WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6, 2012
Much like sunscreen, business insurance is one of those things you don’t realize how important it is until you’ve been burned: A lot of entrepreneurs don’t have it, and those who do, may not be fully covered.
While large corporations have staffers specifically trained to be sure the business is protected adequately, small business owners are often not aware of the risks their business faces.
“Smaller businesses tend not to get the right amount of coverage,” says Loretta Worters, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute, an industry trade group that aims to educate the public about insurance. “They will get too little or not the right coverage.”
Here, three of the most common mistakes to avoid when deciding on business insurance.
1. You view insurance as one-size-fits-all. Think again. There are four basic types of insurance that all businesses need, according to Worters. Property insurance protects the building that your business is housed in and the inventory, raw materials and computers that you own. Liability insurance protects you against lawsuits. Business vehicle insurance covers any autos owned by the business. Finally, in every state except Texas, a business with employees must have workers compensation insurance should an employee be injured on the job.
In addition, every industry has its own specific risks and your business may require a specialized policy. “You need to get an agent that understands your line of business,” says Worters, noting that you should talk to an agent before just signing up with one. Ask a local business group or association for a recommendation.
2. You think you're covered by another policy. “The biggest mistake [business owners] make is they assume they don’t need coverage,” says Ted Devine, CEO of Dallas-based Insureon, an online small-business insurance agency. He says business owners often falsely believe their company is covered by their client's policy or they're no longer at risk when a client leaves. Not true, according to Devine. A client can come back and sue you years after an event or transaction occurs, he warns.
And don't think your homeowner's policy will bail you out, either. Even if you have a home-based business, a homeowner's policy won't protect it should you get into any legal issues with employees or business litigation. Whether the homeowners’ policy will protect your business property in your home depends on the policy, says Devine.
3. You think you're invincible. Worters says many businesses don’t even consider what is called either business income or business interruption insurance. If a natural disaster hits, for example, and your business closes, your revenue can be immediately shut off for an undetermined amount of time, and that can really threaten the life of your business.
The professionals at INSURANCE PLANNING SERVICE can assist you in tailoring an insurance program that specifically meets the needs of your business. Call us today at 734.421.9900 or use our easy Contact form.
Article Source: Yahoo! Finance / Entrepreneur.com
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TUESDAY, MAY 1, 2012
Today, families are feeling the pressure of caring for young children and aging parents. As a result, many are turning to others for help in their home. If you hire household help, make sure to get the appropriate insurance coverage.
Even if you only occasionally hire a baby sitter or a young person in the neighborhood to rake leaves, you can be liable for injuries they sustain while working for you.
Talk to your insurance professional to find out how much personal liability coverage is included with your homeowner’s or renter’s policy to determine if it is adequate. In general, policies start with $100,000 of coverage
Consider increasing the amount of personal liability coverage in your policy. A substantial increase can cost less than $20 per year. Or, you may want to consider an umbrella liability policy. This would provide broader coverage and a minimum of $1,000,000 of additional personal liability insurance.
Look at the amount of medical coverage included in your policy. Medical coverage on a homeowner policy will cover medical bills stemming from injury to someone other than a resident of the home that occurs on your property. The coverage amount often starts at $1,000, but it can be increased for a small additional premium.
PERMANENT FULL or PART TIME WORKERS
If you hire someone to work at your home on an ongoing or regularly-scheduled basis, you should consider purchasing workers compensation insurance. Workers compensation insurance will provide coverage for medical care and physical rehabilitation for an employee who is injured on the job, and for lost wages if he or she is unable to work because of that injury.
Michigan’s workers compensation insurance program has specific classifications for domestic workers including categories for “inside workers” (such as maids, butlers, nannies, aids, cooks, nurses, interior maintenance, etc.) and for “outside workers” (such as gardners, lawn care workers, exterior maintenance, etc.). Each of these categories have one rate for full-time and another for occasional (part-time) which is less than 20 hours per week.
Don’t forget about auto insurance! If the person working for you will drive your car, make sure that your insurance company knows about the additional driver. If the person will be using his or her own car, obtain proof that they have proper and adequate insurance in effect.
CONTRACTING WITH AN OUTSIDE FIRM
If you contract with an outside firm to provide services at your home, always obtain a Certificate of Insurance before allowing their employees to work for you. This includes any type of company that you hire to work in or around your home - including nannies, health care, lawn services, snow removal, tree trimmers, and home improvement. The certificate should come directly from the firm’s insurance agent or company and should have your name and address filled in as the certificate holder. Be certain that it indicates that the firm carries commercial general liability, professional liability (if the firm is providing professional services), workers compensation and commercial auto liability insurance that includes owned, non-owned and hired vehicles.
We at Insurance Planning Service can help you determine what coverage can best protect you. Call us today at 800-220-5582 or contact us via the web!
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2011
The premium on my personal umbrella liability insurance policy increased halfway through the policy term. My insurance agent says it’s because I added a teen driver. This doesn’t seem right since our son is a good student and is covered by our auto insurance policy.
Umbrella coverage works hand in hand with your auto and home insurance. For example, if you are in an auto accident and badly injure or kill another, you can easily exhaust the bodily injury limits of your auto insurance policy. When that happens, your umbrella policy steps in and pays the extra expense you owe, up to the umbrella limit, which is usually $1 million.
As a group, teenagers have the greatest accident rate of any drivers, and auto accidents are principal cause of teen deaths. There are many reasons for these data: teens are easily distracted by electronic devices (mp3 players, cell phones, etc.), they are more inexperienced drivers and they usually engage in riskier behaviors. However, there are precautions you can take to keep your son safe behind the wheel. If your state doesn’t restrict cell phone use and texting while driving or impose curfews and passenger limits for young drivers, you can set limits on those activities yourself.
With time and a good driving record, your son’s auto and umbrella insurance premiums will decrease. Meanwhile, you can get a lower overall rate for your family’s insurance by buying your auto, home and umbrella coverage from the same insurance agency. Also ask about good student and other relevant discounts. Increasing your auto and/or home deductibles is another way to make insurance more affordable, but make sure that you can actually afford to pay these deductibles.
To learn more about Livonia umbrella liability insurance contact us at 800-220-5582 or get a free umbrella liability insurance quote.