Black ice, snow, blizzards, reckless drivers and other factors can make driving in the winter very dangerous. No one wants to be in a winter accident, but sometimes it happens. Here are some tips to help if you find yourself in a winter accident.
Take a deep breath and check your new environment. Your first reaction may be to get out of the car and check the damage, but it may not be safe. Depending on where you are traveling, you could be near a cliff or large drop-off. Perhaps a patch of ice is right outside the door. Before getting out of the car, look around and determine that it is safe to exit the car.
Get off the road.
If the car is still in good enough shape to be driven, move it out of the way. Take it slowly and test the car to see what damage has occurred. Again, drive slowly. You don’t want to make a bad problem get worse. Move your car enough off the road to remove the risk of other cars hitting you.
Stay in the Car
If you are unable to get the car off the road its best to just stay in the car. Walking around an active road is dangerous in general. It is even worse in the winter due to ice hazards and the possibility of falling. (If you slip and fall, you are at the mercy of the driver coming towards you. The cold itself can also be dangerous, so stay in the car and stay warm. If you have to go out be very careful.
Stay Warm and Visible
During those times that you are stuck in the car it’s best to stay warm and stay visible. If it is during a storm, this is even more important to help you be found and to keep other drivers from accidentally hitting your car. Check your “emergency stash” for needed items. (Want to know what you need to include in your “stash?” Click here.) Make sure your hazard lights are turned on in order to help keep your car visible.
Use Your Cell Phone
Finally, use your cell phone to report the accident. This should get help to you sooner. Most cell phones now have cameras. This makes it easy to take photos of the accident.
Like a teenager eager to try a new video game, playing before reading the rules, many drivers buy insurance without really understanding what they’re buying. In the rush to feel “covered,” they can skip the details. That can lead to frustration.
Following are five insurance myths heard by some of the more than 13,000 claims people at Progressive, one of the country’s largest auto insurance companies:
Myth: I bought “full coverage” so everything’s paid for.
Reality: There is no such thing as “full coverage.” In most states, only liability insurance is mandatory. There are a lot of other coverage options out there, so select what you need and can afford based on your personal situation.
Myth: I need three estimates before my wrecked vehicle can be repaired.
Reality: Not necessarily. Very few insurers actually require this, although some might. If you decide to use a shop that’s in an insurance company’s “network” of pre-approved shops you may just have to get an estimate from that shop.
Myth: My insurance premium always increases if I’m involved in an accident.
Reality: It depends. Your rate can increase, decrease or stay the same. The information about your accident is combined with other information about you, your car and your driving history to determine your rate.
Myth: If I lend my car to someone and he/she crashes it, I’m covered.
Reality: Not so fast. If you or your friend don’t have optional physical damage coverages, damage to your vehicle generally won’t be covered.
Myth: If I buy a new car, my auto insurance company automatically knows; and my new car is covered.
Reality: No. Most insurance companies require that you notify them or your agent within a specified number of days. Generally, you have 30 days to add the new vehicle to your policy.
“Insurance can be complicated,” says Chuck Crist of Progressive. “It’s not something people deal with every day. So the more informed you are, the better choices you’ll make.”
To learn more, click here to contact Bob Johnson Insurance Inc. or call us at 865-922-3111.
Pet owners spend a whopping $40 billion on their furry friends each year. That’s enough to buy a gallon of gas for every man, woman and child in the United States 44 times! Insurance companies haven’t always viewed pets with the same passion as their owners. If you’re in an accident, generally everyone in the car – except your four-legged friend – is covered.
How an Independent Insurance Agent can Help
As an independent insurance company Bob Johnson Insurance is not limited to one company. We can check multiple companies to fit your needs. In this case, The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies can help.
The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies now recognizes Fido and Fifi as family members. A Progressive policy with Collision coverage now extends to cats and dogs. The coverage pays up to $500 if your dog or cat is hurt or dies as a result of a car accident.
And, best of all, the coverage is free.
“We know how much our customers love their dogs and cats. Many of us have pets, too, and we feel the same way,” said Geoff Souser of Progressive. “Progressive has a long history of product and service innovations that prove you can teach an old dog new tricks. Knowing that most people think of their pets as family members, it felt like the right thing to do.”
Progressive’s pet injury coverage is available in most states. To find out more, contact Bob Johnson Insurance, Inc. at 865-922-3111 or click here to contact us.
With so many people on the road during peak vacation months, it may be a good time to brush up on what you should do in the event you’re involved in a crash. Here are some tips from The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies.
Preparedness starts before you leave the driveway:
If your phone does not have a camera, put a disposable camera and pen and paper in your glove box. Car insurance claims can be settled faster if there’s a good record of what happened. If you can take photographs or collect license plate numbers, or even names and phone numbers of witnesses, these can all help your insurance company establish facts faster.
If you are involved in a crash:
- Move your vehicle out of the roadway, if you can. If your car is able to be driven, move it off of the road a safe distance. By getting off the road, you can help to avoid a second collision.
- Turn on your flashers or your lights. You want to be certain your vehicle is visible to other drivers.
- Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If someone is injured, call 911 immediately.
- Call local police to report the crash.
- Call your insurance company to report the crash. The earlier your insurance company knows about the crash, the faster it can get to work to resolve your claim.
- Start documenting what happened, if you can. If you’re able to do so safely, take photographs, make notes, ask witnesses for names and phone numbers. If you’re not able to do so safely, stand as far from the roadway — and the crashed cars — as you possibly can.
- Exchange only your insurance company name. Do not discuss the details of your coverage with anyone at the accident scene.
- Exchange vital information with the other driver(s). Names, addresses, phone numbers are all useful to your insurance company in settling the claim.
For other tips to keep you safe on the road and keep your insurance rates down or to find an independent agent, call Bob Johnson Insurance, Inc. at 865-922-3111 or click here to contact us.