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Parents of Teen Drivers – Safety Tips

Girl DrivingEvery year the number of teen driver related accidents goes up. Sadly this leads to an increased death rate for drivers under the age of 18. It has been reported that teens are three times as likely to be involved in fatal car accidents than all other drivers in the United States.

There are many reasons why teens are at a greater risk and they all mostly come down to maturity. Parts of the brain that control our judgement ability and inhibition aren’t fully developed until a person reaches their mid twenties. Drivers are more inclined to act impulsively without concern of consequences (judgement) when driving down the road. Most teens feel invincible and don’t stop to think that their actions could easily harm others or themselves.

Parents can be a huge influence over their teenager when it comes to driving, whether they think they are listening or not. Typically the vehicle actually belongs to the parent and is their responsibility. Teaching your children that driving is a privilege is important and it can be revoked at any given time. Having regular “talks” with your teen, or even having them sign a written “contract”, can help establish the ground rules and consequences for misbehavior.

Cellphones have become a huge issue with drivers of all ages. Teenagers are at the most risk due to their high usage of texting. Teach your children that any text can wait and that their phone should stay in their pocket or purse until they reach their destination.

Drinking and driving is also a big concern for many parents. Teens aren’t oblivious to the dangers of driving while intoxicated but it still happens. Installing a back up plan with your child, if they were to get in a situation where they needed a ride is crucial to keeping your teenager safe.

Keeping the communication line between you and your driving teenager is extremely important. Teenagers are very impressionable and often follow by example. If you do not have any children, but you know teens, express your feelings on the subject and share your safe driving tips and tricks.

After Accident Checklist

accidentLet’s say you’ve been in a car accident, big or small, what do you do first? Car accidents can get pretty chaotic, even if it’s just a minor fender bender. Following the basic steps lined out below can help make filing your insurance claim fun as smoothly as possible.

Safety first. Before thinking about car insurance, take a minute to make sure everyone involved is safe. If there are any injuries call an ambulance immediately. Make sure your cars are out of harms way, and if they are still running, move them off to the shoulder or a safe area. Stay calm, getting upset can only make the situation worse.

Get off the Road. If the accident is a minor fender bender it is okay to move the cars off to the side of the road. If your vehicle will not move, or it will cause further damage to move it, leave it where it is and get to a safer area. Once you’re in a safe area it is okay to start gathering information from the other driver.

Get the driver’s information. Speak to the other driver involved in the accident. Make sure they are okay, but be careful what you say.  Admitting fault and other parts of your conversation could be used against you when insurance companies get involved. Your car insurance company will need the other driver’s information to start processing your claim.  Here are some of the key things about the other driver to write down somewhere:

  • Full Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Year, Make Model of their Vehicle and their License Plate Number
  • Their Insurance Company Name and Policy Number

It can also be helpful to take photos of the damage done to your vehicle, their vehicle, the location where it happened and a picture of the people involved with the accident.  If the accident was larger and there were other “witnesses” to the accident, get their information if possible too.  If there was a police officer involved with the accident get their information and the police report number if applicable.

Beautiful happy woman driving her car in the eveningAfter you have gathered all the information you should be able to start the claim process. Call your insurance company immediately and start your claim.  With the right car insurance policy, filing a claim should be pretty fast and easy. Your insurance agent should be able to help you figure everything out and get you back on the road soon.

 

Home Insurance – What You Need to Know

Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t just safeguard your home against physical damages or theft, it helps you feel safe and secure in your home. When disaster strikes, building the stability and peace back in your home should be your main priority, let your homeowner’s insurance policy take care of the physical damages and money.

What does your homeowner’s insurance policy cover?
Most home insurance policies cover property damages caused by storms, fire, theft and vandalism. Most home owner’s insurance policies also cover the costs of legal and medical fees if someone were to get hurt on your property and even if they take legal action against you. It’s important to know what your insurance policy covers and what limits there are as well as deductible amounts.

What DOESN’T your homeowner’s insurance policy cover?
Most basic insurance companies do not supply coverage for damages caused by “earth movements” which include landslides, earthquakes and even sinkholes. They also often do not cover damages from wars, nuclear attacks, and even flooding. If you’re in a “flood zone” you may be required to purchase additional flood insurance coverage in addition to your homeowner’s insurance. If you believe your home is at risk for any of these uncovered situations it would be wise to consult an insurance agent to get a quote on additional insurance coverage policies.

Do not wait to file a claim.
When shopping around for a policy, always ask about the time limits required to report a claim and make sure you write them down and follow them. For many policies, if you wait too long, you may not be covered. Depending on what the problem was, you may have only a few days or weeks to complete the claim. Make sure you contact your insurance company as soon as you can to make sure the damages will be covered.

Bundle your insurance policies if you can.
If you’re looking to save money on your homeowner’s insurance, look and see if it is possible to have your other policies bundled with the same company. Most insurance companies give discounts to policy holders that  have multiple policies with their company.

Outerspace Coverage

Alien 3We’ve all watched movies and TV shows where aliens invade and try to take over. They usually end up in a huge battle where explosions and chaos are everywhere. The aftermath is typically a good outcome for earth, but they’re left with a huge mess to clean up. Destroyed buildings and cars everywhere.

Most of us don’t fear alien invasions on a daily basis. The idea does some very far fetched and impossible. There is, however, a more realistic threat from outer space than many don’t realize, and it happens more often than you think it would. Meteors have fallen out of the sky and caused damage to homes, buildings and cars. Every year it is estimated that 78 thousand tons fall into earths atmosphere.

meteor_1414384cAs we saw with a small town in Russia, a large meteor struck the earth and caused property damage totaling over $44 million. So you may ask yourself, would my home and car be covered if this were to happen in my neighborhood?

Most Americans with good home owner’s insurance policies can relax. Most homeowner’s policies cover “falling objects”, which would include meteorites. The amount of coverage depends on the limits you have agreed to in your policy.

What about my car? Well, that all depends on your comprehensive insurance amounts in your car insurance policy. Most comprehensive policies cover damage caused by meteors or other falling objects, but of course you’ll have to pay your deductible.

So are you prepared for outer space attacks on earth? Talk to an experienced car insurance and homeowner’s insurance agent at Vern Fonk today to make sure your home and car are covered for all of the unexpected.