Home Business Basics

Homeowner (HO) policies aren’t meant to insure businesses that are run out of a home. Premiums paid for homeowner’s coverage are for handling losses related to the ownership and use of a residence and related structures. Therefore no liability coverage is available for business activities such as customers who slip and fall on your premises, damage to business property (owned or in your control), injury caused by things you make (product liability), or damage due to services that you promote or provide. It is also unlikely that an insurer would provide a legal defense against business-related claims.

How much does it cost to call your insurance agent.  I am guessing that it's much cheaper than the cost of an uncovered loss due to running a business from your home!
Be sure to speak with your insurance agent before opening a business in your home.

Generally, an HO policy does not provide workers compensation coverage for any employee. Medical expense and liability coverage may be available for workers who are ineligible for worker’s compensation, such as maids, butlers, or nannies, but such coverage only applies if an injury occurs while performing residential tasks.

Example: You send your nanny to deliver copies of your business proposal and, on the way to the client, she is seriously injured in a fall. Your policy won’t provide any medical expense coverage for your nanny because she was performing a business-related chore.

There is no coverage for detached garages, barns, or similar structures on your residence premises if they are used in whole or part for the business.

Example: You store $3,000 worth of equipment and supplies that you use in your job in your garage and the garage burns down. The fire loss to the garage becomes ineligible because of its partial business use.

A basic HO policy may protect certain property. However, the coverage may be limited to as little as a few hundred dollars. Items qualifying for limited coverage include business personal property kept in or around your home, business personal property kept at a location other than in or around your home or landlord’s furnishings. One way to improve your coverage is to add policy options that do the following:

  • increase the coverage limits for business personal property
  • cover garages and other buildings that are rented to others
  • protect electronic business equipment which is usually used in a vehicle while such equipment is located outside of a vehicle
  • provide theft coverage for the landlord’s property
  • acquire limited business personal property and liability coverage for an in-home daycare
  • cover a condo unit owners’ liability for damage caused by renters
  • provide premises liability coverage (i.e. a customer slips and falls)

A variety of businesses are routinely operated in homes. This article discusses aspects of particular operations. Refer to part one for background information on coverage basics as well as our other parts discussing different businesses.

Sales Office

In most case, a homeowners policy will not much if any protection for a business.

Usually, an HO policy does not offer much protection for business property. In fact, available coverage may be up to only $2,500 for personal property used for business and kept on the residence premises. Further, no coverage applies to a business property such as inventory, product samples, or items being held for delivery. Finally, even optional coverage excludes property related to a business conducted on the premises. For example, you are a cosmetic sales rep who also holds make-up parties in your home. For customer convenience, you keep an inventory of cosmetics at home. The HO policy will not cover this property.

If you are a salesperson operating out of your home and have limited inventory, some companies will cover you with a Businessowners Policy (BOP). A BOP provides broad coverages for buildings, personal property, loss of business income and extra expense incurred to remain in business (after a fire or other covered cause of loss), premises liability and medical payments. If you have more than $1,000 of goods off-premises in transit, you will need to add additional coverage. Goods stored at other locations must be added to the policy.

If you cannot qualify for a BOP and a home business endorsement or separate policy fails to meet your needs, your agent will probably have to build a special commercial package policy to handle your business. Commercial lines agents have both the expertise to design the appropriate coverage and access to the markets that offer policies for your sales business.

In part one of this article, we discussed what coverage issues must be considered when running a sales office out of a home. Besides the protection previously mentioned, you will need workers compensation coverage for any employees, even part-timers, and, if you deliver anything or if your vehicle is larger than a car, van or small pickup, you may need commercial automobile insurance. Another reason for buying a commercial auto policy is if any auto is corporately owned.

Professional Offices

Regarding doctors, attorneys, architects or similar occupations, whether your home office is your only office or simply a satellite office, you will need to work with an insurance agent who is familiar with the coverages that are appropriate for professionals.

BOPs are suitable for most professional offices and can cover buildings, personal property, loss of business income, extra expenses incurred to operate the business (after a fire or other covered cause of loss), premises liability and medical payments.

Consult with your agent or your professional association(s) for professional liability and errors and omissions coverage.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2016

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

3 Tips to Stay Safe on the Water

Boating season can bring out the best in Kentucky residents, especially those residing around Fisherville, KY. At TruePoint Insurance, we understand the water life and enjoy it with our clients. While we all enjoy days and afternoons out on the water, we also want you to remember three tips to stay safe while out on the water. 

Keep Your Life Jacket On

It is not uncommon to travel the Kentucky waters and catch boaters riding without their life jackets. In the event of an accident, the riders could potentially be thrown from the boat. With a life jacket, they will surface to the water and be able to breathe while getting to safety. 

Keep the Crowding Minimal

Each boat comes with a weight limit and a capacity amount based upon its size. A common issue that happens with boaters in Kentucky is overloading the boat with either people, supplies, or both, causing it to flip from the stress it is under. If you are planning to use your boat for fishing and hauling equipment, make sure sure that you do not carry too many people out with you. 

Leave the Alcohol Onshore

While you are operating your boat, you should not be drinking. The pressure and influence to drink while operating the boat are limited if it never comes onto the boat with your passengers. Leave the alcohol onshore and stock your boat instead with fresh bottled water and sports drinks to keep everyone hydrated while enjoying the water. 

Top it Off with Boat Insurance

One of the best ways to secure your boat, however, is to have boat insurance should you find yourself in an accident while out on the water. If you live in the vicinity of Fisherville, KY, call our agents at TruePoint Insurance for more information on our policy offerings. 

 

Exchange Students – Automobile Coverage

This article briefly discusses how a personal auto policy responds to exchange students. Please be sure to read its companion article, “Exchange Students – Homeowners Coverage.”

First, make sure that the exchange student is permitted to drive under the rules of the exchange student program. If program rules allow driving, contact your motor vehicle department to make sure that your student has a valid driver’s license.

If your exchange student will be driving your vehicle you will many cases continue to be covered.  However a lot of items will impact this.  Be sure to speak with your insurance agent.
Will the exchange student drive your car?

The typical auto policy extends its coverage to any person having your permission to drive a covered vehicle. Your liability coverage will protect the exchange student against damage or injury that he or she causes to others. Coverage to the damage done to your vehicle is also available when you have the appropriate physical damage insurance. Of course, the coverage is subject to your policy’s insurance limits, deductibles, and other provisions.

Medical payments coverage will apply to the exchange student who is injured in an accident while occupying or driving your car with your permission. If you expressly forbid the exchange student to drive your vehicle and the student disregards your wishes, you may not have insurance coverage if an accident occurs. Any questions regarding an exchange student’s vehicle use need to be carefully considered; especially since you will want to avoid having to deal with uncovered auto losses.

Be very careful regarding any minor-aged exchange student who is considering buying a car, truck, motorcycle, RV, boat, moped, scooter or any other vehicle. An exchange student’s temporary residence status makes it very difficult to get proper coverage. Student vehicle owners who cause an accident could experience some complex legal problems. If faced with an exchange student who owns a vehicle, it is important to get any available assistance from the exchange student program, including their legal counsel. You should seek your own qualified legal help to make sure that your interests are protected. The safest course would be to avoid an exchange student situation that includes an owned vehicle.

Please check with a qualified insurance professional to thoroughly discuss your coverage needs.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2017

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

Georgia Auto Liability Limits

Georgia Minimum Car Insurance Limits   

Understanding auto insurance and your insurance policy you must start with your state's auto insurance laws.
How much car insurance?

If you own a car in Georgia, the state requires that you meet certain financial standards. For most of us, that means that our vehicles be covered by an auto liability insurance policy.  Furthermore, the auto liability insurance limits must meet State mandated requirements.  

For most of us, the first thought when our car is involved in an accident is getting it back on the road.  How will we replace or repair our own vehicle?  For that, you need to have a collision and/or comprehensive insurance coverage. While this coverage is important, it is not the insurance coverage mandated by the State.

Georgia Auto Liability Insurance 

If you are involved in an accident and found to be at fault, you can legally be held financially responsible. This is why you buy personal auto insurance!   The Georgia minimum insurance requirements are aimed at protecting other drivers and passengers using the States roads and highways..Your auto liability policy protects other drivers. Specifically, it provides coverage for bodily injury and/or property damage that results from your actions.

As mentioned, you may be held responsible for the full cost of damages, With a personal auto liability insurance policy in place, your insurance company, subject to the specifics of the policy, will be on the hook.  However, their requirement ends once the policy limits have been paid.

What does that mean?

It means that the prudent thing is to develop a better understanding of what will happen if the cost of damages exceeds our auto liability policy limits.   As a mere insurance agent, I am not qualified to directly answer that.  But, commonsense would suggest that at a minimum, inadequately insured auto owners are leaving Pandora’s Box wide open. 

The Georgia minimum auto liability insurance requirements are:

• Georgia motor vehicle liability coverage minimum for bodily injury:

     o $25,000 for bodily injury liability coverage per person

     o $50,000 for bodily injury liability coverage per accident

•Georgia motor vehicle liability coverage minimum for property damages:

     o Georgia auto owners are at least $25,000 for claims made against       them as result of damaging the property of others

Georgia’s Car Insurance state-mandated minimums are most commonly stated as:

25/50/25

…or…

$25,000 (BI) per person / $50,000 BI per accident / $25,000 (PD)

Cheap can refer to a great deal or it could mean an inferer product.  Do you have a cheap car insurance policy?
Does cheap refer to a Good Deal or a Bad Deal?

Before asking an insurance agent for the “Cheapest Car Insurance, you got,” consider the following:

• Cheap car insurance more than likely means you are getting the state-mandated minimums.

• How far will those dollars go if you are the cause of a severe auto accident?

• Settlement cost seldom equal medical costs. Why? For one, pain and suffering. If you want an estimate for total settlement cost, a good rule of thumb is to multiple medical bills by 3. If your negligence was the cause of a car crash and the other party sustained $10,000 in medical expenses you are looking at $30,000 to settle the claim. $5,000 higher than the state minimum!

• How far will $10,000 go in an emergency room today?

• How far will the $50,000 per accident limit go if you hit a car with multiple passengers? What if you are the cause of a multiple car collision or if the other vehicle isn’t a car but rather a bus?

Cheap car insurance can cost you in more ways than you realize. Ever wonder how insurance companies come up with an auto insurance premium for you and your car?

Your premium is the result of a number of factors. Every car insurance companies have their own unique formula. Each aimed at helping them attract clients and make a buck too. What you may find surprising is that many companies will penalize you if your current insurance limits are the state minimums. Never buy the state-mandated minimum without first considering the cost of better coverage. It’s likely to be less than you think and it will save you in the long run.

In the end, cheap auto insurance may wind up costing you more than you bargained for. Even if you never have an accident! Consider your options, prepare for the worst and be sure that you find an insurance agent the is willing to spend the time to help you through the process.

Business Insurance Costs

Managing your cost of insurance

Businesses price their products to cover the costs of production as well as their labor, sales marketing, and other major expenses. Prices also reflect some post-sales costs such as handling repairs or replacements under warranty. At one time many industries used a pricing strategy for their products that failed to reflect their true costs. A once-popular assumption was that lower prices would promote increased sales and the higher sales volume would make up the cost difference. The strategy wasn’t successful. It hasn’t worked for the auto industry, the computer industry or the insurance industry.

The problems of the insurance industry became apparent within the turn of the century and were drastically exasperated by several natural and financial catastrophes. Events such as terrorist attacks, hurricanes, housing market and banking meltdowns all substantially affected the insurance industry. The insurance industry’s attempts to gradually correct their pricing had to be sped up; substantially!

21st Century insurance markets have been riddled with catastrophic events.  Weather, terrorism and fraudulent practices have all impacted insurance premiums.
Why are insurance premiums so high?

For much of the 21st Century, insurance companies have had to handle many more claims being presented many years after their policies have expired. In the case of pollution, asbestos and employment practices; the industry is being asked to handle losses that policies weren’t designed to even cover.

Well, what can a business owner do to minimize their high insurance cost? Before considering sacrificing the amount of protection a business carries just to save money, consider alternatives. Some other solutions would be:

1. Review your coverage:

a. Take a close look at your insurance. Could you increase the deductibles to lower your premium?

b. Are you carrying physical damage coverage on commercial vehicles that aren’t worth it?

c. Are you insuring items you could replace out of pocket? Are there pieces of equipment that are insured when they could be replaced from operating funds without submitting a claim?

2. Review your exposures:

a. Could you reduce the premium by installing an alarm system or fire protection system? Would these premium savings offset the cost of the system?

b. Could you implement safety programs that would reduce the cost or make the insurance company more interested in providing coverage? For example: driver safety programs, back to work programs, safety training in proper use of equipment and job functions.

3. Identify your insurance goals:

a. Do you need an insurance company that can provide loss control services?

b. Do you need an insurance company that can provide claim-handling services for your Workers Compensation insurance?

c. Do you need an insurance company that will allow you to make payments by phone or on-line 24/7?

d. Do you need an insurance company that has a local agent/representative that can assist you in your insurance solutions?

Shopping and price are not the only issues in insurance. What you don’t know can cost you more in the long run than you could ever save in premiums. Discuss your situation with an insurance professional and make the choice that works for you.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2016

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

The Businessowners Policy


Do you shop with uninsured Merchants?

If you own and/or run a smaller business, your insurance needs may be properly handled by a business owners policy (BOP). A BOP is a single form that offers both property and liability protection. Retailers, wholesalers, small contractors, artisan contractors, dry cleaners, restaurants, offices and convenience stores (including those with gas pumps) are eligible for BOP coverage. All such operations may be insured by a BOP as long as they do not exceed the square foot or annual sales limits established for the program. Cooking operations, due to the higher fire and other accident exposures, have significantly more restrictive guidelines.

Property Coverage – BOPs protect buildings as well as the following:

The policy’s protection for business personal property (such as office equipment, copiers, desks, etc.) applies whether the property is located inside or immediately outside the covered buildings. The category also includes property you own, lease or control (i.e., borrow or control) as long as the property is used by the business.

One item of importance, the BOP does NOT provide coverage for loss of use of damaged or destroyed property, nor for loss created by an actual or perceived loss in value of goods after a loss takes place.

Liability Coverage – A BOP’s liability coverage provides comprehensive protection for claims or suits made by other parties. Specifically, it covers losses involving injury to other persons or damage to property that belongs to others. It also provides limited protection against personal injury (slander or libel), advertising injury and losses involving an operation’s products or services.

Naturally, there are certain situations that are not covered by a BOP. For instance, there is no coverage for losses involving most vehicles, money, and securities; illegal property (contraband), land, water, growing crops or lawns; or watercraft.

building additions (completed or being built) indoor and outdoor fixtures Clothes Dryers machinery and equipment landlord furnishings,
mowers, ladder, snowblowers, and similar maintenance property outdoor furniture floor coverings Refrigerating appliances ventilating appliances
Cooking appliances Dishwashing/Drying appliances Clothes washers materials, equipment, and supplies temporary structures located near the insured premises

Enhancing Coverage – A BOP may be supplemented to provide additional protection. Property coverage options include adding insurance for accounts receivable, valuable papers and records, earthquake, spoilage, etc. Liability coverage can be expanded to handle additional business interests, limited vehicle liability, losses related to personnel situations, liquor liability and injuries to leased employees.

A BOP may be the answer to your company’s coverage needs and it may be worthwhile to get more information on the BOP from the nearest insurance professional.

The BOP provides other coverage than the protection mentioned in part 1. The following protection can be selected under the BOP.

Optional Coverages

Outdoor Signs–Payment is available for direct physical loss or damage to outdoor signs at the described premises. Eligible signs may be owned by the named insured or owned by others but be in the named insured’s care, custody, or control.

Money and Securities–Coverage applies to loss of only the named insured’s money and securities used in its business while that property is at banks or savings institutions, inside the named insured’s living quarters, inside the living quarters of a partner or employee, at the described premises or while in transit between the places referenced.

Employee Dishonesty–The policy pays for direct loss of business personal property and money and securities due to dishonest acts its employees commit, whether they act alone or collude with others to do so.

Equipment Breakdown Protection Coverage–Coverage is available for loss or damage directly caused by or that results from electrical failure or mechanical breakdown to covered property. Covered property is electrical, mechanical, or pressure machinery and equipment

Liability Coverage – A BOP’s liability coverage provides comprehensive protection for claims or suits made by other parties. Specifically, it covers losses involving injury to other persons or damage to property that belongs to others. It also provides limited protection against personal injury (slander or libel), advertising injury and losses involving an operation’s products or services.

Naturally, there are certain situations that are not covered by a BOP. For instance, there is no coverage for losses involving most vehicles, money, and securities; illegal property (contraband), land, water, growing crops or lawns; or watercraft.

Enhancing Coverage – A BOP may be supplemented to provide additional protection. Property coverage options include adding insurance for accounts receivable, valuable papers and records, earthquake, spoilage, etc. Liability coverage can be expanded to handle additional business interests, limited vehicle liability, losses related to personnel situations, liquor liability and injuries to leased employees.

A BOP may be the answer to your company’s coverage needs and it may be worthwhile to get more information on the BOP from the nearest insurance professional.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2017

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without the written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

5 Expectations of Commercial Insurance Policies

All insurance policies have unique ways of protecting you against financial loss. TruePoint Insurance can answer specific questions about coverage for your business. For now, this list of expectations of commercial insurance gives you an idea of the peace of mind your policy can provide.

1. Protection against the cost of property damage

This could include a combination of coverages depending on the policy type. In some cases, the commercial premises and expenses related to customer damages might be covered.

2. Absolution of production error financial loss

Sometimes mistakes happen that cost a company time and money because of product recalls. Other times, work may have to be redone if a failure takes place during service. Whatever the case, a business always benefits from having insurance that pays toward expensive mistakes.

3. The payout for equipment repair

Sometimes, a machine might stop while running a production line. Other times, point-of-sale systems or computers might stop working. These examples illustrate the kinds of repairs needed that some commercial insurance policies might cover.

4. Funding during a business interruption

Anything could happen in Fisherville, KY. In the unfortunate incident that a place of operation experiences a forced closure because of construction, a robbery, natural disaster, or other cause, some types of commercial insurance policies, in conjunction with other types of insurance, could pay for these types of expenses.

5. Money for unexpected legal fees

Workers’ compensation laws include requirements for Fisherville, KY employers. Usually, this includes provisions for any financial hardships that could occur if a worker has an injury on the job. However, a business often will obtain insurance that can cover the costs of legal fees in the event of a lawsuit. Certain law insurance inclusions would also pay for customer or competitor lawsuits.

Do you have questions about what kind of specific commercial insurance would benefit you while operating in Fisherville, KY? If so, contact a TruePoint agent today and find the peace of mind you need from day to day.

What Should I Do If I’m Involved in an Auto Accident?

If you’re involved in an auto accident, there are several things you need to do before you leave the scene. Aside from calling the police and your insurance agent, the following steps are significant and will help you when you file your insurance claim. The agents from TruePoint Insurance can help residents of Lawrence and Fisherville, KY get the process started.

Pull Over to the Side of the Road

If you are involved in an accident on a busy street, the first thing you should do is move your vehicle (if possible) to the side of the road and out of the way of traffic. Move the cars a safe distance off of the road to prevent further injury or damage to your vehicles.

Exchange Information

The next step is to exchange your insurance information with the other driver. You will also have to share the information with the police officer for the accident report. Always make sure to get the other driver’s contact information, as well.

Take as many Photographs as You Can

If you want to document the accident properly, take pictures of both the scene of the accident as well as the vehicles involved. Photos that accurately show all of the damage to your car are beneficial, especially if you have to go to court.

In Fisherville, KY, the agents of TruePoint Insurance can walk you through the steps you need to follow if you are ever involved in an auto accident. Talk to the agents today so that you are fully prepared if and when an accident does occur.

 

How Having an Electric Vehicle Affects Insurance Rates

Slow down your about to run out of cord
Why do electric vehicles cost more to insure?
Should electric vehicles cost more to insure

Did you know that your auto insurance rates can be different if you own an electric vehicle? In fact, in most instances, your insurance will be higher for an electric vehicle. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why this is the case from TruePoint Insurance in Fisherville, KY.

Higher Costs of the Vehicle

On average, electric vehicles cost a great deal more than the more conventional automobiles. They can cost around 70 percent more on average, according to studies conducted by Nerd Wallet. The higher price tag means that the insurance company has to pay more if the vehicle is stolen or damaged.

High Repair Costs

It tends to cost more to conduct repairs on an electric automobile. This is because they have expensive battery systems and you have to bring the vehicle to a specially trained mechanic. Though these vehicles usually don’t need repairs as often, this definitely has an effect on how much its insurance is going to cost. 

Size of the Car

Electric vehicles typically are smaller than other automobiles. Since smaller cars often don’t offer as much protection in the event of a collision, they are sometimes deemed as higher risk vehicles. This can increase the amount you’ll be asked to pay for your car’s insurance coverage.

Even with the fact that you’ll almost certainly have to pay more for insurance, there are many benefits that come along with owning an electric vehicle. Your car may qualify for a federal tax credit of around $7,500, a big plus as it will offset what you pay for insurance. 

Be sure to ask plenty of questions to understand insurance for your electric vehicle. The team at TruePoint Insurance, serving the greater Lawrence and Fisherville, KY area, can answer your questions to make signing up for auto insurance less of a stressful experience.

 

Signal Your Intent


Accidents associated with failure to use a turn signal are over twice
Each year 2 million accidents are due to the failure to use turn signals

Auto risk mitigation organization “SafetyFirst,” noticed some important statistics from its database of calls into its hotline. They discovered that a significant percentage of its calls involved drivers who did not use their turn signals. That issue was significant, especially since nearly half of their complaints involved:

  • Improper Lane Change;
  • Failure to Use Signals
  • Failing to Yield Right of Way
  • Weaving in Traffic
  • Failure to Stay in Lane;
  • and Improper Passing

A common trait in all of these behaviors is that they significantly increase the likelihood of an accident.

There are several trends that are occurring simultaneously on U.S. Roads. One, we’re driving faster, two there are more vehicles, we’re driving more frequently and a significant portion of drivers (Baby Boomers) are becoming senior operators with age-related, diminished driving skills.

In light of these trends, does it make sense that many drivers either forget to or refuse to use turn signals?

Drivers do themselves and others a tremendous favor by signaling their intent. Much of our driving activity depends on being able to rely upon and anticipate what is being done by other drivers. Signaling consistently and appropriately allows others to adjust their actions in order to reduce the chance of accidents and to maintain traffic flow.

Help yourself, help others. Whenever you are about to do something that can be indicated by a turn signal……signal your intent!


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2015

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without the written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.