ABCO Insurance - Auto Insurance

How to Save Money on Teen Car Insurance Rates

Adding a teenage driver to your policy could cost more than many unsuspecting parents realize. In some states, a rate can increase as much as 227% after adding a teen to an existing policy. While the cost will be much larger than adding an adult due to the inexperience of teen drivers, there are some ways to cut down on some of the costs.

Discounts for Teen or First Time Drivers

  • Good Student. For students with a GPA of 3.0 or above, or rank in the top 20 percent of their class, they could save anywhere from 5 to 25% on their insurance, depending on the company.
  • Driving Training Program. There are options in driving school and defensive driving classes that can save your teen between 5 and 15 percent on their insurance rates. Some insurance companies feel the driver’s education courses are part of the licensing process, but most give a good discount for defensive driving.
  • Low Mileage. If your teen only drives to school and back, or only runs errands, they could save big. These discounts start at 10,000 miles, but those that drive 7,000 or 5,000 annually could have huge savings.
  • Special Programs. Some insurance companies have their own programs set up for discounts. If your teen completes one of these programs, they could get a chunk cut out of their policy. These discounts vary highly from company to company.
  • Family Plan. Adding your teen driver to your plan could save on their premium through a family plan.
  • Student Away. If your child will be attending college more than 100 miles away and won’t be taking a car, they can get a significant discount since they won’t be driving. The discount can range between 5 and 35% off.
  • Car Monitors. Pay as you drive programs could be the best bet for a responsible teen driver that doesn’t use the car much. It tracks miles driven, braking, speed, and time of day to give significantly discounted rates.

Getting their first license and car should be an exciting time for a teen. Contact an ABCO agent today to shop around the different insurance companies and find out what discounts can work in your teen’s favor today!

Make Your Own Roadside Emergency Kit for Winter Driving

A Car Emergency Kit Is a MustRegardless of how safely you drive, what type of auto insurance you have, or how tame the winter weather is where you reside, the thought of a winter driving accident is always scary. These types of incidents can cause you stress, financial problems and even personal injuries.

Is it possible to avoid winter accidents on the road? Of course – but it is always good to be prepared for whatever the season may throw at you. This brings up another interesting question: what is the best way to be prepared?

Being prepared is often about having the right tool for the situation. And since the winter weather can throw many obstacles at you during a drive, having enough tools and supplies on hand can mean the difference between handling your issue with minimal stress and being caught off-guard by a winter driving accident.

Why Should You Get Prepared?

If you have auto insurance, you may think that any damages you could sustain during a winter accident would be covered. But these types of accidents can cause you a lot more than financial trouble in the conventional sense. They can cause you to be late getting to your destination, or even put you in harm’s way regardless of whether or not another vehicle is involved in the accident.

Creating a winter driving kit with the right supplies prepares you for any emergency. Whether your vehicle is partially buried in the snow during a serious storm that hits without warning or you find yourself stranded due to road conditions worsening in a hurry, having an emergency kit can make the situation a bit easier to manage.

What Should Go into Your Emergency Kit?

A roadside emergency kit is designed to give you the tools and supplies needed when disaster strikes during the winter season. Drivers may find themselves stranded on the side of the highway, and it’s never good to be unprepared when this type of situation occurs. Your auto insurance provider, local safety authorities, or other appropriate parties may be able to provide additional information about what should go into an emergency kit, but the general consensus is that certain items take priority.

Where Should You Store Your Kit?

When making a roadside emergency kit for your car in the winter, you have to use the space you have available. This means if your vehicle will allow for it, place the kit in the trunk or cab. Smaller vehicles will obviously have to utilize smaller kits, so it is a good idea to prioritize and know which items are the most important and could be of the most use in an emergency.

The Basics: Guarding Against the Cold

You may think that the first things that should take priority in your emergency winter kit would be items to combat the snow and ice which could trap you alongside the road. But if the weather has gotten that bad, your best bet may be to have items available that can help you handle the real biggest threat – the cold.

While you should have items on hand to deal with the snow and ice winter brings (if your size constraints will allow for it), items to keep you warm and well-nourished rank at the top of the list. No roadside emergency kit should be without these tools, as they can keep you safe in a dangerous situation.

Additional Clothes, Gloves and Hats

Sometimes when you get stranded due to a winter emergency, you may realize that the cold is much more difficult to handle when you’re stationary. This is why it is a good idea to have extra clothes on hand. A second pair of gloves or an additional hat can be very valuable, especially if you’re outside your car at any point. Even a blanket or two is a good addition to a winter emergency kit.

Keeping Yourself Healthy During an Emergency

Warm clothes can help you stay safe during a winter emergency, but getting stuck by the road can put you in a very tough spot. You may be away from food, water, and any medicines you need for quite some time until the emergency can be resolved. This is why it is a good idea to have these items in your winter emergency kit.

The Tools to Handle the Elements

Whether it’s snow, ice, or a mixture of the two that causes you problems in the winter, you should have the tools in your emergency kit to handle it. Bring along a scraper and a small hand-broom to help clear your windshield. You can also find collapsible shovels which can be great for digging out behind your tires and allowing you to get that bit of traction needed to escape a tough situation.

Another great way to handle the elements is to have help – be sure to bring along road flares, emergency reflectors (these are usually suggested by auto insurance companies), and a cellphone charger that can plug into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter.

Don’t Forget the Basics

While it can be easy to brainstorm all the items you’d want to have in your roadside emergency kit for winter, don’t forget the basics. A flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, jumper cables, and other items commonly found in emergency kits for year-round situations can also benefit you in the winter.

Better Safe Than Sorry

Sometimes a bit of road salt can be all you need to make it down that snowy slope safely. Keeping a small container in your emergency kit can come in handy in certain situations. Likewise, you don’t want to flag down help only to find they don’t have a strap to tow you with – store your own if space allows for it.

Preparing for Winter the Right Way

Winter can be a tough time for drivers, but having a winter roadside emergency kit in your car allows you to be prepared for whatever the season could throw at you.

To Grab the Best Deal: For Auto Insurance, Always Shop Around

Vehicle Insurance Accident Damage Protection Concept

These days, the most common way to get car insurance is to use an easy and convenient method, such as a direct quote online, or with a price comparison tool. Rarely do people go through an agent anymore – this might be because, with all the tools available to consumers, it simply isn’t necessary any more.

That said, when shopping online for auto insurance, there are a few things you should keep in mind in order to get the best deal. The main point to remember, however, is to do your due diligence to get the best price.

Car Insurance: Reasons Why Shopping Around is the Best Plan

It Saves You Money

When insurance companies need to compete for your business, you save. When their prices are stacked up against each other, the best deal will shine like a newly polished gem. Companies will want to edge each other out to look the best for the customer – you!

Put simply, shopping around reinforces the competition in the market. It also reassures you that you’re getting the best deal, because you’ll be aware of price changes and competitor rates.

It Gives You an Understanding of the Insurance Marketplace

Even if you’re new to shopping for car insurance, the act of shopping around will quickly give you a quick course on the ins and outs of the process.

Among other things, you’ll learn about types of insurance, deductibles, premiums, pricing, policy options and limits. You’ll get comfortable with these terms and the lingo, so that the next time you shop, you’ll be even more savvy about scoring the best deal with the coverage you need.

It Lets You Move Through the Process at Your Own Pace

Shopping around for insurance online is perhaps the most low-stress way to find the best, most affordable coverage.

Firstly, no one is trying to sell you anything directly, which means you won’t face pressure and the stress of quick decision-making. Secondly, you get to go at your own pace. You can look through your policy options as carefully as you want, and even put the process on hold and come back to it later.

All of these things might mean you’ll make a wiser, more well-informed decision. Plus, if you do find that you need help, you can still call up an agent.

Tips for Shopping Around for Auto Insurance

Keep Your Personal Information Handy

You may know some information off the top of your head, such as the make and model of your vehicle, your address, date of birth or your Social Security number, but you will need additional information when shopping for car insurance that you will want to keep at hand.

Examples include your auto insurance history, the year of your vehicle, your license status, and the personal information of any other drivers you want to be included on the insurance policy. Keeping this information readily available will speed up the process, especially when you need to enter it into a price comparison tool.

Understand the Different Types of Coverage

If you don’t understand the type of auto insurance coverage you’re getting, you may be spending more money than necessary. Read up on the various types of coverage and decide which are essential and which are not.

Basic types of car insurance coverage include the following:

  • Comprehensive coverage: This type covers you in any situation unrelated to a traffic accident. Weather, natural disasters, vandalism and more all qualify.
  • Collision coverage: Get collision insurance in order to cover your own damages in a car accident.
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage: In an accident situation where the other driver doesn’t have adequate car insurance (or any motor insurance at all), this type of coverage protects you.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP): Regardless of who’s at fault in a traffic accident, PIP pays for lost wages, medical expenses, and other costs associated with the incident.

Don’t Settle

You should never settle for the first quote you get when it comes to car insurance. This is because the industry is competitive – providers don’t keep their prices at the same rate from year to year in order to stay relevant in the market.

This means you need to look around at different prices and quotes and compare and contrast what they offer. The best deal for you may require a bit of digging in order to find it.

Keep Credit in Check

When shopping around for insurance, don’t forget to look at your credit and check the state of your score. Make sure there are no errors in reporting, and give yourself plenty of time to get errors corrected in case you do find some – it can take as long as two months for these to be investigated and fixed.

Also – and this may be a no-brainer – it helps if your credit is at least in the “good” range. Anything less, and you will not get the best deal.

Use an Auto Insurance Price Comparison Tool

Shopping for insurance can be a lot easier if you use a comparison tool. These tools let you enter your basic information and then present a variety of auto insurance quotes from different companies, side-by-side. This lets you quickly see who’s offering the best prices without having to click through a maze of websites.

A comparison tool also lets you test how adding various policy options changes your quote. You can play with your options and the price to your heart’s content without having to commit to anything. This is incredibly useful for finding the best balance between price and options.

A great place to get quote comparisons and find the best deal for your insurance is at ABCO Insurance. With us, you get a comparison of 25 different insurance companies, so you’re sure to find the best quote that fits your needs at the right price. When it comes to car insurance, we give you options, not to mention the power of choice.