A Brief Guide to Classic Car Insurance

If you have been thinking about buying a classic car in Dorchester, MA, you will want to ensure you are familiar with classic car insurance requirements and differences when compared to standard insurance. Vargas & Vargas Insurance shares some information you need to know.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements?

Most auto insurance companies will have a set of eligibility requirements for a classic car insurance policy. It is not generally required for your classic car to meet a minimum value, but it is usually required for your classic car to be of higher value now than when it first came out on the market. Further, your car should be at least 10 years old in order to qualify for classic car insurance.

The condition of your antique car will also be taken into consideration. It needs to be currently running (or close to it) and be in good condition overall. You will also be required to keep your vehicle stored in a secured indoor environment. Mileage will also need to stay low with a possible maximum number of miles being permitted.

How Is a Classic Car Insurance Policy Different Than the Standard Policy?

With both forms of auto coverage, you are protected while on the road with collision, comprehensive, and liability offerings. With classic car insurance, though, the policy is focused more on the particular needs of an antique vehicle. As the value amount of your classic car increases, you can make adjustments to your insurance policy. A classic insurance policy will also take into consideration the fact that it will cost more to repair or replace your vehicle if involved in an accident.  

If you are interested in classic car insurance in Dorchester, MA, contact the team at Vargas & Vargas Insurance for a quote.

Insurance Check-Up

Insurance Check-Up

Life Changes and it’s Time for an Insurance Checkup

Having insurance policies is vital to gain great security and protection from unexpected problems. Ensuring everything in your life at an early stage is also a great idea.

While getting yourself and your house, vehicle, and assets insured is vital, you also need an insurance checkup to review your policies yearly. This allows you to ensure that the insurance coverage will be of help to you when your circumstances and lifestyle change. But if your insurance doesn’t cover you as it should, you need to make some changes to the policies or, even purchase new policies to cover your changing needs.

Here are some reasons why you need to opt for an insurance checkup.

Change in Family Status

Are you planning to get married or expect a baby? It would help protect your growing family by purchasing the right insurance plan. Insurance checkups will allow you to ensure whether the coverage is enough to support your entire family when you are not around. The loss of a family member through disability and death is also the right time for an insurance plan review.

Remodeling or Moving Your House

If you plan to remodel your house, your house value will surely increase. Similarly, if you move from the house, you might own a property with a higher value than the one you have before. Since your assets have increased, you need an insurance plan that covers these assets.

Retirement Time

When you decide to retire, you need something to rely on for your future expenses, especially final expenses, it’s vital to choose the right insurance plans to protect you properly. It would also be helpful if you had the proper insurance that will pay for your funeral, medical care, and debts.

Chance in Assets Value

Many people insure their jewelry and other assets to get the money if they get damaged or lost. But they forget the fact that these valuable assets increase over time. By keeping the coverage updated regularly for these valuable assets, you are protected in the event you lose them or they are stolen.

Discounts

Many insurance companies offer discounts on different insurance plans. This way, you can purchase the right insurance plans at much lower prices. So, if you have not received your discounts, it’s time to have an insurance checkup.

Bottom Line

Whether it’s life, house, vehicle, or assets insurance, insurance is not something that you purchase and forget. You need to always look for ways to lower your premiums and avail optimal benefits from your policy. For this purpose, you need to opt for an insurance checkup.

Missing Coverage

If you have any assets at all, an umbrella policy is a valuable protection. Home insurance and car insurance policies have liability limits that are often not high enough to protect you adequately. If you are found to be at fault beyond your liability limits, you may be required to pay the remainder of the money out of pocket. It could take all of your savings and assets and even your future assets to make that payment.

This will help you look for flaws in your insurance and allow you to get the features that you don’t have. Not only this but practicing this method can help you lower your premiums and get interesting discounts and offer. So, if you currently have any insurance, consider reviewing it.

At Vargas & Vargas Insurance, our clients enjoy customized insurance coverage to match their unique needs at incredibly affordable prices. Contact us today for a free insurance review or quote.

Winter Driving And Car Accidents

Winter is a good and delightful time of the year. It brings snow to make a cute snowman and enjoy a snowball fight with our friends and family. However, these attractive aspects can make winters dangerous for drivers. As the days get colder, the risk of road accidents increases. Therefore, taking precautionary measures and driving with complete focus is important to save your life. The NHTSA mentions many tips on their website, and here are some tips and tricks to drive your vehicle during cold weather safely.

Winter Driving Tips

Drive Slowly and Super Smoothly

The trick to safe winter driving in snow is being smooth with your accelerator, steering wheel, and brakes. Every push of the brakes, turn off the wheels, or throttle movement needs to be gentle, deliberate, and gradual. It would help if you tried to be as slow as you could while driving the car.

Avoid Involving in Distractions

Most accidents happen when the driver is distracted doing other things while driving. Therefore, avoid talking to the passengers when driving in extremely cold weather, never use your phone, eat food, or listen to music at high volume. You need to avoid every type of distraction if you want to avoid an accident.

Turn On Your Lights

Turning your lights on will help other drivers on the road to see you from far. Headlights can also make your vehicle visible on extreme fog days. This way, whenever other drivers notice you on the road, they will drive carefully around you.

Avoid Driving in Harsh Weather

This is another very important winter driving tip. Driving in winters can be extremely challenging. So, if you find yourself not having to drive in dangerous weather conditions, don’t push yourself to drive in these circumstances. Cancel your journey as soon as possible and head back to your house. If the weather is too harsh to get back to the house, go to the nearest place to relax until the condition becomes appropriate for driving.

Do You Need to Report Accidents?

Many people don’t report accidents if they are not serious. But this is a wrong approach. Not only do you reduce your chances of getting insurance coverage, but you can also save others. Wondering how? Well, report accidents to the authorities in your area to find ways to solve the problem. They first try to find the cause of your accident and then opt for different ways to resolve the issue. So, even if you had a bad experience, you can save others from going through the same trauma.

Wrapping Up

Besides the mentioned winter driving tips, you also need to install high-quality tires in your vehicle. It’s also vital to check the weather conditions before stepping out of your house. If you can, keep some important things on you while traveling long distances at night. This includes extra batteries, a torch, water bottles, and snacks. So, if you have to spend the night in your car on the roadside, you will have all the essentials to pass the night. Click here to read more.

Vargas & Vargas Insurance understands that sometimes you may not be able to stay off the roads and things happen. That’s why, as a premier local independent insurance agency, we strive to build the relationships necessary to customize your insurance coverage to your needs at the right price. Contact us today.

4 Amazing Tips for Preparing Your Car for Winter

mother and child safely driving around in winter after she followed these tips for preparing your car for winter

Approximately 2,000 people die each year, and 135,000 are injured in the United States due to snow and ice on the roads. Driving under such conditions is dangerous, but unfortunately, drivers do not take the time to learn seasonal driving tips. This makes driving a vehicle a lot more difficult than usual. It is important to get the car ready with the best auto insurance and ideas to keep your expenses low. Here are great tips that will help you overcome cold weather challenges as you’re preparing your car for winter.

1. Check the tread and air pressure of the tires

During winter, the condition of your car’s tires is paramount to its performance. Proper air pressure helps the vehicle to roll and have adequate support at all times. The rubber must also have a healthy tread to keep enough traction on the ground. 

If you realize the footprints of your car tires have too much wear, replace them. It is also wise to buy all tires from one source to ensure the balance of your car and avoid accidents. Check the pressure of the tires frequently during winter; tires tend to lose pressure more easily if the temperature drops beyond zero.

2. Fill up the fuel tank

You cannot be too sure of accessing gas stations during winter. Some streets will probably be filled up with snow during winter, limiting the number of gas outlets you can access. Therefore, keep your fuel tank full at all times to avoid inconveniences. A full tank will also save you the time and effort of driving around looking for a gas station, further reducing the cost.

3. Use snow tires

Using regular tires during winter is not a good idea. The texture of snow, rock salt, and ice can take a toll on rubber, which will force you to spend more on tires due to wear and tear.

4. Make sure you have up-to-date insurance

To stay safe in winter driving conditions, have your car insured and protected from as many conditions as possible. Consult Vargas & Vargas Insurance for amazing deals that will keep you safe and at peace throughout the season.

Vargas & Vargas Insurance is one of the premier local independent insurance agencies in the area; we work for our clients and not the insurance company. We will customize your insurance coverage to your specific needs at the right price and are here to answer all your insurance questions. Contact us today to start preparing your car for winter and every other season.

How to Choose Your Car Insurance Deductible

Smiling couple in a new car

Your car insurance deductible plays a significant role in your price for auto insurance. But insurance is complicated, and many people don’t fully understand what a deductible is or why it matters.

Today we’ll explain car insurance deductibles with the first-time car owner in mind. Let’s get a few basic insurance concepts out of the way.

Massachusetts Car Insurance Basics

To register a car in Massachusetts, you must insure it with liability coverage. This protects other people — and their property — from damage you might cause by driving the vehicle.

But the state liability minimums don’t include any coverage for your property or your vehicle. For that protection, you will need “full coverage,” or a package that includes both comprehensive and collision coverages.

  • Collision coverage pays for damage to your vehicle in a crash.
  • Comprehensive coverage pays for things like vehicle theft.

When an accident does happen, your full coverage auto policy will help pay to repair the car. But you’ll be responsible for paying a deductible, too.

What Is a Car Insurance Deductible?

Deductibles are considered a type of co-insurance. They are a pre-set dollar amount that the car owner agrees to pay first, should an accident happen.

For instance, let’s imagine you have a $1,000 deductible on your auto insurance policy. During a brutal New England snowstorm, your vehicle slides on some black ice and crashes into a center divider on the highway. Thankfully, everyone is wearing a seatbelt. No one is injured, and no other cars are involved.

You take your car to the shop, and it will need about $5,000 of work. With a $1,000 deductible, it is your responsibility to pay the first $1,000. Your insurer pays the remaining $4,000. 

  • Deductible amounts can range anywhere from $50 to $5,000.
  • But $500 or $1,000 are probably the most common amounts. 

If you have a high deductible — like $5,000 — then you’ll have a lower monthly insurance payment. However, you must keep $5,000 on hand at all times to pay for repairs yourself. And don’t forget that your lienholder — the bank, if you make a car payment — might require a deductible of $1,000 or less on your insurance. 

Learn More With Us

Vargas & Vargas Insurance is proud to be your local independent insurance agency. We work for our customers, not the insurance companies. Contact us today to customize your car insurance coverage and learn more about car insurance deductibles.

Car Insurance Terms, Part Two: Car Insurance Claims

family with a dog preparing for a fun drive

Understanding the basic language of your auto insurance policy is important. However, knowing your coverages and car insurance claims terminology is what really matters when your insurance suddenly becomes more than just another monthly bill. Learn more about these important terms:

Liability

Liability coverage has three distinct coverages under one heading. All of them protect the claimant in an accident. The first is the bodily injury liability per person. The amount of coverage shown is the maximum pay-out amount for injuries to any one claimant in an accident. 

Next is the bodily injury liability per accident. This amount is the maximum pay-out amount for bodily injury per accident, regardless of how many people receive injuries. 

Lastly, property damage liability is the maximum amount that will be paid out for damage to property (autos, buildings, etc.) per accident, regardless of how many vehicles you are held responsible for.

There is a maximum pay-out under your auto insurance. But you are still legally responsible for any remaining damages. That’s why it’s vitally important to discuss your coverage choices with your insurance agent. Maintaining state-required minimums does not release you from full responsibility to the claimant. 

Medical Payments

After car insurance claims, your policy may provide coverage for medical expenses to you and/or your passengers up to the limit listed. 

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

PIP coverage provides a little more extensive coverage when you receive injuries in an auto accident. This includes elements such as lost wages and other damages, regardless of who is at fault in the accident. 

Comprehensive

Sometimes referred to as “other than collision,” this is for covered damage to your vehicle that is not the result of a collision. Some examples include fire, theft, vandalism, glass breakage, and animals. Coverage is subject to your deductible.

Collision

When your vehicle collides with another object, whether it’s a vehicle, building, pothole, or something else, the damage falls under your collision coverage. It is also subject to your deductible. Comprehensive and collision coverages are required when your vehicle has a lien or leaseholder. It protects their interest in the vehicle until it is paid off. 

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage protects you when your vehicle is struck by a vehicle that does not have enough coverage, has no coverage at all, or commits a hit-and-run. It may include coverage for bodily injury, property damage, or both. The coverage amount limits the amount paid. 

Additional Coverage Options

Insurers offer a variety of additional coverages for your convenience, including emergency road service and car rental reimbursement. 

Claim

A claim is when an insured or claimant believes an insurance company should reimburse him or her for damages resulting from an event. 

Claimant

An individual who makes car insurance claims against another party (or their insurance company) is a claimant. 

At-Fault/No-Fault

Some states require that fault be assigned in an accident and that the responsible individual be held accountable for the entirety of the accident’s damages. But other states are no-fault. That means each vehicle owner’s insurance takes care of damages for their insured, regardless of fault. Massachusetts is a no-fault state.

Subrogation

Even in an at-fault state, it is common for the insurance of the not-at-fault party to pay for damages upfront. Then repairs can happen quickly. The insurance company will then subrogate, or pursue, the responsible party or their insurance for reimbursement of paid-out expenses. 

See the first part of our series on car insurance terms for more helpful auto insurance explanations.

Vargas & Vargas Insurance understands that insurance terminology can be confusing. That’s why, as a premier local independent insurance agency, we strive to build the relationships necessary to customize your insurance coverage to your needs at the right price. Contact us today.

Car Insurance Terms, Part One: The Basics

woman driving in her car and smiling

The average U.S. driver spends 55 minutes per day behind the wheel of an automobile. With that kind of exposure, there’s a good chance you’ll need to utilize your auto insurance coverage at some point. However, waiting until you have a claim is not the best time to learn what common car insurance terms mean. By understanding your car insurance policy now, you can avoid coverage concerns when a claim arises. 

Start with these car insurance terms:

Declarations (Declarations Page)

This is the page of your policy that gives your basic identifying information. Examples of this information include the name and address of the insurance provider, to and from dates of coverage, basic coverages included in the policy, deductible amount, premium, and any lien or leaseholders. Your insurance identification cards provide the most basic information about your policy, but your declarations page goes a little more in-depth. 

Insurance Identification Card

Most insurance companies provide a paper, wallet-sized proof of coverage. This card shows the very basics of your policy to provide to law enforcement in the event of a traffic stop or accident. It is also very common for an electronic version of the identification card to be provided through a mobile app for even greater convenience. After all, the paper version has to be replaced with an updated version with each policy renewal. 

Insured/Insurer

The insured is the person coverage being provided for—generally, the owner of the auto. The insurer is the insurance company providing the coverage for your car. 

Lienholder/Leaseholder

The lienholder is the financial institution, or individual, who holds the title to your vehicle. They hold it until you pay the lien in full. The leaseholder serves the same role for a leased vehicle. Both of these parties hold a financial interest in your vehicle, so your policy will list them. 

Policy Period

This is the time period your auto is currently insured — usually semiannually, although some auto policy periods are for a year. Most auto policies renew automatically, provided you continue to pay the premium. 

Premium

The semi-annual or annual amount you pay for your auto insurance is the insurance premium. This premium can usually be divided into payments that are convenient for you, such as monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual payments. 

Deductible

The amount the insured is responsible for at the time of claim is called the deductible. When a claim is less than the deductible amount, the insurance will not make payment. If the claim is more than the deductible, the amount of the deductible is deducted from the total claim amount before the check is written. The deductible is never given to the insurance company by the insured. 

State-Required Minimums

Most states require a certain amount of auto insurance for drivers to maintain a vehicle tag and drive public roads legally. State-required minimums refer to the basic amount of coverage required by law in your state. It is important to note that abiding by state-required minimums for your insurance coverage does not relieve you of the legal obligation to pay for damages that exceed that coverage. So discuss your individual risk with your agent. Securing appropriate coverage in excess of the state-required minimums ensures compliance with state laws and prevents out-of-pocket costs in larger claims. 

Vargas & Vargas understands there is a lot more to choosing the right coverage than knowing car insurance terms. That’s why we are a premier local independent insurance agency. We work for you, not the insurance company. We are here to answer all of your questions and customize your coverage to your specific needs at the right price. Give us a call to discuss your coverage today. 

Winterize Your Auto and Auto Insurance With These Tips

mom and child smiling in a car while it's snowing

As winter continues, it’s important to prepare your car for the harsher conditions. At the same time, you want to make sure that your auto insurance policy provides you with sufficient coverage for the season. Here are some tips on how to winterize your auto — and your auto insurance.

Winterizing Your Automobile

  • Make sure your 4-wheel drive works if you have it.
  • Check your vehicle’s belts and hoses. Cold weather can cause them to weaken and even break, so you may want to take your car in for a tune-up ahead of time.
  • Change your windshield wipers.
  • Always keep your fuel tank full. A near-empty tank in extremely cold weather can result in severe damage to your car.
  • Top off your fluids (coolant, wiper fluid, and so forth).
  • Check your oil. If you need to give your car an oil change, make sure you use a product with the right viscosity (or thickness).
  • Check your car’s battery. The last thing you want is a dead battery in freezing temperatures.
  • Check your air filters, and replace them as needed.
  • Make sure your tires have enough air pressure. You’ll likely have to periodically check on this throughout the winter. Also, consider putting on snow tires if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow and ice during the cold season.

Winterizing Your Auto Insurance

It’s true that you can never foresee an auto accident or other winter-related damage. However, you can prepare. You may want to add collision coverage to your automobile insurance policy in the event that you slip or slide into something and damage your car that way. Also, comprehensive coverage will cover just about any other accident that causes damage to your car, such as a branch falling on your hood or damage from a snowbank.

At Vargas & Vargas Insurance, we can help you winterize your auto insurance so that it works best for you. We are one of the premier local independent insurance agencies, and we truly work for our clients, not ourselves. Our team of friendly experts would be happy to answer all of your insurance questions. Contact us today.

Insurance To-Dos After Your Child Moves Out

So your child is moving out. They are either going to college and getting an off-campus apartment, going out on their own for a job, or starting some other adventure. This brings with it a whole string of emotions from happy to sad and anxious to ecstatic. After the tears, it’s time to think about some next steps for when you are starting to downsize your life. 

Adult Son Moving Out Of Parent's Home

Home Insurance

On your checklist of to-dos, you will want to check on your home policy after your child has moved. There are a few different things to check. For example, you will want to see if you can change your own policy to be lower now that there are not as many belongings in the home. You may also want to see if your homeowner’s policy will cover your child if they are still in college (which may be the case if they are in the dorms). Alternatively, you may be able to get a discount by getting a renter’s policy through the same company. 

In any case, now may be a good time to let your child know that a renter’s policy will help them with liability concerns. It will also protect the belongings that are inside their apartment.  

Car Insurance

The other thing that your child will need to take charge of will be their own car insurance policy. This is especially nice as newer drivers tend to require more expensive policies. If they are moving far away without a car, you may be able to put the car they used in your own name without listing them as a driver on the policy any longer. Alternatively, if they are moving and taking their car, they can go ahead and get their own policy. You will no longer need to be responsible for it and can see about downsizing your coverage.  

Vargas & Vargas Insurance is the premier local independent insurance agency — we work for our clients and not the insurance company. We will customize your insurance coverage to your specific needs at the right price as you downsize. Contact us today for answers to all of your insurance questions.

Do You Need Car Insurance If You Aren’t Driving Your Car?

In these times, most of us have experienced extreme upheaval when it comes to our routines. That may include working from home. You may be ordering groceries or take-out to be delivered instead of going out. This means that our cars remained parked. As a result, many car owners are starting to wonder if they should even have car insurance during these times.

man next to his car on his driveway

The short answer is, yes! Let’s explore why.

It’s Better to Maintain Coverage Than Have On-and-Off Coverage

Unless your car is completely out of commission — as in, it’s been totaled and is no longer drivable — you should keep insurance on it. The reason why is relatively simple: if you can still drive it, at some time, you probably will. That means there is always that chance that something could happen. 

Another reason is that if you cancel your car insurance, and then you end up needing it again, you will be labeled as high-risk to the underwriters. This means you may have a hard time obtaining car insurance, or you will end up paying more. So, it’s cheaper and safer to maintain insurance. 

Options for Stored Cars

If your car is locked away in a storage facility and you are definitely not going to be driving it anytime soon, meaning it will not be anywhere near any public road, you may be able to drop the coverage to comprehensive insurance only. This type of insurance protects the car from anything except a collision with another vehicle. For this reason, comprehensive insurance is sometimes referred to as “car storage insurance.”

How to Save on Car Insurance

Essentially, you do need to have insurance on your car (even if you aren’t driving that much). However, if you are concerned about the cost of premiums, it is always worth looking into different kinds of insurance and ways that you can save. Liability insurance is something that you have to have if your car is registered. But you may be able to take other kinds of coverage off of your car if you feel that you are not driving it enough to warrant having full coverage. 

At Vargas & Vargas Insurance, we’re here to help answer your insurance questions and make sure you have the coverage you need. Contact us today to get in touch with a local representative.