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Category Archives for Auto Insurance

Is Your Teen Ready For The Road_01

Is Your Teen Ready for the Road?

It can be a nerve-wracking experience, your teen, who you raised as 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 him or her 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.

Equip them with Equipment.

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 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:

  • Headlights
  • Windshield Wipers
  • The steering wheel and seat adjustments
  • Hazzard Lights
  • Turn Signals
  • Seat Adjustments
  • Side Mirrors
  • Rear View Mirror
  • Parking Break (Emergency Break)

Your teen should also understand what the warning lights mean on the dashboard; a key can usually be found in the owner’s manual or online.

Make Sure Your Teen is Comfortable with the Vehicle

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 brakes, 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. Use cones in the adjacent parking spaces to simulate parked cars if you have cones.

An empty parking lot is also perfect for your teen to 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 practicing in the parking lot a few times, your teen will be ready for the next steps.

Getting Your Teen on The Road

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 rate your teen drives until they are driving at the speed limit. Ensure that there is an understanding of the different traffic signs and what they mean. After your teen has learned the basics, like merging into traffic and being 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. Ensure they know how to accelerate until their speed matches the traffic they will be merging with 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:

  • Your teen knows how to change a flat tire.
  • Your teen won’t text and drive.
  • That your teen won’t be tempted to speed or race against friends.
  • Your teen knows to watch the fuel gauge.
  • Your teen will perform regular maintenance on the vehicle.

Once you have decided your teen can drive alone, you can take solace in the fact that you have prepared her or him for the challenges of being on the road.

Should you have any questions about Auto Insurance for you and your teen, contact us via email or at (863) 646-LOCK.

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What to do if Your Vehicle is Recalled Due to Safety

If you were watching the nightly news and saw that your car, truck, or SUV was recalled, you are one of the millions who have had their vehicle recalled for a defect that affected 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 car is placed.

Make Sure the Model of Your Vehicle is Being 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 that they will be contacted. Suppose you are not the original owner or are unwilling to wait because, say, something such as the gas pedal sticking to the floor or a component that causes the gas tank to explode is the reason for the recall. In that case, there is a way to determine if your vehicle is being recalled.

Every car has what is known as a vehicle identification number (VIN) that tracks things like transactions the car was involved in and things like recalls. Usually, you can locate the VIN on the front corner of the dashboard in front of the steering wheel. Sometimes, it will be found on the driver’s side door jamb when you open it.

You can use the vehicle’s VIN to safercar.gov, which the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration runs.  You can determine if the recall applies to your vehicle by entering the VIN.

My Vehicle was Recalled. What do I do Now?

When you receive a letter from the dealership where you purchased the car, it will give you instructions on setting 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.

Be on Guard

Unfortunately, the reputation of car dealerships and mechanics being unscrupulous has been well earned by some. Remember, there is no charge for repairs in almost all vehicle recalls. If the dealership you received the letter from or the dealer-authorized mechanic who will 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 no charge on a recently purchased vehicle. 

If you encounter someone trying to charge for recalls, be sure to inform 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.

Should you have any questions about Vehicle Recalls or Auto Insurance, please email us or call us at (863) 646-LOCK.

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When You are Comparing Auto Insurance Quotes

Shopping around for auto insurance is the best way to ensure you get the best deal.  But not every agent or insurance company quotes in the same way.

It’s essential 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 more inadequate coverage or higher deductibles and might not be such a great deal after all.  Learn how to compare auto insurance quotes for an excellent 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 listed on the quote, such as roadside assistance.  Ensure that all of the quotes you compare list precisely in the same range for accurate comparison.

Is The Policy Term The Same?

Some rates look 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 monthly payments on your policy, ask for the monthly premium.  It isn’t necessarily as simple as dividing a yearly premium by twelve.  Many insurance companies charge fees for paying your premium every month, which can make the total annual 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, ensure 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 deals you qualify for with each company to help determine who is offering the best discounts.  Be on the lookout for discounts that don’t 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 the coverage in the quote and apply only those discounts you genuinely qualify for.  An inaccurately low rate in the selection won’t do much good if it changes once you accept the policy. www.lockinsurance.com.

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Auto Insurance Discounts

You probably hear a lot about auto insurance discounts; television commercials for various companies firmly advertise their available discounts. Most insurance companies do have many ways to qualify for better rates, some of which are better known than others. Although you won’t qualify for all of the discounts, you can ensure you get all the appropriate discounts on your premium.

Multi-policy Discounts

Insurance companies want to get as much of your business as possible, so they offer discounts when you add more policies to your account. Multi-policy deals 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 straightforward; 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. You should get the discount automatically if you have a good driving record. The same usually goes for a longevity discount. This discount applies to your policies after being with a company for a certain period. The longer you 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 as staying in one place.

Discounts For Younger Drivers

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 to alleviate some of the cost. You will likely be required to provide a transcript proving your child’s 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 discounts you may qualify for with your insurance company. Each company is different, so be sure to ask your agent so you don’t miss out on potentially big savings on your premiums.


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If You Let Your Auto Insurance Coverage Lapse

car-insuranceIf 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 severe 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.


Legal Aspect


All drivers are legally required to carry a minimum liability policy to get behind the wheel. This protects all 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 sometimes have to carry an sr-22 filing.


Financial Consequences


If you think you can’t afford to pay your insurance premiums, you can’t afford to pay them. If you are involved in an accident where you are found to be at fault and have no insurance to pay the damages, you will be responsible for the first 10,000 dollars. If you cannot, they will suspend your license. This can add up quickly in a more severe accident with a lot of property damage and injuries.  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 tremendous 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 charge you a higher premium. A lapse in your old policy can mean you will no longer qualify for the rates you were getting.  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 get 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 continuing 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.


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Understanding Why My Car Insurance Is So High

Car insurance rates depend on several factors, and understanding your rate 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 significantly influence the rates you will be paying for your auto insurance. It has 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 affects the auto insurance rates you will pay. Areas with more traffic, higher accident rates, and more dangerous weather conditions are seen as more significant 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 kind 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 insure a newer vehicle. The make and model of 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 considered higher-risk drivers, your credit score affects your insurance rates.

If you are concerned with the rates you pay for your auto insurance, it is always a good idea to shop around, even if you’re not renewing for a while. It will give you a better idea of whether your rates are fair and help you find an insurance company that can offer you a better deal once your renewal date has come up.

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Will A Car Accident Affect My Auto Insurance Rates?

If you have recently been in an car accident you are likely already dealing with considerable stress, but caraccidentworrying 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.


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Buying Car Insurance Online

Before you purchase your car insurance online there are a few things about online car insurance companiesMan And Woman Having Argument After Traffic Accident 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.

A quality website

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.


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Why Do I Need An Auto Insurance Agent.

Many auto insurance companies today don’t sell their policies through agents but directly from the company autogirl1online 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 excellent 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 more about coverage and policy limits. They can share with you a wealth of knowledge that will ensure you get the right policy, the best rate, and a good understanding of what you are paying for. An agent will help you select the best 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 genuinely 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 insurance company’s adjuster or other involved parties. Because your agent knows all about the policy and how the claims process works, they can better 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 that 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 can’t provide that level of personal attention.


Are Agents More Expensive?

Generally, an insurance policy purchased through an agent will cost more than one bought directly. That isn’t necessarily true. The best rate for you may be one from an agency, so don’t discount quotes from agents when shopping for car insurance. You might get the best rate and the service an agent can provide.

You might not feel that you need an agent for your auto insurance, but there are certainly some excellent reasons to take the time to meet with a few and see if it turns out to be right for you.

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Benfits of Electronic Funds Transfer

fistcashIf you are like me, then you are probably on a budget. That being said, who wouldn’t want to save money if they could? Did you know that almost all insurance companies offer a variety of ways to pay your insurance each month?

Like most bills, insurance is paid predominately monthly. However, some people do opt to pay annually or semi-annually. For the majority of us who pay monthly, several options are available.


Ways to Pay for Insurance

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 have found that the easiest, most efficient way of paying for my automobile insurance is through Electronic Funds Transfer, also known as EFT, which is the transfer of funds from your insurance carrier for premium payment.


EFT can be done through your credit, debit, savings, or checking accounts.


More About Electronic Funds Transfer

Aside from the convenience of not having to write out a check or call to make a payment, EFT is also an excellent way to avoid the dreaded late fee 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 my budget. Most insurance carriers offer a discount for paying your insurance this way because it saves them time and money.


Be careful, 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.


Many 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 canceled if your policy premium is not paid in time or funds are not available.

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