Fuel Technologies: Will It Be Hydrogen or Trash

As fans of innovation, we’re always interested in new technologies — especially as they pertain to cars and driving.

Related: Are hydrogen fuel cells the wave of the future?

With hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) hitting the market and gasoline from garbage still showing promise, here’s the latest scoop on emerging fuel technologies.

Hydrogen fuel cells

As we reported last June, big automakers have started making serious investments in hydrogen-powered FCVs. In the U.S., Hyundai rolled out its Tucson Fuel Cell SUV in 2014, and Toyota will launch its aptly named Mirai FCV in fall 2015 (“mirai” means “future” in Japanese). Honda’s also planning to launch an FCV in 2015.

In the past, the difficulty and expense of creating hydrogen fuel presented problems for FCV development. Our previous post highlighted new, cost-effective ways to generate hydrogen from water. Since then, the most promising method that emerged is a device called the “artificial leaf,” which mimics the way plants convert sunlight into energy. When dipped in water and exposed to sunlight, the leaf device breaks apart water molecules to produce hydrogen.

What’s new: the artificial leaf

The artificial leaf was first introduced in 2011 by a professor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. However, that first leaf quickly degraded after a few hours in water. In 2014, researchers at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis added a thin coating of titanium dioxide to the leaf, allowing it to work efficiently for thousands of hours without degrading.

Other artificial leaf innovations have, er, sprouted up as well. In late 2014, chemists at Berkeley Lab announced progress on their device, made of semiconductor nanowires. They say their system is freestanding and can be inexpensively scaled up.

These innovations may help solve the problem of producing hydrogen cheaply, cleanly, and at a commercial scale. But there’s still the challenge of getting this technology into a fuel cell car near you.

For now, at least, you’ll need to be in California. There are currently 9 hydrogen fuel stations open and 49 in development in the state. The California Fuel Cell Partnership says 100 stations are needed in order to create a self-sustaining market. A report by the University of California, Davis, estimates this is possible within 5 to 7 years.

Other states are getting in on the action — there are stations in Columbia, South Carolina, and Wallingford, Connecticut. And Toyota has agreed to help develop hydrogen fuel stations in the northeastern U.S.

Gasoline from garbage

Fuel cell cars are cool — but what if you drive the plain old gas-powered version?

In August 2013, we wrote about 2 companies, KiOR and INEOS Bio, that produced commercial amounts of cellulosic ethanol from nonfood plant material. The ethanol was intended for use in flex fuel vehicles and also potentially in ordinary vehicles.

While revolutionary technologies are often very promising, they don’t always pan out. KiOR recently filed for bankruptcy. INEOS Bio remains operational and committed, but isn’t producing much yet.

However, there’s been a lot of buzz about converting plastic waste into fuel. This technology uses nonrecycled (and often unrecyclable) plastic, which would otherwise end up in landfills.

What’s new: plastic potential

A recent study found that if all nonrecycled plastic material in the U.S. was turned into energy, it could produce enough gasoline to power almost 9 million cars a year.

Commercial production facilities are currently open in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Niagara Falls, New York; 2 more are under construction in Ohio; and several others are in development.

But this fuel source also has its challenges. Plastic-to-fuel technology isn’t universally considered renewable energy, so it doesn’t always meet regulations or qualify for funding. And though the process itself doesn’t create a lot of emissions and the fuel burns more cleanly than traditional fossil fuels, it still generates some greenhouse gases.

From the artificial leaf to the potential of plastic, one thing’s for sure ­— there’s no shortage of innovators trying to come up with new ways to power our transportation. As a company with an eye on the future (always), we can definitely get behind that.

Related links

The Car of Tomorrow (You Have to See It to Believe It)

Ethanol From Trash: Is the Garbage-Fueled Car Finally Here?

Are Hydrogen Fuel Cells the Wave of the Future?

Recycle or Trash? Proper Waste Disposal of Tricky Items

The First Steps to Owning a Mid Century Modern Home

Whether you have a fascination with vintage design or just love imagining Don Draper sipping bourbon in your living room, your desire for a mid century modern home means you value property with serious personality and style.

Between the mid-1940s and mid-1960s, architects adopted new technology, organic forms, and a keen blend of natural and industrial materials into their designs. The sleek and sustainable features of mid century modern homes are still sought after by Hollywood celebrities and design buffs today.

Any house hunt’s best approached with lots of research along with professional consultation. From factoring in needed renovations to finding complementary décor, here are a few things to consider when searching for a mid century modern home.

How to find your mid century modern home

Your selection of mid century modern homes will depend on your location. While California’s home to many of these architectural masterpieces, you can also find them dotted throughout the rest of the country. Some regions may require a little more digging than others. A simple Google search for mid century modern homes in a particular city can turn up individual listings and realtors who specialize in selling these types of homes.

Circa is a dedicated site for historic real estate, including mid century modern styles. You can use its national database to search for property by state.

If design’s the most important factor and you’re flexible on location, research your favorite architect. Notable mid century modern architects include Frank Lloyd Wright, Joseph Eichler, and Richard Neutra. Perusing their “portfolios” can be a great starting point to see which features to look for in your new home.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to glimpse the gold mine of gorgeous mid century modern properties across the U.S., simply search “mid century modern MLS” on Pinterest and scroll away! MLS means Multiple Listing Service®, which allows you to browse homes from multiple sellers. When you find a pin that you like, search the MLS number on Google and the listing should pop up.

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Factor in renovation costs

While shopping for a mid century modern home, renovations should be considered carefully. An “out with the old” mentality could strip away the fine lines and textures that make the home so desirable. On the other hand, you may want to update some features with a fresh take to achieve modern comfort.

Renovations to consider

Installing double-pane windows

Mid century modern architects were heavy on glass with the intention of letting the outside in, but this design concept could have a negative effect on interior temps. Single-pane windows found in most of these homes aren’t an effective insulator, meaning it’s expensive to keep the house warm during winter and cool in the summer.

Luckily, there’s a solution. Double-pane windows have multiple sealed glass planes that are structured to maintain desired temperatures from season to season. In addition, double-pane windows can also save you money by reducing energy consumption.

Restoring wood features

Next to glass, natural wood’s one of the most prominent design elements in mid century modern homes. From wood-paneled walls to exposed wooden beams, preserving these features is essential in maintaining mid century modern appeal. If wood details have stood the test of time, great! If not, consider restoring the wood to its rightful glow by sanding and restaining it rather than painting over or replacing it.

Renovations you may regret

Ditching original cabinets, fixtures, and hardware

In the same way you’ll want to salvage modern elements like wood paneling, you should also consider keeping original cabinets, lighting fixtures, latches, and doorknobs. Much of your home’s beauty will be in the sleek and subtle details that defined the mid century modern aesthetic. If interior renovations are absolutely necessary, find local architects and interior designers who specialize in mid century modern design. That way, any replacement cabinetry and lighting will align with the intended design of your home.

Covering up natural floors with carpet

If your home has natural stone or hardwood flooring, avoid covering it up with carpet! Natural stone and hardwood floors were intentionally used to bring the outdoors in. While wall-to-wall carpeting isn’t recommended, you can add a touch of color, texture, and warmth by adding a funky area rug.

Once renovations are complete, it’ll be time to furnish that open floor plan (which is common in these homes). Even if you’re stocked with mid century modern furniture from your previous place, you’ll probably find room for some new gems. Luckily, there are lots of options for your taste, shopping preference, and budget.

Source retro décor

Are you hoping to give your place a complete makeover or are you looking to polish up what you’ve got? Does your current décor jive with the mid century modern aesthetic or will you be on the hunt for new or new-to-you vintage furniture?

Thrift shops

You could score mid century style for a serious deal by periodically stopping at your local thrift shop. While thrift shops are usually hit or miss, there’s always a chance of finding an enormously underpriced piece of design history. Many antique dealers who charge top dollar source part of their stock with exceptional pieces they’ve uncovered at the likes of Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and other unlikely secondhand stores.

Reproductions

For those who don’t have the patience to wait for that perfect piece, there are reproductions galore to fit any budget. Search “mid century modern reproductions” online and you’ll find lots of designs. If you’d rather check out the goods in person, see if your local Ikea stocks any stylish and affordable replicas.

1stdibs

For the crème de la crème of vintage furniture, fashion, and art, look no further than 1stdibs’s selection of rare and designer finds. Curating pieces from galleries, boutiques, and private dealers across the country, 1stdibs offers thousands of mid century treasures. Among them you’ll find Pierre Cardin’s futuristic chrome dining tables, Charles Eames’s iconic fiberglass chairs, George Nelson’s stylish wall clocks, and an eclectic assortment of modernist décor collected from far-flung locales and preserved for a lucky buyer.

Once you set your budget for renovations, furniture, and décor, you’ll be ready to start house hunting for your perfect piece of history.

Wherever your search brings you, protect your investments with top-notch homeowners insurance so that your mid century modern home and the timeless treasures inside it will be covered.

Related links

Don’t get so caught up in the details that you forget to enjoy the process! The design of your home says a lot about your personality, so choose what’s right for you.

If you’re inspired to travel even further back in time — think colonial farmhouses and quaint turn-of-the-century cottages — you might want to consider the pros and cons of owning a historic home.

7 Life Milestones That Call for a Review of Your Insurance

When major events happen in your life, it’s likely that insurance isn’t your main concern (just taking a wild guess). But that doesn’t mean it isn’t important to check your various policies — especially after certain milestones — to make sure you’ve still got adequate, reliable coverage at a nice price.

To help make sure your insurance is keeping up with your life, here are a few important times to review your policy.

1. Getting your first apartment

Ah, sweet relief — the last box is unpacked and it’s time to put your feet up and relax in your new apartment. There are few better feelings than newfound freedom in a place of your own. Even better, though? Knowing your precious belongings — whether clothes, jewelry, furniture, television, or pretty much anything else you own — are protected.

That’s where renters insurance steps in to protect your stuff from theft, vandalism, fire, and a bunch of other hazards. It can even safeguard your belongings while you’re away from home, like if your phone gets stolen from your car or your laptop gets swiped from your suitcase.

And as you acquire more goodies for your new place, check your policy to make sure your coverage limits are still high enough to repair or replace your valuables if life ever takes a turn for the worse.

2. Adopting a pet

Some of us get human roommates while others prefer those of the four-legged variety. If you couldn’t resist Fido’s fuzzy face or Felix’s feline charm, that’s completely understandable. But you might want to look into pet insurance for your new companion, which can help pay for vet exams, dental treatments, surgeries, prescription medications, and more. Plus, getting them covered early on will usually save you some major cash over the life of the policy.

If you already have pet insurance and are looking to bring home a new furry friend, ask your insurer beforehand if your plan covers the species and breed you’re leaning toward.

The same can be said for your renters coverage — always double-check that your new comrade’s a permitted breed under your plan in order to avoid potential coverage conundrums down the line.

3. Getting married

Congratulations! And may we suggest taking a gander at a few of your insurance policies?

Car insurance: Whether you’re insuring multiple cars on the same policy or simply getting car insurance together as a married couple (and in some cases, a domestic partnership), you could score some big savings.

Life insurance: If you don’t already have life insurance, now would be a good time to look into the benefits. Since you never know what tomorrow may bring, it’s important to financially safeguard your loved ones if you can’t be around to protect them.

Health insurance: Some companies offer better rates for married couples who pair up on the same health policy.

4. Getting promoted

Anytime you experience a change in income, it’s a good idea to review any insurance policies in your name. A few questions to ask include:

  • Can I increase my insurance coverage limits for additional financial protection?
  • Can I lower my deductible so I don’t incur as much out-of-pocket cost if I ever need to make a claim?
  • Can I increase my contribution toward my life insurance policy’s cash accumulation fund in order to boost savings?
  • Does my new job or title earn me any discounts or additional opportunities to save money on my premium?

It’s always wise to carry the highest coverage limits you can comfortably afford, so don’t hesitate to ask a licensed insurance agent for help with managing your policies.

5. Expecting a baby

Starting a family can be incredibly exciting — and often equally as hectic. Before the stork arrives, touch base with your health insurance company to help you decide on doctors, clinics, and procedures covered by your plan. They can also help you estimate any potential out-of-pocket expenses, explain your deductible (assuming you have one), and so much more.

And if you want to help send your little one to college someday, a life insurance policy that incorporates a cash accumulation fund is a great way to set aside money for your child’s future. Since life insurance can be pretty complex, it’s a good idea to speak to an agent to secure a policy that fits your family’s needs.

6. Your teen’s getting a drivers license

So your kid’s finally getting that first set of wheels (or at least the legal ability to drive some). A licensed agent can help you gauge what coverages and limits are often recommended when adding your child to your policy. Plus they can look into additional discounts you might be eligible for, like savings for your teen’s good grades.

Bonus tip? Check whether or not your health plan covers injuries related to car accidents, just in case. If not, you may want to look into adding medical payment coverage to your car insurance for extra protection in the event of an accident.

7. Buying a house

Definitely one of the larger material investments you’ll make in your lifetime, buying your own home comes with a host of benefits (on top of living the American dream, of course).

Homeowners insurance is pretty darn important too. Though you can legally own a home without buying homeowners insurance, it’s generally not the best idea. Not only is the coverage required by most mortgage companies, but it’s also the best way to protect your new purchase — and the stuff inside of it.

Coverage for your home helps protect not only the structure itself, but also your beloved belongings from mishaps like fire, damage from wind and hail, burglary, falling objects like tree branches, and more. A homeowners policy can also offer liability coverage, medical payment coverage if a guest’s injured on your property, and protection for detached structures such as carports and storage sheds.

After you’ve got that home insurance on lock, check in with your car insurance company too. There’s a good chance you could save some cash for being a card-carrying homeowner and an even better chance if you insure both your ride and your home with the same company.  

And if you’ve got some large-scale investments or simply want additional monetary protection after you’ve maxed out the coverage limits on your other insurance policies, you may want to look into umbrella insurance.

We’re here to help every step of the way

Whether you bought a new car or lost 10 pounds, became a homeowner or quit smoking, got married or caught all the green lights — it’s these victories, big or small, that make life sweet. And life can be even sweeter if you know when to review your insurance to ensure you’re properly prepared for wherever your journey takes you.

At Esurance, we like to lend a helping hand from the get-go with a wide range of product options like dependable car, motorcycle, renters, and homeowners coverage in addition to a fleet of top-notch partner companies for virtually all your other insurance needs. You can even compare free online quotes to be sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck, plus innovative tools like Coverage Counselor® can help you tailor coverages specifically to your lifestyle.

If it’s time to review your insurance coverage, get a free quote online from Esurance in just a few minutes.

 

New Year’s Resolutions: 15 Ways to Make This Year Even Better

The new year brings a whole host of new wishes and heightened expectations. Not to mention exercise equipment, travel brochures, self-improvement books, and tons of other bric-a-brac that ultimately end up collecting dust. Making new year’s resolutions can sometimes only lead to a letdown.

Fortunately, getting your year off to a good start doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Here are 15 easy, inexpensive ways to make this your best year yet.

15 new year’s resolutions to improve your year

1. Plan a “daycation”

You survived last year, so how about a little fun? Get some R & R without breaking the bank.

  • Use your local visitors center or convention and visitors bureau. They may offer information about cool, affordable events in your area.
  • Visit a nearby state park. A hike is a great way to pass the time without spending a fortune. (And the exercise is a nice perk.)
  • Avoid overthinking it. Taking time to read a book might be all you need.

2. Start networking

Many people find themselves contemplating their career goals in January. If you haven’t thought of networking as a way to get jobs or promotions, think again. Roughly 42 percent of large companies use referrals to fill positions, which is why networking’s so vital.

  • Set a goal. Going into a social situation knowing what you’re trying to achieve will ensure greater success. For example, a realistic goal is to make 3 new contacts per networking event.
  • Establish an online presence. Although social media sites are becoming a casual part of our everyday lives, creating a professional profile on LinkedIn or setting up an online portfolio can boost the networking process.
  • Stay in touch with your contacts periodically. That way, when you’d like to ask them for a reference, referral, or introduction, it’ll seem more natural.

3. Perfect your résumé

Hopefully after all that networking, you’ll be ready to send out the ol’ résumé. Now’s the perfect time to revamp!

  • Avoid crazy formatting. Employers see tons of these and they’re ultimately looking for something easy on the eyes.
  • Stick with active, straightforward sentences. Although the tendency is to cram in as many fancy words as possible, it’s better to convey confidence and professionalism. Less is more.
  • Update your contact information. It might sound like one of those “no duh” tasks. But if you’ve moved in the last year, it’s easy to forget such a small detail.

4. Clean out the closets

Who says you have to save the cleaning for spring? It’s better to get a jump on it now. Finally purging things you no longer use will feel great.

  • Start with things you’re holding onto “just in case,” like that magazine from 5 years ago. Chances are, if it hasn’t been useful in the last year, it’s probably safe to toss or donate.
  • Keep in mind that while it can be difficult to get rid of things, donating your stuff can help someone in need. Picturing someone actually using that old hula hoop makes it easier to let go.

Related: Follow these 9 rules for the best spring cleaning

5. Stay on top of cleaning

Thanks to everyday life, things can get out of control. Fortunately, getting things back in order — or maybe in better order — doesn’t have to be a nightmare.

  • Use the “quick” method for clutter removal. Clutter has a way of looking like an all-devouring black hole, but it can be easy to remedy. Use a laundry basket to gather things in disarray from each room. Then, carry the basket around and distribute those items to their rightful places.
  • Divide and conquer. Cleaning an entire house all at once can lead to an existential crisis. Set a timer for one hour and really focus on one or 2 rooms during that time. When you hear the ding, take a 10-minute break before resetting the timer.

6. Go ergo!

Setting up an ergonomic workstation at home or work can help promote an easier, pain-free year.

  • Make sure your monitor’s at eye level. You can buy risers for laptops or desktop monitors, but a stack of books will work too. You won’t have to look down so much, which can help to prevent neck strain.
  • Keep your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle when using your computer. This maintains a nice neutral position for your wrists and forearms, minimizing strain on your tendons. Adjusting your desk chair is key.
  • Try a standing desk. This can improve blood flow and core strength. You might even feel a better sense of clarity after standing for a few hours.

7. Do some basic car stuff

Because a little preventive car care can minimize car-related stress and exasperation down the line.

  • Put air in your tires and check the levels every month. Typically, the yellow sticker in the doorjamb on the driver’s side will display the required pressure. Most gas stations provide an air hose with a pressure gauge as well.
  • Check your oil. Pull out the dipstick, wipe it off, and then re-dip. If it’s under the “fill” line, add the amount recommended for your car. You’ll be grateful for your engine’s longevity.
  • Make sure your battery’s in good shape. Clean off the corrosion with some baking soda, water, and a steel wool scrubber. Then rinse.

Related: Improve your driving with these 4 resolutions

8. Take care of your body

Your body’s kind of like a car — it performs a lot of tasks and gets a lot of mileage. It’s important to keep your muscles happy.

  • Conquer any fear of needles! Acupuncture can provide effective relief for aches and pains. Plus it’s a great excuse to lay down and zone out for a bit. Community acupuncture clinics sometimes operate on a sliding pay scale, which means more bang for your buck.
  • Search for massage deals. Massage can be a great way to target and release tight muscles, manage pain, and reduce stress.

9. Find your inner sanctum

A little bit of meditation can do wonders for stress. And a simple 20-minute session might get you hooked.

  • Find a comfy place. You don’t have to be a lifelong yoga master to meditate. It can be done from your couch.
  • Find your “center.” The most common technique is to focus on the movements of your abdomen as you breathe deeply. If distracting thoughts come up, just return to your breath. It takes practice, but the payoff can be well worth the time.

Related: Fight winter blues with these stay-positive tips

10. Get your diet on track

The holidays are a veritable nightmare for anyone trying to stay healthy, so what better time to get back to basics?

  • Ask your doctor before trying any change in diet. Juice fasts and the like, especially while not under the right supervision, can be extremely unhealthy.
  • Check out the glycemic index. Foods that are dense in carbohydrates can throw your insulin levels out of whack, which might lead to weight gain and other body weirdness.
  • Look into the 30:30:40 ratio. Put simply, it’s a method for keeping your protein, fat, and carbs in proportion. “Eyeballing” your plate can help you figure out what you need.

11. Move it (or gain it)

This might be the most frequent resolution. You can exercise in a variety of ways and in multiple environments.

  • Search through the plethora of free workout videos online.
  • Take a real-time class. Classes can make your workout fun. Sometimes buying classes in bulk is less expensive.
  • Get a gym buddy. Working out with a partner could help ensure that you work harder, stay motivated, and even enjoy your workouts. Consider asking a friend or coworker to partner up.

12. Start saving

Unless you’re an accountant by trade, the idea of budgeting probably sounds like as much fun as a root canal.

  • Figure out how much you make per month, including any side jobs or other sources of income. For multiple jobs, this might take a little more time.
  • List your fixed expenses. These are regular payments you make every month, such as rent, utilities, or student loan payments. Having this set amount will make it easier to flex spending in other areas.
  • Establish a savings goal. The standard recommendation is to transfer about 10 percent of your monthly income into a savings account, either for retirement or otherwise. Setting up automatic transfers can make this process even easier.

Related: 4 steps to achieve financial fitness

13. Get that creative project going (really!)

With busy schedules, it’s easy to let creative projects fall to the wayside. It’s time to make some real progress on your masterpiece.

  • Go little by little. John Steinbeck advised writers to “just write one page for each day.” Finishing one small bit at a time takes the pressure off and ensures your continued momentum.
  • Join a group of like-minded people. Having a regular commitment to meet and critique other people’s work is a great motivator. It can also help get the creative juices flowing.

14. Take a class

Education of any kind can boost your job-related skills, expand your professional or personal network, and just make you feel good.

  • Consider taking classes at your local junior college. While rates vary widely, you might find courses that are more affordable than classes at larger universities.
  • Check out local retailers. Craft stores usually offer various workshops in painting, knitting, or even cake decorating. Specialty cookware stores sometimes host culinary courses.

15. Give back

It may seem tricky to fit more into your schedule, but the benefits of volunteering are astounding. Many report an increased feeling of purpose, positivity, and self-esteem. Plus, it’s free.

  • Find a cause that interests you or something you’re passionate about.
  • Use volunteering as an opportunity to meet new friends or business partners. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment. Many organizations will be happy to see you, even if it’s just a couple of hours per month.

Related: How a new year’s resolution can save you money on insurance

Top 8 Reasons to Love Your Insurance Company

Love and insurance don’t necessarily go together like a horse and carriage. More like a house on fire, you might say. Between deductibles, paperwork, and monthly premiums, there’s likely not a lot of love lost between you and your carrier. You have to have insurance and so you pay your premiums, you renew your coverages, and that’s that. Fair enough.

But here at Esurance, we like to think that it can be different. That in the modern world, it’s possible to not only endure your insurance, but to love it. And so we’ve started doing things differently.

Because we know that technology reigns in today’s world, we’ve created intuitive tools and platforms that make everything from getting a quote to filing a claim quicker, easier, and (dare we say) more lovable. Not lovable in a box-full-of-kittens sort of way, but in a more utilitarian way.

We think you should love your insurance in the same way that you love your phone or onboard navigation system … because it makes your life simpler and better. And so we’ve evolved the insurance experience to fit seamlessly and (nearly) effortlessly into your modern life.

While there are many reasons to love us, these are the top 8.

1. Esurance Mobile

Our mobile app is designed to simplify your life by making it super-duper easy to get things done. Get the app.

Why you’ll love it: If you need to pay your bill, add or delete a car or driver, or even pull up your insurance cards, you can. Lickety-split, just like that. Insurance doesn’t have to be a Saturday morning chore anymore. Do what you need to in just minutes … on the morning train or waiting for happy hour to start. A peppermint martini while you pay your premium? Well, we think that’s pretty lovely.

2. DriveSense®

When you sign up for DriveSense®, you’ll automatically receive a 5 or 10 percent discount depending on your state. After that, you can earn a personalized discount each policy term based on your driving. See how it works.

Why you’ll love it: The safer you drive, the more you could save. Feeling warm and fuzzy yet?

3. Photo claims*

Available on Esurance Mobile, our photo claims feature speeds up the payment process by making it possible to send photos of the damage from your phone. See how it works.

Why you’ll love it: If there’s anything to love about getting into a fender bender, this is it. Photo claims can’t turn back time to undo the damage, but it can speed up the time between bummer and getting back on the road. Start your claim, snap a few pics, and send them to your rep for an estimate. You’ll love just how quick and easy it is.

*A note from our legal team: photo claims is not available in all states or for all claims, and submitting photos for appraisal doesn’t guarantee coverage or payment of a claim.

4. Video appraisal**

Another cool feature on Esurance Mobile, video appraisal takes DIY to a whole new level by letting you video chat with your appraiser on your smartphone. See how it works.

Why you’ll love it: Video appraisal makes it easy (almost unbelievably so) to keep your claim moving quickly once it’s been filed. Using smart technology available only from Esurance, you can video chat live with your appraiser whenever it’s easiest for you. And to top it all off, you could get your estimate and payment on the spot. Love!

**A note from our legal team: video appraisal is not available in all states or for all claims.

5. DriveSafe®

Esurance DriveSafe is designed to provide you with essential information about your teen’s driving so you can coach them on specific habits. It also allows you to receive customized alerts so you know if your teenager is speeding, accelerating too quickly, or driving past curfew. And you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that they can’t access their social media or check email while driving.* See how it works.

Why you’ll love it: If you’re a parent, you’ll love being able to help your teen become a safer, more responsible driver. If you’re not a parent, you’ll love knowing that there are fewer teens tweeting, taking selfies, and doing who knows what while driving.

Another note from our legal team: because iPhones® do not support restriction of phone functionality, when the vehicle is in motion, teens with iPhones will see a banner on their home screen, reminding them not to use their phone while driving.

6. Coverage Counselor®

Just answer a few simple questions and Coverage Counselor will help you find the insurance that’s right for you. See how it works.

Why you’ll love it: Like its name implies, Coverage Counselor helps you figure out how much of this coverage and how much of that coverage might be right for you. Which could mean less time banging your head against the wall. Less ibuprofen. And more time for the things you love.

7. Fuelcaster™

With Fuelcaster, you can know whether to buy gas today or wait for cheaper prices tomorrow. Using data gathered from gas stations across the country (and a lot of advanced math), Fuelcaster predicts whether gas prices will rise or fall — empowering you to make smarter decisions and save money in the process. See how it works.

Why you’ll love it: Because you’ve always secretly wished you could predict the future and now you can. Get a prediction.

8. Insurance for the modern world®

This philosophy informs everything we do here at Esurance and allows us to keep pushing the industry forward.

Why you’ll love it: Because you live in the modern world, you expect things to be smarter and easier than ever before. You want products that are tailored to you and you alone, and you don’t have time for old-fashioned processes or antiquated ideologies. Whether you’re buying a Fitbit® or a phone, you want a suite of features that’s fully customizable and intuitive to your needs. Esurance offers exactly that, and that’s exactly why we think you’ll love us.

Get a quote today to feel the love.