Do I need to buy insurance coverage when renting a vehicle?
When you need a rental car remember that coverage for your personal vehicle also applies to a rental, including any deductibles for physical damage. There is likely no need to purchase the pricey Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) when it’s offered by the rental company. Be aware that rental companies are increasingly tacking on fees when a car is damaged including diminished value to reflect the reduced resale potential, loss of use to cover the rental charges they can collect while the car is repaired, and administrative fees to process the claim. Most auto policies do not include coverage for the diminished value, only the cost of the repairs to the rental car. If you are charged directly for these fees, let us help!
Keep in mind, many credit card companies offer free rental car coverage when using your credit card. If traveling outside of the U.S., coverage will likely not transfer. We invite you to contact us before your next trip!
What to do in an earthquake!
Over a million earthquakes occur around the world each year. An earthquake can happen anywhere, even in your own backyard, as many of us experienced on April 18, 2008 when a quake occurred in southern Illinois creating tremors that could be felt within a 200 mile radius. Don’t be caught off guard! Here’s what the experts recommend:
- Have a disaster plan and supply kit for your home and car, including first aid items, water, and a battery-operated radio.
- DROP, COVER & HOLD ON! Take cover under heavy objects, in a doorway or in the center of a building.
- Stay clear of bookcases, file cabinets, windows and items that could fall.
- Turn off all electrical equipment. Consider writing instructions on how to turn off gas, water and electricity.
- In the event of an extended power failure, wait for instructions from authorized personnel.
- If outside, move away from buildings, trees, etc.
- Leave your vehicle if driving.
- Panic or react in a manner that may cause others alarm.
- Stand near windows.
- Use matches if the power fails.
After the shaking stops, check for injuries and inspect your home for damage. For additional information on how to protect you and your family, contact your H. J. Spier insurance professional.
Are you protected incase of a spring flood?
Some of our most inclement weather occurs in spring. According to FEMA, your home has a 26% chance of being damaged by a flood during the course of a 30-year mortgage, compared to a 9% chance of fire. Your best defense against financial loss is to be prepared! Take a moment to contact your H. J. Spier insurance professional to analyze your risk against floods and flash floods. Visit www.floodsmart.gov to learn the facts!
Monitor Teen Workers
According to a recent study by the American Journal of Health Behavior, teenage workers are injured more often and more seriously than you might think. Of the 6,810 teens surveyed, more than half worked, and 514 of those who work had been injured on the job. Of those, 150 reported that their injury affected their activities at home, work or school. Almost 100 of them filed for workers compensation.
Other studies suggest that employers should prohibit teens from working long and late hours that can contribute to fatigue, a common cause of work injury.
Please consider this information when hiring teens for your summer job openings
Hired & Non-Owned Auto Liability Coverage
Do you have employees who use their own vehicles to run errands? Have you ever rented a car for business? Hired auto liability coverage will pay for damages to a third party if you cause an accident or injury while driving a rented or non-owned vehicle for business. The damages will be paid on behalf of your business and your assets will be protected.
This coverage should always be included in your small business insurance program because of its large exposure potential! If you don’t have this coverage, contact your agent at H. J. Spier Insurance Company to learn more about this valuable product.
What to do after a traffic accident
An accident can happen anytime, anywhere and any place, even to our best drivers. No one expects to be in an accident, but being prepared can make the experience less frightening and reduce complications.
- Stop immediately, but don’t obstruct traffic.
- Turn ignition off to guard against fire.
- Assist injured, then call police.
- Secure license numbers, makes & models of other vehicles.
- Secure names and addresses of other drivers and witnesses.
- Make rough drawing of accident scene showing position of vehicles.
- Don’t hastily accept claim settlements at the accident scene.
- Stay calm and don’t argue.
- Notify your insurance agent who will assist you with filing a claim and completion of a Crash Report (SR21) required by Indiana law.
Beware of identity theft...
The average fraud amount per case in 2005 was $6,383. Information from the Council of Better Business Bureaus and Javeline Strategy & Research indicates that consumers are spending more time than money trying to clear-up problems. The Financial Planning Association offers these tips:
- BE VIGILIANT
Go to www.annualcreditreport.com and request a FREE copy of your credit report.
- GUARD YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
Do not carry your social security card, passwords, or other personal identification in your wallet.
- SHRED SENSITIVE DOCUMENTS
Shred anything with your social security number on it, including pre-approved credit card offers.
- WATCH YOUR MAIL
Send bill payments from a post office or secure drop box.
- AUTOMATE FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS
Sign-up for automatic payroll deposit and pay bills on-line.
- PROTECT YOUR COMPUTER
Make sure you have a firewall and current anti-spy ware and anti-virus protection.
- BEWARE OF SCAMS
Never pass out vital information over the phone or internet without verifying that you are dealing with a legitimate institution.
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