Resumption of our monthly “Insurance Information Update”

Early last year we initiated a monthly email broadcast of insurance related information not typically available to most consumers or policyholders. After several monthly issues, I lost the person that was actually doing all the behind the scenes work needed to put out what I hoped would be received as an interesting and informative newsletter. The information provided was selected from different sources and covered a wide range of topics. We also plan to include occasional items of general interest.

I recently had the good fortune to find a local service to once again do the behind the scenes work, so we could resume the monthly or at least bi-monthly Insurance Information Updates.

There are two insurance related articles and one item that should be of particular interest to every pet owner in this month’s issue. The two articles deal with what you should remember if you are involved in an auto accident and the second article is the 4 Myths of Distracted Driving. The non related insurance item is a website and app that you can upload a photo of your dog or cat to that may help you recover them if lost.

If you have any comments or questions please email them to or post them on Larry Tencer’s Insurance Facebook Page.


I recently registered my three year old Boxer, Duke on Finding Fido and it was really easy to do because I was able to do it without help. I’m also including a recent photo of Duke, who we have designated as the office mascot considering the amount of time he spends at the office.


What to do in the event of an auto accident

Duane L. Reynolds, Attorney │February 4, 2014

An auto accident can be a traumatic and frustrating event. Lack of pertinent information can lead to delays which will add to the frustration. Here are some steps to take to help ensure a smoother claims process.

  • Stay calm. Nobody wants to be yelled at. Loosing your cool especially in front of the police is only going to make matters worse.
  • Call the police.
  • If possible, move your vehicle off the road.
  • Take pictures of the accident scene. This should include damage to all vehicles and damage to any property.
  • Ask to see the other driver’s proof of insurance card, which all drivers are required to carry and exchange information. This information should include their full name, date of birth, drivers license number, address, phone, email, insurance company name and policy number, year, make, model and license plate number of their vehicle.
  • Gather names and contact info of passengers in each vehicle and witnesses.
  • Document your recollection of the accident, as soon as possible. The longer you wait to do this, the more likely you are to forget details.
  • Do not admit fault.
  • Do not provide your policy limit information with other parties involved in the accident.
  • Call your insurance company to report the accident.

As always, call us with any questions and we are here to help guide you through this process and address any concerns that you might have.

Source – Central Insurance Companies & Insurance
Information Institute
Larry Tencer Insurance Agency
707 763-7000


4 Myths of Distracted Driving

Cell phones have become part of our lives. Most people could not go 24 hours without using their cell phone for calls, texting, social media or browsing the web. These advances in technology have helped us communicate in ways we never thought possible. Unfortunately they can also be deadly.

In 2012, 421,000 people were injured in auto accidents involving a distracted driver. A 2012 survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found more than two thirds of all drivers admitted talking on their cell phones while driving at least once in the past 30 days. The National Safety Council estimates that people talking or texting on their cell phones are involved in 21% of all auto accidents in the United States.

4 Myths of Distracted Driving

Myth # 1 – Drivers can multitask.

Contrary to popular belief, the human brain cannot multitask. Talking and driving are both cognitive (thinking) activities. This causes the brain to rapidly switch between both tasks. Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. If you are driving 55 mph, that is enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.

Myth #2 – Talking to someone on a cell phone is no different than talking to someone in the car.

A 2008 study by the University of Utah found that drivers who are distracted by cell phone are more oblivious to changing traffic conditions because they are the only ones in the conversation who are focusing on the road. Drivers with adult passengers have an extra set of eyes and ears to keep them alert of oncoming traffic conditions. Adult passengers also tend to change their talking when traffic is challenging.

Myth # 3 – Hands-free devices eliminate the danger of cell phone use during driving.

Whether hand held or hands-free, cell phone conversations while driving are dangerous because the brain remains distracted. Activity in the area of the brain that processes the movement of visual images decreases by as much as 37% when listening to language, according to a study from Carnegie Mellon University. Drivers talking on cell phones can miss seeing up to 50% of their driving environments including pedestrians and stop lights. They look but they don’t see. This is also known as “inattention blindness.”

Myth # 4 – Drivers talking on cell phones still have a quicker reaction time than those who are driving under the influence of alcohol.

A controlled driving simulator study conducted by the University of Utah found that drivers using cell phones had slower reaction times than drivers with a blood alcohol level of .08, the legal intoxication limit in most states. Drivers talking on cell phones can immediately eliminate this risk by hanging up the phone. Drunk drivers remain at risk until they sober up. This is by no means an endorsement of driving drunk.

Sources: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, University of Utah, National Safety Council, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.


A New Way to Find Lost Dogs: There’s an App for That!

LeClair L. Flaherty, Attorney | September 1, 2015

I love dogs! As a bona fide dog person, I was delighted to learn of amazing new technology that uses facial recognition to reunite lost dogs with their owners. The technology is available to the public for free through the Finding Rover app and the Finding Rover website.

So, in celebration of National Dog Day (which happens to be the day I am writing this), I’ve already downloaded the app and registered our dog, Zoey. If Zoey ever becomes lost, whoever finds her can simply upload an image of her face to the Finding Rover app or website. The image will be compared with the one already in the database, a match will hopefully be made, and Tim and I will be notified that our wayward pup has been found! (The software claims to be nearly 100% accurate.)

The technology can work “in reverse” as well. The Oakland County Animal Control and Pet Adoption Center is already uploading an image of each dog that comes into the shelter on Finding Rover. If Zoey ever does get lost, we can go online and view the faces of all the dogs in the shelter to see if she is there.

Joining Finding Rover and uploading Zoey’s picture was really quite easy. If you have a dog, I encourage you to consider doing the same!

Stay tuned to Now You Know It throughout the coming year as Wright Beamer keeps you informed on the legal and legislative issues that impact your business, your family and you.

September 15th, 2015 by Larry Tencer Insurance Agency