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Not All Car Insurance Companies Are the Same

Anyone who owns a car knows that they must have some type of car insurance if they are going to drive on public highways. This is true in almost every state. This insurance is designed to protect not only the owner of the car but also other drivers on the roads that might be hurt due to an accident involving the insured’s car. It is also important to note that not all car insurance companies are the same and researching insurance options is a vital part of getting the best and most economical car insurance.

Comparing Car Insurance Companies

Purchasing an auto insurance policy is more than simply comparing prices and choosing the one with the best quote. It is important to get an understanding of the company that is offering the insurance. If the company is solid then the policy will most likely be a good one; however, if the auto insurance policy is bought from a company that is not solid, there is always the chance that the policy will be useless when and if a claim is ever made.

There are many different types of car insurance companies and the first step to obtaining a quality policy is to find one that meets the current needs. Some of these insurance companies include:

  • High risk auto insurance companies: These companies specialize in offering insurance to high risk drivers, such as those who have prior DUIs or have been charged with reckless driving and have to pay higher premiums.
  • Family auto insurance companies: These are typical auto insurance companies that offer car insurance and may also offer homeowners and life insurance.
  • Business and commercial auto insurance companies: These companies specialize in fleet and business auto insurance.
  • Elderly driving insurance: These insurance companies deal only with elderly drivers and offer them the insurance they need to stay protected during their golden years.

Once the type of insurance company has been determined, the next step is to compare the companies in order to come up with a short list and ultimately make a decision on one company. The following tips will help make the best decision on which insurance company to choose for car insurance.

  • Financial Strength: It is important that financial strengths are compared. The bottom line is that insurance is ultimately purchased in order to protect a person financially. The insurance company that is ultimately selected needs to be financially secure so that when a claim is made they will be able to meet their financial obligations.

Researching the financial strength of a company is not difficult. The Internet offers access to companies like A. M. Best and J.W. Powers. These companies rate insurance companies based on their financial strength. Companies that have an “excellent” or “superior” rating are safe bets. Any rating less than superior should be avoided as the company could have a hard time meeting financial obligations, such as paying out claims.

  • Customer Service: An insurance policy is no good if the insured can’t get help when it is needed. Check the company’s website to find out what their customer service hours are and if they offer alternate means of communicating with their agents. Some insurance companies have agents that are on duty 24-hours a day.
  • Payment Options: Compare the payment options that each company offers. Do they penalize for mail-in payments? Do they offer discounts for electronic payments? Do they accept credit card payments? What is the grace period?
  • Coverage: Compare the types of coverage that the plans offer. Every insurance company offers the basics; however, some companies offer extra services such as roadside assistance and rental reimbursement. If these are important, the company selected will need to be able to provide them.
  • Ask for advice: Friends and family members that have auto insurance are an excellent way of getting good advice on car insurance companies. Ask specific questions, such as how long it took to have a claim paid or what types of discounts the company offers.
  • Read Reviews: In addition to asking friends and family about their insurance, go on the web and read the reviews that are posted on insurance forums. People go on these sites to share their experience with insurance companies so that other people can use their advice. In addition, many insurance companies post their customer reviews on their website to help potential clients make a decision.

Using these tips to uncover the best car insurance companies will make it easier to come to an ultimate decision and choose the company that meets all the insurance needs. Not all car insurance companies are the same and using tools to compare the various ones will help bring the best ones to the forefront and make a decision easy.

How to Purchase Business Auto Insurance

Businesses that use vehicles need to have commercial auto insurance in place to protect the business assets in the event that can accident occurs. This may seem like a task that is as simple as buying car insurance for private driving; however, there are some important points that should be followed in order to know how to purchase business auto insurance that is effective and not simply a piece of useless paper.

Points to Consider and Questions to Ask

The following are important points that need to be considered and some questions that should be asked when purchasing business auto insurance.

  • What does the insurance company consider commercial use? This is important in choosing the right policy. It is best to let a professional insurance agent make the determination as to whether or not the insurance policy should be commercial.
  • Vehicles and Drivers: Many commercial auto insurance companies divide their insurance policies up based on how many vehicles are being insured and how many employees will be considered drivers. Some companies offer fleet insurance that is based on a certain number of vehicles being insured. This is often less expensive than having individual policies for each vehicle.
  • What type of insurance is needed if employees drive their own vehicles while performing company work? Is the business liable if they are injured in an accident while on company time and yet using their own vehicle? These are important questions to ask a professional agent, particularly if employees are going to use their personal vehicles.
  • Who owns the vehicle? This can make a difference in the type of policy that is available. In order to qualify for business auto insurance, the vehicle must typically be in the company name.
  • How is the vehicle used by the company? Is it a delivery vehicle or simply a means of transportation for company use? Will clients be travelling in the vehicle? The insurance agent must know these things in order to put the appropriate provisions in place on the policy.

The following tips will help when taking out a commercial policy. Following these bits of advice will ensure that the appropriate coverage is in place and that the business is covered.

  • All vehicles that are being driven as part of the business should be listed in the name of the company. The company should be the vehicle owner and the primary insured.
  • All employees that are listed as drivers of company vehicles should have excellent driving records. The insurance company will need their driver’s license number in order for them to be insured drivers.

Once all of the questions have been answered and a good understanding of business auto insurance has been satisfied, it is time to understand how to lower the cost of business auto insurance.

Lowering Business Auto Insurance Premiums

It is possible to have business auto insurance that is comprehensive in coverage and yet has discounts and saving built into it. The following are ways to save money on commercial auto insurance.

  • Only allow employees with good driving records to use the company vehicles. If necessary, ask employees that are going to drive to present a current driving record.
  • Keep the vehicles parked in a safe location – the cost of theft insurance is determined by the location of the business.
  • Choose safety rated vehicles instead of sporty ones.
  • Elect to have higher deductibles if the company can afford this option.
  • Install as many safety devices and anti-theft devices as possible, including alarms and GPS systems. Make sure the vehicle is equipped with air bags and seat belts.
  • Check with an insurance agent to determine if the area where the business is located has an impact on the auto insurance premiums, for example, coastal regions experience hurricanes and so insurance premiums are often higher than in other areas.
  • Maintain good driving record as this will play a role in the cost of business auto insurance. Insurance companies take into consideration the number of claims that have been filed in the past and use this to make a determination on the policy premium.
  • Coverage amounts are another important aspect of the policy premiums. Businesses should have high coverage in order to protect the assets of the company; however, the coverage amount should be in line with the business. Talking to an experienced agent will help with determining how much insurance the business needs.

Business auto insurance is an important part of operating a business that is financially healthy and stable. This insurance protects the assets of the business from becoming entangled in litigation and putting the business in danger. A professional insurance agent or broker can help determine how much business auto insurance is needed and get the policy in place.

Guide to Affordable Car Insurance

Affordable car insurance doesn’t have to mean cheap car insurance that offers little protection; in fact, it should mean a policy that offers excellent protection without trying to bankrupt the insured. This guide to affordable car insurance offers advice on how to find discounts on car insurance without sacrificing coverage.

Multiple Policy Discount: Many of the larger insurance companies offer more than just auto insurance. These companies often offer discounts for having multiple policies. It is possible to have home owner’s insurance, auto insurance and even life insurance with the same company. Companies that don’t carry multiple types of insurance often have discounts for insuring multiple cars. Ask the agent at the time of the quote if the company offers discounts for multiple polices and specifically seek out companies that carry more than one type of insurance.

Longer Terms: Insurance is typically purchased in six month coverage; however, there may be discounts available if a yearly policy is requested. Check with the insurance company to find out if they offer annual coverage and find out if they offer discounts for choosing annual coverage.

Car Protection: Many of the newer cars come pre-equipped with anti-theft devices; however, if not, they can be installed after market. Insurance companies typically offer discounts for anti-theft devices. The amount of the discount depends on the type of anti-theft device, for example, window etching can bring a bigger discount than a simple car alarm.

Mileage: Many insurance companies offer what some call a short rate. This is a discounted rate for driving fewer miles than most cars. Check with the insurance company to determine what their work mileage breaking point is and check the mileage to determine if this is a viable discount.

Storage Only Insurance: Many car insurance companies offer comprehensive insurance that covers a car while it is being stored. This insurance is in place of the liability and collision that is needed while the car is being driven. Since the car is being stored those are not needed.

Group and Member Discounts: Many professional groups and other companies offer discounts to their members on many things, including car insurance. Ask the insurance company what group discounts they offer, it is highly possible that a huge discount is being overlooked simply because no one asked.

Increase the Deductible: Most insurance premiums are less expensive when the deductible is higher. Increase the deductible but only to an amount that can be afforded should an accident occur.

Choose Electronic Payments and Statements: Most companies today offer discounts for electronic payments that are automatically deducted each month from a bank account or charged to a debit or credit card. Some companies offer an additional discount for electronic statements since this saves on the cost of postage.

Defensive or Safe Driving Courses: Taking a safe driving course is one way to save points when a speeding ticket has been issued and it is also a way to get a discount on an insurance policy. Check the auto insurance company and find out if they offer discounts for safe driving and defensive driving courses.

Credit Score: In today’s world, many insurance companies are checking credit scores and using those scores as part of the determining factor on the policy premium. Keeping credit scores healthy will help to reduce the cost of the insurance premium with many companies. This is something that should be asked about when requesting quotes.

Driver’s Education: If there are teenage drivers in the home, make sure they are enrolled in a driver’s education course. This will help offset the added cost of having a teenage driver on a policy. Ask the insurance company if they also offer added discounts for students who have good grades.

Skip the Extras: Check the policy for any added extras that could be removed in order to save money, such as rental insurance, glass coverage, roadside assistance and many other things that insurance companies add as perks but that do carry fees.

Ask for Help: Ask the insurance agent for help finding discounts on the policy. Most agents would prefer to help find discounts and sell the policy than lose the customer for lack of trying to help. Every company has their own discounts that are available but often they are not offered. This is simply an effort to make money on the part of the company. Speak up and ask what discounts are available.

Affordable car insurance is available; however, it takes time and effort to work out the details of the policy and get the premiums to an affordable price. Every insurance company is in business to make money and in order to make money they simply have to offer incentives in the form of discounts. Research and compare various companies and the discounts they offer before taking out a policy.