Eggar Insurance Agency http://www.eggarinsurance.com Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:22:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Cheap Car Insurance: Making your Insurance $$ Count http://www.eggarinsurance.com/eggar-insurance-blog/cheap-car-insurance http://www.eggarinsurance.com/eggar-insurance-blog/cheap-car-insurance#comments Thu, 08 May 2014 22:59:02 +0000 https://www.eggarinsurance.com/?p=6468 You’re here and you are researching how to make your insurance dollars really work for you. Chances are you are pretty savvy and know that with a bit of effort you can make smart insurance choices. Fortunately, you came to the right place today.

Let me tell you a little secret though. What you’re looking for isn’t actually “cheap car insurance”. Cheap implies that you have to sacrifice quality for cost. That’s not the real secret though. The real secret is that you don’t have to sacrifice quality and safety to accomplish the savings that you want. That makes it affordable insurance – but certainly not cheap.

In the average person’s mind, they might not understand that not all insurance companies are created equally. If you’d done your research though, you have already discovered that simply isn’t the truth. There are companies that are highly ranked and are known for a fantastic claims experience – but have affordable rates. There are companies on the other end of the spectrum though. Companies that are quite likely to pull up when you do a search for cheap auto insurance that won’t really accomplish what you’re looking to do. That is of course to be a savvy / budget conscious client.

Our goal isn’t to find the cheapest car insurance on the market. It is instead to find you auto insurance that meets your budget and that will provide you with the protection that you need. If you get paid less in a claim that you need to satisfy the loss, then that might have been a cheap move, but it wasn’t a wise move that saved you money and head ache in the long run. Premiums might have been low, but the overall cost of that insurance was significantly more than it might have otherwise been.

We certainly want to save you from having that happen in your life… so below are some tips to getting the best of both worlds.

Discounts:

  1. Ask your agent for a list of all possible discounts the company offers. Chances are there are insurance discounts that with minimal effort you could qualify for additional savings. If you don’t know that a discount exists, you might not know that it would be extremely easy for you to qualify for it – and save yourself substantially on your premium.
  2. Accept your agents request to speak with you for your yearly review (if your agent doesn’t proactively offer you this, you might want to consider the quality of the agency that you’re with). You pay a good amount in insurance premiums – spend a few minutes speaking with them to walk through it and ensure its up to date.

Safe driving programs:

  1. Several companies are starting to offer this – but there is a new safe driving program that allows you to install a small device in your vehicle that reports back just how safely you’ve been driving. You might be concerned initially about that, but the devices aren’t GPS and they’ve been reported to save exceptionally safe drivers up to 30%. Now that’s cheap auto insurance.
  2. While most people know that good students get a discount on their parent’s auto insurance, not everybody knows that retired individuals can take a short class and get an additional discount on their insurance for several years. Depending on your schedule and budget, this could be a great tool to reducing your premium.

Coverage Options:

Two really good options for reducing cost of insurance are to remove full coverage when a vehicle is aging, and to insure your deductibles match your actual risk profile.

  1. Removing full coverage: If a vehicle is worth less than $4,000 I typically recommend removing full coverage from it. At that point in time it’s worth a relatively small amount and the pay out will be nominal. Caveat to that is how often you are involved in accidents and if you can afford to replace your vehicle if that does happen. If you aren’t involved in accidents often, but would still like to accomplish this type of savings, check out “Uninsured motorist property damage”. This covers you if somebody else is at fault and you are able to obtain their information.
  2. I’ve seen many people that were unhappy with their insurance premiums, but had a $250 deductible and no accidents. This is one of the worst ideas that I’ve seen implemented in insurance policies. If you are low risk and unhappy with your premiums, increase your deductibles a little bit and put the savings into your retirement account, etc. Somebody that is a good risk shouldn’t have less than a $500 collision (comp is typically so affordable I recommend keeping it lower). Most people would benefit from even having a $600 – $1k deductible.This is the formula:

Yearly Savings / (New Deductible – Old Deductible)

That is the break even point in years for your deductible change. If that number is smaller than your average claim frequency (how many years you go between claims) then it’s a smart decision. What makes it an even better decision? Put the money into an interest bearing financial instrument and grow it further.

These are a few ideas that you should use as you approach your insurance. There is a tremendous value in having a personal agent, and you can and should expect them to work for you to accomplish your priorities with your coverage. If you haven’t spoken with your insurance agent in years and you aren’t sure what ever happened to them – you deserve better and should find an agency that will take care of you. An Agency like ours – The Eggar Insurance Agency.

Happy Saving,

Justin Eggar,
Allstate – Eggar Insurance Agency, Owner
https://www.eggarinsurance.com

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The Heartbleed bug and protecting your family with identity theft insurance http://www.eggarinsurance.com/eggar-insurance-blog/heartbleed-bug-protecting-family-identity-theft-insurance http://www.eggarinsurance.com/eggar-insurance-blog/heartbleed-bug-protecting-family-identity-theft-insurance#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 22:08:45 +0000 https://www.eggarinsurance.com/?p=6447 Recently the Heartbleed bug has been in the news… And with it we have all taken a step back in uncertainty. What has realistically been considered a pillar of safety in our interaction online, OpenSSL (the very layer that puts that little “padlock” that let’s us know our data is, or at least is supposed to be, secure) has been seriously shaken.

When people are worried about things impacting them, they often give their insurance agent a call to determine what the fall out is with a given event. So of course, the Heartbleed bug has been spending a fair amount of time on my radar.

Before we go into a discussion of how insurance has an impact in this area – let me first say that when at all possible, reducing risk is superior to dealing with the outcome of an issue. Even when you are covered / protected in the long term, having to deal with this type of issue is time consuming and painful. In this regard, as it applies to Heartbleed, there really isn not a good takeaway on how consumers could have handled this differently. Even with very safe measures taken on the consumers end the bug existed with those storing their data (and isolation, which was the only way to possibly avoid this, is not a recommended course for dealing with life).

So, one of the main questions I have been asked regarding this is if there is coverage for this type of thing on insurance policies. The answer is yes, and no. The base policy that the majority of insurance companies offer doesn’t offer identity theft coverage. However, it is typically available as a very affordable endorsement that can be added to a policy.

The majority of insurance companies offer the identity theft endorsement for a reasonable $25-$30 a year, and the coverage provided is typically $10 -$25k. Now, every person before jumping on this should ask: What exactly does it cover?

The endorsement on property policies (home, condo, renters) is available for those that have experienced identity theft and it is utilized to rectify damage done to ones identity. This coverage doesn’t replace lost funds (usually credit card companies, etc handle that)… But it does cover lawyers fees, missing work to attend to legal issues resulting from identity theft, and other items done I. The pursuit to restore ones identity.

For the price This coverage is highly recommended. It is one of the most affordable options for reducing damage done by identity theft. Keep in mind though that this coverage is passive/reactive. It isn’t a fraud alert, it doesn’t tell you if you have had new accounts opened in your name, etc. It, like all insurance, helps you deal with the fall out of when something negative impacts your life.

The next question one should ask is: Do I need a more in-depth/costly product than what home insurance identity theft covers? That really depends on how risk averse you are, how likely a target you could be, and the how much you have to lose. For the majority of my clients, a more in-depth monitoring service would be a benefit (think LifeLock). However, at a cost of $10 – $25 a month+ for these types of services, in the end you have to ensure that it is an additional expense that fits into your budget.

With the recent big box store credit card thefts and the Heartbleed bug coming on its heels… My recommendation is to definitely consider the identity theft coverage endorsement available on your home policy. If your concern goes beyond the reactive you need to consider investing in a more comprehensive solution. In the days ahead this type of malicious activity is only going to grow more popular, in a connected reality like ours it is a risky side affect to the extreme convenience that we are afforded.

If you would like to discuss this with a professional agent please do give one of our agencies a call and we can ensure you are informed and protected.

Justin Eggar
Geneva, Illinois – (630) 225-9325
Lincolnshire, Illinois – (847) 607-6610

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Credit Agencies and Your Good Name http://www.eggarinsurance.com/eggar-insurance-blog/credit-agencies-good-name http://www.eggarinsurance.com/eggar-insurance-blog/credit-agencies-good-name#comments Fri, 13 Dec 2013 14:09:24 +0000 http://www.eggarinsurance.com/?p=5910 Hey guys, I’ve recently seen an increase in clients asking about their premiums being higher than they need to be due to discrepancies on their credit reports. I’m here with some quick advice that everyone should follow as any negative information on your credit report can harm more than just credit cards and loans. It can have impacts on almost every aspect of our daily lives anymore from cell phone contracts to insurance premiums.

A recent report showed that nearly 25% of credit reports surveyed had errors that were serious enough to cause consumers to pay more than they should?  Usually, you don’t find out about errors in your credit report until after there is a problem. Both your claims history and your credit record can influence your insurance rates, and may even make getting insurance difficult. So, I thought I’d give you some information on where to get your reports so you can check your personal information for errors.

The easiest way to find errors is to get a copy of your credit record at any of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.  It’s a good idea to check your credit report once a year and make sure it’s accurate. You may also catch an Identity Thief before they do too much damage to your credit by checking regularly.

Equifax – www.equifax.com or 800-685-1111

Experian – www.experian.com or 888-397-3742

Trans Union – www.transunion.com or 800-888-4213

Most consumers don’t know, but the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the “big three” credit agencies to provide you a free copy of your credit report once every year, if requested.

I hope you’ve found this information useful and hopefully getting a copy of your credit report can allow you to catch any discrepancies before they become a problem for you.

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9 Tips to save on Car Insurance Part II of II http://www.eggarinsurance.com/eggar-insurance-blog/9-tips-save-car-insurance-policy-part-ii-ii http://www.eggarinsurance.com/eggar-insurance-blog/9-tips-save-car-insurance-policy-part-ii-ii#comments Wed, 11 Dec 2013 14:01:22 +0000 http://www.eggarinsurance.com/?p=5907 This is the second part of a two-part post. You can find the original post here.

Once again, I don’t necessarily recommend all of these tips to all people – you will want a professional to tailor these to your specific needs so they are customized for you. If you would like one of my team to assist you, feel free to submit an online quote and let us walk you through the process and ensure you are receiving the most value possible for the insurance dollars you are spending.

Drop Unnecessary Coverages Let’s say you have an older car, one not worth very much. There’s really little point in having collision and comprehensive coverages. You don’t have much to protect. Remember too, that you have to subtract your deductible from any potential payout you might get.

Tip: As a general rule, any car worth less than $1,000 shouldn’t have collision and comprehensive coverage. Between the deductible and the extra expense of these coverages, the cost is probably greater than the benefit. That is something that only you can decide.

Discounts, Discounts, Discounts  Car insurance companies offer several discounts for a variety of reasons. The car has automatic seat beats, air bags, anti-lock brakes, anti-theft devices, etc. The driver is a good student, which is especially valuable if you have teenage children who will be on your policy.

Low-Cost and High-Cost Areas Are you planning to move? If you are, you should take into account the cost of insurance. Generally, the more urban the area, the higher the premium. The costs can vary even within a community.

Fact: Rates can really vary from state to state. If you are living in New Jersey, Massachusetts or Hawaii, you are paying much more, on average, than other states.

Credit Ratings  Is your credit record better than your driving record? If you have a good credit record, you could be eligible for discounted premiums from several auto insurance companies.

Tip: Regardless of your credit status, you should talk to your agent to make sure you have the best situation given your credit record, good or bad.

Whatever your driving record or coverage needs, you should let an experienced insurance professional go over your coverage options with you to ensure you are receiving the best policy for your specific situation. In addition, not only should you try to get the best deal you can, you also need to make sure you have all the coverage you want and need.

That’s it for this part of the series. We have some great tips left for the next part and while these are simple tips in theory they are a great way to lower your premium while maintaining adequate coverage for your car insurance needs. Justin, Katlyn and everyone from the team at Eggar Insurance Agency would be more than happy to help you ensure you have the protection you need for your home and are always willing to lend a helping hand walking you through the process. You can submit a quote online or give us a call today at (630)-225-9325 and we would be glad to go over your current coverage options and any ways we can help save you money on your car insurance policy.

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9 Tips to save on Car Insurance Part I of II http://www.eggarinsurance.com/eggar-insurance-blog/9-tips-save-car-insurance-policy-part-ii http://www.eggarinsurance.com/eggar-insurance-blog/9-tips-save-car-insurance-policy-part-ii#comments Mon, 09 Dec 2013 14:01:23 +0000 http://www.eggarinsurance.com/?p=5902 If you’ve read my previous articles showing you way to save money on your homeowner insurance policy, I’m back with some ways that you can save money on your car insurance policy. This will also be a two-part series, be sure to check back by the end of the week for more money-saving tips on how you can lower your insurance premiums.

Once again, I don’t necessarily recommend all of these tips to all people – you will want a professional to tailor these to your specific needs so they are customized for you. If you would like one of my team to assist you, feel free to submit an online quote and let us walk you through the process and ensure you are receiving the most value possible for the insurance dollars you are spending.

One Insurer, Multiple PoliciesDo you have a homeowners insurance policy or renters insurance policy? If you have both homeowners insurance and car insurance policies through different insurance companies, you’re paying too muchfor both policies. Almost every insurance company that sells auto insurance wants its policyholders to also buy homeowners or renters insurance from that company. Usually, these discounts are at least 10% and some insurers apply the discounts to both the auto and the homeowners/renters policy.

Good Driver, Good PriceIt’s no secret that the better your driving record, the less you should pay on your car insurance policy. Some good drivers pay a lot more than others, however. Many auto insurers are actually a collection of several insurance companies in which each caters to a certain type of driver. The worst drivers go in one company, the best in another, and a lot of people wind up in one of the middle companies. The drivers that get put into the middle company pay less than the worst drivers, but more than the best. The thing is, many of these drivers have driving records that are just as good as those who are insured by the companies that offer the lowest rates. Yet the drivers in the middle are paying more. Why? The usual reason is that they don’t know any better. No one told them which insurance company in the group had the best prices. And, probably, no one told them there was even a group of insurance companies. If you have a spotless driving record, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be paying the lowest price a group of insurance companies has to offer.

Low Mileage, Low PriceOn average, people drive 1,000 to 1,250 miles a month. That is what insurance companies consider average use.

Tip: If you drive less than the average, you could be eligible for low-mileage discounts, which some insurers offer.

High-Profile, High-CostThe type of car you drive is a major factor in what you pay for insurance. Is your vehicle a magnet for thieves? Is it more expensive to repair than most cars? If the answer to either of the last two questions is yes, you’re paying more than the average car owner for insurance. There’s no way around that after you purchased the vehicle. However, if you are in the market for a new vehicle, be sure to ask your agents what vehicles might put you into a higher bracket on your car insurance policy.

Raise Your DeductibleThe deductible is the amount you pay before insurance kicks in if you have a claim. For example, if you have a $500 deductible and you have an accident in which your car sustains $1,000 in damage, you pay the first $500 and your insurer pays the balance, $500. The lower the deductible you choose, the more you pay.

Tip: If it’s been years since you’ve had an accident, you may be better off raising your deductible and paying less each year for insurance.

Note: This could have an adverse affect when the time comes that you need to file a claim. I always caution clients about raising their premium as it could actually cause more harm than good for their situation.

That’s it for this part of the series. We have some great tips left for the next part and while these are simple tips in theory they are a great way to lower your premium while maintaining adequate coverage for your car insurance needs. Justin, Katlyn and everyone from the team at Eggar Insurance Agency would be more than happy to help you ensure you have the protection you need for your home and are always willing to lend a helping hand walking you through the process. You can submit a quote online or give us a call today at (630)-225-9325 and we would be glad to go over your current coverage options and any ways we can help save you money on your car insurance policy.

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9 Tips to save on your Homeowners Insurance Policy – Part II of II http://www.eggarinsurance.com/eggar-insurance-blog/9-tips-save-homeowners-insurance-policy-part-ii-ii http://www.eggarinsurance.com/eggar-insurance-blog/9-tips-save-homeowners-insurance-policy-part-ii-ii#comments Wed, 27 Nov 2013 13:15:58 +0000 http://www.eggarinsurance.com/?p=5831 This is the second part of a two-part post. You can find the original post here. This article discusses options to consider that will allow you to stretch your homeowners insurance further while keeping premiums low. Once again, I don’t necessarily recommend all of these tips to all people – you will want a professional to tailor these to your specific needs so they are customized for you. If you would like one of my team to assist you, feel free to submit an online quote and let us walk you through the process and ensure you are receiving the most value possible for the insurance dollars you are spending.

Insure your house, not your land – Nobody is going to steal the land your house is built on. Fire, high winds, snow and lightning won’t destroy it either. As such, when deciding how much homeowners insurance coverage to have, don’t include the value of the land, only the value of the property on it. If you include the value of the land, you’ll end up paying too much. If your mortgage company requests that you insure above replacement cost to cover the property value – do push back and escalate to their supervisor. Your insurance company will only reimburse you for what you lost… so this will just results in inflated premiums and that does nothing for your family. A replacement cost policy insured fully is more than adequate.

Don’t Insure What You Don’t Have – Every year you should review your insurance policy with your agent to see what coverage you have and what coverage you need for your possessions. If you have made a major purchase, you will want to increase your coverage, but if you’ve reduced your belongings this can certainly go the other direction as well. Paying particular attention to items that are covered by endorsements or “floaters” to your policy, items such as jewelry and computer equipment can help you save a little extra as well.

Better to be safe than sorry – Smoke alarms, burglar alarms and deadbolt locks are usually worth discounts of at least 5-10%. You can get even bigger discounts, 15% to 20%, if you install a sprinkler system or an alarm system from a local security company. However, not all of these systems qualify for discounts. Before you install one, check with your insurance agent to find out what type of system can help you qualify for a discount and how much you could save on your current premium if you installed the system. I repeat, check before proceeding with an installation. Some companies provide larger discounts than others for safety measures and occasionally the return on your investment is minimal.

Group Discounts – Some insurance companies offer discounts to certain members and employees of businesses or alumni associations. If you are a member of such an business or organization, you can qualify for an additional 5-10% off your premium depending on the insurance agency. Make sure to ask your agent and see if there are any that could apply to your policy.

Don’t jump around too much – If you’ve been with an insurance company for a while and you like that insurer, stay put. Ask your agent if there is any missing discount due to you being with the same company for a few years. Some insurance companies even automatically apply discounts for policyholders who have been with the company for a certain number of years.

 

Is Your Coverage Adequate?
There’s more to insurance than having a policy and trying to save money. In fact, while it’s nice to lower your insurance premiums, it’s even more important to make sure you, your loved ones and your assets are covered adequately. It’s not a pleasant thought, but insurance is often about worst-case scenarios – not best-case. It’s also about peace of mind, knowing that you have those situations covered.

Have a licensed insurance agent conduct a risk analysis of your home, car(s) and other family needs. How can you adequately address risks with insurance if you don’t know what your risks are? After personally speaking with over 1,000 clients I’ve found that most people face more risk than they even realize. Since everyone is different you can’t simply ask a friend or relative what kind of policies they have — unless they are insiders in the insurance business. If you haven’t had your risks assessed by an insurance agent, you could be inviting financial disaster and undue burden for you and your family. You need a licensed professional, a knowledgeable insurance agent, to put together a comprehensive insurance plan that truly protects you. We would be more than happy to sit down and go over your coverage needs with you, or you can submit a quote for a homeowners insurance policy at your convenience.

 

I’d like to thank you for reading this article and hope I have given you some insight on how I’ve seen clients save money on their insurance policies while ensuring they are adequately protected.

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9 Tips to save on your Homeowners Insurance Policy – Part I of II http://www.eggarinsurance.com/eggar-insurance-blog/9-tips-save-homeowners-insurance-policy http://www.eggarinsurance.com/eggar-insurance-blog/9-tips-save-homeowners-insurance-policy#comments Mon, 11 Nov 2013 17:00:14 +0000 http://www.eggarinsurance.com/?p=5646 In this two-part series on Homeowners Insurance Policies we are going to cover often over-looked practices that many forget when looking at homeowners insurance policies and their associated premiums. Making wise choices with your insurance requires a detailed review of your coverage and we always recommend speaking with a professional to get personalized options. Give us a call today at (630)-225-9325 or submit a quote online for a homeowners insurance policy and we would be more than happy to provide you with all of your options and will even go over an existing policy to see if there are any areas of opportunity.

Your house is very likely one of your most valuable assets. It also has the potential to be a huge risk for you financially. What if something happens to it – A fire? A flood? Vandalism? What if someone visiting you falls, slips or trips and experiences an injury? An accident like that could cause serious financial burden for your family. With that in mind, the best tip to saving money is having the coverage to protect yourself if your asset is damaged or if there is a liability claim to you from it.

Once you have reviewed your coverage to ensure it offers you the protection you need, below are some discounts that you will want to be aware of.

One carrier, Multiple Policies – Do you have a car insurance policy? If so, is it with the same insurance provider that provides your property or homeowners insurance policy? If the answer is no, you are paying too much – for both policies. Every insurance provider that offers property / home insurance wants its customers to also buy car insurance from that company as well, and they often offer what is called a multiple policy discount. Usually, these special discounts are at least 15% and some insurance companies apply them to both the car and the homeowners/property insurance premiums. This is typically the largest discount that insurance companies offer their customers.

Raise The Deductible – This is an often underutilized practice – and the reality is that most people don’t understand risk / reward and how to maximize the value of their insurance policies. Your deductible is the amount you pay before your insurance plan kicks in if you have to file a claim. For example, if you have a $1000 deductible and you file an insurance claim for $1,000 on your property, you would be liable to pay the full amount. If the claim was for $2000, you would pay the first $1000 and the insurance company would pay the remainder. The greater the deductible you choose, the more you pay up-front but the lower your overall premium. Depending on the insurance company, you can save anywhere between 10% and 40% if you have an insurance deductible of $500 to $5,000. The appropriate manner to approach your deductibles is by considering the frequency of your claims and if over time the amount saved by increasing your deductible would be higher than the difference in deductibles. In the current homeowners insurance climate, going from $500 to $1,000 typically pays for itself in 6 – 7 years at the most. Going to a $2,500 deductible often pays for itself in 8 – 10 years, depending on the company. For a homeowner that is paying more than $1,500 on their home insurance, this is almost always a no-brainer in providing you savings.

Newer Is Better – Typically older homes have higher premiums than new homes. Insurance companies like new houses because it is less likely something will go wrong with the any of the basic components of the home such-as electrical, heating and plumbing systems, etc. In addition, the frame of the house itself is usually in better shape. Insurers provide special discounts of as much as 5% to 15% if your property is new. Of course, we can’t keep our home from aging. One thing we can do in this area though is keep our homes up to date and replace our roof as it ages and becomes susceptible to damage. Many insurance companies are beginning to provide large discounts for installing a new roof.

Location, Location, Location – This infamous saying for a realtor is also true with insurance companies and your insurance premiums. Where do you live and what type of material is your home made of? If you are in the eastern United States for example, it is better from an insurance standpoint to have brick or masonry due to higher wind damage in that area. By contrast, wood-frame homes are better in the earthquake-prone west. The right framework in the right region can preserve you 5% to 15%. Further, if your house is near a fire station or police station, you will pay less for homeowners insurance. If you reside in an area that is susceptible to flooding, you will want to look into flood insurance as well.

We have some great tips left for our next article and while these are simple tips in theory they are a great way to lower your premium while maintaining adequate coverage for your home. Justin, Katlyn and everyone from the team at Eggar Insurance Agency would be more than happy to help you ensure you have the protection you need for your home and are always willing to lend a helping hand walking you through the process.

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Top tips to keep your teen driver safe behind the wheel http://www.eggarinsurance.com/eggar-insurance-blog/tips-keep-teen-driver-safe-behind-wheel http://www.eggarinsurance.com/eggar-insurance-blog/tips-keep-teen-driver-safe-behind-wheel#comments Thu, 17 Oct 2013 12:29:41 +0000 http://www.eggarinsurance.com/?p=5137 Back to school is about more than buying school supplies, new outfits and a return to the typical morning routine. It is also about excitement, social events and restarting the learning experience. But for a mother and father of teenagers who drive, or drive with new teenage motorists on the road, it is also a time for concern.

More than 3,000 teenagers are killed and roughly 300,000 injured in vehicle -related crashed each year. In fact, young motorists have the biggest accident chance of any age segment, and the problem is most severe among 16 year-olds, who have don’t have the experience behind the wheel as others.

To help keep your teen driver safe behind the wheel, Eggar Insurance Agency recommends that you consider the following for teen drivers:

  • Put a limit on the amount of passengers that are in the car – Teens are likely to have more trouble concentrating on the street with the distractions of music blaring, eating food and a host of other disruptions, all of which increase with the chance of an accident, which all increase with the more passengers that are in the car.
  • Establish and enforce a curfew – Check with your local police department to see if your town has a curfew for those under 18. If not, set your own. This will allow your teen to see driving a car also brings responsibilities that they never had before.
  • Insist that your teenager and his or her travelers always use seat belts – The majority of teens don’t think they need to wear seatbelts, as nothing will ever happen to them. We all know that is entirely untrue, and at any given moment even the most experience driver can be involved in a car accident that might not be their fault. Emphasize to your teenager that the use of seat belts does not mean he or she can neglect other safe driving practices. Seat belts are not a replacement for sound judgment.
  • Make sure your teenager keeps his or her hands off the cellphone while driving – Teens may love talking or texting on the cellphone, but doing so while generating is a risky diversion. Talking on his or her cellphone can give a teenager the reaction speed of a 70-year old. On average simply reading a text message in the car, you take your eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds. That is more than enough time to cause a major car accident and be seriously injured. At 55mph that is that is 100 yards, do you drive the length of a football field without scanning your environment?
  • Limit your teenagers driving during periods of risky travel – In 2005, the riskiest days of travel were Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Those three days had the highest fatality among teen drivers. Also in 2005, one-half of teenager accident fatalities occurred between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m.
  • Set area driving boundaries – If your teenager wants to travel outside your town, require that he or she ask you first. This ties into the above where driving brings responsibility and lets your teen driver know that you are not trying to be difficult, but you are simply trying to protect them from the hazards of the road.
  • Tell your teen that driving (or riding) with others under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not ok – Your teenager should know that you will always be willing to pick up him or her rather than have them get in the car after they have been consuming or driving with a car owner who has been consuming alcohol. Consider revoking their ability to drive if your teenage puts themselves in these dangerous situations, even if they are simply the passenger.

If you follow these tips, your teen driver will learn to appreciate the responsibilities that driving brings and will also ensure they are not putting themselves in potentially dangerous situations which could ultimately lead to your car insurance premium being raised or driver’s license revoked.

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Q&A for parents with teen drivers http://www.eggarinsurance.com/eggar-insurance-blog/qa-parents-teen-drivers http://www.eggarinsurance.com/eggar-insurance-blog/qa-parents-teen-drivers#comments Sat, 12 Oct 2013 14:57:13 +0000 http://www.eggarinsurance.com/?p=4851 The day has arrived and your child has hit a huge milestone – the trip to the Secretary of State’s office.  Emerging with a shiny, new driver’s license, new drivers immediately want to exercise their newfound freedom and drive away to pick up their best friends.  Besides the impact of handing over the keys and gulping as they watch their children back out of the driveway alone for the first time, parents are often shocked at the increased cost of their auto insurance policy when they add these new drivers.  Here are some answers to basic questions about teen drivers and insurance.

How much is insurance for a new teen driver?

It really depends.  Rates are determined by a number of factors including the state you live in, the car you drive, and whether the new driver is male or female.

What can I do to help lower my insurance rates?

There are several factors you have control over.  Here are a few:

  • Your Choice Auto Gold or Platinum: As part of the Your Choice Auto packages, Accident Forgiveness helps keep your rates from going up just because of an accident…even if it’s your fault.  With deductible rewards, you’ll get $100 off your Collision deductible the day you sign up.  And then $100 off every year you go without an accident, up to $500 total.
  • Good Student Discount: This is when all those years of paying your children for their A’s and B’s pays off.  A young adult that has good grades can qualify for a good student discount, and this discount can be substantial!
  • Vehicle model: A cheaper car isn’t necessarily cheaper to insure than a nicer car with safety features.  Talk to your agent to discuss the specifics premiums for vehicles you are considering insuring.
  • Increase your Deductible: Increasing your deductible can reduce a portion of the up-front premium expense. Make sure that you weigh the savings versus your actual risk.  If your child has an at-fault accident or two, raising your deductible by $500 will not likely save you money in the long-term.
  • Teen Driver Programs: Check with your insurer to see if they have any programs that can help reduce the premium.  Allstate, for example, works with the company Advanced Drivers Education Products and Training (ADEPT) and offers a 5% discount for students that take the TeenSMART program.  While these programs might have a small up-front cost, they may help save you money over the following three or four years.
  • Additional Discount Programs: In your yearly review with your agent, make sure to discuss all available discount programs.  For instance, Allstate offers a program called Drive WiseSM, which allows you, the parent, to monitor your child’s driving habits, and perhaps receive a discount based on your child’s performance!

 

Am I covered if I drive someone else’s car?

In most states, you would be covered through the vehicle owner’s policy – if he or she gave you permission to use the car.  Your own policy may also cover you once the vehicle owner’s coverage is exhausted.

When should a new driver buy his or her own auto insurance?

It depends.  When buying a car, the purchaser should arrange for auto insurance before they take possession.  Also, if new drivers are covered on the parent’s policy, but plan on buying their own insurance, they should be sure to get it before being removed from the parent’s policy.  It is important to contact the insurance company well in advance to assure that there is no gap in coverage.  A gap in coverage for even a week can increase the liability exposure, as well as force the driver into a high risk auto insurance line that is usually several times more expensive than a standard auto insurance line.

Although laws may vary in each state, some background information will go a long way to help make sure a young driver is properly insured.  “It is important for parents to discuss the specifics of their auto insurance policy with their young drivers,” says Allstate Agent Justin Eggar.  “Insurance coverage may vary by state, so parents should contact their insurance agent if they have coverage questions about a child who attends school in a different state.”

One of the values of having a personal agent is that they know you and are familiar with your needs – this makes them ideally suited to help you. If you do have any questions, please give me a call at (630) 225-9325 or email me at justineggar@allstate.com. My office is located at 402 East State Street in Geneva, but I would be happy to meet with you at your home or a local coffee shop.

The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®” slogan, Allstate is reinventing protection and retirement to help nearly 16 million households insure what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow. Consumers access Allstate insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada, as well as via www.allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate®. As part of Allstate’s commitment to strengthen local communities, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate employees, agency owners and the corporation provided $28 million in 2011 to thousands of nonprofit organizations and important causes across the United States.

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Help Eggar Insurance Agency Raise Money for Animal Shelter! http://www.eggarinsurance.com/eggar-insurance-blog/help-eggar-insurance-agency-raise-money-animal-shelter http://www.eggarinsurance.com/eggar-insurance-blog/help-eggar-insurance-agency-raise-money-animal-shelter#comments Thu, 10 Oct 2013 02:49:35 +0000 http://www.eggarinsurance.com/v2/?p=4748 Eggar Insurance Agency is asking for your help in helping our local animal shelter. We are donating $20 to a local animal shelter, in your name, just for receiving an insurance quote with us! “Our clients that haven’t visited the office recently may not know that we have a new addition to the Eggar family.”, said Justin Eggar about the Eggar Insurance Agency’s recently adopted shelter dog Kylie. “Katlyn and I were in Chicago for an Allstate conference and there was a local shelter doing an adoption drive. We fell in love with Kylie, but someone had already said they would rescue her. We gave them our contact information in case they changed their mind, and an hour after we left, the shelter called us back. The other party hadn’t wanted to take her home that day, so Kylie came back with us in a taxi!”

Along with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October is also National Adopt A Shelter-Dog Month. To raise awareness, the Eggar Insurance Agency will donate $20 to a local animal shelter for every insurance quote this month when you call 630-225-9325. “Not only is it important to rescue an animal that has been abandoned, but we can help local families find great animals that need equally great owners” Justin commented. When you call in – make sure that you mention you want to support your local animal shelters and the Eggar Insurance Agency will make a donation in your name!

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