Small business risk: Fire ranks high

Going into business is heavy with financial risk but, once in business, natural disasters or unforeseen problems can create catastrophe.
Fire ranks high as a potentially devastating risk for business.
More than 75 percent of companies that experience a serious fire go out of business within three years of reopening, according to Phoenix Fire Protection.
Proper insurance can cushion destruction of assets and business interruption costs, but it won’t stem loss of customers, employees and data.
Of these three risks, data loss may be the easiest to mitigate.

* Daily off-site backups are key. On-site backups may seem sufficient unless a fire begins on the weekend or a holiday.

* Check backups regularly.

* Make sure at least two people know how to retrieve backups.

Make a pre-fire or disaster plan: Some of the questions you can ask:

* How can you protect IT equipment from fire or other disasters? If you can’t protect equipment, how will you replace it after the emergency?

* How will you retrieve data? Who will do it?

* Where will you operate? Will you need a generator for electricity? If so, where will you get the fuel to power the generator?

* What are the steps you will take to replace inventory? Is it necessary or possible to insure inventory? What is the worst-case scenario if it isn’t insured?

Besides Insurance, How Can a Business Prepare for a Hurricane?

Besides Insurance, How Can a Business Prepare for a Hurricane?
By M Wyzanski

Any insurance professional will stress the importance of a good commercial policy that includes wind and hail as well as flood coverage in relation to protecting your business from the elements. Case in point is the fact that many stricken by current hurricanes do not even own flood insurance.

We won’t get into the implications of damages and losses recovery in regard to this unfortunate set of circumstances. Suffice it to say, in wake of the destruction, these home and business owners have to deal with the financial stress on their own, save for whatever government assistance they can get.

Besides having a proper insurance plan in place, businesses can prepare for the worst weather scenarios by doing the following.

Review your company’s impact study:
• Make a tally of what type of losses you may incur.
• Consider the amount of risk loss and severity probability that may impact your business.
• Look over your business process flow agenda: Should one portion of your company become unworkable, assign another unit to take over.
• Choose which operations are vital for continued survival and recovery.
• Ensure all records of sales and customer-base, as well as tax data and documents are stored in a secure off-site location.
• Assign others to take over executive management if those in place are not able to carry out duties.

Partner with Other Businesses
• Have vendors ready to outsource services in case of a hurricane disaster.
• Mark down important vendor and business partners and store this info in an off-site multiple employee-accessible location.

Make Alternate Plans for your Facility
• Contemplate the use of other locations in the event your main office is rendered inaccessible or inoperable.
• Plan for security of people and property.

Ensure Payroll Efficiency
• If it is pertinent, ensure the vendors you will deal with understand how to continue with payroll.
• Partner with your vendors to ensure employee info is stored securely in an off-site location.

Team up with Other Operations
• Group together with other corporations at your building site to prepare for continued business in a weather-induced crisis.
• Reach out to emergency personnel and power companies to show them how your operations are conducted.
• Devise a plan together with your suppliers, shippers and others you rely on so that you will know how to carry on in the event of an emergency.

Keep Up with Your Protection Plans
• Review your plans on how to deal with an emergency situation yearly. Revise them if you feel changes need to be made.
• Conduct consistent emergency drills.
Risk control is part of any major insurance company’s policyholder’s benefits. Contact an independent agency that does direct business with many of the leading providers for more information on how your company can protect itself from a hurricane or other natural disaster.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/M_Wyzanski/2158115

What is covered by a commercial insurance policy?

Owning a business requires you to plan and foresee any risks that may affect it. Failure to that, you may end up using all your savings and profits to recover from an unforeseen risk such as fire or theft among more. A commercial insurance policy allows you to continue with your business operations without the fear of risks.

We at InsureUS, provide you with various commercial coverage options to protect your business. We understand that your business is an investment which you have worked so hard to build and therefore, we have experienced employees who help you analyze your business and determine the best coverage options for your company. Our team is friendly and dedicated to serving you and so feel free to approach any of our employees or contact us via our website.

If you are in Cypress, TX, some of our coverage options include:

Commercial Liability Coverage

A liability policy protects you and your business against lawsuits set by your competitors, customers or just any visitor. It protects you from suffering a financial loss in case you are found liable for damaging someone’s property or business. Also, it protects you if you are sued for slander or negligence.

It is important that you understand this policy because as long as you are operating a business, you never know what to expect. For example, you may wake up one morning to find you are being sued for advertising misleading information and if you don’t have a cover, you may end up using your revenues.

Commercial Property Coverage

To get this coverage, we recommend that you evaluate your property to be sure of what you are insuring. With this cover, we protect your office property such as furniture and inventory. Also, we protect your building if an unexpected disaster such as a fire occurs.

 We at InsureUS are dedicated to serving the people of Cypress, TX, to the best of our ability. So, feel free to contact us for any inquiries either through our website or by visiting our offices.

 

 

 

 

Hurricane Harvey highlights small business risk

The devastation left by Hurricane Harvey is a good reminder to small business owners that preparing for disaster is essential. The devastation left by Hurricane Harvey is a good reminder to small business owners that preparing for disaster is essential. Catastrophic hurricanes claim close to 40 percent of small businesses, according to FEMA. It can take years for even the most prosperous businesses to recover. Most Mom-and-Pop operations running on the edge never reopen. According to a 2016 study by Harvard Business Review, small and young businesses, already taking big financial risks, are notably unprepared for a disaster such as a hurricane. The study focused on small and young business recovery one year after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Among its findings:

* Many firms were uninsured. Nearly one-third of companies affected by Sandy had no insurance of any kind. Of firms less than five years old, about 60 percent were uninsured. Those that were insured found that their insurance covered none of their losses.

* Businesses increased their debt load when they could. More businesses applied for credit after Sandy than received insurance payments. * Credit was often constrained. Firms unprepared for disaster found that their interest rates went up after Sandy. Smaller firms were unable to secure credit because they did not meet the requirements, according to an informal survey by the New York Daily News.

* Community banks reduced lending. After Sandy, so many households and businesses were affected at once that small banks found loan defaults depleted capital. They were unable to lend. The study concluded that risk analysis had to be made a strategic priority.

Recent Updates Concerning Commercial Insurance in Texas

With our busy schedules, it’s easy to overlook recent updates concerning business insurance. We, as business professionals and entrepreneurs, are working hard to achieve the bottom line- gaining profits, and to stay abreast of the competition. Having said all of this, the following includes recent updates concerning commercial insurance in the state of Texas:

1. Appropriate coverage of Uber and Lyft drivers– with the gaps discovered with transportation networking companies, insurance laws relatable to those gaps became effective on January 1, 2016.  

2. The increase in burial benefit insurance for worker’s compensation– increased from $6,000 to $10,000.

3.  Financial requirements of bail bond insurers– to continue effective bail bonds’ issuance, bail bond insurers must clarify the premium receipts/service fees’ taxability.

4. Debt cancellation agreements with certain retail installment leases and contracts for vehicles–  the amendment except stated in the Texas capital legislature that a retail seller may provide a retail buyer an agreement of debt cancellation which includes a waiver of guaranteed asset protection or a similar type of agreement.  And furthermore, if part of the retail buyer’s responsibility towards the holder in the form of insurance coverage is required as the retail installment transaction, the asset is guaranteed.  

Conclusion

These are just a few commercial related insurance updates. To know more concerning these and other relatable updates, InsureUS, located in Cypress, TX, is the proper place of contact. InsureUS has top notch customer service and agents who are highly trained and experienced, and they are anxiously awaiting to assist you. As stated before, they are located in Cypress, TX which is just outside Houston, Texas. They also can be contacted via email, phone, and fax. So, call them today. You’ll have a peace of mind knowing that your business is adequately covered.

Questions to Ask Before You Have a Home Built

Verify Credentials

Don’t settle for just any custom home builder; find out all you can about them. Ask them how long they have been in the business and why they enjoy it. Ask them about their challenges and how they have overcome them. Find out about other homes they have built in the area and go take a look at them. Check online to see if there are complaints against them.

Once you find a terrific custom home builder to work with, ask them about their credentials. This includes insurance and licensing. Ask them about their crew and what types of checks they conduct on them to make sure they have the right skills for the job. A professional isn’t going to bat an eye at your questions or avoid answering them.

Models and Selecting Details

Most custom home builder providers have models you can walk though and look around. Others only offer those images on a computer for you to look at. Talk to them about the various floor plans they offer and how you select your colors and other details. If there is something unique you want to have added, make sure they can do this before anything gets started.

Change orders can be tough to accommodate when it comes to building a home. They can also be costly in terms of the materials and the time involved. The building shouldn’t begin until are completely sure about what you want and all of those details have been fully discussed. Take all the time you need to make your final selections.

Budgeting

You may have a bottom line in mind when it comes to your new home. It is important for the custom home builder to know this figure and to respect it. They can share with you what they can offer for that price. They may have a land/home package for you to think about. It is also possible you are buying the land separate and hiring them just to build the home.

There are other factors you need to take into consideration though. This includes plumbing, wiring for electricity, and other factors. The builder of your home should be able to share these needs with you as they do have to be factored into the overall cost. Typically, they will subcontract that work so you are only paying one person to get the job done.

In other instances, you may be able to pick those subcontractors. Find out what the process will be in advance so you can be prepared for what you are responsible for. If they are going to cover the subcontractors, ask who they are and conduct your research. You need to be confident they can do an excellent job for you.

Scheduling

Ask about the other homes they have on their agenda and when they will finish them. It isn’t uncommon for a custom home builder to have more than one crew. This allows them to work on various projects. The crews may all work on certain aspects of any given home. This allows those with certain skills to use them to complete certain tasks.

Find out how long it will be for them to start the construction of your home and when it will be completed. There can be delays with permits, inspections, weather, and other variables they can’t control. However, they should be able to give you a reasonable timeframe for the work to be done.

It is important to us for you to have the home you really want. We hold ourselves to very high standards so you can get the best possible results. We have the experience to create an amazing home for you. Working with us, we can help you to design it and to ensure everything is taken care of. Safety is a top priority for us and we ensure all building codes will be followed every step of the way. We are selective about who we obtain our building materials from. We only use the best quality products so your home will look amazing when you move in as well as down the road. Check out http://mikeblakehomes.com to get an idea of what we can do for you.

By  

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Mike_Blake/2213447

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9592566

Uninsured Businesses Cost More Money Than They Save

Opting not to pay for commercial insurance seems like a way to save a business money. Those premiums really add up quickly. However, it’s worth the money in the long run and for many reasons.

1. It Protects Against Liability Charged

Accidents happen. And unfortunately, they oftentimes happen to a business’ customers and employees. Commercial insurance prevents a company from having to pay for these claims out of pocket. The insurance will cover the cost. It makes it much easier to settle out of court and for a lesser amount. And even if it goes to court, having insurance makes it look better on the business’ part and just makes the outcome more favorable for the business.

2. Lawsuits Are Expensive 

In some instances, the amount is an astronomical amount that the company can’t even afford, so when there’s insurance, a majority of the expenses are paid by the insurance company rather than the business. Although the insurance doesn’t always cover the full claim, it only leaves the business responsible for some of the expenses. 

3. Protects Against Bankruptcy

A costly lawsuit causes the business to need to take responsibility for the money owed. If it’s too much, it can cause the business to go bankrupt.

4. Personal Responsibility 

The owner is sometimes left responsible for a lawsuit. This could cause a person to lose his or her home, even if the company became an LLC.

Having commercial insurance just makes sense and is the best option for a business. For more information about commercial insurance or to start a policy, contact InsureUS, serving the Cypress, TX area, at 281-640-8888.

Importance of Business Insurance for Small Businesses

By Nate Rodnay
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6909188

In any business, risks cannot be ruled out. In case of a small business, even a small risk can make a huge impact on the growth and sustainability of the business. This is more so with respect to finances as small businesses, by their very nature, are devoid of strong financial support.

If you are a small business owner, you need to seriously consider taking business insurance to protect your businesses from unfortunate events that cause financial crisis.

Besides providing financial support during unfortunate events, insurance helps in increasing the credibility of your business among your employees (crucial part of your business) – they feel secured knowing that they are covered under insurance policy.

While choosing an insurance policy, assess and identify the risks that are likely to affect your business significantly. Common risks for any business include, damage to business property, life hazards to employees, and public law suits. None of these is a small liability that you can afford to overlook.

Basic types of business insurance policies:
There are different types of insurance policies covering different types of risks; you can either choose one policy or combine a few of them to make a consolidated policy that covers every risk your business might face. Here are some basic insurance policies that you can choose from:

Business liability: Your business is always at risk of facing law suits from third parties. There can be instances that make your business the subject of a lawsuit – a customer trips on a torn carpet in your office, a customer falls sick using your product, an electrical short-circuit that causes fire and damages your landlord’s building etc. These liabilities usually result in huge compensation claims. In such cases, having business liability insurance protects you against all these risks. Business liability insurance generally covers medical expenses and legal fees.

Property insurance: You don’t want to mess up with your business property. Do you? So, make sure that your business property is covered properly. Property insurance for your small business covers the fixtures, furniture, the inventory, and other physical assets of business. Property insurance protects the property against the damage, theft or loss.

Auto insurance: You need commercial auto insurance if you use a vehicle solely for your business. You should get a commercial insurance policy if your vehicle has commercial tags on it. Auto insurance covers risks of damage to the vehicle caused by an accident or vandalism. It also protects you from the third-party liability claims if your vehicle is involved in any accident.

Workers’ compensation: As an employer, it is your responsibility to take care of your employees at workplace. If any employee falls sick, gets injured or dies while working, as a business owner, you will be held accountable. You need to take care of his medical expenses. Here, workers’ compensation insurance helps you by covering the risk of injury to workers and the consequent medical expenses, etc.

Not buying insurance would put your business at greater risk. It is also not financially sensible to ignore the importance of insurance. Working out the right type and the correct amount of insurance coverage is quite difficult going by the variety of risks to your business.

Hence, approach a good insurance broker to get the right insurance coverage for your business.

InsureUS specializes in business insurance solutions. We offer a broad range of products to contractors and general business customers including public liability insurance. Call us today at 281-640-8888.

5 Types of Business Insurance and Why You Need Them

By Karen Johnson
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Karen_Johnson/2212166

 

No matter the size or nature of your business, one thing that remains the same is the need for business insurance. There are many different aspects of your business that you’ll want to take into consideration when looking for new business insurance – or reviewing your current insurance coverage. Since every business is different, each one will have different insurance requirements. For example, a company that produces physical goods may need different insurance than a company which offers services. In either scenario, there are some similarities, and listed here are a few types of insurance that all businesses should consider.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance – for your employees

Workers’ Comp insurance is required by law in almost every state. It can provide coverage for medical costs and a portion of lost wages for an employee who becomes injured or ill on the job. Typically, this type of insurance only covers injuries or illness that occur on the job site – for example, if an employee slips and falls on a wet floor.

Since the laws regarding Workers’ Comp can be different depending on where your company is located, it’s important to work with an insurance professional to make sure you’re getting the coverage that’s required, as well as what you need for your particular business.

General Liability Insurance

General Liability Insurance is designed to protect you and your business from a variety of claims, including accidents, injuries, or claims of negligence. This type of insurance can help pay for things like property damage, medical expenses, libel, slander, legal costs, and faulty products. No one expects to get sued, but the reality is that it’s always a possibility. You don’t want to leave your business open to these types of situations, and the broader the protection, the better.

Professional Liability Insurance – “Errors and Omissions” coverage

Professional Liability Insurance can also be known as “Errors and Omissions Insurance,” or “Malpractice Insurance.” It protects you from lawsuits that allege negligence in providing professional services, providing shoddy work, or making mistakes or omissions. This type of insurance is particularly important if you have a service-based business, but can also be necessary for other types of businesses as well. Mistakes happen – so adequate Professional Liability Insurance can be helpful, even if you don’t think you’ll need it.

Property Insurance

The definition of “property” is broad, and can mean different things to different types of businesses. That’s why it’s important to make sure you carry adequate Commercial Property Insurance. Without this type of insurance, most small businesses wouldn’t be able to replace their equipment should something happen to cause damage or destruction. Property covered by this type of insurance can include buildings, computers, inventory, supplies and equipment. There are two types of Property Insurance: “all-risk” policies cover just about everything, and is a good way to avoid duplication or overlap of coverage, as well as gaps in trying to cover your liabilities. “Peril-specific” policies, or “named-peril” coverage applies only to particular perils that are specifically named in the policy. They’re usually needed when there is a high risk in a very particular area.

Life Insurance / Key Executive Insurance – protection and benefit

Offering life insurance for employees can be a valuable benefit when trying to attract high-quality employees. A business can even offer additional coverage for executives. These employees are deemed to be crucial to the running and success of the business, and may sometimes require additional insurance, above and beyond what the normal employee benefits provide. This can be another benefit in attracting top talent.

A business can also offer special “Key Person” policies for employees without whom the business could not function. Key Person Insurance protects against a key employee’s unexpected death – often times the benefit amount equals the expected revenue loss and costs required to find and train a suitable replacement. The business pays the premiums, and the insurance is considered a business asset.

It’s possible to combine some of these basic coverages as a package policy, often referred to as a Business Owner’s Policy, or BOP. Many insurance companies bundle certain coverages, and this can save you money, as long as you make sure you get the proper type of coverage.

Even if you feel you have adequate business insurance coverage that meets all your current needs, it’s still advisable to review all your coverage on an annual basis, to make sure that your coverage continues to provide everything that you need. This is particularly important if you or your business have experienced any major changes, such as change in family status, or a significant increase or decrease in business activity. Additionally, be sure to work with a reputable, licensed insurance agent or broker, who has knowledge regarding business like yours.