What To Know Before You Buy a New or Used Car

What To Know Before You Buy a New or Used Car

What To Know Before You Buy a New or Used Car

Should you buy a new car or used car? While buying a used vehicle will save you money in purchase price and help you avoid depreciation costs, it is important to do your research before you purchase one. To avoid purchasing a car with hidden problems, consider the following buying precautions:

buying a new car

Buying Used Vehicles

  • Excessive wear and tear in the interior, regardless of what the odometer says, is a clue that the car has seen some miles.
  • Damp, musty odors are indications of leaks in the windshield, weather stripping or heater core.
  • Cars that ride lower in the front as compared to the back indicate worn springs.
  • Vehicles that bounce when pushed on indicate worn shocks and struts.
  • Tires with worn outer edges from the front end represent the need for an alignment.
  • Clanking noises when the vehicle is in gear point towards a problem with the drive shaft universal joints.
  • Repainted body panels.
  • Motor oil that is not full indicates that the engine may be leaking or burning oil.
  • Knocking and ticking sounds that increase as the engine speed increases represent major problems and costly repairs.
  • Transmission fluid that is black or brown may indicate internal damage.
  • Banging, grinding or squeaking noises indicate a damaged or broken transmission mount.

Is the Mileage Right?

Do not be fooled by the mileage on the odometer! To see if the instruments have been tampered with, look for fingerprints or scratches inside the plastic covering. Mile numbers that don’t line up properly on the odometer offer another fraud clue. This may be a crude attempt at getting you to buy a vehicle that has far more miles (and problems) than what the low mileage would suggest. There are many factors when you buy a new or used car.

Avoid Buying Flood Damaged Cars

In the wake of major natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, the used car market is often inundated with flood-damaged cars and trucks, many of which are cleaned and transported to other parts of the country to be sold to unsuspecting consumers.

What To Look For:

The vehicle may look like it is in good condition from the outside, but moisture inside can have devastating effects that can lead to problems with:

  • Electronics, such as engine controls or brake signals
  • Dashboard rotting
  • Airbags and safety sensors
  • Interior upholstery, carpeting and roof

To lessen your risk of buying a flood-damaged vehicle, take these buying guidelines into account:

  • Check the title history of the vehicle.
  • Inspect the wiring system.
  • Inspect the interior and engine compartment for any evidence of water.
  • Be wary of a vehicle that was recently shampooed.
  • Look for water residue or stains from evaporated water under the floorboard carpet.
  • Look for rust on the inside of the vehicle and under the carpeting. Inspect the upholstery for fading.
  • Look out for musty smells in the inside of the vehicle and in the trunk.
  • Check for rust on screws in the console area where water would not normally reach.

Unlike the purchase of a new vehicle, most states’ lemon laws do not apply for purchases of used vehicles. In addition, many states do not require a grace period on used purchases as well. Therefore, you must thoroughly inspect a used car or truck before deciding to hand over your money and sign on the dotted line.

buy a new car

Should I Buy The Extended Warranty When I Buy My New or Used Car?

Consider the following before purchasing a vehicle service contract:

  • Is the contract easy to comprehend? Read the contract before purchasing and make sure that you fully understand the scope of the coverage.
  • Are the coverage terms and limits applicable to your situation?
    • Do the term and mileage restrictions coincide with how long you plan to own the vehicle?
    • Are you comfortable with the deductible?
    • Can you cancel the contract if you sell the vehicle or want to terminate it? If so, what penalties and refunds are applicable?
  • Which company is providing coverage? Consider providers that deal with reputable insurance companies who are licensed with an “Excellent” rating from A.M. Best Co. (rating agency for the insurance industry). Visit www.ambest.com for more information.
  • What is the process for receiving coverage benefits? Reputable companies will make the repair process simple for their consumers.
    • Are there restrictions on where repairs can take place?
    • How are claims paid?

Before making an extended warranty purchase, make sure you are fully comfortable with the provider. They should be nationally recognized and have demonstrated a firm commitment to their customers for many years.

Also, do not get duped by a low price. If it seems too low for the amount of coverage that you will be receiving, the contract is probably too good to be true!

buy a car

What To Look For In A Safe Vehicle

Whether you want to buy a new or used car, safety is a big concern. Every new car must meet certain federal safety standards, but that doesn’t mean that all cars are equally safe. Many automakers offer safety features beyond the required federal minimums. Find out more about what safety features should be considered when you buy a new or used car.

Consider the following safety features:

  1. Crashworthiness: These features reduce the risk of death or serious injury when a crash occurs. Crashworthiness ratings can be found at: www.iihs.org.
  2. Vehicle structural design: A good structural design has a strong occupant compartment, known as the safety cage, as well as front and rear ends designed to buckle and bend in a crash to absorb the force of the crash.
  3. Vehicle size and weight: The laws of physics dictate that larger and heavier cars are safer than lighter and smaller ones.
  4. Anti-lock brakes: Anti-lock brakes pump brakes automatically many times a second to prevent lockup and allow you to keep control of the car.
  5. Daytime running lights: These lights automatically turn on with your car. By increasing the contrast between a vehicle and its backgrounds and making the vehicles more visible to oncoming drivers, these lights can prevent daytime accidents.
  6. On-the-road experience: Other design characteristics can influence injury risk on the road. Some SUVs are prone to rolling over. “High performance” cars typically have higher-than-average death rates because drivers are tempted to use excessive speed.

Safety First

Belts, airbags and head restraints all work together with a vehicle’s structure to protect people in serious crashes. Lap/shoulder belts hold you in place, reducing the chance you’ll slam into something hard or get ejected from the crashing vehicle. If you aren’t belted, you’ll continue moving forward until something suddenly stops you – often a hard interior surface that will cause injuries. Consider the vehicle’s safety belt, airbag and head restraint features when shopping with safety in mind.

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc.

California’s Leader in Insurance and Risk Management

As one of the fastest growing agencies in California, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is able to provide its clients with the latest and greatest of what the insurance industry has to offer and much, much more. We understand when you buy a new or used car there are many insurance questions. Feel free to contact us 209-634-2929 when it comes to your auto insurance and costs.

We are headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley, Northern California and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business. Contact us today 1-209-634-2929 for your comprehensive auto insurance quote!

What You Need To Know About Replacement Cost and Home Insurance

What You Need To Know About Replacement Cost and Home Insurance

What You Need To Know About Replacement Cost and Home Insurance

When it comes to money matters, no one likes to be surprised by the feeling that they’ve been shortchanged. That’s why it’s important that you understand how your homeowner insurance policy and replacement cost type responds to potential personal property losses.

When insuring your personal possessions on your homeowners or renters insurance policy, you have one of two coverage options: insuring for your property’s actual cash value or the cost to replace it. Find out the difference and why we recommend replacement cost coverage.


What is an Extended Replacement Cost Policy?

An Extended Replacement Cost policy will pay up to a specified percentage over an insured’s policy limit in order to fully replace a damaged home.  This percentage is often shown as 120 to 125 percent of the stated limit of coverage.

With Extended Replacement Cost, if a person loses their home, the policy will pay more than their policy limit to cover the replacement cost of the home. In the event that someone needs to replace their home, they get that extra boost in coverage. This can be very helpful if there also happens to be an unexpected spike in costs at the time the house is being replaced.

Replacement Cost Coverage

When insuring your possessions on your homeowners or rental insurance policy, opting for replacement cost coverage provides you the best reimbursement option. Why? With replacement cost coverage, you collect the full cost to replace the item, less your deductible. Here’s an example to illustrate the benefit of replacement cost coverage:

The furniture you bought a few years ago for $650 is now worth only $100, but today costs $900 to replace. With replacement cost coverage, you would collect $900 to replace the furniture, minus your deductible. With actual cash value, you would get reimbursed $100, minus your deductible. Remember, the age and type of possession impacts the depreciated amount, which can be pennies on the dollar.


Insuring Valuables

While your personal property is covered under your homeowners insurance or renters insurance, policy limits do apply. To insure your valuable items—such as jewelry, fine art or antiques—consider scheduling these high-value items on an endorsement or policy floater.

For all endorsed items, an appraisal or sales receipt is typically required. This will help ensure that, in the event of a covered loss, the amount of insurance is enough to cover the replacement, repair or cash payment of the item.

Why is a Home Inventory Important?

If you haven’t documented your possessions on a home inventory list, it may be hard to replace them.

Home Inventory checklist

While your homeowners insurance or rental insurance policy will cover you in the event of a burglary or fire, up to the policy’s limits, you’ll still need a thorough inventory list, including photos or video. With insurance fraud on the rise, it’s important to have a home inventory list and to keep the information up to date. Storing this information in a safe place is highly recommended.

What insurers had discovered however is that in some cases, the policy limit that was chosen to insure a property was not quite enough to fully replace an insured’s home in the event of a total loss.  This lead to the development of Guaranteed Replacement Cost policies, which made a promise to pay to fully replace your home as it stood the day before the loss.  While Guaranteed Replacement Cost policies worked out well for people who lost their home, insurers soon discovered that this form of coverage was too costly so the Extended Replacement Cost endorsement came in to use.

GDI Insurance

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. – Your Trusted Insurance Brokers

We understand that insurance can be complicated.  At GDI Insurance Agency, Inc, our office if full of happy friendly insurance brokers who know how to get you the right coverage for the lowest possible premium on your homeowner insurance.

Headquartered in Turlock, CA, with locations across the heart of California’s Central Valley and beyond to provide a local feel to the solutions and services we provide our clients. We pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s expectations in every interaction to make sure that our client’s know how much we value and appreciate their business.

At GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. we believe that “Our Sole Purpose is to Help Our Clients Achieve and Secure Their Dreams!”  Call us today to experience the GDI difference
1-209-634-2929 or 1-888-991-2929.

Workplace Injury and Illness Prevention Program

Workplace Injury and Illness Prevention Program

Why Have a Workplace Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIP)

Taking risks is a part of running a business, particularly for small business owners. You take risks in product development, marketing and advertising in order to stay competitive. Some risks are just not worth the gamble. One of these is risking the safety and health of those who work for you. This is one reason why you need to have a workplace injury and illness prevention program in place.


Safety organizations, states, small business owners and major corporations alike now realize that the actual cost of a lost workday injury is substantial. For every dollar you spend on the direct costs of a worker’s injury or illness, you will spend much more to cover the indirect and hidden costs.

Consider what one lost workday injury would cost you in terms of:

  • Productive time lost by an injured employee;
  • Productive time lost by employees and supervisors attending the accident victim;
  • Clean up and start up of operations interrupted by the accident;
  • Time to hire or to retrain other individuals to replace the injured worker until his/her return;
  • Time and cost for repair or replacement of any damaged equipment or materials;
  • Cost of continuing all or part of the employee’s wages, in addition to compensation;
  • Reduced morale among your employees, and perhaps lower efficiency; increased workers’ compensation insurance rates; and
  • Cost of completing paperwork generated by the incident.


If you would like to reduce the costs and risks associated with workplace injuries and illnesses, you need to address safety and health right along with production.
Setting up an Illness and Injury Prevention Program helps you do this. In developing the program, you identify what has to be done to promote the safety and health of your employees and worksite, and you outline policies and procedures to achieve your safety and health goals.


In California, every employer is required by law (Labor Code Section) to provide a safe and healthful workplace for employees. Title 8 (T8) of the California Code of Regulations (CCR), requires every California employer to have an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program in writing that must be in accord with T8 CCR Section 3203 of the General Industry Safety Orders.

Additional requirements in the following T8 CCR Safety Order Sections address specific industries:

  • Construction—Section 1509;
  • Petroleum—Sections 6507, 6508, 6509, 6760, 6761, 6762;
  • Ship Building, Ship Repairing, Ship Breaking—Section 8350; and
  • Tunnels—Section 8406.


Your IIP Program must be a written plan that includes procedures and is put into practice.

These elements are required:

  • Management commitment/assignment of responsibilities;
  • Safety communications system with employees;
  • System for assuring employee compliance with safe work practices;
  • Scheduled inspections/evaluation system;
  • Accident investigation;
  • Procedures for correcting unsafe/ unhealthy conditions;
  • Safety and health training and instruction; and
  • Recordkeeping and documentation.


Your commitment to safety and health shows in every decision you make and every action you take. Your employees will respond to that commitment.

The person or persons with the authority and responsibility for your safety and health program must be identified and given management’s full support. You can demonstrate your commitment through your personal concern for employee safety and health and by the priority you place on these issues.

If you want maximum production and quality, you need to control potential workplace hazards and correct hazardous conditions or practices as they occur or are recognized.
You must commit yourself and your company by building an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program and integrating it into your entire operation.

This commitment must be backed by strong organizational policies, procedures, incentives, and disciplinary actions as necessary to ensure employee compliance with safe and healthful work practices.

They should include:

  1. Establishment of workplace objectives for accident and illness prevention, like those you establish for other business functions such as sales or production, e.g., “ten percent fewer injuries next year” or “reduce down-time due to poorly maintained equipment.”
  2. Emphasis on your staff’s safety and health responsibilities and recognition by your supervisors and employees that they are accountable. Advise your management staff that they will be held accountable for the safety record of the employees working under them, and then back it up with firm action.
  3. A means for encouraging employees to report unsafe conditions with assurance that management will take action.
  4. Allocation of company resources (financial, material and personnel) for:
    o Identifying and controlling hazards in new and existing operations and processes.
    o Installing engineering controls.
    o Purchasing personal protective equipment.
    o Promoting and training employees in safety and health.
  5. Setting a good example. If, for instance, you require hard hats to be worn in a specific area, then you and other management must wear a hard hat in that area.
    If you and your management team do not support and participate in the program, you are doomed to failure from the start. It is especially important for plant supervisors and field superintendents to set a good example.

If you and your management team do not support and participate in the program, you are doomed to failure from the start. It is especially important for plant supervisors and field superintendents to set a good example.

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. IIP Program

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GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. has created a “Guide To Developing Your Injury and Illness Prevention Program” manual to describe the employer’s responsibilities in establishing, implementing and maintaining an IIP Program. It also outlines steps that can be taken to develop an effective Program that helps assure the safety and health of employees while on the job.

Your GDI Insurance Agency, Inc Broker can help you create and keep your IIP Program free of charge. We then will coordinate this plan with your OSHA compliant safety program, which your GDI Insurance Agency Broker will also help you create, manage and implement free of charge.

These programs besides being required, if used correctly with the help of your GDI broker will help you keep the cost of your workers compensation insurance and modification factor down.

Contact us today at 1-888-991-2929! 

Risk Reduction The Key To Lower Rates

Risk Reduction The Key To Lower Rates

Risk Reduction is Your Key To Lower Insurance Rates

I can’t tell you how many times I am asked how we do it?  How do we get our clients discounts even with the same carrier they are already with?  It is actually very hard, but simple.  Risk Reduction is the key.

Different Rates For Different Risks

Risk Reduction - Lower insurance rates

An easy example would be considered what you would pay to insure a $145,000 Mercedes AMG?  Then consider what you would likely pay for a $20,000 Toyota Prius?  You would naturally expect to pay less for the less expensive non-sports car! 

What if we helped reduce the chance of having a claim in the first place and helped reduce the size of the claims you might have?   Wouldn’t you expect to then pay less for insurance if you were working to have fewer and smaller claims and could show the systems you were using to reduce your Total Cost Of Risk?

Sure you would.  Guess what?  Insurance companies love clients that work on reducing risk too!    

How Does  Your Insurance Broker Help Reduce Your Risks?

Just a quick question.  Does your current insurance broker just give you quotes at renewal time?  Or does your broker work all year to help reduce your Total Cost of Risk?

Give me a call and lets discuss how we can help with you Insurance Cost Reduction by reducing your risk!  1-888-991-2929  Ask for Grant Davis! 

The GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. Client Philosophy

GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. has extensive background rooted in Specialty Risk Management and Financing Programs for clients working in virtually every industry.  Nearly 20 years ago, GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. uncovered a disparity between the needs of clients and the services being provided to meet those needs in the marketplace.  In response, the GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. Client Philosophy was created and continues to evolve to include an ever-expanding list of services to meet specific client needs.