Classic Cars: Elements of Classic Car Insurance

Have Fun at a Classic Car Show

If you have a vintage vehicle, you want to make sure that you’re protecting it as much as possible. This ride signifies a massive investment on your part, so you have to make sure that you’re getting the coverage you need. 

When picking out a policy for your classic car, here are some things to keep in mind. 

Agreed Value

With most auto insurance plans, the policy covers the cost of a replacement. However, for a classic car, you can’t just go to any dealership and buy a new one. Thus, you will want to talk to your agent and make sure that you’re both on the same page about what the car is worth. 

Another thing about agreed value is depreciation. Most vintage models get more valuable over time, meaning that you’ll want to reassess its worth on an annual basis. Keeping this figure up to date will ensure that you’re fairly compensated in case something happens. 

Low-Mileage Coverage

Do you drive your classic car? If so, how often are you on the road? In most cases, these vehicles are usually driven on a minimal basis, which means that you’re not putting it at risk. Most insurance companies will give you great rates because the chances of getting into a collision are minimal. Be sure to track your mileage and provide an estimate when drafting a policy. 

Roadside Assistance

If you are driving your classic car and it breaks down, you want to make sure that you can tow it to a qualified auto shop for repairs. Since most mechanics don’t specialize in vintage models, you may have limited options. Thus, when adding roadside assistance to your policy, talk to your agent about coverage for longer towing distances if necessary. 

Getting insurance for your classic ride is crucial. Because this car is not like any other, you have to be sure that your policy covers everything. We understand what components to include in this type of plan, so contact us today to get started. 

Classic Cars: Do You Own a Classic Car of the Future?

Have Fun at a Classic Car Show

For some people, nothing compares to driving a classic car of the golden age of autos. Whether you have a vintage racer like a 1963 Aston Martin or something a bit more rugged like a 1969 Dodge Charger, the feeling of taking it out on the road is indescribable. 

Unfortunately, as we go deeper into the modern age, finding these antique rides is only going to be more and more difficult. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find yourself in a classic vehicle. 

Think about it like this – when people were driving their cars in the 1950s and 60s, they didn’t realize how much they would be worth in 40 years. So, imagine how much your current car may be valued in another 40 or 50 years. 

But how can you know which make and model will be revered as a classic? Thankfully, according to the experts at CNET’s Car Tech Magazine, these 10 autos will probably be fetching high prices in the future. 

  • ‘03-06 Infiniti G35
  • ‘97-03 Toyota Prius (1st Generation)
  • ‘08-09 Pontiac G8
  • ‘99-06 Honda Insight (1st Generation)
  • ‘04-06 Scion xB
  • ‘99-07 Toyota MR2 Spyder
  • ‘00-09 Honda S2000
  • ‘04-08 Dodge Magnum
  • ‘05-11 Chrysler 300C

Even if you don’t currently own any of these cars, they are much more affordable now than when they receive their “antique” status. Also, if you pay attention to what makes these vehicles so desirable, you can figure out which new model will become a classic someday. Typically speaking, look for any design or trim that has a limited run, or any car that gets discontinued. The harder it is to find and the higher quality it is, the better it will age. 

Also, consider getting insurance for your soon-to-be vintage ride. Contact Bob Johnson Insurance today to get a free quote! We also cover current antique vehicles, so be sure to see what rates we can offer you. 

Classic Cars: Have Fun at a Classic Car Show

Have Fun at a Classic Car Show

If you’ve ever been to a classic car show, then you know that it can be an exciting experience. Getting to see such beautiful and elegant vintage cars is always a treat, but the show itself can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you don’t know what to expect. 

Follow these tips and tricks, and you’ll come away with positive memories, not negative experiences. 

Bring the Family

Classic cars appeal to everyone, not just collectors. Most of these shows are in public venues, making them a fun way to spend the day with your family. Also, having kids in tow can help add to the excitement as they thrill over the classic models on display. 

Plan an Itinerary

While these events can be enjoyable without any set schedule, it’s best to have something in place before you go. You can always make adjustments on the fly, but creating an itinerary will help you make the most of the show. For example, if some exhibits or showcases happen at certain times, you can be sure to catch all of the ones you want without missing anything. 

Be Early

Whether it’s the show itself or a particular exhibit, showing up early will alleviate a lot of the stress that can occur. Not only will you not have to wait in line for as long, but you can pack more into the day because you’re not running against the clock. 

Be Prepared

Some of these shows can be quite massive. That means a lot of walking. If you’re not up for that, you won’t enjoy the experience as much. In addition to being ready for the physical aspect, be sure to consider pit stops and hydration along the way. Bring a bag with snacks and drinks (and sunscreen) so that you’re ready for anything. 

When the next classic car show comes to town, you’ll be ready to enjoy it in all its splendor. Being prepared will ensure that you’re always ready for whatever happens. 

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Things You Need to Know About Classic Car Insurance

Choosing the Right Convertible

Choosing the Right Convertible

For some people, the only way to drive is with the top down. While many drivers out there are fine with standard vehicles, you know that the thrill of having a convertible is too much to ignore. 

But how can you be sure that you’re picking the right model? Before you make a final decision, you’ll want to consider these factors. At Bob Johnson Insurance, we understand the appeal of an elegant convertible, which is why we’re here to help. 

Safety Features

No matter what kind of car you drive, you want to feel safe when you’re on the road. However, convertibles have some extra precautions you’ll want to take since the top half of the vehicle is missing. Some essential elements to consider are:

  • Roll Bars – these bars help protect any passengers in case the car flips over. 
  • Airbags – side impact bags are going to be more critical in a convertible, so make sure your model has them. 
  • Rearview Camera – although a convertible offers more visibility for the driver, it may not be enough. Eliminate blind spots with these cameras. 

Hard vs. Soft Top

When picking out the right convertible, one of the most crucial elements will be the top. For the most part, drivers prefer having a soft top that comes with an automatic folding system. However, if you’re driving something with a little more panache, a hardtop may be more preferable. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each. 

Hardtop Convertibles

These models will resist wear and tear much better, and they will avoid leaks in the rain. However, they can be cumbersome to attach, and you may not be able to bring it along. In that case, you can risk damaging the inside of your car if the weather gets foul. 

Soft Top Convertibles

For the most part, these units are much more convenient, especially if you’re worried about the weather. However, they can get damaged easily, so keep that in mind. 

Other Considerations

If you’re new to the world of convertibles, then you may not be aware of all of the various elements that come with your new ride. Here are some additional factors to think about. 

Wind Noise – It will be much louder with the top down which can interfere with conversation and music while you’re speeding down the highway. 

Wind Damage – Not only will your hair fly around, but the wind can catch other items in your car and send them flying. Be sure to secure items in the car.

Putting Top Up/Down – It can be a process to convert your car, so make sure that you’re prepared to do this whenever necessary. 

Security – You can’t leave valuables in your car when the top’s down, so make sure that you don’t fall victim to theft. Also, your car can be stolen much easier if the car is unattended and the top is down, so plan for that as well. 

Trunk Space – The top can take up much of the storage on your vehicle, so be aware of that. 

Climate Control – A/C and heating are useless when you’re exposed to the elements. Some new models have heated seats to alleviate this issue, but it can still be a problem for some. 

Overall, if you’re committed to the convertible life, then you can prepare yourself for anything. Contact Bob Johnson Insurance to make sure that your new ride is covered, and enjoy the road as it was meant to be. 

Five Mistakes That Get Your Car Stolen

Five Mistakes That Get Your Car Stolen

Your car is one of the most valuable things you own. The value not only comes from the money you put into it, but it refers to the fact that you need it all the time to get around. Thus, having your vehicle stolen can be a significant problem. Unfortunately, many people make mistakes that allow their cars to fall into the wrong hands – don’t be one of them. 

Here are some common slip-ups that you may be making without realizing it. Change these behaviors, and you can decrease the risk of theft. 

Leaving Your Car Running

Whether you like to warm up your vehicle before you start driving (which is almost always unnecessary), or you decide to pop in somewhere without turning it off, this makes your car a prime target for thieves. Most of the work is done for them, so you’re essentially creating a golden opportunity. 

Keeping Spare Keys In the Car

On paper, this sounds like a good idea. If you ever need to let someone else drive (i.e., a valet or a friend), it’s better to give them a spare than to use your copy. However, if a thief gets into your vehicle, nothing is stopping him or her from driving off. Without a key, it may be too complicated to get the motor running, but a spare can turn a simple break-in to grand theft auto. 

Having Valuables Inside

Chances are that you’re not keeping gold bars in the back seat, but plenty of other valuables can cause problems. For example, having a laptop or other electronics in plain view may be tempting for thieves as well as smaller devices like cell phones or tablets. Be sure to keep all of these out of sight (i.e., in the trunk) or take them with you. 

Leaving a Window Open

Yes, it can help your car stay cool when the weather’s hot, but it also allows carjackers access to the inside. Even a small crack is more than enough to open the door, which simply makes it easier for them to get in. 

Assuming It’s a Safe Neighborhood

No matter where you live, your car can get stolen. All it takes is an opportunity too rich to pass up, and someone can make off with your vehicle. Complacency is going to cost you in the long run, so be sure to always keep your car safe and sound. 

Don’t become a statistic. Be smart and protect your vehicle. Avoid these mistakes, and you’ll be in a much better position. Contact us today to get the coverage you need, including theft protection, just in case. 

Identity Theft

Identity Theft Series

Identity theft is no laughing matter.  It can strike nearly anyone at any time. It is important to protect yourself as well as know how to deal with it.  This series can help.

Supplemental Articles

Identity Theft: What to Do If It Strikes You

Identity Theft Series

Most identity thieves work quickly, because they know they have limited time to act before being found out. If you suspect you are a victim of identity theft, you need to work just as fast. 

Lock Down Accounts

The first thing to do if you notice a problem with one of your accounts is to contact the institution that handles the account. Let them know there is suspicious activity. You will need to start the process of disputing the charge or charges, but you should also take measures to lock the account at least temporarily or possibly even close the account. 

Your financial institution can walk you through the process of changing your account numbers and issuing new checks, ATM, debit or credit cards as necessary. If the account in question is a bank account that is linked to other accounts, like maybe you have set up automatic bill pay or maybe you have direct deposit, you will need to make any necessary updates.

Once you have secured the problem account, check all of your other accounts. Even if they are not connected in any way, still make a point to double check. You do not know how the thief was able to access the initial account, so you don’t know what information he or she has, and what else they can access. If you notice any suspicious or out of the ordinary activity on your other accounts, go through the same process of contacting the managing institution or company to sound the alarm and secure the account.

File Reports

After you have done your best to minimize the damage and prevent further theft, you will need to file a report with the Federal Trade Commission. You will receive information regarding next steps, and even tips to help you dispute any fraudulent charges. Filing a report with the Federal Trade Commission will also generate an identity theft report, which you can later use to repair your credit report.

You will also need to file a report with your local police department. This can be tricky, because some agencies require crimes to be reported in the jurisdiction where the crime occurred. If you know who stole your identity and where that person is located, you can file a complaint with their local police department. Reports can be filed over the phone if necessary. If you do not know the location of the crook, go ahead and file a report with your local police department.

Freeze Your Credit

You may decide to freeze your credit after your identity is stolen. This is not mandatory, but it will prevent the three major consumer reporting agencies from releasing information about your credit history should any requests come in. This can be beneficial, because if a thief attempts to open any new accounts using your information they will likely be unsuccessful. The agency that issued you the freeze may provide a PIN you can use to grant access to your credit report should you need to open new accounts while the freeze is in place. You can choose when to lift the freeze; although, some states specify the length of the freeze.

Getting Your Money Back

All banks and credit card companies have policies in place to deal with fraudulent charges. Once you have disputed the charges, it is up to the institution to determine if you will be reimbursed or if any charges and fees will be dropped. If the thief is brought to justice, stolen money may be recovered or the individual may have to pay restitution. 

Fix Your Credit Report

Your credit report is used to generate your credit score, essentially a number financial institutions use to determine how much of a risk it is to lend you money. Good credit scores enable you to take out loans when you want to purchase a new car or a home, or open credit cards. Landlords typically run a credit check before renting apartments, and even some companies check the credit score of applicants before offering a job. Identity theft can trash your credit score and cause long-term damage. Fixing your report and score will take some effort, but can prevent a bad score from standing in your way when you want to open accounts, purchase a home or do anything else that requires a good credit report.

Protect Your Identity

We are here to help. Call us at 800-624-3339 or click here to contact us to learn more about identity theft and how identity theft insurance might be a good choice.

Identity Theft: Protect Yourself

Identity Theft Series

Prevention is your best line of defense against identity theft. Be mindful of where your wallet, credit cards, ATM or debit cards, checks and anything else with identifying information is at all times. Take special care to protect your social security number, because if this falls into the wrong hands a lot can go wrong. Properly dispose of receipts, or better yet, if you do not need a receipt do not request one at ATMs or gas stations. Do not tell people your PIN, pass codes or passwords to any of your accounts.

Mind Your Digital Presence

Take precautions online to protect your information. Use different and unique passwords for all of your accounts, and try to use passwords that are hard for others to guess. Only shop at secure websites that start with ‘https.’ Even if you are on a secure site, avoid online shopping on public or work computers. When using your own laptop or smartphone, avoid making online purchases or paying bills when you are on public wi-fi.

Be Careful About Giving Information Away

Some would-be criminals will go to great lengths to obtain your information. They may go through garbage to retrieve credit card offers you received in the mail or pose as employees of financial institutions and offer to sign people up for accounts either in person or over the phone. It is best to shred credit card and other offers you receive in the mail to prevent thieves from opening accounts in your name. When you encounter solicitors, be sure to ask questions. It is best to just walk away if you have a bad feeling about it.

Be Aware

On average, victims of identity theft lose a combined amount of  $1,343. This includes the amount stolen, plus any overdraft fees and other expenses tied to the theft. The best thing you can do to minimize the damage caused by identity theft is be aware of your finances. Noticing suspicious activity means you already have a problem, but the sooner you identify you have a problem, the sooner you can take action to fix it.

Be Vigilant

Monitor statements and accounts to look for unusual activity. Withdrawals from your accounts that you did not make, charges for items you did not purchase, and even medical statements for care you did not receive are all indications of identity fraud. Keep an eye on your digital accounts, too. Indicators of potential problems include receiving an email indicating you recently changed a password to one of your accounts when you did not do so, or if are unable to log in to an account.

Check Your Credit Report

Make it a habit to regularly check your credit report. A credit report is a rundown of your credit history. This report contains a running list of every bank account, credit card and loan opened in your name. A credit report also indicates if you typically pay your bills on time, or if you are late.

Reviewing all of this information, from monthly and quarterly statements to an annual credit report can alert you to possible identity theft. The sooner you notice the problem the better, because you can stop things before they get worse. There are services that offer credit monitoring and identity theft protection, which can help guard and protect your information and immediately alert you to trouble.

Bob Johnson Insurance Can Help

We are here to help. Call us at 800-624-3339 or click here to contact us to learn more about identity theft and how identity theft insurance might be a good choice.

How to Make Earth Day Your Everyday

How to Make Earth Day Your Everyday

Earth Day may officially come around only once a year on April 22, but our world would be a better place if we all took steps to take care of the planet year round.

So, we here at Bob Johnson Insurance put together several ways to both commemorate Earth Day and to live a little greener in Knoxville, Tennessee all year long.

Earth Day Activities

Start a Recycling Drive at Your Kids’ School

Get some parents and teachers together to look at how your children’s school does or doesn’t recycle. Look for improvements and possibly ways to raise money, such as redeeming recycling credits on certain bottles or cans collected during a special drive.

Organize an Eco-Fair in Your Neighborhood

Invite local businesses and environmental organizations to educate you and your neighbors on the benefits of green living. Think businesses that install solar panels and groups that restore hiking trails. 

Plant a Tree

It’s easy to make an impact locally by planting trees, either in your own yard or by organizing a community event to beautify neglected parks or other areas of your city. Be sure to get the proper permissions or permits first, if needed.

Invite an Expert to Speak in Your Community

If you’d like to raise awareness about particular environmental issues, host a community forum and invite a local teacher, professor or simply someone who’s passionate about the environment to speak.

Arrange a Trash Pickup Event

Work with your local parks or other department to clean up a park, beach or other waterfront, school or senior center. Recruit volunteers from your work, your child’s school, your church and other community groups. 

Green Living Tips

Buy Products in Easily Recyclable Containers

Learn which types of plastics, metals and glass that recyclers most desire and do your best to buy products that come in those materials. Also look for products that use minimal packaging to begin with.

Start a Neighborhood Compost Pile

Get a group together to create a compost pile the entire neighborhood can contribute to and draw from. It’s a great way to spend some quality time with your neighbors.   

Ditch Your Car

If you can walk, bike or take public transportation to work or school, give it a try. If not, why not organize a carpool? You may just shorten your commute time by using the carpool lane.

Switch Your Light Bulbs

High-efficiency light bulbs will make a big impact in the light fixtures you use the most. Look for the Energy Star label when choosing an LED or compact fluorescent bulb.

Reduce Your Water Usage

With more states experiencing water bans, especially during the summer, it’s a good time to look at your own water usage. Shorten showers, set your washing machine to the appropriate water level and only run the dishwasher when it’s full. Also consider water-wise landscaping. 

Of course, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate Earth Day and to live green in Knoxville, Tennessee. Find the ones that are easy and meaningful for your family, and be sure to get the kids and even the community involved. Because, the more you reduce, reuse and recycle, the more you’re making the right kind of impact!