Are your goals written with selfish motives? How your goals are written and attained have a significant impression on your legacy. Your goals should be something to write home about.
With temperatures hitting the 90’s this week, summer has officially arrived! One way Hoosiers thaw out from the harsh winter includes cruising on their motorcycles in the Indiana sunshine. So whether you are in the market for a motorcycle, or are just dusting it off from last summer’s adventures, contact your insurance agent to make sure the right coverage is in place.
Motorcycle insurance is similar to car insurance in many ways. Motorcycle policies include liability limits, property damage limits and deductibles of your preference, just like auto insurance. In addition to this coverage, some companies also offer “carried contents coverage” and “accessory coverage” for motorcycle policies uniquely. “Carried contents coverage” will cover any personal property that is damaged, destroyed or stolen that is on the motorcycle at the time of a loss. “Accessory coverage” includes any specialty additions made to the motorcycle. This includes sidecars, custom paint or plating and electronic equipment such as media players.
Wondering how motorcycle premiums compare to car premiums? Mostly, it comes right back down the same factors used to generate your car insurance rates. Factors such as your age, marital status, insurance history, driving record all play a role. Also similar to car insurance, the year, make and model as well as the garaging zip code will impact the premium amounts. Be sure to inform your insurance agent how much you drive the motorcycle, as well. The miles you ride (or don’t ride) can also change the rates.
Finally, our number one concern at the Dean Ballenger Insurance Agency is your safety. On top of having the proper insurance coverage, here are some additional tips to stay safe while on your motorcycle:
- Wear bright colors – make yourself as visible as possible while on the road. While on a motorcycle, you can be significantly harder to see in comparison to cars on the road. Make sure you stand out by wearing brighter colors and reflective features at night.
- Dress for the slide, not the ride – always be sure to wear long sleeves, long pants and closed toed shoes while on your motorcycle. Yes, it can be a little toasty in the warms summer months, but in the event you crash and slide against the pavement, your skin will thank you by staying attached to your body. Get the picture?
- Wear a helmet – this should be a no brainer if you want to keep your brains! You may feel cool cruising down the highway with your hair in the wind. But the least cool feeling in the world has got to be feeling your skull hit concrete. Please wear a helmet, seriously.
Contact us today for a motorcycle quote at 317-867-5433.
When couples exchange vows, combining their existing insurance policies doesn’t typically rank high on the post-wedding to do list. However, combining policies as a married couple can amount to savings that may have you calling your agent the second you say “I do.” Being listed as married versus single can decrease your rates up to 50%. Make sure your agent is on speed dial.
This drop in rates occurs for several reasons. Once you are married, insurance agencies view you as settling down and therefore a lower risk. Additionally, once two people are married, in most cases, the insurance agency will pull credit scores on both spouses and use the better of the two scores found. This could mean dramatic savings.
This may be a good time to shop your insurance, as well, since you are now both starting a new chapter of life together. If you are looking at purchasing a house together, a quality agent can coach you through the process of comparing homeowner’s insurance rates for older homes vs a newer homes. Often times, newer homes come with significantly lower premiums than older homes. This could mean budgeting more money toward a newer home versus budgeting that money toward insurance costs.
April serves as Distracted Driver Awareness Month across the United States. When it comes to texting and driving, or even just talking on the phone while driving, we are all at least a little guilty. It is easy to convince yourself that you are a good enough driver to be able to do both things at once. This, however, is dangerous thinking.
In 2011, at least 23% of auto collisions involved cellphones. That is 1.3 million crashes. According to one study, looking down at your phone to send a text while driving occupies a minimum of 5 seconds of your time. This means that if you’re traveling 55 mph, you’ve driven the length of a football field without looking at the road. In the moment, the distance doesn’t seem that significant. But in reality, it is a distance that could change your life and lives of those around you.
In many ways, texting while driving has also become a double standard – a trend that needs to be broken. If you think about it, you are likely much more comfortable texting behind the wheel with other passengers than you would be if another driver was texting while you were a passenger. Additionally, 77% of teen adults stated that they are confident they could text and drive safely. However, when asked if being able to text and drive safely should be part of completing a driver’s test, the reactions were quite different. Comments included “If this becomes law, I’ll stop driving,” “It’s impossible,” and the most haunting, “People will die.”
While auto insurance is there to protect you in the event of an accident such as this, we would much rather see you put down the phone for a few minutes in order to save yourself and those around you.
Spring has arrived. Flowers are blooming, temperatures are rising and hail is falling. As beautiful as spring can be, it is also the time of year when 42% of all comprehensive auto claims are filed. This is due in large part to hail. The unpredictable weather that comes with spring results in unpredictable precipitation, such as hail, especially in the Midwest regions. Hail can also wreak havoc on homes, in some states resulting in over 50% of filed claims.
Often times, when hail strikes, storm-chasers are not far behind. Storm-chasers are general contractors and roof repair companies that seek business in areas that have recently experienced hailstorms. While this can be a convenient way to find a contractor, be sure that you are electing the most efficient and reputable company for your needs. Here are a few things to watch out for when interacting with these storm-chasers:
- Do your research: Don’t make a hasty decision which may result in poor quality repair just because someone is knocking at your door. Do not feel pressured to choose the first company that comes knocking with an estimate. While you are free to choose the contractor of your choice, the insurance company cannot help you in the event you choose a poor quality company.
- Consult your insurance agent: Many times, your insurance agent has a list of wonderful and highly recommended references for all of your repair and construction needs. Ask your agent if they’ve ever heard of the company that is attempting to offer you their services and if they can recommend anyone they personally know to be high quality.
- Never let someone file a claim for you: Always file your own claims! Many contractors will offer to file a claim on your behalf even when they know there is not enough damage necessary to file a claim. Case and point – you have $1,200 worth of damage and $1,000 deductible, so your net check would be $200 and a claim on your record. This is not always the best choice for you, the policy holder.
Surely at some point in your life you have driven out of your home state. Ever wondered if your car insurance follows you the same way it does in your home state? The answer may surprise you.
Each state has what is referred to as state minimums when it comes to auto insurance. These are the minimum liability and property damage limits allowed by the state, and believe it or not, each state is different. This means that your own coverage and the coverage of those around you can change with each state line you cross.
Let’s explain this a little deeper. Let’s say you are driving to Pennsylvania to visit some family next week. On the way to Grandma Sue’s, a distracted driver hits you. Your car is totaled. You’re late to Grandma Sue’s. But luckily, everyone is unharmed. Not luckily, though, this driver has the Pennsylvania state minimum coverage limits. In Indiana, state minimum would mean that driver’s policy would pay $10,000 toward replacing your vehicle. But, in Pennsylvania, this means the driver’s policy will only be paying $5,000 toward replacing your vehicle. Chances are, neither of those numbers are making you very comfortable. This brings us back to the information from the previous post about having uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Having this coverage as a part of your auto policy may be even more necessary when traveling out of state.
Now let’s look at the other side of the coin. Let’s say someone from Pennsylvania is driving to Indiana to see Uncle Bob and his cornfield. He is in such a rush to see Uncle Bob that they blow through a red light and hit you, again totaling your vehicle. This time, you’re hurt. Really hurt. And so is your car. His state minimum coverage in Pennsylvania isn’t going to even begin covering your expenses. It will only pay $15,000 per person’s injuries, $30,000 liability for the whole accident and $5,000 for the car itself. But, because they were in Indiana territory, their coverage limits expanded to fit Indiana’s the second they crossed the state line. Now, their policy will pay $25,000 for bodily injury, $50,000 liability for the whole accident and $10,000 for the car itself. While state minimum coverages can expand from state to state, this is by no means adequate coverage for a devastating injury or loss. All this being said, this situation will never work the opposite way. Meaning, your coverage limits will never drop, only expand, when travelling into other states.
If you have any questions concerning this article or any other previous post, please contact us at (317)867-5433 or email@example.com.
When it comes to thinking about car wrecks, hit and runs and even fender benders, it’s easy to exclude yourself from the equation, convincing yourself you are a great driver and would never be part of something like that. And it’s easy to see how one could see things that way – an owner of a spotless driving record, never had a claim, and maybe you even drive more carefully than Grandma Sue on Sunday mornings. At the end of the day, though, it doesn’t matter. It’s not all about you.
Sure, your coverage is to cushion you in the event of a poorly executed blind spot check, a lead foot at the stop light or even black ice, but it’s also there to protect you from others and the mistakes they may make while driving. As unfortunate as it is to think, you really don’t know if that person driving next to you cares as much as you do. Statistics tell us that over 1 in 10 drivers in Indiana have no auto insurance whatsoever. Next time you are driving down I-465, look around you. Within your line of vision, at least one of your neighboring drivers does not have car insurance. Now, if they happen to be the one who hits you, are you protected from them? This is where uninsured and underinsured protection comes in to save the day…assuming you have it of course.
Let’s put this in perspective. You are driving down I-465. It’s a sunny day, your windows are down and you’re happy as a clam. Suddenly, you notice a car in the other lane starting to swerve and before you know it, the hood of that same car is in your passenger’s seat. The owner of this car, Debbie Dingbat, has successfully totaled your $20,000 baby and likely your soul in the process. Ms. Dingbat informs you she has no insurance. None. Zero. At this point you are thinking one of two things: thank goodness my agent explained uninsured motorist insurance with me – I have that and this will be okay. Or, I’ve never heard of uninsured motorist insurance but I hope maybe that was just included in the cheap rates my online company promised me. Hint: it’s not included. If you find yourself in the second group, you are now officially on the hook for the entirety of the $20,000 you just watched fall apart. Oh, and is your car paid off? Better hope so, because if not the bank will still be expecting payments on your now un-drivable vehicle. Without uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, your insurance company does not pay a dime toward your loss. It’s time to start thinking about uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
If you have any questions concerning this article or any other posts, please contact us at (317)867-5433.
When the time finally comes for your child to hit the road, they can be a costly addition to your premium. However, there are a few ways to successfully combat this price increase.
There are several things new drivers can do to help keep their insurance prices as low as possible. First, grades go a very long way with most insurance companies. A B-average report card can save an enormous amount of money. Wondering if your current policy includes a good student discount? The best indicator is to think back if you ever submitted a report card to your insurance company. This type of discount requires annual updates. If the company isn’t made aware of your child’s grades or improvement in grades, you likely are missing out on some savings for your student driver. While agents and their staffs have the best of intentions, it is possible for a discount such as this to be missed or dropped from your current coverage. An added perk to the good student discount is how long it lasts. This discount is valid during high school years and with some companies even continues through college years up until the driver reaches 25 years of age – which could mean up through graduate school! Is your child attending college over 100 miles away and leaving the car at home? This can qualify your driver for savings, as well.
In addition to a good student discount, a young driver can also receive a large discount for taking and passing driver’s training. Make sure your insurance agency has a copy of your child’s successful completion of this course in order to obtain this discount.
While new drivers themselves can impact their own rates significantly, there are steps parents can take toward keeping the rates low as well. Credit score, claims and tickets all affect the rates. When your child is on your policy, anything that affects your rates will affect theirs as well. Also, be sure to call in and get a quote for the vehicle you’re looking to add for your new driver to insure your expectations concerning your new premium match reality. It is wise to do this prior to purchasing the vehicle. With young drivers, just like with anyone’s policy, the value of the vehicle directly impacts the rate implemented. Meaning, for example, a new Mustang will be drastically more expensive to insure than a used Civic.
Finally, there is a considerably new feature some companies are utilizing to help decrease their clients’ rates. Some companies are installing devices in vehicles in order to track motion. Rapid acceleration, quick breaking or violent movement of the vehicle get recorded by this device. A lack of movements like these can mean up to a 30% discount in rates. A few companies that currently promote devices like these include Progressive and SafeCo. Progressive’s program is titled “Snapshot” and SafeCo’s is titled “Right Track.” Below is a link that provides a visual explanation for how the SafeCo Right Track device functions.
While having a child behind the wheel for the first time can be scary, hopefully now their insurance doesn’t have to be.
For questions concerning this article or any other post by the Dean Ballenger Agency, don’t hesitate to call us at (317)867-5433.
At least in the insurance world.
Parents, the moment your teen celebrates their 15th birthday, the wheels in your head are already turning. “What car will be reliable and affordable, when can they start driver’s training and the biggest one…holy cow my baby is driving!” One of the first calls parents make is to their insurance company. They are eager to add the new, inexperienced driver to their auto policy as soon as they get that permit in their hands. And typically parents hang up from that call pleasantly surprised. Their baby may be driving, but for now, they get to do it for free.
Legally, your teen can now drive a vehicle with the permit issued to them. However, due to them not having an actual driver’s license, nearly all auto insurance companies do not require that they be added to your auto policy. This means that, yes, your teen driver with their learner’s permit can drive and be fully covered with no additional cost. Once they become a licensed driver that will change, but for the time period before that, your current premium includes and covers them as well. We recommend you take advantage of this time – as they may not be so cheap down the road.
Watch for our next blog which will include tips on how to save money with teen drivers in your household.
When you think of car insurance, what do you think is covered?
If you said stuff outside the car, you’d be right.
If you said stuff inside the car, you’d be wrong.
Surprised? Let us explain.
In the event of an accident, collision or inclement weather, any damage done to the car can be covered by a car insurance policy. However, your personal belongings inside the car at the time of event are not covered. This means that if your car were to get broken into, that busted window could be covered, but anything stolen, likely the bigger loss, is not. Perhaps a better, more gut-wrenching example is this: if your car is burglarized or even if you get into a serious wreck resulting in your iPhone, iPad and laptop getting stolen or destroyed, these items are not covered. So then, where is it covered? Oddly enough, your renter’s policy. Your renter’s policy will follow you everywhere, even behind the wheel, when it comes to your personal belongings. This is great news…for those who have renter’s insurance. You may be thinking to yourself “Well, perfect! I have renter’s insurance through my complex!” However, more often than not, the insurance you receive through your complex only covers the building, not your personal belongings. And if your personal belongings are not covered through your renter’s policy, then they certainly won’t be covered behind the wheel. What most people don’t realize is to add personal property coverage to a renter’s policy is a matter of a few dollars per month. A few dollars in exchange for peace of mind with your stuff. Anywhere, anytime.