Introducing Election Insurance from Esurance

At Esurance, we’re committed to giving you smart choices (because that’s what freedom’s all about). From great discounts when you bundle your auto and home insurance to licensed experts there when you need them, we’re always looking for ways to innovate and improve our customer experience.

But what if you needed protection for your home even when you have to abandon it after an unfortunate election?

That’s why we’ve developed Election Insurance*.

What is Election Insurance?

Every four years, many of us find ourselves saying, “If this election goes badly, I’m out of here.” But this year according to completely unscientific research, people might actually mean it.

So to help protect your home in the event that you pack up and high tail it for Canada this November, Esurance is pleased to introduce Election Insurance.

Election Insurance is a unique (bipartisan) coverage that will protect your home for the next four years if your preferred candidate loses the presidential election and you choose to leave the country.

What does it cover?

To give you peace of mind during these trying times, we’ve designed 3 coverage options to fit your personal needs:

  • Standard (with weekly yard maintenance)
  • Premium (includes decoration options for the holiday overachiever)
  • Platinum (to give your home that lived-in feel)

Not sure if Election Insurance is right for you? See what the people have to say.

Chester, Kansas City

“I feel like it’s my patriotic duty to leave this country and only return when we’re back on top.”

Richard, Charlottesville

“This is the fifth election I’ve threatened to leave the country, but with Election Insurance, I finally have the confidence to go through with it.”

Hope, Los Angeles

“I don’t see moving to Canada as abandoning America. It’s just north of America. It’s North America … Whoa.”

Get Election Insurance from Esurance today

It’s the smart way to protect your home when you and your country are … taking a break. Get Election Insurance from Esurance and rest easy knowing you’re covered no matter what happens in November. Learn more.

Stuff our legal team makes us say

*Election insurance not available in any states. If you choose to leave the country, Esurance is not liable for any walls erected after your departure, and assumes no legal or financial responsibility if your assets are redistributed for the greater good in your absence.

10 Ways to Make Your Used Car Feel New

Overcome by those used-car blues? Don’t despair.

Like many possessions, used cars can quickly lose any glamorous aura they might’ve had. Sure, your bucket has racked up considerable mileage in its life, but it still gets you from Point A to Point B. And just because it doesn’t have a turbocharged engine or diamond-encrusted rims doesn’t mean you have to throw it away, right?

If your car says a lot about who you are, or if you’re just plain tired of driving a drab jalopy, then it’s time to give it some well-deserved attention. Check out these 10 ways to make your ride look (and feel) new without draining your emergency savings fund.

10 inexpensive ways to make your old car feel new

1. Wash it down

A lackadaisical once-over would be a gross disservice to you and your ride — you’re better than that. Throw on some old clothes, crank up some tunes that inspire hardcore scrubbing, and take on every nook and cranny you can reach. Shampoo the upholstery and carpet and throw out any garbage. Think about replacing those soiled floor mats too.

Be sure to wipe down the center console for wayward crumbs and vacuum under the seats for mummified munchies. And if you have technical proclivities, removing the front seats can help you achieve a more thorough vacuuming job.

Additionally, you may want to consider giving your ride a nice DIY detailing to mend any imperfections and protect the paint against the elements.

2. Deodorize that A/C

Catching a whiff of something fierce? Wish there was deodorant for your air conditioner? Well, there totally is! Often times, A/C system deodorizers can be found at your local auto parts store. And it’s best to handle it sooner rather than later — that musty aroma of mold, fungus, and chemicals is not only a breach of your nasal cavity, but could also be a detriment to your health.

If you consider yourself an amateur mechanic, lift the hood and find the cowl vent within the engine compartment, usually found on the passenger’s side. From there, simply spray the deodorizer directly onto the cowl vent screen.

On the other hand, if you want a more detailed, professional touch (and have no clue what a cowl vent screen is), head to your local detail shop, where your vents, vacuum system, and cabin filter can be treated to a comprehensive cleaning.

3. Upgrade the helm

When your cockpit has grown tiresome and lackluster, so, too, can the driving experience. If the steering wheel is worn and pitted, tricking it out with a snug cover can make a world of difference. There’s a bevy of wheel cover options out there — from something sleek and leather to elegant and graceful — and they usually cost less than $20.

Beyond mere aesthetics, however, you may be faced with other problems, like dim dashboard illumination. If you’re squinting at the speedometer when your eyes should be on the road, it may be time to upgrade those neglected switches and knobs. Usually these can be replaced at an affordable price, either with new pieces or recycled parts found at your local junkyard.

4. Get car seat covers

While you’re ensconced comfortably in your car seat, the seat itself is weathering a significant amount of abuse — i.e. dirty clothes, spilled drinks, friction, food crumbs, UV damage, etc.

All of these elements do much to soil your once stylish, comfy seats. And should your interior befall something dreadful, your wallet may take a beating. But life doesn’t have to be so complicated (cue sigh of relief).

If you’re the if-I-can’t-see-it-it’s-not-there type, covering the existing damage may suffice. But car seat covers also offer the first line of defense against the onslaught of aforementioned abuses.

And, of course, dressing your seats in new formfitting covers can enrich the look and feel of the interior’s character, making your car feel new again.

5. Fix those dents and scratches

Is your beloved vehicle mottled with dents and scratches? Dimples are considered endearing by many, but on the body of your car, not so much (go figure).

There are cosmetic benefits to removing these blemishes. But for older cars, fixing deep scratches can prevent rust and further damage.

One option is to find a pro that can “pop out” the dents with paintless dent removal. But if you’re worried about the flexibility of the paint (especially if your car’s older or there’s more significant damage), venturing to the body shop is your best bet.

6. Replace the rubber seals

The rubber trim that seals your car door grows vulnerable to tears over time, and such tears may lead to air gaps that howl in the drag as you coast down the highway. Once you have these tears, cold air escapes when it’s hot and warm air escapes when it’s cold.

Replacing your rubber strips requires patience, meticulousness, and a slight aptitude for adhesives. The strips themselves, however, are typically inexpensive. Replacing brittle seals can put a stop to the incessant howling and your A/C and heating systems won’t have to work overtime anymore.

7. Align or replace those wheels

Remember what it was like to drive your car when you first bought it? Is feeling every little bump and divot in the road now a normality?

Over time, your wheels bear the brunt of abuse and are likely to show signs of wear and tear. Wheel alignment is an important part of preventative car maintenance and often goes overlooked by car owners. But alignment helps your tires track straight and makes for a smoother ride. It can also improve fuel economy and prolong the life of your tires.

The average tire also typically costs about $100, so factor that in if there are any lingering reservations about bringing your car into the shop.

8. Upgrade the car speakers

If you’ve got an older car, the factory default sound system is probably pretty outdated. But you don’t have to break the bank to enhance sound quality. It could be as simple as replacing the factory speakers or custom fitting a system upgrade with a stock radio sound that produces richly layered music.

If you store music files on your smartphone or MP3 player, you may also want to select a lower compression level for your music. While compressing your music offers storage space, you lose those pure high and low frequencies that do much in the way of creating a crisp and textured sonic experience.

But there’s no right or wrong when it comes to car audio, especially if you’ve got budgetary needs. You might even replace audio components piecemeal in order to accommodate budget limits.

9. Stay on top of basic maintenance

Okay, maybe this won’t directly contribute to your ride’s appearance, but keeping it in good running condition trumps even the most expensive custom rims (and oh, how coveted they are!)

With a tired jalopy, basic maintenance may almost seem like it’s not worth the time or effort. But things like regular oil changes, belt checks, filter replacements, and break replacements can keep your old car running for many years to come.

Besides, who wants to listen to the relentless beckoning of an oil-deprived engine?

10. Clean those windows inside and out

Once your ride’s unblemished and your interior doesn’t smell like old socks, finish things off with a window shine. Sparkling panes beautify the overall appearance of the car and you won’t have a pixilated view of the world while you drive.

And if you’ve got inquisitive tykes, there’s a good chance your back window is also smudged, so be sure to get to it too.

Now that your car’s in top-notch condition and the envy of the neighborhood, you’re probably thinking of other ways you can boost the driving experience. Make sure your car (and hard work) is protected with the car insurance coverage that’s right for you. Get a free quote from Esurance today.

How to Use RepairView® Online Repair Monitoring [Video]

It’s just another Monday-morning commute, until … uh oh, you get into an accident. Looks like it’s time to file a claim. Make it easier (and faster) with RepairView.

 

5 Biggest St. Patrick’s Day Myths

With more than 34 million Americans of Irish (or partially Irish) heritage, it’s no wonder that St. Patrick’s Day is such a big deal here in the U.S. But what do any of us really know about the legendary St. Patrick, or why we celebrate him with parades, parties, and general debauchery?

If you’ve been thinking St. Patrick was Irish (or that St. Patrick’s Day was too, for that matter), well, you’d be mistaken. So before you drink another green beer or don a pair of shamrock shades, let Esurance debunk a few common myths about St. Patrick’s Day.

1. Patrick was Irish

The patron saint of Ireland was not actually born there. Born in Britain (some say Wales or Scotland) in the fourth century, Saint Patrick was kidnapped by Irish pirates at the age of 16 and taken to Ireland as a slave. He escaped after 6 years, but later returned to Ireland as a missionary and began earning his place in history.

Whatever his goals might’ve been when he returned to the Emerald Isle, he could’ve never foreseen, or even fathomed, that one day he’d be celebrated with green beer, raucous parades, or shamrock glasses.

2. That one about the snakes

Part of Saint Patrick’s legend is the story of him driving all the snakes out of Ireland. It’s a fantastic story and an accomplishment certainly worthy of sainthood … but alas, it’s not true.

According to National Geographic, there were no snakes in Ireland to begin with. This had everything to do with the Ice Age and nothing to do with the slave-turned-saint from Britain.

3. The whole green thing

Every year on March 17, the day Saint Patrick died, we wear green ties and socks and scarves. We drink green beer. We even dye the Chicago River green. Which leads most people to conclude that a) ol’ St. Paddy really liked green, or b) green is the national color of Ireland.

Well, while Ireland is known for its lush green landscapes, the color originally associated with Saint Patrick was blue. The correlation with green, which started right here in America, stemmed from the lore of leprechauns. Since it was believed that leprechauns couldn’t see green and would pinch anyone they could see, people simply wore green to avoid getting pinched.

4. It’s an Irish thing

St. Patrick’s Day is the one day of the year when all of America is Irish. But the way we celebrate our Irish heritage is distinctly American.

What was originally celebrated as a Roman Catholic feast in Ireland (meaning church and prayer) was turned into something a little … ahem, less modest here in the U.S. The very first parade celebrating the good saint took place in New York City in 1762. But the streets of Ireland didn’t see their first St. Patrick’s Day parade until 1931 — a full 169 years later!

Similarly, while we’ve been wearing shamrock shades and drinking entirely too much green beer here in the U.S. for as long as anyone can remember, the pubs in Ireland remained closed on March 17 until the 1970s.

5. It’s impossible to drink too much green beer

Myth! Don’t be this bloke.

Have fun, lads and lassies! Just remember to keep it safe this Paddy’s Day to avoid really getting “pinched.” Confiscate keys. Designate a driver. Use public transportation. Do whatever it takes to make sure you and all your friends get home safely.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Window-Washing Hacks: 7 Smart Ways to Get Sparkling Panes

After months of wintry rain and snow, we’re all going to be glad to let some sun back into our lives. But that’s tough to do if the windows of your home are covered in grime. These easy window-washing hacks will give you sparkling, streak-free panes in no time. And you’ll be astonished at how bright and airy clean windows can make your living space feel.

7 smart window-washing tips

1. Choose the right time of day

The sun’s warmth can cause your cleaning solution to dry on the windows, leaving spots or streaks. Pick a time when the windows won’t be directly hit by the sun, or choose a cool, overcast day.

2. Assemble your tools

Forget paper towels or wadded-up newspapers — here’s what you need to do the job right:

  • Square, soft-bristled brush with a handle (known as a counter brush)
  • Good-sized, natural sea sponge
  • Squeegees
  • Strip applicator for picture windows (like a squeegee, but with an absorbent cloth instead of a rubber blade)
  • Lint-free rags (such as cloth diapers)
  • Chamois cloth
  • Telescoping washer set for high windows (with a double-sided head featuring both a cleaning pad and a squeegee)

3. Mix up a grease-cutting cleaning solution

For the initial dirt removal, add a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid to a bucket of warm water (you don’t want too many suds). For the actual cleaning, most experts recommend filling a spray bottle with a half-and-half solution of warm water and white vinegar.

4. Prepare your windows

  • Remove screens.
  • Use the brush to sweep away dust, loose dirt, and cobwebs from the window frame and sill.
  • Vacuum the dust from Venetian blinds using the upholstery brush attachment.
  • If indoors, place a large towel on the floor below the window to catch any drips.
  • If outdoors, rinse the windows with a hose.
  • Wipe the window surface with a sponge lightly dipped in soapy water. (If you’re washing a picture window, here’s where the strip applicator comes in handy — its wide head covers a large area with minimal effort.)
  • Rinse again with the hose.

5. Clean your windows

The technique here varies depending on the type of window, but a squeegee is your friend in all cases.

Picture windows

Since you’re dealing with a big area, the trick here is to wipe off the solution quickly before it dries.

  • Squirt the vinegar and water onto the window and squeegee it off, beginning at the top corner (right for lefties, left for righties).
  • Pull the squeegee to the opposite corner, reverse directions, and continue moving down the window in an S-shape pattern. Overlap your strokes slightly to prevent streaks.
  • Wipe the squeegee with a clean, lint-free cloth between strokes.
  • Touch up the edges of the glass with a damp chamois.

Multi-paned windows

Even small windows are best cleaned with a squeegee. If you can’t find one that’s the right size, you can (carefully) customize a larger squeegee to fit using a hacksaw.

  • Use the damp sponge to remove dirt from the corners of the panes.
  • Squirt the vinegar and water solution onto the pane.
  • Pull the squeegee down the pane in a single motion, wiping after each stroke.

High windows

Some upper windows can be reached with a sturdy ladder. Be sure to follow these safety tips:

  • Use the ladder on a level surface and never place objects below the feet to prop it up.
  • Check that the ladder meets the Underwriters Laboratories safety certification.
  • Lean the ladder so that the base is away from the wall by one-fourth of the ladder’s working length (so 2 feet away for an 8-foot ladder). “Working length” is the length of a ladder from the foot to the top support.
  • Stand facing the ladder at all times and be sure you always have 3 points of contact with the steps or rails (2 feet and a hand, for example).
  • Haul your tools with a rope, rather than carrying them up.

If the window is still too high or difficult to access, a washer set with a telescoping pole can add several feet to your reach. Dampen the cloth side of the head with cleaning solution, extend the pole, wet the window, and then turn the tool to the squeegee side and wipe the pane clean.

6. Don’t forget your screens

No doubt your screens have developed a coating of dust and dirt over the past few months. Since you need to remove them to get to your windows, take advantage of the opportunity to give them a good cleaning too.

  • Take the screen outside (if possible) and scrub with the brush and a light mixture of dishwashing liquid and warm water.
  • With the screen facing down, tap one edge gently but firmly against a hard surface to knock stubborn debris loose.
  • Rinse with the hose and let dry completely before replacing.

7. Keep dust and grime from coming back

Having sparkling, dust-free windows, sills, and blinds is very satisfying. But don’t you wish they’d stay that way forever? Cleaning my Venetian blinds is one of my least favorite chores, so next time, after I’m done, I’m going to try spraying them with anti-static spray to keep the dust from accumulating. Windowsills get dirty far too quickly as well, but a coating of floor wax on the sill can help prevent grimy buildup.

Now that your windows are looking their best, make sure to protect them from accidents, weather, and vandalism with good homeowners insurance.

On a spring-cleaning roll and want to keep it going? Check out these other handy tips and eco-friendly solutions. And don’t stop at home. Find out how to keep your windshield and mirrors in tip-top shape.