accident - Spencer Insurance Agency, Inc

What to do if you are in a car accident.

 

Charlie teen driver accident 001

Having a car accident can be a very traumatic experience especially when it is your first accident. Most car accidents are minor events so we want to give you a few tips.  Cell phones can be very helpful in the event of an auto accident.  Try to make sure the phone is fully charged when driving so you can use it to take pictures and call for help.  Here are a few tips should you have a car accident.

First, be prepared in the event you have a claim:

  • Review your coverage with Spencer Insurance Agency to make sure you have the coverage you need.
  • Have one of our ID card holders with your vehicle registration, insurance card and emergency contact information. (The ID card holder has tips on what to ask for when exchanging information.  Call us for one if you don’t have one in every car you own.)
  • Pen and paper
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Raingear (poncho) and blanket

When in an accident:

  • Pull over to a nearby safe location if possible. If not move yourself and your passengers to a safe location near your car.
  • Stay calm and treat everyone courteously.
  • Call 911 immediately if there are any injuries. If you are injured do nothing but wait for help.
  • Contact the police. If there are no injuries or a car does not need to be towed the police may not come.
  • Try to locate witnesses.
  • Use your cell phone to:
    • Take a picture of the other driver’s license and insurance ID card.
    • Take a picture of the other car’s license plate.
    • Take a picture of the damage to the other car and your car.
    • Take a picture of the driver and any other people in the other car.
  • Exchange information but do not admit fault. Apologizing may seem to be the nice thing to do but you could be admitting fault.
    • Name, phone number, address, email address, license number and the names of all occupants and witnesses
    • Insurance information including company name, policy number and phone number. (If other driver does not have insurance ID card call the police and tell them driver does not have proof of insurance.
    • Get officer’s name and badge number.
    • Find out the location of the accident (city, township or borough) so you can get a copy of the police report.
  • If your car is not drivable call for roadside assistance. Some car insurance policies will include towing/roadside assistance otherwise the police will help you find a tow company.
  • After you have collected the information call your insurance company and report the accident. Most Insurance ID cards will have the claim number of the company and your policy number.
  • Call your agent

We hope you never have a car accident. Spencer Insurance Agency wants you to be prepared if you do.  Make sure all drivers, especially teen drivers know what to do when they have an accident.  Please feel free to print this email and put it in with your ID card.  Call us at 215-885-2200 to review your coverage before you have an accident.  Happy Spring!

 

October 19 – 25, 2014 is National Teen Driver Safety Week

texting and driving

Spencer Insurance is committed to Teen Driver Safety. During National Teen Driver Safety Week our agency will be posting valuable tips all week on our Facebook Page about Teen Driver Safety (https://www.facebook.com/spencerinsuranceagency). Check us out. Go to our page and click “Like” so you will be sure to receive these valuable tips.

Have you checked out our “Parents of Teen Drivers” website? This website provides parents valuable information as they undertake teaching their teen driver to be a safe driver. Some of the content we share is:

  • Tips and Suggestions including a “Teenager – Parent Driving Contract”
  • A list of driver education schools in the area
  • Valuable links including links to Pa, NJ and DE Department of Motor Vehicles
  • A link to our “Safe Teen Driving Course” which provides 16 lessons for parents to use when they are completing the 65 hours of mandated adult-supervised skill building with their student driver.

Go to our “Parent of a Teen Driver” website for this valuable information.

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute has a special website to support National Teen Driver Safety Week. Go to our “Parents of Teen Drivers” website to link onto this site. CHOP provides Stats and Facts along with additional links and multimedia presentations.

Spending some quality time teaching your teen driver to be a safe driver is one of the best things a parent can do to keep their child alive. Teaching by example is the most effective technique. Today, cell phone distraction has become the number one killer of teen drivers, surpassing the number of teenager drinking and driving deaths. What example are you showing your teen driver?

Let Spencer Insurance help you by taking advantage of the material we provide on our “Parent of Teen Drivers” website. And . . . don’t forget to review your auto insurance to make sure you have enough protection as you are 5 times more likely to have an accident in your household if you have a teen driver.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.teendriversource.org/more_pages/page/support_national_teen_driver_safety_week_now_for_parents/for_parents

Are your “Summer Toys” properly insured?

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The hot, hazy, lazy days of summer are here.   I hope you are having fun taking some time to kick back and relax.  Summer is a time to enjoy outdoor activities like golf, boating, fishing, water skiing, swimming and a barbecue.  There are a lot of summer toys

Summer is the time to enjoy these toys, but make sure you have the proper coverage.  An accident with one of these toys could lead to property damage and a lawsuit.  Are you prepared for that?  Many times people are surprised to find they have limited or no coverage under their auto and homeowner’s insurance policies for these toys.

Does your homeowner’s or auto insurance cover these toys?  Sometimes the answer is yes but way too often the answer is no.  Call us today at 215-885-2200 to make sure you have the proper protection.

Let’s discuss a few of these toys. . .

  • Liability from backyard toys such as a trampoline or pool is covered by your homeowner’s insurance but there is a problem. Due to the nature of the injury that can occur, most homeowner’s policies provide only limited coverage. You should purchase an umbrella policy and make sure your policies don’t restrict claims from these items.
  • Jet Skis/personal watercraft – These items are fast and fun and you probably have no liability coverage under your homeowner’s policy. You need to buy a personal watercraft policy and umbrella policy if you own a personal watercraft. Be careful, not all umbrella policies cover your personal watercraft. If you rent a personal watercraft while on vacation you have no liability insurance. You are riding around with no insurance. Purchase the coverage from the marina.
  • Boats – You have some limited coverage on your Homeowner’s policy for damage to your boat, but sinking and banging the dock is not covered. You also have limited coverage for liability as long as the boat is a sailboat under 26 feet or your boat has an outboard motor less than 25 horsepower. If you rent a sailboat under 26 feet or a boat with an outboard motor you have some liability coverage from your homeowner’s insurance. Why risk having limited or no coverage? Purchase a boat policy for your boat.
  • Motorcycles or ATV – If you own a motorcycle, your auto and homeowner’s policy provide no coverage. You need to purchase a motorcycle policy or recreational vehicle endorsement. If you rent a motorcycle while on vacation you have no coverage from your auto policy and no coverage on your homeowner’s policy if the motorcycle requires registration (Hint – Most do!). Hopefully the place that rented you the motorcycle can provide you insurance; otherwise you are riding around with no coverage!
  • Golf Carts – When you play a round of golf and rent a golf cart you have liability coverage under your home and auto policies. You have some limited property damage coverage in this case. What if you own a golf cart? This gets tricky so talk to us. The golf cart is covered while on a golf course, but you may need an endorsement if you travel off the golf course.

 

The bottom line. . . Talk to us about these toys or your summer fun could be very costly!  At Spencer Insurance, “Your Protection and Peace of Mind is our only Business!”

Distracted Driving – Not Just Your Cell Phone!

Dangerous Call

While distracted driving includes the use of cell phones, there are many other dangerous driving distractions.

In a web post (https://www.travelers.com/prepare-prevent/auto/distracted-driving/distracted-driving-statistics.aspx ), Travelers Insurance talks about the many distractions we face while driving.  The bottom line is that anything that takes your eyes off the road is a driving distraction.

Here is a list of some of the distractions and consequences mentioned in that article:

  • Cell phone use – Did you know during the average text your eyes are off the road the length of a football field? You are 23 times more likely to have an accident if you text while driving.
  • Eating – You are 2 times more likely to have an accident if you eat while driving.
  • Dropping a water bottle – Find a safe place and pull over to retrieve the water bottle. You are 9 times more likely to have an accident when you try to retrieve something.
  • Personal Grooming – Wait until you are in the parking lot. You are 3 times more likely to have an accident if groom yourself while driving.

There are many other distractions like reading, checking your GPS, changing the radio channel or CD, reviewing your IPod and looking at people in the back seat.

All of us need to be careful with driving distractions.  As summer approaches more teen drivers will be on the road.  Make sure you review the dangers of distracted driving with your family.  Driving is not the time to multi task.

For more tips for the parents of teen drivers check out our Teen Driver Website!

We are excited to announce our Re-Designed Website for the Parents of Teen Drivers

We are excited to announce our re-designed Spencer Insurance Teen Driver Website designed for the parents of Teen Drivers!
This Website is designed specifically to help the parents of teen drivers. I remember the highs and lows of teaching my four children to drive.  Actually my wife, Tammy did a much better job of teaching our children how to become safe drivers.  I wish we had the tools available to you when Tammy and I were teaching our four children to drive.
On the website we have many tools to help you:

Make sure you talk to us about reviewing your auto insurance policy to make sure you have the proper coverage now that you have teen drivers.  I would also recommend you purchase an umbrella policy.  Call us today at 215-885-2200for a review of your coverage!

Your friends at Spencer Insurance Agency, Inc.,

Teen Driver Lesson #4

Picking up the keys

Lesson 4

(Sometimes you have to go backward to go forward.)

Your teen feels comfortable behind the wheel and with the basic operation of the motor vehicle.  In order to demonstrate this skill, have your teen back the car out of the garage.  Many teens fear they will scrape the side of the garage while backing the car out because they are not truly comfortable with the vehicle dimensions.

Safety Tip:  Make sure the garage door is all the way up!

 

 

You are now ready to take your teen on the road and put to use some of the skills they have learned.  This lesson should be performed in a small neighborhood where there is minimal vehicle and foot traffic.

For the first time they may encounter another moving vehicle or a vehicle parked at the side of the road.  Try to remember the anxiety you felt the first time you approached an oncoming vehicle.  It is imperative the teen have a “feel” for the dimensions of their car.

Practice defensive driving.  Teach your teen to anticipate probable problem situations.  For example, scan the sides of the road for small children that may dart onto the road.   Anticipate that a parked car may suddenly pull out in front of you from the side of the road.

Turning is much different on the road from an empty parking lot.  Practice making turns at an intersection both from a stop and while moving.  Many teens struggle with gauging when to start turning, applying brake pressure and accelerating out of a turn.  Again, finish the lesson with your teen acting as the instructor.

Lesson #4

(Neighborhood with minimal traffic)

Orientation

(15 Minutes)

Grade

(A, B, C)

Comments, Praise   and

Areas of   Improvement

 

Review   Previous Lesson

   
 

Safety   Check

   
 

Discuss   Today’s Lesson

   

Driving Experience

( 1 Hour)

Grade

(A, B, C)

Comments, Praise   and

Areas of   Improvement

Introduce   New Skill:

Garage   Parking

   
 

Backing   Out of Garage

   
 

Parking   in Garage

   
 

Backing   Down Driveway

   
Introduce   New Skill:

Driving   in Neighborhood

   
Approaching   an Intersection    
 

Passing   a Parked Car

   
 

Oncoming   Car

   
 

Turning   a Corner

   

Review

(15 Minutes)

 

Comments, Praise   and

Areas of   Improvement

 

Garage   Parking

   
 

Neighborhood   Driving

   
 

Parking

   

Call us at 215-885-2200 for more tips for the Parents of Teen Drivers. Check out our Parent of Teen Driver Website.

 

 

I am not using one of my cars for a while. Can I remove insurance on this vehicle?

In Pennsylvania you are required to have  car insurance on your car if it is registered.  Failure to have insurance on a registered vehicle will result in a fine and loss of registration for 90 days.

So unless you are taking the registration off your car (and returning the license plate to the state) you cannot remove auto insurance on that car.

If you return your license plate and store the car on your property then you can remove the coverage.  However, remember that if the stored car is damaged, stolen or burned in a fire you have no coverage.  Also it you are planning to sell the car and take it for a test drive you have no liability coverage if you have an accident.  There is no coverage for a stored car on your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy. If your car is financed then your finance company requires you to maintain coverage as part of the loan/lease agreement.

Penndot

Here is a link to the Pennsylvania law: http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/insurance/index.shtml

Discuss your options with one of our experienced staff members. Check out our Website for more valuable tips.

7 Costly Mistakes Parents Make When Buying Insurance For Teen Drivers

happy girl in the car

I don’t have space to discuss all 7 Costly Mistakes.  Check out the full Report on our Website.  I want to concentrate on the 3 Most Costly mistakes parents make when buying car insurance for teen drivers.

#3 Insuring your home and cars with 2 different agents – If you insure your home and cars with two different companies then you may be paying 25% more than you need to pay.  Since the price of car insurance for a policy that includes teen drivers is higher, that 25% extra could add up to a lot of your hard earned money.  An advantage of using an independent agent is that your agent can look at your entire account and place your insurance with the company that gives you the most competitive rates and the proper coverage.  On some occasions that may be two different companies but your independent agent can research which companies are best for you.

#2 Lower Liability Limits to Save Money –This mistake can be a financial disaster!  We get many requests to lower coverage to save a few bucks.  However, when you have a teen driver that is the time you need those higher limits.  Teen drivers are five times more likely to have an accident and the cost of a teen driver claim is 3 times higher.  As the saying goes. . . Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish.  A little savings now could cost you dearly in the future!

#1 Using an insurance employee as an agent – Don’t trust your hard earned money with someone who works directly for an insurance company.  Does that employee have your best interest at heart or the insurance company’s best interest?  You need an agent that can find ways to save you money even if that means splitting up your coverage with multiple companies. The insurance company employee can only offer you one company.  At Spencer Insurance we have many top notch insurance companies to offer you.  Our goal is to give you the proper protection at a very competitive price.  “Your Protection and Peace of Mind is our only Business.”  Make sure your family and friends have the proper coverage.  Pass this information to them and have them give us a call at 215-885-2200.  We reward you for your referrals!

Can we find you when there is an Emergency?

floodHopefully your agent has an Emergency Contact Program in place.

What is an Emergency Contact Program?  Imagine this.  Disaster strikes – and we don’t know how to find you.

Here are just a few examples of how the Emergency Contact Program can prevent or help resolve disasters:

  • A mother and two young children were in an automobile accident.  The mother was unconscious, but the two children were only bruised.  The police found our card in her wallet and called.  We contacted the mother’s Emergency Contact – an aunt, who immediately went to the hospital and got the children.
  • A client’s home was badly damaged by fire while they were on vacation.  The Emergency contact contacted us.  We got the claim going immediately and the windows were boarded up before five that afternoon.
  • A client’s small business was broken into one Friday evening.  His business-neighbor, an Emergency Contact saw the damage to the front door and called us.  We contacted our client and had the claim going before the client arrived.

Unfortunately, the list of things that can go wrong goes on and on.  We want to do everything we can to make these easier when they do.

Complete The Disaster Preventer, which asks for your most recent contact information, (just to make sure we have the latest numbers), and up to three Emergency Contacts.

We will hold your contacts name in confidence and will not solicit them as clients.

Can you please take a moment to complete it and return it to our office?  This way, if something happens to you or your property, we might be able to keep your situation from getting worse.  Make sure you give your agent your emergency contact information.

A Great Resource for Parents of Teen Drivers. . .

Spencer Insurance has long been an advocate for the Parents of Teen Drivers.  I wanted to put the spotlight on one resource we can provide that is very valuable to the parent of a teen driver.

Have you seen our “Safe Teen Driver Guide?”

Our Safe Teen Driver Guide is a must for parents who are getting started in training a teen to be a safe driver.  The guide provides parents a 16 Lesson Plan.  Each lesson can be the basis for a one hour driving session with your teen driver.  Some of the lessons include tips for teaching teens to drive at night, in bad weather, on city streets and country roads.  It also provides lessons on what to do when an accident happens and vehicle orientation and maintenance.

Lesson 12 is a very timely lesson: Driving in Bad Weather.  This time of year, with wet leaves and snow, provides a great opportunity for parents to help their teen practice to drive in bad conditions.  Many of us avoid taking our teens out in these conditions.  Eventually they will need to learn how to drive in these conditions so why not try it out in a controlled area like a parking lot?

The Guide starts with an introduction, instructions on obtaining a PA Learner’s Permit and the Top 5 Mistakes teen drivers make.

This Guide is available to our clients at no cost.  Just email or call us for your copy.  We will also send a copy to your friends and family.  Just pass the information on to them and have them call our office for their free copy.  Make sure they tell us you told them to call us.

A parent’s responsibility to teach their teen to drive does not stop when their teen gets their license.  Continue to drive with your teen and practice driving in all types of conditions.  Make sure they master these 16 lessons even if they are already licensed.  Remember, driving is a privilege not a right.  Discuss with your teen consequences of their actions which could lead to them losing this privilege.   Let us help you.  Call us today to learn how we can help.

Check out our website for more valuable tips for Parents of Teen Drivers!

What did you do to help your teen driver become a safer driver.  Share your stories with us.  Comment below.

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