Most fires are devastating. Besides the emotional impact, the physical damage to your home can be significant. If you lost your home to fire, do you have adequate insurance to replace your home and its contents? Remember, inflation rates on building materials and construction costs rarely track with real estate values. As a result, rebuilding a home can often cost significantly more than expected.
Make sure your homeowners policy contains replacement cost coverage with no cap. This protects you if the cost to reconstruct your home is higher than your current limit of coverage. And, be sure that your insurance includes rebuilding your home to code. Very often, local ordinances and building codes change over time, which may require additional costs.
When your home suffers damage due to an unexpected event, your personal property is also at risk. Furniture, appliances, clothing, electronics, and other personal items can also be damaged or destroyed.
Your homeowners insurance policy typically covers personal property, including the contents of your home and other personal items owned by you or family members who live with you. Make sure your homeowners policy includes replacement cost coverage for personal property so that you always receive the full cost to replace whatever item is damaged.
When there is substantial damage to your home due to unexpected events such as lightning, fire, or a storm, you may not be able to live in your home until it can be repaired or rebuilt–potentially incurring additional living expenses for lodging, food, and other daily needs.
Ensure that your homeowners insurance policy provides additional living expense or loss of use coverage to compensate you for the additional costs you incur for reasonable housing and living expenses if a covered event makes your house temporarily uninhabitable while it's being repaired or rebuilt.
Typically, there is a sublimit on homeowner insurance policies for valuable possessions, such as jewelry, furs, fine arts, and other collectibles.
Obtain a personal floater or schedule your valuable possessions to ensure you’ll have the money to replace them.
If a guest is injured while on your property, even when it’s due to a friendly game of baseball, you may be required to pay any medical expenses associated with their injury.
Your homeowners policy should include medical expenses coverage to take care of injuries and treatment - generally not of a serious nature. In the event a person is injured on your property and requires medical attention, you would be able to submit the injury-related medical expenses to your insurance carrier. Medical expenses are usually paid without a liability claim being filed against you.
In the unfortunate event that someone slips and falls while on your property, you and your family may be held liable for any injuries that result.
Your homeowners policy includes personal liability coverage to respond to incidents where injuries or damages occur to a third party where you may be deemed negligent. However, you should consider purchasing a personal umbrella or excess liability policy to provide additional coverage limits to protect your assets in case a lawsuit is brought against you.
The fun that comes with having a trampoline in your backyard can also be accompanied by serious risks, which may not be covered under your standard homeowners insurance policy since coverage varies from state to state and between insurance companies.
You should make sure your homeowners insurance policy covers your trampoline, as many insurance providers refuse to take on trampoline liability and exclude the item from coverage.
Young people are usually very active online. However, using social media and other sites can increase the possibility of them directly or indirectly damaging someone's reputation and exposing you, the parent, to a lawsuit.
Your homeowners insurance policy includes liability coverage for property damage caused by any member in the family, but likely does not cover rumors or statements that damage a reputation. You may need to seek additional coverage to include liability protection that covers personal injury or defamation.
You invite guests over for a pool party and one of your guests dives into the shallow end of the pool and is permanently injured. They hire a lawyer to represent them and after a long legal battle, you and your family are left financially responsible for their injuries. Do you have enough money in savings to cover your legal responsibilities as well as the legal defense costs?
An umbrella or excess liability policy increases your personal liability limits by adding protection over and above your current auto, boat, or homeowners policies-providing real financial value, as well as priceless peace of mind. Excess liability insurance is available either by an endorsement to your homeowners policy or available as separate coverage.
You do not have to live near a body of water to suffer loss due to flooding. With the changing weather patterns and more damaging storms occurring around the globe, flood losses are becoming more common in places that are not normally prone to flood damage. Your homeowners policy does not cover damage from flood. Could your home be at risk?
Purchase a flood insurance policy to protect your home and covered contents from certain types of flood losses as designated by the National Flood Insurance Program. A flood policy is purchased as a separate policy through the federal program (NFIP) or through a servicing carrier known as a write your own carrier.
Owning a secondary home has the potential of increasing your liability exposures.
Be certain that you extend the liability coverage under your homeowners policy to include your secondary home. You should also consider including the secondary home under an excess liability or umbrella policy to provide for additional liability limits.
Collector or classic vehicles often have significant value and require special documentation and unique insurance coverage to ensure they are adequately protected. Even if stored on your property, they are typically not covered under your homeowners insurance.
Insure your collector cars with a specialized insurance company that focuses on and understands the unique nature of collector or classic cars and other vehicles.
If you are a connoisseur of wine, you know that it is susceptible to outside environmental exposures that can ruin it. If the collection is damaged, coverage from your homeowners policy is a possible recourse. However, the damage is only insurable if it is a covered cause of loss as outlined in your homeowners policy. A deductible would also apply.
If you have a sizable wine collection, you may want to consider scheduling the collection on your homeowners policy. Doing so expands your coverage and eliminates the deductible in case of a loss. You can also consider unique coverages for wine, such as for spoilage.
Whether entering from outside your home from a flood or from within your home’s plumbing system, water damage is the most common cause of loss to a home. Many policies exclude losses caused by backup of sewers and drains, and all unendorsed homeowner policies exclude damage caused by a flood.
Careful review is essential to protect your home and belongings from all sources of water damage. We recommend coverage solutions from insurance companies that include backup of sewers and drains. Also, identify cost efficient solutions to address the risk of flood damage in the first place.
Surprisingly, standard auto insurance does not cover personal property or contents stolen from your car.
Most homeowners policies offer an option to include off-premises theft coverage as an endorsement, which covers you for theft of your personal property away from your residence.
As a business owner, you've worked hard to build a solid business. But what happens when the unexpected happens? Are you covered?
A business owners policy is uniquely designed to protect your most important assets, including your business, its continuation, your employees, and your way of life. Discuss the details of this coverage with your agent and ensure that you're protected.
If you perform services for others, you are at risk of not doing the work correctly (errors) or not doing it at all (omissions). Lawsuits can arise claiming the error or omission harmed your client and caused them a financial loss.
Errors and omissions liability insurance protects any business that gives advice, makes educated recommendations, designs solutions, or represents the needs of others. Ensure you have this important coverage if you perform services for clients.
Directors and officers (such as board members) are exposed to increased risk factors and are held accountable for acts that claim negligence in the performance of their duties. Any resulting lawsuits are typically expensive to defend, resulting in potentially large settlements.
Obtain comprehensive coverage to protect senior individuals of your company. Directors and officers liability insurance provides coverage for the legal costs to defend a covered lawsuit and provides the money necessary for any settlement beyond the defense costs.
What happens when your business faces a large liability loss that exceeds the basic limit of your standard policy?
A commercial umbrella policy provides high limits of insurance, typically between $2,000,000 and $10,000,000. Coverage is extended over your general liability insurance, workers' compensation, business auto, as well as directors and officers liability coverage. It provides a great safety net and helps ensure your business is well protected.
Businesses are susceptible to many risks, such as claims due to bodily injury, property damage, personal injury, and more.
General liability insurance is an absolute necessity for any business. It provides broad coverage when you are deemed responsible and liable, and will also pay to defend any covered lawsuit or action regardless of its merit.
What will you do if one of your trusted employees is found guilty of doing something dishonest?
Crime and fidelity coverage is designed to provide coverage for employee dishonesty, forgery and depository, theft, destruction and disappearance, and more. Discuss the details of this coverage with your agent to learn more.
Could your business cause damage to the environment? If so, are you covered?
Environmental insurance provides protection if an environmental catastrophe occurs.
With technology performing many tasks in today's world, a breakdown can cause a significant financial burden, including the cost to repair the equipment, the interruption of your business, as well as any lost income and extra expenses.
Comprehensive coverage provides protection against equipment mechanical breakdown. Discuss the details of what's covered with your insurance agent.
If one of your employees receives an injury or becomes ill due to a work-related occurrence, you are required by law to have the proper coverage in place.
Workers' compensation protects your employees should a job-related injury or sickness occur during the course of employment. This coverage is required by law, so be sure that you understand your obligations.
An auto accident can cause bodily injury or property damage to others for which you are responsible, potentially putting your business in financial jeopardy.
Business auto insurance provides coverage for vehicles owned or leased by a commercial enterprise and provides coverage for bodily injury, property damage, and other coverages, and includes both comprehensive and collision coverage.
On average, it's estimated that three out of five businesses will be sued by their employees. While there is nothing you can do to prevent someone from filing a lawsuit, there is something you can do to limit the costs of defending a legal claim.
Obtain employment practices liability insurance to protect your business and its directors, officers, and employees from alleged employment-related acts such as wrongful termination, failure to promote, discrimination, and sexual harassment.
The Internet has spun a whole new web of liability exposures. E-commerce, social networking, cloud storage, and other technologies bring great benefits to large and small businesses alike. But with these benefits also come challenges, including protection of privacy, data, and financial information of your customers.
Cyber liability coverage covers unauthorized access to electronic data or software within your network. It also provides coverage for spreading a virus, computer theft, extortion, or any unintentional act, mistake, error, or omission made by an employee. This coverage is quickly becoming more and more important as you embrace technology to help run your businesses.
What would you do if a fire impacted the operation of your business? Or what if a pipe leak caused a system outage or extended downtime? These and other events can destroy your ability to serve clients and bring in revenue, which can have a major long-term impact on the viability of your business.
Business income insurance compensates you for lost income if the business cannot operate as normal due to damage that is covered under your commercial property insurance policy, such as fire or water damage. Business interruption insurance covers the revenue you would have earned, based on your financial records, had the incident not occurred. The policy also covers operating expenses, like electricity, that continue even though business activities have come to a temporary halt.
Your business property is a significant financial investment. What if something happens to it?
Commercial property insurance can help protect the property your business owns or leases, including things like equipment, inventory, furniture, and fixtures. Whether you own your building or lease your workspace, commercial property insurance can be purchased separately or can be combined with other necessary coverage to protect your business’ physical assets.
One of the main factors in attracting and retaining good employees is the benefit program offered by employers. This typically starts with your group health insurance plan.
Regardless of the company’s financials, there are ways to make health insurance available to your employees and their dependents. Offering health insurance doesn’t have to break the bank. There are many solutions available to small, mid-size, and large employers.
When employees are worried about their financial situation, they may not be as productive. Many individuals today do not have life insurance or adequate savings to cover final expenses, which places additional stress on employees and/or their families when the need arises.
A group life insurance plan can put your employees’ minds at ease, knowing their family will have resources available when they need them. Policies can also include a dependent benefit to help the employee pay for expenses if their dependent passes. Another solution is to offer a voluntary life benefit whereby the employee pays a lower premium through payroll deduction than they would if they found coverage on their own. Group life insurance is also tax deductible.
Many employers are faced with offering lower wages than their competitors and find it difficult to find and retain qualified workers.
Offering a short-term and/or a long-term disability program can provide prospective and current workers with another form of financial stability. An employee may be offered a higher wage elsewhere, but are they offered protection if that paycheck stops due to pregnancy, illness, or other disability? How will they pay the mortgage or other bills? Employers offering a disability plan can provide peace of mind to their employees and gain an advantage over those that don’t.
Failure to have regular dental checkups can lead to more serious problems than a toothache.
Offering dental coverage to your employees can help encourage them to see a dentist on a regular basis. Gum disease has been linked to heart disease as well as diabetes. Catching these issues early not only helps your employees’ health, it may help reduce your long-term health insurance costs before a big claim hits!
Similar to dental coverage, if your employees are not getting regular eye exams, they may have underlying medical conditions such as heart disease or diabetes that can surface later at a greater expense to your medical plan.
Offering vision care coverage is a very affordable component to offering health benefits. It’s an inexpensive portion of the benefit package with a high value of return and can help offset the impact of increased medical costs, becoming a cost-effective, early intervention tool.
Not being able to meet an employee’s individual needs can pose a threat to worker retention and attracting new talent, both of which can be costly to your bottom line.
Offering voluntary coverage lets your employees choose benefits that are important to them. It’s a cost-effective way to provide a variety of benefits at little or no impact to your monthly premiums. Examples of voluntary coverage include:
- Critical illness, hospital indemnity, and cancer coverage.
- Life, dependent life, short-term, and long-term disability coverage.
- Dental care.
- Vision care.
Compliance audits are increasing and Department of Labor fines can be costly. Do you have all of the documents and paperwork at your fingertips should you receive an audit letter?
A good benefits broker will educate you on the compliance pieces so that you are prepared for that dreaded day. A wrap document covers most of what is required and the remaining forms should be readily accessible with proof of distribution to employees and/or eligible participants.