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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...
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...
State Minimum Auto Insurance

State Minimum Auto Insurance

During every sporting event, there are plenty of ads on TV touting the latest online auto insurance company. Each offers online quoting, low down payments and state minimum auto insurance. Those all sound great, but are they? Remember that old adage that “you get what you pay for”? Let’s talk more about state minimum auto insurance. What is State Minimum Auto Insurance? Nearly every state requires that drivers have insurance or financial responsibility in order to drive a vehicle. Since insurance is mandatory, states have established state minimum auto insurance requirements for drivers. State minimum auto insurance limits are the minimum amount of liability insurance (both bodily injury liability and property damage liability) that the state requires for a driver to be “legal” to drive. These limits vary from state to state. Below are some examples: California $15,000 bodily injury liability per person $30,000 bodily injury liability per accident $5,000 property damage liability per accident Florida $10,000 property damage liability per accident $10,000 personal injury protection Here is a handy guide to the websites and information for state minimum auto insurance requirements by state. What Isn’t Required As State Minimum? State laws require only that drivers have minimum liability insurance limits for bodily injury and property damage. Still others require minimum limits of personal injury protection for insured drivers and their passengers. What usually isn’t required is coverage for comprehensive and collision damage (also known as “full coverage”) or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, towing & labor, or rental reimbursement. Should You Purchase State Minimum Auto Insurance? As a law, you MUST purchase at least the state minimum in order to...
Glass Coverage for Wrecking Rooms

Glass Coverage for Wrecking Rooms

There are few sounds more satisfying than breaking glass. Whether it’s a car windshield, a piece of wedding crystal or your ex’s phone hitting the wall, it just feels good when that crash occurs. You can almost feel the stress draining from you. Wrecking rooms are gaining in popularity across the country. People need stress relievers, and they may want breaking glass to be part of that experience. Unfortunately, glass is difficult to insure in wrecking rooms. What’s the Problem? While the crash of breaking glass may be satisfying to business patrons, it does present a problem for insurers. Shattered glass makes a harmful projectile to those creating the breakage, as well as to bystanders. Personal items may also be damaged by flying glass. The glass littering the floor and other flat surfaces can also cause damage or injury. Even a thorough cleaning might not remove small shards.  Safety glass from windshields can cause damage and injury when enough force is applied. Should You Provide Glass Wrecking Objects? Not everyone needs the glass breakage experience to relieve their frustrations, though some may request it. Proper protection in these situations should always be required. Gloves, long sleeves and eye protection should be provided to or required of the person doing the wrecking, as well as any bystanders or other participants. Will Your Liability Release Protect You? If you don’t have participants signing a liability release or waiver prior to participating, you should implement this as soon as possible. A waiver is a good step in protecting your business, but unfortunately they don’t always work. While many states do enforce liability...
Do Limited Liability Companies Need Insurance?

Do Limited Liability Companies Need Insurance?

It is a common misconception when setting up a Limited Liability Company, or LLC: the very name says liability is limited. Therefore, no insurance is needed, right? Wrong. While LLCs do offer some protection, it doesn’t negate the need for insurance. Let’s examine why. What Is An LLC? An LLC is a form of business ownership that is designed to protect the personal assets of its managers and members from business liability. The structure itself is easier to maintain than a corporation, as there are no board meetings required or articles of incorporation to be filed. Do LLCs Really Limit Liability? LLCs limit liability in certain ways. If the LLC defaults on a loan, the individual LLC members and managers may not be sued personally on behalf of the LLC due to the corporate structure. Piercing the corporate veil proves to be more difficult than a corporation since there are fewer hoops for LLCs to jump through, so less opportunity for mistakes to be made. While this does offer protection to the members and managers of the company in the event of a lawsuit, it does not protect the LLC from being sued. Does that make a difference? What If My Company Gets Sued? The structure of the LLC protects the individual members and managers from personal liability for corporate decisions, which is a good thing. However, the LLC cannot protect itself from being sued simply by being an LLC. For instance: If you own a small retail shop and someone falls and gets injured while on your premises, they may sue your company. If someone becomes ill or...