auto insurance Archives - Harrington Insurance Agency

Auto Accident Insurance Harrington Insurance Agency, San Jose, CA

5 Simple Ways to Prevent an Auto Accident from Harrington Insurance

By | Personal Insurance

Auto Insurance is Handy, but it Can’t Do It All!

Generally, you don’t buy insurance with the hopes that you’ll need to use it. It’s the last line of defense. But what about the first lines of defense—the easiest things you can do to entirely avoid ever having to make a claim? Here are five simple, cheap things you can do to protect yourself and those you’re responsible for…

  • 1.    Make sure that all lighting is adequate and working properly. Don’t let burned out light bulbs collect dust. Get them out of there ASAP. Being able to see what you’re doing is so important it seems almost obvious, but sometimes it’s the most obvious things we forget about.
  • 2.    Clean up spills. Don’t drag a mop bucket over then let it sit there for a few hours. Take care of it now, not later.
  • 3.    Make sure that mats you have laid down are actually helpful in maintaining your footing. If they’re constantly soaking wet, or they lift up from the floor and form ripples and wrinkles, they’re more likely to hinder than help. Replace them as necessary, make sure they lie down properly, and make sure you have the right mat for the job.
  • 4.    Cords. Keep them out of the way. If at all possible, run proper wiring to avoid having cords passing through areas where people walk. Any cords that you absolutely must have out, make sure they’re secured so that they aren’t likely to snag someone’s foot, and make it obvious that they’re there.
  • 5.    If it doesn’t belong on the floor, get it off of there. This is a catch-all, really. Boxes, broken glass, tools… if it isn’t there normally, it probably shouldn’t be there now. If it has to be there, find a way to keep people from strolling through. Rope it off, put signs up, lock the door. Don’t let things lie.
Auto Insurance Rates Harrington Insurance San Jose CA

A Study on Auto Insurance Rates

By | Personal Insurance

Recent Study shows how Auto Insurance Rates have Increased

A couple months ago, the Consumer Federation of America—an association of several hundred non-profit organizations—announced the results of a study on the change in auto insurance rates 1989 and 2010. They found that on average, states experienced a 43% increase in rates. The rate of increase varied between a high of 108.1% in Nebraska and a low of 13.7% in Hawaii.

However, a single, solitary state in the union saw a decrease in the price of auto insurance over the past 20+ years. That state? California.

In 1989, Californians paid $748 per year for auto insurance. As of 2010, they pay $2 less per year, a decrease of 0.3 percent. That might not sound like much, however, that is without adjusting for inflation between then and now. In 2010 dollars, auto insurance premiums averaged $1,405 in 1989, meaning rates have been nearly cut in half over the past 20 years.

That’s just one more thing for fortunate Californians to be thankful for.

Motorcycle Insurance Checklist for Spring

By | Personal Insurance

Spring is in the air…Do you have your motorcycle covered with insurance?

Spring is almost here in California. It’s the best time to dust off the ol’ motorcycle and give it a tune up. Before you ride off into the sunset, you should also refresh yourself on California’s motorcycle laws. You may already know them like the back of your hand, but in case you aren’t 100% clear on them here is a quick recap.

Checklist of California’s Motorcycle Laws

  • Your motorcycle’s handlebars must not be any more than six inches above your shoulder height when you are seated with your hands on the grips.
  • You are required to have a muffler.
  • You are not required to wear eye protection, but it is highly recommended.
  • You must have at least one rearview mirror on the left or right side.
  • There is a Lemon Law in CA for motorcycles, so if your motorcycle does not end up meeting all the state requirements, you can return it for a refund.
  • You do need to have turn signals.
  • If you plan on having a passenger, you need to have a seat and footrests ready for them. There is no age restriction for passengers.
  • You may split lanes (pass a vehicle within the same lane) but it is not a recommended practice. It can be very dangerous for both you and the other vehicle.
  • Your bike will have to pass periodic random safety inspections.
  • You may be eligible for a state funded rider education course. If you are under 21 years of age, you are required to take a rider education course.
  • You are required to wear a helmet at all times.
  • You must have liability insurance for your motorcycle. The minimum is $15,000 bodily injury per person/ $30,000 bodily injury per accident/ $5,000 personal property liability.

Give us a call with any of your motorcycle insurance needs.

Auto Insurance and Hit and Run Accidents

By | Personal Insurance

Do Hit and Run Accidents Effect My Auto Insurance Rates?

If you are involved in a hit and run accident, one of the first thoughts that probably comes to mind is, ‘I wonder how much this will affect my car insurance premium’. The good news is it probably won’t affect it too much. The bad news is you may not have coverage for the accident if you don’t have the right insurance policy.

Laws in California

California is considered an “at fault” state which means they will look to charge the accident to one party or the other. In the case of a hit and run, the other party is at fault but there is no way of charging someone if you can not catch him. Unfortunately for you, that means you will have to pay for any damages you sustain from the accident. If you were injured, you will have to pay for your own medical bills too.

The Difference Between Uninsured and Underinsured

Your insurance policy will cover the bills, but you will need to have Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists coverage in order for them to consider it. This is an optional coverage in California, but it is highly recommended that you consider purchasing it as part of your policy. It will pay for those accidents like hit and runs or ones that involve people without insurance. Considering California has a very high rate of people driving around without insurance – almost 20% of California drivers don’t have insurance- protecting yourself is a good way to go.

Contact us today about purchasing Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists coverage. That way you will be covered for hit and run accidents and other at fault accidents when the other party is not fully insured. As for your own insurance, do not worry about the rates going up if you were the victim of a hit and run. It won’t go up just because of that accident. Just make sure you have the coverage you need to pay for the claim.

Getting the Best Rates with Your Insurance Policy

By | Personal Insurance

How to know if you are getting good insurance rates

There are plenty of insurance policy discounts out there if you just know where to look. You may already be getting the best rate you possibly can, but there may be a few things you didn’t think to mention when applying for your insurance.

Few things that may help you qualify for a discount:

  • Living in a gated community. Insurance carriers like to know when people are being proactive against possible neighborhood crime. Living in a gated community shows your insurance carrier that you are taking a stand against possible break-ins and other types of criminal acts.
  • Being a non-smoker. Smoking not only hurts your health, but increases your insurance premiums in almost all your policies. Health related insurance like healthcare and life policies have lower rates for non-smokers because the probability of health related claims is greatly decreased. Homeowner’s insurance carriers offer lower rates to non-smokers because the risk of fire is greatly reduced.
  • Having an impact-resistant roof. You probably didn’t think to notify your homeowner’s carrier when you had your roof redone, huh? If you recently installed an impact-resistant roof you might get a discount. Any time you make any changes to your home, let your insurance agent know. Even just updating the wiring in your home might warrant a discount.
  • Being a good student. You may have heard that taking a driver safety course could reduce your premium. But did you know that if you are a good student in school you might be entitled to a lower rate as well? It’s definitely worth asking your insurance agent.

Of course every insurance company is different. Not every one offers the same discounts or rate reductions. Contact us to see if you qualify for any of the above policy credits.

Highway Safety and Auto Insurance for Protection

By | Personal Insurance

Highway Safety is Key in the State of California

In the land of fruits and nuts, there is a great diversity of cultures and cuisines. Many believe the weather is close to perfect. In fact, you don’t hear many complaints about life in California. That is until you start to talk about the highways. Even though the California highway system is among the best in the world, there are still significant dangers which require a driver’s constant vigilance. One such hazard is trucks. Learning to drive with trucks may help you to avoid accidents and hopefully maintain an accident-free driving record on your CA auto insurance.

Learning The Rules of the Road

Since trucks can weigh over 80,000 pounds and may need up to 100 yards to stop, you should be very cognizant of your braking, and the amount of distance you leave from the car in front of you when you have a big truck behind you. Conversely, when the truck is in front of you, leaving yourself a comfortable distance of about two seconds should give you opportunity to react to the truck’s movement.

Since trucks make wider turns and have large blind spots, it is a good idea to stay alert when you are in a truck’s blind spot in case the truck does not see you while shifting lanes. When passing a truck, don’t pull in front of it until you see both truck headlights in your rear-view mirror. Consider slowing down or shifting lanes when you are passing a truck which is broken down by the side of the road.

Auto insurance
rates are based on the level of risk you represent to your insurer, so an accident free history is a thing worth having. Is your auto coverage a little costly? Speak to us to find out if we can assist.

Auto Insurance in California for New Residents

By | Personal Insurance

Harrington Insurance Agency Can Help You Find Auto Insurance in California to Meet Your Needs

Whether you’re settling in San Jose, Sacramento, Santa Rosa or anywhere in the Golden State, one of the things at the top of your mind may be CA insurance for your car. This is an opportunity for you to look at auto insurance with fresh eyes, especially if you have previously renewed your policy each year without giving much thought to your changing insurance needs or the options available to you.

Where to Start with Auto Insurance

Let’s start with the basics: your legal obligations for auto insurance. The Californian Insurance Code sets statutory minimum limits of liability insurance for drivers of passenger vehicles in the State. This liability insurance is designed to compensate people other than the policyholder for personal injury and property damage resulting from car accidents.

Comprehensive coverage and collision coverage are optional in California, as are uninsured motorist coverage and medical payments for driver and passengers. You will need to consider the types of non-mandatory coverage you want, and whether you need to protect your assets by arranging coverage above the California legal minimum levels.

The range of car insurance options available can be daunting, so don’t try to negotiate this unfamiliar territory alone. Consult a local CA insurance agency and engage an insurance professional to guide you. Contact Harrington Insurance Agency today to discuss your needs with your agent who can use experience, industry expertise and local knowledge to find you good value car insurance – and save you time, money and hassle!