Should you be concerned when lending your auto to others?

Lending your vehicle to another person is something that you may do without thinking through the ramifications. You may even feel pressured to do this “small” favor for a close friend, who you assume would do the same thing for you. Many feel guilty not accommodating a sincere request from a friend. It is not comfortable to be caught off guard when someone asks to borrow your automobile and having to scramble around to think up an excuse not to let them. It is worse just to lend it to them without knowing what the risks really are.

Here are the things you should do:

1. Check with Your Insurance Agent About Casual Drivers

First, you need to know if other drivers are covered under your auto policy. This is a good reason to pick up the telephone and talk with your agent at E.S.T.I.R. Inc. in Newark, NJ. Ask your agent if casual drivers are covered in your policy and what the rules about them are.

2. Understand the New Jersey No-Fault Rules

New Jersey is a no-fault state. Residents must carry auto insurance to legally operate a vehicle within the state. There are the minimums for coverage under a “basic” policy which are:

  • Property damage liability (PDL) $5,000 per accident.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP) $15,000 per person, per accident.
  • Up to $250,000 for very serious injuries.

New Jersey residents have the option to choose a “standard” policy, by paying a higher premium, which has higher limits, covers more, and has the option to choose not to have any restriction on the right to sue a person who caused the accident. Ask your insurance agent about the options.

3. Consider Your Feelings

If the friend that borrows your car gets into an accident, even if it was the fault of the other driver, your insurance is going to have to pay the claim for your vehicle and its occupants. This can cause your premiums to rise, which is uncomfortable when you did not have anything to do with what caused the problem. Talk with your agent about these issues. You may do better paying for a rental car for your friend instead and making sure it is insured properly.

Summary

You need to think carefully before loaning your car to another person. If you are considering this, contact your agent at the E.S.T.I.R. Inc. agency serving Newark, NJ and the surrounding areas. Ask for an auto insurance review and a quote to be sure you have adequate coverage.

5 Auto insurance myths

With so much information across the internet about auto insurance, it is hard to weed out misleading information from the facts. Myths aside, the process of buying a car insurance policy can be daunting especially for first-time buyers in Newark, NJ. We debunk the 5 most common auto insurance myths:-

Your credit rating has no effect on your premium amounts
Most insurance companies refer to your credit history when determining your premium rates. A suitable credit rating shows that you are able to manage your financial affairs well and less likely to file for an insurance claim.

Your gender does not count when it comes to your premium rates
More often than not, women tend to pay lower insurance rates than men. This is because they are considered safer drivers. That being said, your driving record also influences your insurance rates. 

Your comprehensive insurance policy covers anything stolen from your car
An auto insurance coverage pays for repairs to damages caused during the vehicle’s break-in rather than the cost of the stolen items. However, a renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy could compensate for such. 

Higher premium rates mean more coverage
Insurance plans differ from one company to another, thus the difference in pricing. As well, the structure of an insurance company has a huge effect on the premium rates. For instance, your insurer could be working with brokers whom they have to pay a commission resulting in higher premiums. 

One ticket automatically results in a higher premium 
While you need to avoid any traffic violations and incidents, a single ticket does not imply an increase in your premium amounts. Nevertheless, a higher number of traffic violations could skyrocket your rates.

Do you need to understand more about auto insurance in Newark, NJ? Get in touch with E.S.T.I.R. Inc. for a free estimate on your auto insurance coverage. 

Do I Have to Have Full Coverage Auto Insurance?

If you have never gone out and purchased a new or used vehicle, then there are likely several questions that you are wanting answers to. For example, you’re probably wondering whether or not you have to have insurance before you can pull off the lot with the new car. You’re also likely wanting to know if you have to have full coverage. Here at E.S.T.I.R. Inc., we want your car-buying experience to be as pleasant as possible, which is why we make getting insurance very easy. Let’s take a quick look at a couple answers to some of the more commonly asked questions about buying a new or used car in Newark, NJ.  

Do You Need Insurance?

When driving in New Jersey, it is mandated by law that you at least maintain liability coverage. So, if you’re going to the car lot and purchasing a vehicle, you will need to provide proof that you have at least liability coverage before being allowed to drive off the lot. Fortunately, it’s quite simple these days to contact an insurance agency, choose an insurance policy, make a payment, and receive proof of insurance. You can do all of this in well under 30 minutes. If you don’t currently have coverage and you need it because you’re buying a new vehicle, there’s no need to fret because you can get the proof you need in a very timely manner. 

Do You Need Full Coverage?

If you’re buying a car that you can’t replace if it was to become involved in an accident, then you should probably invest in full coverage insurance. In doing this, you can rest easy knowing the car will be replaced from a monetary standpoint if it was to be damaged in an accident. Also, you will need full coverage insurance if you are taking out a loan to pay for the car. Almost all lenders will mandate you buy a full coverage policy to compensate them for a loss if the vehicle becomes involved in an accident and you no longer make payments on it. After all, you don’t want to make payments on a car if you aren’t driving it anymore. With full coverage insurance, it’s a win-win for you and the lender. 

To learn more about the type of insurance you need to purchase a new or used car, please contact E.S.T.I.R. Inc. today serving the Newark, NJ area. 

How Auto Insurance in New Jersey is Different From Other States

All states have their own laws regarding auto insurance, but New Jersey is among the few that can be considered truly unique. If you live in Newark, NJ or surrounding areas, you need to make sure you are appropriately covered. E.S.T.I.R. Inc. is therefore here to help you gain a better understanding of New Jersey’s tricky auto insurance laws. Here’s what you need to know:

New Jersey is a ‘Choice No Fault’ State

Whereas most states have "fault" laws where whoever is deemed liable for an accident has to pay for the damages and legal costs, a handful of others states have "no-fault" laws, where all drivers involved have to handle the costs. Then there are the rare few states like New Jersey, which have something called "choice no-fault" laws. Here you have the option of going with fault or no-fault insurance, also known as "full tort" or "limited tort insurance". With full tort, drivers can file suit against the at-fault driver and their insurance company, receiving full compensation for damages to their car, medical coverage, legal costs, etc. Essentially, there are far fewer limitations here. Limited tort insurance is meanwhile appealing to a lot of people because it is generally a lot less expensive, but with this policy they have very benefits. In the event of an accident, they file a claim with their own insurance provider (regardless of who was at fault) and may receive only bare minimum coverage.  

Deciding Which Option is Best for You

Now, there are pros and cons to each option, and the right one for you will often depend on your amount of risk and financial worth. The important thing to know, however, is that the decision to go with either limited tort or full tort insurance must be made at the time that coverage is purchased (it cannot be changed after an accident). To learn more, contact E.S.T.I.R. Inc. (serving the Newark, NJ area and beyond) today. 

3 Questions You Should Ask About Auto Insurance

The idea of not buying a policy to secure your car can be tempting. No doubt car insurance policies are usually expensive however no car cover is a very bad idea. For starters, it is worthy of note that all fifty states in the country, including Newark, NJ, are against driving an uninsured car. In addition, if you have an accident and you are wrong, you could be sued for everything you own. Instead of going undercover, there are a couple of questions about auto insurance you should discuss with your agents at E.S.T.I.R. Inc. to help you choose the best possible policy.

What is full coverage?

There is no "total coverage". If your insurance company sells all the protective measures they had in their arsenal, there would always be things that would not have been covered. An example is the use of vehicles for illegal activities. Avoiding police, smuggling drugs or other illegal substances or people and intentional criminal offense are a good example of things you would never cover if your vehicle was damaged or destroyed.

What is the level of risk?

Car insurance risk assessment is based on a number of factors, such as age, sex, occupation, place of residence and driving time. Prices for new drivers are likely to be high, and persons with criminal records will also be labeled as higher risk. The higher the risk, the higher your premium will be.

What are my payment options?

Auto insurance is an excellent financial obligation so it is necessary to determine how to pay for it. Most insurance companies offer the possibility of paying an annual lump sum or paying half an annual amount every six months. The most frequent payment frequency is monthly, as it tries to make the budget more realistic, but in the long run, it can increase your annual costs. However, if you can afford an annual fee, it usually means you are entitled to a discount so if you can pay an invoice instantly, it’s advisable to do so.

Before you can hit the road, car insurance is the most important thing on your list of obligations! But the demand for car insurance can be a complex problem if you have not done it before and you do not know what to look for.

For more information about finding the right coverage in Newark, NJ contact E.S.T.I.R. Inc.

 

Distracted Driving Statisticsyou could

E.S.T.I.R. Inc., serving Newark, NJ and the surrounding area, offers various commercial, home and auto insurance policies. Unfortunately, we see firsthand the devastation distracted driving has on people’s lives. And shockingly, people just don’t seem to learn the dangers of taking your mind off of driving for even a few seconds, as indicated by the high number of distracted driving instances. 

About Distracted Driving

Distracted driving includes any activity that takes your mind off of driving such as texting, talking on the phone, drinking, eating, talking to your passengers or using your entertainment system, among other activities. Texting is considered the most concerning distraction. A text may only take five seconds to send, but in that small window of time, it’s possible to cause a collision. Let’s say you were traveling 55 miles per hour while texting. In that five seconds it took to send a text, you could have driven the length of an entire football field, making texting while driving equivalent to driving this entire distance with your eyes closed. What’s even more shocking is that approximately 660,000 people are using cell phones while driving. 

Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed 3,477 lives while 391,000 were injured in 2015 alone. The NHTSA deemed distracted driving as a huge concern, especially for teenagers who are already at a disadvantage because they’re inexperienced drivers. In fact, drivers who are under the age of 20 are the ones involved in the highest percentage of distracted driver fatal crashes. In the United States alone, about nine people are killed and 1,000 injured in accidents involving a distracted driver, as noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

We advise always keeping your eyes, mind, and hands on driving. And another important safe driving tip is to always have auto insurance. Contact E.S.T.I.R. Inc., serving Newark, NJ and the surrounding area, by calling 973-481-5300 to get a quote.

I Purchased an Older Car. Is Liability Insurance Enough?

Is Liability Insurance Enough for my Older Car?

Think of liability insurance as the minimum coverage available that can protect you, the owner of the vehicle, against lawsuits. This basic policy will likely protect you from having to pay out-of-pocket to repair the automobile or property damaged during an accident of which you were at fault. Keep in mind; it does not pay for repairs to your own vehicle or property.

Liability insurance is only available if you own your vehicle outright. For some people in Newark, NJ, the cost of collision or comprehensive policies is simply not in the monthly budget. Luckily, the agents at E.S.T.I.R. Inc. understand how to get you the best coverage you can afford. 

Components of Liability Insurance

1. Third party insurance is the component that covers the owner of the vehicle against lawsuits.

2. Personal injury protection covers you up to $250,000 towards medical expenses. You can choose to add essential services to the policy which would cover things like nursing assistance while recovering.

3. Loss of income coverage can be added to provide coverage for up to 60 percent of your income during physician verified recovery time. 

4. Death benefit coverage of up to $10,000 in the unfortunate incidence that the accident caused a death. Funeral expenses of up to $2,000 can be added to the policy. 

How is Collision Insurance Different?

Collision insurance goes beyond liability in that it covers repairs to your vehicle or replacement of your vehicle if it is totaled in an accident.

What About Comprehensive Insurance?

Not all accidents involve driving. Comprehensive will cover damage such as a tree falling on the vehicle or hail damage. It also covers theft or vandalism. 

Proof of insurance is required to drive legally in Newark, NJ. Contact us online at E.S.T.I.R. Inc. or by phone at (973) 481-5300 if you have questions about which insurance is right for you.

 

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.  

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.