At the end of July I had what I would call a traumatic insurance event. I was woken up one night by my husband saying the police were knocking on our door. It turns out an impaired driver had struck my SUV while parked outside our home. As I glanced out my window I could not see damage to my SUV but what I found shortly there after was my vehicle was a total loss.
I don’t know about other people but I loved my SUV. It took me a month to commit to buying her and I was diligent in maintaining her. I invested my time and money in maintaining the condition of my vehicle. I also enjoy the independence of having my own vehicle at my disposal at all times.
As an insurance professional I thought it would be smooth sailing but it was not. Between negotiating vehicle values to the rental car shuffle, nothing went as I thought it would. I was in four different rental vehicles while trying to get back to where I was before this claim began.
I am finally at the tail end of the claim and this is what I have learned.
Get towing coverage, whether through your auto insurance policy or a AAA membership. Get it! To drag my SUV onto a flat bed tow truck off of the curb the cost was over $400. Also, have the number of a tow company you trust for those 4am tow emergencies.
Get rental reimbursement coverage and buy it up to a minimum of $50 per day. For someone like me that drives a full size SUV with two small children in carseats and a 6’2″ tall husband you need more than the $30 per day limit. A full size SUV today is $90 per day if you are not the insurance company.
Know the value of your vehicle when you are reporting the claim and research similar vehicles as comparables so you are not surprised by the value the insurance company estimates.
In my case my gut told me my vehicle was totaled. If you have any inkling that your vehicle is totaled start finding a replacement vehicle as soon as possible. I did not want another vehicle. I delayed the process and had a hard time committing in the end.
If you have a good insurance agent they will help guide you through the claim process and give you tips and tricks to help make it as smooth as possible. Some claims will go smoothly and others will not. When the big claim comes along you will want someone on your side to help you along the way, if not just to vent to. I don’t wish claims on any one but if a claim happens I want to be there for them.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. Probably thanks in no small part to the fact that turkey is one my favorite foods. Needless to say I will be getting my fill in the coming days.
However, the Thanksgiving Holiday has one of the highest counts of home fires than any other day of the year. Statistics show that home cooking fires are 3 times more likely to happen on Thanksgiving than any other day.
Below are some quick tips to reduce your chances of a home cooking fire this Thanksgiving…
Never leave your food unattended while cooking.
Use a timer and routinely check whatever you’re cooking.
If frying or deep-frying, keep the fryer outside, away from walls, and free from moisture.
Never use a glass casserole or lid on the stove or burner, as it may explode from the heat.
Ensure that pot holders and food wrappers are a safe distance— at least 3 feet—from warmed surfaces.
Position pot handles to the back of the stove to avoid anyone bumping into them.
Avoid dangling accessories or loose clothes while cooking.
The stove will be hot, keep children 3 feet from the stove at all times.
Be sure electric cords from electric knives, coffer makers, plate warmers, and mixers are not dangling off the counter in reach of children.
Never douse a grease fire with water, as the fire can thus spread. Turn off the burner, smother the flames with a lid, or douse with baking soda or a fire extinguisher if it’s getting out of hand.
Keep a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen, and know how to use it.
Ensure your smoke alarms are connected and working.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving Holiday!