Entries by Ira Girard

Bus Insurance: How to ensure your school bus is safe and covered

While driving down the street, you may have noticed the emergence of the big yellow school bus from its summer hibernation. Fall has arrived and brought with it rustling morning traffic to start off the school day. Operating a school bus can be a delicate feat with all this commotion. According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 2004 and 2013 there were 116 fatalities caused by school transportation. Sixty-two percent of those were from school buses. Although these statistics are drastically safer when compared to privately owned cars and trucks, as a driver and school bus provider you want to play it safe. Know the code Hiring and maintaining drivers who have been properly trained and are aware of the safety standards of your district is key. Checking credentials is the first step in preventing accidents. Consider also providing safety incentives and providing your drivers with cameras and GPS equipment to help them carry out your safety expectations. The state of Arizona suggests liability insurance can be purchased by the district or driver. Talk with a provider to see if more coverage is necessary and to make sure your drivers, passengers, and equipment are covered. Watch for Xings Especially at railroad crossings, drivers should take caution to be hyper aware of the space they have to cross and their surroundings. Make sure to turn down the radio and other distractions when crossing. Do not change the gears of the vehicle when crossing. Crossings and turns should be approached with care in order to prevent accidents. Plan routes safely Take care to plan routes which avoid narrow streets or those with increased traffic flow. Are there obstructed views? How high are the speed limits? Planning now can lead to less stress later. Report claims quickly In the case of an accident, make sure your drivers know to report what happened immediately. The sooner your insurer has your claim, the more protection they can provide you. Ideally you should report the claim within the first 24 hours. Keep safe and start the school year off right. For more safety tips check out the National Safety Council’s website.

Five Of The Easier Ways To Save On Fleet Insurance

Fleet insurance is the form of commercial vehicle insurance that you need if you use multiple vehicles for business. Here are five of the easiest routes to the best fleet insurance coverage at the lowest price. One: Work with a leading insurance provider It’s often difficult to compare the exact costs and coverages available under competing insurance plans. That’s why it’s important to work with experienced commercial insurance pros like the team at Girard Insurance. We have more than 25 years of experience in understanding business owners’ needs and bringing winning quotes for the best coverage. Two: Choose your drivers carefully Just as it is with any kind of insurance, your fleet insurance premium costs depend to some degree on you and your drivers’ driving records. The more tickets and accidents, the higher the premium cost. During any hiring process, you should make sure to do a thorough background check on your prospective employees. This screening should include an inquiry with the department of motor vehicles and other licensing agencies. This can help you avoid costly, unpleasant surprises later. Three: Use safety measures Commercial insurance companies are impressed when companies that operate vehicle fleets, whether they’re taxi fleets, truck fleets or other commercial vehicles, opt to have their employees attend regular safety training meetings. And, safety and security technologies such as vehicle anti-theft and tracking devices often help reduce premiums. Pre-crash warning systems are also helpful. Backup cameras, alarm systems and fleet management software can help you save money on insurance costs, too. Four: Add features that may reduce serious injuries Insurers look favorably on companies that operate fleets equipped with additional devices and features to reduce serious injuries in case of an accident. These include – Airbags in front and on the sides Anti-lock braking systems Extra padding on dashboards Special laminated windshields Five: Ask for discounts If you do not ask, you shall not receive. You should ask for as many discounts and special programs as you can. For example, insurers usually offer discounts for companies which have been in business for at least three years. And, special fleet coverage programs may be available. When you need insurance for a vehicle fleet, we can help. For the lowest quotes and quickest claim service, contact Girard Insurance. For a free quote call us toll-free at 844-750-6003

How to choose the best commercial truck insurance quotes

Following the recent upsurge in cargo thefts from commercial trucks during transport, it’s important to make sure that when you shop for the best commercial truck insurance quotes, you should include adequate provisions for cargo insurance. In fact, trucking industry security experts have reported that during the past year the average value of a truck’s cargo stolen in transport increased by more than 35% to almost $235,000 per theft. And, about 90% of all reported thefts during 2014 occurred when the truck was parked within unsecured parking, and the driver wasn’t present. Whether you’re an independent driver or own several trucks, you should find good commercial truck insurance quotes that include enough cargo coverage for the goods that have been trusted to your care during transit. At Girard Insurance, we can help by providing the exact coverage you need, at a price you can afford. Popular targets The most popular targets for cargo thieves continue to be food and drink, electronics, and home and garden products. In terms of value lost, the cost of electronics stolen in transit averaged nearly $570,000 per theft, which represents an increase of almost 50% over the 2013 loss statistics. Regarding total volume, food and beverage products were the category of cargo most frequently stolen in 2014, representing about 20% of all trucking thefts. Electronics were the second-richest target for thieves, accounting for about 16% of thefts. And, housewares and garden products were stolen about 15% of the time. The right commercial truck insurance quotes In order to ensure that you have the right coverage at an affordable price, you should work with the commercial insurance professionals at Girard Insurance. We can tailor the coverage to exactly fit your business, so you’ll have the protection you need, without overpaying. If you’re carrying valuable cargoes, especially food and drink or electronics, just call us for the best commercial truck insurance quotes. 520-628-7888

Bargains on bus insurance

Whether you own and operate school buses that carry students, buses that carry church members, coaches that bring tourists on sightseeing tours, or local transit buses, Girard Insurance has the insurance coverage you need. Types of bus insurance coverage Apart from federal regulations, almost all states require that bus operators have liability insurance. Bus liability insurance protects owners and drivers of buses against the cost of claims regarding property damage and personal injury. Bus liability insurance covers the cost of claims made against you, your bus driver, and your organization in the event that your bus is involved in an accident in which you’re found to be at fault. Driver insurance generally covers personal injuries and financial losses to a driver following an accident. And, passenger insurance can cover injuries to passengers and perhaps damage to their belongings. As well, specific types of business may require special types of coverage, including coverage for school buses, transit buses, and tour buses. Choosing the right bus insurance The first step toward choosing the right insurance for your bus or buses is to work with a good insurance team. The commercial insurance professionals here at Girard have more than 25 years of experience in providing the best combination of insurance coverage at an affordable price. The second step is to work closely with your insurance professionals to help them understand exactly how you use your bus. The amount of time and distance that you operate a bus, as well as where it travels, are critically important factors in determining your premium costs. For example, if your bus is only used once per week to carry church members, then your coverage needs are different than an operator who runs a full shuttle bus schedule every day of the week. Likewise, whether your bus only travels locally or whether it routinely crosses state lines during trips will influence the types of coverage you need and the premiums you pay. Finding bargains on bus insurance Because of the wide variability in how buses are used, the costs of insuring them can also vary greatly. In order to obtain the maximum coverage at the lowest price, you should work with an insurance provider that is deeply knowledgeable. Girard Insurance offers you the best of both worlds – affordable prices and exceptional claims service. To find the best bargain on bus insurance, just call us. 520-628-7888

How to avoid costly limo insurance claims

In the limousine business, customers count on reliable service. When there’s an issue with your vehicle, you need to resolve it quickly in order to stay on the road. That’s why it’s important to have good limo insurance to protect you and your drivers against liability claims if they arise. At Girard Insurance, we have the coverage you need to satisfy the state limo insurance requirements. And, we provide the industry’s quickest claim services. We also keep you up to date on the best ways to save on premium costs. Here are the best ways to reduce limousine insurance claims According to recent actuarial research, limousines involved in crashes and accidents are disproportionately represented in three key types of crash. By addressing the reasons for the over-weighting of these three types, drivers and owners can reduce limo insurance claims and premiums. Left-hand turns are dangerous Research highlights the fact that even though accidents which happen during left turns are only 2.6% of all claims, they lead to nearly 22% of all claim amounts paid. These accidents often happen when large slow-moving limos make left turns into oncoming traffic on two-lane roads. It is often difficult for drivers to gauge the speed of an oncoming vehicle, especially at night. Drivers should be patient and wait to be sure all traffic has passed before turning left. You shouldn’t begin your turn until or unless you’re sure there’s enough time to safely complete it before oncoming traffic arrives. Crashes in intersections Similar to left-turn accidents, crashes in intersections can be costly because they often involve several vehicles. Although only about 6% of claims were made for crashes in intersections, nearly 13% of all claim payments were made for those accidents. Most intersections are nominally controlled by signals or signs, but sometimes drivers distracted by cell phone calls and texting don’t see other vehicles. It’s always best to drive defensively and assume the other driver doesn’t see you at any given time. Also, because of the size and length of many limo vehicles, it’s important to beware of any “stale green traffic lights” at intersections which are about to change to red while you’re approaching. You should cover your brake pedal and decide whether you should stop or continue before reaching the intersection. Bicyclists and pedestrians Sometimes a pedestrian or cyclist moves unpredictably into the pathway of a limo. This type of accident is the worst. Although it represents only a tiny fraction of one percent of all claims, still, it adds up to almost 4% of all insurance claim payments. Drivers should expect pedestrians or cyclists to appear unexpectedly at any time. They should slow down, frequently scan from side to side, and be ready to stop quickly, especially around parked cars, where many limo accidents occur. Work with the pros At Girard Insurance, we have 25 years of experience in helping drivers avoid costly limo insurance claims. 520-628-7888

How to save money on your fleet insurance

If your business relies on multiple vehicles, you need fleet insurance. Whether you own and operate a long-haul trucking company, taxi business or local delivery service, if you use more than a couple of vehicles, you’ll need fleet insurance to protect you, your business and your workers. How can you save money when insuring a fleet? The answer is easy – Just work with a fleet insurance specialist like Girard Insurance. Identify risks Ask your insurer to analyze the claims history of your business. Experts here at Girard can identify patterns that may be adjusted or corrected in order to save money on your premiums. Train your drivers Training seems like a no-brainer, yet some businesses overlook it and assume that all licensed drivers are equally competent. Instead, driver training should be conducted regularly, and drivers should be quizzed about their understanding of how to handle specific situations when they’re operating company vehicles. Be very selective about your workers Drivers with ages between 17 and 20 are the most likely to lead to insurance claims. Not only are the claims from this age group more common, they’re also more costly. Premiums are nearly always less for drivers with at least 25 years of age, as long as they have a couple of years of driving experience. And, it goes without saying that you should run background checks on all drivers – both before hiring them and then periodically during their employment – to make sure that their personal driving records don’t adversely affect your commercial insurance rates. Take advantage of technologies that can save money You already know how valuable technology is for roadway safety – Airbags, anti-lock brakes and safety glass windshields are taken for granted nowadays. Yet, the insurance industry is constantly discovering and implementing new ways of improving vehicle safety and security. By using new technologies, you may be able to save a significant amount of money on your fleet insurance. For example, front-facing cameras can help protect your company against both fraudulent claims and claims that your driver was at-fault in an accident. As well, rear-facing cameras and alert systems can help keep drivers from backing up into costly objects. GPS and telematics Commercial fleets benefit from GPS trackers, which can help locate stolen vehicles and their cargoes, as well as alert you if a driver is taking your vehicle “off the beaten path.” And, telematics allow drivers to communicate with dispatchers and map out their routes, as well as help monitor compliance with speed limits and company policies. Plus, telematics can send data directly to your insurance company, offering an opportunity to save money on the cost of insuring a fleet. Work with the best insurance company The key to saving money on your commercial insurance premiums is to work with an industry leader like Girard Insurance. With more than 25 years of experience in commercial vehicle insurance, we’re known for providing the lowest quotes and the best claims service. Have a question about insurance […]