How to Increase Your Vehicle’s Fuel Efficiency Without Breaking the Bank

by Administrator 9. October 2012 11:23

With fuel prices hovering around the $3.50 a gallon mark, getting an extra 3 miles per gallon can really add up. There are plenty of websites that exhibit the fuel-saving  actions of a type of driver called the “hyper-miler.” These drivers have perfected the practice of getting every last mile out of their gas tanks. Unfortunately, some of these practices put the driver, and their car, at much more risk than the reward is worth. While we applaud the hyper-milers for their dedication, we must remind them that they might end up paying the savings that they make at the pump might in their next deductible.

Not all hyper-miling techniques are bad. In fact, there are five of them that make absolute sense. Doing these five things will keep your car in top shape so it delivers peak performance every day and will make you a safer and more fuel efficient driver.

-      Inflate tires properly

-      Get routine maintenance

-      Remove excess weight

-      Anticipate red lights

-      Accelerate slowly and evenly

By having properly inflated tires, you reduce the amount of friction that is generated by the rubber against the asphalt. According to Fueleconomy.gov you can increase your mileage by up to 3.3% simply by inflating your tires to the recommended PSI.

Keeping your car in good shape is the next best  way to save on fuel consumption. If you have a bad oxygen sensor, it could be zapping as much as 40% of your fuel efficiency. Of course, this isn’t the case with most cars, but by doing frequent oil changes and having a yearly tune-up you can save about 4% of your fuel costs over the duration of a year.

Removing the excess weight from your vehicle is also a good way to get better gas mileage. It takes more effort for a car to pull more weight. Reducing your car’s weight by 100 lbs can give you about 2% more fuel economy.

When your car is idling, it is wasting gas. Eliminating idle time at red lights can significantly improve your gas mileage for a couple of reasons. First, by anticipating the changing of the light you can begin to slow down much further away and coast to the light. This will consume less gas. Second, if you time it right, you can avoid making a full stop and conserve the momentum of the car. Accelerating from a dead stop is far less efficient than from a slow roll. 

Lastly, accelerating at a slow and even pace and maintaining a lower average speed can increase fuel efficiency by up to 20%. This eliminates excess fuel from being pumped into the pistons and being wasted.

Using these techniques will make you a more conscious driver. When you are focused on driving more steadily you become more aware of your surroundings and are less apt to end up in an accident that could have been avoided. Safe drivers get the lowest auto insurance rates across the board. So, by becoming more aware of your surroundings and taking better care of your car, you’ll be able to save money, not only at the pump, but on your monthly insurance bills as well! For more information on your Texas Auto Insurance policy, give us a call at Shawn Camp Insurance Agency today.

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Fixing an Anemic Insurance Portfolio

by Administrator 11. July 2012 11:35

Insurance is a product that is meant to provide protection to policyholders and their families over the years. A properly developed insurance portfolio provides adequate protection for the policyholder’s property and risks while also sheltering them from too much in self-insurance liabilities.

If one isn’t careful about how they design their insurance portfolio, they could end up with a placeholder plan that provides a significantly false sense of security and very little real protection. 

There are four things you can do to fix your insurance portfolio if you think it doesn’t provide sufficient protection:

  1. Increase your limits: If your limits are too low then you will not be reimbursed enough to make yourself whole after an insurable incident. Increase the limits on your insurance policies so that you have sufficient benefits.
  2. Decrease deductibles: If your deductibles are too high, then you will be self-insuring a large portion of your potential losses. Decreasing your deductibles can raise your premiums, but in exchange for a more protective insurance portfolio.
  3. Look for highly rated carriers: An insurance policy is only as good as the company that issues it. Your portfolio may be anemic for reasons you don’t expect—including that your insurance company can’t actually back their promise to pay you in the event of a claim. A.M. Best is an insurance rating agency that examines the financials of insurance companies and issues letter grade ratings to indicate how financially healthy a company is. Check out the ratings of your insurers and if you find them falling, consider changing to a more secure carrier.
  4. Add additional coverage: Insurance policies can have different options for coverage that supplement the main purpose. For example, a life insurance policy can be designed to also provide living benefits in the event that the insured is diagnosed with a terminal illness. A Texas auto insurance policy can be restricted to just the state-required coverage or it can be structured to include loss of use and comprehensive benefits to reimburse in the event of theft or vandalism. Understanding these options and including them in your policies will help beef up your protection exponentially.

If you are ready to explore the gaps in your insurance coverage and limits and give your anemic insurance portfolio a boost, give us a call at (800) 212-2641.

The Actual price of Car Insurance Fraud

by Administrator 25. May 2012 11:50

Fraudulent activities are an unfortunate reality. In the insurance industry, fraud frequently takes the form of overstated claims, the filing of several claims, filing a claim for an accident you weren’t really involved in, illegally registering cars in regions that make car insurance quotes less costly, and more.

Most people assume that when they commit these types of fraud, the only people they are hurting are the insurance executives. Of course, that fact alone is still not a good thing, but the suggestion that only those at the top get harmed by insurance fraud is wrong, because it is all consumers who must pay.

Increased Premiums

The worst fallout of auto insurance fraud is the increased premiums that it causes all insurance customers to pay. In order to cover the cost of the excessive or improper claims, the cost of investigating claims, and the changes in risk that are assumed by the claims, insurers have no choice but to spread the losses by raising the premiums for all policyholders. This means the typical customer ends up paying for the fraudulent activities of others.

Increased Paperwork

When frauds are attempted and found, or committed and later discovered, insurance companies realize that they must change their processes in order to try to prevent them from happening in the future. This means they will take great pains to have applications and claim forms that attempt to weed out potentially fraudulent activity. This increases your work, however, because all of their insurance policyholders will need to use this paperwork. It also creates an extra expense for the insurance company which is, once again, passed on to policyholders.

Increased Taxpayer Dollars

Some claims involve police and arson investigations. When the claims are fake, these investigations result in taxpayer dollars being wasted on paying the payrolls of those who must investigate them. This also ties up law enforcement officers when they could be out preventing actual crimes.

Insurance fraud is a problem that we all must consider, even if we are not guilty of committing it. We should take whatever steps are rational and safe within our own lives to make certain that those we know and love are not encouraged to commit fraud and that potential frauds are reported to the appropriate entities.

Give us a call at (800) 212-2641 to get your free, personalized Texas auto insurance quote today!

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Loss of Use—A Benefit Worth Keeping

by Administrator 29. April 2012 11:53

Loss of Use—A Benefit Worth Keeping

Often, when we think about insurance, we think about how it covers many of the damages that occur during a covered peril such as a fire or flood. But there are more consequences to the damages these incidents cause to your property than just the loss of your tangible goods and shelter, because by making your property useless, insurable incidents force you to find a substitute until your repairs are done.

Loss of use is a valuable part of a home or auto insurance policy that can keep you and your family safe and active, even after a total loss.

Auto Loss of Use

If you are in an accident and your vehicle cannot be driven until repairs are made, the world doesn’t stop spinning. You still need to get to work, bring your kids to school, run errands, and more. When you have loss of use benefits in your auto insurance policy, your insurance company will pay for a car rental to get you around while you wait for repairs to be completed. You will be permitted to rent a car that is in a similar class to your own and the rental can generally last until you are able to pick up your own car again.

Home Loss of Use

There are some insurable incidents that do not require you to evacuate from your home or apartment afterward—such as damages that are limited to just one, small area of your home and carry no health hazards through the rest of your dwelling. But sometimes it’s not safe to be home until repairs are done, such as after a fire. When this happens, a loss of use benefit in your renter’s or home insurance policy will pay for a hotel or temporary rental until it’s safe to go back to your house or apartment. Your policy will have limits, restricting the total benefit to a certain percentage of the total limit of your policy.

It’s hard to imagine just how stressful it is to lose the ability to live in your home or drive your vehicle—even if the loss is temporary. Add in the extra burden of having to foot the bill for a short-term replacement and your life has become even more difficult than it needs to be—unless you have loss of use coverage is available. If you aren’t sure whether your home, renter’s or Texas auto insurance policy has this generous benefit or you want to add it to your policy, give us a call at (800) 212-2641.

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5 Ways to Find Your Ideal Insurance Agent in Killeen, TX

by Administrator 4. November 2011 12:11

 

When you work with an insurance agent, you aren’t simply striking up a deal, you are creating a partnership for risk hedging and liability planning. The agent you choose will have a tremendous influence on your family’s and asset protection, making this an extremely important partnership. You must find an agent that you not only trust, but one whose knowledge and experience are vast enough to ensure that he or she will cover all the bases while still being personally compatible with you.

If it seems like choosing an insurance agent is almost as intense as choosing a future spouse, you aren’t exactly on the wrong track. But before you start going to speed dating events to find your ideal agent, here are a few tips you can try:

1. Ask friends and family for referrals: If you know someone who has an agent, and loves them, then finding out who that agent is. Doing some research on them is a great way to weed through all the options.

2. Do a web search: Most agents are on the web now. If you do a web search in any search engine for the type of insurance you are shopping for and your location, you will turn up hundreds of results that allow you a starting point to further your research.

3. Read an agent’s blog: Blogs are a less formal way of communicating with potential clients. Often, a blog post will give readers a hint about the underlying personality of the agent while giving an indication of how knowledgeable they are.

4. Read newsletters: Agents who offer newsletter subscriptions to visitors of their website are educating people at no charge. These articles can help you determine what the scope of the agent’s business is and what lines of insurance he or she   specializes in. Newsletter articles can often point out how a new line of insurance, one you hadn’t previously considered for your financial plan, will benefit you.

5.Read the agent’s About Me page: It’s nice to have something in common with the person who will be helping to design your insurance plan. Read your agent’s About Me page to get an idea of what personal and professional things you have in   common.

It’s important that you take the time to find the right agent for you, the first time around. Once you’ve developed this relationship it is valuable to keep it going through the years. This will make claims, premiums and renewals so much easier. Also, you’ll know that you have a knowledgeable professional watching your back, even when you don’t know it needs watchin’.

We at Shawn Camp Insurance know that making sound decisions about your coverage is one of the most important things you can do. We stand committed to providing the best combination of service, price and products to meet your individual needs. We specialize in Killeen auto insurance as well as homeowners & business insurance in Copperas Cove, Temple, Gatesville and across Texas. Contact us for at (800) 212-2641 for a  free Houston insurance quote.


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