Category

Auto Insurance

Get started early to get your boat ready for summer

By | Auto Insurance

If you love the water, few things are better than boating season.  Summer just wouldn’t be summer without spending those long, hot days on the lake, cooling off with a lazy dip in the water, dropping a line in hopes of catching a “big one,” or having an action-packed day of water-skiing and tubing.

Insurance for water ski boats in San Jose, CABoating is not without its share of pre-summer preparation.  If you’re not on the ball early, it’s easy to find yourself midway through July still on dry land.

At Harrington Insurance, we want to ensure you’re first in line at the boat launch at the first sign of the season change, so here are a few tips for being ahead of the game.

  • Tune it up. It’s always a good idea to have your boat winterized at the end of each season, but whether you did or didn’t get it done last year, make sure to get a full tune-up before you hit the Delta, lake or river this summer.
  • Charge it. Make sure your battery is fully charged.
  • Clear it out. If there’s a chance any bit of gas from last season is still in your tank, fill it up with fresh gas as well as a stabilizer; this will prevent buildup in the gas lines and injection system.
  • Give it a test. Before you get the boat all the way into the water and off the trailer, lower your motor into the water and make sure it will turn over.
  • Plug it up. Ensure your drain plug is in and the bilge pump is functioning properly.
  • Double- and triple-check. The last thing you want is to be turned away at the ramp for not having an updated registration or missing your ski flag or life vests.  Double check that your documents are updated and that your boat is fully stocked with everything you need.

We at Harrington Insurance we wish you a fun-filled and safe boating season!

Reduce Car Accident Risk

By | Auto Insurance | No Comments

3 Easy Ways to Reduce the Risk of a Car Crash

 

Spring is right around the corner, and the warmer weather often prompts people in the Bay Area to hop in their cars for weekend (or longer) road trips.

 

Unfortunately, too many of those trips will end up being memorable for the wrong reasons, due to crashes and other risks that drivers face anytime they hit the road.image

 

You can take control of your next trip, whether it’s across the state or across town, by following these simple rules:

 

  1. Pay attention. Do you know how many drivers around the country are using cell phones or other electronic devices right now? If it’s daytime, the answer is approximately 660,000, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Anything that takes your eyes off the road or distracts you increases your risk of a crash. Here’s another reason to avoid distractions: If you’re completely alert, you have a better chance of steering clear of that guy who is shaving on his way to work.

 

  1. Stay sober. One bad decision can change lives forever, and driving under the influence is an extraordinarily bad decision. Nearly 15,000 died in 2012 in crashes involving impaired drivers, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). So get a designated driver — or better yet, be a designated driver. Best of all, have the party at your house and let everyone sleep over.

 

  1. Slow down. They say “speed kills,” and, as depressing as it sounds, it’s true. Crashes caused by excessive speed cause more than 10,000 deaths a year on average, the NSC Surprisingly, you are most at risk on roads where the speed limit is 55 mph or below. Remember, the posted speed limit isn’t always the best speed to travel. Depending on conditions, going slower might be the safest option.

 

Improving safety on the roads isn’t rocket science. Just a little common sense can make a big difference for you, your passengers and your fellow drivers. So be alert and be safe out there on the roads in the Bay Area.

Fall Night Driving Dangers

By | Auto Insurance | No Comments

A little extra caution can go a long way while driving at night

 

Summer has ended, and while fall and winter have their own pleasures — including Pumpkin Pie — longer nights mean increased danger on the roads.

 

You might think you drive just as well at night, but consider this: Even though nighttime driving accounts for just 23% of vehicle miles traveled, more than 50% of fatalities for vehicle occupants 16 and older occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to the National Safety Commission (NSC).

 

Because we’re big advocates for safety at Harrington Insurance, we thought it would be helpful to take a look at why night driving is more dangerous, and what you can do to decrease that danger.

 

What’s dangerous about night driving?Kennebunkport-Maine-Fall-Foliage-Road-Trip

  1. Decreased vision. We won’t go into all the biological details, but different parts of the eye (such as iris, pupil and retina) work differently at night. Your peripheral vision is actually slightly improved, but it’s more difficult to focus on objects ahead of you. And traveling between well-lit areas and darker roads creates issues as well.
  2. Driving too fast for your headlights. Depending on vehicle speed and headlight setting, many people “over-drive” their headlights. That means, by the time they see something on the road, it’s too late to stop in time to avoid it.
  3. Impaired judgment. Whether due to drowsiness or the use of alcohol or drugs, it appears that drivers at night often don’t use good judgment. According to the NSC, 66% of fatalities at night involve vehicle occupants who weren’t wearing seat belts.

 

So what do you do?

Sometimes, there’s no way around driving at night. So here are some tips to help you make a safe trip — whether you’re just running to the store, or you’re headed all the way to the snow.

  1. Make sure your vehicle’s lights are in good working condition. And not just headlights, but turn signals, taillights, etc.
  2. Avoid speeding. Leave a bigger cushion between you and other cars than you would during daylight hours. Leave yourself more time for the trip.
  3. Be more aware of your surroundings. You shouldn’t be using your phone, messing around with the radio or trying to find something on the floor while you’re on the road anyway — and distractions are even more deadly at night.

 

Of course, if you’re not comfortable driving at night, the best thing is to avoid it altogether if possible. There’s nothing wrong with asking for a ride from a trusted safe driver or waiting for the sun to come out!

 

Sidebar:

We’re open all day!

When you’re driving around during the day, stop in to Harrington Insurance for a review of your coverage. We won’t keep you after dark, we promise. Just give us a call at (408)754-9000. We’re here to help!

 

Contact Us!

 

At Harrington Insurance, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at (408)754-9000 or send us a note at info@harringtoninsurance.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Five sure-fire ways to get your car stolen

By | Auto Insurance | No Comments

 

Most people would say their car is one of the most valuable assets they own — if not the most valuable. Despite that, however, some people make it downright easy for thieves to drive off in their pride and joy.

 

At Harrington Insurance, we don’t want you walking out your door to an empty driveway or leaving the mall only to find some broken glass left behind in your parking space. So take care to avoid these five mistakes.Car-Theft

 

  1. Leave your car running … and unattended. We know it can be chilly in the mornings, and who wants to wait in a cold car while it warms up? Well, a thief certainly won’t mind the chill — as he’s driving away in your car while you’re finishing that cup of coffee in your kitchen. If your car is running, you should be in it. Period. Even if you’re just running over to the ATM to get some cash or dropping off some mail.
  2. Keep a spare set of keys inside the car. Law enforcement agencies say this is a great way to turn a car prowler into a car thief. They’re already breaking into your car to get a phone, or a laptop, etc. What do you think they’re going to do when they find a set of keys? They’re not going to drop them off on your porch with a nice note, that’s for sure.
  3. Put valuables in plain sight. Seems simple, but we’ve all made this mistake. You’ll just be in the store for a second, after all, so who cares if you leave your smartphone on the front seat? Or items from your other errands in the back seat? Be smart — if you have to leave items in your car, put them in the trunk, or at least hide them as best you can. And do it before you get to your next destination.
  4. Leave your car unsecured. The best thieves can work wonders with a window that’s left open even just a crack. And even the worst thieves can steal a car that’s been left unlocked, with no alarm set.
  5. Assume nobody would want to steal your car. Think your car is too old or too undesirable for a thief to bother? Scrap metal is worth money, so never assume that your car is safe — even if you think it’s just a “junker.”

 

Keeping thieves away helps to keep everyone’s insurance costs down, so avoiding these mistakes not only will save you hassle, it will save you money as well. So stay safe, not only on the roads, but in the parking lots as well!

 

 

Contact Us!

 

At Harrington Insurance, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at (408)754-9000 or send us a note at info@harringtoninsurance.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Convertibles

By | Auto Insurance | No Comments

Put the top down and hit the road in California

 Cobra3

The call of the open road is at its strongest during the summer – and so is the call of the convertible. If you’re one of those drivers who has long dreamed of dropping the top and heading across California and beyond, we here at Harrington Insurance have some buying tips for you.

 

And before we forget, make sure you’ve got plenty of sunscreen!

 

Safety considerations

 

Of course, you want to be safe when driving your new car, so here are a few things to look for in a convertible, according to Edmunds.com.

 

  • Roll bars: Generally, convertibles offer some sort of roll bar to protect passengers should the car roll over.

 

  • Airbags: Side airbags that deploy from seats can be an optional feature on less-expensive convertibles and something you should consider. Some of these airbags offer extra protection for the head.

 

  • Rear-view cameras and sensors: When the top is up, it can be difficult to see out of the rear window. Cameras and sensors can provide added safety.

 

Hard or soft top?

 

You have two main choices when it comes to tops: Soft, which can result in more road noise and may be more susceptible to damage, and hard, which often look better but add weight and take up more trunk space when down. (A third option is a completely removable hard top, such as those found on some Jeeps.) This choice is largely a matter of personal preference, though cost can be a factor.

 

You’ll also want to test the top for leaks – regardless of whether it’s a soft or hard top. Spray water where the roof connects with the windshield and where the glass meets the roof along the sides. You’re looking to make sure no moisture gets inside.

Everyday issues

 

If you’re planning to drive your convertible frequently (and why wouldn’t you?), there are some practical things you should take into consideration:

 

  • Wind noise: When you have the top down at California’s highway speeds, you might find it difficult to hear the stereo system. If you’ll be driving a lot with the top down, getting the upgraded stereo might not be worth it. Then again, a better stereo can have more power, allowing you to actually hear your music.

 

  • Putting the top up/down: A motorized top, of course, makes everything easier. But they are more complex. Be sure to test out the top and how long it takes you to put it up or down, especially if it’s a manual process. After all, if it starts raining suddenly, you want to be able to get the top up as quickly as possible!

 

  • Luggage space: Most convertibles aren’t large to begin with, but trunk space is even smaller when the top is down. If you plan to take your convertible on vacation (or pack golf clubs or other bulky items), it’s a good idea to really take a hard look at the trunk space before you buy.

 

  • Passenger space: Do you need to take more than one passenger on many of your drives? If so, a roadster (two seats) isn’t an option. But even if the convertible you’re eying has four seats, hop in back and check the comfort level. If you aren’t comfortable, your passengers probably won’t be, either.

 

Special features

 

According to Edmunds.com, there are certain features that truly make a difference in convertibles, such as wind deflectors, heated/cooled seats and sun-reflective upholstery. Certain features, such as heated seats, can make your convertible much more comfortable to drive on cooler days in the Bay Area.

 

Above all, you’ll want to choose the convertible that best fits how you’ll use it. If you’re lugging golf clubs (and golf buddies) around in the summer, you probably don’t want a roadster. Conversely, if your idea of a great weekend is to toss a duffle bag in the passenger seat and hit the road, smaller may be better.

 

One of the great – and annoying – things about buying a car is the sheer number of options out there. But if you get frustrated, remember one thing: You’re buying a convertible. Your friends are probably envious!

 

And when you buy that convertible, give us a call. We’ll make sure you’ve got the right coverage – and we’ll probably be envious, too!

Modern Insurance for Your Classic Car

By | Auto Insurance | No Comments

It takes more than age to make it a classic. A collector car isn’t just a way to get around. It’s an investment that will continue to appreciate in coming years.

Not all classic or antique cars are used the same, so Harrington Insurance will work with you to select the appropriate policy to accommodate coverage needs, miles driven, vehicle age, and vehicle modifications to make sure you have the best policy to meet your needs. Here are some features you should look for when shopping for classic car insurance:car-insurance-jency-ageny-san-jose-ca-auto

  • Agreed Value: This means the provider will pay you the full (agreed to) amount in the event of a covered total loss, less any applicable deductible. This type of coverage is much better than “actual cash value” or “stated value” that you may get with some companies.
  • Low Rates: Why pay full-time insurance when you driver your collector car only part-time.
  • Coverage Options: Not all collector cars are the same, so Harrington Insurance can work with you to determine the right amount of coverage to meet your specific needs.
  • Generous Mileage: You’re proud of your collector car, so drive it. Not all insurance companies have a mileage limit, but most collector cars should be driven less than 5,000 annual miles to maintain their value.
  • Roadside Assistance: Whether you’re down the street or on a classic rally through the mountains, you’ll want to find coverage that will flatbed your car to the closest qualified repair facility.

Do you need the insurance for your prize Mustang, Camaro, Charger, Corvette, Thunderbird, or other collector car? Talk with Harrington Insurance today to identify the best combination of coverage, value, and price for you. We can help make sure your insurance continually meets your needs. Give us a call today at (408)754-9000.

Is a motorcycle right for you?

By | Auto Insurance | No Comments

Is a motorcycle right for you?

 

As springtime approaches, you probably notice something in addition to the warmer weather and blooming flowers: more motorcycles on the roads of the Bay Area.

 

Riding looks like a lot of fun, doesn’t it? Just imagine heading down Hwy 1 with the sun shining and the road stretching out to the horizon. There are other benefits motorcycle riders enjoy as well, such as lower fuel costs and easier parking; but riding a motorcycle safely requires different skills than driving a car.

 

If you’re thinking that this is the year you’re going to buy your very own bike, let us Harrington Insurance help you determine if a motorcycle is right for you. We’ve provided some questions below that the Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends you honestly answer before becoming a bike owner.

 

Are you a risk-taker? Or are you safety-minded?

Think about how you drive your car. If you have aggressive tendencies or do things like talk on your phone while driving, a motorcycle probably isn’t for you. Motorcycles lack the protection that cars can provide in an accident, so driver focus and caution are extremely important.

 

How is your vision? What about your balance and coordination?

It’s extremely important that you see well – peripherally and in general – when riding a motorcycle. Motorcycles are not as visible as other vehicles on the road, so riders need to be alert and aware at all times. And, of course, riding requires balance and coordination, much like a bicycle. If you’re not great on non-motorized two-wheelers, you might want to think again about motorcycling.

 

Do you respect dangerous machinery?

When you use a chainsaw or other equipment that can cause harm, do you always follow the instructions and wear the proper safety gear? If not, a motorcycle probably isn’t right for you. Maintenance and protective equipment is vital to riding safely. What you might be able to get away with when driving a car or using power tools could lead to a tragic outcome on a motorcycle.

 

Are you willing to invest in riding safely?

The best way to stay safe on a motorcycle is to invest some time before you get on the bike. Take a safety course and learn how to ride the right way. Purchase the right gear, including approved helmets and padded clothing. And learn about properly maintaining your motorcycle.

 

If you’re prepared and commit to safe riding, motorcycling can be a great way to get around. The freedom you’ll feel on the road is different than driving any car, which is just one reason millions of people find riding to be incredibly rewarding.

 

And when you’re ready, we are too! Feel free to give us a call at (408) 754-9000 to discuss your motorcycle insurance options as well as safety tips!

 

 

Sidebar:

Motorcycle safety resources

There’s a lot of great information out there about safe riding. We’ve just scratched the surface. To read more, check out:

  • Motorcycle Safety Foundation: http://www.msf-usa.org
  • SMARTER: http://www.smarter-usa.org