Have You Asked for a Mileage Discount?
More than 4 out of 5 Americans have not asked their car insurance provider for common discounts that could save up to 25%, according to a new insuranceQuotes.com report. The survey asked about low mileage, marriage, occupational, good student, and defensive driver discounts. All these need to be self-reported and can save drivers a substantial amount of money – that is, if you take the time to inform your insurance company.
Someone who drives 5,000 miles annually pays an average of 8% less than someone who drives 15,000 miles each year. The average savings is highest in California (25%), followed by Washington, D.C. and Alaska (both 11%). The only state that doesn’t reward drivers for logging fewer miles is North Carolina.
Insurance companies also charge married people less, but only 13% of Americans have let their insurance carrier know that they tied the knot. The savings is greatest for young adults (a married 20-year-old pays 21% less than a single 20-year-old). The gap narrows to 7% at age 25 and around 2% after age 30.
Certain occupations (e.g., teachers, nurses and accountants) are viewed as safer drivers and qualify for discounts from many insurance companies. But again, few Americans are asking for this discount (just 8% have done so).
All of the 10 largest car insurers give good student discounts, yet just 21% of millennials and 20% of the overall population have asked for one of these. The percentages are similar for defensive driving courses.
“These discounts can add up to hundreds of dollars per year, and in many cases, they reward people for things they were already doing,” according to Laura Adams, insuranceQuotes.com’s senior analyst. “I encourage everyone to be proactive and seek potential discounts at least once a year; it should only take a few minutes.”
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Critical Tips to Avoid a Carjacking
Most carjackings only take 15 to 20 seconds to complete, giving people very little time to react. Would you know what to do if someone demanded your vehicle? Because this type of crime happens so fast, having a plan ahead of time is a good idea.
Here are some tips from security professionals on steps you can take to avoid being carjacked.
1. Always drive with your doors locked. Many vehicles these days automatically lock once the vehicle reaches a certain speed, which is a great feature. One feature to be careful of is having your doors automatically unlock when you put the vehicle in park. In the photo above, it looks as if the doors were unlocked, which gave the carjacker an easy way to open the door.
2. Always leave enough room between your vehicle and the one in front of you. If you are stopped in a parking lot or at an intersection, make sure you can see the back tires of the car in front of you. This will give you enough room to prevent being boxed in and will enable you to maneuver your vehicle to the left or right if you need to exit the area quickly.
3. When stopped, use your rear and side view mirrors to stay aware of your surroundings. This increases your safety and makes it more difficult for an attacker to surprise you.
4. Stay off your phone. Are you checking Facebook while you’re at a stop light? Maybe replying to a text? Most carjackers are looking for an easy target. Someone who is staring at their phone and has no idea what is going on around them can be a perfect target.
5. Beware of $20 tricks. If you get into your vehicle, start the engine and then look up to see a $20 tucked under your windshield wiper, most people would stop and get out of their vehicle to investigate. That’s exactly what a carjacker is counting on as they slide into your open vehicle and take off with your car.
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5 Ways to Ruin Your Car’s Paint Without Realizing It
Surprisingly, quite a few elements can ruin your car’s finish almost as much as Carrie Underwood digging a key into the side of a pretty little souped-up four-wheel drive. Here are five things to keep a look out for so you can keep your car’s paint looking good and maintain your car’s value.
Water from Your Sprinklers
The water itself isn’t going to damage the paint. The problem is the minerals and pollutants in the water become very concentrated as the water evaporates, leaving spots on your car that can be difficult to remove. The best cure is to avoid parking need sprinklers. If you do have sprinkler spots, try to wash and wax your vehicle as soon as possible.
If you wipe sap off when it is still gooey, you may end up making a bigger smear. A better option is to apply some bug and tar remover to remove the sap. If the sap has already dried, apply mineral spirits to dissolve it. Once it is dissolved, you can often remove the remaining residue with a clay bar treatment and then finish by waxing your car.
Today’s gas pumps are designed to prevent gas overflows, but you can still drip gas on your vehicle while you are filling up. If you don’t clean the gas spots right away, the gas can eat through your paint’s surface and cause a stain. Fortunately, gas usually evaporates before any real damage is done. If your vehicle’s paint does get a stain, try removing the stain with a good wash and wax. As a preventive measure, shake the nozzle a couple times to get those last few drips out before removing the nozzle all the way.
If you’ve ever washed your car in the driveway, chances are you may have accidentally dropped your sponge on the pavement. Giving your sponge a quick rinse with the hose won’t always remove the little bits of grit and sand the sponge may have picked up. If you don’t thoroughly rinse your sponge and remove the dirt, you run the risk of giving your vehicle swirl marks and small scratches. It is helpful to always have a spare sponge or make sure you thoroughly rinse a dirty sponge.
Bird poop doesn’t just look bad; it is also acidic. To protect your paint, you should wash off the droppings as soon as possible. One simple trick is to use club soda. Let the club soda soak in for a few minutes and then wipe it away with a damp cloth. Try to avoid parking under trees to reduce your car’s chances of getting hit.