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auto insurance

One of the most frustrating insurance experiences can be poorly chosen and poorly written auto policies.  At EPB&B, our aim is to make sure you have the best auto insurance coverage for the best price - and that any claims you have are handled to your satisfaction.

Angela

EPB&B Personal Lines Account Manager - New Business

Angela Olson

One area of focus for our Personal Lines team is ensuring you get all the best discounts.  For example, we'll make every attempt to place your homeowners' and auto insurance with the same carrier - unless that doesn't work for you!  Other types of discounts you may qualify for include good driver, good student, and making sure you're driving a safe car.

Our dedicated claims specialist is on-call for you.  We'll act as your advocate, to make sure your claims process is smooth.  You can also print your auto ID cards directly from our web site, 24/7.

  


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Thefts from parked automobiles, otherwise known as, "smash and grab" losses are on the rise in the Portland and Vancouver Metro Area.

Even a smart insurance agent is no match for a clever auto thief with time to kill. Just ask EPB&B President, Marc Baker, who has been the victim of two such losses in the past few months. "Don't leave ANYTHING in your car" says Baker. Even if you try your best to hide items left in your car, a thief will break the window for something as insignificant as some loose change or a gym bag. Experts say it takes only a couple of seconds to smash the window, reach in and grab whatever is lying on the seat.

Smash and grab thieves have been known to hide out and watch places like golf courses and trailheads where they know folks are likely to leave valuables in the car for an extended period of time. They know that they have plenty of time to get in and get the good stuff before you are likely to return to your vehicle.

Elliott, Powell, Baden & Baker offers the following additional suggestions to keep from becoming a victim of a smash and grab:

  • If you must leave your golf clubs, briefcase or laptop in the car, move the items to the truck where they are completely hidden from view. Don't think that they will be safe on the floor or under the seat if they can be seen from the window.
  • Consider a car alarm with a light or visible reminder that can been seen from the window.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • If you are a victim of a smash and grab, contact police right away.

Every insurance policy is different, but usually whatever is stolen is covered under your homeowners policy and the window is covered under your auto policy. That means double the deductibles. If you happen to become a victim of a smash and grab, contact EPB&B and we will help walk you through the claims process.

A recent survey found that 54% of people check their smart phones while driving. We are over one year into Oregon’s ban on talking and texting while driving and the sight of drivers gabbing on cell phones is still a common sight around Portland.  

In a recent University of Utah study of driving and talking on the phone, only 2.5% of test subjects were able to do both safely. For the other 97.5%, the ability to hit the brakes quickly was slowed by 20%, and the tendency to drive too slowly to keep up with traffic rose by 30%. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 16% of all fatal crashes in 2008 were caused by driver distraction. Think you are able to multitask behind the wheel? Gauge your level of distraction.  When you are done, you will see how much slower your reaction time was while texting compared to the average driver. If you have kids who think they can text or talk on the phone while driving, have them take the test.

 

Forty-three percent of drivers in Washington State do not know that it is illegal to impede the flow of traffic in the left lane of a highway, according to a survey by Pemco Mutual Insurance Co., Seattle.

“Camping out” in the left lane in front of cars that want to go faster probably contributes significantly to traffic congestion on highways, Pemco said.

Washington State law says that vehicles should drive in the right lanes except when overtaking or passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when traveling faster than the traffic flow.

Is road rage a medical condition? 

Some therapists think so.  They call it "intermittent explosive disorder," and group it with other kinds of angry outbursts that include threats and aggressive actions out of proportion to their cause.

Whether it's a psychiatric illness or just a bad temper, road rage can ruin your journey.  Being on the receiving end of it is unpleasant, but being a perpetrator is dangerous to you and other drivers.  If you tend to drive very aggressively, making rude gestures and honking loudly at others on the road, you may need to get a grip.

Try some of these techniques to stay calm and safe at the wheel: 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) calculates that drowsy or fatigued driving causes approximately 100,000 police-reported crashes and kills more than 1,550 each year.  Just last week a client of EPB&B experienced just such an accident when the driver fell asleep while operating a commercial vehicle.  His vehicle left the road and impacted two other vehicles before coming to rest along side of the highway.  All of the vehicles in the accident sustained major damage and several injuries (including the driver) were reported. 

 

Recent research suggests that driver fatigue is under-represented in accident statistics and estimates show that it could be a contributing factor in 20 – 24% of fatal crashes.  A study conducted by the Adelaide Center for Sleep Research demonstrated that drivers who have been awake for 24 hours have an equivalent driving performance to a person with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of 0.1 and are seven times more likely to have an accident.

 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that there are 56,000 sleep-related road crashes annually in the US, resulting in 40,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities.  Take a quiz, designed by US Department of Transportation, to see how much you know about driver fatigue. 

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