Archive | Laws and Legislation

The New California Driving Law You Need to Know About

crashing while talking on phone

It’s easy to feel invincible on the road, and assume that a few extra miles per hour or a quick glance at the cell phone won’t kill you. That’s exactly the problem though: it not only could kill you, it also could take the lives of others. In 2014, a young girl from Sacramento killed one and injured three as she searched for her phone on the passenger seat; unfortunately, this is only one of many instances of the deadliness of distracted driving. The laws of 2008, allowing only hands-free cell phone use for those over 18, and banning texting, left loopholes of which we’ve almost all taken advantage. Continue Reading →

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Consumers Have the Right to Ask for a U.S. Call Center Representative

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Finding answers become easier and easier as society progresses further into the “Information Age”. Our experience with technology’s maximized efficiency and instant results fosters within us an expectation of the same processes in our human interactions. In most cases, 800 numbers hardly guarantee such an interaction– usually leading to circular communication between members of this and that office and all sorts of red tape to trip over. Typically one pulls these numbers out to address an issue under both time and convenience restraints. When seeking answers about your insurance policy and all that falls under its umbrella, and personal property and coverage is on the line, you don’t want to be running into roadblocks. Continue Reading →

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New Consumer Protection Law Cracks Down on Scammers Targeting Seniors

As parents age, and the circle comes complete, the children become the caregivers. The last thing you want to worry about, as you work to provide comfort and peace of mind for your loved ones or yourself, is untrustworthy persons taking advantage. At the AME Church (the first African-American church in LA), unsuspecting senior community members lost hold of thousands of dollars, preyed on by a supposedly trusted friend, Constance Gail Fortune, age 61, a licensed insurance agent.

Fortune built friendships and gained the trust and affection of elderly members in the church community. She held gatherings centered around her insurance services, selling policies without actually purchasing the coverage. She provided statements on faux-official letterhead, offered bogus business cards—creating an entire theatrical façade for her scam. Continue Reading →

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April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

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Each year, in the United States alone, there are nearly 3,500 deaths caused by some form of distracted driving. A distracted driver causes nearly 1 in 5 car crashes. This is no April Fool’s joke. The dangers of distracted driving are very real and more prevalent than ever in today’s society with our growing addiction to technology.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and at BMR Insurance Agency we want to help lower this number by raising awareness and encouraging you to take the Focused Driver Challenge.

Many people believe that driving using hands-free devices such as Bluetooth makes driving while using the phone safe. However, this is not the case because the brain still remains distracted by the conversation and can cause the driver to miss seeing up to half of what is around them on the road. In fact, distracted driving goes even further than just using your phone while behind the wheel. It also includes eating or drinking, putting on makeup (ladies, be honest!), reading a book or magazine, or anything else that takes away your full attention while behind the wheel.

The urge to answer that incoming call or text while on the road is almost irresistible. In the average time it takes to check a text message, less than five seconds, a car travelling 60 mph will travel more than the length of a football field! The current minimum ticket cost is $162, with subsequent fines of at least $285. If you think this fine is expensive, imagine the hospital bills or even funeral costs that you or your family may have to pay.

Remember, when you choose to pick up that phone or do anything else while behind the wheel, you are also putting the lives of others, either inside or outside of the vehicle, at risk. No message is more important than your life or the lives of those around you.

The best way to save yourself the distraction is to put your phone on silent and put it away somewhere that you can’t reach it.

Next time your phone rings while you’re behind the wheel and you’re tempted to answer it, ask yourself: Is it worth it?

Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

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Top 10 Employment Discrimination Claims in 2014

DeathtoStock_Creative Community7_LoHave you ever filed a complaint about your employer? Perhaps you have experienced sexual harassment or were given fewer hours due to your race, sex or a disability, and filed a complaint about it. Then you were fired.

What? It happens. In fact, claims alleging retaliation against an employee for involvement in a complaint reached a record high in fiscal year 2014, at almost 43 percent. Employment discrimination is definitely a factor for many people in America’s workforce. Continue Reading →

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Texting While Driving: It’s Not Just the Driver’s Fault

We know it's frustrating, but please pull over to text or make a call if you don't have a hands-free system.

We know it’s frustrating, but please pull over to text or make a call if you don’t have a hands-free system.

It’s New Jersey, not California, but considering the amount of drivers on California roads (especially teens), it’s possible this ruling will hit this coast soon. What ruling? The one that the New Jersey appeals court ruled on recently, finding that a person who knowingly sends a text to a driver can share liability if that driver causes an accident.

The appeals court did clarify the ruling by saying that the person who texts the motorist is not liable for the driver’s negligent actions, but that person texting the driver has a duty to “refrain if the person knows the recipient is driving and likely to read the message,” according to a Claims Journal article published on September 4, 2013. Continue Reading →

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Have You Been Asked to Be An Estate’s Trustee?

If you are a responsible individual, have held important positions, or shown leadership qualities in your private or professional life, you may be asked to serve as a Trustee of an estate. It is especially likely if you have an accounting our legal background. Maybe you just happen to be the responsible sibling in a family. The estate could be a simple trust for an elderly family member, or a complex estate with complex financial holdings and considerable value. It may not even be within your family. Continue Reading →

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When Wildfires Hit California, Don’t Count on FEMA’s Help

With the lack of rain we've had, the wildfires are predicted to be very bad this year.

When the flames begin to burn through the Californian terrain, don’t expect the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, to provide you and your family with the necessary funds to rebuild your home. Even if the wildfires become a natural disaster and create tens of millions of dollars in damage, the federal agency is not obligated to assist the state or the families with property damage, lost possessions or loss of life.

You might think this couldn’t happen, but it just did. Continue Reading →

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Tides Turning for Forced Insurance Policies by Lenders

Lapsing on mortgage payments usually means a lapse in paying homeowners insurance, and that can spell trouble.

Times can be tough, even in a state of slow economic recovery, especially for homeowners across America. Right now, homeowners throughout California are complaining about the outrageous rates required by the forced homeowners’ insurance policies purchased by their mortgage lenders.

According to Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones of California, these policies are “at a price higher than insurance they could obtain themselves”. Continue Reading →

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