Auto insurance is important to have, especially if you run a business that uses any form of transportation on the ground. One accident and your insurance prices will skyrocket. So, how do you stop that from happening?
The great news for everyone is that insurance isn’t a fixed cost. There are many things you can start doing today and keep doing in the future to keep your business auto insurance down.
Read on to learn what auto insurance for businesses is, and how you can lower your premium costs!
Business Auto Insurance
There is a difference between personal auto insurance and business auto insurance. As with personal auto insurance, it is extremely important to understand the whole policy and what coverage you are getting for your commercial automobiles.
A business car insurance policy will cover any autos that are owned, leased, hired, or even borrowed by the business and designed to be on main, public roads. There are different symbols for the different types of coverage, but if you are looking for the broadest range then you want to go for a symbol 1.
When buying whichever type of automobile you need, your name will be on the insurance—however, your drivers will still be able to drive the cars.
In terms of policies, the business owner should be the person on the insurance. Then, they are allowed to permit the drivers to drive the vehicles. This is a bit of an easier route to go rather than putting all your drivers on the insurance, especially when some people will leave and new people get hired.
You will want to find a policy that has liability coverage as well as physical damage coverage; this way you will be covered in terms of an accident. Liability coverage is so that you are covered if one of your drivers gets into an accident and is the one who is in the wrong. Physical damage coverage is if your driver is in an accident but it is someone else’s fault, and it brings bodily harm to your driver or damages to the automobile.
When looking at policies, you will want to keep a close eye on the conditions section. This is where you will find the obligations you have as the business owner for how to file claims, resolving disputes, and paying the insurance premiums.
9 Tips for Reducing Your Insurance Premium
When you run a business, you want to try to save money when possible. Even though you should get the best auto insurance to keep yourself and your drivers covered, that doesn’t mean you can’t save money.
Here are 9 tips that will help you save money on your premium.
1. Review Your Employees
When you are in a business that uses automobiles, you want to make sure you have the best drivers. Your insurance company could be charging you a higher rate due to just one of your employees. There are a few things you can do that will help lower your insurance in this case.
1) Look at all your drivers’ background records. You will want to see if they have a clean driving record—this will help to keep your premium rate low. If you see that you have drivers who have terrible driving records, either it’s time to get rid of them, or not hire them at all.
2) Maintain a safety plan that all of your drivers will have to adhere to. This could be a daily check of all vehicles before they start driving so that you know when they leave that the cars are in working order. This can help prevent accidents, but also show how your drivers treat their automobiles.
3) You are going to want to classify your workers correctly on your policy. This can make a big difference in your insurance price. When your employees are misclassified, it can lead to a very pricy premium.
4) Make sure you train your workers properly. One way to train your drivers is by having each of them take a defensive driving course. This can be a quick way to lower your premium and save your company money!
2. Make Sure to Shop Around
Many people stay with the same insurance companies for years, thinking that they are getting the best deals. This isn’t a great idea. Yes, most insurers have loyalty incentives but do those outweigh a better rate? No.
It’s important to look around at other auto insurance premiums because you may be missing out on a great deal. Every single year, insurance companies will cut prices or come up with deals to attract new business (like you!).
If you are happy with your current insurer, you will still want to at least look around about every two years just to make sure you are getting the best deal possible.
A lot of people are afraid to ask for discounts but there is no shame in doing this, especially if it saves you a good chunk of change!
One thing to look for are carriers who may specialize in your industry. These companies will usually have the best prices and some great discounts that you can cash in on.
Other ways to look for discounts are to look at different businesses in your sector and see what insurance company they use. As well, look at news focused in your industry because insurance companies will usually have advertisements there.
You can also look for behavior-based discounts. Almost every auto insurance company has discounts for good driving records and good driving throughout the year. Some companies have a device that you can install in your cars to track the driving so you can prove that you have great drivers!
4. Sufficient Coverage
This is important: you want to look for premiums for auto insurance that fit your company just right. You don’t want to get too much coverage and be paying for things that you will never use. On the other hand, you don’t want too little insurance that doesn’t cover everything you need.
Of course, price is very important but you shouldn’t be only focused on that factor. You have drivers to look out for, you want to make sure that you are also covering them in case of accidents.
You will also want to look at the ratings of the insurance company, to make sure they are reputable. As well, look into their claims process which could say a lot about a company.
Another thing to be on the look-out for is overlapping coverages. Be sure to read your policy closely because sometimes there are overlapping coverages that you will not need. Removing these will lower your premium.
5. Install Safety and Security
Although you trust your drivers, even more so if you give them extra training in driving the vehicles that your company uses, it is always best to install security and safety systems in the cars.
Installing auto-brakes, a back-up beeping system, an auto-lock on the doors, are all examples of safety and security systems that will help your drivers, and your cars. Having all of these in your vehicles will help reduce damage and the risk of theft.
Doing this will help bring down your premium as the insurance company will know there are precautions put in place for different possibilities that could happen when driving.
6. Consider a Higher Deductible
Typically when choosing a car insurance policy, you can choose different deductibles. A deductible is the amount of money your company will have to pay before your insurance pays when there is a problem with one of your vehicles (theft, accident).
Deductibles usually range anywhere from 300 dollars to 1,00 dollars, however, you may think that having a low deductible means that your premium will be lower—this is not the case.
It may seem counter-intuitive but choosing to have a higher deductible will lower the premium that you pay. It will most likely lower your annual premium by several points which means savings that you can use for other things. Having a higher deductible will also help if you are sometimes reluctant to file smaller claims.
7. On-Board Cameras
Installing cameras in your vehicles will have multiple benefits for your company. It’s a great way to coach new drivers, a way to show what happens if an accident occurs, and now it can also help you if your insurance cost is rising.
A lot of insurance companies are now highly in favor of having cameras in business automobiles. This is because it is a great way to show the insurance company that the drivers are using safety precautions while driving, and also using the car correctly.
Insurance companies are more likely to give you a lower premium when you have cameras installed because they can win litigation battles, therefore not needing to pay out many claims. This is great news for both your business and for the insurance company!
Having on-board cameras also jumps back to the point of reviewing your employees. You can address unsafe driving, and take the correct actions with that driver.
8. Pay Upfront
Payment plans are great but they usually come with extra fees. It may seem like a lot of money to pay for your premium all at once, but it will save you money in the long term.
Paying upfront shows that you are committed to protecting your company and your drivers. This will be appealing for people looking for jobs in the driving field, and will also look good to your insurance company.
If paying for your policy upfront doesn’t seem possible, this also may be a red flag to look into your business structure and finances. If you don’t have enough cash flow to pay for this, you definitely need to be looking deeper into this with an accountant or your chief financial officer.
9. Emergency Roadside Assistance
One great thing to also look for in an insurance policy is if they provide roadside assistance. You would never want one of your drivers to breakdown and be stuck somewhere. This will help because you won’t need to have the driver Google for roadside help and call a random company.
Having emergency roadside assistance means that if your driver breaks down, they will have the number for a reliable company that will come out and helps them straight away. You may also install in your vehicles a button that calls the roadside assistance if the driver does not have a phone, or their phone has died.
Having a policy that includes emergency roadside assistance will save you money in the case of any breakdowns because your insurance company will be covering this cost, instead of it coming out of your own pocket. This is especially helpful if something major is wrong with the vehicle.
Choosing the Right Company
There are many companies out there that offer business auto insurance, but you want to make sure that they can give you everything for your needs.
It can be hard to choose the right company because it seems we get bombarded by insurance advertisements everywhere, however one company stands out from the rest for commercial car insurance: Advantage Insurance Solutions.
Advantage stands out because they treat all of their clients with respect and as a family. This is a personal touch that you most likely won’t be able to find elsewhere. They have your best interests in mind.
They know that commercial car insurance can be expensive, but they want to work with you to get the best policy for you and your company. They will help tailor a policy to your needs so that you won’t be paying for things that you won’t be using.
Get in touch with them today to talk about your needs, and how they can help you!