Preventing Accidents by Sharing the Road with Bicyclist

At times when you are driving, you may feel like you have no control over what the other drivers are doing—this can make you feel extremely vulnerable. Imagine if you were riding a bicycle instead of driving a car. You really are out in the open and rely on the good driving skills of those in their cars and trucks. Next time you are out on the road, remember the bicyclist out there and follow these tips.

  • Keep an eye on the bicycle lane if there is one. When you turn right across a bicycle lane, always keep an eye for bicyclists coming from behind. If one is coming yield to them instead of attempting to make it before them.
  • Unless there is a yellow double line, you can cross over the center line to pass bikers when there is no traffic. The bicyclist will feel much more comfortable with you passing in this way.
  • Do not honk as a form of communication with a bike rider unless it is an emergency. Think about how loud a horn sounds from inside the car. It is even louder and shocking from the road.
  • When you are sharing the road with a bicyclist, do not follow too closely. The cyclist is likely trying to get out of your lane, be patient.
  • Bicyclists are allowed to use crosswalks, and some rely on them to get safely across the street instead of crossing with the cars and other traffic.
  • Be careful in neighborhoods and subdivisions. Many cyclists use these quite areas to ride in, and they rely on you to pay attention to stop signs and other rules of the road.
  • If you park on the street, make sure you look carefully so that you do not open the car door into the path of an oncoming bicycle rider. Many accidents occur in this way.
  • While you want to be careful all the time, if you make a mistake, apologize. Even a friendly wave or eye contact can let a cyclist know that you are sorry and that you do care about preventing accidents.
  • Use extra care around children who are riding a bike. Children are often even less secure in their riding abilities and may stop suddenly or turn in front of you. When possible do not pass children unless you have plenty of room and the time to safely do it.

Beware the Anti-Concurrent Causation Clause

Anti-Concurrent Causation Clause

It’s easy to get a homeowner insurance quote that’ll put you in touch with some of the most cost effective insurance companies around. But getting a fast homeowner quote and getting insurance coverage that you truly understand are two entirely different things. When you’re shopping for home insurance, consider the following advice before you sign on the dotted line.

Read and Understand Everything
Remember, this is your home you’re talking about here. If you don’t understand every single word, you could be putting yourself in jeopardy further down the line to discover that what you thought was covered, isn’t. In particular, look for what’s called an “anti-concurrent causation clause” and be absolutely certain you have a complete grasp of its meaning. This is a section contained in some home insurance policies that in many cases excludes coverage. For example, you might be covered against windstorms, but if the windstorm causes interior flooding, that’s not covered because you don’t have flood insurance.

Confusing, yes. Just be sure that if there’s anything about your home insurance policy that you don’t understand, you get complete clarification from an insurance agent before you sign up. If not, you could find yourself with a quite unwelcome surprise in the event you actually need to exercise your policy.

How to Keep Your Mortgage-Free Insurance Discount

Mortgage FreeIf you’ve been paying attention, you’re probably already aware that if you’ve worked hard and have paid off your mortgage debt, you could stand to see significantly discounted homeowners quotes from various insurers. But losing that discount could be as easy as applying for a home equity line of credit.

The reasons are simple. Getting a line of credit that’s secured against your house is pretty much the same as having a mortgage, especially in the eyes of homeowners insurance providers. Essentially, it’s a lien against your home—something that doesn’t usually drive up insurance costs, but could cause you to lose certain discounts like mortgage-free rates.

So what approach should you take if you’ve paid off your home, take advantage of the mortgage-free discount, but need a loan to pay for a home renovation project? Here are a couple of options.

  • Find house insurance elsewhere: This is certainly always an option. But while taking your business to another insurance company might send your previous insurer a message, you’re not likely to have any better luck with another company. Insurers typically structure their discounts in the same way, and the bottom line is that by using your house as collateral for a loan, you’re setting yourself up to pay higher insurance rates.
  • Apply for an unsecured loan: By applying for an unsecured loan to pay for your renovation project, you won’t be placing a lien against your home, and therefore won’t lose your mortgage-free insurance discount. But whether or not you’re saving money depends on the insurance rate that you’re able to secure on the loan versus the amount of the discount you’re getting on your home insurance.

There are a good number of variables that go into how much money you pay for your home insurance. In order to be certain that you’re never paying too much for it, shop around regularly and compare homeowners quotes from various insurance providers.

Do You Know Where Your Insurance Policy Is?

Importance to Secure Home and AutoFirst things first: do you know where your home and auto insurance policies are? The likelihood—as demonstrated by the vast majority of people who wouldn’t be able to tell you where their current insurance documents were if their lives were on the line—is that you don’t. But just because you’re in good company doesn’t mean that you’re in good shape.

Why It’s Important to Have Your Home and Auto Insurance Policies
Having a copy of your current home and auto policies is important for several reasons, the least of which is so that you’ll be able to refer to either in the event of an accident or damage to your home. Being able to tell the level of your home insurance coverage at a moment’s notice can also come in very handy if you’ve experienced damage to your home and want to find out what’s covered prior to contacting your insurer. Filing too many claims can result in an increase to your premiums, and in many cases you’ll want to weigh your options before picking up the phone—especially if the repair bill is less than your deductible.

How to Get Another Copy
Insurance policy paperwork isn’t irreplaceable, and it’s not terribly difficult to get ahold of another copy if your searches through piles of paperwork at home have yielded no results. You can have another copy sent out to you by simply calling your insurance provider and informing them that you’ve misplaced your current copy.