The Lombardo Insurance Agency Inc.

Accuracy is the foundation of everything else

2096-B Silas Deane Hwy
Rocky Hill, CT 06067

Phone: 860-236-6064

Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

Deer-Vehicle Collisions

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Estimated 1.23 million deer-vehicle collisions occurred in the U.S. between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, costing more than $4 billion in vehicle damage, according to State Farm, the nation’s largest auto insurer. Damage caused by and accident with deer or other animals is covered under the comprehensive portion. The average claim for deer-vehicle collisions between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012 was $3305, up 4.4.% from the previous year. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety IIHS noted that deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S. cause about 200 fatalities annually. “Drivers should stay alert and pay particular attention to the side of the road, especially during the hours just before dusk and just before daylight’ said Loretta Worters, III vice president. There are steps you can take to decrease the likelihood of being involved in a deer-vehicle collision.

Drivers should be aware of the following:

  • Deer are not just found on rural roads near wooded areas; many deer crashes occur on buy highways near cities.
  • Deer are unpredictable, especially when faced with glaring headlights, blowing horns and fast-moving vehicles. They often dart into traffic.
  • Deer often move in groups. If you see on, there are likely to be more in the vicinity.

Divers should take these precautions:

  • Drive with caution when moving through deer-crossing zones, in areas known to have a large deer population and in areas where roads divide agricultural fields from forestland.
  • Always wear a seat belt. The IIHS reports that in a study of fatal animal crashes, 60% of people killed were not wearing a seat-belt.
  • When driving at night, use high-beams will better illuminate the eyes of any deer on or near the roadway.
  • Be attentive from sunset to midnight
  • Break firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.
  • Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer. These devices have  not proven effective, the III stated.

This information was supplied by The Standard  October 26, 2012 Vol. 271 No. 12   Please swing by thier site.

 

TOP 10 REASONS TO PURCHASE THE RENTAL CAR CDW/LDW

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

 

 

To paraphrase Shakespeare, “To purchase the CDW or not to purchase the CDW, that is the question.” It has been debated for years whether or not a person renting a vehicle should purchase the Collision (or Loss) Damage Waiver from the rental company.

  1.  Loss Valuation. The personal Auto Policy (PAP) covers the lesser of the “actual cash value” of the vehicle or the amount “necessary” to repair or replace the damaged property. The rental agreement may very well contractually obligate you to reimburse the rental company for the “full value” of the vehicle. The PAP also does not pay for any “betterment” (increased value of new parts replacing old ones) of the vehicle, nor any “diminution” of value (if the market value of the vehicle after repairs is less than that before the accident).
  2. Loss Settlement. As implied above, there may very well be disagreement over the value of the vehicle or the amount charged for labor and materials to repair it. Your auto policy’s Appraisal clause may be invoked with its accompanying costs. More importantly, the insurance company has the right to “…inspect and appraise the damaged property before its repair or disposal.” However, the rental company, unlike you, is not contractually obligated to the insurer…it may choose to make the repairs immediately, potentially resulting in a lack of PAP coverage because of failure to comply with this contractual condition. In any case, purchase of the CDW usually allows the renter to “walk away” without the headaches involved in adjusting an auto claim.
  3. Loss Payment. The rental agreement may require immediate reimbursement for damages, and it is customary practice for the rental company to charge your credit card. This can create a significant debt, “max” out the card’s credit limit (perhaps shortening a vacation or business trip), result in litigation, etc.
  4. Loss Damage Waivers (LDW). Rental agreements often make the renter responsible for any loss in value beyond normal wear and tear, regardless of the cause and regardless of fault. In order for your PAP to respond, you must insure at least one vehicle for both collision and other-than-collision (often called “comprehensive”) coverage. If not, your policy will not respond to rental car damage and loss of use claims.
  5. Indirect Losses. You will most likely be responsible for the rental company’s loss of rental income on the damaged unit. Your policy has limited coverage for these charges.
  6. Administrative Expenses. The rental contract may make the insured liable for various “administrative” or loss-related expenses such as towing (e.g., one insured was charged for a 230-mile tow), appraisal, claims adjustment, storage, etc. Some of these expenses may not be covered by the PAP.
  7. Other Insurance. The PAP says that it is excess over: (1) any coverage provided by the owner of the auto, (2) any other applicable physical damage insurance, and (3) any other source of recovery applicable to the loss – travel policies, credit card coverages, etc. The potential controversy over who pays what is obvious and can result in litigation. In addition, keep in mind that many states have statutes, proprietary policy forms, and/or case law precedents that may govern this and other rental car exposures.
  8. Excluded Vehicles & Territories. The PAP normally does not provide physical damage coverage for motorcycles, mopeds, motor homes, or other vehicles that are not private passenger autos, pickups, vans, or trailers. In addition, use of covered vehicles is limited to the US and its territories and possessions, Puerto Rico, and Canada (the rental agreement may also exclude operation outside a specific geographical area). If you rent a trailer (U-Haul, camper trailer, etc.), coverage is limited to $500.
  9. Excluded Uses & Drivers. The PAP may have limitations on use of vehicles that are not otherwise excluded by the rental agreement CDW or LDW. Also, the PAP may include an exclusionary endorsement for certain drivers or may apply only to designated individuals – the CDW will probably also only apply to certain individuals, but operators for which no PAP coverage is available may be afforded protection under the rental agreement by adding them as designated drivers.
  10. Additional and/or Future Costs. The PAP will most certainly include a deductible in the range of $100-$500 or more. In addition, payment for damage to a rental car may result in a significant premium increase (if not nonrenewal) via surcharges or loss of credits.

Although most CDW/LDW fees are considered outrageous, if not unconscionable, we advise you to purchase the CDW/LDW for short-term rentals. If anything, this will give you peace of mind while on vacation or business, and it could save you from a lot of inconvenience and lost time and money.

Other Tips:

  • When you rent a vehicle, ask for an advance copy of the rental agreement in order to determine your contractual obligations for damage. A few rental car companies post this information on their web sites. Here is a listing of several national rental car company websites:

Advantage – www.advantage.com
Alamo – www.alamo.com
Avis – www.avis.com
Budget – www.budget.com
Dollar – www.dollar.com
Hertz – www.hertz.com
National – www.nationalcar.com
Payless – www.paylesscar.com
Thrifty – www.thrifty.com

In addition, if you will be traveling abroad, check out www.auto-europe.com for information about driving requirements and rental car programs in Europe and other countries around the world.

  • Be sure to inspect the rental vehicle for existing damage to the interior and exterior and get their acknowledgement of such damage in writing before leaving the premises.
  • Be sure to take proof of insurance with you on your trip.

I would like to give credit to Rick Dinger at Crescenta Valley Insurance for this great article. Link back to check them out http://cvins.com

Teen Driving Tips to Keep Prom and Graduation Safe

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

High school is full of defining moments for West Hartford teens and two of the highlights for most are prom and graduation.

However, this time of year often sees other, more tragic defining moments – serious car accidents involving teens who are distracted or even under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

At The Lombardo Insurance Agency Inc, we want to help make this season one to celebrate for you and your teen. So, with the help of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, here are some tips that can keep your teen safe.

First, encourage your teen to follow these general safe-driving rules:

  • Absolutely no alcohol
  • Always use seat belts
  • No cell phone use (including texting) while driving

Special circumstances

Of course, special events such as prom and graduation often present special circumstances. There may be dinner with dates before the dance, and parties before or after either event. It’s a good idea to discuss your expectations well before each event, putting some guidelines into place before your teen heads out for the night. Here are some ideas:

  • Make sure you know the itinerary of the evening, as well as who else will be with your teen. You should have contact information for everyone.
  • Have a way to contact your teen at all times. You may want to require them to check in with you once or twice over the course of the evening.
  • Set a curfew, whether they are coming back to your home or staying with a friend. If they are staying elsewhere, make sure the curfew will be enforced by a responsible adult.
  • Discuss with your teen how to handle difficult situations, such as facing pressure to drink, or accepting a ride with someone who shouldn’t be driving. It’s a good idea to provide your child with money for a taxi just in case.
  • Offer a “no-questions-asked” ride home, should they need one during the evening.
  • If you’re worried about your teen driving, consider alternate transportation. A car service or limousine will provide a responsible, experienced adult driver. You also will be able to limit changes to the itinerary and contact the driver.

Prom and graduation in Connecticut are special times in a teen’s life. And just a little common sense will go a long way toward making sure your young adult is around to enjoy the other milestones that are sure to come.

Boating Saftey Tips

Monday, May 21st, 2012

As Memorial day fast approaches. This is the unofficial start to backyard barbecues, pool parties and boating season in the North East. It means many people on the water….many of them novices who may not have a good grounding in boating safety.  Here are some great safety tips from treadlightly.org  Boat safe.  Have a great Memorial Day holiday!

gmm

 

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