4 Tips You Need To Know When You Do Winter Vehicle Storage

Vehicle Storage

Vehicle StorageWhen winter comes and brings the snow and cold with it, it’s time to think about vehicle storage. You should store your recreational vehicle – or any vehicles that won’t be in use – to avoid damage from the harsh weather and roads and to ensure it’s in good working condition for spring.

Use these tips if you plan on vehicle storage this winter:

  1. Clean your car—Thoroughly cleaning your vehicle inside and out not only makes it look nicer, but also prevents dirt and acidic materials from eating away at your car and causing it to rust.
  2. Change the fluids—Having clean oil, fuel stabilizer and brake fluid, and a full tank of gas will help protect your car while it’s in storage and will help it run smoother when spring comes.
  3. Protect your car—The best way to prevent the winter elements from damaging your vehicle is to keep it covered, whether it’s in your garage, a local storage facility or at a family member’s home. If you plan on keeping your vehicle outdoors, consider using a weatherproof car cover.
  4. Check tires and brakes—Inflate your vehicle’s tires to their maximum air pressure, so they can slowly deflate as the temperature drops. Also, don’t engage your parking brake as it may become frozen. Instead, use chocks (wedges placed under car tires) to ensure your vehicle doesn’t roll away.

Start it Up

Even in storage, it’s wise to start your vehicle periodically for 10-15 minutes to get the proper oils and coolants running through it. If your vehicle has a cover on it, remove it and roll down the windows before running. If your vehicle is stored in the garage, ensure that the garage door is open and the windows are down for proper ventilation before starting your car.

Don’t forget to call you insurance agent to discss your auto insurance coverage as well. 

What You Need To Know Before You Lower Your Auto Insurance Limits

Auto Insurance Limits

Auto Insurance Limits

The cost of living can be pretty expensive. Everyone is looking for ways to cut costs and lower expenses. Auto insurance premiums are one expense many would like to lower. While you may be tempted to lower your auto insurance limits, make sure to weight out all the risks. 

Determining Which Coverage You Need

An auto insurance policy is designed to provide you with a level of protection in the event you are involved in an accident. This includes protection against property, liability and medical costs. Understanding the different parts of coverage is important when selecting your auto insurance limits. 

  • Property coverage pays for damage to or theft of your car.
  • Liability coverage pays for your legal responsibility to others for bodily injury or property damage. 
  • Medical coverage pays for the cost of treating injuries, rehabilitation and sometimes lost wages and funeral expenses. 
  • Underinsured motorists coverage pays for property damage and bodily injury caused by another driver whose coverage is insufficient to cover damages suffered.  

Selecting the correct liability limits is fundamental. On your auto insurance policy you will see your limits listed something like this – 100/300/50. In this example 100/300/50 means you are covered for up to $100,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, $300,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident and $50,000 in property damage per accident.

Many states have minimum liability limit requirements. You may be tempted to reduce your liability limits to the minimum legal level. Or even dropping underinsured motorists coverage. While it may reduce your premium, it could also subject you to substantial risks. 

Collision Coverage – Know The Value Of Your Car

Your policy will not pay for repairs that exceed the value of your vehicle. For this reason, if you are driving a vehicle that isn’t worth more than a few thousand dollars, it may not make sense to purchase collision coverage. Your agent can help you determine if collision insurance makes sense for you. 

Top Ways To Save On Your Auto Premiums

  • Consider raising your deductible.
  • Keep up your good driving record.
  • Drive less to qualify for a low-mileage discount.
  • Drive a car with safety features such as anti-lock brakes and airbags.
  • Install an anti-theft device.
  • Ask about our multi-policy discount. 

We’re here to help. Accidents happen to cautious drivers too. Having adequate auto insurance limits can save you from serious financial burden should you be involved in an accident. We can help you determine which auto insurance coverage is needed and what limits to purchase. 

9 Ways To Save Money On Gas

save money on gas

save money on gasI think it’s safe to say, we all have been feeling the pain of high gas prices. Regardless of the price of a gallon of gas, it is always great to be able to save money on gas. Often, the small things we do can add up to big fuel savings. If you are looking to spend less money at the pump, here are some easy things you can start doing today. 

  1.  Lighten your load—Extra weight decreases gas mileage.
  2. Avoid long idles—Idling for only one minute consumes the same amount of gas that is required for starting your engine.
  3. Plan your trip ahead of time—Consolidate your trip to places that are close to one another.
  4. Open the windows—Instead of blasting the air conditioning on a hot day, open the windows or use your car vents, which circulate outside air.
  5. Get your oil changed—Stay up-to-date on oil changes. They should be done approximately every 3,000 miles for conventional motor oil.
  6. Drive slower—You can improve your gas mileage by nearly 20% by driving 55 mph instead of 65 mph.
  7. Maintain your tires—Keep your tires properly inflated and aligned and perform regular maintenance checks on your tires.
  8. Drive smart—Be sure to accelerate gradually from a dead stop, rather than stomping on the gas pedal.
  9. Verify your rating—Make sure you are selecting the right octane rating at the pump.

Prioritize Fuel Efficiency When Buying Your Next Vehicle

Considering buying a new or used vehicle? Before making a purchase, check the gas mileage ratings of similar vehicles of interest to you. Then, narrow down your options on a model that is fuel-efficient in the size category that meets your needs.

For additional fuel efficiency tips and auto insurance solutions, contact us today.

If you found these tips on how to save money on gas helpful, please share them. 

6 Tips For Driving In The Rain and Thunderstorms

Driving In The Rain

Driving In The RainDriving in the rain or during a thunderstorm can be pretty nerve-wracking for most people. Worrying about having an accident or being stuck on the side of the road can be very overwhelming. It can also be very dangerous. However, a few tips and adjustments can take away some of the anxiety and help you stay calm during your commute.

Driving in the rain and thunderstorms

If you happen to get caught driving in the rain or thunderstorm, don’t panic . There a extra precautions you can take to make your trip a safe one.

A few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Turn on your headlights, wipers and defroster to increase visibility.
  2. Drive in the tracks of vehicles ahead of you and reduce your speed.
  3. Allow for increased space between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
  4. If you hydroplane, hold the steering wheel straight and remove your foot from the gas.
  5. Do not use cruse control during inclimate weather.
  6. Pull off the road in an open area away from trees to avoid a lightning strike.

Helping you to avoid claims is just one of the many value-added services we provide. In the unfortunate event you do have an accident, we will help you through the process. Give us a call during business hours or click here to view our after hours claim contacts. 

What You Need To Know About RV Insurance

RV InsuranceFamily time together, the open road, and visiting beautiful scenery. Those are just some of the benefits of having an RV or Travel Trailer. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a full time travel buff, there’s lots to see on the open road. Your RV is your home away from home. That’s why you need to make sure it is protected. Just like you purchase Auto or Homeowners Insurance, you need RV Insurance to cover this investment. 

What is RV Insurance?

Travel trailer or RV Insurance has similar coverage to auto insurance, however it is more comprehensive and specialized for RV owners. RV Insurance is designed for the following vehicles:

  • Fifth-wheels
  • Pop-up campers
  • Stationary travel trailers
  • Park model travel trailers
  • Truck-mounted campers

Click here to read about auto insurance.

Types of Coverage Available:

A typical policy will include the following overages:

  • Comprehensive/Collision Coverage. Protects your RV from damages, such as fire, landslide, windstorm, vandalism and collision with another vehicle or objects. 
  • Liability-Only Travel Trailer Policy. Protects against accidental damage to other people’s property or personal injury to individuals not listed on your policy. 

Additional Endorsements:

Because RV Insurance is specialized coverage there are additional endorsements you can purchase. These endorsements let you add extra protection not included in a standard policy. These additional option include:

  • Emergency Expenses: Protection in case of a breakdown or damage to your RV or Travel Trailer.
  • Accessories Endorsements: For items attached to your trailer.
  • Full-timer Trailer Coverage: For those who live in their travel trailer most of the year.
  • Campsite/Vacation Liability: Coverage while your travel trailer is parked in an RV park. 
  • Low Branch Collision: Protection against damages from low-hanging branches to your trailer, awnings, and air conditioning units. 
  • Towing and Roadside Assistance
  • Total Loss Replacement

What Are The Benefits Of A RV Insurance Policy?

RV Insurance is specialized coverage different than auto insurance. When traveling in your RV, you will have additional items with you that you may not normally carry in your car. Jewelry, a computer, television, and camping gear are just a few examples. When you’re at a campsite, you are liable for other people’s safety around your trailer. Also, if you have an accident while traveling, you will need a place to stay  while the trailer is being repaired. Without an RV Insurance policy, none of these would be covered in the event of a loss. The biggest benefit is the peace of mind you receive. 

If you love the open road and seeking adventure, contact us today to get covered today. 

 

 

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April Is Distracted Driving Awareness Month And We Have Prevention Tips For You

Distracted Driving Awareness








Distracted Driving AwarenessThe National Safety Council recognizes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This event is intended to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and encourage motorists like you to minimize potential distractions behind the wheel. Review the following article for more information on distracted driving and ways you can help prevent it.

Distracted Driving Overview

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving refers to any activity that may divert a motorist’s attention from the road. There are three main types of distractions that can interfere with drivers’ attentiveness behind the wheel, including:

  1. Visual distractions—These distractions involve motorists taking their eyes off the road. Some examples of visual distractions include reading emails or text messages, focusing on vehicle passengers, looking at maps or navigation systems, and observing nearby activities (e.g., accidents, traffic stops or roadside attractions) while driving.
  2. Manual distractions—Such distractions entail motorists removing their hands from the steering wheel. Key examples of manual distractions include texting, adjusting the radio, programming navigation systems, eating, drinking or performing personal grooming tasks (e.g., applying makeup) while driving.
  3. Cognitive distractions—These distractions stem from motorists taking their minds off driving. Primary examples of cognitive distractions include talking on the phone, conversing with vehicle passengers or daydreaming while driving.

Regardless of distraction type, distracted driving is a serious safety hazard that contributes to a significant number of accidents on the road. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that more than 2,800 people are killed and 400,000 are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver each year—equating to approximately eight deaths and 1,095 injuries per day. Considering these findings, it’s crucial to take steps to prevent distracted driving.

Distracted Driving Prevention Tips

Whenever you get behind the wheel, keep these distracted driving prevention measures in mind:

  • Put away your phone. Silence your phone and store it in a location that is out of reach while driving to lower the temptation to check it.
  • Plan your trip before you leave. Program your navigation system prior to hitting the road to get familiar with your journey and feel confident in your route.
  • Don’t fumble with your playlist. Select a radio station or plug in a predetermined playlist before driving to limit the need for music adjustments.
  • Secure passengers. Ensure kids are properly situated in car seats (if needed) with seat belts fastened. Keep pets stationary in the back seat.
  • Avoid multitasking. Never complete additional tasks—such as eating or personal grooming—behind the wheel.
  • Stay focused. Concentrate your mind on the road by keeping distracting conversations to a minimum and looking straight ahead.

For additional driver safety tips, contact us today.

Click here for more information on Auto Insurance








Do You Know The Difference Between Collision And Comprehensive Coverage?

Collision And Comprehensive Coverage








Collision And Comprehensive CoverageThough state laws may not require you to purchase both collision and comprehensive coverage for your policy, doing so can protect your financial well-being. Read on to learn more about these types of coverage.

The Basics

Collision and comprehensive coverages provide financial safety nets in the event that your vehicle is physically damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced. Although these coverages are generally not required by state laws, they can reduce your financial hardship during a loss.
Also, if you are financing a loan for a car, your lender will most likely require both collision and comprehensive coverage as part of your car insurance policy.

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage pays for the cost to repair damages to a vehicle due to an accident, either with another vehicle or an object. Typically, you will collect only the actual cash value of your car versus the replacement cost value. Gap insurance protects you in the event you owe more than your vehicle is worth.

  • Collision coverage is generally the most expensive portion of a car insurance policy.
  • Premiums are based on a number of factors, including your deductible, driving record and the type of car you drive. If your driving record is fairly clean (no or very few tickets or accidents), your premiums will be lower because you are less likely to have a collision.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your vehicle that is caused by theft, vandalism, fire, natural disasters or hitting an animal.

  • Comprehensive coverage comes with a deductible and the insurer will only pay as much as the vehicle is worth at the time of the incident.
  • To calculate how much your car is worth, look up the Kelley Blue Book value or the National Automobile Dealers Association’s Official Used Car Guide value. If your car is low in value, the yearly premiums for comprehensive coverage may not be a sound investment.
  • Comprehensive coverage has many limitations, so it’s best to review your policy carefully to make sure you are properly covered.

We’re Here to Help

Call our office today at 419-522-9892 to learn more about collision and comprehensive coverage. Ask how we can protect you against losses.

4 Ways to Save on Your Auto Premiums:

  1. Consider raising your deductible.
  2. Maintain a clean driving record.
  3. Establish a solid credit history.
  4. Install an anti-theft device in your vehicle.








Antique and Classic Car Insurance; What Makes It Different?

antique and classic car insurance








Antique and classic cars are visibly different than the cars we drive today. You use them differently than your day to day car, so why treat them the same when it comes to insuring them? Antique and classic car insurance is specifically designed with your vehicle in mind.

antique and classic car insurance

The Basics

When insuring your antique or classic car, consider how you will be using the vehicle.

  • Will you only drive the vehicle to car shows or in a few parades? If so, your policy should be limited to those circumstances.
  • Are you going to use your antique vehicle to go to the grocery store, hit the beach or visit a relative? Then your policy should reflect this kind of use.

A typical classic car insurance policy includes the following:

  • Agreed value coverage: Pays for the car’s full-insured value with no depreciation in the event of a total loss, less your deductible.
  • Inflation guard: To compensate for inflation and appreciation, the policy increases the vehicle’s value quarterly.
  • Spare parts coverage
  • Flexible usage: Limits on mileage ranging from 2,500 o 5,000 miles annually. Not limited to parades.

Additional Coverage Options

You can also purchase the following additional coverage’s for you antique and classic car insurance:

  • Emergency towing in case of breakdown
  • Roadside assistance
  • Emergency lockout
  • Emergency travel expenses in case your vehicle breaks down while away from hoe
  • Theft reward
  • Car show expenses: This policy will pay for expenses associated with missing a car show due to a breakdown
  • Personal effects: This policy will reimburse you for items that are vandalized or stolen when reported to police

Your Needs Are Unique

Since antique and classic cars are all so different, your insurance coverage will be specific to your vehicle. There are many considerations that you and your agent will discuss while creating a policy to suit your classic car. Contact us to day to build your personalized antique and classic car insurance policy.

Click here to learn more about auto insurance.

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What to Do After an Auto Accident

Auto Accident1








Auto AccidentYou’re away at college, finally “on your own” and enjoying your freedom. It’s been a long day of studying at the library and your driving back to the dorm when out of nowhere, a car runs a red light and it heading straight towards you! You swerve to avoid getting hit, jump the curb and hit a tree. Mom and dad are 2 hours away so you’re left to figure this out on your own. Luckily before you left home, your parents scheduled an appointment with their insurance agent to have the conversation about what to do after an auto accident. You rack your memory and remember the steps you went over.

 

Stay Calm

Accidents happen quickly and can be upsetting. Take a deep breath and use a clear head when talking with other drivers or passengers involved in the accident. It may be tempting but do not argue

Prevent additional accidents

If you are able, move damaged vehicles to the side of the road. Warn oncoming traffic with a light, flag or similar device.

Help the injured

Do not render first aid unless you are trained. Call 911 if anyone is injured and provide the dispatcher with as much detailed information as possible. 

Call the police

Even if there is not much damage, you should call the police. Don’t discuss what happened with anyone except the police.

File a report

In the event that the police are unable to respond to your call, you’ll need to go to the nearest police station and file an accident report.

Take pictures or write down accident information

Make a note of what happened, when it happened and where it happened while it is fresh in your mind. A couple days after the accident you may need to answer questions and be unsure or unable to remember each detail. 

Call you auto insurance agent

Call you agent as quickly as possible so they can assist you with the claim. They can help with recommending an auto repair shop, scheduling a rental car if needed and review coverage with you so you have a complete understanding of what you will need to pay for out of pocket

Because of the time you spent with your parents and their insurance agent, you were able to keep a clear head, not get into a disagreement and handled the task at hand with ease. Accidents are stressful enough as it is. By taking the time to understand what you need to do just in case you can make things much easier on yourself. Annual appointments with your insurance agent are beneficial by helping to ensure you not only understand what you need to do but to ensure you have the coverage to fit your individual needs. 

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Should I Bundle My Insurance Policies Or Not?

bundle








bundleIf you’ve ever shopped around for insurance, you’ve likely been asked if you want to bundle your policies. In other words, combine your home or renters, auto and life insurance policies with the same carrier. Although you have the option to shop around individually for each policy, it almost always makes sense to have the same carrier cover as many of your policies as possible.

Click here to learn more about personal insurance options

Benefits of Bundling

  • The discount—Most policyholders bundle their policies because of the promise of a discount. The amount varies by provider but can generally range between 5-25 percent.
  • The option of a single deductible—With bundled policies, your deductible may be cheaper in the event of a claim that affects multiple policies. For example, if your home and auto policies are with two separate carriers, and a hailstorm damages your home and your car, you’re responsible for paying both your home and auto deductibles before receiving payment. But if you bundle your policies, your provider may offer you the option to pay only the higher of the two deductibles.
  • Less chance of being dropped—If you’ve made claims or gotten tickets, having your policies bundled with one provider can decrease the chance of them dropping you.

When It Doesn’t Pay to Bundle

It isn’t always better to bundle your policies with one insurance carrier. Here’s when it may be better to split them up:

  • If you have tickets or past claims that make your auto insurance expensive – In this case, it may be cheaper overall to buy each policy from separate providers.
  • When premiums increase—Bundling discourages people from price shopping, which makes it easier for providers to increase their rates. Most assume that you won’t go through the effort of shopping around when your policies renew.
  • If policies aren’t technically bundled—Some carriers may insure you with an affiliated company. Although you may get a discount with that company, you’ll lose the convenience of paying your premium with one familiar provider.

A Few Tips to Consider

Although discounts are the main reason people bundle their insurance policies, never assume that bundling is the cheapest option. Your needs and circumstances will dictate whether you should combine your policies with one carrier. Consider the following tips:

  • Shop for new coverage when your policies renew. Ask for the price of the individual premiums as well as the price of the bundled premium. Then you can decide whether it is worth it. Just make sure you compare the same coverage when shopping for quotes from each carrier.
  • Ask if the provider uses a third-party insurance company. Remember that you may save money but lose the convenience of dealing with one provider and a combined bill.
  • Ask an independent insurance agent to get prices from multiple companies so you don’t have to do the legwork. An agent that is loyal to a particular carrier may be able to offer discounts that you can’t get alone.

With multiple factors contributing to the price of your insurance premiums, it is important to shop around in order to get the best rate for your insurance needs. Feel free to contact us to determine if bundling is right for you and help you take advantage of all available discounts.