Try Out These Suggestions to Secure Your Business’s Insurance

How to choose the right coverage for your business.businessmen at work

If you run a small business, then it’s vital that you secure the right commercial coverage to keep your company safe.  However, with all the insurance options out there, it can be difficult to determine which coverages best meet your needs.  To help you secure the business insurance you need, here are some of the suggestions that you should try.

Know the Basic Forms of Coverage

While every business has its own unique insurance needs, there are certain forms of coverage that all businesses should carry.  Some of the most essential types of commercial coverage include the following:

  • General liability– Protects against customer, vendor, or other third-party injuries or property damages that your business may be held responsible for.
  • Commercial property– Protects your business’s physical structure as well as the equipment, supplies, inventory, and other property housed inside of it.
  • Business interruption– Offers financial support to keep your business afloat when your business’s normal operations cannot proceed as usual.
  • Workers compensation– Offers coverage for employees that are injured or become ill while on the job. This insurance covers an employee’s medical treatment, a portion of their lost wages, and the cost of their rehabilitation.

Secure Mandatory Forms of Insurance

It’s important to understand that certain types of business insurance are legally mandated.  For instance, every state requires businesses to carry some minimum amount of workers compensation insurance.  Additionally, certain states require companies to offer their staff disability insurance.  Finally, if you are renting or leasing a space for your business, then your landlord or lending agency might require you to carry commercial property insurance in your contract.

Learn About Specialty Coverage Options

In addition to basic and mandatory forms of business insurance, there are many other types of coverage that can be secured to address your business’s unique risk factors.  Some of the most common types of coverage include the following:

  • Product liability
  • Professional liability
  • Employment practices liability
  • Commercial auto
  • Cyber liability
  • Equipment breakdown
  • Home-based business
  • Commercial umbrella

In addition to these forms of insurance, there is a wide array of additional coverage options that you can secure for your business.  You should speak to an experienced insurance provider to learn about which coverages are right for your company.

Here are some of the things that you should do to secure the comprehensive coverage that your business needs.  Need help with your business insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to get you covered today.

When to Expect Life Insurance Benefits

Find out when you will receive life insurance payouts.parents holding their baby

If a loved one has passed away, then you may already be feeling the financial impact of their loss.  This is why you may be worried about receiving their life insurance benefit.  Here is what you need to know about life insurance payouts following the policyholder’s death.

How quickly will I receive benefits?

According to the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), life insurance benefits are usually paid within 30 days of the insurance provider receiving the claim.  If you have all the necessary documentation, then you can receive compensation as quickly as ten business days.

Delays

Some of the common issues that can cause a delay in benefit distribution include the following:

  • Missing information or documentation– If the claim form is incomplete or inaccurate, then this will slow down the process. Additionally, if you do not provide a certified death certificate for your loved one, then this too will cause delays.
  • Suicide– Many life insurance policies include a clause stating that benefits will not be distributed if the policyholder dies from suicide within the first two years of the policy term. If the insurer suspects suicide within that time frame, they will investigate.  This will delay or even cancel the benefits distribution process.
  • The death occurred during a contestability period– A contestability period is usually the first two years after a life insurance policy has been secured. If the policyholder dies during this period, then the life insurance company has the right to investigate the claim.  Should an investigation ensue, then benefits can be delayed or not paid out at all.

This is what you need to know about the life insurance benefit distribution process.  Do you have additional questions regarding your life insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your life insurance needs today.

Does General Liability Insurance Cover Injured Employees?

Will your general liability coverage take care of injured staff members?employee with arm in a sling

If you run a business, then you are responsible for the wellbeing of your staff.  Most business owners look to ensure the safety of their employees by securing the right insurance protection.  Unfortunately, some business owners incorrectly assume that their existing policies, such as their general liability insurance, provide coverage for injured employees.  It’s important to understand that general liability insurance only provides coverage for customers, vendors, and other third-party injuries.  The only way to secure coverage for your staff is with the right workers compensation insurance.  Here’s what you need to know.

  • Workers Compensation Insurance

The only way to protect your employees from workplace injuries and illnesses is with the right workers compensation insurance.  This type of coverage will address an injured employee’s medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs.  However, workers compensation doesn’t just protect your employees—it also offers safeguards for your business as well.  For instance, should an injured employee decide to waive their workers compensation benefits in favor of suing your company, then this workers comp coverage can be converted to pay for your business’s legal and settlement costs.

  • Mandatory Coverage

Almost every state in the U.S. requires businesses to offer some minimum amount of workers compensation insurance coverage.  So, not only is offering workers comp coverage a great way to show your staff that you care about them, but it also ensures that you are not leaving yourself vulnerable to costly fines and legal trouble.

Interested in securing the right workers compensation insurance to keep your staff safe?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your business’s insurance needs today.

How Auto Insurers Calculate Vehicle Damages

Find out how your insurer will determine the cost of your damages following an accident.man inspecting car damage

If you have the right auto insurance in place, then you can rest easy knowing that you have coverage to address the damages you have sustained during a car accident.  However, have you ever wondered what your auto insurer will do to determine the extent and cost of your car’s damage?  Here is what your insurance provider does to calculate your damage costs.

Role of Your Claims Adjuster and Appraiser

After you have filed a claim for an accident, you will give a statement to your claims adjuster.  You will recount the details of the accident and send them any information that you have (the other driver’s contact and insurance information, police report details, photos, and so on).  If you have coverage for your damages, then your adjuster will send out an appraiser to inspect your vehicle and officially document the extent of your car’s damage.

During their inspection, your appraiser will determine which parts need to be replaced.  Because your insurance will only offer coverage for the damages stemming directly for the accident, the appraiser will also check to make sure you have not made a claim for prior damage to your vehicle.

Repair Estimate

Based on the inspection, your appraiser will generate an itemized list of all parts and repairs that your car needs.  This list will also account for labor time and costs, paint time, and other subtotals.  The appraiser will add all these subtotals together and account for taxes to generate your repair estimate.  Please note that this sum is still a preliminary estimate; it’s possible that your costs will increase if the repair shop finds additional damages.  If this occurs, then the shop will submit a supplement for your insurance company to review.  So long as the damages are related to the accident, your insurer will work directly with the shop to arrange the repairs.

This is how your auto insurance provider will determine the cost of your car’s damage following an accident.  Looking to secure the right insurance to ensure that you are covered in the event of a car accident?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

How to Handle a Total Loss Vehicle Claim

Steps to take after your car has been declared a total loss.car with its front smashed in

If you have been in an accident and your car has been deemed a total loss, then you might not know how to proceed.  However, there are some steps that you can take to ensure that your claim and settlement process proceeds smoothly.  Here’s what you should do to facilitate the claims process.

  • Locate Your Car Title

Your car title is needed to process a total loss claim, so it’s important that you know where this document is.  If you cannot find your title, then file for a lost title at the DMV as soon as possible so you can officially begin the claims process.

  • Determine How Much Your Car is Worth

Do some research to get a general idea of how much your car is currently worth.  Use resources like Kelly Blue Book to see what they value your make and model at.  You should also look at similar vehicle listings in your area.  This research should give you a good idea of what your insurer will value your car at.

  • Find Out How Much You Owe on The Car

If you have a loan out on the vehicle, then check to see how much you still owe.  This will help you prepare in the event that your loan amount is higher than your car’s current value.  If your loan exceeds your car’s value, then your insurance settlement will go to your lender, and you will be responsible for paying the remaining loan amount on your own.

  • Complete Paperwork Promptly

Total loss claims require a lot of paperwork.  For instance, you and your insurer will have to come to a written agreement on the value of your car.  You will also have to sign ownership of the vehicle over to your insurer so they can process your claim and pay the settlement to you or your lender.  Prompt completion of this paperwork will help you put the ordeal behind you as soon as possible.

This is what you can do to assist with your total loss vehicle claim.  Do you have more questions about your auto insurance and car accidents?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your car coverage needs today.

Health Insurance Terms That You Should Know

Health insurance terminology that everyone should know.Health Insurance Terms That You Should Know

For the average person, engaging with the health insurance market can be a challenging experience.  To make matters worse, there are many confusing terms that make managing your health coverage even more confusing.  To help you understand your health coverage, here are the definitions of some of the most important health insurance terms.

  1. PPO– Preferred Provider Organization; refers to a health plan that encourages you to use a network of doctors and hospitals for your healthcare services. Seeing medical professionals outside of your network will result in higher out-of-pocket payments.
  2. HMO– Health Maintenance Organization; these plans have their own network of doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers. HMOs offer coverage for lower premiums but limit your choices as they will not cover any out-of-network care.
  3. Indemnity– health plans that allow you to direct your own healthcare and choose the doctors and hospitals that you want. The plan will cover a predetermined percentage of your total health care costs
  4. Copayment– flat dollar amount that you will pay your health care provider for a covered service. For instance, you could have a copayment of $30 for every visit to your primary care doctor and a $10 payment for every prescription filled.
  5. Coinsurance– the percentage of charges for covered services that you are required to pay. For instance, your insurance may cover 80% of the costs associated with a hospital stay, leaving you responsible for paying the remaining 20%.

These are some of the health insurance terms that you should know.  Do you have further questions regarding your health coverage needs?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your personal insurance needs today.

Can a Parking Ticket Affect Your Auto Insurance Costs?

How does getting a parking ticket influence your insurance costs?Can a Parking Ticket Affect Your Auto Insurance Costs?

Getting a parking ticket is bad enough as it is, but having it affect your auto insurance rates would make the situation even worse.  So, do parking tickets somehow affect your car insurance costs?  Here’s what you need to know.

Parking Tickets and Car Insurance

Drivers will be pleased to know that parking tickets do not have any impact on their auto insurance premiums.  While moving violations, such as speeding tickets and DUIs will raise your insurance rates, non-moving violations such as parking tickets are of little concern to your insurer.  Because moving violations and traffic accidents indicate that you are a bad or risky driver, these issues will result in higher insurance costs.  Parking tickets don’t have anything to do with your driving habits, in fact, they don’t even show up on your driving record.  So, whether you have one or twenty parking tickets to your name, they shouldn’t have any impact on your car insurance costs.

Tickets that Do Affect Your Insurance Cost

As mentioned above, receiving a moving violation will increase your auto insurance rates.  Common moving violations include the following:

  • Speeding tickets
  • Distracted driving tickets
  • Careless or reckless driving
  • Driving under the influence

These types of tickets will remain on your driving record for three to five years and will affect your insurance rates during this period, especially if you have two or more of these violations within the period.

This is what you need to know about parking tickets and your car insurance costs.  Do you have further questions regarding your auto insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your car coverage needs today.

Why Your Claims History Affects Your Auto Insurance Rates

Here’s why your claims history matters to your auto insurer.Why Your Claims History Affects Your Auto Insurance Rates

When you apply for auto insurance, the insurance company will take several factors into account when determining your rates.  One of the things that they will look at is your history of past claims.  But why do insurers place so much weight onto your past auto claims?  Here’s what you need to know.

More Claims Mean Higher Costs

Auto insurers use your claims history to determine if you are a high or low-risk driver.  If you have a track record of making a lot of claims, then insurers will consider you riskier to insure.  As always, the higher-risk you are, the higher your insurance rates will be.  On a positive note, if you are a safe driver, then your auto insurance rates will be on the lower side.

How Do Insurers Know About Previous Claims?

Auto insurers will track claims from different carries with a CLUE (“Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange”) report.  CLUE is a database that all insurers use to track and review your claims history.  All insurance companies submit monthly loss history reports to the CLUE database.  These reports include your personal information, your claims history for the month, and inquiries.  These reports remain in the system for 7 years before they are deleted.  Before offering you coverage, all auto insurers will check your CLUE report to determine how high-risk you are.

Comprehensive Claims

It’s important to note that comprehensive damage claims will not affect your auto insurance premiums.  Because comprehensive claims are a result of things outside of your control, such as fire, storm damage, theft, and so on, insurers will not hold these claims against you.  It is only the claims for actual at-fault auto accidents that will affect your rates.

This is why your claims history matters to your auto insurer.  Do you have more questions regarding your auto insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services.  We are ready to assist you with all your car coverage needs today.

Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Spring

Try out these suggestions to get your home ready for the change in seasons.Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Spring

With spring on its way, it’s time to get your home ready for the change in seasons.  Not sure which home maintenance tasks you should complete to get ready for spring?  Then crossing these items off your to-do list is a great place to start.

  • Inspect Your Roof

Now that the weather is a little clearer, you should take the opportunity to inspect your roof for signs of damage and wear.   By taking the time to replace damaged or missing shingles and patch up cracks, you can ensure that your roof holds up against spring showers.

  • Examine Your Concrete

This spring, you should also check the concrete of your driveway and walkways for cracks and other damages.  Because cracks in your concrete can trap water and direct it towards your home’s foundation, it’s important that you repair these damages asap.  Simply applying concrete crack filler or silicone caulk will seal up your concrete and keep your home safe.

  • Check Your Power Equipment

The return of nice weather means that you will probably be spending a lot more time on yard maintenance and landscaping.  However, before you undertake these tasks, it important to check your power equipment and make sure that it’s working properly.  For instance, you should check things like your lawn mower, hedge clippers, chainsaw, and so on.  Making sure this equipment is well-maintained will ensure that your yard work goes much more smoothly.

These are some 0f the home maintenance tasks that you should take care of in preparation for spring.  Want another way to take care of your home this season? Then make sure you have the right homeowners insurance protections in place.  For assistance with your home coverage needs, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services for assistance today.

Understanding Term Life Insurance

Here’s what you need to know about a term life insurance policy.Understanding Term Life Insurance

While most people understand the importance of securing life insurance coverage, many are unclear about their coverage options. One of the most popular types of life insurance is term life. But how does this policy work and what does it cover? Read on to learn more about term life insurance coverage.

What is it?

Term life insurance policies offer life insurance coverage for a set amount of time, or term. Usually, term lengths last for anywhere between 10 and 30 years. Many people secure term life policies because they are straightforward and because they offer coverage for an important period of their lives. For instance, many people secure a term life policy to last them until they retire or until their children are no longer dependent on them.

How does it work?

During your term, you will make your regular premium payments. If you die sometime during your term, your beneficiaries will receive a previously agreed upon death benefit. However, once your term length ends, your life insurer no longer has any obligation to you. If you were to die once your term is up, your beneficiaries will not receive compensation. If you still need coverage after your policy expires, you will have to secure a new policy.

How much does it cost?

Because term life policies only offer you coverage for a set amount of time, they tend to be cheaper than whole life insurance options. That being said, the actual cost of your premium will be dependent on a variety of individual factors. For instance, your insurance costs will vary according to your age, overall health, your lifestyle, and so on.

This is what you need to know about term life insurance policies. Do you have further inquiries regarding your life insurance coverage? If so, contact the experts at Miller Carlisle Insurance Services. We are ready to assist you with all your personal coverage needs today.