If you drive, you need auto insurance coverage. But just exactly which type of coverage should you have, and which ones are you required to have? In this video are the key features of auto insurance (depending on your unique circumstances, you may or may not need all these features): Click here to watch video or on the image below
EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY
Do you like the new car smell or the shine of new paint? Buying a car can be exciting and stressful at the same time. Negotiations and paperwork can lead to many hours spent at a car dealership. Learning about the new technology and safety features available on cars today may require even more time at the dealership.
Based on your insurance company, discounts may be available for these new safety features. Here is a list of new safety features/systems that may be in your next car.
Forward Crash Avoidance – We’ve all been in a situation where traffic comes to a sudden stop or we approach a car too quickly. This system helps prevent those situations by alerting you when your vehicle is getting close to another auto or object. The system may automatically cause your car to brake in order to avoid the collision.
Lane Departure – Fatigue or distractions can cause you to inadvertently stray across lane markings. A lane departure warning system alerts you if this happens when your turn signal is not activated.
Blind Spot Monitoring – If you drive through rush hour traffic on a regular basis, changing lanes can be difficult. A blind spot monitoring system alerts you to the presence of an auto, or other object, in the vehicle's blind spot.
Backup Warning System – Sadly, we’ve all heard of the stories of small children injured or killed by a vehicle backing up. By 2018, all new vehicles sold in the U.S. will have these systems installed. These systems are comprised of sensors and/or cameras that alert the driver of objects located behind the vehicle. These systems may also include an alert when traffic is approaching the vehicle from the side. These systems may or may not include automatic braking functionality.
Adaptive Headlights – As we approach fall, deer hits significantly increase. Adaptive headlights follow the path of the vehicle, adjusting the beam to the curve of the road, as well as the speed and steering angle of the auto. These new headlights may help spot animals that dart out onto the road. Please note: Daytime running lights or automatic on/off headlight features are different from adaptive headlights, and do not qualify for a discount.
Driver Fatigue Sensing System– Drowsy driving is a problem in the United States, which often has tragic results. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2013 drowsy driving was responsible for approximately:
This system will monitor driver steering patterns and other behaviors to detect a lack of attention and/or potential drowsiness. The driver is typically alerted by vibrations in the steering wheel or seat, or with audible warnings.
Please remember these discounts vary by coverage and a maximum vehicle discount is applicable based on the number and combination of discounts. Talk to your independent insurance agent to see if your car qualifies.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share? I’d love to hear your thoughts; please share them in the box below.
EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY
How to Avoid Buying a Car Flooded by Hurricanes
It has become predictable. First come the hurricane and flooding. Then come the dire warnings about waterlogged cars being put up for sale without any notice about flood damage.
This year’s big storms have flooded a huge number of vehicles — hundreds of thousands, if not the half-million that were initially feared. But with some basic due diligence — and a discerning eye — you can usually avoid buying a water-damaged car from an unscrupulous seller.
Most newer vehicles hit by the storms will be written off as total losses by the insurance companies. The owner will receive a check, and the insurance company will take possession of the vehicle, reporting it to searchable databases.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau said this week that nearly 270,000 insurance claims related to Hurricane Harvey vehicle damage had been processed, and nearly another 70,000 for Hurricane Irma. It is not clear how many of those claims will be declared total losses.
EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY
“Why did my insurance premium increase? I haven’t been in an accident, gotten any tickets, or made changes to my policy.”
Sound familiar? This question is one insurance agents receive all the time. When the cost of your car insurance goes up at renewal, the increase can feel unjustified — especially if you’ve been insured with the company for a long time and haven’t had any tickets or accidents. I felt the same way when the cost of my auto insurance increased by 28% last year (yes, insurance agents are impacted by premium increases, too!).
But before switching insurance companies, there are two important things to keep in mind. First, rate increases aren’t unique to any one insurance company or geographic area. Premium increases are impacting drivers across the country for a variety of reasons. Second, and more importantly, there are things you can do to off-set any premium increase you receive.
(Watch: ABC News Report “Auto insurance costs rise, in part due to texting by drivers”)
Why are insurance companies raising rates?
At its most basic form, the premise of insurance is sharing risk and shouldering costs with others. Although your individual circumstances or driving behaviors may not have changed, all of us are impacted by the following:
How Can You Lower Your Car Insurance Premium?
Most importantly, drive carefully. Observing traffic rules and speed limits and avoiding moving violations and accidents is the best way to reduce your insurance costs over time. There are also many immediate solutions to lowering your auto insurance premium:
Emerge Insurance Agency Can Help
As independent insurance agents, we represent the Pacific Northwest’s best insurance companies, including Safeco, Travelers, Progressive and other top-rated companies.
We can advise you on your insurance options and ensure you’re still receiving the combination of value and protection that is right for your family.
Not a Emerge Insurance Agency client yet? Click here to request an insurance review by one of our agents, or call our office at 904-677-5884.
Coverage Regardless of Fault
Accidents and damages that fall into this category of coverage include roll-over accidents, a collision with another vehicle or costs resulting from an encounter with a fixed object like a pothole, guardrail or light post. Collision coverage applies only to your vehicle, it doesn’t cover whatever your vehicle collided with – that would be covered under property damage liability coverage if you were found legally responsible for the accident.
Collision coverage is usually sold with a deductible amount. A deductible is the out-of-pocket expense you agree to pay before any payment from the insurance company kicks in. Deductibles range from $0 – $2,000, but limits of $250, $500 or $1,000 are most common. Generally, the rule of thumb is the higher the deductible, the lower the corresponding coverage premium.
Although collision insurance is not required by any state, your lending institution may require this coverage if you are financing your auto. If your vehicle is involved in an accident and considered “totaled” (when the repair costs exceed a certain threshold of the vehicle’s value), you and your lending institution would be protected up to the actual cash value (ACV) or “fair market value” of the vehicle. Depending on the term of your loan, it’s possible that the vehicle will depreciate more quickly than the value of your loan. To avoid paying the difference to the lender out of pocket, you can purchase gap insurance, which typically covers the difference between a vehicle’s actual cash value and the sum owed to the lender.
EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY
Cecil Williams -