What To Do After an Auto Accident

Though we can only hope that something as unfortunate as an auto accident never happens to our clients, the odds of actually being involved in an incident such as this is relatively high. We have compiled a check list of helpful tips and information needed so you are well prepared.

Stop and Do NOT leave the scene!

  • Call the police immediately to report any accident, which results in personal injury or vehicle damage.
  • Notify the police as to any medical assistance that may be needed or any vehicle that is not functional to drive.
  • Warn other motorists by turning on your emergency flashers, setting up flares, or reflective devices 50 feet behind your vehicle.
  • Do not accept responsibility or otherwise discuss the accident with anyone except police authorities and your independent insurance agent or insurance carrier. Do not accept any monetary settlement at the accident scene.

Exchange information with the other driver

  • Write down the other party’s – driver license number, license plate number, and state. Also, get the insurance company name and policy number, make, model, and description of the vehicle. Lastly, record the name, address, and telephone number of the other driver.
  • Write down the name and address of all passengers, injured persons, or anyone with property damage.
  • Get the names and contact information of at least two witnesses if possible. This is very important when the fault of an accident is questionable.

Diagram the accident before leaving the scene

  • Note the time of day, weather, and condition of roadway (wet, icy, dry).
  • Show position of all vehicles before and after the accident-plus location of signs, streets, and medians.
  • Note any apparent damage to not only your vehicle, but all vehicles involved in the accident.
  • Write down any further details you feel are important.

To get a courtesy brochure copy of this information to keep in your vehicle, please email your full name and address to: erickson@sjeinsurance.com with the subject line: AFTER AN ACCIDENT BROCHURE

For more information, please feel free to contact your agent!

Dealing with Road Rage and Agressive Drivers on the Road

Dealing with Road Rage and Agressive Drivers on the Road

Picture It: You’re driving along one crisp fall morning on your day off of work. Suddenly, another motorist zips by on your left, almost clips your front bumper and flies back into your lane. You jump in your seat, stomp on the breaks and swerve to avoid a collision.

Does this seem familiar? Aggressive drivers can try even the most patient person. Your first reaction might be to yell out the window at the obnoxious driver or even speed up to “teach them a lesson.” It can be difficult not to lose your cool when other drivers don’t observe the rules of the road, but if you don’t, you end up being just as aggressive as the driver who aggravated you.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the most obvious form of road rage is aggressive and excessive speeding. It’s important to keep control when dealing with an aggressive driver and not retaliate in order to prevent further ado. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that aggressive driving is a factor in two thirds of all traffic fatalities.

With that in mind, here are six tips to help you keep your cool when dealing with aggressive drivers so you don’t become one yourself:

1.Make yourself comfortable before you get on the road – Uncomfortable temperatures and even poor sitting posture can fuel irritation. Make sure your seat is in the correct position before leaving your driveway and keep the temperature comfortable. That way, if you do encounter something frustrating on the road, your mood won’t be further affected by discomfort.
2.Breathe deeply if you feel yourself getting frustrated – Take a few deep breaths, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Remember that you don’t know why the other person was driving aggressively. They could have an emergency and, even if that isn’t the case, its best to just let it go.
3.Keep your hands firmly on the wheel – This will keep you from accidentally instigating further aggression. Even a seemingly reasonable reactive gesture, like throwing one hand up in exasperation, can cause further issues with an aggressive driver. If your driving instigated the aggression (as in you made a mistake that angered another driver), use an open palm gesture to show your acknowledgement of the offensive deed or do nothing at all to avoid misunderstanding.
4.Let it all out, safely – If you feel a rant coming on or an insurmountable urge to voice your feelings, roll the windows up and let it out when the other driver can’t see you. Pull over and vent your anger verbally to yourself instead of physically driving aggressively.
5.Leave earlier rather than later – Waiting in long lines of traffic where multitudes of drivers are all trying to get to the same place can make tensions run high. To avoid running behind and risking aggressive driving, give yourself ample time to reach your destination.
6.Stay in your vehicle – No matter what. Situations can escalate quickly when two angry drivers decide to approach each other. Turn on some soothing music to help you relax and think happy thoughts.

To be fair, aggressive driving is not the only thing that can anger other drivers: overly defensive driving can as well.

Whatever you do, don’t give in to aggressive driving to punish the one who did it to you. Combat aggressive driving with defensive driving and by taking steps to stay calm in the face of road rage. Next time someone late to work tailgates you in the left hand lane, or worse, cuts you off, breathe deeply, mutter under your breath, turn on the radio and stay focused on following the rules of the road.

Top 5 Tips for Improving Web Security

In some cases all it takes to give a hacker or information thief access to your network and your data is one click. The results can be fatal, unless you take the necessary steps to protect yourself and ultimately, your business.

How to protect your business from digital disaster in 5 important ways:

1. Use Web Protection – Find a product or service that will screen URLs for malicious content as they are requested from your network. Make sure that updates are applied quickly to the service and ask how the product determines what to allow or block.

2. Don’t give information online that you’d hesitate to give in person – You wouldn’t give your bank password to a stranger on the street. Think of a website in the same way. Ask yourself why the site needs your Social Security number or is asking for your mother’s maiden name.

3. Use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) every time it’s available – SSL encrypts information sent from your browser to a server. Most services use a SSL enabled page to ask for your login information, or to complete a financial transaction online. Popular services such as Facebook and Google also offer options to turn on SSL whenever you use their service.

4. If you’re tempted to click on a news story or post from a friend that seems out of the ordinary, DONT – Scammers use current events and tragedies to encourage people to click on links that lead to malware. Use caution when searching for breaking news, as scammers have also poisoned search results to send people to infected sites.

5. Make sure you update your browser regularly – Many browsers now feature automatic updates, and these can address security flaws in your browser of choice. Use this feature and make sure to periodically check your browser to make sure it’s staying up to date.

There is no silver bullet that will eliminate all risks associated with using email and the web, but these simple steps will make you a more difficult target for hackers and scammers alike.

New Carbon Monoxide Detector Laws for California!


There are new Carbon Monoxide detector requirement laws that recently went into effect on 1/1/2013. California state now requires CO detectors in multi-unit dwellings. Although the bill was signed into law in 2010, California residents must have  carbon monoxide detectors in their homes as of July 1, 2011. This timeline  applies only to single-family homes that have appliances that burn fossil fuels  or homes that have attached garages or fireplaces.

A fine for $200 is the penalty for homeowners that do not comply with the CO detector installation requirements.

Read more:  California Law on Carbon Monoxide Detector Requirements | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_6674598_california-carbon-monoxide-detector-requirements.html#ixzz2OwtrdW2o



What is the effective date for installing a CO device?

  • For a single-family dwelling having fossil fuel burning appliances and/or attached garages, the effective date is July 1, 2011.
  • For all other dwelling units having fossil fuel burning appliances and/or attached garages, the effective date is January 1, 2013.
  • For hotels and motels having fossil fuel burning appliances and/or attached garages, the effective date is January 1, 2016.


California Cal. Health & Safety Code §   13260 to 13263 – Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010


Cal. Health & Safety Code §   17926 to 17926.2 – Regulation of Buildings Used for Human Habitation

Requires State Fire Marshal to   developed approved carbon monoxide device list. Prohibits marketing,   distribution or sale of devices not on the approved list.


Requires installation of approved   carbon monoxide detectors in single-family dwellings by July 1, 2011, and for   all other dwellings by 2013 if those dwellings contain a fossil fuel burning   heater or appliance, fireplace, or an attached garage. Applies to rental   property. Provides $100 penalty upon sale or transfer of noncompliant dwellings.

Determine your personal flood risk!

Determine your personal flood risk!

Knowing that each state in the US is subject to flooding, it is important to know what your specific flood risk is.

Certain areas are at higher flood risks than others, and flood maps have been useful in helping people understand their unique risk for their community.

Types of risks:

  1. High risk areas: “In high-risk areas, there is at least a 1 in 4 chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage. All home and business owners in these areas with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are required to buy flood insurance. They are shown on the flood maps as zones labeled with the letters A or V.”
  2. Moderate-to-low risk areas: “In moderate-to-low risk areas, the risk of being flooded is reduced but not completely removed. These areas submit over 20% of NFIP claims and receive one-third of disaster assistance for flooding. Flood insurance isn’t federally required in moderate-to-low areas, but it is recommended for all property owners and renters. They are shown on flood maps as zones labeled with the letters B, C or X (or a shaded X).”
  3. Undetermined risk areas: “No flood-hazard analysis has been conducted in these areas, but a flood risk still exists. Flood insurance rates reflect the uncertainty of the flood risk. These areas are labeled with the letter D on the flood maps.”

Useful Resources: Understanding Flood Maps, Undergoing a Map Change, Map your Risk

What Causes Flooding?

What Causes Flooding?

Whether it be heavy rain, rapid snow melt, or simply the thaw of spring, it is important to know the risks and causes of flooding, as it occurs in all 50 states. No matter where you live, you could be prone to flooding!

So – what are some causes of flooding?

Typically there is a 30-day wait period on flood insurance policies. The time to act is now, to make sure your investments are covered.

Call our team today to learn more about how you can reduce your risk of loss due to flooding!