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3 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

Fascinating History of Auto Insurance

The world’s first car accident occurred in 1891 and involved 2 Ohioans and a tree, but the world’s first car insurance policy wasn’t written until 1897. That means for 6 (doubtlessly crazy) years, people were driving hither and yon in their fancy new horseless carriages without a drop of coverage. Compound that with the fact that safety measures like stop signs, right-of-way, and driver training had not yet been invented, and you can begin to imagine the chaos of a world sans car insurance.

It’s not like the idea of insurance didn’t exist. As a concept, insurance had begun long, long before then. But perhaps more than anything, the mass production of the automobile in the early 20th century helped to revolutionize the industry — making it as standard today as that requisite new-car smell.

Legends, licensing, and liability

Since cars first started rolling off Ford’s legendary assembly line in 1903, we’ve been driving them, decorating them, sleeping in them, and, yes, crashing them. But while more and more cars were hitting the road, early drivers were hitting trees, wagons, horses, and inevitably, each other as well.

In 1930, roughly 110 people were killed per day in car accidents. In 2000, with nearly twice the national population, fatalities per day increased by only 4 to 114. That’s approximately 10 times more fatalities per registered vehicle back in 1930.

And while this figure is staggering, it’s not altogether surprising if you consider that most drivers in the early days were untested and virtually untrained. Back then, they didn’t have driving schools, driver tests, or driver licensing laws any more than we have hovercar training today. Massachusetts and Missouri were the first to establish driver licensing laws in 1903, but Missouri had no actual driver exam law until 1952.

driverslicenseIn the early days, instead of standing in line for 2 hours at the DMV and taking numerous tests just to wait several weeks for your license to arrive, you could simply walk into your local licensing office, plunk down 50 cents (or so), and walk away the proud owner of a driver’s license. Almost as easy as getting one from a Cracker Jack® box.

But as we know all too well, simply having a license doesn’t necessarily make you a good driver. And imagine what the roads must have been like at the turn of the last century. The combination of amateur drivers and unpaved, unmonitored roads proved tragic and highlighted the rapidly growing need for liability insurance.

 

Liability Required (mostly)

In 1927, Massachusetts became the first state to make liability insurance required by law.  By the 1940s, with the end of WWII and a subsequent surge in automobile production, most states had passed similar laws. Today, New Hampshire remains the only state in the union without compulsory liability laws. (The whole “Live Free or Die” thing.)

 

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1 month ago · by · 0 comments

Fun Facts About Halloween

Halloween is a time for candy, costumes and scary things, but how did it become this way? Why are children encouraged to run around the neighborhood threatening tricks? Jack-o’-lanterns are a pretty strange concept, but historically, strangers with candy was supposed to be a bad thing.  Here are 8 Fun Facts About Halloween that you may not know:

1. Originally, you had to dance for your “treat.”

Most experts trace trick-or-treating to the European practice of “mumming,” or “guysing,” in which costume-wearing participants would go door-to-door performing choreographed dances, songs and plays in exchange for treats.

In some early versions of trick-or-treating, men paraded door-to-door, and boys often followed, begging for coins. Most of these early trick-or-treaters were poor and actually needed the money, but wealthy children also joined in the fun. Door-to-door “begging” was mostly stopped in the 1930s, but re-emerged later in the century to distract kids from pulling Halloween pranks.

2. Halloween is more Irish than St. Patrick’s Day.

Halloween’s origins come from a Celtic festival for the dead called “Samhain.” Celts believed the ghosts of the dead roamed Earth on this holiday, so people would dress in costumes and leave “treats” out on their front doors to appease the roaming spirits. Granted, the Celts were not solely based in Ireland when these customs started taking shape around the first century B.C., but as will be talked about more in a later section, the Irish Celts were the ones who invented the jack-o’-lantern. This Halloween prototype was eventually disrupted and adapted by Christian missionaries into celebrations closer to what we celebrate today, including partly by the not-Irish St. Patrick, whose work was later mostly recognized by Americans.

3. If you’d been around for the earliest Halloween celebrations, you might have worn animal skins and heads.

According to ancient Roman records, tribes located in today’s Germany and France traditionally wore costumes of animal heads and skins to connect to spirits of the dead. This tradition continued into modern day celebrations of Samhain, the Celtic holiday that inspired Halloween in America. On this day, merry-makers often dressed as evil spirits simply by blackening their faces. The leader of the Samhain parades wore a white sheet and carried a wooden horse head or a decorated horse skull (a modern Welsh version of this costume is shown above). Young people also celebrated by cross-dressing.

jack o lanterns4. Jack-o’-lanterns were once made out of turnips, beets and potatoes — not pumpkins.

The jack-o’-lantern comes from an old Irish tale about a man named Stingy Jack. According to folklore, Stingy Jack was out getting sloshed with the Devil when Jack convinced his drinking partner to turn himself into a coin to pay for the drinks without spending money. Jack then put the Devil, shaped like a coin, into his pocket, which also contained a silver cross that kept the Devil from transforming back. Jack promised to free the Devil as long as the Devil wouldn’t bother him for a year, and if he died, the Devil could never claim his soul. Jack tricked the Devil again later, getting him to pick a piece of fruit out of a tree and then carving a cross into the bark when the Devil was in the branches. This trick bought Jack another 10 years of devil-free living.

When Jack finally died, God decided he wasn’t fit for heaven, but the Devil had promised never to claim his soul for hell. So Jack was sent off to roam Earth with only a burning coal for light. He put the coal into a turnip as a lantern, and Stingy Jack became “Jack of the Lantern” or “Jack o’ Lantern.” Based on this myth, the Irish carved scary faces into turnips, beets and potatoes to scare away Stingy Jack or any other spirits of the night.

5. In a few American towns, Halloween was originally referred to as “Cabbage Night.”

This came from a Scottish fortune-telling game, where girls used cabbage stumps to predict information about their future husbands. In the early Framingham, Massachusetts, teens skipped the fortune-telling and simply went around throwing cabbage at their neighbors’ houses, according to Framingham Legends & Lore. This was no isolated tradition: In late 19th century America, country boys reportedly rejoiced in throwing cabbage, corn and assorted rotten vegetables, according to “Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure.”

6. Studies have shown that Halloween actually makes kids act more evil.

Putting costume-wearing kids into groups and introducing a clear object of desire, such as candy, has been shown to lead to “deindividuation.” This psychological term explains what happens when a group of maturing young minds begins to care less about the consequences of their individual actions, leading them to do things that they might not do alone.

One study in particular found that unsupervised costumed children in groups were far more likely to steal candy and money than both non-costumed kids and children not in a group. Another similar study found that masked children were significantly more likely to take more Halloween candy than they were supposed to if they believed there was no adult supervision.

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2 months ago · by · 0 comments

Virginia Fall Getaways

Virginia is brilliant for fabulous Fall getaways
15 million acres of foliage burst into spectacular color!

Steal away for a few-day getaway. You deserve an enjoyable scenic drive through the foliage, the opportunity to savor Virginia’s culinary and beverage delights, and above all, the time to reconnect with your loved ones. Virginia clothed in autumn colors is a beautiful sight to behold.. Experience farms transformed into playgrounds with apple picking, harvest festivals, corn mazes, and hay rides through pumpkin patches. Or perhaps fall leads you to the coast, where migrating fowl are the only crowd you’ll find. Whatever you choose, Virginia’s scenic roadways will show off the striking natural beauty along the way.

Take the road less traveled.

Enjoy photogenic foliage opportunities, great eats, and other hidden treasures.

Shenandoah Valley

  • Fall in the Heart of the Shenandoah Valley
    With four distinct seasons, each offering an unparalleled experience, plan an unforgettable trip— any time of year—to the heart of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley
  • Mountains to Main Streets – Fall Escape
    Explore the Main Streets of Harrisonburg, Waynesboro and Luray or discover all the fun at Massanutten Resort
  • Leaf Peeping on Skyline Drive
    Skyline Drive – a National Scenic Byway – traverses 105 miles in Shenandoah National Park and affords outstanding views
  • Find Your Passion Along the Blue Ridge Mountains
    Sip Barren Vineyard’s wine, take in the thriving arts and culinary culture of Staunton, and absorb the surrounding beauty
  • Autumn Splendor in the Cabin Capital of Virginia
    This fall when you visit the Cabin Capital of Virginia, you can bring your dinner jacket and tie but you’ll also want to pack your favorite jeans, some comfy shoes and an old sweater!
  • Follow the Apple Trail this Fall in Winchester
    Follow the scenic roads of Frederick County and learn about Winchester’s apple heritage 
  • Autumn at Skyland Resort
    Mountain explorations are especially refreshing in the fall. Take the scenic drive of Shenandoah National Park
  • From the Bridge to the Ridge
    From a Natural Bridge to ripe pears and the Valley’s historic gem of Lexington, this getaway ushers you to family fun and entertainment
  • Historic Harrisonburg, George Washington National Forest and Shenandoah National Park
    Offering hiking and biking trails; rich history and heritage, and within minutes of the George Washington National Forest, spectacular views from 4,398 feet above most other mountains. 
  • Fall in Love with Luray
    Looking for miles of colorful countryside, Civil War trails, vistas, rivers, parks, and small town charm? Look at Luray!
  • Shenandoah Valley: Your Base Camp for Outdoor Adventure
    Secluded trails, scenic byways, and picturesque blueways offer a natural getaway from the hustle and bustle. With so many options for outdoor fun, you may wonder where to start!

 

Virginia Mountains

  • Getaway to the Star City in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains
    Have a fun-filled, affordable, three-day fall getaway in Roanoke 

 

Blue Ridge Highlands

  • Mountain Majesty Getaway to the Blue Ridge Parkway
    Travel the Blue Ridge Parkway and absorb fall’s beauty. From Mabry Mill to Chateau Morrisette – the perfect getaway
  • Autumn on The Crooked Road
    This amazing fall getaway will create memories you’ll treasure for a lifetime, beginning in Ferrum and ending in Damascus.

 

Downtown Richmond, Central Virginia

  • Getaway to Richmond History: Always in Season
    Explore a variety of architectural styles in the region’s beautifully preserved homes
  • Jeepers Creepers Leaf Peepers
    From scenic drives to area attractions, from dew-drenched vineyards to evenings of jazz.

 

Northern Virginia

  • Fall in Fairfax County
    Fall is when you’ll find Fairfax County, Virginia and the surrounding area at its authentic best
  • Escape to Loudoun’s Wine Country this Fall
    Explore Loudoun, Virginia with visits to some of our numerous wineries

 

Southern Virginia

  • Southern Style Romance in Lake Country
    Grab your hiking boots, life jacket, and sense of adventure as you explore Southern Virginia through scenic
  • From Moonshine to Motorsports
    Martinsville-Henry County has everything a little something for everyone.

 

Heart of Appalachia

  • The Best of the Heart of Appalachia
    Spend your next 48 hours in beautiful Wise County, Virginia!

 

Chesapeake Bay

  • Chesapeake Bay Driving Tour
    The Chesapeake Bay region boasts more than 6,500 acres of natural areas and 1,100 miles of shoreline.
  • Getaway to Mathews and the Chesapeake Bay
    Do Mathews and celebrate life on the Chesapeake Bay!
  • Getaway to the Northern Neck and Chesapeake Bay
    Escape to the quiet, laid-back land by the Bay with outdoor activities and delicious seafood

 

Coastal Virginia – Eastern Shore

  • Experience Virginia’s Eastern Shore: Cape Charles to Chincoteague
    From Seaside to Bayside

 

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3 months ago · by · 0 comments

Accidents Happen

In An Accident But Didn’t Get Any Insurance Information. What’s Next?

If you get into a car accident that isn’t your fault, then the law is on your side. This is the purpose for car insurance and it should then follow that the driver that was to blame will pay for the damage and for any medical costs through their insurance. It is a legal requirement that drivers should have insurance and therefore you should be able to safely presume that the other party will have the available funds to pay for the damage and you should be able to get back onto the road and afford any medical costs without any personal financial loss.

But of course it doesn’t always work like that. For example, what happens if you are in a car accident and the other person drives away? What if you are the victim of a hit and run?

In these cases, you won’t be able to get the costs paid by anyone else and you’ll be left to deal with them. This can be a very frustrating and upsetting experience as you now not only have the shock and trauma of being in a car accident but also the stress and inconvenience of having to pay for damage that was not your fault and that may have been outside of your control.

So, what do you do?

Your Rights As A Driver

If you have been in a car accident and the other driver did not stop to exchange details, then that is technically classified as a ‘hit and run’. This is an infraction and means that the other driver will face charges if they are eventually caught.

A hit and run is any kind of accident in which one party intentionally leaves the scene without providing contact information. If they haven’t stopped to ask if you are alright and to offer to exchange insurance details/contact information, then they have broken the law. Even if the accident was your fault!

Couple near tow-truck picking up broken carThe First Steps After Getting In An Accident

The first thing to do if you are the victim of a hit and run is to assess the local area and to see if there is any information that can help you to catch the culprit.

First, assess your own memory. Can you remember the make and model of the vehicle? Do you remember what the other driver looked like? Write down these details while they are fresh in your memory and it may improve your chances of tracking down the driver. Police may be able to narrow down potential culprits by looking at who is in the local area and drives that car. Of course, if you can get a number plate down on paper then that will be even better.

Another good idea is to get out the car (making sure it is safe to do so) and see if there were any witnesses who might be willing to give a statement. Ask if they saw the number plate and ask if they would be willing to give you their contact details to help you catch the culprit. If it ultimately comes down to your word against theirs in a court of law, then this could help sway the decision in your favor.

Likewise, try to look for any other evidence. Skid marks on the road and the nature of the damage to your car will help you to demonstrate what happened (even when you catch the driver, that doesn’t mean they will admit fault). Better yet, try going into local stores in the area and asking if they have security camera footage that they would be willing to let you use. These days there is almost always some form of security camera or CCTV in built-up areas and even motorways will often have recording devices in place.

One thing you must never do is to try and pursue the person who hit you. If you do this, then you risk causing further accident and you will lose the opportunity to follow the steps outlined.

Getting Compensation After The Hit-And-Run

Following this, you can then file a police report. The police will then be able to use the information you have given them and any other details in order to try and track down the guilty party. From here, you may be able to get compensation from the driver either through their insurance, or out of their own pocket (if they don’t have insurance). Even if they aren’t successful in apprehending the culprit, simply having a police report on file can help you legally in a number of ways.

In Virginia, your auto policy should include ‘uninsured motorist coverage’. This will cover hit and run accidents in many cases and that means you will only have to pay the agreed excess.

If you need auto insurance in the state of Virginia, please call 434 979 0814 in Charlottesville or 894 741 6305 anywhere in Central Virginia OR

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3 months ago · by · 0 comments

8 Ways To Get The Cheapest Car Insurance

If you are looking for the lowest prices, there are some guidelines worth following as you do your research. Here are 8 ways to get the cheapest auto insurance.

1. Don’t assume any one company is the cheapest

Some companies spend a lot of money on commercials, trying to convince you that they offer the lowest car insurance rates.

The truth is that prices individuals will pay for the same coverage at the same company vary widely, and no single company can claim to be the low-price leader. The insurance company that’s cheapest for one person in one place might be the most expensive option for another driver. Some insurance companies have also developed complex predictive models that may charge you higher rates if they show you are unlikely to switch providers.  Your best bet is to get quotes from different companies, including independent agencies, and compare for the best.

2. Don’t ignore local and regional insurance companies

Just four companies control nearly half the nation’s car insurance business: Allstate, Geico, Progressive and State Farm. But smaller, regional insurers, such as Able Insurance, often have higher customer satisfaction ratings than the big names and they deliver great lower rates, too.

3. Check for discounts

Insurers provide a variety of discounts, including price breaks for customers who:

  • Bundle car insurance with other policies, such as homeowners insurance
  • Insure multiple cars with one policy
  • Have a clean driving record
  • Pay their entire annual or six-month premium at once
  • Agree to receive documents online
  • Own a car with certain anti-theft or safety features
  • Are members of particular professional organizations or affiliate groups

Discounts vary.  Contact Able Insurance to find out about our discounts.

4. Pay your bills on time — and not just your insurance bills

Your credit is a significant factor in the car insurance quotes you’ll receive. Insurance companies say that customers’ credit has been shown to correlate with their risk of filing a claim.  Improve your credit — and lower your premiums — by paying your bills on time and reducing your debt. Track your progress by checking your credit reports at least once per year.

save money5. Consider insurance costs when buying a car

You probably already pay attention to factors such as fuel efficiency and repair costs when deciding which car to buy, but you should also consider insurance premiums, which can vary between popular models. On a review of rates for best-selling vehicles in 25 cities found that the Toyota Camry, for example, cost an average of $187 per year more to insure than the comparable Honda Accord. Similarly, a Toyota RAV4 cost an average of $201 more to insure than a Honda CR-V.

6. Skip collision and comprehensive coverage for your clunker

Collision coverage pays to repair damage your vehicle receives in an accident involving another car or an inanimate object. Comprehensive pays to repair vehicle damage caused by weather, animals or vandalism, or reimburses you for your car if its stolen. But both will only pay up to the value of your car. If yours older and has a low market value, it may not make sense to shell out for the two policies.

7. Consider raising your deductible

If you need to carry comprehensive and collision — because your car is a later model or your lender requires it — you can save a substantial amount of money by raising the deductibles. A NerdWallet study of rates in Florida and California found that customers who increased their deductibles from $500 to $1,000 saved about $200 per year on premiums, while those who increased them from $500 to $2,000 saved $362 per year. Keep in mind that this will mean you’ll pay more out of pocket if you do make a claim.

8. Consider usage-based plans, especially if you don’t drive much

If you’re a safe driver who doesn’t log very many miles, consider a usage-based insurance program. By signing up for these programs, you allow your insurer to track your driving electronically in exchange for possible discounts, based on how much you drive, when you drive and how well you drive.

Able Insurance is always here to help you make the best decisions based on your individual needs, current situation, and long-term goals. If you’re looking for affordable term coverage for temporary needs, or a permanent policy, we can help with solutions that meet your needs and budget. No matter where you are in life, one thing is certain: if someone depends on you financially, you need life insurance.

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4 months ago · by · 0 comments

Summer Car Care

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but car care doesn’t take a vacation between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The warmer months present some challenges to personal transportation and maintenance, but this list will help us all have a summer we can enjoy.

Here are our top 10 tips to keeping your car — and its passengers — in good shape this summer.

1. Coolant System
Keeping cool is paramount, not just for ourselves but also for our cars. In addition to checking the level of coolant fluid in your car, go the extra mile and inspect the state of the hoses and the coolant reservoir. Keep an eye out for leaks, especially at joints and connection points, such as where a hose connects to the engine block. Also, squeeze the hoses (when the engine is cool) every once in a while to make sure they feel firm and not excessively squishy or soft.

2. Engine Belts
There is usually a serpentine belt that runs between the alternator, the fan and several other components. It can deteriorate, become loose, start to squeal, and sometimes just break for no apparent reason. It needs to be in good condition and at the right amount of tension. If you see cracks in the belt or small pieces missing, it’s time to replace the belt.

3. Wipers
Yes, it’s summer, but it’s probably going to rain at some point. Worn wipers create nasty streaks across the windshield and can affect your vision while driving. Replacing them doesn’t cost much, but it can be a fiddly operation. If you’re in the habit of taking your car in for oil changes, ask them about the wipers, too. Sometimes a dealership will sell you the wipers and install them for free.

4. Other Essential Fluids
Check oil, brake, power-steering and windshield-washer fluids regularly. These liquids never stop being used and consumed. Speaking of brake fluid, how do the brakes on your car feel in general? Are they lacking in bite? Feeling a bit spongy? If so, new pads and a system bleed might be required. This is the kind of maintenance you should have your mechanic or dealership take care of.

5. Air-Conditioning System
Air-conditioning is a summer essential. If the system hasn’t been working properly but wasn’t really a pressing issue over the winter, now’s the time to get serious. If it’s an older system, then leaking Freon into the atmosphere is not good. There are plenty of leak-sealing products and refrigerant rechargers available from hobbyist stores and even places like Walmart. Remember, if there’s not enough refrigerant in the system, you have a leak. Have a qualified mechanic fix the leak before paying to have the air-conditioning system recharged.

6. Air Filter
The winter’s decomposing leaves may be clogging up drainage points, windshield-washer nozzles or your car’s air filter. Now might be a good time to buy a new one or take the current one out and give it a cleaning. Many modern cars also have pollen filters or cabin filtration systems, so take a look at those, too. Sometimes these cabin filters are easy to change yourself. Like everything else mentioned here: When in doubt, consult a qualified technician.

7. Tires
Tires really need to be checked regularly all year round. Pressures must be correct (consult the manual because sometimes that information is on the inside of the fuel door or the door jamb for the driver’s door), treads should be free of stones, stray nails and the like, and all four should be in good condition. Good condition means no cracks, no uneven wear (this might be caused by a suspension problem) and plenty of tread depth. Since summer is a time for road trips, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a can of Fix-A-Flat that could at least get you to a shady spot where you could change the wheel more comfortably. The spare obviously needs to be usable, too.

safety belt

8. Dashboard Sunshade
For those times when you’re not driving, but the car is still out in the sun, a cover that goes in the windshield will protect the dashboard against ultraviolet rays and help the cabin stay a little cooler. Some even have solar panels to keep the battery charged. Consider shades for the rear side windows, too, as they’ll provide some protection for the kids. This also helps prevent areas such as the rear seats and dashboard from fading over time.

9. Clean the Car
Those long, balmy evenings when the sun is a huge, orange orb hanging low in a pinky-blue sky sound blissful. But they can also be a hazard, especially when your car’s windshield is dirty. Even from the inside, that haze will diffuse the light and make things hard to see. That grime has a tendency to build up over a long period, so we don’t really notice it. Things look much sharper after your car has had a good wash, though. Keeping the exterior clean also protects the paintwork from the sun’s rays, as well as any damage caused by birds and insects. Finish off the cleaning with a good-quality wax. Car care makes financial sense in the long run.

10. Driver and Passengers
It’s hot out there. Make sure everyone’s hydrated. It’s better to make a few more bathroom breaks and stretch your legs than to end up cranky and fatigued. Plan road trips as if you were a general marching against an opposing army. Make a list of everything you’re going to need. For example: sunglasses, hats, travel mugs, games for the kids, snacks, chargers for the phones and tablets, route planner, weather forecasts, emergency triangle, flashlight and a small tool kit. If a scheduled service is coming up, think about getting it done before a long drive. It’s also wise to make sure your insurance and driving license are up to date. Have a great summer, enjoy the roads, and take care of yourself and your car.

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4 months ago · by · 0 comments

Reasons To Buy Life Insurance (and When!)

We asked insurance professionals to share their best tip on life insurance and getting coverage.  Below is some brief, but great, advice on reasons why you need to buy Life Insurance and when you should buy it!

1. Start young. Just because you don’t have a family, mortgage and larger financial obligations doesn’t mean that you have to wait to get life insurance coverage. Lock in your rates while you are young and healthier. You can always add more later in life.

2. Life Insurance is like a parachute; if you don’t have it the first time you need it, there is no second chance.  Thinking doesn’t protect your family, acting does!

3. If you’re a small-business owner, who takes care of your business and family in the event of your death? It’s not just about you.

4. Permanent life insurance is the best investment vehicle whether you’re alive or dead: tax-free access to cash values accumulated in the policy while you’re still alive and tax-free death benefit proceeds for your love ones when the inevitable happens. Put your money where your “life” is!

Life Insurance5. Buy when you’re healthy—it’s easier to get and less expensive.

6. Protecting your loved ones should be priority No. 1  You don’t buy life insurance because you are going to die, but because those you love are going to live.  It will be difficult enough for them to move on without your presence, but without your income, things could get impossible.  Don’t put them in that position.

Able Insurance is always here to help you make the best decisions based on your individual needs, current situation, and long-term goals. If you’re looking for affordable term coverage for temporary needs, or a permanent policy, we can help with solutions that meet your needs and budget. No matter where you are in life, one thing is certain: if someone depends on you financially, you need life insurance.

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5 months ago · by · 0 comments

Ultimate Tips Summer Road Trips

If you’re planning on kicking off summer with a getaway, you’re not alone. In a recent survey conducted by Travelocity, almost 40% of Americans traveled over Memorial Day and 4th of July weekends, with 77% of them planning to travel by car.  Before you hit the open road, be sure to start the summer travel season off right by preparing for your adventure. Spending some time getting ready will help ensure a safe, fun and stress-free road trip.

SERVICE YOUR CAR

  1. Check your filter and oil levels
  2. Top off all fluid levels, including coolant and windshield wiper fluid
  3. Change your air filter, if needed
  4. Check your tires, including the spare tire, for proper inflation
  5. Rotate tires, if you haven’t had it done for the last six months or 7,500 miles
  6. Inspect belts and hoses
  7. Test the battery and brakes
  8. Change transmission fluid if needed

Pack your bagsPLAN YOUR ROUTE

In today’s digital world, planning your route can be as simple as pulling up an app or opening Google Maps. Take a few minutes to map your route ahead of time, then let a trusted friend or family member know exactly where you’ll be driving to and when you plan on getting there. In addition, check weather conditions and road closures along your chosen route before you leave.

PACK YOUR BAGS MINDFULLY

Besides the proper clothes, shoes, undergarments, toiletries and such – you should also have a bag filled with emergency supplies.  And REMEMBER, summertime is hot and if you get stranded, you’re going to need WATER.  Some other items you might need are:

  1. Jumper cables
  2. A properly inflated spare tire, lug wrench and jack
  3. A tire pressure gauge and a can of compressed air
  4. Roadside flares
  5. First-aid kit
  6. Tool kit
  7. Flashlight and batteries
  8. Duct tape
  9. Rope
  10. A plastic tarp
  11. Bottled water and energy bars
  12. Blankets
  13. Hand sanitizer and wet wipes
  14. Plastic bags (for trash)

When you’re packing up the car, don’t put the emergency kit in first. Instead, wait until everything else is securely stowed before placing the kit in the trunk. That way, you can easily access it in case of an emergency.

IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY

If, despite your best efforts and pre-planning, you end up broken down on the side of the road, what should you do? First, pull your car to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. Put your car in park, set the emergency brake, and point the wheels away from the road. Keep your emergency contact numbers programmed into your phone so you can access them easily when

children traveling in car

needed.

If you can safely get out, place flares about 50 feet behind your car to alert other drivers. Don’t, however, leave the car by the road while you’re waiting for help; generally, it’s safer to stay with your car than to be a pedestrian.  If a stranger pulls over while you’re waiting for help to arrive, remain in the car with your doors locked. Roll the window down a bit and let them know help is on the way.

STAYING SAFE ON THE ROAD

When you’re on the road, remember every occupant needs to be buckled up at all times. Not only is this the law, but seat belts save lives… more than 12,000 a year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The safest place for kids under age 12 is in the back seat. Finally, if you feel fatigued, switch drivers or pull over to rest.

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5 months ago · by · 0 comments

Need SR-22 Insurance?

Do You Need SR-22 Insurance?

If you have gotten your license suspended or revolked, you may require an SR-22 filing in order to drive legally again.  The state of Virginia uses the SR-22 form to help protect its citizens against problem drivers by monitoring their insurance. It requires the auto insurance company to file the SR-22 form as a proof of a problem driver’s financial responsibility, stating that his/her auto insurance liability is in effect. The state does not send notifications and it is the responsibility of the driver and the auto insurance company to submit the form as well as the renewals, to the state, if required.

What Is A SR-22 Form?

 There are three different types of SR-22 forms:
  1. The Operator’s Certificate covers the financial responsibility in the case the motorist does not own a vehicle.
  2. The Owner’s Certificate covers the financial responsibility for vehicles owned by the motorist.
  3. The Operators-Owners Certificate covers financial responsibility for all the vehicles that are owned or non-owned by the motorist.

When Is A SR-22 Required?

The SR-22 financial responsibility Insurance form is required in the following cases:

  1. In case of a driver’s license suspension as a result of a conviction for a major offense such as manslaughter while operating a motor vehicle, making a false affidavit during driver license application or vehicle registration, failure to stop at the scene of an accident that resulted in death or injury, or a second conviction for operating a passenger vehicle without a valid license.
  2. If you have any unsatisfied judgment suspensions. For example, if a driver involved in an accident in the past has an unsatisfactory judgment entered against him then he or she needs to fill the SR-22.
  3. In case of an uninsured motor vehicle suspension.
  4. Certain convictions such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or driving with a suspended license will require filing of an FR-44. This is a more stringent version of the SR-22 under which the amount of minimum coverage is doubled.

car speedingFiling For The SR-22

  1. Contact a state-authorized insurance agency to request for a SR-22 filing.
  2. Pay the correct processing fee to the agency. The fee amount may vary between agencies. You can request an insurance quote from our Virginia auto insurance page and companies such as Esurance will allow you to request an SR-22 filing automatically.
  3. As per the State laws of Virginia, the minimum amount of coverage should be $25,000 for one person killed or injured, $50,000 for two or more persons killed or injured and $20,000 for property damage.
  4. Upon receiving the request from the agent the central office then sends the SR-22 directly to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. SR-22 filing may be carried out electronically, in which case your records will be updated almost instantaneously.
  5. The SR-22 has to be maintained for a minimum period of 36 months. If the motorist does not renew it at least 15 days before the expiration date the agency notifies the State. The State may then suspend the driving record of the motorist until the insurance is reinstated.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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5 months ago · by · 0 comments

Interesting Father’s Day Facts

Sunday is Father’s Day, the annual holiday where Americans celebrate the men who made them. You may love dear old dad, but how much do you actually know about the observance in his honor? Brush up on your Interesting Father’s Day Facts and make your Papa proud!

History of Father’s Day

This isn’t an especially interesting story, but Father’s Day officially began in 1910 in Spokane, Washington, where 27-year-old Sonora Dodd proposed it as a way to honor the man who raised her when her mom died in childbirth. Dodd was at a church service thinking about how grateful she was for her father when she had the idea for Father’s Day, which would mirror Mother’s Day but be celebrated in June — her dad’s birthday month.

The movement grew for years but didn’t gain national-event status until 1924 under former President Calvin Coolidge. He said it would “establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children” and “impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations,” according to the Library of Congress Wise Guide. The holiday gained traction during World War II, and in 1966 President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed the third Sunday of June to be Father’s Day. President Richard Nixon made it a federal holiday six years later.

Today, Father’s Day has a passionate following, with about three-quarters of Americans telling the National Retail Federation they plan to celebrate on Sunday.interesting facts fathers day

Here are some interesting facts about Dads and their day:

  1. Census data shows there are more than 70.1 million dads in the U.S. About a third of them are married with kids under 18.
  2. Two million fathers are single.
  3. Spending on Father’s Day will reach about $12.7 billion this year, with the average person spending about $115.57 on presents. That’s about $2 more than last year’s average.
  4. The amount spent on Father’s Day is still less than what Americans spend on Mother’s Day — $21 billion.
  5. Father’s Day is the fourth-biggest day for sending greeting cards, after Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, according to the Greeting Card Association.
  6. About 20 percent of Father’s Day cards are bought for husbands.
  7. More than 214,000 men are stay-at-home dads.
  8. Thailand’s Father’s Day is celebrated in December, on the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Adulyadej served as Thailand’s King for 70 years, since 1946 when he was only 18 years old! Everyone wears yellow on Father’s Day in Thailand.
  9. On Father’s Day in Germany, men drink all day at beer gardens.

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