Can I File an Auto Insurance Claim for a Cracked Windshield (and Other Common Questions)

There are lots of questions that are never answered when you first sign up for auto insurance. Normally, the facts are about limits and premium payments, not about odd circumstances like whether or not a windshield crack is covered. If you live in Newark, NJ though, it does help to know how these things work. 

A Cracked Windshield 

The answer is usually that a cracked windshield is covered if you have comprehensive coverage, but there’s a major caveat to this piece of good news. Normally you won’t even begin to reach your deductible because the cost to repair will be so low.

Hitting a Large Animal

Should you hit a large animal (like a deer), then you’ll likely be covered under collision or comprehensive insurance. It all depends on the type of policy you have, but for those who want to stay safe in Newark NJ, it helps to have this type of precaution in place. And make no mistake about it, it is almost better for you to hit the animal than to try to swerve out of the way at the last second. 

Rear-ended or T-Boned

Essentially, if you have a specific type of collision, it still falls under general accidents for the insurance company. E.S.T.I.R. Inc. wants you to know that if you that if you do happen to be rear-ended, make sure you get out of the way of oncoming traffic first.  

There are so many scenarios that may happen on the road, and thus somewhat futile to discuss each one in detail. At the same time though, knowing the specifics can make it easier for you to choose between one policy of the other. Call E.S.T.I.R. Inc. if you need more information about how different accidents work under your policy.

Car Insurance For Rentals

When going out of town for a business trip or for vacation we often use a rental car to get from place to place. And we’ve all been there. You just land from your flight, gather your luggage, make it to the rental car counter, and are faced with the question, "Do you want to add on our rental car insurance?"  So what do you do?

Typically, if you have your own car insurance for your car at home, your coverage will extend to a rental car also. For car theft or car crashes, as long as you have comprehensive and collision coverage your insurance will cover the damage. The worst is you may be stuck with paying the deductible should any damage occur.  This is also true for any damage that you may cause to other cars. If you have the bare minimum insurance coverage, it may make sense to add on some supplemental coverage at the rental car counter.  Any injuries from a car accidently are typically covered by your own health insurance, so anything additional would be repetitive. Further, anything that is stolen from your rental car will be covered under your home owners or renters insurance.

If you are in doubt, you can always take the additional route of paying for your rental car with a credit card that provides additional coverage. Before traveling, call your credit card company to verify the amount of rental car insurance the card will add if you pay for the rental using your American Express, Discover, Visa, or another major credit card.

We understand that residents from Newark, NJ love to travel and at E.S.T.I.R. Inc. we are here to help. If you are planning travel and have questions about your own car insurance policy, feel free to ask our experts to make sure you are covered.  We proudly serve the people of Newark, NJ. Stop into our local E.S.T.I.R. Inc. office to speak face to face with our insurance pros today.  

Home Insurance Add Ons to Consider

Your home likely stands at your largest investment ever. Due to this, you need to protect your investment whenever possible. Home insurance is a great start but your blanket insurance plan may not fit your needs perfectly. That is exactly why we at E.S.T.I.R. Inc. are here to help answer any questions you may have regarding home insurance for your Newark, NJ home. This includes home insurance add ons to consider. 

Flooding Insurance

Flooding insurance is a must when living in Newark, NJ. From the heavy snow to the possibility of your pipes freezing and bursting while on vacation, there are just so many different ways water can damage your home. Flooding insurance protects you. 

Replacement Cost Coverage

Your home insurance policy likely covers the house, but not the appliances found within the home. Replacing appliances, especially if you need to replace more than one at once, is expensive. A single electrical storm can cost you thousands of dollars in damaged appliances. That is why you need to look towards a replacement cost coverage option if you recently purchased new appliances. 

Sewer and Drain Backup

Your plumbing is something you really don’t think about until there is a problem. The biggest problem you can have is having the sewer line backed up. Whether you are on the city system or a septic system, correcting this issue can end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars without the right insurance. 

Your home is more than just an investment. It is where you develop and create memories. Your family grows up here and you experience life here. You need to protect all of this with the right home insurance policies. That is why we at E.S.T.I.R. Inc. want to help you discover the right policies for your needs. 

Does Location Affect Your Auto Insurance Rates?

Believe it or not your zip code directly affects your insurance premium.  Why?  Because where you live determines the likelihood of a car accident or other reason for an auto claim and what that claim might cost.  The higher the chance of a claim the more the insurance company needs to charge to accommodate for this future event.  

For starters, urban residents typically pay higher rates than people who live in rural areas. This is because the chances of accident occurring in a densely urban population is much higher than a rural area. 

Insurance companies then look closely at your zip code to determine risk.  What they look at includes:

Weather:  Insurance companies will take things like snow, hurricanes, and tornadoes into consideration.  If you live in Florida or Oklahoma, for example, you may pay a higher premium than if you live in Arizona.  

Crime:  Is there a lot of crime in your zip code?  If so, you could very well see higher insurance rates.  Auto theft and vandalism are serious crimes that raise rates.  

Local roads: How are the roads in your area?  Are they full of pot holes or are they evenly paved?  The road conditions in your zip code affects the likelihood of an accident.  If roads are riddles with potholes, the chances of an accident increase and it is the job of the insurance company to know this.  

At E.S.T.I.R. Inc. we understand how insurance works.  Our experienced agents work with customers in the Newark, NJ area to get the most affordable auto insurance for the best coverage.  To talk about a new auto insurance policy in Newark, NJ call E.S.T.I.R. Inc. today to get started.  





Three Terms Every Person Should Know When Buying a Home Insurance Policy

Home insurance policies contain a lot of terms that the everyday person does not fully understand. Here are a few terms that you are likely to see on your home insurance policy and what these terms mean.

Actual Cash Value

Most home insurance policies state that they will replace the items you lost in a home fire, due to theft or other covered cause based on the actual cash value of the item. This means how much it will cost to replace the exact item that is gone or damaged beyond repair. So, if you bought a television set for $500 two years ago, you won’t get $500 for the t.v. You will get maybe $150 to $200, which is about what it would cost to buy a two year old television.

Loss of Use

Another term you will likely see on your home insurance policy is loss of use. This means that the insurance comply will pay you a loss of use fee, including the loss of use of your housing, kitchen or other items that you may have to pay to use if something happens to your home. This may be the price of a hotel and eating out while your home is being repaired after a fire.

Rider or Endorsement

Seeing the words rider or endorsement means that there is an exception to your policy. A rider or exception mean the same thing and the terms are used interchangeably. Most of the time, an endorsement adds something to your policy. For example, your policy may state that up to $2,000 worth of jewelry is covered in the event of a break in. An endorsement can be added to cover an expensive piece of jewelry, such as a $5,000 wedding ring.

There are many terms that are used in home insurance policies. If you do not understand what these terms mean, you may not fully understand your policy. At E.S.T.I.R. Inc. we want to ensure people understand the policies they are getting. If you need home insurance in the greater Newark NJ area, we invite you to sit down with us to go over your home insurance needs. We will help to determine the best policy for you and explain any terms or questions you may have about the policy. Call us now to get started.

I Remodeled My Home: Do I Need To Increase The Value of My Home Insurance Policy?

If you have remodeled your home, you may have increased the value of your home. This may leave you wondering if your home insurance policy should be increased as well. Here is some information you need to consider.

Home Insurance Does Not Pay You the Value of Your Home

One common misconception about home insurance is that home insurance covers the value of your home. However, they do not. They cover what it would cost to rebuild or repair your home after an event. For example, if your $250,000 home was damaged in a fire, insurance would not pay you $250,000, if your policy limits are that high. They would pay what it would cost to rebuild your home to the same level it was before. This may only be $150,000 or $200,000. This is important to keep in mind as many people confuse the two.

Reasons to Increase Your Value After Remodeling

If you have remodeled, you may have used materials that are more expensive to repair than the materials you previously had. For example, marble is more expensive to replace than porcelain tiles. As such, if you have used expensive materials in your remodel, you will want to increase the value of your home insurance policy so these items are included if you need to file a claim.

Deciding whether to increase or decrease your home insurance policy is a big decision. You should let someone with experience and expertise guide you. When you have questions about a home insurance policy or are looking to purchase a new one, let E.S.T.I.R. Inc. in Newark, NJ help. Call us now to get answers to your question or get started pricing out your new insurance policy.

Three Common Driving Distractions You May Be Unaware Of

When you are driving, you should be paying attention to the road. Unfortunately, we are all human and there are things that can cause us to become distracted. While cell phones are in the news often for being one of the biggest distractions that people face while driving, there are many other things that can distract us as well. Here are a few common distractions that you may not even be aware are distracting you while driving.

The Radio

One of the biggest distractions drivers on the road face, without even realizing it, is the radio in their car. If they do not like what is on the radio, they may look down and change the station. In the amount of time it takes you to look away, your eyes are off the road. It may not seem long but it doesn’t take long for someone to suddenly stop or for a child to run in front of your car.

Your Kids

Another common distraction in the car is your children. If your kids are being loud, crying or otherwise demanding your attention, you may be focused on them, and not the road. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do but try to tune your kids out for their safety and yours.


The last thing that is a common distraction for many drivers is food. You may be eating while driving, sipping your coffee or even reaching for a piece of gum. It is highly advised that you avoid eating while driving and only sip on your drinks when stopped at red light.s

Learning about common driving distractions can help you stay safe on the road. Having the right auto insurance company can also help protect you while on the road. If you are in the greater Newark, NJ area and are interested in obtaining a new auto insurance policy, give E.S.T.I.R. Inc. a call. We can help identify the right coverage amounts for you at an affordable price. Call us today for a free price quote.

Ways to Prevent Pipes from Freezing

If you own a home in Newark, NJ, you know how severe the winter weather can be on plumbing pipes. Frozen pipes can burst and cause flood damage to your home, which is costly to repair.  Addressing a few items before the harsh winter sets in can decrease or eliminate the risk of frozen pipes.  Here are some preventative measures you can help protect your plumbing.

Plumbing Location

Some pipes are more likely to freeze than others due to their location. There are three areas where they are more at risk to freezing. Any exposed plumbing in unheated areas of your home, plumbing in the exterior walls, and any plumbing located outside you home.

Preventative Measures

For interior exposed pipes, such as in the basement, attic, or crawl space, inexpensive foam pipe insulation is often enough for moderately cold weather.  For severe cold temperatures, it’s better to use thermostatically controlled heat tape that automatically turns on when it drops to a certain low temperature. Pipes located in an under-insulated exterior wall, it’s best to have insulation shot into the wall or to open the wall and add insulation.  There is no quick or easy fix for these areas, and it may pay to have the plumbing rerouted. Outside plumbing, you can install frost-proof spigots or a faucet insulator and close the interior shut-off valve that leads to the faucet. Don’t forget to unhook and store the garden hose because if it freezes, it can actually cause an interior pipe to burst.

E.S.T.I.R. Inc.

E.S.T.I.R. Inc. provides homeowner’s insurance to those in the Newark, NJ area, so we know how damaging the climate can be to homes. We want to help you protect your home investment. Contact an agent today to discuss your home coverage.

Using Auto insurance as a Means to Save: How It Can Protect Your Wallet

When insurance just seems to take a bite out of your paycheck every month, it can just start to feel like another bill you have to pay. But your electricity bill isn’t something that helps you save money while your insurance does. Start looking at it a different way, and you may just find yourself better protected over time.

Living in Newark NJ

E.S.T.I.R. Inc. serves the people of this city, and we know that there are dangers that lurk at every turn on the road. People make mistakes of course when they drive, but they also make mistakes in life too. For instance, you may have an uninsured driver hit you, and then be unable to pay for the damages to your car. Or if you have liability only and then cause an accident, you may find that the limits of that liability do not cover all of the expenses. Even small accidents can end up becoming large hits to your savings account. 

Keeping Your Future Protected

The people of Newark, NJ need a knowledgeable source of information when it comes to making the best arrangements for themselves now. E.S.T.I.R. Inc. can provide you with more information if you’re looking to get a new quote or a better policy. We want you to be able to hold onto the savings that you’ve built up, and not spend them unnecessarily. Our agents keep your budget in mind, but also your future needs as well. It will always be more beneficial to make the sacrifice when you sign up for insurance rather than be hit with bills you can’t afford later on. Give us a call today for more information of how it can all work for you. 

Why it is Important to Winterize Your Vehicle

It is winter in Newark NJ, which means that we have plenty of cold days. Snow and ice are common this time of year, which is why it is important to winterize your vehicle.  The professional insurance agents E.S.T.I.R. Inc. want you to be safe and your car running in tip-top shape throughout the season, which is why we believe you should prepare your car for the cold by winterizing it.

What Does It Mean to Winterize Your Car?

Winterizing your car basically means that you perform regular maintenance on it each winter to ensure your drive is safe and smooth. It helps your vehicle to handle the cold weather and potentially treacherous road conditions. Some of the things you should do or have a mechanic do, to get your car in shape for winter include:

  • Check that the thermostat and defroster are in good working order.
  • Examine your tires and make sure they have plenty of tread or replace them.
  • Make sure your vehicle has plenty of antifreeze.
  • Keep your gas tank at full whenever possible to protect the fuel line from freezing.
  • Keep an emergency kit of essentials in your vehicle.

Why These Steps Are Necessary

By taking these simple steps, you can protect yourself against potential road hazards. For example, if you encounter snow and ice, it is important to have good tires. If your tires lack tread, you increase your risk of losing control of the vehicle. To stay warm, you need the heater and thermostat to work while driving. And if your vehicle breaks down, an emergency kit can keep you safe until help arrives. Always remember to call your insurance agent at E.S.T.I.R. Inc. of Newark, NJ if you need assistance. We are here to help.