Hope for your financial life and beyond

7 Tips on How to Handle a Teenager’s Car Accident

Calls in the middle of the night are never good. Neither is the one when you say “Hello” and your teenager is crying on the other end. Your heart immediately drops because you know they are hurting. That’s the phone call I received recently when my daughter was in her first car accident.

car accidentShe had just left basketball practice and was traveling at the legal speed on a country road. As she came up over a small hill, cars were stacked up four deep waiting for someone to turn left. She wasn’t on her phone but admittedly was a little tired and distracted. By the time she realized what was happening in front of her, it was too late to brake in time. The truck she was driving rear-ended the last car in the line. The driver of that car had her foot slip off the brake and hit the accelerator, propelling her down into the ditch. On the way, she clipped the car in front of her.

As rear-end car accidents go it wasn’t pretty. Our airbag deployed. The car she hit had damage in the back end and the front, as it hit a telephone pole when it went to the ditch. And the third car had minor bumper damage. In the end, our used truck – that we had owned for less than a month – was totaled.

Thankfully, everyone was OK. No hospital visits were needed. And the people involved were pretty nice about it. I think they could see how upset this 16-year old girl was having caused her first accident.

I hope I never have to take that call again from any of my other kids. Odds are I will. But as the oldest child often does, she broke new ground and helped us figure out how to deal with a teenager’s car accident. Here are 7 things I learned from the incident.

[Read more…]

How to Save Money on Car Insurance for Teens

In about a month, our oldest child will turn 15. In our state, that means you can apply for a learner’s permit to drive. She hasn’t expressed a big desire to do this yet but I know it’s coming. So naturally I’ve started looking into car insurance for teens to see how much another driver in the household is going to cost me.

car insurance for teensWhat I’ve found is there are many ways to save money on car insurance for teens. There are reasons why your car insurance rates will go up, chiefly because you have an inexperienced driver behind the wheel. Insurance companies are taking on a higher risk of having a payout. Your teens’ enthusiasm for being able to drive coupled with their lack of skill makes accidents more likely.

Short of holding onto the keys yourself, there is no way around paying more on your car insurance with a teen in the house. But you can take steps to lessen the amount of increase. The good news is most of these steps will require the help of your teen. Getting them engaged in the process will go along way in teaching them responsibility. They also might learn some cool financial lessons along the way.

11 Ways to Save on Car Insurance for Teens

[Read more…]

A Comprehensive Look at Auto Insurance and Why You Need It

Today I’m continuing my insurance series with a detailed look at auto insurance. So far I’ve tackled the big giants of health, life and homeowner’s insurance. Auto insurance is no less important and remains an important piece to a well-maintained insurance plan.

auto insuranceThe reason?

You are going to wreck your car and cause damage. In fact, the car insurance industry estimates the average driver will file a claim for a collision every 17.9 years. So a 16 year old with a new license can anticipate having one accident by age 34 and another by age 52 and yet another by age 70.

But auto insurance is not just about recouping monetary loss for a damaged vehicle. There are also people driving and riding around in these cars that get into these accidents.

These people get injured.

Many even die.

The losses you could face from medical bills or the potential lawsuits resulting from these accidents could bankrupt you.

That’s how serious finding the right type of auto insurance is for your financial security.

What Is Auto Insurance?

Just like all the other types of insurance, auto insurance is a contract you agree to with an insurance company. In exchange for a monthly premium you receive coverage from the insurance company in case of an event.

In general, auto insurance offers protection against these issues related to your car:

[Read more…]