5 Tips To Keep Your Teen Driver Safe

Your teen driver wants nothing more than to be out on the open road of Illinois with their shiny new driver’s license. This is all well and great, but you want to keep them safe. How do you accomplish this? Here are a few tips to help.

#1: Go Over the Rules

House rules should be established, including:

  • When they can drive
  • Where they can drive
  • Who they can have in the car

This will make it easier for them to know what they have to do and how you want to keep them safe.

#2: Restrict Night Driving

A number of accidents happen at night and much of this is because teens haven’t gotten used to driving at night. The IIHS estimates that 40 percent of teen crashes happen after sunset, so you may want to limit driving time to 8 pm.

#3: Reiterate the Basics

Sometimes you have to go over the rules again and again. Always wear a seatbelt. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t text and drive. They have heard it before, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

#4: Establish Punishments

What happens if they are found texting while driving or having more than the allowed number of friends in the car? If your teen knows that there are consequences (and you are going to follow through on them), they will be more likely to think twice before breaking the rules.

#5: Limit the Friends in the Car

Oh my God! So-and-so got her license. It’s been said many times and before you know it, your teen could have four other teens in the car, talking and singing and carrying on. Whether the teen is male or female, limit the number of friends so that concentration is always on the road.

Contact Martin Insurance Team today for quotes and to have questions answered. We look forward to helping you find the right policy in Evergreen Park, IL.

A Road for Everyone

The road is full of many different types of vehicles, each with their own set of considerations for other drivers.

The Standard: Mid-sized automobiles

If you picked a random vehicle off the road, chances are high that it would be a four-wheeled metal chariot with two or four doors, weighing anywhere from three to four-thousand pounds. Because of their common distribution, the best advice for creating a safe environment for the other cars on the road is to follow all standing and posted traffic laws.

Larger Vehicles

Grant a healthy amount of respect to the force carried by the big rigs and buses. A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh over 80,000 pounds – over ten times that of the typical sedan with two passengers. All of that bulk means their acceleration, top speed, and turning ability will all be lower than their smaller cousins. They can also miss seeing vehicles directly behind them due to their larger blind spots; unless you can see a mirror or the driver directly, assume they don’t know that you’re there.

The Little Ones

It may not seem like it while riding next to a pair of tractor-trailers and an SUV, but the family sedan is far from the smallest vehicle on the road. Motorcycles may be light, nimble, and incredibly fuel efficient, but they will suffer more from an accidental collision than any other vehicle type. Even if the rider is weaving in and out of traffic, try to keep an eye on motorcycles in your general vicinity. If they approach you, try to limit the moves of your vehicle to deliberate transitions several seconds after activating your turn signal.

Whether you’re operating one of the big boys, a daily driver, or a man-powered marvel, the Martin Insurance Team is ready to get you prepared to take on the road with the peace of mind that being insured offers you.


Storing your Motorcycle to Reduce Theft Risk in Evergreen Park, IL

Proper storage of your motorcycle can help you to keep it safe. Motorcycles are at a higher risk of being stolen than other types of motor vehicles. They are valuable, though, and they can be as expensive to purchase, in some cases, as vehicles. For these reasons, you should maintain a high-quality motorcycle insurance plan on your bike in Evergreen Park, IL to make sure you are financially protected from theft. However, a few tips can help you avoid this risk by keeping your bike properly stored.

First, keep it out of sight. There is no reason to leave it outside of the garage or in open view if you can avoid doing so. While your neighbors will still know you own the bike, those would-be thieves driving by your home will not. It’s less likely your neighbor will steal it from you.

Next, ensure it is anchored into place. Specifically, you’ll want to ensure that when it is in storage, it is locked into place to a sturdy object. For example, if you are placing it in your garage, anchor it down with a chain to a fixture in the garage that cannot be moved.

You also don’t want to trust a sound-based alarm as the only option. Most people don’t pay attention to these types of alarms. Rather, use these other tips to help you to keep your bike safe. Don’t assume an alarm is a good enough solution.

And, let us help you.

At Martin Insurance Team, our goal is to help residents in Evergreen Park, IL to find the most affordable insurance policy for their needs. Talk to us today about your motorcycle insurance needs and allow us to keep your bike safe even if theft does occur.

Getting Value When Buying a Used Car

Here are a few tips to help know if there is value in buying a particular used car.

Take the car to a qualified mechanic, who knows the model and make of the car very well. Ask the mechanic to look the car over carefully and give an opinion of its quality to determine if there is the likelihood of having serious problems.

Mechanic Inspection
The mechanic needs to check the engine and make sure all the systems are working properly. A review of the maintenance records is good to see if the vehicle had proper maintenance. Check the tires for unusual wear and see if the wheels have correct alignment.

Look Underneath
While at the mechanic’s shop, put the car up on a rack and look at the under carriage. Winter weather and driving on roads were salt was used, wreak havoc to the under carriage of a vehicle. If the road salt is left to corrode the exposed metal, there will be evidence of rust when looking underneath the vehicle.

Compare the Price
Kelly Blue Book has an online service that shows the average price of a used vehicle. Simply go to kbb.com and under the car-values tab, enter the car year, make, model, and mileage. The system then gives three prices, which are: 1) Buy from a dealer. 2) Buy a certified pre-owned vehicle from a dealer. or, 3) Buy from a private party.

Get Auto Insurance
If the vehicle is in decent condition, passes the mechanic’s inspection, and the price is good, then the final thing to do when making a purchase of a used vehicle is to get auto insurance. It is not safe to drive the vehicle, even down the block, without having auto insurance in place for adequate coverage in case of an accident.

Contact the agents of the Martin Insurance Team for help with any of your insurance needs.

Motorcycle Deer Season Tips

Because of the lack of protection when riding a motorcycle, motorcycle deer crashes almost always result in injury. This is why it is of utmost importance for motorcyclists to do all they can to avoid deer crashes. During the fall and winter deer are most active due to this being their mating season as well as their migration season. Here are a few tips that can help you stay on watch during this time of year.

Know Deer Behavior

Deer are most active during the early morning and early evening. Dusk and dawn are their favorite times to be active because their colors blend in best with their surroundings. Although this may help them in hide from predators, it does not help motorists who are usually rushing to or from work at this time. During deer season you should make it a goal to leave a little early for work so that you will not be tempted to drive fast. Driving slower is the single best way to avoid a crash or to lessen the damage from a crash.

Brake Don’t Swerve

Despite the instinct to get out of the way of an object, it is always better to brake hard rather than attempt to swerve out of a deer’s path. Swerving on a motorcycle is especially dangerous. Impact with a deer will be less damaging than impact with an oncoming vehicle, a tree or a pole.

Wear a Helmet

Despite the fact that not all states require helmets, they are the single best way to prevent head injury in the event of an accident. The threat of head injury is the same whether you live in a state that requires helmets by law or not. Be sure the helmet you use is certified by the DOT and labeled with a DOT sticker.    

For more information on motorcycle safety and insurance contact Martin Insurance Team serving Evergreen Park, IL.

Caring for Your Car in the Fall – 3 Tips

The leaves are changing colors and the air is crisp. Fall is here, which means it is time to tackle a few routine car care tasks before the weather turns colder. Here are three tips to consider.

#1: Perform Routine Maintenance

While it is important to maintain your vehicle all year long, fall is a great time to perform tasks you may have forgotten. Get your oil change and have your brakes checked out by a professional. Ensure your battery is up to full capacity. Replace your windshield wipers. Completing these service items is much easier while the weather is still nice than when it starts to turn snowy.

#2: Check Your Tires

Checking your tires in the fall is also pretty vital, as worn ones can become a hazard during winter weather. Look for any cuts or nicks on the tread wall that could cause problems later. Have them rotated, as necessary. And make sure your spare is in good condition and ready to go in case of a blowout or flat.

#3: Put Together an Emergency Kit

Fall is the perfect time to put together an emergency kit to keep in your car during bad weather. Make sure you have basic items including flares, basic tools, and a first aid kid. Add other items specific to cold weather, such as a blanket, dry clothing, deicer, chains, and snacks. There is no telling whether or not a sudden ice or snow storm in the coming months could leave you stranded, which could make compiling these items ahead of time a smart move.

What else should you do in the fall to prepare for the upcoming winter? Review your auto insurance policy, of course! Please contact our team at Martin Insurance Team LTD to schedule your no-obligation policy review.

3 Ways to Save on Your Road Trip from Palos Heights, IL

There are lots of ways to save on both road trips and auto insurance. Listing them all would be one long post. We at Martin Insurance Team LTD have compiled a brief list of three of the best ways to reduce the cost of a road trip, along with a suggestion on how to save money on auto insurance.

3 Ways to Save on a Road Trip

Some of the biggest costs associated with road trips are related to food, fuel and fun. To reduce these costs on your next road trip, you can:

  • pack food, so you don’t have to eat out for every meal
  • drive the speed limit, so you’ll use less gas
  • avoid going places during peak season, when prices for activities are at their highest

Each one of these will save you a little money. Together, the savings they provide will add up to a significant amount.

The Easiest Way to Save on Auto Insurance

As is the case with road trips, there are many ways to save on auto insurance. The easiest way to save on auto insurance, however, is to shop for a policy with an independent insurance agent who is licensed in Illinois. Independent insurance agents, like those at our office, are able to compare policies at different insurers and find the company that’s offering the best rates on auto insurance.

If you don’t already have a relationship with an independent auto insurance agent who serves Palos Heights, IL, contact us at Martin Insurance Team LTD. You can reach our agents through our website, and they’d be happy to help you see how much you might save by shopping around for a new auto insurance policy. Send them a message today.



Extend Your Vehicle’s Life With These Easy 3 Tips

There are two important aspects of caring for a vehicle: maintenance and insurance. Maintaining your car will extend its life, and properly insuring it will ensure that you’re protected if something happens on the road. At Martin Insurance Team LTD, we have collected a few tips for the former, and our independent insurance agents can help you with the latter.

Properly Maintaining Your Car

Although large repairs grab people’s attention, auto maintenance rarely involves a major repair. Instead, maintaining a vehicle requires regular attention to small things, like the oil level and tire’s air pressure. You can extend the life of your vehicle by taking time to see after these details. Be sure to:

  • keep your tires properly inflated
  • fill up the gas tank before the it’s empty
  • have your oil changed according to the schedule outlined in your car’s owner’s manual

The last item, getting your oil changed at the suggested intervals, is especially important. During an oil change, most mechanics look at all the other fluids in your car. If you forgo an oil change, they won’t have a chance to look at the other fluids, and one of the fluids could become low.

Properly Insure Your Car

The easiest way to take care of your insurance needs is to contact an independent insurance agency, like ours. Through our website or over the phone, we can help you assess your coverage needs and find a policy that provides robust protection without high premiums. Because we’re an independent agency, we can compare the premiums on every policy in Palos Heights, IL and show you the most competitive options.

We’ve served many drivers in Palos Heights and other parts of Illinois, and we’d be happy to serve you. To get started with your auto insurance needs, log on our website or give us a call.


Auto Insurance: Safety Tips for Summer Driving

Summer driving conditions can bring an entirely different set of dangers than any other time of year in Illinois. Whether drivers are dealing with soaring temperatures or summer road trip traffic jams, there is plenty to distract even the most careful and aware drivers while on the road this summer. Protect yourself and your loved ones while on the road with comprehensive and affordable auto insurance coverage from your local, in dependent agents at Martin Insurance Team.

Summer Road Trip Safety

Before you head out on the road this summer it is important to make sure your car is in the best shape possible. Take the time to give your car a little TLC with some much needed car care maintenance. After a harsh winter season your car needs to be checked for possible dangers before making a long trip. Check your tires for wear, fill all fluids, replace spark plugs as needed and check all hoses and belts for any issues.

Once your car is ready for the road you’ll need total insurance coverage before embarking on your big road trip. With the help of the independent agents at Martin Insurance Team you can easily compare quotes online from multiple national providers to find the coverage you need at a price that fits your budget. 

Start Comparing Quotes Today

Don’t get caught without the right level of auto insurance coverage when you need it the most this summer. Instead, visit Martin Insurance Team online today to start comparing quotes from top national providers online in just minutes. Our team of experienced agents are ready to help you through every step of the insurance buying process to make sure you and your family have a safe and happy summer travel season. 


2 Reasons to Invest In an Antique Car

If you're a sucker for all things antique, then you've likely thought a time or two about buying an antique car.  In fact, there's a good possibility that you already own one.  And while some people might think that it's a waste of money to invest in a car that you don't drive very often, the truth is, there are many advantages to owing an antique car.  Here's a quick look at the two top reasons to invest in an older car in Evergreen Park, Illinois.

They make for a great hobby

Investing and collecting antique cars is a great hobby to have.  Best of all, it's a hobby that provides a great return on your investment.  Think about it.  Any money that you invest in the cars can be gained back if you ever go to sell them.  Even better is that there are many fun activities for you and your family to partake in, including antique car shows, classic car races and more. 

Insurance is cheap

Just like any other car that you drive on the road, you're going to need insurance on your antique cars, but fortunately, classic car insurance isn't very expensive at all.  You can likely insure a collectible car for well under $200 a year, but this will depend on the exact car that you have, your driving record, and the insurance company that you purchase your policy through. 


If you decide to invest in one or more antique cars, it's important that you have insurance on them as soon as the titles are switched over into your name.  If you would like more information on classic car insurance, please don't hesitate to contact one of our reputable insurance agents today.