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Should You Get Collision Coverage?

Collisions are stressful and overwhelming on their own. Now imagine being involved in a collision, not having collision coverage on your vehicle, and having to pay for the damage to your car out of your pocket. We say “no thanks!”

Collision coverage is a type of insurance that covers accidents with other motor vehicles as well as objects like fences or trees. Important to note, collision coverage does not cover everything, i.e. medical bills or damage to your car that isn’t a direct result of a collisions (hail storms, break ins, etc.).

When adding collision coverage to your insurance policy, you should consider your deductible, which is the money you are responsible for paying prior to your insurance coverage kicking in. When thinking about your deductible there are a few things to take into consideration: monthly cost or premium, risk-level for you as a driver (teens have a higher cost because they are considered a higher risk), your driving record, and your car and situation. Consider how old your vehicle is and its worth to you.

Depending on how old your car is, sometimes collision coverage just isn’t worth it. Why? Insurance companies only pay fair market value for damage done to your vehicle. Generally, if your car is more than 10 years old, this is when you should consider dropping the coverage to save money.

There are some instances where you can’t drop collision insurance, such as when financing or leasing your vehicle. Only when you own it outright can you make this choice.

Finally, look at your emergency savings. If you have little to no savings and would be lost without your vehicle, you may want to keep collision coverage just to be safe.

If you have any questions about collision coverage or you’ve been in a collision and need your car to be repaired, call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop today.

Bent Car Frame | Your Hometown Body Shop

How Can I Tell If My Frame Is Damaged?

You should always take your car to an auto body shop after an accident regardless of whether there is an appearance of major damage or not. Major problems like frame damage can go undetected and if you wait too long after a crash, you may find an issue with getting your insurance to pay for the collision repairs.

Alignment Assessment

Your vehicle’s alignment can be disrupted with a bent frame. Does your car pull to one side? Do you have to turn your steering wheel in order to drive straight. If you’ve recently had your alignment fixed and the problem is persisting, it could be a sign of frame damage.

Tire Track Evaluation

If your vehicle has a bent frame, you may notice that it “crab walks” – this happens when the rear tires don’t follow in line behind the front tires. If you aren’t sure if this is happening, get all four tires wet, drive it straight across dry pavement, park your vehicle, and observe the tracks.

Parts Assessment

The frame of your vehicle is its foundation. If it is bent, many other components may not fit properly. You may notice this if you try to open and close a door unsuccessfully or if the body panels don’t line up properly.

If you have any questions or concerns about your vehicle’s frame, call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop today!

Driving in the Rain | Your Hometown BodyShop

How Much Do Car Insurance Rates Go Up After an Accident

Being in a car accident can leave you shaken up, but fortunately that feeling will slowly wear off over time. Unfortunately, the next time you open your car insurance bill, you may be shaken all over again.

Once you’ve reported an accident to your insurance company, your rates may increase. The increase will depend upon a few factors including the severity of the accident, damage incurred, who was at fault, and your driving history.

If you were not at fault, your insurance company may not choose to raise your rates. However, if you’ve had several accidents, even no-fault, you may see a rise in your bill.

If your insurance rates do go up, you may see anywhere from a 3% to 50% increase over what you were paying before the accident. This is a wide range because there is no way of knowing the true figure without knowing the specific details of the accident and your driving record. Your agent can give you the exact figure.

While an increase in your car insurance rate may be inevitable, there are a few actions you can take to keep them as low as possible. Some insurance companies offer Accident Forgiveness where they will overlook your first accident and leave your premium alone, however every company is different so it’s important to ask your company how that works. You can consider increasing your deductible – the higher the deductible you choose, the lower your premium will be. Drop unnecessary coverage if your car is older. You can see if your insurance has other discounts like good students, higher levels of education, packages if you bundle, and multiple drivers. Take a driving class! Many insurance companies will lower your rates if you attend a safe driving class and it’s a good opportunity to sharpen your skills and remind yourself exactly what the laws are.

You can always shop around – not all insurance companies are the same and some will hold an accident against you more than others.  With the right knowledge of car insurance providers and policies, you should be able to keep your rates low enough that you can get back on the road after an accident!

If you have any questions about your collision repair, call one of the member shops of Your Hometown Body Shop today!

 

Free Estimates Auto Body Repair

Car Value Depreciation After An Accident

The value of a car depreciates after an auto accident, but how do insurance companies determine that value? The total depends on the type of car and the accident history of that car. The car’s value can decrease by its diminished value, which is calculated by the insurance company when they send an agent to come and assess the damage.

Diminished Value and the 17c Formula

Diminished value is the monetary difference between what the car was worth before the accident happened and what it is worth after the accident happened. Insurance companies determine the diminished value of a car by using what is called the 17c Formula.

The Formula originated in 2001 in Georgia following a lawsuit that obligated State Farm to pay out more than 25,000 insurance claims. In order to do this efficiently, the 17c Formula was created as a simple way to standardize the calculations across all of the claims. The Formula worked, and now close to all insurance companies use it as the way to determine the value of cars after a wreck.

Is The Formula Accurate?

Some see the Formula as inefficient given that it calculates the loss of value equally among all types of makes and models, meaning a crashed Ferrari is appraised the same way as a crashed Ford Focus. Insurance companies ultimately give less than what they really should with diminished value checks. Often, the total should be in the thousands but motorists receive checks for hundreds. There are several online resources that provide the formula for consumers to calculate their vehicle’s value.

Is There Another Way To Evaluate My Car After An Accident?

Insurance companies may come to you with an extremely low offer, but you can refuse it and hire a private appraiser to come and look at the wrecked car. Once you have that appraisal, you can go back  to the insurance company and counter their original offer.

It’s important to understand your insurance policy and rights before agreeing to the price your insurance company gives you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop.

Driving Safe in the Summer | Your Hometown Body Shop

Staying Safe in the Summer

Warm weather not only invites more people outside, but it invites more people to share the road. Here are some reminders to keep you, your family, and your vehicle safe during these next few months.

WATCH FOR PEDESTRIANS

When it’s warm, there are all kinds of people using the roads: bikers, motorcyclers, walking pedestrians, and more. It’s very important to be mindful of your surroundings, for these individuals are incredibly vulnerable. Unlike you, they do not have the protection of a vehicle. Accidents could quickly escalate to a much worse outcome if you aren’t careful.

Remember:

  • People can from any direction, at any time. Be mindful of your blind spots and react quickly.
  • Be especially careful when driving in neighborhoods or around schools, where children are more likely to be playing in the streets.
  • Don’t expect pedestrians to stop for you. They may be distracted, may be hearing- or sight-impaired, and may not see you coming at all. Always pay mind to them, and allow them to pass.

DON’T LEAVE CHILDREN IN THE CAR

Heatstroke can happen so easily, and often it occurs out of ignorance. Never leave your children and/or pets in a car. It does not matter if the window has been cracked open, and it does not matter if it is only for a few minutes. The impact is harmful regardless.

Vehicles heat up incredibly fast, and deadly levels are quickly easily reached within the few minutes that you are gone. On top of that, the body temperature of children rises faster than that of adults— three to five times faster, to be exact. Keep your kids safe by either taking them with you, or leaving the car running for them.

DON’T FORCE YOURSELF TO KEEP DRIVING

Road trips, or long trips in itself, are tedious. If you feel yourself getting drowsy, forcing yourself to continue driving is the wrong way to go. Other lives are at stake at that point, including your own.

Take breaks at a rest stop to stretch, get some food, and go to the bathroom. Switch drivers. Stop somewhere overnight and sleep for a while, and then go back and hit the road. Driving is not a race. It is all about being safe as you go from place to place.

If you have any questions about car safety or where to bring your car after an accident, come by and talk to one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop.

Automotive PaintAutomotive Paint Color Matching | Your Hometown Body Shop

What Affects Automotive Paint Color Matching?

There are a few factors that make matching color a difficult task. First let’s take a look at what makes up the paint. The basic ingredients in automotive paint are resin, pigment, and solvent. Resin holds together the pigment, provides adhesion to the surface applied, and determines the quality and paint durability. Pigment comes in powder form, and the aftermarket auto paint mixing system includes roughly 100 colors or toners to mix formulas, including pearl and metallic paint colors. Solvent provides transferability; without it the paint would be too thick.

When the auto paint manufacturer mixes these three elements to create a formula for the standard color, they are allowed a tolerance of plus or minus 5% when the paint is delivered. This percentage can make a big difference and actually cause two of the same vehicles to look completely different in color.

Temperature when painting, paint film thickness, time between coats, speed and type of paint spray gun, surface type, and humidity can all factor in differences in auto body paint color shade.

Sunlight is another factor to consider when color matching. A car exposed to sunlight for years will have begun to fade in color.

There are a lot of factors to consider when trying to match autobody paint color. The members of Your Hometown Body Shop are all well versed in the latest painting technology and techniques to get your vehicle looking brand new. If you need automotive painting services, call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop today!

Safe Driving Resolutions | Your Hometown Body Shop

Safe Driving Resolutions

In the US each year, there are over six million auto accidents reported. Some are minor, while others are major and far too often, the collisions result in extensive vehicle damage and serious injuries. Most often the cause of these accidents is due to driver error and risk miscalculations. Take control and make a few adjustments to your driving habits to reduce your crash risk.

Maintain and Utilize Your Lights

Your lights are crucial to properly signal turns, stops, and emergency moves, which means it’s imperative that they are all working well.  Check to make sure your light systems work and make sure the light housings are clear of damage and debris.

If there is damage, including standing water, you’ll want to get them repaired as soon as possible. Once you verify your lights are working properly, resolve to always us them to indicate your intentions while driving. And don’t forget to turn on your headlights during inclement weather and just before dusk to keep your vehicle visible to other drivers (and pedestrians).

Redirect Your Attention to the Road Ahead

Distracted driving is dangerous and injures over 400,000 people each year. This number is likely to increase unless drivers resolve and commit to redirecting their attention to the road ahead. Texting is the most common form of distraction, however there are several other forms of distraction including: eating, talking with others, changing radio stations, applying makeup, setting up navigation, watching movies, and reading.

Improve your safety while driving by pulling over to complete these actions. Don’t forget to signal and merge back into traffic to continue on your way.

Adhere to Safe Following Distances

Do you know how far back you should be behind the car in front of you? The three second rule is a great thing to utilize to ensure you have enough time to stop if a hazard appears in front of the vehicles in your path.

To check your following distance, pick a stationary object ahead and start counting when the vehicle in front of you passes it by. If you pass that object before three seconds have passed, you will need to briefly slow down to adjust your following distance. In hazardous weather, heavy traffic or other potentially risky driving situations, increase your following distance even further.

Resist the Urge to Speed

Your risk of getting into collision doubles with each 5 MPH increase in speed. While you might feel that speeding gets you to your destination faster, the reality is that even a 20 MPH increase in speed does very little for your arrival time.

Resolve to follow posted speed limits to minimize the risk of sustaining fatal injuries for you , your passengers, other vehicles, and pedestrians.

Merge Safely

The zipper merge technique is the most efficient and safest way to combine two lanes of traffic. Instead of stopping short to merge into the continuing lane early, simply stay in the lane until arrows appear. Then, turn on your blinker and slow down to match your speed with the vehicles in the adjacent lane before smoothly merging over. If you are already in the continuing lane, move your vehicle forward at a steady, predictable pace and leave enough room for one car to zip in at the merge point.

Stay Right Unless Passing

Traveling in the right lane allows you to lessen the risks associated with speed differences between two or more vehicles. Left lane drivers will be able to pass you without weaving around vehicles, which will also help prevent your involvement in a collision. This practice will also help you stay out of legal trouble, as it is illegal in many areas to remain in the left lane continuously.

Even if you follow all these resolutions, you may still find yourself involved in an auto accident at some point. If, and when, an accident occurs, call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop for the necessary repairs.

Vehicle Infotainment System | Your Hometown Body Shop

New Vehicle Infotainment Systems Create Increased Distractions Behind the Wheel

New vehicle infotainment systems take drivers’ eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel for potentially dangerous periods of time, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Drivers using in-vehicle technologies like voice-based and touch screen features were visually and mentally distracted for more than 40 seconds when completing tasks like programming navigation or sending a text message. Removing eyes from the road for just two seconds doubles the risk for a crash, according to previous research. With one in three U.S. adults using infotainment systems while driving, AAA cautions that using these technologies while behind the wheel can have dangerous consequences.

AAA has conducted this new research to help automakers and system designers improve the functionality of new infotainment systems and the demand they place on drivers.

“Some in-vehicle technology can create unsafe situations for drivers on the road by increasing the time they spend with their eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “When an in-vehicle technology is not properly designed, simple tasks for drivers can become complicated and require more effort from drivers to complete.”

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety commissioned researchers from the University of Utah to examine the visual (eyes off road) and cognitive (mental) demand as well as the time it took drivers to complete a task using the infotainment systems in 30 new 2017 vehicles. Study participants were required to use voice command, touch screen and other interactive technologies to make a call, send a text message, tune the radio or program navigation, all while driving down the road.

Programming navigation was the most distracting task, taking an average of 40 seconds for drivers to complete. When driving at 25 mph, a driver can travel the length of four football fields during the time it could take to enter a destination in navigation—all while distracted from the important task of driving. Programming navigation while driving was available in 12 of the 30 vehicle systems tested.

 

http://newsroom.aaa.com/2017/10/new-vehicle-infotainment-systems-create-increased-distractions-behind-wheel/