Auto Insurance Commercial Auto Insurance Insurance News

If you can see 5 cars — 1 of them probably doesn’t have insurance (statistically speaking)

Here’s the scenario; You were in a car accident, and it’s not your fault! (that felt more like a commercial?!?) — the other person wasn’t able to pay their bills the last couple months and doesn’t have any insurance. Often it’s not only the uninsured individual who can cause risk, but also the under-insured individual. If someone has the bare minimum insurance and your accident has more than the bare minimum of costs — this is not the situation any of us want.

Unless you live in Virginia, it’s illegal to drive a car without insurance. Every state has their own laws. From Maine’s 4.5% to Florida’s 26.7%, our country’s uninsured motorists are present (and should be accounted for). Colorado’s uninsured motorists are not in the top or bottom few, but that placed Colorado’s drivers in the mid-percentages of risk.

uninsured under-insured driverIn this article we want to give a shout out to New Mexico for dropping from 29.8% in 2006 to 20.8% in 2015; well done. We’re all better if we can play by the same rules. There are some stand-outs, but the rates for uninsured motorists in most states increased between 2010 and 2015.

Elizabeth A. Sprinkel (senior vice president of the IRC) stated, “While some states saw significant drops in their uninsured motorists rates, overall, the rate is increasing nationwide”, and “This can mean added risk for all motorists.”

Nearly one in eight U.S. motorists is driving around uninsured and putting insured drivers at greater risk in the event of an auto accident”, according to a study. In 2003, uninsured motorists percentage peaked at 14.9%. By 2010, we dipped to 12.3% after seven years of going down. This bounce in 2015 that found 13 percent of all U.S. motorists were uninsured is not what many hoped to see.

The president, personal lines, at The Hanover said, “The results of the survey sound an alarm. Uninsured motorists represent a significant risk to insured drivers.” According to Halsey, the average cost of an uninsured motorist claim is about $20,000 (and that doesn’t include physical damage to the vehicle).

We at Insurance Town & Country would hope all of our community’s drivers discuss uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage with their independent agents. It’s not a bad idea.

A good rule of thumb is to have equal uninsured and under-insured motorist coverage as bodily injury coverage, according to the insurer.




- The research was directed by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) and co-sponsored by The Hanover Insurance Group.

- The IRC study, Uninsured Motorists, 2017 Edition, examined data collected from 14 insurers representing approximately 60 percent of the private passenger auto insurance market in 2015.

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Fun Auto Purchase Ideas…What is a bug worth?

It’s so easy to love a bug. Check out our new value guide

Last July we told you about a new way we’re engaging with members over our shared love of cars: a resource we call the Hagerty Make/Model Price Guide. Our newest guide is all about the VW Beetle. At a time when cars were being built for power and pride, the Beetle made a huge statement by being small and driving slow. And that’s where the fun began.

Our valuebug-value guides were made using the Hagerty Valuation Tools®. It’s easy for you and members to use these tools to help when quoting Nationwide/Hagerty insurance and to keep track of how values change over time. Use it to engage and retain classic-owning members.

See the VW Beetle guide » 17_oct_hpg_beetle

Ready to discuss auto insurance options for you or your business? Contact our team today at our Denver office at 303–388-7216 or our Castle Rock office at 303–688-1251. You can also send us a message any time and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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Auto Insurance Tips for the Collector Car Market

Take advantage of the collector car market that’s killing it

In the midst of the fall season, the “upper middle” market (cars valued between $250,000 and a million) continues its long slowdown. This year, only six of the 10 upper-middle vehicles Hagerty® inspected at public auctions sold, down from eight out of 10 in 2015. At this year’s Amelia Island’s Concours d’Elegance, 60% of vehicles were auctioned for less than current Hagerty Price Guide values.

But there’s another market that’s killing it right now: entry-level collector vehicles (valued at $50,000 or less). Nearly 85% of entry-level vehicles Hagerty inspected at public auctions sold this year, up from 75% two years ago, while only 20% of these vehicles sold for less than current Hagerty Price Guide values.

This translates to a huge opportunity for agents. Many members own “fun” cars (including cars from the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s) in addition to their daily drivers, most of which are insured on a standard auto policy. Protect the cars they love properly by placing them where they belong – on a collector car policy – and you’ll build loyalty and retention.

Ready to discuss auto insurance options for you or your business? Contact our team today at our Denver office at 303–388-7216 or our Castle Rock office at 303–688-1251. You can also send us a message any time and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

See a sampling of “fun” cars we protect »green-car

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Auto Insurance Frightful Facts from Christine

10 things that won’t kill you to know about Christine

Stephen King tachristineught us some important lessons as he ascended the throne and took his rightful place as America’s most prolific author of horror and supernatural fiction. You know, things like: don’t play any pranks on Carrie, never stay at The Shining’s Overlook Hotel (“Here’s Johnny!”), and for goodness’ sake, tread lightly when dealing with a 1958 Plymouth Fury named Christine.

King takes the classic tale of boy meets girl to frightening heights when a geeky teenager named Arnie falls head over heels in love with a red Plymouth Fury with a sketchy past. Christine falls hard for Arnie, too, which would be roses if it weren’t for one tiny detail: the car is a killing machine with a long memory and a short fuse. Moral of the story: Never underestimate the fury of a Fury that just… won’t… die.

As we hand out Halloween candy to all the miniature ghosts and goblins out there, here’s a little something for the big kids – 10 things you may not know about the original Christine movie.

Click to see and share the full list »

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What’s Fueling Colorado Car Insurance Rates?

Colorado drivers are likely asking themselves “why are my car insurance rates going up?”

Startling insurance loss trends are emerging that put Colorado in the top ten states for growth in insurance claims and costs to pay those claims.

Coloradans are now starting to see those skyrocketing costs add up to higher insurance premiums and they want to know why. Some quick facts to help you better understand Colorado’s volatile auto insurance marketplace, along with potential solutions that would benefit all Colorado drivers.

  • Bottom-line: There are more auto accidents and each accident is more likely to end up in costly litigation. 
    • Colorado ranks 4th in the U.S. for growth in number of auto insurance damage claims filed since 2013 with the 2nd highest increase in collision repair costs. Colorado insurance companies recorded a loss of nearly 18% on physical damage in 2014 (Source: Fast Track Monitoring). 
      • Traffic fatalities increased 24% from 2014 to 2016 (Source: CDOT).
    • Colorado’s damaging hailstorms cause millions of dollars in damage annually. September 2014 recorded the state’s 4th most costly hailstorm, a July 2016 Colorado Springs hailstorm resulted in the 6th most costly and 2009 the most expensive hail season with $1.4 billion in insured losses (Source: RMIIA).
    • Colorado’s “Lawsuit Tax.” It’s no coincidence that every time you turn on the TV, radio or see an RTD bus or train pass by there is another trial lawyer ad promising you that suing your insurance company will win you more money than the lottery. Unfortunately, due to Colorado’s lawsuit laws that may be true, but insurance companies aren’t the only ones paying. All Colorado drivers ultimately foot the bill for an out-of-control system pushing insurance costs and rates higher. Marketplace drivers like legislative mandates that incentivize lawsuits and exorbitant jury awards are key cost drivers. Colorado Auto Insurance

Fact Sheet: 

Ask your Colorado State Legislators to support and VOTE YES on these 4 Colorado auto insurance reform bills:

  • SB-181 “Phantom Medical Costs”: allows Colorado juries to have access to both billed and actual paid amounts for medical care to make more informed and fair settlement judgments. Juries are currently only allowed to see astronomical medical bills initially charged, but never actually paid to treatment providers. These “phantom costs” dramatically drive up damage awarded by the courts. 
  • SB-182 “Uninsured Motorists’ Double Dipping”: allows for an offset with combined coverage in a claim, so when med pay is initially paid by your insurer for medical bills that amount would go toward the total amount of a UM/UIM claim, rather than creating a situation where the settlement is more than limits paid for and creating a double dipping coverage situation. The bill would also no longer allow drivers to “stack” all the uninsured motorist policies in their household to collect multiple coverage for one uninsured motorist claim. 
  • SB-191, “Market-based Prejudgment Interest”: Colorado law mandates insurers pay 9% interest on lawsuit awards. Given that most investments don’t provide a return of 9% such a high statutory interest rate creates incentive to file a lawsuit and a disincentive to settle a lawsuit. This bill ties judgement award interest to a market-based index to reflect current economic conditions. 
  • Protection Against Vendor Lawsuits”: disallows third party vendors, such as roofers, auto body repair shops from stepping into shoes of insureds, without their knowledge or permission, to sue insurance companies under a contract that is with the policyholder. Settlements represent at least double damages and attorney fees—legal costs that are passed on to all consumers.

During the past five years, premiums collected by insurance companies can’t keep up with skyrocketing claim costs—costing all Colorado auto insurance consumers higher premiums.

Information & Resources: Property Casualty Insurers Association of America

Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association

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Vehicle Thefts – The Pitfall of the Mile High City

While the city of Denver has plenty talking points to brag about, apparently vehicle theft is not one of those points. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the Mile High city ranks in the top 10 on the list of metros for auto thefts with keys. This means that while most of us would think it logical to always lock our car doors, many of us are not doing so. In fact on a nationwide basis, one out of every eight car thefts last year occurred where a car was left unlocked or the keys or key fob was left inside the vehicle.

The Growing Statistics of Auto Thefts

According to the latest report from the NICB, auto thefts with keys have been a growing issue over the past several years — increasing by 31 percent — with thefts spiking in the fall and winter months. This number could possibly be on the conservative side too, considering that many people will not admit to leaving their cars unlocked or keys inside the vehicle. Even the best anti-theft technology will not help if your car is left unlocked. Thus it is not just important to having your car locked but also having a good vehicle insurance coverage that will come in handy at the most needed time of auto theft.

Below is the list of top ten metro areas for most vehicle thefts with keys from 2013–2015:

1. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise
2. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn
3. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Rosewell
4. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Fla.
5. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington
6. New York City-Newark-Jersey City
7. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim
8. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington
9. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood
10. Cleveland-Elyria

Prevention is better than Cure: The same applies to your Vehicle Insurance

Depending on your vehicle insurance, you may be covered in the case of auto theft. However, it is important to review your policy to be sure. Checking your vehicle insurance policy to make sure that valuable items stolen from the vehicle are covered by the policy could be a starting  point. Aside from securing the right insurance coverage, What else can you do?

Here are a few tips that can avert you from being a victim of Auto theft:

• ALWAYS lock your car, and take all keys with you — a small slip will cost you much.
• Set the car alarm always ‑you never know when it will come in handy.
• Keep any personal information locked up in the glove box — or take it with you when you leave the car.
• Never leave your car running unlocked. This can be tempting during the winter months, but it only takes a few seconds for a new driver to take your place.

Call Insurance Town & Country today and speak with one of our insurance professionals. We can discuss the needs of your teenage drivers and which insurance policies are best for them. We have offices in Denver (303–388-7216) and Castle Rock (303–688-1251). Call us today to schedule your consultation!

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    Avoid the Teen Driving Drama

    Avoid the Teen Driving Drama

    For the parents of teenage children, the joy of September’s “Back to School” can also bring with it the fears of having your teen hit the highway. It’s a milestone that both parent and child look forward to: the day when your child is old enough to drive. No more carpooling for Mom. No more chauffeur duties for Dad and the seemingly unrestricted freedom for child.

    However, that freedom definitely comes with responsibility, and as a parent it is important to discuss such responsibility with your child. Even with the best insurance policy, coverage can only go so far. Having an open, honest, and informed conversation is the best way to get your teen driver to maturely embrace their new driving independence.

    Privilege vs. Right. While it’s a normal “rite” of passage for many sixteen year old to get their driver’s license, it is definitely not a guaranteed “right.” To obtain your license, let alone have a car to drive, is indeed a big privilege that not all young adults are privy too. It is important that your child does not take this for granted.

    Real Talk. While people love to refer to their automobiles as “toys” — they are anything but. The cause of over 30,000 deaths per year, a car can be a dangerous luxury and should be treated with the utmost respect and responsibility. It’s important to remember that car insurance can only go so far to protect you in the chance of an accident.

    Mutual Understandings. The “Rules of the Road” are meant to be followed. Period. Whether it’s speeding, texting while driving, drunk driving, or even “distracted” driving — discussing with your teen the expectations and, perhaps most importantly, the consequences of these rules is necessary for both preparing and protecting your child.

    Have a Little Faith. You’ve prepped, warned, and maybe even (slightly) shocked your child about what it means to obtain their driver’s license. Now it’s time for you to trust your child. Trust that you’ve taught them well. Trust that they’ve listened. And trust that will develop into both mature drivers and mature people.

    avoid the teen driving drama

    Call Insurance Town & Country today and speak with one of our insurance professionals. We can discuss the needs of your teenage drivers and which insurance policies are best for them. We have offices in Denver (303–388-7216) and Castle Rock (303–688-1251). Call us today to schedule your consultation!

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      Keep Calm and Save Money — OLD

      Keep Calm and Save Money

      We’ve all heard the saying “A penny saved is a penny earned” — but sometimes it’s almost impossible to think about savings when most of your earnings are already accounted for. If bills, rent, student loan debt, credit cards, and the like are exhausting all of your current income, putting any amount into savings may be the last thing on your mind.

      But, what happens when your car suddenly needs an emergency repair? Or your beloved pet gets sick and has to be rushed to the ER? Or what if your comfortable salary gets cut in half? These are the unfortunate moments when any amount in savings (small as it may be) will help to prevent you from going even further into debt.

      Regardless of any other debt, it is important to start building a buffer of savings, ideally enough to cover several months of living expenses. Start small, even a few dollars can build up over time.

      • Just Get Started. It’s important to do your due diligence first. This means setting a budget that includes paying yourself. Determine how much you can realistic set aside from every paycheck. Whether it’s $2 or $200, it needs to be an amount that you can stick to. It helps to automate this process too! If your savings is removed before you even see your paycheck, it will eliminate the temptation to spend.
      • Under the Mattress is Not a Good Place to Save! If you are making the effort to create a budget and set aside some cash, you want your money to work for you as best as possible. Instead of a low-interest savings account, save your cash in an account that earns at least 1% in interest. Keep an eye on monthly maintenance fees and FDIC insurance. It’s also a good idea to keep this savings account in a bank that is separate from your checking account. This will prevent constant visibility and further temptation.
      • SAVE MONEYBe Sure with Insurance. Once your savings process is under control, it’s a good idea to review the rest of your expenses. Your emergency fund can only go so far. Various insurance policies — auto insurance, homeowners insurance, renters insurance, etc. — can help protect you and your family without draining the bank.

      Call Insurance Town & Country today and speak with one of our insurance professionals. We can review your current insurance policies and make sure they fit with your current budget and life needs. We have offices in Denver (303–388-7216) and Castle Rock (303–688-1251). Call us today to schedule your consultation!

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        The Basics of Commercial Insurance

        Right Coverage for your Commercial Insurance

        As a business owner, it is important to ensure all aspects of your company are insured.

        Addressing these concerns and the need for insurance early on can potentially save you a few bucks and prevent additional worry.

        Determining the kinds of coverage you need is the first step. Professional liability? Worker’s compensation? Commercial insurance? Chances are that if you own a business and have a vehicle that is used for work purposes, you or your company will need to carry commercial  insurance. Since this type of insurance can be vital to your business, you will want to work with an independent agent who can help you determine the best protection for your company, taking into consideration both industry and size of the business.

        Below are a few tips to help you find the agent that will help you find the right coverage:

        Commercial Insurance Auto Accident

        • Unbiased is Best! An independent agent represent several difference insurance companies, allowing them to compare and contrast several different package options for your company’s needs. As opposed to a captive agent–who only represents one insurance company–an independent agent can be more flexible, finding the best fit for your business.
        • Go World Wide — on the Web. Visiting the website of a larger insurance company can provide further insight to available coverage options. From there, look locally for an agent close to home.
        • Ask Around. It’s quite probable that fellow business owners or professional acquaintances are using insurance agents for the same reason you need to use them. Ask for a referral and get a trusted suggestion.

        Regardless of your choice of agent, keep in mind that your insurance needs are unique to your business. There is no “one size fits all” option. As your business grows and changes, your coverage needs will do the same. Be sure to follow up with your agent to ensure your protection is up to date.

        Call Insurance Town & Country today and speak with one of our insurance professionals. We can help you determine the commercial auto insurance that best suits your company’s needs. We have offices in Denver (303–388-7216) and Castle Rock (303–688-1251).  Call us today to schedule your consultation!

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          Auto Insurance: TRUE or FALSE?

          Auto Insurance: TRUE or FALSE?

          Rushing to buy car insurance is like Auto Insurance Investigation is it True or Falseplaying a board game without reading the rules. While you may feel the need to be “covered” and get in the game, some of the important details may get overlooked. Not fully understanding your auto insurance can lead to further confusion and frustration later on. The more informed you are, the better choices you will make. Below are some common “TRUE or FALSE?” statements to consider when buying car insurance.

          TRUE or FALSE: Everything is paid for with “full coverage.”

          False! According to the, there is no such thing as full coverage auto insurance. Some policies may combine state-required liability, collision and comprehension coverage–but even with this, the details and protection will vary.

          TRUE or FALSE: Get as many auto repair estimates as possible.

          Sometimes true, sometimes false! This one depends on your insurance. Some insurance companies only require that you use an “in-network” auto repair shop. However, if you know you will be paying out of pocket, it won’t hurt to shop around for a good deal.

          TRUE or FALSE: Getting into an accident automatically increases your premium.

          False! This one also depends on your insurance and how your insurance provider determines your rate. Multiple factors such as your car and your driving history can have an effect on whether your rate increases, decreases, or stays the same.

          TRUE or FALSE: I can lend my car to anyone. My insurance will cover it.

          Not necessarily. If none of the parties involved have optional physical damage coverage, you might be having to pay out of pocket for any vehicle damage.

          TRUE or FALSE: My new car is automatically covered by my previous auto insurance.

          False! Whether you are buying a new car or simply adding another vehicle to your policy, you must notify your insurance agent. Often you have 30 days to do so.

          Call Insurance Town & Country today and speak with one of our insurance professionals. We can help you review your policy and ensure you understand all the fine-print details! We have offices in Denver (303–388-7216) and Castle Rock (303–688-1251).  Call us today to schedule your consultation!

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