How to protect your Atlanta vehicle and prevent a car break-in

It's important to protect your car and prevent a break-in.

It's important to protect your car and prevent a break-in.

As the owner of a car, you’re probably pretty protective of your vehicle. You don’t want anything to happen to it – no scrapes or dings on your watch! So chances are you would not be pleased if someone smashed your window and stole your belongings in a blatant break-in.

Since we can’t exactly put our cars in our pockets and take them with us wherever we go, it’s impossible to keep an eye on your vehicle all the time. Smash-and-grabs are, unfortunately, a very common occurrence. Aside from the feeling of utter rage, you’d probably feel pretty violated if someone broke the window of your car. That is your space.

Anyways, we’ve got a few tips to help you prevent a car break-in.

1. Hide your belongings before you get to your destination.

It’s best to stow anything you’re planning on leaving in the car before you arrive at your destination. If you wait until you get there and then transfer your bag or briefcase to the trunk to hide it, a thief could see you move it … and then watch as you walk away and leave the car (and goodies) unattended. But if your treasures are safely stashed before you arrive, no one will be the wiser and you could avoid a break-in. Yes, your home insurance might cover belongings stolen from your car, but you may as well try not to use it.

2. Take your valuables and electronics with you.

Electronics are the jackpot for smash-and-grab thieves. Don’t leave your phone or iPod in the car and especially not in plain sight. Unless it’s impossible, don’t leave any valuables in your vehicle. Take them with you so that they won’t be stolen.

3. Lock the doors and roll up the windows and sunroof.

There’s no reason to make the thief’s job easier. If you leave your doors unlocked or your windows down, you’re inviting a thief to snag your stuff as they casually stroll on by. If you increase the amount of effort it’s going to take to steal from your car, you may prevent a lazy thief from striking. Even if you’ll only be gone for a minute, take an extra second to click the Lock button.

Hiding your valuables can help you prevent a car break-in.

4. Don’t leave chargers and cords in sight.

A phone charger or GPS cord left plugged into the cigarette lighter (that thing that charges your phone) is a big breadcrumb for a thief. Where there is a charger, there could be a phone. And if there’s a chance there’s a phone, you could be painting a target on your car and inviting a break-in.

Pro tip: If you use a GPS that suctions to your windshield, remove the suction cup and wipe away the marks before leaving your car.

5. Keep your car shipshape.

If there are empty shopping bags, papers, or wrappers littering your car, a thief might think that the clutter conceals something they want. By keeping a tidy, neat car you send a message that there’s nothing to see – or steal.

6. Choose your parking spot carefully.

The ideal parking spot is well-lit and located in a well-traveled area. The more likely they are to be caught, the less likely a thief is to smash windows. Avoid parking spots where your vehicle would be concealed from view. This only invites trouble. It’s important to understand the reasons to drive safely, but it’s also important to stay safe when you park your car.

7. Consider a car alarm or other theft deterrents.

The thief who breaks into your car could be trying to steal it. Having a steering wheel lock or collar, or a lock for the brake pedal tells the thief right off that that car isn’t going anywhere. Car alarms are also helpful.

So, those are some things you can do to minimize the chance that your car will be broken into. Be mindful of your situation and take steps to keep your car safe. Your car is a faithful friend…and broken windows are no fun.

If your vehicle is victim of a break-in, call the police and don't touch anything.

Looking to save money on your car insurance? We would be happy to help you with that. We can help you shop for the best coverage at the best rate. All you have to do to get auto insurance quotes is fill out our quote form or give us a call today.


How to get cheap teen car insurance in Atlanta

teen driver

Car insurance for teens can get expensive.

If you’re the parent of a teen who’s about to get their license, you’ve probably got some mixed emotions. One thing on your mind (other than worrying about your teen’s safety) is probably how much car insurance for your teenager will cost. Odds are you’ve heard the rumors that teen car insurance is expensive.

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Tips for driving in the rain during one of Atlanta’s rainiest months

Driving in the rain can be hazardous.

Driving in the rain can be hazardous.

When we think of the rainy season, we usually think about the summer. Or April. But one of Georgia’s rainiest months is actually February. So, it seems like a good time to go over some tips for driving in the rain. Driving in the rain puts many people’s nerves on edge, but with these tips, you can take care and stay safe in the rain.

1. Check your car before you depart.

Make sure that your car is ready to take a trip in the rain. Check that your brake lights, turn signals, and headlights are all functional – it’s really important that you’re as visible as possible in the rain. Replace any windshield wiper blades that aren’t doing their job very well. Lastly, check your tires. They should have a good tread depth; bald tires do not get as much traction on the road as newer tires with proper tread depth, which makes them dangerous. It’s also a good idea to check your tire pressure, especially when it’s cold.

2. Slow down.

When it rains, you need to slow down and take it easy. You don’t want to hydroplane. Hydroplaning is when the tires of a car actually rise off the asphalt and coast on top of the water.

Anyway, all of this is to say that it’s important to take it slow when it’s raining. It’s also a good idea to slow down early and gently if you’re coming to an intersection, a turn, or another traffic stop. Give yourself time to come to a stop safely.

3. Increase your following distance.

Leave plenty of room between your car and the car in front of you. When the roads are slippery, it takes more time for your car to come to a stop, so you need to give yourself some personal space. Rain can lead to more traffic, too, which makes it especially important to leave lots of room in front of your car. Handling Atlanta traffic is not easy sometimes.

4. Avoid braking hard and turning sharply.

If you jam on your brakes, your car could skid. When you come to a turn, slow down and take it easy.

It's important to slow down if you're driving in the rain.

5. Turn on your headlights and windshield wipers.

Headlights help other drivers see you when you’re driving in the rain, and windshield wipers help you see other drivers. It’s hard enough to see clearly in the rain – help yourself out by activating your headlights and wipers.

6. Try to avoid pools of standing water.

It’s easy to hydroplane if you go through a puddle too fast. If you can, try to safely avoid driving through standing water on the roadways by changing lanes. At the very least, slow down before reaching the water. But remember – don’t slam on the brakes.

7. Know how to handle hydroplaning.

If you get into a situation where your tires lift off the road, it’s important to do a few things:

  • Don’t slam on the brakes. It’s a knee-jerk reaction, but try to resist it.
  • Take your foot off the gas.
  • Hold the wheel steady and gently steer in the direction you’re skidding if that’s what the car needs to do.

8. Postpone any trips that aren’t strictly necessary.

If it’s bucketing down rain and you don’t have to be out on the road, try to reschedule your trip or postpone it. Of course, there are times when it can’t be helped and you have to drive in the rain, or maybe you’re already on the road and it starts pouring. But if it’s at all possible, you may want to take a literal rain check.

Driving in the rain takes extra care.

Driving in rain is not something most people like to do. Slick roads and poor visibility are definitely not ideal driving conditions. It’s important to remember to slow down, increase your following distance, and turn on your headlights and windshield wipers. Stay calm and keep your attention on the road – definitely no texting and driving in the rain. Remember, there are many benefits of being a safe driver, and that means knowing how to handle the rain.

If you want to save money on your car insurance, we can help. Our team of insurance experts are pros at helping people shop for the best rate on their auto insurance. All you have to do to get car insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call.


How to save money on Atlanta car insurance

There are a few things you can do to save money on your auto insurance.

There are a few things you can do to save money on your auto insurance.

Auto insurance is not cheap. It’s a fact of life. If you feel like your auto insurance payments have gotten a bit out of control, you’re probably trying to scheme ways to save money on your car insurance. And maybe it seems like you’re not making much headway with that plot. Before you lose hope with saving money on your Atlanta car insurance, take a look at the following tips for lowering your auto insurance premiums.

1. Raise your deductible.

Quick definition: a deductible is the amount you agree to pay if you have a loss or claim. Basically, you’re responsible for a portion of the loss and the insurance company is responsible for the rest.

Anyways, this is significant because there’s a connection between your deductible and your premium. Think of it as a teeter-totter. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium and vice versa. This is because if you have a higher deductible, you’re accepting more risk and you’re less likely to make a claim (since you would have to pay that higher deductible, it might not be worthwhile to file a small claim.)

Here’s the thing: you need to balance your teeter-totter. Okay, what we mean by that is you don’t want to set your deductible so high that it would be burdensome or ruinous if you did have a claim. However, if you take a look at your finances, evaluate how much you could comfortably afford in the event of a claim, and decide that you could stand to raise your deductible a little, you could save money on your premiums.

2. Keep up a clean driving record.

Accidents and speeding tickets cause your insurance rates to go up. That’s because these things are seen as indicators of risk, and insurance companies don’t exactly love risk. The “riskier” a driver you are to insure, the more you will end up paying for your insurance. So, to get lower car insurance rates, respect the benefits of being a safe driver. Focus on the road – don’t text and drive or engage in any other activity that could distract you. Don’t speed. Drive safe. Your insurance will likely be cheaper.

3. Go on a discount mission.

Who doesn’t love a good discount? For your car insurance, there’s the possibility that you could save substantial sums just by meeting certain qualifications. There are scads of discounts for auto insurance, although they do differ depending on what company you’re insured with. Maybe your company has a multi-vehicle discount if your family has insured more than one car with them. Or they might have a Good Student Discount if you’re a high-schooler, college student, or young adult with good grades. You could also get a low-mileage discount if you don’t do too much driving.

Discounts are a great way to save money on auto insurance.

Anyways, if you’re looking to score some savings on your car insurance, go on a quest for discounts. Google your insurance company and check out their website. Give your agent a call. You never know what might come of it.

4. Bundle your home and auto insurance.

And while we’re on the topic of discounts, you could also get a discount if you purchase your car insurance and home insurance from the same company. This is usually called bundling. Do some research or call your agent to find out if you could get a discount for getting multiple policies from them. If it makes sense to do so, you might consider switching your home insurance to your car insurance company, or your car insurance to your home insurance company.

5. Boost your credit score.

Some insurance companies see your credit score as an indicator of risk. If you have a better credit score, you’re seen as being a lower risk. That means that those with better credit scores may get better insurance rates.

6. Choose a safe car.

Lower insurance rates may be granted to drivers of cars with safety features like anti-lock brakes and good airbags. You may also get lower auto insurance rates if you have an anti-theft device installed. If you’re thinking about buying a car, try to do some research on its safety ratings and how much it will cost to insure. While you may really, really want an expensive, sleek car, you will have to prepare yourself for the probability that the insurance will likely be very expensive.

7. Shop around for car insurance.

When you’re on a mission to get car insurance, you may not want to just settle for the first policy and price you find. It’s important to look at the different coverage options and policies available from different companies. Since insurance companies all evaluate risk differently, you could get quotes that are quite different from each other. So, it may take some elbow grease and some patience, but if you stick with it and put on your “shopping” hat you could find a great rate for great coverage.

Shopping for auto insurance quotes can help you save money.

If you feel that you’re paying too much for your car insurance, there are steps you can take to lower your auto insurance rates. You can go on a mission to find discounts, bundle your home and auto insurance, or improve your credit score. And of course, you can shop around for the best coverage at the best rate. Our team of agents can help you with that – we’re experts at helping people save money on auto insurance. All you have to do to get car insurance quotes is fill out our online form or call us today.


Why you should think twice before texting and driving

You can easily travel the length of a football field without seeing the road if you're texting and driving.

Texting and driving greatly increases your chance of having a car accident.

We’ve all heard the dire warnings about distracted driving. Maybe part of us knows that texting and driving is wrong and dangerous, but do we ignore our instincts and do it anyways? When you’re behind the wheel, it’s important that your full attention is on the road and not anything else. Texting and driving isn’t something to take lightly, as the consequences are far-reaching and severe. We’ll outline five reasons not to text and drive.

1. The statistics don’t lie.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving (including texting and driving) killed 3,450 nationwide in 2016. Over 390,000 people were injured in car accidents involving distracted driving in 2015. They estimate that at any given moment during the day in 2016, 481,000 people were using electronic devices while driving.  

The CDC adds to these statistics that every day in the US, nine people are killed in car crashes that involve a distracted driver and over 1,000 are injured in distracted driving accidents every day.

The numbers are very sobering. It’s important to remember and keep in mind that you’re not on the road alone. There are innocent drivers and pedestrians all around you, and they could get hurt if a lapse in your attention results in a car accident.

2. Texting and driving is illegal in Georgia.

In Georgia, texting and driving is illegal. If you get caught texting and driving, you’ll have to pay a fine and you’ll get the designated point penalty against your driver’s license. Points are not good, so it’s best to put the phone away while you’re driving.

For the record, “texting” as defined by the law is writing, reading, or sending text data using an electronic device (and yes, that includes emails.)

3. If you’re texting and driving, you travel farther than you think without looking at the road.

Reading or sending a text takes your attention off the road for about five seconds. Let’s say that you’re driving 45 mph. At that speed, you’ll travel 330 feet in five seconds. That’s over the length of a football field. At 55 mph, you’ll travel 403 feet in five seconds. That’s pretty terrifying to think about if you’re not looking at the road.  

You can easily travel the length of a football field without seeing the road if you're texting and driving.

Imagine if someone asked you to put on a blindfold and drive the length of a football field. You wouldn’t do it, right? There are way too many risks – you could hit another car, strike a pedestrian, veer off the road. If you text and drive, you’re essentially driving blindfolded. Even looking away for two seconds means that you’re not watching the road for 132 feet. When you’re driving, reaction time is critical. And you can’t have a decent reaction time if you’re wasting precious seconds looking at your phone. You have to know what’s coming and act as quickly as possible – that’s part of being a defensive driver. Sure you might have collision coverage for your car, but it’s best to not have to use it. 

4. Texting and driving involves multiple forms of distraction.

There are three main types of distraction while you’re driving. There are manual distractions, which take your hands off the steering wheel. There are cognitive distractions, in which your mind is not focused on the road. And then there are visual distractions, which take your eyes away from the road. The thing about texting and driving is that it involves all three types of distraction, which makes it super dangerous. If your hands aren’t on the steering wheel, your mind isn’t focused on the road, and your eyes aren’t looking where you’re going, how are you supposed to operate a vehicle? All three of those things are kind of important when it comes to driving.

5. Car accidents make your car insurance rates go up.

When you’re getting a quote for car insurance, chances are that the agent is going to check your driving record. Car accidents can count against you when it comes to your insurance rates because being involved in accidents means that you’re a higher risk to insure. And insurance companies really don’t like risk, so they charge more the higher a risk you are. Car insurance is expensive enough as it is, but it pays to be a safe driver. If you haven’t been in any car accidents or gotten any tickets, you’re seen as being less of a risk, meaning that you could save money on car insurance rates. So, there’s another reason to not text and drive

Texting and driving puts both your safety and the safety of others on the road at risk. Thousands of people die each year because of distracted driving accidents. By simply putting your phone down and not looking at it while you drive, you lower your chances of causing a car accident. Driving and distractions just don’t mix. So, don’t take your chances – put the phone away and wait until you’re safely at your destination to text.

Do you want to save money on your car insurance rates? We can help you with that. We can help you shop around for the best possible care insurance rate by getting quotes from some of the top carriers in the country All you have to do to get car insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today.


5 reasons to drive safely (Hint: You could save on Atlanta car insurance)

Driving safe can help you save on your car insurance.

Driving in Atlanta is always a bit of an adventure. Narrow streets, roadwork, limited parking, and, of course, figuring out how to survive Atlanta traffic! Perhaps even more intimidating than driving in the city is car insurance. It’s important to learn about car insurance so that you can answer common car insurance questions, but you might dread thinking about auto insurance because the rates can be so expensive. But there’s a simple, easy way to save on your car insurance – driving safe. We’ll give you five car-insurance-related reasons to be a straight-A driver.

1. Your car insurance premium is related to your driving record.

When an insurance company goes to give you a quote on your car insurance, they look into your driving record. They’ll most likely check your record for accidents and tickets from the past three to five years. From your record, they’ll determine how much of a risk you and your family are to insure. The higher a risk you are, the more you’ll have to pay for insurance. And since insurance companies consider accidents and tickets to be risky … you get where we’re going.

2. If you have no tickets or accidents, you might be able to get lower quotes when you shop.

If you have good driving habits and have a clean record, your premium will reward you and you’ll end up paying less for your auto insurance. The quotes you’ll receive from auto insurance companies will be lower – you may even be pleasantly surprised!

3. After a few years of good driving, you may be able to get a discount on your rates.

If you go for a good amount of time with no tickets or accidents, you could qualify for a discount on your auto insurance rates (depending on your carrier, of course.) Insurance companies like to reward drivers who drive safely. The fewer claims you have, the better. You want to present as little risk as possible to the insurance company, and that means no accidents. And that means no distracted driving, speeding, drowsy driving, or other risky driving behavior. Sure, we can’t control the actions of other drivers on the road, but we can control our own actions. And that means making conscious choices to be a safer driver and avoiding distracted or unsafe driving.

4. By driving safe, you might be able to qualify for accident forgiveness.

Usually, having a car accident would make your rates go up – insurance companies don’t like risk, remember? If you’ve had a clean driving record for a good amount of time, your carrier might allow you to have accident forgiveness. That means that if you do happen to have a car accident, your rates would not go up. Ask if your carrier has accident forgiveness.

5. Depending on your insurance company, you may be able to lower your deductible.

The deductible is the amount that you agree to pay if you have a claim before the insurance company will step in to help you cover costs. Of course, this all depends on your insurance company. But if your company does allow you to lower your deductible for having a clean driving record, that means less money out of your pocket if you ever have a claim.

Being a safe driver and keeping your full attention on the road is important to help you avoid a car accident. This is your health and life that we’re talking about, along with the safety of other drivers on the road. Apart from preventing accidents and injuries to yourself and others, being a safe driver can help you save on your car insurance. So, as you can see, there are many reasons to be a careful driver and avoid risky driving when you get behind the wheel.

Looking for a car insurance quote in Atlanta? We would love to help you get the car insurance you need so you can hit the road with peace of mind. All you have to do to get in touch with one of our insurance agents is fill out our online quote form or give us a call today – we’d be happy to help you with all of your insurance needs!

Did you know the answers to these ten Atlanta car insurance questions?

There are a lot of details that go along with car insurance.

Auto insurance can get confusing. You just want to be able to drive and get yourself to where you gotta go. It’s easier to put insurance out of your mind and assume that you’re covered for the what-ifs, but there are a few questions that you should know the answers to when it comes to car insurance. Knowledge is power, especially when you start talking insurance.

So here we go: ten questions about auto insurance and the answers – in fun-sized packages!

1. Is the minimum level of car insurance enough?

Probably not. The limits of car insurance that states require, called minimums, do give you some protection for your car. They might seem like a lot – for instance, Georgia requires $25,000 of bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 of bodily injury insurance per occurrence, and $25,000 of property damage liability insurance. But if a serious accident happens, chances are that those limits will be exhausted quickly, leaving you to take the fall for the remaining amount. So, it’s up to you as far as what limits you want on your insurance, but you may want to consider going above the minimum.

2. Will bundling my home and auto insurance help me save?

Yes, it very well might! Insurance companies often offer a significant discount if you get both your home and auto insurance from them (this is called bundling.) Insurance companies love it when their customers like them so much that they get multiple products from them.

3. If a tree or branch falls on my car, am I covered?

Only if you have comprehensive auto coverage. This is different than the liability insurance required by the state, so it’s important that you know what comprehensive car insurance covers and if you have it. Comprehensive insurance covers your car if it’s damaged by something other than an accident. So, if a tree squishes your car into a pancake, you’d be covered if you had purchased comprehensive insurance.

4. Do I still need to keep my teen on my auto insurance when they go to college?

Yes. Your college student will still be able to access the car when they’re home on breaks – chances are they’ll be begging you to borrow a car, so yes, they need to be on your insurance. You need to make sure your college student is properly insured.

5. Do I need to get rental car insurance from the agency?

Well, that depends on your personal auto policy. You may or may not need to get insurance from the agency – you’ll have to check your auto policy and see if your own insurance carries over to the rental vehicle, and you’ll have to decide what levels of coverage you’re comfortable with.

Rental car insurance will often be offered by the rental agency.

6. If I’m in an accident and have to rent a car while mine is being repaired, am I covered?

You would have to add rental reimbursement to your policy for a small additional charge for the rental car expenses to be covered. Cars are often in the shop for two weeks following an accident, so it might be worth it to think about getting this extra coverage.

7. What happens if an uninsured driver hits me?

Your uninsured motorist coverage or collision coverage would take care of it if you’ve purchased either of these coverages. Again, these are not included in the minimum liability insurance coverages required by many states, so you’ll have to make sure that you’re fully covered.

8. If I drive a friend’s car, am I covered?

Their insurance would follow the car and kick in if you’re in an accident, but you have to be extremely careful because if their limits of coverage aren’t high and the damage goes above them, your own insurance would come next.

9. And if a friend borrows my car?

The same goes if your friend borrows your car. If they’re just borrowing it a few times, your policy should cover them. However, if they start driving your car more than you do, your premiums could be affected – the premiums are based on the primary driver and the vehicle itself. If they’re borrowing your car and using it more than you are, you should have them added to your policy to prevent any coverage mishaps.

10. Will car insurance cover things stolen from my car?

No. The belongings that you have in your car may, however, be covered by your home insurance or renters insurance, which should follow your possessions regardless of where they happen to be. So, if you have a suitcase in the trunk and it gets stolen, your home or renters insurance would be the best place to start. But you’ll have to check your policy.

Now, as far as things like sound systems or radios go, those are not covered. So, if you’ve tripped out the stereo system in your car, you may want to consider purchasing additional insurance to make sure that it’s covered in case of theft.

Your home insurance, not your car insurance, may cover items stolen from your car.

Phew. Auto insurance can be tiring. You may have noticed that a lot of the above answers include a fancy form of saying “it depends.” You need to make sure that you’re familiar with your auto policy and the coverage you’ve purchased to know exactly what you are and aren’t covered for. Don’t take any chances when it comes to insuring your vehicle – accidents can become very costly, and you don’t want to find out the hard way that you don’t have as much coverage as you thought.

If you’d like to get some free quotes for auto insurance, we’d love to help you out with that! We can help you do your car insurance shopping. To get started with your car insurance quotes, all you have to do is fill out our quote form or give us a call today!