Tag Archives: Business Insurance

LLC vs. Individual – Rental Property Owner

 LLC vs. Individual – Rental Property Ownermeter

Should you form an LLC if you own rental property? The decision to form an LLC is complicated and each landlord’s situation is different. The first LLC came into existence in the U.S. in 1977 in Wyoming, since then all 50 states have enacted LLC legislation.  Here are some pros and cons to  help you decide if an LLC is right for you.

PROS

  • Protect your personal assets from lawsuits: If someone sues you when set up as an LLC, your personal assets are protected. Only the LLC’s assets are at risk.
  • Pass-through taxation: Pass-through taxation is an IRS related ruling allowing LLC profits to be passed directly to the owner. Taxes are paid on by the individual, avoiding double taxation.
  • Easier management responsibilities: LLCs are much more easily managed than corporation or partnerships and many states offer reduced fees.

CONS

      • It costs money to set up an LLC: You can set up an LLC with the State Corporation Commission and pay a small fee. Many people choose to use an attorney or hire a services company. These options cost from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
        • Keep your money separate: It is important that you never mingle your LLC money with your personal money. The slightest infraction could cause a litigant to claim the LLC is not a separate entity, causing you to lose any LLC protection.
  • Mortgages can complicate: If you already have a rental dwelling with a mortgage on it, changing to an LLC could look like a sale to your mortgage company. If you have a due-on-sale clause in your mortgage it may cause the mortgage company to require payment in full.

 

The decision to form an LLC is complicated and each landlord’s situation is different. Consider the above information and consult with your CPA or attorney to see if an LLC benefits you. Then let the experts at Cobb-Hall provide insurance solutions designed specifically for your needs.

Dangers of a Personal Auto on a Business Policy

Dangers of a Personal Auto on a Business Policy 

Young Asian Engineer working with laptop computer while sitting on car trunk at parking lotWhile It is true that using a vehicle for business while insured on a personal policy could potentially void all coverage, there are also pitfalls insuring your personally owned and titled vehicle on your business policy. Consider the following:

  • If a vehicle is NOT titled in the company name, but the insurance coverage is in the business name, coverage can be denied. This includes both physical damage AND liability protection for you or others.
  • No-fault personal injury protection may not be included.
  • Coverage may not extend to other drivers
  • Liability protection might not follow you when driving vehicles other than your own the way a personal policy does. This can apply both when you borrow and rent a vehicle.

Depending on your specific situation, there are various ways to make sure you are not left financially vulnerable. The insurance professionals at Cobb-Hall may recommend one or more of the following:

  • Endorsements to your business policy are available to close gaps between business and personal insurance policies. These include “drive other car” and “hired and non-owned”.
  • It is best for family members in your household to have a personal policy instead of adding their car to the business policy.
  • Often a personal insurance policy, with multi-policy discounts, is more cost effective.
  • Many times legal gaps can be avoided by contracts and leasebacks. A professional can provide the needed forms to sign.

Contact  Cobb-Hall to help you with determine the best solution for you.

 

 

Equipment Breakdown

EquipmenIndustrial icont Breakdown

Whatever your business; from a freelance graphic designer with a computer set up worth thousands of dollars, to a manufacturer with millions of dollars worth of equipment, if your equipment breaks down your business may too.  When your computers, machines and other equipment work properly, your business runs smoothly. But when a vital piece of equipment breaks down, you’re stuck while the equipment or wiring is repaired or replaced. During that time, you may have to pay for servicing and lose revenue while your business cannot operate. The costs can be huge. Equipment Breakdown Insurance is a necessity in this technological age. You can cover your equipment repair costs and reimburse yourself for lost income. Coverage typically covers a number of equipment related issues. Some examples are:

  • Payment to fix or replace failed equipment
  • Reimbursement for labor and time costs to fix or replace failed equipment
  • Replace lost business income due to equipment failure that leads to business stoppage
  • Cover costs to minimize losses or to get equipment working and productive faster
  • Reimburse for loss of materials or goods, such as spoiled food due to equipment shut down

Equipment Breakdown Coverage includes many options. Let the experienced professionals at Cobb-Hall Insurance provide solutions designed specifically for your needs.

Includes copyright material used with permission: Trusted Choice/Independent Insurance Agents

Pollution Liability

You May Need Pollution Liability Coverage

When many people think of pollution insurance, they picture large factories with billowing Smoking power plantsmokestacks, but many small businesses run the risk of pollution lawsuits. Businesses that use environmentally unsafe chemicals such as a hair salon, dry-cleaning service, garages, junkyards, manufacturers or those in the construction industry all face potential lawsuits.

Pollution insurance is created specifically to manage the costs associated with pollution clean-up and to cover liability claims for pollution-related injuries, illnesses or deaths. As damage awards for these claims can be extremely costly, having pollution insurance can protect your business from severe financial challenges or even bankruptcy.

Policies cover many types of small-scale pollution that cause contamination of soil, groundwater or property and air-borne contaminates like smoke and emissions. Many policies will even cover pollution that occurred in the past before the harmful effects of waste-products was known. Most policies include the following:

    • Legal defense fees  to provide your company with attorneys to defend you in a pollution-related lawsuit
    • Clean-up efforts compensate for costs if your company is required by law to clean up contaminants
  • Operations coverage is for businesses that use chemicals or hazardous materials. The two types are:  Catastrophic-for a sudden pollution-inducing event such as a fire or explosion     Non-catastrophic- which covers if pollution occurs over a long period of time and affects neighboring businesses or residents
  • Property transfer coverage protects property owners if they purchase a parcel of land or a building that was contaminated or otherwise polluted by a previous owner

Contact Cobb-Hall to review your pollution liability exposures and provide you with innovative solutions

Excerpts from: 2017 Trusted Choice, Independent Insurance Agents

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)

Protect Yourself from Employment Practice Lawsuits

Employee lawsuits are more than just an inconvenience. They are expensive, distractive for your businessman pointing on one of the conditions of contractmanagement team and can quickly erode productivity and employee morale. Oddly enough, you are more likely to be sued by an employee these days than to have a fire at your facility. The financial damage of employee lawsuits can be dramatic. According to industry experts, unpaid internships, illegal background checks and issues related to pregnancy and health are the top trending employment practices litigation cases.

Employment practices liability insurance, commonly referred to as EPLI insurance, is specifically designed to protect employers from the financial hardships of lawsuits brought on by employees. This protection will easily pay for itself if you are sued even once.

EPLI provides compensation for losses caused by employee lawsuits, including court costs and legal fees.  Here is just a sampling of ways you are protected with an EPLI policy:

  • Wrongful termination: includes suits brought on the basis of termination due to age, race, gender or disability
  • Harassment: includes sexual harassment, violence, bullying and issues based on race, color, age and religion
  • Discrimination: including suits from employees who are turned down for employment or denied promotion
  • Breach of contract: violation of the terms of an employee’s contract
  • Emotional distress: applies if an employee feels that your business is a hostile environment or overly stressful
  • Other violations: including violations of statutes, workers compensation denial, false positives from drug tests, libel and slander, etc.

Contact the experts at Cobb-Hall insurance for solutions specifically designed to fit your needs.

Excerpts from: Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agents copyright 2017

Buy-Sell Planning Using Life Insurance

Plan Ahead with a Buy-Sell Agreement

Continuation of your business, the way you choose, is possible.  Many times, when partners go intoHelp business, the do no consider how to arrange for a smooth transition if one of the partners leaves the business retires or becomes unable to work.

Buy-Sell Planning can help you:

  • Be assured your family and partners’ families will be taken care of
  • Reassure your employees of a smooth transition.
  • Know the deceased partner’s share of the business will not be left to someone incapable of running the business.

Buy-Sell planning using life insurance is designed to address the concerns of business owners and their families. Here are only a few of the benefits:

  • It prevents a situation where the surviving spouse or other beneficiary of the estate gains control of the deceased’s interest without wanting it, or without having the business skill to manage it.
  • It provides cash for the spouse or estate of the deceased owner to make up for lost income from the business.
  • It makes it less likely that the business will have to be sold to “buy out” the interest of the deceased owner.

Business owners typically fund buy-sell agreements by purchasing a life insurance policy on each owner. Depending on how the agreement is drawn, the other owners can be the beneficiaries, in which case they will have the funds to meet their obligations under the contract. In other cases, the company itself is the beneficiary, to provide funds to buy back the interest of the deceased owner.

Buy-sell agreements can also be triggered by disability, retirement or simply by one owner wishing to leave.

Contact the experts at Cobb-Hall to provide innovative solutions designed specifically for your needs.

Sited: Trusted Choice-Independent Insurance Agents 2017

 

Key-Person Insurance

Key Person Insurance Can Prevent Financial Disaster

The financial effect of losing an important member of your business can be extreme. If your company business travellers walking in airport with luggagelost key people because of injury, disability or death, there’s a chance that the company could close it’s doors for good.  Investing in key- person insurance can keep your company from financial ruin if that employee was suddenly unable to continue to work.

Key-Person Insurance provides specific monetary value, agreed upon when the policy is purchased, for a specific time period or until the employee is no longer in the capacity of a key person.

 In the event a key employee dies suddenly or is incapacitated and unable to do their job, this coverage can protect your company, the employee and the employee’s family by providing:

  •  financial support while the person is recovering from an illness or injury
  • closing costs, investor payoffs, and severance pay for employees if your business plans to shut it’s doors after the loss of a key person
  • cover costs for temporary staff
  • hire and train a replacements
  • make up for a temporary loss of profits

Contact the experts at Cobb-Hall Insurance for innovative solutions to your business needs.

 Excerpts from 2017 Consumer Agent Portal LLC, All rights reserved 

Explaining Insurance to Value

Correct Insurance Valuation Prevents Claim Payment Penalties

Commercial Insurance is designed to protect your business from financial disaster.  Insuring your Value Price scale 3d word concept over whiteproperty with correct valuations is critical.

Two basic types of coverage on commercial policies are: 

Real property which includes the land, buildings, and permanently attached or installed machinery, equipment and outdoors fixtures.

Business Personal Property is a term used to describe property that can be easily moved, such office equipment and furniture.

Valuation of your property is determined by two different ways:

Replacement Cost as it sounds, is the amount needed to replace damaged or destroyed property. It is important to remember that replacement value is NOT the same as market value. The cost to restore your property to its condition prior to the loss is almost never the same as its purchase or sales price. Most commercial insurance policies protect commercial buildings for replacement cost. The valuation of the building is generally the amount needed to restore you property to its pre-loss status.

Actual Cash Value limits insurance loss payments to the amount your used item was worth if you were to sell it. Coverage on an ACV basis costs less because in the event of a claim, the cost to purchase all new furniture and office equipment is considerably more that the depreciated value of your old equipment.

Business Personal Property can be insured on a replacement OR Actual Cash Value basis, depending on your choice. It is important to note that the difference between replacement cost and actual cash value can present a huge financial difference in the event of a loss and need.

While many times, the valuation of the building is determined by size and construction material, there are additional choices concerning types of coverage and deductibles.

Let the experienced professionals at Cobb-Hall eliminate confusion and provide solutions designed specifically for your needs.

Steps for Handling A Business Loss

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 Emergency exit signsrequires 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.

Property Claim

  • 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.

Automobile Claim

  • 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.