Getting the Right Car Insurance Coverage

Each auto insurance policy is a collection of policy options bundled together. The size, configuration, and protection for auto insurance policies will vary by the policyholder.

Here’s how auto insurance policies break down, and what that means for you:

Liability Insurance. Liability insurance is the coverage necessary for driving legally in most states. Auto liability insurance will pay to victims in accidents where the insured is at-fault, within limits. The driver at-fault and any passengers in the at-fault vehicle will not be compensated.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance. If hit by a driver without insurance or inadequate insurance for the damages, uninsured/underinsured coverage can compensate for the difference.

Bodily Injury Liability Insurance (BIL). BIL coverage covers the medical expenses for victims of at-fault accidents. BIL inclusions are often listed as pairs, such as “25/50”. The first number in this ratio is the maximum dollar amount per claimant. The second is the maximum amount of liability insurance covered by the policy.

Collision Insurance. Collision insurance covers repairs to the vehicle following a mishap. Collision insurance is optional coverage and can pay for single-vehicle claims as well.

Property Damage Liability Insurance. Oftentimes, property damages are included in a vehicle mishap. Looking at BIL coverage, there may be a third number listed. For example, property damage limits of 25,000 on a 25/50 BIL policy will be included last, listed as 25/50/25.

Comprehensive Auto Insurance. Loss can occur without there being an accident. For vehicles stolen or damaged in a way uncovered by other policy inclusions, comprehensive coverage can cover repairs or replacement.

Personal Injury Protection. Regardless of fault, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance can cover medical expenses for both driver and passengers. Policies may also include compensation for lost wages during recovery.

Auto insurance is more than a protective measure, it’s a legal requirement just about everywhere. For more on the minimum auto insurance requirements for your state, contact a local auto insurance agent. The consequences for uninsured driving can be costly.

The legal minimum is a guide for ensuring drivers on the road are able to fulfill potential responsibilities. In cases where the claim exceeds coverage limits, the burden falls on the driver at-fault. To help avoid paying costs out-of-pocket, ask about increasing insurance coverage limits. As assets may be seized for repair costs, matching insurance coverage limits to total personal asset value is recommended.

Getting the Right Amount of Insurance

There’s more to getting the right amount of insurance. Many people are paying more than necessary for protection. Insurance protection can overlap depending on policy options, employer benefits, and other insurance coverage. Get the best savings by speaking with an agent. A review of insurance protection can help get the best protection while saving money.

Personal means for procuring insurance will affect how much coverage is possible, yet through discounts and bundling options, there may be more options available than at first glance. Deductible amounts vary by person and will affect insurance rates. Selecting the highest-affordable deductible helps deliver the lowest rates. This means paying more in case of a claim, yet oftentimes can be cheaper than paying higher monthly rates.

In FL, HI, KS, MA, MI, MN, NJ, NY, ND, PA, UT, and Puerto Rico, drivers are required to carry N0-Fault Insurance. This insurance pays out regardless of fault and limits litigation options. These policies tend to be pricey and shopping for the best rates can lead to big savings.

Shopping for Car Insurance

With personal coverage limits in mind, it’s time to begin comparing rates and policy options. Auto policies and rates vary depending on driver history, the vehicle, location and more. Speak to an independent insurance agent for help finding the best auto insurance policy match.

Independent insurance agents return quotes for multiple insurance carriers. This places the power to choose in the hands of the buyer. With multiple quotes, it’s simple to compare rates and coverage. An independent agent can help tailor a policy to fit your lifestyle and financial profile. Incredibly more in-depth than an anonymous online quote quotes from independent insurance agents are far more accurate, tailored by someone invested in your policy.

Rather than working directly with a single major carrier, independent insurance agents are free to work for the customer, making carriers compete. Agents working directly for carriers are limited to their policies and rules, severely limiting their means to personalize a policy.

Negotiating for Discounts on Insurance

Ask about insurance discounts. Many insurance discounts are available and can change depending on carrier. Bundling discounts, safety discounts, student discounts and many others are available. An independent agent is your insurance representative. Their goal is your satisfaction. Contact an independent agent for a list of auto insurance quotes today.

Fortify a Financial Plan with Insurance

Comprehensive insurance is the cornerstone of a stable financial plan. Insurance acts as both preventative and planning measures, offering financial stability in case of tragedy. Disability, illness, accidents, and death are all unfortunate possibilities. Insurance can help alleviate costs and offer solutions for overcoming these setbacks. Insurance can also be a great retirement savings tool, invested properly.

Insurance policies are going to differ depending on the carrier, policy, and much more. Policies are as unique as the people protected. Some types of insurance are necessary or mandated by law. Others can offer more for those seeking additional protection. The following is a list of the most common types of insurance included in a policy. Are you adequately insured?

Health Insurance. For some, health insurance may be included along with an employment contract. Others may select private health insurance to cover medical expenses, prescription medication, and other associated costs. Private health insurance tends to have the highest costs for coverage. Carrier, location, and personal characteristics will all affect rates for health insurance.

Disability Insurance. For many people, the chances of becoming disabled outweigh those for death. Disability can happen in an instant and have long-term effects on income and quality of life. Disability insurance offers financial stability in case of disability. Disability insurance is often available through an employer-offered benefits program and can be purchased through a private carrier. For adequate coverage, look for policies offering at least 2/3 income replacement.

Long-Term Care Insurance. A large number of Americans rely on Medicare for long-term care options. While Medicare can offer some relief for long-term care costs, eligibility requirements make it qualifying a challenge. With the future of government assistance in a steady state of flux, obtaining additional long-term care insurance may be beneficial. Rather than exhaust personal retirement savings on nursing home, or in-home care, speak to an agent about long-term care insurance.

Life Insurance. Life insurance can help survivors cope with expenses following death. Depending on the individual or family requirements, life insurance policies can be adjusted to match. A financial advisor can help in calculating adequate coverage based on income and expenses. The right policy can pay expenses, eliminate family debts, and set tuition money away for children or family members. Whole, term, and universal life insurance policies are available depending on preference.

Auto Insurance. A must for driving legally, auto insurance policies range across the board. From policies sufficient to get behind the wheel to comprehensive auto insurance protection, auto insurance will vary by carrier. Driver history, deductible, insurance agency and more will all affect rates and coverage. Following a mishap, bare-bones coverage will leave you twisting in the wind. Obtaining adequate auto insurance can help get you back on the road following an auto mishap. Auto rates can be affordable and many discounts are available.

Homeowners Insurance. Homeowners insurance protects homes and contents from disasters both natural and caused by others. As with auto policies, home policies will vary significantly. The right policy ought to replace contents, repair damages, and shield from liability costs fast following a claim. Location, home size, property characteristics, personal possessions and more will all have bearing on the right level of home insurance protection. For those renting a home to renters, home insurance will be an important part of protecting the investment.

Additional Liability Insurance. It can happen where personal liability exceeds the amount covered in a auto, home, or other insurance policy. Ours is a litigious society; protect assets and wealth with sufficient liability insurance protection. Liability insurance may be more affordable than you think.

For an in-depth assessment regarding personal insurance requirements, speak to a financial professional. Financial professionals can make projections to ensure adequate insurance protection long into the future. The right combination of insurance policies will vary by individual. Polices and protection change depending on carrier, personal details, and much more. For more information speak to your financial professional today.

Managing Occupational Stress

Stress is present in nearly any workplace. Daily challenges, deadlines, overtime and more can create short-term stress. For many, this short-term stress can evolve into harmful, long-term occupational stress. For an increasing number of Americans, long-term occupational stress poses serious risks to their mental, physical, and emotional well being.

Several studies by the American Psychological Association (APA) support this. In a 2012 study on stress, 65% of respondents reported their occupation as a leading cause of stress. A 2013 survey by the same organization found chronic occupational stress affected over a third of those surveyed. In both surveys, respondents reported lacking sufficient personal and professional resources for coping with stress.

For most people suffering from occupational stress, the stress and worry follow them home. Physical symptoms such as nausea, hyperventilating, anxiety and more can affect sleep patterns, diet, and much more. Over time, this can take a heavy toll on the body and immune system. Compounding the effects, many choose to self-medicate with alcohol, cigarettes, overeating or other mechanisms. These can lead to other health complications.

While it may be impossible to avoid workplace stress completely, taking steps to better manage occupational stress is. Learn how to identify and manage stress to reduce the impact of stress, and improve health.

Identifying Occupational Stressors

Occupations vary across the board yet many share similar causes of stress. These can include:

  • Feeling a lack of control in the workplace
  • Insufficient salary or benefits
  • Volatile workplace
  • High amounts of work
  • Excessive overtime
  • Mundane workload
  • Conflicts with management

From the trades to the tech industry and everywhere between, occupational stress affects people of all ages.

Managing Occupational Stress

After spotting the causes of workplace stress, taking steps to manage stress may be easier. Knowing the root cause of stress can help with managing the related symptoms, and can help with removing the cause completely.

  • Keep a journal. Keeping a record of stress-causing situations can help establish patterns. Over two weeks, record stressful experiences in the workplace. Include the persons involved, the scenario, and your own response. Also, include the effect the stress had on the remainder of the day both at work and at home. With a record, it may be possible to find patterns and establish healthy coping mechanisms.
  • Establish healthy coping mechanisms. For many people, the immediate response to stress may be a cigarette, cheeseburger, or a beer after work. The next time stress becomes a bear, try a healthier alternative. Walking, stretching, and practically all physical exercise can help reduce stress. For others, the right coping mechanism may be pursuing a hobby or favorite activity. Getting the mind on something else can help reduce stress and anxiety while keeping the body healthy.
  • Create communications boundaries. This can be one of the most challenging to accomplish. The benefit of smartphones is balanced by an unbroken tether to the workplace. It can be challenging for both employees and employers to keep communication to established working hours. The right balance will depend on the person and profession yet setting schedules for checking email and other correspondence can help alleviate a great deal of occupational stress.
  • Take personal time. Oftentimes, ambition and capability are greatly mismatched. Many experience occupational stress by working too hard, or too much. To help reduce stress and stay physically charged, take personal time. This can be in the form of vacation, a weekend, or simply disconnecting for the evening. A break can perform wonders for energy levels.
  • Speak to a someone. Most supervisors want their employees feeling healthy and motivated. If workplace stress is taking a toll, speak to a supervisor for possible solutions. This can be creating strategies for avoiding or coping with stress, or other resources the company may have access to such as counseling, or an Employee Assistance Program. A good supervisor should appreciate proactive, personal care and be willing to help overcome these challenges.

The first step in overcoming occupational stress is recognizing it. Stress can feel like a large, immovable boulder yet with the right tools, it’s possible to manage and overcome. Check with us often for more on tips for living a healthier life.

Carrying Enough Life Insurance?

The success of a financial plan may rest on selecting the right life insurance policy. The best-laid plans can be shattered by the unexpected. If a spouse passes away, or both parents perish, the financial fallout can be significant. Perhaps due to its nature, life insurance is a topic many attempt to steer clear of when creating a financial plan. Beyond that, most people are optimists experiencing difficulty imaging a life insurance policy becoming necessary. While it may be a challenging topic to approach the alternative can be unsettling.

Each day, people face life-changing circumstances. A recent story about a middle-aged family man (with two children) passing away from cancer gave me the chills. Lacking further information about the family’s financial situation, I had to wonder if there was a financial plan in place. We all want to live to old age, yet there are those facing situations like this all the time.

Chances are, this family was like many others. Planning for the future, raising their family, and working hard to make it all happen. At that age, most imagine death years away, long after retirement and growing old together. That all changed with a diagnosis. Within months, the father had become increasingly ill until passing on, leaving a wife and kids behind. Left without an income, parent, and spouse they are left to pick up the pieces.

There are several scenarios which may come to be depending on life insurance coverage. Either the husband lacked coverage, lacked sufficient coverage, or had adequate life insurance protection.

Lacking coverage. Were the husband to pass away without any life insurance coverage in place, the remaining family members may face dramatic changes. Depending on different factors the family may be forced to relocate, take extra employment, and children may be separated.

Insufficient coverage. There is the possibility the husband had life insurance, yet lacked sufficient coverage to match his family’s needs. This can often occur with employer insurance plans. The family may remain stable, yet dramatic lifestyle changes are likely to follow. Lacking enough income, debt may begin to mount.

Sufficient coverage. With sufficient life insurance coverage, life can return as close to normal as possible, following tragedy. Sufficient coverage will adequately satisfy mortgage obligations, other debts, and will enable children to achieve a college education. While the passing of a loved one is unthinkable to bear, a plan in place for continuity can alleviate at least a portion of the worry.

Comparing these three possible scenarios, it’s simple to see the best alternative. Immediate savings today may lead to long-term woes for surviving family members. The same is true for disability insurance and long-term care insurance. Families rely heavily on incomes and when those are threatened, the results can be tragic. A plan in place can help with facing the loss of a loved one. Call today for more information on life insurance and taking care of your loved ones.

For more information on life insurance policies call today. Life insurance can be utilized as a vehicle for retirement savings as well. Call for more details. Visit often for more ways to preserve wealth and plan for the future.

Get the Most from a Commercial Insurance Policy

Small business owners are constantly implementing innovative ways to increase productivity, revenue, and reviews. With so much energy dedicated to promoting the success of the business, seldom is time spent thinking about the insurance side. Businesses face inherent risk regardless of size, location, and company size. In an instant, random occurrences can damage or destroy a business. A business insurance policy can help entrepreneurs recover, yet differences in coverage, service, and rates leave many confused where to begin. Before sourcing a business insurance policy or switching insurance carriers, get to know these tips for finding the right business insurance policy.

Business Insurance Basics

Small businesses range across the board which means the same insurance policy for one business will likely be a poor match for the next. The right policy for your small business is one crafted to suit the specific needs of your organization. Some types of insurance may be automatically required such as unemployment and workers’ compensation, while others are voluntary. A number of additional options are available to help bolster an insurance policy; here’s a breakdown:

  • Liability Insurance. Business owners assume a great deal of liability, including entrepreneurs operating from the security of their home. Liability insurance can protect from claims resulting from persons injured on the business premises, damage resulting from advertising, medical and legal costs, and more.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance. Companies that operate vehicles require commercial auto insurance. Commercial auto insurance is necessary any time an employee utilizes a vehicle for a commercial purpose. This can include personal, company-owned, rented, leased, or otherwise appropriated vehicles. Cyber insurance must be in place any time an employee is behind the wheel.
  • Cyber Insurance. The latest in commercial insurance, cyber insurance may be a match for your company. Cyber insurance can help protect businesses in case of lost customer data or malicious cyber attack. Attacks in cyberspace can have devastating effects on equipment and may lead to interruptions in operating. Cyber insurance can replace revenue for interruptions caused by cyber activity.
  • Business Interruption Insurance. Business interruption insurance ensures companies can continue to earn following a disruption. Natural disasters, accidents, deliberate actions and more threaten to interrupt revenue. Employee salaries, loans, and more can become daunting without the means to pay them. With business interruption insurance, the insurance company will compensate for lost revenue while the business gets back on its feet.
  • Errors and Omissions Insurance. Entrepreneurs working with details may want to add errors and omissions insurance protection to a commercial policy. For professionals offering services or advice, a small oversight can have big consequences. This insurance helps protect entrepreneurs in case of accidental errors or omissions resulting in damages.

Getting More

A Business Owner Policy (referred to as a BOP) is a means of bundling commercial insurance policy options into a single policy. Other discounts may be available. Speak to an agent about saving with a BOP and other ways to save on commercial insurance.

A commercial insurance agent can help locate gaps in protection to ensure your business is prepared for anything. There are many layers to commercial insurance policies. Speak to an agent for information on comparing policies, quotes, and insurance options. An agent can help uncover more ways to save on insurance and will help your business remain current with coverage and discount opportunities.

The cheapest insurance policy may be attractive in cost, yet lacking in protection. Compare quotes for coverage, service, deductibles and more. Small businesses are in a steady state of evolution. The same policy from last year may be insufficient moving forward. Perform annual reviews of insurance policies to ensure adequate coverage and maximum savings.

For more information on getting the most from a commercial insurance policy, speak to an agent. Agents are ready to help with quotes for rates, answer questions about coverage, and help with other insurance needs. Make sure to visit often for more information on getting the most out of your insurance policy.

Tips for Building More Efficiently this Year

It’s shaping up to be a busy year for building. Already, construction companies and tradespeople are finding ways to stay ahead of the pack. See what others are doing to improve construction and building in 2018.

1. Build Modular

One of the newest trends in construction is the building of modular dwellings, units, and other fabricated parts. Building on one location before delivery allows for greater environmental and waste control. It can also help limit liability by increasing control over access to the construction site, tools, and materials. The tiny home movement, modular mid- and high-rises, and other offsite construction methods are growing in popularity.

2. Embrace Technology

Nearly any aspect of construction can be augmented with a technological device, software, and other advancements in tech. While it’s possible to lean too much on technology, a balance of the right tech can add exponential value to a project. Drones, cloud sharing, GPS tracking and enhanced employee communication are just a few of the many options available. Be sure to follow all applicable local and federal laws utilizing drones and other technology. Design tools, virtual meetups and more can increase productivity utilized correctly. Find the right tools for your team and accomplish more.

3. Attract Talent (and keep it!)

Labor shortages are already apparent; some companies are grappling with more work than skilled labor to complete it with. For others, projects-in-progress have been placed on pause due to immigration enforcement. To stay ahead of the competition, some construction companies are offering better pay and benefits. Others are relying more on temporary labor. Finding help may become a challenge, be prepared to court skilled tradespeople and work diligently to retain them.

4. Go Green

Environmental awareness is growing and companies with a reputation for green policies are more likely to see revenue. Material waste and disposal, resource consumption, and environmental impact can affect company image. Wherever possible, implement sustainable policies and be sure to comply with all federal, state, and local laws. Expect this trend to continue. Companies taking a proactive approach will be better positioned for further legislative changes.

5. Control Costs

Almost ten years after the housing crash, lenders have yet to release funds with the same willingness as before. Materials costs are high, and increased costs for attracting labor add to the challenges of doing business this year. This year, more builders are contracting into public-private partnerships with government agencies. In this partnerships, public funds and assets can be made available for hiring private companies. This can be a great way to maintain infrastructure while stimulating the economy, and more builders are discovering the value.

6. Building Information Modeling

The latest in construction innovation, Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a great tool for improving the construction process. Building Information Modeling is a design and management tool. Builders, architects, and others in the design and construction process can collaborate with this BIM to deliver a winning project. Building Information Modeling can also have a positive impact on workplace safety and compliance and can help limit expenses. For more on BIM contact a Business Information Modeling firm or expert.

7. Communicate

While perhaps an older concept, communication on the job site can almost always be improved. Today, multiple digital solutions for encouraging and improving communication are available. Builders have schedules to keep and communication can help increase efficiency and safety. Missed deadlines, liability claims, and materials waste can add up. Stay on top of projects with clear, competent communication.

Approaching 2018 with a positive attitude can help gain the edge over the competition. Review practices to see where improvements can be made and see how much more business is possible. Come back often for more on ways to improve efficiency and save money.

Reducing Financial Risks Through Insurance

For lively party conversation, death and disability are generally last on the list. Still, planning for potential disability and the death of a loved one can help overcome the financial challenges involved. It’s natural to want to talk about something else, yet topics related to investment risk-management are important and can have big impacts on financial plans and resources.

Planning ahead before confronting any obstacle can help with meeting it. The passing of a loved one, the need for long-term care, and disability can all take incredible tolls. Perhaps the simplest way to approach planning for them is through comprehensive disability, life, and long-term care insurance.

It’s natural to tiptoe around these topics, yet changes can happen in an instant. Rather than try and respond during the aftermath, a proactive approach can help create support for what will likely be a trying time. As part of your financial plan and risk management strategy, speak to a financial advisor about comprehensive insurance coverage.

Disability Insurance

People aged 25 to 65 are at a higher risk for disability than death, according to major studies. Lifestyles, genetics, random occurrences and much more can happen in an instant and leave people disabled temporarily, or for life. For many, disability coverage comes in the form of a company insurance policy. These policies can help with some in the case of disability, yet many lack the coverage available through privately-carried disability insurance. Income replacement and compensation for debilitating injuries are some of the advantages private insurance can offer.

According to Jack Riashi Jr. with Bloom Asset Management, disability insurance should be included as part of an insurance plan until retirement to ensure adequate resources should a disability occur. Riashi Jr, a certified financial planner, says “The number of people covered is really pretty low”. He also states more people lack coverage than carry it. For single-income homes, Riashi Jr. says preserving that income becomes exponentially important. Another important tool in preserving family income is life insurance.

Life Insurance

Life insurance is, for the majority of people speaking to an insurance agent, a difficult topic to approach. The subject is grim, and it’s an often overlooked addition to an insurance plan. For many, there will likely be loved ones left behind. Continuing financial support through life insurance can help carry them through.

Life insurance is obtainable as a term, universal, or whole-life insurance policy. To find the right life insurance policy speak to an agent. Income, age, health, and much more will steer the direction of your insurance needs. Life insurance may, in some cases, be utilized for emergency savings or as part of a retirement plan. Speak to a financial advisor before making significant changes to a life insurance policy. The right policy will vary by the person; an advisor can help find the right match for you.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Aging, injury and more can increase limits on physical capabilities. For an increasing number of Americans, long-term care is necessary some or all of the time. Medicare will likely cover a portion of expenses yet the remainder can be overwhelming. Long-term care insurance can help pay for assisted living, in-home care, and much more.

In-home care and nursing home coverage can cost tens of thousands per year, and upward. The costs can be high at any income level and for those on a fixed income, these costs can be especially challenging to meet. Speak to a financial advisor for more on the merits of a tailored long-term care insurance policy.

Approaching these topics early may increase access to insurance options and discounted rates. Speak to a financial advisor today for more on risk management through insurance for your financial plan. Come back often for more on this and other interesting topics.

Businesses of All Sizes Should Think About Benefits

Benefits are for small businesses too. For many small business owners, benefits seem cost prohibitive. In the interest of short-term gain (or just making the bills each month), a number choose to operate without a benefits structure in place. While limiting monthly expenses can help some aspects of the business, high turnover rates and dissatisfied employees more than outweigh the gain.

Today, more businesses large and small are creating benefits programs to attract and retain talented help. Benefits come in many shapes and sizes, continually growing in numbers firms compete for talent. Topping the list is medical care, yet staff members may also demand disability insurance, retirement plans, and more. The best benefits are better likely to attract the best talent.

Employees satisfied in the workplace, feeling compensated with a benefits structure, are more likely to perform better. That’s according to Aon Consulting Senior Vice President Joe Lineberry agrees, claiming that when employees feel valued attendance and productivity will improve. Great benefits improve retention as well, as employees will want to keep them.

The Simple Benefit Breakdown

Some benefits employers are required to offer. These include:

  • Excusing absences for jury and military obligations
  • Proper withholding and payment of payroll taxes
  • Contributing to state unemployment taxes
  • Compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (depending on size and location, more below)

Beyond these basics, many businesses are including additional benefits to attract the best employees. Today it is common to see businesses of all sizes offer extra benefits such as:

  • Health and dental care
  • Life, disability, and other insurance policies
  • Paid time-off for holidays, vacations, and more

The types of benefits are limited only to the creativity of the entrepreneurs offering them. Competition dictates some companies may offer a combination of benefits programs to stay ahead of their peers. In addition to the types of benefits offered, ease of access factors as well. Simple processes for submitting vacation requests and accessing other benefits is likely to increase morale.

The Family Leave and Medical Act (FMLA)

Business size and operating state may require compliance with the Family Leave and Medical Act. Under the FMLA, employees are eligible for 12 weeks of leave, unpaid. These include welcoming a baby or adopted child into the family, attending to the care of a family member, and personal health concerns. The leave may be taken at once or non-consecutively. To find more about state-specific requirements, contact your state’s labor division.

Compliance and Oversight

Small business owners are subject to scrutiny from enforcement agencies. Small business owners often have limited experience implementing and managing employee benefits programs, and mistakes can be costly. The IRS and the Department of Labor have the ability to audit, fine, and more as enforcement tools. Before launching a benefits program or adding to an existing, contact a financial professional.

Creating employees should be viewed as an investment rather than an expense. Good employees can help your business grow and develop, and low retention rates can help keep you focused on what matters. Be sure to come back often for more tips on small business ownership, and information on other insurance topics.

The Basics of Business Insurance

Entrepreneurs have a lot to think about. It’s understandable if some have yet to obtain adequate commercial insurance for their small business. Some may grab policies off the shelf, while others may lack coverage completely. Businesses are subject to many of the same risks as homes and much more atop that. Protecting a business with commercial insurance helps preserve revenue, owner credit, and the hard work placed into creating an enterprise.

Whether it’s time to purchase a commercial policy or you’re looking to compare rates, you can help match the right policy to your business. When purchasing commercial insurance, here are 5 things to keep in mind.

Take Inventory of Risks

Small businesses are unique. The same insurance policy for a dry cleaning operation would be a poor match for a bakery. Look at your business the way an insurance agent might and find where protection may be necessary. An agent can help, and be sure to remember enough liability protection.

Insurance companies take more than location into thought when determining overall risk. Entrepreneur credit, claims history, and more may affect the decision. Premiums are, in turn, affected by risk factors and may be higher or lower depending on carrier and policy options. A policy created to address the needs of a specific business, with deductibles set at an appropriate rate, will help entrepreneurs save on insurance costs, and better respond to damages.

Bundle Insurance with a BOP

Commercial insurance policies are often bundled into what’s referred to as a Business Owner Policy, or BOP for short. Combining multiple insurance protections through a single carrier can save money. With discounts for bundling, gain access to improved insurance policy options for reduced annual rates.

Compare Insurance Policies and Rates

Commercial insurance is an ongoing obligation. Overpaying for insurance will add up over time. Hesitate from leaping at the first insurance quote and shop around. Policies, options, customer service and more will vary greatly both by the insurance carrier and by the insurance agency. Insurance companies compete for customers and may offer extra discounts or incentives. An independent insurance broker can help with objective advice on obtaining the best policy.

Find the Right Insurance Agent

There’s more to obtaining commercial insurance than finding a cheap policy. For claims, having a personal insurance agent familiar with you and your business can make all the difference. The right insurance agent will create a policy based on your business, find the best rates available through reputable carriers, and be there when needed.

Revisit Insurance Coverage Annually

As businesses grow, so do insurance obligations. Launching products, starting advertising campaigns, and bringing new people into the fold adds liability and more. Meet with an agent at least once per year to look over insurance coverage for gaps. Staying proactive with commercial insurance helps with responding to damages. It’s always a good time to think about protecting livelihood and investment.

Have questions about commercial or other insurance policies? Call today and speak to an agent.

Build Faster with Construction Tips from the Pros

Builders spend a lifetime perfecting their craft. Fortunately, some are willing to share some of their best tips and tricks. Here’s a quick rundown of several inside tips from the pros.

Laying the Groundwork

Installing flooring can be challenging depending on the materials and surface. Taking time to ensure a level floor will improve the finished product. Installing an effective subfloor can help with creating a level surface, yet the glue can be messy and difficult to work with. To install subflooring without the mess, gently lower subfloor with a garden digging tool. Applying pressure to the leading edge, install subfloor without the mess.

The Frame Game

Most homes have imperfections and the older they get, the greater those imperfections become. Homes settle and before long, floors and walls begin to curve, slope, or separate. Before making cuts or installations, learn the acceptable tolerances. Some aspects of construction must be perfectly level or straight. Knowing where to make adjustments will make the process much easier, and help create a better result.

Frames must be straight, so it’s important to start with a level foundation. Mudsills allow for some flexibility while rim joists must be cut within 1/10th an inch accuracy. Walls can bow a bit, as long as kept within an acceptable limit. Walls can bow up to 1/4″ vertically for each 8′ section, and 1/4″ horizontally for each 50′ section without compromising structural integrity.

The frames in a home support plumbing, electrical, HVAC installation and more. An accurately-installed framework will help make following projects easier to complete.

Selecting Good Wood

Lumber varies by retailer, batch, and tree. Selecting the lumber for framing, look for straight and durable boards. Curved, bowed, or rotted boards will create a weak or imbalanced foundation from the start. Cabinets, doors, and walls require straight walls to function properly. Selecting the right wood, at the beginning, will help the entire construction project.

With any construction project, selecting the right materials and tools helps. Before tackling a construction project, ensure home insurance is in place to cover potential damages to the new or existing space. Always place safety at the top and ask a professional before working with dangerous materials.

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