What is a Clean Driving Record?

Some people may think that they will not get any insurance if they do not have a clean record. They may also believe that their insurance prices will rise too. The first that you need to know is what is considered a clean record. In Mesa, AZ, the INW Insurance Group would like you to understand what a clean record is and what you can do to keep it clean.

A clean driving record is usually when you do not have any moving violations, points on your license, or accidents. Employers may look at a clean record differently than an insurance company might. They might only consider the last three years without a ticket or overlook a minor fender bender where you weren’t at fault. If you want a job where you are driving, don’t lie about your record. The employers have researchers who specialize in background checks which include your driving record. Being upfront will remove the surprise if they find a speeding ticket or other moving violations.

An insurance company may consider you have a clean record if you have had less than three moving violations. Some may even overlook a minor traffic ticket. If you have major offenses and several claims, then an insurance company will most likely deem that you do not have a clean driving record and your insurance costs could go up. They may look at the last 10 years of your record, but they may only look at a DUI or a hit-and-run. INW Insurance Group has independent insurance agents in Mesa, AZ who are able to help you with your driving record. They’ll be able to put you in touch with insurance companies that can help you with auto insurance coverage. Stop by the office today and you will be able to check for home and life insurance as well.

 

What to Do If You Back Into Your Garage Door

There are plenty of reasons why somebody might accidently back into their own garage door – early morning distractions, poor driving conditions, and inadequate lighting are just a few. While this is usually an embarrassing scenario, it happens more often than people think. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to remain calm and go through the proper steps to get your garage working properly and safely.

The first thing you should do after backing into your garage door is to assess the damage. If the damage looks minimal and your car is still inside, you can continue trying to move out. Just make sure to close the door manually without using too much force once your car is safely in the driveway. If it seems to catch and suddenly requires more force to close, stop and call a professional to make repairs.

Make sure to review at your insurance policies’ deductibles before calling your insurance company. It may not be worth opening a claim if you have to pay too much out of pocket. The average cost of a new steel garage door can range anywhere from $750 to $3500, with minor repairs costing only a few hundred. Because filing a claim often increases your policy rates, it’s often better to cover the damages on your own.

If your garage door is extremely damaged, it may be necessary to contact your homeowner’s insurance company. The same goes for calling your auto insurance company to cover damages to your vehicle. However, it is important to note that your auto insurance does not cover the damage done to the garage door, and vice versa.

When a problem like this arises for residents of Mesa, AZ, they know they can turn to the experienced team of agents at INW Insurance Group for fast and reliable service. Your garage door is essential to the function, appeal, and security of your home, so give us a call at 480-626-0797 for more information about getting it fixed or replaced as quickly as possible.

Considerations for Older Drivers

Everything changes with age, including us. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, but it definitely needs to be something we are aware of. As you age your driving may change along with other things in your life. Here are a few considerations for older drivers.

EyeSight

If your eyesight has changed over the years, you need to consider how this might affect your driving practices. Do you have trouble seeing well at night? Night driving may be something you need to delegate to others. Another solution might be to talk to your eye doctor about how you can remedy issues you have with driving and seeing well at night. A tweak to your glasses prescription could be the solution. If eyesight problems have increased to the point you can no longer drive safely, then you may want to consider other, safer options.

Memory Issues

You might think that memory issues only affect how quickly you can find your wallet or the remote control, but memory issues while driving can be a real problem. If you have experienced memory lapses while driving that has caused you to get lost, or make unsafe driving choices, you should discuss these issues with your doctor. Cognition is crucial to safe driving, both for yourself and for other drivers on the road. Do not dismiss memory issues if it is affecting your driving.

Other Health Concerns

If you have developed other heal concerns which would affect your ability to safely drive, you should consider other options. There are lots of ways that individuals can maintain their independence even if they can no longer safely drive. Discuss some of the options with your family and doctor to help decide what your best and safest option might be.

If you’d like to learn more about safe driving contact one of our friendly representatives at INW Insurance Group serving Mesa, AZ.

Don’t Get Burned by Cheap Insurance

From shopping for insurance to everyday groceries and everything in between, it’s often tempting to purchase the cheapest option. After all, the average American spends $5,261, or 12% of their annual income, on home, health, life, and auto insurance per year according to a NerdWallet study. However, choosing the less expensive product or service often goes hand in hand with sacrificing quality. With INW Insurance Group located in Mesa, AZ, that doesn’t have to be the case. Knowing the difference between inexpensive and cheap insurance lets you shop smarter, make informed decisions, and get the quality you deserve at a price you can afford.

Cheap insurance often means settling for inadequate coverage, or worse, no coverage at all. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, 144 fake insurers sold fake health insurance to more than 200,000 policyholders nationwide between 2000 and 2002, resulting in more than $252 million in unpaid claims. Unfortunately, health insurance wasn’t the only type of fraud insurance being sold. There are still numerous companies selling fake auto, homeowners, and rental insurance today.

Cheap insurance could also mean extremely limited options. Even if you have a trustworthy insurer, extremely cheap insurance often has many restrictions that prevents you from being covered in times of need. In the event of a natural disaster or tragic accident, cheap policies will not likely allow you to rebuild in the future. That’s why it’s so important to find a trusted and reliable insurance company, like INW Insurance Group, to help suit your needs.

To prevent you from being burned by cheap insurance, it’s important to research your insurer to make sure they’re the real deal and read your policy thoroughly. Start thinking about worst case scenarios, and double check that you are covered. What matters most is you know exactly what type of scenarios your policy covers—and those it doesn’t.

When you value something, it’s important to protect it. Avoid the temptations and scams of cheap insurance and let our team of agents at INW Insurance Group help you find the perfect policy that fits your lifestyle and budget today. Because as we all know, peace of mind is invaluable.

Special Home Insurance Needs for Those Living in the Southwest

The potential risks faced by Americans differ substantially, depending on where they live. People who live in the southwest are not likely to need insurance coverage for hurricane risk. However, they are very likely to need adequate insurance coverage for damage caused by dust storms to their homes and to their vehicles.

Newcomers, moving to the southwest, may be unaware of the unique risks to people and property living in a desert environment. For this reason, it is best to consult with an insurance agent at INW Insurance Group in Mesa AZ for a thorough review of existing coverage and suggestions for how to improve your coverage in accordance with your personal needs.

Extra Coverage Needed for Very Valuable Items

Home insurance may cover the basics; however, your agent will explain what is not covered. It is a good idea to have the replacement value of the home as the amount insured and update this amount at least on an annual basis or if any significant changes have been made to the home.

The contents of the home need to be considered, especially if there are valuable items such as jewelry or fine artwork. Usually, expensive items can be insured more effectively with a separate insurance policy.

Personal Liability

It is also important to consider any personal liability risks. This can come up in unexpected ways. For example, if someone is on your property and is bitten by a snake, even though the homeowner had nothing to do with this, they may have liability for it happening. If you have a swimming pool it needs to be protected from unauthorized access. If a child gets in the pool and then drowns, the homeowner can be held responsible.

Conclusion

Dust storms, snake bites, and swimming pools are just a few of the special risks found in the southwest. Be sure to contact your agent at INW Insurance Group, serving Mesa AZ and the surrounding area, for an insurance review and a quote.

What Happens If I Drive Without Insurance?

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you just stopped paying for auto insurance and drove without it? If you drive in Arizona you have to have car insurance otherwise you can be denied registration for your vehicle. Over 37,000 people die in car crashes every year in the U.S., 2.3 million are injured or disabled and these crashes cost the country over 230 billion annually. Insurance is meant to protect drivers and their property from these risks.

You Will Get a Ticket

If you’re caught driving without auto insurance, you’re going to get a ticket.  If highway patrol pulls you over for speeding or any other offense, or you get into an accident, on top of any other fines you incur, you’ll also be fined for driving without insurance.  In Arizona, the fine for being uninsured is anywhere from $500-1000.

Your License Could be Suspended

If you’re caught driving without insurance, your license can be suspended until you are able to provide proof of insurance and you’ll have to pay to have it reinstated. You could have your license permanently taken away if you have multiple suspensions.  To make matters worse, when you do decide to get insurance, you’ll have to pay a higher rate for having a lapse in coverage.

Your Car Could be Towed

If you’re caught driving without insurance by the police, they could prevent you from continuing to drive by having your car towed.  Then, you won’t be able to get your vehicle out of the impound lot until you provide proof of insurance.  Everyday it’s on the lot, you’ll also incur impound fees and some lots will even send vehicles to auction within a few days.

If you have insurance but don’t have the card with you or the card is expired but your policy is current, the officer may only give you a ticket and not tow your vehicle.  You won’t even have to pay for the ticket though if you bring your proof of insurance to the court house.  You have to have an insurance policy that was current at the time the ticket was issued.

You May be Financially Responsible

If you get in a wreck and are found to be at fault, but don’t have car insurance, you’ll most likely be financially responsible for the other driver’s repair bills and medical expenses.  If you are unable to pay, the other driver could sue you, which also means lawyer fees on top of all the other expenses from the crash.

You can’t Run From the Law

In Arizona, the police run random tests to see if registered vehicles are insured, and if they aren’t, the police will suspend the owner’s license.  Arizona utilizes active monitoring and has a database to reference for information concerning registered vehicles with and without insurance coverage.

SR-22

After the DMV electronically finds out that you haven’t had insurance for a certain period of time, after your license and/or registration gets suspended, when you do get insurance, you will be required by the state to get an SR-22 on your auto insurance.  An SR-22 is something that hooks onto your insurance policy that electronically tells the DMV every month that you are still maintaining insurance, if you let your insurance cancel they will fast track your license and/or registration getting suspended again.  Typically, you are required to have an SR-22 for 3 years.

Big Rate Increase When You Get a New Policy

Whenever you have a lapse in coverage and you go to get a new policy, you will have a “surcharge” of about 30% due to not maintaining a policy.  Some companies do offer a grace period of a lapse of 30 days or less, but most don’t.

Insure Your Vehicle

It’s better to simply insure your car and keep coverage on it without any lapses between policies, even if it’s a few days.  You’ll avoid run-ins with the law, large fines, license suspension, impounds, huge financial burdens and so many other headaches that aren’t worth it.  Trying to save money by not paying for insurance is never worth it and is definitely illegal.  Talk to an agent today about getting your automobile the coverage it needs.

I am Borrowing my Friend’s Car, Am I Covered?

Most people have an idea of what’s covered and not covered under their various insurance policies. But here at INW Insurance Group, we get a lot of questions about borrowing or loaning a car. Now that the weather is warming up here in Mesa, AZ, 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, auto 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.

It’s important to note that there are some exceptions to what is called “permissive use” coverage. Permission must be given by the owner, unless the borrower has a reasonable belief that they can use the car. However, the borrower cannot give permission to someone else.  If your teenager allows one of his or her friends to drive your car around Mesa, your coverage likely won’t apply. Coverage might also be denied if the borrower operates the vehicle in a negligent or criminal manner. If the borrower is using your car for business purposes, your personal auto policy likely won’t cover that either. 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 car insurance, whether you’re the owner or borrower, will apply. Feel free to give INW Insurance Group a call if you have any questions — after all, you don’t want to wait until after an accident to get answers!

 

 

Cheap Insurance or Quality Insurance?

Think back ten or fifteen years. Did you think you were going to be a homeowner, have multiple vehicles or have kids running around the yard? It probably wasn’t on the top of your mind, but now it’s your whole world. Why would you want cheap insurance protection for everything you have worked so hard for? You are living a quality life, you should have quality protection.

What is your quality of life worth? Isn’t it worth spending more than a few minutes to properly protect what you’ve worked so hard for here in Arizona? When you purchased your home did you walk into a real estate office, close your eyes and ask for the cheapest home without concern for location, quality and options. When you purchased your current vehicle, did you walk into the dealership, close your eyes and ask for the cheapest car without regard to body style, color, options and safety features. Most likely, your answer is no. Therefore, why would you protect these items in such a way? When you go online or call a toll-free number looking for cheap insurance, that’s what you’re doing.

Here at INW Insurance Group, our goal is to carefully evaluate your coverage needs to find you the best options while still saving you money. INW Insurance is an independent agency working with top-rated insurance carriers. We do the shopping for you and eliminate the worry of having quality coverage in Arizona. That’s why INW stands for “I’m Not Worried”.

Here are some tips to save money on quality Arizona insurance.

  • Consider increasing your deductibles, as sometimes this may reduce your premiums up to 15%.
  • Ask about safe driving programs. These will evaluate specific driving habits over a short period to determine safe driver discounts up to 30%.
  • Consider paying your premium in full or setting up a monthly checking account draft as these provide a lower premium compared to other payment options.

You can save money without sacrificing quality insurance coverage by speaking with an INW Insurance Professional today.

Protecting Our Community Heroes

Did you know that INW Insurance offers special discounts and rates for those that serve and protect our community in Mesa, AZ? Not only do we serve those in our own community but we can get you these great rates no matter where you live in Arizona. INW Insurance has you covered. This can include teachers, policemen, firemen, military, and government personnel. These are the people that not only protect our community but also shape our future. Our agents here at INW Insurance want to find the best way to give back, so we are now offering lower rates and special discounts as a token of our gratitude.

There are several community heroes that go unnoticed or unrecognized every day. It is our mission to not only recognize these heroes for what they do on a regular basis, but to spread awareness of what they do for our community. We aim to do this in many ways, the first, obviously by being able to provide discounts on their insurance. The second is community involvement, we believe that by actively volunteering our time in the community is the best way to show our appreciation to local heroes. There are very few limitations and there are a wide variety of jobs that can get you significant discounts on your insurance.

We want to know what our community in Mesa does to support our local heroes. You might be part of a charity organization, you might volunteer your time, a family member might be a hero themselves, whatever it may be, we want to know about it! You can leave a comment below or post a comment on our Facebook! Let’s show some support for our community heroes!

Facts on Auto Gap Coverage

Insurance companies vs. car dealerships for guaranteed asset protection, or GAP policies, which cover the difference between a vehicle’s loan balance and its cash value if the vehicle is stolen or totaled.

Dealer Says: No deductible on our Policy

There is no deductible on most gap policies, however the primary insurance policy has a deductible.  GAP on your insurance policy can cost $8 – $22 per year for three to four years. GAP sold by the dealership will cost $600 – $1,200 and you’ll pay interest on that as it is added to your loan. GAP at the dealership is sold by a third-party insurance vendor. In the event of a total loss, you may be in the middle of a battle between your insurance company and the dealer’s GAP company. If your GAP is with your own insurance, this is all settled in house without delays. So yes, your deductible may be waived with the dealership’s GAP, but is it worth as much as $1,500.00 when you may pay as little as $32 through your insurance policy?

Dealer Says: No Impact on Insurance Rates When You Make a Claim With us

You cannot have a GAP claim without a total loss claim. If you have a total loss, the claim is already filed on your primary policy and a GAP claim is irrelevant. The impact on future insurance rates will be the same for a total loss, whether you have the GAP coverage through the dealership or your own insurance.

Dealer Says: No Risk of Cancellation Due to Claim on Their GAP Coverage

As above, the GAP claim is irrelevant, regardless of where the GAP coverage lies and some states do not allow a “cancellation” due to claims.

Dealer Says: You Have the Freedom to Switch Insurers if You Choose Their GAP

GAP is not needed for the life of the loan. You can remove gap coverage from your insurance policy anytime you want. It is only needed until you no longer owe more than the vehicle is worth. In most cases, gap is only needed for the first three or four years of the loan and some carriers will allow GAP if you have it on a previous policy.

Dealer Says: Insurance Companies Will Most Likely “Fix” Total Loss Vehicles

GAP has nothing to do with the cost of repair versus the cost of replacement. The insurance company will only fix a vehicle if it is safe to do so and if the repairs do not meet or exceed a threshold of repair cost to Actual Cash Value.

Everyone should verify laws within their own state, read all information available, and ask plenty of questions in order to make an informed decision regarding GAP coverage for themselves.