Our Blog

An Aftermarket Parts Q&A

An Aftermarket Parts Q&AAbout once a week I get a phone call about aftermarket parts. The usual questions are what are they, should they be used, and what happens to the value of your vehicle if you agree to use them. All are valid questions. The truth is that the use of aftermarket parts in repairing your damaged auto is really up to you.First of all what are aftermarket parts? Aftermarket parts are parts that are fabricated by someone other than the vehicle manufacturer or someone who is certified by the manufacturer to fabricate replacement parts on their behalf. The theory is that aftermarket part manufacturers only fabricate parts that are “close” to the manufacturer specification but are not to the exact specification. Some believe that since these parts are not to the exact specification, then they may not function as intended. Again, this is all a theory and there are times that aftermarket parts function better than the original equipment. Unfortunately, you may not know how “close” the product is to the manufacturer’s specifications until the repairs are completed. By that time, you are looking at a hood that is higher on the left side than the right and regretting your decision.Will aftermarket parts really affect the value of your vehicle? That depends on the age of your vehicle and the quality of the supplied part. Let us say you own an eight-year-old Toyota Camry. The use of an aftermarket driver’s side door may have less of an effect on the value than that of a three-month-old Camry. By that same token, if you replaced that same door... read more

Winter Tire Tips

Do You Need Winter Tires? You know it’s coming. Snow and slush. Freezing rain. Maybe even black ice. But do you know if your tires are ready for all of that? When driving in New Hampshire in the wintertime, your tires just might be the most important safety feature on your car. The right ones can get you to your destination safely. The wrong ones? Well, just look over in the ditch during the next storm. So how do you figure out what’s best for your vehicle? Here are five things to know about winter tires: 1.Winter tires really are different than regular tires. Winter tires have deeper tread, along with siping (slits in the tread blocks). This increases the number of edges that touch the road, resulting in better traction and handling. They also stay softer than other tires do in cold weather, thanks to special rubber compounds designed specifically for winter use. That helps increase traction as well.  2. If your area regularly drops below 45 degrees, you probably need winter tires. Winter tires don’t just perform better in snow and ice. They are better for cold weather in general. So if you get some chilly days where you live, consider a set – a full set. Installing just two winter tires can cause handling problems. 3.There are two main categories. Studless snow and ice tires are designed for extreme conditions. They are better in deep snow than performance winter tires, which are for light snow and ice. What about studded tires? Well, they give you great traction on ice but also damage roads. And some experts... read more

Join Us For Business After Hours on June 23, 2016

PLAY GAMES – WIN PRIZES – ENTER OUR 50/50 RAFFLE Money raised will go towards The Greater Hillsborough NH Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Program; a great way to support local graduates – visit their website to learn more.   Business After Hours is a great opportunity for Chamber members and local businesses to network and socialize. If you are interested in becoming a member, coming to a Business After Hours event is also a great way to get started. WE HOPE YOU JOIN... read more

Do You Need Rental Car Insurance?

You’ve probably been at the rental-car counter, listening to the representative ask if you want to purchase the company’s insurance, and the thoughts start racing through your head. “Is this a rip-off? Doesn’t my regular auto policy cover me? What about my credit card? Why didn’t I figure this out before I left on my trip?” At Knapton, Reade & Woods Insurance Agency, we are here to help. And while not every situation is the same, we’ve got some general tips that will help you make an informed decision the next time you’re standing at that counter. Know your personal auto policy. Because insurance policies vary, it’s a good idea to give us a call — before you rent a car — to make sure you have the coverage you need. In many instances, your personal auto insurance policy will provide coverage for a rental car — but that coverage may be limited to the value of the car you own, rather than the one you’re renting. Of course, if you don’t have a personal auto policy, you’ll need to purchase coverage from the rental company.And keep in mind that in the event of an accident, many rental companies will charge fees beyond repair costs. They may assess a loss-of-use fee for each day the car is unusable, as well as charge you because the value of the car has decreased. Not all insurance policies cover these fees, so it’s best to discuss coverage with your agent before you depart. Also know your homeowners or renters policy. If you’re traveling with expensive electronics or other valuable items, you probably... read more

Protect Your Business’s Vehicles with Commercial Auto Insurance in 3 Easy Steps

A business is only as safe as the tools it uses, and one of the best tools a business can use to protect its assets is commercial auto insurance. Although understanding insurance can be tricky, one of the first steps toward making an informed decision is to familiarize yourself with your coverage and service options. Here are three easy steps to help you determine your commercial auto insurance needs: 1. Choose an insurer with the right combination of price and service. Insurance isn’t just about price. It’s about service, too. How are claims handled? How long will it take to get your vehicle back on the road? Can you get questions answered outside of business hours or online? Know the answers to these questions. Your time is money. 2. Research your policy options. Securing the right coverage is important. A standard commercial auto policy generally includes coverage for: Injuries or damage that you cause Your driver’s injuries Injuries and damages caused by uninsured or underinsured drivers Damage to or theft of your vehicle(s) When it comes to damage that you cause, you may be required to purchase certain limits based on who you work for. For instance, if you work for certain home builders, you may be required to carry $1 million in liability limits. Consider how much you are willing to pay out of pocket if your liability in an accident exceeds your policy limits. 3. Know how the policy is priced. You can control your insurance costs to a certain extent. To get the best rates, run motor vehicle reports on potential drivers. If you let your... read more

9 Simple Firework Safety Tips

For most of us, the Fourth of July is a time to enjoy the company of family and friends, having fun and creating memories – whether at home or away. But for some families, the holiday is a nightmare. Homes each year in New Hampshire are damaged by wayward fireworks and thousands of people are injured in accidents. At Knapton, Reade & Woods Insurance Agency, we want your holiday to be happy, but also safe. Keep the following firework safety tips in mind to help you protect yourself and your property on Independence Day: Protecting yourself (and others) To minimize the risk of injury, don’t use consumer fireworks; attend a public display conducted by professionals in your town/city instead. If using consumer fireworks, always follow instructions. Do not attempt to re-light “duds” or create homemade fireworks. Never let children handle or light fireworks. Even sparklers, which burn at more than 1,000 degrees, can cause third-degree burns. Kids under the age of 15 account for approximately 40 percent of fireworks injuries, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. A responsible adult should always be present when children – even teenagers – are around fireworks. More than half of fireworks injuries happen to those younger than 20 years old. Protecting your home According to the National Fire Protection Association, the best way to protect your home is to not use fireworks at home. Remember, fireworks can cause grass fires and other types of blazes as well. Make sure you light fireworks in a safe area, away from homes and buildings, as well as other combustible material. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in... read more

Grilling Safety Tips

Just like hamburgers and hot dogs, a sizzling grill is a symbol of summer, and grilling isn’t just about great food – backyard barbecues often create treasured memories with friends and family. However, it’s important to keep in mind that when you grill, you’re literally playing with fire. Thousands of residents each year learn this the hard way, suffering damage to their homes or even serious injuries in grilling accidents. Review the simple tips below to help ensure that you and everyone you’re cooking for remain safe next time you fire up the grill. Safety Tips for All Grills • Regardless of whether it’s gas or charcoal, your grill should be on a level surface outdoors, away from anything that could be ignited by flames (bushes, fences, etc.). • NEVER use a grill indoors. Odorless carbon monoxide fumes can be fatal. • Keep your grill clean and well-maintained. Check parts regularly to determine if replacements are needed. • Never leave a hot grill unattended or let children play near it. Charcoal Grill Tips From Kingsford.com • Do not add lighter fluid directly to hot coals; the flame could travel up the stream of fluid and burn you. • Never use gasoline or kerosene to light a charcoal fire. • Use flame-retardant mitts and long-handled barbecue tongs, as coals can reach up to 1,000 degrees. • To dispose of coals, allow the ashes to cool for at least 48 hours before disposal in a non-combustible container. If you cannot wait 48 hours, carefully place coals individually in a can of sand or bucket of water. Gas Grill Safety Tips From... read more

Spring Home Maintenance Tips

Spring Maintenance Tips for Your Home When springtime rolls around, almost everyone thinks of cleaning. There’s nothing wrong with that, as we probably all need to do a little more cleaning,  but there’s something even more important to keep in mind: home maintenance. So, around the time you set your clocks ahead for daylight saving time and change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, it’s wise to give your home a checkup as well. Keep the following tips from the Department of Housing and Urban Development  in mind as we transition into the spring season: Interior and appliances Check the basement and/or crawlspace for any signs of standing water or dripping. Pull your dryer out and clean the exhaust hose and vent, as lint found here is a common cause of house fires. Vacuum refrigerator/freezer coils for efficiency. Clean exhaust fan outlets and screens. Check all air filters and make any necessary replacements. Roof, siding, windows Check for damage to your roof and schedule a professional inspection, if necessary. Go into the attic. If there is visible moisture or discoloration, your roof might be leaking. Examine the paint on your siding and trim. If it is peeling, you may need new paint to protect against the elements. Check for leaks around window and door sills. Improving your seals can lower your energy bills. Yard and exterior Check for signs of rodents and other pests. Clean debris from gutters and downspouts, and make sure they are draining away from the home. Trim overhanging tree branches and shrubs. Remember, winter weather can cause significant damage that is easy to... read more

Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

Protect your family from the “silent killer” Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, invisible gas that results when certain fuels do not burn completely. Unfortunately, it can be deadly, which is why it’s important to know how to prevent it, detect it, and protect yourself and your family from its effects. In the home, carbon monoxide is most commonly formed by flames and heaters, as well as vehicles or generators that are running in an attached garage. As temperatures drop and more people are cranking the heat and warming up the car’s engine before hitting the road, it’s especially crucial to ensure your family’s safety against this lethal gas. Since carbon monoxide cannot be detected without a carbon monoxide detection device, it is essential to install and maintain one or more detectors in your home. Read on for tips from CAL FIRE San Diego County Fire Authority on how to use your carbon monoxide detectors safely and most effectively. Carbon Monoxide Detector Tips The International Association of Fire Chiefs recommends a carbon monoxide detector on every floor of your home, including the basement. A detector should be located within 10 feet of each bedroom door, and there should be one near or over any attached garage. You should replace each detector every five to six years. Battery-only carbon monoxide detectors tend to go through batteries more frequently than expected. Plug-in detectors with a battery backup (for use if power is interrupted) provide less battery-changing maintenance. Thoroughly read the installation manual that comes with the individual detector you purchase. Manufacturers’ recommendations differ to a certain degree based on research conducted... read more