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8 Tips to Lower Contractors Insurance Costs

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Aug 29, 2020

lower_contractors_insuranceContractors need to carry certain types of Contractors Insurance to protect themselves, their business, and their employees, and many contracts require specific insurance coverages.

But that doesn’t mean you have to pay higher premiums than necessary. There are ways to lower your premium costs without affecting your coverage. Here are eight tips to help you lower your insurance premiums.

Increase Deductibles

If you have financial reserves that would allow you to assume some additional risk, you can increase your deductibles to reduce your premiums. If the difference in the premium is enough to cover the deductibles on one or two claims, it probably makes sense to make the change - IF you have money available to pay the higher deductible in the event of a claim.

Review Your Policy

Over time, things change in your business. You may need to hire an additional employee or let one go. You may purchase a new vehicle or sell an older piece of equipment. Your current insurance should reflect your current circumstances.

Let your insurance know about these changes and review your policy at least once a year to make sure that you have proper coverage AND that you are not paying more than you need to.


You probably need more than one type of insurance. For example, Commercial Liability Insurance helps protect you if a third-party sues you (and is a requirement in most contracts); however, Workers’ Compensation protects your employees and your business if an employee is injured on the job (and is required by law). Many insurance carriers will offer a discount if you purchase or combine more than one policy with them.

Lower Your Commercial Auto Insurance

Employees with good driving records who drive your vehicles will help lower your costs. On the other hand, employees with bad driving records will increase your premiums. Before hiring anyone who will be driving any of your commercial vehicles, check their driving record.

Also, consider purchasing less expensive vehicles to lower your Auto Insurance premiums. Sure, a sleek new truck with all the bells and whistles will be fun to drive, but is it worth the additional expense of higher insurance premiums? Maybe it is, but it’s important to factor insurance costs into your buying decisions.

Focus on Safety

Safety should be a priority at any construction site. It’s just good business sense to keep your employees, customers, vendors, etc. safe. Plus, a safer worksite minimizes the number of employees injured on the job, lowering your Workers’ Compensation Insurance. It should also minimize the number of third-party injuries, lowering your Commercial Liability Insurance. Use the safety information, tools, and resources provided by OSHA to help ensure a safer worksite.

Do Good Work

This is another one that makes good business sense but will also help you avoid lawsuits and thereby lower your Contractors Insurance costs.

Pay Attention to the Workers’ Compensation Formula

Your Workers’ Compensation rates are determined by a formula that looks at several factors. Ensure the information being used in that calculation is accurate and that everything is calculated correctly.  

One factor that affects your rate is your employees’ classification codes, which are based on the likelihood of that employee being injured on the job. Make sure that the correct classification codes are given to every employee. For example, an office worker who is less likely to be injured on the job should not have the same classification code as your electrician. If they do, you may be paying more than you need.

Another factor is your business’s loss history, which is reflected in the experience modifier. A modifier of one is average. A lower number will reflect a better than average loss history, and a higher number will reflect a loss history that is worse than the average. A safer worksite should result in fewer claims, thereby lowering your experience modifier and your WC costs.

Go with an Independent Insurance Agent!

An independent agent – like those at American Insuring Group – will compare insurance rates amng several different competing insurance companies to help you get the lowest rate possible. Give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online to discover how we can help you save more on your Contractors Insurance costs!

Tags: Construction Insurance, Contractor Insurance, Small Business Insurance Reading PA, workers comp costs, Contractor Safety Management

Small Business Insurance Costs and the Affordable Care Act

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Apr 22, 2014

Business health insurance cost predictions under Obamacare (AFA) according to the Center for Medicaid ServicesHow Will the Affordable Care Act Affect Small Business Health Insurance Costs?

You would have to be living on a desert island or under a rock not to have heard of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare).  But with all the partisan arguments about how wonderful or – conversely - how awful this new law is, it’s hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.  So, as Sgt. Joe Friday said, we’ll try to stick with "just the facts, ma'am."

Affordable Care Act Facts:

FACT: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed by Congress and then signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. 

FACT: On June 28, 2012 the Supreme Court rendered a final decision to uphold the health care law.

FACT: Open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace began October 1, 2013 and ended March 31, 2014

That’s probably where the “facts” end.  The stated intent of the ACA was to offer affordable health insurance to every American.  According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website, the ACA “puts consumers back in charge of their health care. Under the law, a new ‘Patient’s Bill of Rights’ gives the American people the stability and flexibility they need to make informed choices about their health.”  Few would argue with the value of the law’s stated goals, which are summarized as follows on the HHS website: “All together, these reforms mean that millions of people who were previously uninsured will gain coverage, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.”

What Impact Will the Affordable Care Act Have on Small Business Insurance Costs?

The full repercussions of the ACA on small businesses and their health insurance costs – and whether it’s truly “wonderful” or actually “awful” - won’t be known for several years; however, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which spearheaded the implementation of the law, presented a report to congress with a few predictions.  In the interest of “sticking with the facts,” CMS’s report states, “There is a rather large degree of uncertainty associated with this estimate. The impact could vary significantly depending on the mix of firms that decide to offer health insurance coverage.”

CMS: 2/3 of Small Businesses to See Increased Costs

A recent Small Business Association poll found that 96 percent of small businesses said their health insurance premiums have significantly increased over the past five years, with average monthly insurance costs increasing from $590 per employee in 2009 to $1,121 in 2014.  CMS’s research indicates those rates will continue to rise.  The CMS report states that the new rules, such as requiring that insurers offer guaranteed health coverage and insurance renewal options to small employers and preventing insurance companies from varying their rates based on a company’s industry or the age of its employees, will most likely drive up the price of insurance for many small businesses. 

The report estimates that 65 percent of small businesses are expected to experience increases in their premium rates, while only 35 percent will see a reduction. Businesses with exceptionally sick or at-risk workers will benefit most from the new provisions.  The effect on large employers is expected to be negligible, since many larger companies run their health insurance programs in house. 

What Can You Do to Control Your Business’s Health Insurance Costs?

Affordable Care Act and Your Health Insurance: Get our free fact sheet and get the information you needAmerican Insuring Group can help you navigate through the complexities of the new ACA rules and ensure that you get the best health insurance premiums available.  Contact an agent at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 for more information about health insurance and the Affordable Care Act.

Want to learn more? Download our free report: 10 Things You Should Know About Health Insurance Under the Affordable Care Act

Tags: Health Insurance Reading PA, Health Insurance Allentown, Health Insurance Harrisburg, Small Business Insurance, Small Business Insurance Reading PA, Affordable Care Act, Health Insurance, Health Insurance Berks County, Health Insurance Philadelphia, Health Insurance Lancaster

4 Ways to Lower Workers Comp Insurance Costs by Keeping it Honest

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Oct 12, 2013

Control workers compensation costs. Buy the right workers comp insurance from us. Serving Reading, PA, Philadelphia, Allentown, Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Erie, State College, and beyond with high quality workers compensation insurance coverage.The Washington Post reported in April that federal workers compensation costs have roughly doubled since 1995, with 8.8 million Americans receiving disability benefits to the tune of $260 billion per year. Over a quarter $ trillion annually - that's a trully staggering figure.

The Post went on to claim that much of the increase may be due to the changing demographics of an aging population. Whether you buy that explanation or not, many employers fear that some employees are cheating on workers compensation insurance and staying away from work longer than legitimately needed.

Workers Comp 101: How Much Should You Trust Your Employees?

Let's face it, as with almost everything in life, things are seldom black and white. Seemingly good and honest employees sometimes do dishonest things when they feel threatened or insecure. Workers compensation can be an area where a good employee is tempted to stretch the limits of a workers compensation insurance package if your internal company policies are not balanced in such a way as to help keep the system honest and balanced.

Incentives and Disincentives to Return to Work: How Do Your Workers Comp Policies Stack Up?

Many view our national unemployment policies as lacking the common sense checks and balances required to filter out waste and abuse. Fair enough, but have you analyzed your own policies by the same yardstick? A well-balanced set of policies is one that properly provides for the needs of employees during a disability while also achieving the checks and balances that keep the system honest by removing disincentives to return to work, and removing incentives to stay out longer than legitimately needed. And that insurance principle applies as much for a small business as for a larger one.

Here are some things to consider when striving to keep your workers compensation policies properly balanced:

  • How long will you hold a job open while an employee is out on disability? Is there a defined limit? Obviously a reasonable but limited time period should be the goal. In today's job market, fewer are willing to gamble with finding a new job should they exceed the period that their current position will be kept open for them.

  • What percentage of an employee's salary is collected during a workers compensation event? If your policies are too generous then the incentive to stay off longer increases.

  • Do you allow benefits to accrue while an employee is away from work? For example, will sick time and vacation time continue to accrue? If so, should the policy be changed?

  • What about high-end benefits? If you offer special benefits such as a company car or other benefits directly related performing on the job, then consider placing them on hold until the employee returns to work.

A Workers Compensation Lesson from Ronald Reagan?

Regardless of your politics, President Ronald Reagan had a principle that served the US well in dealing with foreign policy, and one that President Barack Obama recently quoted: trust but verify. Yes, we would like to trust all employees to do the right thing when it comes to workers compensation insurance benefits. However, given that things are rarely black and white when it comes to human behavior, it is wise to craft your company polices in such a way as to verify that your hard-earned dollars spent on workers compensation costs are being wisely used and not wasted.

Need Help with Workers Compensation Insurance? 

We're here to help. We're an independent insurance agency with the resources to find the right workers comp insurance to meet your needs and budget. Click to contact us today to learn more, or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, Small Business Insurance, Small Business Insurance Reading PA, Commercial Insurance Allentown PA, Commercial Insurance Lancaster PA, Commercial Insurance Harrisburg PA, Commercial Insurance, Commercial Insurance Reading PA, Business Insurance, Commercial Insurance Philadelphia PA, Commercial Insurance York PA, Commercial Insurance Berks County

5 Drivers of Business Insurance Costs in Berks County and Beyond

Posted by David Ross on Thu, Feb 14, 2013

Use Knowledge to Offset Higher Business Insurance Costs

5 Drivers of Business Insurance Costs Berks County Reading PA 250Having the proper business insurance can be vital to growing your company and protecting your future. While every business varies in terms of exposure to risk and the related cost of coverage, knowing the 5 key cost drivers can help you reduce your insurance costs, whether you are in a mid-sized city like Reading or Allentown, a smaller city like York or Lancaster, or a large city like Philadelphia, especially if you consider costs before launching your business.

In the end, the cost of business insurance is driven by risk levels as perceived by your insurance carrier, and increases due to higher levels of risk. Regardless of the precise details associated with your business, your costs will be affected by some factors that statistically are related to your company type, company location, and other factors. 

Here are 5 Key Drivers of Business Insurance Costs:

#1 - Coverage Level Desired

It goes almost without saying that the cost of your business insurance coverage depends largely on the amount of coverage you desire. It is wise to get the advice of a trusted independent insurance agent before finalizing your coverage level. In some cases you may be able to reduce coverage in a policy if the coverage overlaps with protection already provided in another policy.

#2 - Business Location

Insurance costs may vary widely by state and by city. Businesses located in high-risk areas will pay higher rates. Risk assessments are affected not only by crime rates, but by the likelihood of incurring damage due to storms and other natural disasters. Check with your insurance agent regarding insurance costs prior to relocating your business or purchasing a new property.

#3 - Market

A business in an industry known for high losses will incur higher insurance costs, all else being equal. Industries known for physical risk and high worker's compensation losses will incur higher commercial insurance costs. Expect considerable swings in insurance rates based on the percentage of your employees working in an office setting vs. a construction or other setting known for physical risk.

#4 - Business Insurance Claims History

As with auto insurance and homeowners insurance, businesses also incur higher rates as the frequency of their claims increases. Consider potential cost increases that may result from filing a claim vs. covering the cost out of pocket without filing a claim, especially when you are considering changing insurance carriers. 

#5 - Optional Coverage Selected 

Although adding optional coverage increases your total insurance bill, optional coverage may be to your benefit. Consider business interruption insurance and key person insurance for executives and others who cannot be easily replaced, and whose absence is likely to cause a slowdown in business.

Do it Right - Get Help

Knowing the key drivers of business insurance costs and planning accordingly can help you navigate your insurance coverage options, and help you achieve the right level of coverage at the right price. Ask your independent insurance agent for assistance in understanding your options and the impact on cost.

We're Ready to Assist You with All Your Business Insurance Needs

American Insuring Group is an independent insurance agency located near Reading, PA, in Berks County. We can help you get the right business insurance coverage for your business at the best price by researching the most affordable insurance costs from our many competing insurance carriers.  Contact us today at 800-947-1270 and request a no-obligation, no-cost consultation, or fill out the form on our Contact Us page to get started.

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14 Business Insurance Terms for Berks County Entrepreneurs

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Feb 05, 2013

Is Business Insurance Too Complicated?

Business insurance: mention the topic and count down the seconds until yawns form and eyes glass over. For some, commercial insurance is just slightly more interesting than reading the phone book or memorizing the periodic table of elements.

Perhaps that’s because business insurance seems complicated, or because we suspect we’ll never really need it.  Talking about what might occur, such as a catastrophe requiring financial assistance, rather than what is likely to occur (business as usual), can seem so abstract, such a waste of time.  

3 Things Needed for Entrepreneurial Peace of Mind

Business insurance peace of mind for Reading, PA, Berks County, Philadelphia, and LancasterAh, but think of it this way: wouldn’t it be great to have the peace of mind of knowing that you are financially covered against many of the uncertainties life can throw at you? Isn’t that better than the nagging feeling that you may be unprotected against some unknown liability for which you failed to get the needed business insurance protection? 

To get to that blissful entrepreneurial state of mind, you need 3 simple things, none of which require yoga classes or the  help of a Zen master: 

  • Knowledge of basic business insurance terms and types of protection
  • A trustworthy and capable independent business insurance advisor
  • Decisiveness

Get all three, and in no time you’ll be covered with the right business insurance protection. Whether your business is in Reading, PA, Berks County, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Allentown, or beyond, every business owner who meets those 3 simple criteria sleep better at night. 

Buiding Your Business Insurance Knowledge: 14 Terms You Need to Know

While we can’t cover everything you need to know in this short post, we can get you started by presenting 14 key commercial insurance terms, each with a brief definition, in alphabetical order.  Read over them and then jot down some follow up questions for your independent insurance agent.  Once you have solidified your knowledge, decisiveness will follow. Take action for the good of your business, your employees, and your family.

  1. Bonding
    A guarantee of performance required for many businesses, and often by general contractors, janitorial companies, and businesses with government contracts

  2. Broker
    An independent insurance agent who represents multiple insurance companies, and is therefore in a better position to find the right business insurance at the right price vs. a single-company insurance salesman

  3. Business Interruption Insurance
    Coverage to replace lost sales and income suffered due to a covered loss

  4. Direct Writer
    The opposite of a broker, a direct writer represents a single insurance company

  5. Disability Insurance
    Insurance that pays a fixed monthly benefit if one becomes disabled and unable to perform their regular job

  6. Employment Practices Liability Insurance
    Coverage that protects the business from being sued due to the actions of employees, such as discrimination, abuse, sexual harrassment or wrongful termination

  7. Errors and Omissions Liability Coverage
    Protection for accountants, consultants, and other business professionals against damages due to an error or omission in work performed

  8. General Liability Insurance
    Business insurance protection against accidents of bodily injury or property damage to other persons or property

  9. Key Person Insurance
    Life insurance taken out against a key person, typically an executive or other key person, with the business itself as the beneficiary

  10. Package Policy
    A business insurance policy combining several types of protection in one package

  11. Property Insurance
    Protects equipment and other physical property from losses due to fire, theft, and other incidents, and is available in the form of “named peril” and “all risk” versions

  12. Replacement Cost Insurance
    Insures the business for the full current replacement cost

  13. Umbrella Coverage
    Liability insurance protection for amounts exceeding coverage on main policies, in the event a lawsuit exceeds underlying limits of coverage

  14. Worker’s Compensation Insurance
    Business insurance for medical, rehab, and lost wages for employees who are injured at work (usually state mandated)

There you have it. 14 simple business insurance terms that probably have you wondering what coverage you are missing, and ready to contact your independent insurance agent. Do that, and then get ready to be decisive. You’re almost there. 

How to Get Help with Your Business Insurance

Need help in figuring out the right commercial insurance protection for your Reading PA, Berks County, Philadelphia, Allentown, or Lancaster County business? Call us today at (800) 947-1270 for a free consultation, or click to contact us.

Contact us for help in getting the right business insurance in Reading PA, Berks County, Philadelphia, Allentown, and Lancaster Pennsylvania

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Umbrella Insurance: Get Protection for Your Income & Assets

Posted by David Ross on Thu, Jan 10, 2013

Do you need umbrella liability insurance? Tips for individuals and business owners in Reading PA, Berks County, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, York, Hershey, Philadelphia, and beyond.Are You at Risk?

Even if you have good automobile and homeowner’s insurance, you may be liable for excessive damages resulting from a major lawsuit.  Consider what would happen if you were to injure a doctor, lawyer, or other highly paid professional in a car or other accident that prevented him from earning his regular income for the rest of his life. A court could easily award damages far exceeding the limits of your auto, watercraft, or homeowner’s insurance policy. Such damages could drastically alter your lifestyle for many years to come.

That’s where umbrella liability insurance comes in.  The right policy will provide the additional protection needed to withstand such an event. 

You May be at Higher Risk for a Lawsuit

Higher-income individuals who cause an accident have a far greater risk of being sued as lawyers seek out those with deep pockets. In such cases an umbrella policy may provide the protection that could be the difference between maintaining your lifestyle vs. paying punitive damages out of pocket for the rest of your life.

An Umbrella Liability Policy May be More Affordable Than You Think

Umbrella liability insurance tends to be more affordable than other types of insurance because it comes into play only after your other insurance has been exhausted.  For example, a $1,000,000 umbrella policy would cover up to an additional $600,000 of protection on a homeowner’s policy with $400,000 of coverage. The same principle applies to automobile and watercraft insurance. Increased savings may be found by purchasing your umbrella policy from the same insurance provider as for your home, car, commercial property, or watercraft.

Commercial Property and Umbrella Insurance

Are you a business owner or landlord? If so, you are at greater risk of incurring a lawsuit. Landlord insurance in the form of an umbrella liability policy can provide additional protection against lawsuits from tenants, as well as from being sued for slander or libel by disgruntled employees.

Do You Have an Adequate Umbrella Policy?

If you would like help in obtaining the right level of insurance protection then please click to contact us, or call us at 800-947-1270.

Affordable umbrella liability insurance for Reading PA, Berks County, Philadelphia, Allentown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, York, Pittsburgh, Erie, Pennsylvania and beyond.

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What is Landlord Insurance and Do You Need It?

Posted by David Ross on Fri, Jan 04, 2013

Landlord insurance tips for Berks County, Reading PA, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Lebanon, York, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Erie, Allentown, Bethlehem, State College, PA and beyond. Landlord Insurance Basics

Landlord insurance is designed to protect the landlord from incurring losses on his or her rental properties. This ranges from property damage to court/legal costs and more, including loss of rental income from a property that becomes inhabitable due to storm damage or other causes.

Do You Need Landlord Insurance?

Does life throw unexpected circumstances our way? If you are a landlord, then of course you need landlord insurance. The question is not whether you need it, but what types of coverage and how much of each type you need.  For example, with lawsuits rampant in today’s society, it is wise to consider coverage for discrimination and slander, even if you are certain that you would never commit either. To sleep better at night you may even want to consider comprehensive coverage, which protects you against circumstances not specifically identified in your policy.

Your Property is a Major Investment. Treat it as Such.

Would you go without homeowners insurance or car insurance? Then why consider going without landlord insurance? Your rental property value may easily eclipse your home value, and a loss of your rental property due to fire, storm damage, or other factors can lead to a long-lasting financial upheaval and loss of cash flow that can be easily avoided with the proper insurance coverage.

Not All Landlord Insurance is Created Equal

It is important for landlords to understand exactly what is and what is not covered under their policy. Policies may vary widely, so be sure to work with your insurance agent to understand all the important aspects of your current coverage and to uncover your potential vulnerabilities. For example, your policy may cover only certain types of damage, such as exterior vs. interior damage.  Likewise, legal costs may be excluded from your policy. Be sure to ask your independent insurance agent what types of additional coverage are available from your current carrier and from competing insurance carriers, and then consider switching carriers or upgrading your policy if needed.  Your independent insurance agent represents multiple insurance companies, so changing to another carrier is easy with the right agent.

Need Help Understanding Your Landlord Insurance Options?

Contact us today for a free evaluation: 800-947-1270

Learn more about landlord insurance. Serving Berks County, Reading PA, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, York, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, State College, Pennsylvania and beyond.

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5 Ways to Save on Landlord Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Dec 18, 2012

As a landlord, obtaining the right level of public liability insurance coverage is important for your peace of mind and your bottom line, especially when you experience a large claim against your landlord insurance.

Tips to save on landlord insurance, public liability insurance. Berks County, Reading PA, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, Lebanon, York, Pennsylvania.5 Easy Steps to Better Public Liability Insurance Protection & Greater Savings:

#1.  Place All Your Properties on One Landlord Insurance Policy (Public Liability Insurance Policy)

It is possible to save a considerable sum by combining all your properties under the same insurance provider.  Rather than insuring each property separately, ensure them all under a single policy with a common renewal date. As a bonus, your bookkeeping will be simplified as well.

You can also phase your properties into a common Landlord Insurance policy over time by moving each to the combined commercial property insurance policy as the renewal date for each individual policy comes due.  As you purchase new properties, be sure to add them to the combined policy for even greater savings.  Depending on the insurer, you may be able to group more than one type of commercial property under the same policy, such as apartments vs. shops.

#2. Seek Professionals as Occupants

Consider gearing your marketing efforts to appeal to professional occupants with full time employment.  Some insurers charge a higher premium for landlords of college students and others who statistically are more likely to cause property damage. By seeking occupants who are full-time professionals, you are appealing to a low-risk group with correspondingly lower landlord insurance costs.

#3. Insure Your Properties for the Right Amount

Property values and replacement costs are constantly in flux. Therefore, check the amount of coverage on each property periodically to be sure that it accurately reflects your true replacement cost.  If you are over-insured then your premiums will be higher than they would be for the right amount of coverage. On the other hand, if you are under-insured then you risk incurring major and lasting financial problems if your property is destroyed and you lack sufficient insurance protection to rebuild it properly.

#4. Add a Larger Deductible to Your Landlord Insurance Policy

By adding a larger deductible to your policy, your premiums may drop significantly. This approach amounts to self-insuring for the deductible amount. Follow these steps to determine if paying a higher deductible is likely to be a better deal:

  1. Find out the annual premium cost to insure your properties with your current deductible amount vs. the cost with a higher deductible.
  2. Multiply the annual savings by 5 years (or whatever period you are likely to keep the property) to estimate your total savings on landlord insurance premiums over a 5-year period.
  3. Determine how many claims you would have to incur over 5 years before your savings on premiums would be consumed. If that number of claims looks unrealistically high, then it may make sense to increase your deductible and pocket the savings in premiums.

#5. Add a Security System to Your Commercial Properties

This is one of the most often-overlooked ways to save. Even a simple burglar alarm may save a meaningful amount on your insurance, possibly 10%. Compare the 5-year savings to the cost of the system. Chances are good that you may be money ahead by adding the system, and you and your tenants will have greater peace of mind as well.  An independent insurance agent who represents multiple companies provides the best opportunity to save by comparing quotes from competing insurers. 

Get Help

Do need help in finding the right landlord insurance for your commercial property? Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation on ways you can save more while enjoying better public liability insurance protection.

Save on public liability landlord insurance. Serving Reading, PA, Berks County, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Lebanon, York, Harrisburg, Allentown, Bethlehem, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and beyond.

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Commercial Vehicle Insurance Tips and FAQs

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Oct 30, 2012

When looking for commercial vehicle or van insurance in small to large towns from Reading to Philadelphia and beyond, there are a few points to consider, and some tend to get lost in a potential insurance minefield – here are a few frequently asked questions many ask when searching for the right insurance for their small business.

Is it hard to insure a vehicle for commercial use?

Commercial Vehicle Questions, Answers, and Tips. Serving Reading, PA, Berks County, Allentown, Bethlehem, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Lancaster, York, Lebanon, Hershey, State College, Erie, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and beyond with reliable commercial vehicle insurance.Not really. Anyone can apply to insure a commercial vehicle, (for example, a van), but they will find they are restricted when it comes to personal or private use of that vehicle. As long as the vehicle falls under commercial use, like delivering goods or providing a service (say, if the owner is a builder just using the van to get from A to B) then it is much easier to obtain insurance than if the applicant also wanted the vehicle for private use.

Define ‘commercial vehicle’?

Not sure if your vehicle falls under the right guidelines? Here are the main types of commercial vehicle:

  • Goods-carrying vehicles: this is the most common type of commercial vehicle, used to transport products or necessary items for services. This can range from small cars and vans to larger trucks.
  • Passenger-carrying vehicles: this applies to buses, coaches, and hire cars.
  • Forestry and agricultural vehicles
  • Special construction vehicles: vehicles that serve a particular purpose are known as ‘special types’ of vehicle and apply to ambulances, fork-lift trucks, and cranes.

What about windshield coverage?

Windshield coverage usually comes down to the insurance company and the level of coverage taken out, but this type of coverage is typically available for commercial vehicles as a policy extra, under "Comprehensive" coverage.

How can I lower my van insurance premium?

There are a number of ways that some companies do this, but here are three ways for customers to reduce their premiums:

  • Usage - how the vehicle is used can lower your insurance premiums.  If you park the van at one jobsite for the day will be a lower cost than if you travel to mutiple locations during the day.
  • Safe drive Badge – a simple sticker on the back saying ‘How’s my driving?’ with a number on the back (preferably to the insurance company) will also reduce premiums. This is because anyone driving dangerously will obviously be reported by other drivers, hypothetically making the driver in question more cautious about their driving.
  • Driving Convictions – this is a simple one; don’t acquire any speeding convictions. Insurance companies tend to ramp up the premiums for people who have previous driving convictions. 


Get Help - Get the Right Commercial Vehicle Insurance for Your Car, Van, or Truck

We will be glad to address any further questions you may have. Please contact us, or request a free, no-hassle insurance quote today. We compare prices from several competing, highly reputable insurance providers to make sure you get the right policy at the best price. Whether you are in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Allentown, Harrisburg, or beyond, we'll find the best value in commercial vehicle insurance for your van, car, or truck. Simply call or click today to get started.
Free commercial insurance quote from American Insuring Group. Serving Reading PA, Berks County, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Lebanon, York, Hershey, Harrisburg, State College, Erie, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Bethlehem, Kutztown, Pennsylvania and beyond with high-quality, affordable business insurance.

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Employers: Avoid a Workers Comp Liability Insurance Nightmare

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Oct 27, 2012

Workers Compensation Insurance - A Potential Minefield

How to Choose the Right Workers Compensation Insurance Policy and Avoid an Employee Nightmare. Serving Reading, PA, Berks County, Lehigh Valley, York, Lebanon, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Allentown, Bethlehem, Erie, Pittsburgh, State College, Pennsylvania and beyond with affordable, high-quality workers compensation insurance.Purchasing workers compensation insurance can be a potential minefield for some businesses, who often don’t know where to start and can feel like they’re going in blind without a workers comp specialist to guide them along the way. It can seem like a daunting, upward struggle, especially since some insurance companies and agents won’t even consider writing workers compensation insurance – and they have their reasons - but with the right insurance broker, applicants can get through the process scratch-free. 

Choosing the Right Insurance Broker

It’s also important to note that purchasing workers compensation insurance from a business insurance agency with several markets available, is the best way forward for business owners looking for this type of insurance. At American Insuring Group LTD, we represent a number of A rated insurance companies that specialize in Workers Compensation insurance.  

Never Let Your Workers Compensation Insurance Lapse

The most important thing for business owners to remember is to never let their workers compensation insurance lapse, as that could lead to disastrous results. Although financial issues may seem dire, it’s likely clients will pay the price if they let their workers comp lapse, in the form of considerably higher premiums on re-application. The other obvious advice is to always pay premiums on time, as late payments could cause standard carriers to write off a client with a non-renewal notice – almost as bad as a lapse in coverage.


If workers compensation insurance is allowed to expire and business owners go through the re-application process, they should be aware it’s not going to be easy – they’ll likely be bombarded with seemingly endless documentation in order to explain the expiration in the first place. Anyone finding themselves in this situation would be wise to save their sanity and consult an insurance broker or expert to help get them through the paper trial and advise them on the situation.

Claims can also be an issue. If a business has filed numerous claims with an insurance broker, then they are likely to get issued with higher premiums; that’s just the way insurance, as a whole, works.


When applying (or re-applying) for workers compensation insurance, business owners should work closely with an insurance broker. Ask questions, and be sure to find a broker who instils confidence. One last thing to bear in mind is the fact that all workers comp quotes are custom, with no ‘big rate books’ like the ones life insurance agents are familiar with. 

Get Help with Workers Comp Insurance

Have additional questions about workers compensation insurance? Contact us, or request a free, no-obligation workers compensation insurance quote. We'll compare policies and prices from competing carriers to make sure you get the right coverage at the right price.

Get a Workers Compensation Insurance Quote. Serving Reading, PA, Berks County, York, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Allentown, Bethlehem, Philadelphia, Lebanon, Erie, Pittsburgh, State College, Pennsylvania and beyond with affordable, high quality workers comp insurance.

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