It can be easier than you think to put the brakes on high auto insurance rates – as an independent agency, can help! We can review your policy and possibly help you find a variety of illuminating ways to save money. Here are some things you may want to consider:
• Ask us to check several companies’ rates. This is the single most important thing you can do to get the best possible rate—and we can do it for you quickly and easily. The difference between the highest and lowest rate available to you from different companies could vary by hundreds of dollars.
• Reduce or drop physical damage coverage on an older car. Depending on your car’s age and where you live, comprehensive and collision coverage may not be worth keeping. We can give you advice on whether it makes sense to reduce or drop this coverage altogether.
• Raise your deductible. According to the Insurance Information Institute, raising your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce your collision and comprehensive cost by 15 to 30 percent. In addition, because the average driver files a collision claim only once every ten years, odds are that over the lifetime of your car, a higher deductible will save you money. We can show you how raising your deductible will lower your premium.
• Look for discounts. Many insurance companies reduce premiums for certain driver traits or car features. For example: being a homeowner for more than three years, nonsmoker, nondrinker, students with good grades, senior citizens who have taken an approved defensive driving course, people who only drive for pleasure, cars kept in garages, antilock brakes, antitheft devices, air bags, etc. Ask us to check.
• Don’t assume having your car and home insured by the same company is the best option. Because auto insurance rates vary so much from company to company, it may make sense for you to have your car and home insured by separate companies. Let’s talk about it.
To learn more about all an independent agency can offer you, call Lockridge Agency.
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Time is money: Save both
Saving 5 cents a gallon on gas is great. But, if you have to drive 20 minutes to get to the station, is it really a savings? If a deal costs you valuable time, it’s not a deal at all. The same holds true with auto insurance.
Bargain-basement policies can gobble up your time if you have to file a claim. You can spend up to four days calling repair shops, getting estimates and arranging for a rental car.
Remember, insurance isn’t just about price. It’s about service, too. The concierge level of claims service offered by Progressive can cut the claims/repair process from four days to only 15 minutes.
“You may think the most stressful part of being involved in an accident is the crash itself. But, that’s just the beginning,” said Craig Moore with Progressive. “We’ve come up with an easy, time-saving way to manage repairs.”
Simply drop off the damaged vehicle at a service center and a claims representative handles the entire claims/repair process for you. Repairs are guaranteed for as long as you own or lease your vehicle.
Here’s how the concierge level of claims service works:
• Report the claim. Call or go online to report the claim. A claims rep will schedule a time to bring your vehicle to the service center.
• Drop off and go. In about 15 minutes, you can be on your way in a rental car. Your rep prepares an estimate and then contacts a repair shop. When the work is finished, the vehicle is returned to the service center.
• Pick up your vehicle. You’re contacted when the vehicle is ready. You inspect the repairs and leave with a written guarantee on the work.
Think about all aspects of insurance before you buy, especially the time you’ll spend if you have a claim.
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Seven Shopping Strategies For New Car Buyers
New car shopping can be a lot of fun, especially if you’re a car enthusiast. But others can find the experience stressful and tedious. Either way, there’s a lot to think about. According to a survey of car shoppers, overall purchase price is the most important factor when shopping for a new car (46 percent), followed by make and model (31 percent).
Safety and performance come in a distant third, tied at seven percent. But whether you’re turned on or turned off by the dizzying array of car choices, trim options, “expert” reviews, incentives and other deals, it definitely pays to approach car buying strategically.
So if you’re in the market for a new vehicle and you find yourself having trouble keeping a clear head, just keep these strategies, courtesy of Lockridge Agency, in mind:
1. Decide how much money you can spend and what type of vehicle best suits your needs. Just looking for the basic transport capability of a small or medium sedan? Or do you need the hauling capacity of a van or SUV? Something practical? Something sporty? Something in between?
2. Research crash tests and accident data available from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
3. Shop around for financing. If you can, apply for and get approval for a loan from a bank, credit union or other financier before you even visit the dealership. Being a “cash buyer” gives you an advantage when you do finally meet with the dealership’s financing person.
4. Test drive the car. Try to drive in conditions that will be similar to those under which you’ll drive every day.
5. Check pricing for your desired make and model at two or three dealerships and use that information to help you negotiate the best deal.
6. Get a firm quote, in writing. This should include not only the cost of the car, but any fees and the sales tax.
7. Inspect your new car carefully before driving off the lot. Make sure all the options you’ve ordered are included and that the body and paint are free of scratches or dents.
Finally, it’s important to consider the cost of auto insurance, although it seems that few people realize that what they pay for insurance can add significantly to the vehicle’s total cost.
Wise car buyers know to shop around for insurance and find out how costs compare. They also know to visit an independent insurance agency – like Lockridge Agency. We can check with several companies to find the best combination of coverage and price.