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Does my credit rating influence my pennsylvania car insurance rates?

November 29, 2012 in bradford, Bradford PA, bradford pennsylvania, car insurance in bradford, car insurance in bradford pa, car insurance rates, credit history, credit report, credit score

Yes, most Pa insurance companies do review your credit rating when determining your pennsylvania car insurance rate. According to a recent survey by Conning & Co., a Hartford, Connecticut-based insurance research firm, 92 percent of all insurance companies use credit information when underwriting new policies. However, your credit rating is not the only factor that insurance carriers consider when determining your insurance rate. They also look at your driving record, what type of vehicle you are insuring, your age, your gender, where you live, and other factors.

Insurance companies include your credit rating when determining your insurance rate for several reasons. Carriers have found a correlation between a person’s financial history and their future insurance loss potential. Your financial history helps them to classify you according to your potential risk. Your credit history helps the insurance carrier to underwrite the policy at a cost that accurately reflects your specific risk.

Insurance companies are not discriminating against specific people or population groups by using credit reports when underwriting auto insurance policies. Credit scores are strictly based on objective financial data, they are not based on your gender, age, race, where you live, how much money you make, where you work, what type of job you have, or whether you are disabled.

To understand how your credit rating affects your insurance premiums, we need to discuss certain credit terms and what they mean. Those terms include credit report, credit score, and insurance credit score.

A Credit Report

A credit report contains information regarding your credit history. It notes whether or not you have missed or been late on your payments in the past, and how late you were. It lists any credit card accounts and current balances you may have, as well as past credit card accounts, even if those accounts have been closed or canceled. It also lists your auto loans, mortgages, and any other sort of loan or credit which you have been issued, along with balances and how diligent you are about making the payments. The number of times you have recently applied for credit will be available to view, along with information on any collections and past due accounts.

Credit Score

A credit score is a number that represents your calculated measure of credit risk. Credit scores are the result of a complex mathematical formula that takes into account numerous factors in your credit history. Put simply, your credit report is scored against millions of other people’s reports, generating consumer credit scores. Credit scores are affected by elements in your credit report, such as:

  • Number and severity of late payments
  • Type, number and age of accounts
  •  Total debt
  • Public records

Insurance Credit Score

The insurance credit score, like a credit score, is numerical and based on the applicant’s credit history. Credit-based insurance scores “are numerical summaries of consumers’ credit histories.” They are usually calculated using information about (1) past delinquencies (e.g., bankruptcies); (2) debt ratios (i.e., how close a consumer is to his or her credit limit); (3) new credit inquiries or applications; (4) the length of credit history; and (5) the use of certain types of credit (such as automobile loans). The score usually incorporates other factors, such as an applicant’s age, gender, geographical area, number of previous accidents, and number of traffic infraction tickets received.



Can Insurance Companies Demand Information About People Who Live With You?

September 9, 2012 in auto insurance, bradford, Bradford PA, bradford pennsylvania, car insurance, car insurance in bradford, car insurance in bradford pa, car insurance rates, insurance company

Pennsylvania auto insurance just seems to be getting more and more complex. Like every other brand of insurance, it seems increasingly necessary to answer more and more questions about yourself and your lifestyle just to get any policy at all in your name. Apparently, your Pennsylvania car insurance rates are based on the answers to these questions.


In the barrage of questions that you may receive you may have noticed inquiries about the people with whom you live. Some people find this to be just one more st of questions and gladly answer them. Others are upset and suggest that these questions are another intrusion on their privacy.


At first glance, it may seem like it is none of your insurance company’s business who lives with you. However, you have to remember that they are not the government. The government has to follow a litany of privacy laws when thy engage you in questioning. Insurance companies are private entities with a vested interest in keeping your car safe that they do not have to pay out benefits.


The truth is that they can ask you anything they want. Since auto insurance companies are risking their own money by insuring your vehicle, they have the right to ask all sorts of questions. The recent increases in the number and variety of questions simply reflect their desire to engage in less and less risk when they determine Pennsylvania car insurance rates.


Just because they have the right to ask you questions does not mean that you have to answer them. This is why this seemingly intrusive behavior is permissible and legal. Anyone can ask anyone else any question legally. You are free to tell your auto insurance company that you do not want to answer that question.


Since these companies are private entities and not government bodies, however, they are completely within their rights if they decide to cancel your policy or refuse you a policy from the outset because you did not answer this question. It might help you to consider the question or questions from their perspective. Insurance companies know that accidents are more likely when insured drivers live in a house with drivers who have bad records. Even if you insist that no one else in the house will be driving and that you only want insurance for yourself, there is always the chance that you might let someone else drive your car.


They may also want to ask questions about other people in your home in order to get an idea of your character. Perhaps your record is clean but you live with people who have a less than honorable record and background. Again, this may seem rude and even illegal, but it is not against the law for someone else to ask you about your living arrangements. They are certainly not required to do business with you if they feel that they cannot trust you completely.


There are two ways to deal with this approach. You can simply agree to provide information because you want and need the insurance. However, you should know that your answers may affect your PA car insurance prices. You can also refuse to answer the question and await their decision. Most companies are going to be suspicious of someone who refuses to answer these questions and they may deny your insurance or cancel a policy if you already have one.


Your rights to privacy are important. Insurance companies, though, think that their bottom line is more important. If your company approaches you with these questions, be ready to either answer or accept the consequences of failing to answer

How Can You Get Car Insurance After Two DWIs?

September 2, 2012 in atv insurance, auto insurance, auto insurance bradford, auto insurance bradford pa, auto insurance premiums bradford, bradford, Bradford PA, bradford pennsylvania, car insurance, car insurance rates, driver training courses, driving under the influence, DWI conviction, higher premiums

Are you a driver wondering how driving under the influence will affect pa car insurance prices? Making the mistake of driving while under the influence one can cause the car insurance premiums to skyrocket – twice can put you at risk of being unable to get car insurance.


How can you get Pennsylvania auto insurance after making the mistake of getting two DWIs?


Pay Higher Premiums

There are some insurance companies that will offer insurance to the driver, even in the case that multiple DWIs have been reported. These insurance companies are willing to work with drivers that come with a higher risk because the premiums that are charged to them are higher. In some cases, the driver must pay upwards of five times the regular rate of insurance a driver with a clean record would pay, just to stay on the road.


Paying higher premiums can ensure that you are able to drive – but it’s not always affordable. For this reason, it’s important to compare the insurance companies that are offering coverage to drivers with a record of a DWI to find the lowest rate among the high risk insurance providers.


Shop Around for Car Insurance

Shopping around for car insurance rates is a good idea for customers that are looking for the best rates, but in cases where insurance providers are leery of providing insurance to a customer that has a bad track record. Not all insurance companies are going to be willing to provide insurance – and therefore research is going to be needed.


First, shop around for car insurance quotes by making phone calls to local and national auto insurance companies. Using the online free quotes that are available to drivers usually is not effective, as the DWI conviction is likely to affect the online algorithm, making it difficult to receive an instant quote.

Calling around and scheduling appointments with local insurance companies can be an effective way to find insurance coverage, even with the driving record.


Have the Conviction Overturned

Making the effort to hire a lawyer can be an effective way to get the conviction overturned or stricken from the record. Taking the time to prove the case and bargain with the courts can be an effective way to finally get auto insurance from local providers.


It’s important for clients to realise that having the conviction of driving under the influence removed from the record can be quite difficult. Clients must first find legal counsel that is willing to take on the case and pay upwards of several thousand dollars in legal fees to complete the proceedings. It’s not guaranteed that the record is going to be removed – and in the case that it isn’t the client is out the money that had been spent on the legal investigation and proceedings.


Go Through Driver Training Courses

Driver training courses aren’t just for new drivers. Taking the driver training courses can help to improve the skills on the road and is often a requirement for drivers that have been convicted of driving while under the influence. The driver training courses are available through local driving schools and insurance companies – which can also help to reduce the rates in the future.

It’s important to realise that the convictions of driving while under the influence are going to create a costly bill when it comes to paying the auto insurance premium. Two driving while under the influence charges can increase the insurance premiums up to three hundred percent.


Abstain from Alcohol

Once auto insurance coverage has been found, it’s important that the driver abstain from alcohol. In some areas, the driver can reduce the risk of the auto insurance (therefore reducing the cost of the premiums) by using a breathalyser in the car to determine the alcohol content and controlling the mechanisms of the car to shut-off; in the case that the breathalyser test has determined that alcohol is in the system.


Using these types of tools, you can find lower premiums and reduced rates (though they are going to be higher than regular rates) but doing so can ensure that you are still able to be on the road.


Pennsylvania auto insurance premiums are based on the safety of the driver and the percentage of the risk, statistically, that the driver is going to need to file a claim with the insurance – and the type of claim that is going to be filed. Drivers that have been found guilty of driving under the influence have a highly increased risk, and therefore will experience higher Pennsylvania car insurance rates.

Who’s Car Insurance Will Cover You If You Are Driving Someone Else’s Car?

August 22, 2012 in bradford, Bradford PA, bradford pennsylvania, car insurance, car insurance in bradford, car insurance in bradford pa, car insurance rates

If you get in an automobile wreck when driving someone else’s car, does your car insurance cover it? If not, will it be the responsibility of the driver’s insurance? The law varies by state, and Pennsylvania does have its own set of governing principles. These principles may or may not apply, though, depending on the type of insurance coverage which you possess.
The Insurance Caveat


Before discussing anything else about car insurance, it is important to note that your individual car insurance policy is going to set the standard for who will be covered. You should always take the time to consult your own policy for information, and to consult an agent. You may want to consult the same individual who gave you basic PA car insurance prices for your information, as he or she will likely have access to your policy and know the best answers to your particular coverage inquiries. Even with this said, you can make an educated guess if you know a bit about the law.

Your Coverage


If you have coverage that follows you, your insurance coverage will cover you even if you are driving the car of another. It is important to check with your agent to find out if this is the case, and you may have to pay an extra premium for this level of service. It is generally rare that one will have a type of coverage that extends beyond his or her own vehicle, and Pennsylvania car insurance rates are generally higher for those who do have such a policy.


Their Coverage


Typically speaking, insurance coverage goes with the car. If the car owner gives an individual permission to drive the vehicle, he or she should be covered under that car owner’s insurance. This can vary by policy, of course, and permission must be clearly given before coverage will kick in. The only situation in which permission need not be given is a situation in which an individual would reasonably give permission to drive the vehicle (i.e., a trip to the hospital).


No Coverage


There are situations in which the owner of the car’s coverage should be the controlling coverage, but will not actually pay anything out. This situation occurs when the owner of the vehicle was negligent in giving permission to the driver. This might include giving permission to a drunk or underage driver, or giving permission to an individual known to drive dangerously. In this situation, it is likely that no insurance policy will actually provide any sort of coverage.


If you have permission to drive the vehicle and do not operate in a reckless manner, the odds are that the owner of the vehicle is the one who has the controlling car insurance. Pennsylvania auto insurance rates can be higher for those who have coverage that works in borrowed cars, though, and this kind of coverage can be more valuable. No matter what the law states, though, it is important to check with your insurance agent to find out about your coverage.

How Do Insurance Companies Define “Sports Car”?

August 15, 2012 in bradford, Bradford Car Insurance, Bradford PA, bradford pennsylvania, car insurance, car insurance in bradford, car insurance in bradford pa, car insurance rates

It is typical for Pennsylvania car insurance rates to be higher for sports cars than for other automobiles due to the high cost of parts and services, the increased risk of driving a car with less protection and capable of reaching higher speeds, and the tendency of many sports car owners to drive faster than the posted speed limit.  Pennsylvania auto insurance rates on sports cars, however, are different from other states due to the different definitions of sports cars.  Unfortunately for sports car drivers, the only constant in PA car insurance prices for sports cars is that they will be higher than other vehicles — and, in tandem with higher car payments, are likely to put the squeeze on car owners.


Each insurer will use a different definition or procedure to classify a sports car.  This is based upon the components of each vehicle as well as the origin of manufacture.  Insurance companies determine the classification with make and model, the size of the engine, the cylinders, horsepower, and physical size and weight of the automobile.  While the rule of thumb is that sports cars have two doors, they may be classified under PA car insurance rates by their engine capabilities as well.


PA car insurance prices and premiums are always higher for sports cars, as well as high performance automobiles.  Some of the most expensive cars on the market include foreign cars like the BMW M series and the Jaguar XJ-S, as well as domestic cars like the Ford Thunderbird Sport and Dodge Charger.


When you are looking for the best Pennsylvania car insurance rates for sports vehicles, the key to keeping costs low is to compare as many quotes as possible.  Companies give online quotes based only on occupation and driving history, making it possible for a person to collect several different options.  Include information on all the auto’s features in order to determine whether any could give you a discount.  If you include anti-theft devices or window etchings on your policy, it is possible to get discounts on Pennsylvania auto insurance rates.


There are different types of insurance available to car owners in Pennsylvania, but for a sports car owner the most important policy to own will be property damage insurance.  The minimum required level of coverage in PA is five thousand dollars, but a sports car owner will need much more than that in the event that their automobile is damaged or even totaled.  The average sports car costs just over sixty thousand dollars, and if you vehicle is vintage or a collector’s item, it will be worth even more money.  While it may not be necessary to take out a property damage insurance coverage worth six figures, it is necessary to consider the risks of driving on PA roads and adjust your rates to match the possibility of the worst happening in an auto accident.  Given that parts and service for sports cars cost more than other automobiles, it necessitates even greater coverage rates for a sports car.