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Insuring Firearms in Your Home

Insuring Firearms in Your Home

If you are one of the millions of homeowners who own a firearm (or several), you have special insurance concerns. While in the majority of cases it is illegal to own and store firearms in your home, how should they be insured? Property Coverage On a standard homeowners’ special form policy (HO3 or equivalent) firearms are discussed under Section I – Property Coverages. There under “3. Special Limits of Liability” is this notation: Firearms will be covered under the property portion of the policy, but only up to $2,500 and only for the peril of theft. It is important to note that this is a sub-limit and does not increase your policy limits. So if you have $100,000 in contents coverage, the $2,500 firearms limit will be included in that amount, not in addition to it. Should your firearms collection (including related equipment) be worth more than $2,500, you will need to discuss higher limits of coverage with your broker that would be in addition to your policy limit. This endorsement may also extend coverage to firearms for perils other than just theft. Liability Coverage The issue of liability insurance coverage for firearms is a bit more tricky. While the policy itself usually doesn’t specifically include firearms, it doesn’t exclude them, either. However, specific policy language does include or exclude coverage based on the circumstances. Here is what the policy says about Personal Liability: Based on this wording, if a shooting occurs in your home or on your property it would be covered, right? Well, it depends on the circumstances. The first thing to note is who is an...
Case Study: Dental Office Ransomware

Case Study: Dental Office Ransomware

We’ve discussed in previous blog posts about how ransomware has affected cities across the United States. Today, we want to show how ransomware can affect your business and those around you. Recently hundreds of dentist offices around the country were struck by a ransomware issue. Dentists across the country were unable to access patient records, scheduling, x-rays, and client payment accounts due to ransomware that had not been downloaded by their individual offices. Here’s What Happened On August 29, 2019, CNN and other news outlets reported that dental offices around the country were unable to function due to ransomware attacks. The ransomware was not isolated to each individual office. It was actually coming from a centralized location. These offices utilized the services of third-party providers for their payment systems, scheduling, and storage of patient records. Two companies providing these services had been hit with ransomware attacks, disabling not only their systems but the offices for which they provided services. Here’s What Happened Next Over 400 dental offices around the country were affected. Those offices were unable to access records, unable to treat patients and unable to accept payments for several days after the attack while the third-party companies worked to restore access to client records for these offices. The individual dental offices were financially affected because they were unable to service clients on those dates. There was also confusion due to their inability to access scheduling records. Cyber Liability Insurance To The Rescue The third-party vendors reported that around 100 clients (and possibly more at press time of this blog) had systems restored due to their efforts. It is...

Can You Save Big Money on Car Insurance?

Ads like these are all over social media: Savings like that would be hard to pass up! The thing is, these savings aren’t magic. Most auto insurance companies have to file their rates with your state. While there are some differences, rates from company to company don’t vary too much. So how can the company illustrated above (and others like it) save you so much money?  The answer may actually be detrimental to your wallet. Lower Limits The quickest and easiest way to save money on your car insurance is to lower your limits. If you currently have $100,000 in coverage, lowering the limit to $50,000 can cut your monthly premium as much as 50%. Lowering to state minimums can save you even more money. This method of saving on your premiums is not recommended. Lower limits mean lower coverage in the event of an accident. Since auto liability insurance limits determine the amount that the other party in an accident gets paid, you could be on the hook for more than you realize. For example, your new “budget” insurance company lowers your limit to state minimums. For this example, if you are in California, the state minimums are $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident of bodily injury and just $5,000 in property damage. (For all state minimums, check out this link.)  Say you’re driving to work when you rear-end a woman in a 2015 Honda Accord who is driving her two children to school. There are multiple injuries in the other vehicle (not to mention your own) and the two cars are totaled. Medical costs being what they are...
Insurance for Ax-Throwing Businesses

Insurance for Ax-Throwing Businesses

First, it was rage rooms, and now ax-throwing is the next big thing in relaxation techniques. As these businesses continue to pop up across the country, you may be wondering: where can I get insurance for that? We have the answer: Hayes Brokers. What kind of insurance do you need for an ax-throwing business? It may be similar to more mainstream businesses, but with a twist. Liability Insurance Every business needs liability insurance. This insurance covers everything from slips and falls to property damage caused by your business on your business premises. It covers you for any unintended negligence on the part of your business (such as a fall due to a wet spill) and will even protect you in the event you are sued for something that wasn’t your fault. Additional insured coverage can be added for your landlord, which will be required for any business that leases space from another company. Your landlord or property management company will require this when you sign the lease. Property Insurance While ax-throwing businesses will take every precaution to protect the building and adjacent property from damage, property insurance is still an important part of your insurance portfolio. Property owned by the business, including copiers, wall art, computers, and phone systems should be insured under a property insurance policy. Under a commercial property policy, there would be coverage for fire, theft and other property hazards not necessarily associated with ax-throwing. If you are a tenant, you should also consider tenants improvements and betterments coverage. This covers your business for any special build-outs that may be required for your business to function...
Insurance for Tsunamis

Insurance for Tsunamis

Due to an increase in seismic activity, earthquakes and other underwater events seem to be happening more often. Those earthquakes occurring in the ocean sometimes spawn tsunamis, which can have devastating effects on coastal areas. Is your home or business covered in the event of a tsunami? What is a Tsunami? A tsunami is defined as “a long, high sea wave caused by an earthquake, submarine landslide or other occurrence.” A list of notable tsunamis from around the world throughout history can be found here. While many listed tsunamis have occurred outside the United States, there is a precedent for tsunamis affecting the United States. Earthquakes occurring in the Pacific Rim in 1946 and 1964 caused tsunami damage in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii. Recent seismic activity on the Pacific Coast has made residents and the US Geological Survey nervous about future events. Do You Have Tsunami Insurance? It is important to note that most homeowners policies do not cover earthquakes, flooding or tsunamis. These policies must be purchased separately in order to have coverage for these events. Where Can I Get Tsunami Coverage? While your homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover it, you can get coverage for tsunamis on other policies. Earthquake insurance. Most tsunamis are caused by earthquakes, so it would make sense that there would be coverage under the earthquake policy. However, tsunami coverage is generally a sub-limit of earthquake coverage, and the limit may not be sufficient to cover damage caused by an earthquake-triggered tsunami. It is important to discuss coverage limits with your broker prior to an earthquake or tsunami to determine adequate limits. Flood...
College Students & Insurance

College Students & Insurance

In just a couple of months, your freshly minted high school graduate will be off to college. If your student will be living away from home for college, it is time to start thinking about what insurance coverage they have, and what they will need. For the college student to be covered under your homeowner’s policy the student must be a relative of yours that was a resident of your home before leaving for college, under the age of 26, and enrolled in the college or university full-time.  Property Insurance for College Students If you have homeowners insurance coverage, you may already have property insurance for your college student. However, there may be limitations to that coverage. Most homeowners policies extend coverage to insured property outside the home whether it is in storage or at a college dorm. The limit of this coverage is usually a designated percentage of the covered property, usually around 10%. For example, you have $150,000 in contents coverage on your homeowner’s insurance policy. 10% of that may be designated for off-premises, so your college student would have $15,000 in contents coverage in their college dorm. It’s important to discuss with your insurance broker just how much offsite coverage your policy extends. Then you and your insurance broker need to determine whether that amount is enough to cover all of your student’s belongings including clothing, linens, computers, gaming equipment, etc. Please note that the coverage may extend to the student’s belongings while in the college dorms but it may not cover your student’s belongings if they live in a sorority or fraternity house or in...