Your Ultimate Business Insurance Guide

Every business has a custom insurance program because every business has different needs. Business insurance can seem like another language, but there are a few questions you should ask yourself to help determine what would best protect you and your business against your unique risks.

Do You Operate a Business?

The mere fact that you are reading this means the answer to this question is likely yes. The first policy that all businesses should purchase when it comes to protecting themselves and everything they’ve worked so hard for is:

General Liability Insurance (CGL)

From a one-man show to an entire empire, all businesses should have general liability. General Liability protects and defends your business in the event of a claim against you, your employees or your products or services up to your policy limits.

Business Liability Insurance can help your business if:

  • You accidentally damage a customer’s property while on the job
  • A customer slips and falls and gets injured at your business
  • Your business gets sued for slanderous comments you made about a competitor in an interview

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Does Your Business Have Property or Equipment to Protect?

Unless your entire business runs on your personality and know-how, like a business coach for example, you likely have property that you own or rent and some level of equipment that you use.

Commercial Property Insurance

If you own your building or have business personal property, such as office equipment, computers, inventory, or tools, you should think about including coverage on your policy that will cover you in the event of a fire, vandalism, theft, smoke damage, or other disaster. You might also want to add business interruption/loss of earnings protection in your policy to cover your loss of earnings in the event that your company is unable to function.

Business Interruption Insurance

Business interruption insurance is a form of business property insurance that provides money to pay for loss of income because of a covered loss.

Do You Have Employees?

From 1 to 1,000, a business that employs others has a different set of risks. There are certain coverages that are required, and others that are helpful additions to your insurance program.

Workers Compensation (required)

Workers compensation provides insurance to employees who are injured on the job. This type of insurance provides wage replacement and medical benefits to those who are injured while working. As a business owner, it is very important to have worker’s compensation insurance because it protects yourself and your company from legal complications. State laws will vary, but most states require you to have workers compensation if you have W2 employees. Penalties for non-compliance can be very stiff.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (ELPI)

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) is an insurance policy that protects your business against employment-related lawsuits.

The number of lawsuits filed by employees against their employers has been rising. While most suits are filed against large corporations, no company is immune to such lawsuits. Recognizing that smaller companies now need this kind of protection, some insurers provide this coverage as an endorsement to their Business Owners Policy (BOP).

What Does EPLI Cover?

  • Retaliation: Taking a negative action toward a person in response to a protected action or a decision they’ve made. Example – if an employee is terminated for telling a government agency about illegal activity at your company.
  • Sexual Harassment: Workplace sexual harassment is defined as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” Example – a joking comment that is sexually descriptive in nature with an employee.
  • Discrimination: Making improper or illegal decisions regarding a person’s compensation, promotion or hiring. Example – if an unqualified job applicant is hired because they’re the boss’ daughter.
  • Wrongful Termination: Giving a person an inaccurate, unfairly low or excessively negative performance evaluation. Example – if you make up a false incident report about an employee on a review.
  • Wage and Hour Claims: URGENT – Coverage for wage and hour claims is not included by most policies. Please contact our business insurance team for more details.

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Group Health Benefits

Group health benefits include medical insurance for employees or members of a company or organization. A group health insurance plan typically provides health insurance coverage to its members at a lower cost since the risk to health insurers is spread across the members of the group health plan.

Do You Provide a Service?

Any professional firm including lawyers, accountants, consultants, notaries, real estate agents, hair salons and technology providers, just to name a few, should consider an additional form of insurance.

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional Liability Insurance, also known as Errors and Omissions Insurance, is a policy that provides defense and damages for failure to or improperly rendering professional services. Your general liability policy does not provide this protection, so it is important to understand the difference. Depending on the profession, professional liability insurance may have different names, such as medical malpractice insurance for the medical profession, and errors & omissions insurance for real estate agents.

Do You Sell a Product?

Product Liability Insurance

Product liability insurance can help cover your legal expenses if someone claims that a product you sold, made, or distributed caused an injury or property damage. If you sell, make, or distribute products, you need this policy.

If that product allegedly hurts someone or damages their property, product liability coverage will help pay your legal fees, judgment, or settlement. Anyone can sue over damage from a product, even if they didn’t buy it or use it.

A product liability policy is also crucial for construction and contracting businesses. It offers financial protection when a client sues over a personal injury or property damage related to your completed work.

Other Essential Business Insurance Policies

Commercial Auto & Hired/Non-Owned

A commercial auto insurance policy protects a company’s vehicles. You can insure your company vehicles for liability, comp, collision and more. If you don’t have company vehicles, but employees drive their own cars on company business you should have a non-owned auto liability policy to protect the company in case the employee does not have insurance or has inadequate coverage. Many times the non-owned can be added to the BOP policy.

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Cyber Insurance

Every single business is vulnerable to a cyber attack. When you look at some of the largest cyber breaches, you think of large companies. The names that come to mind are Target, Facebook, Google, Marriott…some of the largest corporations within the US have also suffered some of the largest cyber attacks. These are companies that invest millions of dollars into cyber security and the procedures implemented to mitigate those losses. With that being said, a small to midsize business owner is still vulnerable to these kinds of attacks. You might consider these questions and more:

  • Do you collect sensitive data?
  • Are you performing financial transactions?
  • Do you have the ability for human-error?

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Directors & Officers Liability Insurance

Directors and officers liability insurance applies to anyone who serves as a director or an officer of a for-profit business or nonprofit organization. A directors and officers liability policy insures against personal losses, and it can also help reimburse a business or nonprofit for the legal fees or other costs incurred in defending such individuals against legal action.

 

Questions? Want to learn more? Here’s 4 easy ways to reach us:

Phone: 951-600-5751
Email: insure@siaonline.com
Text: 951-482-8144
Web: www.siaonline.com

PS Here’s a few words from one client that trusts Stromsoe Insurance Agency:

“Amazing staff! Jennifer and Vanessa were very detailed and were able to acquire the perfect insurance policy for our business! Thank you again!“
Travin Griepenstroh – Unique Ultrasound – Temecula, CA – Client Since 2015

PPS Every policy is backed by our iron clad, 100% complete satisfaction guarantee. Ask for your copy today!

How Gap Insurance Can Benefit YOU

What is Gap Insurance?

If your vehicle is totaled or stolen, and you owe more than the car’s depreciated value, gap insurance will help you pay off your debt. Only the initial loan or leaseholder on a new vehicle is eligible for this form of coverage. Gap insurance helps pay the gap between the depreciated value of your car and what you still owe on the car.

How Does It Work?

Say you bought a brand-new car for $25,000. You still owe $20,000 on your auto loan when the car is totaled in a covered collision. Your collision coverage would pay your lender up to the totaled car’s depreciated value — say it’s worth $17,000. If you don’t have gap insurance, you would have to pay $3,000 out of your own pocket to settle your auto loan on the totaled car. If you have gap insurance, your insurer would help pay the $3,000.

Keep in mind that, in the above scenario, the car insurance reimbursement goes completely to your auto lender to pay off a car that’s no longer driveable. If you think you would need help buying a new car after yours was totaled, you might want to consider purchasing new car replacement coverage.

Is Gap Insurance Worth it?

If you’re thinking of buying, keep in mind that you may only be able to get it if you’re leasing or financing a new vehicle. Then consider how much you owe on your vehicle loan compared to its worth. (A site like Kelley Blue Book will give you an estimate of how much your car is worth.) Do you owe more on your vehicle than it is worth? Could you afford to pay the difference out of pocket if your car is totaled?

You may want to consider gap insurance in the following situations:

  • Made less than a 20 percent down payment
  • Financed for 60 months or longer
  • Leased the vehicle (carrying gap insurance is generally required for a lease)
  • Purchased a vehicle that depreciates faster than the average
  • Rolled over negative equity from an old car loan into the new loan

Do You Need to Buy at the Dealership?

Gap insurance isn’t just available at auto dealerships; many insurers have it as part of a car insurance package. According to the Insurance Information Institute, purchasing gap insurance from an insurance carrier is often less expensive than purchasing it from a car dealership. For more information on how gap insurance can protect your financial future, talk to your local, experienced independent insurance agent today.

 

Questions? Want to learn more? Here’s 4 easy ways to reach us:

Phone: 877-994-6787
Email: insure@siaonline.com
Text: 951-482-8144
Web: www.siaonline.com

PS Here’s a few words from one client that trusts Stromsoe Insurance Agency:

“Arranging for new car insurance was easy as faxing the sales receipt directly from the dealership to the office. Thanks for the personal service and prompt attention.”
Bob and Sarah Sandor – Fallbrook, CA – Client Since 2000

PPS Every policy is backed by our iron clad, 100% complete satisfaction guarantee. Ask for your copy today!

Updating Your Insurance When You Get Married

Updating your insurance probably isn’t top-of-mind on your big day, but they are an important part of your for better or worse commitment. If you decide to change your name, there are a lot of steps that have to be taken in order to change it on every utility bill, financial account and library card. We’ve created a handy checklist to help you through this process. Regardless of if you change your name, you should update your insurance to fit your needs now that you are no longer single.

stromsoe-insurance-agency-marketing-checklistsUpdate Your Beneficiaries

A beneficiary is the person or entity (like a business or trust) that receives the benefit of something like your insurance coverage when you’re gone. When you own a life insurance policy, for example, the beneficiary receives the check.

That person is probably going to be your spouse now. So, update your beneficiary. If you have coverage through your workplace, be sure to update your beneficiary designation for that policy as well.

In addition to life insurance policies, review and update your beneficiaries as needed for the following:

  • Retirement accounts (IRA and Roth IRA)
  • Workplace retirement plans (Pension, 401(k), 403(b) and others)
  • Flexible spending accounts (FSA, HSA, Dependent Care FSA)

These allow you to designate a beneficiary who will inherit the account if you die. It’s also a good idea to update any wills or trusts that you may have. The beneficiary designation on an account will supersede what’s in a will, but it’s still a good idea to have everything match.

Consider Combining Coverage

Start at your job. Ordinarily, you have a small window of time annually to choose your health and employer-sponsored insurance coverages for the following year. After that window passes, those choices remain fixed — unless you experience a qualified “life event.” Marriage is one of those rare events.

Keep in mind that you typically have a limited amount of time from your wedding day to choose new coverage. Be sure to take a look at each of the plans available through your jobs and assess your options.

Next, look at your personal insurance — particularly car insurance. If you’ve been carrying two separate policies, you’ll probably save money by going with a single policy for both cars. Plus, you’ll likely get additional savings, since insurance companies consider people who are married less risky than singles (score!).

Consider Increasing Your Coverage

Now that you’re married, you may need more insurance. For instance, does your existing renter’s or homeowner’s policy cover your new bling? Check your policy’s limits for jewelry and consider adding a rider if you need additional coverage. Also, make sure you have enough coverage to replace all those amazing gifts you got.

If you have a mortgage or other major expenses or are considering having children soon, you may want additional life or disability insurance. On the other hand, if your combined assets are quite high, you may want to add an umbrella policy to protect those assets in a potential lawsuit.

Re-Evaluate Your Deductibles

If you’re transitioning from a one-income household to a two-income family, it’s time to give your deductibles a fresh look. With both of you on a single insurance policy and with a two-person income, it may make sense to raise your deductibles. For instance, if your auto insurance deductible was $500 when you were flying solo, see whether $1,000 or more would be a good fit for your new family.

Raising your deductibles is one of the easiest, instantaneous ways to decrease your insurance premiums. So be sure to review all your policy deductibles — auto, home or renter’s, medical, dental and more.

Review Your New Routines

If you relocated around your marriage, you may be able to save money on your car insurance. The amount you pay is dependent on where you live, so you’ll likely see a rate change accompanying your new location.

Furthermore, let your insurer know if your commute looks different after the wedding bells. If you have a shorter drive, or have swapped out your car travel for public transit, you’ll probably see a drop in your premium as well.

 

Questions? Want to learn more? Here’s 4 easy ways to reach us:

Phone: 877-994-6787
Email: insure@siaonline.com
Text: 951-482-8144
Web: www.siaonline.com

PS Here’s a few words from one client that trusts Stromsoe Insurance Agency:

“I had a good experience with this umbrella insurance query. Sarah Long is our agent and she always treats us as though we are her family- that is, with the best of care and attention.”
Anita Born – Murrieta, CA – Client Since 2003

PPS Every policy is backed by our iron clad, 100% complete satisfaction guarantee. Ask for your copy today!

 

Non-Profit Spotlight: Rock Rose Village School

Our community is full of incredible people and organizations out making a difference for others! In this month’s Non-Profit Spotlight we’d like to recognize The Rock Rose School for Creative Learning!

Rock Rose Village School began in 2006 as a small study group of parents and teachers committed to helping their children develop using the latest brain research. They recognized the need to reach more children, so the group became a non-profit parent-child program in Escondido and a parent co-op kindergarten in Ramona.

Wanting a more permanent location in 2009, they opened their doors with their first Kindergarten and Parent-Child classes located in Fallbrook with a room and outside play area — The Hilltop Center. They began to outgrow the Hilltop Center in Fallbrook and during the summer of 2013, moved to The Creekside Plaza. This new location gave the children more outdoor space and a charming place to call their school. During the summer of 2019, they moved to a temporary building while they worked on building a new and permanent home in which they will be moving to in the summer of 2021!

We asked Board President and Founder, Bethany Chaffin, how COVID has affected their non-profit, and here is what she had to say:

COVID has been very hard on our program. We remained opened throughout the entire pandemic in order to support essential workers and families who needed to report to work each day. We had to furlough a few of our employees in order to reduce the number of adults to students as was recommended by the CDC. This has been extremely hard on our teachers who rely on their aides in order to help with the children. With the reduction of students, our income has reduced substantially while our overhead and the needed PPE have increased. It has been a very hard year and we look forward to when we can return to our normal operations.

For the month of August 2021 Stromsoe Insurance will donate $21 to Rock Rose Village School, for every referral that comes to our team!

Learn More about The 2021 Vision Referral Rewards Program HERE…

 

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The initial goals of the non-profit were to provide an early childhood program that embodied a play-based and developmentally appropriate method of educating the child through their head, heart, and hands. The Rock Rose Village School has continued with that goal over the past 15 years and hopes to continue it for many more to years to come.

They work with the YMCA and the CDA in order to help provide an affordable and quality program to families who typically would not be able to afford a Waldorf-Inspired early childhood program. They also offer annual Harvest Festivals and parenting events that are open to the wider community. Rock Rose Village School works with programs that allow a good portion of their families to attend for a very little amount. Some families end up not paying anything because of the partnership they have with support programs!

If you would like to get in contact with the Rock Rose School for Creative Learning, you can email them at info@rockroseschool.org or call them at 760-451-6112.

If you would like to help support the Rock Rose Village School, please donate on their website or engage with them via Facebook.

For the month of August 2021 Stromsoe Insurance will donate $21 to Rock Rose Village School, for every referral that comes to our team!

Learn More about The 2021 Vision Referral Rewards Program HERE…

Would you like to learn more about how we can help protect your non-profit , call your Stromsoe Insurance Total Protection Team at (951) 600-5751 or email insure@siaonline.com today!