Even though it's illegal to drive without auto insurance coverage in most states, inevitably, there are drivers out there who believe they're above the law. If you should happen to be hit by an uninsured driver, it wouldn't be fair for you to have to pay for the damages. That's why the collision deductible waiver is available when you buy auto insurance coverage from Esurance.
In states where it's available, you're required to buy a collision deductible waiver in conjunction with your collision coverage. The collision deductible waiver pays your collision deductible if your insured car is involved in an accident in which an uninsured motorist is held legally responsible. If you have a high deductible this is especially helpful!
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is another important type of auto insurance coverage to be aware of. There are 2 types of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: bodily injury and property damage. Both will help cover you in case of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
The repercussions of driving without insurance should fall on the culprit, not the victim. Without a collision deductible waiver, however, you could get stuck cleaning up after somebody else's mess.
Even if a collision deductible waiver is not mandatory in your area, we recommend you cover yourself when you buy you auto insurance coverage. A few extra dollars a month can save you quite a bit of money if you ever have to deal with an uninsured driver. In a perfect world, everybody would carry auto insurance coverage. Since this isn't a perfect world, a collision deductible waiver is a wise investment.
“To change every 3,000 miles or not to change, that is the question”. The answer lies in the definitions of “normal” driving and “severe” driving. The Automotive Association of America (AAA) defines these types of driving conditions as:
Normal Driving Conditions – Highway driving on paved roads in relatively dust free areas
Severe Driving Conditions - Trips less than 10 miles; stop and go city driving that requires frequent brake usage; extreme weather conditions; dusty roadways; towing a trailer; long periods of engine idling
Seems like there is nothing normal about “normal” driving conditions!
An ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) survey showed that 90% of surveyed mechanics believe the best thing a driver can do to properly maintain their vehicle is changing their oil every 3,000 miles. As the average age of the vehicles on the road continues to increase, so does the need for routine maintenance, like oil changes every 3,000 miles, to extend the life of your vehicle’s engine.
Even minor car accidents can be terrifying experiences. Your heart pounds, you start to sweat, and you immediately begin to dread the post-accident legal, medical, and insurance hassles you now face. To make the aftermath of an auto accident a little less stressful, we've put together this step-by-step guide on what to do after a car accident.
- Remain at the scene and call the police. Without leaving the scene, get yourself to a safe place and call 9-1-1. Do not leave the scene until the police have arrived and left, and they have your statement about what occurred. If there are no injuries in your auto accident, you may have to file an accident report at the DMV or police station on your own.
- Swap information. Get the names, telephone numbers, addresses, driver's license numbers, and insurance information of the other parties involved in the collision. It may also help you during the claims process to have the VINs (vehicle identification numbers) of all the vehicles involved. When speaking with the other parties, do not offer to pay for any damage or offer any apologies. Legally, apologies can be considered admissions of fault.
- Call your insurer's claims number. As soon as you can after a car accident, begin the process of filing your auto insurance claim by calling your insurer's 24-hour claims line. You can initiate the process over the phone, and a representative should be in touch with you soon.
- Read your policy. Find out exactly what your car insurance policy covers and how to proceed in the event of an accident by looking in the back of your policy under the "conditions" section. This section will tell you the requirements for the claims process.
- See a doctor for any injuries. If you were injured in the accident, you of course should have gone to the emergency room immediately after the auto accident. However, if your injuries were not emergencies, see a doctor as soon as you can after the collision. Keep records of all of your medical appointments and costs.
- Find alternate transportation. If you have rental reimbursement coverage, your insurer will provide you with a daily allowance during the claims process to rent another vehicle while yours is being repaired or replaced. Learn how much your insurer will pay per day for a rental car and how many days the car will be covered.
- Meet with an adjuster. Your auto insurer will send someone out to evaluate your auto insurance claim and assess the damage to your vehicle. Some insurers may ask you to get an estimate from a body shop first, after which they will send an adjuster to corroborate the estimate. If the estimate the adjuster offers is not fair, consult the appraisal provision of your policy.
- Be selective in the repair process. Choose a body shop you trust, not necessarily the cheapest one. Also demand that your insurer pay for original equipment manufacturer parts for your vehicle and not generic aftermarket parts.
Your car is likely the second largest investment you're likely to make, so preserve its value and your safety by having it repaired professionally at Marshall Brothers Collision Centers
Never drive a car that could be unsafe because of damages. We will gladly arrange for your car to be towed to Marshall Brothers auto repair facility.
Some insurance companies may want you to visit their drive-in claims center before having your car repaired. You can do this, or you may leave your car at our location and ask that the insurance company come to inspect the car. Marshall Brothers works closely with all of the major insurance companies and we keep close communication with insurance companies to advise them of all work and repairs that need to be done to our customer's vehicle.
As a consumer, it's nice to know that there is no law that requires you get more than one estimate or appraisal on your vehicle. You have the right to get as many comparison estimates as you’d like in order to help you make an informed decision about your collision repair options.
You have the right to take your vehicle to the collision repair center of your choice. Your insurance company cannot require you to go to a particular shop. Your insurance company usually can recommend a reputable repair center in your area, including Marshall Brothers Collision Centers.
Differences in repair estimates are common. A lower estimate may not include all necessary work. If you’re not sure why one estimate is different from another you’ve received, just ask a friendly service advisor at one of our locations.
Choose a repair center that has unibody repair equipment and certified (by I-CAR or ASE for example) technicians. All of our technicians have continuing I-CAR and ASE training to ensure that they are skilled in the latest repair process and equipment.
Make sure you choose a collision repair center that has the advanced equipment and systems used to remove and reinstall frame, suspension, engine, and drivetrain components as well as provide other essential collision repair services. Marshall Brothers has the latest equipment and training necessary to repair your car to its exact factory specifications.
Make sure that the collision repair center offers a warranty. Marshall Brothers offers every customer our industry-best warranty that protects you for as long as you own your vehicle.
Let us help you work with your insurance company. Marshall Brothers has established positive business relationships with virtually every auto insurance company. Our ability to "cut through the red tape" ensures a smoother, faster repair process.
Ask the repair center to pre-arrange a rental car. Since the average car is in the repair shop for two weeks, ask if the shop can make recommendations for a rental car company and if they can arrange for a replacement rental car to be ready when you drop off your car. Marshall Brothers Collision Center can arrange a rental car for you on the spot or we will take you to the nearest Enterprise location and help set you up with a rental car.
Because your tires are the only contact your vehicle has with the road surface (an average footprint of 4x5" per tire), monitoring and replacing them when necessary is critical to your safety. There are a variety of factors to consider when evaluating your tires' effectiveness—and of course, Ian's tire sales and installation experts will help you determine when they need to be replaced.
Worn-down treads leave you at a higher risk for skidding during adverse weather, reduce your braking capacity, are more prone to punctures and can trigger the premature wear of other car parts. It is not recommended to drive on tires after their tread depth has reached 2/32", an amount indicated by your tires' treadwear indicators or by using the "penny test."
Even if your treads still appear serviceable, tires that are 10 years old should be replaced, as recommended by most tire manufacturers. Meanwhile, many vehicle manufacturers suggest replace your tires as early as six years. Tires vary, so check your specific manufacturer's recommendations or bring them into Ian's for a checkup.
Heat, sun and excessive cold can affect the structural condition of your tires. While this is not normally a problem in moderate climates like Santa Barbara's, it may be an issue if you make frequent trips to the desert or mountains in extreme temperatures.
Selecting the proper tires
The new tires you choose will depend on how you drive, the make and model of your vehicle and what properties are most important to you. If you tend to be a fast driver who values performance and handling, you may want specialized tires with a shallower tread to give you superior traction and grip. On the other hand, if you prefer a slow, smooth, comfortable ride and are looking for durabiity, then choose a tire with a deeper tread that will last longer.
How many tires should be replaced?
The tire sales and installation professionals at Ian's recommend replacing tires in pairs. This helps to ensure even wear, maintains the highest AB braking and traction performance and protects the transmission and transfer case. Because every car and situation is different, give us a call and we'll help you determine how many new tires your vehicle needs.
It is a good idea to periodically check the condition of your tires. When doing so, make sure to look at the entire surface area of the tire, especially the inside which is not easily checked from casually walking around the vehicle. Often a tire can have fifty percent tread left on the outside of the tire and can be showing steel on the inside. When that happens, it is typically indicative of an alignment issue. Seeing that ahead of time can prevent a costly and potentially dangerous blowout.
An old rule that has been used to determine when your tires need replacement is to take a penny and insert it between the grooves of the tire with Lincoln’s head facing downward. If you are able to see the area above Lincoln’s head, it is time to replace your tire. That distance on the penny above Lincoln’s head equates to 2/32”. However, during winter months or any other time when you may be driving on wet roads, we recommend replacing tires at 4/32”. The reason is that tires need to have adequate grooves and sipes (slits in the rubber to improve wet traction) in the tread to disperse water and keep the tire in contact with the road.
Another way to determine if your tires are worn is to look for the tire wear bar indicator. These bars are molded into the tire and are located every ten inches or so across the tire. When that bar becomes flush with the tire, it should be replaced.
Let's say you have just had the misfortune of being involved in an auto accident. What should you do next? Here is a quick, step-by-step Accident Scene List to assist you in minimizing your stress and discomfort.
If it is clear, safe and legal, move all involved vehicles out of traffic.
Turn off the ignition on all vehicles involved.
Make a first aid check of all persons involved. Look around to see if anyone is in immediate danger or needs medical assistance. Avoid moving an injured person as it might seriously complicate the injury.
Call the police by dialing 911 for assistance and if necessary, have them dispatch emergency medical services.
Remove objects from the road that may cause further damage or risk to others.
Gather the names of all individuals who were in the vehicles during the accident as well as the people who witnessed the accident.
Make a quick diagram of where the vehicle occupants were seated and indicate the direction of travel and occupied road lanes. Also note the date, time, and weather conditions. Look around and gather information from any possible witnesses.
Be careful what you say – Do not discuss "fault" or make statements about the accident to anyone but the police.
Exchange insurance company information and notify your insurance company immediately. This is important. If it is not convenient to contact your agent, telephone the nearest office.
Auto accidents are unexpected and stressful. Even the most careful drivers may be involved. If you are in an accident, stay calm, follow the steps listed above and call Marshall Brothers Collision Center. We’ll help alleviate some of the stress that goes along with being in an auto accident and we’ll work with your insurance company and repair your vehicle the right way…the first time, on time, every time.