The best way to make sure you always get really cheap car insurance, or as cheap as you can get depending on where you live, the type of car you drive, and your car’s safety features, is to start from the very beginning. This means paying close attention to your driving record.

Once you obtain your driver’s license, you will have what is called a driving record. A driving record is sort of like a driver’s report card; however, driving records only record the bad grades. Any driving-related jams you find yourself in over the course of your driving career will be recorded on your driving record in the form of points. The number of points you receive for each traffic violation, infraction, ticket, accident, etc. will depend on the state in which you live because each state has its own driver point system.

Car insurance companies look at a driver’s driving record when considering whether or not to offer the driver a car insurance policy, as well as when determining how expensive or cheap the driver’s car insurance policy will be. Those drivers with stellar driving records are more likely to receive really cheap car insurance quotes than those drivers with several points on their driving records.

By becoming, and remaining, a safe driver from the very beginning, you are increasing your chances of getting a really cheap car insurance quote.

However, if you do develop a blemish on your driving record, you most likely will not be scarred for the rest of your driving life. Most states have systems in which you can lower the points on your driving record. Many states even allow you to choose other options in order to avoid the points altogether, such as taking a defensive driving course. Remember, it is important to take advantage of these point-lowering or point-avoidance options; otherwise, you might find it difficult to get really cheap car insurance.

Don’t drive without car insurance if you live in the state of Arkansas! The state of Arkansas has a special data base that keeps track of every single registered vehicle in the state and makes certain that every single registered car has insurance. The moment you cancel an insurance policy or your policy is dropped because you have failed to pay premiums, the state is instantly notified and if new insurance is not added to that vehicle instantly, the state has the right to cancel your car’s registration.

Arkansas is serious about forcing all drivers to carry car insurance, so the question for thousands of drivers then becomes how do I get cheap car insurance online in Arkansas?

There’s no shortage of websites that will let you compare policies and prices between different car insurance companies here in Arkansas. But if you really want to get the best possible deal that you can, then you need to spend just a few minutes making certain that you are answering all of the questions correctly before you jump online.

For example, make certain that you keep a clean driving record. No speeding tickets…no reckless driving citations…no moving violations of any kind. Any convictions for DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and you can kiss the best car insurance rates good-bye for at least 3 long years, maybe longer.

If you’re under 25 your rates are going to be high unless you can sign on under your parent’s policy or you stay in school and maintain at least a “B” grade point average so you can qualify for a Good Student Discount.

Over 55? Ask your agent if your insurance company offers a driver’s refresher course. If you car insurance company offers such a course and you pass it, you can save about 10% per month on your car insurance premiums.

Are you thinking of buying a new car? Before you do, ask your car insurance agent exactly how much that shiny new piece of chrome is going to set you back each month in insurance premiums. Remember, some new cars cost a lot more to insurance than others; check it out ahead of time to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

If you drive an older car, especially one that has no real Kelly Blue Book value, then you are basically wasting your money if you purchase collision or comprehensive insurance. The reason for this is that your insurance company will only give you the Kelly Blue Book value for your vehicle if it is damaged and if your vehicle has no Kelly Blue Book value then you won’t collect anything anyway in the event of an accident, regardless of how much you are paying for your collision or comprehensive. Save your money.

What about your deductible? Be honest with yourself and determine how much money you can realistically afford to pay for the repair of your own vehicle if you have a claim. The more you can pay out of your own pocket – in other words, the higher your deductible – then the less your insurance company is going to charge you each month for your car insurance.

O.K. Now you know what you need to do to lower your monthly car insurance premium, so now it’s time to get online and compare policies and prices so that you can get the cheapest car insurance online in Arkansas.

Don’t think, however, that you can get away with only looking at comparisons on one website. Each website only compares a small handful of insurance companies. If you really and truly want to make sure that you are getting the very best deal possible on your car insurance, then you really need to bite the bullet and take the extra time to make the same comparisons on at least 3 different websites.

Once you have made your comparisons on multiple websites then you can pick the best rate and know for certain that you have gotten the cheapest car insurance online in Arkansas that you could possibly find.

Obtaining medical treatment and hospital care can be costly for travelers who are injured or who become seriously ill overseas. The Social Security Medicare/Medicaid program does not provide coverage for hospital or medical services outside the United States.

Before you leave the United States, you should be informed about which medical services your health insurance will cover abroad.

Senior citizens may wish to contact the American Association of Retired Persons for information about foreign medical care coverage with Medicare supplement plans.

If your health insurance policy does not provide coverage for hospital or medical costs abroad, you are urged to purchase a temporary health policy that does provide this type of coverage. There are short-term health and emergency assistance policies designed for travelers.

You can find the names of companies that provide such policies from your travel agent, your health insurance company, or from advertisements in travel publications. In addition to health insurance, many policies include trip cancellation, baggage loss, and travel accident insurance in the same package. Some traveler’s check companies have protection policies available with the purchase of traveler’s checks.

Medical Evacuation

Although some health insurance companies may pay “customary and reasonable” hospital costs abroad, very few will pay for medical evacuation back to the United States. Medical evacuation can easily cost $10,000 or more, depending on your location and medical condition.

One of the main advantages of health and emergency assistance policies is that they often include coverage for medical evacuation to the United States. Even if your regular health insurance covers you for emergencies abroad, you should consider purchasing supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Whichever health insurance coverage you choose for travel overseas, remember to carry with you both your health insurance policy identity card and claim forms.

Do You Need Travel Insurance?

You may not need travel insurance, if you are already adequately covered by other insurance policies.

Depending on the travel insurance plan, travel insurance usually promises to cover you for cancellation or interruption of your trip, some form of emergency medical care while you are traveling, lost or stolen luggage, and various other troublesome occurrences.

Before you decide on a travel insurance plan, it is wise to investigate the plan carefully and read the fine print. You should closely check any agreements with your travel agent, tour operator, airline, or other companies involved with your travel plans. The agreements may include written guarantees.

If you have a fully refundable airline ticket, you may decide that you would not need trip cancellation/interruption insurance.

On the other hand, it may be worthwhile noting that certain insurance plans can protect you by covering the financial costs in case of the following situations:

A sudden, serious injury or illness to you, a family member, or a traveling companion.
Financial default of the airline, cruise line or tour operator.

Natural disasters or strikes that impede travel services.

A terrorist incident in a foreign city within 10 days of your scheduled arrival in that particular city.

The fact that you, a traveling member of your family, or a traveling companion were quarantined served with a court order or required to serve on a jury.

A circumstance in which you were directly involved in an accident enroute to departure for your trip.

It is a good idea to check your other insurance policies. For instance, your homeowners or tenants insurance may cover the loss or theft of your luggage.

Certain credit cards may also provide additional travel insurance, if you have used them to purchase the ticket for your trip.

Your health insurance may provide certain coverage, regardless of where you travel. But it is very important to note that some policies only partially cover medical expenses abroad. Moreover, as previously explained in the section on Health Insurance, Medicare/Medicaid will not cover hospital and medical services outside the United States.

Your travel agent should be able to advise you about the right plan for you. Before purchasing travel insurance, review the plan carefully, and be wary of buying coverage that you may already have.

You may think that travel insurance isn’t necessary, and that you have planned your vacation perfectly. Things like when to board the flight, where to stay, and when to come back would have been included in your plan; but what if you have to change your plan and get back early? Or what if you met with an accident or fell ill, which of course you were not prepared for? You would end up paying all the medical expenses that are not covered by your health insurance. This is when having travel insurance could save you. It is important that you purchase travel insurance to protect your travel investment.

Types of Travel Insurance:

Most travel insurance companies offer the same packages which include basic travel insurance, and comprehensive travel insurance. There are a few general types of travel insurance, however, depending on the insurance company, the coverage and limitations will be different. Given below are some of the common types:

Trip Cancellation: This is the most common and the most important type of travel insurance. Incase your trip gets cancelled because of any unforeseen circumstances, you don’t have to worry about your tickets not being refunded or bear the burden of the money spent, as this type of insurance will cover all these non-refundable payments or deposits.

Trip Delay: This type of insurance is also very helpful incase of any break in your travel plan, for example, say you have to take a connecting flight only to find that it has been cancelled or delayed for a few hours, what do you do? You take the next flight to get home. You don’t have to worry about the extra money spent by you on the ticket. In this case, if you have trip delay insurance, your money will be reimbursed.

Trip Interruption: If your trip gets interrupted due to any unexpected calamity, you don’t have to bear for the lost vacation. Your money will be reimbursed if you have trip interruption insurance.

Baggage/Personal Effects Loss or Delay: This is also a very common type of insurance. It will cover losses if your baggage is lost or delayed, or if any of your stuff gets damaged.

Travel Document Loss: Having this type of insurance will save you from situations such as a stolen or lost passport. Staying in a foreign country without your password would create problems, but you need not run places looking for emergency cash to get it replaced, as this insurance will take care of that.

Accident/Sickness Medical Expenses: If you fall ill anywhere during your travel, you don’t have to worry about the extra expense. This insurance will cover the cost for you.

Medical Evacuation/Emergency Transportation: In the case of a medical emergency during your travel, this insurance will cover expenses such as the transportation charge to the hospital.

Supplier Default: This insurance will cover any payments or deposits lost because of the bankruptcy of a travel supplier.

So next time you plan a trip, do get travel insurance to ensure a safe trip and peace of mind.

1. If your agent is unable to solve your problem, get the name and phone number of your insurance companies Claims Department. It’s usually an 800 number. Call and ask if they have a Consumer Complaint Department? Most do. If so, talk to them because they may be able to help you. Don’t hang up until you get the specific name of the person with whom you spoke. (Make a note of the person you talked with and hold onto that until you’ve finished with your dispute).

2. Be ready to support your case by sending a covering letter (to that individual whom you spoke with) which contains all the documents you have to back up your position.

3. All insurance companies have either an “Appraisal Service” or “Arbitration Service” to help settle differences and/or disputes. Your policy should explain these options.(If you can’t find either of these ask your agent to find them for you)!

4. If you’ve followed their rules for resolving your dispute, and you’re still not satisfied, your own state’s insurance department should be able to help you.

5. If, after hearing from your own insurance company’s people (your confident that you’ve not been handled properly) you should call 1 800 942-4242 ( a toll-free Consumer Information Service) sponsored by the insurance industry.

Trained personnel are available to assist consumers who have complaints. THIS “HELP LINE” OPERATES ON EASTERN TIME, MONDAY THRU FRIDAY, 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM.

6. ALSO: An “Independent Arbitrator”, who allegedly has experience in insurance problems, can decide if what you’ve been told (or offered to settle your claim) is fair. You can get to them by calling THE AMERICAN ARBITRATION ASSOCIATION 1 212 484-4000 or they can be contacted (via the internet) at .

7. MEDIATION: More often than not the Mediator does not have the authority to make a binding decision or issue an award to either party. The mediator only recommends a solution.

Mediation is a solid first step because it can negate the need for further expense on both sides. The first thing you should do is check the language in your auto insurance policy where it will spell out who will mediate (and/or arbitrate) a claim. You should submit a DEMAND FOR ARBITRATION FORM to whoever is listed in your policy. On that Demand for Arbitration Form you can specify whether you want “MEDIATION” or “ARBITRATION”.

DEMAND FOR ARBITRATION FORMS are available from your state’s Department Of Insurance, or you can print a copy of a Demand Form from the American Arbitration Association’s web site – – which can be found (as I’ve listed above in Number #6) at .

AS YOU MOVE ALONG WITH THE ABOVE YOU MUST NEVER FORGET THESE TWO FOLLOWING (A & B = Below) CRUCIAL FACTS:

A. Mediation is much less expensive than Arbitration.

B. The Mediation Decisions are only considered to be advisory. However, The Arbitration Rulings are absolutely binding!

DISCLAIMER: The only purpose of this article “YOUR AUTO ACCIDENT INSURANCE LOSS – DEALING WITH YOUR COMPANY ON A DISPUTED CLAIM” is to help people understand the motor vehicle accident claim process. Neither Dan Baldyga, Peter Go nor ARTICLE CITY make any guarantee of any kind whatsoever; NOR do the purport to engage in rendering any legal service; NOR to substitute for a lawyer, an insurance adjuster, claims consultant, or the like. Where such professional help is desired it is THE INDIVIDUALS RESPONSIBILITY to obtain said services.

Severe storms can cause enormous property damage to your home. They can also do the same thing to your car. With storms getting worse, what can you do? Take a look at your insurance policy. “Too often, people don’t notice they lack certain types of coverage until they try to make a claim,” says Ron Berry, senior vice president of the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

In fact, the number of reported claims for vehicle losses due to severe storms nearly doubled in the first five years of this century, according to ISO’s Property Claim Services (PCS) unit, the recognized authority on insured property losses from catastrophes in the United States.

Fortunately, the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), a nonprofit organization, says comprehensive coverage will reimburse you for loss due to fire, falling objects, storms, vandalism, animals and floods.

Comprehensive insurance usually has a $100 to $300 deductible, though you may want a higher one to lower your premium. Comprehensive insurance will reimburse you if your windshield is cracked or shattered.

“But, even if you have comprehensive coverage, it is not always guaranteed to meet your individual needs,” says Carolyn Gorman, vice president of the I.I.I. “For example, you may be surprised to discover that after a storm your auto insurance does not automatically cover the cost of a replacement rental car while your car is in the repair shop or you wait for authorization for a new car.”

She added that an individual could pay as much as $1,000 to rent a replacement car. “Rental reimbursement coverage, which is only a couple of dollars a month, covers the cost of a rental car while your car is being repaired or you are waiting for authorization for a new car. Renting a car for one day can cost more than one full year’s coverage for rental reimbursement,” Gorman said.

If your car is ever damaged in a storm:

• Know what your insurance covers. Don’t wait to find out it doesn’t include comprehensive or won’t cover emergency roadside assistance or a rental car.

• Report damage as soon as possible. If your car is not drivable, your agent or claims center may be able to save you time and money by having it towed directly to the repair facility and providing you with a replacement rental car.

• Know your deductible and any other additional charges before authorizing work. Expect your insurance adjuster, claims representative or repair facility appraiser to review the damage with you and explain the process, including the use of original or generic auto parts.