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Three Reasons You Should Buy Flood Insurance NOW

Three Reasons You Should Buy Flood Insurance NOW

Drought conditions in the west and warmer than average winter temperatures across the country have forecasters in a tailspin as to how to predict exactly what weather event is coming next. Heavier than average rainfall has affected the Mississippi River Valley with St. Louis area residents experiencing a very wet Christmas due to flooding. When there hasn’t been much rain, home and business owners tend to drop the insurance policy that could help them most: flood insurance.  And those who haven’t purchased it don’t see the need. In order for flood insurance to work for you in a flooding event, you have to purchase it NOW.  Here are three reasons why you should buy flood insurance now: 1. There Is A Waiting Period. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy is designed to be purchased before you need flood coverage, and not during a storm or flood event. To prevent such on-the-spot purchases NFIP instituted a 30-day mandatory waiting period to purchase flood insurance. The policy you purchase today won’t start covering you until 30 days from now.  If it is raining now and flooding is likely, you won’t be able to get flood insurance until at least 30 days later, too late to help you when you need it now. There are no exceptions to this rule except for loan closings. If flood insurance is required for closing, the policy can be purchased and started on the same day, subject to program guidelines. Private insurers are beginning to provide quotes for flood insurance independent of NFIP which would alleviate the waiting period. However, insurance companies still will not...
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...
Commercial Cannabis Insurance Coverages Needed

Commercial Cannabis Insurance Coverages Needed

Cannabis operations, whether medical or recreational, are subject to the same insurance needs and requirements as most other businesses.  However, there are a few coverage options that you should take note of when purchasing coverage for your business. Do You Need Products Liability? General Liability insurance is needed for every type of cannabis business.  If the space your business occupies is rented or leased, the landlord or lessor will require proof of liability insurance at the business location. Products Liability is usually not included in the General Liability for a cannabis business. This is one coverage that is absolutely necessary to the industry. From growth to distribution, from manufacture to retail operations, Products Liability will protect your business from claims of negligence, defect and more.   Is Your Property Underinsured? Property Insurance coverage is important to all businesses, but there are special areas of concern for medical marijuana businesses and one of them is Tenant Improvements & Betterments. This coverage is often overlooked because business owners believe that contents coverage is enough.  Hayes Brokers knows that medical marijuana businesses put a lot of money into customizing the retail space you occupy.  These customizations are known in the insurance industry as tenant improvements & betterments. Tenant improvements & betterments are defined as substantial improvements that the tenant cannot necessarily take with him when he leaves, but that he would lose money on in the event of a fire or other property damage.  Special display cases, shelving, floor and wallcoverings are the sorts of tenant improvements that should be included in your property insurance policy.   Better Safe Than Sorry For...
Three More Things You Didn’t Know About Liability Insurance

Three More Things You Didn’t Know About Liability Insurance

There is a large insurance company with some quirky commercials that likes to use the phrase “When it comes to insurance, what you don’t know CAN hurt you.”  They aren’t wrong.  Insurance policies can sometimes include clauses or conditions that can limit your insurance coverage. At Hayes Brokers, we’re here to help by bringing some of these limitations to light.  As part of our ongoing series, here are three more things you didn’t know about General Liability Insurance.   Where Are Your Defense Costs? When it comes to claims, you will most often here about the big check paid to a plaintiff.  That is often not the only check written on a claim.  An even bigger payout can come in the form of attorney and trial fees, otherwise known as defense costs. Defense costs can be applied to your policy in one of two ways: Inside the limits.  This means that the defense costs come out of the policy limit.  If your per occurrence limit is $1,000,000 and your insurance company spends $400,000 in defense costs and pays out $800,000 to the plaintiff, the total claim amount would be $1,200,000.  Your per occurrence limit would be exhausted and the additional $200,000 would come out of your own pocket. Outside the limits.  This means that defense costs are picked up by the insurance company and do not erode your policy limit.  Any settlement to a plaintiff or claimant still lowers your policy limit.   Most insurance companies prefer policies with costs inside the limit, but some do offer the costs outside endorsement.   Be aware that defense costs outside the limit...

Roundup: Small Business Tips

Every now and then we like to share our roundup of content for the small business owner. Hope you enjoy these quick and easy reads: 3 Ways to Achieve Your Biggest Goals From Time Category: Personal/Professional Growth Winners and Losers: Net Neutrality From Mashable Category: News, Government 5 Common Mistakes Small Business Owners Make From HuffPo Category: Small Business Tips Top 12 Tax Deductions for the Self-Employed From FoxBiz Category: Taxes Ten Ways to Connect with Employees and Be a Better Boss From TheStreet Category: Small Business HR Cannabis Coworking Space for Green Startups From Forbes Category: MMJ News 10 Tips to Help You Build And Grow From the SBA Category: Small Business...