Central Insurance Companies

The New Year is a Good Time for Your Commercial Policy Check-Up

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As a small business owner, you have a lot on your plate. Obviously, making a profit and keeping your business growing are of paramount concern.  In addition, there’s making payroll, staying competitive, staying on top of new healthcare and tax laws, complying with state and local regulations, etc., etc.  It’s easy to overlook important changes that may have occurred in your business and need to be accounted for on your insurance policy. Your annual policy renewal is a great time to consult with your independent agent and make sure you are properly protected. Exposures can change quickly in your business and it’s easy to forget that your insurance needs to adapt to these changes. Let’s look at a few areas to consider:

New Exposures

  • Did you add locations during the year?
  • Did you add buildings to your current location?
  • Any new vehicles or drivers?
  • New equipment that needs to be covered under an inland marine floater?
  • New products being manufactured/sold? This is critical because it could change the rating basis for your general liability.

Exposure Changes

  • Vehicles sold
  • Equipment sold
  • Locations sold
  • Reduction in inventory
  • Reduction in sales

New Coverages

As your operation grows, you should consider purchasing additional coverages to protect your business.  Here are a few to discuss with your agent:

  • Equipment Breakdown – especially important if you are a manufacturing/processing operation
  • Crime – this would include Money & Securities, Employee Theft including Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Forgery,  and Computer Fraud
  • Employment Practices Liability
  • Data Compromise & Identity Recovery
  • Blanket Personal Property if you now have multiple locations
  • Reporting form on your personal property if the values fluctuate

Drop or Reduce Coverages

Sometimes it makes more financial sense to reduce your insurance or self-insure some exposures.  Here are a few examples:

  • Drop comprehensive and collision on vehicles over 10 years old.
  • Reduce the value of scheduled contractors equipment that is covered on an actual cash value basis.
  • If you own an older building and likely would not replace it with as large of a building in the event of a total loss, consider insuring it on a Functional Replacement Cost basis.
  • Higher deductibles on your property and auto.  Consider adding a property damage deductible on your General Liability.
  • If you’re comfortable with your financial reserves and loss control measures, consider self-insuring some of your exposures.

An annual review is also important to evaluate your carrier and agent.  Are you getting personalized and responsive service from both?  Have your claims been handled promptly and fairly?  Has your carrier’s Loss Control Department been reasonable and helpful? Is your carrier financially stable?  Is your agent bringing value to your risk management process?

This checklist is a good start when reviewing your insurance exposures, but make sure you consider your business’s unique needs, as well.  If you resolve to start each new year with an insurance review it can lead to a productive and profitable year!

The information above is of a general nature, and your policy and coverages provided may differ from the examples mentioned. Please read your policy in its entirety to determine your actual coverage available or speak with your independent agent.

Copyright © 2019 Central Mutual Insurance Company. All rights reserved.

Saying “I Do”? Insure the ring too!

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I’m still on Cloud Nine from my wedding day a couple weeks ago! I find myself looking down at my ring finger daily, not only because my rings are beautiful (if I do say so myself), but they are also very valuable to me (sentimental-wise and price-wise). And I’m not the only one – with approximately 2.2 million couples getting married in the United States each year, that’s a lot of engagement and wedding rings to swoon over!

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6 Tips to Save on Energy Costs This Winter

With cold temperatures moving in, many are looking for ways to cut down on utility costs. In a previous article we discussed “The Thermostat Wars” that often occur in homes and how adjusting the thermostat can save you a bundle, but here are a few other tips for saving money:

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Start a New Year’s Tradition of Identity Protection

New Year’s Eve is truly a worldwide celebration associated with hundreds of different cultural traditions. In the U.S., people watch the ball drop in Times Square in New York City. Canadians embrace the winter with ice fishing and polar bear swims. Revelers swing flaming fireballs at Hogmany in Scotland. Romanians dress like bears and dance in the streets. The Germans eat donuts; the French eat crepes, and the Danes smash china for good luck.

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Should I Clear the Snow from my Sidewalk?

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Winter is here and so is the age-old question: should I clear the snow from my sidewalk?

To be completely honest, I had to do a little research on this, as I have been told “yes” as many times as I’ve been told “no” over the years. In short, the answer isn’t as clear cut as one might think, as there is a legal answer and there is also a risk management consideration.

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What if Santa Claus needed to buy insurance?

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I’m pretty sure not too many people have asked themselves that question, but I have because I’ve been in the insurance industry for (obviously) too long. But, not only that, but what kind of insurance would Santa need, and for that matter, would he even qualify?!

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On the Twelfth Day of…INSURANCE?!

We should be grateful for the peace of mind that insurance provides all year long, but certain coverages definitely come in handy around the holidays. Enjoy this song to the tune of the classic Christmas carol, “The 12 Days of Christmas!”

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