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Union Plus insurance saves teacher $1,650

Posted on October 5, 2012
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Aft drivers education grant

By taking advantage of her Union Plus benefits, Carmel Sinopoli, a member of the Hartford Federation of Teachers (HFT) Local 01018, put $1,650 of her hard-earned paycheck back into her pocket.

"I was thrilled that I could save so much money by tapping into Union Plus benefits. Thanks to Union Plus, our family has saved hundreds on insurance coverage," says Carmel. By making the switch to auto insurance offered by Union Plus, the Sinopoli family says they saved $440 on their auto insurance premium, while bolstering their coverage. Carmel also recently received a $250 grant to put towards her daughter's drivers education course. Once offered in public schools at an affordable price, beginner's driver education courses now routinely cost several hundred dollars.

"As a parent, I didn't want to scrimp on driver's education. You tend to have your stomach in your throat when your child starts to drive, so you really want to make sure they are well prepared to go out on the roads. The courses can be expensive, but it's nice to know that Union Plus is helping union families pick up the costs," says Carmel.

Union members who have Union Plus Auto Insurance, offered through 21st Century Insurance, are eligible to receive a grant of up to $250 for driver's education courses. The course taken by Vinny and Carmel Sinopoli's 17-year-old daughter, Brianna, was $600, but weeks after applying for the Union Plus Drivers Training Grant, a check for $250 arrived in the Sinopoli's mailbox.

Carmel, a school secretary and 25-year-member of HFT, learned about the Union Plus benefits from her school's custodian. "I was absolutely shocked when I saw all of the discounts that were offered. Now I'm telling everyone I know about the benefits, including the grants for driver's education."

In addition to beginner's driver education, Union Plus Driver Training Grants are also available for Defensive Driving and "55 Alive" courses. Defensive driving classes can make driver's eligible for up to a 10 percent savings on auto insurance premiums, while participation in "55 Alive" instruction can result in savings of up to 20 percent for auto insurance premiums. "55 Alive," developed by the National Safety Council and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), is designed to further educate drivers who are 55 years of age and older.

The Sinopoli family's decision to switch insurance plans won the endorsement of a trusted advisor, Carmel's 82-year-old father. Riccardo DeLillo has been a policyholder of 21st Century Insurance for about five years and he gave his stamp of the approval to the company and its coverage. In fact, the Sinopoli's have been so satisfied with their union-backed auto insurance they have now changed their home insurance to Union Plus home insurance. Carmel says they save at least $960 a year with their new home insurance.

Union Plus Auto Insurance, specifically designed with union families in mind, offers savings without sacrificing quality coverage; premium deferment during prolonged strikes or lockouts (of up to two months); free, online auto insurance quotes; and 24 hour roadside assistance.

For more information on Union Plus Auto Insurance and Drivers Training Grants, please visit

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