Category Archives: Facts and Figures

insurance claim

What to Know When Making a Claim

There is something that comes between an accident and an insurance settlement – an insurance claim. This post will help you navigate the claim process to make sure you have everything you need.

Let Them Know Early

Most insurance companies require that you let them know about an accident within 24 hours of it happening. This includes the other driver’s insurance company too, so never forget to swap info.

Prove Whose Fault it Was

This means collect as much info from the scene as possible; photos, witness statements and contact info, a police report. All of this will be crucial to your end settlement.

Prove You Were Hurt

Just like at the scene of the crime, you’ll want to gather all the evidence you can to back up your injury claims.

Doing this work right away will make everything else down the line that much easier.

If you’ve been in an accident, let the Brothers in Law help you.

rent a car

What to Know Before Renting a Car: #2

You’re getting ready to travel, maybe for work or for moving purposes, and you’d like to rent a larger vehicle for more space or just to avoid wear and tear on your own car. If you aren’t familiar with the rental process, you may be putting yourself at a disadvantage and could end up spending more time and money than you originally intended. Before deciding on a company, it is wise to compare rates and overall quotes with those of the leading competitors – impulse renting will likely fail you! The five tips below will put you five steps ahead of other first-time renters and will save you from some unsolicited misery and overpaying.

These five factors have the potential to affect the total amount of money you spend for everything, and many will vary depending upon the company (and often times the state in which you’re renting).

  1. Biggest factor: Miles. Many companies will offer a base number of free miles (usually depends on length of time you keep the rental) and once that number has been reached, anything that surpasses is charged according to their standard rate (typically $0.29 – $1.12, again these rates differ). Be aware of the cost per mile and be sure to ask if that information hasn’t been offered to you.
  2. Taxes: Before agreeing to the rental terms and singing anything, make certain that all applicable taxes are reflected in your quote and remain the same upon returning your vehicle and paying the total. Taxes can vary from state to state and sometimes even from city to city. Should you choose to pick up from a location within an airport, you can usually expect to pay more due to airport surcharges.
  3. Gasoline: When you have the keys in hand and make your way out to your rental, before putting it in drive be sure to note the amount of gas in the tank. They will always expect you to return your vehicle with a full tank of gas and so you should expect to have one when you pick your car up. If it is below full, bring it to the attention of the associate who handed you the keys and should they refuse to add any fuel, have your picture evidence and written documentation handy upon return. Otherwise, you can expect to be paying for it when you drop off.
  4. Insurance: Many companies require you purchase some form of renters insurance in case of collision or any other damages and if so, check with your auto insurance agent to see if they insure rental vehicles (many do). If they require it, they may have already added that into your quote (always ask) and should your insurance company cover rentals, be sure to ask rental company to remove that fee from your quote. Others will give you the option of purchasing, which is almost always in your best interest. Again, trust me!
  5. Returning your rental: If you plan on returning to the same location you picked up from, make the company aware of that prior to signing contract (another one of those little hidden fees you wish you’d looked out for from the start). Be punctual when returning, as most will charge extra for returning later than the time you originally stated.

Although there’s a lot to consider when renting a vehicle, sometimes it’s just necessary and it certainly doesn’t have to be a bad experience. Now that you’re aware of the ‘fine print’ to be on the lookout for, you can rent with confidence! Happy renting!

car repairs

Save on Your Repairs

Maintaining a car is no cheap feat! Unfortunately, it’s a necessity if you plan on having a car to begin with. To help you save some money on your regular maintenance, we’ve collected these Top 5 tips.

  1. Find a Mechanic You Like and Stick With Him/Her
    1. Looking for someone new? Try these tips.
  2. Get Estimates and Shop Around
    1. Don’t forget to get an estimate from yourself. Find out how much it might cost you to do the work yourself (assuming you have base level car tweaking skills to begin with).
  3. Do Your Own Diagnostics
    1. For less than $20, you can pick yourself up an OBDII, a scanning tool that can translate the lights and beeps your car makes when it’s not feeling up to snuff.
  4. Do the EASY Work Yourself
    1. Here’s a list of repairs you might want to attempt on your own and how to do them.
  5. Get Educated or Get Ripped Off
    1. You can look up average prices for common repairs ahead of time and always make sure to check your receipt in case something doesn’t look right.
distracted driving

Distracted Driving Leads to Double Crash Risk

Distracted driving is not a new topic for this blog by any means. However, “New Virginia Tech research, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds that when drivers engaged in distracting activities — including crying, reaching for objects and interacting with others in the car — they more than doubled their risk of crashing.” (Huffington Post)

The three year study lead to some sobering results, including a new list of what qualifies as distracted and could impact driving.

  • Reading or writing
  • Reaching for an object other than a phone
  • Using a touchscreen on a GPS or other vehicle technology
  • Driving while angry, sad, crying or highly emotional
  • Fatigue
  • Interacting with an adult or teen passenger

The biggest take away from this study is this: distracted driving, of any kind, leads to a huge increase in injury and fatality.

Read the full article at Huffington Post

car insurance

Car Insurance Premiums: What you need to know

Why do you pay what you pay for car insurance? Why is your rate different from your partner’s or friend’s rate? What factors affect your car insurance premiums. Here we’ll tell you the 7 big things that affect your rates.

  1. Your Coverage And Deductibles

Car insurance providers allow you to choose your deductible and decide whether to add additional coverage that isn’t necessarily required by the laws in your state. The specifics of your coverage and deductibles play a major role in your monthly payment.

  1. What You Drive

By collecting a large amount of data from customer claims and analyzing industry safety reports, car insurance providers often develop vehicle safety ratings and offer discounts to customers who drive safer vehicles.

Some insurers increase premiums for cars more susceptible to damage, occupant injury, or theft, and lower rates for those that fare better than the norm.

Before you head down to the dealership, do some research. Does the vehicle that has caught your eye have strong safety ratings? Is the same particular model often stolen? Knowing the answers to a few simple questions can go a long way in keeping your rates low.

  1. How Often, And How Far, You Drive

People who use their car for business and long-distance commuting normally pay more than those who drive less. The more miles you drive in a year, the higher the chances of an accident – regardless of how safe a driver you are.

  1. Where You Live

Generally, due to higher rates of vandalism, theft, and accidents, urban drivers pay more for car insurance than do those in small towns or rural areas.

  1. Your Driving Record

Drivers who cause accidents generally must pay more than those who are accident-free for several years.

If you’ve been accident-free for a long period of time, don’t get complacent! Remain vigilant and maintain your good driving habits.

  1. Your Credit History

It has been shown certain credit information helps predict future insurance claims. Where applicable, many insurance companies use credit history to help determine the cost of car insurance. Maintaining good credit can have a positive impact on the cost of your car insurance.

  1. Your Age, Sex, And Marital Status

Accident rates are higher for all drivers under age 25, especially young males and single males. Insurance prices in most states reflect these differences.

If you’re a student, you might also be in line for a discount. Most car insurers provide discounts to student-drivers who maintain good grades. In some states, younger drivers are also able to take driver safety courses that will lower premiums.

Credit: State Farm