Tips and Tricks for Saving on Auto Insurance

Finding the best auto insurance rates can sometimes be tricky. It is absolutely necessary to be insured on the roads, though. In fact, it is required, by Illinois state law to have coverage. Some find auto insurance to be extremely expensive but, there are ways to help make it more affordable. Here are some things to consider to find the ideal price of insurance.

Shop Around

Get quotes from multiple insurance companies, including different types of companies. Also, realize that the lowest number does not mean the cheapest.

Consider Insurance While Shopping for Cars

Some vehicles have lower reliability ratings and other factors that contribute to higher premiums. While researching cars it is important to compare potential premiums for each of your options to ensure you are getting the best deal.

Increase Deductible

By increasing your deductible, you can decrease your premium. Just be sure that the deductible is manageable for your budget and that you have enough money saved in case you need to file a claim.

Bundle Insurance

If the insurance agency that you choose offers bundling, take advantage of it. If not, try to stay with the same company for all of your insurance needs. This results in discounts in most cases.

Keep Good Credit

Having good credit helps lower insurance rates. Researchers have found a significant relationship between your credit score and amount of claims filed. Insurance companies tend to rely on this correlation to define your financial responsibility.

Low Mileage Discounts

Research mileage averages and see if you fall below that. Do not be afraid to ask about a low mileage discount. This discount could also apply to you if you are someone who carpools.

Group Insurance

Some people fall into the category of people who receive insurance from their employer or other groups they belong to. Some insurance providers offer discounts on auto insurance to people who fall into this category.

Other Discounts

Ask your agent if there are any additional discounts you are qualified for based on certain qualities such as how you drive, etc.

Purchase 10+ days before you actually need it

By purchasing coverage before you need to use it helps drive down premium costs.

Pay in Full Up Front

If possible pay in full, rather than setting up a payment plan. The amount you save annually will add up.

Get New Policy When You Move

Especially out of state! Some states have significantly higher insurance rates than others.

Older Cars

Buying a brand new car, just released is exciting, but if your priority is lower insurance premiums it is better to purchase models that are 5+ years old. They are considered more reliable.

VIN Number for Quotes

The purpose of this is to see if you are eligible for a discount if you have anti-theft devices.

Go Paperless

Some companies value using less paper and offer a small discount to those who opt out of using paper which is not hard to do in this age if technology. It is a small offering, but it adds up.

Insurance Vocabulary

Be sure to understand what the verbiage means so that you have a good idea of what you actually need covered and what questions you need to ask your agent.

Automatic Billing

This is another way to save over time, similar to going paperless.

Education

Some insurers offer discounts based off of the level of education you have. For example, some offer discounts for college graduates.

Teen Drivers

Teen drivers are known to drive up insurance costs, since they are more accident prone. But, if they are in a college that is 100+ miles away without a car some insurers allow them to be temporarily taken off of the plan. Additionally, most companies offer a “good student” discount implying that they correlate this test of intelligence with responsible driving habits. Proof of a safe driving class can also save some money on teen auto insurance.

Now Is the Time To Break Into the US Market and Sell Your Products and Services

Some have said that the Trump Administration has made the US is an unfriendly place to do business for foreign companies. The political opposition says that the threat of tariffs and trade wars causes uncertainty in global markets and is not good for the US economy. Those who call themselves ‘traditional free traders’ have sided with Trump’s political opposition, at least temporarily. Personally, I see just the opposite.

First, I see more foreign money coming into the US market to seize the opportunities of low corporate tax rates, and as a way to avoid potential tariffs. Further, I see temporary tariffs as a shot over the bow that the US will not be played with unbalanced trade agreements or lack of fair trade agreements. These temporary trade tariffs will bring billions into the US government’s coffers while trade negotiations happen, and our foreign counterparts will rush back to the table to renegotiate with more favorable terms. No international company wants to skip the US Market, it’s too big, and there is far too much money here.

Why Should Companies Move Operations to the US and Establish Themselves Here?

The United States of America is the largest consumer market on the planet. In 2016 and then again in 2017 the US consumer market alone was nearly 13 Trillion Dollars, and that doesn’t account for another Trillion or two in unreported sales – cash transactions in the underground economy, which includes everything from a kid’s lemon aid stand or house maid to a handyman remodeling a kitchen. And, realize at 13-15 Trillion, this is only the “consumer economy” and has nothing to do with what businesses spend or the US government spends annually.

The Federal Government, not including state governments or local governments, has a budget of $4 Trillion. State Governments total an estimated $2 Trillion and all the local governments combined also near $2 Trillion. The total government spending for fiscal year 2018 is estimated to be around $7.5 Trillion. Guess how much US businesses spent in 2017? It’s so huge no one can figure it out, it’s so mind-boggling that it makes the rest of the world’s economies look like child’s play. Did you know that 2018 business spending is already on course for a 7% increase, even with a so-called trade war scare?

The United States is not only the largest consumer economy by far, but it is the largest for government and business spending as well, and second place isn’t even close. If you are not in the US Market selling your goods and services you are missing out. Are you ready to go for it? If so, there are plenty of US based international business consultants here who are ready and willing to help get you set up. Here are some of the things you’ll need to enter the greatest market in human history;

Business Plan
Marketing Plan
Set Up Books – Accounting
Business Name Registration
Business License Acquisition
Business/Commercial Insurance
Website with email addresses
Tax Strategy and Tax Planning
Set Up Books – Bookkeeping/Accounting
Business Location and Rental/Lease Negotiation
Business Corporation Formation
Setting Up Bank Accounts (Business Checking)
Start-up Business Coaching
Start-up Marketing Consulting

If you own a business that sells internationally, you’ll now need a US base of operations, and you’d be wise, very wise to do it sooner than later to take advantage of this booming economy.

Owning a Car Vs Using Rideshare

It is not a secret that buying, owning, and maintaining a car costs a significant amount of money. Especially now, when gas prices are high and continue to increase. What if you could avoid paying as much as you do right now? Even while still getting to where you need to go?

Many city dwellers can. In fact, many people from Chicago are already dumping their vehicles and becoming reliant on rideshare. Current research has shown that it is in fact cheaper to use services such as Uber and Lyft in cities including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, among others.

However, some people are hesitant to use these services due to all of the negative news stories reporting violent crimes involving drivers of such services. However, some services such as Uber are introducing safety features to help riders feel more comfortable reaching someone in case of emergency. It also helps hold drivers accountable by creating a stronger sense of authority, of being watched.

There are many benefits to using these rideshare services in bigger cities. In bigger cities drivers tend to have to pay to park their vehicles in addition to other typical costs such as gas, repairs, affordable auto insurance, etc.

On the other hand, some reports say that the cost of using rideshare will not be cheaper than owning a car until 10 years from now. But, it just depends what is best for the individual budget. In fact, news sites have even developed calculators to see if ridesharing is beneficial to your budget. Another detail that the calculator includes is the cost of time. A detail often overlooked by the monetary costs of things, but a detail equally, if not more valuable to people.

Additionally, there are options to “pool” with other rideshare users to eliminate even more costs. This option is not always the best depending on the intentions of your trip, but can be especially helpful for the commute to work, for example.

The increase in regular rideshare users creates another problem, unfortunately. The amount of cars picking up passengers has disrupted the flow of traffic in certain regions of the city, especially in Chicago. They have even increased fines of traffic violations.

The tickets and gas prices also seem to be turning away some drivers as they pay out of pocket for each item, in addition to possible rideshare insurance. But, drivers who discover that there is a growth in the city population using their services may attract attention to drivers hoping to make more money.

This then creates an issue for rideshare companies who are already struggling to pay their workers. Companies such as Uber who are providing benefits to European drivers, the costs will not go down anytime soon for them.

Overall, it may benefit the individual to utilize rideshare instead of owning a personal vehicle. But, there are many factors to take into account before switching over, both personally and the industry in whole. Rideshare is undoubtedly a hot topic at this time and does not appear to be dying down anytime soon.