Protect Yourself with Adequate Auto Insurance

Did you know one of seven drivers on the road does not have auto insurance? Some people can’t afford it, while others failed to pay their bills. While this may seem like a “not your problem situation,” you are responsible for the costs if you are in an accident with one of these uninsured drivers.

This is one reason have adequate insurance. If you need to purchase insurance in Oviedo, FL, you can start by speaking to The Wurzel Agency professionals. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of this coverage.

Protect Yourself

One of the most important reasons to have auto insurance is to protect yourself. If you are in an accident that is your fault, your insurance will cover the other drivers involved and for your injuries or damages. If the accident is not your fault, but the at-fault party does not have insurance, your coverage will kick in and cover your damages and injuries too. Without this coverage, you will have to cover these costs out of pocket, which may be thousands of dollars or more.

Protect Others

Along with protecting yourself, proper auto insurance coverage can protect others, too. With the right insurance policy, you will be able to cover any injuries or damages that you cause. Again, this is beneficial since you may have to pay out of your own pocket if you don’t have adequate coverage.

Purchasing auto insurance can be confusing. However, if you live in or around the Oviedo, FL, area, you can speak to knowledgeable professionals from The Wurzel Agency to help you find and purchase the coverage you want and need. Also, the professionals here will help ensure you get adequate coverage to ensure you are fully protected in any situation you find yourself in while on the road.

Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Car

Buying a new car is an exciting time — but it can also be stressful. After all, you’re trying to get the best deal while also deciding on the make, model and features you need. It’s a big decision! 

Here at The Wurzel Insurance Agency, we can’t really help you become a master negotiator when it comes to buying a car. But we can give you some things to consider when you’re looking around the lot — and when you’re trying to answer the age-old question: New, or used? 

New cars

Ah, that new-car smell. It’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s one of the things people love most about climbing into a brand-new car. And while they make air fresheners that supposedly give you that same smell for your used car, it just doesn’t seem the same, does it? Still, there are other benefits to buying new — and, of course, there are drawbacks as well.

  • PRO — maintenance: Some manufacturers offer free scheduled maintenance for a set period of time after you buy the car, and you likely won’t need a new battery, tires, etc., for several years after your purchase.
  • PRO — peace of mind: Your new car may have a warranty for up to 10 years, and also is covered by “lemon laws” that could allow for a replacement or refund if the car has serious defects.
  • CON — cost: Depending on the make and model, buying a new car is almost always more expensive (at least in terms of the purchase price) than a used car.

It’s also worth noting that if you purchase a new car in its first model year (meaning it’s a new model for the automaker), there won’t be many user reviews available, and data on reliability and repairs will be limited. In addition, sometimes newly introduced cars have some kinks that generally are ironed out by the second and third model years. These aren’t necessarily serious issues, and the warranty should cover them, but in some instances, you and your car could be headed to the shop more than you’d like.

Used cars

Don’t care about the new-car smell? Looking to save some money on your purchase? Well, a used car might be right for you. There are many advantages to buying used, but you’ll want to be a little more careful. After all, it’s hard to know exactly how well the previous owner treated the car. But you can limit your risk with a little bit of work.

  • PRO — cost: New cars depreciate quickly after they’re purchased. By buying used, you’re letting someone else take that financial hit over the first few years of the life of the car.
  • PRO/CON — reliability: Buying a used car is less of a gamble than it used to be, particularly with the advent of “certified pre-owned” programs many automakers now offer. However, used cars generally don’t carry the same warranties as new cars, even though the original manufacturer’s warranty is usually transferrable to a second owner.
  • CON — maintenance: While a used car theoretically shouldn’t need more frequent maintenance than a new car, you’ll likely need to replace things like tires, headlights, etc., earlier. And scheduled maintenance probably isn’t covered by the automaker. 
  • PRO/CON — history: You’ll need to check the car’s title history to make sure it hasn’t been in a serious accident or salvaged. Ask the dealership to provide this information, usually from Carfax.

Of course, whichever car you purchase, the important thing is that it’s a good fit for you. Bear in mind that certain makes and models can result in higher insurance costs for you, so feel free to check in with us before you buy. 

Have fun shopping — and we’ll see you on the road!

A Few Tips for the College-Bound

College is expensive enough without the added cost of unexpected accidents or theft not covered by your insurance policy. If you have a student heading away to school, below are a few tips to help you get the most out of your coverage.

HOMEOWNERS (varies by state)

  • Personal Property:  Most homeowner’s policies will cover personal property for up to 10% of your total policy while your child is residing at school (a $100,000 policy equals $10,000 in coverage). Not all types of damage are covered, so read your policy carefully. Some items such as jewelry or expensive electronics require special coverage. Renters insurance is strongly recommended.
  • Liability Coverage: General damage to a dorm room or apartment is not usually covered.  
  • Documentation: Creating an inventory of the items your child is taking to school is a good idea. Use photographs and keep receipts.

AUTO (varies by state)

  • Car Stays Home: Keep your child listed on your auto policy if they will still drive your car while at home on school breaks.
  • Car at School: Make sure to notify us if your child will be taking a car away to school. In most cases, if the car is registered to you and listed on your policy, it will be covered.  
  • Driving a Friend’s Car: Students are generally covered if they are listed on their parent’s policy and are not regularly using the vehicle. The coverage would be secondary. The insurance for the friend’s vehicle would be the primary coverage.
  • Discounts: A full-time student meeting certain academic requirements can qualify for a good student discount. Distant student discounts may also be available. Drivers under 21 who have completed driver’s education may also get a discount.

Before your child leaves for school, give us a call. We can walk you through the steps to ensure you have the right coverage. We’re here to help! 

If I have collision insurance do I need to have comprehensive coverage

Auto insurance is something that is mandated by law, but only liability coverage. When you have a car loan, comprehensive and collision coverage will be required. Many people no longer have a car loan, and that brings up the necessity of reassessing your coverage. Most people understand what collision coverage is and the benefits it provides. Comprehensive insurance is much less understood, and you may be wondering if it is something that you need. At The Wurzel Agency in Oviedo, FL, customer service is what we are all about, and with our many years of experience, we can help you to understand what type of car insurance are right for you. 

Collision coverage protects your vehicle if you are deemed fully or partially responsible for an accident. It will provide the money to repair or replace your car up to the limit of your policy after the deductible is met. So what exactly does comprehensive insurance cover? 

Comprehensive insurance is frequently referred to as “non-collision” insurance. This is not wholly accurate. While comprehensive insurance does not cover a collision with another motor vehicle, it does cover collision with a large animal such as a deer or moose. As humans encroach on animal habitats, this is all too common an occurrence. It also covers weather-related events such as high winds and even flooding. High winds can send tree limbs flying onto your vehicle. Theft and vandalism are also covered under comprehensive insurance. Glass coverage is one of the most frequently used parts of comprehensive auto insurance; most policies will replace your windshield without a deductible. 

At The Wurzel Agency in Oviedo, FL, we understand auto insurance, and we are dedicated to making sure you get the right coverage for you and your vehicle. Give our office a call for a no-obligation quote. 

7 Tips to Help You Handle Rainy Days Behind the Wheel

Every Florida driver inevitably has to deal with rainy weather. 

With slick roads, flooded streets, and reduced visibility, not knowing how to drive in the rain can be a recipe for disaster. Be sure to follow these simple tips for safer rainy-day travels. 

  1. Stay visible. Turn on your headlights so you can see — and be seen — more easily. Headlights on, hazards off — it’s the law in Florida. 
  2. Be patient. Give yourself more time to get where you’re going, and give people more room. Increase your following distance two to three times.
  3. Expect slippery conditions. Rain often combines with oil and grease buildup to create slick roadways. Not to mention you can hydroplane — meaning your tires are riding on water instead of pavement — at speeds of as little as 35 mph. If it happens, slow down, gently apply your brakes, and keep steering straight ahead.
  4. Check your car’s systems. How are your wipers? Do your blades need to be replaced? What about your defroster? Driving in the rain is hard enough; don’t do it with fogged-up windows, too.
  5. Inspect your tires. Are they inflated properly? Do you have enough tread? Put an upside-down penny into the tread. If you can see Lincoln’s entire head, you probably need new tires.
  6. Never drive in flooded areas. In a flood, it won’t take much water to sweep you away, believe it or not — just 12 inches for a smaller car or 24 inches for almost any vehicle, according to the National Weather Service, which advises, “Turn around, don’t drown.”
  7. Get – or stay – off the road. When conditions are really bad, pull over and take a break. Or, if you can, just stay home. You’ll probably be happier to stay out of the weather, anyway! And you’re certainly likely to be safer.

With a little extra care, you can help keep your car on the road and your rainy day blues to a minimum even while traveling in wet conditions. And, as always, if something does go wrong, we’re here to help guide you through it. 

Save a Life: Don’t Be a Distracted Driver

You’ve seen them on the roads; you might even know a few of them. 

You could be one yourself.

Distracted drivers come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and experience levels. Even if you’re not one today, you could become one at any moment — in the time it takes you to answer your phone or check the kids in the back seat. 

If you or someone else you know thinks you can drive just fine while talking on your phone, think about this: More than 390,000 people were injured in crashes that reportedly involved distracted driving in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2016, 3,450 people were killed as a result of distracted driving. 

Distractions on the road come in many forms, according to www.distraction.gov, a U.S. Department of Transportation website. There are three main kinds of distractions:

Visual –taking your eyes off the road

Manual –taking your hands off the wheel

Cognitive –taking your mind off what you’re doing

To help you avoid all three kinds of distractions the next time you’re behind the wheel of your car:

• Put your phone in silent mode and store it away from the front seat or in a purse or bag. Doing so will help reduce temptation.

• Have a passenger answer your phone or return text messages for you.

• If a call or a text can’t wait, pull over in a safe spot before using your phone.

• This one seems obvious, but finish shaving or applying makeup before you get in the car!

• If you’re emotional, wait until you’ve calmed down before hitting the road. 

Your car is no place for multi-tasking. Focus on driving safely – for yourself, your passengers, and everyone else on the road.

Make sure you and your family are fully protected on the road. The Wurzel Insurance Agency is here for you! Give us a call at (407) 977-5700 to speak with one of our experienced agents, or email us: hello@wurzelagency.com.

You’ve been in an accident, now what?

Auto accidents can be very scary events, and in the aftermath, you can feel confused and unsure of what to do next. After you have received the medical attention that you need, it’s time to call your insurance agent. The team at The Wurzel Agency understands how traumatic accidents can be, especially when you are also dealing with medical issues. Our team is here to help you throughout the entire claims process and get you back to your regular routine here in the Oviedo, FL area.

What to do after you’ve been in an accident

Once you have been in an accident the first thing to do is contact the police to file a report. Even if you don’t feel injured, it’s always a good idea to have a check-up to make sure that you don’t have any injuries that maybe haven’t become noticeable yet. Once you have the medical attention that you need, it’s time to file your insurance claim. If you work with an online insurance company, you will be on your own.

However, if you have a local insurance agent working with you, the process can be a lot less stressful. Filing an insurance claim is not impossible, but when you are also dealing with possible medical issues and car repairs it can be the last thing that you want to do! We recommend that you contact your agent right away to get the process started and get your life back to normal as soon as possible.

Contact the team at The Wurzel Agency is you want the specialized attention that will help make the claims process less stressful. We are here to provide the greater Oviedo, FL community with attentive service no matter the situation. Call or stop by today!

3 Ways to Lower Insurance Costs for Your Teen Driver

If you’re the parent of a teen, you know how expensive it is — cell phones, sports activities, video games. When a teen starts driving, most parents pay the car insurance as well. Car insurance can be very expensive for teenagers due to their lack of experience on the road. Statistics show that teen drivers are involved in a higher number of accidents with fatal or critical injuries than more experienced, older drivers.

Looking for ways to decrease the cost of auto insurance for your teen drivers?

1. Check for a good student discount. In the eyes of an insurance company, teenagers who do well in school appear more responsible — and your teen doesn’t have to be an honor student to qualify! Each insurance company has its own definition of a good student. You can also enroll your teen in a driver’s education course, even if it isn’t required in your state. Your insurance agent can advise you on whether a driver’s education course will lower your insurance premiums.

2. Choose an older model car for your teenager. Your teen might hope for that shiny new sports car, but the insurance costs on sports cars are astronomical, as they are tied to the horsepower rating of the car as well as the theft rate. Older cars have a lower book value, which in turn reduces the insurance premium.

3. Raising your deductible could be an option. A higher deductible means lower monthly premiums. We recommend saving the difference in a special account — in case of an accident, you can use it to pay the deductible. Remember, be proactive when adding a new driver to your existing insurance policy. Do your research, and ask your agent! Discounts are out there if you know where to look.

Who Is Considered At-Fault in an Auto Accident?

Determining who is legally responsible in an auto accident requires identifying who the negligent party is. In most cases, it’s a matter of common sense, but often drivers don’t know exactly which laws were broken by the at-fault party. This makes it more difficult to prove a case to an insurer when making a claim.

When you’re not sure who did what, where can you find out?

1. Police Reports

If you or the other party called the police or 911 after the accident to report injuries, there will be a police report, and you can contact your local law enforcement traffic division to ask for a copy of the report.

Many police reports contain a responding officer’s opinion about who was at-fault. If one party clearly violated any laws, the officer will have documented it in the report.

Typically, any mention of the other party breaking traffic laws will be enough to tell your insurer that you were not at fault.

2. State Laws

If the report doesn’t have the information you need, you can also search your state traffic laws to find out whether the other party violated the law.

You can often find information on the DMV website. A driver handbook also will typically outline most instances of traffic violations. The handbooks are written in laymen’s terms so they are easy to understand.

3. No-Doubt Liability

In some accidents, the other driver is almost always considered at-fault.

For example, if another motorist hits the back of your car, the insurance company will typically consider them at-fault because they were most likely following too closely or failed to react in time when you put on your brakes.

A basic rule of the road in every state is that a driver should follow the vehicle ahead at a safe enough distance to be able to stop even if the other person brakes suddenly.

In a rear-end accident, the damage itself may serve as proof. One driver’s vehicle will be damaged on the front end, and the other driver’s vehicle will have damage to the rear.

However, even if you were rear-ended, there are still a few situations where your own carelessness may be considered a contributing factor to the accident, including brake lights that needed to be replaced or other mechanical issues that should have been repaired.

Left-turn accidents also don’t leave much wiggle room for which driver is considered at-fault. Anyone turning left who is struck by a vehicle going straight from the opposite direction is considered at-fault unless: 1) They were making the left turn at a green arrow; 2) they were at a 4-way stop and had the right-of-way; or 3) the oncoming vehicle was speeding excessively, making it difficult to judge the distance for a safe turn.