How salty sea air affects your car’s paintjob in Longwood

Longwood, FL is one of the best places in the world to live. You get to enjoy warm weather all year long, and you’re never more than a short drive from the beach. But, being that close to the sea does have some downsides for your automobile. Namely, the salty sea air can do a number on your car’s exterior if you’re not careful.

The problem is that the salt starts to collect on your car and build up. A little bit here and there is no big deal, but let it collect without cleaning it, and your super cool James Bond-mobile is going to start looking very Mad Max very soon.

Salt is one of the most absorbent substances in the world. Anything it touches, it starts to chew away at. When you see those beach homes with the support beams on their last legs, that’s because salt was allowed to accumulate on the surface until it ate its way through to the core. The same thing can happen to your car, leaving you calling Blanchard Insurance to see what your policy says about salt damage.

If you live less than 100 miles away from the ocean, then this concerns you. Farther than that and the damages are minimal. If you live in Longwood, FL, especially if you like to take regular trips to the sea, then this is something to consider.

The only way to prevent this: Keep your car clean and waxed, and cover it up if you’re going to be letting it sit for awhile. This will keep the moisture from collecting on it. You can get coverage against certain kinds of wear and tear through Blanchard Insurance, but as they say, an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure.

3 Reasons to Always have Auto Insurance in Florida

If you live in Longwood, FL, you should never ever be caught without auto insurance. Why, you ask? The following is an overview of three reasons to always have auto insurance in Florida. 

Penalties

First and foremost, driving without sufficient insurance coverage is punishable by an array of penalties. These penalties include things such as monetary fees, suspension of license, and more. Rather than taking a gamble with your entire driving record and future, simply purchase an auto insurance policy and save yourself the trouble. 

Avoid "High Risk" Labeling 

Driving without sufficient insurance coverage can lead you to being labeled as a "high risk" to insurance agencies. This is mostly due to the fact that driving without insurance, even for a short time, makes you appear irresponsible as a driver. Therefore, by acquiring and maintaining suitable coverage, you will avoid the complications of being labeled as a "high risk" candidate within the insurance realm. 

Avoid Costly Lawsuits

Last but not least, one of the top reasons to always have auto insurance in Florida is to avoid costly lawsuits. No matter if you have suitable coverage or not, you will still be held accountable if someone is injured as a result of your negligence or mistakes behind the wheel. By purchasing a high-quality auto insurance policy, you are ensuring that the majority of these fees are paid by your insurance agency, rather than out of pocket.

Overall, if you are seeking high quality auto insurance coverage in Longwood, FL, Blanchard Insurance is the way to go. Simply stop in, call, or email us today and find out a way to start your policy at once and save. You’ve waited long enough. Call Blanchard Insurance today! 

Auto Insurance: Is It Really Necessary?

If you were able to make the decision on your own, you likely would choose to not get auto insurance so you could save money or put it towards other things. However, in the state of Florida, you are required by law to have auto insurance that meets the state minimums. Even with knowing the state minimum requirements, is auto insurance really necessary? Continue reading to see why we think it is in Longwood, FL.

What are the State Minimums in Florida?

Florida does not have as strict of requirements as other states but there is still a set minimum. As a Florida driver, this is what you should have covered in your insurance policy:

  • $10,000 of no-fault or personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.
  • $10,000 of property damage liability (PDL) insurance.

What Can Happen If You Do Not Have The State Minimum?

In Florida, you could face some penalties and you do not have to even get pulled over for this to happen. The DHSMV will know if you do not have a record of auto insurance and will contact you to get the proof or they will fine you. In this state, you will get fined for not having auto insurance. For the first offense, it is $150. For a second offense, you will pay $250. For every offense after that, you will pay $500. These amounts can add up very quickly if you do not get the auto insurance in time. It is best to get auto insurance because in the long run, you will save money by paying for that instead of fines.

If you are ready to get an auto insurance policy that meets state requirements and your budget, be sure to contact our agents with Blanchard Insurance, serving Longwood, FL, today. we will be happy to run some quotes for you.

Common Types of Auto Insurance

Auto insurance is something that can be very difficult to understand if you are not equipped with the right information. For those living in the Longwood, FL area, the helpful agents of Blanchard Insurance can help you determine what level of coverage is right for you and your individual needs as well as the legal requirements of your state.

There are two basic types of auto insurance, the first is liability. This is the minimum amount of coverage that is required by both your state and the federal government to keep your vehicle street legal and to keep up current registration. Liability insurance covers a certain monetary amount that is predetermined by both the federal government and by your individual state to help insure that should you be in an accident, there will be coverage for both you and for the other person involved.

For those that have a newer automobile or that have a loan on their automobile, it is necessary for more coverage than liability can provide. The other common type of auto insurance is full coverage. Full coverage offers a deductible to help cover the cost of the claim then it can pay out the full value of the vehicle so that you can pay off the remainder or your loan and purchase a new car. Full coverage also offers more coverage for personal medical bills, time off work, and more as well as more money to help cover the costs of the other person involved in the accident.

Both types of coverage are wonderful to help protect you when you are on the road and to help protect other drivers as well. For more information on what type of insurance you may need if you live in the Longwood, FL area, contact Blanchard insurance today.

Save Your Vacation: Check RV Tires Before Hitting the Road

Once a year you pack up the family and head out on the wide open road with the RV.  For the first year or two, you went through the safety checklist religiously before leaving on the trek.  However, as familiarity and comfort increased with the mobile campground, some things were left to the side, like checking your tires.

RV Tires Age While Sitting in the Sun

Most people replace tires on their automobiles because they have reached a certain mileage mark. Well, the RV tires don’t go very far every year, so why replace them? Rubber degrades over time, and the process is accelerated under direct sunlight. Furthermore, tire dealers won’t always sell a new tire for RVs, but pull out a set that is a few years old. Tire failure on RV’s often occurs due to the breakdown of the tire, instead of tread wear. 

Blowouts Can Damage the Vehicle

Having a tire fail during travel can be very dangerous and expensive. The tread can become separated or the sidewall fails under pressure and heat. The blowout can damage the frame, structure of the RV, and suspension parts. A tow to a repair shop can be extremely costly, and your road trip gets postponed or canceled.

Prevention is Key 

Check the expiration date of the tires on your vehicle. Replace expired tires, even if they appear fine. Torque lug nuts according to specifications before travel. Check cold tire pressure and again after five or ten minutes of travel.  A tire about to fail will build up heat and pressure much faster than a good tire.  If you suspect a tire is about to fail, change it and bring it to a tire repair center for evaluation. 

Blanchard Insurance offers quality RV insurance. Ask about options for roadside assistance and repair deductibles for your home away from home.

How to Ride Your Bike Like a Pro

The weather in Longwood, FL makes for ideal riding conditions most of the time. However, even on the best of roads, accidents happen. And even those who’ve been riding for many years might not be an expert rider. To ride like a pro, a rider must know a few tips. 

1. Prepare the Bike 

The first step to riding like a pro is to prepare like a pro. It’s vital to evaluate the motorcycle prior to every ride the person takes. It should be examined from top to bottom. The parts to focus on include the signals, lights, belt, air pressure, tread and brakes. 

2. Do Routine Maintenance 

It might seem like a person saves money when forgoing on routinely changing the oil, but it doesn’t save anything. In the end, the person is doing an extensive amount of damage to the engine. Ultimately, this decreases fuel efficiency and causes the bike to prematurely fail. The experts know routine maintenance is the key to extending the life of a bike. 

3. Assume Cars and Trucks Can’t See the Biker

Bikers should just assume cars and trucks can’t see them. This helps to keep them safe. Even though drivers are well aware they share the road with bikes, they’re not always looking for them, which leads to accidents. It’s smart to just assume the driver doesn’t see the biker, and in return, the biker should ride defensively. 

4. Turn Carefully

Turns are when many accidents happen. It’s best for the person to figure out how to lean without scraping or tipping during good conditions at slow speeds at first and work his or her way up. It’s recommended bikers slow down at the turn and then speed up throughout the turn for ideal stability, 

To get insurance or to learn about riding like a pro, contact Blanchard Insurance in Longwood, FL at 407-788-8640.

Safe Driving Tips for Teen Drivers

There are few rites of passage that are simultaneously as exciting and as terrifying as when a teenager gets their driver’s license.  While it allows them much more freedom and flexibility in regards to school, extra-curricular activities, or a job outside school hours, the high rate of accidents involving teenaged drivers may give some parents pause.  But before you put the car on indefinite lockdown, here are some safety tips that can help keep your teen safe as they start to head out on the road by themselves.

Know Driver’s License Laws

Because of the higher risk of accidents involving teenaged drivers, many states have enacted graduated driver’s licenses.  These licenses set restrictions on when a teen can drive and how many passengers they can transport in their vehicle.

Restrict Night Driving

Driving at night is responsible for nearly half of all fatal teen auto accidents.  While most states have set curfews for teenagers, some of these curfews don’t begin until midnight.  If you live in one of these states, you might look into setting an earlier curfew if you feel it’s necessary.

Limit Passengers

Studies have shown that a car full of teenaged passengers can increase the chances of an accident.  Passengers are often a distraction, or they may encourage a teen driver to take unnecessary risks.  If this is a concern for you, you will need to set and enforce a rule against your teen driver transporting other non-family teen passengers.

Review the Basics

Many teens tend to throw caution to the wind when it comes to driving; forgoing seatbelts, texting while driving, or even drinking and driving.  So it’s up to parents to set a good example for their teen drivers and remind them that being a safe driver is always important.

Communicate Rules and Consequences

Even the best-laid rules can fall on deaf ears if they aren’t communicated clearly.  Make sure you and your teen are on the same page as far as driving rules are concerned.  And make sure there are consequences for breaking these rules; don’t be afraid to revoke your teens’ driving privileges if they flout the rules.

The independent agents at Blanchard Insurance understand how nerve-wracking it can be to let your teen start driving on their own.  Our agents can sit down with you, discuss insurance options that will work best for you and your teen, and offer additional advice for keeping them safe while they’re out on the road.  Give them a call today!

How to Prevent Motorcycle Theft

The National Insurance Crime Bureau notes that California is the state with the largest number of motorcycle thefts, with Florida coming in as a close second. Blanchard Insurance gives great insurance tips. The kind people working there want to help its existing clients, as well as new ones, learn about ways to prevent motorcycle theft and how to recover a stolen bike more quickly. They help clients get good rates on motorcycle insurance and make sure there is adequate coverage for theft as well as accidents.

Here are a few tips to consider:

  1. Use a GPS Locator Device to Find a Stolen Motorcycle – Installing a GPS locator on a motorcycle is a great idea to help the faster recovery of a stolen bike. Be sure to install it in a hidden area and in such a way that the device is difficult to remove. A terrific hiding place is underneath a bolted-down gas tank. Some motorcycle insurance gives a discount for having theft alarms and GPS locator equipment installed.
  2. Physical Ways to Prevent Someone From Stealing Your Bike – Lower the chances of someone taking the bike by using a Kryptonite-style lock that is hard to cut with a hacksaw. As an alternative, use a heavy-duty lock and chain placed through the front and back wheels and around the engine. Other effective ways to keep a bike safe include having an alarm that triggers a call to your mobile phone and maintains the bike inside a locked garage. Check your motorcycle insurance policy for sufficient coverage and possible discounts, when protecting the bike by keeping it in a secure environment.
  3. Avoid Bad Areas – Parking a motorcycle and leaving it unattended in a bad neighborhood is asking for trouble. Moreover, moving to a better area may reduce motorcycle insurance premiums.

Blanchard Insurance provides insurance for all your needs, including motorcycle insurance. The agents are knowledgeable and friendly. Call today!

How To Decide On The Right Used Family Car

Deciding on the right used family car can be a lot of fun. It’s also a lot of work because you don’t want to rush into a decision. It takes some research to know what you are looking for. Taking the time pays off in the end because it will allow you to love your car that much more.

Research Cars

Research the different cars that are out there. It’s better if you go into the decision with an open mind so you don’t have a specific model or color in mind. This will make it easier to get a family car that’s going to last so you don’t have to worry about being stranded.

Focus on Certified

Certified, pre-owned vehicles are a little more money, but it’s going to provide you with better value. The car has been inspected to manufacturer standards and there is an extended warranty so you don’t have to worry about anything. It will make it easier for you to get more for your money.

Ask for an Inspection

If you don’t buy certified, you cannot be sure if the car has been inspected. This means you won’t know what you’re buying until you have a mechanic look at it. This can be a family friend or a local mechanic shop that you drive it to during your test drive.

Establish Value

Establish the value you’re getting. Too old and you may have expensive repairs very soon. Too new and it may be priced out of your budget. Compare some vehicles from across dealerships so you can be sure you absolutely love what you’re getting.

Contact us at Blanchard Insurance today so that we can begin helping you find affordable auto insurance you can count on. Call now and let us answer any questions you may have.

 

 

Traveling Together: Tips to Keep Bicyclists Safe

Do you ever look down or away from the road when you’re driving? Of course we all do it because we’re all human. People who don’t have a car though are much more vulnerable to being hit or even make a costly mistake when they encounter distracted people. If you practice more awareness you’ll be a safer driver for yourself, your traveling companions and bicyclists on the road. 

Stop Assuming 

We get used to figuring out how fast someone is going when they’re driving a car, and we may not be able to define exactly how we do it. After a while, it just becomes intuitive and we know how much space we have to brake safely and how far to stay behind the car in front of us. However, bicycles don’t function the same way as a car, and many accidents are caused by people assuming that bicycles are going much slower than they are — especially when turning. You should take extra precautions when you’re attempting to navigate around a cyclist. 

A Question of Ownership 

In Longwood, cars and bicycles have equal access to the road, so you need to be able to accept this without the negative emotions that may come from a slow down or other hassles you experience. Whatever you have to do, be it deep breathing or counting to ten, don’t honk or otherwise try to disrupt their ride. For a smarter experience on the road, leave lots of room for them and watch for hand signals when they turn.

More You Can Do

People in Longwood, FL are serviced by Blanchard Insurance to ensure protection on the road from a variety of factors. Don’t let yourself be caught in a jam when you call today for a quote!