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What To Do If You Get Into a Car Accident

Being in an accident can be a very frightening event. Being prepared to know how to handle the situation when it occurs will help you deal with the shock of it, as well as ensure you are covered for the loss when it does happen. While accidents will happen to almost every driver, whether their car is parked and unattended, or while they’re driving, knowing these important steps will help you deal with the unfortunate situation.

Safely park your vehicle: If you happen to be driving when the accident occurs, safely pull the vehicle over to the side of the road. If possible, carefully write down the license plate and description of the other vehicle(s) involved in the accident. If you are reporting a hit and run, this information will aid police in locating the driver. In the event of a hit and run it most likely happens when your vehicle is unattended. If you return to your vehicle to find damage, look for clues to help you prove your case, i.e. Security cameras.

Assess any Injuries: If someone is injured, take care of their immediate needs and quickly call 911. It is typical to be jittery after such an event so catch your breath too.

Call police: Once you’re safely parked, you should call the police to file a report, especially if another party is involved. It’s important to always have documentation of how the accident happened. Some people want to settle the claim without going through insurance, but this comes with risks. The other driver may not live up to their word and without contacting the police, it turns into a he said, she said scenario.

Exchange Information: Exchanging insurance ID cards is always recommended. Be sure to have their name and phone number too. It’s simple to take a picture with your phone. Be sure to include the car’s license plate number, year, make and model too.

Take pictures/Gather any witness information: If you have a witness who wants to share their side of the story, jot down their phone number and name. Your insurance company will want to talk with any witness to the accident. Taking pictures also gives your insurance company more details on the damage of your vehicle.

Call your insurance company: Sometimes even though vehicles collide, the damages may be limited, so you’ll want to take a close look and determine if you want to pursue a claim or get an estimate first before calling your insurance company. If someone was injured or if you have major damage, it’s always best to call your insurance company immediately. Your insurance company can assist you with your claim so if you have taken pictures and provided all the information above, your claim can be settled quicker.

While we hope you never have to experience a car accident, being prepared will help you tackle the unfortunate situation.

Heuer Insurance Agency in Sparks has worked with a variety of clients in the Reno area over the years and we are confident in our ability to meet your personal or business insurance needs. We understand how important an insurance policy can be and we take time to match each of our clients with the perfect insurance policy. Whether you are looking for auto insurancerenters insurancehomeowners insurance, or life insurance we can help you. Not only can we provide you with each of these personal insurance policies, but we can also help you find a general liability policy, workers compensation policy or commercial building insurance policy. Give us a call at 775-358-5554 or visit us.

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February 2018 Blog

Welcome back to the HIA readers!  We appreciate you following us in our blog efforts and welcome any and all feedback, comments or questions.   As a loyal reader, you must remember us getting on our soap box and strongly counseling our readers to NOT follow a work truck, or passenger vehicle or truck, with virtually ANYTHING in or on the back out of fear that something may fly out… Well I have the VERY BEST story ever as to why you don’t want to follow a truck with anything in the back of it!

A couple of months ago while on an annual trip to Oregon to do some salmon fishing, Larry and Starla Heuer were driving on Interstate 5 just North of Medford, fortunately on a divided highway, when all of a sudden they looked over to the other side of the highway where a seemingly expensive and very tricked out black Ford Mustang was coming off a tow truck at 60 miles an hour. You should have seen the chrome parts and hot rod wheels flying off that classic car!

The real strange part of the story is, although this happened in a split second, it was on a straight away and they could see the tow truck continue down the road and never once saw any brake lights from the tow truck!  Be careful out there friends.

 

As for Agency happenings, we have had a few. Dustin Snell got married early in January. We couldn’t be happier for him or his new wife Cindy. Dustin also celebrated a work anniversary just yesterday; feel free to shoot him a call congratulating him on another successful year.

 

 

Also, Derek and his Rotary Club (Reno Midtown) were recognized at the area Foundation dinner for their work in support of the Rotary Foundation. We support Rotary here at HIA and would suggest you do too. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have pledged a 2-1 match on any donation which is being used to fight the eradication of the Polio disease.

Lastly on the agency front, we have an awesome new twist to our referral program. This is so new I haven’t filled in the team here at HIA so you’ll have to check back next month to find out what it is. I can tell you this… it’s an opportunity you won’t want to miss!

 

Thanks for reading and please BE SAFE this weekend. There are a lot of unsafe drivers after the Super bowl and we’d hate for a loved one or client to get caught on the wrong end of an accident or DUI checkpoint. Please consider a designated driver, UBER or a Taxi when the game is over.

 

God Bless America and its proud Military!  Thanks for keeping us free!

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4 Things You Should Complete in the New Year for Your Insurance

The start of a New Year always energizes us to start off on the right foot. Whether it’s committing to spend more time with family, exercising more or saving money, New Year’s resolutions are common for everyone. But, what about your insurance policy? Is there something you can do at the start of every year to save money or keep yourself fully protected? We share four items to complete.

Actually Complete a Home Inventory Checklist

Sure, this is always easier said than done. But it doesn’t take as long as you may think. Plus, you would regret NOT doing this if you experience a disaster in your home. You can start by taking pictures of each room in your house. Always include your big ticket items like jewelry, art, electronics, antiques, furniture and anything else you highly value. Get into the habit of taking a picture of your receipts for big ticket items too. To keep your home inventory list safe, store it on the cloud or save your documents on a zip drive that’s stored safely.

Keep In Touch With Us

Always keep us up-to-date with your life changes. Are you driving less? Did you remodel your home to add value? Did you purchase big ticket items? By keeping us in the loop, we’ll keep your insurance policy updated, make sure you are fully covered and may be able to find additional discounts.

Ask Us Questions

When you use a local insurance agent instead of purchasing insurance online, you get guidance and professional advice. Do you know exactly what your insurance covers? If you want the cheapest insurance plan, you may not realize what risks you’re taking by opting for less coverage. We never want you to be surprised if you have to file a claim and find out you’re not covered. Did you know if your home experiences a flood or an earthquake, you would need a separate policy to be covered? Continuously ask us questions. You should always know what you are and aren’t covered for with your insurance policy.

Always Ask Before Shopping Around

Did your auto insurance increase $300 this year? It’s normal to think you need to shop your insurance elsewhere. However, being a local insurance agent, we have MANY insurance companies to quote from and it may be as simple as asking us to shop around for similar coverage with other companies. Let us do the shopping for you! As an independent insurance agent, we can review your coverage and ensure you have the best company for your current situation.

By following the four topics above can keep you informed and prepared for any unfortunate situation.

Heuer Insurance Agency in Sparks has worked with a variety of clients in the Reno area over the years and we are confident in our ability to meet your personal or business insurance needs. We understand how important an insurance policy can be and we take time to match each of our clients with the perfect insurance policy. Whether you are looking for auto insurancerenters insurancehomeowners insurance, or life insurance we can help you. Not only can we provide you with each of these personal insurance policies, but we can also help you find a general liability policy, workers compensation policy or commercial building insurance policy. Give us a call at 775-358-5554 or visit us.

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Flood Insurance For Your Home

According to FEMA, flood claims occurred in every state in our country in 2016 with the average claim cost in excess of $31,000. Just because your property doesn’t sit next to a stream, river or other body of water doesn’t mean you won’t be impacted. Our recent hurricanes are a great example. Heavy rains can overwhelm drainage systems, run-off from hillsides can seep into your basements and levees can fail. Pretty much anywhere rain falls is where flooding can occur, although, rain is not always the reason. Additionally, it is important to note that flood insurance is NOT included with your standard homeowners insurance policy.

If you do experience a flood claim and have flood insurance, keep these things in mind:

  • Report your claim as soon as possible and have open and frequent communication with your insurance adjuster.
  • Photograph your damages (great if you have before pictures also saved to the cloud, not on a computer hard drive). Your insurance company will likely come out and photograph the damages as well.
  • Keep a list of all of the items you lost in the flood. Receipts are great as well as lists.
  • Take a read through your policy to ensure you understand your rights and coverage.

If you’re considering purchasing flood insurance, we can help. Flood insurance isn’t necessarily expensive. If you happen to live in a flood plain or near a body of water, chances are you’re likely going to pay a hefty sum. If you live away from typical flood areas, your premiums can be much more reasonable. Considering the average cost of a flood claim, it isn’t a bad idea to assess your risk.

If flood insurance is on your mind lately, give us a call.

Heuer Insurance Agency in Sparks has worked with a variety of clients in the Reno area over the years and we are confident in our ability to meet your personal or business insurance needs. We understand how important an insurance policy can be and we take time to match each of our clients with the perfect insurance policy. Whether you are looking for auto insurancerenters insurancehomeowners insurance, or life insurance we can help you. Not only can we provide you with each of these personal insurance policies, but we can also help you find a general liability policy, workers compensation policy or commercial building insurance policy. Give us a call at 775-358-5554 or visit us.

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Office Anniversaries, Client Testimonials, Fire Prevention and More!

Happy Friday to our loyal followers. The Friday before a 3 day weekend is always a busy one so we will make this month’s newsletter short and sweet.
First we want to congratulate Derek Moore on his 1 year anniversary. In today’s economy it’s becoming harder and harder to find new members for the team and we feel we got lucky with Derek. He is doing a great job and we look forward to the future.

I also want to congratulate Michelle on her 18th anniversary… She wouldn’t let me put in a picture, but she cant stop me from congratulating her!!!
We also want to take a second to highlight a couple of our most recent testimonials. We are in the service industry and fully understand consumers have the right to do business with anyone they want. We are fortunate to have such a great client base and one that isn’t afraid to tell us and their friends what a great job we are doing.
“You guys are the very best I’ve ever dealt with” – Kris T
“New to the Nevada area and was shopping for house insurance. I spoke to Dustin Snell, he found the best rates for us and it was such an easy process! I was so happy with his service we switched my son’s auto to him also and will be changing my own auto next. Highly recommend him, he’s the best to deal with and all the services the agency offers” – Lisa C
“I’ve had at least one and often multiple policies with Heuer Insurance since 1980. The reason I come back year after year is because of the customer service. Even if I haven’t called the office in ages, they remember me (or do an amazing job acting like they do) and the staff is so very efficient and cheerful.
I cannot think of another insurance agency — or any other business for that matter — with the same level of expertise and enthusiasm for what they do.” – Susan F
If you’ve had a great experience and would like to let us know, please take a second to leave a testimonial on our website. We love hearing from our clients! https://www.heuerinsurance.com/client-testimonials/
Now for our insurance plug – I think you will find the information useful… By now most of you have seen some of our social media posts about wildfire safety and defensible space. We have written about this same concern for. Those people who have taken our advice seriously and worked hard to improve your homes safety, we can’t thank you enough. This year’s awful fire season will have long lasting affects to our area, including limiting when or where we can target practice or even what the various municipalities will be doing regarding firework displays. Please….do your part to help not only your family but your entire community in keeping fire safety in mind. Our insurance company partners are working hard right alongside us in our attempt to keep our clients safe. We would like to highlight one of them specifically, Safeco Insurance Company. Safeco recently launched the Safeco Wild Fire Defense Program. The Wildfire Defense Program can provide crews to remove overgrown vegetation, fuel tanks or trash from a property. They may also use temporary sprinkler systems or fire engines and, in some situations, will apply fire-blocking gel to protect homes. What a GREAT idea and we thank Safeco Insurance Company for going the extra mile.
We will close by taking the time to thank our beloved Firefighters. We just couldn’t live in our desert environment without the team of firefighters that once again, showed mother nature who’s boss, and kept our community out of danger. We drove out to Pyramid Lake recently and the fire and retardant lines got within feet of homes. NONE of those families would have homes today without the courage, hard work and loyalty of our Firefighters. THANK YOU Firefighters!!!!

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Choosing The Lowest Insurance Cost Likely Isn’t Your Best Plan

We’re flooded daily with insurance commercials claiming that shopping with them will get you the lowest insurance premiums of any company out there. Saving money on your insurance is important, but the lowest insurance premiums are usually accompanied by the lowest insurance coverage.

Determining what insurance coverages you need is something that only a qualified local insurance agent can help you decide. We care more about you being covered adequately than simply giving you the cheapest premiums.

Do you need the auto insurance coverages below? Discuss with us & we’ll help determine what makes the most sense for your personal needs.

Collision Coverage: protection for your car from damage whether at-fault or not. Premiums weigh heavily on the value of your vehicle.

Comprehensive Coverage: pays for damage to your vehicle from things such as contact with an animal, fire, theft or vandalism.

Medical Payments: Commonly known as MedPay or PIP, this covers medical bills as a direct results of an accident regardless of fault.

Uninsured Motorist: Coverage for being involved with an uninsured driver. Both physical damage (your car) and bodily injury are offered.

Underinsured Motorist: Coverage to help cover a gap from a motorist who has insurance, but not enough to cover the loss.

When deciding on what coverage options to have, take these situations into account:

Scenario 1: You purchase a low cost, low coverage liability policy with only $25,000 in Property Damage. You rear-end a new, two week old Toyota Camry totaling the vehicle. The Camry’s replacement cost is $35,000. You have to pay $10,000 out of pocket.

Scenario 2: You are t-boned by an uninsured motorist and have extensive medical bills in excess of $50,000. You do not have uninsured motorist coverage or personal health insurance and your auto medical payments only cover the first $10,000. You have to take the uninsured driver to court to pay your $40,000 in medical bills, in the meantime, you’re responsible for the $40,000 in bills.

Regardless of whether you’re shopping for a new home, auto, boat or motorcycle insurance policy if you want the lowest insurance premiums you should be aware that you’re usually lowering the amount of insurance coverage you have. Depending on your situation, this may not be a wise decision because it puts your financial future at risk by carrying low limits. As always, reach out to Heuer Insurance Agency for all your insurance needs!

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Educating Your Child About Insurance Before They Leave For College

Attending college is an exciting time for your child. Whether it’s deciding where to go, what to major in or figuring the finances, there are a lot of decisions to think about. Before your child leaves the nest, here are three things to consider when it comes to having the right insurance policy.

1.) Auto Insurance Policy

  • If they are taking their car to college, be sure to update their auto insurance policy. This can easily be taken care of by reaching out to your insurance agent! You’ll want to ensure your child is protected if they get into an accident or experience theft. If your child is attending college out of state, talk with us to see if anything changes on their auto insurance policy.
  • Not taking a car? We suggest still keeping them on your auto insurance policy if they plan to drive when they return home for a visit or in the event they need to borrow a friend’s car on campus.
  • Ask for discounts. See if your child qualifies for any additional discounts.
    • Discounts may include:
      • Good student discount
      • Distant-student discount.
      • Pay in full discount
      • Safe driver discount
      • Data tracking discount

2.) Educate On Liability

College is an amazing social and learning experience. Be sure your child understands the serious consequences of drinking and driving, buying alcohol for kids underage or the other risks that are associated with drugs and alcohol. One poor decision could impact the rest of their life.

3.) If worried about theft while living off-campus, invest in a renters insurance policy.

  • If your child owns valuable items like laptops, televisions, printers, cameras or other expensive items, invest in a renters insurance policy.
  • Construct a full inventory of your child’s items that include model and serial numbers.
  • If your child is living with roommates, remember each child needs their own policy.
  • A renters insurance policy offers more than just covering your property. It can provide important liability coverage.

If my child experiences theft, will I be fully reimbursed?

This is where actual cash value and replacement insurance coverage comes into play. Replacement cost is very simple: It is literally the cost to replace your item with an item of similar quality. Replacement cost policies tend to be a bit more expensive since you are essential getting a brand new item for one that may have otherwise depreciated. Actual cash value is the cost to replace the item minus any depreciation. So, if your child had wear and tear on an expensive electronic device, your insurance would pay out the cost of the electronic minus the depreciation. Talk to your agent for clarification.

Whether it’s changing your child’s auto insurance or investing in renters insurance, let our local experts at Heuer Insurance Agency help you find the best insurance to fit your needs. For more information about Heuer Insurance Agency, visit our website.

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When to Add a Teen Driver to Your Insurance Policy

For your teen, learning how to drive is one of the most exciting times of their lives. Finally, a means to freedom so they think. We all remember the excitement of getting our driver’s permit, then our driver’s license. While your teen driving has its benefits, it also comes with a great amount of responsibility. Reminding your child that driving is a privilege and not a right can help them to remain in control and not distracted while driving.

For you, it is important to understand when to add your teen driver to your insurance policy.  While each state requirements vary, in most cases your auto insurance policy will cover your permitted driver until they acquire their driver’s license. At that point, you’ll want to add them as a driver to the insurance policy even if they do not have their own vehicle.

Avoiding adding your teen driver to the policy is not only against your insurance policy language, but can lead to a dreaded claims denial if your teen is involved in an accident and it is determined you purposefully avoided adding them. Be sure to contact your agent to discuss your options and determine when the best time to add the driver to your policy is.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Some carriers offer Good Student Discounts if your student keeps their grades up.
  • If your teen child is doing delivery as a job such as pizza delivery or newspapers, this requires a special commercial policy.
  • Even if your rates go up because your child is on your insurance policy, if they have their own vehicle this could net you a multi-vehicle discount on your policy.
  • Having your teen on their own policy will likely lead to higher premiums.

Keeping your teen safe on the road is your number one priority. Keeping your family insured with the right coverage is ours. If you have a teen driver in the household, be sure to contact our agency to discuss what options might be right for your situation.

Heuer Insurance Agency in Sparks has worked with a variety of clients in the Reno area over the years and we are confident in our ability to meet your personal or business insurance needs. We understand how important an insurance policy can be and we take time to match each of our clients with the perfect insurance policy. Whether you are looking for auto insurancerenters insurancehomeowners insurance, or life insurance we can help you. Not only can we provide you with each of these personal insurance policies, but we can also help you find a general liability policy, workers compensation policy or commercial building insurance policy. Give us a call at 775-358-5554 or visit us.

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Heuer Insurance Spring Newsletter

So how happy are you to finally see some sunshine and warm weather?! It’s been a heck of a winter and who would have guessed we now have to worry about flooding. Nice to see our lakes and reservoirs full, but that’s a lot of water this early in the year. PLEASE show the Truckee River the respect it deserves and stay away until it stops raging…..and that might be well into the summer…so be careful if you are near moving water.

Do you have plans for some great BBQs? Read more