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Sr. Public Relations Specialist, MD
O: (410) 616-1900 (ext. 4361153)
C: (443) 244-7253
TOWSON, MD (July 24, 2018) –– As the morning commute brought an abundance of rain-related vehicle crashes, AAA Mid-Atlantic is providing refresher driving tips, particularly as more heavy rain is in the forecast for this evening’s commute home.
Additionally, with downed trees and flooding impacting our region, the auto club provides home and auto insurance coverage and claims tips.
“Many drivers tend to be less cautious in rain than they should be, as this type of weather is often viewed more of a nuisance than a safety hazard,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, Public and Government Affairs Manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Motorists need to re-adjust their driving habits for wet weather, which includes slowing down, keeping a safe distance from the car in front of you, and avoiding driving through standing water.”
The auto club offers five key tips for driving in the rain:
Slow down, increase following distance, brake early and drive with greater caution and alertness. Drivers are more likely to lose control of the vehicle when roads are wet so reduce speed and keep your eyes and mind on the road. Increase following distance with the vehicle in front of you and brake early, but not hard, to allow the time needed to slow the car down.
Turn on headlights. When windshield wipers are in use, headlights must be turned on. It’s the law in Maryland and surrounding states for a reason – allows motorists to see and be seen during inclement weather.
Use the central lanes. When driving during heavy rain, use center lanes of the road (without straddling the yellow line). Avoid outside lanes where the water collects at curbside.
Watch for hydroplaning. No car is immune from hydroplaning on wet surfaces, including four-wheel drive vehicles. Even if brakes work under normal conditions that doesn’t mean they will react the same on slippery roads where tires roll with less traction. Also, turn off cruise control as it can cause hydroplaning.
Turn Around, Don’t Drown! As little as six inches of water can cause you to lose control of your car and potentially stall your engine. Do not attempt to drive through flooded roads. No matter how shallow the water may appear, it may be deeper than expected, and may be concealing downed power lines. Turn around; find another way to get to your destination.
AAA’s Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education offers additional wet weather driving tips here.
Weather-related damage that is covered by auto and homeowners insurance:
Physical damage to a car caused by flooding or fallen tree limbs is covered under the optional comprehensive portion of an auto policy.
If your tree falls on your house, your insurance will cover removal of the tree and home repairs due to damage.
If your tree falls on your neighbor’s house, your neighbor’s homeowner’s policy would provide insurance coverage. The same holds true if your neighbor’s tree falls on your home; you would file a claim with your own insurance company.
If a tree falls in your yard, but doesn’t hit anything, you would pay for its removal in most cases.
Additionally, if a tree on your property is weak, damaged, or decayed, but you do nothing about it, and it crashes down on a neighbor’s home (or vehicle), you could be held liable for damages.
Wind-related damage to a house, its roof, its contents and other insured structures on the property is covered under standard homeowner’s insurance policies. Wind-driven rain that causes an opening in the roof or wall and enters through this opening is also covered.
Damage to a house and its contents caused by a collapse is covered under standard homeowners insurance policies.
For homeowners who experienced damage to cars, homes or property, AAA Insurance recommends these tips to help the claims process go smoothly:
Take appropriate immediate and temporary measures to prevent further damage. If you do make minor repairs before an insurance adjuster arrives, save receipts to submit for reimbursement.
Call your insurance agent or company immediately. Be prepared with a list of questions ahead of time: Am I covered? Does my claim exceed my deductible? How long will it take to process my claim? Will I need to obtain estimates for repairs to structural damage?
If your home is damaged to the extent you cannot live there, find out if you have coverage for additional living expenses for accommodations while repairs are completed. If you do stay at a hotel, keep your receipts for reimbursement.
Schedule a time for an adjuster to inspect the damage to your property.
Prepare a list of lost or damaged articles. Avoid throwing out damaged items until the adjuster has visited. Consider photographing or videotaping the damage.
Get claim forms. Insurance companies will send required claim forms by a specified time period. Be sure to completely fill out the form and return promptly to avoid delays
Among the services being provided by AAA Mid-Atlantic:
AAA Insurance customers who have suffered damage to their homes or autos can begin filing claims immediately. Claims representatives are ready to assist 24 hours a day. The number is (888) 222-0086. If not insured through AAA Insurance, please contact your insurance provider.
For more insurance tips on coverage, claims and storm preparation, visit AAA.com/Insurance.
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8600 LaSalle Road, Ste 639
Towson, MD 21286
AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than 937,000 members in Maryland. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit AAA.com.
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