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!

Some tips before your last vacation

It’s official. There is only one more month of summer left.

I can hear the tears from behind the screen.

As summer comes to a close, many families are packing up the car and heading out for one more fantastic road trip to remember for years to come. However, in all the excitement, one can forget simple things like how to properly keep your home protected while you’re away.

Shut the house down.

It seems like a no-brainer to make sure and lock your doors and windows, but it wouldn’t need to be said if it didn’t happen! According to FBI statistics, 30% of robberies consist of unforced entry. Meaning they climbed in your window that your kid said they had locked but actually forgot about.

Tell someone but not everyone.

In the excitement for laying out on the beach or finally getting some peace and quiet, you want to tell anyone and everyone. You turn to your Facebook, your Twitter, your LinkedIn, anywhere that you can brag about how great of a time you’re going to have. However, what you’re doing is laying out a welcome mat for burglars. You’ve provided a timeline of how long you’ll be gone, where you’ll be going, and what family members will remain in the house. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t tell anyone though. Inform a neighbor that you’ll be leaving and ask for them to just keep an eye on your house and get your mail.

Pull the plug.

This doesn’t really keep your home safe as much as it does save you money. Many power appliances use power even when turned off!

Lock it up.

There’s always a chance a burglar could get past your precautions and be in your home. Lock up your valuables such as jewelry, electronics, and anything of important monetary value. This way all they can do is window shop instead of stealing.

Have a fun and safe weekend, everyone! Enjoy your last month!

Why do we need insurance?

The monthly bills roll in and it feels a bit like you’re suffocating.

You have your mortgage/rent, your car payment, your phone bill, the water bill, the power bill, the cable bill, and do not forget that Netflix bill. And then, just when you think you’re done, your insurance payment is due. You look at that nice little bill notice and ask yourself, “Do I really need insurance?”


Aside from the fact that it is illegal in all fifty states to drive without auto insurance, not many can actually pay the real bills that come after the accident. You may be thinking, “But I’m a good driver! I haven’t had an accident in years!” That may be true and bravo to you, but not everyone is as great of a driver as you are. Every time you go out on the road, you’re putting your life in the hands of, not yourself, but everyone else that is driving a vehicle around you.

(A funny story for you: our very own Ashlee Phillips was notorious for totaling cars in her teenage years. So much so that her nickname became Crashlee! Imagine all of those bills had she not had reliable insurance!)

While it isn’t illegal to own a home without home insurance, a mortgage lender most likely will require you to have coverage. And, even when you’re finished paying your mortgage, you should continue to have it! What if a hurricane comes and a tree falls on your house from the winds? How on earth will you pay for that? Your insurance can help.

Think of this article next time you’re paying that insurance bill; it’ll make it a little easier.

Have a great weekend!

Help a friend, help us, help you

Did you know that Brown-Phillips Insurance has a referral rewards program?

You may be asking: What is a referral rewards program?

What that means is that, for every person you refer to us that gets a quote, you get $5! (And who doesn’t want $5?)

With $5, you can buy flowers, lunch, ice cream, pens, a lot of different things! So refer your parents, your best friend, your coworker, your neighbor, your neighbor’s third cousin once removed, even someone you pass by on the street! Have them mention your name and $5 will be on its way to your door.

Whoever you refer, you’re helping get affordable insurance rates. Whoever you refer, you’re helping us gain new and wonderful clients. Whoever you refer, they help you get richer.

So start referring!

Is the Snapchat really worth it?

These days everyone has a smart phone and everyone is attached to it. I have one, my parents have one, even my grandparents have one. Technology has taken over our lives and we do not mind one bit. It makes life easier from reminding you about your doctor’s appointment to allowing you to get in one more level of Candy Crush before you leave for work.

However, it can be a little too easy to take “a quick glance” at your phone while behind the wheel.

When you’re on the road at any time, about 660,000 are using their cell phones. Whether they’re sending a text or looking at the map on their phone, this causes an extreme danger. Huffington Post posted some interesting statistics in 2015:

9 is the number of Americans killed every day by accidents involving texting while driving.

1 in 4 is the probability that an accident was caused by cell phone use while driving.

341,000 is the number of accidents that occurred in 2013 due to texting behind the wheel.

2 is the number of seconds a driver can safely look away from the wheel.

It takes, on average, 5 seconds to send a text.

Most will look at these statistics and think that these statistics only apply to the millennials, or the younger generation, but this applies to all age groups. Cell phones have taken over the lives of many, not just the young. There are times when I look up and see that everyone else is on their phones.

I’m not saying to stop using your phones and to never play Candy Crush again. I’m saying to start using them smartly. One’s life is worth more than a text message.

I apologize for killing the Friday joy a little but just keep these statistics in mind next time you’re driving around and get that message.

Have a wonderful and safe weekend!

Crash course for the Fourth of July

Finally what we’ve all been waiting for – a three day weekend.

But, more importantly, it’s Independence Day! The day we celebrate this wonderful country we live in, work in, and buy insurance in!

With the Fourth of July comes beach visits, fireworks, and a lot of fun. I know Brown-Phillips Insurance will be on Fayetteville Street in Raleigh for festivities. However, the Fourth also comes with a lot of driving, which can result in a lot of accidents. The Fourth of July has been found by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to have more fatal car accidents than any other day of the year with 592 deaths. But don’t unpack the car yet! We have a few tips so you can have a safe holiday.

Always make sure everyone is buckled up.
Everyone has heard of the “click it or ticket” campaign because it is one of the most successful seatbelt campaigns in the country. Did you know that wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of a fatal injury by 45%?
Leave early.
While you may have to wake up with the chickens in order to be packed up and ready to go, your life is much more important than an extra hour of sleep. TODAY’s Dylan Dreyer recommends leaving Friday before 7 a.m. or Saturday before 11 a.m. According to traffic and navigation app Waze, the worst time to travel is Thursday and Friday between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. And for the return trip, avoid driving Monday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.*
Print out the directions ahead of time.
You don’t want to have to explain that the reason you rear-ended someone is because you missed what the GPS said to you and you frantically had to make sure you hadn’t missed your turn.

Enjoy your Fourth of July and stay safe! We’ll see you Tuesday!

*This information is from TODAY.

Team Nancy takes on brain cancer!

Duke University Medical System is making huge strides in brain tumor and cancer research.  Recently featured on 60 Minutes, the Duke Medical Center is a pioneer for brain cancer research, using the polio virus to eradicate tumors, particularly the aggressive growing glioblastoma multiforme brain tumor.  This is truly amazing for a disease that was once considered a death sentence!

Brown-Phillips Insurance has been in business since 2002.  However, the original agency was Dixon Insurance Agency—started by Nancy Dixon.  Nancy just happened to be Ashlee’s mom, and this is the story of her battle with a brain tumor:

“It all started on June 30, 2000.  Just a regular day.  My mom and I were at the office together. All of a sudden, she complained of a terrible headache & told me that something was very wrong. After a trip to the ER, she was taken to the Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke Hospital and our 5 1/2 month battle began with a glioblastoma multiforme. We were so fortunate to live close to such an amazing place, and her care was unparalleled. While her battle was short, the strides that have been made in brain tumor research in the past 15 years have been miraculous.

I hope in my lifetime to see a cure for the scary, aggressive disease that took my mother’s life. Team Nancy is running (okay, walking) in her honor on April 25. Won’t you consider joining our team or making a donation?  Any amount at all will help so much!”

We will not be the fastest, but we will be having the most fun!!! Thank you for your support!

Click here to join our team or make a donation to Team Nancy.

Life Hacks: ‘Snow Way!’ Edition

“The forecast shows freezing rain tonight, and I need to get somewhere in a hurry tomorrow!” Whether it sleets, snows, or freezes over, you may still have to get up, go to work/school, and get out on the roads. To make things a little easier, we’ve comprised a helpful list of “life hacks” that may prevent icy issues.

  • The night before a chilly forecast, park your car facing toward the east. With luck, the Sun will do most of the work for you!
  • Spray your car’s windows with 2/3 vinegar, 1/3 water. This will keep ice from forming on your windows. (Just be careful about spraying your car…the vinegar can damage the paint.)
  • Keep your windshield wipers off the windshield by lifting them. Once you’ve gotten the ice off your windshield, you can place the wipers back into their original position and be on your merry way.
  • Hand sanitizer can melt away snow on your car door handles. And, let’s be real.. if you’re not already carrying around hand sanitizer, then you should.#fluseason
  • Cover your side mirrors with a plastic Ziploc bag and zip it as far as it will go. This will prevent ice from forming on your side mirrors, eliminating one step in your morning’s “de-icing” process.
  • If you find yourself without an ice scraper, use a nonmetal kitchen spatula or a credit card.
  • Making shoveling snow a lot easier by spraying non-stick cooking oil on your shovel. The snow comes right off!
  • Spread cat litter underneath your tires to gain some traction. (Plan B: If you don’t have a cat, use your car’s floor mats, instead.)
  • If your headlights become foggy or dirty, clean them off with an old rag and some toothpaste. Although it takes a while, you’ll feel much more at ease with the safety that comes with it!
  • As we mentioned in our last post, keep a winter weather emergency kit in your car at all times.

Because North Carolina is used to getting snow late in the winter months, I’m sure that these life hacks will become useful to you soon enough. As always, be safe driving on roads during/after inclement weather. Read up in our previous post on ways to practice safe driving in snowy/icy situations.