Category Archives: Car Insurance Company Worcester MA

How to Prevent Pothole Damage to Your Car

Winter presents a host of not only treacherous, but potentially expensive, conditions. In colder climates, one of the most aggravating road conditions is the pothole. If you’re not careful, it can shake your car alignment off-balance and ruin your tires.

Car insurance claims and potholes 

If you hit a pothole and it damages your tires, this should be covered under the collision coverage of your policy. Collision coverage also covers other obstructions that you might hit while traveling. When you make a claim, be sure to take photos and notes. Unfortunately, the damage usually costs less than your deductible, so it doesn’t necessarily save money to file a claim at all. For this reason, prevention is the key to saving money. But you can’t always prevent driving over potholes. So what can you do? Read on. . .

How to prevent pothole damage

If you come upon a pothole, don’t slam on the brakes or swerve the car. Of course it’s nice to be able to avoid them, but on busy roads, sometimes this is impossible. The best thing to do is to reduce your speed so you can glide over it squarely. Remember to stay alert, looking down the road at potential hazards. That seemingly harmless puddle could be covering up a deep pothole!

Get regular car inspections. Especially during the colder months, if you notice a constant decrease in tire pressure, it may be time to rotate your tires. Underinflated tires that hit a pothole can cause a flat or a blowout. Overinflated tires can damage the structure of the tire itself. If you suspect you may have a flat, drive slowly and try to pull over to a place away from traffic. To prevent under- or overinflated tires, keep your tire air pressure at the manufacturer’s recommended levels. In many vehicles, you can see the recommended air pressure numbers on the inside floor of the driver’s side when you open the driver’s side door.

Hitting a pothole can easily mess up your alignment. Is your alignment out of whack? If it is, you may feel a vibration in the tires or the seats in your car. If your car pulls to the left or right, this is also a sign of poor alignment.

When you inspect your car, always check the tread of your tires. The general rule is to take a quarter and insert the edge into your tire tread. George Washington’s head should be partially covered. If not, it’s time to look for some new tires.

Also have your shock absorbers checked. A vibration could indicate a problem with your shocks or suspension.

Remember that winter and spring are the seasons when road damage is worse than ever, as the concrete expands and cracks. Regular maintenance and inspections can help prevent any damage to your car should you encounter potholes or other road hazards caused by rough weather.

Zawada Insurance Agency is your all-in-one resource for helping you find the right coverage for you and your family. We’re a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, working to get you the most comprehensive coverage at a competitive price.

For more information about auto, life, homeowner and other insurance coverages, please contact Zawada Insurance Agency today.

Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

A Winter Nuisance That Can Become a Real Danger

Windshield Safety

It’s something you never think about until you need it or it fails to work. You’re driving down the road, drizzling rain or sleet rushing toward your windshield, and you pass a truck that sprays a mix of moisture and mud all over your field of vision. You push the lever for your windshield wiper fluid to come out and it doesn’t. This poses a real safety hazard, and you must pull over immediately, if possible, to clean it manually. What can cause your fluid to fail? And what can you do about it?

First things first. You should check under the hood to the container where the wiper fluid is stored. Check first to make sure you haven’t run out of it. If you have, it’s an easy fix. Most all gas stations carry wiper fluid, and you can refill it yourself without having to go to a mechanic. If the fluid container is full, or there’s an adequate amount, check for other causes.

When Windshield Wiper Fluid Freezes

In the winter, the cause of the fluid not coming out is usually because it’s frozen. Many washer fluids will freeze at any temperature below freezing, which is 32 degrees. If you are in a steady period of snow storms and below freezing temperatures, you may find this problem particularly troublesome. If you live in an area like New England, where these weather conditions can last for months, it’s in your best interest to get a washer fluid antifreeze. These are available in a variety of formulas with varying freezing points. The reason the washer fluid antifreeze works is because it contains ethanol, methanol or other alcohol mixed with water.

A Word about Washer Fluid

Note: If you’ve had washer fluid with methanol sitting in your garage or under a hot car hood, there may be a chance that some of the alcohol will evaporate, possibly making the freezing temperature higher than advertised on the bottle. You’d need to empty out what’s left of the old fluid and put some fresh fluid in there to be sure you’re ready for winter.

How to Unblock the Washer Jets

If it doesn’t appear that the fluid is frozen, check the nozzles where the fluid comes out. Sometimes something as simple as a safety pin can work to dislodge any ice or debris that may be preventing the fluid from squirting out.  If the ice is wedged deeply in there, try a hair dryer if you can get close enough to an outlet. Sometimes the jet nozzles just need a little thawing out!

If you know that your washer fluid has frozen, you could be at risk for the container or the pump that pushes the fluid out to be cracked. In the event that this happens, you’ll need to see a mechanic to replace your washer fluid system or whatever the damaged part is.

When the Washer Fluid System Doesn’t Work

You may need a mechanic if you’re not comfortable fixing this yourself. But if it isn’t the washer fluid, there could be a blockage in the line underneath the hood. Or there could be some kind of damage to the pump.

Whatever the case may be, make sure you have a fully working windshield washer system. It’s an important safety feature all year long, but especially during a season when there can so easily be precipitation and other obstructions to your vision.

Good luck and safe travels!

For information about auto, life, homeowner and other insurance coverages, please contact Zawada Insurance Agency today.

Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

The 12 Most Popular Auto Insurance Questions Answered

Get the Facts about Auto Insurance

Auto insurance is necessary, no matter what state you live in. To find out what is required in your particular state, you need to visit their transportation website to learn exact coverages. In Massachusetts, you can find out what is required here.

Below we’ve compiled the top 12 most popular questions people have about auto insurance, so you can make informed choices about your coverage and more.

  1. What types of coverages should I have?

Most auto insurance policies offer coverages such as Comprehensive, Liability, Property Damage, and Collision Coverage.

  1. What is a deductible?

The deductible is the amount of money you pay after you have an accident before your insurance company pays the remaining charges.

  1. How can I keep my car insurance costs low?

You can’t always control everything, but there are certain things you can check for that may help to lower your costs. First of all, make sure you have a car with updated safety features. Also, make sure your insurance company knows if you work from home or have a short commute to work. The less time you spend in the car, the lower your risks.

  1. How many people can I put on my car insurance policy?

You can put as many as you’d like, but they must be members of your household, all living at the same address.

  1. What if I want to change my coverage? How can I do that?

You can always change your coverage or insurance carrier at any time. However, it’s best to wait until the end of your policy to avoid a cancellation fee.

  1. Are there any situations in which I could be denied coverage?

Yes. If your driving history includes a major accident, a DUI, or if you have bad credit—all of these factors could cause an insurance company to deny you coverage.

  1. Does my gender affect my insurance premium rates?

Yes it does. Sorry, guys, but studies have shown that males generally get into more accidents. So males pay bigger premiums.

  1. If I’m driving someone else’s car and have an accident, who pays?

The insurance of the person who owns the car would pay. Then you would have to pay any remaining costs.

  1. Will auto insurance replace my car if it gets stolen?

A stolen car can be replaced only if you have comprehensive coverage.

  1. If I forget to pay my premium, will I lose my coverage?

Not necessarily. If you forget once, they’ll probably send you a warning. If you frequently don’t pay, your coverage will likely be canceled.

  1. If my garage burns down with my car in it, will my car insurance pay for it?

No. Your Homeowners Policy would cover that type of event.

  1. If I don’t have auto insurance, and I’m in an accident, what will happen?

If you don’t have insurance, you could be sued, which could result in the loss of your entire life savings. You could also serve jail time. So it’s better to be insured than not!

At Zawada Insurance Agency, we’ll help you shop around to find the best deals on car, home, and other types of insurance.

Please contact Zawada Insurance Agency for details.

Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

New Year, New Insurance

How to Get Lower Rates on Your Insurance

As the New Year approaches, one of your resolutions may be to find more ways to save money. You can do this by rethinking your insurance policies. It’s always a good idea to do an annual insurance review, because you might discover that you could be eligible for discounts and other savings that you aren’t currently taking advantage of!

For example, if you have an older car, you may have had the same car insurance for years. But did you know that your rates could be lowered based on any changes that have happened recently? For instance, if you changed jobs and don’t commute as far, that can affect how much you pay. And most likely, it will reduce the cost.

More Ways to Save on Homeowners Insurance

Also, you might be eligible for discounts to your Homeowners Insurance if you recently installed a security system or quit smoking. If you started bundling all of your insurance policies with one company, they’ll most likely give you discounts for that, too.

How to Do an Annual Insurance Review

Take time before the New Year to collect all of your insurance policies, whether it’s home, auto, renter’s, motorcycle, etc. Usually you can find the basic information on the summary page of your policy. Here’s what to look for: the amount of coverage, your premium costs and your deductible. Keep in mind, if you want to lower your premiums, you’ll be raising your deductible. First, you should make sure you can afford the deductible amount if you have to make a claim.

Could You Rebuild Your Home If You Had To?

This is an important question when you’re reevaluating your home insurance. The reality is, construction costs could be much higher than when you first took out your insurance policy. Also, remember that insurance companies will tell you that if something major needs to be replaced, it will be replaced with something of “like kind and quality.” Your kitchen may still look like the 1980s. If you needed to upgrade your kitchen with more contemporary cabinetry and appliances, you’ll need to be able to cover that cost.

Did You Purchase Valuable Items?

In the past year, you may have purchased jewelry or other very valuable items that you may not have extra coverage for. Do an inventory to make sure you haven’t forgotten that priceless painting! If you discover that you did buy something like that, you’ll need to increase your coverage for “personal possessions.”

Is Your Home More Likely to Flood?

When you purchased your house, it may not have been in a flood zone at the time. But in recent

years, have you had more damaging storms and repeated flooding in your basement? It may be time to consider getting flood insurance, even if it wasn’t required.

What Umbrella Insurance Can Do for You

Last but not least, consider umbrella insurance. It’s a low-cost way to get extra protection for things like your retirement fund, investments and any future income, which may all be lost as the result of a lawsuit. Many people don’t think about liability coverage until it’s too late. So umbrella insurance will help protect you above and beyond your standard home and auto insurance coverage.

For all your home, auto and other insurance needs, please contact Zawada Insurance Agency. We work to give you comprehensive coverage at a competitive price.

Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

Best Ways to Save on Car Insurance

You’re getting ready to purchase a new car. There’s excitement in the air as you scan the showroom with all the brand new models. . . While haggling with the dealership may be stressful, you don’t want any surprises when you purchase insurance for your new car. Some new car owners are shocked at the hike in their insurance rates because of the car they just purchased. So make sure you’re well-informed before you buy.

Try to keep your premium low.

When you buy insurance, you will have a deductible that can range from $300 to $1,000. Remember, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium. You should, of course, choose a deductible that best fits your budget.

Don’t assume an older car will mean cheaper insurance. 

Some new car owners think that if they get an older model, or a used car, their insurance rates will be lower than a newer model. This isn’t always the case. Older cars are more attractive to car thieves because they can easily sell the parts, so there is still a risk, as with everything. If you get a manual shift, your car is less likely to be stolen because more people know how to drive an automatic transmission.

Check your credit score.

Before you go car shopping, hopefully, you will have checked your credit. This gives you a lot of leverage, not only with the dealer, but with your insurance carrier as well. Those who have good credit are perceived as being more responsible and less likely to get into accidents. Whether or not this is true remains to be seen, but it’s the assumption that is made.

Buy when your driving history is good.

If you’ve recently had a lot of accidents, or even traffic tickets, these will affect your insurance rates. On the upside, not all mishaps are treated equally in the eyes of insurance carriers. Sometimes, timing is everything. For example, if you were found at fault in an accident that happened three to five years ago, it will less likely be a determining factor in how much you pay.

Get as many safety features included in your car as possible.

Insurance companies look favorably on cars that have extra security features, such as a back-up camera to help you see better when you’re pulling out of a parking space. Other features may include driver- and passenger-side airbags, daytime running lights, automatic seat belts, anti-lock brakes, and extra signal lights on your side mirrors. Anti-lock brakes are especially important in places like New England, to help prevent skidding in the snow and ice. All of these “extra” safety features can help to reduce accidents.

At Zawada Insurance Agency, we’ll help you shop around to find the best deals on car, home, and other types of insurance—including bundling, if it helps you to save more.

Please contact Zawada Insurance Agency for details.

Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.