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

Three Ways to Take a Home Inventory

The new year is a great time to take stock of your household belongings and update your home inventory. If you experience a fire, theft, or other significant loss, the insurance company will ask for a list of your belongings. This can be hard to remember, particularly during a stressful time.

A full home inventory makes your claims process easier if you have a loss.

Here are some different methods you might use:

Video Records Use the video feature on your smartphone to walk through your home room-by-room and pan over your belongings. Include an audio commentary noting any significant items, and capturing any info about quantity, age, or price that seems relevant. Open cabinets, drawers, and closets to record those contents, and remember to review your basement and garage storage, too.

Make each room or level of your home a separate video to keep file sizes manageable. Label or tag your video files and back them up to the cloud. Or store your videos on a jump drive you’ll keep offsite.

Mobile Apps You can find several home inventory apps online, including Know Your Stuff created by the Insurance Information Institute. These apps help your track more detailed information, including model and serial numbers, photos, and scans of your receipts and appraisals. Some apps include reporting features that allow you to export your data to PDF or Excel- ideal if you ever have to report a loss.

Mobile apps provide a handy way to update your home inventory on an ongoing basis, as you buy new goods throughout the year. Whenever you make a notable purchase, snap a picture of the item and the receipt right away.

Manual Records If you’re not a smartphone user, or you just prefer the tangible nature of paper records, you might like the home inventory checklist from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. This printable form helps walk you through the main rooms of your house and includes reminders for miscellaneous items you’ll want to record.

Whichever method you choose, remember to make copies and store them offside, in the cloud, in a safe- deposit box, or with a trusted friend. You don’t want your only records kept on a computer or phone that could be stolen or lost. An up-to-date home inventory makes the claims process faster and can provide the verification your insurance company may require for certain high-value items.

Contact our agency for more details.

 

Written by: Secura Insurance Company December 29, 2016