Major Factors That Affect Insurance Premium

Posted on December 28, 2016 in Uncategorized

1. DMV Records:

Ticket history and past involvement in accidents are major elements. Annual mileage also helps determine the likelihood of road accidents. The logical explanation is that the more time a car spends on the road increases the risk of incidents and the other way around. Clean records with no violation and incident-free experience indicate that the policyholder is a low-risk driver who deserves affordable premium.

2. Car Model:

The cost to repair and replace policyholder’s car in case of accident comes into play as well. Insurance Information Institute suggests that the likelihood of theft is also an important factor. For example, a brand new Lamborghini which costs more than $200,000 demands more expensive financial protection than a $20,000 Toyota. Replacement parts for the former are nowhere near affordable range, so insurance company needs to ask for a higher premium. Criminals tend to target more expensive car, too.

3. Age, Address, and Occupation:

Auto insurance companies look for relevant personal information about the driver to make the quote. Young or teenage drivers have very little experience on the road, while senior drivers have a visual impairment; both of them show signs of higher risk. At the same time, a neighborhood where crime rate is quite high relates to the likelihood of theft and vandalism. Some insurers relate occupations with the possibility of accidents. Stressful jobs such as public relation officers and real estate agents can be the factors that increase premium rate.

4. Credit Score:

Many insurers still use applicants’ credit score information to determine approval and price. A person with bad credit score tends to lapse payment due to financial difficulties. Because carrier needs assurance, the policyholder must pay more to cover the possibility of skipping payment.

5. Coverage:

In addition to states’ minimum liability requirements, there are optional coverage options. Every auto insurance company has different prices for optional purchases such as Collision, Comprehensive, Rental Reimbursement, and Roadside Assistant. Policyholders can choose not to buy them to lower premium.

Age is the only personal factor that is impossible to control. Address and occupations are not ones that policyholders can change as they like either. DMV records and credit score are always open for improvement, and at some points, they can help to save money on auto insurance. When a vehicle comes to owners through lease or finance company, the optional coverage of collision and comprehensive often become mandatory. However, higher deductible allows for more affordable premium, hence manageable expense. It is worth to compare premium prices from multiple providers and consult an independent to get the best price for the most appropriate and complete financial protection.

How to Get More Affordable Insurance

There is no way to change age, and it is almost impossible to change address and occupations in an instant. In the auto insurance industry, cheaper is not always better, but it does not hurt to shop around and find the best deal available. Companies change prices all the time to attract potential customers; policyholders can do a little comparison before every renewal and switch in case the price difference is profound that it is worth the hassle to file a new application. Apart from that, there are some other effective methods to lower insurance premium at ease. Sometimes policyholders must consider all the options and make changes to habits/style to get the best deal.

PAYG (Pay-As-You-Go) Insurance

This is like a reward program that gives benefits only to safe or low-risk drivers. As soon as the insurance policy takes effect, the insurer monitors car usage such as mileage, average speed, sudden braking, and overall obedience to traffic laws. Drivers who demonstrate improvements over the last policy period deserve discounts for the next renewal. A teenager or first-time policyholder should pay more for premiums because the lack of experience, but PAYG gives the chance for them to showcase their low-risk behavior on the road to get the benefit.

Premium can change in every renewal, which means it can become higher when drivers receive traffic tickets for any reason. Some insurers that offer PAYG require policyholders to install tracker device so the company can monitor the vehicle at all times. For policyholders, such methods can be too intrusive to privacy. In California, tracker device only monitors mileage but not how policyholders drive their cars.

Defensive Driver

It never hurts to practice defensive-drive attitude on the roads. Drive safe and avoid involvement in accidents or traffic violations. There is no need to go faster than the speed limit or ignore the red light. Claim-free history often comes with premium price reduction. Also, safe, calm drive habit helps with fuel economy.

Low Cost of Ownership

Cost of ownership is different from the price of car. After the purchase price, owner has to calculate depreciation, interests (if the car comes from a lease or finance company), taxes, maintenance, and insurance premium. A vehicle with lower cost of ownership comes with lower premium as well. The best thing to do is to consult an insurer’s representative about how car choice affects coverage price because this gives the chance to manage expense for many months to come. An independent agent will be glad to provide assistance in the calculation.

Condo, Coop and HOA Master Insurance Premium

Posted on December 21, 2016 in Uncategorized

I’m sure that a lot of condo/coop & HOA board members have the following question: how come on my Automobile & HO-6 Insurance policies I pay the premiums directly to the insurance carrier, and I have the option of monthly installments, whereas on the condo/coop or HOA master insurance policy I have to pay the premiums to my agent or broker, and the premium has to be paid in full upon binding of the policy and if I can’t afford to pay it in full then we have to get premium financing? That’s a very good question, and it all comes down to 2 main ways that insurance premiums are being charged:

  1. Direct Bill
  2. Agency Bill

Direct Bill

Most personal lines insurance policies, including personal automobile insurance, homeowners insurance, renter’s insurance and personal umbrella insurance are direct bill. This means that the insurance carrier is billing the policy holder directly. Most personal lines insurance policies come with the option of quarterly or monthly installments, you’ll have to pay a down payment (usually 20%) upon binding, and the rest will be split up to quarterly or monthly installments. In most cases you’ll be charged a small fee for every installment anywhere from $1 to $6 depending if you set up automatic withdrawals from your bank account. Once the policy is in effect, the agent or broker has nothing to do with the billing of your insurance policy (of course he’ll get a notice of cancellation if you don’t pay your premium and call you up to make sure that you’ll make a payment so your policy shouldn’t cancel). This is why on all your personal insurance policies you pay the insurance company directly and you have the options of installments.

Agency Bill

But when it comes to your condo/coop or HOA’s master insurance policy it’s a whole different story. Most condo/coop or HOA policies are agency billed, this means that the insurance carrier is billing the insurance broker the full policy premium, and the broker has to bill the condo/coop or HOA association. The broker usually has 30 to 90 days to pay the full premium to the insurance carrier. This is the reason why you pay the insurance premiums to the insurance agent or broker and why it has to be paid in full. But what if your condo/coop or HOA association can’t afford to pay the whole premium at once?

Premium Financing

Most condo/coop or HOA associations don’t have extra money lying around, so when your policy premium is more than $20,000 it’s kind of hard to pay the full amount up front, that’s when premium financing comes in to play. Your insurance broker should help you out with the premium financing; there are a lot of good financing companies out there. The interest rates are usually between 6 & 10%. They will only finance about 80% of the premium, which means that you’ll have to pay about 20% upon closing. How does the whole financing process work? The financing company sends a check of the full premium (minus your 20% down payment) to the insurance broker. Then the insurance broker sends to the insurance company the down payment that he got from the condo/coop or HOA and the check that he got from the financing company (minus his commissions). Then the financing company is going to bill you monthly or quarterly with a 6 to 10% interest rate. The following is something that unfortunately happens quite often: The insured made sure to have the policy paid up in full, whether by paying the full amount or by getting premium financing, and after a few weeks they get a notice of cancellation in the mail. What happened here? Very simple, your broker received the full amount, now he has up to 60 days to pay the company, and very often brokers neglect or on purposely delay paying the insurance company right away. This is wrong and illegal and you should stay away from such insurance brokers.

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Understanding Life Insurance Premium Financing

Posted on December 13, 2016 in Uncategorized

Life insurance premium financing is a complex concept of life insurance formed to let affluent people acquire enormous amounts of policy while settling some of the costs of the policy at the same time. Premium financing will be possible if there will be collaboration of at least two financial institutions. The policy holder must be old enough for the premium financing agreement to be fit for this sort of arrangement. This arrangement usually requires that the individual should be older than age 70 but younger than age 84. In addition, the insured should be in good health to get a life insurance and must also have a net worth of at least $5 million.

The Loan

Premium financing entails pulling out a loan to obtain life insurance. These sorts of loans can be considered as special loans with small interest rates that are merely obtainable through premium financing. They can also be a non-recourse loans that are protected by the insurance policy itself. When we say non-recourse loan, it means that the loan is secured by the death benefit of the insurance policy. Even if the policy holder fails to make payments for the loan, the bank is assured to get its money back.

The Life Insurance Policy

An insurance policy is an element of a premium financing arrangement. The insurance policy acquired is typically utilized as a component of a charitable gift but can be employed for variety of purposes. The cash values of the policy are generally not accessible on hand to the policy holder since it is secured by the premium finance loan.

Advantages

The primary advantage of engaging in premium finance arrangement is that a wealthy individual can hand down millions of dollars to its beneficiaries while reducing the cost incurred from the premiums. On the contrary, the loan payments can be obtained from the interest of the present investments. Given that payments do not depend mainly on age or health and the loan is guarded by the insurance policy, the bank is able to charge minimal interest rates to make it become more affordable than premium payments would cost.

Other Concerns
When acquiring a premium financed life insurance policy you need to consider the fact that you are getting a loan to obtain an insurance policy. Always remember that even if you are not making premium payments, you should still make loan payments. Therefore, it is necessary that you can afford to pay your loans from the bank. Moreover, banks usually offer these types of loans to people with high net worth because they have the needed assets that are required to substantiate such large amount of loans and have collateral to protect the interest of the bank.

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