Are You Interested In Reducing Your Business Risks?

There is no question that operating a business comes with certain risks. But there are also many benefits. The range of business threats is evolving rapidly but your organization can thrive and gain a competitive advantage if you know how to manage your risk. Here are a few simple ways to manage risk:

Follow insurance company loss control recommendations. These are designed to reduce the probability of a loss and to reduce the severity if a loss occurs.

Develop an employee handbook. Having a set of procedures involving roles and responsibilities will help reduce employment issues in the long term.

Evaluate your facilities. Unused equipment, obsolete security systems and lack of attention to risks on the site present significant potential for loss.  Insurance companies encourage all business owners to maintain clean and safe premises for the health and safety of employees, vendors and customers.

Make safety a priority. Having a safety program can not only reduce your costs but will improve employee productivity.

Train your staff. Employees perform better if they have an understanding of what their roles and responsibilities are. Make safety part of every job description.

Keep employees healthy. A local company, for example, has instituted a comprehensive wellness program that includes disease management for afflictions such as asthma and diabetes, as well as offering flu shots, cancer screenings, smoking-cessation sessions and a round-the-clock phone line staffed by nurses. The company found that for every dollar it invested, it saved $4.23.

If your business changes, your insurance should too.  Meet annually with us to determine whether your business has changed in significant ways that require modifying or adding coverage.

Raise your deductible. Raising the deductible on your insurance usually lowers your premiums. Even if you end up having to pay the deductible, it’s likely to be less than the amount you save.

 

How Best To Insure Your Home

How Best To Insure Your Home

Many people look to save a few dollars on their home insurance premium by insuring their home for less than its replacement value. While this may save a few dollars now, it will cost you thousands later. Your homeowner’s insurance policy, if it is written correctly, can repair and or replace your current home with “new” like kind and quality materials. Amy Bach, executive director of the consumer advocacy group United Policyholders, says one 2019 study found that two-thirds of U.S. homes are underinsured. Why? For one thing, many homeowners buy only enough insurance to cover the amount of their mortgage. But the mortgage may be, at most, 80 or 90 percent of the value of the house, depending on the original down payment (less, if the home has appreciated in value).

Key Terms

Market Value is the amount you might sell your home for based on real-estate conditions in your area.

Appraised Value is the term that describes what the local government uses to determine your property taxes.

Replacement Value is the amount it would cost to rebuild your home with like kind and quality. The replacement cost, however, is based on the total cost of labor, activities, and materials to put the structure back to the way it was before the damage. This would include costs related to clearing and cleaning up the damage debris -activities that precede the actual build-out of the home.

Replacement Cost Considerations

There are a number of factors that go into determining your home’s replacement value, including:

Type of construction quality

Materials used in the construction

Size of your home

Location

Your lot configuration, (hillside or flat)

Are there any unique materials, like imported stone, marble, etc.?

The overall quality of construction—is your home average construction or high-end?

The average cost per square foot for new construction in your area.

We always recommend you insure your home to the full replacement values and have an inflation cost factor added annually.

 

The Best Ways To Insure Your Recreational Toys

Do you need insurance for your boat, RV, motorcycle, or ATV?

Regardless of whether you are relaxing on your boat at the lake, traveling through the Rocky Mountains, camping with friends and family, or enjoying the open road on the bike of your dreams; you need to take the proper steps to protect what you have worked so hard to enjoy.

All these activities need personal insurance to protect you against damage and other claims. Generally, we have found that we can get better coverage and pricing when we use our specialty carriers.  For example, watercraft insurance has pollution coverage for fuel spills, coverage for injured water-skiers, and on-water towing coverage that homeowner’s insurance won’t provide.

RV Insurance

RV insurance rates differ from company to company, so it really pays to have us shop your insurance. Some markets offer better rates for trucks, RV’s, and campers, while others can offer better rates for motorcycles. To properly insure your RV, you may need liability, collision, comprehensive, uninsured motorist, medical payment, and towing coverage.

Motorcycle Insurance

All motorcycles on the road are required by law to have motorcycle insurance. Motorcycle insurance protects a motorcycle and its owner in the event of a loss. You may need to consider special coverage.  Custom parts and equipment (ACPE)/Accessory coverage can be purchased for motorcycles less than 25 years old. You may spend thousands of dollars customizing your bike and that is why you need custom motorcycle insurance.

Boat/Watercraft Insurance

Your boat will need boat insurance for liability and damage to the hull and personal property. Boat insurance can include physical damage coverage, medical payments, liability, and trailer coverage.

ATV Insurance

ATV insurance is similar to motorcycle insurance. We can combine motorcycle coverage and ATV insurance into one policy for multi-vehicle discounts. We offer additional ATV coverage for damage to custom equipment that you’ve added to your ATV.

Why Work With Our Insurance Agency?

We know and understand your risks

We are a full service independent insurance agency

Our goal is to provide the best possible combination, of coverage, price and service

Is Your Personal Insurance Impacted by COVID-19?

We hope you are safe and healthy. We are living in different times and having the right kind of insurance is more important than ever.

As our country continues to manage through the COVID-19 crises, we thought it might be useful to take some time to remind you of the importance of your personal insurance during this time.  The coronavirus pandemic won’t affect your auto or homeowner’s insurance too much, but there are a few coverages that could be impacted because of the temporary lifestyle change.

Do not cancel your auto insurance just because you are temporarily not driving.  Auto insurance is required by law.  If you are looking for ways to save money on your auto insurance, give us a call.

If you are working remotely via computer, there should be no issues with your homeowners or renter’s insurance.  However, this is true as long as there are no customers coming to your home.  If you are running a business from your home, you will need business insurance.  We are happy to help you with this.

If you have a claim, we are open, as are the insurers.  Give us a call, and we will be ready to help you. Your policy has toll-free claim numbers to help you get the process going.

Many insurance companies are offering relaxed payment terms.  We suggest you contact them directly if you feel you may miss a payment. Of course, you can always contact our office to assist you.

Be aware of credit card and cyber scams. Unfortunately, criminals have ramped up their efforts during this crisis.  The fraud ranges from false claims of cures and treatments for the coronavirus to fake charities attempting to soliciting money to help those suffering.

As we all have so much time at home, now is a good time to complete a home inventory of your personal property.  Creating and updating an inventory of your personal possessions is one of the best ways to make the most of your homeowners or renters insurance, and it makes filing a claim easier and more efficient.  If your home is damaged or totally lost due to a fire or other event, having a home inventory will help you recover all your personal property with the least amount of time and stress.

Have You Just Started A New Business?

Business Insurance

Startup businesses are exposed to a wide variety of issues including business insurance, risks, and concerns. There are many different decisions that, as a new business owner, you need to make, and selecting the right commercial insurance is one of them.

The first thing you need to do is hire the right agent to help you through the process of obtaining the right kind of commercial insurance. We recommend you choose an independent agent to help you. Independent agents have access to many different markets and can provide the right combination of commercial insurance products and services.

The purchase of business insurance is an essential investment for business owners. Insurance policies protect the business from the financial consequences of accidents and mishaps that could erode profitability and threaten continuity of the operation.

Property- Damage or loss of buildings and equipment

Liability- Injury or claims from customers or other third parties

Workers’ Compensation- Injury to employees as outlined by state statutes

Automobile- Direct damage to your vehicles and liability for the operation of your vehicles

Insurance for business operations is complex, and when considering the purchase of insurance it’s vital to take into account all of the risks that face a business. It is also important to remember that insurance needs change over time as a business grows or diversifies its operations.

Commercial insurance is one of the most important products a new business needs. Our agency can help you review your risks and guide you through the process of securing the right combination of coverage and price.

The Coronavirus Will Have An Impact The United States

The Coronavirus Will Have An Impact The United States

The Centers for Disease Control recently stated that the Coronavirus will have an impact in the United States. People who contracted the Wuhan virus have reported symptoms that include fever, chills, headaches, difficulty breathing, and a sore throat.  Now is a good time to start thinking about how you might protect yourself and your family from contracting this virus.

The World Health Organization and the CDC recommend that you take the usual precautions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses including:

Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth if your hands are not clean.

Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.

Clean surfaces you often touch.

Stay home from work, school, and public areas if you are sick.

Check with your doctor if you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, and tell your doctor about any recent travels.

Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat or animal organs.

If you are visiting live markets in areas that have recently had new coronavirus cases, avoid contact with live animals and surfaces they may have touched.

Good Reasons To Call Your Insurance Agent

Home and Auto Insurance Update

Let’s face it, you buy home and auto insurance to protect you when and or if an accident happens. And when you have an accident, you want your personal insurance to respond.  If it has been a while since you updated your personal insurance coverage, you may want to call us today.

When to Call Your Agent

When you buy or sell a car

If you started a home based business

If you are thinking about putting in a pool

When you purchased any high end jewelry, guns or other items

If your home replacement value has gone up

Did you get a company car?

If you have remolded any part of your home

When you install a security system in your home

If you get married or divorced

If your commute distance has changed

When your children go away to college

Having the right auto coverage is not as easy as it sounds, and choosing the wrong coverages and limits could lead to financial disaster.  Our team is prepared to help you find the right combination of coverage, price and service.

How To Burglar-Proof Your Home

How To Burglar-Proof Your Home

According to the US Department of Justice, one American home is burglarized every eight seconds.  The greatest weapons against burglary are light, time, and noise. It is a lot harder for a burglar to break into a home that has a well-lit yard, and that is difficult or noisy to enter.

Your homeowners or renter’s insurance can protect you from all kinds of losses, including theft or burglary. Call our office today to get a no-obligation review of all your personal insurance.

Here are some steps you can take to burglarproof your home and safeguard your belongings:

Secure All Doors and Windows Whenever You Leave Your Home.  Sounds simple, but failing to lock all doors and windows when leaving home, is one of the most common mistakes leading to home robberies.

Leave a Light on in One or Two Rooms When You Leave Your House at Night. This will give your home the appearance of being occupied when you are away.

When on Vacation, Rely on a Trusted Friend. Tell them where you will be and how to reach you.  Ask them to pick up your mail, newspapers, handbills, litter, packages, or anything else that would make it appear that you are not home.

Leave a Radio Playing on a Talk or News Station. This will make it sound like someone is home.

Never Open Your Door to a Stranger. Home invasions are becoming more commonplace. Sounds simple, but too many people will allow strangers into their homes posing as power company representatives, or other utility company workers.  Ask for identification, and if you are still in doubt, call the company for verification before letting anyone inside.  Keep your door closed and locked unless you know who is on the other side of it.

Always Keep Your Shades and Drapes Drawn at Night. A lighted house with open drapes is like a fishbowl at night, exposing its contents to every passerby.

Keep Your Home Well Lit. Mount exterior lights out of reach, in your yard and on your home.

Use Deadbolts.  Discourage burglars by making it time-consuming to break into your home. Simple security devices such as deadbolts, window grates, and alarm systems will usually scare away any burglar.

Install an Alarm System. Noise is the number one deterrent for burglars. The most effective ones are the systems that will ring at an outside service, who will then contact the police.

 

Texas Business Insurance

Business Insurance

According to the latest surveys by major insurers, small to medium sized businesses have a number of critical gaps in their insurance coverage. The reasons for gaps vary; not fully understanding how certain coverage applies to their business, buying insurance from a captive agent who can’t provide the coverage, thinking their commercial coverage provides the coverage, and finally believing they don’t have the risk.

Business Insurance For Your Organization 

Here are the coverage’s you should consider to make sure you are adequately protected.

Pollution Liability- Protects against the liability that comes with polluting the       environment including restoration and cleanup, liability for injuries and deaths caused by pollution.

Cyber Liability- Cyber liability is the risk posed by conducting business over the Internet, over other networks or using electronic storage technology. It covers third party losses from hackers, theft, and loss of information including sensitive client or individual personal information.

Directors & Officers Liability– Covers costs, damages, and defense protection to directors and officers of a company resulting from law suits and judgments arising out of poor management decisions, employee dismissals, shareholder grievances, and other such acts committed in good faith.

Employment Liability– Employment Liability provides protection for an employer against claims made by employees, former employees, or potential employees. It can cover discrimination (age, sex, race, disability, etc.), wrongful termination of employment, sexual harassment, and other employment-related allegations.

Professional Liability– Insurance that is designed to cover third party claims, damages and claims arising out of providing professional advice.  Many firms create legal obligations arising out of a professional’s errors, negligent acts, or omissions during the course of providing services to clients.

We are ready to help you better understand your risks. Please call our office today.

 

 

Holiday Stress Reduction

Buy Decorations In The Off-Season

Buy Christmas decorations year-round on the Internet. And in the off-season, you can get them at reduced prices. Buy your decorations all year, and when the Christmas season arrives, you’ll be ready.

Wrap Sooner Not Later

As soon as Christmas wrapping paper is placed on the shelves, start selecting and buying. By this time, you should have a shelf full of presents to wrap. Wrap at your leisure; a few at a time or all at once. Just enjoy it. You have time to make the presents look outstanding. Give them that added decorative touch that will make the recipient feel special and give you the opportunity to be creative.

Record What You Wrap

You have two lists to cross-reference. Check off or make changes as necessary. If you didn’t make a list, you should make one now. Don’t make a mistake I made one year. I got all my wrapping done early, and by the time Christmas came, I couldn’t remember what I was giving everyone or exactly what it looked like. I remember wishing I had a digital camera. I could have taken pictures of the presents before wrapping them. I don’t have to worry about that now. I have a list and a digital camera.

Collect Recipes

Don’t wait until you have to prepare a dish for a party to decide what you want to make. Start collecting recipes from magazines and friends. But don’t stop there. You have plenty of time to try them out. Put stars beside the ones you especially like and will be proud to serve. When the time comes, it will be fast and easy to make choices.

Christmas can be a pleasure, even before the season begins. Enjoy your window-shopping, whether it’s in the stores or on the Internet. But be ready to buy when you see something you like. Make your choices wisely and keep up with your lists. Following this plan will be a great stress reliever come Christmas time. Have fun, and keep on enjoying Christmas.