2016 | Boizelle Insurance Partnership

How Does Insurance Cover Parking Lot Accidents

The holiday season is nearly here, which means many shoppers will be driving in and out of store parking lots for the better part of a month. All that activity can up anyone’s chances of being in a parking lot accident. Which may lead you to wonder: How does insurance cover parking lot accidents?

If you damage someone else’s car in any way, it’s your responsibility—and possibly even the law—to leave a note if the other driver is still shopping.

“Not leaving a note is considered a hit-and-run in the vast majority of states,” says Dave Freeman, vice president and manager of Personal Lines Underwriting at ERIE. This applies even if it’s just a small scratch.

Unfortunately, some people won’t do the right thing. If you return to a dented or dinged car, you can ask around to see if there were any witnesses. If there aren’t any, ask the store if they have security cameras. “More and more stores are investing in cameras, which is giving investigators an opportunity to review an accident,” says Dave.

Sticky Situations

An at-fault driver’s auto insurance should cover the property damage they caused to the other vehicle. If the incident is a hit-and-run—or if the at-fault driver has no auto insurance or not enough insurance—you’ll have to rely on your own auto insurance to cover the damage. That’s assuming you purchased optional collision coverage on your own vehicle. Also, uninsured motorist property damage coverage that is available in some states protects your car if it’s struck by a hit-and-run driver. (A deductible may apply.)

Just keep in mind that you’ll likely need uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage. This insurance coverage is optional in some states and mandatory in others. It covers you and your passengers’ damages if you’re injured by a hit-and-run driver, an uninsured driver or a driver who doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. Your insurance agent can tell you more about this important coverage.

There is usually an at-fault driver when there’s a parking lot accident. But there are some cases where an accident is two drivers’ fault—for instance, two people may back out at the same time and hit each other. What typically happens in these cases is that each driver files a claim with their own insurance company.

Prevent Dings, Dents, and Accidents

From slowing down to parking at a distance from other cars, there are lots of ways to help prevent parking lot accidents. Yet nothing is foolproof. If you do get in a parking lot accident, Dave recommends not leaving a nasty note or getting into an argument—things can quickly get out of control. Instead, simply take down the contact information of any witnesses and call your insurance company.

Instances like these show how important the right auto insurance is. Talk to Boizelle Insurance to learn more about getting the right coverage for your car.

Originally by: Amanda Prischak, Erie Insurance

Read more

How Insurance Can Protect You Through the Years

They say that the only constant in life is change. And that’s true whether you’re 18, 80 or somewhere in between.

One thing to consider when life changes is your insurance coverage. Here are six common transitions that your Erie Insurance agent can help you navigate.

You’re off to college.

With Erie Insurance, full-time students younger than 24 are automatically covered under their parents’ homeowners policy. Part-time students (or students who are 24 and older) may need to take out a renters insurance policy. If you choose to live in an apartment instead of a dorm, think about purchasing a separate renters insurance policy. (Learn more about renters insurance below.) When it comes to car insurance, you don’t need your own policy if you’re taking a family member’s car to school. If you’re a co-owner on the vehicle or if you own your own car, you probably need your own policy.

You’re renting your first place.

You found the perfect place, but since your landlord’s policy doesn’t typically cover your stuff, you’ll want to look into getting your own renters policy. In addition to protecting your belongings, a renters policy also provides worldwide liability protection for a situation like harming someone while riding your bike. If someone is hurt in your apartment, your policy most likely would pay his or her medical bills. A renters policy will often cover additional living expenses if your apartment is damaged and you can’t stay there because of something like a fire. There are many affordable options—plus, you can qualify for a discount if you purchase both a renters and an auto policy from ERIE. In some cases, the discount can pay for pay for most (or all!) of the renters policy.*

You just got married.

If you’re just starting out, you’ll definitely want to look into life insurance. Life insurance can be the most affordable way to help ensure that you or your new spouse is able to carry on if the unthinkable were to happen. Also remember to ask about your auto insurance. You could qualify for discounts, including a multi-car discount if both cars are insured by ERIE. Finally, you may need extra coverage on an engagement or wedding ring. With an Erie Insurance homeowners or renters policy, your coverage for lost or stolen jewelry is capped at $3,000. So if your ring is worth more, you’ll want to consider separate coverage.

You welcomed a bundle of joy.

You may have binkies, diapers and formula on your mind, but another thing to consider is life insurance protection for your family.  Everyone needs financial protection—even a stay-at-home parent. With life insurance, you can provide for your loved ones even if…well, you’re not there.

You retired and are renting a place somewhere warm for the winter.

No penalty for sand between the toes! If you’re going south, an extra policy is not needed in the majority of cases. That said, a lot depends on the policy you already have, how long you’ll be gone and what kinds of things you’ll be taking to your temporary home. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to check in with your agent before you head south.

You or a loved one is entering an assisted living facility.

When it’s time for help with care, it’s a good idea to consider a renters policy if you or a loved one is entering an assisted living facility. A renters policy covers belongings—and, more important, personal liability. For instance, renters insurance could cover your loved one if he or she was responsible for injuring someone.

Many people can’t afford to pay big medical bills out of pocket, so definitely contact your Boizelle Insurance before making the move. Life may change, but one thing that doesn’t is being able to rely on us. You can always turn to us when it comes to making sure you’re protected at every stage of life.

*Individual policies may differ.

Originally by: Amanda Prischak, Erie Insurance

Read more

Halloween Safety Tips

The annual apparition of spooky skeletons, broomstick-riding witches and carved pumpkins is a sure sign Fall is well under way. Second only to Christmas in terms of how much consumers spend on decorations, Americans of all ages seem to love celebrating Halloween.

The Halloween spirit has spread to the inside and outside of the home as well, with homeowners setting up elaborate displays that range from haunted houses in the basement to graveyards on the lawn, as well as high-tech LED lighting outdoors. When planning and setting up your Halloween decorations, it is a good idea to consider any potential risks involved. Taking steps to prepare your property and to protect any visitors can help spare you from a truly frightening night.

Be Aware of Dangers that Might Not be Visible During the Night

  • Walk your property before Halloween to identify and minimize potential dangers, especially those difficult to see after dark. For example, check to make sure temporary extension cords are secured to avoid becoming a tripping hazard.
  • Make sure walking surfaces are even and clear of debris, and that any obstacles are clearly marked, such as stakes, exposed roots or holes.
  • Ensure that your front yard, walkway and entry way are well-lit so that those unfamiliar with your home can safely navigate. If using a fog machine, be careful that the fog does not make it difficult to see tripping hazards.

Remember that Welcoming the Neighborhood Inside Also Invites Risk

  • When hosting a haunted house, make sure to allow adequate floor and exit lighting. Keep exits clear to help prevent tripping.
  • Avoid advertising the event in your neighborhood or on social media.
    • If charging for admission for a haunted house or other forms of entertainment, be aware that this could be considered a business activity and you should consult with your agent or insurance company representative to ensure you have the proper coverage.

Be Smart about Where You Place Decorations

  • Set up decorations with traffic flow in mind. Place them to prevent tipping over, blowing away or becoming a tripping hazard.
  • When plugging in your scary indoor decorations, do not overload electrical outlets.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to help avoid damage to your home or injury to your guests. For example, make sure inflatable decorations are secured properly and kept away from sources of ignition.

Set Up Spooky Lighting with Caution

  • Avoid any kind of open flame.
  • Consider using battery-operated candles or LED lighting as a safe alternative to candles.
  • Do not drape costumes or other fabrics over light bulbs, which generate heat and can start a fire.

Choose Decorations Wisely

  • Avoid dried flowers, cornstalks and crêpe paper because they are highly combustible. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
  • Use lights and other electrical decorations that have been tested for safety – look for a certification mark from UL, CSA, ETL or another nationally-recognized laboratory.
  • When plugging in decorations, avoid daisy chaining extension cords, which may cause overheating.
  • Never staple, nail through or fasten electrical wires or extension cords in any way that might damage the wire or insulation. This could cause electrical shock or fire.
  • Plug all outdoor lights and decorations into ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to help reduce the risk of electric shock. Portable GFCIs for outdoor use can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold.

Do Not be Frightened by the Risks

  • Give yourself peace of mind and speak with your insurance agent to make sure you are properly covered.
  • Consider an umbrella policy that could provide extra protection in case of an accident.

Originally by: Travelers Insurance

Read more

4 Reasons Why You’ll Want to Work With One Insurance Company

There are lots of ways to get insurance coverage these days, but working with one insurance agent and company for your business, home, auto, and life insurance has a lot of advantages. Here are four:

  1. Fewer worries – You’ve worked hard to build a solid financial foundation, so you’ll want to be sure everything is protected at work and home. Insurance can help protect your life, income, business and help keep a roof over your head.
  1. Saves time – Working with one company saves time and eliminates hassle because you won’t have to keep track of contracts at multiple companies.
  1. Helps prevent a gap and overlap – Just one coverage gap could put you, your family or your business at financial risk. Working with an insurance agent, you could reduce coverage gaps and avoid overlaps.
  1. Saves money – Get coverage for your business and personal life without having to choose between great protection and saving money. When you buy multiple insurance policies with one company, discounts are typically available. For instance, with Erie Insurance, a discount is available if you have a qualifying life or home policy in addition to your auto policy.1

The Licensed insurance agents at Boizelle Insurance have a lot of experience helping people with their insurance needs. We’ll explain what types of coverage are available, answer your questions and can help make sure you have the right coverage at the right price. To get started, contact Boizelle Insurance today.

1ERIE® life insurance products and services are provided by Erie Family Life Insurance Company, a member of Erie Insurance Group, and are not available in New York. See individual policies for specific coverage details. Certain terms and limitations may apply. Refer to our disclaimer for additional information.

Originally by: Carolyn Sennett, Erie Insurance

Read more