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Preventing Spontaneous Combustion

Fire Hose Putting Out Flames

From an early age, John Dillon had an interest in fine automobiles. In retirement, he took particular interest in antique cars. Over the years, he built an enviable collection. Headlined by his prized 1969 Chevy Camaro, John’s collection grew in value to over $500,000 dollars.

On most days one could find John working on his vehicles in his meticulously kept garage. One Sunday afternoon, John cleaned and polished his antiques to a show room shine. Always the perfectionist, John ended the day applying a fresh coat of wax to the garage floor. Proud of his work, he admired his vehicles one last time and discarded his work rags to a plastic hamper in the garage.

Several hours later, John was awoken to the unmistakable odor of smoke. His initial fear was confirmed when he peered from his bedroom window to see his detached garage ablaze. John reacted swiftly in calling the fire department but to no avail. When the smoke had cleared, his prized collection was a pile of charred metal and ash. The county’s Fire Marshall Investigation, aided by John’s video surveillance system, determined the cause of the fire was spontaneous combustion originating within the container of rags in the garage.

John promptly reported the incident to the Condon Skelly claims’ call center. The claims team took action swiftly and began the claims process. Appraisals of the damaged vehicles were secured within days and the claims adjuster reviewed them carefully with John. John received a settlement check for the full agreed value of his vehicle within weeks and has begun to replace his collection.

Like many people, John was not familiar with the dangers associated with chemically soaked rags. More than 14,000 fires per year are attributed to spontaneous combustion, and oily rags contribute to 35% of residential fires caused by spontaneous combustion. John could have prevented disaster in a number of ways:

1) Wash/rinse the rags after cleaning his floor and cars.

2) If time was an issue, while not the preferred method, John could have stored the chemically soaked rags in metal containers and ensured the container was in a well ventilated area.

Click here to download Condon Skelly’s guide for preventing spontaneous combustion.

Although John would prefer to have his 4 prized vehicles, he was very vocal about how pleased he was with Condon Skelly’s prompt handling of his claim. He noted that it was a relief not to worry about the claim’s process involving his vehicles.  At Condon Skelly, we know how important your exotic, classic and sports cars are. That’s why we specialize in offering complete car insurance for classic car and have a quick and easy claims service. We’re a group of collectors, enthusiasts, and professionals who specialize in insuring all types of collector vehicles. Our team is as passionate about protecting your vehicles as you are about collecting them. We can help you secure affordable, industry-leading specialty car insurance coverage to protect your classic, antique, or exotic vehicles. For more information, contact our classic car insurance specialists today at (866) 291-5694.

 

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Classic Car Insurance: How Chrysler Transformed the Auto Industry

Classic Car Insurance How Chrysler Transformed the Auto Industry

Classic Car Insurance: How Chrysler Transformed the Auto Industry

In the early 1920’s a man named Walter Chrysler teamed up with three ex- Studebaker engineers; Fred Zeder, Owen Skelton, and Carl Breer, to design a revolutionary new car. The defined what the products of the Chrysler brand would be, which was “affordable luxury vehicles”, known for innovative, top-flight engineering.

The first of these vehicles was the 1924 Chrysler Six, an all-new car priced at $1,565 that featured two significant innovations; a light, powerful, high-compression six-cylinder engine, and the first time four-wheel hydraulic brakes were a standard on a passenger car. This well-equipped vehicle also featured aluminum pistons, replaceable oil and air filters, full-pressure lubrication, tubular front axles, shock absorbers, and indirect interior lighting.

This was just the beginning of the innovations we would see in personal vehicles. The Chrysler Corporation has been responsible for many more innovations than one ever expected. Co-founder Carl Breer was constantly seeking out and developing new technologies. In the 1940’s we saw additions such as resistor spark plugs to avoid radio interference, a padded dashboard for fewer injuries in collisions, a splash-proof ignition system, and more.

The 1950’s and 60’s saw even more auto technology introduced by Chrysler. For example, in 1951 Chrysler introduced the first full-time power steering function. GM used one in 1952, however GM’s had no assist until 3 pounds of pressure was applied to the steering wheel. These two decades also saw the first use of modern electronic fuel injections, the first curved side windows, and the introduction of cruise control, all thanks to Chrysler.

The early 70’s is when the electronic age began. In 1973, an electronic ignition became standard in all Chrysler models. Studebaker used electronic ignition before this, however it was only on a single model. Chrysler beat every other automaker by several years in making it standard. The 1970’s and 1980’s models of Chrysler also sported stamped aluminum wheels, standard radial tires on all cars, and a permanent-memory electronic display odometer. The modern cupholder even came from Chrysler, in 1983.

Safety was becoming a bigger priority in the 70’s and 80’s, which Chrysler responded to. The company was the first to include standard driver side airbags in 1988, and then include them on all of their models in 1991. They were also the first to include integrated child restraints in their vehicles, and developed the first minivan with a blind spot monitor. Chrysler continued to make many more advancements through the 90’s that other automakers would quickly follow. Suffice to say, Chrysler was a trendsetter.

Whether you own a classic Chrysler vehicle or any other type of classic or antique car, it’s important to protect it financially with the right type of Classic Car Insurance Coverage. At Condon Skelly, we know how exciting it can be to start a classic car collection. We’ve been helping our customers protect their classics with affordable, industry-leading insurance coverage since 1967. We’re a group of collectors, enthusiasts, and professionals who specialize in insuring all types of collector vehicles. For more information, please contact us today at (866) 291-5694.