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Keeping Safe in Your Car this Winter

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 11/29/2015

winter driving

If you have to be on the road in the winter, make sure you plan ahead for trouble.

Car insurance isn’t the only protection you need to have when you drive during the winter.

Winter has arrived with quite the punch this year. So for those of us that got a little lax in remembering what to do during winter driving situations because we had it really easy last winter, here are a couple of reminders.

Ice + Rush = Winter Car Accident

Keep your speeds down and give yourself extra time to get EVERYWHERE in the winter. A good number of winter car accidents are completely avoidable by driving at reasonable speeds for the condition of the road. So the next time you are in a hurry to get somewhere and the roads are bad, ask yourself if the increase in your car insurance premium after you get into an accident is really worth it.

Trapped in your Car

When the authorities tell you to stay off of the road because the weather or road conditions are bad, please listen to them. They have no hidden agenda to keep you from travelling, they just want people to stay safe. They also probably have their hands full with everyone that is already in trouble on the roads and are trying to prevent there from being more.

However, sometimes you absolutely must travel or are already on the road when bad weather hits, so always be prepared for the worst to happen while you are on the road. For example, your car becoming disabled because of an accident, too much snow on the road, or you lost control and left the road are just some of the situations you could face.

So before any of this happens, make sure your vehicle is stocked with emergency supplies, like:

  • Extra blankets
  • Extra clothing
  • First Aid Kit
  • Water
  • Energy bars or other easy-to-open food that has a long shelf life
  • Portable charger for your cell phone
  • Flashlight (not your cell phone)

Having all of these items in your vehicle will prevent you from freezing and starving if you end up stranded and have to stay in your vehicle for a long period of time before help arrives. If you do find yourself stranded and can’t move your vehicle do the following to stay safe:

  • Stay with your car, don’t go look for help.
  • Crack the windows so that carbon monoxide doesn’t build up in the car, just in case your tailpipe is blocked.
  • Run the heater every 20-30 minutes (make sure you have a full tank of gas when you travel during the winter).

But again, if you don’t have to go out don’t.  Staying at home during bad weather in the winter is just safer, less of a hassle and a lot better for your insurance premium.

Happy Thanksgiving from Car Insurance Guidebook

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 11/29/2015

Thanksgiving and Car insurance

Happy Thanksgiving from Car Insurance Guidebook.

Don’t act like a turkey on the roads this holiday to keep your insurance costs down.

It’s time to head over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house or wherever else you are spending this holiday season. It also means that it is time for an increase in traffic and car accidents, so if you can help it try and keep your mind off the food for a little bit and on the roads. Otherwise, an accident this week will make this Thanksgiving one to remember every time you pay your higher insurance premiums.

Avoid Insurance Increases by Avoiding Overeating

Turkey and football aren’t the only Thanksgiving traditions that we partake in every year, most of us are also participants of the traditional, post-dinner nap. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying this yearly tradition as much as you enjoy mom’s stuffing, it is a problem if you are driving after dinner.

So if you are feeling sleepy after enjoying dinner, take a quick nap or wait a bit before getting behind the wheel. You don’t want to fall asleep while driving and cause an accident. An accident his time of year is so much worse for everyone involved than during any other time of the year.

Keep down Insurance Premiums by Keeping down Packing

There are windows in your vehicle for a reason; they are there so you can see what’s around your vehicle so you can avoid an accident. But, when you pack your vehicle so full that you block your windows you are increasing your chance of an accident.

So utilize as much of your trunk and lower space in your vehicle as possible and leave the rest at home.

Slip, Sliding Away from Higher Insurance

The calendar may be saying that it is still fall, but the weather has a mind of its own and it is saying that winter is here. Wherever you may be driving this holiday, give yourself plenty of time to get there so you don’t have to rush over the icy and snowy roads. It’s better to get to your destination earlier than planned than late or never because of an accident caused from being in a hurry on an icy road.

Happy Halloween from Car Insurance Guidebook

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 10/31/2015

Don’t let Halloween fun trick you into higher car insurance rates.


Halloween greetings from Car Insurance Guidebook!

We here at Car Insurance Guidebook want to wish everyone a happy and fun Halloween. We also want to see you safely on the other side of the holiday and without your car insurance rates heading for an increase. So here are some friendly reminders to keep your Halloween a treat.

Halloween Costume Driving

If you absolutely have to wear your costume while driving, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Never drive wearing a mask.
  • Pull over if fake hair or eyelashes have detached into your eye.
  • Don’t drive if your costume gets in the way of operating your car.
  • Don’t drive if your costume is too tight.
  • Remove your gloves to be able to operate the steering wheel. safely.
  • No clown shoes. Wear shoes that allow you to easily operate your car.

Watch For Halloween Trick-or-Treaters

Per the Center for Disease Control, children are more likely to be killed as a pedestrian by a car on Halloween than during any other time of the year. This is why you as a driver need to be especially vigilant of little ones walking along the side of the road and stop when it looks like they are thinking about wanting to cross the street. The only thing they are paying attention to is the Halloween fun they are having, so it is up to you to help keep them safe.

Pay Attention on Halloween

Don’t let texts, Skype or Facebook distract you while you are driving on Halloween. With the trick-or-treaters out and also your costume on, you have enough distractions to have to focus on while driving on Halloween. There is no reason to add other distractions into the mix.

Don’t Drink and Drive on Halloween

We remind drivers of this every year and this year is no different. DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!

There are usually extra patrols out on Halloween night to catch drunk drivers and you can expect that to be stepped up even more with Halloween falling on a Saturday this year. So don’t risk it. Either go sober, have a designated driver, make arrangements to stay the night wherever you decide to party or call a cab.

Stay safe, undistracted and sober this Halloween!


What Increases the Cost of Insurance?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 10/31/2015

Why you have such a hard time finding out if your cost of insurance will go up.

cost of insurance

Whether your cost of insurance goes up or down, only your renewal will tell.

We get a lot of questions at Car Insurance Guidebook, but one of the most common questions is from people asking if their cost of insurance will increase. They could be asking because they just added a teen driver, because they just got a speeding ticket or because they were just in a car accident.

In most cases we can usually give you some sort of guidance as to the likelihood that the cost of insurance on your vehicle will increase, but not all the time.  The reason we can’t give you a sure answer on an increase or how much an increase will be is because:

  1. Each insurance company rates drivers and vehicles differently
  2. Each state allows for different rating practices
  3. There are many different factors used to determine the cost of insurance for a policy

Because there are no constants in insurance when it comes to creating an insurance premium, there are no consistent answers we can provide. However, there are patterns that are seen when it comes to insurance premiums, which is where we provide our guidance from.

Here are the top three questions we get and what we can tell you on how they will affect your cost of insurance.

Will a Teen Driver Increase my Cost of Insurance?

Yes, adding a teen driver will definitely increase your cost of insurance. However, we cannot tell you as to how much it will increase your policy.

Just like any adult driver, teen drivers all are rated differently due to discounts and age.

The Cost of Insurance after a Ticket?

This one is most likely a yes. Insurance companies do not like it when their clients get traffic tickets as this increases the chances that they will have to pay out for a claim later on down the road.

Now, the type of ticket will greatly determine whether or not you will see your cost of insurance increase or not. A ticket for speeding or reckless driving will just about guarantee an increase, while a ticket for a tail light being out will not.

How Much Will my Cost of Insurance Increase after an Accident?

There is no one anywhere that can tell you how much your insurance premium will increase after a car accident. They can usually indicate whether or not it will increase, but not the amount it will.

This is because all of your information is entered into the underwriting computer at your renewal for the computer to determine how much your insurance will be next term. It is not until after the computer has calculated everything that a premium is created. So until your renewal actually processes, the cost of your insurance for after a car accident is really an unknown.

Car Insurance for Your Stored Vehicle

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 10/01/2015

There is a right way and a wrong way to treat the car insurance on your stored vehicle.

car insurance for stored vehicles

What car insurance do you need on your stored vehicle?

Right now almost all of us are enjoying the beautiful fall colors that are appearing outdoors, making it the perfect time to take out those classic vehicles and other special cars for a drive. But that also means that in the not too distant future that the snow and ice are going to start making their appearance.

If you store your vehicle for the winter to protect it from the elements, did you know that you can actually decrease your insurance coverage for the time that your vehicle is in storage and not being driven?

What Car Insurance Do You Need?

If you put your special vehicle in storage for the winter and you don’t have a lienholder, you actually don’t need to have any insurance coverage on it. Of course, if you love your vehicle enough that you are putting it safely in storage for the winter, going without all insurance coverage is probably something you are not going to want to do.

To protect your vehicle just in case something happens to it while it is being stored, you are going to want to keep comprehensive and collision coverage. The comprehensive coverage will pay for any damage to the vehicle if something were to fall on it while it was in storage. The collision coverage will cover any damage if the brakes were to disengage or something else caused the vehicle to roll and hit something. Collision coverage will also protect your vehicle if it is struck by another runaway vehicle while it is parked in storage.

Don’t You Need Liability Car Insurance?

Liability car insurance is required by state law in pretty much all states. However, if you are storing your vehicle and not driving it you are exempt from having to have liability car insurance on your vehicle. There is just no reason to have this coverage because there is no danger of you causing property damage or injuries with a stored vehicle that you are not driving.

Unfortunately, in most states it’s not just a matter of calling your car insurance agent and asking them to decrease your car insurance. In many states you will actually have to turn in your license plate to the DMV for the time that your vehicle is stored. If you aren’t sure what your state requires, your car insurance agent will be able to advise you.


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