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You put passion behind your products — protect them

You’ve spent a lot of time and money on your products so that they will satisfy consumers. Don’t let that all go south when one defective product or a misinterpreted label goes wrong. If someone claims your product causes injury to their person or damages their property, then you could be held responsible for the bill.  

What is Product Liability Insurance?  

Product liability insurance is an insurance policy that helps cover the cost of legal expenses in the event someone claims your product injured them or damages their property. Most businesses that sell, manufacture, or distribute products should have this insurance coverage under their belt. This policy covers defective products or products that aren’t labeled with enough warnings (for example peanut butter contains nuts). Even if it seems obvious if there isn’t a warning label your business could potentially lose the lawsuit.  

Whether it’s a design defect or a manufacturer defect, a product liability claim is considered a strict liability. This means that the seller, manufacturer, and distributor are at fault for the person’s injury or property damage.  

Product liability also covers contractors or construction workers for completed work and installation professionals who install a product in someone’s home. If they install something in the home that leads to the damage of something else (like a new refrigerator leak that causes water damage to the floor), then they will be covered under product liability insurance if they hold a policy. Depending on the claim, business owners could easily lose thousands of dollars or more if they didn’t have a product liability policy. 

If you sell a product that doesn’t do as it promises (like a microwave that promises to turn potatoes into gold nuggets—it’s impossible) then it will not be covered under product liability insurance.  

Why Your Business Needs Product Liability Coverage 

You never know when a product could be defective, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and purchase a product liability plan. Some insurers bundle it along with general liability or a business owner’s policy (BOP), but you should always double-check and make sure that you have this coverage before selling or installing any products. Most BOPs provide property, general liability, and business income coverages in one plan.  

General liability policies cover your business from claims of bodily injury, property damage, or personal injury (like slander). This doesn’t cover the products or services that your business sells or provides. It typically covers scenarios like someone slipping on a wet floor or a ceiling tile falling on them. If someone bought something from your store and it caused them harm outside of the store, then you would need product liability coverage to ensure you’re covered from any claims they may make.  

While product liability insurance isn’t required for businesses to operate, not having it could lead to a major monetary loss that shuts down the business. Reach out to your local insurance agent to ask about a product liability insurance quote for your business today!  

How to Incorporate Workplace Wellness 

The idea of wellness has been steadily growing since the 1960s, but in recent years it has really boomed. Wellness focuses on health in all areas of an individual. Workplace wellness focuses on encouraging healthy behavior so employees are healthier and happier at work. Every company is different and offers different methods of workplace wellness, but if you’re new to the idea of wellness here are some things to consider:  

Physical Wellness  

Encouraging workers to stay physically fit can boost their energy and overall happiness levels. Having an in-office gym or offering gym memberships can help employees with their physical endeavors. Healthy eating habits are another aspect of physical wellness, so giving them ample time to eat and offering water and snacks in the office will promote a healthier lifestyle. Getting a good amount of sleep is important to productivity, so it encourages employees to be well-rested.  

Offering a good health insurance plan will keep employees healthier in the long run. Promote regular physicals or have days in the office where you host free check-ups for employees. You can also hold events in the office where you offer company-wide flu vaccines during flu season. 

Mental & Emotional Wellness  

Mental health and emotional wellness are the most important aspects of wellness. Mental health disorders have been on the rise since the pandemic and are more prevalent than ever. You don’t want your employees to be stressed and feel overworked—the work-life balance is key. Make sure your business offers holidays off and enough sick leave and vacation days for employees.  

Offering free telehealth programs to your employees can help them with their mental health. They can use telehealth visits for therapy and won’t have to worry about the cost while getting the help they need. You can also offer courses on mindfulness, a method of stress reduction by improving the human ability to be present and have situational awareness. Mindfulness allows us to deal with our situations without becoming overwhelmed. Consider allowing time in the day for meditation or personal time to de-stress during the workday.  

Social Wellness  

Having a socially healthy company culture is an integral part of workplace wellness. That means zero tolerance for sexual harassment, bullying, or discrimination of any kind. Consider having training courses on these subjects so employees are cognizant of what constitutes poor workplace behavior. Promote social morale and cohesion in the workplace.  

Not everyone needs to be friends, but there should be a certain level of respect amongst coworkers. Make sure employees are familiar with who they are working with, even if they are in other departments!  

Personal Growth  

When employees know that there’s room to grow in a company, they are more likely to stay than pursue other jobs. Consider offering free classes for employees so that they can learn more skills and better themselves. This gives a sense of accomplishment and gives employees confidence when they finish a course.  

You can also incentivize it and make it a part of quarterly goals to complete a certain number of courses. The confidence from learning new skills may encourage them to try those new skills at work, and they may volunteer for work that they may not have before.  

Financial Security  

Financial security is at the top of everyone’s mind when they’re working—they’re not working for fun. A healthy balance between income and expenses means financial wellness for employees. Workers need to feel financially secure. When employees are stressed about their finances, their quality of work lessens and they become more stressed. It’s a never-ending cycle. Employees that are financially stable tend to be more productive and sociable with their coworkers.  

A few solutions to lessen financial stress are offering a 401(k) plan and reasonable health insurance premiums. Having good healthcare is a concern for many, so knowing that you have a reasonably priced health insurance plan can ease a lot of stress. Raising salaries to coincide with the rising cost of living and offering bonuses can also incentivize workers to be productive and stay for the long run.  

Keep your workers happy and healthy by keeping workplace wellness in mind. Consider reaching out to your local insurance agent to discuss the best health insurance plan for your employees’ needs. 

How to Prepare Your Home for Summer

Keep your home safe and prevent damage with yearly cleaning and upkeep. Plan maintenance for your house so it stays in better condition for longer. Here are some tips to prepare your home for summer:  

Clean Your Gutters   

If you didn’t clean your gutters before the wintertime, it’s time to do it now. Leaves and other debris can get stuck in your gutters, which makes it more difficult for them to function properly. The water won’t be able to travel through them, and the water will find other ways to escape, like leaking into your roof or down the side of your house.   

Make sure your gutters are clean before the frequent summer storms to ensure you don’t have any unnecessary water damage. If your gutters become too heavy with rainwater and debris, there’s potential for them to fall off your home, causing even more damage and costly repair bills that are easily prevented.   

You may want to consider installing gutter guards to limit the number of leaves and debris that stick in your gutters.   

Service Your HVAC Unit  

Make sure your HVAC unit is serviced and clean before the weather becomes too hot. It should be serviced once a year to ensure your HVAC is properly working and stays in better condition for longer. It’s best (and less expensive) to have it serviced regularly than to have it break and need to be replaced. If it’s too hot outside, you don’t want to be without an air conditioner.   

Clean the Chimney   

Have your chimney cleaned by a professional at least once a year. If you have a wood-burning chimney, then soot and a substance called creosote can build up in the flue. Creosote is an oily residue left behind that is highly flammable and can cause dangerous chimney fires that can burn up to 2,000 degrees.   

If it isn’t already, make sure to close the damper in your fireplace. It should be closed whenever you’re not using it. Insects and other pests can make their way into your home through your chimney, so you should take extra precautions to ensure that it is closed.   

Look Over Your Deck/Patio/Driveway  

Have a good look over your deck, patio, and driveway to ensure they are in good condition. The winter weather can damage any wood, concrete, or asphalt that may make up your outdoor space. You’ll want to make sure there are no safety hazards along walkways—you don’t want to be sued by the postman for unlevel walkways!   

Fill any cracks that may be in your concrete or asphalt. If they are becoming too uneven you may need to hire someone to fix them. Replace any broken wood that may be in your deck and check the handrails for stability. You may need to stain your wooden deck again if it doesn’t repel water as well as it used to. Staining your deck helps to protect it against the elements. If your deck absorbs the water, then it is at risk of rot.   

Seal Gaps in Windows/Doorways  

Walk around your house to ensure there are no gaps in your windows and doorways. You can take caulk to fill in the gaps to ensure your home stays weatherproof and energy efficient throughout the summer. If your windows are too old, you may want to consider having new windows installed that will provide better insulation in both the summer and the winter.   

Tree Trimming  

If there’s a tree branch or two looming over your house, you may want to call an arborist or landscaper to have them trimmed. Summer storms can easily break tree branches, so have your trees checked to make sure there are no safety concerns that could harm your home.   

Update Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy  

If you haven’t updated your homeowner’s insurance policy recently, contact your local insurance agent to ensure your home is covered with the insurance policies that suit your needs.   

Protecting Your Farm and Ranch

Your farm and ranch aren’t just your business, they’re also your livelihood. That’s why you should make sure they’re protected with the proper coverage. Farm and ranch insurance offers a dual coverage plan that protects both your home and your way of life. Each plan is customizable depending on your needs.  

Types of Coverages  

There are many different types of coverages that can be included in your customized plan—it mixes homeowners insurance and business insurance, after all. Here are some coverages you should consider: 

Dwelling Coverage protects your home and personal belongings against fire, lightning, storms, vandalism, and theft. This is like your typical homeowner’s policy. Depending on your area, you will need separate policies for floods, earthquakes, or tornados.  

Farm Personal Property Coverage covers your livestock, machinery, feed, and equipment so you don’t have to worry about incurring a loss if something happens to the goods that keep your farm running. Farm machinery is especially expensive, so make sure to have it properly covered!  

Rental Value Coverage helps cover the cost of renting a place to live if your farmhouse becomes inhabitable. It covers the cost of rent until you are able to move back in. If you rent out any space to tenants on your farm and their space becomes inhabitable and it incurs a loss of income, you’ll also have coverage under the policy.  

Additional Living Coverage covers your living expenses in the event you need to live elsewhere while your home is inhabitable. This includes the cost of hotel, rent, or food until your home is habitable again.  

Outbuilding Coverage covers any barns, sheds, stables, detached garages, and any other buildings on your property. These structures help your farm operate to the best of its ability, so it’s important to keep them insured so your business doesn’t incur a loss.  

Liability Coverage covers bodily injury, medical expenses, and farm property damage. If you have workers on your farm, this policy is a necessity. Machinery can cost an arm and a leg, literally. Don’t get sued and suffer a drastic financial loss.  

You may need to consider more coverage depending on the season. Peak Season coverage can add extra coverage during peak times of the year like harvesting and planting season.  

If the farm is your primary source of income, then you should consider Farm Income Coverage. This covers the financial loss incurred in case the farm is damaged due to an event like a storm that would be covered by your insurance. 

The amount of coverage you need for your farm or ranch is completely dependent on your individual needs. That’s why farm and ranch insurance is customizable because not every farm is the same. Talk with your local insurance agent about a quote for a farm and ranch insurance policy today!  

What Your Business Needs for Emergencies 

You never know when an emergency will happen, and that’s why it’s best to always be prepared. Depending on your location, your business may need to prepare for natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, severe winter weather, or forest fires.  

Make Sure You’re Prepared

Each business will have different needs during an emergency. It’s best to focus on disasters that affect your business directly. If you’re in an area prone to certain natural disasters, you should have a plan in place on how to deal with the situation should it arise.  

Every business should have a first aid kit, but it’s important to make sure that it’s well-stocked. If you’ve had the same first aid kit for years, then it may be time to replenish the items inside. Certain things like medicine or ointments can expire, so check the dates on them and replace them as needed.  

You may have a first aid kit, but do you have a generalized emergency kit? You might need to prepare your business with enough emergency water and food for your employees to last a few days. Your emergency kit should also include flashlights, batteries, a radio, and a tool kit. Make sure it is in an easily accessible area.  

Make sure you have safety procedures and evacuation plans for your building. Each emergency is different, so you may need different plans for each one. It’s important to go over these plans and procedures with your staff.  

Put people into groups with designated leaders to keep each other accounted for. Perform regular drills to stay prepared and make sure everyone knows their role and responsibilities. Make sure you are considering the needs of all individuals. Do you have disabled staff or people with medical conditions? Have established procedures for helping each other. The group system can help ensure no one is left behind.  

Keep Backups

If your business deals with information and clients, it’s important to have backup files for all of your data. Many businesses now use cloud-based information systems that store information online. However, you can also use an external hard drive or keep backup files off-site.  

Sometimes power outages occur as a result of natural disasters and storms. Does your business have an emergency power system? Do you use surge protectors to ensure electronics don’t get fried? If your business doesn’t have a generator or an uninterrupted power supply (UPS), then it may be time to consider one. You will likely only need to keep the power on long enough to back-up systems and information, prevent damage to electronics, ensure they’re shut off properly, as well as evacuate your staff.   

Have a Recovery Plan

A lot of businesses aren’t able to open back up after a natural disaster because of severe economic loss. Make sure your business is properly insured with the right commercial insurance coverage. There are coverages for a business interruption which covers the economic loss due to the business not operating and coverages for the building & property, general/employee liability if someone gets injured on your property, as well as other coverages that may be suitable like equipment breakdown insurance. Depending on the area, you may need to purchase separate insurance policies that might not be included in commercial insurance like flood and earthquake insurance.  

Each business has different needs regarding its insurance policy. Talk to your local insurance agent to discuss the best commercial insurance plan for your business.  

Conquer Your Stress

Life is often stressful. Between work, family, and keeping up with other tasks, life can become overwhelming. Here are some tips on how to conquer your stress!  

Consume a Healthy & Balanced Diet

Consuming a healthy & balanced diet takes a big role in how you feel. If you consume too much “junk” or overprocessed foods, then you are more likely to feel groggy and not have enough energy to finish your tasks. This could cause you to feel more stressed than usual. Sometimes when we’re stressed, we want to eat comfort foods. This is ok in moderation, but overconsuming comfort food is not good for your overall well-being. Preparing a healthy meal for yourself can also be relaxing! Taking the time and effort to prepare a healthy and delicious meal can make you feel even more satisfied.  

If you’re tired, drinking too much caffeine can also make you stressed. It raises your heart rate and can make you feel more anxious than normal. Drinking too much caffeine can also make it more difficult to sleep at night, and a good night’s rest is an important part of being less stressed!  

If you’re stressed, you may be more likely to turn to alcohol or tobacco to try to reduce stress. However, this can cause more stress to the body and leave you not feeling your best. Consuming too much alcohol on a regular basis can also negatively impact your sleep schedule. Tobacco usage puts more stress on the body and reduces blood flow and breathing abilities. Becoming dependent on alcohol or tobacco can cause even more stress if you can’t get your fix.  

Practice Mindfulness  

Practicing mindfulness can positively impact your overall mental health. Mindfulness is being aware of what you’re doing and how you’re feeling. A good way to practice mindfulness is by keeping a journal where you collect your thoughts. Looking back on what you were doing and how you were feeling at the time is an important step in stress reduction. Knowing what triggers stress can help you figure out how to fix it.  

Take some time out of your day for yourself. This time can be spent journaling, or you can also meditate or do some form of exercise you find relaxing. Even simple movements like taking a walk or doing some yoga can be very relaxing. You can always find guided meditations or yoga videos online to help you.  

Practicing mindfulness also includes self-care. Taking a bath with Epsom salts or doing a face mask may seem trivial, but taking extra care of yourself and treating yourself can brighten your mood. Making sure you take care of yourself can help you to feel less stressed in the long run! 

Having someone to talk to about your stress or other problems can also help significantly reduce stress. It’s not good to bottle up these emotions, so journaling and having someone you can talk to, whether it’s a close friend, family member, or even a therapist, are a huge help.  

Set Realistic Expectations 

Many people are stressed because they simply have too much on their plate. Set realistic expectations for yourself and know that you can’t do everything. Part of relieving stress is accepting what you can’t control. If you know you have particular stressors, like the news or a certain family member, try to avoid them as much as possible! It can be difficult, but limiting the amount of time you find stressful can be a huge help.  

Don’t procrastinate. Even if you don’t want to do something now, it’s best not to put it off. Leaving tasks until the last minute can put unnecessary stress on you that you wouldn’t have to deal with had you not procrastinated. 

Realize that it’s okay to say “no.” Sometimes you just need to put yourself first. Creating boundaries can help reduce the amount of stress. No matter how hard you try, you will not be able to please everyone. Accepting this as a part of life can make life less stressful.  

Leading a stressful lifestyle can put a significant amount of stress on the heart and other organs. Make sure you talk to your local insurance agent about your life and health insurance plans to ensure you’re under the most suitable plan for your needs.  

Renting a Property? What You Need to Know

Renting a property comes with advantages that are often overlooked. You don’t have to worry about home improvements or paying property tax. You can move whenever your lease is up, or if you like the property enough you can sign a new lease. Renting offers plenty of flexibility that owning a property doesn’t. However, there are a few things renters should be knowledgeable about before signing the lease.  

Research the Neighborhood 

You don’t want to get stuck somewhere you won’t enjoy living. Make sure you’re knowledgeable about the crime in the area, as well as the local amenities. You want to live somewhere that’s convenient for you. Are there restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, or public transport nearby? Depending on your needs, these are some things you may want to consider.  

If you own a car, does the rental have its own place to park—or does it have public parking? If loud noises bother you and there are frequent sirens or trains passing by, then maybe it’s not the best place to live.  

Read the Terms of Lease  

Before you sign anything, it is absolutely necessary that you read all parts of the lease agreement. If there is anything you’re unsure of, have a realtor or attorney look over the lease to make sure everything is standard. You will want to pay extra attention to specific rules and clauses of the lease, like if there are pet policies, maintenance & upkeep, and information regarding your rent and security deposit. You don’t want any surprises, so make sure everything is clear and ask questions so you understand everything detailed in the lease.  

Inspect Property 

Make sure you inspect the property upon moving in. If there’s anything “off” report it to the landlord. Document and take pictures of all pre-existing damages and the overall condition of the rental. Test all the appliances and make sure they work properly. Turn on faucets and sinks and check to make sure the water pressure is alright. Ask your landlord if there’s an available move-in/move-out checklist, or you can find one online. Don’t make yourself pay for damage you didn’t do.  

Pay on Time 

Set reminders to pay your rent and bills on time. You don’t want to be late on your rent or your landlord can charge a late fee and not allow you to resign your lease. Paying your rent on time also gives you a better reputation, and your landlord might even write a recommendation for you if you plan to move somewhere else.  

Sometimes landlords accept automatic bank transfers as a way to pay your rent. Talk with your future landlord to see if you can set one up so your rent is always on time.  

Purchase Renters Insurance 

You never know when something will happen, so that’s why it’s best to always be prepared and have coverage in place so you don’t have to worry. Renters insurance can protect you from suffering financial loss due to damage and theft. For example, if your upstairs neighbor floods their apartment and your belongings suffer from water damage you would be covered by your renter’s insurance. Or if there’s a fire in the building and your belongings suffer as a result. It covers your personal belongings in case they get damaged in an unfortunate circumstance, disaster, or if someone breaks into your home.  

Renters insurance can also cover additional living expenses if there were ever a period of time where you’re unable to live in your rental—such as natural disasters. It can also provide guests medical protection in case anyone is injured while in your rental.  

Some landlords may require you to have renters’ insurance before signing the lease.  

Contact one of your local insurance agents to discuss the best renter’s insurance plans for your needs.  

 

How Does Lifestyle Affect Health?

What you do in your day-to-day life actively affects your health. The foods you eat and the personal choices you make drastically impact how your body feels and functions. Eating processed foods can leave you feeling groggy and frequently tired, whereas healthy food can leave you feeling energized and refreshed. Smokers and habitual drinkers often run into health problems like cancer or heart disease later in life. Certain choices can damage your health and well-being leading to illnesses and a shorter lifespan.  

Diet  

Most of us know that eating too much sugar is bad. It can cause high blood sugar and health complications from diabetes. Too much sugar can also cause cavities leading to pricey dental visits. Processed food is easy to grab and eat, but taking the extra step and preparing a healthier option like fruits and vegetables is better for you in the long run. 

Not drinking enough water also negatively impacts your health. Keeping yourself hydrated gives you more energy and allows your organs to function properly. Many people opt for sodas or other beverages, but they are often loaded with sugar and other chemical flavors that add empty calories that lack nutritional value.  

If you find water bland, try drinking some tea without additives. Most premade teas on the store shelf are loaded with sugar or other flavorings, so make your own at home with tea bags. You can also add sliced lemons, cucumbers, or other fruits into your water for a tastier and healthier beverage. 

Personal Choices 

Smoking and drinking alcohol can have major health implications. It is well-known that smoking can cause cancer and other diseases like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Smokers are also susceptible to vision loss and blindness. Smoking can also increase feelings of depression and anxiety. Being a smoker can also affect your insurance rates. Smokers’ health insurance rates tend to be higher because they are known to have more medical issues. 

A few drinks a week might not seem like a big deal. But any amount of alcohol can have a negative impact on the body. Shortly after drinking you may notice symptoms of dehydration like headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Frequent alcohol usage can have long-term effects like a weakened immune system, mood changes, memory problems, weight gain, and issues falling asleep. Overconsumption of alcohol can lead to liver disease, pancreatic problems, and heart-related medical problems like high blood pressure and heart disease.  

Smoking and drinking during pregnancy can lead to miscarriages, stillbirths, and premature birth. Babies can also be born with medical issues like fetal alcohol syndrome, and are more likely to have learning disabilities.  

Both alcohol and smoking are addictive and can create problems in your personal life. Addicts tend to struggle with friends and family members. If you are dependent on alcohol or smoking, please reach out to a specialist or recovery group for help.  

Physical Activity  

Being active is an important part of keeping up your health. A simple 30-minute walk a few times a week will drastically improve your health. Making decisions like parking further away and walking to your destination can also help.  

A lot of people spend most of the day sitting behind a computer screen. It’s necessary for your body to get the activity that it needs. Consider walking around the office as a short mental break to reset your body. Additionally, too much screen time is bad for our eyes. Studies have shown that blue light from screens negatively impacts our sleep cycle. Too much screen usage before bed can make your brain think that it’s still light outside, and therefore won’t start producing melatonin (the sleep hormone) until the lights are off and you’re ready for sleep. 

Not getting enough sleep is also harmful to your body. Being well-rested gives your body and mind the break they need and helps your brain to process all the information from the day. You may have noticed that when you get less than 6 hours of sleep you are more tired throughout the day and are less efficient with your tasks.  

Caffeine can’t solve all your problems. It’s good for a quick fix but you’ll soon notice that you are having difficulty sleeping more often, aren’t able to focus, have depression, and other health-related problems. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, depression, and a weakened immune system.  

Connect with your local insurance agent to discuss what policies best fit your medical needs. Consult with a doctor to better discuss your individual health needs. 

Why Should I Worry About Earthquake Insurance?

Earthquake damage can be costly. Depending on the severity and amount of damage, your home may need to be repaired or even rebuilt. Standard homeowners’/renters’ insurance does not cover earthquake damage, so earthquake insurance has to be purchased separately. Earthquake insurance is a good investment for those that live in areas frequently affected by earthquakes.  

Why You Need Earthquake Insurance 

Earthquakes can happen anywhere in the world, and the vast majority of people aren’t prepared. If your home is close to an active fault line (where earthquakes are the most likely to occur), then it is even more important to have earthquake insurance.  

How homes are built also factors into how much damage can occur during earthquakes – the layout of the house, the materials, and even what kind of soil the house is built on are contributing factors. Softer soils will shift more during an earthquake, which can cause extensive damage to the foundation of the home. Homes that are too stiff and rigid (brick and mortar) or irregularly shaped are more likely to collapse than those with more flexibility (wood frames).  

You may also want to consider the value of your home and its contents when purchasing an earthquake insurance plan. If you possess valuable China or crystal, you may want to purchase a more extensive plan that can cover the loss of these items. 

What Earthquake Insurance Covers 

Earthquake insurance and the amount of coverage received depends on an individual’s policy. Earthquake insurance typically has three parts consisting of dwelling coverage, personal property coverage, and ALE (additional living expenses)/ loss of use coverage. 

Dwelling Coverage covers your home up to a set amount, also known as “the limit.” This is similar to homeowners’ insurance. This coverage helps pay to repair or rebuild your home in the event an earthquake damages it.  

Personal Property Coverage covers objects in your home like TVs, computers, and furniture that can be damaged during an earthquake and may need to be replaced.  

Additional Living Expenses (ALE), or Loss of Use Coverage covers the cost of living somewhere temporarily while your home is being repaired/rebuilt. It can cover the cost of a rental home, hotels, apartment, moving/storage, restaurant meals, and laundry depending on your personal earthquake insurance plan. This part of the coverage is bound to a set of time that it takes to repair/rebuild your damaged home or the amount of time it takes for you to move to a new, permanent one.  

Consider these coverages when purchasing your earthquake insurance. Each person/family has different needs so it’s better to personalize your insurance plans. 

What Earthquake Insurance Doesn’t Cover 

Earthquakes can cause all different kinds of damage to occur, including fires and flooding. Earthquake insurance doesn’t cover damage caused by fire or flooding from outside your home. Fire damage is covered under homeowners’ insurance. If an earthquake caused a pipe to burst into your home resulting in water damage, homeowners’ insurance would cover this damage. If water from outside of your home were to flood your home as a result of an earthquake, a flood insurance plan would be the coverage you need.  

Earthquake insurance also doesn’t cover any damage that may happen to land after an earthquake occurs, such as sinkholes. It doesn’t cover any damage that may occur to your vehicles – you will need to look at your automobile policy to see if it covers earthquake-related damage. 

Earthquake insurance can cost a pretty penny, and many homeowners choose to forego it. Earthquake damage can be very pricy, so it is better to be prepared and insured than not, as you never know when a devastating earthquake may happen. Reach out to your local independent insurance agent to learn more about earthquake insurance and what plan your home would need. 

Fall in Love with Your Homeowner’s Policy 

If the home is where the heart is, then you should be in love with your homeowner’s insurance. Homeowner’s insurance is an essential part of keeping your home and your most important asset safe. It financially protects your home and your personal belongings in the event they are stolen or damaged.  

Why You Need a Homeowner’s Policy  

While you’re not required to have homeowner’s insurance, it is a good idea to have it. If you’re buying a home, you will not be able to get a mortgage or loan to buy a house without one. Your lender will require you to have a homeowner’s policy until the loan is paid off.  

Even if you own your home outright, you should still have homeowner’s insurance—especially if you don’t have the financial means to start over with nothing. Not having a homeowner’s insurance policy can result in life-altering monetary loss. Your home is probably your most valuable asset, so you should want to protect it.  

What Home Insurance Covers  

Home insurance typically covers four areas: the exterior and interior of your home, your personal property, any other buildings or structures on your property (like sheds or garages), and provides liability if someone were to be injured on your property.  

Your homeowner’s policy should cover damage from fire, storms, vandalism, and smoke. It will not cover any damage from earthquakes or floods, as those are separate from homeowner’s insurance.  

In the event your home is damaged and you need a temporary residence, your homeowner’s insurance could cover it. If additional living expenses (ALE) are part of your policy, your insurance will cover the cost. This includes hotel, rent, and even meals. 

The Best Policy for You 

Everyone’s needs are different, and that’s why a homeowner’s policy is customizable. Depending on your needs, you may need more coverage. Apart from the four areas that a homeowner’s policy can cover, there are three different levels of coverage to choose from. There’s actual cash value, replacement cost, and extended replacement cost. 

Actual cash value covers the cost of your home plus the worth of your possessions. This level doesn’t take into consideration the cost of your personal property when you buy them. Items depreciate over time, so this level of insurance covers how much your items are worth.  

Replacement cost covers the value of your home and your items without factoring in the depreciation. This means you will get the same amount you paid for these items. This plan allows you to repair your home up to its original value, and not just how much it’s currently worth.  

Extended replacement cost covers however much it costs to repair your home. Most policies only cover up to a certain limit (the minimum is typically $100,000). Because of inflation and a market that’s constantly changing, the value of your home and belongings changes day to day. This plan covers more than you actually purchase, so it can cover up to 25% higher than the limit.  

Many homeowners opt to get insurance plans that only cover the cost of their home, but most insurers recommend the extended replacement plan because it covers more than you need. It is more expensive than the other plans, but it provides a comfortable cushion for homeowners to rest easy, knowing that their house and their belongings will be fully covered no matter the state of the market and the price of construction.  

If you’re looking to buy a new home or just need a new homeowner’s policy, talk to your local independent insurance agent to discuss the best plan for your situation.  

Does your business have a company car? If so, is it insured properly? 

If you own a company that has a company car or uses cars for work-related purposes, then you will need to purchase a commercial auto insurance policy. These insurance policies will keep your company covered in the event something happens to your company vehicle(s) or an accident occurs that requires medical coverage.  

What is Commercial Auto Insurance? 

Commercial auto insurance provides coverage for cars that your business owns and any cars that employees may drive while on the job. This includes both company-owned vehicles and personal employee vehicles. It can also include rental cars that are used for business purposes.  

Why Do I Need Commercial Auto Insurance 

Many states require companies to have a commercial auto insurance plan if they use vehicles for their business. Any vehicles that hold a title under your company will be required to be listed under a commercial auto insurance policy. Depending on if your employees travel for business, there are policies that also include rental cars that are used for business purposes.  

Commercial auto insurance can provide coverage for a personal car that is used for work that a personal auto insurance plan won’t cover. It is also needed in the event that an employee gets injured while driving on the job, as it will help cover their medical bills. It will also cover non-employees that may get hurt while in an accident with a car owned or used for your business. If you don’t have this included in your insurance policy, you may be sued.  

Commercial Auto Insurance versus Personal Auto Insurance 

Commercial auto insurance has many similar aspects to personal auto insurance, but the main difference lies in liability risk. There is an increased liability risk driving for work, so the price for liability minimums with commercial auto insurance is higher. The bright side to this is that it can extend the liability coverage to any car that is already owned by the company or any car purchased by the company in the future. 

Different Kinds of Commercial Auto Insurance 

Basic commercial auto insurance usually provides collision coverage, medical/personal injury coverage, liability coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. These policies will cover most of your company’s needs.  

If you need any additional coverage, you can add extra policies to your commercial auto insurance plan. For example, if you’re using a trailer that your company doesn’t own you will need trailer interchange coverage. There is an option to have rental car reimbursement in the event your company car needs repair and you need a rental. Sometimes you may need “hired vehicles” (U-Hauls) and can receive coverage for those, as well. Depending on your company’s needs, you may also require non-owned vehicle coverage, which will cover employees that use their personal cars for work (pizza delivery driver).  

Every company has different goals and needs. Reach out to your local independent insurance agent to discuss the best commercial auto insurance plan that will suit your company’s needs.  

How Does Boating Insurance Protect My Boat? 

If you’re like most boat owners, you want to do everything possible to protect your investment. And if you’re like most people, you may not know what boating insurance covers. That’s why we’re here to help! In this blog post, we’ll discuss the different types of coverage that are available through boat insurance policies and what each one protects your boat from. We’ll also provide some tips on how to choose the right policy for your needs. So read on to learn more about boating insurance and how it can protect your boat! 

What Is Boating Insurance? 

Boating insurance provides coverage for recreational boats used for fishing, sailing, and other water activities. One thing we’ve learned in our years as an insurance agency: no two boats are alike! That’s why it’s so important for us all to understand what type of policy might best suit each boat owner’s individual circumstances. Let’s take a look at some basic information about boat insurance coverage before moving on with other topics related specifically to those who own boats (or soon hope to). 

What Does Boat Insurance Cover? 

Boating insurance covers damage caused to your boat and its contents, as well as liability coverage in case you’re responsible for damage or injury to another person or their property.  

Types of Coverage:  

-Liability insurance: This provides protection if you are responsible for damage or injury to another person or their property.  

-Property damage insurance: This covers the cost of repairing or replacing your boat and its contents after a covered incident.  

-Personal effects insurance: This reimburses you for any personal belongings that are damaged or lost while on board your boat.  

-Accidental death and dismemberment insurance: If something happens to you while boating, this policy pays out a lump sum benefit.  

How Much Does Boat Insurance Cost? 

If you’re new to the world of boating, one of the first things you’ll want to know is how much coverage will cost. The good news is that there are many different options available when it comes to boat insurance and most policies can be customized according to your needs. The cost of boat insurance will vary depending on the type and value of your boat, as well as the level of coverage you choose. That’s why it’s important to shop around and compare policies to find the best deal for you.  

Tips for Choosing Boat Insurance:  

Be sure to ask about discounts if you have a safety device like a personal flotation device (PFD) or an engine cutoff switch. Consider whether you need liability only coverage or comprehensive coverage that includes property damage, theft, and vandalism protection. Think about how much your boat is worth and make sure the policy has enough limits to cover it in case of a loss. Check to see if there are any additional fees that may apply such as deductibles or taxes on premiums. 

How to Get Boating Insurance? 

If you own a boat, it’s important to make sure you have the proper insurance in place before taking it out on the water. There are several different types of policies available and some cover only certain risks while others offer broader coverage for more protection against potential losses related to your vessel. You’ll need an agent who can help explain what type would be best suited for your needs so you can get started looking at options today! Reach out to your local independent insurance agent today to get started.