disability insurance

Top Causes of Workplace Disability

Workplace disability is an excellent insurance option for employers and employees alike. It works to guarantee that any temporarily or permanently disabled employee can still receive at least a percentage of their salary if they cannot work due to a covered disability.

Workers can be protected against both long-term and short-term disabilities, so let’s take a look at a few conditions commonly covered by each to better understand what may be protected.

Top Causes of Long-Term Disability 

Long-term disability can negatively impact an individual’s life in numerous ways, not the least of which is by causing them to miss out on valuable income that may be used to support themselves and their families. Let’s look at a few of the most common causes of long-term disability you can claim disability insurance for.


Cancer has been one of the leading causes of long-term disability for a long time. Depending on the type and stage of cancer a person has, it may be treatable or even curable. Still, a wide range of factors will contribute to their diagnosis, prognosis, and the amount of disability they are eligible for. The most common types of cancer in America are:

  • Breast cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Bronchus
  • Prostate cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Melanoma

Long-Term Musculoskeletal Disorders

Musculoskeletal disorders, or disorders to the back, spine, knees, hips, and shoulders specifically, are another top cause of long-term disability, with more than a fourth of all long-term disability claims resulting from this issue. Common long-term musculoskeletal disorders include:


Osteoarthritis, commonly known as arthritis, is a condition in which the body’s cartilage is gradually worn down. Essentially, this means that the protective layer between an individual’s bones is being worn down so rapidly that it results in joint pain in the hands, neck, lower back, knees, hips, and more.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you develop rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system will begin to attack itself via its cells. If it’s not treated, this disease can erode an individual’s bones and cause their joints to deform. This commonly affects the cartilage first and is typically seen in the fingers.

Note that the inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis is not limited to joints; it can also spread throughout the body to the organs.


Fibromyalgia is a condition that involves widespread muscle pain and tenderness throughout the body. It is often paired with fatigue which can impact an individual’s sleep, memory, and mood.

Cardiovascular Problems

Cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks, arrhythmias, heart failure, anginas, and congenital heart conditions are all common cardiovascular problems that long-term disability insurance may be able to help you through.

Top Causes of Short-Term Disability

While short-term disability doesn’t impact an individual employee’s life nearly as much as a long-term disability might, it can still have serious and far-reaching effects on their life. Fortunately, short-term disability coverage is there to help out injured employees financially if they experience a wide number of conditions.


Perhaps the most common cause of short-term disability leave is pregnancy. Obviously short-term disability won’t cover the entire pregnancy except in the most extreme cases, but typically it will cover six to eight weeks of income for the recovery period after birth, depending on the kind of delivery an individual has.

Short-Term Musculoskeletal Disorders

Musculoskeletal disorders can also result in short-term disability claims for conditions including tendonitis, bone fractures, and carpal tunnel syndrome.


Tendonitis is a condition in which the tendons become inflamed. And because these tendons are fibrous tissues that connect muscle to bone, they can cause pain throughout the body–especially in the shoulders, elbows, ankles, and wrists.

Tendonitis can heal in two to three weeks if the condition is mild enough, but other cases may take upwards of eight weeks to heal fully.

Bone Fractures

Certain kinds of trauma can cause either a complete or partial break of an individual’s bone, resulting in a bone fracture. This fracture can result in the temporary loss of function in whichever part of the body is compromised. And while some fractures can heal in less than a month, others can take up to twenty weeks.

Note that trauma is not the only cause of bone fractures. Overuse and disease may also result in the fracturing of a bone.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is, perhaps, one of the more well-known musculoskeletal disorders. It’s caused by repetitive hand motions or either extreme flexion or extension of a person’s hand or wrist. For example, typing and sports are two more common causes of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Anyone with carpal tunnel syndrome may experience numbness and tingling sensations in their hand or arm initially, and symptoms can become permanent if left untreated.

Digestive Problems

Digestive problems are another common condition that short-term workplace disability can cover. The most common digestive problems that can receive this kind of coverage include:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disorder
  • Hernias
  • Gastritis

Mental Health Issues

Mental health issues have been on the rise for short-term disability claims, accounting for more than seven percent of short-term disability claims. Depression and anxiety are the most commonly cited issues, but other mental health problems may also be covered under this insurance type. 

Key Takeaways

Long-term and short-term disabilities can wreak havoc on an individual’s life. It can impact their ability to play with their kids, enjoy their favorite pastimes, and even work. Fortunately, individuals who are covered by workplace disability policies may recover a percentage of their income for covered conditions.

If you have questions about disability insurance or want to receive a quote on a disability policy for your company, reach out to one of our agents today!

robbery insurance

What to Do When Your Small Business is Robbed

No one wants to believe that their business may be robbed, but unfortunately, the risk is all too real, and the sense of violation that comes after a robbery can be strong.

It can be hard to know what to do if you’re ever in this situation, but to help you out, we’ve put together a basic guide of the top things you should do during and after a robbery, along with a few key tips that may help you to better safeguard your business against this kind of attack.

What to Do During a Robbery

If your store, office, or another place of work is robbed, you need to know how to respond to the situation. Make sure you’re aware of how to behave during a robbery to ensure both your safety and the safety of any employees or customers on-site at the time. This behavior can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Try to pull the alarm if you can do so without increasing risk to yourself, your customers, or your employees.
  • Remain calm. This can help put the robbers at ease and reduce any safety risks you may be facing.
  • Follow the robber’s commands. Don’t fight against them unnecessarily or introduce more tension to an already stressed situation.
  • Do not try to be a hero. This will likely end in a disaster far more often than in diffusing the situation.
  • Do not make any sudden movements.
  • Note the weapon being used and never assume weapons are unloaded.
  • Pay attention to everything, and try to remember everything you can about the situation to later report to the police. Note details about the robber’s height, weight, skin color, clothing, accent, tattoos, piercings, birthmarks, and other identifying features.

What to Do After a Robbery

From contacting the police to retaining witnesses and filing your insurance reports, there are several things you need to do after a robbery occurs. Let’s take a closer look at each one to help you better understand how best to respond.

Call the Police

Whether you’re present or not when a robbery occurs, the first thing you need to do when you become aware a theft has happened is notify the proper authorities. 

Note Details About the Robbers

Make sure you take note of anything you can recall about the robbers or the robbery. You may forget specific details when you’re recounting the incident to the police later if you don’t write down what you remember for reference.

Ask Witnesses to Stay

If you had any employees or customers in your place of business at the time of the robbery, ask them to stay and wait for the authorities to arrive. Others may remember details about the incident that you didn’t notice, and they may be able to help paint a more full picture of the perpetrators so that the police can apprehend them.

Secure the Scene

It’s very important that you don’t let anyone disturb the crime scene before the police arrive. Don’t worry about starting clean-up efforts, grabbing your items, or otherwise messing with potential evidence. Leave everything alone and don’t let anyone else tamper with the scene because this may result in evidence being lost. 

Additionally, if there are any dangers apparent on the scene like broken glass, keeping people away from the area can better protect you from personal injury claims later.

Don’t Discuss the Crime

One of your first instincts after calling the police may be to call employees, friends, or family members to let them know what’s going on. And while you are free to let people know what’s happened at your business, don’t discuss details about the crime–especially with the media or online.

Take special care not the mention the exact monetary value of what was stolen as this is information that should only be shared between you and the police.

File an Insurance Claim

Once you’ve settled the situation with the authorities to the best of your abilities, go ahead and call your insurance company to let them know what has happened. Work with your agent to determine the potential extent of damages and send them any copies of paperwork or video footage you may have.

Your insurance company may require an adjuster to come to your location to evaluate damages and determine the best course of action for the situation. Make sure you know your specific insurance provider’s basic process for dealing with crime-related claims so that you’re not overwhelmed if this situation ever happens to you.

How to Preemptively Reduce Your Robbery Risk

Fortunately, there are several ways you can preemptively reduce your robbery risk. That way you can better protect your property, employees, and customers. Let’s look at a few key safety measures you can implement now.

Don’t Keep Extra Cash in the Office

The more cash you have on hand, the higher your potential risk is for robbery. You may have faith in your employees and customers to be honest, but keep in mind that if you leave unsecured money on your property, you may be increasing the temptation others may face.

Invest in a Good Security System

If you have solid security systems in place including video cameras, motion-activated lights, and alarms, you can greatly reduce your risk of robbery. And even if your business is still robbed, you’ll have video footage of the incident to give to the police.

Keep in the Know on Crime Stats

Make sure you stay aware of current crime statistics in your area. If there has been an uptick in robberies, thefts, and break-ins among other businesses in your area, consider hiring security guards or implementing stronger safety measures to dissuade criminals from targeting your business.

Have the Right Insurance

If your business is robbed, you may lose more than just the cash you have on hand. You may have to deal with property damages, loss of equipment, or a whole host of other problems. You can mitigate some of this risk by investing in the right insurance options ahead of time. That way, you can recoup a portion of your losses if something goes wrong.

Call us today to ask about policies we offer that may help you better protect your business against robberies and related damages--we'd love to help you however we can.


8 Used Car Lot Insurance Risks

Business owners face risks when operating their companies, and used car lot owners are no exception. There are several unique risks that these owners may face that can have a significant impact on their business’s reputation, finances, and long-term success.

Let’s take a closer look at eight key risk factors that you may face owning a used car lot to understand better how they may threaten your success.

Lawsuits From Customers

One of the top risks used car lots face is the threat of lawsuits and other legal action taken by individuals who purchase a vehicle from the lot. Suppose a buyer isn’t happy with their purchase and cannot get a full refund or anything else they want in recompense from your business. In that case, their next step is often to bring a lawsuit against the dealership for selling them a faulty vehicle.

Customers may also bring suits against a used car lot for other reasons. For example, if they believe they didn’t receive the correct value of the vehicle for what they paid, buyers may wish to challenge their transaction’s validity or legality. Alternatively, lawsuits may also be brought against your lot if individuals are injured on your property in almost any manner, including slip-and-falls, attacks from guard dogs, or other injuries sustained on your property.

Property Risk

There are many risks associated with owning a used car lot, and each one can significantly impact your lot’s property risk. 

For example, if you own a simple asphalted lot with a single office building, your risk factor is significantly lower than a competitor with a garage on their lot. This is because operational garages have additional risks, including trip hazards, welding or chemical-related fires, or expensive equipment damage.

Vehicular Accidents and Injuries

Another risk that used car lots face far more than other business types is vehicular accident and injury. Employees, buyers, and other individuals have a significantly higher risk of getting into an accident or injuring themselves in an automobile incident at your used car lot than they may face when shoe shopping simply because they’re around a proportionally larger amount of vehicles.

And while there may be risks and incidents that occur with the cars while parked on your lot, there is also the risk of accident or injury if an individual chooses to test-drive the vehicle off the property. This can result in multi-car accidents that may result in legal and medical bills you will have to pay.

Garage Keeper’s Risk

If you offer services where you store vehicles or property that is not part of your lot’s inventory, you will also face garage keeper’s risk. This risk exists because while your insurance coverage will often cover your property if it’s damaged, it may not protect third-party property that is left on your lot. If you allow individuals to store their property on your land, you need to consider taking out additional insurance options to ensure you’re fully protected.


Another great risk that used car lots face is the risk of theft. Used cars are valuable on the black market, with Ford and Chevy’s full-sized trucks most likely to be stolen. So while any vehicle may risk being stolen, high-value targets like these may put you in greater danger of theft.

You can help both mitigate this risk and potentially lower your theft-related insurance rates by investing in a good security system for your property. Consider consulting with professionals and investing in alarms and video surveillance systems to help prevent theft or recover stolen property.


One of the more complex risks to catch is fraud–specifically employee-related fraud. Oftentimes, individuals don’t catch fraudulent activity the first few times it’s committed against them, so you may lose a significant amount of property before you’re aware of the problem. 

And while thoroughly vetting your staff can help you avoid some issues, there is no way to know everything that goes on in your employees’ lives that may cause them to commit fraud. But by having an effective fraud insurance policy in place, you can mitigate the damages you face if you discover that you are being cheated out of profits, property, or anything else relating to your business.

Transaction Issues

Transactions always come with a certain amount of risk–especially the more often they’re conducted. If you manage a high number of daily transactions, you may need to be concerned about transactional fraud issues. Electronic fund transfers, unlike other payment methods, are not reversible. 

Once the money is paid or moved, it cannot be undone. This means that you need to keep a close eye on all of your electronic transactions not only to protect your business but also to protect your customers and reputation.

Additionally, large electronic transfers–like those that may be made to cover the cost of a used car–may be flagged by the government. This is because they are concerned about larger transfers being part of a money laundering scheme or funding acts of terror.

Cyber Attacks

Whenever customers buy a vehicle from you, there is typically a digital record of the sale. This data may contain personal identities, financial data, and other information that can put your customers at risk of identity theft or fraud, not to mention the chances of your business’ data being accessible by cyber attackers.

Cyber and ransomware attacks are increasing, and they can cost businesses like used car lots tens of thousands of dollars that you may be fully responsible for paying if you don’t have the right insurance coverage in place.

Key Takeaways

Running used car lots can be risky, but fortunately, having the right insurance options in place can go a long way in reducing your liability and helping cover costs relating to accidents and lawsuits so you’re not stuck paying everything out of pocket.

For more information on the best insurance options for your used car lot, contact our top-tier team of insurance agents today!


Can Pets Affect Your Homeowner’s Insurance?

Pets impact many different aspects of their owners' lives from their sleep schedule to how often they take evening walks to the hefty amounts they start charging to their bank accounts when they go on pet toy shopping sprees.

But one area you may not immediately think of when you get a new pet is how they can affect your homeowner’s insurance policy.

People love their pets and want to do everything they can to protect them, but what do you do when your animal attacks someone else, leaving you to face the financial burden of medical expenses and potential legal fees? Well, that’s where insurance can step in to help.

Depending on your pet’s breed and risk factor, you may find that your homeowner’s insurance can step in to help provide coverage. But if you have a pet that poses a greater risk factor, you may need to invest in alternative, pet-specific policies.

Do Insurance Agents Need to Be Notified If You Get A Pet?

While your animal may be the sweetest, most well-behaved animal when they’re with people they know, they pose a certain danger to strangers or people they’re less familiar with. And with this danger comes the risk that they may bite, scratch, or otherwise attack. This is especially common among dogs.

Because of this risk, you absolutely need to notify your insurance agent that you’ve added a new member to your family. That way, your policy can be adjusted to provide you with coverage just in case something goes wrong.

Note that while you should notify your agent, either way, you especially need to do so if you purchase a non-canine high-risk pet, exotic animal, or one of a few specific dog breeds.

What High-Risk and Exotic Pets Affect Homeowner’s Insurance?

There are many non-canine high-risk pets and exotic animals that may affect your homeowner’s insurance policy. These can include specific cat breeds and other traditionally non-domesticated and non-farm animals. Note that different insurance companies will have their own definitions of what constitutes a non-domesticated animal. 

These are a few of the most common high-risk and exotic animals that may affect your insurance policy:

  • Bengal Cats
  • Egyptian Mau Cats
  • Savannah Cats
  • Snakes
  • Hedgehogs
  • Sugar Gliders
  • Various Frog Species 
  • Toucans
  • Cockatoos
  • Tarantulas
  • Scorpions
  • Bearded Dragons
  • Rats
  • Mice
  • Gerbils

Which Specific Dog Breeds Can Affect Insurance Rates?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average cost of a dog bite is approximately $44,760, so it’s vital that you have the right insurance coverage in place for your pet. And because these lawsuits can be so expensive, many insurance agencies have a strict list of banned dog breeds that they will not allow to be covered by their policies.

And while each insurance company is different, there are several dog breeds that are commonly banned across the board. These include:

  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Pitbulls
  • Rottweilers
  • Chow Chows
  • Wolfdogs and wolf hybrids
  • Presa Canarios
  • Akitas
  • German Shepards
  • Huskies
  • American Bulldogs

Does Homeowner’s Insurance Include Dog Bite Coverage?

The majority of homeowners insurance coverage options will cover dog bites through the liability extension of your policy. Again, the extent of this coverage will depend entirely on your specific policy, your state’s regulations, as well as your dog’s breed and bite history. Typically these can cover between $100,000 and $300,000 in damages with any additional claims coming out of the owner’s pocket. 

If your dog doesn’t have a bite history, you may not be held liable for its first bite with some insurance companies, but if it has a known bite history, most owners are held legally liable for any damages.

Note that the bite doesn’t have to occur on your property for you to be held liable. It doesn’t matter where your dog is–if they bite someone, you are legally responsible for the injury. Additionally, if you encourage your dog to bite someone, you will likely not be covered.

What About Renter’s Insurance?

Renter’s insurance policies include coverage for pets, but as with homeowners insurance, you’ll need to double-check with your agent to make sure that your specific animal will be eligible for protection. Typically, a renter’s insurance policy will cover medical fees associated with basic bites and scratches, and it can even help offset certain legal fees if you face a lawsuit.

How Can You Get Coverage for Exotic Animals?

There are certain exotic animals that may be covered under your existing homeowner’s policy, but you will need to confirm with your agent to make sure your pet is on their approved list. 

However, suppose your insurance company won’t allow your pet to be covered under your existing homeowner’s policy. In that case, you may need to invest in an exotic pet-specific policy that operates separately from your homeowner’s insurance. That way, you can have insurance against your pet attacking others and insurance to keep them safe if they get sick or are injured.

Key Takeaways

No matter what kind of pet you have, it’s always a good option to check with your insurance agent to make sure you’ll be covered if they ever bite or scratch another person. 

With the right circumstances, any pet can be pushed to lash out,  and some breeds pose a more significant risk factor than others, so purchasing the right insurance options and add-ons ahead of time can save you a lot of money and stress in the long run.

If you want to learn more about how your pets can impact your homeowner’s policy or which alternative pet insurance options are available, don’t wait–contact our top-tier team of skilled agents today!


How to Handle Illegal Parking at Your Business

When people cut you off for that perfect parking space at the front of the grocery store, you may get frustrated, but how much worse is it when drivers blatantly take a parking space you own? 

Unfortunately, this is a reality for many different business owners in America–especially those in larger cities–who have to deal with drivers constantly taking their valuable parking spaces. If you’re struggling to reclaim your parking space and keep others out of it, it may be time to consider taking action to prevent or remove these illegal parkers. 

Before we dive into a few of the key ways you can go about this, let’s take a closer look at what exactly qualifies as illegal parking in this context and just why it’s so inconvenient.

What is Illegal Commercial Parking?

Illegal commercial parking occurs when individuals park in spots that are privately owned by commercial businesses. This can include instances where vehicles are parked in such a way that parking spot owners can’t access their space if other vehicles are parked over the line or double-spaced.

When someone takes a business owner’s spot, it is an incredible inconvenience to the owner as they are then required to find a new space to park in. The delay in finding a new location to park may result in missed meetings that impact the business’ bottom line, car accidents or damage to the vehicle if the business owner has to settle for parking in a less-than-ideal location, hourly parking fees if no free spaces are available, and overall inconvenience and frustration.

Ways to Handle Illegal Commercial Parking

If people keep taking your designated parking spots, you have a few options. There are steps you can take to either dissuade, prevent, or even remove individuals from your parking spots if you go about it the right way. Let’s look at some of the most effective ways you can reclaim your parking space as soon as possible.

Post No Parking Signs

One of the most low-effort ways you can begin preventing parking spot theft today is by simply posting “No Parking” or “Reserved” signs at your parking spots. Make sure you place it in a highly visible location at or near your spot and ensure nothing blocks a driver’s view of the sign. Many people who may have otherwise parked in your spot will likely drive on to avoid potentially being towed or fined.

Unfortunately, not everyone will be dissuaded, so there are a few other options you can try if your “No Parking” sign fails to be effective.

Report Illegal Parking to Authorities

One of the first steps many people take to remove unwanted parkers from their lots is phoning the police. But you might be surprised to learn that the police may not be able to do anything about the illegal commercial parkers, especially if you don’t have signage in place that explicitly tells people they can’t park in your space.

Commercially-owned parking spaces and lots are considered private property, and police have far fewer powers on private property than they do on public property. Additionally, illegal commercial parking isn’t a criminal offense in most places, so unless the vehicle seems dangerous in some way, local authorities will likely not be able to render any assistance.

Work with a Towing Company

Hiring a towing company to deal with unauthorized vehicles in your spot is one of the quickest and most effective ways of removing illegal parkers. As soon as you see a car in your spot, you can call your towing company to remove the vehicle. You don’t have to wait for the owner to return or for any other action to be taken.

Note that you cannot have a vehicle towed from your private parking space or lot if you don’t have signage up that explicitly informs individuals they may not park on your property. There is an exception to this rule, however. If the illegally parked vehicle is in your space for more than twenty-four hours, you may have it towed without needing to post a “No Parking” sign first.

Hire Car Park Management Services

Another possible solution would be to hire a car park management service or attendant. If you have individuals on-site to regulate who has access to your parking lot, there is a much lower chance of your spaces being taken by unauthorized drivers. The downside of this solution is that it can be quite a costly option over time as you have to pay individuals to watch over your spaces. 

Key Takeaways

If you’re tired of dealing with unauthorized vehicles in your parking spaces, it may be time to try investing in one or more of these methods. Whether you want to start small with a few strategically-placed signs or you want to jump straight into working with a car park management service, you’ll likely find that your parking spaces are much more available than they may have been in the past. 

If you want to learn more about dealing with illegally parked vehicles on your commercial property and how it may impact your insurance, reach out to our skilled professional agents today!

umbrella coverage for business

Why Umbrella Insurance for You Is Important

What do automotive, homeowners, and many other policy types have in common? Well, you can never be 100% certain whether they’ll provide you with enough coverage if you’re faced with a major lawsuit.

Each of these policy types works well on an average day with an average accident, but if you end up in a situation where you’re facing serious legal fees, you’re going to need additional coverage. And when that happens, you have two options: you can either try to increase the policy coverage amounts for each one of your policy types, or you can invest in one personal umbrella insurance policy.

What Is Umbrella Insurance?

Umbrella insurance, also known as personal liability insurance, is an extra layer of insurance you can purchase to fill in the gaps where your other policies leave off. It also provides extra coverage types that may not be included in other policies you hold. 

Typically, it works to bolster homeowners and automotive policies, but it can also benefit numerous other policy types to cover legal fees, medical expenses, and other damages that are above what your traditional insurance options cover.

What Does Personal Umbrella Insurance Cover?

Umbrella insurance protects you and your family against a wide range of damages by providing funds that exceed the limits of many of your other policies. And because it supplements such a wide range of policy types, it covers numerous problems you may face. Specifics will, of course, differ between policies, but there are a few damages and claim types that most umbrella policies should be able to protect you from.

Personal Injury Lawsuits

If you’re involved in the physical or mental injury of another person whether intentionally or as the result of negligence, you may be faced with a personal injury lawsuit. An umbrella policy can help you cover the cost of any damages awarded to the other party as well as help you with legal fees for the case. For example, if your pet attacks a neighbor and the neighbor sues you to cover their medical bills and lost wages, umbrella insurance would help cover those costs.

Damage to Another Person’s Property

Similarly, if you damage another person’s property, umbrella insurance can also step in to help.  An example of this could be if you’re throwing a baseball around with your son, and a catch is missed causing the ball to smash into your neighbor’s car window. An umbrella policy would then help cover the costs of repairs and possibly a rental vehicle for the neighbor while the car was being fixed.

Assorted Lawsuits

There are several additional lawsuit types that umbrella insurance can help you with. These include defamation suits and lawsuits relating to libel, slander, and invasion of privacy. Additional suit types could even include false imprisonment or landlord liability.

Associated Legal Costs

If you face a lawsuit where you are being required to pay damages, a personal umbrella insurance policy will typically cover any legal fees you have associated with the suit, even if the cost of your legal fees exceeds your covered limit. This means that if you have $500,000 in liability coverage and you lose a suit for the full amount, your policy will cover both the $500,000 and your legal defense.

Incidents that Happen Abroad

If you are involved in an accident, damage the personal property of another person, or have any other claim types brought against you while you’re outside of the United States, your umbrella policy should be able to help cover fees and damage costs.

Why Personal Umbrella Insurance Is Important

There are many reasons why umbrella insurance is so important to invest in. It works to protect your assets and finances, provides you with peace of mind, covers legal fees, and can even work to protect your charity work. Let’s look more closely at each of these benefits to get a better understanding about why personal umbrella insurance is so great.

Helps Protect Your Assets

When you have personal umbrella insurance, you have a safety net that is constantly working to protect your assets. These can include your finances in checking and savings accounts, retirement accounts, investments, your car, your house, and even your future income.

Provides Peace of Mind

Perhaps one of the best benefits of an umbrella policy is that it provides you with peace of mind. The policy works to provide you with coverage not only for incidents and lawsuits you may already be aware of but also for those that you would never have expected to happen.

Covers Legal Fees

When it comes to lawsuits, one of the biggest expenses that people often don’t think about when purchasing their insurance policies is the cost of legal fees. Hiring a solid defense team is not cheap, and no matter the outcome of your trial, they have to be paid. Fortunately, an umbrella policy covers all of these fees for you so you don’t have to worry about them at all.

Protects Your Charity Work

If you’re actively involved with your community’s nonprofit, charitable, religious, or civic organizations, the majority of umbrella policies will provide you with coverage if anything happens while you’re volunteering.

Get Personal Umbrella Insurance Today

Personal umbrella insurance policies provide individuals with a wide range of benefits, not the least of which is peace of mind against potential lawsuits and accidents you never saw coming. They work where other policies can’t and provide you with supplemental insurance that applies not just to one specific policy type, but to a wide range of options to ensure you get the most for your money. 

If you’re considering investing in a personal umbrella insurance policy, don’t wait–call us and Harrah & Associates today to speak with one of our agents.

8 Types Of Commercial Insurance Coverages

There are many types of commercial insurance out there and choosing the right one for you can be difficult if you have no idea where to start. Depending on your business, you want to ensure that you have the right insurance and the right amount of coverage. This article will review some of the most common business insurance types.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance

Employment Practices Liability Insurance, commonly known as “EPLI” is a type of business insurance used to cover employers against allegations made by employees who feel their rights were violated. It will protect you against claims of discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination and resulting litigation. Almost all businesses can benefit from this type of policy, but usually larger companies benefit the most. This is because larger companies have more employees hence increasing their employee-related risks. 

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance protects you in the event of a compensation claim that could be made against your company. This type of insurance can protect you from various claims such as injuries, accidents and damages. Businesses in NJ are not legally required to have general liability insurance, but we highly recommend having it, mainly if you operate a business. 

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance is a type of insurance policy that protects professionals and businesses against claims of negligence from customers or clients. Examples are negligence, copyright infringement, personal injury, and more. Claims covered can include damages caused by things you did and/or things you should have done.

Directors & Officers (D&O) / Management Liability Insurance

D&O and Management Liability is often seen as similar products. For this purpose, we will focus on D&O.

D&O will protect you personally as an officer or a director against some of the legal costs that may arise from a wrongful act. Lawsuits/allegations can come from employees, vendors, customers or other parties. This coverage can cover costs such as settlements, lawsuits and other costs associated with the wrongful allegations.

Commercial Auto Insurance

You will need a commercial auto policy if your business relies on vehicles to get work done. It covers vehicles that are used for business purposes. This includes cars, vans and trucks that employees operate. You will be protected from financial burdens that can come from accidents such as repairs and medical bills. 

Cyber Liability Insurance

If your business becomes the victim of a cyberattack or even a data breach, then this can be expensive, and it can also take quite some time for your business to recover. If you lose a lot of data, this can put you in the firing line from your clients too, who may be able to sue you depending on the data that has been jeopardized. With this kind of insurance, you can be protected against huge data losses or breaches.

Property Insurance

Business property insurance helps protect your company’s physical assets from unexpected events such as windstorms, fires, vandalism and thefts. Floods may be covered under a standard commercial policy (not common), but separate flood insurance may be purchased. Physical assets that could be covered include office equipment, computers, printers, furniture, fixtures and other items you use to support your daily operations.

Workers’ Compensation

If you operate a business in New Jersey, you must have workers’ compensation insurance. Workers' comp insurance protects the employer and employee if an employee is injured on the job. This coverage can be used to pay for medical care and loss of income for the injured employee. 

Workers’ compensation can also reimburse employees that get an illness due to the work they were doing for the company. An example may be a coal miner or an employee who removes asbestos from old homes and is diagnosed with rare lung disease or cancer due to work conditions. 

Next Steps

We listed some of the most common insurance types business owners ask us about. If you are a business owner in NJ and would like one of our insurance advisors to review your current insurance portfolio, give us a call at (609) 587-8030.

Types of Liability Insurance Policies for Businesses

The cost of compensatory claims brought against business owners, independent contractors, and self-employed people due to negligence by workers, clients, customers, shareholders, investors, or members of the general public is covered by liability insurance

Due to the inherent risk that every firm encounters, liability insurance is typically a required insurance type as it can aid in legally defending your company against allegations of negligence that could result in legal ramifications.

Your business may face many possible risks and ramifications depending on the nature of your work, so the amount of coverage you require will vary from company to company. A general liability insurance audit can help you look at your company's payroll and risk exposure to ensure you're paying the right amount for your insurance. So when you’re searching for a policy, there are various liability insurance coverage options you should consider.

General Liability Insurance 

Business liability (BL) or commercial general liability (CGL) helps cover various general liability claims that assert your company has injured individuals or damaged their property. It also provides coverage to offset damage to your reputation or mistakes in your advertising. 

It's vital to remember that general liability insurance does not protect your company's or employees' personal property against property damage. These claims are covered in part by commercial property insurance policies.

General liability insurance best provides protection when you face claims of bodily harm, property damage, damage to reputation, or advertising blunders.

Bodily Harm

Any physical harm suffered by a client or customer at your business is considered a bodily injury. For instance, your general liability insurance may help pay for the patient's medical expenses if a customer enters your flower shop, slips on the wet floor, and fractures their leg.

It’s important to note that your employees are not covered by general liability insurance. Instead, your workers' compensation insurance plan—a kind of employer liability insurance—covers them. 

Property Damage

Any harm you or your employees do to the property of a third party is considered property damage. For example, if the lawnmower from your landscaping business kicked up rocks that broke a customer's glass, general liability insurance can help pay to cover any damages associated with the accident.

Reputational Damage

Reputational damage occurs when a business claims your company has harmed their reputation. General liability can assist in defraying your defense expenses if situations arise where you or your employees are accused of harming a competitor’s reputation.

Advertising Blunders

Copyright infringement liability claims arise from advertising mistakes. General liability insurance might help pay for your legal defense if your marketing company uses a copyrighted image in an advertisement without authorization.

Professional Liability Insurance

Errors and omissions insurance (E&O), commonly referred to as professional liability insurance (PL), aids in defending against allegations that your company offered services with errors. For instance, E&O insurance can help pay your legal defense expenses if a client sues you, alleging that you offered them bad financial advice and lost money. 

Additionally, professional liability can assist with allegations concerning:

  • Negligences
  • Misrepresentation 
  • Good faith and fair dealing are broken

Most firms require professional liability insurance–mainly if you provide clients with professional services. 

Employer Liability

Liability Insurance Employees who sustain sickness or injuries at work are not protected by professional liability. Your business requires workers' compensation insurance for that level of coverage. 

Workers' compensation is a sort of employer liability insurance that covers benefits for your staff members who become ill or injured on the job. And depending on your state's laws, you and other business owners may be obliged to get workers' compensation insurance. Purchasing this coverage type is a smart idea even if it's not required by law in your jurisdiction because it can pay the cost of medical treatment for workers who become ill or injured on the job and defend your company from a lawsuit arising out of a work-related illness or injury.

Workers' Compensation and Employer Liability Insurance Scenarios

If one of your employees becomes ill or injured due to their work, workers' compensation may be able to protect them. Examples of possible covered scenarios and damages include situations like the following: 

  • Your manager broke her wrist after tripping over a stray package in her new office. Workers' compensation may cover her medical costs. 
  • A coal miner's extended exposure to low air quality causes black lung. Workers' compensation may partially cover his medical expenses and continued care. 
  • After years of poor typing habits, your receptionist suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome. Bursitis and tendinitis are two other instances of ailments brought on by repetitive tension that may be covered.

In addition to covering medical expenses, workers' compensation also offers: 

  • Disability compensation if a doctor determines that your employee is either temporarily or permanently handicapped. Your state determines the amount and length of disability compensation.
  • Replacement of lost wages when an employee needs to take time off to heal from an injury sustained at work. 
  • Funeral expenses if your employee tragically perishes in a workplace accident. 

Professional Liability Insurance for Contractors 

You must obtain some kind of contractor's professional liability insurance if your company works in the design-build or construction management industries. This insurance covers experts against construction-related mistakes or losses that may occur during the planning, designing, and building of a structure. Additionally, it might shield you from mistakes made by independent contractors working on a project. 

Insurance for Directors and Officers (D&O) 

You need D&O insurance if your company has a corporate board of directors or advisory group. If your directors and officers are personally sued for negligent business management including instances of them failing to comply with workplace laws, committing fraud, stealing intellectual property, misrepresenting company assets, or misusing company funds, this insurance safeguards their assets. 

Insurance for Management Responsibility 

A bundle of coverages known as management liability insurance is used to safeguard corporate, public, and nonprofit organizations from various board-level risks. It is bought by companies with a board of directors, offering protection from the hazards of running a corporation. Employment practices liability, fiduciary liability, and D&O liability are frequently covered under management liability insurance policies.

parents teaching child how to ride a bike

Are Life Insurance Policies for Employees Beneficial?

Offering life insurance policies for your employees can be very beneficial for you as a company. Your employees are your best assets, and they are the lifeblood of your business.

One way to show them you care is to offer them a life insurance policy that will benefit them and their family should any event outside of their control take place. If you are not currently offering a life insurance policy and you're on the fence about it, you likely need more information.

Here are some of the major benefits you and your employees will receive from a group life insurance policy. Once you know the benefits, you can decide whether you want to offer this to your employees.

Make Your Company Attractive

One benefit of life insurance that you may not have thought about is that it can help you attract top talent. When you offer life insurance as a part of the compensation package for your employees, it is very attractive to potential employees.

When people understand they will get benefits for themselves and their families, they are more willing to stay with a company or even apply for a job there. Therefore, offering a comprehensive life insurance policy is a very effective way of obtaining and retaining excellent employees.

Even the most basic of insurance policies will benefit you and your employees.

They Are Affordable

Group life insurance policies cost less than individual health insurance policies because group life insurance companies are a lot less risky for your company and insurers.

Your insurer will look at the overall risk of the entire group to decide how much you will pay. For most companies, the overall risk factor is very low. You may even be able to get group health insurance as well. This can significantly reduce the administrative and sales cost of the policy.

What Coverage Provides

Life insurance coverage can make your employees feel a lot more secure. You may wonder what exactly a life insurance policy covers. A good life insurance policy for your employee will serve as replacement income should an unexpected tragedy befall an employee.

Life insurance can also cover living expenses and state taxes that the employee has left behind. The money can also help with a child's education or even supplement retirement savings. As you can see, there's a lot that a group life insurance can offer an employee if something tragic happens.

Customize Your Plan

If you decide to offer your employees life insurance, there are some things you need to decide when creating a group life insurance policy for your company.

Sometimes employees can purchase additional coverage or even raise the level of coverage that they have in a group insurance plan. You need to decide whether you have enough leeway within your budget to accommodate this.

There are some cases where you can allow your employees to pay some of the premium. If this is the option that you have put in place for the life insurance policy, then you can put in a clause for increased premiums, as long as the employee will pay.

It's hard to believe that most employees will not want to opt into a group life insurance policy paid for by a company, but sometimes there are exceptions to the rule. You'll need to decide whether you want to give employees the option to opt-in or opt-out of the life insurance policy you have in place for your company.

On the upside, if they decide to opt-out, it means that you will pay less. However, it might be a signal that someone is not completely committed to your organization and does not see themselves staying for the long term, so they see no point in getting life insurance coverage.

While good life insurance coverage is one of the main reasons many people stay long term with an organization, there are inevitably going to be some employees who leave.

You will need to decide how you're going to handle this and how coverage can be transferred or transitioned. This is something you will need to discuss with your insurance company.

Finally, you may decide that only certain employees receive life insurance. That's something that you'll want to look at carefully before deciding.

Get Your Company on Track

Offering group health insurance plans is a great way to make your employees feel protected. A group life insurance plan that is beneficial to your employees' family is always a welcome asset to any organization.

A group life insurance policy can make your company very attractive to employees with a high level of skill. When you offer this as one of the key features of a benefits package, you are likely to receive more applications from candidates who are looking for a way to safeguard themselves and their families. These employees tend to be loyal and stay with your company for a long time.

Reach out and we'll be happy to provide more information about group life insurance for your business.

executive boardroom with no people in it

Protect Your C-Suite With Directors and Officers Liability Insurance

You want to be prepared for everything with your business. Therefore, insurance, particularly directors and officers liability insurance in this case, is a must. With insurance for the highest ranking members of your team, you’ll rest easy knowing that they're covered against lawsuits, disputes, and more.

What Is Directors and Officers Liability Insurance?

Directors and officers (D&O) liability insurance offers you protection for claims made against the decision makers of your business. These claims can include wrongful action, allegations of discrimination, negligence, and more. Regardless of what took place, this insurance will make sure you do not have to invest time and money in such a situation.

Directors and officers liability insurance covers many situations, making it a comprehensive choice for protecting your business and its most important team members.

Protection Against Wrongful Lawsuits

Wrongful lawsuits and false claims can strike any business, no matter how big or small. These claims can damage your business, both in terms of reputation and cost. Directors and officers liability insurance protects you against these types of lawsuits, which is important for the well-being and longevity of your business.

Protection Against Mistakes

It’s possible for your employees to make mistakes. However, if employees involved in the leadership of your business make a mistake, the results could be disastrous. These mistakes could include a failure to comply with a regulation, any HR issues, or mismanagement.

Sometimes, these mistakes do not warrant letting the employee go. Directors and officers liability insurance will make it possible for you to avoid the issues involved with these types of lawsuits, and will protect your employees from them, too.

Lower Costs

Lawsuits and other legal issues can be incredibly costly. You will need to hire a lawyer and take time off work, which decreases productivity and leads to loss of income. These are only two ways it hurts your bottom line.

There’s nothing more frustrating than hidden costs and interruptions to your daily life at work. Directors and officers liability insurance helps cover these costs so that if you face a costly lawsuit, you can rest knowing that your business will remain stable.

Protect Yourself

If one of your employees in a leadership position commits a criminal act, the consequences can trickle down to you and affect your business. Directors and officers liability insurance offers you and your business protection against the things you cannot control, such as actions of your employees.

Even your most trusted employees can prove to not be exactly what you expected. You're going to want to be protected from their errors in judgement.

Take Action With D&O Liability Insurance Now

Don’t wait until a lawsuit has been brought against your business to purchase directors and officers liability insurance. Most times, your insurance won’t cover anything that began before the date of purchase. Waiting could prove dangerous and costly to your business.

Directors and officers liability insurance can be beneficial for your business if you have many employees in leadership positions. Both you and your highest ranking employees will appreciate the extra protection and added benefits that it offers.

Learn more about D&O Liability Insurance from Harrah & Associates.