Rise in Car Accidents

If you have been reading the Columbus Dispatch, you have heard that many Ohio insurance companies are raising rates. The reason they are raising rates is because of the rising number of claims and the rising cost of these claims. Medical bills and auto body shops are charging a bigger ticket for services.Ohio Rates

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the state troopers have investigated 45,815 crashes this year, compared to 44,836 investigated during the same time period last year. This is not just a one year spike. The Insurance Information Institute says the number of collision claims per 100 cars has been rising since 2013.

Experts expect this is due to improving economy and more drivers driving more miles. Although, most people blame the increase in distracted driving by particularly cell phones.

With rising collision claims, rising insurance rates are in the near future. The best way to combat rising insurance rates is to contact an insurance professional or independent agent to help you shop your insurance. Knowing what discounts are available or coverage is necessary, are details that an independent agent can help you with.

Steps after an Accident

Call the Police. If you are really worried about whether your car is going to get fixed, you need to call the Police. Problems during the claims process are normally started because someone didn’t call the Police.

If the accident occurred in a parking lot or during bad weather, the local Police might not come to the scene of the accident. In that case it is your responsibility to collect as much information as possible. The most important info to collect is the name, phone number, and insurance information(policy number and carrier). After you have collected those you can then collect other information so that the story doesn’t change when the claims process starts.

Most people these days have a camera on their phone. It never hurts to take a picture of the license plate and damages done to both cars. If there was a witness to the accident, that was not in either car, it could be useful to collect their name and phone number as well. If the witness was a passenger in either car they are no longer considered a witness.

Basic information like time, location, and how the accident occurred will also be necessary to file an auto claim. If anyone is hurt, do not hesitate to tell the police officer or call for help. If you have an independent agent, call your agent and they will be more that happy to assist you during this stressful situation. If everything is done correctly the claims process should go smoothly.

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Are you losing sleep worrying?

Two things that can cause stress in your life is worrying about your assets and your family. What if their was a way to bring you a little more peace and security? Well, there is a way, one simple policy can protect these assets and your family. When your shopping for insurance be sure to ask about an umbrella policy.

What is an umbrella policy? Here is a simple explanation from investopedia:

“Extra liability insurance coverage that goes beyond the limits of the insured’s home, auto or watercraft insurance. It provides an additional layer of security to those who are at risk for being sued for damages to other people’s property or injuries caused to others in an accident. It also protects against libel, vandalism, slander and invasion of privacy.” (http://www.investopedia.com)

Umbrella policies are sold in million dollar increments and are very affordable considering the peace of mind that you will have after purchasing one. You will most likely receive a discount on your other policies as well. The problem with just having an auto policy with the very common $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident, is that $100,000 can be exhausted very quickly if you hit someone and they have to go to the hospital.

Just the other day there was an accident where a young driver was stopped but sticking out past a stop sign. A motorcycle was passing by and hit the vehicle. The motorcyclist was injured badly and had to go the hospital. The insurance company saw the damage and wrote a check for the full limit of $100,000. This will not be enough and most likely this accident will be taken to court, meaning the young driver and his family are now responsible for any other expenses. If they had purchased an umbrella there million dollar coverage would come in after the $100,000 was exhausted. Protecting their family, home, savings, legal fees, and anything else the family has.

Things like this can happen to anybody and it’s very important you protect yourself by buying an umbrella policy.