Monday, November 18, 2019

Night Lights Can Help Prevent Accidents from Ever Happening

By: Edward L. Blais, JD, CIC

President, Blais Insurance

Every homeowner who has friends and family coming over for the holidays wants to make sure their guests’ experience is memorable – for the right reasons. If those individuals are staying the night, Blais Insurance urges homeowners to take precautions to make premises safer or risk being in financial peril for years to come.

Falls are happening more often and with more severe consequences every year, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  In fact, more than 800,000 individuals are hospitalized every year and the total cost associated with falls in the United States exceeds $50 billion.

With the holidays around the corner, homeowners should take some simple, extra steps to make sure that guests, especially children and older adults, don’t injure themselves, most notably around stairs or back decks. One of the most common misfortunes that can occur happens when a guest falls and, through injury, becomes permanently disabled. Not only is your friend or relative’s life changed forever, homeowners are usually left with a damaged relationship, feelings of guilt, and the financial responsibility to cover any medical expenses and other financial consequences.

To make matters worse, the medical costs associated with a lifetime of continued care for the injured party could exceed the policy limits of any insurance products homeowners may have. For instance, even if a homeowner’s combined insurance policy limits (homeowner’sinsurance and umbrella coverage) is even in the millions, homeowners could still be responsible for any remaining amount for which they are held liable, over and above the amount of insurance coverage limits the homeowner may carry.

Insurance professionals will always recommend that you take actions to mitigate risks because it will cost policyholders much less in the long run. To prevent falls near stairs, homeowners could install lighting, gates, rails, and signs. It’s the classic case of when “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Through simple and thoughtful risk avoidance strategies like the tips mentioned above, homeowners could potentially prevent a fall from ever happening. If you need other tips to help you remain financially secure, Blais Insurance encourages you to give us a call at 401-725-0070.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Lending Your Vehicle Can be Risky

Damages to Borrowed Cars Are the Responsibility of the Car Owner

By: Edward L. Blais, JD, CIC
President, Blais Insurance

As families in Rhode Island prepare to welcome guests perhaps for the upcoming holidays, car owners should be aware of a common issue that could impact their auto insurance policy.  To help dispel a myth about sharing vehicles, Blais Insurance would like to clarify who is responsible for damages if a family friend or relative has an automobile accident with your car.

When friends or relatives stay over for Thanksgiving or Christmas, hosts often lend their vehicle to visitors who want to go sight-seeing or shopping. Whatever the case may be, there is an assumption that the operator’s insurance will handle any claims. That is never, usually, the case.

If a guest were to accidentally drive the borrowed vehicle into a tree for instance, the car owner’s collision coverage would cover the damage to the vehicle. Also, depending on the deductible, the car owner could have to contribute hundreds or even thousands to the repair. This might be an uncomfortable scenario to be in with family or friends who might not feel that they are to blame for the accident. Perhaps the borrowing guest could agree to contribute toward, or even assume payment of the full deductible, to ease the pain of the predicament.

Blais Insurance understands that the decision to lend a car rests solely on the owner. With this article and all of our other communications, we always hope to educate policyholders with valuable insurance-related information that informs individuals about what to expect in the event of an accident. Whether you need additional auto, home, or business insurance coverage, call Blais Insurance at 401-725-0070 to receive a fast and hassle free quote.


Monday, September 23, 2019

One Car Accident Can Leave You with a Hefty Remaining Balance

By: Edward L. Blais, JD, CIC
President, Blais Insurance

New car buyers lose thousands of dollars the moment they drive their vehicle off the lot. Financial experts say new cars can lose up to 30 percent of its value in the first year. This depreciation presents a financial vulnerability for a specific segment of consumers, and Blais Insurance would like to highlight a strategy to protect yourself from significant losses.

First, it is important to imagine that you are receiving the keys to a newly leased vehicle fresh off the production line. A week doesn’t even pass by before you are involved in a major car accident. You leave the incident unscathed but the damage to your car is extensive, and your insurance company deems it a complete loss.

At this point, the leasing company will receive a check in the amount of the vehicle’s actual cash value, unless additional coverage was added. A few weeks later, you receive a bill for the remaining amount on your lease contract. Ultimately, this amounts to you continuing to make payments on a car you no longer have.

In recent years, more people have been leasing their vehicles because it is more affordable on a month-to-month basis. Unfortunately, depreciation is the main drawback of a new vehicle, regardless of make or model, and it costs you more if your car is totaled or stolen.

Insurance companies have recognized this financial vulnerability years ago, which is why loan/lease gap coverage is available. Gap insurance covers the amount you could still end up owing in your lease or finance agreement.

Gap insurance does not have to be purchased before leaving a dealership, but the longer you wait, the higher the risk that you might have to pay thousands if something were to happen. Avoid the financial headache that could ensue, and call Blais Insurance at 401-725-0070 to learn more about gap coverage.