It can be a nerve-wracking experience, your teen, who you raised from a baby is now ready to traverse the roadways, and you aren’t sure if he or she is prepared. While they may be mature enough to handle the responsibility and may have finished driver’s ed, you are just not convinced that it is time for he or she to take to the road. Here are some ways you can be sure if your teenager is ready to drive down the streets of your town.
It is second nature to you to know where everything in your car is, but your teen does not have the years of experience driving that you have obtained. The first thing that you should do before taking to the road is to know where all the essential equipment is in your vehicle. Your teen probably knows about the break and gas pedals, but may not know how to adjust the side mirrors or how to use the wash feature with the windshield wipers. Here is a list of all the things your teen should know how to operate the vehicle before taking to the road:
Your teen should also be able to understand what the warning lights mean on the dashboard; a key can usually be found in the owner’s manual or online.
That empty grocery store parking lot down the street you’ve been complaining about is now your ally. It is the perfect place to let your teen drive slowly.
Your teen can get a feel for applying the gas and breaks, and if you have a manual transmission, your son or daughter can learn how to shift gears in the parking lot.
With all those empty parking spaces around you can teach your teen how to park. If you have cones available to you, use them in the adjacent parking spaces to simulate parked cars.
An empty parking lot is also a perfect place to have your teen drive in rain, fog, or snow. The parking lot will provide safety the roads can’t as they learn how to turn into a slide. After a few times practicing in the parking lot, your teen will be ready for the next steps.
Staring out in low traffic areas like your neighborhood is a wise idea. Start below the speed limit; your teen may not have the reaction time yet to react when an animal or child runs out in front of them.
After being on the road at a slower speed a few times gradually increase the speed your teen drives at until they are driving at the speed limit. Be sure that there is an understanding of what the different traffic signs are and what they mean. After your teen has learned the basics like merging into traffic and how to be a defensive driver you can move on to more advanced roadways.
Getting on the on-ramp to the interstate or a highway can be intimidating to a teen, but if you have prepared them, panic won’t set in. Make sure they know how to accelerate until their speed matches the traffic they will be merging with as they get on the interstate or highway. Once your teen has had the first eighteen-wheeler blow past, he or she will feel less anxiety when the next one comes along.
Before you let your teen drive alone make sure of the following:
Once you have decided your teen is able to drive alone, you can take solace in the fact that you have prepared her or him for the challenges of being on the road.Continue Reading
If you were watching the nightly news and saw that your car, truck, or SUV was recalled you are one of the millions who has had their vehicle recalled for a defect that affects safety over the past decade. There is usually scant detail about this looming danger to you and your loved ones when you ride in the family car. You have no idea where and how to start looking into your vehicle being recalled; with that in mind here are some actions you can take when your vehicle is recalled.
If you purchased the vehicle directly from the dealer, a notice will be sent to you in the mail if your car is of the type being recalled. Dealerships are required by law to inform their customers when a recall occurs, so you will be contacted. If you are not the original owner, or not willing to wait because say something such as the gas pedal is sticking to the floor, or a component that causes the gas tank to explode are the reason for the recall there is a way to find out if your vehicle is being recalled.
Ever car has what is known as a vehicle identification number (VIN) that tracks things like transactions the car was involved in and for things like recalls. Usually, you can locate the VIN on the front corner of the dashboard in front of the steering wheel. In some cases, it will be found on the driver’s side door jamb when you open the door.
Using the vehicle’s VIN, you can go to safercar.gov which is run by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. By entering the VIN, you can determine if the recall applies to your vehicle.
When you receive a letter from the dealership where you purchased the car, it will give you instructions on how to set up an appointment at the dealership or with an authorized mechanic to perform repairs.
If you did not purchase the car directly from a dealer, contact the manufacturer dealership in your area, and they will be able to assist you. In most cases, there won’t be a charge for repairs. However, if the recall is on tires, you will only have 180 days to have them replaced before a fee is assessed.
Unfortunately, the reputation of car dealerships and mechanics being unscrupulous has been well earned by some. Remember, in almost all vehicle recalls there is no charge for repairs. If the dealership you received the letter from, or the dealer authorized mechanic who is going to do the repairs asks for money, take your car home.
Contact another manufacturer dealership and explain what happened; in most cases, they will offer assistance or direct you to another authorized mechanic.
As previously stated, the only scenarios where there would be fees associated with recalls are when the car is older, or it’s past 180 days on a tire recall. There should be absolutely no charge on a recently purchased vehicle.
If you do encounter someone trying to charge for recalls be sure to inform both the manufacturer and the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration.
So, breathe easy, having your car recalled may cause some slight inconvenience, but it is not the ordeal many think it will be.Continue Reading
Shopping around for auto insurance is the best way to make sure you are getting the best deal. But not every agent or insurance company quotes in the same way.
It’s important to be sure you are comparing apples to apples when you compare auto insurance quotes to ensure that you are getting a great deal. That low price may come with lower coverage or higher deductibles and might not be such a great deal after all. Learn how to compare auto insurance quotes for a truly good rate.
Are The Coverages The Same?
When you read over an auto insurance quote (and do read it-ask for it to be emailed or faxed to you, as mistakes can be made over the phone!) look to be sure that the numbers listed for liability limits, uninsured motorist coverage, and the comprehensive and collision deductibles match up. Then look for additional coverages that are listed on the quote, such as roadside assistance. Make sure that all of the quotes you compare list exactly the same coverage, for accurate comparison.
Is The Policy Term The Same?
Some rates look absolutely incredible-until you realize the policy term is only six months. Some companies offer different policy terms as well as different payment plan options. If you plan to make monthly payments on your policy, be sure to ask for the monthly premium. It isn’t necessarily as simple as dividing a yearly premium by twelve. Many insurance companies charge fees for the privilege of paying your premium on a monthly basis, which can make the total yearly cost of the policy higher than quoted.
Are The Discounts The Same?
An auto insurance rate may appear lower because it was quoted with a discount such as auto/home which you may not necessarily qualify for or desire. If you don’t plan to take out a homeowner’s policy with the same company, make sure they haven’t quoted it that way. Also check for other discounts; they won’t all match up, as every company offers different discount options. The best thing to do is to compare which discounts you do qualify for, with each company, to help determine who is offering the best discounts. Be on the lookout for discounts that don’t actually apply to you and will likely be removed by underwriting after you accept the policy.
A good quote will be simple, straightforward, and easy to read. It will outline all of the coverage included in the quote and apply only those discounts for which you truly qualify. An inaccurately low rate in the quote won’t do you much good if it changes once you accept the policy.Continue Reading
You probably hear a lot about auto insurance discounts; television commercials for various companies strongly advertise all the discounts they have available. Most insurance companies do have many ways you can qualify for better rates, and some of them are better known than others. Although you won’t qualify for all of the discounts, you can make certain you are getting all the appropriate discounts on your premium.
Insurance companies want to get as much of your business as they possibly can, so they offer good discounts when you add more policies to your account. Multi-policy discounts can include options such as multi-car, auto/home, auto/life, and many other combinations of policies. Some companies even offer a discount if they insure your boat or RV. Qualifying for these discounts is easy; simply start a second policy with your insurance company, and the discount should apply.
Good Driver And Longevity Discounts
These discounts are easy to qualify for as well. If you have a good driving record, you should be getting the discount automatically. The same usually goes for a longevity discount. This is a discount that applies to your policies after you have been with a company for a certain period of time. Often the longer you continue to renew the policy, the larger the discount will become. The key to longevity discounts is to stay with one company long enough. Skipping from company to company for lower rates may not save you as much in the end as staying in one place.
Discounts For Younger Drivers
There is no question that adding a young driver to your policy can be an expensive proposition. If you have a teenager new to driving, inquire about a good student discount that can alleviate some of the cost. You will likely be required to provide a transcript proving your child has the required grade point average to qualify. Some companies also offer a new driver training course, and your young driver can qualify for a discount just by taking the course. It can usually be done right in your agent’s office. Not only will you save money, but you will help put safer young drivers on the road.
These are just a few of the discounts you may qualify for with your insurance company. Each company is different, so be sure to ask your agent so that you don’t miss out on potentially big savings on your premiums.
If you let your auto insurance coverage Lapse it doesn’t seem to be that serious of a matter on the surface. It is not only illegal to drive without insurance; it can also have much more serious consequences than a ticket for driving without insurance. A lapse in auto insurance can have far-reaching results with the potential to affect your entire life.
All drivers are required by law to carry a minimum liability policy in order to get behind the wheel. This protects all of the drivers on the road by ensuring that in the event of an accident, the at-fault party will have insurance to pay for the damage and in some cases have to carry a sr-22 filing.
If you think you can’t afford to pay your insurance premiums, then you really can’t afford not to pay them. If you are involved in an accident where you are found to be at fault, and there is no insurance to pay the damages, you will be responsible for the first 10,000 dollars if you cannot they will suspend your licence. In a more serious accident with a lot of property damage and injuries, this can add up really quickly. You may not have the thousands of dollars to pay the bills, but with a judgment against you your wages can be garnished and other assets placed in danger. Not paying that insurance premium can lead to paying off a huge amount of money for the rest of your life.
Future Insurance Premiums
Some insurance companies won’t even take a driver who does not have previous insurance, while others will simply charge you a higher premium. A lapse in your old policy can mean that you will no longer qualify for the rates you were getting before. You may lose discounts including longevity with your insurance company, or be treated as a higher risk to the company. You may also have to make a new down payment or pay reinstatement fees. It can take a while to work your way back up to getting the better rates reserved for the company’s best customers. Some insurance companies may also have a limit on the number of times you can lapse before they refuse to reinstate you.
A lapse in your insurance policy can be much more costly than had you simply continued to pay your premiums. If you are having trouble paying your insurance bill, talk to your agent about ways to reduce your prices, rather than allowing a lapse to occur in the first place.
Car insurance rates are dependent on a number of factors, and understanding what your rate is based upon can help you determine whether you are getting the best deal available. Here are some of the criteria your auto insurance rate is based upon; this will give you a better idea of the factors determining your rate and what you can do to get the best rate possible.
Age And Experience- These two factors can have the biggest influence on the rates you will be paying for your auto insurance. It had been shown that young drivers are involved in more accidents than more mature drivers. Experience has also been shown to be a factor in accident rates. In most cases, however, an older person who is a new driver will have lower rates than a younger new driver.
Location- Where you live also has an effect on the auto insurance rates you will pay. Areas with more traffic, higher accident rates, and more dangerous weather conditions are seen as bigger risks, and as a result the drivers in these locations are forced to pay higher rates.
Type Of Vehicle You Drive- Several factors related to the type of vehicle you drive will influence your auto insurance rates. Newer cars cost more to repair and replace and therefore you will pay higher rates to insurance a newer vehicle. The make and model or your car, and even the color, can affect your premiums.
Credit Score- While it may not seem obvious or even fair that those with lower credit scores should be seen as higher risk drivers, your credit score does affect your insurance rates.
If you are concerned with the rates you are paying for your auto insurance, it is always a good idea to shop around, even if you’re not due to renew for a while. It will give you a better idea of whether the rates you are paying are fair, and help you find an insurance company that can offer you a better deal once your renewal date has come up.Continue Reading
If you have recently been in an car accident you are likely already dealing with considerable stress, but worrying about whether your auto insurance rates will increase as a result shouldn’t be your priority when making a claim. Here are some facts about how accidents affect car insurance rates and what you can do to minimize the effect of potential rate increases should this ever happen to you. After all, car insurance is meant to keep us protected in case of an accident, and finding the right plan will ensure that.
Knowing Your Policy
This may seem obvious, but knowing exactly what is covered in your insurance policy and what happens in case of an accident will ensure that you are prepared if it should occur. Depending on your policy, you may or may not have an insurance premium hike after an accident. This is a good thing to know when you are shopping around for car insurance.
Choosing A Policy With Accident Forgiveness
There are a number of auto insurance policies on the market that offer first at-fault accident forgiveness. This means that your rates will not go up for your first accident. This, of course, only applies to drivers who have never been involved in an at-fault accident, but if this does apply to you it is a feature that you definitely need to look for.
In most cases, the more claims you make the more your rates will increase, and though we may not like it, this clearly makes sense. A few comparisons, however, can help you find a company that will not only offer you fair rate increases, but one that is transparent about its charges. This is usually a sign of an honest and reliable company, an important factor in choosing your insurance.
Before you purchase your car insurance online there are a few things about online car insurance companies that you should know to keep yourself protected, and to make sure that you get the best rate you can.
Finding A Reliable Provider
The most important part of purchasing any type of car insurance policy is ensuring that you are choosing a reliable company that can provide you with the type of professional product and service you need. While finding an insurance company that can give you the products and services you want and need in the real world can be confusing enough, spreading your search to the World Wide Web presents a whole new set of potential concerns.
The key to finding an insurance provider online is to establish a set of criteria beyond the normal criteria you would use to select an insurance company. This includes evaluating whether the company you are looking at is actually a licensed insurance provider or possibly a scam. In general you need to look for:
A reputable company, such as Lock Insurance.
Information about the company and contact information that is verified
Association with a professional insurance organization and proof of license
It is never a good idea to provide personal information about yourself online without knowing who has access to it, and whether it is being transmitted securely. If you are in any doubt it is a good idea to contact the company directly and discuss any reservations you have with them.
Buying auto insurance online can be convenient and safe, as well as a quick way to shop around, as long as a few precautions are taken. It is always your right as a consumer to ask questions, and being proactive online in any context is always a good idea.
Many auto insurance companies today don’t sell their policies through agents, but directly from the company either online or over the phone. It might seem that having an agent to help you purchase auto insurance is a thing of the past, but don’t discount the auto insurance agent just yet. There are some very good reasons to consider using an insurance agent for your auto policy purchase.
Agents Know Their Products
Many of the customer service representatives who handle the phones at large insurance companies know the basics of auto insurance policies, enough to help you select and purchase one. But insurance agents, especially those who have been around for a while, understand a lot more about coverage and policy limits. They can share with you a wealth of knowledge that will ensure you not only get the right policy, but the best rate and a good understanding of what you are paying for. An agent will help you select the best possible coverage limits to fit your needs.
Agents Are On Your Side
If the day comes when you need to file a claim, it’s always good to have someone who is truly on your side. Especially in a complicated claim, your agent can walk you through the process and be there to answer all your questions. An agent is also there to step in when there are disagreements with the adjuster or other involved parties at the insurance company. Because your agent knows all about the policy and how the claims process works, they will better be able to negotiate and discuss claims issues with your adjuster.
Agents Keep Your Policy Accurate
A good agent will take the time to review your policy regularly and make sure that everything is accurate and you are still carrying the coverage you need. An agent knows when changes in your life might affect your insurance coverage needs, such as a marriage or a child reaching driving age. Large insurance companies simply can’t provide that level of personal attention.
Are Agents More Expensive?
There is a general view that an insurance policy purchased through an agent will cost more than one purchased directly. That isn’t necessarily true. The best rate for you may well be one from an agency, so don’t discount quotes from agents when you are shopping for car insurance. You might get the best rate along with the service an agent can provide.
You might not feel that you need an agent for your auto insurance, but there are certainly some very good reasons to take the time to meet with a few and see if it turns out to be right for you.Continue Reading
If you are like me, than you are probably on a budget. That being said, who wouldn’t want to save money if they could? Did you know that most all insurance companies offer a variety of ways to pay your insurance each month?
Like most bills, insurance is paid predominately on a monthly basis, however some people do opt to pay annually or semi annually. For the majority of us who pay monthly there are a number of options available to us.
Many companies allow customers to pay via credit card, debit card, cash or through your bank using a routing and account number. Some companies charge for these services, however most do not.
I personally have found that the easiest, most efficient way of paying my automobile insurance is through Electronic Funds Transfer, also known as EFT is the transfer of funds from your insurance carrier for the purpose of premium payment.
EFT can be done through your credit card, debit card, savings or checking account.
Aside from the convenience of not having to write out a check, or call to make a payment, EFT is also a good way to avoid the dreaded late fee that is associated with simply forgetting to pay your bill on time, it also eliminates the monthly service charge you would otherwise have to pay.
For me, it’s a way to ensure that my insurance is paid every month on the due date. And more importantly, being on EFT saves me money, which helps with that budget I am on. Most insurance carriers, offer a discount for paying your insurance this way because it also saves them time and money.
Be care though and remember that EFT is an AUTOMATIC withdrawal from your account! If you are on EFT and for some reason need to change your withdrawal date make sure to give your agent enough time to change the date for you.
A lot of insurance carriers need at least three to five business days to change the withdrawal date. Also remember that if you are switching banks or have closed your account you must let your insurance agent know immediately so that this information can be updated, failure to do so can result in your policy being cancelled if your policy premium is not paid in time or funds are not available.Continue Reading