Can You Save Money On Your Car Insurance Today?

It’s easy to forget about your car insurance rates after you purchase it the first time. Autopay systems keep that bill out of sight, out of mind usually. But the truth is your rate was not set in stone when you purchased the first time, and rates can vary greatly from year to year and company to company. Synergy helps unsuspecting drivers save money every day by reevaluating their coverage and providing them with any possible discounts and the most up-to-date rates. Here are five of the most common factors that influence the price of your auto insurance. It  only takes a few minutes reach out to to a Synergy Insurance Group expert to evaluate your policy. Let’s see if we can put a little extra money back in your pocket. Read more

8 Safety Tips for Holiday Road Trips

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Between nasty weather, highway congestion, and general stress, road trips take their toll on family travel during the holidays. Every year, more than 500 fatal accidents occur between Christmas and New Year’s. Don’t be one of them. Follow these eight tips to prepare for a safe holiday road trip.  

Get a General Auto Inspection

If your car hasn’t visited the mechanic in a few months, it’s time for a general inspection before you go. They will make sure all your fluids are full, oil is changed, and catch issues before they turn into problems. Don’t let a preventable issue leave you stranded. Talk to you mechanic about your holiday plans so they can give you location-specific advice.

Replace Windshield Wipers

It’s easy and inexpensive to replace windshield wipers yourself and new wiper blades make a huge difference if caught in an unexpected rain, sleet, or snow storm.

Consider Snow Tires

If you’re traveling out of Florida to visit family or friends, check the weather forecasts through all the states you’ll be driving through. If you’re going through any mountain passes, know that snow tires are often required by state laws when there are impending winter storms.

Line Up Emergency Roadside Assistance

In case you need roadside assistance or a tow, make sure you’re covered. Check your plan and update your policy if need be.

Pack a Car Emergency First Aid Kit

A well-stocked first aid kit is of the utmost importance for any road trip. From bandages and antiseptic to aspirin and antihistamines, you cannot be too prepared. If headed north through colder weather, it’s recommended to pack a snow shovel and emergency blanket, extra water and snacks, batteries, and head lamps.

Keep Phones Charged

Keep your cell phone fully charged by bringing a car charger. Also, bring a rechargeable battery pack should your car break down and you need to stay in contact with emergency services, hotels, and relatives.

Coordinate Your Plans 

Email a copy of your holiday travel plans to relatives at your destination as well as with any family or friends behind at home. Make sure everyone in the car is on the same page and prepped for what to do in case of a detour or accident. Plan your routes in advance and download road apps to stay up-to-date with weather and traffic conditions.

Auto Insurance Coverageauto insuranceRoad Trip

Does your auto insurance  provide enough coverage? Is it good for out of state travel? For more information about getting the right car insurance for you, call Synergy Insurance Group to discuss policies that will protect your family during the holidays and new year.

Before hitting the road, consider a little extra protection in case of an emergency with our Auto Accident Workbook or our Road Trip Safety & Tips eBook. These printable guides are meant to give you peace of mind if an accident were to occur, or even if you need an extra travel planning companion. Click either image to get your copy!

4 Ways to Improve Your Driving Habits Today

 

It’s time to improve your driving habits! Sure, you know the rules of the road, but we can all use a little refresher sometimes. Better driving habits will help reduce the risk of an auto accident later. You’ll keep your car insurance costs low and more importantly, you’ll keep yourself and those around you safe and sound.

Check out this list of lesser known driving facts and think again.

No Such Thing as a Blind Spot!

When adjusted correctly, your side mirror is your best friend. Did you know blind spots can be eliminated? You never need to take your eyes off the road to glance frantically over your shoulder again!

Take your driving skills to the next level— click here to read more about eliminating blind spots.

Be a Last-Minute Merger

True, cutting to the front of the line at the taco joint is just plain rude. But racing to the start of a merge point on the highway? Not so rude. In fact, it’s the nicest thing you can do. Last second lane merges actually reduce congestion and decrease traffic confusion. Be a Nice Guy— go to the head of the lane merge!

Don’t Text and Drive!

You’ve heard it over and over again but the message is still the same, the text can wait! Distracted driving related accidents is on the rise and in our digital age where our phone is connected to us all day long, it’s difficult to just shut it down. The most effective way to avoid distracted driving is to put your phone out of reach when you get behind the wheel. Leave the phone in your purse, put it in the glove box, or anywhere else out of reach if you can. Another option for those who don’t mind the digital disconnection is to enable “Do Not Disturb” or “Driving” modes which most phone models have to disable incoming text messages or phone calls, but send back automated responses to senders that lets them know you’re behind the wheel and will return their message when it’s safe to do so.

However, there are some of us who’s jobs require us to be digitally connected.  For those people there are some helpful apps to receive messages while reducing distraction.

  • Drive Safely will read your messages out loud to you so you can resist the urge to pick up the phone to respond. It will then respond automatically with a pre-set response letting your your friends know that you are driving and will get back to them shortly. If the message is important enough to require a response, you can then get to a safe area to stop and reply to the sender.
  • Drivemode has a UI easy to access out of the corner of your eye, and text messages are turned into audio—your phone reads incoming messages aloud with the touch of a button. Swipe through canned responses to send a text back. The big, “no-look” interface runs atop any app you’re using, and breaks your phone down into various functions: Music, Calls, Apps, Destinations and Messages.

Headlights in the Daylight

Ever thought it was weird to see people driving with their headlights on during the dayauto insurancetime? Turns out, they’re making the roads safer for everyone.

Keeping a low watt headlight on during daylight hours helps reduce multiple-vehicle crashes, particularly head-on and front corner collisions.

Have you found yourself involved in a car accident and scrambling to remember important details? Let us take your worry away! Our Auto Accident Workbook was created to keep on-hand at all times in the event of an emergency. Click the graphic to get your free, printable version! Safe travels!

At Synergy Insurance Group, we pride ourselves on friendly service and professional know-how. If you’d like more great auto tips and tricks, subscribe to our monthly newsletter and get more information to help you and your loved ones stay safe out there on the road. 

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Careful Driving At Night

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If you’re a fan of road trips, or driving at night in general, you understand the extra safety required to navigate dark roads. You might think you drive just as well at night, but consider this: Even though nighttime driving accounts for just 23% of vehicle miles traveled, more than 50% of fatalities for vehicle occupants 16 and older occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to the National Safety Commission (NSC).

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What Do the Florida No-Fault Rules Mean for You?

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Earlier this spring, a bill calling for the repeal of Florida’s long-standing, no-fault auto insurance system did not pass by Senate subcommittee. Since this bill is likely to resurface for further debate, we’ve gathered some facts and information to help you feel informed the next time it appears for voting.

What Does No-Fault Even Mean?

The Florida No-Fault Motor Vehicle Law means that if you get into a car accident, both parties must submit auto insurance policies to make claims. Regardless of who is at-fault, your own auto insurer is the one to contact to help with your medical bills, lost earnings, and out-of-pocket damages.

The current minimum requirements for a Florida auto insurance policy are $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 property damage liability (PDL).

Many other states require a minimum amount of bodily injury (BI) insurance; however, because of Florida’s no-fault status, BI coverage is only requested in a handful of instances (e.g. if you’ve previously caused a serious accident, or have a DUI conviction).

What Does PIP Cover?

After paying your deductible (if you have one), PIP covers 80% of your medical expenses, up to that $10,000 limit per accident. In most cases, it also pays up to 60% toward lost wages and includes a $5,000 death benefit.

Is Minimum Coverage Enough?

The minimum allows you to drive legally in the state of Florida, but it leaves you unprotected in many situations. While your PDL will pay out to another driver if you’re at-fault, it won’t help you with any damages or repairs needed to your own vehicle! Even if you weren’t at-fault, there is always the risk that the person who caused the accident may be an uninsured driver, leaving you with no assistance to repair your property.

The minimum is also not enough for most vehicle lenders. If you are financing or leasing your vehicle, your lender may require you to carry collision and comprehensive coverage for the duration of the loan/lease. If you bought your car outright, opting for a collision and comprehensive policy is still a good choice to keep it protected from damages (especially if it is a newer vehicle).

What Would Change if the Bill to Repeal the No-Fault Law is Passed?

auto insuranceIt would eliminate the auto insurance law that requires all motorists to purchase PIP coverage. Instead, you would purchase bodily injury liability to cover people in other vehicles if you were found to be at fault. Some believe this repeal bill will result in better coverage for drivers, while those who oppose it fear it may cause premiums to rise.

Auto insurance can be a tricky road to navigate. We encourage you to contact one of our knowledgeable and friendly agents at Synergy Insurance today to make sure you’ve got the best possible coverage to fit your needs!

Our Auto Accident Workbook is designed to help you in times of need with diagrams, safety information and more. Before getting behind the wheel, make sure you’re prepared in case of an
emergency and have this on-hand!

4 Important Driving Tips to Share with Your Teen

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Getting a license to drive is a huge and thrilling milestone in a teen’s life! For parents, adding a new driver to their auto insurance policy is usually less thrilling and more anxiety-inducing. You want your teen to feel confident out on the road and you want to know they’re making smart choices, so what can you do to stress less and help them drive better?

Here are some useful tips to share with your teen to help them make safe driving choices.

Encourage healthy cellphone habits

While it is illegal to text while driving in Florida, it’s not illegal to talk on the phone. The Florida DMV does, however, urge drivers to limit phone use to emergencies and to invest in a hands-free device. They recommend knowing the features of your phone and using speed dial so the eyes stay on the road and not on the phone.

You might really want to reach your teen, but you don’t want them to risk their safety answering your, “Are you coming home for dinner?” text. Talk to them about the importance of waiting until they are parked before answering any phone or text messages. Your tech savvy teen might even already know how to set up an auto-response feature on their phone, but if not you can show them this.

Also, remind your teen to save those emotional or stressful phone conversations with friends for another time and to never talk on the phone when the weather and road conditions are hazardous.

This is not a circus. The vehicle is not a clown car

Now that your teen is reveling in his or her newfound freedom, it’s likely they’re eager to cruise around with friends and give rides to everyone they know. While they can probably fit a lot of bodies in one vehicle, overcrowding a car is a recipe for distraction. It’s also unlawful.

Remind your teen that they can legally only transport as many passengers as they have seatbelts for in their car and that limiting passengers to just one or two friends reduces distractions.

Plan and don’t rush

Nudge your new driver toward advance trip planning. Leaving even ten minutes early lets drivers reach their destination without speeding and allows for any traffic surprises. Depending on your teen’s age, there are certain times at night when they can’t be on the road. Check out this link and discuss night time curfews where applicable.

It’s important for your teen to understand they fall in the highest risk group for auto accidents.

Even a minor fender bender can send their monthly car insurance premium skyrocketing and keep it high for years to come. Let them know if they plan ahead and don’t rush, they not only reduce their risk of a car accident but also the cost of auto insurance.

Be a defensive driver not an aggressive one

We all know someone who claims they suffer from “road rage”, right? Warn your teen about potential road situations that could lead to frustration and rage. Remind your teen to never follow another vehicle too closely. If they get tailgated, they should remain calm and try to move into another lane as soon as it is safe to do so. This is a good time to also review how to properly use the car horn as a defensive tool (i.e. when another car doesn’t see you and is about to merge into your lane and hit you).

You can help your teen stay safe from predators by making sure they know to drive to the nearest police station, instead of driving home, if they ever fear they’re being followed.

 

auto insuranceYou want your new driver protected against whatever comes their way out there and Synergy Insurance wants to help. Call us today to speak with one of our friendly and helpful agents for more information about car insurance or go here for a Free Quote.

Would your teen know what to do if they were involved in a car accident? Make sure they’re prepared for the worst by downloading our Auto Accident Workbook! This free guide easily folds to fit into any car compartment, meaning they’ll have it on hand if they ever need it.

Can I Get Auto Insurance in Florida with a Suspended License?

auto insurance

A suspended license creates complications for car insurance, but the bottom line is: Yes, you can be insured in Florida, but know it will probably be more expensive. Yes, you still need insurance coverage. And yes, you definitely want to find an experienced insurance agent. Get expert help so you can navigate this difficult time smoothly while getting the right insurance coverage for you at the best possible price.

Florida Auto Insurance Laws 

From reckless driving to unpaid tickets, from driving under the influence to a lapse in auto coverage, there are many ways to get a suspension on your driver’s license.

Florida insurance providers usually extend car insurance to a driver with a suspended license, but only under certain terms and conditions. The exact coverage is determined by the severity of the infraction and the rules of the insurance provider.

You will need to file an SR-22 in order to drive again. If you received a suspension for driving under the influence, you will be required to carry FR-44 insurance for three years following your suspension.

Must I Keep Auto Insurance Even if I Can’t Drive My Car?

All vehicles with a valid Florida license plate must be insured at all times even if it is in storage or if the driver has a suspended license. Failure to maintain insurance on your vehicle will result in expensive fees as well as further penalties and driving suspensions.

Check Your Auto Insurance Requirements 

The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) will let you know exactly what you need to do to get your license back. This knowledge will inform your car insurance decisions.

To reinstate your license, you may be required to: complete traffic school, pay fees, or simply wait for the probation period to pass. As a side note, traffic school can shave points off your license, helping you avoid another suspension and improving your chances for better coverage options.

If the process sounds complicated, that’s because it is. But with the help of an expert insurance agent you can feel confident you’re meeting all Florida requirements to get your license back.

auto insuranceIf you need help getting back behind the wheel, give Synergy Insurance a try. We’ve helped countless Florida drivers stay protected and insured at the best rates, regardless of past mistakes. Get a free auto insurance quote for your car today to see what we mean. And feel free to give us a call if you need more information on how to handle a license suspension. We’ll help you stay legal and minimize hassles.

Safety behind the wheel is crucial for a clean record. In case of emergency, always have the right documents on hand. Our Auto Accident Workbook has all the important information needed to file a claim, so you can take the guesswork out of your coverage. Click the image to get your copy today, and keep it on file in your vehicle!

How to Choose the Right Auto Insurance Policy

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Finding the right auto insurance policy could feel like trying to aim at a moving target. You need to consider factors such as your own lifestyle and preferences, as well as local laws and regulations to make the right decision. Don’t rush into choosing an auto insurance policy – take the time and research to find the right amount of coverage for you and your family!

Here are what to consider when choosing your car insurance policy:

Do an Annual Rate Check

Auto insurance policy is not “set it and forget it.” Your circumstances may change, and you may need coverage different from the years prior. Make a habit of conducting a rate check before renewing your coverage, to make sure you’re getting the best policy possible.

Get a Personalized Quote

It’s important to get a customized quote from an agent who understands the local laws and regulations to make sure all your questions and concerns are addressed while taking into account your unique lifestyle and financial situations. Our agents are always available to help customers find the perfect policy for their needs and budget specific to the state of Florida.

Select a Top-Rated Insurer

Visit websites that rate auto insurers, such as Consumer Reports, to find out the latest ratings for auto insurance providers. See how insurers measure up in dealing with claims, payments, and non-claim problems to make sure they can meet your expectations.

Get Clear On Your Financial Picture

There’s often a give-and-take between deductible and premium — if you opt for a higher deductible, you’d lower your premium. Figure out what you can comfortably afford, and consider factors such as your driving record to see how they impact your premium. Don’t neglect your own risk-tolerance. After all, part of purchasing insurance is for the piece of mind.

You should also take into account your other assets. If you’re a homeowner and/or have sizable financial assets, you may want to protect your assets by increasing your liability coverage limits above the legal minimums. To make sure you’re covered without paying more than you have to, get a personalized quote from an experienced agent. Here at Synergy, we’re always ready to help.

Consider Your Unique Circumstances

auto insuranceThere’re many factors that’d affect your premium and deductibles — e.g. your driving record, car make and model, driving habit or mileage, and even location (more accidents happen in densely populated areas.) Since there’re so many moving parts that could determine the best policy for you based on lifestyle, preferences, and circumstances, it’s always advisable to speak to an experienced agent before finalizing your decision.

Safety behind the wheel is crucial. In case of emergency, always have the right documents on hand. Our Auto Accident Workbook has all the important information needed to file a claim, so you can take the guesswork out of your coverage. Click the image to get your copy today, and keep it on file in your vehicle!

Cheap Car Insurance May Not Be Affordable

car insurance

Nobody wants to pay extra for auto insurance. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, if you make your decision based on cost alone, you could be setting yourself up for potential sticker shock and safety issues down the line. Avoid the hassle that comes with cheap car insurance, and educate yourself on the differences between ‘cheap’ and ‘affordable.’ Here are some potential mistakes that come with cheap car insurance!

Risking Your Assets

Most cheap auto insurance policies only provide liability coverage that meets the state minimum limit. In the event of a serious accident, that amount may not be enough to cover the damage. If you’re found to be legally liable, the court could order you to make up the difference by taking money out of your savings or other assets.

Here at Synergy, our agents specialize in car insurance policies in the state of Florida. We understand the local laws and regulations better than anyone else and will give you the best quote to meet your needs and budget without putting you in unnecessary risks.

High Out-Of-Pocket Cost

A “cheap” car insurance policy usually lures consumers in with a low premium. However, a low premium often translates into high deductible and insufficient coverage. That means you could be in for an unpleasant surprise if you get into an accident and face a sizable repair bill.

Poor Customer Service and Claim Support

Providers of low-cost car insurance rarely invest in high-quality customer support. The price of their products is simply not structured to provide quality customer service or train knowledgeable agents to support their customers. Moreover, these providers often push for cheaper replacement auto insuranceparts during repair to cut cost. These non-OEM parts are often less durable and more prone to rusting. Some of them may not even meet federal safety standards, ultimately putting you and your family at risk. If you purchase cheap auto insurance, you may save a few bucks upfront but suffer the frustration, not to mention wasted time and energy, when you most need the support.

Safety behind the wheel is crucial. In case of emergency, always have the right documents on hand. Our Auto Accident Workbook has all the important information needed to file a claim, so you can take the guesswork out of your coverage. Click the image to get your copy today, and keep it on file in your vehicle!

Five Sure-Fire Ways to Get Your Car Stolen

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Most people would say their car is one of the most valuable assets they own – if not the most valuable. Despite that, however, some people make it downright easy for thieves to drive off in their pride and joy. At Synergy Insurance, we don’t want you walking out your door to an empty driveway or leaving the local mall only to find some broken glass left behind in your parking space. So take care to avoid these five common mistakes.

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