01/21/16 at 8:29amUninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Make sure you have both. Your Geico policy many not contain both UM and UIM coverage.

Not all automobile insurance policies are equal.  When buying automobile liability insurance, it is important to make sure your policy provides not only liability insurance but also both uninsured (UM) and underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage. These two types of insurance coverage are very important because they protect you. This is so because if you are seriously injured and the driver who hit you either has no insurance or minimal coverage, you can look to your own insurance company. In other words, uninsured and underinsured insurance compensates a policyholder when the at-fault driver does not have insurance or has an insufficient amount of auto liability insurance.


 As of 2013, at least twenty three states require uninsured motorist coverage (UM): Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, NebraskaNew Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, VermontVirginiaWest Virginia, Wyoming. 


In addition to requiring UM coverage, at least fourteen states also require underinsured motorist coverage (UIM): Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.


If your state does not require both UM and UIM coverage, your insurance policy may not provide you with both UM and UIM insurance.  For example, Wyoming only requires drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage.  In Wyoming, Geico apparently sells some insurance policies that only provide uninsured motorist coverage.  Other insurance companies in Wyoming sell policies that provide both UM and UIM coverage.


Uninsured Motorist Coverage


Uninsured motorist coverage protects you in the event the person who caused the wreck doesn't have auto insurance. If you have uninsured motorist coverage you can make a claim against your own insurance company pursuant to your own UM coverage.  You will also be covered if you are hit by a stolen car, or by a "hit and run" driver.



Underinsured Motorist Coverage


Many drivers do not carry enough insurance.  Pennsylvania, for example, only requires drivers to have $15,000.00 in liability insurance.  Wyoming only requires $25,000.00 in liability insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage is different than uninsured motorist coverage. Underinsurance is intended pay if you suffer more damage than is covered by the at-fault driver's liability insurance.

If the driver who hits you does not have enough insurance coverage, you will be the one who has to foot the bill unless you have enough UIM coverage.

Never buy an automobile insurance policy that does not have both UM and UIM coverage.  If you already have an automobile liability policy. do not wait until you are in a wreck to make sure you have both UM and UIM coverage. The kinds and amounts of coverage you have will be set forth on your insurance policy’s declaration sheet. or you can call your insurance agent.

Umbrella Coverage

When purchasing an umbrella insurance policy, it is important to also make sure the umbrella also provides both UM and UIM coverage in addition to liability coverage.


07/30/15 at 1:25pmStroller Recall

Recall -- UPPAbaby 2015 CRUZ , 2015 VISTA strollers and 2015 RumbleSeat


The UPPAbaby 2015 CRUZ, 2015 VISTA strollers and 2015 RumbleSeat have been recalled.  These strollers’ and RumbleSeats’ bumper bars pose a choking hazard when a child bites the foam covering of the bumper bar.  If you have one of these recalled strollers and/or BumbleSeat, you might want to return it to the retailer.



See http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2015/UPPAbaby-Recalls-Strollers-and-RumbleSeats/

07/28/15 at 7:13amDefective Olympus Corporation’s Endoscope

Deadly Infection Caused by a Defective Product

A Southfield, MI woman died after contracting a deadly infection while being treated in a hospital.  Her treatment required the use of an Olympus endoscope.  These endoscopes are extremely difficult to clean even if the manufacturer’s instructions are carefully followed.


An endoscope is a medical instrument used to examine and treat an illness inside a person's body.  It is a medical device consisting of a long, thin tube that has a light and a video camera. Endoscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic medical procedure.


The endoscope used for this procedure was contaminated with a deadly infection (CRE bacteria). If CRE bacteria reach the bloodstream, the mortality rate runs close to 50 percent. CRE is transmitted by direct contact with skin, contaminated feces or instruments used in hospitals.


If your doctor recommends endoscopy, you may want to ask if he or she is going to use an Olympus endoscope.

07/02/15 at 2:00pmAirbag Recalls Drastically Expanded

Toyota, Honda and Nissan are expanding their airbag recalls.  These recalls include millions of additional cars and SUVs.  According to Automotive News, Toyota is now recalling more that 5 million additional vehicles.  Nissan’s latest recall includes nearly 1.56 million cars world-wide including 326,000 in North America.  Nissan has not released the models yet but is expected to do so soon.  Honda likewise has not yet disclosed the specific models but apparently none of its cars are in the United States.


Toyota is replacing the driver's side front inflators on 160,000 of its 2004 and 2005 RAV4s nationwide. Toyota is also going to swap out the front passenger side parts for 177,000 units of the 2003 and 2004 Tundra and Sequoia. It is also expanding its regional recalls in high-humidity areas to include the passenger-side inflators of 300,000 more vehicles. In addition, the 2005-2006 Tundra is included in this most recent Toyota recall. All of the states that are covered by this campaign are listed in Toyota's announcement that can be found at:



07/02/15 at 1:52pmChevy Malibu Recall

General Motors Recalls 469K Chevrolet Malibus For Seat Belt Failure.

On Tuesday, May 12th, General Motors recalled nearly 469,000 Chevrolet Malibu sedans from 2011 and 2012 for seatbelt repairs.  According to the automaker, the seat belt that holds the seat belt to the vehicle’s frame can wear and separate, preventing the seatbelt from restraining passengers or drivers in the event of a collision.  GM has stated that it is only aware of one minor injury and 36 claims related to this defective seatbelt.

Please check to see if your vehicle has been recalled. If it has, it’s very important to take the vehicle into the dealership to be repaired.  Defective seatbelts can be very dangerous.

06/18/15 at 9:36amFord Motor Company Recall

Recall of Ford Motor Company’s Aluminum-Bodied F-150 Pickup Trucks

On May 12, 2015, Ford Motor Company issued its second recall for the all-new aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup truck.  It is recalling approximately 12,300 trucks because of a faulty upper I-shaft that could separate and cause a loss of steering.  The I-shafts were apparently improperly riveted and need to be replaced.  This recall is the second one for the new F-150 pickup truck.  In April, Ford notified owners of 2015 F-150s of improperly installed or missing underbody heat shields.

05/07/15 at 3:49pmZofran prescribed for morning sickness

Many children whose mothers took Zofran during their pregnancy for nausea are suffering from serious birth defects.

  • Heart defects
  • Musculoskeletal anomalies
  • Mouth deformities
  • Jaundice

Unfortunately, even though the use of Zofran poses serious birth defect risks, the FDA has not pulled it from the shelves.  Frequently, Zofran has been prescribed off label for morning sickness.

Lawsuits against GlaxoSmithKline are increasing in number.  For example, a complaint filed on February 16th in a U.S. District Court in Massachusetts alleges GSK was fully aware of lab studies that indicated a link to intrauterine deaths and malformations in animals that were administered Zofran. The plaintiff claims as a consequence of using Zofran during her pregnancy her daughter was born with birth defects.

If you are pregnant, think twice before taking Zofran for nausea.  The risk to the developing fetus appears to be significant.  If you took Zofran during pregnancy and your baby suffers from serious birth defects, your child may be entitled to compensation to make up for the loss and costs. 

05/01/15 at 3:14pmSemi Truck Fires


People who are involved in a collision with a tractor-trailer often survive the initial impact only to face another terrifying hazard: flames engulfing their vehicle. This is because a number of tractor manufacturers place unprotected 150-gallon aluminum gas tanks outside the tractor frame on each side of the truck just below the driver and passenger doors. The fuel tanks are about the same height as the front bumper of a passenger vehicle, creating a high risk of fire when they are struck during a collision. When struck, the gas tank’s thin membrane is easily punctured, causing a fuel leak. Then a spark can ignite the fuel.

These defective vehicles pose an unreasonable danger of fire and explosion. Sadly, incidents of tractor-trailer fuel tanks exploding during accidents occur all too often. For example, on April 1, 2015, a semi driver, from East Peoria, Illinois, was on the highway when he drove the tractor-trailer into a guardrail and bridge post. The tractor burst into flames and was destroyed. Safer designs do exist, and truck manufacturers have a responsibility to manufacture vehicles that are safely designed.

04/23/15 at 2:30pmMedical Malpractice

Informed Patients Can Help Prevent Medical Errors

More people die each year from medical malpractice than from workplace injuries.

“Preventable medical errors persist as the No. 3 killer in the U.S. – third only to heart disease and cancer – claiming the lives of some 400,000 people each year. At a Senate hearing Thursday, patient safety officials put their best ideas forward on how to solve the crisis, with IT often at the center of discussions.” “Deaths by Medical Mistakes Hit Records, July 18, 2014.

* * *

It's not just the 1,000 deaths per day that should be huge cause for alarm, noted Joanne Disch, RN, clinical professor at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, who also spoke before Congress. There's also the 10,000 serious complications cases resulting from medical errors that occur each day.


So what can you do to help prevent medical errors?

1. Choose a good doctor and really get to know him/her. Even if you have to choose a doctor from your insurance company’s list, ask your friends and co-employees who they see before choosing a doctor.

2. Use the Internet to research doctors before making an appointment. Check to see if the physician has been disciplined or formally accused of wrongdoing by a medical board; has had his/her practice temporarily restricted of suspended pursuant to a court order; or has been disciplined by a medical board of another state or federal governmental agency. For Wyoming doctors check the following website for disciplinary actions: http://wyomedboard.wyo.gov/consumers/alphabetical-disciplinary-action-list

3. Understand the medications you are taking and why. Many people are over medicated. When picking up a new prescription, ask the pharmacist if it should not be taken with the medications you are currently taking. Double check to see if you have been given the correct drug. Look up all your medications on the Internet to determine what they are supposed to treat and what the side effects are.

4. Make a list of the medications and the dosages you are taking. Take this list with you to all of your doctor appointments.

5. Be curious when talking to your doctor. Ask questions and ask more questions. Have your doctor write down the diagnosis if there is one and when you get home research this medical condition on the internet.

6. Make a list of your questions. Take your list of questions with you when you go to see your doctor.

7. Consider getting a second opinion.

8. Don’t take chances with surgery. Make sure everyone on your medical team,
surgeons, nurses and the anesthesiologist knows what your surgery is for and
where (which knee, which side of your face, neck, etc.) Ask them to mark the
correct area before they wheel you into the operating room.

9. Medications in the hospital. When hospitalized, never allow a nurse to give you medication either orally or in your IV until you find out what medication you were receiving.

10. Think hard before refusing a caesarian section your doctor says you need. Waiting because you want to deliver naturally may result in serious injuries to your child.

11. Take someone with you. A friend will be able to recall what your doctor had to say. If you are hospitalized, it is important to have someone there with you to make sure the hospital staff and your doctor are taking care of you.

12. Get a copy of your medical records. Keep a file containing all of your medical records.

13. Get a copy of your health insurance plan and read it carefully so you know what is covered and what is not.

14. Like your doctor. Think twice before you continue seeing a doctor you do not like or a doctor who does not like you and will not answer your questions.

15. Don’t hide your medical past. Your medical team needs to have important information including your family medical history.

04/09/15 at 3:24pmKnee Replacement Recall

Knee replacement device recalled -- Zimmer's Persona Trabecular Metal Tibial Plate/ Persona TM

On March 12, 2015, the knee replacement implant component Zimmer's Persona Trabecular Metal Tibial Plate/ Persona TM was voluntarily recalled due to reports of radiolucent lines and loosening. See the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) website.  The A Class 2 recall designation indicates this knee replacement product "may cause temporary or medically reversible adverse health consequences or where the probability of serious adverse health consequences is remote," according to the notification.   This notification also indicates all lots and sizes are affected and over 11,000 Persona tibia devices are on the market.  You should contact your physician if you have one of these defective devices.


For more information see: http://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/15/04/p5381925/federal-regulators-deem-a-recall-of-the-zimmer-persona-knee-replacement#ixzz3WpUoliIj

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