THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2014
Did you know?
Tips to avoid a car-deer crash:
- Car-deer crashes are a year-round problem in Michigan. During 2012, there were 48,918 reported car-deer crashes.
- A car-deer crash occurs every nine minutes.
- The average car-deer crash causes $2,100 in damage, usually to the front end, and often leaves the vehicle un-drivable
If a crash is unavoidable:
- Stay aware, awake and sober.
- Drive at a safe speed.
- Observe your surroundings.
- Pay attention to deer crossing signs. They are placed at known deer crossing areas.
- Deer are herd animals and frequently travel in single file. If you see one cross the road, chances there will be more following.
- Always wear your safety belt.
Article Source: Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Company
- DON'T SWERVE. Brake firmly, stay in your lane, hold onto the steering wheel and bring your vehicle to a controlled stop.
- PULL OFF THE ROAD. Turn on your emergency flashers and be cautious of other traffic if you leave your vehicle.
- DON'T ATTEMPT TO REMOVE A DEER from the roadway unless you are convinced it is dead. An injured deer's sharp hooves can easily hurt you.
- REPORT A CRASH to the nearest police agency and your insurance agent.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 12, 2014
Did you know that there are steps you can take to avoid a car accident?
- Before you start the engine, make sure the warning lights are off, such as the gas line, engine coolant, and engine light.
- Keep a watchful eye. Keep looking around you on both sides of the road. Constantly check your rear-view mirror.
- Check blind spots before you change lanes. Checking your blind spots before you move in the next land helps avoid side-swiping accidents.
- Be careful when you are driving side-by-side with another car for a few minutes. Pull ahead or behind to get out of the other driver's blind spot.
- Look both ways before you enter an intersection, even if you have a green light
- Watch for emergency vehicles and give the right-of-way. Sometimes emergency vehicles drive through red lights or against traffic.
- Use signal lights. When you use the signal light, you are warning others that you want to change lanes.
- Follow the laws. Most people have accidents because they didn't follow the laws. Speeding and drunk driving are the top two.
- Keep a safe distance. The safe distance depends on the speed.
- Plan your driving. You may want to chose a longer route, or one with less traffic, or is easier to drive.
- Keep your vehicle slower than the speed limits at turns or steep roads. You never know what is going to come from the other side.
- Don't let driving distractions make you a statistic.
Article source: Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Company
- Cell phone use, texting
- Reaching for objects in the car
- Applying makeup
- Eating while driving
- Other passengers or pets in the vehicle
- Turning dials or entries on in-vehicle navigation systems
- "Sight seeing" out the window
Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2014
We run across many companies that believe a trailer is covered along with their other contractors’ equipment.
Most insurance policies intended to cover contractors’ tools and equipment have specific exclusions for trailers or anything that is licensed for road use. The reason for this exclusion is that the most appropriate form of insurance for a trailer is found on the business auto policy that also covers the towing vehicle(s).
In spite of this exclusion, we still find instances where an insurance company adds a trailer to an equipment policy. In the event of loss, the policyholder runs the risk of having their claim denied – even though the trailer is described as an insured piece of equipment and a premium is charged. Why? Describing an object and payment of a premium does not change the language contained within the policy. The exclusion still exists.
There are two areas of concern when it comes to insurance for a trailer; physical damage and liability.
Above, we have talked about risks of physical damage or loss to the trailer itself. This includes things like collision, theft, and falling objects, and is often thought to be the biggest, if not the only, concern. Protection against physical damage exposures is addressed by the comprehensive and collision coverage on a business auto policy in the same way they would apply to motorized vehicles.
The larger danger is with liability risks. For example, imagine a trailer breaking loose from the towing car or truck and running into something causing damage, or into somebody causing serious injury. A business auto policy automatically extends liability coverage from the towing vehicle to a trailer when the trailer’s load capacity is less than 2,000 pounds. If the trailer's load capacity exceeds 2,000 pounds liability coverage is provided in exchange for a small premium charge.
Don’t rely on a contractor’s equipment policy to cover a trailer! There is NO liability protection available under a contractors’ equipment policy form and there is a good chance the policy excludes trailers for physical damage.
Image Courtesy of Haulmark Trailers
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2011
Many people rent cars for various reasons; traveling out of town for vacation or business, as a temporary replacement for a car that is in for repair, or even just to save miles on a your lease car for a weekend trip. When you step up to the counter one question the rental car agent is certain to ask is: Do you want to purchase or decline rental car insurance?
This is something to think about carefully before making a decision. Common suggestions will say rental car insurance is a waste of money. But could that advice be short-sighted? Paying a few extra dollars for the rental car insurance may actually be one of the smartest ways to spend your money.
First, contact your insurance agent to learn how your existing insurance covers damage to a rental car and the loss of personal property in it.
If you have comprehensive and collision coverage on your auto insurance policy, most policies will allow those coverages to cover a rental car. The same deductibles and conditions will apply, of course. If you pay for your rental car using a credit card, check to see if you have any coverage provided as a cardholder benefit.
But don’t assume that because you have auto insurance with comprehensive and collision coverage or charge the cost of a rental car on your credit card that you don’t need to consider rental car insurance. Here are a few things to think about when making your decision:
1. If a rental car is damaged while rented to you, your insurance company will likely pay the cost of repairing the damage the same way it would have paid to repair your own car – the cost of repair, less your deductible. But, in addition, rental car companies are likely to charge you for “loss of use” during the time their car is out of service for repair – the rental fees they could have earned if their car had been in service. You may find yourself stuck paying their highest daily rate for that car which may be far more than the discount rate you may have paid. Some rental car companies also charge you for the reduced value of their car (diminishment) now that it has been in an accident. The bad news is that, when you pay for the rental car using a credit card and sign the agreement to rent the car and decline the rental car insurance, you have pre-authorized these costs to be charged to your credit card – potentially hundreds if not thousands of dollars! Don’t expect your own auto insurance policy to pay for either of these costs. You need to purchase rental car insurance if you want them covered.
2. What if you travel out of the country? Check the coverage territory defined in your auto policy. Typically, it includes the United States of America, its territories or possessions; Puerto Rico; or Canada. If you are traveling anywhere else in the world, your auto insurance does not apply – not at all. We’re not just talking about damage to the vehicle you rent. You could be responsible for the cost to repair or replace the other person’s car. Worse yet, what if you are to blame for injuring another person in an accident? Unless you have a personal umbrella policy, you could be personally liability for the cost of their injuries. You absolutely need to purchase rental car insurance anytime you rent a car out of the country.
3. What about personal effects in the rented car? Think about the items you take with you during a trip. Beyond clothing, what about that digital camera, laptop computer, cell phones, etc.? Most auto insurance policies do not provide any coverage for personal items in the car. Your homeowner’s insurance may cover these things away from home and often anywhere in the world. But, the deductible on your homeowner’s policy will apply – could be $500; $750; $1,000. If you want to avoid filing a claim against your home insurance and having to pay this deductible while away with a rental car, you can purchase coverage for personal effects with the rental car insurance.
4. Finally, the thing most often overlooked… When away from home using a rental car, you are in unfamiliar places and driving an unfamiliar car. This alone can raise the chance of having an accident. Without rental car insurance, you will file a claim under your own auto insurance policy. This could cause an increase in your premium that may remain for several years! You can avoid this possibility by purchasing rental car insurance.
To Buy or Not To Buy – you decide!
For more details on Michigan Auto Insurance or to get a free Michigan auto insurance quote contact us at 800.225.5582.
734.421.9900 | 800.220.5582 | www.ipsagency.com
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2011
According to information published by State Farm, Michigan drivers run a 1 in 90.5 chance of having an accident involving a deer. Michigan ranks 5th in the nation.
The explosion in the deer population has lead to a continuing increase in deer-car collisions. This trend will only increase as the deer population grows and urban habitats continue to encroach upon rural environments.
According to the National Safety Council, there were 530,000 animal-related accidents in 2003 and these collisions resulted in 100 deaths and 10,000 injuries.
The average cost per insurance claim for collision damage is $2,800, with costs varying depending on the type of vehicle and severity of damage. When you factor in auto claims involving bodily injury, the average rises to $10,000.
Defensive driving tips to avoid hitting a deer.
- Be especially attentive from sunset to midnight and during the hours shortly before and after sunrise. These are the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions.
- Drive with caution when moving through deer-crossing zones, in areas known to have a large deer population and in areas where roads divide agricultural fields from forestland. Deer seldom run alone. If you see one deer, others may be nearby.
- When driving at night, use high beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic. The high beams will better illuminate the eyes of deer on or near the roadway.
- Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten the deer away.
- Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.
- Always wear your seat belt. Most people injured in car/deer crashes were not wearing their seat belt.
- Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer. These devices have not been proven to reduce deer-vehicle collisions.
If your vehicle strikes a deer, do not touch the animal. A frightened and wounded deer can hurt you or further injure itself. The best procedure is to get your car off the road, if possible, and call the police.
Contact your insurance agent or company representative to report any damage to your car. Collision with an animal is covered under the comprehensive portion of your auto insurance policy.
Courtesy: Insurance Information Institute