REPOST: Where It Costs The Most — And Least — For Car Insurance

If you’re planning to buy a new car, you’ve probably already considered things such as styling, comfort, features and fuel economy. But you might be missing a big part of your vehicle’s total ownership if you haven’t considered auto insurance costs. This article from Forbes has the details.

If one were to believe the sheer volume of television commercials being broadcast to that end, we are a culture that’s obsessed with our car insurance rates. GEICO alone reportedly spent nearly $2 Billion last year telling a rapt nation it could save money in a manner of minutes by switching carriers.

And while most of us would rather leave money in our pockets than on the proverbial table, other than shopping our business among competing companies, fine-tuning our policies and choosing a vehicle that’s inherently cheaper to insure, there’s little we can usually do to alter the intractable factors that more profoundly affect our annual premiums.

These include one’s age, marital status, address, credit rating and driving record. Among them the one consideration that’s firmly within one’s control is where he or she lives. All else being equal, someone residing in a crowded and crime-ridden urban area can expect to pay considerably more for coverage than will a similar motorist with the same car in a quiet suburb of the same city.

According to Insure.com, a Jeep Wrangler will cost a resident of Maine an average $694/year to insure, while the same driver residing in Michigan will have to shell out $2,027 for equivalent coverage. | Image Source: forbes.com

“Your driving record and your car are the same no matter where you live,” says Insure.com consumer analyst Penny Gusner. “But change your ZIP code just a couple of towns the wrong way and your rates can double.”
Even if you already live rather remotely, it’s possible to come out considerably ahead by simply moving across one or more state borders. According to Insure.com, those living in Maine, Ohio and Idaho will, on average, pay a third less than the national average to insure a new car, while Michigan motorists face premiums that are 90 percent higher than the norm. The spread between the cheapest (Maine, at $805) and costliest state (Michigan, at $2,662) amounts to a whopping $9,285 over a typical five-year ownership period.
“Laws make a big difference. Each state makes its own rules, and some of them result in bigger or more frequent insurance claims,” Gusner explains, noting that widespread insurance fraud, high theft rates and a higher concentration of drivers in urban areas also contribute to how much residents in a given state will pay for coverage.

Here’s the list of 10 states Insure.com identifies as offering the lowest average auto insurance rates:

Maine: $805
Ohio: $843
Idaho: $877
Iowa: $886
New Hampshire: $905
Wisconsin: $930
Vermont: $957
North Carolina: $986
Virginia: $1,008
New York: $1,013

And here’s the 10 states where motorists tend to endure the costliest car insurance premiums:

Michigan: $2,476
Montana: $1,886
District of Columbia: $1,799
Louisiana: $1,774
Florida: $1,742
West Virginia: $1,716
Connecticut: $1,690
Rhode Island: $1,656
California: $1,653
New Jersey: $1,595
Click here for the complete list of average car insurance rates for all 50 states.

The Fine Print: Data on premiums for the survey was compiled by Quadrant Information Services based on auto insurance rates for 2015 models from six large carriers – Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm – in 10 ZIP codes per state. State averages are based on quoted rates for the cheapest-to-insure versions of the 20 best-selling vehicles in the U.S. Estimates assume a single, 40-year-old male with a clean driving record and good credit who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. As they say, your rates will vary.

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REPOST: N.J. once again has costliest auto insurance in U.S., report says

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners says that New Jersey has the costliest auto insurance rates in the nation.

Auto insurance

New Jersey often ranks as the most expensive state to buy auto insurance. | Image Source: nj.com

New Jersey drivers once again shelled out the most in the nation for auto insurance, according to an annual industry report.

Drivers in the Garden State paid an average of $1,220 on car insurance policies in 2012, the last year the figures were available, according to the report by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

It marks the third straight year that New Jersey has topped the list, which covers all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Washington D.C. was second at $1,155, followed by New York with $1,152. Idaho drivers paid the least for auto insurance: $535.

New Jersey’s average is about 49 percent higher than the national mark of $815, according to the report.

The data includes the average amount drivers paid for liability coverage, which is mandatory, as well as collision and comprehensive policies, which are optional. The average mandatory liability premium in New Jersey was $861 in 2012 — also the most in the country.

Marshall McKnight, a spokesman for the state Department of Banking insurance, said New Jersey has always ranked high on the list for a number of reasons.

“We are one of the most densely populated states in the nation,” McKnight said. “So there are more cars and more accidents.”

He added that New Jersey drivers also tend to opt for more coverage than is legally required. About 70 percent carry the maximum personal injury protection benefit of $250,000, McKnight said.

“Only New York and Michigan have a higher number,” he said.

The NAIC stresses that insurance premiums can vary across the nation because of population density, laws, geography, and different requirements for coverage, limits, and benefits.

The organization specifically notes that New Jersey’s numbers are difficult to compare to other states because a large portion of residents live in what the industry considers urban areas.

It adds that the report does not include dividends, which hurts the state’s figures because New Jersey has paid two to four times the national average in dividends to policyholders. Dividends are essentially refunds that auto insurers send policyholders for any excess charges in a premium.

The Washington-based NAIC is a volunteer organization for state insurance regulators. While its data lags by several years, the group’s reports are regarded as the most authoritative on the issue.

High auto insurance premiums was once one of the hottest issues in Trenton, prompting angry Statehouse rallies, lengthy legislative battles, and high-profile court fights as insurers squared off against trial attorneys. But it’s barely been a blip on the political radar in the dozen years since Gov. James E. McGreevey signed reforms into law that eased regulations to make way for lower costs.

In 2006, New Jersey drivers paid an average of $1,152, and the figures fell to 1,104 in 2007 and 1,081 in 2008.

McKnight said people began shopping around for lower coverage, causing the numbers to drop.

But the figures have slowly ticked up since then. The average rose 2.9 percent in 2012, up from 1,185 in 2011. The average in the U.S. jumped 2.2 percent over the same period.

In all, New Jersey has seen a 2.2 percent increase from 2002 to 2012 — the 15th highest increase in the nation.

McKnight said New Jersey may drop out of the No. 1 slot from time to time, depending on what happens in other states.

“But we’re never going to be one of the lowest because of all those factors,” he said.

Louis Campisano is an insurance professional from New Jersey. For more articles on auto insurance issues, like this Facebook page.

What you need to know about “no-fault” insurance

Automobile insurance in the United States usually operates under a fault-based system, meaning insurance companies pay the amount based on a person’s degree of fault in an accident. But determining who is more liable is a long and tedious process involving lawsuits and costly court battles.

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To address this problem, companies in some states have adopted “no-fault” insurances. This policy, usually associated with automobile insurance, means that the insurance company will pay for damages up to a certain amount, regardless of whose fault it is. In exchange, you cannot sue the other driver for damages, nor can the other driver sue you if you’re at fault, therefore eliminating having to go to court.

A no-fault insurance policy covers bodily injury, associated medical bills (the insurer pays for your medical bills right away without having to wait for a lawsuit), and in some instances, other financial losses such as lost wages when you can’t go back to work yet because of the accident.
Even if this policy makes it difficult to file lawsuits against another person, some states do allow such legal action to be taken when the damages involved are over a certain monetary (if the plaintiff’s medical expenses go over a specified amount) or verbal (if injuries sustained are deemed “serious”) threshold. However, “pain and suffering” is not covered and cannot be used as a reason to sue.

Image Source: jeanknowscars.com

There are 12 states that have adopted the “no-fault” insurance policy – Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah. Opting out of this policy is not even considered an alternative.
To know more about the no-fault policy, consult with a qualified insurance agent.

Louis Campisano is a fully-qualified Farmers Insurance agent from Florham Park, New Jersey. Subscribe to this blog for more discussion on automobile insurance.

The Personal and Professional Safety Net

Anyone with a fair amount of life experience under their belt will tell you that despite the ambiguity that seemingly coats our ongoing schedules, certain situations will take shape that catch us completely off-guard, measuring how much we tend to take things too much in stride. There are always going to be events happening in life that we could never have seen coming, which is why people with some stories to tell will always encourage those less knowledgeable to take preemptive measures in the event the unexpected happens and throws a curve ball at the most unexpected of times.

When the unforeseeable should in fact happen to occur in life, we want to be prepared by whatever means. Whether such an occurrence takes shape either personally or professionally, we want to make sure we are prepared, which is why individuals like Farmers Insurance agent Louis Campisano are available to provide solutions that help us through tougher times in life.

Mr. Campisano is a representative of Farmers Insurance Group, one of the most established insurers that has been helping individuals, families, and businesses through complicated situations for over 85 years. Louis Campisano and his team at Farmers can walk you and yours through the various different coverage options available to you, and figure out which options best suit your personalized needs.

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If you happen to be your own boss then you know the unpredictability that comes with running any kind of organization, no matter the size or structure. A lot of different factors have to be taken into consideration when running a business, and agent Louis Campisano can walk you through the various business life insurance options that can help you and your employees sustain your business and grow without unpredictability jeopardizing your operation.

Mr. Campisano is also well aware of those personal policies that everyone should take into consideration, including automobile, motorcycle, recreational, home, renters, and life insurance coverage to give you the kind of safety need you need to acquire some much-needed peace of mind.

To learn more about Louis Campisano and the many insurance options he can make available to you through Farmers Insurance Group, visit his website for more detailed information and insight on how best to weather those unforeseen storms yet to hit the foreseeable forecast.

Proactive Measures for Unforeseen Events in Life

We are an unpredictable whirlwind of activity throughout our ongoing personal and professional lives. No one can make any kinds of predictions whatsoever when and where our lives will take us next, which is why so many people stress how important it is to have the necessary safety nets in place in the event life throws us out of the loop and into unfamiliar territory.

To make sure we are prepared when the unforeseen comes out of leftfield and rips the rug out from under us, insurance policies are made available in the event our everyday lives take a turn for the unexpected. The best way to make sure we have policies that reflect our lifestyle is to turn to experts who know the ins and outs of the insurance industry to get us covered in areas that could affect our overall well-being. This is where a knowledgeable and practiced agent like Louis Campisano enters the picture. Mr. Campisano can get you all of the peace of mind you need as a representative of Farmers Insurance, an insurance group that offers automobile, home, life, business, motorcycle, recreational, and renters insurance policies to its clients.

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The history of Farmers Insurance dates all the way back to 1922, when two associates with strong links to local farmers and ranchers recognized the necessity to help rural citizens with coverage on equipment they used far more frequently than their urbanite neighbors. By 1928, the two co-founders landed their first client. Today, the company is one of the most respected in the insurance industry, with more than 50,000 exclusive and independent agents, and approximately 22,000 employees.

Louis Campisano is a Farmers Insurance agent based out of Florham Park, NJ, and continually helps individuals, families, and businesses discover the different kinds of policies that are available to help guide them towards coverage that will prove most beneficial when the least of expected scenarios comes uninvited into your life.

To learn more about Louis Campisano and/or Farmers insurance policies, visit his website for detailed information and insight on how to get an upper hand on life.

Burglars be gone: Four easy ways to improve home security

Burglary is the illegal entry of a person into a home with the intention of committing a crime, usually theft. Although the number of burglaries committed in the United States are dwindling, there is still some cause for alarm. Approximately two million burglaries occurred in 2012 alone.

In order to adequately secure a home against burglary, homeowners and renters should take the necessary precautions. The following are five easy ways to improve home security against intruders.

Image Source: doityourself.com

Install an alarm system

Several studies have shown that alarm systems are an effective deterrent to burglars. Many companies now offer affordable options: there are numerous DIY home security systems that can be purchased online or through major retailers.

Secure doors and windows

Before leaving the home, even for just a short while, it’s best to make sure all points of entry into a home are locked and secured. A tough metal rod slid into the back grooves of sliding glass doors and windows will prevent them from sliding open, even if the burglars manage to pick the locks. Consider installing metal door and jamb reinforcement plates on weak, older doors.

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Don’t leave expensive belongings in plain view

Burglars don’t choose a home to steal from at random: often, they pick the one that looks like it has valuable items inside it. Move bicycles, scooters, and power mowers into the garage when not in use, and make sure expensive items cannot be seen from outside the windows. If purchasing expensive items, avoid leaving their boxes outside: cut them up into small, unidentifiable pieces or bring them directly to a recycling facility.

When going on vacation, make the house look occupied

Residential crimes increases during summer when many people leave their homes to go on a trip. To avoid tipping off potential burglars that a home’s residents are away, homeowners and renters should stop their newspaper deliveries until they return, have a friend or neighbor pick up their mail and flyers periodically to prevent them from piling up, and arrange for someone to mow their lawns or shovel snow from their driveways.

Homeowners and renters insurance both add an extra layer of protection: both cover personal possessions in case of theft. For questions on policy limits and terms, it’s best to consult a trusted insurance agent.

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Home renovations: Keeping the costs low

Home renovations are expensive. The average cost of remodeling a bathroom is around $16,000, while renovating the kitchen is about $20,000. Still, renovating can be a worthy endeavor especially if the homeowner is looking to improve the look and feel of the house, make the most out of their investment, or increase the property’s resale value. Some renovation projects can get out of hand, however, and that can result in expenses that the property owner certainly did not sign up for.

Keeping costs low means making some adjustments to the renovation plans. For instance, one way to save on expenses is to DIY the demolition part of the job. For renovation jobs around the exterior of the home, doing the demolition can save the homeowner up to $550, compared to when they hire a pro to do it for them.

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Planning the remodeling around the current plumbing is also recommended to keep costs low. Relocating fixtures like toilets and showers entails a lot more in materials and installation time. Upgrading old fixtures without moving them can lead to larger savings. In addition, focusing on simplicity instead of going for elaborate designs can help decrease costs and still ensure higher resale value.

Making the most of the space already available is also a great idea. Instead of demolishing a room and rebuilding to get more space, homeowners can redesign areas like their kitchen to increase efficiency without needing extra size.

After the renovations are done, it is also a good idea to update the homeowners insurance to avoid a gap in coverage. Louis Campisano is an insurance professional who can help you resolve this matter. For more resources on homeowners insurance, visit this Facebook page.