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article imageOp-Ed: Safety measures lower auto insurance rates

By Marvin Dumon     Jul 17, 2013 in Technology
In addition to safety measures, efficient administration can also lower a consumer’s car insurance. Eight of the 10 insurance carriers chosen for the study charge less for paperless billing.
A recent study published by Bankrate.com shows that car insurance carriers offer discounts for various best practices. Drivers who install devices such as anti-theft and anti-lock brakes can lower their premiums, which can add up to several hundred dollars in savings.
Individuals and commercial operators can reduce their premiums by lowering their risk profile, according to Grant Georgiades of The Plan Group, a firm which works with nearly 40 insurers.
Given the weak economy, many companies are looking to save costs when it comes to operating their fleet of vehicles. Georgiades offers the following recommendations:
1. Choose the right vehicles for the job. Also select vehicles that will be easier, and therefore, cheaper to insure.
2. Fit telematics systems to vehicles to track driver performance and have greater control over their usage.
3. Ensure vehicles are checked regularly to ensure they are in the best working condition.
4. Introduce penalties for drivers involved in fault accidents.
5. Supply vehicles with handheld cameras that can be used in the event of an accident.
6. Introduce a robust post claim procedure where drivers involved [in] accidents are interviewed immediately by the fleet manager and the insurer’s claim report form can be completed accurately and timely, along with any photographic evidence of the incident. This will ensure the insurer can defend any disputed claims more effectively and mitigate losses on fault accidents by moving quickly to settle with the third party.
7. Be flexible and consider accepting a higher excess. Shop around at renewal but don’t move every year. Eventually, this will affect the desirability of a fleet risk and therefore reflect in the quotations provided.
In addition to safety measures, efficient administration can also lower a consumer’s car insurance. Eight of the 10 insurance carriers chosen for the study charge less for paperless billing.
“[Businesses should] take reducing their own risk profile seriously,” says Georgiades, who serves as a director with the U.K.-based firm. “Appoint a fleet manager or at least someone in overall control of their vehicles. Ensure all staff existing and new go through a thorough process of producing relevant documents. Ensure you know how many points drivers have on their license and check this every year. Go for test drives with potential new employees.”
Given the high cost of fuel at the pump, lowering auto insurance rates is one way to reduce one’s driving costs. The average price of gasoline is approaching $4 a gallon in major cities across the United States.
“The cost of car ownership isn’t getting any cheaper these days, and gas prices are stuck above $3 a gallon,” said Bankrate’s insurance analyst Doug Whiteman. ” It’s important to get whatever discount you can.”
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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