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R&R Insurance Blog

6 Tips When Buying a Used Car

Posted by Lauren Oleniczak

Used car buyingThere comes a time when we all have to buy a used car, and it seems that every used car comes with baggage. That being said, you should always thoroughly inspect a used car that you intend to buy. There are 6 major aspects of a used car that are important to inspect, both inside and outside the car.

Before you get in the car, take a look at:

1. The Tires
New tires can be expensive, so you should check to make sure that there is no unusual wear and tear on the tires. Inquire to the seller when was the last time they replaced the tires. You can also double check this by looking at the miles to see if they match the wear on the tires. For example, if the car has low miles, but the tires are very worn down, it could indicate that the tires came from another car or the odometer is incorrect. Neither of these situations is ideal.

2. The Paint Job
The main thing you should be looking for is rust. Rust is fairly easy to spot if you look closely for it. Also look for waves or ripples in the paint, this should indicate that a paint job was done on the car. Another giveaway that a paint job was done is sticky residue from paint tape where the body panels meet. If there appears to be a paint job done, you should ask the owner why there was a paint job done. The car could have been in an accident.

3. Under the Hood
There are three things under the hood that you should be checking when buying a used car. First, check the engine to make sure that there are no cracks or leaks anywhere. Next, check all fluids in the car using by checking the dipsticks. You should also ask the seller when they last refilled their fluids/got an oil change. Finally, you should check that all of the hoses and belts are in good condition. This means making sure that there are no cracks in the rubber or that the hose is not too soft.

Get behind the wheel and take a look at:

4. The Dashboard
Check over the dashboard to make sure that no engine lights or other problematic lights come on. If there are lights flashing on the dashboard, ask the seller about them. Also check out the odometer. You shouldn’t buy a used car with too many miles, or you will end up putting even more money into fixing the car. However, if you are looking for a very cheap car and there is nothing initially wrong with the car, high miles on a car may not be of concern to you.

5. The Mechanics
Make sure all the “extras” in the car work. This means checking the lights, windshield wipers, the windshield wiper fluid, air conditioning, etc. works in the car. The brake lights and head lights are especially important to check, as they could be a safety hazard if not working properly. Air conditioning and heat may not be a priority for some buyers, but you may need these things to de-fog or de-frost your windshield during those cold Wisconsin mornings. The windshield wipers and windshield fluid is very important because they are a safety hazard if they do not work. It will be difficult to drive your car through a thunderstorm without them!

6. The Brakes
This is the most important aspect about the interior of the car to check. Ask the seller if you can test drive the car to test the brakes. Chances are if they say no to a test drive, you don’t want to be buying this car anyways. Check to make sure the regular brakes and the emergency brake works also. No, this doesn’t mean you can drift a car while on a test drive. Try parking on a hill and engage the emergency brake.

If you check all 6 of these things when buying a used car you should definitely still bring the car to a mechanic to check over the vehicle. Sometimes it takes an expert’s eye to catch something that may be wrong with the car. Take the car to a mechanic that you can trust. Happy used car shopping!

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About the author: Lauren is an R&R Insurance intern learning about the insurance industry through sales and service experiences.

Topics: Personal Insurance, Auto Insurance, buying a used car, personal auto insurance

How Safe is Ridesharing? Liability Insurance for Rideshare Drivers

Posted by Lauren Oleniczak

Ride ShareTransportation has changed quite a bit in the past decade, particularly in the taxi industry. With the rising prices of taxis and other public transportation, rideshare services like Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar have changed the transportation industry. Unfortunately, any changes in the transportation can also mean new dangers for passengers.

Ridesharing is a convenient service where drivers that live in a certain geographical area will drive their own cars to pick up clients. Clients use the company’s app to request a driver to their location. The drivers will then get a notification on their cell phones telling them when and where to pick up the client. These drivers originally used their own insurance for their vehicles because the vehicles were primarily for personal use.

This became a serious problem for both the drivers and the clients they were picking up. Personal auto insurance has an exclusion of coverage for any delivery that a vehicle is making. This means that when a driver is giving someone a ride for any type of profit, their vehicle is not covered by their personal insurance. If a driver were to get in an accident with a client in the vehicle the driver is susceptible to a lawsuit, and there is no coverage for any medical expenses from the accident. Accidents were happening quite frequently due to the fact that many drivers were using cell phones while driving to get notifications for clients. (See related article: Distracted Driving Causes 8,000 Accidents Every Single Day!)

Only recently did certain companies require commercial vehicle insurance for drivers. There are also some states that require this as well, though not all states require this.

If you are considering using any rideshare company for transportation, be sure to check on the following things:

  1. Make sure the company requires its drivers to have commercial vehicle insurance.
  2. Tell the driver when you get in that you do not condone driving and cell phone use at the same time. The driver should not be on his or her phone while you are in the car.

If you are thinking of becoming a Rideshare driver, check with your potential employer on the following aspects of your job:

  1. What kind insurance, if any, do they provide for their drivers?
  2. If you need a certain type of insurance, where can you get the insurance from?
  3. What are the specifications needed for the insurance?

If you verify all of these questions with the company or your driver, you can get to where you need to go, save money, and stay safe!

 

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About the author: Lauren is an R&R Insurance intern learning about the insurance industry through sales and service experiences.

Topics: Personal Insurance, Rideshare, personal auto insurance, Business Insurance

Renting a Car? Make Sure You're Covered!

Posted by the knowledge brokers

Rental Car insuranceRental car insurance is always a sticky issue because of the differences in rental car company contracts and the wording of your personal auto policy. Since each rental company has different verbiage in their contract, and each car insurance policy is a little different, we'll be talking generalities below and leave it up to you to find out the specifics for your situation.

If you have a personal auto policy, you may have coverage that extends to your rental car. Most car insurance policies have wording that provides physical damage coverage to any 'non-owned auto' which is defined as any private passenger auto, pickup, van or trailer that is not owned by you or any family member and is being operated by you or any family member (this is not exact wording). A rental car fits into the definition of a non-owned auto, so physical damage coverage would apply either primary or excess if you carry physical damage coverage on any of your own vehicles. If you only carry liability coverage on your personal auto policy, there would be no physical damage coverage provided when you drive a rental car.

Very important note: If you noticed in the definition of 'non-owned auto', there was no mention of truck, jet ski, 4-wheeler, motorcycle, etc. Your personal auto policy does not provide coverage for these types of vehicles. So the next time you rent a U-Haul truck or other vehicle that does not meet the definition of 'non-owned auto', make sure you check with your insurance company to see if any coverage applies.

You may also want to contact your credit card company to see what rental car coverage is available if you charge the full rental cost to your credit card. Many cards provide some limited coverage on an excess basis, which could offer some additional protection.

In summary: Should I purchase the rental car loss damage waiver?

1. If you have physical damage coverage - not needed

2. If you only have liability or comprehensive coverage - definitely, yes!

Wisconsin residents, contact knowledgebroker Kori Cumley today for more information on rental car coverage!

Topics: Personal Insurance, rental car loss damage waiver, rental car insurance, non-owned auto, rental car, personal auto insurance