Category Archives: Motorcycle Insurance

5 Tips to Help Keep Your Teen Safe On the Road

Getting a license is one of life’s major milestones. There’s no doubt that FINALLY being able to drive on your own is something every teen cannot wait to do. But how sure are you that your young driver is ready to take on the road all on their own? We look for the best car seat, the best daycare, but when your kids are ready to learn to drive, parents should help them the best drivers they can be. Safe driving is really about judgment. At the start of their driving career risk management and decision making while driving has not developed yet. Your teens biggest threat is their inexperience.

Did you know that the #1 threat to your teen’s safety is driving or riding in a car with another teen driver? (cdc.gov).

Here are 5 tips to help keep your teen safe on the road:

  1. Utilize the Graduated Driver License (GDL) Program– this gives a driver the opportunity to improve their driving skills over time. Phase One is the learners permit. Which must be held for 6 months prior to obtaining a provisional license. Phase Two is the provisional license. Drivers education and time behind the wheel are required prior to taking the driver’s test. Once these are completed a driver can graduate with a provisional license. At this stage, drivers are allowed one passenger under 21 who is not a family member in the vehicle and must be off the road between midnight and 5:00 a.m. unless certain circumstances. Individuals under 18 are restricted from using a cell phone including hands-free devices until they reach 18. The graduate program is required by law for drivers under the age of 18. To get all the details on the program click here.
  2. Let Your Teen Drive– the best thing you can do for your teen is let them drive! Young drivers need to gain confidence behind the wheel. This is the perfect opportunity to discuss different driving scenarios and to pass on your driving knowledge. Practice driving in different weather conditions in large parking lots to get a feel for driving in rain or snow. Parents play a key role. When asked whose opinion they listen to, teens mostly said their parents. The biggest challenges are inexperience and distractions.
  3. Set Rules and Expectations– from the get-go your teen needs to know that you want them to the safest driver they can be. Sit down together and set some ground rules and expectations. For example, no cell phone use while driving, no food in the car, no passengers for a certain period of time, setting a driving curfew, always wear a seatbelt, no reckless driving, and no impaired driving. Being involved in their driving development holds your child accountable. When they show progress, good skill and driving maturity certain privileges can be added over time.
  4. Set Up Consequences– Your teen needs to understand that driving is a privilege. Go over the rules and expectations together. Write them down and set up consequences. Your teen will respect the rules and expectations when they know they are being monitored and there are consequences. As parents, it’s important to show your teen you care about their safety. Lose of driving privileges is a big one. Come home after curfew and you lose the right to drive. Whatever the consequences are, stick to them.
  5. Be an example, set up an agreement and be open– the best thing we can do for our new drivers is be the best example. Kids learn from their parents. Set up an agreement with the expectations and consequences. Refer and adjust it when necessary. Kids understand that there is a major risk when driving a vehicle. The challenge is when they are at the moment they may make the wrong decision. Be open and transparent with them, ask them their fears. Help them practice their driving even after graduating periodically. Copy of an agreement can be found here.

Parents play a key role in their child’s driving progress. Overall, showing you care, offering them guidance, listening to their concerns, setting expectations and being authoritative can be the difference in life and death. Progressively give them privileges as they show they can handle the responsibilities. Your teen will feel more confident behind the wheel and in return be a safe driver. For more details on how to be the key in your teens driving visit https://www.cdc.gov/parentsarethekey/

Visit us online at thanksal.com or gives us a call at 1-800-thanksal to see what kind of safe teen driver discounts we offer.

 

What Determines My Car Insurance Rate?

Car Insurance. We all have to have it when owning and operating a vehicle but why is everyone’s cost so different? Even you and your spouse may have different rates, what gives? Al Boenker Insurance agents have the ability to plug-in your information and shop multiple companies to find you the best and most affordable rate.

However, there are several factors that determine that rate. Insurance is a calculated risk-based business and companies configure how likely you are to file a claim.

Let’s explore some factors that can determine your auto insurance rate and see how life changes may affect your premium.

Your driving record

When you request a quote from an agent they will ask you about your driving history. Typically, how many accidents you may have been in, the cause of an accident and details on tickets. While this takes place, your driving record is being pulled and inserted into the policy. Based on your overall driving record, insurances companies determine your likeliness of having another accident. The easiest way to get a good rate is to be a safe driver.

Your policy and deductible

The type of policy you buy 100% affects your rate. As liability is the state minimum required, your lien holder may require something different. The amount you want to pay monthly determines how much you will pay when an accident happens.  Lower deductible= higher monthly rate. Lower monthly payments= higher deductible. Along with deductible differences, you have an option to add personal injury coverage, towing and rental coverage, medical payment reimbursement, or uninsured motorist, along with several others. All of these amendments reflect on your insurance premium. The best option is to determine how much you can afford if an accident were to happen. Would you be able to pay a $500 deductible or $1000? Would you be able to afford towing fees from the site and the cost of a rental car if necessary? Generally, the more you pay monthly means the less you’ll pay when an accident happens. There are a lot of factors here.

Your vehicle

Have you heard red cars get more tickets? Well the make, model and year of your vehicle are determining rate factors. Big trucks can be a little higher to insure because they can cause more damage. Thinking about getting a 2-door sports car? Insurance could cost you due to the high-risk of speeding!

Your age, gender, and marital status

Drivers under the age of 25 or older than 65 are considered higher risk drivers. Also, studies show that men are more likely to speed and get into an accident. Students are seen as responsible and some companies offer students with a B average or higher a student discount. Married couples versus singles are also seen as low-risk. Demographics of all drivers on a policy can have an impact on your insurance rate.

How often and how far you drive

Are you driving all day for work? Maybe you’re a mail a carrier and use your own car. How often and how far you drive daily can contribute to your risk calculator. The more you are on the road the more likely you are to be in an accident. Do you work from home and your car rarely leaves the driveway? You win here!

Where you live

Location is key! Living in a rural area might be in your favor when getting car insurance. Fewer cars on the road =less traffic= fewer accidents. Bigger cities tend to mean more people and more cars and more potential for accidents. Your risk of needing to file a claim also increases if crime rates are high in your neighborhood. Live 5-minutes from the office? This can be in your favor too. The fewer miles you commute daily often lends its self to be low-risk.

Your credit history

Insurance companies offer several types of policies. Monthly- annual- low credit- lower down payment and so on. Your credit can affect your premium. Texas allows your credit to-be ran and considered when selling a policy. According to dmv.org, “Low credit scores have been correlated with risky driving behaviors and poor driving records. This means that if your credit-based insurance score is too low, you face the possibility of being deemed high risk of filing a claim. Majority of car insurance companies may look at the following to calculate your score:

  • Payment history.
  • Debt.
  • Length of credit history.
  • Whether you have recently applied for new lines of credit.
  • What type of credit you have, e.g., loans, credit card, mortgage. (2018, dmv.org)”

There is not a definite risk- calculator but we’ve given you a good list. Car insurance is a risky business. Nobody wants to use their insurance, but knowing you are covered and protected when an accident happens gives you peace of mind. Take these into consideration the next time there are life changes.

Give us a call at 1-800-THANKSAL or visit us online at thanksal.com to see how we can help you save.

Spring Break Stay-cation!

Spring break is right around the corner! Either you have big plans or have forgotten your kids are out for a week. Traveling with a family can be challenging and comes with a lot of moving parts. Request time off from work- try to decide on a destination- set a budget- make travel arrangements- plan who is going to watch the pets- shop for the trip- pack the entire household and pray you haven’t forgotten anything.

Spring break vacations can be costly and take a lot of planning. If you haven’t planned a trip by now, there’s a possibility the best rates are no longer available. Unfortunately, the early bird gets the worm on those deals. But WAIT! There is still hope for a fun week. You have time to plan a Stay-cation. It’ll be your new favorite thing!

So, what is a stay-cation? Just like it sounds, a vacation that doesn’t require much, if any travel. The point is for it to still feel like the family is off- together doing something fun. The chances are that your city has a few things to offer that you may have forgotten all about.

Here are a couple of staycation suggestions your family will love

  1. Spend the day at an amusement park- when was the last time your family went to an amusement park? This may be one the most expensive options on the list but this expense will for sure be a crowd pleaser with the kiddos.
  2. Visit a local museum- if your city has a nearby museum, now is the perfect opportunity to spend your money locally and check out the museum. You may learn something new and find out a lot about your town.
  3. Attend a community festival- during spring break cities usually put on some sort of festival. Check out the list of events happening in your area on your Chamber of Commerce website.
  4. Take a trip to the zoo or aquarium- the never disappoints. No matter how many times you have gone, it always is a crowd pleaser. Make a game of it- play iSPY or map out feeding times and get in on zookeeper interaction.
  5. Host a family board game tournament- invest in a few new board games and battle the family in a day-long tournament complete with snacks and drinks.
  6. Get Outside- buy some kites, bubbles, hula-hoops, a slip-n-slide, a bug catcher, or maybe camp out. There is so much to do in your own backyard. Host a Family Olympics and plan a full day of outdoor activities. Get some ideas here.
  7. Geocaching- if you have not heard of geocaching, it may be one the largest games of scavenger hunt in the world. Download the app and let the fun begin. The GPS will lead you to treasures that people from all around have visited and contributed too. Check out the details at geochaching.com.

There are several options to enjoy your spring break as a family without having to travel too far. Enjoy the time as a family and see what kind of adventures your gang can find!

Why an Al Boenker Insurance Agent?

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between an independent insurance agent and a standard broker?

why an al boenker insurance agent1. Independent Agents Shop Multiple Carriers Independent agents are able to shop multiple insurance carriers with one application. Agencies carry contracts with multiple insurance companies (versus just one) and can compare several quotes instantaneously. This is a huge advantage for you, eliminating the need to submit multiple applications to different carriers to find the best and cheapest option.

2. Independent Agents Save Time & Money– With more choices comes a variety of coverage options and price points, saving you time and money. Agents do the shopping and you do the saving.

3. Independent Agents are Licensed Professionals– Agents offer their experience, expert knowledge, and guidance when it comes to selecting the right policy. They are able to explain the complex insurance world to you and make sure you understand all aspects of your policy. When independents set up your policy, they are doing all the research for you- eliminating errors and ensuring your insurance needs are met. According to U.S. Insurance Shopping Study by J.D. Power, “Shoppers are increasingly reliant on agent recommendations when considering and quoting insurers.”1 Be certain that your home and auto are properly covered.

4. Independent Agents are Your Neighbor most agencies are locally owned and community driven. They are your neighbor, belong to community organizations, have children on the same little league team, and attend the same church. Your coverage is their priority.

5. Independent Agents are Your Advocate they offer their help and support when it comes time to actually use your insurance. Dealing with a claim can be a mess. Your independent agents assist you and ensure you are taken care of by the insurance company. When accidents happen, your agent is there.

Give us a call at 1-800-Thanksal or visit us online at www.thanksal.com and let us help you find the best rate and option for you. Let our agents compare your current carrier and see how they can help you save.

Texas Stock Show & Rodeo: A Long Living Tradition

The great state of Texas has a long history of hard work, dedication, and commitment to tradition. One of those traditions is the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. Groomed horses, tough cowboys, family-friendly activities and delicious fried food come to life every year in the early winter. Great folks from major cities across the lone star state take part in this legendary event.

For more than a century, the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo has been a long-standing tradition -that this year takes place January 12- February 3rd. At the start of the “Cowboy” tradition, livestock auctions were the major reason for the show. Today 4-H and FFA organizations contribute to the success of the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show.

While cattle raiser and horse breeders have found a home at the Will Rodgers Memorial Center, this legendary event has evolved and encapsulates Texans from all demographics and backgrounds as they show up to experience the indoor rodeo, enjoy the midway and shop local vendors. Even our former president, Theodore Roosevelt was Guest of Honor in 1911.

The first show took place in 1896 and has a long-standing heritage in Fort Worth. The name has evolved from “Texas Fat Stock Show” to “National Feeders and Breeders Show to then, “Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show,” finally landing as “Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show,” in 1987. However, most refer to the spectacular as the Fort Worth Stock Show.

The annual events give life that Texas does not travel far from its roots. Our connection to the past stands as a vital resource and continues to push Texas and livestock industry to new heights. Get out and catch the Fort Worth Stock Show as it wraps up this weekend.

Check out the major stock shows coming to cities near us and make it a weekend vacation!