Tag Archives: Auto Insurance

How Much Car Insurance Is Enough?

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How Much Car Insurance Is Enough? on avanteinsurance.com

How to determine the amount of auto insurance coverage you need.

Car insurance is necessary to protect yourself financially if you’re ever involved in an accident. Most states require everyone to have auto insurance, and they also set minimum requirements, meaning you must carry at least a certain amount of coverage.

The minimum amount varies by state, however. In some cases, the minimum amount may be enough to cover repairs and medical expenses but depending on where you live and the type of car you drive, it may not be enough. So, how do you determine the amount of coverage you need? First, let’s review what auto insurance covers.

Car insurance includes several policies that cover different things

The main auto policies that most people must carry include:

• Liability coverage. This covers your liability if you are at fault for an accident. It helps you pay legal fees or other expenses if you are sued. The money goes to the people you hit. (It doesn’t cover the people in your car.)

• Bodily Injury Liability (BIL). This covers the medical expenses of the people in the car you hit. There is usually a maximum amount allowed, both for a single person and for multiple people. Your policy might show the amount as 10/20 or $10,000 for a single person and $20,000 for multiple people.

• Property Damage Liability. This covers damage to the car you hit. The amount is often listed with your BIL coverage as 10/20/10, meaning the maximum amount allowed for repairs to the other car is $10,000.

• Other types of policies (which might be optional) include:

• Personal Injury Protection (PIP). This covers you and your passengers’ medical expenses.

• Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage. Covers your costs if you’re in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance or who only has minimal coverage.

• Collision. This covers repairs to your car after an accident.

• Comprehensive. This covers the costs if your car is stolen or damaged by something other than an accident (e.g., a tree branch falls on your car or damage from flooding or a storm.)

Why you might need additional auto insurance coverage

Depending on where you live, or the car you drive, the maximum amount your policy will allow may not be enough to cover all your expenses. For example, your state might require owners to carry 15/30/5 of coverage.

Determining how much coverage you need

Many factors go into deciding both the types of coverage to purchase and the coverage amounts. It might come down to your assets and whether you can afford to pay out-of-pocket expenses. It is a good idea consider the total value of your assets and make sure your coverage is the same value.

Do you need additional policies?

When it comes to optional policies, you’ll need to factor in a few things. Make sure there will be no overlapping with your current insurance policies, you don’t want to pay more than you need. Another thing to consider is that if you have a good health insurance policy, you may not need more than the minimum for personal injury protection.

If you live in a state that has a high percentage of uninsured drivers, you would be wise to consider purchasing some additional coverage. Collision and Comprehensive coverage will help replace or make repairs to your vehicle if you’re at fault in an accident. There are deductibles you have to meet, but if your car is new or a luxury vehicle, it might be worth it to have this coverage.

A savings tip to follow

One way to lower your auto insurance premium is to choose a higher deductible and then pay for minor things on your own. You can always choose not to submit a claim for smaller repairs and use your collision insurance only when major repairs are needed. This will help keep your insurance rates from increasing.

Use this helpful advice to determine how much auto insurance coverage you need. If you have questions or need to purchase auto insurance, contact Avante Insurance Agency. Whatever type of auto policy you need, we will get you covered. Call today at 305-648-7070 or send us a message through our online form.

Does the Number of Miles You Drive Affect Your Auto Insurance?

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Does the Number of Miles You Drive Affect Your Auto Insurance? on avanteinsurance.com

Yup, but there are things you can do to cut your rates

There are a variety of factors that contribute to the cost of car insurance, and many might surprise you. Previously we have explained the impact of things like credit scores and income, but now we want to discuss an area that may actually make the most sense: mileage.

Chances are you use your car quite a lot, with commuting to and from work probably contributing the most to the miles you drive. Statistics say the average commute is 16 miles one way, but a lot of people have to drive two- or three times that number.

Why would more miles mean higher rates?

The answer to this is actually pretty simple: The more time you spend out on the roads, the more likely it is that you will be involved in an accident. This is why when you first got auto insurance you were most likely asked for the number of miles you drive every year.

To calculate rates, insurance companies use their own guidelines. When it comes to mileage, most generally consider 12,000 for the year on average. If you generally drive more than that, you should be prepared to have higher premiums.

There’s good news for people who don’t do a lot of driving

If you work from home or live in an area where you don’t have to do much driving, you may be able to cut your car insurance rates. Many insurances companies offer drivers a low mileage discount, and this is something you should be sure to ask about.

Don’t lie to your insurance company about your mileage

Just like with pretty much all aspects of life, honesty is the best policy when it comes to how much you drive. While it may be tempting to fudge the truth a little with your insurance company, you don’t want to do this. If, for example, you say you only drive 10,000 miles every year but the actual number is closer to 15,000, and this affects your insurance, this is considered fraud. Plus, if you have any sort of claim, your mileage will be checked. If the number is not what was expected, your claim could be denied and your policy might be canceled.

3 tips for driving less

Car insurance can be pricey, so it’s in your best interests to do what you can to cut your premiums. Qualifying for that low mileage discount is an excellent place to start, and these tips can help you get there:

1.  Carpool

Now, this isn’t an option everyone can take advantage of, but you should find out if it is feasible. It’s possible you and a co-worker or two don’t live too far from one another and can split driving duties. If you’re constantly driving your kids around, there are almost certainly other parents going to and from the same places.

2.  Walk or ride a bike

One of the best things about South Florida is that the weather is good most of the time, which is excellent for walkers and bike riders. And while work may be too far away for this, think about all of the other places you drive to. You’ll probably find that several are nearby. Walking or riding your bike cuts down on your car mileage and also lets you get some exercise.

3.  Better plan your days

How often do you run errands and end up driving all over town? Or you get home only to discover that you forget something and have to go back out again? All of these frequent trips really make the miles add up on your car. To avoid this, write a list of what you need before you head out. Also, if you’re going to multiple spots, take some time to plan your route so you drive the fewest number of miles.

Want to see if you can cut your car insurance costs? Get in touch with Avante Insurance for a free quote.

Liability, Collision, and Comprehensive Auto Insurance: Do You Really Need All 3?

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Liability, Collision, and Comprehensive Auto Insurance: Do You Really Need All 3? on avanteinsurance.com

What you should know about the big three in auto insurance coverage

Auto insurance is a necessity, however, choosing the right coverage can be challenging. The confusion starts with choices. There are several types of auto insurance and they all cover different things. The three most common kinds of policies are liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance.

So, what are they and what does each cover? More importantly, do you really need all three?

Liability coverage

Liability auto insurance is meant to protect you financially if you ever cause an accident. It includes bodily injury coverage, which pays for injuries to others, and property damage coverage, which pays for damage to another person’s property (usually the other vehicle).

Bodily injury insurance usually covers:

•  Medical bills

•  Physical therapy or rehabilitation

•  Work time lost due to injury

•  Legal representation for the other party

•  Funeral costs

•  Possibly pain and suffering

Everyone should have liability insurance. If you ever cause an accident that results in serious injuries or property damage, you could end up taking a big financial hit.

According to the DMV, “Liability insurance is the most commonly required type of car insurance throughout the various states. Even in the rare state that does not require liability car insurance, you may find that having liability insurance is worth the financial security.”

Every state that requires liability insurance also has minimum limits the policy must meet. It’s basically the maximum amount the car insurance company has to pay for a claim. When it comes to bodily injury coverage, there is a per-person limit and a total limit if 2 or more people are hurt.

Here’s an example of how this works, according to the DMV. Note that the exact limits are different in each state:

$15,000 for bodily injury per person

$25,000 for total bodily injury

$10,000 for property damage

In many cases, you’ll see the minimum limits written as 15/25/10.

Important note: Liability insurance only covers bodily injury or property damage to others as a result of an accident when you are at fault. It does not cover your injuries or damage to your vehicle.

Collision coverage

As mentioned, liability insurance does not cover damage to your vehicle. Collision coverage, as the name implies, is insurance you buy to pay for damages caused by a collision, either with another vehicle, a building, a guardrail, or some other stationary object. It helps you pay for repairs or replace your vehicle if it is totaled.

Another important note: If your vehicle is totaled, collision insurance will only reimburse you for the current value of the vehicle, not the purchase price.

Comprehensive coverage

Comprehensive auto insurance covers damage to your vehicle that is caused by something other than a collision. It’s really meant for any event that is out of your control. For example, if a storm causes a tree branch to fall on your car, comprehensive coverage would help pay for repairs or replacement.

Comprehensive auto insurance covers:

•  Theft

•  Vandalism, fire, riots, explosions

•  Windshield/glass damage

•  Falling tree limbs

•  Rocks/objects kicked up by or falling off of another vehicle

•  Damage from storms, hail, wind, flood, lightning, or earthquakes

•  Accidents involving animals (such as a deer crossing the road)

Sometimes, collision and comprehensive insurance are offered together as one policy.

Do you need collision and comprehensive auto insurance?

Collision and comprehensive auto insurance are not required in all states, so it may be an option for you. Your choice should be based on your financial situation and also the age and value of your vehicle.

“If your car is older, it may not be worth paying for insurance, especially if you can work on saving up enough to replace the car if necessary. If you have a good-sized emergency fund, you may be safe without collision insurance. If you’ve chosen a more expensive car or your car is relatively new, however, collision insurance can help you sleep much better at night,” according to moneying.com.

You can also bring down the cost of a comprehensive insurance policy by installing or purchasing a vehicle that has an anti-theft or tracking device.

Liability, collision and comprehensive insurance are all important types of auto coverage you may need to protect yourself financially in the event that you ever cause an accident or your vehicle is damaged. If you have questions or you need to find an auto policy, contact Avante Insurance today.

How Much Do You Really Know about Auto Insurance?

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How Much Do You Really Know about Auto Insurance? on avanteinsurance.com

This guide explains the different types available

For the most part, insurance seems pretty straightforward: You buy a policy to cover something of value. And while that’s the basic gist of it, there is a lot more involved. Car insurance, for example, has many different types of coverage. This guide will help explain them.

Liability

If you drive, you are legally required to have liability insurance. This policy will cover you in the event that you cause an accident. Liability insurance takes care of property damage expenses and any medical bills. However, it will only cover what’s included in your policy. The minimum requirement for liability insurance in Florida is $10,000. If the accident you cause results in damages higher than that, the extra money comes out of your pocket. This is why it’s a good idea to go with a higher coverage amount.

Collision

Collision insurance covers the costs of repairing your car after an accident no matter whose fault it may have been. If your car is beyond repair, you will be paid the value of your car. People who drive older cars sometimes don’t feel the need to have collision insurance, as it just wouldn’t be worth repairing or replacing. But for a newer car or expensive model, it would be foolish not to have it.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Repairing a vehicle can be costly, but it usually doesn’t compare to medical expenses. Because even a minor injury can incur thousands of dollars, PIP is invaluable. Regardless of who was at fault for the accident, PIP covers the medical costs of the driver and any passengers. PIP also pays lost-income benefits. Not every state requires this coverage, but Florida does. And like liability insurance, the minimum requirement is $10,000.

Comprehensive

Not all car damage is the result of an accident. There are quite a few other things that can hurt your auto, such as hailstorms, falling branches, and even vandalism. Liability and collision coverage won’t help you in these instances, but comprehensive insurance will. This will also cover you in the event your car is stolen. Comprehensive insurance may be a little pricey, but it could be worth the expense.

Uninsured/Underinsured motorist (UM/UIM)

As mentioned, every driver is obligated by the law to carry liability insurance, at the minimum. However, there are still quite a few people who decide to risk it and don’t have any coverage. If you get into an accident with someone without insurance and they are at fault, in most cases you’d be out of luck. But with UM/UIM insurance, you would be covered. The same is true if the other driver has insurance but it’s not enough to take care of your expenses.

Those five are the main types of insurance policies, but there are a few others worth knowing about:

•  Towing and labor – This covers towing charges and labor fees if someone needs to be called to change a tire, charge a battery, etc.

•  Rental reimbursement – If you have to rent a car while yours is being repaired, this policy will give you a set amount to go towards the costs.

• Antique auto – Because antique cars have special maintenance and restoration requirements, this type of insurance will cover those expenses.

As you can see, car insurance isn’t as cut and dried as it may seem. If you’re shopping for auto insurance and you’re not sure what you need to keep you and your vehicle protected, talk to Avante Insurance. We will gladly explain your options in further detail and help you make the best choice. You can call us at 305-648-7070 or just send us a message through our online contact form.

You Had an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist … Now What?

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You Had an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist … Now What? on avanteinsurance.com

Take a deep breath and follow these steps

Accidents are the worst. And they can more upsetting when you have a crash and go to exchange insurance information, only to discover that you’ve collided with an uninsured motorist. Even though having insurance is a requirement in most states, there are many folks who aren’t as responsible or law abiding as the rest of us. In fact, it may surprise you to know that in Florida, one in four drivers are uninsured, and there’s a similar ratio in other states.

When you have an accident with one of these individuals, your first reaction may be to panic or get angry. But as easy and understandable as it is to be stressed out, there are steps you can take to handle the situation. Take a look:

Call the police

The moment you have any accident, it’s recommended that you call the police but especially when you collide with an uninsured motorist. The police will create an accident report and a record of the incident which can help you when you try to get repairs or other costs reimbursed. If you can, take pictures of the damage to your vehicle, any skid marks, and the other driver’s car before the authorities arrive.

It’s not out of the realm of possibility that the other driver may attempt to leave the scene, considering the fact that not having insurance is against the law. Do not move your car or the other’s person’s vehicle from the scene of the accident until the police direct you to do so, unless you are blocking several lanes of traffic or the vehicles are in a precarious position that puts them in danger of further damage by oncoming traffic.

Get emergency help if needed

If you’ve been injured, call 911 even before you call the police, or let the police operator know that you’ve been hurt and need medical attention. If you have uninsured or underinsured coverage, you may be able to receive compensation for your medical bills, so it’s important that a record of your injury is created right away.

Exchange information

Get the other driver’s license number and their personal information, including name, address, phone number, and date of birth. Also be sure to take down their license plate number and the make and model of their vehicle. This information is important in the event that you decide to take further action against the other driver if he or she is at fault.

Call your insurance company

Report the accident as soon as possible to your insurance provider. At this point, if you have uninsured or underinsured coverage on your policy, you can rest assured that any damage to your vehicle and any medical bills that result from an injury in the crash will likely be covered. If you don’t have this type of protection, your insurance company will guide you through the next steps.

Assess your options

If you’ve suffered severe injuries and major damage to your vehicle (or a complete loss), you may decide to sue the other driver for the cost to repair or replace your car and for any medical bills. The only problem with taking that route is that often times uninsured motorists have few, if any assets (they are usually uninsured because they cannot afford insurance). It’s a good idea to do some research or to call an attorney who specializes in this type of law and discuss what your choices may be.

Accidents happen and no matter how big or small the collision, it’s never convenient or easy. But if you have the misfortune of getting into a crash with an uninsured driver, the situation becomes more difficult. You can safeguard yourself by including uninsured coverage in your auto policy. The cost of this additional protection may be worth it when you consider how much you’d have to shell out without it.

If you want to find out more information about uninsured motorist coverage or to get a quote, give us a call at 305-648-7070 or fill out our online quote request form.

How Motorcycle Insurance Differs from Auto Insurance

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How Motorcycle Insurance Differs from Auto Insurance on avanteinsurance.com

Hint: Your auto insurance will not cover your bike

Everyone knows there are major differences between driving a motorcycle and driving a car—but what many folks don’t realize is that their auto policy won’t cover their motorcycle and their motorcycle policy won’t cover their car. The insurance requirements for these two types of vehicles are different and it’s important to know how if you’re the owner of either (or both). Here’s a quick guide:

Modified coverage

Motorcycles are often not the main method of transportation for owners. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or you only ride your bike during certain seasons, you may have the option to choose an insurance policy that allows you to specify when you ride—helping you to save money on your premiums. This is not an option with your auto insurance. Motorcycles can also fall victim to theft, fire, and other unforeseen events just like cars, so even if you’re not riding it as often as you’re driving your car, you’ll want to make sure you have the right protection.

Cost comparison

Depending on what kind of driving you will be doing on your motorcycle, how experienced you are, and your driving record, your bike insurance will likely be less than your auto policy. Although riding a motorcycle is often more dangerous and a higher risk than driving a car, these factors can influence a lower rate. Keep in mind that in many states you have to pass a rider training program before you can get a license or have a motorcycle endorsement added to your driver’s license.

Helmet laws affect motorcycle insurance rates

In many states, helmets are only mandated for motorcycle riders under the age of 21. While this makes many motorcyclists happy, it has also caused the cost of insurance to go up. And because riders in Florida need at least $10,000 in medical benefits coverage (other states require as much as $200,000 in medical coverage), the cost to insure their ride can get quite costly. Motorcyclists who wear helmets, on the other hand, can save on their premiums.

Motorcycles and their riders suffer more in an accident

Although some states do not require motorcycle insurance, you’d be foolish not to have a policy in place to cover you and your bike in the event of an accident. In most cases, if a bike collides with a car, the bike and the rider suffer greater damage and injury than the other vehicle. So if you don’t have the right amount of coverage, you stand to lose a lot by way of costly repairs and medical bills.

It’s recommended that motorcyclists have the following coverage:

Liability

Collision

Comprehensive

Medical

While the same types of coverage are available and recommended for cars, many drivers can get away with minimum coverage and opt out of comprehensive. But for a motorcycle rider, having inadequate insurance is a much riskier proposition.

Motorcyclists need medical coverage

It’s a sad fact, but in most cases, if you are involved in a crash with your motorcycle, the odds of getting injured are quite high – much more so than if you were driving a car in the same accident. That being said, unless you have health insurance that includes coverage for an accident on your bike, you need medical coverage included in your motorcycle policy.

If you own both a motorcycle and a car, remember that you need two separate polices for these vehicles. Of course, if you are an occasional rider, you may have the option to add coverage to your auto policy, but it’s best to speak to your provider and find out the best option for your specific needs. While saving money on monthly premiums is always a goal, skimping on your coverage is never a good idea, especially when you consider the risks of hitting the road on a bike.

For more information about insurance for your car or motorcycle, give us a call at 305-648-7070 or fill out our online quote request form. We are standing by to assist you in getting the coverage you need.

Insurance Binders: What You Need to Know

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Insurance Binders: What You Need to Know

Many have heard of them—but what exactly are they?

Let’s face it, insurance can be confusing. Most folks depend on their agent to fill them in on the details that are necessary and choose not to worry about the ones that should be left to the experts. But understanding many of the industry terms and how they apply to you and your insurance policies is always a good idea. “Insurance binder” is one term that many people aren’t clear on, including what it means and when you would need one. So here’s a quick overview of what you need to know:

What is an insurance binder?

An insurance binder is a temporary contract that states that a certain insurance policy has taken effect. So essentially, if you were buying a new car and wanted to make sure it was covered even before you drove it home, you could call your insurance company and ask them to issue a binder.

Binders are a short-term agreement that your insurance company issues based on your arrangement with them. And they do not necessarily guarantee long-term coverage.

When do I need one?

There are several scenarios where an insurance binder may be necessary and if you’re not sure if you need one, the advisable thing to do is to call your provider. Some examples of when you would require a binder include:

 

Purchasing a home: Your title company may require you to get a homeowner’s binder before they are willing to handle your closing

Buying a new car: If you’re purchasing at a dealership, it’s not uncommon for the dealer to require you to have an insurance binder before you can take it home

Renting a home: Some landlords require that their tenants get a renter’s insurance policy binder to ensure they are not liable for loss or damages to personal property

How long is the term?

Insurance binders are meant to be interim policies that are only in effect until the long-term policy has been written. They can vary in length from 30 to 60 days and can usually be cancelled anytime within that period—although some carriers will specify a date that a cancellation has to occur by.

What happens after a binder is issued?

In most cases, after you’ve been issued a binder, your insurance provider will assess the risk of taking on this policy, check out all of the information you’ve provided to them (if you don’t already have policies with them), and review your records and claims history. Once they determine the level of risk, they’ll set a premium amount and advise you of how much you need to pay upfront to put the long-term policy into effect. The process, although it may seem long, usually doesn’t take too much time. Once your policy is approved, you will receive the documentation from your insurance provider.

With any assets, including your home, car, boat, or even your life, you want to be sure you’re protected as quickly as possible. So when you’re in need of insurance, a binder can provide peace of mind that you’re covered until your official policy is in place.

If you have any questions about insurance binders or want to get a quote on an insurance product, give us a call at 305-648-7070 or fill out our online quote request form.

Risky Driving Behaviors and Your Auto Insurance

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9 risky driving behaviors and how they affect your premium.

We tend to view auto insurance policies as fairly black and white. They are built around a few “what if” scenarios, and they are priced according to your age, driving history, deductible, type of coverage chosen, and the type of car or cars you own and drive. While other variables, such as the numbers of miles you drive or whether a car is for leisure or work, may change the cost of our annual premiums, we tend to think that this is all that is used to calculate premiums.

What we may not know is that insurance companies understand a great deal more than you might realize about the entire world of automobiles, driving, and human behaviors. They use a tremendous range of data and statistics to create the pricing structures used to ensure their policy holders. It is never a one-size fits all endeavor, and it is important for drivers of all ages to understand what goes into the creation of their policy and its rate.
For instance, statistics are used and assessed to determine what sort of behaviors contribute to the worst traffic incidents, and the following nine issues are what led, most often, to fatal accidents on American roadways in 2013:

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10 Ways to Reduce Your Auto Insurance

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Things you can do to lower your car insurance payment!

It’s a fact of life. If you’re going to own a vehicle, you’re going to need auto insurance. Having automotive insurance is required by law, but it can get pricey.

What can you do to reduce your auto insurance payments? The obvious answer is to drive safely, but we’d like to show you some other ideas that you can use to reduce your rates.

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Top 10 Cheapest Cities for Auto Insurance

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Is you city among the cheapest cities for Auto insurance?

Auto insurance can be one of the biggest payments you have to make on a regular basis. While there are many components that determine your insurance rates, including your driving history and the value of your vehicle, where you live can actually make a difference as well.

Due to weather, the local economy, traffic congestion, and other factors, some cities actually have cheaper auto insurance than others. Let’s go over the top 10 cities with the least expensive insurance for your vehicle:

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Google to Offer Auto Insurance?

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Can consumers also trust Google with their Auto Insurance needs?

Consumers are already trusting Google with many of their basic-daily needs such as e-mail, news, marketing trends, documents storage, music, games, shopping, finances, maps and even money on the very new and controversial Google Wallet- and the new question is if consumers can also trust Google with their auto insurance needs! We’re going to go ahead and guess Google’s answer is: “Of course!”

The search-engine giant has entered the world of insurance and is now trying to help its customers with finding the best comparison rates when it comes to auto insurance. Public records indicate that Google is currently licensed to sell auto insurance in, at least, 26 states, and there are rumors of plans to launch the product in 4 states later this quarter: California, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Texas.

While there is no confirmation from Google itself about operations in the U.S., they have already successfully launched a similar auto insurance product in the U.K.

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The Effects of Crash Avoidance Technology on Auto Insurance

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How Does Crash Avoidance Technology Play a Role in Auto Insurance Rates?

You’ve probably heard about all the vehicles that are now coming out with automatic braking and cameras among other new technologies, but what you may not realize is that crash avoidance technology may not lower your car insurance.

The glitz and glam of these new technologies have been a huge topic of conversation in the auto and insurance industries, but as of yet they have had no effects on auto insurance rates. One of the biggest issues that come along with new safety features is that they are expensive to repair in the event of an accident. So where is the tradeoff? The systems may help deter accidents and consequently injuries, but not everyone may be able to afford repairs and oftentimes some safety systems don’t always work properly in the dark and in bad weather.

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