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On August 23rd, 2018 Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and eight other residents of the Motor City appeared in federal court alleging that the current Michigan no-fault auto insurance laws requiring drivers to pay for this type of coverage is a violation of due process. At the same time, they claim this law is unconstitutional.
In the Eastern District Court for the State of Michigan
According to the lawsuit filed by Duggan et al., the group states it is their firm belief that a law requiring all drivers in the state to carry no-fault insurance coverage is in direct conflict with a Michigan Supreme Court Finding. This finding is the result of Shavers vs. Kelly in 1978, stating, ” a driver’s license, once issued, is a significant interest subject to constitutional due process protections.”
In the claim filed by Duggan et al. the complaint is that the high cost of no-fault insurance impedes due process for anyone with a Michigan driver’s license. Because the state requires all motorists to carry this type of coverage and pay its incredibly high cost, it stops many drivers from seeking employment or educational opportunities, going shopping for food and necessities, even taking their kids to school.
The Law was Supposed to Drive Insurance Rates Down
When the law first passed in 1973, the impetus behind it was to drive insurance rates down and ensure victims of auto accidents would receive compensation that was adequate and in a timelier manner. With this the new law, victims could no longer take the responsible party in an automobile accident to court. Instead, victims would be able to go to their own insurance companies for compensation. The impetus was to drive auto insurance premiums down and reduce the level of litigation, the exact opposite happened, and insurance premiums skyrocketed. In fact, the average cost of insurance nationwide is $1512.00 per year. In Michigan, the average price for auto insurance is $3,509.00. More specifically, motorists in the City of Detroit pay the highest auto insurance rates of any city in the country.
It Gets Worse (If That’s Possible)
If having outrageous insurance rates isn’t bad enough, the 1973 law has made criminals out of otherwise perfectly “honest ” citizens. In Michigan, approximately 20 percent of the cars on the road are running around uninsured. One of the highest rates in the country. In turn, the high number of uninsured motorists causes insurance rates to go up even further.
When the law passed, the Michigan Supreme Court stated that the No-Fault law is constitutional providing insurance rates were not unfairly discriminatory or excessive. This left a loophole that made the claim by Duggan et al. possible as rates have reached the point at which many have to choose between paying for insurance or buying food and paying the rest of their family bills.
Along with stating the law is unconstitutional, Duggan et al. ask that the state be given no more than six months to correct the law and take steps to reduce the high cost of insurance. If at the end of the six-month period a solution has not been found, the state should be required to return to the traditional tort system. While the outcome of this case may have a significant impact on future insurance rates, it does not help to find cheap car insurance right now under the current laws. What you need is an agency that will work with you to find the right insurance coverage based on your needs and budget.
Whether it is a fender-bender or major collision it is enough to leave you shaken, especially if there is damage to your property — or worse yet, injury to you. If you are going to report an accident to an insurance company, there is a process to help things go smoothly.
Do I report an accident?
Sometimes the most difficult part of making an insurance claim is deciding whether you even want to make one. There are times when it is more economical to take care of the damages on your own than to make a claim. There are two types of insurance claims that you can file: a first-party claim and a third-party claim.
When you file a first-party claim, you report the accident directly to your own insurance carrier. When making a third-party claim, you contact the insurance company of the other motorist involved in the accident. A third-party claim is made when the other driver was “at-fault.” If you are at fault and the damages to your car or the other car are minimal, it is best to consider how much it will increase your premiums to report the accident versus how much it would cost to fix the damages. If there are injuries involved or the accident was substantial, then it is always best to get the insurance company involved.
Report the car insurance claim
Although you may be a little shaken, it is important to report the accident immediately to the proper insurance carrier. If you are filing a first-party claim, then you will want to call your insurance carrier and should have their contact info either online or on the back of your insurance card. If you are filing a third-party claim, then you will have to get the information about the insurance company from the other motorist. Other things you will likely need when making a third party claim are:
- The policy number
- The insured person’s full name
- The time and date of the accident
- The license plate numbers for all parties involved
- The police report number
- A general description of the accident
The insurance company will be responsible for investigating your claim and arranging a time for you to have your car inspected for damages. They will typically have someone come out to assess the damage, unless the accident was severe enough that the car was totaled.
Each carrier will have their own timeline for filing a claim, which is why it is imperative that you call immediately to file.
What not to say when you call
There are certain questions that the insurance carrier is going to ask you. Because the call will be recorded, it is important that you not say anything that might jeopardize the case. There are many things that you will want not to talk about with the other insurance company, like:
- Giving a report of your injury – Although you should tell them you are injured, do not give any more specifics about how you were injured or the extent of your injuries when you’re first filing a claim. Any statements about self-diagnosing can come back to bite you.
- Submitting a written statement – Never give any written statements related to the accident unless you know exactly why you are providing them. And it is always a good idea to have Los Angeles auto accident lawyers look over any written statements before you send them.
- Answer any specific questions – Avoid answering any specific questions about the accident. Don’t offer any conclusions of your own or give more details than are asked.
- Tell the truth – It is imperative to tell the truth. Even if you are worried that it might put you at fault, if you are caught telling the insurance company something that isn’t true, that is technically fraud.
- Agree to any settlements – Before you accept any settlement money, it is important to have your case assessed by a personal injury lawyer to ensure that you are being fairly compensated. Once you accept money then the case is over, and you aren’t eligible to collect for anything that may creep up in the future.
If you are in an accident where there is either damage or injuries, it is always best to get the help of a personal injury lawyer who specializes in auto accidents before you discuss any specifics of the case or agree to any settlements made by an insurance company.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recalled 51 million cars and trucks in 2015.
The NHTSA and car manufacturers issue car recalls when it is determined that there is a safety-related defect with a specific model. A car recall can also be issued if the car model does not comply with safety standards set by federal authorities.
When vehicles are recalled, an alert is issued to car owners. The car owner is then required to return the car to the dealership in order for the issue to be repaired. The repair is done at no charge to the vehicle owner. In extreme and rare cases, the entire vehicle may be replaced.
How Vehicle Recalls Affect Insurance Premiums
One of the many thoughts that go through a car owner’s mind when they receive a notice of a car recall is how it will affect their insurance premiums. The following are some things to keep in mind when faced with a vehicle recall.
- Your insurance rates won’t be affected
Your insurance rates shouldn’t be affected by the recall. The insurance company is not responsible for the repairs, the manufacturer is. Your insurance company therefore will have no reason to raise your insurance rates especially if the safety issue is resolved. You will however need to provide proof of paperwork showing your insurance provider that the safety issue was repaired.
- Ignoring a recall may cause insurance rates to rise
When you get a recall notice from your manufacturer, be sure to have the vehicle fixed at the dealership as soon as possible, even if it is a minor problem. Neglecting to get the vehicle repaired may result in an accident. Insurance providers will increase your rates if you ignore the recall notice.
- Insurance rates are higher for cars with repeated recall history
If you’re shopping for a car, it’s a good idea to check the recall history of the model or manufacturer. If a certain vehicle’s make and model has been consistently recalled for safety issues, your Insurance provider could issue higher insurance rates as your vehicle has proven to be unreliable.
- Not all recalls are the same
Some recalls are for small issues, such as a misplaced sticker, and can be fixed quickly. Other recalls are for major issues and could put your safety at risk. It is therefore important to have your car checked as soon as possible.
What to do When You Get a Vehicle Recall Notice
According to a study by J.D. Power, one in six cars on U.S. roadways are unrepaired despite an outstanding vehicle recall. This puts drivers and other road users in danger. When you receive a recall notice, make sure you:
- Contact your dealership
Your car should be returned to the dealership for repair. Don’t take it to your local repair shop. The dealer will have the car repaired at no cost to you. Depending on the issue and the size of the recall, it may take a few minutes or a few months to have your vehicle repaired.
- Contact your insurance provider
Provide your insurance agent with documentation showing that your vehicle has been repaired. This will show that you complied with the recall notice and that your vehicle is safe to drive. Your insurance provider will not increase your rates.
Beyond making sure that your vehicle is safe, it’s important to have insurance that you can depend on. Finally, auto insurance comparisons will help you find an auto insurer that will cover your needs at an affordable price.
You’re a smart and savvy consumer, always looking for a way to save money while still getting the best service. Because of this, you’ve probably done a lot of car insurance comparison shopping. It’s great to take charge, but the road to best and most affordable car insurance isn’t without pitfalls.
Below are some of the most common car insurance comparison mistakes and how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Not Shopping Around
You have to start somewhere, and by far one of the biggest mistakes you can make is purchasing the first insurance package you come across. How can you possibly find the coverage that best suits your needs and budget if you don’t compare?
Mistake #2: Not Providing Accurate Information
When you’re using car insurance comparison sites like CoverHound, you are directed to fill out an online form. This form asks you several questions in order to gain information used to generate a quote. If you enter details that are incorrect about your car, or give inaccurate answers to questions about your driving record, you’re not helping yourself. If you have traffic violations or previous accidents on your driving record, your car insurance package will reflect it. The only way to get an accurate quote is to provide all the necessary and correct information to the best of your ability.
Mistake #3: Misunderstanding Coverage
If you don’t do your research before shopping around, you may fall into the trap of buying coverage you don’t really need—or worse—not buying enough! Understanding the type of car insurance your state requires motorists to carry is essential to finding a package that works for you. This is a big help when comparison-shopping for auto insurance, because if you know precisely what your needs are, you can whittle down the competition and find an insurance package you need at a price you can afford.
Mistake #4: Failing to Consider the Extras
You may think that you only need to buy the minimum amount of insurance required by your state, hoping to save money by not getting the extra add-ons insurance companies provide. For example, you may have coverage to repair your vehicle if an accident should occur, but what will you drive in the meantime? Unless you have an extra car, you should consider whether or not you need a policy that will cover a rental car while yours is in the shop.
A good strategy is to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of any car insurance policy you’re thinking of buying while weighing the extra add-ons that may come in handy.
Mistake #5: Concentrating on Cost Alone
One of the misconceptions about shopping for car insurance revolves around the idea that the less money you pay, the better the deal. What you really should be looking at is what you’re getting for the price of the policy. Make sure you examine all of the things included in the policy; this is the only way to truly compare different policies. Just because a company offers a good deal on minimum coverage doesn’t mean that they’ll offer a better deal on higher coverage policies.
In the End
When you finally make the choice toward an insurance plan, you want to rest easy knowing you’re not only getting your money’s worth, but also the coverage you need in case of an accident. Use the knowledge you’ve gained here to go out and get the right coverage for the right price!
Today, we’re going to talk about a crucial part of your personal finances; insurance. More specifically, we’re looking at four types of insurance you need to have:
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This is perhaps the most well-known and talked about insurance. If you ask someone to name an insurance type, the majority will say car insurance. But, what is it and why do you need it? Basically, it insures your car against different kinds of damage. This means that if you get into an accident, your insurance provider will pay for any repairs that are needed. Obviously, this can save you a lot of money, and I mean a lot. If your car is severely damaged, you can get it fixed through your provider and save tonnes of money. Without insurance, you might have had to fork out lots of money on a new car. Plus, it’s illegal to drive a motor vehicle without it being insured. So, you have to make sure you’ve got it for your car. There are tonnes of providers out there that will give you quotes depending on a few factors. Age, gender, driving experience, and the car you drive can all have a bearing.
Another type of insurance that you must have is all to do with your home. Yes, home insurance is essential for anyone that owns property. With it, you’ll get the option to protect two aspects of your house. You can get accidental damage cover and contents cover. The first of which will protect you if your home gets damaged for whatever reason. Maybe a storm damaged your roof, or someone broke your window. Either way, if your home insurance covers this, you’ll have the repairs paid for. Contents cover will protect you if your house ever gets burgled. If someone steals items from your house, you’ll be covered. Similarly, home insurances will protect your possessions if they get damaged in floods, etc. Some companies will give you replacement items free of charge. If you own a property, then you can’t forget about home insurance, trust me.
Life insurance is something that no one likes to think about, but it’s very important. You see, we get life insurance to cover our family in case we die. As you can tell, this is a very sensitive topic, which is why people don’t like thinking about it. No one wants to talk about death, but sometimes you have to. With life insurance, your family will get money paid to them, if you pass away. This means they’re going to be financially stable when you’re gone. You may be the primary money maker in your house, so if you’re not there to earn money, they could be in trouble. Thankfully, life insurance ensures that your family finances are not ruined by your death. Types of life insurance can vary, some come with critical illness cover, others have certain requirements. Although you don’t like to think about it, death is inevitable. It makes sense to give your family some financial gain when you pass away.
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One of the most important things in life is your health. If you aren’t healthy, you need to get treatment and see a doctor. Doctors can help you get better and back to feeling your best. When you have health insurance, seeing medical professions is a lot easier. In fact, some institutions only accept people that have insurance. What health insurance does is protect your health and wellbeing. It can cover the cost of doctors appointments, operations, physical therapy, etc. Without it, it’s very hard to find reliable, high level, medical care. Sure, there are some public options for people without insurance. However, the waiting times for appointments are insane, let alone the wait for surgeries. Without health insurance, you could be waiting for surgery for up to two years! But, if you have it, you can get the surgery covered by your insurer and make sure you’re seen to as soon as possible. It’s highly recommended for everyone, particularly those with a family.
Insurance is a very important part of your financial life. It can protect you from so many things and ensure you aren’t paying loads of money for different stuff. Imagine if you had none of the insurance above. Think about how much money you’d have to pay to cover things like car breakdowns, medical bills, and so on. Getting insurance can give you a more stable life, and set your family up for a comfortable future.
As summer draws to a close, local municipalities across the country are gearing up for the winter months ahead. When the weather gets harsh, the biggest concern will be road safety. Freezing conditions and snow will wreak havoc on America’s roadways, and local crews will work around the clock to ensure safe passageways for all motorists.
In particularly downtrodden cities like Detroit and Cleveland, fluctuating temperatures, snow, and ice will contribute to a problem that continues to grow year by year, placing major stress on local budgets – potholes.
Last spring, “unprecedented wear and tear” had cities exhausting their budgets in order to fix potholes, such as New York City, which filled more than twice as many potholes in the spring of 2014 as it did the previous season. It is feared that many roads will be even worse off after we get through this winter. With many areas lacking the funds necessary to fill all their potholes, individuals drivers must be extra cautious to avoid damage to their vehicles.
Here are some tips you can follow to deal with potholes while traveling and to minimize any potential damage to your car and tires:
- Increase the distance between your car and those in front of you. You’ll have extra time and space to deal with unexpected dips and craters in the road.
- Be aware of traffic patterns. If you notice other drivers swerving ahead, you’ll be clued in to a potential pothole coming up.
- Watch the road. Be sure to look at the roadway while driving so that you can spot any upcoming potholes or other obstacles.
- Slow down. Drive very slowly through potholes to minimize potential damage to your car. It is better to roll through a pothole than to stop suddenly.
- Avoid swerving as a reaction to sudden potholes. Turning into oncoming traffic or hitting pedestrians/bicyclists is much more dangerous than going through a pothole.
- Keep your tires properly inflated. Over-inflated or under-inflated tires are much more susceptible to damage from driving through potholes.
- Regularly check your tires for blisters, and use the “penny test” to make sure your tire treads aren’t worn down too much. Also be on the lookout for any changes to your car’s alignment.
- If you drive through a bad pothole, immediately check your tire and hubcaps for damage. If there is any, get it fixed as soon as possible so it doesn’t get worse.
- File a timely claim with your car insurance company if necessary.
- Change your driving route whenever possible to avoid major potholes until they can be fixed.
Because potholes are dangerous, local transportation authorities do take them seriously. Unfortunately, many budgets are stretched so thin that potholes, especially smaller ones, may not be fixed for long periods of time. Winter weather often causes potholes to appear and get bigger, so most municipalities use suppliers like Mchlaughlin Underground, that supply large vacuum excavation machines, until the springtime, when most of the risk for additional road damage has passed.
If you notice a pothole in the road, you can contact your state transportation department to report it. You’ll need to provide the exact location of the pothole (intersection, lane, nearby landmarks, etc.), and it’s helpful if you can provide information about its size (approximate length, width, and depth), as well as noting if there is any reason for particular concern (interference with a bus stop, trolley track, or pedestrian crosswalk, for example).
Britain’s used car market is more than four times larger than the new car market – almost 9 million people every year purchase a second-hand car. What Car? with the assistance of other used car industry experts, has picked the best used cars for sale in 2013.Vauxhall received several individual car awards and the brand also won the title of Best Used Car Manufacturer of the Year, thanks to its long-running Network Q used car scheme. Steve Huntingford, What Car?’s road test editor and head judge, said:
“Although Network Q is one of the oldest approved used schemes, there are more than 350 outlets and it has a good online offering, a great choice of stock, all cars come with a comprehensive Network Q check, and an unbeatable insurance package. Network Q makes buying a used car very easy.”
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI SE 5dr was named Used Car of the Year 2013
. You can find this car at a dealer price of approx £8,700 and a private price of around £8,300. What Car? praised the Golf’s impressive cabin quality and refinement, comfort, running costs and impressive safety credentials. The Golf’s win corresponds with data taken from the AA’s website, which shows that twice as many people viewed a Volkswagen Golf than any other used car in the last 12 months and one in 26 views of cars on their website were of a Golf model.
“The Golf is the true ‘car of the people’ as it is practical, economical, sporty, safe, desirable, reliable and fun. Twice as many people viewed VW Golfs on AA Cars in the last year than any other car.”, Edmund King, AA president for The Telegraph
What Car? editor-in-chief Chas Hallett said:
“What clearly sets the Golf apart from other small family cars is its cabin.”
Other awards won were:
Best used small car 2013: Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 Design AC 5dr
Dealer price/private price: £4,100/£3,600
Best used family car 2013: Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI SE 5dr
Dealer price/private price: £8,700/£8,300
Best used estate car 2013: Mazda 6 Estate 2.2D 163 TS2
Dealer price/private price: £11,400/£10,700
Best used MPV 2013: Ford S-Max 2.0 TDCi Zetec
Dealer price/private price: £10,900/£10,000
Best used SUV 2013: Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi Acenta
Dealer price/private price: £7,800/£7,200
Best used executive and luxury car 2013: BMW 320d SE
Dealer price/private price: £9,000/£8,600
Best used fun car 2013: Renaultsport Clio 200 Cup
Dealer price/private price: £7,500/£7,200
Best nearly new car 2013: Vauxhall Astra 1.6 Exclusiv
Dealer price/private price: £9,100/£8,700
A History of Car Manufacturers
Car manufacturers jumped into car production in the late 1800’s with the pioneers of the industry being Benz, Peugeot and Daimler followed by Fiat, Opel and Renault. MoneySuperMarket created a a visually appealing and easy to follow info graphic called A History of Car Manufacturers that shows the way the car manufacturing industry evolved and changed over time. It’s interesting to know how the auto industry got from one manufacturer in 1886 to 42 parents and 90 brands over a period of 125 years. Be sure to let us know if you’re one of the 99% of Britons that saved on the cost of their car insurance when they used MoneySuperMarket.
Insurance companies tend to apply greater prices on the car insurance policies for low-income people, a study published by the Consumer Federation of America shows.
“Lower-Income Households and the Auto Insurance Marketplace: Challenges and Opportunities” is the report wrote by Stephen Brobeck and J. Robert Hunter. They reviewed the literature from academics and regulators and added new findings from their research.
The cost of car insurance can be a heavier burden than the cost of the car, in certain cases. And this leads to economic implications, the authors say.
“There is much academic research that clearly shows that if you have ready access to a car, it dramatically improves your economic opportunities. The release of the report is just the beginning of our initiative to try to inform the country, particularly state regulators, who can do a great deal to mitigate the problems,” said Stephen Brobeck, executive director at the Consumer Federation of America.
The legislation prevents insurance companies to establish premiums on income base, but they have the possibility to take in consideration the driver’s education, occupation, home address, and credit rating.
According to the Consumer Federation of America, these data can replace the information on income and until now there were no studies on what impact has this combination of factors on the poor persons.
“We think education, occupation and credit scores are surrogates for income. Occupations that have no driving risk affiliated with them but do have lower incomes tend to pay more, so it raises serious questions,” said J. Robert Hunter, director of insurance at the group.
“In some areas, many responsible lower-income drivers are required to spend more than $1,000 a year for liability coverage that is often unfairly priced and provides no real insurance protection to them,” said Stephen Brobeck.
Around 14% of the car owners drive without insurance, according to an estimation made by the Insurance Research Council in 2007. In people with low or moderate income the rate is probably double, said J. Robert Hunter.
Car insurance premiums tend to be more expensive for poor people.
Car insurance cost represents a big part taken from the income for low-income workers, who regularly need to drive to work. As a consequence around 20% of car owners who earn $37,000 or less annually do not have car insurance, the authors say.
Generally homeowners pay less than persons who do not own their homes. People with low education, with less skilled occupations also have to pay more. For them premiums are 40% higher, according to a 2006 study cited in the report. The prices also rise when it comes to drivers with a flawed or a thin credit history, or to persons who had a coverage with lower limits on bodily injury.
The price of the insurance policy generally reflects the price of the car, but even a very used car, a jalopy can cost $700 to $1,000 per year, says the report. The median national cost is $835, but it weighs a lot for poor people.
The study also found that some insurers were charging more for policies with less coverage, which, they said, is likely to disproportionately affect lower-income households since they may be more likely to buy those policies.
“Some companies charge more for the basic limits for the state than they would for higher limits for the exact same driver. It’s like going into a store and saying, ‘I want a box of cereal,’ and the big box is much cheaper than the little box,” J. Robert Hunter said.
This kind of tendency also hurts poor people because they are more likely to buy the minimum coverage policies.
With only one exception, New Hampshire, car insurance is mandatory across the United States.
“The big problem is that mandatory coverage is so expensive, often costing over $1,000 in urban areas that it prevents them from buying a car,” said Stephen Brobeck.
The states have to ameliorate the access to low-cost car insurance, since California is the only state with a strong low-rate coverage program, the report says.
“The states are cracking down on the uninsured. If they are going to do that, they have a responsibility to ensure that lower income people can afford to drive,” said Stephen Brobeck.
The number of miles driven is considered a factor that diminishes the risk of accidents and it may reduce premiums, but it has an improper importance in the insurance industry’s classification system, says the report.
“Poor people, we know from the data, they spend a lot less on gas, which means they are driving less. So if insurers more fully reflected miles driven in pricing, it would lower the rate for poorer people,” said J. Robert Hunter.
In California, drivers who own a vehicle worth less than $20,000 and who have incomes of less than $27,000 to $55,000 (depending on family size) and who have driven at least three years with a clean record can qualify for minimal liability coverage at relatively low rates.
The annual premium for drivers in the program was $358, the report says. This also happens to be the highest premium the program charges in all of California. The average annual premium in Los Angeles was $802.
Also lowering the minimum amount of liability insurance that lower-income households are required to purchase was proposed by the authors.
J. Robert Hunter suggested to the Federal Insurance Office to collect more data regarding the car insurance cost for low-income persons.