How to Develop a Better Understanding of Business Liability Insurance

How to Develop a Better Understanding of Business Liability Insurance

A Commercial Insurance Update

Your business keeps you running from dawn to dusk. You have many decisions to make every day in order to keep your business profitable. Our job is to be your business insurance resource and to provide you with the best combination of coverage, price, and service.  A commercial liability policy can protect your company from actions by yourself and employees if a third party is damaged or injured.

Basic Questions for a Better understanding of Commercial Liability Insurance

What Does a Commercial Liability Policy Cover?  – This coverage is intended to cover your business and employees from injury or damage to third parties resulting from your negligence.  This might include damage to property or injury to others.  If your products or services cause a loss to a third party, a commercial liability policy will respond.

How Do I Determine What Limits I Need? – How much coverage you need depends on your industry and the size of your company.  We usually recommend at least $1,000,000 in coverage to start with.  If you are in construction or similar industries, we might recommend higher limits.

Is Commercial Liability Insurance Expensive? – Insurance premiums are based on a number of factors including revenues, industry, number of employees and other factors.  For a small business commercial liability premiums are not expensive.

What Is the Best Way to Obtain Commercial Liability Insurance?  –The best way to secure commercial liability insurance is to use an independent agent like us. We would combine your commercial liability along with commercial property coverage to get the best combination of coverage, price, and service.

Make Your House Safe For Trick-Or-Treaters

Make Your House Safe For Trick-Or-Treaters 

 Halloween is fast approaching. All kids love to dress up, get together with friends, and go door-to-door hoping to find the full size candy bar.

A little pre-planning can prevent unfortunate accidents that could turn out to be tragic for kids and trying for you. Here are some pointers for ensuring your house is a safe place for trick-or-treaters on Oct. 31.

Pets first. Dogs, cats, and other furry family companions get scared when oddly dressed strangers approach their door in droves. Make sure your pet is in a safe and comfortable space or take them to a secure, relaxing offsite location for the evening.

 Clean up your yard. If your yard gathers stuff – like toys, rakes and other yard tools, hoses, tree branches, you name it – take the time to clean it up. Make sure your yard is free of potential hazards and create a clutter-free walking path well before dusk falls this Halloween.

Are all your lights working? Make sure you offer a well-lit path.

Candles. Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table.

Turn it off. When you’re done for the night, make it obvious by turning any and all inviting lights off.

Decorations. Don’t go overboard with decorations, they can cause fires and injuries.

Safety tips for kids

Never, ever go into a house

Go with friends

Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling

Young children should always be accompanied by an adult or an older, responsible child

Only go to homes with a porch light on

Plan costumes that are bright and reflective

Don’t eat homemade food

Look at all wrapped candy, if it has been opened toss it out

Use a flashlight

 

 

Cyber Risk Update

Over the last several years, cyber liability coverage has evolved from just insurance for information technology companies to coverage that nearly every class of business should have if they don’t already. From retailers, banks, contractors, distributors, restaurants and medical offices, many businesses are unaware of the great security technology exposure they face. Recent state laws require companies that have experienced a security breach to notify all customers that could be affected by the breach that their information has been compromised, even if the information hasn’t been used. In most cases, the notification also requires an option of one-year credit monitoring services and a new card or account number for the customer. Costs can be as much as $250 per individual breach.

In Oregon, a private company experienced online bank fraud and lost $75,000 in one day. This new cybercrime is directed to small and medium businesses. The scam is called pushing and involves unsuspecting companies being lured into installing malicious software. This download looks likes it is coming from a bank or other financial institution. The malicious software hides and records everything the person does on their personal/business computer. It records usernames and passwords for every kind of transaction, including wire transfers The software will then forward the stolen data along with digital certificate information to the thief who will promptly use the information to transfer funds out of the organization’s bank account. As of October 2015, U.S. small businesses have had over $100,000,000 in losses.

Most business insurance policies do not cover computer fraud by a third party or the liability arising out of a cyber-attack. The good news is solutions are available. Make sure your crime policy has electronic crime and fraud coverage with appropriate limits.

Cyber Insurance

We can provide your firm with the right combination of pricing and coverage. Cyber insurance is available at very reasonable premiums. Many of our companies offer coverage to help protect your business from loss.

Homeowner’s Insurance

 

You buy home insurance to protect your most important asset.  There are many items to consider and we can help you through the process of finding the right coverage for you and your family. Remember not all homeowner’s insurance policies are considered equal.

There are many factors that go into determining your homeowner’s insurance premiums.  We thought it might be fun to address our “top ten list” of things every homeowner should know before purchasing insurance.  As your agent we can help you identify the best possible combination of coverage, price and service.

  1. You are a statistic. To an insurer, you are a set of risks. An insurer bases its premium (or its decision to insure you at all) on your “risk factors” including your occupation, who you are, what you own, and where you live. To us, you are a person and we value our relationship with you.
  2. Know your home’s value. Before you buy a policy, it is important to know your home’s replacement cost.
  3. Insurers differ. As with anything else you buy, what seems to be the same product can be priced differently by different companies. You can save money by comparison shopping.
  4. Don’t just look at price. A low price is no bargain if you don’t have the right coverage.
  5. Go beyond the basics. A basic homeowner’s policy may not promise to entirely replace your home.
  6. Look for discounts. Insurers provide discounts to reward behavior that reduces risk.
  7. Be sure that you have the proper documentation if you have a claim. Your idea of fair compensation may not match that of your insurer. Your insurer’s job is to restore you financially. Your job is to prove your losses so you get what you need.
  8. Know your policy. Keep your policy updated, and reread it before you file a claim so there are no surprises.
  9. Check you deductibles. It may benefit you to increase your deductible, especially if you have a good claims experience.
  10. Your policy excludes Quake and Flood. Check with us and we will provide you with a quote.

Can You Live Without Disaster Insurance?

Can You Live Without Disaster Insurance?

Human caused disasters and natural disasters occur in every state. California has earthquakes and wildfires, Colorado has flooding and wildfires, the Northeast has winter storms and high winds, Florida has flooding and hurricanes, and the Midwest has flooding and tornados.

Insurance And Disasters

It is safe to say that most business and homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover the risks associated with disasters. The only exception would be damage caused by wildfires. Let’s look at how insurance might apply to other disasters.

Floods— Only 13% of U.S. homeowners had flood-insurance policies last year according to the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group. Flood insurance must be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program. We can help you if you need the coverage.

Earthquake— While earthquakes occur mainly in certain areas, there are registered earthquakes in every state, every year. Earthquake insurance also must be added or purchased under a separate policy.

Tornadoes— Damage from tornadoes typically is covered, since it usually is considered wind damage.

Mudslides— A standard home insurance policy does not protect your home against damage caused by a mudslide. Mudslides are usually defined as ground movement. Heavy rains that cause a mudflow would typically be covered.

Heavy Snow and Winter Storms— Winter storms and snow damage is covered under a typical homeowner’s policy. If flooding occurs, then the flood damage would be covered.

Hail— Most homeowner’s insurance policies provide coverage for losses resulting from hail.

Wildfires— It can be safe to say that all homeowner’s insurance covers loss resulting from a fire. Wildfires are considered a fire and would be covered.

Coverage disclaimer–the information provided here is for general purposes only. It is not our intent to change or modify insurance coverage. Each insurance policy is different and your individual coverage will be determined by the terms of your insurance policy.

 

Employment Practices Liability Insurance

If you have employees, you are exposed to potential employment liability claims. Employees know their rights, and it is time for all employers to be more informed about how to protect their companies. There are many reasons why you need to make Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) part of your commercial insurance program.

EPLI covers the company and board

An EPLI policy covers claims made against directors, officers, employees, the company, and its subsidiaries. The policy can cover a long list of claims including wrongful dismissal/termination, sexual/racial/disability harassment, sexual/racial/disability/religious discrimination, employment related libel, slander, defamation and invasion of privacy, wrongful failure to employ or promote, and retaliation

Increased claims

It’s becoming harder to ignore the “me culture” which continues to gather momentum. Small and medium sized businesses saw the largest increase in employment practice liability claims in 2013; up 33% according to human resources experts. The average claim cost is over $150,000 and is growing yearly.

Company reputation

A company’s reputation in the marketplace can be severely damaged by employment practice claims. The negative publicity may be followed by potential reluctance of your clients and/or suppliers to trade with your company.

Free legal help

Most EPLI policies provide free legal resources for firms to use. You can call an attorney to help you through a tough issue.

Cost is very competitive

EPLI premiums are not as high as you might think. Premiums can run much less than the cost of defending just one occurrence.

We can design a specialized package according to your property, liability, and casualty needs. We are also proactive in identifying any factors that may increase your premiums or change your risk, and provide consulting and risk management options to protect your business. We are ready to help you better understand your risks. Please call our office today.

 

Commercial Insurance

Are Your Commercial Insurance Costs Too High?

Most commercial insurance experts are predicting lower rates for most businesses across the United States. Commercial insurance buyers should anticipate lower rates and wider choice in coverage terms at upcoming renewals as insurance pricing softness accelerates in most lines.

Commercial or business insurance rate reductions are due to a softening in the market, reduced catastrophic losses, and continued competition among the leading insurers.

Rate vs. Premium

Rate is the cost of insurance per exposure unit, such as revenue or payroll. The premium is based on a formula of rate times exposure. Your rate could go down, but if your revenues are up it could affect a flat premium.

Now is the time to contact us to help you review your risk, design your program and market your commercial business with our top rated market. Your commercial program should include:

Commercial liability

Commercial auto

Property

Workers’ compensation

Cyber liability

Directors & officers & professional liability

Employment liability

Bonds and dishonesty

Umbrella or excess

Put Insurance On Your Restaurants Menu

Put Insurance On Your Restaurants Menu

If you are in search of Commercial Insurance for your restaurant, you may find it difficult to find competitive rates and coverage. We shop your insurance regularly, which enables us to provide the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.  We offer competitive premiums and quality coverage.

The best strategy for lowering your premium is to find the carriers that specialize in the restaurant industry. These companies usually offer broad coverage and are competitive in pricing.  As an independent agent, we search the market for you, finding the best possible combination of price, coverage, and service. Remember, not all insurance companies are created equal. The more experienced and specialized the agent is, the better the chance you have of finding the best premium and coverage.

Other ways to reduce your restaurant premiums:

Combine all your insurance under a “package.”

Don’t nickel-and-dime your insurance company. If you file claims for every little thing, your rates may increase. Insurance is meant to cover unexpected large losses.

Consider your deductibles. By increasing your deductible, you may save money.

One of the best forms of protection is routine maintenance. A well-maintained property is less likely to have mechanical failures or losses.

Offer safety training to employees.

Start a safety committee to help reduce work comp losses.

Place all your insurance with one insurance company.

Seek advice from a qualified independent agent like Partners Insurance Services.

Investigate premium-reduction strategies such as inspections and security systems.

At least once a year, review your coverage for duplications or unnecessary coverage.

We are experts in the hospitality industry, and specifically restaurants. We have access to many qualified highly rated insurance companies. Call us today.

What Is Important to Consider When Buying Homeowners Insurance

What Is Important to Consider When Buying Homeowners Insurance

A Home Insurance Update

Buying home insurance should be an important part of your financial planning. It is important to consider many different things in order to obtain the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.

Insurance companies use many different factors when reviewing your risk. It is important to understand some of these as you make your personal insurance decisions.

Some Items to Consider When Buying Homeowners Insurance

Your location is important in determining your premium. For example, the closer you are to a fire station and fire hydrant the better.

Not all insurers are the same. Some insurance companies prefer newer homes, while others may require your home to have a newer roof.

Low price does not equal better coverage. The lower priced product may exclude needed coverage.

Your home’s value may be the single most important factor. If your home should need to be replaced, it will be important to have an accurate replacement value.

Every policy has exclusions and it is important to know these. For example, most policies exclude earthquake and flood coverage.

Having a home inventory can help you if you ever need to document any loss.

Ask about any discounts the insurer may offer. Most insurers have a number of discounts and the more you are able to obtain the better.

 

 

Competitive Contractors Insurance

Competitive Contractors Insurance

­­­­­­Contractors insurance provides insurance and risk services to the construction industry. Insurance can play an important role in; on time and on budget projects.  If your insurance coverage is not written correctly, your business may not survive financially.  Your success depends on proper planning, whether you’re estimating a project, hiring good people, protecting your business with comprehensive commercial insurance, or selecting your insurance agent.

You can depend on our team of construction professionals to design, build, negotiate, and implement an insurance program that fits your individual needs.  As your insurance partner, we will create and deliver insurance solutions today to keep you in business tomorrow.

Our insurance agency has created and developed strategic partnerships with many highly rated insurance companies.  Our goal is to create the right combination of coverage, price, and service that exceed your expectations.

Over the years our construction professionals have worked with many different kinds of construction firms, including:

General contractors

Restoration contractors

Environmental contractors

Electrical contractors

Painting contractors

Paving contractors

Excavation contractors

Masonry contractors

HVAC contractors

Plumbing contractors

Roofing contractors

Artisan contractors

Landscaping contractors

Specialty contractors

Having the right insurance coverage and the right agent is an important part of managing construction risks.  As a contractor, your insurance needs can change quickly.  You need an insurance agency partnering with you to make sure your company’s unique needs are addressed.