February 2019 ISSUE OF THE PROTECTION COACH

The February 2019 update of Mike Stromsoe’s The Protection Coach® has arrived.  This issue is jam-packed with all the latest news and tips for clients and friends of Stromsoe Insurance Agency.

The Protection Coach® –February 2019 (Click here to download)

Inside this edition..                                                                  

  • What does your total protection team LOVE???
  • 3 Simple Valentine’s Day Date Ideas!
  • Accidents Happen: Photo Cheat Sheet
  • Congratulations to Ed & Donna Chavez, GRAND PRIZE WINNERS in the 2018 Inspiring Happiness by
    Making a Difference Referral Rewards Program, taking home Green, Gift Cards and Goodies,
    PLUS a $500 Donation to Cops 4 Kids, their favorite charity of choice.!  Thank you for your continued business!

Sharing the Road: How to Best Avoid Hitting Animals

Sharing the road with our furry friends is something that we have to get used to.

Some roads are built right by forests where many deer, elk, and moose have roamed for millions of years. There was an estimated 1.25 million claims reported last year from such collisions, which shows no indication of a decrease—so we’re going to have to learn how to drive with them on the road. Here are some tips on how you can avoid hitting our mammalian friends and keeping your car deer-free.

  • Brighten the road. Using your high-beams could end up saving your car’s life, along with an elk or deer’s. Flicker the lights to spook the deer as they tend to stay fixated on your headlights.
  • Brake if possible. If you see the deer with plenty of time to brake, lightly tap on the brakes and honk your horn to alert drivers behind you and to possibly startle the deer. If there are no cars behind you, and you’re approaching quickly, slam the brakes.
  • Stay alert. Pay attention to “deer crossing” signs. If you see one deer, there are probably more around that area. And be vigilant during mating and hunting seasons. These seasons force animals to wander into the roads more frequently.
  • Avoid swerving. If a collision seems inevitable, it’s important to remember not to swerve. You could swerve onto oncoming traffic, or end up in a ditch.

If you have questions about the California car insurance or your growing number of drivers requires, don’t wait to contact Stromsoe Insurance Agency. We know that you already have enough to worry about with your new teen driver, and are here to making getting him or her covered easy! Protect your family, your vehicles, and your liability by calling us today.

Car Care Means Coverage Care

Taking good care of your car is good idea. Did you realize a well-maintained vehicle is more dependable, safer, and more valuable. However, did you know that careful maintenance can also save you money on Auto insurance?

For example, experts recommend replacing your wiper blades every 6,000 miles or six months. If your wipers leave streaks and smears, you’re ready for a replacement set. But also consider how unsafe it is to drive your car without clear vision. Every year motorists have accidents because they fail to see oncoming traffic or a car that stops in front of them.

While you’re thinking about a clear windshield, what about that non functioning defroster you’ve been meaning to fix.

Don’t forget about seat belts. Thousands of vehicle occupants every year suffer injuries because they don’t wear their belts. Are all of your belts functioning properly — even those in the back seat? Not only are unbelted rear seat passengers highly susceptible to injury, but 80% of fatalities among front-seat passengers wearing seat belts resulted from collisions with unbelted back seat passengers, according to a University of Tokyo study.

Taking preventative maintenance measures such as these, together with safe driving habits, will help curb highway accidents, reducing injuries and saving lives –not to mention lowering the number (and cost) of Auto coverage claims. That’s why insurance companies offer premium credits to drivers who take care of their vehicles.

One of our Protection Coaches® can provide advice on the types and amounts of coverage a vehicle owner needs. Here are 4 Easy Ways to Reach Us:
Call 951-600-5751 or 877-994-6787
Fax 951-677-6265
Email – insure@siaonline.com
Visit www.siaonline.com

State Minimum Auto Liability Coverage: Is It Enough?

State minimum insurance requirements are minimal. Most states demand less than $100,000 for bodily injuries and $50,000 for property damage. Some states require only $10,000 for property damage coverage.

How many cars valued at greater than $10,000 travel the highways? How many trucks carrying cargo are worth more than $10,000? $50,000? $100,000?

According to the 2010 census, the median family net worth exceeded $200,000. That amount includes houses, cars, savings, retirement funds, cash in the bank, college savings, and furniture and personal effects. Half the families are worth more, half have assets less than $200,000; all of it is hard earned.

If the family is underinsured for liability, their net worth is vulnerable to be seized in a lawsuit based on injuries or property damage caused by any family member driving a vehicle. The car owner and the car driver become parties to the suit.

Bodily injuries sustained in car wrecks devastate lives. People unable to work, the high cost of medical treatment, rehabilitation expenses, and the pain and suffering can only be compensated with money. The money comes from the insurance company or the liable party’s personal wealth.

Not convinced you need higher limits? Not all liabilities are released in bankruptcy. Many states have specific legislation disallowing debt reduction for certain accidents, most notably driving while intoxicated. Wage plans reduce take home pay by as much as 33%. Many employers do not tolerate either bankruptcy or wage garnishments.

Still not convinced? How about a selfish motivation?

Other drivers are either uninsured or underinsured. Most insurance companies will not provide uninsured motorist coverage in limits greater than the liability limits of the policy.

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage from your policy pays on behalf of the driver who hits you if they are poorly insured. In a classic exercise of the golden rule, insurance companies only sell limits commensurate with the protection you offer others.

Proper limits of liability allow you to protect yourself from the improper coverage other people maintain.

So how much coverage is enough? What are reasonable limits of liability?

Call our knowledgeable Protection Team to get the right answers to your questions. And consider this:

Your assets are your excess insurance coverage. This means that when the limits of your policy are reached, your assets are at risk. Excess insurance – Umbrella policies, for example – is available in $1 million layers over your Automobile and Homeowners liability limits if those limits qualify – are high enough. Protect yourself against underinsured drivers by increasing your uninsured motorist coverage.

Here are 4 Easy Ways to Reach Us:

  1. Call 951-600-5751 or 877-994-6787
  2. Fax 951-677-6265
  3. Email – insure@siaonline.com
  4. Visit – www.siaonline.com 24/7

Don’t Let Driving Emergencies Take You By Surprise

There are two golden rules to remember when driving – expect the unexpected and be ready for anything. Many agencies, such as the National Safety Council, have compiled listings of the most common road emergencies and the ways that drivers can best handle them safely. Let’s look at six of them:

  • Blown Tire. Don’t over-steer, but do maintain a firm, steady grip on the wheel to keep the vehicle going in the desired direction until you’re able to slow it down. Keep in mind that a front blown tire will cause the vehicle to pull toward the blowout’s side, while a rear blown tire will cause the vehicle’s rear end to weave. Apply your brakes smoothly and slowly enough that you can pull the car to the side of the road at a safe speed. Never immediately swerve to the side of the road or jam on the brakes as you could lose control.
  • Blown / Malfunctioning Headlights. Slowly brake and come to a stop on the right shoulder. Try to get as far away from passing traffic as possible. Turn on your emergency flashers, if they’re still operational, and place road hazard markers or flares at least 300 feet from the rear of your vehicle. If you don’t have a cell phone to call for roadside assistance, then you can open the hood and try to scrape the battery cable’s lead terminal posts and the inside of connector lugs. This might provide a better connection and enough intermittent light to make it to a phone. As a last resort, you could use your emergency flashers as an intermittent light source if they’re on a separate circuit.
  • Skidding Vehicle. Remove your foot from the gas. Steer into the direction of the skid until you feel your rear wheels get traction again. Now, straighten the wheel. Never jam on the brakes or over-steer during the skid. To avoid skidding to one side when you need to come to a sudden stop, you can rapidly jam and immediately release the brakes. For those with anti-lock brakes, keep your foot on the brake and continue firm pressure while steering.
  • Engine Failure. Turn your right signal on and let the vehicle’s momentum carry you to the shoulder. If this isn’t a possibility, then remain in your lane or along the right side. Pump your brakes and turn your emergency flashers on to let other drivers know you’re in trouble. Once you’ve come to a stop, you’ll ideally exit the vehicle on the side without traffic flow. You can alert other vehicles by placing reflectors or flares; keeping your taillights on; and placing a white cloth around your handle, spoiler, or antenna. Use your cell phone to call for help or flag down a law officer. There might be an emergency call box on long bridges.
  • Stuck Accelerator. Turn off the ignition and apply the brakes. Keep in mind that your power assist feature will no longer work and braking and steering will be more difficult. Never lean down to handle the gas pedal, but you can try to lift the pedal with your toe if the pedal and throttle linkage have a positive connection.
  • Brake Failure. If your brakes still functioning properly, but you have a system light indicating a brake failure, then you should slowly take the most level route to a service station or mechanic shop.

    If your brakes don’t feel normal, but are still offering some resistance, then pump them rapidly. This action could build enough hydraulic pressure to slow your vehicle down. You might be lucky enough to have a clear road and be able to coast to a stop or roll and apply your parking brake. Use your horn and flash your lights to alert pedestrians and other vehicles. You might need to carefully sideswipe hedges, snow banks, parked cars, and/or guardrails to help your vehicle stop if your on a downward, steep roadway. Never swerve to the left of a vehicle in your path unless it’s your only choice. If you’re headed straight for another vehicle, firmly press the brakes; head for a shoulder, ditch, or open ground on the right side; and try to alert others with your horn.

Driving emergencies are hard to think through as they’re happening. For the best outcome possible, you’ll need to know what the potential emergencies are, know how to safely deal with them ahead of time, and make the subjects part of your family’s safety discussions.

We hope this article helps keep you and your loved ones safe. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to comment below or call us at 877-994-6787, that’s 877-99-INSURE.

Drinking and Driving: A Threat to Everyone

U.S. drivers got behind the wheel after drinking too much about 112 million times in 2010. Whenever anyone drives drunk, they put everyone on the road in danger. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same.

Though episodes of drinking and driving have gone down by 30% during the past 5 years, it remains a serious problem. Alcohol-impaired drivers are involved in about 1 in 3 crash deaths, resulting in nearly 11,000 deaths in 2009. A recent CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) report discusses drinking and driving and the proven measures that can help.

A Serious Problem, Happening 112 Million Times a Year

U.S. drivers got behind the wheel after drinking too much about 112 million times in 2010.

    Certain groups are more likely to drink and drive than others.

  • Men were responsible for 4 in 5 episodes (81%) of drinking and driving in 2010.
  • Young men ages 21-34 made up only 11% of the U.S. population in 2010, yet were responsible for 32% of all instances of drinking and driving.
  • 85% of drinking and driving episodes were reported by people who also reported binge drinking. Binge drinking means 5 or more drinks for men or 4 or more drinks for women during a short period of time.

Steps for Safety

Seat belts help keep everyone safe on the road.

Seat belts can protect every passenger on every trip. Just by buckling up, you reduce your risk of serious injuries and deaths from crashes by about 50%.

There are proven steps that people can take to help prevent drinking and driving.

States can:

  • Enforce 0.08% blood alcohol concentration and minimum legal drinking age laws.
  • Expand the use of sobriety checkpoints.
  • Require ignition interlocks for everyone convicted of drinking and driving, starting with their first offense.
  • Consider including strategies to reduce binge drinking—such as increasing alcohol taxes—to reduce drinking and driving, since the two behaviors are linked.
  • Pass primary enforcement seat belt laws that cover everyone in the car.

Employers can:

Definitions of proven measures

  • Sobriety checkpoints are locations at which police stop drivers to judge if they are driving under the influence.
  • The minimum legal drinking age prohibits selling alcohol to people under age 21 in all 50 states.
  • Ignition interlocks are devices that prevent drivers from operating their vehicles if they have been drinking.
  • State primary enforcement seat belt laws allow police to stop vehicles just because someone is not wearing a seat belt.
  • Set policies that immediately take away all work-related driving privileges for any employee cited for drinking and driving while using a company or personal vehicle for work purposes.
  • Use workplace health promotion programs to communicate the dangers of drinking and driving, including information directed to family members.

Health professionals can:

  • Help patients realize that car crashes are the leading cause of death for everyone ages 5-34 and that 1 in 3 of all crash deaths involves a drunk driver.
  • Routinely screen patients for risky drinking patterns, including binge drinking, and provide a brief intervention—a 10–15 minute counseling session—for patients who screen positive.

Everyone can:

  • Choose to not drink and drive and help others do the same.
    • Before drinking, designate a nondrinking driver when with a group.
    • If out drinking, get a ride home or call a taxi.
    • Don’t let friends drink and drive.
  • Choose not to binge drink themselves and help others not to do it.
  • Talk with a doctor or nurse about drinking and driving and request counseling if drinking is causing health, work, or social problems.
  • Buckle up every time, no matter how short the trip. Encourage passengers in the car to buckle up, including those in the back seat.

We hope this article helps keep you safe. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to contact us.

Here are 4 Easy Ways to Reach Us:

Follow Six Basic Steps After an Auto Accident

A car accident is always traumatic for any driver. Even if the damages are relatively minor, and both parties are uninjured, you might find yourself panicking over what to do next. There are important steps to take following any crash, no matter how severe.

Since car accidents involve insurance companies, both drivers need to collect the necessary information. They can do this by following six basic steps.

  1. The most important thing is to stay calm at all times. Letting emotions get out of control will only make the situation worse, and make it harder to take care of the things that need to be done.
  2. After remaining in control, the driver must make sure that they and their passenger(s) are okay and unharmed. Although it is important to move as far off the road as possible, it is also important if not more so to remain at the scene of the accident. If the driver or one of the passengers can do so, wave oncoming traffic into the other lane or warn traffic with hazard lights and flares, if available.
  3. Alert the appropriate authorities by calling 911 right away. If a cell phone isn’t readily available, flag down a passing car and ask them to call.
  4. The driver must contact their insurance company regardless of whether they were at fault. The sooner the insurance company knows, the sooner they can start working to resolve the claim. Both drivers should call their respective companies and report the accident, even if one of them was at fault.
  5. For legal reasons, the driver must not admit fault to anyone. All those involved with the accident should only talk about it with the police and their insurance companies.
  6. Finally, collect the information from all parties, which means that each driver must collect information from any witnesses. Most importantly, each driver should get the name of the other’s insurance company and their policy number.

If you have any questions about your protection, call the Stromsoe Insurance Agency Total Protection Team for the right answers to your questions.

Here are 4 EASY ways to reach us:

1. Call 877-994-6787 or 951-600-5751
2. Fax 951-677-6265
3. Email – insure@siaonline.com
4. Visit Exclusive New Website –  www.siaonline.com