Weekly auto rail, with insurance tips, Car Q&A with Junior Damato and more.
Tip of the Week
More than 186 million cars are on the road in the United States, according to The Insurance Information Institute. Most states require drivers to purchase auto liability insurance before they can legally drive a car. Often drivers don't understand what they need in an auto insurance policy or where to purchase it; there are many options, and it is important to understand your individual needs. Auto owners should look for coverage that fits their specific needs. Fireman's Fund Insurance Company recommends these considerations when shopping for your auto policy:
- Start with required coverages and then flex limits, deductibles and optional coverages around the price you're willing to spend for the protection you desire.
- Characteristics that often receive favorable pricing include good driving records and stability, which includes continuous insurance with no lapse in coverage, greater than state required minimum limits of liability insurance, years with a prior carrier, home ownership, good to superior insurance scores, multiple policies with same carrier (home, auto, excess/umbrella, collections) and having more cars than drivers.
- Look for credit where credit is due. Things like having multiple policies, including homeowners and excess/umbrella, a new car, a good student, accident/violation free or age 55 and retired can result in a credit.
- Pick appropriate limits. As you acquire more assets and make changes to your lifestyle it is important to review these limits with your agent. It may be beneficial to pick a higher deductible, get more liability coverage, or add an excess/umbrella policy to your portfolio of products. This helps lower the cost and/or increases your protection in the case of a loss.
According to AAA, pedestrians are at more of a risk in the winter, a time when driving conditions often are bad. Here are tips on how to stay safe:
- Make sure approaching vehicles come to a complete stop. Slick road conditions keep motorists from stopping quickly at traffic signals or slowing in time for pedestrians in cross walks.
- Dress to be seen. Wearing brightly colored, fluorescent or reflective clothing. At night, use a flashlight or other light.
- Walk facing traffic. Stay as close to the curb or far edge of the road shoulder as possible.
- Multiple walkers should walk single file rather than abreast.
- Keep warm but be aware of traffic. Accumulated snow can muffle the sounds of an approaching vehicle, so can hats and scarves that cover your ears.
- Choose your route carefully. Consider a longer, safer route over a shorter, heavily traveled one.
- Shop before a major storm hits, if you can. Since streets are slippery, don't buy more than you can safely carry.
- Use slip-resistant footwear to prevent slip-and-fall accidents.
Did You Know
Toyota is replacing gas pedals on 4 million vehicles because of a problem with the pedal getting stuck on the floor mat.
Question: Our son owns a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado. The odometer set itself back to zero miles and remains at zero miles. The dealer wanted proof of the mileage from the last oil change receipt. Even with the receipt they said there is nothing under warranty they can do. I looked online and found the dash cluster to be a big problem with the GM trucks. This should have been a recall by GM. What are your thoughts?
Answer: A lot of these trucks were recalled, including my own 2004 Silverado. We service a lot of these problems, and the cost of repair average is $300. This includes removal of the dash cluster and repair and reinstalling the cluster.
-- Junior Damato, Talking Cars columnist
GateHouse News Service