What You May Not Know About Electric Vehicles

What You May Not Know About Electric Vehicles

For some, electric cars have become a way in which to reduce our carbon footprint and save energy. For others, it may just be a way to drive more economically. If an electric car is on your radar, here are some things about the vehicles that may surprise you.

Electric Vehicles Have Been Around for a LONG Time

Actually, electric vehicles precede those of combustion engines, dating back to 1832. They became more popular in the 1870s, but cheap oil prices made combustion engines more attractive in the early 1900s.

Electric Vehicles are Heavy

This is mainly due to battery weight. Batteries can account for 1,200 lbs of more of the total vehicle weight of an electric car.

Electric Cars Can Be Extremely Fast

Today’s electric cars are exceedingly quick and fast. Top speeds of modern electric cars can reach 160 mph and more. What may be more impressive is that they are now able to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in less than two seconds!

They Can Be So Quiet, Some are Being Produced with Sound Effects

Electric cars are so quiet that some models are being produced with engine-like sound effects, so pedestrians can hear them at slow speeds.

They Can Go Farther on a Single Charge Than You May Realize

One of the big drawbacks of electric cars has been their inability to go longer distances on a single charge. That range is now routinely exceeding 400 miles which is farther than most combustion vehicles can reach on a tank of gas.

Charging Can Now Be Relatively Quick

New electric cars can be quick-charged to 80% or more in less than an hour, a time that continues to drop.

Similar Insurance Rules Apply

Whether you have a gas powered car or an electric vehicle, your auto insurance rates will likely be based on the same criteria. Your age and gender will impact rates as will your driving record. The vehicle’s value and horsepower will make a difference. Where your car is stored every night will affect rates as well as how frequently and how much it is driven.

Let us help find the best rates for your alternative fuel vehicle. We are independent agents who work with companies who specialize in insuring a variety of vehicles from classic to electric. Contact us today for you no obligation quote.

Want an SUV? Could It Be a Porsche?

Want an SUV? Could It Be a Porsche?

There have been some interesting changes in the automotive industry in recent years. Sure there have been changes in fuel efficiency, technology and infotainment systems, but there have also been changes in the types of vehicles consumers are choosing. It is much more likely consumers will select a truck or SUV today than the traditional sedan. In fact, many brands have stopped producing traditional sedans.

At the same time, luxury, premium brands and even super car labels have moved into the SUV market. Are you considering an SUV? It could be a Porsche.

The New Porsche SUV

It doesn’t even sound like an SUV. It is the 2022 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT.

To put things in perspective (for non-automotive enthusiasts) the 2021 Honda Accord has a horsepower range of about 195hp to 255hp, That’s a nice expectation for a sedan.

The twin-turbocharged V-8, 4.0 liter engine in the 2022 Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT, however, generates 631 horsepower along with 626 pound feet of torque. Porsche says it is the most powerful V8 engine the brand has ever made. This is an SUV that can rocket from zero to 60 in 3.1 seconds. It can do the quarter mile in 11.6 seconds and has a top speed of 186 mph. Oh, remember, it is an SUV.

The 631 HP Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT SUV proudly sits on 22-inch tires made specifically by Pirelli for the Cayenne. There’s a rear carbon fiber diffuser along with a rear spoiler that adapts to its speed.

Sure, this Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT has an MSRP of over $180,000, a bit more than your average SUV. But it is a Porsche that can reach 186 mph, and it is an SUV. That is amazing.

Your SUV may not be a Porsche or come with a $180,000 price tag, but you still want to make sure it is properly insured without over-spending. We can help. No matter what you drive, compare auto insurance rates with one of our independent insurance agents. We look forward to assisting you!

Is Auto Insurance Really That Complicated?

Is Auto Insurance Really That Complicated?

You hear words like deductible, comprehensive, at-fault, premiums, exclusions, liability and others, and it can give you the impression automobile insurance is extremely complicated. Make no mistake insurance has its nuances. It is one of the reasons buying it from a qualified insurance agent is so nonofficial. At is very core however, it is pretty simple.

When you drive, you take risks. You risk injury to yourself and others. You also can put property in jeopardy, like your car, the vehicles of others and property like utility poles, fences and even buildings.

These risks could cost you into the tens, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. In some instances, automobile accident injury claims have reached into the millions of dollars. Car insurance helps spread the risks over a group of drivers that a company insures.

Most don’t have these financial resources. That’s where automobile insurance plays such an important role.

Auto insurance companies pool the premiums or payments from their clients to pay covered claims from that same group. Depending on the coverage each customer decides to choose, payments may be paid to cover medical costs, repairs to vehicles and other associated costs that may occur in an incident.

So while we may complain occasionally about the cost of car insurance, the protection it provides is well worth the expense. In fact, it is so important, every state in the country (except New Hampshire) mandates that drivers maintain at least some minimum levels of coverage.

Your independent insurance agent can help explain specific terms, limits, and coverages of your automobile insurance policy.  As an independent agent, he can obtain price quotes from multiple companies to find the coverage and pricing you can feel comfortable with. They will even seek out potential discounts you may qualify for. Contact one of our agents to get started today. Automobile insurance may seem complicated, but it is far too important to ignore. Let us help make it simple for you.

3 Long Term and 1 Instant Way to Save Money on Auto Insurance

3 Long Term and 1 Instant Way to Save Money on Auto Insurance

Those serious about saving money on their car insurance should be playing the long game to achieve the desired savings, especially if they have a spotty driving record. But even those with a less than perfect driving record can potentially save money almost instantly. Here are three steps to take long-term, and one step you can take that could almost instantly save you on automobile insurance.

Long Term

  1. Drive safer. Traffic citations don’t necessarily go on your permanent record. Depending on the seriousness, they will drop off after several years. Maintaining a clean, safe driving record is crucial in qualifying for lower rates. A few years may seem like a long time, but you can reward your patience with savings in the long-term.
  2. Improve your credit rating. This too, can take a few years but is a worthwhile challenge. Automobile insurance companies have found a correlation between how safe a person drives and how responsible they are financially. Clean up your credit and get ready to save.
  3. Purchase your next car with insurance rates in mind. Most people buy a car without giving thought to the impact it will have on their car insurance rates. Narrow your new car choices to two or three, and see the impact each potentially has on your insurance premiums. There may be a clear winner in helping you save.

Short Term

  1. This is so simple yet many don’t take the time. Contact one of our independent car insurance agents. Because they are not tied to representing just one brand of insurance, they contact a network of companies. Each company provides a quote, and you make the final choice. Even those with a bumpy driving history or less than perfect credit may still be able to save over their current payments.

So, go ahead. Take that initial step and contact us to compare. Then make the long-term decision to drive safer, improve your credit, and compare rates before buying that next car. Before you know it you’ll be saving money like a Rock Star!

Car-Focused Promotional Items You Don’t See Often Anymore

Car-Focused Promotional Items You Don’t See Often Anymore

There was a time from the 1950s through the 1980s that virtually any business involved in the car industry would hand out promotional items to get their names into the public and build their reputations. It was almost impossible to walk or drive into and automobile related business and not get some sort of free trinket. Here’s a look at some of the items you rare see anymore.

Key-chains

Key-chains were useful, inexpensive, and available in a whole assortment of designs for companies to use as giveaways. Traditional keys for cars, and even smart-houses are becoming more rare, so key-chains have largely lost their luster for both consumers and companies.

Road Maps

Road maps were a huge promotional item for oil companies at their branded gas stations. The nearly impossible to re-fold properly large paper maps often noted the location of the oil company’s stations on them. It was not uncommon for a car to have its glove compartment filled with maps from assorted cities, states and regions across the country. Except, of course, where you were going.

Litter Bags

As we became increasingly conscious of how unsightly litter was becoming on our roads in the 1970s, litter bags became a popular promotion item. These were simply slightly heavier than average plastic bags that hung from one of a car’s knobs on its dashboard, most frequently a cigarette lighter. Now, rather than the roads being littered, the interior of our front seats became unsightly with these litter bags hanging from the dash. Today’s vehicles may have 6 or 8 cup holders but not a single trash bin.

Matchbooks

Almost every car related company printed advertising on matchbooks in their heyday, but then people started smoking less and disposable lighters became super inexpensive. Now it is hard to even find a book of matches.

Ashtrays

Tire companies gave out ashtrays that looked like tires and other ashtrays were made of aluminum or glass in a whole host of designs. Usually printed smack dab in the middle would be the companies logo and contact information. Eventually companies learned to associate themselves with smoking was probably not the best idea.

Postcards

Picture postcards were particularly popular as promotional giveaways at motels, where the motel itself was usually pictured on the front. For a few cents, Grandma or Aunt Martha could send a card home, while promoting the motels luxuries like air condition and free TV.

The need for affordable automobile insurance will likely never change. If you aren’t sure whether you are paying more than you should, contact one of our independent auto insurance experts. You can get a no obligation quote with a quick phone call. You may not get a book of matches or even a free calendar, but you will get a valuable quote that just may save you money!

When is the Best Time to Shop for Auto Insurance?

When is the Best Time to Shop for Auto Insurance?

We often get asked when is the best time to shop for auto insurance. It is as if they are looking for a car buying season, or back-to-school sales. The reality is if it has been a year or more, you should be comparing. Rates are constantly changing from company to company and year to year. Your own driving record may be improving as past driving mistakes age out of your record. That being said there are some times when it is of particular importance to contact your independent agent. Here are a few.

When You Reach the Age of 25

After years of very expensive young driver rates, the age of 25 can almost be magical for drivers as rates stabilize, and for safe drivers, may even decrease. When you reach 25 years old, it is time to be a bit more aggressive in your comparison shopping. Our independent agents can help.

When You Get Married

Most automobile insurance companies see married people as a bit more settled and responsible. This frequently leads to lower auto insurance premiums after tying the knot. It is important to contact your independent auto insurance agent, especially if there is a name change. Interestingly enough, you and your spouse may also qualify for a multi-vehicle discount.

When You are Comparing Vehicles to Purchase

In reality, not enough people check on the impact different vehicle choices can make on the car insurance rates. If you are concerned about your monthly car payment, you should be concerned with your insurance payment. Contact us before making the final choice to make a fully informed decision on your next vehicle.

Are you paying too much for car insurance? Do you even know? Finding out is easy when you connect with one of our independent automobile insurance agents. Answer a few questions, and they will do the comparison shopping for you, and yes, it is just that easy. Contact one of our agents today!

What Impact Do Seatbelts Really Have?

What Impact Do Seatbelts Really Have?

Most of us wear our seat belts today without much fuss. If safety wasn’t a concern, putting that seat belt on was still a better alternative to the constant nagging of the incessant warning bells.

Compliance, however, is saving lives, and in significant numbers. In addition to saving lives, serious injuries have also been reduced through the increased use of seat belts.

Although seat belts were available in vehicles years prior, Federal law mandated that they be placed in the seating positions of all vehicles in 1968. Some states didn’t mandate their use until decades later. In California, for example, seat belts weren’t required to be worn until 1986. One state, New Hampshire, still doesn’t require their use for adults.

The facts, however, seem to speak for themselves. Starting in 1966 and for 8 straight years, traffic deaths in the United States reached over 50,000 annually. In 1972 and 1973, they peaked at over 54,000 each year. Since then, however, almost a half-century, deaths have only exceeded 50,000 in three of those years. Not since 1980 have we had a year with 50,000 or more traffic fatalities. In recent years, deaths routinely range in the 32,000-37,000. This, of course, is still far too many, but it is significantly better than where we were headed, even with more drivers on the road.

While seat belts have not been the sole contributing factors in these reductions, better equipment, airbags and other safety features have played a role, seat belts have had a significant impact. Studies show that when the driver and front seat passenger use a safety belt, the risk of death is reduced by 45%. The risk of serious injury drops even a bit further at 50%.

The facts are in. Seatbelts and other car safety features save lives. If you are not encouraging your family to use them regularly, you may be putting them at unnecessary risk, and may even be contributing to increasing auto insurance rates.

When you contact one of our independent automobile insurance specialist, we will connect with our network of insurance companies to compare rates and coverage. You just may be paying too much and not even know it. Connect with us today for your free auto insurance quote.

Vehicle Trivia: See How You Score

Vehicle Trivia: See How You Score

Most of us have one, have driven many of them and look forward to getting our next one. How much do you know about the vehicles we drive? Try our quick trivia.

What is the best-selling pickup truck in America?

The Ford F-Series pickups have ruled the roost for years. Seems every other pickup you see on the road is a Ford F-Series led by the Ford F-150.

How many of the top 4 selling vehicle colors can you name?

The best-selling car colors stay pretty much the same each year, with some minor adjustments in the rankings. They include white, black, gray and silver.

In what year did turn signals become mandatory on cars?

It actually wasn’t until 1973 that laws made it mandatory to have AND USE turn signals on cars. Many apparently still believe it is an option.

In what year did AM radios first become available in cars?

The first AM radios appeared in Crossley Motors car in 1933. This was in the depth of the Depression when car sales were lagging. Push-button AM radios were quickly considered standard equipment by 1939.

Which vehicle was the first sold in the US with a passenger airbag?

The relatively short-lived Oldsmobile Toronado was the first US car to have passenger airbags.

When was the first Jeep sold to the public?

Willys Overland produced “quads” for the military in the 1940s, which developed into what we know today as the Jeep. The first Jeep sold to the public was a Jeep CJ-2A which was sold from 1945-1949. It has a rear lift gate, side mounted spare and oversized headlights.

When was the first Honda manufactured in the United States?

It was in 1979. Honda built its first factory in the U.S. in Marysville, Ohio. Today Honda has 12 plants building Honda vehicles across the nation.

Which President owned a 1978 Subaru Brat?

It is generally not well know that President Reagan had a Subaru Brat for use on the grounds of the Western White House west of Santa Barbra, California. By, the way, Bill Clinton had a ’67 Mustang.

Whether you own an F-150, classic or new Mustang or drive a Jeep, we can help you get quality automobile insurance at a price you can be comfortable with. Our independent agents are not tied down to just one company, but can seek quotes from multiple providers in our network. Contact us today for your no-obligation quote.

Some Things About Cars You May Not Have Known (or Even Thought About)

Some Things About Cars You May Not Have Known (or Even Thought About)

Do you think you know your way around a car? Here are some things about cars you may never have thought about or considered.

Electric Cars Are Not a New Concept

You would think from the news and commercials you hear that electric cars are a new concept. Far from it. Electric cars have been around as long as combustion automobiles. The reality is, early on in the history of automobiles there was a format war that raged. Would cars be powered by electric, steam or gasoline? When cheap oil was found in abundance in Texas in the late 1800s, the war ended. Steam and electric lost. Electric, however, is still in the race.

The Auto Industry Was Involved in Shutting Down the Electric Streetcar Industry

When auto sales lagged in the 1930s during the depression, the auto industry largely blamed the electric streetcar industry rather than the economy. A conglomerate of car companies and oil and tire companies pooled resources to begin buying up streetcar companies, making them less user-friendly. The result was a rebound in car sales. Or perhaps it was the improving economy.

Have you Ever Wondered What That New Car Smell Is?

We tend to romanticize what is referred to as “that new car smell”, when, in fact, it is really a combination of smells of the materials used in creation of a car. This is largely a potpourri of chemical smells that we associate with the achievement of purchasing a new car.

Your Car Knows More About You Than You Think

If you think it’s great because your car remembers your favored seat and steering wheel position when you buckle up, that is just the beginning. The newer your car the more likely it knows about you. This is especially true if you connect your smartphone to it. Carmakers are pretty mum about what your car does or does not know about you and store in its computers. Experts believe, however, it can be hacked and probably should be deleted when selling your car in the future.

Minivans and SUVs aren’t THAT Different. Except in Advertising

Minivans and SUVs are both oversized vehicles made big enough for the entire family and to be versatile. The biggest difference is how they are marketed to the public. Families now perceive a minivan as a form of acceptance, while buying an SUV shows strength and security and vitality.

There is no doubt we love our cars, but we seldom enjoy spending more on them than we need to. That includes our car insurance. Keep your rates competitive by comparing them, and we can help. Contact us for a no obligation quote from one of our independent agents today!

The Interesting Story of the Inventor of the Automobile

The Interesting Story of the Inventor of the Automobile

No, Henry Ford did not invent the automobile. Sorry if that gave you reader’s whiplash, but many are still under the impression that American industrialist/automaker/Multimillionaire actually was the guy who invented the car.

Henry Ford invented the assembly line process that made auto production affordable for the average person, but as far as inventing the automobile, that honor goes to Karl Benz who on January 29, 1886 applied for his patent for what would become the first gas powered automobile. Henry Ford came to the party some eleven years later.

So who was Karl Benz, and how did his invention come about?

Benz was born in 1844 with the last name of his mother Josephine Vaillant, but took the last name of his father after his dad’s death when he was two years old. Although he grew up in near poverty, Benz was an interested and good student and began expanding his scientific knowledge at just nine years old. At just 15, he passed his entrance exam to attend engineering school and graduated for years later at 19. He worked for various engineering-related companies for about seven years but never fit in well with any of them. In 1871, at the age of 27, Karl Benz joined August Ritter in launching the Iron Foundry and Mechanical Workshop.

The business’s first year was more than difficult as Ritter turned out to be unreliable. Company tools were impounded and the company was at risk of total failure. The fiancé of Karl Benz, Bertha Ringer stepped in to buy out Ritter’s shares. A year later they married and eventually had five children. During this period, Karl actually worked for his wife’s company while working on developing a practical gas engine.

Benz applied for multiple patents for his inventions, many of which would be used in the automobile. In 1882, the company sought new financing to facilitate its growth. In 1885, the Benz Motorwagon was produced and patented. While it looked more like a three-wheel bicycle than what we think of as an automobile, the car was essentially created with features like rack and pinion steering, an electronic ignition, a water cooled engine and other elements that remain a part of our vehicles to this day.

Benz began advertising and selling the vehicle in 1888 and the rest is automotive history. Today, the name Benz remains synonymous with quality crafted automobiles.

No matter what type of automobile you drive, we can help you insure it. Contact us for a free quote. There’s never any obligation, and you may find yourself with better coverage at a price you are comfortable with.