Auto Insurance Coverages

If you have ever wondered why you need car insurance, it’s because you are not protecting yourself financially without it.  Cars can be damaged or stolen, costing money to be repaired or replaced.  Accidents can occur with bodily injury to you, your passengers and people in the other car.  Medical bills can be very expensive and a lawsuit from another injured party can cost even more.  The following are coverages you can, or should, have in your car insurance policy.

  • Liability Coverage: Liability coverage covers bodily injury to others and property damage to others if you are at fault in an accident. Bodily injury pays others’ medical costs. It can also pay injured parties’ lost wages and your legal expenses if a lawsuit is brought against you due to an accident.
  • Comprehensive (Other Than Collision) Coverage: This helps pay for damage to your vehicle that is not caused by a collision. Examples are: damage or loss due to theft, vandalism, falling objects, fire, storms, flood, and certain other natural disasters.
  • Collision Coverage: This helps pay for damage to your vehicle if you hit another vehicle, another vehicle hits you or your vehicle rolls over. Collision coverage can be a required part of your car insurance coverage if your vehicle is financed or leased.
  • Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Assists in paying for damages to your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident by an underinsured, uninsured or unidentified driver. It can also help pay your medical costs and your passengers’ medical costs if an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver results in injury. Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage may also pay for lost wages and other damages.
  • Medical Expenses: This can help pay medical costs for you and your passengers in the event of an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): PIP is a statutory coverage which provides medical, disability and death benefits for persons injured in or by insured’s vehicles, without regard to fault. Named insureds and their family members are also covered for injuries in or by the vehicles of others.
  • Rental Car Reimbursement: If your car cannot be driven due to an at-fault accident or comprehensive claim, this helps pay for your rental car or other transportation (such as a bus or subway).
  • Towing and Labor: When a vehicle with car insurance coverage is disabled this can reimburse you for towing and roadside assistance charges. Typical services include: battery jump-starting, tire changing and locksmiths.

Auto coverage can vary from state to state so it is highly recommended to know what your options are. If you have any questions or want to learn more about auto insurance, please give us a call at 305-270-2100.

At Filer Insurance, Inc., we have been providing Home, Auto and Business Insurance in Miami and South Florida since 1919.  We would very much like to have you as one of our customers.  Please give us call or come by our office for a free quote on your insurance.

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Holiday Party Risks To Be Aware of

There is a lot of goodwill during the holidays but unfortunately there are many people that will sue without a second thought.  The best host in the world could get in trouble for an illness brought on by undercooked food or a guest becoming even slightly intoxicated.  Hiring a caterer or using a restaurant might help but you could still be liable for food poisoning or a roadside accident after a guest exits the party.

The IIABA (Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America) has some tips for homeowners and businesses planning on throwing a holiday party for family & friends or employees.

Know the law and what you’re liable for

You could live in a state that holds party/event hosts responsible for food borne illnesses caused by their food and/or drinks.  Read through your homeowners’ policy and/or call your Miami home insurance agent to see if you are adequately covered should a guest become ill during or after your party.  If you are interested in extra protection, you could look into purchasing a $1 million or more personal umbrella policy on top of your current policy.

If unsure, toss it

Roughly three-quarters of Americans outsource their holiday food to a caterer or restaurant but you would still be responsible for food poisoning from a bad dish.  Only use trusted sources to prepare your food and refrain from serving anything that appears to be undercooked or spoiled.

Keep an eye on who has been drinking what

Your state could also hold you liable for intoxicated guests involved in an accident after leaving your party.  You could be faced with paying medical bills, car repair, injured parties’ time away from work, and/or wrongful death claims.  If a guest starts exhibiting signs of too much alcohol ask for their car keys and offer them a drink without alcohol.  It may also be wise to keep an eye out for those under 21.  And, even if it seems excessive, for a large enough party you could hire an off-duty police officer or a bouncer to check a guest’s level of sobriety before leaving.

Don’t have the party at home

Host the party/event at a bar or restaurant (if your budget permits).  An establishment that serves alcohol must have a liquor license which will take some of the liability off of your shoulders.  If you’re concerned about the quantity of alcohol your guests may consume, plan to have various activities to keep their minds off drinking.  You could even take it one step further and offer your guests transportation or accommodations for the night.

Parties and get-togethers should always be fun and enjoyable without anyone getting sick or hurt.  Try to take whatever precautions you can to prevent illness or accident to avoid any issues or lawsuits that can bring a damper on the holidays.  And check out the food safety website for any tips on food preparation and storage.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 305-270-2100.

At Filer Insurance, Inc., we have been providing Home, Auto and Business Insurance in Miami and South Florida since 1919.  We would very much like to have you as one of our customers.  Please give us call or come by our office for a free quote on your insurance.

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Guilty Verdict for a Fraudulent Insurance Claim

This case of insurance fraud involves a husband and wife team.  The husband is a former police officer and the wife is a special education teacher.  Many people may see both as underpaid jobs and this couple decided to add to their income inappropriately.  A felony charge was brought against them due to a fire at their home in 2010 and they pleaded guilty.  In addition to that, there is a pending arson charge from another fire in 2011.

According to an article in the Finger Lakes Times, the couple was in Ontario County Court where they gave a plea of guilty on the 16th of January to third-degree insurance fraud.  A district attorney, R. Michael Tantillo, stated that for one year they will have interim probation and are required to pay restitution of about $12,000 to their insurance company during that year.

In one statement by Tantillo he said that, “This resolves part of the case but not all.  The arson still remains, and we consider that very serious because of the potential hazard to other people.”

It was in April of last year that the charges of insurance fraud were brought against them by a grand jury.  The first fire at their home was not ruled as being arson, but Tantillo said that they were accused of offering false claims to their insurer and thereby defrauding the company.  He went on to say that the couple did relocate after the first fire but claimed to have living expenses during that time.  It turns out that they had been staying with relatives but had not paid them any rent.

As for the second fire, the wife is the one being accused of starting it on purpose and has been given a charge of third-degree arson.  The trial has been schedule for later in the year.

The husband did not receive any of the blame for the 2nd fire in 2011, but he did give a plea of guilty to misdemeanor conduct.  This stems from forged letters he used to avoid being deployed to Iraq.

Tantillo said that during the husband’s employment as a police officer he was also serving in the National Guard.  In 2003, the husband’s letters had a forged signature of the Police Chief of Clifton Springs.  Written in the letters was a request that the National Guard not send the husband to Iraq because he was needed by the police department.

In response to the husband’s guilty plea Tantillo said, “We were glad to see the guilty plea for official misconduct, although it was outside the statute of limitations.  That was very offensive conduct on his part.”

In February of last year the husband, on his own, left the employment of the Clifton Springs Police Department.  Also last year, his wife was dismissed from her teaching position and placed on an alternative administration assignment. Aside from the husband’s misconduct, this couple has really gotten themselves into trouble.  Insurance companies take fraud very seriously.  Just from one charge the couple now owes $12,000!  That’s a lot of money to have to return and the arson case has yet to be resolved.  Submitting claims to an insurance company in order to receive some extra income may be tempting but in the long run it just isn’t worth it to pay the price later on.

At Filer Insurance, Inc., we have been providing Home, Auto and Business Insurance in Miami and South Florida since 1919.  We would very much like to have you as one of our customers.  Please give us call or come by our office for a free quote on your insurance.

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