Monthly Archives: June 2012

Information about CA Low Cost Insurance

Our Services – California Low Cost Insurance

What is the California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program (CLCA)?

The primary goal of the California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program (CLCA) is to provide an affordable auto insurance option to low-income good drivers.
California Law requires that all drivers be insured. However, too many low-income drivers remain uninsured because the costs of standard insurance premiums are beyond their financial reach. The California Low Cost Automobile Program provides affordable liability only auto insurance that meets the state’s financial responsibility laws.

What is the maximum limits this CLCA liability policy will cover?

Basic Liability Policy

Bodily Injury liability per person – $10,000
Bodily Injury liability per accident – $20,000
Property Damage liability per accident – $3,000

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Optional Coverages

For Additional Charge you can add:

Medical Payments per person – $1,000
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury per person – $10,000
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury per accident – $20,000

CLCA policies do not provide coverage for Physical Damage (Comprehensive and Collision).

Who is eligible for the California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program?

Applicant must be at least 19 years of age or older and a continuously licensed driver for the past three years.
Applicant must qualify as a good driver.
Have a vehicle currently valued for $20,000 or less.
Must meet income eligibility requirements.
There are five different payment plan options available.

To Apply call our office at 925-927-5311

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The California Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program is brought to you by the California Department of Insurance and is administered by the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP).

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Information about Accidents

Our Services – Accidents

A minor accident where you are at fault usally will earn you at least one point on your record. Now if someone is injured or not even injured but is reimbursed for a doctor visit or payed out for suffering you have now earned 2 points. In California if you have more than one point on your record or have not had a continuous license the last 3 years, you will lose your California Good Driver discount which is up to 20% off is and mandated by the state. Now there are even worse accidents that you can be involved in like involuntary manslaughter which will take you up again to a major conviction. In short, accidents do affect your record and there is no real forgiveness out there in California for theses violations. The best thing you can do is to just not get into an accident or not be at fault then you will be OK and not effected by the points.

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Information about Tickets

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Even the most minor of traffic tickets can have serious ramifications on your insurance and driving record for at least the next 3 years to come if not longer. You’re probably already paying an arm and a leg for your insurance, but imagine paying an extra $20-$150 a month due to a traffic ticket. It’s a real possibility, depending on the severity of your ticket and how many you receive. A minor speeding ticket may raise your rates by a few a dollars, but three tickets in two years will likely have a drastic effect on your insurance. For most people, it takes just one serious traffic offense to see a major price increase. If you’re ever charged with a DUI, expect to see about a 50% increase or better in your rates, of course, that’s if your insurance company doesn’t completely drop you from their coverage. While a traffic ticket can cost you money in insurance rates, it can cost you in other ways too. So we always recomend that you take traffic school when possible to avoid those points showing up on your record.

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Insuring Teens Without Breaking The Bank

Our Services – Teen Drivers

By Karen Kroll• Bankrate.com

Many teenagers count the days until they can get behind the wheel of the family car and cruise. Many of their parents count the days, too, but for entirely different reasons.

For the teens, it means freedom and fun. For their parents, it means sleepless nights and lighter wallets.

The parents’ concerns are valid. Drivers under 25 are four times as likely as older drivers to die in an accident, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

As a result, adding a 16-year-old driver to your auto insurance policy can come with a hefty price tag. Premium increases of 50 to 100 percent are not unheard of, says Loretta Worters, spokeswoman with the New York-based trade group Insurance Information Institute.

Fortunately, you can take steps to rein in premium increases.

Shop around
Comparison shop for teen-driver prices, says Lewis Mandell, professor of finance at the University of Buffalo in Buffalo, N.Y. While rates for 40-somethings may be fairly standard among insurers, that’s not always the case.

Consider a higher deductible. Going from a $250 to $500 or $1,000 deductible can save you 10 percent to 20 percent on your premium, says Madelyn Flannagan, vice president of education and research for the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, an Alexandria, Va.-based professional association. You’ll want to weigh whether you can absorb the out-of-pocket expense in the event of an accident.

You’ll also want to evaluate taking out a separate policy for your teen.

Assuming you and your spouse have a good claims record, you’re probably best off simply adding your teen driver to your own policy and paying the increased premium, says Robert Klein, director of the Center for Risk Management and Insurance Research at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

On the other hand, if your driving record leaves a lot to be desired or you drive expensive cars, it may be less expensive to get your teen a separate policy.

Down the road, you’ll want to check just when your insurer classifies young drivers as adults. At that point, you should see a decrease in your rates, says Gwen Reichbach, director of the National Institute for Consumer Education at Eastern Michigan University.

While many companies classify drivers as adults at age 25, some offer lower rates for 23-year-old drivers. Drivers who marry, even if they’re younger than 25, may qualify for lower auto premiums. Also, as your teen becomes a twenty-something, it’s worth checking whether he or she should move to a separate policy.

Car choices
If you’re planning to purchase another car, think carefully about your choices. While your son or daughter may be begging for a new sports car, a safe and stodgy used car will be easier on your insurance rates. It’s less likely to be stolen, and probably will do better in a crash test. Your premiums should reflect these differences.

Should you get a car, it probably will make sense to keep it in your name, says Mandell.

“Typically, parents have more assets, so they take greater responsibility,” he says. Thus, insurers are likely to charge a lower premium.

Whether or not you buy another car, you can ask your insurer to assign your teen driver to just one of your cars. In other words, the insurer would calculate your premium under the assumption that your teenager only drives a specific car, typically a less expensive one.

Be warned, however: Many insurers will not assign certain cars to certain drivers; they assume anyone in the house can drive any of the cars. And, according to the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, you can expect that the insurance company will also price the premium based on the highest risk vehicle on your policy.

If your insurance carrier agrees to assign your teen to a specific car, you need to lay down the law. Your new driver should take only the car to which he or she is assigned, even in an emergency.

If your teen drives another car and gets in an accident, your rates likely will get a hefty boost. Your insurer could even impose a penalty or decide not to renew your policy.

Making the grade
Let your insurance company know if your child has a B or better grade average. Studies have shown a correlation between good students and responsible drivers, so many insurers offer good-student discounts, which typically range from 5 percent to 10 percent, says Flannagan.

It also helps to have your child take a driver’s education course, rather than try to teach him or her the rules of the road yourself. (In some states, teens must take a driver’s education course to get a license at age 16; otherwise, they have to wait until they’re 18.)

Such courses can be good for discounts of up to 15 percent, says Worters. Just make sure the course you have in mind is approved by your insurer.

In addition, some insurers offer “safe driver programs.” Teen participants in these programs sign contracts stating that they won’t, for instance, drink and drive. Check with your insurance company. If your teenager completes the program, you may be able to cut another 5 percent or so from your increase.

More states have now enacted what are known as “graduated licenses.” New drivers are restricted from certain activities, such as driving with passengers, until they’ve had their licenses for a set period, such as six months.

If you live in one of these states, ask if any discounts are available. Some insurers may take a few percentage points off your increase.

Finally, you may be eligible for lower premiums once your teen heads to college. Many insurers will reduce rates for students attending a school at least 100 miles away from home and who don’t have a car on campus, says Worters of the Insurance Information Institute.

What not to do
As you’re checking out insurance for your teen driver, you’ll want to avoid these mistakes.

First, don’t procrastinate. As soon as your teenager is ready to get a permit, let your insurance company know. If you forget and your child is involved in an accident, your insurance company generally will cover it, says Worters. However, it can retroactively charge the higher premium that you should have been paying. In an extreme case, it could revoke your coverage.

You also don’t want to drastically lower your liability coverage in order to reduce your rate increase, says Klein. Granted, doing so may save a few dollars now. However, it doesn’t make sense to carry less coverage on a higher-risk driver. Should your teenager get into an accident, you’ll be forced to cover the damages from your own pocket.

Safety first
Ultimately, helping your son or daughter establish a good driving record will be your best protection against sky-high insurance rates. Of course, the primary objective of driving safely is to prevent injuries and fatalities.

However, traffic violations and accidents also directly affect your pocketbook. If your teenager’s drinking or recklessness results in an accident, your premiums can jump by several hundred percent.

The longer your teenager motors along without an accident or traffic violation, the more you’ll be able to negotiate lower premiums. More importantly, you’ll know that your son or daughter is less likely to be involved in an accident.

Karen Kroll is a freelance writer based in Minnesota.
Pat Curry contributed to this story.

Return to Teen Drivers page.

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Safety Tips for Teen Parents

Our Services – Teen Drivers

  1. Evaluate your teen’s readiness
    Teenagers mature, develop emotionally and become responsible at varying rates, which parents need to gauge as they determine when their teen is ready to drive.
  2. Be a role model
    Teens learn from their parents’ driving habits. Parents’ actions behind the wheel influence the driving behavior of their teens. Research from the Foundation for Traffic Safety found that, when using the number of collisions and traffic tickets as criteria, the parents of teens involved in crashes were more likely to have poor driving records than the parents of collision-free teens.
  3. Eliminate distractions
    Cell phones and text messaging can be hazardous distractions for teen drivers. Beginning July 1, 2008, California law will ban inexperienced teen drivers from using cell phones and other wireless communication devices while driving. Parents should not wait for the law to take effect in order to encourage changes in driving behavior that could prevent a deadly crash.
  4. Restrict passengers and night driving
    Extensive research indicates that a teen driver’s chances of crashing increases with each additional teen passenger. Parents need to make sure they know who is driving with their teen at all times. Research shows teen crash rates spike at night and that most night time crashes occur between 9 p.m. and midnight. California law already places restrictions on inexperienced teen drivers carrying passengers and driving at night, but parents can protect their teen drivers by enforcing the regulations and extending them beyond the mandatory first year of driving.
  5. Choose the safest vehicle
    As the family member most likely to crash, a teen should drive the safest vehicle the family owns. Factors to consider are vehicle type, size and safety technology:•Sedans are generally safer than sports cars, SUVs and pickup trucks.
    •Larger vehicles generally fare better in crashes than smaller vehicles.
    •Front and side air bags, anti-lock brakes and stability control systems make it easier to avoid crashes and improve teens’ chances of surviving should they crash.
  6. Practice
    Supervised driving lessons with parents provide teens with opportunities to enhance learning, reinforce proper driving skills and receive constructive feedback from the people who care most about their safety and success.
  7. Encourage teens to get enough sleep
    Teens need about nine hours of sleep every night, but many teens get far less rest because of early-morning school start times, homework, sports, after-school jobs and other activities. A lack of sleep can negatively affect vision, hand-eye coordination, reaction time and judgment.
  8. Weekly review and discussion
    Parental involvement and communication is critical in the prevention of teen-related crashes, injuries and fatalities. Designate a time each week to address any concerns of both parents and teen, review the teen’s driving performance and chart the progression towards established goals and benchmarks.

Return to Teen Drivers page.

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Contact us for your Auto, Home or Business Insurance Quote and see how we can get a lower rate on your insurance. We are your Insurance Broker.

Ryan Hayes Insurance Brokerage
Lic#0E98806 CA, NV, AZ
PO BOX 4819
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Phone: 925-478-5903
Fax: 925-296-0205

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