Insuring Your College Student

When your child leaves for college, it is a big event. One thing that you should think about is your insurance coverage and how it could change with your son or daughter away at school.

Protecting Your Student’s Belongings

Many homeowners policies consider a dorm room as an extension of your home, so items your child keeps there may be covered to some extent. However, if your child has expensive electronic equipment or furniture, you may want to consider purchasing additional coverage.

If your child lives off campus, his or her possessions may not be covered by your homeowners policy. In that case, you may want to consider renter’s insurance, which typically costs as little as a few dollars per month. Renter’s insurance will cover possessions in your child’s off-campus apartment or house as well as provide liability coverage if anyone is injured in the residence.

Changing Auto Coverage

If your son or daughter moves more than 100 miles away from home to attend school and does not keep a vehicle there, your car insurance premiums could decrease by as much as 30 percent.

Keeping Your Child Healthy While on Campus

Since 2014, children up to age 26 can stay on their parent’s employer plan even if they have another offer of coverage through an employer. This rule applies to all plans in the individual market and to new employer plans. It also applies to existing employer plans unless the adult child has another offer of employer-based coverage.

If you find your child does not have adequate coverage under your plan, you have a few options. Most universities have their own health plans, but some policies have low deductibles and low coverage maximums. It may be better to consider an individual policy for your student depending on his or her needs.

Count on Us

If you are sending a child off to college and haven’t looked at adjusting your coverage, contact us today to learn more. You could save money on your policies and protect your child from expensive incidents while away from home.


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Boat Insurance for Smooth Sailing

You can insure just about any kind of vessel, whether you have a yacht, speed boat or personal watercraft like a JetSki. Every type of boat has the potential to be stolen or damaged, and can be involved in an incident that results in harm to another person or their property. Even if your boat is docked or stored in your garage, it can potentially be vandalized, damaged in a fire or storm, or stolen.

Many owners of small watercraft such as canoes, rafts and kayaks assume they will be covered under a homeowners or renters policy. This may be the case, up to a specified limit in your home policy. However, when it’s time to make a claim, you don’t want to be surprised to find out that this limit is not adequate to cover the value of your investment.

Be sure to consider the amount of coverage you would need to repair or replace each of your boats and recreational vehicles if damaged or stolen and ask your agent to help you get the right coverage for those items.

What Does Boat Insurance Cover?

The exact boat coverage you need depends on multiple factors. Small boat insurance is very different from yacht insurance, for example. However, for most types of boats, the three kinds of coverage in a basic boat insurance policy include:

  • Bodily injury liability for expenses related to the injury of another person
  • Property damage liability for expenses related to harming another person’s property
  • Physical damage for damage to your own property, including your boat and trailer.

You also may want to add additional types of coverage to your boat insurance policy in order to fully protect yourself and your property. Here are some examples of additional coverage:

  • Property coverage for equipment such as tools, life preservers, anchors and oars
  • Insurance for fishing equipment like your rods, lures, nets and tackle
  • Towing coverage when your boat becomes disabled and needs servicing
  • Medical payments coverage for hospital and funeral expenses for you or your passengers
  • Uninsured/underinsured boaters coverage if you have an accident with another boater whose insurance is not sufficient to cover damages

As with all insurance, the amount of benefit or reimbursement you have in the event of an incident is set at the time you buy your policy.


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Grilling Safety Reminders For Your Summer BBQ

Though grilling is an extremely popular way to prepare food in the summer, it can also be dangerous. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, gas and charcoal grills account for an average of 10 deaths and 100 injuries annually. Additionally, the National Fire Protection Association reports that an average of 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling each year.

This year, keep the following safety suggestions in mind when you go to fire up your grill:

  • Make sure your grill is at least 3 feet away from other objects including your house, trees and outdoor seating.
  • Remember that starter fluid should only be used with charcoal grills and never with gas grills.
  • If you suspect that your gas grill is leaking, turn off the gas and get the unit fixed before lighting.
  • Do not bring your grill into an unventilated or enclosed space such as the garage or inside of your home.
  • Do not let children and pets play near the grilling area when cooking until the grill is completely cool.
  • Allow time for your grill to completely cool down before storing or covering it after grilling.

Grill Your Food Thoroughly

Prevent food-borne illnesses by grilling your meat to the proper internal temperatures.

  • Steaks, Roasts and Chops – 145°F
  • Poultry – 165°F
  • Groud Poultry – 165°F
  • Ground Meats – 160°F

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Summer Water Safety Refresher

Summer Water Safety Refresher

  • Teach children water safety and swimming skills as early as possible.
  • Always brief babysitters on water safety, emphasizing the need for constant supervision.
  • Appoint a “designated watcher” to monitor children during social gatherings at or near pools.
  • Equip doors and windows that exit to a pool area with alarms.
  • Install a poolside phone, preferably a cordless model, with emergency numbers programmed into speed-dial.
  • Post CPR instructions and learn the procedures.
  • Keep rescue equipment poolside. Don’t wait for the paramedics to arrive because you will lose valuable life-saving seconds. Four to six minutes without oxygen can cause permanent brain damage or death.
  • Keep a first aid kit at poolside.
  • Install four-sided isolation fencing, at least five feet high, equipped with self-closing and self-latching gates, that completely surrounds the pool and prevents direct access from the house and yard.
  • Maintain constant visual contact with children in a pool or pool area. If a child is missing, check the pool first; seconds count in preventing death or disability.
  • Don’t use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision. Never allow a young child in a pool without an adult.
  • Don’t leave objects such as toys that might attract a child in the pool and pool area.
  • Never prop the gate to a pool area open.
  • Don’t rely on swimming lessons, life preservers, or other equipment to make a child “water safe.”
  • Never assume someone else is watching a child in a pool area.
  • Don’t leave chairs or other items of furniture where a child could use them to climb into a fenced pool area.
  • Don’t think you’ll hear a child who’s in trouble in the water; child drowning is a silent death, with no splashing to alert anyone that the child is in trouble

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Have New Jewelry in the House? Protect it!

The Holiday’s may be over and Valentine’s Day is approaching, and while it may be cold outside love is still in the air. Well, love and a few other things perhaps, such as new jewelry.

It’s exciting to receive jewelry from a loved one – or to give it as a gift. Not to mention it’s romantic. But if you’re lucky enough to have some new jewelry in your home, you should take a few minutes to think about something you probably don’t find exciting or romantic: Insurance.

Don’t know where to turn? Don’t worry. We think it is exciting to help our customers protect what’s most important to them – so we’re ready to help and can answer all of your questions.

Things to consider when insuring jewelry:

  • The first thing to consider is that you may need to purchase additional coverage. Your homeowners policy covers valuable items such as jewelry but only up to set amounts as stated in the policy. If the cost of replacing your jewelry exceeds that limit, you will want to purchase scheduled personal property coverage. You can simply check your policy or give us a call.
  • You might want to reconsider your deductible amounts. As always, this impacts your policy premium. It’s a good idea to take a look at your deductibles whenever you make a change to your policy.
  • Do you need an appraisal? You may need to have an independent appraisal if the insurance company requires it or if you don’t know the value of your jewelry. Each item should be listed with a description and value on paper.
  • What kind of coverage is offered? You’ll want to determine if items are covered no matter where they are, like here at home, or on an international trip, and if the policy offers full replacement cost. You also should ask if you will be required to replace your jewelry if lost or stolen, or if you can simply keep the cash settlement.
  • Pictures can be helpful. Lost or stolen pieces of jewelry sometimes can be recreated if the jeweler has a good photograph to work from.
  • Should I go with a company that specializes in jewelry insurance? There are companies that specialize in jewelry insurance. Whether you choose one of these, or a company that we represent, you’ll want to know they are reputable and stable.
  • Is the value of your jewelry mainly sentimental? Is an item irreplaceable? If the answer to either of these questions is “yes,” you might consider foregoing insurance. But please, talk to us at before making that decision. That’s what we’re here for.
  • Of course, it’s important to store your jewelry securely when it’s not in use; a safe in your home or a safe-deposit box is best. We want your jewelry to be replaced if it’s lost or stolen, but we’d rather your sentimental and valuable pieces stay with you and your family for years to come.

    Here’s hoping your special days are full of fun and romance. And if there’s no jewelry involved, well, there’s always next year!


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    Personal Umbrella – The Ultimate Armor for Today’s World

    Image

    A personal umbrella policy is sometimes misunderstood. That’s unfortunate because the personal umbrella is an insurance “best buy”. It is inexpensive and does its job well. Let’s take a look at just what this policy does, determine if you need one, and decide if it’s worth it to purchase a policy for yourself. We’ll look at factors that set the cost of a personal umbrella. And finally, give you a few tips to keep in mind when personal umbrella shopping.

    What is a Personal Liability Umbrella Policy?

    The personal umbrella is a form of liability insurance. A great deal of confusion is eliminated if the word “liability” is inserted between the words “personal” and “umbrella”. That means it protects you from bodily injury and property damage for which you are legally liable.

    I will use the term personal umbrella. But just remember it is a form of liability insurance. Some consumers believe it is a catch all policy that insures property. Not so!

    A personal umbrella “floats” over your other liability policies. For example, let’s suppose your automobile insurance limits are $300,000 per person/ $300,000 per accident /$300,000 property damage. If you invest in $1,000,000 personal umbrella policy you will have increased your auto liability protection by $1,000,000. So now you have auto liability protection of $1,300,000.

    A key benefit is it gives you an extra layer of protection over all your policies with liability coverage. Your homeowners, renters, auto, boats, motorcycles, second home, etc. will now have an extra layer of suit protection. That is why it is called an “umbrella” policy.

    The most common personal umbrella limit is $1,000,000. However, more families are deciding that a $1,000,000 limit is not enough protection in today’s litigious society. So consumers are buying personal umbrella policies with higher limits. Limits up to $10,000,000 are available.

    Do I need an umbrella policy?

    When I hear that question from clients, my answer is, “Probably”. You can determine if you need an umbrella policy by answering three questions:

    • Do you earn a pay check?
    • Do you own anything?
    • Do you want to keep what you own and your full pay check?

    These questions may sound a bit silly, but I am being very frank. You see, when an attorney is seeking damages, he will take what he can get for his client. That means your personal assets and your future earnings are on the line when you are sued. If you have no assets, once an attorney gets a judgment, he will use a garnishment to get to your future earnings.

    So the question you must decide is can I get rid of this risk? A personal umbrella is a giant step in eliminating the risk of attorney fees and a large judgment against you.

    Is an umbrella policy worth it?

    Your appetite for risk will determine if a personal umbrella is worth the peace of mind it provides. Let’s explore this question a little more. A journalist, who claims to be a financial planner, recently wrote that since only a small percentage of lawsuits were over a $1,000,000 dollars she did not think it was necessary for the average family to consider an umbrella liability policy.

    It is true that most lawsuits are under $1,000,000. However, the number of large lawsuits is growing. And if you happen to be the unfortunate one to be sued for a large amount, the financial and emotional impact is devastating. Think of it this way… the number of policemen shot on duty is small, but does that justify a policeman not wearing their bullet proof vest?

    The other issue is attorney fees. Recently, a client suffered a judgment of $500,000 but the attorney’s fees were $300,000. Excessive? Not when you consider the client was sued for $3,000,000 and the defense was complicated and involved numerous specialists. A personal umbrella will pay the judgment and attorney costs.

    Most professional financial planners advise you to pass the risk of a large personal loss to an insurance company. So they recommend purchasing a personal liability umbrella. They say it’s worth it.

    The personal liability umbrella is a good risk management technique for most of my clients. Personal umbrellas provide high limits of protection for an inexpensive price.

    How much does it cost?

    Cost is an important consideration when shopping for a personal umbrella policy. The price varies depending on the exposure to risks. For example, if you have a home with a pool, two cars, young drivers, a boat, a motorcycle and vacation home, you have more exposure to lawsuits than a family with a home, and two cars. So the family with more toys will pay more for a personal liability umbrella policy. It is really that simple.

    Prices for a personal umbrella insurance policy are amazingly affordable. The family with two cars and a home will likely pay between $200 and $300 a year for a $1,000,000 policy.

    What else do I need to know when shopping for a Personal Liability Umbrella policy?

    • You cannot pick and choose what exposures you want covered. For example, if you own a boat you cannot exclude it from coverage under a personal umbrella policy.
    • The company issuing your personal umbrella policy may require you to raise the underlying liability limits on some of your policies, if those limits are too low.
    • Some companies will write a personal umbrella policy even if they do not write your underlying policies.
    • Most personal umbrellas do not cover business risks of any kind.

    The personal umbrella policy is widely available and is an inexpensive risk management tool. It allows you to manage your risk in our changing world.


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    Protect Your Family From the Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

    With winter weather affecting us all in our attempts to remain comfortable, it’s also the time of year which presents the greatest risk for an invisible threat. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, invisible gas that results when certain fuels do not burn completely. And it can be deadly. That’s why it’s important to know how to prevent it, detect it, and protect yourself and your family from its effects. In the home, carbon monoxide is most commonly formed by flames and heaters, as well as vehicles or generators that are running in an attached garage. As temperatures drop and more people are cranking the heat and hovering over the stove inside and warming up the car’s engine before hitting the road, it’s especially critical to ensure your family’s safety against this lethal gas. Since carbon monoxide cannot be detected without a carbon monoxide detection device, it is essential to install and maintain one or more detectors in your home.

    Detector Tips For Safeguarding Your Household

    • The International Association of Fire Chiefs recommends a carbon monoxide detector on every floor of your home, including the basement. A detector should be located within 10 feet of each bedroom door, and there should be one near or over any attached garage.
    • Each detector should be replaced every five to six years.
    • Battery-only carbon monoxide detectors tend to go through batteries more frequently than expected. Plug-in detectors with a battery backup (for use if power is interrupted) provide less battery-changing maintenance.
    • Thoroughly read the installation manual that comes with the individual detector you purchase. Manufacturers’ recommendations differ to a certain degree based on research conducted with detectors for specific brands.
    • Remember that carbon monoxide detectors do not serve as smoke detectors and vice versa. You can, however, purchase a dual smoke/carbon monoxide detector that can perform both functions.
    • Do not install carbon monoxide detectors next to fuel-burning appliances, as these appliances may emit a small amount of carbon monoxide upon startup.

    In Case Of Exposure We hope you never have to use the following tips from the Mayo Clinic, but please read on for good information that could help save a life. If you suspect that you or someone you know has been exposed to carbon monoxide, check for the following symptoms:

    • Dull Headache
    • Weakness
    • Dizziness
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Shortness of Breath
    • confusion
    • Loss of Consciousness

    If any of the symptoms exist, move the individual into fresh air and seek emergency medical care immediately.


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    Halloween Safety Tips

    Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids, and to help ensure they have a safe holiday, here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

    All Dressed Up:

    • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
    • Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags for greater visibility.
    • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
    • When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
    • If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
    • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
    • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as “one size fits all,” or “no need to see an eye specialist,” obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.
    • Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.

    Carving a Niche:

    • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.
    • Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
    • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended.

    Home Safe Home:

    • To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
    • Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
    • Wet leaves or snow should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
    • Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.

    On the Trick-Or-Treat Trail:

    • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
    • If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
    • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
    • Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or Treaters:
    • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
    • Carry a cell phone for quick communication.
    • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
    • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
    • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
    • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
    • Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will!
    • Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.

    Healthy Halloween:

    • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
    • Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
    • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
    • Try to ration treats for the days following Halloween.

    Source: aap.org


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    Stay Safe On That Hayride

    7 Tips for Fall Fun Safety

    There’s perhaps nothing that more embodies fall than heading down to the local pumpkin patch. You can pick out the perfect gourd for carving, purchase apple cider and donuts, wander through a corn maze and hop on a hayride. Seriously, who doesn’t enjoy riding through a farm or orchard while sitting on a bale of hay? Surprisingly, when searching for hayride safety tips online, few articles are found. The best resource seems to be from the Haunted House Association, is written for operators, but we can easily apply their recommendations as safety tips for riders.

    • Follow the posted rules. A reputable business operating a hayride should have posted rules, probably near the waiting area or cash register. Read them, and take some time to explain them to your children.
    • Listen to ticket takers, attendants and operators. These people not only know the rules of the hayride, but are also probably reciting them. They will correct anyone they see doing something wrong.
    • Do not stand on the ride. Once the ride starts, don’t stand, plain and simple. Hay can be slippery, and a moving wagon is not a stable surface to stand on.
    • Do not throw the straw. This seems kind of innocent yet can be another unsafe behavior as it can lead to others throwing hay and turn into a hay throwing bonanza.
    • Do not use cameras or other devices that will distract you. You may really want to take a quick photo of your family on the hayride to post on Facebook. Please don’t. While the ride is moving, it’s important to keep your focus on the ride.
    • Hold on. It’s one simple way to help ensure you won’t fall off the ride.
    • Keep arms and legs inside the wagon. You don’t know the trail the wagon will travel. There might be some tight spaces. Keeping your arms and legs inside the wagon will help make sure nothing hits you.

    It’s a lot of common sense, but it’s easy to get caught up in the fun and forget the rules. And hayrides are a lot of fun – more so when everyone is safe. Please take care and enjoy all that fall has to offer safely.


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    Personal Umbrella – The Ultimate Best Buy

    Image

    A personal umbrella policy is sometimes misunderstood.. That’s unfortunate because the personal umbrella is an insurance “best buy”. It is inexpensive and does its job well. Let’s take a look at just what this policy does, determine if you need one, and decide if it’s worth it to purchase a policy for yourself. We’ll look at factors that set the cost of a personal umbrella. And finally, give you a few tips to keep in mind when personal umbrella shopping.

    What is a Personal Liability Umbrella Policy?

    The personal umbrella is a form of liability insurance. A great deal of confusion is eliminated if the word “liability” is inserted between the words “personal” and “umbrella”. That means it protects you from bodily injury and property damage for which you are legally liable.

    I will use the term personal umbrella. But just remember it is a form of liability insurance. Some consumers believe it is a catch all policy that insures property. Not so!

    A personal umbrella “floats” over your other liability policies. For example, let’s suppose your automobile insurance limits are $300,000 per person/ $300,000 per accident /$300,000 property damage. If you invest in $1,000,000 personal umbrella policy you will have increased your auto liability protection by $1,000,000. So now you have auto liability protection of $1,300,000.

    A key benefit is it gives you an extra layer of protection over all your policies with liability coverage. Your homeowners, renters, auto, boats, motorcycles, second home, etc. will now have an extra layer of suit protection. That is why it is called an “umbrella” policy.

    The most common personal umbrella limit is $1,000,000. However, more families are deciding that a $1,000,000 limit is not enough protection in today’s litigious society. So consumers are buying personal umbrella policies with higher limits. Limits up to $10,000,000 are available.

    Do I need an umbrella policy?

    When I hear that question from clients, my answer is, “Probably”. You can determine if you need an umbrella policy by answering three questions:

    • Do you earn a pay check?
    • Do you own anything?
    • Do you want to keep what you own and your full pay check?

    These questions may sound a bit silly, but I am being very frank. You see, when an attorney is seeking damages, he will take what he can get for his client. That means your personal assets and your future earnings are on the line when you are sued. If you have no assets, once an attorney gets a judgment, he will use a garnishment to get to your future earnings.

    So the question you must decide is can I get rid of this risk? A personal umbrella is a giant step in eliminating the risk of attorney fees and a large judgment against you.

    Is an umbrella policy worth it?

    Your appetite for risk will determine if a personal umbrella is worth the peace of mind it provides. Let’s explore this question a little more. A journalist, who claims to be a financial planner, recently wrote that since only a small percentage of lawsuits were over a $1,000,000 dollars she did not think it was necessary for the average family to consider an umbrella liability policy.

    It is true that most lawsuits are under $1,000,000. However, the number of large lawsuits is growing. And if you happen to be the unfortunate one to be sued for a large amount, the financial and emotional impact is devastating. Think of it this way… the number of policemen shot on duty is small, but does that justify a policeman not wearing their bullet proof vest?

    The other issue is attorney fees. Consider for a moment suffering a judgment of $500,000 with attorney’s fees of $300,000. Excessive? Not if you consider it is wholey possible to be sued for $3,000,000 and have a complicated defense involving numerous specialists. A personal umbrella would pay the judgment and attorney costs.

    Most professional financial planners advise you to pass the risk of a large personal loss to an insurance company. So they recommend purchasing a personal liability umbrella. They say it’s worth it.

    The personal liability umbrella is a good risk management technique for most people. Personal umbrellas provide high limits of protection for an inexpensive price.

    How much does it cost?

    Cost is an important consideration when shopping for a personal umbrella policy. The price varies depending on the exposure to risks. For example, if you have a home with a pool, two cars, young drivers, a boat, a motorcycle and vacation home, you have more exposure to lawsuits than a family with a home, and two cars. So the family with more toys will pay more for a personal liability umbrella policy. It is really that simple.

    Prices for a personal umbrella insurance policy start at $125 annually. The family with two cars and a home will likely pay between $180 and $250 a year for a $1,000,000 policy.

    What else do I need to know when shopping for a Personal Liability Umbrella policy?

    • You cannot pick and choose what exposures you want covered. For example, if you own a boat you cannot exclude it from coverage under a personal umbrella policy.
    • The company issuing your personal umbrella policy may require you to raise the underlying liability limits on some of your policies, if those limits are too low.
    • Some companies will write a personal umbrella policy even if they do not write your underlying policies.
    • Most personal umbrellas do not cover business risks of any kind.

    The personal umbrella policy is widely available and is an inexpensive risk management tool. It allows you to manage your risk in our changing world.


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    Pros and Cons of Higher Deductibles for Auto, Home and Business Insurance

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    As insurance costs rise, more individuals, families and businesses are looking at using higher deductibles. Choosing the right insurance deductible is important and it does take some thought.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to increasing your deductibles. So here are some things to consider before you make a decision to increase your personal or business insurance deductibles. First, let’s take a look at individual and family considerations and then we’ll look at business considerations.

    The idea behind insurance is to save you from a catastrophic loss from which you cannot recover. This sounds reasonable but it does not mean everyone should use high deductibles. For example, if you are elderly and living on a fixed income, high deductibles are not likely a good choice. Especially, if your savings are limited. This may be true for younger insurance buyers, too. If you have no savings or the ability to borrow, you should consider a low to moderate deductible.

    In addition, you must consider the worst case scenario before choosing a deductible. When a catastrophic event occurs, it may involve your home and your auto. Can you stand the financial impact of two large deductibles for the same occurrence? If not look for a policy that only charges one deductible if both your home and auto are involved in the same claim.

    If your circumstances allow you to consider a larger deductible, here are the advantages and disadvantages:

    Advantages

    • Higher deductibles reduce your insurance costs.
    • Allows you to self insure minor claims.
    • Improves your cash flow.
    • Removes the temptation to turn in small claims, which can result in larger premiums and can lead to policy cancellation.

    Disadvantages

    • You may not have the financial ability to pay for a larger loss out of your pocket.
    • Sometimes claims take a while to settle, so you may be forced to fund more than just the deductible on a temporary basis if your claim requires immediate repairs.

    Buying Tip: Most insurance companies have a “sweet spot” regarding deductibles. You may find that a $2,500 deductible has less impact on your premium than a $1,000 deductible. Request pricing using several deductible options, that way you can determine the best value.

    Business Insurance and Deductibles

    A business may have more deductible options than are available to personal insurance buyers. A business may also have more flexibility in using large deductibles. Evaluating how to use large deductibles to manage business insurance premiums takes some planning. Here are the advantages and disadvantages for the business use of high deductibles.

    Advantages

    • Allows you to self insure and manage smaller nuisance claims.
    • Large deductibles allow flexibility. If your business buys several types of insurance policies, you can use large deductibles on just the policies and exposures you choose.
    • If you use very large deductibles, you get the advantages of self insurance without the regulatory burden many states apply to business self insurance programs.
    • You can use large deductibles to weather the dramatic swings in business insurance pricing which occur on a cyclic basis.
    • You can use large deductibles to control premiums after a large loss. If your business suffers a large claim and your premiums for that line of exposure have risen dramatically, use a large deductible to control or reduce the increase in premium.
    • Large deductibles can increase your cash flow by lowering your insurance premiums.

    Disadvantages

    • You can’t expense off a premium you did not pay, but you may be able to deduct your share of a large loss from your taxes.
    • A large loss when your cash flow is slim can use up your reserves or force you to borrow.
    • Some large commercial claims can take so long to settle that the claim process can impact your cash flow. I suggest being very cautious about putting large deductibles on liability lines of insurance for this reason.
    • Beware that some contractual relationships, such as leases and construction contracts, may limit the size of the deductible you are allowed to use on insurance related to the contract.

    Buyer Tip: You may have a hidden deductible about which you are unaware. It is called co-insurance. Many commercial insurance policies contain a co-insurance clause. Co-insurance requires that you insure to value as agreed to in the policy. If you do not, your claim settlement will be substantially less than you expected after the co-insurance penalty and deductible are applied.

    Large deductibles do have advantages…but not for everyone. You must evaluate your situation to determine the advantages right for your family or business.


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    Auto Insurance State Minimums Probably Aren’t Near Enough

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    There are a wide variety of silly and somewhat funny things we can do from time to time, like telling people that dihydrogen monoxide is coming out of the sink (dihydrogen monoxide is the chemical name for water), but one thing you should avoid falling for as a consumer is being told that carrying only the state mandated minimum coverage is adequate auto insurance protection.

    In an auto accident, drivers can be legally liable for their passengers’ injuries. While most states have mandatory minimum limits of liability required of all drivers, many of these requirements may not be sufficient in covering injuries sustained in an auto accident. In some states, this required amount may be as little as $25,000 per person and $50,000 total for all injuries in an accident – which may not be enough when you consider the severity of certain injuries and the number of passengers that could be involved. Remember that this limit also applies for all injuries caused by an accident for which you are liable, including passengers of other cars.

    So what are the right limits? Like many answers… It depends. Everyone’s situation is different, but as an independent insurance agency we can help you understand what issues you should consider when evaluating what liability limits to purchase.

    For Instance:

    1. How much would it take to compensate a victim? If you were to cause a severe, life altering injury to someone, consider how much money it would cost over time to compensate them. It’s likely higher than $25,000.
    2. What assets do you have and what is your net worth? Think about your home, your car, savings, investments, etc. Having adequate insurance to protect these assets is something you should consider.

    Naturally you might wonder if increasing your liability limits will increase the price of your insurance premiums. While you’ll pay more for the additional coverage, it’s likely that it won’t be very much to raise your liability limits, and in the long run it offers you more financial protection. You may be able to offset some of those expenses by raising your deductible or through other discounts. This is where we can help identify the different options available to you.

    There is no definitive rule of thumb for making sure you have “enough” insurance but it’s important that you feel comfortable with the amount you have, because nobody likes to be made a fool of when it comes to an insurance claim.

    Source: trustedchoice.com


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    Are Car Insurance Ads Mind-Boggling to You?

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    Well, do not feel bad, you are not alone. Car Insurance ads are mind-boggling. Most of them are based on price, then price, and lastly, price. Frankly, it is not that simple.

    I am sure you have heard the phrase, “A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose”. Gertrude Stein wrote this in her 1913 poem from called Sacred Emily. When it comes to insurance the phrase should read, “A rose is not a rose is not a rose”. Not all insurance is created equal. You have also probably heard the phrase, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. This is true of auto insurance.

    Most people want a good deal. When you hear the TV shout, “You could save up to 40% on your car insurance”, it gets your attention. Most people do not hear the word “could”.

    We usually hear what we want to hear. We do not like paying for insurance but we have to have it by law. We have to have it to protect ourselves. So why not pay the lowest possible premium?

    What is interesting is that experienced independent insurance agents “can also save you up to 40% on car insurance”. They can evaluate and guide you into building a policy that best protects you while still saving you money. Everyone’s protection needs are not the same. So purchasing a cookie cutter policy is probably not going to provide the protection you need. The worst time to find this out is after a claim.

    Let’s look at an example. John Q. Driver needs auto insurance. He drives a company car so he only needs insurance on his personally owned car. So he contacts BuyCheapInsurance.com and gets a quote. Being the smart shopper John is, he gets other quotes to compare. Therefore, he contacts his agent and directs him to quote with the same benefits. BuyCheapInsurance’s premium is $85 per month. The independent agent’s quote is $100 per month. Sounds like BuyCheapInsurance.com did just what they said they would do and saved him 15%, right?

    A month later, John has an accident in his company vehicle. The company insures that vehicle, so no problem right? Wrong. You see, the insurance that his employer provides on the company car only protects the owner of the vehicle, not John. For example, the party that John injures hires an attorney and sues his company and John. After all, John was driving right? His company’s insurance repairs the other party’s car, repairs the company car, and pays damages to the injured party. It does not protect John personally; however, the plaintiff’s law firm wants more money for their client. Who is left to sue? That’s right, John. John bought insurance on his personal car. However, John needed an endorsement called “extended non-owned” on his personal auto insurance policy. This endorsement covers John personally for the non-owned company car he was driving.

    How was John to know he needed this endorsement? That is where an experienced independent agent may have helped. If he had called the agent and taken advantage of their expertise, he would have been advised he needed that endorsement which probably would have cost him an additional $2 per month. Does John feel like he got a good deal with BuyCheapInsurance.com now?

    In addition, if John would have spent a little time speaking with the professional agent and allowed the professional independent agent to evaluate all his personal insurance needs, his auto premium would have likely been less than the $85 per month he received from BuyCheapInsurance.com. By providing an insurance package for his home and auto, the agent could have applied all the discounts John was unaware of, and received a lower premium on both his home and auto.

    The moral of the story is what John already knew. “A rose is not a rose is not a rose”, and “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. One more rule of thumb to consider when looking for personal insurance, “The more questions an agent asks, the better”. Why? They are looking for ways to earn you discounts while looking for potential gaps in coverage you do not even know exist. So take advantage of an experienced agent’s knowledge and expertise. It will likely save you premium dollars with no gaps in coverage.


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    Teens, Social Media and a Parent’s Liability

    For many the high school experience comes with social pressures and obligations to fit in and belong, and sadly this can lead to exclusion and isolation of some students. At some point everyone probably said something in their teen years in the heat of the moment that they now wish could be taken back, but today’s teens face the added burden that if they convey those statements on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, their words could be around for a lot longer than just the heat of the moment.

    In addition to hurt feelings, cyber bullying could potentially damage someone’s reputation. With college admissions offices and employers beginning to look up applicants on social networking sites, rumors and gossip have the very serious potential to damage someone’s ability to get into the college of their choice, or find a job. For parents, this could create a potentially serious exposure to a lawsuit if their children engage in cyber bullying.

    Aren’t my kids covered under my insurance?

    Generally speaking, any coverage a parent has through their homeowners or renters insurance policy also provides coverage to other residents of the household, including teenage children. Standard homeowners and renters policies include liability protection for bodily injury or property damage, which would pay for the costs to cover medical bills or repair/replacement costs if a child injured a friend in a pick-up basketball game or if they were at a friend’s house and accidentally spilled soda on a $13,000 oriental rug, subject to the policy’s deductible.

    But what if a child were to post rumors about other teens online that implied negative information that could damage that person’s reputation? Interestingly, a standard homeowners or renters policy would not cover these instances.

    What can be done?

    In order to cover claims from that kind of situation, homeowners and renters policies must have what is called an endorsement- extra language that is inserted into the policy to expand coverage- in order to have liability protection extended to cover “personal injury”.

    As insurance professionals we will be able to tell you if your current insurance policy already has this personal injury endorsement by reviewing it, and if it doesn’t, we would be able to help you get one. You may be surprised to find that this expanded coverage may not cost you much in additional premium. A personal injury endorsement will pay the costs up to the limits of your policy to defend you, pay a judgment or settle a case when legal action is brought against you or your children for defamation.

    Make sure that if you’re a parent, you talk to your children about social media, how they use it and what’s expected of them regarding personal responsibility. It’s critical that they understand how their use of social media not only has the potential to hurt others, but that it could impact your family as well.

    Some parents choose to actively monitor their children’s use of social media, and there are various software programs available to assist those who want to closely monitor what their children do in social spaces for parents who want access to their children’s profiles. No matter what you choose to do, begin with treating others with respect as the best way to avoid this type of risk.

    Be Aware of What Your Kids Are Doing Online

    • Know the sites your kids visit and their online activities. Ask where they’re going, what they’re doing, and who they’re doing it with.
    • Tell your kids that as a responsible parent you may review their online communications if you think there is reason for concern. Installing parental control filtering software or monitoring programs are one option for monitoring your child’s online behavior, but do not rely solely on these tools.
    • Have a sense of what they do online and in texts. Learn about the sites they like. Try out the devices they use.
    • Ask for their passwords, but tell them you’ll only use them in case of emergency.
    • Ask to “friend” or “follow” your kids on social media sites or ask another trusted adult to do so.
    • Encourage your kids to tell you immediately if they, or someone they know, are being cyber bullied. Explain that you will not take away their computers or cell phones if they confide in you about a problem they are having.


    Sources: stopbullying.gov | trustedchoice.com


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    The Least Expensive Cars To Insure

    new york car insuranceLast week we counted down the top five most expensive cars to insure, but insuring your ride doesn’t have to break the bank. In the interest of fairness, here are the top five least expensive cars to insure. Combine these practical rides with Kenneth Bieber’s New York car insurance and getting on the road will be a breeze!

    1. Ford Edge SE: According to Insure.com, the most affordable car to insure in 2012 is the Ford Edge SE, a workhorse of an SUV that combines space and efficiency with, apparently, affordable insurance premiums at $1,128 a year.

    2. Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo: The Grand Cherokee has been a staple of the Jeep line since its debut in 1992, and when it only costs an average of $1,148 a year to insure, you can see why it has remained so popular.

    3. Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium: Laugh if you must, but Subaru owners know their cars are dependable as they are silly looking. No surprise, then, the Outback only costs $1,150 a year to insure.

    4. Kia Sportage: This compact crossover SUV has been around since 1993, an efficient, practical and not unattractive option for families or anyone else who could use the space but wants to avoid going full gas-guzzler. Plus, you can cover it for about $1,157 annually.

    5. Jeep Patriot Sport: It’s probably the least-expensive SUV in America, so it’s no surprise it doesn’t cost much to insure. You can cover this car for $1,160 a year.


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    The Most Expensive Cars To Insure

    New York car insuranceEveryone needs car insurance –unfortunately, it’s just one of the rules of the road. Luckily, Kenneth Bieber offers comprehensive and affordable New York car insurance, but the cost of any insurance can vary wildly depending on a number of factors–not the least of which is the car itself. While a sensible car can be quite affordably insured, pity the drivers who have to handle the insurance premiums that go with these cars, the absolute most expensive to insure.

    1. Audi R8 Spyder Quattro: According to Insure.com, the most expensive car to insure in 2012 was the Audi R8 Spyder Quattro, an attractive and sporty roadster that averages about $3,384 annually.
    2. Mercedes-Benz CL600: This upscale luxury car is packing some serious heat under the hood with its v12 engine. That could be why its insurance premiums average $3,307.
    3. Mercedes-Benz S600: Along with the CL600, Mercedes-Benz rounds out the top three with the S600 and a $2,948 a year premium.
    4. Audi R8 4.2 Quattro Coupe: This Coupe version of the Audi R8 has a V8 engine for a motive power output of more than 420 metric horsepower. All that speed comes at a price, though. Namely: $2,903 annually.
    5. Porsche Panamera Turbo: This four-door luxury car with a V8 twin turbo engine is the fifth most expensive car to unsure at an average of $2,738.

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    Flood Insurance

    business insurance new yorkOne of Brooklyn’s oldest and most beloved bars, Sunny’s was opened in 1890 and has remained a staple of the Brooklyn waterfront in the nearly century and a quarter since. But Sunny’s has been shuttered for the last few months thanks to a one Hurricane Sandy and is even now struggling to secure the funds necessary to reopen.

    It’s a story common to Red Hook, which was hit particularly hard in Sandy and saw extensive flooding even several blocks inland. The acclaimed restaurants Fort Defiance and The Good Fork on Van Brunt Street were similarly closed while essential kitchen equipment needed to be replaced. The neighborhood Fairway Market, which is located right on the water, only recently reopened after months of cleaning and replacing flood-damaged equipment and stock.

    Unfortunately, it seems likely Hurricane Sandy won’t be remembered as a freak once-in-a-lifetime storm. Many are predicting it could become a recurring risk to Red Hook and other water-bound neighborhoods of New York and New Jersey. If there’s one upside, it’s that Kenneth Bieber offers flood insurance as part of their business insurance in New York options. In addition to our other forms of New York renters insurance, flood insurance will protect you in the event of another Sandy, so you can get back to work or get back to your home as soon and as painlessly as possible.


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    Restaurant Insurance from Kenneth Bieber

    business insurance New YorkYou probably already know Kenneth Bieber as the name to trust for your condo insurance and New York car insurance. We’ve built a reputation with New Yorkers who trust us with their homes, whether they own or rent, and their automobiles, including cars and motorcycles. But did you also know Kenneth Bieber is a well-respected business insurer as well? We insure commercial properties, inland marine shipping, apartment building owners, salons, barbers and restaurants.

    Wondering why you need specific coverage for your restaurant or catering business? There’s plenty that can go wrong in the hospitality industry, perhaps even more so than others because the product is a perishable good that could easily spoil in an event that leaves a refrigerator powered off, a freezer that isn’t running or even a grill or stove that burns out and is unable to prepare the food.

    In addition to the food itself, all the usual risks are present in running a restaurant or caterer business. Property damage of any kind can interrupt business and your ability to make money on your investment, whether it’s damage to the building itself or its contents. Restaurants with a liquor license run an extra risk, as the sale and consumption of liquor brings with it all the potential for its negative side effects. So if you have a restaurant or catering business, you need industry-specific insurance. Let Kenneth Bieber help keep your business safe.


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    Don’t Be Fooled: Auto Insurance State Minimums Probably Aren’t Enough

    There are a wide variety of silly and somewhat funny things we can do from time to time, like telling people that dihydrogen monoxide is coming out of the sink (dihydrogen monoxide is the chemical name for water), but one thing you should avoid falling for as a consumer is being told that carrying only the state mandated minimum coverage is adequate auto insurance protection.

    In an auto accident, drivers can be legally liable for their passengers’ injuries. While most states have mandatory minimum limits of liability required of all drivers, many of these requirements may not be sufficient in covering injuries sustained in an auto accident. In some states, this required amount may be as little as $25,000 per person and $50,000 total for all injuries in an accident – which may not be enough when you consider the severity of certain injuries and the number of passengers that could be involved. Remember that this limit also applies for all injuries caused by an accident for which you are liable, including passengers of other cars.

    So what are the right limits? Like many answers… It depends. Everyone’s situation is different, but as an independent insurance agency we can help you understand what issues you should consider when evaluating what liability limits to purchase.

    For Instance:

    1. How much would it take to compensate a victim? If you were to cause a severe, life altering injury to someone, consider how much money it would cost over time to compensate them. It’s likely higher than $25,000.
    2. What assets do you have and what is your net worth? Think about your home, your car, savings, investments, etc. Having adequate insurance to protect these assets is something you should consider.

    Naturally you might wonder if increasing your liability limits will increase the price of your insurance premiums. While you’ll pay more for the additional coverage, it’s likely that it won’t be very much to raise your liability limits, and in the long run it offers you more financial protection. You may be able to offset some of those expenses by raising your deductible or through other discounts. This is where we can help identify the different options available to you.

    There is no definitive rule of thumb for making sure you have “enough” insurance but it’s important that you feel comfortable with the amount you have, because nobody likes to be made a fool of when it comes to an insurance claim.



    Source: trustedchoice.com


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    The Benefits of Disability Insurance

    You may have already purchased condo insurance, New York car insurance, and renters insurance coverage, but have you ever considered disability insurance for either your business or your own personal health? We all believe that our bodies are invincible, but the day may come where you find yourself in a bad accident and can no longer earn an income from work. Being a business owner, you may lose an important employee to an accident, in turn losing a large percentage of income for your company.

    Disability insurance will financially protect you from any of these unfortunate scenarios. If you work a dangerous job such as a construction worker, zoo keeper, lion tamer, or stunt double, your life may be at risk every day. You may already have a form of life insurance, but disability insurance will allow you the proper amount of time to recover from any unforeseen accidents, as well as provide financial income.

    If you own the zoo, construction service, or are financing any stunt doubles, disability insurance can keep you from paying disability costs out of your own pocket. Your insurance company will cover any disability welfare that your employees may occur from a dangerous accident.

    If you’re searching for a disability insurance plan that fits your current situation, check out some of the affordable options available on our website!


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    Why It Can Be Dangerous To Drive Without Car Insurance

    There may be thousands of drivers living without car insurance in New York, which means that thousands of drivers are currently operating their vehicles illegally. Besides the fact that car insurance can benefit you financially, our insurance packages can also help you in a number of different ways. We’ve put together a list of how car insurance is essential for all licensed drivers:

    • Losing Your License: Since it is illegal to drive without some form of car insurance, you may end up losing your license if you are pulled over or involved in an accident. Depending on your record, the government can confiscate your driver’s license for several months or years at a time. Not only can these be inconvenient for your everyday life, but it can also lead to expensive public transportation costs to get to and from work.
    • Lawsuit Against You: Driving without New York car insurance can put you at risk of potential lawsuits. If you are the cause of an accident and you severely injure the other driver or passenger, you could be subject for an expensive lawsuit. Now only will you have to pay for their medical bills, but you will also have to pay for any damage to their car.
    • Replacing Your Vehicle: A bad accident will often leave your car totaled. However, certain car insurance plans will replace your vehicle, taking the financial burden off of your hands.
    • Expensive Medical Bills: Certain insurance packages will also cover any medical costs that incur to you at the time of an accident. Medical bills are often fairly expensive, which will leave you in financial ruins if you don’t have a car insurance plan to cover it.

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    Liquor Liability Business Insurance for Your Bar or Venue

     

    Your bar or venue might have acquired a liquor license, but are you financially protected with any level of Liquor Liability Business Insurance? It’s important to protect yourself from any liability that may fall on your place of business through drunk and disorderly behavior, drunk driving accidents, and any property damage or negligence that may occur. If you have owned a bar for quite some time now, you may have realized how rowdy your clientele can get in the later hours of the evening. Protect your financial assets by purchasing a Liquor Liability Insurance plan for your bar, restaurant, or venue.

    With around 140 million drivers arrested each year for drunk driving related incidents, there are millions of more drivers getting into expensive accidents. Although the driver will take the brunt of the financial liability, if you allow them to drive home from your bar, you are help accountable as well. Furthermore, if you own a bar or venue, you’ve no doubt been a victim of property damage and negligence caused by drunken behavior. Either a patron will start a fight and damage your furniture, or they will spill a drink all over your brand new pool table. Whichever the case, avoid any legal issues and financial responsibility by purchasing Liquor Liability Insurance for your drinking establishment.

     

     

     


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    Protect Your Salon with New York Business Insurance

    After covering the essentials of restaurant insurance last week, we thought we would spotlight yet another insurance for business establishments: salon insurance.  If you own a salon or hairdresser in New York City, you may be running your establishment at a financial risk if you aren’t signed on with Salon & Barber Insurance. Even if your hairdresser or salon is already covered with New York renters insurance, you may still be at risk if you don’t have special salon coverage. As with restaurants, there are many liabilities and accidents waiting to happen when owning and operating your very own salon. If you aren’t covered with an insurance package, you are held responsible for any employee theft, damage, or legal actions taken from customers.

    We’ve all seen the horror movies where the teenage girl gets stuck in the tanning bed. Although the chance of getting stuck in one of these beds is slim to none, the unfortunate truth is that many salons and hairdressers often deal with egotistical customers who will sue at the sight of a bad tan line or a poorly done haircut. Vanity sometimes gets the best of these customers and they will sue at any chance they get. Furthermore, customers and employees may slip on any excess hair or spilled bottles of barbicide on the ground. These injuries can result in large medical bills that you may have to pay out of pocket unless you are covered by salon insurance.

    Trim away your financial risks by purchasing some salon insurance today!


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    Avoid Costly Restaurant Accidents with New York Business Insurance

    Protect your restaurant, bar, salon, or nightclub from unnecessary accidents with New York business insurance. Can you afford to operate your restaurant without any form of business or rentals insurance? Accidents are bound to happen in the food and beverage industry, which is why Kenneth Bieber helps restaurant owners protect their financial assets with our various business insurance packages.

    Imagine your chef prepares a dish with an ingredient that your customer is severely allergic to. Or maybe your restaurant gets robbed in the middle of the night, leaving your important business checks, contacts, and files nowhere to be found. Perhaps a customer bites into a piece of fish, only to find a piece of bone that breaks their tooth in the process. Sometimes accidents cannot be prevented in the restaurant industry, and without proper coverage your financial loss may force your company to go out of business. One of the first steps in setting up your restaurant is making sure you are covered for any accident that may occur.

    Kenneth Bieber offers comprehensive restaurant insurance packages that can cover anything from a customer slipping on a wet floor to a natural disaster that may leave your storefront in ruins. Check out a number of our other insurance coverages as well, including condo insurance, car insurance, and renters insurance.

     

     


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    Renters Insurance Coverage Helps Keep Your Apartment Safe!

    So you just moved into your brand new apartment in Brooklyn? You have probably spent a couple hundred dollars moving in your expensive televisions, musical instruments, sports equipment, artwork, and much more. In the case of a fire, natural disaster, or theft, you could be out thousands of dollars if you do not have renters insurance coverage! Although your landlord is responsible for any and all damages that may occur to the building, it is your responsibility to keep your personal possessions safe from harm.

    Not only will renters insurance protect your personal assets, but many plans will also cover your additional living expenses in the event that your apartment becomes uninhabitable. Furthermore, renters insurance protects you from any injuries that you or your guests may experience while on your property. If you throw a lot of dangerous Brooklyn rooftop parties, renters insurance takes all of the legal responsibility that may occur in the event of an accident or serious injury. Without renters insurance, you’re held financially responsible for the safety of your guests.

    Additionally, any damage or injury that occurs from your household pet will easily be covered by renters insurance. If your pitbull acts up around new guests, it’s probably a good idea to get some rental coverage. Not only will it save you money in future, but it will make you feel more comfortable in your new Brooklyn apartment!


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    Why Is Car Insurance in New York So Important?

    If you are one of the many drivers without car insurance in New York, you are taking a large risk by staying financially unprotected. If you were to get in one of the hundreds of accidents that occur on a daily basis, you may find yourself in financial debt if left uncovered, and maybe involved in a lawsuit. Not only is automobile insurance a financial asset, but it is also illegal to operate a vehicle without any coverage in New York City.

    Driving without automobile insurance can result in large fines and eventually the loss of your license. If left unprotected, any accident will result in an average cost of over $1,000 for the driver at fault. Rather than having an insurance agency pay off the cost of your accident, this money will come straight out of your pocket. With an average of more than six million car accidents per year in the U.S., these costs can add up and become a financial burden.

    We want you to stay protected not only in your automobile, but in your home and business as well. By staying uncovered, you are constantly taking a financial gamble on your assets. Can you afford to take a risk like that? Make the safe bet by getting a free quote on your New York car insurance today!


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    Was Your Home Loan Sold? Quick, Call Your Insurance Agent!

    Do you have a mortgage? Yes? Then at some point in your home-owning life, you have received a letter telling you that your mortgage has been sold to another lender. There’s certainly nothing unusual about it when this happens, as home loans are sold every day in the United States. It is a very common practice. Typically, the letter tells you that nothing will change for you and – "you do not need to do anything."

    WRONG!!! – You should contact the insurance agent that handles your home insurance.

    Here’s Why: If your home insurance is part of your escrow then your agent needs to know and needs to change the Mortgagee endorsement on your policy.

    Every year your insurance company sends a bill to the company that owns your loan. Your lender sends a check from your escrow account to pay for your Homeowner’s insurance for the next year. If your insurance company does not have the correct lender information the bill will be sent to the wrong company and the bill will not be paid. Believe it or not – that is not the big problem.

    Here is the BIG PROBLEM. Your new lender wants to know you have insurance that will pay to replace your home in case of a total loss – they want to know they will get their money! If your new lender does not get a bill or see some form of proof that you have insurance – then the lender will put insurance in place for you. And guess what? The insurance the bank puts in place can cost up to THREE TIMES MORE than what you are paying now and that is just for your house and wouldn’t include insurance for all your belongings inside your home.

    If this occurs the lender is simply going to pass the high-cost of this other insurance along to the home owner in the form of a much higher mortgage payment on your next statement, which can cause unnecessary panic and confusion.

    The lesson – keep your Insurance Agent updated on any change regarding not only your home, but your lender as well. Your agent wants to be up to date and will appreciate the call and it’s a simple change that only requires a few moments to complete.


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    Insurance Terms 101

    new york renters insurance

    New York City life is crazy enough as it is, without confusion when it comes to New York renters insurance. The insurance lexicon is vast and can prove overwhelming for those unfamiliar with its various terms, clauses and definitions. That’s why we’ve gathered together all the essential information you need to know in order to make informed decisions when considering policies, premiums and everything in between.

    If you’re looking for an introduction to the topic of insurance, make sure you pore over our Insurance FAQ, which provides extensive information on everything from condo insurance to auto insurance. On the other hand, if you’re generally au fait with insurance but searching for an explanation of a particular term, our Insurance and Homebuyers Glossaries are the only resources you’ll need.

    Here are some of the top insurance terms you may have heard, but may not quite fully understand:

    Indemnity: Benefits of a predetermined amount paid for a loss.

    Consideration Clause: Stipulation that states the basis on which an insurer issues an insurance contract.

    Utmost Good Faith: The Insured and the Insurer are bound by a good faith of honesty and fairness; all material facts must be disclosed.

    Mitigation: In the case of any loss or casualty, the asset owner must attempt to keep loss to a minimum, as if the asset was not insured.


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    Co-Op Insurance: What You Need to Know

    When buying a co-op apartment there is a lot of information to consider before committing to a decision. As a co-op owner, you share the walls, hallways, basement, roof, elevator and walkways. You may also share common services such as lawn mowing, garbage collection, and snowplowing. What gets tricky, however, is the insurance.

    A co-op association will have a master policy for the co-op complex, covering the common areas mentioned earlier. In an earlier post, we provided questions to help determine which master policy your co-op association possesses, and what kind of co-op insurance coverage you will need. Your co-op association will have one of three types of master policies:

    • Bare walls: This policy covers the structure, fixtures, and furnishings shared or common areas within the condominium complex.
    • Single entity: This policy covers everything within the bare walls policy, along with certain fixtures inside condo units (e.g., carpeting, cabinets, appliances).
    • All inclusive: This policy is the most extensive as it covers everything in the condo except for personal property the owner brings into the unit (e.g., clothes, bicycles, artwork).

    Knowing the master policy of your co-op association is only the first step in making a fully informed decision about the co-op insurance policy you choose. Luckily we can help you determine what kind of coverage, and how much insurance you will need to feel secure at your co-op. Contact us for more information on all your insurance questions, from co-op insurance to New York renter’s insurance. We got you covered.


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    How to Make a Claim on your Condo Insurance

    condo insuranceMaking a claim on your condo insurance may at first seem a little daunting. What are the specifics of the procedure? What documents are required? Who exactly must be approached? We’ve gathered together some pointers that will hopefully put your mind at ease.

    If an accident or some other mishap has occurred in your condo, you should contact your condo insurance provider immediately. Bear in mind that you should know the following before making the call:

    • When the incident occurred
    • What exactly happened
    • The location of the property damage and what was damaged
    • If your home is still livable
    • What repairs, if any, are required
    • If you contacted the police or fire department in response to the situation (and the police report number, if so)
    • Your contact information and the best time to reach you
    Where repairs are needed, the insured can either use their preferred contractor or have their insurance provider recommend a contractor capable of making the repairs. The deductible will usually then be paid to the contractor/company who repairs the damage.
    Once you have made your claim, the insurance payment will follow. If you have a mortgage on your condo, your insurance company may pay you and your mortgage lender up to the limit of your policy. In such a case as where an advance payment was made, this advance payment will be applied to the total payout. Also, your deductible and any applicable depreciation will be deducted from the final payout.

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