Commercial insurance protects a company’s financial assets, intellectual property, physical property and liability from a covered loss. There are many risks that a business is susceptible to, including fire, theft, lawsuits, property damage, injuries, loss of income and more.
Most Common Types of Commercial Insurance policies:
Business Owners Policy (BOP) -Combination of property coverage and liability coverage. The property coverage works like homeowners’ insurance. If the business is broken into, robbed, or vandalized, it will be covered to replace and repair the property to its original condition. If tools or equipment are stolen or destroyed by a covered loss, they too will be replaced.
General Liability– Protects the business owner against accidents, injuries, or property damage on the business premises or due to the business operations. Policy covers costs if a claim is filed against your business for bodily injury or property and advertising damage. If you do not have general liability insurance, you would have to pay for your own defense.
Many factors affect general liability rates, including the type of business operations, your experience in the industry, the location of the business, and claims history.
This policy is often confused with workers compensation policy. General Liability does NOT provide coverage if an employee is injured.
Workers Compensation– Provides compensation to an employee due to an accident, injury, or illness caused by the job. These policies are rated based on the type of business operations, and employee payroll. Business owners can opt out of the policy to reduce the rate.
These policies are audited so it is important to provide accurate numbers when estimating payroll. If you use subcontractors in your business, it is important to obtain proof of insurance, otherwise their pay will be calculated in your payroll resulting in higher premiums.
Commercial Auto- Provides liability and physical damage coverage for vehicles used for business purposes.
Commercial auto insurance is for any vehicle, that is used for business purposes. The number of vehicles you insure, as well as your employees driving record(s) will impact your rate.
If you are in an accident while driving to see a client or delivering goods, for instance, your personal auto insurance may not cover your losses. If you are unsure if you need commercial auto coverage, contact your personal lines insurance agent first. They should be able to tell you if the type of business operation you are handling can be covered under your personal policy.
*Healthcare: Open Enrollment has been extended until January 15th. Current policy holders can submit changes to their existing plan or submit a NEW plan. Once the 15th has passed, you will not be able to make any plan changes. NEW policies submitted during this time will take effect February 1st.
*Medicare: Medicare Supplement policy holders ages 65-75 have the option to change to another Medicare Supplement plan without requiring underwriting approval. To qualify for the Birthday Rule, you must enroll in a plan with the same or lesser benefits. The change must be done within 45 days AFTER your birthday.
*Medicare: Medicare Advantage policy holders are currently in a second Open Enrollment period until March 31st. During this time, you can change to another Medicare Advantage Plan.
*Auto/Home Insurance: Many policies renew during the month of January. When reviewing rates consider these tips:
+Always review the total package (i.e. home and auto). Often, some carriers will have a better rate on the home as opposed to the auto however, the total calculation needs to be reviewed when determining the best scenario.
+Make sure you are matching coverages. Some carriers are notorious for removing full coverage to reduce the rate. Sadly, some people do not realize that until they have an accident. Full coverage means the carrier will fix your vehicle in the event of an at fault accident. On the flip side, liability only means your vehicle is NOT getting fixed in the event of an at fault accident.
*Life Insurance: With the start of the New Year, many will review their financial goals for the year and discuss any gaps. Many people will not buy Life Insurance because they overestimate the cost of a policy. Costs depend on a number of factors, including your health, age, tobacco use, and gender. As one example, a healthy 35-year-old male can expect to pay about $20 per month for $250,000 on a 30-year term.
*Business Insurance: We’ve received LOTS of calls lately regarding employees injured on the job. A workers compensation policy provides wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured as a result of their job. Premiums are based on the annual payroll and type of work performed.
You may be surprised at what can be saved after it has been damaged from water. The most important tip is to get rid of the water ASAP. The longer the water sits the more of an issue it becomes with mold and the harder it is to repair. Below are some tips to remediating your water damage.
*Remove important items that can be picked up and moved to another room. Once removed from the water dry with a fan.
*Find the source of the water. There may be leaves clogging a sewer or a faulty sump pump. If so, remove the leaves or replace the sump pump. If you need a referral I can provide you with one for immediate sump pump repair.
*Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to circulate the air and reduce moisture buildup in your basement.
*Confirm that your policy has sump pump/sewer back up coverage, the endorsement will provide coverage for water removal and damaged items.
*Since 1997, the Homeowners insurance industry has suffered more than $50 billion in underwriting losses, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
*The industry estimate for 2012 is a $12 billion underwriting loss.
*A lot of this is due to increased natural catastrophes—there have been an average of 63 natural catastrophes a year since 1997 compared to an average of 32 a year for the previous 16 years (’81-’96).
*And, a lot of it is due to the severe nature of the claims—the severity of catastrophe-related claims is up 200 percent from ’97 to 2011.
The last few months have been pretty interesting to say the least. I have spent a lot of time updating my “internet presence”. You can now see Kelly Burke Insurance on LinkedIn, Facebook, my own website (kellyburkeinsurance.com). My next venture is to start posting informational videos on You Tube. Contact me to be added to my email list.