Why Isn’t Texting While Driving as Taboo as Driving Drunk?

Research has shown that a driver texting while behind the wheel is as  dangerous as a drunk driver. In fact, drivers who send texts while driving are  23 times more likely to be involved in an accident than those who don’t.

 

Yet, for whatever reason, texting while driving is still deemed acceptable by  many drivers while drunk driving is considered taboo.

 

texting-drunk-driving.jpg

A  recent article from the Insurance Journal explores this issue in-depth. It  draws striking similarities between texting behind the wheel and driving  drunk.

 

One state has already caught on. Legislation in Utah equates texting while  driving with drunk driving. If a driver who is texting while driving causes an  accident resulting in a fatality, he or she will be sentenced as harshly as if  they had been driving drunk and could face up to 15 years in prison.

 

The National Safety Council estimates that 200,000 crashes are caused each  year by drivers who are text messaging.

 

Dog Bite Homeowners Insurance Claims

Everyone knows the most common causes of homeowners’ insurance claims: fire, robbery, natural disaster, and so on. Not as many would expect dog bites to appear high on that list. However, according to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites are right in the mix as far as premises liability claims go, even ranking ahead of hurricane claims.

According to the data, the average cost of a dog bite claim settlement was nearly $59,400, and roughly 16,300 such claims were filed in the United States in 2011 alone. In fact, dog bites accounted for more than one-third of the liability claim costs paid in 2011 on behalf of homeowners’ insurance policy owners.

In general, these settlements cover not only the medical bills resulting from the dog attack, but also the pain and suffering that victims of dog bites endured.

Interestingly, Missouri was ranked 13th nationally among U.S. states for the number of dog bite claims filed with all Insurance comapnies in 2011. Those claims were settled for an average amount of $44,000.

That year, there were 270 reported dog bites in St Louis County alone. So far this year, there have already been 155 reported dog bites.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States every year. About 850,000 bites of these bites require medical attention.

It’s extremely important to remember how truly devastating dog bites can be and to not just dismiss premises liability lawsuits against dog owners as “frivolous.”

Victims routinely suffer lacerations and puncture wounds necessitating several rounds of surgery. In fact, sometimes the best efforts of surgeons are not enough to prevent nerve damage and permanent disfigurement. Furthermore, victims can be left with psychological scars from the attack that can take years to heal.

Want to protect your self?

Insurance is all about protecting what you have work so hard to attain, but that goes well beyond just purchasing Homeowners insurance or auto insurance. One thing I have noticed over my time in the insurance field is that we don’t check to see if the people we do business with or we hire to help us around the house have insurance to protect us. What I mean by this is, have you ever hired landscaper, a plummber, or any other contractor? Well sure you have we all have, but how many of us check to see if they have insurance. Less than 10% of us check this, but there are a lot of homeowners claims that can be avoided if we would just do our research. The other day a lady called us for a quote on her home in speaking with her I found out she was being cancelled by her current company over a very large claim. When I asked her what happened she to me she hired a plummber well he did not know what he was doing and long story short after a 40k water claim with over a 1000 out of her pocket and being canelled by her current company she is looking for help. I helped her find a policy that fit her needs and her and I both learned that just by asking for a current certificate of insurance on any contractor you do business with can save you thousands of dollars and some major headaches.

Looking for Cheap Car Insurance in Missouri?

Everyone wants cheap car insurance. In Missouri, many car insurance companies offer highly competitively priced policies for people looking for the best “deal.” The thing is, the best deal most often does not mean the best coverage.

To find the best car insurance for your money, we encourage you to follow these four simple steps:

  1. Request quotes from several companies: Do not shop with just one auto insurance company, as every company offers something a little different. You can either contact each company separately, or you can work through an independent insurance agent who can take your information and do the legwork for you.
  2. Compare “like” policies: When you get quotes back, ensure that you are evaluating the dollar amount along with the coverage options listed. For instance, do all policies include comprehensive coverage? Are the deductibles the same? Without the details in front of you, it can be hard to compare and find the best priced insurance option.
  3. Talk to an agent before you buy: Even if you feel you have found the best, cheap car insurance in Missouri, talk to an experienced insurance agent before you click “buy now.” An agent can walk you through the policy and also highlight discounts and other beneficial aspects of coverage you may not be aware of.
  4. Review your coverage annually: Auto insurance rates can go up and down at any time. Keep an eye on your policy throughout the year, then do a quick comparison once a year to ensure your coverage remains competitively priced. Or, work with an independent insurance agent who can do the annual review for you.

Following these four easy steps will ensure that your policy will be the best for you at a price you can afford.

Do you have any cheap car insurance shopping tricks to share with others? Post them in the comments section below!

6 Factors that Affect Your Automobile Insurance Rates

Did you know that there are numerous factors that affect your final automobile insurance rate? When you’re shopping for new car insurance, we encourage you to keep these factors in mind:

  • Your personal information: Sure, everyone knows that age makes a difference on your rates. For instance, the younger you are, the more likely you are to get into an accident. However, did you know that your marital status matters? And your address? All of your personal information is taken into account to create a base determination on how likely it is you will get into an accident.
  • Your driving record: A pristine driving record can offset your personal information in a good way. However, a record with accidents and traffic tickets can increase your rates substantially. The various car insurance companies weigh your record differently, so talk to your agent to learn where to look for the best coverage at the right price.
  • Your credit score: This one is fairly well known – the lower your credit score, the higher your rate. You can lower your rates by improving your credit, however, so don’t get too hung up on this one.
  • Your deductible: A quick way to lower your rate is to increase your deductible, as this means more money out of your pocket before your insurer steps in.
  • Your eligible discounts: Another way to lower your rates is to take advantage of eligible discounts through your insurance company. These range from multi-policy discounts to good student discounts. Talk to your agent to learn about your potential discounts.
  • Your car: Your rates are also affected by the make and model of your car. For instance, some cars have better safety features built in. Other cars are more likely to be stolen. If you’re looking to keep your rates as low as possible, definitely do some serious research before hitting the car lot.

Do you have a story about how one of these factors affected your own automobile insurance rates? Do you know if other factors made a difference in your rates? Share them with us in the comments section below.