The top 10 cheapest and most expensive 2011 cars to insure

Mercedes-Benz car shown in their show-room on ...

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A new year means many things for car buyers; new safety ratings, new models, and new costs. Another aspect of a car search to consider is the cost of Auto insurance; preferably before Royce rolls his brand new auto from the lot.

Fortunately, Insure.com has done the world a great service by ranking the most expensive and least expensive cars to insure. Most of the cars on these lists will come as no surprise to you, but nonetheless good information to have before you adventurously strike out to haggle with the peddlers of the automobile world.

Least Expensive (2011)(Cheapest first)

  1. Chrysler Town and Country LX
  2. Toyota Sienna
  3. Toyota Sienna LE
  4. Honda Odyssey LX
  5. Nissan Murano
  6. Jeep Wrangler
  7. Honda Odyssey EX
  8. Toyota Sienna
  9. Ford Escape
  10. Toyota Highlander
Most Expensive (2011)(Most expensive first)

  1. Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG
  2. BMW 750i
  3. BMW 750Li
  4. Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG
  5. Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG
  6. Aston Martin DB9
  7. Mercedes-Benz CL600
  8. Porsche 911 Carrera S
  9. Aston Martin DB9 Volante
  10. Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG

It’s important to note that the car you drive is NOT the only factor that affects your auto insurance rates. Several other factors, including age, gender, area of residence, and annual mileage also play a part in determining the number at the bottom of your car insurance bill. We’ve also written about how each of these affects your insurance, if you’re interested.

As for the car itself, there are reasons that some cost more to insure than others. This is due to safety ratings, top speed, anti-theft devices, and cost. It makes sense that a fast, poorly protected car will be the apple of a thief’s eye and therefore cost more to insure.

Performance: what can this baby do on the highway?

If your car’s engine could power a third world village, your insurance is going to be higher. Insurance companies have to assume that high performance cars are bought for just that reason: to drive fast and practice risky driving behaviors. If you want to keep your insurance low, stay away from performance vehicles.

Foreign Cars:

If your dream car has parts from obscure companies and/or locations, beware. Should you get into an accident (even a minor fender bender), the replacement parts will be much more costly than high supply auto parts. That factors into your insurance cost; in fact, it may factor in even more in the future if gas (and thus shipping) prices continue to rise.

Bigger is not always better:

First and foremost: YOU ARE NOT NECESSARILY SAFER IN A BIGGER CAR. There are many large trucks and SUVs that have inherent safety flaws.  Consult crash test reviews and data before you commit to a larger car. However, even if safer, SUVs are not necessarily the best way to obtain low car insurance. Big cars tend to have a higher liability coverage rate because they do more damage to other cars in accidents.

Consider a ‘family car’:

Remember the ‘high performance, high insurance’ paragraph? Well the converse is also true. Cars associated with ‘routine, safe’ driving behavior are going to cost you less. These are the cars that many think of as ‘family vehicles’: minivans, station wagons, and family sedans. This is due to the fact that ‘family vehicles’ are statistically involved in fewer crashes than other types of cars; therefore, they will cost you less to insure.

 Remember:  insurance companies play a game of numbers; if your car is going to cost more to replace, then you’re going to pay more for it.  With that in mind, go forth and buy the right car for you and your insurer.

And, of course, if you find yourself in an auto insurance pinch, look to Gordon Insurance: we provide both a wealth of information on our website and would be happy to place you with the right insurance agency for you.

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Appealing a Surcharge

 

Before you start the process of appealing a surcharge, it is important to first understand how the Merit Rating Board and Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP) work.

 The Merit Rating Board:

All Massachusetts auto insurance companies are required to report at-fault accidents and out-of-state driving records to the Merit Rating Board (MRB). The MRB is the state agency that maintains driving records.
The MRB driving record consists of surchargeable incidents. A surchargeable incident is any event in which you are:

  1. Convicted of, or pay a fine for, a motor vehicle violation
  2. Assigned to an alcohol education program or controlled substance treatment or rehabilitation program
  3. Found to be more than 50 percent at fault for an accident, and your insurance company makes a claim payment above a certain threshold

If you decide not to pursue an appeal, the surcharge can increase your premium and SDIP step.
In addition, each surchargeable incident counts toward possible license suspension.

You are considered to be more than 50 percent at fault in an accident if your insurance company:

  1. Finds you at fault according to one of the 19 At-Fault Standards  and
  2. Has paid a claim of more than $500 for Collision, Limited Collision, Damage to Someone Else’s Property, or Bodily Injury to Others.

Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP)
The Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP) is mandated by state law to establish classifications of risks to fairly reflect the driving records of insureds and adjust premiums based in part on at-fault accidents. The Plan encourages safe driving by rewarding drivers who do not cause accidents or incur traffic law violations with a credit to their automobile insurance premiums, and discourages unsafe driving by requiring high-risk drivers to pay a greater share of insurance costs. Massachusetts, unlike many comparable jurisdictions that afford no or limited due process rights, provides the right to a hearing before an impartial hearing officer of the Board.

If you believe that you are not more than 50% at-fault for an accident in which you received a surcharge, you may appeal the motor vehicle accident surcharge to the Division of Insurance Board of Appeal.

Your insurance company will mail you a Notice of Surcharge.

  1. If any of the information listed on the Surcharge Notice is incorrect (name, driver’s license number or date of accident), contact the issuing insurance company to make the corrections before appealing.
  2. If you do not receive a Surcharge Notice or misplace it:
  3. Contact your insurance agent for a copy of the Surcharge Notice     OR
  4. Request a late appeal from the Merit Rating Board.
  5. Complete the Surcharge Appeal Form located on the reverse side of the Notice of Surcharge.
  • The appeal must be filed within 30 days of the surcharge date.
  • If you did not submit your appeal within 30 days because you never received a Surcharge Notice, you must obtain a Late Appeal from the Merit Rating Board. The Board of Appeal must receive the Late Appeal within 30 days of your policy renewal.
  1. Submit a $50.00 check or money order payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts/Board of Appeal.
  • The fee is non-refundable.
  1. Mail your appeal to the post office box designated on the application. Late appeals must be sent directly to the Division of Insurance, Board of Appeal.
  2. Upon receipt of your surcharge application, the Board will mail you a postcard to acknowledge your appeal. Your cancelled check will serve as an additional receipt of your filing.
  3. The Board will mail you a Notice of Hearing approximately 3 weeks prior to your hearing date.
  4. Appeal hearings are scheduled in Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Peabody, Plymouth, Somerville, Springfield, Waltham, or Worcester. Carefully note the location of your hearing listed on the Notice. Directions are included at the bottom of the Hearing Notice.
  5. Upon receipt of the Hearing Notice, you have three options for which to pursue the appeal:
    1. Appear in Person.
      Bring your Hearing Notice to the scheduled location.
      Bring copies of all relevant information, any documents/photographs etc. that you want the Hearing Officer to consider when making the decision.
    2. Submit a Written Statement in lieu of your appearance.
      The Board must receive your written or typed statement via mail or facsimile at least 5 days priorto your hearing. The statement must include:
      • copies of all relevant information, any documents/photographs etc. that you want the Hearing Officer to consider in making the decision
      • your signature on the Hearing Notice that identifies you are waiving a personal appearance in favor of your written statement & affirms that your statement is truthful.
    3. Select a representative to appear on your behalf.
      If you elect to submit a written statement via a representative, instead of appearing in person, it must include:

      • Copies of all relevant information, any documents/photographs etc. that you want the Hearing Officer to consider in making the decision
      • your signature on the Hearing Notice that identifies you are waiving a personal appearance in favor of your written statement & affirms that your written statement is truthful.

The hearing is informal and public, lasting approximately 20 – 30 minutes. The Hearing Officer will make an audio tape recording of the hearing. You and your insurance company representative will be given an opportunity to present all pertinent information. You may also bring a witness or a witness statement to the hearing. The Hearing Officer may ask you or the representative questions to clarify the information presented or the circumstances of the accident.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the Hearing Officer will take your appeal under advisement. The facts and circumstances presented will be reviewed in accordance with the governing laws and regulations.

The Memorandum of Finding and Order, the Board’s decision, will be mailed to you within 2-4 weeks. The Board will also contact the Commonwealth’s Merit Rating Board and your insurance company so that your driving history record will be properly updated.

  • If the decision is marked VACATE, the Board has found that you were not more than 50% at-fault for the accident. Any points that you received on your driving record as a result of the accident will be removed.
  • If the decision is marked UPHELD, the Board has found that you were more than 50% at-fault for the accident. The surcharge points will remain on your driving record.

If you disagree with the determination of the Board, you may appeal the decision to your county’s Superior Court or in Boston Suffolk County Court. You must file this appeal within 30 days of your receipt of the decision.
A surcharge incurred due to a traffic violation or a non-moving violation are not appealable to the Board…

Bill Cordaro
Commercial Accounts
Andrew G. Gordon, Inc.

Water, Water, Everywhere.

Water damage due to faulty rainwater downpipe

Image via Wikipedia

 

Homeowner claims resulting from water damage are on the rise (no pun intended). Bob Passmore of the Property Casualty Insurance Association of America reports that “out of every $100 paid in insurance claims, $12 goes to water damage and freezing claims, not including water damage from flooding rivers and seas.   Flooding from ground water is not covered unless you have a flood insurance policy.  

Water damage, other than floods, is covered if the cause is sudden and accidental. A loose drain pipe from the bathtub that slowly leaks for months and buckles the bathroom floor is not covered.  However, the damage caused by a pipe that suddenly bursts is covered. The plumber’s repair to replace the pipe is not covered but the resulting damage is.  

There are measures you can take to prevent and lessen the amount ofwater damage and their resulting claims. Here are some that come to mind:  

  • Ice dams are caused by the melting ice in your gutter that backs up under your roof shingles, causing water damage to your ceilings, windows and walls. Use an ice dam rake on your roof when snow accumulates.
  • Have a licensed plumber periodically check your plumbing pipes.
  • Replace your washing machine and dishwasher hoses with ‘no-burst’ hoses. Unlike rubber hoses that can burst over time, these are made of a metal sheath that protects against bursting.
  • Periodically check around and under your hot water heater for any signs of leakage – a small drip from the tank can turn into a ruptured tank in no time at all!
  • Never run your dishwasher or washing machine when not at home (easier said than done, I know).
  • Check your toilets and under your sinks for any signs of water leakage.
  • At the first sign of freezing weather, turn off your outside water spigots (from the inside of the house) then drain from the outside. Newer spigots are designed to prevent freezing do not have to be shut off from the inside during the winter months. These can be replaced by a licensed plumber.
  • Check your ice-maker and its water line for any signs of leakage.
  • When on vacation, especially in the winter, have someone check your home daily.
  • Water alarm sensors are available to detect the presence of water in your basement
  • A temperature monitoring device plugs into your phone outlet and can alert you via cell phone that the temperature has dropped to the danger point of freezing. Use such a device when vacationing in the winter.
  • Newer gas furnaces operate with an electronic pilot. Older models have a gas flame pilot that can blow out from a draft. No heat means freezing pipes! Before going away on vacation, familiarize which type of pilot you have. If the former, this is another good reason to have someone check your home daily or have a temperature monitoring device!

Please watch for our future blog, “How to minimize further damage if you sustain water damage to your home “.  

And for more relevant insurance information, and resources to save you time and money, visit the A. G. Gordon, Inc. Website.  

Moving Into Fall

Some Things to keep in mind moving into fall. At A. G. Gordon, Inc. we wish everyone a peaceful and safe seasonal transition.

Grill Safety:  With Summer winding down, everyone is trying to get in as many cookouts as possible before the weather gets cooler.  Be sure to check your propane tank to be sure you have enough to last – nothing more frustrating than to run ‘out of gas’ in the middle of a meal!  Also be sure to watch children around the grill – smaller kids don’t understand the danger of burning themselves. 

It’s Back to School time!  Be sure to be on the lookout for kids waiting for the school bus.  And most importantly – be aware that school buses make frequent stops!  Be sure to stop not only behind the school bus, but also in front of it.  Kids will be entering and exiting – let’s keep them safe!

Summer is over and what a wonderful one it has been.  With Fall in the air, now is the time to do those all important home checkups.  Have you had your furnace cleaned for the upcoming heating season?  Covered the Air Conditioner unit?  Checked the roof and windows to be sure all are secure?  Winterized the lawn mower?  Covered the pool? Click here for our Homeowner’s Checklist to complete.

Moving into Fall, it’s been easy to forget some of the important things like health checkups, etc.  Before the colder weather comes, why not schedule an appointment for a physical?  How about a dental checkup?  And why not schedule time with your physician for those all-important flu shots?  Then relax and enjoy all the upcoming holidays!

Sandi Cornell
Ratings Expert, A. G. Gordon, Inc.

And for more insurance information, resources, and to get a quote, visit our website, www.agordon.com.

Get Registry reminders…automatically

With the Registry providing less notice by mail for license renewal reminders, we recommend everyone sign up for automatic email reminders for renewing your driver’s license, registrations, state inspection stickers. You can use Plymouth Rock’s on-line service, available through our web site at: www.agordon.com. Don’t let an expired inspection sticker, or worse, an expired driver’s license become the reason your insurance costs go up! For the best auto insurance advice, choice, and rates, visit www.agordon.com.

Auto Insurance Discounts

Car insurance is a fact of life for drivers in Massachusetts, an expensive fact for many of us. However, there are many opportunities to reduce the amount of money paid into auto insurance through discounts offered by insurance companies. I’m Geoff Gordon, a representative of Andrew G. Gordon Insurance and Risk Management, and here I discuss these discounts and show you how to save money on your car insurance.

For a look at our auto discount form, see our Auto Insurance quote page.

And for topical insurance information and risk managment solutions, come visit us at our website.