Auto Insurance | Boizelle Insurance Partnership

How to Clean Your Car to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

Every year, we create New Year’s resolutions for ourselves. I know. It’s October and I’m already talking about New Year’s resolutions. I get it. Stay with me for a second, though. Typically speaking, these lists focus on self-improvement: getting in shape, reading more books, taking more time to meditate, taking a cooking class, etc. There are several reasons why these resolutions fail. What’s one of the main reasons: They’re not specific enough. When you talk about any kind of personal goal, it will serve you better to be as specific as possible. For example, if you want to lose weight, consider writing down a particular date on your calendar, so you have an opportunity to chart your progress. These kinds of personal goals are common among people. But, what about making changes to your daily life?

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, countless Americans all over the country may be living in fear of getting sick. It’s important to know that there is hope. We need hope. We need positivity. We need positive reinforcement in our lives. How can we ensure our own safety and the safety of those around us? One way we can protect ourselves is by keeping our cars clean and pristine.

Many cleaning solutions can be effective for killing germs. In fact, you may have a lot of these hanging around your house. According to the CDC, cleaning solutions that contain at least 70% alcohol are effective against coronavirus. Soap and water are safe to use for most auto interiors—especially fabric interiors.

Most leather interiors in cars contain urethane coatings for protection. Because of this, it is safe to use alcohol on these surfaces. However, using alcohol persistently may lead to damage and discoloration over time. It’s safer to use simple soap and water.

If you do have leather interior in your car, proper care is essential to prolong the integrity and life of your leather. You should use a good leather cleaner and a good leather conditioner after your cleaning.

For fabric interiors, it’s important to not use too much soap and water. Soap suds can be a problem. If you scrub too hard, you may create soap suds that can soak through the fabric, working its way to the cushion underneath. As a result, a musty smell and possible mold can build up over time. To prevent this from happening, use a little amount of water and laundry detergent.

Once you are finished cleaning your surfaces, it’s important to remember to wash your hands. If you have dirty hands and touch your car’s surfaces, that dirt and griminess will rub off and you’ll have to start from square one. It may be a common belief, but washing your hands consistently is still one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Although coronaviruses can remain on surfaces, it is still believed among medical experts that the primary means of transmission is through respiratory transmission.

Whether you are at work or at home, maintaining a clean, clutter-free area has proven to improve mental health, relieve stress, and prevent us from becoming physically ill. Why not make this a permanent practice in our daily lives?

 

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Why You Should Never Ignore a Vehicle Recall Notice

 

How often do you watch the news? Hidden within the hours of broadcasts may be something extremely important and something that should never be overlooked. We’ll explain…

Stories of vehicle recalls may pop up in the headlines and it’s important to pay attention. More important is to not ignore these warnings as they could pose a potential threat to the safety of yourself and your family. Hundreds of people have been either injured or killed by defective air bags. This statistic has brought on the largest and most perplexing vehicle recall in our country’s history. Seventy million vehicles have been affected from 19 automobile makers.

A vehicle recall is a manufacturer’s effort to remove faulty, potentially hazardous vehicles from our roads. Typically, a recall involves a piece of equipment from the car that does not meet the safety standards and regulations at the federal level. Tens of millions of vehicles are recalled every single year. So, once again, it’s extremely important to pay attention and be aware.

Recall notices are typically sent by your vehicle’s manufacturer via mail. Make sure you’re always checking your mailbox, so you don’t miss an important recall notice. If you’re at all concerned about the possibility of missing a notice, there are alternative methods to get the information. You can sign up for notification emails from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.

Your vehicle’s VIN number can help you see if your vehicle has a recall notice. In addition, the NHTSA’s website has useful information regarding vehicle-related products i.e. car seats, tires, and equipment. Your vehicle’s VIN number can be located on the lower left of your vehicle’s windshield. Your vehicle’s registration also has this information.

It is understandable that receiving a recall notice for your vehicle can be stressful. Here’s the good news: It’s free to get the problem fixed! That’s right! Your vehicle’s manufacturer is required by law to fix the problem free of charge. It is not uncommon for manufacturer’s to issue refunds for the labor.

If you ever suspect something faulty with your vehicle, you should report it to NHTSA immediately. You can either report the problem on their website or call their vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or toll-free at 1-800-424-9393.

By staying up to date on your vehicle’s functionality, we can all work together in making our roads a lot safer! We’re here for you!

 

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Do I Need to Buy Separate Insurance for My Rental Car?

Picture this. You were just involved in an accident. Your car is damaged enough to the point where it’s not drivable, so you’re going to need a rental car. When you go to the rental car place, the person behind the counter asks you if you want to buy rental car insurance. Confused? You may or may not need to get rental car coverage. We’ll explain…

At the end of the day, the choice is going to be yours and yours alone. Just remember that not all rental car companies offer the exact same coverage for their rented vehicles. It’s best to discuss your options with your insurance agent first.

Now, every time you’re involved in an auto accident, you will be responsible for paying your deductible. Your deductible is an agreed upon amount of money that you may out of your own pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in to cover the remaining costs to repair your vehicle. The purpose of your auto insurance coverage is to make you whole. In the case of an auto collision, your vehicle will be restored to its original state before the time of the accident.

When you speak to your insurance agent, consider the following questions:

  1. If I have a claim after I purchase coverage from the rental car company, will I have to pay a surcharge on my personal auto insurance policy?
  2. If I’m involved in an accident, will the coverage provided by the rental car company help me pay for a rental car while my vehicle is getting repaired?
  3. If I elect not to get the coverage from the rental car company and experience a total loss, am I in danger of having the rental car company max out my credit card in order to pay for its lost vehicle?

Getting coverage from your rental car company IS NOT mandatory. It’s important to understand that. Your own personal auto insurance policy can cover you when you’re driving your rental car. A typical auto insurance policy automatically covers liability (that’s the coverage that applies in cases when you’re the at-fault party). Collision and Comprehensive coverage, although not required, are certainly recommended to have on your auto policy. This kind of coverage will cover the costs to repair your vehicle. It’s important to note that in cases where you are leasing a vehicle, this kind of coverage is usually required. If you are in a situation where you are not making monthly payments for your car, this coverage is optional. Comprehensive coverage would handle everything that is not considered a collision i.e. fire and explosions, vandalism, damaged related to theft, storms, falling objects, windshield cracks or chips, and damage caused by an animal i.e. hitting a deer.

Before you agree to the terms of the rental car company, under the following:

Some rental car companies charge for loss-of-use: This charge would apply in cases when you are in possession of the rental car and it becomes damaged to the point where you can longer drive it. Typically speaking, loss-of-use is not covered under ERIE Insurance policies. Your rental car company may or may not offer additional insurance to cover this situation. Call us if you have your auto insurance through one of our other carriers.

Rental car companies oftentimes charge for diminished value and have other administrative fees: If the rental car is damaged while in your care, custody, and control, the rental car company may claim that the vehicle is less valuable now because it had to be repaired. You may be subject to additional fees from the rental company as well.

Think about who else may be driving the vehicle: If someone in your household will be driving the rental car, your own auto policy will cover them. If anyone other than your family members will be driving the vehicle, coverage from the rental company may be something to consider.

Read the rental car agreement very carefully: Potential loss of use, diminished value and administrative fees may be covered by the rental car company. However, it is extremely important to understand that the rental car company may limit who can actually drive the vehicle. If the vehicle is damaged or deemed a total loss when someone who does not fall under the extended family category is driving the vehicle, the rental car company may deny coverage.

We have one final note to consider: Before you drive off the rental car company’s lot, conduct a thorough examination of the exterior of the vehicle, checking for any dents or scrapes. Notify the company of anything you see right away, so they do not come after you when you return it, saying you are responsible for the damage.

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What To Do After an Auto Accident


Automobile Accidents occur every single day. In fact, over six million car accidents occur each year in the United States. The initial shock of being in a accident can feel traumatic, leaving you disoriented. It’s important to remain calm and focused, so you don’t forget these very important steps you need to take:

1. STOP: Never leave the scene of an accident. It’s important that you wait for the proper authorities to arrive to assess the nature of the scene. No matter how minor the accident may be, never leave the scene prematurely.
2. Protect and preserve the scene: To prevent further damage to your vehicle, you should do everything you can to illuminate the area around you. For example, if it’s dark outside, you can set up flares, or keep your flashers on. Having an emergency preparedness kit in your car is a great idea in case your vehicle becomes disabled and you’re stranded on the side of the road. To learn more about what to keep in your car in case of an emergency, click here. (Link to Emergency Kit Blog here).
3. Call the police. Even if there are no serious injuries, you should call the police. It may be necessary to file a police report, so you can file a claim with your insurance company. Unless the vehicles involved in the accident are blocking traffic, they should not be moved. Additionally, the aftermath of an auto accident can be a stressful situation and it’s possible that tempers may be flaring. Having a police officer present can help calm nerves.
4. Be Clear, Concise, and Accurate in Your Assessment of the Scene: Be sure to tell the officers at the scene precisely what happened. Try to be as accurate and as clear as possible. Get accurate statements from any witnesses at the scene as well.
5. Take pictures. It’s important to have as much documentation of the accident as possible. Photos are a good way to show evidence of what actually happened.
6. Exchange Information. It’s very important that you get the contact and insurance information from the other party. You’ll want to get contact information from any witnesses at the scene. Their statements can come in handy if you ever need to go to court regarding the auto accident.
7. Report the accident to your insurance company. They can tell you if you have medical payments coverage as part of your insurance policy. If you do, you can use it to cover any hospital visits you may need.
8. Seek medical care. It’s not uncommon for injuries sustained at an accident scene to remain dormant at first. With time, they can flare up, making your everyday life more challenging.
9. Keep a file. Staying organized can make your life a lot more stress-free. All of your documents like your police report and contact information from witnesses should be kept together. Consider creating a file to keep everything together, so you if you need to, you can refer back to it easily.
10. Before providing your insurance company with a statement, consider consulting an attorney, so you’re able to get any legal advice pertaining to compensation for damaged vehicle or if you need medical treatment because of the accident.
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