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Best Selling Vehicles in the U.S.

Best Selling Vehicles in the U.S.

There are a variety of factors that determine your automobile insurance rates. Your age, driving record, credit score and where you park your car will all play a role. Another factor that will determine your automobile insurance rates is the type and year of the vehicle you drive.

If you have noticed more SUVs, trucks, and crossovers on the road, you are not imaging things. Traditional sedans have become a shrinking portion of new car sales, and many automakers are reducing the production of coupes and sedans, in favor of these larger vehicles. You should be aware, however, that since these trucks and SUV’s tend to be more expensive than sedans, they are often also more expensive to insure.

Here is a list of the 7 most popular vehicles being sold in the United States in 2018.

1.) The Ford F-Series Trucks – Should be no surprise here as these trucks have led vehicle sales in America for 35 straight years. Over 450,00 of these trucks were sold in 2018 a 5% jump from the previous year.

2.) Chevrolet Silverado – A distant 2nd, the Silverado sold 291,000 units in 2018. To its credit, however, it jumped in sales over 10% from 2017.

3.) The Ram Pickup – It held onto its third-place position in vehicle sales in 2018 in spite of dropping in sales almost 7% over the year before. It still sold an impressive 233 units.

4.) The Nissan Rogue – The best-selling Nissan continued to grow in popularity, increasing in sales by 10%. In 2018 the Rogue sales reached 215,000.

5.) Toyota RAV4 – Sales of Toyota’s most popular SUV continued to rise, growing in sales by over 7% to over 198,000 vehicles in 2018.

6.) Honda CR-V – Honda’s first appearance on the best-selling vehicles in the U.S. is not one of their legendary sedans or coupes but from the CR-V. Although sales of the CR-V dropped about 4% from the previous year, they still sold almost 180,000 units.

7.) Toyota Camry – The first sedan to make the list of best-selling vehicles for 2018 is the Toyota Camry. It sold about 179,000 cars, just ahead of the Honda Civic, in 8th place, at about 176,000.

New vehicle sales have dramatically changed over the past decade or two and bigger vehicles are the boss of the roadways. If you are in search of the best automobile rates for these bigger vehicles, or any vehicle for that matter, contact us. Our independent agents will go to work for you. Contact us today.

No-Fault Insurance Basics

No-Fault Insurance Basics

There is no question insurance can be a confusing topic. It is made even more so by the fact that differing states frequently have different rules and regulations regarding insurance, in particular, auto insurance. While all states virtually make having auto liability insurance mandatory, even these “financial responsibility laws” can vary state to state.

Adding to the seemingly chaotic system is the fact that some states are considered “no-fault” states when it comes to vehicle insurance. Others have “choice” laws and still, others have a financial threshold where no-fault regulations take effect.

Florida is one of 12 states regarded as a “no-fault” insurance state, but what does that mean?

According to the non-profit Insurance Industry Institute, the term no-fault “applies only to state laws that both provide for the payment of no-fault first-party benefits and restrict the right to sue, the so-called “limited tort” option.”

Just in case that didn’t make things crystal clear, in a no-fault state, drivers should file a claim with their own insurance company first, no matter who is at fault. That is why in no-fault states, drivers are required to purchase personal injury protection or PIP, as part of their automobile insurance policy. No-fault laws also provide that lawsuits may only be filed against another driver for severe pain and injuries if certain thresholds have been reached.

Yes, automobile insurance can be confusing. It is why some people only purchase the minimum legally required amount, even when it is not in their best interest. We think there’s a better way.

When you contact our independent agents for an automobile insurance quote, they will explain the options available to you and why they can be of benefit to you. Based on your needs and desires, they will seek out quotes from multiple companies to find a policy that delivers the protection you desire, at the best possible price. It is just part of why working with an independent agency is so valuable.

If you have questions about automobile insurance, would like a complimentary review or even just a quote, contact us. Let us put our experience and access to multiple companies to work for you!

Wait Until You Read This! A Brief History of Auto Insurance.

Wait Until You Read This! A Brief History of Auto Insurance.

Today, liability car insurance is mandatory in some form or another in all 50 states. It obviously wasn’t always that way. In fact, it took over four decades for auto insurance to become compulsory for the first time. Of course, the history of the automobile and automobile insurance are closely intertwined.

The first automobile liability insurance policy was actually written about 11 years following the birth year of the modern car. It was in 1886 when Germany’s Karl Benz patented the Benz Patent-Motorwagen. In 1897, the first automobile liability policy was issued to Gilbert J. Loomis in Dayton, Ohio. The policy covered Loomis if the vehicle he was driving damaged the property of someone or killed a person. This policy was issued six years after the first documented automobile accident that occurred in Ohio City, Ohio. In that incident, a car hitting a tree root overturned and crashed into a hitching post. The two people aboard sustained minor injuries. Loomis’ policy was also issued just a year after the world’s first automobile-related fatality. That death occurred in 1896 in England, when a woman by the name of Bridgett Driscoll died as the result of injuries sustained after walking in front of a car giving automobile demonstration rides. The car was traveling at 4 mph.

The automobile didn’t become widely owned however, until the early 20th Century after Henry Ford’s Model T began moving off the production line. In 1900, there were just 36 deaths nationally as the result of automobile accidents. In 1920 that number rose to 1,599 and climbed to 12,155 in 1920. By 1941 automobile-related deaths rose to 38,142, higher than that of 2018.

As these deaths and property damage climbed from the automobile, states began looking at ways to make sure drivers were properly covered. In 1925 Connecticut became the first state to offer automobile insurance and in 1927, Massachusetts became the first state to make automobile liability coverage mandatory.

Today, every state has some sort of financial responsibility law. Most require a minimum amount of liability insurance. There are, however, not only significant differences in automobile insurance policies among states but between companies. This is why comparing automobile insurance rates is so important. Our independent insurance agents can do the shopping for you. We have access to multiple companies to find you the coverage you deserve at a price you can afford. Contact us for an insurance review and to see if we may be able to save you money.

When I Buy Car Insurance, WHAT am I Insuring?

When I Buy Car Insurance, WHAT am I Insuring?

It seems like a straightforward question, yet the answer can be a bit more complicated. “When you buy car insurance, WHAT ARE you insuring?” Are you insuring yourself as a driver? Are you insuring a vehicle? Perhaps you are insuring against financial damages from injuring another person or the car or other property. Let’s take a closer look at some of the aspects of automobile insurance.

All states have some form of financial liability laws that generally requires minimum levels of liability insurance. This liability coverage takes care of your legal responsibility to others for bodily injury or property damage. This follows the driver should they be driving a vehicle owned by someone else. In this instance, their own auto liability insurance will usually cover them in an accident.

That being said, in other circumstances, insurance usually follows the car. For example, when you have comprehensive and collision coverage, you are insuring a specific vehicle. This is why the mileage you travel, where you park your car and year, make and model will have such an impact on your insurance rates. Keep in mind, however, that there will be drivers that need to be listed as insureds on an automobile policy, such as members of your family that are of legal age. So while the insurance follows the car, the insureds must be named to be covered while driving the car.

It can get a bit more convoluted when you allow a friend or neighbor to drive your insured car. This can best be deciphered by reading your policy to see if your insurance will cover others who drive your car with permission. Often a policy will defer to the driver’s, not the owner’s coverage for protection.

When renting a car, whatever coverage you carry on your personal vehicle will generally transfer to the rental car. If you have liability coverage, that will transfer. If you have comprehensive and collision, that will transfer.

The ins and outs of auto insurance are just one reason having your own independent insurance agent makes so much sense. We are here to review your policy, answer your questions, and make sure you have the appropriate coverage for your particular situation. We invite you to contact us for your complimentary review and potential savings.

They Don’t Make Cars Like They Used To…and That’s a Good Thing!

They Don’t Make Cars Like They Used To…and That’s a Good Thing!

If you love classic cars and enjoy going to car shows, you may have heard yourself or others saying ”They don’t make cars like they used to.” That statement is absolutely true. It is also probably a good thing

We may have nostalgic feelings about those old Camaro’s, Mustangs, and Firebirds. We may remember the classic details of those old Cadillacs, Ramblers, and Barracudas but the fact of the matter is automobiles are so superior today, there really is no comparison.

Memories and some would say styling aside, today’s automobiles are so superior the comparison is not even warranted.

If you have doubts, let’s revisit some of those old classics starting with gas mileage. Prior to 1970, nobody paid attention to how efficient cars were on gas. This was mostly because gas was so cheap. Gasoline in the late ’60s could be found from 19.9 to 29.9 cents a gallon. The fact that old muscle cars only got 9 mpg wasn’t even a blip on the radar. Would you be satisfied if you owned a car that got under 10 mpg today?

Then there are the tires. Decades ago it wasn’t unusual to see cars parked along the roadside with frustrated drivers changing tires. Today it is a reasonably rare sight with tires being produced to last 60,000 miles or more. Speaking of mileage, an older car that could reach 100,000 plus miles was considered a rarity. Today, cars are expected to last 200,000 or more with proper care.

Then there’s the rust. Old steel automobiles often rusted to the point they were undesirable. Chrome bumpers pitted and paint easily faded or had surface rust. We tend to forget that when we see the restored beauties at a car show.

Older cars had interiors that were anything but safe or comfortable. Bench seating was lucky to have seat belts let alone harnesses. Hard steel dashboards and large steering wheels were an invitation to head injuries. There was no safety glass and children were often piled into the back of station wagons to fend for themselves. Yes, those were the days alright.

We may complain about government regulations, but they have increased fuel mileage and safety in American cars tremendously. Car accident fatalities have dropped from just over 50,000 in 1980 to just over 37,000 in 2017. This, in spite of the fact that there are more cars on the road than ever.

Yes, we can admire the craftsmanship, styling, and memories that old cars may have for us. Overall, however, it’s a good thing they don’t make them like they used to.

The First 5 Things to Do After an Auto Accident

The First 5 Things to Do After an Auto Accident

An automobile accident can be the start of a long, complicated and perhaps frustrating process. There may be citations, insurance claims, bodywork, and even potential legal issues. That’s why the steps you take immediately following an accident are so important.

  1. Assess Injuries

The first thing to do is check on the well-being of yourself, those in your vehicle and that of any others involved. If needed, get medical assistance on the scene as soon as possible. Keep in mind injuries that result from the jarring of a collision may take days to manifest themselves into stiffness or soreness. Get medical assistance or a check-up as soon as possible.

  1. Contact Authorities

Virtually all states require that a police report be made aware If an accident involves injuries and/or damages. The police may cite the at-fault party and will document many of the basic conditions surrounding the incident. That report can be key in any insurance claim and/or legal action.

  1. Document the Scene and Get Witness Information

Take photographs of all vehicles involved and the damage that occurred. It may also be helpful to get images of the area surrounding the accident, like traffic lights, signs and road markings. Get the names and contact information of those involved and any witnesses who may have seen the incident.

  1. Contact Your Insurance Company

Even if you don’t believe you will be filing a claim with your insurance company, you should let them know of the accident. Make them aware that at this point you are not filing a claim. There could be issues in the weeks or months ahead where they may have to become involved. Letting them know will cover all your bases.

  1. Maintain a Journal

Keeping a journal can be very valuable, especially if there should be any litigation following your auto accident. Document how you are feeling physically and mentally, any treatments you receive and any expenses you may incur due to the accident. List any days you had to take off work due to doctors’ appointments, automobile repair work or other accident-related issues.

The best time to prepare for an accident is before it occurs. Will you have the right coverage? Will a policy pay for a rental car? Are your limits high enough for today’s litigious society? Contact one of our independent agents for a no-cost, no-obligation automobile insurance review. As independent agents, we may just be able to save you on your insurance premiums. Find out by contacting us today.

When Should I Drop Comprehensive Coverage on My Older Car?

When Should I Drop Comprehensive Coverage on My Older Car?

Carrying comprehensive automobile insurance coverage on a newer car can be a very smart idea. If your vehicle is financed, comprehensive coverage may even be required by your lender. When, however, should you begin to question the value of paying for comprehensive coverage on an old beater?

As mentioned, if you have a loan on your vehicle, you may not have a choice. Your bank or lender may ask that you carry comprehensive coverage on your car for as long as they hold the note, or title, to the vehicle. This protects their interests in the event your car is severely damaged.

The more challenging question comes when you no longer owe money on your vehicle. You may be paying a significant amount to cover it not just for liability but for damages it sustains in an accident or if it were to be stolen. You may even be hoping it will be stolen.

The point is, value for the coverage you receive may not warrant the higher premiums you may be paying. This can be particularly true if you have a high deductible.

Generally, many experts believe you should not pay for comprehensive and collision coverage if your premiums exceed about 10% of your vehicle’s value.

In a real-life example, let’s say your vehicle’s actual cash value is $5,000. If you have a $500 deductible on your comprehensive coverage, the MOST you could recover if your car were “totaled” in an accident or never recovered if stolen is $4,500. Most experts would suggest if your premium to carry comprehensive coverage on that vehicle is $450 annually, (10% of the maximum $4500 the insurance company would pay) you should consider dropping your comprehensive coverage.

Of course, you need to keep in mind all states mandate minimum coverage for liability insurance, so we are not suggesting dropping insurance entirely. There may come a point, however, when it is financially prudent to consider not carrying comprehensive coverage on an older car.

Of course, your situation may vary according to your personal finances and your ability to withstand a significant personal monetary loss. If you have any questions, we certainly invite you to contact us. Our independent agents can not only help in your decision to the amount of automobile insurance you should carry but can even help you find providers who may offer better rates for your specific situation. Contact us. Let us help you pay less for more.

Buying a Car? Why You Should Call Your Independent Insurance Agent First

Buying a Car? Why You Should Call Your Independent Insurance Agent First

Buying a car has changed tremendously in the past decade. What used to involve weekends of visiting car dealers and taking test drives has been replaced largely with online research and by viewing reviews. In fact, by the time a car buyer gets to a car dealer, they may have already made up their mind. That is if they even GET to a car dealer. Some car shoppers are buying cars sight-unseen and having them delivered to their work or home.

People will research safety ratings, fuel efficiency, the annual cost of ownership, warranties and resale value. They will look into what others have paid for a car and work to get a great deal. This, of course, is all in an effort to make the best decision possible. What amazingly few shoppers do, however, is check on the impact a particular car will have on their insurance premiums before making their purchase.

This is like buying a house without knowing how much property taxes and utility costs are.

If you are concerned with the total costs of owning a car, what you should do is contact your independent insurance agent prior to committing to buying a specific car. Let the agent know the year, make and model of the car and the VIN number if possible. Make them aware of who the major driver of the car will be and where the car will be parked at night. The agent should be able to provide a car insurance quote reasonably quickly. You can then decide whether or not the loan amount combined with your insurance premium is affordable.

It may also be a good idea to provide your agent with two or three vehicle options you are considering. You can then compare insurance rates between the vehicles and determine if they are serious enough to impact your decision. The differences can be significant, especially when comparing buying new vs pre-owned.

Sure it’s important to compare the price of the car, fuel costs, and even financing rates. It is just as important to compare insurance rates and the time to do that is BEFORE you make a final decision. Just let your independent agent know the purpose of your call is to compare rates on vehicles you are considering purchasing. They may even be able to offer other tips that can help you save on your auto insurance premiums.

Contact us before you buy. We look forward to helping you save on the total cost of your next vehicle.

Does my Auto Insurance Cover My RV?

Does my Auto Insurance Cover My RV?

The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association says that over 350,000 recreational vehicles are sold every year to the tune of about $15 billion. It won’t take long to spot one when traveling as there are about 9 million such vehicles on the road. Recreational Vehicles, or RV’s, come in a variety of shapes and sizes including fifth-wheel campers, motorhomes, pop-up campers, truck campers and more. RV’s that are motorized come in three classes, A, B, and C Class. The basic definition of an RV is a vehicle that includes sleeping quarters.

If you are considering the purchase of a new or used RV, you may wonder if your automobile insurance will cover your home on wheels. The answer is, it depends. As usual, it is always best to check your policy to verify coverage, but here are some general guidelines.

For towable RV’s that are pulled behind an insured vehicle, most auto insurance policies will cover the RV for liability. You would likely be covered for any damage caused by your vehicle or trailer to another vehicle or other property in an at-fault accident. You would not be covered for the physical damage to your trailer, unless you specifically add it to your policy with comprehensive and collision coverage.

Now, if you have a Class A or B recreational vehicle you will want to acquire separate RV insurance. Of course, if you borrowed money to purchase your RV, your lender will require coverage as well. There are some other instances when you will want to purchase separate RV insurance. One is if you rent an RV and the other is if you leave your RV on a leased site in an RV park.

Separate RV insurance can also cover your belongings stowed in your RV. This becomes more and more critical, especially if you tend to go “glamping” with a lot of the amenities of home. In fact, due to the size and weight of some RV’s, specific coverage is needed to properly insure the RV. Quite often a separate RV policy is needed. The best advice is to check with your local independent insurance agent prior to purchasing the RV.

There is good news when it comes to RV insurance. It can usually be acquired for far less than that of auto insurance. Many RV’ers find their premiums are only about 20% of that of their auto insurance. That makes it worth checking into.

If you would like to explore the possibility of RV insurance, please feel free to contact us. We make it our business to protect all of your assets and manage liability risks including those related to recreational vehicles. Camping or glamping, enjoy it safely and with the protection you deserve.

Why a Lender Requires You to Carry Home or Auto Insurance

Why a Lender Requires You to Carry Home or Auto Insurance

It is relatively rare when we are legally bound to purchase a product. You don’t HAVE to buy a car for example, and you certainly aren’t required to purchase a home. The fact Is, however, if you purchase either of these you may be required to purchase insurance, particularly if your purchase of these items is financed through a lender. 

The reasons are fairly straight-forward. Those who lend you money to purchase something of significant value, like a house or vehicle, have a right to protect their own interests. Requiring a borrower to carry insurance is one way they can do that. 

Every state already has some form of financial responsibility law for drivers. This means there are basic minimum coverages that must be carried to protect other drivers. But lenders can also require full coverage to ensure their interests are protected. If a vehicle is severely damaged or “totaled”, the lender is assured their loan will be paid. This is why car buyers get a memorandum of title as opposed to the official title when buying a car using borrowed money. The bank or financial institution will hold the title until terms of the loan are met.

It is similar with real estate. A mortgage lender will hold the title until the mortgage is paid. Should there be a major loss, the lender wants to make sure their loan will be covered. Thus, homeowners’ insurance is a requirement. 

The bottom line is if a borrower defaults on a loan through non-payment, a vehicle can be repossessed or a property foreclosed on. If either is lost or significantly damaged, they can still be covered by required insurance coverage. This being said, you still have control over who provides the coverage on your car or house. This still allows you the right to choose your insurance agent and company. Of course, we believe it’s best to select an independent insurance agency who can work in YOUR best interests. 

Contact us to review your automobile and homeowners’ insurance policies. Let’s make sure you are getting the most effective coverage at the best possible price.  As an independent insurance agency, we work for YOU. 

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