4 Key Elements of Risk Management for Car & Pickup Owners

November 7, 2023

car insurance risk managementOwning a vehicle is so conventional and everyday that most of us rarely think of the financial responsibility…and risk…we take on every minute that our vehicles are on the road.

We can manage that risk by being proactive in identifying the things that can go wrong and taking steps to mitigate them. We insurance agents call that “risk management.” You may think that is a corporate thing. A worry for big business, not just a person who owns a car or pickup.

But by implementing effective risk management strategies, you can safeguard your investment in your vehicles, protect yourself and your loved ones from serious harm, and ensure peace of mind.

So let’s have a quick look at four elements of risk management for car and pickup truck owners.

1. Animals, Especially Deer
Let’s start with deer. During this time of year, October through December, the deer population increases dramatically. We’re sure you’ve noticed this with deer on the side or crossing Utica area roads and in our own backyards.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), from July 2022 to June 2023 there were an estimated 1.8 million collisions with animals in the United State.

So the risk management tip is to be ever vigilant and have deer on your mind as you drive in Central New York during these next few months. For example, when driving through wooded areas (especially the Adirondacks) look for anything horizontal against the vertical trees. That could easily be one or more deer that you want to avoid.

2. Car and Truck Maintenance
Yes it’s annoying when that “check engine” light goes on because the tires are deflated. But keeping the right tire pressure helps avoid blowouts and flats. And ensures they can withstand rough roads and potholes.

Also, we tend to ignore our windshield wipers…until it rains. And inevitably, when there’s a problem the section of the windshield they miss is right in front of the driver’s eyes. So if this happens, or your wipers leave streaks when it rains, get them replaced right away.

Lastly, make sure your headlights are clean and check your breaks regularly. Do this especially if you notice any squeaking sounds or shaking from the brake pedal.

3. Distracted Driving
Managing cell phone use would seem surprisingly easy. Your risk management rule: Don’t use phones when driving.

But just a short trip on Utica area roads tells you a different story. People just can’t seem to separate themselves from their phones, no matter what the circumstance.

So, how do you deal with this extreme danger from drivers coming at you? Like with deer, be on constant alert for cars entering your lane head on. Even note drivers coming at you with their heads down. Get ready for them to slip into your lane at any moment.

4. Auto Insurance
No matter how diligently you manage risk on the road, accidents will happen. So your auto insurance policy is one of the most important risk management tools you can buy.

Here at Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig we have been helping people manage risk for over 40+ years. We recommend car and pickup insurance at the highest limits of liability you can afford. Truth is, higher limits are surprisingly affordable.

That’s also the case for better No-Fault coverage. This is mandatory coverage in New York State that pays for driver’s and passengers’ medical bills and loss of wages if they’re injured in an accident.

There are more important coverages in your auto insurance policy and we’d be happy to discuss them with you. Our goal is to get you the right coverage at the best price. So whether you’re a current client or are shopping for a better policy, let us help you manage your risk when it comes to your car and pickup truck insurance.

Until next time,

Your SZW Team

SZW Insurance is your Utica area Trusted Choice™ independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.