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710 Miami Springs Dr., Suite 120
Longwood, FL 32779

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How to Buy Auto Insurance for the First Time

When it comes to auto insurance, the options can at first seem overwhelming. It may also seem like no matter how many companies you research, they all seem to say the same thing. Distinguishing the best policy and carrier for you isn’t always easy when you live in Longwood, FL, but it helps to have the facts in front of you before settling on one option over another. 

Invest the Time 

This is often one of the more difficult things to do when it comes to insurance. Researching countless facts isn’t exactly the most thrilling way to spend an afternoon, but it’s also the most effective way to get the information you need. Every state has its own laws when it comes to the minimum amount of insurance you need, meaning the terms of your policy may look very different than your friend in the next state over. 

Ask Yourself the Tough Questions 

Also difficult to do, this one involves determining whether you’re willing to take certain risks with your insurance policy. For example, if you choose the bare amount of coverage, will you be able to reasonably get by if you’re unable to access your car for a while? There’s no need to opt for more than you need, but you also have to be prepared in case something does happen. 

Talk to Your Carrier 

Express Insurance serves the people of Longwood, FL and helps them decide which policy will work best for them. New drivers are prone to making mistakes simply because they don’t have the frame of reference that other drivers do. Whether you’re shopping for a quote or you just have questions about how claims work in the event of an accident, give Express Insurance a call today. 

5 Safety Tips for Holiday Driving

Driving during the holiday season can be challenging, to say the least. Congested roads coupled with wet or snowy weather conditions, reduced daylight hours and driving in unfamiliar territory can be a recipe for disaster. The following safety tips from Express Insurance in Longwood, FL can help you get to your holiday destination safely.  

Plan Your Travels in Advance

Plan ahead so you’re not stressed in getting to your destination on time. Plan your routes, service your car and pack your car in advance before hitting the road. Keep an eye on weather and road conditions where you’ll be traveling to avoid traffic jams and hazardous weather on the road.

Drive Defensively   

Drive defensively, putting your safety and the safety of others first. Avoid speeding and taking unnecessary risks that can cause accidents. Always signal when changing lanes or turning to alert other drivers of your prospective actions.    

Take Frequent Breaks

Get a good night’s sleep before hitting the road and take frequent breaks on long-distance trips to avoid getting drowsy. Stop to rest, eat or walkabout to help you stay alert. Share driving responsibilities with others to enhance safety on the road.

Avoid Distractions

Don’t text or talk on your cell when driving. Avoid changing radio stations, putting on makeup or getting into heated discussions with others as these actions can also distract you from your driving.

Don’t Drink and Drive

Never drink and drive. If you’re going to drink, choose a designated driver or use a taxi or Uber service to return home safely after holiday parties.

Don’t forget to check your auto insurance to make sure it’s up to date with the protection you need for your travels. For auto insurance coverage you can trust all through the year, contact an agent from Express Insurance in Longwood, FL today.

What Parents Need to Know About Adding Teen Drivers

Although your teen may find driving to be the most exciting thing to happen in their entire life, you as the parent, are probably feeling much anxiety over this new change. This is normal as driving is a huge responsibility as well as a new expense. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are preparing to add a teen driver to your auto policy. 

Keep an Eye on the Details

Things have changed quite a bit since you got your license. Many states have new restrictions on when teens can drive and who can be passengers in the car with them. In order to avoid costly tickets, it is important that both you and your child understand these laws. There are also many details concerning how and when to insure your new driver. You will need to discuss these details with the folks at Express Insurance serving Longwood, FL and surrounding areas. 

Shop Around

This is a good time to shop around to make sure you are getting the best deal. Some families find that once a teen is added they can get a better deal with a new company. Give yourself plenty of time to shop and find the best deal for you. 

Insist on Good Driving Practices

Make sure that your teen understands that you will not tolerate poor driving practices. Poor driving practices are first of all dangerous, but secondly, they can also be costly to you as the parent. Your teen should understand that once they take on the responsibility of driving they are also taking on the possible consequences of their driving. 

If you would like to discuss adding a teen driver to your policy, please contact us at Express Insurance, now serving Longwood, FL and surrounding areas. 

 

Who’s Protected by Your Auto Insurance?

Naturally, licensed drivers who are members of your household or are listed on your policy are covered by your auto insurance. But what about friends who may ask to borrow your car from time to time or visiting relatives who want to use your ride to visit local sights? If you’re not sure if these individuals are covered by your policy, talk to your Express Insurance agent in Longwood, FL. We’ll help you determine what drivers have protection under your auto insurance and what kind of protection they’ll receive.  

Friends

Friends who are not members of your household won’t normally be listed on your auto insurance policy. They can, however, receive protection under your coverage if you’ve given them permission to drive your car, assuming, of course, that they have a valid drivers license. If your friend has an accident and is found at fault, your insurer will pay for damages in accordance with the coverage of your policy.  You may, however, see a rise in your premium as a result. It’s best to be selective in who you allow driving your vehicle.  

Visiting Relatives

Visiting relatives are also covered under your auto insurance if they have valid drivers licenses and you give them permission to drive your car. Before loaning out your vehicle, it’s good to verify that your relative has a valid drivers’ license. You’d also do well to limit the use of your vehicle to people who drive responsibly as this will reduce the risk of accidents.   

Anyone who "borrows" your car without your permission will not be covered by your auto insurance, regardless of whether they are a friend or relative. 

To learn more about how auto insurance works, coverage options, and costs, talk to an Express Insurance agent in Longwood, FL. 

3 Driving Tips to Help Avoid Auto Accidents

Regardless of how safe of a driver you are, there is always a risk of an accident. There are millions upon millions of drivers in the United States and there are about 6-million car accidents each year. Fortunately, many accidents in Longwood, FL are simply small fender benders that do not result in injury; however, about one in every thirteen accidents does become a fatality. With just a little preparedness and safety habits, you can begin to avoid the risk of accidents. Here are just 3 tips to help you avoid car accidents.

Always Check the Rearview Mirror When Coming to a Stop

Whether you are driving in heavy traffic with a lot of stopping and going or you are slowing down for a traffic signal or stop sign, always check your rearview mirror before coming to a full stop. Leave at least 4 car lengths between you and the vehicle in front of you when checking your mirror. One of the most common causes of rear-end collisions is due to drivers not paying attention or slow reactions to the vehicle in front of them. By being aware of the driver behind you, you may have the opportunity to swerve out of the lane and avoid a rear-end collision, but always be sure it is safe to swerve over before doing so.

Avoid Right Lanes in Merge Areas

The right lane is typically meant for slower moving traffic; however, it is also the lane that is generally used for merging traffic. As drivers are merging onto a road, they often look ahead of them, to their side and behind them-this is a lot of distraction. If you are in the right lane while other drivers are merging into traffic, you may be at risk of getting rid by a merging vehicle. So, try to avoid right lanes at these times by moving over to the left, and then you can safely move back to the right lane after passing the merge.

Be Aware of Blind Spots

Properly adjusting the side mirrors and the rear-view mirror helps you have a good view of the area behind you but doesn’t always allow you to see everything. To avoid an accident due to a blind spot (an area not visible in the mirrors), you should turn your head and look directly into the lanes that are beside of you. Also keep in mind that other drivers also have blind spots, especially large equipment vehicles and semi-trucks, so be aware of those around you and their driving as well.

In many situations, an accident can be avoided by simply being aware of your surroundings and acting accordingly. Keep in mind that not only are auto accidents dangerous, but they may also increase your auto insurance policy. Avoiding accidents is the best way for you to stay safe and keep your premiums at a minimum.

Residents of Longwood, FL interested in reviewing their current auto insurance policy or upgrading their policy should contact Express Insurance.

Steps to Take if Your Car Has Hail Damage

Hail damage to a vehicle is very frustrating. One, it causes a lot of damage to a vehicle and, two, there is nothing that can be done in order to prevent it from happening. The damage is so drastic in some cases that the federal government will help with the costs if it is a particularly big storm. Unless you live in an area with a lot of thunderstorms, this is probably not an issue for you. If you do sustain hail damage to your vehicle, here are the steps that need to be taken. 

Contact Your Insurer Immediately – Don’t waste time in reporting damage. In many cases of hail damage, the damage happens to a lot of people in the region, meaning there will be a lot of claims. You want to get in early so you don’t have to wait too long to get your car fixed or get your settlement check. The longer you wait to report the damage, the longer you wait to hear back about your claim. In areas of substantial damage, this could be an extremely long waiting period. 

Take Pictures – Be sure to document the damage in order to have proof if the claim is disputed. This usually isn’t an issue with most insurers like Express Insurance in Longwood, FL, but it never hurts to be completely prepared. 

The most important thing that you need to do is make sure that your car is properly insured against hail damage before anything happens. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is especially true if you live in an area where this is a high probability. Most insurers will recommend the coverage as part of your plan when you shop with them. 

Should I Agree to Driving Monitoring to Lower Insurance?

A trend that has been increasing in the insurance world involves customers voluntarily agreeing to restrictions in their behavior that inherently reduces risk for the insurance provider. For example, health insurance policies have been giving Longwood, FL customers bonuses for quitting smoking, exercising or reducing their weight. In terms of auto insurance, the most common restriction/benefit offered is one where the driver agrees to have a monitoring tool installed in the vehicle to track speed and general driving location. According to Express Insurance experts, If the driver agrees and follows a voluntary restriction of driving slower, safer and avoiding specific hazards, he or she then gets a reduction in a related insurance premium the following billing cycle.

The fear of big brother watching, the idea that the government or some large entity is invading a person’s privacy, has always been a counter-argument. However, it’s important to understand that any kind of insurance monitoring on a vehicle is voluntary and agreed to by the customer. Unlike justice programs that require monitoring for penalties, the insurance monitoring only "watches" the car’s performance and specific measurements, like speed of travel. And a customer can end the monitoring as well when desired. Granted, the rate cut benefit then disappears as well. The two go hand-in-hand. That said, a good number of customers who have tried the monitoring agreement have found it was pretty simple, no great conspiracy, and a convenient way to save some hear-earned money on a regular basis.

To find out more about what sort of monitoring programs and rate cut benefits are available in the Longwood, FL region, car drivers can give the folks at Express Insurance a call or email. They can provide the details on which insurance company offer the option with car insurance and how it works. And a little bit of knowledge can go a long way toward adding some savings in the bank account.

 

Distracted Driver Facts

Safe driving campaigns often focus on the dangers of drinking and driving. Although driving while intoxicated is a serious risk, distracted driving incidents account for 80 percent of crashes, according to a recent Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study. Now, many areas, including Longwood, FL, are passing laws to prevent distracted driver accidents.

Types of Distractions

What causes a driver to lose focus on the road? Distractions are broken down into three basic categories: manual, visual, and cognitive. Manual distractions force your hands away from the wheel. Visual distractions take your eyes off the road. Cognitive distractions cause your mind to wander off the task of driving.

The following are the most frequent driver distractions:

  • Texting
  • Mobile Phone Calls
  • Mobile Web Browsing
  • Eating and Drinking
  • Using Dashboard Devices (Radio, mp3 player, GPS, etc.)
  • Talking to Passengers

How Serious Is the Problem?

In 2014 alone, the U.S. Department of Transportation attributed over 3,100 fatalities and 431,000 injuries to distracted driving. Each year, the number of accidents caused by text messaging and cell phone use is steadily increasing. More than 28 percent of all vehicle crashes can now be traced back to mobile phone use.

National surveys have shown that 90 percent of all drivers recognize the risk of driving while using a cell phone. However, three out of four drivers admitted to talking on the phone while driving and one in five acknowledged texting and driving. High school students are particularly high risk for distracted driving behaviors. In 2013, the CDC reported two out of five high school drivers stated they drove and sent out a text or email within the last 30 days.

Drivers must use common sense while on the road and put down the devices. Any distraction that takes their mind or body off of operating vehicle should be ignored. Driving safety is not only important for your well-being but your insurance rates as well.

Contact an agent at Express Insurance today to learn more about how we are helping serve Longwood, FL area drivers.

Am I Covered For A Hit & Run?

Living in Miami Beach can be a lot of fun, but it can also be dangerous on the roads. If you are involved in a hit and run, you want to make sure you have sufficient coverage for auto insurance. This means taking a good look at your policy and potentially adding on coverage.

In the state of Florida, you are required to have bodily injury as well as property damage liability insurance. If you are still making payments on your car or you are leasing, you may also be required to have collision coverage. Collision is always a good idea in the event you are involved in a major accident – such as a hit-and-run.

Then, you have to look at other forms of coverage that you may or may not have on your policy.

Do you have uninsured motorist coverage?

If you don’t know the person who hit you, they are going to fall under uninsured motorist. Having this coverage will provide bodily injury as well as property damage to help cover some of the medical bills, lost wages, and repairs to your car.

Do you have medical bills coverage?

The amount of medical bills involved can be high and you don’t want to pay anything out of pocket you can get away with it. Having this coverage can be very helpful.

Do you have PIP?

Personal injury protection is going to cover medical bills as well as potential lost wages that you have experienced as a result of the hit and run. It can be a very affordable form of coverage time to your policy.

Hit and runs can be expensive. Contact us at Express Insurance today and one of our agents can find auto insurance coverage that can provide protection in Miami Beach that is also affordable. We’ll get the quotes and more.

 

 

Top 5 Ways to Avoid Road Rage

A matter that affects many drivers across the globe, dealing with road rage is a scary concept for most motorists. Are you looking for tips to help you stay safe on the road and avoid triggering those who suffer from this condition? Keep reading.

5. Use Your Horn Sparingly– First and foremost, many instances of road rage begin with the simple sound of a car horn. While you may not mean any particular harm by pressing it, many take offense to being honked at and this causes an unfavorable reaction. Use your horn only when necessary, and never hold it for too long. 

4. Avoid Eye Contact – Many view eye contact as a direct challenge. If a driver is clearly irate, do not make eye contact with them and get as far away from them as possible. 

3. Don’t Annoy Other Drivers– While it may be tempting to weave in and out of traffic or play bumper tag with that super slow driver in front of you, this is also a surefire way to get someone riled up with road rage. Be as polite as you can, even with the worst drivers

2. Move Over if You’re Being Tailgated- It may be tempting to slam on those brakes and give the tailgater a taste of their own medicine, this is also a good way to make someone angry. Just move over!

1. Always Plan Ahead-  Given that many get into accidents and altercations when they are running late, planning your route ahead of time can save you tons of trouble and turmoil. 

Overall, ensuring that your car has enough insurance protection is the best way to avoid instances of road rage. Servicing the area of Longwood, FL, Express Insurance will give you all the coverage you need!