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Staged Accident Fraud

Staged accidents are a common type of insurance fraud. Often, dishonest drivers will maneuver innocent motorists into auto crashes. While your car may only suffer minor damages, fraudsters can make large claims for fake injuries or charge your auto insurance company for damage.

The following are some tips on how to avoid becoming the victim of a staged auto accident:

• Call the police immediately if you’re in an accident.
• Report accident claims immediately. Don’t settle on-site with cash.
• Use medical, car repair and legal professionals you know and trust.
• Drive defensively and don’t follow other vehicles too closely.

The best way to protect yourself after an accident occurs is to take detailed notes. The more information you have, the more equipped you are to fight a fraudulent claim. When possible, your notes should include driver’s license numbers, car insurance information, names, addresses and phone numbers of all parties involved in a crash.

Filed under: Auto,Personal Insurance — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 7:03 pm February 21, 2018

2018 Impending Changes to the ISO Personal Auto Policy

Written by Denise Metz, Vice President Personal Risk Management, Partner

In California, insurance companies use some version of an Insurance Service Office (ISO) form. Most companies alter them in some fashion but because they are the base form used, it is important to know when there are changes. Keep in mind, some companies will adapt these changes while others may not. Below is a summary of the personal auto changes coming in 2018. To view all changes please visit the ISO website or contact our office.

1) Newly acquired auto:

a. ISO Current Form: Newly acquired vehicles are covered until the end of policy term if it is a replacement vehicle.
b. 2018 New ISO form: Must report within 14 days of purchase.

2) Endorsements:

a. Ride Sharing, Livery, etc.
i. ISO Current Form: Ride sharing, Livery, etc. is attached to ISO form by endorsement.
ii. 2018 New ISO form: This will now be part of the policy and not by endorsement.

b. Transportation Expense:
i. ISO Current Form: Provides $15 a day.
ii. 2018 New ISO form: Higher limit will be available.

c. Named Non-Owner:
i. ISO Current Form: Only liability is available.
ii. 2018 New ISO form: Will be able to obtain Comprehensive and Collision coverage.

3) Exclusions:

a. Custom Equipment:
i. ISO Current Form: Custom equipment and furnishing are excluded for pickups/trucks.
ii. 2018 New ISO form: Custom equipment will be excluded for all vehicles not just pickups/trucks.

b. Racing:
i. ISO Current Form: Excluded only in a racing facility.
ii. 2018 New ISO form: Broadens exclusion to include driver skill training/events.

c. Flying Car:
i. ISO Current Form: No current exclusion.
ii. 2018 New ISO form: Exclusion included.

4) New Endorsements offered by ISO in 2018 (most companies already provide these):

a. Full Glass
b. Key replacement
c. Child Restraint
d. Vehicle Replacement Cost
e. Pet Injury
f. Significant other/Domestic Partners can be covered as insured
g. Other members of your household (live in friend, nanny, etc.) can be covered as insured

Have questions on how your policy could be affected? Contact us for assistance: 916-380-5300

Filed under: Auto,Personal Insurance — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 12:59 am December 28, 2017

Auto Insurance Prices Likely to Keep Rising

Most lines of insurance cycle between soft and hard markets over a number of years, which has a direct impact on the price of insurance. The auto insurance market is currently hardening after many years of a soft market, which has resulted in higher prices for both commercial and personal auto policies.

Between 2011 and 2016, competition between auto insurance carriers created a soft, buyer-friendly market. Since then, however, the high cost of claims and increasing costs of vehicle repairs have contributed to a noticeable transition in the market.

Contact Warren G. Bender Co. today. We can provide you with resources to help you understand and save on auto insurance, including our new article, “Coverage Insights – The Hardening Auto Insurance Market.”

Filed under: Auto,Personal Insurance — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 11:22 pm May 3, 2017

Concussions Shown to Have Long-term Effects on Drivers

According to a new study from the University of Georgia, the effects of a concussion can persist in drivers even after the immediate symptoms have subsided.

The study placed drivers into a simulator 48 hours after they could no longer feel the direct effects of a concussion. Once in the simulator, researchers noted that the participants were likely to drive erratically and have less control. In fact, the researchers also noted that the driving patterns of the participants at times appeared similar to someone driving under the influence of alcohol.

Filed under: Auto,Safety — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 10:32 pm March 15, 2017

The 5 Biggest Lies Told to Car Insurance Companies

Fudging on your car insurance application to save on the premium may seem like a harmless white lie, but it can spell trouble for you down the road.

A report by Quality Planning Corp. in San Francisco says car insurance companies lost $15.9 billion in 2008 from what it calls “premium leakage” — meaning loss of revenue due to the inability of insurers to keep track of changes in customers’ situations that affect prices. The number represents almost 10 percent of the total $167 billion in personal auto premium written.

“It’s a major problem, and some companies are taking it very seriously,” says Quality Planning senior vice president Bob U’Ren. His company designs solutions for insurers to validate policyholder information and cut premium losses. In other words, they’re in the business of making sure you’re telling the truth.

Here are the most common misrepresentations customers make to their car insurance companies. (more…)

Filed under: Auto,Personal Insurance — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 4:38 pm June 22, 2016