How To Prepare For Your Insurance Premium Audit

 

An audit of one or more of your business insurance policies is one situation that requires your early and immediate attention.

The scenario with every insurance provider is different. The scenario will be something like this: Your insurance carrier will contact you. They want to conduct a premium audit. You’ve already paid your premiums for the year. Most policies are based on the best estimate of information you can provide at the time your policy is issued or renewed, but that information could change over the course of the policy year. You may end up not paying enough or paying too much for your insurance based on your actual payroll or gross sales or change in business operations.

This is where a premium audit process comes in. Your insurance company will conduct a premium audit after your policy term expires, review your actual business operations, and calculate your final premium. Depending on the size of your operation, an auditor may be able to gather the information they need over the phone, electronically, you may be asked to fill out and return a simple form online or through the mail. For some or larger operations, an auditor may prefer to visit your office and review your records with you. This may take an hour or two of your time depending on the type of business and whether or not there have been changes in your business operations.

The auditor will let you know prior to your appointment exactly what information they will need to review. Having all the requested information ready prior to the meeting will shorten the process. They may ask to review accounting records including payroll, journals, disbursements, invoice reports, sales reports, vendor reports, general ledgers, social security reports, state unemployment forms, or other tax reports. You may also be asked for information about the business entity, ownership, corporate structure, and the business operation. It’s also important to understand any excluded persons from a policy prior to the audit.

Since an audit can encompass such a vast array of data, here are some tips for preparing:

  1. First decide which staff member is best able to work with the auditor. We do not always recommend referring the auditor to a bookkeeper or CPA. No one cares about your business like you do. This should be someone familiar with the work done by all departments and employees and is knowledgeable about the records needed to complete the audit.
  2. Review the appointment letter and prior year’s audit billing statements to familiarize yourself with the data the auditor will be reviewing.
  3. Gather all pertinent accounting records.
  4. Review payroll documents to make sure that they include breakdowns of wages by employee, department, and class code. Breakdowns should also include overtime pay and tips if applicable.
  5. Verify that you have certificates of insurance on file for any subcontractors you may have used. Be sure that the documents show that the subcontractors have their own current workers’ compensation and general liability insurance.
  6. Lastly, ask questions during the audit to clarify anything you do not understand.

Maintaining detailed payroll and sales records for the policy period is the best way to ensure that the audit process goes smoothly. If those records are organized, the audit can be completed with minimal effort. Don’t let a premium audit be a complicated process.

Our goal as your independent insurance agency of choice is to bring awareness and guidance to most situations that may occur with your insurance program. If you have questions regarding the premium audit process and need our assistance before, during or after the audit process, please us know.

Here’s 3 easy ways to reach us:

  1. Call 951-600-5751
  2. Text 951-482-8144
  3. Email insure@siaonline.com

We appreciate this and every opportunity to serve and protect you!

Are You The Next Winner In Our 2018 Referral Rewards Program?

Can you believe its time to draw the first WINNER in our ALL NEW Inspire Happiness By Making A Difference in 2018 Referral Rewards Program?!  We are so excited!! Mike Stromsoe, The Insurance Doc, and teammate Erica Gates will be drawing our next winner.

Drum Roll Please….

 

You could win a $100 Amazon gift card and a $50 donation to YOUR favorite charity just by referring others to Stromsoe Insurance Agency!! Thank you for all your kind referrals.  We couldn’t be more grateful!  Have them call 951-600-5751 and mention your name today!

What more can we do for you?

Gratefully,

Mike Stromsoe and the Stromsoe Insurance Total Protection Team

Join The Fight: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This October, Stromsoe Insurance Agency is proud to participate in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point during her life. After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common kind of cancer in women. The good news is that many women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early.

  • Know your risk by learning about your family health history and talking to
  • your health care provider about your personal risk.
  • If you are age 40 to 49, talk with your doctor about when to start getting mammograms and how often to get them.
  • Women ages 50 to 74 need mammograms every 2 years. You may choose to start getting mammograms earlier or to get them more often.

Make healthy lifestyle choices:
– Maintain a healthy weight
– Add exercise into your routine
– Limit alcohol intake
– Limit post menopausal hormone use
– Breastfeed if you can

 

Talk to a doctor about your risk for breast cancer, especially if a close family member has had breast or ovarian cancer. That way they can help you decide when and how often to get a mammogram.

 

Is Your Business Insurance Keeping Up with Your Business?

Your business is something that you hold very dear, but do you know if your business insurance is keeping up with your business?

As a business owner, you and hard work go together like two peas in a pod. You have invested time, money, blood, sweat, and tears into this business and so it’s something that you want to protect. Your employees depend on you, as does your community. As your business grows and changes, your insurance needs may fall behind and leave your business vulnerable to everyday risks.

New Machinery

Your old machines may be covered under your current policy, but any new machinery needs to be added. Your policy is very specific when it comes to coverage, and the machines that it covers only extends to those in your policy. Make sure to update your policy if you purchase new machinery.

Increased Employee Count

Your business will grow and that will mean more employees under your wing, which is great news for your business. But as you hire more people, you need to look at your insurance coverage in order to protect your employees, and your business. More specifically, you need to look at your liability coverage and workers’ compensation limits to provide them with the care they deserve.

Retiring Senior Management

If you, or anyone else in senior management, is going to retire soon, you will need some sort of business succession plan. This plan is not just for you, it’s for your employees too. Your employees will be able to breathe much easier if they know what is going to happen after the senior management person retires. By planning ahead, you and your agent can make sure that the transition goes smoothly.

You need the right business insurance to keep up with your business. Business insurance can give you the peace of mind that you deserve when it comes to the covered damages. Contact the Business Protection Coaches at Stromsoe Insurance Agency for all of your commercial insurance coverage needs.

The Benefits of an Energy Audit on Your Commercial Property Insurance

The climate is changing and many individuals and companies are going green in an effort to save the planet, and there are actually some financial benefits as a cherry on top. 

Many people and businesses are changing the way they harness energy. Instead of relying on fossil fuels which produce greenhouse gasses, they are looking to renewable sources of energy like solar, wind, nuclear, and more. But if saving the planet and your grandchildren are not enough, we have some good news! There are actually financial benefits you can reap if you go through an energy audit on your commercial property insurance.

How an Energy Audit Can Save Your Small Business Money

A typical energy audit examines everything that consumes energy inside of a building, from lights to air conditioners. The ultimate goal of this audit is to find out how energy efficient your building is and if it is being used to fulfill your daily needs without waste.

An energy auditor examines and does a few things:

  • Takes a look at your last 12 months of utility bills.
  • Identifies the energy efficiency measures (EEM) you might take.
  • Asks questions about what happens in the building when it is occupied and empty.
  • Performs a walkthrough of your building to fully examine and assess the systems.

The audit can recommend energy saving tips, like switching to LEDs, which will save you money in the long-run. Insurance companies look kindly to those that are willing to invest in the future of the planet. Is an energy audit something you need to do?

Saving money while saving the planet is a no-brainer. Business insurance can give you the peace of mind that you deserve when it comes to the covered damages. Contact the Business Protection Coaches at Stromsoe Insurance Agency for all of your commercial insurance coverage needs.

Is Your Business Ready for a Grand Opening?

Starting your own business is a great accomplishment, but what do you have to do to prepare it for the grand opening? 

Opening your own business takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. There’s funding you have to get, a business plan to write, all the licenses for which you have to apply, and employees to hire. After all of that hard work, it sounds like you are finally ready for a party. The grand opening is not only a time to celebrate your hard work, but it’s an excellent opportunity to garner publicity.

Here are a few tips on how you can plan your great grand opening.

  1. Decide Your Budget
    You may be tempted to treat your grand opening as a minor detail. But, a well-planned grand opening is an important part of introducing your business to the public. To have a successful business, you need clients, and a grand opening is a perfect way to do so.
  2. Know Your Market
    Your company’s grand opening needs to not only target your customers but the media as well. Take an ad out in the newspaper to announce your grand opening. This is your chance to start building relationships within your community.
  3. Reasonable Expectations
    Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your business. Even if your grand opening is a hit, you will need to make marketing an ongoing priority to keep your business relevant in the eyes of the public.

When it comes to protecting your California business, having the right team of insurance experts behind you can give you the peace of mind that you deserve. Contact the experts at Stromsoe Insurance Agency for all of your commercial insurance coverage needs. We will work with you to ensure you have the right amount of protection, all at the right price to fit your budget.

What to Do on Small Business Saturday

The Saturday following Thanksgiving is Small Business Saturday, know what you can do for your community on this great holiday celebrating the hard work of all small businesses. 

Spending your money on your local small businesses helps the local economy grow which comes back around to make your and your neighbors’ life better. So it’s not just about supporting your local business, it’s about supporting your community. The Saturday following Thanksgiving (Saturday, November 26, 2016) is Small Business Saturday. If you want to help out your community, here are some things you can do on Small Business Saturday.

  1. Look and feel like your best!
    Support your local beauty shop instead of going to a chain–you’ll love the way you look! And after that, get a mani-pedi at your local nail salon.
  2. Messy post-Thanksgiving house?
    If your house is a pigsty after hosting your entire family for the weekend, worry not. A quick call to the local house cleaners and your house will look good as new after only a few hours, and will be ready to entertain for the rest of the weekend.
  3. Try the local markets
    Instead of giving money to giant corporations, buy your fruits and vegetables from your local food market. Studies show that organic food definitely tastes better than GMOs .
  4. Local office suppliers
    If your printer is running out of ink or you are low on other supplies, consider buying these supplies through your local, privately owned tech-store.

When it comes to protecting your California business, having the right team of insurance experts behind you can give you the peace of mind that you deserve. Support your local businesses (not all of them are competitors!). Contact the experts at Stromsoe Insurance Agency for all of your commercial insurance coverage needs. We will work with you to ensure you have the right amount of protection, all at the right price to fit your budget.

Tips on Making Your Summer Hire in California Easier

Many employers hire seasonal workers to help them with their increased business during the summer.

Summer employees may not be very hard to come by, but finding the right qualified employees can be a tough process. Not only do employers have to decide the demographics of the temporary help they need, but they also have to know where they’re going to find and train them in a quick and cost-effective manner. If you’re planning on hiring a summer employee, but don’t exactly know where to start, here are three tips to soothe your hiring pains.

  1. Decide on how you will reach them. There are many platforms that people use to look for work. If you want to reach out as many people as possible, you’re going to have to think outside of the box. On your job description, explain your ideal candidate: motivated, goal-oriented, and passionate about your brand.
  2. Determine who you will hire. There could be as many as hundreds of applicants, and not all of them will be qualified. In fact, it’s safe to assume that the majority of applicants will not be qualified and are a waste of your time. Look for keywords on their resumés that match your company’s brand and mission statement.
  3. Invest in training for the new employee(s). It’s important that you think long term when you train the seasonal employees because any one of them could become full-time employees by summer’s end. Choose to invest big, since these employees will have the same impact on customers as regular employees.

Summer employees are just like regular employees. Thus, they need to be insured. Contact the experts at Stromsoe Insurance Agency for all of your business insurance coverage needs. We will work with you to ensure you have the right amount of protection, all at the right price to fit your budget.

Manage the Cost of Your Small Business Insurance With These 3 Tips

When you own a small business you’re in charge of every single detail and there are constant demands that require your attention . . . and your checkbook.

Business insurance is likely one of the items on a list you have that keep sucking money out of your business and your pocket. You should look at it as an investment, though, because it’s a very important part of your business that you’ll most likely eventually need—even if you are the most careful of business owners. To save more money on your insurance costs, follow these tips which you may find to be very useful.

  1. Check Your Deductible

A deductible is the amount of money you have to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance carrier steps in to cover you. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium is bound to be. This is because you are assuming a greater financial responsibility and will be paying more in the event of a claim than your otherwise would.

  1. Bundle Up

Some business owners purchase multiple policies to cover a variety of potential risks. Bundling, or purchasing each policy from the same vendor, may be something of which you can take advantage. Your insurance company may reward you for your loyalty and offer a discount.

  1. Review Your Coverages

Make sure that you are paying for exactly what your business needs. If you don’t have vehicles for your business, then why are you paying for commercial auto insurance? If you don’t need it, let the policies go. You’d be surprised how much money you can save by only paying for what you need.

For help managing your business’ expenses, having the right team of insurance experts behind you can give you the peace of mind that you deserve. Contact the experts at Stromsoe Insurance Agency for all of your small business insurance coverage needs. We will work with you to ensure you have the right amount of protection, all at the right price to fit your budget.

Benefits of a Commercial Umbrella Insurance Policy

All California companies can benefit from a commercial umbrella insurance policy.

With the number of lawsuits filed each day rising, it has never been more important to invest in a commercial umbrella insurance policy. People are more apt to sue a company or professional than ever before. The protection that is provided by a commercial umbrella insurance policy can help to make sure that your business has the right amount of coverage.

Umbrella insurance is meant to provide additional liability coverage that goes beyond the liability that is provided by your other business insurance policies. Without an umbrella policy, you would be left relying on a typical business liability policy. The limits of a liability policy can quickly be exhausted after just one lawsuit. If you don’t have umbrella insurance, you would be left paying for the rest of the coverage out of your business accounts, which could easily bankrupt your company.

There are many situations that your California company may encounter that your umbrella policy would cover, including:

  • If one of your employees says something on social media that is damaging to a corporate entity or person while at work.
  • A client takes a financial loss due to advice that one of your staff members provides in a consulting capacity, such as financial advice.
  • A customer slips on a wet walkway on their way into your business and is injured.
  • A client is seriously injured or dies after using a product that your company provides.
  • An employee speeds through a yellow light in a company car, causing property damage and several injuries.

Since there is no way to know when an accident will occur, having the right amount of coverage at all times can help to give you the peace of mind that you deserve. Contact the insurance experts at Stromsoe Insurance to help you find the right business insurance policies that will fit your needs.