This is a common question we receive from clients shopping for a new vehicle. I prefer to refer to the Insurance Institute on Highway Safety. Each year they evaluate all new model year vehicles on basis of over-all vehicle safety.
To determine crashworthiness — how well a vehicle protects its occupants in a crash — the Institute rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests, a rollover test, plus evaluations of seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts. To earn Top Safety Pick for 2011 a vehicle must have good ratings in all four Institute tests.
If you’re helping one of your children go off to college for the first time, or return to college, we may be able to help you save some money and gain some extra protection.
Here are four things to consider about insurance when a child enters college.
1. You could get a discount on your auto insurance. Because you’ll have one less driver living at home when your son or daughter goes off to school, your household might get a discount — as long as they don’t take a car along. If he or she does take a set of wheels, contact our agency. We can review your auto insurance to make sure your child is properly insured.
2. Your homeowners insurance might extend to his or her belongings. Usually, the belongings of your child-turned-college-student will be covered by your homeowner’s insurance but it’s best to be sure. If for some reason the coverage doesn’t extend, consider purchasing renter’s insurance. Students who live off campus may not be covered by their parents’ homeowners policy and may need to purchase their own renters insurance.
3. Student loans might call for extra protection. If student loans are involved, you might want to consider life insurance for your son or daughter. It can help financially in the case of an unexpected tragedy (although no one wants to think about that). If a tragedy never occurs (thankfully), your son or daughter can also opt to carry the life insurance to the next stage of life – making it a wise investment.
4. Insurance can help in the most unexpected cases. Accidents happen — sometimes tragically. Extra liability coverage through a Personal Catastrophe Liability policy, commonly called an umbrella policy, can help protect you should a lawsuit ensue from a big mistake.
Most importantly, let our agency know of the changes happening in your household so we can double check your specific situation and coverage needs.
Whether driving around town or on a long trip, it is easy for any of us to see others texting while driving. While you may know it is wrong, you may feel helpless in trying to reduce it. I disagree.
I have done my best to teach my own children the dangers of cell phone use, but December 26th was a date that changed my opinions personally and taught my daughter that she is not that invincible teenager. For on that date, my daughter lost control of her vehicle on a turn causing damage to her vehicle and property damage to a homeowner. The accident was caused by her use of a cell phone. Since that date, I have personally vowed to raise awareness of this extremely dangerous act.
Please take a few minutes to watch this video on the dangers of texting and driving from AT&T. Please share this with your loved ones! Please click here.
What am I doing about this??? To begin, I have developed the Safe Driving Contract, I encourage you to review with your young driver. Please click here.
Additionally, I have begun a billboard campaign to raise awareness. As you can imagine, I am very passionate in helping others become aware of the dangers of cell phone use while driving.
I am also supportive of needed statewide legislation for cell phone laws. In review of legislation across the nation, Pennsylvania has been very slow to enact any laws regarding cell phone use. The following links provided by the Insurance Institue of Highway Safety display state law enforcement:
The state of Pennsylvania currently has NO BANS in all three of the above categories.
I am pleased to report on June 8, 2011 that the State Senate passed legislation sponsored by State Senator Tommy Tomlinson (R-Bucks) and supported by Senator John Rafferty, Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee that would prohibit the use of handheld cell phones and texting while driving and set new guidelines for junior drivers.
Senate Bill 314 would impose a ban on handheld cell phones for all drivers, regardless of age. Hands-free cell phone use would still be permitted by drivers who do not have a learners permit or junior driver’s license. The bill would make it a primary offense for all drivers to text, email, browse the internet and instant message. SB 314 would make it a secondary offense to use a cell phone while driving – meaning the driver would have to first be pulled over for a primary offense.
This bill now heads to the State House of Representatives.
Please do your best to share the awareness of the dangers of texting and driving.
Your life depends upon it!
Review Your Auto Insurance Policy Before Leaving Home
You should review your auto insurance policy before heading to the airport. For most situations, the coverage limits including deductibles of your current insurance coverage will apply when you rent a car, assuming you are renting car for personal reasons only for 30 days or less. In essence, your current insurance coverag will extend to the vehicle that you will be renting. There are some limitations to this, we recommend you contact our agency to review.
This information applies for vehicles being rented within the United States only! If you are renting a vehicle in a foreign country, your auto insurance policy WILL NOT provide any coverage.
The Rental Car Contract
Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), also referred to as Physical Damage Waiver:
This coverage specifically address the comprehensive and collision coverage of the vehicle that you will be renting.
If you do not have comprehensive and collision on your own vehicle, then you WILL NOT have these coverages extended to the rental car. You must purchase the CDW coverage to be properly protected!
Even if you have comprehensive and collision on your own vehicle, we recommend purchasing CDW!
While this may seem like a duplication of coverage, if you do not purchase the CDW coverage, the rental car contract may charge for their “loss of use”. In meaning, in the event of an accident, they are unable to rent their vehicle to others while it is being repaired. This “loss of use” period is fully chargeable unde the contract and coverage is not provided by your insurance policy. This expense would by paid by you, the customer.
Additionally, many times when you do not purchase the CDW coverage, the rental car company will also maximize your credit card limit until the vehicle is returned in satisfactory condition. For most this is not a problem, unless you need to use this credit card while on vacation.
Rental car companies are required by law to provide at least the state minimum liability insurance limit. You may be required to provide proof that you maintain auto insurance. It is recommended that you take a copy of your insurance policy with you to present to the rental car agent. If you do not have any auto insurance you will be required to buy this coverage.
Personal Accident Insurance:
This provides coverage to you and your passengers coverage for medical expenses for injuries as a result of a car accident. Normally, the coverage provided by your auto insurance policy for your first party benefits or your health insurance provider will extend to you, you may not need this additional insurance.
If you have any questions, please obtain your answers prior to leaving on vacation. We are happy to review your situation with you.
In an effort to provide a more information to our clients we have re-designed our website for you. In the coming weeks, we will be adding more and more information to help keep you informed on all our product offering for auto, home, business, and life insurance.