you or if you need to do it.

Step #2 – Determine If You Are Covered

A long term health care insurance policy can cover a number of shortages produced by your major medical insurance or Medicare. However, when you purchased your LTC insurance you decided what you wanted to be covered for and as a result not everything may be covered. Before you start the paper work make sure what you are requesting reimbursement or funding for is covered in your policy.

Step #3 – Request Claim Forms

If you are responsible for filing the claim and if your medical expense is covered, then you next need to fill out a claim form. To get a claim form you can go to your insurance agent’s website and download a form, you can go to your insurance agent’s office and fill one out in person, or you can schedule a meeting with your agent (or talk on the phone) to complete a form.

You will need your medical bill to fill out this form. The form will most likely ask for specific information about what service was provided, who provided it, what medical billing code was used and when the service was provided. If you have any questions about where to find specific pieces of information, you can call the accounting department or billing department of your health care provider.

Step #4 – Submit Your Claim

It is important to fill out and submit your claim as quickly as possible. Many insurance agents have a limit on how long you can wait before submitting claim forms for reimbursement or coverage. Also, getting reimbursed or being funded for a medical procedure can take weeks. This means that the sooner you complete your paperwork the better it will be for everyone involved.

Learn more about long term care insurance and see other LTC information here…

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April 7, 2012

Government Calls for Action on Young Driver’s Car Insurance

The AA, which produces the British Insurance Premium Index, reported last year that car insurance premiums had fallen slightly, by an average of around £2.00.  In other words – not a lot!  Sadly, for many drivers especially young drivers this fall will make very little difference.  The cost of young drivers car insurance is now causing concern at government level as one MP has highlighted the high costs of car insurance as being partly responsible for limiting access to work for those in their late teens and early twenties.  With unemployment at extremely high levels and the phrase ‘NEET’ hardly ever out of the press, there is good cause for concern.  For those seeking care jobs, access to a car can be crucial and the problem is particularly acute in rural areas.  For young rural drivers there are very limited opportunities and the lack of public transport means that young people have no choice but to rely on their own transport to access employment and training.

Imaginative Solutions

The main problem faced by those searching for young driver’s car insurance is that they fall into a high risk category.  Young male drivers under the age of 25 are considered one of the highest risk categories with an alarming number of this group being involved in fatal accidents.  Legislation in the last couple of years from the European courts has meant that young women are no longer able to access “discriminatory” lower premiums, despite statistically less likely to be involved in accidents than their male contemporaries.  The simple fact is that those likely to be on the lowest level of the wage scale face premiums that can average over £3000.  With the added high cost of fuel which is unlikely to drop, this results in a seemingly impossible situation for many.  Nigel Evans, the MP for Ribble Valley has called for insurers to help to tackle this problem, arguing that “imaginative” solutions need to be found.

Catch 22

While some may argue that car ownership amongst the young is now a luxury, the problems caused by the high costs run far deeper.  As Evans points out, many younger drivers are facing a Catch 22 situation; unable to access work without a car and not being able to run one without work.  Insult is added to  injury by the fact that employment status is also a factor used to work out the premium.  The problem, as already mentioned is particularly acute for young rural drivers who may face long commutes to find work or attend college/training courses, with high petrol costs and low wages.  The problem is compounded for this group by the fact that the few available opportunities in rural areas are usually in the lowest paid sectors such as farming, hospitality or the care industry.

Positive Actions

Solutions that have been mooted include offering rebates on insurance after a no-claims period or premiums based on scores gained during the practical test.  In addition there are now schemes being introduced by car insurance companies including the AA, to fit ‘black box’ devices to the car.  Available to any driver, these are particularly being marketed to the young driver’s car insurance sector.  Monitoring the actual skills of the driver and adjusting premiums to reflect skill, ability and safety, these may ultimately provide an ideal solution for younger drivers.  AA officials have also said that younger drivers can take positive action to reduce their own premiums, such as reducing their mileage, buying an older car and shopping around for insurance.

The high costs of young driver’s car insurance is now causing concern at government level, being cited as one bar to employment for many young people.  While the government calls for ‘imaginative’ solutions, industry experts continue to place the onus on young drivers to take steps to reduce their own premiums.

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