Archive for Auto Insurance

Everyone Who Hates Speeding Tickets, Raise Your Right Foot!

pexels-photo-451590Slow down, save money and lives

How many times has the following happened to you? You’re speeding down Rt. 30 when you spot a police car. You quickly hit the brakes and slow down, relieved that you didn’t get caught…this time. Now take a minute to think what could have happened if you hadn’t been so lucky.

First, your speeding could have hurt somebody-or yourself. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, speed is a contributing factor in more than 30% of fatal crashes and nearly 20% of non-injury accidents. That’s a big risk to take. Second, getting a ticket could put a big hit on your wallet. Of course, that’s not nearly as important as the health and safety impacts of speeding, but in this economic climate, more and more people are watching every dime. And who wants to write a check to the state for speeding?

At Duncan Financial Group, we want you to be safe. We also want to make sure you get a great price on the insurance coverage you need. Thankfully, easing up on that lead foot can help accomplish both.

How a ticket impacts your insurance

If you get a speeding ticket, that violation can stay on your driving record for three years or even longer. And because your driving history plays a large part in determining how much you’ll pay for insurance, the fewer tickets you have, the better. Different carriers have different policies when it comes to checking your driving record and dealing with drivers who have violations.

If you receive a ticket, and it’s your first in several years, you may not see much of an increase… depending on the severity of the offense. In fact, many states will allow you to enter a deferment program if it’s your first ticket, keeping the violation off your record if you complete a safety course and avoid further tickets. But that second ticket (or third, or fourth) can bring some serious financial penalties.

While there are too many variables to say specifically how much each additional violation will increase your premium, it’s safe to say that the jump will be significant. And unfortunately, you can be stuck paying those higher premiums for years. Significant violations can have a bigger impact as well. If you’re going 20 miles per hour over the limit, you’ll likely pay more than someone with a ticket for 5 mph over.

Insurance companies know that speeding increases the risk of accidents, and they’ll view you as an increased risk… for good reason. In fact, if you have a serious violation, or too many tickets, your insurance carrier could drop your coverage altogether. For younger drivers (typically under the age of 25), it’s especially important to avoid tickets, because companies already view these drivers as riskier than the general population

. And keep in mind, even if your premium doesn’t go up, having a violation on your record could prevent you from receiving the lowest possible rate on your insurance. Of course, we think the best policy is simply to obey speed limits.

Not only will you avoid tickets and possible insurance hassles, but your risk of accidents will decrease. And you’ll get better gas mileage. Sounds like a good deal to us!

I’m borrowing my friend’s car am I covered?

pexels-photo-97079Most people have an idea of what’s covered and not covered under their various insurance policies. But at Duncan Financial Group, we get a lot of questions about borrowing or loaning a car.

Now that summer is here, and you might be looking to borrow your neighbor’s truck for a home-improvement project or a trip to the local landfill, we thought it was a great time to provide a little more information.

Generally, insurance coverage follows the vehicle rather than the driver. So in most instances, as long as the owner of the car has insurance, it’s covered even if someone other than the owner is driving it — as long as they have the owner’s permission.

The borrower’s insurance is considered secondary, meaning that in the event of an accident, it could apply if the owner’s insurance is insufficient to fully cover the damage.

It’s important to note that there are some exceptions to what is called comprehensive use coverage. For example, permission must be given by the owner, unless the borrower has a reasonable belief that they are allowed to use the car. However, the borrower cannot give permission to someone else. So if your teenager allows one of his or her friends to drive your car to {local destination}, your coverage likely won’t apply.

Coverage might also be denied if the borrower operates the vehicle in a negligent or criminal manner. And if the borrower is using your car for business purposes, your personal auto policy likely won’t cover that.

If you have a regular long-term arrangement to either borrow or lend a car, the borrower should probably be added to the owner’s personal auto policy. Those who don’t own a car, but often borrow one, might also consider named non-owner coverage, an endorsement that provides bodily injury and property damage liability, uninsured motorists coverage and more.

Ultimately, it’s usually safe to loan your friend your car for occasional errands or projects. And the same goes for borrowing a car. Just make sure it’s for normal use. You’ll want to confirm that the car has coverage and that your insurance, whether you’re the owner or borrower, will apply.

Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions. After all, you don’t want to wait until after an accident to get answers!

Cut Road Trip Costs

pexels-photo-1052344 Tips to Help Cut Road Trip Costs
There’s no better way to see the country than a road trip, and it’s also the way to travel if you’re looking to keep costs under control. To that end, here are a few ideas to help ensure you have a frugal good time out there on the road.

1. Cut your gas costs. Planning your route in advance will help you estimate your gas costs for the entire trip. Then, when you’re on the road, use the GasBuddy smartphone app to search for the lowest gas prices near you. Of course, you’ll also want to stick to the speed limit and keep your tires properly inflated to help improve your gas mileage.

2. Cut your food costs. Think about picnicking and cooking in rather than eating out. Packing healthy snacks in advance won’t just save you money, it may help save your waistline from the drive-through line, too. You’ll also get to explore the local grocery stores and see the different foods available in different parts of the country. And, don’t forget your reusable water bottle to fill up at water fountains.

3. Cut your lodging costs. Why not book a “room” outdoors? As long as you have room in the car for your camping gear, that is. Oftentimes you can book campsites in advance online. Look for campgrounds with nice facilities, such as showers and even Wi-Fi, and you won’t even sacrifice much in the way of comfort. But, you will save a considerable amount compared to staying in hotels. If the outdoor life just isn’t for you, look for last-minute hotel deals using apps from Hotels.com, Priceline or Orbitz.

4. Cut your entertainment costs. No matter where you’re headed, you can likely find some enticing entertainment options that are either free or low-cost. Check the official tourism websites of the cities and states on your route. Depending on the season, you might come across free concerts, lectures or plays at local parks and libraries. Or, check with museums about free admission days.

Whether you’re planning a long weekend or a couple of weeks on the road, we here at Duncan Financial Group wish you happy travels! Remember, we’re here to handle all of your car insurance needs to help keep you on the go.

Insurance Coverage You May Be Overlooking That Could Cost You $$$

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Unforeseen accidents can happen at any time. That’s why the insurance professionals at Duncan Financial Group want to ensure that you and your family are completely protected. When you are designing an insurance policy, certain coverages may be overlooked.  We can help you determine what coverages you need and get you covered without any hassle…all while working with our friendly and highly knowledgeable professionals. Below are just a few of the sometimes overlooked insurance coverages that we offer and you should consider investing in:

Automobile

  • Property Damage: If you are the at-fault driver in a three-car pileup, is your property damage liability enough to cover the cost of the damages? This mandatory coverage can often be overlooked. Any damage you cause to other people’s property will be covered up to the limit you have, but it may not be enough.  If the damage you cause is greater than your limit, you are responsible to pay those damages out of your own pocket!
  • Work Loss Benefit: What if you get injured in a car accident and can’t work because of your injuries? This coverage will pay you income up to the coverage limit. Is $1,000 per month enough, or would $2,500 be better for you? 

Homeowners

  • Water Backup of Sewers/Drains: What if there was a backup of your drain system? Would your insurance cover the damage? Did you know that a standard homeowner’s insurance policy excludes coverage for damage of water drain backups or if a sump pump fails? If you have a finished or unfinished basement, or if your mechanical systems are located in the basement, you should strongly consider this additional layer of protection.

Call the insurance professionals at Duncan Financial Group to learn more and get covered today!
(724) 863-3420

Share the Road!

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Summertime is finally here! Kids are splashing in the pools, cookouts are in full force, and sporting events are happening everywhere.

The warm summer months also mean that more motorists are on the roads…especially, more motorcyclists.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reminds to safely “share the road” with motorcycles and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe. Motorcyclists are reminded to make themselves visible to other motorists.

And, if you are in the market for motorcycle coverage, Duncan Financial Group offers customizable insurance programs to meet your specific biking needs. Whether you ride a cruiser, trike, touring bike, custom, chopper or sports bike, we are here to help you choose the coverage that is right for you and your bike…at a reasonable price!

Contact our expert staff today to learn more and receive a free, no obligation quote! Call 724-863-3420.

Happy Travels to You!

Spring Ahead this Weekend!

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It’s Daylight Savings Time! Don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead 1 hour on Sunday, March 9. An extra hour of daylight will be quite welcoming after the long winter we’ve endured. And, the temperatures will be feeling much more spring-like this weekend, with Saturday’s high in our area reaching 50! Why not do some savings of your own and contact Duncan Financial Group to find out more about our  auto, homeowners’ and life insurance policies? We offer great services at competitive prices!

With a break in the cold and snow, more people will likely be out on the roads. Be careful in your travels and watch out for motorcyclists while you’re driving.

Cheers to a great weekened!

Rolling Into the New Year

evgeni-malkin-pittsburgh-penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins are hot in December.  Halfway into the month’s schedule the Pens are 6-1-0 and sit atop the Eastern Conference with 49 points.  Despite a slew of injuries to top players including Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins continue to roll due in large part to the great play of young, inexperienced players who have stepped up when called upon.  With 7 more games left in December, Pittsburgh looks to stay hot going into 2014.

Here at Duncan Financial Group we’re also rolling into 2014 with our 36th year of business.  Call us today at 724-863-3420 and let our professional staff help you with any of your insurance needs.

Don’t Be a Last Minute Shopper

christmas-shopping1 It’s inevitable.  Every year millions of people wait until the very last minute to shop for the holidays.  Not only are these people often missing out on many deals offered early in the month, but they are also oftentimes enduring unneeded stress that comes along with procrastinating. There are still two weeks until Christmas.  And there is still some time left before it would be considered last minute.  So get your shopping done today and leave yourself more time to relax and unwind over the holidays.

Insurance is another thing you never want to put off shopping for.  In life we rarely know what to expect.  So, by being covered we can always feel prepared in case things ever go awry.  At Duncan Financial Group, we will always do our best to find the insurance options that work for you.  Give us a call today at 724-863-3420 and rest easy this holiday season.

What Do You Want To Do?

No matter what it is you like to do, the struggle is always finding the time to do it with our busy and sometimes stressful lives.  Having reliable insurance coverage can give you the peace of mind to enjoy those things.

Call Duncan Financial Group today at 724-863-3420.  Our staff will help you find the quality insurance coverage that works for you.  And your time can be better spent doing what you like to do.

Happy Thanksgiving

turkey

Thanksgiving is one of those special holidays based on tradition. It is a day where we not only give thanks for what we have, but a day of parades, watching football and stuffing ourselves full of turkey. It is a warm and comforting day, surrounded by family and friends. However, without proper preparation the Thanksgiving meal would not be successful.

Here at Duncan Financial, our agents are always prepared to meet all of your insurance needs, and they won’t stuff you full of empty promises. So give us a call today at 724-863-3420 and have a Happy Thanksgiving from all the staff at Duncan Financial Group.