How Much Car Insurance Is Enough?

Coverage with Stromsoe

How much car insurance is enough? Everybody knows that you NEED to have insurance but how much insurance is enough.

You may have heard the insurance term 15/30/5 used frequently…but what does that mean for your insurance policy?

In the early 1960’s the state of California set the MINIMUM insurance limits that you must carry. That translates to $15 in bodily injury per person, $30K per occurrence and $5K in property damage. Next time you’re on the road – take a look around you – most cars on the road easily exceed these dollar amounts which is why we here at Stromsoe Insurance Agency can help you avoid being under insured with upgraded insurance limits.

My name is Bobby Sabeh, give me a call at 951-239-4492 today!

Sharing the Road: How to Best Avoid Hitting Animals

Sharing the road with our furry friends is something that we have to get used to.

Some roads are built right by forests where many deer, elk, and moose have roamed for millions of years. There was an estimated 1.25 million claims reported last year from such collisions, which shows no indication of a decrease—so we’re going to have to learn how to drive with them on the road. Here are some tips on how you can avoid hitting our mammalian friends and keeping your car deer-free.

  • Brighten the road. Using your high-beams could end up saving your car’s life, along with an elk or deer’s. Flicker the lights to spook the deer as they tend to stay fixated on your headlights.
  • Brake if possible. If you see the deer with plenty of time to brake, lightly tap on the brakes and honk your horn to alert drivers behind you and to possibly startle the deer. If there are no cars behind you, and you’re approaching quickly, slam the brakes.
  • Stay alert. Pay attention to “deer crossing” signs. If you see one deer, there are probably more around that area. And be vigilant during mating and hunting seasons. These seasons force animals to wander into the roads more frequently.
  • Avoid swerving. If a collision seems inevitable, it’s important to remember not to swerve. You could swerve onto oncoming traffic, or end up in a ditch.

If you have questions about the California car insurance or your growing number of drivers requires, don’t wait to contact Stromsoe Insurance Agency. We know that you already have enough to worry about with your new teen driver, and are here to making getting him or her covered easy! Protect your family, your vehicles, and your liability by calling us today.

Car Insurance Discounts For Senior Drivers

Senior drivers, you can save on your car insurance with these discounts!

Your parents might not have told you, but they paid a pretty penny for your car insurance when you were a teen. Because teen drivers are inexperienced, they’re riskier for insurers to cover. They pass that risk along to parents in the form of higher premiums.

It makes sense, then, that as you gain experience behind the wheel you would pay less for your coverage. We want to help you save as much as possible for all of your years on the road, so we’ve collected some of the best car insurance discounts for a senior driver.

  • Mature Driver: Ask your insurer at which age they shave a specific percentage off your premiums. Most providers have a certain age in mind, and once you hit it you automatically qualify for this discount.
  • Driving Course: If you take a safe driving course offered to senior drivers (the AARP offers them all over the country), you can shave down your premiums.
  • Low Mileage: If you’re not driving as much as you used to, you might be able to save. Some insurers will offer a significant discount if you drive fewer than a certain number of miles each month.
  • Membership: Are you a member of the AARP or another senior organization? If so, tell your insurance provider. Most of them offer certain discounts to people with these types of group memberships.

Want to save more on your California coverage? To talk to a car insurance agency that will work hard to dig out all of the discounts for which you apply, contact Stromsoe Insurance Agency. We know that every senior driver deserves to save big, and are here to help you do just that!

Your Teen Drivers Need Car Insurance (Even If They Don’t Have A Car)

How to get your teen drivers the car insurance they need.

In theory, your teen becoming a licensed driver takes a lot off your plate. You don’t have to drive to school in the mornings, you’re not responsible for shuttling your teen and his or her friends to after-school activities, and you free yourself from playing weekend chauffeur.

Unfortunately, though, when your teen starts being able to drive you do have or thing or two you need to worry about. For starters, you need to focus on making sure your family’s newest driver is safe behind the wheel.

Secondly, you need to consider your insurance coverage. That’s right, even if your teen doesn’t have his or her own car you still need to insure him or her. In the state of California, all drivers on the road are required to have liability insurance. That means that if you let your teen drive without having coverage for him or her, you’re letting your teen break the law.

Fortunately, insuring your new driver is easy! Just give your insurance agent a call, and he or she will be able to add your teen as an operator on your family’s existing coverage.

Let us forewarn you: when you add a teen, your rates will go up because teen drivers are statistically some of the riskiest people on the road. The good news is you can combat this by limiting how much your teen drives, getting a good student discount if he or she gets As and Bs, and waiting to buy him or her a car.

If you have questions about the California car insurance your growing number of drivers requires, don’t wait to contact Stromsoe Insurance Agency. We know that you already have enough to worry about with your new teen driver, and are here to making getting him or her covered easy! Protect your family, your vehicles, and your liability by calling us today.

Car Care Means Coverage Care

Taking good care of your car is good idea. Did you realize a well-maintained vehicle is more dependable, safer, and more valuable. However, did you know that careful maintenance can also save you money on Auto insurance?

For example, experts recommend replacing your wiper blades every 6,000 miles or six months. If your wipers leave streaks and smears, you’re ready for a replacement set. But also consider how unsafe it is to drive your car without clear vision. Every year motorists have accidents because they fail to see oncoming traffic or a car that stops in front of them.

While you’re thinking about a clear windshield, what about that non functioning defroster you’ve been meaning to fix.

Don’t forget about seat belts. Thousands of vehicle occupants every year suffer injuries because they don’t wear their belts. Are all of your belts functioning properly — even those in the back seat? Not only are unbelted rear seat passengers highly susceptible to injury, but 80% of fatalities among front-seat passengers wearing seat belts resulted from collisions with unbelted back seat passengers, according to a University of Tokyo study.

Taking preventative maintenance measures such as these, together with safe driving habits, will help curb highway accidents, reducing injuries and saving lives –not to mention lowering the number (and cost) of Auto coverage claims. That’s why insurance companies offer premium credits to drivers who take care of their vehicles.

One of our Protection Coaches® can provide advice on the types and amounts of coverage a vehicle owner needs. Here are 4 Easy Ways to Reach Us:
Call 951-600-5751 or 877-994-6787
Fax 951-677-6265
Email – insure@siaonline.com
Visit www.siaonline.com

State Minimum Auto Liability Coverage: Is It Enough?

State minimum insurance requirements are minimal. Most states demand less than $100,000 for bodily injuries and $50,000 for property damage. Some states require only $10,000 for property damage coverage.

How many cars valued at greater than $10,000 travel the highways? How many trucks carrying cargo are worth more than $10,000? $50,000? $100,000?

According to the 2010 census, the median family net worth exceeded $200,000. That amount includes houses, cars, savings, retirement funds, cash in the bank, college savings, and furniture and personal effects. Half the families are worth more, half have assets less than $200,000; all of it is hard earned.

If the family is underinsured for liability, their net worth is vulnerable to be seized in a lawsuit based on injuries or property damage caused by any family member driving a vehicle. The car owner and the car driver become parties to the suit.

Bodily injuries sustained in car wrecks devastate lives. People unable to work, the high cost of medical treatment, rehabilitation expenses, and the pain and suffering can only be compensated with money. The money comes from the insurance company or the liable party’s personal wealth.

Not convinced you need higher limits? Not all liabilities are released in bankruptcy. Many states have specific legislation disallowing debt reduction for certain accidents, most notably driving while intoxicated. Wage plans reduce take home pay by as much as 33%. Many employers do not tolerate either bankruptcy or wage garnishments.

Still not convinced? How about a selfish motivation?

Other drivers are either uninsured or underinsured. Most insurance companies will not provide uninsured motorist coverage in limits greater than the liability limits of the policy.

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage from your policy pays on behalf of the driver who hits you if they are poorly insured. In a classic exercise of the golden rule, insurance companies only sell limits commensurate with the protection you offer others.

Proper limits of liability allow you to protect yourself from the improper coverage other people maintain.

So how much coverage is enough? What are reasonable limits of liability?

Call our knowledgeable Protection Team to get the right answers to your questions. And consider this:

Your assets are your excess insurance coverage. This means that when the limits of your policy are reached, your assets are at risk. Excess insurance – Umbrella policies, for example – is available in $1 million layers over your Automobile and Homeowners liability limits if those limits qualify – are high enough. Protect yourself against underinsured drivers by increasing your uninsured motorist coverage.

Here are 4 Easy Ways to Reach Us:

  1. Call 951-600-5751 or 877-994-6787
  2. Fax 951-677-6265
  3. Email – insure@siaonline.com
  4. Visit – www.siaonline.com 24/7

Important Response Tips After An Accident

Very few people are prepared to face a traffic accident; however, many people will be involved in one at some point during their lives. While some are minor, others are severe and require appropriate action. Even the most careful drivers may experience an accident due to the poor driving skills of others. The best way to be prepared is to know how to respond at the scene. People who know what to do can save lives. In addition to this, preparedness makes the claims process simpler.

If an accident happens, take the following steps:

  • Stop the car immediately, and check to see if anyone involved is injured. Do not move any injured individuals.
  • Call the highway patrol or police immediately. Be sure to tell them how many people are involved, how many people are hurt and what types of injuries have been noted. The police will then notify an emergency response team.
  • Find a blanket, sweater or anything available to cover injured people with. It is very important to try to keep them warm.
  • Set up flares or other bright objects around the scene of the accident. This is especially important at night, and the objects will help other motorists steer clear of the scene.
  • When an involved vehicle is parked in the middle of the road, pull it to the shoulder. If possible, it is important to avoid congesting the road.
  • Ask the responding law enforcement officer where to obtain a police report copy. As a rule, it is beneficial to have one before submitting an insurance claim.
  • If necessary, call a towing company to pick up the damaged vehicle. Avoid giving permission for repair work. The insurance adjuster will need to see the vehicle and assess it prior to the repair process.

 

When the accident occurs, it is important to obtain some information from the other drivers and passengers involved in the accident. If they are upset, try to calm them down. Write down the following bits of information:

  • Names and addresses of every driver or passenger involved.
  • Names and addresses of all witnesses at the scene.
  • The make and model of every car involved.
  • Insurance identification information for each party.
  • License plate numbers of each car involved.
  • Drivers license numbers of each individual.

 

Not all other parties may be willing to cooperate. If they do not have insurance, they might try to offer a settlement at the scene of the accident. They might also prefer not to involve the police or highway patrol. Since there are many things that could go wrong in such a scenario, always notify law enforcement immediately. Be sure to write down the law enforcement officer’s badge number and name. If any emergency personnel are involved, write down their names. After an accident, always contact a personal insurance agent.

In some cases, people hit an unattended vehicle. It might be impossible to find the owner or wait for that individual to return. In such a case, the person who hit the vehicle should leave a note with their name, address and phone number. Write down the details of the accident, and call an insurance agent immediately.

Are Your Safe Driving Skills Up To Par?

As if we didn’t already have enough distractions, on-board GPS systems, portable DVD players, iPods, and Smartphones have created more driving distractions than ever before. And, it’s certainly not atypical for a vehicle simultaneously to have ringing phones, cartoons blaring from the backseat, a GPS incessantly yelping orders out, and fast-food fries flying around like ninja weapons.

Even though elements like the above have been proven to make it nearly impossible for a driver to devote their full attention to the road at all times, many drivers still think they’re perfectly safe drivers. Here’s a simple yes-or-no quiz:

  1. So long as I’m not watching, it’s okay for passengers to watch a movie on the vehicle’s in-dash video screen.
    No. Not only do most front seat, in-dash video screens generally have a feature that prevents it from showing entertainment or business video when the car is moving, but it would also be completely unsafe to do so since it would inevitably catch the driver’s peripheral vision and distract them. Furthermore, many state laws regulate the placement and use of on-board video screens.
  2. Have there been any criminal cases alleging electronic devices were the causative factor in vehicle accidents?
    Yes. One example would be a 2004 case that took place in Alaska. The driver was allegedly watching something on his DVD player when he struck another vehicle and killed two people. Although the driver claimed he was only adjusting his CD player, he was charged with second-degree murder on the premise that he engaged in conduct showing an indifference to human life.
  3. In-dash monitors for rear-view camera and navigation purposes can be installed in the front seat.
    Yes and no. If the device has the feature that prevents it from showing entertainment and business video, then it can be installed and used in the vehicle’s front seat.
  4. Is it okay to drive as you eat or drink?
    No. Although driving as you drink coffee or eat a granola bar usually isn’t as distracting as watching a movie or text messaging is, it’s still an unsafe driving practice. The bottom line is that doing and thinking about anything aside from driving can distract you from the road and lead you to look away, remove your hands from the steering wheel, or become mentally preoccupied.
  5. Does driver distraction cause very many accidents?
    Yes. More than 6 million crashes, 3 million crash-related injuries, and 42,000 crash-related deaths occur each year in the U.S., of which driver distraction accounts for 1.2 million to 1.8 million, or roughly 20%-30%.
  6. Do federal laws govern the use of mobile devices like a GPS unit in moving vehicles?
    No. In some states, there are state laws that prohibit the use of hand-held cell phones in moving vehicles, but there aren’t any federal laws regulating the use of mobile devices in moving vehicles.
  7. Can the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulate cell phone usage in moving vehicles?
    No. Cell phone laws are enacted at the state or local levels. However, the NHTSA is able to regulate the use of motor vehicle equipment and devices.
  8. Are lawmakers concerned with vehicle crashes related to driver distraction?
    Yes. During the past decade, several states have already passed or presented legislation related to driver distraction and vehicle crashes, and the number of states looking into such laws grows every day.
  9. Do any states totally ban hand-held cell phone use while driving?
    Yes. Nine states, including California, Connecticut, Washington, New York, New Jersey, and Utah, prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving. Additionally, 30 states and the District of Columbia ban novice drivers from using both hands-free and hand-held cell phones.
  10. Can your employer be held liable if you’re using a cell phone and crash into someone or something?
    Yes. Your employer can be held liable in a court of law. Under respondent superior, an employer can be held liable in civil court for employee acts committed within the course of employment.

How many did you answer correctly? Maybe you’ve learned a few new facts, or maybe you gained a new respect for what you already knew. Either way, it’s time to put down the food, turn off that cell phone, and start keeping your mind and body focused on the road ahead of you.

Online Insurance as Opposed to an Insurance Agency: What’s The Difference

Just as one might use a CPA to prepare their income taxes or an attorney to help them with their estate planning, many choose to use an insurance agency to write their insurance policies. This choice is mainly made because a person feels they need professional advice during the process. Of course, everyone will have different needs and circumstances surrounding their purchase, and this is why an insurance professional’s advice can be an invaluable asset. If you’re debating buying insurance online versus through an independent insurance agency, then you should ask yourself a couple of questions:

  • Do I know for certain what specific coverage(s) I need to be properly protected?
  • Do I know all the questions I should be asking before making an insurance purchase?
  • Will the online purchase truly result in saving both time and money?
  • Can I obtain all my insurance policies through a single online insurance provider?
  • If I purchase online, am I certain that I am receiving all discounts that apply to me?
  • Can I call the online insurance provider and receive insurance advice when needed?
  • If you purchase online insurance, in the event of a claim, who will stand by your side?
  • Is the personal information I’ll be providing kept secure?

You want to know exactly what coverage(s) you need and that the insurance you’re purchasing meets those needs adequately. Insurance can vary greatly from state to state, meaning that it’s equally important for your insurance source to be knowledgeable. You certainly don’t want to purchase an insurance policy and discover down the road that it doesn’t protect you during a claim. Making an insurance purchase with an online company that fails to connect professional insurance advice to your personal insurance needs can leave you at risk of being without the coverage(s) you need. You shouldn’t be the only one taking time to ask questions. And when that unfortunate claim does occur, who will help you when the insurance company doesn’t want to pay your claim? When you purchase through an independent insurance agency, we are here to help and support you through the entire claims process.

One of the best ways to determine if you’re really saving money by purchasing your insurance online is to get a quote of your policy online. Do keep in mind that most online companies don’t offer multi-policy discounts, such as for home and auto. This is because most offer homeowner’s insurance through a different company, if at all. On the other hand, an independent insurance agency typically allows you to select coverage from several different insurance companies, Stromsoe Insurance Agency currently offers over 59 insurance companies and we shop the marketplace for you, and we can help you determine which company will offer you the most protection for your insurance dollar. Another consideration is that independent insurance agencies typically have a much more stringent screening process in relation to these insurance companies.

Unlike independent insurance agencies, many online companies will either not have the services that you need readily available or have a system that you must sign into and learn to navigate before being able to obtain what you need. One such example would be obtaining insurance documents, such as a certificate of insurance. Let’s say you’re using your vehicle to take your child and some of his/her classmates on a field trip. You learn the day of the trip that you must have evidence of your insurance before going. If you use an independent insurance agency, the documented can be faxed or emailed to the school or your smart phone with a quick and simple call. A second example would be how an insurance agency can help you meet some very challenging needs associated with needing a hard to place insurance policy. Despite the trend for online shopping, independent insurance agencies continue to thrive because of the solid reputations they build from customer satisfaction.

Insurance is often required – auto insurance by your employer, homeowner’s insurance by your mortgage lender, or even coverage(s) an owner of a space you’re trying to rent for a professional or personal function may require of you. Such requirements can often be like trying to understand the tax code. If you use an independent insurance agency, then you can email or fax any insurance requirements to your insurance agent for quick and efficient resolution.

Carefully consider how you go about purchasing your insurance. Surprises are the last things you want when it comes to the vital protection of insurance. If you have any uncertainty about what you’re really getting with online insurance, then you might want to rethink your decision. If you’d like to avoid the one-size-fits-all approach of online insurance and receive the knowledge and expertise of an independent insurance agent, then you may consider opting for a professional, independent agent to prepare your insurance policy.

If you would like to request your Free Insurance Quote or if you have more question about what an independent insurance agency, like Stromsoe Insurance Agency, offers it’s clients in addition to an insurance policy, please contact our knowledgeable team at 877-994-6787, that’s 877-99-INSURE.

Policy Deductible Increases: The Safer Way To SAVE Premium Dollars

Money is still tight for many Americans, meaning most are still looking to save when and where they can. Some people have even turned to their insurance policies as a place to cut costs. Insurance can be expensive, but consumers need to ask themselves where and how they can really save money in this area without jeopardizing the protection offered by their policy coverages.

Two typical places that many insured individuals think they can cut the cost of their premiums are from reducing the dwelling/liability limits on their Homeowners policy and reducing the liability limits on their Auto insurance policy.

In reality, cutting the liability limits on these policies leaves you highly vulnerable to risk and will NOT ultimately save you any money over the long run. Although you might save a few dollars now with such tactics, it really isn’t worth it when you stop to think about just how much you could lose if you were sued after someone was injured in your home.

If you want to decrease your premiums, a much more prudent way to do it is by increasing the deductibles in your auto and/or home policies. A deductible increase from $250 to $500 could save you up to 15% on your Homeowners insurance premiums. You can save 30% or more on your premiums by raising the physical damage deductible on your Auto insurance policy to $500 or $1,000 dollars.

Some consumers get nervous about not having the $500 to cover their newly raised deductible should they need to file a claim. Since the situation doesn’t involve thousands of dollars in difference, it’s likely to be just as difficult for most people to come up with $500 as it would be $250. The only difference will be that the extra premium savings can be saved and set aside to cover the higher deductible from any future claims. In most cases, the additional $250 could be saved in less than 24 months.

If you’re nervous about taking the larger leap to a $1,000 deductible, then you can always take a slow and steady approach. You might increase your deductible to $500 first. You can open a savings account for the premium dollars you’ll save each month from having a slightly higher deductible. Although it might take some time, you can eventually raise your deductible to $1,000 when you have saved $500 to $750 dollars in the account.

Don’t be caught under insured… Unlike lowering limits, deductible raises can save you money without placing you at a greater financial risk.

If you would like to speak with one of our knowledgeable protection coaches about ways you can SAVE on your insurance program, CALL 877-994-6787 TODAY!