Auto Insurance | Boizelle Insurance Partnership

What To Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident

The sudden nature of a car accident can leave us alarmed, stressed, and disoriented. Hit-and-Run accidents may be even more startling because you have the guilty party fleeing the scene of an accident. This is against the law and is considered a crime.

If someone hits your vehicle and drives off, follow these steps:

Call the police: Hit-and-Run accidents happen suddenly. Once the shock of having another car collide with yours wears off, do your best to remember details about the accident: the color of the vehicle that hit you, the make and model, and the license plate (if you didn’t catch the whole license plate number, it’s okay. Write down as much as you can remember. Those details will help the police in their investigation)

Find out if there were any witnesses: If you see any witnesses at the scene of the accident, be sure to get their contact information in case either the police or your insurance company needs to reach them for information.

Take photos: If you can, take some photos of the accident scene and the damage to each vehicle.

Be sure to report the hit-and-run within 24 hours: it’s very important to report this within the 24 period because these incidents are considered crimes. Once you report the incident to the police, they may tell you to take your vehicle to a repair shop. It’s also a good idea to get the officer’s name, badge number, and phone number in case either you or your insurance company needs to follow up with additional questions. It’s extremely important to report this incident to the police. Otherwise, it may be deemed an “at-fault” accident by your insurer, thus increasing the cost of your insurance.

Does Car Insurance Cover Hit and Run Accidents?

These types of accidents are only covered by your insurance if you have collision coverage. Collision coverage is optional, but it is highly recommended that you get this coverage. If you choose not to, you may be responsible for paying for the damages to your vehicle.

Do I have to pay my insurance deductible after a hit and run accident?

Any time you file a claim through your insurance company, you are required to pay your deductible. Once you pay that, your insurance will kick in the cover the rest of the cost of your claim.

Will a hit and run accident increase the cost of my insurance?

As long as you report the accident to the police within 24 hours and your insurance company doesn’t deem the accident “at-fault”, your insurance shouldn’t be affected.

In the event of an accident, it’s important to remain calm, so you can gather yourself and focus on the important next steps you need to take. Getting all of the appropriate information from the police and the other parties is extremely important and will make the repair process that much easier.

 

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How Do We Minimize Distractions While We’re Behind the Wheel?

One of the best ways to reduce the amount of distractions we have while we’re operating a motor vehicle is by keeping our hands free, so that both of them can have complete control of the steering wheel.

Invest in a cell phone holder: For those of you who use your cell phone as a GPS, cell phone holders can be used to lock your cell phone in a fixed, secured position, so that you don’t have to be tempted to pick it up while you’re driving. The costs are minimal and these items can be found on amazon.com or at Best Buy.

Podcasts or Playlists: A lot of people like to listen to music or to podcasts while they’re driving. This is normal and perfectly safe as long as the volume isn’t so loud to the point where it hinders your ability to hear anything else around you i.e. a passenger’s voice or another car’s horn. It’s imperative that you keep your eyes on the road at all times while you’re behind the wheel. Podcasts are a great choice because they usually focus on one topic at a time, so you’re less inclined to use your hands to change to another topic or to another song. If you enjoy music more than podcasts, consider creating a playlist ahead of time for your travels, so you’re not tempted to touch the dials on your radio or your cell phone.

Don’t apply makeup in the car: Any time you do something that requires your eyes to move away from the road in front of you can present potential danger. Applying makeup is no exception. Serious injury could occur should you hit the vehicle in front of you!

Avoid eating or drinking: The truth is that no one can really multi-task effectively. Sure, you have two hands, so you think you can use one for one thing and the other for something else. It’s important to remember that you’ll never be able to give the proper attention to a single task if you attempt something else at the same time. Getting distracted is easy in these situations. Additionally, if you’re drinking a hot beverage, the possibility of spillage could result in a personal injury.

Limit distractions with passengers: When you’re having a conversation with another passenger, you may sometimes feel the need to turn your head towards them to acknowledge what they’re saying or to see if they’re acknowledging you. Don’t do this.

Let dropped items go: If you happen to drop something while driving, do not attempt to pick it up. Wait until you arrive at a red light to pick it up. If it’s easier for you, when you finally stop at the red light, put your car in park and then pick up the item you dropped. That way, the car won’t shift forward until you put the car back into drive.

Don’t become distracted by kids and dogs in the backseat: However adorable as they may be, rowdy children can present potential risks to your safety if they’re rough-housing in the backseat. That, compounded with shouting or screaming can escalate matters to a point you don’t want to have come to pass. As far as dogs are concerned, make sure they are properly secured in a pet seat. Many of them can be attached the your pet’s leash.

Don’t turn up the volume: You won’t be able to hear potential emergency vehicles attempting to pass you if your music is too loud. Keep your music volume to a reasonable level.

Avoid rubbernecking: Have you ever slowed down to see the aftermath of an auto accident? Don’t do it. It clogs traffic and requires your eyes to move away from what you should be focused on: what’s in front of you.

Avoid fixing your attention on pulled-over vehicles: In the words of Obi-wan Kenobi, “You don’t need to see his identification. Move along.”

Avoid tailgating: Maintain enough distance between yourself and the car in front of you, so that if you’re ever in situation that requires you to brake suddenly, you won’t slam cause a collision. You’ll avoid potentially injuring the driver in front of you, let alone getting them upset. No one wants that.

Avoid rowdy passengers: Being rowdy in the car isn’t worth causing an accident. Leave the rowdiness for when you reach your destination.

Wear sunglasses and use your visor: Make sure you have your sunglasses available at sunrise and sunset, when the sun is at its most powerful.

Don’t smoke and drive: This is similar to eating and driving because it requires one hand to not be the steering wheel.

Avoid basic grooming tasks: Don’t shave, adjust your clothing, or do your hair while you’re behind the wheel of your vehicle.

Don’t put your convertible top up while in traffic: Although some cars have this feature available that allows you to do this with the simple push of a button, it may become distracting for other drivers near you. If you must, pull over on the side of the road before adjusting your convertible top.

Don’t overreact to outside stimuli: Road rage is a serious issue. While it’s normal to react when someone honks their horn at you, it’s best to not fly off the handle at them. Instead, take a deep breath and remain calm. Road rage incidents have the potential to hurt you and others around you.

 

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Why You Should Never Drive Your Car on Empty

How often have you driven your car and noticed the fuel light on? This is a signal that you need to refuel your vehicle. Many drivers think they can push their vehicles to the limit when it comes to fuel, only refueling at the last possible moment. We strongly advise against this. We’ll explain why.

When you drive your vehicle while the low-fuel indicator light is illuminated, your car is running on reserves (10-15%) of your fuel tank’s capacity. When you run your car during these situations, the fuel pump is not getting the necessary lubrication it needs to function at its optimum level. Over time, ignoring this may erode and/or overheat the engine. To put it plainly, the cost to fill up your gas pails in comparison to repairing your car’s engine. The dangers of a failing fuel pump may range from poor performance, to not accelerating properly, to not starting at all.

In addition, your car’s fuel pump has a filter, which can get dirty rather quickly if you drive on low fuel. Because any sediment or dirt sinks to the bottom of the fuel tank, the result could be blockage of the filter, thus resulting in a costly repair.

When you’re driving your car with the low-fuel indicator light on, you don’t have the time to comparison shop for the cheapest gas. Also, driving under these circumstances leaves you little choice than to stop at the nearest gas station.

If you want to avoid running out of gas in the future, keep your eyes on your fuel meter to make sure you’re not running too low. Remember, filling up more often may mean you’re spending money at the gas pump more often, but the overall cost each time will be less. An easy way to find cheap gasoline is by using smartphone apps. They can tell you if you’re close to a cheap gas station.

Another way to increase your fuel economy is by turning off your vehicle’s air conditioning system. This is especially important if you’re in dire straits of running out of gas.

Go easy on the gas pedal. Driving aggressively also takes a toll on your vehicle’s fuel economy. The faster you drive your car, the less efficient your car’s fuel economy will be. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, fast acceleration and constant braking can decrease your gas mileage from 15% to 30% at highway speeds. In bumper-to-bumper traffic, fuel economy drops from 10% to 40%.

Generally speaking, it’s best to keep your fuel tank above a quarter full in order to avoid the possibility of driving on what is considered to be low fuel. Again, driving on low fuel can lead to you being stranded, it can be damaging to your car’s engine, and can seriously hurt your wallet.

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How to Clean Your Car to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

Every year, we create New Year’s resolutions for ourselves. I know. It’s October and I’m already talking about New Year’s resolutions. I get it. Stay with me for a second, though. Typically speaking, these lists focus on self-improvement: getting in shape, reading more books, taking more time to meditate, taking a cooking class, etc. There are several reasons why these resolutions fail. What’s one of the main reasons: They’re not specific enough. When you talk about any kind of personal goal, it will serve you better to be as specific as possible. For example, if you want to lose weight, consider writing down a particular date on your calendar, so you have an opportunity to chart your progress. These kinds of personal goals are common among people. But, what about making changes to your daily life?

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, countless Americans all over the country may be living in fear of getting sick. It’s important to know that there is hope. We need hope. We need positivity. We need positive reinforcement in our lives. How can we ensure our own safety and the safety of those around us? One way we can protect ourselves is by keeping our cars clean and pristine.

Many cleaning solutions can be effective for killing germs. In fact, you may have a lot of these hanging around your house. According to the CDC, cleaning solutions that contain at least 70% alcohol are effective against coronavirus. Soap and water are safe to use for most auto interiors—especially fabric interiors.

Most leather interiors in cars contain urethane coatings for protection. Because of this, it is safe to use alcohol on these surfaces. However, using alcohol persistently may lead to damage and discoloration over time. It’s safer to use simple soap and water.

If you do have leather interior in your car, proper care is essential to prolong the integrity and life of your leather. You should use a good leather cleaner and a good leather conditioner after your cleaning.

For fabric interiors, it’s important to not use too much soap and water. Soap suds can be a problem. If you scrub too hard, you may create soap suds that can soak through the fabric, working its way to the cushion underneath. As a result, a musty smell and possible mold can build up over time. To prevent this from happening, use a little amount of water and laundry detergent.

Once you are finished cleaning your surfaces, it’s important to remember to wash your hands. If you have dirty hands and touch your car’s surfaces, that dirt and griminess will rub off and you’ll have to start from square one. It may be a common belief, but washing your hands consistently is still one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Although coronaviruses can remain on surfaces, it is still believed among medical experts that the primary means of transmission is through respiratory transmission.

Whether you are at work or at home, maintaining a clean, clutter-free area has proven to improve mental health, relieve stress, and prevent us from becoming physically ill. Why not make this a permanent practice in our daily lives?

 

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