What To Do After a Car Accident!

Whether you've gotten into a fender bender or totaled your car, accidents are scary. No matter the cause – weather and road conditions, irresponsible driving behavior, or something unforeseen – you should be prepared for any possibility. Even the most careful drivers can be involved in an accident, which is why we've provided these nine tips to help you get through an accident safely:

 

1.   Check yourself and any passengers for injuries.

If you don't know whether a particular injury is serious, call 911 just in case.

2.   Remain calm.

This one is easier said than done, but try to remain calm and take deep breaths to keep a clear head during this experience – there may be details you'll need to remember later you'll only recall if you were calm. If the accident was caused by another party, try to keep your cool and be polite.

3.   Get moving.

If the accident was minor, move all cars involved to a safe place out of traffic. If the accident was more serious but you seem well enough to move, bring yourself and any other people involved to the side of the road, away from oncoming traffic. However, if you doubt the well-being of yourself or someone else involved, LEAVE THEM THERE. It may sound counter-intuitive, but moving someone while they're in a fragile state can cause even more harm – let the professionals handle the situation as they see fit.

4.   Take proper safety precautions.

Turn on your hazard lights and, if you have them, use cones to mark off the area. Carrying emergency flares in your trunk is a great idea to ensure that people can see you in the event of an accident.

5.   Call the police.

Once everyone involved is as safe as they can be, call the police and inform them of the accident. For accidents like a fender bender, you're probably better off calling the non-emergency line in your area. If any kind of serious collision occurred, call 911 as soon as you can to make a full report and get the help you need.

6.   Take a picture.

If you can, snap a few photos of each of the cars involved, including the license plate. This will protect you against fraudulent claims from the other people affected.

7.   Exchange information.

Collect as much information as you can about the other parties involved, including the driver's name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, driver's license number and license plate number. If you feel that you caused the accident, do not claim fault with the other party - it makes things more difficult for you later!

8.   Stay put.

No one should leave the scene of the accident until the police have arrived and you have filed a report. In most states, it's actually illegal to leave the scene of an accident, so stay where you are and wait for further instruction from the authorities.

9.   Notify your insurance provider.

Contact The Stanford Agency at 732-924-6999.

Oh No! My built in refrigerator isn’t working and I don’t want to spend thousands of $$ for a new one!

Luckily I have an equipment breakdown endorsement on my homeowner’s policy.

What is equipment breakdown coverage?

Equipment breakdown coverage functions similarly to a home warranty, protecting your appliances if they break down because of a mechanical or electrical failure.  For a nominal cost an equipment breakdown endorsement is a tremendous value for the amount of coverage you’re getting!

Click on the link to read more about it and then call the Stanford Agency with any questions on how to add it to your policy!

https://www.policygenius.com/homeowners-insurance/what-is-equipment-breakdown-coverage/

What Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

A wise person once said, “You gotta crack a few eggs if you’re gonna make an omelet”, meaning, accidents happen. Even if you have a team of world-class omelet makers, not every chef can cook mistake-free forever.

That being said, before a mishap leaves you and your business covered in yoke, you should make sure all your employees are protected. The Stanford Agency will walk you through your options to find the right plan that will help both sides recover from an egg-cracking accident.

What Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Basically, it’s a contract between a business and an insurance company, where the insurer will pay for an employee’s medical costs, lost wages, permanent disability or death benefits that result from a workplace injury or illness. In most cases, it also protects a business against lawsuits filed by employees.

Is Workers’ Comp Mandatory?

Yes. There are some exceptions, but even if it isn't mandatory, a worker’s comp policy is HEAVILY recommended. You wouldn’t want one little whoopsie to crush your big business dreams, would you?

Why Do I NEED Workers’ Comp?

If an employee were to injury themselves, workers’ comp can save your company from crumbling to the ground in a number of ways, but if you like living on the edge and fail to provide adequate coverage you could face a giant world of hurt.

Bad things that can happen if you don’t have workers’ comp insurance:

  • Financial ruins: without an insurance policy, out-of-pocket expenses for a severe injury could bankrupt your company

  • Legal issues: without coverage, you lose certain types of common law defenses, which make it nearly impossible to win your case

  • Criminal charges and fines: failure to comply with state regulations could lead to hefty fines and even jail time. Jail. JAIL!

     

What Does Workers’ Comp Cover?

A workers’ comp insurance policy will cover the majority of injuries that arise from work-related duties, ranging from simple slip-and-fall accidents to repetitive motion injuries and even an illness or disease contracted at work.

Employee coverage will usually include the following:

  • Medical bills and rehabilitation costs

  • Weekly payments in place of missed wages

  • Compensation for past, present and future economic loss due to disability

If an employee dies, their family will usually receive the following:

  • Compensation for funeral costs

  • Legal fees (if the family sues)

  • Death benefits

Workers’ Comp Insurance for A Small Business

Coverage will be determined by your corporate structure and the regulations of the state’s workers compensation rating authority, but it typically depends on the number of employees, type of business, type of work the employees are doing, among other things. Even if it’s not required, it’s relatively inexpensive and well worth the protection it provides. Protect yourself, by protecting others.

Workers’ Compensation Laws by State

Each state, has its own rules, regulations, coverage requirements and everything in between—they pretty much run the show.

What’s So Great About an Independent Insurance Agent?

It’s simple. Literally. The Stanford Agency will simplify the process by shopping and comparing insurance quotes and rates for you. Not only that, they’ll cut the jargon and clarify the fine print so you know exactly what you’re getting.

Plus, they work with multiple workers’ comp insurance carriers, which gives you more options for finding ideal coverage that complies with state regulations. Most importantly, they’ll be there to help you when claim time comes. The outcome of insurance claims can be strongly impacted by how the process is approached and handled. They've got your back!

 

How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Cost?

The cost of a workers' compensation policy depends on the coverage and a number of other factors like state regulations and industry. So, an ergonomically-conscious accounting firm might less than $1,000 a year, whereas a traveling circus could pay significantly more. Basically, the safer and smaller the company, the cheaper it is.

 

How Can You Get Lower Workers’ Comp Insurance Rates?

First, take steps to manage your risks, like clearing the banana peels from all major and minor walkways. This will also help the future you, because the less claims you make the lower/same rate your premium will be.

Comparing Workers’ Compensation Insurance Quotes

The Stanford Agency will review your needs and help you evaluate the coverage that makes the most sense. They’ll also compare policies and quotes from multiple insurance companies to make sure you have the right protection in place. So, you’ll have that going for you.

 

What to look for when shopping for renters insurance!

If you rent a house or apartment and experience a fire or other disaster, your landlord’s insurance will only cover the costs of repairing the building. To financially protect yourself you will need to buy renters or tenants insurance.

 

Renters insurance protections

Like homeowners insurance, renters insurance includes three key types of financial protection: 

·       Coverage for personal possessions

·       Liability protection

·       Additional living expenses (ALE)

 

The big difference is that renters insurance doesn't cover the building or structure of the apartment—that's the landlord's responsibility.

 

Coverage for personal possessions

Coverage for your personal property is a key component of renters coverage, protecting you from theft, fire and a host of other unfortunate events.

 

How much insurance should I buy?

Make sure you have enough insurance to replace all of your personal possessions in the event of a burglary, fire or other covered disaster. The easiest way to determine the value of all your personal possessions is to create a home inventory —a detailed list of all of your belongings along with their estimated value.

 

Should I choose replacement cost or actual cash value coverage?

Actual cash value policies include a deduction for depreciation (that is, the idea that items lose value over time).  Replacement cost coverage is pricier but can be well worth the extra expense if your belongings are damaged or destroyed (think about how much you'd get for your TV used versus how much it would actually cost to replace).

 

What disasters are—and are not—covered?

Renters insurance covers you against losses from fire or smoke, lightning, vandalism, theft, explosion, windstorm and certain types of water damage (such as from a burst pipe or when the tenant upstairs leaves the water running in the bathtub and floods your apartment).

 

Like standard homeowners policies, most renters insurance policies do not cover floods or earthquakes. Flood coverage is available from the National Flood Insurance Program and a few private insurers. You can get earthquake insurance as a separate policy or have it added as an endorsement to your renters policy, depending on where you live.

 

What is my deductible, and how does it work?

A  deductible is an amount of money you responsible for paying before your insurance coverage. For example, if you have a $500 deductible and a fire destroys $5000 worth of furniture, the first $500 is your responsibility and your insurance company will cover $4500.

 

Renters insurance deductibles are generally specified as a dollar amount, which can be found on the Declarations page of your policy. In general, the larger the deductible, the lower your insurance premium.

 

What is a “floater” and do I need one?

A floater is a separate policy that provides additional coverage for more costly valuables if they are lost or stolen. If you have expensive jewelry, furs, collectibles, sports equipment or musical instruments, consider adding a floater to your policy to protect against their loss.

 

Am I covered if I am traveling or away from home?

Most renters polices include what is called off-premises coverage, which means belongings that are outside of your home are covered against the same disasters listed in your policy. For example, property stolen from your car or a hotel room while you’re traveling would be protected.

  

Liability protection

What is liability insurance?

Renters insurance provides liability protection that covers you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage done by you, your family members and even your pets. This coverage pays for the cost of defending you in court, up to the limit of your policy.

Your renters policy should also include no-fault medical coverage as part of the liability protection. Medical payments coverage allows someone who gets injured on your property to simply submit his or her medical bills directly to your insurance company so the bills can be paid without resorting to a lawsuit.

 

Do I have enough liability insurance?

Make sure the amount of liability coverage provided by your policy is sufficient to protect your financial and other material assets in the event of a lawsuit.

 

Do I need an umbrella liability policy?

If you need a larger amount of liability protection, consider purchasing a personal umbrella liability policy. An umbrella policy kicks in when you reach the limit on the underlying liability coverage provided by your renters or auto policy. It will also cover you for things such as libel and slander.

  

Additional living expenses

Additional living expenses (ALE) coverage provides coverage if your home is destroyed by an insured disaster and you need to live elsewhere for a time.

What does ALE cover?

The additional living expenses portion of your rental insurance policy pays for hotel bills, temporary rentals, restaurant meals and other expenses you incur while your rental home is being repaired or rebuilt. Essentially, it covers the expenses you would not have to incur if you had your usual roof over your head.

 

How much does ALE cover?

Most policies will reimburse you the full difference between your additional living expenses and your normal living expenses; however, there are generally limits as to the total amount the insurer will pay or time limits specifying how long you’re eligible for the ALE payments. Make sure you’re comfortable with the limits of the policy you choose.

 

Multiple policy and other discounts

What types of discounts are offered on renters insurance?

Insurance companies often offer discounts on renters insurance if you have another policy with them—for example, car insurance or business insurance.

You may also get a discount if you:

·         Have a security system

·         Use smoke detectors

·         Use deadbolt locks

·         Have good credit

·         Stay with the same insurer

·         Are over 55 years old

·          

Discounts may vary widely by insurance company.  So let the Stanford Agency help you compare prices!

What does my car insurance actually do for me?

How much does New Jersey car insurance cost?

On average, New Jersey drivers pay more than most other drivers around the nation, but you'll still find an affordable rate for your unique needs when you team up with The Stanford Agency.

Americans pay an average of $1,474 per year for their auto insurance, while New Jersey drivers pay on average about $1,905 per year. Make sure you're getting the best rate by comparing quotes from a variety of insurance companies. The Stanford Agency can provide you with different quotes.

 

What does my car insurance actually do for me?

Accidents can happen to anyone – even the best drivers. Car insurance protects your finances if you find yourself in a motor vehicle collision. Here's a look at some of the ways your insurance will help.

  • Fix your car: This is called "comprehensive & collision coverage," and though it is not required by the state, it may be required by your lender.

  • Fix someone else's car: This is called "property damage liability." Required/minimum $5,000.

  • Pay your medical bills: This is called "personal injury protection" or "PIP." Required/minimum $15,000.

  • Pay someone else's medical bills: This is called "bodily injury liability." Required/minimum $30,000 per person; $50,000 per accident.

You'll notice that every New Jersey driver is required to have specific insurance coverages at certain minimum liability limits. These policies will pay for someone else's vehicle damage and medical bills, and most states have similar laws to ensure that drivers are prepared for accidents they cause.

 

Who pays if the accident wasn’t my fault?

The driver who caused the accident will cover the damages.

 

How many New Jersey drivers are uninsured?

10.3% of NJ drivers are uninsured.  A lot of people drive without any insurance or financial backup plan for accidents.

That's where "uninsured motorist coverage" comes in. If you are hit by an uninsured driver, this insurance coverage will pay to fix your vehicle and handle your medical bills.

Typically, your insurance company will attempt to collect compensation from the at-fault driver, but sometimes that can be difficult. So although the state doesn't require you to have uninsured motorist coverage, we highly recommend it.