Should You File an Auto Insurance Claim?

Getting auto insurance is not only a legal requirement but a way to protect your car. Get the right auto insurance quotes for your needs in NE Arkansas from GTW Insurance. The insurance agency has trained and experienced agents who can help you find the best quotes for your needs. They may also offer you practical advice about auto insurance.

When to File an Auto Insurance Claim

Knowing that you can file a claim in case of an accident offers a sense of relief and safety. You should, however, know when to pay out of pocket and when to file a claim. Do not submit a claim every chance you get. It may cause your auto insurance rates. Filing claims too often makes you seem like a high-risk client to your insurance provider. If you are involved in a minor accident, negotiate with the other person to pay out of pocket. Ensure that you offer compensation that is equal to the extent of damage caused. If you compensate a driver and they find out later that your compensation is not enough to cover their damage, they may sue you.

Always file a claim if someone is injured or if the accident is serious. Your auto insurance helps you pay for the costs of medical bills and the repairs and replacement of other people’s property. It may also help you pay your legal fees if someone sues you. These charges may be too expensive to pay out of pocket. If you decide to file a claim, do it as soon as possible.

Driving carefully in NE Arkansas may help you maintain low auto insurance rates. If you are a careful driver who has a small number of accidents and traffic rates, you won’t pay too much for car insurance. At GTW Insurance, we’ll be ready to help you every step of the way.

Driving Tips for Grandma

We all get old, and we don’t like to admit that we aren’t as quick and sharp as we were when we were spry and twenty. With a few good tips, adjustments and precautions, driving can still be as wonderful and enjoyable and most importantly, safe.

The Senior and the Car

  •  Automatic transmissions allow for less to concentrate and physically do while driving.
  • Be Proactive.  Take a defensive driving course. AARP and many insurance companies offer these.
  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • Don’t tint your windows.
  • Limit distractions inside the vehicle, this includes phones, conversations, and loud radio.
  • Keep a safe distance between the car you are in and the car ahead of you.
  • Windshield wiper blades should be kept in good working condition.
  • Avoid driving in bad weather.
  • Stay close to home and use well-known routes of travel.
  • Make sure your seat is adjusted so you have a clear view of the road and can reach the pedals.
  • Limit night time driving.
  • Keep your mirrors, windshield, and headlights clean.
  • Turn the brightness up on the instrument panel.
  • Have your car checked regularly.
  • Keep your gas tank full and your cell phone charged.
  • Carry a sweater and/or a blanket in the car.

The Senior and Physical Wellness

  • Annual checkups are a must, as well as vision and hearing tests.
  • Remember to use your glasses and hearing aids.
  • Read your medication to make sure they don’t  impair driving skills, with drowsiness, or impaired vision
  • Don’t drive if you feel lightheaded, tired, or stressed.
  • Take your time driving, reaction time slows down with age.
  • Take frequent breaks when driving for a long time.
  • Have a few snacks in the glove box in case you miss a meal.

Call GTW Insurance in NE Arkansas, for advice.

What is the USA Federal Requirement for Auto Insurance?

Auto insurance is something that all drivers must hold in order to be legal when they drive. That being said, some drivers may not know what the minimum coverage is by federal standards. The agents with GTW Insurance in the NE Arkansas area can help you find out just how much coverage you need to be legal when you set out.

According to federal regulation, you have to have liability or minimum coverage of some sort. Though there is not a federal amount that is set that goes above and beyond the individual requirements of each state, the federal government does leave it up to each state to set their own requirements for minimum coverage for each state.

You can find out how much each state requires by doing a quick search. For Arkansas for example, the minimum bodily injury insurance that you must carry is $25,000 liability for each person. You must also carry $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident as well as $25,000 property damage liability per accident as well. Your agent can better explain what each item means but basically, your state is going to set a minimum requirement for your state that will allow you to legally drive and operate your car.

In some states, the coverage differs, a good example is that in California you only have to have $15,000 bodily injury liability per person. No matter where you live, it is important to have the right amount of coverage and to make sure that you are going to be both safe and legal when you drive. For those in the NE Arkansas area, the agents with GTW Insurance can help you find and adjust the policy that is going to be right for you each and every day.  

Insurance Options for Families with Multiple Cars

If you have more than one vehicle in the family, you could qualify for reduced insurance rates by bundling your cars on a multi-car policy. A GTW Insurance agent in NE Arkansas can give you a better idea of how you can benefit from this insurance option.   

Type of Vehicle

A multi-car policy can benefit couples who own and drive separate vehicles for work or family obligations. Insurance costs may vary depending on the type of vehicles couples own. A foreign sports car, for example, is bound to cost more to repair in the event of an accident. As such, couples can expect to pay more for its insurance coverage. Family vehicles with multiple safety features will cost less to insure which will bring rates down. By making smart vehicle choices, couples can get the best rates on their multi-car policy.

Type of Coverage

The type of coverage you desire will also affect your multi-car policy cost. It’s always best to obtain the best coverage possible within your financial means so you will be prepared for any eventuality.  

If you both own new vehicles, you’ll need greater coverage to protect your investments. By adding comprehensive and collision coverage to your policy, you can protect your vehicles from property damage caused by major accidents as well as water damage, theft and vandalism. If you live in an area where these risks are high, you’ll shouldn’t forgo this coverage. There’s also the option of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as protection against drivers who lack sufficient liability coverage.

The right multi-car insurance policy can provide NE Arkansas drivers with adequate insurance coverage at an affordable cost. By discussing policy options with a GTW Insurance representative, you can make smart auto insurance decisions that will protect your investment and save you money in the long run.

Do You Really Need Auto Insurance?

Some people go back and forth about whether they need auto insurance in NE Arkansas. There are many benefits to having auto insurance, and it is also a legal requirement in the state. Whether you think you can afford it or not, it is something you will want to have so you can protect yourself.

What Happens When You Do Not Have Auto Insurance?

In the state of Arkansas, you have to have the minimum amount of auto insurance that is required by the state. If you do not have at least the minimum, you can face a lot of potential penalties including fines, loss of your license, loss of your registration, possible jail time, and more. If you are caught more than one time without it, the penalties are even steeper.

What is Required in NE Arkansas?

In Arkansas, you are required to at lease have liability coverage that is equal to the following limits:

  • $25,000 coverage for bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident
  • $50,000 coverage for bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, subject to the $25,000 per person limit
  • $25,000 coverage for injury to or destruction of property of others in an accident

What If You Cannot Afford it?

Even if you think you cannot afford auto insurance, there is always an available option for you. Also, you will end up paying a lot more if you are caught driving without it than you would pay for the auto insurance. Having auto insurance is also good if you want to protect yourself from other drivers on the road.

Contact GTW Insurance, serving NE Arkansas, today for more information, and so we can get you a quote that meets state requirements and you budget.

Staying Safe On The Road With Your Bicycle

It’s always important to say safe on the road when you are on your bicycle. You have a lot of the same rights as motor vehicles, and this means that you need to share the road with the cars. The more tips you know about staying safe, the safer you will be – and it may also give you some more confidence when you are out on the roads in heavy traffic.

Be Predictable

Be as predictable as possible when you are riding. This means riding in a straight line and avoiding swerving whenever possible. You should also use hand signals, so people know if you are going to be turning.

Tune Up Your Bike

Just like your car needs a tune-up from time to time, so does your bike. This includes tire inflation and brake checks.

Know the Rules

Always know the rules of the road. Arkansas rules can change from city to city, and even within the city, there may be certain roads that you cannot ride on.

Watch for Hazards

Always be on the lookout for hazards, including piles of leaves, gravel, and various dangers that could cause you to lose control.

Accessorize

It is also important for you to accessorize your bicycle. This includes not only a helmet for you, but also mirrors, reflectors, and even a bell. This will make it easier for you to alert pedestrians, look at potential hazards, and more. If you are going to be riding at night, you should also plan on getting a headlight and taillights.

At GTW Insurance, we want to do everything we can to keep you safe on your bicycle as well as in your car. Call and talk to one of our friendly insurance agents today and we will help to find affordable premiums for you.

 

 

Driving Tips for Teens

Whether you are in Imperial, MO or anywhere else. The fact of the matter is that when your teen starts to drive it can be a frightening experience.  There are a lot of things that they need to know and that you should discuss with them before they hit the roads.  Here is a look at some of them.

  • What to do when a police officer pulls you over – pull safely to the side of the road and roll down your window.  Make sure your hands stay in plain sight and don’t argue with the officer or make any sudden moves.
  • Flat tires – Get completely off the road.  Call roadside assistance and tell them where you are located.  When they get to you, allow them to change the tire.  If you have a spare tire and know how to change it, get off the road and change it yourself.
  • Check engine light – If the check engine light comes on and you notice smoke from the tailpipe, any noises or a change in the performance of the vehicle, pull to the side of the road and call for roadside assistance.  If none of these things accompany the light, take the car to a mechanic or dealership to have the problem identified and corrected.
  • Driving and cell phones – this is never a good combination for teen drivers and should be thoroughly discussed.  Tell your teen to pull off the side of the road before touching a cell phone while they are driving.  This could save their life as well as the lives of anyone around them on the road.

Once you have done all of this, make sure that your teen is covered on your auto insurance policy.  Contact GTW Insurance today to review your current insurance policy.

 

Safe Driving Tips for Back to School

School is in session in NE Arkansas and that means teen drivers are once again commuting to high school and college campuses across this corner of the state.  These added vehicles along with droves of yellow school buses create more traffic and because of this, drivers need to pay extra attention when driving to and from school.  Here are ways to help you and others say safe on the road this school year.

Slow Down

School zones have reduced speed limits.  Whether it is the morning or afternoon rush of dropping off and picking up or any other time of day that school is officially in session, drivers need to be aware of the school zone speed limit and slow down upon entry.  Pedestrians can be unpredictable but if you know the right procedures you will be able to respond appropriately.  

Follow Procedures

Schools have proper procedures in place for picking up and dropping off students.  As a commuter to that campus, you need to be aware of these rules even if you are not going to be picking up or dropping off students.  Simply being cognizant of pedestrian and driver rules for your campus will make you a more alert and responsible driver.  

Share the Road with School Buses

As a general rule, when you are sharing the road with a school bus, give that bus a wide berth.  This way, when it slows down to pick up or let off children, you have plenty of time to stop.  The area around the bus is dangerous for children and drivers need to be aware of their surroundings at all times when a bus is loading or unloading children.  

GTW Insurance serves NE Arkansas and has auto insurance policies for teen drivers.  To learn more about the options available to full-time or part-time teen drivers, contact us today.

 

 

 

 

Tips for Choosing a Used Family Car

Your family needs a new vehicle, but buying a new one is too expensive. Finding the right used car is a smart idea and there are a few tips that can help make the search less daunting.

Can You Afford This Vehicle?

Calculate your income minus your monthly debt, including rent or mortgage payments. The leftover would be the amount that goes toward a new car payment. This payment should be no more than 25 percent of your total monthly income.

Determine the Type of Car You Want

Narrow your search to a few makes and models that you can live with and that are in your budget. Check the blue book value on the vehicles and the safety rating. After all, you want your family to ride in a safe vehicle. You should also use the VIN (vehicle identification number) to see if the car has had any major body or engine damage.

Have a Mechanic Check It

A mechanic, that is not affiliated with the person or company that is selling you the vehicle, should inspect the car. This could save you thousands of dollars in mechanical costs.

The Certified Pre-Owned Car Option

Research options for buying a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle. A certified authority or the manufacturer usually inspects these vehicles. They often have extended warranties beyond the original cars’ warranty.

Rental Vehicles as a Used Car

Another option you may consider is buying a rental vehicle. Rental cars have regular maintenance and are kept in good condition. Because the mileage on a rental is sometimes high, you may get the vehicle at a great discount.

GTW Insurance understands the difficulty it may be to find a used car for your family. The independent insurance agents in Imperial, MO are available to discuss insurance options that you may need for your vehicle. GTW Insurance can also help with home, commercial, renters, life, and other insurance you may be interested in.

Stay Safe on Your Hog During Deer Season

Autumn is upon us, which means the horizon is beginning to yellow and deer are on the move. While a collision is probably not on many people’s bucket lists, hitting a large animal on a motorcycle can be deadly – and not just for the deer. Consider the following tips to stay safe on your bike this deer season.

1. Avoid driving during the most active hours for deer

Deer are most lively early in the morning and right around twilight, which is why hunters generally choose these times to practice their sport. The best way to avoid encountering a deer is to ride while they are least active and avoid being on the road at dawn and dusk.

2. Be careful in areas with deer crossing signs

Caution should be applied everywhere, but in areas with deer crossing signs, extra care should be taken. These often indicate that deer have been spotted on the road in that area before, and they are likely to be seen there again.

3. Avoid country roads, especially at night

Deer are much less likely to appear on busy highways with 50’ of clearing around them than they are to stumble onto a poorly lit country road. Additionally, those streets are often very curvy, which means you may not see an animal standing in the road until you are just feet away from it.

4. If you see a deer, watch for others

Because deer usually travel in groups, it’s not uncommon to see more than one after you’ve spotted the first.

5. Make sure your bike is properly insured

The state of Missouri requires all motorists, including motorcycle riders, to properly insure their vehicles. Varying levels of coverage are available to suit different types of bikes. Make certain you have the right policy by checking your coverage locally with GTW Insurance.