• Snow on Park BenchIt has been so long since we have had any major snow fall in the city of Chicago, that it’s easy to forget how any real accumulation can bring traffic to a stand-still and create dangerous condition. While it is true that in a large city such as Chicago, plows and salt trucks will quickly turn any major street drive-able. This is good news for urban drivers; at least we know we will not get stuck on any major streets. simply because you CAN make it down a road at 50 miles/hour doesn’t mean it’s a wise decision. Because you have the necessary traction to move your vehicle forward at normal highway speed,does not equate to having the ability to stop remotely as well as on dry pavement.This an additional challenge since your viability will be reduced at the same time that pedestrians will also have their own vision degraded by hats,hoods and scarfs.

    Driving through the streets I was reminded of the need to adjust driving to fight the ever-changing conditions. After driving down major roads we often forget, as we turn onto a side street, that unless your alderman live on that block, the street will not be plowed. This can even be tricky a day or two later, when big streets are clean and perhaps even dry; yet the smaller streets and alleys can be packed with snow and ice. With that in mind, I have marked some Tips for winter driving.

    How to Drive safely in snow and ice.

    1. Go Slow. While this should go with out saying, I am constantly surprised by the number of drivers I see out on snow covered roads driving at speeds that should be reserved for dry pavement. The key is by decreasing your speed you are leaving yourself more room to stop, or avoid obstacles.

    2. Expect surprises. The can in front of you might be stalled, or hit a patch of ice and begin to skid. Stop signs might be hidden from view and falling snow can vastly reduce viability. LEAVE ROOM, the general rule of thumb is You should allow for at least three times more distance between you and the car in front of you than on a clear, dry day.

    3. Rule # 2 is so important because suddenly applying the brakes is the best way to send your auto into a dangerous skid. Today most car are equipped with Anti-Lock Brakes which will reduce the likelihood of skidding, but it sill is wise to push lightly of the break and keep focused, if your car shows any sign of a loss of control gently step off the brake.

    Chicago Street traffic

    4. Remember, on cold snowy days pedestrians are going to be bundled up in an attempt to keep warm and dry, those same clothes will reduce there viability. Not only will it be harder for you to see them, they will be less likely to see you.

    5. Do your best to Keep your windshield clean. This is a great time to fill up your car’s reserve of washer fluid, there is no doubt that you can go though a gallon in a single snowy week.

    6. Know your car or truck. Do you have 4 wheel-drive, do you have Traction control? Understanding how you vehicle performs
    on hills and ice will make you a safer driver.

    7. Don’t assume that your car’s technology releases you from the need to drive with caution. Ok your truck has anti-lock brakes, and a computer assisting you maintain traction, yes these are important safety features; but they can also lead one to a false sense of security. Sure your car is getting traction and can cruse at 50 miles/hour, that does not mean that at any given moment all Hell could not break loose.

    8. The state did not put up all those signs warning “That bridges can freeze first” out of boredom. The truth is because of the ability of wind to get under a bridge or over-pass; they can freeze when other roads have not.

    9. The joke goes “Having a 4X4 allows you to get stuck in more remote locations” Never assume that just because you dropped $50,000 on a luxury SUV, that you are immune from getting stuck. Also many SUVs have a higher center-of-gravity and have an increased risk of roll-over.

    10. Keep a cell phone with you in case you need to call for help (but please no texting while driving). It is also a good idea to have warm clothes, and a means to signal your in trouble to passing motorists.
    If you must pull of to side of the road, make sure to leave as much room as possible for passing cars, and take steps to guarantee that your car can be seen.

    11. If your wheels begin to skid, the first idea is to gradually stop doing what ever you did to make them skid in the first place. Ease off the accelerator, and steer the vehicle in the direction you want your front tires to travel. The key is to remember that sudden movements are more likely to hurt than to help you gain control.

    12. If you are in an accident use care getting out of your car. » Read “What to do after an Auto Accident”…

    Yes winter has returned, but with care, and yet a bit of luck you can avoid being involved in an auto accident.

  • Delphi Insurance has stopped writing all Tow Trucks
    as well as all other commercial policies.

    Searching for a replacement, Turn to Urban Insurance.

    Urban has companies that are willing to honor your renewal rate from Delphi.
    We have been a dependable source for Towing Insurance for 50 years.

    We have multiple sources for your commercial insurance: so we can find you the lowest rates.
    We understand the requirements that the Secretary of State has placed on Flatbeds and tow-trucks
    prior to granting them the “TW” plates needed to operate a towing company.

    While many companies are pulling back from offering Tow Truck coverage,
    Urban Insurance can still provide you with choices to provide your
    Towing business with the coverages you need at the lowest rates.

    We can write Insurance for Towing companies throughout all of Illinois and Indiana.

    We can give you the certificates you need to provide to Motor Clubs.
    One Tow-truck or 20 Trucks; we can get you the coverage you need quickly and at the lowest rates.

    Tow Truck Insurance in Illinois and Indiana

    If you have a question, please contact us at 1-800-680-0707.

    We can write Insurance for Towing companiesthroughout all of Illinois and Indiana.

    Tow Trucks in Illinois are required to carry specific limits and types of coverage in order to be granted
    the TW (towing) Plates they need to legally operate.
    Over the recent past, we have had people come to Urban, upset that had been sold policies at other insurance companies
    that did not provide them with the correct coverage, leaving them unable to get their plates. So, here are the requirements:

    Tow Truck Liability = $500,000csl
    Garage Liability      = $500,000csl
    Car on Hook           = $25,000

    Tow Truck Liability  = $750,000csl
    Garage Liability       = $750,000csl
    Car on Hook            = $25,000

    Garage Keepers Legal Liability (GKLL): This coverage protects car that are under your “Care, Custody or Control”
    while not on the hook. This is coverage designed for companies the store or repair customer’s cars.

    <Workers Compensation: This coverage protects your business against your workers attempting to
    collect damages based on injuries they say occurred at work.

    Physical Damage: This coverage protect YOUR OWN vehicle against loss or damage.
    It consists of two parts Comprehensive a Collision.
    Comprehensive covers damage to the policyholder’s vehicle from fire, theft, explosions, hail, floods, and vandalism,
    Collision insurance covers damage to your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident caused by Colliding with another object or Overturns or rolls.

    Please find the links to additional information on the insurance requirements for a Towing Company.

    Urban also offers Insurance for:
    Messengers, Long and Short Haul Trucking,
    Life Insurance, Motorcycle Insurance,
    Home-Owners Insurance, Medical Transportation

    Commercial FAQ

  • Riding your cycle through the state of Illinois, is not going to have the Pacific-Coast-Highway, or the twists and turns one might find in Maine, but there still are many great trips through Chicago and the surrounding 100 miles. I have put out a few popular suggestions that customers have submitted.

    Lake Geneva

    AN EASY DAY TRIP IS TO HEAD OUT TO The Lake Geneva area. The town has a nostalgic feel, with most building dating back 100 plus years. But this has long been a tourist town; so it is a great place to shop, eat and just walk through the streets. But on a bike it is easy to drive the seven miles to Fountana the drive is one of the most beautiful rides within a days drive. Home to the Abby resort, the town has boating. Fishing, and of course fudge shops. Lake Geneva has a beautiful scenic drive around the lake, and a small but fun public beach.

    Starved Rock State Park

    Don’t let anyone tell you there are no hills in Illinois. If you showed someone pictures from the trails at starved rock, few would believe they were still in Illinois, let alone just 90 minutes out of the Loop. The trails can get steep, and the woods deep, but it is as close as a Chicago rider can get to leaving the feel of the Midwest. The park is a maze of  thick woods, and deep ravines even waterfalls.

    You Start in Utica, IL (It’s self a charming small town) and head south on Route 178 for just about a mile or so and you will come to signs announcing Starved Rock State Park. There is a lodge, or camping nearby.

     Rock River

    A wonderful example of “small town Midwest” coupled with beautiful shots of nature as the route hugs the Rock River. Rock River features sections of rock formations and ravines. A statue of Chief Blawkhawk sits high on the bluff overlooking the waterway.

     Route 66

    Many Chicagoans are often surprised that America’s most famous road, the Historic Route 66, actually starts right here in Chicago. In fact it begins right at the corner of Jackson Boulevard and Michigan Avenue.  One often does not associate the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as being a part of a ride down Route 66, but sit at the start of the fabled highway.

    But before you hit the road, Grab a helmet, fill the tank, and make sure you are covered by the right insurance policy. We at Urban know needs of insurance Illinois motorcycle owners, and will search to find you the best rate.

    Find out how much it’ll cost to insure your bike with a free online quote.

    chicago motorcycle insurance
  • The Chicagoland High School Film Festival, gives high School students an unique opportunity to enter and show the films they have worked so hard to create. True there are Children’s film festivals, but since those events are geared toward films who’s language and content are appropriate to be viewed by young children, this event allows young film makers to exhibit works that are relevant to the issues and interests of teen filmmakers.

    Chicagoland High School Film Festival 2012
    6:30-9 PM Friday, May 18
    Wrigley Theatre
    Latin School of Chicago
    59 W. North Blvd
    Chicago, IL 60610
     

    Printer’s Row Lit Fest

    Location:Printers Row, on and around the area of Dearborn Street, from Congress to Polk streets in Chicago
    Admission: FREE

    The Chicago Tribune celebrates the written word with over 135,000 attendees during this two-day outdoor festival. Printers Row Lit Fest brings together lovers of literature, national best-selling authors, booksellers, exhibitors and engages them in panel discussions, forums, kids programs, family activities,  cooking demos, poetry slams and more.  The Lit Fest offers your brand countless creative options to get in front of a large, engaged crowd. And admission is free! Visit

    The Field Museum  

    Feb 24, 2012
    to Sep 3, 2012
    Temporary Exhibition

    Who was Genghis Khan – a ruthless warrior, or a revered statesman? 

    Nov 4, 2011
    to Jan 1, 2030
    Permanent Exhibition

    Discover how The Field Museum is leading the way in conservation by putting science into action in Abbott Hall of Conservation Restoring Earth, opening November 4, 2011.

     175 Days to Love Chicago
    Running through- Aug 26, 2012

    Celebrate Chicago’s 175th Birthday this year with 175 days of events, festivals and other significant dates in Chicago’s history.

     Bike the Drive 
    May 27, 2012:
    Enjoy Chicago’s skyline and shoreline as you bike up and down Lake Shore Drive. The complete route is 30 mile and the Drive is closed to automobile traffic. Event kicks off at 5:30 a.m

    Museum of Science and Industry

    MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition
    MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition
    Mar 15, 2012 – Sep 3, 2012
    Try your hand at busting or confirming myths in wildly entertaining experiments.
  • Do you have a pending Hearing in Traffic Court?

    If you have been stopped for DUI or DWI, the judge will want to see proof of current Auto Insurance, and verification that have your insurance company has filed the required SR22 form with the State Of Illinois.

    Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI) are serious violations which can result in you loosing your license, being hit with large fines, or even spending some time behind bars- just ask Lindsey Lohan . So it is important that you avoid getting the behind the wheel after you have been drinking. Clearly, even greater than the penalties handed down by the State, imagine going through life knowing that your momentary bad judgment resulted in injuries or even death.

    If you have been stopped it is important that you know your rights, and follow the prescribed path toward getting your license returned. DUI Tickets are often a good time to seek legal representation. Below is a chart that can help identify what constitutes the “Legal Limit” in the state.

    How much do you have to drink (BAC*) for a DUI in Illinois?

    Under 21 .00% – zero tolerance
    21 or older .08%
    Commercial .04%

    * BAC = blood alcohol content

    New DUI Laws in Illinois -

    Laws effecting DUI change, Effective January 1, 2011, Illinois has changed the Unified Code of Corrections providing that those convicted of a DUI accident that occurred on or after the amendment date where the accident was the proximate cause of great bodily harm or permanent shall receive no more than 4.5 days of good conduct credit for each month of the offender’s sentence of imprisonment.

    Additionally, Illinois increases the amount of technology fees from $500 to $750 usually imposed on first-time offenders who are found guilty or who plead guilty to violating the DUI provision of the Illinois Vehicle Code. Also, Illinois adds a ”summary revocation” to the summary suspension procedures. This provides that a person who refuses to submit to alcohol testing following a DUI arrest involving an accident that causes a Type A personal injury (or death) to another will have his or her license revoked summarily on the 46th day following the arrest.

    Urban Insurance has specialized in SR22 insurance policies for over 50 years. We’ll get your car insurance started quickly, and we’ll handle the necessary paperwork and provide you with a Same Day Electronic Filing to the Illinois Secretary of State, as well as provide you proof for any court appearance.

    Call 1-800-680-0707 or click here to get your free auto insurance quote.

  • Comprehensive coverage is that portion of an auto insurance policy that covers damage to the policyholder’s car not involving a collision with another car. Comprehensive Insurance covers damage to your vehicle caused by any unknown party or “act of God,” including damage from fire, explosions, earthquakes, hail, floods, and riots, as well as theft. As with Collision coverage, your policy will pay for repairs of your vehicle up to the full fair market value of your car, if the cost to repair exceeds the Stated value, your car might be deemed at Total Loss.
     

    This coverage is usually sold along with Collision coverage and unlike Liability Insurance which is mandatory; Comprehensive Collision insurance is not required by the State. Please keep in mind, if you are financing the car, the Loss Payee ( the company to whom you make your monthly payments) will almost certainly demand that you purchase both Comprehensive as well as Collision coverage. Urban Insurance has 50 years experience, and are well aware of the forms required by finance companies, and we are able to provide them the Same-Day Loss Payee Proof listing them on the policy.

  • With the social unrest in the Middle-East, and speculators driving the price of oil to record highs; it is easy to see why so many consumers are searching for more fuel efficient autos.
    “Greener” cars have had a select group of followers, but in the past two years we have seen a far greater, and more diverse group of buyers show an interest. Electric autos are not just for the ” Flower-Children,” no today we see people being driven by a far more practical set of concerns.
    More car companies are turning to Electric cars to meet buyers desire for cleaner, more Earth Friendy Autos. Here are some of the newest choices from around the world.

  • OK, we all knew that Chicago would not escape the clutches of old-man winter forever.

    Our wake-up-call, came yesterday morning and continued to cover us with a clear reminder that Chicago does make a habit of providing sunny, 45 degree days in the heart of winter. After weeks of unseasonably pleasant weather, on Thursday the 12th, the temperature began to drop as the snow began to fall. By 4:00pm the roads were slippery, the sidewalks worse. As the night continued, the city was wrapped in the white blanket of winter. Tonight we will continue to see Scattered snow flurries and snow showers this evening then Chicago will see the skys clear but temps will fall to a Low of 4F.

    Driving through the streets I was reminded of the need to adjust driving to fight the ever-changing conditions.

    How to Drive safely in snow and ice.

    1. Go Slow. While this should go with out saying, I am constantly surprised by the number of drivers I see out on snow covered roads driving at speeds that should be reserved for dry pavement. The key is by decreasing your speed you are leaving yourself more room to stop, or avoid obstacles.

    2. Expect surprises. The can in front of you might be stalled, or hit a patch of ice and begin to skid. Stop signs might be hidden from view and falling snow can vastly reduce viability. LEAVE ROOM, the general rule of thumb is You should allow for at least three times more distance between you and the car in front of you than on a clear, dry day.

    3. Rule # 2 is so important because suddenly applying the brakes is the best way to send your auto into a dangerous skid. Today most car are equipped with Anti-Lock Brakes which will reduce the likelihood of skidding, but it sill is wise to push lightly of the break and keep focused, if your car shows any sign of a loss of control gently step off the brake.

    4. Remember, on cold snowy days pedestrians are going to be bundled up in an attempt to keep warm and dry, those same clothes will reduce there viability. Not only will it be harder for you to see them, they will be less likely to see you.

    5. Do your best to Keep your windshield clean. This is a great time to fill up your car’s reserve of washer fluid, there is no doubt that you can go though a gallon in a single snowy week.

    6. Know your car or truck. Do you have 4 wheel-drive, do you have Traction control? Understand how you vehicle performs on hills.

    7. Don’t assume that your car’s technology releases you from the need to drive with caution. Ok your truck has anti-lock brakes, and a computer assisting you maintain traction, yes these are important safety features; but they can also lead one to a false sense of security. Sure your car is getting traction and can cruse at 50 miles/hour, that does not mean that at any given moment all Hell could not break loose.

    8. The state did not put up all those signs warning “That bridges can freeze first” out of boredom. The truth is because of the ability of wind to get under a bridge or over-pass; they can freeze when other roads have not.

    9. The joke goes “Having a 4X4 allows you to get stuck in more remote locations” Never assume that just because you dropped $50,000 on a luxury SUV, that you are immune from getting stuck. Also many SUVs have a higher center-of-gravity and have an increased risk of roll-over.

    10. Keep a cell phone with you in case you need to call for help. It is also a good idea to have warm clothes, and a means to signal your in trouble to passing motorists.
    If you must pull of to side of the road, make sure to leave as much room as possible for passing cars, and take steps to guarantee that your car can be seen.

    11. If your wheels begin to skid, the first idea is to gradually stop doing what ever you did to make them skid in the first place. Ease off the accelerator, and steer the vehicle in the direction you want your front tires to travel. The key is to remember that sudden movements are more likely to hurt than to help you gain control.

    12. If you are in an accident use care getting out of your car. » Read “What to do after an Auto Accident”…

    Yes winter has returned, but with care, and yet a bit of luck you can avoid being involved in an auto accident.

  • What Winter?

    Thus far this winter, Chicago has been spared from the extreme cold and snow that many had forecast. Please understand I’m not complaining; nor do I believe that this unseasonably mild winter can continue. Soon winter will return to Chicago and with it, our tendency to dash from our homes to our cars with only work and errands pulling us out of our hibernation. While Understandable, it can also lead to “The Winter Blues.” For many that will result in sleeping in on weekends, eating more, a general lethargic attitude and reduced social contact. I can’t change the weather, but I can pass on a few tips to get through a Chicago winter.

    The effects of the Winter Blues can be particularly harsh for people suffering from depression. I am not a psychiatrist, and I do not minimize the

    very real impact of clinical depression. If you are receiving professional help; please follow their guidance; for the rest of us, these tips should make surviving a Chicago winter just a little easier.

    Eating a Healthy Diet.

    We have all heard the expression “ You are what you eat.” If this was entirely true I would be a bowl of chocolate ice cream, but clearly the food choices we make impact our lives. Most nutritionists will advice people to avoid, or reduce, refined and processed foods, including white breads, rice, and sugar. The reason is connected to the desire to limit those “Sugar highs” and subsequent crashes. While this is sound year-round, it’s importance increases when doing battle against winter. Eat more whole grains, brown rice and low fat proteins. Remember, you are likely getting less exercise, and more prone to putting on weight.

    Light Therapy.

    One of the constant complaints you hear each winter in Chicago is “I wake up and it’s dark, I go to work and it’s still dark, I leave work and it’s dark again.” This is a very real problem and a major factor in the Winter Blues. The days are shorter, and without daylight-savings-time the number of hours we get to spend in daylight are dramatically reduced. But help might be as simple as making use of lights.Michael Terman is the director of the Center for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms at Columbia University Medical Center. His research points to the notion that seasonal depression is often caused by waking up in darkness rather than light. This simple change can affect your body’s internal clock in such a way that it can lead to a condition he calls “depressogenic.” By opening the shades, turning on brighter lights in the morning upon waking up, can trick your body and reset your attitude.
    Give yourself a reason to look forward to winter.

    It might be skiing, sledding, going for snowmobile ride, anything that’s fun and only available in winter, gives on a reason to get excited, and anticipate the coming season. The very act of having something you look forward to can reduce the monotony of the shorter, colder days. In Chicago, the BEARS games can brighten up many guys winter, however the downside can come quickly after a few fumbles. One trick is to plan a weekend get-away. Sure a week on a beach in the Bahamas will do the trick; but sometimes a few days with friends or a “Special someone” at a nearby lodge or spa can be just what the doctor ordered.

    Make time for friends.

    Over the summer you might have met friends at the beach, went for long bike rides, had friends over for a few drinks, but as winter comes along we all tend to hang closer to home and have fewer social encounters. While this is natural, it can be increasing your sense of isolation and depression. Break out the wine and cheese, invite people over for a movie night or get a group together to meet for brunch. Any of these social encounters will surely brighten your mood. Make an effort to spend quality time to with your family.

    Exercise.

    A good workout can relieve stress and help improve your outlook on the day. This is particularly true if that activity can get you outdoors. From running, cross-country skiing to just taking a long walk will get you heart pumping as well as get you out of the house or office. I understand that work comes first, After all it’s 7:00 and I’m still at my office writing this, but with a bit of planing you should be able to find moments to take a quick walk, saving the longer events for weekends. I have made a habit of walking to and from work each day. The eight mile round trip is done all for seasons.

    Dress For Winter.

    There is no way to put a positive-spin on frostbite. If you live in cold weather- get your self the right clothes. The single greatest piece of advice I can give to someone asking how I keep warm is to dress in layers. Don’t expect a single coat to do the trick, few coats will provide that degree of protection and even if you find one that will, it will likely leave you over-heated on the warmer parts of the day. No the trick is to dress in several layers. By dressing correctly you can spend more time outside without the unpleasantness that cold days can bring.

    Take advantage of Chicago Landmarks.

    I understand that when Oak Street Beach is filled with people basking in he summer-sun, the idea of spending your day inside a museum holds little appeal; but winter is a great time to take advantage of the list of World-Class cultural institutions that call Chicago home. The Field Museum stands as one the most important Natural history Museums in the world. Staring up a 42 feet long and 12 feet high T-Rex can take your mind off winter. The Museum of Science and Industry and The Art Institute of Chicago are also both important parts of what makes this city great. Winter can also be a wonderful time to walk through the Jackson Park or Lincoln Park Conservatory, as can the Lincoln Park Zoo (remember many of the animals in inside giving you an opportunity to periodically warm up )

    Yes, the cold whether will arrive, but with the few steps I outlined above, you should be able to still enjoy Chicago and keep the “Winter Blues” in check.

    Let Urban Auto find you low cost car insurance without sacrificing coverage or service.

    Quote, Buy, and then Print your Policy

    Have Questions or Prefer to Talk to an Insurance Agent?

    Just give us a call at 1-800-680-0707.

  • Car Insurance Videos

    Urban is a licensed insurance agency. We are NOT a company that sells your information to a list of other companies. When you contact Urban Car Insurance, we will listen, and then find the lowest cost policy to meet your needs. We will do all the work, rather than you being bothered by 8 separate companies. This will save you time and money. Urban Insurance offers quick, accurate car insurance quotes for drivers living in Chicago land. Using our Comparative Rater, you can Quote, Buy, and then Print your Policy

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