You’re a cautious driver and you do your best to respect the law and keep everyone in the car safe.
But accidents aren’t always your fault. There are factors you can’t control. For situations like this, car insurance helps you cover hefty medical bills and damages.
The leading cause of car accidents are alcohol consumption, texting, distracted driving, and weather issues.
According to Forbes, the average American is involved in a car accident every 19 years.
In Arizona, the car insurance policy consists of six layers of coverage. Some states require all of them. However, in Arizona only two types of coverage are needed to reach the minimum requirements: $15,000 for bodily injuries for one passenger or $30 000 for more than two and $10,000 worth of coverage in damages caused to property.
Here’s a quick look at all of the types of coverage and common car insurance problems, as well as a groundbreaking car insurance innovation.
Types of Coverage in Arizona
If you cause bodily injuries to someone in a car accident, you’re required by law to have a policy that covers at least 15,000 per person and $30,000 per car crash. In the state of Arizona if you cause damage to somebody’s property, your policy must take care of at least $10,000 in damages.
Almost all car accidents lead to damages to other cars or the driver’s vehicle. Collision insurance is very important, yet it’s not part of the minimum requirements.
There is also the option for medical bills that aren’t covered by health insurance, in case you or any passengers suffer injuries.
A comprehensive insurance covers damages to your car that weren’t caused by crashing into another vehicle. For example, these include scenarios where someone vandalizes your car or you accidently hit an animal crossing the street. This type of insurance is sometimes required if you’re using a loan to pay off a car.
Auto Insurance in Casa Grande
If you’re looking for auto insurance in Casa Grande, it’s not a bad idea to learn about what determines the price of insurance, as well as a few of the latest car insurance innovations that can give you customized solutions.
Before you will receive a quote, all of your history linked to driving and owning a vehicle will play an important role in estimating your insurance costs.
For example, your age, the type of car you drive, your driving history, and the number of years you’ve been driving are a few of the factors that will influence how much you will pay out of pocket each month.
A responsible driver that happens to be in their teens and drives an expensive sports car will pay more than someone in their 30’s who drives an inexpensive vehicle and has no history of car crashes.
One of the factors that drive down rates the most is a clean driving record. This includes no speeding tickets, collisions, or law-breaking behaviors behind the wheel.
If you’re looking for affordable premiums, you might need to speak with a specialist about it. Going by yourself and asking for quotes from insurance companies will cost you more in the long run.
Skilled insurance agents have at least 30-40 insurance companies to choose from. Plus, they have leverage when it comes to being familiar with the legislation, and they bring clients to these companies. In other words, you don’t bring as much money to these companies as insurance agents do. An agent can demand a discount, but you don’t have any grounds to do that as a one-time client.
Our Casa Grande agents can help you find out if you’re eligible for deductions as well.
Most Common Auto Insurance Problems
You may be thinking that you’re saving money by driving without insurance. But in the long-term, you’re risking fines, the suspension of your license, and a certificate that will identify you as a high-risk driver.
This will not only make you look bad in the eyes of the law, but insurance companies will raise their rates due to your status.
Driving underinsured leads to similar issues. An insurance plan that doesn’t cover the minimum requirements is one of the most common auto insurance problems, as drivers believe the consequences for this are minor.
Drivers who don’t own the car they’re driving also face penalties if they don’t have insurance. Fortunately, among the latest car insurance innovations is temporary insurance as well. You can buy car insurance even for one hour by using an online application and a debit card.
Parking lots are often busy areas packed with vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists and other objects. These lots may have tight parking spaces and obstacles such as large ground-based concrete polls, shopping cart corrals, and permanent light poles.
A parking lot accident can involve a crash between multiple vehicles, a vehicle and a fixed object, or a vehicle and victim, like an individual or a cyclist. Some crashes may even combine several of these factors. Just like on the road, there are a number of factors that affect who is at fault when an accident takes place in a parking lot. Many drivers may find the rules confusing, but just like our highways, parking lots have right-of-way rules.
Here are some general guidelines regarding parking lot accident fault:
The vehicles in the “through lanes” (cars in the traffic lanes) have the right of way. If a driver pulls out of a parking space and collides with a vehicle traveling in the through lane, the driver pulling out will probably be deemed at fault for the accident.
Drivers leaving a parking space must yield to any other oncoming traffic.
If you are driving your vehicle, and you collide with a legally parked car, you are at fault. However, if the car is parked illegally, the driver of the other car could be at fault.
You must obey all traffic signs while in a parking lot. You are automatically at fault if you are in an accident as a result of failing to follow the directions of a traffic sign in the parking lot, such as a stop or yield sign.
If you open your car door and hit another vehicle, you are at fault for any damage.
In most instances, these accidents will be minor since the automobiles are usually traveling at a slow speed, and as a result, will not lead to anything more than frustration. But in other situations, a driver or passenger may be hurt and may be in need of medical help. Regardless, when parking lot accidents are found to be your responsibility, they can raise your auto insurance rates.
Why Fault Matters
Determining fault is important in parking lot accidents since it plays an important role in whether your car insurance policy will cover damage to the vehicles and for any personal injuries that occur. Liability insurance is a requirement for automobile drivers in Arizona. It helps pay for the harm done to individuals and to any property damage sustained by other drivers in an accident for which you are found at fault.
It can often be very difficult to place who is to blame for a collision in a parking lot car accident. That is why it is essential you have a proper insurance policy. Being insured not only protects you and your vehicle, it also safeguards the people and property around you. If you have been involved in a parking lot car accident, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. They can help with the arrangements to get your claim started and your car repaired as soon as possible.
Fault of Another Driver
It may occur that you come out to your car after shopping at the grocery store, mall or after work and find your car has been hit and damaged. According to Arizona law, drivers, who hit a parked car, must stop and do either of the following:
locate the owner of the parked car to provide their name and address; or,
leave a conspicuous note that provides their name and address.
A violation of this statute has serious repercussions or the person leaving the scene. If this situation happens to you, contact your insurance company and advise them of the circumstances. Be sure to document the situation as follows:
Record any damage by taking photos
Note the location of the incident
Write down the date and time of the accident
If you are concerned about getting into a parking lot car accident in the first place, keep these driving tips in mind:
Be aware of your surroundings
Stay alert for cars, bikes, and pedestrians cutting across parking lanes
Look in both directions before backing out of a parking space instead of relying on a mirror or rearview camera
Park in spots farther away from a store in order to avoid traffic
At Gebhardt Insurance, we know that you have many options for insurance providers. For over 14 years we have been independent insurance specialists. Instead of selling our own insurance coverage, we shop the nation’s top carriers to find you the absolute lowest auto insurance rates. But we don’t stop there. We regularly review your coverage and help you receive the best value for your insurance dollar, all while providing the best customer service in the business.
Regular car maintenance ensures maximum car performance, prevents costly repairs and may actually help avoid accidents. Sometimes, even the smallest defect that seems irrelevant to you may lead to a major problem which will consequently increase your chances of being in a crash, pile-up or collision.
Use this checklist to help keep your car in top running condition and to keep you and your passengers safe.
Examining your tires for wear and tear, along with checking tire pressure and alignment, are essential to ensure your vehicle’s safety on the road. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), 83% of Americans do not know how to properly inflate their tires. The correct pressure levels can be found in the owner’s manual or on a sticker most often located inside the driver-side door jamb. Also, check the tread depth on each tire by placing a quarter upside down in the tread grooves. If the top of Washington’s head is exposed at any point, it’s time to start shopping for new tires.
Underinflation or overloading of tires may result in rapid or uneven tread wear. This could cause unexpected tire failure on a road or highway. Having a tire blowout may result in a dangerous accident causing vehicle damage or serious injury. Reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggest that tires are at least partially responsible for an estimated 11,000 traffic crashes each year.
At Gebhardt Insurance Group, we know that being insured with the proper policy protects you and your vehicle in case you are involved in an accident. Our expert team will help you find the best coverage to meet your needs when driving in Arizona.
Windshield wipers that are damaged or do not work are a serious danger to you and others on the road. Wiper blades do not just help in the rain, they are also beneficial during dust storms and other weather conditions. At least once a year check to see if they are worn or cracked. Inspect the wipers to determine that they can still adequately remove debris for proper vision.
Our insurance agents cannot stress enough the importance of working lights for every type of vehicle. To test them, turn on your hazards to see whether both the blinker and steady-on safety lights work. Ask someone to stand behind the vehicle as you apply the brake to make sure the brake lights work correctly, too. Just one broken light can cause an accident.
As a general rule, the more sophisticated your car’s onboard computers are, the bigger the strain on its battery. Many new cars have powerful computers that are operating all the time. A bad battery can leave you stranded, and a faulty electrical system could cause your car to stall or operate incorrectly when driving, leading to an unnecessary collision or worse. And if you use your automobile infrequently, the battery may still become drained by the electronic systems.
It is essential that you or your mechanic look over the battery cables for cracks and breaks. The terminals should fit snugly with no loose connections. You can check your battery fluid by uncovering the refill hole. If the level is below the bottom of the cap, refill with distilled water. While you’re inspecting your battery, look around for the manufacture date. Knowing how old your battery can help you understand when it will begin to lose charge. If the battery is older than four years, it may be time to replace it.
Knowing the key warning signs when brakes require maintenance will go a long way toward keeping you and others safe on the road. Every driver is faced with situations where it is necessary to slam on the brakes. Defective brakes take away the ability to prevent a collision with another car, property or with a pedestrian. Without proper brakes, a severe accident may occur that might have been prevented if they were working properly.
If there is screeching, vibration or if you must apply extreme pressure to the brake pedal before your car will stop, it is time to have the brakes checked out. Even if these symptoms are not apparent, get them checked out annually.
The Right Coverage
No matter where you drive, rest assured you and your car can be protected on the road with assistance from Gebhardt Insurance Group. We are an independent insurance specialist company serving the entire state of Arizona. That means we shop the nation’s top insurance carriers to find you the absolute lowest rate for your vehicle insurance to provide significant savings.
Arizona requires its drivers to maintain the following coverages and minimum limits:
$15,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person
$30,000 bodily injury liability coverage per incident
$10,000 property damage liability coverage per incident
But there are a variety of optional vehicle insurance policies, as well. It can all become overwhelming and confusing. Our agents are true professionals and will find the best solutions to meet your driving needs at affordable prices. We deliver superior customer service and always provide personal attention to every individual. We will be there for you when you need us most.
Call or text us now at (520) 836-3244 and ask about our free insurance quotes to find the best auto insurance policy that will match your needs. We look forward to working with you.
All cars make noise, of course, but some of the noises can be more alarming than others. Although your first inclination might be to ignore any unusual sounds in hopes they will disappear on their own, few if any car problems resolve themselves. But should every new noise send you racing to your mechanic? Not necessarily. Here are some of the more typical car noises and what you should do about them.
9 Car Noises To Check
Squealing brakes – When you drove your car off the lot for the first time, you probably heard nothing in particular when you stepped on the brakes, but now you hear sounds resembling a five-year-old playing a violin every time you approach a red light. How concerned should you be? Squealing brakes are a warning sound but not cause for immediate concern. Your brakes need to be looked at, but you aren’t endangering your life if you don’t stop at the garage on the way home from work today. But don’t let it continue squealing for too long, or what is now a fairly simple issue will turn into something more significant.
The scratching, whining sound of metal on metal – Metal screeching across metal is never a sound you want to hear, not only because it’s painful to the ears, but because it is indicative of a serious problem. (If you left your squealing brakes from #1 untreated for too long, the squealing will be replaced by this metal-on-metal sound.) This is the kind of sound that should send you to the phone to make a service appointment right away.
A flappy sound when the AC is on – Does it sound like there’s a piece of rubber flopping open and closed in your air vent? Well, there probably is. This is not a serious issue, merely an annoyance, and not a sign of a serious issue that needs immediate attention. At worst, it might impede the air flow into the car, but you can safely ignore this until the next time the car is in being serviced for something else.
Squealing from under the hood – Instead of that child playing violin near your brakes, you’re sure she’s actually under the hood. This likely means a serpentine or fan belt problem. Since these belts keep a variety of systems functioning, their failure will be a serious issue. Although you are not in imminent danger, it does mean your next trip in the car should be to a mechanic.
Humming or droning from the tires – Although the roll of tires down the road always makes some level of humming noise, a marked increase in volume or the kind of sound they make should cause concern, especially if you know you have older tires. This increase in humming indicates the tires are at the end of their lifespan, and you run the risk of blowing a tire if you don’t attend to this quickly.
Whining from the steering wheel while turning – As you go around a corner, you turn the wheel as far as it will go and you hear a whining sound. You are putting stress on the power steering pump. You might be able to fix this yourself right away – just don’t turn the wheel quite so far, or back off on the turning just a hair until the noise stops. However, if the sound happens even when you make wide turns, well short of turning the wheel to its furthest point, your power steering pump is probably already damaged, which is not something you’ll fix yourself. If the power steering pump fails, you’ll know – you will need a lot more muscle to actually turn the car. And although fifty years ago most cars didn’t have power steering, nowadays you won’t want to drive without it.
Hissing from the engine – If you are hearing a hissing sound from the engine either while driving or after you’ve turned it off, you may have a coolant issue and/or an overheating engine; if the hissing is accompanied by steam leaking from the hood, you definitely have an overheated engine. In this situation, you should pull off the road immediately. You can destroy the engine if you continue to drive it while overheated, also do a car maintenance during cold weather.
Clicking or tapping from the engine – This can indicate a serious problem with your engine’s oil pressure. You may be able to remedy this yourself by adding oil after allowing the engine to cool. But if the addition of oil doesn’t get rid of the clicking, you need to head to the mechanic’s right away. Again, you can ruin the engine completely if you drive with improper oil pressure.
Roaring exhaust from under the car when accelerating – If you can hear an extra roar of the exhaust from underneath you when you step on the gas, this indicates a serious problem in the exhaust system. Although it’s not particularly detrimental to the engine, a faulty exhaust system could be leaking carbon monoxide into the car. That can make you sick and even cause you to pass out, especially if it’s winter and your windows are up. This sound requires an immediate trip to a mechanic.
Your car is going to make noises, and many of them you can ignore. But when your car makes new noises, noises that don’t go away, you should listen to them. Modern cars are unlikely to undergo catastrophic failure with no warning while you’re zipping down the highway, so think of those new noises as a sign of a looming larger problem. Do you want to look into the problem now, while it’s probably still small and manageable, or do you want to ignore it, and wind up having to deal with – and pay for – a bigger problem somewhere down the line? Your car is probably one of your largest assets. One of the best things you can do for your car’s long-term health, and therefore your wallet’s, is to maintain your car regularly, and have a mechanic investigate anything out of the ordinary as soon as possible. The other is to make sure it is properly insured. Gebhardt Insurance Group can find you the best insurance at the right price. Click on Contact Us above or call us at 520-836-3244.
Why even bother with car insurance? It’s just throwing away good money, right? Wrong!
Here are just a few reasons you and every other driver you know should have car insurance:
Car insurance is legally required in 48 of the 50 states (and the two outliers, New Hampshire and Virginia, still have conditions for those without it). In Arizona, drivers who are caught driving uninsured can have their car registration and/or driver’s license suspended.
If you are uninsured and in an accident, all of your assets – everything you own – is at risk. Your house, your car, your savings – you could lose it all.
If you are in an accident, your own insurance can help you cover costs, no matter who is at fault.
The average American is in three to four car accidents over the course of their lifetime and there are approximately 10 million car accidents nationwide every year. The odds of you avoiding fender benders your entire life are pretty slim. With over 263 million registered vehicles in the country, chances are your car is going to come into contact with at least one of them someday.
How does auto insurance work?
Like most types of insurance, you buy a policy that pays you in the event of an incident. You choose the payout amount, and then you submit monthly payments for as long as you own the car. If you are accident-free, nothing happens. In the event of an accident, all the insurance companies involved will work together to determine who was at fault. They will examine the police report, witness testimony, and any other evidence you gather from the scene, like photos. (And in Arizona, both parties might be determined to be partly at fault, with each assigned a percentage of the blame.) If the accident is determined to be your fault, or more your fault, your insurance will pay the other party for their physical injuries and car repair (or replacement) up to those limits outlined in your policy. Higher payout amounts will cost you more but also protect you more thoroughly. If the other party’s bills exceed the amount of your policy, you are still on the hook for the difference.
What kind of insurance do you need?
A car insurance policy, no matter which company issues it, will have at least two segments and as many as six:
Bodily injury liability
Property damage liability
Arizona, like most states, requires all motorists to have the first two on the list – bodily injury liability and property damage liability. In AZ, your bodily injury liability is a minimum of $15,000 for one person and $30,000 for two people, and your property damage liability is a minimum of $10,000. As those are the legal coverage minimums, no insurer can sell you a policy offering anything less.
But what if the other guy has $100,000 in hospital bills and his $40,000 car is totaled? If you have the minimum legally required insurance, it will pay the first $15K on the hospital bills and the first $10K on the car . . . and then you are personally responsible for all the rest. In this sample scenario, even after insurance coverage, you will still owe the other guy $115,000. Ouch!
This is why most people will buy auto insurance that offers more coverage than the minimum state requirements. The question then becomes – how much more insurance should you get?
That depends on your personal financial situation, but a good rule of thumb is to match your bodily injury liability to the grand total of your assets, since that is what will be at risk if your insurance doesn’t cover the bill. Do you own your house? Do you own your cars? Do you have money in the bank in a savings account, or money invested somewhere? Tally all that up – your insurance should be at least that amount. You should also raise the amount of property liability insurance from the minimum of $10K; the average cost of a new car is over $35,000, so if the other guy needs his car replaced, you will be on the hook for well over that $10K. Insurance experts often recommend around $300,000 in bodily injury liability (per accident) and at least $35,000 in property liability.
You should also consider the remaining four segments available in an auto insurance policy. The next two you should add are the uninsured/underinsured and the personal injury segments.
The uninsured or underinsured piece protects you if you are hit by someone with little or no auto insurance of their own. If they have no insurance and few assets, it won’t matter how much they owe you for your own medical bills or car repair if they simply don’t have the money. You will want your own insurance to cover this scenario. Ideally, this number will match your bodily injury liability number, since again, you are aiming to keep your existing assets intact and untouched in the event of an accident. You don’t want to sell your house or drain your savings to pay your own bills.
The personal injury segment will add another layer of insurance that covers medical bills you acquire as a result of a car accident. Although you may have health insurance, that doesn’t necessarily cover all your medical bills. A personal injury policy can help fill in the gaps.
Finally, if you’re interested in having the most thorough coverage possible, you will want to add the remaining two segments – collision and comprehensive. Collision will cover the cost of repair or replacement of your car in the event of an accident. If you have a car with a loan, you will be required to have collision insurance. However, if you are driving a clunker with little or no resale value, you might choose to skip this; the cost of the collision insurance might outweigh the payout you’d receive to replace the car.
Comprehensive covers damages to your car if you don’t hit another car. If it sits outside in a hail storm, or you hit a deer, or it gets flooded by storm surge, comprehensive insurance will cover it. Comprehensive also can provide coverage if anything of value is stolen out of your car. Like collision insurance, comprehensive is usually required by lenders, and it’s not necessarily something you want to pay for if you have a low value car.
Insurance may feel like a waste of money, but it is one of the best investments you can make in your long term financial health. Without it, one brief moment on the road could cause cataclysmic damage to your finances or even your physical health and recovery. But it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Gebhardt Insurance Group doesn’t just sell insurance. We comb through policies of over 40 insurance companies to find the exact right provider and insurance coverage in Arizona for your budget. Click on Contact Us above or call us at 520-836-3244.
Your business is an investment of your time, money and energy. You probably already have an insurance policy in place to protect. (If you don’t, there’s no time like the present!). An important part of any business insurance policy is business interruption insurance.
Business interruption insurance works to protect you by financially covering you in the event of unforeseeable damages and expenses incurred because of those damages. Key terms to keep in mind for this insurance include: covered peril and restoration. If your business sustains damage or is destroyed interruption insurance can help reimburse you for lost income and other related expenses. This will only take place if the damage is caused by a “covered peril” and will only cover losses sustained during a reasonable period of time for rebuilding or restoration. Covered perils will depend on your policy and any listed exclusions. Your restoration period will be determined by the amount of damages and how long it reasonably takes to get your doors open for business again. In simpler terms, business interruption insurance provides financial relief in the amount of the actual loss provided the cause of the loss is not excluded by the policy and only during the time period it takes to rebuild or restore the business to its previous operating ability.
There are three primary types of business interruption insurance.
Basic interruption insurance is designed to cover you losses and expenses while your business is in the midst or repairs or rebuilding and is unusable. This coverage ends as soon as repairs are completed or sooner if you have a predetermined time limit built into your policy. It is also important to note that this insurance extends only for as long as it reasonably takes for repairs to take place. If you have long delays or prolong the repair process, your insurer may decline to cover beyond the reasonable period of time.
Extended coverage includes an additional period of time from your repairs being completed to the time your business begins to earn income. For many businesses, it may takes some time to reopen their doors and start to make money again. If you can’t afford a lag in profit earning, you may want to consider extending your interruption coverage and make sure you are covered in case there is a gap.
Contingent insurance extends even further, to connected issues and entities. If you are a primary supplier of parts and your inability to supply a vendor that relies on you is financially damaging, your contingent coverage can kick in and save the day. This policy has a much wider reach than basic coverage and can extend to earnings that are not directly tied to the physical damage of your business.
There are some key questions to consider when assessing your business interruption insurance needs.
What do you have available for reserves?
Business interruption insurance can help keep your company afloat and solvent in the event of an unforeseen disaster or damages. If you have a healthy amount of reserve funds in the bank, you may be fine with basic coverage. However, if being closed for a month due to unexpected damages could put you out of business, consider increasing your coverage.
What is included in your basic business insurance policy?
It is critical that you understand what is and is not included in your existing policy. It is always a good idea to have your insurance professional review your policy with you to make sure you understand existing exclusions and policy amounts. If it would only cost $10,000 to rebuild your business and income for six months, you probably don’t need a million dollar policy. Appropriate coverage amounts are determined by many different factors and should be thoroughly discussed with an experienced agent. Also, your insurance professional can review your policy and identify any gaps or double coverages that can be eliminated.
What is most necessary and important to keep your business running?
Can you live without the work space but desperately need the staff on your payroll? Is the existing business space critical to your earning ability? It is helpful to identify which parts of your business are essential and then work with your agent to ensure they are covered by your policy.
Your business is more than just a brick and mortar building. Interruption insurance can help cover the cost of moving to a new site, payroll expenses, loss of income and much more. The best way you can protect your investment is to make sure you have the business insurance you need. If you are concerned about your existing policy, please call our office and let us review current coverage. We work with many different insurers and quote your policy needs with multiple companies to get you the best pricing possible.
As a business owner you may put much more than just money into your business. Your blood, sweat and tears may also go into making your business a success. That’s why insuring your investment is so important. Business interruption insurance may also be called business income insurance and you may ask yourself, “what can business interruption insurance cover?” This type of insurance is designed to protect your business in the event of losses that could be incurred by loss or damage caused by a covered peril. Covered perils will depend on your policy type of business interruption insurance and any listed exclusions. These types of policies typically cover the actual loss a business sustains during restoration.
While this all may sound very complicated, the structure of the policy is fairly straight forward once you move past the insurance jargon. In simpler terms, business interruption insurance provides financial relief in the amount of the actual loss provided the cause of the loss is not excluded by the policy and only during the time period it takes to rebuild or restore the business to its previous operating ability.
An example of a time when business interruption insurance may be used is rebuilding a business after a disaster such a fire. If your business were to suffer damage after a disaster, your business interruption policy may kick in and cover sustained losses such as:
Loss of income
If your business is closed for 6 months, you may lose a significant amount of sales. Your insurance company may use prior accounting records to determine an average amount of monthly losses.
You may still be responsible for operating expenses which may be covered with this type of policy. Again, the insurer may look at historical records to determine an average expense and reimburse you accordingly. Your insurance may also help you with loan costs and even tax payments that are due.
If your property is no longer usable you may be forced to relocate your business while the primary location is being rebuilt or repaired. Your insurer may cover moving and operating costs for your temporary location.
You don’t want to lose your best employees while your business is closed. Interruption insurance can help cover payroll costs until you are back up and running.
You may be reimbursed for reasonable additional expenses that are incurred as part of the loss. Keep in mind that the insurance company will stress the reasonable part of this coverage.
There are some important points you should be aware of when considering business interruption insurance.
Business interruption insurance won’t cover everything. It is not typically sold as a stand-alone policy. Because business interruption insurance is usually part of a broader business insurance policy, make certain that you understand what is and is not covered and where your policy starts and ends. For example a broader policy could exclude flooding from coverage, so your business interruption insurance will also not cover damage from floods. Additionally, there are things that this type of policy won’t extend to. Flood damage and earthquake damage are good examples of items that are usually not covered unless they are specifically added to your policy or purchased additionally.
Business interruption coverage will only reimburse you up to a policy limit. Carefully consider what it would cost you to relocate your operations and be out of business if disaster struck. Use this cost to determine your best policy and coverage amounts.
This type of coverage stresses financial protection during the time of restoration. Your insurance company will only be held liable for the reasonable amount of time it would take to rebuild, repair or restore your property. This period of time starts at the time damage was incurred and ends when your property has been reasonably restored.
There may be a waiting period. Many policies have mandatory waiting periods which can very from three days to three months. Make certain you know if your coverage includes a waiting period and what this time frame is. You should also have some savings set aside to cover this waiting period, just in case.
An important part of being a business owner is protecting everything you have built. Business interruption insurance provides coverage for you, your property, your income, and your employees in the event of unexpected disaster. Choosing your policy and understanding your coverage are imperative parts of making sure you have the insurance you need.
We offer the opportunity for you to work with experienced business insurance agents that will be detailed and take the time needed to ensure you understand your coverage. Our individualized attention ensures you can benefit from all aspects of your business coverage. We work with many different insurers which gives us the ability to get you coverage at the best possible price. We have made it our business to protect your business.
General liability insurance, also known as commercial general or business liability, is a base level coverage that is commonly held by small and large businesses alike. It covers quite a few areas where you may need insurance coverage, so it is considered very standard across all industries. Many forms of injury and property damage are covered by general liability insurance.
How much does general liability insurance cost?
The cost of general liability insurance can be very wide, from hundreds per year to thousands. Many factors play into the pricing of premiums, including the size of the company and the levels of coverage. Here, we will discuss what is covered by general liability insurance, the factors that affect the cost of coverage, as well as the amount of coverage that is available.
What is covered?
General liability insurance covers a wide range of problems that could come up while operating your business, such as:
Bodily injury of employees or non-employees when business practices are being performed
Personal injury when someone’s reputation in harmed in cases such as slander, libel or other situations
Property damage of the business location or a customer’s property while business is being carried out
Legal defense in the event of a lawsuit to cover legal and court fees
Some of these coverage are more important to certain businesses, while others are not as necessary. A construction business, for example, would want a lot of bodily injury coverage to cover themselves in the event of an employee or visitor injury at the worksite. However, even a graphic design company with low risk of physical injury will want to have some bodily injury coverage in case of carpel tunnel syndrome or other office related injuries.
How are premiums calculated?
A lot of different factors go into the calculation of insurance premiums. Some of these include:
The number of employees that work at the company
The types of products or services the business provides
How long the business has been operating
How many (and what type of) claims have been filed by the company in the past
Business owners must consider these when looking for an insurance policy and see if there is any way to improve their chances for a better rate. Companies that offer higher risk products and services, such as car rental companies or construction firms, can find themselves paying higher premiums due to the risk of harm or damage to their products or their customers. If a business has been open for many years with a long track record of safety, the insurance rates tend to be lower.
How much coverage is enough?
This is another question that really depends on the business and its needs. Most organizations opt for $500,000 to $1,000,000 in general liability insurance coverage. This level of coverage tends to be plenty for most companies, but higher risk industries will want to obtain more coverage. Higher coverage, of course, commonly will cost more in annual premiums, so any business owner must consider what they need with what they can afford.
How much does coverage cost?
Coverage costs range widely, but some reports state that the median cost is between $425 and $921 and the annual cost ranges between $483 and $2,758. These numbers are very general, but can give a sense of how much insurance could cost for a business.
Considering all the different factors that go into calculating premiums, it is best to speak directly with an insurance agent to find the exact rates. Business owners who go to multiple insurance carriers and ask for quotes can also find the best combination of cost and service that fits their needs. Sometimes these quotes can even be used as a bargaining tool for obtaining a better rate or better coverage from another insurance carrier.
Things to remember
General liability insurance is very important for any business to hold. Some states even require it by law, although many do not. While coverage is sometimes costly, it can be well worth it if a company finds itself on the wrong side of a lawsuit or finds itself with injured employees. It is better to have the general liability insurance when you need it than to not be covered.
General liability insurance is just one form of insurance that a business can obtain, and only covers certain situations. Other insurances include coverage for Workers’ Compensation, Vehicle Insurance, and Business Interruption Insurance, among others. You can learn more about these in our article on types of business insurance.
There is a wide variety of insurance for your company, and it can be confusing trying to figure out which ones you need. All insurances will cover different items and situations, so it is important to learn the different types before making a purchase. It is always a good idea to sit down with an insurance agent who specializes in business insurances to discuss your specific needs.
Depending on your line of business, you may or may not need certain insurance coverages. A business that has a higher risk of injury, for example, will want to have more coverage for injuries than a business that tends to feature a safer working environment. It all really depends on what your type of company needs and can afford.
In addition, some coverages are required by law. Depending where you business operates, or what kind of work you do, there may be federal, state or local laws that require you to obtain specific types of business insurance. Be sure to do your research on this before skipping any certain coverage, or buying coverage you do not need.
Here are some of the most common forms of business insurance:
Professional liability Insurance
Also known as Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance, this coverage takes care of situations of negligence, such as when a product causes an injury or fails to function properly. This could also include cases where a client bought a product or service that ended up hurting their business rather than helping.
This covers a wide range of physical damage that could be done to the business, such as damage to the office building, company vehicles, or other property owned by the company. Property insurance tends to cover damage due to vandalism, fire, and storm damage, but usually does not include major disasters like earthquakes and floods. This coverage may also take care of instances when a customer’s property is damaged while services are being rendered, such as a contractor damaging a customer’s home while doing repairs.
Product Liability Insurance
If your product or service injures a customer, product liability insurance can cover the costs of health and legal fees. This could be a very important coverage to have, especially if your company sells many units of an item which ends up being defective. Class action lawsuits could arise in a case like this, where every customer will be awarded damages for the defective item.
Just as with individual life insurance, businesses can also buy a policy for any employee that is deemed essential to the survival of the organization. This is especially important for very small businesses, like family owned companies. If one of the few people in charge were to suddenly die, the company may struggle very much to stay in business.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Workers’ Compensation insurance covers some of the salary of an employee who gets injured on the job and can no longer work for a time. If an employee is injured on the job, it can be very costly to pay their salary out of pocket while not obtaining any benefit from them while they recover.
Home-Based Business Insurance
For companies that are primarily located in one’s home, a home-based business insurance policy may be useful. This would cover office equipment and inventory stored in the home. Homeowner’s insurance may not cover these items if damaged or broken.
Just like insurance for your personal car, vehicle insurance is essential for any business that delivers goods to their customers. This one can be a bit complicated, however. If your business utilizes employee vehicles, their personal car insurance may be good enough, depending on the situation and the services being rendered.
Business Interruption Insurance
Just as it sounds, business interruption insurance will take care of financial lost when business is interrupted. A company may be forced to close temporarily due to a major storm, weather damage, or fire, among other reasons. Another business within the same building could have a fire, causing all offices within the building to be closed down for a time, making this a very important coverage.
Data Breach Insurance
In the information age, data breach insurance is becoming more important. Coverage from issues related to computer hacking can be covered with this insurance. If your company loses business due to a hack, or worse yet, customer financial data is stolen, data breach insurance will usually cover damages.
Directors & Officers Insurance
Also known as D&O, this coverage will take care of any personal financial responsibility on the part of any directors or officers in a company. This can be necessary if a scandal hits the company and all higher ups are considered liable for damages. However, this insurance does not cover in situations of personal negligence or purposeful deceit.
These are the major types of business insurance. Some of these are not needed for some businesses, while others are essential. Be sure to speak with a professional insurance agent, as well as fellow businessmen in your field, to determine what you need.
There’s nothing worse than unexpected, expensive car repairs. Most of us rely on our vehicles heavily to get to work, shuttle kids around, run errands and more. There are some circumstances that are beyond our control and can be the death knell for vehicles if not properly planned for. Winter, and all of the challenging conditions that come with it is one of those circumstances. Here are some of the most important car maintenance tips to help your vehicle and wallet survive the winter season.
8 Important Car Maintenance Tips for Winter Season
1. Be Prepared
Even the most well-maintained vehicles can suffer an unexpected breakdown. This means you need to make sure you are ready, just in case. Your vehicle should be stocked with food, water, flashlights, blankets and a hand-held radio in your vehicle. Road salt and flares can also be handy to have on hand. While the tips below are all designed to ensure you don’t find yourself broken down on the side of the road in a winter storm, make certain you have all the necessities stocked and available, just in case. It is highly recommended to have all the necessary auto insurance coverage to be prepared for the worst case scenario.
2. Check Your Tire Tread and Pressure
Your tire tread is what helps grip the road. If you are driving in snow and ice with worn tires, your vehicle will have a much harder time staying on the road. Winter tires are built with deeper tread and more flexibility to maintain traction on winter and icy roadways. While not every winter will require winter tires, you should ensure that your tires have enough tread and grip to help you travel safely.
In addition, your tire pressure will typically fluctuate during the cold season. When the temperature drops so does your tire pressure. Cold temperatures can compress the air in your tires and cause your tire pressure indicator light to come on. Make certain to check your tire pressure often to ensure there is not another underlying issue and keep a small emergency car repair kit that includes a portable air pump and pressure gauge in the vehicle.
3. Check your battery
Extremely cold weather can impair a marginal batteries ability to start. Low temperatures can put a strain on a battery that is not in tip-top shape. To better protect yourself, and prevent being stranded, make sure to have your battery inspected before the winter weather comes.
4. Windshield Wipers
While your windshield wipers may seem small they can make a big difference. Too often, people don’t realize they need new wipers until the rain or snow is pouring from the sky and visibility becomes zero. The cold winter weather can damage the rubber of your vehicles windshield wipers. The relatively small expense of new wiper blades is well worth the ability to see what’s ahead when driving in difficult conditions.
5. Belts and hoses
Winter weather takes a toll on your car’s belts and hoses and if they are not in optimal condition, they can snap and break. Taking the time to replace any parts that are not pristine will help you and your vehicle make it through the winter season in one piece.
6. Don’t be afraid to fill up
Driving with an almost empty tank can allow moist air to crystallize and possibly lead to ice in the fuel lines. Make sure that you stop regularly to fill up and keep gas in the tank to prevent this from happening.
7. Take care of your windshield
Just like your wiper blades, it is important to take proper care of your windshield to ensure safe visibility. While you may be tempted to thaw the ice on your windshield with a hot cup of water, don’t do it! The difference in temperature of the cold windshield and the hot water may actually crack your windshield causing inconvenient and possibly expensive damage. A much safer alternative is a sturdy ice scraper. They come in many different makes and models and can safely remove the ice from your windshield without damaging your car.
8. Wash your vehicle regularly
While it can be annoying to get your car washed and then have it rain a few hours later, regular washing is a long-term investment. Salt on snowy roads can damage your car’s paint and wheels. To prevent this, wash your car regularly and remove any salt that could be the culprit of damage over time.
While every person that reads this may think it doesn’t apply to them; overconfidence is all too common. Whether you have driven in the snow your whole life or you have a vehicle that is designed to drive in the snow, use some common-sense tactics and defensive driving to make sure that everyone makes it to their destination safely: slow down, give yourself plenty of time, and be mindful of others on the road. Ice can be hidden under a layer of snow and can quickly spin your vehicle out of control if you are going too fast. If you encounter someone driving dangerously, move over and allow him or her to pass.
While this list may seem like a lot, general car maintenance and a few preventative measures can keep your car running and on the road all winter long. An upfront investment in your vehicle’s car can prevent inconvenient and potentially expensive damage. If you would like to add or review your insurance coverage for towing, glass repair or roadside assistance, please give our office a call.