Consider Adding Comprehensive and Collision Coverage Before Winter Comes

Auto insurance policies are made up of many different types of coverage, some of which policyholders may either accept or decline. Two coverages that drivers sometimes decline are comprehensive coverage and collision coverage. If you don’t currently have these coverages on your auto insurance policy, you may want to add them before winter comes and driving conditions worsen.

Comprehensive and Collision Coverage

Comprehensive and collision both protect your car, although they provide protection in different circumstances.

In general, comprehensive coverage protects your car from any damage it sustains that isn’t caused by a collision with another moving vehicle. Specific coverage varies, but comprehensive coverage might include protection against damage caused by:

  • hitting an animal

  • a stone hitting your car’s windshield

  • vandals or thieves

  • a hailstorm or thunderstorm

Collision coverage, in contrast, provides protection for your car if it is in a collision while moving. (One exception is hitting an animal, which is usually covered under comprehensive coverage.) If you are at fault for an accident or involved in a no-fault accident, the collision coverage provided by your auto insurance policy may help you repair or replace your car.

As with all coverages, comprehensive and collision coverages come with their own deductibles, which are selected when purchasing a policy. The deductible you select, your car’s value and other factors will affect how much each of these coverages costs.

Declining Comprehensive and Collision in Summer

Often, comprehensive and collision coverages are some of the most expensive coverages in an auto insurance policy. To reduce their premiums, some drivers decline these coverages — especially during the warmer months when the weather is generally fair.

As winter approaches, however, it’s sometimes advisable to purchase these coverages. With winter comes more difficult driving conditions, and the chances of your car being damaged increase. Having comprehensive and collision coverages during winter will make sure your car is insured when it’s most likely to sustain damage. Once winter is over, you can drop these coverages if you’d like.

Finding Affordable Coverages is Easy

Finding affordable comprehensive and collision coverages is easy when you compare quotes online. In fact, you might even be able to find a policy that includes these coverages and isn’t much more than your current policy by shopping around with different insurers. To see how little you could protect your car for this winter, get quotes from auto insurers that serve your area.

Make Sure Your Auto Insurance Plan is Ready for the Holiday Travel Season

Every holiday season, thousands of American drivers take to the road to reunite with loved ones and enjoy the winter season. As part of this preparation, motorists may perform regular maintenance on their car, or make sure their tires are fully inflated. However, the biggest threat to travelers may not be under the hood, but rather just outside their door.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, American roadways will see an increase of 50 percent more drivers. Of them, many will be traveling at least 50 miles to spend the holidays with their loved ones. As a result, drivers are at an increased risk of being in an accident.

Before you head out on the open road, be sure your home and auto are prepared. Here are three things every driver can do before heading over the hills and through the woods to reunite with family.

Check tire pressure: Tire pressure is not just key to proper maintenance and maintaining fuel efficiency. Rather, tire pressure can also help motorists keep good traction in all weather, while maintaining proper stopping power.

Before leaving for the holiday season, start by checking tire pressure on your vehicle. By filling tires to the proper levels, travelers can make sure their vehicles stay safe.

Plan a route ahead of time: While it may be tempting to take the same route you’ve always taken, it may not be the best – or most direct – route to your destination. In some situations, there may be a better way to get to your destination.

By using a GPS system, travelers can route a better direction to their destination and back, potentially with less traffic and easier routing. Be sure to have a map ready as a back-up, to make sure you can get to your destination with ease.

Get a new auto and home insurance quote: Sometimes, maintenance doesn’t just apply to your car. By getting a new auto and home insurance quote, travelers can make sure they are fully covered for whatever happens on their travels.

By comparing multiple quotes for auto and home insurance, holiday drivers can better understand all their options, and select a level of coverage that works best for their needs. Before taking to the holiday road, be sure you are fully covered with a new quote.

Before starting the car, make sure every aspect of your journey is covered. By completing proper maintenance in every aspect, you can make sure your travels are covered and safe this holiday season. 

I Don’t Own the Apartment. What Do I have to Lose? Why Renters Insurance is More Valuable Than You May Think.

If you’re renting an apartment, you may think that you don’t have much financially invested into the property. What you may not realize, however, is that in the event of a disaster, you could be financially liable for more than you think. Do not make the mistake of thinking that your landlord’s insurance policy will protect you from all lost or ruined belongings. You could still find yourself liable for significant costs associated with unexpected damages to furniture or valuables, or for an accidental injury that occurs to a guest in your apartment. As protection against such financial consequences, renters insurance may be a valuable and affordable option to safeguard your personal investments.

As a tenant, even though you do not own the property and even though the landlord carries an insurance policy, there are still scenarios where you are financially liable if a disaster occurs. For example:

  • If your apartment building is destroyed by fire and all of your personal items are ruined, you will have to pay to replace those belongings, and may need to pay for a new permanent, or temporary place to live.
  • If a natural disaster, such as hail or a tornado, strikes and damages your personal property, such as a grill or patio furniture, you may need to pay to replace the damaged items.
  • If your apartment is vandalized, you may have to pay to replace stolen items such as a laptop or flat screen television.
  • If a pipe bursts and your apartment floods, ruining your furniture, you will need to pay to replace ruined items.
  • If a guest in your apartment slips and falls on the steps and sues you for his injuries, you may be responsible to pay the cost of medical care.

Under these scenarios you, and not your landlord, would be responsible for paying to replace damaged or lost items, or paying for medical costs associated with an accidental injury. Renters insurance, however, can protect you in such instances:

  • In the case of a fire or flood, renters insurance will help you pay to replace damaged furniture and belongings. Renters insurance may also help you to pay for temporary living expenses if you need to relocate to a hotel or other temporary housing location.
  • In the case of a natural disaster, renters insurance can help you pay to replace damaged property.
  • If a thief breaks into your apartment, renters insurance can help you pay the cost to replace lost items, as long as they are listed in your policy and you meet the coverage limits.
  • If a guest suffers an injury in your apartment, a rental insurance policy that includes liability protection may cover the cost of medical care to compensate the injured individual.

Renters insurance is extremely affordable, especially for first time renters. Depending on the policy type and deductible selected, the cost of renters insurance may average only a few hundred dollars a year for $500,000 of liability coverage and $20,000 of property coverage. Speak with your independent insurance agent to determine which policy may best suite your needs based on your belongings and their value. Discuss with your agent what protections specifically apply to tenants and landlords in your state, and decide what deductible level will best suite your needs. Remember that while higher deductibles can decrease the annual cost of coverage, you will be liable for more upfront costs out-of-pocket if an incident does occur.

Precious Cargo. The Safest Vehicle Choices for Your Teen Driver.

When the day comes for your teen to get behind the wheel of a car and hit the road on his own, it can be a day of both pride and apprehension. As parents, it is our job to prepare our children for the responsibilities of the road and to put them in the best position possible to travel safely. Vehicle choice is an important factor impacting teen driver safety, and unlike so many other factors, it is an element that parents can help to impact. To help ensure your teen is in the best position to stay safe behind the wheel, consider these features when helping your teen to select the right vehicle:

  • Do your research. Before putting your teen behind the wheel of any vehicle, review its safety ratings to ensure it has proven safety reliability. You can find reviews at the U.S. Department of Transportation or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
  • Select a newer vehicle. Though more expensive than older, used vehicles, newer vehicles are typically in optimal working order and typically offer the newest and most advanced safety features to help keep your teen safe from accidents and injuries.
  • Choose a vehicle with high quality safety features. Select a vehicle for your teen that possesses optimal safety features such as fully functional seat belts, front, rear, and side curtain airbags, electronic stability control, anti-lock breaks, and ideally a rear back-up camera. Avoid vehicles where vision may be impaired, such as vehicles with tinted windows or modified pick-up trucks or Jeeps with obstructed rear views.
  • Choose a vehicle with proper crash protection. Aside from properly functioning airbags, choose a vehicle that offers optimal crash protection. Mid-size vehicles offer more protection than smaller vehicles in the case of a collision.
  • Choose a stable vehicle. Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and other taller vehicles are more likely to roll over due to their height. Instead, choose a sedan with a lower center of gravity that is more stable and less likely to tip or roll. Heavier vehicles are also safer than smaller, lighter options.
  • Consider fuel economy. Choose a vehicle that gets at least 20 miles per gallon in city and highway driving to minimize the possibility of running dangerously low on fuel due to poor miles per gallon ratings.
  • Avoid vehicles with high horsepower. Sports cars and other high-performance vehicles may encourage reckless driving by tempting drivers to speed in order to appreciate their full functionality. Select a vehicle with a more responsible and functional appearance and performance level for better safety.

A newer vehicle with fully functional safety features can help protect your teen driver during his initial years on the road. For questions regarding your insurance coverage and what steps you may need to take in order to insure your teen driver, contact your independent insurance agent.

 

Be Informed. Be Prepared. Be Safe. How to Keep Your Home and Loved Ones Safe During Hurricane Season.

Hurricane season in the United States occurs annually from the beginning of June to the end of November. These are the months when our coastal communities are most in danger of the potential devastating destruction of hurricanes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) defines a hurricane as a tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or greater. For many Americans, however, hurricanes are thought of less by this formal definition and more by the names that hold devastating memories in our collective conscious: Katrina, Andrew, and Sandy. According to NOOA, Hurricane Katrina was the most expensive hurricane in U.S. history, costing over $41 million in damages across six states.

For those living on the coast, hurricanes can pose significant physical and financial threats. With proper awareness and education, you and your loved ones can keep yourselves and your home as safe as possible during hurricane season. Follow these tips to prepare your home and family and remain safe this hurricane season.

  • Map out an evacuation route in advance, develop a communication plan for your family, build an emergency kit of food with water and supplies that could last your family 72 hours.
  • Follow the recommendations of local authorities. If you are told to evacuate, do so promptly.
  • Review your homeowner’s insurance policy. Talk to your independent insurance agent to make sure that you have adequate coverage in case of hurricane damage. Also, review your deductible so that you know what you may need to pay out-of-pocket if a worst-case scenario occurs.
  • Ask your independent insurance agent if flood insurance is recommended for your area. If you live in a flood-prone area, your agent may recommend a flood policy. Do not wait until a hurricane is in the forecast to have this conversation, though. There is typically a 30-day waiting period to obtain flood insurance.
  • Consider installing an emergency generator in your home.
  • Install straps or additional clips to fasten your roof to your house’s frame and reinforce your garage doors to protect against expensive structural damage. 
  • When a hurricane is predicted, tie down or move outdoor items such as chairs and tables so that they do not become dangerous projectiles in high winds. Also, nail windows shut with plywood to protect the interior and exterior of your home. Or you could invest in permanent storm shutters, which offer the best protection.
  • Create a document of everything of value that is in your home. Save hard and electronic copies. If a disaster strikes, you may be asked to itemize your losses when filing a homeowner’s claim, so having a document created in advance will ensure everything of significance is recorded.

With proper planning now and in the days or hours before a potential storm strikes, you, your family, and your home can be protected from the damage of hurricane season.

 

Car Compare: How Does the Vehicle I Drive Affect My Insurance Policy Costs

There are many factors that insurance providers take into consideration when calculating your premium. Everything from your age to your driving history and even your zip code play a part in your bottom line payment. But did you know that in most cases the type of car you drive can have a great affect on the price you pay for coverage?

How Does Your Car Type Factor In To Your Insurance Premium?

Whether you’re shopping local or going directly to a national auto insurance provider, the type of car you drive may be a big factor in the amount you pay for your coverage. Insurance providers will use information collected by industry safety reports and customer claims to determine if your vehicle may be a higher risk. 

Some insurance providers may charge higher premiums for cars that have been determined to be more susceptible to damage, theft, and driver/occupant injuries. On the other hand, vehicles that show better results may provide their owners with lower rates.

For example, if you own a vehicle that has better than average crash test results and other high safety standards, like the Volvo XC60, you will likely pay less over time for your insurance coverage. But if you drive a vehicle with lower than average safety ratings, like the popular Honda Civic, you may see a spike in your insurance premiums. 

Shop Local and Save on Auto Insurance Coverage

The easiest way to save on auto insurance coverage is to do your research before you buy. Take the time to research the vehicle that catches your eye at the dealership before you make an offer. If it doesn’t have the best safety ratings it may cost you more for comprehensive coverage. 

With the help of your local, independent auto insurance agents you can easily compare quotes online with multiple national providers to find the best coverage for your needs and your budget. Our team is ready to help you cover all the bases when it comes to insurance shopping online. We’ll be there with you through every step of the process to make sure you know exactly what your policy covers and what you’re paying for. 

Don’t get caught without the right level of coverage when you need it most. Instead, compare quotes online with your local insurance agency and save on your next policy. 

Insurance Definitions: Basic Insurance Terms

Sometimes the insurance buying process can be a bit confusing, especially when you shop for coverage online. Make sure you know the basics before you buy your next insurance policy. With the help of our easy to follow basic terminology guide, you’ll be able to start comparing quotes from multiple national providers online in just minutes!

Online Insurance Shopping Basics: Insurance Definitions

Auto
Auto insurance is the most common type of insurance purchased in the United States. All drivers in the U.S. are required by law to carry at least their state minimum level of coverage. While, additional coverage options are available in order to cover any possible outcome of an auto accident. 

A policy is purchased by the vehicle owner/operator in order to help reduce the costs associated with getting in an auto accident. Policy holders pay an annual premium to their insurance provider and in turn, their insurance provider will pay all or some of the costs associated with an accident or damage to the covered vehicle.

Home
To shield your home and assets from the unexpected, there is no better protection than homeowners insurance. This form of property insurance is often required to be obtained by new homeowners before the sale of their house can be finalized. It is designed to help protect the home itself, the homeowner and in some cases the possessions contained in the home, in the event of an accident. Premiums are paid by the policy holder annually, while the insurance provider pays out all or a portion of the costs associated with an accident or other damages.

Life
Life insurance coverage works in the same way that the other types of insurance listed here do. When an annual premium is paid out over time, policy providers make a promise to pay for any costs related to the insured’s death. This lump-sum payment is known as a death benefit and is paid out to beneficiaries of the policy holder’s choosing.

There are 2 main types of life insurance available in the US. Term life insurance provides financial protection for beneficiaries over a predetermined period of time, typically 10 to 20 years. While whole life insurance is designed to be a lifetime coverage for beneficiaries.

Get the Coverage You Need Today!

Don’t get caught without the right level of coverage when you need it the most. Instead, visit your team of independent agents online today to start comparing quotes from multiple national providers in just minutes and save on your next policy.

 

Is Your Motorcycle Properly Covered?

Whether you’re thinking about dusting your bike off for a springtime ride or getting ready to rev up your engine for a long summer road trip, it pays to have the best possible motorcycle insurance coverage available before you set out on your bike.

Many Americans choose to keep their motorcycle stored away during the winter to ensure that it is safe from harsh weather conditions. So when the time comes to take the bike out of storage it can do with a bit of TLC before being taken back out on the road again. Take the first step in caring for your motorcycle properly this spring and get the best coverage available to protect yourself and your bike.

Find the Best Coverage with Independent Agents

Insurance laws vary from state to state but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t compare quotes from multiple national providers. It is important to explore all angles when shopping for insurance online to make sure you find the additional coverage options you need at a price that fits your budget. With the help of your independent agency you can easily compare quotes from top national providers online in just minutes to find the coverage that fits your needs.

Taking your bike out for a spin never feels better than when you feel safe and secure with your level of motorcycle insurance coverage. Our independent agents understand the specific needs of a motorcycle owner and can easily help you customize your policy to get only the coverage options you want. We are always available to help explore your additional coverage options and break down your policy so that you can drive safely and with peace of mind. We are also available to answer any questions about the claims process and can easily give you motorcycle maintenance tips and tricks to keep the road a safe and fun place for everyone to enjoy this spring.

Start Comparing Quotes Online Today

Don’t get caught without the right level of coverage when you need it most out on the road. Instead, feel confident and protected when out on your motorcycle with comprehensive and affordable insurance coverage.

Getting the right coverage to fit your needs and your budget has never been easier. Visit us online today to start comparing quotes from multiple national carriers in just minutes and help keep the road a safer place for all!

What is Comprehensive Insurance and Why Do I Need It?

Did you know that there is more to comparing insurance coverage than just looking at rates? In fact, it is always important to look at the type of coverage you are receiving when you compare two or more auto insurance carriers. There are several optional choices to make that will protect your vehicle above and beyond what is required by law. One of these coverage options is comprehensive insurance.

But what is comprehensive insurance and why do you need it?

What Comprehensive Insurance Covers

The easiest way to understand comprehensive coverage is to think of it as a portion of your policy that protects your vehicle against everything besides a collision. This includes things like storm damage, hitting an animal, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other acts of nature. It also covers situations that are out of your hands, such as fire, theft, vandalism, falling objects, and damage from civil riots. You are subject to your deductible when using this type of coverage, which is chosen by you at the start of the policy and not by your insurance company.

However, there are some common misconceptions about how it works. Comprehensive coverage does not take care of damages to another car that is not listed on your policy, which is covered under your property damage portion. It does not protect you against hit-and-run accidents or if the other person does not have insurance.

Why You Need Comprehensive Insurance

One of the biggest reasons to have insurance, besides being required by law, is to protect yourself and your family from unexpected problems. Having comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance policy ensures you are taken care of should something unusual occur. If a sudden storm knocks down a tree in your neighborhood and it lands on your car, having made the decision to carry comprehensive insurance ahead of time will enable you get your vehicle fixed in a timely fashion. If you wake up and discover that your vehicle has been stolen, having this coverage will help you buy a replacement.

Each policy will have its own set of provisions outlining the exact covered perils under comprehensive insurance, so it is important to make sure you speak with your insurance agent prior to filing a claim.

For more information on auto insurance coverage in your area, please contact a local agent today.

Reasons to Have Roadside Assistance and How to See if Your Policy is Fully Equipped

Life is full of the unexpected and that means there are many reasons why it is a smart idea to include roadside assistance as an additional coverage option on your auto insurance policy. There is no better way to feel prepared for those unexpected moments on the road than with a comprehensive auto insurance policy that includes roadside assistance.

Do you know how well your current policy has you covered? If you can’t find your additional coverage options easily listed on your current policy, it may be time to shop for a new one.

Top 3 Reasons to Have Roadside Assistance

Fuel Delivery
Even though most people keep an empty gas can in the trunk for emergencies, sometimes there isn’t a gas station close by to fill it up. With roadside protection you can use fuel delivery to have someone bring the gas you need directly to you.

Lock Outs
Locking your keys in the car can be dangerous and is a huge inconvenience. Unless you have a spare key handy, your next option is to call an expensive locksmith and wait. But with roadside assistance you can have a trusted company come an help you out, usually at no additional charge.

Dead Battery
If you find yourself in a situation where your battery needs a jump, it is a good idea not to attempt the process on your own. In some situations the battery can be too low or too cold to take a charge and in that case, it pays to have a little extra help and the option of a tow.

Invest in a Comprehensive Policy Today

Our independent insurance agents are always ready to help breakdown your coverage and make sure you have the best policy to fit your needs. From the initial quoting process to making changes to your current policy, we’re always here to help you out.

We make comparing quotes and finding the best additional coverage options to fit your needs simple and easy with our online quoting system. You can compare quotes from top national providers online in just minutes to find the coverage you need at a price that works with your budget.

Don’t get caught without roadside assistance when you need it most. Instead, visit our independent agents online today to start comparing quotes and invest in total insurance coverage.