In This Issue

Tip Sheet

July 1, 2008

Ask an Expert: Does it matter who's driving?

Q: Am I covered if someone else is driving my car?

A: The quick answer to this question is yes. As long as you’ve given the person permission to drive your vehicle, Erie Insurance will provide liability protection.

But, there are exceptions. If there are any exclusions, limitations, or conditions in your policy jacket or policy endorsements, then you might not have coverage. For example, if a specific person or a vehicle is excluded from your private passenger policy, then there would not be coverage if a loss resulted from that person driving the vehicle.

The best idea is to talk with your ERIE agent about this question, and let them know who might be driving your car. At Di Salvatore Insurance Agency, we talk to all of our customers about who might be driving the car, and we want everyone accounted for when we write and renew policies. That way, you know who is included and excluded right off the bat.

-Marian Miklacic
Di Salvatore Insurance Agency
Ashtabula, Ohio

Have a question for an insurance expert? Let us know. E-mail us at or send us a letter.

Avoid hitch glitch

Travel safely with objects in tow

Taking your boat out to the lake? Hauling your camper for a weekend in the wilderness? Before you hitch up and head out, keep these safety tips in mind.

  • Check the tire pressure, lug nuts and bolts on the vehicle and trailer.
  • Be sure the hitch, coupler and draw bar are connected, secured and adjusted as needed.
  • Make sure that the wiring is properly connected and that all lights and signals are working.
  • Make sure that the brakes on the vehicle and trailer are working.
  • Check the load distribution to make sure the vehicle and trailer are balanced.
  • Be sure you have good visibility with all mirrors.

From The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Save on your homeowner insurance

Tips for reducing premium

Everyone wants to save a buck or two. Spend a few minutes reviewing your home insurance coverage and you could curb as much as 25 percent from your homeowners premium. Here are a few money-saving tips:

  1. Increase your deductibles—The higher your deductible, the more you can save. Before you make any changes, carefully consider what you can afford to pay in the event that a loss occurs.
  2. Consider purchasing other policies—Insuring both your home and auto through Erie Insurance can save you as much as 15 percent on both premiums. You can save up to an additional 5 percent on both premiums if you purchase a qualifying permanent, term, or universal life policy through Erie Family Life.*
  3. Make your home safer—Equipping your home with a smoke alarm, burglary alarm system or sprinkler system could mean discounts on your homeowners policy.
  4. Evaluate the value of your possessions—Once a year, check the value of your belongings to see if they have changed and update your insurance accordingly. For example, maybe the fur coat you bought 10 years ago isn’t worth the same amount that your insurance is currently covering it for.
  5. Monitor your credit report—Having a solid credit history can help your insurance premiums. Check your credit record on a regular basis and have any errors corrected promptly so that your record remains accurate. Some ways to protect your credit standing are to pay your bills on time, obtain only the credit you need and keep your credit balances as low as possible.
  6. Inquire about other discounts—Many insurers like ERIE offer Policyholders discounts for purchasing a new home or discount rates based on your age. So go a head and ask. It can’t hurt!
  7. Be loyal—the longer you’re with ERIE, the greater the savings.

*Erie Family Life insurance not available in New York

Speedy nation

Studies show Americans like to speed

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the United States tends to break the law when it comes to speeding. And, the higher the speed limit, the more we break it.

After studying several metropolitan and rural areas, they found that when speed limits were posted at 65 mph, 19 percent of passenger vehicles sped by more than 5 mph. When the limits were posted at 70 mph, 35 percent broke the limit by the same amount or more.

Why worry about it? The Institute has shown that faster speeds increase the frequency and severity of crashes and help push up crash rates. Speeding contributed to about 32 percent of U.S. crash deaths in 2006, resulting in more than 13,500 fatalities.

Keep your keys close

Extra protection from ordinary objects

Since most of today’s car keys come with alarm systems built into the fob, you can use your car keys for a little extra security. Keep your car keys by your bedside at night and you’ll have a quick alarm nearby. If you hear something unusual, grab the keys and hit the panic button. The loud noise and flashing lights from your vehicle’s alarm system should stop mischief in its tracks and let others nearby know that you might need help.

-Tip of the month from Eshenbaugh Insurance Agency in West Sunbury, Pa.


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