Equine Insurance and Horse Insurance

Why That Warranty You Bought Might Be Worthless

November 9th, 2018 by Fry

This article is from Scambusters Newsletter and may provide valuable information – especially as we are looking into buying high-ticket items during Black Friday season.  Did you know that some retailers start their Black Friday pricing in early November?
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Do you feel confused, bamboozled and even suspicious when anyone utters the word “warranty” to you? Or, when a letter or email arrives saying your warranty is about to expire?

You are not alone. Warranties are supposed to protect you against faults with products you bought. But sometimes they’re like a license to print money for whoever’s offering them.

For instance, did you know that, according to Consumer Reports magazine, retailers and manufacturers who offer “extended warranties” — sometimes referred to as service contracts, a type of insurance that kicks in after a standard warranty expires — pocket 50% of the fee you pay?

That’s one reason why the magazine says you’re better off putting money aside every month to cover faults and repairs, rather than buying a warranty.

With domestic appliances, for example, the publication found that even when a consumer had to pay for repairs themselves, the cost was only on average $26 more than a service contract fee. And bear in mind most consumers don’t suffer a product fault or failure.

(It’s worth reading the magazine’s full report, which you’ll find here: https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/extended-warranties/buying-guide/index.htm)

In some cases too, warranties or service contracts are a downright scam, especially when whoever issued them refuses to honor them, either ignoring claims or using small print to wriggle out of their legal commitment.

In one example, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has come down on companies who said they wouldn’t honor warranties if the consumer either used a non-branded part or an unauthorized repair shop, or if the “warranty” seal on the product was broken.

Those restrictions are illegal says the FTC.

More recently, the agency has addressed confusion about the difference between regular and extended warranties, or service contracts.

The cost of a standard warranty usually is included in the price of the product you buy and is covered by the manufacturer. But you usually have to pay for an extended warranty or service contract, which may be issued by an insurer, other third party, or the original manufacturer themselves.

Oftentimes, a sales person will use high-pressure tactics to try to force you into buying the extended coverage at the time you make your initial purchase, warning that the deal won’t be available afterwards and implying you’d be foolish to miss out. That’s because they get paid commission for selling them.

In some cases, the contract you buy might cover exactly the same period of time your manufacturer’s warranty does. Or they may just cover part of the product. Either way, you’re pouring money down the drain.

Other times, you receive an official-looking warranty expiry/renewal notice in the mail, which is actually just sent out on spec to random consumers, when the issuer really has no idea when the product warranty they’re writing about — usually a car — finishes.

Whoever sent it often adds to the buy-now pressure by including a list of the high costs of having to pay for repairs yourself.

If you fall for this, again, you might be duplicating coverage you already have or, in a worst case scenario, just handing over money for nothing to a scammer.

Consumer champion and broadcaster Clark Howard reported this past August that these dubious vehicle service contract (VSC) providers “often go bust and leave their customers high and dry when repair bills need to be paid.”

And he draws attention to small print get-out clauses in one sample bill which insisted consumers making a claim first had to pay a deductible out of their own pockets. They were also required to produce every single receipt showing they had followed recommended service requirements before the policy would pay out.

He suggests that if you can cover the cost of repairs from your own wallet, you should never buy one of these contracts. If money is likely to be an issue, only consider buying coverage from the manufacturer, never from a third party.

We’d also like to add that you should never buy an extended warranty or service contract without first reading it, including the tedious small print, looking particularly for get-out clauses.

And if you’re thinking about buying an official extended warranty on a new auto from the dealer, think twice.

First, this may not be from the manufacturer but just another third-party warranty company. Check who the warranty is from. If it’s not the maker, ask the dealer if the manufacturer offers an extended warranty.

Just as important, bear in mind that the reliability of new cars these days means that claims are rarely made on an extended auto warranty, which often cost a couple thousand dollars. It’s easy money for the seller but not for you.

Holiday Hours for Fry’s Equine Insurance announced

November 2nd, 2018 by Fry

Fry’s Equine Insurance announces holiday hours for 2018:

Thanksgiving, we will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 22nd and 23rd.

Christmas, we will be closed Monday and Tuesday, December 24th and 25th.

New Years, we will be working Monday morning 9-12 on December 31st and closed on January 1st.

If an emergency comes up, our agent-on-call can be reached at insurehorses@gmail.com – this email is good anytime the office is closed (after hours, holidays, weekends).

We highly recommend that you have your policy information on hand in case you need to contact claims immediately (in the event of an emergency with your horse).

Beware Flooded Cars in Resale Market

November 1st, 2018 by Fry

CarFax estimates that 480,000 vehicles were flooded and have found their way back onto roads and dealer lots after hurricanes Florence and Michael hit the United States. The five cities with the most flooded cars on the market include Houston, New York City, Miami, Philadelphia, and Dallas. Consumers are cautioned to look for obvious water damage to upholstery and carpeting, and have a used car inspected by a trusted mechanic before buying. Vehicle identification numbers also can be run through a title-search service to determine if a vehicle has been reported as being flooded or salvaged. CarFax is also letting consumers check to see if any used vehicles they’re considering were reported as previously flooded at carfax.com/flood.

Information from the PIA National Newsletter

Credit freeze vs lock from Scambuster Newsletter

October 18th, 2018 by Fry

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No-Cost Credit Freezes Step Up Battle to Beat ID Thieves
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Hardly a week goes by these days without news of a data breach that’s resulted in thousands or even millions of confidential records being stolen by hackers.

That makes it more important than ever to know what to do to protect yourself — and top of your list should be knowing how to implement a credit freeze or security freeze with the big three credit reporting agencies.

A freeze restricts outside access to your personal credit record with each of the agencies.

At the same time, people who are concerned about the security of their data can also place a fraud alert on their records, which requires banks and other lenders to check with you before opening accounts in your name.

Banks, other financial institutions, and other businesses offering credit always check a person’s record and credit score with these agencies before lending money.

If the record is frozen, they’ll tell the lender who won’t get the information they need, and whoever made the application won’t get their money. If you happen to be the borrower, you can temporarily lift the freeze to get your money.

In the past, freezing credit tended to be a somewhat complicated process and, in some cases, a costly one too since in many states you would have to pay fees too.

The credit agencies themselves — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — have recently simplified the process. And now the charges have just been swept away — making it free to freeze (and unfreeze) your account.

Technically, what’s happened is that the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act has come into force.

This allows consumers to freeze their credit with the agencies without charge. You can also freeze the credit record of your children aged under 16; those with power of attorney or guardianships over others can do the same.

Previously, too, you could place a fraud alert on your credit report for up to 90 days. This has now been extended to a full year — and it’s possible to extend the alert for up to seven years.

Special arrangements for those undertaking military service, in the form of “active duty alerts,” also include removing your name from marketing lists for pre-screened credit card offers for two years.

To freeze access to your records, you still have to contact each of the agencies separately (details below) and they have to put the freeze in place within 24 hours of your phoning them or requesting the freeze online. If you want to unfreeze the records, they have to do it within an hour (during normal business hours).

If you request the freeze or unfreeze by mail, they must act within three days after receiving your request.

You can also ask for a temporary unfreeze for a specified period, again without paying a fee.

“Suppose consumers concerned about identity theft decide to freeze their credit,” the FTC explains. “Fast forward a few months and their furnace is on the fritz or they’re shopping for a new refrigerator.

“To finance a purchase, they’ll need to lift the freeze on their credit. Under the old system, depending on the circumstances, that could take several days. (Now) that has to happen within an hour. The good news for consumers and businesses: a quicker, easier system that puts consumers at the controls.”

With fraud alerts, the process is even simpler — you only have to tell one of the agencies and they must pass the information on to the other two.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), identity theft was the second biggest category of consumer complaints last year.

The Commission points out that a freeze is not the same as a “lock.”

“They work in similar ways,” it says, “but locks may have monthly fees. If you want a free freeze guaranteed by federal law, then opt for a freeze, not a lock.”

In fact, Consumer Reports magazine recently reported that the agencies were “pushing consumers to lock their credit” instead of freezing it by citing convenience and, in some cases, offering special deals.

It’s true that a lock can be activated or lifted instantly using a smartphone app.

However, says the publication, a freeze is the better option because its promise of protection is guaranteed by law.

It quoted an attorney from the National Consumer Law Center as pointing out: “Because security freezes are now covered by Federal law, if something goes wrong — for example, if credit accounts are fraudulently accessed anyway — consumers will be protected from any financial liability. With locks, it’s not clear who would be liable.”

Here are the contact details for the three agencies:

Equifax
Equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services
800-685-1111

Experian
Experian.com/help
888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742)

TransUnion
TransUnion.com/credit-help
888-909-8872

The Commission has also issued guidance for businesses on understanding and working with the new credit freeze laws. The page includes links to other information about the credit agencies. Find it here: https://tinyurl.com/FTC-biz

information from:  Internet Scambusters, The #1 Publication on Internet Fraud, http://www.scambusters.org
By Scambuster Keith, Issue #827  October 17, 2018

It’s the season for deer crashes

October 11th, 2018 by Fry

Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman reminds drivers this is the time of year when they are most likely to be involved in a deer-related crash. “Fall is breeding season for deer, and they may be less aware of their surroundings. Deer also often travel in groups, so if you see one deer, there are often more nearby,” Altman advises.

According to an annual survey conducted by State Farm, the cost of the average encounter with deer, elk, moose and caribou has risen $162, to $4,341. The good news is that car crashes with these four-legged creatures have gone down during the last year by about 10,000, to 1.33 million.

 

This information is from the PIA National Newsline.  Please be careful when driving.

Liability insurance – do you need it?

September 27th, 2018 by Fry

You own a horse that you board away from home.  The boarding facility is professional and takes necessary precautions to ensure they are running a top-notch program.  They also have insurance.  Do you need insurance as well?

The answer is Yes!

It is important that the boarding facility carries a liability policy for their equine operation but that policy protects them in the event of a claim.  You, as the horse owner, also could get named in a claim even if you weren’t present at the time of the incident.  In order to get removed from the law suit, you will need to hire an attorney.  This is why you need liability insurance for yourself.

A typical policy will run about $275 for the year — a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Give us a call to discuss your liability needs.  We’d be happy to give you a quote.  If you need quotes for mortality/medical, we can help with that too.  Give Ron Johnson a call at 614-875-3755.

Alert of the week from Scambusters

September 5th, 2018 by Fry

Would you buy a “winning” lottery ticket that someone offered you at a discount price?

We hope not because almost certainly it’s a fraud, even though the seller may provide a good reason why he/she supposedly wants to sell rather than make a claim.

Crooks are experts at altering non-winning tickets and scratch cards to look like they have the correct numbers, and have been doing just that, most recently in North Carolina.

Just buy your ticket or card from authorized outlets only and then let Lady Luck do the rest!

Welcome to our Blog

August 27th, 2018 by Fry

Fry’s Equine Insurance will start our blog.  We hope to bring you interesting information and product news.

If you have any questions about equine insurance, please contact us at 614-875-3711.  We are happy to take the time to answer questions and help you find the right policies for your needs.

We have policies designed for the horse owner (mortality/medical, liability in case your horse hurts someone else or damages their property), the professional (trainer, instructor), and the farm owner (boarding, lessons, training, sales).

Email us using our contact form or Info@FrysEquineInsurance.com or call us at 614-875-3711.