It is mandatory for all new car owners to get auto insurance. The Road Traffic Act stipulates that all motorists should be insured against liability and it declares driving a car without a minimum level of insurance is illegal. The violation can attract severe civil and criminal penalties. This can be easily avoided by securing a proper auto insurance cover for your vehicle as per your state’s demands. It is quite a simple process.Nowadays, there is so much dependence on vehicles that the best thing to do is to follow all stipulated guidelines religiously. Getting the right auto insurance cover is one of them.What Is Auto Insurance All About?Auto Insurance simply means a contract or an agreement between an auto owner and an insurance company. Under this contract, premium is paid to the insurer and in return he pays for any car related losses as detailed in the policy.Key Legal RequirementsIn order to get an insurance cover for your vehicle, you would need to fulfill the following requirements. It’s advisable to find out the requirements in your respective state since these may vary. However, these are the broad requirements for auto insurance.Firstly, you should be in possession of a valid driver’s license before you go in for registration or insuring your car. For your license you would need to approach your local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). This is the primary requirement.You will also need to have an auto title. It is a legal certificate of ownership that confirms that you own the car. Most of the paperwork is already done when you purchase a gar from a dealer. Licensed dealers are needed to transfer the title of the car in your name. The title will list the owner’s name, address, make of the car, model and year of the car and the date of sale. This should be retained by you.Next, you need to get your car registered. You can apply for registration at the local DMV. The requirements may vary from state to state. In order to register your vehicle, you will require a valid driving license, signed certificate of title for the car, address of residence and proof of your insurance.The law also stipulates that that a vehicle more than three years old should have a valid MOT certificate. It is not possible to tax a vehicle without MOT and certificate of insurance and driving without them is an offence.It is also vital to keep the insurance company informed in case of any vehicle modifications and fixed penalties. Failing to do so is an offense and may affect any claim that you make.You are also legally obliged to take the basic level of auto insurance that will cover you against third party claims. Since the legal requirements for auto insurance vary from state to state, you will need to clarify the level of cover that you require while taking auto insurance. Only insuring the legal minimum isn’t necessarily the best choice to make.As a proof of your auto insurance, the company issues you the following documents – A Certificate of insurance which will also be required for buying your road tax; A cover note that will act as a temporary policy and certificate until your new insurance policy has been set up; and Policy documents which gives a detail of all that you are covered for. Read the documents carefully to understand your rights and obligations under the policy.Insurance companies have set up claim help lines and accident emergency recovery hotlines for ensuring a smoother process. In case of any ambiguity in terms of insurance or legal requirements, get your doubts cleared by talking to the company.
Auto insurance quotes in California are not constant and permanent. This is due to the fact that auto insurance rates change and vary over time. The same can be said about a person’s insurance needs, for alterations may occur in his lifestyle, financial status, family circumstances and so on. The competition amongst the different insurance companies is also a factor that contributes to these changes, especially since the internet age brought about a flux of insurance companies that offer the convenience and benefits of free, online quotes.There are countless of sources that stress the need to compare auto insurance quotes in order to get the best appropriate deal. However, the intricacy and care needed to accomplish this are intimidating. Contributory to its negative appeal are the terms, concepts, and rules of the industry that are, more often than not, unfamiliar and vague. To make it even worse, the competitive prices of a variety of auto insurance quotes made available by the different companies in California and all over the U.S. can really confuse and sometimes mislead insurance shoppers into purchasing an unsuitable policy.Here is a guide that can simplify the experience of auto insurance shopping, especially for those who are going to purchase one for the very first time:(1) Know the terms used in auto insurance. As previously mentioned, terms in auto insurance tend to be unfamiliar and vague, hence almost incomprehensible. To avoid misconceptions and misunderstanding, it is essential to be familiar with key terms before comparing quotes and purchasing policies.(2) Know California’s Auto Insurance Requirements (or the requirements of the state wherein the purchase will take place). The minimum requirement for liability and property damage requirements vary per state. In the case of California, the requirements for minimum coverage are $15,000 for Liability Bodily Injury (injury or death to a person), $30,000 Liability Bodily Injury (injury or death to more than one person), and $5,000 for Property Damage Coverage. The limits of the coverage apply per accident only. Once the requirements of the state are clear, the next step would be to review all of the components and coverage of the policies that the different insurance companies would offer. It is important to remember that the above mentioned minimum coverage does not limit the customer from purchasing other coverage for the best possible protection.(3) Review the Collision Coverage. The Collision coverage is what would pay for the repair or replacement of the car in case that there is a collision or an accident. It is important to remember to choose a deductible based on personal price range and needs. A deductible is the amount the customer pays before the insurance company takes care of the remaining sum.(4) Review the Comprehensive Coverage. This protects the customer from automobile damage brought about by vandalism, theft, fire and natural calamities, and not by a collision. A deductible may be chosen for this as well.(5) Review the Medical Payments Coverage, which is for the payment of medical expenses in case someone is bodily injured by the owner’s car during a covered accident.(6) Consider only reputable and legitimate insurance companies or websites.(7) Avail of existing discounts. Discounts can significantly lower auto insurance quotes. Insurance companies have different requirements for their discounts, and it is important to compare and contrast all of them.(8) Consider the payment methods because some companies have unyielding rules, while others have lenient ones. One tip is to choose a policy that offers affordable deductibles.Comparing auto insurance quotes in California need not be taxing, especially since it is something that every car owner needs to do when purchasing auto insurance, a vital protective measure against unpredicted losses and damages. Following this guide will assist in the simplification of the entire ordeal, so that the person who intends to purchase auto insurance can effectively compare quotes and consequentially choose the best policy that addresses his needs.
Here we go one step beyond the basics and suggest that the best investment funds for 2014 and beyond could be funds that invest money in alternative investments. You can debate whether diversified stock funds or bond funds will be the best funds to invest money in, but your best investment could be funds that invest money in alternative investments like gold, oil, and maybe even real estate stocks.Informed investors know that you should invest money in more than one area in order to have a diversified portfolio. Most investors think that the best investment strategy is to own the best funds, and that your only choices are diversified stock funds and bond funds. Few have a handle on the arena called “alternative investments”. Where do you think the smart investors will invest money when neither stocks (in general) nor bonds look attractive and safe investments are paying record low interest rates?The top dogs look around for opportunities that are “outside of the box” in search of their best investment alternatives. Welcome to the world of alternative investments. As an average investor trying to find the best funds you might want to broaden your horizons as well. If our economy continues to be lackluster and interest rates rise in 2014 and beyond both diversified stock funds and bond funds could take a hit. So, where can you invest money for higher returns if things turn sour in 2014 and/or 2015?Gold is not cheap anymore but it is well below its highs as I write this. Gold funds invest money in stocks in the gold and silver mining industry, and they took a major hit in 2013. Historically, gold has been one of the best investment alternatives in times of high uncertainty and crisis. Gold funds might be one of the best funds if things get ugly in 2014 and beyond. They may or may not be your best investment, but adding them to your portfolio at this time to add more diversification could be a good idea just in case.Another alternative investment that’s a candidate for best investment ideas: oil and other natural resources. Your best funds to invest money in here and keep things simple are called natural resources funds. They too have proven to be good performers when the stock market in general is having a rough time. You might think that gasoline prices at the pump (and oil prices) are high now, but think back a few years. Prices can always go higher, even in a bad economy.And then there’s real estate as an alternative investment. This industry has recovered from the financial crisis lows, in no small part due to low interest rates. What will happen if rates climb as the economy sputters? Investors usually invest money in real estate with borrowed money. The truth of the matter is that interest rates are still low by historical standards. Real estate funds can be one of your best investment alternatives as investors rush in to buy before rates climb further. The best funds here invest money in real estate investment trusts and other companies in the real estate sector, like home builders. Caution: when rates rise significantly the real estate industry can sputter.Why do I suggest that the best funds in 2014 and beyond could be those that invest money in specialized sectors like gold, natural resources and perhaps real estate? Historically, in bad times for the economy and stock market in general these industries can attract money as investors search for the best investment alternatives to invest money in. Both stocks (in general) and bonds are selling near historical highs. Bonds have been on a thirty year roll, and stocks have climbed 150% in less than five years. Neither looks cheap by any standard.In your search for the best investment alternatives to make your money grow, sometimes you need to look outside of the box. You need to invest money so that some of it is safe and available for future opportunities. And in times like 2014 and beyond it’s a good idea to further diversify into alternative investments. The simplest and best investment vehicle for the average investor is mutual funds. The best funds to add to your portfolio are those that can swim against the tide when it goes out.