Sometimes, you might see advertisements for cheap auto insurance that offers fast, easy enrollment online without the hassle of talking to a pushy salesperson. This might sound like it’s a simple, practical way to get the auto insurance you need as efficiently as possible. However, is it really a wise step to take? Should you really go on your search for coverage all on your own?

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Teaching a teenager to drive is often one of the most nerve-wracking experiences that you can have as a parent. You want to teach them how to be responsible, understand the risks they take by getting behind the wheel, and protect themselves while driving. Still, age and inexperience are big factors in why teens are often the riskiest drivers on the road. 

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Commercial auto insurance is a policy that is designed to cover the vehicles your business owns or uses for work purposes. Unlike a personal auto insurance policy, these policies are almost specifically geared to cover more than one driver, as you will generally have employees sharing vehicles. But not all commercial auto insurance policies are created equal, and it is important to understand your policy’s limitations and who will be covered in case of an accident.

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If you ever buy a house, then you will probably have to buy homeowners insurance. Most mortgage lenders require applicants to buy coverage as part of their application. However, policies are as diverse in shapes and sizes as the different homes on a street. Thus, you should never assume that your policy will include a certain type of coverage. Consider some of the common myths of homeowners insurance and use them as a map to help you avoid the wrong coverage. 

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General liability insurance can protect your business. But, are you packing a good enough policy? 

Sometimes, a general liability insurance policy isn’t effective enough. Once you’ve purchased a standard policy, you should think about expanding it. You can get additional coverage, and it usually isn’t hard. Between umbrella liability policies and E&O policies, you have a lot to choose from. Below, we’ll cover the reasons why this is a good idea.

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All businesses that work with customers must have liability insurance. It’s there to help you if your mistakes ever cause harm to someone else. However, liability insurance does have limits to what it will pay for claims. As a result, you could face a scenario where a claim exceeds your policy limits. No one wants such a scenario to threaten their business. One of your potential safeguards is to consider buying is commercial umbrella insurance. It will augment the coverage within your general liability insurance and other policies. 

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I’m pretty confident that if you asked anyone who has ever owned a rental property you would get an overwhelming response that it’s not as lucrative or easy as they thought it would be. In fact, owning a rental property can be a major pain, and end up costing you a ton of money!

I certainly don’t mean to be a “Debbie Downer”, and I know that if it’s done right it can be lucrative, but from an insurance agent’s perspective, I don’t see a lot of people doing it right.

So you’re probably thinking, “Well Chris, you are an insurance agent. What do you know about real estate or rental properties? Why should I take advice from you?”

I’m not a real estate agent, and I don’t own a rental property. However, several of my friends/family/clients/co-workers own rentals, and because I insure a bunch of their properties, I’ve had a first hand account of the process, and I’ve learned what to do, and what not to do.

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I was recently asked this question by one of our Signature Insurance Group clients, and thought I would share the answer here for our readers.

There are a lot of things that go into homeowners and auto insurance rates, one of them being credit. I’ve heard a lot of complaints from people who don’t like the fact that insurance companies use credit in their underwriting.

Some people have absolutely no idea that it’s used in the rate at all.

At the end of the day, there’s not much we can do about it though. Insurance companies have been using credit in their rates for decades, and that’s not likely to change.

By the way, insurance companies don’t pull your credit like a mortgage company or credit card company does. There is no negative impact on your credit as a result of an insurance company looking at it.

When I say “pull” what I mean is that the insurance company is doing what’s called a soft inquiry, which is not the same thing as having your credit pulled (hard inquiry).

When does credit play a role in insurance rates?
It’s important to understand that insurance companies don’t continuously check or monitor your credit. Usually, they only check it when you first get a quote and/or sign up with them in the very beginning.

This means that if your credit score increases (or decreases) your insurance company does not automatically know about it.

So, to my customers question of whether or not his increased credit score will lower his rates, the answer is not automatically.

What has to be done on our side as the agent is contact the carrier the insurance and ask them to do what’s commonly referred to as a “re-score”. This is when the insurance company can re-run the person’s credit (soft inquiry) to see if there is any positive bearing on the rate.

This isn’t something that the insurance company is going to let the agency do every single year, so it’s not worth even asking unless there has been a significant change in your credit score, and only you as the customer would know if that was the case.

If you’d like to get a better handle on your credit rating, it could be helpful to setup credit monitoring. We hope this was helpful! As always, leave us comment below if you have any questions.