Best Bets for kids’ car boosters from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety


Researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) assessed 72 kids’ booster seats to check for the ones that offer a good fit, one of the most important safety criteria. They designated 21 booster models as “Best Bets” and 7 as “Good Bets.” That’s a marked improvement over last year’s list, when only 9 models earned the highest grades. They have also rated 8 models as “not recommended.” See the full list: 2010 IIHS Booster Evaluation Ratings.
These ratings are important because they offer guidance on fit. While there are other tests and ratings for boosters – such as crash performance tests and ease of use – there are none that address fit. IIHS says, “Belts do the main job of keeping kids in boosters safe in crashes, but belts along with vehicle seats are designed for adults, not children, so it’s important for boosters to lift kids into position for lap/shoulder belts to provide proper restraint. Children 4-8 who ride in boosters are 45 percent less likely to sustain injuries in crashes than children restrained by belts alone.”
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Photos used with permission of IIHS.

A not-so-gentle reminder that travel insurance might be a good idea


Here’s a rather scary piece of video footage, a scene from cruise ship during a storm off New Zealand in 2008. Apparently, the footage from an on-board security camera has just made its way to the web.

Hat tip to Workers Comp Insider, where we found the video in a post with more information about the event. Of course, our thoughts turn to insurance. The news report says that 42 passengers were injured – looks fortunate that it wasn’t more. Plus, it’s likely that there may have been damage to some of the passengers’ possessions. Would travel insurance help in a case like this? Before you buy any insurance, it’s important to learn exactly what it will and won’t cover. For a primer, see the Insurance Information Institute’s Travel Insurance. As for the medical coverage involved in trip insurance, III suggests, “Before purchasing this type of coverage, check with your own health insurance carrier. Find out what type of coverage you have when traveling abroad and if there are any limits. Also, ask if the policy will pay to fly you home or to a country with first-rate medical care.” In a scenario involving a serious injury, medical and evacuation coverage is important.
And as for business insurance for the cruise liner – well, that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish!

Hurricane Preparation: Tips from the Pros


The eastern seaboard is thick in preparation for Hurricane Earl’s arrival. Wayne Wiersma of Wiersma Insurance Agency offers a link to an excellent one-page sheet from the folks at Harleysville Insurance: Common Sense Advice: Before & After a Hurricane. It offers planning time lines for 36 and 24 hours before a hurricane, as well as advice on what to do after a hurricane and how to report a claim. (Please note, however, that phone numbers listed are only valid if for Harleysville customers. For all others, it would be a good idea to have phone numbers handy for both your agent and your homeowners’ and auto insurance companies. ) The Insurance Information Institute also offers Hurricane Preparation Tips.
Here are a few other helpful links:
The National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center
Hurricane Tracker
FEMA’s Hurricane Response & Recovery
FEMA’s Business Emergency Preparation Resources