16 Helpful Tips to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance

16 Helpful Tips to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance

16 Helpful Tips to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance

It seems like the cost of car insurance premiums is constantly rising!  Running a car can be very expensive when you consider the price of gas, the expense of maintaining the vehicle and paying those insurance premiums.  Fortunately there are a number of clever tactics that can be used to obtain the cheapest car insurance premiums possible.  This article will go over 16 clever ways to ensure you get the cheapest car insurance premium possible.

Look at the cost insuring the car before you buy it

The smartest time to look at the cost of car insurance is before you actually purchase the vehicle you are interested in.  You can visit a number of insurance companies online or use online comparison tools to check how much the car you like will cost to insure.  If it is a private sale, you can even use the registration number of the car when getting the quote from the insurance company.

Avoid cars with high performance modifications

Including the cost of any high performance car modifications in the insurance will add to your premiums.  So while many modifications can look good, they can be very costly to insure.

Avoid cars that have large engines, turbo or have sports in their name

Any cars that are capable of extreme speeds will cost more to insure because the insurance companies knows those kinds of cars are more likely to be involved in a crash.

Get additional driving skills

This one works for young drivers especially — gain some additional qualifications and tell you insurance company.   Programs like “Pass Plus” can give insurance companies some additional certainty that the young driver has basic skills and is less likely to crash.

Use Online comparison tools

With the advent of the Internet, comparing policies is incredibly easy.  You no longer have to walk to an insurance broker to get a quote, you can get a dozen quotes in 10 minutes via insurance comparison websites. 

Be sure they take into account any special circumstances you have or discounts you are eligible for.  To obtain the very cheapest insurance it’s usually important to negotiate with your insurance company, so the comparison tools should be considered a ballpark figure.

Check for discounts

Ask your insurance company about every kind of discount they offer.  Insurance companies offer many types of discounts including: discounts for retired people, army veterans, single mothers, low income families, for loyal customers and more.  Make sure you aren’t missing out on any savings!

Compare renewal costs to new policy costs

Some insurance companies offer fantastic deals to attract new customers, and current customers sometimes miss out.  If you spot a deal for new customers that you didn’t receive as an existing customer, simply ring the insurance company.  Demand they give you the deal — you will usually find them very apologetic and helpful because they want to retain you as a customer.

Pay yearly, not month

You can receive some hefty savings on car insurance premiums by simply paying it annually.

Drive carefully and avoid getting any traffic fines

One of the worst things you can do as a driver looking for cheaper premiums is to get a traffic fine, or worse still a conviction for a traffic offense!  Insurance companies will know of any traffic infringements you are involved in, so always drive carefully!

Avoid claiming for small bumps and scratches on your car

If you have a small fender bender that only damages your car, reconsider claiming it.  If it is minor damage to your vehicle it might only cost $500 to repair, however if you claim it your excess may be $300, then on top of that your premiums might be higher for the next 5 years.  You will lose any “no-claim” bonus that you had, and you will be paying higher premiums for a few years — Insurance companies don’t forget.

Use multi car policies

If a number of people in your family are driving, for example your two teenage children have cars, you should look at multi car policies.  You could get a better deal if you insure 3 or 4 cars at once.

Drive Less

Some companies offer discounts if you can demonstrate you rarely drive your vehicle and it is garaged in a safe location most of the time.

Pay as you go insurance

“Pay as you go” insurance uses telematics technology to track your car use and give you cheaper insurance based on that usage pattern.  The devices track things like including total miles traveled, speed and trip distance (long trips or short trips).  These devices are becoming more complex and are starting to track things like deceleration (braking speed) to evaluate your driving ability.  If you are proud of your driving record, you don’t speed and you don’t drive regularly, pay as you go insurance could save you a lot of money.

Increase your excess

The simplest way to obtain cheaper premiums is by increasing your excess, something that can done by emailing or calling your insurance provider.

Do you really need theft coverage?

Some people tend to buy theft coverage or premium insurance for piece of mind.  However if you own an aging car, you should consider the declining replacement cost of the vehicle.  Comprehensive insurance may only be a sensible decision for the first 8-10 years of owning a vehicle. If your car is rarely left on the street and usually secure in your locked garage, you should also reconsider comprehensive insurance.

Cut out optional extras from the policy

There may be some optional extras on your insurance policy which the insurance company includes without consulting you.  You may be able to remove certain aspects like free hire car rental after car theft, which could save you some money.

So there you have it, 16 simple tips to get cheaper car insurance premiums.  The key is to demand more from your insurance company, tell them about your specific circumstances and get the best deal possible!

Pay As You Drive Car Insurance Explained

Pay as you go car insurance

Pay as you go car insurance

“Pay as you drive” insurance has become more prevalent within recent years due to large advertising campaigns touting the money saving potential of this form of car insurance.  Within the insurance industry these kinds of policies are referred to as “usage based” policies.  They place more emphasis on your usage of a vehicle to determine what premium you should pay for the policy.

Many people are interested in pay as you drive insurance but don’t understand exactly how it works.  This article will look at the basics of this kind of car insurance policy and help you understand if you should purchase it!

These kinds of policies often utilize something called “telematics” to determine car usage.  Telematics deals with technologies that are capable of recording and reporting how far your car travels, what speeds it travels, how long each trip is and other information which you agree to share with your insurance company.

Telematics help an insurance company build a very detailed risk analysis profile from your car usage and driving style.  The devices can also record data like car acceleration and car braking speed, which the insurance companies can use to determine if you are a “safe” driver.  That more detailed risk analysis allows them to offer you lower instance rates if you drive your car less than the average person.

In the United States over 1 million cars have these devices fitted and that number is growing quickly.  Many of those cars are fleet vehicles that have the devices fitted so companies know where their assets are located but the insurance industry is pushing hard for customers to use these devices.

How much can you save?

Essentially it comes down to how far you drive, how frequently you drive and how safely you drive.  If you drive daily the savings might be limited because your vehicle is still regularly exposed to all of the dangers of being on the road.  If you are a safe driver who is not on the road every day, you can expect savings of between 25-50% compared to a standard insurance policy.

Because the technology is new, many companies are offering cheaper insurance premiums just to install the device, so there are savings to be had there as well.

Telematic devices are also becoming more advanced and will be capable of storing more detailed driving data.  At the most basic they measure speed, time of the trip and distance of the trip.  However the more advanced units can measure breaking power, acceleration speed and location to ascertain what kinds of traffic the vehicle is exposed to and how safely you are driving. 

Not every insurance company will use the more advanced capabilities of telematic devices and the precise capabilities of the installed device will be detailed in the insurance policy.

Are there any drawbacks?

Insurance companies claim that these devices are only designed to reward good drivers, so there are no penalties attached if you install one and drive badly.  However it is unknown if it will always remain that way and insurance companies might eventually use them to determine which drivers are high risk.

If they do eventually start using the devices to build a record of your driving ability, and that information is sold onto other insurance companies, it could mean an increase to your premiums.  However it is important to note that insurance companies are not at that stage yet and it may not be legal for them to do so.

There are also some concerns about the security of these kinds of systems also.  Every computer system has vulnerabilities, and some of these telematic devices are capable of tracking your position with GPS.  Even though it has not happened yet, there may come a point when the devices or systems that send data are compromised.

The bottom line

If you are a safe driver and drive infrequently pay as you drive insurance could save you a lot of money.  Telematic devices are becoming more popular and help insurance companies provide better coverage tailored to your particular driving habits.  If you are interested in saving money, it’s worth taking a look at these kinds of policies as soon as possible!

Do You Know These 9 Common Car Insurance Myths?

Car Insurance Myths

Car Insurance Myths

Insurance contracts can be very complex and there is often a great deal of fine print involved.  It’s no wonder that many people end up learning what they know about car insurance from other consumers.  Unfortunately a lot of the information that gets passed around about car insurance is actually incorrect.  This article will highlight some of the most common misapprehensions about car insurance!

Having a bad driving record is the only factor insurance companies consider

There are  actually a number of variables that go into determining how much your insurance premium will be, in addition to your driving record.  Your age, how many years you have been driving, the age of your vehicle, the place you live and even your credit history can go into determining your insurance premium. 

Every insurance company has their own formula for calculating risk and that is one of the reasons why it is always a good idea to shop around for car insurance.

Having a good driving record will bring down my premium

You might have 20 years of good driving under your belt and expect your premiums to go down.  However if you continued to drive the same model car that you did 20 years ago, your premiums might go up despite the good driving record.

The color of your car influences insurance costs

Many people incorrectly believe that a red car will cost less to insure because it is very easy to see on the road or that a black/grey car will cost more to insure because it blends in with the road.  The reality is car insurance costs are not affected by the colour of the car.

Little cars are cheaper to insure

Smaller vehicles tend to take more damage in crashes, so are easier to write off.  For that reason small cars are not always cheaper to insure. Some cheap smaller cars might not have the safety equipment of larger vehicles either, for example, ABS braking systems.

If I still owe money on my car loan, the insurance will pay for it

Some people incorrectly believe that if a car is written off after an accident, the insurance company will give you cash equivalent to the amount you still owe on the car.  Unfortunately this is not true, and the insurance company will only pay you what the car was worth.

Because my car is old it is less likely to be stolen

On the surface it seems logical that car thieves would try to steal more valuable newer cars.  However older cars tend to be targeted because there is a market for parts for those cars and the security on older cars is typically weaker than a new car.

Insurance companies can cancel your insurance at any time

Without a compelling reason (for example fraud), insurance companies must fulfil their end of the insurance contract.

If your car is stolen, the contents are covered

Unfortunately anything inside the car when it is stolen are not covered by insurance.  However if you have a good home and contents insurance policy they might provide coverage if one of your personal items is lost when the car is stolen.

Drivers of fast and expensive sports cars pay more for insurance

This is not always the case because there are various factors at play when determining the cost of your insurance premium.  A 40 year old person who drives a sporty Mercedes coupe but has an impeccable driving record might end up with cheaper premiums than someone under 25 who has had a few crashes and drives a Subaru WRX. 

So we have checked out some of the most common car insurance myths.  Just remember, any time you are shopping for car insurance, it always pays to look around for the best deal!

How Gender Affects Car Insurance

Women Get Cheaper Car Insurance

Women Get Cheaper Car Insurance

Despite women getting paid less than men in the United States, there are some benefits for being a woman, particularly when it comes to car insurance!  Most insurers charge women less for car insurance.  Many people would be curious as to why, so here are some reasons why women get cheaper car insurance.

Men Choose Faster and Riskier Cars

Men are more inclined to choose a car that is faster than a car that has the best safety features.  The faster the car is, the more likely it is that the driver will be involved in a crash.  Fast cars can be harder to control and fast sports cars are more likely to be stolen.  The drivers of these cars are more likely to be involved in risky activity like speeding or drag racing. 

Men Crash More

Despite what some chauvinistic males suggest, men crash cars more than women.  They are more likely to speed than a woman and more likely to drink drive.  Even though only 11% of the adult population is made up of males between the ages of 21 and 34, they are responsible for 32% of all drunk driving episodes (http://www.drunkdrivingstats.org/menversuswomendrunkdrivingstatistics.html).  Men are also more likely to speed, increasing their crash risk substantially.

Men are more likely to be involved in other forms of risky driver behaviour as well. They are more likely to drive like hoons, brake quickly and are more likely to be involved in road rage events.

Men Are Fined More
Men are more likely to be ticketed for speeding offences than women.  As a result of this, their insurance premiums will be higher.

Women Drive Less

Statistically, women are less likely to be in the drivers seat and they spend less hours per week driving.  The less time spent driving, the less risk of a crash.

Women Buy Cheaper Cars
Men are more likely to spend substantial amounts of money on an expensive car.  Generally, the more expensive the car, the more expensive the insurance costs.

Some Statistics

The statistics are very compelling.  According to the DMV:

  • 71% of all car accident-related deaths in 2012 were male.
  • Men are 50% more likely to die in a car crash (2008 figures)
  • Men drive under the influence of alcohol more often.  In 2012, 38% of fatally injured male drivers had BACs of over 0.08%, compared to 20% of fatally injured female drivers.
  • Women are more likely to use seat belts.  88% compared to 84% for males
  • For all fatal accidents, 23% of males were speeding at the time of the accident.  14% of females were speeding (2012 figures).

It is estimated that men pay as much as $15’000 more for insurance over their lifetimes, so this is a substantial difference!

What Can Be Done?

There are many ways for men to lower their car insurance premiums.

How to Avoid Under-Insuring Your Home

Avoiding Home Under-Insurance

Avoiding Home Under-Insurance

For most people, the family home is the most expensive asset they will own in their lifetime.  It usually takes decades of mortgage repayments and hard work to pay off the family home.  Unfortunately there is also a risk that your home will be damaged or destroyed by accident, fire or natural disaster.  That’s why most people insure their property.  But what if your level of insurance was inadequate and you couldn’t afford to rebuild?  That is called under-insurance.  Here are some simple tips to make sure your policy will cover the cost of rebuilding or repairing your home, if it is damaged.

Update Your Policy When you Renovate

Many people spend thousands of dollars updating their property, including expensive new bathrooms, kitchens, decks and pools.  However, many of them forget to increase the value of their insurance policy.  What happens if there is an earthquake and the pool you just spent $25’000 on develops a massive crack?  It is very important to remember to include any changes in the value of your property in the insurance policy.

Get an Evaluation

One way to ensure your property is fully insured, is to hire a property evaluator to examine it.  A property evaluator is knowledgeable about construction techniques, materials and the costs of rebuilding.  You might have built your property 25 years ago when materials were cheaper and the quality of the construction may be to a higher standard.  A property evaluator understands the cost of materials in today’s money and can price in any higher quality construction used within your home.

Think About Additional Costs

Many people think about the costs of rebuilding without considering the additional costs involved.  If your house burns down, there may be additional costs to remove the wreck of the house.  There may be damage to the utilities going into the house, which require more money.  An earthquake could destroy long water pipes, gas lines and sewerage which run on your property.  If the house contains asbestos, there may be expense associated with removing it.  There may be substantial groundworks required before rebuilding.

If your house was built with poor quality foundations that conformed to the building requirements 50 years ago, that may no longer be the case.  If that house is destroyed, the new house may have to comply to an array of new building requirements.  If your house is built using materials that are now expensive, ensure the policy will cover buying those materials again.

Think About Site Problems

Some properties have tricky issues involved with building on the site.  These issues can increase the cost of rebuilding a home.  Is your land severely sloped?  Are there issues with sinkholes in the area?  Is the site geologically stable for a modern house to be built upon?

Are There Additional Structures?

Think about the expense of attached structures.  If you have recently built a very expensive garage, garden shed or workshop, make sure it is covered in your insurance policy.  If you have an expensive stone wall, make sure your insurance policy also covers that.  An earthquake could destroy everything on your property, not just your house.

Understand Exactly What is Covered

It is crucial to understand that only certain risks will be covered by an insurance policy.  Not all policies cover flood damage in the same way, with water run off being treated differently than flooding from a river.  Many people have been caught out by insurance companies in the past for that.  Read the fine print and understand what natural disasters and criminal acts your property is covered against.

Get Quotes

One way to ensure you are sufficiently insured, is to get a qualified builder to estimate the costs of rebuilding your home.  He will have access to the actual prices of the materials used and will understand the quality required.

Ask Questions

If you are unsure about what is covered in your policy, ask questions!  The insurance company must be upfront about your policy and inform you about what is covered.  If you are talking to them on the phone about a specific point, ask for a reference to the terms and conditions which demonstrate it is covered.

 

 

Detroit Most Expensive Auto Insurance

Detroit Auto Insurance Expensive

Detroit Auto Insurance Expensive

A blog post from insurancequotes.com suggests that Detroit might have some of the most expensive car insurance in the country.   The cost of insuring a car in Detroit came in at a massive 165% higher than the national average.  That makes it the most expensive of the largest 25 metro markets in the USA.  The cheapest was Charlotte, North Carolina, where they pay 43% less than the national average.

Insurance industry experts suggest that population density plays a role in determining which markets have higher or lower auto insurance costs.  Basically, the more people on the road where you are driving, the more likely it is that an accident will occur.  That’s why you wind up with New York and Los Angeles near the top of the list.

Other areas like Miami don’t have the same levels of traffic as New York, but they do have a problem with cars being stolen.  Another factor to consider is the type of cars being driven in the area.  In some parts of Miami there are a large number of expensive luxury cars being driven.   It’s a lot more expensive to repair a ding on a Lamborghini than it is a Ford.

Detroit has it’s own reasons for being so very expensive.

1) It is a no-fault auto insurance state.  Insurers must pay people even when they were at fault in the traffic accident.
2) The state compels insurers to provide lifetime medical coverage for injuries results from auto accidents.

While it costs a lot to insure your vehicle in Detroit, it’s important to remember that many other costs of living are cheaper than comparable metro areas in the USA.  But for citizens of Detroit, it’s enough to make them consider selling the car and taking the bus!

13 Ways to Lower the Cost of Health Insurance

13 Ways to Save Money on Health Insurance

13 Ways to Save Money on Health Insurance

Health insurance is one of the most expensive parts of the household budget.  Here are 13 simple ways to save money on your health insurance premiums!

1. Comparison Shop
The most common and simplest advice possible is to do your research before choosing a provider.  Compare levels of coverage and cost.  Also consider the reputation of the company.  Ask your colleagues and extended family about the insurance provider they use and if they are happy with the level of service.

2. Negotiate with Your Insurance Company Over Price
You have every right to negotiate with your insurance company over price.  Many people just accept the premium that the insurance company pushes at them every year, but this is not necessary.  Contact the insurance company, ask for loyalty discounts or any other reductions that you can think of given your health condition.

3. Negotiate with Your Insurance Company Over Coverage
If your doctor has told you that a procedure is required, but the insurance company has told you they won’t cover it — lodge an appeal!  Many times you will actually get the insurance company to eventually cover the procedure.  You have nothing to lose by pushing for your best interests.

4. Ask Your Doctor For Help
Your doctor is perhaps the best person to help you navigate the world of health insurance.  Ask their advice on which provider to choose, ask them about about particular types of coverage you need, given your health concerns.

5. Check That Everything is Necessary
Make sure you have a great relationship with your general practitioner and don’t hesitate to ask their advice on hospital stays and tests.  If you are in hospital and the doctor doing the rounds starts to make decisions about tests, you have every right to make sure they are necessary.  If you are suddenly in the hands of a doctor you don’t know, ask your GP about the tests and medical procedures.

6. Choose a Policy With a High Deductible
You can always quickly save money by choosing a higher deductible on your insurance policy.  This can also be negotiated with your insurance provider.

7. Pickup a “Medigap” Policy for Things That Concern You
If your policy doesn’t cover every ailment you are worried about, then buy a “medigap” policy that covers only those specific problems.  This is useful for closing the gaps in your existing policy.  Again, work in conjunction with your local doctor to ascertain which health problems might occur that your existing policy doesn’t fully cover.

8. Use a Health Savings Account
The IRS offers special tax provisions for special savings accounts that are to be used for healthcare.  This is a great way to prepare for any health emergencies and is useful for covering procedures that insurance companies will not insure.

9. Compare the Prices That Hospitals Offer and Negotiate
Many people sometimes forget that hospitals are businesses like any other.  Some off better value for money than others.  Shop around as if you were buying a car, looking at price, quality, reputation of the manufacturer.

10. Look For Tax Deductions on Medical Expenses
There are various tax deductions which you may be able to obtain for medical expenses.  For example people who spend more than 7.5% of their gross income on medical expenses can receive a tax rebate.  People who work for themselves can also receive tax rebates for health insurance.

11. Check Hospital Bills
Don’t trust your hospital to do the sums correctly.  There have been many cases of hospitals charging the incorrect amounts for procedures or even charging for procedures and tests that didn’t happen.

12. Save on Medications by Going Generic
You can always save money on your medications by going generic.

13. Be Healthy!
One of the best ways to save money on your health care is to look after yourself.  By eating well and exercising you can avoid the hospital for a very long time and have a happier life!

Renters Insurance for College Students

Student Dorm Renters Insurance

Student Dorm Renters Insurance

Leaving for college is an exciting time for young people and there are many things to consider as they leave the family home. One of the things that is often forgotten about is renters insurance.

When a student moves out of the family home, they also leave the protection of various forms of insurance. So if a student has their rental property broken into, or even has some things stolen from their dorm — it can cost them thousands of dollars and set their studies back. Students also have many more expensive items now, compared to a few decades ago. Most students have a laptop, a smart phone, possibly an iPad, a television, a stereo system, and possibly a musical instrument with them. That quickly adds up to thousands of dollars. Many of these items are small in nature so they can easily be pocketed.

Some parents may consider their child safe from burglaries while on campus. However according to 2012 statistics there were almost 20’000 burglaries on campus for the year. With a room full of expensive electronic gear and a busy dorm floor, there are plenty of opportunities for burglaries.

A student also needs to consider the impact on their study of losing their laptop and being unable to afford a new one. It could set back a student’s studies and impact their grades.

The good news is that this type of contents insurance is relatively cheap. A student can obtain $5000 worth of coverage for around $150 per year. Most renters insurance policies also cover you for a few eventualities:

1. You are covered against theft of your personal property
2. You are covered for liability if someone injures themselves on your property. A dorm usually covers this type of insurance, but if you are living outside of a dorm it comes in handy.
3. The policy will provide some living expenses if you cannot live in the property while it is being repaired

Your property is also insured for a number of potential hazards including: smoke damage, fire, riot, ivil unrest, hail, rain, vehicle damage, vandalism, theft, snow damage, plumbing malfunction and many more.

It is also important to note that your renters insurance policy can be piggy backed onto your parents insurance policy in some cases. Contact the insurance provider to see if the policy can be extended to cover the renting student.

Many Californians Don’t Have Earthquake Insurance

Earthquake Insurance

Earthquake Insurance

A 6.1 magnitude earthquake has hit Northern California this week and shocked many residents, many of whom do not have earthquake insurance. The quake was a stark reminder to many people about the the precarious conditions they live in thanks to the San Andreas fault.

More than 100 people were injured during the quake, which started fires, damaged buildings and destroyed infrastructure. Authorities believe that the damage bill for the earthquake will reach $1 billion, a huge figure for what is actually a medium sized earth quake.

This earth quake is also a reminder for many citizens that they should obtain earthquake insurance if they live in California. It is estimated that only 10% of Californians have earthquake insurance. In some of the northern regions of California, that number is even lower. According to insurance industry research, less people are buying earthquake insurance each year.

Most earthquake insurance policies can be obtained for less than $1000 a year, but many home owners are avoiding the extra cost, at their peril. For many home owners, they don’t have an earthquake insurance policy because they have assumed their home and contents insurance policy includes earthquakes. This is not always correct, and home owners should carefully examine their insurance policy, particularly if they live in an earthquake prone area like California.

Some home insurance policies cover minor expenses for earthquakes, but do not cover the repair or replacement cost of the property.

The time between earthquakes can also lull many people into a false sense of security. The unfortunate reality is that a large earthquake is likely to occur within California sometime in the next decade and many home owners will be caught out.

Things to Know Before Buying Travel Insurance

Is Travel Insurance Necessary?

Is Travel Insurance Necessary?

Most people understand that going on holiday is often a pretty unpredictable experience. You may not know exactly what conditions are like where you are going, there could be an accident or delay involving your transport, you might be the victim of a crime, you might fall over on the hotel stairs! Being in a foreign country can make many simple problems more serious as well. For those reasons most people decide to carry travel insurance, they consider it an essential part of traveling and for most people that is true.

But is it always essential? For many travelers the specific details of their trip may mean they don’t actually require travel insurance or they only require a certain type of coverage and there is an opportunity to save money.

In the United States travelers now spend close to $2 billion per year on travel insurance, so it is a flourishing industry and insurers realise this. That figure is up from $1.3 billion in 2006, so it can be seen that Americans are more well informed about the dangers of travel and the benefits of this kind of insurance.

The vast majority of policies purchased feature trip cancellation insurance which is usually very valuable for any form of traveling. However for other forms of travel insurance like medical insurance and property insurance, it’s worth looking at your existing policies and credit card coverage first – you may have too much coverage!

For example many credit cards offer some coverage for trip cancellation and many home and contents policies will provide coverage for your expensive items like cameras while you are traveling. By examining your current coverage and real risk factors you may be able to save some money on travel insurance which you can spend on a few more souvenirs from your destination.

Your personal situation also plays a very large role in determining how much coverage you need. Are you a healthy 25 year old who is simply going to Canada for the weekend? Or are you a 75 year old going on safari in Africa? You circumstances and travel destination may necessitate a certain kind of coverage. If you are going to Canada, which has a great public health system – you probably don’t need travel insurance that covers health issues at all! An older person traveling in Africa might need medical evacuation insurance so if anything happens you can immediately be transported to a world class hospital.

So here are a few pointers to help you determine if you need travel insurance and how to get a better deal on it!

Evaluate current insurance policies and credit cards
Firstly, evaluate your current health insurance and contents insurance policies to determine if they provide coverage while traveling. That might reduce the necessity of travel insurance. Take a look at your credit card to see if it provides any protection on travel costs.

Evaluate your personal situation
Look at your personal situation including your age, health, and the kinds of valuables you will be taking with you. If you are 20 years old, in good health and traveling to Australia (which has a very good public health system) with a cheap camera and a bag of clothes, you may not need travel insurance at all.

Your destination and what you plan to do there also plays a large role in determining if you need travel insurance. If you are 20 years old, in good health, but plan on going to Bali and drinking copious amounts of alcohol and partying – then there is substantial risk. That country does not have a world class health system and many tourists are injured in Bali every year.

If you plan on indulging in any high activities like bungee jumping, rock climbing or sky diving it is also a good idea to have travel insurance.

If it is a short trip going to another part of America or to Canada, travel insurance may not be necessary at all.

Check the quality of travel insurance policies
The policy provided by your travel agent may not in fact be the best one for your and could just be the policy that they receive the highest commission on!

It is usually best to shop for a policy yourself, after you have evaluated your situation and requirements. There are many insurance comparison search engines on the Internet which can help you narrow down your choices and find the right insurance for you. Websites like Square Mouth and Insure My Trip are both very good for narrowing down your choices and getting the right policy.

Understand how much good travel insurance costs
Travel advisors suggest that a good insurance policy should cost between 5% and 10% the cost of the trip. So if you are doing a massive trip through Europe which visits 12 countries and costs $5000 USD, you might have to pay as much as $500 USD for the highest quality travel insurance. However insurance prices that highly usually contains much more coverage than the average person requires, so a policy more around the $250 USD mark is probably more suitable.

So while travel insurance may not actually be necessary for everyone, if you are unsure then definitely err on the side of caution and have the peace of mind that travel insurance brings!