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Independent Insurance Agents
Serving Virginia and Maryland

Tips & Info  

Youthful and newly licensed drivers
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Passing the driving test and holding a brand-new license is the highlight of a teenager's life. However, car insurance is a necessary responsibility that comes with driving freedom. Teenage drivers need to learn the simple basics of insurance for the first time.  Although, teens can’t control the statistical risk of their age group, that does not mean your child needs to add to the risk.  As parents, we need to focus on what our child can control while working on safe driving habits with them.

Discuss with your teen the aspects that affect the insurance premium. Explain to how the make, model, age, and safety features of the vehicle and driving inexperience all contribute to the insurance rate. Luxury or sports car classification carry higher premiums than sedans or sub-compact models. The age of the vehicle directly influences the premium amount. Older vehicles often carry lower premiums.  Liability premiums will not fluctuate based on the age of the car, because Liability does not repair or replace the insured's vehicle. Optional safety features lower premiums too, through discounts for features.  Other discounts apply depending on the carrier.

While teenagers feel excited about getting a new license, parents feel anxious about what their young driver is going to do to their premium. New drivers don't consider how much their policy premium costs, and the factors that influence the premium. We work with parents to educate new drivers about the impact of insuring them and this creates a relationship that influences their future car insurance purchases.  This tends to set a positive tone for the relationship with the young driver.

Parents look for ways to make sure their young drivers act responsibly when on the road. Teenager’s discussions with their auto insurance agent will open their eyes to the costs and complexities of insurance. Teenagers who learn the value of responsible driving will be more likely to drive defensively. Teenagers who follow the rules of the road and drive defensively keep their insurance premiums from rising.

A solid understanding of traffic tickets, collisions, and reckless behavior motivates teenagers to drive responsibly. Parents and insurance agents working as a team can effectively communicate the importance of safe driving on a young driver’s insurance premium. Parents feel more secure when their young driver understands the importance of safe driving.

Guidelines and selecting the best car for your teenager
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You certainly want a car that will ensure their safety and that has a good safety record. You also want to be sure that you select a car that won't cost you a fortune to insure. It can be expensive enough to insure your new teenage driver, so you need to consider what the best options are

There are some general guidelines when it comes to selecting a car for your 16 year old. These can guarantee a far more affordable insurance bill yet can protect your teenage driver as they hit the streets. Here are a few guidelines:

  • Four-door cars are generally cheaper to insure
  • Domestic cars come in lower in your overall insurance bill
  • Less expensive (yet safe) cars are always a good bet for a lower payment

Shop around and see what the best deal you can get is, but focus in on bigger vehicles that have four doors and go domestic if you can. If you go into the showrooms with these basic criteria in mind, then you are sure to end up with car that both of you like. If you go in as an educated consumer, you are sure to have a lower insurance bill and a car that will keep your 16 year old boy or girl safe and happy.

Moving Tips
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Be an informed consumer. The internet is a great resource so use it.  You are your own best advocate!

For moves from state to state, check out the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Web site at www.protectyourmove.gov for information about what consumers should do before and after the move. You also want to check out the moving company. Look for movers with good reputations. The lowest price may end up being very expensive in the end.

No two moving companies are the same. Some are better than others so choose carefully.
Most problems arise from disagreements about either (1) the estimate of charges or (2) the mover´s liability for damaged or lost property.

  1. Regarding estimates of moving charges, it´s important to remember an ESTIMATE is not binding. An estimate is only a general idea of what charges will be, under normal conditions, for the service ordered. Your actual costs can be much higher because your bill will be based on the actual service performed -- that is, what is moved, how much your goods weigh, the distance involved, and the number of workers and hours the job takes. Reputable companies will be more accurate with their estimates. Get a written, signed estimate, and keep it.

  2. Understand the carrier´s liability for damaged or lost property.  A good carrier will offer a variety of options for protecting your property. Be sure you understand them, choose carefully, and file a written claim immediately if anything is lost or damaged.  Be sure your property is properly insured.  Your home insurance policy will not cover damage caused by the move.   However, if there is a vehicle accident in the process of the move and items are shifted and damaged during the time of the accident, your home insurance policy should cover those damaged articles.

Avoid problems.  Plan ahead.  Be prepared.  Be ready when the mover arrives.  Accompany the mover and make an inventory.  Understand and agree with the bill of lading before you sign it.  Be at the destination at the time agreed upon for delivery.  And finally, check the condition of your property before you sign a delivery receipt.

Resources
US Department  of Transportation  PROTECT YOUR MOVE  - https://www.protectyourmove.gov/
FTC Protecting America’s Consumers - http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/consumer.shtm

Before you hire a contractor!
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  • Determine the type of contractor you need.
  • Get at least three competitive bids for the project.
  • Get reference and follow up.
  • Make sure the contractor is licensed and insured.
  • Before you engage the contractor, ask for a certificate of insurance from the contractor’s insurance agent.  If the contractor is not insured, you may be liable if an accident occurs or your home is damaged.
  • Contact your insurance agent to discuss your particular situation.
  • Assume nothing; make sure everything is in the contract.

Use this link for more consumer guides and information are available from Virginia Consumer Services: http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/consumer/index.shtml

 

 





 




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