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Branford, CT – May 8, 2018
– Distracted driving has become one of the most major causes of serious automobile accidents in the United States.  According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, 80% of automobile accidents involve driver inattention.

Eating, drinking, applying makeup, and the use of GPS are all distractions that have contributed to this astounding  number of accidents.  The use of mobile phones behind the wheel undoubtedly proved to be the biggest problem.  Texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than drunk driving.*

According to the study conducted by Cambridge Metrics Telematics (2017), 75% of drivers see other drivers on their phones every day.  Alarming statistics as such, prompted V.F. McNeil Insurance, a Trusted Choice® independent insurance agency located in Branford, Connecticut, to propose the idea of a distracted driving awareness campaign to its branding partner Trusted Choice®.  



I haven’t been in any accidents or received any violations, why is my rate going up?

The cost of insurance is affected by more than your personal driving history.  Multiple factors go into rating auto insurance premium, including what’s happening in the market overall.  

The auto industry is unfortunately experiencing higher-than-expected claims.  Multiple factors are causing claims to be on the rise.  One of those factors is distracted driving.  In addition, each of these claims on average is costing more than ever before.  Today’s vehicles are standardly equipped with so many advanced technologies, which are forcing up the cost of product replacement as well as labor.  Mechanics are no longer just replacing a bumper during a fender bender.  They are replacing a bumper, a sensor, and a camera.  More expensive parts and more advanced skills are required for each job.  This ultimately results in an auto insurance premium increase and it’s happening industry-wide.  Insurance companies must increase premiums to ensure that they are able to pay future claims.  

A few more examples
The improving economy, the rising cost of medical care, weather-related occurrences, and increasing fraudulent auto insurance claims are all additional factors contributing to these increases.  

When gas pricing is lower and people feel more financially confident, they tend to drive more which of course increases the number of accidents.  As medical costs increase, this also gets factored in to the overall cost as bodily injury claims go up substantially.  Fraudulent claimants pursuing extremely high payouts in cases that don’t warrant such action also have a rather large impact on rating.  

By: Pauline Handy - Marketing Director, V.F. McNeil Insurance

In our last blog, Commit to a Financial Makeover Without Feeling Deprived, we reviewed some ideas on how to pioneer a different approach to managing your finances without feeling like you are missing out on life.  Hopefully, you found some of our tips to be helpful.

If so, it’s time to move on to the next phase so that you have a guide for when the time is right.  Our financial professional and life insurance specialist, Megan Maruzo, shared some great information during a presentation she gave to a women’s group in 2017 that I want to pass on to you! This blueprint for financial confidence is applicable to all.

How Do I Get Started?

You’ve already done that just by reading the first blog and now this one.  However, to more closely hone in on the steps, Megan recommends developing your goals, determining what your priorities are, and then taking the time to learn about the tools to get you to where you want to be. 

By: Pauline Handy – Marketing Director, V.F. McNeil Insurance

The New Year is always a popular time for change.  So, what about your financial status?  If you have a lack of confidence in this department of your life, we have a few suggestions to help you give your financial status a makeover without feeling like a have-not.  

Let’s face it, nobody likes to be scraping together money in a rush due to a I didn’t see that coming moment.  It’s also no fun to rack up credit card bills because you don’t have adequate cash on hand.  Those high interest rates can bury you in debt!

Whether it’s a broken-down furnace, a summer vacation, or an emergency car repair, it’s much less stressful to handle life’s curveballs with confidence.  You’ll sleep better at night without all the worry.  Okay, by now we can guess what you’re thinking.  How could you possibly accomplish this without feeling like you are missing out?  Below are some suggestions to consider for the New Year.  

Change your mindset 

Just because many folks around you never seem to go without, it doesn’t mean they can really afford what they are not going without.  Avoid spending for the whole keeping-up-with-the-Joneses thing.  Everyone has their time to shine.  Your time to shine will be when you get that new kitchen you’ve been planning and in the end, you don’t owe a dime.  Yup, you’ll shine extra brightly.  

Spend for the right reasons and only when you can truly afford it.  In the meantime, have fun planning, gathering ideas, and making whatever it is yours for your own fulfillment and not for the sake of impressing others.