Author: AZ Insurance Team Blog

3 Ways to Avoid 1,600 Wrong-Way Drivers in Arizona.

3 Ways to Avoid 1,600 Wrong-Way Drivers in Arizona.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety received more than 1,600 reports of a wrong-way driver in 2016.

Raul Garcia, public information officer for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, said “A very small percentage of that 1,600 has resulted in a crash, and in many instances, these people reorient themselves or get to where they are going and exit the highway.”

However, 27 of those incidents have had serious injury or death and more than 100 of the involved drivers were arrested with suspicion of impairment.

So, what can be done to stop or help prevent future accidents involving wrong-way drivers?

The Arizona Department of Transportation is planning to test a prototype wrong-way detection system along a 4 mile stretch of Interstate 17.  They will use existing in-pavement sensors to detect and alert state troopers of wrong-way drivers. Read more about this plan here.

There are a few things you can do to avoid wrong-way drivers too.

  • Avoid driving in the fast lane at night, because wrong-way drivers believe it is the slow lane.
  • Avoid driving late at night (past midnight i.e.) and on weekends when more drunk drivers are on the road
  • Take public transportation where available.

If you do see a wrong-way driver, slow down and get to the shoulder.  Once you’re able to safely come to a stop, call 9-1-1.  You can also sound your horn and flash your lights as a way to alert the wrong-way driver.

There are no significant differences between Arizona’s figures and national figures on wrong-way crashes, but every preventable crash and life that can be saved is worth the extra effort.

-AZ Insurance Team

*This photo provided by the Arizona Department of Public Safety shows the mangled remains of cars

If your car is broken into, what’s actually covered?

If your car is broken into, what’s actually covered?

Imagine this, you’re running out the door in the morning to get to work and find that your car has been broken into.  Someone smashed your window, stole your laptop, radio and gifts for your mom.  Your personal space has been invaded by a stranger and your belongings taken.

You can make a claim on your auto insurance policy to have the damages fixed as soon as possible, but what items are actually covered by your auto insurance?

Break-ins usually occur when a burglar spots valuable items inside a vehicle.  Some common items that are stolen include:

  • Car stereos
  • Cell phones
  • Laptops
  • Small Electronics
  • Purses or Wallets

With most insurance policies, damages due to theft will be covered under Comprehensive coverage.  Check your auto policy to see if you have Comprehensive coverage if you’re the victim of a break-in.

Of the items listed above, usually only the car stereo would be covered by your auto insurance policy, but even that’s not always guaranteed.  If your stereo is detachable, it’s not considered a permanent and attached item to your vehicle.

Well, you’re not out of luck yet.  If you have homeowners or renters insurance, the items stolen from your vehicle are likely covered.  You’ll need to file a police report and pay your deductible to make a theft-related insurance claim.

If you don’t already have homeowners or renter’s insurance, definitely consider it; especially if you ever leave pricey or priceless possessions in your car.

-AZ INSURANCE TEAM

Get a free homeowners or renters insurance quote now! https://www.azinsuranceteam.com/property-quote.html

 

What to do if you’re the victim of a Hit and Run

What to do if you’re the victim of a Hit and Run

Getting in a car accident can be a traumatic event on its own, but to add to the chaos the other person involved in the wreck flees the scene.  This crime is commonly known as a “hit and run”, which can be characterized as either a misdemeanor or felony in the United States.

Just imagine, you’re standing next to your busted up car and there’s no one there to point the finger at, what do you do?  Luckily, in many cases whoever flees the scene is more or less automatically regarded as being at fault.

However, when it comes time to file a claim with your insurance company, you’re going to want proof.

  • Immediately following the hit and run, talk to any nearby witnesses and collect as many details as possible about the driver description, vehicle make, model, year, color, license plate and what actually happened.
  • Take plenty of photos and get copies of any surveillance footage that may have captured the accident. With help from the police, you may be able to identify the other driver.
  • Don’t forget to call your insurance company right away; typically you must report the incident to your insurance company within 24 hours of the incident.
  • If you are able to identify the other driver, your insurance company will be able to file a claim against the third party insurance company; If not you’ll have to file a claim against your own insurance plan, which can result in a denied claim or higher future premiums.

For those that live in a state with traditional liability and carry underinsured or uninsured driver insurance you should be covered for your bodily injuries up to the limit of your policy.  If you don’t have UIM coverage as part of your policy, you’re likely going to have a difficult time recovering damages for your injuries.

Also, if you have collision coverage, you will have to pay the deductible in order for your car to be repaired or replaced.  If you do not have collision coverage, your car will not be repaired or replaced.

Being the victim of a hit and run driver can be an upsetting experience, remember to keep your calm and collect as much information about the accident from passerby’s and Closed Circuit TV’s (CCTV).  The more evidence you can acquire, the easier time you’ll have later on with your insurance claim.

-AZ Insurance Team

Visit www.azinsuranceteam.com for more info and to get a free quote!

 

Explaining Insurance Deductibles

Explaining Insurance Deductibles

The deductible is the amount the insured pays out-of-pocket for towards any damages or loss before their insurance company starts to pay for the claim.  This can be either a percentage of the total amount of insurance or a specific dollar amount.

For example, if you have a $1000 deductible on your auto insurance and you get into a car accident with $3000 worth of damage to your vehicle, you will pay that $1000 and your insurance will cover the rest.  The process is the same for homeowners’ insurance claims.

With that being said, it may seem that choosing a lower deductible is the optimal decision as you will be paying less out-of-pocket if you file claim.  However, a lower deductible general means you’ll be paying more on your monthly insurance payments.  So if you’re a safe driver who almost never gets into accidents, a higher deductible could be the better option.  It’s estimated that raising your deductible from $500 to $1000 can save up to 30% on your yearly insurance expense.Of course, the most important thing to consider is that you can afford to pay the deductible you decide on.

How Much Life Insurance Is Enough?

How Much Life Insurance Is Enough?

It’s impossible to know the exact amount of life insurance you should purchase, but you can make a reasonable estimate based on several different factors regarding your financial situation and what your loved ones will need in the years following your passing.

There are many rules of thumb and life insurance calculators out there that are beneficial, but the truth is that different situations call for more detailed analysis and that “8-10 times your salary” is not sufficient for everyone.  The purpose of life insurance is to allow your loved ones to continue a certain standard of living even after your death.  This can relate to several different factors and it’s best to speak with an agent to determine how much would be best for you, but to start, some important things to consider include:

Sum of debts:  This can include your mortgage, credit card balances, student loan balances, car loans, and whatever other debts you would be leaving behind.

Education expenses:  This is related the amount that will be necessary to put your children through school at the time they will enroll.  It’s important to note that higher education becomes increasingly more expensive as time goes by.  Also, if your surviving spouse would like to complete a college education, you could also set aside some money for that purpose.

Funeral expenses:  In 2016, the average cost of a funeral and related expenses was between $7,000 and $10,000.

Income replacement:  This accounts for the loss of income related to your passing.  This is listed after the previous considerations as once the sum of debts, education expenses, and funeral expenses are covered your dependents will not necessarily need to replace 100% of your income.  Of course, it also important to consider how many years of your income you’d like to leave behind.

Again, the amount of life insurance you need is an extremely complicated subject and the considerations above are only a starting point.  The amount you need changes throughout your life as changes happen and speaking with a professional about your situation is the best way to make sure you’re fully covered at all stages of life.

Why Should You Choose An Independent Agent?

Why Should You Choose An Independent Agent?

When purchasing insurance you have the option of picking between working with an independent insurance broker and a captive insurance agent.  What’s the difference?  Captive insurance agents represent a certain company and cannot sell products outside of their respective company, while independent agents/brokers work with several companies and can offer products from any of the companies they represent.  Need more clarification?  Here’s what makes an independent agent the right option:

More choices:

As you already known, independent agents have the ability to offer you products from any of the companies they represent.   There’s no need for you to shop around and find the best rates, independent agents do that for you.  Due to their knowledge of the market, independent agents will often find better values than you might find searching on your own.  We shop, you save.

Unbiased advice:

Independent agents are very knowledgeable about a large number of insurance companies and what they offer.  What is just as important is that independent agents work with the customers of these companies.  This means that not only are independent agents knowledgeable about what the companies offer, they have also received tons of feedback from real customers that gives them a good idea about what companies have the best track record in terms of customer satisfaction.   This allows independent agents to give great advice based on both the policies a company offers as well as the experiences of other clients.

One-stop shop:

Independent agents offer a variety of different types of insurance, meaning that they are your one-stop shop for all of your insurance needs.  This makes it easier to stay organized and saves you the time and effort of working with several different people.  For example, we can quote you for both home and auto insurance to see where we can save you money.

Personal advocates:

Independent agents are your personal advocates any time you have questions or concerns related to your insurance.  We work with the insurance company on your behalf so that you don’t have to.  Independent agents are real people that you can trust have your best interests in mind.

Call us if you have any more questions!

Myths About Life Insurance

Myths About Life Insurance

 

Many of us avoid thinking or talking about life insurance as thinking about death isn’t exactly the most enjoyable way to spend our time. We will, however, do anything to protect our loved ones, and making sure those that depend on you are properly protected in the event of your death is all-important.  Life insurance can be confusing so were here to debunk five common myths related to life insurance.

1. It’s expensive.

According to a study conducted by Life Happens and LIMRA, “cost is the reason most Americans give for not owning life insurance, yet 80% of consumers misjudge the price for term life insurance, with Millennials overestimating the cost by 213%, and Gen Xers overestimating the cost by 119%. “  The truth is life insurance can cost less than one dollar a day.

2. I don’t have kids so I don’t need life insurance.

This is false as not having children doesn’t mean you don’t have anyone who is financially dependent on you.  Whether you have a spouse or aging parents that rely on your income, having life insurance will protect them in the event that you pass away.

3. The life insurance I get through my work is sufficient.

Many employers offer a life insurance plan to their employees.  Though this is still beneficial, it typically only offers you with coverage equal to 1-2 times your annual salary, while you generally need closer to 5-8 times your salary. Some experts even recommend 10-12 times your annual salary. You may also lose your life insurance coverage if you leave your job.  It’s best to speak with an agent about whether your employer’s life insurance coverage is sufficient.

4. My health will disqualify me from being able to purchase life insurance.

Being ill does not necessarily disqualify you from being able to get life insurance.  It can, however, increase the amount that you pay.  There are a lot of companies that specialize in high-risk cases as well.

5. I am too young to worry about life insurance.

The amount you pay for life insurance depends on many factors, but age and health are both very important.  The longer you wait to get life insurance the more expensive it becomes, so it’s important to start considering it early in your life.