Archive for the ‘Automobile (Personal)’ Category

Best ways to prevent a big increase in Auto Insurance rates   Leave a comment

What is the one thing that consumers do that causes auto insurance prices to go WAY up? You may be surprised to know that it is NOT necessarily a ticket or violation but rather a lapse in coverage. That’s right if you allow your policy to expire and have a gap between policies or you simple fail to pay your insurance bill this can cause an increase as high as 50%. Why? It is the law and you are required to have coverage in order to maintain a license tag in Florida. Just as the State considers it unacceptable and irresponsible to drive without insurance so do insurance companies.

So what’s the best way to prevent a lapse? That is simple, most companies offer an EFT payment option which actually often gives you a discount as well as a much lower down payment in exchange for electronically accepting payment each month automatically from your account.

Another tip for BIG savings, Pay your policy in full instead of making monthly payments. This is not always an option when cash flow is limited and that is why payments plans exist but it frequently can be 20% savings to pay in full for 6 month or a year. The Department of Insurance allows companies to submit rate changes twice a year in most cases so if you get a 12 month policy instead of 6 months you may push that rate increase off for another 6 months.

If you think your insurance rates are too high give us a call or check out our website to request an instant quote online. Have your policy and vehicle information handy for the most accurate quote.get-quote-button

”Our blogs are for general education and information only and may not represent your unique needs. Coverage will vary. Please contact your agent to verify your specific policy terms and conditions.”

Posted February 5, 2015 by leecountyinsurance in Automobile (Personal)

Tagged with , , , ,

So What’s this Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Why should I have it?   Leave a comment

20130505_155021

You can be the most responsible driver in the world and have your very own auto insurance coverage plan but there are an untold number of drivers out there on the city streets and freeways who drive without any insurance and have no concern for what might happen after an accident. What happens if you get hit by a car owner without any car insurance?

Uninsured Motorist Insurance

This is where uninsured motorist coverage comes into play. It is estimated that in some states up to 25% of drivers don’t have any form of auto insurance, which is a staggering figure when you think about it. That’s 1 in every 4 cars around you as you trudge along during your morning commute. And if these people are irresponsible enough not to insure their cars, how responsible do you think their driving habits are going to be when they are out on the roads?

Uninsured motorist insurance coverage can pay for, medical expenses for you and your passengers and in some cases to your property in the car if you are hit by someone who is at fault in the accident. This additional auto insurance is highly recommended by most industry experts as it seems the number of uninsured motorists is growing due to the state of the national economy.

When you can barely pay your bills for housing and food it is easy to look at car insurance as an expendable monthly expense. Now, you may know that isn’t a wise but that doesn’t mean the person in that car in the lane next to you feels the same way. We have all heard about hit and run drivers and usually these people do so because they are uninsured. Such an incident would be covered for you if you have uninsured motorist coverage.

What Can Uninsured Motorist Coverage Pay For?

Adding uninsured motorist coverage to your current plan is usually relatively inexpensive considering how ably it can protect you from financial ruin in the case of a catastrophic accident. Not only does uninsured motorist insurance pay for damage to your car and medical expenses but it can also cover the cost of lost wages and pain and suffering.

Millions of Americans are out of work and are in dire financial straits, so now more than ever having underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage is an absolute must. If someone has no car insurance and no money to pay you for your costs after an accident, you will be fully responsible for all that financial burden without uninsured motorist insurance coverage. Don’t let someone else’s irresponsibility or personal financial struggle put you or your family at risk and ask your insurance agent about uninsured motorist coverage.

Uninsured motorist coverage is not the same in all states and coverage will vary depending on where you live and where your policy is based on. Please consult your agent and your policy regarding specific questions you may have.

“Our blogs are for general education and information only and may not represent your unique needs. Coverages will vary. Please contact your insurance agent to verify your specific policy terms and conditions.”

Driving Factors Influence Auto Insurance Rates   Leave a comment

Rates for auto insurance coverage for individuals is determined by the number of risks associated with covering a driver. An individual that appears to be more of a risk to insure is more likely to pay a higher premium than the person with a clean driving record and a stable lifestyle.

How can I lower my auto insurance coverage rate?

An individual can lower their auto insurance premiums by altering their driving habits. A driver can work on improving or maintaining a better driving record. One can also reduce his or her driving routine by joining a carpool or taking public transportation.

Do I actually need auto insurance coverage?

Yes. Most car dealers require that a person provide proof of coverage at the time of a car purchase. Most states have regulations in place that require a certain amount of insurance coverage. In some states, a person can avoid having auto insurance coverage if they can prove that they have substantial resources to cover the costs of an accident.

Am I eligible for auto insurance coverage discounts?

A person that takes a defensive driver course may be able to secure a discount from their auto insurance coverage provider. A person in school may also be eligible for a good student discount if their GPA remains at a certain level. Some individuals can also receive partial refunds for going a specified amount of time without an incident. Others may belong to a professional organization with a relationship with a certain provider that offers discounts to members.

Does age play a role in how much I pay for auto insurance coverage?

Yes. Males under the age of 25 pay a larger amount in insurance because they are viewed as risky. Men in their late twenties are more likely to be married and have a more stable life. For this reason, their insurance premiums can be reduced. Individuals in their fifties are also able to receive lower premiums. This category of individuals is more likely to drive less and have better driving records. Teen drivers are typically inexperienced, so there are more risks associated with insuring younger drivers.

“Our blogs are for general education and information only and may not represent your unique needs. Coverages will vary. Please contact your insurance agent to verify your specific policy terms and conditions.”

Posted September 4, 2012 by leecountyinsurance in Automobile (Personal)

How to save money on your car insurance   Leave a comment

In these times, saving a little extra here and there can mean a lot to all of us so here are some tips when purchasing auto insurance that you could discuss with your independent agent.

Since auto insurance rates differ from insurance company to insurance company, it pays to shop around for the best coverage that suites your needs, and honestly cheaper does not always mean better! Independent insurance agents represent several insurance companies, so they have the ability to compare multiple insurance companies and policies to find the one that’s right for you and your family.
In addition to having your independent agent shop around, there are other steps you can discuss with them to possibly lower your insurance premiums.

Make sure your policy info up to date? Moving, getting married, kids with good grades, or if it has been at least three years since your last driving violation may offer you a reduction in your auto premium. Have your independent insurance agent check with the companies. You may be eligible for lower premium.

Are you carrying the appropriate coverage for your car? Some times the age of your car and the cost associated with extra coverage may not be worth the expense. If you own an older or inexpensive car you may want to consider dropping comprehensive and collision coverage. That can often save hundreds of dollars each year. Discuss this with your independent insurance agent.

Know the costs ahead of time. If you are in the market for a new car, you may want to bounce a few cars off your independent insurance agent for some estimates in premiums. Generally economy cars that are not considered “Sports Cars” are less expensive to insure.

Are you carrying too much coverage? Some times there are add-ons associated with your auto insurance that are not necessary like possibly rental car reimbursement. This may be a part of your warrantee with the dealer, and you may be duplicating coverage. There could be other little items you may want to look at too that will reduce costs. Discuss these with your independent insurance agent

Raise your deductible. According to the Insurance Information Institute, raising your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce your Collision and Comprehensive costs by 15 to 20 percent. Your independent insurance agent can show you how raising your deductible can lower your premium.

Discounts? Ask your independent agent what are all of the possible discounts associated with buying a policy from a particular carrier they represent. Each carrier has some different features so you will want to discuss the best solution for you and your family.

Do you have more than one policy with the same company? Some times this is good and other times it may not be. Your independent agent is uniquely qualified to quote your policies with the appropriate carriers that may offer specialized coverages and services. “Bundling” or “Unbundling” your policies might save you a bundle!

Posted September 4, 2012 by leecountyinsurance in Automobile (Personal)

Insurance Does Not Cover Maintenance Issues   Leave a comment

The insurance you carry on your vehicle does not cover vehicle breakdown due to  equipment failure, and even your warrantee may have exclusions if you do not maintain your vehicle correctly,  so it is important that you take care of your vehicle…especially if you don’t want to be stranded somewhere. Below are the main things you should pay attention to, and you can look in your owner’s manual for other maintenance items and timelines, and some you could do yourself. Other things you may need to have a qualified mechanic with the expertise and equipment to do the job correctly for you.

Change the oil and oil filter regularly
.
The owner’s manual for your car will specify exactly how often you should do this, but a good rule of thumb is to change them every 3,000 to 4,000 miles. If you change the oil and filter yourself, be sure to dispose of the used oil properly.

Check all the fluids.
This includes brake, power steering, transmission, transaxle, windshield washer and antifreeze fluids. Your owner’s manual will tell you how to check these. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, have a mechanic do it.

Check the air pressure level in your tires at least once a month.

Your owner’s manual should specify the ideal air pressure for your particular tire. If not, check on the outside of the tire. It is always listed on the sidewall.

Make sure all your lights work.
Check you headlights, turn signals, brake lights and taillights.

Replace the windshield wiper blades periodically.

If your wiper blades are cracked or torn, or if they begin to streak, it’s time to replace them.

Inspect the engine belts.
They should not look dry or frayed. Some belts are easy to change, but some you may need a mechanic.

Check the air filter.
The filter should be clean, not clogged or damaged. This will also help with fuel economy.

“Our blogs are for general education and information only and may not represent your unique needs. Coverages will vary. Please contact your insurance agent to verify your specific policy terms and conditions.”

Posted September 4, 2012 by leecountyinsurance in Automobile (Personal), General Info

Some Tips For a Safe Long-Distance Road Trip   Leave a comment

You know, whether you’re traveling by yourself or with a good friend, or the entire family, that is pretty much what we as Americans do for one of our favorite past-times. Even with the economy the way it is, there will be countless vacation travelers driving the highways this summer and creating ever lasting memories to cherish for a lifetime! If these adventures are in your plans this summer, you may want to take the time to prepare for that “road trip.” Rest assured, if you plan ahead, you will enjoy your trip so much more. Here are a few driving tips to help you plan for your adventure:

1) Make Sure Your Car Maintenance is Up-To-Date. We would not tell you to do the maintenance a day before your trip, but make sure you go through your vehicle thoroughly and your vehicle is up to date on its maintenance schedule. Most importantly, be sure to check the battery, fluids, belts, and tires. Check the spare as well!

2) Plan Your Trip Ahead of Time. Make sure you get all of your directions ahead of time to make it there safely. Have a contingent route in case there are issues while in route. Most everyone has a GPS these days, but a few paper maps won’t hurt! With this type of planning, you’re more likely to make better decisions in dangerous situations, if you’re clearheaded and know exactly where you’re going.

3) Always Be Alert. We know this is an obvious statement, but driver inattention is one of the biggest causes of accidents. Staying focused behind the wheel will ensure a safer and more enjoyable trip. Also, if you are using cell phones, make sure you use a hands free earpiece. Cell phones can be a lifesaver when you need immediate access to emergency services after an accident, so keep your phone within easy reach and get to know its features, but be prepared to use it hands free…if driving. Studies show that cell phone usage and texting while driving increases the chance of accidents.

5) Always Wear Your Seat Belt. It doesn’t matter if they are required by law in the state through which you’re driving; you should always wear your seat belt as a safety precaution, and make sure everyone else does as well.

6) Drive With You Lights On. Most cars today have automatic lighting these days, but make sure your lights are on while driving since it helps other drivers see you. Also make sure your bright lights are not on as this is distracting to other drivers.

7) Take Immediate Steps if You Are Involved in an Accident. Doing this can protect your family, and vehicle from any further damage. Always stop immediately and move you’re your car off the road to a safe spot that is not hindering traffic. Immediately turn off your vehicle to prevent overheating or worse yet… catching fire. Make sure you warn oncoming cars using road flares or orange triangle reflectors, but do this in a safe fashion. Call 911 for assistance, and last but not least, when all is safe, call your insurance agent or company.

8) Make Sure Your Auto Insurance is Up-To-Date. Most people over look this, but make sure you review your policy (with your agent if need be) before you leave on your trip. You want to make sure you’re protected when on the road and away from home. Your independent insurance agent or broker can provide that personal service and advice you need to travel in confidence. That is the value they add to your coverage and they should enjoy helping you and your family enjoy your wonderful road trip!

“Our blogs are for general education and information only and may not represent your unique needs. Coverages will vary. Please contact your insurance agent to verify your specific policy terms and conditions.”

Posted September 4, 2012 by leecountyinsurance in Automobile (Personal)

Diminished Value and Automobile Physical Damage Coverage   Leave a comment

If a person has a car accident and has coverage for an automobile’s physical damage, the insured expects the insurance company to pay for the damage and “return the auto to its previous state”; a state in which the car was before the accident in question. The insurance company does in fact pay; however, the actions taken by the car owner after the repairs are made, such as the sale of the car, are typically impeded by diminished value caused by the repairs.

This car owner suffers monetarily because the car is not worth as much as it was before the damage happened and repairs made. For example, a car’s valued market price is $10,000 and the owner has an accident of which repairs cost $4,000. The owner decides to sell after repairs are made, but because the car was in an accident, the seller only receives $8,000 for the car, which leaves the owner out of pocket for $2,000.

Because of the various interpretations of the statement “previous state,” insurance companies usually will not pay for that $2,000 the car owner lost during its sale because they did return the car to its previous state, according to the repairs made. The insurance companies argue that the car has experienced a diminished value and there is nothing they can do. However, diminished value insurance can be added to a Physical Damage auto policy in some states. This form of coverage will pay out the difference between the original sale price and the diminished value price, should there in fact be a difference.

Automobile physical damage and diminished value insurance coverage protects an automobile owner for when damage to the car through the event of fire, theft, or other such loss suffered to the car, including diminished value in some cases, such as a third-party claim.

“Our blogs are for general education and information only and may not represent your unique needs. Coverages will vary. Please contact your insurance agent to verify your specific policy terms and conditions.”

Posted September 4, 2012 by leecountyinsurance in Automobile (Personal)

How to protect your business commercial auto risks in three easy steps   Leave a comment

Your business is only as safe as the tools you use. One of the best tools your business can use to protect your assets is a commercial auto insurance policy.

Understanding insurance can be tricky. That is why you should consult an independent insurance agent since one of the first steps toward making informed decisions is to understand your coverage and service options. Here are some easy steps to help you figure out your commercial auto insurance risks and needs:

1. Make sure you choose an insurer with the right combination of price and service options to suite your needs. Insurance isn’t just about price. It’s about the service, too. How are claims handled? How fast are they settled? How long will it take to get your vehicle back on the road? Do you have access to someone to assist you outside of business hours or online, and do they know the answers to your questions?

2. Research all of your policy options. Having the correct coverage is important. Most standard commercial auto policy generally includes coverage for the following:

•Injuries or damage that you create or cause.
•Your driver’s injuries.
•Injuries and damages caused by uninsured or underinsured drivers.
•Damage to, or theft of, your vehicle(s).

When it comes to the damage that you may cause, you may be required by your carrier to purchase certain limits based on who you work for. For instance, if you work for a certain company, you may be required to carry $2 million in liability limits. You will need to consider how much you are willing to pay out of pocket if your liability in an accident is more than your policy limits.

3. Know how your policy is underwritten and priced. You most certainly can control your insurance costs. To get the best rates, run MVRs (motor vehicle reports) on your potential drivers. If you let your insurance lapse (expire), you’ll probably pay more for your next policy. Ask about discounts, including paid-in-full and renewal discounts.

Just like your customers rely on your professional skills, call an independent insurance agent who will be your trusted advisor who will research your options and recommend the best options for your business!

“Our blogs are for general education and information only and may not represent your unique needs. Coverages will vary. Please contact your insurance agent to verify your specific policy terms and conditions.”

Cell phone distraction affects and impedes driving for all but a few of us.   Leave a comment

A recent study out of the University of Utah found that there are very few, a whopping 2.5% of those studied, who can actually multitask by driving safely and talking on their cell phone. Most of the rest of us, 97.5%, could not stand up to the challenge of chatting on our cell phones and driving in a simulated test. It those 97.5% of people, about 20% percent longer to brake when they needed to, compared to how quickly they could brake without the distractions of their cell phone.

So when you are talking on your cell phone and driving, you might think you are one of the few, the proud, the 2.5%, and can do it safely, but there is a 97.5% chance you can’t. A lot of people don’t realize the damage that this can cause to not only property, but to individuals as well, and just because you may be insured, the consequences of cell phone or PDA (personal digital assistant) distractions could be a life changing event and not just damage to property…think about it!

What Is MedPay On My Auto Policy   Leave a comment

What are Medical Payments 

Medical Payments, typically called MedPay coverage, could be a part of your personal auto policy.

It pays for the cost of necessary medical care you receive as a result of an auto accident, and can be used regardless of what party is at fault. MedPay often is limited to the medical treatment you receive within the first three years after a covered accident, and is limited to a specific dollar amount. In some states, MedPay only applies after all other medical insurance is exhausted. Call us to check what yours covers.

An Example

If you sustain $3,500 in injuries from an accident in which you ran into a building, and you do not have any health insurance whatsoever, in most cases this means you can use your MedPay coverage, up to the $1,000 limit you selected, for your injuries. As a result, you will be responsible for the other $2,500 in medical bills.

Posted September 4, 2012 by leecountyinsurance in Automobile (Personal)