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It's Time - January 2021 Newsletter

Updated: May 7


Snow... in Texas? Coverage Types for Winter-Related Accidents.

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States with very good chances of a snowy New Year include Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Upstate New York, and the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. And apparently Texas this year!

More than 70% of the nation’s roads get more than 5 inches of snowfall annually, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Every year, 24% of weather-related car crashes happen on snowy, slushy, or icy pavement, and 15% happen during a snowfall or sleet event.


How to Cover Car Repair Costs

Winter weather can cause a bunch of vehicle problems, like losing control on a slick road and hitting a guardrail, or having tree branches heavy with snow and icefall on the hood of your car.

Collision and comprehensive insurance are good at covering winter woes.

  • Collision coverage pays for car repair bills if you crash into another car or an object, like a utility pole.

  • Comprehensive coverage pays for non-crash weather-related damage, like falling objects (such as a tree branch) and chips in windshields that expand to large cracks in freezing temperatures. Comprehensive insurance also covers other problems such as car theft, vandalism, fire, floods, and collisions with animals, such as deer.

How to Cover Property Damage and Injuries You Cause to Others

Slick roads, black ice, and overconfidence in your winter driving abilities can all contribute to car accidents.

If you lose control of your vehicle and cause damage or injuries to someone else, your liability car insurance covers the cost of others’ property damage and medical bills, and even a legal defense and settlements in case you are sued.

Liability car insurance is required in most states. However, don’t skimp on liability insurance and only buy your state’s minimum. The minimum can be inadequate if you cause a big accident. A good rule of thumb is to buy enough liability insurance to cover what you can lose in a lawsuit.

Buying umbrella insurance will give you extra liability insurance at a good price.


How to Cover Injuries to Yourself and Your Passengers

If you or your passengers are hurt in a winter car crash, you can typically tap into the medical benefits portion of your car insurance policy.

PIP generally covers:

  • Medical expenses for you and your passengers from a car accident

  • Wages lost due to injuries

  • The cost of replacement services for things you can’t do because of the accident, such as child care or house cleaning

  • Funeral expenses and survivor benefits


Other Coverage Types for Winter-Related Accidents

Here are some other coverage types that can be useful for wintertime car problems:

  • Roadside assistance insurance. This coverage can covers expenses for problems like getting stuck in the snow or freezing temperatures that drain your battery. You can typically get roadside assistance as an add-on to your car insurance policy, from a car club or from your credit card.

  • Rental reimbursement auto insurance. If your car is in the shop for a problem covered by your policy, like a car accident, rental reimbursement will help pay for a rental car until your car is back on the road.

Our Team's New Year's Resolutions

David Pool and Setareh Afshar


A new year means a fresh start. And after the year everyone had in 2020, a fresh start sounds pretty good! Even if you’re the type of person who is put off by New Year’s resolutions, experts say that in 2021 — or any year, really — writing out one or two specific, small, and attainable goals can help develop confidence and a sense of pride, improving your well-being. So we asked our team to share some of their New Year's resolutions.




David Pool

Producer


I started cooking more regularly in 2020 since we all were at home. This year I am going to cook one new thing each week to switch things up and keep learning new culinary skills.






Setareh Afshar

Commercial Lines Account Manager


I'm going to book all my yearly doctor's appointments in one sitting. Getting into the doctor, or anywhere, was more difficult last year so I want to get it all out of the way and get my preferred dates and times!




4 New Year's Resolutions for Your Insurance

-Brought to you by Access Home Insurance


As we begin a new year, it’s a good time to boost your financial safety net and avoid future property and casualty insurance claims.

Whether it’s taking the time to read and understand insurance policies or creating a home inventory, there are smart ways you can protect your financial well-being by resolving to follow a few simple recommendations.

Here are six New Year’s resolutions you can make to be prepared for or avoid common claims, as suggested by USA Today and Nerdwallet writer, Lacie Glover:


1. Create a home inventory.

Damaged property after a fire or natural disaster can be devastating, and filing the insurance claim can be overwhelming. But a home inventory that you’ve kept up-to-date can help you justify the items that you’re claiming.

The inventory can be neatly handwritten, on an Excel spreadsheet, on a form downloaded from the internet, in a video of your belongings, in information added to an app or in some other form of record. What’s important is that every item is accounted for, with as much detail as possible.


2. Read your insurance policies.

Most insureds don’t read every word of their policy or its endorsements, which are a key part of any insurance policy. The key to making a claim is understanding your policy.

For auto and home insurance, look for the policy’s declarations page. Make sure you understand the limits and deductibles of each policy.


3. Improve your credit.

For many insurers, credit-based insurance scoring is one of the most important and statistically valid tools to predict the likelihood of a person filing a claim and the likely cost of that claim, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Credit-based insurance scores are based on information like payment history, bankruptcies, collections, outstanding debt and length of credit history.

Credit history can impact your car insurance rates more than your driving record, according to Consumer Reports.


4. Stay in the kitchen while you’re cooking.

You can help avoid the inconvenience of a common insurance claim by staying in the kitchen when you cook.

Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.