Three Rivers Boat Show and Boat Insurance

Tired of winter weather bringing freezing temperatures and icy driving conditions?  Spring my not be right around the corner but we can act like it is.  This January 26th, 27th, and 28th we will be at the Three Rivers Boat Show.  The boat show will be at the David L Lawrence Convention Center.  This show will be part of the bigger Pittsburgh Outdoor Expo.  Boat Insurance can be a little bit tricky.  Most companies will insure a boat, however, some companies may be a better fit than others based on where you plan to use the boat and what coverage’s you need for your boat.  Do you take your boat into ocean waters?  Does your boat go to Canada?  These are factors that could determine where you want to place your boat insurance.  Another major factor that could influence your decision on where to insure your boat would be the valuation of the boat after a claim.  There are two main ways that a boat is valued when it comes to insurance, actual cash value and agreed value.  Actual Cash Value would take deprecation into account.  Insuring your boat for actual cash value can save you a little bit of money, but in the event of a claim you would be subject to having your boat depreciated in value and then have the deductible as well.  Agreed value is just like it sounds, you and the insurance company agree on a value of the boat, the boat is then insured for that value minus the deductible. 

 

Do you have electronics such as depth finders, GPS equipment, Sonar equipment, or just things like an upgraded radio?  These are typically items to are included on a boat policy, but at a low amount.  Increases and upgrades to these items could leave you with a coverage gap.  If you use the boat for fishing, fishing equipment you keep on the boat could be listed as well.  Many companies now write boat insurance similar to car insurance with coverage for uninsured boaters, towing, and emergency services.  Boat insurance can be what you want out of it.

 

Have a boat or know someone who does?  We would be happy to help with a boat insurance quote and/or asses boat insurance needs.  We encourage you to come to the Pittsburgh Boat Show and discuss your boat or any other insurance concerns you have.    

Welcome to 2018!

It is a brand new year.  A new year brings excitement and reflection.  Many people make New Year's Resolutions and set goals of things they want to accomplish throughout the year.  The New Year can be a good time of year to self audit yourself and your household.  This can apply to your insurance.  You could start with the biggest aspect of your insurance and evaluate your coverage.  Did anything change in the past year that would make you have an increased need for insurance?  Did you have a child, move into a new house, get engaged or buy a new car?  These life changes along with many others can change your insurance needs.  Another helpful thing you can do for the New Year is to complete an inventory of your personal property.  If you were to have a catastrophic loss would you know all of the things you lost?  Doing an inventory is a great way to remember what you have, just remember to store the list in a fire proof container or store it off the premise.  Taking precautions to avoid a catastrophic accident is something you can look at in the New Year.  Is your smoke detector working properly?  Are all of your electrical and plumbing fixtures working properly or are they in need of repair?  How is your roof holding up in the snow and cold?  All of these checks can help you possibly avoid a catastrophic accident.   

You can also look at your auto in the New Year as well.  Again one thing you can do is evaluate your coverage.  While evaluating your coverage, ask yourself is my car old enough that it is no longer worth keeping comprehensive and collision coverage on it?  Is full tort or limited tort right for me?  Do I need to call my agent for an explanation of coverage?  A second car related thing you can look at is whether you car battery is in good working order.  Colder temperatures can kill older batteries.  Checking the tread life of your tires can help you avoid an accident.  

These are a few tips to help 2018 be a safe year for you.  Follow us on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well for more tips on insurance and safety as well as updates on the agency and staff.  You can click on the icons on the top right hand side of the page to go to each social media site.

Happy New Year

We hope that everyone has a safe and happy New Years.  In 2018 we will continue to be here for you in an increased capacity.  Emails from the agency, renewal review calls, and postings on our social media sites will help keep you informed and up to date on your insurance policies, the on goings of the agency and insurance related topics.  If you are not on our current email list feel free to send us a message and get added to our list.  2018 will also see the continuation of our referral program where we give a gift card every quarter to a winner drawn from our referral pool.  Our goal for 2018 is for more interaction with our clients, feel free to review us or leave us a message on one of our social media sites.  The links to those sites are at the top right hand side of the screen.  We would again like to thank all of you for a great 2017 and look forward to an even better 2018.

Happy Holidays

Insurance Consultants of Pittsburgh would like to wish You and Your Family a Happy Holidays.  We would like to thank everyone for a great year in 2017, and we are excited to be here for you as your agent in 2018.  As a reminder we will be closed on December 25th so that our employees can spend time with their families.  

What if a fired employee sues me for wrongful termination?

Are you a small business with employees?  If so you have had to hire an employee and possibly fire an employee.  What if that hiring or firing went bad?  What if someone who didn’t get the job felt like you discriminated against him or her or you fired an employee that felt wronged and that person sued you?  While this can be a large corporation issue, a lot of times this issue is a small business issue.  This can be a small business issue because small businesses usually do not have the time, budget, or legal advice to formulate an employee handbook or have a large HR department.  Not having the correct procedures for hiring, disciplining, and firing can open you up to a lawsuit from a disgruntled former employee. 

 

Employment Practices Liability coverage can help protect you from the above situations.  Employment Practices Liability or EPLI is coverage to protect you from claims that employees make against you in regards to discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment and other employment related issues including failure to promote.  EPLI coverage can be written as a stand-alone policy in some cases or added as an endorsement to a Business Owners Policy, Commercial Package, or General Liability policy.  EPLI coverage is typically written on a claim made basis.  This means the claim would have to happen during the coverage period, because of this tail coverage is recommended.  Tail coverage extends coverage beyond the end of the policy period. 

 

EPLI coverage is just one of the coverages that are becoming more and more necessary in our ever changing world.  If you are interested in EPLI coverage or seeing what other coverages could be beneficial to your small business feel free to reach out to us via the phone at 412-344-2800 or via the contact page on this website.  You can also contact us via any of our social media sites-Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google+.  Stop by and tell us if this post was helpful and ask us any questions you have.

Where you can find us on social media.

We would like to connect with our clients, friends, family and others via our social media.  We think it is important to keep you up to date on the happenings of the agency as well as with articles and information that will keep you safe and sound.  This is your invitation to connect with us on all of our forms of social media.  We look forward to connecting, informing, and hopefully having positive dialogue with all of you. 

On twitter we are at: @InsrnceConPitt

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ICPitt/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/b/116078129427799936219/+IcpittPA

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/insuranceconsultantsofpitts/

Follow us, stop by and leave us a message, and/or give us a review.  We appreciate the interaction and we appreciate you as our clients. 

 

UberEats

Do you  or someone you know drive for UberEats?  We have an insurance solution for those drivers.  In an early blog post we asked if your side hustle could hurt you, this could be one of those times.  Some companies will deny claims made while driving for UberEats so you want to make sure that you have the correct coverage.  Contact us to see what coverage you need for UberEats.

How you can avoid a holiday disaster.

The holidays can be a great time spent with family and friends.  Those good times can turn to disaster quickly.  A theft or a house fire can quickly damper your holiday season and mood.  Below are some links to help you stay safe during this holiday season. 

 

Looking for overall safety?

 

http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/news-and-resources-holiday-safety.aspx

 

Are you traveling for the holiday?

 

http://exchange.aaa.com/safety/driving-advice/holiday-road-trip-travel-tips/#.Wh246_4m6mQ

 

Having packages delivered to your house?

 

https://www.travelers.com/resources/identity-theft/protection-from-package-theft-and-id-fraud.aspx

 

Are you getting a real tree?

 

https://www.christmastreeassociation.org/category/christmas-tree-safety/

 

Fire safety and more.

 

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/holiday.html

Do you have the right contractors insurance?

What you could need on your contractors insurance.

Running a business is hard.  You have to worry about bidding jobs, payroll, and obtaining new clients.  Worrying about your insurance coverage is usually not at the top of the list of priorities.  What do you need from you insurance though?  There are many options available to you for insurance as a contractor.  One of the main coverages that a contractor needs is general liability coverage.  General Liability coverage is there to cover bodily injury and property damage that you are liable for.  One important thing to keep in mind though is that in most cases general liability coverage will not cover faulty craftsmanship.  This coverage is for things like dropping a tool on the floor or causing a slip and fall.  Another coverage closely related to general liability is voluntary property damage coverage.  This coverage provides insurance for unintentional damage to property of others caused by the insured while property is in the care, custody, and control of the insured.  This coverage is typically not in the standard insurance policy and must be added by endorsement.  This coverage is very important for contractors and is something that a contractor should have. 

 

Another issue for contractors, what would you do if you were to lose all your tools?  How much would it cost you to replace them?  An inland marine policy can help put you whole again.  An inland marine policy is a policy that covers your tools and equipment away from the shop.  This policy is written on an actual cash value form so it is important to review it every year.  Another issue to look for is whether your inland marine policy, if you do have one, is a blanket or a schedule.  A blanket form typically carriers a per piece limit, that limit is typically 1000 or 2000 dollars per tool.  This could leave you upside down in the event of a claim.  Also of note is that blankets typically exclude mobile equipment like mini excavators. 

 

Finally have you ever had to sit on a job site because you were waiting on a certificate or the correct language on a certificate?  When dealing with commercial insurance it’s important to make sure your company has the endorsements you need on your policy or has the ability to add them.  Working with an agent who writes commercial insurance regularly can help insure that you have all the additional insured and waiver of subrogation forms that you need to bid on jobs and get paid on those jobs.  We would be happy to help review and quote your commercial insurance for you.  Let us be the experts that you can count on.

How can we help you?

Did you know that we can be your one stop shop for all your insurance needs?  We offer auto, home, life, business, and health insurance.  In some cases you can bundle your life, home, and auto together to take advantage of maximum discounts, when it makes sense for you.  As an independent agency we can work with you to determine your needs and match you with the best carrier for you.  Our yearly review process allows us discuss changes in your life that can affect your insurance needs.  Contact us on the buttons below for a consultation on how we can help you.  In the coming weeks we will highlight some of the policies that we can help you with.  Check back here to see what we can help you with. 

Should all my insurance be with one carrier?

If you watch TV for any amount of time you will see a commercial talking about bundling your insurance, or combining your insurance.  This is a very good practice with many advantages.  The main advantage is the multi-policy discount that you receive.  This discount in some cases can be a large discount and save you a lot of money.  Another advantage is ease of billing.  If you have all your insurance with one company you may be able to receive one bill in some circumstances.  This can save you the frustration of missing a payment due to thinking you already paid that bill.  One bill means no more thinking that you paid your auto insurance when you paid your home insurance.  A third advantage is one call for all your needs.  Having all your insurance with one carrier means that you only need to make one call and you can take care of your home and auto needs (or life and business).  The agent or customer service rep can easily pull up your information and give you the payment or coverage information you need for all policies.  Finally you can develop a good relationship with the agent and the customer service reps.  By having all lines of business with one carrier and making one call for all your needs you get a chance to have a comfortability with the people helping you.  Calling with a problem becomes easier because you are calling someone you know and trust. 

 

Are there circumstances’ where having different insurance companies is beneficial?  Yes, this can happen if there is a qualifying issue or a coverage issue.  Not every person qualifies for every insurance company based on driving record.  This could lead to a situation where it is more cost effective for you to split up your carriers.  Another time when it could be beneficial to have two different carriers is for coverages.  Carrier A might offer coverages that Carrier B does not on homeowners insurance.  When you look at the difference in cost for the multi-policy discount you might decide to pay a little more to obtain certain coverages.  You could say to yourself that you want the ability to call only one place and talk to the same people, how you can do this if you have two different carriers.  We can help you with that.  With an independent agent, you can have one agency look out for you.  The agency takes the guess work out of looking for the best fit between price and coverage.  Give us a call we would be happy to help you out, or use the email button to send us an email.    

Halloween Driving Tips

Halloween is coming soon.  Kids will be excited and running through your neighborhood.  How can you make sure that you are safe so that you do not hurt trick or treaters while driving in a vehicle?  One way is to slow down.  For one night you might have to extend your commute by a few minutes.  Driving at a slower speed increases your chance to see trick or treaters running in front of you and if you do have an accident the odds of it being serious lessen.  Kids are excited about the night and running from house to house sometimes without regard to cross walks and in some cases without paying attention.  Another area to be careful around is parked cars.  Parked cars can present a couple of different issues.  One it could be someone getting dropped off and two, kids could run out from behind one with no warning.   Also be careful when backing out of your driveway as the same issues apply.  Be sure to use hazard lights and turn signals as well to communicate with pedestrians as well as other drivers.  If you are dropping off kids make sure you check your mirrors so that you can make sure no cars are coming.  Following these tips will help everyone have a safe and happy Halloween.

Did you know that we are on social media?

Did you know that we are on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.  The links on this page will take you directly to those sites.  On those sites we update regularly with tips on insurance and keep you in touch with what we are doing in the agency.  Currently we are promoting our involvement with the upcoming Vision Walk, our referral program, and our client review process.  Follow us on those sites and come back to this blog for more information about us and insurance.

Could your side hustle hurt you?

Many people right now have a side hustle.  Side hustle as defined by Merriam-Webster is “work performed for income supplementary to one’s primary job”.  Side hustles can be a great way to earn extra income to do the things you want to do in life.  The downside could be that a majority of people do not think about insurance when they start a side hustle.  Starting a side hustle could mean that you need to change your auto coverage or start a commercial insurance policy.  One of the largest side hustles is driving for a ride sharing service. 

 

Does your personal auto policy cover you while you drive for a ride sharing service?  Many companies exclude livery service on their policies.  Livery service is using an auto to transport passengers for a fee.  This is why taxi services have their own commercial policies.  Insurance companies though currently are unsure how to treat ride sharing.  Currently some companies exclude ride sharing.  There are some companies however that will cover ride sharing services under a business use endorsement.  The best thing to do is check with your company to see if ride sharing is covered.  We would also be happy to help you look into what you need when driving for a ride sharing service. 

 

What if your side hustle isn’t driving for a ride sharing service?  Are you in the clear?  You still would have a need to talk to an agent and evaluate your risk.  If you go to other people’s homes or business you would still have a need for insurance coverage.  You could be liable for a slip in fall or damage to someone else’s property.  In the case of someone coming to your home, there could be exclusions in your homeowner’s policy that would deny any claims.  Some homeowner’s policies will allow you to make an endorsement to cover a home base business.

 

Finally, does your side hustle find you providing services for someone or giving them advice or consultation?  This side hustle could require you to have professional liability coverage.  This would be something that you would not be able to endorse on a homeowner’s policy.  If personal training is your side hustle this would be the coverage you would need.   

 

Side hustles are a great way to make extra money but there are risks involved.  This post just touches on some of the issues with insurance.  A complete review of your current insurance and your side hustle would be the best way to protect yourself and your future.  Use our expertise and experience to help you decide what coverages would be best for you.