insurance advice

Things To Keep In Mind When Buying Commercial Insurance

Just as important as starting your business is protecting your business. There are many strong small businesses that struggle to survive where the reason had nothing to do with the product or service offered. Not being protected by a commercial insurance policy unique to your enterprise is a critical mistake any business can ill afford to make. There are a lot of different products offered and not all of them will make sense for your company.

However, regardless of how you earn your living, there are several products that can help ensure you don’t join the ranks of the under-insured business owner .We will look at the three most common insurance products which are property, liability, and workers compensation. In addition to those, there are other valuable policies to fill in the gaps left by the big three.

Closing Steps, How Closing Costs Affect YouBusiness Property Insurance

Property insurance is fairly straightforward in that it covers damages to your business property or its contents. There are many subsets of property damage relating to the cause such as fire, theft, vandalism, smoke, or water. It is important to know what your policy does and does not cover when selecting a policy that is right for your business. An important rider coverage that may interest you is Business Interruption or Loss of Earning Insurance. This product will reimburse you for taxes, salaries, rents, and lost earnings when damages to your property make operating your business impossible.

For those who utilize a home office for their small business, don’t make the mistake the of assuming your homeowner’s insurance will cover losses related to your business. Just like there are exceptions to your homeowner’s insurance policy such as damage by flood or hurricane, there may be exceptions related to property owned by the business and not by you as the individual. When in doubt, always ask your trusted insurance professional. This will save you from that horrible feeling of finding out afterwards that you aren’t covered.

Liability Protections

Just as important as property insurance for your business is liability insurance. Similar to the liability portion of your personal  automobile insurance, business liability insurance provides defense and damages if you, your employees, or your products or services cause harm to a third party. Commonly, liability insurance will cover you if a customer were to sustain an injury while on your premises. It also covers the cost of defending and resolving a lawsuit against you though you may find it necessary to bring in additional legal representation for more serious claims.

If your business also requires the use of company owned automobiles, you will also need commercial automobile insurance to reimburse you in the event of theft or damages to your fleet or if one of your driver causes injury or damages to a third party. An important rider under liability insurance is Errors and Omissions Insurance (E&O insurance). This product provides defense and damages due to failure or improperly rendering professional services such as legal, notary, accounting, consulting, insurance, real estate, and even beauty services. Of course if you are in the medical field, Malpractice Insurance is of most importance. This product  is not limited to doctors or dentists, real estate agents, architects, and other professions may find malpractice insurance useful.

shutterstock_94651684Workers Compensation Insurance

Most people have a basic understanding of workers compensation which provides insurance to employees who are injured on the job. It covers costs associated with the injury such as wage replacement and medical expenses when an accident occurs. Most businesses are required to carry some level of workers compensation insurance, exceptions may include those businesses that don’t have any W2 employees. Depending on your industry, more or less coverage may be right for you. An added benefit of workers compensation insurance is that it prevents an employee from bringing about negligent lawsuits against their employer. In exchange for the benefits provided by the policy, workers give up their right to sue the employer for the incident. Carrying the right amount of coverage is important to the financial health of your company and non-compliance penalties imposed by your state can be severe.

This is not a comprehensive list of all insurance policies available to business owners and it is advised that you speak with a trusted insurance agent to learn about additional products that may be right for your company. Not doing so or not carrying the appropriate coverage may be the difference between your company surviving after a damaging incident.

Brian Levesque is a content writer who currently works at CFL Insurance in Orlando, Florida. Brian has over 5 years of experience in the insurance industry.


The Best Of The Best Doesn’t Always Stand Out Like The Rest

These days there are more and more insurance companies popping up. It’s hard to turn on the television or listen to the radio without hearing something about how ‘this company can save you 15%’ or ‘that company is more trustworthy than the rest’. It can be very easy to get caught up in the hype so today we are here to discuss a few mistakes to avoid making when shopping around for your next policy. Knowledge is power and that knowledge will also save you a pretty penny and quite a bit of stress down the road.

Common Insurance Traps to Avoid Falling Into

We completely understand that you have a budget to think about and a family to look after but sometimes spending a little more money is the best route to take. We aren’t saying you should go with the most expensive solution out there but by not having the right amount of coverage, you are putting the future of your household on the line. Technically you can legally drive with liability coverage but in the event your car is totaled or there are physical injuries involved within your vehicle, this could leave you with no other choice but to pay directly out of pocket. While you won’t have to worry about covering damages that were caused to the other vehicle or person within if you were at fault, this can leave you completely vulnerable if said person doesn’t have the same type of protection. Unexpected expenses happen but these types of hefty bills are something you definitely don’t want to get involved in.

Honesty is Always the Best Policy

Many people find themselves tempted to fudge their answers slightly in order to receive discounts or lower premiums but this can make your insurance void in the event of an accident. Let’s say you’ve decided to say you only use your vehicle to drive to and from work or that you live in a different area code simply because you could save a few bucks each month. This could lead to serious financial troubles down the road. The cons definitely outweigh the positives in this situation.

Shopping Around Truly Pays Off

Most people on the lookout for an insurance policy are generally going to pay attention to price but it’s important to take a deeper look than that. While you may think companies you recognize are the best, that’s not always the case. Different insurance agencies have unique discounts but they also have different reputations. Take a good look at the background of each company you look into. Don’t only look at the positive feedback but also make it a point to pay close attention to the negative. You want to go with a business that you can guarantee will have your back in the event of an accident. Read the fine print and make sure you understand every aspect of your policy. The last thing you want to do is end up paying for something you don’t need or not including coverage that would benefit your family. Any time you aren’t sure, speak up and ask so when you sign that dotted line you know what to expect. Did we mention shopping around before locking in could literally save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars every single year? Yes, insurance companies really vary that drastically!

Questions to Ask Before Committing: Save Green and Time

As you have probably gathered, selecting an insurance provider is a lot like purchasing a car. You shouldn’t commit to anything until you know what you’re in for. There are a handful of questions that are important to ask so you aren’t left with any surprises down the road and so you can quickly weed through agencies that just aren’t going to cut it for you.

If you have a good driving record, see if you can use that to your benefit. Find out if the company you are interested in offers safe driving discounts and if they do, you may just qualify. Sometimes you need to be an existing customer to take part, but not always. See if where you work will help minimize your bill. If you are a teacher or a student, you may be able to pay less each and every month. While you’re working on saving money, switching other vehicles onto your policy or including your home insurance may be worth looking into as well.

Knowing how to report a claim is also important because if an accident occurs your mind is probably going to be bogged down with worry. Keep this information and your agency’s contact number in your car with you at all times. Many customers also find it comforting to have a local agent so they can go speak to someone face to face if need be. This may be something to consider because many companies are only accessible online or via the web.

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The author of this post, Dawn Anderson, works at Money Saving Angels, specialists in insurance. When he is not working, he likes to take up swimming and pilates to rejuvenate himself. Visit moneysavingangels.net for more info.


Today’s 10 Biggest Life Insurance Myths

Life Insurance MythsCertain key elements of life insurance should be considered carefully in order to choose the right type and amount of coverage. However, the technical aspects are often less difficult to deal with for most people than trying to determine whether they need coverage and how much is required. The following are 10 of the most common myths surrounding life insurance:

Myth 1: You do not require coverage if you are single and do not have dependents
It is important for single people to consider life insurance to cover the cost of their personal debts, medical bills or funeral bills. Uninsured individuals may leave unpaid expenses that their loved ones or executors would be forced to deal with.

Myth 2: Life insurance coverage should be twice your annual salary
Your life insurance coverage is largely dependent on your specific situation. As such, you should take into account factors such as medical and funeral bills, mortgage expenses and your family’s needs. A cash flow analysis can also be very helpful in determining how much insurance you need.

Myth 3: Term life insurance through your employer is enough
While term coverage provided by your employer may be sufficient if you are single and of modest means, this may not always be the case. You may require additional coverage if you have a spouse or dependents or if your estate taxes will need to be paid off upon your death.

Myth 4: Life insurance premiums are tax-deductible
This is not always true since the cost of personal life insurance is only deductible if you are self-employed and the coverage is used for asset protection purposes.

Myth 5: Everyone must have life insurance
While most people require life insurance, those with sizable assets and no debts may not need it. In addition, life insurance can be optional if your medical and funeral costs are already covered.

Myth 6: The best approach is to buy term coverage and invest the difference
Although term life insurance is often cheaper then permanent life insurance, the cost of term life coverage increases with time. On the other hand, the premiums paid for permanent coverage often go on for many more years. It is also important to consider the risk of becoming un-insurable, which makes permanent coverage preferable.

Myth 7: A variable universal life policy is preferable to a regular universal life policy
Universal policies often pay competitive interest rates, with variable policies containing fees relating to the insurance and the security elements of the policy. This means that you may get lower cash value than an individual with a regular policy.

Myth 8: You do not need life insurance if you are not a breadwinner
Replacing the services offered by a deceased homemaker could be higher than you imagine, which is why it may be important to insure against the loss of such an individual.

Myth 9: You should include the return-of-premium rider to your policy

Different return-of-premium riders are available for policies offering this feature, but it may not be cost-effective. Your decision should depend on your investment objective and risk tolerance.

Myth 10: You are better off investing your money than buying life insurance

There may be no way to provide for your dependents if you die without coverage and your assets become depleted. As such, you may need some form of life coverage until the value of your assets is greater than that of your debts.

Charles is a passionate blogger and writes about life insurance topics.


Why You Need Travel Insurance

Why You Need Travel Insurance

Though travelling is usually an extremely positive and fulfilling experience, unfortunately things can sometimes go wrong. For example, in Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs deals with over 25,000 Australians facing difficulties each year – including over 1000 hospitalisations overseas. Not only can unforeseen medical emergencies arise, there are other things to consider: missing flights due to weather or traffic jams, having luggage, money or medication stolen, credit card fraud, and even emergency dental.

Here’s a few things to consider before you buy travel insurance:

Destination: Are you heading off on a romantic island getaway to Bali, or are you heading to New Zealand for some adventure sports with friends?  Perhaps you are heading somewhere for work or as a tourist that is considered more dangerous than elsewhere – most countries will have a list of no-travel or cautious travel zones – currently these would include areas in the Middle East and Africa. Though you should get travel insurance either way, your destination (or destinations!) are key when acquiring insurance. If you’re simply going to be lounging around on the beach and trying out local food, you may be able to get lower risk coverage, whereas if you’re going to be skiing and snowboarding in potentially dangerous conditions, you would be best to get a higher risk policy. It’s also important to note that some travel insurance providers and packages do not include adventure sports or activities like bungee jumping, parasailing or white water rafting at all – so make sure you check aspects like this when choosing coverage.

Are you already covered?: Some private health care companies, particularly in Australia and America, include a certain level of travel insurance – generally to ensure that you will have medical cover overseas. However, if you do have travel insurance through a health provider, ensure you read up on what exactly you are covered for – being covered for medical needs won’t necessarily mean that your insurer will be able to help out if your passport is stolen. You may also be covered if you are travelling for business – many companies will include travel insurance if they are paying for expenses. Usually these will be high coverage policies, but just make sure that you are covered for everything before you head off.

What sort of insurance do you need: Again, this comes down firstly to where you’re travelling – the more dangerous or potentially dangerous the trip, the higher level of coverage you need. Another thing to take into account is your health – or the health of those travelling with you. Are you on any medication, or require constant medical assistance? Are you likely to fall ill, or are you going somewhere where you may easily contract an illness? What age range are you in? Consider all these when choosing a policy. Also consider what type of travelling you are doing – those staying in luxury hotels may be less likely to have bags or wallets stolen than those travelling rough with backpacks and in hostels.

Read the fine print: This can’t be stressed enough! Though it is all too easy to skip over the terms and conditions, and admittedly most of us do in many situations, this is one situation where you should at least skim through it. Things to look out for include cancellation fees – if you’ve already bought travel insurance then cancel your trip, you’re likely not to get the whole amount back. Also ensure that the country (or countries) you are travelling to is covered by the insurance you’re buying – many will exclude ‘dangerous’ or ‘risk’ countries. If you are travelling for business and are carrying large amounts of cash or product, ensure these will be covered. Another thing to consider is the weather conditions at your destination – heading somewhere where it is snowing could more than likely mean flight delays, cancellations, and luggage loss – all of which may or may not be covered by your travel insurance.

Getting travel insurance is simply another vital chore to put on the list before heading off on your trip – just like packing a toothbrush or calling your parents. So do your research online, ask friends and family, talk to your travel agent, and ensure that you find the best policy so that you can have a stress-free trip.

Chloe works on behalf of Bruce Insurance, an Australian company who offer a wide range of business insurance solutions, and have over two decades of specialist insurance broking expertise.

Truth About Travel Insurance


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