Understanding Business Insurance

The majority of businesses carry some form of insurance policy, but not all business owners realize that there are several forms of coverage they should have. Most stick with liability insurance without considering Fidelity insurance policies. In reality, though, both these common policies and other types of less common Business insurance such as interruption insurance, are pretty essential.

Minimizing Risk
The best way for you to determine what type of coverage your business needs is to consider what potential risks there are that could disrupt its operation. For instance, those who operate commercial businesses that are open to the public really need both Liability Coverage and property insurance, while offices that handle sensitive information can benefit just as much, if not more, from policies that cover theft and embezzlement.

Commercial Liability
This form of insurance policy covers claims that are made against a business by third parties. These claims often stem from accidents or injuries occurring on the business premises. Certain types of policies also cover property damage, damage to company products, or even independent contractors.

Protection from Dishonest Employees
It’s also possible for business owners to take out Commercial Coverage policies that protect them from dishonest employees. This is particularly relevant for companies like financial institutions, where some employees have access to confidential client information. With the right insurance policy in place, you don’t have to worry about the damages caused by unauthorized employee activities.

Business Interruption Insurance
The purpose of this specialized and lesser-known type of commercial insurance policy is to cover any damages or losses that occur when businesses must shut down their operations. In order to receive benefits from a business interruption insurance policy, the business owner must usually prove that the interruption caused a significant loss of income. The policy will then provide compensation for any income that could have been made had the interruption not occurred, restoring the business to its former position.

Choosing the Right Policy
Many policies contain ambiguous wording and incontestability clauses. If you are concerned about how your current commercial insurance policies may be leaving certain aspects of your business vulnerable, we can help. Check us out online today to learn how.

Understanding the Basics of Boat Insurance

Most homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies offer policyholders the option of covering small boats such as canoes, sailboats, and small powerboats for a small fee, but owners of larger or faster watercraft such as yachts, large sailboats, wave runners, and jet skis will need separate Boat Insurance. These specialized insurance policies cover most watercraft with motors and offer collision damage, property liability damage, and bodily liability coverage at a minimum. Those boat owners who want their watercraft to be covered in the event of vandalism, theft, or damage in incidents that don’t involve collisions should look into comprehensive policies.

How it Works

Tsurancehe first decision that watercraft operators must make is what type of policy to take out. A variety of policy options are available, including some that cover consequential damage for losses due to perils such as fire and sinking as well as collisions. Some policies cover losses that result in the failure of parts as well so that watercraft owners whose boats have failed due to corrosion of its thru-hull would find that the damages related to the resultant sinking are covered despite the fact that corrosion is usually excluded in marine policies.

Choosing a Policy

The easiest way to find the right policy is, of course, to speak with an insurance agent in West Virginia who offers specialized watercraft insurance. These professionals can help boaters understand deductibles, policy options, and what will be covered in the event of a collision or another major disaster. Many boaters choose to take out all-risk policies, as these types of policies cover the widest possible array of problems that could come up.

What’s Covered

As noted above, different policies have different stipulations as to what is covered and what is not, so those who want to have maximum protection should look for a comprehensive plan. It’s wise to invest in an insurance policy that offers non-emergency towing and a certain degree of protection for any belongings boaters might take out on open waters such as watersports equipment, fishing gear, and personal items. Those who are looking to cut corners will find that basic policies are less expensive since they only offer limited protection for boats and their passengers.

Four Benefits of Having Insurance

There’s no telling what the future may hold, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing people can do to prepare themselves for it. That’s why forward-thinking people understand the importance of having insurance as a means of providing a contingency plan against natural disasters and tragedies. Read on to find out about a few of the benefits of having insurance below to learn more.

Meet Legal Requirements
There are some forms of insurance that are compulsory in most states, such as auto insurance. Similarly, workers’ compensation insurance is also required in most states. The reasoning behind these requirements is to ensure that those who are not at fault in motor vehicle accidents or have been injured at the workplace are able to receive the care they need.

Have a Safety Net
As an effective Saftey net, an insurance policy can help to ensure stability in the event that something goes seriously wrong. For example, life insurance provides support for grieving family members and loved ones in the event that someone passes away, while business insurance allows companies who have lost equipment to purchase what they need to continue to grow and thrive. Without that safety net, many policyholders would be left fending for themselves during extremely stressful times.

Explore New Business Ventures
There are many ways that insurance can help to promote new business ventures. For example, lenders require insurance to ensure that entrepreneurs who are exploring new and innovative opportunities will have something to fall back on. This offers everyone involved a good deal of peace of mind, allowing business owners to take on risks they otherwise couldn’t afford to.

Do the Right Thing
In many cases, having adequate insurance coverage is just the right thing to do. Drivers who don’t carry auto insurance, for example, could wind up causing substantial injuries to others and be unable to pay for them. The risks are even greater for business owners, and failing to have an insurance policy that covers all potential disasters could lead not only to an economic failure of the business itself but can also be detrimental to the community in the event that something goes significantly wrong.

Do You Have the Best Insurance Policy For Your Vehicle?

Are you concerned that you don’t have the right auto coverage for your vehicle? Here are some tips for choosing the best insurance policy.

Motorists in several states are paying an average of $2,000 a year more than they need to be for their car insurance.
Whether its because they failed to compare rates in their area or because they didn’t know better, there could be money left on the table. Finding the best insurance policy for you and your vehicle can take knowing what to look for.
If you’ve been driving for years without a mark on your record, you should be paying a fairly low rate.
For experienced drivers who have multiple drivers to insure in your household, you could be taking advantage of extra savings by bundling your policies.
Whether you’re concerned that you don’t have the right policy or if you suspect you’re paying too much, there are some tricks to finding a good policy. Follow these 10 tips to save money while still having the best insurance policy around.

  1. Do A Rate Check
    Every year, rates are recalculated by insurance companies. Check with other insurers in your area to see what kinds of rates they charge for comparable policies.
    Some states set the standards for insurance rates, which allows you to use their guide against what insurance companies are quoting to you. You might be able to find some comparison tools online. While these only offer general ideas of what to expect, they aren’t always totally accurate.
    Call the insurance company you’re interested and see what kind of deal they can offer. Once you get an offer, see if they can offer you something for less. Don’t be afraid to haggle with your agent about price.
  2. Pick A Quality Insurer
    If you have a high-risk driver or teenager on your policy, don’t just go with the lowest premium number. See what kinds of payouts they offer in the case of any accidents or claims. You could be paying the lowest rate around, but be getting nothing in return.
    Going through the process of making a claim and even dealing with another driver’s insurance can be stressful. Choosing a reputable insurance company will ensure that you have the name recognition you need to keep another insurance company from taking advantage of you.
    Check online ratings and reviews and see what other drivers have said about a company before you decide on one.
  3. Good Credit Counts
    Having a good credit score can impact your premium. If you know you’ll be getting a new insurance policy, make sure to pay off anything you might owe on any old utilities. Get your credit card utilization down to around 30% or less.
    If you’ve just had any hard inquiries on your credit and can afford to wait, you might want to postpone changing insurance companies. If your credit score is low, you might end up paying more per month.4. Get a Good Deductible
    Your premium goes down as your deductible goes up. But this means if you get in an accident, you’ll end up paying a lot more to cover any costs.
    If your driving record is strong and you’ve been accident-free for a number of years, you could take this risk. You might end up paying around 40% less on your car insurance.
    Be sure to always maintain safe habits though because an accident could cost you big time.
  4. Are You Over-covered?
    If you have more liability insurance, bodily, and property damage coverage you need, you could lower your costs by adjusting your coverage. While lowering your coverage means lowering your protection, you could save more as your coverage goes down.
    As your car ages, your costs and risks might increase so be sure you’re leaving yourself enough room to be covered in case of emergencies.
  5. Report Lower Usage
    If you’ve suddenly started working at home, you might be able to lower your insurance premium. You won’t be driving as much, so your risk will have gone down.
    If you lose your job, you could also ask for a change in your premium. While it’s not the most fortunate circumstance, cutting corners where you can could be essential at a time like that.
  6. Corner Cutting On Repairs
    Your insurer could send you to a certain shop for repairs. That shop might try to use cheap third-party replacement parts that don’t fit quite right.
    Make sure they’re using original manufacturer’s replacement parts. Other parts could lead to more rust, which could lead to car malfunctions, fail safety tests, and lead to accidents.
  7. Car Choice Matters
    Most new cars come with a relative collision insurance estimate. The fees could be astronomical no matter how many features your new car has.
    Be sure to ask lots of questions about how to get the best insurance policy when you’re shopping for a new vehicle.
  8. Watch Out For Scammers
    Other drivers might try to fake an accident in a parking lot or other low-speed, low-impact situation. Once they start this insurance claim, your premium could skyrocket.
    Make sure if you’re in an accident that you take lots of photos, call the police and report the accident accurately. Get the other person’s insurance information. Remain cordial and work with the other party in good faith.
    Be on the lookout for other people as well if you happen to witness an accident.
  9. Look For Discounts
    Older, married, and experienced drivers tend to be considered a lower risk. Cars that have lots of built-in safety and anti-theft features will also chop down your premium.
    If you have a home or renter’s insurance plan, ask if you can get everything bundled together. You might be able to save big time by getting the best insurance policy bundled from the same company.

The Best Insurance Policy Makes You Feel Reassured Having a great insurance policy lets you drive with your mind at ease.
Rather than being stressed out, you can focus on other things knowing that you’re paying the best price for a great policy.
While you’re ticking off all the boxes to make sure you’re prepared when the rubber meets the road, check out our guide of must-haves for an emergency roadside kit.

What Should I Know About Homeowners Insurance?

Home insurance protects property and possessions in case of damage, loss, or liability.

Did you know that before you apply for a mortgage, you must prove you have homeowners insurance? If you don’t, the mortgage lender won’t approve your loan.

You can buy homeowners insurance through an insurance agency. The insurance can be added to your mortgage escrow account. Once you sign up, you pay your premiums as part of your monthly mortgage payments.

Or, you can buy a policy from an insurance company and pay them without using the escrow account.

How Much Does It Cost?

The average cost of homeowners insurance corresponds to median home values.

In West Virginia, the median home value is $99,700, and the average homeowner’s policy is $348.95. If you purchase a higher priced home, expect to pay more for your insurance.

All insurance providers evaluate risks to determine how much to charge. Along with your home’s value, the following factors influence the price:

Location

Location matters. Areas with dense population or high crime rates cost more. Homes at risk for hurricanes or tornadoes have higher premiums.

If you live in an area known to have floods, earthquakes, or mudslides, you’ll need a separate policy for those.

Age of Home and Roof

Homes under 10 years old cost less to insure. Some providers give credits for impact-resistant roofing materials. A newer electrical system lowers the price.

Contents

One of the typical home insurance benefits is protection for the contents of your home. Coverage starts at $100,000.

If you have valuable jewelry, electronics, artwork, or antiques increase your contents coverage. Higher coverage increases the cost of the policy.

Credit Score

That’s right. Your credit score influences your home insurance policy. The better your score, the lower your premium.

Insurers examine your claims history too. If you don’t have any claims for the past 10 years, you can save up to 20 percent.

Discounts

Providers give discounts to homeowners when the risk of claims is reduced. Smoke detectors can get a 5 percent discount. Earn a 15 percent discount with an alarm system.

You can lower insurance premiums by bundling your home and auto insurance. This involves buying both types of insurance from the same provider.

Another way to reduce premiums is to set a high deductible. The deductible is the amount you pay for a claim before the insurance policy kicks in. If you agree to pay more, the insurer will lower your monthly premium.

While cost is a major factor, it shouldn’t be the only concern when weighing home insurance benefits.

Keep reading to learn the benefits of homeowners insurance.

Six Home Insurance Benefits

Homeowners policies generally cover the home, garage, and other structures on the property.

1. Protection against Property Loss

A homeowner policy protects your house against destruction or loss caused by fire, vandalism, lightning, and more.

This includes damage to the home, fences, garage, sheds, and other structures on the property. Damage to the interior of the home is also provided.

If your house is damaged, your policy will help pay for repair and replacement. You don’t have to cover the entire cost.

Make sure your policy uses a replacement cost basis for payout rather than an actual cash value basis. This guarantees the best financial protection.

Earthquakes and floods require separate policies for coverage. Ask your agent for more information.

Any destruction caused on purpose by the homeowner isn’t covered.

2. Safeguard Personal Belongings

Personal possessions inside the home are covered. This includes furniture, clothing, and appliances.

If your belongings are destroyed or stolen, the policy will reimburse you for the value of your items.

Your stuff is protected whether it’s in your home, car, storage unit, or with you at work.

3. Liability Protection

Liability insurance is standard on most policies. It offers protection if you’re found responsible for damaging someone’s property or causing an injury.

If someone is injured on your property and a lawsuit arises, the policy will cover it. Liability coverage extends to accidents away from home.

Legal or medical fees and lost wages if you’re out of work are covered. It can help provide legal defense fees and pay damages up to your policy’s coverage limit.

4. Additional Living Expenses

If a fire or severe storm damages your home so it’s uninhabitable, your policy can help with temporary living expenses.

The policy only pays reasonable expenses. If you live in a two-bedroom home, the policy won’t pay for you to stay in a home that’s three times larger.

While electric, gas, and water aren’t covered, these expenses are:

  • Rent for temporary housing
  • Laundry and dry cleaning
  • Food
  • Furniture
  • Pet boarding
  • Storage space
  • Internet/cable connection setup fees

Save all your receipts and record expenses so you’re reimbursed.

5. Unique Provisions

Did you know your policy could cover dog bites? Liability coverage through your homeowner’s policy may include dog bite protection.

That’s a bigger deal than it seems. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average dog bite claim is about $26,000.

Another provision covers restocking a refrigerator after a power loss. If you threw away spoiled food due to a power outage, your policy may pay up to $500 for food.

Your policy may even cover the cost to bring your house up to code.

Let’s say a fire destroys your kitchen and spreads to other rooms in your home. Your insurance policy could cover new law mandates as well as the cost of damages. For example, if you’re required by code law to add water sprinklers.

6. Coverage for Family Members Away from Home

If you have a college student, their belongings are covered under the personal property clause.

It doesn’t matter how far away your student is, as long as he resides in on-campus housing. If he moves off-campus, he’s no longer covered. He’ll need to get his own renter’s insurance policy.

Knowing all your home insurance benefits will give you financial peace of mind.

Get Homeowners Insurance Benefits Now

Looking for a reliable homeowners policy in West Virginia? Get a free insurance quote from Yeager Insurance and Financial Services.

Yeager Insurance offers plenty of options so you can build a policy that best suits your needs.

Contact us today. We’re ready to help!

 

Pros of Single Premium Life Insurance

Did you know that 47% of insurance claims filed in the state of West Virginia were for life insurance? How will your family be protected in case of an emergency?

One growing trend for families in the Mountain state is single premium life insurance. What are the pros and cons compared to other forms of life insurance you can buy? Keep reading to find the best reasons (and a few drawbacks) on why you should purchase single premium life insurance.

Pros of Single Premium Life Insurance

Let’s look at some of the benefits of opting for a single premium policy.

Access to the Premium If Long-Term Care Is Needed

One of the highlights of going this route when purchasing insurance is the ability to access the money from the policy tax-free if it is needed to cover long-term care expenses.

The initial purchase can be used as a fallback option if you will be in need of long-term care at home or in a medical facility. In the instance that the money is not needed to cover your health expenses, the money will go to your beneficiaries without any income tax penalties.

The Value of the Policy Will Grow

Since a one-time payment is used for the purchase of single premium life insurance, the value of it should grow at a significant rate over time.

While your age and health are certainly a factor in the total amount of your benefits, this can make the policy worth up to four times as much money, over the length of the policy.

One way the value can grow is through a set interest rate agreed on at the time of the purchase of the policy. If the cash value increases then it may be to your benefit to borrow some of the cash without incurring a significant loss in penalties.

There may also be an option to grow the policy through a market index. This option can be worthwhile if you notice the trends in the market increasing over the previous quarters.

One Purchase Is All It Takes

Arguably the greatest benefit to single premium life insurance is that you only make one payment. This allows peace of mind for your family’s well being after your passing and also helps you avoid the trouble of making money or quarterly payments to the policy.

If you do not want to deal with the hassle of keeping up with these payments then the one-time purchase will be best for you.

Financial Aid Readiness

Did you think your single premium life insurance wouldn’t have an effect on your child’s financial aid? Think again! When filling out a FAFSA form for financial aid, any policies that have monthly, quarterly, or annual payments towards them count as cash assets for the household.

This can substantially reduce the amount of money your child can receive through financial aid. When you make a one time purchase on single premium life insurance it is not viewed as a cash asset by the federal government.

Cons of Single Premium Life Insurance

Now let’s look at some of the drawbacks of a single premium policy.

You Need a Large Amount of Capital

Although having the ability to purchase insurance can be an amazing benefit for your family in the long term. It is also important to know that it will come at a significant cost. These policies are not cheap and the capital used to purchase the policy could be used in short-term investments for your family.

No one is able to predict the future but if you purchase a premium and think the money could have been used another way, it may result in significant penalties when cashing out the premium.

Early Penalties

One major drawback is the penalties you will incur when taking out some of the cash on the policy early. There will be a percentage penalty fee for the policy, as most policies will have it written in the contract that money cannot be withdrawn for “X” number of years.

Another thing to consider when deciding to withdraw cash from the policy is whether your age will have any impact on the amount of the penalty, as some policies can also apply extra fees if money is withdrawn before a certain age minimum.

After that term has passed you can withdraw money without a penalty from the insurance company, but there will still be income tax fees on applied to the withdrawal.

Income Tax Penalties

As previously mentioned, if you make a withdrawal on your policy it will be subject to income tax fees. The only time you will not have to deal with these fees would be if the cash value of the policy goes toward your long-term health care.

To avoid these types of penalties altogether the best option would be to simply not touch the cash in the policy at all unless your health is at risk.

Is this the right fit for you?

How can you determine if single premium life insurance is what your family needs for the future? Let’s recap some of the good and bad about this type of insurance:

  1. Only one payment is needed
  2. Help with Financial Aid assistance
  3. Penalty-free access to policy for long-term care
  4. Penalties may reduce the policy value

Do you have more questions about single premium life insurance? If so contact us today about receiving a quote!

Why Don’t People Prepare For Natural Disasters?

If you live in a part of the country known for a certain type of natural disaster, like hurricanes or earthquakes, it stands to reason that you would make preparations for it. Things like having an emergency plan, reinforcing your home and making sure you have adequate insurance for the event.

Yet, time after time, we see news stories of people who were caught unawares by the approach of a natural disaster. These events range in scope from scrambling to get provisions at the last minute and emptying the shelves of grocery and hardware stores, to tragically losing a home and other possessions in a total disaster.

So, if people live in zones where they know there is a reasonable probability of a natural diaster, what would cause them to ignore preparations for that disaster until it’s too late?

A new book written by two directors from The Wharton School’s risk management division sheds some major light on the psychological processes that drive underpreparedness scenarios. Called “The Ostrich Paradox“, it examines in detail how disaster planning goes wrong — and how to do it the right way.

The authors identify six specific biases that cause people to not properly prepare for natural disasters:

  • Inertia: The ongoing feeling that you don’t need to protect yourself just quite yet.
  • Myopia: The irrational feeling that since things are fine now and have been fine for as long as you’ve been in the area, they’ll continue to always be fine.
  • Herding: Looking to others to tell you what to do to prepare for a disaster, and not doing it if you do not see an authority telling you to.
  • Optimism: While this is normally a positive trait, in the event of a disaster it can make you downplay the risks and thus fail to take adequate measures to protect yourself.
  • Amnesia: No matter how badly natural disasters damage an area, people are quick to forget these events and the lessons that should have been learned from them.
  • Simplification: A lack of awareness of the full extent of damage that a natural disaster can cause, and the scenarios that a family will be in if they’re caught in one (i.e. how they are going to get out of the area if the roads are shut down).

It’s tough to identify and admit to mental bias, but it’s very important to try to do so for the sake of protecting your property and family. The authors of the book advise people to draw up firm rules about how to handle a disaster long before there is any risk, keeping in mind that any or all of these biases could be influencing you once the first warnings of the disaster come in. Keep the rules in writing so there’s no confusion, and commit to following them to the letter. It’s also always a good idea to review your insurance policies and verify that you are adequately covered for the type of disasters that are common in your area, especially if you’ve done renovations or additions to your home recently.

So You’ve Just Witnessed A Car Accident … What Do You Do Now?

At some point in your life, you’ve probably been given the basic rundown of what to do if you’re involved in a car accident. You’re not always told what you should do if you’re a witness to someone else’s accident, however.

Witnesses to car accidents play a very important role. They’re often the first people able to respond if the parties in the car accident are injured and unable to call for help themselves. Both law enforcement and insurance companies also rely to a great deal on what witnesses report to determine what action they should take after an accident.

If you’re not directly involved in a car accident, you’re under no legal obligation to stop or to act as a witness. You can think of it as a civic duty or “good samaritan” deed, however. Someday, you might be involved in a similar accident, and would hope that the people around you would help you to get assistance and provide testimony so that your insurance company paid you fairly.

Keep the following in mind if you happen to witness an auto accident:

  • Safety First
    Take care of your personal safety first, and avoid contributing to the crash or creating a new hazard in the road. Stay at a safe distance until you are sure it is safe to approach. If you are going to check to see if someone needs medical attention, first find a safe place to park, and be sure to turn your hazard lights on before exiting the vehicle. Also be wary of environmental hazards as you approach, like shattered glass from windshields and downed power lines if someone hit a pole or tree.
  • Check On The Victims And Call For Help
    Unless you know CPR or have medical training, it’s best not to attempt to intervene with anyone who is injured. Instead, call 911 for an ambulance and describe the condition of the victims, and if they are conscious reassure them that medical help is en route. Simply being present and speaking to them calmly can help by lowering their stress levels.
  • Aid In Securing The Scene
    If you have road flares, or something like an emergency cone on hand, it is OK to deploy these in the road to alert oncoming traffic of the accident. Just be sure to check for liquids in the area before using a road flare or anything that involves a lighter. If you aren’t absolutely certain the liquid is water, refrain from lighting anything as it may be flammable.
  • Take Photos
    If the victims are unable to photograph the scene, you might consider doing it for them once they are stabilized and the area is secured. Photos taken immediately in the wake of the accident can be very helpful during insurance claims investigations.
  • Wait For The Police And Medical Personnel
    If an ambulance was called, most likely that will arrive first. Even if the police take longer to show up, however, it’s helpful to wait for them and add your eyewitness testimony to their report. If you don’t mind being called by an insurance investigator later, you can also offer your contact information to the parties involved.