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.

Upcoming Events

We find it important to be active in our community.  On October 15th we will be taking part in the Vision Walk with the Foundation Fighting Blindness.  We will be there as a sponsor as well as handing out water to the participants.  The walk starts at 10:30 am at The Great Lawn at Heinz Field.  Registration starts at 9:30 am.  There is still time to make a donation or participate in the walk.  A link below will take you to the site for more information.  We look forward to helping with the walk and seeing you out there. 

http://www.fightblindness.org/site/TR/VISIONWALK/VisionWalktr?sid=1400&type=fr_informational&pg=informational&fr_id=5858

 

 

 

Hurricane Season and Water Issues

Back to back (and possibly to back) catastrophic hurricanes can be eye opening to everyone, not just the people directly involved.  High winds and damaging water can make their way up the coast and affect people in this area.  Do you know what is covered on your homeowner’s policy and what is not covered?  The past week we have seen a lot of flooding.  Flood is something that you would need a separate policy for.  Flood insurance is written through FEMA.  Flood insurance is required in some areas, however for most of us it’s an option.  Many people say that they do not need flood insurance, but a devastating flood can make it too late to purchase flood insurance.  Talk with one of our agents about your needs for flood insurance.

 

Sewer and drain back up is another topic that could arise not necessarily from a storm but possible from a clog, tree roots, or a collapsed line.  Sewer and drain back up could be excluded on your policy; however, it could be included as well.  Sewer and drain back up coverage would not cover the damage to the pipes and the replacement of those pipes but the damages caused by the back-up of the sewer and drain. 

 

What about the damage to the pipes?  Coverage for damage and replacement of underground service pipes is usually provided from the utility company.  This is starting to change however, and some companies provide this coverage for a very cost effective premium.  Replacing underground service lines can be a very costly expense to pay out of pocket.

 

What coverage gaps do you have in your homeowner’s coverage?  Feel free to contact us and let us discuss with you the pluses and minuses of your coverage. 

Thank you for Thirty Years

Thank you for Thirty Years

We want to thank you for a great thirty years.  We also look forward to being your insurance agency for another thirty years.  With thirty years behind us we look forward to the future and many exciting new things.  On this webpage is our new logo which will shortly be integrated over all of our social media platforms.  Also look for our new review system.  Near your policy renewal one of our customer service representatives will be reaching out to you so that we can touch base with you and make sure that you have all the proper discounts and that you have no coverage gaps in your policy.  We look forward to interacting with our customers via Facebook, Twitter, Our Website, and other mediums.  We look for a closer relationship with our clients through these interactions.  Stay tuned to our social media platforms for new content to make navigating the world of insurance easier.  Referral programs will give us a way to give back to our customers that trust us enough to refer us their friends and family.  Thank you for making us your insurance agency for the last thirty years and look forward to new exciting things for us.

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