What Factors Affect Your Car Insurance Rates?

If you own or lease a car in most states it is mandatory that all drivers have car insurance. Depending on the type of car and type of ownership car insurance rates can become very expensive, especially in California. Knowing this, one way to get cheap California auto insurance is to know at least some of the factors that affect your rates so that wiser decisions can be made in choosing the car to drive and choosing insurance coverage.

One of the main factors affecting a car insurance rate is your driving record. If you have the misfortune of being in accidents, especially of a severe nature, it is almost guaranteed that your rates will be high. The insurance companies view a driving record as a report on possible liability. The more liability the more risk a company has to take to insure a driver with a blemished driving record. The best advice for improving your driving record is to take the necessary classes authorized by a local motor vehicle administration and become diligent about improving your driving habits. Don’t speed, don’t drive intoxicated and don’t participate in any activities that will cause points to be added to your record. If you follow these tips eventually your driving record will improve and one day you may qualify for more affordable rates and lower premiums.

Another factor affecting car insurance rates is the type of car you drive. People usually only think about what type of car they want and not how much it will cost to insure. It is definitely important to consider the insurance costs on certain vehicles prior to purchase. If you own a luxury vehicle where parts and repair and labor are expensive you should be prepared to pay higher car insurance. The more money an insurance company may have to pay for a possible accident or repair the more money the customer will pay for the car insurance. In addition, cars that have a high level of theft will also require more to insure. This means that a car that is relatively affordable to purchase could cost a lot to insure merely because it’s easy to steal and because ultimately the insurance company will have to pay up. In all, considering the type of car you drive prior to purchase can help reduce insurance rates.

Finally, poor credit affects the cost of car insurance. Many people think this is unfair as they believe that credit has absolutely nothing to do with driving. Many claim that the insurance companies don’t take a risk with bad credit applicants because if you don’t pay your insurance the policy is simply cancelled. Despite these arguments, it is the case that people with poor credit pay more for car insurance like with any other service from purchasing a car or buying a home. If you want to improve your insurance rate it would be very advantageous to thoroughly settle negative debts and then reapply for insurance after your credit rating has improved to get a better rate.

Including the factors listed above; there are many reasons why auto insurance rates vary from person to person. Knowing the reasons for why your rate is not as affordable as you’d like can help you to take the necessary steps to improve your car insurance rates.

Getting a Good Car Insurance Rate for Your Teen – Saving Money When You Need it Most

If you’d like to insure your teenager to drive your car, be prepared to pay through the nose. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that young people tend to have more accidents than their older counterparts, and insurance companies know this all too well.

There may be some variance in the Teen rate your insurance company provides depending on the sex of the child, with males being a higher risk than females, and therefore more expensive to insure. Over all, the likelihood of someone between the ages of 16 and 19 having an accident is four times higher than those over 19. It’s hard to blame insurance companies for charging more to cover themselves and your family.

Teen insurance is expensive, but if your child has good grades, this can count towards a discount. Teenagers who maintain a B average or higher will often cost their parent three quarters of what a less academically able student would cost to insure. Also make sure your teen has learned good driving skills and completed safety courses. Having certification from these courses may save you up to 10%, which can be a tidy little sum.

The other important factor in saving money on premiums goes for teens and adults. Keep it clean! Your driving record that is. Tickets and traffic infringements can send your premiums skyrocketing. Once again, gender becomes an issue, with females experiencing less increase in premiums per offense when compared with males.

It does seem unfair and biased, but you have to remember that it’s nothing personal. Insurance companies let the numbers do the talking, so if you want the lowest insurance costs for your teen, regardless of gender, just remember to make sure they’ve completed a driving course, they keep out of trouble with traffic and the law, and keep their grades up.

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Why It Is Important to Be Financially Literate

The main selling point of any financial products is their potential gain. Most people only see one side of the coin; they don’t realize that higher potential return equates to higher risk.

Statistically speaking, we almost always end up buying financial products and solutions from someone we like or trust in person. This is not wrong but it just isn’t right if we base our decision solely on this factor.

Financial agents are divided into 3 types:

  1. Tied financial agents are agents attached to a financial institution agency force. For example, insurance personnel, unit trust consultant, bank’s personal financial advisor. They are product focused and normally compensated by commission.
  2. Independent financial advisers(IFA) are personnel providing comprehensive financial solutions. This includes value-added advisory service (investment needs analysis, tailored financial plan, wills writing, retirement planning) and financial products (insurance, investment ). They are compensated by advisory fees and product sale commission.
  3. Financial coaches are personnel providing high degree of personal interaction to assist a client in financial awareness and profiling in order to achieve financial independence. They are usually compensated by advisory fees only.

Financial agents will take a comprehensive evaluation on your financial position and goals. Then, they will identify the gaps and subsequently propose one or more financial solutions to help you achieve your goals. They emphasize on long term engagement with the client.

The paradox of “having your best financial interest in mind”

No one will ever have your best financial interest in mind better than yourself.

If you walk into a bank, and ask the financial advisor to recommend you the investment product with the highest potential return, who is to blame if you realize you are being charged a 10% fees over your 6% investment return?

Answer: Your own ignorance

Can you guarantee your agent is going to serve you diligently after the sales even if you don’t buy additional products?

Answer: No

Then why pay 6% upfront commission while you just need to pay 2% commission via a DIY online investing platform to invest in the same unit trust?

Answer: Because either you don’t know how, don’t know what you want, don’t have time, don’t care or don’t want to ask.

I am 200 percent sure this is not the attitude you adopt in your professional career. Therefore, do not be so ignorant when it comes to managing your own money.

Let me reiterate this that financial agents are trained extensively on the art of sale, not on having your best financial interest in mind.

But our own ignorance is certainly not bliss here.

So what can you do?

Everyone should get educated on personal financial concepts. You must have the very basic financial literacy so that you can evaluate your financial needs and gaps. Then only you engage your financial agent and tell him or her what you need. Let them earn their commission, but always strive to minimize your investment cost before we even talk about earning a return. Always read the fine prints of any financial products Believe me, whichever type of financial agents you choose to engage in the future, he or she would definitely have more respect for you.

AmerUS Life Insurance Company Review

AmerUS Life Insurance Company has been a leading provider in life insurance policies in the United States. Their main website lets customers know that the company started in the year 1896 when it was founded as a Central Life Assurance Company. Although the company itself did not grow much from the start, through the span of the years it got the people needed to operate correctly and be successful at becoming a primary life insurance company in the United States. It was not until the year 1996 that the company actually acquired the name AmerUS Life Insurance Company and at that time they actually started to organize as a stock insurance company.

Things continue to grow and after the year 2000 they acquired Indianapolis Life Insurance and finally closed the year with an estimated $21.5 billion in assets. The big news about AmerUS took place in the year 2006 where AmerUS and Aviva Corporation signed an agreement under which Aviva acquired them and paid $69 per share in cash. This meant that all their operations would be combined and the business would have their headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa.

Life insurance in the United States is just starting to be a big thing. In the past nobody thought that life insurance was the right thing to get, and some people actually thought that it would be a waste of money to buy. With present events such as 9/11, Americans have come to their senses and have actually realized that accidents can happen to anyone at anytime and for that reason it is always better to be prepared.

With the market for life insurance increasing, it is not a surprise that more and more life insurance companies are being created. With so many companies it is hard to know which one of them is the best one for you. That is why a customer must always try and shop around either online or in person. If you locate a company that you think might be the one and when you compare its price to other companies you find that it’s not that expensive, and then you will feel much confident in signing with them.

When you try to log into the main website for AmerUS you will be directed to a letter from the Aviva Life Insurance Company. Since both of the companies combined and are being run under Aviva’s name it is important to know about them. Aviva is the world’s fifth largest insurance group and it is the biggest provider of life insurance in the United Kingdom. The company is huge and it employs about 58,000 people that serve an estimated 35 million customers around the globe. They are one of the strongest life insurance and long term service Product Company with assets of over $600 billion and more than $65 billion in sales. The company itself is based in London, England and its history can be traced back to the year 1696. This means that the company is over 300 years old and for this reason it has the recognition and world fame that not many other can claim.

AmerUs Life Insurance Company (now called Aviva Life and Annuity Company) offers many life insurance products that can help someone establish financial security for the future in case of an unexpected death. Some of the products offered by this company in the United States are Indexed Life Insurance, Universal Life Insurance, Single Premium Life, Indexed Survivor Universal Life, Level Premium Term Insurance and Excess Interest Whole Life Insurance.

Indexed Life Insurance: This type of life insurance allows people to have flexible payment options and death benefits. What is good about this type of policy is that it provides cash value accumulation based on how leading market indices grow. It is also good to note that this type of policy also protects the policy from the risks of a downside market and a drop in the indices. If you purchase what Aviva calls the “no Lapse Guarantee Rider” on your “Advantage Builder” part of the policy, the death benefit in the policy can be extended to the entire life of the person insured.

Universal Life Insurance: This type of life insurance is a very common type of permanent life insurance in the American market. This type of policy will actually specify the amount a beneficiary to the policy gets within certain minimum and maximum limits. This will allow the policy holder to actually buy the amount of life insurance that he or she prefers.

Single Premium Life: This type of policy is unique in that the person will only pay a single one time premium for a death benefit that will actually last a lifetime. This is primarily designed for individuals that have savings or that need cash when they have an emergency.

Indexed Survivor Universal Life: This type of life insurance company is one in which two lives are insured (more than likely a couple) and pays the benefit after the second person dies. In other words, if a husband dies before his wife; the policy will not be reimbursed to the beneficiary. It also has the potential to accumulate cash value that in the end will be given to the beneficiary after both people in the policy die.

Level Premium Term Insurance: Perhaps the most famous type of life insurance in the United States because it is not permanent. This type of insurance simply allows a policy holder to have protection for a specified period of time. In AmerUS (now Aviva) people can purchase 10, 15, 20 or 30 year term policies based on the needs that they have. This type of policy does not accrue cash value, but it will pay the beneficiary the amount that the policy holder purchases in case of the policy holder’s death.

Excess Interest Whole Life Insurance: There products are made to ensure that professionals, business owners, individuals and executives get what they need from the life insurance industry. What this type of policy does is give you fixed premiums and guarantees you death benefits.

As you can see AmerUS has gone far beyond what many life insurance companies have achieved. With the joint help of Aviva of North America, these two companies have taken the life insurance market in the United States to a whole new level. To decide if AmerUS and Aviva may be a good life insurance choice for your needs then be sure and carefully research your options with a licensed Aviva life insurance agent.