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6 months ago · by · 13 comments

How to Save Money on Liability Coverage

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – especially when it comes to reducing the expense of business liability coverage.

With a little planning and preparation, it’s not as difficult as you might imagine. Simply follow these steps to start saving and minimizing the ever-rising rate increases associated with insuring your business.

  1. Put it into Writing: Make sure that every employee knows and understands what is expected and the proper protocol when dealing with equipment, injuries or other situations. Implement a chain of command and actually adhere to it. Research shows few small business owners have written safety policies and even fewer put them into action. Update it frequently and keep a signed copy showing that each employee has read the policy upon being hired
  2. Carefully Screen Applicants: The first step in maintaining a safe workplace is to hire safe employees. Employees with a history of substance abuse have been associated with everything from increased risk of injury to increased risk of driving accidents; worse, they typically have higher rates of tardiness and unemployment. Drug screening and testing may play an important role in minimizing the cost of liability insurance for your company. Ask your agent how much you can save by performing routine drug screening prior to hiring and/or testing for drugs in the event of an accident or injury during work hours.
  3. Comparison Shop: It’s always wise to comparison shop in order to obtain the best rates, but remember that rates alone aren’t enough if the company isn’t responsive to your needs. Take the time to compare price, service and satisfaction ratings by other business owners before making a final decision. It’s a good idea to review your policy at least once each year or more frequently should you encounter a major change in staffing or other business operations

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6 months ago · by · 1 comment

How to Be a Wise Buyer of Auto Insurance

Wise Buyer of Auto Insurance

 

Most people shop for auto insurance after they have purchased a new vehicle, but for the best rates and biggest savings, it’s actually better to begin at the end.

Learn how to buy right to save big on car insurance costs without putting the brakes on the fun.

Shop Used Rather Than New

Not only will a used vehicle mean a slower rate of depreciation, but it’s often less expensive to insure a gently used car.

The sweet spot of savings is on vehicles roughly two to three years old and with less than 45,000 miles, although it varies considerably from car to car.

Keep Credit Tuned

Not only does good credit help reduce the cost of financing your new vehicle but insurance companies routinely consider credit score, driving record and other personal criteria in the cost of insurance.

Make it a priority to stay in shape by performing annual credit evaluations while steering clear of traffic violations in order to obtain the best rates.

Call for Quotes – Especially on Customized Cars

That super-charged engine or enhanced wheel package might look fantastic but tripping the light fantastic could cost you a bundle when it comes time to buy insurance. In fact, depending upon the type of work performed, it may negate the warranty and limit the terms of liability should damage related to the custom changes occur.

Safety Rating Rule

Perform a search for the most recent safety rating associated with the make and model of the car you are considering for purchase.

Title Matters

How you legally hold title to the vehicle is especially important when it comes time to purchase an auto insurance policy.

Parents or partners with poor driving records should pay special attention to how the title may impact the purchase of auto insurance.

If you need a quote, call the office.

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7 months ago · by · 8 comments

Protection That Keeps Your Business Humming

Business Equipment Protection

Buying business and equipment insurance is often considered little more than a necessary evil when, in fact, it might be one of the most important business decisions you make.  Business equipment insurance does more than simply protect against theft or vandalism. Depending upon the policy it can protect against most commonly encountered perils, including:

  • Equipment failure due to power surge or equipment malfunction
  • Repair or replacement cost of a covered item
  • Ancillary expenses required to restore vital parts, materials, or covered services

This is especially important when you consider the value derived from many computer storage systems or other common pieces of business equipment. For example, a computer that originally cost $2,500 may contain tens of thousands of dollars in data, client contact listings or other specialized information. Knowing how to insure both the computer and the content is essential to running a successful business, especially in today’s challenging economy.

Learn how to buy the right policy to protect your business without breaking the bank with these helpful hints and tips.

Make a list and check it twice. The first step is buying the right policy is to make sure that all your items are included in the policy. Create a list of all items, original purchase price, whether they are owned and used exclusively by the business or not, and condition. It is a good idea to take photographs whenever possible.

Decide upon coverage. Depending upon the type of asset, coverage may be limited to present value, or may pay for full replacement. Common considerations to keep in mind include whether or not the item was purchased new or used, lease terms, and depreciation schedules. Determine deductibles and your desired level of coverage prior to obtaining a quote.

Understand limitations and exclusions related to use. Employees, owners, and others should fully understand and agree to the limitations and exclusions of coverage. For example, unauthorized personal use of a business asset such as a vehicle may place the company at increased risk should an accident take place. Be sure to ask about additional riders to provide protection for dual-use items or special situations where workers use company equipment off-site or during personal time off.

Update annually. It’s a good idea to review and update insurance at least once per year. Pay special attention to newly acquired equipment and take time to update agent files related to disposed or fully depreciated property. Ask about discounts for safety measures, security systems, identification, and other steps designed to deter claims.

Weigh options and alternatives carefully. One final consideration to keep in mind is whether or not to allow employees and/or subcontractors to provide their own equipment (and coverage) or not. Not only are there important liability considerations to keep in mind, it doesn’t always save as much money as expected. Variations in quality, compatibility, and time savings may erode anticipated savings while increasing risk for the company as a whole. Carefully evaluate how employee-supplied equipment will impact your company prior to creating or purchasing a policy.

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