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In the Driver’s Seat: Understanding Auto Insurance For Business

For many companies, business depends on cars. This is true whether the business is a sole proprietorship or a corporation with hundreds of employees. When it comes to insurance needs, the type of policy can vary widely. It all depends on the type of business, who owns the vehicles, who’s driving them, and how often. Coverage Needs In most states, business vehicles require liability insurance for both bodily injury and property damage  that may result from an accident involving someone from the company. Many states also require uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and/or personal injury protection (PIP). If the business owns or leases the vehicle, physical damage coverage is also often purchased. The typical insurance policy that covers your business operations—a Business Owners Policy (BOP)—does not cover vehicles. A separate policy is needed for autos. In most cases, it will be a Business Auto Coverage Form (BACF). The BACF doesn’t require the same…

How Much Car Insurance Is Enough?

Accidents happen. In the blink of an eye. In a left-hand turn. Life can throw you a curveball. That’s what happened to Maggie. It was a few days before Thanksgiving. Her daughter was home from college. The two were out having a great morning catching up. Then, as Maggie turned out of a shopping center, her SUV hit an oncoming minivan and flipped it onto its side. The accident happened so fast. Maggie and her daughter are still unclear how it happened. Luckily, no serious injuries occurred. However, the passengers in the other vehicle sued for musculoskeletal and emotional damages. Years of court hearings followed. Thankfully, Margaret had adequate car insurance. Her provider took care of all the legal proceedings and settlements. Insurance also covered the damages sustained to her SUV. Margaret’s story goes to show that accidents happen when you least expect them. They can happen to anyone. Without…

Renting Cars Through an App and How It Impacts Insurance

Most cars stay parked more than they roam the road throughout most of their lifetimes. Seems like a waste. What if, simply by using an app, you could not only get additional use from your car, but also make a little money on the side? Perhaps to help finance the payments or insurance, take a trip or just to save some extra cash? Copying business models similar to those of Uber and Airbnb, peer-to-peer car-sharing services use apps to make this happen for folks across North America and the world. What do you need to know about any rules, regulations and insurance before trying to turn your extra vehicles into cash cows? Why Peer-to-Peer Sharing Appeals to Users Peer-to-peer car-sharing companies such as Turo and Getaround appeal to customers for reasons of convenience, value, variety and location. Peer-to-peer renters can bypass busy airport counters and all of the paperwork processing…

Are Extended Warranties Worth the Extra Money?

The late comedian, John Pinette, had a routine about buying a $2,000 TV and being asked if he’d also like an extended warranty. The exchange went like this: “What do I need an extended warranty for?” “Well, in case the TV breaks.” “If the TV’s gonna break, I’m not buying it!” According to Pinette, the salesman’s eyes went dead: “Nobody had ever said that to him before. Nobody ever questions them! We just sign on the dotted line, and it’s wrong! And I was gonna stick up for all of us!” The routine comes with an important message: Don’t sign up for extended warranties, just because some extra protection sounds good. You have to find out if the deal makes sense. What Is an Extended Warranty? Extended warranties are insurance policies that extend or supplement the manufacturer’s warranty that comes with a product. Sometimes the coverage comes from the manufacturer…

Before You Buckle Up: Insurance Tips for New Drivers

For new drivers, earning that license may seem like the biggest challenge when it comes to driving. However, obtaining the right car insurance is another obstacle many drivers don’t consider. These tips will help you keep in mind all you need to know about car insurance as a new driver. Consider Your Car Insurance Coverage If you are driving a car that is registered in your name, you likely need car insurance. It is the law in most states. However, there are several different types of coverage. Understanding all of the coverage types is the first step in determining the type or types of insurance that will best meet your needs. Liability insurance is the most frequently discussed type of insurance because it is required in most states. It covers the cost of both injuries to other parties and property damage in the event of an accident. Personal injury protection…

10 Keys to Saving Money on Vehicle Maintenance

The average age of a vehicle on America’s roadways today is approaching 12 years. Twenty years ago that number was 8.4; 40 years ago it was only 5.5 years. Whether it is a testament to improved manufacturing, higher car prices, or maybe Americans have figured out that life is pretty good without a monthly car payment, one thing is clear: Vehicles are lasting longer and proper maintenance can push life expectancy to unprecedented levels. But we can’t forget all that care and feeding can still present some sticker shock. Here are 10 tips for keeping your ride and your wallet in good shape. Change Your Own Oil Even if you ignore every other scheduled maintenance item, don’t forget to change the oil. Nothing will ruin an engine more quickly than expired motor oil. But a typical oil change can run between $40 and $100, an average of three times per…

3 Steps to Handling a Fender Bender

What do you after getting into a fender bender? Assuming nobody is seriously hurt and you don’t have to call immediately for help, you have some work ahead of you—dealing with the other motorist, informing the authorities and working with your insurance company. Document the Crash While you’re still at the scene, safety is top priority. If possible, motion for the other driver to pull over, so both of you are out of harm’s way. If your vehicle is not drivable, it might be best to stay in it until help arrives. In that case, call 911 for police help. In addition to helping keep the scene safe, the police will help document what happened. Check your state laws – you may be required to fill out a police report at the nearest station, even if the police aren’t called to the scene. Be thorough. Use your smartphone to take…

America's Best Drivers Report 2016

Planes, trains and automobiles. Let’s focus on the automobiles and their drivers for a minute. Like many Americans, you probably travel from time to time.  As you begin a new adventure in an unfamiliar city or state, one of the first things you may notice is how people there drive. You guessed it — some cities have the best drivers and are much safer than other cities when it comes to driving. No matter how safe a driver you claim to be, your fate on the road depends heavily on other drivers. Over 2 million people are injured, disabled or killed in road crashes each year in the US.  That’s why it pays to know just how safe ­— or how dangerous — a city is from a driver’s perspective. According to Allstate’s 2016 Best Drivers Report, here are the five best and worst cities when it comes to driving…

Does Driver Assistance Mean You Don't Need Auto Insurance?

While the technology exists for cars to drive around on their own, self-driving cars are a long way from hitting the mainstream. However, some features from self-driving cars are available today in the form of driver assistance. Today’s cars can change lanes, avoid accidents, and stay in a lane without much input from the driver, but does a car that can drive on its own mean you don’t need auto insurance? Let’s take a look at the legality of self-driving and driver assisted cars as it pertains to car insurance. Do Cars Really Drive on Their Own? Recently in Texas, someone was driving along in his Tesla with driver assist features turned on. However, driver assist is not the same as a completely autonomous self-driving car. If you put too much trust in these features, you could end up just like the driver in Texas, with a busted Tesla. This…

Is a Home and Auto Insurance Bundle Right for You?

When it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, purchasing your home and auto insurance in a bundle makes a lot of sense. To reward your loyalty, most insurance companies will offer you a discounted rate – usually on your auto insurance. It’s also convenient: Having one bill and one agent for both policies reduces the hassles associated with using multiple insurance carriers. But there can be a downside to bundling, too. In some cases, you may save more by using one carrier for your homeowners coverage and another for your auto insurance. And then there’s the question of quality: While you may love one company for their homeowners coverage, you may not consider their auto coverage to be up to par. Here are five tips for helping you decide whether or not to bundle your home and auto insurance. Evaluate Each Policy Separately Many insurance companies handle…

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