Category: Auto Insurance

Spring Start-Up: Tips For Getting Your Classic Back On The Road

For classic car owners in northern climes, the long wait for spring can be excruciating. The good news is, it’s almost here. The classic car experts at Hagerty® have put together the following spring start-up checklist. Take advantage of the time before spring blooms by prepping your car for its first drive. You’ll both be better for it.

Start with your battery. If it’s been on a trickle charger all winter, disconnect it from the charger and reconnect the battery. If you simply removed the battery and stored it in a warmer spot for the winter, time to charge it up.

Check your fluids. Start with a walk around and examine the floor beneath the car. Drips are common and expected; puddles are not. A fresh oil change is recommended since water or other fluids may have found their way in your crankcase. While you’re at it, replace the oil filter. Also check your other fluids – brakes, coolant, transmission, windshield washer. Do they look dirty? Are they at the recommended level? Smell your transmission fluid. If it smells burnt, change it. Generally speaking, if you can’t remember the last time you drained and flushed any particular fluid, it’s probably time to do it again. As for gasoline, your car should be good to go if you put STA-BIL in the gas tank before storing your car. If not, you might consider adding a water-absorbing product or – if you’re really worried about it – drain the tank.

Check your belts and hoses for cracks and decay. Since rubber breaks down over time, examine the condition of your tires. Make sure they’re inflated to the correct air pressure, and remember the spare.

In addition to potentially damaging your engine, water can cause brake problems as well. If your car has been sitting for a while, consider bleeding your brakes. They should feel firm when you push the pedal.

By this point, you should already know if any mice spent a comfortable winter in or around your engine. Also check inside the passenger compartment, especially under the seats and in the glove box. And one last thing – check the headlights, turn signals and brake lights. Yes, this requires a friend’s help.

It’s finally time to start your car. If you’re just testing the engine, make sure an exit door is open enough to allow exhaust fumes to escape. If the weather allows for a drive, make that first one fairly short – a half hour or so should put the car through its proper paces. And before you take drive No. 2, do the ol’ walk-around again. No major leaks? Tires look good? Let ’er rip, and have a great summer.

 

Written by: Hagerty Insurance March 17, 2017

Deer Crash

Fall in Wisconsin…It’s the time of year when deer are in rut and hunting season is upon us.   Statistically, October and November have the highest number of reported deer hits.  That means you need to exercise extra caution while driving.

Hitting a deer can be very expensive, causing a repair bill for your vehicle and possibly higher insurance premiums. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation in 2015 there were 19,976 reported cases of deer vs. vehicle accidents.  In 2014 there were 10 fatalities and 410 people injured in deer related accidents.

Wondering if you have coverage for deer hits? If you have comprehensive (also referred to as, other than collision) coverage on your auto policy that will provide coverage for deer hits.  This may be subject to a deductible, and is an optional coverage.

We encourage you to take extra caution when driving in the next couple of months. Below are a few tips:

  • Deer are most active in the early morning and evening hours.
  • Most deer crashes occur in rural areas.
  • Deer crossing signs are posted for a reason. They are placed in areas where deer are commonly seen, or areas where incidents have been reported.
  • Scan the roadsides for deer, and if you see a deer slow down and be sure to keep an eye out because there may be more coming.
  • NEVER SWERVE. Better to hit the deer than lose control of your vehicle.
  • If you want to keep the carcass, Contact the local police or the DNR before leaving the scene with it.

Just a reminder, if you swerve to miss the deer, and end up going in the ditch or hit another vehicle you have now gone from having a comprehensive claim to having a collision claim.   Your collision deductible may be higher, and the incident would now be considered an at fault accident. This could result in a higher insurance premium than hitting a deer would have.