Auto Insurance Strategies After a DUI

Coping with DUI Convictions: Your Guide to Auto Insurance

Dealing with the repercussions of a DUI conviction can be a complex process, involving several challenges, including addressing insurance needs. At Michael Taylor Agency in Columbia, SC, we extend our expertise to help drivers convicted of DUI navigate through their insurance options.

Opt for Comprehensive-Only Coverage

If your license has been suspended after a DUI conviction and you’re not driving your vehicle, it may be beneficial to switch to comprehensive-only coverage. This insurance protection safeguards your car against potential damages while it’s not in use, including threats like theft, vandalism, and natural disasters. Such a switch can help you significantly reduce insurance costs during the suspension period. Please remember such a policy warrants that you or anyone else isn’t driving the vehicle.

Consider Raising Deductibles

Another effective strategy to reduce your premiums following a DUI conviction is to raise your deductibles. This implies agreeing to bear a higher expense out-of-pocket in the event of raising a claim, which correspondingly lowers your monthly insurance payments. Make sure you can comfortably afford the higher deductible before making this choice.

Scout for the Best Insurance Provider

Shopping around for insurance and comparing quotes from different companies is always a prudent approach, particularly after a DUI conviction. Some insurance providers may offer more affordable rates than others. At Michael Taylor Agency, we help you analyze multiple auto insurance policies from varied insurers. We’re here to assist, whether it’s your first DUI conviction or a repeated offense. Get in touch with our team in Columbia, SC, today for a personalized, affordable auto insurance solution.

South Carolina Auto Insurance Requirements

Our agents at the Michael Taylor Agency serving the Columbia, SC area want to ensure that you and your vehicle are protected sufficiently regarding auto insurance.

In South Carolina, all drivers must have at least a minimum amount of auto liability insurance. If you are caught driving without it, you risk losing your driver’s license for a specific amount of time, paying high fines, and even ending up behind bars.

Auto liability insurance will help pay for injuries and property damage for the other driver and their passengers if you cause an accident. Auto liability is not the only type of auto insurance available, though. Check out the detailed list below of other types of auto insurance you can secure. 

Types of Auto Insurance

Collision Insurance Coverage

This type of insurance is very important to keep your vehicle on the road since it will help pay for damages to your vehicle if you collide with a vehicle or some object while driving.

Comprehensive Insurance Coverage

You can’t predict the future, so you cannot know when a natural disaster or fire will occur, damaging or destroying your vehicle. Someone may decide to randomly vandalize your vehicle, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage, or steal your car, truck, or SUV. If any of these scenarios occur, you will be happy you have comprehensive insurance in place since it can help repair or replace your vehicle.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

This type of insurance will come in handy if you are in an accident caused by another driver and that person only has a minimum amount of insurance or none at all. Your policy will kick in to help you get your vehicle fixed or pay for your medical bills if you are injured.

Contact Michael Taylor Agency

To obtain the best auto insurance policy for you and your vehicle, contact our experienced auto insurance agents at the Michael Taylor Agency serving the Columbia, SC area today!

Texting Accident Statistics

You’ve heard a million times that you shouldn’t text and drive, yet many people still participate in this dangerous behavior. Here at the Michael Taylor Agency, serving Columbia, SC, and the surrounding areas, we want to help keep our clients safe on the road. Keep reading to learn more about texting accident statistics. 

The Facts 

The NHTSA reported in 2020 that about 30,000 accidents in total are the result of texting-related distracted driving. They also report that 13% of fatal crashes were linked to texting and driving. These sobering numbers should give us all a wake-up call concerning our driving behaviors. 

The Problem 

Texting and driving remain a problem because many people struggle to believe that they are really that distracted. They have been texting and driving for so long that they feel that they are capable of this practice now and can handle the risk. This is the same mindset that accompanies driving while intoxicated. People believe they are the exception to the rule and can handle the risk. 

The Solution 

Today’s technology has provided many options to reduce or eliminate texting and driving. For those who feel that they must still stay connected to their phones while driving, Bluetooth technology is always available to talk hands-free and even to respond to text messages hands-free. This technology allows you to hear the message sent to you and speak out a response that is sent back. There is no reason to keep texting and driving when this tech is available. 

If you want to learn about auto insurance, please get in touch with us at the Michael Taylor Agency serving Columbia, SC, and the surrounding areas. We will be happy to help you.  

How to keep a car safe in a hurricane

It’s no secret that a car is one of a person’s most important possessions. In the event of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, it’s crucial to take steps to protect your car from damage. Here are some tips on how to do just that.

  1.  Make sure your car is in good shape before a hurricane hits by regularly checking the engine, tires, brakes, and fluid levels. This ensures that your vehicle will be able to withstand wind and rain without any major problems.
  2. Please fill up your gas tank before a hurricane, and keep it full throughout the storm. This will ensure that you always have enough fuel to get out of harm’s way if necessary and can help prevent your car from being damaged by flooding.
  3. Store food and water in the car if you need to evacuate or are stranded for an extended period. Pack a first-aid kit and essential supplies, such as flashlights, batteries, and a radio.
  4. If possible, park your car in a safe place during the storm. This could be an underground garage or parking lot that is out of the direct path of high winds or flooding. Avoid parking under trees or power lines that might fall on your car during the storm.

Taking the necessary precautions before a hurricane can help ensure your car is safe from damage. By following these tips, you can ensure that your vehicle is as prepared as possible for whatever might come its way. If you have any other questions about keeping your car safe or insurance coverage, give Michael Taylor Agency a call today. We proudly serve the Columbia, SC area.

Three Ways to Increase the Safety of Your Teen’s Driving Experience

Driving is the most critical task for teens, but with this comes a lot of pressure. How can you increase the safety of your teen’s driving experience? Michael Taylor Agency of Columbia, SC presents these three ways you can protect your teen from harm while also helping them develop safe habits.

Discuss The Major Risk Of Driving

Teaching your teen about the dangers inherent in driving is vital in helping them develop safe habits. Teens need to be taught how to use their seat belts properly and know they shouldn’t drive while intoxicated or with passengers using their phones. It’s important to model good behavior when it comes to safety.

Set Realistic Expectations

You can’t expect a teen to drive like an adult, but you can set realistic expectations. Knowing your expectations will help keep your teen on track and help them understand what they can and cannot do while driving. Set time limits and rules for acceptable behavior. If you don’t set rules, your teen may feel free to drive however they please.

Install Safety Equipment

If you don’t already have it installed, ensure your car is equipped with safety equipment. This includes seat belts for the driver and passenger, a reflector for night-time driving, and a functioning first aid kit. Make sure nothing in your car could distract your teen from driving safely.

In Summary

It’s never too early to teach your teen how to drive safely. With a little effort, you can help your teen develop safe habits that will last a lifetime. These simple steps will help create a safer driving experience for both of you.

If you are a Columbia, SC parent with a teen driver, reach out to Michael Taylor Agency to learn about the importance of car insurance for all drivers.

South Carolina Auto Insurance: 3 Things To Keep In Your Car for Emergencies

You never want to find yourself in a position where you are stranded, and the end isn’t in sight. Emergencies can happen at any time on the road. Not everyone wants to keep an emergency kit in their vehicle, but you can stock your car with a few essentials in the event of an emergency.

At Michael Taylor Agency, we want Columbia, SC drivers to be prepared for any problem that could arise on the road. Keep these things in your car and you will be less worried when an emergency happens.

Food and Water

If you are stranded due to a breakdown, or a problem on the road, you may not know how long you will be there for. Have some non-perishable food items in your car like some nutrition or candy bars, and some bottled water, so that you have something if you get stuck. If you have more than one person in the car with you most of the time, have enough for everybody.

Back-Up Tech and Maps

When you have an emergency on the road, you may have a phone or tech problem. Your battery may run out just from waiting for help. Have a backup plan. A prepaid phone with enough balance for a few calls can save the day in an emergency. 

If you rely on your tech for maps and navigation, have some spare paper maps in your car as your backup in the event that your tech goes out.

First Aid

Add to your first aid kit if you don’t already have one. Make sure it is a complete kit, with a few extras. It should include a seatbelt cutter, a flashlight, antiseptic, and bandages to start. Anything extra will help, but those could be lifesavers in an emergency.

Get Roadside Assistance

When you are driving in Columbia, SC, anything can happen. At Michael Taylor Agency, we can help you to update your South Carolina auto insurance policy to include roadside assistance. Call us for a quote today.

Why basic auto insurance may not be right for you

When you are a driver in South Carolina, you need to carry at least basic auto insurance. It is the law. Everyone wants to be compliant, but is just having the basic required auto insurance the right choice for you?  When you have a local independent insurance agent who can provide guidance, it is easier to make an educated decision. In Columbia, SC the Michael Taylor Agency has an experienced team to offer assistance to our customers. We will ask the right questions to get the answers we need to help you make the right choice. 

In South Carolina, basic auto insurance is liability only coverage. The mandated amount is 25/50/25. That means $25,000 in property damage along with $25,000 for injury to the first person hurt in the accident with the entire accident topping out at $50,000. With current medical costs and vehicle prices, this may not be enough to protect your assets. 

If you lease your vehicle or have a car loan, basic auto insurance isn’t going to be enough. You will need to have additional auto insurance in the form of collision and comprehensive coverage to protect your vehicle. The lender or lessor has a vested interest in your vehicle and wants to protect their investment. 

Beyond that, if you are the at fault driver you are responsible to repair or replace your own vehicle. If you can easily do this with savings then maybe you are fine with basic insurance but if like most people, this would pose a problem, you should add collision coverage. Additionally, comprehensive coverage will repair or replace your vehicle if something beyond your control happens to your vehicle. 

If you live in or near Columbia, SC, stop into our office at the Michael Taylor Agency to talk to a member of our team about what coverage is best for you and your situation. 

Three scenarios that might change your auto insurance needs

It’s important to periodically update your auto insurance coverage depending on your changing needs. At the Michael Taylor Agency, we offer a variety of auto insurance options to meet your needs in Columbia, SC.

You buy a new vehicle.

Reevaluate your insurance coverage needs when you buy a new vehicle. A vehicle that’s worth more money will be more expensive to insure.

You have to discuss a new vehicle purchase with your insurance provider. Remember that insurance coverage is unique to your vehicle. You need to let your insurance provider adjust your policy to change your vehicle ownership. 

Your credit improves.

It’s a good idea to look around for new insurance policy options if your credit improves. Improvements in your credit score can bring down your insurance costs or at least improve the quality of the insurance coverage you can receive at the same price. 

Therefore, you might want to get quotes on policies if you know your credit score has gone up. You might find that you can save a good amount on your policy by switching after credit score changes. 

You move to a different state.

Liability requirements on auto insurance policies vary by state. If you relocate to a different state, you’ll have to meet a different set of liability requirements.

If you move to a new state, you’ll switch your residency and driver’s license to a different state. You might end up wanting to completely change your auto insurance coverage. 

Shop around for insurance coverage in your new state. Adjust your liability coverage to the unique requirements in your new state of residence. 

At the Michael Taylor Agency, we’re here to answer any questions you have about auto insurance in Columbia, SC. Contact us to learn more about our insurance policies. 

Should You Keep Your Full Coverage On Your Paid Off Vehicle?

When you make that final payment on your vehicle you will feel a sense of pride and relief. And you may be tempted to lower your auto insurance to the bare minimum once that loan requirement is relieved and you are no longer under obligation to do so. At Michael Taylor Agency we urge you to keep full coverage for your own convenience and protection. We serve Columbia, SC and the surrounding area with quality comprehensive insurance services and our clients know they can rely on us through it all. 

The main reason to keep your full coverage is the fact that your chances of an accident while driving do not reduce when you pay off your vehicle. The main thing that does change is your loan company’s risk and your chances of having to pay on a vehicle that is damaged or totaled. Your full coverage protects you and the loan company while you are paying on the car. After you paid it off, you deserve the same amount of protection and coverage even if you do not owe anyone for the vehicle anymore. A motor vehicle accident can happen even to the most careful driver, and insurance is about protecting more than the vehicle. Keep yourself, your passengers, and even other drivers under a blanket of protection while you enjoy the open road by keeping your full coverage. The peace of mind alone is worth keeping the status quo, and if you do ever get in an accident you will be glad that you made the choice to hold yourself at the same value that your loan company did. 

Contact us at Michael Taylor Agency to discuss your specific vehicle, full coverage vs. state minimum benefits, and for a quote for either service. We proudly serve the people in and around Columbia, SC and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our insurance services and your specific needs. 

Types of Car Insurance Coverage

It is useful to know the types of coverage when you’re looking for auto insurance. With the right coverage, you’ll know whether you’re covered for specific incidents that may occur. There are many types that include basic coverage, which may be required by the state that you’re in. In Columbia, SC, you must have a certain amount of liability insurance, uninsured motorist, and underinsured motorist coverage. Michael Taylor Agency can help you with that.

Basic and Secondary Insurance Types

  • Liability insurance – protects you by covering damages and injuries from an accident that is deemed to be your fault.

  • Comprehensive coverage – is insurance for your vehicle if it becomes damaged as a result of anything other than a car accident, such as vandalism, fire, or theft.

  • Collision coverage – is enabled when you collide with another vehicle or object.

  • Uninsured and underinsured motorists – is coverage that sometimes used together. It can cover damages to your vehicle if the other driver leaves the scene or is not fully covered.

  • Personal Injury Protection – covers medical expenses. Depending on your policy limits, you could have complete medical coverage of an injured individual.

Miscellaneous Insurance Types

  • Rental reimbursement insurance – covers the cost of a rental if you need a vehicle while yours is being repaired after an accident.

  • Classic car insurance – is for vintage vehicles and specific older model cars.

  • Gap insurance – offers insurance coverage that protects you over your auto insurance limits.

Although you do not necessarily have to purchase the maximum amount of car insurance, it is a good idea to have some coverage in case of an accident. If you are found responsible for an accident, you could pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and vehicle repairs. In Columbia, SC, Michael Taylor Agency can help you secure auto insurance for your vehicle.