Auto Insurance Coverage for Injuries: Do You Have Enough?

When it comes to insurance coverage, most people check to make sure they have enough coverage to pay off their car if it gets totaled. They may even think about how much coverage they would need if they collided with a high-end vehicle and the accident was their fault. You’ve likely thought of all these things, but have you thought about how much insurance you need to cover the medical bills of those who may get injured in the crash? 

Minimum coverage for Lafayette, CO

By law, you are required to carry a certain amount of insurance for injuries. In Colorado, you must have a policy that will pay out at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Keep in mind that this is only the amount that you need to drive legal. Medical bills often cost much more than state minimums, especially if you’re in a serious accident and there are multiple injuries. 

Rising Costs for Medical Care

Thanks to innovative safety features on modern vehicles, the rate and severity of injuries have actually decreased. However medical costs keep rising astronomically. The average claim per injured person in a car accident is about $15,500. Keep in mind that this number represents the average of both minor and major accidents. Medical expenses in a serious accident could be as much as $500,000. Fatal accidents can be even more expensive. 

How Much Coverage Is Enough

At the very least, you must have enough bodily injury coverage to meet the state minimum requirements. However, you should know that you may end up paying tens-of-thousands of dollars out of pocket if you only opt for minimum coverage. For example, if you have a policy that covers $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident and you get into an accident where two of your passengers are injured. The first passenger has medical bills amounting to $45,000 while the second person’s bill only amounts to $5,000. You will still be responsible for anything over $25,000 for the first person. You will pay $20,000 in this scenario. 

If you’re not sure how much coverage you need, talk to an agent at 1st American Insurance Agency today. They will be more than happy to discuss your needs and find a policy that works for you. 

What is covered by standard homeowners insurance?

Homeowners in Lafayette, CO know that the uncertainties of living in the Front Range of the Rockies provide unique challenges to maintaining their homes. Sudden and volatile changes in the weather can cause unexpected and disastrous damage to your home. 

Has your basement ever flooded? Did you know that most homeowners policies don’t cover the damage caused by a sump-pump that can’t handle runoff water from a lot of snow melt?

In fact, most homeowners and renters policies don’t cover flood damage at all. You’ll need a separate policy for flood damage if you’re in an area with a high risk of flooding. 

Have you had a lot of snow this winter? Standard homeowners policies don’t cover the cost of repairing collapsed roofs or shrubbery damaged from the weight of snow, or from freezing.

If your pipes or appliances freeze and burst, you may not have coverage either for the damage to your pipes or the damaged caused to the infrastructure of your house when your pipes burst.

Often homeowners policies don’t cover landslides, mudslides, and avalanches – these could be common in the Front Range.

If your sewer backs up and causes damage to you home, this is not usually covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy or your flood insurance policy. You’re also responsible for maintaining the sewer lateral—the pipeline between your house, and the city sewer system. This is usually located on your street and can cost a fortune to repair.

If you’re worried that you don’t have enough insurance coverage for your home, speak with an independent insurance agent at 1st American Insurance Agency. They can go through your policy with you, and create a policy to fit your unique needs to make sure that you have the protection that you need for your home.

How to Save On Your Energy Bill This Winter

The winters in Lafayette, CO can get pretty cold. Unfortunately, this can also mean a high heating bill. Are your energy bills consistently high during the winter? At 1st American Insurance Agency, we recognize that costs add up. Fortunately, there are some simple measures you can take to help lower your monthly energy bill. Most of these only take a few minutes of your time. However, if you would like to save on energy costs, they are certainly worth doing!

Turn Down the Thermostat

We don’t want you to freeze all winter long, however, did you know that you can save significantly by turning your thermostat down just one or two degrees? If you are willing to put on a warm robe or sweater and keep it a little cooler, you will see a difference on your next bill.

Regularly Clean Your Furnace

While most people recognize that they need to change out the filter for the air conditioning each summer to keep it running efficiently, they often forget about this in the winter. If you make it a habit to change the filter out every two months, you will increase its efficiency by a full 50 percent.

Check Your Energy Bill Rates at Different Times of Day

It is quite common for energy companies to charge higher rates during what they consider to be “prime” hours of the day.  These rates go down during other parts of the day such as early mornings and later in the evening. Look at your rates and try to run appliances like the dishwasher or washing machine during times with lower rates. At 1st American Insurance Agency of Lafayette, CO, we hope you find these tips helpful for saving on your next energy bill. 

Tips For Keeping Auto Insurance Low When Adding a Teen to Your Auto Insurance

When you add a teenage driver to your auto insurance policy, you can expect your rates to increase. This is because teenage drivers are inexperienced and thus, more likely to be involved in an accident. However, this does not mean that you need to pay an insane amount of money to let your teen drive. Here are a few tips for keeping your auto insurance as low as possible when adding a teen driver.

Have Your Teen Take a Defensive Driving Course

Many insurance companies will reduce a teenage driver’s auto insurance rates if they take part in a defensive driving course. Those who take this course are less likely to be involved in an accident, which helps to negate some of the risk that an insurer has when insuring a teen driver. As such, this is a great place to start when trying to lower auto insurance rates for a teen driver.

Shop Around for Auto Insurance Rates

Another tip for keeping auto insurance rates as low as possible when adding a teen driver is to shop around with various companies. Your existing auto insurance company may have high rates for teen drivers. But unless you shop around, you won’t know it. It can be hard to leave your comfort zone, but checking rates with other companies will help you get the best possible rate for your teenage driver.

If you are looking for a new auto insurance policy for you and your teen or just for your teenager, 1st American Insurance Agency, serving the greater Lafayette, CO area, would love to help you. We offer affordable rates for drivers of all ages. Call us today to set up an appointment to discuss your needs and to get a price quote.

What can happen if you don’t have homeowners insurance?

Homeowners insurance is a very important thing to have. To understand why it is so important one must understand what homeowners insurance is. Homeowners insurance is a form of property insurance that is designed to protect ones home against damages to the house itself or the possessions that are in the home. It can also provide liability coverage against accidents that take place in the home or on the property. In the United States there are seven forms of homeowners insurance that have become standardized.

Disasters can strike at any time and in Lafayette, CO it is important to be covered. Many things can occur in Lafayette, CO such as severe storms, floods, wildfires, and more. The weather in Colorado changes so often that a small storm can drop a funnel cloud or tornado for a quick warm up to melt off the snow with the intensity. Luckily the National Weather Service relays weather messages, but if your home is not protected then it can be a disaster. Wind, wind driven rain, falling objects, or the collapse of a structure can cause damage to one’s home and if they are not insured then that can cause a lot of pocket expenses. Severe storms can cause floods and water damage to the home, which can lead to mold.

Wildfires threaten homes and personal property in Lafayette, CO, and without the homeowners insurance the home can have smoke damage and fire damage to the property and no help will be provided for damages. With those damages it can get expensive, but with homeowners insurance it can help cover your home and personal property for the actual cash value.  Contact an agent at 1st American Insurance Agency to learn more today.

Safe Driving Tips for the Morning Winter Commute

Living in Lafayette, CO means also living with snow for part of the year.  While people in Colorado love the great outdoors when the snow the falling – hiking skiing, sledding, snowmobiling and having fun in the snow are always on the do list.  But what usually isn’t so much fun is the morning commute during nasty weather.  This is a time to be extra careful so that you can avoid an accident.  Read on to lean about some driving safety tips you can start applying to the morning commute now.  

Stay at or Under the Speed Limit

Driving slowly during the morning commute when the roads are slick will give you ample time to stop if the vehicle in front of you suddenly stops.  You will also be able to respond faster in the event you needed to swerve out of the way, for example.  

Avoid Aggressive Drivers

Being in a hurry when driving in bad weather can be a disaster waiting to happen. Provide distance between yourself and any driver that is speeding and constantly switching lanes.  

Don’t Take Your Eyes off the Road

Accidents can happen in a split second, and those chances increase when the weather is bad.  Fiddling with the controls, reaching for a ringing cell phone, or turning around to talk to someone in the back should be avoided during a morning commute with nasty weather.  

Be Insured

Even when you do your best to remain safe during a drive into work when the roads are dangerous, accidents can still happen. That’s why it is important to have excellent auto coverage insurance in Lafayette, CO. At (agency name) we help you find the right coverage at the right price that will give you peace of mind as you brave the morning roads during a heavy snow fall.   

 

 

 

 

How a DUI can Affect your Insurance

Insurance rates can go up and down depending on how many moving violations and accidents you get in your driving career. However, none are more impactful than a DUI. Here are some things that 1st American Insurance Agency, serving Lafayette, CO, want you to know about insurance and driving under the influence.

SR-22 and DUIs

The state of Colorado requires any driver who has had their license suspended for a DUI to have what is called an SR-22, also known as the Safety Responsibility Form # 22, before they can get it reinstated. An SR-22 is not an insurance policy, but a document that proves that you have insurance. This is provided by the insurance company when you sign up for a policy. If you were to go with us here at 1st American Insurance Agency, we would provide this document for you.

DUI and Your Rates

Every insurance company has a different formula when determining insurance rates. While one insurance company might weigh a DUI heavily, another might not weigh it as much as other factors. This is why it is important to shop around. 

Getting a DUI can maker it hard to find a policy, because insurance companies do have the right to deny "high risk" drivers. However, there are many that will still sell you a policy, since it is still a legal requirement when you are driving.

No matter what your story is, you should shop around to see what policy you can get. Make sure you contact us here at 1st American Insurance Agency, serving Lafayette, CO, to see if we can help you with your insurance needs. 

Winter Driving Safety Tips

Nothing can bring drivers to a halt quicker than a sudden winter storm. Use these winter driving tips to make sure that you are prepared for whatever winter brings.

Maintain your vehicle.

Check the basic maintenance of your car, including your battery, anti-freeze levels, and windshield wipers. You should also check your tires, making sure that they are properly inflated and that tread depth is adequate .

Check the Forecast

Before you leave your home, check the forecast for the next few hours. Allow plenty of time for your trip and plan for extra time in case you get caught someplace. If you’re planning a longer trip, check the weather for your home and destination. Also, if you have to drive through the mountains, make sure that no precipitation is in the forecast.

Things to Pack in the Car

Before you go, you probably want to pack the following items in your vehicle.

  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • Jumper cables
  • Ice scraper
  • Snow brush
  • Shovel
  • Roadside flare
  • Blankets
  • Cell phone and charger
  • For longer trips in hazardous conditions, pack extra food and water.

Communicate

Make sure that others know of your plans. Let them know your departure and projected arrival times. If things change, let people know. Also, leave a copy of your route with someone, so that people know where to start looking if you don’t show up.

Practice Driving in Hazardous Conditions

There’s a learning curve to knowing how to drive on ice and snow. Practice driving in a parking lot in the vehicle that you will be using because each vehicle handles slightly differently. Slow down when driving on slick roads. Four wheel drive vehicles don’t stop and faster on a slippery road than other vehicles.

Don’t get caught unprepared this winter. Not knowing how to handle winter driving can mean the difference between being stranded somewhere and being able to proceed as normal. For information about car insurance, contact 1st American Insurance Agency, serving Lafayette, CO and the surrounding area.

Personal Factors Impact Home Insurance Premiums

Individuals in Lafayette, CO may be surprised to realize that personal factors will impact home insurance premiums. While people may wonder how their own personal qualities impact home insurance, the fact remains that insurance companies take every factor into account when calculating a home insurance rate. Make sure to take steps to minimize personal considerations that lead to higher home insurance premiums.

First of all, many people don’t know that smoking will lead to higher insurance premiums. While this might seem unfair, the fact is that a cigarette is an open flame. Cigarettes in the home lead to a higher risk of the house catching fire. This can lead to a large claim being filed against the home insurance policy that an insurance company is on the hook for. Insurance companies adjust their premiums accordingly because anyone who smokes has a higher chance of burning their house down.

Next, a good credit score can lead to much lower insurance premiums. Anyone with a good credit score has demonstrated that they have a history of paying their bills, such as their insurance costs, on time. This means the company can rely on the customer to pay their insurance payments on time. The company rewards fiscal responsibility with a lower insurance rate.

Finally, people who have a history of filing insurance claims will be forced to pay higher insurance premiums. Companies know that people who have filed a claim in the past have a greater chance of filing a claim in the future. Therefore, insurance companies will hedge their risks by charging these individuals a higher home insurance rate. Make sure to only file insurance claims when necessary. If the deductible is more costly than the actual repair, home owners should pay for the repair themselves.

When it comes to the residents of Lafayette, CO, ensure that nobody is paying more for home insurance than they must. Take steps to control personal factors that will lead to higher home insurance premiums. Contact 1st American Insurance Agency today.

 

What is Covered by Standard Auto Insurance?

In Colorado, by law, you have to have auto insurance if you own and operate a vehicle. Making sure you have the legal amount of required coverage is imperative to remaining on the right side of the law. In Lafayette, CO, you may be looking for standard auto insurance but you may not know what that means. Use this guide from 1st American Insurance Agency so you know what you are looking for and can ensure you are meeting state minimums.

Liability Coverage

For most standard auto insurance policies, you will have two types of liability coverage: property damage and bodily injury. Property damage protection can protect you if you are found to be at fault for an accident. It will pay for damage on your vehicle as well as the other individual’s vehicle. Bodily injury will also protect you and your assets if you are found to be at fault for an accident but it helps pay for bodily harm for yourself or the other injured party involved.

Coverage Minimums

You will also find that most standard auto insurance policies in the state will cover at least the minimum required by law. However, this is not always the case so you should make sure that you have the minimum on your policy. The minimums in the state are $25,000/$50,000/$15,000. This means that there needs to be a minimum coverage of $25,000 bodily injury per person and $50,000 per accident. Additionally, there must be coverage for $15,000 for property damage on another person’s vehicle. This coverage should also provide you with coverage for a legal defense in case you need one as a result of an accident.

In Lafayette, CO, it is important to always have the minimum coverage required by law. You can opt for additional coverage but make sure the policy you get at least has these basics covered. Contact 1st American Insurance Agency for more information today or for a ffree quote.