Have You Just Started A New Business?

Business Insurance

Startup businesses are exposed to a wide variety of issues including business insurance, risks, and concerns. There are many different decisions that, as a new business owner, you need to make, and selecting the right commercial insurance is one of them.

The first thing you need to do is hire the right agent to help you through the process of obtaining the right kind of commercial insurance. We recommend you choose an independent agent to help you. Independent agents have access to many different markets and can provide the right combination of commercial insurance products and services.

The purchase of business insurance is an essential investment for business owners. Insurance policies protect the business from the financial consequences of accidents and mishaps that could erode profitability and threaten continuity of the operation.

Property- Damage or loss of buildings and equipment

Liability- Injury or claims from customers or other third parties

Workers’ Compensation- Injury to employees as outlined by state statutes

Automobile- Direct damage to your vehicles and liability for the operation of your vehicles

Insurance for business operations is complex, and when considering the purchase of insurance it’s vital to take into account all of the risks that face a business. It is also important to remember that insurance needs change over time as a business grows or diversifies its operations.

Commercial insurance is one of the most important products a new business needs. Our agency can help you review your risks and guide you through the process of securing the right combination of coverage and price.

Does Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Your VRBO?

Does Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Your VRBO?

The sharing economy is on the rise in America, with many people using their home for rental property. like homes (with Airbnb or VRBO)

More and more people are using services like VRBO and Airbnb to find vacation rentals.  As a result, many people are using their homes to develop rental income.  A standard homeowner’s policy may not cover losses incurred while your home is rented out.  You may require a more specialized insurance policy.

Key Homeowner’s Insurance Concerns With Rental Property

Homeowner’s insurance will not cover rental property.

You need insurance when you do not occupy the same residence as your tenant. You will also need special insurance if you are renting out your own home temporarily, or sharing accommodations such as your basement level, with a renter.

Consider liability coverage in the event your renter is injured on your premises.

Consult a local attorney who is knowledgeable in home rental laws in your area. Some cities have new laws that make it easier (or harder) to legally rent out part of your home if you’re not a licensed hotel or B&B.

VRBO, Airbnb and other rental sites may require proof of insurance.

There are only a few insurance carriers willing to write an Airbnb liability insurance policy.  We have experience with insurers who handle this kind of risk.  While sharing economy companies like AirBnB and VRBO offer a “master agreement” that seems to cover a lot, reviewing that with an actual insurance agent will always be in your best interest to ensure adequate coverage.

The Coronavirus Will Have An Impact The United States

The Coronavirus Will Have An Impact The United States

The Centers for Disease Control recently stated that the Coronavirus will have an impact in the United States. People who contracted the Wuhan virus have reported symptoms that include fever, chills, headaches, difficulty breathing, and a sore throat.  Now is a good time to start thinking about how you might protect yourself and your family from contracting this virus.

The World Health Organization and the CDC recommend that you take the usual precautions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses including:

Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth if your hands are not clean.

Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.

Clean surfaces you often touch.

Stay home from work, school, and public areas if you are sick.

Check with your doctor if you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, and tell your doctor about any recent travels.

Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat or animal organs.

If you are visiting live markets in areas that have recently had new coronavirus cases, avoid contact with live animals and surfaces they may have touched.

Business Insurance Coverage That You Might Be Missing

Business Insurance Coverage That You Might Be Missing

Insuring your —- building is one of the most important decisions you make as an owner. In the event of a loss, having the right kind of insurance will be critical in recovery and resuming your business operations. Over 40% of businesses that suffer a total loss never resume operations. If these businesses had purchased the right insurance they might have been able to resume operation.

No two businesses are alike. We can offer coverage options and tailor coverage specifically for your business’s unique needs. Companies frequently purchase commercial property insurance as a part of a Business Owner’s Policy.

We wanted to provide you with a few coverage options that you may not have considered.

Having enough business income and extra expense coverage. In the event of a covered loss, your commercial property insurance can provide funds for lost income, and extra expenses to help in the recovery. All too often, these are not reviewed on a regular basis.

Property managers need to make sure all tenants have provided proof of commercial insurance. Check these annually.

The increased cost of construction for building codes is often overlooked. If your commercial building is over five years old, you may have risk due to new building codes that might increase the value of your building.

Requesting your property policy to have 100% agreed amount valuation. Having an agreed amount will eliminate any coinsurance.

We specialize in providing insurance for office building owners, apartment owners, and commercial building properties. Our experienced staff understands the challenges and concerns that building owners face every day, and work with you to provide the best coverage at the best possible price with the best service.

 

Why It Is Important to Have Us Review Your Lease Agreements

siness Insurance Update

Most businesses enter into lease agreements from time to time. These agreements might involve equipment, buildings or other products and or services.  Every lease agreement has insurance provisions.  Your commercial insurance may or may not respond to the lease requirement, so it is important for you to understand how your business insurance relates to your lease agreements.

The lease agreements state who is responsible for insuring what. If you are leasing a building and the lease requires you to insure the building, it will need to be added to your business property policy.

There may need to be improvements made to the leased building for which you are also responsible.

Many leases also require some level of commercial liability insurance.  If you do not have the correct terms and limits you could jeopardize the lease.

Certain leases also have care custody and control provisions. Your business insurance may need to be modified to protect all parties.

Typically, all leases have some sort of subrogation clause which puts legal requirement on your insurer.

It is important for businesses of all types to have this important type of coverage in order to protect their financial interests. Without a commercial property insurance policy, businesses are fully responsible for the costs associated with property damage and loss.

How To Win The Identity Theft War

You’ve probably heard about identity theft on television or read about it in the newspaper, and you may already be aware of the damage these crimes can cause victims and their families. What you may not know is how to protect yourself from these attacks. Below you’ll find ten steps that can help you minimize your chances of becoming another identity theft statistic.

Invest in a shredder – Never throw anything away without shredding it first. Identity thieves will dig through dumpsters and trash bags looking for credit card receipts, voided checks, paid bills, credit card offers, and other items that provide them with your personal information.

Mail everything from the post office – Leaving your outgoing mail in or on your mailbox is an invitation to have it stolen by an identity thief. Not only can they get all of your personal information from the check, but they can even alter the check and cash it themselves. Instead, drop it by the post office or another mailbox.

Use a post office box – Incoming mail is also a target for identity thieves. Your bills, checks, even junk mail can be used by these thieves to steal your personal information. If you have a post office box, then your mail will be delivered safely to that box.

Have a non-published phone number – Some identity thieves will also use the telephone in an attempt to get your personal information. For example, one scam involved a caller telling a person he or she had won a government grant that was going to be directly deposited into their checking account.

Check your accounts weekly – If you don’t already, you need to get in the habit of checking the balances of all your financial accounts on a weekly basis. Waiting for monthly statements isn’t good enough because by then, your account could have been completely drained.

Check your credit report yearly – Every year, you should request free copies of your credit report and check them for any errors, such as credit cards or loans you never took out. If you find out now that someone is using your identity, you can start correcting the problem before you need to use your own credit.

Memorize PIN numbers and passwords – Never write down your PIN numbers or passwords. No place is a safe place to keep these important pieces of information.

Keep only basic information on checks – Your checks should only include basic information about you, such as your name and address. Your social security number should never be printed on your checks. If it is, then you’re basically handing over the keys to your identity to any thief who comes in contact with your check.

Eliminate unwanted credit card offers – Those credit card offers you throw away can be used by identity thieves.

Carry only necessities – Never carry anything in your purse or wallet that isn’t necessary, such as extra deposit slips, social security cards, birth certificates, etc. The more personal information your purse or wallet contains, the more valuable it will be to an identity thief if it is lost or stolen.

Go electronic – Bank statements, most bills, and many other documents can all be viewed electronically, so you never have to worry about them being stolen out of your mailbox or your trash. Contact your financial institution, credit card companies, and utility providers about the availability of this option. As an extra bonus, many of these businesses offer incentives to individuals who sign up for these electronic programs.

While these steps can’t guarantee you won’t have a identity theft issue, it can help reduce the likelihood of having one.

Good Reasons To Call Your Insurance Agent

Home and Auto Insurance Update

Let’s face it, you buy home and auto insurance to protect you when and or if an accident happens. And when you have an accident, you want your personal insurance to respond.  If it has been a while since you updated your personal insurance coverage, you may want to call us today.

When to Call Your Agent

When you buy or sell a car

If you started a home based business

If you are thinking about putting in a pool

When you purchased any high end jewelry, guns or other items

If your home replacement value has gone up

Did you get a company car?

If you have remolded any part of your home

When you install a security system in your home

If you get married or divorced

If your commute distance has changed

When your children go away to college

Having the right auto coverage is not as easy as it sounds, and choosing the wrong coverages and limits could lead to financial disaster.  Our team is prepared to help you find the right combination of coverage, price and service.

Is Your Business Ready For 2020?

The world is changing, and we understand the issues your business faces every day. There is constant competition for your customers, there are challenges in attracting and retaining top employees, and your cost of goods keeps going up. Part of your planning should include an annual commercial insurance review. Your business changes, and so do your exposures. Here are some of the major kinds of coverage found in most commercial insurance programs.

Commercial Insurance for Businesses

Liability Insurance– Covers your business against claims of negligence that resulted in loss or injury to a customer or visitor to your business.

Worker’s Compensation– Protects your business when an employee becomes injured on the job. It is required by law.

Commercial Auto– Covers against loss for your business vehicles and any liability your business incurs as a result of an accident.

Property– Insures against loss for your buildings and equipment.

Employment Liability– Covers your business and managers from claims of harassment, discrimination and other civil rights as afforded under state and federal laws.

Cyber Liability– Protects your liability interests when data or sensitive client information is stolen or accidentally lost by your business.

Professional Liability-Protects your business when a third party accuses your business of being negligent or making a mistake in providing professional services.

An Independent Agent Who Understands Commercial Insurance

When you purchase business insurance through an independent agent you are working with a licensed professional who specializes in the products and services you need. We have access to many insurance companies and know which ones are designed just for your business. Independent agents are local business owners who employee your neighbors to serve your needs.

 

Holiday Stress Reduction

 

Buy Decorations In The Off-Season

Buy Christmas decorations year-round on the Internet. And in the off-season, you can get them at reduced prices. Buy your decorations all year, and when the Christmas season arrives, you’ll be ready.

Wrap Sooner Not Later

As soon as Christmas wrapping paper is placed on the shelves, start selecting and buying. By this time, you should have a shelf full of presents to wrap. Wrap at your leisure; a few at a time or all at once. Just enjoy it. You have time to make the presents look outstanding. Give them that added decorative touch that will make the recipient feel special and give you the opportunity to be creative.

Record What You Wrap

You have two lists to cross-reference. Check off or make changes as necessary. If you didn’t make a list, you should make one now. Don’t make a mistake I made one year. I got all my wrapping done early, and by the time Christmas came, I couldn’t remember what I was giving everyone or exactly what it looked like. I remember wishing I had a digital camera. I could have taken pictures of the presents before wrapping them. I don’t have to worry about that now. I have a list and a digital camera.

Collect Recipes

Don’t wait until you have to prepare a dish for a party to decide what you want to make. Start collecting recipes from magazines and friends. But don’t stop there. You have plenty of time to try them out. Put stars beside the ones you especially like and will be proud to serve. When the time comes, it will be fast and easy to make choices.

Christmas can be a pleasure, even before the season begins. Enjoy your window-shopping, whether it’s in the stores or on the Internet. But be ready to buy when you see something you like. Make your choices wisely and keep up with your lists. Following this plan will be a great stress reliever come Christmas time. Have fun, and keep on enjoying Christmas.

How To Prepare For Holiday Home Safety

 

The Holidays are almost upon us, and if you have been to any department store, the sounds of Christmas are ringing out. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, over 400 homes are destroyed annually by causes related to Christmas tree fires. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission hospital emergency rooms treat over 12,900 people each year for injuries such as falls, cuts and shocks related to holiday lights, decorations and Christmas trees. Before you put up the lights or cut down the tree, we wanted to provide you with a few safety reminders to keep you and your family safe this holiday season.

The Tree

Keep Christmas Trees Fresh; water regularly.

Keep trees away from heat sources.

Take Christmas trees down before January.

Do not burn the trees in your fireplace.

Avoid placing breakable tree ornaments, or ones with small detachable parts, on lower branches where small children or pets can reach them.

When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant”.

Lights

Only use lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory.

Never string together more lights than are recommended by the manufacturer.

Make sure extension cords are rated for the intended use.

Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.

Turn off all holiday lights when you go to bed or leave the house.

If you use a timer for your outdoor lights, make sure it is rated for outside use.

Outdoor lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)

Ladder Safety

When putting up holiday decorations, always use the proper step stool or ladder to reach high places. Don’t stand on chairs, desks, or other furniture.

A straight or extension ladder should be placed one foot away from the surface it rests against for every four feet of ladder height.

Use ladders with slip-resistant feet.

Never stand on top two steps.

Enjoy the season with family and friends, and never drink and drive.