Car Insurance Rates – 4 Tips for Preventing Car Theft

Having your car stolen can be a scary thing. Many who have had their cars taken typically feel both angry and vulnerable, even to the point of feeling somewhat “violated”. If you don’t have insurance that covers the theft of a car when it happens, it can be equally as scary from a financial point of view. When you have comprehensive coverage on your car, your insurance company will help to replace your stolen car. While having this coverage is important, there are some ways that you can help prevent your car from being stolen as well, which may save you money on your car insurance rates in the long run. As they say, an ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure.

Tip 1: Use Common Sense – One of the best ways that you can prevent your car from being stolen is to use common sense and make sure that you lock your car doors whenever you leave your vehicle, regardless if it’s in a dark alley, a public place, or parked in your garage. Plain and simple, if you leave your doors unlocked all the time, you elevate the risk of your car being stolen. You should also be sure that you take your keys with you and never leave them in your car or anywhere else in public. Often just using these common sense precautions is enough to save you from car theft.

Tip 2: Get an Alarm – You can also help prevent car theft by installing some kind of warning device or alarm device in your car. Whether it is a visible device or an audible one, both can be good deterrents to anyone thinking about stealing your car. Usually alarms are fairly affordable, and it is definitely cheaper than trying to find a new car.

Tip 3: Use an Immobilizing Device – Another way to prevent your car from being stolen is to purchase some kind of immobilizing device to use in your car. There are a variety of different devices available, such as smart keys, kill switches, the Club, and fuel cut-offs. Many of these devices are relatively inexpensive and they are highly effective as well.

Tip 4: Install a Tracking Device – One of the newer ways to deter car thieves is to have a tracking device installed in your car. These devices are quite high tech, and they will alert you when someone is moving your car without authorization. Some of these tracking devices actually will notify the police when unauthorized movement is made as well. While these tend to be a bit more expensive than other methods, they can definitely be a great help if your car actually gets stolen.

Even though you may have coverage on your car that will pay if it is stolen, taking preventive measures is much simpler and will help keep your car insurance rates down as well. Just taking the time to use common sense and employ the help of cheap devices can help keep your car from being stolen. While incorporating one of these tips is great, using all of them together can give you the best results when trying to protect your car from theft.

Fixed vs Adjustable Rates

Apples vs. oranges. Boxers vs. briefs. Dave Letterman vs. Jay Leno. These debates may rage on for decades, and we can add another one to the list: fixed vs. adjustable. We’re speaking, of course, of fixed rate and adjustable rate mortgages.

Let’s start the discussion by talking about risk. If I had to pick one word that explained the mortgage industry, it would be risk. If you can understand the concept of risk and how it relates to mortgages, you’re way ahead of the game. In a nutshell, riskier loans mean higher interest rates; you compensate the person lending you money by paying them a higher interest rate. If you have low FICO scores, this is a higher risk to the investor since you don’t have a good history of paying your bills on time, so you’re going to have to pay a higher rate. If you can’t verify enough income to qualify for the loan, this is a higher risk and you’re going to have to pay a higher interest rate.

As it relates to this discussion, the longer you ask the lender to guarantee your interest rate, the higher risk for them since they’re guaranteeing the rate you get but they don’t know how much their funds are going to cost them going forward. This isn’t an easy concept to wrap your mind around, so don’t feel bad if you don’t get it yet. Lenders work on a concept called arbitrage, which is a fancy way of saying they borrow money at a certain rate and then lend it out to you. However, lenders don’t get money at 30-year fixed rates, so when they borrow money they have to try to gauge what it’s going to cost them over the time they lend it to you. If you’re following me so far, you can understand why they would charge a higher rate to guarantee you a certain rate for 30 years as opposed to 3 or 5 years. Now, on to our discussion…

On the one hand, we have fixed rate advocates. These days, this is a relatively easy argument to make since rates are at 40-year lows. The main reason to get a fixed-rate mortgage, whether it be a 15-, 20-, or 30-year fixed, is to protect yourself from adjustable interest rates. When you get a fixed rate loan, you know exactly what your payments are going to be and they’re not going to change for the life of the loan. In a time when rates are rising, a fixed rate mortgage gives you the security of knowing that you’re safe.

On the other hand, there are the adjustable rate advocates. The main argument here, in a nutshell, is that you shouldn’t pay for something you don’t need. A great majority of people out there will only keep their mortgage for 3-5 years. Maybe it’s a job change, maybe it’s an expanding or contracting family, a refinance for home improvements or college for the kids, or any number of life circumstances. Since you’re probably not going to keep your mortgage for 15 or 30 years, you’re probably better off to get a lower adjustable rate mortgage and pocket the difference.

I’m not going to say one argument is better than the other. There’s no such thing as a “good” or “bad” loan, but there are loans that are better or worse for certain people. In my career as a mortgage consultant, I can tell you that I’ve done very few fixed rate loans. I only recommend them in two cases – when people are on a fixed income and need to know exactly what to expect from their mortgage, or when people are absolutely sure that they’re not going to move or need to refinance for many, many years. In a great majority of cases, people don’t need a fixed rate loan and would in fact be much better off with a loan that accomplishes their goals and saves them money in the long term. Like oranges vs. apples or Letterman vs. Leno, fixed vs. adjustable is not a debate that can be definitively settled, but I hope I’ve helped you figure out which one may be right for you.

Age Can Determine the Car Insurance Rate

Vehicle insurance companies use a lot of factors in which to base the amount of car insurance premium they could charge to a prospective customer. Among these many factors is the age of the car owner or driver. The age of the driver and years of driving experience can either increase or decrease the chances of getting cheap car insurance rate that will be offered.

Teenagers or young drivers who have not yet reached the age of 25 are among the heaviest charged in terms of auto insurance premiums. The reason behind such stiff automobile insurance rate can partly be explained by statistics. Studies have shown many vehicular accidents today involve drivers under the 25 of age. There are a variety of explanations that can be offered as to why this is happening. First, many young drivers involved in vehicular accidents are found to be under the influence of liquor. Second, they could be aggressive in their driving especially among young men. Such driving behavior could often lead to vehicular accidents. Earning a certificate in defensive driving can help young drivers obtain lower auto insurance rates.

Drivers who are already 25 years old and above but not have yet reached the age of 50 are usually charged the standard auto insurance rates depending on other circumstances. In order to lower the rate further, consider taking defensive driving classes and always obey the traffic rules and regulations. A driving record that is devoid of any traffic citations can earn you some discounts on your auto insurance.

Drivers, who are between the ages of 50 and 65, are usually given lower auto insurance rates. Drivers who belong to this age group are entitled to what can be commonly referred to as a senior driver discount. These senior drivers are the most safety conscious as statistics seem to support this view as there are only a few accidents that involves senior drivers in contrast other age groups. If you belong to this age group, ask your insurance company if you have such a discount. If your current provider could not give it then you might be better off going to one that provides senior discounts.

Drivers who are more than 70 years old however, are usually required to pay higher auto insurance premiums. Such drivers can get a defensive driving certificate and drive a generally safe car in order to qualify for lower auto insurance rates.