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Auto Insurance

Definition: A contract for an automobile in which one party agrees to pay foranother party's financial loss resulting from a specified event(for example, a collision, theft or storm damage)

The same type of policy you purchase for your personal use is also necessary for your business. If your business provides employees with company cars, or if you have a delivery van, you need to think about auto insurance. The good news here is that auto insurance offers more of an opportunity to save money than most other types of business insurance. The primary strategy is to increase your deductible; then your premiums will decrease accordingly. Make sure, however, that you can afford to pay the deductibles should an accident happen. For additional savings, remove the collision and comprehensive coverage from older vehicles in your fleet.

Never cut corners on automotive liability coverage. Minimal packages of 25/50/25 (per person bodily injury/total accident coverage/property damage) are available; however, hitting an expensive sports car can quickly wipe out the insurance company's coverage. Pay the extra few dollars for higher coverage of 100/300/100. Most states have laws concerning uninsured motorists coverage. Supplement the standard auto policy, as the costs are minimal.

As a businessperson, meetings and seminars may take you out of town. The daily price of rental-car insurance for collision has reached astronomical levels. The addition of a relatively inexpensive endorsement to your company auto policy can save money and prevent headaches on the road. This also gives you the advantage of rate shopping with the major rental agencies. Without this endorsement, the costs of collision damage waiver (CDW) offered by the major car rental companies can tack on up to $10 per day for car rentals. Failure to purchase the CDW results in the renter carrying full responsibility for any damage to the car. Ask your insurance carrier if this coverage is automatically included or if there's an extra fee.

Most states have an insurance watchdog agency to oversee the industry as a whole. They release comprehensive studies citing rates for some typical drivers in average cars, driving safely for a set number of miles. It will have information on the premiums your state's insurance firms charge for the same standard and is an excellent tool for determining the maximum coverage at the minimum costs.

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