business insurance

Five Automotive Features That Lower Auto Insurance Premiums

auto insuranceHaving a good driving record, and years of experience, are a great start to lowering your auto insurance premiums. You can also take defensive driving classes – those should help out a lot. However, there’s more that goes into premium pricing than just your experience. Many times, insurance premiums can be dramatically reduced just by buying the right make and model car. Other times, you can modify your existing vehicle to lower your premiums. Try looking at factors you haven’t considered before.

Age of The Car

The age of your car can dramatically impact the premiums. Too old, and your vehicle might not have the safety features insurers look for. Too new, and your premiums might skyrocket due to the expensive nature of replacement parts on new cars (i.e. replacement or repair on newer vehicles almost always requires expensive diagnostic equipment and the repair or replacement of expensive electrical components).

Try to buy vehicles that are up to 5 years old. If you’re purchasing a vehicle that’s older than 5 years, make sure it has excellent ratings in crash tests and replacement parts are not only plentiful but inexpensive.

Airbags

Airbags are universally recognized by insurers as being an awesome safety feature. Because of this, discounts are basically guaranteed if your vehicle has airbags. It should go without saying that, if you’re buying a newer car, it should come with a driver’s side airbag at minimum.

Look for vehicles with optional airbags though. A passenger-side, rear, and side airbags all add to the safety of the vehicle and reduce auto insurance premiums.

Anti-Sleep Alarms

Ever get so tired while you were driving that you started to fall asleep? That’s a dangerous situation, and insurers know that people who travel long distances (or work the night shift) will eventually have to figure out how to keep from falling asleep at the wheel. Some car manufacturers have capitalized on this by installing anti-sleep alarms.

Lexus and Saab’s systems track driver eye movements while Volvo and Mercedes’ systems are activated when there’s a change in vehicle performance or position. Sleepy drivers are jolted awake – and kept alive. You can bet that insurers will give you a discount for this as almost every one of them sees this as a giant leap forward in safety technology.

Active Theft Protection

Active theft protection includes a car alarm or some type of active anti-theft system that disables the vehicle’s ability to start. Car alarms have come a long way with features that can include infrared wireless ignition shut off – preventing would-be thieves from stealing your vehicle or even finding a wire to cut to disable the alarm. Some alarms also offer anti-hijacking protection. At the touch of a button, the system is armed. When you’re car-jacked, you simply get out of the vehicle and let the thief have your vehicle. As soon as the crook shuts the door, the system activates a countdown countermeasure. At the end of the countdown, the vehicle’s engine decreases speed and shuts off – unable to be restarted. This leaves your vehicle safe, and you can call the police.

Etched VIN Numbers

Etched VIN numbers are new, but insurers are picking up on this trend fast. With etched VIN numbers on your windshield, front and rear windows, your vehicle becomes harder to steal and part out. Everything is traceable and insurers love this as it reduces costs to them. That improved security, in turn, earns you a nice discount on your premiums.

Natasha Risinger is an auto insurance consultant who also enjoys blogging. Her articles mainly appear on personal finance websites. Check out the progressive auto insurance rates from www.autoinsurance.us, visit the link.

Image source :http://www.flickr.com/photos/insuranceinbradenton/8151813732/


How to Succeed as a Start-up Business Owner

business effectWe all dream at some stage of being our own boss and having the power to show up when and where we want. Sure, running your own business does give you a level of freedom you generally won’t find in the corporate world, but it also comes with the burden of additional risks and threats. If you think you have what it takes and be a successful entrepreneur, here are some tips on how to start up your own business:

The big idea. Think about the type of business you want to run; is it a franchise, an existing business or a completely new business? First and foremost you need to come up with a business idea which can be profitable. It’s important here to think with your head and not your heart as many entrepreneurs fail after they haven’t completed enough market research to determine if there is room in the market for their offered products or services

Strategy and Planning. It’s important to work out your business plan before you start so you can define your business strategy and stay on track to meet your goals. Your business plan defines the VMG (Vision, Mission, Goals) of your business and serves us the outline of what you are looking for and what you are aiming for.

Legal Logistics – There are three common options for determining the structure of your new business
• Sole trader or sole entrepreneurship- you are the only one who owns the business;
• Partnership- there are two or more owners
• Company or corporation- there are 5 and more stock owners in the business.

If you are looking for self-employment and high profits then sole entrepreneurship is possibly the most preferential business structure although bear in mind there are significantly more risks involved.

Target market and store location. Think long and hard about which market you are targeting and where the most appropriate location for your store will be. Who will want to pay for your goods and services and how will the location of your business affect this? It’s important to do as much market research as possible so you can make the most informed decisions. Be sure to identify competitors, seasonal trends and identify any other factors which could affect your business.

Get the financing you need. Having enough money in the bank to get things going is a fantastic situation for any new business owner. But the reality is that many new business owners require some form of financial assistance. If this sounds like you then be sure to shop around and work out which lender offers the most appropriate products and rates to suit your current situation. Remember to only borrow as much as you need as to avoid paying excess interest and fees, and if you find yourself with a surplus of cash you should place it in a business account with a high interest rate as to gain the most interest possible.

Determine your taxation and legal obligations. Just It pays to be aware of all your relevant taxation obligations and responsibilities. There are taxes collected by state, federal and even governments which you will need to consider. Additionally make sure you have obtained all the required permits and licenses to operate your business.

Have business insurance. It is wise to have some sort of business insurance to make sure your capital, commercial risk and even income are protected.

Focus on business growth. It is very important to have business growth goals and do everything you can to achieve them. A growing business is successful businesses so aim high and don’t get complacent with your current market share.


Not Asking the Right Questions About Small Business Insurance

what is small business insuranceIf you don’t run a small business, then the function and point of small business insurance might seem relatively pointless at first. Insuring a car or a home is straight forward to understand because they are physical things that need protecting. A small business is a little more intangible and abstract than that.

Indeed, several small business owners see insuring their livelihood and the fruit of their back-breaking hard work as an unnecessary expense for some reason and I suspect it is this more abstract nature that is to blame.

The question to ask is not “what is small business insurance” because that’s too vague and conceptually confusing. Instead, you should be asking “what does small business insurance do for you”.

Safety net

A small business is precarious thing. The success of the venture lives and dies by the hard work and effort of its owner, but that does not make it immune from outside forces that can disrupt business operations at a moments notice.

Running a small business means you don’t have the backup of a larger corporate structure to back you up. If you make a mistake, it won’t just be a poor performance review and demotion waiting for you from head office, but the potential dissolution of your livelihood, to say nothing of what it will make you feel about all the time you’ve invested into this company.

Natural and man-made disasters await around every corner for the unprepared small business owner. Due to our mostly stable weather system in the UK, you can normally predict the natural disasters. We tend not to suffer from unexpected earthquakes or tornados and if your business is on the flood plain, you can expect flooding at certain times of the year but that’s about it.

Then there are the much more unpredictable human-disasters. A particularly clumsy customer tripping and falling in your premises and taking you to court for it, or a careless employee blaming you for not training him properly in lifting heavy boxes could set you back financially if you’re not covered adequately. Even with little to no merit, a court case can be a hugely costly setback that could easily threaten to put you out of business.

So what actually is small business insurance?

It’s impossible to not ask this really. Having said that “what is small business insurance?” is the wrong question, let me clarify why and offer a bit of an answer. It’s the wrong question because it’s too vague. What small business insurance actually is relies too heavily on the nature of the small business in question to be able to give a definitive and straight forward answer.

The form of small business insurance is whatever you want it to be. The function however is always the same: peace of mind applied to something that does its absolute best to constantly worry you.

Provided by YOUR Insurance, a broker specialising in  public liability insurance for small and medium sized businesses and landlord insurance.


Things to Know About Business Insurance

Things to Know About Business Insurance

Insurance is one of the most critical products in today’s economic climate.  Irrespective of whether it is by law or obligation, individuals still have health, life, phone, house, car and a myriad of other various types of insurance.

This is also true for business owners, who must also take insurance policies for their business, regardless of the size of the business, and the industry it finds itself within.  Given the horrendous floods that have caused major disruption in towns and cities this year, it is easy to see how one disaster can wreak havoc on your business regardless of how much time, hard work and money you have invested into it.  Business insurance is an exceptionally valuable tool that will help you to safeguard and protect your business from unexpected losses and unforeseen risks.

The following guide provides an insight into three different types of business insurance that are individually tailored to the most common leisure industries in the UK, pub insurance, hotel insurance and restaurant insurance.

PUB INSURANCE

Pub Insurance is highly critical in helping you to run a successful business, as this type of environment has a propensity to carry the danger of rowdy behaviour with it.  This presents a risk of accidents andinjury to both staff and customers.  Moreover, furniture and fittings could also be susceptible to damage, which can be incredibly expensive to replace. In addition, the dramatic increase in personal injury claims means that if a customer is hurt in your pub, they may attempt to claim.  This could leave you liable for the costs incurred if you do not have adequate pub insurance.

RESTAURANT INSURANCE

As is with the case with public house and hotel insurance, restaurants are also susceptible to public liability claims.  A restaurant can accommodate hundreds of individual customers each day; this means there is a large threat of someone falling ill due to food poisoning, having a hot meal spilled on them, or choking.  An insurance claim from one of these individuals could incur serious costs for your business if you do not have adequate restaurant insurance, which could damage both your reputation and your long term profitability.

Moreover, it is also your responsibility to provide a clean, healthy and safe working environment for your chefs, waiters, waitresses and greeters.  A similar claim from one of your staff who has suffered an injury due to unsafe working conditions, could also seriously damage your business if you do not have adequate restaurant insurance.

HOTEL INSURANCE

There is a wealth of privately owned hotels across the UK, which means that hotel owners should safeguard their assetsby ensuring that their hotels are adequately insured.  In a similar vein to pub insurance, a single insurance claim from a hotel guest that sustained an injury on the premises could seriously damage the business.  If an accident occurs on hotel premises, it could signify that a hotel has not been stringent enough with risk assessments and health and safety issues.  Accordingly, if a hotel isn’t adequately insured, then financial difficulties will subsequently follow.  Most hotel insurance packages provide a wide range of protection, such as insurance for accidental damage, fire, flood damage, theft, vandalism, contents, stock and electronic equipment.

However, the proverbial minefield that is business insurance can be avoided by contacting an online corporate insurance broker, such as Todd & Cue Insurance.  Firms such as these have a team of highly skilled insurance specialists and risk consultants, who will be able to discuss relevant pub, hotel, and restaurant insurance policies with you. 

 


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