Business Insurance Tips

3 things people forget to include on their business insurance

Most people don't think much about their business insurance, but the 3 most common things people forget to include are...

  • Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) - this is for lawsuits arising out of hiring/firing practices, sexual harassment, and discrimination 
  • Cyber Liability - even if you only run credit cards or store names, emails, and phone numbers you could be at risk. Any personally identifiable information is subject to hacking and financial ruin for your business 
  • Equipment breakdown coverage - if a machine breaks down and isn't something that can be immediately repaired then every minute is lost revenue to your business

Do you have business partners?

Imagine suddenly being in business with a random relative of your business partner... just think about the impact of that for a minute....

If you don't have a buy/sell agreement then that is exactly what will happen - a relative will inherit their share of the business and you get to run your business with them. Chat with your business attorney about drafting a buy/sell agreement if you don't already have one then fund it with life insurance. Unless you just have half the value of your business sitting in your account to buy out that family member life insurance is the most cost effective way most people handle this.

Do you have an invaluable employee?

Imagine if one of your best employees didn't show up to work today? What would be the impact of that?.... lost revenue, lost sales, a six month recovery for the business?

How nice would it be to get a check to balance out the income dip and provide a bonus to recruit a new rockstar employee? 

Are items in your vehicle covered?

Are items in your work vehicles covered on your business insurance?

People often don't realize vehicle insurance is just that... vehicle insurance. It typically only covers the vehicle itself, stock, from the factory. Any modifications to the vehicle and any contents of the vehicle are not automatically covered. Vehicle modifications can be added to the vehicle insurance policy, but all contents are typically covered separately.

Therefore if you have a car break in there will be 2 claims - 1) for the damage to the vehicle, filed under comprehensive with a deductible, and 2) for the stolen contents, filed under your business/inland marine (the strangest name ever) insurance with a separate deductible, that is usually $500-$1,000+.

Separate Storage?

Does your business location have storage outside of your individual unit in the building? If so and your office location is listed with your suite # it's probable the items you have store there aren't covered.

Usually "location" is defined by the location listed on the policy and within 100 feet. Therefore that storage on the other end of the building more than 100 feet away isn't covered!

It's best to check just to make sure you don't get surprised later. 

How does EQ insurance work?

Earthquake insurance is becoming more and more common as fears of "the big one" increase. A few notes on earthquake insurance...

- It's not often included in regular business insurance unless you are in a low-risk area or are grandfathered
- It typically has a % deductible as it's for the "big one." If there is a tremor and a desk falls over the deductible will not be reached
- Pricing and carrier options are dependent on the age of the home, location, and if the home has been earthquake retrofit

Lay of the land

Ever wonder about the different options to purchase insurance?

  • Directly from a company by calling them/using their website - can be great if you love a certain company, but often is via a call center w/minimal/incorrect advice providing an impersonal experience and potential gaps in coverage
  • Directly from an agent of a company- often referred to as "captive" agents - local presence, but locked to one carrier. If they provide competitive rates,  quality relationship, and good advice can be a good option. Just watch out for rate creep - may be competitive when you set it up, but creep up over years costing you hundreds or thousands. Frog in boiling water? 
  • Directly from a broker - brokers have access to a list of carriers as well as a "rater" that shops all the carriers not only up front, but can easily re-shop it on renewals if the chosen insurance carrier drastically changes rates. Often the best option as you get a local agent, solid advice, and consistently competitve rates. Just make sure the broker doesn't set it and forget it. Ask them what their annual review process is. If that concept sounds foreign to them, keep calling around until you find someone that reaches out annually to check in, make adjustments, and shop it out again if necessary. 

Inexpensive Business Monitoring

With all the technology advancements it's hard to keep up, but we scoured the interwebs to find you some valuable tools that, after a quick setup, can give you peace of mind and potentially save you a fortune! 

  • Wyze Cams, door sensors, and activity monitors - - HD Infrared (night vision) Wifi camera to keep watch on your home while you are away. It can be set up to send an alert to your smartphone when there is motion and when the fire alarm or the CO2 alarm go off. Live feed video available via your smartphone! While this doesn’t replace a monitored alarm system (as they will call the police if you are asleep when something happens), but an inexpensive alternative to provide some extra protection! They are only $27.99! Corey got them for everyone in his family for Christmas. 
  • Smart Water Detectors -  Self-explanatory, but it will sound an audible and visual alert and send you an email if it detects water! You can have your email account TEXT you if it gets an email from the device so you would be notified instantly and can address the issue! 
  • Not a tech toy, but best $20 investment EVER! Dryer Vent Cleaning System - this is one of the TOP reasons for fires! Please clean yours annually. Corey cleaned his and got a FULL VACUUM bag full of lint! Scary! Gardus RLE202 LintEater 10-Piece Rotary Dryer Vent Cleaning System

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