17 (More) Reasons to Buy Super Bowl Insurance

Last season, we set out to see if Super Bowl insurance was a viable product. Based on calculated research and feedback, the answer was a resounding “no.”  Although those really big Giants and impassioned Patriots were planning on taking over living rooms across the land (Nielsen estimated 111.3 million people watched), we agreed that, while not necessarily viable, this insurance could be extremely valuable.

But hold the smartphone. This year, it’s different. As Jim Harbaugh’s San Francisco 49ers take on John Harbaugh’s Baltimore Ravens, Super Bowl insurance could be more valuable than ever, protecting you from sibling rivalry and brotherly “whomp whomp” moments during the game.

It could also keep you safe from big birds (let’s call them Ravens) that tend to enjoy dive-bombing your onion dip or cheese empanada platter. And what if your heavily bearded uncle shows up to your Super Bowl party dressed as Sourdough Sam (aka Sam, Sammy, Samster, Sammiester, Samarama)? This could most certainly be devastating to any party during this de facto American national holiday.

Despite these (totally valid) risks, most Americans will persevere. If they’re not lucky enough to be at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, they’ll carve out a mere 8 hours of their weekend and localize their brood in front of the National Football League’s crowning jewel of a spectacle. They’ll scream, they’ll shout, and they’ll let it all out. Too bad there’s no way of insuring they don’t do anything stupid.

Or is there?

What could be covered by Super Bowl 2013 insurance*

Super Bowl insurance could* (could**) cover damage from party-related messes, tomfoolery, and the occasional bout of absurdity.

It could also protect you against:

  1. People doing weird bird-inspired dances after touchdowns
  2. Too much Brie and not enough bratwurst
  3. Vince Lombardi look-alikes
  4. Extemporaneous recitations of a certain Edgar Allan Poe opus
  5. Beyonce
  6. Tear-filled motivational speeches in preparation of hard tackles
  7. Oversized official coin flip incidents
  8. Counterfeit tickets
  9. Missed field goals
  10. Unnecessary puns such as “Harbowl” or “Bro Bowl” or “SuperBaugh”
  11. A room full of people kissing their biceps
  12. The lack of Mannings being interviewed
  13. Gumbo on your loafers
  14. Flacco-mania
  15. 62-dollar official Super Bowl T-shirts
  16. Elvis Grbac leaving the building
  17. Two words: Bourbon Street

Of course, Super Bowl insurance doesn’t really exist, which means you’re on your own for Super Bowl XLVII. But if you’re planning to host a pigskin soiree, keep this list of potential Super Bowl blunders handy during the big game to help protect you and your loved ones from party fouls.

Good luck!

*Super Bowl insurance is still not available in all states. In fact, Super Bowl insurance is not available in any state. If Super Bowl insurance did exist, some restrictions would likely apply.

**Esurance does not underwrite or pay claims for any Super Bowl insurance policies (as if!).

Related link

17 other reasons to invest in Super Bowl insurance
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Top 5 Reasons to Drive a Hybrid

Nowadays, when people hear the term “hybrid vehicle,” what often comes to mind is a relatively recent invention: an eco-friendly vehicle that runs on both gasoline and electricity. But hybrids, or hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs), have actually been around much longer. The locomotives that pull trains are diesel-electric hybrids, for instance, and many cities — like San Francisco and Seattle — already utilize diesel-electric bus fleets. Even submarines run on either a nuclear-electric or diesel-electric power combo.

In fact, any vehicle that uses 2 or more sources of power is considered a hybrid. But since Esurance doesn’t insure submarines, trains, or buses (currently), and I drive a Prius, I’m going to focus on the top 5 reasons to drive a hybrid car.

1. Save money (and time) at the pump

Even though the average price of a gallon of gas is predicted to drop slightly in 2013 (according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration), I wouldn’t buy that Hummer just yet. Hybrids are still your best bet for fuel efficiency.

According to fueleconomy.gov, the Toyota Prius (ahem) tops the list, getting almost 50 mpg. Others, like the Honda Civic, Mercury Milan, and Ford Fusion hybrids (which make up our entire claims fleet), still get over 40 mpg — meaning a hybrid driver can save hundreds of dollars a year in gas costs.

And since hybrids can run between 401 and 627 miles between fill-ups, (with the Prius getting 537 miles), you’ll be able to cut your visits to the pump too, which will save you time as well as money (though you can still make those trips to the mini-mart to satisfy your Snickers cravings).

2. Better for the environment

In addition to getting better mileage than most standard cars, hybrids emit lower levels of greenhouse gases and other foul pollutants into the atmosphere. Hybrid vehicles can reduce air emissions of smog-forming pollutants by up to 90 percent and cut carbon dioxide emissions in half. The EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) rate the Toyota Prius (double ahem) as among the cleanest vehicles sold in the United States based on smog-forming emissions.

Or is that smug-forming emissions?

3. Efficient for both town and country driving

The earlier hybrids were known for performing better in stop-and-start city traffic than on long hauls. This was because the electric motor generated more electricity each time the brake pedal was hit, which could then be used to accelerate quickly or drive at lower speeds without using any of the gas. Now, thanks to more efficient batteries, the electric motors can go faster and farther. The difference between short and long runs is minimal: in a Prius, you can expect to get around 50 mpg cruising down the highway or tootling about town.

4. Lower depreciation rates

Unless fossil fuels miraculously become plentiful, cheap, and clean burning, hybrid cars are not going anywhere. They are, and will continue to be, in high demand and thus will hold their value, which makes buying a hybrid a good investment. While it’s true that some hybrid parts cost more than those for regular cars, they also have longer warranties. Most car companies offer 8-year warranties on the hybrid system and battery, with 3-year warranties protecting the rest of the car. So it’s not unheard of for a hybrid car to run like new when it has 250,000 miles on it. And the best part: hybrid cars don’t require any more maintenance than gas-only cars.

5. The “BOO!” factor

If driving my Prius is my number-one pastime, my second-favorite is gliding up alongside friends in parking lots and scaring the bejeezus out of them. At very low speeds, when the electric motor is running without the gas, these cars double as (silent) pranksters.

But, my friends will be happy to learn that this party trick is on its way out. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), new federal rules will soon require hybrid and electric carmakers to install fake noisemaking devices. The agency believes that adding a noisemaker to mimic a regular car engine will alert unsuspecting pedestrians to the car’s presence, thus saving approximately 35 lives and preventing 2,800 injuries per year.

Whether you’re a fan or not, hybrids are here to stay. They make sense financially as well as environmentally and can even compete with many of their gas-only counterparts performance-wise. However, the price of a gallon of gas is probably the biggest reason they’ll only continue to gain in popularity and market share. Hybrid sales increased from 2.1 percent to 3 percent between 2011 and 2012. In addition, CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) regulations dictate that automakers must maintain a minimum mileage of 27.5 mpg across their product lines. This means that including a hybrid or 2 in their line allows them to develop larger, faster engines for their other models, thus ensuring hybrids a place in the lineup.

Tell us what you think. Are hybrids the next big thing or simply all hype? Start the debate by commenting below.

Related link

Check out all sides of the great commute debate.

You Could Win 2 Tickets to the Star Trek Into Darkness Premiere

The Esurance Embrace the Darkness Sweepstakes has ended. But we have more up our sleeve, so check back soon!

Esurance is partnering with the new movie Star Trek Into Darkness, arriving in theatres May 17. But if you’re anything like us, you don’t want to wait that long to see it. So we’re sending 2 lucky winners to the premiere.

The Esurance Embrace the Darkness Sweepstakes*

Enter the sweepstakes by February 17 for your chance to win:

  • 2 tickets to the U.S. premiere of Star Trek Into Darkness
  • $2,500 to help you get there

Enter once a day to increase your chances of winning!

Exclusive Star Trek Into Darkness content

Along with entering our sweeps, you can visit our Facebook page to see an exclusive behind-the-scenes video, download wallpapers, and (of course) turn yourself into a Vulcan.

Explore new frontiers with Esurance

We love exploring new frontiers. From our mobile app that lets you take care of business (and find nearby cupcakes) anytime to cool features like RepairView® and Coverage Counselor®, we’re always looking for ways to take you into the future. Get a quote today to see how easy (and futuristic) car insurance can be.

The stuff our legal team makes us say

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. Sweepstakes begins at 12:00 p.m. PT on 1/28/13. Ends at 11:59 p.m. PT on 2/17/13. Open to legal residents of any U.S. state or DC who are age 21 at time of entry. Internet access, a Facebook account in good standing, and a “Like” of Sponsor’s page are all required. Void where prohibited by law. To enter, log on to facebook.com/esurance and follow on-screen links to the Embrace the Darkness Sweepstakes. SUBJECT TO FULL OFFICIAL RULES. To obtain the full official rules in writing, send a self-addressed, stamped #10 envelope with proper postage to “Esurance Embrace the Darkness Sweepstakes,” ATTN: Official Rules Request, 650 Davis Street, San Francisco, CA 94111. VT residents may omit return postage. ARV of prize: $2,500. Prize details may vary. Limit 1 entry per person, per email address, per day. Odds of winning depend upon the number of eligible entries received. Sponsor: Esurance Insurance Services, Inc., 650 Davis St., San Francisco, California 94111-1922.


The Great Commute Debate (Our Top 5 Reasons to Series)

The writers at Esurance are well versed on the subject of transportation. But we have trouble agreeing on the best way to get around. We’ve all laid out our cases, and now it’s up to you to decide who wins the great commute debate.

Top 5 Reasons to Drive a Stick Shift
Save money and have some fun.

Top 5 Reasons to Drive an Automatic
Choose from more options and enjoy the easy life.

Top 5 Reasons Not to Drive
Save a ton of money (and your waistline).

Top 5 Reasons to Take Public Transportation
Help the environment and enjoy uninterrupted “me” time.

Top 5 Reasons to Walk
Relieve stress and get to know your neighborhood.

Top 5 Reasons to Ride a Bike
Build thighs of steel and enjoy the city.

Top 5 Reasons to Ride a Motorcycle
Take advantage of the carpool lane (and look cool doing it).

Top 5 reasons to Drive a Hybrid
Enjoy awesome fuel efficiency and sneak up on your friends.

What do you think is the best way to commute? Did we miss any jewels? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Top 5 Reasons to Ride a Motorcycle

Motorcycles are cool and if you ride one, you’re cool too (probably). But aside from improving your social stock, impressing your friends, and dramatically increasing your happiness, there are a lot of really good reasons to ride. For now, though, I’ll spare you the long version and just give you the top 5 reasons to ride a motorcycle (in very particular order).  

1. You save gas

As with cars, motorcycle mileage can vary significantly based on the bike and how it’s ridden. But the general consensus is that the average for motorcycles is about 50 mpg. And while there are numerous plans to increase mpg for cars, their current average is somewhere between 25 and 35 mpg. Suffice it to say that motorcycles get much, much better mileage than cars (on average).

The average price of gas is currently $3.30 and the average American drives 12,000 miles a year. So if you traded in your car (at 25 mpg) for a motorcycle (at 50 mpg), for example, you could potentially cut your fuel expenses in half reducing the amount you spend at the pump from roughly $1,584 to $792 a year.

2. You can take the carpool lane

According to the Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, federal law allows motorcycles to use the carpool lanes, also known as HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes, even with a single rider. So, when everyone else is stuck in stop-and-go traffic, you and your steel horse can gallop along in the fast lane.


3. You avoid distracted driving

Here’s a scary fact: according to Distraction.gov (the Official U.S. Government Website for Distracted Driving), 18 percent of injury crashes in 2010 were reported as distraction-affected crashes, and a whopping 416,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.

The good news about motorcycles is that it’s impossible to hold onto the handlebars while texting. Plus, all that wind in your ears makes talking on the phone out of the question. So if you happen to be one of those people who feel tempted to text or tweet while driving, you eliminate that risk completely by riding a motorcycle. Just be extra careful since (as you now know) distracted drivers are everywhere. Ride like you’re invisible, always paying extra attention to what drivers around you are doing.

4. You look cool

Looking like a dork, while possible, is actually more difficult on a motorcycle. It’s almost as if, by simply throwing your leg over the gas tank and grabbing hold of the handlebars, you’re able to channel the cache of guys like Marlon Brando and James Dean.

Whether you’re a stockbroker or lion tamer, an accountant or a stuntman, a chick or a dude, almost everyone can up their cool factor considerably by hopping on a bike and hammering down (just make sure to keep the shiny side up).

5. Time travel

In a world overpopulated (and overpolluted) by cars, motorcycles transcend the boundaries of time in unique ways. Not only are they forward-thinking with their inherently compact carbon footprint, but they also hearken back to a time when life wasn’t as cluttered or complicated. Motorcycles still represent the Wild West-like freedom and adventure of the open road, the rugged individualism of the explorer.  

In fact, if you want to experience what it might have been like to ride a horse across the Painted Desert, hop on a bike and head for Monument Valley (where several John Wayne movies were filmed). Riding through the buttes at sunset might be as close as you’ll ever get to stepping back in time.

Bon Jovi didn’t call his ride a “steel horse” for nothing. 

In short, if you ride a motorcycle, you can save up to $792 a year, look like James Dean, avoid distracted driving, never get stuck in traffic, and travel back in time. Who’s in?