With a refreshed style, a spiffier new electric motor, and a total cost of ownership of roughly $20,900 (based on average insurance cost, depreciation and other factors (for the base hatchback, as outlined by Motor Trend), the 2010 Toyota Prius, is one of the most iconic, and one of the most desired of all hybrid cars on the market. After all, driving a hybrid saves you money on fuel, allows you to know that you’re causing less damage to the environment, and in some states, it qualifies you to drive in the car pool, diamond, or HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes without passengers – without a penalty. There is also still some tax credit money floating around for savvy shoppers in states that aren’t hybrid-saturated already.
Even with all these benefits, however, insurance is still one of the more expensive aspects of Prius-ownership. While more and more data is being amassed, these cars are still considered “risky” from actuarial standpoints, and their specialized parts also increase your premium, because they can’t be fixed at just any repair shop.
The good news is that there are ways to save money when insuring your Prius – or any other hybrid car. First, you should know that, while it’s not yet an industry standard, most major insurance companies offer hybrid car insurance discounts of up 7-10%. Shop around until you find one, then discuss the following money-saving tips that are applicable to any car, hybrid or not, and more likely to be applicable to drivers of alternative-fuel vehicles.
While hybrid cars are often given an instant discount, the tips above are really about the hybrid driver, which makes sense. After all, it’s the driver who chooses the car.
To break the declarations page down further, we’ll discuss each aspect presented on the page, and this is done in no particular order, meaning your declarations page may or may not have the same information in the same order listed here. First we’ll mention the auto insurance company’s information on the page. The declarations page will have the name of the insurance company, as well as their contact information including a phone number and address. If you need to contact the company, the information is readily available here and also on the insurance card that you should have somewhere in your car in case it is immediately needed.
Next, you should find your policy number. Your policy number is a way the auto insurance company can identify you without using your name. This lessens confusion as there is typically more than one client sharing the same first and last names. A policy number can include numbers and letters together, or just numbers. You will need to know your policy number any time you want to contact the insurance company. You can also find your policy number on the insurance card.
Information regarding the coverage you have purchased is also included in the declarations page. The coverage you purchased will include the minimal requirements provided by your state, as well as any additional coverage options you felt the need to purchase. Bodily injury liability, property damage liability, personal injury protection, and uninsured motorist bodily injury may be some of the coverage options you purchased that will be listed on the declarations page. Read more about automobile premiums and policies in Auto Car Insurance Premiums section of author’s site.
The cost of each coverage you purchase for your auto insurance policy will also be listed on this page. The price of your policy is determined by individual factors, including the cost of coverage you added to your policy. If you carry additional coverage options past the state’s requirements, you can look at these “extra” options and decide if they fit into your budget, or if you can add more coverage for added protection.
Your deductible amounts may also be listed in the declarations page. A deductible amount is the amount of money you are willing to pay, out-of-pocket, when you make a claim to the auto insurance company. Any time you file a claim and expect the insurer to cover an accident-related cost, the insurer requires you to pay upfront a deductible. This amount can range from $250, to $1,000 or higher. The lower deductible you choose for your policy, the more expensive your policy premium will be.
Look for the policy periods on the declarations page to find out when your coverage begins and when it ends. You should also be aware that you have the option with the insurer to automatically renew your policy when it expires. This helps to avoid any time period of not carrying auto insurance, known as a policy lapse. It is illegal to drive a vehicle without proper auto insurance so it is vital that the policy always be in effect.
You will also notice your information, or the policyholder’s information, listed on the declarations page. Your name, address, and phone number will be listed on the page. It will also have information regarding the vehicle(s) you have insured with the company, such as the year, make and model of each vehicle. Always keep this information up-to-date with the auto insurance company so they can contact you easily with any questions they have or information they need.
You may think the declarations page is just one more nagging piece of paperwork, but in actuality it is the most important piece of paper that you have for your auto insurance. You will need to review your declarations page every time your policy renews to make sure no coverage was accidentally dropped or so you know your information is correct. Don’t disregard your declarations page as it comes in the mail or think of it as worthless because you think you already know what coverage is on your auto insurance policy.
Questions and Answers
I am a new driver and i have been looking around at cars. My car of preferance would be the Toyota Celica however im not sure if it can be insured to 17 year old because of the sports car label. I have looked at sites such as geico and all state for quotes but this has proven unsucessful. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
By: Jim R