Six Questions To Ask When Choosing Your Auto Insurance Deductible

Choosing your auto insurance policy deductible is a very personal decision that depends on a variety of unique factors, including your personal comfort and the risk level you are willing to face. While The Sanford Group can provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision, it ultimately rests on you to weigh your options and determine the best deductible for you and your family. Here are six questions to help you choose your Ball Ground, GA auto insurance deductibles. 

What Is the Value of My Vehicle? 

Your vehicle’s value makes a lot of difference in what deductible will make sense. Less expensive cars cost less to insure. The more expensive your vehicle is, the pricier it is to insure. Opting for a higher deductible on a high-value vehicle makes sense because the annual premium savings can be significant. 

Do I Have an Emergency Fund? 

You need to consider your bank balance when weighing your deductible options. Can you afford to pay a larger deductible out-of-pocket in the event of a claim? A smaller deductible will result in higher annual premiums, so if you do have an emergency fund it would be wise to raise your deductible as high as you feel comfortable with. 

How Much Do Different Deductibles Cost? 

Every situation is different, but the general rule is that if you’re going to go with a low premium make sure you can recoup the higher cost within three years.  

What Is My Risk of Having A Claim? 

No matter how skilled you are as a driver, everyone has some driver risk. If the possibility of you submitting a claim is high, a low deductible may be the better choice. However, the savings could be substantial if you are a high-risk driver and you opt for a high deductible. 

Is a Vanishing Deductible a Good Option? 

While they’re becoming a popular option, whether vanishing deductibles are a good one for you varies. You do have to pay an extra annual premium for a vanishing deductible, but it might be a smart choice if paying a deductible would devastate you financially. 

Should I Choose a Different Deductible for Different Coverage? 

Yes. Collision coverage is more expensive so it’s smart to go with a higher deductible for that coverage, whereas a lower deductible makes sense for Comprehensive, which is typically cheaper. 

Need Guidance on Deductibles? 

If you have questions about deductibles, we have answers. Call the Ball Ground, GA insurance experts at The Sanford Group today! 

What do I do if my car was the only one involved in an accident?

Being in an accident is stressful and can be frightening. Many people panic, which can lead to making a decision which isn’t the best.

Drivers in Ball Ground, GA should call 911 after an accident so an officer can come help out at the scene. The law enforcement officer is required to file an accident report if the physical damage exceeds $500 or if anyone has been injured or died as a result of the accident.

If you were the only one in an accident, the same basic rules apply. Sometimes you are the only one injured and only your vehicle was damaged.   Single car crashes happen for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Bad weather, especially when visibility is poor.
  • Poorly placed or missing road signs.
  • Driver inattention or fatigue.
  • Bad driving by other drivers.
  • Mechanical problems with your vehicle.

If you call 911, an officer will come and help you assess the situation. You may not realize you are hurt, but you are probably shaken up.  It may also be difficult on your own to find the information for the property owner if there is damage. The Sanford Group can help you if you want to learn more about filing accident reports.

If you have an accident report in Ball Ground, GA, the other party cannot use it as evidence against you. Georgia specifically disallows this kind of evidence, so a report filed with the Department of Transportation or resulting actions were taken by the Department of Driver Services cannot be used in court to prove a case against you.

Accident laws can seem confusing, and you don’t want to do the wrong thing and pay for it later. Please call  The Sanford Group if you have any questions or if you want a free quote on a new policy.

Getting Auto Insurance for Your New Car

It is exciting to think about getting a new car. Before you rush off to the dealership, take a moment to consider the auto insurance as well. It will be helpful for your monthly budget to know the total amount you need for the car payments plus the insurance premiums. Depending on the type of vehicle you are considering, these amounts may differ significantly.

Why Getting Auto Insurance from a Car Dealership is Not a Good Idea

The main goal of the salesperson at a car dealership is to sell you a car and then add on as many extras as possible. A dealership is not permitted to let a vehicle that they sell drive off the lot without it being covered by auto insurance.

That does not mean that the auto insurance offered by a car dealership is a good one or that it is priced well. In fact, the dealership is likely to get a commission/kickback for placing the insurance with certain underwriters. This may add to the price for the insurance.

On top of the questionable quality issues, buying auto insurance through a dealer is not the same as having personal attention from an agent at The Sanford Group, serving Ball Ground GA and the surrounding communities. It is a better idea to make direct contact with an agent who can serve your needs and will be able to help you in the future if something comes up

Get Auto Insurance Lined Up In Advance

By calling your agent before you make the car purchase, your application information can be entered into the system and ready to go. Then, all you need to do is call the agent from the auto dealership and fax the agent a copy of the purchase agreement with the VIN number, year, make, model, and the purchase price to get auto insurance coverage.

Get a quote for new auto insurance by calling 678-454-0661 to speak with an agent at The Sanford Group in Ball Ground, GA or if you prefer, you may use the convenient online form.

What to do if you witness a car accident in Ball Ground, GA

You’re driving along, and suddenly you see other vehicles get into an accident. Rather than turning a blind eye and continuing about your day, The Sanford Group has provided you with a quick guide on what you should do.

Get Yourself Safe

You don’t want to cause another accident or in any way injure yourself, so find a safe place to pull over before you do anything else. You can also set up emergency flares and put your hazard lights on to alert other drivers of the accident. 

Call 911

As soon as you are safely able to, call 911. This is helpful for you as well as the passengers in the accident, as the 911 dispatcher can help walk you through the next steps.

Check on the Passengers

Check on the passengers to see if you can be of any assistance, but be careful not to move any passengers, especially if you suspect they may have a back injury, or if they have any objects lodged into their body as a result of the accident.

Talk to the Police

Even if there is nothing you can do to help the passengers, or if there are no injuries at all, stay at the scene of the accident so you can talk to the police when they arrive. They will likely want to talk to you about what you witnessed and get your information so they can contact you in the future if needed.

After a car accident, the number one thing to remember is to keep yourself safe and to help others to the best of your ability. Whether the accident is in Ball Ground, GA or anywhere else, the same tips apply. If you have more questions about auto accidents or insurance, don’t hesitate to contact The Sanford Group.

Is My Spouse Covered Under My Auto Insurance?

It is pretty common to see a couple share their cars interchangeably. Though, one partner may claim that a specific car is “his or her car,” if the other partner needed to drive it, he or she would without a second thought. But what if something disastrous were to happen? What if there was a bad car accident? Would the person driving be covered under the auto insurance policy?

Is My Spouse Covered Under My Auto Insurance?

First thing is first, call The Sanford Group in Ball Ground, GA to see if your spouse is already listed under your insurance policy. If the answer is yes, then you have nothing to worry about. By listing your partner as a covered driver on your insurance plan, he or she is covered in the event of an accident. If your spouse is not listed, however, and gets caught behind the wheel of your car, trouble may not be far behind. For example, if a husband fails to let his insurance company know that he is married, doesn’t list his wife on the policy, and she gets into an accident, she may be denied coverage citing misrepresentation. Misrepresentation is a type of insurance fraud that says that the policyholder did not give the insurance company all of the information necessary to assess proper risk.

If a wife happened to be driving her husband’s car before he had the chance to add her to the policy and she got into an accident, there are some cases where the accident would be covered. In this scenario, you would likely need to pay for the premiums that you should have been paying as a driver listed on the policy.

Contact The Sanford Group in Ball Ground GA

For more information on adding your spouse to your auto insurance plan, please reach out to The Sanford Group in Ball Ground, GA. They will be able to help you with your request and answer any additional questions you may have.

Why Distracted Driving is a Bad Idea

When you answer a text or take a call while driving, you might not equate it to driving home tipsy or otherwise impaired. However, the statistics prove that distracted driving is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you have questions on how distracted driving can impact your insurance eligibility in Ball Ground, GA, the insurance professionals at The Sanford Group can help. In the meantime, here are some sobering statistics and valuable information on how to prevent distracted driving.

The Facts and Stats

Mobile devices are convenient and popular inventions that help you stay connected to friends, family and clients. However, using them while driving can result in an accident or worse. The most recent statistics paint a grim picture of injuries and deaths that are 100 percent preventable.

Every day, nine people die and over 1,000 are injured in incidents where at least one of the drivers is distracted, according to the CDC.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 3,477 deaths and about 391,000 injuries in 2015 crashes involving distracted driving. Further, the NHTSA stated that 660,000 drivers use cell phones and other electronic devices behind the wheel. 

Handheld cell phone use is highest among 16-24-year-olds, per the National Occupant Protection Use Survey.

What You Can Do

If your teen or young adult children are new drivers prone to texting while driving, give them a clear message that this is not a safe practice.

For young drivers preparing for their driver’s text and exam, candidly discuss what can happen if they look away from the road for even a few seconds. Make it clear it’s not just their life, but someone else’s that could be at stake.

More importantly, lead by example. It hardly sends the right message if you’re texting behind the wheel while cautioning them not to.

Georgia Law

While some states have an outright ban on cell phone usage while driving, Georgia law takes a looser stance. It does restrict the use of cell phones for new drivers as well as school bus drivers.

Contact agents at The Sanford Group in Ball Ground, GA with any questions you may have on auto insurance or to schedule an appointment for a quote.

 

 

2 Ways a DUI Affects Insurance Rates

It’s never a wise decision to drink alcohol and get behind the wheel of a car. Not only are you putting yourself at risk of getting hurt, but you also run the risk of hurting someone else. There are numerous accidents involving drinking and driving each year in the US that are fatal. And the thing about it is, these accidents are completely preventable. If you don’t drink and drive, you are much less likely to cause an accident. Here at The Sanford Group serving Ball Ground, GA, we are all about your safety and we put together a helpful go-to guide to help you understand how a DUI affects insurance rates. 

You Will Lose Your License

In the state of Georgia, DUI conviction punishments are harsh. Not only will you face a fine of $300 to $1,000, but you could possibly have to spend up to one year behind bars. You will also have your license suspended for up to one year. You may or may not be able to receive a hardship license for work purposes. And to top it off, you will have to complete at least 40 hours of community service. 

Your Rates Will Increase

There is rarely ever a time that your insurance rate won’t increase if you are convicted of a DUI in the state of Georgia, and even worse, this increase tends to stick around for anywhere from three to five years. Going to traffic school for a DUI will not generally have any type of impact on your premium, meaning it won’t lower it.

If you would like to learn more about the ways a DUI affects auto insurance in Ball Ground, GA, call The Sanford Group now. 

Auto Insurance for Teenagers with Permits

Some parents often don’t know whether they should add their teenagers to their car insurance policies or purchase a separate policy for them. If your teen has a learner’s permit in Ball Ground, GA, it is advisable to add him or her to your auto insurance policy from the Sanford Group. If your learner is involved in a crash, you will file a claim from your auto insurance policy to help you pay for losses resulting from the car accident.

Why should I insure a learner driver?

A learner driver is likely to make mistakes and perhaps cause accidents in the process. In fact, according to statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), learners or teen drivers are three times more likely to cause car accidents than other drivers over the age of 20. If your teen has a learner’s permit and gets into a fender-bender in Ball Ground, GA, he or she will suffer consequences similar to those of a fully licensed driver. Your teen will actually be held responsible for any damages to other people’s property or bodily injury.

When should I contact my insurer?

It is advisable to notify your insurer when your teen is ready to get his or her learner’s permit. The teenager may be covered by your car insurance as a learner driver because he or she is using your car with your permission. Once your teen gets a driver’s license, you should now consider adding him or her as a listed operator on your car insurance policy. Since rules on when you can do all this may vary by insurer, our agents will give you all the information you need.

When you drive with the Sanford Group, you drive with peace of mind. A learner’s permit gives your teen permission to drive under certain restrictions. If you want your teen to stay protected wherever the road takes him or her, contact us today for more information.

 

First time auto insurance

You are on your own. You are getting your first car. What do you need? You just graduated, you are out on your own and you are buying your first car.

Requirements. Deductibles. Discounts. How do you figure it all out?

State Car Insurance Requirements

Understand that nearly every state requires some form of financial responsibility from drivers. Most states require a minimum amount of insurance

  1. Bodily injury coverage: This covers injuries suffered by another person during an auto accident.
  2. Property damage coverage: This covers damage to another person’s property during an auto accident.

Car Insurance Deductibles

Those are the out-of-pocket amount of money a driver pays before his car insurance coverage will kick in to pay a claim.

Typically, the higher the premium, the lower the deductible, and vice versa.

Factor that goes into determining your Premiums

  • Current driver license status.
  • Any traffic violations (including the associated driving record points).

Your vehicle. This includes factors such as:

  • The make and model.
  • How at risk the vehicle is for being stolen or vandalized.
  • How much it would cost to repair the vehicle.
  • How many (if any) safety features the vehicle has installed.
  • The vehicle’s overall safety rating.

Where you live.

How often you drive. Vehicle owners who don’t drive much tend to get lower rates than those who spend a lot of time behind the wheel.

Your credit score. Many auto insurance companies determine factors such as how likely you are to make payments on time or file a complaint based on your credit history.

The Sanford Group serving Ball Ground, GA understands what it’s like to start out, and they are there to guide you through the process.

5 Ways to Protect Your Vehicle During Vacation Travels

Road trips are fast becoming a favorite way for families to spend their summer vacation. By taking necessary precautions, you can enjoy your road trip to the full without worrying about theft, vandalism or other inconveniences on the road. Insurance protection from The Sanford Group. in Ball Ground, GA is your first step to safeguarding your vehicle while on vacation. Here are a few other ways you can protect your car and personal goods during your travels.

Choose Parking Spaces Wisely

Whether you’re stopping to eat or sight-see, choose your parking wisely. Whenever possible, park your car in areas that are safe, well- lit and clearly visible to others.

Lock Up When Leaving Car

Make sure you roll up all windows and lock all doors, even if you’re only getting out for a short time. A professional car thief will take advantage of any carelessness on your part to steal your vehicle.   

Self-park at Restaurants or Tourist Spots

If you’re new to an area, you may feel uncomfortable turning your car over to valet parking. Sometimes it’s best to follow your intuition. You never know when someone will be tempted to drive off with your vehicle or steal valuables from inside your car.

Invest in Anti-Theft Devices

Invest in a few anti-theft devices such as steering wheel lock or baby monitor video camera to use during your travels. Anti-theft devices will deter would-be car thieves, giving you that extra protection you need.

Keep Bags and Suitcases Out of Sight

Store bags and valuables in the trunk where they’re out of sight. If your car doesn’t have a trunk, make sure these items are hidden from view to reduce the temptation of anyone passing by.  

For quality car insurance to suit all your personal needs, contact The Sanford Group in Ball Ground, GA.