You just received your renewal for your auto policy. You skim down to find the new premium for the following year and you see it has increased by a couple hundred or more. Most auto policies take an annual rate increase otherwise known as an inflation guard. There are also other factors that could cause this increase.
Below is an article that gives insight into what determines your premium and what may increase your premium upon renewal. Keep in mind as your agents, we are here to review your policy if you ever have questions.
If you drive a vehicle, you are required by law to have insurance. But why do we need it? Consider hitting a car and injuring three passengers. If both your vehicle and the other vehicle are valued at $20,000 and considered total losses, and each passenger has medical claims of $20,000, this quickly adds up…
Movie Claim Monday: where our insurance minds speculate whether certain incidents in the cinematic universe would in fact be considered a covered claim.*
Our movie today is Fast Five. As the eighth installment of this series just came out, we shouldn’t be spoiling the plotline for you. The scene we are looking at is where the team (specifically Dom and Brian steal a large safe (bank vault) by attaching it to the back of their Dodge Chargers and cause massive damage during a very intense police chase. So here is where our insurance minds took us:
-The special upgrades on the Chargers are pretty awesome. Hopefully they notified their insurance carrier of those upgrades—they can be covered by comprehensive or collision if they are noted on the policy.
-Surprisingly, the only human injuries seem to be to the drug dealing cops, so that’s less liability to worry about.
-Speaking of liability, I sure hope they have super high limits with a huge umbrella policy. The damage done to buildings (like the bank) and all the other little structures would be millions in damage. I would venture they needed a $10 million umbrella for that kind of stuff.
-But, by far the biggest issue is that they are in Brazil. So unless they have an insurance policy for Brazil, it won’t be covered by any policy in the US. But they make millions off this particular situation, so they can just pay for it all themselves if need be.
*Disclaimer: Each insurance policy is different, and while we speculate here for enjoyment purposes, you will need to discuss your insurance policy directly with your agent or CSR. Our speculations here are in no way an indication that a similar occurrence would in fact be covered.
Written by Kristin King
A little extra caution can go a long way while driving at night
Summer has ended, and while fall and winter have their own pleasures, longer nights mean increased danger on the roads.
You might think you drive just as well at night, but consider this: Even though nighttime driving accounts for just 23% of vehicle miles traveled, more than 50% of fatalities for vehicle occupants 16 and older occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to the National Safety Commission (NSC).
Because we’re big advocates for safety at Brown & Brown Insurance, we thought it would be helpful to take a look at why night driving is more dangerous, and what you can do to decrease that danger.
What’s dangerous about night driving?
- Decreased vision. We won’t go into all the biological details, but different parts of the eye (such as iris, pupil and retina) work differently at night. Your peripheral vision is actually slightly improved, but it’s more difficult to focus on objects ahead of you. And traveling between well-lit areas and darker roads creates issues as well.
- Driving too fast for your headlights. Depending on vehicle speed and headlight setting, many people “over-drive” their headlights. That means, by the time they see something on the road, it’s too late to stop in time to avoid it.
- Impaired judgment. Whether due to drowsiness or the use of alcohol or drugs, it appears that drivers at night often don’t use good judgment. According to the NSC, 66% of fatalities at night involve vehicle occupants who weren’t wearing seat belts.
So what do you do?
Sometimes, there’s no way around driving at night. So here are some tips to help you make a safe trip — whether you’re just running to the store, or you’re headed all the way to Santa Fe.
- Make sure your vehicle’s lights are in good working condition. And not just headlights, but turn signals, taillights, etc.
- Avoid speeding. Leave a bigger cushion between you and other cars than you would during daylight hours. Leave yourself more time for the trip.
- Be more aware of your surroundings. You shouldn’t be using your phone, messing around with the radio or trying to find something on the floor while you’re on the road anyway — and distractions are even more deadly at night.
Of course, if you’re not comfortable driving at night, the best thing is to avoid it altogether if possible. There’s nothing wrong with asking for a ride from a trusted safe driver or waiting for the sun to come out!
At Brown & Brown Insurance, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 505-821-5888 or send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!
Content provided by Safeco Insurance
Saving Money on Your Personal Insurance
In today’s unsettled economy, many people are looking for ways to stretch their money—but sometimes this includes altering insurance coverages to dangerously low levels or eliminating coverage entirely. If you’re thinking about changing your coverage to save money, consider these key issues below — and give us a call. We can help make sure you’ve got the right protection at a price you can afford.
- Make sure you’re getting the appropriate discounts and credits: Most insurers offer a variety of policy credits and account discounts that can translate into significant savings — without endangering the level of protection you need for your home, autos and other valuable property. And often, if you purchase multiple policies through the same insurance company, you’ll receive further discounts. People who own motorcycles or boats and who complete approved safety courses can qualify for discounts, and families with teen drivers who earn good grades in school may qualify for auto policy discounts.
- Increase deductibles for cost savings: Only a small percentage of homeowners have claims in any given year, so you might consider increasing your deductible.
- Specialty lines coverage options: Own a classic car or RV? If their use is seasonal, you can typically reduce your coverage to liability only during the off-season, then add full coverage only when you are actually using the vehicle
- Full payment on policy: Depending on your financial circumstances, you may be able to make lump-sum payments instead of partial premium payments, such as monthly or quarterly. Partial payments often include small transaction fees, so paying the full amount can eliminate those extra costs.
Some decisions to avoid
It is just as important to understand what not to do as you look for cost savings. Here are some scenarios you should avoid:
- It may be unwise to carry only the minimum state-required amount of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on auto policies, or to cancel it entirely if it is not required in your state: According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC)*, the correlation between the percentage of uninsured motorists and the unemployment rate is high — when the economy is struggling, more people go without insurance. You want to make sure you’re protected in this instance.
- Ignoring renters insurance: This coverage is often overlooked no matter what shape the economy is in. Landlords’ policies generally only cover the structure, not the individual renters’ contents. Imagine having to replace furniture, clothing and other personal property out of pocket because you excluded this essential, affordable coverage and then suffered a devastating loss from a burglary or other covered event.
Saving money is important, but so is making sure that what you’ve got is protected. If you’re looking for ways to save, or want to review your coverages, give us a call!
*Insurance Research Council, January 21, 2009
Pretty often we will receive calls in our office regarding rental car coverage. Many people don’t know that rental coverage needs to requested to be added on to their policy as an endorsement, and it is only applicable with a covered comprehensive or collision claim. The article below is very informative on rental car coverage and the best way to go about starting a claim to get you back on the road while your vehicle is in the shop.