Safety Tips for Body Shops and Mechanics

Written By Charlotte Insurance on February 20, 2020. It has 0 comments.

a bodyshop in need of insurance

Just because you have insurance for your body shop or garage doesn’t mean you want to use it. Keep yourself and your employees safe while on the job to prevent accidents and insurance claims.

Share these tips with everyone at the shop so you can all work safer.

  1. Never wear loose clothing, bulky gloves, or jewelry while working. It could get caught on a vehicle, machine, or tool.
  2. Tie back longer hair to keep it from tangling with machinery, tools, or equipment.
  3. Wear eye protection to keep dirt, metal, acid, refrigerant, and other contaminants out of your eyes.
  4. Wear ear protection to prevent permanent hearing damage or loss from the use of loud equipment.
  5. Use breathing protection while working with aromatic chemicals, and wear a dust mask while grinding, sanding, or sand blasting to avoid breathing in dangerous chemicals or particles.
  6. Never crawl under a vehicle that is not properly supported.
  7. Disconnect at least one battery cable or remove the power fuses when doing electrical repairs. This prevents electrical shorts that damage wiring or cause a fire.
  8. Disconnect the battery and wait at least 15 minutes before conducting wiring tests. Crossing, jumping, or shorting wires could deploy the airbags and cause injury.
  9. Turn off the engine before disconnecting or unplugging the electrical connectors.
  10. Use caution when opening fuel lines on a fuel-injected vehicle.
  11. Never smoke while working with fuel-related components.
  12. Watch out for any moving parts like belts, pulleys, or fans.
  13. Let the engine cool for at least an hour before opening the radiator cap.
  14. Keep your work area clean and tidy to prevent tripping, falling, or other accidents.
  15. Alert your supervisor to safety hazards or physical ailments that prevent you from performing your work safely.

Why Safety Matters

No one wants to get hurt on the job. It means being in pain, dealing with doctors, being out of work, and having less money. As a shop owner, you don’t want to file multiple workers compensation claims for your employees as that can cause your premiums to skyrocket. Implementing a safety plan keeps everyone safer.

At the same time, safety concerns can cause damage to customers’ vehicles. Just because you have garage-keepers coverage doesn’t mean you want to use it. Especially since a really angry customer could decide to sue if the damage is really bad or obvious safety risks caused the damage.

Have high expectations of everyone who works in your body shop or garage. Make sure everyone understands what the safety measures are and why they’re important. Train the mechanics who need help understanding the importance of safety. Reward those who care and work safely. You don’t need the risk, the liability, or the insurance claims.

Need to update your body shop’s insurance policy? Not sure what kind of coverage you have for your garage? Contact Charlotte Insurance today for a free quote and help to find the perfect policy for your business.


Insuring Valuable Gifts

Written By Charlotte Insurance on February 18, 2020. It has 0 comments.

valuable gifts that need to be insured

Was Cupid good to you this Valentine’s Day? Did your spouse show how much they adore you with a beautiful and valuable gift? You probably can’t stop thinking about it, looking at it, or smiling about it, can you? Before too much time goes by, make sure you also protect your new gift with the right insurance coverage.

Here’s what you need to know.

Understand Your Current Insurance

Your personal belongings are automatically insured under your homeowners or renters insurance. However, your insurance will only cover up to a certain amount. High-value items, like jewelry, art, heirlooms, and other gifts may only have coverage of $1,000 to $5,000, depending on your policy. For some things, this is far less than the value of the item or what was paid for it.

You have two options for insuring your new gift: adding a rider onto your current insurance plan or purchasing a standalone policy.

Riders vs. New Insurance Policies

In many cases, all you need to do is to call your independent insurance agent to add a scheduled rider, floater, or endorsement to your homeowners policy. This will insure your gift based on its cost or current value. For items that appreciate in value over time such as art, antiques, or heirlooms, you’ll need to have the item appraised on a regular basis, typically every one to three years, depending on the insurance company’s requirements.

Some items, however, require their own standalone insurance policy. This includes engagement rings which may need a jewelry insurance policy. But other gifts like boats, motorcycles, ATVs, and automobiles also need their own insurance. If you buy an automobile as a gift and can’t simply add the new vehicle to your current auto insurance policy, you may need to “give” the gift at the dealership so insurance can be taken care of before they drive off the lot.

How to Insure Your Valuable Gift

The process to insure your new gift is simpler than you realize, but there are a couple of steps you don’t want to miss.

  • Call your insurance agent to let them know you received a new gift (or before you buy a valuable gift). They can tell if you need a rider or a new policy.
  • Ask whether you have replacement cost or actual cash value coverage. Replacement cost is better, in general, but especially for expensive gifts that lose value over time.
  • Send your insurance agent a copy of your receipt to show what was paid for the item. Keep the original in your home inventory records. If no receipt is available, you’ll need to get it appraised.
  • Photograph or video record your gift so you have picture/video proof of its condition and ownership.

The last thing you want to do is consider how you’ll keep your valuables secure. If this isn’t your first valuable gift, you may already have a system in place. But if not, it may be time to consider a security system for your home or a safe deposit box for small valuables you don’t use all the time.

If your Valentine was generous this year and gave you something lovely and expensive, contact Charlotte Insurance today so we can help you protect your new gift!

Expect the Best but Plan for the Worst

Written By Charlotte Insurance on February 13, 2020. It has 0 comments.

a couple who hoped for the best but planned for the worst

No one wants to think about the worst-case scenario, and everything that could go wrong. We all want to imagine everything will work out just fine, that nothing bad will ever happen to us or the ones we love. Most of the time, we’re right. But all it takes is one disaster or accident to remind you that sometimes the worst is possible. That’s why good insurance is so important. You don’t want to use it, but it’s there when you need it.

Your First Big Car Accident

You’re a relatively safe driver. You’ve never been in a big accident before, and you always follow the rules of the road. The chances of you getting into an auto accident are pretty slim. Right? Sure, until the roads ice over during the winter and you lose control of your vehicle. You want to stop but you can’t, and you slam into a vehicle ahead of you. Both vehicles are totaled and the driver in the car you hit is injured. Without the right auto insurance coverage, you’ll have to pay out of pocket for vehicle repairs, medical injuries, and, worst of all, a potential lawsuit.

Hard to believe you could get into an auto accident? Imagine it the other way around. You’re minding your own business at a red light, and the vehicle behind you hits you at full speed because they were looking at their phone instead of the road. Their insurance should pay for everything. Except they don’t have auto insurance. With underinsured/uninsured motorist insurance, you’re covered, even when the other driver should pay.

Your Dog Never Bites Anyone

You love your furbaby. He’s never bitten anyone before, and he’s one of the “safe” breeds, so you’re fine. Think again. Maybe your dog gets aggressive with another dog in the neighborhood. Maybe he’s sick or really doesn’t like your new neighbor. Either way, out of nowhere, he’s taking a chunk out of someone else. As the dog owner, you’re responsible for paying the medical costs. Thankfully, the liability insurance coverage of your homeowners insurance policy will take care of it. 

But wait. Your neighbor is really upset and swears they know your dog is dangerous. They decide to sue. You might feel certain you’ll win, but you still need to get a lawyer and go through the process. And you might lose. That’s why you always want enough liability coverage on your home insurance, and for extra protection, an umbrella insurance policy, too. 

You Plan to Live a Very Long Life

Of course we all plan to live as long as possible. It’s hard to imagine our own mortality — which is why it’s so easy to put off buying a life insurance policy. Until you have children, get married, or have any life change that leaves you responsible for someone else. You want to provide for them, now, in the future, and after you’re gone. But it’s still hard to imagine needing life insurance. Isn’t it just throwing good money away? 

Then you hear about an old college friend or a former co-worker who’s been diagnosed with cancer or is in critical condition after a bad car accident. They’re not going to make it, and they’re leaving behind a family and a mortgage. No one knows how their spouse will send the kids to college and pay the bills. Not only will everyone grieve the loss of this person, but their family also has an added financial stress. When we hear of tragedies like this we often think, “That could be me…” You can’t stop tragedy but you can prevent your family’s needless financial suffering. Buy the life insurance policy sooner rather than later.

It’s a hard life to live always waiting for the worst to happen. There’s nothing wrong with being optimistic that things will work out and we’ll live accident-free lives. But you also live in the real world and you know things can and will go wrong. Expect the best, but plan for the worst — with the right insurance coverage to protect your family, yourself, and your home. Contact Charlotte Insurance today for a free quote.

Why Having All of Your Insurance with the Same Insurance Agency is So Important

Written By Charlotte Insurance on February 11, 2020. It has 0 comments.

We all lead busy lives. Convenience is everything these days. It’s why we like two-day shipping, food delivery apps, and being able to pick up the groceries we ordered online without getting out of the car. Anytime we can save both time and money, it’s a win-win. Which is exactly why all of your insurance policies should be with the same agency.

Need a little convincing? Here are several benefits to using one independent insurance agency for all your insurance needs.


Let’s start with the factor that’s usually at the top of everyone’s list. When you bundle your insurance through the same company, that company offers a discount. Why? Because discounts help retain customers and bundled policies tend to be more convenient for both you and the insurance company.

One Call

Even if all of your policies aren’t through the same carrier, but you work with a single agency, you have one major convenience. You only need to make one call, no matter what happens. In a car accident? Need to update your mailing address? One call and you connect with the right person, every time — without going through endless menu options and hold music. Your independent insurance agent will also be there to help you through any and all claims, so you’re working with someone you know and trust every time.

Easier to Switch

If you work with one company for auto insurance, one for your home insurance, and another for life insurance, any time you want to switch, you have to call each company. That’s more time sitting on hold, confirming your information, and telling them you’re switching to another company. That’s on top of the calls to set up new insurance coverage. Working with a single agency allows you to easily get quotes and make the switch from one carrier to another at once. Whether it’s multiple switches or just one, it’s easier when everything is handled by a single insurance agency.

Want to make the switch to a single insurance agency that can meet all your insurance needs and make sure you get the best possible price? Contact Charlotte Insurance today. We can provide free quotes for new policies and guidance on the coverage you really need for your life.

What Happens After You Get a Ticket?

Written By Charlotte Insurance on February 6, 2020. It has 0 comments.

You’re usually the safest driver on the road. You follow the speed limit, put your lights on in the rain, don’t tailgate, and generally watch out for yourself and everyone else on the road. But today wasn’t your day — you went a little too fast, and now you’ve got a ticket. What happens next?

Decide What to Do About Your Ticket

You have three options when you get a ticket out on the road. You can pay the fine, contest it, or choose mitigation. Here’s what you need to know about your options.

Pay the ticket: When you pay the fine, you’re accepting the citation as is and accepting responsibility for the violation. It also means you accept the consequences of the ticket.

Contest the ticket: This involves fighting the merits of the ticket, often going to court and defending yourself to prove you didn’t do what the police officer cited you for. You may need a lawyer which can, in some cases, cost more than the ticket.

Mitigation: Consider this the compromise between the first two options. You’ll have to admit your guilt, but you may be able to lower the amount of your ticket or receive more time to pay it.

Mitigation offers you more flexibility and saves you the time of fighting a ticket in court. In some cases you can reduce the points you may receive on your licenses or avoid paying the fine by taking a defensive driving course instead.

The Consequences of a Ticket

The consequences you can face when you get a ticket out on the road — speeding, not yielding, running a red light, etc. — vary slightly depending on the severity of the citation. In most cases, your ticket will impact your driving record and your auto insurance.

One big concern with a ticket are points being added to your license. Accumulate a certain number of points over time, and your license can be suspended. Do something bad enough — like driving under the influence — and the suspension will be automatic.

The second big concern is how your ticket will impact your auto insurance rates. Getting a ticket sends a signal to your insurer that you may be a risk out on the road. Accumulate enough points, over time or at once, and your insurer will likely increase your insurance premium rates or refuse to renew your policy.

This is why contesting and mitigating tickets are such attractive options in the case of severe fines and citations. Paying the ticket means you accept guilt and the consequences. Fighting the ticket or mitigating it allows you the option to reduce or eliminate those consequences.

If You Fight a Ticket

For anyone willing to choose option two, contesting their ticket, keep a few things in mind.

On the day you get your ticket:

  • Stay polite and say very little, because it can be used against you later in court.
  • Write down what happened as soon as you can after you receive your citation while it’s fresh in your memory.

Going to court:

  • Don’t rely on the police officer not showing up. There’s a good chance they will.
  • Only tell the truth and refer to the notes you took on the day you received your ticket.
  • When possible, hire an attorney. They’ll understand the law and legal system and help you navigate it.

If you’ve received a ticket and it impacted your auto insurance, you have options. You don’t automatically have to pay expensive premiums. Contact us at Charlotte Insurance today for a free quote on a new policy.