Tag Archives: cars

Keeping You Safe While Driving Through Severe Weather Conditions

Car in Snow

Today’s forecast consists of heavy rain and snow. In an effort to help prepare and keep you safe for the commute home, allow us to share some helpful reminders and additional information about driving in severe weather conditions from Travelers Insurance.

Driving for Winter Conditions

Before you leave the driveway or parking lot, take time to clear snow and ice off your car, including your windows, mirrors, lights, reflectors, hood, roof and trunk. Drive with your headlights on, and be sure to keep them clean to improve visibility. Use caution when snow banks limit your view of oncoming traffic.

As you get on the road, remember that speed limits are meant for dry roads, not roads covered in snow and ice. You should reduce your speed and increase your following distance as road conditions and visibility worsen. Turn your headlights on to help other vehicles see you. Avoid using cruise control in snowy or icy conditions – you want as much control of your car as possible. Be cautious on bridges and overpasses as they are commonly the first areas to become icy, and avoid passing snow plows and sand trucks. The drivers can have limited visibility, and the road in front of them could be worse than the road behind.

What Is Black Ice?

Black ice is not actually black in color — it’s clear enough that you can see the road beneath it, making it appear “black.” Black ice may also be difficult to distinguish from a wet roadway and may appear wet and shiny. An absence of air bubbles allows it to blend in with any surface, making it difficult to see for pedestrians on sidewalks as well as for drivers on winter roads. Fog, light freezing rain, and melting and refreezing precipitation can all cause black ice to form.

Even if the air temperature is above freezing, cooler surface temperatures may mean black ice could still present a hazard on the roads. Vehicle exhaust moisture can also cause black ice to form on roadways, where drivers may not expect it, such as intersections where stopped vehicles may idle for brief periods of time allowing condensate to form.

We wish you a safe commute home! Please feel free to contact us if you have additional questions or would like us to review your auto policy.

How is your car insurance rate determined?

carHave you ever wondered what determines the price of your car insurance? How and why do your rates change? Why are you paying more (or less) than you were at this time last year? These are all questions that go through a consumer’s mind when evaluating their respective rates.

Allow us to walk you through some crucial factors that help determine your insurance premium.

° Deductibles: The higher the deductible, the lower your premium will be, and vice versa.

° Coverages: Opting for more thorough liability coverage to better protect your assets and future earnings, as well as additional coverage (such as rental, reimbursement, full glass, and roadside assistance) will, understandably so, contribute to higher rates.

° Credit Based Rating: Many companies use a credit based insurance score to determine your car insurance rates. Higher scores correlate with responsible driving habits.

° Motor Vehicle Driving Record: If you’ve received a traffic violation or had an accident within the last 3 to 5 years, most insurance companies will take that into account. The rate could subsequently increase. On the flip side, if a driver has gone a longer period of time without a violation or accident, the rate could end up being lower.

° Age: Drivers between the ages of 25-65 typically pay lower rates.

° Make and model: Vehicles that perform better in crash safety tests usually have lower rates. Vehicles with higher sticker prices usually have higher comprehensive and collision rates.

° Residence: Living in heavily populated urban areas will make your premium more expensive than living in a suburban area. Urban areas have higher rates of vandalism, theft, and accidents, all making them more expensive than rural areas and small towns.

° Mileage and Usage: The more you drive and the further you drive, the more you pay. Your reason for usage (personal, business, etc.) is a factor in the rate as well.

With so many personal factors determining your auto insurance rates, it’s easy to understand why it often varies from one person to the next. Here are some ways to lower your rates:

° Increase your deductible

° Take a defensive driving course

°  If you’re the owner of multiple cars, there’s also the possibility of receiving a multi-car discount

° Driving fewer miles

° Some companies use vehicle tracking devices (like Progressive’s “Snapshot”) that monitor driving, which can offer additional discounts

° Bundle your home, auto & umbrella policies together with the same carrier, as they may offer multi-policy discounts.

There are many factors not in the control of an individual, so it’s important to take advantage of those that are. Contact us today if you are interested in getting the best coverage for you and your vehicle.