Auto Insurance

Auto Insurance In Clermont, Florida

Protect Your Family With The Right Car Insurance Solution

Southern Insurance Group is a true independent agency that has the ability to shop the marketplace for your best price for your Auto Insurance. We have provided quality insurance products and services throughout Florida for over 28 years.

Why can an independent agency like ours offer you more for your money? It's simple, because we have contracted with the leading carriers in the industry, we can obtain quotes from carriers that specialize in a particular risk. This is important because not every company offers competitive rates for every risk. Let me explain further, some companies have better rates for younger drivers while others specialize in older drivers. Some like drivers with good credit while others don't care about credit. Some carriers have better rates for various driving violations than others.  The key is for us to know who specializes in what risk so we can obtain the best rates for our client.

So how does this differ from a captive agent like State Farm, Allstate, or Geico? It's simple, their guidelines do not specialize in every risk so you never know if you are truly getting the best rate out there. This gives the independent agents a true advantage because of this reason. All it takes is a few minutes for us to give you apples to apples comparison with your current plan so please give us a call today.

Below are some of our secrets, tips and topics for improving your premiums!

Lower Automobile Insurance Premiums With These 5 Tips

Tip Number 1 - Preferred carriers usually require that you maintain a certain limit for your bodily injury coverage 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 2 -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 3 -Credit is extremely important when shopping your Vehicle Insurance. Some carriers place more emphasis on your credit than 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 reinstatements 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 4 -Your driving record is of course a strong factor in determining your final rate. Because most 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 5 -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.

Accident Avoidance Is Not Promised To You

One day last year while driving to work, I was stopped at a red light by the intersection of Hwy 50 and the over pass for Hwy 27. To my surprise I saw the windshield get smashed by a falling object that fell from the Hwy 27 overpass. It turned out to be a hammer that fell over a construction truck and smashed into the car windshield in front of me.

Several people including myself got out of the car to see what happened and saw the hammer lodged into the windshield. Here is a guy who is driving to work about to start his day when a very unfortunate situation occurred. Fortunately he wasn't hurt but now he has to deal with getting his windshield fixed. Of course not life threatening but certainly an inconvenience to say the least. The moral of the story is his Auto Insurance is there to protect against the unexpected.

With all the construction taking place on the roads over these past few years, you need to make sure your policy is reviewed and up to date. Many times this year I have heard the shrieks of crashing metal and the screech of slammed on brakes because people aren't used to the directional signs and barricades on the roads. I have seen the direction change 2-3 times in a week as work is being done to pave the roads.

Selling insurance has been a joy for my family and I as we know we bring the best that the marketplace has to offer to our town for the past 24 years. We are fortunate to say that Southern Insurance Group is an exclusive agency for some of the most competitive carriers in the our area. See not every agency has the same carriers that they represent. Trying to secure the best carriers is one of the most difficult things to do when setting up an agency. Usually the major writers of automobile coverage will only appoint with one of two agencies in a town or city. Fortunately we are proud to say that we have been appointed by those major carriers.

Get value protection before an accident by calling our insurance experts today! We will review your policy to make sure you have the right coverage.

Three Common Car Insurance Scams

Insurance scams have been around for a very long time, but only in recent years have we seen a spike in the number of scams that have been hitting our local market - and hitting it hard. When you're looking at something that looks too good to be true, bear in mind the old adage- it probably is.

What can you do to protect yourself from losing your valuable money? Firstly, knowing the sorts of scams that are currently out there is key, so you can see it coming. From there, you can educate yourself on the various ways that you can research any given offer to find out if it is fraud or fact. You're driving around when suddenly, someone waves you on into traffic and you find yourself in a collision. This person, presumably having made an honest mistake, comes running over to see if you are okay- but when a claim is filed, somehow the fact that they've waved you on is left out. You find yourself at fault and therefor, liable for the damages.

You've just been hit by what's referred to as "a drive down." On occasion, they will also suggest various repair shops, doctors or lawyers. Always trust your instinct here and find your own. Use your own judgment and not that of other drivers when out and about, and be aware of anyone who seems to be looking at the way you are driving with a little too much scrutiny. Always keep an open line of communication with your insurance company about anything you feel is not right.

Another commonly used tactic is referred to as 'swoop and squat'. You find yourself watching the car in front of you get cut off, or for whatever reason, that car stops abruptly. When you try to stop there is no time and you have rear ended the vehicle in front of you. Everyone in the car is injured in some form or another, and each one is a hard to prove or disprove injury- whiplash, muscle or soft tissue damage. Sometimes, they even have crooked repair places and doctors to further help them file these claims against you. Always be careful, this is another area where a common scam hits the insurance companies - to the tune of roughly 20 billion a year.

Making sure that you are following proper procedure and keeping safe distances between you and other vehicles can protect you. The last scam we'll talk about here is the "T Bone"- you proceed through a four way stop, cautious as you always are, when suddenly another car slams headlong into the side of your vehicle. When the claims are filed and the chips are down, you find that there are witnesses willing to say that you ran the red light or blew through a stop sign. In most cases, preventing the fraudsters from being able to file the claim in the first place is your best course- always be aware of your surroundings when out on the road.

Does Credit Affect My Insurance Rate?

Everyone should be aware of the fact that your credit rating and credit score can impact your ability to finance a new home or car and affect your ability to get a decent annual percentage rate on a credit card, but few realize that the impact of your credit affects much more than just new purchases. About ten years ago, your financial history and ability to pay your bills on time began affecting your Homeowners Insurance. For those with bad credit this probably was not much of an issue, as most people with bad credit do not own their own home.

But more and more Automobile Insurance companies are now taking your credit history into account when writing your insurance policy. This is a pretty controversial subject, and for good reason. You purchase and maintain coverage to be a responsible driver and protect yourself from financial loss. In a troubling economy like we have been experiencing the last few years, more and more people find themselves in situations where they must prioritize their bills each month. More than a few of us have defaulted on student loans and credit card bills to pay for our homes and vehicles, as well as insurance on these important aspects of our lives. One would think that prioritizing your insurance at the top of the list of your bills would ensure you have insurance, but that may not be the case.

Some Vehicle Insurance companies in Clermont, FL are actually dropping clients that have paid regularly because they have dropped the ball on other bills, thus lowering their credit rating and credit score. Even companies that are not dropping their clients may still be capitalizing on others' misfortune by making rates skyrocket as a response to your dropping credit score.

The laws and regulations that govern insurance companies are not federally set. Instead, each state has its own laws dealing with these companies and what information they are permitted to use when determining your policy premiums. Your insurance company has a complex mathematical procedure that even they likely cannot explain to you, but it takes into account many factors including your age, gender, marital status, children, the type of car you drive, where you live, your driving record and often your credit score.

This process assigns you a risk level to the insurance company, often based on their past experiences as a weighting measure. Your risk factor determines your premium amounts, a higher risk equalling a higher premium rate. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about this whole process other than doing your best to stay on top of your debt. Should you find yourself in a situation where your financial situation changes and you are at risk for not being to pay your bills you should seriously considering scaling back wherever possible rather than accumulating more debt. Most states require the insurance companies to tell you what factors go into determining your rate, so calling around and finding a company that does not use credit in their determinations may be a viable option of protecting yourself as well.

Southern Insurance Group has specialized insurance policies to fit all situations. We have auto carriers in Clermont that have better rates than others for various rating factors so our job is to match you up with the best carrier for your particular situation. Not many agencies can do this which is why we are your premier Insurer. Yes, we sell to the entire state of FL as well!

Gap Coverage: Additional Protection When You Need It Most

What is Gap coverage? Gap coverage is designed to pay the difference from what is owed on the vehicle and the depreciated value of the vehicle. As you know as soon as you drive off the dealership your vehicle depreciates in value immediately. This depreciated value could represent up to 20% of the car value.

Since your Auto Insurance covers the actual cash value of the vehicle, this instant depreciation can be a real problem. Fortunately there is a solution and it is called gap insurance. For this coverage to apply you will have to have a total loss.

There are some stipulations in this coverage and some items are not covered. Keep in mind that some gap policies are slightly different, but for the most part the more common items listed below tend to be similar.

  1. The money added to the loan for extended warranties are not included in gap coverage.
  2. If you don't carry comp and collision that will forfeit the payout under gap coverage.
  3. Any missed payments or penalties placed against the loan are not covered.
  4. Any coverage added to the car that is not factory installed is not a covered item under gap coverage.
  5. Money that was added to the loan from a trade is not covered under gap coverage.

Please review your own policy for the exact features of your gap coverage as the above examples are examples for how most policies function.

What Does "Full Coverage" Mean On Your Auto Policy?

I have found over the past 28 years of selling insurance that very few people really understand what they are insured for or why they have certain coverages on their policy. I'll hear quite frequently when asking what kind of coverage a person carries that they have full coverage or just liability.

What do these terms actually mean? Full coverage from an insurance agent's perspective usually means that you have comprehensive and collision coverage on your policy. These coverages are the part of the policy that pay out to have your car fixed.

From a client's perspective, it may mean the same thing or they may assume that it means having all the other coverages on their policy like medical payments, uninsured motorist coverage, towing and rental reimbursement. You can have full coverage (comprehensive and collision) on your policy with or without the other coverages so as you can see, clarity of what you are insured for is very important.

The opposite of asking for full coverage is stating that you just want liability coverage. This also can differ from the agent's to the client's perspective. If you desire just liability coverage this usually means that you do not desire comprehensive and collision coverage on your policy. You can however still have medical payments or uninsured motorist coverage, so once again you have to be specific on what you desire on your policy.

A Protective Shield

Think of your Car Insurance as a shield. The shield protects you and your assets in case of loss, injury or damage. The policies we write consist of the following protections:

  • Liability - in case you are found at fault
  • Medical payments - pays for injuries to you or passengers
  • Uninsured Motorist - pays to you for injuries and pain and suffering from an uninsured driver.

Other protection includes:

  • Collision - pays in the event that your car is damaged by a collision.
  • Comprehensive - pays for any damage other than collision
  • Emergency Road service - if you are ever stranded in your vehicle
  • Rental Reimbursement - pays for a rental car while your car is in the shop

Unfortunately far too many people find out how good or bad their coverage is when they have an accident. The professionals at Southern Insurance Group will show you all of your protection options, recommend the right limits and make sure you are receiving all of the discounts you are entitled to.

3 Negative Factors That Affect Your Automobile Insurance Rates

When dealing with a preferred carrier, keep in mind that a soft hit on your credit is always run to find out what rating tier you will be in. Most carriers have different tiers that they place you in based on your credit. Of course the better your credit the better your rate.

A lot of people ask why credit is used. Insurance carriers have determined through past performance that people with better credit file fewer claims, maintain their vehicles better and have fewer no payments for reinstatements. The reinstatement factor by itself causes about 20-25% additional work flow for the insurance carrier so most carriers will only allow a few reinstatements before they cancel you altogether.

High performance vehicles are another factor in determining if you are eligible for a carrier's preferred or standard company. Most carriers offer several tiers for placing risks and a high performance vehicle will sometimes place you in the standard company. This is not with every carrier, so if your rate seems extremely high you may need to shop around for a carrier that doesn't penalize you for this.

A third factor that can greatly impact your car premiums deals with major violations. Some preferred carriers will place you into their standard tier if you have more than one major infraction like a major speed. As a recommendation, always attend an insurance school to erase this from your driving record so it doesn't impact your car rates.

What Happens If I Don't Have Vehicle Insurance?

Any type of insurance can be expensive; there is no doubt about that fact. But like taxes, it is one of those things that we just have to pay. It may seem like an easy option to just let your insurance slide, especially when facing financial difficulties as many Americans are today. But the reality is, that if you own a vehicle or drive, you must be insured.

The consequences for driving without coverage vary from state to state, and perhaps even county to county. You are required to show proof of insurance any time you are stopped by a police officer. In the event you do not have insurance, you will at a minimum be cited and have to appear at court. The court fees are your responsibility, along with any fines. You will be required to get the insurance you should have had in the first place, and that is if you are lucky. In some areas driving without an adequate level of coverage will not only cost you court fees, fines and the cost of insuring your vehicle but also vehicle impoundment fees, loss of license and jail time.

And this is just thinking you simply get pulled over for a traffic stop. The real damage is done if you are in an accident without having proper protection. You could find yourself responsible for the damages to your own car, other cars involved in the accident, medical bills for yourself as well as other people involved in the accident... the list goes on and on. Medical bills alone for one person in a serious accident can run into the hundreds of thousands. In the blink of an eye, you can find yourself in the midst of a legal and financial nightmare, and simply put, losing everything you have worked for including your house.

Obtaining Car Insurance in Clermont does not have to be extremely expensive, although if you have gone without coverage for more than thirty days you will likely pay a higher premium than someone who has maintained the minimum amount required by law. Look into your states requirements, and at the very least carry those amounts of insurance on your vehicle. Unless you make car payments, you can generally get by with basic liability coverage. Depending on several factors including the type of car you drive, your driving record, your lifestyle (a spouse and children will pay off for you in this regard), and your age basic liability may cost you as little as $50 a month.

Southern Insurance Group - Your Insurance Experts

We will shop around your Automobile Insurance and get quotes from a minimum of five companies. If you absolutely cannot afford coverage, look into other transportation methods while you get back on your feet financially. No matter how you look at it, driving without insurance is not a risk you should take.

Protection is meaningless after an accident. And think of it - we are all one mishap away from devastating personal and financial loss.

At Southern Insurance Group we have protected the residents and businesses of Clermont since 2008. We know the area. We know the residents. We know how to protect you with the right Vehicle Insurance.

Avoiding accidents is not promised to you or anyone else. So, don't delay. Be prepared for life's misfortunes. Complete the Protection Savings Form now and let our insurance professionals forge a shield of protection over you.

So if you are looking for the best coverage around, let our independent agency shop the marketplace for your best pricing. After all, "Helping you is what we do Best"!

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