Safety Tips for Women

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Women’s self defense is becoming a very important topic as well as avoiding any compromising situation.

Here are some safety tips for women while you are out and about.

1. Be Aware: Be aware if your surroundings and avoid areas where you could be a target. Criminals like to choose targets who appear unaware of what is going on around them.

2, Trust your gut: Avoid a person or situation that does not “feel” safe. Use your womanly intuition to its full advantage with this.

3. Self-Defense Training: Martial Arts is not necessarily the way to go unless you want to train in traditional martial arts techniques. Choose a self defense program that that simulates assaults and trains accordingly.

4. Escape: If you can the best option when sure of eminent danger is to run and scream for help to attract attention. Get away from alleys, dark places and locations where crimes could more easily occur.

5. Fight Back: No matter if you do your best to follow all the above tips, if you find yourself in a physical confrontation. It is your legal right to defend yourself. Whether you have had self defense training or not, statistically your odds of survival are greater when you fight back. Aim for the eyes first and the groin second. The element of surprise is your greatest advantage and chance to get away.

6. Other Tips: When avoiding possible home, car or travel situation that are unsafe, here are some things to keep in mind. For homes or hotels, do not open the door unless you know the person on the other side or can verify that the person on the other side has a legitimate reason for being there. Most car-jacking occurs at intersections when vehicles are stopped so keep doors locked and on the look out.

Make this a Part of your Trip Planning: What to do if you need your car towed out of State

If you are on your way out of town or on vacation, you may want to make a plan for if something happens to your car while you are out of town whether an accident or having car problems that make your vehicle not drivable. There are few questions your will want to make sure you can answer so as to not let an event like this ruin your trip.

Does my insurance company cover towing? What would you do if you were unable to drive your vehicle and were in another state? Would you rent a car? Would you have the vehicle repaired locally or towed home for repairs?

The above questions are answered two fold, you can consult your policy or agent to answer some of these questions and for some you will need a plan.
You can find out on your insurance policy if you have rental. One thing you may want to make sure if that you have rental limits that cover a rental comparable to what you are driving. For example, if you are driving a minivan, make sure your rental limits are not only adequate for a sedan.
Auto Policies do typically cover a tow if a vehicle is disabled due to an accident. However, it generally covers only a reasonable tow, which is considered by most insurance companies to be up to 50 miles. However, 200 miles is not customary or reasonable so you may be responsible for additional miles or fees associated with a long distance tow.

This is where your planning comes into play. You would want to weigh the cost and benefits of have it repaired locally or transporting the vehicle back home. If the repairs may take longer than the scheduled amount of time out of town you want to include such costs as (returning to the location, fuel, loss of income, lodging etc…) If you are considering having your vehicle transported home for repairs consider companies that specialize in this rather than a towing service. In most cases it is more economical having the vehicle transported home than returning to retrieve the vehicle from the out of town location and expenses associated.

They are called accidents for a reason, they happen and are not something we plan on. But they do not have ruin a trip or vacation if you have a plan to handle this situation should an incident occur.

Make this a Part of your Trip Planning: What to do if you need your vehicle towed and you are out of state

If you are on your way out of town or on vacation. You may want to make a plan for if something happens to your car while you are out of town whether an accident or having car problems that make your vehicle not drivable. There are few questions your will want to make sure you can answer so as to not let an event like this ruin your trip.

Does my insurance company cover towing? What would you do if you were unable to drive your vehicle and were in another state? Would you rent a car? Would you have the vehicle repaired locally or towed home for repairs?

The above questions are answered two fold, you can consult your policy or agent to answer some of these questions and for some you will need a plan.
You can find out on your insurance policy if you have rental. One thing you may want to make sure if that you have rental limits that cover a rental comparable to what you are driving. For example, if you are driving a minivan, make sure your rental limits are not only adequate for a sedan.
Auto Policies do typically cover a tow if a vehicle is disabled due to an accident. However, it generally covers only a reasonable tow, which is considered by most insurance companies to be up to 50 miles. However, 200 miles is not customary or reasonable so you may be responsible for additional miles or fees associated with a long distance tow.

This is where your planning comes into play. You would want to weigh the cost and benefits of have it repaired locally or transporting the vehicle back home. If the repairs may take longer than the scheduled amount of time out of town you want to include such costs as (returning to the location, fuel, loss of income, lodging etc…) If you are considering having your vehicle transported home for repairs consider companies that specialize in this rather than a towing service. In most cases it is more economical having the vehicle transported home than returning to retrieve the vehicle from the out of town location and expenses associated.

They are called accidents for a reason, they happen and are not something we plan on. But they do not have ruin a trip or vacation if you have a plan to handle this situation should an incident occur.

How to Offset some of the Insurance Costs of Adding a New Driver

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Parents of young drivers know all to well the costs around getting a new driver on the road. Due to inexperience and increased numebr of driving mistakes when starting, insuring these drivers with their new found driving freedom  are costly.

So there are a few things you can do to set up your insurance rates to be as low as possible for this scenario.

Good Student- Most insurance companies offer a discount to students with a cetain grad point average or ranked in a certain percentage of their class. To get this discount most will require school transcripts or report card.

Choose the right car– If the young driver is going to have his/her own vehicle. Choose a car with high safety ratings, not a flashy sports car. This will keep the teen driver safe as well as save on premium.

Driver Training Courses- Many insurance carriers offer discounts for drivers both teen as well as adults who take defensive driving and other driver safety courses.

Low Mileage Options- This one is not just specifically for new drivers, but can help with this as well. Most young drivers do not put mileage of a commute on the vehicle the driver. Track or limit mileage usage to find out if low mileage can be assigned to their vehicle to trim down rates.

Add to Your Policy- Young drivers, both teens and college age, generally receive better rates if added to their parents policy and not separate.

Stress Being a good driver- Lead by example and stress the importance of distraction-free driving. Set ground rules of behaviors that are and are not allowed in their vehicle. Good driving not only ensures their safety but also keeps premiums from sky rocketing due to driving mistakes.

Although these discounts may not completely offset the costs, they can help take the sting out of adding the new driver your policy. Keep these things in mind if you have or will soon have a new driver on your policy.

 

Buckle Up!

Buckling up on every ride is one of the most important things you can do for family safety and in the car, the most important thing you can do.

Also as important as buckling up is making sure everyone in the car is buckled up properly.

Children: 

  • Babies, Infants and toddlers should stay in rear facing and forward facing car seat until they have reached the maximum height and weight limits. For rear facing this is normally under 2 years of age. Forward facing car seats are generally for children age 2-4, but this all depends on recommended height and weight. Check into this, do not simply move your child to a booster because the child turned 4. Sometimes they can still be too small. Also check directions on each car seat for proper installation into the vehicle.
  • When transitioning from the booster to the seat belt, make sure to complete the SAFETY BELT FIT TEST. Be sure your child is ready by using this test. Your child’s kneews should bend at the edge of the seat with backs and bottoms against the vehicle seat back. The vehicle strap should fit across upper thighs and the shoulder belt should fit across the shoulder and chest.
  • Kids using seatbelts begins normally between 8-12. Again this depends on height and weight.
  • Kids are considered VIP-so kids should keep the back seat until they are 13.

Parent/Adults: 

  • When adults wear seat belts, kids wear seat belts. So set am example to buckle up on every ride.
  • Make sure everyone is buckled up and the kids have on bother the shoulder and lap belts.
  • Make sure children are sitting upright as is makes a huge difference for safety.
  • Seat belts can the difference between life and death for everyone in the car, so buckle up!

 

10 Costliest States for Auto and Homeowner’s Insurance

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Ever wondered the most expensive places to live and insure your home and autos? The National Association of Insurance Commissioners(NAIC) have conduced studies in both these categories and come up with a list of the top 10 costliest places to insure your home or auto which will be listed below.

AUTO- NAIC calculated average premiums from actuarial data  and several categories for claims with associated payout. The national average was $927.58 and all 10 of these states come in above that number.

HOME- NAIC also looked at this from homeowners insurance. There are a few components that go into this one. Some are real estate values, construction costs and the state of the economy. Of course, exposure to catastrophic losses are a big factor on this one. The average premium for homeowners is $ 1,034.

Now for the list, Autos will be list first, followed by homeowners states with the highest premiums.

10 Costliest States for Auto Insurance Premiums: 

10. Maryland, Average premium: $1,056.71

9. Connecticut, Average premium: $1,082.05

8. Delaware, Average premium: $1,153.59

7. Michigan, Average premium: $1,171.94

6. Rhode Island, Average premium: $1,176.01

5. Florida, Average premium: $1,196.02

4. New York, Average premium: $1,273.27

3. Louisiana, Average premium: $1,275.10

2. Washington D.C., Average premium: $1,289.49

1. New Jersey, Average premium: $1,334.54

10 Costliest States for Homeowners Insurance Premiums:

10. New York, Average homeowners annual premium: $1,158

9. Connecticut, Average homeowners annual premium: $1,160

8. Kansas, Average homeowners annual premium: $1,213

7. Rhode Island, Average homeowners annual premium: $1,233

6. Alabama, Average homeowners annual premium: $1,248

5. Mississippi, Average homeowners annual premium: $1,314

4. Oklahoma, Average homeowners annual premium: $1,501

3. Texas, Average homeowners annual premium: $1,551

2. Louisiana, Average homeowners annual premium: $1,742

1. Florida, Average homeowners annual premium: $2,084

10 Most Expensive Cars to Insure

To piggy-back off last week’s list of least expensive cars to insured, here is the list of most expensive cars to insure.

This is something to look at and equate into the total cost of the car if you are looking to purchase or one one of these listed below.

Not only are these sports cars expensive to purchase they are also expensive to insured. According to Insure.com who conducts the research going into these lists, these cars are both powerful and very expensive to repair. “They often combine parts made of carbon fiber and other exotic materials with expensive engines that can crank out 500 horsepower or more”, says Insure.com. These also often appeal to men, who usually face higher premiums.

Here is the list:

*Note the premiums listed are averaged and can vary widely depending on state.

10. Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG 4Matic Sedan, Average national premium: $2,972

15 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG 4Matic Sedan

9. Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG 4Matic Wagon,Average national premium: $3,042

15 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG 4Matic Wagon

 

8. BMW M6 Convertible, Average national premium: $3,115

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7. BMW 760Li, Average national premium: $3,147

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6. Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive, Average national premium: $3,174

15 Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive

5. Audi R8 5.2 Spyder Quattro, Average national premium: $3,206

15 Audi R8 5.2 Spyder Quattro

4. Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet, Average national premium: $3,216

15 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet

3. Dodge SRT Viper, Average national premium: $3,318

15 Dodge SRT Viper

2.  Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Convertible, Average national premium: $3,573

15 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Convertible

1.Nissan GT-R Nismo, Average national premium: $3,574

2015-Nissan GT-R Nismo

10 Least Expensive Cars to insure in 2015

This is the list from Insure.com for the top least expensive cars to insure. These are cars that are rated highly with parents and are unlikely to go 100mph. These cars appeal to parents which mean they come with lots of safety features that insurance companies like.

Cars with fewer claims and easy to repair have lower premiums for your family. While insure.com did extensive research across different insurance companies and vehicle types they do note that insurance costs for these vehicles can vary widely across states.

Here they are:

10. Ford Escape S 2WD,Average national premium: $1,190

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9. Smart FORTWO Pure two-door, Average national premium: $1,186

 

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8. Ford Edge SE 2WD, Average national premium: $1,176

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7. Subaru Outback 2.5i AWD PZEZ, Average national premium: $1,176

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6. Jeep Compass Sport 2WD, Average national premium: $1,164

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5. Honda Odyssey LX, Average national premium: $1,163

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4. Dodge Grand Caravan SE Plus 2WD, Average national premium: $1,162

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3. Honda CR-V LX 4WD, Average national premium: $1,160

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2. Jeep Patriot Sport 2WD, Average national premium: $1,136

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1. Jeep Wrangler Sport 4WD two-door, Average national premium: $1,134

2011 Jeep Wrangler Sport

Are drivers for Uber or Lyft covered? What Drivers Need to Know.

File illustration picture showing the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone next to the picture of an official German taxi sign

The question of coverage or who covers an accident in the event that one happens while driving for Uber or Lyft, is tricky.

While Uber and other “ride sharing” companies do not identify as taxis but rather a marketplaces where a driver offers services and users can get a ride. Insurance companies may not see it this way. Further more state governments are trying to decide how they view it as well and regulations will have to be looked at by state for insurance requirements and regulations. Keep in mind too that Uber and Lyft are still relatively young companies and  their policies and procedures are still evolving as far as supplemental insurance that they provide.

How does car insurance work for Uber and Lyft drivers? 

Despite the Lyft website describing their drivers as “a friend with a car”, auto insurance companies view them as commercial drivers. Ride Sharing companies have insurance policies(which have recently changed, so you may want to review) the companies describe the coverage as applying while the app is on. This refers to while you are transporting a passenger in your vehicle. The rest they say is covered by your personal auto policy.

But what about the “gap” where you are driving with the app on to pick up a passenger? That is the controversial gap or potential coverage gap that has sparked these articles and make it worth while for the driver to investigate if they are covered during this period.

So you are driving to pick up an Uber customer, yours and another vehicle collide and have a collision at an intersection on your way to pick up the customer. There are damages to the vehicles and a passenger of the other vehicle is claiming minor injuries. You  are the at fault driver. Who pays? You do not have a passenger in the car, so Uber would not pay. You have a personal auto insurance policy, but they consider “driving for pay” for be business use. Your policy does not specify business use nor it is a commercial policy. That is the question. this could be a possible coverage denial. Your insurance company may pay for this this but chances are they will cancel the policy at renewal.

Given a recent event in California where an Uber driver struck a minivan causing the fatality of a child, California now require Transportation Network Companies(TNC) to provide coverage up to certain limits for driver and vehicle from the moment the driver turns on their app. However, this is only one state and other states TNC’s have no such obligation.

So how do drivers protect themselves?

  • Contact your insurance agent or current provider to see how they handle claims turned in my TNC drivers and if coverage is provided.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance Policies can be purchased. But for part time drivers this may not be economical.
  • You might also check to see if there are local or state regulations in place for TNC drivers that require the TNC company to provide insurance. If that is case contact the company and have them send you proof of insurance to carry.
  • In the mean time you could push your state representative to create legislation to regulate TNC’s to provide coverage while driving for them. You could also let your insurance company know that you are in support of a hybrid personal/business commercial policy to be available for this driving scenario. There has been talk of this type of policy but it is yet to be seen and it is not known that the cost associated would be.

 

Ways to Avoid the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents

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The first step to preventing car accidents is to know the most common causes.

Here are some things to keep in mind while you travel whether is across the street or across the country in your car to prevent accidents or the common causes for them.

  • Distracted Driving– is the most common cause. This is using mobile devices, leaning down to pick something up off the floor, playing with the radio and other devices, conversations with passengers, and even eating breakfast on the way to work. To avoid this be sure that you eliminate distractions while driving, even though you cannot control what other drivers are doing.
  • Impaired Driving- It is common knowledge that it is dangerous to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is a major cause of roadway fatalities each year. The way to avoid is simple and not drive impaired, not just drugs or alcohol but also prescription drugs that impair your ability to drive safely.
  • Speeding- this is a dangerous road practice. While you may think that high speeds cause the most road fatalities, most actually occur in speed-related crashes on roads with a speed limit less than 55 mph. To avoid this always drive at a safe speed. This doesn’t always mean the speed limit if there are other conditions present such as rain or bad weather. Also avoid other speeders on the road including let them pass you.

Now that you know some of the common causes, keep these in mind to stay safe while you are driving.