annual insurance premiums for a mid-size car vary from nearly $4,000 in Detroit,
Michigan to under $700 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, according to the latest
analysis by Runzheimer International, the Rochester, Wisconsin-based management
consulting firm. At $3,888 per year for insurance coverage for a mid-size
sedan driven within a 50-mile radius of the city, Detroit-area drivers pay
over $3,000 a year more than similar drivers in Eau Claire, who pay only
$670 for the same coverage. These rates are based on both male and female
drivers over a minimum age with clean driving records and include comprehensive,
collision, bodily injury, property damage, uninsured motorist, and medical.
Los Angeles and Philadelphia car owners also pay out more than $3,000 per
year for insurance coverage at $3,341 and $3,138, respectively. Other expensive
locations include Hempstead (Long Island), New York, $2,454; Newark, New
Jersey, $2,341; and New York, New York, $2,303.
Other areas, in addition to Eau Claire, are insurance bargains. The same
driver, driving the same vehicle, in Burlington, Vermont pays only $726 for
this all-inclusive coverage. In Lubbock, Texas vehicle owners pay $763; and
in Dayton, Ohio, $787.
“There’s no big mystery here,” according to Mike Bassi, Runzheimer consultant
and vehicle cost expert. “Insurance companies set rates based on claims records.
Fewer accidents, vehicle thefts, and collision damage repair bills in Eau
Claire versus Detroit translate into much lower annual insurance premiums.”
Most Expensive Communities:
Detroit, MI $3,888
Los Angeles, CA $3,341
Philadelphia, PA $3,138
Hempstead (Long Island), NY $2,454
Newark, NJ $2,341
New York, NY $2,303
Boston, MA $2,242
Hartford, CT $2,222
Bridgeport, CT $2,197
Worcester, MA $2,122
Least Expensive Communities:
Eau Claire, WI $670
Lubbock, TX $763
Burlington, VT $726
Dayton, OH $787
Grand Forks, ND $809
Austin, TX $813
Bismarck, ND $814
Cincinnati, OH $825
Knoxville, TN $831
Topeka, KS $832
Cadillac First To Offer Keyless Access Feature
You may never have to worry about losing your
keys anymore. The new Cadillac XLR does not require a key to open the door
or to start the engine. Many of today's automobiles offer keyless entry systems
in which a key fob on the key chain can be used to open the doors. The Cadillac
XLR takes that technology a few steps further. The car is built with a small
touch pad on the driver’s door. When you touch the pad, an onboard computer
in the car sends out a signal to see if the key fob is within 1 meter of
the car. The key fob can be in the customer’s hand or pocket. If the computer
detects the key fob, it knows the driver is present and unlocks and unlatches
the door. A start button on the dash is used to start the car as well. Again,
if the system senses the key fob nearby, the car will immediately start.
Is Your Auto Insurance Company "Steering" You?
insurance rates are climbing higher and higher each year. You would think
that with these added increases would come some added benefits. If you believe
that, I've got some slightly wet land in Florida to sell you.
Nowadays, the true litmus test of your insurance company is the end result
of how they handle a glass claim. As many of you are aware, our dealership
has on site windshield replacements. We work directly with your insurance
company and agree to their replacement pricing. Most drivers in Massachusetts
do not have a deductible on glass damage. As a result, the customer does
not incur any charges for a glass replacement. Most automobile glass losses
occur as cracked or broken windshields. Typically, when you need a new windshield,
we ask that you report the loss to your insurance company or agent. At this
point your insurance company opens a claim. Finally, we verify insurance
coverage with your company and in a few hours your windshield is replaced.
Unfortunately that simple procedure is now getting less and less common.
We are finding that more insurance companies are trying to "steer" more customers
to "their recommended installer." These insurance companies know that
most customers are unaware of state laws protecting their "right to choose"
their repair shop of choice. The topic of insurance "steering" is not a new one, but it is getting more prevalent. "Steering"
is a tactic that some insurance companies use to pressure or "steer" a customer
to a certain replacement facility. Often they tell customers that "using
a company, other than the one they recommend, will result in the customer
having to pay a portion of the repair." In another pressure tactic, they
tell the customer that the insurance company will "not guarantee the non
preferred" shops' work. These statements are outright fabrications strategically
stated to get the customer to use a cheaper national facility contacted by
the insurance company. In addition, these facilities may be using inferior
"blurred" glass and less stringent replacement procedures.
After being involved in many of these calls, I can tell you that I have learned
a lot about the insurance company's latest tactics. It’s amazing what you
can learn by being part of a three-way conference call. What would you say
if I told you that the 800 number your insurance company lists for glass
claims has nothing to do with your insurance company? Now, what would you
say if I told you that the number you were calling was actually a national
glass company? Yes, you read that correctly, a national glass company. Case
in point: Recently we had a customer that needed a windshield for her Lincoln
Town Car. We gave our customer an appointment date and told her to call her
insurance company to report the loss. Within fifteen minutes I received a
call back from our customer stating that she could not bring the car to us.
As usual, after questioning our customer, I learned that our customer had
been "steered" to a national glass company. She was told that using our facility
will result in her having to pay a difference and that they would not warranty
our work. I told our customer that she had been "steered" and that we would
replace her windshield correctly, using quality parts and would guarantee
the work. Although this long time customer trusted us and wanted us to do
the work, she had been literally frightened by what she was told. The problem
was, she thought she was talking to her insurance company. Without realizing
it, they had transferred her phone call to a national glass company looking
to steal the job from us and book it with one of their chain stores. When
our customer called her insurance company's 800 number, the recorded voice
said to "push # 2 for glass claims." At this point the call is intentionally
transferred out of the insurance company's phone center and over to a national
glass chain company. At one point they even told our customer that she would
have to drive to Hyannis for the repair. I told our customer not to worry
and that I would resolve the issue. I called the 800 number and pressed #
2 for glass claims. If you listen very carefully, they announce a quick message
about being connected to a glass claims management center. When I finally
got a live body, I gave the person the claim number. The woman at the glass
center said that our customer would have to call back herself to change the
shop of choice. You can bet I was not going to let her scare my customer
with anymore tall tales. I told the woman to briefly hold while I put her
on a conference call with our customer. Now I was able to referee the call
between our customer and the glass company. Keep in mind that our customer
still thought she was talking to her insurance company. Then I listened as
the woman warned our customer that she may have to pay a difference by using
our shop. Funny, now that I was on the line she "may have to pay" a difference.
When our customer called on her own, they told her she "would have to pay"
a difference. I quickly interjected that there would be no charge to our
customer for the job. Then she spun the yarn about not being able to guarantee
our work. Again, I jumped in to say that we always fully warranty our work.
I was really shocked when the woman told our customer that: "It would be nice if you had told me you wanted to use Giammalvo's on the initial call."
Hello! My customer had already said that on the first call, but was quickly
and intentionally steered to your company. Finally, the woman advised me
that they would only pay a certain amount for the glass and a certain amount
for the labor. I agreed to the terms and we terminated the call.
It's unconscionable that an insurance company would have the audacity and
the nerve to tell customers that all independent repair shops don’t guarantee
their work. In the end, our customer got to use us, a quality repair facility
that she had trusted and known for years. Too bad it took such a great effort
on both our parts. I can't imagine how many windshield jobs we and other
independent shops are losing due to customers that are frightened out of
asking for their shop of choice. How much is she paying for that insurance?
I want to emphasize, that these bold lies and scare tactics are not done
by our local insurance agencies but by the insurance companies themselves.
We know the agents hate this practice but have no control over it.
Keyless Entry Inoperative When Climate Control Fan Is On
This past summer we came across
some interesting information in a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu owner’s manual. Inside
the manual we found a one page addendum insert from Chevrolet. The insert
had these 2 sentences printed: “The Keyless Entry System may not work when
the climate control fan is running. Under this condition, from outside of
the vehicle, your key is required to unlock the door or trunk.” In plain
English, this is saying that you cannot use the key fob transmitter if the
heater or air conditioner fan is on inside the car. This condition would
probably occur if someone was waiting in the car running the heater or air
conditioner while someone outside the car is trying to use the keyless entry
transmitter to open a door or trunk. We were puzzled as to why the keyless
entry would not work just because the fan was on. Subsequent research of
Chevrolet service bulletins yielded some interesting answers. Chevrolet
Service Bulletin # 01-08-52-007 was written in December 2001 to address this
condition. The bulletin states:
Some customers may comment that the Keyless Entry System will not work at
times. This condition may be encountered on Malibu's produced before April
This condition may be caused by electromagnetic interference from the blower
motor resulting in limited range or non-operation of the key fob transmitter.
This will become a concern for those customers who start the vehicle to cool
or warm the interior, then leave and lock the doors with the engine running.
The customer then tries to enter the vehicle using the key fob and they are
unable to unlock the doors.
Since the bulletin is 7 pages long, the complete repair procedure cannot
be included here. To summarize, the actual problem on this car is that the
keyless entry receiver on this model is incorporated inside the Body Control
Module (BCM). Due to the BCM’s close location to the fan motor in the
dash, the BCM must be replaced with a redesigned BCM that does not have an
internal keyless entry receiver. In addition, the rear seats will need to
be removed to install an external receiver between the speakers on the rear
package shelf. Two new design transmitters will also be needed as well. It
is interesting to note that many prior GM cars have always had the receiver
in the back seat area. Incorporating the receiver into the BCM was probably
done to save cost, in that, a rear receiver was not necessary. So much for
changing technology. It appears that they should have stuck to their old
design. In an attempt to avoid this expensive upgrade, the notice in the
owner’s manual was probably Chevrolet’s way of convincing the owners that
this was acceptable “normal operation.”
(Obituaries Courtesy The Standard Times)
Note: Due to recent requests, we will be adding family survivors to our customer’s obituaries as space allows.
William A. Flaherty, 57, of Mattapoisett died Thursday,
July 10, 2003, at St. Luke's Hospital after a courageous battle with cancer.
He was the husband of Elizabeth Joan (Woodcock) Flaherty. Born in Pawtucket,
R.I., the son of the late Ambrose S. and Kathleen (Gavin) Flaherty, he spent
most of his life in Mattapoisett, summering there as a child and moving there
permanently in his adult years. He was a communicant of St. Anthony Church.
Mr. Flaherty was senior vice president of commercial loans at the New Bedford
Institution for Savings for eight years, then became vice president of commercial
loans at Plymouth Savings Bank, where he had been for the past six years.
He was a graduate of the University of Detroit and the Williams College School
of Banking. He was an avid boater and member of the Mattapoisett Yacht
Club and filled much of his spare time on his boat, the Jolly Tar.
Survivors include his widow; two daughters, Megan Elizabeth Flaherty and
Mary Kathleen Flaherty, both of Mattapoisett; a son, Timothy William Flaherty
of Mattapoisett; two sisters, Kathleen McGowan of Venice, Fla., and Susan
Flaherty of Lincoln, R.I.; a brother, Martin Flaherty of New York, N.Y.;
and many nieces and nephews. He was the brother of the late Stephen Flaherty.
Eleanor (Borghi) Tarini, 87, of New Bedford died Monday,
Sept. 15, 2003, at Sacred Heart Home after a brief illness. She was the wife
of Primo Tarini; they were married 63 years.
Born in Rochester, the daughter of the late Carlo and Rosa (Borgamini) Borghi,
she lived in New Bedford most of her life. She was a communicant of St. Lawrence
Church. Mrs. Tarini was an avid bowler and also enjoyed gardening and sewing.
She was a former member of the St. Lawrence Couples Club. Survivors include
her widower; four sons, Ramon P. Tarini, Peter R. Tarini and David R. Tarini,
all of New Bedford, and Albert R. Tarini of Denville, N.J.; two sisters,
Doris Palmeri of Haverhill and Mary Coucci of Mattapoisett; seven grandchildren;
a great-granddaughter; and several nieces and nephews.
Captain Jacob Jacobsen, 85, of North Dartmouth died at
home Thursday, Sept. 18, 2003, after a brief illness. He was the husband
of Dympna (Canning) Jacobsen. Born in Vikre, Karmoy, Norway, a son of the
late Thomas Jakobsen and Laurense (Jakobsen) Jacobsen, he lived in the New
Bedford and Dartmouth areas for 60 years. During World War II, he served
in the Army with the 57th Engineer Combat Battalion. He was awarded the Good
Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, American Defense Service Medal,
Asiatic Pacific Theater Campaign Ribbon and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon
with one bronze star. Captain Jacobsen was the owner and operator of the
"Fairhaven," a scalloper fishing vessel that was berthed in Fairhaven and
New Bedford. He retired in 1980 after many years of being at sea. He
brought true meaning to the word "Captain" and will be missed by all. Survivors
include two sons, Leonard T. Jacobsen of Winnebago, Minn., and Lloyd Jacobsen
of New Bedford; two daughters, Nancy Jacobsen-Canastra of Fairhaven and Joyce
J. Roberts of Mattapoisett; a sister, Oliva Frostad of Dartmouth; nine grandchildren,
Sean Powers, Heidi Abdallah, Karrie Powers, Jesse Jacobsen, Kirsten Hearne,
Ingrid Chrisman, Andrew Jacobsen, Kelsey Jacobsen and Kimber-lee Jacobsen;
12 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. He was the brother of
the late Ellen Tjersland and Sigrid Ellingsen.
Carolyn St. John Chaffee Brooke, 86, of Nonquitt, South
Dartmouth, died Friday, July 4, 2003, after a long illness. She was the widow
of Frederick Heister Brooke Jr. Born in Providence in 1917, she was the daughter
of the late Col. Everitte St. John Chaffee, founder of the Rhode Island State
Police and often referred to as Gen. Chaffee after his appointment to the
rank of honorary brigadier general in the Rhode Island National Guard, and
the late Carolyn Peck Brooke. Known to family and friends as "Cally," she
grew up in Providence and at a family home in Matunuck, R.I. She was educated
at St. Timothy's School in Stevenson, Md., and at Sarah Lawrence College
in Bronxville, N.Y.
Her husband was employed by Raytheon Co. and for many years the couple lived
in Sherborn and later for several years in Zurich, Switzerland. Mrs. Brooke
was a founding member of the Boston Aquarium, served on the women's committee
of the New England Museum of Fine Arts and was a member of the Garden Club
of Boston. With her husband, she shared a passion for sailing and their lovely
green-hulled Concordia sloop, Absinthe, was a familiar sight on Buzzards
Bay and a frequent winner on the local racing circuit. When not sailing,
she enjoyed gardening, painting watercolors and maintaining a welcoming home
in Nonquitt for her extended family and many friends. Survivors include two
daughters, Carolyn Brooke Andrews of Guilford, Conn., and Gaelen Brooke Canning
of Westport; a son, Frederick Heister Brooke III of East Haddam, Conn.; a
brother, Stuart Chaffee of Barrington, R.I.; and six grandchildren.
Lillian (Bertrand) Lyman, 95, formerly of Melville Towers
in New Bedford died Friday, Sept. 19, 2003, at the Sippican Healthcare Center,
where she had lived for the past year. She was the wife of the late Harold
K. Lyman. Born in Acushnet, the daughter of the late Hormidas and Eugenia
(St. Jean) Bertrand, she was a lifetime resident of the city. Mrs. Lyman
was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church. She was very active with
the Interchurch Council of Greater New Bedford. She was a volunteer at St.
Luke's Hospital Auxiliary, the League of Women's Voters, the local YMCA,
the Agawam Chapter Order of Eastern Star and Melville Towers activities.
Survivors include a son, Robert K. Lyman and his wife, Carla, of Berkley;
six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; two sisters, Noella Benoit of
Pawtucket, R.I., and Estelle Cusson of Acushnet; and many nieces and nephews.
She was the sister of the late Bernadette Fawcett, Mary Jane Deschamps, Armand
Bertrand, Morris Bertrand, Lawrence Bertrand, Eugene Bertrand and Richard