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.

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.

How To Determine if Umbrella Insurance is Right For You

There are many different types of insurance and just because it exists does not mean that you actually need it. However, there are certain types of insurance that are wort taking a look into so you can determine if it is a good match for your needs. One of those types of insurance policies is called umbrella insurance. While it may not be right for everyone, there are certain circumstances where there is a great benefit to having it. Continue reading to help determine if umbrella insurance is right for you.

  • Do you have a high value home or vehicle? If so, then you may want to look into purchasing umbrella insurance. This is because all auto and homeowners insurance policies have a maximum coverage level. If you own a high value home or vehicle, your insurance policy may not cover it entirely even when it is maxed out.
  • Do you have a large amount of other assets? Another thing that people do not think about insuring are their assets other than a home or vehicle. For example, if you have a savings account, checking account, or 401K with a lot of money saved in it, you may want to consider covering it with an umbrella insurance policy.
  • Are you a prominent member of your community? For people who are very active in their community and are prominent, having extra personal liability insurance is important and an umbrella insurance policy offers exactly that.

If you would like more information or if you are ready to get a quote for umbrella insurance and start the process, be sure to contact 1st American Insurance Agency serving Lafayette, CO. They will be happy to provide you with anything you need regarding insurance.

What is RV insurance? Finding the Right Coverage

When it comes to any vehicle finding the right coverage is essential. Though coverage varies from state to state, there are some basics that apply to all areas. Say for instance you live in Lafayette, CO, the helpful agents at 1st American Insurance Agency can help you find the coverage that is going to keep you legal in the state in which you live.

RV insurance is very similar to car insurance save for a few different basics that set it apart. An RV is essentially a vehicle in the barest of terms so you are going to need coverage that helps to take care of your own medical bills in the case of an accident as well as those bills of the person that is involved in the accident with you should it be determined that you are at fault. This coverage is called liability coverage and it is required for any vehicle that is going to be on the road with other drivers.

The main difference between RV insurance and typical auto insurance is that RV insurance will also help to cover the replacement of the contents of the RV. This means that if you have an RV fire, an accident, theft, or other issues, the contents of your RV are going to be covered. This does not stop with only those items that you can take in and out of your home but also more permanent items that are in your RV.

A great agent can help you determine what level of insurance you need, how much liability coverage is needed, and what type of policy is going to work best for your particular RV and your particular situation and needs.

Do I need commercial insurance if my business has no inventory?

If you own a service-based business such as a nail salon or air conditioner repair shop, then it’s probably not very likely that you have a lot of inventory to worry about.  In fact, many owners of service-based businesses assume that there is no reason to hold commercial insurance because they have no inventory that would need to be replaced.  The truth is that these types of businesses are often the ones that need commercial insurance the most.

Commercial insurance policies cover a lot more than just a business’ inventory.  They can also be written to cover your equipment, vehicles, tools, and in some cases even provide protection in the event of a lawsuit. For a service-based company, that means a policy can protect virtually everything you need to stay in business.

Even though your company doesn’t have much in the way of merchandise, odds are good that you have thousands of dollars invested in tools and equipment.  In the event of a crime or natural disaster, it’s possible to lose all of these things.  That could mean being out of work for weeks while everything is replaced out of your business’ own funds.

Commercial insurance can also include coverage for the structures and real estate that your business owns.  Storage buildings, storefronts, and manufacturing facilities can all be covered under a commercial property insurance policy.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a new commercial insurance policy, or just updating the one you already have, call the agents at 1st American Insurance Agency.  They have years of experience helping business owns find insurance that meets their needs without blowing their budget.

Top 3 Things That Should be on Your Fall Home Safety Check List

Now that the fall is finally here, conducting an annual safety check on your home is the best way to ensure you’re ready for the cooler months. No matter the size or location of your home, some things are essentially universal. The following is an overview of 3 things that should definitely be on your fall home safety check list. 

Medical Supplies 

First and foremost, the fall months is an excellent time to replenish your medical supplies. Given that many ailments are seasonal in nature, you may want to double check your supply and ensure you have all the medical supplies required to make it through the colder months. 

Cleaning Supplies 

Much like spring cleaning, the fall is an excellent time to clean out old clothes, papers, as well as things such as things such as changing decor, color schemes, and even the general arrangement of furniture. Be sure to stock up on all necessary cleaning supplies to make this process as easy as possible. 

Firewood/ Fire Safety Plan

Lastly, if you live in a home that uses firewood in the cooler months, stocking up on your firewood is of the utmost importance during the fall. This is a time in which your home will be getting colder and you may need to light a fire at a moment’s notice. On the flip side, this is also a great time to review your fire safety plan, for obvious reasons. 

Overall, for those who live in Lafayette, CO, conducting a fall safety check should be on the top of your to-do list. Let 1st American Insurance Agency provide the answers to all of your home insurance inquiries.