Please contact our office for a no-obligation review of all your insurance needs.
Do you know what a "BOP" is? Are you covered under your insurance if you have to move or shut down your business after a disaster? If you own your own business, test your knowledge by watching this video.
Please contact our office for a no-obligation review of all your insurance needs.
How much do you know about trees and insurance?
Test your Insurance IQ then stop by our office for a no-obligation review of all your insurance needs.
Properly insuring a rental car can be confusing, frustrating and downright daunting. Unfortunately, many consumers do not even think about car rental insurance until they get to the counter, which can result in costly mistakes—either wasting money by purchasing unnecessary coverage or having dangerous gaps in coverage.
Before renting a car, the I.I.I. suggests that you make two phone calls—one to your insurance professional and another to the credit card company you will be using to pay for the rental car.
Our agency staff will be glad to check out your coverage for you. Just give us a call before you start out on your Holiday Adventure.
Renters insurance provides financial protection against the loss or destruction of your possessions when you rent a house or apartment. While your landlord may be sympathetic to a burglary you have experienced or a fire caused by your iron, destruction or loss of your possessions is not usually covered by your landlord’s insurance. Because in most cases, renters insurance covers only the value of your belongings, not the physical building, the premium is relatively inexpensive.
By purchasing renters insurance, your possessions are covered against losses from fire or smoke, lightning, vandalism, theft, explosion, windstorm and water damage (not including floods). Like homeowners insurance, renters insurance also covers your responsibility to other people injured at your home or elsewhere by you, a family member or your pet and pays legal defense costs if you are taken to court.
Renters insurance covers your additional living expenses if you are unable to live in your apartment because of a fire or other covered peril. Most policies will reimburse you the difference between your additional living expenses and your normal living expenses but still may set limits as to the amount they will pay.
There are two types of renters insurance policies you may purchase:
Your small construction business needs several of the same insurance coverages as any other business, as well as other types of insurance specific to your industry. If possible, use an insurance agent who has experience with your type of business and who works with insurance companies that specialize in construction risks. Your agent may be able to find policies that package property and liability coverages in one policy specifically to meet the needs of small construction firms.
You may need property insurance to cover the real property your company owns and the personal property used in the business, such as office furnishings and computers. 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 standard property insurance. Such movable property is insured by contracts insurers call "floaters."
An installer’s floater covers all kinds of machinery and equipment during transit, installation and testing at the purchaser’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 contractor’s equipment floater insures any type of movable equipment not meant to move on public highways. This includes such things as cranes, cement mixers, engines or power drills.
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.
While under construction, a building has an ever-increasing value as more of it is completed. To assure the building is covered relative to its value at the time of a loss, there is a special type of policy, known as Builders Risk Insurance. With this policy, if a tornado destroys the building when it is half finished, the policy (if it is for replacement value) covers one-half of the value the building would have had if completed. If a tornado wipes out the building when it is three-fourths finished, the policy covers three-fourths of the completed value. Alternatively, you can report an actual amount for value completed to the insurance company each month. That is the amount of coverage should a loss occur that month.
Since there is always a possibility that someone will file a lawsuit against you claiming to have been harmed by your work, you will almost certainly need liability insurance.
You may want to require your subcontractors to have Owners and Contractors Protective Liability Coverage (OCP). This coverage protects either a property/businessowner 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/businessowner 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 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.
Should you be driving your personal truck 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.
Contact our office for a no-obligation review of all your insurance needs.
Properly maintaining your home is an important responsibility and will save you money through the years. Homeowners insurance does not cover you for "everyday mishaps" that you could have prevented. Find out ways to keep your home intact and save money on insurance.
Feel free to contact our office for a no-obligation review of all your insurance needs.
Are You Ready For a Long, Cold, Snowy Winter? More Importantly, Is Your Home Prepared and Winter-Proofed?
With a devastating snowstorm hitting South Dakota in early October and freezing temperatures recorded this week in Chicago, the Farmers’ Almanac predictions of a frigid winter and heavy snow for the 2013–2014 winter season in the U.S., are looking right on-target.
Many winter-related disasters can be prevented if you take a few simple steps to protect your home from freezing temperatures, snow and wind. And autumn is the perfect time to winter-proof your home, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
Standard homeowners policies cover winter-related disasters such as burst pipes, ice dams and wind damage caused by weight of ice or snow, as well as fire-related losses. Coverage for flooding is available from the National Flood Insurance Program and from some private insurance companies. Winter-related damage to cars is generally covered under the optional comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy.
Melting snow can inflict significant damage to property and winter storms are the third-largest cause of catastrophe losses, noted the I.I.I. Winter storms caused $38 million in insured losses in 2012, according to Munich Re. An ISO study shows that from 1992-2011, winter storms resulted in about $28 billion in insured catastrophe losses (in 2011 dollars), or more than $1 billion a year on average.
The I.I.I. offers the following tips to prepare your home for the upcoming winter at
And our tip is for you to stop by our agency for a no-obligation review of all your insurance needs.
The first years teenagers spend as drivers are very risky. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among 15- to 20-year-olds and research shows that more than half of teens who die in crashes are passengers, most of whom are not wearing a seatbelt.
Immaturity and lack of driving experience are the two main factors leading to the high crash rates among teens. Even the best teenage drivers do not have the judgment that comes from experience. It affects their recognition of, and response to, hazardous situations and results in dangerous practices such as speeding and tailgating. Teens also tend to engage in risky behavior—eating, talking on their cellphones, text messaging, talking to friends in the car—and they often do not wear their seatbelts.
While getting a driver’s license is an exciting rite-of-passage for teens, it can make a parent frantic. The Insurance Information Institute recommends parents take the following steps to ensure the safety of their teen.
Discuss the Dangers of Drug and Alcohol Use
Advise teens never to drink or do drugs, and not to get in a car if the driver has used drugs or alcohol. Encourage your teen to call you if such a situation arises to ensure they have a safe way home.
Auto Insurance is also going to be a major factor. Please contact our insurance agency for a no-obligation review of all your insurance needs.
Did You Know?
Our articles are written by professionals in the insurance industry who's mission is to educate