4 months ago ·
by Donna ·
There is a lot of great information about insurance. However, there are also a lot of insurance myths. For example, many people think that they will have to pay more for insurance if they drive a red car. They may also think that their belongings are covered by their landlord’s insurance if they live in an apartment. That is why it is important to separate the fact from the fiction.
Myth: Your Insurance Will Increase if You Have a Red Car
Fact: This is one of the most common insurance myths. The color of your car does not have any effect on the amount of money that you will spend on car insurance. The safety features of your car as well as the make and model will determine how much money you will have to spend on insurance.
Myth: If You get Into an Accident While in a Rental Car, Then It Will be Covered By Insurance
Fact: Rental reimbursement will not automatically cover the accident. It is a form of insurance that you will have to purchase separately.
Myth: You Will Not Have to Make any More Car Payments if You Total Your Accident
Fact: The value of a car can depreciate quickly. In many cases, a car is worth less than what a person owes on the car. There is a type of insurance called loan/lease gap insurance. It will pay the balance of your vehicle if you total it, and it is worth less than what you owe on it.
Myth: Your Landlord’s Policy Will Cover Your Vehicle
Fact: Your landlord’s insurance will pay for damages that are done to the structure. You will have to get a renter’s insurance policy for your belongings.
Myth: The Market Value of Your Home is the Maximum Homeowners Insurance Coverage That You Need
Fact: The cost of rebuilding a home is usually more than the market value. You will not only need to consider the cost of your home, but you will also need to consider the cost of labor. You will also need to consider the cost of construction.
Myth: Floods are Typically Covered by Home Insurance
Fact: Floods are not covered by your home insurance policy. You are required to purchase a separate policy if you live in an area that is prone to floods. Even if your area is not prone to flooding, it is still a worthwhile investment.
Myth: You Will Get New Belongings if Your Old Ones are Destroyed
Replacement Cost Value and Actual Cash Value are not the same. If your belongings are damaged, then you will need Replacement Cost Value to get new ones. Actual Cash Value will cover what the belongings are actually worse.
Myth: The Stated Value of Your Scheduled Items is What You Will be Paid
Fact: If you have jewelry or other high-value item, then you may only be reimbursed up to what the current Replacement Cost Value is. The stated value is not a guaranteed amount.
Myth: Your Car Insurance Will Cover You the Entire Time You Work for a Ridesharing Service
Fact: There is a small gap between the time that your car insurance coverage ends and the ride sharing coverage begins. For example, you turn on your ridesharing app and are looking for passengers. You may not be insured until you get a passenger. Every ridesharing company has a different policy.
Myth: There is no Need for an Insurance Agent
Fact: An insurance agent can help you get the best plan for your needs and budget.
6 months ago ·
by Donna ·
In the recent past, uber and lyft has done something very revolutionary to the world in terms of their business model. If you have a car and want to either make a passive or a full-time income, you could set your own schedules, drive as much as you want and make a proportionate amount of money. Now, this is not just limited to the United States as the ridesharing options are spread in so many countries across the globe. Uber and lyft have certainly changed the way passengers commute and have also created thousands of jobs. And with such perks, there are also risks associated in terms of accidents and if you are the driver, then your personal insurance might not be sufficient and hence it is imperative that you get good coverage.
But before we delve further deep, let’s understand what a rideshare insurance is. In simple terms, it is the car insurance every driver needs to have if they are working with a ridesharing company. It is required as the vehicle is no longer used for personal use; it is indeed operated for business purposes. And not having this type of car insurance could prove astronomical to the drivers if anything unfavorable happens. One of the reasons why the insurance is required is the fact that the taxi drivers are bound to be on road for longer durations which augments the risks of getting into an accident. Since there is a passenger involved, drivers are likely to be responsible for passengers’ safety and hence any medical damages.
In the earlier times, almost all of the insurance companies did not offer a great deal of service while customers were looking for a car insurance to drive for transportation network companies (TNCs). Some of the drivers even had their policies canceled once the insurance firms were aware of the fact that they were working for TNCs. But as the popularity of these ride-sharing companies grew, there was a much better cooperation and now more and more insurance firms are coming forward to helping out the drivers. You would not be deprived of making extra money if you do not have your personal car. There is quite a bit of service who offer rental vehicles for ridesharing purposes and offer some competitive advantages to the drivers. Some of them include the insurance as a part of the contract which also includes the comprehensive coverage.
Let’s now discuss the most important aspect of this rideshare insurance, the costs associated. In the past, drivers had to pay hefty amounts to these firms, but with the popularity of these ridesharing services, they are competing like never before to attract more consumers. The positive side for the drivers is that it has become much more affordable than before and if you include the added monthly costs, it could be as less as $10, based on the circumstances. When you drive for these ridesharing companies, you are more like a contractor and not their direct employee and hence these companies take no responsibility if anything happens during the off-duty time.
In instances where you use ridesharing vehicles for personal use, it becomes the responsibility of the personal insurance to cover any damages in the event of an accident. But once the insurance firm discovers that you are using the car vehicle for commercial reasons, it is unlikely that you will get assistance from them. This is more like a gray area and to understand better, let us examine three different types of events that might happen:
- The first possibility could be when you as a driver have the ridesharing company app open and waiting for a passenger. In such instances, you are not likely to get any coverage from your personal insurance since the app is on.
- The second instance could be when you are on your way to pick up the passenger. In such instances, the transportation companies are likely to offer increased coverage.
- The final possibility could be when the passenger has already boarded the cab. This is when you are likely to get full coverage provided by the TNC.
While you may be the safest driver and have all the possible coverage you could think of, accidents might happen as driving on roads is all about risks. You could get into a fatal accident even if it’s not your mistake. But if something unfavorable happens, it is imperative that you follow the protocol. In case you are not completely sure about the procedure, it could be understood through the following steps:
• Your foremost priority is to make sure that everyone in the car is safe before even thinking of anything else. This would also be the top priority of all the ridesharing companies.
• Try to exchange insurance information with all the parties involved so that there are no hassles in the future during claims.
• Contact the transportation company and report the incident. This is an obligation on the part of all the drivers to report any incidents.
When the first possibility mentioned above happens, the driver is at a huge risk and this is where having rideshare insurance could be of immense help. Almost all the top 10 insurance firms in the United States offer this coverage. All you need to do is contact them and discuss the coverage options that best suit your needs. If you are in any way thinking of skipping this option, you might be up for a catastrophe in the event of an accident.
6 months ago ·
by Donna ·
It is a sad but true statistic for anyone who drives an automobile. If you have not already been rear-ended in a car accident chances are you will in your lifetime. It is one of the most common type of car accidents involving more than one vehicle. Most believe that the person who hits the car in front of them is the one who is at fault. This is simply not true. The best advice for any driver is to have insurance coverage to help you if you are in one of these accidents. Here are a few things to consider if you are rear-ended.
Documentation – To help prove who is liable it is in your best interest to document the accident thoroughly. Contact the police and emergency services as needed. The police will write an accident report stating their findings and conclusions. Someone might even be ticketed. Be sure there are photos of the accident; they could be necessary if you must attend court. If possible see if there are any witnesses who can corroborate what happened.
Burden of proof – If you are the one who hit the vehicle in front of you many will assume you are guilty. If there are mitigating circumstances that caused you to hit the car in front of you be sure to make them known. Much like a lawyer has to prove a person’s guilt it might be necessary for you to prove you were not at fault. A few of the reasons that might show that are: the car in front of you has faulty brake lights, the driver in front of you made an unsafe or illegal lane change or show that the driver in front of you being distracted drove dangerously causing the accident.
Multiple car accidents – When there are more than two cars involved in a rear-ended accident, liability is even harder to determine because there are so many parties involved. Again begin with as much documentation as possible. The more parties involved you will get conflicting stories about how the accident happened. The first car could start a chain reaction where following traffic has no way of avoiding the rear-end collision. Or it could be simply the car in the middle hit the car in front and made it impossible for the third and following cars to stop before getting involved. In other instances the third or more car could be driving negligently and runs into the cars in front of them; essentially pushing them all together. As you can expect the more cars involved in a rear-end accident the harder it can be to accurately determine the initial cause.
This is where as a responsible driver needs to realize the importance of having full and comprehensive coverage with a reputable insurance agent. So if you find yourself involved in this type of accident; no matter where the fault lies; you can rest easy knowing you and your car are well represented.
7 months ago ·
by Donna ·
Everyone knows, cars break down a lot. And when they do, it is often a very traumatic and messy affair, resulting in canceled plans, lost opportunities, problems with one’s employer, and a whole lot of stress. If you are not mechanically inclined, the problem is made all the more frustrating by the fact that you do not know what to do in order to fix the problem. So naturally, you call a mechanic to deal with the problem. Although they often will fix the problem, it will often be an expensive affair that leaves you playing financial “catch up” for weeks or even months afterward.
Although these kinds of situations cannot be totally avoided, there are many things one can do to make them less frequent and less likely. As any good mechanic will tell you, the lifespan of your car is greatly affected by how well you treat it.
Think of it like a garden. If you do not tend it, it will develop all kinds of problems. Weeds will grow in, bugs will move in, and fruit will rot on the vine. A vehicle is kind of the same way. Careful tending of its needs will keep it from wearing itself down and greatly prolong the life of the vehicle. So without further ado, let’s get into these 8 simple and easy car maintenance jobs that anyone can do.
1. Change your air filter frequently
Your air filter is meant to keep airborne debris out of your engine. As an engine runs, it takes in air to mix with the fuel and combust, so in effect, it “breathes”. When you understand it that way, you can also understand that a good clean filter is necessary for a vehicle to breathe properly. The dirtier that filter is, the more it will obstruct the air flow to your engine, affecting performance in negative ways. It needs to be changed once a year.
This is an extremely cheap and easy thing to do. Most air filters cost about $10 and should take no more than ten minutes to replace. Underneath your hood, you will see a large, black, rectangular box with metal clips holding it together. Check your owner’s manual if you have trouble locating it. Pop these clips and open up the casing. Pull out the old filter and inspect it. If it is dirty, just put a new one in its place and put the cover back on. Simple as that.
2. Changing your windshield wipers
This is something that is so easy, it almost needs no explanation. Like the previous task, it should take no more than ten minutes. All you have to do is lift up the blades and detach them from their bases. You may have to push a little tab to get them to detach. Different models vary, but most are simply hooked on. If you see how they came off, you can easily see how to put the replacement on.
3. Changing your spark plugs
This one is slightly harder, but not much. A new set of plugs will normally cost you ten to fifteen dollars. Most engines require spark plug replacement every 30,000 miles, but you should check your owner’s manual for an exact figure.
Finding your spark plugs should be pretty easy. They are usually on top of the engine, and there are thick rubbery wires leading to all of them. They go directly into the engine itself and have a small rubber boot at the end. Every model of engine looks different, but all you really have to do is look up a parts diagram for your car. It will tell you where your spark plugs are and how many there are. You will also need to look up the exact order in which you change the plugs, as this also varies.Locating them is actually the hardest part. Once you have found them, pull the boot off the first plug. At this point you will need a ratchet, a socket that fits, and an extension for the ratchet. They make special sockets for this exact purpose, which are made to grip the plug as you loosen it. These are very handy and will save you much frustration. Put the new plugin its place and tighten it down. BE VERY CAREFUL not to overtighten! If you tighten too much, the plug can break, as it is partly made from ceramic.
From here you just repeat these steps for the remaining plugs, making sure to do them in the correct order.
4. Oil and oil filter
Your oil should be changed every 3000-5000 miles. You begin by letting the engine cool completely. You’ll most likely need to jack up your car, because you are going to get under it and locate the oil plug. It should be located on the underside of the oil pan. Once again, consulting a good diagram can help a lot here. The pan is usually front and center on the underside of your car, so it shouldn’t be hard.
Place an oil container under the plug and loosen it. It will come out quickly so be ready to get out of the way. Let all the old oil drain, replace the plug, and add more oil.
Once again, you will need to consult a parts diagram to find the exact location of your oil filter, but it usually just screws right into the engine. You may need an oil filter wrench to remove it. Replace it and you’re done. Make sure you dispose of the old oil properly.
5. Battery maintenance
Often, corrosion and residues will build upon the terminals of your battery, causing various electrical problems. To deal with this, simply remove both battery cables and clean the posts with a solution of water and baking soda. Use a little clean water to rinse the posts, dry them, and reconnect your battery cables. Simple as that!
6. Radiator flush
This process is similar to an oil change. Radiators tend to build up deposits over time, which can clog and ruin them if not corrected. Flushing the radiator helps to keep it running nice and clean, and should be done about once a year. To do this, start by letting your car cool completely, then locate the drain plug at the bottom of the radiator. Unscrew this plug and let the fluid drain into a container. Replace the plug and add the flushing solution through the top. Now fill the rest of the radiator with water and replace the radiator cap.
Next, you will need to let your car run until it reaches normal operating temperature. Now, turn on the heat full-blast and let it run for ten minutes. Now let the engine cool down again, and drain the radiator one more time. Now you just fill it back up with fresh coolant and that’s that.
7. Brake Pads
This is another easy job that should be done anytime your brakes are making a grinding noise, or every 20,000 miles (whichever comes first).
Start by loosening the lug nuts on one wheel. Continue by jacking up your car and putting it on jack stands. Now remove the tire. You should see the brake pads being held in place by the caliper. That caliper will have two bolts holding it in place. Loosen those bolts and the pads will fall right out.
In order to replace the caliper, you will need to use a big C-clamp to push the cylinder in. This cylinder is located on the interior of the caliper. Push this drum-shaped cylinder in and you should be able to replace everything the same way it came out. Now do the other wheel and you’re done!
NOTE: most cars have brake pads on the front, but not on the back. Most back brakes are drum brakes, which are harder to work on.
8. Changing the fuel filter
This one can be harder, depending on your vehicle, but not too bad. Start by pulling the fuel pump fuse so that fuel won’t spray everywhere when you detach the hoses leading to the filter, which is step two. You will probably need wrenches to do this. When you put the new one back in, make sure to change the washers. Now you just replace your fuse and start the car. Using all of these simple processes, you can help your car to serve you well for years to come.
9 months ago ·
by Donna ·
A fender bender can be a shocking incident, often one that happens abruptly. There is no proper way to train for a fender bender and hopefully they do not happen to you very often. However, there are a few steps that you should take after a fender bender to ensure that you are safe and everything is documented properly.
Get to a Safe Spot
The first and most important step, after having a car accident, is to make sure that your vehicle is out of danger’s way. If possible, after the accident, move your car over to the side of the road or into a parking lot. If you or the other driver cannot move your cars, try to remain in the vehicles as much as possible. Not only will this make the accident-process much easier, but it may be potentially life-saving.
Call the Police
You will want to call the police, before you leave your vehicle, to ensure that they arrive as quickly as possible. Police are trained on what to do during an accident and have a lot of experience in these situations. Not only will they provide you with help, but they will document the accident.
Check on the Other Driver(s)
After you have ensured that you and the other drivers are in safe locations, and you have called for help, you will want to check to see if the other drivers involved will need medical assistance. During this interaction, if you can, exchange information with the other drivers to ensure that you have documents for later. Often times, when you call 911, they will ask if anyone at the accident scene needs medical help so it is best to do this step while on the phone with the dispatcher.
Document the Accident
You will need to at least write down what occurred and what damages were obtained as a result of the accident. If anyone, either you or anyone else involved, was injured in the accident make sure to document that as well. You will want to get the information of any witnesses who may have seen the accident occur. If you have a camera, or a phone with a camera, then take detailed pictures of the scene, vehicles, license plates, and people involved, including witnesses. Having accurate documents will make the process, after the accident, go much smoother.
Call Your Insurance Company
Contact you insurance company’s emergency line and inform them that you have had an accident. Most dispatchers will ask you if you have taken the steps above, to make sure that you are safe. Following the accident, your agent will inform you of what steps to take so that your vehicle, and the other vehicles involved, are repaired as quickly as possible.
Leave the Scene
If everything is okay, and the accident was minor, then you will be able to drive away from the accident. All of the documentation will have been done and the proper authorities will have been notified, so you can then put your seat belt back on and safely merge back into traffic. If your car has been damaged and cannot be driven, then you will need to call a tow-truck. Many insurance companies will offer this service, but if that is not the case then a police officer can possibly help you. You can then decide if you want to travel, to a repair shop, with the tow-truck driver or have someone come to pick you up from the scene.
An accident can be scary, but knowing what steps to take can make the process much easier. After an accident it is very important to remain calm so that you can think clearly.