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When Is the Best Time To Buy a Car?

- Monday, August 30, 2021
Lallis and Higgins Insurance - Buying A Car

Getting a great deal on a new car takes patience and strategic thinking. Salespeople at car dealerships have a lot of leeway when it comes to negotiating prices and included features. Regardless of whether you feel you are good at wheeling and dealing, you can greatly increase your chances of landing a great deal on your next new vehicle by simply figuring out the best time to buy a car.

We are committed to helping our customers save money not just on auto insurance but on all the things that are important in their lives. That is why we have compiled this article detailing the best and worst time to buy a new car. Use this guide when you are preparing to buy your next car or truck, and then let us know in the comments how you did.

What Are the Best Months To Purchase a New Car?

Believe it or not, by shopping during ideal months of the year, you can often land extremely good deals, even without putting much effort into your negotiations. These are the best months to shop:
  • November/December: At this time of year, salespeople are desperate to make a large number of sales, and the managers at the dealerships are likely to permit them to make extremely good offers. This is because the dealerships have year-end quotas that they are striving to achieve and this will translate into greater incentives for the sales staff, including bigger bonuses. When you walk into a showroom at this time of year, be prepared to have the sales staff bend over backward to ensure that you leave with keys to a new car.
  • August/September: Unless you are determined to own the most recent year’s model of a particular vehicle, this may be the best time to shop. This is when the next year's model shows up on showroom floors. Dealerships will be desperate to get rid of current year models to make room for new cars. Although the next year’s model may have a few added features and different styling, the differences between cars from one model year to the next are usually not that great. Remember, even though the car may be one model-year older, it is still a brand new car.

What Are the Worst Months To Purchase a New Car?

Of course, there are times of year that you are less likely to be able to negotiate a good deal. That is when dealerships are already very busy, inventory is moving nicely and the sales staff is not worried about meeting quotas. These are the worst months to make a purchase:

  • February/March: This is when people start receiving tax refunds. Many people like to wait out the winter with old vehicles and then trade them in and use tax refunds as down payments on new cars. Dealerships are often very busy at this time of year, and great deals are scarce.
  • April/May: This is when high school and college seniors are preparing to graduate, and many parents are buying them vehicles as graduation presents. Also, this is when the weather vastly improves, and many people feel more motivated to drive. Car dealerships rarely suffer from low sales during these months.

Are There Better Times of Year To Purchase Specific Types of Cars?

There are certain times of year when you are at an advantage for buying some kinds of vehicles. For example, look at these vehicles:

  • Convertibles/Sports cars: For those who live in northern states where heavy snow and harsh winter weather is an issue, the purchase of a convertible or sports car is best handled in the winter months. Sports cars typically have rear-wheel drive, which gives the car a tendency to spin out of control, and convertibles lose their appeal when the top is up. If you are looking to purchase one of these cars, keep in mind that any car dealership will be more than happy to get one of these vehicles off their lot in the winter.
  • Trucks and SUVs: The appeal of these vehicles for many is that they offer four-wheel or all-wheel drive, which makes for better road-control in the winter months. In the summer months, however, sales on these types of vehicles tend to drop. You may be able to negotiate a better deal by purchasing when the weather is warm. Another good time to purchase this type of vehicle, if you have your heart set on owning one, is when gas prices rise. As fuel costs go up, people tend to prefer to purchase high-gas-mileage vehicles, and sales on trucks and SUVs suffer.

What Is the Best Time of Day To Purchase a New Car?

Once you have completed your research and test-drives and you know which vehicle you want to buy, it may be in your best interest to walk into the dealership when it is close to closing time. Salespeople and the dealership management will still be happy to wait on you. Because they will be anxious to get home after a long day, however, they may be less likely to push hard on their side of the negotiations and may be willing to offer you a fantastic deal just to make the sale as quickly as possible.

For the Best Prices, Know When To Buy a New Car

Remember, knowing when to buy a car is everything. Use timing to your advantage when shopping so you can make a great deal on your next new car. No matter what timing you chose, make sure you're covered from an insurance perspective. It's strongly advised that you have an independent professional source the auto coverage you need. An independent agent is ready to help.

Sharing the Road with a School Bus

- Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Lallis & Higgins Insurance - Sharing the Road with a School Bus

The new school year is approaching fast, and soon many kids will be relying on school buses to get to class. Fortunately, school buses are one of the safest forms of transportation for traveling to and from school. So though the everyday routine may not be as exciting as taking a ride on The Magic School Bus, students know they can rely on school bus drivers to get them to class both on time and safely.

The greatest dangers students face don't occur while riding the bus, but rather while boarding the bus. Negligent drivers who forget or ignore the rules that come with sharing the road with school buses are a major threat to students who need to cross the street to reach their ride. Even if you feel as if you are knowledgeable of all there is to know about school bus safety, a quick refresher on common school bus procedures is always a good idea.

To prepare for the new school year, here is a review of the different kinds of lights on school buses and how to react when you see them:

Hazard Lights – Proceed with caution.

Located towards the lower half of the bus near the taillights, the hazard lights begin flashing when a bus has stopped to let children aboard, but they won't be crossing the road to reach it. Motorists are allowed to pass the bus when these lights are on, but they are warned to be extremely cautious and alert while doing so.

Flashing red lights signal that all traffic in both directions must stop immediately.

Flashing Yellow Lights – Prepare to stop…

Bus drivers trigger the flashing yellow lights on the upper half of the bus as a warning that they are about to stop. They are typically activated about 200 feet prior to stopping. Once the bus actually stops, the flashing red lights will go on and all traffic will also be required to stop.

Flashing Red Lights – STOP!

The flashing red lights on the upper half of the bus, which may be accompanied by the protruding stop sign on the side, signal that all traffic in both directions must stop immediately. Whether you are driving behind the bus, in a lane going the opposite direction of a bus, or on a street intersecting the one the bus is on, it is imperative that you stop. It's illegal to pass a school bus while the red lights are flashing, for doing so would endanger the children who are boarding.

Get Back-to-School Ready!

- Monday, August 16, 2021

Ahhh… those lazy summer days are over. Days of sunsets on the beach, splashing in the water and sticky popsicle hands are over. Onto early mornings and homework nights if you have a child in school. But, have no fear, our checklist should provide some help in packing that backpack for the next step in your child's future.

We have compiled a list of some of our favorite school supplies for your viewing pleasure and in case you need a little help in packing your child's supplies:

  • Pencils (mechanical, No.2 or scratch and sniff) we think they all write the same
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Erasers
  • Pens
  • Highlighters
  • Colored pencils
  • Glue sticks
  • Water-based markers
  • Calculator (make sure it's the one required by the class)
  • Folders, the ones with pockets
  • A ruler
  • Scotch tape
  • Stapler
  • College ruled and wide ruled paper
  • Composition notebook
  • Small notepad (for those doodling moments, at lunch of course)
  • Lunch box
  • Backpack (make sure it's supportive and sturdy)
  • Hand sanitizer (if the school allows it)
  • Tissues

How to Tow Your Golf Cart on a Trailer

- Tuesday, August 10, 2021
Lallis & Higgins Insurance - Golf Cart Guide

Towing a golf cart or moving it from one course to another is simple enough when you’re aware of the steps that you need to follow.

The Best Way to Tow your Golf Cart

At some point you’ll have to tow your golf cart from your home to the golf course. Other situations when towing a cart would arise is when you’re travelling to an interstate course, or taking your cart in for maintenance.

Towing a golf cart is a moderately easy procedure, but you will need to take care of your cart and follow a procedure.

Here are some simple steps which explain the best way to your golf cart so you understand the process better.

These are the steps on how to tow a golf cart on a trailer:

  1. First, it’s mandatory to connect a durable trailer to your towing vehicle. Then you need to attach a ball receiver over the top of the available hitch ball. Then attach a hitch ball to the tow hitch of the trailer. Don’t forget to lift the hitch latch present found on the trailer's ball receiver.
  2. Now it’s time to secure the ball receiver. You can do this by pulling down the latch. Make sure to secure the latch with a pin or a lock, through the small hole which is located at the front part of the latch. This will secure your trailer and keep it “locked in”.
  3. Next you have to connect a wired harness from the tow vehicle to that of the trailer. If required, make sure to drop the ramp gate of the trailer. For that, it is vital to remove side latch pins. Doing this helps in releasing the trailer gate. If there is no sign of a gate, then place two ramps at the edge of the trailer and then just drive your golf cart in.
  4. Now the time has come to load in your cart. For this step you have to push the golf cart right towards the front portion of the trailer’s rail. Make sure to set your parking brake on the trailer. You need to use a ratchet or the tie-down straps to ensure that your golf cart is securely placed on the trailer.
  5. The final step is to close the ramp and secure it using latch pins. It’s now time to tow the trailer just below the allowable speed limit. If you have to make a turn or pass any vehicle, be sure to drive very carefully. Avoid any sharp turns or lane changes.


How to Prepare for a Hurricane or Other Tropical Storm

- Tuesday, August 03, 2021
Lallis & Higgins Insurance - Hurricane Season

Make a Plan.

Hurricane season starts on May 15 in the north Pacific and June 1 in the Atlantic and the Caribbean. It ends on November 30. Before hurricane season each year, make sure you and your family are prepared by planning ahead.

  • Write down emergency phone numbers and keep them on the refrigerator or near every phone in your house. Program them into your cell phone too.
  • Prepare an emergency supply kit.
  • Locate the nearest shelter and different routes you can take to get there from your home. If shelter locations in your area have not been identified, learn how to find them in the event of a stormexternal icon.
  • Pet owners: Pre-identify shelters, a pet-friendly hotel, or an out-of-town friend or relative where you can take your pets in an evacuation. Local animal shelters may be able to offer advice on what to do with your pets if you are asked to evacuate your home.

Gather emergency supplies.

During and after a hurricane, you may need supplies to keep your family safe and healthy. Remember that a hurricane could cut off your power and water supply. You also may not be able to drive because of damage to your car. Roads may be flooded or blocked.

That’s why it’s best to be prepared—stock up on everything you might need now. Be sure to prepare the following:

  • An emergency food and water supply.
  • An emergency medicine supply.
  • Emergency power sources such as flashlights (don’t forget extra batteries).
  • Safety and personal items.
  • Important documents, including medical documents, wills, passports, and personal identification.
  • A fire extinguisher. Make sure your family knows where to find it and how to use it! Read the National Fire Protection Association’s tips for using fire extinguishersexternal icon.

Know the difference between a hurricane “watch” and “warning.”

Listen for National Weather Service alerts on TV or radio or check for them online. There are two kinds of alerts:

  • A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 miles per hour [mph] or higher) are possible in a stated area. Experts announce hurricane watches 48 hours before they expect tropical-storm-force winds (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) to start.
  • A hurricane warning is more serious. It means hurricane-force winds are expected in a stated area. Experts issue these warnings 36 hours before tropical-storm-force winds are expected in the area to give people enough time to prepare for the storm.

For more information about hurricane watches and warnings, check out the National Weather Service’s Hurricane Centerexternal icon. If you hear that there is a hurricane watch or warning in your area, you can take steps to get ready.

Get your car ready.

Make sure your car is ready before the storm hits.

  • Fill your car’s gas tank.
  • Move cars and trucks into your garage or under cover.
  • Always keep an emergency kit in your car.
  • Visit Ready.govexternal icon for information on how to prepare your car and what to include in your kit.

If you don’t own a car, consider making plans with friends or family or call authorities to get a ride if you need to evacuate.

Get your family and pets ready.

  • Go over your emergency plan with your family.
  • Keep checking for updates about the storm. Watch TV, listen to the radio, or check online.
  • Call the hospital, public health department, or the police about special needs. If you or a loved one is older or disabled and won’t be able to leave quickly, get advice on what to do.
  • Put pets and farm animals in a safe place. Read more about pet safety during an emergency.

Get your home ready.

  • Clear your yard. Make sure there’s nothing that could blow around during the storm and damage your home. Move bikes, lawn furniture, grills, propane tanks, and building material inside or under shelter.
  • Cover up windows and doors. Use storm shutters or nail pieces of plywood to the outside window frames to protect your windows. This can help keep you safe from pieces of shattered glass.
  • Be ready to turn off your power. If you see flooding, downed power lines, or you have to leave your home, switch your power off.
  • Fill clean water containers with drinking water. You’ll want to do this in case you lose your water supply during the storm. You can also fill up your sinks and bathtubs with water for washing.
  • Check your carbon monoxide (CO) detector’s battery to prevent CO poisoning

Be ready to evacuate or stay at home.

Always listen to authorities regarding whether you should evacuate or stay at home.

If a hurricane is coming, you may hear an order from authorities to evacuate (leave your home). Never ignore an order to evacuate. Even sturdy, well-built houses may not hold up against a hurricane. Staying home to protect your property is not worth risking your health and safety.

You may hear an order to stay at home. If driving conditions are dangerous, staying at home might be safer than leaving.

If you need to evacuate:

  • Grab your emergency supply kit and only take what you really need with you (cell phone, chargers, medicines, identification like a passport or license, and cash).
  • Unplug your appliances. If you have time, turn off the gas, electricity, and water.
  • Follow the roads that emergency workers recommend even if there’s traffic. Other routes might be blocked or flooded. Never drive through flooded areas—cars and other vehicles can be swept away or may stall in just 6 inches of moving water.
  • Contact your local emergency management office and ask if they offer accommodations for owners and their pets. Learn more about evacuating with your pet.

If you need to stay home:

  • Keep your emergency supply kit in a place you can easily access.
  • Listen to the radio or TV for updates on the hurricane.
  • Stay inside. Even if it looks calm, don’t go outside. Wait until you hear or see an official message that the hurricane is over. Sometimes, weather gets calm in the middle of a storm but then quickly gets bad again.
  • Stay away from windows—you could get hurt by pieces of broken glass or flying debris during a storm. Stay in a room with no windows, or go inside a closet.
  • Be ready to leave. If emergency authorities order you to leave or if your home is damaged, you may need to go to a shelter or a neighbor’s house.


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