Is Summer Driving More Dangerous than Winter Driving?

Is Summer Driving More Dangerous than Winter DrivingAt Affordable Insurance, we’re often asked, is summer driving more dangerous than winter driving? Most drivers will say that winter conditions are much more hazardous for driving than the easy breezy days of summer. While it’s certain that snow and ice on the road in winter can make traction difficult and visibility worse, most road accident fatalities occur during the summertime according to studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

There are a number of factors that contribute to this surprising statistic. The overconfidence of drivers may come into play during the summer months. With clear roads and excellent visibility, it can be tempting to go over the speed limit, especially on long, straight highways. As we all know, the higher the velocity at the time of a car accident, the more severe the resulting damage.

Hot weather instantly increases the likelihood of a tire blowout and can exacerbate other problems with your car. Radiator failure and overheating the engine is more likely during the summer. It is important to keep up to date with regular maintenance of your vehicle as summer approaches. Otherwise, you could be the victim of an unexpected car failure. If this happens at the wrong moment, it can be hazardous.

In addition to affecting vehicles, increased temperatures can also have an impact on drivers. Hot weather makes it much easier for a driver to get dehydrated quickly. Falling asleep at the wheel is also more likely in warm conditions and on long monotonous journeys. Any alcohol consumed can have a more intense effect when under the conditions of high temperatures and dehydration. Drivers should be proactive in staying sober, keeping hydrated and taking rest breaks while driving in summer.

Summertime means schools are out and you are more likely to encounter young drivers on the roads. Young drivers are categorized as very high risk and more likely to be involved in collisions. Many teenagers learn to drive during the summer, and they cannot be expected to be faultless drivers straight away. It is important for more experienced drivers to be patient and to leave a very generous following distance behind learner drivers.

With school vacations in full swing, drivers also must be prepared to share the roads with more pedestrians and cyclists, many of them being children. There are also more motorcyclists out during the summer. Remember to be extra cautious and leave sufficient space for cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians to easily pass. Good weather means more sports played outside and the possibility of stray balls and frisbees sending kids running out onto the roads. Be especially careful when driving around residential areas during the summer.

Road construction has to be completed at some point, and usually, it’s done during the summer months. This can cause drivers some inconveniences with temporary road closures and partial blocking. It is important for drivers to follow the signals given by road workers and co-operate, especially when all traffic must go through one lane. Road construction sites are a hotspot for fender benders, crashes, even injuring a worker. There are high penalties involved, so remember to slow down and be patient.

Another hazard of summer driving is the vacation traffic. This issue depends on your location, but if you live in a vacation town or near an airport, you may experience a dramatic increase in traffic congestion as hundreds of tourists set off on holiday. For residents of tourist destinations, this can be especially frustrating. Drivers coming in from out of town are often disoriented, tired, and more likely to get into accidents when lost and going through unfamiliar junctions.

For many people, the sunny days and balmy nights of summer mean BBQs, bonfires at the beach and all-night parties. The good weather and relaxed atmosphere of summertime are never an excuse to drink and drive. Whether you are attending a 4th of July picnic or a block party, you cannot give in to the temptation to drink if you plan on driving by yourself or with others. Decide on a designated driver well in advance or arrange alternative transportation. A DUI can severely impact the cost of your insurance and is not worth risking anybody’s safety.

Unexpected weather is the final risk factor of summer driving that we will mention. In some areas of the country, Colorado especially, summer is the season for intense hailstorms. These storms can cause severe damage to vehicles and make driving very dangerous. If caught in a bad hailstorm, drivers should pull over and wait for the worst of the storm to pass before continuing their journey.

Rain showers that occur during the summer after a long dry spell can often create difficult driving conditions. When water mixes with the build-up of grease and dirt, a slippery layer is created on the road, making it very easy for vehicles traveling at high speeds to lose traction and hydroplane. Drivers should look out for changing weather conditions and react appropriately by reducing their speed.

Returning to the original question, is summer driving more dangerous than winter driving? We can categorically state that yes, when measured by road fatalities, driving in the summer is more dangerous than driving during any other season. It is up to drivers to be aware of the particular hazards presented by summer driving and to take the correct precautions. Keeping your car well maintained, looking out for pedestrians, cyclists, and new drivers and having patience will certainly help! Also, be sure to review your insurance policy as well to make sure you’re properly covered for whatever the summer brings.

Now that you know the answer to is summer driving more dangerous than winter driving, get in touch with Affordable Insurance in Aurora. For over 20 years we have been helping drivers to carefully analyze their habits, vehicle type, and driving record to determine the most suitable insurance plan for them. When it comes time to renew your auto insurance policy, allow us to create a personalized insurance package that works for you and keeps you covered all year long.

Can You Guess the Most Common Car Insurance Claims?

Can You Guess the Most Common Car Insurance Claims?Can you guess the most common car insurance claims? Affordable Insurance of Aurora, Colorado has put together a list of the 10 most common incidents leading to car insurance claims, and the results may surprise you!

The average person will be involved in a road accident once every six years. The majority of these incidents are classified as mild fender benders, with minimal damages and injuries. Knowing the most common causes for claims can help you when it comes time to choose your car insurance. 

  1. Chipped Windshields

Loose pebbles on country roads or debris from another vehicle frequently cause minor impacts on windshields. Chips and small cracks in windshields fall into the category of damages covered under comprehensive insurance. In the case that the glass is reparable, your insurance company will typically cover the cost of repair completely and waive the deductible. If a complete replacement of the windshield is required, a deductible will apply. 

  1. Rear-end Collisions

Rear-end collisions are very common and are almost always the fault of the driver in the rear. This type of accident occurs when the driver in front comes to a stop at an appropriate place, such as a stop sign or traffic light, and the driver behind them fails to stop quickly enough and hits them from behind. Rear-end collisions can result in whiplash injuries to either party and of course, damages to both vehicles from the impact. Your collision insurance covers costs incurred from damages to your vehicle. 

  1. Backing Accidents

Backing accidents often occur in parking lots, when two cars are backing out of their spaces simultaneously and collide. They can also happen between one car that is backing out of a space and another that is driving through the parking lot. It can be difficult to determine which driver is responsible for such an incident. Witness reports and an investigation may be required to decide which driver’s insurance will pay for the damages. Collision coverage covers this type of accident. 

  1. Vandalism

Vandalism to your vehicle includes graffiti, being keyed, broken into, parts damaged or removed. Some instances of vandalism can include interference with parts of your vehicle such as the exhaust pipe or gas tank, were damaging substances or objects are introduced. Comprehensive coverage includes vandalism, but it is usually up to the vehicle owner to pay a deductible unless they can identify and sue the vandal. 

  1. Total Theft

Cars are sometimes stolen to be used in crimes such as robberies and drug trafficking. For the best chance of retrieving your car, report it as stolen as quickly as possible and co-operate with law enforcement. If your vehicle is stolen and never found by police, comprehensive coverage can pay the replacement value. If the rate of car theft is high in your state, consider investing in comprehensive coverage. 

  1. Intersection Accidents

Intersection accidents are unfortunately quite common and can be severe, causing significant damage, serious injury, and fatalities. This type of collision usually results from one driver running a red light or failing to yield the right of way when turning left. Depending on the speeds involved, the accident may lead to minor damage or a completely totaled vehicle. The liability insurance of the driver at fault will cover the cost of medical expenses and damages suffered by the other driver. 

  1. Parked Car Damage

Parked cars that are hit, scratched or dented by adjacent car’s opening doors can be claimed under collision coverage. The person with a moving vehicle at the time of the accident is always at fault, even if the stationary car is parked illegally. Damaged caused by a hit-and-run collision to a parked car can be claimed under uninsured motorist coverage in some states. 

  1. Single Car Collisions

Single car collisions are very common in adverse weather conditions or when the driver is drunk. This type of accident involves just one vehicle that either collides with an object like a tree or stop sign or runs itself off the road. In single car collisions, the driver often completely loses control of the car. Collision coverage can cover the damages to your car if it hits a wall or other object. 

  1. Hail Damage

In some parts of the country, including Colorado, hail damage should not be underestimated. From April to August, drivers in Colorado should try to avoid driving in hail and store their car in a covered area. Hail stones can leave indentations on the bodywork of the vehicle and chip or crack the glass. A vehicle can be totaled if caught in a bad hailstorm. Damages from hail or other weather conditions can be claimed for under comprehensive insurance.

  1. Multiple Vehicle Accidents

Multi-car pileups often happen in areas of heavy traffic. Unlike a simple rear-end collision, it’s difficult to assign responsibility to an individual driver when there are many vehicles involved. if one car in a traffic jam accidentally rear-ends the car in front, they can end up causing a domino effect with consecutive impacts between tightly packed vehicles. Collision coverage and liability coverage of the driver, or drivers found responsible will cover the damage in this case.

These are the incidents resulting in the highest number of auto insurance claims across the country. Some are minor accidents that are almost inevitable for drivers to experience at some time or another. Others are more dangerous and can have a high risk of fatality. To lower your risk of incidents drive with caution, always expecting the unexpected from other drivers and avoid driving while tired or under the influence. An insurance policy adapted to your risk factors will give you the best protection if you do experience an accident.

After reading about road mishaps, you have your answer to the question, can you guess the most common car insurance claims? You should also have a better idea of what you may experience over your driving career. And if you want to make some adjustments to your current policy or learn more about the options available to you, don’t hesitate to contact Affordable Insurance. With over 25 years of experience in the insurance industry, we can help Colorado drivers find reliable insurance options that suit their budget.

Understanding Car Insurance Coverage Options

Understanding Car Insurance Coverage OptionsAs a driver, understanding car insurance coverage options is crucial. At Affordable Insurance in Aurora, we give our customers all the information they need to make the best decisions for their future. Nobody expects to get into a collision or to suffer damages to their car, but it happens to thousands of drivers each day. Investing in the right insurance plan for you and your vehicle will give you peace of mind. If the worst should happen, you can relax knowing that your insurance company has you covered.

There are a number of different types of auto insurance that you can take out to protect your vehicle. The following options are designed to pay for those costs incurred when your vehicle is damaged in various situations. They do not cover damages caused to the vehicle of another person. For example, if you are involved in a collision with another car, you will need liability insurance that can cover the cost of damages to the other car. Liability insurance will also cover the medical bills of a third party injured in the collision. If you or your passengers are injured in an accident, it is your medical payments coverage that will take care of medical costs.

Collision Coverage

The main vehicle coverage options available to drivers are called collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage is pretty self-explanatory. It covers the costs of damages incurred to your car when you experience a crash or traffic accident. In addition to collisions with other vehicles, this coverage can also be applied if you collide with a signpost, fire hydrant, wall or other objects. If you opt for this type of insurance, you can select the deductible that works best for your budget. A deductible is the amount of money you are willing to pay out of pocket for damages before the insurance takes over. A higher deductible will result in a lower premium cost.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive insurance will compensate you for damages caused by a whole range of different situations. These include natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and damages from wildlife. Theft and vandalism of your vehicle are covered by comprehensive insurance, as is fire damage and damage from falling objects. Depending on the insurance company and the area, hail damage can also be included in this coverage. The cost of this type of insurance can be influenced by where you usually park your vehicle. Those kept in a secure garage can be charged significantly less.

Collision and comprehensive insurance are almost always optional, whereas the law usually mandates liability and medical coverage. Choosing collision and comprehensive insurance is worthwhile if you value your vehicle. Often as part of a car loan or lease agreement, you will have to purchase collision and comprehensive insurance. This is a condition set out by the bank so that they do not lose money in the event that your vehicle is destroyed or stolen before you have finished paying for it.

Emergency Road Service Coverage

Towing and labor coverage, also known as emergency road service insurance, will cover the costs of emergency road assistance if your vehicle breaks down. Getting stuck by yourself on the highway is never fun. If your car suffers a mechanical breakdown, a flat tire or runs out of gas, you can call the tow truck without worrying about exorbitant costs. Getting help if your car is snowed in or after locking the keys in the car, are some other possible situations that can be covered by this type of insurance. It will include the immediate assistance and transportation of you and your vehicle to a mechanic, but it will not cover extensive mechanical repairs.

Mechanical Breakdown Insurance

Mechanical breakdown coverage is similar to the extended warranties offered by some car dealers. It will cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle for a range of different mechanical issues. Usually, maintenance work or repairs resulting from normal wear and tear are not covered. For example, new tires to replace your old, worn ones will not be covered by this insurance. It is only applied when there is a real mechanical malfunction. Every provider does not offer this type of insurance, so it’s best to speak to your car insurance company to find out if it’s available to you.

Gap Insurance

If you are currently leasing your car or paying off a car loan, you should consider gap insurance. In the case of your car being declared a total loss while you are still paying for it, this insurance will reimburse you the value of your vehicle at the time of the loss. The insurance company will use your comprehensive or collision coverage payout to cover the difference between what you still owe on the car and its current fair market value. This means you will never be stuck continuing to pay for a car that you no longer have.

Custom Parts and Equipment Coverage

For drivers that have invested in upgrades and extra features for their vehicles, custom parts and equipment coverage could be very worthwhile. The value of any after-market modifications is usually ignored by your insurance company when it comes time to reimburse you for your losses. To protect your specially installed engine parts, stereos, cosmetic alterations and custom lights or body work, you will need this specific insurance coverage.

These are all the main types of vehicle coverage options you are likely to encounter. Depending on your priorities and risk factors, it may make sense to invest in some of these types of insurance over others. If you live in an area with frequent natural disasters and freak weather, comprehensive insurance makes sense. If you often drive on isolated back roads, then emergency road service coverage may give you some peace of mind. If you have invested a lot into personalizing your vehicle, it may be worth it to take out custom parts and equipment insurance.

Now that you understand car insurance coverage options available to you, please do not hesitate to contact Affordable Insurance in Aurora for a personalized quote. We know how important it is to have your vehicle fully protected in the event of damages or a traffic accident. With the right insurance on your vehicle, you won’t be hit by unexpected repair costs or a long, inconvenient time without your car.

Colorado Drivers Are Bad, Bad, Bad Says a Study

Colorado Drivers Are Bad, Bad, Bad Says a StudyAt Affordable Insurance, we hate to be the bearers of bad news, but Colorado drivers are bad, bad, bad says a study recently published by QuoteWizard. If you have ever thought to yourself that your fellow motorists in Colorado are particularly inept, you may not have been too far from the truth. Compared to other states, Colorado does not rank well regarding driver safety.

We all know that driving in Colorado can be fairly hazardous. Between hailstorms, icy mountain roads, and massive potholes, taking to the roads can be challenging. What might come as a surprise to some is that the drivers of Colorado are increasingly making the roads more dangerous with their risky behavior.

Collecting the Data

The study carried out by Quotewizard compares rates of road fatalities from the Federal Highway Administration to incident counts from their nationwide insurance website. The resulting data incorporates DUIs, speeding tickets, accidents, citations and fatalities on the road. From this data, the report has ranked all 50 states from worst to best concerning driver safety. Unlike many insurance company reports on driver safety; their research also incorporates government data on road fatalities. This means that despite variations in road traffic laws and insurance claims across states, this report reveals the type of bad driving that causes road deaths. 

From Worst to Best

When examining the resulting list, it may be a surprise to find Utah taking the top place for worst drivers. Despite a high percentage of its population abstaining from alcohol, Utah ranks among the top ten states for DUIs. It also ranks second for both speeding and accidents, something to keep in mind if you plan on driving through Utah any time soon. Rhode Island is the clear winner in terms of driver safety, with the combined lowest score for road fatalities and incidents. Although there is no clear reason for their exemplary driving, it could have something to do with the very small land area and relatively low population. 

Bad News for Colorado

Colorado is ranked as the 8th worst state overall for drivers. When looking closer at the details, we can see that risky practices such as drunk driving and speeding are fairly common here. Colorado is ranked 10th for speeding citations and 11th for DUIs. This is bad news for all drivers, whether you partake in these practices or not. High rates of speeding and drunk driving make the roads less safe for everyone, including cyclists and pedestrians.

Even more disturbing is the revelation that Colorado drivers are the number one worst offenders for a whole range of traffic citations. This is not a statistic that is likely to be shared by the Colorado Tourism Office, but if you want to see drivers running red lights, failing to use their turn signals, and ignoring seatbelt laws, then by all means, come to the Centennial State!

Why Are Colorado’s Drivers So Terrible?

So, what is the reason for this terrible rating in basic driver safety? Are drivers in Colorado badly educated? Is the test too easy? There are over 100 different private schools registered that offer the opportunity to students to take both the written and the actual driving tests. The DMV of Colorado does not provide any public information on the methods used to maintain standards between schools. One thing made clear by the DMV however, is that drivers who have received their licenses in any other US state, or in the countries of Canada, Germany, South Korea, France or Taiwan are exempt from testing requirements when applying for a Colorado driver’s license.

A recent increase in the population of Colorado has brought many more drivers to the roads. Of course, a proportion of these drivers are going to be bad drivers, but this may not be the only explanation for high rates of reported traffic violations. Compared to other states, the local police force may be working more efficiently, especially when it comes to catching and reporting these minor traffic citations. Whereas a missed turn signal might be ignored by law enforcement in other states, it seems that in Colorado the State Patrol is issuing tickets at every opportunity.

How Does This Affect the Cost of Insurance?

Whether the state really is a haven for unsafe drivers, or just relatively over ticketed, these statistics do influence the price of Colorado auto insurance. When a state has a higher rate of road fatalities and traffic law citations, the perceived risk of all drivers in that state goes up and so do the cost of premiums. Unfortunately, in Colorado, fatal crashes have risen by 12%, meaning there is a concrete reason for increases in average insurance costs.

There are some factors affecting drivers in Colorado that are uncontrollable. It has the second highest rate of auto insurance claims for hail damage amongst all 50 states. However, the nature of insurance claims has been changing in recent years across Colorado. The number of claims and the severity of these claims has been rising rapidly. According to the same Quotewizard report, Colorado is ranked 2nd regarding increased claim costs and has the 4th highest increase in physical damage claims.

What Can I Do to Keep My Insurance Costs Down?

Between careless local drivers and dangerous weather conditions, driving can be hazardous. These same conditions that drive the price of insurance higher are also the reasons why it is of particular importance to have good insurance coverage. If you know you are driving in a higher risk area, it makes sense to prepare for the worst and give yourself a good safety net.

There are ways to keep your personal insurance costs low even when the state you live in has a higher than average insurance cost. Comparing different companies and shopping around for the best deal can easily save you hundreds of dollars. When it comes to renewing your policy, you don’t have to take the default route and stay with your current insurer. A year can make a big difference. Depending on your vehicle usage, your credit score and other factors, you could be due for a discount.

At Affordable Insurance, we always strive to make sure each of our clients gets the best possible deal. We can help you compare the packages offered by different insurance providers to find the right one for your personal needs. Yes, Colorado drivers are bad, bad, bad says a study, but this shouldn’t affect the opportunity for you to get a good deal on your insurance.

For help finding the lowest possible rates on your auto insurance, contact us today.

Car Insurance Rates Going Up 15%

Car Insurance Rates Going Up 15%With car insurance rates going up 15% or more for the average driver in Colorado this year, now is a good time to consult with Affordable Insurance before you renew your current policy with any other insurance provider in Denver or Aurora. When it comes to renewing your coverage, these changes can potentially be balanced by shopping around for the best rates, carefully choosing the type of car you drive, adjusting your driving behavior, and making sure you’re not overinsuring an older model vehicle.

Why is the cost of your insurance increasing because you live in Colorado?

According to the Zebra State of Insurance report, Colorado has seen some of the highest insurance increases in recent years. To understand why, we first have to look at overall national trends. Insurance costs do not stay the same over time. Anybody who began driving in the 70s or 80s can tell you that. It is normal for the cost of many goods and services to increase gradually. Between 2011 and 2016, the cost of car insurance increased by 10.8% nationally. It is an inevitable fact that we are paying more to insure our vehicles now than we did 5 years ago.

Interestingly, during the period from 2011 to 2016, not all states followed the pattern. Massachusetts experienced a 20% reduction in average car insurance costs. Colorado experienced the biggest jump of any state, with an increase of 48% in this period! The overall trend is for prices to increase, but why does this increase happen so severely in some states? There are a few distinct factors that have contributed to this situation in Colorado, many of which are outside of the control of the individual driver.

For example, the number of drivers in the state of Colorado has been sharply increasing in the last few years. In 2016 alone, more than 100,000 people moved to Colorado. A larger population means more drivers on the road, and having more drivers on the road means a higher risk of collisions and other accidents. Having more people to insure, unfortunately, means that the rate goes up for everybody.

Whether connected directly to the increased number of drivers or not, it is true that Colorado has become a less safe state to drive in. According to CODOT the number of fatal road accidents increased by 24% between 2014 and 2016. More specifically, fatalities of motorcyclists and pedestrians underwent significant increase. This is a huge spike to see in road deaths in such a short time, and this certainly affects the way insurance costs are calculated.

Sometimes the cost of auto insurance is not dictated by the number of drivers on the road or the behavior of these drivers. The type of weather endured by drivers in Colorado is on the extreme end of the scale, compared to say, California. Colorado drivers must deal with fluctuating temperatures, heavy snowfall, dangerous black ice and most significantly concerning insurance, hail. Colorado drivers file a lot of claims related to hail damage on their vehicles. With such a common risk factor affecting all drivers, the insurance rates are bumped up to compensate for money lost through payouts.

Another factor affecting the average auto insurance rates could be the trend for more expensive cars that is currently sweeping Colorado. As more drivers in Colorado choose vehicles that incorporate specialized parts and hi-tech components like cameras, sensors and Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems, traditionally simple and cheap repair jobs can now cost thousands of dollars. As the cost to cover the average claim increases, so does the cost of insurance here in Denver and beyond.

Unfortunately, it is not just the individual with the expensive custom car that has to bear this increase in cost. All drivers end up footing the bill as the average claim cost rises. This means that even if you drive an older, modest car, you’ll still experience an increase in cost driven by the trends in your state.

One of the more surprising factors to affect the cost of car insurance is the legal stance the state takes when it comes to lawsuits. If the state laws are loose, it can allow more expensive and more frequent lawsuits to be filed, meaning the insurance companies will spend much more than they do in other states to settle these lawsuits and give compensation. As long as there are legal loopholes to be exploited, the insurance companies will continue to charge more on premiums.

So, Colorado car insurance rates going up 15% – now what?

Unfortunately, there is not much the individual driver can do to combat any of these factors, except perhaps to put pressure on lawmakers to change the legal loopholes in relation to lawsuits.

Moving out of state may be another option, but this is a very expensive and inconvenient way to deal with the problem. Plus, it is difficult to know which state will be hit next by a spike in car insurance cost. As we have seen, it all depends on population fluctuations, recent weather conditions, trends and changes in the law. Running away is not the answer and not feasible for most of us. There are some measures you can take to keep your premium at an affordable figure.

The easiest way to avoid a sharp increase in your insurance cost is to drive safely. If you are found to be responsible for a road accident, you can expect a substantially increased insurance premium. This is due to the insurance company categorizing you as a risky driver. Cell phone violations and speeding can also increase your insurance costs, but the big one to avoid is a DUI. Drivers who receive a DUI conviction can expect to see their premium increased by an average of 80%.

Some other personal factors to be aware of include your credit rating, the type of car you drive and how you purchase your car insurance. If your credit rating suddenly worsens, you can expect the cost of your auto insurance to change. If you upgrade your vehicle to a high-performance sports car, it makes sense that your insurance premium will increase accordingly.

As we’ve seen, there is nothing we can do to stop car insurance rates going up 15% across Colorado this year. However, we can help each driver get the best deal on their yearly premium, no matter where you live. Simply contact Affordable Insurance for a free quote or assistance on comparing your options.

Ten bad driving habits that are bad for your automobile

Ten bad driving habits that are bad for your automobileAt Affordable Insurance, our goal is to give drivers a reliable safety net in the event of an accident with their car. Your insurance plan will help cover the costs of damages and liability if something happens. However, it is always better to take any measures you can to prevent auto accidents. The way you drive your car can have a significant impact on its overall condition and its risk of breaking down or causing an accident. Take a look at our ten bad driving habits that are bad for your automobile and make sure you are not inadvertently damaging your car.

  1. Ignoring your check engine light is one very risky habit that can lead to costly problems. Many drivers continue to drive with the check engine light illuminated. Some think of it as a precautionary measure and don’t consider bringing their vehicle to an auto shop until the engine is billowing smoke, or the car has trouble starting. Getting your car to a qualified mechanic as soon as you see the check engine light can make the difference between a quick tune-up and a long, costly diagnosis and repair job.
  1. Leaving it until the last moment to refill your gas tank can be harmful to your engine. Allowing your car to run on empty puts a strain on your fuel pump and may cause irreparable damage. In order to avoid an early replacement of your fuel pump, try to keep at least a quarter of a tank of gas in your vehicle at all times. Anticipate running out of gas before it happens, and if you are in an unfamiliar area, fill up sooner rather than later!
  1. Carrying unnecessary weight in your vehicle can increase the rate of wear on your transmission and brakes. It can also make your car harder to control. Be sure to slow down in snowy or icy conditions. Remove any heavy items that you don’t need from your trunk, and take off rooftop boxes and bicycle racks when not in use. Lightening the load on your car will improve your gas mileage and make driving safer.
  1. Gunning the accelerator from a stop can damage both your tires and your engine. The squealing noise caused by your tires when making a fast start is due to excessive friction. If done regularly, this can cause premature wear and tear on your tires. gov can help you learn when to replace your tires. Punching the gas can strain your engine, especially when it hasn’t had a chance to warm up yet and disperse the engine oil. Unless you are racing in the Formula One, there is no reason to gun the gas from a stop.
  1. Shifting into drive while rolling backward may seem like it saves you a few seconds in an automatic car. Unfortunately, this bad habit puts a tremendous amount of strain on your transmission system. To avoid wearing out your transmission and shelling out for expensive repairs, simply wait until the car has come to a complete stop before shifting from reverse to drive. It’s an easy change to make, but if done consistently it can make a huge difference in the longevity of your transmission.
  1. Riding the clutch in a manual car is a habit that can end up costing. The clutch should only be engaged when you are shifting into gear. Holding it down means you will end up burning it out and requiring a replacement faster. Avoid having your foot pressed on the clutch when waiting at traffic lights or intersections. Keep the vehicle in neutral until you need to shift into gear.
  1. Forgetting to use the parking brake can cause damage to your car and is just a dangerous thing to do. Without it, the only thing holding your vehicle in park is one small component of your transmission. This is not designed to hold the whole weight of your car, especially if on a hill, for any length of time. Putting this huge amount of pressure on your transmission can cause considerable damage. Protect your transmission and be safe by using your parking brake.
  1. Braking too much can wear down your brake pads and rotors quickly, meaning more frequent replacements. Drivers who do not leave adequate space between themselves and the car in front end up braking with greater frequency. They are also more likely to hit the vehicle in front of them if it slows down suddenly. Practice safe driving habits by leaving plenty of space between you and the next car. Snow, heavy rain, and ice on the road can double your braking distance, so remember to take this into account when driving in severe weather conditions.
  1. Using your headlights incorrectly will not cause direct damage to your car, but it is a dangerous habit and can increase the risk of you causing a collision. High beam headlights illuminate the entire road brightly and are suitable for use on dark rural roads at night with little traffic. When using your high beams, always remember to switch to low beams when approaching other vehicles, either head-on or from behind. High beam lights will momentarily blind other drivers and make it difficult for them to keep their car under control.
  1. Forgetting to check your blind spot is a dangerous habit that can result in disaster for you and your automobile. When moving from one lane to another, most drivers will check their mirrors for approaching cars. Remember, your side mirrors cannot show you the entire picture. To be sure there is no approaching vehicle it is best to have a quick glance over your shoulder to check the blind spot before shifting lanes. Forgetting to do this can lead to a nasty collision and cause damages and harm to yourself, other drivers, and passengers.

After reading our ten bad driving habits that are bad for your automobile and your safety, can you recognize any habits you need to change? Often, road accidents and vehicle breakdowns happen due to circumstances beyond our control. Some factors, however, are completely under our control. Practicing good driving habits will make you a safer driver and keep your vehicle in good condition. Keeping your insurance policy up to date and taking your car for factory scheduled maintenance checks are other ways to minimize your risk on the road.

For more information about budget-friendly auto insurance policies, contact Affordable Insurance. Our customer assistance team is ready to help you find the car insurance policy to suit your needs.

Five Reasons Your Car Insurance Bill Is Too High

Five Reasons Your Car Insurance Bill Is Too HighAt Affordable Insurance, our aim is to give customers the insurance that best protects them at a cost they can afford. One of the most common reasons customers come to us is because they feel they are paying way too much for their coverage plan. Some extra charges are unavoidable, but others can be reduced by shopping around and making better choices. Here we will explain five reasons your car insurance bill is too high and some ways to reduce it.

  1. Your age

Unfortunately for young drivers, insurance rates are automatically higher if you are a teenager. Drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 years of age will pay the highest rates, usually more than double of any other age group. Young drivers have little experience and are statistically more likely to engage in reckless behavior behind the wheel. While not every young driver will drive irresponsibly, insurance companies are not willing to take that risk. Until a teen proves themselves to be low risk after a few years of driving, your rate will stay high.

There is no way to avoid the high cost of insurance as a young driver. Keeping your driving record clean and building up a good insurance history and credit rating will help to ensure that your insurance bill drops dramatically on your 20th birthday. Your car insurance premium should keep decreasing as you age, right until you hit your mid-sixties when it starts to increase again.

Some insurance companies give discounts to high school drivers that maintain high grades, so if you’re a parent of a teen, ask about possible discounts when you consult with your insurance agent.

  1. You are driving the wrong type of vehicle

You may be paying top-tier prices for your car insurance because you are driving a top-tier, high-performance car. Generally speaking, sports cars, specialty vehicles or limited production vehicles cost much more to insure. If your car requires expensive, imported replacement parts or specialized mechanic attention, insurance companies are going to increase your premium to reflect this. Additionally, high-performance vehicles are more associated with speeding and reckless behavior than, for instance, a family van.

After luxury cars, the most expensive types of vehicle to insure are ‘green’ or hybrid cars, followed by trucks, then sedans, with SUVs and vans being the cheapest. If you are serious about minimizing your insurance costs, you should choose an SUV or van with a high safety rating. Brand new vehicles cost more to insure, so it is worthwhile to consider buying one that is 2-6 years old.

  1. You opted for low deductibles

A low deductible means you won’t have to pay much out of pocket if you damage your car or somebody else’s. Unfortunately, the insurance company has to get the money to cover the damages from the client somehow. Usually, if you choose to have lower deductibles, your premium will be higher, and vice versa. It can be a tough decision to make. Nobody wants to have an accident and need to claim, but you must anticipate what would work best for your budget should that happen.

If you choose the highest deductible that you think you can afford to pay in the event of an accident, your premium should be reduced. Best case scenario, you get cheaper car insurance, and you don’t ever need to make a claim. Worst case scenario, you incur damages and need to pay the deductible, but it doesn’t break the bank. Your insurance will cover the rest, and the car insurance is still cheaper overall.

  1. You don’t have a clean record

Speeding tickets and other traffic violations can be an indication that you are a risky driver. Insurance companies will increase the cost of your premium without hesitation when they see anything but a clean record. To them, a history of imperfect driving indicates a future of imperfect driving. Drivers who receive tickets for speeding or cell phone violations will see an increase in cost the next time they renew their insurance coverage.

More severe citations, such as being found at fault for an accident or receiving a DUI will see your insurance cost rocket skyward. A single DUI will increase the cost of your insurance by at least 40% in one fell swoop. To keep your insurance cost low, drive safely, stick to the speed limits and obey the laws of the state you are driving in.

  1. Your credit score

Although it doesn’t directly relate to your driving ability or your insurance claim history, your credit score can have a huge impact on the price you pay for car insurance. Having good or bad credit can swing your insurance cost by 50% in either direction. Apart from the age of the driver or getting a DUI, it is the factor that has the most potential to hike up the cost of your premium.

Insurance companies have found that statistically, those with a lower credit score have a higher likelihood of filing a claim. Also, the resulting payout is double that of the average payout on claims filed by those with good credit scores. Looking at someone’s credit score is a good indicator of their risk. Insurance companies charge a lot more to insure drivers they think are risky and are likely to file a costly claim.

According to the 2016 Zebra State of Auto Insurance Report, drivers with an excellent credit score of 823 or more pay an average of $1130 for their yearly car insurance. Drivers with a poor credit score of 524 or below, pay an average yearly premium of $2411, more than double the cost of someone with excellent credit! Remember, car insurance providers will just look at your current credit rating, so if your credit score right now sits in the poor range and you improve it to the excellent range, you could save 50% on your car insurance instantly.

These are five reasons your car insurance bill is too high. There are an enormous number of factors that help decide the price of your insurance premium. Some of them, such as your age, you cannot change. Many of these factors, however, are at least partially under your control. Keeping your credit score high and your driving record clean are probably the easiest ways to reduce the cost of your insurance dramatically, but your choice of vehicle and deductibles can help too. For more inside knowledge on the insurance industry and help getting the best deal, call us here at Affordable Insurance.

Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Driving in Winter

Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Driving in WinterFreezing temperatures, black ice, and blizzards are just some of the conditions drivers should expect all winter long. Getting your vehicle ready for driving in winter is an essential task. The earlier you can get it done, the better. Affordable Insurance in Aurora deals with hundreds of claims every winter. Many of these involve incidents that are easily preventable by drivers making some simple adjustments to their vehicle and their driving behavior.

It is all too easy to underestimate the risks created by extreme weather conditions. In Colorado, there is a huge variation in temperature, rain level and snowfall across the state. However, just driving a few hours into the mountainous areas can bring you into far more hazardous weather. For newcomers and visitors to the state, it is of particular importance to take heed of weather warnings and be prepared for the worst-case scenarios.

Adapting Your Vehicle

It is advisable to make some minor adjustments to your car before the dangerous weather sets in. Your car’s fluids should be rated for the temperatures you plan to be driving in. Antifreeze fluid should be suitable for below freezing temperatures and filled up. Windshield washer fluids that are water-based are often the first to freeze and cause difficulty with already dodgy visibility. Look for alcohol-based washer fluid for best results. Your oil should be changed to a temperature rated variety suitable for use in cold weather. A viscosity grading of 5 or 10 is optimum.

Your vehicle’s battery is put under strain in freezing weather. Its performance will decline significantly in temperatures less than 32°F. You should have it checked regularly and remember to keep jumper cables in your vehicle. Don’t rely on somebody else to have them when you need a boost.

Have your brakes checked, replace worn brake pads, and top off your fluid. You want your brakes to be functioning 100% before you take your car out into winter driving conditions. Roads slick with snow and ice can increase braking distance by up to six times. The strain put on your brakes is multiplied in winter conditions, especially if you plan on driving mountain routes with sharp inclines. Your braking also depends on the condition of your tires, which we explain in detail below.

Tires, Traction, and the Law

Probably the most important aspect of getting your vehicle ready for driving in winter is to check the tires. A simple test using a quarter can reveal if you have a severe tire wear issue. Take a quarter, and with Washington’s head upside down, slot it into the tread of your tire. If the tire completely hides the top of his head, the tread is deep enough. If you can see the top of Washington’s head, the tire is too worn down. You can try this out on a few different spots on each tire.

If you need a new set of tires and live in the city but rarely drive in adverse weather conditions, you could consider all weather tires. These can handle most road conditions during the different seasons. However, anybody planning on driving in the snow will probably need to invest in snow tires. These tires are sometimes labeled as M+S tires (Mud and Snow) and are suitable for driving in winter conditions.

In times of heavy snowfall, the Colorado Department of Transportation may temporarily put the Traction Law, or Code 15, into action. This law requires that all vehicles must have either snow tires, or an all-wheel or four-wheel drive system. Vehicles with neither of these attributes require tire chains or another traction device to legally be allowed on the road. In the most hazardous conditions, the Passenger Vehicle Chain Law will be enacted, requiring all vehicles to use tire chains or traction devices, irrespective of their tires or drive system.

Emergency Kit

A basic emergency kit is essential for Colorado drivers in winter. Road blockages, breaking down in a remote area, getting stuck in a blizzard, or black ice sending you off the road are real possibilities. In your vehicle, always have extra clothes, boots, blankets or a sleeping bag as well as non-perishable food and water. A container to melt snow in will be useful if you are stuck for an extended time or with multiple passengers.

Some essential tools to get yourself out of built-up snow include a shovel, ice scraper and a bag of kitty litter or sand to help with traction. You should have warning triangles, jumper cables, a tow strap and a flashlight on hand in your vehicle at all times of the year. Flares are also a good idea for remote winter driving. You may also want to consider packing a basic first aid kit to be on the safe side and a portable radio. Try to keep your mobile phone fully charged before long journeys and invest in an extra battery or car charger.

Adapting Your Driving

In addition to adapting your vehicle to winter conditions, you’ll also need to make some changes to your usual driving habits. Remember that everybody is experiencing the same severe driving conditions and can make mistakes. Lower your speed when driving at night, in snowy or foggy weather and when road surfaces are wet or icy. Leave a much larger gap between you and other vehicles than you usually would. Remember that braking time will be multiplied considerably, so brake early and brake gently.

Expect more traffic, and don’t be surprised if your usual routes take twice as long. Give yourself more time to make your daily commute, picking up children from school, and other routine tasks. If you can avoid driving during Code 15 or Code 16 periods, then do so. Remember, if your vehicle does not abide by the traction rules put in place during those times, you can face substantial fines. It is safer to put off unnecessary journeys until weather conditions clear up.

Getting your vehicle ready for driving in winter isn’t complicated if you prepare early. Give yourself the best chance at a safe season of driving by following these tips. Unfortunately, not all weather-related driving incidents are avoidable. If you suffer a road accident this winter, our team at Affordable Insurance in Aurora is just a phone call away. Our customer service team makes it easy to file a claim and get the compensation you are entitled to.

 

Why Cheap Auto Insurance Isn’t Always the Best Idea

Why Cheap Auto Insurance Isn't Always the Best Idea Choosing the lowest priced car insurance is typically a risky move. Our team at Affordable Insurance in Aurora, Colorado has been providing our community with quality insurance products for over 20 years. Through our extensive experience, we’ve learned why cheap auto insurance isn’t always the best idea. Keep reading to find out how you can save money without compromising your insurance coverage.

Every driver needs insurance. It is required by law and is a necessary expense that you carefully factor into your budget. Shopping for auto insurance can be time-consuming and exasperating. For first time buyers and young drivers, the jargon used is often confusing. It is too easy to choose the first affordable-looking deal without putting in the time or research needed to make a wise decision.

Yes, going with the cheapest insurance may save you a few dollars in the short-term. What many drivers don’t realize is that the lowest-cost insurance packages also typically come with low coverage limits. If you choose an insurance deal that offers you $30,000 in liability coverage, this is the maximum that your insurance company will pay out in the event of an accident where you cause damages to another party.

Now, imagine you are found to be at fault in a collision with another vehicle. And that car is new and very expensive. The damages caused could cost up to $100,000. Your insurance company will pay the first $30,000 of the expenses, but this leaves you responsible for paying a huge sum out of pocket. That’s why cheap auto insurance isn’t always the best idea.

In fact, your choice in auto insurance could be the difference between facing years of debt or walking away from an accident with the peace of mind that your insurance will take care of all the costs. We want to make sure our customers are informed and empowered to take control of their insurance choices. So, we’ve outlined the best strategy to avoid a nasty auto insurance surprise in the future.

First, decide how much coverage you need for each component of your insurance package:

  1. Bodily Injury Liability – This is the amount that will cover expenses related to the injury or death of other people involved in an accident where you are found to be the responsible party. In Colorado, the legal minimum for this insurance sits at $25,000 per person or $50,000 per incident. Due to the high costs of medical treatments and the relatively infinite possibilities of injury, many insurers recommend drivers to select coverage of $100,000 per person or $300,000 per incident. Choosing this option will increase the cost of your premium; however, it gives you far better financial protection in the event of such an accident.
  2. Property Damage Liability – Colorado law mandates $15,000 minimum coverage for property damage liability. If you have the bad luck of causing more than this amount of damages to another person’s vehicle or property, you will be responsible for the excess. Consider buying the maximum that you can reasonably afford for guaranteed protection. An extra $50 on your premium can buy an additional $40,000 of coverage, which is well worth it in the event of an accident.
  3. Medical Payments Coverage This insurance covers your medical bills in the case of injury to yourself and is usually set at a minimum of $5,000. If you already have health insurance that will cover expenses from a motor accident, you can opt out of this coverage and save some money.
  4. Collision Coverage – This covers damages to your car. Consider the value of your vehicle, how old it is and how much you are willing to spend repairing it before deciding on the coverage limit.
  5. Comprehensive Coverage This will pay for non-collision related damages to your vehicle such as theft, fire, and hail damage. Again, consider the value of your car and whether it is worth insuring, compared to the cost of potential damages before you decide on a coverage limit.

Once you’ve decided on the minimum coverage that you want, you can start the hunt for the cheapest insurance deal, according to what YOU actually need.

Now, take the figures you’ve come up with and compare the prices offered by various insurance agents in your area. Shopping around for a better deal is much easier when you are informed and confident about what you want. You are less likely to be swayed into purchasing insurance that looks like a good deal but isn’t the right fit for you and your vehicle.

As you compare pricing for insurance, consider another reason why cheap auto insurance isn’t always the best idea. It often comes with high deductibles. The overall premium can be reduced to a “too good to be true” figure if you choose to set your deductible at the highest limit. A high deductible can be a dangerous strategy to follow if you find yourself at fault and without that cash on hand.

A high deductible will mean you are responsible for covering the costs of damages up to the amount you have specified in the deductible. It’s often much cheaper for you to have low deductibles and a higher premium if you do experience an accident.

We know that choosing the lowest coverage limit or higher deductibles can be tempting. Spending more than the bare minimum on insurance for an accident that you don’t think will happen can be difficult if you’re on a tight budget. While the difference may cost $50 per month, can you imagine suddenly being stuck with a $2,500 deductible to pay? How about $50,000 in coverage limit overages? Paying a bit extra on your premium provides peace of mind, which is truly invaluable.

Now that you know why cheap auto insurance isn’t always the best idea, you can make a smart decision when shopping around for a package. Just think through the coverage limits and deductibles for each component of your package. Assess the value of your vehicle, be honest about your driving habits and weigh the risk of accidents along your usual routes. Then shop around, compare providers and keep in mind that cheap rarely pays off in the long run.

For more information on finding the right insurance package for you and why cheap auto insurance isn’t always the best idea, contact the friendly customer service team at Affordable Insurance.

Teens Shopping for Auto Insurance

Teens Shopping for Auto InsuranceGetting a license and driving independently for the first time are exciting and momentous steps for any teenager. However, teens shopping for auto insurance are going to face an uphill climb before they’re able to get behind the wheel. At Affordable Insurance, we provide all the answers on what to look for, how to get better rates, and of course, we offer great coverage for teens shopping for auto insurance.

So, what’s the big deal? Unfortunately, teenagers are categorized as the most high-risk drivers and thus the most expensive group to insure. Teenagers have the highest incidence of driving offenses, collisions, and the costliest accidents. These statistics are probably due to lack of experience and overconfidence.

As each birthday passes, teenagers will see that their premium goes down in cost. For those on a tight budget, we have collected some useful advice on getting the most for your money.

Teens shopping for auto insurance can instantly reduce costs by getting added to a parent’s insurance plan. Most insurance providers will offer this option, especially if the teenager is going to be driving a car owned by the parent. This option can literally save you hundreds of dollars compared to taking out an individual policy for a young driver.

Another easy way for teenagers to get discounts on their auto insurance is to make sure they take an optional driver safety course. First-time drivers are required to log 50 hours of practice with an experienced driver. However, a formal driver’s training course or additional safety classes can earn a teen up to 10% off their premium.

Most insurance providers will also offer discounts to teenage drivers that maintain good grades. Keeping test scores at or above a ‘B’ average can translate to a discount of up to 25%.

The type of vehicle a teen drives can also have a big impact on the price of insurance. For example, the insurance rates on a high-performance sports car are always set at a more expensive rate than a car with a great safety rating. Expensive and specialized cars that require costly repairs simply cost more to insure. A safe, reliable, and less flashy option will certainly bring down the rate.

Finally, the biggest factor affecting teens shopping for auto insurance is their driving record. Young drivers are harshly penalized with skyrocketing premiums if they receive driving penalties, DUIs, or cause accidents. A single DUI charge can double a teenager’s auto insurance premium and multiple offenses can lead to the insurer refusing to renew a policy. Safe driving keeps insurance costs low, period.

Teens shopping for auto insurance are in for a big surprise when it comes to cost. Luckily, there are a number of options, from piggy-backing on a parent’s policy to maintaining good grades and a clean driving record, to make things more affordable. Most importantly, give us a call at Affordable Insurance. We’ll find the best possible rates and the best possible coverage. Let us help your teen enjoy their new freedom while providing you with peace of mind. Call or contact us today for a quote!