Save On Your Next Business Insurance Renewal

Business Insurance Renewal

Your business insurance should be an important part of your overall risk management program. It is important to have the best possible insurance coverage, competitive pricing and the right insurer. We have found a number of factors that could be important to manage when renewing your business insurance program. Give one of our professionals a call today, we can help you find the best possible combination of coverage, price and service.

Business Insurance

A business insurance program should generally include commercial property, auto liability, professional liability commercial general liability, employment practices liability, workers’ compensation, flood insurance, and excess or umbrella liability.

Insurance Renewal Tips

Provide complete information about your operation to your agent and insurer.

Consider increasing your deductibles to save money.

Use an independent agent like us. We are equipped and prepared to provide you with the best combination of coverage, price, and service.

Let us market your program to a number of different insurers.

Combine your business property, auto, and liability with one insurer into a package or business owners package. You will receive package additional premium discounts.

Develop a safety program.

Provide safety incentives for having no losses over time.

Follow all OSHA regulations.

Putting a little extra effort into your next business insurance renewal can offer many rewards that include better coverage and lower premiums. We hope you and your team will join us on this risk and insurance journey, and in the end know that there is a better way to buy commercial insurance and have true peace of mind.

 

How To Win The Identity Theft War

 

You’ve probably heard about identity theft on television or read about it in the newspaper, and you may already be aware of the damage these crimes can cause victims and their families. What you may not know is how to protect yourself from these attacks. Below you’ll find ten steps that can help you minimize your chances of becoming another identity theft statistic.

  1. Invest in a shredder – Never throw anything away without shredding it first. Identity thieves will dig through dumpsters and trash bags looking for credit card receipts, voided checks, paid bills, credit card offers, and other items that provide them with your personal information.
  2. Mail everything from the post office – Leaving your outgoing mail in or on your mailbox is an invitation to have it stolen by an identity thief. Not only can they get all of your personal information from the check, but they can even alter the check and cash it themselves. Instead, drop it by the post office or another mailbox.
  3. Use a post office box – Incoming mail is also a target for identity thieves. Your bills, checks, even junk mail can be used by these thieves to steal your personal information. If you have a post office box, then your mail will be delivered safely to that box.
  4. Have a non-published phone number – Some identity thieves will also use the telephone in an attempt to get your personal information. For example, one scam involved a caller telling a person he or she had won a government grant that was going to be directly deposited into their checking account.
  5. Check your accounts weekly – If you don’t already, you need to get in the habit of checking the balances of all your financial accounts on a weekly basis. Waiting for monthly statements isn’t good enough because by then, your account could have been completely drained.
  6. Check your credit report yearly – Every year, you should request free copies of your credit report and check them for any errors, such as credit cards or loans you never took out. If you find out now that someone is using your identity, you can start correcting the problem before you need to use your own credit.
  7. Memorize PIN numbers and passwords – Never write down your PIN numbers or passwords. No place is a safe place to keep these important pieces of information.
  8. Keep only basic information on checks – Your checks should only include basic information about you, such as your name and address. Your social security number should never be printed on your checks. If it is, then you’re basically handing over the keys to your identity to any thief who comes in contact with your check.
  9. Eliminate unwanted credit card offers – Those credit card offers you throw away can be used by identity thieves.
  10. Carry only necessities – Never carry anything in your purse or wallet that isn’t necessary, such as extra deposit slips, social security cards, birth certificates, etc. The more personal information your purse or wallet contains, the more valuable it will be to an identity thief if it is lost or stolen.
  11. Go electronic – Bank statements, most bills, and many other documents can all be viewed electronically, so you never have to worry about them being stolen out of your mailbox or your trash. Contact your financial institution, credit card companies, and utility providers about the availability of this option. As an extra bonus, many of these businesses offer incentives to individuals who sign up for these electronic programs.

While these steps can’t guarantee you won’t have a identity theft issue, it can help reduce the likelihood of having one.

Why Business Insurance?

A Business Insurance Update

Your business insurance can respond to many kinds of risks and losses.  Protecting your business from loss can mean the difference between having a great year, and having to close your doors.  According to the Insurance Information Institute, 30% of businesses that have a fire never re-open.  Therefore, it pays to have the right business insurance and to manage your tops risks.  However, do you know the most common risks faced by most businesses?

Business Risks

Cyber breach – Your small business has a greater chance of having a data breach than it does of having a fire. Make sure you have a cyber liability insurance policy.  Don’t save passwords on your computer, use the latest security software, train your employees on cyber security, and never use an open network.

Customer trip and fall – Make sure you keep your business entry clean and clear of clutter.

Flood – Your business insurance excludes flood damage. If you are close to water, make sure you consider flood insurance.

Fire – Every business is subject to fire. Install automatic alarms to ensure proper notification, disconnect equipment when not in use, and never overload sockets with plugs.

Theft – Develop a system for end of day closure procedures. Keep a light on at night. Burglars are less inclined to break in if they think someone is there.

 

We Answer Common Home Insurance Questions

We Answer Common Home Insurance Questions

Whether you are a new homeowner or have owned your home for a longer period, there’s no doubt you have any questions about homeowner’s insurance. You want to protect your home, your possessions, and your family. Below are five of the most frequently asked questions about homeowner’s insurance.

As a homeowner, am I required to have insurance? Yes, in most cases, especially if you have a lender. It’s also wise to look into insurance if you are in the process of constructing your home and even renting your home to someone else.

What types of coverage does homeowner insurance provide? Two types casually, which covers the home and contents, and liability, which covers anyone who is injured on your property. With both types, the amount of coverage depends on the policy.

Will the replacement cost be the same as the sale price of my home? No. The replacement cost will cover the amount needed to replace the structure and/or contents. Replacement cost is usually calculated based on the individual policies formula. It’s wise to take inventory and photographs of your home and contents.

Will homeowner insurance cover damage or theft outside of my home? It depends on the policy. Sometimes standard policies offer this kind of coverage, but if not, ask if purchasing the coverage at additional costs is an option.

Are home-based businesses covered under homeowner insurance? No, unless you qualify for an endorsement to your current homeowner insurance policy. Otherwise, look into getting a business owners insurance policy.

Of course, homeowners will have more questions about homeowner insurance particular to their own situations (including protection against the elements, possessions that are no longer in the home, contents of vehicles, etc.). When searching for a homeowner insurance policy, be sure to ask about coverage relevant and beneficial to your own situation.

 

Big Risks Ahead

Many think that operating a small business has little or no risk. The fact is, operating a small business has just about the same risks as any other business. Employees can still sue you, you can cause injuries to your customers, and your building can burn just like a big business.  General liability risk is very real for small businesses and it is important to have a business insurance program that addresses these issues.

To protect a small business from potential lawsuits, liability insurance is necessary. Policies vary greatly, and they cover different classifications of risks for varying costs.

Commercial General Liability Insurance covers claims from accidents, injuries, or negligence when the business is at fault.  Small businesses may face a wide array of damage charges. Personal injuries, property damage, libel, and slander are just a few examples.

Product Liability Insurance covers legal fees for litigation involving a faulty product.  It also covers any personal or property damage charges caused by the defective product.

Employment Liability Insurance provides protection for an employer against claims made by employees, former employees, or potential employees.  It can cover discrimination (age, sex, race, disability, etc.), wrongful termination of employment, sexual harassment, and other employment-related allegations.

Professional Liability Insurance pays for damages caused by services.  It is also called errors and omissions coverage. This is for companies that market a service instead of a product. For example, professionals in medical clinics must have medical malpractice coverage.

Cyber Liability Insurance covers the risk posed by conducting business over the Internet, over other networks, or using electronic storage technology.  It covers third party losses from hackers, theft, and loss of information including sensitive client or individual personal information.

There are other types of insurance designed for specialty businesses. For example, there are special policies for companies involved only in internet sales.  The nature of the business determines what type of coverage is necessary.

Civil Disobedience Is Newer Civil

A Risk Management Update

There seems to be a growing number of protects and civil disobedience these days. For whatever the reason for the protests, it does create a risk for your business. Your business insurance is designed to protect your business from unknown claims or accidents. Our job is to be your business insurance resource and to provide you with the best combination of coverage, price, and service.  A commercial liability policy can protect your company from actions by yourself and employees if a third party is damaged or injured.

Are Riots A Covered Loss?

Generally speaking, damage to your building and other property due a riot is a covered peril. This would include fire, theft, and vandalism. If you were forced to close your business by civil authority but had no building damage you may be able to collect for lost revenue, depending on how your policy is written. Remember, each policy is unique, so call our office for a review.

What If The Fire Department Refuses To Put Out The Fire?

Insurance companies generally will not deny a claim because the fire department pulled back for safety reasons. If civil authorities limit or restrict access to a burning building, your insurance will not be jeopardized.

Final Thoughts

Business insurance is designed to protect your business from accidents and other unforeseen events. Many of the damaged businesses had insurance, and those that did not will most likely have to close their doors.

We Know And Understand Insurance

The leading trends in insurance today

We live in a new age, and that means insurance professionals need to be prepared to meet the new demands of the insurance buyer.  Home and auto insurance buyers have changed the way they select insurance companies and their agents. One thing that has not changed is that everyone needs home and auto insurance, and business owners need commercial insurance.

We know and understand your needs

Here is what our clients are telling us they need from us in order to meet their changing needs.

We offer coverage for Uber and Lyft drivers.

Our home insurance products can be designed to include coverage if you rent your home to third parties, or if you own a vacation rental.

Our web page is constantly being updated to reflect the buying habits of all generations.

For the environmentally conscious buyers we offer insurance products that include premium discounts for homes that meet stringent efficiency and sustainability standards, discounts for using eco-friendly building materials, and even unique “pay as you go” auto policies so you only pay for the miles you drive.

Filing a claim has never been easier. Most of our insurers have online reporting, but we are always here to help manage your claim if needed.

We understand how the technology of a “connected home” works and the importance of proper homeowner’s coverage.

There is new technology that can be added to your vehicle that monitors your driving and provides discounts for safe drivers.

You want, and deserve, more choices and personalization concerning your insurance program. Our friendly team is always ready to serve you.

2017 Was A Tough Year For Many Insurance Companies

2018 is here, and 2017 is in the rear view mirror.  Last year we saw and experienced many hardships and disasters, but also hand many successes.  We hope 2018 brings you much happiness and success.  2017 was a year in which many entire communities were destroyed by storms and wildfires, 20 million or more people experienced an identity theft, and a number of women come forward describing their sexual harassment.

Here is a list of the top risk issues for 2017

Wildfires in California and Oregon – over $4 billion in damage

Storms in Texas, Florida, and the Northeast

Flooding in Texas, Oregon, and most of the Midwest

Identity theft and cyber breaches

An increase in sexual harassment claims

The continued evolution of driverless vehicles

The regulation of drones

Advances in home technology

Retention of key employees

The ability to attract quality workers

Terrorism

Random shootings

Over the next few months we will try to help you develop a clear plan on how to manage these risks. Please contact our office and we will be happy to help you identify what is important to you and then put together a plan to help you manage you risks most effetely.  Here are just two.

Identity Theft and Cyber Breaches

Identity theft insurance provides reimbursement to victims for the cost of restoring their identity and repairing credit reports.  This type of insurance will help you with certain kinds of expenses to aid you in restoring your credit. Cyber policies cover the liability arising from website media content as well as breach related property losses such as: (a) business interruption, (b) data loss/destruction, (c) computer fraud, (d) funds transfer loss, and (e) cyber extortion.  It can also provide notification and other services for a covered loss.

Harassment Claims

Your business must address this issue head on.  First, you need to secure employment practices liability insurance.  This insurance will offer defense and indemnification coverage should you be involved in an employment litigation.  Second, your business needs to have a clear anti-discrimination policy.  The policy should include reporting procedures and anti-whistleblower provisions.

 

 

How Cloud Computing Changes Cyber Risk Exposures

Cyber risk and cloud computing is a topic that keeps evolving. In a recent study 40% of companies thought they did not need cyber liability insurance. Many thought cyber liability was covered under their business insurance policy. And others thought that if they used the cloud to store client’s information that they had no risk.

A recent example has been the Anthem Health data breach; here over 80 million people may have had their personal data compromised. If a large company like Anthem Health can have a cyber-breach, so can your company. See More Here

How Cloud Computing Will Change The Cyber Risk Landscape

There is no question that cloud computing changes the cyber risk landscape. But using the cloud does not reduce your risk. In fact, using the cloud may increase your risk. As more firms use the cloud, cyber criminals will increase their efforts to brake in, as there is more information for them to steel. Your risk will vary depending on the platform your firm uses. One benefit is that your business may require less in house technology which will reduce operating costs.

Cyber Risks Are Growing

Russian hackers recently stole over 2 billion online names and passwords. Home Depot had millions of customer credit cards stolen. A local restaurant recently had 1200 customer credit card numbers stolen, and finally a medical clinic had a lap top stolen that contained 5,000 patient’s names and confidential information. Every company is at risk for cyber theft and loss.

Cyber Insurance

We can provide your firm with the right combination of pricing and coverage. Cyber risk    insurance is available at very reasonable premiums. Many of our companies offer coverage to help protect your business from loss.

Does Your Business Need Insurance?

 

Business Insurance

The world is changing, and we understand the issues businesses face every day. There is constant competition for your customers, there are challenges in attracting and retaining top talent, and your cost of goods keeps going up. Part of your planning should include an annual business insurance review. Your business changes, and so do your exposures. Here are some of the major kinds of liability coverage found in most business insurance programs.

Commercial Liability

Bodily Injury – Bodily injury to a third party.

Property Damage – Damage to a third party’s property (equipment building etc.).

Personal Injury – Injury to the mind or emotions, as opposed to an injury to property.

Advertising Liability – Damages arising out of advertising, libel, slander and invasion of privacy.

Products & Completed Operations – Liability arising out of products you sell or business operations and services conducted, excluding professional services.

Premises – Covers liability arising out of injury to third parties while on your premises.

Management Liability – This might include cyber, employment, and professional liability coverage. Directors and officers liability also might fall under this category.

Umbrella – Provides excess liability over primary auto and commercial liability policies.

Pollution – Coverage for accidental release of pollutants. 

Business Auto- Covers vehicles owned by the company for business use and can include comprehensive and collision.

Risk is a factor for whatever business you are in. We provide business insurance solutions to help you manage your risk, which keeps you in business.

Call one of the experienced agents at Georgetown Insurance Agency today at(512) 863-4388 or start a free rate quote and let us review your insurance needs and tailor a program to protect your business.