Artisan Contractor Insurance

The category of artisan contractors, also known as casual contractors, includes many occupations that involve skilled work with tools at the customer’s premises. Carpenters, plumbers, electricians, roofers and tree surgeons are some of them. Also included are diverse other skilled service providers, such as interior decorators, piano tuners and exterminators.

Special insurance needs of this group include coverage for equipment and tools that are often moved around and for the value of work done for a customer until it is finished.

For many artisan contractors, the most cost effective and efficient way to obtain property and liability coverage is with a Business Owners Policy (BOP) especially tailored to their needs. Although marketed under a variety of names, these policies will typically have provisions similar to the BOP’s.

Property Insurance

The BOP covers real estate and other property that your business owns that is located at the described business premises. If your business rents or leases its premises, the BOP provides coverage for tenants’ improvements and betterments. These are fixtures, alterations, installations or additions that you have put into the space that cannot legally be removed from the landlord’s premises.

Your biggest personal property loss exposures, however, may involve valuable machinery and equipment that moves around from job to job and is not covered by the standard property insurance. Such movable property is insured by contracts that insurers call “floaters.”

An installer’s floater covers all kinds of machinery and equipment during transit, installation and testing at a customer’s premises. Even building materials may be covered, but the more usual coverage is for equipment or machinery that only contractors install, such as heating or air conditioning. The policy can be written to cover a single job or on a reporting form, meaning that you provide the insurer with information about each new contract you undertake.

A tools and equipment floater covers the insured property wherever it is used and may include such items as hand tools, power drills, hoisting machines and power pumps.

Liability Insurance

Given the possibility of a lawsuit should someone claim to have been harmed by your work, you will almost certainly need liability insurance.

If working as a subcontractor, your customer may require you to have Owners and Contractors Protective Liability (OCP) coverage. This protects either a property/business owner or a general contractor from possible liability arising from the negligent acts of an independent contractor or subcontractor hired to perform work on behalf of the insured. The actual purchaser of the policy is the independent contractor or subcontractor, but the protection is for the benefit of the property/business owner or general contractor for whom the work is being done.

Business Vehicle Insurance

Your personal auto policy probably provides coverage for some business use of your truck, van or other vehicle. A personal auto policy is unlikely to provide coverage, however, if the vehicle in question is used primarily in business. It will not provide coverage for any vehicle owned by a business. For those vehicles you must have a business auto policy.

If you’re driving a truck you own personally for a business purpose and get into an accident for which you are liable, an injured person could sue you personally. Will your personal auto policy have enough coverage to pay all the damages? If not, a lawsuit may be filed against your business. If you use personal vehicles for business, you want to be sure you have high enough limits to protect your business. You should discuss this with your insurance agent.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

States have varying rules about when an employer must provide workers compensation insurance. If you have three or more employees, you should check with your state department of workers’ compensation to see if you are required to provide workers comp insurance.

Business Insurance

We Help You Understand the Risk vs. Reward

We understand that your business is unique.  You serve people first, and foremost.  Just because you are a small business does not mean you are exempt from litigation.  Commercial Liability Insurance from Jewell Insurance offers protection to your businesses.  It covers claims from property damage and/or bodily injury to a third party caused by your business operations, or from your premises.  This general liability coverage may also provide for the legal defense of the insured.

General Liability Insurance should be the foundation of your insurance program.  General Liability Insurance provides the following coverage:

Bodily Injury – Bodily Injury to a third party.

Property Damage – Damage to a third party’s property (equipment building etc.).

Personal Injury – Injury to the mind or emotions, as opposed to an injury to property.

Advertising Liability – Damages arising out of advertising, libel, slander, or invasion of privacy.

Products and Completed Operations – Liability arising out of products or business operations and services conducted, excluding professional services.

Premises – Covers liability arising out of injury to third parties while on your premises.

Medical Payments – A general liability coverage that reimburses others, without regard to the insured’s liability, for bodily injury while on your premises.

General Liability Insurance is designed to cover defense costs as well as judgments.  It is an important part of your recommended insurance program.

 

COVID-19 and the New Cyber Challenges

The CIOVID-19 pandemic has affected the way we do business in a very significant way.  Many businesses are requiring people to work remotely.  Employers are finding that having employees work remotely may be the new normal.

COVID-19 has forced us to become more dependent on the internet, as desperate measures, like social distancing, disrupt economic activity and everyday life.

This new way of doing business could mean that employees are collecting client information from home or other places that may not have the same cyber security as an office network.  In some instances, employees who are working remotely are forced to use their home computers because they do not have a company laptop.

Top Work-from-Home Cyber Concerns

Unsecured video conferencing

Using unsecured networks

Spam and phishing campaigns exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic

Maintaining security-critical operations, such as patch management

Supporting employees to ensure they have what they need to work from home without sacrificing security

Theft of client information from lap tops

Changes to regular security-critical processes

Using social media platforms from unsecured networks

What Can Employers Do to Reduce the Threat?

Do not open email from people you do not know.

Do not reveal personal or financial information in emails, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.

Do not provide personal information to unknown websites or uninvestigated third-party messengers.

Do not share the virtual meeting URL’s on social media or other public channels.

Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails, and be wary of email attachments.

Lock your screen if you work in a shared space.

Provide corporate computers/devices to staff while teleworking, where possible.

Use secure, password-protected emails when sending documents.

Ensure that adequate information technology resources are in place to support staff.

Provide secure video conferencing for corporate clients (both audio/video capabilities).

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.

 

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.

 

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.

Is It Time For An Insurance Check-Up?

Your insurance needs change over time, so it is important to review your policies periodically to make sure they are up-to-date. Tragically, many people are not insured after devastating natural disasters. It’s never too late to do a homeowner’s insurance checkup before the next threat heads your way. This article highlights some important insurance coverage you should consider such as:

Earthquake Insurance

Flood Insurance

Wind Insurance

Steps To Help Secure The Right Coverage

Make sure your homes information is up to date. Your agent should shave to right square footage and replacement value.

Research the replacement cost for new construction in your area.

Have our agency provide you with coverage options for competitive insurance products.

Consider getting a “floater” to your home insurance policy. If you own valuable furs, jewelry, guns, collections, silverware, or artwork, a “floater” can cover the full value of those items. Consider adding building code or ordinance or law endorsement, which will help pay the higher cost of bringing plumbing, wiring, or other key systems up to current codes when rebuilding.

2017 Was A Tough Year For Many Insurance Companies

2018 is here, and 2017 is in the rear view mirror.  Last year we saw and experienced many hardships and disasters, but also hand many successes.  We hope 2018 brings you much happiness and success.  2017 was a year in which many entire communities were destroyed by storms and wildfires, 20 million or more people experienced an identity theft, and a number of women come forward describing their sexual harassment.

Here is a list of the top risk issues for 2017

Wildfires in California and Oregon – over $4 billion in damage

Storms in Texas, Florida, and the Northeast

Flooding in Texas, Oregon, and most of the Midwest

Identity theft and cyber breaches

An increase in sexual harassment claims

The continued evolution of driverless vehicles

The regulation of drones

Advances in home technology

Retention of key employees

The ability to attract quality workers

Terrorism

Random shootings

Over the next few months we will try to help you develop a clear plan on how to manage these risks. Please contact our office and we will be happy to help you identify what is important to you and then put together a plan to help you manage you risks most effetely.  Here are just two.

Identity Theft and Cyber Breaches

Identity theft insurance provides reimbursement to victims for the cost of restoring their identity and repairing credit reports.  This type of insurance will help you with certain kinds of expenses to aid you in restoring your credit. Cyber policies cover the liability arising from website media content as well as breach related property losses such as: (a) business interruption, (b) data loss/destruction, (c) computer fraud, (d) funds transfer loss, and (e) cyber extortion.  It can also provide notification and other services for a covered loss.

Harassment Claims

Your business must address this issue head on.  First, you need to secure employment practices liability insurance.  This insurance will offer defense and indemnification coverage should you be involved in an employment litigation.  Second, your business needs to have a clear anti-discrimination policy.  The policy should include reporting procedures and anti-whistleblower provisions.