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Risk of a Car Crash Increases with Every Hour of Lost Sleep

Drivers who miss between one to two hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep nearly double their risk of a crash, according to research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

If you don’t get at least seven hours of sleep, sleep deprivation could cause you to get into an accident. The AAA Foundation found that sleep-deprived drivers had a steadily increasing risk of being involved in a collision in comparison to drivers who slept for the recommended seven hours or more before getting behind the wheel:

  • Six to seven hours of sleep: 1.3 times the crash risk
  • Five to six hours of sleep: 1.9 times the crash risk
  • Four to five hours of sleep: 4.3 times the crash risk
  • Less than four hours of sleep: 11.5 times the crash risk

Sleep deprivation similar to being drunk

Sleep deprivation can seriously impair your ability to drive. In fact, the study found that drivers who get less than five hours of sleep share the same crash risk as someone who is driving over the legal limit for alcohol.

“You cannot miss sleep and still expect to be able to safely function behind the wheel,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Our new research shows that a driver who has slept for less than five hours has a crash risk comparable to someone driving drunk.”

One in three adults sleep less than seven hours a day

While 97 per cent of drivers told the AAA Foundation they viewed drowsy driving as a completely unacceptable behaviour, nearly one in three admitted that in the month leading up to the survey, they drove when they were so tired, they had a hard time keeping their eyes open.

“Managing a healthy work-life balance can be difficult and far too often we sacrifice our sleep as a result,” said Jake Nelson, director of Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research for AAA. “Failing to maintain a healthy sleep schedule could mean putting yourself or others on the road at risk.”

No matter how much you open your windows or how loud you turn up your radio, you can’t trick your body into staying awake. In fact, you could easily fall asleep behind the wheel without even realizing it.

And while caffeine can make you more alert, the effects usually wear off quickly if you’re sleep deprived. Coffee or other stimulants cannot substitute sleep, and the AAA urges drivers to prioritize getting plenty of sleep (at least seven hours) into their daily schedules.

Signs that you are drowsy

When you are drowsy or tired, you are less alert and your reaction time is impacted. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation notes eight signs that you are too tired to drive:

  • You have difficulty keeping your eyes open.
  • Your head keeps tilting forward despite your efforts to keep your eyes on the road.
  • Your mind keeps wandering and you can’t seem to concentrate.
  • You yawn frequently.
  • You can’t remember details about the last few kilometres you have travelled.
  • You are missing traffic lights and signals.
  • Your vehicle drifts into the next lane and you have to jerk it back into your lane.
  • You have drifted off the road and narrowly avoided a crash.

Penalties for drowsy driving

Though there appears to be no specific law in Canada that targets driving while fatigued, you could easily catch the eye of the police if you’re driving while drowsy—even if you’re not involved in a collision. If you’re not able to stay in your lane, or if you run a red light or make an unsafe lane change, you can end up with a ticket.

And while tickets come with a one-time fine, they can also affect your auto insurance premiums for years to come, as they stay on your driving record for at least three years.

Then, of course, if you’re involved a collision, the penalties for driving while fatigued are more serious. You could be charged with dangerous driving, careless driving or even criminal negligence.

Don’t risk it; get the sleep you need to drive safely behind the wheel.

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Umbrella Insurance for a Very Rainy Day

Many consumers are not aware of the benefits provided by an umbrella policy and many may not even be aware of the existence of such a policy. Others might just view it as an “upsell” offered by insurance companies and agents hoping to make some extra income. However, the policy actually offers significant benefit to individuals and, according to the Insurance Journal, the state of Maryland’s Insurance Administration has issued a consumer advisory explaining the policy’s benefits. If you don’t currently have an umbrella policy, you’ll want to read on to understand better what it can do for you and your family.

In your standard home insurance policy, there’s a limit of liability for personal liability claims. The usual coverage that’s automatically provided is generally $100,000. However, given today’s litigious society and the cost of medical care, a claim can easily exceed that amount. If you are a homeowner, your assets, including your house, can be attached in the event of a judgment against you. This is where an umbrella policy can really help out.

The personal umbrella policy is given its name because it acts as an umbrella over more than just your personal liability policy. Most people who have umbrellas use the policy as extra protection for both their personal liability and automobile liability coverages. For example, if you have a $1 million umbrella policy, it will provide the $1 million in protection if either your personal liability or auto liability policy limits were exhausted.

Keep in mind that this is a liability policy and not a property policy. Therefore, even though your home insurance policy has two main types of coverage, the umbrella only applies to the personal liability portion of the coverage. As an example, if you have not insured your home for the proper amount and have a large claim, the umbrella policy will not provide you with any benefit. On the other hand, if someone is injured on your property and sues you, the umbrella policy will be prepared to step in if your home insurance policy’s personal liability limit is exhausted.

It’s common for people to consider the umbrella policy as an optional item and not necessary. Even if they are aware of the existence of umbrellas, many people choose not to purchase them, thinking that a very large loss will never happen to them. Unfortunately, when something unforeseen actually happens, it’ll be too late to purchase the coverage. Umbrellas are generally inexpensive when viewed in relation to how much coverage they provide. That low premium is a good sign of the relative infrequency of loss contemplated by the insurance companies in underwriting the policies. However, just because everyone thinks it’s rare for a loss to occur doesn’t mean they don’t believe it will never occur.

You should also keep in mind that there might be some ways to save on insurance premiums by purchasing an umbrella policy. Because many insurance companies offer a multi-policy discount, you might find that it’ll defray the cost quite a bit. When I first started purchasing an umbrella policy, the discount I received from adding it to my existing home and auto policies with the same insurer almost covered the entire cost of the umbrella! Given its low cost and potentially great benefit, you should really invest in an umbrella policy.

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Extended Car Warranty, How To Choose The Right Plan…

There are many extended car warranty programs to choose from but it can be a bit tricky to find a “reputable” plan to suit your needs. The best way to choose a reliable extended car warranty program is to find a company that makes the following criteria…

1. Make sure the company is in business for 10 years or more. This assures you that they are not only in the business of selling coverage but also successfully paying claims.
2. You want to choose a company that has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and perhaps more importantly, is accredited by the BBB which holds them to a much higher standard of excellent business practices and customer service.
3. You want the warranty program to be directly underwritten by a US-based insurance carrier holding at least an A rating with an industry rating service such as AM Best or Standard & Poors. This will assure you that if any part of the claims administration process fails the underwriter will directly pick up all claims if needed.

There are also many different levels of coverage available for your vehicle. These levels are Power train, Major Component Plus, High-Tech Component, Component Type Bumper-To-Bumper, or Exclusionary Bumper-To-Bumper coverage. Depending on the age and mileage of the vehicle all or most of these levels could be available. It is important to look through the different levels of coverage for any companies you are considering side-by-side to make sure that you are purchasing the best coverage available for your needs. Do not rely on plan names such as Platinum, Elite, or Gold as they do not always correctly define the level of coverage you are purchasing. Some less than reputable companies will take a very basic plan and label it with a very fancy name. You want to look at the actual list of what is covered to make sure you are getting what you’re paying for.

All in all, an extended car warranty is an excellent investment and can save you thousands of dollars over the term of the coverage. To begin researching the different types of coverage you can visit Auto Advantage and see what the choices are. It is a great idea to fill out the quote request form and let them send you the specifics including coverage details and pricing.

 

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Home Insurance for Protection of Your Most Valuable Asset

Is Home, your most valuable asset? In fact, for most of us, it is. We spend a substantial part of our lifetime’s earnings on a Home. We spend some of the best moments of our lives in our homes. We take all care to ensure that our homes and possessions are protected from any damage or loss. However, mishaps still happen. We can do little about the natural disasters that can potentially cause major damage. Housebreakings are not rare despite us installing best protection equipment with burglars finding ways to outsmart the technology.

Any damage to the exterior or the interiors of our homes or its content can cause emotional and financial distress. There could be many things to fix and replace. As our homes protect us from the heat, dust, rains and many other troubles, it is only fair that we protect our homes from any damage / untoward incidence. In order to protect your home and protecting yourself against any potential losses due to any damage to your home, you need a Home Insurance.

Traditionally, Indian homeowners’ attitude towards Home Insurance has been somewhat indifferent. A Home Insurance has been considered as an avoidable expense in India till recently. However, Home Insurance in India is getting recognized as a crucial protection product after instances of natural disasters in Nepal and India, when many houses were seriously damaged. Thefts have been common for years; however stakes have gone up of late with homeowners’ preferences for high-value gadgets like LED Television Sets, Home Theatre Systems, Air Conditioners and even rare Antiques. Home Insurance plans are designed to protect the insured against a wide range of perils that put them at risk.

A standard Home Insurance not only safeguards the structure of your home but also covers all the belongings and prized possessions collected over the years. A standard Home Insurance cover gives you a chance to choose either the house structure or the household contents in a single policy.

Let’s understand in detail what a standard Home Insurance plan offers:

Fire: A house can catch fire due to many possible reasons. One may forget to switch off the stove or a spark emanating from an electrical appliance may result in something big and devastating. Short-circuits are common in rainy seasons. A Home Insurance plan offers protection against losses due to fire. It can leave a devastating effect. The property structure can become severely damaged, such that you have to rebuild it. In such a situation, a Home Insurance policy pays for the expenses incurred on repair and reconstruction work. With financial support from the Home Insurance policy, you can focus on getting the house back to its original condition.

Theft: Another problem that worries most homeowners is a possibility of theft. A burglary can result in loss of precious contents such as jewelry, documents, and electronic appliances. One can protect against such possibilities by taking optional burglary coverage. This coverage pays out in the event that the home's contents are stolen.

Storm, Flood, Inundation: With rising instances of Flood, inundation in the last few years, Home Insurance is gaining the attention of the homeowners as an important protection product. There have been a number of instances of people have become the victims of natural disasters in which their houses have been damaged to great extent.

Earthquake: One can also opt for an Earthquake coverage which offers compensation if the structure or the contents of the home are damaged due to Earthquake.

Others: One can also opt for a terrorism coverage which offers compensation if the structure or the contents of the home are damaged by acts of terrorism. Home Insurance in India is becoming important with changing dynamics of Home ownership. A house can get damaged due to so a number of external factors beyond the control of the owner. In the case of a serious damage, it may not be possible to restore everything to its original state because of the enormous expenses that it may involve. With Home Insurance, you can make a claim on the policy and recover the expenses arising from the loss.

In the event of a mishap, making a home insurance claim is not complicated. The homeowner needs to fill in the claims form and submit it with relevant documents to the insurance company. All documents supporting your claim must be provided for it to be approved. The insurance company surveyor will scrutinize the loss and the claim and arrive at a compensation based on the replacement cost.

Home insurance quote depends on various factors like if the premise to be insured is rented or owned accommodation, the Type of property (flat or individual house), the age of the property and the coverage type (the structure or the content or both). Coverage amount is the maximum limit that would be paid if some damage occurs to the house. The major factor that determines the coverage amount is reconstruction cost of the house. Reconstruction cost is ascertained by the following formula:

Total constructed area X Construction cost per square feet With a good home insurance in place, you can have complete peace of mind regarding your property investment. In events like damage to your house due to an earthquake and flood/, inundation, you can avail emergency repairs,. Interestingly, the Home Insurance premium is reasonably low in most cases so as not to put extra financial burden on you. Whether you live in a city or a small town, a Home Insurance is becoming essential. If you have invested a substantial amount of your lifetime’s earnings on your home and its contents, then not having a Home Insurance can be risky.

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Be Aware Of Fraudulent Auto Warranties

Purchasing an auto warranty for a car can be risky if you do not know the rules and regulations of the warranty. It is a good idea for car owners to hire a professional car consultant who can help guide them through the entire purchasing process of an auto warranty. If the car owner makes the decision to buy the auto warranty without receiving any assistance, they are more at risk for purchasing a fraudulent warranty.

A fraudulent auto warranty refers to a warranty that comes with a lot of different features and is priced extremely well. However, the seller who provides this warranty will not actually provide the services that are mentioned in the auto warranty. In the used car market, fraudulent auto warranties are very common. Therefore, it is important for consumers who are purchasing used car warranties to proceed with caution.

Due to fraudulent auto warranties, the US administration created a law that will protect consumers. This used car warranty law is referred to as the lemon law.

 

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What You Need to Know to Choose the Best Monitoring Plan

Installing a home security system is essential in order for you to protect your home, family, and valuable possessions. Having a home security system installed affords you the peace of mind you need in order to live without fear for your home’s safety.

However one of the most important things you need to consider when installing a home security system is the type of monitoring plan you wish to have. Here are a few things you should know when you’re trying to find the best monitoring plan for your home security system.

What is Monitoring?

To put it simply, monitoring refers to the way in which your home security system communicates with a device or center which monitors the information it is receiving. Essentially, a monitoring center processes the information to determine what action or steps need to be taken in the event of a security breach.

Types of Monitoring

When it comes to monitoring for home security systems there are generally two different types of monitoring methods: personal and professional. Personal monitoring is very rare and is usually carried out when you’ve purchased and installed a lower grade home security system. This type of monitoring involves all of the information from the home security system being redirected to you directly. That means you have to keep a vigilant eye on what is happening in your home in order to keep on top of things.

If your attention slips and something happens during that time, nothing can be done because you were the monitoring center so to speak. It was your responsibility to identify a threat and report it to the relevant authorities.

As you can see, this type of monitoring is very cumbersome on the homeowner and can prove to be grossly ineffective in most cases.

The other method of monitoring is professional. This means that the alarm company is the one keeping a tab on all the signals that your house is emitting. If there is a security breach or threat, the alarm company will inform the relevant authorities and help will be sent to your home right away. Alarm companies pride themselves on having fast response times which is what makes them so attractive to customers. The faster the response time, the less likely it is that you and your family will incur serious harm, damage, or losses.

Things to Keep in Mind When Looking for a Monitoring Plan

With respect to monitoring plans, they are typically divided into two broad categories: basic and advanced/interactive. The two different plans differ in how much control you are afforded. The general features of the two plans are outlined below.

Basic Monitoring Plans

If you’ve just gotten a home security system, basic monitoring packages are a great way to start out. This is especially true in today’s day and age because now, the more advanced packages require smartphone and tablet use. If you don’t have a smartphone, basic monitoring is perfect for you.

Advanced and Interactive Plans

These plans are a little bit more complex and give you the chance to be more involved with the monitoring process. If you want to be kept in the loop with everything that’s happening in and around your home, these sorts of monitoring plans keep you updated via your smartphone or tablet. You can expect to get texts and alerts as to the status of your home, remote access to various home security features, as well as access to the cameras and sensors if there are any.

What to Expect from any Monitoring Plan

Generally, all monitoring plans have certain key features. Some of these include:

  • 24/7 monitoring and surveillance of your property for everything from break-ins to the state of the environment. This means that your monitoring system is also keeping an eye out for things like excess carbon monoxide, water levels, and smoke.
  • Primary contacts – These are generally two numbers which the alarm company calls first in the event of a security breach or problem.
  • Secondary contacts – If they can’t get in touch with your primary contacts, the company will attempt to get in touch with your secondary contacts. You can give up to five numbers as secondary contacts.
  • Cellular connection – This is the means by which your alarm system forms a connection to the monitoring service. It uses cellular connections as opposed to landlines which aren’t very reliable. A landline can be cut by a burglar to try to cut you off from protection. Cellular connections don’t require wires and are therefore a more reliable way to connect to your monitoring service.

How to Choose Which Monitoring Plan is Best for you

Choosing which monitoring plan is best for you involves a consideration of your personal preferences and circumstances. For instance, are you looking to have more control over what’s happening inside your home when you’re not around or are you comfortable with giving that responsibility solely to the monitoring service?

There are certain cases and situations in which a more interactive/advanced system would be more effective. These include:

  • When your kids are at home alone
  • If you’re going on vacation and want to keep tabs on the house
  • If your elderly parents are living with you and you want to monitor them

In these cases, being able to see and know what’s happening at home while you’re away is very beneficial.

As you can see, what monitoring plan you end up choosing largely depend upon what degree of control you want over the surveillance of your home. If you’re looking to be more involved, an advanced plan is best for you; if not, you can easily settle for a basic plan.

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