Insurance Tips

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Uninsured Motorists on a Commercial Policy - What Happened?

Am I Covered by my Homeowners Policy if I have a Business in the Home?

Am I Getting A Fleet Discount On My Commercial Automobile Policy?

How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?

Is there a benefit that I can offer to my employees at virtually no cost to me, the employer?

It Would Be Wise to Purchase Life Insurance This Year

Selecting your company drivers, how does it effect your premium?

If your house burned down today...

How high of a deductible should I carry, what makes sense?

The Roth IRA - Take advantage of this retirement savings plan!

Does Your Credit History Effect Your Insurance Premium?

The New World of Equipment Maintenence Insurance

Energy Systems Policy formerly known as Boiler Policy

Professional Employer Organization

Loan-Lease Gap Insurance-How it can help

What Exactly is a Performance Bond

Personal Property on Homeowners May Not Be All It's Cracked Up To Be

The Year 2000 - What to do to avoid disaster

Business Income on Your Policy

Property In Your Care, Custody, and Control

COMPUTER COVERAGE UNDER PERSONAL PROPERTY VS. AN ELECTRONIC DATA PROCESSING POLICY

FIRST YEAR 2000 LAWSUIT SETTLED FOR $260,000.00

 

Uninsured Motorist Coverage on a Commercial Policy, What Happened?


In a Supreme Court ruling of Scott-Pontzer v Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company, a person sustaining injuries in an uninsured motorists accident, may be entitled to examine the automobile policy of the company he/she works for, even if the incident was not related to work, their employment, or operating a company vehicle.

Am I Covered by my Homeowners Policy if I have a Business in the Home?


If you're an Avon salesperson, a bookkeeper, selling Amway or Fuller Brush, sell crafts, out of your home, more than likely your homeowners policy specifically excludes any liability arising out of a business venture. This is for property and liability coverage. Some homeowners policies do provide a limited amount of property coverage. Be sure to tell your agent about your "Home" business, so they can be sure your properly protected.

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Am I Getting A Fleet Discount On My Commercial Auto Policy?


Most commercial auto policies will have a significant credit applied to all policies with five(5) or more vehicles. You can tell if your policy has a fleet discount by the vehicle use number, which is a five digit number on the auto schedule in your policy. Generally you will see "01199" which stands for light, local radius, service vehicle. On a fleet, the number will be "01499". If you add a car during the year to reach five units, be sure to ask your agent if you're getting a fleet discount. Also, ask to him to explain what all those symbols mean.

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How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?


The Age Old Question! Most experts say between 7 to 10 times your combined annual income, less any liquid assets. Basically it boils down like this, Funeral Expenses, Medical and Hospitals, Estate Administration count on between $6,000 and $12,000. Add to it, Debt repayment - Car Loans, Home Improvement Loans, Credit Card Balances, and Miscellaneous loans. Add to that, mortgage balance, college costs X number of children (figure $10,000 in state-$20,000 private annually. One more, add 50-75% of your annual income x number of years needed and total that all together. Now subtract savings, stocks, employer provided insurance and any other life insurance you may have and there you have it!

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Is there a benefit I can offer to my employees that costs me, the employer virtually nothing?


One such benefit that you could offer would be payroll deduct home and auto insurance. We have chose Travelers Insurance to do our payroll deduct program because they allow a group as small as 25 employees to be eligible. Most companies want in excess of 200. Travelers policy is also portable, so if the employee should leave, they can keep the policy in force with the discounted rate. The product generally will save 10-15% on the home and auto, and in some cases much more. As the employer, the only responsibility you have, is taking the proper amount out of each check. Your payroll company may charge a nominal fee to handle. This is a great way to show your employees, you care!

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It Would Be Wise to Purchase Your Life Insurance This Year


According to the February 5, 1999 issue of USA Today, it would be a good idea to purchase your life insurance this year and not wait until the year 2000. Rule 30, which is going through congress as you are reading this, is going to require insurance companies that offer level term products, to provide more "cushion" against losses on policies. This could effect premiums by 10 to 40% by the year 2000. It is estimated that one out of every four households do not own any life insurance. It also is estimated, that 30% of those that do own a policy, have just enough for one times their annual salary. The experts believe it takes seven to ten times your annual salary to maintain your standard of living. Contact Landmark for a quick and easy level term insurance quote.

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Selecting your company drivers, how does it effect your premium?


In today's job market, one of the biggest complaints we encounter, is the lack of good experienced drivers available for hire. It is recommended that prior to hiring any driver, you should contact your agency and order a motor vehicle report on the prospective employee. Generally, it is recommended that the new hire have less than 3 seperate activities on his/her driving record with no major violations, a DUI, DWI, or reckless operation, etc. Points, which many people are aware of, are used by the state, but activities are used by commercial insurance companies. When a company looks at an account to price, they look at loss history and motor vehicle reports, as well as a Dun and Bradstreet report. The motor vehicle reports are used to help price the account on the auto. Obviously, the more favorable the MVR's are as a whole, the more competitive the pricing. So, when you're looking for a new driver, select them carefully, they could have a dramatic effect on what you pay for your auto insurance.

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If your house burned down today...


Other than contacting your insurance agent right away, you would begin to think about all the things that you could never replace. The first thing that comes to mind is your photographs, give all your negatives to a neighbor, relative, anyone who could safekeep your precious memories. Breakdown and by a fireproof safe to store your home video's, wedding pictures, deeds, tax returns, etc. Next would be the family heirlooms, picture's on the walls, artifacts, crafts, you should video tape all these collectables to have a permanent record. You already have smoke detectors in the house, but what about the garage? Place a heat/smoke detector in the garage, many fires start in this area and are undetected until it's too late. Ask Landmark for other things to think about before you have a claim.

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How high of a deductible should I carry, what makes sense?


We are asked many times, "what makes sense on carrying my deductible"? Generally, the savings on a deductible will be equal to the premium paid over a 2 1/2 to 3 year period. Most people won't have claims that often and should take the savings. Another point to consider is that most people have a threshold that they would not turn in a claim under a certain amount, to not have it on their record. You might as well carry that amount of deductible and take the premium savings, if you wouldn't turn in any claim below that amount anyway. Our recommendation would be to carry the highest deductible you can afford, and take the savings and apply it to purchase an Umbrella policy, or increase your limits where you are vulnerable to a high claim settlement.

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Roth IRA - Take advantage of this retirement savings plan!


The new Roth Individual Retirment Accounts may be an excellent vehicle t consider in your retirement plans. The greatest value of the Roth IRA is there will be no tax al all upon distributions-which is even better than the low 20 percent rate on long-term gains. You can contribute up to $2,00 (per person) each year to a Roth. The pay-ins are nondeductible, but after five years you can withdraw all the funds early, without tax or penalty, for the first-time purchase of a house ($10,000) limit, to pay for qualified higher education expenses or for certain other reasons. And you can withdraw only the annual pay-ins whenever you want without penalty. After age 59 1/2, you can withdraw all the funds for any reason. If cash is a problem, or if you will be making withdrawls soon, you may prefer the regular IRA, funded out of pretax income. For more information, please contact us at anytime.

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Does Your Credit History Effect Your Insurance Premium?


It is very likely that your credit history can and will effect your personal insurance premiums. Many companies are reviewing past credit history using Transunion, Equifax, or other popular credit companies. Your credit history can be influenced by late payments on credit cards, mortgages, car payments, etc. Other effects can be the number of credit cards which have balances on them, as well as the number of "hits" on your account to check your credit history. Insurance Companies have researched credit history and found those insureds with good credit history generally have better loss experience. Ask your agent if your company used your credit history to rate your policy, find out which company supplied the credit background and contact the company to recieve a copy our credit report. Bottom Line - Keep your credit clean!

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The New World of Equipment Maintenence Insurance


Most insureds are protected from such expensive surprises as fire and other liabilities. But for many companies, one erratic expense remains out of control: equipment maintenence. Many organizations still rely on traditional service contracts and a patchwork of vendors to meet their equipment maintenence needs. Problems included coverage gaps, the need to keep track of different contract dates, lack of control and a maintenence budget too dfficult to forecast. The equipment maintence management service we can offer, assumes responsibility for equipment inventorying and repair histories, each step of the work order process, including purchase orders and documentation, the vendor pay process, and accurate evaluation through management reports. Bottom line, customers cut costs while continuing to work with current vendor services and a more reliable way for organizations everywhere to maintain all their technical and office automation equipment.

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Energy Systems Policy formerly known as Boiler Policy


An energy systems policy is designed to cover three basic perils not covered by your standard contents policy. The policy provides coverage for electrical arcing, mechanical breakdown, and power surge coverage. It is designed to not only cover boiler and machinery, but can also cover office equipment, phone systems, fax machines, and most importantly, production machinery. Without this important coverage you may not be insured for the above stated perils, but no business income coverage will apply as well.

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Professional Employer Organization


Professional Employer Organizations (PEO's as often referred to) come in many different shapes and sizes. There are about 2200 Professional Employer Organizations across the country and specifically about 15 that operate in Ohio. The concept of a PEO is pretty straight forward, however getting it started can be a maze of paperwork and confusion. Information needs to be gathered about your workers compensation, employee benefit package including your 401(k), how your payroll is handled, and some basic information about your human resources procedures.

 The basic services provided by the PEO is payroll and human resources, workers compensation, and employee benefits. To learn more details about this concept, see our PEO Page

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Loan-Lease Gap Insurance-How it can help


Loan-Lease Gap Insurance is provided by insurance companies to offset the difference in the actual value of a car involved in a total loss and the amountof the loan or lease payments remaining. By adding Loan-Lease Gap Insurance to your policy, the insurance carrier will make up the difference to the bankto pay off your existing loan. Be careful, many banks have already included this coverage in your loan or lease, so be sure to ask to avoid paying for thecoverage a second time. Most companies require that the car be within 2 (two) model years of the current year. The Loan-Lease Gap coverage will exclude latepayments, upside down purchases from the previous car, or any other negative impact directly related to your loan or lease.

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WHAT EXACTLY IS A PERFORMANCE BOND


A performance bond is a guarantee to perform a task based on a supplied contract. In Layman's terms, if you agree to performa job based on your bid, then the bond reflects those terms in writing and the bonding company guarantees that your work will be done per the contract. If you default on the job, the bonding company will step in and proceed to handle the job. Because of the unique nature of bonds, they are not insurance, and are treated like a loan. The bonding company will then try to recoup their loss by subrogating against the contract bidder. Generally, all public work is bonded to protect the municipality.

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PERSONAL PROPERTY ON YOUR HOMEOWNERS MAY NOT BE ALL IT'S CRACKED UP TO BE


Most Homeowners policies provide coverage for personal property at a percentage (%) of the home value. Usually this numberwill be 50% to 75% of the value shown for the home. So if the home is valued at $100,000, then your contents limit will vary from$50,000 to $75,000. Most homes are covered for replacement cost but the personal propertycoverage may be limited to actual cash value (Replacement Cost less Depreciation). Personal property can also be limited to named perils in the policy, unless specifically endorsed. Basically, the cause of the damage must be listed in the policy as a "covered cause of loss". We would recommend adding replacement cost on contents as well as special perils, which would cover "all direct physical losses unless specifically excluded".

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THE YEAR 2000 - What to do to avoid disaster


Everyone is talking about the Year 2000 and how it is one of the largest risks facing businesses today. We believe you should contact your vendors for the equipment in your business to verify Year 2000 compliance. A list of inventory items to explore should include computers, software, printers, fax machines, copy machines, thermostats, light fixtures, security systems surveillance equipment, manufacturing equipment, elevators, sprinkler systems, phone systems, cash registers, environmental controls, time clocks, and cellular phones and pagers. You should also check with your suppliers to be sure getting any product will not be an issue. Many companies not facing this reality, will face undo hardships as well as the potential liability against the directors and officers of a company.

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BUSINESS INCOME ON YOUR POLICY


Are you aware that the standard business income form CP 00 30(6/95) has a 72 hour deductible? Are you also aware that the standard ISO Business Owners Policy, (aka:BOPP) alsocontains a 72 hour deductible? On the standard business income form this deductible may be removed, however on the standard ISO Business Owners it may not be removed. Many of our companies have removed the deductible in the form. You shouldcheck with your current agent or company and see if your business income coverage has a 72 hour deductible. If you are a florist and have a business income loss 2 days prior to Valentines Day, how much can you hope to recover with a 72 hour deductible?

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PROPERTY IN YOUR CARE, CUSTODY OR CONTROL


Did you know that the standard property form provides only $1,000 of coveragefor property of others in your care, custody or control. It covers property of others for actual cash value and not replacement cost, which means they willdeduct for depreciation. You need to advise anyone who leaves their goods atyour location, that you are not responsible, or you need to purchase personal property of others coverage on the property form, or bailees coverage. If youare a garage operation, your policy should contain garagekeepers insurance to protect the vehicles left with you for repair. Your standard liability policywill exclude coverage for care, custody, or control.

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COMPUTER COVERAGE UNDER PERSONAL PROPERTY VS. AN ELECTRONIC DATA PROCESSING POLICY


Standard property forms cover data processing exposures as it does not make a distinction between EDP (Electronic Data Processing) equipment and other kinds of equipment and machinery. The standard property form covers EDP for your typical of fire, lightning, windstorm, theft, hail, etc. The basic personal property form pays only $1,000 to research, replace or restore information on valuable papers and records, including those that exist on electronic or magnetic media. Writing a specific EDP policy you can specify not only the hardware limit, but also the software and media and extra expense limits. The EDP policy may also be used to extend coverage for business interruption. The perils insured by the EDP policy may include flood, earthquake, mechanical breakdown, and power surge. Some may also include extremes of temperature, corrosion or rust, backup of sewers and drains, contamination and viruses. In most cases, both policies exclude design errors, faulty materials or damage during service or repair. Our only other suggestion in detail is to pay close attention to your valuation provisions. Actual Cash Value is generally inadequate and replacement cost coverage should be purchased.

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FIRST YEAR 2000 LAWSUIT SETTLED FOR $260,000.00.


A Michigan retailer and the maker of its computerized cash register system have settled their dispute over alleged flaws in the system -- including Year 2000 recognition problems on credit cards.

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