True or False: Insurance Is Cheaper for Leased Cars

Cars are significant investments for millions of Americans, from the price of the monthly payments to gas and maintenance costs. It’s helpful when you can save on car insurance. Some wonder whether insurance is cheaper for leased cars or cars that you buy outright.

However, the idea that insurance is cheaper for leased cars is nothing but a myth. Car insurance is not based on how you purchase a car. Car insurance is primarily based on your driving record and the make, model and year of the car.

One of the considerations with leasing a car is that you may have to add the lender to your insurance policy, given that they have an interest in the vehicle. Thus, if you get into a crash and make a claim, the lender will be able to recover the portion they are still owed.

Besides that, the coverage options for car insurance on a leased versus owned vehicle should remain the same. The premium has to do with the condition of the car and the cost to make repairs, not the lease option. Typically, the newer, more expensive and rarer the vehicle, the higher your insurance premium will be due to the higher cost of making repairs.

Whether you buy or lease a car, consult with us for sample quotes before you make a decision that could cost you thousands in the long run. We are always here to help, and we’re just a phone call or email away.

Coverage Types Needed for Different Industries

One company manufactures golf balls. Another builds golf courses the balls are used on. These companies have very different needs. Despite their businesses being intertwined, the businesses’ needs vary greatly.

This is also reflected in what they should look for in insurance coverage, as not every company faces the same risks. For some companies, liability is a priority. For others, workers’ compensation is top of mind. While it’s essential that all companies carry insurance coverage, not every policy is the right fit for every company. Some common policies span industries, but each business’s unique priorities contribute to its insurance needs. Here’s a breakdown of the most common needs by industry:

Home and building services: If you offer home or other building services, it’s important to ensure you have commercial auto, workers’ compensation, property and liability insurance. You should have insurance coverage for tools and equipment.

Office: Companies that rely on offices have to protect their assets, employees and intellectual property. With a focus on Internet-necessary services, these companies place a premium on auto, workers’ compensation, property, liability and cybercrime insurance.

Manufacturing: In manufacturing, worker and consumer safety must be guaranteed; thus, liability is high. There are many moving parts, and they must all have proper insurance coverage. Manufacturers must require auto, product recall, property, workplace injury, workers’ compensation, liability and equipment failure insurance.

Education and nonprofits: Organizations that serve others need insurance. Business owners in this field should focus on workers’ compensation, counseling liability, auto, liability, property, and tuition and fees policies.

Retail stores: Retailers are at high risk when it comes to property, liability, commercial auto, and workers’ compensation claims, and they must secure coverage for these issues. Retail store owners should also secure coverage for income loss and crime in addition to business interruption insurance and protection against theft and fraud.

Religious organizations: For this industry that people rely on for crucial decisions, it’s important to cover any property involved and leadership as well. Religious organizations should obtain solid coverage in pastoral professional liability, business liability, business property and business crime insurance.

Hospitality: Business professionals in this industry have many different needs when it comes to insurance. It’s vital to obtain policies that provide business property insurance, business personal property insurance, workers’ compensation insurance and business liability insurance to properly insure your business and your guests.

Real estate: There are unique risks in the business of selling real estate. Make sure you’re covered by policies for business property insurance, business income insurance, sale and disposal liability insurance and rent guarantee insurance.

Restaurants: Your business model poses risks of employee injury and medical issues as well as fires and other accidents that result in property damage. For proper business coverage, it is recommended you obtain restaurant property insurance, restaurant liability insurance, restaurant crime insurance and workers’ compensation insurance.

As you can see, each business is unique, even within its own industry. Speak with our office today to determine the exact needs for your company and how we can help you.

The Ins and Outs of Certificates of Insurance

Certificates of insurance are often something you see required by contract but not something many people typically talk about. Below, we’ll detail what a certificate of insurance is, why you need one, when to ask for one and what one typically entails.

What is a certificate of insurance?

A certificate of insurance is a document from an insurance company demonstrating that you have a current business insurance policy.

Why do I need to provide a certificate of insurance?

A certificate of insurance shows proof that you have insurance, and some businesses or customers may request to see this proof before they consider working with you. Some may have that as a requirement or condition of doing business with them. Insurance protects your business from risks and can protect your clients and customers, too.

Why should you ask for a certificate of insurance?

Any informed client will ask their contractor or other business they work with for a certificate of insurance to make sure the right insurance with the necessary limits is in place for the work.

What should a typical certificate of insurance include?

A typical certificate of insurance should identify the person who has the policy (the “insured”), the mailing address, type of policy, policy limits, insurance company contact information, and additional insured, if there are any. Double-check the certificate matches the name of the company or person you’re working with, has the correct coverage (which will not expire before the work is completed), lists coverage amounts and is issued by an actual insurance company.

Whenever you need a certificate of insurance, we’re here for you. We can also help you review any certificates you receive and make sure they have what’s needed.

Your Business Insurance Review: What to Ask

Your business insurance is vital to ensuring that any potential losses or liabilities are covered if the worst happens. It is entirely too important to just scan quickly and pay when it comes to renewal time. It’s a good idea to review your business annually without the stress of impending expiration dates. Preparing for this annual review is one of the most important things you can do, as missing a crucial part of your coverage could cost thousands of dollars. Below are a few tips on what to ask for your business insurance review so you can save time and a potential future headache.

What do you need to protect?

Many parts of your business may change year after year: property values, equipment, machinery, technology, product lines, personnel, and the list goes on. These changes can all impact the types of insurance you need or the amount of coverage you need. Consider these categories.

Premises: Have you remodeled or made any additions? Have you added or taken away equipment?

Business personal property: Have you upgraded your computers, electronic equipment and other equipment that is vital for the functioning of your business? Do you have new office furniture?

Vehicles: Have you made any changes to your fleet?

Loss of income: Are you covered if your business suffers property damage and cannot operate temporarily?

Technology and data: Are you covered should your company suffer a cyberattack or breach of data?

What liabilities should you consider?

Any business runs the risk of lawsuits. It is crucial to review where your company may have potential exposures and ensure you have insurance policies to cover these. These questions may help you.

Products: Does your company sell, distribute or manufacture goods? You could be sued if you are any part of a chain of distribution.

Workplace injuries: Is your workers’ compensation adequate?

Professional liabilities: Do you have appropriate errors and omissions insurance to cover what is not included in your general liability insurance?

Catastrophic claims: Do you need an umbrella policy to cover unexpected events?

Can you save money on your premiums?

There may be opportunities to save, such as multiple policy discounts or new programs that may lower your insurance costs. When considering how much insurance to obtain, you should also think of your business and your personal financial situation. You may be able to make changes to your policy that will lower your premiums. If your financial situation is solid, you could consider having larger deductibles and lower your premium.

Time and effort are needed for your annual insurance review, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be complicated. We are here to help you along every step of the way. We can review the answers you uncovered and catch any questions that you may not have considered. We can help you look at the big picture and add or make changes to your policies to ensure your business is adequately protected. Call or email us today and we’ll get you set for your annual review.

Does Your Business Depend on a Supply Chain?

Supply chains are a vital part of many businesses that operate. Whether its sourcing parts and materials or reselling goods made in other countries, supply chains make the world go around.

But what happens when that supply chain is interrupted by a natural disaster or other unforeseen event that throws your business into chaos? Pointing fingers, blaming suppliers or transporters, or even trying to make alternate arrangements can cost lost credibility, time, money, and, most importantly, clients. Companies need protection against broken links in their supply chains. The right insurance can’t stop the chain from breaking, but it can stop the business from falling apart if it does.

There are two main coverage options: contingent business interruption insurance and supply chain insurance.

A contingent business interruption insurance policy reimburses lost profits and extra expenses caused by the interruption of someone else’s business. If you rely on one supplier to get you your materials, depend on one manufacturer for most of your merchandise or purchase the bulk of your products from one business, this may be the way to go. The policy is limited, though, in that it only provides coverage if your supply chain is interrupted due to physical property damage at a supplier’s business.

Broader coverage is offered by supply chain insurance. It too covers supply chain disruptions caused by property damage to your supplier’s business, but it can also cover road closures, political upheaval, regulatory action, financial issues, public health emergencies, natural disasters, industrial accidents, riots and labor issues.

If you have any confusion about these policies, please call or email us today. We will look at your options and guide you to the best policy for you based on the supply chain that serves you. We’re always here to help and make sure you have the coverage that’s right for you.

Open Enrollment – Contact Us Now about ACA Coverage

Like last year, you will have only 45 days to make changes to your Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA) plan for 2021. Open enrollment, the time the ACA law allows you to change plans or enroll in a new plan, begins November 1, 2020 and ends December 15, 2020. While some states may offer longer enrollment periods, schedule time now with us to discuss your current plan or make changes if you want to make changes to your current plan.

Even if you like your plan, we can help you complete a speedy cost-benefit analysis of changing plans. You may have been in a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan and found it too restrictive. We can quote the cost to switch to an Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) plan, where you won’t need a referral to visit a specialist. Knowing the cost differences between an HMO and an EPO can help you determine if you can afford to switch.

If you are currently on an ACA plan, you may know the ACA plans are categorized by their names. If you buy a Bronze plan, you will pay less monthly but more out of pocket. A Bronze plan may make sense if you are in great health, but a Platinum plan, with the most expensive monthly premium, means you’ll pay much less out of pocket if you have ongoing medical expenses or expect a major surgery.

Because we are extremely busy as open enrollment nears, call us today to reserve your appointment.

4 Types of Identity Theft and How to Prevent Them

With most of our transactions happening online and the vast majority of our records accessible through Internet-based services, it’s no wonder identity theft is rampant. Below are four types of identity theft and how to prevent them.

Existing account identity theft. Thieves will hack into your existing bank or credit accounts and either steal your cash or use your available credit to make purchases or cash withdrawals. Protect your personal information by never giving out your bank account number to anyone except an authorized representative of a business or other professional. If you doubt someone is who they say they are, hang up and call the business directly.

New account identity theft. Thieves will open new accounts in your name using your Social Security number and begin to draw on the lines of credit or loans to acquire as much as possible before being caught. Never give your Social Security number out to anyone except a trusted professional, such as an accountant, a human resources manager, or another similar person.

Tax identity theft. Thieves will not hesitate to file a fraudulent return on your behalf and claim your refund. Unlike with credit accounts, you will not know until you go to submit your legitimate tax return and the IRS rejects it.

Employment identity theft. Some people will resort to stealing your Social Security number to get a job, and, to your surprise, you will owe taxes on the money they earned.

It’s vital to protect yourself from identity theft. Many credit cards offer free alerts so you can stop unauthorized transactions and theft. Consider investing in a paid identity monitoring service, which looks at your credit and finances. Protect your personal information. Never give it out over the phone to out-of-the-blue callers. Secure documents with sensitive information, and shred them when you no longer need them. Check your credit reports regularly. Call us today so we can work with you on finding the best product that fits your budget to protect yourself from and prevent identity theft.

The Ins and Outs of Cyber Liability Insurance

When considering types of insurance to buy, many people gloss over an important type of insurance for their businesses: cyber liability. While some may think a slip and fall or other workplace accident is the most likely reason they need insurance coverage, cybercrimes and data breaches are becoming increasingly common workplace “accidents” that require insurance as well. Below are two types of cyber liability insurance that every business should consider obtaining before they’re the victim of a cyberattack.

First-party coverage. When hackers strike your secure server and wipe out business records and other crucial online documents, there is a real cost to that. Coupled with the cost of informing your customers, purchasing equipment, upgrading software, and engaging information technology professionals, there is the likelihood of a substantial financial loss. First-party coverage pays for damages directly suffered by your business.

Third-party coverage. A cyber breach can impact your clients and partners in ways not foretold. Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to litigation or other claims for damages from others, which can take a larger toll than the breach itself. Third-party coverage helps ensure that you have a policy in place to cover others’ losses as a result of a data breach impacting your business.

Let us help you review your cyber liability policy in order to make sure you have the coverage you need to safeguard the business you’ve worked so hard to build.

4 Reasons You Should Only Hire Insured Contractors

Any home project job site can become a place of danger that can harm you, the contractor, or any other people working onsite. Here are four reasons why you should only hire insured contractors.

Damage liabilities. When job-related damages arise, uninsured contractors may not be able to foot the bill. This leaves you with the double headache of solving the underlying problem and seeking to collect from a contractor or other responsible party. Working with an insured contractor ensures that there will be an insurance company that is able to cover the damage up to the limits of the policy, giving you peace of mind.

Contractor responsibility. When evaluating contractors, it is difficult to make a true determination of a contractor’s level of responsiveness and responsibility toward clients and their obligations. While a person can rely on online reviews, a contractor who is licensed and insured demonstrates that the person and his or her employees take their obligations seriously.

Property value. Working with an uninsured contractor may impact the value of your property. If the work was not up to code, you will have to disclose that information to potential buyers.

Correcting errors. Sometimes, even the most well-meaning contractors can make mistakes that end up costing you down the line. An insured contractor will be more likely to fix their mistake or at least have the funds to enable you to fix it.

If you have an upcoming home project, call us so we can walk you through the types of insurance contractors should have to make sure you are protected

The Importance of Managing Risk in Small Business

Small businesses are the lifeblood of local communities. From the local baker’s shop to the auto mechanics, small businesses abound and provide jobs and services for many. However, unlike their much larger brethren, they do not usually have dedicated risk management departments to protect them from unforeseen consequences. Thus, a small business owner must act as a risk manager and work to prevent any negative occurrences.

First, a small business should look at potential losses or other liabilities. This means determining what could happen if you lose your stock, physical structure, or data, are the subject of a lawsuit by an employee or customer, and other issues.

Once you have listed the risks, you should attempt to assign them probabilities and damages. For example, although it will cause heavy damage, how probable is it that your building will spontaneously collapse? On the other hand, it is likely more probable that you will have to endure an adverse weather issue leading to the closing of your business for a few days.

Following that, taking steps to mitigate any potential damages is key to preventing negative long-term effects. This could include, for example, paying for hurricane shutters in an area prone to severe storms or paying for employee training on the proper way to serve hot food items to customers.

Whether you’ve created a risk management plan from day one of your business or find yourself in need of one now, contact us so we can help provide the right insurance coverage for your business.