How Much Auto Coverage Do I Need?
In the state of FL, the state requirement for driving includes 10,000 for personal injury protection (pip) and 10,000 for property damage liability. These limits do not include any coverage for bodily injury, medical payments, uninsured motorist, comprehensive, collision, towing and rental reimbursement.
So as you can see just driving with the state minimum leaves you without quite a few of these valuable coverage’s. One of the most important coverage’s to maintain is bodily injury coverage. This coverage is designed to protect you from lawsuits in the event of an accident that is your fault.
When determining how much bodily injury coverage to secure, keep in mind that if a serious accident occurs that is your fault, most attorneys will sue for your policy limits and then go after your personal assets if your limits are too low. So based on this you should carry adequate limits that are in line with your assets.
Most of the time for minor accidents, an attorney will sue for damages within your policy limits, however; for more severe injuries or death, the greater likelihood a larger suit may result attaching your personal assets. The higher your auto limits the better chance that nothing will be pursued past your auto policy.
Believe it or not it really doesn’t cost that much to increase your bodily injury coverage on your policy. You may double or triple your coverage and it may only cost 15% more in premium cost. Because there is a natural tendency to lower your premiums, be careful and remember that when you least expect it, an accident could occur and wipe you out financially.
What is the difference between liability and collision insurance and what do I really need?
If you are facing buying your first car or recently obtained your driver’s license, the most immediate thing you need to do is purchase car insurance. The process may seem a little over whelming at first, but below you will find some helpful information to determine what type of policy you need to purchase. If you are a young driver or someone newly licensed that lives in the household of someone who currently has insurance, the best place to start is by having that person contact their current insurance provider.
Many insurance companies require that all drivers in a household be insured under one policy. The reason for this is that it is very likely at some point you will end up driving a car that is already insured. Aside from the risk factors the insurance sees by having multiple drivers in one household under different insurance companies, there is a benefit to you as well. Often, to encourage one insurance provider per household, your insurance company will give you a price break based on your parent’s good driving history. So it is beneficial for everyone- the insurance provider, your parents, and yourself, to explore this option first.
If you are shopping for auto insurance in Clermont for the first time, or switching insurance companies, you will need to first decide what type of auto coverage you need to have. If your car was a gift that was paid for in full, if your car was given to you as a hand-me-down, or if you purchased your car with your own money you have the option to choose between liability and collision insurance. If your car has a payment, as a general rule, you will be required to have full collision insurance.
Liability only insurance means simply that if you get in an accident that is found to be your fault you will be responsible for all expenses for damage to your own car as well as your own medical bills. Damage caused by you that is done to another person’s vehicle or property is covered by this insurance. You will be required to have the state minimum amount of coverage, but understand that if expenses exceed that minimum amount you may be responsible for all expenses over the amount your insurance company agreed to pay.
Collision insurance is required if you make payments on a car, but is also a good idea if you car is new or valuable. Collision insurance often doubles or triples the cost of liability alone. This is because if you are found to be at fault in an accident you will receive the book value of the car you have insured. If you owe money on your car, this money is used to pay toward your remaining loan. You are not always completely protected however. If your remaining loan amount is higher than the value of your car, you may still owe the bank money on a car that you no longer can drive, so it’s important to be careful not to get upside down on your car loan. Doing your research is the best thing you can before purchasing insurance. Make sure your needs are met without paying for unnecessary coverage that you hopefully will not ever need to put to use.
Looking For Online Auto Loan Help? Here's Some Tips To Find The Best New Car Deals
We all enjoy the Net. We like the ease of online shopping because it’s fast and easy to buy anything, including big purchases like automobiles. Just going to Ebay Automotive will give you lots of alternatives to offer on when purchasing an automobile. There are many other websites that will also sell you a car. Every auto dealership in the world seems to have their own web site, and then there are the generic websites.
So it’s easy to buy a car on the web, but what about my auto insurance? That you will find just as easy, if not easier than locating a place to buy an automobile on the internet. Southern Insurance Group makes buying car insurance online a snap with you being able to purchase your car insurance in the comfort of your own home.
When it comes to securing a car insurance loan, there are also online internet websites that will display car loan brokers wanting your business. A lot will claim to guarantee you the lowest interest rate anywhere and will tell you how simple it is to buy insurance through them. But, something a lot of individuals do not know is that interest rates for online loans tend to have higher interest rates than loans you get in person. That’s correct. Online car loans will be more expensive than you might get from someone you can reach by telephone or by traveling to their local office.
Why would online auto loans cost more? I’m glad you asked. The people that apply for loans online are more likely to have bad credit according to many studies done by the automobile insurance industry. For that reason, online auto loans have a higher interest rate to cancel the chance made by the insurance company. That is not to say that you cannot possibly find an inexpensive rate for your auto loan online, but you are more likely to get an improved rate from a local broker.
Your local Credit Union, Bank, or even the auto dealer’s preferred loan company are all likely to give you a better rate on your auto loan. Surfing around on the web, then going to your local options to compare financing options is invariably suggested. Remember that purchasing an automobile is one of the major purchases you make. The loan you have for your automobile is one you will be stuck with for at least a couple of years, so shop for the best deal before investing to anyone.
You will find such a huge variety of options it will astound you. One lender may be offering interest rates that are around 7.5% while others are providing 2% or even 0% car loan financing. Why are different lenders proposing such different terms for auto loans? Again, I’m happy you asked. Competition is just one of the factors involved in what a company offers you for your car loan.
One of the other factors are reports made by each private company as to what is a high risk or low risk loan. For example: If you purchase a brown car in Pennsylvania, you will pay more than for your automobile insurance than you would if you had bought a grey or blue car. They have completed reports there that say they pay out more claims to individuals who own red cars than they do to individuals who own cars of different colors. Possibly they get a lot of tickets, one broker I spoke with indicated. The police forces notice the red automobiles more often.
Whatever the conclusion, it goes to show that there are numerous factors that determine what you will pay for your automobile loan. The fact that a higher share of people who apply for online auto loans have worse credit than those who apply for their loan offline influences the rates you will pay for an online loan. I trust this article has been accommodating to you and will encourage you to shop before you purchase when it comes time to get your car insurance. Make sure you are taking the greatest deal achievable. Also, ask the insurance broker what factors are shaping the rate of your loan. It may make you vary your mind about the type or color of car you are purchasing.
Is Rental Car Reimbursement necessary?
Rental reimbursement is one of those coverage’s that you don’t necessarily think is overly important until you have an accident. Then you realize that your car is going to be in the shop for 3 plus weeks and you have no other mode of transport.
If you have no other substitute vehicle that you can drive while your vehicle is being repaired then I strongly advise that you pay the few extra bucks for the 6 months to secure this valuable coverage. Having an auto claim is bad enough but it can usually get much worse if you have to pay out of pocket for alternative transportation to get you back and forth until your car is fixed.
Matter of fact I have found that this one coverage is the single biggest reason that can make a claim a negative experience by not having rental reimbursement on their policy. With this coverage, most people seem to be more easy going and less irritated in the length of time it takes to get there car fixed because they have this alternate transportation.
In addition, the last thing you want to do is to rush your vehicle through the body shop to get it fixed because you have to pay out of pocket for your transportation. Some things take time to be done right and getting your vehicle fixed is one of those items.
When you have a claim and your vehicle is being fixed, rental reimbursement will usually cover you for 30/900 total in coverage. This means that you will be reimbursed 30 dollars a day for a maximum of 30 days. The 30 days is usually a more than adequate amount of time to not only get your vehicle fixed but to get your vehicle fixed correctly. Note that optional increments will cover you for 20/600 or 40/1200 so if you have this coverage make sure you understand the limit of your coverage or benefit.
This coverage can only be added to your policy if you also have comprehensive and collision on your policy. Contact Southern today make sure you have this valuable coverage on your Clermont auto insurance policy.
Don't forget about Calling us
Buying a car can be both an exhilarating and stressful situation all at the same time. Negotiating the deal is not the most pleasant experience to a lot of people. But one you find that car you are looking for and finalize the transaction there is noting more enjoyable than driving your new car home. Once you get it home you'll need to put on your check list to give us a call so we can add the vehicle to your policy. Remember to obtain the lien holder or leasing info and VIN when you call.
Shopping your auto insurance in advance can save you money
Throughout the auto insurance industry, you have different carriers that specialize in different type risks. One type carrier markets to clients who fall into the high risk low limit category and could care less if they have current coverage or a lapse in coverage. Credit for this risk pool is usually not taken into consideration as the premiums are surcharged because of the high risk class. Motor vehicle reports are the main focus for determining the final rate.
Another type carrier deals with slightly better risks that have better credit with higher limits that have no lapse in coverage or possibly no more than a few days. This carrier usually requires that you supply the prior companies policy in order to honor certain discounts and will run a soft hit on your credit to apply discounts or credits based on the outcome. Motor vehicle reports are also run but the credit is just as big as a factor as the mvr's.
The last type carrier markets strictly for the preferred client with great credit and who shop their coverage in advance. These carriers feel that someone who shops their insurance at least 8 days in advance is someone who has more on the ball and as a result will receive a further discounted premium for doing so. These clients are the best of the above category and usually have very high limits of coverage. Credit is a bigger factor then the mvr.
Although this discount can save you up to 10% off your policy premium, this last category of shopping your insurance in advance is not too well known with the insurance population. Most of the time your agent will just quote your policy 8 days in advance without necessarily explaining why. If you end up needing it sooner then the 8 days the agent will then have to explain that you won't receive the discount.
Five Tips When buying a car
There are actually quite a few aspects to consider when you purchase a new or used car. Some of them are to ensure that you have insurance protection, others can save you quite a bit of money. A quick phone call to us at Southern Insurance Group before you go out to buy can give you the head start you need to stay in control.
Car Dealer says you have 30 days to insure your new car? Beware! It’s not always true!
So you’ve found the car that you like and you are sitting down to do the paperwork. As you pick up the pen, it occurs to you that you forgot to call your agent to get insurance for your new car. No! It’s Saturday afternoon, you are exhausted and tired and you just want to drive it home. But along comes your car dealer with some fabulous news: "You have 30 days to add it to your insurance plan," he says.
So there's no need to fret...Right?
Unfortunately, that’s not quite true. There are indeed situations when you have 30 days to add the new car to your policy. But there are far too many variables to give a simple rule explaining when the 30-day cushion applies and when it does not. For example, it might work when you trade a vehicle but it won’t be applicable when you buy an additional vehicle.
Your safest bet: Don’t rely on the 30-day advice. Get your insurance now!
If you are beginning to think about buying a new car, give your insurance team at Southern Insurance Group a quick call right away and we’ll set you up right. We'll make sure that when you finally go to buy your new car, you don’t have to worry. It’s as easy as that.
Car loan “upside down”? Get the insurance, but not from the dealer.
As you purchase you new car, you may be presented with the option to buy an auto loan/lease or “gap” coverage. “Gap” coverage is needed when you are “upside-down” on your car loan. This can happen if you take on a loan with a zero or low down payment, financing most of the car’s cost. Cars depreciate incredibly fast, and as a result, the amount that you owe on the car may quickly be far greater than its fair market value.
This can become a problem if your car is totaled after an accident or theft. If your car is a ‘total loss’, your insurance company is only obligated to pay for its fair market value. If the amount you owe on the vehicle is more than the market value, you might find that you need to pay additional money (sometimes thousands of dollars) just to pay off the car loan (even though you can’t even drive the car anymore!)
That’s what “gap” coverage is for. It pays for the difference between the market value of your car and the amount you have left on your loan. We absolutely believe that you should purchase “gap” or auto loan/lease coverage on every lease!
But: We recommend that you purchase this coverage through your auto insurance company. Insurance companies usually charge between $50-70 per year for this protection. If you purchase “gap” coverage through your car dealer, you will usually be charged a lump sum of $600-800. Often, this will be rolled into your financing and you will also be charged interest on it for the entire life of your loan! If you purchase “gap” coverage through your auto insurance, you can drop it when you are no longer “upside down” on your loan.
Complicated? No worries. Call your Southern Insurance Group team at 352-243-9000 and we will set it all up for you. As soon as you are ready to buy…call us before you sign the contract!
Buying a used car? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Maybe you did your car-shopping online, and you found a great deal on a used car. Low mileage, good condition, and after the test-drive you find it runs like a charm. The price is good, too. In fact, it's great! They could get much more for this if they wanted to...
Wait. Why don’t they?
The caveat with used cars is often that you can never be really sure what has happened to them. So you rely on the honesty of the previous owner…or you get a vehicle history report. Various providers offer these reports online for a fee. Even better, if you call your trusty insurance agent 352-243-9000 you can get it for free!
Be smart. Call Southern Insurance Group before you buy your car.
Buying a car for your teen? Read this.
Your son just turned 16 and, of course, he passed his driver’s license test on his birthday. So, down memory lane you go…Remembering how you drove the old beat-up blue pick-up truck to school (Pick-up? They should have named it Hick-up!) and were dreaming about that sleek convertible…
Now your son’s 16, and you want nothing more than make his dreams come true. What parent doesn’t? Since both of you are into cars, you agree on a sporty model. It stretches the budget but it’s affordable.
The surprise comes Monday when you call your agent to add the new car to your insurance plan.
Young drivers in combination with new, sporty vehicles make for an expensive mix when it comes to your auto insurance. This is not a personal offense against your teen (who might be a very good driver). But studies have proven again and again that young drivers are the highest risk on the road. And insurance companies will rate young drivers as high-risk drivers, because they simply have not yet gained the experience of older drivers. Additionally, sports cars by their very nature tend to encourage speeding which makes for increased insurance rates. Brand new models and types like SUVs and Trucks may also trigger higher rates.
If you are looking to buy a car for your teen, we recommend that you opt for a midsize, slightly older and reliable car with safety features such as airbags or anti-lock brakes. Older cars are generally less expensive to insure because they are less expensive to repair.
And remember, you can always give us a call for more advice or sample rate quotes!
Thinking about co-signing on a loan? We don’t recommend it.
Your grown-up daughter, who’s been living on her own for a couple of years, was just laid off from her job due to ever-present budget cuts. As if that wasn't enough, her trusty old sedan just broke down as well, this time for good. Luckily, she has interviewed for a new position and things are looking pretty good...but if she gets the job, she will need a car to get herself there every day. Without a car, she can’t take the job. And even with the new job, adding a car payment to the budget will make things tight...very tight.
So, you consider helping her out by co-signing a car loan.
When purchasing and financing a new or used car for your adult child, think twice: If you co-sign on a loan for a car that your son or daughter will be driving, you may be held liable if an accident occurs – even if you weren’t driving, and even if the car was not listed on your insurance policy.
Why? Because liability follows the registered owner(s) of a car. If you are listed as a registered owner (which you are, if you co-sign), you can be held liable in case of an accident, and your assets are in jeopardy, often for the life of the loan.
So what can you do if you’d like to assist your child by helping him or her buy a car?
From an insurance standpoint, rather than risk your assets by co-signing, the best solution is to give financial support but to register the car in the child’s name only.
Keep in mind: This advice only applies for young adults who are no longer your dependents. If your child is still a dependent, lives in your household, and/or is continuing his or her education, families will often find the broadest coverage and best insurance rates by keeping registration and insurance in the parents’ names.How does auto insurance work if I loan my car to someone?
Although not every insurance carrier has the exact same guidelines regarding loaning out a vehicle, for the most part they are very close in definition. If you loan out your vehicle to a licensed driver, most companies will permit this to be done so long as you have authorized it. By authorizing it you are therefore agreeing to be on the hook for any damage that arises from the party that you loaned the car to. If that person has a claim in your vehicle then your policy will be primary for the damages and the person you loaned it out to will be secondary. This is where the problem occurs for your policy.
If your driver is at fault, the claim will be counted against your policy so any surcharges or cancelation will affect you instead of the driver that had the accident. Some people say that isn't fair as they didn't have the accident but once again by loaning out the vehicle you have agreed to accept all repercussions on behalf of the party that you loaned your car to.
Not always, but this situation can get very messy as not all people do the right thing. I have heard my share of stories of people who say they couldn't afford to help pay the deductible or any surcharge that the policy incurred from the accident.
So loan away but know that it is not a fun situation to go through if a claim occurs.
Some Tips to Consider When Getting a Traffic Ticket
Have you ever driven down the same road day after day driving to get home when all of a sudden you see at the last moment a police officer hiding behind a tree with a radar gun. You suddenly hit your brakes as a reflex and then look at your speedometer. Oh man I'm speeding.
You look in the rear view mirror and see flashing lights as the officer gets on his motorcycle to come after you. It has happened to all of us so don't feel too bad. Here is what to do if you get a ticket.
First, there is a big difference between a major speed versus a minor speed. If the officer tells you he is giving you a major speeding ticket for you going 16 plus over the speed limit let the tears fly. If possible you want to try to see if the officer will give you some grace by reducing the ticket to under 16 over. This will change the major to a minor violations. What does this mean?
Well, first, your ticket is going to be substantially cheaper as a minor speed but in addition your insurance will count a major speed against you almost as much as an accident. A lot if carriers will even cancel you if the speeding violation is 21 or more over the speed limit. If it gets reduced to a minor violation many insurance carriers can allow several of these before any changes will occur with your policy.
Here is a tip to consider. If you are left with the major speed your best option will be to complete a drivers safety school to wipe the charge off your record. By doing so, this ticket will not appear on your motor vehicle report so it will never count against you by the insurance company. Keep in mind that if you have an accident this same concept won't erase the accident violation. It only applies to non-accident related violations.
One-Stop Insurance Shopping
Buying a new car is very exciting! Get yourself cruising right by giving our team at Southern Insurance Group a call before you head out to the dealer. We can make sure you get adequate protection at the best rates, plus all the discounts you deserve. One quick phone call – much less hassle. Isn’t that the way to do it?
Contact us today 352-243-9000. We’re here to help!