Brier Grieves October 18, 2017 No Comments

Auto Insurance Policies: What Is Covered?

 

The roadways are some of the most dangerous places in the entire world. Presumably, even if every driver on the road was as careful as possible, there might still be millions of accidents each year. There is a significant number of people who do not follow driving safety precautions, however, and this results in many auto accidents.

Since these accidents happen so often, having a sufficient auto insurance policy is essential. On average, a driver will have to have an auto accident claim at least once every 17.9 years. If you’re looking for quality auto insurance in Tampa, Florida, it’s important that you know what is covered by a basic insurance policy.

Keep in mind, however, there are plenty of insurance agencies that offer various insurance options, but this information should help if you’re looking for any basic auto insurance in Tampa.

Collision

Collision coverage pays for any damage to your car resulting from a collision with another vehicle or object. Additionally, this type of insurance coverage also covers damages caused by driving over potholes.

Bodily Injury Liability

This coverage applies if you have caused harm to another driver, passenger, or pedestrian. You and your listed family members are also covered while you’re driving someone else’s car (as long as you were given permission). It’s important to have enough liability coverage so you aren’t sued for a significant amount of money if any injuries were sustained.

Property Damage Liability

Property damage liability includes coverage for any inanimate object that you damage. Items that you own aren’t covered, but anything that doesn’t belong to you and was damaged (a guardrail, house siding, mailboxes, etc.) is covered.

Whatever type of policy you have, make sure that you’re driving as carefully as possible so you can keep yourself and everyone else out on the roads safe. If you’re in need of quality auto insurance in Tampa, contact Brier Grieves Insurance today.

Brier Grieves September 13, 2017 No Comments

Mythbusters: Common Misconceptions About Auto Insurance

For any car owner, buying automobile insurance is essential. Having this protection will keep you from entering financial hardship following an accident. Unfortunatly, there are plenty of myths floating around about car insurance options and insurance companies. This guide will debunk some of the most common car insurance misconceptions.

Myth: Owning a red car will hike up your insurance rates.

Fact: The simply truth is that color will not effect your car insurance rates. Perhaps perpetuated by the speedy sports car stereotype, this myth is especially common among young drivers. Insurance companies are more likely to consider the make, model, and age of your car.

Myth: Older drivers have higher insurance rates.

Fact: The opposite is actually true. Older drivers may qualify for reduced insurance rates, particularly if they are over 55. Talk to your insurance agent to see if you qualify for this type of program.

Myth: You can escape premium hikes if you don’t report your accident.

Fact: About 6 million car accidents occur in the United States each year. If you happen to be in one of them, you may think that you can hide it from your insurance company. The truth is, however, that the company will likely find out when the other driver files a claim. So, it’s best to report it in the first place.

Myth: If your car is broken into, insurance will cover the lost property.

Fact: Not necessarily. This depends on the specifics of your automobile insurance policy. Lost property due to car break-ins are often covered under homeowners insurance, so check this policy as well. And of course, take measures to protect your car against break-ins.

Myth: Your financial history will not impact your insurance.

Fact: Some aspects of your money management history may impact your rates. Insurance companies often have the right to look at your credit score in particular. If you are worried about having high premiums due to a poor credit score, consider working with a financial planner to talk through your options.

Purchasing car insurance is an essential part of owning a car. And by understanding the facts behind different insurance plans, you can make a well informed decision. Remember that the best way to understand your options is to talk to an insurance professional directly.

Brier Grieves August 22, 2017 No Comments

Company Car Insurance Tip: Avoid Negligent Entrustment

Automobile accidents are an expensive liability for companies that rely on the use of vehicles for their business. That risk has increased in recent years, mainly due to distracted driving and a legal concept called negligent entrustment.

Negligent entrustment occurs when an employer is held liable for negligence in choosing an employee to operate a dangerous instrument, usually a vehicle. An employer can be found negligent if both of the following situations occur:

  1. A driver becomes injured while driving for company business, causes injury to a third party or damages physical property.
  2. The employer knew, or should have known, not to trust the vehicle to the driver or that the vehicle was unsafe.

If a driver is working within the scope of his or her job duties and has permission to use a company vehicle, it is presumed that the employer has trusted the driver with the vehicle. The following can be used to prove a finding of negligence:

  • An investigation of the accident scene
  • Interviews with the drivers and witnesses
  • Other applicable evidence that includes citations issued to the drivers

Companies must be able to show that they took all possible precautions to prevent accidents. If not, the actions they did or did not take might be construed as negligent entrustment.

Liability Coverage is Not Sufficient

General liability policies do not offer coverage for incidents of negligent entrustment. Although business auto policies do not exclude negligent entrustment, coverage may not be sufficient if an employee is involved in a harmful accident. Juries often award the plaintiff punitive damages in excess of any compensatory damages resulting from negligent entrustment.

How to Avoid Negligent Entrustment

Reduce exposure to negligent entrustment lawsuits by adhering to the following best practices:

  • Prescreen all individuals granted permission to drive for company business. Review their driving records annually.
  • Provide regularly scheduled driver reviews and comprehensive training sessions.
  • Maintain company vehicles to ensure that they meet strict safety standards.
  • Provide post-accident reviews and training on how the accident could have been avoided.
  • Put clear safety policies in writing to minimize risks. Follow all OSHA guidelines as well as guidelines specific to your business.
  • Define your permission policy. Anyone with permission to drive a vehicle for company business is classified as an insured on a company policy. That is why it is important to define your permission policy in a way that ensures flexibility but isn’t too broad.
  • Regularly enforce drug and alcohol policies.
  • Enforce a zero tolerance policy for driver misconduct.

By taking the aforementioned precautions, you’ll minimize the risk of your employees creating a situation in which your company is found liable. Although commercial auto insurance can minimize some liability risks, more advanced business and umbrella policies can protect against additional risks.

Brier Grieves Insurance can help you choose an auto insurance policy that is best for your business. Contact us for more information on how you can reduce your risk of negligent entrustment liability.

Brier Grieves August 10, 2017 No Comments

4 Things to Consider When Choosing the Right Auto Insurance Plan

Insurance of any kind is interesting. It is something we always hope to have but never want to use. This is because we want to make sure we’re covered if and when the worst happens. But if you’re lucky, you won’t ever have to file a claim.

This is especially true with auto insurance, considering that on average, a driver will have an auto accident claim to file only once every 17.9 years. But in order to make sure you are adequately covered with the right kind of insurance plan, there are a few things to consider before you pick your amount of coverage. Here are some factors to keep in mind when choosing the right auto insurance policy for you.

Major accident coverage
While it may not be pleasant to think about, you never want to ignore the worst-case scenario when choosing a plan. Remember, you don’t buy automobile insurance to protect others, you buy it to protect yourself. You never know how someone else will act on the road and if any of the other drivers are intoxicated in any way. Even though you may not have to use your policy if the accident wasn’t deemed your fault, it is crucial to have it as a fail-safe option to protect yourself.

Personal injury
It goes without saying that you always want to put the safety of your family before anything else. Automobile insurance can provide additional coverage that is not part of your health insurance policy in case you or anyone else is severely injured in an accident.

Quality and age of your vehicle
Simply put, newer cars have less of a chance of breaking down and needing hefty repairs. However, if you have an older car, consider an auto insurance policy to cover these excess costs as chances are your plan can cover everything and not require any out of pocket expenses when you need to be towed.

Becoming stranded
You never know what could happen — your tires could blow out while you’re on a country road or your battery could die in a grocery store parking lot. This is where a mobile repair service can come and help you, but there will be a hefty expense if you aren’t insured. You may want to choose a plan that gives you ample coverage in case of situations like these.

Simply take these four factors into consideration when choosing between different auto insurance policies. Once you do, you can rest easy knowing you are insured in case anything bad happens on the road.

Brier Grieves February 18, 2016 No Comments

The Insurance Pricing Cycle

Most industries are cyclical to some extent, and insurance is no exception. As an insurance buyer, it’s important to know what factors determine the cost of coverage. But understanding the market cycle is only half of the pricing equation; since you can’t control the market, it’s equally important to know what you can do to ensure you are always securing the best price– whatever market conditions prevail.

Property and Casualty Insurance Cycle

The insurance industry pricing cycle alternates between periods of soft and hard market conditions. In a hard market, coverage is harder to place and premiums grow. A soft market indicates premiums are stable or falling, and insurance may be more readily available.

A variety of factors influence the price of insurance, including economic downturns, catastrophic events, insurers’ claim reserve dollars, and supply and demand. Supply is tied to the amount of policyholder surplus in the industry, and demand is the appetite of the insurance-buying community to transfer risk.

Pricing cycles can also vary between lines of coverage and geographic location, creating both hard and soft market conditions depending on what type of commercial insurance is involved and how exposures to loss have changed. For example, the pricing and underwriting approach for property coverage for businesses based in hurricane-prone areas is much different than for businesses located elsewhere.

Risk Management Considerations

Buyers can take steps to ensure they are always getting the best price. Although premiums vary due to market pressure, your true cost of price is determined by your claims history. The key to controlling price is to control losses through instituting safety prevention programs, managing claims efficiently when you have a loss and employing cost containment strategies.

Brier Grieves Agency has the resources to help you employ cost reduction strategies to limit exposures and reduce premiums through both risk transfer and non-risk transfer solutions. Our consultative approach includes the following steps:

  • Identifying your exposures to loss
  • Recommending loss control solutions
  • Improving your disaster response potential by helping you to create or update a business contingency program
  • Assisting in building a culture of safety
  • Providing claims management to keep costs down
  • Seeking continuous improvement
  • Reviewing and recommending coverages to ensure your protection

Those who approach risk financing through sustained long-term cost control and claims management measures, instead of just riding the insurance pricing cycle’s wave, are always in a better position to secure coverage at the best price.

The market may fluctuate, but our goal–to be your broker of choice–never wavers. To review your risk management strategies, contact us today at (813) 876-4166.