How to Buy Cheap Auto Insurance

It is hard to believe that many people buy auto insurance without even searching for the best and cheapest one. It is understandable, because one time I tried to call some auto insurances around my hometown and found out that the premium is less than $50 in difference. Your insurance company always tries its best to make you think that it is one of the best and cheapest in the business. In fact, it is not true you can always save yourself some money if you follow the step below.

1. Prefer class

It is essential that you know which class of driver that you belong to. Most insurance companies prefer some kinds of drivers according to their driving record and risk. Insurance companies can not openly admit it because it is driver discrimination. Some insurance companies that give university graduates and professionals a preferred class and the premium is 20% to 50% less than other insurance companies.

2. Understand the role of agency and direct writing auto insurance companies

The agency sold you the auto insurance policy received 10% commission of the total premium. This commission is added to the premium for the service which your agency provides and most agencies in your town may carry the same auto insurance companies in their books. Direct writing companies have no agency and the policy is written through phone or at their offices. People in the direct companies receive salary with no commission. It doesn’t mean agencies carrying insurance are always more expensive than direct writing company. If you try to compare them, you will know what I mean.

3. Do not cover your windshield and auto glass

Since there are always $250 to $500 deductible in your auto insurance policy, how much would a windshield replacement cost? Most of them are less than $300 and you don’t want to claim $50 and have the claim written in your record. On the other hand, you can always negotiate for a better price if you pay cash. Any claim in your record will increase the risk of your policy being canceled if you are involved in an accident in the future.

4. Services

If you buy your auto insurance company through an agency, you can ask them if you have any questions but most people either don’t know what to ask or their agents are too busy to give them time. If you are involved in an accident you most likely will report first to your agent and this only delays your claim, especially when you have a loss of use clause in your policy. You always report the accident to your insurance company for prompted service. If you buy your auto insurance from direct writing company, you will be given instructions for what to do as soon as the claim is reported and most of them are opened 8AM to 6PM Monday through Saturday.

5. Stay with your insurance company

After finding the cheapest auto insurance, you should stay with them as long as you can because most insurance companies will not only forgive one or two tickets within 3 years but also only lower one star from your policy if you are involved in an accident. Constantly changing auto insurance company will increase the risk of the policy from being canceled if you are involve in an accident.

6. Do not claim anything less than $1000

With the deductible of $500 or more, claiming anything less than $1000 will increase the risk of your policy from being canceled if you are involve in an accident and reduce the forgiveness period (instead of lowering one star, the insurance company may cancel your policy).

7. Ask for discounts

Always ask your auto insurance agent or company for discount if:

a) You are over 50 years old and up
b) You have an alarm installed in your car
and tell them about
c) You have a good living lifestyle
d) You have a good occupation

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Master the Craigslist – Used Car Buying Tips

Why buy used?
A used car (be it 1000 miles or 100,000 miles) is much cheaper than that same car when bought brand new off the lot (obviously). Craigslist, aka private party, lets us find these cars for the best price. Read on to learn how to become a master of the used car buying and selling process.

Finding the right car
First, find a budget that you are willing to work with. If you do not have the cash, and if the car qualifies, a bank or credit union may offer a loan.

Always refer to KBB (Kelly Blue Book) for the current private party value of the car you are purchasing. This will give you a better idea on how much you should be paying for the car, as well as potential negotiating power to lower the price.

If not familiar with cars, we suggest finding a shop to do a Pre Purchase Inspection. That way you know the mechanical condition and can use it as negotiating power. The thing to remember with all used car buying tips, you must always negotiate the price.

Pro Tip Most people expect to get lowballed, so they set the price much higher than what they would really like to get.

A Note on Smog

If you live in a state that requires a SMOG check, make sure that the seller has a smog certificate included. Verify that the smog was completed within 90 days, otherwise it is not valid for transfer of ownership (CA).

Double check to make sure the registration is current. A lot of times, people sell their car for a cheap price only because they cannot smog it due to a Check Engine Light, or other issues.

Setting up for finding the right deals
On the Craigslist page, navigate to your location’s web page, then click Cars and Trucks by Owner. In the search settings, set the range from $0 – (Your Max Limit). I like to add about 20% to my max limit to allow for cars that can be negotiated within the budget.

After you save your search settings, and refresh your page, you will see all the vehicles in your area that are for sale.

Pro Tip Save this Craigslist page to your home screen on your phone and your computer, that way its quick access and you do not have to mess with the settings again.

If you have this on your home screen you will see it more often, reminding you to check the listings and therefore increasing chances of finding the killer deal.

Contacting the seller
Remember, these used car buying tips apply for all private party car buying platforms, not just Craigslist. When I sell a car, the biggest thing I hate is when people ask “is the car still available?”.

Be polite, but do not waste anyone’s time. Contact the buyer through phone call when possible. If it’s a smokin’ deal, it will NOT last on Craigslist. The phone is the quickest and most direct method. Do not dilly dally around and have the sweet deal scooped up by a car dealer!

When buying a car, I look at the person selling me the car just as much, if not more, than the car itself. Mainly, it shows me what kind of treatment and service history the car received. If the person was older, spoke intelligently, and looked wealthy, we found that most times the car was in great shape to match.

Most Important Questions to Ask

“How long have you had the car?”
“What kind of maintenance have you done with the car”
“Why are you selling the car?”
“Are there any leaks or major mechanical problems?”
Ask these questions over the phone, and try to get a general understanding of the car’s shape before going out to see it, especially if its a long distance.

Saving time is key, you would be surprised how often people say “The car is flawless” on the ad. Asking these questions lets you determine if they are honest.

Set up an appointment to see the car if you feel like the information you’ve gathered about the car matches what you’re looking for.

Getting Ready to Meet and Test Drive
When meeting with a seller, I always bring:

Scan Tool for Monitors / Codes
Powerful Flashlight (I recommend Streamlight flashlights)
Pivoting and extendable mirror to check for leaks
My Drivers License / ID
Cash (I bring cash with me, but leave it in the car. I only do this if the amount is under $3000. Anything past that I just go to the bank with the seller and get them the cashiers check or cash when the deal is done).
Anti-Lemon Used Car Inspection Checklist

Before the meeting

Verify the sellers has the necessary paperwork, aka Pink Slip, proof of registration, and smog certificate (if required by state). Although not necessary, print out a copy of the bill of sale form.
Use CarFax or Autocheck to run a VIN background on the vehicle. This is key!
Set up personal guidelines to the maximum amount willing to spend on the car.
Make sure you have the funds ready, or instant access to them in the payment form the seller prefers.
Advise the seller you want the car to be COLD for your test drive. We want a cold engine to get a complete analysis. This is a key part to the used car inspection checklist!
At the car

Engine Inspection – Use the combination of the pivoting mirror and flashlight mentioned above to peek behind components and around the valve cover, checking for leaks. Inspect everything carefully, pay special attention to the serpentine belt area and leaks around the valve covers.

Check for Codes – Connect the scanner and make sure there are no engine codes. Make sure the monitors for smog are all completed – if not, be suspicious.

Check the body panels and paint, does it all look even? Is the texture the same everywhere? Look for panels that are a slightly different color or hue, which may indicate a sign of collision that was already repaired.

Check all the paperwork before starting the drive – make sure they own the car and that they have a pink slip with their name on it.

Check tires. Are they a matching set? Good Tread? Any signs of uneven wear? Could mean bad alignment or an accident in the past that prevents proper alignment.

Check brake pad thickness through the wheels if possible.

Check maintenance records (see if big service items have been done, like timing belt and water pump if the engine is a timing belt engine)

Check condition of oil. Open the oil filler cap and look under for any foamy, milky substances, which MAY indicate sludge or head gasket issues.

Upon vehicle start up, check the exhaust pipe for smoke. Listen to the engine for any uneven running aka “misfire” and try to smell for coolant or oil burning off which would indicate a leak.

Look over the serpentine belt(s) and all other engine components for any signs of damage, wear, or leaks.

Peek under the car to check for leaks, rust, and damage.
During the Test Drive

Engine Check – Make sure to use some power and get the engine to a high RPM (don’t redline someone else’s car). Have the windows down and constantly monitor for noise from the engine, as well as the suspension. Note how the vehicle idles, it should be smooth for the most part. Keep checking the instrument cluster for warning messages as well as overheating. Be keen to any burning oil or coolant smells.

Brake Test – Come to some stops at different speeds/intensities and try to listen for screeching or grinding noises

Alignment Check – During the test drive, while on a somewhat even road, let go of the steering wheel for a few moments and see if the vehicle drifts to one side. Keep in mind, most roads have “road crown” and will slightly cause all cars to drift to the right, but a barely noticeable amount.

Transmission Check – Make sure the test drive takes at least 15 minutes, ask the seller for permission first. This will allow the transmission to fully warm up. For automatics, issues could potentially arise online when hot, and not be present when cold. You will feel jerkiness when the auto transmission is malfunctioning. For manuals, do a clutch test by engaging 4th gear at a slow speed and go wide open throttle – see if the clutch slips (the rpms will climb extremely fast like you are in neutral).

Wiggle Test – At about 30 mph roll down your windows do a few quick left to right steering wheel maneuvers. Listen to the suspension and chassis – it should not make ANY noises while doing this.

Suspension Check – Go over some bumpy roads, and take some angled driveways / turns. Listen for any binding suspension components which will present itself with a loud knock. Also listen for failing wheel bearings by rolling up all your windows and checking for a loud whirring rotational noise.

Interior and Features – Finally, check all the features. This means A/C, reverse camera, navigation, etc. Check all window motors by rolling up and down the windows. Make sure everything is working to your desire.
During the Test Drive, DO NOT:

Drive the car like you are taking a hot lap around the Nurburgring
Go on an extended period test drive unless agreed upon with seller
Do anything that would put you or the car at risk, cosmetically or mechanically.
Remember – an honest seller will often also have a car that is in fairly decent shape. Verify that the story they tell you matches the clues you see with the car.

Ask one of the previous questions to see if the answer remains the same this time around. If something doesn’t match up, chances are the seller is hiding something, and I would investigate further.

“Gut Feeling” plays a big role in this game. Be alert to your senses and you will not buy a lemon. This is one of the key used car buying tips.

Inspecting the Car
If inspecting yourself, print out and follow our Inspection Checklist

Make sure to find a professional shop to do a Pre Purchase Inspection if you are not mechanically inclined. Anything wrong with the car, especially when NOT told about by the seller, can be potentially used to reduce the selling price or to save you from thousands of dollars in losses.

One of the used car buying tips I want you to take away from this is that any car can be a “good deal” so long as the issues within the car are discovered and price lowered to compensate.

Seal the Deal

First, before anything else, make sure they have the pink slip, as well as the smog certificate. Verify they are the owner by asking to see their ID and matching it to the name on the pink slip.

Make sure the smog certificate states that it has been completed within 90 days, otherwise its invalid for title transfer. Other states may have more paperwork so get familiar with your states requirements.

Reach a price that both parties can agree to.

Do NOT be afraid of throwing out an offer. They just spent their time showing the car, and people hate to lose time. Most times they will take a substantial amount below asking value as long as you show them things they have left out in their ad.

Sellers usually prefer cash money, but if the car is more expensive you should pay with a cashier’s check. Since there is a lot of check fraud going on, sellers are typically sketched out.

Invite them to come to the bank with you while you have the cashier’s check made out. If both seller and buyer have the same banking company, an instant transfer can also be arranged.

After completing the transaction, make sure to save the sellers phone number for any further questions. Also ask them for any sets of spare keys, and service records they have.

Thank you very much for reading

My name is Anton and I’m from California. My website is an auto repair and used car buying and selling advice blog. Check out the website and make sure to subscribe to receive exclusive member-only content weekly!

A cool thing I came across is this course for reconditioning batteries. Now I promote it on my site, simply because it saved me so much freakin’ money.
Phones, drones, laptops, cars, you name it.

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House Insurance Policy Information

Let’s face it, knowing that your residence is one of many greatest investments you’ll ever make, you’ll pump additional dollars into it than something else. It confident would be wonderful to be capable to save as a lot income as doable nonetheless you’ll be able to on your own home. When it comes to homeowner’s insurance policy, there are some steps you can take and places you’ll be able to look which could truly conserve you some income. Wouldn’t that be good for any change?

Residence insurance policies is an example of those critical tasks that ought to not be left towards the last minute. It requires your time and attention to go for that best house insurance policies scheme to suit your demands. If you buy the appropriate coverage, you could have bought a long-term peace of mind for yourself, or else you may well continue to fret throughout your mistakes inside the long run. Here are some wise home insurance policies purchasing suggestions to assist you to acquire the greatest feasible deal that saves you dollars and ensures excellent safety as well:

– Ascertain the insurability of one’s home

The insurability of one’s household depends upon its age, its situation of electrical wiring and plumbing, the sort of construction materials employed, the location of the household in proximity to a fire station, the variety of roof, how a lot of insurance statements happen to be created within the house in recent ages, among other factors. So maintain all the answers ready for these questions previous to you look with the finest insurance coverage to your property.

– Insure for that accurate amount

Evaluate the really worth of the household, after which make a fair estimate of how a lot amount it have to be insured for. This can be one of the valuable residence insurance plan acquiring tips so for you to don’t over-insure or under-insure your residence, as don’t stand to gain either way.

– Choose the proper policy selections

Usually, numerous homeowners tend to ignore liability coverage to conserve about the insurance policies prices. But if it is possible to afford it, liability coverage gives you excellent protection towards statements arising from physical injury or substance destruction caused to others due to your negligence.

– Getting maximum discounts on your own scheme

Achieve understanding of each of the possible discounts that you just are eligible for and avail the maximum feasible discounts on your own coverage to reduced your prices within the prolonged run.

– Raise your deductibles

Ideally, you should try to maximize your deductibles, which stands out as the funds you contribute with the event of a loss. This will reduce your advanced prices proportionately.

– Improve your residence security and make it disaster-resistant

Such steps will support to reduce your premium prices, and can quantity to excellent savings within the prolonged run.

– Shop all over for the finest insurer

On the list of most crucial household insurance policy obtaining ideas for you is always to compare the numerous insurance policies schemes offered by diverse insurances, obtain advanced quotes, and examine different insurance policies possibilities on the net as well. Seek referrals from any dependable sources also just before you determine for your most appropriate property insurer for your demands.

Step 1 – Do some shopping around. Will not just presume that the insurance plan corporation you’ve often had has the finest costs. Don’t believe that the insurance policies business your parents constantly utilized or your best friend uses is the greatest either. Be certainly to have estimates from a minimum of three insurance plan firms.

Step 2 – Raise your deductible. The deductible may be the amount of money you would pay out, out of pocket, on a reduction just before the insurance policies company will begin paying (assuming it can be a covered reduction). The greater your deductible, the less your insurance plan high quality is going to be. Just be confident not to obtain oneself in a bind the following. Make sure you may have the deductible total offered (in savings or some other spot) so you aren’t put into a bind in situation of an unexpected reduction.

Step 3 – Take steps against theft and/or break-ins. Insurance policy organizations typically offer you special discounts on homeowner’s policies when a burglar or security alarm program is installed. This can be up to 10% off. So even if there is certainly some initial cost involved, it can simply pay out for alone in a short time.

In addition you may possibly also receive reductions on house insurance [] for items like installing dead bolt locks or getting a part of your neighborhood watch association. It’s undoubtedly really worth checking into.

Step 4 – Check on discount rates. Savings may perhaps be accessible for any variety of items. Safety features like automatic sprinkler methods or centralized fire alarms or security alarms (see Step 3 above) or fire extinguishers can offer special discounts that would shell out for themselves more than time.

Discounts are frequently offered if you have numerous policies with the very same corporation. In other words, an insurance firm may give you much better prices if you also guarantee your car, boat, life, and/or well being with them. Decrease prices are also regularly provided if you might be at the least 55 ages old and retired, are a member of certain associations or groups (alumni, enterprise, expert, etc.), are already while using identical corporation for numerous several years, or have gone a certain length of time without having made a claim against your plan. Keep in mind to ask

Step 5 – Insure the house and not the land when searching for house insurance policy information. Your house is what’s at risk for injury or reduction and what you are purchasing the insurance policies for in the very first location. There’s no should guarantee the land alone. Following all, even in the event of a total loss (household burns down or is blown away by a tornado), you still have your land in tact. When deciding the amount of coverage essential, don’t include the charge on the land.

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