1 month ago ·
by Mrs. Mapp ·
With so many insurance options available, it’s often difficult for start-ups to know just where to, well, start. For most new businesses, five policies form a solid foundation for commercial insurance coverage. They are:
Comprehensive general liability insurance (CGL): CGL protects the company’s assets if a claim is made for damage of property or personal effects, third-party bodily injury, or an “advertising injury,” such as libel or copyright infringement. It’s the most basic coverage for every business—start-up or industry giant.
Directors and officers liability insurance (D&O): Start-ups typically need influential members on the board to grow the company and must provide proper liability insurance to protect these board members against litigation relating to business decisions.
Cyber/media insurance: The need for this coverage is clear. With the proliferation of high-profile hacks, no business is safe from cyber attacks. As these policies still have no “standard” format, each start-up will need to work with an insurance agent to determine the right coverage for its needs.
Employee liability insurance: This policy is separate from state-required workers’ compensation insurance, and provides coverage to defend the company against discrimination claims by employees. It’s usually available as part of a package that includes workers’ comp or D&O policies.
First-party property insurance: This covers company property against physical damage. While some start-ups have few physical assets initially, this is still an important policy to have, and coverage likely will need to increase as the business grows.
Contact us to give you a free quote.
3 months ago ·
by Mrs. Mapp ·
A good benefits package can enhance your business by attracting employees and retaining current staff. But there’s a downside: errors in the administration of benefits can result in lawsuits against your company. If this happens, your employee benefits liability (EBL) policy will kick in. How? Here are some FAQs on this important coverage.
What is employee benefits liability coverage? Employee benefits liability insurance protects your company against suits that result from administrative errors. If someone managing your employee benefits makes a mistake and this error results in a lawsuit, EBL protects you from the associated costs. Some types of suits are not covered by general liability policies, making this additional coverage a very important add-on; EBL coverage is typically added to your general liability policy as an endorsement.
What kinds of mistakes? Employee benefits packages can be extremely complex. From life insurance policies to maternity leave, these benefits involve minute details and significant administration. When an error is made, affected employees can suffer major financial losses. EBL is available to cover these situations, including:
- Descriptions of benefits and eligibility. When explaining coverage to your employees, you or your benefits manager may convey incorrect information, and the employees are more than likely to make benefits choices based on this erroneous info. This decision could cost them down the road, and they may hold you liable for their financial burden. If a lawsuit is filed because of your error, EBL has you covered.
- Losses of electronic and/or paper records. Maintaining records of all benefit information is essential. If your HR department accidentally loses a benefit file, the loss could prove costly. If your employee suffers because this information is missing and sues you, your EBL insurance covers the costs.
- Enrollment, maintenance, and termination of employees and beneficiaries. If your benefit packages are complex, it can be easy to miss a detail. One mistake on a form could omit an employee’s beneficiary from that person’s plan. Mistakes such as these are covered by EBL insurance.
What plans are covered? EBL offers coverage for a full range of benefits. These include insurance benefits, financial benefits, disability and worker’s compensation benefits, and other fringe benefits such as tuition reimbursement and maternity leave.
Who needs EBL insurance? If your staff includes a large number of employees and you offer a full benefits package, it’s wise to have this policy in place. If you have few workers and offer few benefits, you may not need it, although it’s always wise to check.
As the goal is to provide coverage against large claims by employees or their dependents should they suffer financial loss due to your mismanagement of their benefits, the size of your risk will determine the coverage required. When in doubt, discuss EBL coverage with your agent, who will help you review your insurance policies and decide whether EBL coverage is necessary for your business.
Mistakes happen. If they do, EBL can provide you with peace of mind. And it may prevent the unthinkable: a suit that will sink your company.
3 months ago ·
by Mrs. Mapp ·
Whatever your profession, protecting yourself with professional liability insurance is not just a smart thing to do, but a necessity in today’s litigious society. You have worked hard and put in years of education and work to get where you are in your career. Without the right coverage for potential negligence suits, you could lose everything you have worked so hard to achieve.
What It Covers
General liability insurance can protect you from a wide variety of claims against you and your business, but will not protect you from the type of lawsuit that can result from the simple errors we are all capable of making.
Nor will it protect you from claims made against you that are unfounded. Remember that even if there is no truth to the accusations against you, you can still find yourself in court defending yourself and your professional reputation against them at a very high cost to you.
Those who provide a service or advice, or in any other way use their knowledge and experience to help others need professional liability insurance. This includes things like errors and omissions insurance and malpractice insurance, both of which are types of professional liability.
The similarity is that the types of lawsuits brought against professionals are usually based on actions, advice, or services that may not have caused property damage or direct injury but nonetheless can in some way be shown to be a result of the negligence of the professional.
Don’t Take Chances
You do your best to provide good advice, to make sure that everything you do and offers to your clients is as accurate and helpful as possible, but everyone makes mistakes. And even when you didn’t make a mistake, all it takes is someone who is unhappy with the outcome to turn on you and put the blame at your feet. These lawsuits can cost professionals incredible amounts of money, even if you win. Having to pay out on such a lawsuit can easily bankrupt even the most well-off professional.
Professional liability insurance provides you with the means to defend your good name in court against accusations as well as to pay out on settlements when you are found to be negligent.
Without it, you could find yourself not only out a lot of money, but your reputation could be on the line because you are unable to fight an unfounded lawsuit. Don’t take chances; protect everything you have worked so hard for with the right professional liability policy for your industry.
East Harlem Insurance Brokerage agent can help you to ensure you have the coverage you need to have complete peace of mind.
4 months ago ·
by Mrs. Mapp ·
Insurance Agent, Do I need one?
Many insurance companies today don’t sell their policies through agents, but directly from the company either online or over the phone. It might seem that having an agent to help you purchase auto insurance is a thing of the past, but don’t discount the insurance agent just yet. There are some very good reasons to consider using an insurance agent for your auto policy purchase.
Agents Know Their Products
Many of the customer service representatives who handle the phones at large insurance companies know the basics of auto insurance policies, enough to help you select and purchase one. But insurance agents, especially those who have been around for a while, understand a lot more about coverage and policy limits.
They can share with you a wealth of knowledge that will ensure you not only get the right policy but the best rate and a good understanding of what you are paying for. An agent will help you select the best possible coverage limits to fit your needs.
Agents Are On Your Side
If the day comes when you need to file a claim, it’s always good to have someone who is truly on your side. Especially in a complicated claim, your agent can walk you through the process and be there to answer all your questions. An agent is also there to step in when there are disagreements with the adjuster or other involved parties at the insurance company.
Because your agent knows all about the policy and how the claims process works, they will better be able to negotiate and discuss claims issues with your adjuster.
Agents Keep Your Policy Accurate
A good agent will take the time to review your policy regularly and make sure that everything is accurate and you are still carrying the coverage you need. An agent knows when changes in your life might affect your insurance coverage needs, such as a marriage or a child reaching driving age. Large insurance companies simply can’t provide that level of personal attention.
Are Agents More Expensive?
There is a general view that an insurance policy purchased through an agent will cost more than one purchased directly. That isn’t necessarily true. The best rate for you may well be one from an agency, so don’t discount quotes from agents when you are shopping for car insurance. You might get the best rate along with the service an agent can provide.
You might not feel that you need an agent for your auto insurance, but there are certainly some very good reasons to take the time to meet with a few and see if it turns out to be right for you.
5 months ago ·
by Mrs. Mapp ·
Employee theft is anything but harmless.
It is a problem of considerable size for many companies.
Many corporate security experts estimate that 25% to 40% of all employees steal from their employers.
The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that employee theft of cash, property, and merchandise may cost American businesses as much as $50 billion annually.
Not only does employee theft detract from potential profit and destroy trust, but it may actually increase insurance rates due to the loss of inventory, clients or even liability should data fall into the wrong hands.
Unfortunately, almost every small-business owner is likely to confront employee theft at some point and time.
Follow the three tips below to reduce the risk of employee theft, maintain profits and avoid insurance rate hikes:
Whether you use an internal system or work with a third-party vendor to screen employees, preventing a problem from taking place is the best way to deal with employee theft. Positions that deal with sensitive data or expensive items may require an additional security clearance or bonding.
Proper security goes beyond a few door locks. It may involve computer encryption, asset management, the phone and email surveillance, or even simple inventory controls. Depending upon the position, job duties and type of industry served, you should compare the cost of implementing security features against the potential damages in the event of a loss.
It may involve computer encryption, asset management, the phone and email surveillance, or even simple inventory controls. Depending upon the position, job duties and type of industry served, you should compare the cost of implementing security features against the potential damages in the event of a loss.
Depending upon the position, job duties and type of industry served, you should compare the cost of implementing security features against the potential damages in the event of a loss.
Employee theft is often associated with other underlying issues, such as substance abuse problems, mental or emotional health issues, or even anger control concerns. Have a written plan in place to address these concerns, then implement it equally. It is also important to have clearly defined job descriptions and protocols in place for access to critical information such as client lists or inventory.
Have a written plan in place to address these concerns, then implement it equally. It is also important to have clearly defined job descriptions and protocols in place for access to critical information such as client lists or inventory. Ask us how to write your employee theft plan today.
6 months ago ·
by Mrs. Mapp ·
Accidents happen – so savvy small-business owners plan for the unexpected by purchasing business umbrella insurance.
A business umbrella policy provides additional protection above and beyond the basics.
It’s different from a standard business liability policy that protects you up to a given amount.
For example, if your current liability policy provides $1 million of protection but you were successfully sued for more, the umbrella policy would cover the additional amount up to the policy limit.
Business umbrella policies are an excellent way to provide protection against costly lawsuits resulting from a wide variety of potential threats. Those threats can include things such as:
- Driving accidents that result in multiple claims or extensive types of damage
- Professional service errors resulting in inadvertent destruction or corruption of data
- Unknown defects in workmanship or other errors that result in multiple lawsuits or claims
- Other unanticipated events leading to a loss of life, property damage or other injuries
Many factors are involved in deciding on the appropriate level of business umbrella insurance to purchase, including the amount of existing coverage, industry, profitability and personal assets at stake.
Call us to discuss options and obtain a quote for various coverage amounts.
6 months ago ·
by Mrs. Mapp ·
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – especially when it comes to reducing the expense of business liability coverage.
With a little planning and preparation, it’s not as difficult as you might imagine. Simply follow these steps to start saving and minimizing the ever-rising rate increases associated with insuring your business.
- Put it into Writing: Make sure that every employee knows and understands what is expected and the proper protocol when dealing with equipment, injuries or other situations. Implement a chain of command and actually adhere to it. Research shows few small business owners have written safety policies and even fewer put them into action. Update it frequently and keep a signed copy showing that each employee has read the policy upon being hired
- Carefully Screen Applicants: The first step in maintaining a safe workplace is to hire safe employees. Employees with a history of substance abuse have been associated with everything from increased risk of injury to increased risk of driving accidents; worse, they typically have higher rates of tardiness and unemployment. Drug screening and testing may play an important role in minimizing the cost of liability insurance for your company. Ask your agent how much you can save by performing routine drug screening prior to hiring and/or testing for drugs in the event of an accident or injury during work hours.
- Comparison Shop: It’s always wise to comparison shop in order to obtain the best rates, but remember that rates alone aren’t enough if the company isn’t responsive to your needs. Take the time to compare price, service and satisfaction ratings by other business owners before making a final decision. It’s a good idea to review your policy at least once each year or more frequently should you encounter a major change in staffing or other business operations
7 months ago ·
by Mrs. Mapp ·
Buying business and equipment insurance is often considered little more than a necessary evil when, in fact, it might be one of the most important business decisions you make. Business equipment insurance does more than simply protect against theft or vandalism. Depending upon the policy it can protect against most commonly encountered perils, including:
- Equipment failure due to power surge or equipment malfunction
- Repair or replacement cost of a covered item
- Ancillary expenses required to restore vital parts, materials, or covered services
This is especially important when you consider the value derived from many computer storage systems or other common pieces of business equipment. For example, a computer that originally cost $2,500 may contain tens of thousands of dollars in data, client contact listings or other specialized information. Knowing how to insure both the computer and the content is essential to running a successful business, especially in today’s challenging economy.
Learn how to buy the right policy to protect your business without breaking the bank with these helpful hints and tips.
Make a list and check it twice. The first step is buying the right policy is to make sure that all your items are included in the policy. Create a list of all items, original purchase price, whether they are owned and used exclusively by the business or not, and condition. It is a good idea to take photographs whenever possible.
Decide upon coverage. Depending upon the type of asset, coverage may be limited to present value, or may pay for full replacement. Common considerations to keep in mind include whether or not the item was purchased new or used, lease terms, and depreciation schedules. Determine deductibles and your desired level of coverage prior to obtaining a quote.
Understand limitations and exclusions related to use. Employees, owners, and others should fully understand and agree to the limitations and exclusions of coverage. For example, unauthorized personal use of a business asset such as a vehicle may place the company at increased risk should an accident take place. Be sure to ask about additional riders to provide protection for dual-use items or special situations where workers use company equipment off-site or during personal time off.
Update annually. It’s a good idea to review and update insurance at least once per year. Pay special attention to newly acquired equipment and take time to update agent files related to disposed or fully depreciated property. Ask about discounts for safety measures, security systems, identification, and other steps designed to deter claims.
Weigh options and alternatives carefully. One final consideration to keep in mind is whether or not to allow employees and/or subcontractors to provide their own equipment (and coverage) or not. Not only are there important liability considerations to keep in mind, it doesn’t always save as much money as expected. Variations in quality, compatibility, and time savings may erode anticipated savings while increasing risk for the company as a whole. Carefully evaluate how employee-supplied equipment will impact your company prior to creating or purchasing a policy.