Insurance Agent Vs Insurance Company: Which Is Right For Your Business?

When it comes to buying insurance, the first step is to figure out whether you want to purchase through an insurance agent or direct from a company. While the two may seem one-and-the-same, the differences between the two can majorly impact your trucking business. This article aims to help you decide which option will work best for you and your trucking company.Coverage.When you choose to buy trucking insurance direct from a company, you are also choosing to buy one of the standard insurance packages. These packages were designed with a “one size fits all” mentality, so you might have to buy a package with coverage you don’t need in order to receive coverage you do need.Contrary to popular belief, insurance agents do not have the ability to negotiate a policy rate. However, the agent will be able to provide you a list of options at different price points. By being independent, agents also have access to other carrier policies and are able to tailor the policy to best suit your needs. Additionally, the agents may reach out to insurance companies most people have never even heard of, or don’t know provide commercial trucking insurance, which allows them to find even more coverage options for the insured (you) to review.Pricing.As mentioned previously, when you choose to buy a standard insurance package direct from an insurance company, there’s a chance you’re overpaying. Since the package is not tailored to your needs, there may be coverages within it that you don’t necessarily want or need. Additionally, when it comes time for renewal these agencies will only show you rates from their employer since it’s their job to keep you insured with that company.Agents own their own business, thus must generate income by charging the insured for the service provided. However, even with the additional fee, going through an agent usually results in a cheaper premium-sometimes up to 25%-due to their ability to price shop. Furthermore, when it comes to renewal, independent agents are able to reevaluate your premium based on new rates from multiple insurance companies. Therefore, the chance for cost savings increases.Experience.One of the biggest differences between buying direct and buying through an agent is the experience. On one hand, when you call an insurance company to talk to someone about your coverage, odds are you’re going to get transferred to someone in a call center. Yes, you will be speaking with an individual who has passed the same exams as personal agents, and therefore can address all of your needs. However, the biggest difference is that the next time you call you most likely will not be speaking to the same individual you spoke to previously.On the other hand, working with an agent allows you to form a personal relationship since you know that when you call you’ll be talking to either the agent or someone on their small team. These individuals will be familiar with your policy, instead of simply reading general information off a database. More importantly, insurance agents will be there to advocate for you during a claim.Time.We’ve all seen the commercials guaranteeing an insurance quote in 15 minutes or less, so for some it seems logical to go online and purchase insurance. If you are shopping for your best price though, it means you are spending 15 minutes on EACH insurance companies’ websites. Not only is this time consuming, but it results in multiple companies gaining your personal information (phone number, email address, etc.).When you work with an independent insurance agent, the agent does the searching for you. So while it may take some time, it’s the agent who puts time into reaching out to all the insurance companies, not you. Agents also realize time plays a significant role in a trucker’s career, which is why they’re oftentimes quicker when it comes to certificate processing and binding.When you’re shopping for trucking insurance, maybe you don’t necessarily care what’s in the package as long as you’re covered. In that case, shopping direct from an insurance company may work for you. However, if you want more insight into your policy and a more personalized experience, then finding an agent to create your optimal insurance coverage plan is your best option.

2012 Travel Tips for the Social Activist

Is the daily work grind or the continual schoolwork bringing you down? Is your wanderlust inner voice telling you you’re ready for a travel vacation? Yet this year you want a different travel objective, not the typical vacation, designed around personal pleasure and leisure. This year you also feel a desire to get involved with some worthy cause, to challenge the power elite status quo and make the world a better place to live. Well, if travel AND social activism are your interests, I have the 2012 travel tip solutions that will please both your traveling and social activist desires.1. My first recommended travel destination for 2012 is Chantilly, Virginia, USA host to this year’s annual Bilderberg meeting May 31st – June 3rd. Chantilly, Virginia, at the Westfield Marriot Hotel, was the host for the 2008 Bilderberg meeting.Chantilly, Virginia is within close proximity to Washington, D.C.; the nation’s capitol offers a unique historical, cultural experience as well as a great place to voice dissent! Fortunately too, for the budget traveler, Chantilly has a youth hostel on the outskirts of the Washington, D.C. area. Why not book your reservations now, and enjoy the beautiful Virginia countryside and Washington, D.C. cultural activities while also vocalizing your displeasure to a passing banker, politician, or corporate CEO? Your opinions and discussions may plant the inception seed activating a pang of conscience that will eventually lead to less harmful world policies. If you discover the overt sidewalk protests are less successful, may I suggest an alternative, stealth approach: position yourself as a well-dressed hotel patron in the lobby where the Bilderberg members are staying. Act as an unassuming gadfly, listening for telling conversations from Bilderberg meeting attendees.Granted, such intimate access may prove to be difficult; however, for the determined spirited social activist, the challenge enhances the adventure and the success sweetens the reward.Are you ready for summer outdoor fun, a freelance journalist’s dream, and a proud sense of moral accomplishment? That’s what I experienced when I planned my fall 2000 vacation in Europe to coincide with the scheduled IMF / World Bank meeting in Prague. A well-organized anti-globalization protest was waiting for the banking attendees, similar to the successful anti-WTO protest in Seattle, November ’99, which I attended. I wanted to continue being a part of this proud movement.I’m certain at the Washington, D.C. youth hostel, and around town, you will meet kindred spirits who are also knowledgeable of this Bilderberg meeting event (global citizen individuals and various NGO members). As I had experienced during the Seattle ’99 and Prague 2000 protests, you will form lasting friendships with these fellow travelers / activists.2. To start your summer season, I recommend planning a visit to Los Cabos, Baja California, Mexico for the annual G-20 meeting, June 18-19. What fun you will have mixing summer outdoor fun with social activism. Cabo San Lucas offers scuba diving, fishing, nightlife, and so much more. Even though the rich elite will be staying at expensive resorts, there are ample inexpensive lodging options at Los Cabos, including youth hostels. You can even pitch your tent near the beach!3. To start your fall season, I recommend a trip to Switzerland for the WTO public forum meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, September 24 – 26. A good central location for fine nearby skiing, autumn color hiking, and a piping hot cappuccino next to a roaring fireplace as you listen in to some powerful banker’s insidious plan.4. Continuing your fall season travels, I recommend visiting Tokyo, Japan for the IMF / World Bank meeting, Oct. 12-14. Enjoy social activism by day and exotic bustling Tokyo nightlife by night.For budget accommodations, Los Cabos, Geneva, and Tokyo, all have several hostels in the city and nearby vicinities.Last, for those planning on traveling through California, I recommend an outdoor excursion north of San Francisco. Besides marvelous vineyards, inspiring redwoods and dramatic coastline, there’s also an elite power broker retreat called Bohemian Grove nestled in the redwoods near the town of Guerneville and the Russian River.
The retreat of course has security ( as I discovered many years ago) so an undercover role as a naive hiker is a good start. While peering through the redwoods, you may find an influential politician or CEO performing some decadent, hedonistic ritual in a yellow chiffon dress! Don’t forget to bring your camera!I hope you find these travel tips useful for your future 2012 travel plans. You may even come across yours truly, the author. Happy travels!

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