GT Insurance Blog

Insurance problems and cures

Archive for the ‘Commercial Automobile Insurance’ Category

More on hacking into car systems

leave a comment »

We wrote about losing data through rental cars (link here for the post).  The next day, out popped the news that Fiat/Chrysler is releasing a patch to fix a vulnerability which was just exploited, experimentally, by two researchers.

The researchers took control of some systems in a Jeep, from a physical distance, while the target was moving, by hacking in.

Fiat/Chrysler points out that it has not happened in “the real world”, yet.  And Fiat/Chrysler has already created a network level fix for other vulnerabilities.

The point is not that Jeeps are more vulnerable than other brands.  It probably is not.  It is that there are perhaps 26 million cars on the road with some remote data transmission (think Internet).  All new cars in the US have some access or can be accessed.  Therefore, eventually are cars will have these benefits, and vulnerabilities.

Your personal and commercial auto insurance policies can provide physical damage coverage.  The liability coverage protecting the owner from suits for injuries to passengers looks secure so far.  But protection for the manufacturers, dealers, and service shops?  That’s where the dice are still rolling.

Stay tuned.

Link to a Property Casualty 360/Bloomberg article on the patch for Jeep systems

 

http://www.gbwinsurance.com 800-548-2329

Data Loss Through a Rental Car?

leave a comment »

Let your paranoia loose!

  1. You fly into an airport for a meeting or vacation.

  2. You rent a car.

  3. You connect a device to that rental through Bluetooth.

  4. You put your call logs and contacts in the car’s system.

  5. You return the car at the airport and fly home.

  6. You leave your info for the employees at the return site or the next person who rents the car.

Numbers 4 and 6 were probably not on your to-do list.

You can usually wipe out the data before you turn the car back in.  It’s not technically difficult but each make of car has a different process.  Take a look at your own car’s process for saving that info.  Then check rental cars when you pick them up.  Or ask a tech person from your IT provider.  Or don’t make phone calls through the car.  Or demand that the rental site show you how to wipe the memory.

As newer systems like Apple Car Play become standard in new cars, the problem should diminish.  Those systems display info but don’t store it.

Does your personal car insurance cover this? Take a look; nope.

Call us with car insurance questions.  GBW Insurance agency in New Jersey 800-548-2329.

Click here for a  longer report from Fox News  This one is from Kim Komando (Komando.com)

Insurance Company Financial Stability

leave a comment »

Insurance companies are rated for financial strength.  Why does that matter?

Insurance is a promise to pay future losses.  If the company does not have a future, no payments.  And some losses are going to happen years down the line.

Property losses tend to be settled shortly after they occur.  You owned a building, it burned, the value is usually relatively easy to establish, you are paid for the loss.  The solvency of your insurance company is not of concern because of time, but because property is exposed to catastrophic threats such as hurricanes, which might bankrupt a small insurance carrier which has not prepared properly.

Liability losses, especially large losses, are usually litigated.  That can take years.  If an insurance company becomes insolvent, that will at a minimum complicate and delay settlement and payment.  An insurance company which misestimates its average losses far in the future will be in trouble.

So, how do you assess the strength of your insurance company?  While states review the strength of insurance companies within their supervision, day to day the best measurement is available from private companies that specialize in rating insurance carriers.

Without getting into a long discussion of the relative merits of the rating companies, one of the best is A.M. Best.  Ratings run from A++ to F, with additional notes for the future (stable, negative, favorable).  Here’s a link to Best’s explanation of their financial strength ratings.    You can sign into Best for free to get basic rating information on most insurance carriers.  (Some decline to submit their results for rating.  Not a great sign about the company.)

Or call GBW Insurance at 1-800-548-2329 and we can give you the information.  We are also paid subscribers and are therefore able to access detailed information as well.  www.GBWinsurance.com

Autumn Maintenance

leave a comment »

Thanks to Peerless insurance, here are tips and a link to a video with brief suggestions about preparing for Fall weather.  Some forms of damage would be covered by most insurance packages, some wouldn’t.  Either way, it’s a lot easier to not have the loss in the first place.

  • Ice Dams
  • Flat roof problems
  • Pitched roofs
  • Gutter guards
  • Of course, ladder safety goes with all that
  • Preparing vehicles
  • Protecting property
  • Sprinkler preparation

Link to Autumn Maintenance video by Peerless Insurance

Click here to get a quick quote or insurance review in New Jersey

Commercial Automobile Insurance – Loss prevention…

leave a comment »

Backing up accidents are a significant cause of loss for businesses with commercial automobile insurance.  A good insurance company will have training and educational materials to help business owners manage their vehicle fleets to avoid accients.   Untrained and unscreened drivers cause accidents.  Call us if you’d like to discuss some of the issues or what insurance companies can do to help you.  1-800-548-2329.  Or get some basic information at the GBW Insurance website by clicking here

A couple of points to consider:  90% of backing accidents are preventable by taking care and using proper techniques.  And the majority of backing accidents with bodily injury involve children under the age of 5.  Not only does proper training lower insurance costs, it saves lives.

The following is a summary sheet from CNA Insurance (one of the “A” rated carriers we work with), discussing some basics for safe parking and backing.

From CNA Insurance: 

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) study determined that over 90% of backing accidents
can be attributed to one of the following causes:
• Driver was unaware of the obstacle
• Driver used improper backing techniques
Yet, these accidents can be prevented by using some of
the following simple accident prevention techniques:
Preplan trips to avoid or to minimize the need for backing.
• When entering an alley that does not permit drive
through or turnaround, back into the alley, if allowed
by local ordinance, since it is usually safer
to back into the area with less traffic. This will enable
you to see the traffic as you exit the alley.
• When backing out of an alley, ask someone to be
your guide, and signal when it is safe to back into
traffic.
• When a guide is used, instruct the guide to use
appropriate hand signals rather than voice commands.
• The majority of backing accidents with bodily injury
involve children under the age of 5. Make a
walk around inspection of your vehicle before
backing, especially in an area where young children
can be anticipated.
• Park defensively to prevent your vehicle from rolling
into another vehicle. If parking on an incline,
turn the front wheels into the curb to prevent the
vehicle from rolling.
• Park in the middle of the parking space. This will
allow you room to exit the parking space without
backing and provide space if backing is required.
• Never take any situation for granted. Even though
you may have parked or backed into a location
many times, evaluate the location to determine if
clearances have changed or if new obstacles are
present.
• Experience is required to develop good backing
techniques. If you have access to a designated
area to practice backing – use it.
• Learn exactly how the rear of the vehicle responds
to every little movement of the steering
wheel. Practice – Practice – Practice!
• Know what’s going on around you at all times and
perform all backing maneuvers SLOWLY.
• Check all your mirrors when backing. Know the
mirror blind spots. Conduct a walk around inspection
of your vehicle to check these blind spots or
get someone to guide you while backing. Know
the clearance to all obstacles and the exact distance
to your stopping point.

The information, examples and suggestions presented in this material have been developed from sources believed to be reliable, but they should not be construed as legal or other professional advice.
CNA accepts no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of this material and recommends the consultation with competent legal counsel and/or other professional advisors before applying this
material in any particular factual situations. This material is for illustrative purposes and is not intended to constitute a contract. Please remember that only the relevant insurance policy can provide the
actual terms, coverages, amounts, conditions and exclusions for an insured. All products and services may not be available in all states and may be subject to change without notice. CNA is a registered
trademark of CNA Financial Corporation. Copyright © 2010 CNA. All rights reserved