Saturday, February 20, 2010

First Dollar Defense Endorsement

The definition of First Dollar Defense: "Provides coverage for defense expenses related to a claim from the first dollar. Allows the deductible to be applied to the loss only."

This endorsement should be considered for high deductible professional errors and omissions liability insurance deductibles to preserve out of pocket defense if your organization is named in a lawsuit. In most cases your deductible is required only if you company is liable for the damages.

This endorsement may offer your organization protection against frivolous lawsuits.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Reprint: 9 Ways To Lower Your Auto Insurance Costs

Insurance Information Institute

Cover of the publication 9 Ways to Lower Your Auto Insurance Costs

One of the best ways to keep your auto insurance costs down is to have a good driving record.

Listed below are other things you can do to lower your insurance costs.



1. Shop Around

Prices vary from company to company, so it pays to shop around. Get at least three price quotes. You can call companies directly or access information on the Internet. Your state insurance department may also provide comparisons of prices charged by major insurers. (State insurance department phone numbers and Web sites can be found here.)

You buy insurance to protect you financially and provide peace of mind. It's important to pick a company that is financially stable. Check the financial health of insurance companies with rating companies such as A.M. Best (http://www.ambest.com) and Standard & Poor’s (http://www.standardandpoors.com/) and consult consumer magazines.

Get quotes from different types of insurance companies. Some sell through their own agents. These agencies have the same name as the insurance company. Some sell through independent agents who offer policies from several insurance companies. Others do not use agents. They sell directly to consumers over the phone or via the Internet.

Don't shop price alone. Ask friends and relatives for their recommendations. Contact your state insurance department to find out whether they provide information on consumer complaints by company. Pick an agent or company representative that takes the time to answer your questions. You can use the checklist on the back of this brochure to help you compare quotes from insurers and on the same coverage.

2. Before You Buy a Car, Compare Insurance Costs

Before you buy a new or used car, check into insurance costs. Car insurance premiums are based in part on the car’s sticker price, the cost to repair it, its overall safety record, and the likelihood of theft. Many insurers offer discounts for features that reduce the risk of injuries or theft. These include daytime running lights and anti-theft devices. To help you decide what car to buy, you can get information from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (www.iihs.org).

3. Ask for Higher Deductibles

Deductibles are what you pay before your insurance policy kicks in. By requesting higher deductibles, you can lower your costs substantially. For example, increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce your collision and comprehensive coverage cost by 15 to 30 percent. Going to a $1,000 deductible can save you 40 percent or more. Before choosing a higher deductible, be sure you have enough money set aside to pay it if you have a claim.

4. Reduce Coverage on Older Cars

Consider dropping collision and/or comprehensive coverages on older cars. If your car is worth less than 10 times the premium, purchasing the coverage may not be cost effective. Auto dealers and banks can tell you the worth of cars. Or you can look it up online at Kelley’s Blue Book (http://www.kbb.com). Review your coverage at renewal time to make sure your insurance needs haven’t changed.

5. Buy your Homeowners and Auto Coverage from the Same Insurer

Many insurers will give you a break if you buy two or more types of insurance. You may also get a reduction if you have more than one vehicle insured with the same company. Some insurers reduce the rates for long-time customers. But it still makes sense to shop around! You may save money buying from different insurance companies, compared with a multi-policy discount.

6. Maintain a Good Credit Record

Establishing a solid credit history can cut your insurance costs. Insurers are increasingly using credit information to price auto insurance policies. To protect your credit standing, pay your bills on time, don't obtain more credit than you need and keep your credit balances as low as possible. Check your credit record on a regular basis and have any errors corrected promptly so that your record remains accurate.

7. Take Advantage of Low Mileage Discounts

Some companies offer discounts to motorists who drive a lower than average number of miles a year. Low mileage discounts can also apply to drivers who car pool to work.

8. Ask about Group Insurance

Some companies offer reductions to drivers who get insurance through a group plan from their employers, through professional, business and alumni groups, or other associations. Ask your employer and inquire with groups or clubs you are a member of to see if this is possible.

9. Seek Out Other Discounts

Companies offer discounts to policyholders who have not had any accidents or moving violations for a number of years. You may also get a discount if you take a defensive driving course. If there is a young driver on the policy who is a good student, has taken a drivers education course or is at a college out of the area without a car, you may also qualify for a lower rate.

State Insurance Departments and Web sites

When you comparison shop, inquire about discounts for the following:*

[ ] $500 deductible
[ ] $1,000 deductible
[ ] More than 1 car
[ ] No Accidents in 3 Years
[ ] No Moving Violations in 3 Years
[ ] Driver Training Courses
[ ] Defensive Driving Courses
[ ] Anti-Theft Devices
[ ] Low Annual Mileage
[ ] Air Bags
[ ] Anti-Lock Brakes
[ ] Daytime Running Lights
[ ] Student Drivers with Good Grades
[ ] Auto and Homeowners Coverage with the Same Company
[ ] College Students away from Home
[ ] Long-Time Customer
[ ] Other Discounts

The key to savings is not the discounts, but the final price. A company that offers few discounts may still have a lower overall price.

*The discounts listed may not be available in all states or from all insurance companies.

For more information, call the National Insurance Consumer Helpline (NICH) at 1-800-942-4242



Reviewed by:

Consumer Federation of America
http://www.consumerfed.org/

Federal Citizen Information Center
http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/

National Consumers League
http://www.nclnet.org/

Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, USDA
http://www.csrees.usda.gov//

Insurance Information Institute
110 William Street
New York, NY 10038
(212) 669-9200
http://www.iii.org/

Reprint: Nevada's new DMV insurance requirement goes into effect Monday

By Steve Timko • stimko@rgj.com • January 30, 2010

Beginning Monday, the state of Nevada will require people registering a vehicle at the Department of Motor Vehicles to present a card that proves they have car insurance.

Technically, people will be required to have proof Monday for vehicle registration renewals, reinstatements and license plate changes done on the Web or at a DMV kiosk, but problems getting software written has delayed implementation there until March 15, DMV spokesman Kevin Malone said.

The DMV's new Nevada LIVE program will capture insurance information at registration and instantly confirm it with insurance companies, the DMV said in a statement.

Done at a cost of $378,000, it replaces the old program of insurance companies reporting policy information on mailed data tapes or data cartridges, which led to delays in verification.

"We're going to get your policy information up front and validate it instantly," DMV Director Edgar Roberts said. "This will be a win for everyone ­-- except the uninsured motorist."

Kelly Block, 75, had an experience with an uninsured driver Dec. 1 at her southwest Reno home.

The driver of a BMW was trying to flee police and slammed into a 40-year-old tree in her yard.

The driver fled and was found three days later. Block called his insurance company, but they said his insurance expired the day before.

Block was only on the hook for the $250 deductible to clean up the mess, but said if others don't obey the law and carry insurance then law-abiding citizens like herself have less incentive to do so.

The Nevada DMV said Nevada LIVE, short for Nevada Liability Insurance Validation Electronically, also will be available to law enforcement and the courts to confirm car insurance is valid.

The DMV said the new system should ensure fewer drivers are uninsured.

Reprint: NU Online News Service, Jan.21, 11:56 a.m. EST

Nevada’s Insurance Commissioner Scott Kipper said he has approved an average decrease of 7.6 percent for workers’ compensation insurance rates.

He also announced a 3.7 percent average decrease for workers’ comp assigned risk rates.

The filing was submitted by the National Council on Compensation Insurance, Inc. (NCCI). The changes are effective March 1, and will apply to risks as of their anniversary rating dates.

Mr. Kipper’s announcement said the reduction, specifically a reduction in loss costs, is based upon Nevada employers’ experience and future projections. NCCI loss cost is only one component of the rates charged by insurers.

Each insurer must file a loss cost multiplier that is used to determine final workers’ compensation rates.

More information regarding the filing, including links to the Assigned Risk Rates and Advisory Loss Costs are on online at the new Property and Casualty Workers’ Compensation section of the Division’s our web site http://doi.nv.gov/spc/workerscomp.aspx.

About Me

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6119 Ridgeview CT #500, Reno, NV 89519, 775-284-8200 or kevin@ardentinsurance.com., United States
http://www.ardentinsurance.com College BS in Business Administration (University of Nevada, Reno) 1987. Independent Farmers Insurance Agent 1987-1997; Part time financial sales positions 1997-1999; Co-founder and President of ClientFlex Corporation 1999-2004; Lucini/Parish Insurance 2004-2005; Co-founded (with Tammy Brunson) Ardent Insurance LLC (2005-2007); Changed entity to Ardent Insurance Inc (2006-present). Insurance Designations: LUTCF. Insurance Affiliations: Big I (Independent Insurance Agents of America); Trusted Choice Approved Agency; Professional Insurance Associates, Inc. (Affiliate); Local Business Associations: Northern Nevada Insurance Agents - Member; Community Associations: Northern Nevada Endurance Training - Active Member.