Medliorate

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Understanding Car Insurance

Posted by medliorator on June 6, 2007

If you have the displeasure of owning a vehicle medical school, this former Progressive service rep may help you to save on insurance. It reads like a Progressive ad, but useful information has been extracted.

Progressive uses a point system to determine your rate.
Comprehensive Claims (0 points) – claims that are not accidents; like fires, thefts, vandalisms. Don’t be afraid to report these kinds of claims. I can virtually guarantee they have no effect on your rate at Progressive.
Not at Fault Accidents (0-1 points) – it is rare for a NAF to effect your rate, but it can.
DUI, DWI (0-2 points) – Most companies won’t insure a DUI. They are barely a rating factor at Progressive. If you have a DUI on your record, I can pretty much say you will never find a lower rate than Progressive.
Tickets (1-2 points) – All speeding, stop sign, defective equipment, traffic light, yield tickets go here. Usually 2 points a piece.
At Fault Accidents (3-4 points)
Jailable driving offenses (8 points)

 

Factors affecting your rate:
Age: Young drivers are much, much more expensive
Gender: According to studies, males are higher ‘risk’ than females.
Location: Urban areas pay more; Poor neighborhoods pay more; Even very nice neighborhoods pay slightly more. The best areas are middle to lower-middle class suburbs and rural areas.
Credit: This plays a very big role in your rate. The only state exempt from credit checks is California
Your Vehicle: [in order of increasing risk] 4-door sedans, 2-door coupes, convertibles, minivans, trucks, SUVs. The bigger your vehicle, the more damage it has the potential to cause. Foreign cars are slightly more to insure since replacement parts cost slightly more.
Your Driving History: Driving histories go back 36 months, except in New York (which is 40 months). Your history is composed from three reports; your MVR or Motor Vehicle Report, the state database of your ticketed driving history; your CLUE report, a collection of previous insurance companies reports stating the numbers of claims you’ve had, and YOU. If you say you got in an accident, were never sited [sic] for it and never claimed it on your insurance, but you still tell us, it’ll be put on your record with an approximate date.
Color of your car does NOT effect your rate.

 

Waiving Fees:
Late Fees: As long as you are not consistently late with payments, you can usually get [late fees] waived if you call with some excuse. Just pretend to be concerned about the late fee on your account ruining your credit or good standing with the company (even though it won’t). Technically, Progressive reps aren’t allowed to waive any fees without talking to their supervisor first. And if for strange some reason the rep says no, ask for a manager.
Non-sufficient fund (aka returned payment) fee: As long as you have a good payment history, just call and say your checkbook was stolen. Every once in a while, a supervisor will ask for proof from the bank. Although it probably won’t happen, just call after normal business hours when banks are closed, or anytime Sunday. Call centers are open 24/7. If they still press for proof (again, which they probably won’t), just keep pressing the fact that you shouldn’t have to wait until tomorrow to prove it and want to get this bill taken care of.
Cancellation Fees: If you ever want to cancel midterm, you can. Many states have done away with cancel fees, typically about $50. However, if yours still does, when they ask you the reason for canceling, just say you moved out of the state or the country. They may ask you if you tried a rate in your new state, say you did but you found a much better one. No cancel fee will be assessed.

10 Confessions of a Progressive Insurance Rep [The Consumerist]

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