Why Did My Car Insurance Rates Go Up?

Why Did My Car Insurance Rates Go Up?

If you need help lowering your car insurance costs try our free online quote, call (760) 271-6651 or email us.

The average cost of full coverage auto insurance has increased nearly 14% from last year.

Why? It’s a lagging effect of high inflation from the last two years that resulted from labor and parts shortages, which in turn drove up the cost of paying insurance claims on car repairs and related insured expenses.

A rise in your cost for car insurance can be frustrating, especially if you haven’t filed a claim and have a clean driving record. But know that insurance premiums aren’t raised on a whim, and the reason for a rate increase is almost always tied to insurance risk. Auto accidents and traffic violations are common explanations for an insurance rate increasing, but there are other reasons why car insurance premiums go up including an address change, new vehicle, and claims in your zip code.

If you’re wondering, “Why is my car insurance so high?” you may have experienced one or more of the factors below. While most of these factors are manageable, there are occasions when your rate could increase, or even decrease, for reasons beyond your control.

Violations on your motor vehicle report, especially a DUI or multiple speeding tickets, tell your insurance company that you’re more likely to have an accident than a driver with no violations. The more violations you have, the higher your risk to file a claim—resulting in auto rate increases. Even a minor moving violation could increase the cost of your auto policy. Keep in mind that insurance companies won’t increase your rate due to a non-moving violation like a parking ticket.

Just like with violations, at-fault accidents on your driving record indicate you’re at risk for another, and insurance companies will price you accordingly. You may ask, will my insurance go up if I file a claim for an accident that isn’t my fault? In some cases, yes—even accidents you didn’t cause can increase your rate in states that allow it, as insurers have data revealing that some drivers have a propensity for not-at-fault accidents.

Even accidents that you didn’t cause can increase your rate in some states.

Depending on your insurance company and the state where you live, your rate may increase for incidents out of your control. These incidents are called comprehensive claims and include theft and vandalism, hitting an animal, fire, glass breakage (including a cracked windshield), hail/weather-related damage, and other acts of nature.

If you purchase a more expensive car, your rate is likely to go up as your new ride may be more likely to be stolen and cost more to repair or replace than your previous vehicle. Adding new drivers to your existing policy could also drive up your price—especially teenagers or other family members with poor driving records.

As unfair as it may seem, you may see an auto rate increase due to insurance data in your zip code. If your city has a high rate of theft, accident, and weather-related claims, it becomes riskier for an insurance company to cover drivers in your area. That risk can lead to an auto insurance price increase, even if you have a perfect driving record.

Changing the address where your car is “garaged” (kept overnight) is a rare instance where your rate could increase mid-policy without making changes to your coverages, vehicles, or covered drivers. If you’re moving out of state, you’ll require a new policy. However, if you’re remaining in the same state, your rate could go up based on claims in your new zip code.

While senior discounts may be available depending on your insurer and state, your rate could increase once you reach the age of 60. From a risk perspective, insurance companies often view senior drivers in the same way as teen drivers.

If you’re looking to reinstate a policy or start a new one and are coming off a period of being uninsured, you’re often going to pay more for insurance. Learn more about car insurance lapses.

If you were earning discounts for having no tickets or accidents on your driving record, your auto rate increase will be two-fold. Not only will you be charged for the violation and accident, but you’ll also lose any associated discounts. Other common discounts you could lose if your situation changes include ones for being a homeowner, going paperless, and having more than one product insured with the same company.

Content courtesy of Progressive Insurance

Posted by admin in Auto Insurance
Life Insurance Benefits You Might Not Know About

Life Insurance Benefits You Might Not Know About

Find out more about life insurance, request a coverage review, get a quote or see sample pricing by clicking here


Most people know the general parameters of how life insurance works and who it helps. In exchange for a monthly premium (often discounted if paid annually) to a provider, the insured secures a financial safety net for their loved ones in the event of their death. Coverage amounts range significantly from tens of thousands of dollars to more than $1 million.

The advantages of life insurance are typically clear and the costs for millions of Americans are often negligible. You may already even have a plan provided to you as part of your employer-provided health benefits package.

But there are some perks of life insurance that you may not have known about. Buried in the fine print of an application, there are multiple ways to utilize a life insurance plan besides just letting it sit idle for times of emergency. These benefits can help you both while you’re alive and in the event of your death.

If you don’t have life insurance currently then start by getting a free price quote so you know exactly what to expect.

Here are three life insurance benefits you may not have known about:

Most policyholders are used to paying for insurance protections that they never wind up needing. But the money you use to pay your life insurance premium doesn’t necessarily need to go to waste. By adding a “return of premium” rider to your policy you can have the payments you made returned back to you if you wind up outliving your pre-determined term.
This rider – which comes with an extra cost – may be particularly helpful for applicants who only need life insurance for a set time period (for example: until their children are grown or until college payments are completed). In this case, they can rest assured knowing that the payments will not have been made in vain.

There are many different types of life insurance policies available. The most well-known are whole and term. The latter, however, comes with a desirable cash reserve that can actually be accessed by the insured while they’re still alive. That cash can then be used to pay down debt, make household repairs or pretty much anything else the policyholder wants.

Just understand that any amount withdrawn will then be deducted from the final payout to beneficiaries and loved ones. And, because of this cash option (and because the policy lasts for the duration of the insured’s life versus a set term), whole life insurance costs more than a term policy does.

Many people are so used to paying taxes on what they buy and what they earn that they automatically assume they will need to do the same for any life insurance payouts. However, that’s not always the case. For term life insurance policies, in particular, you won’t need to report anything to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). “Generally, life insurance proceeds you receive as a beneficiary due to the death of the insured person, aren’t includable in gross income and you don’t have to report them,” the IRS explains online.

But since whole life insurance policies have the cash factor (and interest may accrue), a payout there may first be taxed. “However, any interest you receive is taxable and you should report it as interest received,” the IRS says.
In short: if you have a term life insurance policy don’t worry about taxes. Your beneficiaries will walk away with the figure you’ve already secured for them.

Life insurance is a multi-faceted form of financial protection. Accordingly, there are perks and benefits you should be aware of to truly take advantage of your policy. So don’t automatically assume your payments each month are wasted (you can get them returned with a special rider). And you can use your policy as a backup cash reserve while you’re alive. Finally, unless you have a whole life insurance policy that’s accrued interest, your loved ones won’t have to pay taxes on the final payout amount.

Posted by admin in Life Insurance
3 Types Of Insurance To Buy In 2023

3 Types Of Insurance To Buy In 2023

With 2023 just starting, now is a natural time for introspection, putting a bow on the old year and evaluating your goals for the future.

Consider using this time to review your finances and set long-term goals. It’s also wise to re-evaluate your financial protections, including insurance, to ensure your coverage suits your needs.
3 insurance types to have in 2023

Let’s dive into three popular insurance types to have in 2023 and how to optimize them.

It’s essential to have sufficient life insurance to protect your family (or anyone that depends on you) from significant financial losses if you pass away.

Life insurance pays out a death benefit when you pass, which could benefit your beneficiaries in numerous ways. If you already have life insurance, now is an excellent time to review your policy options and coverage amounts to ensure your designations still address your needs.

“Ask a trusted advisor to review your insurance coverage because, depending on your policies, you may have decisions that you need to make,” advises Brian K Bruggeman, CFP, CTFA, director of financial planning at asset management bank Baker Boyer.

“For example, you may need to decide whether to renew or not, whether it’s worth it to pay an increasing premium, or even how the policy is owned depending on your overall financial plan.”

You can also benefit from revising the frequency of your payments. “Many life insurance carriers will offer a discount for paying annually,” says Herman (Tommy) Thompson, Jr., CFP, a financial planner at Innovative Financial Group. “This could lead to an 8% savings per year.”

If you’re in the market for life insurance – or want to adjust your existing policy – start by getting a free online price estimate now so you know exactly what to expect.

Pet insurance may allow you to choose treatments for your ill or injured pet based on what your pet needs, not what your budget can afford. Veterinary bills can be costly, but most pet insurance policies can reimburse you for up to 80% of the vet bill minus your deductible.

Generally, pet insurance is affordable, ranging from $15 to $40 per month to insure your cat and $30 to $70 for a dog. That’s a reasonable price considering the peace of mind you’ll have, knowing a pricey vet bill won’t wipe out your finances.

If you currently own pet insurance, consider adjusting your coverage to meet your changing needs. For example, if your plan is too expensive for your budget, some providers like Lemonade offer a baseline package for as low as $10 per month. If you like your coverage plan, you can still potentially lower your payment by 10% or 15% by changing your deductible, annual benefit amount or reimbursement percentage.

Most pet insurance companies make it easy to manage your policy online and devise a coverage plan that’s perfect for your pet without breaking your budget.

You can request a free pet insurance quote now.

You might consider getting travel insurance for many reasons, but the main benefit is to protect your wallet and give you financial relief if something impacts your trip. Depending on your policy, your policy may cover a wide array of travel situations, such as:
• If something happens that prevents you from taking a booked trip
• If something happens during your trip that costs you financially
• If your luggage is lost or damaged
• If you suffer an illness or injury that needs medical treatment

When purchasing travel insurance, time is of the essence. Buy travel insurance soon after booking your flight or lodging to make sure you’re protected against an event that delays your trip or causes you to cancel it altogether.

Also, remember that travel insurance isn’t only for international travelers, as is often claimed. Given the prices in the current travel environment, travel insurance can also be a valuable addition to your domestic trips, especially if you’ve already paid for flights, lodging and activities.
Reach out to us online or give us a call or text at (760) 271-6651 to get more information on Travel Insurance.

As you set financial goals for the future, don’t forget to review your insurance needs. Whether you need to purchase a new policy or adjust an existing one, recognize that your coverage needs to keep up with the changes in your life. When searching for insurance, we can help you shop and compare different insurers and policy options to ensure you have the coverage you need at an affordable price.

Content courtesy of © 2023 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Posted by admin in Life Insurance
Life Insurance Changes To Consider Now

Life Insurance Changes To Consider Now

As part of your financial planning, you may have decided to purchase a life insurance policy, such as to protect your family in case you pass away early in life. Or, perhaps you purchased a whole life insurance policy, thinking that could help your family while also having an investment component that you can benefit from during your lifetime.

But maybe it’s been a while since you first purchased your policy, and the initial coverage terms might not be the best fit for your current circumstances. That’s why it’s good to review your life insurance policy periodically. At the very least, you can re-familiarize yourself with your policy, and you also might find that you want to make changes to better suit your needs.

If you’re in the market for life insurance or want to adjust the coverage you already have, then start by getting a free online price estimate now so you know exactly what to expect.

Here are four life insurance changes to consider making:

If you have a whole life insurance policy, that doesn’t automatically mean you’re locked in for life. Instead, you might realize that you’re mainly looking for life insurance protection during your working years, for example, so perhaps switching to, say, a 20- or 30-year term life insurance policy makes more sense. Term policies often have lower premiums than whole-life ones, and perhaps you no longer need as much financial security once you’re retired, due to a healthy retirement portfolio.

Or, perhaps you want to change from a term to a whole life insurance policy, such as if you don’t want to have to re-apply and take a medical exam to obtain new coverage as you age. Some people also like the peace of mind that comes with having whole life coverage, along with the cash value these policies can build.

So, you might look into converting your term policy to a whole life one, which many providers allow. Or, you might cancel your current policy and take out a new one that’s a better fit, like a universal life insurance policy, which can be more flexible. Just check with your insurance provider for specifics on their cancellation policy (there may be you fees if you replace a policy).
Get a free price quote for a whole or term life insurance policy here now.

Sometimes you can change the coverage of your existing policy rather than taking out a new one. For example, you might want to increase life insurance coverage as you go through life milestones like starting a family, buying a house, or getting a big promotion.
Perhaps when you first bought your life insurance policy, you didn’t need as much financial protection because you had fewer people to take care of or fewer liabilities. But if you start earning more and take out a mortgage, for instance, you might want more coverage to replace that higher income for your family’s sake, as well as covering any remaining mortgage debt.

Changing providers can help if your current insurance company doesn’t offer a policy that meets what you’re looking for. Or, you might find that shopping around helps you find a more cost-effective policy, whether that’s by paying lower premiums or getting more bang for your buck in terms of cost vs. coverage.

Here too, changing providers can come with some nuances, like paying surrender fees. So, you’ll want to look into the specifics with your current insurance provider and see how that compares to what could be your new one.

When making life insurance changes, don’t forget to review who you’ve named as your beneficiaries. Perhaps you’ve gone through life changes, like a marriage, divorce, or the birth of children. You can have multiple beneficiaries, so maybe at your current stage in life, you want to move from having, say, one beneficiary to two who would split the proceeds 50/50.

Taking care of this issue is important if you want your life insurance benefits to be distributed according to your wishes. Otherwise, your heirs could face difficulties like getting into legal battles around life insurance claims.

Looking into these types of details can help ensure that your life insurance policy continues to best serve you. Don’t feel like you’re trapped based on your initial purchase. These types of life insurance changes can help you find a policy with the right terms for your situation.

© 2022 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Posted by admin in Life Insurance
Your End Of Year Financial Checklist

Your End Of Year Financial Checklist

With 2022 drawing to a close, now is the perfect time to get your finances in order, maximize your tax savings, and make sure you’re on track to achieve your goals — professionally, personally, and financially. We’re here to help with an end-of-year checklist that will help you take care of all your financial housekeeping before the end of the year. While not everything on here will apply to you, it’s a good resource to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything important!

Make any needed updates to the beneficiary portion of your bank accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and annuities. 
Have you gotten married or had a child within the last 12 months? Or perhaps a loved one has exited your life through a divorce or a death. Choosing a beneficiary for your life insurance policy is a decision you should consider carefully, it is especially important because beneficiaries trump who’s named in a will.

Review your tax withholdings and payments. Big events in the last year — such as marriage, divorce, or having a child — are good reasons to adjust your withholding.
Check out the Tax Withholding Estimator from the IRS. It’s a handy tool for everyone — employees, retirees, and the self-employed — who wants to effectively tailor how much income tax to withhold.

In 2022, you can sock away $20,500 ($22,500 for 2023) in your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan, plus an extra $6,500 ($7,500 for 2023) in “catch-up” contributions if you’ll be at least age 50 this year.
If you freelance or are self-employed, your limits are even higher: up to $61,000 for 2022 ($66,000 for 2023) or 25% of your qualifying income, whichever is less, if you have a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) Opens in new window plan IRA. If you don’t, there’s still time to set one up to take advantage of the tax benefits.

Health insurance, life insurance, homeowners or renters insurance, auto insurance, and even the commercial insurance for your small business are all important to review annually. Have you grown your family this year? Bought a house? Started a business? The insurance coverage you had at the start of the year may not be enough for your needs in the new year. Make sure you have the coverage you need and that better pricing is not available. At Roman Insurance Services we will review all of your coverage with you, at no charge, whether or not you purchased your insurance through us. Email us to schedule a few minutes to discuss your coverage.

Estate planning isn’t only for the very old and very wealthy; there are things you can do at every stage of life to make sure your family’s hopes and dreams are realized.
Start with the basics:
• If you don’t have a will, draw one up. If you already have one, make sure it’s up to date.
• Consider naming a health care proxy to make medical decisions on your behalf if you aren’t able to make them for yourself.
• Think about a financial power of attorney—the authority to make financial decisions for you if you’re unable to do so.

In an ideal world, you should three to six months’ worth of emergency savings set aside. However, most of us don’t live in an ideal world, which can make it difficult to handle everyday needs, much less unexpected surprises. However, it’s important that you don’t fall into the camp of the 56 percent of Americans who don’t have the cash to cover an unexpected $1,000 bill.

Having a tax-advantaged strategy in place for your children’s college education can help you prepare for the rising costs. If you already have one, try to contribute as much as you can. If you aren’t sure how to best go about this, we’re here to help you understand the options and to choose something that will be a good fit for your specific situation. 

The benefits are two-fold: You will reduce your taxable income and feel good about giving some of your hard-earned dollars to a good cause. It’s a win-win.

The new year starts as quickly as the last one ends. So be sure to set some new goals and write them down. Do you want to create an estate plan or simply save some money for your teen’s braces? Are you hoping to take that trip abroad? Or you might be expecting some big changes that will affect your finances — such as having a baby or changing your career. Now’s the time to make sure you’re on track to make 2023 your best year yet.

Posted by admin in Roman Insurance Services
Winter Home Maintenance Tasks

Winter Home Maintenance Tasks

As the days get shorter and the temperatures get colder, you may start to think of the upcoming holidays and snuggling up under a warm blanket at home. But before you start sipping hot cocoa, there are some projects around the house you may want to take care of first.

Here are some home maintenance tasks to consider completing before you settle in for the cold winter:

It’s a good idea to do some basic maintenance to help keep your heating system running smoothly through the winter. Check your furnace filter, and change it if it looks dirty, says ENERGY STAR. The filter should be replaced at least every three months. It’s also a good idea to have your furnace cleaned and checked by a professional annually, says ENERGY STAR.

The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends having your roof inspected twice a year to check for any signs of damage. Whether you inspect it yourself or hire a professional, spotting potential problems, like damaged or missing shingles, may help you avoid a bigger problem and potentially more expensive repairs down the road. That’s why it’s a good idea to make any necessary small repairs before the sleet, ice and snow of winter arrive.

Drafts around windows and doors can leave you feeling cold, and they could be wasting energy as your furnace works harder to warm that cool air. Angi recommends applying caulk around the window trim to seal off any drafts. Another option is to install weatherstripping around edges of doors and windows to create a tight seal, says Angie’s List. You can also make a simple door draft blocker to help keep heat from escaping under your door.

As water drains from under and around your home, your sump pump pushes it out of the house and away from the foundation. Have a professional inspect your sump pump each year to ensure it is working properly, says the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. You can also consult your sump pump’s owner’s manual and perform some basic maintenance and regular testing yourself.

There’s something special about a warm fire on a cold winter’s night, but it’s important to get your chimneys, vents and fireplace cleaned first. The National Fire Protection Association recommends having a professional chimney sweep clean and inspect your fireplace and chimney. If you have a gas fireplace, your chimney and flue should be inspected for any blockages, says the Chimney Safety Institute of America. A professional will also inspect the gas lines and vents for leaks and can make necessary repairs.

Clogged gutters can lead to issues like water damage, loosened gutters, ice dams and issues with insects and rodents. Make sure your gutters and downspouts are cleared of leaves, sticks and other debris at least twice a year — whether you handle this chore yourself or call a professional.

Winter can be hard on patio furniture. Wicker, plastic, resin and wood furniture should be cleaned (follow the manufacturer’s directions) and stored indoors for the winter, says HGTV. Teak and metal furniture can be stored outdoors year-round, although you’ll want to clean it appropriately to help protect it during the winter, says HGTV. Consider covering furniture to help protect it, and store cushions and patio umbrellas indoors.

In cold weather, water in exterior pipes can freeze and cause pipes to burst. So, before the temperatures dip, disconnect garden hoses from outdoor faucets. If your exterior faucets have shutoff valves, The Family Handyman recommends turning them off. Then, release any water remaining in the pipe by opening and closing the outside tap. You can also help protect exterior faucets with an insulated cover, says The Family Handyman.

Content courtesy of Allstate.

Posted by admin in Home