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IPS / Lighthouse Insurance Group Blog: michigan business insurance

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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. Commercial auto 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.

To learn more about your business insurance policy, contact the experts at Insurance Planning Service by calling 800-220-5582 or using our
online contact form today!

Source: Entrepreneur.com


These days it has become more common for people to work from home as opposed to heading out to the office everyday. Developments in technology and communications have made it easy for workers to perform the same duties from home that they would normally perform at their jobsite. Many employers are jumping on the bandwagon as remote-workers mean less overhead expenses.

However, while working from home may now be a possibility for many, it still depends on the individual as to whteher it will be a success. Consider these tips for getting the most of out of a work-from-home opportunity:

Create a Space- One way to fail miserably is to plop down with your laptop in front of the TV and expect to get anything done. In order to stay productive and focused on the task at hand you should set aside a work space separate from the rest of your home life. Even if you don’t have an entire extra room to use as an office, you can designate one corner of a room for your work area. Treat that area how you would treat your work space at the office. When you enter your work space you will therefore transition from “being at home” to “being at work”. This will also help keep you from over doing it, and working when you should be enjoying down time.

Consider the Tax Deductions- Don’t miss out on money-saving tax deductions that you may be eligible for. Typically most people who have a home office and work exclusively from home can deduct “work-related expenses”  from their taxable income. This often includes a portion of rent or mortgage interest, a portion of utilities, insurance and office supplies. There are requirements, however, to qualify for this deduction. For example, according to the IRS website it is stated that in order to qualify you  must use your home office “regularly and exclusively” as your principal place of business.  Talk to your tax advisor for more information.

Set a schedule- One of the most important charactersitics of those who are successful at working from home are those that are self-disciplined. In order to stay on task you will want to set a schedule for yourself and get into some normal routines for getting your work done. Set deadlines so you stay motivated.

Consider insurance benefits- If you work entirely from home you won’t be commuting like someone who drives back and forth to the job site each day. You will want to update your insurance policy to designate your vehicle as being used primarily for ‘pleasure’. If you are working from home part-time, you should talk to your insurance agent about reducing the number of miles commuting to work as it is listed on your car insurance policy. Doing either of these will most likely reduce your car insurance premiums.

 

Stay connected- Not only do you want to stay in regular contact with your co-workers back at the office, but also stay in contact with the human race in general. “Cabin fever” is a common complaint of those that work from home as they begin to miss the social interaction that they previously had while working in an office environment. Have lunch with friends and network with others who work from home in your community. If possible, make plans to see office friends after work and on the weekends to maintain “face time”.  Make a point to take a walk or drive each day so that you are still getting out of the house at some point in the day.

For more information about how working from home affects your insurance policies, contact Insurance Planning Service today by calling 800-220-5582 or using our online contact form.

Source: Homeinsurance.com


local businessA family business is a great way for your relatives to come together, become self-reliant and create a lasting legacy for all your future generations. And while it may be fun, exciting and more relaxed to run a business with your family than it is to work in another individual’s business, that doesn't mean that you should be lax about your insurance planning.

Liability Exposure Can Sink a Business

When your whole family is in on a business with you, there is no backup plan for financial difficulties that you may face. You are all in this together which means that negative financial events will affect all of you. Liability insurance is one way to ensure that your family's wealth isn't wiped out by the risks taken on by your family business. Consider professional liability as well as commercial auto, general and any specialty liability coverages tailored to your industry.

Buy-Sell Agreements

It’s important that owners of a family business have a formal succession plan in place. It's not enough to know that other family members will take over the business upon your death; you should have a written and financed plan for providing for those family members who no longer wish to be involved when you pass away and those that do. A buy-sell agreement between all partners can ensure that spouses and children who don't wish to become owners of the business will still be provided for and their shares of the business bought out after your death.

Key-Person Insurance

There are many different reasons one might wish to open a family business. One popular motivation is to profit from the combined individual talents of various family members. When this occurs, it is often also true that the loss of a family member with a particular skill can hurt the business substantially. A key-person insurance policy ensures that the business gets a cash infusion upon the death of any key employees which will allow the remaining partners the resources they need to keep the business going while they attempt to find a replacement or sell the business.

There is no type of Michigan business insurance policy that a non-family-owned business needs that a family-owned business does not. In addition, family business owners must take added steps to ensure the safety of their extended family units. If you have questions about how to structure the insurance policies for your family business, give us a call at 800-220-5582.


InternetSmall business exposure to Cyber risk is increasing, as is the need for Cyber Risk Insurance.  The Zeus malware is a good example, and has been busily infecting computers and stealing the bank account access information of unsuspecting victims.

What is Zeus?  Zeus is a computer program used by criminal hackers to steal information.  It monitors the keystrokes and screens of unsuspecting victims, and sends the information to hackers.  Hackers can then use the information to steal money out of victims bank accounts.  One way hackers get the virus onto victims computers is through bogus emails, such as bogus LinkedIn invitations.  The Zeus software has even infected computers of the hacktivism group Anonymous.

Two escrow company thefts demonstrate how devastating the attacks can be.  One escrow company had $440,000 wired to Cyprus from its accounts, and the other lost $465,000 in a series of 26 wire transfers.

Cyber Risk insurance coverage provides protection from various risks associated with technology, including data breaches.  Policy forms are not all the same, and most do not cover loss of money.  Cyber Risk insurance is easy to obtain, provides broad protection and is inexpensive.  

For more information about Cyber Risk Insurance, contact Insurance Planning Service today by calling 800-220-5582 or use our
online contact form today!

Article Source: Specialty Insurance Blog


 

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
Image Source: www.startinguptips.com


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Lighthouse Group Main Office in Grand Rapids, MI
Mailing Address | P.O. Box 530009, Livonia, MI 48153

Phone: 734.421.9900 | Toll Free: 800.220.5582 | Fax: 734.421.9911

Also serving these Detroit area communities in Michigan: Livonia, Farmington Hills, Ann Arbor, Southfield, Plymouth, Canton, Westland, Northville, Novi, Dearborn, South Lyon & Walled Lake