Friday, May 30, 2014

Graduating and Heading Off On Your Own? Make Sure You're Covered!

Whether you're graduating from high school and going off to college, or graduating from college and heading into the business world, big changes are inevitable. This is even truer if you are leaving your parent's home and heading off on your own.

graduates celebrating
While the exhilaration of being independent and the freedom that comes with it is great, there is a corresponding increase in your responsibilities, too. You need to find -- and pay for -- a place to live. Then you will probably need to furnish it, feed yourself, clothe yourself and keep your car in good running order, as well as other expenses. But, don't forget insurance!

Auto Insurance

First, you must have liability insurance. It's required by the state and pays to fix the vehicle of anyone you might hit or to fix property that you might damage in an accident. Liability coverage fixes the other person's car.

If you want your car to be covered then you'll need comprehensive and collision coverage. This is sometimes called "full coverage". It costs a little bit more but protects your vehicle. You'll be required to have this if you are paying off a car loan.

Auto insurance policies are typically for six months. You can pay in full or make monthly installment payments, but you always want to make sure your insurance is paid on time. If not, you run the risk of not being covered if you have an accident. (You'll not only be on the hook for repairs, but you'll get a no-insurance ticket, which can get very expensive!)

Renters or Homeowners Insurance

You're moving into a place you'll call home, whether it's an apartment, condominium or house. You have electronics, furnishings and other valuables that you are now responsible for. Whether you rent or own, if you get burglarized, there's a fire or other damage, if you're not covered you lose it all! Some policies will even pay for you to live in a motel for a time while your place is being repaired if it is uninhabitable.These policies also cover belongings left in your vehicle that are damaged or stolen, whereas auto insurance will not.

While it's another expense each month, renters or homeowners insurance will come to your rescue should these unfortunate things occur. Rates are quite reasonable, too.

Keep Your Costs Down

How can you lower your insurance cost? Having a good credit score, not getting into an accident, and having regular insurance reviews will keep your cost manageable. Let our agency work with you to create an affordable plan that will protect you while also giving you the most bang for your buck.

Going off on your own is daunting enough. Don't leave yourself vulnerable to financial setbacks when you're just getting started. Insurance coverage protects you from the unforeseen events that can cost you dearly.

Give SAV-ON a call at 888-867-2866 to get started today!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

How to Shop for a Used Car

Start simple. Take a look at how much you can afford and what kind of car you want. Of course, your budget will limit your options, but you can narrow it down to an economy car, a truck or a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) based on your needs. Although less important, you might create a list of colors that you want or, more importantly, don’t want. While this has nothing to do with the operation of your auto, you’ll tire of climbing into an orange car every day if you can’t stand that color!

Here are a few important considerations when selecting a used car:

Private Seller vs. Dealership

At a dealership, you need to negotiate a few things: The car’s final selling price, the amount the dealership is willing to give you in trade for your old car (if you have one to trade in), and, if you aren’t paying cash for the car, the interest rate on the loan. The advantage of working with a dealership is that you are dealing with a business, so they have a reputation to uphold, and there are laws that govern what they can and cannot do. They surely don’t need any bad publicity from an unhappy customer, but they also are in business to make money, so they need to have to build in a little profit, too.

A private seller has more room to negotiate, so the selling price might be lower, but they will want the money ‘up front’, so you will need to work with your bank separately if you need a loan. And, while you probably can get the same car for less through a private seller, you need to take precautions against being sold a previously damaged car, or even a stolen car. Make sure to check the various online websites for the approximate value of the kind of car you’re looking for.

Accident and Maintenance History

Running a vehicle history report is very important. You can see if the car you want has been involved in an accident or sustained other damage, and how extensive the damage was. A service history will help you determine how well the automobile has been cared for. Whether you are purchasing from a dealer or a private party, insist on seeing the service records for the car. Take a look at its history of oil changes, tire rotations, and any brake jobs or transmission overhauls that have been done.

Certified Pre-Owned vs. Used

Purchasing a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle from a dealer can give you peace of mind, since you’re getting the backing of the dealer and a limited warranty. If you’re buying from a private seller, make sure to get the car inspected by a licensed mechanic for any pending problems (transmission, brakes, engine) BEFORE handing over the money. Even though it will cost some money to have this service performed, it’s better than buying the car only to find out it needs thousands of dollars in repairs.

Need a Car Loan?

If you go to a dealer to buy your used car, don’t just settle for whatever loan rate the dealer presents. Shop around at your bank or credit union to see what rate and length of loan that they offer. Most dealers make a good deal of their money through higher rates on loans. Bring a couple of other quotes with you when you finalize the deal at the dealership. If not, you may end up paying twice what the car is worth over the life of the loan!

One Owner vs. Multiple Owners

A one-owner car is usually the best buy, especially if they have complete maintenance records. Since they bought the car when it was new, chances are they took pride in it and kept it looking and running well. A car with multiple owners has a lower value, since subsequent owners are not going to be as diligent in maintaining a used car. So, before you become the second, third or fourth owner of the car, make sure to check that vehicle’s resale value.

Low Insurance Rates

Finally, before you sign on the dotted line for your car, call SAV-ON Insurance to see what the cost of car insurance will be. Although used cars cost less to insure than new cars, some models can be considered luxury or classic cars and will mean a higher premium than what you may think. Also, if it’s considered a sports or high-performance car, those rates will be higher, too. Call us at 800-867-2866 to get a quick quote on your insurance and feel confident when you finally get the car you want that it will be a good match!