Business Insurance

Auto Insurance Coverage: Unforeseen Speed Bump for Some Rideshare Drivers

Posted by on Aug 28, 2017 in Business Insurance | Comments Off on Auto Insurance Coverage: Unforeseen Speed Bump for Some Rideshare Drivers

Auto Insurance Coverage: Unforeseen Speed Bump for Some Rideshare Drivers

The concept of ridesharing has become so popular it’s turned one brand into a common verb, “I’ll just Uber.” And we no longer get a lift but, rather, a Lyft. Rideshare requirements Such popularity among ride hailers has meant a surge in drivers looking to make or supplement their incomes as rideshare drivers. The requirements to sign on as an Uber or Lyft driver are straightforward enough: To qualify, a driver must be 21 or older, own a smartphone, have a four-door vehicle that meets specific company standards, have had an in-state driver’s license for at least one year, have in-state plates with current registration, pass a background check and driving record check, and have in-state auto insurance with his or her name on the policy. This last requirement — auto insurance — is becoming the unforeseen catch that has some current and prospective rideshare drivers hitting the brakes. Uber and Lyft each provide $1 million in liability coverage and an additional $1 million in coverage if a collision involves an uninsured or underinsured driver. The coverage each company offers is identical except Uber’s comprehensive or collision deductible is $1,000 while Lyft’s is $2,500. The real issue lies in which coverage applies — one’s personal policy or the rideshare company’s policy — during each “phase” of a ride. Phase 1: The driver turns the app on with his or her smartphone to signal availability. If something happens during this “waiting” phase, neither Uber nor Lyft provides comprehensive or collision insurance. The driver must file a claim with his or her personal auto insurer. Phase 2: The app signals that new passengers are ready for pickup; the driver heads to their location. En route to pick up designated passengers, full coverage by Uber or Lyft applies should an accident occur. Phase 3: The passengers are in the driver’s vehicle and headed for their destination. As with phase 2, Uber or Lyft provides full coverage. The loopholes Drivers can breathe easier during phases 2 and 3, but phase 1 presents a grey area that could ultimately cost drivers their rideshare incomes as well as their personal auto insurance coverage. The reason? When a driver purchases auto insurance, the insurer is offering personal coverage, not business coverage. If something happens while “on the clock” waiting for a passenger, a driver is technically “for hire” and engaged in business activity but is not yet in that window of Uber or Lyft coverage. So, remember that personal auto insurance required to be a Lyft or Uber driver? If an insurer drops personal coverage, that driver’s eligibility to work as a Lyft or Uber driver also vanishes. Without proper coverage, a 10-second accident could mean a driver loses his or her auto insurance and ability to work as a driver — plus may be on the financial hook for property damage and injury. Ouch! Coverage options Fortunately, many insurers have recognized this problem and now offer rideshare coverage to applicable customers. Some companies call it “gap coverage,” others “hybrid coverage.” Whatever the name, it’s designed to protect a driver during that first phase of rideshare activity. While costs vary by company, some go so far as to offer continuous coverage that protects drivers during all phases of rideshare driving with lower deductibles than the Lyft and Uber policies. However, just because an insurance company offers rideshare coverage doesn’t mean it’s available to all rideshare drivers. Insurance is regulated on the state level, so the state a driver holds his or her driver’s license in determines what — if any — gap coverage is available. For...

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3 Essential Steps to Protecting Your Business from Extreme Weather

Posted by on Jul 24, 2017 in Business Insurance | Comments Off on 3 Essential Steps to Protecting Your Business from Extreme Weather

3 Essential Steps to Protecting Your Business from Extreme Weather

In June, severe weather cost the U.S. economy over $3 billion. Insurance companies covered at least $2 billion of that damage. To help compensate for the costs of increasingly extreme weather, many insurance providers have begun raising their premiums and deductibles, making it more difficult for business owners in areas prone to harsh weather conditions to obtain the severe weather coverage they need. In fact, 40% of businesses never reopen after sustaining severe damage from a natural disaster. Here are the three most important steps to protecting your business — and your wallet — against severe weather damage: Find the right policy for your business. It is bad enough to get trapped in a severe storm — and even worse, also getting trapped in an ill-fitting insurance policy. Not all policies offer the same coverage. A typical commercial property policy will not cover damage from floods, hurricanes, or earthquakes. You may need to request additional “rider” policies to get the coverage you need. While this added coverage could increase overall insurance plan costs, you can help keep your premium low by bundling multiple policies with one provider and taking steps to prevent storm-related damage to your property. Protect your property to keep your premium low. Insurance companies often reward clients for taking measures to protect their properties against storm damage. For example, when property owners remove vegetation and other kindling, some insurers offer discounts for adding these buffers against fire around properties. If you live in an area with frequent high wind storms, wind-resistant doors and stormproof windows could help protect your business while also decreasing your premium. Another good reason to take steps to protect your property: Not all insurance policies cover what is inside your business. Check with your provider to ensure your policy covers the building frame and your property inside. Understand your policy’s replacement cost versus actual cash value coverage. Most commercial property insurance plans will provide replacement cost coverage or cash value coverage. While both of these features are designed to reimburse you for damage to your business and belongings housed there, they do not offer the same coverage level.Replacement cost coverage compensates you for the cost to repair or rebuild your property based on construction costs. Since replacement cost is not based on the market value of your property, it will not account for the value of your land.Actual cash value coverage will also pay to help you repair or rebuild your property, but under this type of coverage, insurers deduct the depreciation cost from the value you receive. If the depreciation level is high and you only have actual cash value coverage, it may cost more to rebuild your business than what your insurer is willing to pay.Talk with your insurance agent about whether your policy provides replacement cost coverage or actual cash coverage to determine which is more appropriate for your business. Protect yourself today from whatever tomorrow may bring The trick to protecting your business from severe weather is to take steps before a storm hits. Act now because you cannot purchase insurance after your property has already been damaged. Contact a Concklin Insurance expert today to better understand your policies. We’ll help you ensure you have the insurance coverage you need so you can hope for the best and be well-prepared for the...

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How Is Legal Marijuana Impacting the Insurance Industry?

Posted by on Jul 20, 2017 in Business Insurance | Comments Off on How Is Legal Marijuana Impacting the Insurance Industry?

How Is Legal Marijuana Impacting the Insurance Industry?

Marijuana laws are rapidly changing how cannabis is regulated, and one in five Americans now lives in an area where recreational smoking is legal. This change is making new medical treatments easier to access and transforming how people perceive cannabis and its users. It is also impacting those in the insurance industry, as creating marijuana-related policies is uncharted territory for many. Cannabis industry professionals need insurance The cannabis industry is rapidly growing, and those in the field need insurance adapted to the specific needs of growers, retailers, and lab researchers. These issues include an increased risk of theft and vandalism as well as the danger of electrical fires caused by growing bulbs. Business owners need to look for insurance providers whose policies specifically address marijuana cultivation or distribution and who are familiar with the specific needs of those in the industry. Legal marijuana-based businesses should prepare for the possibility that some companies may refuse to cover them or that their current insurance providers may suddenly drop them. Cannabis use on business premises Because cannabis is illegal under federal law but legal in several states, users can easily find themselves in gray areas. Obviously, using cannabis in a state where this drug is illegal can void some insurance claims, considering some policies have clauses excluding illegal activities. Owners of establishments where patrons can consume cannabis should also take heed. Because most business liability insurance policies do not explicitly mention marijuana use on business premises, it’s important cafe, bar, and other business owners review and upgrade their policies if need be to ensure proper coverage. Is legal marijuana making auto insurance more expensive? In Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, vehicle collision incidents have increased 3% more than states where legal recreational marijuana use is illegal. Still, there is no formal evidence linking the two, and it is difficult to prove whether cannabis was involved in a collision since a user can test positive for use long after smoking. Drivers should be concerned about their personal rates going up after getting into crashes or being caught driving while high, which can lead to DUI charges. Even though cannabis is legal in several states, many auto insurance providers consider driving after consuming marijuana to be an unsafe habit and, as such, they may cancel offenders’ policies. The legal cannabis industry is worth $7.2 billion and is likely to grow at an annual rate of 17%. Until the insurance industry catches up with the unique needs this industry and its changing regulations, business owners might find it difficult to purchase insurance. Contact Concklin Insurance experts today to make sure your business is properly insured, whether you are in the cannabis industry or own a business where patrons are legally allowed to...

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Cover Your Online Business Presence with Cyber Liability Insurance

Posted by on Apr 28, 2017 in Business Insurance | Comments Off on Cover Your Online Business Presence with Cyber Liability Insurance

Cover Your Online Business Presence with Cyber Liability Insurance

It’s impossible to turn on the news these days and not hear something about hackers accessing secure email servers, performing large-scale credit card hacks resulting in data breaches, and much more. Owners of businesses large and small have been cyberattack and breach victims, paving way for the new cyber liability insurance sector. These new policies cover “consumers of technology services or products” and can include “both liability and property losses that may result when a business engages in various electronic activities, such as selling on the Internet or collecting data within its internal electronic network.” Business owners can use cyber liability policies for a wide variety of things, but one of the most important aspects of this coverage type is protection in the event of a data breach. Did you know? Cyber liability insurance accounts for only a small portion of the insurance sector. According to Deloitte, this insurance type, “only generates between $1.5 billion and $3 billion in annual US premiums … representing only a tiny fraction of the $505.8 billion domestic carriers wrote in total in 2015.” However, industry insiders expect cyber insurance to become a bigger part of the insurance industry by 2025; premiums could grow to $20 billion or more. According to the International Risk Management Institute article, comprehensive cyber liability plans cover business owners from data breaches and stolen identities as well as aid in the event of business activity interruption, data loss and ruin, funds losses in fraud cases, and cyber extortion. If insured business owners file claims, cyber liability plans can help them cover costs resulting from damage or loss of funds, time, and business operations on part of both business owners and their customers in any type of cyber breach. Are you truly covered where you need to be? As it becomes commonplace for business owners to move important operations online — including sales, information transfers, financial information, and presence — carrying a cyber liability insurance line has become crucial for many. General insurance policies don’t typically cover these types of losses and damages, meaning many business owners may be at risk. A negative cyber event — without proper insurance coverage — can be damaging, especially to owners of small businesses. Regardless of size, all owners doing business over the internet should consider cyber liability insurance benefits. These policies not only provide peace of mind but also protect business owners and their clients. Contact a Concklin Insurance expert today to help you determine if you have dangerous gaps in your business or franchise cyber liability...

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Reduce Insurance Costs Without Reducing Coverage

Posted by on Feb 8, 2017 in Business Insurance, Franchise Insurance | Comments Off on Reduce Insurance Costs Without Reducing Coverage

Reduce Insurance Costs Without Reducing Coverage

Owning a franchise restaurant or any other small business is a costly endeavor. You have your building, staff, supply costs, and more to think about. Savvy business owners are always looking for ways to streamline processes, become more efficient, and ultimately cut costs, but one place many owners fail to look at is insurance costs. Many business owners fear it will translate into less coverage or coverage gaps if they pay less for insurance. However, it’s possible to save money on insurance while still maintaining adequate coverage. In some cases, an insurance review by trained experts can lower insurance premiums while maintaining and — in some cases — improving coverage.   These six tips can help small business and franchise owners reduce insurance costs while preserving adequate coverage: Perform an insurance review. Make sure your insurance policies are current and cover the correct things and people. High employee, equipment, and other turnover is common in many industries. Make sure your insurer has an updated list of these items to ensure your policies aren’t covering unnecessary or outdated things and people. Bundle where possible. Some insurance carriers give discounts when you bundle property, vehicle, and other insurance types. Check to see if you could save money on insurance costs by bundling policies with your provider. Check for redundancies. As problematic as insurance coverage gaps can be, double coverage for the same things on different policies is another costly mistake business owners make. Compare policies side by side to review and eliminate any redundancies. Avoid over-coverage. Many owners of small businesses and franchises fear insurance coverage gaps and overdo insurance coverage in the process, therefore unnecessarily increasing premiums. Reducing insurance costs is possible when business owners have more insurance than they will ever realistically use. Adopt a safety plan. By putting a safety plan in place, and utilizing it, your workforce will likely experience fewer injuries and claims, which can reduce insurance premiums over time. Utilize an insurance broker. Insurance brokers like Concklin Insurance professionals can help business owners like you shop around for policies to ensure yours are fair and cost-effective while maintaining adequate coverage. It’s no secret that business insurance is a significant budget portion for all owners of franchises and small businesses. By implementing these six tips, owners can reduce insurance costs, leaving more money to invest back into their businesses. Contact a Concklin Insurance expert today. We can look at your small business or franchise insurance policies to determine any coverage gaps as well as find places you can cut insurance...

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Keep Your Home and Business Safe this Holiday Season

Posted by on Dec 22, 2016 in Business Insurance, Personal Insurance | Comments Off on Keep Your Home and Business Safe this Holiday Season

Keep Your Home and Business Safe this Holiday Season

As children write lists and Santa checks them twice this time of year, don’t forget the important items on your own list: your home and business! As many as 98 million people travel this time of year, so as you make Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s travel plans, be sure to take the proper steps to protect your properties while you’re away. Not only do burglars know many people are away this time of year and take advantage of that fact but water and fire damage are also more likely to occur due to festive decor and weather conditions. When you leave your home and business unoccupied, you leave them at risk — but you can help protect these investments when you take the proper steps. If it takes a burglar more than 4 to 5 minutes to get into one of your properties, he or she will likely move on to the next place. Using these quick and easy strategies to keep your home and business safe can deter burglars and help protect your properties from disaster if you plan to travel this holiday season: Keep travel plans offline. While it’s fun and tempting to update friends and family members about your exciting travel plans, burglars can also use this information. It advertises exactly when you’ll be leaving your home or business empty. By keeping your travel plans offline, potential criminals are less likely to know whether someone is there or not. Use lights. Install bright lights that shine on doors, windows, and any other potential break-in locations. This can deter burglars because it makes it more difficult for them to conceal entry. Also, use indoor light and lamp timers to give the appearance that someone is home in the event someone is casing your home or business. Ask a friend or neighbor to stop by. If someone shovels snow and picks up mail, packages, and newspapers, it furthers the appearance that someone is taking care of your properties. When nobody completes these simple tasks, homes and businesses are easy targets for break-ins. Mind holiday lights. Holiday lights — especially on real holiday trees that dry out over time — are huge residential fire dangers. Make sure to unplug all lights, heaters, and any extra electronics to help protect your properties safe from fire while you’re away. Keep pipes from freezing. If your home and business are in a cold climate area and you’ll be leaving them unattended for an extended period of time, make sure to disconnect all garden and outdoor hoses, keep interior temperatures at least 68 degrees, and open cabinet doors in front of pipes so heat can circulate to prevent freezing and, thus, bursting. Get proper coverage. Despite your best efforts, catastrophes and losses can still happen. Make sure you properly ensure your home and business in the event something happens while you’re away. It not only offers financial protection but also gives you peace of mind to enjoy your trip. When you’re planning your holiday travels, make sure you’ve properly protected your investments so they’re just as you left them upon your return. As you make travel plans and cross off to-do items on your list, make sure to contact the experts at Concklin Insurance. We’ll help you determine your insurance needs and make sure your home and business are properly covered in the event of a break-in or disaster while you’re...

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