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Monthly Archives: April 2018

Choosing Semi Truck and Trailer Insurance

Know what you need

Try to know the type and amount of coverage you need before contacting an insurance agent. It’ll take time for you to research your needs, but in the long run, doing so is your best chance of getting the right amount of coverage at a price that’s fair. Do you need insurance to cover you, your drivers, or both? Do you need workmen’s compensation? Are you looking for insurance to cover collision, fire, theft, CDC? Do you need full liability? Are you looking for bobtail liability? Do you want to insure your cargo? Do you need fuel bonds? Once you decide the type of insurance you need for your semi truck and trailer, you’ve also got to determine coverage limits.

Get multiple quotes

Getting multiple quotations for semi truck and trailer insurance is always a good idea. And if you’ve followed the above advice, shopping around for insurance quotations will be much easier. One way to comparison shop is to go online. Locating businesses that offer this type of insurance is simple and getting a quotation usually is fast. In most cases, all you have to do is fill out an online form and submit it. In no time you’ll have the pricing information you need.

Compare your quotes

Once you start getting quotations, be sure to review the coverage closely. When one quote is lower than another, it’s important to make sure you’re being quoted for comparable coverage. This is especially important when one quote is substantially lower than others. Some companies bundle their coverage while others offer a basic package and then offer additional coverage options as riders. A rider is generally offered at an additional cost. Also, find out if the company offers discounts for paying insurance premiums annually rather than monthly.

Research the insurance company

Just as with any major purchase, you want to find out as much as you can about the insurance company before purchasing a policy. Start by checking with the various rating services and regulatory agencies to see what you can find out. Also, find out what you can about the company’s claims processing policy. First and foremost, you want to work with an insurance company that is financially able to pay out claims, and you also want a company that processes claims in a timely manner.

Switch Car Insurance Companies

Regularly review your auto coverage to make sure that you’re receiving the best insurance value for your money. You’ll discover that it pays to shop around. In some states, premiums for identical policies vary widely among different companies. The reasons for this price variation can be very complicated, but they boil down to a company’s claims experience with policyholders in your coverage group (e.g. people of similar age, number of accidents, type of vehicle). For example, if a large number of people in your coverage group files claims during a given year, your rates will likely rise. When this happens, better discounts and lower overall premiums may be available at other companies, although some states strictly regulate the price of coverage. When you decide to switch your auto insurance to another company, you’ll find that it’s fairly easy to do so.

Generally, all you need to do to cancel your auto policy is to inform your insurance company in writing, specifying the date you want the policy canceled. In some states, your new agent must notify your previous agent of the policy change. Some companies ask that you send back the actual printed policy. Your insurance company will send you a cancellation request form that you should sign and return. Examine the form carefully to make sure that all information regarding your policy is correct. If you do not receive such a form within two weeks of sending your letter, call your agent or the company immediately to check on the status of your cancellation. Don’t just walk away from your old policy without formally canceling it. Otherwise, the insurance company might assume you wished to continue your coverage, and it might eventually terminate the policy for failure to pay premiums and report your lack of coverage to your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. This can hurt your credit rating and your ability to get a new policy.

Always have a new policy in place before canceling your old auto insurance coverage. You don’t want to have a gap in protection for even one day. Fortunately, there is little danger of this happening. Most states require all drivers living within their borders to carry a minimum level of auto insurance. So, most insurance companies now require policyholders to present proof of new coverage before they will cancel an active policy. You may need to show your old carrier copies of a new insurance identification card or the Declarations Page of your new policy. Your new company will be able to time the onset of your new policy to coincide with the cancellation of your old coverage.

The best time to switch auto insurance carriers is just before your old policy is about to renew. This will allow you to avoid paying for printing and start-up expenses the company incurs as part of the policy renewal process. You also avoid the inconvenience of figuring out the amount of any unused premium that should be returned to you.

A renewal notice will be sent to you approximately a month before a new policy period begins, depending on the regulations in your state. The notice will describe your coverage, discounts, and the amount of premium you owe. Should you decide to switch policies, you’ll need to line up a new policy by the time your current policy renews, although most states allow about a month after renewal to switch. If you miss the deadline, you may end up paying a cancellation penalty.

All standard auto insurance policies contain a provision giving you the right to cancel your policy at any time, once proper notice is given to the insurance company. You don’t necessarily have to wait until renewal time. Cancellation after a policy has renewed is most convenient at the end of a payment cycle. That way, you’re not forced to deal with recovering the unused portion of your paid premium. But if you choose to cancel in the middle of a cycle, the company will prorate your latest premium payment up to the cancellation date and return the remainder to you. However, a special “short rate” (cancellation penalty) will be deducted to pay the administrative costs of renewing the policy.

When you switch companies, your new agent or insurer can execute the change in as little as one day. You’ll need to provide a cancellation date, your former agent’s name, and the name of the insurer. It would also be helpful to show your new agent a copy of the old policy’s specifications page in order to match the coverage.

About SUV’s and Auto Insurance

SUV sales have continued to rise despite the higher cost of insuring those vehicles and the cost of gas. The belief that an SUV is safer, is a commonly held misconception about SUVs. Sports Utility Vehicles carry with them very unique risks that have an impact on auto insurance rates, like the fact that he vehicles are heavier and taller than other autos. This weight to height ratio results in SUVs being involved in more rollovers. In fact, SUVs roll over in twice as many fatal accidents than passenger vehicles.

Besides the SUVs risk to itself with rollovers, the greater height of the vehicle also poses more risk to other, smaller, cars. Any driver of a smaller car can relate to the fact that many SUV’s headlights are positioned in a place that reflects directly in the mirrors of smaller cars, causing a blinding glare. Also, the height of the bumper places a higher risk of significant damage in a collision with a smaller car. A National Highway Traffic and Safety study in 1999 showed that over 5 percent of traffic fatalities in the U.S. would not have resulted in fatalities at all if the accidents had occurred with two regular size cars rather than a truck or SUV. The study went on to show that SUVs and light trucks are two times more likely to cause a fatality in a collision.

Another major factor in the higher risk of SUVs in collisions has to do with the drivers themselves. Many people want to feel safe behind the wheel of an SUV, which places them higher, but also limits their ability to see smaller vehicles, but they do not know that an SUV has to be handled differently. In fact, the handling on an SUV is very different from a compact or passenger vehicle, and extra training could help keep an SUV owner much safer on the road.

Since SUVs show no sign of disappearing anytime soon, it is important that SUV owners and other drivers on the road acknowledge the risk of the SUV. Remember, the best way to prevent a collision is to drive defensively. SUV owners need to keep safe driving distances and passenger car owners need to be understanding of the limited sight of the SUV driver.

Free Money Saving Auto Insurance

The top two biggest money saving auto insurance tips are to first shop around. There are numerous providers of insurance and generally speaking you can save a great deal of money on your policy if you take the time to find the right provider.

The second biggest tip to lower your rates is to simply raise your deductable. In some cases you can reduce your annual premium by 10 percent or more if you increase your deductible by a few hundred dollars. USE CAUTION HERE: You want to make sure you can actually afford the amount that you raise your deductible to or you’re no better off then before.

Additional tips include eliminating certain types of coverage from your current policy and reducing the amount of coverage you currently have. Generally this is up to each individual based on their needs, wants and desires. You may want to consult an insurance agent before making any drastic changes to your current policy.

Other factors raising the cost of your policy include the amount of mileage you drive annually and the type of vehicle you own and operate.

Did you also know that where you live can determine rates and keeping your car in a garage can lower your rates. Cars parked in garages are less likely to be stolen, vandalized, or struck by other vehicles. Using a garage to store your car may entitle you to a slight premium reduction.

If you have multiple cars and drivers then you could qualify for a multifamily discount. Sometimes your children’s insurance premium can be lowered based on their school grade point average.

Other discounts may be available if you meet certain criteria. Examples may include discounts for taking a defensive driving course, being a AAA member or staying with the same auto insurance company for a number of years. These discounts vary by company.

Finally try using an anti-theft device. This helps to reduce your insurance cost.