Car insurance is a necessity that can end up costing consumers thousands of dollars every year. By using these simple auto insurance tips you could lower your premiums and end up saving a pretty penny at the end of the year.

Check Your Credit Score

Many people don’t realize that their credit score can have a huge effect on their insurance rate. Most car insurance companies are now using your credit score more often to determine your premiums (along with a host of other factors). Typically the lower your credit score, the higher the rate and the premium you have to pay. Whether it is fair or not, the belief is that responsibility with finances translates into responsibility into all other factors of life, including driving. Knowing your credit score before you start shopping around and negotiating will give you a lot more leverage over the situation.

Request a Review

If any significant changes have recently occurred, asking your insurance provider to review your account will bring it to their attention. Positive changes that could save you money could include a bump in your credit score, a safer vehicle or safety installments like anti-lock brakes, moving to a safer part of town, or driving trends like carpooling or a shorter commute to work.

Shop Around and Negotiate

Get quotes from all of the major insurance companies, even if you already have a provider. Shopping around never hurts and often it can be used as a way to tell your provider “Well this company has offered me a comparable policy at this lower rate.” Silence is often your best friend when it comes to negotiating your premiums; wait for the representative to offer deals and incentives that may not even be offered online or through other ads. Just make sure that you compare auto insurance quotes before you settle with one provider over another.

Talk On the Phone and Get Personal

It is easy in this tech savvy world to use the internet for almost everything and anything, but do not use it as a crutch when shopping for car insurance.  Online tools and basics will only show you the basic packages and costs. Sometimes finding the promotions that can help your specific circumstances is best done over the phone where you can actually create a dialogue with a representative

Higher Deductibles = Lower Premiums

If you can afford it and do not think you are at risk of needing a low deductible, offering to pay higher deductibles is one of the easiest ways of lowering your premiums. A $200 deductible rate will anywhere from a 15-30% higher premium rate than a $500 deductible. If you do not need your car repaired or serviced often this can add up to savings quite quickly. Once again, just be sure you have the funds to cover your deductible payment in case you do get into trouble.

Utilize these auto insurance tips to lower your premiums and save money. Be sure to take the time to find the coverage that is right for you and try to negotiate a lower premium with your provider. Remember, they will not help you if you do not ask.

Edward Oberg left the insurance industry to begin his career as a freelance blogger. When he’s not writing about car insurance, he’s working on his backgammon skills or watching the latest episode of Sons of Anarchy.  

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As a truck driver, your fleet management company mostly takes care of insurance on your behalf. But, when you choose to become an owner/operator of your own business or fleet, you’ll need to invest in good insurance coverage to keep your drivers and your trucks safe on the roads. Not sure where to get started? Check out this list of common types of insurance benefits for owners/operators of trucking fleets.

Primary liability insurance or primary auto liability is one of the most important and basic types of insurance for truck drivers. Every carrier is required by law to have liability insurance on every truck in his or her fleet. This insurance covers any damages or injuries that might occur to the driver or truck in the event of an accident. This insurance also covers any injuries or damages sustained to a third party. Primary liability insurance should cover up to $750,000 in damages or injuries if your driver is found to be at fault. This amount is the minimum base number. Any damages or injuries that exceed the required $750,000 minimum would come out of pocket, so it’s wise to invest in an insurance amount that will completely cover your entire fleet.

General liability insurance provides coverage for your truck when it or the driver is not on the road. This type of insurance will cover any accidents that might take place at rest stops, in parking lots or while loading or unloading at the dock. General liability insurance also covers vandalism to your vehicle and theft of goods or on-board technology like your EOBR or fleet tracking systems. This insurance could come in several small packages that you can pick and choose from or as one general package. Talk to your insurance provider about which option is best for your fleet.

Cargo insurance will cover the cost of any damaged or lost freight while the truck is in transit. The amount of cargo insurance you need to purchase depends on the type of freight your fleet hauls. The minimum amount of cargo insurance is $100,000. If your fleet hauls more expensive goods, you will want to purchase more than the minimum amount. Talk to your insurance provider about how much insurance you need to purchase and be sure to read the policy carefully. This type of insurance often has many exceptions, including unattended vehicle clauses and maximum theft limitations.

Terminal insurance and warehouse legal insurance will keep your freight protected from theft, fire, water damage or more while it’s at a terminal or warehouse. In the event of a loss or damage, this type of insurance can help cover the cost of replacing or repairing any damaged freight. Terminal coverage typically has time limits, like a 72-hour maximum per load. If your freight will be in a terminal for longer than 72 hours, you might want to purchase warehouse legal coverage to get longer-term protection. Be sure to speak with your insurance agent and read your policy carefully as the amount of coverage depends upon the total amount of freight that’s current stored, docked or off-loaded at any specific time.

Non-trucking Liability Insurance: Non-trucking liability insurance would cover your driver’s truck when they’re not out on a route. It will cover accidents that happen at home in a driveway or at any time when the driver isn’t working. Generally speaking, this type of insurance is the driver’s responsibility — and it’s wise to encourage your drivers to invest in this insurance.

Be sure to know your legal requirements before you begin shopping for insurance. Primary liability insurance is mandatory across all 50 states. If you or one of your drivers is caught without insurance, you could end up paying expensive fines and your driver could lose his/her Commercial Driver’s License. Investing in adequate insurance coverage now can save you time and money later.

 

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Earlier this month, it was announced that the Obama Administration has decided to move back the implementation of the employer mandate known more commonly as the Affordable Healthcare Act. Previously set to go into effect in January of 2014, the implementation of the new law that businesses with over 50 employees must carry health insurance to cover them will now be delayed until January of 2015. A large reason for this sudden decision to delay is to give businesses the proper time to restructure themselves and financially prepare to carry insurance that best suits the majority of their employees. Many employers voiced concerns over implementing the policies and procedures of the new law by 2014 citing both financial and technical complications. The mandate that taxpayers buy insurance or pay a government fine still applies though. What they are saying is that they will need more time to implement a system that allows them to verify the coverage people are receiving from their employers.

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obamaThere are however, a few things that businesses must keep in mind. Many of the Obamacare Act provisions will still do technically go into effect this January and it is important that businesses continue to take necessary steps to accommodate them. Such provisions include:

  • End of the ban on dollar limits of essential health benefits: The annual and lifetime limits on essential health coverage are being done away with. Businesses must be more efficient at determining costs of insurance for employees that might be at a health risk because certain disabilities and ailments could cost more in the event they are hired.

  • 90 Day-limit on eligibility waiting periods: Plan sponsors will be allowed to establish a waiting period up to 90 days after a person has satisfied the conditions of eligibility. What businesses must be aware of is that if a person has already been waiting for a period longer than 90 days on January 1, 2014, the waiting period will have to be reduced. This puts some pressure on businesses to get everyone squared away by then in order to avoid any potential fines.

  • New out-of-pocket limit maximums: The limit on out-of-pocket expenses is increasing by $100 for an individual and $200 for a family. This means businesses will have to have plans that cover that much more in co-pay and deductibles per year.

  • Elimination of pre-existing conditions exclusions for adults: A pre-existing condition will no longer prevent someone from being covered simply because their condition might be more expensive or a higher risk to cover. In the past insurance companies could refuse coverage to someone if their pre-existing condition was deemed too costly to cover. This will now apply to adults, including employees.

  • Coverage of clinical trial participant costs: As of 2014 the new laws require that a qualified individual in any sort of approved clinical trial, the insurance plan can’t deny coverage for any related services. So if a patient were to request hospitalization or other healthcare supervision in connection with the trial there will be a charge for those services.

The mandate for these laws goes into effect in 2014, but what the government is saying is that businesses will have a year to implement these policies and provisions before they begin to see serious fines. For businesses of 50 or more that don’t already offer appropriate insurance coverage, this gives them time to budget and plan accordingly so that they don’t get fined due to lack of progress. This being said it will be better for businesses to begin restructuring sooner than later so that they can avoid the hefty fines that still haven’t really been finalized yet in terms of severity.

Allen Grove is a writer that loves researching about the latest trends in business and finance with Dallas Insurance Agents.

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