There are already plenty of things to worry about after getting into an auto accident. From tending to injuries to getting your car fixed, there’s enough on your plate following a collision. But worrying about your auto insurance rate can literally add insult to injury.
NerdWallet analyzed quotes from around the country for drivers with one at-fault crash to show how much more they pay than customers without a scratch on their driving records, on average. In Indiana, specifically, drivers landed fifth on the list with an average jump of $190. That’s no small chunk of change. But there are ways in which rates can actually be lowered or not affected as much following a crash. Here are a handful of things to look into.
Always Report Your Accident
Even if you just caused a small fender-bender where no one was hurt and there was minimal damage, you still need to report it to your insurer. A Marion County insurance agent or other local agents can help to figure out the best steps following a crash. You may ask yourself, “If they don’t find out, then my premium won’t see an increase, right?” That’s completely wrong.
The other driver could turn around and sue weeks or months later and failure to report an accident might cause your insurer to refuse your policy. Legal bills will stack up and the potential of your driving record being heavily damaged goes up. Ultimately, an auto insurance increase is better than other bills and long-term repercussions.
Check For Accident Forgiveness
Most drivers will get into car accidents about every 18 years. If you haven’t been in one yet, or haven’t been in one in a long while, your insurer may be willing to ignore a mishap without raising a premium. Each auto insurance company differs in its forgiveness plan, but it doesn’t hurt to see what they can do for you.
Take A Driving Class
Driving classes aren’t just for high schoolers looking to get a lower rate before they get their license. Drivers who have been in an auto accident can in fact take a defensive driving class after a collision and possibly keep your rates low during renewal time.
Look For Other Discounts
There are many ways in which you can take advantage of built-in discounts:
Even if you’re the one who caused a wreck, there’s still hope for your insurance rate. Take heed of these simple steps and you could end up saving more in the long run.
Adding a teen driver to an auto insurance policy comes with a pricey toll. Even though the financial shock of adding a teen to a family auto insurance plan has eased in recent years, there’s still plenty of things to be aware of. NerdWallet discovered that it costs anywhere between $1,200 and $2,200 per driver, per year, which can take a toll on a family’s budget depending on their circumstances. But there are ways in which to alleviate extra costs and keep a monthly payment somewhat more agreeable than originally thought.
Local insurance carriers can help to guide families with teen drivers through the haze of finding the right plan. Parents can consult an Indianapolis insurance agent to find the best option, but can also do some research on their own. Here are some ways to save on hefty auto insurance plans for teen drivers.
What to Know FirstTeen drivers tend to be inexperienced and immature behind the wheel, which only lends a hand to boosting premiums. Insurance companies look at how much risk a driver poses to the outside world and calculates a total from there. Male and female drivers, aged 16 to 19, pose the highest risk on overage when it comes to annual crashes and traffic violations.
Adding a teen driver means more of a hit on the overall amount of a family plan. This varies by state, but in general families can expect to pay a much higher rate.
Teenage Boys Cost More to InsureAre there any teenage boys in your house ready to hit the road? Well, even if they have the best intentions behind the wheel, insurance agencies see them as a higher risk. Insurance companies use statistics to create rates, and they have the numbers to back them up. Teenage boys are significantly a higher risk driving than teenage girls in most states.
Can they have their own policy?While adding a teen to an family policy will cost more, it definitely will not cost as much as having them get their own policy. There are discounts that families can take advantage of like multi-vehicle plans, multi-policy (such as home and auto bundled together), length of time with carrier, homeowner, and experience driving.
Having a teen purchase their own policy may be a good lesson in responsibility, but it will ultimately lead to more money out of their pocket than pitching in to a family’s plan.
Age of MajorityDepending on the laws within a state regarding teen drivers, there needs to be consideration given to age of majority. Young drivers between 18 and 21 cannot sign binding contracts. What does this mean? Well, if a young adult driver still living in your house wants to buy a car and an insurance policy (a binding contract), they will likely need a parent to co-sign. It’s best to go over all the options a family has when thinking of adding a teen driver and see how to best prepare for the financial responsibilities included.
At the end of the day, retailers are trying to do their best to stay in the black and keep their doors open. Driving more sales is always a concern, so staying on top of how to promote a store, a brand, or even a sale is vital to retailers’ bottom line.
Creating time-sensitive in-store promotions and having a solid understanding of target demographics and psychographics can lead to incentivizing the right actions. Customers will be more apt to respond and business will have good chance of growing in the process. If a retailer is circling a sales event there are a number of ways to impact sales goals.
Promotional Pricing According to Shopify, 71% of shoppers believe they’ll find better deals online, but 94% of retail sales are still credited to brick-and-mortar stores. Customers can always benefit from running across the right promotions in-store. There are a few ways retail businesses can enhance their sales total and drive more traffic including:
Markdowns: These are price reductions that cover a wide range of products for all customers. These are really effective when backed by a wide-reaching advertising campaign.
Loss Leaders: Certain products can be promoted at a steep discount, like electronics or day-to-day products, so new customers can be drawn in to a store. Known as loss leaders, these products are perfect for selling overstocked items, in turn increasing traffic and creating brand awareness.
Bundle Pricing: Bundling items together for a great sales price is always a crowd favorite for shoppers who are looking for more bang for their buck. From buy one, get one free to three-for-one pricing, consumers are always primed to pay a little more so they can get what they want.
Point-of-Purchase DisplaysWhen customers are waiting to check out they are still available to reach out to for more sales. Like convenience stores and grocery stores, point-of-purchase displays promote impulse buys that tick daily sales numbers up little by little. Depending on your retail store there are many different items to include on an end cap such as gum, candy, soft drinks, socks, bags, notepads, etc.
Almost 66% of all decision to buy something are made while customers are shopping inside a store, and 53% are made from impulse buying. Stores need to take advantage of upselling smaller, more grab-friendly items and set up dump bins or themed end caps.
Email MarketingGreat customer loyalty programs will entice not only new customers, but keep previous customers coming back for more. Feeling valued inside a store and by a brand pays off in dividends for stores looking for reliable consumers.
One way that stores can do this, whether it’s a craft coffee house or kids’ clothing store, is email marketing. It’s an effective way to drive customer retention and promote loyalty. Customers can sign up in store and be kept abreast of promotions, deals, and coupons. This will incentivize them to visit a store again while also cementing the value of creating a mailing list.
Buying a home is exciting, but also very expensive. Spending money to buy a home and get everything with financing squared away is only the beginning as continuous spending on upkeep will begin to kick in. The hidden costs of homeownership can sometimes equal the same amount of mortgage payments.
Homeowners should be asking themselves, “How much should I budget for home maintenance and repairs?” According to The Balance, the average homeowner spends about $2,000 on annual home repair costs, but sometimes this can be even higher based on a number of factors. From age of home to general condition, the overall calculation may change in a case-by-case basis. Here are some things to consider when trying to outline a budget for home upkeep.
Homeowners insurance, like policies offered by a local insurance agency in Carmel, Indiana, should cost around $4 per every $1,000 in home value, per year. For example, homeowners insurance on a $200,000 house would cost about $800 per year. Having this kind of insurance will help protect against things like fire damage, flooding, and natural disasters. The estimated amount should be given wiggle room as a rule of thumb, as overall amounts may change.
Square Footage Factor
Homeowners should consider the square footage rule of thumb that encourages them to budget $1 per square foot per year for maintenance and repair. The more square feet you have, the more you’ll end up spending on repairs and maintenance. What’s more, the bigger the space, the bigger project. In this case, you’ll have to add more to your budget to make room for labor and material costs. The price to hire contractors and pay for building materials can vary significantly.
Age of House
The age of a property can play a big role in budgeting. A newer home built within the last 10 years will need little maintenance and costs will remain lower on the scale. Home getting up to 15-20 years old will see costs rise and once a home is up to 30 years old there’s a good chance that major components may need to be replaced. Do you have enough to buy a new roof or replace the pipes? You’ll have to factor that in.
Weather and climate play a huge role in overall repair costs. Depending on the part of the country you’re in these can vary widely. Think of tornadoes in the Midwest, rainy seasons in the northwest, blizzards and ice storms along the east, and damp and hot weather in parts of the south. There are plenty of factors to consider when thinking about weather, which can also inspire certain wildlife and insects to add wear and tear to a home.
Always be sure to factor in additional costs and unknown repairs that may pop up. There’s really only so much planning a homeowner can do when anticipating overall rolling maintenance costs.
About McClain Matthews Insurance
At McClain Matthews, we specialize in providing comprehensive insurance solutions for Indianapolis residents, business owners and beyond. For the last 69 years, we have established relationships within our community and pride ourselves on tailoring coverages as needed by our clients. For more information on how we can serve you, contact our friendly experts today at (317) 298-7500.
Every business owner knows that running a shop or operation or office is more than just providing products to the public. To make your business a success, it’s important to understand just who your customers are and what they want, as Harvard Business Review taps psychographics (measuring customers’ attitudes and interests) as being just as important as demographics in today’s business industry.
From gathering useful data to being more hands-on (not to be confused with overbearing), businesses can establish a more personable relationship with a customer base. In honor of “Get to Know Your Customers Day” on July 20, here are a number of ways to take a more customized approach to knowing your clientele better.
Forget About Assumptions
After a while some businesses, especially retail stores, tend to pool their customers into a general outline and begin assuming customer preferences and beliefs. This should be avoided. Tactics for providing great service and products may have worked well one season, but may not work well the next. By considering trends and customer data, businesses should be able to get to know their customers better and forget about generic assumptions.
This may be beating a dead horse, but social media is always a great instrument to create and maintain effective relationships with customers new and old. Companies rely on data from social media to help them with targeting, bringing in ne customers and inspiring previous customers to keep coming in. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram are just a handful of social media platforms that can be used to engage and interact with clientele and learn about their likes, dislikes and needs.
Create a Survey
Surveys can help to gather need-to-know information about customers. Encouraging customers to provide thoughtful insight and answers can really help a business to navigate through the need to update services. Try creating a survey that provides open-ended questions besides yes or no options. This will encourage the customers to get into the minutiae of their concerns and thoughts.
Hold an Event
For businesses, especially retail businesses or health and fitness operations, that have a physical location, opening the doors to for an event can create a personable, face-to-face opportunity to get to know customers. This gives the company the ability to meet with customers and promote their products and services while also opening up the chance to interact and hear feedback. Providing this kind of hands-on event will help to create a true human experience for the customers.