Posts Tagged ‘Insurance’

Erin SteppLower Gas Prices Help Fuel 2 Percent Decline From 2014

ORLANDO, Fla. (April 28, 2015) – Due to declines in gas prices and finance charges, the annual cost to own and operate a vehicle has fallen to $8,698, a nearly 2 percent drop from last year, according to AAA’s 2015 Your Driving Costs study.  This research examines the cost of fuel, maintenance, tires, insurance, license and registration fees, taxes, depreciation and finance charges associated with driving a typical sedan 15,000 miles annually. In the United States, a driver can expect to spend 58 cents for each mile driven, nearly $725 per month, to cover the fixed and variable costs associated with owning and operating a car in 2015.

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“Fortunately, reduced gasoline and finance costs more than offset rising costs in other areas,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s Managing Director of Automotive Engineering and Repair.  “As a result, car owners can look forward to saving approximately $178 this year.”

Based on 15,000 miles

Small Sedan

Medium Sedan

Large Sedan

Sedan Average

Minivan

SUV (4WD)

Annual Total Cost

$6,729

$8,716

$10,649

$8,698

$9,372

$10,624

Annual Cost Per Mile

$0.449

$0.581

$0.710

$0.580

$0.625

$0.708

 

Fuel: DOWN 13.77 percent to 11.2 cents per mile/$1,681.50 per year (-$268.50).

Compared to last year’s study, the average cost of regular unleaded fuel fell nearly 13 percent to $2.855 per gallon. This decline, coupled with improvements in vehicle fuel economy, resulted in an average 11.21 cents-per-mile fuel cost.  Due in large part to this decrease, the cost of owning and operating a sport utility vehicle is slightly less than that of a large sedan this year.

Finance Charges: DOWN 21.02 percent to $669 per year (-$178).

With rising car sales and stiff competition among dealers, many manufacturers are offering low finance rates to attract buyers.  In 2015, average vehicle finance rates dropped 21 percent, which equates to approximately $15 per month on a typical five-year loan. However, rates vary widely with borrower credit scores.

Depreciation: UP 4.10 percent to $3,654 per year (+144).

The single largest ownership expense, depreciation, rose for 2015 due to increasing new car sales that are causing an influx of used and off-lease vehicles entering the marketplace. This increased supply has resulted in lower values and selling prices for used vehicles, thus driving up depreciation costs.

Insurance: UP 8.99 percent to $1,115 per year (+$92)

Insurance rates vary widely by driver, driving habits, insurance company and geographical area. AAA’s calculations are based on low-risk drivers with excellent driving records. While premium calculations are confidential, this modest increase of $7.67 per month may be due in part to high-cost modern vehicle features such as infotainment systems, advanced safety features and lightweight materials that can be more expensive to repair and, therefore, insure.

Maintenance: UP .99 percent to 5.11 cents per mile/$766.50 per year (+$7.50)

Annual maintenance, including labor time and repair part costs associated with factory-recommended maintenance, was factored into the 2015 survey along with average costs of an extended warranty.  Maintenance costs varied widely by vehicle type but, on average, were up slightly from 5.06 cents to 5.11 cents per mile. A recent survey of AAA-Approved Auto Repair shops found that the majority of drivers are behind schedule in routine maintenance, including oil changes, tire maintenance and battery inspection/testing.

License/Registration/Taxes: UP 3.74 percent to $665 per year (+$24)

Vehicle prices rose modestly in 2014, contributing to an overall increase in state and local tax costs.  Additionally, some states increased fees related to vehicle purchasing, titling, registration and licensing.

Tires: UP 1.03 percent to .98 cents per mile/$147 per year (+$1.50)

Due to the competitive and dynamic nature of the tire market, tire costs in 2015 remain relatively unchanged, rising by just .01 cents per mile.

In addition to calculating the driving costs for sedans, AAA determined annual costs associated with both minivans and sport utility vehicles. Owners of these vehicles will benefit from annual driving costs nearly four percent lower this year, at $9,372 and $10,624 respectively, due to lower gas prices and finance rates.

“When shopping for a vehicle, smaller isn’t always cheaper,” cautioned Nielsen. “A minivan, for example, can carry up to 7 passengers, yet costs $100 less to own and operate each month compared to a large sedan.”

AAA has published Your Driving Costs since 1950. That year, driving a car 10,000 miles per year cost 9 cents per mile, and gasoline sold for 27 cents per gallon.

The Your Driving Costs study employs a proprietary AAA methodology to analyze the cost to own and operate a vehicle in the United States. Variable operating costs considered in the study include fuel, maintenance and repair, and tires. Fixed ownership costs factored into the results include insurance, license and registration fees, taxes, depreciation and finance charges. Ownership costs are calculated based on the purchase of a new vehicle that is driven over five years and 75,000 miles. Your actual operating costs may vary. See AAA’s 2015 Your Driving Costs brochure for a list of vehicles and additional information on the underlying criteria used in the study.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 55 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Erin SteppHarris Poll EquiTrend® study names AAA Insurance highest among competitors in familiarity, quality and purchase consideration

ORLANDO, Fla., July 29, 2014 AAA Insurance has earned “Brand of the Year” status for its property and casualty insurance offerings, according to the 2014 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study.

“AAA is honored to be recognized by American consumers as the highest-ranked property and casualty insurance brand,” says AAA Chief Operating Officer Marshall L. Doney. “AAA’s century-long commitment to provide our now 54 million members with top-notch service and member value extends to our automobile and home insurance offerings.”

Using an academically-vetted brand equity model that examines familiarity, quality and purchase consideration, Harris’ annual survey captures and analyzes over 40,000 American opinions on 1,500+ brands from 170 different industry categories.  Brand perceptions, such as emotional connection, functional attributes, brand awareness, influence and familiarity are measured and ranked against key competitors in each category.  In 2014, AAA Insurance ranked highest among 12 competitors in the Property & Casualty Insurance category, scoring 13 percent higher than the category average.

“For more than 100 years, AAA has been committed to offering superior insurance products at very competitive rates,” continued Doney. “Whether at home, on the highway, or in preparation of life’s unexpected changes, AAA Insurance provides our members with peace of mind for the road ahead.”

AAA Insurance received the highest numerical Equity Score among Property & Casualty Insurance brands included in the 2014 Harris Poll EquiTrend Study, which is based on opinions of 41,806 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over surveyed online between January 3 and January 31, 2014.  Individual opinions may differ.  “Highest Ranked” was determined by a pure ranking of a sample of Property & Casualty Insurance brands. To learn more about AAA Insurance, visit a local AAA club, or online AAA.com.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

Ginnie PritchettMembers can now access their AAA membership conveniently from the home screen on their iPhone® or iPod touch®

ORLANDO, Fla., (July 17, 2013) – AAA members can now add their AAA membership card to Passbook on any iOS 6.0, iPhone or iPod touch device through the AAA Mobile app. With a touch of the “Add to Passbook” button, users’ can display their AAA membership card electronically.

“AAA Mobile provides convenient solutions to members on the go. The Passbook capability is just one more way AAA is addressing market trends and member needs and expectations in new and innovative ways,” says AAA Managing Director of Mobile Products and Commercial Markets Jeff Green.

To add a AAA membership card to Passbook users need to download the AAA Mobile app from the App Store and enter their membership information. Once the card displays, tap “Add to Passbook.”  AAA Mobile is available to all mobile users; however some services and benefits are only available to AAA members such as roadside assistance and discounts.

Along with the digital AAA membership card, AAA Mobile offers digital access to services, such as mapping and gas price comparison, as well as member-exclusive benefits including location-based roadside assistance and discounts. The AAA Mobile app, available for iPhone and iPod touch, as well as iPad and Android smartphones is the perfect companion for any member.

AAA urges motorists to minimize distractions behind the wheel by not using wireless devices, such as cell phones with mobile applications, while driving.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited at AAA.com.

Mariam AliEven as technology advances, motorists identify range anxiety and lack of charging locations as top reasons to not drive electric

ORLANDO, Fla., (May 9, 2013) – The number of electric vehicle charging station locations has increased 959 percent since the debut of the Nissan Leaf in 2010. Despite that, eight out of ten U.S. adults are unsure about or unlikely to buy an electric vehicle (EV) and 30 percent of them say it is due to mileage limitations and availability of charging stations locations, according to a survey by AAA.

“There have been major advancements in electric vehicle technology and the supporting infrastructure,” said John Nielsen, AAA Managing Director of Automotive Engineering and Repair, “However, it will take time and education for the general motoring public to understand just how far these vehicles have come, and recognize the many resources available to those who drive them.”

Modern EVs typically have a range of 60-100 miles, more than enough for the average driver’s daily commute which the U.S. Department of Transportation says is around 16 miles one way. As to recharging, the U.S. Department of Energy reports there are now more than 5,800 charging stations available for public use. The agency has aggressively promoted expansion of the electric vehicle charging infrastructure using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Additional findings from the AAA survey, fielded in July 2012, show that 26 percent of U.S. adults who are unsure about or unlikely to buy an electric vehicle (EV) cite the higher cost in general of an electric vehicle (i.e. buying, maintaining) as a reason they would be unlikely/undecided to make such a purchase.   “Battery improvements, increased competition, and economies of scale are all likely to drive down costs associated with buying an EV,” Nielsen continued. “With no need to change oil or filters and less brake system wear and tear, maintaining an EV is actually more affordable than a conventional vehicle.”

As joint efforts by government, private groups, and the automotive industry bring the charging picture into focus, AAA’s commitment to meeting member’s needs continues through electric vehicle roadside assistance. In 2011, AAA facilitated an extensive electric vehicle charging research and development program to help test EV charging as a roadside solution. AAA’s specially equipped road service trucks – capable of providing EV charging in approximately 15 minutes for about 10 miles of driving – are currently being tested in select markets across the country. The trucks can also provide traditional roadside services to members with any type of vehicle.

Working with the Electric Drive Transportation Association, AAA recently added EV content to their public information website, AAA Exchange. The new content provides basic information about electric vehicles that will help motorists determine whether an electric vehicle might be right for them. The materials also examine the various types of electric vehicles available, and help consumers understand the important differences that come with owning and operating an electric car.

Electric vehicle drivers looking for a public charging station in their area can consult the online AAA TripTik Travel Planner or the AAA Mobile application for smartphones. About 400 EV charging stations are located at AAA/CAA Approved hotels, restaurants and attractions. A green “plug” icon accompanies listings for these establishments in club-customizable AAA.com Travel Guides and 2013 Tour Book guides, which also denote stations available at AAA club offices.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA, January 1, 2010

Reviewing Six Components of Household Finance Can Help Keep Consumers On the Road to Financial Success, Motor Club Says

Heather HunterAAA – the largest paid-membership organization in North America – is urging consumers to perform a financial tune-up as part of their New Year’s resolutions for 2010. “Pledging to spend less money in the New Year is a time-honored, but frequently ineffective financial resolution in many households,” said Bill Gerhard, director of AAA Financial Services. “Instead, AAA suggests consumers be more methodical this year by developing a financial checklist that includes the key components that make their household run. By looking at each component, they should be able to determine what financial repairs or maintenance may be necessary.”

AAA offers a range of financial products and services to assist consumers including money market accounts, certificates of deposit, traditional and Roth Individual Retirement Accounts, and AAA credit cards.

“While creating a budget is a great first step toward improved money management, these lists often tinker with existing situations and may not enhance overall financial performance,” Gerhard said. “Consumers that fix each of the major financial components in their household – including income, spending, saving, insurance, credit and taxes – are more likely to have a smoother financial ride,” he said.

Consumers Should Think about Fixing Their Finances like a Technician Maintains a Vehicle, AAA says

Knowing what to look for and reviewing these areas on a regular basis are the keys to successfully spotting and preventing car trouble as well as financial problems. AAA suggests consumers inspect their major financial components for the following:

Component 1: Income

Know to the nearest dollar your total annual income as well as your monthly income from all sources, including salaries, interest, support payments and tax refunds.

To make sure you know your income, review last year’s income tax return, your year-end paycheck or the withholding statement your employer files with federal and state tax authorities. Look at bank account statements and other potential income records. Many people overestimate their take-home or spendable income and then spend more than they make. Knowing what you really earn – not just your gross income – is important when planning where and how far you can go, as well as when to stop.

Component 2: Spending

Make a list of all of your monthly and annual expenses including rent, mortgage payment, utilities, loans, insurance and other predictable bills. Start writing down all spending, or log it on a computer. You need to know where your money is going before you can change direction. Ask yourself if there are ways you can make spending less money part of your normal routine, such as by using coupons, paying with a credit card that earns reward points or by using AAA’s Show Your Card & Save® program. Consumers that frequently go out of their way to save money on a gallon of gasoline should adopt the same mindset in other areas of spending.

Component 3: Savings

Saving for retirement, a home, automobile, education or even a dream vacation is an essential part of sound money management. Having an emergency fund of ready cash equivalent to six months of income also is important. Are you spending all the money you make each month, or are you planning to go the distance by setting money aside for emergencies and future goals? If so, do you have a fixed plan and are you following it? It is best to save a pre-set amount each time you are paid and to place the money in an account that is not easily accessed for other purposes, such as in a money market account or a certificate of deposit. When doing so, make sure you are earning maximum available interest on your money and that all deposits are federally insured against loss. Even small differences in the amount of interest your deposits earn can make a big difference over time. There are a variety of sites that let consumers compare rates. AAA offers better-than-average rates on FDIC-insured certificates of deposit and money market accounts to members.

Component 4: Insurance

Having the right insurance and the right amount of insurance is a way to help protect ourselves against financial calamities. Reviewing your policies and coverage at the start of each year makes sense because the value of assets change over time and our financial responsibilities do too. Most of us understand the need for auto and home insurance, but many of us do not have medical coverage, life insurance or liability protection. Although insurance isn’t cheap, not having the coverage you need when you need it can be financially ruinous to your household. If you have not reviewed your coverage in some time or know you are missing important protection you need, take time to speak with an insurance agent.

Component 5: Credit

The terms and availability of credit have changed dramatically in recent months. Things that have not changed are the need to establish and keep a good credit score and to use available credit wisely. If making more than the minimum payments is a problem or you have a high amount of debt from multiple sources, credit payment consolidation or refinancing might make sense. Working with a registered consumer credit counseling service to adjust repayment terms may be another option to explore. Beware of services that promise miracles, however. If credit debt isn’t burdensome, keep it that way by only charging items that will be repaid at the end of each month and by carrying a balance only when an emergency expense is incurred; such as a major vehicle repair. Cards that offer reward points and cash back – such as the AAA WorldPoints Reward or Cash Rewards Credit Cards – are a good idea when interest rates are competitive with cards that don’t offer such rewards.

Component 6: Taxes

Keeping more of the money you earn in the form of tax savings is an excellent way to improve your household balance sheet. The federal government provides several ways for savers to enjoy tax-advantaged savings plans to assist with eventual retirement expenses. These include traditional and Roth Individual Retirement Accounts and various savings plans, such as a 401K account. When looking for tax savings it is always a good idea to consult with a tax professional. If they recommend investing in a traditional or Roth Individual Retirement Account, AAA can help. It’s no secret most Americans are not saving enough for retirement. Don’t let another year pass without planning ahead.

Once you have completed your financial tune-up keep your budget in shape by performing regular maintenance checkups, AAA recommends. Just as a vehicle needs to have its oil changed and its tires rotated, your finances need to be reviewed from time to time to be sure nothing is amiss and you won’t be left stranded. A weekly or monthly review of your budget is essential, and a quarterly look at where you are in reaching your longer-range financial goals is a good idea too.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 51 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

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