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Do I Need Commercial Auto Insurance for My Restaurant?

Posted by David Ross on Wed, Jul 27, 2022

Get the Proper Auto Insurance for Your Restaurant Business in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Reading, Wyomissing, Lancaster, Harrisburg and throughout PA.Insurance – including Restaurant Insurance - is all about risk. The higher the risk of a claim, the higher the cost of the insurance.

The same is true of auto insurance, and let’s face it, driving can be risky. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2020, there were 5.24 million police-reported crashes in the U.S., which caused 2.28 million injuries and 38,824 fatalities (a 6.8% increase over 2019).

 A vehicle used for commercial purposes is considered a higher risk because it may be driven more often or by more than one driver. Therefore, if you own a vehicle used for commercial purposes – making deliveries, visiting customers, etc. – your personal auto insurance may not cover damages caused when you or an employee uses your vehicle for commercial purposes. 

3 Auto Insurance Options

Personal Auto Insurance

A personal auto insurance policy covers property damage, bodily injuries, and legal expenses. While some personal auto insurance policies include limited coverage for business use, this type of policy is typically limited to accidents that occur during personal use, such as commuting to and from work and other travel unrelated to your job/business. In addition, a personal auto insurance policy typically insures the owner and one or two immediate family members only. 

Commercial Auto Insurance

A commercial auto insurance policy covers vehicles owned by a business. It covers vehicles used to drive customers or employees, perform a service you’ve been paid for, transport goods, and other business uses. Like personal auto insurance, Commercial Auto Insurance covers property damage, bodily injuries, and legal expenses. It also typically includes additional insureds, such as employees, and covers different types of vehicles, larger claims, and more complicated legal issues.

 Hired and non-owned auto insurance (HNOA)

HNOA insurance provides coverage for vehicles your business does NOT own but uses for commercial purposes, such as running business errands, picking up supplies, and visiting customers. This includes your employees’ vehicles used for business purposes and vehicles you rent or lease to use for business purposes. HNOA insurance can be purchased as a rider to your general liability insurance or as a standalone policy. It’s important to note that HNOA does NOT cover damage to your own property – only third-party liability costs.

 How to Lower the Risk of an Accident

Studies show that 98% of auto accidents are caused by human error. The following are the top six human driver errors:

  1. Failure to wear a seatbelt
  2. Excessive speeding
  3. Distraction/in attentiveness
  4. Incorrect assumptions about other drivers
  5. Tailgating/not leaving enough space between vehicles
  6. Not checking traffic before pulling out or crossing lanes 

The fewer accidents you or your employees are involved in, the fewer insurance claims and the lower your auto insurance costs. Here are five steps to minimize the risk of an auto accident:

  1. Check employee driving records before allowing them to drive a vehicle for business purposes
  2. Provide safe driving training
  3. Research vehicle safety records before purchasing, renting or leasing a vehicle
  4. Create and enforce a policy for employee cell phone use while driving
  5. Download the National Safety Council’s FREE online Safe Driving Kit

How to Lower Your Auto Insurance Cost

The best way to lower the cost of your insurance is to work with one of the experienced agents at American Insuring Group.

We will help determine the best type of insurance for your needs and then – as independent agents – check with multiple insurance companies to ensure that you pay the lowest premium for that insurance.

Call us today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Commercial Auto Insurance, Restaurant Insurance Costs

7 Smart Ways to Save on Contractor Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Mar 22, 2020

Ways to Save on Contractors InsuranceContractor Insurance is required to protect your assets and your business, whether you’re a one-person independent contractor or the owner of a construction company.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t lower the cost of your insurance premiums.

Here are seven smart ways to you can start saving on contractor Insurance:

Increase Deductibles

A deductible is the amount of money that you will need to pay if you make a claim before the insurance company pays anything. In other words, if you have a $500 deductible and make a $2,000 claim that is covered, the insurance company would pay $1,500 only after you have paid the $500.

Increasing the amount of your deductible will lower the cost of your premiums, freeing up funds that could be used to buy new equipment, give raises, or however you think that money could be best used.

However, before you make that decision, make sure that you have enough money in reserve that you could pay that deductible if you made a claim. Otherwise, you could find yourself without a tool or vehicle that you need to conduct business if it is stolen, damaged, or destroyed. If you can’t pay that deductible, you can’t repair or replace that item.

Pay Upfront

Most insurance companies will discount your rate if you can pay your insurance premium upfront, rather than monthly. So, if you have the cash available, pay your insurance premiums annually.

Combine Insurance Policies

Every contractor should have Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance, which covers your business for injury or property damage caused by the operation of your business or on your business premises. Chances are good, that isn’t the only insurance you will need to protect your business.

You may need property insurance to protect your buildings and its contents, auto insurance to protect your vehicles, or any number of other types of insurance. Many insurance companies will give you a discount if you purchase more than one type of insurance with them.

Lower Commercial Auto Insurance

If you hire drivers with bad driving records, you will pay more for your commercial auto insurance; it’s that simple. Before hiring anyone who will drive one of your commercial vehicles, check their driving records and only hire those with excellent driving records.

Another way to save on auto insurance is to evaluate new vehicle purchases. The more a vehicle is worth, the more your insurance premiums will be. So, when you are comparing the price of vehicles, don’t forget to factor in the cost of insurance to cover it. You may find a less-expensive model will meet your needs and save you a ton of money in the long run.

Identify and Minimize Your Risks

The fewer claims you make, the lower your premiums will be. Identify any potential hazards and create a plan to prevent those risks, and you should be able to reduce the number of claims.

For example, there is always the risk of your tools or equipment being stolen, so if you can minimize the risk of theft – such as installing security cameras, locks, or tracking devices – you will lower the chances of those items being stolen, which means fewer claims. Fewer claims can reduce the cost of your premiums and minimize any deductibles you have to pay.

Create a Safer Worksite

We would be remiss if we didn’t include this one. A safer worksite means fewer employee injuries, which means lower Workers’ Compensation costs. A safer worksite also means fewer third-party injuries, which could result in expensive lawsuits; thereby, increasing your CGL costs.

OSHA offers a variety of resources to improve worksite safety, and you’ll also find many tips to create a safer worksite on this blog.

Work with an Independent Insurance Agent

Independent Insurance agents – like the experienced agents at American Insuring Group – can compare several different insurance companies to ensure that you get the right coverage and the best price on all your business insurance needs, including contractor insurance. By comparison, a captive (single-company) agent can only sell policies from a single insurance carrier.

Ready to start saving? Give one of our independent agents a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online.

Tags: Contractor Insurance, workers comp, Commercial Insurance, Contractor Safety Management, Commercial Auto Insurance

A Crash Course on Business Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Aug 19, 2018

Business insurance comes in many types. Contact us for the best business insurance at a great price.Whether you’re the owner of a one-person home-based handcrafted jewelry business or a large manufacturing plant with 300 employees, you face risk every day. You could lose your entire inventory to a fire, cause an injury while driving to a client meeting, or face a lawsuit for any number of reasons.

It is true that larger companies usually face more risk, but smaller companies typically don’t have the resources to recover from an injury, damage, or loss. One nasty lawsuit can put a small company that doesn’t have the proper protection out of business!

Business insurance acts as a safety net and helps protect your business from unforeseen circumstances such as theft or accidents, but not every company needs every type of insurance. Here’s a crash course in business insurance, but remember that an experienced, independent insurance agent can help determine what risks your business may face and the best insurance to cover those risks.

The Most Common Types of Business Insurance

There are many different types of insurance, and most businesses aren’t prone to every one of the risks these insurances address, but it’s good to know what is available to you.

Commercial Liability Insurance

This is a big one that most businesses need. Liability insurance protects you from lawsuits filed by customers, clients, or anyone else who decides to sue you. The three most common types of commercial liability insurance include general liability, umbrella liability, and errors and omissions liability.

  • General Liability Insurance protects your businesses from lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage.
  • Umbrella Liability Insurance goes above and beyond general liability insurance with broader coverage. Plus, if you’re on the wrong end of a huge lawsuit, umbrella liability picks up when your general liability is tapped out.
  • Errors and Omissions (E&O) Liability Insurance (A.k.a. Professional Liability Insurance) covers you if you’re sued for negligent acts or failure to provide the level of advice or service expected by a customer. Some of the businesses that typically carry this insurance are engineers, lawyers, and consultants.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Personal auto policies are meant to cover individuals and their family members and may contain exclusions for certain types of business activities. If you use any vehicle – car, truck, van, etc. - to conduct business, you’ll want to look into a commercial auto policy to cover both liability and physical damage in the event of an accident.

Workers’ Compensation (WC) Insurance

WC covers the cost of medical care and lost wages for employees who are injured on the job and litigation fees for businesses that are sued by an injured worker. In Pennsylvania, It is required for most businesses with employees.

Other Types of Business Insurance

Other types of coverage may be specific to a business or an industry. For example, if a company depends on one person to continue operating, they may want to purchase Key Person Insurance to protect them if that person becomes disabled or dies. If a business serves alcohol, they should look at Liquor Liability Insurance because most General Liability Insurance policies don’t cover incidents caused by serving alcohol.

How the Cost of Business Insurance is Determined

Many factors determine your insurance premiums (the amount you pay for insurance). Here are a few:

  • Type of business: If you’re in an industry that is notoriously dangerous like construction you’ll pay more than a shop that sells kitchen gadgets.
  • Age of Business: If you’ve been in business for a while, you may see some of your insurance premiums decrease.
  • Claim History: If your company has a history of making a lot of claims, you’ll probably pay more than one that doesn’t.
  • Your deductible: Usually the higher the deductible (the amount you pay out of pocket when a claim is made), the lower your premiums.

How to Purchase Business Insurance

First, you’ll want to select an agent who is licensed to sell property/casualty insurance. Also, an agent who is familiar with your business is better suited to determine your risks and your insurance needs.

Purchasing business insurance online is probably not a good idea especially if you’re unfamiliar with insurance. Having an agent that you can talk to and ask questions, is well worth any savings you may or may not find online.

 

Are You Ready to Save on Great Insurance For Your Business?

As a broker, American Insuring Group represents several insurance companies, which means that we can compare prices among lots of competing providers, and take advantage of available discounts. The result? You get the best price on your insurance!

For a free business insurance quote, give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online.

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, Commercial Vehicle Insurance, Commercial Liability Insurance, Business Insurance, Commercial Auto Insurance