Lock Insurance – Lakeland, Florida

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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 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.

Make Sure the Model of Your Vehicle is Actually 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 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.

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 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.

Be on Guard

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.

Should you have any questions about Vehicle Recalls or Auto Insurance, 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 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.

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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 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.


Legal Aspect


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.


Financial Consequences


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.


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Understanding Why My Car Insurance Is So High

Car insurance rates are dependent on a number of factors, and understanding what your rate is based Auto Insurance Lakeland, Floridaupon 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.

Give us a call today!

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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 autogirl1either 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.

Contact us today!

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Make the Most of Your Tax Return

fistcashMaking the most with your tax return!

Taxpayers of any income level can file free with forms on the IRS site. Details and links at here.


If you do your own tax return and your adjusted gross income is $58,000 or less, you can file free from the IRS website, using Free File software. Or you can use the program on line or work with a cooperating company such as Turbo tax or H&R Block. Each company has its own criteria for who is eligible to file free with its program.


When you need human help, there are a number of companies, organizations and volunteers provide free tax-filing help in Florida.


Here are some places you can get free tax help in Florida:

  • AARP Tax-Aide. This program provides free help to low to moderate-income taxpayers of any age, with special attention to people over 60. Most of the aides are in libraries or senior centers, and it’s best to make an appointment. You can find a site at www.aarp.org/money/taxes/aarp_taxaide.
  • H&R Block will prepare your 1040EZ tax return for free through Feb. 15. Find a location here.
  • The IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program will file your return for free if you meet income guidelines, generally under $49,000 a year, according to the IRS website. To locate the nearest VITA site, call 1-800-906-9887 or go to here.

Most of the volunteer programs will file your return electronically for free, which speeds your refund, especially if you elect to have it deposited directly into your bank account. Otherwise, the IRS is providing refunds on debit cards this year.


When they load your card or fund your account you can quickly get car insurance over the phone or come into the office. Contact us today!

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How Other Sites Do Your Online Auto Insurance Quotes

When you are surfing the internet for the cheapest car insurance quotes, keep in mind a lot of the autogirl1advertisements that you see are for companies that sell and share your information. We promise never to share your information with no one else unless advised by you.


There are hundreds of these companies out there and they sell them to agencies like myself that pay 5 to 20 dollars for one shared lead, which are suppose to be sold out to know more than 5 times. If you get to a local company such as ourselves we just quote you through our 7 companies in house with in minutes.


Experience the difference at Lock Insurance.

Don Westerfeld 8/11/2010 10:15:00 PM

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