Car Insurers Consider Potholes Your Fault

Car Insurers Consider Potholes Your Fault

Everyone knows that insurance companies are the opposite of caring and understanding. Still, this little-known policy nuance is a shocker: many car insurance providers actually consider pothole-related damage to be an at-fault claim. Yes, they believe that if your car is damaged by a defect on a state or local road, it is your fault.

The issue here is that, by rule, auto insurers operate under the assumption that a driver is (or should be) in full control of their vehicle. If they are in complete control, therefore, the driver should be able to slow down and avoid the pothole.

Insurance providers are not in the business of ‘maybe’ or are they interested in nitpicking grey areas of who is at fault. Claims adjusters assess cases coldly, meticulously, by the black and white criteria determined by their superiors. If a driver was in complete control, they should be able to navigate hazards on the road. If the driver was not in control, they have no business filing a claim anyway.

In order to prove their innocence, the driver would have to be able to show that the city or state was negligent in not fixing the pothole and had known about it for over 30 days.

How your auto insurance provider handles pothole damage is an important piece of information to know during these winter months, when extreme cold and temperature fluctuations cause asphalt to split and crack. Knowing your policy, and knowing the stipulations of your insurance deductible, will help you decide the right course of action when disaster strikes. Depending on your policy, it may be more prudent to forgo filing a claim if the damage is minor and would cause a dramatic spike to your insurance premiums for an extended period of time. Some insurers forgive the first claim you make, or claims of certain kinds. Not all insurers handle potholes as at-fault claims.

Whether you are with Geek, Progressive, Allstate or any other provider, check your policy now before the winter-related pothole damage costs YOU money.

Be Careful What You Claim For

Be Careful What You Claim For

The insurance industry in the United States is out of control. With stagnant wages, little savings, and premiums and deductibles both on the rise, it is important for Americans to have an understanding of their insurance policies so they know how to handle an unexpected situation.

While medical insurance is getting most of the attention these days, car insurance costs are skyrocketing. In fact, a new study conducted by has found that a single at-fault claim, even for a driver with a clean driving record, can crank up their premium costs by an average of 38%. A second claim within the same 12-month period could raise their insurance premiums by a whopping 86%, and stay at that rate for the following three to five years.

Obviously, the cost of filing an at-fault claim ranges from state to state. The study shows that in Maryland policyholders pay the least for their first at-fault claim, with an average rise in premiums of 20%. In Massachusetts, the same claim could cost an extra 67% per year.
Now, insurance providers categorize insurance claims into three categories: bodily injury or liability claims, damage, or comprehensive. Bodily injury claims, where the victim has suffered injury and needs some kind of medical care, are the most expensive, with a national average of $14,653 per claim. Damage claims are much less expensive, averaging around $3,000 per claim in the U.S. in 2012. The last category, comprehensive claims cover things like hail damage, theft, and fallen trees. These claims average a reasonable $1,585 per claim. While bodily injury and damage claims can cause dramatic increases to a policyholder’s insurance premiums, a comprehensive claim will only cause a modest 2% jump.

What all these statistics show is that a policyholder might want to double think before calling in a damage claim, if it can be avoided. A comprehensive claim, on the other hand, is a safe claim to make as the increases in premiums are minimal. Before making any insurance claims, it’s important to do the math and consider the long-term implications to your policy. It might be more financially prudent to simply pay for repairs out of pocket, instead of adding over 50% to your premiums for the foreseeable future.

Disappointing First Month for New Online Healthcare Marketplace

Disappointing First Month for New Online Healthcare Marketplace

After years of debate over the radical changes to the national healthcare system instituted by President Barack Obama, the controversial online health insurance marketplace stumbled and bumbled through the starting blocks in October, the first month Americans were able to access the new sites to purchase healthcare insurance for 2014.

Following months of setbacks and controversy, the final tally for the opening month was barely 20% of the half-million Americans the Obama Administration estimated would sign up. Only 26,794 people purchased health insurance through the Federal website,, while an additional 79,000 enrolled through the 14 states that have chosen to run their own state health insurance exchanges. In total, only 106,000 of the estimated 48 million uninsured Americans bought health insurance in the opening month, around .002%. In other words, score one for the GOP, who smell blood in the water and are pushing harder than ever for a repeal.

One of the major issues with the federal site concerns the millions of Americans who are receiving cancellation notices from their previous plan. President Obama had promised that Americans who liked their old plan would be allowed to keep them, yet millions are finding out that this is not the case. While the President has vowed to fix this glitch in the system, this fatal flaw is causing many Democrats to reconsider the controversial system.

Still, White House and congressional Democratic officials expressed confidence that the system will pick up steam over the following months, and asked for patience, promising that the federal website would be fully operational by the end of November. If the online marketplaces do continue to struggle, the issue could offer a big push to Republicans in the upcoming mid-term elections. With the tax code crisis in gridlock, healthcare becomes the critical issue to swing voters.