Things You Should Know About Filing a Claim on Your Auto Insurance.

When you get in an accident, the number one thing to remember is to get information about the other driver and vehicle.  Get as much as you can.  If the other driver leaves the scene without exchanging information with you, try to get the kind of car (make/model) and the license plate number.  You will need this information to file a claim and your accident report with the Oregon DMV.

If the driver of the other vehicle stops to exchange information get their name, address, telephone number, driver's license number, plate number on the vehicle, insurance company name, and their insurance policy number.

If the driver of the other vehicle does not stop, try to get the type of car and the license plate number of the vehicle.  This will help you in the event you need to file a claim for Uninsured Motorist Property Damage.

Call directly to the insurance company to file your claim, their telephone number is located on your ID card.  They will take your statement, and may record the conversation.  You may also need to call the insurance company for the other driver to file a claim for damages to your vehicle.

You can always call our office at 503-489-3143 to get assistance, but your claim must be filed directly with the company.  Claims are never good.  One thing to remember is that no matter how much the insurance company tries to do, they can't actually put you in the exact position you were in before the accident happened.

Why Didn't the Insurance Company Take Out My Payment on the Day They Said They Would?

Auto insurance customers that are on EFT (Electronic Fund Transfer or Automatic Payments) sometimes call and want to know why their checking account hasn't been charged for their premium.

This can happen because the insurance company sends out the request from their bank to your bank. It can take up to three days for an established policy to charge the premium. For a new policy, it may take up to five days. Be careful though, I would never count on having a "float," about the time you do, they will take it on the exact pay date.

Remember that the due date for your premium is the due date. If the insurance company has drafted AFTER the due date in the past, that does not change your due date, and they probably will draft on the actual date in the future.
Also note that you cannot change the due date of your premium.  Once a policy begins with a specific payment schedule that cannot be changed.

Please read your EFT disclosure form for exact details.

If you want to check on your EFT or discuss your options, give us a call at Pulse Insurance - 503-489-3143 or stop by and see us at 4239 SE 182nd AVE Gresham Oregon in the Powell Vista Shopping Center.

New Insurance Law Limits Effective January 1, 2010 to be aware of in Oregon.

For those of you that are not waiting with anticipation to find out what changes Oregon has made to insurance laws for this year, two that are important to note specifically for my customers are the changes to the required Property Damage (PD) limits and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage that is available.

Under the old laws, each vehicle was required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in PD limits.  Beginning January 1, 2010 the minimum limit has been increased to $20,000.  All insurance policies that renew or are written after December 31, 2009 will be written or renewed at the higher limit.  Yes, this means your premium will increase a little (but not very much).  It also means that if you are in an accident, your policy will automatically cover up to $20,000 in property damage.  In layman's terms that means if you total out the other guy's Honda and it is worth $15,000, under the old laws the insurance company would pay up to the policy limit ($10,000) and you had to pay the other $5,000 yourself.  Now, the insurance company would pay up to the policy limits, or in this example the entire $15,000.

Generically speaking, PIP coverage pays for injury and other costs that can be associated with a claim (please refer to your specific policy).  The maxiuum amount available in Oregon was $15,000.  While some policies continue to offer $15,000 many can now offer higher limits.

Give us a call at Pulse Insurance - 503-489-3143, or stop by and see us at 4239 SE 182nd AVE in the Powell Vista Shopping Center.

How to Stop Your Automatic Insurance Premium Payments with Your Auto Insurance Company.

If your car insurance policy is set up with an Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) feature, you must make sure you give the insurance company sufficient time to stop those payments. All insurance companies require prior notice to stop an EFT. The standard time frame for stopping one of these payments is 10 days, although sometimes we can still make it happen with 5 days notice. We will be unable to stop your EFT payment if you call 2 business days before it is due to be withdrawn.

The EFT will not stop at the end of your auto insurance policy unless you stop it. The form you sign when you started the program says you will automatically renew your policy unless you change the form in which you make your payment.  Remember, this too requires advance notice.

You may then choose to pay over the internet (via our website), by mailing your payment to the insurance company (mailing it to our office will delay your payment), over the telephone, or in person in your insurance agent's office. If you are starting a new policy, you may be switching insurance companies. Even if you keep the same agent, you must stop EFT's with your existing insurance company before switching to a different one that offers the coverage and price you want.

Please read your application before you sign it, and if you are going to sign up for EFT, make sure you make a mental note of the stated amount of time the insurance company requires to discontinue these payments.

This is a good program, and can save you money in billing fees. But it can also cost you money if there is a problem with your insurance premium payment.

Give us a call at Pulse Insurance - 503-489-3143 or stop by to see us at the Powell Vista Shopping Center - 4239 SE 182nd AVE in Gresham Oregon.

Bad Habits as a Passenger

I recently was discussing driving habits with a customer and realized there was something I do as a passenger that is very dangerous. It has nothing to do with the driver, or the choices the driver makes when driving. It is my choice, and one I might have to pay for in a big way. When I am in the front passenger seat I often will put one or both of my feet up on the dash or in the window frame because I find it comfortable. I have done this for many years and certainly enjoy it.  I can assure you I will think twice before I do it again. This auto insurance customer pointed out to me that a member of his family used to do that all the time, until she was a passenger with her foot in the window frame when an accident occurred. The passenger side airbag went off and crushed both her legs from the hips down. This makes the habit I have had for years a comfortable but dangerous habit. I prefer to continue to walk just the way I do now. How about you? Understandably, particularly on long trips you might just want to be a little less cramped or a little more comfortable, please think about the risk of not sitting in your seat the way it was intended to be sat in. At Pulse Insurance we care about your safety.