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Health and live on the way.

September 16, 2010

Coming into Clifton we found the need for Health and life insurance.

demoOn todays world most people are not sure if they need Insurance we want to provied business the old fashion way. We want to know our customers and there needs and provide them good service.

Avalon News:

Breaking into NJ

September 1 2010
New location . Open new location

demoWorking with small startup companies Small or large we treat our clients the same.

Clifton Chambor and Avalon:

Becoming part of the Chambor was the best thing we did.

September 1, 2010

After meeting with the youg man from the Clifton Chambor we knew we wanted to be apart of that wonderful group of people.

demoNot once did we ask for something that Brian was not there with the people we needed to move our projects along.

Frequently Asked Questions

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  1. What do I need to know about Business Insurance?
  2. What are my coverage options?
  3. What are the benefits of Commercial Auto Insurance?
  4. What are the benefits of Workers Compensation Insurance?
  5. What are the benefits of Business Owners Insurance?
  6. Does my homeowners' insurance cover my homebased business?
  7. What happens if an employee gets in an accident on the job or while driving a company vehicle?
  8. What is an umbrella policy?
  9. Do I need liability insurance for my product?
  10. What is workers' comp insurance?
  11. I have a service business. Should I get insurance in the event someone sues me?
  12. How do I protect my business in the event of a disaster?
  13. How do I choose an insurance agent?
  14. What are the Benefits of Liability Insurance?
  15. What are the benefits of Business Owners Insurance?
  16. What are the benefits of Workers Compensation Insurance?
  17. What are the benefits of Commercial Auto Insurance?
  18. I have an insurance claim that my insurer rejected. What do I do?
  19. How do I protect my business if I die or become disabled?
  20. I'm just getting my business started. Do I need insurance right away?
  21. I don't have any major business assets. Why do I need insurance?
  22. Is insurance coverage different for different businesses?
  23. What types of property do I need to insure?
  24. What types of property insurance should I consider buying?
  25. How much property insurance do I need to buy?
  26. Who decides how much my business property is worth?
  27. What kinds of events does business insurance cover?
  28. Everybody seems to be suing everybody else these days. What if someone sues my business?
  29. I just signed a 3-year lease to open my business. Why does my insurance agent want to see my lease?
  30. I work out of my home. Will my homeowners insurance cover my business?
  31. What can dramatically add to the cost of my business insurance?
  32. Who keeps an eye on the insurance companies?
  33. How do you determine the financial value of a key employee to determine how much insurance to purchase?
  34. What do I need to know about unemployment insurance and social security (fica)?
  35. Can I do anything to lower my insurance premiums?
  36. Now that my business is established, I think it is time to offer my employees some benefits. What do I need to know?
  37. As a retailer, do I need to worry about product liability?
  38. What is coinsurance all about?

What do I need to know about Business Insurance?

  • Commercial insurance is designed to help protect many of the risks your business can face, including: damage or destruction to your business vehicles, office equipment, and inventory. Loss of income in case you have to close-up shop temporarily because of a covered loss and crime coverage including robbery, burglary, even employee dishonesty
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What are my coverage options?

  • Our agents have a wide range of coverages available, as well as an array of choices for limits and deductibles. If you own a small or large business, our agents will help you in tailoring a business package policy that may be more appropriate to you. Consider enhancing the basic coverages with specialty markets.
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What are the benefits of Commercial Auto Insurance?

  • • Liability Coverage: In case you're sued as a result of an auto accident. • Collision Coverage: Helps cover physical damage to your vehicle due to collision or upset. • Comprehensive Coverage: Helps cover physical damage to your vehicle due to fire, theft and glass breakage. • Rental Reimbursement Coverage: Helps cover the cost of a replacement vehicle for a specified period of time when your vehicle is disabled due to an insured loss.
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What are the benefits of Workers Compensation Insurance?

  • Workers compensation insurance provides for the well being of your employee's and promotes a positive work environment. Be aware that some states have passed laws that makes Workers Compensation mandatory once a business expands to four or more employees on payroll. Workers compensation insurance was created in order to pay employees medical expenses and loss of wages in the event of a job related injury or sickness.
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What are the benefits of Business Owners Insurance?

  • Commercial insurance is designed to help protect many of the risks your business can face, including: • damage or destruction to your business vehicles • certain liability exposures resulting from the operation of your business vehicles • damage or destruction to your office equipment or inventory • loss of income in case you have to close-up shop temporarily because of a covered loss • certain business related liability exposures such as, wrongful entry or search, libel, slander and even certain offenses arising out of your business's advertising • risks to your cargo while in transit or storage • theft or loss of tools and equipment • crime coverage including robbery, burglary, even employee dishones
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Does my homeowners' insurance cover my homebased business?

  • Many entrepreneurs mistakenly believe they're covered by their homeowners insurance, but most homeowners policies limit loss of business property to $2,500, don't cover losses away from the home, and exclude liability coverage for business-related activity. As a homebased business owner, two types of insurance liability and property damage. Liability protects you against someone getting injured on your premises or by one of your products. Property damage protects against damage to a host of things, from computers to carpets.
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What happens if an employee gets in an accident on the job or while driving a company vehicle?

  • If your business owns a company car, there's no way around buying a commercial auto policy, which is meant to protect your business's assets in the event of an accident. This is an absolute must. • The gray area comes in when your employees use their personal vehicles for business purposes--even for something as simple as trips to the post office. If they get into an accident, their personal insurance will kick in, but anyone involved in the accident can also come after your business. • You need a hired and non-owned policy in this situation. It not only protects your business if your employee is involved in an accident on the way to a sales call, for example, but it will make your employees less apprehensive about using their personal cars for business, since they won't be held personally liable in case of an accident (and their personal auto policies won't be at risk). This type of policy will also cover cars rented for business use.
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What is an umbrella policy?

  • In addition to the four basic "food groups" of worker's compensation, general liability, auto insurance and property/casualty coverage, many insurance agents recommend an additional layer of protection called an umbrella policy. This protects you for payments in excess of your existing coverage.
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Do I need liability insurance for my product?

  • Comprehensive general liability coverage insures a business against accidents and injury that might happen on its premises, as well as exposures related to its products. The catch is that the damage cannot be due to poor workmanship. This points out one difficulty with general liability insurance: It tends to have a lot of exclusions. Make sure you understand exactly what your policy covers...and what it doesn't. • You may want to purchase additional liability policies to cover specific concerns. For example, many consultants purchase "errors and omissions liability," which protects them in case they are sued for damages resulting from a mistake in their work. A computer consultant who accidentally deletes a firm's customer list could be protected by this type of insurance.
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What is workers' comp insurance?

  • Workers' compensation, which covers medical and rehabilitation costs and lost wages for employees injured on the job, is required by law in all 50 states. Workers' comp insurance consists of two components, with a third optional element. The first part covers medical bills and lost wages for the injured employee; the second encompasses the employer's liability, which covers the business owner should the spouse or children of a worker who was permanently disabled or killed decide to sue. The third and optional element of workers' compensation insurance is employment practices liability, which insures against lawsuits arising from claims of sexual harassment, discrimination and the like
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I have a service business. Should I get insurance in the event someone sues me?

  • Before you start shopping for Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance, answer this question: How real is your need for E&O insurance? Does the type of work you plan to do entail much potential for liability? If technology is involved--like being responsible for multimedia arrangements at sales presentations--then we would say yes. But some types of businesses allow you instead to create a client agreement that protects you, making the client assume the risk. If, on the other hand, contracts in your industry require E&O coverage, provide a warranty or guarantee, or have clauses that require you to indemnify or hold harmless your clients, you need to start shopping. • The cost of errors and omissions, also known as professional liability or malpractice, insurance, depends on a number of factors.
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How do I protect my business in the event of a disaster?

  • When a hurricane or earthquake puts your business out of commission for days--or months--your property insurance has got it covered. But while property insurance pays for the cost of repairs or rebuilding, who pays for all the income you're losing while your business is unable to function? For that, you'll need business interruption coverage. Many entrepreneurs neglect to consider this important type of coverage, which can provide enough to meet your overhead and other expenses during the time your business is out of commission. Premiums for these policies are based on your company's income.
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How do I choose an insurance agent?

  • Agents are there to help you. At the most basic level, any agent should be able to answer all of your questions about insurance, provide you a thorough assessment of your insurance needs, and offer you a choice of insurance products to meet those needs. Also, any insurance agency should provide you with prompt, quality service in the case of a claim. Just as important is the level of professional confidence and personal comfort you feel with the agent. Many people stick with the same insurance agent for decades, even generations. It helps to find an agent you can get to know and trust. An important, but sometimes overlooked, factor to keep in mind is that there are two kinds of insurance agents: those who represent only one insurance company and those who represent more than one insurance company. Agents offering through their agencies only the policies of one insurance company often are referred to as "captive agents," because the company they represent does not allow them to offer their customers competitive alternatives. By contrast, agents offering through their agencies the policies of more than one insurance company are called "independent agents," because they can shop around for their customers for the best insurance values among a variety of competing companies. A nationwide survey in 1994 showed that Americans prefer to work with independent insurance agents by a 2-to-1 margin over captive agents.
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What are the Benefits of Liability Insurance?

  • General Liability Coverage includes: • Bodily Injury Liability Coverage: Help protect you incase injuries occur to other people resulting from your operations. • Property Damage Liability Coverage: Protection incase damage occurs to the property of others. • Personal Injury Liability Coverage: Helps provide you with protection for offenses such as false arrest, libel, slander and wrongful entry. • Advertising Injury Liability Coverage: Helps cover your legal liability for a variety of offenses arising out of the advertising of your business's goods and services.
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What are the benefits of Business Owners Insurance?

  • Commercial insurance is designed to help protect many of the risks your business can face, including: • damage or destruction to your business vehicles • certain liability exposures resulting from the operation of your business vehicles • damage or destruction to your office equipment or inventory • loss of income in case you have to close-up shop temporarily because of a covered loss • certain business related liability exposures such as, wrongful entry or search, libel, slander and even certain offenses arising out of your business's advertising • risks to your cargo while in transit or storage • theft or loss of tools and equipment • crime coverage including robbery, burglary, even employee dishonesty
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What are the benefits of Workers Compensation Insurance?

  • Workers compensation insurance provides for the well being of your employee's and promotes a positive work environment. Be aware that some states have passed laws that makes Workers Compensation mandatory once a business expands to four or more employees on payroll. Workers compensation insurance was created in order to pay employees medical expenses and loss of wages in the event of a job related injury or sickness.
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What are the benefits of Commercial Auto Insurance?

  • • Liability Coverage: In case you're sued as a result of an auto accident. • Collision Coverage: Helps cover physical damage to your vehicle due to collision or upset. • Comprehensive Coverage: Helps cover physical damage to your vehicle due to fire, theft and glass breakage. • Rental Reimbursement Coverage: Helps cover the cost of a replacement vehicle for a specified period of time when your vehicle is disabled due to an insured loss
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I have an insurance claim that my insurer rejected. What do I do?

  • Start with a written explanation from the insurer. Insurance companies normally provide this automatically, but if they don't, insist on it. You can also ask that a supervisor review the claim decision. Take the denial letter to your insurance agent and see whether he agrees with the carrier's decision. Sometimes, a knowledgeable agent will know if the claims adjuster has made a mistake. If the agent agrees with the denial, and you are satisfied with his explanation, the case is closed. If he doesn't, he may contact the carrier on your behalf or you may decide to consult an attorney. If it turns out your claim was denied because you didn't have the coverage you thought you did, you may need to review your policy and examine your relationship with your agent.
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How do I protect my business if I die or become disabled?

  • It's every businessperson's worst nightmare--a serious accident or long-term illness that can lay you up for months, or even longer. Disability insurance, sometimes called "income insurance," can guarantee a fixed amount of income--usually 60 percent of your average earned income--while you're receiving treatment or are recuperating and unable to work. Because you are your business's most vital asset, many experts recommend buying disability insurance for yourself and key employees from day one. • There are two basic types of disability coverage: short term (anywhere from 12 weeks to a year) and long term (more than a year). An important element of disability coverage is the waiting period before benefits are paid. For short-term disability, the waiting period is generally seven to 14 days. For long-term disability, it can be anywhere from 30 days to a year. If being unable to work for a limited period of time would not seriously jeopardize your business, you can decrease your premiums by choosing a longer waiting period. Another optional add-on is "business overhead" insurance, which pays for ongoing business expenses, such as office rental, loan payments and employee salaries if the business owner is disabled and unable to generate income. • In case of a death in the company, including your own, you should consider life insurance. The life insurance policy should provide for the families of the owners and key management. If the owner dies, creditors are likely to take everything and the owner's family will be left without the income or assets of the business to rely on. • Another type of life insurance that can be beneficial for a small business is "key person" insurance. If the business is a limited partnership or has a few key stockholders, the buy-sell agreement should specifically authorize this type of insurance to fund a buyback by the surviving leadership. Without a provision for insurance to buy capital, the buy-sell agreement may be rendered meaningless. • The company is the beneficiary of the key person policy. When the key person dies, creating the obligation to pay, say, $100,000 for his or her stock, the cash with which to make that purchase is created at the same time. If you don't have the cash to buy the stock back from the surviving family, you could find yourself with new business partners you never bargained for--and lose control of your business. In addition to the owners or key stockholders, any member of the company who is vital to operations should also be insured
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I'm just getting my business started. Do I need insurance right away?

  • Yes, because the chance that you could suffer a loss begins with the first day of business. You can't get help after the fact. If you suffer a loss and have no insurance or have improper or insufficient coverage, there is very little, if anything, your insurance agent can do to help you. You must be prepared for the risks that are inherent in any business and the losses, sometimes catastrophic, that they can cause. Also, many states and local jurisdictions require that businesses be insured to begin operating. And if you rent space for your business, your landlord probably requires that you be adequately insured as well.
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I don't have any major business assets. Why do I need insurance?

  • Every business has some property. And, when you think about it, your business is your property. Just like your home and your car, your business needs to be protected from loss, damage and liability. In addition, your business is your source of income, so you need protection from the potential loss of that income. Generally, there are two types of insurance - property and liability. Property insurance covers damage to or loss of the policyholder's property. And if somebody sued for damages caused by you or your possessions (other than a vehicle covered by your insurance policy), the cost of the suit - both defending it and settling it if necessary - would be covered by your liability insurance.
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Is insurance coverage different for different businesses?

  • It can be. Many small businesses are now insured under package policies that cover the major property and liability exposures as well as loss of income. A common package policy used by many small businesses is called the Business owners Policy (BOP). Generally, these package policies provide the small-business owner more complete coverage at a lower price than separate policies for each type of insurance needed. Your agent can help you decide which policy or policies are right for your business. Additional coverage for property, liability or perils or conditions otherwise excluded (e.g., flood protection) can be purchased as endorsements to a standard policy or as a separate, second policy called a difference-in-conditions (DIC) policy. Because businesses vary, it is impossible to have a standard policy to cover all contingencies. Also, some businesses, regardless of their size, do not fit the profile of a standard business owners policy. For example, restaurants, wholesalers and garages have special liability needs that are not met in the standard business owners policy. Your insurance agent can advise you of the best policy (or policies) to protect you and your business.
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What types of property do I need to insure?

  • Your business may not possess all the following types of property, but you can use this list to make sure that you have considered all the property categories and any insurance coverage that may be warranted: • Buildings and other structures (owned or leased) • Furniture, equipment and supplies • Inventory • Money and securities • Records of accounts receivable • Improvements and betterments you made to the premises • Machinery • Boilers • Data processing equipment and media (including computers) • Valuable papers, books and documents • Mobile property such as automobiles, trucks and construction equipment • Satellite dishes • Signs, fences, and other outdoor property not attached to a building • Intangible property (good will, trademarks, etc.) • Leased equipment To establish the amount of insurance you need on each, your insurance agent can help you review the types of property you own and their uses. Some of these items are covered in the basic policies. For others, coverage can be added by an endorsement, or rider. And some, like money and securities, may not be covered by a standard commercial policy and may require a second, separate policy.
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What types of property insurance should I consider buying?

  • The best thing to do is to take a complete inventory of all your business property, determine their value and decide if each is worth insuring. Then check to see that the items on the inventory list are included in the basic business property policy and covered for the correct amount. If not, ask your agent about the cost of purchasing additional coverage to meet your needs. You also need to consider your business situation. Are you planning a major expansion? Does your inventory have a decidedly peak season (like a toy store in December)? Or does it fluctuate throughout the year (like a clothing store)? Is your liability limit high enough in light of the new job contract you just signed? Business policies are designed to be added to or subtracted from to meet your needs. Be sure to discuss changes to your business with your agent so that he or she can be sure your policy still provides adequate coverage. Some common additional coverages for business property include (although this list is by no means all-inclusive):
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How much property insurance do I need to buy?

  • There is no one answer to this because each business is different. You can consult with your agent on the monetary limits needed to cover your potential for loss. Obviously, a one-person accounting firm will need to purchase less insurance than a store with a substantial inventory. But each will need to make sure that all necessary business property is covered, that the limits of liability are sufficient to protect the owner and the employees, and that loss of income is protected. In addition, each business has unique needs and situations that must be handled. If the store happens to be located on a flood-prone area, the owner should invest in flood insurance. The accountant may wish to purchase reconstruction-of-accounts-receivable insurance to cover the loss of accounting records. The costs of reconstructing those records, money borrowed because of delayed payments due to the records being lost, and lost payments from those clients whose records cannot be reconstructed are all covered. Liability protection also will vary from business to business. A retail business is more at risk for potential suits than a business that is not open to the public. Also, in some states, courts tend to respond more positively to lawsuits, increasing both the likelihood of successful lawsuits and the amount of damages awarded. In today's lawsuit-conscious society, higher liability limits are extremely important and relatively inexpensive. Your agent can help you decide how much coverage is needed for your particular business.
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Who decides how much my business property is worth?

  • Property insurance can be purchased on the basis of the property's actual value, on its replacement cost, or on an agreed amount. The differences between the three are: Actual Cash Value The replacement cost of the item minus depreciation. For example, a new desk may cost $500. If your 7-year-old desk gets damaged in a fire, it might have depreciated 50 percent. Therefore, you would be paid $250 for it. Replacement Coverage The cost of replacing an item without deducting for depreciation. So today's cost for a desk of a size and construction similar to the 7-year-old one damaged by fire would determine the amount of compensation. If it costs $500 today, that would be the replacement coverage. Agreed Amount Art objects, antiques and other unique items are usually insured at an amount agreed upon when the policy is being written. An appraiser values the goods to be insured and the business owner and the insurer agree upon an amount that the insurer will pay if the goods are destroyed due to an covered peril. Check your policy. If you prefer replacement coverage and do not already have it, this coverage can be added to your policy. Inflation-guard coverage, which automatically increases your insurance amount a certain percentage, protects against rising construction costs. Your agent can advise you of the costs involved.
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What kinds of events does business insurance cover?

  • Basic property insurance policies generally cover losses caused by fire or lightning and the cost of removing property to protect it from further damage (e.g., removing inventory or equipment from a damaged building so it won't be stolen). "Extended perils," including windstorm, hail, explosion, riot and civil commotion, and damage caused by aircraft, automobiles or vandalism, are usually covered in a standard policy. Other important perils, often not covered and considered "optional" in almost all standard policies, include earthquake and flood damage, building collapse, and glass breakage. Property insurance can be written as either "named peril" policies or so-called "all risk" policies. A named peril policy provides coverage for those perils specifically named in the policy. An all risk policy covers loss by any perils not specifically excluded in the policy. The term "all risk" does not mean that all perils will be covered and, to avoid confusion, is often replaced with the term "special form" or "special causes of loss" coverage. Check with your agent on the perils covered by your policy. If you wish, additional coverage can be added.
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Everybody seems to be suing everybody else these days. What if someone sues my business?

  • No business can afford to be unprepared for a lawsuit. Liability insurance protects your business assets when the business is sued for something the business did (or failed to do) that contributed to injury or property damage to someone else. Liability coverage extends not only to paying damages but also to the attorneys' fees and other costs involved in defending against the lawsuit - whether valid or not. The standard business owners policy provides liability coverage, as does a separate policy known as a commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policy. Generally, commercial liability insurance, whether purchased in a separate policy or as part of a standard business owners policy, will cover bodily injury, property damage, personal injury or advertising injury. The medical expenses of a person or persons (other than employees) injured at the business or as a direct result of the operations of the business are also covered. Usually excluded from both types of liability insurance policies are suits by customers against a business for nonperformance of a contract and by employees charging wrongful termination or racial or gender discrimination or harassment. Check with your agent about the best liability protection covering all types of situations that may arise in your business.
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I just signed a 3-year lease to open my business. Why does my insurance agent want to see my lease?

  • Whether the business lease is for a building or for equipment, the agent needs to determine who is responsible for insuring the leased items - you or the lessor. For leased buildings or building space, there are other factors to be considered, such as who is responsible for plate glass coverage and whether your landlord requires tenants to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance, and the extent of a hold harmless agreement. These and other situations covered in the lease affect the amount and kinds of insurance you need.
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I work out of my home. Will my homeowners insurance cover my business?

  • Yes, but on a very limited basis. Loss of business property is usually reimbursed up to $2,500 in the house and up to $250 for business property damaged or lost away from the premises. Even if your business is a sideline such as a craft studio, these limits may be too low to cover all the equipment and materials you have accumulated. It's also important to know that no business liability coverage is included in a standard homeowners policy. Your insurance agent can help you ascertain what, if any, additional coverage you need. This additional coverage may be added to your homeowners policy or found in a separate commercial policy.
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What can dramatically add to the cost of my business insurance?

  • Some types of businesses including restaurants (except fast food), financial companies, some types of medical offices and others may be considered high risk for some types of insurance and so may have higher than average cost for those types of insurance. Also, they may not be eligible for lower cost packages of business insurance. A history of large or frequent claims can also increase the cost.
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Who keeps an eye on the insurance companies?

  • Insurance is a heavily regulated industry. Every state has some sort of department, administration or agency that regulates and monitors every insurer operating within the state's borders. In addition to approving rates, your state's insurance department is involved in all insurance matters on behalf of private citizens and businesses. It also issues operating licenses to insurers and agents, based on their ability to meet the state's requirements for conduct and knowledge about insurance issues. Your insurance company and agent work closely with your insurance department to make sure you are getting the best and fairest possible service within the state's guidelines. If you ever have difficulty settling a claim, work with your agent to resolve the difficulty. However, you can also contact your state's insurance department if you wish to know more about your options and rights as an insurance consumer.
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How do you determine the financial value of a key employee to determine how much insurance to purchase?

  • Several possible techniques are available. Four common methods that are often used: 1. Apply a multiple of the key employee's salary 2. Capitalize (at some discount rate) the company's earnings traceable to the that employee 3.Estimate the reduction in the going concern value of the firm due to the loss of that employee 4. Base the estimate on judgements including such things as how much insurance the insurance company is willing to issue on the key employee.
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What do I need to know about unemployment insurance and social security (fica)?

  • The person or vendor who provides your payroll services will make the proper payments to the state and federal unemployement organizations as part of the payroll services function.
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Can I do anything to lower my insurance premiums?

  • Remember that all insurance premiums are based on the risks involved. The insurance company evaluates the situation to determine the risks - or potential for losses - and bases its rates on the results. Therefore, deliberate steps you take to lower your risks not only can help safeguard your business but also may make you eligible for lower insurance rates. Consider these steps: • Maintain adequate lighting throughout your business premises. • Keep electrical wiring, stairways, carpeting, flooring, elevators, and escalators in good repair. • Install a sprinkler system, smoke and fire alarms, and adequate security devices. • Keep only a small amount of cash in the cash register. • Keep good records of inventory, accounts receivable, equipment purchases and the like. Consider keeping a second set of records off-site, such as with your accountant, insurance agent or at home. • Make sure your employees have good driving records. • Make sure your employees know how to lift properly and use all necessary safety equipment, such as goggles, gloves, and respirators. • Consider using the services of a risk manager. Such an outside consultant can advise you of any safety or environmental regulations you may have overlooked or not been aware of and talk to your employees about safety practices. • You may also wish to raise your deductible where appropriate to lower your insurance premiums. How high to raise the deductible should be governed by how much you can afford to pay out of pocket. Be careful not to raise it so high that you cannot cover it should a loss occur. • Finally, make sure your agent is familiar with your business and the risks inherent in it. He or she should be able to advise you on risk management techniques and their benefits to both you and the insurer.
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Now that my business is established, I think it is time to offer my employees some benefits. What do I need to know?

  • Employee benefits generally include health insurance (sometimes including dental and vision benefits), term life insurance, and possibly a retirement program. Group disability insurance is also available, although employers and employees opt for this benefit less frequently. Employers can provide coverage for their employees alone or for the employees and their families. Cost is usually the determining factor. With the high cost of health insurance in the United States today, employers are more likely to ask employees to pay some or all of the costs of health insurance for their families and sometimes for the employees themselves. Depending on the size of the group to be insured, the business may serve as the policyholder for the group's insurance. However, for many small businesses, the insurer will pool them together in a multiple-employer trust. The trust itself, rather than any single employer, is the policyholder. This enables smaller businesses to benefit from the lower premiums and other services enjoyed by large groups. Small businesses can also sometimes obtain employee benefit insurance through their trade or professional association. Your best bet as a small business operator is to find a way to join a larger pool seeking benefits. Check with your agent on the options available to you. .
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As a retailer, do I need to worry about product liability?

  • As long as you do not alter the products you receive from manufacturers for resale, you have only a secondary liability. The product manufacturer is the first liable party. General liability insurance usually covers this secondary liability, but you should check with your agent to be sure your business is adequately covered. Recognize, too, that your liability policy will pay defense costs, whether or not a judgment is rendered against you.
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What is co-insurance all about?

  • Most business policies include a "coinsurance" clause stipulating what percentage of the total value of your property must be insured in order to be fully reimbursed for a loss, even a partial one. (Most losses are partial.) If you insure for less than that amount, your insurance company may impose a "coinsurance penalty" on your claim. Here's how coinsurance works: Let's say you have a building insured that you believe would cost $100,000 to replace and a coinsurance penalty in your policy of 80 percent. You insure the building for $80,000, thinking you have fulfilled the coinsurance clause. A fire loss causes $60,000 worth of damage, so you submit a claim. Your insurance company subsequently determines that the replacement cost of the building is actually $150,000. To determine how much to pay on the claim, the insurer divides the amount of insurance you purchased ($80,000) by the amount you should have purchased (80% of $150,000 or $120,000). The result (two-thirds, or $40,000) is the amount of your claim the insurer will pay. Thus, even for a partial loss within the monetary limits of your policy, you will receive only two-thirds of the amount claimed. If the building had been insured for at least $120,000, the insurer would have reimbursed you for the full amount of the loss. You should check with your agent to make sure you have adequate coverage. Adding an endorsement to the policy that automatically increases policy limits to keep pace with inflation is a good idea.
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