Category Archives: Vehicle Damage

How To Prepare Your Vehicle For Winter

Utica National, one of our insurance providers, has provided us with some safety tips to share with you on how to prepare your vehicles for the winter. We hope you take these tips seriously and put them to use before the winter hits us. Your safety is our concern, especially when operating a motor vehicle. So please take the time to read the preparation steps below and get yourself ready for the hazardous roads that come with the cold weather.car tips

Seniors at the Wheel – Will their auto insurance rates change?

Seniors are referred to as drivers over the age of 65—some of whom are still very active and many of whom are continuing members of the work force.  Decreases in vision, hearing, slower motor responses, and changes in cognition have been said to challenge this demographic as they grow older.

Did you ever think that with more of the population aging, they might be doing a better job of acknowledging their limitations? Some seniors I spoke with tell me that they no longer drive at night because it is harder to see and they are not as sharp as they are during the morning hours. Others tell me that they stay out of rush hour and start their days later and end them earlier so that they can avoid heavily traveled roads, especially in inclement weather. Still others advise that they stay off major thoroughfares, and instead drive on side streets and roadways they have driven on all their lives. With the baby boomers fast approaching their 70’s what can we expect?  Will their auto insurance rates go up or down?  Is it possible that seniors can be said to be driving more cautiously with fewer accidents?  Could it be safer roads, reduced speeds, traffic conditions, safer vehicles, the use of seatbelts, daytime running lights, or even the lengthening of daylight savings time in some areas of the country?  The fact is that over the past decade it is reported that fatality rates for senior drivers have come down more dramatically than for any other age group.   For this reason, auto rates for the age group of 65-75 have decreased in many states with many carriers simply due to the claim statistics.

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Most of all, it is reported that older drivers actually drive fewer miles per year than their younger counterparts.  Some insurance carriers also take this into consideration when calculating rates for the senior demographics.  Of course, we haven’t yet gotten to the point where the “baby boomers” are over 75 years of age. That will take a few more years and it should be interesting to watch the results in insurance rates for this demographic.

It is important that seniors realize their driving ability can change as they age even though they may have been driving their entire life with an excellent safety record.  In order to continue to drive safely, it is crucial for seniors to recognize that changes can happen and to regularly assess their driving skills.

 

By Karen Skolar, CPCU

Which Insurance Policies Get Triggered In The Event Of A Flood?

During a recent rain storm in New York, some portions of Suffolk County received up to 13 inches in a very short time when a weather system stalled. The results: road closures, sink holes, flooded businesses, basements and cars.

How can insurance policies be expected to respond to such damages?

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AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE:

Comprehensively, a physical damage coverage can provide some relief if your vehicle is damaged by flood. However, there are limitations depending on the type of coverage purchased, the proximate cause of a loss, and the steps you take to safeguard the vehicle afterwards.

 

PROPERTY POLICIES:

Usually for property and business owners flood coverage is not provided under Homeowner’s, Businessowner’s or Package policies. Should Flood coverage be included, it is usually for limited amounts or in the form of a Water Back Up Endorsement.

FLOOD INSURANCE-Your best form of protection:

Flood insurance is the best safeguard against damages and destruction caused by:

  • overflow of navigable waters
  • mud slides
  • unusual and rapid accumulation of surface water
  • runoff water
  • collapse and subsidence caused by erosion
  • Super Storms such as “Sandy”

As with any exposure to loss, we strongly urge you to discuss your concerns with your agent or broker before something happens and find out the best way to protect your assets and your family.

By: Karen Skoler, CPCU

Ask Sherri – Animal Vehicle Damage

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Dear Sherri: If an animal you have causes damage to your vehicle, will the collision cover it? If so, is it a chargeable accident?— Pestered in New York

Dear Pestered in New York: Great question! In New York, damages caused to your vehicle by an animal would be covered, but not under the collision coverage of your policy, but under the comprehensive coverage subject to your deductible. If your best friend, Fido, decides to chew on your new Corinthian leather seats like last week’s newspaper, you can make a claim. Comprehensive auto coverage also provides benefits when you have a collision with a deer or other animal. Also, if you have a picnic basket in your car Yogi Bear breaks and totally destroys the interior; your policy will cover that as well.

In response to the second part of your question; Comprehensive claims are not chargeable, however most companies are now tiered so depending on the number of incidents you have, your company could change your tier, which could result in a higher premium.

So while these things are covered by your insurance, Ask Sherri recommends you keep Fido under control, buy him his own chew-toy, and take the picnic basket with you!