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Safeguarding Your Landscaping Business Against Claims Of Negligence And Property Damage

Posted by on May 7, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Safeguarding Your Landscaping Business Against Claims Of Negligence And Property Damage

Landscaping contractors can keep their schedules full from sun up until sun down or choose to work seasonally. If you keep a few shovels in the back of your vehicle and attach a snow plow to the front, you can stay busy while there isn’t a bloom in sight. When you are responsible for manicuring the lawns of homeowners and businesses, you have to take responsibility for any accidents that occur while you are at work, and even those that happen by under the supervision of your employees. Your Risk Exposure As A Landscaping Contractor It isn’t enough to have liability insurance coverage for your landscaping business if you will be using heavy equipment to cut lawns and prune hedges, or if you have contract with other landscaping professionals. What you can do is obtain a landscaping contractor insurance policy that keep your business and image protected against claims of damage to the lawns and property of your customers as well as personal injury claims brought on as a result of your landscaping practices. Landscaping Equipment And Property Damage It shouldn’t take long to learn how to maneuver a riding lawnmower a large plot of grass and have it all trimmed up evenly. However, failing to set the cutting blades of a riding lawnmower to the right height can leave a client’s lawn damaged. Your landscaping contractor insurance policy will compensate any client who makes a legitimate claim of damage, leaving you to continue running your business while the insurance adjuster calculates how much it will cost to restore the damaged lawn. This type of coverage will also give you peace of mind when yo have multiple lawn care service appointments running concurrently at several locations. Employee And Subcontractor Negligence With a successful landscaping business there are consistently going to be affairs for you to take care of, even after business hours. You will need to order mulch and fertilizer, have your lawnmowers serviced, and follow-up with customers to see if they are satisfied with the services your company has provided. Notably, many landscaping jobs will be completed by employees and subcontractors that you know and trust. Accidents are to be expected on occasion, which is why comprehensive landscaping contractor insurance coverage should be chosen before any mishaps happen. Your business doesn’t need to be bogged down by the threat of litigation, so get protection for your landscape equipment, your workers and your business prior to having to learn things the hard way. Check out for more...

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Buying Or Building A New Home? Beware These Terrain Types

Posted by on Oct 25, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Buying Or Building A New Home? Beware These Terrain Types

As a potential homeowner, one of the best things you can do before buying or building a home is shop around for property before you make a final decision. Whether you’re moving deep into the city, to a home in the suburbs, or to a lovely rural road, taking into consideration all of your options ensures that, at the end of the day, you end up with a house you can love for life. While most homeowners remember to consider features like age, overall worth, and maintenance status when purchasing or building a house, many overlook the land on which the home sits. Certain terrains can pose additional risk to your home, and purchasing or building a home on them may dramatically increase your insurance premiums or even make your home uninsurable. Understanding the terrain you’re purchasing with your new property will prevent unfortunate surprise issues down the road. Tidal Frontage Many a retiree has dreamed about whiling away the Golden Years in a sweet little cottage by the sea. Sounds relaxing, right? Perhaps an excellent place to take up painting or playing the violin. But before you float away into blissful seaside dreamland, understand that life by the sea can be lovely but comes with its own unique set of issues, like flooding, hurricanes, and swells, too. Homes situated in areas where bad weather is common, like along the Florida Keys, will naturally find themselves paying higher rates for insurance due to the propensity for hurricanes. By far the highest risk homes are those that are built literally beside the ocean, especially if there is very little land between you and the beach. High tides and hurricanes can cause waves to come crashing up against the shore, where they may hit your home or eat away at the land in front of it.  In colder climates, that seawater may even come in in large, frozen chunks that can do an incredible amount of damage to your backyard and structure. Called an ice wave, this phenomenon is caused by a combination of factors, including water and wind, and it is often a problem for people living alongside the Great Lakes. In the case of cliffside properties, the risk of waves crashing into your home is lessened, but you must factor in the risk of erosion. Short of the cliff being made from waterproof bridge material, or at least braced by steel, salt water (and to a lesser degree, fresh water) can and will erode that land inward over time. In more than one instance this has resulted in homes sliding into the water, never to be seen again. Insurance policies may not cover earth movement, meaning that if your house does slide into the water, you may be left with no recourse after. Wetlands The phrase, “I’ve got a swamp to sell you” is often used sarcastically to indicate that a deal may not be all it seems, and with good reason. Swampy, marshy land is notoriously difficult to build on. With the right know-how, it is often possible but may be fraught with additional costs and surprises like sinking, sliding, and mudslides down the road. Furthermore, some wetlands may be protected, making the process of building on them and insuring them incredibly complex. It may seem obvious to...

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Tips For Determining The Proper Life Insurance Benefit For Your Financial Needs

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Determining The Proper Life Insurance Benefit For Your Financial Needs

If you’ve decided that it’s time to invest in life insurance, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is the benefit amount of the policy that you buy. After all, one of the biggest reasons to invest in life insurance coverage is to ensure that you have enough money on hand for your loved ones to deal with what’s necessary. When you’re new to shopping for life insurance, you might not know how much you should be buying. Here are a few of the things you should think about when you’re deciding on the death benefit you need. How Much Do You Estimate Your Funeral To Cost? One of the priorities of life insurance is usually to cover the cost of the funeral service and burial or cremation. In fact, there are some life insurance policies designed just to cover those costs. If you have one of those policies already, you won’t need to worry about this figure in your calculations. If not, you’ll want an estimate of your funeral cost to ensure that it’s covered. Since some funeral services can cost more than $10,000, talk with a local funeral home about the average pricing in your area. Including the cost of your memorial and burial or cremation in your life insurance calculation ensures that your family isn’t left trying to determine how to pay for your final services. What Kinds Of Debts Do You Still Need to Pay? Once you’re certain that your funeral services are covered, it’s time to think about your other financial responsibilities. If you have any outstanding debts that will need to be paid, they will become part of your estate and must be settled using the assets left behind. By including your best estimate of your outstanding debts, you’ll ensure that your family members don’t have to find any other way to foot the bill. In addition to including what you can in your life insurance policy, you should also think about taking out loan life insurance or other protection for your credit card accounts and any other loans you take out. Most auto loans, mortgages and other similar financing also include provisions for life insurance protection to settle the balance in the event of your death. How Much Does Your Family Need To Get Through? Especially when you are the primary income earner in the house, it’s important to think about replacing your lost income when you calculate your insurance benefit. Think about how many years of salary you want your family to have in order to help them make the transition and move forward without you. For example, you may want to give them five years of your salary to allow for transition. This eases the strain on your family when they find themselves down an income source while still having the bills to pay. Do You Want To Create A Trust Fund ? If you have children and you want to leave them a fund that they can use to pay for college or future investments, this is the time to cover that as well. You can include any trust fund amount in your life insurance policy, and then ensure that you have a will written up that clearly defines how you want those funds to be handled...

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Wedding Bells Ringing Could Mean An Auto Insurance Discount

Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Wedding Bells Ringing Could Mean An Auto Insurance Discount

If you are have recently gotten married, you and your new spouse are probably still trying to figure out your joint finances. Are your finances going to remain separate, will you have joint accounts, or will you have a common household account? While it may make sense to keep some bills separate, other bills such as your car insurance may need to be combined. This is because not only is paying one insurance company easier than paying two, but you may also qualify for several discounts, including the marriage discount.. What Is The Marriage Discount? Insurance rates are all about the risk you present to the insurance company. There are many different ways they calculate this risk, and the higher the risk you are, the higher your insurance premiums. Insurance claims data has shown people who are a part of a married couple present a lower risk than those who are unmarried. Because of this, many insurance companies use marital status as a part of their risk analysis, which results in discounts being offered to married couples. The percent of the discount varies by state, as well as by company, and is now being offered to couples in same sex marriages as well as heterosexual marriages. When you ask your insurance company about a marriage discount, do not be surprised if your discount is not as large as the one being received by some of your friends or family. This is because any discount being offered is still dependent on other risk factors. These include your: Age Location Driving record Vehicle make and model Miles driven per year, and more Even with these things factored in, many insurance companies report they are still able to offer significant savings to married couples. These savings could average more than 15%  over if you were to keep your policies separate and apart.  What Other Auto Insurance Discounts Could Marriage Bring? Along with your marriage discount, there are other discounts you may receive for simply combining your policies. These are common discounts found with most insurance companies, in most states. Multi-car Discount One car plus one car equals two cars, and to an insurance company, that automatically qualifies you for a multi-car discount. This discount alone can result in significant savings over what you will have to pay if you decide to keep your policies separate. You may also qualify with other recreational vehicles such as motorcycle, RV’s, and other types of vehicles one of you may bring into the marriage. The good news about this discount is it is simple to qualify for. You do not even have to change the registration of your vehicles. As long as they are listed, all the vehicles residing at your residence will qualify, no matter who they are registered to. Multi-policy Discounts Your insurance company is aware that the more policies you have with them, the more likely you are to stay with them for a longer period of time. When you only have one policy, you are more likely to be lured away by a company who offers you a cheaper price. Because of this, companies often offer an additional discount to customers who are willing to have multiple policies in one place. Other types of insurance policies may include: Homeowners Renters  Boat  Motorcycle ...

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2 Ways To Ensure Financial Security For Your Children

Posted by on Nov 6, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Do you want to make sure that your children are financially secure no matter what happens? Although you likely plan on living as long as possible, it’s always better to be safe instead of sorry because you can’t predict what will happen at any given moment. If making sure your children have that financial security as they get older is important to you, there are a few things that you can do now. Create a Savings Jar with Each Child Teaching your children how to save money at an early age is important, because it’s something they’ll always be able to apply to their everyday lives. You can start the saving process by creating a savings jar with each of your children. Make sure to have these supplies before getting started: Glass jars with metal lids Paint Paintbrushes Stickers Utility knife Have your children get creative by giving each one a glass jar with a metal lid, paint, a paintbrush, and some stickers. They can paint the glass jar different colors and then add stickers when they’re all done to create a fun design on their savings jar. When they’re done working on the jar, you can cut a small 2-inch long slit on the lid of each jar with your utility knife. Your children will be able to place their coins and dollars into the slits you’ve created to immediately start saving. Each time one of your children fills their jar up, you can take them to a local coin machine or bank to transfer everything into cash and deposit it into a savings account. You can even make it a friendly monthly competition where the child who has saved the most during that time gets a reward from you. If you continue to encourage your children to save this way, they’ll continue adding money to their accounts over the years, and they’ll end up with a lot of money to keep them on their feet into adulthood. Think About Obtaining a Life Insurance Policy Are you the primary breadwinner for your family? If you’re the one who handles most of the expenses, especially when it comes to the bills and basic necessities for your children, can you imagine what would happen if you weren’t around? Although you may live a long life, it won’t hurt to have protection for your children if something were to happen to you. If you weren’t around, your children would be able to receive financial support from a life insurance policy. These are just a few of things that money from the insurance policy could help with if something unfortunate happened: Funeral expenses. Funeral are more expensive than most people realize, costing up to $10,000. It’s possible that your family would struggle to pay for a proper burial because of the cost, but that wouldn’t be a concern for them if you had a life insurance policy. Children’s college tuition. As a parent, you may hope that your children will go to college or a trade school, but most schooling options aren’t free. If you’re not around to help pay for the tuition, your children may have to settle for less, which is the last thing you’d want for them. Luckily, when choosing a life insurance policy, you can have an amount...

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Should You Purchase Umbrella Insurance?

Posted by on Nov 4, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you’re like most Americans, you carry insurance for your car, your home, your health, and even your life. However, do you have coverage for when an accident causes you to exceed the liability limits on your home or auto policies? What recourse do you have if you are personally sued by someone injured on your property or by your vehicle? An umbrella insurance policy can help protect you in these situations, by kicking in additional coverage once your regular insurance is exhausted. Read on to learn more about umbrella insurance policies to determine if purchasing one is the right decision for you and your family. What is umbrella insurance?  Umbrella insurance is a type of insurance coverage that spans all types of potential liability. Unlike auto insurance, which only covers issues caused to (or by) a vehicle, or homeowners insurance, which covers accidents within your home, as well as damage caused by burglars or natural disasters, umbrella insurance can help protect your assets in a variety of situations. This insurance serves as secondary liability coverage for issues covered by your homeowners insurance and auto policies — kicking in after your other benefits have been exceeded — but can also be your primary insurance coverage for issues that aren’t clearly covered by one or more other types of insurance. For example, if you are sued for defamation, your umbrella insurance may be able to help you pay any legal fees incurred, as well as any court judgment awarded to the plaintiff. Do you need this type of insurance? Not everyone needs umbrella insurance — but if you think this type of insurance is only suitable for those with substantial assets or a home-based business, think again. There are any number of situations that could expose you to liability, and even if you don’t have many assets now, a judgment against you could result in garnishment of future earnings. Unlike most other insurance policies, whose total payouts are often capped below the $1 million mark, umbrella policies begin coverage at $1 million and can provide up to $10 million of coverage. These are some situations or circumstances in which umbrella insurance could be a good idea: You have a dog, trampoline, swimming pool, steep stairs, or other pet or item that raises the statistical likelihood that someone could be injured on your property or within your home. You frequently host parties at which your guests drink. You have a potentially high-earning career, even if your current assets are insignificant. You employ others within your home (for example, a cleaning person or live-in nanny). You allow others to drive your vehicle (for example, a babysitter who picks up your children from school). You have a career that may make you vulnerable to malpractice or defamation lawsuits (for example, attorney, paramedic, journalist, or doctor). Any of the above situations can expose you to more potential liability than the average person. For example, if you host a party, and one of your guests drives home after drinking and is involved in an auto accident, the guest himself, his family, or anyone else injured in the accident may sue you for providing the alcohol or failing to ensure that your guest didn’t drink and drive. What else should you consider? Although umbrella policies can...

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How To Insure Your 1954 Mercedes W196R Formula 1 Race Car

Posted by on Sep 30, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

So maybe you don’t own the 30 million dollar Grand Prix winning Benz, but if you’re among the more than 76 million baby boomers in America, the first car you ever drove is now a coveted collectible. Maybe you’ve kept yours over the years or are looking to get your hands on one now. Collectible cars can even be a great investment, but most people buy them for the fun and sentiment. Here’s what you need to know about insuring your dream vehicle. The Appraisal Process No matter what the value you personally assign, your Classic car must be independently appraised. An expert in the field will help you understand how to insure, based on condition, modifications and how rare the auto is. Don’t take what sounds like a low estimate personally – this is a business evaluation for the purpose of obtaining adequate insurance, and if it’s lower, you’ll likely pay less on the policy. Remember, too, that investment variables in terms of selling your vehicle for more than what you paid for it are completely separate from the appraisal figure. As with other markets of opportunity, collectibles carry risk. Having an appraisal conducted before you actually purchase the car is often the best course of action. The Real Value For You The Policy Holder In the unfortunate event that something awful ever happens to your special car, an agreed value policy will cover what the car was worth with no depreciation factored in. This type of policy is very different from a stated value or maximum limit of liability policy, both of which do allow for deductions based on the depreciation and replacement costs. Your agreed value should compensate you completely no matter how the car is damaged, be it stolen, burned or involved in any type of damaging event (falling tree, collision, hail etc.) The Class Of Your Classic Collectible Most designated Classics were built between 30 and 49 years ago. The Antique Class only accepts 100 year old models and those in-between are considered pre-antique. Many features influence the Classic definition, like custom and luxury accessories, transmission type, engine displacement and performance capability. The aforementioned Mercedes, for example, boasts an eight cylinder, 2.5 liter engine and still bore the original battle scars from the famed races it won. All of these elements give more meaning to you as the owner, and help to determine the appropriate class. How The Use Of Your Car Is Governed By The Insurer Regular cars are expected to be driven often, but this is not the case for Classics. Your insurer may limit the annual miles you can put on your collectible, where you can take it and how and where you store it. This protects the value and condition of your car as well as the interests of the insurer. Some companies insist on alarm installation too, which is easily accomplished without altering the structure or design of your baby. Naturally, your lifetime driving record will also factor into the cost of the policy. Your Likely Risk Category Just because the car has a higher worth than many others on the road doesn’t automatically mean it’s going to draw higher insurance costs. The insurance industry calculates their risk based on how apt a vehicle is to be involved in...

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How An SR-22 Will Affect Your Insurance Rates

Posted by on Sep 29, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you are shopping for an insurance company to provide you with an SR-22 filing, it usually means that you have been court ordered to do so. This is not something that people voluntarily file. It means that you have had one or more serious violations that have come to the court’s attention. While the actual filing of the SR-22 is not very expensive, the insurance policy attached to it can be. Understanding what an SR-22 is, and how it affects your insurance rates, are the first steps to finding ways to reduce your costs. What Is An SR-22 Filing? While many people use the terminology “SR-22 insurance,” it really is not insurance at all. SR-22 is a legal document that shows the state you have the required amount of insurance to cover your financial responsibility required by your state.  These amounts vary from state to state. Your SR-22 filing is processed, issued, and filed with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), by your insurance company. It is filed annually for the amount of time you are required to show proof of coverage. In most cases this time period is three to five years. If your policy is canceled for any reason during this time period, your insurance company will immediately notify the DMV that you do not have insurance. Failure to maintain the proper amount of coverage during the period that you are ordered to do so, will result in additional fees, fines, or even jail time. How Does An SR-22 Affect The Cost Of Your Insurance? When you are shopping for auto insurance, you will find that the quotes you receive for the same level of coverage will vary greatly from one company to another. This is true even though they are taking into consideration the same types of information. As stated above, an SR-22 is required because you have usually committed one or more of the following offenses. Being at fault in an accident without insurance. Caught driving more than one time without insurance. Excessive points on your drivers licenses. Having your licenses suspended or revoked. All of these are behaviors which will have you categorized by an insurance company as a high-risk driver. This means that when they calculate the livelihood of you filing a claim against their company, they feel that the chances of you filing are higher than the average driver. To offset taking this risk on you, they will charge you more for coverage, but it does not mean that you are not going to be able to get affordable coverage. Many insurance companies specialize in drivers who are high risk drivers. They understand that not everyone is perfect, and some people may have a few potholes in their driving history. When shopping for companies that will file an SR-22 for you, you must take the time to shop around, not all high risk companies are equal. Do not just shop by the premium that the insurance company is quoting, compare the amount of coverage that you are going to be able to obtain for that price. It Will Not Last Forever Just like you will not require an SR-22 forever, you do not have to be a high risk driver for the rest of your life. Ask your insurance company about...

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Put Your Smart Phone To Work When Filing An Auto Insurance Claim

Posted by on Sep 23, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The next time you have to file an auto insurance claim, simply reach for your phone, because if you are like most Americans, you have a smart phone somewhere within your reach during most of the day. No matter what the make or model, when used correctly, it contains numerous features that can make filing an auto claim a little easier. It gives you the ability to shoot photos, video, and gives you space to document or make notes. These are all of the tools that you will need when you are documenting, and even submitting your claim. Use Your Smart Phone To File Your Claim People are now quickly headed to a digital society. You can now pay your bills, access important information, and interact with most major companies without ever having to speak with another person. Depending on your age, you may trust your secure electronic connections more than you trust your friends or family. Those who are not electronically connected at times are beginning to find it hard to function. Insurance companies like Smallclaim Com Inc understand the importance of being connected. While most still offer both traditional, as well as electronic services, they too are directing more of their activities towards digital services. Most companies now offer their own app. Depending on who your insurance is with, you can find, and download the company’s app through your app store, or directly from their website. These apps will allow you to file your claim electronically, as well as allow access to most other services your company offers. When involved in an accident, there are some basic steps that you will want to take. Always ensure that the scene of the accident is secure and safe. Move the vehicles out of the line of traffic if possible, and attend to any life threatening injuries. If necessary, use your phone to call law enforcement to make a report. Use your phone’s camera to document any damages. Take photographs, as well as shoot video at the scene of the accident. Collect the other drivers information. Even if the other driver is not at fault, this is information that your insurance company may need. Use your telephone to call a tow truck. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, your on-board computer may do this for you, using the GPS coordinates of your location. The app will walk you through all of the required information. Once you fill out the information, and attach your pictures, your file is ready to be submitted. It is as easy as that. Advantages of Filing Electronically Faster Turn Around Time – When you file an electronic claim, the information gets where it needs to go much faster. You no longer have to wait three to five days, and run the risk of things being lost in the traditional mail system. When you submit an electronic claim, your information is literally there within seconds. Faster Claims Payout – This allows the insurance company to review it, and process it without delay. Faster processing means faster payout. Most companies will even electronically deposit your funds to your bank account. No more waiting on checks to arrive in the mail. Better Tracking – Electronic filing gives you, the consumer, as well as the company the ability...

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Tips To Help Trucking Companies Avoid Cargo Theft

Posted by on Sep 10, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In 2013, there were 951 reports of cargo theft in the United States, with an average load value of $171,000. Stolen loads are often covered by insurance; however, each filed claim can wreak havoc on a trucking company’s bottom line due to increases in insurance premiums. Fortunately, there are several things that trucking companies and truck drivers can do to avoid theft of their cargo. Whether you own a trucking company or are a truck driver, here are a few tips you can use. Background Checks On All Employees Trucking companies should conduct full checks on the backgrounds of all employees to avoid theft from the inside of operations. The background checks should include more than just checking driving records and criminal records. Credit checks should be included in the background investigation because they may reveal financial problems that may lead someone to feel they have no choice but to steal from the company they work for. Install & Monitor Load Sensors Load detectors that monitor the weight of the loads inside the trailers can help keep track of when loads are stolen or tampered with. Lawn equipment was stolen from a trailer at a truck stop in Virginia, but nobody realized that the cargo was stolen until the trailer reached the delivery point in Florida. It’s a good idea to check the load sensor regularly throughout the transport of goods, especially before leaving rest stops. Equip Trucks & Trailers with GPS Tracking GPS tracking is often installed to keep track of the location of the trucks so trucking companies can determine whether or not they are on schedule. However, they can be useful in locating stolen goods as well. It’s important to install GPS tracking on both the truck and the trailer, just in case the trailer gets separated from the truck. Padlock the Tailgates This may sound like common sense, but it’s important to keep a padlock on the tailgate at all times. While it’s true that thieves can simply cut the padlocks, doing so may give the driver a bit more time to see the criminal at the back of the trailer so he or she can thwart the crime before it occurs. Follow Safety Procedures at Rest Stops The best way to avoid cargo theft is to keep the vehicle moving. However, with safety regulations that require rest stops, that is not possible for long trips. Trucking companies should establish safety procedures for their drivers to follow each time they stop, especially at long stops when rest is required. Tail-to-tail parking makes it difficult for anyone to open the cargo doors. Require that your drivers back in to park so their tail gates are located close to the tail gates of another truck. That way, the doors won’t be able to be opened.  Driver teams should be used to haul expensive loads. Each driver can take shifts with the truck while the other driver goes inside the rest stop establishment for a break. Schedule rest stops to avoid high-crime areas that are known for trucking cargo thefts, such as some areas of Illinois. Require Identification At All Transfers & Pickups A common way for thieves to steal entire cargo loads is during a deceptive transfer or pickup of the trailer. Require identification of all personnel...

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