No one likes insurance scams, and you definitely wouldn’t want to fall for one.
If you’re in the market for a new car, you’ll of course need a good insurance policy. Per usual, the first course of action is to figure out what to do with your previous vehicle (assuming you have one).
There are usually four primary options available to you: trade the car in, sell it, junk it, or give it away (for instance, if you lived along the California coast, you could look for ways to ).
After considering your options, you can move forward with choosing a new vehicle and deciding what to do about your insurance policy. Stay with your current provider? Switch and get a new one? Either way, it’s crucial that you use this transitioning stage to re-examine your policy, identify any red flags, and learn more about the industry. There are many tricks that auto insurance companies use to avoid paying for claims, so the more educated you are about these types of tricks, the better you’ll be able to react if you’re being targeted.
With that in mind, here are three sneaky auto insurance tactics to keep an eye out for:
1) Outrageous Claim Denials
The auto insurance industry is riddled with outrageous claim denial stories. In these cases, a person who deserves to receive funds for medical expenses or other claims are denied for ridiculous reasons. There’s a reason for this. Although all auto insurance companies have a public-facing side that frames their company as on the side of their policyholders, the truth is that many companies reward their employees for their ability to deny claims and sneak their way out of paying for claims rightfully. In fact, Tom Wilson, the CEO of AllState, was as saying, “Our obligation is to earn a return for our shareholders.”
One of the most famous examples of outrageous claim denials is the , who was wound up in a coma for 9 days after a bad car accident. After she came out of her coma, not only was she confined to a wheelchair, but awoke to an incredibly high medical bill. As she worked to get her bill paid for through her insurance agency, she was shockingly denied because Farmers Insurance claimed that the other driver hit her intentionally, and therefore she was not actually involved in an “accident.”
This case exploded in the media, and Farmers Insurance eventually paid out the claim after much public outcry. If you ever find yourself in a similar position, the best thing to do is to try and get as much exposure as you can; talk about it on social media, encourage others to share it, and call up your local newspapers and television stations.
2) Delay Policy Claims
Delaying policy claims is the one of the oldest tricks in the auto insurance book. With this tactic, the auto insurance company purposely delays a claim in the hopes that the policyholder will simply give up. And there are many different ways auto insurance companies will delay a claim. They might leave the policy holder on the phone for hours at a time, giving them the runaround.
One insurance company, Conesco, who bundled auto and life insurance policies, received bad press when they started sending the wrong forms to their policyholders, forcing them past the deadline. One profiled the story of Mary Rose Derks, who was denied her claims to move into an assisted living home multiple times, each time for a different reason.
“Interviews by The New York Times and confidential depositions indicate that some long-term-care insurers have developed procedures that make it difficult — if not impossible — for policyholders to get paid,” the article states. “A review of more than 400 of the thousands of grievances and lawsuits filed in recent years shows elderly policyholders confronting unnecessary delays and overwhelming bureaucracies. In California alone, nearly one in every four long-term-care claims was denied in 2005, according to the state.”
3) Too Much Fine Print
Like every other agreement you might sign, there’s a lot to be said in the fine print. And unfortunately, the majority of people don’t read the fine print… ever. In fact, one found that 91% of Americans agree to the Terms of Service without ever actually reading it. And the fine print can completely ruin your claim and hurt your ability to take care of yourself and your property after an accident.
It’s important to go through the fine print in your policy, and to stay up to date with any changes that may occur in your policy. If you have legal representation, have them take a look at it and point out any potential issues that may arise.
Top 5 Tips For Buying The Perfect Car Cover
Your car protects you from the environment and other hazards; how about you return the favor?
So you own a pretty car and want it to look its best everyday and every hour. If the risk of environmental damage keeps you awake night, it’s time you became familiar with the world of car covers.
Car covers aren’t exactly the most glamorous car-related topic to discuss, but if you want to save thousands of dollars in damages caused by harsh weather, people, or pets, a car cover is a definite must-have.
Buying a car cover is fairly straightforward. You go to a vendor, select a cover best suited for your car, and you’re done… unless you own a luxury car. Things get a bit more complicated when dealing with luxury cars.
Covers come in all shapes and sizes and are made with different materials to provide different levels of protection. When you are the proud owner of an expensive car, having the right cover helps ensure the car stays in perfect shape for years to come. Hare a few important things to keep in mind when buying car covers.
- Never buy cheap — you’ll get what you pay for. If you have an expensive car, get a costly car cover that provides the right protection.
- Always purchase from a reputable car covers dealer. Make sure they are willing to help you if something goes wrong.
- Ask plenty of questions from the vendor such as what will happen if you run into a problem. Will they help you out? How long have they been selling car covers? Where do they buy their car covers from? These questions will help you understand who you’re dealing with.
In addition to those pointers, make sure to consider the following five tips.
1. Understanding Your Needs
Now that you know how important it is to buy from a reputable car cover dealer, it is now time to understand what your real needs are. Will you be protecting your car for the long term? Is the cover just to protect from winter or summer, or both? What kind of vehicle do you have?
Car covers come in different shape and sizes and they are to provide different protection levels. Ideally, you should know the difference between generic fit, tailored fit, and custom fit car covers. Let’s have a detailed look at these.
2. Custom Fit Car Covers
When buying a car cover for a luxury vehicle, such as a Mustang, you’ll need to focus all your attention on getting a custom fit car cover. Many vendors have ready to be bought and used, but it isn’t always the case for many other cars.
With custom fit car covers, the car cover vendor will use advanced technology to get the measurements of your ride and make a perfectly accurate cover for your car. You can even pick the type of material you want the cover to be made off.
3. Car Covers For Large Vehicles
Not everyone owns a sedan, and an increasing number of us love large vehicles like SUVs and pickup trucks. Many vendors have that fit most big vehicles, but if you have a custom truck or SUV, you may want to look into custom fit covers.
Once again, with custom fit covers, a car cover manufacturer or dealer will take measurements of your car and let you pick the material to make the cover from. Make sure to pick the material that best protects your car in your given region.
4. Heavy Duty Car Covers
Developed primarily for environments that experience intense sun or snow throughout the year, heavy duty car covers are ideal for protecting your car from UV rays and heavy snow fall. These covers are made with special outdoor car cover material and offer the best protection money can buy.
5. Sun Covers For Cars
As the name suggests, these premium car covers are designed to protect your car from harsh sun rays no matter how hot the day gets. If you live in a region with very hot weather, you may consider buying a . They are made with special outdoor car cover material and usually come with a minimum of 5-6 years of warranty.
Car covers are crucial in keeping your car safe from environmental damages. Whether your car is parked in a garage, or out in the sun, with a cover over it, you will minimize any potential damages are minimized, saving you thousands of dollars in the process. Never overlook the importance of a car cover.
Have any questions or additional tips? Let is know in the comments below.
Hate Road Kill? Here’s How To Avoid Hitting A Deer With Your Car
Long considered innocent creatures of the wild, deer have become a dangerous force to be reckoned with for motorists.
Many of us have experienced it — you know, minding your business while driving, then suddenly encountering several deer standing on the side of the road and hoping that none dart out in front of your car.
As the deer populations grow and urban habitats continue to encroach upon their environments, there has been an increase in deer-car collisions, with a significant number resulting in fatalities. In fact, over 1 million people hit a deer every year in the United States alone, and the estimates that the average deer collision costs approximately $3,510 in damages.
Needless to say, you don’t want to hit a deer and the clueless creatures don’t want to be hit by you, so it’s important to educate yourself on why they run onto the road and how to avoid hitting one.
Why Did The Deer Cross The Road?
During “The rut”, male deer, also known as “bucks” (the kind with antlers), follow around does, waiting for them to go into heat. And when the does are eventually become ready to mate, the bucks become extremely reckless. A deer who would normally hide in thick brush all day may be out following and chasing does around.
Deer travel in herds. If you see one, you can bet there’s another nearby. There could be two, three, or even fifteen. You might be surrounded by deer and not know it.
It’s also important to note that the eyes of deer operate differently than ours. Have you heard of the deer stuck in the headlights? When blasted by headlights, Bambi and friends actually become “frozen” for several seconds until their eyes adjust, making them prime targets for a collision.
Avoiding Deer-Related Accidents
If a deer runs into the path of your car, slow down and do not swerve into oncoming traffic to evade it. You won’t be able to avoid the deer and likely end up hitting a guardrail or tree instead, causing more injuries.
You are actually better off hitting the deer and very likely to survive the collision if you keep the car straight in its lane. Braking firmly and releasing the brake just before the impact causes the nose of your car to come back up, reducing the chance of the deer smashing into your windshield.
Be on the lookout for deer during “the rut” and when , which is usually at night around dawn and dusk, and from 12:00 – 2:00 AM. You are also more likely to encounter deer from mid-October to mid-January in most areas in the US and Canada.
Finally, make sure to pay special attention to deer crossing signs in areas where the antelopes cohabit and avoid distractions like eating or texting while driving.
Drive Safely And Responsibly
According to , Pennsylvanians have more accidents with deer than any other state. However, according to , you’re most likely to hit a deer in West Virginia, where 1 in 64 drivers will hit a deer.
Remember, your insurance will cover deer related accidents, and it’s your responsibility not to injure other drivers even if an animal runs into the path of your car. If you see a deer, slow down and keep the car straight — you’re very likely to survive the accident this way if you do hit the deer.
6 Ways To Avoid Getting Your Driver’s Licence Suspended
Driving is a privilege, not a right, and there are many ways you can lose that privilege.
Having your license suspended can put you in the serious predicament of not being able to drive and having to rely on public transportation or other people to commute to and from work, run errands, and just get around. If you don’t want to find yourself in this situation, avoid getting your driver’s licence suspended by following the laws and behaving appropriately.
Here are six of the best ways to avoid a suspended license and maintain your driving privileges.
1. Don’t Cause Accidents
Most fender bender accidents will not result in a suspended license; however, if you are responsible for a serious accident that causes injury or death, and if the accident was due to driver negligence, your license may be suspended.
Doing everything in your power to avoid all accidents, serious or otherwise, will keep you from having a suspended license. This means paying attention to everything you’re doing while behind the wheel and taking all necessary precautions to stay safe. Follow the rules of the road, and don’t let yourself drive distracted.
2. Don’t Drive Under The Influence
If you are caught driving under the influence of any prohibited substance, be it narcotics or too much alcohol, your license could be suspended. The national blood alcohol level you cannot exceed is .08, and this means different amounts of alcohol for different people.
Never get being the wheel of any car if you feel at all buzzed, not unless you deliberately want to cause injury or death to yourself or someone else, which would be downright immoral. Here are several key ways driving under the influence can get your license suspended:
- Refusing to perform a sobriety test when pulled over
- Refusing to give blood or urine samples for testing
- Positive test results for legal, illegal, or prescription drugs that could cause you to be under the influence
- Being convicted of a DUI or DWI
to find out more about driving under the influence.
3. Don’t Drive Recklessly
Traffic laws exist for a reason, and it’s not so you could drive recklessly. However, should you get caught driving recklessly , rest assured your license may be suspended.
Driving recklessly refers to driving in an aggressive manner that could put you or other drivers at risk. Examples include driving at high speeds, aggressively swerving in and out of traffic, tailgating, and driving on the shoulders of the roads.
The more serious your reckless driving, the more likely you will get your license suspended. Instead of putting yourself or anyone else at risk, make it habit to follow the rules of the road, especially the posted speed limits.
4. Always Pay Your Fines
If you receive any sort of fine, such as a traffic fine, a civil penalty, tolls, or a speeding ticket, you must pay them. Failing to so could result in the courts suspending your license.
Always take fines seriously, making sure to pay them in full and in a timely fashion. In some states, a court can suspend your license for refusal to pay other fees or dues, such as child support, so make sure to familiarize yourself with the full extent of the laws that apply to you.
5. Keep Your Car Insurance Current
The law stipulates that you must have car insurance before you can drive. If you are ever caught driving without car insurance or with expired insurance, your licence could be suspended until the issue regarding the insurance is resolved.
With so many out there, you are bound to find one that fits your needs and budget. If you don’t have insurance, don’t get behind the wheel of a car and put yourself at risk of losing your licence.
6. Show Up To Court
If you received a traffic violation that requires you to show up to court, be sure to show up. Missing your court date will likely end with your license becoming suspended.
You will receive multiple communications regarding your court date, so be sure to read them carefully and mark down all relvant dates in a calendar. You should also let someone else know so they can remind you about the date and ensure you show up.