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5 Things You Need to Know About Insuring Your Business

5 Things You Need to Know About Insuring Your Business

Just about the last thing on anyone’s mind when starting a new business is insurance. When you do think about it, the words “expensive” and “complicated” probably come to mind. Who needs that hassle? In short: you do. Protecting yourself and your investors should be at the top of your list! Here is some handy, yet simple information that will help you understand what insurance is and why you need it. Premises Liability Any time anyone steps out of their vehicle in your parking lot or walks through the doors of your establishment, you run the risk of being sued. Slips and falls can occur on the most well-kept of premises. Injured patrons of your establishment might consult a lawyer to determine how much they can get for their medical bills, pain and suffering. Personal injury claims are expensive: from the legal fees (their and yours) to the awards (if any). A premises liability policy offers compensation for legal expenses and awards that might otherwise come out of your own pocket. If you are leasing the premises, your landlord will most likely require that you have this coverage before you can even move in. He might even require that your policy name him as additional insured. This will provide coverage to the landlord in the event someone is injured on the property that you occupy and are required to maintain. Another good reason to purchase this coverage is that your landlord’s insurance policy, if he has one, isn’t going to cover you. Contents/Property Coverage Property insurance is something you are probably considering, if only for the coverage it provides...
Life Insurance: The Basics

Life Insurance: The Basics

When it comes to the financial health of your family or business, you probably think you have all of the bases covered: a good job, a good marketing strategy, savings, retirement and even investments. The question is, when you are no longer around to provide these, how can you protect your family and/or business? The answer is life insurance. It doesn’t have to be a daunting concept, if you know the basics. Here we will share some basic policy concepts to help you decide which type of life insurance policy may be right for you. Term Life Insurance Term insurance is exactly what it sounds like: a policy that is purchased for a certain term, usually anywhere from 5 to 30 years. You can purchase term life insurance for a set number of years based on your age, your tobacco habits and many other features. The monthly premium for the term can be either a fixed amount per month, or the premium may fluctuate up or down over the years, depending on when you are purchasing the policy and why (such as for the terms of a mortgage). The policy may be purchased at any age or stage in life, but age is a factor in determining the premium. Pros: Premiums are typically much lower than other types of life insurance policies written for the same amount.  There is usually no health exam associated with the policy wih lower limits of coverage, just a questionnaire about your personal habits, hobbies and job. Higher limits may require a paramed exam. Term insurance may also be transferred to a whole life...
Beware the Pitfalls of Social Media

Beware the Pitfalls of Social Media

It used to be that if you wanted to build a small business into a big business you had to spend a lot of money. Mail campaigns, print advertising, radio and television spots had to be purchased in a wide range of markets to get the word out about your product or service. Times have changed, and the Internet is king. Any small business can grow significantly by using social media, and a lot of it is free! Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and many other sites allow anyone to talk about anything, anywhere, at any time, and it won’t cost you a nickel. Or will it? In this society of free speech and one-on-one customer engagement through free or low-cost social media, the pitfalls are many and they can cost you if you aren’t careful.  Saying the wrong thing can result in everything from customer backlash to corporate lawsuit. In the digital age even the things you delete can live on forever through website caching and screen shots.  Read on to find out how to protect your business.   What Does Your Liability Insurance Policy Cover? Most businesses purchase Commercial General Liability Insurance to cover things like slips and falls or products liability, and those policies usually include coverage for personal and advertising injury. Personal or advertising injury may include using copyrighted photos without proper licensing or permission, slandering a customer or a competitor, or advertising the wrong price or details on an item. So what happens if you make a mistake in an online Facebook status, or offend someone on Twitter? Generally the advertising injury portion of your policy...
Should You Be Afraid of OSHA?

Should You Be Afraid of OSHA?

It is a phrase likely to strike fear in even the most experienced of business owners: “OSHA is coming!”  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a reputation for being tough on businesses when they are down, and the thought of an inspection by OSHA can be daunting. OSHA might not be the bad guys they have been made out to be, and here is why.   They Are Here To Help The main focus of OSHA is in their name: “occupational safety” and “occupational health”. The mission of OSHA is “to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance” (from About OSHA). Your business wants a safe and healthy work environment for your employees to reduce employee illness or injury, downtime and workers compensation premiums.  OSHA provides a wealth of training and resources by industry to help you do all of these things.   Inspections Can Be A Good Thing One of the biggest ways OSHA can help is by performing workplace inspections.  Why, then, do so many companies fear an OSHA inspection? There are two main types of inspections that OSHA performs: Planned or programmed investigations. These are planned by the department, but are still surprise inspections of certain high-hazard industries and individual workplaces that have demonstrated high rates of illness or injury. Incident-related inspections. While these are still surprise inspections, the employer should be expecting an OSHA inspector if there has recently been an on-the-job fatality or catastrophe, an imminent danger situation, a complaint filed by an employee (usually...
Commercial Lease Agreement: Insurance Requirements Crash Course for Renters

Commercial Lease Agreement: Insurance Requirements Crash Course for Renters

Ah, the thrill of finally finding the perfect office space. The location is right, the monthly rent is right, even the view is exactly what you hoped for. There’s just one thing standing between you and the keys: the commercial lease agreement. Amidst all the legal jargon about parking spaces and maintenance is the section about insurance requirements. Do you have the right kind? Do you have enough? Be sure to find out before you sign on the dotted line…   Are Those Requirements Really Required? Before a lessor or landlord can require you to provide proof of insurance, they must have a legally insurable interest in the items for which they are requesting coverage. Do they require contents coverage (property insurance)? If the landlord is providing or leasing furnishings or equipment to you (other than the building) they can require proof of contents coverage with them listed as the loss payee. Usually this is not the case, so the landlord cannot require this coverage. It is a good idea to have this coverage anyway, so please consult your insurance broker to find out how to include this coverage in your insurance portfolio. Do they require liability insurance? Some landlords may require that you carry “x” amount of liability insurance, and some may require that you name them as an additional insured on the policy. In the event of an injury on the tenant’s premises a plaintiff’s attorney will often sue the tenant, the landlord and anyone else associated with the premises. If the claimant was injured on your premises or due to your negligence, your landlord will want...