Southern Insurance Group has provided quality car insurance in Clermont FL for over 24 years and are proud to say we represent to top auto insurance carriers not only in Clermont but through out the state of FL. Give us a call or send us a quote inquiry and we will shop you through our carriers to provide you with a detailed apples to apples comparison....
Below are some articles and tips for how our customers lower their insurance premiums.
If you drive around Clermont FL long enough you know that the traffic conditions are changing all the time due to the new road construction taking place. As a result of this lots of unfortunate accidents are taking place daily. Making sure that your auto insurance is up to date is a must.
Far too often people are finding out that their car insurance policies in Clermont are not adequately covering all their out of pocket expenses from the accident. I would concur with this as about 75% of the policies that I review are missing valuable coverage's.
Why aren't people covered properly?
I would say it boils down to quite a few factors that I listed below.
- Order taking companies
- Agents stripping down the policy to get the rate down
- Agents quoting and duplicating the same missing coverage's of the prior agent
- Clients wanting lower premiums so they take off coverage's
Order taking companies-If you deal with the direct carriers that you hear advertised constantly on the radio and TV you will usually deal with a call center of service reps that went to a 3 day course to obtain their qualifications to take down your insurance order. They usually aren't overly qualified like you will find with a fully licensed agent who has done this for years. Southern Insurance Group will customize your Clermont auto insurance policy to make sure you have all the proper coverage's
Agents stripping down the vehicle insurance policy-Not all agencies in Clermont are as competitive as others so some agencies may find the need to take off certain auto coverage's to try to get the insurance premium lower. If the policyholder doesn't fully understand their policy they may not realize what has taken place until the time of an accident when it will be too late.
Agents and Csr's quoting the same auto coverage's as the prior agency-Far too many times I'll review someone's car insurance policy and will say did you know that you don't carry a certain coverage and a lot of times I will hear client say that they have no idea why they don't carry that coverage. If an agency gives an apples to apples quote but then doesn't recommend the proper changes they will have done a disservice to the customer by insuring with the same gaps in coverage. This occurs far too often.
Clients wanting to take off important coverage's to get the premium down-Sometimes the client has the wrong coverage just mainly due to them wanting to strip down the coverage's to get the premium as low as possible. This of course is fine until you end up having an accident. Then you will quickly come to the realization that it was a poor decision. Some things you can be cheap on but insurance is not one of them. A solid vehicle insurance policy in Clermont is a lot of times the difference between you having a major financial set back or not. Each coverage has a specific need that it addresses so taking it off puts you at risk.
All too often, drivers do not discover the importance of having adequate limits in place until after they have an accident. We are all concerned about saving money where we can, but trying to cut corners on your insurance coverage may cost you much more in the long run if you have an accident and are sued by the other party involved.
Thankfully, there are still some good ways to keep costs down; many factors such as your driving record, type of vehicle and vehicle use may provide discounts. Most auto insurance carriers also offer many other discounts. Depending on the carrier, this could include a discount for owning a home or a discount for payment in full. As your agent in Clermont, we will seek out these discounts because it is our job to make sure you have the best possible protection at the lowest premium available.
How Do I Lower My Clermont Car Insurance Rates?
With so much frightening emphasis on the shaky economy and scary rumors about recession on the rise, many people in Clermont Florida are trying cutting corners and costs where they can. From careful budgeting to simply doing without some things they have become accustomed to, but there is one thing you simply cannot cut back on- your auto insurance coverage.
There are many ways of lowering your higher premiums without really losing the coverage you have come to expect and need. Firstly, when you are seeking out an insurance carrier to choose an independent agency like Southern Insurance Group that can shop your car insurance with multiple carriers to ensure your best pricing.
Our website will allow you to see side by side comparisons of all the carriers that we represent for you to make an informed decision. So from the comfort of your home you can allow us to do the shopping for you. All you have to do is send us a request and we are on the job for you. We will not only review your current policy for coverage gaps but will also recommend the proper coverage's for you to select to make sure you are adequately covered.
You may consider raising your deductible a bit. In some cases, if you are willing to pay a higher deductible and have that set aside in case something does happen, you can slash your rates in half. If you have already paid off your car, or perhaps have an older model, another way to lower your rates is to reduce coverage. This option is not for everyone, granted, however, sometimes opting for liability only so that you are covering repairs to another person’s vehicle in case of an accident can really drop your rates down quite a bit, under current Florida law you must have at least 10,000 of personal injury protection and 10,000 property damage liability.
Southern also provides further discounts by merging your existing auto coverage with home, umbrella and life insurance policies. We will also review low mileage discounts as well as all the safety features like air bags, anti lock brakes, daytime running lights and anti theft systems to lower your premiums. Also, if you have an underage driver on your policy age 16 to 24 we will review, good student, driver's training discounts as well as the 100 mile rule discount which applies a huge discount to your auto insurance policy if a student is away at college without a vehicle.
Involved in a Car Collision? This is What You Have to Do
If you drive frequently, then you know that accidents are a common occurrence on the highways, within the city, when travelling and during the course of your daily commuting. Accidents are a dime a dozen and can be fatal, mild or severe. Whatever the case, if you get involved in a collision, here’s what you should do:
1. Check the State of People Involved The very first thing to do is check if no one is hurt. This will determine what your next step will be. If someone is hurt, call the police immediately. It is a crime to hit and run or leave someone injured in an accident to his fate. If the accident is fatal and you can move, try what you can to keep anyone alive. In cases of fire, see if you can extricate any of the individuals. If you can, bring them out gently and move them far away from the inferno. Then check to see if they are alive. Lay them down in a position where they are facing upwards and see if they can talk. If they can, ask them simple questions to see if they can still recall things. If the police hasn’t arrived by this time, try to keep them alive. If anyone is bleeding try to tie a tourniquet around the bleeding part. If it is in the limbs, try tying it at the upper part so that the individual will not lose too much blood.
2. File an accident report within 10 days. This will ensure that you do not get your license suspended. For accidents whose damage assessment is less than a thousand dollars, you should exchange details such as driver’s license numbers, phone numbers et.c. In cases where a domestic animal is hit, you should do all in your best to contact the owner.
3. Contact your car insurance company There is a reason it is generally advised that all car owners obtain some form of auto insurance and it is that in cases of theft and collision, the insurance company can pay after you make your claims. If the claims are justifiable and proved true, then you will get your benefits. While the insurance may not be able to pay you everything, they can reimburse you to the tune of eight, sometimes ninety percent. That’s at least better than having to scrape up the money for a new car if the car is totalled or pay for the repairs of a slightly damaged car. Therefore, as soon as you can, get in touch with your insurance company and file a claim. This should be attended to before long.
4. What’s Your Status? This simply means “who was responsible for the collision?”. What were you doing before the accident? If you were drinking and driving or making out, then it might interests you to know that no insurance company is going to be responsible for your excesses. So, be careful particularly when you are filing your claims.
The evolution of car drivers
If you have been driving for over 30 years you have seen a major evolution of driving distractions of things that keep your mind off your driving. Distractions according to the department of highway safety are one of the leading reasons why major fatalities occur. Below are some of the most common distractions that have occurred over the years.
First on the scene back in the mid 80’s, was the invention of the car phone. These phones back then seemed to be more of a status symbol than anything else and not necessarily used on a frequent basis due to the high cost of cell phone minutes. Wow did that ever change! Today it is hard to see someone driving without talking on a cell phone.
Speaking of which, have you ever been involved in a serious conversation while driving to work and when you start paying attention to where you are you say gosh I don’t recall the last 10 miles of driving. It is almost as if our brains are on autopilot. Pretty scary huh?
After cell phones came the invention of texting. I was reluctant to text in the beginning but if you have kids this is one of the main forms of communication with them. The problem is people are texting 24/7 so the chances of you receiving a text while driving is pretty common. Once you get the hang of texting you can usually respond fairly quickly so you tend to do this while you are driving as opposed to pulling over or waiting until you stop.
Whether it is talking on the phone or texting these devices are keeping your brain from paying attention to the road and other things that occur while you are driving. If all the people on the road are on their phones or texting this is a pretty alarming thought. As you know if only takes a few seconds to drive off the shoulder which is very dangerous trying to get back on the road. Many a people have flipped their vehicle due to this reason.
The driving laws are becoming stricter if you are on your phone or texting while involved in a major fatality. Of course cell phone records can be obtained to verify if you were using the phone at the time of accident. Juries are becoming less tolerant of people that are doing this and some states have already passed laws restricting phone usage while driving.
Whatever happened to the good old days when eating, shaving, putting on make-up were our biggest distractions? Unfortunately as technology improves we will most likely have far worse distractions down the road than today that aren’t even thought of yet. I’m sure video monitors in our car that show who we are talking to our next on the horizon. Stay safe!!
Another way for us to ensure that you have the best protection at the lowest premium available is to examine your necessary coverage levels. There are several different levels of coverage that make up an auto insurance policy:
Five tips on reducing your car insurance premiums
- Bodily Injury Liability: Provides coverage to an accident victim in the event of a law suit and is required by the State of Florida
- Property Damage Liability: This covers the cost of any damage that your vehicle causes to another person’s property. While this usually refers to the other vehicle involved in an accident, it can also include houses, garages, and anything else that counts as property.
- Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist: This pays for the damages that result from an accident caused by an uninsured motorist. This also pays for damages which cost more than an underinsured motorist’s coverage can pay for.
- Personal Injury Protection: This offers medical coverage for the policyholder and his or her family in the event of a collision, regardless of fault. It will also provide coverage for pedestrians who are hit by a vehicle. Many options are available to provide funeral expenses and other important coverage's needed when you are hurt and cannot work.
- Collision: Covers damage done to your vehicle when it collides with another vehicle or object.
- Comprehensive: Covers damage to your vehicle resulting from something other than a collision. Examples for this would be hitting a deer, broken windshields, theft or flood.
- Other Miscellaneous Coverage: This varies depending on the insurance provider.
When shopping for a competitive auto insurance rate here are a few money saving tips that will help you get the best price.
- Tip number One- Preferred carriers usually require that you maintain a certain limit for your bodily injury coverage’s before you will be eligible for their preferred tier. With a lot of preferred writers 25-50-25 is the minimum requirement to qualify.
- Tip number two-insurance carriers provide an additional discount if you have the proper limits for their preferred prior to insuring with the company.E.G. if you had 10-20-10 bodily injury and property damage limits with your prior carrier you won’t get the same discounts with the new carrier as if you maintained the 25-50-25 limits.
- Tip number three- Credit is extremely important when shopping your auto insurance. Some carriers place more emphasis on your credit then on your actual driving record. Statistically people who have better credit tend to file fewer claims and cause less service to the insurance company because of reinstatement's for lapsed payments. Most preferred carriers run a soft hit on your credit which is not the same as what is done when you apply for credit. A soft hit usually does not affect your credit.
- Tip number four- your driving record is of course a strong factor in determining your final rate. Because most auto carriers offer preferred and standard tiers within their company, how many tickets or accidents you have will determine whether you stay in the preferred or standard company. Not every company has the same breaking point for having to go to the standard co. Having you agent shop multiple carriers will give you the best outcome based on this factor alone.
- Tip number five- Not every carrier specializes in the same risks. E.G. some companies have excellent rates if there is an underage driver in the household while others have the worst rates for this same 16-24 year old category. Other carriers have a niche of older drivers age 50 and older with certain levels of limits. Having an independent agent shop for carriers who specialize in your rating information will usually give you the best outcome.
How auto insurance rates are determined
How does a DUI affect my insurance rate?
If you have ever found yourself in a situation where you have received a DUI, or driving under the influence, charge you know some of the damage this can do to your life. But even years after the fines have been paid off, you may find yourself still haunted by the mistake in regards to your insurance premium. Proven again and again over time, people who have received one DUI charge likely to receive another in their lifetime. Hopefully the one charge was enough to make you set your life straight and you will not be getting behind the wheel intoxicated again. But life has no guarantees, and while insurance companies are in the business of taking risks they do like to minimize their chances of loss.
One of the worst situations to find yourself in when just after a recent DUI you find a letter in your mailbox announcing that your insurance company is no longer willing to provide your insurance. Generally you have a very short period of time to secure new insurance, and you will be less than happy with the surprise of your new insurance rate quotes when you call around. When you receive a conviction of driving under the influence it is reported on your driving record. Sometimes it can take an insurance provider several months to notice this change, and often it is found when you go to renew your policy. The result is often that they are unwilling to cover you again, especially if you failed to notify them of the conviction in the first place.
Insurance companies do not like these types of surprises. Your new “high-risk driver” status is going to cause complications for up to 10 years. Depending on the state in which you reside, your state will keep your DUI on your driving record for a set period of time. As long as it shows you will have to face the consequences of your actions translated into dollars and cents coming out of your pocket in the form of a skyrocketed insurance premium. There honestly is not much that you can do about this, so once you have alerted your insurance provider as to your conviction it is best that you review your policy in detail and if you need to save money on your insurance bill to offset your inflated premium see what can be trimmed back.
Raising your deductible is often a quick way to see a change in your price. If your deductible is set below $1,000 absolutely raise it to at least that amount. Set aside money for the event of an accident to cover your deductible so you do not find yourself stuck without transportation if an accident does happen. Also, if you have medical insurance from your place of employment you can likely lower, if not drop, your medical coverage from your policy. Check with your health care plan first to be certain injuries resulting from a car accident are covered, but in most cases they are. While there are no simple answers or quick fixes, the best way to avoid having to deal with the problems a DUI causes with your insurance is to be certain it never happens again.
Every auto insurance company has some magic formula that calculates a whole lot of information and spits out your insurance premium rate based on the risk factors associated with insuring you. This process is known as underwriting, and thanks to the wonder of modern computers it can often be determined just seconds after your information is plugged in. But also thanks to the wonder of modern computers, a lot more information is taken into account now than in the past when that rate is decided upon.
While most of us will never have the brain power or desire to figure out this complex process, there are a few basics you can assume will go into an auto insurance company determining your premium rates.
1.The make and model of your vehicle-
generally the first question you will be asked is what exactly it is you drive. Computers keep track of the number of accidents and citations owners of certain vehicles receive, and take this into account when insuring your car. It’s safe to assume that driving a shiny new sports car you will be more likely to get a speeding ticket than if your driving your Grandmother’s hand-me-down.
2.Your driving record
- your past history behind the wheel of a car is a huge factor in determining your auto insurance rates. Past accidents, tickets, and DUI charges will greatly impact your ability to get coverage at a decent rate, and may affect your ability to get coverage at all.
3.The area you live in
- anyone who lives in a major city knows the perils of rush hour traffic. One small fender bender leaves the whole city stuck on the interstate. You are much more likely to be in one of those fender benders if you live or work in this heavy traffic areas and your rates will be higher than someone that lives in a small town as a result.
the amount you set as your deductible affects your premium rate. The higher your deductible the lower your premium as a general rule.
5.Basic coverage amounts
- your policy is made up of several basic parts. You have control over how much coverage you purchase above your states minimum required amounts. Liability covers damage to other people’s property. Collision covers damage to your own vehicle. In an accident that is your fault. Comprehensive covers damages to your personal property and vehicle in the event of natural disasters, vandalism or theft. Medical covers the medical bills that result from an accident.
there is many extras that can be added onto your policy, and while they do offer protection they also increase your premiums. Uninsured and underinsured motorist covers your expenses in the event you are hit by someone who is not carrying insurance or amounts above what their policy covers. Without it you could be left holding the bill even if the accident is no fault of your own. Add-ons like personal injury protection, towing expense coverage, rental car reimbursements are convenient, but may be worth covering out of pocket to keep your payments low.
Insurance Fraud in Florida Still on the Rise
The issue of insurance fraud in Florida is one that has been catching headlines quite often in recent years. While it may be tempting to cheat the system to perhaps get the funding you need, there are a variety of reasons why this is not only a criminal activity, but one that may be causing economic distress for others in many communities as well.
Originally passed following a state wide grand jury report identifying dozens of clinics that were acting without a license as the culprits in wide spread insurance fraud schemes, the new action does not seem to be making much of a dent in the rate that such crimes occur. In 2001, there was a law passed which made tougher penalties for cases of insurance fraud, however, this measure does not seem to have slowed down the instances in which it occurs- and it has ultimately cost Florida motorists roughly 1 billion a year since.
While it did lead to an increase in investigations and arrest, premiums have not gone down by much and the incidence of vehicle abandonment and arson has actually risen by quite a great deal more each year. Firmer laws should have lead to a decrease in staged accidents and the solicitation of accident victims, but this is showing to be the opposite of what is actually occurring in an alarmingly increased rate. In 2005 there was yet another attempt at cracking down that seems to have failed the public and the controversial no fault system paying out up to 10,000 dollars to cover personal injuries regardless of who is at fault seems easily exploitable.
For those who do not comply with the ruling, personal injury lawsuits are still often courted by dishonest attorneys looking to win a quick case. On either side, be it fraudulent agencies offering the promise of debt relief or quick funds when there may not seem to be other options, or possibly individuals who are desperate for money- these things are leading to even deeper economic issues in a sort of cycle that will not stop until something more is done.
The system seems to need further scrutiny, as thus far, none of the measures implemented to protect the public from fraudulent agencies wishing to enable some to unload gas guzzling vehicles, or simply vehicles they can no longer afford for a quick and easy insurance write off, as well as the higher insurance premiums this causes to the rest of an honest public just looking for protection in case of an accident. Many are asking when this is going to get dealt with in a more heavy handed way, when more preventative measures will be taken to not only decrease the rates of fraud, but prevent newer, more intelligent schemes from coming up.
Those who have been cheated by such schemes or perhaps convinced that it was a viable solution to money woes find themselves also on the wrong end of the law, when in fact, more often than not they are victims of a fast talking confidence artist just out to take their money, as well. Changing Your Auto Insurance Policy
Drivers may want to terminate their car insurance for various different reasons. Relocating or moving to a new state might be one reason. Getting rid of a car might be another. Sometimes it’s just a case of finding better coverage or lower premiums. Regardless of the reasons, it’s important to follow some basic guidelines and do it properly.
Under most conditions, the normal practice with insurance companies is to let you cancel your policy by sending written notice stating your desired date cancelation. It’s important to realize that a policy doesn’t necessarily end automatically at the end term, so assuming you are canceling by simply not paying your next bill can be a big mistake. Make sure to read your policy carefully, since the cancelation terms might not be obvious. While they’re pretty quick to tell you that if you don’t pay your premiums your coverage will stop, they may not be quite so quick to inform you of the negative repercussions, such as penalty charges that can accrue for not providing formal notice of your policy termination.
You should also keep in mind is that your chances of obtaining auto coverage in the future may be impacted is your car insurance policy is canceled. A policy cancelation in your insurance history may end up getting you labeled as a high-risk applicant. Usually though you can avoid this trap by officially terminating your policy properly and in a timely manner. If you’ve decided you want to switch coverage to another insurer, and you plan on driving your car throughout the process, you’ll have to see that there is no lapse in your car insurance coverage. Make sure to coordinate the starting date of your new policy is effective on or before the termination date of your old policy. As long as you notify your old insurance company in writing when you want to cancel their policy, and follow whatever their termination guidelines and time frame is, you shouldn’t have to worry about any potential negative repercussions or penalties.
As your local Clermont auto insurance agency, our independent agents we can provide you with literally hundreds of combination's of coverage from several different insurance carriers. We are not limited to just one insurance company so, please, contact us today! As your insurance agent, we will provide you with a free, written analysis of the best coverage at the lowest possible premium.