I had a Car Accident – What Do I Do?

Having an accident is no joke. There are many accidents each year and sadly many die  because they were in a collision.  It is important for all drivers to understand just what they need to do if they have been involved in an accident large or small.

Auto Insurance MPLS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first thing to do is remain at the scene of the accident. Call the police as they will need to make a report of what happened. If you have a camera phone on you and you’re okay then consider taking some pictures. The police will do this as well so it is important to have enough evidence for your auto insurance claim.  Exchange insurance info and ask everyone involved in the accident for their information such as license plate number, driver’s license number, name, address and telephone number.

The second step is to get checked out by an EMT to make sure you’re okay. Many accident victims even those with minor injuries refuse to get medical treatment only to find out they have issues later.  You could be okay one minute and then drop dead the next. Your medical bills could be an issue if it isn’t documented as an accident related injury.

The third step is to go home and call your car insurance agent or  company. A claims representative is usually available 24 hours a day to talk to drivers and begin the claims process. Make sure to have your policy information readily available to help speed up the process.

The fourth step is to make a list of everything that happened. It is important to make notes while everything is fresh in your memory.  Once this is done, you can provide an accurate and clear statement for the insurance adjuster handling your claim.

The fifth step is to give an official statement to your adjuster. Do this as soon as you can to begin the claims process. It’s best to report an accident sooner than later if possible as stories can change.  Don’t just take the drivers word that they were at fault and will make it right.

The sixth step is to wait for the claims adjuster to begin to evaluate the claim. It usually takes about a week for a claims adjuster to get back to a driver about a claim. Be patient, especially if the car accident was serious. The adjuster will need to determine who was at fault and that can take a while in some situations. They generally try to recover your deductible if you were not at fault. Once the claim has been completed, a driver will receive their compensation check if the insurer feels that they are entitled to one. Once the check is cashed and no appeal is requested the claim is closed.

Always keep your auto insurance cab cards in your vehicle and up to date.

Contact Heninger Garrison Davis for auto accident injury claims in Birmingham or go to HornsbyWatson.com.

Related: Workers Compensation Lawyers Near Me.

Staying safe on the road during a hailstorm

It sounds surprising, but there are approximately 3,000 hailstorms in the United States each year. The size of hail can widely vary – from golf-ball size to softball size. And when it starts building up size, hail can cause not just severe property and vehicle damage, but also bodily harm and even death. On average, hailstorms annually cause over $1 billion in damage to property, approximately 1,500 injuries and 80 deaths annually.

Hail Damage

One of the most frightening places to be during a hailstorm is on the road in your car. Obviously your vehicle is at great risk of damage, but even more importantly, you are in danger in the event you can’t see well enough to drive or your windows are broken in by the power of the storm.

 

 

 

 

 

At Insurance Specialists Team, we want to ensure you, your loved ones, and your vehicle stay safe this hail season. Here are some pointers for navigating a hailstorm while on the roads in Minnesota.

 

  • It’s not a bad idea to have a blanket in your car at all times. It can help protect you from glass injuries in the event the hail breaks your windows  or windshield.
  • Turn on your low-beam headlights, and slow down.
  • Make sure you have more distance than usual in front of you so you have ample space to brake if necessary.
  • Turn on the local weather radio station to stay apprised of the status of storms.
  • If there is enough space on the shoulder of the road, pull over.
  • Turn on your hazard lights, regardless of whether you are pulled over or moving slowly; this will help other vehicles to see you and avoid accidents.
  • If there is a covered shelter to pull underneath, do so; this will reduce the damage sustained by your vehicle.

At Minneapolis Insurance Specialists Team, we hope you stay hailstorm-free this season!

Shopping for the Safest Vehicle

If you’re like most folks shopping for a new vehicle, safety ranks high among things you’re looking for – especially with all the texting and other distractions on the road. Every new car must meet certain federal safety standards, but that doesn’t mean that all cars are equally safe. There are still important safety differences, and some vehicles are safer than others. Many automakers offer safety features beyond the required federal minimums. Find out more about what safety features should be considered when purchasing a car.

Safety Features

When you think about buying a new vehicle, chances are you spend a good deal of time thinking about what kind of vehicle you’d like to buy, what color and the “must-have” features. But don’t forget to consider a vehicle’s safety features, too!


1. Crashworthiness: These features reduce the risk of death or serious injury when a crash occurs. You can get a rating of crashworthiness from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Web site at http://www.iihs.org.


2. Vehicle structural design: A good structural design has a strong occupant compartment, known as the safety cage, as well as front and rear ends designed to buckle and bend in a crash to absorb the force of the crash.

3. Vehicle size and weight: The laws of physics dictate that larger and heavier cars are safer than lighter and smaller ones. Small cars have twice as many occupant deaths each year as large cars


4. Anti-lock brakes: When you brake hard with conventional brakes, the wheels may lock and cause skidding and a lack of control. Anti-lock brakes pump brakes automatically many times a second to prevent lockup and allow you to keep control of the car. Anti-lock brakes may help you keep steering control, but they won’t necessarily help you stop more quickly.


5. Daytime running lights: Daytime running lights are activated by the ignition switch. They are typically high-beam headlights at reduced intensity or low beam lights at full or reduced power. By increasing the contrast between a vehicle and its backgrounds and making the vehicles more visible to oncoming drivers, these lights can prevent daytime accidents.


6. On-the-road experience: Other design characteristics can influence injury risk on the road. Some small utility vehicles and pickups are prone to rolling over. “High performance” cars typically have higher-than-average death rates because drivers are tempted to use excessive speed. Combining a young driver and a high-performance car can be particularly dangerous.

Whether new or used, buying a car is an investment. Make sure your vehicle is properly protected by calling our office in Dubai today to learn more about all of our insurance solutions for your auto, home and life.

Safety

Belts, airbags and head restraints all work together with a vehicle’s structure to protect people in serious crashes. Lap/shoulder belts hold you in place, reducing the chance you’ll slam into something hard or get ejected from the crashing vehicle. If you aren’t belted, you’ll continue moving forward until something suddenly stops you – often a hard interior surface that will cause injuries. Consider the vehicle’s safety belt, airbag and head restraint features when shopping with safety in mind.

 

 

Minneapolis Car Insurance

Should You Purchase GAP Insurance Coverage?

GAP InsuranceChance are good that are when you purchased your new vehicle, the dealership offered you, along with extended warranties, sealants and other extras, gap insurance or “guaranteed asset protection” to protect you from your cars value depreciating lower than your vehicle’s loan balance. GAP insurance may be good idea to purchase it if you don’t make a big down payment and the thought of making payments on a vehicle that was totaled would make you cringe.

It is not uncommon for a vehicle to depreciate by 40% the first two years of ownership and most of that is in the first months of ownership. If your vehicle cost you $50,000 and a few months later you have an accident and it is totaled. For ease of illustration – let’s say your vehicle fair market value is now 40,000 and you owe $48,000. You will be on the hook for $8,000. The loan company will want their money. It’s the old paying for a dead horse scenario.

If you leased a vehicle it was most likely required or factored into the lease. It was added in to protect their asset.

Here are the big tips: If you don’t put down a large down payment and/or you don’t want to take the risk of losing the difference between loan value and market value – you should purchase it.

If you decide GAP insurance is a good idea – get it from your current auto insurance agent. It will most likely be significantly less.  Do it right away as it may not be possible to do it later.  Some companies only allow it at the time of purchase or for a limited time after.

The dealership’s finance person will most likely put the hard sell on you and tell you want it you must purchase right then and there or not at all. They don’t want you contacting your agent, getting advice, and comparing.

If you are a sharp shopper you should tell the finance person thanks, but no thanks. Your insurance agent can add it to your policy – probably for less than half – and if you want to drop it after two or three years you can take it off your policy. It’ll be easier It would be best to call your agent before hand just to make sure your company offers it. There are, although not many, a few companies that do not offer it.

Many people have been purchasing GAP insurance from the dealer at the time of purchase. It can be an emotional and exciting time. Hey – you’re getting a new vehicle and it’s a happy fun time. However, it is easy to get caught into buying the insurance and paying double to protect your new asset. People will buy more when they are excited and in the buying mode. Call your agent and see what it would cost. Use the money saved for extra payments or some new accessories.

This article was written to inform and save you some money. Stay aware.  Take a few minutes and do the math. You will be quite surprised how much you will save. It will probably be around two vehicle payments.

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Should you buy GAP insurance?

Borrowing A Car…Are You Covered?

 

Most people have an idea of what’s covered and not covered under their various insurance policies. But at The Minneapolis Insurance Specialists Team, we get a lot of questions about borrowing or loaning a car.

 

Now that summer is here, and you might be looking to borrow your neighbor’s truck for a home-improvement project or a trip to the local landfill, we thought it was a great time to provide a little more information.

 

Generally, insurance coverage follows the vehicle rather than the driver. So in most instances, as long as the owner of the car has insurance, it’s covered even if someone other than the owner is driving it — as long as they have the owner’s permission.

 

The borrower’s insurance is considered secondary, meaning that in the event of an accident, it could apply if the owner’s insurance is insufficient to fully cover the damage.

 

It’s important to note that there are some exceptions to what is called “permissive use” coverage. For example, permission must be given by the owner, unless the borrower has a reasonable belief that they are allowed to use the car. However, the borrower cannot give permission to someone else. So if your teenager allows one of his or her friends to drive your car to the MOA or a cruise around the lakes, your coverage likely won’t apply.

 

Coverage might also be denied if the borrower operates the vehicle in a negligent or criminal manner. And if the borrower is using your car for business purposes, your personal auto policy likely won’t cover that. If you are borrowing a company car you need to know if you are a covered driver and when you can use it and for what use.

 

If you have a regular long-term arrangement to either borrow or lend a car, the borrower should probably be added to the owner’s personal auto policy. Those who don’t own a car, but often borrow one, might also consider “named non-owner coverage,” an endorsement that provides bodily injury and property damage liability, uninsured motorists coverage and more.

 

Ultimately, it’s usually safe to loan your friend your car for occasional errands or projects. And the same goes for borrowing a car. Just make sure it’s for “normal” use. You’ll want to confirm that the car has coverage and that your insurance, whether you’re the owner or borrower, will apply.

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