Personal Insurance

10 best and worst U.S. cities for driving in bad winter weather

Certain cities are safer when factoring rainy, icy, or snowy winter weather conditions into collision frequency. These are the top 10 safest and most hazardous cities to drive in during bad weather based on the 2015 Allstate America's Best Drivers Report. 

Safest:

1. Kansas City, KS: 39.1 inches of precipitation, 24.8% less likely to crash

2. Cape Coral, FL: 55.9 inches of precipitation, 21% less likely to crash

3. Brownsville, TX: 27.4 inches of precipitation, 24.6% less likely to crash

4. Boise, ID: 11.73 inches of precipitation, 23.5% less likely to crash

5. Madison, WI: 37.3 inches of precipitation, 18.2% less likely to crash

6. Huntsville, AL: 54.3 inches of precipitation, 14.7% less likely to crash

7. Fort Collins, CO: 15 inches of precipitation, 21.1% less likely to crash

8. Port Saint Lucie, FL: 63.7 inches of precipitation, 11.8% less likely to crash

9. Cary, NC: 47.4 inches of precipitation, 13.8% less likely to crash

10. Montgomery, AL: 52.8 inches of precipitation, 12.4% less likely to crash

 

Most Dangerous:

1. Boston, MA: 43.8 inches of precipitation, 157.7% more likely to crash

2. Worcester, MA: 48.1 inches of precipitation, 120.7% more likely to crash

3. Baltimore, MD: 42.4 inches of precipitation, 113.9% more likely to crash

4. Washington, D.C.: 43.5 inches of precipitation, 106.3% more likely to crash

5. Springfield, MA: 44.7 inches of precipitation, 93.1% more likely to crash

6. Providence, RI: 47.2 inches of precipitation, 87.4% more likely to crash

7. Glendale, CA: 23.3 inches of precipitation, 79.4% more likely to crash

8. Los Angeles, CA: 13.9 inches of precipitation, 63.3.% more likely to crash

9. San Francisco, CA: 38.3 inches of precipitation, 65% more likely to crash

10. Philadelphia, PA: 48.5 inches of precipitation, 64.4% more likely to crash

Traveling at slower speeds, allowing yourself more time to get to your destination, and increasing your following distance while driving can lower your risk of collision in bad weather conditions.

Read more here.

NASA develops online tool to predict floods

What does this mean for the future?

If you’ve ever been a victim of flooding after a serious storm or horrified watching video of people, homes and property being swept away, you’ll be pleased to learn that the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has developed a new computer tool known as the Global Flood Monitoring System (GFMS), which maps flood conditions worldwide. Users anywhere in the world can access the system online to determine when flood waters might impact their communities.

“On our global interactive map, you can zoom into a location of interest to see whether the water is at flood stage, receding, or rising,” explains the University of Maryland’s Robert Adler, who developed the system with colleague Huan Wu. “You can also look around to see whether there is a rain event upstream, whether the rain is over, and how the water is moving downstream.”

GFMS works 24/7, even when there is cloud cover or other interference. "At times, our system might be the only way people can get information," says Adler.

Click here to read the full article and watch the video on how the GFMS works!

12 home theft prevention tips for traveling homeowners

What do you need to do to prevent break-ins while you are away from the home?

Summer is a popular time for vacations, weekend trips and even day trips, which means homes remain empty while their occupants are out having fun. Not surprisingly, the highest percentage of burglaries happen during the summer months.

According to American Modern Insurance Group, 30% of all burglaries occur as a result of something as simple as an open or unlocked window or door. Even if you feel your neighborhood is safe, empty homes are more vulnerable to theft.

The good news is, home theft is preventable. American Modern offers the following 12 tips for homeowners to help them take the proper steps and measures to secure their homes.

If you know you are going to be away from your home this summer, follow these 12 easy steps to securing your home and personal belongings.

Click here to read more!

Dog bites, injuries cost more than $500 million annually

Dog bites, and other dog-related injuries, accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claim dollars paid out in 2014, costing in excess of $530 million, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and State Farm, the largest writer of homeowners insurance in the United States.

An analysis of homeowners insurance data by the I.I.I. found that while the number of dog bite claims nationwide decreased 4.7% in 2014, the average cost per claim for the year was up 15%. The average cost paid out for dog bite claims nationwide was $32,072 in 2014, compared with $27,862 in 2013.

“The average cost per claim nationally has risen more than 67% from 2003 to 2014, due to increased medical costs as well as the size of settlements, judgments and jury awards given to plaintiffs, which are still on the upswing,” said Loretta Worters, vice president with the I.I.I.

The study noted that California continued to have the largest number of claims in the U.S. at 1,867. Ohio had the second highest number of claims at 1,009. While New York had only the third highest number of claims at 965, it registered the highest average cost per claim in the country: a startling $56,628. The trend in higher costs per claim is attributable not simply to dog bites but also to dogs knocking down children, cyclists, the elderly, etc., all of which can result in fractures and other blunt force trauma injuries that impact the potential severity of the losses.