Meet Esurance: Derek M.

From on-the-go claims filing to custom policy management options, at Esurance we’re constantly working to make car insurance smarter and easier. But in spite of our dot-com heritage and tech-savvy ways, we’re still a company comprised of living, breathing, claims-handling, customer-helping people.

And we’d like you to meet a few of them.

Meet Esurance: Derek M.

Through Meet Esurance, we’re introducing you — and the rest of the world — to a few of our employees who help make things happen around here. This month, we’re pleased to introduce Derek, a licensed customer service rep in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Take a minute or 2 to watch Derek’s story and get to know one of the friendly experts who are always at your service. (And check our Facebook page next month to meet another Esurance employee.)

Esurance expert. Ben Affleck look-alike. Customer service superstar … Meet Derek M.

Related link

Meet Erin H.

Esurance at SXSW: Why It Makes Sense

At Esurance, we love gizmos and gadgets and just about anything that makes life simpler and smarter. In fact, as a long-time innovator in our field (car insurance, if you didn’t know), we always strive to push the envelope on what can be done to make things easier for our customers.

In fact, we offer all sorts of useful resources designed to bring car insurance into the modern world. Tools like our Coverage Counselor®, which helps you customize your car insurance to meet your specific needs. And RepairView™, a handy feature that lets you see your car’s repair progress right in the shop.

And what better place to highlight some of the sleek and savvy tools we’ve developed than at South by Southwest (SXSW)? Known as a springboard for numerous “next big things” (think Twitter and Foursquare), SXSW embodies the spirit of innovation and modern thinking that drive Esurance.

Esurance at SXSW

As a sponsor of SXSW 2012, our goal is to improve the festival experience for attendees while introducing them to a car insurance experience that’s smarter, easier, and much more modern than what they’re used to.

In addition to charging their mobile gadgets, guests at the Esurance lounge will be able to:

  • Interact with our iPad® demo, which introduces some of our coolest and smartest car insurance features
  • Place themselves on the cover of SXSWORLD magazine at our photo booth
  • Grab an Esurance bandana to qualify for a chance at gifts and giveaways
  • Talk to an Esurance expert
  • Take a breather from the maddening pace of the most happening festival of the year

Going to SXSW 2012?

Stop by our lounge at SXSW Interactive or SXSW Music and say howdy. Then charge up your gizmos, meet a few of our experts, or just hang out awhile. We look forward to seeing you there!

Cool car insurance tools

If you’re not going to SXSW this year, you can still check out some of our sleek and savvy tools right here.

Check out our Coverage Counselor® to learn how to customize your quote.

Download our mobile app and manage your car insurance on the go from your smartphone.

Learn more about RepairView™, our online repair monitoring feature (and how it can help you keep tabs on your claim’s progress).

Esurance social: Facebook | Twitter | Google+

iPad is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.

What Is a Car Recall and How Do You Deal with It?

In February we reported twice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) recent safety recalls and thought, “Hmm, a lot of people may have questions about the auto recall process.” Questions like, “What is a recall?” and “What do I do if my car’s recalled?” Well friends, we’re here to answer those questions because, well, that’s what we do.

What is a car recall?

An auto recall occurs when a manufacturer (or the NHTSA) determines that a car model (or several models) has a safety-related defect or does not comply with a federal safety standard. When this happens, the automaker will alert owners to the problem and usually offer a free repair. Keep in mind that a recall doesn’t mean that the entire vehicle will be replaced.

If my car’s recalled, how will I be notified?

Car companies are required to send letters to customers affected by a recall. You can also stay up-to-date on recalls by visiting the NHTSA’s website.

What does a recall letter include?

A recall letter should contain the following information:

  • A description of the defect
  • The risk or hazard posed by the problem (including the kinds of injuries it can cause)
  • Potential warning signs
  • How the manufacturer plans to fix the problem (including when the repair will be available and how long it’ll take)
  • Instructions regarding what you should do next

What should I do if I receive a recall letter?

The recall letter should have instructions as to your next steps. Generally, you’ll be instructed to call your local dealer to set up a repair appointment.

Important (not so) fun fact: if you have a tire recall, you must have the repair work completed within 60 days of receiving notification.

What if I don’t receive a recall letter?

When a recall is issued, manufacturers will do their best to contact all affected owners. If you don’t receive a car recall notice, however, you can search through current safety recalls on the NHTSA’s site. And whether you received a letter or not, the manufacturer is still obligated to repair the defect (for free).

The NHTSA recalls site is usually updated before the letters go out, so it’s a great resource to have on your radar and provides pertinent info about recalls on cars.

Does a safety recall mean I’m in immediate danger?

No. If your car is on a recall list, it doesn’t automatically mean you’re in danger. However, if you learn that your car has been recalled, it’s best not to take the risk. Have your car repaired as soon as possible, especially if the defect could pose a major hazard.

Do I have to pay to have my car fixed?

No! If your car is on the NHTSA’s car recall list, all recall-related fixes should be done free of charge. You’ll need to take your car to an authorized dealer since they contract directly with the manufacturer. And to avoid complications, it’s best to bring your recall letter with you (if you have one).

If your dealer tries to charge you for the recall fixes, ask to speak to a manager and explain the situation. If you still run into issues, your next step is to contact the manufacturer directly (their number should be provided in the recall letter). If all else fails, call the NHTSA (1-888-327-4236) and report the issue immediately. They’re a government agency, so they’ve got pull.

Will the problem be fixed?

Good question. The NHTSA monitors each safety recall to ensure the manufacturers provide owners with safe, free, and effective remedies. If you’re concerned that the error wasn’t resolved or believe a further problem exists, contact the NHTSA.

Where can I get more info on safety recalls?

The NHTSA has an online brochure with everything you’d want to know (and probably a few things you don’t) about car recalls. Check it out