Category Archives: Auto

16 non-crash car injuries — and whether insurance covers them

When you think of the damage cars can inflict on people, traffic accidents probably leap to mind. Yet crashes are only one cause of car-related injuries.

In 2011 and 2012, an average of 647,000 people suffered non-crash car injuries each year, according to estimates from a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report.

Hurt by tire changeHere are the three most common injury causes cited in the report:

  • Being struck by a vehicle part, such as a door or trunk lid, or striking a vehicle (32 percent of all injuries reported)
  • Falls while entering or exiting vehicles (23 percent)
  • Overexertion, such as from unloading cargo from a trunk or the back of a pickup (11 percent)

Will your injuries be covered by your car insurance policy? The answer depends on what types of coverage you have and the nature of the incident.

Here are 16 ways your car can hurt you outside of a crash – and whether your injuries will be covered by your car insurance.

1. Slammed hand in car door

The NHTSA study found that an estimated 132,000 people per year are injured while closing a vehicle door. An estimated 2,000 people have a body part injured while closing a window.

If you slam a hand, finger or other body part in a closing car door or window, the injury should be covered if you have personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments (MedPay) coverage.

In general, PIP will cover bodily injuries that arise out of the ownership, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle.  MedPay will typically cover injuries that occur while one is occupying a vehicle, which includes getting into and out of the vehicle.

Car insurance policies do vary, however, depending on state laws and your own car insurance company’s rules, so look for definitions of bodily injury under your PIP and MedPay coverage to determine what coverage you have.  Keep in mind, though, that if car insurance covers your injury, that coverage is normally primary while your health insurance is secondary.

2. Jumped or fell out of pickup truck bed

Jumping out of a pickup truck bed isn’t usually a great idea, especially if you land wrong and break your ankle or injure another body part.  However bad the idea, insurers still consider you a vehicle occupant, so PIP and medical payments would normally cover the injuries.

If you injure yourself when getting in or out of your truck bed, or just out of your sedan, you’re not alone. The NHTSA study estimates that an average of 147,000 people injure themselves each year entering or exiting a vehicle. 

If you weren’t trying to exit the truck but fell when sitting on the tailgate or took a misstep, your injuries should be covered by PIP or MedPay.  And don’t feel too embarrassed: The NHTSA estimates that falls from vehicles – including tumbles from hoods, trunks, roofs or tailgates – happen to about 38,000 people annually.

An additional 3,000 people are injured each year from falling inside of a vehicle, which also should be covered by PIP or MedPay. 

3. Overexerted while unloading cargo

Overexertion may show up on the NHTSA list as the third most common non-crash car injury, with an estimated 68,000 individuals complaining of it annually, but it is a stretch to get your car insurance to cover it.

Likely your auto insurance provider would say it was a self-inflicted injury that you could have prevented by pacing yourself and that it wasn’t directly related to the operation of your car – for instance, if you overexert yourself loading or unloading cargo from your vehicle.

However, if you overexert yourself pushing a disabled vehicle off the road, this may be covered by PIP since it could be seen as an unfortunate event arising out of the ownership and use of your vehicle.

4. Hit head on vehicle’s hood or trunk lid

If you bang your head so badly on a part of your car you need a doctor to look you over, your PIP coverage should cover your medical expenses.  The same would hold true if you didn’t secure your hood properly and it fell on your head as you were working in the engine compartment, since this pertains to the maintenance of your vehicle. 

MedPay might also cover both incidents, depending on whether your policy terms consider reaching in the trunk or looking under the hood as “occupying” the vehicle.  

The NHTSA estimates that 10,000 people each year are hurt by a trunk lid.  An estimated 5,000 people are injured each year by a vehicle’s hood.

5. Had foot run over

If you are a passenger who just got out of the car or were about to get in it when your foot was run over, then MedPay may cover your injuries.  PIP will cover you as the passenger, owner or relative of the car owner.

If you had no connection to the car that ran over your foot – say, you were just walking past it – then you should collect the owner’s car insurance information because you can make a claim against the owner’s bodily injury liability coverage.

6. Sustained an injury during carjacking

Having your car stolen is covered by comprehensive coverage, but what if you are physically injured as the thief takes your vehicle? 

The injuries you sustained may be covered by PIP or MedPay coverage, but insurance companies look at a multitude of factors, such as whether the injury took place inside or outside of the vehicle, the specific terms of your policy, state laws and the outcome of previous court cases.

Courts in both Florida and Washington have found that PIP should pay for bodily injuries resulting from acts of violence associated with the use of your car.

The Anti-Car Theft Act made carjacking a federal offense. If serious injuries occur during the carjacking, the culprit can get up to 25 years. If the victim dies from those injuries, the individual can be imprisoned for life or sentenced to death.

7. Kicked car, hurt foot

Whether you’re angry because your car needs repairs or because you’re upset that your girlfriend just broke up with you, if you injure yourself by kicking, hitting, punching or otherwise striking your car, you’re out of luck for coverage for your car’s damages or your injuries.

While acts of negligence and stupidity are typically covered by car insurance policies, intentional acts are not. So, instead of PIP or MedPay coming to your rescue, you’ll need to use your health insurance for any injury you sustain in this manner.

This might come as bad news to a lot of people: An estimated 55,000 people injure themselves this way each year.

8. Hit by a car part or foreign object while working on car

If your car insurance company’s definition of PIP covers bodily injury that arises out of the ownership, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle, you should be covered if you’re hit by part of your car or a foreign object when working on your vehicle.  If you hire someone to work on your vehicle, he should be covered by worker’s comp if injured. 

The NHTSA study estimates that 16,000 individuals are harmed each year by foreign objects while working on their cars – think dropping a tool on yourself while working under the car.

9. Burned by battery acid

Tinkering with your car’s battery to make sure the cells are full or trying to jump-start a dead battery could result in battery-acid exposure if things go wrong.  However, your PIP should cover this type of incident. This holds true also for burns caused by removing a hot radiator cap or dealing with antifreeze, since it all has to do with the maintenance of your vehicle. Radiator or antifreeze burns injure 6,000 each year, according to NHTSA estimates.

Depending upon how your insurer views the maintenance of your vehicle, chemical burns from cleaning, painting or washing your vehicle may also be covered by PIP.  An estimated 1,000 people are injured this way each year.

10. Struck by a falling person

Though it’s not common, people sometimes literally fall out of the sky and onto a motor vehicle. In 2014, a San Francisco window washer fell 11 stories and bounced off a moving car.  While the driver wasn’t injured, if he or his passengers had been, PIP and MedPay would have covered the incident.

Without PIP or MedPay car insurance coverage, the car’s occupants could have put claims in with the window washer company’s liability coverage.

11. Tire or other object smashed into vehicle

If a foreign object smashes into or onto your car and causes you bodily injury, you can file a claim through your PIP or medical payments coverage.

The injury can be sustained by a piece of gravel that flies through an open window, an object falling off a truck bed, or even a lost tire careening wildly down the road, such as the one that caused considerable damage to a car in Los Angeles last year. Luckily, the driver sustained only minor injuries. The tire’s owner was never found, but if he had been, injury claims could have been placed through his vehicle’s bodily injury liability coverage.

The NHTSA study reports that an estimated 2,000 people complain of being injured by a foreign object while driving a vehicle each year.

12. Hurt while changing a tire

According to NHTSA’s estimates, about 9,000 motorists lacerate themselves each year while changing a tire. Injuries sustained while using a jack to change a tire, typically from the jack slipping or failing, happen to an estimated 3,000 people each year. Beyond this, an estimated 10,000 hurt themselves each year in other jack- or hoist-related incidents.

Since these tasks typically fall under ownership and maintenance of your vehicle, PIP should cover your resulting injuries in these cases. 

13. Burned by a muffler or exhaust pipe

If you or your passenger brushes up against your car’s hot muffler or exhaust pipe, any injuries should be covered by either PIP or medical payments. 

An estimated 1,000 people are injured by these types of burns each year, though other heat-related burns injure an additional 3,000 people, according to NHTSA estimates. 

14. Burned by a non-crash fire

If you’re inside a car that catches on fire and you get burned, PIP and medical payments will cover your injuries even if the fire didn’t start from a car crash. However, if your burns are quite severe and your PIP or MedPay limits are exceeded, you will have to look to your health insurance.

The NHTSA estimates that 2,000 people are hurt by non-crash vehicle fires each year.

15. Cut by car

Accidently cut your finger on your license plate, mirror, window or other sharp edges of your vehicle while driving or working on it?  Your PIP coverage should apply – unless you did the damage intentionally, like busting a window out of anger or to gain access to your locked vehicle.

The NHTSA estimates that 60,000 people a year cut themselves on a part of their vehicle. 

16. Poisoned by carbon monoxide

This colorless, odorless gas is present in car exhaust fumes, and inhaling too much of it can have consequences ranging from disorientation to death. An estimated 2,000 people suffer carbon monoxide poisoning from cars each year.

Assuming the exposure was encountered in normal use of your vehicle, PIP should cover the costs of treatment.

A good reason to check the fine print

It can be frustrating to suffer one of the mishaps above and find that your insurance won’t cover it. To ensure your insurance company offers the types of coverage you want, it’s important to review policy details carefully when you compare carriers.

You may never suffer any of the injuries above. But if you find that several companies offer very similar car insurance quotes, the fine print in those policies might make your decision a little clearer – particularly if you’ve ever been on the wrong end of a slamming car door.

Personal injury protection is required by law in Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon and Utah. Only Maine and New Hampshire require MedPay as part of your car insurance coverage.

PIP usually has a deductible – and the cost of treating a minor cut or burn might not reach that level. Choosing a higher deductible will lower your premiums, of course. MedPay usually does not have a deductible.

Most other states offer PIP and/or medical payment as optional coverages. If you don’t have health insurance, experts strongly recommend you carry PIP or MedPay so that you have access to health care when you need it most.

More from Penny Gusner here

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Car Insurance News

Lea Michele’s Rolling In The New Range Rover

Lea Michele’s gone from one trendy Hollywood car to another. We always used to see Lea driving around in her Toyota Prius (an old favorite around Hollywood) but now she’s been spotted driving a new Range Rover Sport (another popular choice in Hollywood). She probably should have just skipped the Rover and gone for the Tesla in our opinion but oh well…

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Photos (Zimbio)
Shout out to Tomas for the tip!

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Celebrity Cars Blog

Why Are Some Cars Written Off By Insurers?

If your car is involved in a car accident you will notify your car insurance company who will assess your claim. One of the things that they will need to consider is whether the vehicle is so badly damaged that it is beyond repair and should be written off. If that is the case, you will no doubt be offered a sum of money in order to go out and buy another car.

If a car is beyond repair it may be written off and scapped which provides some protection for the motorist to make sure badly damaged cars do not end up back on our roads

Car insurance companies write cars off because they are beyond repair.

Another reason why a car is written off by a car insurer is to make sure that it does not end up back on the road when it is in no fit state to be driven again as, if it did, it could present a danger to other vehicles, property and people.

There is a code of practice in place that is voluntary that includes the likes of those involved in the motor insurance industry, the police, salvage firms and the licensing authority. Under this code of practice there are four salvage categories: –

Category A – this is where a car is recommended to be crushed/scrapped as there are not even any car parts that could be used due to the vehicle being so badly damaged.

Category B – the car body would be crushed but some of the car parts could be used on another car.

Category C – although it may be possible to repair the car, the cost of doing so is greater than the value of the car before the accident took place.

Category D – it may be possible to repair the car with the cost of doing so not expected to be more than the value of the vehicle.

So, as you can see, if the car comes under Category A or B you should never see the car back on the road. However, in the case of Category C or D, you may see the car on the road having been suitably repaired. Fortunately, there is a system in place that should ensure vehicles under Category A and B do not end up being driven by anyone again.

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My Cheap Car Insurance » News

"New Rules" to Guide Health Care Redesign

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The Commonwealth Fund: Blog

VW Tanner Foust Racing ENEOS RWB Beetle Brings Some Color to Chicago Show

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CMtUd-vriSM/VN0IrJbsXMI/AAAAAAAAqBQ/eiNYsGUB7kM/s72-c/VW-Eneso-RWB-Chicago_10



It’s hard not to notice the bright-orange VW Tanner Foust Racing ENEOS RWB Beetle at the Chicago Auto Show, even though we’ve seen the car before at SEMA.


A love child of VW rallycross driver and Top Gear USA host, Tanner Foust, and famed Japanese Porsche tuners RAUH-Welt Begriff, the Modified wears a unique bodykit that adds some eight inches of width making room for the custom 18-inch Motegi Racing Traklite wheels on chubby tires.

There’s no mention if any changes were made under the hood, but the lack of information suggests that this muscled up Beetle might be all show and little go.

The black and yellow painted Global Rallycross Beetle that’s also being showcased in Chicago on the other hand, has plenty of oomph packing a +560hp TSI turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive.

Photo Gallery

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Carscoops

Dangerous Precedent in Airport Negotiations

A dangerous precedent is about to be set if an airport concession agreement is approved with wording regarding what counts toward gross receipts.  

Car rental companies operating on airports are bound by concession agreements that dictate their business terms for a specified time period. These agreements are renegotiated at regular intervals, often every five years. One of the main tenets of a concession agreement is the “minimum annual guarantee,” which is an agreed-upon fee that the car rental company pays the airport for the privilege of operating there.

The fee is often based on a percentage of a car rental company’s annual revenue. What is included as revenue varies by agreement, but it always includes time and mileage and usually traditional ancillary revenue, such as counter sales of insurance-type products (CDW/LDW), navigation units, child car seats and the like.

Auto Rental News has learned that in at least two agreements with small commercial airports, the airports have attempted to add a clause that requires rental companies to include loss-of-use recoveries in gross receipts — essentially, equating loss of use as a source of revenue. One of those agreements is being negotiated now.

The clause is written as part of an exclusion to gross receipts. While recovery of damage payments for the cost of repairs to cars damaged by customers is excluded, loss of use is not:  
“The foregoing exclusion shall not include any amount paid to Company by a customer or insurance company as damages for loss of use of a damaged car, or a markup, fee penalty or charge related to and in addition to the actual cost of repairs.”

For the uninitiated, when a rental vehicle is damaged, the rental company is denied the use of that vehicle, which the courts have held is a compensable loss in and of itself. Loss of use is a calculation most often based on days out of service multiplied by the contract rate.

Lumping loss of use in with gross receipts is the definition of the proverbial “slippery slope.” Loss-of-use recovery is not revenue! Any payment of loss of use from one entity to another is solely to compensate the harmed party for losses sustained as a result of a damage incident. Recovery of loss of use is designed to make the harmed party “whole” as much as monetarily possible. It is part of the measure of damages. Because loss of use is remedial by its very nature, it is inconceivable to consider it as a source of revenue.

In fact, in the specific state in which these agreements are being negotiated, the state’s court of appeals has ruled that “the claimant is entitled to receive as damages such sum as will compensate for loss of use of the repaired vehicle.”

While loss of use has been a hot-button issue in car rental for years, there is specific legal precedent (see PurCo Fleet Services Inc. v. Judith Koenig) that car rental companies are entitled to recover loss of use and appropriate administrative fees.

This exclusion has other potentially treacherous implications, specifically found in the phrase “related to and in addition to the actual cost of repairs.” Pay attention to “actual.”

This could be legally interpreted as: If your rental car is damaged and the cost to repair is $ 1,500, and you decide to for whatever reason repair only half of the damage, then the airport is entitled to lump that $ 750 you saved in with gross receipts and call it profit!

Once again, you, the property owner, have the right to be “made whole,” but that doesn’t mean you are obligated to repair that rental vehicle to its condition before the accident. The person that caused the damage is simply obligated to compensate you for your loss. What you do with that compensation is nobody’s business but yours.

Because this is an ongoing negotiation, Auto Rental News has decided not to publish the specific airport where this is taking place. But it is vitally important to reveal this to the industry. If this agreement is finalized, it allows a dangerous legal door to be opened that allows legally recoverable damages regarding vehicle repairs to be viewed as revenues.

Has similar language been included in one of your concession agreements? Let me know.

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Auto Rental News

2016 Chevrolet Equinox: First Look

2016ChevyEquinox

Competes with: Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4

Looks like: Equinox gets bedazzled instead of full redesign

Drivetrain: 182-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder; 301-hp, 3.6-liter V-6; six-speed automatic transmission; front- or all-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Fall 2015

The five-seat Chevrolet Equinox small SUV has been on sale in its current form for six model years. At that age, a car is typically due for a full redesign, but that’s not what the Equinox gets for the 2016 model year. Instead, Chevrolet said in a statement that it has “contemporized” the Equinox with new styling and more features like a newly standard backup camera. The 2016 Equinox debuts at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show.

More 2015 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

The base L trim level is only available with front-wheel drive, but LS, LT and LTZ trims can have all-wheel drive. Like its predecessor, the 2016 Equinox is powered by a standard four-cylinder engine or an available V-6. It hits dealerships this fall.

Exterior

New front-end styling is the 2016 Equinox’s most significant exterior update. All trim levels get new projector-beam headlights, and the new twin-port grille has a larger lower opening and a slimmer body-colored bar. LT and LTZ trim levels add LED daytime running lights, and the LTZ has new fog lights.

Chevrolet has also reworked the Equinox’s taillights, and the chrome exhaust tips on V-6 models are new. Restyled 17- and 18-inch aluminum wheels are offered.

Interior

The Equinox’s center control panel has a new storage shelf, and a 7-inch touch-screen stereo is now standard; LT and LTZ trim levels add Chevrolet’s MyLink multimedia system. OnStar with 4G LTE internet connectivity is available; it turns the Equinox into a rolling Wi-Fi hot spot whenever the SUV is running. A three-month/3-gigabyte data trial is included.

In recognition of the increasing use of tablets for in-car entertainment, the Equinox can be fitted with a tablet holder. The dealer accessory attaches to the back of the front seats and is designed to accommodate a variety of devices.

Under the Hood

A 182-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is standard while a 301-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 is available. Both engines drive a six-speed automatic transmission.

Safety

The Equinox includes federally mandated front airbags, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system. Available safety features include a blind spot warning system, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning and lane departure warning.

Manufacturer image

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KickingTires

Freightliner Dealer to Build APG Dual-Fuel Vocational Trucks

Harrison Truck Centers, a Freightliner-Western Star dealer in Iowa, will introduce a diesel-natural gas fueling system on severe-duty glider-kitted trucks, using a Turbocharged Natural Gas Dual Fuel System from American Power Group, the two companies announced.

In collaboration with WheelTime Network’s Interstate Power Systems, Harrison will install dual-fuel systems and associated natural gas storage tanks at its glider kit production facility in Elk Run Heights, Iowa. Target markets will include on-highway heavy hauling and the oil and gas, logging, and mining industries.

The addition of American Power Group’s dual-fuel system will complement Harrison’s existing dedicated natural gas engine product line. Harrison Truck Centers is a full-service Freightliner and Western Star dealership and a leader in the production of Freightliner glider kits, said its president and CEO, Brian Harrison.

He explained that Freightliner assembles its glider kits alongside new Freightliner trucks, giving a customer everything a new truck offers except for two of the three main driveline components — engine, transmission, or rear axle. The fleet owner can reuse any of his existing driveline components or specify a factory installed remanufactured engine or rear axles.

Freightliner Glider Kits are available in day cab or sleeper units with a wide range of options, at a much lower cost compared to a new diesel truck, Harrison said. American Power Group has 459 EPA engine.

“With the exception of APG’s Dual Fuel solution, we have not found a natural gas engine solution above 400 hp that can meet the demands and power performance of heavy-haul and severe-duty vocational trucks, especially in extreme and severe operating environments,” Harrison said.

“We currently have two APG severe-duty glider trucks operating in some of the harshest oil and gas field environments in the U.S. and are experiencing great performance results and high up-time,” he added. ”Our marketing launch will start this spring with a Freightliner 122SD Severe-Duty Dual Fuel Glider Kit being displayed at several national truck, oil and gas and alternative fuel vehicular conferences. We expect dual-fuel gliders will be rolling off the production line by early summer.”

Lyle Jensen, American Power Group’s CEO, also pointed out that “the heavy-haul trucking industry does not have a viable natural gas engine option for the 400- to 600-hp Class 8 trucks. During 2014, several dedicated natural gas engine OEMs cancelled or delayed their 13-liter and 15-liter natural gas engine development, leaving a huge gap in the Class 8 natural gas engine coverage.”

“While the current annual on-highway glider market is reported to be in excess of 5,000 vehicles per year, the number of heavy-duty and severe-duty trucks in the oil and gas, logging and mining industries are estimated to total in the tens of thousands and represents a significant new addressed market segment,” Jensen noted.

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Auto Rental News

2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Review

IMG_1602

“The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class has a few issues, but overall it preserves the nameplate’s premium reputation with a deft mix of comfort, drivability and technology,” says Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays.

2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

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KickingTires

Survey Reveals More People Concerned With Car Insurance Premium Rises

According to a survey carried out by Auto Trader in December 2014, of the 1,000 people taking part, 56% were concerned about increasing car insurance premiums whereas only 51% of those agreeing to participate in the survey were concerned about the cost of putting fuel into their car petrol/diesel tanks.

Why not use a price comparison website to try to get a competitive car insurance premium

If you are concerned about the amount you are paying for your car insurance you could shop around using a price comparison website.

If you compare that with respondents’ views around 12 months ago, you will find that there was greater concern about fuel prices as 70% of people taking part were worried about petrol and diesel prices whilst 59% were concerned about car insurance premiums.

The above is quite interesting because in recent weeks we have seen the price of fuel on forecourts come down significantly which is possibly a reflection of why we have seen a significant drop in the % of drivers concerned about petrol and diesel prices.

However, with regard to car insurance, we have seen premiums rise in recent months and the AA forecasting that such premiums may increase by as much as 10% by the end of this year.

So, what do people do if they are concerned about car insurance premiums? Well, there are not enough of you taking action when you receive your annual renewal notices. It doesn’t take long to check what you new premium is going to be (it usually increases) and then start your search to see if you can get cheaper car insurance elsewhere. Obviously, you will wish to make sure that when you get some competitive quotes that the level of cover meets your needs and that you are comparing like for like.

There are a number of ways that you can get some quotes but one of the easiest and quickest ways is to use the likes of a price comparison website that usually has many car insurance companies on their panel. This gives you the opportunity of getting a competitive quote although not all insurers use a price comparison website.

So, as you can see, if you are concerned about car insurance premiums increasing, it should not take you long to see if you can get the same cover cheaper elsewhere.

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My Cheap Car Insurance » News