Category Archives: Auto

Do You Know the Types of Auto Coverage?

Knowing the variety of options available for auto insurance is important.  You want to make sure you have the proper auto coverage for your needs.  Now we could sit here and write up all the types of options available for you to read through, but we’ve decided that this infograph from does an excellent job describing all the coverage’s best. So give this infographic a look.  If we can be of assistance with any of your auto insurance needs let us know.  We are always here to assist you with providing the best coverage for your situation.


auto insurance coverage


Protecting YOU is our Job

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Most expensive and least expensive insurance rates across the country

We’ve heard it a million times, the New England States have the highest insurance rates in the country. So we decided to do a little research to see if this was just a myth or really the truth. It turns out that even though the a couple of the New England states do have some of the highest insurance rates, not of of them are. The rates we found are based on an average monthly cost.

New Jersey holds the lead with having the highest insurance rates through the country at an average of $1,1157.30

Second to New Jersey is District of Columbia coming in at $1,133.87, with Louisiana coming in third at $1,121.46. Fourth leads us back to New York at $1,078.88.  Now as you can see in the chart below only two of the New England states come in under the top 10 most expensive, with Rhode Island and Connecticut coming in at number seven and eight. Maine falling into the the number five slot of the least expensive. As you can see it turns out South Dakota has the least expensive auto insurance throughout the country at $525.16.

insurance rates


So when we look at the country overall, in comparison our insurance rates in New England maybe a bit higher but we definitely don’t have the highest insurance rates throughout the whole country. We can consider ourselves lucky that we don’t live in New Jersey or Louisiana. So the next time you hear someone say, New England is the most expensive for insurance rates, remind them what they would be if they lived in New Jersey, Florida or New York.

Don’t forget if you’re looking to get a quote for your auto insurance, give Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance a call. We will be happy to assist you.  With over 30 carriers available we can get you the best rates possible.

Protecting YOU is our Job.


Driving in snowy and icy conditions

icy roadsIt’s obvious that during the winter months we are going to have to drive during a variety of road conditions. There are times that we are going to get into a situation when we may encounter icy roads where we lose control of our vehicle. When we first began driving many of us were taught certain ways to best handle ourselves and vehicles if we are in this situation. As always the best prevention is to drive slowly and keep a safe distance between you and the car in front of you when driving in snowy or icy conditions.

Here are some tips for you to keep in mind if you find yourself driving on icy roads and lose control of your vehicle.

  1. Steer the car into the direction of the slide
  2.  Avoid hitting the brakes. ABS brakes do not work well on ice and will often lock up your wheels
  3. If you are headed towards oncoming traffic, if you are able to, steer the car towards the shoulder
  4. If you are unable to stop the vehicle, steer the car into a snowbank or curb to slow the vehicle down
  5. Lastly don’t panic.  Even though that may be your first instinct, stay calm and cool will help you better in this situation.

If you do get stuck:

  1. Don’t spin your wheels.  This will only dig you in deeper
  2. Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way
  3. Use a light touch on the gas to ease your car out
  4. Use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and underside of your vehicle
  5. If you have sand or kitty litter in your vehicle pour it around your wheels to help with traction.

If you do land up with damage due to an unfortunate accident, remember to give Penny Hanley & Howley a call to help assist with any claims.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job


How auto crashes affect your insurance rates

auto crashesDid you know that the crash-worthiness and cost of vehicles can affect your insurance rates?

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 33,561 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2012, up 3.3 percent from 32,479 in 2011. 2012 marked the first year-to-year increase in motor vehicle crash fatalities since 2005. Out of concern for public safety and to help reduce the cost of crashes, insurers support safe driving initiatives. In 1969 the insurance industry created the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), an organization best known for its vehicle crashworthiness testing program. In the 1970s the industry began the campaign to get auto manufacturers to make air bags standard equipment in vehicles. It is a major supporter of anti-drunk driving and seatbelt usage campaigns. Drivers themselves have also contributed to the reduction in crash-related fatalities by demanding safer vehicles. Eighty-six percent of respondents in a February 2010 IIHS survey said that safety is a very important consideration when buying a new car. Only 2 percent said it is not important.

Here are some statistics recently released by U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

  • 2013: Motor vehicle crash fatalities for the first half of 2013 fell about 4.2 percent from a year ago. Crash fatalities have been steadily decreasing since a significant increase was recorded in the first quarter of 2012.
  • 2012: According to NHTSA, traffic fatalities rose 3.3 percent in 2012 to 33,561 from 32,479 in 2011. 2012 was the first year with a year-to-year increase in fatalities since 2005. Vehicle miles traveled in 2012 increased 0.3 percent, and the fatality rate per 100 million miles traveled is estimated to have increased to 1.14 fatalities, compared with 1.10 fatalities in 2011.
  • In 2011 drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 accounted for 10 percent of all drivers in fatal crashes and for 13 percent of all drivers in police-reported crashes. In 2011 drivers in this age group accounted for 5.9 percent of all licensed drivers.
  • 2012: an estimated 2,362,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes, up 6.5 percent from 2,217,000 in 2011. This is the first statistically significant increase since 1995, according to NHTSA.
  • Work-Related: In 2011 crashes involving vehicles on public roadways were the leading cause of work-related fatalities, accounting for 23 percent of all workplace fatalities, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • By Age Group: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2011 people 65 and older made up 17 percent of all traffic fatalities. In 2010 (latest data available) there were 35 million older licensed drivers, up 21 percent from 2002. The total number of drivers rose 9 percent from 2002 to 2011.


Keep these statistics in mind the next time you see an increase in your insurance rate.  For great auto insurance rates give Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance a call.

Protecting YOU is our Job

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Travelers New Auto Rates

travelersRecently Travelers has started a new auto program called Quantum Auto 2.0.  Quantum was designed to offer more competitive pricing, offering lower rates for many drivers.

Have a teenage driver in the home? Premium impact reduced when adding a youthful driver to your policy.

Waiver for 4th & 5th year minor accidents when driver has been incident-free for last 3 years.

Here is a list of the new and enhanced discounts that may apply to your policy

  • Up to 15% continuous insurance discount
  • 2% electronic funds transfer
  • Up to 15% good payer discount
  • 10% Hybrid/Electric Vehicle discount
  • Up to 8% multi-car discount
  • Up to 13% multi-policy discount
  • Up to 21% Safe Driver discount
  • Up to 5% driver training discount
  • Up to 10% home ownership discount
  • Up to 10% home ownership discount
  • Up to 7.5% paid in full discount

Also will their new IntelliDrive program you can save up to 30% for low-mileage

With IntelliDrive, information is collected about where and how your vehicle is being driven. This data is then sent to a secure website for you to see.

As a parent, this information can be invaluable as you teach your teen to be a safe driver. IntelliDrive enables you to set the safe driving rules in your household and view the actual driving patterns with the vehicle. You can also sign up for email or text alerts to know when the vehicle is driven outside of your safe driving guidelines.

With all these new advances to Travelers Auto program maybe it’s time you give Travelers a try for yourself.  Give us a one of our agents a call today to see if we can save you money on your auto insurance policy.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job





Technology in Cars: Necessity or Distraction?

technology in carsHas technology in cars gone too far?

There’s no doubt that cars have come a long way.  With advances in technology over the years the options now available in cars in astounding.  50 years ago cars came with the basics and some were starting to add extra features.  Such things as automatic windows and locks prove to be helpful additions over the years, but satellite radio, blue tooth for your phone,  and iPod hook-ups.  Are these really a necessity or just a distraction for the driver? Other features now found in newer vehicles include a backup system and just recently Google has partnered with GM to offer Android powered dashboards.

Has it gone too far with technology in cars?  Many may believe that these are useful and for some vital features in cars. While others may disagree and state this is more of a distraction to drivers. Can all these features and driver assists cause us to lose focus on driving? Since the cellphone (mainly smartphones), there has been an increase in accidents and deaths due to texting and talking while driving. Why add more distractions than necessary while driving?

Technology has its benefit, that’s for sure.  But how much is too much? Let’s take a look at a few of the newest technologies currently in cars and compare them to cars without them.

Backup assist:  this one is fairly new over the last year or so.  The purpose of this system is to help with backing up and parallel parking.  Allowing the driver to see where they are going without hitting another vehicle or curb.  Sounds like a great technology, but is it necessary?  Didn’t we all have to learn how to backup straight and learn parallel parking in driver’s education?  Isn’t this a skill that we improved as we became an experienced driver?  In some ways you could look at this technology as a way to take the guess work out of it and prevent incidents or accidents.  Others will argue that we lose our skills and reaction times when becoming dependent on technology.

Satellite Radio:  ok, so this a nice added feature vs just the radio.  A lot more options to listen to that is for sure.  But again, is this a necessity?  Not really.  Having all these options, now allows the driver to spend more time switching through stations.  That itself can be a distraction, taking your eyes off the road to surf through hundreds of stations.  Personally I have a favorite station I listen to, have a few preset stations for a change and that seems to do me just fine. Less for me to be distracted by.

Now what about all the extra buttons on your steering wheel?  Yes, they are supposed to assist the driver with keeping their eyes on the road while surfing through radio stations, turning on the heated seats and answering their phone. I have to agree these may prove helpful, but are they really necessary. Is it just too much technology to cause unnecessary distractions?  It seems the focus of just driving from point A to point B has changed over the years.  We are more concerned about all the extra features and technology in cars, than just keeping our attention on the road and getting to our destination safely.

So what’s your feeling on all the added technology in cars?  Is it a necessity or distraction for the driver?

Let us know what you think.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Will bitter cold temperatures affect your vehicle?

cold temperatures and your carBitter cold temperatures can have negative effects on your vehicle.  Remember these tips to keep your car protected during winter months.

Windshields: Never use hot water to clear a frosted windshield, as you will crack. Some safe alternatives include: Frost Buster, Prestone Heat or ordinary rubbing alcohol.

Engine Block: your engine block is more vulnerable to cracking in freezing temperatures.  Make sure to use the correct coolant type and mix when topping up.  Never add plain water alone, as it will dilute the mixture and lessen freeze-up protection.

Heaters will delay engine warm-up: With newer autos provide interior heat almost immediately, but this causes a delay in the engine warm-up.  Waiting 20 minutes before turning on your heater might help save some gas, but who wants to get in a cold car.

Motor oil: Motor oil thickens when it’s cold.  This makes it harder for the engine turn over on the first start of the day. Thinner oil grades and engine block heater can aid in cold-weather starting.

Battery: An older battery is more likely to give you issues during the cold weather. Keep your battery clean.  A dirty batter runs hotter and will shorten the life.  If your batter terminals are corroded, clean them, if the corrosion has gotten to the battery cables replace them.  If you need to replace your battery keep this in mind: make sure the battery fits your vehicle properly and provides the proper cold cranking amps.  A higher quality battery will last longer.

Keeping these tips in mind can help prevent any major issues with your car over the winter months.  Remember for all your insurance needs, Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance is here to help you.

Penny Hanley & Howley Insurance

Protecting YOU is our Job