What Atlanta auto shops need to know about workers’ comp insurance

Workers comp for auto shops

Workers comp for auto shops

If you have an auto body shop, the days are busy. You’ve got a revolving door of cars and clients, and maybe it feels like there’s barely organized chaos going on at any given time. It’s understandable. However, you’ve got to make sure that your shop is a safe place for your employees to work. Not only is this for their health and wellbeing, but it’s also a way to lower your workers’ comp risk. We’ll go over what you need to know about workers’ comp insurance for auto body shops.

Wait – what’s workers’ comp?

Workers’ comp is the coverage that protects your employees if they get hurt on the job. Unfortunately, auto shops aren’t always the safest places to work. Working with cars means working around some potentially dangerous equipment, so this is an important coverage for auto shops.

Anyways, workers’ comp protects your employees by providing a portion of their lost wages if they get hurt on the job and have to take some time to rest and recover. It can also cover their medical bills so they won’t have to stress about paying for the medical care they need. That way the only thing your employee has to worry about is getting better. (Take note that Georgia law may require you to carry workers’ comp insurance if you have three or more employees.)

To give an example, let’s say that one of your mechanics is on the shop floor when they accidentally slip and fall. They not only hit their head and need stitches, but they also break a leg while they’re at it. They need some pretty extensive medical care and physical therapy, not to mention they need some time off from work. Workers’ comp could swoop in to save the day. Kind of like a superhero.

How can auto shops lower their workers' comp risk?

Tips for auto shops to lower workers’ comp risk.

There are a few things that you can do to lower your workers’ comp risk – meaning lowering your chances of having a workers’ comp insurance claim. (Basically, how can you prevent your employees from getting injured on the job?)

Provide proper safety equipment and make sure your employees are using it.

You’ve got to make sure that your employees have access to the safety equipment they need, and that they’re using the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) properly. Have eye protection and hearing protection available for your employees to use. If your employees will be using paint, make sure they have breathing protection. Have dust masks if employees will be sanding or grinding things.

Make sure hoists and jacks are well maintained.

It’s really important to make sure that all the hoists and jacks that are used to lift the vehicles are well maintained. Crawling around under cars can be dangerous, so make sure that all the equipment is functioning properly to avoid accidents. Also, ensure that all of your employees know what a properly supported vehicle looks like so they know not to work underneath one that isn’t.

Prevent slips and falls.

You also need to look out for the more mundane dangers out there. Your employees should keep the workspace tidy and clear of anything that could cause someone to trip or slip. When you’re rushing around trying to get work done, it’s easy to fail to notice something on the floor that could send you flying. Head that off by making sure that walkways are clear.

Train employees on proper lifting.

It’s really important to train employees on proper lifting to avoid back injuries and strain. You don’t want anyone throwing their back out because they tried to lift something. Back injuries are no fun.

Train, train, train.

You’ve also got to commit to spending some time on safety training. Make sure that your employees know how to properly use every piece of equipment and tool that they’ll be expected to use in the course of their jobs, and make sure that they know they can ask questions if needed. There are some simple things that your employees should know, such as…

  • Keeping sparks away from car batteries, which can explode.
  • Being careful of any moving parts, such as belts, pulleys, and fans.
  • Not touching/opening the radiator when the car is still hot.
  • Not unplugging electrical parts when the engine is still running.
  • Taking care when opening fuel lines.
  • Disconnecting one of the battery cables when doing electrical work to avoid shorting anything or starting a fire.
  • Not smoking around flammable things.
  • Not wearing loose-fitting clothing that could get caught in something.
  • Tying back long hair.

Yes, these may seem like very simplistic things, but it’s important that your employees understand basic safety around the shop. If your employees feel that they’re unable to perform a task safely, make sure they feel comfortable telling you or their supervisor about it.

How to get workers’ comp quotes.

One way you can save money on your workers’ comp insurance is by comparing quotes. How do you do that? It’s easy!

  • Let us know you’re looking for insurance by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat.
  • Chat with one of our agents so that they get to know you and your business. They just need to ask a few questions so they can best assist you with your insurance needs.
  • We’ll gather some quotes for you.
  • The agent will go over your quotes with you and present your options.
  • We’re here to help with any of your insurance needs or questions.

So that’s the scoop about workers’ comp insurance and auto shops. If you want to see if you can save money on your business insurance, let us know. Our team of insurance experts would be happy to help.

How does Atlanta home insurance cover storm damage?

Storm damage and home insurance

Storm damage and home insurance

So, being in Atlanta, we certainly get our fair share of storms. Those thunderstorms can be scary, what with the lightning storms, kabooms, and swaying trees (there are a LOT of trees in Georgia.) We often want to hunker down inside under a blanket with a cup of cocoa when that happens, and we want to stay safe and sound. But what about the house? What if your house takes a beating during a storm? Well, home insurance can help. We’ll explain about how storm damage could be covered by home insurance.

What storm damage losses can be covered by home insurance?

Well, let us start by saying that it’s very important to read your home insurance policy. It’ll outline what losses are covered and which are not. It’s important that you’re clear about how your policy protects your home and what your responsibilities are as the insured. Don’t underestimate the importance of slogging through your policy. It’s maybe not “fun” but losses related to storms can get tricky, so it’s necessary.

Anyways, let’s move along. What storm damage losses are typically covered by home insurance?

Lightning.

Lightning is scary. If your home is struck by lightning and catches fire, home insurance may cover it. As far-fetched as that might sound, it does happen. It just does. But that’s where home insurance can become a lifesaver. (And in case you were wondering, a power surge that happens because of lightning can also be covered.)

Wind damage.

Storm-level winds can put a beating on your house. Have you ever noticed that the trees bend and sway like crazy when a storm hits? Georgia storms are no joke, but thankfully home insurance may cover wind damage.

Hail damage.

Hail? In Georgia?

Yep.

If your house gets caught in the line of fire of dastardly chunks of ice, home insurance could cover you. Hail can really pummel your roof and siding, after all. But hey – home insurance may cover it!

Trees falling.

If a bad storm causes a tree to fall onto your house, you could be covered. Trees don’t really know how to be considerate and fall away from houses and fences, so there’s that. Anyways, whether it’s your tree or a neighbor’s tree that crashes into your home, you could be covered. Then you get to have the last laugh, not the dumb tree.

Rain that blows into your house because of damage caused by wind.

Let’s say wind puts a major beating on your house and leaves some holes that allow that wind to blow rain into your house. Home insurance could cover you for the water damage that results. Phew.

What’s NOT covered by home insurance: Flooding

One thing you need to be aware of is that flooding is not covered by home insurance. (In this case, when we say “flooding” we mean that a lot of water has accumulated on the ground outside where there usually isn’t water.) Heavy Georgia rains can get intense, so it’s important to be aware and prepared. Many homeowners find out that flooding is excluded after they’ve experienced a loss, and then it’s too late. Even if you’re not in a “flood-prone” area, necessarily, you could still find yourself on the wrong side of floodwaters.

But not all hope is lost. You can protect yourself by getting flood insurance, which you can get through the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program). Make sure that you get enough coverage for your home and your belongings – and keep in mind that flood insurance often has a waiting period of 30 days before it becomes effective, with very few exceptions.

Recap about storm damage:

So – to recap about storm damage…

Home insurance may cover wind damage, hail, lightning, falling trees, and even wind-driven water that enters your home if the roof or walls have been damaged. It won’t, however, cover flooding, so you may want to consider flood insurance, which you can get from the NFIP through an agent. Read your policy so you know what your insurance covers and what your responsibilities are if you have a claim.

Get started with home insurance quotes by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat.

What insurance do I need for retail?

Retail insurance

Retail insuranceIf you have a retail store in Atlanta, you might wonder what insurance coverage you need. It’s important to protect your store, after all, and getting the business insurance you need is a big part of that. In the flurry of getting your merchandise on the shelves (and then off the shelves, ideally), managing your employees, and tending to the store itself, there are a few coverages you might want to consider for your business.

Read moreWhat insurance do I need for retail?

Liability vs. medical payments coverage in car insurance

Auto liability vs medical payments

Auto liability vs medical payments

So, there are a lot of different car insurance coverages out there. They all have different (often confusing) names and they all do different things. The thing is that these coverages all work together to protect you from the various risks you face when you get behind the wheel. It’s important to understand how each coverage differs from the next so that you know what risks you’re protected from. Two coverages that might seem similar at first glance are your liability coverage and medical payments coverage. We’ll explain each of these coverages and why they’re different.

What is liability insurance?

When you drive, you’re sharing the road with other drivers. What happens if you hit another driver or cause an accident? You’d have some legal responsibility to the other driver. That’s where your liability insurance comes in.

Bodily injury liability can cover the other driver’s medical bills and their pain and suffering. It can even cover the wages they lost while unable to work due to the accident.

Property damage liability can help cover the expenses of repairing or replacing the other driver’s car. (It can also cover other property that you happen to take out, such as a fence.)

It’s also important to note that your liability insurance can help cover your legal expenses if you’re sued because of the accident.

Most states require drivers to carry liability insurance to legally be able to hit the road. Georgia requires drivers to have $25,000 of bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 of bodily injury liability per accident, and $25,000 of property damage liability. Again, this is to cover your obligation to the other driver if you hit them and cause an accident. With medical expenses being what they are, it’s easy to see why this is such an important coverage.

It’s important to have high enough limits of insurance to truly protect yourself if you’re involved in an accident. You want to be able to cover the expenses you’re obligated to pay to the other driver without putting your assets in jeopardy. Serious accidents can come with some very serious expenses.

What is medical payments coverage?

Medical payments coverage, on the other hand, is a no-fault coverage that can help you cover your own medical bills – and those of your passengers – if you’re in an accident. It may also help you if you’re riding in someone else’s car and get into an accident. Plus, if you’re walking or biking and you get hit by a car, medical payments might help you cover those medical bills.

However, you need to be sure that you understand how your medical payments coverage works with your health insurance. If you have health insurance that would be there for you in the event of an accident, you might not need medical payments coverage. Make sure that you check out your health insurance to see what would happen if you’re in a car accident.

The difference.

So, the main point we’re making is this: bodily injury liability doesn’t help cover your medical bills following an accident. That’s not what it’s designed to do. (Likewise, it won’t cover your own car following an accident. You would need collision coverage to help you out in that case.) Medical payments, however, can help with those medical bills.

The other point we’re making is that it’s important to understand the coverages you have for your car and how they work. Are you covered for all the risks you face? Do you have coverages like collision and comprehensive that can help repair your car if something happens to it? Do you have coverage like rental reimbursement that can help cover the costs of renting a car if yours is in the shop following an accident?

It might seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Our team of insurance agents can help you get the car insurance you need to make sure you’re protected when you hit the road. We strive to make insurance easy, too, so that you don’t have to worry about getting stressed out when you get auto insurance. Anyways, all this is to say that you can get in touch with our team by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat. We’re happy to help with your insurance needs.

What coverages do I need for my Atlanta auto shop insurance?

Atlanta auto shop insurance

Atlanta auto shop insurance

If you run an auto shop in Atlanta, your days are pretty packed. There are cars coming in, cars being repaired, cars getting collected by their grateful owners. But in all the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day of running an auto shop, it’s also important to consider how your shop is protected. Meaning Atlanta auto shop insurance. Insurance can feel complicated and overwhelming, and you might be wondering what coverages you need to consider for your business. There are plenty of risks that you face, and you need to protect yourself from them. We’re going to break down a few of the coverages you can consider.

What coverages do you need as part of your Atlanta auto shop insurance plan?

It’s important to note that while these are some of the coverages you can consider for your business, they’re not the only coverages that could come in handy for your Atlanta auto shop. However, this is a breakdown of some of the coverages you should know about.

General liability:

General liability can help you if there’s a claim of bodily injury or property damage from a guest. It can help you cover the injured party’s medical bills – and your legal expenses if they decide to sue you. For example, let’s say that one of your customers is coming to drop off their car. They go into your lobby, but they trip over something and take a bad fall, breaking their arm and smashing their nose. Your general liability could help cover their medical expenses – and the legal expenses of the ensuing lawsuit.

Workers’ compensation:

Auto shops aren’t necessarily the safest of places. Workers’ comp can help if one of your employees gets hurt on the job by paying for their medical bills and giving them a portion of their lost wages. To give an example, let’s say that one of your employees is in the back, working on a car, when they slip and fall. They hit their head badly and need stitches, so they need some time off work. Oh, and they sprained a wrist pretty badly. Anyways – workers’ comp could help by covering those medical bills and giving that employee some of the wages they lost while unable to work due to the injury.

Property:

Property insurance can help protect the physical structure of the shop itself against losses like fire. Since there are a lot of flammable things in your auto shop, this is definitely a coverage to consider. Let’s say that you close up the shop for the night, and overnight a fire starts, burning the shop to the ground. It’s the stuff of nightmares, but your property insurance could help you recover from the loss.

Garagekeepers:

Garagekeepers insurance is another important coverage to consider because it can help protect the cars in your care, custody, and control. Since you hold on to your clients’ cars so you can repair them, this coverage is crucial. It can protect against losses like fire, theft, and vandalism. If you had a fire while you were also storing a bunch of cars for repair, your garagekeepers coverage could help you when it comes to recovering from the loss of the clients’ cars.

Umbrella:

Umbrella insurance sits on top of your underlying liability policy and provides coverage above and beyond what the underlying policy offers. To illustrate, let’s say that you have a general liability policy with a limit of $1 million. You also have a $1 million umbrella policy. But then you have a $1.75 million general liability claim (it was a very big claim.) Your general liability kicks in to cover its $1 million, but then your umbrella could take over and cover the remaining $750,000.

Some other coverages you can consider as part of your Atlanta auto shop insurance plan:

Like we said, the above coverages aren’t the only ones that you can get to protect your business from risk. Here are some others:

  • Business interruption
  • Employment practices liability
  • Hired and non-owned auto liability
  • Cyber insurance
  • Employee dishonesty
  • Environmental impairment
  • And many, many more!

How to get Atlanta auto shop insurance.

The next question is how to go about getting Atlanta auto shop insurance. Well, we can help. Our team does our best to make the insurance process as easy as possible. Here’s how it works:

  • You reach out and let us know you’re looking for auto shop insurance. You can fill out our online form, give us a call, or message us.
  • One of our agents chats with you to ask some questions about your business. We need to collect some intel about your business so we can get you the right coverage and get you the best quotes.
  • We get your quotes. We work with a lot of insurance carriers, so we’ll bring you some quotes.
  • We go over your options with you and help you finalize your coverage.
  • We’re here to answer any questions you have or address any concerns you might have about your insurance.

See? Easy. We’re here to help you with your insurance coverage. We know that the world of business insurance is overwhelming, but you don’t have to go it alone.

Get started with your quotes by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat.

Did you know about these home insurance endorsements?

Home insurance endorsements

Home insurance endorsementsAtlanta home insurance can protect you from a lot of different sticky situations. However, certain things might need to be added to your policy so you can be sure you’re protected. (Home insurance does a lot of great things, and it’s definitely a worthwhile financial safety net, but it doesn’t protect you from EVERYTHING.) To make sure your home and belongings are protected from losses that might worry you, you can add these things called endorsements to your policy. We’ll explain what home insurance endorsements are and go over a few that you should know about.

What is an endorsement?

An endorsement is an addition to your policy that alters coverage. It can add coverage for certain losses, or it can provide coverage for certain items. Yes, it’s one of those insurance words that gets thrown around a lot – so it’s a helpful word to know. Unfortunately, Insurance-Speak 101 is not a class offered at school, so there are some words out there that agents just think people know and understand because they’re in the insurance world – which isn’t their fault, but can make people feel sheepish.

Anyways, moving on. That’s what an endorsement is, but which endorsements should you know about? As you’ve probably guessed, there are many home insurance endorsements. Things just can’t be simple, can they?

3 home insurance endorsements to know about.

1. Sewer backup.

This very unfortunate – and potentially very smelly – problem is typically not covered by your home insurance. But – yes, there’s a but – you can add an endorsement to your policy to protect yourself from losses related to sewer backup and sump discharge. You might not think this could ever happen to you, but sewer backup could strike at the most inopportune time.

The endorsement could help you cover losses related to…

  • The backup of water or waterborne materials through a sewer or drain.
  • Water or waterborne material that overflows from a sump (including if the sump fails due to a mechanical problem.) Keep in mind that damaged property is covered, but not the sump itself.

Note: Losses due to negligence (i.e. not turning on the sump) or flooding ARE NOT covered.

Okay, so that’s what the endorsement does. However, there are a few things you can do to avoid a sewer backup.

  • Do NOT flush anything other than toilet paper.
  • Toss cooled grease in the garbage instead of rinsing it down the drain.
  • Keep an eye out for tree roots. They can allow debris to infiltrate cracks in the sewer line. You might consider replacing your sewer lateral with plastic pipe if you keep having issues.

2. Personal property.

Your home insurance might offer only a limited amount of coverage for things like jewelry and valuables. It’s important to read your policy so you understand how much coverage you have for your expensive treasures like your jewelry – and what’s covered and what’s not.

If you find that the coverage offered by your home insurance isn’t going to cut it, you can consider getting a home insurance endorsement. A personal property endorsement can give you the appropriate coverage for items that are specifically listed (or scheduled, in insurance-speak.) That way you would have the coverage you need if something happened to your beloved treasures.

Make sure that you have the appropriate amount of coverage in the endorsement and that you understand what losses are covered. Also, be sure that you know how your valuables would be replaced. As always, it’s important to read the details of your coverage.

Your jewelry is valuable, both money-wise and sentimentally. Don’t skip out on getting the right coverage.

3. Identity theft.

You may also be able to get an endorsement to protect yourself from identity theft. The possibility of having your identity stolen is a scary one – and a potentially expensive one. An identity theft endorsement can help you out if you’re dealing with the fallout from an identity theft situation. If you’re concerned about what you’d do if your identity was stolen, you may want to look into this.

While your home insurance does a lot to protect you, you might want to add endorsements to your policy. It’s always a good idea to read your policy carefully and understand what’s covered and what you might need to adjust or add via endorsement.

Get started with home insurance quotes by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging on LiveChat.

15 things you need to know if you’re moving to Atlanta

Moving to Atlanta

Moving to AtlantaMaybe you’re moving to the Atlanta area because of a job transfer, or maybe you’re moving to be closer to family. Or maybe you’re hunting for a job in the Atlanta area. Whatever your reason for relocating to the ATL, you might be wondering what to expect when you settle down in the capital city of the Peach State. Whether you’ve visited the city frequently or only once or twice, we’ve put together a list of 15 things you need to know before moving to Atlanta.

15 things to know if you’re moving to Atlanta.

1. There are a lot of streets called Peachtree.

So, one of the first things you should know about moving to Atlanta: there are a ton of streets called some version of Peachtree. It’s borderline annoying. Anyway, if you’re trying to get around Midtown or Downtown, be careful of what you enter into your GPS. Peachtree Street NW is not the same as Peachtree Street, not is Peachtree Avenue the same as Peachtree Boulevard. It’s kind of a running joke that literally (not really) every street is called Peach-something. Such is living in the Peach State.

Anyway, best of luck with navigating! Truly.

2. Cars are a survival mechanism.

So, Atlanta is not exactly a walking city. There is public transit, but many people choose to drive. Having a car to get around would be super helpful. However, the abundance of vehicles also leads to a major issue – traffic. At rush hour, the roads and highways aren’t a terribly fun place to be. It is possible to avoid it if you’re able to drive at non-rush hour time, but if you’re moving to Atlanta, be prepared to share the roads and to be patient with the traffic situation.

3. Summers are hot and humid.

Atlanta can experience some very brutal summers. It gets hot and humid. The upside to the climate is that winters generally aren’t too bad…although the city does shut down if there’s a tiny bit of snow or any ice on the roads. (Seriously – you’ll laugh to see it if you’re from a northern city.)

Winter aside, summers in Atlanta are very green. The trees are lovely and there’s a lot of plant life for an urban area.

4. That green vine that eats everything is called kudzu.

So, you might be driving along and notice a wide area that’s been taken over by a leafy vine thing – possibly a monster of some sort that appears to be eating everything in sight. That’s called kudzu. It’s a thing.

5. The North Georgia mountains aren’t far away.

About an hour or so north of the city are mountains that provide some really beautiful scenery and nice hiking areas. It’s a picturesque way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and/or suburbs. Georgia boasts some very beautiful wildlife, forests, and waterfalls. If you’re the outdoorsy sort, not to worry – you can escape the urban-ness of the city or the suburb-ness of the suburbs.

6. Tennis is a big thing.

If you’re a sports person, good news – tennis is pretty big in the metro-Atlanta area. Many neighborhoods have tennis courts, and ALTA (Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association) has lots of different teams at different levels. So, whether you’re a newbie to tennis and want to give it a try or you’ve been playing for a while, you can probably find a team – or at least a place to hit the tennis ball around.

7. There’s plenty of stuff to do.

Atlanta has plenty of museums and other fun things to see. There are a lot of interesting things to see – and there’s plenty for kids, too. Here are just a few highlights:

  • Georgia Aquarium
  • Zoo Atlanta
  • Fernbank Museum of Natural History
  • The World of Coca-Cola
  • High Museum of Art
  • National Center for Civil and Human Rights
  • Center of Puppetry Arts

So, as you can see, there’s plenty to keep you busy!

Pro tip – Check out the City Pass for Atlanta. This could help you get reduced rates for popular attractions around the city.

Things you need to know if you're moving to Atlanta

8. Atlanta is home to the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Why is the airport worth mentioning, you as? Because this is no ordinary airport. It’s actually the world’s busiest airport. It’s quite impressive, and there’s a fairly new international terminal that’s pretty posh. So, as far as air travel is concerned, Atlanta has got you covered.

9. Understand OTP vs. ITP.

You also have to understand a little bit of Atlanta terminology: OTP vs. ITP.

OTP means outside the perimeter, meaning outside of I-285, which encompasses the city.

ITP means inside the perimeter, meaning inside I-285 and within the “bounds” of the city.

We’re not entirely sure why this distinction is so important, but it matters to Atlanta-folk.

10. There’s a lot of great food.

There’s also plenty of great food to be found in the Atlanta area. Whatever kind of food you’re looking for, a quick Google search will probably turn up some options. Try some different places and you’ll probably find a favorite haunt.

11. Atlanta United is pretty cool.

Atlanta recently got a major league soccer team, Atlanta United. It’s pretty fun to go to the games and get swept up in the excitement. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to visit Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta’s fancy new sports stadium. It even has a very cool, high-tech roof.

12. The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System rocks.

The libraries in Fulton County (which is the county Atlanta’s in) are pretty great. Looking for a novel? A biography? Some books for the kids? The newest YA releases for your teenagers? The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System has got you covered. They have an easy-to-use online catalog so you can hunt down your next read. It allows you to see what branches of the library system have the book you want, and you can also place holds and request for books to be transferred to the library branch closest to you. (All AFPLS branches are connected, so you can return the books to any of the branches.)

Anyways – bookworms have a great library system to discover.

13. There are many different neighborhoods to explore.

Atlanta also has lots of neighborhoods that have different vibes. There’s Buckhead, Virginia Highlands, Little Five Points, Old Fourth Ward, West End, Inman Park, and more.

Don’t forget that you don’t necessarily have to live Downtown. You can live in the suburbs if you’re moving to Atlanta and still stay close to the city – for example, Decatur and Sandy Springs.

14. Lots of TV shows and movies have been filmed here.

A lot of shows and movies have filmed in and around Atlanta. It’s really cool to recognize the Atlanta skyline or other Atlanta landmarks when you take a trip to the movie theater!

Here’s just a few of the shows and movies that have filmed in the ATL:

  • The Walking Dead
  • Black Panther
  • Stranger Things
  • Avengers: Endgame

Truth be told, we could go on and on. There has been A LOT of filming going on in the city lately.

15. We can help you with your home insurance.

And when you’re moving to Atlanta, you probably want some great home insurance at a great rate. We can help with that! Just fill out our online quote form, give us a call, or message us on LiveChat.

Am I covered if someone hits my car in a parking lot?

Are you covered if someone hits your car in a parking lot?

Are you covered if someone hits your car in a parking lot?

Imagine this – you’re in the grocery store. You’re pretty pumped because they had your favorite ice cream on sale. You walk out to the parking lot and to your car…only to have any thoughts of sundaes vanish. The rear end of your car is pretty smooshed. Someone hit your poor car. Now instead of debating topping choices your question is this – are you covered if someone hits your car in a parking lot? We’ll explain.

If the other driver left you a note with their information…

Well, it would be nice if the other driver left a note on your windshield with their name and contact information. That would be helpful – and it’s also common courtesy. If you have the other driver’s information, you can give them a call and see about getting the damage repaired through their property damage liability coverage. That could be a viable option for getting the damage repaired. (In theory, the other driver should have property damage liability insurance – Georgia requires drivers to carry $25,000 of coverage per occurrence.) Then you could get your car all fixed up.

Pro tip: Take pictures of the damage.

What if the other driver took off after hitting your car in a parking lot?

What if the other driver is nowhere to be found? They might have backed into your car in the parking lot and split. (Which is pretty rude.)

You could get the damage to your car repaired through your collision coverage. (This is the coverage that can help repair or replace your car if it’s damaged in an accident or by a, well, collision with something.) If that’s what you want to do, you might want to give your insurance company a call and let them know what happened. They can give you some guidance on how to proceed.

However, you have to consider your deductible. Are the costs of the repairs going to be higher than your deductible? If they aren’t, your insurance might not be too much help. (Your deductible is how much you agree to pay if you have a claim – you have your deductible and insurance helps take care of the rest up to the policy’s limit.)

Pro tip: Call the police and have them file a report. This could help with the insurance claim.

But – if you don’t have collision coverage and you can’t locate the other driver…that’s unfortunate. Your liability insurance won’t help cover the repairs because, quite simply, that’s not what it does. Your liability insurance can help you cover your legal obligation to the other driver if you’re at fault in an accident, but it doesn’t cover your car. Bodily injury liability can help cover the other driver’s medical bills and pain and suffering while property damage liability can help cover repairs of the other driver’s car – and possibly other property you happen to damage.) It can also cover your legal expenses if the other driver sues.

Long story short – if you only carry liability insurance, your insurance isn’t going to be super helpful. That’s not its job.

So, that’s how you could get your car repaired if someone hits your car in a parking lot. You might be able to go through the other driver’s liability insurance. Or you could go through your own collision coverage if there’s no way to get ahold of the other driver. So, you have options! Your poor car will not have to stay damaged forever.

And another option you have is choosing what car insurance you want. We can help you get quotes for your car insurance to help you get great insurance at a great rate. All you have to do to get started with your auto insurance quotes is fill out our online form, give us a call, or message us on LiveChat.

8 tips for buying a car in Atlanta

Buying a car

Buying a car

Buying a car is a big purchase. There’s a lot you have to consider when you decide to get a new vehicle, and it can be a time-consuming process. As evidenced by Atlanta traffic, many people in the city and metro areas need cars to get around. Public transit in Atlanta…well, they tried. Anyways, you want to make sure you’re completely happy with your new ride, after all, because if you’re not…well, that’s unfortunate. You might just be stuck with that car for a while. Anyways, we’ve got a few tips for buying a car in Atlanta.

8 tips for buying a car in Atlanta

1. Know your budget.

Well, first things first, right? You need to know how much you’re willing to spend on your car. It’s a good idea to know what your price range is when you’re going in. That way you might be able to avoid falling in love with a car, only to find that it’s not exactly realistic. That only leads to heartbreak. So, protect your heart – and your bank account – by knowing what’s going to work out for you money-wise.

2. Do your research.

When you’re buying a car, you need to make sure the car is going to suit your needs. Consider what you’re going to be using the car for. Are you going to be commuting a ways for work? Or are you looking for a vehicle to drive the kids around? Think about what kind of car will make the most sense for you.

This can give you a place to start when you’re thinking about what kind of car you want to get. Do you want a sedan? An SUV? A van? A crossover? (Or maybe start simpler – do you want a small car or a big car?) Once you’ve got an idea of the kind of car you want, you can start considering make and model.

Next is thinking about other details. What are the safety and crash ratings of the car you’re thinking about? Is the car a reliable one? (Since you probably want your car to last you a while, safety and reliability are kind of important.) Do some reading up on the types of cars you’re thinking about. You can also ask friends and family about the cars they drive – maybe they happen to drive a car that you like, or maybe they once had the same make and model of car that you’re thinking about.

Okay. If you have a general idea of the make and model of car you want, you also have to decide whether you want to buy a new car or a used car. Would you rather have a brand spanking new vehicle, or are you okay with one that’s gently used with a few miles on it? (This may make a difference in the price you’ll pay for the car – keep that in mind.) There are pros and cons to both a new car and a used car.

Phew. That’s a lot of things to consider…and it doesn’t end there.

Now comes the super fun part – price. Since buying a car is a big thing, you want to make sure you’re getting a fair price. And that means you need to do yet more research to find out what’s a good price for the year, make, and model of the car you’re considering. You’ll have an idea of how much you need to be prepared to pay when you go to actually purchase the vehicle. That way you know if the car salesperson is giving you a price that’s decent or a price that’s ridiculous. Even if you really want the car, you might need to be patient if it means saving some money. (You also might want to compare the price of getting a used car versus getting a new car – will you save a significant amount by getting a car that’s a year or two old?)

Pro tip: If you’re getting a used car, you might want to take it to a trusted mechanic to have a once-over to make sure everything’s okay.

If you're buying a car, do your research.

3. Consider how you want to finance the car.

Okay, unless you’re absolutely rolling in money or you’ve been saving up for quite a while, you’re probably thinking that you’re going to need to get a loan for the car.

Check out some different options to get the money to buy the car. Do you want to finance the car through the dealership, or do you want to take out a loan from your bank? What’s going to be the best game plan in the long run? There’s more than one way to finance a car.

4. Do some test drives.

It’s also important to test drive different vehicles. That way you can decide on the make and model that works best for you. Reading about a car online might give you an idea of what it’s like, but that’s not the same as actually being able to see the car itself – or taking the wheel and going for a test drive. You need to see how the car handles. (And more importantly – does it have enough cup holders? Just kidding. But not really.)

And when you’re ready to buy a car, you might want to test drive the specific vehicle that you’re going to purchase. (That way you can see if it has any issues and if it handles the way you thought it would.)

5. Consider going to different dealerships.

If you’re not finding what you’re looking for at the dealership you visit, go to a different one. Find out what dealerships are in your area and maybe plan to go to a few of them before you get your car. You never know – you might be able to get a vehicle with different features.

6. Be prepared to negotiate.

You’ve got to be prepared to negotiate when you walk into a dealership. It can be a little scary, so don’t let yourself get pushed around and don’t get pressured into buying a car that you’re not 100% sold on. It can be intimidating, so go into it knowing that you can walk away. (Also – don’t be afraid to walk away if it doesn’t seem like you’re going to get a good price.) The negotiation process can be a bit of a rigmarole and a little back and forth. Try not to get too flustered. And remember – they can’t force you to buy a car. It’s your money.

7. Don’t forget car insurance.

There’s another expense you have to remember when you’re buying a car: auto insurance. You can’t avoid it. The state of Georgia requires drivers to carry $25,000 of bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 of bodily injury liability per occurrence, and $25,000 of property damage liability. At any rate, it’s important to have a game plan for insuring your new car and to familiarize yourself with the coverages you might need. We’ll give a brief overview of some different coverages.

  • Bodily injury liability: Helps cover the other driver’s medical expenses and pain and suffering if you’re at fault in an accident. (Can also help with your legal expenses if you get sued.)
  • Property damage liability: Helps cover the repairs or replacement of the other driver’s car if you’re at fault in an accident – and may help replace other property you might damage, i.e. a fence.
  • Collision coverage: Helps repair or replace YOUR car if you’re in an accident or if you hit something.
  • Comprehensive coverage: Helps repair or replace YOUR car if it’s damaged by something other than an accident. Losses covered typically include fire, theft, vandalism, animal strike, and falling objects, i.e. a tree branch.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured motorist: Helps you out if you’re hit by a driver without insurance (uninsured) or without enough insurance to cover the damages of the accident (underinsured).
  • Rental reimbursement: Helps cover the cost of a rental car if your car is damaged in an accident and needs to be in the shop.
  • Medical payments: Helps cover your medical bills and those of your passengers if you’re in a car wreck.

Note: You may be required to carry collision and comprehensive coverage if you’ve got a car payment and a lender.

8. Think about gap insurance.

Now. If you’re buying a new car, you might also want to think about gap insurance.

Here’s the thing:

The value of a car depreciates rapidly. It’s just a fact. So, if you’ve taken out a loan to pay for your car, you might end up owing more on the loan than your car is worth. If your car is totaled, you’ll probably only get the Actual Cash Value of the vehicle at the time of the loss – meaning its depreciated value. And, as we said, that amount might be smaller than the amount you owe on your loan – in which case, you’d have a bit of a sticky situation on your hands.

But that’s where gap insurance comes in. It can help you out if you find yourself in the pickle of having a loan balance that’s greater than the value of your car.

For example, let’s say you take out a $28,000 loan to pay for your car. You’re paying it off. You owe $26,000 on the loan and the vehicle is worth $24,000 when you’re in a bad wreck and the car is totaled. That $2,000 is the “gap” we’re talking about here. (Well, it actually stands for guaranteed asset protection, but gap just makes sense.)

Okay. At this point, you might be asking yourself if you’re still set on buying a car. It seems exhausting. But it’s worth it. If you take your time and remember to be patient, you’ll be cruising along in your cool new ride in no time.

And if you need insurance for that new car, we can help. Give us a call, message us on LiveChat, or fill out our online quote form and we’ll be happy to help you get the coverage you need to protect yourself and your new baby.

What restaurant insurance coverages do you need?

Atlanta has a ton of great restaurants and tons of delicious food. If you’re an enterprising restauranteur in the Atlanta area, you’ve probably found that having a restaurant takes a lot of hard work and dedication. So, how do you go about protecting your restaurant? It’s important to make sure that your beloved restaurant is covered by the right insurance. But what coverages should you consider? We’ll go over some of the coverages you can consider for your restaurant.

Read moreWhat restaurant insurance coverages do you need?