You’ve just had a fender bender and then find out your insurance company won’t go to bat for you to avoid the dreaded ‘at-fault’ tag for the accident. Aren’t they supposed to? Isn’t that what you’d expect from a risk partner?
Yes, they are
and in fact, it’s always in your insurance company’s interest to have the other driver considered at-fault. And having your financial interests and the insurance company’s financial interests both trying to find the other drive at-fault is the best alignment possible.
Here’s why your interests align:
the insurance company for the at-fault driver ends up paying most or all of the cost of the accident. That’s a big incentive. It you’re at-fault, they’ll pay your collision AND the repairs to the other driver’s car, even when the other driver goes through his own insurance. (This is a process known as subrogation where the non-at-fault company gets paid after the fact by the at-fault driver’s company).
So why don’t they fight harder?
In short, legal reality. Massachusetts traffic law has been litigated and argued for about a hundred years. That’s a lot of case law. And even the most skilled lawyering can’t get you ‘not at-fault’ if the case law is against you (excepting documented extenuating circumstances).
Massachusetts traffic law has been summarized in the “Standard of Fault”. Distilled down to the very basics, the at-fault driver was usually in one of these situations:
- Not yielding to oncoming traffic
-Crossing traffic to turn left
-entering a main road from a side road
- Hitting someone in the rear
–not stopping in time
It’s always good to get fresh information at the accident, to avoid ‘description drift’. See out tips on right after an accident to understand how to protect your interests. Or call us at 800-649-3252.
With the beautiful summer weather we’ve been having, there are more motorcycles than ever on the highways. Due to their relatively small size, they are not always easily visible to the larger vehicles on the road and thus can present a potential risk of accident. It’s important to be aware of them when on the road and give both extra space and extra attention to the two-wheeled cousin of the car.
Motorcycle fatalities have also been climbing,
reaching 5,290 in 2008, the highest level since the Department of Transportation began collecting data in 1975. There has also been a dramatic jump in the number of deaths among motorcyclists age 40 and older in recent years.
We hope these tips from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation will help keep you and motorcycle drivers safe:
- Over half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle. Most of the time, the motorist, not the motorcyclist, is at fault. There are a lot more cars and trucks than motorcycles on the road, and some drivers don’t “recognize” a motorcycle – they ignore it (usually unintentionally).
- Because of its small size, a motorcycle can be easily hidden in a car’s blind spots (door/roof pillars) or masked by objects or backgrounds outside a car (bushes, fences, bridges, etc). Take an extra moment to look for motorcycles, whether you’re changing lanes or turning at intersections.
- Because of its small size, a motorcycle may look farther away than it is. It may also be difficult to judge a motorcycle’s speed. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or into (or out of) a driveway, predict a motorcycle is closer than it looks.
- Motorcyclists often slow by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, thus not activating the brake light. Allow more following distance, say 3 or 4 seconds. At intersections, predict a motorcyclist may slow down without visual warning.
- Motorcyclists often adjust position within a lane to be seen more easily and to minimize the effects of road debris, passing vehicles, and wind. Understand that motorcyclists adjust lane position for a purpose, not to be reckless or show off or to allow you to share the lane with them.
- Turn signals on a motorcycle usually are not self-canceling, thus some riders (especially beginners) sometimes forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change. Make sure a motorcycle’s signal is for real.
- Maneuverability is one of a motorcycle’s better characteristics, especially at slower speeds and with good road conditions, but don’t expect a motorcyclist to always be able to dodge out of the way.
- Stopping distance for motorcycles is nearly the same as for cars, but slippery pavement makes stopping quickly difficult. Allow more following distance behind a motorcycle because it can’t always stop “on a dime.”
And for relevant and topical insurance information, as well as risk-management solutions, visit us at our website; you can browse insurance information, watch educational insurance videos, or get a quote.
Looking into buying a new car? Debating between the reliable mini-van or that indulgent sports car? If insurance factors into your budge, keep in mind the type of car you drive will affect how much your insurance costs.
Insure.com posted the list of 20 least and most expensive cars to insure, but I’ve copied the top 10 from their list.
Top 10 most expensive cars to insure
1. Audi R8 Spyder Quattro Convertible
6. BMW 750i Hybrid
2. Mercedes CL600 BI-T Coupe
7. Porsche 911 Turbo Convertible
3. Mercedes S600 BI-T
8. Porsche 911 Turbo S Convertible
4. Audi R8 4.2 Quattro Coupe
9. Mercedes CL65 AMG Coupe
5. Porsche Panamera Turbo
10. BMW 750Li Hybrid
So if you’re looking to go the sports car route, you might want to think twice. The way those cars are driven and who’s driving them statistically produces more accidents. Then it makes sense that companies would charge more if there was greater risk.
Top 10 least expensive cars to insure
1. Toyota Sienna LE
6. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Regular Cab
2. Toyota Sienna 4 cyl
7. Dodge Grand Caravan SXT
3. Jeep Patriot Sport
8. Ford Escape XLS
4. Jeep Compass Sport
9. Toyota Sienna 6 cyl
5. GMC Sierra K1500 Regular Cab
10. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Extended Cab
The converse is also true. People who drive safe, reliable family vehicles are more likely not to get into an accident, therefore, not costing the companies replacement prices. So what are the reasons these cars are placed in their own category above? Safety, top speed, anti-theft, and cost play factors in the bill you’re sent.
Performance: how can it drive on the autobahn?
Engine size is a large factor in insurance price. If you can produce 1.21 gigawatts (the equivalent of a bolt of lightning according to Back to the Future) you may be able to travel in time, but it will cost you more on your insurance.
How many miles your car logged just getting to the dealership can adversely affect your costs. Foreign/ exotic parts are harder to come by and therefore more expensive should you need them.
Is bigger better?
Not necessarily. You’re not always safer in a larger vehicle. Rollover rates and other inherent safety flaws exist within SUVs and trucks. Even if the SUV is safer than an alternative, large vehicle still cause more damage in accidents, leading to higher liability coverage rates.
A fast performing, poorly protected auto in a parking lot is more likely to catch someones eye if they're in the market for a free vehicle. Since that type of car is more desirable to theifs, they will cost more to protect on your insurance.
Cars involved in routine and safe driving will be less money on your insurance. Insurance is a game of numbers and those "soccer mom" vehicles are in less accidents statistically.
“Remember: insurance companies play a game of numbers; if your car is going to cost more to replace, then you’re going to pay more for it. With that in mind, go forth and buy the right car for you and your insurer.”- Corbin Foucart
For all of your insurance needs look to Gordon Insurance. We’ll provide you information from our website, and find the best insurance options for you.
Many people with insurance have good, reliable used vehicles that they depend on every day. There comes a time, however, when a decision must be made regarding the purchase or continuation of physical damage coverage. At some point the premium for comprehensive and collision coverage plus the deductible charged for the at fault collision may outweigh the value of the vehicle damaged. Oftentimes we recommend keeping comprehensive coverage in force when deleting the collision coverage since if provides for windshield repair or replacement with no deductible applied for a fairly low premium. For more information about this, go to our auto insurance page.
The other big decision regarding older vehicles is when is it time to stop repairing and buy a new vehicle. People insist they would rather “drive their used car into the ground” rather than take on new car payments. However, in some cases, purchasing a new car may actually be the less costly way to go.
Some examples of a good time to buy new might be:
1.) If the monthly repair bills exceed a new(er) car loan payment
2.) When the used car needs major work, such as a transmission or engine fix which may cost several thousand dollars with no guarantee that the car will be as good as new
3.) When the car has high mileage and may not have a lot of life left as evidenced by a mechanic
4.) When you’re spending more and more time and effort on constant repairs
If any of the above applies to the situation, it may be time to walk away from the old and consider the new purchase.
For information about insuring you're new car, check us out at agordon.com and watch a few of our whiteboard videos.
During a recent trip to the “fix it” shop I learned of the probable reason that my lawn mower – as well as my lawn tractor and snow blower— wasn’t properly working. Although I flirted with the possibility that a poltergeist was haunting all my gas-powered tools, it turns out that changes in fuel composition are to blame. The transition from pure gasoline to a mix of gasoline and ethanol were the culprits that had brought about the unforeseen damage to the engines.
Why does ethanol damage my lawn equipment?
Ethanol attracts moisture, which rapidly deteriorates fuel. My “fix it” shop offered the following solution: run the lawn mower/snow blower/etc until it’s almost out of gas or drain the fuel when not in use. I consulted some articles on the subject that suggested the problems to be more extensive, but I’m going to employ the simple solution above to do the trick.
Why bother preventing ethanol damage?
Maintaining expensive tools even with the simplest of procedures will save you trouble and money in the future. Insurance doesn’t and shouldn’t cover everything, including a small engine with moisture damage, so I hope this tip acts as your insurance against this problem!
And for a insurance videos and topical resources, visit the A. G. Gordon, Inc. Website.
I recently received a friendly reminder from my car dealer not to forget to winterize my car. With winter weather fast approaching, it makes sense to tackle some of the simple maintenance tasks that could keep your car in top running condition. Timely maintenance does more than keep your vehicle running smoothly. It can help increase its trade-in value, improve its mileage and save you time and costly repairs down the road.
- Belts. With the engine off, check your car’s belts for cracks and missing pieces. To check for proper tightness, press down on the belt with your thumb. If the belt gives more than half an inch, it needs tightening.
- Hoses. When the car is cold, feel your car’s hoses for bulges, cracks, soft spots or brittleness. With the engine running, look for (but don’t touch) bulges or leaks. If you detect any, have the hose replaced. Note: Avoid replacing air conditioning hoses yourself. Their pressurized gases can cause serious injury.
- Coolant. Check the level of coolant in your radiator by looking at the coolant overflow tank. Maintaining a 50/50 mix of antifreeze will keep your engine cool in hot weather and prevent damage when temperatures fall as low as 40 below zero. Note: Do not remove the radiator cap until the engine is turned off and has cooled down.
- Oil. Depending on the driving conditions your car is subjected to, change your oil and filter as recommended in your Owner’s Manual. Also, use the recommended oil grade.
- Power Steering Fluid. To check, pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean, and insert it again. Pull it out again and check the level. If it is below the HOT range, add the recommended steering fluid up to the upper level mark. Note: If the fluid level is extremely low or fluid has been replaced, contact your dealer.
- Brake Fluid. Check the fluid level on the outside of the tank using the lines on the reservoir as a guide. If the level is below MIN, add brake fluid from a sealed container to bring it up to MAX. You’ll notice a significant drop in fluid levels when there’s a leak. Note: Brake fluid absorbs moisture from the air. Any absorbed moisture can cause a dangerous loss of braking performance. If your brake fluid tank requires frequent refilling, there may be a leak. Contact your dealer immediately.
- Air Filter. Again, depending on the condition of the roads traveled by your vehicle, routinely check your air filter for accumulated debris.
- Battery. Check your battery terminals regularly, removing any corrosion with a toothbrush and a mix of baking soda and water.
- Tires. Check your tire pressure (with tires cold) once a month or more. Keep tires inflated to manufacturer’s recommendations, which can be found on the driver’s side door frame placard and in the owner’s manual.
- Wipers, Washers, Horn And Lights. Finally, be sure to check the operation of your car’s wipers, windshield washers, horn and lights. Tip: Isopropyl alcohol makes wiper blade clean-up a snap!
For more relevant information and insurance resources, visit the A. G. Gordon website. Look for our auto insurance resources and whiteboard videos.
Have you ever wondered how your car insurance rates are calculated? What affects that number on the bottom of the page? Here’s the answer:
- What type of car you drive- some cars cost more to insure than others do. Your rate can be affected by how likely your car is to be stolen, its age, the cost of any future repairs, and how safe it is (or isn’t).
- Your driving record- your driving record largely determines how well you drive (at least in the eyes of your insurance provider). The fewer incidents you’ve been involved in, the lower your premium will be. If you have a slew of accidents and driving violations on your road resume, expect to pay significantly more than if you have a clean record.
- Where you live- Outside of your own driving ability, some areas are simply safer to drive in than others, both in terms of crime and accident statistics. Your rate can vary depending upon where you garage your car as well.
- The number of miles you drive each year- Statistics says by the law of large numbers that the probability of an accident increases with the amount that you drive. Therefore expect a higher rate if you put hefty mileage onto your vehicle each year.
- Your age- Young drivers (especially males) will have to pay augmented rates. Generally insurance providers divide the “steps” into drivers who have been on the road for under three years, three to six years, and more than six years.
- Your credit- for many insurance providers, your credit score can have an impact on your insurance rates.
- Coverage- like any other insurance rate, the price is partially determined by the coverage you already have. Make sure you shop around and get the best possible price for the coverage you need.
The good news: There are a variety of auto insurance discounts available to insurence customers. Learn more about our auto insurance policies and watch whiteboard videos for more information. Here’s one video made by our agency that explains the various discounts you may be eligible for:
When considering coverage for auto insurance, it is important to properly cover yourself, your household members, and your vehicle(s). However, it is just as important to purchase enough coverage were you to cause damage to others or to their property.
Where is this mentioned?
Part 4 (damage to someone else’s property) provides the coverage for damage to property owned by others, whether it is another vehicle or a structure, such as a fence, mailbox, building, etc. This would also apply to structures such as guardrails on the highway, telephone poles or structures owned by National Grid. Payment will be made if the insured or a household member is legally responsible for the accident. The insurance carrier will also pay if someone else was using your car with your consent and is legally responsible for the accident.
How much will be paid?
The most that will be paid for damage from any one accident is shown on the coverage selections page. If someone covered under this part is using an auto he or she does not own at the time of the accident, the owner’s auto insurance must pay its limit before the operator’s policy will pay. The operator’s policy will pay for their share of any damages not paid by the owner’s insurance (if damages exceeded their limit) up to the operator’s policy limit.
Is coverage mandatory?
Part 4 is compulsory insurance and $5,000 limits are the minimum allowed by the state. Higher limits may be purchased and the cost to increase is usually much less than expected. One of our insureds recently increased their Part 4 from $50,000 to $100,000 for 2 vehicles and the annual total premium increased by $2. Another insured increased their Part 4 from $100,000 to $200,000 for 3 vehicles and the total annual premium increased $11. It is definitely in an insured’s best interest to have higher limits quoted as one should try to protect one’s assets from potential lawsuits.
What’s an example of needing coverage?
As an example of what can happen when inadequate limits are purchased, another agent’s customer called us recently to ask us for confirmation of the facts surrounding an accident she had had the year before. She was a youthful operator whose father purchased the insurance for her with minimum state limits. His decision was based on the fact that she worked part-time and didn’t own anything. However, she was involved in an at fault accident and totalled someone else’s vehicle. She was found legally responsible, her policy paid the $5000 minimum limit purchased and her future wages were attached for the remaining balance of $30,000 owed for the totaled vehicle. We advised that this was in fact how all carriers would have treated the loss when only the minimum state limits had been purchased.
We always recommend that our customers consider their assets and purchase enough coverage to protect themselves and their property. Check out our auto insurance page if you're ready for a quote or learn more with our insurance resources and whiteboard videos.
The statements below are taken from actual insurance accident claims forms. They are real (according to the internet). Read, laugh, and be glad it wasn’t you.
- I collided with a stationary truck coming the other way.
- The other car collided with mine without giving warning of its intention.
- My car was legally parked as it backed into another vehicle.
- When I saw I could not avoid a collision I stepped on the gas and crashed into the other car.
- I started to slow down but the traffic was more stationary than I thought.
- The accident occurred when I was attempting to bring my car out of a skid by steering it into the other vehicle.
- I was unable to stop in time and my car crashed into the other vehicle. The driver and passengers then left immediately for a vacation with injuries.
- The car in front of me stopped for a yellow light, so I had no choice but to hit him. (She pushed him through the intesection)
- Coming home I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don’t have.
- I thought my window was down, but I found it was up when I put my head through it.
- As I approached an intersection a sign suddenly appeared in a place where no stop sign had ever appeared before. I was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident.
- In an attempt to kill a fly, I drove into a telephone pole.
- I was thrown from my car as it left the road. I was later found in a ditch by some stray cows.
Who to Blame?
- No one was to blame for the accident but it would never have happened if the other driver had been alert.
- I didn’t think the speed limit applied after midnight.
- I had been shopping for plants all day and was on my way home. As I reached an intersection a hedge sprang up, obscuring my vision and I did not see the other car.
- On approach to the traffic lights the car in front suddenly broke.
- The accident was caused by me waving to the man I hit last week.
- Windshield broke. Cause unknown. Probably Voodoo.
- I left for work this morning at 7am as usual when I collided straight into a bus. The bus was 5 minutes early.
- An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my car and vanished.
- I knew the dog was possessive about the car but I would not have asked her to drive it if I had thought there was any risk.
Jokes Courtesy of “Swap meet Dave- Funny Insurance Claims”
For topical and relevant insurance resources or to get a quote, visit our website www.agordon.com.
Growing up as a kid, I never had to concern myself with insurance. My parents provided me with all the protection I needed: a roof over my head, warm food, dry clothes, and a ride to school. There was no need to worry about how much insurance coverage my Mom & Dad had on the house and car, or how much money the insurance company would give to us if the house ever caught on fire or the car was involved in an accident. Ahh, the good old days.
As an adult, I have many finances that I need to pay close attention to in order to survive on my own. One of the more important, yet unremarkable finances, is my insurance. It is required to drive my car and it was required to purchase my house. Those are two key components of my everyday life.
Isn't it all the same?
Most people assume insurance is the same for everybody, just pay the bill every month and it will protect your house and car. Unfortunately, that is incorrect. There are many variations of insurance. But to keep it simple, consider two main parts: coverage amounts and premium.
Take out your current home or auto policy and take a look at your coverage amounts. Do they seem too small or too large? Do they even make sense? These numbers directly affect the amount you pay for insurance through the year. One of the things a professional agent brings to the table is a sense of what appropriate limits are, and what needs to have insurance in the first place.
How can I find out it my insurance fits?
To help determine whether your insurance fits you, it really is prudent to speak to your insurance professional. Our lives are not “one size fits all.” We are all unique. Shouldn’t an insurance program reflect that?
With good information, your insurance agent can make sure that you are properly covered and that you are also paying the best price for that coverage. If you have the proper coverage, you never have to worry about insurance; you can rest assured that if anything happens to your home or vehicle, your insurance will provide you the means to replace them. It’s sleep-at-night coverage. On the other hand, if you do not have the proper insurance to match your needs, you are at risk financially, and threatening the rest of your finances and assets every day.
Can I check my insurance myself?
For those who prefer the self-serve approach, we have prepared checklists for the most common areas where custom changes make sense. For a self-serve check-up on your insurance, visit our checklist page, or give Gordon Insurance a call at 800-649-3252. If you’re not convinced you’re getting the best value for your dollar, let us help you with a free quote.