Insurance Facts

What’s in a VIN?

The VIN – Vehicle Identification Number – on your vehicle is more than just another serial number. The number is like your car’s fingerprint. If you know how to read it, it can tell you a lot about your car’s unique history. 

The first VIN number was introduced in 1953, but the identifier wasn’t required until the 1981 model year.  These 17-digit numbers can be found in several different places on a car including a windshield tag, inside the doors, and on the firewall of the vehicle. The numbers are repeated in multiple places to increase the security of the vehicle.

Anytime your vehicle experiences a significant event like a sale, an accident or a recall, the VIN number is logged. This information is stored in a database and can be retrieved whenever necessary to view a vehicles history. A vehicle’s history is checked when you apply for a car loan or insurance, when a car is sold to a dealer, or by individuals who want to make sure they are getting a fair deal.

VIN numbers are like codes: they hold a wealth of information if you know how to crack them.   The first character of the number indicates where the car was made. For example, numbers beginning with 1 belong to cars made in the United States while those beginning with Y belong to cars made in Sweden.   The second character indicates the manufacturer, like B for Dodge or T for Toyota. The tenth character tells the vehicle’s model year.  The other characters also offer specific information about your vehicle. More information about VIN numbers can be found at:

Which car costs more…to insure?

If you’ve owned more than one car, you know that the cost to insure each car is different. But have you ever wondered why? There are several factors that contribute to the cost of insuring a vehicle. Your driving record, where you live and who drives in your household all play a part but the make and model of your vehicle also make a difference in the cost of auto insurance –especially comprehensive and collision coverage.

Collision damage repairs, or what it will cost to fix your car after an accident, are a main factor in determining the cost of your coverage.  Luxury cars tend to be more expensive to repair than family sedans, so they are likely to be more expensive to insure. Cars that are likely to inflict a lot of damage in a collision are also expensive to insure. High horsepower sports cars are often driven by speed-seekers whose risky habits raise rates for everyone who owns one of these cars. Cars that are popular targets of thieves may cost more to insure, as well. 

Family transportation vehicles like minivans and full-size sedans tend to be the least expensive to insure. Drivers of these vehicles are often cautious and drive non-aggressively. These vehicles are involved in fewer crashes and are less expensive to repair than luxury vehicles or sports cars.

 Make sure to never let your insurance lapse. 

When you let your insurance lapse for over thirty days, you could end up costing yourself a lot of money. When an insurance company sees a lapse of insurance that is longer than 30 days, they have to write your new policy as if you never carried insurance. Even if you have had insurance for twenty years, a thirty day lapse can cause you to be rewritten in a non preferred company. After that you will have to keep your insurance current for six months to be able to get back into a preferred company.

If you run into a situation where you do not have a vehicle or it is not in operating condition, the best thing to do is to have your coverage changed to comp only; which will hold your policy until you are ready to add liability back into it. The price for comp only is very reasonable and may only be between $50 and $100 dollars for six months.

Be sure to talk to us about your situation and we will be able to advise you of the best options.

Lower your homeowners insurance cost – before you buy.

Homeowners insurance can be expensive. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to reduce costs before you buy your home. 

Be mindful of fire safety. Buy a house near a fire hydrant in an area with a professional fire department.

Get a CLUE…report. A Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange report contains the insurance claim history of the property you are thinking of buying.

Watch out for high water. Flood insurance is not covered by a standard homeowners policy and adding one could cost you about $400 a year.

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