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    Personal Insurance Blog

    Bike Safety

    Posted by Nate Gordon

    Sat, Nov 10, 2012 @ 11:16 AM

    It’s important to remain safe when you are out on the streets, regardless of how you travel.  Cycling is a great way to let off steam and get around more cleanly than driving a car.  Unfortunately, having to share the road is a simple reality that drivers, pedestrians, and especially cyclists have to get used to. These are some of the key elements you have to keep in mind when you are out on a bike if you want make it home safe.

    Bike safely with a helmet tips and personal from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell ma

    1. Wear a Helmet

    This one seems obvious, but there are plenty of people who forgo the helmet every time they go out. It’s the sort of thing people like to write off as being for small children, and while they have an especially high incident rate, I really can’t stress enough just how important it is for people of all ages out on the road to wear a helmet. There are constant opportunities for a crash, and the difference between an unpleasant jostling and a trip to the hospital can be as simple as remembering to strap on your helmet.

    2. Hand turn signals

    Easily the biggest threat to road cyclists is the cars you have to share the road with. Turning signals are the same that you would use in a car when your tail lights aren’t working: signal with your left hand as you continue to steer with your right. Before making a left turn, extend your left arm out straight. When you make a right turn, hold your left arm up, elbow at a right angle.  When you are about to stop, hold your left arm pointed down to the ground.

    3. Stay Visible!

    This is one that, again, can come off as pretty obvious, but there are so many ways that people forget to make themselves visible to people in cars. Make sure that whatever you’re wearing has relatively bright colors on it at the very least, even if you are out in the middle of the day.

    Further, you should do your best to avoid going out after dark. Motorists have a hard enough time seeing other cars at night, and they have big lights on them to warn each other. When you really can’t avoid biking late, you have to dress accordingly. At this point, wearing bright colors just isn’t enough; you have to make sure to wear a reflective strip, or get a blinker installed on your bike. But again, the safest option is just to restrict your biking activity to daylight.

    4. Stay in the Bike Lane (or, Failing that, remember to stay in Traffic)

    Lower personal risk on your bicycle and stay safe with andrew gordon inc insurance norwell ma

    When you live in a town or city that has a bike lane, it is the cyclist’s responsibility to honor that designation and ride exclusively in that lane. This keeps you safe from cars that have no reason to be passing through that lane, and also frees up traffic so that the motorists don’t have to worry about you going in their lane. 

    However, it is important to note that most rural towns do not have such a lane designated just for bicycles.  If you are in such a town, it is a common mistake to treat the road shoulder as a sort of bike lane.  This is actually significantly less safe than riding right on the road.  The shoulder does not give as much space as a bike needs, so you can still get side swiped by a car whose driver didn’t see you. Biking more in the standard road makes one more visible to motorists coming up behind you and allows you to avoid the potholes and crumbling asphalt you can find on a shoulder.

    So, always stay visible, ride where you’re safest, and always, always wear a helmet.  Despite the scary picture this might paint for road biking, it really is one of the best ways to stay in shape and enjoy the fresh air. 

    For more of our personal blogs, where we discuss everything from safety issues to recipes, click here. Don't hesitate to contact us with an insurance question. Learn about personal insurance here. 

      INSURANCE QUESTION?

    Nate Gordon

    Tags: risk, management, safety, biking, visibility, tips, traffic, helmet, bike, bicycle, signals, turn

    Why Does My Insurance Company Not Fight My At-Fault?

    Posted by Geoffrey Gordon

    Thu, Jul 05, 2012 @ 09:12 AM

    Understand what your agent can do if youre at fault in an automobile collision with auto from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell maYou’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.

    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 driver 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. If 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

    • While in reverse

    It’s always good to get fresh information at the accident, to avoid ‘description drift’.  See our tips on right after an accident to understand how to protect your interests. Or call us at 800-649-3252. Learn more about auto insurance here

      Driving with Insurance in Mind eBook  

    Geoff Gordon

    Tags: auto, risk, management, law, insurance, fender bender, at-fault, at-fault, litigation, accident, Automobile, Vehicle, car, crash, traffic

    Summer Motorcycle Safety

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Mon, Jul 02, 2012 @ 09:08 AM

    Stay safe this summer while riding your motorcycle or vehicle with auto from Andrew Gordon inc insurance norwell maWith 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 to give both extra space and extra attention to the two-wheeled cousin of the car.

    Motorcycle fatalities have also been climbing,

    reaching 4,976 in 2015. 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:

    1. Over half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle. Most of the time it is the motorist, not the motorcyclist, who 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).
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Enjoy riding your motorcycle this summer but stay safe with auto and tips from andrew gordon inc insurance norwell maMotorcyclists 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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 watch educational insurance videos, or get a quote. Learn more about motorcycle insurance here

    INSURANCE QUESTION?

    Tags: auto, safety, insurance, cheap, accident, Automobile, claims, quote, motorcycle, traffic

    Accident Prevention: Defensive Driving Course

    Posted by Kay Gordon

    Thu, Nov 03, 2011 @ 05:37 PM

    Drive safely in new conditions and cover your vehicle and teenagers with auto from Andrew Gordon IncA Facebook posting by a friend shows a picture of the family car on its side with the passenger side crushed.  Luckily no one was hurt in this accident, which happened when their teenage son was driving to school on a snowy “spring” day that was surprisingly slick and dangerous. Unfortunately, on the way to school accidents are quite common as new and newish drivers are on their own for the first time in conditions that as “permit” drivers they might not have encountered.

    Unanticipated conditions are often met with panic and reactions that aggravate rather than help. Here on the South Shore there is a driving school that is dedicated to helping drivers cope with realistic, emergency situations. Unlike pre-licensed driving and class courses, this school, which is run by professional race car drivers, puts the driver into “controlled” situations like spin-outs, mock accidents, slick driving conditions and shows the driver how to deal with such encounters.

    My own family members have taken advantage of this course and felt that it was invaluable as well as a lot of fun. You can link to a 10% discount for this course from our website's auto page or go straight to the discounted sign-up page here.

    Check out our website for other insurance resources and tips. Learn about auto insurance here.

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    Kay Gordon

    Tags: auto, insurance, accident, prevention, driving, dangerous, quote, Device Drivers, IndyCar Series, Motorsports, traffic, school, defensive, racing, dmv online

    Funny Insurance Explanations

    Posted by Geoffrey Gordon

    Thu, Oct 06, 2011 @ 05:49 PM

    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.

    Auto Accidents:

    • Andrew Gordon Inc provides all your home auto life and commercial insurance needs no matter how funnyI 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 intersection)

    General Disaster:

    • 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.

    Read some weird and interesting insurance stories here.

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    Geoff Gordon

    Tags: insurance, Automobile, driving, collision, traffic, funny, jokes

    Motorcycle Insurance: Differences in Coverage

    Posted by Geoffrey Gordon

    Wed, Oct 05, 2011 @ 07:07 PM

    Cover your vehicle with motorcycle or auto insurance from Andrew Gordon IncAlthough motorcycles are insured on a Personal Auto policy, there are key differences between insuring a car and a motorcycle.  Costs are usually lower on motorcycles; one reason is that these are not normally vehicles driven year-round. Another difference from a car is that you may drive a motorcycle on a permit without another licensed operator.  The main factors involved in getting to motorcycle premiums are: years licensed/permitted; participation in a motorcycle driver training course; the value of the motorcycle; engine size (cc’s); driver experience (step); the town it’s garaged in; and the coverage you choose.

    What's the Key Difference?

    A key issue with motorcycle coverage is the exclusion of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits for operators and passengers.  This coverage will not pay for injuries incurred while riding a motorcycle but it will pay for anyone struck by the motorcycle; PIP also pays for injuries incurred by the motorcycle owner if struck as a pedestrian by a vehicle that does not have MA compulsory insurance.  To buy back coverage for you (the operator) and your guests, medical payments (Part 6) is the way.  The minimum amount that can be purchased is $500 and the maximum allowed is $50,000; the $50,000 amount limit may not be available from all carriers. 

    Another Auto VS Motorcycle Difference

    Under normal circumstances, most health carriers exclude coverage for the first $2,000 for injuries incurred as the result of an auto or motorcycle accident. The Medical Payments above can pay the first $2000, then the medical provider pays according to the individual health plan. Any balance can be paid with this Medical Payments coverage up to the amount chosen on the policy (if $5000 in coverage purchased, you would have a balance of $3000 that could be paid for things like deductibles, co-payments and those kinds of gaps.

    As you can see, the difference between coverage for injuries when riding an auto as compared to a motorcycle can be significant; not something to discover this after the fact.   Please consult the experts at Gordon Insurance at www.agordon.com, as injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident can be costly.

    Learn more about motorcycle insurance coverage here.

      INSURANCE QUESTION?

    Geoff Gordon

    Tags: insurance, cheap, Vehicle, car, collision, motorcycle, traffic

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