Car insurance rates can be crippling, especially if you’re young, have been caught up in accidents, or if you’re not able to afford to latest state-of-the-art car with futuristic safety features. Though car insurance premiums can be a pain to pay, here we offer you 8 tips on lowering your car insurance rates in 2018.
1. Car insurance discounts
There are numerous discounts which you may be entitled to with your auto insurance, here are but a few examples!
LOW MILEAGE – Do you drive less than 7,500 miles per year? You may get a 5-15% discount on your car insurance! Some insurance companies even offer discounts if you do some of your travel via public transport such as buses or subways.
MULTI-CAR DEALS – You may see 10-25% discounts on your comprehensive, collision, and liability premiums if you have more than one vehicle on the same insurance policy.
MODERN CAR DISCOUNTS – Does your car have airbags, anti-lock brakes, and automatic seat belts? Perhaps it has tracking systems and anti-theft alarms? You could see discounts from 5-30% depending on how modern and safe or thief-proof your car is.
2. Complete a traffic course
You can often see a 5-15% discount if you take a traffic course to improve your driving skills. The eligibility for these tests varies from state to state, however. Traffic school courses are usually 4 to 6 hours long, and can be done online, in person, or via a mixture of the two. They often set you back around $25 to $75, though you’ll make that back in discounts quickly. You may remove points from your record for minor traffic violations, though you can’t get this AND a discount. New York, however, is an exception to this rule.
3. Watch your credit report closely
Auto insurance companies take many factors into account when calculating your premiums, and your credit history is one of them. Some states have made this illegal, but in many, it remains a legal and common practice. Pay your bills on time and maintain a decent credit rating; it will help you to seem low-risk and therefore help to keep your car insurance rates down. The difference in auto insurance rates for “good credit” drivers and “poor credit” drivers is a staggering 67%.
4. Be a safe driver
It sounds so obvious, but it’s true. People with no traffic violations or accidents get lower insurance rates (over time) as they are simply presenting themselves as low-risk (i.e. safe) drivers. A single speeding ticket can increase your auto insurances rates 11-13%, so why take the risk with your life and your insurance premiums?
5. Invest in a safer car
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Vehicle Safety Ratings Page (long name) contains a list of all the safety ratings for various cars, taking multiple factors into account. Prioritize safety ratings when you buy a new car, as you’ll likely decrease your insurance rates and better protect your own life!
6. Discounts for paying in full
You can usually see a 5-10% discount if you pay your car insurance premium in full, rather than spreading the payments out over an extended period. Though many people cannot afford to do this straight away, it could save you hundreds of dollars over the year.
7. Evaluate what you really need from your policy
Do you really need comprehensive and collision coverage? Vehicles that are worth less than $3,000 or less than 10 years old simply don’t require these forms of coverage. According to the Insurance Information Institute, getting rid of comprehensive and collision coverage (assuming you don’t need them) could save you around $660 per year on average.
8. Compare the market
As with any form of insurance, you should be sure to compare the rates, policies, and details of different insurers. Auto insurers have slightly different methods of ascertaining how much you will pay, so one insurer could happen to see you in a much more favorable light than another.
Among the myriad of circumstances used to calculate your auto insurance rates, your insurance could significantly drop (or spike) if you get married, move house, have an accident, buy a new car, or add a young driver to a household policy.
Consider taking the customer service ratings (and customer reviews) of the insurers into account when making your decision, as insurance companies are notorious for wanting to escape paying out whenever they can. Evaluate what is most important to you, what price you’re willing to pay, and what excess you’re willing to pay, assuming it is applicable. It pays to compare competing companies!
Looking for more help with lowering your car insurance rates? Get in touch today and we’ll be able to help you with a personalized plan which aims to lower your auto insurance rates for good.
We love our dogs… the wagging tails… the kisses. And yet dog ownership has challenges. Dogs bite more than 4.5 million people each year. Of those, nearly 900,000 are severe enough to require medical intervention.
In addition, dog bites are costly. The typical cost per canine attack case settled through insurance is over $28,000. It’s a big number. It’s also why home insurance rates go up when you get a new dog…
Thankfully, there are actions you can take to decrease the chances of your dog biting or attacking someone.
First, choose your dog carefully. There are varying viewpoints on whether dogs of certain types are much more hazardous than others are or if home atmosphere has more to do with a pet’s nature. Speak with your veterinarian regarding prospective behavior and also wellness problems connected with details breeds.
Also, talk to our team about potential dog breeds that may be excluded from being protected your insurance coverage representative regarding breeds omitted from protection under your house owner’s insurance plan.
Next, introduce your family pet to your pet early. Well-socialized puppies are more likely to become grown-up pets who feel comfortable around people and other animals. It’s also good to keep exposing your dog to new situations…
Also be sure you you keep your child is older because nearly 50% of all severe dog bites involve youngsters. A good age is at least 4 years old. Kids of this age are better able to understand how to behave around your dog. And NEVER leave your baby or young child alone with a dog, no matter how much you trust the dog.
Finally, be sure to take care of your dog’s health. From spaying or neutering to controlling parasites… your dog’s health impacts their attitude. Be sure your dog also is seen by a vet regularly an is properly vaccinated.
Whether you already own a pet dog or are considering bringing a pooch into your home, give us a call to assess your insurance coverage responsibility coverage for bites and various other pet-related injuries. We’re here to help!
Have an apartment or a house? You naturally need home insurance. The challenge is most people get home insurance and then ignore it.
The thing is, as time goes by your living situation changes. You may acquire more things like jewelry or art. You may make improvements to your home. You might have added a home theater.
In any case, you need your insurance to keep pace with your personal situation and to ensure your property and things are sufficiently protected.
There’s no magic time to think about home insurance policy … so have a look at these tips on the best ways to get the most value in your home owners plan.
Manage Your Credit
Credit scores impact insurance costs in many situations. The better your credit, the lower your insurance costs. Maintaining a strong credit rating is in your favor.
Allow Us to Search For The Best Home Insurance Deals For You
As an independent insurance agency we offer insurance from a variety of carriers … one phone call to our team is all that’s required to have us spring into action and shop for fantastic rates among numerous insurance providers. We’ll save you time & stress in the process.
Examine Your Deductible
Talk with us about your insurance deductible. The key is to make certain your deductible is something you could manage to pay in case of a serious issue. For a claim on a residence, one general rule is to have the deductible be high enough that you don’t leverage your insurance for “simply anything” that fails with your house. Home insurance really should be reserved for urgent scenarios. The higher the deductible the more you can save … some premiums can be cut by up to 30 percent.
Look into Discounts
If you have two or even more insurance policies (car/ residence for example) with the same service provider, you could save up to 15% off the plans. Certainly give us a call to explore your options …
Ensure You Aren’t Over-Insured
Some people believe getting even more insurance than they need will give them some type of benefit. It will not. You need an adequate amount of protection to cover the cost of replacing your residence and also its valuables. As an example, if your home is of moderate construction, you won’t insure it to replace with luxury materials. Likewise, you also need to protect yourself from being under-insured as well. The key here is to have an candid conversation with our insurance team so that we could make certain you have the RIGHT insurance.
One Last Suggestion
Many carriers offer additional discounts when you have been with them at the very least 3 to 5 years … so keep that in mind as you examine your property owners policy. As always, remember we’re here to help you, so call us today to earn certain you are obtaining the greatest worth from your insurance.
Most people will not argue the need to have car insurance for their cars because they know that how important auto insurance is to cover difficult situations such as theft, natural disasters, and accidents.
However, what most car-owners don’t know is how to avoid certain car insurance challenges. Some of the the most common mistakes range from paying too much, not having adequate coverage for your insurance needs, or signing up for redundant policies.
Here are some other challenges…
Not fully understanding the coverage you’ve purchased
Do not be deceived by the term “full coverage”. You might not be as covered as you think you are. Never make assumptions about the coverage you have or don’t have. Always get clarity on your insurance contract. Your agent should be happy to help you understand. And if they leave you with more questions than answers, we’re here to help!
Not asking about discounts
There are numerous discounts you may be entitled to have, such as price reductions, discounts for seniors, students, safe drivers, and lots more. Also, you could save on your premiums based on how your vehicle is equipped. Never fear of asking your insurance agent for discounts. They add up!
Neglecting to compare rates
While shopping for insurance isn’t really fun, getting multiple quotes is beneficial… comparing rates benefits your wallet and gives you peace of mind. The good news is that as an independent agency we compare rates between multiple carriers to find the best policies for our clients!
Purchasing only the state-required minimum
Purchasing state minimums for your insurance may keep your insurance premiums low. However, it will always cost you more if and when you need to make a claim. It is advisable to pay a little bit extra just for that peace of mind. That way you will be ready for anything that comes your way with complete coverage.
Avoiding these car insurance mistakes is easy and we’ll gladly help. If you have questions about car insurance, please reach out to us!
Choosing the right insurance policy can be an excruciating process for many people, and they try as fast as possible to get through it. When getting auto insurance, most people prefer to go with a company they know or one they often see on TV. Often, folks discover too late via terrible customer service or a complicated claim filling process that their auto insurance is doing more harm than good.
The smarter way to buy auto insurance
Vehicles are not assets, but a liability. They start depreciating the moment you put on your ignition and start to drive home. Right from there, your car will continue to lose value and cost you money. No one wants to lose their vehicle or overspend on the car for repairs after an accident. So it’s wise to take time and choose the right auto insurance policy suitable for you and your needs.
There are several things you can do when choosing an auto insurance plan. The first is to check all details of what is included in the package. A lot of people pay little or no attention to these details until an accident occurs. Of course by then, it’s too late. And some folks also make the mistake of opting for the lowest quote they can get. However, they fail to understand that the coverage is insufficient.
A lot of people will think that by omitting family members who drive the car “occasionally” that they are saving money. However, they may be voiding their insurance altogether. It’s best to really thoroughly discuss your situation and planned car-use to be sure you have adequate insurance coverage.
Prepare for the future
If you go to a little extra effort to protect your vehicle with the right insurance, you can significantly decrease the potential risks you face.
Always have it in the back of your mind that the cheapest insurance policy isn’t always the best option for you. You will have to consider several factors before choosing an insurance provider. Apart from the price, other factors to consider include customer service, feedback from customers, and financial stability.
Oh, and we offer an extra benefit. We secure quotes between multiple carriers to help you find the most competitive rates. That means we take care of the shopping for you.
And if you’re on the lookout for great information about insurance topics that impact health and your pocketbook, check back here often. And please contact us anytime for all insurance related questions.
Each auto insurance policy is a collection of policy options bundled together. The size, configuration, and protection for auto insurance policies will vary by the policyholder.
Here’s how auto insurance policies break down, and what that means for you:
Liability Insurance. Liability insurance is the coverage necessary for driving legally in most states. Auto liability insurance will pay to victims in accidents where the insured is at-fault, within limits. The driver at-fault and any passengers in the at-fault vehicle will not be compensated.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance. If hit by a driver without insurance or inadequate insurance for the damages, uninsured/underinsured coverage can compensate for the difference.
Bodily Injury Liability Insurance (BIL). BIL coverage covers the medical expenses for victims of at-fault accidents. BIL inclusions are often listed as pairs, such as “25/50”. The first number in this ratio is the maximum dollar amount per claimant. The second is the maximum amount of liability insurance covered by the policy.
Collision Insurance. Collision insurance covers repairs to the vehicle following a mishap. Collision insurance is optional coverage and can pay for single-vehicle claims as well.
Property Damage Liability Insurance. Oftentimes, property damages are included in a vehicle mishap. Looking at BIL coverage, there may be a third number listed. For example, property damage limits of 25,000 on a 25/50 BIL policy will be included last, listed as 25/50/25.
Comprehensive Auto Insurance. Loss can occur without there being an accident. For vehicles stolen or damaged in a way uncovered by other policy inclusions, comprehensive coverage can cover repairs or replacement.
Personal Injury Protection. Regardless of fault, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance can cover medical expenses for both driver and passengers. Policies may also include compensation for lost wages during recovery.
Auto insurance is more than a protective measure, it’s a legal requirement just about everywhere. For more on the minimum auto insurance requirements for your state, contact a local auto insurance agent. The consequences for uninsured driving can be costly.
The legal minimum is a guide for ensuring drivers on the road are able to fulfill potential responsibilities. In cases where the claim exceeds coverage limits, the burden falls on the driver at-fault. To help avoid paying costs out-of-pocket, ask about increasing insurance coverage limits. As assets may be seized for repair costs, matching insurance coverage limits to total personal asset value is recommended.
Getting the Right Amount of Insurance
There’s more to getting the right amount of insurance. Many people are paying more than necessary for protection. Insurance protection can overlap depending on policy options, employer benefits, and other insurance coverage. Get the best savings by speaking with an agent. A review of insurance protection can help get the best protection while saving money.
Personal means for procuring insurance will affect how much coverage is possible, yet through discounts and bundling options, there may be more options available than at first glance. Deductible amounts vary by person and will affect insurance rates. Selecting the highest-affordable deductible helps deliver the lowest rates. This means paying more in case of a claim, yet oftentimes can be cheaper than paying higher monthly rates.
In FL, HI, KS, MA, MI, MN, NJ, NY, ND, PA, UT, and Puerto Rico, drivers are required to carry N0-Fault Insurance. This insurance pays out regardless of fault and limits litigation options. These policies tend to be pricey and shopping for the best rates can lead to big savings.
Shopping for Car Insurance
With personal coverage limits in mind, it’s time to begin comparing rates and policy options. Auto policies and rates vary depending on driver history, the vehicle, location and more. Speak to an independent insurance agent for help finding the best auto insurance policy match.
Independent insurance agents return quotes for multiple insurance carriers. This places the power to choose in the hands of the buyer. With multiple quotes, it’s simple to compare rates and coverage. An independent agent can help tailor a policy to fit your lifestyle and financial profile. Incredibly more in-depth than an anonymous online quote quotes from independent insurance agents are far more accurate, tailored by someone invested in your policy.
Rather than working directly with a single major carrier, independent insurance agents are free to work for the customer, making carriers compete. Agents working directly for carriers are limited to their policies and rules, severely limiting their means to personalize a policy.
Negotiating for Discounts on Insurance
Ask about insurance discounts. Many insurance discounts are available and can change depending on carrier. Bundling discounts, safety discounts, student discounts and many others are available. An independent agent is your insurance representative. Their goal is your satisfaction. Contact an independent agent for a list of auto insurance quotes today.
Vehicle collisions happen each day to drivers of all ages. They are part of life in big cities and small towns. Knowing the correct actions to take following an auto collision can have a lasting impact on insurance premiums and possible legal repercussions. Take the correct measures to stay protected. Here are 6 steps to take following a vehicle collision:
1. Get to Safety
The action to take following an auto collision is getting to safety. Depending on the situation, this could mean moving a vehicle safely to the shoulder or exiting the automobile immediately. Always place safety as the top priority above all else. Create distance from moving traffic and other hazards before moving ahead.
2. Evaluate for Injury
A vehicle collision sends the adrenaline response into overdrive. Shock can distract from injuries. Check for personal injuries and encourage all others involved to do the same. If any back or neck injuries are suspected, immobilization is recommended. Any medically trained personnel can perform first aid if the situation allows.
3. Contact First Responders
After moving to safety and applying immediate first aid, call 911 and request aid. This is recommended any time there’s a vehicle collision, regardless of severity. Injuries may take days or longer to appear. Additionally, insurance carriers may reference official records following a vehicle collision.
4. Collect Information
With safety and first aid under control, it’s time to collect pertinent information from the people involved. More than driver name and car insurance carrier, thoroughly record the scene. Take photographs of the vehicles, damage, and the scene. Speak to the first responders to gather any relevant information. Trauma can affect short-term memory. Record responses for simple reference and accuracy.
5. Be Cooperative
Following a vehicle collision, you may be in a heightened state of emotional response. This can make it challenging to be cooperative with other drivers and first responders. Other drivers are likely energized as well and may be challenging to communicate with. Be part of the solution.
6. Exercise Neutrality
One of the first gut responses following a vehicle collision or other trauma is talk it out. It’s perfectly natural yet following a vehicle collision a casual remark may cause trouble. After a vehicle collision, stay neutral with other drivers, witnesses, and responders. This includes remaining silent on social media channels. Inadvertently admitting fault may lead to increased insurance premiums and more.
Afterward, contact an insurance agent to report the collision and begin a claim. Agents are ready to help overcome vehicle collisions so you can get back on the road. Auto collisions are equal-opportunists and can happen anywhere. Prepare with comprehensive auto insurance and drive protected.
Homeowners are taking too many risks with insurance coverage. According to a recent study by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), only a small percentage of homeowners plan for natural disasters when updating insurance plans. Approximately 4/5 homeowners are lacking sufficient insurance protection. Saving a couple of bucks today may cost a lot tomorrow. The Commission encourages all homeowners to consider updating insurance plans to include adequate coverage for natural disasters.
This past year, the nation watched as Houston and the Gulf states were struck by catastrophic flooding. In the Southwest, Northern Nevada was subject to catastrophic flooding as well. Many of the local homeowners found only too late their homeowners’ insurance policies lacked coverage for floods. In California, wildfires have ravaged the landscape leaving the door open for mudslides and erosion.
For most damages caused by natural disasters, additional insurance protection is required. The Commission’s survey found over half of homeowners were unfamiliar with their insurance policy. Between 2005 and 2015, natural disasters led to $24 billion in insurance claims. For those with protection, that’s a lot of savings.
Speak to an agent to review and update your homeowners’ insurance policy. In some cases, insurance coverage will have a mandatory waiting period before taking effect. Before disaster strikes, ask an agent about extra insurance protection for:
A local agent will be familiar with other potential hazards specific to the area.
Additional questions to think about when updating a homeowners insurance policy include:
Matching homeowners insurance protection with the property protected will ensure compensation is swift and appropriate in case of a natural disaster.
Take steps to help keep home and property safe during a natural disaster. Always stay aware of local emergency warnings and follow official instructions for evacuation and disaster response.
Drivers may be leaving some details out on their insurance policies. A lot of drivers it would seem, as a recent poll found over 80% of drivers fudge the details when obtaining a car insurance policy. There are a number of ways to save on car insurance from safe-driver discounts to policy bundling. Falsifying details to save money will likely cost more in the long run.
According to the survey, the top 5 ways drivers try to mislead insurance carriers are:
1. Misrepresenting annual mileage
2. Listing an incorrect primary driver
3. Falsifying the purpose of the vehicle (personal, commercial, etc)
4. Submitting misleading information about vehicle location
5. Omitting previous insurance claims history
For most people submitting false information, the primary motivation is financial gain. This is a risky gamble with potentially costly consequences.
Insurance carriers are on the lookout for this. Insurers are likely to void policies with intentional omissions or misrepresentations. This can be particularly risky in case of a claim as falsified policies may be dropped right when you need coverage most. That means that in case of a car accident, drivers can find themselves on the hook for extensive medical and property damages.
Falsifying insurance documents can have long-term impacts on insurance policy availability and the prices for premiums. Insurance carriers may be unwilling to carry policies for a driver with a history of telling “white lies”. Beyond higher future premiums, there is more than continuous auto insurance coverage at stake. Call it what you may, a “white lie” is an intentional omission. In the eyes of the law, this is considered insurance fraud, punishable by both fines and incarceration.
On the brighter side, it’s still possible to get great rates on comprehensive auto insurance plans. Our agents can help find the maximum number of discounts for honest coverage at affordable rates.
Entrepreneurs utilizing personal vehicles for business may want to consider extra insurance protection. Making deliveries and service calls with personal vehicles may limit insurance coverage. This can be true for accidents while working or while on personal business. A local small business owner learned this the hard way. On the way to visit a friend there was a collision resulting in significant damage to the vehicle. Although her personal policy would generally cover the damages the insurance company denied the claim. Personal auto insurance policies extend to protect many small business owners yet in some cases, vehicles employed for specific commercial purposes may be excluded from coverage.
Most small business owners are protected under personal auto insurance policies. In some cases though, the commercial purpose for the vehicle may limit or forfeit coverage. For cars and trucks performing deliveries, equipped with commercial license plates, carrying passengers and emergency vehicles extra insurance coverage is necessary. In this case, the driver owned a small business selling heaters and a small part of that included deliveries.
The owner recently switched insurance carriers online to save money. Checking the box during the quotation process, they reported 30% of the vehicle mileage related to business purposes. Reviewing the insurance claim and the business services after the collision, the claim and repayment were denied. Shocked, the business owner learned the limits of personal auto insurance protection too late. This leaves the owner with a damaged personal and business vehicle, without compensation from the auto insurer.
Business owners mixing personal and business trips with the same vehicle may want to consider extra insurance protection. For more information on personal and commercial auto insurance policies contact an agent. We’re always keeping up with insurance-related topics that may impact health or wallet. For any questions about insurance, call anytime for answers.