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Driver Knowledge Resources

Driver Knowledge Resources

At All Solutions Insurance, we believe a good driver is a knowledgeable and well-informed driver. We are committed to educating drivers about good practices about driving, safety, laws & regulations, so we can help save money for you today and in the long run. In the following sections, we have complied important driver knowledge resources.

Understanding Car Safety Ratings

Although newer vehicles are generally more expensive to insure than older ones, consumers can often get discounts if their new vehicles have the latest safety features. Advances in crash and accident avoidance technology mean that consumers who buy a new vehicle equipped with the latest safety features are often less likely to be seriously injured in a car crash.

Safety ratings are a function of two major factors: prevention—how well the vehicle is designed to prevent an accident—and, crash worthiness—how well the vehicle performs in a crash.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ranks its Top Safety Picks based on good, acceptable, marginal or poor performance in high-speed front and side crash tests, a rollover test, and evaluations of seat / head restraints for protection against neck injuries during rear impacts. Crash tests are conducted on a half-dozen types of vehicles, including large cars, mid-sized cars, small cars, minivans, mid-size SUVs, and small SUVs. For a full report on recalls and defects, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.

Currently, some of the top-rated safety features are:

  • Adaptive front airbags
  • Side airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Knee airbags
  • Electronic stability control
  • Brake assist
  • Tire pressure monitors
  • Smart headlights
  • Crash-alert systems (such as OnStar)
  • Built-in car seats

Side curtain airbags—which prevent passengers from being ejected when autos rollover—are among the more desirable safety features currently available

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Leverage your Car Safety ratings to get you a discount on Car Insurance

Leverage your Car Safety ratings to get you a discount on Car Insurance.

If you are in the market for a new or used auto, it is almost always a good idea to check into the cost of insurance before finalizing your purchase. Generally speaking, expensive cars are also more costly to insure. Moreover, every vehicle has a safety rating that may affect the cost of your premium. Ask your ASI agent for a free rate quote.

Factory-installed safety features often qualify for premium discounts. For example, air bags, anti-lock brakes and anti-theft systems are the most common features that may earn you discounts on your insurance policy. Anti-lock brakes, in particular, often head the list of auto safety features. Certain states—such as Florida, New Jersey and New York give a discount for this feature. Daytime running lights may also qualify for a discount, as well as automatic seat belts.

After-market installations of automatic seat belts, car alarms and anti-theft devices may also qualify for car safety discounts.

In some states, a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) window etching qualifies for a discount. After-market window etching, in particular, tends to be fairly inexpensive and is occasionally offered through local police departments as part of local vehicle theft prevention initiatives

How long should I keep my car for safety reasons?

If you drive a vehicle that is more than six to eight years old, you should be aware that technology has advanced and that newer vehicles are much safer than older vehicles. Both – the National Traffic Safety Administration, a government agency, and the Institute for Highway Safety, an organization sponsored by the insurance industry, annually evaluate crash worthiness—or, how well a vehicle protects its occupants during a crash.

If you are unable to upgrade to a newer vehicle, you might want to consider installing safety features that will aid in improving your chances of avoiding severe injury in an accident. As an example, consumers who live in snow-belt states might consider purchasing snow tires or all-weather tires. Winter wiper blades can help to keep the windshield clear in icy and snowy weather. And switching over to window washer fluids that have de-icing capabilities is another good safety measure.

One to the best safety features that many consumers overlook are seat belts. Wearing a seat belt is now mandatory in many states. Not using your seat belt causes the other safety features in your vehicle to be less effective because you are lacking a vital, primary restraint.

Aside from overall safety, some other things to consider when driving an older vehicle are whether it makes financial sense to purchase Collision and Comprehensive insurance. If your vehicle is older and worth less than your deductible, Collision and Comprehensive coverage might be options you don’t need. However, it’s important to note that most states require you to purchase automobile liability insurance, which can protect you and your passengers in the event of a covered loss. Because any vehicle, regardless of age, can cause damage to property or to others in the event of an accident, you may be required to carry two types of automobile liability insurance: Bodily Injury and Property Damage.

Drivers purchasing older vehicles should also consider mechanical breakdown insurance. Older vehicles tend to be less reliable, and if your car breaks down, roadside assistance and a tow service could be essential.

Tips to Protect Your Car From Auto Theft

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the nation’s leading non-profit organization exclusively dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft, two vehicles are stolen every minute in the United States. Car thefts can occur anytime—at random on different days of the week and times of the day. Auto thefts occur with greater frequency where large groups of cars are parked for extended periods of time, such as shopping centers, colleges, sporting events, movie complexes or large apartment complexes.*
NICB’s annual Hot Spots list tracks the cities that lead the nation in auto thefts. While 62 percent of stolen vehicles are found, many un-recovered autos are shipped overseas and sold on the black market, stripped at a chop shop and sold for parts or resold to unsuspecting consumers, according to the NICB.

Precautionary measures can minimize your chances of becoming a victim of auto theft. Here are some tips you can use to minimize the likelihood that you will be a victim:

  • Never leave your car running unattended.
  • Never leave any keys in the car or ignition—even inside a locked garage, or in hide-a-key boxes.
  • Always close your windows and lock the car—even if it is parked in front of your house.
  • Never leave valuables or packages in plain view—even if your car is locked.
  • When possible, park in high-traffic and well-lit areas.
  • Install a mechanical device that locks the steering wheel, column or brakes.
  • Consider a security / tracking system, such as a LoJack, Teletrac or OnStar.
  • Never leave personal identification documents, such as the vehicle ownership title or credit cards, in your car.
  • Leave only the ignition key, when leaving your car with a valet, attendant or mechanic.

If you are a victim of auto theft, and ASI‘s your insurer, here are some tips that may help to expedite the process of filing a claim:

Call ASI’s Claims Department: 951-247-2003

When filing a claim

Contact ASI / you’re your insurance company immediately to report your loss.

Prepare to file your claim by having your policy number in hand.

Remember to provide claims adjusters with alternate (mobile) contact phone numbers.

Offer photos of your car to your claims adjuster if these are available.

Contact the police – they will advise if they need to respond.

My sister is visiting from out of town, will my auto insurance policy apply if she drives my car?

Some companies do extend coverage to permissive drivers, however, certain restrictions may apply. If permissive use is allowed by your carrier, it allows limited coverage to any individual who is not listed as an excluded driver on the policy and had the express or implied permission of the named insured, to use the vehicle that is covered on the policy without charging premium. For more information, call an ASI expert.

Car Insurance and a Borrowed Car

If I let my friend drive my car, is he covered under my insurance or his? As with all questions regarding coverage, it depends on the language of the policy. For most policy forms used in the U.S. however the answer would be yes and both. Typically your policy would provide coverage for anyone driving your car with your permission (if you are the policy holder) and your friend’s policy provides coverage for use of a borrowed (“non-owned”) auto. You policy would not, of course, provide coverage for a driver which you had excluded and may not provide coverage for residents of your household not listed on the policy. More restrictive policies may only cover liability coverage, and not cover the car itself.

That begs the question; if both provide coverage, which one pays? The mantra used to sort this out is that “coverage follows the vehicle” or “coverage on the vehicle is always primary”. That means that the policy naming the vehicle (yours) pays first. If, for some reason, it will not pay or the coverage is insufficient then the coverage naming the driver (your friend’s) will pay.

For example, if your friend is driving your car and is in an accident which is determined to be his fault and causes injury to the other party of $20,000.00. Your policy would pay first. If your bodily injury liability limit per person is $15,000 your carrier pays that amount. If your friend also has auto insurance with higher limits (bigger numbers) of $50,000 per person his insurance will pay the remaining $5000.

For more information, or to receive a free California auto insurance quote, please talk to an ASI expert today or visit www.allsolutionsinsurance.com

This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverages in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

When Driving a Friends Car, Am I Covered Under My Insurance or Theirs?

In some cases, we let family members or friends borrow our car. In others, we may be the ones who are doing the borrowing. Whose insurance will cover an accident or damage? As always, it will depend on your specific policy and state, but below are a few general guidelines you can follow. If you are unsure, it is always best to consult with your insurance agency or coverage provider.

In California, coverage follows the vehicle. In most cases, the primary insurance will be the policy that is purchased for the specific car, even if you loan it to someone else. If you borrow someone else’s vehicle, their policy should pay first. Your own coverage is “secondary” or excess, and typically applies only if the primary insurance is insufficient to cover the loss.

When you are purchasing a policy, you should ask your provider about this situation. They may also advise you of ways to protect yourself. In most cases, in order for another driver to be covered, they must have permission to drive your vehicle to be covered. Also, if there are drivers that you don’t want to have driving your car, you can have them excluded from your policy so they don’t have coverage.

This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverages in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

Excluded Driver

Many people confuse having a person removed from a policy and getting what is called an excluded driver endorsement. When someone is removed from a policy it is usually because they have left the household and no longer have access to the policy vehicles. An excluded driver endorsement is a little bit different. When an individual gets this endorsement, they are telling their insurance company that in no way should this person be covered if there is damage to the vehicle. This endorsement is available as a cost-saving measure to avoid having to pay for a household member who will not be driving the insured vehicle(s).

Why would you need an excluded driver endorsement? A policy owner may wish to apply this endorsement on a named driver because of some of the following issues related to the driver:

  • They have a suspended license.
  • They have a DUI conviction.
  • They are problematic drivers.

Other than a driver with a problematic history in the home, a policy owner may wish to exclude all drivers other than the primary driver(s) to reduce their premium. While this may save the policy owner money, they will have to consider that if there is an emergency need for the car and the policy holder is not able to drive, and the excluded driver has to do so, they still will not be covered in the event of an accident.

Can You Get Auto Insurance Before You’ve Moved to the State?

The short answer to this question is yes. You can purchase auto insurance before you move to that state. The caveat is that you must already have a permanent address in the state you are moving to. If you’ve purchased a home or leased an apartment, you can then buy insurance before you fully move in. Bear in mind, however, that your insurance company may require you to obtain a license and registration for your vehicle shortly after purchasing your policy.

Before you decide on coverage, it is important to shop around. Many states have regulations that must be met by insurance carriers. Only these insurance providers will be able to answer state specific questions. If you are moving to California for instance, you would need to speak with an agency that is knowledgeable of California rules and regulations for insurance. ASI offers free quotes for auto insurance and many other insurance products. When you submit an inquiry for a quote, ASI will shop many different coverage’s to make sure you get the best combination of policy and price. Many options will be returned to you, so you can pick the policy that works best for you.

Don’t forget, you can save money by bundling your policies. ASI can get additional discounts for you when you purchase auto, home and others. Contact us today for a free rate quote.

How Do Insurance Companies Define Sports Cars?

Let’s face it; driving in a performance model car is just more fun and exciting than schlepping to work in your average four-door sedan. In most cases sports cars are more expensive than average vehicles because they have higher performance engines and features that cost more to integrate into the vehicle when compared to an “average” car. Not only will a sports car be more expensive off the lot, but it will also cost more when you are buying car insurance.

Each insurance carrier will define a sports car a little bit differently, so it is important to check first. Here are some common factors that many insurance companies will use to determine if your car is a sports car or not.

Two doors – For most people, this doesn’t seem to be a defining factor of a sports car, but for some insurance companies it is. Two door cars are generally smaller than a four door, and because of this, they can be determined to be less safe. Two door cars are frequently driven by younger drivers without families. This rule is interesting because it can “hurt” those who don’t really have a two door sports car, but help those that have a four door performance model.

Engine Size – More often if the car has a large engine (V-8 or bigger) it will be considered a sports car. These cars put out more power and are much faster. In some cases smaller engines with modifications such as turbo chargers and super chargers can be considered sports cars as well.

Height & Weight – Sports cars are generally lower to the ground and weigh less than their non-sporty counterparts.

Other Factors that drive the insurance premium up on a sports car can be that they are often more targeted by thieves and sometimes the drivers will be more reckless when driving them. Vehicles made of non-standard materials like fiberglass are more easily damaged and also more costly to repair.

For more information about Sports Car Insurance, please contact an ASI expert today.

This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverages in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

If a Tree Falls on My House or Car, am I Covered?

California sure has a wide variety of weather patterns. High winds or torrential rains can topple a tree like a toddler knocking down Lego blocks. What happens when your neighbor’s tree comes crashing down on your roof? Who pays to have the damage repaired?

Here’s the easy answer. No matter where the tree came from (whether from your yard or your neighbor’s) your insurance company should cover the damage.

There is an exception to this rule and that is if the damage is a result of your neighbor’s negligence. Let’s say your neighbor’s tree was rotting, dead and a risk. If you can prove your neighbor knew it was problematic, then it’s likely the damage becomes your neighbor’s insurance company’s responsibility.

There are a few other things you should know. If a tree falls into your yard and does not damage anything but results in a huge mess, most of the time, you as a homeowner are responsible for costs associated with clean-up. If your tree does, in fact, cause property damage covered by your homeowner policy then they will pay for its removal. Damages to your trees and shrubs are covered due to losses from vandalism, theft and fire but not storm damages.

If your tree or your neighbor’s tree falls on your car, the comprehensive coverage section of your auto policy will typically pay for the repairs.

The smartest thing that you can do if any of this happens to you is to file a claim with your own insurance company. They are experts in this area and will know exactly how to deal with it. At All Solutions Insurance we can help with all of your Auto Insurance and Homeowners Insurance needs to ensure that you have the coverage right for you.

This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverages in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

Being Prepared and Roadside Assistance

With summer almost here, families will be hitting the road to visit grandma and other family members or just taking a road trip. While these trips can be fun, one thing that could ruin it, would be breaking down, or having something go wrong with your car and then having to pay out-of-pocket expenses for the repair.

Being prepared before you make a long drive is the best way to protect your family and your pocketbook from unplanned expenses. First and foremost, it is important to make sure your vehicle is road trip ready. Checking out your car before you leave and taking care of any issues will help to eliminate some problems you may face. Check the following items before you go:

  • Tires – make sure the have the proper tread and are free from any nails or punctures.
  • Coolant – with summer heat upon us, make sure the coolant system is full and does not have any leaks. Replace worn or broken hoses immediately.
  • Check belts – the belts in your car run various items such as power brakes, steering and air conditioning. Replacing a worn belt can ensure you are not stuck without air or other essential functions.
  • Plan loose routes – while not an actual maintenance tip, having a loose plan of your road trip will help you to find service stations. Making a rough plan is also good so others will know when to expect you, or when to call for help if you do not arrive.

Another way to make sure you are protected is with a roadside assistance insurance policy. This policy will help to defer the cost of unexpected costs along the way. If you breakdown and need towing or a repair service, the roadside assistance coverage will help to reduce the overall cost.

For more information about roadside assistance insurance, Please Contact an ASI expert today.

This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverages in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

Holiday Road Trip Checklist

It’s that time of year again; the holidays are upon us and everyone is busy planning meals, parties, family activities, shopping lists, and travel arrangements. If you’re driving this year (near or far), be sure you’re prepared for your holiday road trip so you don’t get stuck ill-equipped on the side of the interstate on your way to Grandma’s.

So, somewhere in between picking up the Thanksgiving bird or crossing one more gift off your list, be sure you stock up on the essentials for your car and your family, so you have everything you need while you’re driving. Following is a helpful holiday road trip checklist you can use to make sure you’ve made your list and checked it twice!

  • Up-to-date auto insurance card and paperwork
  • Tools for fixing a flat – working, properly inflated, spare tire and jack, can of “fix-a-flat”, etc.
  • GPS or maps
  • Cell phone charger
  • Emergency supplies for your family – first aid kit, snacks and water for the kids, toilet paper, etc.
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Jumper cables
  • Extra Oil, washer fluid, etc.

Make sure your holiday road trip checklist items are well organized and accessible to those who’ll need them; e.g., snacks should be easy for bigger kids to access without the driver having to assist, while tools for flat tires can be safely stowed in the trunk to ensure they’re there when needed, but out of the way of the more often used cargo. Also, your holiday road trip checklist shouldn’t just be comprised of supplies, you may want to get a tune-up and have your tires checked before you embark on any lengthy holiday road trips; and be sure to check and top off fluids and gas before you get on the road. The holidays can be hectic enough as is, don’t cause yourself anymore undue stress by getting caught on the road unaware; use our holiday road trip checklist to ensure you have everything you need.

For more information about auto insurance coverage, please visit www.allsolutionsinsurance.com or call us at 951-247-2003.

This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverages in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

Rainy Day Driving Tips

Sudden rainstorms can sometimes seem to come out of nowhere. When these happen, drivers can lose sight of what to do on wet roads with low visibility. Below is a list of some of the most important safety tips you should follow to be prepared for driving in the rain.

A couple items that you will want to make sure that you make sure that you have in good condition regardless of weather are your windshield wipers and your tires. If the weather turns sour, these will be your two most important pieces of safety equipment. Worn windshield wipers will inhibit your ability to see, and bald tires will not give you the grip you need in wet conditions. When you encounter rainy weather, you should do the following:

  • Exercise extreme caution especially after a dry spell. When it is dry, oil and grease can build up on the road. With initial rainfall, the surface of the road will be very slick until the rain washes it away.
  • Drive slower and allow for more time. Driving slower will give more time to react in the event that a situation occurs near you. Allowing more time to get to your destination will leave you less stressed, and you will tend not to try to hurry to reach your end point.
  • Leave more distance between other cars. When it is raining, you will not be able to stop as quickly as you would in dry conditions. Leaving more distance will allow you more time to stop safely.
  • Apply gradual brake pressure when stopping. If you apply forceful brake pressure in slick conditions, you could lock up your brakes sending your car into an uncontrollable spin. Gradual brake pressure will allow the tires to keep rotating, which will reduce the tendency of the car to skid. One caveat, though: if you’re sure your car has anti-lock brakes, don’t pump the brakes. It defeats the purpose of the anti-lock system.
  • Turn on your headlights. Many new vehicles have daytime running lamps (DRL) which keeps the lights on all the time. If you are in an older vehicle, turn on your lights so other people can see you in low visibility situations.

If conditions continue to worsen, it is always a good idea to pull over to the side of the road and wait out the worst. If you do pull over, move as far over as you can and turn on your hazard lights.

This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverages in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

Winter Driving Tips

Winter can bring snow, rain, sleet, hail and any combination thereof, depending on which state you live in. Each type of weather brings its own challenge, but if you prepare your vehicle and yourself to drive in these conditions, you will be much safer, and less likely to be in an accident.

The first step to driving safely in the winter months is making sure your vehicle is equipped to handle the weather. Perform routine maintenance to make sure you are not stuck and do all of the following:

  • Switch to an all season tire, and replace tires with worn tread. Having the proper tire will help you to grip the road better and stop quicker.
  • Check fluid levels. Make sure your antifreeze, brake fluid and windshield wiper solutions are filled. Buy windshield wiper fluid designed for cold weather so that it does not freeze when you use it.
  • Equip your car with safety items. Having a winter safety kit is essential. The kit should include blankets, road flares, first aid items, flashlight and batteries. These items will help keep you safe in the event you breakdown.

The next step to safe winter driving is making sure that you are prepared to drive in less than perfect road conditions. Follow these driving tips so are better prepared:

  • Leave more distance. When following a car, leave a greater distance between you and the car in front of you. If the leading car suddenly slows down, the increased distance will allow you to maneuver more safely in slippery conditions.
  • Know how your car handles. You may want to find an empty parking lot and practice driving in snowy weather. This will help you to get a feel for what your car does in a skid and how to best recover from it. There may also be some defensive driving courses available in your area. These courses will teach you skills needed to drive in all types of conditions.
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. If you do these two actions quickly, you may cause your car to slide and become uncontrollable.
  • Stay home! If conditions are just too bad, or you are uncomfortable driving, stay home. Sometimes the risks aren’t worth it.

This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverages in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

 

Pet Vehicle Safety

Whether it’s a trip to the vet, or just a cruise to the beach, at some point all animal owners will have to transport their pets. Transporting your pets in a car can be very dangerous to you and your pet if not handled properly. Each day we see people driving with their small dog on their lap, or bigger dogs roaming the entire car. Not only is this a distraction to the driver, but it can be very dangerous for your pet in the event that you are in an accident.

Here are some safety tips and ideas you can use when transporting your pet in your vehicle:

  • Restrain your pet – Using a pet specific seatbelt or a crate will help to keep your pet in one spot. Having your pet restrained will also make them less of a distraction because they won’t be able to crawl onto your lap and will not obstruct your views of other vehicles on the road.
  • Use a pet barrier – For larger dogs that don’t fit into a crate or seatbelt, barriers are available to fit your make of vehicle. These barriers will keep your large dog in place and keep you from being distracted.
  • Drive defensively – When driving, you are responsible for your pet’s well-being. Therefore, drive accordingly. Slow down, check your mirrors often and keep a close eye on the other cars driving around you.
  • Smaller pets and exotics – for small pets like cats, or more exotic breeds like lizards, it is important to keep them in a crate or a cage while driving. Smaller animals have a tendency to seek out hidden places that can be dangerous. Keeping them in a cage will make sure they don’t end up under your brake pedal or on your dashboard.

Following these tips will make sure that you and your pet are safe on your next road trip or during your next visit to the vet!

This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverages in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

Is Your Emergency Kit Up to Par?

Just as you should have an emergency kit prepared for a natural disaster, you should also carry an emergency kit with you in your vehicle at all times. Car accidents occur suddenly without warning, and a lack of proper emergency supplies can lead to unnecessary struggles, injuries or even deaths.

Carrying an emergency kit with you in your car is something that used to be more commonly seen years ago. Today, people rely heavily on cell phones and other communication devices to reach someone when in need of assistance. However, these types of communication devices can’t be relied on all of the time. If your car breaks down, you end up with a flat tire, or are involved in an accident, it may take a while for someone to get to your location depending on where the incident occurred. Your phone may also end up damaged after an accident and become unusable. For your safety, protect yourself by carrying an appropriate car emergency kit. Below are items that should be included:

  • Cell phone car charger
  • First-aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Warning lights, hazard triangles or flares
  • Tire gauge
  • Usable spare tire
  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight
  • Disposable flash camera
  • Roadside-assistance number and other important family member phone numbers
  • Basic tool kit
  • Pen and paper
  • Ice scraper during winter months
  • Blanket to stay warm during winter months
  • Water and non-perishable food

While making sure that you have the above items in your car, review your insurance policy to be certain that you have the necessary coverage. Carry documentation of this with you as well. If you have questions, contact your ASI representative today.

This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverages in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

Road Trip Preparation

Summer is here, the kids are out of school, and the weather is beautiful. What does that mean? Road Trip! Summer is an ideal time for vacationing. With the price of air travel increasing, families are taking to the road to reach their summer-fun destination. Your vehicle may be packed with bags, but have you remembered the safety essentials such as roadside emergency kits and quick repair tools? One sure way to spoil a family vacation is by being unprepared when an unfortunate situation arises.

Before you hit the road this summer, ensure that you have the necessary items in your car to prepare you and your family for any issue that may arise while driving. Here are some items to keep for your road trip preparation.

  • Working spare tire and jack
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Jumper cables
  • Extra Oil
  • US map or atlas book
  • Tools (lug nut wrench, assorted screwdrivers, adjustable wrench or multitool)
  • Can of fix-a-flat

Assemble these items in a small duffel bag to place in your trunk. You may already have many of them in your home or garage. If you don’t have a listed item, you can find it at an automotive supply store or other locations like Target or Wal-Mart. Once your kit is assembled you are officially ready to start your summer road trip!

This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverages in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

Make saving money on your auto insurance your New Year’s resolution

Many people have made their new year’s resolution to lose weight, spend more time with family, or stop smoking. These are great resolutions and should be followed through until the goal is met. For those that haven’t set a new year’s resolution or are having trouble sticking to the ones they have already set, why not make this your new year’s resolution to save money? Now may be the perfect time to look into changing your California car insurance policy, or switching companies if you think you are paying too much.

Here are some tips you can follow to help cut the cost of your car insurance.

Keep your driving records and personal information up to date. If you have had any tickets or auto related citations in recent years that have dropped off of your record, it is important to verify that your insurance company knows about these. If you don’t keep your driving record up to date, you could be wasting money by paying extra for infractions that are no longer on your record. By keeping your personal information up to date, you can save money as well. When you hit certain age marks, get married, or even purchase a home, you can often save money each month.

Be sure you are taking advantage of any discounts you are eligible for. These discounts can be for many different things including organizations you belong to, safe car features, or even the type of job you have. Contact your insurance company to see if you can receive discounts for having a low risk occupation, driving a vehicle that is deemed “low profile”, or driving a car with advanced safety features. You can also save by combining your coverage, assuming more risk on your vehicle, or if you are a senior citizen.

If you are unsure if you qualify for these discounts, have your information ready and contact an ASI Auto Insurance Specialist for more information.

This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverages in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

Body Shop Advice

For most car owners, there comes a time in life when you will have that unfortunate fender bender and you have to get the damage repaired. For most people, picking a body shop and paying for the repairs is not an enjoyable experience. While these tips will not make the process any more enjoyable, they will however help you to not spend more money than is necessary when it comes to body shop repairs.

Shop Around – One of the biggest differences you will see in body shops is the hourly rate they charge to perform the labor on your vehicle. This can range from $30-60 an hour. The rates can vary by the location you are in and the shop itself. You might benefit by checking your next closest town for different rates.

Once you choose a shop and receive a quote, make sure you understand the quote you are presented. Some shops use a computer system to generate the quote while others will do this by hand. Whichever kind you receive, be sure the body shop technician goes over the quote in detail and that you understand it before you make a commitment. A good shop will review this with you, but if they don’t, you should ask. If you are not satisfied or their answers seem vague, move on to the next body shop. Also, it never hurts to get multiple quotes from competing shops. Some will match or beat the quote of their competitor to make sure you choose their shop.

After your car is repaired and it is time to pick it up, inspect the parts once you get to the shop. Look to see that the old parts were in fact damaged. If you can’t tell, ask the technician to show you what is defective and why it needed to be replaced. If the quote calls for new parts, ask to see the old ones and make sure new parts were put onto your vehicle. Some shops will use refurbished parts and call them new to save money for themselves.

Most parts being put onto the car will need to be painted. When you pick up your vehicle, inspect the parts and paint to make sure they were painted correctly. If possible, try to inspect the paint in different lighting conditions. When it is bright and sunny outside, the paint may look perfect, but moving the vehicle into an area with less light, and the same paint job could look different. If this is the case, you may want to consider asking them to repaint this for you.

The last thing you should always remember is to ask a lot of questions. Repairs can cost thousands of dollars, so you want to make sure you don’t have to come back to have the work redone at an added cost. Many shops will warranty or guarantee their work. Make sure you get the details in writing, so if you do have issues with the work performed you can use that as your back up.

This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverages in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

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