Anyone that lives in an area of the country where snow is a reality should take special precautions when driving in snow storms or on roads covered with snow. Safety is a major concern when driving on a slippery surface or driving in a storm when visibility is impaired. The following are a few tips to help you get to your destination safely.
Preparing Your Vehicle
Driving in snowy conditions is quite different than driving on dry, clear roads. If you live in a part of the country where you get snow in the winter, you can either buy all-season tires or buy a special set of snow tires. These types of tires are specially designed to provide better traction on snow and slippery surfaces than regular tires. Because it is harder to stop on a snowy road, you should also make sure your brakes are in perfect operating condition. Be sure to take an ice scraper to clear the snow off of your windows, and it does not hurt to carry a snow shovel with you just in case the storm intensifies and you find yourself stuck in a snow drift.
One of the smartest things you can do when driving in the snow is to simply slow down. Everyone is taught that you should drive at a speed that is safe for the road conditions. Even if the posted speed limit is 55 mph, it might only be safe to drive 30 mph. Remember it is easy to lose control if you try to take a turn too fast or hit an icy patch in the road. Give yourself more distance from the vehicle in front of you and when braking, apply pressure gently to the brake pedal to avoid skidding.
If you do not absolutely have to be on the road during a snow storm, stay home. Allow the storm to pass and the road crews to clear the road before you try to drive. Stay warm inside your house and enjoy the company of your family and friends.
Sometimes it becomes necessary to cut back on expenses due to a temporary lack of funds. You may have to stop eating out three times per week, give up your premium subscription service, or even cut back on your insurance coverage. While insurance can be mandatory in some situations, in other situations it is optional. It is also possible to reduce and not eliminate your insurance coverage. The following are three ways to temporarily lower your insurance costs.
- Optional Insurance. This is probably the easiest type of insurance you can afford to cut back on—or even eliminate. Life insurance premiums can be cut back simply by reducing the amount of coverage. You can also lower your premiums at least temporarily by choosing term life instead of whole life coverage. Other types of insurance that may not be absolutely necessary are disability insurance and long-term care insurance. While you are taking a risk by discontinuing these policies, if financial prospects pick up and you can afford to buy insurance, you can usually buy it back. One word of caution: If you have a serious pre-existing medical condition, do not cancel your insurance unless you are sure you can get new insurance or your need for that type of insurance has disappeared.
- Required Insurance. It may not be possible to cancel insurance if you are required to carry it by the state, a lender, or a mortgage company. In such cases, you may be able to negotiate a higher deductible, which will at least temporarily lower your monthly payment.
- No Longer Using the Property. Suppose you get a job transfer and decide to keep your house on the East Coast and rent another one in the new state where your job will require you to reside. Until the house is sold, you do not need to carry as much insurance as you did when you lived there. Assuming you removed all of your personal possessions when you moved, you do not need to carry personal property damage and loss coverage. Contact your insurance agent and advise them of your changing circumstances.
When it comes to any type of insurance, you must decide how much you are willing to spend and how much coverage you need to have. The basic question of price versus coverage is kind of a balancing act. You do not want to over pay and over insure yourself, but at the same time, you do not want to be inadequately insured. How do you find a happy medium?
For certain types of insurance, such as automobile insurance and homeowners insurance, a certain amount of insurance coverage is mandatory. The state may have minimum amounts of liability coverage you must carry, and lenders may also have their rules for the amount of insurance you cover.
Optional Insurance Coverage
If you own your home or automobile outright, you only are required to carry any minimum coverage your particular state may demand. However, most prudent people that want to protect their interests in an asset they own will continue to carry additional insurance coverage. You should carry enough insurance to meet any foreseeable contingency. Property damage is fairly easy to estimate. Simply ask yourself how much it would cost to replace you car or home were it to be completely destroyed, and then buy enough coverage to take care of that possibility. Liability coverage is a little more tricky, but generally buy at least two to three times the asset’s worth in liability coverage. Liability insurance is not very expensive so it is better to buy a little too much than not enough.
Life insurance, medical insurance, disability insurance and just about any other optional types of insurance coverage should only be purchased on an as-needed basis. If you are single and have no one you are responsible for, there is no need for life insurance. If you are young and raising a family, you usually can buy some very affordable term life coverage that will protect your family in case something happens to you. In general, weigh the chances of you needing that insurance against the price you will pay in premiums to make an educated buying decision. Those that who are more risk adverse will usually be willing to pay more to be well insured.
It’s always important to ask questions before you buy anything. You want to make sure that you are getting what you’re paying for. When you’re purchasing automobile insurance, asking questions of your Colorado insurance agent is important so that you know what you’re getting and what to expect from the company. See the suggestions below to give you a start on what you should ask before purchasing an insurance policy:
- What is the minimum coverage I can hold in Colorado? This way you can find out the lowest price possible. If you own a very old car that wouldn’t be worth fixing in an accident, or if you need a small monthly payment, this might be the option for you. You will also find out what is required of you by the state of Colorado.
- Do you offer discounts? Safe drivers, those over the age of 25, married couples, safe cars, a garage, and having an alarm system can all have an effect on your total cost for insurance coverage. Make sure you are getting all the discounts you deserve.
- Why should I choose your company? This question isn’t asked often enough, but it is important. You are paying them to work for you so you should hear their reasons why you should give them your money and what makes them better than the rest.
- How do I file a claim and how long does it take to be paid on a claim normally? This way you can know what to expect if you were to get into an accident or have a break-in or theft.
- What are my payment options? When is the bill due? Can I pay the policy in full or do you have monthly options? Can I pay by check, debit/credit or online? It’s important to know how you will need to pay your bills so that you can keep your policy active.
Auto insurance is available in many different forms and with several options. Naturally, every option you choose to add increases the cost of your policy premium. If your goal in buying auto insurance is to provide yourself with the best possible protection against any potential financial loss caused by a car accident, the smart thing to do is to include a medical payments clause in your policy. This option must be added because it is not a standard feature of a basic auto insurance policy.
Any automobile policy can be adjusted to include a medical payments plan. In general terms, this coverage extends to the policyholder and members of his or her family while inside a vehicle, entering or exiting a vehicle, or as pedestrians injured by another vehicle. It makes no difference if the vehicle in question is owned by you or by someone else. The policy provides for payment of medical costs, including hospital bills, treatments, prescriptions and more. It also covers funeral and related expenses for all costs that are incurred as a result of a car accident. This kind of coverage is called “No Fault” meaning that you will be paid regardless of who is responsible for the accident.
If your concern is potential responsibility for injury done to the driver or passengers in another vehicle who are not members of your family, that situation is not covered by the auto medical policy. For that coverage you would need to purchase a liability option in your automobile policy. The costs for both liability and medical payment insurance are quite reasonable, especially considering the peace of mind that they provide.
There are many additional details regarding auto medical insurance so it is important to understand them before signing on to a policy.