How does a car insurance deductible work?

How does a car insurance deductible work?

How does a car insurance deductible work?

When you’re talking to your agent about car insurance, they may mention a little thing called a “deductible.” You may be a little confused about this amount you may have to pay in addition to your monthly premium, but it’s vital to the way that insurance works and what can make your policy and your rates work for you. Here’s how.

What is a deductible?

If something happens to your car, your auto insurance deductible is the amount you’ve agreed to pay – your insurance has its part, you have your part. For example, let’s say you have a $500 deductible. You’re in an accident where the damages total $2,000. You would have to pay the $500 deductible, and your car insurance would pay the rest of the money to fix your car ($1,500) so long as it’s a covered claim.

We say your car because a car insurance deductible typically applies to collision and comprehensive coverage. If you only have bodily injury and property liability coverage, your insurance company will probably just pay the other driver’s fees. However, the claim could make your rates go up for next year.

Why do I need collision/comprehensive insurance?

While Georgia requires bodily injury and property damage liability, these coverages are only to cover your responsibility to the other driver in an accident. Collision and comprehensive coverage are the types of coverage that can help you repair damage to your car. Without those, you’ll have to pay the entire amount of your car repairs out-of-pocket. So, a deductible, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t that bad.

What is a car insurance deductible?

Is it worth going through my car insurance for a repair?

Additionally, some things aren’t really worth going through your car insurance because of your deductible. For example, let’s say you have a $250 repair bill for your car. If you have a $500 deductible, you would have to pay out-of-pocket for the total amount of the repair anyway. Because the repair isn’t more than the deductible, it might not be worth it to file a claim for something you’d pay for out-of-pocket anyway.

Similarly, if you had a $600 repair and a $500 deductible, you may just want to take care of the repair yourself instead of making your insurance pay the extra $100, potentially raising your rates next policy term. However, if you have a much higher repair bill than your deductible, by all means, let your insurance help you out!

How does my deductible affect my car insurance?

The thing about deductibles is that they can affect your premium. So, if you’re already paying more for your monthly premium, you can have a lower deductible because you’ve, in a sense, already “paid (part of) your dues” on a monthly basis.

On the other hand, if you choose a higher deductible, your insurance company can see it as you taking more financial responsibility if you have to repair your car. So, they can lower your monthly premium/payment into the risk pool. It’s all a balancing act.

How do I choose my deductible?

So, what does all this mean for you? Well, it means you can be a little more informed in the deductible you choose. That way, you can customize your auto insurance policy for your needs. A good place to start considering the deductible you want is by asking yourself these questions:

How much would I be able to pay if I filed a claim?

Budget for how much you could reasonably pay if you had to repair your car. What amount could you put into your car without being significantly set back in your finances? Your insurance is there, ultimately, to help you. Don’t let it hurt you.

Am I willing to have a higher monthly payment or higher repair costs later?

If you believe you’re able to pay out more every month for your car insurance, and you don’t think something will happen later, go ahead and choose a lower deductible. Accidents happen, even to safe drivers. Still, if you’re not in a high-risk situation that could affect your auto insurance rates, you may be comfortable taking the chance that you won’t have to pay a deductible later on.

However, if you think you won’t be able to afford higher monthly payments, but you would be able to save up gradually for your deductible, choosing a higher deductible and a lower monthly payment may be for you. Remember, though, that your car insurance deductible doesn’t build on itself like health insurance. Each claim that you file means that you have to pay that deductible for that claim. So, if you have a $500 deductible, and 2 claims throughout your policy term, you would have to pay $500 for each of those 2 claims.

Do I still have to pay a deductible if I’m in an accident, but I’m not at fault?

It depends on the direction you want to take. If you want to ensure that your rates won’t go up, you could go directly through the other driver’s insurance policy to have your car repaired. However, going through another carrier may take longer than expected.

If you have collision coverage, you could go through your insurance to have your car repaired more quickly. In this case, you may end up paying your deductible while your insurance takes care of their part of the repairs. Then your insurance would subrogate (ask the other driver’s insurance company for money) and reimburse you for your deductible.

Overall, deductibles and premiums are a fine balancing act between your premiums, your coverage, and your budget. It can be tough to navigate. That’s why our car insurance experts are here to help you every step of the way. We’ll walk through your risks so that we give you quotes and discounts on auto insurance that fit your needs. To get started, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with an agent today!

7 things to know about car insurance if you’re moving

Changing your car insurance if you're moving

Changing your car insurance if you're moving

Moving can be quite the hassle, especially when handling important paperwork like your insurance. Transferring your home insurance plan may seem like a no-brainer, but your car insurance may seem like another beast. After all, one of the factors that contribute to your car insurance rates is your address, or where you park your car normally. So, what do you need to know when that address changes? Let’s look at these 7 things that you may need to know about your car insurance if you’re moving.

7 things to know about car insurance if you’re moving.

1. How to change the information on your car insurance

Changing your car insurance policy to fit your new location might be as simple as calling your insurance agent and going through a quick filing process. However, if you’re moving to an area that’s outside of your carrier’s area of coverage, you’ll need to shop for a new car insurance carrier all over again. Luckily, our experts have access to multiple insurance companies nationwide. So, we can help you determine the specific risks you’ll face in your new location and find similar carriers with the best rates around.

2. You have a certain amount of time after you move to change the address on your policy

Different states have different requirements for when an insured needs to have their car insurance policy registered with a new address. You’ll need to find out that exact timeframe, but it’s a good idea to go ahead and have your policy switched over as soon as possible.

As a rule of thumb, most states require you to register your car to your new address within 30 days of your move. So, it could be a good idea to go by this timeframe for your auto insurance as well.

3. You may have new state-required minimums if you move

Each state has its own minimum requirements for car insurance. If you’re moving out of state, you’ll need to know which coverages your new state requires and how much your coverage limits need to be. Some states require more coverage. Some states require less.

It’s important to note, though, that even though a state may require less coverage than your previous address, you could be putting yourself in a sticky situation by not having enough coverage if something does happen to your car.

More often than not, state minimums only require a certain amount of bodily injury liability and property damage coverage. In addition to the state-required limits not being enough, these coverages only cover the other person’s injuries and property. If you want to be able to protect you and your car in an accident, you may want to look into collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and medical payments insurance.

Car insurance when you're moving

4. Your car insurance rates may change if you’re moving

On the same token, since your car insurance coverage limits may change, your rates may change along with them. Although, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your rates will be more expensive. Car insurance rates depend on a lot more factors than just your address or what your location requires for auto insurance. It can depend on your deductible, your coverage limits, your age, your marital status, and more.

Plus, if you have to change carriers, there may be an entirely different market of insurance companies in your location that offer lower rates. So, just take the move as a blank slate for your insurance as well, and shop for what you need!

5. If you’re being removed from a policy, you may have to provide your new proof of insurance or proof of residency to your old insurance company.

If you’re a bit younger and moving out on your own, or you’ve just been taking advantage of a multi-car discount and are moving to a separate address, switching car insurance can be kind of tricky. There are certain documents that your old insurance company may need in order to take you off the original policy without putting you at risk for a lapse in coverage.

One way that you could change policies is by giving your old carrier proof of new residence for your new home. Showing multiple forms of official mail (i.e. a water bill, a copy of your signed apartment lease/house deed, etc.) could be enough to switch you to a new policy that’s all your own. However, be prepared to ask if your carrier needs additional documentation. Another method could be to give your old insurance carrier proof of new insurance. This way, they know that you’re canceling your car insurance with them while still being covered.

6. Know your new policy’s effective start date

Before you pull the trigger on canceling your old insurance policy, make sure that your new car insurance policy picks up exactly where your old one leaves off. Even if you sign the paperwork for a new policy on one date, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re covered from the signing date forward. And even if it’s just a one-day lapse in car insurance coverage, it still counts as a lapse.

That means that if you need proof of insurance while being pulled over or after an accident, you’ll be out of luck for any coverage that you need, and you may have to pay for damages out-of-pocket. Additionally, it’s illegal to drive without insurance in every state. So, check out your declarations page or even read your car insurance policy all the way through to make sure you know that you’re covered no matter what.

7. Know that you may be able to get a refund in the middle of your policy

Life doesn’t usually line up perfectly with your plans. So, moves don’t typically line up with the end of your policy date. Still, you don’t want to pay for an old car insurance policy if you already have a new one. Luckily, if you need to change your insurance in the middle of your plan, your carrier can refund you according to the number of days still left on your first policy.

Even if you pay for your policy on a month-by-month or a semi-annual schedule, a carrier can usually prorate the amount you’ve already paid and refund you the rest. That way, you don’t have to pay for what you don’t use!

These are just some of the things to keep in mind about car insurance if you’re moving. A new journey doesn’t have to mean a whole new set of problems, especially if you’re working with our specialists. Our agents are experts in getting the auto insurance you need for a great price, no matter where you are in the U.S. To start getting free, customized quotes on car insurance, give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with an expert today!

Source 1 | Source 2

What you need to know about commercial flood insurance

Commercial flood insurance

Commercial flood insurance

If your business is in a coastal area, you may be fully aware of the benefits of commercial flood insurance. However, even if you’re not in a flood-prone area, there are still tons of factors that could cause your business to flood. The worst part is, your standard commercial insurance policy won’t cover the damages due to this unforeseen incident. But how much of a risk does your company really have of flooding? Why aren’t you covered for flooding in a business insurance policy? And how can you protect your business and livelihood from flood damage? Here’s where we’ll give you a rundown.

What is commercial flood insurance?

Commercial flood insurance is a type of business insurance policy that can help you repair damages to your company building due to flooding and help you replace your inventory or office equipment because of flooding.

You may be thinking, “Doesn’t my regular business insurance policy cover the structure of my business location and my commercial property?” Yes, it does. The big BUT, though, is that business insurance policies specifically exclude flood damage. A regular commercial property or liability policy doesn’t include coverage for certain types of water damage, including flooding.

What does commercial flood insurance cover?

We’ve learned that a typical business insurance policy won’t cover damage due to flooding. So, when you add flood insurance to your coverage, what exactly does it cover? Well, flood insurance for a business can cover expenses like:

  • Replacing inventory & merchandise
  • Replacing or repairing machinery
  • Helping with 10 percent of the cost of improvements to a building that your business doesn’t own.
  • Debris removal
  • Mold (evaluated on a case by case basis)

Note that a commercial flood insurance policy may not cover costs that you may have to pay still while you’re out of business. Those expenses could be taken care of by your business interruption insurance. Commercial flood insurance also doesn’t cover anything outside of your business building. So, any landscaping systems, sewer systems, or company vehicles won’t be covered under your building’s commercial flood policy.

Do I need commercial flood insurance?

Again, if you’re not in a flood or storm-prone area, you may ask yourself, “Why would I even need flood insurance?” However, statistics show that all 50 states have experienced floods and flood damage. Data also shows that:

  • 25 percent of businesses shut down from flood-related natural disasters and never reopen.
  • The average amount of a flood claim from businesses in the past 5 years has been $89,000.
  • The average amount of commercial property damage sustained due to flooding totals to more than $3.5 billion each year.

Plus, flooding isn’t only a result of hurricanes or heavy rains. Floods can happen because of:

  • Overflowing bodies of water
  • Mudslides
  • Melting snow
  • Ice jambs
  • New construction & Land development
  • Improper drainage

So, yeah. Flood insurance can be an extremely important addition to your business insurance.

How do I get flood insurance for my business?

Valid flood insurance can come from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). However, you can’t buy it directly from the organization. You must purchase a policy from an agent or agency that participates in the NFIP (like us! Give us a call today to start getting customized flood insurance quotes for your business.)

There are a few things to keep in mind before you buy, though. If you’re in a high-risk area for flooding, you may be required to get commercial flood insurance for your building. If you’re in a low-risk area for flooding and you still want to get flood insurance, you may qualify for a Preferred Risk flood insurance policy, which can cost and cover a bit less. Flood coverage also may have a 30-day waiting period before coverage takes effect. So, buying flood insurance at the last minute before a storm or hurricane could still mean trouble for your business.

How much does commercial flood insurance cost?

Flood insurance policies can vary. This is because the cost of flood insurance will be different from business to business, depending on certain factors. Usually, carriers determine the price of your commercial flood insurance from factors such as:

  • Your building’s height and age
  • Your building’s maximum occupancy
  • How many employees you have
  • Your company’s location within a building (if you’re renting a space in an office complex)
  • The location of your lowest floor in relation to the elevation requirement on the NFIP flood map
  • The deductible and amount of coverage you choose for your building and contents coverage.

The good news is that NFIP commercial flood insurance policies can cover up to $500,000 of your building’s contents and $500,000 for the structure of the building itself.

How can I prevent my business from flooding?

You can also save money on your commercial flood insurance by taking preventative measures. Some of the most effective are:

  1. Buying flood boards to install over your doors when a flood may be coming
  2. Sealing floors to prevent water from seeping in through the ground
  3. Installing non-return valves to drains and pipes inside and outside of your business
  4. Checking and raising electrical sockets to a full foot above the 100-year flood level in your area
  5. Keeping a water removal pump handy
  6. Stockpiling useful materials like plastic sheeting, plywood, sandbags, nails, hammers, and shovels.

Additionally, you’ll want to form a flood emergency plan for your business to make sure your employees are safe and that damages to your company are minimized. Some tips you may want to consider are:

  1. Know how to turn off your utilities

In a pinch, you’ll need to know exactly how to shut off your company’s electricity, water, and gas. This way, none of these power supplies can cause more damage to your property and the flood water damage to those utility lines.

  1. Have a list of important phone numbers on hand

You should already have a contact list of numbers and other ways to reach your employees in an emergency. Additionally, your flood plan should include a list of useful phone numbers for your company posted in an easily found location. Include the numbers of your local government, your insurance carrier, additional flood warning systems, services for your building, your building manager, your suppliers, and any emergency contacts for your business overall.

  1. Train your employees on flood safety

As a part of hiring or continuing education for the employees of your specific business, include proper flood safety measures for individuals, flood protocol for your company, and evacuation procedures. Make sure everyone knows where to find pertinent phone numbers and establish a meeting place is everyone suddenly needs to evacuate.

  1. Create a stockpile of important supplies

Finally, create an emergency supply for your business. It will look a little different from your personal home emergency kit, but there are still some vital pieces you’ll need to have stocked at your commercial location. Stock up on materials like first aid kits, plastic sheeting, plywood, flood boards, sandbags, nails, hammers, and shovels. That way, the materials you need are on hand, and no one is running out to get an important supply in dangerous conditions.

Keep your flood plan in an easily accessible location so everyone can refer to it at any time.

Make sure your employees are trained on proper flood safety procedures. Designate an emergency flood contact and a safe meeting place if everyone suddenly needs to evacuate. Create a flood continuity and contact plan for your suppliers and clients.

You can get started on business insurance quotes by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat.

How to insure a haunted house

How to insure a haunted house

How to insure a haunted house

We all know that home insurance can cover some pretty scary stuff, but what if your house is scary all by itself? If you’ve got creaky doors, bubbling brews, and spooky, scary, skeletons, you might need more than your average coverage. So, here are some of the things you may consider when insuring a haunted house.

How to insure a haunted house.

Liability

Let’s start with the basics: A heck of a lot of liability coverage. Liability coverage for your home is the part of your insurance that can help you pay for medical bills, legal fees, and settlements if someone is hurt in your home. Considering there would probably be a lot of ghosts scratching people, making people fall people down stairs, throwing objects at people, and generally exacting their vengeance on all who dare to enter, the house would probably have to have a high limit of coverage, to say the least.

Personal property

On the same token, whoever owns that house (the living ones) should have plenty of personal property coverage, which can help you cover damage to your belongings due to:

A haunted house would be particularly prone to these types of risks, especially if the “throwing plates” thing is considered vandalism. So, the homeowners will need a lot of overall personal property coverage. They may possibly need high-risk home insurance carrier because of the heightened risk, since it may be tough for them to get normal home insurance.

Jewelry & valuable items coverage

The homeowners may or may not need this type of coverage, depending on if they have expensive items lying around or if the poltergeist was brought into the home through a valuable item. If they did need this coverage, though, they would need to add it to their policy. Homeowners’ insurance policies typically only cover valuable items up to a certain amount – and that amount is usually low. So, if a haunted ring was somehow destroyed by a covered loss because of the dark energy inside it, it might be a good idea for the homeowner to have valuable items coverage so that they could replace the ring with a similar, less haunted one.

Loss of use/Additional living expenses

If the situation got so out of hand that the homeowners were forced out of the home by the activity, they’ll want to check their policy for Additional Living Expense (ALE) coverage. ALE coverage can help give you additional funds to keep up your quality of living while you’re forced outside of your home due to a covered loss. For example, after a house fire, your property coverages could help you replace your items and rebuild your home. Your loss of use coverage, however, could help you bridge the gap between the cost of paying your mortgage for the month and renting an extended stay hotel room while your home is repaired.

Vacant home coverage

It would also be a good idea for the homeowners to read their insurance policy through to see how long their home insurance covers a vacant house. Even if the house is full of spirits, a carrier would probably still consider the home empty, which poses a huge risk for them. If a person isn’t living in the house, it becomes more prone to squatters and vandalism. If there were a fire, there would be no one to “alert the media” and protect the homeowner’s and the carrier’s investment.

Even if the homeowner was trying to sell the house, they may still need vacant house coverage if the home is on the market for longer than their home insurance policy will cover. Depending on the level of the haunting, it may take a long while before anyone takes the house off the owner’s hands.

Are perils that exist only inside of the home covered under a home insurance policy?

One of the more interesting questions our horror movie buffs had are from movies like 1408. When perils like fires or earthquakes happen inside of the home, but there are no visible signs of the event outside, are they covered by home insurance?

First and foremost, flooding and earthquakes are typically excluded from home insurance coverage. So, unless the homeowner specifically had policies for those perils, they wouldn’t even be able to start this conversation. That being said, what if the homeowner did have an earthquake or flooding policy?

One could argue that the damaged items inside the home could be covered. You could also argue that there’s no proof of widespread damage in the neighborhood. So, a carrier couldn’t be sure that the damage was due to a covered loss or just the actions of the homeowner. Either way, we suppose they would have to check with their carrier about if and how they would file a claim.

And so marks the end of our basic theories. These coverages may be the absolute minimum a homeowner should worry about if their house was haunted. Still, there could be a lot more coverage needed or a few more caveats that your homeowners’ insurance carrier might have about insuring the haunted house.

For now, you don’t have to be haunted by the thought that you don’t have enough home insurance. Just call our experts today! We’ll get you quotes from different carriers on the affordable home insurance coverage that fits you. To start getting your free quotes, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with a specialist today!

Trick-or-treat tips for this Halloween

Trick-or-treat safety

Trick-or-treat safety

Trick-or-treating is one of the first things that come to mind when people think of Halloween. But whether you spend all year or all of the previous week picking out costumes, there are a few other things you’ll need to prepare.  Here are some trick-or-treat tips to keep your Halloween, safe, fun, and more treat than trick.

Tips for safe Halloween trick-or-treating

Choosing a safe Halloween costume for trick-or-treat

When deciding between a fantastic fantasy character or creepy critter costume, you’ll want to consider how safe they can be while roaming the night. The easiest factors to consider are:

1. Avoiding bulky or loose-fitting costumes

A Transformers costume made out of boxes or a long and flowing fairy dress may be cute for pictures, but when your little one is walking, running, and jumping around in excitement, it can be easy for them to slip or trip over their own two feet. Plus, tons of bulk or extra fabric can make it easier for other kids to trip someone up. Therefore, make sure your tiny ghoul’s garb fits properly and any loose ends can be tied or held close.

2. Using face makeup instead of masks or hoods

It’s already dark outside. You don’t want to make it harder for your child to see by covering their face with a mask. Instead, try using non-toxic, FDA-approved face paint or makeup. Before the big night, test the paint on a small portion of your child’s skin that’s not on the face. That way, an itchy or irritated face won’t put a stop to their night.

3. Looking for fire-resistant costumes

An iconic part of Halloween is the Jack-o-lantern. However, there’s no guarantee that everyone will use LEDs to light up the night. In this case, it never hurts to look for flame-resistant Halloween costumes. That may seem a little tough if you already have a costume in mind, but it’s important!

Additionally, consider the ways to reduce fire hazards during the holiday by using LED candles and never leaving lit candles unattended. While fire may be covered by your home insurance, your carrier and rates may thank you later for not filing a claim.

4. Brightening up your costume

If your child’s costume is more cute than creepy, you may just want to opt for a lighter-colored costume. Bright colors can help your child better stand out to drivers and surrounding groups.

If your child is dead set on a darker costume, add a bit of reflective tape. There are tons of colors available at hardware stores and around the internet, so you don’t even have to ruin the aesthetic!

Stay safe during trick-or-treat this year

While Trick-or-Treating

This spooky night doesn’t have to be scary for other reasons if you know what to watch on your night out. While you’re out with your trick-or-treaters, keep these tips in mind:

1. Teach kids not to play in Halloween traffic

Just because the streets are full of trick-or-treaters doesn’t mean it’ll be empty of cars. Reinforce the importance of looking both ways before crossing the street and not darting out into traffic. Teach children to walk facing the direction of cars so that drivers can clearly see them and vice versa. They should also watch for cars backing out of driveways and not to look at electronics while crossing the street.

2. Use flashlights or glow sticks to light up the night

Light sources can not only help children see better while walking around, but glow sticks and accessories can be a fun add-on to a costume that will increase their visibility.

3. Bust out the buddy system for trick-or-treat

Children under the age of 12 should NOT trick-or-treat without an adult. Even if you reinforce safety rules, young minds tend to forget in all the excitement. You’ll need to go with young groups to act as an extra set of eyes and ears.  If you feel comfortable letting children over 12 go door to door without you, at least make sure they’re trick-or-treating in a group. There’s power in numbers!

4. Only allow kids to trick-or-treat at well-lit houses

It’s a long-spoken rule for a reason. Houses with porch lights on are ready for trick-or-treating fun because the lights offer a highly visible, safer environment.

5. Reinforce Stranger Danger

Even if they’re trick-or-treating around your neighborhood, chances are you don’t personally know everyone who lives around you. So, reinforce the concept of stranger danger. Remind your child never to go inside of someone’s house or to accept candy from strangers in cars.

6. Inspect the spoils of trick-or-treat

Once the kiddos bring in their Halloween haul, inspect their treats before they dig in. Candy should be factory-wrapped, and don’t let anyone eat anything that has been unwrapped or looks homemade. For younger children, you should also sort out smaller candies that could be choking hazards.

Halloween may be prime time for some good-natured frights, there’s no need to fret over your child’s trick-or-treat fun with these tips. There’s also no need to worry about getting the best home insurance when you work with our agents. Our team is made up of experts in the industry who know how to save you money while getting the policy you need. To start getting free, customized homeowners’ insurance quotes, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with a specialist today!

Source:

https://www.cdc.gov/family/halloween/index.htm

https://www.safekids.org/tip/halloween-safety-tips

8 website tips for your business

Check out these tips for your business's website.

Check out these tips for your business's website.

Building a website for your business now can be a lot like putting your name out there on a billboard or print advertisement a few decades ago. However, it’s not enough to place information on the internet. Just as there were certain practices and key points to include in traditional advertising, there are just as many factors to consider when curating your company website. So, here are some tips on just how to make the best digital footprint for your company.

8 tips for your business’s website

1. Pay attention to SEO

If you’re not paying attention to search engine optimization (SEO), your website is as good as nonexistent. Optimizing your business’s website for search engines is the main way to have your brand seen over everyone else’s. However, SEO is much more than loading up your webpage with keywords. In fact, doing so could hurt your website more than help it.

Instead, optimize your content by:

  1. Using variations of words and phrases to describe your product or service, and
  2. Using more specific keywords to draw in the exact clients you want.

For example, a “website developer in Chicago” is a lot vaguer and will have a lot more competition for the top search result than “a full-stack PHP developer in Naperville.”

2. Make your website easy to navigate

If people don’t like using your website, they’re not going to stick around to learn more about your company. Heavily loaded navigation bars and demanding plugins can make a website look complicated and run at a snail’s pace. People don’t hang around waiting for things to load – every second of speed counts.

So, check your website speed with an online tool every so often. Make sure the information you want your clients to find is easily visible and/or readily available. If you add a navigation bar at the top of your page, everything should be clearly labeled without too many drop-down menus stemming from one section. Use plugins as sparingly as you can, and use picture resizing tools to make larger images load quickly.

3. Make your website easy to read

Most people only skim websites for the information that they’re looking for. If there’s a huge block of text, most people probably won’t read it at all.

To create content that’s easy to digest, use header tags to break up bits of information and draw attention to important points. Doing so gives potential clients a way to more readily find the information they need. Plus, header tags are a vital part of how Google determines the main ideas of your site to rank your webpage higher in its search results.

Additionally, if you must put a large amount of text under one header, break your thoughts into smaller paragraphs, lists, or graphics. The less intimidating your text looks, the better.

It's important to build a strong website for your business.

4. Don’t get too design-happy

With the ease and accessibility of website builders, it can be tempting to go a little crazy with templates, designs, fonts, etc. However, this can be a kiss of death for a website. Not every element available for a webpage compliments the other. If you include too many different pieces, your webpage could give your potential clients too much visual “noise.” Too much visual “noise”, and your clients can’t determine which information is relevant to what they’re looking for and what isn’t.

Instead, choose two or three colors that compliment your web design. Color schemes shouldn’t be too bright, but not every color has to be neutral. Go easy on using different font types, too.

5. Make it mobile-friendly

We have the power of supercomputers in the palms of our hands. It’s no wonder that most people today use their phones to access the internet. Therefore, not having a mobile version of your site severely cuts down the number of clients you could reach.

Meet your potential customers where they are by making your website mobile-friendly. It may sound super complicated, but these days, most website builders can do it automatically. It can be as easy as adding a mobile-friendly website to your regular webpage domain, or it may be included in a design template you’re already using.

6. Make sure your visitors know how to contact you

Your business website doesn’t do any good if people don’t know how to contact you to actually buy your product or service. So, make sure that your contact information is readily available throughout your website. The easiest way to do that is to include the name of your company, your business address, your company phone number and your email in the header and footer of the site. If your business has social media channels (and it should), include icons for people to engage with you on those platforms as well.

7. Add valuable content

Having valuable content on your website can be a great way to build your brand and keep your website active. The more active your website is, the more likely Google is to recommend and rank your page highly. Google wants to show people current information because it’s usually more relevant. Think about it – would you be more likely to visit a website that hasn’t been updated in 15 years or 1 year? Of course, there are some bits of information that will remain true throughout the years, but for the most part, Google recognizes the types of content that stay updated regularly.

Updating your website with articles about your industry, office activities, and insight is not only an easy way to keep your webpage updated, but an amazing way to market your business as a whole. No one else has your perspectives on your industry or your specific experiences. Creating articles and content around these aspects allows potential customers to see your passion and expertise, distinguishing your company above the rest and adding a personal touch.

8. Take notes from other businesses

Even if you have a unique business, there may still be several others in your industry who you could learn from. Look at other successful businesses in your industry to see how they’ve laid out their websites, how they’ve optimized their online presence, and what kind of content has proven valuable to their customers. Seeing examples could give you a better idea of what your target audience will search to find you. That way, you can put your own spin on what works.

Overall, your online presence could take some time to curate, but building a webpage that works for you can be well worth the time and effort. A professional looking site builds a trustworthy image for your business before you even communicate with a customer. So does having the right business insurance. Our agents have decades of experience under their belts to help you grow your company and protect you and your customers for whatever comes your way. To start getting free, customized quotes on affordable business insurance, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with a specialist today!

What’s the difference between an insurance score and a credit score?

Credit score vs. insurance score

Credit score vs. insurance score

If your credit score has taken a few hits over the years, you may think all is lost when it comes to getting affordable insurance. However, there’s actually a little-known difference in the insurance world when it comes to getting rates or quotes. Finding better insurance premiums truly depends on your insurance score, which is different from your credit score. However, the two are very closely related. Here’s how.

Read moreWhat’s the difference between an insurance score and a credit score?

Which Atlanta neighborhood is right for your business?

Which Atlanta neighborhood is right for your business?

Which Atlanta neighborhood is right for your business?

Atlanta has no shortage of things to do, places to be, and community personalities to uncover. But what if you want your business to be the place to be? Where in Atlanta is the best place for your business? Let’s find out.

What is your business’s brand?

First off, you’ll need to know your business’s brand inside and out. What are your business goals? What message do you want your company to add to the city? Who are the groups of people you want to cater to? These are all important factors in not only starting your business, but developing a company voice and marketing it. Once you’ve got an idea of your brand, you can start thinking about choosing an Atlanta neighborhood.

What Atlanta neighborhood is right for my business?

Now that you’ve determined your business’s brand, which Atlanta neighborhood shares the personality of that brand? These are some of the most popular locales for new businesses and their distinct vibes.

Doraville

Doraville is located just on the northeast outskirts of I-285. When you cross the city limits, you can immediately tell that it’s a cultural hub to the melting pot that is Atlanta. There are a good handful of chain restaurants and establishments, but there are plenty of local businesses with Hispanic, Eastern Asian, and even Greek roots. The most well-known place to find these businesses is Buford Highway, which also offers a host of international food and farmers markets. If you have a company with international flair or a restaurant with regional or fusion tastes, you’ll definitely want to consider Doraville as your location.

Decatur/Little 5 Points

This area is where little-known, cozy, offbeat businesses thrive. The Decatur/Little 5 Points area is still within Atlanta’s perimeter, so there’s no shortage of traffic. The difference is, you’ll find more foot traffic than cars. The area is entirely walkable and home to one of Atlanta’s most famous eateries, The Vortex Bar & Grill. However, as well known as it is, The Vortex only has two locations, which reflects the personalities of the small businesses surrounding the burger bar – even if the location itself is huge. Even larger chains like Starbucks have modeled their Decatur/Little 5 locations after the feeling of the locale. If you’re a specialty shop in things like records or jewelry or a business with a local coffeehouse feel, you’d probably do well in Decatur or Little 5 Points.

West Midtown

West Midtown is an up-and-coming industrial part of the Atlanta area. Shops and businesses have either a minimalistic feel or an old-style brick exterior. In parts of West Midtown, you may actually miss a restaurant, shop, or café entirely by mistaking it for a warehouse. The area also hosts the Georgia Tech and GCSU campuses closer to the center of Midtown. So, when moving toward and past the universities, the area is, again, very walkable. In fact, with all the foot traffic of college students and the winding, confusing roads of Atlanta, it’s probably best if you walk or bike around. If your business has an industrial feel with elegant undertones, West Midtown is probably the Atlanta neighborhood for you.

Downtown Marietta

Downtown Marietta is very much the small-town version of Little 5. Since the area is in the suburbs of Atlanta, shops are a bit more spread out and a little quieter, with just enough hustle and bustle to keep things interesting. You’ll find a ton of cool specialty shops and restaurants around the historic squares while still being able to find a place to park. There are also regular events that draw people to picnic, bike, play, and generally enjoy the green space among tons of things to do. If your business would be a cute place to happen upon on a beautiful day, you might enjoy the customers that downtown Marietta will bring.

Alpharetta/Roswell

Alpharetta and Roswell may be one of the best examples of high-class suburbia (along with Vinings, but more on that in a minute). The area is full of large department stores, as well as two huge malls/shopping centers, North Point Mall and Avalon. Nonetheless, this neighborhood hosts tons of suburban gems for shops. As much as people are drawn to large shops for their knee-jerk shopping needs, they’re also willing to check out any new specialty shops that come around. If you’re willing to cater to the occasional shop adventurer looking for items and foods a little off the beaten path, Alpharetta and Roswell might be for your company.

Vinings/Cumberland

Vinings and the Cumberland area may seem like an upscale option for chain stores, but rest assured, there are tons of hidden treasures to be found. A lot of businesses in the area gather their customer base through word-of-mouth. Don’t worry if you don’t have a loyal fan base built up. People in this area love to explore new companies that seem to pop up overnight. There are also numerous national and regional chains around to draw customers closer to your location. If you don’t mind doing a bit more advertising and want a quiet, but busy place to draw customers in, the Vinings/Cumberland area could be the best to start or grow your business.

Buckhead

Buckhead is known as one of the ritziest neighborhoods in the area. You’ll notice tons of skyscrapers full of big-name financial companies and headquarters of well-known brands. Even big-name stores like Target and CVS have supersized locations to match the feel. But there are also a handful of elegant spaces to get away from the suit-and-tie atmosphere. The bars, lounges, and small shop spaces are undeniably high-class and high-fashion. Nonetheless, Buckhead is a skip, hop, and a jump away from Brookhaven and Atlantic Station, where just as many big and small shops light up the Atlanta skyline. If your shop or restaurant is going for a low-key, after-work refuge kind of vibe, this area might be for you.

We could go on and on about the different neighborhoods of Atlanta, from the elegant, indie feel of Ponce City Market to the hustle and bustle of a city outside the city, John’s Creek. The only way to truly get an idea of the best vibe for your business may just be to visit. In any case, it’s always a good idea to explore! But hopefully, this list will give you a good idea of what the city has to offer and which Atlanta neighborhood could be a good fit for your business.

Wherever you choose to start or spread your business, make sure you have the right business insurance by contacting our experts. We’ll get to know your company to determine what you need and give you free, customized quotes on the right coverage. To start getting affordable rates on business insurance, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with an agent today.

Am I covered if someone drives into my house?

What happens if someone accidentally drives into your house?

What happens if someone accidentally drives into your house?

It’s a far-fetched scenario that even the most prepared homeowner may not think of – what if someone drives into my house? If you’re in a townhome or along a long street, you may not be too worried about it. But if you’re at the end of a cul-de-sac or at the corner of an intersection, it may have crossed your mind once or twice. This incident is a very real threat to your home. So, would you be covered for this mishap? Let’s see.

What happens if I drive into someone’s house?

If you, as a driver, end up crashing into someone’s house, your car insurance should be able to help you cover the damages to the house. At minimum, Georgia requires $25,000 of bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 of bodiliy injury liability per occurrence, and $25,000 of property damage coverage. The property damage portion could help you repair the structure of the house and any belongings you may have crumpled in the process.

The catch is, you have to have the right amount of coverage. Although Georgia requires $25,000 of property damage coverage, that may not be enough to fix the damage you’ve caused. If your limits aren’t above the state minimum, you may be on the hook for what your car insurance doesn’t cover.

What about my car?

If you’d like to get your car repaired or replaced, you’ll have to go through your auto insurance’s collision coverage. Collision coverage is the part of your car insurance that can cover damages to your car if you, well, collide with something. The “something” in this case, would be the house. However, collision coverage is typically not required by law. It can be required by a bank or loan company to get the loan for the car. So, it’s important to look over your policy and be sure that you actually have the coverage. Otherwise, you may be out of luck.

Whose insurance should I file the claim with?

If you’re the homeowner, though, you may want to go directly through the driver’s car insurance to get the repairs done. After all, your house couldn’t have really run into their car. So, filing through the driver’s property damage coverage is probably the easiest route to go. Plus, it could save you from having to make a home insurance claim – which is always nice.

Will my home insurance cover if someone drives into my house?

Let’s say that you can’t or don’t want to go through the driver’s insurance. Your home insurance could help you cover the damage to your house. In fact, your homeowners’ policy can cover all sorts of kooky things. But you’ll have to read up on your policy to tell exactly what’s covered by your insurance.

The most common home insurance policies cover perils like:

 So, you’re probably covered if someone drives into your house. Now, the question is, how much are you covered for?

What will my home insurance cover if someone drives into my house?

As with car insurance, you have to have the right amount of coverage to repair or replace your house’s structure and your belongings. There are two ways that home insurance can cover perils for both your structure and your personal property.

Market Value vs. Replacement Value

Your home’s market value is not the same as its replacement cost. If you want to repair or rebuild your house after an incident, the market value may not be enough. The market value of your house may be enough to buy a similar house on the market, but it might not cover things like contractors, materials, and other costs associated with building. That’s what insuring your home for its replacement cost could help with.

Actual Cost Value vs. Replacement Cost Value

Your belongings, on the other hand, can be covered for its actual cash value (ACV) or their replacement cost value (RCV). If your things are insured for their actual cash value, your home insurance can reimburse you for the value of your belongings, plus depreciation. So, if someone drives into your kitchen and takes out the $600 oven you bought a year ago, ACV coverage may only reimburse you for $450 because the oven has depreciated since you bought it.

However, if you’ve insured your belongings for their RCV, your home insurance could help you replace the items at today’s prices. So, if the oven you bought or a similar oven that sold for for $600 last year is now $750, your home insurance could help you replace the oven at the $750 price point.

That’s why it’s vital that you read your homeowners’ policy all the way through. Your policy details the coverages you have and knowing what they are can save you a lot of money and headache later.

Speaking of which, we want to save you a lot of time, money, and headaches early on. That’s why our experts can take on the heavy task of finding the right home insurance (or car insurance) for you! We’ll work with you to find out the best home insurance policy for you, and then give you free, customized quotes on affordable coverage. We can even bundle your insurance for more savings! To get started, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with an expert today.

6 tips for getting great online reviews

Get great online reviews

Get great online reviewsTraditional marketing can sometimes seem impersonal or kitschy. It seems much more genuine if a potential customer hears a glowing review about your business from someone with first-hand experience. These referrals used to only happen by a customer telling someone that they knew personally. However, now that we have the internet, there are tons of ways that a customer can get the word out about your company – good or bad. The most popular way is through online reviews. So, how can you make sure your customers give you great online reviews to boost your business? Find out here.

6 tips for getting great online reviews

1. Focus on providing great customer service

If you provide the best customer service you can, people can’t help but want to spread the news! So, if you sell a product, create a rigorous quality control process so that the product can last as long as the customer needs it. Back up your product with a warranty or with a great customer service team that can address any concerns that come up.

If you provide a service, make sure your team is polite, resourceful, and helpful. Actively listen when determining the needs of your customers. Be transparent and helpful when things are going well. Be responsive and show your client that you’ll go above and beyond to help if they have an issue. You’d be surprised at how much someone can change their impression of you if their problem is handled with great care.

2. Just ask!

In general, the best way to get anything is to ask for it. So, ask for the reviews you deserve! There will be a few people who just can’t keep word about you to themselves, but a majority of customers will leave with a smile and continue about their day. Remind them to tell a friend (or the internet) by asking for an online review.

3. Make sure your review process is straightforward

Just as you’re busy running a bustling business, your customers are busy leading their own lives and running through their days. So, they may forget to specifically search for your company to leave a review. Instead, make it as easy as possible for them to leave a review. Email them asking to rate you five stars on Google, but actually include a link that puts them on Google’s review form with five stars. Try including a QR code on your business card or somewhere visible within your building. Then, people can simply snap a photo with a QR reader to leave a review.

If you’re using a phone survey or a proprietary questionnaire, make sure it’s short, sweet, and to the point. People don’t usually have the time or want the hassle of dealing with a drawn-out survey. So, make it easy for them to get in, give their feedback, and get out.

4. Be consistent

Decide on the review platform or platforms that work for people to find your business, and stick with it. Make a habit of asking for reviews somewhere in your sales process. If your customers allow you to contact them after you’ve provided their service, include an automated system that asks them for a review. (Just don’t be pushy.)

5. Consider different platforms

Different types of clients find the services they need in different ways. So, if you get a new client, ask how they found you. If you hear a lot of the same answer, consider asking for feedback on that particular platform going forward. An easy review platform to start with is Google, but your particular industry might have more success with Yelp or Facebook or Angie’s List or the Better Business Bureau. Just find out what works for you and focus on the platform that can benefit you the most.

6. Engage with your reviews

One way to get more online reviews is to show customers that their feedback really matters. So, if you spy new reviews, thank your customer for taking the time to provide feedback. If you see low ratings or issues that people are reporting, respond asking to contact them and resolve the issue. Take reasonable feedback into account to better your business for a grumpy client or any new customers. That way, you have a clearer idea of how to grow and improve your customer service.

Having the right business insurance can also help boost your business. It shows customers that your company can cover the worst-case scenario, whether for your business or for them. Our experts can make shopping for the right business insurance easy. We’ll get to know your company and find customized quotes on affordable, quality coverage. To get started, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with a specialist today.

Source:

https://ducttapemarketing.com/local-business-reviews/

https://www.business2community.com/online-marketing/how-to-get-online-reviews-for-your-business-02086035