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July 13, 2017
Is Summer Driving More Dangerous than Winter Driving?
At Affordable Insurance, we’re often asked, is summer driving more dangerous than winter driving? Most drivers will say that winter conditions are much more hazardous for driving than the easy breezy days of summer. While it's certain that snow and ice on the road in winter can make traction difficult and visibility worse, most road accident fatalities occur during the summertime according to studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
There are a number of factors that contribute to this surprising statistic. The overconfidence of drivers may come into play during the summer months. With clear roads and excellent visibility, it can be tempting to go over the speed limit, especially on long, straight highways. As we all know, the higher the velocity at the time of a car accident, the more severe the resulting damage.
Hot weather instantly increases the likelihood of a tire blowout and can exacerbate other problems with your car. Radiator failure and overheating the engine is more likely during the summer. It is important to keep up to date with regular maintenance of your vehicle as summer approaches. Otherwise, you could be the victim of an unexpected car failure. If this happens at the wrong moment, it can be hazardous.
In addition to affecting vehicles, increased temperatures can also have an impact on drivers. Hot weather makes it much easier for a driver to get dehydrated quickly. Falling asleep at the wheel is also more likely in warm conditions and on long monotonous journeys. Any alcohol consumed can have a more intense effect when under the conditions of high temperatures and dehydration. Drivers should be proactive in staying sober, keeping hydrated and taking rest breaks while driving in summer.
Summertime means schools are out and you are more likely to encounter young drivers on the roads. Young drivers are categorized as very high risk and more likely to be involved in collisions. Many teenagers learn to drive during the summer, and they cannot be expected to be faultless drivers straight away. It is important for more experienced drivers to be patient and to leave a very generous following distance behind learner drivers.
With school vacations in full swing, drivers also must be prepared to share the roads with more pedestrians and cyclists, many of them being children. There are also more motorcyclists out during the summer. Remember to be extra cautious and leave sufficient space for cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians to easily pass. Good weather means more sports played outside and the possibility of stray balls and frisbees sending kids running out onto the roads. Be especially careful when driving around residential areas during the summer.
Road construction has to be completed at some point, and usually, it's done during the summer months. This can cause drivers some inconveniences with temporary road closures and partial blocking. It is important for drivers to follow the signals given by road workers and co-operate, especially when all traffic must go through one lane. Road construction sites are a hotspot for fender benders, crashes, even injuring a worker. There are high penalties involved, so remember to slow down and be patient.
Another hazard of summer driving is the vacation traffic. This issue depends on your location, but if you live in a vacation town or near an airport, you may experience a dramatic increase in traffic congestion as hundreds of tourists set off on holiday. For residents of tourist destinations, this can be especially frustrating. Drivers coming in from out of town are often disoriented, tired, and more likely to get into accidents when lost and going through unfamiliar junctions.
For many people, the sunny days and balmy nights of summer mean BBQs, bonfires at the beach and all-night parties. The good weather and relaxed atmosphere of summertime are never an excuse to drink and drive. Whether you are attending a 4th of July picnic or a block party, you cannot give in to the temptation to drink if you plan on driving by yourself or with others. Decide on a designated driver well in advance or arrange alternative transportation. A DUI can severely impact the cost of your insurance and is not worth risking anybody's safety.
Unexpected weather is the final risk factor of summer driving that we will mention. In some areas of the country, Colorado especially, summer is the season for intense hailstorms. These storms can cause severe damage to vehicles and make driving very dangerous. If caught in a bad hailstorm, drivers should pull over and wait for the worst of the storm to pass before continuing their journey.
Rain showers that occur during the summer after a long dry spell can often create difficult driving conditions. When water mixes with the build-up of grease and dirt, a slippery layer is created on the road, making it very easy for vehicles traveling at high speeds to lose traction and hydroplane. Drivers should look out for changing weather conditions and react appropriately by reducing their speed.
Returning to the original question, is summer driving more dangerous than winter driving? We can categorically state that yes, when measured by road fatalities, driving in the summer is more dangerous than driving during any other season. It is up to drivers to be aware of the particular hazards presented by summer driving and to take the correct precautions. Keeping your car well maintained, looking out for pedestrians, cyclists, and new drivers and having patience will certainly help! Also, be sure to review your insurance policy as well to make sure you’re properly covered for whatever the summer brings.
Now that you know the answer to is summer driving more dangerous than winter driving, get in touch with Affordable Insurance in Aurora. For over 20 years we have been helping drivers to carefully analyze their habits, vehicle type, and driving record to determine the most suitable insurance plan for them. When it comes time to renew your auto insurance policy, allow us to create a personalized insurance package that works for you and keeps you covered all year long.
June 27, 2017
Can You Guess the Most Common Car Insurance Claims?
Can you guess the most common car insurance claims? Affordable Insurance of Aurora, Colorado has put together a list of the 10 most common incidents leading to car insurance claims, and the results may surprise you!
The average person will be involved in a road accident once every six years. The majority of these incidents are classified as mild fender benders, with minimal damages and injuries. Knowing the most common causes for claims can help you when it comes time to choose your car insurance.
- Chipped Windshields
Loose pebbles on country roads or debris from another vehicle frequently cause minor impacts on windshields. Chips and small cracks in windshields fall into the category of damages covered under comprehensive insurance. In the case that the glass is reparable, your insurance company will typically cover the cost of repair completely and waive the deductible. If a complete replacement of the windshield is required, a deductible will apply.
- Rear-end Collisions
Rear-end collisions are very common and are almost always the fault of the driver in the rear. This type of accident occurs when the driver in front comes to a stop at an appropriate place, such as a stop sign or traffic light, and the driver behind them fails to stop quickly enough and hits them from behind. Rear-end collisions can result in whiplash injuries to either party and of course, damages to both vehicles from the impact. Your collision insurance covers costs incurred from damages to your vehicle.
- Backing Accidents
Backing accidents often occur in parking lots, when two cars are backing out of their spaces simultaneously and collide. They can also happen between one car that is backing out of a space and another that is driving through the parking lot. It can be difficult to determine which driver is responsible for such an incident. Witness reports and an investigation may be required to decide which driver's insurance will pay for the damages. Collision coverage covers this type of accident.
Vandalism to your vehicle includes graffiti, being keyed, broken into, parts damaged or removed. Some instances of vandalism can include interference with parts of your vehicle such as the exhaust pipe or gas tank, were damaging substances or objects are introduced. Comprehensive coverage includes vandalism, but it is usually up to the vehicle owner to pay a deductible unless they can identify and sue the vandal.
- Total Theft
Cars are sometimes stolen to be used in crimes such as robberies and drug trafficking. For the best chance of retrieving your car, report it as stolen as quickly as possible and co-operate with law enforcement. If your vehicle is stolen and never found by police, comprehensive coverage can pay the replacement value. If the rate of car theft is high in your state, consider investing in comprehensive coverage.
- Intersection Accidents
Intersection accidents are unfortunately quite common and can be severe, causing significant damage, serious injury, and fatalities. This type of collision usually results from one driver running a red light or failing to yield the right of way when turning left. Depending on the speeds involved, the accident may lead to minor damage or a completely totaled vehicle. The liability insurance of the driver at fault will cover the cost of medical expenses and damages suffered by the other driver.
- Parked Car Damage
Parked cars that are hit, scratched or dented by adjacent car's opening doors can be claimed under collision coverage. The person with a moving vehicle at the time of the accident is always at fault, even if the stationary car is parked illegally. Damaged caused by a hit-and-run collision to a parked car can be claimed under uninsured motorist coverage in some states.
- Single Car Collisions
Single car collisions are very common in adverse weather conditions or when the driver is drunk. This type of accident involves just one vehicle that either collides with an object like a tree or stop sign or runs itself off the road. In single car collisions, the driver often completely loses control of the car. Collision coverage can cover the damages to your car if it hits a wall or other object.
- Hail Damage
In some parts of the country, including Colorado, hail damage should not be underestimated. From April to August, drivers in Colorado should try to avoid driving in hail and store their car in a covered area. Hail stones can leave indentations on the bodywork of the vehicle and chip or crack the glass. A vehicle can be totaled if caught in a bad hailstorm. Damages from hail or other weather conditions can be claimed for under comprehensive insurance.
- Multiple Vehicle Accidents
Multi-car pileups often happen in areas of heavy traffic. Unlike a simple rear-end collision, it's difficult to assign responsibility to an individual driver when there are many vehicles involved. if one car in a traffic jam accidentally rear-ends the car in front, they can end up causing a domino effect with consecutive impacts between tightly packed vehicles. Collision coverage and liability coverage of the driver, or drivers found responsible will cover the damage in this case.
These are the incidents resulting in the highest number of auto insurance claims across the country. Some are minor accidents that are almost inevitable for drivers to experience at some time or another. Others are more dangerous and can have a high risk of fatality. To lower your risk of incidents drive with caution, always expecting the unexpected from other drivers and avoid driving while tired or under the influence. An insurance policy adapted to your risk factors will give you the best protection if you do experience an accident.
After reading about road mishaps, you have your answer to the question, can you guess the most common car insurance claims? You should also have a better idea of what you may experience over your driving career. And if you want to make some adjustments to your current policy or learn more about the options available to you, don't hesitate to contact Affordable Insurance. With over 25 years of experience in the insurance industry, we can help Colorado drivers find reliable insurance options that suit their budget.
May 16, 2017
Understanding Car Insurance Coverage Options
As a driver, understanding car insurance coverage options is crucial. At Affordable Insurance in Aurora, we give our customers all the information they need to make the best decisions for their future. Nobody expects to get into a collision or to suffer damages to their car, but it happens to thousands of drivers each day. Investing in the right insurance plan for you and your vehicle will give you peace of mind. If the worst should happen, you can relax knowing that your insurance company has you covered.
There are a number of different types of auto insurance that you can take out to protect your vehicle. The following options are designed to pay for those costs incurred when your vehicle is damaged in various situations. They do not cover damages caused to the vehicle of another person. For example, if you are involved in a collision with another car, you will need liability insurance that can cover the cost of damages to the other car. Liability insurance will also cover the medical bills of a third party injured in the collision. If you or your passengers are injured in an accident, it is your medical payments coverage that will take care of medical costs.
The main vehicle coverage options available to drivers are called collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage is pretty self-explanatory. It covers the costs of damages incurred to your car when you experience a crash or traffic accident. In addition to collisions with other vehicles, this coverage can also be applied if you collide with a signpost, fire hydrant, wall or other objects. If you opt for this type of insurance, you can select the deductible that works best for your budget. A deductible is the amount of money you are willing to pay out of pocket for damages before the insurance takes over. A higher deductible will result in a lower premium cost.
Comprehensive insurance will compensate you for damages caused by a whole range of different situations. These include natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and damages from wildlife. Theft and vandalism of your vehicle are covered by comprehensive insurance, as is fire damage and damage from falling objects. Depending on the insurance company and the area, hail damage can also be included in this coverage. The cost of this type of insurance can be influenced by where you usually park your vehicle. Those kept in a secure garage can be charged significantly less.
Collision and comprehensive insurance are almost always optional, whereas the law usually mandates liability and medical coverage. Choosing collision and comprehensive insurance is worthwhile if you value your vehicle. Often as part of a car loan or lease agreement, you will have to purchase collision and comprehensive insurance. This is a condition set out by the bank so that they do not lose money in the event that your vehicle is destroyed or stolen before you have finished paying for it.
Emergency Road Service Coverage
Towing and labor coverage, also known as emergency road service insurance, will cover the costs of emergency road assistance if your vehicle breaks down. Getting stuck by yourself on the highway is never fun. If your car suffers a mechanical breakdown, a flat tire or runs out of gas, you can call the tow truck without worrying about exorbitant costs. Getting help if your car is snowed in or after locking the keys in the car, are some other possible situations that can be covered by this type of insurance. It will include the immediate assistance and transportation of you and your vehicle to a mechanic, but it will not cover extensive mechanical repairs.
Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
Mechanical breakdown coverage is similar to the extended warranties offered by some car dealers. It will cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle for a range of different mechanical issues. Usually, maintenance work or repairs resulting from normal wear and tear are not covered. For example, new tires to replace your old, worn ones will not be covered by this insurance. It is only applied when there is a real mechanical malfunction. Every provider does not offer this type of insurance, so it's best to speak to your car insurance company to find out if it's available to you.
If you are currently leasing your car or paying off a car loan, you should consider gap insurance. In the case of your car being declared a total loss while you are still paying for it, this insurance will reimburse you the value of your vehicle at the time of the loss. The insurance company will use your comprehensive or collision coverage payout to cover the difference between what you still owe on the car and its current fair market value. This means you will never be stuck continuing to pay for a car that you no longer have.
Custom Parts and Equipment Coverage
For drivers that have invested in upgrades and extra features for their vehicles, custom parts and equipment coverage could be very worthwhile. The value of any after-market modifications is usually ignored by your insurance company when it comes time to reimburse you for your losses. To protect your specially installed engine parts, stereos, cosmetic alterations and custom lights or body work, you will need this specific insurance coverage.
These are all the main types of vehicle coverage options you are likely to encounter. Depending on your priorities and risk factors, it may make sense to invest in some of these types of insurance over others. If you live in an area with frequent natural disasters and freak weather, comprehensive insurance makes sense. If you often drive on isolated back roads, then emergency road service coverage may give you some peace of mind. If you have invested a lot into personalizing your vehicle, it may be worth it to take out custom parts and equipment insurance.
Now that you understand car insurance coverage options available to you, please do not hesitate to contact Affordable Insurance in Aurora for a personalized quote. We know how important it is to have your vehicle fully protected in the event of damages or a traffic accident. With the right insurance on your vehicle, you won't be hit by unexpected repair costs or a long, inconvenient time without your car.
April 14, 2017
Colorado Drivers Are Bad, Bad, Bad Says a Study
At Affordable Insurance, we hate to be the bearers of bad news, but Colorado drivers are bad, bad, bad says a study recently published by QuoteWizard. If you have ever thought to yourself that your fellow motorists in Colorado are particularly inept, you may not have been too far from the truth. Compared to other states, Colorado does not rank well regarding driver safety.
We all know that driving in Colorado can be fairly hazardous. Between hailstorms, icy mountain roads, and massive potholes, taking to the roads can be challenging. What might come as a surprise to some is that the drivers of Colorado are increasingly making the roads more dangerous with their risky behavior.
Collecting the Data
The study carried out by Quotewizard compares rates of road fatalities from the Federal Highway Administration to incident counts from their nationwide insurance website. The resulting data incorporates DUIs, speeding tickets, accidents, citations and fatalities on the road. From this data, the report has ranked all 50 states from worst to best concerning driver safety. Unlike many insurance company reports on driver safety; their research also incorporates government data on road fatalities. This means that despite variations in road traffic laws and insurance claims across states, this report reveals the type of bad driving that causes road deaths.
From Worst to Best
When examining the resulting list, it may be a surprise to find Utah taking the top place for worst drivers. Despite a high percentage of its population abstaining from alcohol, Utah ranks among the top ten states for DUIs. It also ranks second for both speeding and accidents, something to keep in mind if you plan on driving through Utah any time soon. Rhode Island is the clear winner in terms of driver safety, with the combined lowest score for road fatalities and incidents. Although there is no clear reason for their exemplary driving, it could have something to do with the very small land area and relatively low population.
Bad News for Colorado
Colorado is ranked as the 8th worst state overall for drivers. When looking closer at the details, we can see that risky practices such as drunk driving and speeding are fairly common here. Colorado is ranked 10th for speeding citations and 11th for DUIs. This is bad news for all drivers, whether you partake in these practices or not. High rates of speeding and drunk driving make the roads less safe for everyone, including cyclists and pedestrians.
Even more disturbing is the revelation that Colorado drivers are the number one worst offenders for a whole range of traffic citations. This is not a statistic that is likely to be shared by the Colorado Tourism Office, but if you want to see drivers running red lights, failing to use their turn signals, and ignoring seatbelt laws, then by all means, come to the Centennial State!
Why Are Colorado's Drivers So Terrible?
So, what is the reason for this terrible rating in basic driver safety? Are drivers in Colorado badly educated? Is the test too easy? There are over 100 different private schools registered that offer the opportunity to students to take both the written and the actual driving tests. The DMV of Colorado does not provide any public information on the methods used to maintain standards between schools. One thing made clear by the DMV however, is that drivers who have received their licenses in any other US state, or in the countries of Canada, Germany, South Korea, France or Taiwan are exempt from testing requirements when applying for a Colorado driver's license.
A recent increase in the population of Colorado has brought many more drivers to the roads. Of course, a proportion of these drivers are going to be bad drivers, but this may not be the only explanation for high rates of reported traffic violations. Compared to other states, the local police force may be working more efficiently, especially when it comes to catching and reporting these minor traffic citations. Whereas a missed turn signal might be ignored by law enforcement in other states, it seems that in Colorado the State Patrol is issuing tickets at every opportunity.
How Does This Affect the Cost of Insurance?
Whether the state really is a haven for unsafe drivers, or just relatively over ticketed, these statistics do influence the price of Colorado auto insurance. When a state has a higher rate of road fatalities and traffic law citations, the perceived risk of all drivers in that state goes up and so do the cost of premiums. Unfortunately, in Colorado, fatal crashes have risen by 12%, meaning there is a concrete reason for increases in average insurance costs.
There are some factors affecting drivers in Colorado that are uncontrollable. It has the second highest rate of auto insurance claims for hail damage amongst all 50 states. However, the nature of insurance claims has been changing in recent years across Colorado. The number of claims and the severity of these claims has been rising rapidly. According to the same Quotewizard report, Colorado is ranked 2nd regarding increased claim costs and has the 4th highest increase in physical damage claims.
What Can I Do to Keep My Insurance Costs Down?
Between careless local drivers and dangerous weather conditions, driving can be hazardous. These same conditions that drive the price of insurance higher are also the reasons why it is of particular importance to have good insurance coverage. If you know you are driving in a higher risk area, it makes sense to prepare for the worst and give yourself a good safety net.
There are ways to keep your personal insurance costs low even when the state you live in has a higher than average insurance cost. Comparing different companies and shopping around for the best deal can easily save you hundreds of dollars. When it comes to renewing your policy, you don't have to take the default route and stay with your current insurer. A year can make a big difference. Depending on your vehicle usage, your credit score and other factors, you could be due for a discount.
At Affordable Insurance, we always strive to make sure each of our clients gets the best possible deal. We can help you compare the packages offered by different insurance providers to find the right one for your personal needs. Yes, Colorado drivers are bad, bad, bad says a study, but this shouldn't affect the opportunity for you to get a good deal on your insurance.
For help finding the lowest possible rates on your auto insurance, contact us today.
March 14, 2017
Car Insurance Rates Going Up 15%
With car insurance rates going up 15% or more for the average driver in Colorado this year, now is a good time to consult with Affordable Insurance before you renew your current policy with any other insurance provider in Denver or Aurora. When it comes to renewing your coverage, these changes can potentially be balanced by shopping around for the best rates, carefully choosing the type of car you drive, adjusting your driving behavior, and making sure you’re not overinsuring an older model vehicle.
Why is the cost of your insurance increasing because you live in Colorado?
According to the Zebra State of Insurance report, Colorado has seen some of the highest insurance increases in recent years. To understand why, we first have to look at overall national trends. Insurance costs do not stay the same over time. Anybody who began driving in the 70s or 80s can tell you that. It is normal for the cost of many goods and services to increase gradually. Between 2011 and 2016, the cost of car insurance increased by 10.8% nationally. It is an inevitable fact that we are paying more to insure our vehicles now than we did 5 years ago.
Interestingly, during the period from 2011 to 2016, not all states followed the pattern. Massachusetts experienced a 20% reduction in average car insurance costs. Colorado experienced the biggest jump of any state, with an increase of 48% in this period! The overall trend is for prices to increase, but why does this increase happen so severely in some states? There are a few distinct factors that have contributed to this situation in Colorado, many of which are outside of the control of the individual driver.
For example, the number of drivers in the state of Colorado has been sharply increasing in the last few years. In 2016 alone, more than 100,000 people moved to Colorado. A larger population means more drivers on the road, and having more drivers on the road means a higher risk of collisions and other accidents. Having more people to insure, unfortunately, means that the rate goes up for everybody.
Whether connected directly to the increased number of drivers or not, it is true that Colorado has become a less safe state to drive in. According to CODOT the number of fatal road accidents increased by 24% between 2014 and 2016. More specifically, fatalities of motorcyclists and pedestrians underwent significant increase. This is a huge spike to see in road deaths in such a short time, and this certainly affects the way insurance costs are calculated.
Sometimes the cost of auto insurance is not dictated by the number of drivers on the road or the behavior of these drivers. The type of weather endured by drivers in Colorado is on the extreme end of the scale, compared to say, California. Colorado drivers must deal with fluctuating temperatures, heavy snowfall, dangerous black ice and most significantly concerning insurance, hail. Colorado drivers file a lot of claims related to hail damage on their vehicles. With such a common risk factor affecting all drivers, the insurance rates are bumped up to compensate for money lost through payouts.
Another factor affecting the average auto insurance rates could be the trend for more expensive cars that is currently sweeping Colorado. As more drivers in Colorado choose vehicles that incorporate specialized parts and hi-tech components like cameras, sensors and Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems, traditionally simple and cheap repair jobs can now cost thousands of dollars. As the cost to cover the average claim increases, so does the cost of insurance here in Denver and beyond.
Unfortunately, it is not just the individual with the expensive custom car that has to bear this increase in cost. All drivers end up footing the bill as the average claim cost rises. This means that even if you drive an older, modest car, you’ll still experience an increase in cost driven by the trends in your state.
One of the more surprising factors to affect the cost of car insurance is the legal stance the state takes when it comes to lawsuits. If the state laws are loose, it can allow more expensive and more frequent lawsuits to be filed, meaning the insurance companies will spend much more than they do in other states to settle these lawsuits and give compensation. As long as there are legal loopholes to be exploited, the insurance companies will continue to charge more on premiums.
So, Colorado car insurance rates going up 15% – now what?
Unfortunately, there is not much the individual driver can do to combat any of these factors, except perhaps to put pressure on lawmakers to change the legal loopholes in relation to lawsuits.
Moving out of state may be another option, but this is a very expensive and inconvenient way to deal with the problem. Plus, it is difficult to know which state will be hit next by a spike in car insurance cost. As we have seen, it all depends on population fluctuations, recent weather conditions, trends and changes in the law. Running away is not the answer and not feasible for most of us. There are some measures you can take to keep your premium at an affordable figure.
The easiest way to avoid a sharp increase in your insurance cost is to drive safely. If you are found to be responsible for a road accident, you can expect a substantially increased insurance premium. This is due to the insurance company categorizing you as a risky driver. Cell phone violations and speeding can also increase your insurance costs, but the big one to avoid is a DUI. Drivers who receive a DUI conviction can expect to see their premium increased by an average of 80%.
Some other personal factors to be aware of include your credit rating, the type of car you drive and how you purchase your car insurance. If your credit rating suddenly worsens, you can expect the cost of your auto insurance to change. If you upgrade your vehicle to a high-performance sports car, it makes sense that your insurance premium will increase accordingly.
As we’ve seen, there is nothing we can do to stop car insurance rates going up 15% across Colorado this year. However, we can help each driver get the best deal on their yearly premium, no matter where you live. Simply contact Affordable Insurance for a free quote or assistance on comparing your options.