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New Year Commercial Insurance Checkup

New Year Commercial Insurance Checkup

End of year is busy for many businesses. Your company may be occupied with closing out the books for this year or doing strategic planning for next year. While you are putting 2016 to bed, now would be a good time to quickly review your current insurance policies, especially commercial insurance. Here are 4 steps to help you do that. Step 1: Round ‘Em Up Have you received paper or electronic copies of your policies? If so, do you know where they are located? Who has access to them? It is recommended that they be filed in a fireproof box, electronically, or at an alternate location. Broker contact and claim information should be distributed to key personnel so that it can be easily accessed in the event of a claim or catastrophe. Step 2: Inventory What You Have All of those policies you’ve purchased don’t mean a thing if they aren’t up to date. Here are things you should check with your basic policies before the new year: Commercial General Liability: Check your limits, deductibles and exposures. Do you have coverage for all locations and aspects of your business? Commercial Property: Have you purchased any new real estate or contents in the last 12 months? Was your insurance broker made aware of this new property? Have you received a recent appraisal that would affect your policy limits? Automobile Insurance: Do you have current auto ID cards for all insured vehicles? Have you purchased any new vehicles or sold/traded in any old ones? Have you made changes to any current vehicles that would affect their value? Are all of your...
Business Owners Package Insurance

Business Owners Package Insurance

As the owner of a small or medium sized business, you want to concentrate on growing your business. What you don’t want to worry about is insurance. For many main street type businesses, Hayes Brokers has one insurance policy to cover your two main concerns: property and liability. It is called a Business Owners Package (BOP) and it includes the property (hazard) and liability (casualty) that you know you need, plus a few extras that you may not know you need until it’s too late. Advantages of a Business Owners Package When you purchase most or all of you insurance coverage through one insurance company, you often get discounts. A BOP combines two of your main policies at a lower price than two separate policies. This means there are less policies to worry about, and only one premium payment to make. Some advantages of BOPS are: Less expensive that stand-alone policies. Include coverage you may not have considered. Include additional sublimits not contemplated under a monoline policy. One insurance company, one payment. BOP Bells & Whistles Some BOP policies include coverage that is more broad in scope or not as readily available on a monoline policy. These may include: Business Income & Extra Expense: Actual Loss Sustained (instead of a stated limit) Equipment Breakdown Ordinance or Law Property Under Your Care, Custody and Control Employee Benefits Liability Hired & Non-Owned Auto Liability Blanket Additional Insured Blanket Waiver of Subrogation Built In Umbrella Coverage Some insurance companies even have special BOP packages for certain types of business such as pool contractors or beauty salons. These policies include coverage specific to...
Commercial Property Insurance 101

Commercial Property Insurance 101

Insurance coverage for the things you own goes by a few names: hazard insurance, fire insurance, and most commonly, property insurance. You may have it but do you know what it covers? Is your policy covering everything you need?  Let’s take a look inside your property policy and find out. The Basics Most property insurance policies cover the items below, if requested. Limits are selected by the policyholder and may be subject to coinsurance penalties.  Your insurance broker can help you select appropriate limits of coverage. Your building. The structure on your premises that you own where you reside or conduct business. This may also be a structure that you rent or lease to others. Other buildings. Unlike on a homeowners policy, business policies require other structures on the premises to be scheduled in order to provide coverage for those structures. Business Personal Property. Also known as Contents coverage, this includes both furnishings and fixtures, items that your business owns that are not part of the building. Business Income. If you select this coverage and the damage to your business location causes financial harm to your business income, coverage would be paid out under this provision. There is usually a waiting period of 24-72 hours, but the payments allow you to pay key staff, vendors and utilities while repairs are being made. There may also be an Extra Expense limit under this provision that covers those items you wouldn’t normally need to pay if the business was up and running. Digging A Little Deeper These are property coverage items that you may need, but didn’t know you could insure:...

The Ultimate Guide to Coinsurance

There are some common misconceptions about coinsurance as it applies to commercial property insurance policies vs. medical insurance policies. The differences come down to one word: penalty. In medical insurance, the coinsurance is how a payment is divided between the insured party and the insurance provider. A figure such as 80/20 would indicate that the insurance provider would pay 80% of a covered medical claim and the insured would pick up the remaining 20% of the same claim. The word “coinsurance” means something different in property insurance terms. Coinsurance would better be described there as a “coinsurance clause” or more accurately a “coinsurance penalty.” Failure on the part of the insured to comply with the coinsurance requirements of the policy results in a coinsurance penalty in the event of a claim. What Is Coinsurance? A coinsurance clause in a property policy is a device to ensure that property is not being underinsured. Typically the quote and declarations will indicate a coinsurance percentage of anywhere from 50% to 100%. Normally a policy will indicate at least 80% coinsurance. Coinsurance Can Protect You The rate per square foot for property insurance coverage is determined by several factors: location, age, construction type, size and safety features. This rate is then multiplied by the amount of coverage required for the building to calculate a premium for property coverage. To save money on your insurance premium, you may be tempted to declare a lower amount of insurance coverage for your building. However, the lower limit of insurance can be detrimental in the event of a loss, since the policy will only pay out the...