Where to Find the Best Business Auto Insurance

Business owners who have vehicles used to transport equipment, products or people need special auto insurance to cover their fleet. This coverage should be comprehensive in nature, meaning it covers all eventualities. Some companies specialize in this type of insurance but almost all auto insurers have commercial vehicle coverage available. The trick is to find the best one at the most reasonable cost and this can be easily accomplished by going online.

Big name providers are big for a reason. They offer experience and usually have many offices scattered throughout the country so, in the event of having to make a claim, they’re convenient to reach. The only real negative is that their products are often more expensive to buy than those of the smaller companies with whom they’re competing for your business.

Businesses having a vehicle fleet are exposed to great risk and precautions need to be taken to protect the interests of the owners. People driving your equipment may be careful and safety conscious but who knows? You want insurance coverage to provide protection from any eventuality.

Acceptable business auto coverage should be all-inclusive and comprehensive. Some of the more common benefits include protection against collision damage, liability and medical costs resulting from an accident. It should also contain protection for one of your drivers being struck by an uninsured motorist. If you rent or borrow equipment, this should also be covered, as should any personal vehicle an employee uses for business purposes.

There are sites online that offer a ‘clearing house’ approach to selling vehicle insurance and these can save you time and headaches when comparing different policies. After entering some basic information they will supply you with a list of companies offering the type of coverage in which you’re interested and you can easily compare one policy to another. The Internet makes buying insurance fairly painless.

When considering which policy to buy cost, while a major factor, isn’t the only criterion. Every policy has its own set of terms and most will have exclusions that you should understand. Most will also have options regarding the amount of the deductible required when making a claim.

If you do have occasion to make a claim on your business auto insurance policy it’s nice to be dealing with an outfit that has 24/7 claims service and is well reputed to make fair and timely decisions in claims payments. Contracting with a company having a strong financial rating will also put your mind at ease as regards the company’s strength and solvency. The best policy in the world is useless if claims are not handled judiciously.

8 Tips to Save on Business Auto Insurance

Here are eight tips to help you save money on your business auto insurance policy without sacrificing your coverage.

  1. Hire safe drivers: Your insurance premiums will go up considerably if you hire an employee with points against their license because they pose a greater risk of accident to your company. Instead, make sure you hire employees with clean driving records or, reserve the driving duty for those who do.
  2. Invest in training: Making safe driving classes mandatory for your employees will show you insurer that you are serious about safety and will train your driving employees to act properly when on the road. This will help reduce the risk that they pose and will help reduce your rates.
  3. Raise your deductibles: It is no secret that increased deductibles lower premiums. It is important that you review your budget annually and impose deductibles that you can afford to pay. As your revenues increase, it is possible that your deductibles can too. But make sure that you do not get too aggressive with your deductibles and that you can afford those you set. Otherwise, you could be setting yourself up for more financial damage than an expensive premium would create.
  4. Review your coverage annually: When you simply renew the same insurance policy over and over without reviewing it, you could be missing subtle changes that have occurred in your business and that should be reflected in your policy. For example, it is possible that you have too much insurance on company vehicles that have lost value over the years or, maybe you are covered for incidents that you and your drivers have little risk in encountering. It is important to review all these factors annually so you can stay on top of inefficiencies and streamline both your policy and your premium.
  5. Lower your limits: Keep track of the value of your fleet and lower your limits accordingly so that you can keep your policy affordable. Your company vehicles lose value every year and, if they are driven often, may lose value at a faster rate than a normal car. There is no point in having a high limit if your cars aren’t worth that much, unless you are looking for replacement value instead of actual value. When it comes to medical and bodily injury coverage, be sure not to lower your limits too aggressively since these costs tend to increase over the year rather than decrease.
  6. Invest in anti-theft devices: Make sure you have tracking systems, steering wheel locking devices and alarms to help reduce the risk of theft and reduce your insurance premium. Also, make sure your cars are stored in well-lit areas to further reduce the risk of vandalism or theft.
  7. Safety features: Make sure your cars have safety features such as airbags, automatic seatbelts and anti-lock brakes. All of these automated safety devices will help reduce injuries when accidents occur which reduces the possible medical expenses and reduces your insurance company’s risk.
  8. Reduce endorsements: You can add endorsements like driver-other car and non-owned vehicle, but these endorsements will increase your premium. Evaluate their cost in relation to having a separate policy for your family or not allowing employees to drive their vehicles for company business.

Remember, when it comes to controlling premium costs, it is all about reducing the risks your insurance company takes on. Whether those risks involve exposure to claims or the expense of potential claims, your reducing exposure to them will always result in lower premiums. Plus, you’ll get the added benefit of reducing your own company’s exposure to these insurable incidents which, even when covered by insurance, can put a cramp in your business operations as well as your wallet.

Want to Reduce Your Auto Insurance Costs? Let Me Count the Ways!

We all complain about the mounting cost of automobile insurance. So what are our options to lower our auto insurance expense? Take a look at the following list of opportunities to reduce your auto insurance.

1. Plan For And Include Auto Insurance Costs Into The Cost Of your Auto Purchase
To begin with, buying a car is a significant initial expense and auto insurance is a sizable subsequent expense in your ongoing cost of ownership. You should always look into what your insurance costs are going to be on any vehicle you consider buying.

2. Research Auto Insurance Rates On Different Makes And Models Before Buying Your Car.
Insurers rate vehicles on a risk scale based on statistics that cover a range of factors such as exposure to risk of injury or theft, vandalism, flashy or sporty vehicles, cost, cost to fix, past claims history, overall safety record, etc. The higher the risk, the higher the insurance premium. Many insurers offer discounts for low-risk vehicles such as sedans and station wagons. Check out this information with your state or provincial insurance agencies before you to decide what car to buy.

3. Research And Get Quotes From Several Insurance Agencies
Once you have decided on a make and model of car, the best way to make sure you are getting the most affordable price for your auto insurance policy is to do your research and compare, quotes. You should obtain a number of quotes from different insurers as coverage costs from one insurer to the next can vary by hundreds of dollars, and possibly thousands of dollars. Get at least three price quotes. Call insurers directly or get online quotes. Provide the same coverage, deductibles and limitations so you can compare apples with apples. Nowadays, comparison sites do all the legwork for you and provide competing rates side-by-side. Visit some of the sites advertised on my website listed below.

4. Save Money By Raising Your Deductibles
You can reduce your insurance premium considerably by increasing the deductible on the comprehensive and collision portion of your insurance policy. However, keep in mind that in the event you have an accident and file a claim, you will have to pay the deductible out of your own pocket. So make sure you can afford to do that. You can save 10 percent or more by increasing your deductible from say $500 to $1,000. If your claim is $2500 and your deductible is $1,000, you will pay $1,000 and your insurance company will pay $1500.

5. Save Money By Purchasing Home And Auto Insurance From the Same Insurer
Purchasing your home and automobile insurance policies with the same insurer may qualify you for a further discount, which may shave up to another 10% on both policies. Most insurers offer this saving as an incentive to get your home insurance business too.

.6 Save Money By Including All Vehicles Under The Same Policy
Similarly, many insurers offer a multi-auto discounts for those who insure more than one car on the same policy. You can save up to 10% by placing more than one vehicle under the same policy.

7. Save Money By Maintaining A Good Driving Record
Your driving record is a significant factor in determining your insurance rate. If you have a clean driving record (without accidents, traffic tickets, drunk driving convictions, etc.,) you may be eligible for further discounts on your auto insurance policy. A bad driving record can become very costly in terms of insurance premiums, as you may take three years or more to wipe out past misdemeanors off your record.

8. Save Money By Maintaining A Good Credit Record
Insurers are increasingly using credit information to price auto insurance policies. Developing and maintaining a solid credit history can reduce your insurance costs. To protect your credit status, pay your debts on time, don’t get more credit than you need and keep your debt balances as low as possible. Review your credit record often and ensure your record remains accurate by getting errors corrected promptly.

9. Save By Asking For Low Mileage Discounts
If you are retired, semi-retired, car-pool or use public transportation to go to work, and generally keep your annual car mileage as low as possible you may be eligible for a low-mileage discount. The low mileage limit is generally around 10k-12k miles per year depending on the state or province you live in.

10. Research Other Discounts
Other discounts may be available if you meet certain conditions. Examples may include age group, low mileage, occupation, if you install an alarm or other safety devices in your car, taken a defensive driving or drivers education course, are a member of an auto club, or loyal to the same auto insurance company for a number of years. These discounts vary by insurer.

11. Inquire about Group Insurance
Some insurers may offer discounts to drivers who obtain insurance through an employer provided group plan, through professional, business and alumni groups, or trade associations. Ask your employer and check with groups or clubs you are a member of to see if you are entitled to such discounts.

12. Drop Collision Coverage On An Older Car
If your car is 10 years or older, you may want to consider removing the collision coverage on your policy. Before you do this, you need to weigh the cost of the collision coverage with the value of your car and your chosen deductibles. For example, if you had a 12-year-old car that was worth about $1,000, and your deductible was $1,000, that collision coverage is worth zero. However, remember that you will have to bear the cost of repairs directly out of your pocket should you get into an accident.

13. Take Defensive Driver Training Courses
Safer drivers pay lower insurance rates. Taking state and/or insurer approved defensive driving courses in the past 3 years will get you reduced auto insurance premiums.

14. Install Safety And Anti-Theft Devices In Your Car
Insurers may give you discounts on your auto insurance if your car is equipped with one or more of the following options: Anti-lock brakes, automatic seat belts, and airbags. Similarly, anti-theft devices such as car alarms and tracking systems may also get you a discount because they reduce the chances of your car being stolen or vandalized.

15 Reduce Auto Insurance By Moving
If you move from urban big city traffic location to a rural area with little crime and traffic congestion, your premium will generally be lower. Of course, you would do this only if it is in keeping with other life-style decision factors.

16. Where Do You Park Your Car?
If you park your car in a garage, you may be entitled to a slight premium reduction. Cars parked in garages are less likely to be stolen, vandalized, or struck by other vehicles.

17. Develop A Relationship With Your Insurer
If you have been with one insurer for a long time, most will charge an existing client who has more than one recent claim less than they would a new client in the same situation.

18. Keep Your Insurer Up To Date
Make sure your insurance company always has correct and up-to-date information on file. For instance, if you relocate from an urban to a suburban or rural area, your rates may go down.

The key to auto insurance savings is not the discounts, but the final price. An insurer that offers few discounts may still have a lower overall price. The discounts listed may not be available in all states or provinces or from all insurance companies, so once again, it pays to do your research as the savings are just too significant to lose!