Homeowners insurance covers most of the property in your home, but there are limits to what the insurer will pay for certain items, such as cash or jewelry, the “This Old House” website states. If you have a home office, hazard insurance doesn’t cover business equipment either. If you have personal or business property that isn’t covered, consider paying more money for a supplemental policy that will protect you if they’re damaged.
Homeowners insurance doesn’t protect you against everything: Insurers routinely exclude things such as flood damage and earthquake damage from coverage, though separate flood and earthquake policies may be available where you live. “This Old House” states that a “law exclusion” in your policy can be very expensive. If an older building is damaged more than 50 percent, it will have to be rebuilt to the current building-code standards; the law exclusion means the insurer won’t pay the cost of upgrading wiring or roofs to meet the code.
There are many ways for Virginia drivers to stay safe and stay out of trouble with the police – some more obvious than others. Don’t speed, don’t drink and drive, wear your seatbelt, don’t text and drive, don’t run red lights, don’t run down some poor sap crossing the street… LOTS of rules that most of us really don’t have a problem following. There are a few, however, that you may not be aware of that we’d like to mention now. Below are some new driving laws that were inacted this year in the state of Virginia.
Senate Bill 117 creates a traffic infraction with a $50 fine for opening a motor vehicle door when it is not reasonably safe to do so. Dooring, commonly used in reference to bicyclists, occurs when a motorist opens his vehicle’s door in the path of an oncoming cyclist or other vehicle. The impact can seriously injure or kill a bicyclist, not to mention scare the heck out of someone driving past, causing them to swerve and possibly hit the car next to them. Before you get out of your car on the driver’s side, look carefully for approaching cars, bicyclest and pedestrians. On the passenger side, make sure no one is walking close or riding their bike on the sidewalk.
In Virginia, a person 15 years and 6 months of age is able to get their Learner’s Permit to drive with an adult. That hasn’t changed. But Senate Bill 555 of 2016 states that learner’s permit holders may not have more than one passenger under age 21 in the vehicle, with the exception of household or family members. The passenger restriction was previously placed on passengers under 18.In addition, provisional driver’s license holders under age 18 may no longer have more than one passenger under age 21 even if a parent is present. The passenger limitations on all provisional driver’s licenses also do not include household or family members. The initial license issued to any person younger than 18 years of age is considered a provisional driver’s license.
Both of these provisions are secondary offenses.
The law also changes the minimum learner’s permit holding periods for 18 year olds. Previously, 18 year olds with a learner’s permit had to wait a minimum of nine months before they could apply for a driver’s license. Now, they must only hold a learner’s permit for 60 days.
Learner’s permit holders may not use a cellphone or other wireless telecommunications device while driving, even if the device is in hands-free mode, except in a driver emergency or when the vehicle is lawfully parked or stopped.The following are a few other DMV-related law changes that were effective July 1, 2016:
Organ donors registered through DMV will remain on the registry unless they ask to be removed. Upon application, DMV will issue refunds of fuels taxes for fuels used in vehicles owned by a hunger-relief nonprofit organization when the vehicle is being used for this purpose.
For a list of all key highway safety laws in the state of Virginia, visit https://ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/bystate/va.html
A quick rant about basic Road Rules
WHY must people sit in the fast lane and drive slow??? Everyone knows (or SHOULD know) that the left lane is for passing. Sure, if there’s a lot of traffic in the right lane, you could ride in the left. But at least do the speed limit for crying out loud, and move back over to the right when you’ve gotten past the cars. PLEASE! I’m begging you from the tread of my tires. Road Rage happens for a reason. People get frustrated, do stupid things, then cause accidents.
Now that I’ve gotten THAT off my hood, let’s talk about some other rules of the road that you might need reminding of. Every time you get behind the wheel, you accept responsibility for your actions. You must obey Virginia’s traffic laws, and ensure the safety of you, your passengers, and other motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists on the roadways.
Teddy Bear buckled with safety belt in a car
Under Virginia law, the driver and all front seat passengers must wear safety belts. A driver transporting anyone younger than age 18 must ensure that the passenger is properly secured in a safety belt, booster seat or child safety seat no matter where the child is seated in the vehicle. Believe it or not, there are some states that do not have a seat belt law. New Hampshire has enacted neither a primary nor a secondary seat belt law for adults. That may be because of their “Live Free Or Die” mentality ???? They don’t have a helmet law either.
Turn Right On Red After Stop
In Virginia, we can turn right on red after stop (UNLESS there is a sign that specifically says you can’t). That means if you come to a complete stop at a red light and you’re planning to turn right, you look to your left and if it’s clear, you can proceed. It’s a GREAT rule and terrific timesaver. I will say however, not ALL STATES have the ‘right on red’ rule. New York, for instance, does not allow you to turn right on red after stop.
Where Do I Put My Hands?
Is it 10 and 2? 1 and 7? Of course you’ll hear different things, but most people just put their hands on the steering wheel however it feels comfortable to them. The DMV says “Sit straight but relaxed and place your hands on the steering wheel. If your steering wheel were a clock, your hands should be at the 8 o’clock and 4 o’clock positions. Hold the wheel with your fingers and thumbs. Avoid gripping it with your palms.” So there you have it. 8 and 4.
The Virginia Driver’s Manual will help you learn and understand safe driving practices. CLICK HERE to get it.
We love Virginia. So much variety in it’s terrain. We have Mountains and Rivers; Bays and Ocean; white sands and red clay; green grass and pale yellow straw. You get the picture. Drive safely and take care of yourself and your family! And if you need insurance from a Virginian Insurance Agency, well, we MIGHT be ABLE to recommend someone!