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How to Save On Business Car Insurance

Author : Sandra

Business car insurance, technically called commercial auto insurance protects a business from the cost of a car accident.

A flower shop, for instance, may have a commercial van to deliver flowers to customers. If, during the course of running a late delivery, the van runs into a car, truck, or motorcycle, the flower business may have to pay property repair costs and medical injury expenses because of the accident. Without insurance, the business will be in legal trouble for not meeting the states minimal commercial liability requirements, and by underinsuring, it will be in financial trouble. However, with the right commercial auto insurance, it will be legally and financially protected.

Different Types of Commercial Auto Insurance

A business that owns commercial vehicles, like passenger cars, delivery vans, and commercial trucks, must invest in buying commercial auto insurance. Although the state only requires minimum liability insurance, it would be advisable for the business to also consider collision insurance, comprehensive insurance, and underinsured motorist insurance.

Commercial Liability Insurance

In the United States, there is no standard commercial liability insurance requirement because this will vary from one state to another.

In Alaska, for example, the state requires:

  • 50/100/25 split liability coverage.
  • $50,000 bodily injury protection for each person.
  • $100,000 bodily injury protection for each accident.
  • $25,000 property damage protection for each accident.

By comparison, Montana is almost liberal in its requirements, only asking for a 25/50/10 split liability cover.

Advice on Meeting State Requirements

In working to meet state requirements, there are essentially 3 steps to take:

  1. Consult an auto insurance company selling commercial auto insurance or consult the state department insurance website.
  2. Over insure, rather than under insure. It costs only a little more, but it can save thousands, if not tens of thousands in expenses.
  3. Carry a 100/300/100 split liability cover after reviewing the net worth of personal and business assets.

Collision Coverage

Commercial vehicles are well protected with collision insurance, which covers the cost of repairs after an accident.

This coverage includes more than just a collision between two vehicles. It also includes collision with stationary objects like a wall, a road sign or a mail box.

Comprehensive Insurance

Comprehensive insurance is less specific than collision insurance, not focused on accidents alone, but covering costs associated with less tangible events that can also damage a vehicle. It covers natural causes of damage like bad weather conditions, storms, and earthquakes. It also covers intentional, man-made causes of disaster like vandalism or theft.

Commercial vehicle insurance is recommended for busy and densely populated cities and towns where there is a likelihood of theft or an act of vandalism. It is also recommended for places where storms, extreme weather conditions, or natural disasters are prevalent.

Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Underinsured motorist insurance and uninsured motorist insurance, as the name implies, protect a business financially when an accident involves an underinsured or uninsured driver.

If, for instance, the commercial vehicle has an accident that results in $25,000 worth of repair expenses, but the other driver is underinsured, carrying only $12,500 in property liability insurance, this leaves the business $12,500 short of what it needs for necessary repairs for their commercial vehicle. Instead of having to pay the expense out of pocket to resume business operations, the underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage will take care of the outstanding $12,500.

Insurance for Commercial Fleets

A commercial fleet is usually defined as having 25 or more vehicles, and there are three insurance options to consider:

  1. Submitting a cash deposit to the states department of motor vehicles.
  2. Obtaining self insurance. This means setting aside money to meet state minimum liability requirements for vehicle-related expenses.
  3. Obtaining a surety bond.

Of course, the final authority on the insurance requirements for commercial fleets rests with the states department of motor vehicles. They are the ones who can provide the most reliable information on cash deposit options, self insurance, and surety bonds. The fact is that not every state accepts these alternative forms of insurance.

How to Save Money on Insurance

Although a commercial insurance policy will increase the cost of doing business, it is a necessary expense because it meets state requirements and provides financial protection. However, there are specific strategies that a company can use to reduce costs while not compromising on coverage.

Three of the most effective cost-cutting strategies are choosing a higher deductible, choosing an alternative payment option, and choosing a personal payment provider.

Let us look at these in some detail.

Cost-Saving Strategy 1: Choosing a higher deductible.

A business must pay a deductible when it purchases a business insurance policy. A deductible is the sum that has to be paid before an insurance company will consider an accident claim. The higher the deductible chosen, the lower the premiums will be. This could mean savings on annual insurance expense if the company generally has a safe driving record. However, it also warrants that money be set aside in a special savings account to meet the deductible should the need arise. This strategy can go awry, however, if a company chooses a higher deductible than it can set aside funds to meet. This will result in a company not being able to pay for repairing a damaged vehicle after an accident.

Cost-Saving Strategy 2: Choosing an alternative payment option.

A company can save money by choosing from several payment options.

For instance, it can save money by:

  • Paying the commercial insurance policy in full, thus cutting out expenses related to administration costs and interest fees.
  • In addition, some insurers also offer an additional incentive for paying the commercial insurance policy in full: a discount of 10%.
  • Paying with an electronic funds transfer (EFT), thus savings on administration fees. An EFT payment means the insurance payment is auto-deducted from the company’s business bank account at a predetermined date.

Cost-Saving Strategy 3: Choosing an alternative payment option.

By using the same provider, a company can earn a discounted rate for loyalty. This strategy, however, needs to be tempered by periodically checking auto insurance quotes to ensure that another insurer is not offering even better rates for the same amount of coverage. Pricing structures in the insurance industry are always in flux, and today’s bargain quote can be tomorrow’s highest cost.

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March 3, 2011 um 9:44 am
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    #1 Comment vom 09. March 2013 um 12:49 pm

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