November, 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

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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

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