Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Back to School Tips

It’s August and back to school season is just around the corner.  Are you prepared?  Here are a few tips to get you and your family ready “insurance” wise!

Talk About Safety! 

Do you have young children who will be walking or riding their bike to school?  Take time to talk about safety and do a “dry run” of the school route. 

Have your children practice following the sidewalks, understanding the traffic lights, stranger safety, and what to do in case of an emergency. 

Don’t forget to buy new helmets or other safety gear so that it’s the right fit for the new school year.  There are some great video resources on bike safety for a variety of ages available here:  http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/bicyclesaferjourney/

Cell Phone Safety

If your children are a little older, then you have another safety discussion!  Talk about the rules for using cell phones while driving, especially in regards to texting.  In 2012, driver distraction was the cause of 18% of fatal accidents.  Some studies have shown that texting increases the risk of a crash 23 times over driving while not distracted! 

Set up clear consequences for distracted driving and be clear with your teens about the dangers.  If you need ideas, here is a sample contract to create between you and your teen driver that you can adjust as needed - http://www.hagen-law.com/teenage-drivers-contract/ 

Get Good Grades

Depending on your policy, you may be eligible for discounts when your teenage driver has good grades!  Encourage them to keep their grades high for many reasons, with better insurance rates being one of them.  This is especially motivating for teens that have to pay for their own insurance!

There are also some discounts available for drivers ed and additional drivers training courses.  Give us a call to discuss what is available on your particular policy.   

College Kids Count, Too!

While you’ll want to remind your college age kids about not driving distracted, there are a few other things to consider for them, too.

Depending on your homeowners insurance, you may or may not need additional coverage for your college student’s belongings while away at school.

Those laptops, textbooks, clothes, and electronics can add up fast!  While Homeowners insurance does provide coverage for property off premises, it may not be enough (or may have a high deductible). 

We can review your current policy and look at options for covering your student’s belongings through your homeowners or a new renters insurance policy.

If you have questions about your college student's or teen driver’s insurance, give us a call at 888-867-2866.  And enjoy going back to school!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

What Factors Can Cause Rate Increases?

Worried about your insurance rates going up?  Here are some things you can do to prevent a rate increase! 

There are a lot of factors that go into determining your insurance rate.  And, at times, your rate may go up (or down!)

Let’s look at what can cause changes:

You buy a new vehicle.  If you purchase a new vehicle, there is a good chance your insurance rates will change somewhat.  If the vehicle is newer, more expensive, or if you have a lienholder and require full coverage, your rate may increase.

Why do some vehicles have higher rates than others?  Simply because some cost more to fix.  If a vehicle has expensive tires or other fancy upgrades, it's more expensive to replace these items. All of these things play into the rate on that particular car.

You change your household.  Any household changes may change your rate.  Getting married might lower your rate, but adding a teenage driver will probably increase it!  Rates are determined by the age and driving history of each person in the household.  That doesn’t mean you’ll see huge swings in price, but just keep it in mind when making changes.

You move.  Rates are also calculated based on the zip code where you drive the most.  If you move from a high-traffic city, where there tend to be more collisions, to a much less populated rural area, your rate will go down (and vice versa).

You get a ticket.  Unfortunately, getting a moving violation ticket can raise your rates.  Whether it's speeding, negligent or reckless driving, or other dangerous practices, it shows that you’re at a higher risk of having an accident and causing a claim. Obeying all traffic laws and keeping your driving history clean will save you money! 

You lose a discount.  Most policies have several discounts included and if those discounts expire, your rate may increase.  If you’re receiving a discount for being accident-free for several years and then have an accident, the loss of the discount will increase your rate.

If you have your auto and home insurance with the same carrier for a multi-policy discount, then move one to another insurance company, your rates will go up.

Maybe you were receiving a discount for having your policy on monthly draft and then decided to just send in a check.  You might see a slight increase here too. 

The best way to keep your rate low?  Work with us!  As a local insurance agency, we’ll review your coverage, discuss your discounts, look at potential risks for rate increases, and help keep you protected.  Call SAV-ON today at 888-867-2866 for a quote!