Category Archives: Unusual Insurance

Home Based Businesses need insurance coverage.

Home Based Businesses: Check out this insurance, a real need. 

Home Based Businesses need insurance coverage for a variety of reasons.

Small home businesses take the same risk as if they opened a retail location or office.   Many owners I talk to minimize what they face by saying: “I just work out of my house.”  Unfortunately, that makes no difference if the unthinkable happens and someone gets hurt or your business is shut down when all your tools are stolen.   Fortunately, there is a solution that very few insurance people will tell you about.  USLI Insurance has introduced a product that will cover your home business if you qualify, even while you are away from your home for as little as $ 182.00 per year in Colorado.  Only select agents are marketing this product.

Most homeowners insurance companies will not cover your home business.  Even if they find it acceptable for you work out of your home (many will cancel your coverage if you tell them), they offer limited coverage: perhaps  $ 5,000 of business property,  no liability, and certainly no loss of income or professional liability coverage.

Our home business policy can cover you for $ 1,000,000 General liability,  $ 25,000 worth of All-Risk property coverage, Property Coverage Away from your home (trade shows etc), Loss of Income due to fire or other covered loss, and in some cases, $ 25,000 of Professional Liability for errors.  This package cannot be beat for Business Consultants, Merchandising Agents, Craft persons, Artists and Art Restorers, the list goes on!  Last week we wrote a home baker who makes popcorn balls at home, then sells them at Farmers Markets!  The problem was solved for them when we placed the required $ 1,000,000 General Liability needed for them to rent at a fair.

In addition, this protected the homeowners policy so they did not get cancelled by their home insurance company.  A call to find out more information is as close as 303-755-8600 it never hurts to talk.  One home business we had was paying over $ 2,000 a year just for liability, we sure lowered their cost.

Call our home business experts today.

Pollution Losses rarely covered by standard insurance

Less than 10% of environmental losses are insured.   This means that companies are held accountable under several Federal, State, and Local Statutory penalties and requirements  and rules that can cost a business owner and the business untold damages.  These are also not exclusive remedies, everyone is still liable under tort laws for bodily injury and property damage done by pollution, even if it is uninsured.

Environmental Insurance, while dificult to find and expensive in the past,  is now generally available for both first party and third party coverage. The hing that distinguishes environmental insurance from other insurance contracts is a separate coverage in the insuring agreement for environmental damage or environmental cleanup with additional coverages for penalties and legal responses.

Here are some examples of environmental claims:

Paving Contractor – After laying Naptha, heavy rain washed toxins into a stream.   Clean-up was over $ 150,000.

Painting Contractor – At a nursing home the contractor was working on paint fumes cost the contractor over $ 200,000 to move patients due to inadequate venting.

Utility contractor – Construction of a power line, by a sub-contractor,  hit an underground sewage line.  contractor was held liable for the sub-contractors actions and held liable for the cost of cleanup and repair.

Milk Truck  – Carrier jackknifed, spilling milk into a local waterway. Cleanup of the ecosystem and fish kill was  $ 800,000.

Typical insurance policy responses to these risks fall into these categories.

1. First Party Site Pollution – coverage for contamination of your own location by you.

2. Third party Contractors Pollution – coverage for your risk as a contractor on jobs and transportation

3. General Liability and Pollution Policies for Environmental Contractors, Cleanup Contractors and Consultants

4. Professional Liability for Environmental Consultants -covering the advice and recommendations they give to others if this results in a loss.

5. Site Pollution and transaction polices used to guarantee a buyer or bank that they will not take a loss due to current conditions of the property in question.

Can your business afford a pollution loss?  Are you prepared for this eventuality?  Call us to discuss where insurance might fit into your Risk Management Plan.

 

Checkout what you may be missing: Employment Practices and Privacy Liability Protection

Over the last several years two coverages have become commonplace, yet small business owners often overlook them.  We want to take this opportunity to recommend that you seriously consider adding Employment Practices Liability and Privacy Insurance to your business package.

Employment Practices  Liability will respond to a claim brought by one of your employees concerning how you have treated them in their employment.  Claims of sexually harassment, internal and by your customers, are covered as well as failure to hire promote or train based on any protected status.  We have seen these claims handled when one of our clients is accused of wrongdoing.  You may already have some amount of protect automatically included.  303-755-8600

Privacy insurance helps your business respond to a breach in your office security if non-public information of your customers or employees is released or stolen.  There are new federal laws that require specific responses to such an event.  This insurance covers many of these costs.

You might be surprised at how inexpensive these coverage can be added to your risk management package.  Contact us if you have questions or are curious what these policies might cost. 

Highway crash fatalities in the US increased in 2012, ending a 6-year streak of declines

According to the NHTSA, crash fatalities in the US increased 5.3% to 34,080 in 2012, the rise coinciding with the Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s campaign against distracted driving. The fatality rate also increased from 1.1 to 1.16. According to the National Safety Council in 2012 US traffic deaths increased 5% to 36,200, the first rise over the past eight years.

“NSC is greatly concerned with the upswing in traffic fatalities on our nation’s roads,” said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Although we have improved safety features in vehicles today, we also have new challenges, especially as it relates to teen and distracted driving, that need to be addressed on a national scale.”

Dealing with aging parents is always tough, now State Auto Insurance can handle one of the details!

Your parents may have worked hard to build a nest egg. As they age you may be in a position to help them protect it as they rely upon you more and more. State Auto has a new coverage that helps with Assisted Living situations. If one of your family members is living in an Assisted Living environment, you can now provide coverage both for their possessions and potential Personal Liability.

In the past, you might have had to purchase a full renter’s insurance policy for them. Now you have a clear path to appropriate coverage that State Auto is offering by adding it to your own homeowner’s insurance policy. So their personal items are now covered easily. Plus you assure them of having the additional coverage of personal liability. So if your grandfather plays golf and hits a windshield causing an accident, his bank account is protected.

The coverage can be added to your homeowner policy, and it provides personal property, additional living expense, and personal liability coverage for a non-resident relative who is residing in an assisted care facility. One less item for you to handle in a difficult time, and it renews next year with no effort on your part! Once and done.

Do You Like Wine? If So, Read This!

We have all heard of the drought.  Food costs are going to skyrocket.  I have even read where pork is going to be hit hard.  Then, even more bad news, vineyards are being hit. There is not enough water to water the grapes.  There is a problem here.  Even in Europe, where some of the finer wines are made, there is a problem.  Production is down this year.

There is only one real solution.  Buy wine.  Buy as much as you can.  Hopefully you have decent storage.  If not you may want to consider some of the very affordable methods available. The reality is buy it now and store it.

Some storage tips:  Keep the temperature around 55 degrees.  Humidity high about 75%, dark environment.  No heat, which hurts the most.  Keep the bottle horizontal so the wine is against the cork.  That helps keep the cork moist which in turn helps the cork stay in and keeps the wine fresh.   Last but not least, a dark place.  It seems that light can affect certain wines.

Do not by any means store the wine on top of the refrigerator.  For some reason, this is an extremely popular spot and does the most damage to the wine.  Hot and above a heat producing machine.  So no, no on top of the refrigerator.  The basement, dark corner, no light, on its side.

Given the shortage and the prices going up, buy what you like now.  Put it away.  If you do expend funds for some very fine bottles, consider insuring them.  Furthermore, consider a small home-built  storage shelter.  It is not hard to do and will preserve the wine for a long time.

The links below are for reference purposes and articles that go into things deeper.

Storing Wine

Europe Wine Shortage

Your own wine cellar

I Have a Small Business. I Don’t Need Insurance! Think Twice!

In the past a home office was not the way to go, today it is different.  Given people telecommut, work from their home or have their own home bussiness, it is a different world.

So do you really need insurance?  After all your in your own home, the homeowners insurance will take care of me.  Wrong!

The reality is that you are at risk.  In more ways that you realize.  This blog is meant to point out those risks and have you assess what you should look at.

Telecommuting with a boss raises some commuinication issues that should be clarified.  So you have a job and your working at home.  There is a risk the employer takes on automatically, what that risk is, needs to be discussed.

 

 

 

Several things need to be considered when setting up a home office, not the least being how to insure it. If you are working at home under a telecommuting arrangement with your employer, the risk will be borne either wholly or partially by them. You will need to clarify exactly who is responsible for what before entering into the arrangement.

If starting a business from home, you are responsible for ensuring that the insurance coverage is adequate. Some different types of insurance for the home-based business operator to consider are:

• Office equipment

• Inventory (if stock kept on the premises):

• Public Liability

• Professional Indemnity

• Workers’ Compensation

• Personal Accident/Income Protection

Many small or “micro” business operators may feel they need little, if any, additional insurance. Picture this…

Your home is struck by lightning during a major storm and all of your electrical equipment is “fried”. Your Home Contents Policy will cover replacement of household electrical appliances destroyed as a result of the lightning strike but does not cover equipment used in the operation of a business. Some companies do offer limited cover for home office equipment…yours doesn’t.

Do you ever consult with clients at your home office? If a client trips on one of your children’s toys and is injured, don’t expect to be indemnified by the public liability section of your household policy. Any liability arising out of your business activities will be borne by you.

Think about this for a minute. Medical expenses, loss of income due to incapacity, not to mention legal expenses if the matter goes to court plus any judgement that may be awarded. Without Public Liability insurance for your business, one claim is all it would take to ruin you financially.

If you keep inventory on the premises, remember that it is not covered under your household policy. A separate policy to insure your stock will be required.

Perhaps you don’t handle stock. Your product may be your expertise and talent such as a business consultant or financial advisor. What if your advice is proven to be wrong? A financial advisor whose clients lose a lot of money because of his advice may well sue him for that loss. Without Professional Indemnity insurance, another small business folds.

Another question to ask yourself is this: What effect would losing my home-based business income have on my current lifestyle? If the answer is anywhere from “hardly any” to “catastrophic”, some form of Income Protection or Personal Accident insurance is recommended.

Then there’s Workers’ Compensation. “Workers’ Compensation?” I hear you incredulously ask. “But I don’t employ anyone!”

Consider this …

You’re a graphic designer and very, very busy. Demand for your services has grown so much that you occasionally subcontract out some of the work.

On one particular occasion, you contact another designer with whom you’ve worked before. He meets you at your favourite coffee “haunt” and you go over the job specifications with him. The meeting ends well and you look forward to receiving his part of the project in due time. He can’t wait to get started (or to receive your cheque).

On the way home from his meeting with you, the other designer is involved in a car accident and seriously injured. He will be unable to work for at least eight weeks and has no Personal Accident insurance.

His was the only vehicle involved so there’s no recourse there either. His only alternative to keep life in some kind of order is to claim Workers’ Compensation…from you. Since the accident occurred on his way home from his meeting with you – someone who has offered payment for a service provided – it would be difficult to successfully dispute his claim.

Regardless of what type of business is being operated from your home, it is imperative that the correct insurance type and level of cover is obtained. As is illustrated by the examples given, it only takes one incident, giving rise to one claim that can ruin, not only a business, but also lives.

And it is not just the business operators who suffer. The injured parties who are themselves unable to earn a living, through no fault of their own, also suffer – as do their families. Even if a judgement is awarded in favour of an injured party, the now bankrupt home-based business operator involved would have no means by which to pay it.

Bottom line? Talk to an insurance broker today!

Are These Normal Insurance Policies, Please Let Us Know What You Think.

 

Some fun thoughts about unusual insurance.  Here is the list and at the bottom is the link to the article.  What kind of insurance is the most unusual you can think of?

Alien Abduction Insurance
Mustache Insurance
Run-For-Your-Life Insurance
Paternity Insurance
Riot Insurance
Leg Insurance
Rapture Insurance
Cow Dehydration Insurance
Crossed Eye Insurance
Chest Hair Insurance
Taco Insurance (All I can say is WOW, read this one)
Nose Insurance
Fantasy Football Insurance
Erectile Dysfunction Insurance…For Horses

Click on this link to get to the original article.

 

Fun to read, but do you have any thoughts on something unusual we should look into insuring?  If so, let us know, we would be glad to take a look at a policy that would cover it.

Is Skiing Dangerous? Are Ski Helmets There to Stop All Injury? Mountain Biking Liability?

 

I saw these articles and it raised a bunch of questions, hopefully you can give me answers.

Colorado Parents Say Avalanche Not a Routine Ski Risk

More Detail On Avalanche Death

Skiing related head injuries increasing despite growing use of helmets

Mountain Biking and Liability

Ok I don’t quite understand things here.  I ski, I wear a helmet, and I mountain bike.  So help me understand liability.  Or at least give me feedback on what is going on and whether or not you disagree.

Avalanche danger.  Stop the slope was closed for a reason.  If you go there you assume the risk.  People go into avalanche areas all the time understanding the risks.  They can be large risk adventures.  But at a ski area, you have a choice, stay in bounds and stay on trails that are open.  Liability, is the ski are liable, and if so why?  Help me understand.

Helmets are meant to protect you from concussion and brain injury.  True story, a friend of mine’s wife, skiing, together, fell hit her head and literally didn’t make sense for a few days.    We took her in right away to emergency room, it was a concussion.  Helmet didn’t do what we thought it was supposed to do.  Should the helmet manufacturer be sued and if so why?

I was skiing, a bump run, bad conditions last year, I fell on an ICE mogul, hit my head.  Got up skied away.  Had a headache for a week, went to the doc.  Determined a concussion, those symptoms lasted about two months, Post Concussion Syndrome.  Should I have sued the ski area and helmet manufacturer?  If so why?

Mountain biking, you go down a mountain on YOUR own mountain bike.  At least most of us.  You hit a bump wrong, you fall.  Do you sue the parks department for having that rock in the way and you falling?  Why?

After you give me some answers, the next question is what kind of insurance do you need to protect you from this kind of lawsuit.

 

The iPhone 5, To Insure Or Not To Insure? That Is The Question!

Given the sales of the iPhone, at some point you may want one. If you own one this applies. If you don’t, it still applies, the smart phone is expensive.  So insurance is a pertinent issue to think about.  After all, you insure your house, car, business, why not your phone?

Have you ever dropped your phone?  Ever dropped your tablet?  Think about the close calls you have had.  I know someone who dropped an iPad, cracked the screen, found a place to get the glass, and glue the new piece down.  Worked generally pretty good.  Took time and effort to research it and do the work, but it did work.  Not quite to factory specs, but good enough.

Some falls can be far worse.  The entire glass, a dent in the body of the device and it looks like it has been through a dryer.  The other thing to consider is the reality of how much we carry our phones around.  Many people carry it in a pocket.  I know people who hike, mountain bike, bicycle and other “dangerous” sports.  The all do this with their phone in their pockets.

One fall, can make device look like a broken mirror with lots of pieces you really ever wanted to see inside the phone.  Let’s face it, these devices are not cheap.  The more memory you have the more the cost.  And we all want memory, so we can put in pictures, songs, PDF files, email etc.

So think about insurance that includes drops and spills.  Will it happen to you?  If you carry your phone safely much of time, you may not want to spend the money, but if you take it out and about think about.

One caution:  Insurance will not protect your data.  So make sure you back up your phone regularly, be it in the cloud or on the computer, back it up.  Back it up regularly.  A drop high enough can take out the drive.

One company offering this coverage is called  the other is Squaretrade.