How To Save Money When Buying Your Next New Car

NC Auto InsurancePurchasing a vehicle can be a particularly daunting task, especially if it is your first time purchasing a car. There are the obvious choices like what make and model you choose, or what color and options you opt for.  However, there are other things to consider that can help you save money in the long run.
These are some of the less obvious things you might want to consider when purchasing your next vehicle.
Crash Test Ratings: It’s a good idea to check out the crash test ratings of whatever vehicle(s) you are considering.  Not only could this prevent an injury or save your life, it can also affect your insurance rates. Insurance companies consider these test results when establishing insurance rates.  So if you opt for a vehicle with poor ratings, then you’ll likely be paying a little more for insurance as well. You can always call your insurance agent and ask them to give you rates on a few cars you are considering.  This will give you an idea of the difference in the insurance rate and might help you make up your mind.
Lease or Loan: The low monthly payments you might get with a lease can be very attractive.  However, you should think about the long-term.  With a lease, you’ll never pay off the vehicle and will have never-ending payments as you end leases and move into new vehicles.  Also, if you choose to lease, the leasing company may require higher limits of liability than you are used to carrying on our insurance policy.  It’s a good idea to check with your insurance agent as to how this might affect your insurance policy before you commit to a lease.
Used or New: Buying a new car means you lose thousands in depreciation the minute you drive it off the lot.  You might want to consider late model used cars when shopping. Of course,  you need to consider the dealer incentives on new cars, such as rebates or reduced loan interest rates.  But when it all comes down to the bottom line, take a good long hard look and determine what is really the best deal for you and your family.
You shouldn’t necessarily purchase a car just because of the insurance rates, but understand that besides fuel efficiency and your monthly payment, insurance is another factor that plays into the overall cost to operate your vehicle.
In addition to these tips, you can also save money on your auto insurance with discounts offered by insurance companies.  Be sure you check with your agent to ensure you are getting all the discounts you might be entitled to. Some of these include (these are not offered by all insurance companies):
  • Good driver discounts
  • Good student discounts
  • New car discounts
  • Multi-car discounts
  • Multiple policy discounts
  • Military discounts
  • Anti-theft discounts
  • And more
 Protective Insurance Agencies is a NC insurance agency offering NC auto insurance Contact us today for a policy review and see if we can help you save money on your auto insurance or other policies you might have.

North Carolina Winter Driving Tips

North Carolina Winter Driving TipsGetting ready for winter driving requires a little more than just checking your anti-freeze.  Here are some North Carolina winter driving tips to keep you safe.

  • Keep cold-weather supplies in your trunk.  At minimum, these should include a properly inflated spare tire, a blanket or two, a bag of salt, snow boots, a flashlight with fresh batteries, reflective triangles or flares, a tool kit, a window scraper, a pocket knife or better yet, a multi-function tool, a shovel, a few bottles of water, some non-perishable snacks. You never know when you might get stuck somewhere and might have to kick into survival mode.
  • Keep your ears open when your community is threated with bad winter weather.  Your best bet is to avoid the roads all together but if you must get out be sure you know if there are road closures and consider allowing time for crews to get roads cleared.
  • Be sure your car is ready for winter with appropriate and properly inflated tires, good windshield wipers, topped off fluids, good brakes, a strong battery and plenty of gas in your tank.
  • Keep your mind on the road.  Avoid distractions such as talking on the phone, eating, texting or anything else that might take your eyes away for just a second.  Even having pets in your car could be detrimental.
  • If you travel with pets, consider pet restraints. This keeps them from unexpectedly jumping on your lap as well as help protect them in an accident. You can buy these at many pet supply stores.
  • Watch your speed and keep a safe distance from other cars. Remember, slowing or stopping on snowy or icy roads can be challenging at times.
  • Be sure you and all your passengers are wearing their seat belts properly. You should also ensure your child safety seats are both the right size for your child as well as properly positioned in your car.  If you aren’t sure, there are many agencies that can check this for you. Just ask and we’ll point you in the right direction.
  • Don’t use cruise control on wet or icy roads. It could hamper your ability to stop quickly or cause you to skid.
  • Be sure you drive with your lights on to ensure other motorists can see you.
  • Be extra cautious on bridges as they could ice over before you even notice ice on the main roads.

Most of all, use common sense and allow yourself enough time to safely arrive at your destination.  For other great tips, you can download this brochure from the National Safety Council or visit the North Carolina Department of Transportation website.

Here at Protective Insurance Agencies, we want our customers to stay safe in the winter as well as every other season.  We hope these North Carolina winter driving tips help you and your family as you prepare for winter in North Carolina.  Have you shopped your auto insurance rates lately? If not, give us a call and see if we can save you money on your North Carolina auto insurance. As an independent agency, we can shop the rates of multiple carriers at one time and often find a policy perfect for your budget.

What is Comprehensive Insurance and Why do I need it?

what-is-comprehensive-insuranceWhat is automobile comprehensive coverage and why do I need it?

Storms, natural disasters, vandalism and theft all pose a risk to vehicles. The damage that results from these events is often expensive, which is a good argument as to why you should carry comprehensive insurance coverage.

What is Comprehensive Insurance?

While collision coverage pays for damage to your car as a result of your auto colliding with an object such as a tree or another car, comprehensive insurance pays for damage to your auto from almost all other causes, including fire, severe weather, damage from an animal, vandalism, floods and theft. This coverage typically covers broken glass and windshields as well. While comprehensive insurance is required if you are financing your vehicle, it is an optional coverage for vehicles you own.

Benefits of Comprehensive Insurance

You may be asking why you need comprehensive insurance and it is a fair question. Many individuals are trying to cut down on monthly expenses including auto insurance premiums, and it may not be obvious why you need additional coverage. Perhaps the best argument in favor of comprehensive coverage is costly repair work. Even minor cosmetic damage to vehicles can cost hundreds of dollars to fix. For body damage, the repair fees can be astronomical reaching into the thousands of dollars.

If you have thousands of dollars in reserve and do not mind paying for auto repairs, then comprehensive insurance may not make sense. However, those that don’t have the excess funds to cover auto damage are well-served by comprehensive coverage. It is hard to know when calamity will strike here in North Carolina making it important to be sure you can get your car repaired without a huge out of pocket expense.

Even if you decide not to carry collision coverage which can be more expensive, you may still want to consider comprehensive coverage if your carrier provides it without collision. The premium is usually well worth the benefit.

Protective Insurance Agencies is a North Carolina insurance agency located in Salisbury.  We offer comprehensive insurance through multiple auto insurance carriers. We will talk to you so we understand your needs then provide you with auto insurance quotes that match your requirements. Contact us today for a North Carolina auto insurance quote.