Archive for February, 2012

The Insurance Doctor Makes House Calls

Consider a check-up of your uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) coverage.  This is important for everyone but ESPECIALLY for young families. 

UMBI coverage is used to protect you and any passengers in your car that are injured in an automobile accident where the at-fault driver has NO INSURANCE

Why is this important?  First, over 30% of the vehicles on the roads in Los Angeles County are NOT INSURED!

Whenever I discuss reasons for insurance, the stories are not fun so I apologize in advance. 

I coach both my kids in club and little league baseball.  Many times, not only are my kids in the car, but several are.  What if God forbid I’m driving to Chino Hills for a tournament at Field of Dreams (a spectacular place to play baseball) and in the car is my 13 year old son Alex and three of his friends and we are slammed by a one-ton pickup truck that has no insurance? 

I will not go to the extreme since I’m talking about kids, but imagine I fracture my pelvis, Alex has a compound fracture of his femur and each of his friends have multiple fractures, surgeries and hospitalizations.  Remember, this one-ton pickup had NO INSURANCE but you have UMBI.  Your insurance company ostensibly steps in as the insurer for the uninsured vehicle and pays the medical bills and compensates everyone for their pain and suffering.

Typically, when people purchase insurance, their UMBI limits are the same as their liability limits.  For example, the average person will have coverage of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident aka 50/100.  Is $100,000 dollars enough to compensate everyone in my car in the accident I described?

Here is where twenty-five years of insurance experience comes into place.  In my opinion, when protecting yourself, your family and others, you should consider a story as I described and think what it would take to adequately compensate everyone in your car.

I recommend to all my clients that they carry at the very minimum 100/300 in liability/UMBI limits.  When you bring it down to the family level, I strongly recommend families purchase limits of 250/500 and take it one step further with a $1 million UMBI umbrella policy. 

Let’s revisit our tragic accident.  With the first example, was $100,000 enough to compensate all five of us for injuries I described…no.  The limits under my recommendation would be $1.5 million…is that enough to compensate the five of us…in all likelihood…yes.

Insurance is expensive, no one wants it and everyone needs it.  When protecting things that matter in your life…you, your spouse, your kids and your home, saving $50.00/month is not worth the inevitable self-inflicted question asked while sitting in the hospital waiting room…why didn’t I purchase higher limits?

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Honda FourTrax ATV Recall Issued Over Defective Suspension Arms

 

About 2,900 Honda FourTrax All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) have been recalled following reports of suspension arm failures, which could cause the vehicle to crash. 

The Honda FourTrax ATV recall was announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on February 21, after the manufacturer received at least four reports of suspension arm weld failures. At least one rider has been injured, suffering a sprained wrist in an ATV accident.

According to the CPSC, the upper front right suspension arm weld can fail, which can cause the driver to lose control of the ATV.

The ATV recall affects about 2,900 two-wheel drive 2012 Honda FourTrax Ranger ATVs with model numbers TRX420TE and TRX420TM. The affected TRX420TE models have Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) of 1HFTE344* C4500841 through C4502580 and the affected TRX420TM models have VINs of 1HFTE340* C4500542 through C4501681, the * representing 0-9 or an X. The model number is located on the right frame down pipe over the front right side wheel. The VIN is on the top center front of the frame between the bars of the gear rack and through the middle opening of the front fairing.

The recalled ATVs were sold at Honda ATV dealers nationwide for between $5,100 and $5,300 from September 2011 through January 2012.

The CPSC recommends that consumers stop using the recalled ATVs immediately and contact their Honda ATV dealer to schedule a free repair. Consumers with questions can call American Honda at (866) 784-1870 or visit the company’s website at http://powersports.honda.com.

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Fuji Bicycle Recall Issued After Reports of Breaking Frames

 

Reports of breaking frames has led to a recall of about 10,500 Fuji Saratoga Women’s bicycles. 

The Fuji bicycle recall was announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on February 21, after at least 12 incidents were reported involving the bicycle frames breaking.

There have been at least two injuries reported in connection to the defective bicycle frames, one of which resulted in a head injury that required 20 stitches.

According to the CPSC, the bicycle frames, manufactured in China, can break down the center of the downtube while the bikes are being ridden. This can cause the rider to lose control and fall.

The bicycle recall affects 2008 through 2010 Fuji women’s cruiser bicycles, including the Saratoga 1.0, Saratoga 2.0, Saratoga 3.0 and Saratoga 4.0. The recalled bicycles came in a variety of colors and have “Fuji” and “Saratoga” or just “Saratoga” printed on the frame of the bicycle along with the model number. The serial numbers involved with the recall, located on the bottom of the frame near the crank, start with ICFJ7, ICFJ8, ICFJ9, ICFJ10 and ICFJ11.

The recalled bicycles were sold at specialty bicycle stores nationwide from November 2007 through December 2011 and sold for between $300 and $500.

The CPSC warns consumers to stop riding the bicycles immediately and return them to any authorized Fuji Bicycle dealer for a free replacement frame. Consumers with questions can call Advanced Sports, Inc. at (888) 286-6263 or can visit the company’s website at www.fujibikes.com.

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LAPD Advisory: Burglars are targeting residences by forcing open garage doors. Lock you garage doors either internally or externally.

There have been recent incidents of residential burglaries where the suspects have forced open a garage door (primarily roll-up doors). We encourage you to lock your garage door either internally or externally if you are gone for a majority of the day or a long period of time. We would also encourage you not to keep a garage door opener in a car which is not parked within the garage.

Go to www.lapdtopangapolice.com

For full details, view this message on the web.

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The Most (and Least) Expensive Cars to Insure for 2012

When shopping for car insurance, it’s not just your driving record that determines your annual premium. The type of car you drive is also a big factor-and some cars are much more expensive to insure than others.

A variety of factors can affect a car’s insurance quote, including the frequency of crashes for that model, the cost of repairs, the cost to insurers when a vehicle is declared a total loss and the cost of bodily injury claims, according to Web site Insure.com.

To give you an idea of what you might pay for a certain car, Insure.com annually produces lists of the 20 most expensive new cars to insure, and the 20 least expensive models.

To generate the 2012 lists, Insure.com used information on average rates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Rates were calculated using data from Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm in ten ZIP codes per state. The rankings are based on coverage for a 2012 model with a “representative” driver (a single, 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day); policy limits of $100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident; and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. The hypothetical driver has good credit and a clean driving record.

The least expensive model to insure, according to the analysis, is a minivan: the Toyota Sienna LE, with an average annual premium of just over $1,100. The list also includes 19 other cars with similar average premiums, all less than $1,200 a year. The least-expensive list tends to include lots of minivans, which have proven to be “safe, economical” vehicles, according to Insure.com.

At the other end of the spectrum is the 2012 Audi R8 Spyder Quattro, a two-seat convertible that is the most costly to insure, with an average annual premium of nearly $3,400. Also on the most expensive list are plenty of Mercedes, Porsches and BMWs.

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Obesity Drug ‘Mediator’ Likely Responsible For Thousands Of Hospitalizations And Deaths In France

This caption falls under a late-night comedy show like Letterman’s Top Ten of the wrong name to use for a drug.  I am a MEDIATOR (and Farmers Agent) and I know that a mediator could not be responsible for thousands of hospitalizations.  Just some light humor for Friday.  Here is the article:

A new study published in the journal Pharmacoepidemiology & Drug Safety reveals that benfluorex, a fenfluramine derivative drug used in France under the name Mediator®, is likely responsible for thousands of hospitalizations and deaths over a 30 year period.

Benfluorex (Mediator®) was used in France from 1976 to 2009. Despite its anorexic properties, the drug was not marketed as an appetite suppressant but as an adjunct for the treatment of hyperlipidemia and among overweight patients with type 2 diabetes.

Mahmoud Zureik, MD, PhD, of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, and colleagues utilized existing data on benfluorex exposure in France, the risk of actual hospitalization for valvular insufficiency, and mortality from vascular insufficiency as a basis for detailed calculations.

Results show that the use of benfluorex during the period 1976-2009 was very likely responsible for around 3,100 hospitalizations and 1,300 deaths due to valvular insufficiency.

“Despite its similarity with the two appetite suppressants fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine, benfluorex was kept on the market for more than 30 years in France,” Zureik notes. “French citizens, practitioners, politicians, and public health actors were seeking to understand why the French health products safety agency took so long to withdraw this drug which was of very limited efficacy and was dangerous.” Because of this scandal, a new law has been passed that substantially modifies the regulatory system for drugs in France.

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