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Car and Home Insurance

Combining car and home insurance is often called bundling. It means you use the same insurance carrier for your home and auto insurance in order to take advantage of additional discounts.

Bundling is one of the things you can do to help control the rise in cost of insurance policies. Many of the bigger insurance companies like State Farm and Allstate, and some of the smaller carriers, are happy to help you combine policies and reduce your insurance rates.

Insurance companies like to bundle policies for many reasons. For one thing you are less likely to change insurance companies on one type of policy, like for car insurance, if you are with the same company that holds your house insurance, and sometimes even your life insurance. Also providing a reduced rate for bundled policies can protect the insurance company because the risks of a claim are reduced and yet the insurance company will still generate a profit.

Finding a Bundled Insurance Policy

You shop for a bundled insurance policy just like you would for a separate home or auto insurance policy. You need to research individual policies for car, and others for home, and then see what their discount is for combining the two policies together. Before you ask for comparison quotes decide what types of insurance you want, what limits and levels you need, what deductibles you want quoted, and then ask for the same thing from several companies so you can make an apples-to-apples comparison.

Once you get the quotes you can check payment options. Some companies will give another discount for automatic payment. You can also check their service options and make note of any extra coverage options. It makes since to start with your auto insurance as this will be the most expensive component of bundled service.

Comparing Auto Insurance

Make sure the company’s you compare for car insurance also carry home insurance and offer discounts for combining them. Collect the information from existing automobile policies to make sure you have the year, make, and model of all the vehicles you own.

Understand your state minimum car insurance requirements, and if you have a lender on any vehicles make sure that you know what the lender requires you to carry on the car. Typically the bank will require collision and comprehensive to cover replacement or repair of the car. Depending on the value of the car they may also require you to carry theft, full glass, and fire. If they don’t require this type of insurance, you might consider adding the coverage. When considering insurance for your car you should remember that if it is totaled you will have to make up any difference between what the insurance company pays and what is left on the loan.

Comparing Homeowners Insurance

Once you’ve narrowed the car insurance providers that you are interested in to two or three companies, you can get quotes from these companies for homeowner’s insurance. Each insurance company may require you to do this in a different way. Some will allow you to request a quote online for homeowner’s insurance, others will require you to speak with an agent over the phone or via an in person appointment.

Again for an apples-to-apples comparison you need to get the quote on the same deductibles and the same options, levels, and limits. Then you can highlight any differences or added benefits to each policy offered. Typically homeowner policies are less complicated and more generic than car insurance. While standard auto insurance doesn’t generally cover theft of personal items that are stored in your vehicle, RV, or boat, some homeowner policies will. Because of these differences you should compare not only the cost of the homeowner policy, but the types of additional coverage options for the difference in cost.

When you consider the savings in bundling both car and home insurance, consider the savings not just monthly and annually, but over the life of a thirty year mortgage.

Summary

Bundling car and home insurance can save you money. Once you’ve done the work, you shouldn’t just take the savings for granted each year. It is a good idea to review the coverage and cost of your insurance every few years if you don’t compare them each year. About a month or two before it is time to pay the annual premium on your home insurance you should take out your policies, review the coverage and the costs and get a few online quotes to see if the insurance coverage is still cost competitive.

It is also a good idea to check to see if the coverage you have meets your needs. Have you purchased jewelry or artwork that needs higher limits added to your homeowner’s policy? Do you have a home office for a business that you didn’t have last year? Have you paid of a car loan or has the value of your car decreased so that you can increase deductibles or drop collision and comprehensive car coverage? It’s a good idea to review your car and home insurance occasionally to ensure it still makes sense for your life.

Online Business Insurance Quote

Getting quotes online for your business insurance can prove to be an effective tool. You can get several quotes based on the same information, which provides an effective way to make price comparisons. Actually purchasing business insurance online might not be the best choice for your business. In fact, many online business insurance quote websites will send you the quotes, but to purchase you have to speak with an agent or broker.

When you are searching for online insurance quote sites for your business, it is important to understand that there are actually three types of websites that will provide insurance quotes.

The first is the insurer. This is a company’s website, say like State Farm, Progressive, or Safeco. You fill in the requested information for the type of business insurance you are interested in and the single insurer will provide you a quote and basic information on the policy. Typically on these websites, after you get the quote you will be contacted by an representative of the company to finalized the policy and make the purchase.

The second type of online insurance quote mirror’s the above, only after you received the quote from the insurer, instead of a representative calling you, the website will direct you to a search engine to allow you to choose a local agent that will take the quote, make sure you’ve considered all the options and understand the coverage, then the agent will finalize the business insurance policy and will become your point of contact with the insurer.

The third type of website is owned and operated by a third party, and this online service offers insurance quotes on multiple companies. You input the information on what you are looking for one time, the website sends this information out and you will typically get quotes from several different insurance companies. It is important to do a little research before choosing a third party website to get quotes. Many are legitimate, but some aren’t. Some may not even be licensed to sell insurance within your state. Once these third party companies give you the quotes, they often will urge you to purchase the policy online.

At this point it is up to you to decide if it is appropriate for your business to purchase business insurance online.

Deciding to Buy Business Insurance Online

If you got several business insurance quotes and are thinking about buying online, there are several things you should consider. Think about your business. Its size, how well you understand the liability risks that concern your business, and how well you manage those risks.

Small businesses may be okay with getting online insurance quotes and buying their insurance online. Small restaurants, offices, or retail stores with only a few employees and no delivery service might benefit from this service. Service providers like a small printer, dry cleaner, or package service might also be able to purchase their business insurance online.

But if you are a large company, have several employees, delivery trucks, or have specialized risks, such as handling pets or providing health related services, purchasing business insurance online is probably not a good idea. If your business has a fleet of vehicles, manufactures anything, is in the construction business in any way, or if you are a restaurant of any size that might have to deal with the liability of liquor consumption by diners, then you shouldn’t buy business insurance online.

You should be less inclined to purchase business insurance online the bigger you are, the more employees you have, or the more complicated your business becomes. At this point you may want to get several online business insurance quotes, then work with an agent once you’ve determined the company or companies you are really interested in doing business with.

Summary

Getting a selection of online business insurance quotes is a great way to compare pricing and policy options through several companies. Purchasing business insurance online should only be contemplated by those with a small, simple business that has no unusual or common risks associated with the business.

It is better if you get online business insurance quotes and then work with an agent to fine tune and purchase your policy. This way you will get more personalized service and some one specific to contact if you need to make changes in your policy or upgrade your coverage. The insurance agent should also be able to help you assess risks to your business and insure you’ve addressed all the areas of liability for your company.

There are also options that you may not realize you qualify for, for instance higher or combined deductibles, self-insured options, and other creative ideas. Working with an insurance professional to fine tune your policy will ensure that you’ve considered all the alternatives.

Commercial Auto Insurance Companies

Choosing a commercial auto insurance company or agent should be based on items such as stability, service, and price. Often agents or providers will offer different programs and policies from several insurers.

The price of the policy can vary from one insurer to the next and yet the coverage is the same. Check with several insurers before choosing the best policy. Once you’ve compared the pricing, check to make sure the insurance company is stable. You can do this by checking insurance rating at services like A.M. Best. You want a company with a rating of B+ or better.

Check reviews and the better business bureau to insure the insurance company holding your policy has an excellent customer service rating. You will also need to ensure that the company you choose has a brick and mortar location and is registered to sell insurance in your state. You can check this out by searching your state’s insurance department online. They should have a website that provides this information.

Understand Policy Options

Once you’ve chosen a couple of insurance companies, make sure you have the agent or brokers explain policy options that may benefit your business. For instance:

  • There are sometimes ways to combine vehicle deductibles on your commercial insurance if your business insures multiple vehicles. A single deductible endorsement allows you to pay only one deductible if a catastrophe occurs, taking out several of your commercial vehicles. Having this endorsement allows you to only pay one deductible, instead of one for each vehicle.
  • Or you may want to pursue unlisted vehicle coverage as an option if you need to expand your commercial insurance policy protection to vehicles you rent, or even to employee vehicles, if they use them for work. This may be advantageous for food delivery companies.
  • If your business is a sole proprietorship, you may benefit from an individual named insured endorsement. This endorsement works when you, your spouse, or related members of your household use rented, leased, or borrowed vehicles for business or commercial use.

Commercial Auto Insurance Providers

You may want to consider choosing a company that has been in business for at least ten years, they may not provide the cheapest premium, but they typically offer additional services that make up for the difference in cost. Some of the established insurance companies that offer commercial auto insurance include:

  • Progressive – Which offers not only commercial auto insurance through agencies and brokers, but they also provide commercial auto loans. This company was founded over sixty years ago.
  • GEICO – Not many realize that GEICO started as the Government Employees Insurance Company. It is now open to insure anyone in all fifty of the United States. GEICO has been in business for seventy-five years.
  • Liberty Mutual – Is another company with almost ninety years of experience. They also provide personal auto, life, and home insurance.
  • AIG or American International Group – Has operations in the US and over one hundred other countries. This world leader offers insurance as well as retirement plans, asset management, and other financial services.
  • Safeco Insurance – is available through a network of agents and brokers that stretches across the United States. They have been in business since 1923.
  • Mercury Insurance Group – has been offering affordable commercial insurance products for over forty-five years.
  • Nationwide – Began in 1925, but changed the name to Nationwide in 1955. This company is one of the largest commercial insurance providers in the world.
  • AAA Insurance – Is actually a non-profit lobby group offering car insurance. This American Automobile Association was founded over a hundred years ago and they can help you find an agent for commercial auto insurance.

These aren’t the only good insurance companies available that provide commercial auto insurance. There are others available that can provide the service and coverage that you need for your business.

Summary

Finding the best commercial auto insurance company can take a little research. You want a company that is registered and has a physical presence in your state, who has a good rating, and who has been in business for at least ten years. The big players in the industry include companies like Progressive, GEICO, and Nationwide. You can start your search by going online and getting several competitive commercial insurance quotes at one time. This can be done here.

It is important that your agent or broker understand your business and what you use the vehicles for in order to give you the best quote and talk to you about commercial insurance options that will benefit your business. The more they know about you and your business, the more they can make suggestions on ways to keep the costs down and increase coverage on your commercial vehicles. Sometimes combining a commercial policy with other insurance policies can also bring your company savings.