Dashcams

Dashcams and insurance questionsDashcams are becoming increasingly popular and more commonly used all types of drivers: from truckers and long-distance commuters to soccer moms.

What is a dashcam?

A dashcam is a video camera which costs $50 – $300. It’s mounted on the interior of a windshield and is hardwired into the car’s battery to turn on when the car is running. Some dashcams have the option of running while the car is off and parked. The dashcam records all travels and the digital files are easily reviewable.

Why do drivers invest in a dash cam?

Some feel an extra sense of security in the situation of an accident or emergency; they’ll have video evidence of what actually occurred, rather than relying on those involved or witnesses.

Other reasons for using a dashcam:

  • Record fraudulent “staged” accidents
  • Parents of young drivers can review driving habits
  • Record accidents or acts of theft or vandalism while parked (when enabled)
  • Document incidences of road rage
  • To have a record of road trips and to catch unexpected footage

While having a dash cam may provide a driver with peace of mind, they do not make you eligible for an insurance discount. Any dashcam footage obtained can be used to help the insurance claim process (ex: determining liability), but the claim still needs to go through the usual channels.

It’s also important to note that if dashcam footage is posted publicly on YouTube or other social media networks, there may be privacy implications.

Dashcams: What would you use it for?

Welcome to Road Construction Season!

Drive safe in road construction adviceWhile most of us are looking forward to warmer weather, the warmer weather also means that road crews will be out improving our travel routes.

We would like to remind all drivers to slow down, drive with caution, increased awareness and share the road with work crews.

  • Observe the lower speed limit.
  • Watch for workers and obey their directives.
  • Merge when appropriate and be a courteous driver.
  • Leave earlier, assuming delays, to allow for ample time for you to arrive at your destination.
  • Be aware of uneven road surfaces and changes in traffic patterns
  • Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, as sudden stops are common in construction zones.

Remember, speeding fines are doubled in construction zones when workers are present and may also result in demerit points; both which affect your insurance premiums.

Drive safe!

 

Fatigued Driving is Impaired Driving

Impaired driving is any condition which affects your driving performance. Impaired driving is not only alcohol and drug related; it’s also physical and mental fatigue.

Our lives are demanding, and often one area we neglect is proper rest and sleep.

Driver fatigue is a factor in up to 21 percent of vehicular collisions, according to the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators. For Canadians, this translates into approximately 400 deaths and 2,100 serious injuries every year.

Fatigued drivers put themselves and others at risk: and it’s simply not worth the potential outcome.

Fatigued Driving

Infogrraphic: National Sleep Foundation

Talk to your young drivers, loved ones and friends about the dangers of drowsy driving.

Avoiding Rear End Collisions

Avoiding a rear end collisionAccording to recent statistics, read end accidents account for 26% of all collisions. These accidents can significantly vary in severity from a scratched bumper to death. In nearly all cases of rear end collisions, it’s the driver who is following too closely who is at fault except when the first vehicle makes a sudden and unexpected stop.

The best way to avoid rear-end collisions is to leave some space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. It’s recommended to leave three to five seconds, (depending on speed and road conditions) so you have enough time to react.

To give yourself a two-second space, follow these steps:

Pick a marker on the road ahead, such as a road sign or telephone pole.

When the rear of the vehicle ahead passes the marker, count “one thousand and one, one thousand and two”.

When the front of your vehicle reaches the marker, stop counting. If you reach the marker before you count “one thousand and two,” you are following too closely.

Remember that the two-second rule gives a minimum following distance. It applies only to ideal driving conditions. You will need extra space in certain situations, such as inclement weather, when following motorcycles or large trucks, or when carrying a heavy load. [1]

Tailgating

We can’t govern the actions of others on roadways, but we can control how we conduct ourselves and react to poor drivers.

What to do if you’re being tailgated:

  • Change lanes if possible and signal your intentions well in advance, but avoid pulling onto the shoulder of the road.
  • Don’t pump the brakes – the tailgater likely knows they are following too closely and may not have the time to react properly.
  • Don’t be too distracted by the driver behind you. Keep your focus on the road ahead.
  • Don’t wave at the tailgater to pass you as your gesture may be misunderstood, or it may be dangerous for them to pass with oncoming traffic.
  • Keep your cool. It’s better to assume the driver is just having a bad day, rather than being an all-around jerk.
  • If you feel unsafe and are concerned about road rage, take the first available right turn, and then again if they are still behind you. If the driver is still following you, drive directly to the closest police station.

Be alert and drive safe.

[1] http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/driver/handbook/section2.2.6.shtml

Top Ways to Avoid a Collision

How to avoid an auto collisionNo one leaves their home and expects to be involved in an auto accident, and most people believe they are better than average drivers.  While we can’t control other drivers’ behaviours, there are actions we can take to help ensure our safety on the road.

  • Keep your vehicle in good shape – Ensuring that your vehicle is running well, (brakes, brake lights, working windshield wipers, etc.) will help you be safe on the road.
  • Know before you go – Check weather and road conditions. Be aware of road closures and construction that might below cause delays and result in you feeling rushed.
  • Keep your focus on the road and surroundings. Commit to distraction-free driving.
  • Always leave a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Allowing for this extra space will give you the time to brake.
  • Be aware of your speed, and drive according to the weather conditions.
  • Never drive impaired or when fatigued.
  • Be extra aware in construction zones, pedestrian areas and intersections.
  • Be courteous and patient with other drivers. If someone is driving erratically, allow them the space to do so without putting yourself in danger.

Only we can reduce vehicular collisions. Do your part and be the best driver possible. Encourage other drivers in your family to do the same.

Purchasing a Car: What’s Important to You?

Important Factors when purchasing a vehicleThere are many factors to consider when buying either a brand new, or a used car.

What’s important to you?

In the 2016 JD Power and Associates Initial Quality Study, “expected reliability” tops the list (and has for many years), as the most important factor when buying a new vehicle.

Expected reliability is related to the vehicle performing well and not requiring repairs. Purchasers expect a new vehicle to be problem-free for 3 years. The reliability of a car also affects the resale value.

Other factors important to the vehicle purchase decision:

  • Exterior styling
  • Previous brand model and experience
  • Reputation and reviews
  • Ride and handling
  • Price or payment
  • Safety
  • Fuel economy/range
  • Quality of workmanship

It is however noteworthy that not many people would purchase a very reliable vehicle, with a great reputation, reviews, ride and handling if they find the exterior unattractive!

“Reputation” is a factor in some purchases when the vehicle is viewed as a symbol of status for the owner. For many years (and to this day) the brand of Cadillac was synonymous with luxury, but according to the latest Consumer Reports Guide, the Cadillac Escalade is the least reliable of all vehicles in the study!

When purchasing a new car, only you can decide what’s important. There’s a wealth of information available online to help you make an informed decision. Speaking with family members and friends about their experience is helpful as is incentives offered by the dealer (such as low cost, long-term maintenance packages to help keep your vehicle running well).

Helpful resources:

Consumer Reports – 7 Cars Owners Regret Buying

Top-Ranked Cars, Trucks, and SUVs in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Initial Quality Study

Consumer Reports – The Least and Most Dependable Vehicles by Class

Speak to your insurance professional before making a purchase

Why?

Your insurance premium will be affected by the type and make of the vehicle you choose. Either higher or lower insurance premiums may be a factor when budgeting for a new vehicle.

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle and have narrowed your choice down to a few, please give us a call for a friendly, free, no-obligation quote; we’re here to help. 519-736-8228

Reach Out To Us

Insurance Broker Windsor Essex Amherstburg Each year a fairly hefty document is sent out to everyone with an insurance policy. Let’s be honest here: almost no one reads these documents! They are lengthy and use complicated industry language. We know that reading them can be time consuming, frustrating and confusing.

However, you really do need to know what’s in these important documents to ensure that you are properly covered. There are two ways to ensure you’re not left with gaps in your coverage.

1) Each year, discuss with your insurance professional any changes in your life: home additions, change in job or driving habits etc. that may affect your coverage or premiums.

2) Each year, ask your insurance broker to review your documents and explain exactly what your policies cover and the limitations.

When we say we’re “here to help you protect what matters most”; we mean it! We’re proud to be a local insurance broker and offer you personalized service. We want to hear from our clients – and not only when they need to file a claim.

We want you to be confident in not just the price you pay for insurance and the extent of the coverage, but also that you feel assured in knowing you’re properly protected.

Please reach out to us if you’d like to discuss changes in your life that may affect your insurance or if you’d like a review of your existing coverage. We’re here for you. 519-736-8228

Getting Your Vehicle Winter Ready

A frozen car windshield The cold and snow are on their way!

Although we enjoy rather mild winters here in Windsor – Essex County, being prepared for winter weather can help make your daily travels a little easier.

Here are 6 actions to take on your vehicle to ensure that it is winter ready:

  • Have the battery tested and ensure connections are clean and corrosion free.
  • Check that the heating system, including the front and rear window defrosters, are in good working order.
  • Be sure your vehicle’s tire pressure and the tread depth are at the recommended levels. If there’s uneven wear on the tires, it’s time for a re-alignment and/or rotation.
  • Check the entire brake system to ensure it’s in good working order.
  • Windshield wipers can dry out and crack in the summer sun, replace if necessary and change the washer fluid to a de-icing winter formula.
  • Have the radiator flushed to remove contaminants and to safeguard that the cooling systems won’t freeze up during the cold winter months.

Remember: If you opt to have winter tires on your vehicle, please contact us; you may be eligible for an discount on your insurance premium.

Be prepared, and drive safe!

Driving Tips That Could Save a Life

Review mirror with traffic Driving quickly becomes a habit which results in many of us going on ‘auto-pilot’ while on the road. Being more mindful and aware while driving could potentially save a life.

Please review the driving tips below:

  • Make a habit to glance in your rear-view mirror every time you touch your brakes to ensure the vehicle behind you is slowing down appropriately. If they are not, turn on your four-way signals and be prepared to quickly move to the shoulder to avoid a collision.
  • At an intersection, never completely trust the turn signals of on coming traffic, especially when they are travelling at a high rate of speed. The may have forgot to either turn the signal on,  or off. Also consider that they may change their minds about turning at the last second.
  • When stopped at a light, scan the intersection for red light runners before proceeding when it turns green.
  • On a highway, never change lanes in another vehicle’s blind spot; they also may be changing lanes and might not see your car.
  • When changing lanes, don’t rely solely on your side mirrors. Quickly glance over your shoulder to ensure your blind spot is clear.
  • When waiting to make a left turn at an intersection, keep the tires straight rather than turned to the left. If you’re hit from behind you won’t be pushed into oncoming traffic.
  • Trucks are bigger and slower than your vehicle. Give them the space they need.
  • If someone is driving aggressively, don’t engage with them. Simply allow them the room to behave badly.
  • If you experience a blown tire while driving, don’t slam on the brakes. The blown tire will act as an “anchor” and result in a severe fishtail (if it’s the rear tire). Instead, regain control by gently hitting the gas and try to stay as straight as possible, then release the gas and steer your vehicle off the road in the same direction as the blown tire.
  • Ensure that your vehicle’s headrests are in the proper position.
  • Hold the steering wheel at “9” and “3” rather than at “10” and “2”. If the steering wheel airbag goes off, it’s less likely to cause severe injury to your hands, arms and wrists and rather will impact your head and torso as it should.

What is your best driving tip? Please share in the comment area below.

Please drive safe; from your friends at Gibb Insurance Brokers.

Lending/Borrowing a Car & Insurance

Man driving a carOne of the most commonly asked questions to insurance professionals is regarding lending and/or borrowing a vehicle.

It’s important to note that every situation is different when lending or borrowing a car, so be sure to talk to your insurance provider if any of the examples and questions below seem to apply to you…. And if your insurance provider is difficult to contact, then maybe it’s time for a change and you should be dealing with Gibb Insurance!

I’m thrilled my grandson found a part time after school job delivering pizzas. Usually he borrows his mom’s car for work, which he is insured on as a secondary driver, but occasionally his schedule conflicts with hers and I let him borrow my car a couple times a month. Should I have him insured on my car as well?

My brother has never owned a car or had car insurance, although he does have a driver’s license. When I travel for work, I usually leave my car with to him to use. I travel every three months for 4 to 5 days at a time. Is my brother covered under my insurance policy?

My nephew’s pickup truck breaks down often – about 3 times a month, so I lend him my car to get to work. He has his own policy on his pick-up, but should I add him as a secondary driver on my car?

My friend is visiting from England for a month. He has an international driver’s license and would like to borrow my car while I’m at work. Is he automatically insured under my policy?

My friend is afraid to drive in the States. When we shop stateside I usually drive her car. I have a good driving record, my own car and my own insurance – am I okay to drive her car in the States occasionally?

My son has own business and a commercial vehicle (he delivers auto-parts locally). Sometimes he’s so busy that his wife helps out and she uses his truck while he borrows my SUV. Is he insured while driving my vehicle?

If we can help you answer any of your insurance questions, please reach out to us: 519-736-8228