First Party vs. Third Party Insurance Bad Faith Claims

Posted by on Aug 6, 2015 in Insurance | 0 comments

According to the attorneys at Smith Kendall, PLLC, insurance companies have an enormous responsibility towards policyholders following an accident or injury. Sadly, some insurance companies may act in bad faith by denying liability, limiting coverage, or delaying payments and investigations. Fortunately, in the United States there are several laws in place to protect policy holders against the illegal practices of some insurance providers.

While insurance companies often provide first and third party coverage, the category in which one falls under can determine whether or not that person is eligible to sue the insurance provider for bad faith.

In some states, whether or not a person can sue is determined by the policy language. For example, in cases involving liability insurance claims, if a person meets the definition of “insured” as per the terms and conditions of the policy, then that person is a first party claimant who is eligible to bring about a bad faith claim against the insurer. However, due to recent developments, many insurance companies are revising and narrowing their definitions to limit who is considered to be an “insured” policy holder.

While many states allow for both first and third parties to sue, other states have specific laws that limit or outright deny third parties the ability to sue in the event that an insurer acts in bad faith. Experts state that this is due to the fact that in some states, as part of their contractual and fiduciary relationship between the insurer and insured, insurance companies have a higher duty of protection towards their own insured parties than they do to third parties. However, some states allow for a first party beneficiary to assign their rights over to a third party. In these states, if a third party has gained these rights via assignment, then they are eligible to file a bad faith claim against an insurance company.

Read More

Choosing the Right Lock

Posted by on Aug 5, 2015 in Storage | 0 comments

Although self storage theft is on the decline according to the MiniCo Insurance Agency, burglary is a real threat when storing you belongings in a self storage unit. Fortunately, certain measure can be taken that ensure that your belongings are safe and provide you with peace of mind.

The first step in securing your belongings is choosing the right facility. According to the website of Ben White Mini Storage, safety features such as well-lit units, security cameras, and fencing with access gates are good to look for in storage facilities. Some Austin self storage units even feature resident managers that are often available to keep an eye on the facility.

Once you feel you have chosen the correct facility, the next step is choosing the right lock. Though many people often think that any lock will do just fine, certain types of locks have their advantages and disadvantages. The three most common types of locks according to storage experts are keyless, padlock, and disc locks.

Keyless locks are great for those that need to grant access to multiple people at their discretion. This could be beneficial to companies that need employees to access a unit. In addition, the lack of a key means that there is no key to misplace or lose. Unfortunately, this type of lock is often not recommended due to its design. While it may fine for to temporarily secure less valuable items like at a gym locker, they can often easily be cut with bolt cutters when used for outdoor self storage units.

Similar to the previously mentioned combination locks, the design of padlocks often leaves your belongings vulnerable to theft. This is because some manufacturers provide bump keys that could allow just about anyone access to your stored goods. These locks can also be picked or cut fairly quickly and easily.

Lastly, disc locks are usually recommended for storage security as they were originally developed for self storage facilities. The design of the locks makes it near impossible to break, pick, or cut. In fact, though they can be cut using a grinder, the process is often loud and time consuming. The difficulty alone often serves to deter crime itself. Due to their effectiveness, they are often available for free or for sale at several storage facilities.

Read More

Intersections and Car Accidents

Posted by on Aug 4, 2015 in Car Accident | 0 comments

The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that 43 percent of all motor vehicle accidents occur at intersections. While some blame the inherently complex and dangerous design of intersections, the truth is that driver error, estimated to be as high as 96 percent, is the leading cause of accidents at intersections.

According to the website of the Pohl Berk Law Firm, a firm specializing in personal injury claims, the most commonly occurring types of driver error are over-correction, failure to use turn signals, distracted driving, and neglecting blind spots. Specific factors that result in intersection accident include inadequate surveillance (44%), false assumptions of others’ actions (8.4%), turning with obstructed view (7.8%), illegal maneuvers (6.8%), internal distractions (5.7%) and misjudgment of gap or others’ speed (5.5%).

Unfortunately, due to the fact that intersection accidents often involve other drivers and pedestrians, they can be one of the most deadly types of accidents. The website of the Louisville car accident attorneys at the Sampson Law Firm state that of the many accidents people can be involved in and the many ways people can be injured, car accidents are by far the most prevalent and devastating. In fact, according to the NHTSA, 58 percent of all pedestrian injuries and 21 percent of fatal pedestrian injuries occur at intersections and involve a motor vehicle. The NHTSA also states that about a fifth off all fatal car accidents occur at intersections.

While there are certain safety measures one can take to lower their risk of causing an accident, that fact of the matter is that one is unable to control other’s actions while on the road. Therefore it is important to always be aware of one’s surroundings and never assume another driver’s actions.

Read More