How Homeowners Insurance and Condominium Insurance Benefits You

Written by dagny on . Posted in Insurance

Are you buying a new home, townhouse or condominium? Are you moving into your first apartment or condominium? Whether you’re buying or renting, having insurance is critical.

First we’ll take a look at why Homeowner’s Insurance and Condominium Insurance are beneficial. Once you buy a home, it’s yours. If a storm blows out a window, insurance will cover the cost to replace it. If pipes burst and your home sustains water damage, insurance will cover you. If you are robbed, you are covered. Damage to structures on the property are covered. Fire loss is covered. A few things not covered on most Homeowners Insurance Policies or HOIs are earthquake, hurricane and flood coverage. In areas that experience high rates of any one of these natural disasters, these policies are often extra. Homeowners’ policies don’t cover damage due to lack of maintenance by the owner.

Condominium and Townhouse Insurance works a little differently. Townhouses and condominiums generally have associations, which take care of maintenance. Associations have an insurance policy paid for by monthly dues from owners. This generally covers exterior damages and recovery. Anything within the four walls of the building is generally the responsibility of the owner. This includes lighting fixtures, pipes within the four walls, appliances and flooring. Personal property damage and loss is also the responsibility of the owner. If the unit is a rental unit, the company renting the unit usually requires insurance. If you rent on you own, insurance is so important to cover the possibility of damage done by a tenant, from holes in the wall to theft and more. You really can’t be too careful these days.

Secondly let’s look at rental units and Condominium Insurance or Renter’s Insurance. Most renters think they don’t need to worry about insurance, but what happens if the place is broken into and jewelry, televisions and stereo equipment are stolen? What if you lose your computer? If a pipe bursts and your personal effects are damaged, you aren’t covered under a general policy on the place. Personal effects need separate coverage. When choosing an insurance policy, consider the amount of the deductible. If you look at a policy with a $10,000 deductible, ask yourself if you have $10,000 worth of possessions that are worth replacing. It may be worth paying a bit more monthly for a low deductible.

Another question to ask is whether you want Replacement Cost Coverage or Actual Cost Value Coverage. Actual Cost Value Coverage means if an item is stolen or damaged, the insurance agent will look at the cost of the item and deduct a portion for depreciation. The longer you’ve owned the item the less money you will receive to replace the item. With Replacement Cost Coverage, you receive the amount it would cost to replace that item today. Replacement Cost Coverage Insurance will cost a little bit more, but in the long run, if your computer is stolen, do you want to be able to buy a new computer and get back on your feet immediately or would you rather receive a portion of the cost and have to save up before you can replace your computer?

Over the next three weeks we will look at each of the policies in further depth. For now, if you have questions about homeowners insurance, condominium insurance or renter’s insurance, call Richard Turner San Diego Insurance Agency. We can answer any questions you might have, set up a new policy or review an existing policy.

How An Injured Worker Can Affect Your Bottom Line

Written by dagny on . Posted in Insurance

Even in the safest work conditions accidents happen. Someone trips over something, someone falls down a set of stairs, or injures their back lifting heavy boxes or equipment. So what happens next and how can an injured employee affect a business’ bottom line?

If you have Workers Compensation, you don’t have a lot to worry about. As soon the employee reports the injury, have them get the medical assistance they need. After seeing a doctor or visiting the emergency room, have them fill out the appropriate paperwork and submit it to your insurance company. If you have Workers Compensation Insurance, which is included in most General Liability Insurance policies, you’re covered. You pay the predetermined deductible, your insurance agency covers the rest and you’re back in business.

If however, you don’t have insurance or your policy has a high deductible you could be looking at thousands of dollars in medical bills, especially if your employee goes to the emergency room. Remember, however, the most important thing is to make sure your employee’s injuries are examined and treated. If not, long-term injuries, such as an injured knee leading to problems walking, can end up costing tens of thousands of dollars in medical care, physical therapy and massage down the line.

“In most jurisdictions, employers can meet their workers’ compensation obligations by purchasing an insurance policy from an insurance company. However, five states and two U.S. territories (North Dakota, Ohio, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Washington, West Virginia, or Wyoming) require employers to get coverage exclusively through state-operated funds. If you’re an employer doing business in any of these jurisdictions, you need to obtain coverage from the specified government-run fund. These are commonly called monopoly state funds. A business cannot meet its workers’ compensation obligations in these jurisdictions with private insurance.” Read more:

The federal government requires businesses to carry workers compensation. If you don’t carry general liability insurance with workers compensation or if you don’t have workers compensation, not only can the employee sue for compensation, but you may also be penalized financially by the government for failure to carry this type of insurance. Lawsuits mean not only money but time.

These types of lawsuits have meant financial ruin for some smaller companies. Don’t let a lawsuit or an injured employee mean the end of your business. Call Richard Turner San Diego Insurance Agency to find out how we can help you. We work with businesses to create personalized insurance policies that fit your individual business needs. We would also be happy to review your current policy to make sure you have the coverage you need.

How General Liability Insurance Protects Flooring Contractors

Written by dagny on . Posted in Insurance

Every company has individual needs based on their product and the services they offer. Working as an independent contractor installing flooring, or running a flooring installation company has a few challenges most other businesses don’t:

1. Equipment is moved from either the business’ storage or from the independent contractor’s home. Equipment is at risk of theft because larger equipment is often left on jobsites or in vehicles that can easily be broken into. Losing equipment or tools means losing the ability to work.

2. There is a risk of injury to employees on the job, clients inspecting the work and other sub-contractors that work on-site. Any of them that are injured due to unfinished flooring or flooring installation equipment can sue.

3. Risk of injury to employees. Moving flooring materials is strenuous work. A work injury can mean a job isn’t completed on time. The result could mean losing the client, losing future references or not being paid.

General Liability Insurance as well as Inland Marine Insurance protects flooring contractors. General Liability Insurance not only protects the business owner from accidents or injuries that occur during flooring installation, policies can now cover the business owner against lawsuits arising after completion of the job. If in a few months or a year the homeowner claims the work was not installed properly, hazardous materials were used, or an injury arises because of a tile coming loose or wood flooring lifting, the flooring contractor will be covered. Small businesses especially suffer from time spent in court or paying lawyer’s fees. Not only does it cost money, but it takes time away from securing other jobs or completing jobs already in progress.

With general liability insurance, employees are covered if they get injured on the job. Instead of paying money out of pocket for hospital bills and physical therapy treatments, let your insurance company take care of you so you can focus on what’s really important.

We all know a flooring contractor can’t do work without tools. Stolen tools can literally halt a job. Inland marine insurance covers moveable property, such as tools and installation equipment.

When you’re covered with a solid insurance policy, your focus can be where it should be – on finding clients, and installing flooring. Let us worry about the ‘what ifs’ that can happen. At Richard Turner San Diego Insurance Company we have you covered. We know how devastating a single lawsuit can be to a small business owner or even a well-established business. With our customized insurance policies we’ll make sure you have the coverage you need and not a blanket policy that charges you for services you don’t need.

Interesting Facts About General Liability Insurance

Written by dagny on . Posted in Insurance

Some people purchase general liability insurance thinking that insurance takes care of any and all problems that arise in business situations. General Liability and Business Owners Policies cover the following:

•    Lawsuits
•    Personal injury
•    Injury to others on the owner’s property
•    Theft
•    Property damage
•    Harassment suits
•    Wrongful termination lawsuits
•    Discrimination suits
•    And more

However, there’s a case in the courts right now that is being watched carefully by corporations and insurance companies alike. The case was initially brought by a village in Alaska claiming that AES Corp. caused harm to their village as a result of global warming through the emission of greenhouse gases. In most cases, the company would be covered by insurance, however their insurance company refused to cover the case because in order to be covered an “occurrence” must have happened, or something unknowable. The occurrence must be something that has happened as a result of the company’s operations that the company was unaware would have negative consequences. However, if the company had knowledge of the possible consequences of its actions, then insurance doesn’t cover the claim.

In other words, if you pour chemicals you know are harmful into a waterway and then get sued for polluting the water and killing wildlife, insurance won’t cover you because you purposely caused damage to the waterway, knowing there would be ill effects.

What’s interesting in this case is that global warming for a long time was contested scientifically. Even the terminology changed from ‘global warming’ to ‘climate change.’ The question of whether or not the insurance company will cover the claim goes to the question, did the company know that their emissions were affecting the environment in a negative way?

However, if a company created a new substance, like a new paint for houses and was unaware that a chemical in it could cause harm, like lead once did, then they would be covered by their insurance company.

Insurance companies work to protect you from occurrences outside your control. Accidents, goods somehow contaminated without the company’s knowledge, such as in restaurants with food contamination and more. We are here to protect you against unforeseeable problems, however insurance companies do not cover intentional damage.

Curious about what else insurance does and doesn’t cover? Call Richard Turner San Diego Insurance Company. We would be happy to help clarify any questions you might have.

Why Tile Companies Need Insurance

Written by dagny on . Posted in Insurance

Some companies get insurance when they launch their business, other companies get insurance after they have had a reason to such as theft, property damage, lawsuits and more. We recommend getting insurance before you have a reason to.

So why are we singling out tiling companies of all the industries out there as needing general liability insurance including insurance to cover potential losses?

Here are a few reasons:

1. Small tile companies tend to hire workers as needed instead of having a full-time staff. This means each person on the team is a critical player. If someone gets injured on the jobsite, you could lose your reputation, time and money. For larger companies with full time staff, insurance will cover you against employees being injured on the job, employees claiming harassment or unfair discharge.

2. Tile is heavy. Any time repetitive heavy lifting is involved in a job, there’s a potential for injury. If you run your own business and get hurt on the job, how are you going to continue earning income while out of work recovering? One possibility is to hire someone to complete your jobs, but that means bringing home a much smaller percentage of the pay. Or, you could purchase an insurance policy that will cover you for the time you are out of work, meaning there is no interruption in your income.

3. If a subcontractor for another company trips over your tile and is injured, you may be liable.  

4. If vandals break into a job site or into your work truck or van and steal tile or other tools and supplies, let insurance cover the costs.

We look at insurance as job security. You can be secure in your job and your work if you don’t have to worry about lawsuits, theft and robbery. While any of the above will most likely be a cause for frustration, at least with insurance they won’t be cause for financial hardship or loss of income.

At Richard Turner San Diego Insurance Company we work with you to make sure you have the coverage you need for your individual business needs. Tiling companies have different needs than Wall Street workers. We want you to know we have you covered. Call us today and let us review your current policy or let us write you a policy that focuses on what you need, instead of a blanket policy.

Understanding Business Owners Policy (BOP)

Written by dagny on . Posted in Insurance

Business Owners Policy is a type of insurance policy that combines both property insurance and liability insurance. Essentially a BOP is an insurance package designed to save you money over purchasing several different types of individual insurance such as property insurance, business interruption insurance, crime insurance, business vehicle coverage, liability insurance and natural disaster insurance.

Because small and mid-sized businesses have enough to focus on with simply running their business and making a profit, we at Richard Turner San Diego Insurance Company work with you to design a custom Business Owners Policy that fits with your specific needs.

Some companies operate from home or are run by a single person. In these cases, the owner wouldn’t need Employment Practice Liability Insurance (EPLI). Working from home, the owner may already have home insurance, which in this case would act as property insurance. However the business itself would still need business interruption insurance, crime insurance, vehicle coverage and liability insurance.

Other mid-size businesses may need to cover their employees with EPLI insurance. Businesses that own their own property, rent or lease buildings will want to be covered with property insurance in the case of damage done to the building.

We take pride in determining each customer’s individual needs and crafting an insurance policy that will save you money over individual policies, while providing the exact coverage you need. We work with your budget to create a plan that you can afford, but that will cover you in case misfortune strikes.

If you have questions about Business Owners Policy (BOP) and how it can offer you the security you need to allow you to focus on what really matters – running your successful business, give us a call. If you currently have a BOP but are unsure if it offers the type of coverage you need, or if it covers things you don’t need covered, give us a call and we would be happy to review your current policy.

At Richard Turner San Diego Insurance Company, we worry about your insurance needs so you don’t have to.

A Quick Guide to General Liability Insurance

Written by dagny on . Posted in Insurance

Some of the most frequent questions we get at Richard Turner San Diego Insurance Agency have to do with General Liability Insurance. In order to help our clients, we have compiled a quick guide to help answer any questions you might have about this type of insurance coverage. If your question is not answered below, please feel free to contact us at any time (link to site).

Who needs it? Anyone who owns a business should have a General Liability Insurance policy. This goes for businesses that consist of one or two people to multi-national corporations who employ thousands of people.

What does it do? This type of insurance covers you in case of a lawsuit resulting from bodily injury while a patron or client is on the property and against injuries experienced by employees. Policies may also contain coverage for property damage due to theft or vandalism. Advertising Injury is also covered whether you are sued for libel, copyright infringement, misappropriation of concepts or ideas and/or invasion of privacy. Policies can be customized for your needs and can also include coverage for company vehicles.

How much does it cost? Policy costs will vary depending on what is included as well as your deductible. The size of the company may also determine costs depending on whether or not you include professional liability insurance for managers and top executives. Policies can range from a few hundred dollars a year to thousands.

How important is it? We think having a comprehensive policy is critical for every business owner. You never know when you’re going to get sued. Even if a lawsuit is not valid, it can eat away at profits and take time away from running a business.

What happens if I don’t have General Liability Insurance? If you don’t have General Liability Insurance and you are sued, whether the lawsuit is valid or not, you may lose thousands of dollars in lawyer fees, court fees and time spent away from work. In these economic times, we don’t know a single business that can afford to waste time and money on lawsuits. In a worst-case scenario, a business may close because of the costs incurred by a single lawsuit.

At Richard Turner San Diego Insurance Agency we’re here to help you. We cover your assets so you can focus on the things that are really important to you and your business.

Think It Won’t Happen To You?

Written by dagny on . Posted in Insurance

Business owners buy general liability insurance as protection against lawsuits. Lawsuits may be brought about because of theft, bodily harm, harassment, property damage, and of course natural disasters. While most people purchase insurance with the belief they will never use it, Hurricane Sandy and other natural disasters are teaching us otherwise.

If you own a building, are a property manager or a landlord and your building suffered damage that caused people to be without a home or caused the destruction of a place of business, you might be sued. The unfortunate reality of human nature is that when people are afraid, broke, homeless or have seen their business disappear in front of their eyes, there is a tendency in some people to want to lay blame, or more importantly to recoup their losses.

For the apartment renter who didn’t have home insurance and lost all furniture, family treasures and more, where do they go? For the business owner who lost computers, data, infrastructure for a business, where do they go?

In worst case scenarios, they are suing property owners and landlords claiming buildings were not property maintained or secured before the storm, as well as claiming that remediation efforts either did not happen, or did not happen in a timely fashion after the disaster. Whether or not the claims are real, they spell out a loss of time and money for the property owner or landlord.

General liability insurance covers the cost of these lawsuits so you can get back to your life and your business. As more natural disasters hit, such as the flooding in Boulder, CO and fires in California and Idaho, there will, unfortunately, likely be more lawsuits filed.

Because natural disaster insurance is sometimes a separate addition to your basic coverage, especially in areas where natural disasters are common, it’s important to have your insurance policy reviewed and updated before a natural disaster hits.

At Richard Turner San Diego Insurance Agency, we have you covered. We’ll not only review your current policy, but we would be happy to set you up with a new policy or a revised policy to insure you are covered no matter what disaster hits. Our job is to protect you so you can do your job with confidence.

Think You Don’t Need General Liability Insurance?

Written by dagny on . Posted in Insurance

If you run a small to mid-size business that operates out of your home or that only has two employees, both of whom are family, you may think you don’t need general liability insurance. But what happens if you have an argument with your employee/family member and they claim harassment or discrimination and sue? What if you decide to invite a client over to your home to pitch them a new idea and they trip and break their ankle? Are you responsible?

You are. Most people believe they will never be sued. In a perfect world people work out their differences or problems with a conversation, but in the society we currently live in, someone is just as likely to slap you with a lawsuit as they are to try to work things out, whether the occurrence is your fault or not.

What type of business do we think needs general liability insurance? Every single one. Some companies may need higher coverage than other companies, depending on the company’s worth, the company’s assets and more. Multi-national companies, or companies with hundreds or thousands of employees may opt for umbrella insurance or excess liability insurance. What this does is cover the company if the payout, lawyer’s fees and other expenses go beyond the limits of the general insurance policy.

Most companies are well covered with a million dollar policy, but in the case of class action lawsuits, payouts could reach well into the millions.

Property damage is also covered under this policy. This means if your property is damaged by fire, by theft or even graffiti, you will be covered to get your business back up and running.

Along with General Liability Insurance we also recommend having workman’s compensation and state disability insurance. These are often required by individual states. If you aren’t sure what San Diego requires as far as liability for business owners, please give us a call and we will be happy to make sure your current policy is in line with San Diego laws. Or, if you are just launching your business, we would be happy to set you up with an insurance policy that will cover all your needs.

At Richard Turner San Diego Insurance we compile insurance packages tailored for each client and their individual needs. Want to find out more about what we can do for you? Call us today.

Employment Practice Liability Insurance

Written by dagny on . Posted in Insurance

If you have employees then there is a chance that at some point you will be sued by one of them. Employees suing employers are fairly common occurrences. Reasons for the lawsuit may range from real or alleged forms of any of the following: sexual harassment, discrimination (based on age, race, sex or disability), breach of contract, emotional distress, violation of fair payment acts or violation of paying overtime or honoring government mandated work breaks. Employees who have been wrongly terminated, or believe they have been may also sue. Women who leave to have a baby are required by law to be given the same position at the same pay as when they left. Employers who offer a lesser job or don’t give them paid time off can be sued. Other factors that may result in lawsuits are treatment over religious beliefs, defamation of character, invasion of privacy and more.

Unfortunately there doesn’t have to be any burden of proof on the claimant to file a lawsuit. Some people file suits to see if they can get a payout, hoping to not ever have to appear in court. The biggest problem with lawsuits for employers is that whether they are based on fact or based on belief or feeling, they will still cost a company time and money. Legal expenses can shut a business down.

Employment Practice Liability Insurance covers businesses in the case of a lawsuit brought about by an employee. Those who should carry EPLI include high-ranking members of the company such as managers, executive directors, CEOs, COOS, human resource personnel and more. Many smaller companies face lawsuits because they have no procedures in place for hiring, discipline or termination of employees. In these cases, the employee terminated or disciplined or not hired could bring a suit about because there are no set standards to show why or how these procedures should happen.

EPLI coverage extends to suits from prospective employees, current employees, independent contractors, leased employees, volunteers and terminated employees. Sometimes Employment Practice Liability Insurance is rolled into a management liability policy, officer’s liability insurance or director’s liability insurance.

Whether you have a small business or a larger corporation, be sure to protect yourself against potential lawsuits from employees by signing up for Employment Practice Liability Insurance before you launch your business. Be covered to keep your business running efficiently and effectively.

If you have questions or concerns about your current policy or if you want to sign up for an EPLI insurance policy, call Richard Turner San Diego Insurance Agency today.

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