My Son or Daughter Will Turn 16 This Year. What Do I Need to Know to Update My Auto Insurance Policy?

As your son or daughter gets begins to drive it is often time to update your auto insurance. With a new driver on your policy, you’ll need to take a few key things into consideration. The good news is that you can update your policy with an independent agency to ensure your child has the necessary coverage.

If your child will be driving your vehicles, be sure to discuss this with your insurance agent. He or she should be named on the policy if possible. Additionally, if you plan to buy another vehicle, it is also important for you to have proper coverage on that car. You may not need a comprehensive policy unless the value has high worth. Liability coverage may be enough in some situations.

In many situations, the dependent can be added to a parent’s insurance policy. You may want to do this to keep costs lower. Keep in mind that because he or she is young and inexperienced, the insurance rates tend to be significantly higher than they would be for you, as an adult. Adding the child to your policy, though, will save money in the long term.

Be sure to talk to your agent about options for keeping costs down, too. Even if you decide to provide your child with his or her own policy, especially if there is an added car into the mix, there are likely discounts available. Good student discounts are a common option, for example.

Talk to your independent insurance agent today to make sure you and your child are covered.

Why is an annual checkup with my insurance agent a good idea?

An annual review or checkup is the best way to stay on top of your insurance policy. Take the initiative to meet with your agent to go over your car, home, life, or other policy.

When you shop for a homeowners policy, for instance, it is always wise to compare quotes from different insurers. At an independent agency, you can get multiple quotes online from insurers to see what the best option would be for your needs. But what happens once you get that policy – how do you make sure that you keep getting the best price?

This is where the annual checkup comes into play. You can make sure that your property is covered at the best price, as your agent can make sure that the competition isn’t offering a better deal at this point. There are some other critical reasons why you should also make that annual checkup:

  • You can update your policy. In a homeowners policy, the value of your home can change each year. You may need a bit more protection, which you can update in your checkup. If you fail to do so, you might not have enough protection in your policy if something were to happen.
  • You can account for changes that will lower your premiums. What if you recently qualified for a discount on your auto policy? A checkup can make sure that your policy is up-to-date with all applicable discounts that can benefit what you pay.
  • Other items can be discussed as well. Do you have any questions about your policy or want to see what a lower deductible would do to your premiums? How about a payment method change? You can easily take care of this during your annual checkup for added peace of mind.

Go ahead and make that annual checkup with your insurance agent. It is a great time to ask questions, update your policy, and make sure you are getting the best price!

Questions to Ask an Insurance Agent in My State

Insurance rules and rates vary from state to state and carrier to carrier. Rating factors that affect your auto insurance rate include age, car make and model, gender, marital status and driving record. You will want to ask your insurance agent questions about how dramatically these factors affect your final quote. Keep in mind the variability of the factors can also reduce the cost of your auto insurance, so be sure to ask your insurance agent about any discounts that you may be eligible for.

In terms of homeowners insurance, factors that would affect the cost include age, marital status, condition of the home, location of the home, insurance history and the age of the home. Younger people tend to receive higher rates on average because they are deemed less responsible by the insurance agent. However, married people (no matter what age) are usually treated as more responsible and thus given discounts.

If you have a certain record that you are concerned with — say several accidents in your driving history — you will want to focus your questions around this factor, in particular. Your insurance agent may be lenient about the poor record, but he or she may also be incredibly unforgiving and increase the quote dramatically for this factor alone. Even if your record is clean at the time, you will want to ask questions about how the insurance cost would change if you had been in an accident. Cover as many scenarios as possible with your questions so your insurance agent can give you a good idea of the future of the plan. This will help you avoid a situation where you may be stuck in the plan and paying higher rates than necessary.

What Should I Take When Meeting an Insurance Agent?

Although it’s certainly okay to come to your first meeting empty handed, you can also make plans to be extra prepared to make things easier. More often than not, bringing the right materials can work in your favor for getting the best deal possible on your insurance coverage plan. Always in addition to the materials mentioned below, potential buyers should come well-researched on the type of insurance they would like, the coverage plans the agency offers, the requirements of the state and so on. This information may be difficult to understand, so be sure to ask your insurance agent about any questions you may have.

Consider bringing along the following materials when meeting your insurance agent:

– Proof of Precautions Taken to Reduce Risk

Many people are surprised to hear how many discounts insurance agencies will offer for little precautionary details, such as a car garage or a smoke alarm. These precautions have proven to significantly reduce the risk of damage to the property and will let the insurance agent know that you are actively committing to protect your property as well. Since the meeting is unlikely to take place in your home or vehicle, you will want to bring some form of documentation (pictures, receipts and the item itself) to prove this fact.

– Quotes From Competing Agencies

Bringing along competitor’s quotes is a good way to get the best price for your needs. Have all of the research you have collected about the state requirements as well as the packages available and quotes you have received from other insurance companies. When faced directly with the competition, many insurance agents will do their best to find an insurance plan that is comparable to the competition in price and coverage so you can be sure to get what you need.

What All Drivers Need to Know About Handling a Hit and Run Accident

A hit and run accident can be a stressful event for drivers. Any type of accident is certainly frustrating, but a hit and run accident can be emotionally draining. Drivers can do the most possible to protect themselves by being prepared.

The best thing that you can do is to first record as much information as possible. If you were present for the accident, record details about the other vehicle – including make, model, color, and any other features that you can note. A license plate number would of course be ideal.

Don’t forget to record the other basics. For instance, the date, time, location, and damage involved is essential to your forthcoming claim.

The next step will be to submit an accident report through local law enforcement. A report will help speed the process of auto claims with your insurance company. This is a helpful step even when there’s not much to report.

Speaking to your insurance company will be the next phase of the process. Feel free to contact the company or your insurance agent for guidance along the way. They will be able to help you obtain expenses through the other person’s insurance company, or, if you can’t identify the person (or they don’t have insurance), through your policy via uninsured or underinsured motorist protection.

Of course, some drivers don’t have this level of protection. If this is the case, you would be unable to recuperate your losses. If you want to avoid having to pay for scenarios like this, you could consider adding uninsured and underinsured motorist protection onto your car insurance policy. That coverage could come into play in a hit and run accident.

If you have adequate coverage, you can expect to be paid for expenses at outlined in your policy. Bodily injury and property damage are the two types of protection that will be relevant to the situation. Of course, the deductibles will be applied.

A hit and run accident can be a difficult and emotional time for drivers. Maintain awareness for the key steps to prepare yourself for this event and how to react to it properly and promptly.

Is it possible to register a car under a different name?

One of the questions asked often of those who work for the Department of Driver Services or auto insurance agents is: “Is it possible to register a car under a different name?” There could be any number of reasons why someone may want to do this. Perhaps you do not want to actually sell your car, but you want to allow someone else to use it for a period, and they need insurance. Alternatively, perhaps you are the parent of a teenager, and want him or her to have responsibility of the vehicle. Another possibility is that you are separated or divorcing and want to allow a former spouse to use the car. Whatever the reason, the time may come that you wonder if this is something that could be done.

The answer to this question will vary from state to state and situation to situation. It may be possible for you to register the car under one name and someone else to hold the lien on it; however, generally, the title will be under the name of the person registering it. This is something many insurance carriers require, because it is in their best interest for policy holders to have a vested interest in the car they are insuring. It may be possible in cases where there is a parent/child relationship.

The best thing you can do to have this question answered for you is to visit or contact an insurance agent. He or she can look over your particular situation and help you decide what you need to do to achieve the goal you have in mind. It could be that there are options available to you that you have never before considered.

As you can see, this tricky subject can be confusing even for those who understand titles and insurance. Before attempting any sort of registration, title or insurance switch, it is important you know the facts in your state. Learning more about the facts will help you make a smart decision—whether or not you can register the car under a different name.

Insurance Guide for First Time Homeowners

It’s very exciting to own a home for the first time, but it also comes with added responsibility. If you learn about that beforehand, you won’t have any trouble navigating the waters of issues like insurance and taxes. Your homeowners policy will protect your home and the financial investment you’ve made in it, so you’ll want to be sure that you’ve got the coverage you need. Your insurance agent can help guide you, but it’s also possible to learn a lot on your own.

One of the things you should carefully consider is how much coverage you need. Many people try to insure their homes for the amount they owe on their mortgage, but the home might be worth much more than that. You should insure it for what’s called "replacement cost." That way the insurance company would pay to completely rebuild your home if it were to be destroyed. Periodically, you’ll want to review the level of insurance you have with your agent to make sure it’s adequate – particularly if home prices are on the rise and the value of your home may have jumped significantly.

Another issue to consider is that homeowner’s policies don’t always cover everything. If you live in an area where there are hurricanes, floods, or other types of natural disasters, these often require riders on the insurance policy or a special type of policy altogether. Learning about these other types of coverage can help you avoid serious financial problems in the future should your house become damaged.

It’s good to follow your agent’s lead, but it’s also good to arm yourself with knowledge and ask questions. If you do that, you’ll be ahead of the game when it comes to getting the right insurance policy for your needs. Homeowners want and need to be protected, because buying a home is a huge investment. If you insure that investment correctly, you shouldn’t have any serious worries about your financial future when it comes to your home. That’s a great feeling, and the peace of mind that comes with it can be very valuable – especially when it’s your first home.

New Home Buyers: How much Homeowners Insurance do I need?

When buying a new home, you may be wondering how much homeowners insurance you will need. There are many variables that go into calculating homeowners insurance and as new home buyers you will probably have lots of questions. The best way to make sure you end up with adequate coverage is to speak with an insurance agent who can answer your questions and find the best policy for your situation.

There are several components to homeowners insurance, but the basic types are dwelling coverage, other structure protection, and personal property insurance. The dwelling coverage will take care of your home. If you are buying a brand new home – you will need to calculate the value the entire structure. This will include hardwood floors, whirlpool tubs, and remote control fireplaces. You need to have enough coverage to replace or rebuild these items in the event of a disaster. The other structure protection will cover your garage, shed or barn. Depending on the items you keep in these areas and the size, you will need to calculate the value of the buildings. Finally, personal property insurance will take care of your clothing, electronics and jewelry if there is a fire or disaster that affects your home.

As new home buyers, you need to make sure you find the homeowners insurance you need for the price you want to pay. Comparing quotes from several providers will help you make the final choice. Speaking with an insurance agent who can answer your questions will also be helpful. Determining how much homeowners insurance you need is based on a lot of different factors and you may even want to speak with a local agent who can give you the best estimate for your area. Buying a home is exciting, don’t let a disaster ruin your day.

Steps to Take After an Automobile Accident Occurs

When an accident occurs, it is scary and can cause you to be very disoriented. Even though it may seem almost impossible to focus in the minutes immediately after the impact, you can do so if you work very hard to stay calm and follow some simple guidelines. These automobile accident steps will help you to know what to do when an accident occurs. We have kept it simple so that you can remember these automobile accident steps even in time of crisis.

First: Call For Help

The first thing that you need to do is call for help. Don’t try to move your vehicle, or make any changes to the scene of the accident, but rather place your safety needs and the safety needs of others first. Call 911 and report the accident. The dispatcher will send police officers as well as an ambulance that can help transport any injured parties to the hospital.

Next: Watch Your Words

Use good judgment when it comes to speaking about the accident. Do not speak to the other party in the accident, and never admit guilt even if you think you may have been responsible. That is up to the police and insurance company to determine and these situations are rarely black and white. Discuss the accident only with the police officers responding to the accident scene, and simply tell them your impression of how the accident occurred. During their initial interview post-accident the police will ask for your insurance information, so be sure that you provide them with this.

Finally: Call Your Agent

Call your insurance agent as soon as you possibly can. Tell your agent that you were in an auto accident and give them all the information they will need to get started on your case. Your agent will ask for information on the police report, so have that with you when you call.

Use these smart tips to make sure that you are protected after the accident. Your agent is your partner here, and will help you to deal with this difficult situation as efficiently as quickly as possible.

What are the Advantages to Using an Agent in Your Area to Purchase Insurance?

There are several advantages to using an insurance agent in your area when purchasing an insurance policy. If you want someone who knows the area and is familiar with the types of claims that are commonly filed, a local agent will be best. Local insurance agents are also able to respond quickly if there is a natural disaster in your location. When looking online for insurance quotes, you can find a knowledgeable insurance agent in your area and get started with your policy right away.

One of the advantages to using an insurance agent locally is that he will understand the types of claims that are often filed. If you live in a winter climate where people often have claims from snow and ice, your local agent can make sure you have enough coverage. If you live in an area where flooding is likely, your local insurance provider can make sure you have all of the necessary protection in place. Another great advantage when purchasing an insurance policy with a local agent is response time. If a tornado or hurricane has devastated your town, your local insurance agent will be able to help quickly. You will not have to wait to make a claim for emergency housing if your home was destroyed and you should be able to rent a car quickly while yours is being repaired.

You should always compare quotes with various providers when shopping for insurance. Whether you are looking for home or auto coverage, the rates will vary with different companies. If you are on a tight budget and you need affordable coverage for a reasonable price, comparing quotes will help you find an insurance agent in your area who knows your specific needs.