Tag Archives: Save Money

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.

Money Saving Car Insurance Hacks This Easter

Do you like to save money? Of course, you do, we all do! Life is a series of cycling expenses that tend to drain our pocketbooks. Sure, you may catch a savings deal here or there, but normally we don’t get breaks like that when it comes to paying bills – including car insurance. Paying for car insurance is a very frustrating monthly task, but it’s something every driver must manage. It also doesn’t help when holidays such as Easter roll around, which means setting aside some extra money to add on to these mounting monthly expenses. Fortunately, there are certain things you can do to save a little extra change on your auto insurance payments. Here are some Egg-cellent hacks to help you save on insurance just in time for Easter.

  1. There are a lot of different ways you can enhance your car’s security and safety features that can help lower your rates in the long run. By investing in certain features, you can lower the risk of break in’s or damaging your car in an accident. For instance, if you drive a smaller car that thrives on safety or a car with added safety features like extra airbags or an anti-theft system, you can find a lower insurance premium. Some other features you can consider acquiring include, Anti-lock brakes, tracking devices, car alarms and safety protection shields in case of side impact. These additional features can certainly boost your car’s safety, but there are also some common-sense practices that you can adapt to help protect your vehicle.
  1. Make sure that you’re a smart and safe driver by not speeding, avoiding tickets, staying alert and always keeping an eye out for dangerous situations. By avoiding moving violations and accidents you can automatically save on your policy. Safe drivers cost insurance company less and they pass those savings directly onto their customers.
  1. Take a second to examine your current car that you’re insuring. Do you own an older car that isn’t worth much? If so, make sure you’re not overpaying for comprehensive coverage on a car that isn’t worth the price to replace it. If you have an extra old vehicle just sitting around in your driveway or one that you rarely drive, you can pay for a liability only insurance policy and save a lot of money.
  1. Bundling your policies together is another surefire way to lower your car insurance premium. If you own more than one car or live in a home that also needs coverage, it’s easier and cheaper to insure all of these policies together. Here at Al Boenker Insurance, we offer great discounts if you bundle your polices. If we’ve got your car covered, think about us helping you find coverage for your home and discover a plethora of great discounts!
  1. Increasing your deductible. However, this method involves significant risk and can turn around to bite you. Accidents or theft can happen in the blink of an eye at any moment, so make sure that you have some extra money tucked away in such case that you need to file a claim. If you’re financially prepared to take this route, you can end up saving a ton of money on your premium by increasing your deductible.
  1. Defensive Driving. Seriously, insurance customers who have taken a defensive driving or drivers education course can qualify for extra discounts on their policy and are smiled upon by insurance companies for taking safe driving seriously. If you inform your insurance company that you’ve completed these courses it can open the door to an abundance of savings opportunities.

With the Easter holiday just around the corner, make sure that all of your 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! Remember, at Al Boenker Insurance, we’ve got you covered!

5 Ways to Save Money on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a holiday meant to show your love and appreciation for the special people in your life. However, some people can get a little too excited and go overboard with their expenses. This day can put a dent in your bank account if you’re not careful with your plans. Thankfully, we’re here to help plan the perfect day on a tight budget! Here are 5 ways to save money on Valentine’s Day!

Dine-In Before Going Out – Restaurants are usually a nightmare to book on this day and it’s always less romantic than it seems. Instead, whip up a nice, fancy, candlelit dinner at home before going out for a fun activity. It’ll save you money and your significant other will appreciate the extra effort put into the evening.

Check Out Deals – Call ahead or do some research online before booking a restaurant. Most places will have deals or coupons you can use to help save money on your evening. There are also a lot of deals out there for movies, concerts, and shows that will contribute to cut costs on an otherwise expensive night.

Fun Cheap Activities – Some people think that splurging on an evening at a fancy restaurant and showering their date with gifts is the appropriate way to celebrate when that’s not necessarily the case. The point of Valentine’s Day is to show your love for someone by spending time with them. Take them on a walk through the park, out dancing, or stay in and have a game night. All are free, easy ways to have a fun time!

Get Creative – Material things eventually turn into junk that’ll be thrown out, so why not put a little twist on the gifts this year? You can always make something, like a scrapbook that will be more personal or even do some chores around the house to show your love and appreciation.

Celebrate On a Planned Date – Who says that you have to celebrate Valentines Day on the actual date? Since most places will be booked or packed anyway, it would be a smart move to set a different night to celebrate. That way you’ll have a stress-free evening knowing for sure that you’ll get a reservation at your restaurant or a spot in the movie theater. You can also save money by taking the extra time to budget out the evening.

Before celebrating Valentine’s Day, make sure that all of your 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!

5 Gas Pump Safety Tips

five gas pump safety tips

Everyone has a routine when it comes to pumping gas. Although it only takes a few minutes, there are a lot of dos and don’ts you need to keep in mind while you’re filling up your car.

You’re dealing with a very flammable substance and it’s important to treat the process with caution. Here are 5 gas pump safety tips to follow!

1. Don’t Top Off Your Tank

Avoid pumping extra gas in your tank when it’s finished filling. You can cause a leak and there’s a good possibility that you’ll damage your engine due to pressure build up in the tank.

Also, topping off your tank can waste your money because there’s no way your tank can hold more than the required gas amount. The pumps have sensors that detect your fuel levels and they pull the extra gas you’re trying to fill back into the station’s tanks.

2. Stay Off Your Cell Phone

Cell phone usage is one of the main activities people take part in while filling up their car. However, this is a bad idea because it is a both a distraction and a safety hazard.

You need to be aware at all times while at a gas pump because you never know when a car may crash into you or your station. Also, using your cell phone can generate static electricity, which can spark a flame if you’re not careful.

Read More: 5 Creative Ways To Stop Texting & Driving

3. Don’t Leave the Pump

It’s wise to stay and monitor the gas pump while you’re filling up. Sometimes, if you go inside to purchase something or to use the bathroom, you can forget that the gas pump is still in your tank. The last thing you want to do is drive off and rip the nozzle from the station!

4. Turn off Your Car

This is a huge safety hazard that is an easily avoidable no brainer. If you keep the car running while filling it up, a stray spark in your vehicle’s engine could ignite any fumes.

There are other parts of your car that could potentially generate sparks, so it’s best to avoid the risk altogether by turning your car off. Not to mention someone could easily hop in and drive off while you’re messing with the pump!

Read More: 5 Ways to Improve Your Gas Mileage

5. Don’t Get in Your Car

Make sure that you stay outside and avoid getting back in your vehicle after you start refilling. You can build up a static electric charge by sliding in and out of your seat. If you touch the metal pump with your static finger, there’s a chance it can ignite the gasoline vapor. If you absolutely have to get in your car during the process, simply discharge the shock on something other than your vehicle.

Now is a great time to make sure that all of your 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!

5 Ways to Cut Energy Costs

Bills continuously put a dent in your bank account and never seem to go away. Being a homeowner can be both a blessing and a curse due to these pesky little payments. With the change in seasons come drastic changes in weather, which could result in your electricity prices spiking. Thankfully, by simply making a few adjustments to your home and lifestyle, there are ways you can cut down on expenses and save on your energy bill. Check out these helpful tips on how you can save on your energy bills.

Lower the Heat – You can save up to 3% on your energy bill for each degree you lower your thermostat. If done properly, this trick can save you up to $150 a year. Also, heating water makes up for about 15-25% of energy consumed in your home. Having scolding hot water during the summer months is unnecessary, so lower the temperature down to the warm setting at 120 degrees Fahrenheit to save energy.

Power Off – Leaving your computer and other electronic appliances on all day can cost you about 21 cents per day, which adds up to $75 a year. Make sure that you turn off all computers, TVs and appliances before you leave the house.

Cooking & Cleaning Methods – When cooking at home, try using your toaster, microwave or stovetop instead of your oven. You’ll consume less energy and avoid the extra heat that raises your room temperature. Also, if you air-dry your dishes instead of putting them through the drying cycle you can save 20% in electricity output.

Light Switch – Save up to 75% on your lighting bills by replacing your incandescent bulbs with fluorescent bulbs. Not only are they more efficient, but they last longer too! Lastly, don’t forget to turn off the lights when you leave the house!

Air Flow – Make sure you clean or replace your dirty air vents to increase the airflow throughout your home. If your vents are clogged then it will drive up your energy usage and costs due to the fact that it has to work harder to push the heat through. This can help reduce energy costs by 5%!

With the New Year here, now is a great time to make sure that all of your 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!