Tag Archives: Affordable 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.

Top 5 ATV Getaways in Texas

couple driving atv in one of the best getaways in texas

Top ATV Getaways in Texas

  1. The Rocky Ridge Ranch, Decatur, TX
  2. Outlaw ATV Park, Crosby, TX
  3. Sam Houston National Forest, New Waverly, TX
  4. Trophy Club Park, Trophy Club, TX
  5. Sabine ATV Park, Burkeville, TX

What’s one of the biggest differences between a motorcycle and an ATV? You can’t drive an ATV in the city. Fortunately, we live in Texas, where there are many other options where you can take your ATV out for a spin.

Thanks to its expansive countryside and unique terrain, the Lone Star State is a perfect playground for ATV aficionados. Between the Texas Hill Country and the Great Plains, you’ll have a vast array of various trails, parks, and back roads to choose from.

With summer just around the corner and your ATV up and running, you’ll need to start planning your adventure. Thankfully, we’re here to help! We’ve rounded up the five best ATV getaways in Texas, enjoy!

 

1. The Rocky Ridge Ranch, Decatur, TX

best getaways in texas rocky ridge ranch

One of the largest parks in Texas, the Rocky Ridge Ranch offers a diverse collection of different trails and tracks. Visitors can ride through woods, over hills and along riverbeds covering over 650 acres.

This park also offers an ATV race arena for some friendly competition as well as some X-Games style ramps for those who like to live a little dangerously. Not only do they offer overnight camping at this park, but it’s also free with some cool amenities! If you need a break from riding you can do some fishing in one of their many lakes.

2. Outlaw ATV Park, Crosby, TX

This is one of the top rated ATV parks in all of Texas. Located on of the banks of the San Jacinto River, this is the perfect spot for riders who love to get muddy. The park is insanely cheap too – only $5 straight up, no matter how large your party is.

If you plan on riding this park, it’s highly recommended that you spend the night at the campgrounds to get the full intended experience.

3. Sam Houston National Forest, New Waverly, TX 

san houstion best getaway in texas

If you love trail riding, then this is the spot for you! This park is stretched along Lake Conroe and features over 80 miles of vast sweeping forest trails just waiting to be explored.

If you’re planning a trip to this park, make sure you bring your safety gear! Goggles and helmets are required for all riders under the National Parks Service. One of the best getaways in Texas!

4. Trophy Club Park, Trophy Club, TX 

best getaways in texas trophy club

If you’re craving a sense of adventure, then head on out to this great motorcycle route just outside of Lake Grapevine in Denton. No matter what exciting entertainment you’re looking for, you can and will find it here! This park features a 6-mile ATV trail system that contains 3 different scenic loops.

You’ll also encounter a plethora of extra amenities, which include, boating, nature trails, dog parks, disc golf, camping and laser tag! So, bring the kids and the dog for an excellent weekend of outdoor bliss. You won’t regret it!

 

5. Sabine ATV Park, Burkeville, TX 

sabine atv park in texas

In Far East Texas, near the Louisiana border, rests an ATV park unlike any other. This family friendly park lies along the Sabine River and boasts some great amenities, including electric and water hookups, outdoor campsites, cabins, wash racks, a general store, and various fun activities.

If you need a break from riding, stop by the sand bar where you can cool off, have a party, play some volleyball or test out some snorkels. Along with these great entertainment options, you’ll have full access to some amazing ATV trails that are suitable for riders of any age or skill level.

From deep-water crossings to shallow creek runs, soggy trails to full on mud bogs, you’re guaranteed a thrilling riding experience at Sabine ATV Park.

But first, stay safe and covered

Before planning that weekend ATV getaway in Texas, now is a great time to make sure that all of your ATV insurance needs are up-to-date. Give us a call at 1-800-Thanks-Al to have an agent review your policy to confirm that your auto insurance has the right amount of coverage for your family and your needs.

We can also ensure that you are getting the best rate for your policy. You might even qualify for additional discounts, especially if you have your home insured through us!

 

From all of us at Al Boenker Insurance, we hope you stay safe and enjoy the ride!