Esurance and the US Open

Car insurance has evolved a lot over the years and Esurance along with it. From the introduction of our apps for iPhone®, Android™, and Windows® Phone to easy online and mobile claims reporting, we’re always looking for ways to improve our game.

This year, as the official car insurance sponsor of the US Open, we’re giving you a chance to evolve your game through the Play with the Pros Sweepstakes.*

Enter the sweeps for your shot at:

  • A trip for 2 to L.A.
  • 3 luxurious nights at The Westin Long Beach
  • 2-on-2 time with the Bryan Brothers at the exclusive Malibu Racquet Club
  • An iPad 2 preloaded with tennis tips from the pros
  • And more

Whether you’re a tennis ace or just a big fan, you can amp up your game with the Bryan Brothers.

And if you’re headed to the US Open this year, be sure to find us there for lots of cool perks and giveaways.

A word (or 10) from our legal team

iPad 2 trademark is owned by Apple Inc. Neither this promotion nor Esurance is sponsored or endorsed by Apple Inc. *Play with the Pros Sweepstakes, brought to you by Esurance. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. Open to residents of the 50 US/DC 18 or older at time of entry. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes begins at 12:01 a.m. PT on 6/30/11. Online entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. PT on 9/30/11; mailed entries must be received by 10/7/11. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. WINNER MUST TRAVEL ON SPONSOR-
SPECIFIED DAYS OR PRIZE MAY BE FORFEITED. MEETING WITH BRYAN BROS SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY. ARV of grand prize; $4,250. Subject to official rules. Sponsor: Esurance Insurance Services, Inc., 650 Davis Street, San Francisco, CA 94111. © 2011 Esurance Insurance Services, Inc. CA License #0G87829

Inside Outside Lands: 2011 SF Festival a Success

This past weekend, we joined more than 180,000 music lovers at the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. As the official transportation partner of the festival (and an SF native), Esurance helped shuttle fans to and from the park, offered a free bike valet, and gave green travelers “Insider” status at the event.

As a green car insurance company, we constantly work to support eco initiatives, and Outside Lands provided yet another opportunity.

Not only did we help cut back on the notorious congestion and parking worries associated with the festival, we also offered cool benefits and rewards to fans who took public transit (including the very plush Esurance Shuttle), or rode their bikes. Most importantly, by helping to limit the number of drivers, we also helped decrease the festival’s overall environmental impact.

Once there, concertgoers could swing by the Esurance Inside Outside Lounge to charge up their phones and gadgets, take a load off for a minute or 2, and grab Insider Bandanas for a chance to get cool giveaways from our spotters.

“With perfect sunshiny weather, enthusiastic crowds, and lots and lots of great artists, food venues, and booths (including ours, of course), Outside Lands 2011 was a great success and we’re thrilled to have been a part of it,” said Lindsey Berking, who coordinates brand partnerships at Esurance.

Check out a few pics of the event below.

Fans at Outside Lands image

Inside Outside Lounge sign image

Fans at the Esurance Inside Outside Lounge

Esurance charging stations image

Outside Lands bike valet image

Esurance bandana puppy image

Did the AMC Gremlin Kill the Drive-In Movie Theater?

With so much technology available nowadays and instant access to just about everything (movies included), it’s hard to imagine a time when going to a “show” was an event. When seeing a movie meant getting dolled up and washing the T-bird. When the local drive-in movie theater was the most popular destination on a Saturday night. But there was a time…

A guy in Jersey has a screen

It all started at 212 Thomas Avenue in Camden, New Jersey. That’s right, Jersey. Long before our foray into American living rooms through the phenomenon of reality TV, Richard M. Hollingshead Jr. was experimenting with backyard TV.

In 1932, the industrious Hollingshead nailed a screen to a few trees in his yard. He then propped a 1928 Kodak projector on the hood of his car, placed a radio behind his makeshift screen, cranked up the volume (one assumes), and voilà : the world’s first outdoor movie theater!

After fiddling with his creation a while longer, the movie- and car-loving Hollingshead applied for a patent, which he received on May 16, 1933. He wasted no time sharing his invention with the world, and less than a month later, the first drive-in movie theater opened on Admiral Wilson Boulevard in Pennsauken, New Jersey. (Where?)

A car-crazed nation falls in love

Sadly, Hollingshead’s 400-slot drive-in theater operated for just 3 years, but during that time the fire had been lit and drive-in movies were hot! Over the next few years, drive-ins opened in Pennsylvania, Texas, California, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New York, and Virginia — and the nation was bewitched.

As drive-ins became more and more popular, drive-in technology also improved. The speakers, which started out in the screen tower itself (causing a sound delay for cars in the back), were eventually placed in rows in front of the cars (with one for each car). Then finally in 1941, RCA introduced in-car speakers…and things really got good.

Beware the passion pit

During the 1950s and ’60s — around the time of Packards, Fairlanes, and Studebakers — drive-in movie theaters really took off. Coincidence? Doubtful.

With the ’50s and ’60s came great big cars with great big front windshields and great big back seats…perfect for the drive-in experience. And with an estimated 4,000 drive-ins from coast to coast, an exuberant generation made the most of both the theaters and the cars.

Due to increased privacy and their reputation for being make-out havens, drive-in movie theaters were dubbed “passion pits” in the 1950s and considered (by some) to be immoral. Nonetheless, for nearly 2 decades Americans flocked to drive-ins for fun, romance, socializing — and even occasionally to watch a movie.

The last outdoor picture show

Like poodle skirts and greasers, however, even the drive-in had its time. By the ’70s, as real-estate values continued to rise and the coolness of cars debatably began to decline (AMC Gremlin, anyone?), drive-in theaters were on their way out. And over the next 40 years, color TVs, VCRs, DVD players, and streaming technology through companies like Netflix and Vudu made drive-ins essentially a thing of the past.

But take heart, romantics, movie-buffs, and purists. While it’s estimated that there are only about 371 drive-in theaters left in the U.S., there are still 371 drive-ins left in the US! Meaning that, unless you live in Louisiana, Alaska, or Hawaii, there’s likely still a drive-in somewhere in your neck of the woods.

So next time you’re feeling a little nostalgic, grab your steady, load your friends in the trunk, and head to your nearest drive-in for a malt and a trip down memory lane. (Of course, we don’t actually recommend putting your friends in the trunk.)

Related links

Find drive-ins in your state
Wish there were still more drive-ins?

Top 3 Boating Safety Tips

Personal watercrafts (PWCs) have become much safer since their debut in the 1960s. Today, PWCs come equipped with safety kits, mooring ropes, GPS units, depth finders, and a host of other nifty technologies that make riding safer than ever before.

That said, added safety features can only do so much to keep you protected on the water. Before you head out joy riding on your Jet Ski, here are a few boating safety tips from your friendly insurance company:

  1. Always wear a life vest. The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) requires that all PWC riders wear USCG-approved life vests. They’re not called life jackets for nothin’ and could literally mean the difference between life and death should an accident occur. Make sure you choose the correct size for your weight.
  2. Have the right protective clothing. If you’ve ever jumped off the high dive and landed the wrong way, you know that water can hurt. And hurt a lot. On hot summer days, it’s tempting to ride in your bathing suit, but wearing a wetsuit can help protect you from the wrath of a rough water landing. And depending on what you have planned for your ride, footwear, gloves, and goggles are also recommended.
  3. Attach the engine shut-off cord to your wrist. If you should happen to fall, this will keep your PWC from zooming away uncontrolled. And if you happen to be thrown in front of your craft, will prevent it from hitting you as you emerge.

In conjunction with safe boating practices, PWC insurance will also go a long way toward keeping you protected. Think of PWC insurance as a life vest for your investment, keeping you financially afloat should something unexpected happen.

And unless you’re some kind of insurance guru (which we doubt), chances are you have a few questions. Our PWC insurance FAQs can help. Check them out for answers to all your burning questions regarding unlimited use coverage and fuel spill protection.

And hey, have (safe) fun out there on the water.

Prestige, Lemons, and the Nitty-Gritty on Collector Car Insurance

As summer heats up, bringing with it gorgeous days and wonderfully warm evenings, classic car buffs come out in force to attend a host of classic car events. Ranging from ultra-refined exhibitions featuring the most classic of classics to lighthearted affairs celebrating beloved old rust buckets, classic car events offer committed car buffs a unique way to wile away a few summer days and nights.

To give you some idea of the gamut these events run, here’s a quick preview of the most and (arguably) least prestigious events of the season.

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
Sunday, August 21, 2011

Once a year, the famed 18th fairway at Pebble Beach, normally trod by some of the finest players the PGA has to offer, caters to a rather different tread: That of 200 of the world’s most elegant and beautiful cars and motorcycles.

Concours d’Elegance events happen all over the world, but the Pebble Beach event has become one of the crown jewels of the tradition, drawing cars and motorcycles of nigh-inestimable beauty and astronomical value. As The New York Times once put it, “The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has often been called the World Series or Super Bowl of the automotive universe, but those descriptions sell this celebration short. If anything, it’s more like the Olympics.”

This year’s event will feature cars and motorcycles in the following categories:

  • Mercedes-Benz and 125 years of the Automobile
  • Stutz Centennial
  • Ferrari 250 GTO
  • Edwardian Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts
  • Italian Motorcycles

General admission comes pretty pricey at $175 a pop, but for the truly committed car buff, this is something more than a can’t-miss event — it’s a pilgrimage.

Concours d’Lemon
Saturday, August 20, 2011

Offering a tongue-in-cheek twist on the ultra-elegant Concours further south, Concours d’Lemon (in Seaside, California) lauds that mutant offspring of the auto industry, the lemon. Stressing all that d’Elegance marques are not, this Concours offers a host of vehicles united only by their ugliness, dysfunctionality, and all-around awful design. Here you’ll catch glimpses of cars destined to be remembered for all the wrong reasons and undoubtedly enjoy at least a chuckle or 2 at these failures of the automotive imagination.

To cap off the event, officials select a “Worst in Show” vehicle — truly an accomplishment in this menagerie of failure. This 1980KV Mini 1 took the “honor” in 2009.

The nitty-gritty on collector car insurance

But what do these elegant classics and ugly lemons have in common? They might all make ideal candidates for collector car insurance through our partner, Hagerty. Collector car insurance offers a surprisingly affordable and flexible coverage option for a wide array of vehicles, ranging from Brass Era classics to cult-status tuners.

As you might imagine, any insurance that can encompass such a diverse array of vehicles has its complexities. To save you time, money, and anxiety we’ve compiled in-depth answers to all the most frequently asked questions about collector car insurance. Our FAQs illuminate everything from the basics of the collector car world (including the ultimate stumper, “Does my car qualify?”) to how to file a claim.

Ready to dive in? Check out our collector car insurance FAQs.

Related resources

Get a collector car insurance quote
Learn all about classic American muscle cars
Want a classic of your own?