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Insuring Electronic Data Processing Equipment


Most businesses are computer-dependent. Only the smallest retailer can operate without a computer cash register. Embedded chips and computers operate manufacturing equipment, contractors’ equipment and equipment found in hospital operating rooms. Rather than insuring computers as office or manufacturing equipment, the Electronic Data Processing (EDP) form protects hardware, software, media and other similar property. Coverage is available for hacking (unauthorized computer system access) and virus damage, power shortages, overload and outages.

Any commercial operation that owns and/or uses computers and other data processing equipment is eligible for EDP coverage. Commonly a policy covers hardware, media, programs/applications, data records, proprietary programs, loss of income and (on- or off-site) Website servers.

How EDP coverage applies depends upon the policy definitions of key terms, including "computer hacking," "computer virus," "data records," "media," "telecommunications equipment" and others. EDP policies have many defined terms because technology is dynamic. Liberal use of specific policy language helps to preserve an EDP policy's intended coverage.

Typically, coverage is provided against a specific list of events that can cause tangible loss to electronic equipment. Different coverage applies to major areas of EDP, such as hardware, software and Website servers. Covered businesses usually must comply with certain provisions to qualify for coverage, such as properly creating and storing back-up programs.

There are certain types of property that, generally, are ineligible for coverage under an EDP policy, such as:

·         Hardcopy accounts, bills, evidences of debt, records, abstracts, deeds, manuscripts, program documentation and similar property

·        Portable computers that are stolen or that disappear

·        Any property used for illegal transportation or that is contraband

·        Any property that is leased or rented to others

·        Currency, food stamps, lottery tickets, money, notes and securities

·        Property held for sale

A business must pay attention to how losses are settled, particularly are claims handled according to the current value of the lost equipment or according to what is necessary to replace the property? ACV settlement is a problem for companies that don't regularly upgrade their EDP equipment. Technology changes so fast that payment for equipment purchased years ago is far less than what is needed to secure new equipment. On the other hand, replacement cost coverage would not be as critical for a firm that regularly changes equipment as damaged property would likely be newer.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2013

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Inland And Ocean Marine Coverage


Ocean Marine is the oldest line of insurance. Merchants who traded goods over waterways developed the earliest concept of minimizing risk. Traders shipping goods along the Nile usually divided and loaded shipments onto more than one vessel. Using several barges meant that the loss of one shipment would not result in a total loss.

Ocean Marine coverage protects interested parties against the financial consequences of direct damage or loss of property as well as from their legal liability related to owning or operating a vessel. Ocean Marine policies protect craft of many types such as cruisers, barges, tankers and tugboats that are used on either "blue waters" (oceans) or "brown waters" (lakes, rivers). The policies are also used to insure cargo while shipped between their destination points.

Inland Marine is a varied and flexible line of business. While it shares elements that are found in Property, Automobile, Ocean Marine and Liability coverage, it also has features that are distinct from any of its peer lines of business. Inland Marine coverage protects a wide variety of property. It is used to protect portable commercial property such as construction equipment. It is also critically used to protect tunnels, bridges and other property that facilitates non-marine travel.

For help in identifying inland marine exposures, insurance professionals use a standard called the Nationwide Inland Marine Definition that was developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Last revised in 1976, it still acts as the major source of reference used by states to guide their approach in recognizing what classes of property are members of the Inland Marine Family.

While inland marine policy language is very similar to other types of insurance, ocean marine is not. Maritime law still heavily influences the latter and its policy wording reflects that unique heritage. If you need such protection, talk to your insurance professional who should be able to provide access to a specialty insurance carrier.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2014

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Artisan Contractors


Artisan Contractors are smaller operations that work in a variety of settings. They may be involved on large construction projects under the direction of general contractors, operate in smaller residential projects, specialize in installations or work on renovation or remodeling projects.

Artisan contractors are involved in many types of specialties such as plumbing, electrical work, minor excavation, landscaping, heating, air conditioning, painting, roofing, dry-walling, carpentry, remediation services, asphalt/paving, etc. These operations need a full complement of insurance services, such as general liability, inland marine (to protect their tools/equipment), workers compensation, commercial auto, excess liability and commercial property.

There is no standard definition of an artisan contractor. They are typically defined according to an individual insurance company's underwriting rules. The factors typically considered are:

  • The number of employees
  • Contractor's role in projects (general vs. sub-contractor)
  • The amount of net income
  • Size and number of projects or work sites
  • Type of projects
  • Growth of the particular operation

Construction is a hazardous business under the best circumstances. Artisan exposures are tricky because their small size means less premium dollars, yet many of their loss exposures are the same as much larger construction operations. A new artisan contractor often means an inexperienced contractor and the inexperience usually results in a higher number of losses.

Artisan contractors need knowledgeable insurance professionals to help them identify their protection needs, especially in the areas of handling exposures to the contractor's tools and equipment. Complete information must also be developed concerning losses that may occur on their customer's premises and damage a contractor may cause to property that belong to third parties, but which is in the contractor's possession or control.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2016

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Umbrella Vs. Excess Coverage


A business usually will buy liability coverage for two chief areas. One is to handle its routine, premises liability. The second is to handle liability that is related to the actions a business performs away from its premises or that may addresses its professional-level obligation it owes to others while providing products, goods and services to others. A business that uses vehicles, mobile equipment, watercraft and/or aircraft must consider liability protection for those exposures too.

Whatever form of liability policy or policies selected by a business; they are a primary layer of coverage. Depending upon the available limits, a business may want to purchase a higher level or secondary level of protection. This level is usually called umbrella coverage or excess coverage.

Umbrella coverage and excess coverage have similarities. However, there is an important distinction between these forms. Commercial umbrella and commercial excess coverage both provide an additional level of protection. Both policies can provide this level over a wide variety of primary or underlying forms. This coverage is triggered when the primary protection’s limits have been breached.

An umbrella, theoretically, supplements its excess coverage with a different coverage. It also provides coverage for miscellaneous and unidentified loss exposures. Since there isn’t source of primary protection for these exposures, a form of high deductible, called a self-insured retention, is applied to such losses. An excess policy does NOT provide broader coverage; it only supplements whatever coverage exists in the primary layer. Further, it is becoming increasingly common that such coverage is provided on a following form basis. These forms are written so that it tracks precisely with the coverage and exclusion provisions of the underlying policies.

So, if you seek additional coverage, be sure to pay attention to what is stated in the form. The term umbrella is used even when the form does not provide true umbrella coverage. Be sure to use an insurance professional to get the coverage you need!


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2016

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

Joint Ventures


A joint venture is an entity formed by two or more businesses in order to pursue a specific purpose for a specified period of time. While some states require joint ventures to be legally filed, other states recognize any entity that meets the definition. A partnership differs from a joint venture as the former lasts indefinitely and its purpose may change.

A joint venture (or JV) can consist of sole proprietors, corporations, partnerships or any combination of these entities. Such ventures often bring together two areas of expertise to be applied to a single objective. Therefore, JVs allow the participating entities to capitalize on that combined expertise for a specified time period. JVs may also consist of entities that are, typically, rivals in the same market that may join forces for a commercial activity that they are unable to pursue alone (typically due to size, resources or expertise).

Insurance policies generally do not cover a JV unless its name is shown on the policy. There is no automatic coverage for a business that begins a joint venture during a policy term. For instance, two contractors are interested in bidding on a major project. They decide that it may be beneficial to bid on the project as a single entity. In this case, the joint venture is recognized as a distinct legal entity formed for pursuing the project. Unfortunately, it’s equally common for businesses to fail to recognize that they have formed a JV. The oversight could result in the joint venture suffering a loss that isn’t covered by insurance.

Consider contacting an insurance agent to discuss your possible coverage needs which may include general liability, automobile liability and, if the joint venture has employees, workers compensation insurance. It is also important to determine if the joint venture will need insurance to continue after the JV ceases to exist. While JVs can be extremely beneficial to all participants, they also have the potential for legal and operating problems that are unforeseen. JVs often involve complex contracts and non-disclosure agreements. The coverage issues are unique to each joint venture and should be carefully addressed by legal counsel and the insurance agent in cooperation with the joint venture principals.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2014

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

Office Functions and Alcohol


The office picnic, office-sponsored sports activities, holiday party, and client party may involve serving and consuming alcoholic beverages. Can a business be held responsible for injuries or damage that result from serving alcohol? Is the current insurance program sufficient to address this concern? Is it necessary to purchase special insurance? State alcohol laws (called Dram Shop Laws in most states) determine a business entity’s liability for injury or damage arising from serving alcohol. Laws vary, but most assign liability for serving persons who are minors or are visibly intoxicated.

The Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy provides coverage for Liquor Liability, EXCEPT for operations 'in the business of' selling, serving, or manufacturing alcoholic beverages. If the event offers alcohol for free, that entity is not 'in the business of' selling or serving. If persons have to pay, even if the charge is only to offset the alcohol’s expense, that creates a different legal situation.

When hosting an event that includes liquor, some businesses have decided that hiring a bartender will reduce their risk of being held liable. This step at least offers the benefit of another party being held primarily responsible and reducing the amount the business might be required to pay. The main issue is obtaining proof from the bartender to confirm that he or she carries an adequate level of Liquor Liability insurance. Proof should be obtained PRIOR to the event. Otherwise, it may be too late when you find out that there isn't a policy or that the limits are insufficient.

Society is less tolerant of drinking and driving. An impaired driver who causes an auto accident is much more likely to be sued. Besides the driver, a lawsuit will likely include a business that provided alcohol. Why, because such a business is considered as contributing to the loss and is called on to share (or fully bear) the cost of injury or damage. The Commercial General Liability policy could provide the necessary defense for the business.

Example: Business A and Business B are both insured by CGL policies and each company recently sponsored a Christmas party. After each party, a very inebriated employee leaves and, before reaching home, causes a collision. The injured drivers sue the businesses along with the drunken employees. Business A is an accounting office and its CGL handles the lawsuit. Business B is a tavern; its CGL denies the claim.

The solution is to discuss the types of events your business sponsors or hosts with your agent to determine if you need to purchase special coverage. This discussion may also help you take steps to reduce potential lawsuits. Some businesses may find it easiest and safest to ban drinking during business hours, including business lunches, dinners or other events. Your insurance agent and legal counsel can assist you in determining ways to protect your assets.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2014

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Museum Collection Coverage – Part 1

Museums are in a unique position. Most of the protection they need involves property that regular insurance has difficulty in handling. Consider that the characteristics of most property is that they are standard, with common features that make them readily replaced and their value typically diminishes over time. Property that make up museum collections are the opposite. They tend to be rare, often impossible to replace and have values that significantly increase as time passes. Museums also contain valuable property that is borrowed from other parties (primarily museums and private owners or estates) and all such property is on display to the viewing public.

The coverage provided protects against direct physical loss or damage a covered peril (source or loss) causes to the applicable museum’s collection property. What type of property is protected? Eligible property includes fine arts or rare objects that have artistic, historic, cultural, and scientific significance. Categories that fall within eligible property include the following:

  • Property the museum owns
  • The museum’s interest in jointly owned property
  • The museum’s interest in property that has been promised to the museum as a gift
  • Property of others on loan to the museum
  • Property under the museum’s care, custody, or control while being considered as a gift or a purchase

Museum collection coverage may be offered on two bases, blanket or scheduled protection. Blanket refers to an overall insurance limit that would be generally applied and available to all or a portion of the eligible property on the specific museum location. Scheduled coverage refers to individual insurance limits that apply to specifically described items, again which consists of eligible property on a given, described museum’s location.

Museums that are typically eligible for coverage under a museum collection policy are those museums (either for profit or not-for-profit) that collect fine arts and historic, rare, or scientific items that have artistic or cultural merit. Ineligible institutions include primarily scientific, non-collecting museums and art galleries that exhibit pieces for sale.

Please see part two of this discussion for additional information.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc., 2018

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Museum Collection Coverage – Part 2

Museum Collection coverage, besides responding to direct losses that occur to certain types of property that a given museum owns or has financial interest in, also offers a set of other coverages that are considered supplemental or extensions.

Coverage Extensions

Museum Collection coverage typically includes extensions. In other words, the base policy’s coverage is stretched or extended to the following situations:

Additional Debris Removal Expenses – A modest amount (such as $5,000) is made available to handle costs associated with removing debris from a museum that suffers an eligible loss, such as hauling away property damaged during a fire.

Defense Costs – This portion handles the cost of providing the covered museum with protection against lawsuits related to losses to covered property. Usually, protection granted under this area reduces the amount available to pay losses.

Supplemental Coverages

Each of these items provide additional limits of coverage. The actual amounts are usually specified somewhere with a given policy.

  • Bailee Legal Liability – being held liable for damage to property of others that is in the covered museum’s possession
  • Items used to Display, Pack, or Ship Covered Property – covers loss to items such as stands, frames, easels, packing material, crates, and similar items
  • Reference Library  - protects property such as photos, catalogs, books, letters, reference articles, and other documentation
  • Transit Coverage  - protects against loss to eligible property while it is being transported to another location
  • Unnamed Location Coverage - provides coverage for eligible property while it is temporarily located somewhere besides the given, insured museum.

Museum Collection Policies do not cover several categories of property when it is considered illegal property (contraband) or when there is a loss of value due to market value changes; nor does coverage apply to property in which proper ownership cannot be solidly established. The latter limitation recognizes the fact that fine arts and similar property are often stolen from rightful owners.

Museums involve institutions with very high concentrations of vulnerable, valuable property that must be protected with the help of qualified insurance professionals.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc., 2018

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

Barbers and Beauticians Professional Liability - Part 1


Hair and beauty salons offer a wide range of services. Traditionally, they have included hair styling, hairdressing, arching eyebrows, applying cosmetics, permanent waving, shampooing, tweezing, facials, trimming, tinting, plucking, bleaching and dyeing, manicures, hair tinting, waxing or applying depilatories, and pedicures. Currently, salons offer an even wider array of services that cross into the realm of medical and even surgical procedures. Current operations may involve tasks such as:

  • Botox injection
  • Liposuction
  • Medispas
  • Dermabrasion
  • Laser Treatments

These services are accompanied by an equally wide variety of risks. Serving customers may result in losses such as scalp injuries, severe damage to hair, burns, cuts, spinal or joint injuries, and scarring. None of these losses are covered by a general liability policy. It is critical to acquire the protection of a barbers and beauticians (or cosmetologists) professional liability policy.

Many traditional services are covered under professional liability policies. However, such policies are not standardized. Therefore, protection may be significantly different among different insurers. A particular company’s application and policy forms should be carefully read in order to determine what services are covered.

Cosmetologists are required to carry a state license and a minimum amount of training and experience in order to perform their jobs. Barbers and Beautician Professional liability policies require that all insured persons maintain a valid license or certification. Typical coverage includes injuries to persons or to property that is related to the applicable beauty or barbershop operation. There is also coverage for harm connected to application of preparations that are bought at a shop or salon and then are used at customers’ homes. Coverage does NOT apply to preparations made BY the insured.

See part two of this topic about items not protected under this coverage.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc., 2016

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Barbers and Beauticians Professional Liability – Part 2


In part 1, we discussed the type of situations that are protected by a Barbers and Beauticians professional liability form. It is just as important to be aware of limitations. Generally, available policies don’t protect against losses involving the following:

  • Use of procedures and use of preparations that are illegal
  • Injury related to a professional service performed by a minor or by an unlicensed operator
  • Combustion, burning or explosion of  articles or products of a flammable nature
  • Use of any appliance, apparatus or device employing x-ray, electrical rays, radio rays, radio waves, or electronic waves
  • Ear piercing, electrolysis, slenderizing, reducing, body massage, or bath treatment
  • Face lifting, plastic surgery
  • Use of any electrical or mechanical apparatus or device for massage
  • Chiropody (treatment of minor foot ailments), podiatry and/or any procedure involving the cutting of growths
  • Use of any method or type of tanning service
  • Service involving the breaking, piercing, cutting, lacerating, or suturing of the skin
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Hair implants or transplants
  • Illegal or dishonest acts

Products Hazard Exclusions - Barbers and Beauticians professional liability policies typically make separate reference to exclusions involving risks of beauty products. Policies don’t respond to losses from:

  • Goods or products manufactured by, bottled by, rebottled by, or repackaged by the insured
  • Goods or products sold under the insured's label
  • Withdrawal, inspection, repair, replacement, or loss of use of products manufactured by, bottled by, rebottled by, repacked by, or sold under the insured's label or that of an affiliate owned or controlled by the insured.

However, coverage for some services may be added for additional charges.

An insurance professional is the person to talk to when you want to make sure that making the public more beautiful doesn’t include the chance of ugly, uninsured losses.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc., 2016

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles - Part 1


For most of us, our relationship with aviation is passive. We, except for rare instances, are involved in flight as passengers, not as flight crew. We board aircraft, take our seats and allow pilots to transport us, handling all of the complexities of air travel.

Whether air transport involves moving people, goods or both, its efficiency in reducing the time it takes to travel over long distances from weeks and days to hours is rivaled only by its potential severity of losses.

Protection against loss involving cargo or passengers is handled by aviation insurance which is designed to respond to low frequency but high severity accidents. Currently such policies are now being asked to handle an emerging, different exposure; unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

UAVs, aka drones, were developed initially for research, exploration and military use. In recent years, they have been increasingly exploited for personal and commercial use. Initially the potential for loss was low, similar to use of hobby, radio-controlled (RC) planes, copters, etc. But the situation with UAVs is transformative. RC aircraft are used recreationally. They are operated chiefly in wide open, isolated areas with little chance of interaction with persons or property. Losses usually involve damage to the aircraft. Injuries to persons typically are restricted to first aid for cuts, bruises and similar, fairly minor harm. Protection is adequately handled by homeowner policies or by specialty coverage provided by recreational RC flying clubs. That is NOT the case for UAVs.

For more information, please see Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – Part 2.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc., 2016

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles - Part 2


In part 1, we began our discussion of the challenges represented by UAVs. Compared to radio-controlled, model aircraft, UAVs are, often, larger, more expensive craft and may be equipped with extensive photographic and computer components. They are used in ways that substantially increase the chance of loss because they are used in different settings. Originally UAVs were used in the following, non-military ways:

  • storm chasing
  • mapping
  • documenting land use changes
  • agriculture
  • search and rescue

However, eyes continue to be opened about the, nearly, endless versatility with these devices. Today, interest in the commercial uses of drones is viral. Companies are developing or actively using drones for the following:

  • realty inspections
  • pipeline inspections
  • fast food delivery
  • monitoring crops
  • filmmaking
  • insurance claims inspections
  • surveillance
  • wildlife monitoring
  • news reporting on hazardous incidents and traffic reporting
  • package delivery

The increase in the number of UAVs and their use around people will generate way more incidents involving injuries and collisions (with persons and property), dropped packages, flight malfunctions, accidents with other aircraft, etc.

Insurance companies are in the forefront, determining how current or new products have to be changed or developed in order to handle additional loss exposures that will be created by growing personal and commercial UAV use.

Besides exposures involving injuries, damage or destruction to UAVs and to other property; UAV risks will also involve personal injury such as invasion of privacy, trespass, etc. They may also expand cyber liability risks as UAVs will face hacking threats. They may also create broader threats of terrorism.

UAVs are a part of a changing risk landscape and, again, insurance professionals will take the lead in responding to the challenges they pose.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc., 2016

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles - Part 3


In part 1 and 2, we discussed the expanding risk and challenges represented by Unmanned Aerial vehicles (UAVs). This part provides some guidance regarding the use of drones.

As mentioned in part 1, UAVs are classified as aircraft. Therefore, the final authority in the United States on the commercial and recreational use of UAVs is the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Yes, the regulator that oversees all manner of commercial and private aircraft is also responsible for UAVs.

While much progress is being made, the FAA is still scrambling to determine adequate rules for the widening use of UAVs. This is quite difficult because it is attempting to evaluate the scope of challenges UAVs represent at the same time that businesses and individuals are exponentially inventing different ways for using them.

A primary concern of the FAA is with the possibility of UAVs interfering with the operation of airplanes. The earliest actions revolved around protecting flight crews and passengers from dangerous invasion of airspace by UAVs. Another concern has been the potential use of UAVs in terrorist acts, so initial actions were to secure the airspace around airports and large public spaces.

It will take a while to develop suitable rules concerning the commercial use of UAVs. In the meantime, businesses are required to secure an exemption under Section 333 of the FAA rules and regulations in order to legally operate UAVs. The exemption includes nearly three dozen conditions and limitations on the use of UAVs for business purposes. Failure to secure an exemption and then to adhere to the limitations can result in fines, loss of the exemption and even criminal penalties. Business use of UAVs will eventually involve far more regulation, particularly the need to secure special flight (pilot) certification.

The exemptions, which are already difficult to administer for commercial UAV use, would be impossible and impractical for overseeing recreational use by individuals. Since December 2015, the FAA required all UAV owners to register the aircraft BEFORE being flown outdoors. The registration will result in the generation of a unique ID number which must be marked on the applicable UAV.

Hobby and recreational UAV operators must follow other rules of operation such as the following:

  • UAV operators aged 13 and older must register the aircraft with the FAA
  • Don't fly above 400ft
  • Don't fly within 3 miles of an airport/landing strip
  • Keep you craft within line of sight
  • No night flying
  • Don't fly in areas with flight restrictions (stay away from all airports and large public places such as stadiums, etc.).
  • Fly safely (not near pedestrians, wildlife, buildings/property, etc.

Registrations must be renewed within three years of initial registration as well as with any newly acquired UAVs. Individual owners should make sure that they keep up to date with regulations as they are developed.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc., 2016

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Tunnel Vision Drivers


So, you awake to face another winter morning. You know how it goes, you take care of washing up, brushing what needs to be brushed, throwing down something edible so you can check off “eat healthy breakfast” from your to-do list and then you march out to your car. If you’re among the lucky ones, it may be just a matter of opening the garage door and heading out….but perhaps you’re not so lucky and you’re staring at a large, four-wheeled ball of ice. Okay you start the engine, turn on the heater, the defroster, dig around for an ice scraper or snow brush and you get to work on de-icing your vehicle. Here’s the critical question: How thorough are you going to be?

Chances are it depends on how you are doing on your daily schedule. If you have time, perhaps all snow and ice are cleared from all surfaces. If you’re running late, maybe you’ve taken shortcuts on the task. Don’t do it, just don’t! It’s better to be late than to drive in a rolling tunnel!

Yes, it may be understandable, but failing to spend enough time to properly clear ice and snow from your car, truck, or van is a losing situation. Driving is, under the best of circumstances, perilous. To minimize the dangers, you need to be able to clearly see traffic. You also have a responsibility to operate your vehicle in a way that makes it safer for other drivers. Clearing a small patch of windshield and hitting the road causes problems.

It is impossible for a driver to have an adequate field of vision to safely operate a car when only a portion of a vehicle’s windows are clear. At best you’re only able to see what is directly in front; but you drive in a 360-degree world and dangers surround you. Winter driving also means tricky, slick road surfaces. If you lose control of your car, substantially limiting your view dangerously reduces your ability to handle the emergency. And let’s point out another problem.

That snow and ice you leave on your vehicle acts quite predictably when you’re moving along the road. It is subjected to wind and that causes additional eddies of snow that can obscure the view of nearby drivers. Worse, chunks of hardened snow or ice can be dislodged and either damage other vehicles directly or cause traffic accidents.

The increased danger posed by drivers who neglect to properly clean off their cars has prompted some safety officials to pull cars over and issue tickets. Some areas have specific fines, treating the situation as public endangerment.

Yes, it’s cold, yes, you’re in a hurry, yes, it’s a pain to brush and scrape ice and snow but do it. The inconvenience isn’t worth the consequences…the possibly deadly consequences of driving with tunnel vision.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc., 2016

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.