Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ford Premieres "MyKey"

Ford Motor Company has debuted their own safe teen driver device with "MyKey" which allows parents to program a special key to promote safe driving habits.

Andrew Sarkisian is Ford's safety director, and one of the creators of MyKey, an invention inspired partly by the experiences of his daughter, Jennifer.

"Say I want to turn on MyKey, and I want to make sure my son or daughter's buckled up. If they're not, the radio won't operate," he said.

You can also set a speed limit with MyKey. "It has a maximum top speed that you can turn on to the vehicle. It's a fairly high one, but then there's also speed alerts, so you can have reminders about watching your speed, as well," Sarkisian explained.

MyKey is standard equipment in the brand new Taurus and will be standard on Ford's lowest-priced vehicle, the Ford Focus.

Click here to learn more about MyKey.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Auto Insurance Money Saving Tips

If you haven't already added your teen driver to your insurance policy, we should warn you now, it's gonna be pricey. But we've found a few ways you can lower your cost during this new development in both of your lives.

Money Saving Tip #1) Raise your deductible. Your “deductible” is the amount you pay when you make a claim before your insurance “kicks in”. In other words, if you have a $1,000 claim and a $250 deductible, you pay the first $250 and your insurance company pays the next $750.

The disadvantage of raising your deductible is that when you make a claim, you’ll pay more. The advantage of raising your deductible is that your premium will go down, sometimes as much as 15% to 30% on your collision and comprehensive insurance.

Money Saving Tip #2) Drop your collision and/or comprehensive insurance on older vehicles. Sometimes it’s just not worth paying for comprehensive and collision if your car is not worth that much to begin with. That’s because the amount you pay for the deductible plus the amount you pay for the premium may be more than the value of the car itself. A rule of thumb is that if a car is worth less than $2,000, drop these coverage’s -- but many people are comfortable with even higher figures. Go to Kelly Blue Book at to determine the value of your vehicle.

Money Saving Tip #3) Buy a “lower profile” vehicle. Part of what determines the cost of insurance is the kind of car you own. Some cars are favorite cars for thieves. Some cars are more expensive to repair. Generally, these cars will cost more to insure. To get detailed information on your car – or car you’re thinking about buying –give our office a call for the symbol rating for a vehicle. The symbol rating can be used for comparing rates from one vehicle to another. We do this for all of our clients for free.

Money Saving Tip #4) Insure your automobile with the same company that insures your home. Most companies offer discounts when you have all your insurance with the same company. You can save up to 20% on your auto insurance premiums if you have your homeowners insurance and auto insurance with the same company. You will also get a discount on your homeowners.

Money Saving Tip #5) Keep on eye on your credit score. What does credit have to do with insurance? It has a lot to do with it today. In the past few years, insurance companies started using credit for underwriting. It is used to place people in certain pricing tiers and responsibility is why. They believe that if someone is responsible enough to keep their credit clean, they are responsible enough to drive safe. Believe it or not, the numbers prove this works in general. Insurance is a numbers game and in order to be competitive, they must save where they can.

Money Saving Tip #6) Check out other discounts. Insurance companies try to reward drivers what they think are good risks. That’s the kind of driver they want. Responsible and safety conscious drivers are going to pay lower premiums. Claims free discounts and superior credit will allow you to be insured with a company that has the lowest premiums available. There are other discounts like automatic seat belts, airbags, mature drivers, and safe drivers. Another great discount is the “Good Student” discount. Companies that specialize in insuring young drivers will offer this valuable discount. Call us about these and other discounts that are currently being offered in our area.

Money Saving Tip #7) Use an independent agent that specializes in family protection. Don’t trust your hard earned dollars to someone that works directly for one insurance company. Use someone that can “shop” your premium with several companies. This agent will look out for your interests and keep your premiums down for the long term. Insurance companies experience good times and bad times depending on their losses for a given year or years. If your insurance company has significantly increased their premiums for more than a year or two, it may be time for your agent to “shop” for you. If you are using an agent that works for just one company, they won’t be doing much “shopping”. You’ll have to cut back on your coverage and make changes that can increase your liability.