driver education Archives - Spencer Insurance Agency, Inc

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

 

 

School is out! Time for that talk with your teen driver . . .

 

Summer brings a break from school and an increase in the time your teen drivers spend in the car.

Here are a couple tips:

  • Spend some time with your teen driver in teaching them how to merge onto an expressway or interstate highway and practice changing lanes. Many of us will travel to vacation spots and use interstate highways. Why not use this as a teaching moment for your teen driver.
  • Set the rules for Teen Driving. Remind them of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations “5 to Drive Rules.”
    1. No cell phones while driving
    2. No extra passengers
    3. No Speeding
    4. No Alcohol
    5. Always buckle up.

 

Most accidents are caused by driver inattention and distraction. Stress safe driving habits with your teen driver. Review the parent/teen contract on our website to set expectations for your teen driver

Check out our “Parents of teen drivers” website for more tips:

  1. Links to the PA, DE and NJ Motor Vehicle departments
  2. Tips and suggestions
  3. Safe teen driver course

Contact us today to make sure you have the coverage you need with a teen driver in your home.

“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.”

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.”

 

Did you know the winter holiday season is the peak season for home fires?

      

Enjoy the Holidays and protect your home from accidental fires.  With all the decorating that goes on around our homes this holiday season we need to make sure we protect our homes from accidents and fires.

This video discusses some of the dangers that lurk this holiday season.

In addition, check out our winter safety tips.

At Spencer Insurance Agency, Your protection and peace of mind is our only business!

Contact us today for more information.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

 

                    

Voted Best Insurance Agency of Montgomery County THREE YEARS IN A ROW!

National Teen Driver Safety Week is October 15-21, 2017

Glenside Teen Driver Insurance

 

Spencer Insurance Agency wants to help you, the parents of teen drivers.  This was the reason behind the Spencer Insurance Agency’s Parent of Teen Drivers website.

Here are some statistics in an article by teendriversource.org:

  • 75% of serious teen crashes are due to critical errors such as:
    • Lack of scanning that is needed to detect and respond to hazards
    • Going too fast for road conditions
    • Being distracted by something inside or outside of the car.
  • Two or more peer passengers more than triples the risk of a fatal crash with a teen at the wheel.
  • Seat belts save lives. How many times have we seen local news reports where a passenger was thrown from the back seat of a car because he was not wearing a seat belt?

Spencer Insurance Agency can help the parents of teen drivers in many ways.  We currently have several car insurance companies with very competitive rates for parents with teen drivers in the Philadelphia area. These competitive car insurance rates mean you don’t have to sacrifice coverage to save money on your car insurance premiums.

Spencer Insurance Agency has a website designed for the “Parents of Teen Drivers.”  This website includes:

  • Tips and suggestions for parents of teen drivers
  • Information on some local driving schools
  • Links to Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware DMV
  • Link to a Safe Teen Driver Course providing 16 hours of lessons. Most states require parents to drive with their teen drivers for at least 50 hours.  This course will help you in planning 16 of those hours.

Remember, the best way we teach our children to drive safely is by our example. Contact us today to find out more about how Spencer Insurance Agency can help you with your teen drivers.

Spencer Insurance Agency was the Winner of Best Insurance Agency in 2015 – 2016 – 2017

Know someone who has a teen driver?

Parents: This Doesn’t Have to be a Stressful Time in Your Life. You Can Keep Your Teen Safe, Avoid Paying High Insurance Rates, and Get Peace of Mind!

I remember when our four children were teenagers and wanted to learn to drive.  UGH!

To be honest my children preferred to be taught to drive by their mother, Tammy.  Truth is Tammy has a lot more patience.  What did Dirty Harry say?  “A man has to know his limitations.  Thank you Tammy!

Spencer Insurance wants to help you!  Did you know Spencer Insurance has a website exclusively for the Parents of Teen Drivers?  Check it out!

This website will provide you:

Let us help you as you train your teen driver to be a safe driver.  Most importantly lead by example.  If you text and use your cell phone while driving what message are you sending your teen driver?

Good luck and call us at 215-885-2200 if we can be of any assistance.

5wayssaferteen  grandkids-on-car

 

October 16th – 22nd is Teen Driver Safety Week. 

Please share this short video with your Teen Drivers.  Pass it on to a parent you know who has a teen driver.
Did you know that Spencer Insurance has a website dedicated to the “Parents of Teen Drivers?”  Check it out!  Let your friends and family know about this valuable website.

Check out our Facebook page these weeks for more tips and videos.

We hope you find this information helpful.  Spencer Insurance Agency wants to help you protect your family.

Have a great week,

https://spencerinsurance.com/3234-2/

School is back in session so please driver carefully!

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I have been walking my dog in the morning this summer.  It is great to get some exercise for me and Luna.  Now Luna whines to go out as soon as I wake up.  The mornings are getting darker as the sun rises later.  Keep this in mind this week as students go back to school.

Many high schools start early and the students are walking to the bus stop or school in the dark.  Be aware of them.  Allow yourself some extra time to get to work as there will be more congestion now that school is back in session. You may be slowed down by a school bus or students crossing the street.  Be patient.

This is also a good time for parents of teen drivers to check out our website designed just for the parents of teen drivers. Parents need to continue to train their teen drivers even after they get their license.  Make sure they understand the “rules of the house” in regards to driving your car.  Do you have a teen/parent contract?  Do they know the consequences of their actions?  Will they pay your deductible if they have an accident? Spell this out today in a teen/parent contract.  Parent’s need to educate their teen drivers on how car insurance works.

Check out our website designed for the parents of teen drivers to get more tips, links to your state’s motor vehicle department, a list of some driver’s training schools and much more.

Please be careful driving now that school is back in session.