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Archive for July, 2015

Myths About Car Insurance

Monday, July 20th, 2015

There is a lot of misinformation about car insurance floating around. Here we bust five common car insurance myths.

Myth #1: Where You Live Has No Impact on Coverage

Unfortunately, this is false. While where you live may not necessarily be your choice, it does have an impact on your car insurance. People who live in rural areas are likely to pay less than those who live in the city, as city dwellers are at a higher risk for claims due to more people and increased likelihood of theft.

Myth #2: Older Drivers Have Higher Rates

For the most part, this is not true. The thing to keep in mind when it comes to car insurance is that every driver is different. Although rates for drivers older than the age of 25 are generally lower, that is entirely dependent upon driving history. For example, if a 55-year-old driver receives numerous moving violations over the course of several years then that driver may find their rates increase over time, as opposed to decreasing with each passing year.

Myth #3: You’re Covered if Your Car is Stolen, Vandalized, Damaged by Hail, Wind, Fire or Flood

Unfortunately, this is also false. What most people don’t realize is that basic coverage isn’t comprehensive. As a result, if your car is stolen, vandalized, or damaged by the elements, you may be held responsible for out-of-pocket repair expenses for your vehicle. However, if you’re leasing a vehicle, you may already be paying for comprehensive and collision coverage, as it is often a condition of leasing.

Myth #4: Your Credit Has No Impact on Your Rate

This is absolutely false. Your credit does impact your car insurance rate, but only in relation to your credit-based insurance score. This credit-based score, which is basically a snapshot of how you manage your financial affairs, gives insurers key insight into how much of a risk you are. Bear in mind that since most people have pretty good credit, the likelihood of having a credit-based insurance score negatively affect your rate is highly unlikely.

Myth #5: The Color of Your Car Makes a Difference

Contrary to popular belief, the color of your car does not have any impact on the price of your car insurance. For example, many drivers think that red cars or black cars will contribute to higher premiums, but the truth is that providers aren’t concerned about the color of the car at all. Insurers are more interested in other things such as make and model, year and body style, engine style, the age of the vehicle, and the age and record of the driver. With respect to driving behavior, insurers factor in your accumulated points for moving violations when determining your rates, which is important to note.

The ABC’s of Car Service

Monday, July 20th, 2015

For new car owners, it’s helpful to know what proper care looks like, and for experienced owners, it’s nice to have a refresher about the ABC’s of car care.

A – Always Follow a Preventative Maintenance Plan

One of the most important parts of vehicle maintenance is following its manufacturer’s recommended maintenance plan. The core component of that plan is regular oil changes, but drivers have more to do than that. In addition to oil changes, drivers should change the fuel filter, check the battery and keep the terminals clean, change automatic transmission fluid and filters, and occasionally change out the spark plugs. The car’s manual comes with a suggested schedule for all the preventative maintenance that it needs, so it’s a good idea to become familiar with it.

B – Be Sure to Take it to a Professional When You Suspect a Problem

Drivers can save themselves a lot of money by taking their vehicles to a professional when they suspect something might be wrong rather than putting it off because they don’t want to spend the money. Putting off repairs often makes things worse, as wear and tear can exacerbate the problem, which leads to higher repair costs. Whether it’s a weird sound or a component that stops working suddenly, take it to a repair shop and have it checked.

C – Correct Problems to Avoid Potential Safety Hazards

After drivers go to a repair shop for service, they should fix the problems. Sometimes that’s easier said than done as money is usually the only reason people choose not to complete the service. However, the risk of putting off repairs could result in higher costs and potential safety hazards. Not only do they risk breaking down away from home, but they also risk more detrimental damage that could ultimately put the vehicle out of commission.

D – Don’t Ignore Your Tires

With all the talk of engine care, another component that needs attention is the tires. Keeping them properly balanced, filled with air, and rotated can extend their lifetime. When the tires are in good shape, they help improve the vehicle’s mileage. The owner’s manual should include recommendations on how often to rotate and balance the tires. In general, drivers should rotate them every other oil change and balance them every 3,000-6,000 miles to keep wear evenly spread throughout the tread. It also helps if drivers check the air in the tires each time they fill up with gas, and refill as necessary.

Before you buy a new vehicle, you should understand the essentials of taking care of the car. Keeping the ABC’s of car care in mind can help you make the best maintenance decisions for your vehicle, which will help keep it on the road longer. Always check the owner’s manual for recommended schedules, and stick to them when possible. Even when money is tight, making your vehicle a priority will extend its life and performance throughout the years.