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Coinsurance Explained -What you need to know
Most Business Insurance policies include a coinsurance clause for building and business personal property coverage. Coinsurance creates an agreement between the policy owner and insurance company on the value of the insured property and the amount of insurance purchased.
The benefit is that coinsurance allows for lower insurance policy costs. But what you need to know is that IF the insurance purchased is less than the agreed percentage, the insured will be required to pay a portion of any losses.
Here is a simplified example: If a business is valued at $100,000 and there is an 80% coinsurance clause, the insured is required to purchase at least $80,000 of insurance. If instead, the insured purchased $40,000, (half of what should have been purchased), the company will only pay half on losses.
Awareness of the percentage of your coinsurance clause, along with knowing the value of your building and property will provide the information needed to make the best decision to fit your needs.
Let the experienced professionals at Cobb-Hall eliminate confusion and provide solutions designed specifically for your needs.
Life Insurance – How to Decide
Basic Life Insurance Information
Whether you are married or single, a death can create financial hardship. Remember to consider expenses such as childcare, college, funeral expenses, and mortgage when determining your needs.
There are two basic types of life insurance: term life insurance and permanent life insurance. The type of life insurance policy that best suits you will depend on your unique needs.
Option #1: Term Life Insurance
Just as its name implies, term life insurance covers you for a specific period of time, or term, that you choose. Since it offers a death benefit but no cash value, term life insurance is an inexpensive way to protect your beneficiaries for a specified period of time.
Renewal term life insurance can be renewed at the end of the term, at the option of the policyholder for a limited number of successive terms. It can also be converted, or exchanged for a permanent insurance policy, down the road. It’s important to note that rates generally increase along with the insured’s age.
Option #2: Whole Life Insurance
Permanent life insurance is any form of life insurance other than term. Examples are whole life, universal life and variable life. These policies combine term life insurance with a long-term, tax-sheltered savings plan.
Whole life is the most basic type of permanent life insurance. It provides coverage that lasts a lifetime and builds up a cash value that you can borrow against, withdraw or use to pay future premiums.
A life insurance policy with a cash value is ideal for those who have a lifetime need for insurance protection, prefer stable premiums over the life of the policy, want a policy that allows them to build tax-deferred values, and value the high degree of coverage the policy affords. While rates for a whole life insurance policy remain stable over the life of the policy, premiums are initially more costly than for term insurance.
How Much Insurance Do I Need?
To find the right amount of coverage, it’s important to consider your dependents’ current lifestyle and needs against future sources of income and assets.
Contact the caring experts at Cobb-Hall Insurance for more details.
Cyber Liability – Data Breach Protection
If you run payments or have sensitive client information you need to consider purchasing a cyber liability policy to protect you from the financial hardship of cyber losses
Nearly all businesses are susceptible to a cyber attack. Besides internet dangers, cyber attacks can also include computer hardware problems, communication media errors, backup and operating system errors and fraud. Your general liability policy may not cover cyber risks and include loss of control over sensitive customer data.
Common causes of cyber related losses include:
- Human error: Unintentional acts such as leaving a laptop that has access to patient medical records at the airport.
- Intentional: Illegal criminal activity can occur outside the organization by hackers or criminals, or come from inside the organization.
Cyber Risk Liability policies can be tailored to your needs and do not have to be expensive. Look for a policy that covers business interruption and other aspects like notifying customers of data breach and hiring a PR firm to manage your public image. Some of these policies can also assist you before you are cyber-attacked.
Contact the experienced professionals at Cobb-Hall Insurance to provide solutions designed specifically for your needs.
Excerpts from: Trusted Choice/ Independent Insurance Agents
What to do in Case of a Business Loss
At the time of a loss, sometimes it is difficult to know what steps to take. Your insurance contract requires that you report all claims promptly, so be sure to contact them as soon as possible after a loss. Once the insurance company assigns an adjuster, you will be able to deal directly with the adjuster to settle your claim.Your agent is there to help you, so if you have any delay or problem settling your claim, be sure to contact your agent.
Here are some tips to assist you in case of loss.
- Contact proper authorities. (Fire Department, Police, Etc.)
- Protect property from further damage.Contact: Utilities (gas, electric), Contractor (board windows, cover hole in roof)
- If possible, take photos of damage before emergency repairs are made.
- Call your agent/insurance company to report the loss. An adjuster will be assigned.
- Discuss the next steps with your adjuster. (what contractor to call, when to schedule repairs, etc.)
- Be sure to keep a record of costs and retain receipts.
- Contact the police.
- Stay safe and out of traffic. Warn oncoming traffic if needed.
- Check if medical assistance is needed. Call an ambulance if necessary.
- Collect information: vehicles, drivers, address & phone numbers, license & plate numbers, insurance policy numbers, police report number, witness contact information, etc.
- Call your agent/insurance company to report the loss.
- If vehicle is not drivable, have it towed to a repair shop.
- Discuss the next steps with your adjuster. Do not authorize repairs before the adjuster gives authorization.
Liability Claim- In the event of injury or property damage you allegedly cause
- If injury is involved, provide assistance and call an ambulance and/or the police if necessary.
- Obtain details: name, address, contact information for those involved, witnesses, description of event, etc.
- Call your agent/insurance company to report the incident.
- Forward all correspondence, including attorney summons and court documents to the insurance company.
- Refer all claim questions to your adjuster, including from the other party’s attorney.
Workers’ Compensation Claim
- If injury is involved, provide assistance and call ambulance and/or police if necessary.
- Obtain details: name, address, contact information of those involved, witnesses, description of event, etc.
- Complete state-mandated accident reporting form (form 100). Contact your insurance company/agent to obtain this form.
- Contact your Workers’ Compensation Insurance company or agent to report the incident.
- Forward all correspondence, including attorney summons & court documents to the insurance company..
- Follow instructions from your adjuster and refer all claim questions to your insurance adjuster.
Contact the professionals at Cobb-Hall Insurance to provide solutions for your business insurance needs.
Protect Yourself with Disability Income Insurance
When an illness or injury leaves someone temporarily or permanently unable to perform their job, most people immediately begin to worry about how they will pay their bills. Few people could afford to be out of work for several months or even years without the benefit of disability benefits. Social Security can bring lengthy waiting periods or disqualification. For most workers, an individual disability policy is the best way to ensure adequate income in the event of serious illness or injury.
Disability Income coverage is especially important for self-employed or contract workers. With disability insurance, you can expect to receive up to 66% of your previous salary. However, disability benefits are not taxed, which often makes up for much of the lost income.
Short-term income protection insurance provides coverage for a limited amount of time, typically after a short waiting period of up to 14 days. You are then covered for the length of time specified in your policy, which can be from several months up to one year.
Long-term income protection covers injuries and illnesses that prevent you from working for a long period of time. There may be a longer waiting period before receiving benefits, but benefits can last for several years, until you reach age 65 or you recover.
The experienced professionals at Cobb-Hall Insurance can assist you with protections designed specifically for your needs.
Excerpts from post: By Ryan Hanley , Trusted Choice.com., Agency Nation
Best Home Video – Home Inventory
Imagine trying to list every possession you own along with each item’s worth after your home as been destroyed by fire or a natural disaster. The task will feel overwhelming. Having a detailed home inventory can make the difference between a paid and a disputed claim. Do not rely solely on your memory.
Consider these tips
- Discuss your homeowner’s policy with your agent. Are you covered for the replacement value on your possessions or only the depreciated value? You may need special coverage if you have expensive collections or unique items like musical instruments, firearms, golf clubs, etc.
- Take photos and/or videos.
- Photograph the outside of your house from at least four angles. Be sure to photograph your home’s landscaping, outdoor furniture and decorations.
- Make a room-by-room photographic inventory. Take as many pictures as needed to inventory every room in your house. Be sure to document items in closets, cupboards and drawers, noting when and where items were obtained and the cost. If possible scan receipts to keep with your home inventory. Clothes, shoes, purses and jewelry can add up. Take separate photos of items over $350 in value.
- Electronics are major purchases. List and photograph model and serial numbers for electronics including televisions, stereos, computers and mobile devices.
- Lay out a full set of your china, silverware or other valuables and photograph. Include a picture to show the brand and pattern. Then count and photograph where the items are stored to show the number of sets you own.
- Take photos of things that cannot be replaced.(family photographs. mementos, heirlooms) Although these items are irreplaceable, make copies so you will have a record of the items. Remember to discuss rare or high end items with your agent and photograph separately.
- Inventory the garage. Document bicycles, sports equipment, tools, lawn mowers and other items stored in your garage.
- Remember to inform your agent of major updates. Include photos of window coverings, hardwood floors, finished basement, decks etc.
Store the home inventory off premises. E-mail a copy to yourself and use cloud storage to keep copies electronically or save on a flash drive and keep it in a safe deposit box. Don’t save the inventory only on a computer drive that could be destroyed.
Contact Cobb-Hall Insurance for solutions designed specifically to meet your needs.
Why you may need Umbrella Insurance Coverage
A rain umbrella protects you from getting wet, but doesn’t stop the raindrops from falling. Umbrella insurance is similar, it does not prevent disaster, but it can save you from the financial consequences. In our litigious society.
Accidents happen, when they do you may be held legally responsible for injury, damage to property and legal fees. These can quickly escalate to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some examples are:
- While driving, you cause a serious accident.
- Your dog escapes and bites a neighbor, causing extensive medical costs.
- Your child’s friends are playing on your trampoline and one falls, suffering serious injury.
- You publish a newsletter on the Internet and wrongly accuse a state senator of a crime.
- Your drop a friend’s valuable antique, which shatters on your garage floor.
If you have assets, including retirement savings, college funds, home equity and other assets, you are at risk. An umbrella policy provides peace of mind as the premium you pay for protection is very low.
An accident with severe injury can result in substantial medical care, lost income and other expenses, sometimes taking years to determine the extent damage. Your business is responsible when coverage provided by your policies is not enough to meet the amount of a loss.. Umbrella Liability coverage can protect your business from bankruptcy and serious financial hardship by providing defense coverage and additional limits to pay large judgments.
Contact Cobb-Hall Insurance for solutions designed specifically to meet your needs.
Excerpts from: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2014
Most homeowner’s policies contain a variety of coverages Here is a brief explanation of just some of the coverages to help you when considering your choices in purchasing insurance for your home.
Home (Definition: The building structure)
Replacement Cost Most homeowners’ policies will pay to rebuild your home if it was completely destroyed. In addition to the structure, coverage includes the wiring, plumbing, heating and air conditioning. Policies are issued for the amount it would cost to rebuild your home. Your agent can assist you with determining the correct insurance value as land and unattached buildings are not included in this amount. It is important to note that there are claim payment penalties for homes that are greatly under insured.
Coverage Typically losses covered by a homeowner’s policy are for fire, windstorm, hail, lightning, theft or vandalism. Other damage may be covered, but generally these policies do NOT cover flood or earthquakes.
Deductible You can choose from a variety of deductible amounts. A deductible is an amount of money that you pay first for any loss. Many people choose between $1,000 and $2,000, usually the higher your deductible, the lower your premium.
Personal Property (Definition: Contents-Imagine shaking your house upside down, what falls out is considered contents.)
Replacement Cost Covering your contents for replacement cost versus actual cash value is recommended. Like it sounds, replacement cost is what you pay to replace an item; actual cash value is what the item is worth after depreciation. For example: if your sofa is destroyed in a fire, replacement cost on contents coverage would allow the company to reimburse you the cost of a new sofa. Actual cash value coverage limits the company payment to the amount your old sofa was worth if you were to sell it.
Liability (Definition- Cost for damage/injury to others you are legally obligated to pay.)
Liability Homeowners policies include coverage for injury or damage to others when you are sued or determined to be legally liable. Examples include; injury if someone falls on your icy sidewalk, your dog bites a neighbor or damage if your child breaks a friend’s expensive Chinese vase. Consider your assets when deciding on a liability limit, For many people $500,000 adequate, but other limits are available.
Contact Cobb-Hall Insurance to help you determine the insurance protection that best fits your needs.
If employees use their vehicle for business, it may leave a huge coverage gap.
If an employee uses their own vehicle at work or runs an errand for their employer, the company could be held financially responsible in case of an accident. Usually a business auto policy only protects against loss involving company-owned vehicles and an employee’s personal auto policy excludes business use. This can present a coverage gap. Even if a business rarely uses non-owned autos, it only takes one serious accident to create a significant loss for the business
How Non-Owned Automobile Coverage eliminates coverage gap
If your company has a business auto policy, make sure it includes coverage for hired and non-owned automobiles. Non-owned autos are vehicles owned by others (such as an employee) that are used for business purposes for their employer.
If your business does not own any automobiles, it is possible to purchase coverage for only losses involving use of Hired and Non-owned vehicles. The ‘hired’ portion would cover your business for liability purposes when renting a vehicle for business use. The ‘non-owned’ portion would cover employees using their own auto in the business.
Make sure your limit for Hired and Non-owned coverage is enough to cover large court judgments. Non-owned coverage will protect both the business and the employee for liability, but this does not cover the damage to the employee’s auto.
Contact Cobb-Hall Insurance for solutions designed specifically for your needs.
Excerpts from: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc., 2014