Car Safety Tips for Toddlers











With a toddler on board, even a quick trip to the grocery store can sometimes seem like a hairy rollercoaster ride. Keep your pint-size passengers protected and secure on the road with these tips:

1. Avoid car seat mistakes

Most new parents admit that installing a car seat can be perplexing. Even experienced mommies and daddies don’t always get it right. In fact, some disturbing statistics show that 73 percent of parents fail to either set up a car seat correctly, or get their kids properly strapped in.

Let’s face it: getting a petulant toddler buckled up and ready to go is no easy task. Even if it’s a hassle though, it’s never a good idea (not to mention illegal) to allow your child to ride unrestrained. What may seem like a tiny concession at the time may have serious consequences.

Here’s the scary news: car crashes are the leading cause of death for children. So never skip the car seat, even for short drives.

We can’t stress it enough – the car seat’s a crucial accessory that could save your little one’s life should you get into an accident. Car seats drastically reduce the risk of death and serious injury in a collision. (Up to 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers, according to the 2014 Motor Vehicle Safety Fact Sheet.)
Make a mental checklist of these safety guidelines the next time you get in the car with your infant or toddler:

  • First, make sure the car seat is fastened to the car correctly. The seat shouldn’t wobble more than one inch from side to side or forward.
  • Next, ask yourself: is the harness strap snug enough? Leaving too much slack in the harness can be risky. If you can pinch the harness between your fingers, it probably needs to be tightened. (Be careful though: don’t over-tighten the straps so that your child is uncomfortable.)
  • Remember, it may be freezing out but it’s wise to avoid winter jackets inside the car. Bulky winter coats leave too much wiggle room between the strap and your child.
  • Don’t skimp on the car seat! Buying a used or outdated car seat could lead to disaster. When it comes to old car seats, you never know what you’re getting. There are chances it might be faulty, or even recalled. Even at a bargain price, it’s just not worth the risk.

2. Rear-facing or forward-facing?

Your kiddos may put up a fuss, but it’s in their best interest to keep them rear-facing as long as possible. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests you keep children in a rear-facing seat until they’re at least two years old. Why? It’s five times safer for your precious babies to ride rear-facing.

(Keep in mind, each car seat has specific height and weight limits for rear-facing children. Consider transitioning your kids to a forward-facing seat when they become too tall or heavy for the seat.)


3. Does my child still need a booster seat?

Booster seats help prop up your tiny tots, so the seatbelt can keep your kids better restrained. Without a booster seat, an ill-fitting seatbelt can do more harm than good in an accident.

When can your kids stop using the booster seat? If your six-year-old is too embarrassed to use a booster seat, you’ll have to show some tough love. Children should continue to use booster seats until they’re at least 8 years old and/or 4 feet 9 inches tall, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). (Check your state’s laws, as the requirements may vary.)

When it comes to car seat safety, you’re better off paying attention to the small details. Otherwise, a careless mistake can lead to a lifetime of regret. It’s always a good idea to check the latest AAP and NHTSA guidelines to make sure you’re getting it right.

Unfortunately, accidents happen. That’s why it’s important to prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario. Speak to your Farmers agent to find out if your Auto Insurance policy offers medical payments and collision coverage.

Why Did My Auto Insurance Rates Change

Why Did My Auto Insurance Rates Change?
Auto Smarts
You probably expect your insurance rates to change if you’ve gotten speeding tickets or had at-fault accidents. But rates can change even when you have great credit, a flawless driving record and haven’t ever filed a claim.
Why? The price you pay for auto insurance depends on unique personal variables that can change from year to year. Some factors, such as the car you drive or how much coverage you purchase, are within your control. Others, like your age or the cost of repairing your car if it’s damaged, aren’t.
So if you’re wondering why your rates went up or down, consider these possibilities:

Changes In Your Policy
Even making a minor change to your policy can affect your premium. While raising your deductible may lower your premium, for instance, adding another vehicle or another coverage like towing and roadside assistance might cause it to rise.
If you altered your payment plan, meanwhile, you may have gained or lost a discount in the process which will affect your premium.

Changes In Your Driving Record
Statistics show that an at-fault accident increases the odds that you’ll have another within the next three years. Many companies adjust insurance prices to reflect the added risk during this period of time, but you’ll typically pay far less in added premiums than it would cost to settle your claim without coverage.

Changes In Your Life
Life events can change the way insurance companies evaluate risk:
• Moving: It’s more expensive to insure a car in crowded cities than in rural areas, but accident rates vary even by ZIP code – simply moving from one area of a city to another can affect the price of your insurance.
• Birthdays: Studies suggest that individuals are more likely to have an accident toward the beginning and the end of their driving careers, so getting a year older could be a factor in lower or higher insurance rates.
• Weddings: Data suggests that married people are less likely to cause accidents than single people, so tying the knot might lower your insurance bill.

Changes In Your Costs
External factors beyond the control of consumers or insurance companies also influence the price of your coverage:
• Advanced technology: Expensive new features keep you safer, and lightweight aluminium bodies improve fuel economy, but both increase the cost of repairs after an accident.
• Strong economies: With high employment rates and low gas prices, people are driving much more and accident rates have risen – increasing the risk for even the best drivers.
• Inflation: The overall rate of inflation is low, but the cost of materials used to repair cars and medical care continues to go up over time.

Farmers strives to charge a fair price that accurately reflects each aspect of your risk profile; we also work to maintain stable pricing by negotiating rates with vendors, fighting fraud and opposing regulations that increase our costs.

Auto Insurance Myths

Myth #1: Insurance should cost less because cars have gotten safer.
The technology making cars safer also makes them much more expensive to repair. And it will be some time before autonomous driving systems are widespread enough to reduce injury and fatality rates that have risen as a greater number of cars are driven a greater number of miles.

Myth #2: Insurance companies raise prices to make more money.
Insurance companies set prices that closely match what they expect to spend in claims and expenses. In some areas where the accident rate and claims costs have risen dramatically, many companies don’t make any profit from premiums, and are raising rates to lose less money.

Myth #3: My car should cost less to insure as it gets older.
The majority of an auto insurance premium pays for liability coverage—in other words, what it will cost to repair the other car and provide compensation to people involved in an accident. Also, older cars have fewer safety features, are made of heavier materials that cause more damage, and require unique skills to fix, or have parts that are harder to find.

Myth #4: Insurance companies will raise my premium to recover money spent on my claim.
This is against the law. An insurance company cannot charge you for the money it spent to settle a claim. However, accident history is predictive of future accidents, which is why many insurance companies may surcharge your premium for a few years following a loss that you caused.

Myth #5: If I didn’t cause the accident, my insurance company won’t have to pay for any damage to my car.
This isn’t always true. In some states, if your policy includes coverage for damage caused by uninsured/underinsured motorists, and the person responsible was either unknown or underinsured, your insurance company may end up paying for repairs. If you live in a no-fault state, your company will pay for damage to your car because it pays for those repairs regardless of fault.

Myth #6: I should only have to pay for insurance when I need to make a claim.
Purchasing auto insurance is a way to share risks with other people like you. Everyone contributes relatively small amounts so that no one faces catastrophic out-of-pocket expenses when the unexpected happens.

Life Insurance Gaps

In 2014, 57% of private businesses offered their employees Life insurance plans, and a whopping 97% of employees enrolled.

That’s not surprising, since LIMRA’s 2013 Insurance Barometer Study found that 85% of consumers think most people need Life insurance. Even so, 1/3 of all consumers still don’t believe they have enough Life insurance. Continue reading “Life Insurance Gaps”

What is the most important policy my agency offers?

What is the most important policy my agency offers? Life insurance is the one policy that is not a need policy it is an I have to policy. We see too many go fund me’s, jars at the banks, car washes, bake sales, and any multitude of tools that are available to raise money for families. The problem is that there is a way to protect your family that would provide a level of protection that surpasses all of these areas of freebies and handouts and its called life insurance. Continue reading “What is the most important policy my agency offers?”