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5 Qualities to Look for in a Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet

Motorcyclists always seem to have more fun on the road than other drivers – speeding away from every intersection, parking in convenient spots, and saving money at the pump. But those benefits come with a higher risk of injury in the event of a crash.

Motorcycle wrecks tend to be far more serious than passenger-vehicle accidents. Per mile traveled in 2015, motorcyclists were killed 29 times more often than occupants of passenger vehicles.

If you’re in the market for a new motorcycle helmet, a full-face model is a sound investment. The obvious plus here is that you’re getting protection for your entire head – not just the top of you’re noggin like a half-helm. There’s also a visor to safeguard your eyes from debris so you don’t have to don any riding googles.

But which full-face helmet is best for you? Below are five qualities to consider when comparing your options:

1. Safety Standards

Your new helmet should be certified by a federal or independent body that it meets certain safety standards. Look for the letters DOT, ECE, or Snell on your new helmet.

A Department of Transportation (DOT) certification shows that the helmet meets mandatory minimum standards required by the U.S. government. ECE, which stands for the Economic Community of Europe, sets a slightly higher standard for helmet safety based on more rigorous performance tests. And the Snell Memorial Foundation, a private U.S. organization, issues another helmet safety standard, though its tests require the buy-in of manufacturers.

2. Material Construction

Helmets respond differently to impact depending on the materials they comprise. That means different helmets offer different levels of protection in the event of an accident.

Most motorcycle helmets feature an outer shell made from one of the following materials:

1. Polycarbonate, which is the least expensive but flexes on impact;
2. Fiberglass composite, which splits and is crushed when hit very hard; and
3. Carbon fiber, which is the most expensive but is highly effective at distributing the energy of an impact away from the head.

The lining is another important consideration. Check to ensure the inner shell of your new helmet is lined with expanded polystyrene (EPS), a densely compacted foam material that will absorb the shock of a collision.

3. Condition

Polycarbonate, fiberglass composite, and carbon fiber are all effective for protecting your head and brain from impact, but only if your helmet is in good condition. Accidents can cause a the outer shell of a helmet to scuff and crack, and if a subsequent collision occurs, the helmet could split and fall apart, leaving your head exposed.

EPS is also prone to damage. Much like a styrofoam coffee cup, this lining should be regarded as a single-use item; a collision will leave indents and gouges that may not be immediately visible, and these dents will weaken the lining as a whole.

If you are unable to verify the condition of a used helmet with less than 100 percent accuracy, buy a new one instead.

4. An Effective Visor

Motorcycles are performance vehicles, which means they’re capable of taking on traffic at great speeds, weaving through jams and negotiating tight corners with ease. All of which adds to the thrill, of course – but if you want to get from point A to point B unscathed, you need great visibility.

At a high speed, other vehicles and obstacles on the road can come out of nowhere, and if your line of sight is unclear in even the smallest way, you’re at a higher risk of crashing. While some eye shields are injection molded to offer a clear view, others have been bent to fit the shape of the helmet and are prone to distorting your field of vision.

Test before you buy. Wear the helmet and walk outside to gauge its ability to eliminate glare from the sun. Check to see if the helmet comes with a built-in anti-fog shield, which may save you from costly sprays and coatings.

5. Proper Ventilation

A motorcycle helmet is naturally stuffy, so a good ventilation system is crucial for ensuring a comfortable ride. Also, traffic can be toxic as exhaust and other fumes build up in front and around you. Proper airflow inside your helmet will help dilute these gases and keep your air safe to breathe. Make sure there is a clearly defined air vent in the chin area, then look for small air holes in the EPS lining, and check that they line up with the holes along the outer shell.

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What Is SR-22 Car Insurance?

Most drivers know to expect fines and perhaps a suspended license if they violate certain traffic laws. But there are some lesser-known penalties that drivers only learn about when it’s time to face the music. One such penalty is being required to purchase SR-22 insurance, which can add thousands of dollars to your premiums over time.

An SR-22 is a form that may be needed to reinstate your driving privileges after committing a serious traffic offense. When your driver’s license is suspended following certain traffic violations, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or being involved in too many at-fault accidents, you may be required to fulfill state-specific SR-22 requirements to get back on the road. This often involves purchasing insurance from a provider who is willing to take on a high-risk driver, which typically comes with an uptick in your monthly premiums.

Typically, you will need to maintain SR-22 insurance for two to five years without a break in your coverage before the state will lift your SR-22 filing requirements.

Do I Need SR-22 Car Insurance?

You may need to fulfill the SR-22 filing requirements if you were caught driving without a valid license or insurance that meets your state’s minimum coverage limits. You may also need SR-22 insurance if:

  • You were convicted of a DUI, DWI, OWI, or a related offense;
  • You caused one or more at-fault accidents;
  • You failed to pay court-ordered child support; or
  • You committed repeat offenses in a short timeframe.

What Is SR-22 Car Insurance?

If an SR-22 is ordered by the court, a judge will inform you of the duration and demands of the requirement. If it’s ordered by the state, you will receive a letter from your local DMV outlining the steps you will need to take to reinstate your driving privileges.

How Much Does SR-22 Insurance Cost?

Whether you were caught driving without insurance, committing traffic violations, or drunk driving, your offenses are a scarlet letter for insurers. Typically, motorists who require SR-22 insurance are classed as high-risk drivers. As a result, you should expect to pay far more for your insurance than the drivers with a clean record because the insurance company will assume that you are more likely to file a claim.

Most auto insurance providers charge about $35 to cover the costs of renewing and filing your SR-22. But the real price is baked into your new premium, which will increase after your license is suspended or revoked. In fact, many providers do not want to take on the risks associated with a driver who requires SR-22 insurance and may reject your application for coverage.

Fortunately, there are many auto insurance companies who provide competitive rates to high-risk motorists. Although you probably won’t get the same premiums as you did before the SR-22 requirement, you may still be able to find affordable coverage by comparing your options. To help you save time and narrow down the options, our Geeks conducted a detailed study to identify the companies that offer the cheapest rates for drivers who need SR-22 insurance in each state.

Will My Premium Reduce When I No Longer Need SR-22 Insurance?

While this is often the case, you can’t count on it. Your SR-22 is a blemish on your driving record and a red flag to your current and future insurers. Auto insurance companies determine your rates based on statistics, surveys, and your driving history to calculate your probability of filing a claim. Providers will look at factors such as your occupation, age, education, and more to arrive at your monthly premium.

Insurers reward low-risk drivers with lower premiums. But your status as a policy pariah isn’t permanent. Drive safely and avoid accidents for the duration of your plan’s term, and you can expect your insurer to reduce your rates gradually every time you renew your policy. Keep it up and you could leave your past transgressions in the dust.

What Are the SR-22 Filing Requirements?

This is a tricky question to answer because every state has its own requirements for paperwork, filing fees, and more. Typically, you will be required to maintain uninterrupted insurance coverage for a period of three years. During this time, your insurer will need to complete the relevant SR-22 paperwork to update your state’s DMV on the status of your coverage.

If you miss a payment on your policy, cancel your insurance, or allow your coverage to lapse for any reason, your auto insurance company must inform the state that you no longer have adequate coverage. In this event:

  • Your license may be revoked or suspended. Maintaining your policy throughout the mandated SR-22 filing period is a vital part of retaining your driving privileges. If you have no insurance, the DMV may suspend or revoke your license again, resetting your SR-22 period and forcing you to file reams of paperwork to prove you are once again insured.
  • You may have to pay more fees. The costs of restoring your registration, reinstating your license, and purchasing a new policy will add up to a massive bill.
  • Your vehicle registration may be suspended. You’ve spent weeks reinstating your vehicle registration, but allowing your policy to lapse is a death knell for your car’s road worthiness. You will have to visit your local DMV to restore your vehicle’s registration.

Allowing your coverage to lapse is a costly mistake that could set you back hundreds of dollars and leave you languishing in the high-risk driver category for years to come. Our Geeks recommend setting up automatic payments with your provider or paying your entire premium upfront to avoid headaches and heartaches in the future. Not only will this simplify your life, but both of these options may also net you lucrative discounts, helping you bring down your increased premium.

What Are the SR-22 Filing Requirements?

What Happens If I Don’t Drive During the SR-22 Filing Period?

Skipping time behind the steering wheel to save money is a good idea. But regardless of whether you rack up the mileage or pedal your way to work, the state still needs you to serve your SR-22 sentence before this frustrating requirement is scratched from your driving record. With SR-22 forms, it’s always beneficial to purchase the relevant policy now to ensure this dark cloud disappears as quickly as possible.

However, there are cost-saving benefits to driving less. Not only will this reduce your risk of being involved in an accident and committing other traffic violations, but you may also qualify for lucrative low-mileage discounts offered by many of the country’s top insurers.

What Happens to SR-22 Insurance If I Move to a New State?

An SR-22 form is part of your official driving record until you’ve met state-specific requirements for the prescribed duration. But what happens if you were strapped with these requirements in one state and moved to another? Or moved to a state that does not require SR-22 insurance?

Unfortunately, you cannot escape this inconvenient responsibility. When you purchase a policy, the DMV in your new state still has access to your complete driving history and can see that you are currently required to carry SR-22 insurance. In most cases, you will have to maintain an out-of-state SR-22 policy with a nationwide auto insurance company.

If you let your insurance lapse, you could be penalized with increased premiums and lose your driver’s license. Our Geeks recommend contacting your provider before you move to find out what steps to take to avoid compromising your situation.

Can I Change Auto Insurance Companies When I Have SR-22 Insurance?

Certainly! If you are shopping around and find an auto insurance company offering lower rates for similar coverage, you are allowed to switch over to the new provider. The DMV will only penalize you if you allow your coverage to lapse during the SR-22 period. You should make sure your new provider is aware of all your SR-22 requirements and has filed the relevant paperwork to update the department on your insurance status.

Do I Need SR-22 Insurance for Every Car I Own?

Yes and no. The DMV wants to see that you have proper liability coverage, and that includes SR-22 insurance. However, in most cases, once you have fulfilled this requirement for one vehicle, you can insure your other cars or motorcycles with insurers that do not offer SR-22 insurance. Be warned: This won’t necessarily lower your premiums as these rates are calculated based on your driving record, which includes information about the violations that led to your SR-22 requirement in the first place.

Pro Tip: You can often score a big discount if you insure all your vehicles as part of a multi-vehicle policy with a single provider. You may also benefit from bundling your SR-22 insurance as part of an umbrella package that includes your house insurance and life insurance policies.

How Does SR-22 Insurance Differ from a Basic Policy?

Generally speaking, SR-22 insurance is almost identical to other policies, but it can differ in a few important ways. First, your new policy may limit who can drive your vehicle to only the drivers listed on your policy and may exclude any drivers under a certain age from using your car. Second, your insurer may slash compensation for repairs after an accident. And finally, you may not qualify for important added benefits such as accident forgiveness.

How Does SR-22 Insurance Differ from a Basic Policy?

How Do I Find a Licensed Company for SR-22 Insurance Near Me?

While many of the country’s top insurers offer SR-22 coverage, you may benefit from purchasing a policy from a provider specializing in coverage for high-risk drivers. While finding a high-risk insurer with a low-complaint ratio is tricky, it is possible.

Our Geeks recommend reading poring over the paperwork to ensure you aren’t signing up for a plan that could pack in rate hikes and fees at a later date. Use our comparison tool to find the right policy and insurer for your situation and budget.

What Is FR-44 Insurance?

If you reside in the states of Florida or Virginia, you may have heard of FR-44 certification or insurance. These states require you to carry this type of coverage to reinstate your license following a conviction for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving after you license has been revoked or suspended for a conviction, violating traffic laws, or maiming, injuring, or killing someone while driving under the influence.

Unlike SR-22 insurance, FR-44 certification requires you to purchase liability equal to more than double the state’s mandatory minimum insurance limits. As a result, you will pay a small fortune to cover the annual or monthly costs of your new policy. It’s not unusual for motorists to pay thousands of dollars every year to purchase the right coverage to qualify for an FR-44 certificate. Many are forced to take out loans to ease the financial burden of this state-specific requirement.

How Can I Reduce My SR-22 Premium?

Yes! SR-22 insurance is incredibly expensive, but even high-risk drivers are rewarded for shopping around for low-cost options. Providers offer a wide range of discounts based on a variety of factors such as your occupation, education, car model, annual mileage, and more.

You may consider moving over to a new auto insurance company offering a better SR-22 policy. Look for insurers that offer new business transfer discounts as these companies will give you a lower rate for transferring over your existing plan from your current insurer.

A safe driving discount may net you even further savings. Insurers offering this discount will monitor your driving habits using either a device installed in your car or an app on your phone, adjusting your premium based on factors such as your average speed, braking times, and more. Drive safely and you could bag yourself up to 10% off your premium.

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Can My Car Insurance Rates Increase After a Not-at-Fault Accident?

No matter how safe you are behind the wheel, all it takes is one drunk, distracted, or negligent driver to cause a serious accident. If you were involved in a collision that wasn’t your fault, it’s only natural to assume that the other driver’s insurance (or your own insurance depending on your state) will cover the damages. Unfortunately, even if you played no role in causing the crash and your insurance claim is approved, you may still notice an uptick in your auto insurance premiums.

Your insurance rates are primarily based on the likelihood that you will file a claim. It might sound unfair, but having an accident on your record—regardless of who was at fault—tells the insurance company that you are a higher risk than someone with a clean driving history.

In this blog, we’ll discuss how a collision might affect your premiums, what to do after a not-at-fault accident, and how to deal with your insurer after a crash.

Can My Car Insurance Rates Increase After a Not-at-Fault Accident?

What Happens to My Car Insurance Premiums After a Not-at-Fault Accident?

Every car accident claim is unique, so there’s no way to predict how a collision might affect your premiums without first knowing the facts of your case. After you file the claim, your insurer will consider several factors when deciding whether to adjust your premiums. These factors include:

1. Your Driving Record

A clean driving record is the best weapon in your arsenal when it comes to getting competitive car insurance rates. If you are involved in a crash but your record is clear and the other driver is found to have been at fault, your insurance company might not increase your premiums at all. Even if your rates do increase, the uptick will be less severe if your driving record is clean.

2. Your Policy Features

Many insurers offer accident forgiveness as part of their basic policies. This “get-out-of-jail-free card” is your lifeline in the event of a crash. Bear in mind, though, that not all collisions qualify for accident forgiveness, but if you were not at fault for the wreck, it is likely that your accident forgiveness will apply if it’s part of your policy.

3. The Cost of Your Damages

Providers will consider the severity of the damage caused to your vehicle and the subsequent cost of repairs when calculating your new rates. If your claim is only for a minor scratch or small dent, chances are your insurer won’t raise your premium. But if you have to replace a shattered windshield, pricey engine parts, or your entire vehicle, it could affect your monthly rates.

4. No-Fault vs. Fault State

If you live in a “fault” state, the at-fault driver’s insurance will kick in to cover the costs of damage and injuries you sustained during the crash. In many cases, determining fault is not a clear-cut equation, so your insurance company might increase your premiums even though it doesn’t have to cover your damages.

If you live in a no-fault state, where Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or MedPay is mandatory, you would file the claim against your own insurance company rather than the insurer of the at-fault driver. As a result, you should expect your premium to rise after filing the claim.

There are only a few no-fault states in the U.S. These include:

  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Michigan
  • Florida
  • North Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • Massachusetts
  • Kentucky
  • Kansas
  • Hawaii

Typically, basic policies in these states cost more than policies in fault states, but carrying PIP or MedPay will give you peace of mind knowing that at least a portion of your damages will be covered if you are involved in a crash with an uninsured driver.

Can your auto Insurance premiums Increase After a No Fault Accident

What Should I Do After a No-Fault Accident?

You had the green light, but a rushing motorist T-boned you halfway across the intersection. The radio is swallowed by a deafening thunk! as his bumper collides with your door, sending your car spinning out of control. It’s a dizzying blur of stimuli as your adrenaline surges to prepare your body for flight or fight. But you’re locked in, a seat belt saving you from crashing through the windshield, the pop of an airbag protecting your head from life-threatening contact with your dashboard and steering wheel.

A crash is a disorientating event, and in the aftermath, it can be hard to think clearly and take the right steps to recover the compensation you deserve. Read on to learn what you should do following a collision to give your claim the best chance of success:

1. Never Leave the Scene

Fleeing the scene of a car accident that has caused an injury, death, or serious property damage is a criminal offense in most states. Stay put until the police have arrived, and be sure to gather evidence before you leave.

2. Assess the Situation

Even a minor crash can result in severe injuries. Your top priority is to get medical care for yourself and anyone else who was hurt in the crash. If possible, you should move your car to the side of the road where it won’t obstruct traffic or emergency vehicles.

3. Call the Police

In most states, you are required to call the police if an accident causes physical injury, death, or serious property damage. When authorities arrive at the scene, make sure you find out how to get a copy of the police report as it will play an important role in proving negligence, liability, and damages.

4. Document Property Damage

The insurance company will want to see proof of the property damage your vehicle sustained in the crash. Be sure to take photos of damage to your vehicle, other vehicles involved in the crash, and any other property or objects that were involved in the accident.

You should also snap pictures of street signs, road markings, skidmarks, and the intersection so an accident reconstruction expert can determine how the crash occurred if there is a liability dispute.

5. Talk to Witnesses

It’s likely that other drivers or pedestrians witnessed the accident. You should talk to any eyewitnesses and take down their addresses, names, and numbers to include as part of your claim. If there is a liability dispute, their testimony may be essential for supporting your case.

6. Swap Information

Write down the names, insurance information, license plate numbers, driver’s license numbers, addresses, and contact numbers of all the drivers involved in the accident. You should also request this information from passengers.

7. Never Admit Fault

Some people are naturally inclined to admit fault after a collision, even if they played no role in causing it. Even if you believe you contributed to the accident, you should never admit fault as it could hurt your chances of recovering fair compensation.

8. Contact Your Insurance Company

Try to inform your insurer of the accident on the same day it took place. Your insurance company will explain the next steps in the claims process including the paperwork you must complete. You should provide the adjuster with an honest assessment of what happened as any fabrication could diminish your credibility and jeopardize your claim.

How Do Insurers Investigate Auto Accident Claims?

Insurance fraud costs providers billions of dollars every year in so-called “premium leakage.” For the scammers, it’s a calculated risk and a big payday. For you and other law-abiding citizens, this lost cash translates into higher premiums and more stringent insurance investigations.

Once you file the claim, your insurer will begin by reviewing records of the crash including the police report, a DMV accident report, and any evidence cataloging property damage sustained in the accident. Your provider will listen to your description of what caused the accident and where and when the accident took place. The adjuster will request any information you have gathered including the personal details of the other driver(s) involved in the collision and any other evidence that may help paint a more complete picture of what transpired.

If you live in a fault state, the insurance company will investigate your level of responsibility for causing the crash. Depending on the state where you live, your final payout may be reduced (or you might receive nothing at all) if you were partially liable for the collision. For instance, if you were rear-ended at a stop sign but your brake lights were out, the insurance company might find that you were 25% at fault for the collision. In this case (depending on your state), your payout might be reduced by 25%.

What Happens If I’m Involved in a No-Fault Accident with an Uninsured Motorist?

About 1 in 8 drivers in the United States is uninsured or underinsured. As a result, you have a high chance of being involved in an accident with a motorist who doesn’t have the coverage or finances to pay for your damages.

Although you could sue the driver, most uninsured motorists do not have the funds or assets to pay for the damages they cause in collisions. This is why it’s so important to have Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) coverage, Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) coverage, and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage.

  • UMPD covers vehicle damage caused by an at-fault uninsured driver in a crash. However, if you already plan on investing in collision coverage, we suggest skipping this extra as collision coverage is more comprehensive option.
  • UMBI comes into play if you’re involved in a crash with an uninsured driver that causes injuries. It compensates you for medical treatment and may also cover passengers and other drivers listed on your policy.
  • UIM will kick in when the at-fault driver’s insurance policy’s limits are too low to pay for your damages.

How Can I Get My Insurance Rates Reduced After a Not-at-Fault Accident?

You filed your claim, presented a solid case that you were innocent, but your insurer still hiked up your premium. Before you cancel your summer vacation, remember that there are still several ways to lower insurance rates once you’re locked into a policy:

  • Scrap unnecessary coverage. If you own an older vehicle, chances are the added layer of financial protection of comprehensive or collision coverage is an unnecessary expense that will cost you more money than it saves.
  • Raise your deductible. Your insurer thinks you’re more likely to get into an accident, but you know this not-at-fault crash is a statistical outlier. Increasing your deductible will reduce your premiums, but you will need to fork out more of your own money in the event of another crash.
  • Transfer your policy. If your insurer won’t lower your rates, another provider may be happy to take you on as a new client. Some insurers might offer you a discount for transferring over your plan.
  • Consider low-mileage insurance. If you don’t rack up significant mileage, you could net yourself access to a low-mileage discount. Ask your insurer whether they offer this lucrative cost-saving option.
  • Negotiate with your insurer. If you believe the rate increase should not have happened, try negotiating with your insurance company.

 

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21 Car Insurance Discounts Every Driver Should Know

Car insurance can take a sizeable bite out of your monthly budget, but many drivers are overlooking discounts that could slash their rates considerably. Depending on your auto insurance company and your driver profile, a single call to your provider could be all it takes to leap from cash-strapped motorist to a preferred driver, snagging yourself access to far more lucrative rates.

Our Geeks spent weeks making calls and scouring the net for the best car insurance discounts. Read on to find out how your occupation, age, marital status, and more could save you thousands of dollars on premiums:

1. Low Mileage Discount

If your vehicle spends more time collecting dust in the garage than revving on the open road, you may qualify for a lower premium. Insurers are rewarding the road-shy among us with lower rates and added benefits. The reason is simple: The more you drive, the higher your chances are of being involved in an accident.

Many companies will offer you a reduced rate if your annual mileage is less than a set amount predetermined by risk assessors. Before choosing a provider, make sure you have calculated a reliable estimate of your yearly travel distance (you can use last year’s mileage to help determine this figure). Our Geeks recommend adding an extra 100 miles to your final number to leave room for unforeseen travel emergencies.

low mileage car insurance discounts

2. Usage-Based Discounts

Need incentive to develop safer driving habits? Usage-based insurance is a new type of coverage that rewards road users for sticking to speed limits and observing street signs. Insurers will monitor your driving through a device installed in your car or via a smartphone app, tracking metrics such as your braking, acceleration, and commute times. Nail this test and you could net yourself as much as 10% off your monthly premium.

But be warned: This discount will fluctuate between terms. A month of poor driving could quickly turn that big 10 into a fat zero.

3. Marriage Discount

Getting married is a landmark moment in anyone’s life. Not only can you look forward to sharing years of happiness with your significant other, but you will also gain access to excellent car insurance discounts.

Single people are typically strapped with higher premiums because they tend to get injured in collisions more often. This might sound crazy, but according to a study from the National Institutes of Health, motorists who have never been hitched are twice as likely to be injured while on the road than those who are married.

Just married? You may qualify for a lucrative discount on your policy.

4. Mature Discount

With age comes experience, wisdom, and discounts. Providers prefer drivers who are in their 50s because people in this age group tend to drive less, drive slower, and exercise caution when they’re on the road.

However, when you are in your 60s or 70s, you may be required to pay more. This is because the reaction time of people in this age group tends to be slower than their younger counterparts. Fortunately, you may be able to net yourself a discount if you complete a driving safety course to prove to your provider that you’re just as spry as you were in your youth.

Click Here to view the results of our study that compared the best car insurance rates for seniors in each state.

5. Advanced Renewal Discount

Many insurers have begun incentivizing drivers to renew their policies before they expire. For insurance companies, it’s far cheaper to retain existing customers than it is to track down and secure new business.

In the month before your plan is set to expire, your provider should send you a letter detailing the steps you need to take to qualify for an advanced renewal discount. Based on your policy, this discount could result in a significant reduction of your premium.

6. Full Payment Car Insurance Discounts

When you purchase an auto insurance policy, your new provider will probably give you the option to make one initial payment to cover the premium or to divide the cost into smaller monthly installments. While the latter option is tempting, you could save big by paying off your policy upfront.

7. Automatic Payment Discount

Setting up automatic payments not only can save you time but may also net you lower premiums. Subscribing to an autopay system signifies to your provider that you are reliable and will be able to make your payments on time.

Your payments will automatically be withdrawn from your linked savings, debit, or credit account on a monthly basis. You won’t have to worry about missing a payment and running the risk of your coverage lapsing just because you didn’t set a reminder. Although some insurers do not offer a discount for automatic payments, participating in these programs is still worth it due to the reduced stress and time savings.

8. Paperless Discount

Environmentally conscious companies are giving drivers a reason to go green. In an attempt to cut down on waste, many providers are offering discounts to policyholders who elect to scrap paper statements in favor of online billing.

Instead of having to wait for the bill to arrive by snail mail, your statements will be delivered straight to your inbox. You will then be able to settle your account conveniently over the Internet.

Our Geeks suggest asking your insurer whether they offer paperless or online billing discounts.

9. Anti-Theft Technology Discount

Crime rates may be going down, but thieves are still on the hunt for soft targets. In 2016, U.S. citizens lost a collective $5.9 billion in personal property to motor-vehicle theft, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Fortunately, thanks to recent tech advances, you can safeguard your new ride against car thieves and snag yourself an auto insurance discount in the process.

Anti-theft systems such as car alarms, engine immobilizers, steering wheel locks, and pedal jacks are an effective way to deter would-be criminals. While most insurers do not offer discounts to drivers who have invested in this technology, the added layer of security could save you thousands of dollars by reducing the chances of your vehicle being stolen.

anti-theft technology auto insurance discount

10. Stolen Vehicle Recovery Systems Discount

Is your car equipped with a recovery system? You could qualify for a discount. This advanced device allows police officers to track the location of your vehicle using GPS technology in the event that it is stolen. Because this system increases the probability that your car will be recovered, there is less risk to your provider.

Most of the big insurers offer discounts to drivers who own vehicles equipped with recovery stems such as LoJack.

11. Safety Equipment Discount

Safety features are your best allies on the road, helping you reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. As a result, many insurers offer discounts to car owners who drive vehicles equipped with the latest safety features such as:

  • Anti-lock brakes to help maintain traction on the road;
  • Blind spot detection technology for safer merging and lane changing;
  • Emergency response systems to unlock the doors and turn off the engine in a crash;
  • Tire pressure monitoring equipment to warn you when your tires drop below or exceed the recommended pressure;
  • Rear-facing cameras to assist with vision while reversing; and
  • Passive restraint systems to deploy automatically in an accident.

12. College Graduate Discount

Your hard work has finally paid off and you’re ready to enter the workforce. But your graduation came with more than just a diploma, a robe, and a silly hat. Many insurers are offering discounts to drivers with Doctoral, Master’s, or Bachelor’s degrees. Statistics have shown that higher learning means low risk.

13. Accident-Free Discount

Your spotless driving record is a one-way ticket to lower premiums. Insurance companies love safe drivers, and being able to show a provider proof that you have never been involved in an auto accident or cited for a traffic violation could net you access to lucrative discounts.

14. Loyalty Discount

Staying loyal to a single insurance provider may lead to lower premiums and unexpected benefits. These perks can range from small discounts to superior coverage at the same cost as your existing policy. However, these incentives are often contingent on you maintaining an excellent driving record and making your payments on time.

15. Defensive Driving Discount

Defensive driving is defined as using the roads in a way that saves time, money, and lives. Completing an accredited defensive driving course will arm you with the skills needed to anticipate and avoid collisions.

Typically, insurance discounts for completing this course will be applied to the next five years of your policy. At the end of this time period, you will have to undergo the same training again to secure a reduced premium.

defensive driver car insurance discount

16. Hybrid Electric Vehicle Auto Insurance Discount

Your hybrid vehicle has helped you reduce your carbon footprint, cut your fuel costs, and now, it may even lower your car insurance premium. If you own a hybrid electric vehicle or a dedicated alternative fuel vehicle that runs on compressed natural gas, ethanol, electricity, or propane, you could qualify for a up to 10% off your current coverage with several of the country’s major insurers.

The reason? Hybrid drivers tend to be more responsible on the road and drive far less than the average motorist. They also tend to be more educated and have higher-paying and more stable jobs. This makes hybrid drivers a safe bet for insurers looking to sign low-risk clients.

17. Low-Risk Occupation Discount

Lawyers and doctors pay some of the highest premiums in the country. Why? Working in a high-stress profession makes you more distracted, tired, and stressed while on the road. The result: You’re far more likely to be involved in an accident.

If you work in a low-risk occupation, such as teaching or accounting, you may qualify for a low-risk occupation discount with your insurer.

18. Retiree Car Insurance Discount

You’ve put in decades of work at your nine-to-five and now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. You have more free time, fewer commitments, and no longer need to commute into the city to earn your keep. The result: More hours spent enjoying life, and less time risking an accident out on the road.

As a retiree, you may be able to score a discount on your premium just by informing your provider that you no longer have to clock in. Retirees are less likely to be involved or injured in accidents, thus reducing the risk to insurers and netting you a few more bills for your fun fund.

19. Multivehicle Discount

Own more than one car? Consolidating your policies under one provider can secure you lower premiums on your entire fleet. Many insurers offer multivehicle package deals that are significantly cheaper than insuring your cars individually.

20. Transfer Discount

Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side. If you have an existing policy but want to switch providers, a rival insurer may give you a discounted rate to abandon ship. Providers will sometimes also cover the costs of completing the transfer and cutting ties with your old auto insurance company.

21. Military Auto Insurance Discount

If you are on active duty, serve in the National Guard, or have retired from the military, you may qualify for a discount with a provider. In many cases, companies will even offer a reduced rate to spouses or children of soldiers or veterans.

Now that you know about some of the most common—and lucrative—auto insurance discounts, it’s time to call your provider and learn about your options. If you’re searching for a new policy, try using our Quote Comparison Engine, which allows you to search for the best rates from dozens of the country’s most trusted insurers.

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5 Most Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents

Trucking is a dangerous profession, but it does not get the same kind of recognition that other hazardous jobs do. At the end of the day, though, commercial drivers spend a lot of time on the road, and the more miles they travel, the more likely they are to get into a collision as some point.

It is common for truckers to spend less than two months per year at home. Because commercial drivers get such little time off, they are likely to be tired and stressed when they are home, and when they’re on the road, their families worry about them nonstop.

Transporting goods via truck is one of the deadliest occupations in the United States; however, commercial drivers are not the only ones who suffer severe injuries or death following a catastrophic collision. In fact, it is actually passenger vehicle occupants who incur the most damages in such accidents.

Because of their sheer size and weight, a crash between a truck and a car has a much greater force of impact than a wreck between two smaller vehicles. Commercial drivers typically have considerable protection because of their elevated perch, but passenger vehicle occupants are not as lucky. Most fatalities in big rig accidents are the occupants of smaller vehicles.

Fortunately, both commercial drivers and private motorists can reduce the risk of getting into a devastating crash by knowing the leading causes of serious wrecks and taking care to avoid or prevent them. The most common causes of large truck collisions include:

1. Bad Maneuvering Decisions

According to the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS), which analyzed a nationally representative sample of tractor-trailer accidents that occurred between 2001 and 2003, the leading cause of big rig wrecks was ultimately driver error. Researchers categorized several different kinds of errors and determined the most common mistakes that led to the most collisions had to do with a trucker’s bad maneuvering decisions. For example, many crashes were the result of turning too sharply or traveling too fast for the road conditions.

 

5 Most Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents

Driver errors contribute to the vast majority of semi-truck accidents in the U.S.

2. Distracted Driving

The LTCCS revealed that distracted driving is the second leading cause of commercial truck accidents. When truckers fail to observe their surroundings, they become vulnerable to roadside hazards because they do not have enough time to perform an evasive maneuver if one arises.

3. Drowsy or Impaired Driving

Non-performance is the third leading cause of big rig crashes. This includes drowsy driving and physical impairments that disable the trucker while behind the wheel, like heart attacks and seizures.

4. Vehicle Malfunctions

Both commercial drivers and the motor carriers that employ them have an obligation to maintain their vehicles. When they fail to do so and a tragic accident results, they can be liable for the damages that occur. In the LTCCS, malfunctioning vehicles were responsible for 10 percent of the incidents that researchers reviewed.

5. Poor Driving Performance

Poor performance is the fifth leading cause of large truck crashes. While non-performance refers to passive hazards that are theoretically out of the motorist’s control, like fatigue and health emergencies, poor performance occurs when drivers actively make bad judgment calls while behind the wheel despite having the opportunity to make good ones. For example, overcorrecting or changing lanes too quickly are two examples of poor driving performance.

The above causes all refer to cases in which the commercial driver was at fault for the incident; however, passenger vehicle motorists can cause major truck accidents, too. As a noncommercial driver, you can reduce the risk of getting into a serious collision by exercising caution around tractor-trailers and staying out of their blind spots. Be especially cautious in poor road conditions and when driving in winter weather as large vehicles will require a significant stopping distance.

 

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How Can I Get My Car Insurance Premiums Reduced? Should I Buy Uninsured Motorist Coverage? What Factors Affect My Auto Insurance Rates? When Can My Car Insurance Company Increase My Premiums? What Are Common Reasons Why Car Insurance Claims Are Denied?