The wheels on the bus

Here are three dreaded words by every child in America after a beautiful and wonderful summer of shenanigans: BACK. TO. SCHOOL.

With back to school comes dorm move in days, school supply shopping, transportation arrangements, and a lot of driving. (Our office is located in Wake County and traditional schools begin on the 29th!)

Brown-Phillips is going to help you with a variety of tips to get you through this back to school season.

Tip #01: Compare prices!

There are many different stores in which school supplies can be bought (ex. Wal-Mart, Target, Office Max, etc.) Compare prices of items like binders, notebooks, pencils, and more in order to save every penny you can. Also make sure to check the condition of last year’s school supplies! You may find that you have plenty of highlighters for the year and can cross that off the list.

Tip #02: Check around for textbooks.

Textbooks for your classes can be found through many sources. Online, campus bookstores, the library, etc. If you have a roommate with the same class, maybe you could share a textbook. There are also websites such as Chegg where you can compare prices for different textbooks so you don’t pay those high prices.

Tip #03: Follow ALL school zone instructions.

Did you know that more children are killed near schools than anywhere else? Don’t double park because it can block the vision of vehicles and children. Don’t drop off or pick up children across the street from the school. Don’t block crosswalks. Never pass a school bus. There are a lot of don’ts but they’re important to remember! Also, carpooling with other children can help limit the number of cars and therefore making carpool much safer.


Here are a few links with great tips:

Tip #05: Enjoy the year!

Time really does fly by and whether your kid is in kindergarten or their senior year of college, make sure to appreciate this time. Get your kids pumped up to go to school with after-school activities or simply talking about their classes.

Have a great Friday and, to all of you Wake County folks, happy last weekend of summer!

How to save gas AND money

We all dread having to fill up our tank and watch money go down the drain, but we need our cars. What would we do without them? How did people survive without them? We’ll never be able to understand.

While we can’t completely avoid paying for gas, we can use little tricks to save gas.

01. Don’t use the breaks so much.
We need breaks but we don’t need them that much when it comes to stopping. You can save gas by simply taking your foot off the break and “coasting”, only using the break to come to a complete stop.
02. Close the window.
By opening the window, the wind pushes back on your car and forces you to use more gas. We know it’s nice to have the window down on a sunny day but it is more efficient.
03. Accelerate gradually.
Let your car catch up to the speed limit.
04. Avoid long warm-ups in the morning.
I know you want your car to be warm but you can survive a couple minutes of shivering in order to save money.
05. Maintain the recommended tire pressure.
When you have low tire pressure, your tires are more likely to drag you down and, thus, you have to use more gas.


Hope these tips helped! Happy Friday!


Did you know that Brown-Phillips Insurance has a golf cart?

The #BPI57, as labeled on its license plate, is a golf cart turned retro and was custom made to appear like a 1957 Chevy. Owner and agent Brian Phillips bought the golf cart in July of 2014 and has absolutely fallen in love with it.


The golf cart is street legal because it has headlights, taillights, windshield wipers, a horn, and turn signals. It can only drive on roads that are marked with the speed limit of 35 mph but that has not stopped Brian. He has routed ways to get to North Hills and downtown Raleigh while staying in 35 mph zones. You can spot Brian all over north Raleigh driving to the grocery store and through different neighborhoods. Brian states that he’s always stopped no matter where he is so that people can take photos of the golf cart due to its classic car exterior. Brian recounts one time having to pose for a picture at a stoplight so a girl could send a photo to her father, a previous owner of a ’57 Chevy.

Brian’s desire to get this golf cart began with his strong love for his old Trans Am that he had as a teenager. After selling the car and, years later, being unable to locate it, he mourned the loss of his beloved car. However. during a family trip to the beach, Brian spotted the golf cart and was in awe of its classic look. He showed interest in the golf cart but there were not any for sale and so he emailed the creator to inform him when any were available. Months later, Brian was contacted and informed that they had one golf cart that was currently on display that was for sale. The maker drove the golf cart to our office in Raleigh and dropped off the shiny new automobile right in our parking lot.

While it is a great ride, the fastest it has been found to go is 30 mph so we understand if you would like to pass us while driving along the road. It could be described as the perfect alternative for a classic car: The classic look but without all of the modifications and money put in to working on it constantly. It is a happy medium! (And, in case you were wondering, we do have golf care insurance. However, it is a separate policy from your automobile policy.)


Two years later, it is still being driven around and used to the fullest. Here in this photo you will see Brian and agent Casey Daniel going for a mid-afternoon drive for a work break. Brian still yearns for his gold Trans Am but, in the mean time, this will do the trick.

So if you see someone driving around in this beautiful golf cart, snap a picture and post it on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook and tag us (@brownphillips) and add the hashtag #BPI57!

Have a great day and a wonderful Wednesday!

Frequently Asked Questions

A good portion of our calls consist of the same few questions and that can be answered easily and within a few minutes.

However, it saves yours and our time to address these questions in this post so you can continue with your day.

Q: Who do I need to call to make a payment?
A: You would need to call the company to make a payment. However, we can take payments in the office and over the phone with a service fee of $5.

Q: What happens when someone not listed on my policy is driving my car and gets into an accident?
A: You’ll need to make the claim with the insurance company. However, no points will be added.

Q: I need to add a car to my policy. What information do you need?
A: Here are the questions we will need to ask you so make sure you have that information readily available.
1. If replacing, which vehicle are you replacing?
2. Year, Make and Model of the vehicle to add.
3. Vehicle ID number (VIN number) of the vehicle to add.
4. Use of the vehicle (pleasure, back and forth to work, etc.)
5. If the vehicle is financed, finance company name and address (not payment address)
6. Date to make the change effective.
7. Are you adding any additional drivers?
8. Coverage limits desired? (Liability or comp/collision deductibles)
9. If adding comp/collision would you like rental and towing coverage as well?

Q: My policy cancelled. How long do I have to reinstate without a lapse?
A: Our two most common companies are National General and Progressive. National General now gives you 45 days to reinstate without a lapse, while Progressive gives 14 days. With other companies, it can vary, but a common amount of time to reinstate is within 30 days from the cancel date.

Q: What is a consent to rate form?
A: North Carolina has a Rate Bureau that sets the rates for all the insurance companies in North Carolina for auto and property. The Rate Bureau sets a “suggested” rate for physical damage coverage. If the insurance company charges a rate that is higher or lower than that “suggested” rate, you have to sign a consent to rate form. Signing the consent to rate does not change or alter the current premium that you are paying, or alter coverage in any way.

Q: What do I need to bring to register my car at the DMV?
A: All you need is the name of your insurance company and your policy number.

I hope this helped answer some of your questions and saved you some time.

Have a great weekend!