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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…

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…

High-Tech Car Options: Splurge or Save

If it’s been a few years since you last shopped for a new car, brace yourself. Some of today’s vehicles have high-tech options that are straight out of the Jetsons. Cars aren’t flying yet, but some can drive and park themselves. And dashboards that used to house a radio and a few knobs now have digital touch screens the size of your first TV.   Like just about everything in the world of cars, some new features are must-haves and others are may-as-well-avoids. Remote Start At roughly $250-$400 dealer price, this is largely a personal call. If cold winter nights are a problem, starting the engine from your office or a restaurant and allowing the car to heat up in January is priceless. Aftermarket remote starters can be bought and installed for about half the dealer price, but having the same remote for the door locks, trunk and ignition is…

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…

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