Upside Down on Car Loan – Chapter 13 Cram Down Provisions and Chapter 7 Redemption

Clients often find themselves in need of debt relief because of a car loan gone badly.

Modern day society necessitates owning and maintaining an automobile which sometimes evolves into a devastating financial burden. Lenders are quick in financing vehicles knowing borrowers highly prioritize automobile transportation over most other financial obligations. Even borrowers with bad credit are fitted into an automobile financing packages priced at high interest rates to compensate aggressive lenders for the added risk.

Financial difficulty often arises from auto financing. The happy car buyer drives their new vehicle off the lot financed nearly 100%. As the saying goes, almost immediately thereafter, the new vehicle depreciates in value several thousand dollars before it is even hits the highway.

Automobile transportation costs $4,000.00 to $6,000.00 annually including auto loan payments, liability and collision insurance, repairs and maintenance and gasoline.

Havoc begins when an unexpected car repair not covered by warranty, or a motor vehicle accident, unexpectedly and substantially decreases the value of the vehicle far below the outstanding loan balance owed to the bank. Or, perhaps more harmlessly, on a trade- in for a new vehicle where eager car salespersons and lenders agree to take in your old vehicle on trade, and throw the remaining outstanding balance from your old car loan (for a little higher payment) on the back-end of your new auto loan leaving the new car buyer considerably ‘upside-down’ on the new vehicle purchase.

These situations leave the borrower in a predicament where sizable portions of income are devoted towards covering an unsecured auto debt obligation that is of no use towards sustaining modest costs of necessities for family living.

Under certain circumstances relief from these devastating financial predicaments can be obtained through a bankruptcy filing.

CHAPTER 13 CRAM DOWN PROVISIONS

Under Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, Debtors are permitted to ‘Cram Down’ the unsecured portion of their auto loans to the fair market value of the vehicle securing the loan. This requires debtors to pay back only the secured portion of the auto loan, but the unsecured balance is treated as a general unsecured creditors providing substantial benefit for the Debtor, permitting Debtor to only pay a small fraction of the unsecured portion of the auto loan debt that is owed.

As an example, let’s suppose our debtor owns a car worth $10,000.00 and there is an auto loan with a payoff balance of $20,000.00. In this scenario, the loan is only partially secured. The auto lender is secured only to the extent of the value of the vehicle or $10,000.00. The remaining $10,000.00 balance on the loan is unsecured. In this situation the Bankruptcy Code affords the Debtor the right to cut off the unsecured portion of the auto loan and treat that portion of the loan as unsecured. So, if General Unsecured Creditors were only receiving a dividend of 20%, the auto lender would receive only $2,000.00 on its unsecured portion of the auto loan.

These situations become sticky between Debtor and Lender because often disagreements arise as to the correct value of the vehicle. Your bankruptcy attorney will need to negotiate a settlement over the valuation before confirmation of the Debtor’s Chapter 13 plan.

Valuation is guided under provisions of the United States Bankruptcy code, specifically 11 U.S. Code § 506 – Determination of Secured Status.

11 USC §506(a)(2) specifically states:

“If the debtor is an individual in a case under chapter 7 or 13, such value with respect to personal property securing an allowed claim shall be determined based on the replacement value of such property as of the date of the filing of the petition without deduction for costs of sale or marketing. With respect to property acquired for personal, family, or household purposes, replacement value shall mean the price a retail merchant would charge for property of that kind considering the age and condition of the property at the time value is determined” emphasis added

The Cram Down provision under the bankruptcy code also provides for a reduction of the interest rate on the auto loan. Often Debtors find themselves shelling out enormous auto payments used to cover exorbitant interest rates auto lenders often charge to risky borrowers.

An interesting exception was enacted under the 2005 Amendments to the United States Bankruptcy Code prohibiting cram downs where the purchase money auto loan was originated within 910 days (2 ½ years) of the filing date of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy [see 11 U.S.C §1325(a)(9)]. Debtors must consider timing of a Chapter 13 filing if they desire to escape the burden of a burdensome auto loan debt. Bankruptcy rules require car loans taken out within 2 ½ years of the bankruptcy filing must be paid as agreed.

CHAPTER 7 REDEMPTION

Cram downs are not permitted under Chapter 7 bankruptcy (or ‘straight bankruptcy’). But, Chapter 7 debtors are permitted to ‘redeem’ personal property under 11 U.S.C. §722.

11 U.S.C. §722 provides as follows:

“An individual debtor may… redeem tangible personal property intended primarily for personal, family, or household use, from a lien securing a dischargeable consumer debt, if such property is exempted under section 522 of this title or has been abandoned under section 554 of this title, by paying the holder of such lien the amount of the allowed secured claim of such holder that is secured by such lien in full at the time of redemption.” emphasis added

Redemption, however, can be difficult under Chapter 7 because debtors must pay upfront in full a lump sum of cash an amount sufficient to pay the secured portion of the auto loan measured by the fair market value of the vehicle at the time Debtor seeks to redeem the vehicle. Chapter 7 does not permit a restructuring of the loan, but sometimes the auto lender will accept payments over time, but usually within a short term.

CONCLUSION

If your vehicle is worth less than you owe on it, bankruptcy options can be advantageous towards affording you to retain your vehicle and move towards better financial health.

Chapter 13 can reduce or ‘cram down’ your loan balance and interest rates thereby lowering your auto payment making it affordable. Chapter 13 also enables you to restructure past due auto payments and spread them over the term of the Chapter 13 plan so you can afford to catch up the past due payments within your personal financial means.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not accommodate restructuring of loan repayments but the §722 redemption provisions allow debtors to purchase their vehicles out of bankruptcy for the fair market value of the vehicle, leaving the unsecured portion of the debt discharged under the Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Why You Should Look For An ASE Certified Mechanic For Your Next Car Repair

Cars and trucks have gotten much more complex over the years; gone are the days when everyone could work on their cars in their own garage or back yard. Today’s technology in vehicles, from electronics and computer chips to increased fuel efficiency, means that vehicles are sometimes just too complex and time consuming for the average DIYer.

Finding the best mechanics to provide auto repair services is absolutely essential. Keeping your vehicles on the road and not stuck in the shop is extremely important; for many people, their vehicles are their livelihood. In order to get the best auto services, look for an ASE certified mechanic for all of your auto repair and maintenance work.

What Is An ASE Certified Mechanic?

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence runs a comprehensive program to certify trained personnel. An ASE certified mechanic must pass a comprehensive exam, have two years of on the job training and work experience, and must pass a refresher exam every five years. Furthermore, the best mechanics can shoot for the Blue Seal of Excellence Recognition program and specialize in key automotive areas, such as automobile, medium/heavy truck, truck equipment, school bus, collision repair, and more.

Why Should You Use An ASE Certified Mechanic?

Certification is an excellent way to vet a potential service provider. A garage that only employs certified personnel is staffed with employees with the proven auto repair knowledge and skills that are vital for working on today’s cars, trucks, and SUVs.

There is nothing worse than having to bring your vehicle back to a garage for repairs if the job wasn’t done right the first time. Certified repair personnel are trained and experienced to be able to diagnose and solve problems the first time.

One of the best reasons to stick with a certified professional for your auto repair and maintenance needs is safety. Having a well running vehicle is important to you and your family’s safety. Breaking down on the road can be a dangerous situation and break downs always seem to occur at the worst place and at the worst time. You can’t prevent 100% of break downs ahead of time, but you can certainly play it safe by having professional perform regular preventative maintenance on your vehicle.

Long Term Benefits Of Quality Car Care

In the end, receiving the best possible car care will keep your vehicle on the road longer and save you money. A vehicle that receives regular maintenance, running at peak performance, will get better gas mileage and cost less in repairs. And ultimately, the more miles you can put on your vehicle, the better value you will get from the down payment and monthly payments. Preventative maintenance and repairs done by a professional ASE certified mechanic are essential to getting the most out of your vehicle.

Car Servicing and Maintenance: Get The Best Maintenance Services From A Reputed Auto Repair Shop

Cars- A Costly Investment

Buying a car is an investment. Unfortunately, it’s going to cost you a lot of money involving loan payments, registration fee, insurance coverage, maintenance, servicing etc. Vehicle repair and maintenance expenses have now become a part and parcel of life. If you fail to take good care of your car then be prepared for an unexpected breakdown.

Maintenance Schedule- How Important It Is?

Vehicle maintenance and servicing is one of the best ways to keep your car in a flawless condition. Remember, your vehicle needs to undergo a maintenance check up every month. With the right maintenance and servicing it will last for a long time and you will also enjoy a smooth drive.

Most of the manufacturers usually offer free servicing packages to the new car owner for the first three months. So car owners don’t need to spend a single penny in the first three months for servicing. Always listen to the advice of the manufacturers because they can help you keep your car in a great shape.

If you are buying a car for the first time, you should first get some advice from your friends or family on vehicle maintenance. Moreover, you can also ask them to refer a reliable and trustworthy mechanic for repairs. You should never ever take your vehicle for granted. Just like you go for a regular health check up to your doctor your car also needs the same care and maintenance for a safe and smooth drive.

A DIY Approach For Vehicle Maintenance- Is It Right?

Never ever take a DIY approach for vehicle maintenance unless it is a very small problem and you know how to fix it. If you don’t have any knowledge about car problems it’s always advisable to visit a reputed servicing station. Have a look at some of the great tips to keep in mind to take care of your cars in the best way:-

· Regular Car Servicing And Maintenance

It is very important for an owner to follow the servicing schedule properly according to the distance/miles. Mostly, it’s the company who set the schedule for the owners.

· Oil change

Every vehicle owner should go for an oil change once a year. Oil change also depends on the distance travelled/miles. Always listen to your mechanic. With timely oil change you can enjoy a smooth drive.

· Check Fluid Level Of Your Car

Of course, you can check the fluid level of your car on your own. In case, you don’t know how to do it ask your mechanic to help you. Check coolant fluid, brake fluid and transmission fluids which are some of the most important fluids.

Conclusion

Educate yourself about automobile repairs and maintenance. It is a fact that there are good mechanics out there to help you with repairs but there are also bad ones who only want to cheat you. Take some time from your busy schedule to find the best repair shop.

Happy driving!

How to Save on Insurance Costs When Buying a New Car

When you are buying a new car, you want to find ways to save on car insurance. There are many ways you can save on the cost of your insurance when you purchase a new car.

Check the Car Rating

Insurers charge more for cars that have high claims rates regardless of owner driving record. Some charge you less for collision and comprehensive coverage if your car scores well for durability and safety. Check the statistics on the new car you want before you buy.

Raise Your Deductible

If you can afford it, consider raising your deductible. The idea is that you can be prepared to pay for the damages yourself, so the insurance company does not have to in the event of an accident. They like this. So, if you can do it and transfer the risk to yourself, then you might be able to reduce your premiums up to 40%. Then you can take part of those savings and put them into an emergency fund, still coming out on top.

Reduce Old Car Coverage

If you have an old car that you are replacing with the new car, you should reduce the amount of collision coverage you have. The reason for this is that insurance companies will not pay more to fix a car than the car is worth.

So, if you have an older car and the damages are $12,000 but the blue book value of your older car is only $10,000, they will not repair the car and will instead just likely give you the $10,000.

Cars more than five years old, depending on their value, but not be worth the collision and comprehensive insurance coverage. Remember that every year of depreciation diminishes the maximum claim that you are able to make with collision coverage.

Use the Same Company

If you have a car already and you are getting ready to buy a new car, be sure to use the same company to get your policy. Insurance companies will give you discounts if you put more than one car on the same policy. Often you can get upwards of 15% off the policy for doing this. The same is true if you combine your auto insurance with your home insurance.

Avoid Installments

If you can avoid it, do not pay in monthly or quarterly installments. If you can afford it, pay your premium in a lump sum instead. Insurance companies tend to charge extra fees if you pay premiums in monthly or quarterly installments.

Better Credit Score

Insurance costs are tied strongly to your credit history and insurance claims. In many states, your credit score directly impacts the rates you are given. You should review your credit score in-depth to make sure everything is accurate and there are no errors.

If you have bad credit, work hard to systematically bring it back up as you pay bills on time, repair debt, etc… Then go back each time the score improves to ask about lower rates from your insurance company.

Should You Repair or Replace Your Car Windshield?

The windshield is an extremely significant safety feature of a car. It adds strength and durability to its structure and prevents passengers from being removed out of the moving vehicle, in the event of an accident. However, just as any other part of a car, a windshield also goes through its share of intense wear and tear, requiring regular checks, and even a repair or replacement.

Given below are some factors that will help you determine whether to opt for a windshield repair or replacement service.

  • Size: Most chipped front glass can be repaired. However, if it is not repaired in time, chances are, that the small chips will turn into bigger ones. For example, if you are driving on a corrugated gravel road, and end up taking an aggressive turn or hit a big pothole, the damage to the glass may end up being amplified. But, chips larger than 3/8 inches and cracks longer than 3 inches indicate an immediate need for a glass replacement. A large crack can also impact the vision by reflecting the sunlight glare, making it difficult to see clearly what lies ahead on the road.
  • Location: If cracks occur on the edge of the front glass, then the glass must be replaced immediately. Prompt action will decrease the tendency of the cracks to spread quickly. It is also recommended to replace the glass if the chip lies directly in the line of vision of the car’s driver.
  • Timespan: Chips and cracks, both can damage the front glass of a car. Hence, these must be addressed immediately. The longer you ignore the problem, the less likely it becomes to perform a successful repair, ultimately requiring a replacement.

Windshield repair

A timely repair can prove to be extremely useful, and below mentioned are some reasons to help you understand why you should opt for it:

  • Convenience: A small chip or a crack can be repaired within an hour.
  • Cost-effective: Repairs are much more cost-effective as compared to replacements.
  • The insurance advantage: As repairs are far more economical, most insurance companies will waive the deductible and pay for the repair.

Windshield replacement

A windshield makes approximately 60% of the structural integrity of a vehicle. Therefore, opting for a timely repair and replacement service is not just an essential aspect, but can also prove to be cost-effective. Most chips and cracks are easily repaired unless you ignore the issue, which will eventually require you to replace the front glass of the car.

Here are some points to keep in mind while opting for a replacement.

  • Certified technicians: Always ensure to take the car to a certified service center. A service center which employs expert windshield technicians can guarantee a proper replacement.
  • OEM glass: Make sure to opt for an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) glass for installation. Anything which is an OEM equivalent or an aftermarket glass should be avoided, as the latter is a short-term solution, and sometimes, even a dangerous option as far as safety is concerned.
  • Proper fit: There may be instances when the new car glass cannot be installed as accurately as done at the time of the production of the vehicle. Therefore, to avoid such an instance occurring up, make sure that the new one is selected according to the car’s make and model for a proper fit.
  • Adhesive: Urethane adhesives are certified to meet crash test criteria, and they also offer faster drive-away times. The best urethane adhesive is quite expensive as compared to the other adhesives available in the market. But, it is recommended that one chooses quality over cost.

Post installation of the front glass, there are some imperative must-dos that one should keep in mind, and make a note to practice the same. Below mentioned are such precautions:

  • It is not advisable to drive the car until the adhesive is finally dried as it may ruin the results of the replacement work. It is recommended that you follow safe drive-away time as mentioned by the technicians.
  • Do not wash your car before 24 hours as it may damage the seal between the adhesive and the glass.
  • Keep at least one window open to avoid building pressure inside the vehicle, or else it may blow a hole in the front glass, resulting in air and water leaks.

A successful automotive front glass installation complies with 100% manufacturer standards. These standards, when followed precisely, lead to safe installation and prevent the lives of the passengers from being in danger, in the event of a collision. One of the consequences of an improper installation might be excessive noise while driving at a high speed.

To conclude, let’s just say that a car glass repair should be your first option, and unless necessary, should you opt for a replacement service. Although there are scenarios when it becomes mandatory to replace the front glass, it is still suggested to opt for the repair first policy. And of course, no matter the size of the chip or crack, it is highly advisable to get it checked immediately. Always choose certified technicians for the repair and replacement of the front windshield glass.

Insurance Totaled My Car – What This Means

“Your vehicle is a Total Loss.” These words, more often than not, spark immediate controversy between an insured and their insurance company. The main cause of controversy between an insurance company and an insured as it relates to total loss is that most people feel their vehicle is worth more than it really is.

A vehicle, though historically not a good investment, is very personal to us. Many of us spend a great deal of time in our vehicles each day and grow attached to our car. Many others ”trick out” their cars and inherently feel that their modifications enhance the value of the car.

I thought it might help some folks if they heard exactly how an insurance company views this and how they go about compensating you for your car should it be determined to be a totaled. There are typically two main things involved in understanding this process: What exactly is a Total Loss and how is the value of a car determined. In this article I am going to discuss and define a Total Loss from an insurance companies perspective.

So, what exactly does it mean when your insurance company deems your vehicle a total loss? In general, there are two types or measurements if you will when it comes to making this determination: Financial or Economic Total Loss and an Obvious Total Loss.

Financial or Economic Total Loss

A vehicle is often declared an Economic Total Loss when the cost of repairs exceeds the value of the vehicle, plus sales tax, less your deductible. I am sure you have heard that there is a percentage used to determine if a car is an Economic Total Loss. You have probably heard numbers from 50% to 70%, or more. This is true, however, it is important to know that not all states set an actual percentage and that for the states that do not set percentages, it is up to the insurance company to determine what that will be.

Although all insurance companies that are free to set this number themselves are all different, a common number you will hear is 70%. What exactly does that mean? I thought a quick illustration might help:

Market Value $15,000

Plus tax $ 1,050 (7% used as example)

Sub-total $16,050

Less Deductible $ 500

Total Loss Value $15,550

Cost of Repairs $11,662

Repairs are 75% of the value

In the example above, your insurance company would likely determine your vehicle to be an Economic Total Loss. One thing to remember is that if you are paid the value of your vehicle, the insurance company will retain the salvage or damaged vehicle and then sell it to a vendor. Most insurance companies have negotiated contracts with salvage buyers and will use that avenue to recoup some of the money paid out for the total loss. In the example above, your insurance provider would know that your car had a salvage value of $3,000 (example). So, when making their total loss decision, they would factor in this amount and subtract it from the total amount paid of $15,550, bringing their net cost to $12,550.

One other brief point to make that is worth noting is that your insurance carrier will also factor in estimated supplemental damages were your car to be repaired. From my experience as an adjuster and claims manager, there are often supplemental or additional damages/repairs identified once a car begins the repair process. These damages are often discovered on “tear down” or after parts of the vehicle are removed and additional damages are more visible. In many cases it is almost certain that there will be additional damages based on the visible damages, however, an adjuster will only write for what they can see and note that additional damages are likely.

Obvious Total Loss

An Obvious Total Loss or OTL is in which the damages to a vehicle are so extensive in terms of repair and/or putting the structural integrity of the vehicle at risk with a repair, that the car is determined to be an OTL. Some examples of an OTL are:

  • Fire Damage
  • Rollover
  • A theft
  • Extensive Water Damage
  • High impact front-end collision
  • T-Bone or hard hit to the side of a vehicle at the center-point

In most cases, a claims adjuster will not have the direct authority to determine a vehicle to be an OTL. The two insurance companies I worked for required a manager approval to make this call. With today’s technology, that can be done easily in the field by simply sending some detailed photos to a Claims Manager or Property Damage Manager. In this case, there isn’t a cost of repairs necessarily but the valuation process is the same.

Hopefully this helps you understand what is meant when you are told that your car is a total loss. Your insurance claims adjuster should explain all of this to you, however, having a basis understanding will certainly help should you find yourself in this situation.

6 Types Of Auto Insurance Coverage That First-Time Car Owners Need To Know

But, it still doesn’t take away the importance of covering your car with a good auto insurance plan, since you don’t know what will happen to your car later.

For instance, in the time of a big accident, you need to pay all of the fixing up costs by yourself if you don’t cover your car with a good car insurance plan. Thus, you don’t need to pay a dime just to get your car fixed when accidents happen. It is also the same with other unexpected things, such as theft, disaster, and faulty vehicle.

Here are 6 types of auto insurance coverage that first-time car owners need to know:

1. Accidents. Accidents happen at unexpected times. It can be caused by your own recklessness, or it can be caused by the recklessness of other drivers. Also, accidents can happen because of disasters, such as floods or fire. The point is that if your car is damaged because of any accidents, the auto insurance company will cover the cost of repair for your car.

2. Faulty car. Maybe, you are driving for a few miles down the road, and then in the middle of your travel, your car is faulty. The engine is in trouble and the car cannot move, or your tire is flat. This can become quite a problem for you. But fortunately, the insurance company will cover the cost of repairing your car in this emergency situation. Some companies might also offer roadside assistance for their clients.

3. Car make and model. The make and model of your car will also affect the type of car insurance that you get. If you have a brand new car, or if you purchase a luxury car, you will have a better coverage for damage. But, you need to pay more for the premium, since it might cost more money to repair the damage of your car. This is different if you buy a second-hand car with long mileage.

4. Personal fault. Sometimes, you might be driving your car, and because of your carelessness, you might cause an accident with other cars. Other cars may sustain some damages because of the accident, and other drivers may also need to be sent to the hospital. The car insurance plan usually provides the coverage cost for the car damage or medical problems caused by your personal fault.

5. Non-insured driver. The auto insurance company also offers the coverage for non-insured driver at the time when the driver causes an accident that creates damages for other cars. In this way, you don’t need to pay all the financial burdens by yourself, since the car insurance company will cover the cost for you.

6. Driver’s experience. If you are not too experienced with cars, then you might fall into the high-risk category for the car insurance company, since you will most likely to have accidents on the road. Thus, you usually need to pay more premium costs, but in exchange for that, you get better coverage for any damage. If you are already an experienced driver, you will fall into the low-risk category, and you will pay lower insurance costs since you may not file insurance claims often.

You Will Have to Undergo Some Driving Lessons Before You Are Allowed to Drive a Car on the Road

To anticipate spending too much money on medical expenses and car repair, purchasing insurance coverage is a good idea. In the event of accident, other people can be in danger too. If you are at fault, other people who are involved in the accident may file lawsuits against you. This particular circumstance will direct auto insurance company to handle all the necessary requirements, for example providing a lawyer, paying court fees, etc.

Insurance company eliminates the hassles, so you will be able to do your everyday activities without worrying about the issues too much. Another reason is that driving without insurance is basically against the law, and there will be penalties for that. Please put in mind that penalties vary between states. The difference can only be in terms of specific details, as instructed by the DMV of your state. All states have the same penalties, but there are differences in the amount of fines, procedures to reinstate insurance, etc. Some of the most common penalties are briefly outlined below.

Driving Ban & Suspended Registration

If you are caught driving without valid insurance, you will be banned from driving and your vehicle’s registration will also be suspended. There is a very simple rule: if the car has no insurance, the vehicle has no plate as well. Commonly you have to turn in the vehicle’s plates to the local DMV. In certain states, such as in New York, car insurance must be provided by a licensed company, meaning your insurer has to be listed or licensed by New York State Department of Financial Services.

Every state has a local insurance department where you can obtain a list of licensed insurers. Please make sure you only purchase coverage from the listed car insurance companies to get valid proof of insurance. In New York, insurance coverage provided by any insurer from any other state will not be considered valid. It makes sense since every state has different details in traffic regulations. If you are driving without insurance, the New York State will suspend your vehicle’s registration until certain time period.

If registration suspension exceeds 90 days, your driver license will be suspended too, meaning you cannot drive any vehicle anymore until your driver license is reinstated. In New York, you have to pay a fee of $25 – $50 to reinstate the driver license. It is better to turn in your plates to the New York DMV before your insurance coverage ends; you will then get a receipt to proof that you already turned the plates in. This rule also applies even if your car is in the storage or parked at public road.

Car Gets Towed

Excluding New Hampshire, all states in the United States penalize uninsured drivers. However, each state implements different set of rules concerning the fines and other penalties. If you commit any traffic offense, your car will be pulled over and the officer will ask you to produce driver license, vehicle titles, and proof of insurance. You will be fined based on the offense. In most states, if you fail to produce proof of insurance, your car will be towed away and impounded.

Because you were driving the car when it was pulled over, you will be responsible for paying the storage fees and fines to get the car back. Depending on the state where you live, the total amount can be thousands of dollars. Considering you have to also purchase insurance before you can repossess the car, it is safe to say you will spend more money in addition to the fines and storage fees. Usually, you will need at least liability coverage to take the car back. However, if your driver license is suspended due to traffic offenses such as DUI (Driving under Influence) or other violations, you may have to take someone with a valid driver license.

You can bring the original insurance document, the copy of it, or simply fax it depending on the DMV. Please also make sure that you bring enough money to pay all the charges. Instead of paying thousands of dollars, it is best to purchase insurance coverage which is probably way less expensive. You can use online car insurance calculator to estimate the price of insurance policies from almost every insurer.

SR-22 Requirements

Once again, depending on the state where you live, proof of insurance can be in different forms. One of the most common is SR-22 document, which basically shows you have the least minimum liability requirement to be considered legal for driving. There are some situations where SR-22 is obligatory such as when you are caught for driving under influence, at fault in the event of accident, you commit too many traffic offenses, or having non-valid driver license.

If you are required to obtain an SR-22 document, you will have to maintain the minimum insurance requirement of the state in which the document is issued and keep the document for usually 3 years, even if you move to other states. If in any case your insurance lapses or is cancelled, your vehicle registration and driver license will be suspended again. SR-22 requirements can be different from state to state, but you can ask your local DMV or insurance company for more details.

Besides SR-22 document and insurance card issued by your insurer, there are two more valid proofs of insurance that you can use. In some states, the preferred form is electronic database sent by your insurer to the DMV. Even if your insurance company uses this procedure, you must always keep the insurance card with you as backup. It is worth mentioning that some people choose not to be insured, yet they use a different form of responsibility, which is a large amount of deposit. Surprisingly, many states allow people to use this form indeed.

There are two possible methods you can use if you choose not to purchase insurance policy from any company. First, you have to make large deposit but the amount varies depending on the state; it is usually from $25,000 to $100,000. Another way is to purchase or secure a bond with a surety company. The surety bond company should be an authorized one in your state. If you prefer to use one of those methods, please make sure to keep the certificate of bond or deposit with you.

Fines

The car is indeed yours after you purchase it, but you are not allowed to drive it on the road unless you also buy insurance coverage for it. The car should be covered by at least liability insurance before it can get to roadway. When you are pulled over due to any reason, the police officer will ask for insurance card or any other valid proof of insurance.

If you cannot produce it, you will receive a ticket in addition to the actual reason why you were pulled over in the first place. For example, if you are being stopped for speeding or driving in the wrong lane, and you are currently not insured, the tickets you receive will include all those offenses. Again, depending on the states, you will probably be able to dismiss the ‘driving without insurance’ ticket.

The other violations have been committed, and there is no way to dismiss the tickets. If you can produce the proof of insurance within the time period indicated on the ticket, this specific offense can be dismissed. This is possible only if you were actually insured at the traffic stop, yet for whatever reason you did not bring insurance card or any other proof of insurance. Based on this, even the best car insurance companies in the world will not be able to save you from the fines.

In case where you were not insured at all at the traffic stop, you have to deal with an exceptionally high fine. In Ontario, for example, the minimum fine for this offense is $5,000. According to NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners), the exact amount varies by state, but it typically starts from $5,000 to $10,000. There is also a 25% surcharge added to the actual fee. Driving without insurance doesn’t make any sense, since you can get cheap auto insurance easily from many companies.

Jail Time

Jail time is usually for repeat offenses only. Uninsured driver will be put in jail for a maximum of 30 days depending on the situation. To make things worse, you still have to appear in court and pay the fines based on the offenses you committed. You will therefore are penalized with both penalties. Based on a study conducted by IRC (Insurance Research Council) in 2011, one out of seven drivers in United States is uninsured.

The main reason is that insurance policies are expensive, which is not a good excuse after all. If you do a little online research, you will find numerous websites providing car insurance estimate services for you free of charge. The websites usually access some of the most reputable insurers in the state and perform the estimation based on the personal data you provide such as age, car model, address, mileage, etc.

Such estimation will not be 100% accurate, but you can at least predict the actual amount you need to pay. If you won’t use independent estimator, you can ask for car insurance quotes from almost every company in the state. Those companies nowadays provide the quotes for free, and you can get it without buying their policies.

What happens if the other driver has no car insurance?

No Pay No Play

This is a relatively new penalty, and it is currently only implemented in 8 states across United States including Oregon, North Dakota, Alaska, Iowa, California, Michigan, Louisiana, and New Jersey. The law basically states that uninsured drivers are not allowed to receive compensations from insured drivers regardless who are at fault in the event of accidents. In Montana, for example, uninsured drivers are allowed to file a lawsuit against their insured counterparts to obtain compensation for non-economic damages.

With ‘no pay, no play’ law, uninsured drivers are prohibited from doing so because they basically are not providing the same benefits to others. In the simplest way, uninsured drivers are considered cheating on those who are insured. Those who do not have insurance will not be allowed to collect compensation for non-economic damages from other drivers who actually have insurance policies.

This can be a good idea, since there are cheap auto insurance quotes all over the market, and some people simply don’t want to purchase it even if it is against the law. The only way that uninsured drivers can file a lawsuit is when they pay large deductible (usually around $10,000). Only after that they can sue for property damage.

Car Insurance Claim Procedure

Motor Vehicle Insurance is compulsory in India under Motor Vehicle Act 1988. Motor vehicle insurance is the insurance coverage of the risk of third party arising out the use of motor vehicle and also for covering the risk of damage caused to the vehicle. Indian people neither concern about Life Insurance Plan nor Medical Insurance plan but they are more concern on Motor Vehicle Insurance either they are driving a Scooter or a Bike or a Car or a Truck. It is mandatory otherwise if anyone injured without insurance vehicle, it will treated like a Crime.

Now days everyone have their own vehicle, roads are jam pack with vehicles, the risk is high so as a result, motor insurance companies are growing day by day and claims have also gone up. But many a time, the policyholders do not know exactly what they can do to get their Car Insurance Claim Procedure.

Here we are explaining the procedure how to claim on your car insurance policy. This will help you a lot.

How to claim on your Car Insurance Claim

We will understand this procedure in some scenario step by step so it will be very easy for us.

Claims for own-damage: If your car met with an accident, you should follow these steps to claim for damages:

  • Inform the insurance service provider – First and foremost you should inform to the insurer at the earliest and you have to submit a duly filled in claim form along with the required documents to the insurance company before you send the car to the garage for any repairs. The forms are available on insurance service provider’s websites. Most insurers follow strict guidelines and its mentioned in the policy documentation.
  • Lodge FIR – In some cases, First Information Report (FIR) is required so lodge FIR to the nearest police station for the safer side. Although it may not be mandatory for claim settlements but it is advisable to lodge an FIR. It depends on the condition.
  • Assess the damage – Once you inform to insurance service provider, they will appoint a surveyor who will assess / evaluate the damage of your vehicle. He will prepare a report and pass it on to the insurance company. You will also receive a copy and then you can move your car to the nearest network garage for repair.Note: If the damage is severe then surveyor will reach the spot of the accident at the earliest for survey.
  • Claim settlement – As soon as insurance company receives survey report, they will analyze the claim request and sends an approval to the garage. The garage will have to provide an estimated cost for the vehicle repair and timelines for the same. The insurer will be in touch with the network garage for an overall view of the extent of damage and the way in which the repair work is proceeding.

After the work is completed, you will have to take the duly signed bills and documents from the garage and submit them to surveyor. Surveyor will send it to the insurance company.

If all the documents are completed, the insurance provider will reimburse your bills. Keep in mind that there will be some compulsory deductible and variable deductible components, as stated in the policy document. Once your claim settled and your car is OK then you can drive again.

Car insurance claim process for a third party claim: -If you are responsible for an accident where a third-party suffers injuries or damage to property, here is what you need to do:

  • Inform to insurance service provider – First and foremost you should inform to your service provider at the earliest. Also remember not to make any financial commitments to third party.
  • Lodge FIR – Lodge FIR at the nearest police station and keep a copy of the FIR for future reference as well.
  • Share policy document – You should mandatorily share a copy of your car insurance policy with the third-party, so that they can raise a claim on it.
  • Claim at Motor Tribunal – According to the Motor Vehicles Act 1988, third-party liability claims are raised at the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT). The claim can be raised by the third-party at the tribunal closest to his/her residence or yours.

After receiving all the documents, the insurance service provider will verify the documents and assess the accident and if found satisfactory, you will get a lawyer appointed by them.

If the court directs you to pay the damages to the third party thereafter, the insurance service company will directly pay the dues to the third party.

It is advisable to see if the situation can be settled amicably outside the tribunal.

Claims for theft: If you find that your car has been stolen then follow the below procedure.

  • Lodge FIR – Lodge FIR at the nearest police station and keep a copy of the FIR for future reference as well.
  • Inform to insurance service provider – You should inform to your service provider at the earliest with a copy of FIR
  • Once you receive the final report from police station, make a copy of it and submit it to your insurance company. The insurance company will assign an investigator. Investigator will make the report and submit to insurance company. Once that is done, submit the RC book of your stolen car to the insurance company.
  • Submit the duplicate keys of the car and also a subrogation letter. You will also need to submit a notarized indemnity on a stamp paper also.
  • Once all the formalities are completed, the insurance company will disburse the claim.

It is very important for us to know about the formalities of car insurance claim procedure otherwise many people are paying from their pocket due to lack of these information. Now days the entire insurance service provider’s having a very good customer support network and their teams are skilled and co-operative also so you must communicate with your insurer whenever you need it.

I wish that you don’t need these procedures. I wish you will have a Safe Drive, someone is waiting for you.

Car Repair Loans – Do They Exist?

Car repairs are expensive. While the initial cost of a car might not be that much, bringing that same car to the mechanic can easily empty your bank account. Hundreds of people lose money every day due to a car that doesn’t work properly. If you rely upon your car to get to work, to pick up your children, and to simply get around town, you know how important your vehicle really is. But, what can you do if you just can’t afford to pay for those pricey car repairs?

Have you considered applying for a car repair loan? That’s right – car repair loans do exist. These loans are reserved exclusively for those that cannot pay for car repairs up front. While traditional lenders might provide loans to those with stellar credit, these lenders hardly every approve any kind of loan for those with poor credit. If your credit report isn’t something that you are proud of, you can take solace in knowing that there are private lenders out there that will approve a car repair loan for you – no matter what your credit report might look like.

How does this type of loan work? While customary lenders will base your loan entirely upon your credit history, other private lenders will base a loan only upon your assets. This means that your bad credit report doesn’t matter at all. All you need to have is some form of steady income, a car that’s less than eight years old, car insurance, and a clear car title. Car repair loans through bad credit lenders are the easiest and most efficient way to fix your vehicle. Car owners with no credit, bad credit, and a history of bankruptcy can gain a specific car repair loan. This type of loan is also perfect for truck drivers.

Car repairs might cost a lot, but repairing a large truck is another kind of expense altogether. If your rig needs major alterations, don’t skip another day of work. There are lots of loads out there that you might be missing out on if your truck doesn’t work properly. Still, finding the money to repair a large truck might seem like an impossible feat. If you are stuck in this situation, you should know that car repair loans can apply to you as well – regardless of your credit history.

You’ll also be happy to know that paying back this kind of loan is also easily attainable. Monthly payments will always be well within your budget, and you’ll find those repayment terms easy to follow. Why should your credit report prevent you from getting where you need to go? It shouldn’t. Instead, apply for your car repair loan online right now. Within moments, you should be approved for that loan that you so desperately need. Why put your life on hold due to car repairs? Instead of trying to scrape together the money for those large car or truck repairs, sign up for an Auto Title Loan… and get your life back in motion.