auto insurance Archives - Spencer Insurance Agency, Inc

Emergency Preparedness Winter Car Kit

Having the proper items in your car during the winter can be the difference between life and death during a critical situation. The items listed below can help provide comfort and save your life. Along with the following items, you’ll want to be sure you have a fully charged phone before hitting the road. This can also save your life should an emergency arise.

The Basic Supplies:

These are the essentials. Remember that along with these basic supplies, you’ll need an adequate amount of gas. It’s important to check that your antifreeze is at the proper level as well.

  • Blankets – Even having one extra blanket can provide much-needed warmth and protection.
  • Extra clothes such as mittens, socks, hats, and jackets
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Jumper cables
  • Bottled water
  • A proper first aid kit with all the supplies that come in it. If you use something in your kit, replace it as soon as you get a chance.
  • Windshield cleaner
  • A simple multi-tool such as a Swiss Army Knife or a Leatherman Tool
  • Road flares or warning triangles

Extra Supplies:

If your area experiences extreme winter weather, it’s a good idea to keep these extra supplies on hand as well.

  • Non-clumping cat litter for gaining traction in the snow
  • A folding shovel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Small fire extinguisher (Class B or C for your car)
  • Tire changing essentials such as a jack and lug wrench
  • Paper maps
  • Compass
  • Snacks such as canned nuts or granola bars
  • Ice scraper
  • Tow strap or chain
  • Matches or lighter

 

You can pick from the many options on the market for emergency car kits, or you can take the above listed items and make your own based on your needs. Always remember to check these items and make sure they are still in working order every month. If something needs replaced, do so immediately, as you never know when you may need your emergency kit. Don’t forget to contact Spencer Insurance Agency at (215) 885-2200 or on our website to review your auto insurance policy before you hit the road!

Auto Insurance Points; Everything You Need to Know

Unless you grew up in one of the 9 states that doesn’t use the points system on drivers, you are probably well aware of what points are. Points are applied to your license when you are pulled over for a driving violation and can vary depending on the infraction. Going over the speed limit? Probably a fine, and maybe a couple points on your license. Going 92 miles an hour on the highway in the middle of a rainstorm? You’re looking at a hefty fine and at least 4 points on your license. After a certain number of points, your license will be suspended.

The points system affects more than just your license, it also affects your auto insurance rates. If you go to get auto insurance and get a quote before they check your driving record, you will probably be shocked when they read off the rate you will actually be paying. This is especially true if you have a driving record that could be considered less than sterling. Fortunately, we can offer some tips on how points can affect you.

  1. Not all tickets end up on your record. Usually, a first-time, non-moving offense will not end up on your record. The police department would have to report you to the DMV and usually it is not worth their time to report someone not wearing a seatbelt. Unfortunately, unless you have only recently been driving, your first offense was probably during your teen years. That luck might be used up by the second or third offense.
  2. 9 states (as of 2018) don’t use a points system. Those nine states are Hawaii, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wyoming. You may not accumulate points in those states, but your infractions will be monitored.
  3. Driver’s License points and insurance points are not necessarily the same. Your premium may be high because of insurance points used by the company itself rather than the points on your license. This may include where you live or the kind of car you drive. Consult with your agent to learn exactly what the issue is.
  4. You can remove insurance points with an approved driving course. Traffic court can sometimes offer driving courses that keep offenses off your record. This is a great option that you should take if given the opportunity.
  5. You should know your driving record. The insurance company will probably check your driving record when putting together your policy. This is usually when the policy rate jumps up. Knowing your driving record will help you gauge whether or not you will experience a premium increase.
  6. You’d be surprised what raises your premiums. Poor credit can raise your premiums. If you live on a busy street, your premium could rise because your street is considered “high risk.” Specific cars can also increase your premiums. These cars are luxury cars, convertibles, sports cars, and vehicles that do poorly in safety tests.
  7. Major violations will definitely raise your premiums – a lot. If you have violations for racing, DUI, impaired driving, reckless driving, refusing a breath test, hit and run, failing to stop for police, or driving on a suspended license, you will experience hundreds of dollars’ difference in your premiums, an arrest on your record, and possibly being cancelled by your insurer.
  8. Small violations may not affect your premium. Minor infractions may not show up on your record, but even if they do they may not affect your rate. These include failure to yield, speeding, improper passing, expired license, no proof of insurance, broken tail lights, not displaying license plate, noise violations, texting, or tailgating. This depends on each state’s particular laws about these items.
  9. It is difficult to determine how much your premiums will increase by. There is no way to know how much your premium will increase by after a ticket. Every company is different.
  10. Some offenses can follow you for years! DUI’s can follow you for 10 years. If insurers check back that far, you may find something from your past negatively affecting you even though you are a different person entirely. It’s important to know how your insurer calculates points.

Hopefully, this list gives you a good overview of how points can affect your insurance. If you are in the market for good insurance, Spencer Insurance Agency, Inc. can help you find discounts, affordable rates and solid coverage from one of their multiple carriers! Give us a call at (215) 885-2200 or visit us online! https://spencerinsurance.com/

Check out Janet Hunt on The Balance for the inspiration behind this blog post! https://www.thebalance.com/what-you-should-know-about-insurance-points-4083258

 

 

Routine Vehicle Maintenance

Cars are essential to our everyday lives. When you need to head to work or the market, you walk out to your car and expect it to start right up. To keep your car running and avoid potentially costly breakdowns, you should get into the habit of conducting these regular vehicle maintenance tasks.

  1. Change the oil and oil filter. Oil lubricates the engine keeping important parts from grinding against each other. If not changed regularly, oil can also damage your engine by accumulating contaminants and causing friction.
  2. Check your tires monthly. The only thing separating your car from the road is your tires. They must be properly inflated to do their job. To find out how much air pressure your tires should have, find the placard located on the driver’s door jam or look in the owner’s manual.
  3. Regularly inspect all other fluids. Motor oil isn’t the only fluid your car uses to help run properly. Your car has brake fluid, transmission fluid, coolant, washer fluid, and power steering fluid. You can check the transmission fluid with the dip stick and the all other fluids should be able to be inspected manually by removing the related covers and visually inspecting the levels. (CAUTION: Never remove the radiator cap! You risk being scalded. Check the coolant in the nearby transparent refill container.)

4. Don’t forget the windshield wipers, the battery, and the air filter! If the windows streak or the wipers screech when they are used, replace them. If the battery terminals are showing some corrosion, use a wire brush with a solution of water and baking soda to remove it. Your air filter may need replaced once or twice a year. Check your air filter every time you change the oil.

This is just a short list of vehicle maintenance items. If you are uncomfortable performing these tasks, visit your local auto mechanic. They will be happy to assist you! One last item that should be inspected regularly, your auto insurance policy! Give Spencer Insurance Agency a call at (215) 885-2200 or visit us online at https://spencerinsurance.com/ to review your auto insurance policy.

 

Source: https://www.idrivesafely.com/defensive-driving/trending/routine-vehicle-maintenance-101-what-you-should-know

 

Emergency Preparedness Winter Car Kit

Emergency Preparedness Winter Car Kit

Having the proper items in your car during the winter can be the difference between life and death during a critical situation. The items listed below can help provide comfort and save your life. Along with the following items, you’ll want to be sure you have a fully charged phone before hitting the road. This can also save your life should an emergency arise.

The Basic Supplies:

These are the essentials.

Remember that along with these basic supplies, you’ll need an adequate amount of gas. It’s important to check that your antifreeze is at the proper level as well.

  • Blankets – Even having one extra blanket can provide much-needed warmth and protection.
  • Extra clothes such as mittens, socks, hats, and jackets
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Jumper cables
  • Bottled water
  • A proper first aid kit with all the supplies that come in it. If you use something in your kit, replace it as soon as you get a chance.
  • Windshield cleaner
  • A simple multi-tool such as a Swiss Army Knife or a Leatherman Tool
  • Road flares or warning triangles

 

Remember that along with these basic supplies, you’ll need an adequate amount of gas. It’s important to check that your antifreeze is at the proper level as well.

Extra Supplies:

If your area experiences extreme winter weather, it’s a good idea to keep these extra supplies on hand as well.

  • Non-clumping cat litter for gaining traction in the snow
  • A folding shovel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Small fire extinguisher (Class B or C for your car)
  • Tire changing essentials such as a jack and lug wrench
  • Paper maps
  • Compass
  • Snacks such as canned nuts or granola bars
  • Ice scraper
  • Tow strap or chain
  • Matches or lighter

 

You can pick from the many options on the market for emergency car kits, or you can take the above listed items and make your own based on your needs. Always remember to check these items and make sure they are still in working order every month. If something needs to be changed out, do so immediately, as you never know when you may need your emergency kit.

Need coverage? Have Questions?

Call Spencer Insurance Agency’s  licensed insurance professionals at 215-885-2200 or visit our website. 

“Why did my car insurance rates go up when I haven’t any accidents or claims?”

Teen Driver Insurance and Resources

 

We hear this question often from our clients.  Car insurance rates for all companies have increased over the last few years and I’d like to address some of the reasons:

  • While technology in cars can make them safer on the road, it also adds to the cost to repair the car. My new Camry has five cameras to help me back up and see what is around my car. It also has lane departure warnings and helps navigate me back into the lane. I also have headlights that move as I turn my car.  All these features are great but to repair a bumper or windshield is now a lot more expensive.
  • There are more cars on the road than ever before and with stable gas prices people are driving more. More driving leads to more accidents.
  • Distracted driving. Do I need to say more?  I was on the road the other day when the driver in the car next to me was holding his cell phone to his ear talking with one hand as he drank his coffee using the other hand.  Not sure how he was driving.  It used to be when one of our clients was rear ended at a traffic light they were hit at about 10 MPH. Now due to distracted driving, drivers don’t even realize the light is red and smash into the car in front of them going 40 or 50 MPH. This leads to much more serious claims and higher payments. Over the last three years our agency has had three claims over $500,000 in liability payments.  Fortunately for two of our clients they purchased an umbrella policy that we recommended.

All these factors contribute to the rise in car insurance rates. Our goal at Spencer Insurance Agency is to make sure you are paying a competitive price for your insurance coverage. We review your renewal policy to make sure it is not out of line.  As independent agents we have several companies to choose from for your auto insurance rates.  If you ever feel your rates are too high let us know. We will check it out.  If another company’s rate seems a lot lower please call to discuss the quote with us to make sure you are getting the same coverage.  The “True Cost of Insurance” is not just the premium but also the additional out of pocket costs you incur because you had the wrong coverage.

Contact Spencer Insurance Agency for a second opinion on your car insurance.

 

Fall is here and so are the Spencer Agency’s fall safety tips!

Fall Auto and Home Maintenance - Abington, Glenside, Jenkintown Homeowners Insurance company Spencer Insurance

 

As summer comes to a close I ask “will we get rid of this rain and humidity.”  I am looking forward to some crisp fall days and seeing the beautiful change of the color of the trees.

But it would not be fall without Spencer’s fall safety tips.   Check these tips out so you can prevent future claims. This fall section has tips on how to prepare your car and home for fall and winter.  It also has some teen driver tips for parents of teen drivers.

       

Lastly, September is Life insurance awareness month so I have some tips on how to protect your family with life insurance.  Tips on what you need to do with your life insurance if you are getting married or divorced. Rachel will tell you why you should not delay purchasing life insurance.

As always just contact us if you have any questions or concerns.  “Your protection and peace of mind is our only business.”

Congratulations to our winners and our 4th of July hours

Congratulations to our recent Big Spin winners.  Dave Schweizer won a $50 Gift card and Jo Cornely won a iPad Mini.  Find out here how you could be our next winner.

 

All of us at Spencer Insurance Agency wish you and your families an enjoyable and safe 4th of July Celebration!

Please observe a moment of silence for all those who have fought to make our freedom possible.  Have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July!

Our office will be closing at 3:00 PM on Tuesday  July 3rd and reopen Thursday July 5th.

You may have noticed your car insurance rates increasing.

 

You may have noticed your auto rates increasing.  Why are my rates going up you may ask?  I have had no accidents.  We have noticed too.

Spencer Insurance Agency wants you to know we keep an eye on industry trends to make sure our clients are getting the coverage they need at a competitive price.  We are proactive in checking to make sure you are getting all discounts and make sure the company you have is competitive.

As independent agents Spencer Insurance represents several top rated insurance companies and can choose the company that offers you the coverage you need at a competitive price.  We understand that price is important but that the “True Cost of Insurance” can be much higher if not properly covered.

So why are car insurance rates rising.  There are several factors.  Here are a few:

  • According to Strategy & PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2016 Auto Industry Trends, people are buying more cars. In 2015, Americans bought a record 17.5 million new vehicles.
  • People are driving more. Due to lower gas prices and higher employment, 2015 saw the highest increase in driving in 25 years according to U.S. Department of Transportation.
  • Repair Costs are rising. Newer car repairs include costly electronics – like cameras, sensors and other safety devices.
  • Injury costs are rising due to medical inflation
  • According to the National Safety Council, Insurance Information Institute traffic fatalities are reaching record levels. 2015 brought the largest single – year increase in driving – related deaths since 1966. Worse yet, we’re on track for a two – year increase of 18 %.
  • Distracted Driving is increasing! According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fewer people are talking while driving, but more are texting and surfing the web.

We all know it is crazy out on the roads these days.  How many times have you been at a red light when it turns to green and the car in front of you does not move because the person driving is texting?

We ask that you be careful about switching just due to price.  Check out our article “True Cost of Insurance” before you switch and contact us to compare the quote you received with your actual coverage. Yes, sad to say some agents will quote lower limits to get your business. You may not realize it until you have a claim when it is too late. Here are some additional reasons why you may not want to switch carriers even if you save some money:

  • You may have a disappearing deductible or deductible credit which you will lose.
  • You may have accident forgiveness on your current policy.
  • Because rates are changing for all our carriers you may find the company you switch to costs more come next renewal. You then lose loyalty credits.
  • Does the company you choose have the same level of claim service you have come to expect?
  • Are you talking to the same people when you call your insurance agent or do you just get the next person available to take your call?

Spencer Insurance has a licensed and highly experienced team. You know when you call that you will be talking to Joan, Beth, Denise, Steve or me.  If you have any questions please contact us!  We are here for you!

Please drive safely and pull over to use your phone to make a call, text or check the GPS.

Do you know someone who is a parent of a teen driver . . .

If you have a teen driver continue reading.  If not, forward this message to a friend or family member who is a parent of a teen driver.  You will be doing them a favor.

I remember when my four children were teen drivers. My head was spinning. I had to teach them how to drive safely and pay those high rates for car insurance.  Now that I have grandchildren I look forward to watching my children navigate through this process.

Spencer Insurance has help for parents of teen drivers.  Check out our website designed just for parents of teen drivers.

What is on the website?

  • A list of driving schools – email us if you know another good one.
  • Tips and suggestions
    • Parent – teen driving contract
    • 101 Safe Teen Driving Tips
    • 7 costly mistakes parent make
  • Links to the PA, NJ and DE motor vehicle sites to learn how to get a permit
  • A link to our “Safe Teen Driving Course”

Spencer Insurance understands this is an important and stressful time.  Let us help you navigate through this process.

Please contact us with any questions you may have.

“Your Protection and Peace of Mind is our only Business.”

 

The Devil is in the details . . .

Teen Driver Insurance and Resources      

I am sure you have heard the saying “The devil is in the details.”  This applies to insurance as well.  When you shop around for insurance you may think you are being quoted the same coverage only to find out the reason the quote is cheaper is because you have lesser coverage. When you call the 800 number to get a quote in 5 or 15 minutes you don’t know if the person you are talking to has been on the job for a week or 7 years. They may know very little about insurance and just follow a script. They have no skin in the game if they give you poor advice or if they don’t tell you the coverage you have is not sufficient.  They may not talk to you again, ever.

That is why Spencer Insurance Agency asks our clients to call us when they get a quote from another company before they consider switching to a new company.  We are a local independent agency which means we write with more than one company and all of our staff members are licensed professionals, not just order-takers.  You can even stop in and talk to us! Our staff understands insurance and knows that details are important. You talk to the same people when you call us.

Spencer Insurance Agency is not offended when a client calls and tells us they feel their rates are too high.  We will review your policies and see if there is anything we can do to bring the price down that will not put you at a greater risk because you have less coverage. We have several quality carriers not just one.

Recently, a client notified us they switched to another company to get a much better rate.  When the client sent us the new policies for us to review they were shocked to find how much coverage they lost.  They had a 2% wind deductible which means if there was a  thunder storm with strong winds and their house sustained wind damage (tree blown onto house, shingles blown off roof, etc.) that they had a $8,000 deductible. The policy our client had with our carrier was a $1,000 deductible regardless of the cause of the covered loss.  They also did not have any water backup coverage and other coverage was missing as well.  When they called the new company to inquire about the missing coverage they could not get through to anyone that could help them and became very frustrated by the service. Yes, they got a better price but the coverage and service they received was very poor.  They cancelled those policies and came back to Spencer Insurance.

We understand that price is important but please call us before you switch so we can help evaluate the offer you received before you switch.  A savings of $500 could end up costing you $20,000 when you have a claim.

Call us today at 215-885-2200 for a review.