January, 2024 | Boizelle Insurance Partnership

Why Are We Seeing a Decline In Young Drivers? Is It Changing Interests or a Familiar Trend?

Being a parent to a teenager who is just about to get behind the wheel of a car for the first time can be a very nerve-racking time. As a parent, all you want to do is everything in your power to keep your kids safe. And giving your teenager the keys to the car for the first time marks the period in your life where you are forced to give up that feeling of security because your child’s safety is no longer in your hands. However, what we are seeing nowadays is something rather unusual – or at least something unfamiliar. Young drivers are waiting longer to get their drivers licenses.

Why the Decreased Interest?

In today’s digital world, there is less need to drive. Mobile apps give consumers the ability to order food delivered straight to their door.

Rideshare apps are popular. The younger generation now has the option to use rideshare apps such as Uber and Lyft to get from point A to point B which means there’s less need for them to have their own car. According to the Pew Research Center, 51% of Americans between 18-29 have used a rideshare service, while only 24% of those aged 50 or older.

Urban lifestyles. Many people are avoiding moving out of cities. This means there is often less need for a car, as access to restaurants and other amenities are within walking distance of residential areas.

Environmental concerns. As technology improves and gaining access to new information becomes easier, younger generations have become more concerned about their own individual footprints.

Rising costs. Inflation has become a serious concern for a lot of people. As the cost of everyday goods and services continue to increase, consumers are doing everything they can to make ends meet. Owning a car is expensive and includes such costs as maintenance, gas, insurance, etc.

ERIE can over you discounts to help you.

Youthful Driver Discount applies to unmarried drivers under the age of 21 who live with their parents.

For young drivers who participate in accredited driver training courses, ERIE offers a Driving Training Discount

A College Student discount may be available to those living away from home without a vehicle.

Unmarried young drivers may also qualify for a Youthful Driver Longevity Discount, which gives credit for consecutive years spent insured under another’s ERIE auto policy (usually a parent or a guardian).

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Do I Need to Insure My Engagement Ring?

Getting engagement is one of the many great milestones of life. Your engagement ring serves as a symbol of that milestone and that you’ve found the person that you want to build a life with.

As with any big financial investment, having insurance for such an investment is a smart decision to make. We all know how life can throw us curveballs when we least expect it. You could be doing something as simple as washing dishes in the kitchen sink when your ring suddenly slips off of your finger and down the kitchen sink drain.

Do not fret because there are ways to protect yourself should such an unfortunate occurrence come to pass.

A more common reason for filing an insurance claim is physically losing the ring or having one of the stones fall out from the setting. Having routine inspections of your ring may be a way to prevent this from happening.

Loose prongs are a leading cause for the loss of gemstones. Sometimes, a ring may become caught on an article of clothing which can bend the metal that holds the gem in its place. Again, routine inspections can help prevent this from becoming a major problem.

Losing a piece of jewelry at the gym is common.

Whether for sentimental reasons or practical ones, some of us may be reluctant to remove our jewelry before a workout.

You shouldn’t have to choose to between losing weight or losing your jewelry. Be proactive and set yourself a reminder to remove your jewelry and store it in a familiar, secure place before your complete your workout.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you can’t keep your jewelry at home i.e. if you go to the gym after work, store it in a secure locker.

In most cases, a typical homeowners insurance policy can cover an engagement ring, but it does depend on how much the engagement ring is worth. Considering the fact that - as of 2022 - the average couple spent $6,000 on an engagement ring, it’s probably a smarter decision to have that engagement ring insurance by itself. To do that, you schedule that piece of jewelry. This means that you are insuring the ring based on its appraised value, rather than limiting coverage to the sublimit that is associated with a homeowners or renters policy.

Typically, insurance for rings costs $1 to $2 per every $100 that your ring is worth. So, if your ring is valued at $5,000, the cost to insurance it might range somewhere between $50 and $100 per year.

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What Is a Coverage Review and Why Do I Need One?

We’ve all been to the doctor for an annual check-up. Well, a coverage review is similar to a check-up, except that with a coverage review, you are reviewing all of your current coverages in your insurance policies to make sure you have sufficient protection in case of disaster striking.

Having an insurance agent that you can call is a sure-fire way to ensure that your policies are up-to-date with the appropriate coverages. And, as your life changes, so should your insurance policy. When you call your insurance professional, you will have the opportunity to add or subtract coverages depending on your current, specific needs.

When you call your insurance professional for a coverage review, you should be ready to tell him or her about any life changes that have occurred since your last check-in. These include but are not limited to: personal information (mailing address, phone number, email address, and all of the family members living in your home). Be certain to make them aware of any name changes due to marriage or divorce, or if you’ve recently had a new little addition to your family. When you have accurate, up-to-date information on your policy, it will help ensure there are no delays in the event of an insurance claim.

When you contact your insurance professional, you will need to inform him or her of any changes to the drivers covered under your policy. This could be a child about to get their driver’s license or someone living with your who makes regular use of one or more of your vehicles.

If you have upgraded your home in any way i.e. renovated your kitchen, remodeled a bedroom or finished a basement, you’ll need to report those changes to your agent. They will be able to update your policy to reflect these changes. Whenever you make major improvements to your home, it increases the value of your home. As a result, you may need in a higher limit on your homeowners insurance policy. If you fail to make these changes to your policy, you may be left with a coverage gap. Coverage gaps can leave you underinsured if you need to repair or rebuild your home if the unexpected happens. Guaranteed Replacement Cost is the perfect way to make sure that no matter what happens, your insurance will have you covered. With Guaranteed Replacement Cost, you won’t face financial ruin.

If you’ve recently purchased any new boats, ATVs, or golf carts, you may want a different insurance policy. While insurance may not be required for watercraft and off-road vehicles, they are still a significant investment that should be protected. The same goes for valuables such as musical instruments or jewelry. Be sure to send a copy of your home inventory to your insurance agent. With that information, they can help you determine whether or not you need personal valuables insurance.

If you have recently retired or if you are working from home, because of the fact that you’re not making that daily commute, you may be eligible for discounts on your auto insurance.

Safe Driving Discount: If you have a good driving record with little to no claims, you could be eligible for a discount on your auto coverage.

Car Safety Equipment Discounts: If your car is equipped with safety equipment like factory-installed air bags, passive restraint, anti-theft devices, and anti-lock brakes, you could get a discount on your auto policy.

Multi-car Discount: If ERIE insures more than one car that you own, you could get a discount. All cars on your policy must be owned by you and driven by only the drivers listed on your policy.

Multi-policy Discount: If you have a qualifying life insurance policy or home policy in addition to your Erie auto policy.

Reduced Usage Discount: If you do not use your car for a least 90 consecutive days during the policy period, you could be eligible for a discount.

Young Drivers: Unmarried drivers under the age of 21 who live with their parents may be eligible for savings on their auto premium.

Annual Payment Plan: If you pay your premium in a lump sum, you could get a discount.

Changing Your Deductible: Generally, you can lower your insurance premium by raising your deductible.

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How Do I Get a Chimney Inspection?

According to the National Fire Protection Association, seven percent of residential fires were caused by fireplaces and chimneys between 2016 and 2020. Additionally, chimney fires were responsible for over $200 million in property damage.

Chimney fires are often a result from the accumulation of creosote, a byproduct of burning wood. This sticky substance is, oftentimes, undetected and, because of its elusiveness, can lead to a catastrophic fire.

Creosote build-up can still result is costly repairs, even without the existence of a fire. If a fire does break out, you could lose your home.

The average chimney service costs about $250 – depending on the level of inspection required. Although this may be a costly service, not using this kind of service could result in an even more costly mistake.

Hiring a professional to do a thorough inspection is a good idea. They will be able to take accurate measurements of critical components i.e. the size of the firebox and the clearance from a wood stove. Once that is completed, a certified inspector will then recommend whether or not your chimney needs sweeping and which type is best for your specific needs.

Level One Inspection

If you regularly maintain your chimney, a level one inspection may be sufficient enough. During this procedure, a professional will:

Measure all readily accessible components.

Determine if your chimney needs sweeping based on factors such as debris blocking air ducts and creosote buildup.

Level Two Inspection

If you’re a new homeowner or have never had a level one inspection, the additional detail in a level-two inspection may provide more peace of mind.  A level two inspection would include:

  • Inspection of accessible areas of attics, basements and crawl spaces
  • Inspection of accessible areas of the chimney exterior and interior
  • Inspection of accessible portions of any appliance and chimney connection(s)
  • Video scanning, or other thorough inspection, of the flue interior
  • Evaluation of the flue lining to determine if the material & sizing is appropriate

Level Three Inspection

A level three inspection is the most extensive of inspections and is the one that you are least likely to need unless your chimney is severely damaged.

This type of inspection is needed when a level one or level two inspection have already given you indications that there are hidden problems within your chimney or that special tools may be needed to access concealed areas. A level three inspection may also include the need for tearing out building materials to reach potential problem areas.

Make sure that you find a professional with the Certified Chimney Sweep Credential (CSIA). This will ensure that the person completing the task will have a keen understanding of tools, techniques, and processes needed for a thorough chimney inspection.

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