Office Insurance

Recently, a frantic call was taken from a woman who was starting a medical billing business and had signed a lease for a small office. A friend, who happened to own a courier business, had shared information about her insurance premium costs with our frantic friend, and she wanted to know why office insurance was so expensive.

After calming down, she and the insurance professional discussed the business renters insurance options available to the new entrepreneur.

The first fact discussed was that every business is going to have different needs, risk, and exposure. Her friend with the courier service had a number of employees and company vehicles, so naturally her coverage would be different then a single owner start up company.

Every business needs a combination of liability insurance, business property insurance, and workers or employee insurance. The discussion included business owner’s policies insurance coverage, commercial umbrella policy, boiler and machinery or equipment breakdown coverage, commercial vehicle insurance, Professional and many different options.

As you read this, much like the no longer frantic caller, you’re probably recognizing there are many options available to business owners.

Working with your licensed insurance professional, let them guide you through the coverage options available to you now, and as your business grows.

Make sure you are totally honest with your agent regarding the assets of your business, how much travel will be involved from driving to flying, and a review of any lease you be considering. Together, you will create an commercial insurance package that works for you.

Home Office Insurance

Working from home can be a great way to supplement your income or start a new business, but make sure you get the proper home office insurance or work at home insurance.

A home office has many benefits; you can reduce spending on gas and commute times, you have the flexibility to be home for kids and the family, not to mention the chance to start a new business venture with little overhead.

You need to be clear in your definition of what type of business you’re starting, however, and like any other business, it needs to be insured properly, with home business or home office insurance.

Many people that have a home office and/or work out of their homes make the unfortunate assumption that their homeowner’s or renter’s policy will cover any losses. Those policies don’t cover business risks. Personal auto policies generally do not cover your auto when being used primarily for business purposes, either; a commercial auto policy is necessary for that.

In addition, many policies have exclusion provisions for ‘illegal’ acts which could include business being conducted in a residential area, so it is important to check your town’s specific ordinances and business permitting standards before you start engaging in business in your home office.

If you are just starting out running a business from your home, it is important to meet and review with your licensed commercial insurance agent how your business operates and conducts business. That way, together you can determine the right coverage for your home based business.

Normally, there will be a liability and property policies needed as well as worker’s compensation. Often, your insurance agent can combine the liability and property coverage into a business owner’s policy.

Do not risk your home and assets by not having the proper home office insurance. If you have a business, you have risk.

Talk to your licensed insurance professional and learn what is needed to protect your business, no matter how small or large. Call us today at 1-877-907-5267 to speak with one of our specialists about home office insurance today.

Business Insurance Deductibles

Determining Business Insurance Deductibles

Understanding your business insurance deductibles can be tricky, but it’s a valuable part of managing your insurance costs, and having a solid knowledge about why those costs are what they are.  Your insurance policy will pay a covered loss in the event that there is an occurrence that results in a type of damage that your policy addresses, minus any deductible written into the policy, which it will not pay.

A business insurance deductible is a fixed amount or a percentage of an insurance claim which is to be paid by the insured. Although deductible amounts can be voluntary–with the insured choosing to pay a higher deductible to help reduce premiums–there is generally a standard deductible.

Insurance companies impose these standard deductions to avoid numerous small claims. One example: let’s say you have a claim and your damage is estimated at $7,500.00. You have a deductible of $800.00 on your policy. The check for the claim you receive from your insurance company would subtract the deductible, in this case, $800.00 and you would receive a check for $6,700.00 to settle the claim.

Generally speaking, the higher the deductible, the lower the premium is on the policy and vice versa.

When deciding on a deductible, it pays to weigh the risk and the impact of a loss as well as the premium amount against your cash flow analysis. While it may make sense based on your monthly cash flow to pick the highest deductible and lowest premium, it may be exposing your business to a serious risk.

If your business’s budget would be crippled by producing the money to cover a high deductible in the event of a loss, then it’s probably too high of a risk. This is where the savvy small business owner works with their licensed insurance professional to get the best value and coverage for their business–and their financial state.

While deciding on the deductible, another aspect to review is how you will recoup your loss. A ‘cash value’ basis is a replacement of cost, minus depreciation. A replacement cost will repair or replace the insured property at its present cost without depreciation. Naturally, replacement cost will have a higher premium than cash value.

Nothing replaces a conversation with an insurance professional about the risks and benefits of high vs. low premiums. Call us today at 1-877-907-5267 to speak with one of our specialists about your company’s needs, and your business insurance premiums.

Risk management is an art, and our business is helping you protect your business.

K.I.S.S Method of Business Insurance

The acronym K.I.S.S. has a number of iterations that all encourage keeping situations simple. For our purposes we’ll say these letters stand for “Keep It Sufficiently Simple”–both because it’s a polite version, and because, to paraphrase a saying attributed to Albert Einstein, you should keep things as simple as possible…but not any simpler.

Instead of being really complicated and covering every nuance, let’s break down business insurance in its simplest forms.

General Liability

General Liability Insurance provides protection for injuries or damages sustained by a third party at your business location.

Buildings and Property Insurance

Property and casualty insurance covers buildings and property. As simple as that seems, there are a number of losses that aren’t covered, such as flooding. Just because your business is in leased space not owned by you does not mean you can go without property and casualty insurance.

Commercial Vehicle Insurance

A Commercial Auto insurance policy will cover your business vehicles and their drivers. Again, this seems simple, but many business owners open themselves to a variety of risks by using their cars and assuming a personal auto policy will cover any risk. Sometimes, the auto coverage can be combined with property and casualty in a business owner’s policy.

Workers Compensation

Every business  with workers should have Workers Compensation in place in order to be protected if an employee is injured on the job. Some states also require additional coverage be provided. Meet with your licensed insurance professional to determine what coverage is mandatory.

There are a number of additional types of insurance available to businesses, tailored to the company’s unique operations and risks.  Ask your commercial insurance agent / broker about options available for your business. Have a frank discussion about what risks your company faces while conducting your day to day business.

What Is Commercial Insurance?

Commercial insurance, or business insurance, is simply coverage for your company that protects it from risks found in the business world, just as a homeowners policy protects a homeowner from the financial risks associated with owning a home.

Every business, no matter how small or large, has assets to protect and is exposed to liabilities while conducting business. Therefore, any business owner needs to recognize the importance of securing business insurance when they start a company, or commercial venture.

Life is full of unseen and unplanned mishaps, and the main purpose of business insurance is to maintain and protect the “life” of the business. Any of these potential mishaps could literally destroy the uninsured business, and even worse, the personal assets of the owner of that business.

In simple terms, one single event could put business owners at risk to lose their livelihood and income stream, as well as losing everything they presently own.

Commercial insurance falls into three general categories. They are Property insurance, General Liability insurance, and Workers Compensation insurance.

Property insurance covers the physical assets of the business.

General Liability insurance covers damages to third parties such as customers and customer’s property.

Workers Compensation insurance coverage protects against losses from on the job injuries to employees.

In addition, there is specialized coverage available for the particular risk a business may be exposed to in its day to day operation. Unique endorsements can be added to policies once your insurance agent understands your company’s unique risks; honesty and full disclosure about your practices is important to make sure your coverage is what it needs to be.

The savvy entrepreneur understands that commercial insurance is part of the start-up costs in any new business, whether it’s traditional or a gig economy microventure. The business owner knows that seeking out the advice and service from a licensed commercial insurance agent is essential. Together, you can design a commercial insurance package to protect the ‘life’ of the business.

Click here to get in contact with one of our professionals, or call 1-877-907-5267 to speak with a specialist for a quick, free quote for your business today.

Employee Benefits VS. Employee Insurance

The responsibility of providing insurance for employees can be a daunting one, and understanding the differences between Employee Benefits and Employee Insurance, or Workers Compensation is important.

Employee benefits are not the same as Employee Insurance or Workers Compensation–here are a few key differences:

Employee Benefits generally start with health insurance and group term life insurance. As part of the health insurance package, an employer may opt to provide both vision and dental insurance.

In addition, an employer may also opt to offer group disability insurance.

A retirement plan is generally offered as an employee benefit as well. Unlike Workers Compensation insurance, which provides for medical care in the case of employee injury on the job and can protect you from additional legal costs, and is legally required by all states, an Employee Benefits package is provided at the discretion of the employer.

Generally, employers provide these additional benefits to just the employee. However, the employer may also cover the family of the employees as well.

Cost is almost always the determining factor in putting together an employee benefits package. With the rising trend in the cost of health insurance, it is reasonable to ask employees to pay a percentage of the coverage, and perhaps even all of the family coverage. It is not only reasonable, but it is frequently practiced.

As your business grows, an employee benefits package may be necessary to attract and retain good employees. Working with your licensed insurance professional to develop and implement an employee benefits package that makes sense for your business can be an important step in your company’s growth.

Click here to  get in contact with an insurance professional about your Employee Benefits or Workers Compensation needs, or call 1-877-907-5267 to speak with one of our specialists.

Dos and Don’ts for Purchasing Business Insurance

Like many other things, purchasing business insurance has a list of practices that will help ensure success…and tips to avoid making mistakes.

Purchasing business insurance starts long before you unlock the door on the day of your grand opening. The process doesn’t have to be long or arduous, but a little forethought goes a long way.

Buying the proper insurance and coverages is a lot more than just filling out and signing an application. Using the following list to help make the right decisions about your new business insurance.

The Dos

DO find an agent or broker with experience in your particular business. For example, if you’re a tow truck company, find an agent or broker who specializes in tow truck insurance.

DO interview several agents/brokers. Take notes and get a feel for their personality. Does it fit you?

DO comparison shop as you interview agents. Ask them for their recommendations regarding your specific business. They should be willing to submit these to you for no charge.

DO read the policy carefully. Have it looked at by your attorney if you’re unsure of any terminology.

DO make a list of your business property and assets.  Give a copy to your agent for his recommendations.

The Don’ts

DON’T sign with an agent only willing to offer a package. Customization is important.

DON’T purchase a policy that is significantly lower than other quotes without asking questions. The old adage is often true…you get what you pay for.

DON’T underinsure your business to get a reduced premium. The cost could be your business if you have a claim that you can’t cover.

DON’T accept a policy that doesn’t cover all your needs and risk exposure.

DON’T assume anything; If you don’t know, ask.

Risk management is an art, and our business is helping you insure yours.

Click here to get in contact with one of our specialists, or call 1-877-907-5267 for a quick, comprehensive, competitive, and FREE quote.

When to File a Business Liability Claim

A common problem in the insurance industry is  waiting too long to file a claim with the insurance company when an event occurs.

Liability claims are slow-moving, take time, and often end up in court. Business owners and office managers often intuitively know this, and it’s human nature to put off unpleasant tasks, or things that hold the promise of taking a long time.

All too often, business owners wait until several months have passed, or even longer before notifying their commercial insurance company of a claim. Even worse, some owners try to block it out and hope it will just go away on its own or retain their own counsel to investigate and initially offer advice or a quick remedy to the injured parties.

Any of these choices can jeopardize coverage for a potential liability claim, even if the risk is actually covered under the liability policy of the business.

A business liability policy typically states a policyholder needs to notify the insurance company if a situation has occurred that could result in a claim. Your policy may state a particular time frame that this needs to be done within. By notifying your insurance company immediately, there is time to both investigate and prepare a defense if necessary. By waiting too long, the company may deny the business liability claim due to a lack of proper notice or simply agree to settle due to a lack of time to prepare a defense.

Your business should always have an attorney. When it comes to a business liability claim, your policy and the insurance company will spell out the litigation process and course of defense. It is possible to have your commercial insurance company compensate your attorney, but you must start the process early–don’t delay, or it could cost you, literally and figuratively.

Make sure to review your present liability coverage with your licensed insurance professional, and if you’re unsure what your coverage needs to be, or you’d like a competitive, quick and free quote for your business’s insurance needs, click here to get in contact with a CI.net professional, or call us at 1-877-907-5267 to speak with one of our specialists.

Insurance for Chiropractors

A common concern when office managers are searching out options for insurance for chiropractors is the need to cut costs; they believe premiums are too high and that much of the coverage suggested by agents when seeking out insurance for chiropractors is unnecessary.

Inquiries from office managers of chiropractic practices often involve price shopping; they believe the monthly insurance premium is the place to trim the budget.

A competent and patient insurance professional will take the time to help anyone seeking coverage understand the necessity of what’s being suggested; very often, simple misunderstandings or misconceptions about risk and obligations lead to a mistaken belief that certain insurance coverages are unnecessary.

There is no one-size-fits-all, standardized package for ‘Chiropractors’ Insurance.’ Instead, like all businesses, they have a blend of General Liability and Property insurance coverage to protect their operations.

One common misconception about Property insurance is that if the office space is leased, the owner of the building assumes all liability–chiropractors and office managers may not realize that they may be responsible for office equipment.

A careful read through of your lease may help you fully understand your Property insurance needs…they may be different from what you think they are.

It’s also not unusual to labor under the belief that malpractice insurance covers the chiropractor and staff in the event of any patient injury, and think that a Business Liability policy is a duplication of coverage.

Malpractice Insurance would protect the doctor and staff against a claim of injury from treatment, but not from a patient getting hurt from falling down in the lobby.

Review your insurance for chiropractors coverage annually with a licensed commercial insurance agent. Make sure the insurance agent/broker is experienced in commercial business insurance and can answer all of your questions and concerns.

Click here to start your quick, free quote for insurance for chiropractors, or call us at 1-877-907-5267 to speak with a specialist about your practice and its risks.

Insuring a Start Up? Consider Insurance Risks

As a new business owner, you may be wondering what type of risks you face, and what type of commercial insurance you’ll need for your start up or new venture.

Frankly, what many budding entrepreneurs are really thinking is, “Why do I even need business insurance for a start up company? I mean, we’re beginners…how risky could it be?”

What follows is a list of real scenarios documented with insurance companies across the country.  As you read through these situations, the details may be enough to convince you of the wisdom of preparing for worst case scenarios.

* One of your employees is interviewed by a publication without your knowledge. In the interview, your employee refers to a competitor as, “A sleaze ball who gouges his customers every chance he gets.” That competitor immediately sues you and your business.

* You walk into your office the day after your grand opening and discover the back door wide open–all your computers and phones are gone.

* Your old toaster oven causes a fire that burns down not just your newly leased office, but the entire building.

* You meet prospective clients for lunch. One of them has to leave and you volunteer to give the other a ride home.  Driving back to their office, you run a stop sign and get hit by another commercial vehicle. Everyone involved is seriously injured.

* A customer walks into your store, slips on a newly mopped floor and breaks his ankle.

* A month into your retail shop being opened, vendors start calling demanding payment on bad checks. You discover your bookkeeper made deposits to her account and has now disappeared.

Your risks begin the minute you start a business, no matter how small. It could be argued that you’re making an important investment in your business by preparing for your future success by insuring for the risks you want to have, once your growth gets underway.

Getting business insurance in place must always be a priority for a new venture, and our business is helping you protect your business. Click here to get a quick, free quote started, or call 1-877-907-5267 to speak with one of our specialists.