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Prepare Car, Auto Insurance for Winter

If you live in one of those Winter Wonderland states-the ones with the immaculate snowy mornings-you know well the dangerousness of icy roads, snow and slush, and the blinding reflections off the sheets of snow in the landscape. Sure, it makes for nice pictures, but winter is a nightmare for driving.

Given that it also is the time when people drive around the most-because of the holidays-it is worth making sure your car and your insurance are up to the task.


Preparing Your Vehicle: 10 Tips

These tips will make sure your car survives the driving conditions and the cold of snowy winters.

1. Get Snow Tires
Snow tires are a costly investment (around $500 for a set), but in the northern and mountain states, they are necessary. This video will convince you.
2. Clean and flush your heating/cooling system. And put in some antifreeze.
3. Replace windshield wipers with ones designed for winter.
4. Check your breaks. You'll need them.
5. Fill the spare tire with air.
6. Make sure your battery will stand up to the cold. Get a new one is necessary. ***Make sure you have jumper cables.***
7. Keep sunglasses and a shovel in the vehicle in case you are buried somewhere. A thermal blanket is an essential emergency item as well.
8. Keep your vehicle filled with gasoline/petrol and windshield fluid.
9. Check the radiator.
10. Fill the car with premium synthetic oil.

Adjust Your Driving: 5 Tips

1. You are going to need to drive more slowly in wintry conditions.
2. Put a couple extra car-lengths between you and the vehicle ahead of you.
3. Study your vehicle manual to see how to use ABS, Traction Control, and 4-Wheel Drive (4WD) if you have these features.
4. Learn how to handle a car that is slipping. There are specific techniques for driving in the snow. For instance, when sliding out, turn your tires in the direction that the vehicle is heading. This will allow you to regain traction.
5. Try to stop early before stop signs, yield signs, and red lights. You don't want to spill out into an intersection.

Readying Your Insurance: Essential Coverage

It's always important to make sure that your car insurance is up to date. There are some special coverages that you might want to consider.

1. Uninsured Motorist coverage

This covers you in the event of a hit-and-run. Hit-and-runs are a lot more common in the winter because cars slip and bump all the time. People panic-they just can't afford to pay for your damage and watch their premiums go up.

2. Comprehensive Collision coverage

Big collisions are a problem in winter because of ice and snow. However, it is sometimes difficult to determine who is at fault. With Comprehensive Collision coverage, you need not worry about the at-fault driver.

3. Comprehensive Other Than Collision coverage

The chances of hitting a tree, a mailbox, or even a building are very high in winter. Unless you have Comprehensive Other Than Collision coverage on your auto insurance policy, you will have to pay out of pocket.

There are even some winter driving courses that you could take. Defensive driving courses and winter driving courses make for cheap car insurance.

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