Posted: January 30th, 2014 | Author: George | Filed under: Auto Insurance
If you are a habitual traffic offender, get a DUI or otherwise present a high-risk as a driver, you may very well have to obtain SR22 car insurance. SR22 insurance is not actually an insurance policy, but rather, a document that is filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles that shows you do have car insurance.
There are many misconceptions about what SR22 auto insurance is and what it is not. You may see television commercials promising cheap SR22 insurance and they can be misleading. Following are 5 myths surrounding SR22 car insurance that simply are not true.
1. SR22 insurance replaces auto insurance
Many people believe that SR22 insurance is auto insurance. It is not. An SR22 is an endorsement on an automobile insurance policy. It is official notification to the Department of Motor Vehicles that you are acting in a financially responsible way by having a current auto insurance policy that meets the minimum insurance guidelines for your state.
2. Finding affordable SR22 insurance is nearly impossible
While it is true that most people who are required to carry SR22 auto insurance have committed certain violations and acts that make them a high-risk, that does not necessarily mean that you will have to pay a fortune for car insurance.
Because you are in a high-risk group and not a preferred group, your insurance costs will be higher. However, there are many insurance companies that focus on insuring drivers with poor driving records. If you shop around, you can usually find some affordable SR22 insurance.
In addition, the amount and type of auto insurance you are required to carry by law does not change. If you cut back to the state mandatory liability minimums, you could get basic coverage at a reasonable rate.
3. You do not need to get an SR22 form from your insurance company
Some people believe that they can go out and get an SR22 form from one insurance company and then buy their insurance from another. That is against the law because you can not have insurance on the same car from two companies at the same time.
If you have SR22 car insurance from one carrier and then decide to go with another insurance company, you can not just bring along your SR22 document and use it to get new insurance. The company that issues you auto insurance must also be the company that files the SR22 document.
4. You have to make monthly payments.
This is blatantly false. There is a small one-time fee for filing an SR22 form. You may want to make monthly payments on your auto policy, but that has nothing to do with the fact that you needed an SR22.
5. An SR22 insurance policy protects you from losing your driving privileges
People get confused by thinking that since you may need an SR22 to reinstate your driving privileges, that once you have it, you can not lose your driving privileges. If you commit serious violations while you have SR22 auto insurance, the Department of Motor Vehicles can still suspend or revoke your driver’s license.
While having to get SR22 insurance is never a good thing, it is not forever. If you find yourself in such a situation where you need this endorsement, you can still find cheap SR22 insurance. If you straighten up your act, maintain an excellent driving record and pay your auto insurance premiums on time, in a few years, you will probably be able to get auto insurance without needing an SR 22 form.
Written by Steve Whiley, a blogger in the auto industry and a writer for American Auto Insurance.
Posted: December 6th, 2013 | Author: George | Filed under: Commercial Insurance
The roads are jam packed with vans and lorries – and almost every vehicle needs some kind of haulage insurance.
Haulage insurance is very much a pick and mix product as policies are tailored to the need of each business.
A sole trader white van man needs much different cover from a fleet of 44 ton lorries shifting loads around Europe.
That’s why one of the first steps in choosing the right haulage insurance is often speaking to a specialist broker.
Not only do haulage contractors have to consider general business insurance, like public and employer liability, buildings cover and vehicle protection, but they have to think about other specific needs as well.
Goods in transit cover is paramount for any haulage business shifting loads for customers, as vehicles are protected if they are involved in an accident or stolen, but often the loads are not – and their value can soon outstrip the cost of a vehicle.
Haulage insurance also has to cover needs like service vehicles, replacement vehicles and theft of fuel.
Even who drives is important, as any driver versus named driver insurance needs to be thought through to keep costs down.
For haulage insurance cover for vehicles travelling around Europe, the different policy requirements in each country passed through have to be considered, not just the rules in the UK and the destination country.
With all these points to keep in mind, calling on the services of a professional broker experienced in commercial vehicles and haulage can take away a lot of the time and stress involved in putting together a batch of suitable quotes.
Discussing whether some expensive add-ons are really necessary in a bid to keep costs down is also something a skilled broker can help with.
Cover might not come cheap, but the important factor for any haulage business is keeping vehicles on the road and earning money.
Posted: November 4th, 2013 | Author: George | Filed under: Commercial Insurance
The right bakery insurance needs some icing on the cake to cover all aspects of the business.
Two key factors are quickly repairing or replacing ovens that break down and making sure that deliveries are maintained so stock that can quickly deteriorate gets out to customers.
Bakery insurance covers other areas that are common to other businesses – liability, business interruption, vehicles, buildings and contents.
Bakers need public liability cover for any legal expenses or compensation relating to incidents leading to the sickness or injury to clients and any visitors to the premises.
Any business dealing with fresh foodstuffs is susceptible to this kind of complaint that can affect finances as well as reputation.
As most bakeries employee staff to make and deliver products, they need employer liability insurance by law.
This extends the same cover as public liability insurance to employees.
Read more about bakery liability cover
Business interruption safeguards profits when an office cannot open for business – for instance, after a fire, flood or a break-in.
Read more about bakery business interruption cover
Bakery owners should take out this cover, but if the bakery is in rented premises the landlord should have their own policy.
Add-ons to standard buildings cover can include:
• Property owner liability – Extra protection if a passer-by is injured due to an issue with the bakery – like a slates or signage falling on them
Read more about bakery buildings insurance
Bakers also need offices, raw materials and administrators. Contents insurance covers stock, computers, business records, machinery and equipment the bakery needs to operate.
Add-ons to standard contents insurance can include:
• Money cover – Compensation for stolen cash, gift tokens, stamps, cheques or postal orders
• Stolen key replacement – Pays for new locks and keys to secure the office from burglars
Bakeries with delivery vehicles should not only have van or lorry insurance, but goods-in-transit cover that replaces the cost of any stock or raw materials damaged in transit
Posted: October 31st, 2013 | Author: George | Filed under: Home Insurance
No-claims discounts are commonly associated with cars and few people realise that they can apply to many different types of insurance policies, including home insurance.
In much the same way as you wouldn’t make a claim for a minor mishap with your car that might cost around £30 to fix, it makes sense to not claim on home insurance for incidental things since the more claims you make, the higher your premiums will be.
Your claim history is not affected by the amount of claim you make in monetary terms but by how many times you claim and depending on the insurance company that you use, these claims can remain on your claims history for up to 5 years.
It makes sense to check out the availability of no-claims discounts on premiums and the savings you could make – it could be as much as 30 per cent!
When not to claim on your home insurance
You may feel that it’s a contradiction in terms to be paying insurance premiums and not claim when, for example, you accidentally drop your phone in the bath. But since there is usually a compulsory excess on most home insurance policies representing the amount you will have to pay toward the cost of replacement or repairs, it’s worth looking at it from a different point of view.
If you view your home insurance policy as security against theft, loss or damage of the most expensive things you own and don’t claim for those items that are relatively inexpensive to replace or repair, you can obtain significant savings on your home insurance premiums. For example, if the excess is £100 is it really worth compromising your no claims history by making a claim for your damaged mobile phone?
Choosing the right insurance company
Choosing the right insurance company for your needs might seem easy given the advent of so many insurance comparison sites but you could spend a lot of time online, especially if you visit all of them. You will be able to enter details of what you want your home insurance to cover and then you will be presented with a number of quotes.
You then need to read all the small print to ensure that what you are being offered actually meets your criteria. Be prepared to spend several hours doing this because the cheapest is not always the best!
While we live in a technology-driven society, sometimes it is nice to talk to a real human being – especially when the FAQs on a website don’t address your specific issues. At Co-operative home insurance we are happy to take your call at any time to talk about your home insurance requirements.
Posted: October 12th, 2013 | Author: George | Filed under: Home Insurance
Although home insurance is not a legal requirement, it’s a good idea to insure your home and the things inside it so you’re covered in the event of a fire, burglary or natural disaster. Home insurance is a sound investment to cover you if the worst should happen, and some mortgage companies will actually make it a condition of your loan to at least have buildings cover.
Home insurance is split into two types: buildings insurance (which covers damage to the structure of the building) as mentioned above and contents insurance (which covers damage to or loss of personal possessions). The cost of a home insurance policy is based on the risk posed, so remove some of the risks and your premium will fall. Here are some ways you can cut the costs:
Make your house more secure
If you get a burglar alarm installed, this can make your home a lower risk in the eyes of insurers. There are a few different types on the market now, including audible alarms which emit a siren when an intruder is detected, monitored alarms which automatically alert a security centre and GSM alarms which can be controlled using your mobile phone. Make sure you test your alarm every few months and get it serviced once a year.
Fit approved deadbolt locks to all external doors and key operated locks to windows. Insurance approved locks will normally have anti-drill plates, anti-saw bolts running through the deadbolts and will carry the British Standard Kite mark symbol. If you’re unsure about your locks, you should ask a locksmith to check them.
Take preventative measures against fires
In the UK, there are around 300,000 residential fires each year, of which more than half start in the kitchen or are caused by smoking. For this reason it’s important to install fire alarms on every floor of your home. Many insurers will now also ask if you are a smoker, and you may find this could increase your premium. For your own safety, do not smoke in bed (as you’re likely to fall asleep) and make sure you extinguish cigarettes properly. Update old electrical wiring systems in your home as these could pose a potential fire risk too.
The Fire and Rescue Service offers a free home safety visit to offer advice on how to make your home safe, where to fit fire alarms and to help you devise an escape plan.
Join a Neighbourhood Watch schemec overing approximately 3.8 million households, the Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales) is one of the UK’s largest voluntary organisations. Its aim is to join together neighbours to create strong, friendly, active communities to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.
Essentially, by joining your local Neighbourhood Watch, you’re investing in a few extra pairs of eyes to safeguard your home and you won’t be alone in your efforts to cut crime in your local area.
Investigate no claims offers
Much like no claims discounts offered by car insurance providers, some home insurers now offer you a considerably reduced premium if you haven’t claimed on your home insurance. So if you’re thinking about making a claim, consider whether it would actually be cheaper to pay it yourself to avoid an increase in your policies in the long run.
Increase your excess
The compulsory excess is set by your insurance provider, and is the up-front amount you must pay in the event of a claim. The voluntary excess is an amount you agree to pay in addition to the compulsory excess; the more you agree to pay, the lower your premium will be because it reduces the amount of money the insurer is liable to pay out.
Check your coverage
Fully read your policy documents to understand what you’re covered for – especially before you buy any additional coverage beyond the basic insurance. There’s no point paying to insure expensive jewellery if you don’t own any, for example. Similarly, underreporting the value of your contents and underinsuring can result in claims being underpaid.
It pays to shop around – if you use a comparison website, you can type in all your details and get quotes from hundreds of insurers in one fell swoop. Even if your current insurance policy was the cheapest one around when you took it out, chances are your premium may have now increased. So don’t stick with your renewal quote, spend a bit of time getting a few more and you could save a lot of money.
Combine your insurance policies
Some companies will offer you a discount for taking out all of your insurance premiums with them. If your insurer offers car insurance as well as home insurance, get a quote for the two as it may be cheaper than buying the two policies from two different companies.
If all else fails, it could be your postcode that is to blame for expensive home insurance. One survey claims that Bournemouth homeowners pay the lowest home insurance premiums while Londoners have the highest premiums. If you are moving, check the Environment Agency’s website to make sure there is a low flood risk in your new area, as this will effect your premium too.
Posted: June 27th, 2013 | Author: George | Filed under: Home Insurance
As a homeowner having adequate insurance in place should be high on the list of priorities, but unfortunately not everyone feels the same way. Last year a report found that almost 3.5 million UK homeowners don’t have sufficient cover – 1 in 10 had either buildings or contents insurance, not both, whilst almost 650,000 had no form of insurance whatsoever. This is something that needs to change, and in case you’re one of the few that don’t see the importance, here are five good reasons to have adequate home insurance cover at all times:
1. No insurance means you’re open to financial loss. You only need to think of how big the losses could be should your possessions be stolen, destroyed or damaged. And what about if the house itself suffered at the hands of a fire, flood or storm? Could you afford to cover the costs? Probably not, and that means not having any insurance is an expensive risk to take.
2. One or the other won’t cut it. You might think that buildings or contents cover will be sufficient, perhaps thinking it’ll be a good way to keep costs down, but in reality it could be a costly mistake. In a lot of scenarios you’ll need to make a claim for both – a flood could damage internal fixtures and electrics (buildings cover) as well as TVs and furniture (contents), so only having one or the other will leave you drastically out of pocket.
3. Thefts and burglaries are on the rise. That, in a nutshell, is why you need adequate contents cover.
4. The UK weather is becoming increasingly extreme. We’ve experienced unprecedented weather conditions over the last few years with storms and flooding being common, so you need to make sure you’re prepared for anything the good old British weather could throw at you.
5. Your mortgage requires it. The terms and conditions of most mortgages require you to have a suitable buildings policy in place, so at the very least, you need this level of cover. Make sure you’re getting a suitable amount too, and this applies to both buildings and contents – if you under-insure you won’t get a sufficient payout to cover the costs, and in the worst case scenario your policy could be null and void as you gave false information.
Ultimately, you need adequate home insurance cover because failing to do so means you’re putting your finances on the line. What if a storm destroyed your kitchen, your furniture and your possessions? What if your jewellery was stolen? What if a fire left you homeless? Without suitable cover you wouldn’t have any financial recompense, and of course, you could be violating the conditions of your mortgage too. It may seem like an unnecessary expense but it’s a small price to pay should you need it, so never underestimate the importance of adequate home insurance and you can have the peace of mind you need.