Recently in Insurance Policy Category

April 29, 2014

2014 List of Top 10 Vehicles that Cause the Most Property Damage

Insure.com recently released the 2014 list of vehicles that cause the most property damage when involved in automobile accidents. The list is mainly comprised of pickup trucks and SUV's. Vehicles that tend to weigh more than passenger vehicles. The vehicles on the list tend to generate the biggest property damage claims and therefore; carry the heftiest liability insurance bills of the more that 750 2014 model year vehicles analyzed by Insure.com in its annual car insurance comparison study.

The top 10 vehicles considered to carry the biggest liability bills and therefore are likely to cause the most property damage are:
1) Ford F-250
2) GMC Sierra 2500
3) Ford F-350
4) Ram 1500
5) Infiniti QX80
6) Dodge Durango
7) Toyota Tundra
8) Jeep Grand Cherokee
9) Cadillac Escalade
10) Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The property damage liability portion of a persons' automobile insurance policy is generally a reflection of claims made against other owners of the same kind of vehicle. Property damage liability coverage pays when you damage someone else's car or property. Most drivers carry much lower limits on property damage liability than for bodily injury, that way their insurance premiums can be lower/smaller.

Regardless of the vehicle you own, premiums can and do differ from state to state and vehicle to vehicle. The common element however, is that the vehicles that cause the biggest property damage are vehicles with bumpers that do not match up with the bumpers found on sedan, coupes or passenger cars.

It is the height difference in bumpers between vehicles that cause the greatest damage. The federal government sets minimum bumper performance requirements for passenger vehicles, but those regulations do not apply to vans, SUV's or pickup trucks. Hence, SUV's , vans and pickup trucks have bumpers that are anywhere between 20-26 inches higher from the ground then passenger vehicles. Passenger vehicles are usually only 16-20 inches higher than the ground. This means that when trucks and SUV's collide with passenger vehicles, their bumpers can no right past each other, and depending on the force of the impact, can bypass the bumpers and go directly into the body of the vehicle and therefore; cause greater damage. Sometimes, bumpers overlap or even slide off each other, instead of becoming engaged, and therefore the result is extensive vehicle body damage.

August 23, 2012

New Laws Implemented for Scooter and Moped Riders in Maryland

As of October 1, 2012 all Scooter and Moped Riders will have to follow new laws being implemented in the state of Maryland. The new law going into effect will require all motor scooters and mopeds to be titled and insured, and all operators and passengers of scooters and mopeds must wear helmets and eye protection at all times.

Since the new law requires all scooters and mopeds to be insured, they must be insured with at least the minimum vehicle liability insurance for the state of Maryland. Riders must also, at all times, carry their proof of insurance whenever operating their scooters and/or mopeds.

Further titling information will be available through the Motor Vehicle Administrations (MVA) website starting October 1, 2012.

Maryland law enforcement officers have received training regarding the new laws going into effect and therefore, Scooter and Moped drivers should expect to be stopped and/or issued citations and/or warnings if they violate the new law, as of October 1, 2012.

For more information, please visit the mva website at http://www.mva.maryland.gov/

June 26, 2012

How to Tell if a Traffic Ticket Will Raise Your Insurance Rates

Here are three things that must happen in order for an automobile insurance company to raise your rates, once you have been issued a traffic ticket/citation:

1) The ticket must show up on your motor vehicle record (MVR);
2) Your state must allow insurance companies to penalize you for the violation, and
3) Your Insurance company must consider the violation a risk factor

Automobile insurance companies won't consider traffic violations/tickets that do not appear on your MVR. MVR's usually only reflect moving violations that endanger lives or property. Such violations include: running red lights, changing lanes without caution, speeding, DUI/DWI, reckless driving, etc..

If the violation appears on your MVR and your automobile insurance company finds out about it, your rates usually increase about 5% for the first ticket, but if you have various violations on your MVR, then your rates could go up about 20% or more. Multiple violations reveal a pattern of bad decisions and behavior as a driver and make you a higher risk to your automobile insurance company.

October 19, 2010

Involved in a Hit and Run Accident: Here is What You Need to Do

A hit and run accident is when you are involved in an automobile accident and one of the parties involved leaves the scene. This can leave you shaken and upset.
hit and run accident.jpg
Hit and run accidents have been on the rise for the last 10 years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), reports that over 10% of all automobile accidents are hit and run accidents. There are numerous reasons why a person would leave the scene of an accident, but the two most common reasons are: being uninsured and being under the influence of alcohol of drugs.

Here are a few tips in case you are a victim of a hit and run accident:
- Assess your physical well-being as well as any other person involved;
- Call the police and report the accident;
- Write down any information you remember about the vehicle that left the scene;
- Identify any witnesses and obtain contact information from them, so you can contact them at a later time; and
- Call the Ambulance, if necessarily

If you are injured as a result of the hit and run accident it is important to seek emergency medical care. You will also need to contact you insurance company and report the accident. You will need to handle your property damage directly with your insurance company. You will also need to make sure that you have under-insured or un-insured coverage under your own person automotive insurance policy. You may find all this a bit much to handle, and if you do you will need to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to assist you in dealing with the insurance company on your behalf.

October 6, 2010

Are Women Drivers Favored by Car Insurance Companies in the U.S.?

In 1959, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) was founded with the sole purpose of researching date to find out causes and preventive methods for motor vehicle accidents. IIHS is funded by auto insurers to help them gauge risk using three common factors of operating an automobile. The three factors are: human influence, vehicle influence and environmental influence.
Women Drivers.jpg
IIHS published gender reports in 2008 that found that more men die each year in automobile accidents than women. The report stated that men typically engage in much riskier driving practices than women. Some of these practices include:
- less seat belt usage
- driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, controlled and prescription drugs were included
- driving at higher rates of speed and above the posted speed limits

Also, in the 2008 gender report, were statistics that showed that when male drivers are involved in car accidents, the results are more often death. The report showed the following statistics:
- 71 % of all motor vehicle deaths were males
- 70 % of pedestrian deaths were cause by male drivers
- 87% of bicyclist deaths involved men drivers and
- 91 % of motorcycle deaths were male drivers

Gender, cell phone use, and zip codes are some of the factors used to determine automobile insurance premiums. Automobile insurance companies are for-profit industries; this means that all automobile insurance companies are in business to make a profit. The formula for profit includes an analysis of risk management.

Insurance rates are also determined by your driving record, the type of vehicle involved, how the vehicle will be used and your credit score. Since women seem to have better driving records, drive smaller and non-racing vehicles, use vehicles for work more than for pleasure and have better credit scores, it seems that women get lower premium rates.

September 27, 2010

One Third of Homeowner Insurance Liability Claims are Dog Bite Lawsuits

Dog Bite Law Suits.jpgIn 2009, $412 million was spent on dog bite lawsuits, a 6.4% increase from 2008. This figure averages out to about $24,840 per claim, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

Insurance coverage for dog bite claims provide compensation for injuries associated with animal attacks, such as medical expenses, lost wages, permanent scarring and pain and suffering.

In the United States alone, about 4.5 million dog attacks are reported each year. The majority of these incidents are not reported. Most people affected are postal workers and delivery people.
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Here are some steps recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the I.I.I. to prevent your dog from biting someone:

- Dog owners should consult with a veterinarian about suitable breeds for their home and neighborhood.

- Prospective owners should spend time with a dog before buying or adopting it and should make sure that the dog is not aggressive towards infants and/or toddlers.

- Have your dog spayed or neutered.

- Make sure children do not disturb the dog while eating or sleeping, and never leave a child alone with the dog.

- Socialize your dog so that it knows how to behave around other people and animals.

- Play non-aggressive games with your dog. For example: fetching the ball, as opposed to tug-of-war.


June 23, 2010

Physhield Insurance Exchange, a Risk Retention Group, Approved in Maryland

Physician Pic.jpgPhyshield Insurance Exchange, a risk retention group (RRG), has been approved in Maryland, to write medical professional liability insurance policies. Physhield now has the authority to operate as a liability insurer in Maryland, as well as other states, such as Florida, Texas and Nevada. According to Robert Trinka, Chief Executive of Phyhealth (an affiliate of Physhield) says that Physhield can also write policies in Washington, D.C.

This RRG will insure large, single speciality or multispeciality doctors groups that have more than $500,000 a year in premiums. The insurance will be sold through the sales force and Internet site of Maryland-based Palumbo Insurance Associates, a full service commercial insurance agency in Maryland.

Physhield's business model is to bring together groups of local physicians who will form a delivery network, and be the primary owners of the groups HMO license. They will develop and market HMO products for their community of patients. This is the doctors that Physhield will offer medical professional liability insurance to. It is these physicians that have the financial responsibility over the care that is delivered, and therefore, have a great deal of control over their own liability insurance situation.

Putting physicians in control of the care and the liability, results in more effective medicine practices. With more control come greater responsibilities, and these Physicians are held liable for the treatment and services they render.