Freedom Debt Relief - Saving Money On Auto Insurance


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Car insurance is one of the most common bills that most households are required to pay. According to, an online insurance marketplace, car insurance is the most widely purchased type of insurance coverage because automobile drivers are required to have car insurance almost everywhere. Below are some tips that may help you save on this expense.

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Freedom Debt Relief - Saving Money On Auto Insurance

  1. 1. Volume 4 #4 Saving Money on Auto Insurance • FDR Client Reminders Reading the Fine Print • Inspiring Thoughts Save Money on Home Improvements • Spare Change Welcome to the Freedom Debt Relief monthly newsletter! As part of our ongoing goal to enhance our services, we will be sending you a monthly newsletter filled with interesting articles and helpful financial tips and advice. We hope you enjoy this issue, and that you find the enclosed 1-800-655-6303 information helpful as you continue on the road to financial freedom. may be available for student drivers with good Saving money on grades or college students in the household that live on campus for most of the year. Your insurance company may also offer you a multi- policy discount if you purchase both auto and homeowners coverage. C ar insurance is one of the most liability-only insurance, when the market value common bills that most households of the vehicle is below $2,000. In the event of an are required to pay. According to accident, your insurance company will only pay, an online insurance what the cash value of the vehicle is at that time. marketplace, car insurance is the most widely If your car is worth less than your deductible and purchased type of insurance coverage because your collision premium, you could be paying automobile drivers are required to have car more for insurance than necessary. Realize that What to do in an accident: insurance almost everywhere. Below are some having liability-only coverage also means that the tips that may help you save on this expense. insurance company only pays for the damages Here are some tips provided by Erie Insurance of the other parties involved if you are at fault. Group ( to help Damages for your car will not be covered. Consider raising your deductible. A you remain calm and gather the necessary To help you make a decision, visit Kelley Blue information in the event of a car accident. deductible is the amount of money that you Book’s web site at to check the A detailed and accurate report can help you have to pay out-of-pocket before the insurance market value of your vehicle. Also, consult your expedite your claim for repair costs. company pays the claim. According to the web insurance company before dropping any coverage site of the Insurance Information Institute so you are complying with the laws in your state. • The first priority is to make sure your (, increasing your deductible from vehicle is safely off the road and check to $200 to $500 could reduce your collision Drive safely. Numerous at-fault claims and see if any parties are injured. If so, contact and comprehensive by 15-30%. Opting for a emergency personnel immediately. $1,000 deductible can save you approximately traffic violations may increase your insurance 40%. If you choose to do this, you should have rates. You may help avoid the likelihood of an • Always call the police even if there is the deductible on hand if you have a claim. accident by driving defensively and obeying minor vehicle damage. A police report can defines comprehensive as traffic laws. Stay safe by adhering to road signs, help speed up the claims process. insurance that “covers damages that are caused driving the speed limit, and resisting the urge to your vehicle through to talk on a cell phone while • Although car accidents are stressful vandalism, natural cause, driving. Many insurance situations, remain calm and do not hit and run, or hitting companies offer discounts if a discuss who is at fault. You will have an an animal.” Collision policyholder has maintained opportunity to talk to your insurance insurance “pertains to a clean driving record for a agent about the details. Exchange the coverage you receive specific amount of time. information with the other driver(s), for accidents, where you which would include names, phone actually collide with or Take advantage of all numbers, addresses, license plate hit a vehicle while you discounts. You may qualify numbers, and the make and model of each are driving.” for car insurance discounts for car. a variety of reasons. Mention Know the value to your insurance company • You may also want to record information of your vehicle. if your vehicle has features such as date, time, location, and weather Some drivers choose to such as air bags, anti-lock conditions. Most cell phones come drop collision and/or brakes, and anti-theft devices. equipped with a camera, so consider comprehensive insurance Keep track of how often taking picture at the scene. In case of an once a car depreciates you use your vehicle. If your accident, Erie recommends keeping a to a certain value. mileage is lower than average, disposable camera along with a notepad in you may receive a discount. your glove box. recommends dropping Younger drivers usually cost collision; also known as more to insure. Discounts
  2. 2. As you strive to settle your debts, most of you have made a commitment to rely on cash instead of Client Reminders credit cards. After you complete your debt negotiation program, you will probably want to re-establish your credit. As you probably know, credit cards can cause serious financial problems if they are not used properly. Periodically, this column will discuss a credit card issue and give you tips on responsible credit card use. This month’s topic is the importance of the fine print in credit card agreements. Client Web Site Update FDR recently upgraded our back office systems in order to be able to respond W hen applying for a credit card, balance on your credit card because of the more quickly to client requests. You most people disregard the small negative effects of debt and you also run the may have noticed that our client web type that details the provisions of risk of obtaining an over-the-limit fee. A late site was down for several days during the agreement. Many applicants will simply sign payment could also allow a credit card company this transition. It is now back up, and their name, stating that they agree to the terms. to impose a late fee in addition to an over-the- if you haven’t done so already, you will Although this fine print may be long and tedious limit fee. need to create a new username and to read, we suggest that you review a credit card Reading the fine print may also alert password in order to be able to view your agreement in its entirety. This task may prevent consumers to the fact that credit card companies future problems or you may decide that this is may charge a no-balance fee if you pay off your account information online. Go to www. not the right credit card for you. Below are some balance in full or apply an inactivity charge if and click on the key points that you may want to focus on as you your account has been inactive for a certain tab “Current Clients.” Then, near the read the fine print. period of time. bottom of the page under the heading Credit card companies also charge fees for “Existing Client Login for Account cash advances and balance transfers. Don’t be fooled by low Information” click on the button, “Click teaser rates and extremely Here.” Enter your e-mail address, and Understand universal high credit limits. When then follow the instructions to create a default. All of a sudden, an password and validate your information. you receive a credit card unsuspecting cardholder solicitation in the mail, You will now be able to view this may receive their monthly the envelope may information online! credit card statement and read that you are be shocked to discover pre-approved for American Consumers Union that their interest rate a low interest We have recently partnered with the increased dramatically. rate of 2.9% consumer advocacy group, American This action, known and a credit limit Consumers Union, in order to provide as universal default, up to $25,000. additional support to our clients with could have occurred for a This impressive respect to creditor harassment. All number of reasons. If a credit offer may persuade FDR clients are automatically given card company reviews your credit some people to membership into the American report and senses that you may immediately complete and sign Consumers Union, and are given the full become a potential credit risk, they have the application without reading the a right to drastically raise your interest rate. use and support of the advocacy group, small print. You may have been late or missed a payment at no additional charge. This is a terrific First of all, consider most verbiage with this particular creditor or a totally different benefit for our clients, and we are happy on envelopes of credit card offers to be credit card company. Let’s suppose that you are advertisements intended to entice you to open to be able to provide this service to our current with this credit card account, but the the mail and apply. If you look closely, you may clients at our expense. You can visit them card issuer raises your rate because your credit find that there are several asterisks printed by online at report shows that you have taken on too much these grandiose statements. The fine print may *** debt or have had many recent inquires. state that you may not be “pre-approved” and Much controversy has surrounded the issue that your credit limit and interest rate will be Customer Service Phone No: of universal default. Many consumer advocates based on your credit history. 1-800-655-6303 want banks to ban this practice. In 2007, Citibank was the first credit card company that Don’t make the credit card companies put an end to universal default. Also, legislators richer by incurring fees. Consumer Hours of Operation: have outlawed this practice in the state of New Action, a non-profit consumer advocate group, York last summer. As you can see, progress Mon-Thurs: 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. PST reports that credit card fees cost cardholders is being made and perhaps universal default approximately $13 billion every year. Avoid late Fri: 6:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. PST will not exist in the future. However, a survey fees by reading the fine print to find out the conducted by Consumer Action indicates that Sat: 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. PST grace period and due date for your payment. nearly half of U.S. banks use universal default, Some companies state that a bill is also due by enabling them to legally raise credit cardholders’ a certain time on the due date. For example, interest rates as high as 40%. Reading the fine E-mail: if your bill is due by noon, you could incur a print in your credit card agreement will indicate late fee if the credit card company receives your whether your credit card company enforces payment at the end of the day. universal default. We do not recommend that you keep a high
  3. 3. M any people think that if they had Why is this? According to an article by Laura more money they would be happier. Rowley, author of the book Money & Happiness You may have thought that if you (2005), “Scientists have found that while a won the lottery or received a significant pay certain amount of money does indeed make increase that you would be more content. us happy, once basic needs are met, happiness More money may allow you to live a more doesn’t continue to rise in direct proportion to comfortable lifestyle, but it may not necessarily income.” Also, Forbes Magazine indicates that buy happiness. You may have heard stories on lottery winners return to their previous level of the news about people who won millions in happiness after five years. the lottery and were broke within a year. Some As you strive to settle your debts, you may Inspiring television programs also feature biographies yearn for more money so you can move past this about famous people who squander their entire situation. We are not suggesting that your debt fortune. was incurred due to extravagant purchases. If Thoughts These examples may seem extreme, but the you encountered debt as a result of extenuating same concept may apply when people receive circumstances, additional income would certainly a raise from their employer. Many individuals come in handy to pay those unexpected bills. increase their standard of living instead of paying However, spending a lot of time wishing down debt or creating an emergency fund. we had something else may delay our goal of Often people attempt to Once we acquired the amount of money that we financial freedom. If we dwell on the fact that we live their lives backwards; thought would make us happier, it does not seem are in debt, this can create unhappiness. We can they try to have more to be enough and we want more. At one time, we not change the past and we have to realize that things, or more money, may have thought that if we buy a nicer car or there are very few lottery winners. As hard as it in order to do more of what charged that new state-of-the-art television that may be, making the most of our current situation they want, so they will we would be content. After the novelty wore off, may make us less stressed and give us hope for be happier. we may regret the extravagant purchase and feel the future. ~Margaret Young anything but happy. efficient products when selecting heating and cooling systems, windows, insulation, and wall and roof assemblies. Visit Energy Star’s web site at for more information. You may also contact your utility company to see if you qualify for the Weatherization Assistance Program. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), this program helps low-income families reduce their energy bills by making their home more energy efficient. Get Involved. Habitat for Humanity I Obtain several bids. If you do need to f you are a homeowner, you probably realize that your dwelling requires frequent builds new homes and renovates old homes for hire a professional, obtain bids from various upkeep and various repairs. As you strive low-income families. This organization is always companies and contractors. When you compare to settle your debts, spending money on costly looking for volunteers to help with their building prices, you may find that costs can vary greatly home improvements may not be an option. Yet, projects. Each work site is supervised by a among companies. Before you make a decision there may be some ways that you can save money professional that trains and assists the volunteers. based on cost, ask for references on the person or and still perform necessary upgrades to your You may consider volunteering for your local business that you plan to hire. Also, verify that home. Habitat for Humanity branch. In addition to they have insurance coverage. These precautions helping your community, you may also learn new may prevent you from becoming a victim of a skills that may help you with your own home. Learn to do-it-yourself. Although home improvement scam. Visit their web site located at you may have to hire a professional for some for more information and to search for a local complicated projects, you may be able to tackle division in your area. some tasks yourself. A wealth of informational When possible, resources exist to teach you how to do home ••• invest in energy-efficient products for your improvement jobs such as cleaning your Many homeowners have the desire to beautify home. Some of these items will be more costly gutters, painting, and installing a ceiling fan. their surroundings. At this point in your debt than their counterparts, but you may save Visit your local bookstore or library to find a settlement program, you may not be able to approximately comprehensive guide on do-it-yourself home finance every project one third improvements. on your list. Keep on your The Internet and television are also great in mind that you energy bills, sources. DIY Network brings you such cable do not have to according to shows as “DIY to the Rescue” and “DIY Be complete every home Energy Star, Your Own Contractor.” You can also visit their improvement job at a government information-packed web site located at www. once. Choose the backed agency This site features a wide array of do- necessary things first that offers it-yourself projects, with topics that range from and finish each task consumers home improvements to decorating. as your budget allows. energy- Home Depot also offers free Do-It-Herself Good luck on your efficient Workshops, Weekly Clinics, and Kids home improvement solutions. Workshops. Visit to endeavors and enjoy Look for register at a Home Depot near you. the end results. energy-
  4. 4. using automated dialers to call cell phone grew from 3% in 2006 to 40% in 2007. Here are numbers. Automated dialers are standard in the some other interesting findings in the report: industry, so most telemarketers are barred from • California and Illinois are among five states calling consumers on their cell phones without whose residents are most at risk for identity their consent. fraud. Consumers feel that the • Young adults who fall victim to fraud are most likely to purchase ID fraud insurance economic stimulus package and sign up for fraud alerts. Older adults is a temporary solution. An who fall victim often react by no longer Experian Consumer Direct poll shows that more sending bill payments and checks through than half of Americans feel the federal economic unsecured mailboxes. stimulus package is a short-term solution for the spare change troubled economy, while 32% feel the package • Over the past three years, overall fraud will cause more Americans to reinvest in the declined, while the cost per consumer economy. When asked how consumers plan to rose. This cost is defined by the total use their rebate check from the federal economic out-of-pocket expense consumers incur stimulus package, 19% said they would pay off a when falling victim to ID fraud. The cost debt, 16% said they would pay utility bills, and per consumer in 2007 averaged $691, an 10% said they would apply the proceeds toward increase of 25%, over the $554 recorded in home repairs. 2006. You do not have to register New research confirms identity Haggling may help you your cell phone number. fraud is declining. The 2008 save money. A national study by According to the Federal Trade Identity Fraud Survey Report, released by Consumer Reports reveals that haggling Commission (FTC), consumers should not Javelin Strategy & Research (www.javelinstrategy. over the cost of goods and services is not only be concerned that their cell phone numbers com), confirms that identity fraud is declining in alive and well, but can be successful in many will be released to telemarketers in the near most parts of the United States, and that thieves cases. More than 90% of shoppers who tried future despite the recent claims made in e- are turning to unexpected channels to commit to negotiate a better deal on goods and services mails circulating on the Internet. It is also not fraud. This year’s report reinforces a three-year including furniture, electronics and appliances, necessary to register cell phone numbers on the trend that criminals mostly obtain the majority floor and demonstration models, and medical National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry to be of information from stolen personal belongings, bills got one, according to a new survey protected from most telemarketing calls to cell and through telephone calls, rather than online. conducted by the Consumer Reports National phones. Federal Communications Commission Access through mail and telephone transactions Research Center. (FCC) regulations prohibit telemarketers from 1875 South Grant Street Suite 400 San Mateo, CA 94402 Phone: (800) 655-6303 FAX: (650) 897-8800