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Is There Such a Thing as Over-Insured Car? Yes, There Is

April 17, 2019

Auto insurance policy form with car key on top

On April 8th, a car in Montgomery, Alabama gave a new meaning to the phrase “drive-thru” as it crashed into a restaurant’s dining room. According to the police, the driver of the SUV mistakenly accelerated, causing it to crash into the restaurant’s wall.

While there were no reported injuries, there were damages sustained by the vehicle, and of course, the restaurant. When accidents like this happen in Chicago, having adequate auto insurance comes in handy.

Many drivers worry about being underinsured, as they should. However, being over-insured can be a problem, too. This means you’re paying high premiums every month, a portion of which is for coverage you won’t likely use.

What’s Wrong with Being Over-Insured?

Let’s be clear: it’s better for your car to be over-insured than underinsured. If your car is underinsured and you get into a collision with another vehicle full of passengers who have sustained injuries, you’re liable for thousands of dollars in medical expenses. Being underinsured and having to pay for such damages can be financially crippling.

If you’re over-insured, you’re likely to have more coverage, even for circumstances you didn’t think would happen. The downside, though, is that the monthly premiums that you’re paying are likely to be too high.

How Do I Know If I’m Over-Insuring My Car?

In the state of Illinois, you’re required to carry at least $25,000 worth of bodily injury liability coverage per person and $20,000 worth of property damage liability coverage.

If, for example, you’re paying for $300,000 worth of bodily injury coverage and $250,000 worth of property damage coverage, you’re paying way too much.

However, you should still consider the following:

How Should You Decide on How Much Insurance Premiums to Pay?

While being over-insured has both advantages and disadvantages, whether it’s a good idea for you depends on your lifestyle and financial situation. If you can afford to pay damages out of pocket, you may be able to get by paying for the minimum insurance coverage.

Then again, you may find paying for higher monthly premiums that cover more damages a better option. Compared to out of pocket costs, this alternative could prove way more affordable, after all.

For more reliable car insurance information and tips, visit Oxford Auto Insurance today.



Storing Your Motorcycle in the Winter: Coverage Plans to Consider

March 30, 2019

Even when it’s winter or you’re not using your bike for whatever reason, consider insuring it to reduce your liability and decrease the amount you’ll have to pay in damages if something occurs. There are several policies and insurance options available, and we can help you choose the one that’s best suited to your circumstances.

Riding in the Winter and Why Insurance is Critical

You’re at greater risk when you take your motorcycle out in the winter than in the summer. This is because roads are icy and filled with salt and gravel. Animals like moose, deer, and elk are more active during winter. This means you’re more likely to hit these animals or have to swerve to avoid them. When you’re riding under these conditions, you increase the likelihood that an accident occurs.

Storing Your Motorcycle and The Potential Risks Involved

Your motorcycle is at risk for damage even when it’s parked in storage for a few months a year. You may require liability coverage and insurance policies that cover you from damages or lawsuits should an accident occur or something happens to your bike. This is why it’s not necessarily the best idea for you to cancel your insurance policy in the winter and when your bike’s in the shed.

Storage Insurance

There are different coverage options available for a motorcycle that won’t be used for several months. Storage insurance can be classified under comprehensive or other than collision insurance coverage. This type of coverage normally includes protection against fire, storm damage, or theft of the vehicle. It may cover other types of damage that happen to your bike if it’s left in storage.

Coverage Reduction

You may end up going for an insurance policy with a built-in reduced premium for your motorcycle. This type of coverage includes a layoff period for the time your motorcycle is left in storage as part of the premium. However, it can feel expensive to pay full coverage even during the offseason. But with this setup, you won’t have to think or worry about your coverage whenever the weather changes. You’ll be able to ride your bike whenever the weather permits.

However, if you have to provide full insurance for your bike throughout the year, you can ask to have your deductibles increased and your limits of liability lowered on a temporary basis. Your insurance premium is lowered with this setup, so you’ll be offered more affordable motorcycle insurance. In addition, risk of damage and loss to your bike while it’s in storage is minimal. There’s a good chance you won’t have to pay the high deductible.

When you’re constantly shifting the conditions of your motorcycle insurance policy, there’s a risk that your bike won’t have proper coverage at the appropriate times. Set reminders for yourself on the type of coverage your motorcycle has at any given moment. Make sure coverage is added back on before you take it out for a spin. Otherwise, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to large deductibles and other risks when you’re operating an uninsured vehicle.

Oxford Auto Insurance provides motorcycle insurance with extensive coverage and affordable rates in Chicago, Illinois. Our policies can cover the losses of the other drive, your property, and any injuries you may sustain from an auto accident. This includes medical payments coverage, comprehensive coverage, and roadside assistance plans.

For more information, contact us at 312-260-9000 or send us an email at info@oxfordauto.com.



Factors that May Affect Auto Insurance Rates

March 29, 2019

man signing car insurance documentIf you’re planning to buy a car, one of the costs the you need to consider is auto insurance. An auto insurance ensures that you are protected from financial loss in case you are involved in a vehicular accident. It provides coverage for property damage or theft, liability insurance for bodily injury, and coverage for medical treatment and rehabilitation.

In choosing what auto insurance to purchase, you may be tempted to reduce your expenses by looking for an auto insurance with the lower amount of coverage or by raising your deductibles. While these two factors obviously affect car insurance costs, there are other considerations, some of which are not under your control, that can impact the price of auto insurance premiums.

Knowing what these auto insurance rating factors are will help you make a more informed buying decision:

Location

Where you live is one of the factors that greatly affects auto insurance rates. Insurers will typically ask for your zip code to determine if your area is highly populated and if there are insurance risks present, such as damaging weather, acts of vandalism, and prevalence of insurance claims.

Age, Gender, and Marital Status

Your age, gender, and marital status are some of the lesser-known factors that are used in determining the cost of auto insurance premium.

Statistically, teen drivers and seniors are more likely to figure in an accident. As such, most insurance companies consider them more risky and expensive to insure compared to other drivers. Younger drivers tend to commit mistakes, such as tunnel vision, distracted driving, or speeding, which may lead to road accidents or put other drivers’ and pedestrians’ safety at risk. On the other hand, seniors age 70 years or older who have poorer eyesight and slower reflexes that impact their driving ability may be charged with higher insurance costs.

Some evidence suggest that women are safer drivers than men, hence, pay less car insurance. However, insurance costs levels off as women drivers get older. Studies reveal that between ages 30 and 50, men pay slightly less auto insurance than women do. Married car owners also are charged with less insurance premiums, they tend to be more careful now that they are driving for their families.

Driving Experience and Record

If you have years of driving experience, coupled with a clean driving record, you are likely to receive a good rate. You will be considered less of a risk compared to drivers with past records of traffic violations.

Claims Record

In addition to your driving behavior, insurers will look into past insurance claims. The number of claims you have made, whether with them or with another insurance company, will either keep you from surcharge or hike up your rates.

Credit Score

Insurance companies will also look into your credit score. Generally, the lower the credit score, the higher the insurance premium will be.

Car Safety Rating

The type of car that you have affects insurance costs. If your car has a high safety rating and if it has safety features such as air bags, automatic seatbelts, and traction control, means that your car is safer to drive and may result in lower premium costs.

The Best Car Insurance in Aurora, Il

At Oxford Auto Insurance, we provide affordable insurance rates and flexible payment plans so you can get the financial protection you need while you’re on the road. Our team will help you find the comprehensive coverage for your needs.

For more information on our products and services, contact us today.



Temporary Car Insurance: Do You Need It?

March 5, 2019

car insurance policy

In the U.S., there are only two states where you’re not legally required to carry auto insurance: New Hampshire and Virginia. This, however, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy a policy if you live there. Additionally, this means that if you do not have auto insurance in Illinois, you’re not only risking financial trouble but you may also face legal consequences.

Typically, a car insurance policy lasts for six months to a year. There may be some circumstances, though, when you’re driving a vehicle that isn’t yours. You may be using a rented car for a business trip or borrowing someone else’s for a short period. Does this mean you’d need another full-term car insurance in Aurora, IL? As a matter of fact, you don’t. Instead, you may apply for short-term auto insurance.

When Do You Need Temporary Car Insurance?

Car insurance protects you financially in the event of an accident that results in property damage, a totaled vehicle, or injuries. If you do not have a policy, you could get in financial and legal trouble if you’re involved in an accident, even if you aren’t at fault.

This is why an insurance policy is important, even for the briefest time that you’d be driving someone else’s vehicle. Among these circumstances are:

Basically, every time you’re using someone else’s car for more than a day and you’ll be driving around in said car, you need temporary car insurance.

Things to Consider When Looking for Temporary Car Insurance

Different car insurance policies provide different coverage, so before buying a short-term one, contact your insurance company. In some instances, you may actually already have coverage for driving someone else’s car. If you don’t, they’ll likely give you suggestions on what type of insurance you need.

When shopping for short-term auto insurance, be prepared that insurance companies may consider you a high-risk driver. Insurance companies will consider that you might be driving in places that are unfamiliar to you, which could make you prone to accidents.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your primary insurance provider isn’t likely to offer short-term coverage. It can also be difficult to find temporary insurance with attractive rates that will give you the coverage you need. Because of this, you may need to look for a temporary auto insurance policy beyond the usual providers.

Most importantly, you must remember the importance of being covered by insurance. Accidents can happen anytime, so being insured, whether it’s short- or long-term, is a smart move.

Get the Best Auto Insurance Policy

If you need motorcycle, SR-22, or auto insurance in Illinois, let Oxford Auto Insurance protect you and your vehicle. With the option to choose from different payment plans and multiple companies, we provide our clients with some of the most comprehensive and low-cost insurance policies in the state of Illinois.

Visit Oxford Auto Insurance today to learn more.



Road Rules: Know the Motorcycle Laws in Illinois and Stay Safe

March 4, 2019

Motorcycle Rider

Motorcycle laws are different in each state. But their existence follows the same goal: to keep you, the other motorists, and pedestrians safe on the road. In Chicago, Illinois, motorcycle insurance acquisition and helmet safety regulations aren’t the only requirements you need to follow.

Here’s what you should know.

The Right Age for License Holders

You need a license to drive a motorcycle in Illinois. It doesn’t matter what type of motorcycle you plan on riding.

The state issues two kinds of licenses. The first one is a Class M license, which is for bikes with engines larger than 150cc. The other one is a Class L license, which is for any motorcycle with an engine smaller than 150cc.

Individuals aged at least 18 years of age can apply for a Class M or L instruction permit. The permit will let you operate a motorcycle with some restrictions.

The Required Equipment

The state of Illinois requires motorcycles to have at least one side-view mirror (left or right). Also, it’s necessary to have brakes on both wheels. Apart from these, a motorcycle should also have:

All these serve to ensure a safe ride on the roads of Illinois. For example, a muffler is necessary to make sure that other vehicle drivers hear your motorcycle on the road. It makes your motorcycle “more visible” on the highway.

The Requirements for Passengers

When carrying a passenger, you have to follow the same requirements for the seat, design, and footrest. And it’s necessary that you and your passenger put on eye protection (glasses or goggles). But this isn’t required if your motorcycle comes with a transparent windshield.

There is no required age for motorcycle passengers in the state. But the motorcycle’s design has to be for two people, which includes a proper seat and footrests for the passenger. And drivers should always make their passenger ride on the back of the driver, with one leg on either side.

The Necessary Gear

Illinois is still one of three states in the US that doesn’t enforce helmet-use among motorcyclists. It’s still an ongoing debate in the state, but using a helmet is highly encouraged because it can protect you from debilitating injuries. It’s also best for motorcycle riders to wear high-visibility clothing, especially when driving on busy highways.

Following all the basic state laws for motorcycles can help reduce the risk of causing or contributing to a fender-bender. It’s best to adhere to them at all times, and at all costs.

But accidents will happen, which is why the state also requires that you have adequate insurance.

The Need for Insurance

Your insurance policy needs to meet the minimum coverage requirements for bodily injury and property damage. For this particular regulation, Oxford Auto Insurance can help.

With motorcycle insurance, you can confidently drive on the road knowing you have the protection you need. Choose from our competitive rates on different types of motorcycles. We offer:

Call us today for your motorcycle insurance needs.



How You Can Become a Better Driver after Receiving an SR-22

February 18, 2019

A state can require individuals to file an SR-22 if they don’t follow the rules of the road. Various types of violations can force them into SR-22 filings, including driving without insurance, reckless driving, and drunk driving.

When you have an SR-22 policy, you need to carry it for a certain number of years. There’s a catch, though. If you incur driving infractions while your SR-22 is in place, the penalty period may restart. Your goal, therefore, should be to avoid committing further violations by becoming a better driver.

Here are a few suggestions you can follow to help you achieve this goal:

Inspect and Perform Maintenance on Your Vehicle Regularly

Car owners who are negligent in inspecting and maintaining their vehicles are usually high-risk drivers. After all, there’s always the likelihood that an undiagnosed issue could cause a problem while driving. So, check your car before hitting the road and keep up with maintenance.

Obey the Rules of the Road

While you have an SR-22 in place, focus on improving your driving habits. An effective way would be to follow the road rules, such as continually keeping an eye out for pedestrians, obeying traffic signals, and staying with the speed limit.

Enroll in a Driving Course

Another way to improve your driving is to hone your technical skills. Enrolling in defensive driving lessons, for instance, helps enhance your abilities on the road. On top of that, it helps instill safe driving habits by raising your awareness of safe driving practices and common road hazards.

Taking a driving course may also save you on coverage. Car insurance firms sometimes provide drivers with discounts if they pass a defensive driving class.

Stay Focused while on the Road

The last thing you want to happen is a police officer catching you using your mobile phone while on the road. Instead of multitasking, place your smartphone on silent mode and put it inside the glove compartment.

Adhere to the Legal Requirements of Your SR-22

Following the SR-22 legal requirements to the letter is important, as you may face harsher penalties when you commit a new driving offense. A couple of rules you need to follow are:

When it comes to affordable SR-22 insurance in Chicago, trust Oxford Auto Insurance. We specialize in providing SR-22 coverage at fantastic rates. With more than seven decades of experience, you can rely on us to help you get the best coverage.

Get in touch with us today to speak with one of our licensed insurance agents.



Crash Course: What Recent Accident Data Says About Vehicle Safety

February 15, 2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that for one person killed in a vehicle crash, eight others were hospitalized, and 99 people went to the ER to be treated and released in 2017.

Recent traffic accident data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) noted a small decrease in American roadside deaths in 2017 (37,133) compared with 2016 (37,461). This number has been steadily increasing since 2013 before its recent drop. The U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao recognized this downward trend, but also expressed that there’s still work to be done to decrease roadside deaths significantly. Here’s what we can learn from recent accident data.

Weather-Related Accidents are Deadly

Winter isn’t over yet. If you’re planning to brave the icy roads, make sure to replace worn tires, check your battery for damage, and get enough antifreeze circulating under the hood. The recent polar vortex blanketed Illinois states like Chicago and Harvey in the snow. This caused drivers to deal with slippery roads and poor visibility.

According to 2007 – 2016 averages by the U.S. DOT, more than 5,891,000 crashes happened per year. It’s a scary statistic for every driver, but auto insurance often has comprehensive coverage that addresses natural disasters and collisions.

Accidents Often Happen to the Youth and the Elderly

One of the interesting contrasts we found was between teenaged and elderly drivers. According to the AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety’s 2014-2015 American Driving Survey, drivers aged 16-17 crashed their vehicles more than any of the other age groups. When it comes to fatal crashes, however, the same group is tied with drivers aged 80 and above. Both groups ranked higher than others in that category, as well.

NHTSA data also says that drivers over 65 are more prone to fatal crashes than younger drivers. The next time you’re letting your teenager or your elderly parents drive, it’s best to go with them to provide guidance. Better yet, take the wheel yourself.

The Importance of Seatbelts

There are times when we take our seat belts for granted. And some of us just use them for the sake of compliance. However, this minor inconvenience actually saves lives. Almost half of the people killed in automobile accidents in 2017 weren’t wearing seatbelts. Over 89% who survived daytime crashes and 85% who survived night time ones were buckled up.

NHTSA’s seatbelt survey also found an increasing trend in the use of seat belts because a growing number of states are implementing stricter laws about it. This upward trend in seat belt use is also accompanied by a downward slope in daytime crash fatalities. It just goes to show that when it comes to driving, there’s no such thing as “too safe.”

If there’s anything that recent road safety data has taught us, it’s that safe roads are often safe because of responsible drivers. We should all do our part and keep our vehicles maintained, guide the youth and elderly when they’re driving, and follow state traffic laws by heart.

Get Your Vehicle Insured

Vehicle accidents are a pain both physically and financially. Even the smallest dents cost a fortune. We at Oxford Auto Insurance can help you get affordable auto insurance that meets your needs. Our partner companies can also provide instant proof of insurance. Visit www.oxfordauto.com now to find the right car insurance for you.



Driving in Illinois Without Car Insurance Has Repercussions

January 18, 2019

The state law of Illinois requires every individual to have an insurance ID card in their car at all times when they drive. But what happens if you don’t have one and you get caught?

Financial Protection on the Road

All 50 states — including Washington, D.C. — require all drivers and car owners to have proof of insurance or proof of financial responsibility. The minimum liability coverage is enough for some drivers in Chicago while others still go for other car insurance like SR-22, which is necessary for high-risk drivers.

The minimum coverage required by the state of Illinois for all registered vehicles are as follows:

The bottom line is that driving without insurance is illegal. And it comes with consequences. For instance, you may face:

The hardest part is when you wind up in a fender-bender without carrying insurance. The other party has the legal right to sue you for the damage to their car and other medical bills caused by the accident.

The Repercussions

Driving in Illinois without insurance can get you into trouble. When the cops pull you over for over-speeding or drunk driving, the first thing they will ask for is your driver’s license, followed by your insurance ID card.

Without the verification of proof of insurance, you may have to pay fines. The first and second offense will cost you from $501 to $1,000. You will have to pay an additional $1,000 if you’re driving with suspended plates because of an insurance violation.

Expect that the state will take your driving privileges. You will have to surrender your driver’s license and registration, which may be suspended for about three months. To get them back, you have to pay the $100 reinstatement fee.

Every subsequent offense will cost you more, specifically $1,000 more. And you will be required to pay an additional $2,500 fine if you faced conviction twice and you wound up in an accident.

After repeat offenses, you won’t just have to pay the $100 reinstatement fee. You will also need to provide proof of financial responsibility, such as the SR-22 certificate, that’s valid for three years.

All this explains why driving with an SR-22 certificate in Illinois is smart — and necessary.

Getting an SR-22 Certificate

At Oxford Auto Insurance, we can help you find affordable SR-22 insurance coverage. We can help you get the proof of financial responsibility that the state requires.

You need it for many reasons, especially when you get caught:

Contact us today for more information.



The Need for Helmet Use Law in Illinois

January 17, 2019

Motorcyclists are more vulnerable on the road, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). They also have higher chances of winding up in an accident than other drivers. In spite of this, Illinois remains one of the three states in America, alongside Iowa and New Hampshire, that doesn’t enforce the use of helmet among motorcyclists.

The Effects of No Helmet Use Law

In Chicago, motorcycle insurance can provide the coverage you need should you get involved in a fender-bender. A helmet, on the other hand, may reduce your risk for severe head and brain injury because it may minimize the impact of a collision or force to the head.

In 2017, there was a 5.6 percent decrease in the motorcycle fatalities across the U.S., with an estimated 4,990 deaths. The nationwide numbers may be dropping, but the figures in Illinois are on the rise.

Motorcycle fatalities in the state went up by 5.2 percent. From 154 fatalities in 2016, there were about 162 deaths in Illinois in 2017. Not wearing protective gear, such as a helmet, contributes to the rising figures in the state.

Efforts to Encourage Helmet Use

Some motorcyclists in Chicago are still responsible enough to use a helmet when driving, even without state law. The 2017 Motorcycle Helmet Usage in Illinois Study proves this, revealing that the city had the highest helmet usage rate at 51.1 percent.

How is the state encouraging helmet use despite the absense of a law?

Illinois carried out a “Start Seeing Motorcycles” campaign in a bid to reduce motorcycle accidents. The state also declared May as “Motorcycle Awareness Month” to further educate motorcyclists about gearing up and riding smart on the roadways.

The Illinois Department of Transportation implemented all these as key reminders for motorcycle riders. As a motorcyclist, it’s your responsibility to:

The need for helmets isn’t just to keep you alive; it may help you recover damages for injuries to the head. Wearing your helmet may not be the deciding factor to your injury claim, but it shows you’re a responsible motorcyclist. It could also indicate the negligence of the other driver. Insurance companies may also take helmet use into consideration. For example, if you were not wearing a helmet and sustained injuries during an accident, you may have to prove to the insurer that you would still have been injured even with a helmet.

Keep in mind that you’re not just protecting yourself when you’re on the road; you’re also protecting the lives of other drivers and pedestrians. But to further protect yourself when you’re out riding your motorcycle, you need motorcycle insurance.

Added Protection With Motorcycle Insurance

Motorcycle insurance gives you the confidence and the protection you need when on the road, especially if you get involved in an accident. At Oxford Auto Insurance, you can choose from our competitive rates on different kinds of motorcycles. We offer:

Talk to us today for your motorcycle insurance needs.



Safety First: Motorcyclists Need Caution and Insurance

December 4, 2018

Motorcycle riding has gained popularity over the years. The problem, however, is it’s seen as a threat to the safety on the road rather than an adventurous venture. That is why, as a motorcycle rider, you have to ride with caution and get the right motorcycle insurance you can find in Chicago.

Ride a Motorcycle Safely

Riding is generally safe. But accidents and fatal crashes can happen. Although the number of fatalities have gone down to 5.6 percent, motorcyclists are still 28 times more likely to wind up in an accident. Most of these crashes are a result of not taking all the proper safety precautions. In most cases, being careful about how you ride and how you respond to other motorists on the road could keep you out of harm’s way. Safety on the road can also start before you even ride.

Here’s what you can do as a responsible motorcycle rider:

These are the responsibility of every motorcycle rider and it’s not just a requirement in Illinois. Protecting yourself means protecting other drivers and pedestrians on the road.

Avoid the Dangers of Motorcycle Riding

The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that motorcyclists are more vulnerable on the road. Most motorcycle riders tend to go slower than larger cars, but the external environment leaves them more vulnerable on public roadways.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shares that at least 80 percent of motorcycle crashes result in injury or death.

Motorcyclists need to make sure that they pay close attention to their maneuvering skills at all times. This could be mentally and physically taxing.

On another note, the anti-lock brake intends to keep motorcyclists safe as they ride. The good news is they work because 7 percent of motorcycle riders with anti-lock brakes are less likely to end up in a fatal crash compared to those without them.

Cautious riding is necessary; riding with the right protection from comprehensive insurance is even better. At Oxford Auto Insurance, you can have the maximum coverage you need.

Get an Extensive but Affordable Coverage

Hit the road without worrying too much with our motorcycle insurance plans. Work with us and we will look for the most competitive rates among a variety of motorcycle insurance plans.

We have a team who will help you find the financial protection you need. Worry less and pay less for the right motorcycle coverage. Talk to us and receive a free quote today.



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