bbb

Car Insurance. Optional Legal Expense Cover Is Well Worth The Extra.

Home  »  AutoAuto Insurance

Car Insurance. Optional Legal Expense Cover Is Well Worth The Extra.

Peter, our freelance journalists doesn’t take kindly to people driving into his beloved car. No, he doesn’t use his fourteen stone of gym-honed muscle to exact retribution nor is he into road rage. Of course he’s got his car comprehensively insured but he’s also covered another way. He’s got legal insurance. He included in his car insurance as an optional extra. This extra cover allows him to claim for costs and losses excluded covered from normal comprehensive and third party policies. So four months ago when his car was whacked from behind at the traffic lights, the legal profession swung into action! Not for free you underst and, after all who’s heard of a solicitor labouring for free? No, but it was free to Peter – his insurance company paid all his legal costs.

Whilst the garage appointed by his insurer made a beautiful job repairing his bent MX5, his comprehensive policy didn’t normally cover claims for personal injury or loss of earnings. So the extra £2 a month Peter forked out for legal expense cover, became money well spent. He’s already received compensation for the broken wrist he suffered and negotiations for his loss of earnings are well advanced. One-h anded journalists aren’t much use in our office so he took a month off!

Legal expense insurance assists policyholders to claim back losses and compensation where the accident wasn’t their fault. The losses can include the cost of hiring a replacement car whilst yours is in the garage and, for those not comprehensively insured, the costs of having your car repaired. As in Peter’s case, legal expense insurance will also fund claims for personal injury and loss of earnings.

Cover for legal expense is one of those insurances that’s under rated until it’s called on. The insurer will run the claim for you and sends the settlement cheque at the end of the process. All you have to do is record the facts on the legal expense claim form, speak to the solicitor nominated by your insurer, be prepared to answer a few follow-up questions, and sit back. If the case goes to court, they’ll represent you and fight your corner – although you may also have to attend.

Most car insurance policies sold on the Internet don’t automatically include legal expense cover – it’s normally an optional extra. That’s because price competition on the net is so fierce that the insurers prefer to keep their headline premiums down as low as possible.

You’ll find that the optional cost of legal expense cover does vary from insurer to insurer. For example, More Than comes in at £17.85 per year, Direct Line £19.95, Churchill £21 and Budget £24 per year. Just a few insurance companies such as Admiral, include some legal expense cover for free.

So make sure you don’t forget legal expense cover when you buy car insurance. Complicated claims for compensation can drag on your years especially if severe injury is involved, and final settlements can end up in millions.

Cheap Insurance Van

The word shopping brings a feeling of immediate excitement to most people. But if you combine the word shopping with car insurance, as in “shopping for car insurance”, it produces the opposite effect. The thought of shopping for auto insurance makes the eyes glaze over and the heart rate drop to the pace of a slumbering couch potato.

Couch potato? Indeed. Doug Heller, a consumer advocate at the Foundation for Consumer Rights and a recognized insurance issues specialist, told us that too often “people purchase insurance by calling the number on the screen.”

But wait, this is important stuff! You want to be adequately covered if you get in an accident. And you certainly don’t want to pay more for car insurance than you should. Maybe waiting for a solution to be beamed into your living room is not the best idea.

How can you stay awake while navigating through this murky subject? Just remember: There is money to be saved. How much? Hundreds, even thous ands, per year. For example, one of the authors typed all of his insurance information into a comparative insurance service. The quotes (for very basic coverage on two old cars) ranged from $1,006 to $1,807 — a difference of $801 a year. If you’re currently dumping thous ands into your insurance company’s coffers because of a couple of tickets, an accident or a questionable credit rating, shopping your policy against others may be well worth the effort.

Look at it this way — you can convert the money you save into the purchase of something you’ve lusted after for a long time. Hold that goal in your mind. Now, let’s begin.

Before you can shop for something, you have to decide what you need. The first step in finding the right auto insurance for you is to figure out the amount of coverage you need. This varies from country to country. So take a moment to find out what coverage is required where you live. Make a list of the different types of coverage and then return for the next step.

Now that you know what is required, you can decide what — if anything — you need in addition to that. Some people are quite cautious. They base their lives on worst-case scenarios. Insurance companies love these people. That’s because insurance companies know what your chances are of being killed or maimed, and how likely it is for your car to be damaged or stolen. The information the insurance company has collected over previous decades is crunched into “actuarial tables” that give insurance adjustors a quick look at the probability of just about any occurrence.

It is important to keep in mind that the basis of insurance is a difference of opinion between you (the insured) and them (the insurance company). You believe you will, at some point, probably get in an auto accident. The car insurance company believes you probably won’t. And the insurance company is willing to take your money to prove you wrong.

So how much auto insurance should you buy beyond your state’s minimums?

“Look at your personal financial situation,” Dennis Howard, director of the Insurance Consumer Advocate Network and former insurance adjuster. “If you have assets to protect — and that is all insurance is doing — get enough liability coverage.”

Another issue Howard mentioned is that the limits of any uninsured and/or underinsured motorist coverage that you purchase cannot exceed the limits of your liability coverage. Such coverage, he said, can be valuable, as it will cover lost income if you’re out of work for several months after being injured in a major accident.

Your driving habits may also be a consideration. If your past is filled with crumpled fenders, if you have a lead foot or a long commute on a treacherous winding road, then you should get more comprehensive coverage.

“Consumers should also be aware that they don’t have to buy the package [of collision and comprehensive coverage],” Howard said. “If your vehicle is older, if you have a good driving record and if there is a low likelihood that it would be totaled in an accident, but a high likelihood of it being stolen, you could buy comprehensive but not collision.” Seems like good advice for all of the 1989 Toyota Camry owners reading this article — this has been the most stolen car in the nation for several years (it’s often stolen for parts). But we would expect that most of them on the road have well over 100,000 miles.

At this time, a rather sobering point needs to be interjected. Just having car insurance doesn’t protect you from absolutely anything bad that might happen. First, the insurance company needs to back up the claims that they make in the fine details of the contract. TV ads show folksy adjustors at the scenes of natural disasters passing out claims checks like coupons for cocktail wieners at a supermarket. But, in case you haven’t noticed, real life is a bit different from TV ads. If you have an accident, your car insurance company will take a close look at your claim before mailing you a check. And the check may be written for an amount much smaller than you had hoped. For this reason, you should be intimately familiar with the terms of your policy and call the company with any questions you might have.

Now that you have made several practical and philosophical decisions, it’s time to start shopping. Begin by setting aside about an hour for this task. Bring all your records — your current insurance policy, your driver license number and your vehicle registration. Drink plenty of coffee. Have a phone at your elbow. And, of course, power up your computer.

Begin with the online services. On many sites you can type in your information and get a list of comparative quotes. The form takes about 15 minutes to complete. If this bores you, just remind yourself that you are saving money and you can use that money to buy something nice for yourself. If the entire shopping process takes you two hours to complete, and you save $800, you’re effectively earning $400 an hour. While you’re researching companies, make notes in a separate computer file or on a piece of paper divided into categories. This will keep you from duplicating your efforts.

What To Do If Your Car Breaks Down On The Highway

Transportation_FlatTireYou are driving down the highway when suddenly you have car trouble. The National Safety Council suggests the following measures when your car breaks down or has a flat tire on the highway.

At the first sign of car trouble, gently and smoothly take your foot off the accelerator. Do not brake hard or suddenly. Carefully work your vehicle toward the breakdown lane or the side of the road. If you are on an interstate, try to reach an exit. Signal your intentions to drivers behind you. If it is necessary to change lanes, watch your mirrors and the traffic around you closely.

Once off the road, make your car visible. Put reflectorized triangles behind your vehicle to alert other drivers; use your emergency flashers. If it is dark, turn on the interior dome light.

When you have a flat tire, be certain that you can change it safely without being close to traffic. If that is possible, change the tire as you normally would. Remember, safety must take precedence over your schedule or whatever other concerns you may have.

However, when the car is beyond repair, it is best to get professional help. Do not try to flag down other vehicles. Raise your hood and tie something white to the radio antenna or hang it out a window so police officers or tow truck operators will know help is needed. Don’t st and behind or next to your vehicle. If the car is in the roadway, st and away from the vehicle and wait for help to arrive.

If your car is safely out of traffic, wait inside the vehicle with the doors locked. Use your cellular phone to call for help. If someone stops and offers to help, open the window slightly and ask them to call the police.

Watch for a uniformed police officer or other emergency personnel. All interstate highways and major roads are patrolled regularly. Also, some highways have special “call-for-help” phones.

It is inadvisable to walk on an interstate, especially during inclement weather. However, if you can reach a source of help on foot, without jeopardizing your physical or personal safety, try the direct approach by walking. Keep as far from traffic as possible and walk on the right side of the roadway. Never attempt to cross a multi-lane, high speed
roadway.

Information and recommendations are compiled from sources believed to be reliable. The National Safety Council makes no guarantee as to and assumes no responsibility for the correctness, sufficiency or completeness of such information or recommendations. Other or additional safety measures may be required under particular circumstances.  

Source: National Safety Council, “What To Do If Your Car Breaks Down On The Highway” nsc.org website. Accessed October 14, 2014. http://www.nsc.org/news_resources/Resources/Documents/What_to_Do_If_Your_Car_Breaks_Down_on_the_Highway.pdf

© Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. This content is strictly for informational purposes and although experts have prepared it, the reader should not substitute this information for professional insurance advice. If you have any questions, please consult your insurance professional before acting on any information presented. Read more.

Tire Safety: Everything Rides On It

flat-tire-76563_640Studies of tire safety show that maintaining proper tire pressure, observing tire and vehicle load limits (not carrying more weight in your vehicle than your tires or vehicle can safely h andle), avoiding road hazards, and inspecting tires for cuts, slashes, and other irregularities are the most important things you can do to avoid tire failure such as tread separation or blowout and flat tires. These actions along with other care and maintenance activities can also:

– Improve vehicle h andling;
– Help protect you and others from avoidable breakdowns and crashes;
– Improve fuel economy; and
– Increase the life of your tires.

This booklet presents a comprehensive overview of tire safety, including information on the following topics:

– Basic tire maintenance;
– Uniform Tire Quality Grading System;
– Fundamental characteristics of tires; and
– Tire safety tips.

arrow Booklet in English pdf arrow Booklet in Spanish pdf

Use this information to make tire safety a regular part of your vehicle maintenance routine. Recognize that the time you spend is minimal compared with the inconvenience and safety consequences of a flat tire or other tire failure.

For more information, call 888-327-4236

 

Source: NHTSA, “Tire Safety: Everything Rides On It” http://www.nhtsa.gov website. Accessed August 5, 2014. http://www.nhtsa.gov/Vehicle+Safety/Tires/Tire+Safety:+Everything+Rides+On+It

© Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. This content is strictly for informational purposes and although experts have prepared it, the reader should not substitute this information for professional insurance advice. If you have any questions, please consult your insurance professional before acting on any information presented. Read more.

What to Do If You Have a Blowout on the Highway

Having a flat tire when driving is always a problem. But experiencing a flat or blowout while traveling on an interstate highway or other high-speed roadway can present special dangers. The National Safety Council offers these tips for coping with tire trouble:

• At the first sign of tire trouble, grip the steering wheel firmly.
• Don’t slam on the brakes.
• Let the car slow down gradually by taking your foot off the gas pedal.
• Work your vehicle toward the breakdown lane or, if possible, toward an exit.
• If it is necessary to change lanes, signal your intentions to drivers behind and do so smoothly and carefully, watching your mirrors and the traffic around you very closely.
• Steer as your vehicle slows down. It is better to roll the car off the roadway (when you have slowed to 30 miles per hour) and into a safe place than it is to stop in traffic and risk a rear-end or side collision from other vehicles.
• When all four wheels are off the pavement—brake lightly and cautiously until you stop.
• Turn your emergency flashers on.
• It’s important to have the car well off the pavement and away from traffic before stopping, even if proceeding to a place of safety means rolling along slowly with the bad tire flapping. You can drive on a flat if you take it easy and avoid sudden moves. Don’t worry about damaging the tire. It is probably ruined anyway.
• Once off the road, put out reflectorized triangles behind your vehicle to alert other drivers. Keep your emergency flashers on. If you know how to change a tire, have the equipment and can do it safely without being near traffic, change the tire as you normally would.
• Remember that being safe must take precedence over your schedule or whatever other concerns you may have. Changing a tire with traffic whizzing past can be nerve-wracking at best and dangerous at worst. Therefore, it may be best to get professional help if you have a tire problem or other breakdown on a multi-lane highway.
• Raise your hood and tie something white to the radio antenna or hang it out a window so police officers or tow truck operators will know that you need help.
• Don’t st and behind or next to your vehicle. If possible, st and away from the vehicle and wait for help to arrive.
• All interstate highways and major roads are patrolled regularly. Also, some highways have special “call-for-help” phones. If you have a cell phone you can call right from the roadside. It is inadvisable to walk on a multi-lane highway. However, if you can see a source of help and are able to reach it on foot, try the direct approach by walking but keeping as far from traffic as possible.

These are the most important things to remember when dealing with a flat tire on the highway:

• Don’t stop in traffic.
• Get your vehicle completely away from the roadway before attempting to change a tire.
• Tackle changing a tire only if you can do so without placing yourself in danger.
• Finally, the Council recommends that you have a qualified mechanic check your vehicle after having a flat tire to be sure there is no residual damage from the bad tire or the aftermath of the flat.

Source: National Safety Council, “What to Do If You Have a Blowout on the Highway” http://www.nsc.gov website. Accessed August 5, 2014. http://www.nsc.org/news_resources/Resources/Documents/What_to_Do_If_You_Have_a_Blowout_on_the_Highway.pdf

© Copyright 2014 intouch Business, Inc. All rights reserved. Certain names and articles used with permission of owners. Trade names mentioned herein are owned by third parties.

Be Tire Wise

Be TireWise!


Tire Tread

Be TireWise, because the only thing between you and the road are your tires.

Yearly estimates back up that statement. On average:

  • Drivers in the United States put more than 2,969 billion miles on their tires,
  • There are nearly 11,000 tire-related crashes, and
  • Almost 200 people will die in those crashes.

Many of these crashes can be prevented through proper tire maintenance—including tire inflation and rotation— and underst anding tire labelstire aging, and recalls and complaints.

Because safety is our top priority, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation want to make sure you have the tools to avoid being in one of those 11,000 crashes. TireWise is your resource to help you make smart decisions to keep you and your family safe, whether you’re in the market to buy new tires or want to extend the life and safety of the ones on your car or truck.

TireWise is also a resource for tire manufacturers, sellers and other partners to provide essential information to consumers for choosing and caring for their tires.


Tips on tire inflation  and rotation

The next time you’re in the garage, remember these h andy tips to get the most out of your tires.

Source: NHTSA, “Be Tire Wise” http://www.safercar.gov website. Accessed August 5, 2014. http://www.safercar.gov/tires/index.html

© Copyright 2014 intouch Business, Inc. All rights reserved. Certain names and articles used with permission of owners. Trade names mentioned herein are owned by third parties.

Video: Car Breakdown Safety

Video-jpg_CarBreakdownSafetyVideoBreaking down on a busy road can be dangerous and every year people are hurt or even killed while repairing their cars or waiting for assistance. Follow these simple guidelines to prevent such roadside risks.

See Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Go1_BWXFSac

Spokespersons: Lon Anderson, American Automobile Association; Sgt. Greg Vanleer, Virginia State Police.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, “Car Breakdown Safety” iihs.org website. Accessed June 2, 2014. http://www2.iii.org/video/car-breakdown-safety.html

© Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. This content is strictly for informational purposes and although experts have prepared it, the reader should not substitute this information for professional insurance advice. If you have any questions, please consult your insurance professional before acting on any information presented. Read more.

Car Breakdown Safety

Transportation_CarBreakDownIf you are in an accident or your car breaks down, safety should be your first concern. Getting out of the car at a busy intersection or on a highway to change a tire or check damage from a fender bender is probably one of the worst things you can do. The Insurance Information Institute recommends the following precautions when your car breaks down:

  • Never get out of the vehicle to make a repair or examine the damage on a busy highway. Get the vehicle to a safe place before getting out. If you’ve been involved in an accident, motion the other driver to pull up to a safe spot ahead.
  • If you can’t drive the vehicle, it may be safer to stay in the vehicle and wait for help or use a cell phone to summon help. Under most circumstances st anding outside the vehicle in the flow of traffic is a bad idea.
  • Carry flares or triangles to use to mark your location once you get to the side of the road. Marking your vehicle’s location to give other drivers advance warning can be critical. Remember to put on your hazard lights!
  • In the case of a blowout or a flat tire, move the vehicle to a safer place before attempting a repair—even if it means destroying the wheel getting there. The cost of a tire, rim or wheel is minor compared to endangering your safety.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, “Car Breakdown Safety” iii.org website. Accessed June 2, 2014. http://www.iii.org/individuals/auto/lifesaving/breakdown/

© Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. This content is strictly for informational purposes and although experts have prepared it, the reader should not substitute this information for professional insurance advice. If you have any questions, please consult your insurance professional before acting on any information presented. Read more.

IN: What To Do If Your Car Breaks Down

Dear Valued Customer,

In this issue of “———————–” we focus on what to do if your car breaks down.

According to The Insurance Information Institute, getting out of the car at a busy intersection or on a highway to change a tire or check damage from a fender bender, is probably one of the worst things you can do.

Read on to find out what to do if your car breaks down or has a flat tire on the highway. Learn how to take care of your tires, what precautions you should take when your car breaks down, and much more.

We appreciate your continued business and look forward to serving you.

Kind regards,

 

Filing An Auto Insurance Claim: Five Steps

Insurance_ClaimFormFILING AN AUTO INSURANCE CLAIM

An auto accident is a terrible experience, but it’s important to gather all the necessary information in order to be able file your claim. Here are five steps to follow to make the claims process easier and quicker.

Filing An Auto Insurance Claim: Podcast

Source: Insurance Information Institute, “Filing an Auto Insurance Claim: Five Steps” iihs.org website. Accessed June 2, 2014. http://www2.iii.org/video/podcast-filing-an-auto-insurance-claim.html

© Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. This content is strictly for informational purposes and although experts have prepared it, the reader should not substitute this information for professional insurance advice. If you have any questions, please consult your insurance professional before acting on any information presented. Read more.