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.

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).

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.

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.

Save On Your Next Business Insurance Renewal

 

Business Insurance Renewal

Your business insurance should be an important part of your overall risk management program. It is important to have the best possible insurance coverage, competitive pricing and the right insurer. We have found a number of factors that could be important to manage when renewing your business insurance program. Give one of our professional a call today, we can help you find the best possible combination of coverage, price and service.

Business Insurance

A business insurance program should generally include commercial property, auto liability, professional liability commercial general liability, employment practices liability, workers’ compensation, flood insurance, and excess or umbrella liability.

Insurance Renewal Tips

Provide complete information about your operation to your agent and insurer.

Consider increasing your deductibles to save money.

Use an independent agent like us. We are equipped and prepared to provide you with the best combination of coverage, price, and service.

Let us market your program to a number of different insurers.

Combine your business property, auto, and liability with one insurer into a package or business owners package. You will receive package additional premium discounts.

Develop a safety program.

Provide safety incentives for having no losses over time.

Follow all OSHA regulations.

Putting a little extra effort into your next business insurance renewal can offer many rewards that include better coverage and lower premiums. We hope you and your team will join us on this risk and insurance journey, and in the end know that there is a better way to buy commercial insurance and have true peace of mind.

Summer Driving Tips

 

An Auto Insurance Update

Summer is here, and many families are planning that great summer road trip.  Whether you are planning a day trip or a longer weeklong adventure, it is important to be prepared before you hit the road.  Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) statistics reveal that more fatal traffic crashes occur over the summer months than over the winter months.

Summer Driving Tips

If you have teen drivers, make sure they have taken driver safety training.

Never use your phone while driving.

When on a long drive, take frequent breaks.

Roads become very slippery in the first few minutes of rainfall because the rain mixes with the oil and dirt on the road. It takes about 30 minutes of steady rain to wash the oil and dirt off the road.

If your car is due for a tune-up, oil change, battery check, or tire rotation, now is the time to get it done.

Use seats belts every trip, all the time.

Traffic laws vary by state, so it is important to follow traffic signs.

Pack extra water and supplies in case of an emergency.

Drive at a safe speed. Speeding increases the likelihood and severity of a crash.

Auto Insurance

It will be important to have an auto insurance update before you go. Laws vary from state to state, and when it comes to your auto insurance, it is important to have the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.

Will Your Personal Insurance Be There For You When You Need It?

A Personal Insurance Update

As we move into 2019, it is important to take stock of your personal insurance program.  Many different life events can affect your personal insurance.  Having the right kind of personal insurance can make a big difference if, and when, you ever have a claim.  Please call our office for an insurance review.

What Should Be Part of Your 2019 Personal Insurance Planning?

Should I consider a personal umbrella policy?

Is my home valued correctly?

Do I need to add or remove any drivers?

Have my life insurance needs changed?

Things That Can Affect Your Insurance

Marital status.

Children in college.

Purchase of a new vehicle, ATV, motorcycle, or boat.

Planned foreign travel.

Purchased any items of value like art, guns, or jewelry.

Starting a home-based business.

Purchasing a vacation home.

Using your home as rental income.

If you call us, one of our team members will help you find the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.  Our agents have access to more carriers, and that means that they have more options, including multiple policy discounts and preferred premium pricing.