What Does Your Car Say About You?

It’s not just a machine. Well, it is, but sometimes we get so attached to our cars that we forget they’re just machines. For many of us, they’re part of the family. (Which is why it’s so important to get the right auto insurance.)

Today, I was driving through town, thinking about my car and my car insurance renewal. (I have a great rate, by the way.) And it suddenly struck me…what does my car say about me? And how does that translate into my car insurance rate? I have a race car blue, 2007 Toyota Matrix whom I have named Bluebell.

Now, knowing myself the way I do, I would say my car identifies me as being slightly outlandish (the color), practical (it gets great mileage), simple (no upgrades to the car), and old-fashioned (other than the color there is nothing flashy). And, as I said, I get great rates on my car insurance.

So what if you drove a sports car? What would that say about you? Here’s my guess: you like excitement. You’re a little bit of a show-off. You move at a fast pace. And you’re always on the go. That being the case, you are much more likely to pay higher insurance premiums.

Okay, what about an SUV? Well, this one can go one of two ways. First, it could be a family car. Not wanting a van, the driver opted for something a little more stylish that could still accommodate lots of people. For that driver, I would say: busy, family-oriented, and very involved. Translation: you’re going to show up somewhere in the middle ground of insurance. You’re not a risk-taker but children can cause distractions.

For the other SUV driver, you like adventure. You chose a big car to accommodate you when camping, off-roading or taking those more treacherous trails. But, as there is no way to differentiate you from the family man, you’re going to end up in the insurance middle road as well.

Finally, for those of you driving older, used cars (no matter what make and model), our analysis of you is that you’re practical, responsible, and easy-going. Slightly older cars usually get better insurance rates as they don’t cost as much to replace if your car should get totaled.

So, do we have it right? Is your car saying what I think it is? If not, use the comment space below and tell us about your car and whether or not it adequately represents you. And, when you are looking for car insurance, be sure to contact Arizona National Insurance.

Before You Take a Roadtrip…

Many of us at Arizona Capital Insurance like to hit the road. We visit Sedona, go camping near Pinetop, hike parts of the Grand Canyon, and frequently take trips to Southern California. Sometimes a good road trip is exactly what the doctor ordered. But how often do you take a road trip and see cars stranded on the freeway?

Having good auto insurance is important. When your car breaks down or the windshield cracks, your insurance is going to cover the costs, that’s why you have it. Experiencing car trouble close to home is a lot different than breaking down 300 miles away.

The best auto insurance for a road trip is the kind you don’t have to use. With the summer winding down, you probably have just enough time for one more road trip. When preparing to take off, be sure to follow these standard inspection steps:

-Check the tires. Keeping your tires at the right pressure can help prevent blowouts, which is actually important when driving around your city. The last thing you want to do is call your insurance company to help you find a towing service. Additionally, your tire treads are important to watch. Did you know the State of Arizona requires your tread to be at least 1/32 of an inch deep?

-Check the windshield wipers. An associate of ours took a trip to Utah in early May. For us, the weather was already warm. But this associate entered the Salt Lake Valley in the middle of the night and ran into a snow storm. Unfortunately, she hadn’t checked her windshield wipers. Turning them on smudged wet snow across the whole windshield. Yes, you live in Arizona, but that doesn’t mean you can neglect your wipers.

-Check the oil. As someone who takes good care of your possessions, you routinely get your oil changed. But check it before you leave on your trip, just in case. Be sure to take extra oil with you. In one incident, a client of ours got an oil leak 45 miles away from home. Rather than calling a tow truck, she filled up her car with extra oil and was able to make it to the auto care center near her home. This saved her from making a claim as the leak was a simple, inexpensive fix.

-Check the A/C. This is not something most of us know how to do. But if you haven’t had your AC checked in a while, stop somewhere and get it looked at. Because we live in Arizona, we know how important a powerful AC system is.

If you’ve taken a road trip before, this might all sound like information you already knew. But there are a few things that your auto insurance won’t cover if you find yourself without, like: water, food, sunscreen, or a hat. So in addition to checking your car before your road trip, don’t forget to stock your car with emergency items that will keep you protected from the elements.

You’ve only got a few weeks of summer left. If you’re looking for something to do, consider a road trip. Just be sure to check the expiration date on your insurance card (so it’s up to date), properly maintain your card, and be ready for anything to happen.

Enjoy your trip!

How to Prepare for Those Teenage Driving Years

Are you sure you’re ready for this, a teenager who can now drive? With gas prices skyrocketing and the added costs to your insurance, you may be dreading that sweet 16th birthday. On the other hand, those who have teen drivers enjoy sending their children to the store for milk and appreciate not having to pick up their child from a party on a Saturday night.

Teenagers will only be around for a few more years. So why not learn to appreciate the new milestones your children are reaching. Here are some ideas for preparing your teens to drive, so you don’t break the bank while helping them move into that new stage of life:

Encourage Good Grades. Did you know that a lot of insurance companies will offer good student discounts on insurance rates? You want your children to get good grades anyway. Here is one more incentive for them to keep their grades up. Perhaps you can have them pay the additional insurance costs if their grades slip.

Choose a Car with Lower Insurance Rates. Sure, every kid would love to be driving to school in a sports car, but that’s not realistic on your budget. Besides the cost of the car, certain vehicles will cost you more to insure. Your insurance company should be able to tell you which vehicles are cost effective.

Let Them Drive the Family Car. Even if you don’t buy a vehicle for your child, you still need to get them insured if they plan on driving. Insuring your child on existing vehicles is a heck of a lot cheaper than purchasing a new one. Of course, then you have to battle for possession of the family car.

Avoid Driving Incidents at All Costs. Does your teenager realize what happens to your insurance rates when they get a ticket or have an accident? Talk to them about it. You may consider having them pay their own insurance costs if they violate traffic laws. Be sure to have a heartfelt discussion about NOT texting in the car.

Call an Insurance Agent in Advance. Finding the best insurance policy for your teen driver can take some time and some shopping around. Before your child turns 16, we strongly encourage you to start looking for the best car insurance options for your child.

At Arizona Capital Insurance, we do the shopping for you. If you have a child quickly approaching that magic age, give us a call. We can find discounts and better rates for your teen driver. We can help you choose a car that will bring in a lower insurance rate. And we let you know what to expect if the unexpected happens.