Dealing with Auto Insurance as Part of Moving

If you are new to the state of Idaho, welcome! The Idaho Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires registration of a vehicle in the state of Idaho within 90 days of moving to the state. You must be a resident of Idaho and the vehicle must be physically in the state in order to register it with the DMV.

Minimum Auto Insurance Required by Law in Idaho

Idaho also has minimum auto insurance requirements, which are required to operate a vehicle in the state.

These Idaho auto insurance requirements are:

  • Liability Coverage for Bodily Injuries: $25,000 for each person and $50,000 for each accident.
  • Liability Coverage for Property Damage: $15,000 for each accident.

If you are planning a move Idaho with your vehicle, contact an agent at The Insurance Shop USA, serving Sandpoint ID and the surrounding area, to get auto insurance coverage. Most people need more than the basic legal minimums to have adequate insurance protection. Since the law only requires minimal levels of coverage for injuries and property damage, most people increase these amounts and add comprehensive coverage for more protection for themselves and their vehicle.

Coverage for Uninsured and Under-insured Drivers

Idaho is an “at-fault” state, which means a driver of a vehicle is responsible for any damages, injuries, or deaths caused by an accident that is determined to be their fault. While there is no legal requirement to have uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage in the state of Idaho, it is still a good idea to have it. The reason is that just because someone is at fault, and therefore has the legal liability to pay for damages, this does not guarantee that they have the financial ability to do so. Winning a lawsuit may be possible, however, collecting the judgment for damages may be difficult.

Consult with your agent at The Insurance Shop USA in Sandpoint, ID to discuss these matters and get any questions answered that you may have about auto insurance in Idaho.

Why Auto Insurance is Mandatory

The purpose of mandatory car insurance is to provide proof that a driver will be able to pay for liabilities in the event of a car crash in Sandpoint, ID. While there is no federal mandate that requires all drivers across the country to buy auto insurance, every state has different laws regarding the issue of auto insurance policies.

When did auto insurance become mandatory?

The debate on making auto insurance compulsory in the United States goes back several decades. Proponents of making auto insurance compulsory argued very reason that it is possible for a car owner to be unable to pay for damages to other people’s property in the event of an accident. It became apparent that some car owners or drivers with permission from the vehicle owners can cause a car crash, yet be unable to pay for damages and other expenses even when it has been determined that they were at-fault at the time of the crash. Massachusetts and Connecticut were the first states to enact compulsory car insurance laws in the 1920’s. The purpose of creating these laws was to help at-fault drivers resolve claims if they default on their accident payouts. Today, nearly every state has enacted mandatory auto insurance laws.

What is considered mandatory?

It might sound weird why health insurance, which is always attracting heated debate in Washington, is not mandatory yet auto insurance is mandatory. Your health insurance is all about you and your loved ones. Typically, the collision coverage option is not compulsory when the vehicle is paid off because it is protection for you. On the other hand, liability insurance from The Insurance Shop USA is almost always compulsory because it protects other road users or other people’s property. Essentially, if at-fault drivers won’t be held liable or be able to compensate others for the losses they are responsible for, the economy would suffer.

Protect yourself financially by investing in sufficient auto insurance from The Insurance Shop USA and you won’t have to worry about losing your assets or savings in case of a car accident. Our friendly agents will guide in choosing the right auto insurance coverages suitable for your budget and lifestyle.

 

Distracted Driving Isn’t the Only Hazard of Cell Phone Use

It seems like the headlines are full of accidents where the driver was busy texting or checking an email on their phone while driving.  While this practice certainly poses a danger to the driver and others on the road, the Insurance Shop USA would like to remind Sandpoint, ID drivers that is not the only way a cell phone can cause a problem on the road.

Pedestrians are Texting Too!

More and more pedestrians across the country are walking down the sidewalk while staring down at their smartphones. They are tripping over garbage cans, falling into fountains and walking right out into traffic without ever looking up. The world is not just full of distracted drivers, it’s full of distracted people. Emergency rooms are treating more sprained ankles, twisted wrists, and even head injuries because nobody is actually looking where they are going.

Heads Up and Hands on the Wheel is Best

This means that in order to avoid an accident involving a pedestrian, it’ more important than ever to remain vigilant and stay focused on the task at hand. You’ll never see somebody cross against the light if you’re checking an email while in motion, or even while stopped waiting for the green light. By keeping your eyes pointed front and both hands on the wheel, you are driving defensive, instead of distracted.

The Insurance Shop USA reminds all the drivers that when riding around Sandpoint, ID, keep your cell phone locked up in the glove box or out of reach. If you need to use the phone while driving, invest in Bluetooth technology that allows you to dial a number with a simple voice command while your phone remains safely tucked out of sight and out of reach and avoid becoming just another statistic.

Top Tips for Handling a Parking Lot Accident

At The Insurance Shop USA, their Sandypoint, ID agents realize that life happens sometimes. The last thing you would expect when shopping for groceries or Christmas shopping is to come out of the store, get in your car, and end up getting into an auto accident in the parking lot. In reality, these types of accidents can be just as costly and even deadly as accidents out on America’s highways. If you have been in a parking lot accident, read on below for some tips on how to handle it the right way. 

Stay Calm and Call for Help

It’s human nature that if you are involved in an accident in a parking lot to jump out of your car and berate the other driver. This not only does you little good, but it can also actually hurt your chances of settlement if your insurance company has to get involved. Instead of showing your fury, stay calm, take your cell phone and call 911. Let the paramedics and the police iron out the rest. 

Look at the Damage and Check for Injuries

The very first thing you should do is check to make sure that no one in your car or the people in the other car has any injuries. Even fender benders in a parking lot can end tragically if you aren’t careful. 

Once you have verified that everyone is okay, check for damages on both cars while you wait for help to arrive. Never leave the scene of an accident, or you could end up facing jail time over a fender bender. 

These are just a couple of tips to help you handle a parking lot accident. For more information, you can contact  The Insurance Shop in Sandypoint, ID.

In Sandypoint, ID Does an Excessive Amount of Tickets Require a Safe Driving Course?

The agents of the Insurance Shop USA serve residents in the Sandypoint, ID area. Individuals who have an excessive number of traffic tickets and driving violations may experience a higher insurance rate than those who have an unblemished driving record. Many insurance companies will offer discounts on their premiums to clients who go over and above when it comes to trying to improve their driving skills. One of the ways a person can lower their total insurance cost is to attend a defensive driving class. 

Defensive driving classes are offered by many different companies. The classes can be found online or at driving schools across the country. While most of the students who sign up for the classes are young people or those who have never had a driver’s license, people who want to improve their driving record can take the class and turn their results into their insurance companies. In Idaho, insurance companies cannot force a person to take the class, but they can offer price incentives to individuals who do. The class offers a variety of information that a driver may not remember or might not have learned the first time they took their test.

Sandypoint, ID residents can contact the agents of the Insurance Shop USA for any questions they may have about insurance discounts and what can be done to reduce insurance premiums after a person receives a ticket or is involved in an accident. The agents are extremely knowledgeable and can help their clients find the best way to handle a difficult situation. Contact a local agent to find out if there are discounts available that will help you to lower your insurance premiums. 

Cleaning the Wheels and Tires On Your Car

When it comes to making sure your car stays on the road for as long as possible, it is of the utmost importance that you take proper care of the wheels and tires on it. From rotating the tires every so often to cleaning them, there are several tips you can follow to extend the longevity of your wheels and tires, which means less money out of your pocket for replacing them. Here’s a quick look at three of the best tips you can follow for cleaning the wheels and tires on your car. 

1) They need to be cleaned weekly

You don’t have to get out a scrub brush and put a lot of elbow grease into cleaning your tires and wheels every week, but you should at least spray them off. In doing this, you will help extend their use, meaning you will get more mileage out of them. Whether it be taking your car through a car wash or spraying off the tires and wheels with a water hose in your driveway, a quick rinsing once a week will do wonders. 

2) Clean the wheels really good once a month

Build up from your brake pads can make your wheels look very dirty. Unfortunately, getting off this brake dust will require that you put a little elbow grease into cleaning them. With that being said, you should clean them really good at least once a month. 

3) Rotate the tires every so often

Another great tip for extending the use of your tires is to have them rotated at least every other time you get your oil changed. Rotating your tires helps ensure the tread wear on them is appropriately distributed. 

For information on auto insurance, contact The Insurance Shop USA serving the Sandypoint, ID area. 

First Time Buying Auto Insurance in Sandypoint? Here’s What You Need to Know

Getting your first car is one of the most exciting times of your life.  You will never forget your first car.  It symbolizes a rite of passage from the world of childhood to the adult world of responsibility.  Having a driver’s license is a privilege and having a car is a luxury, although a necessity for many Americans who do not live close to public transportation and who have to rely on a car to get everywhere. 

Just as exciting is moving to a new place, like Sandypoint ID, and purchasing a new car or bringing yours with you.  Whether you have just purchased a new car or have recently moved to Sandypoint ID and are looking for a new auto insurance policy for the area, here are a few tips for buying auto insurance in Sandypoint ID for the first time.  

1. Talk to a Trusted Agent before You Buy

Think of an insurance agent as a catalyst or matchmaker. Their job is to bring together you, the driver, with an insurance company that provides the best policy at the best price for you.  

2.  Understand Your Policy

Know what is and isn’t covered.  Understand the amount of your deductible and how that works. Also, if you don’t own your car outright but pay a car loan to a lender every month, you are probably required to purchase full coverage for your vehicle.   

3. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for a Discount

Do you have perfect grades in school? Drive part time? Considered a senior citizen?  These are just a few of the discounts that some insurance companies offer.  Also, consider bundling insurance policies for an even better rate.  You can bundle homeowner’s insurance with your auto insurance policy, for example.  

At The Insurance Shop, our friendly agents will assist you through the maze of buying Auto Insurance in Sandypoint ID for the first time. But really, its not that complicated. It’s simply something new you will learn, and our agents at The Insurance Shop USA are standing by to help.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Auto Tips To Keep You Safe All Year Long

Residents of Sandpoint, Idaho are lucky to experience a beautiful range of seasons including beautiful winters perfect for outdoor activities. As one of America’s most beautiful locations, you are lucky to be living in or near this naturally gorgeous area.

With winter on its way, it’s a good time to go over your vehicle and make sure it is ready for the cold, snowy season. Many traffic situations can be avoided this time of year by doing a seasonal safety inspection, and doing some simple prep. Here are some things to check:

  • Check your battery and terminals. When the temperatures drop, more strain is put on your battery. It’s a good idea to have your battery tested to make sure it has enough juice to get you through the season. Visually inspect terminals and cables to make sure everything looks good. You don’t want to be stranded!
  • Check your tires. Make sure you have adequate tread. Roads are slippery, so tires need to be in good condition.
  • Check wiper blades  and replace if necessary.
  • Make sure brakes are working optimally. 

It’s also a good idea to update your auto emergency kit, making sure that you have fresh batteries in your flashlights and things like warm blankets and a first aid kit. Double check and make sure your roadside assistance is up to date, and that you are equipped with chains and any other snow gear, if necessary.

It’s best to take your vehicle in for a thorough check before winter starts, and it’s also a good idea to make sure your auto insurance is up to date. Sit down with an agent at The Insurance Shop USA to make sure you have the coverage that you need.

A Simple Tire Pressure Check

A simple maintenance aspect of car care involves the tire pressure. The pressure is created by pumping a sufficient amount of air into the tire that it not only inflates but stays that way even when a significant weight load is applied to the tire. It also allows the tire to absorb shock and changes in surfaces that the tire rolls over, making the design an ideal way to move transport without an extremely rough ride (as would occur with wood or steel wheels). However, a tire is only as good as its ability to maintain pressure and keep that air contained. When the pressure goes too low, the tire begins to lose its ability to retain shape and strength. The typical result is that the tire then disconnects from the wheel rim it is a frame on, or the tire material itself rips apart due to too much drag and friction with the road.

Fortunately, maintaining one’s tire pressure in Sandypoint, ID is a simple task of using a tire pressure gauge and regularly checking (every two weeks or so). Car tires have the normal inflation printed on the outer side just for this purpose. A good check applies the gauge, confirms the pressure needs increasing, and then uses an air compressor at a gas station to raise the tire pressure up to the right amount again. If the pressure continues to keep falling after multiple checks, then there’s a good likelihood the given tire has a small air leak and needs replacement.

To find out more tips on how to take care of your car and avoid car accidents, contact your local Sandypoint, the ID insurance agent at The Insurance Shop USA. There are multiple ways to easily monitor and keep your car in good operating condition, which goes a long way in avoiding accidents.

How to Protect Your Car During the Winter

Residents of Sandypoint, ID deal with the harsh winter weather. Although the cold and ice are a nuisance, quite unpleasant and an inconvience, they’re much worse on vehicles. Residents can protect their car from damage, though.

1. Garage

Keep your vehicle in the garage when it’s parked. The snow, ice and salt will harm the paint and may even lead to rust. Not to mention, this alleviates the need to warm your car before leaving.

2. Always Warm Your Car

Start your car and allow it to warm up completely before you drive it in the winter. The cold is harsh on your engine and the other components of your vehicle.

3. Clean Your Car Off Totally

While it seems convenient to only wipe the snow and ice that’s obstructing your vision, you should clean all the snow and ice before you pull out. The snow is dangerous to other drivers when it falls off of the car. You don’t want to leave the ice and snow on the paint any more than you have to. It can damage the paint and ultimately lead to rusting. When cleaning off ice, always allow your car to heat up 10 to 15 minutes before tackling it. Allow as much of the ice to melt from the interior heat as possible. Only use the scraper on thick layers of ice and stop when the defrosters and heat are enough to melt it.

4. Remove the Salt

Wash your car regularly to remove the salt. Pay attention to the undercarriage of your vehicle. Many car washes offer this service. You should also opt for one that has steam cleaning. Keep in mind, the salt doesn’t just harm the finish; it promotes rusting.

To get insurance to protect yourself in the event of an accident on the slick roads, contact The Insurance Shop USA, serving Sandypoint, ID and the surrounding area, at 208-263-0888. 

 

 

Sandypoint, ID