River Valley Insurance Agency Inc Blog
When it comes to being an independent contractor, it’s not always clear what types of insurance you’re going to need. The best way to know for sure is to work with a qualified business insurance agency like River Valley Insurance but for informational purposes, here’s some information about two popular types of coverage we get a lot of questions about, workers compensation and professional liability.
Independent contractors need the right insurance for financial protection. The right coverage will depend on the type of work that they do. Some contractors spend the majority of their time at a desk doing digital marketing or data entry services while others work on maintenance or construction services that have quite different risk profiles.
Of course your car needs a battery for it to run, but do you know how to maintain it?
The battery produces electrical energy used to ignite the engine and start the motor. Minor car problems are often due to battery problems. These happen because owners don’t know how to maintain or recognize such issues.
When an entrepreneur starts a business, he usually exposes himself to a lot of risks. Even before he hires his first employee, the business is already at risk. It is important that you have the right insurance in place for this. A catastrophic event or lawsuit can wipe out any small business before it gets off the ground.
Luckily, a business now has access to a lot of insurance types so that they will have protection against these dangers. Here are the types of insurance that a business should have in place as soon as they can.
I've been thinking about the truth lately. For some reason people lie to me a lot. They may not do so intentially or becuase they dont like me....I am an insurance agent.
"I don't need to tell my agent that I have a 16 year old driver, my rates will go up" This is probably the most common lie, or ommission, that I encounter. Yes, your rates will go up but let me tell you why you must disclosure this driver (or any driver of your auto). Our auto product is the state of Michigan is based on a multitude of factors. The most basic being the type of car you drive, your age and your driving record. Each of these factors are plugged into a formula to give you a rate. But when those factors are missing, that rate is not accurate. That rate cannot support the claims we encounter. That rate is just numbers. So what happens with a claim? If that driver is not disclosed your claim can be denied. No, this isn't a scare tactic, I've seen it happen. Claims are denied for "ommissions" every day. Do you want to pay that rate to NOT get coverage?
What about on your home? The same ommissions can happen here too. The most common I see is that the home is not insured for the actual use. In other words; you have a homeowners policy when in actuallity you rent it out. That needs to have a different policy. You are literally throwing your money away.
So I urge you; talk to a professional about your exposures. Even if that may cost you more money. We pay for insurance to have coverage, right? So why jeopardize that with an "ommission".
In this crazy, upside-down real estate market most home buyers are confused in regards to the amount of insurance coverage they need on their homes. Most people are in disbelief when they learn that they need $225,000 of insurance on a home that they just purchased for $150,000. This is a discussion I have with clients several times a week. The fact of the matter is, the way the current housing market sits today, it costs more to build a new home then it does to buy an existing one.
I’d like to start by clearing up some common misconceptions: First, even though home prices have fallen, the price of building materials have either stayed the same or increased. Second, many contractors have left the construction field altogether so a surplus of contractors ready to work at discounted prices is simply not the case. In addition, reconstruction becomes more expensive due the following:
Even though you may be frustrated that you need more insurance then the market value of your home, please make sure that your home is insured properly. An insurance professional should be able to guide you into finding a product that has the proper protection and you might be pleasantly surprised with an affordable rate.
On a daily basis I am asked pretty much the same questions:
Unfortunately, many people do not fully understand the basics of insurance. This includes: the underlying reason for having insurance (to protect your assets against catastrophic events), liability limits, coverage areas, and covered perils (specific event, causing a loss and giving rise to risk).
In this blog I am going to write about the last question. “Is a person at risk if they have more assets than liability coverage?” The answer is yes.
Fortunately, there is a policy that offers an additional layer of personal liability protection coverage called a Personal Liability Umbrella. A Personal Liability Umbrella Policy extends liability protection on top of an individual’s underlying polices. The umbrella can cover you (or covered family member) for damages you may be liable for.
Umbrellas can provide additional coverage for auto, home, as well as recreational vehicles. This can also include coverage for liability claims not normally covered under your home policy such as slander/libel as well as coverage if the policy holder is a member of a volunteer board.
Here is a real life example of how a Personal Liability Umbrella Policy could have helped an insured.
The insured has an auto and homeowners policy and also owns an ATV. The insured’s son and his friend take the ATV off his immediate property and onto state land for some legal off-road enjoyment. While riding on the state land, the homeowner’s son gets into an accident and hurts the passenger. The friend’s family is now suing for damages.
In this situation the ATV was not specifically listed on the homeowners policy, was not covered under a separate policy and the insured did not have a Personal Liability Umbrella Policy. The ATV is not covered for liability in this situation. So the damages that the injured friend’s family is seeking would not be covered under the current policy.
If the owner of the ATV would have had a Personal Umbrella Policy, he would have been covered up to the policy limit in this situation.
So can you afford and umbrella? The real question is, can you NOT afford to have one?
Umbrella Policies start at about $10-$15 a month for $1M in excess coverage.
As always a little disclaimer; each policy holder’s circumstance is different and you should seek the advice of a licensed agent prior to making decisions on your policy and coverage.
For more information about Personal Liability Umbrella Policies, contact us at 616.301.9500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.