Insurance News
August 24, 2017
TOP 10 TIPS: PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM THE FALLOUT OF PERSONAL INJURY

As insurance agents, we’ve seen it all. Take it from us: from broken bones to permanent injuries, the risk of personal injury is real and ever-present in day-to-day life. In this edition of Top 10 Tips, we’ll discuss some methods and best practices for anticipating issues before they can affect you, and how you can go about mitigating virtually any worst-case scenario.

1. What’s the worst that could happen?

So often, accidents happen when our routines are disrupted. For example, imagine it takes you 35 minutes to get to work. One day, an unforeseen road closure forces you to make a U-turn. In your haste to make up lost time, you turn without looking—only to strike the driver behind you, who’s just done the same thing.

  • WEISS AGENCY TIP:

    Such scenarios are avoidable. Make a list of the things you usually do in your day-to-day life. Then, jot down the time (in minutes) you expect each task to take. Next, double that time—the result is how long you should actually allocate to the task to avoid the possibility of frantic, careless injury.

2. Prevention is the best medicine.

By now, you should realize injury doesn’t only happen when you’re doing something out of the ordinary: It’s possible, and in fact probable, during your day-to-day routine. A slip-and-fall accident is possible practically anywhere, particularly where a property owner has been negligent. Likewise, Physical Therapists jokingly refer to weekend warriors as “weakened warriors” due to their proneness to injury.

  • WEISS AGENCY TIP:

    If you bike or walk, plan your routes a few days in advance by driving and observing anything potentially hazardous along the way. If you exercise by, say, playing tennis on the weekends, always hydrate the night before and stretch before and after play.

3. Get to know a good personal injury lawyer.

Sometimes, all the preparation in the world can’t prevent an injury. Ask friends, family or your insurance agent whether they know any good personal injury attorneys.

  • WEISS AGENCY TIP:

    Schedule a one-to-one meeting—verify that the initial consultation is usually free—to understand their fee structures, such as whether they’ll work on a contingency (i.e., they get paid only when if you win the case).

4. Budget for emergencies.

We hear it time-and-time again: Most Americans scarcely have the spare cash for a car repair bill, much less a catastrophic medical emergency. You don’t need to be a statistic.

  • WEISS AGENCY TIP:

    Go into your budget and add a line item for $25 — that’s half-a-tank of gas, for many people — and set up an auto-transfer to your savings account once per month. If you treat it like a bill, you won’t miss it. If you don’t, you could miss it when it’s far, far too late.

5. Calculate the cost of lost time.

No matter your job or rank, it’s important to know your hourly wage. If you’re a salaried W2 employee, divide your weekly paycheck by the hours you typically put in. If you’re a consultant or if you own your own business, think about the rate you typically charge.

  • WEISS AGENCY TIP:

    Assume you work 40 hours per week. Now, imagine if an accident put you of commission 4 weeks (160 hours), 3 months (480 hours), or even a year (2,080 hours). Multiple each of those scenarios by the hourly rate. Could you afford to miss that much money? Even if you could, would you want to?

6. Always have a fail-safe.

You’ve followed steps one through five, and you still find yourself in a position where you’re injured, out of work, and out of cash. What then?

  • WEISS AGENCY TIP:

    If you had the foresight to take out an AFLAC short-term disability policy, or an ERIE disability or long-term care policy, you could have up to 100% of your lost wages and/or revenues. If any of the above sounds like Greek, then it’s time we sit down together!

7. Plan your dive, and dive your plan.

That’s the saying in skydiving and scuba diving. Whether you’re in the air or underwater, the mantra basically means that 50% of a successful dive involves mapping out your course, and sticking to it.

  • WEISS AGENCY TIP:

    The same is true in your day-to-day life: While there’s some romance and appeal to living like a renaissance man, or like a nomad, and it might be tempting to go building castles in the sky or chasing the next shiny thing, know that doing so significantly increases the risk of injury or loss.

8. Understand your rights.

If you’re covered by a disability or long-term care insurance policy, you’re entitled to some important benefits. Your insurance agent can help you understand what those benefits are, and how to go about claiming them.

  • WEISS AGENCY TIP:

    All the more reason it’s important to have a good relationship with a reputable, local insurance group, such as Warren Weiss Agency!

9. Know your weak spots.

This one’s pretty simple: Be the first to admit when you don’t know something. We promise all the ego damage will be well worth it for the risk you minimize.

  • WEISS AGENCY TIP:

    For example, if you’ve got a home improvement job you aren’t handy, don’t even pick up the hammer; instead, call a handyman or a qualified professional to take care of the problem for you. Not only will you save time, you’ll potentially save yourself frustration and the risk of injury.

10. Create good karma today.

As the saying goes, “a friend in need is a friend indeed.” There’s no better way to set yourself up for long-term success than to spend time nurturing critical relationships today.

  • WEISS AGENCY TIP:

    Don’t simply spend time with loved ones and friends: find ways to give back to them and show them how much you mean to them. Likewise, try to either create one new relationship—by joining a networking group, for example—or rekindling an old one. If you do either at least once per month, you’ll be amazed at the network you’ve built up, and all the good things that begin to come back to roost.

How well did you do with this edition of Top 10 Tips? Call us or contact us for more tips, or to schedule your Risk-Free Assessment™.

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