8 things you need to know about tornado safety in Atlanta

It's important to be familiar with tornado safety.

It's important to be familiar with tornado safety.As April approaches, it’s a good time to go over severe weather safety – in particular, tornado safety. March, April, and May are the peak months for tornadoes in Georgia, with April taking the prize for most tornadoes. Chances are we’ll experience a good amount of severe weather alerts in the upcoming weeks. Tornadoes are terrifying vortexes of doom, it’s true, but we’ve got some tips that will help you stay safe and get ready for tornado season.

1. Take all weather warnings seriously.

Living in Georgia, we get our fair share of tornado watches and warnings. We may have grown a little desensitized to them, but it’s important to respect all weather warnings. Be smart and take measures to ensure your safety and that of your family.

Which actually brings us to our next tip…

2. Know the lingo.

When you get the alert from the National Weather Service that your area is under a weather advisory, you need to know what the various terms mean.

A tornado watch means that weather conditions are ideal for the formation of a tornado and that one could occur. Be prepared to take shelter and stay tuned to local news stations, radio, or emergency radio.

A tornado warning means that a tornado will either imminently occur or that one has touched down or been sighted. It’s time to get to your safe place as soon as possible.

Speaking of safe places…

3. Know where to go.

When a tornado is impending, there’s no time to deliberate. You need to know where to go. Take some time to figure out what your safe spots are at home, work, or school so that you’re ready to shelter if need be.

  • If you’re at home…
    • Go to the lowest level of your house and shelter in an interior room, such as a bathroom
    • Choose a room with no windows
    • Crawl under a strong table or desk if you can
  • If you’re at work or school…
    • Follow the institution’s emergency plan as instructed
    • Avoid open rooms with high, large roofs, such as cafeterias, auditoriums, and the like
    • Preferably move to the interior room on the lowest floor
    • Do not take an elevator – if the power goes out it could get stuck
  • If you’re outside…
    • Seek shelter in a sturdy building immediately
    • If you can’t get to a shelter on foot, drive there
      • Pull over if debris and strong wind become dangerous. You have to evaluate what the safest course of action will be for your circumstances. Depending on your situation, you can…
        • Stay in the car with your seatbelt on, keep the engine running, duck under the windows, and cover your neck and head with your hands.
        • Go to a place that’s lower than the roadway, such as a ditch, and lie down flat on the ground. Go far enough away from the car that it won’t get swept onto you.
      • Avoid bridges and overpasses, which are highly dangerous during tornadoes.

April is peak tornado month in Georgia.

4. Coach your family on what to do if there’s a tornado situation.

Make sure that everyone in your family knows the plan ahead of time and knows where to go, especially the kids. Tornado warnings can be scary for them, but if you talk about it and tell them how to stay safe ahead of time it can help.

5. Know how your community spreads the word about severe weather.

You need to be familiar with the way that your community will alert you to a tornado. Some cities have tornado sirens that will sound, others have text message alerts, some might use the radio. Know what to expect and stay tuned for news of the weather if the skies are looking dark.

6. Be aware of the danger signs.

Maybe you think that it would be kind of hard to miss the swirling vortex forming near you. But the thing is that tornadoes, which form when a rotating column of air reaches from a thundercloud to the ground, can be virtually invisible until they start picking up debris and dirt or a cloud forms in the funnel cloud.

So, you need to know the danger signs that mean you need to be on high alert for a tornado. Some things to watch for…

  • Dark clouds that are tinged green
  • Wall clouds
  • Debris or a cloud of dust
  • Hail
  • Loud, freight-train-like sounds
  • Funnel clouds

If you notice any of these things, you might need to take shelter. Nature – and tornadoes especially – are not to be trifled with. When in doubt, seek shelter and try to find out what the weather situation is for your area.

7. Before severe weather hits, prepare your home.

Since we’re heading into peak tornado time, it’s probably a good idea to take some time to get your home ready. To minimize damage to your house in high winds, you can…

  • Move outdoor furniture inside (chairs and tables can become projectiles in high winds)
  • Remove dead or diseased trees from your yard
  • Clean debris away
  • Strengthen your garage door (garage doors often take a beating during storms, and if your garage door gets damaged it can allow the winds into your home, causing the roof to tear off)

8. Make sure you have the home insurance you need.

Home insurance will usually cover damage from tornadoes, but it’s important to make sure that you have enough insurance to completely cover the cost of rebuilding your home and replace all of your belongings. Protect your house and your investment with the right insurance.

Tornadoes can often be unpredictable, but by being prepared you’ll know how to act quickly to keep you and your family safe. Have a tornado plan and go over it with your family. When it comes to natural disasters, preparation is key.

Want to save money on your home insurance? Our agents are here to help you get the best coverage at the best possible rate. We want to take the time to get to know you and your specific situation. To get your home insurance quotes, all you have to do is fill out our online form or give us a call today.




How much does Atlanta commercial property insurance cost?

There are several factors that affect the cost of your commercial property insurance.

There are several factors that affect the cost of your commercial property insurance.

Perhaps you would rather not think about what would happen to your business if a fire hit or you had to weather a winter storm. We get it – there are way more fun things to be thinking about than doom and gloom. But since you’re a business owner and understand that things rarely go as planned, you’re here, reading about property insurance. You know that you need to protect yourself from loss, but you’re probably wondering how much property insurance costs.

And that’s a great question, but the only problem is that it’s a little complicated.

There are a few things that influence the cost of commercial property insurance. We’ll explain some of the factors that go into determining your commercial property insurance rates.

Here we go:

1. The CONSTRUCTION of your building.

When an insurance company is looking at the commercial property insurance for your business, they’re going to want to figure out how flammable your building is. Insurance companies don’t really like fire because it tends to be very destructive. Anyways, the material your premises is made of influences how flammable your business is, as certain materials are easier to catch on fire and burn. (And the building material also influences the reconstruction cost of your building, which also plays a part in your rates.)

The building material is so important that the Insurance Services Offices (ISO) has created a system of categories to describe the structure of a building for insurance purposes. The “Classes” as they’re called go from 1 – 6, with 1 being the most flammable and 6 being the least.

Here are the general categories:

  • Class 1: Frame
  • Class 2: Jointed Masonry
  • Class 3: Non-combustible
  • Class 4: Masonry, Non-combustible
  • Class 5: Modified Fire Resistive
  • Class 6: Fire Resistive

The reason we explain this is that the higher up on this list your building is, the less likely it is to catch fire – and if it does, you’ll probably be facing less damage because the material is more fire resistant. And all of that can translate to lower insurance rates.

2. The OCCUPATION of your building.

To put it simply, this means what you’re using your building for. Your insurance rate depends on what kind of business you have and what kind of work you do.

To illustrate, let’s compare an auto repair shop with a retail store. The auto shop does welding and stores many chemicals and flammable liquids. The retail store, on the other hand, only has clothes. The auto repair shop is more likely to face a fire, so they’ll probably pay more for their insurance.

Bottom line, some things are more likely to burst into flames. And that affects your insurance rates.

Pro tip: Depending on your business, you may be able to get your property insurance in a business owner’s policy to save money.

3. The PROTECTION your building has against fire.

Bear with us as we talk about fire some more.

The more defenses your building has against fire, the better your insurance rates. Protecting your building can come from without (your local fire department) and within (fire controls installed in your building.)

As far as external protection from fire, the ISO has come up with a way to rank the quality of the fire department near you (as well as other fire control measures.) They score it on a scale from 1-10, with one being the best and 10 being the worst. To come up with this number, they evaluate the quality of your local fire department, the available water supply, the effectiveness of your alarm system, and the strength of the communication system.

Of course, the insurance company isn’t just looking at your fire department. They’ll also look at your building’s firefighting tools. Do you have fire doors? Sprinklers? Fire extinguishers? An alarm system? These things can help minimize damage from a fire, something that insurance companies like to see.

You’ve probably noticed a pattern here:

The more protected you are from fire, the lower your insurance rates are likely to be. So, you might want to brainstorm how you can protect your business from fire.

4. Your business’s EXPOSURES.

Now, this may surprise you, considering what we’ve discussed thus far:

Insurance companies aren’t only concerned with fire when they’re considering the cost of business insurance.

They’re also looking at other exposures, or risks that your business faces. They’ll look at your location to see how susceptible you are to natural disasters and man-made hazards. (For example, they might look at your area’s crime rate.) They also might look at the reconstruction cost of your building, the size of your premises, and the age of your building.


We can talk about factors that affect property insurance rates until we’re blue in the face, but the best way to get a truly accurate idea of how much your commercial property insurance will cost is to get a business insurance quote. Our business insurance experts would be happy to help you save on your rates by shopping around for your insurance. All you have to do to get in touch is fill out our form or give us a call today.

What you need to know about keeping your Atlanta teen driver safe

It's important to talk about good driving habits with your teen driver.

It's important to talk about good driving habits with your teen driver.

If you’re the parent of a teenager who’s about to get their driver’s license, you’re probably a little panicked at the thought of your kid getting behind the wheel of a car. That’s perfectly normal. Letting your child roll out the door with the car keys in hand might send a pang through the heart.

But we’ve got good news: there are things you can do as a parent to help keep your teen driver safe on the road. Check out the following list.

1. Talk about texting and driving.

You need to make it very clear to your teenager why it’s dangerous to text and drive or talk on the phone and drive. Every parent wants to think that their kid will resist the temptation to use their phone while driving, but it’s important to let your child know that your expectation, not to mention the law, is no phone while driving.

2. Send your teen to driver’s ed.

Taking a driver’s ed class helps gives your teen driver more practice behind the wheel. It will also help reinforce the skills they need to be a responsible, safe driver. Plus, you might get a discount that will help you save money on teen auto insurance if you send your kid to driver’s ed.

3. Have your teen get lots of practice.

Practice makes perfect. It’s a good idea to have your teen driver get plenty of road time before testing for their license. Have them get their permit as soon as possible. It’s also a good idea to have them practice in different driving conditions, such as traffic and rain (of course, it’s important that your child feels comfortable and confident enough behind the wheel before you introduce new variables like rain.) Driving is scary enough without having to worry about how to drive safely in the rain.

4. Set some rules.

Most states have laws for newly licensed drivers. Georgia law forbids drivers under the age of 18 from being on the road from midnight to 6 a.m. It also limits the number of passengers you can have in the car at once. Driving with any amount of alcohol in the blood is illegal for drivers under 21.

Those are only a few of the limitations placed on new drivers. Familiarize yourself with Georgia laws and make sure your teen understands and knows them, too. Be sure to enforce these laws – they were created for a reason. You may even want to create some rules of your own.

Pro tip: Come up with a contract of the driving rules that you want your teen to follow. Distracted driving, curfew, seatbelt use, passengers, and “radius” might be some things you lay out in your contract. Then have your teen driver sign it. Studies have shown that a formal agreement reduces risky behavior.

Writing a contract can help keep your teen driver safe.

5. Set a good example.

If you’re being a safe driver, your teen will see your good habits and hopefully emulate them. If they see you fiddling with your phone, not wearing a seatbelt, speeding, eating, or losing your temper, how can you expect them not to do the same? Kids (including teen drivers) absorb everything. So, teach your teen how to be a safe driver by showing them.

6. Present them with the keys to the “family car.”

Rather than getting your teen driver a new car or even a new-used car, let them drive the family car. This might encourage them to be more responsible and make good decisions.

7. Make sure the car they’re driving is safe.

Doing some research on safety features and ratings can help you make a good, informed choice about which vehicle your teen will drive. You want to have them in a car that will protect them if anything happens. Though the sports car that they really want is super cool, a small SUV or sturdy sedan is probably a safer option.

8. Don’t let your teen drive tired.

Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving in terms of worsened reaction time. High schoolers often have to stay up late to cram for tests or finish homework. If your teen stays up late and is running low on sleep, offer to drive them to school or encourage them to take the bus. Phrase it as being an extra chance to get some rest and relax.

9. Show them that the time for seatbelts is all the time.

Your teen driver needs to understand that seatbelts are not optional. Every passenger and the driver needs to be buckled up. It’s the driver’s job to do a seatbelt check and make sure that everyone is good to go before departing. This is for everyone’s safety: seatbelts prevent people from being thrown from vehicles if there is a crash. Seatbelts save lives.

10. Emphasize communication.

Have your teen driver get in the habit of telling you where they’re going, how long they’ll be, and when they’re on their way home. You’ll feel better about your kid charging off on their own if you have a system for checking that they arrived safely. (But of course emphasize no texting while driving, even if they’re texting you.)

Having a teen who’s ready to get their license and start driving is nerve-wracking for parents. But by encouraging good driving habits and giving your kid the opportunity to get lots of practice, you can help them stay safe behind the wheel.

Having a teen driver can be stressful, but you can help keep them safe.

We can also help you save money on teen auto insurance. All you have to do to get quotes for auto insurance is fill out our quote form or give us a call today. We would be happy to help you find quality insurance at a great rate.




What do I need to know about Atlanta hired and non-owned auto insurance?

If your employees drive their own cars for business use, hired and non-owned insurance can protect your business.

If your employees drive their own cars for business use, hired and non-owned insurance can protect your business.

The phrase “better safe than sorry” could have been written with commercial insurance in mind, especially when it comes to vehicles being driven for business purposes. Sure, there’s commercial auto insurance to protect you against risks involving your business’s vehicles.

There’s just one problem:

Commercial auto insurance only covers vehicles owned by your business, not those owned by your employees or those you rent. For many businesses, this is a pretty significant risk.

But not to worry:

We’re going to tell you all about a possible solution – hired and non-owned liability insurance.

What is hired and non-owned liability insurance?

Hired and non-owned insurance will protect your business if your employees ever drive their own vehicle for business purposes (that’s the non-owned portion) and if you or your employees ever have to rent or borrow a vehicle to use for business purposes (that’s the hired portion.)

Your business could be found legally liable if one of your employees is driving a car that your business doesn’t own for business purposes and gets into an accident. But hired and non-owned insurance would save the day.

Does my business need hired and non-owned insurance?

You might be wondering if hired and non-owned is really necessary. What about the employee’s personal auto insurance? Why does your business need extra insurance – the employee was the one who caused the accident, after all, wouldn’t their insurance pay? Well, the employee’s auto insurance could provide primary coverage if they’re driving their car for business purposes (unless they’re delivering or carrying goods, like pizza. More on that later.)

You may want to consider hired and non-owned liability insurance for your business.

But there’s an important Catch-22:

Your employee may not have enough insurance to cover the entire cost of the claim (remember, lawsuits get expensive very quickly.) And if that happens and the accident exhausts the employee’s personal auto insurance, guess who’s on the hook for covering the rest of the claim?

Yep. You got it – your business.

So, if your employees ever have to drive their own cars or drive a rented vehicle for work purposes, you might want to consider getting this coverage. Sending your employees out on errands for your business or having to rent a vehicle on a business trip may seem harmless at the time, but these scenarios can quickly become disastrous. Your business could be found liable for any accidents that happen while the employee was “on the job” for you.

If you already have commercial auto insurance, you can just add hired and non-owned coverage to your policy. If you don’t, no problem – you may be able to get a stand-alone policy or add it to your general liability.

Pro tip: Keep in mind that the vehicles being covered by your hired and non-owned insurance cannot be owned, registered, or contracted in your business’s name or on your behalf.

Why it’s important to clarify what your employee’s personal auto insurance covers

Each auto insurance policy is different in the way they treat driving for business purposes. Most will exclude driving to deliver goods (or people) for a fee – so pizza delivery and flowers are out. Anyways, it’s important that your employees talk to their insurance provider and explain exactly what they will be using the car for.

How can I reduce my business’s risk?

Of course, it’s best to never have to use your insurance at all. There are a few things you can do to lower the chances of having a major problem on your hands.

1. Set up policies that explain your expectations for safe driving: You can create and implement policies about speeding, texting and driving, seatbelt use, and other safety measures. There are many benefits of being a safe driver, after all.

2. Have standards for the personal vehicles used for your business: Your employees’ vehicles should be safe and well-maintained.

3. Review your drivers’ records: It’s important to make sure that your employees are good drivers.

4. Check your employee’s personal auto insurance: It’s a good idea to make sure that everyone’s adequately insured.

5. Have guidelines for renting cars: Make sure your employees know what to do if they have to rent a car for business.

So, there’s some food for thought about hired and non-owned auto insurance. Remember, it’s important to cover the gaps in your business insurance. If your employees drive their own cars, this is definitely something to consider when you’re thinking about what kind of insurance you need for your business.

Commercial auto doesn't cover any vehicles that aren't owned by your business, but hired and non-owned auto insurance does.

If you want to get quotes for business insurance, we can help. We’ll help you shop for the best coverage at the best rate. All you have to do to get business insurance quotes is call us or fill out our online form. We would be happy to speak with you about your insurance.

How to get cheap teen car insurance in Atlanta

Car insurance for teens can get expensive.

If you’re the parent of a teen who’s about to get their license, you’ve probably got some mixed emotions. One thing on your mind (other than worrying about your teen’s safety) is probably how much car insurance for your teenager will cost. Odds are you’ve heard the rumors that teen car insurance is expensive.

Well, unfortunately, the rumors hold some truth.

Auto insurance for teen drivers is expensive because their age bracket has the most crashes annually. Teens aren’t experienced drivers yet (which is why it’s important to make sure that they get lots of practice) and they tend to take a lot of risks. Anyways, the good news is that you can get cheap car insurance for your teenager, and we’ll explain how.

Check out the following tips.

Read more

How a BOP can help you save money on Atlanta business insurance

Getting a BOP can help you save money on your business insurance.

If you own a small business, chances are you keep a close eye on the cost of your business insurance. Getting the best coverage at the best rate may have even become a bit of a crusade. There are several ways to save money on business insurance, but there’s one method you may not have yet considered (and if you have, well, then you’re just ahead of the game.)


It’s called a BOP, or business owner’s policy. We’ll explain what a BOP is, go over how it can save you money on your insurance, and let you know about a few things you should consider when buying business insurance.

What is a business owner’s policy?

A BOP is what’s called a package policy. What that means is that it includes several different coverages all bundled into one policy. They’re intended for small to medium-sized businesses.

BOPs typically include property insurance, general liability, and sometimes business interruption insurance. So, rather than getting each of these coverages separately, you can get them all from one place at the same time.

Convenient, right? But that’s not even the best part.

How can a BOP help you save money on your business insurance?

Here’s the best part:

A BOP can help you save money on your business insurance. But the question is, how?

The thing is that it’s usually less expensive to buy your coverages together instead of getting them separately. It’s kind of like going to a restaurant and ordering a dinner entrée instead of getting a whole bunch of sides and appetizers. You get the food you need both ways, but getting the entrée is probably less expensive.

Okay, that analogy was a bit corny. But you get the point.

Anyways, insurance companies love it when businesses get more than one line of coverage from them, so that’s why a BOP may be a good option when it comes to saving money on business insurance.

Now, keep in mind that not all businesses are eligible for business owner’s policies. Every insurer has different eligibility requirements, but across the board business owner’s policies are intended for small to medium-sized businesses. You have to have a certain amount of employees and make a certain amount of revenue or sales. But even if you can’t get a BOP, you can still save money by investigating a commercial package policy, which is similar to a BOP but far less strict about eligibility requirements.

Anyways, it may seem like a better plan to shop for each type of coverage individually and choose the lowest price for each. But it’s definitely worth getting quotes for a business owner’s policy to compare prices. You have to find out what makes the most sense for your business.

Does your business have enough coverage?

Another thing to consider about BOPs:

You may need to think about adding coverages to your business owner’s policy to make sure your business is fully protected from all of the risks you face.

For example, you may want to add crime coverage to your BOP to protect against risks like employee theft. Or perhaps you’d want to add data breach coverage if you store clients’ personal information.

Now. That’s not all.

Your business may need to get separate policies entirely to cover other risks. Workers’ compensation insurance has to be purchased as a separate policy, not added to a BOP. Same thing with flood insurance.

Here’s the reason that we say all of this:

When you’re considering getting a BOP, it’s important that you consider all of the risks your business faces and the protection that the BOP offers. You may need to cover some gaps and make sure that your business is ready to handle anything that could come your way.

And, of course, you have to consider the costs of those additional coverages when you’re shopping for your business insurance.

So. That’s how a BOP can help you save money on your business insurance and some food for thought about extra coverages. When you’re getting business insurance, it’s important that you consult an insurance expert that you can trust. And we would love the opportunity to become that trusted advisor for your business.

We can help you get quotes for business insurance and make sure that you have the insurance you need to fully protect your business. All you have to do to get quotes or get in touch is fill out our quote form or give us a call.

The anatomy of an Atlanta homeowners insurance policy

It's important to read through your home insurance policy thoroughly.

It's important to read your home insurance policy carefully.

As a homeowner, you want to protect your investment, and home insurance was designed to do just that. Your coverage protects you against the risks you face every day.

There’s just one problem:

Your policy looks like it belongs on a shelf next to the dictionary. It’s long. It’s boring. It’s wordy.

Despite all of this, it’s extremely important that you understand your home insurance policy. And that means reading your policy carefully. Thing is, your policy is an important legal document that defines the agreement between the insurance company and you (the insured.) There are a ton of important details about your coverage, your obligations, and exclusions packed into that paperweight. And those details could mean the difference between something being covered…and something not being covered.

At any rate, to help you understand how your policy is broken down, we’ve laid it out section by section below.

1. First of all, we present your Declarations Page:

The declarations page (a.k.a. the dec page) is the first portion of your policy. Its job is to give you an overview of what the policy is and what it covers. The dec page tells you:

  • Who’s being insured
  • What the policy protects you from
  • The property that’s insured
  • The dates that the policy is effective

Pro tip: Your auto policy also has a dec page that functions in much the same way.

2. Continuing on, behold: your Insuring Agreement.

Now we get into the good stuff.

The insuring agreement explains what the insurance company will do if you have a loss and end up filing a home insurance claim. This section will also lay out what’s covered by your policy. When you paid for your insurance and finalized everything, the insurer agreed to specific things – for example, paying for covered losses or providing legal defense for liability lawsuits.

You can have one of two different types of insuring agreements: named-perils and all-risk.

Named-perils coverage will only protect you from losses that are specifically written out in the policy.

All-risk coverage will protect you from all losses except for those that are excluded by the policy. (Many life insurance policies are written out like this.)

3. Well, there had to be a catch somewhere – here comes the exclusions section.

This is a really important part of your policy. Exclusions are losses that just aren’t covered by your insurance. What that means is if you ever experience one of these losses, your insurance company will not take care of the expenses.

You can see why you need to really understand this section – you don’t want to have a loss only to find out that it’s excluded. (Flooding is a common insurance exclusion – but there are many home insurance exclusions you should know about.)

But don’t worry: we’ll explain how you can add coverages to your policy in a second.

4. So, moving onto the conditions section.

Okay. This is another section that you need to pay attention to. The conditions section lays out situations in which the insurance company may not have to pay out a claim when you file one. The conditions mostly have to do with things that you as the homeowner have to do. The insurance company may not have to pay out a claim if the conditions of the policy have not been met.

For example, you might be required to file proof of loss with the insurance company within a certain amount of time. If you fail to do that, the insurance company may not accept the claim. To make sure that you’re meeting all the requirements of your home insurance policy, take some time to read through the conditions section. Ask any questions you have about them so that you understand your responsibilities as the homeowner.

5. Definitions, definitions, definitions.

This section could be on its own, but it could also be hiding in another section. This section exists to help you understand all the fancy words in your policy – how helpful! Insurance vocabulary isn’t always the most intuitive or the clearest, which is why your policy may have this handy-dandy section.

6. And for the grand finale, we have the endorsements and riders section.

An endorsement is basically an addition to your policy. It can add coverage, take away coverage, or change coverage. This is how you can add various coverages that are otherwise excluded. For example, if sewer backup is excluded, you can add an endorsement to make sure it’s covered. You can also add coverage for jewelry or other valuables here.

Something to keep in mind:

Every year when the insurance company renews your insurance, the coverage or language might be slightly different. So, be sure to review this section carefully to make sure you have all of the coverages you need.

Okay, that was a lot of information! The above is just a general outline of the sections included in your policy. Yes, there are many, many words included in your policy, and it’s not the most riveting read. But it’s still an important thing to do.

If you have to save money on your home insurance, we would be happy to help you with that. Our agents can help you shop for your insurance so that you can make sure you’re getting the best coverage at the best possible rate. All you have to do to get home insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today.

10 ways to improve workplace safety at your Atlanta business

Workplace safety can help you lower your workers compensation insurance costs.

Workplace safety can help you lower your workers compensation insurance costs.

As a business owner, you’re responsible for providing a safe workplace for your employees. It’s kind of part of the job. Sure, you have workers’ compensation insurance, but isn’t it better not to have to use it? By committing to safety at your business, you lower the chance of someone getting hurt, which means fewer workers’ comp claims – and saving money on workers’ comp insurance.

But this all begs the question:

How can you improve workplace safety?

Well, we’ve come up with a handy list of ten ways to improve workplace safety.

1. Hire the right people.

It’s important that you’re diligent and thorough in your hiring process. Make sure that the people who are going to work with you have the necessary skill set and experience to stay safe on the job. Consider the job you’re hiring for and the tasks it requires of the employee. Make sure that your job description clearly reflects the job that you’re hiring for.

2. Train your employees.

Your people can’t do their job safely if no one shows them how. Make sure to spend ample time on training and emphasizing safety. Encourage questions. Explain clearly. Show everyone proper protocol and safety practices – for example, how to use a ladder properly. You can’t throw someone into a pool and expect them to do the butterfly, right? It’s also important that you have continuing education and training – even your experienced employees need a refresher.

3. Identify workplace hazards.

Take a good, hard look at your workplace and take note of anything that could be done more safely and any risks that your employees face. You can’t protect your people if you don’t know what the danger is.

And remember:

You’re not in this alone. Ask your employees for their suggestions or concerns. They’re the ones on the front lines – take the time to have a chat with them.

4. Make a safety plan.

Once you’ve talked to your employees and taken a walk around your workplace to look for hazards, create a plan for eliminating or reducing the hazards you find.

Take steps to make your workplace is as safe as possible, and communicate your plan to your employees. Take the suggestions and concerns your employees have into consideration and make sure they feel like they’re being heard.

Hey, that actually leads us to our next point…

5. Talk about safety.

Make it a habit to talk about safety at your workplace. Even outside of training, your employees should feel comfortable voicing their thoughts about safety and looking out for each other. Communication is key, and discussing how to make your workplace safer should be an ongoing thing.

6. Provide the proper tools and equipment.

If your employees don’t have the tools they need, it’s awfully difficult to do their jobs safely. Make sure that your team has the right tools and equipment to further your safety goals. That could be something as simple as providing a cart or dolly to transport boxes so employees don’t strain themselves lifting heavy loads. This also means providing any personal protective equipment (PPE) that’s necessary for the job. PPE should be kept in good condition and should be readily accessible to all employees.

Make sure to emphasize to your employees that you would rather them take their time, use the right tool, and do the job right than rush through the task without taking precautions. Haste makes waste. In this case, your employees could be seriously hurt if they don’t use the right tools.

7. Show that safety is Priority A.

Create a workplace culture that puts safety at the forefront. Acknowledge those workers who show that they put thought and effort towards safety, not those who put efficiency over doing the job safely. Also, be careful of incentivizing zero injuries – that could lead to a culture where workers don’t report injuries at all.

And that would make it difficult for you to carry out our next tip…

8. Investigate any accidents or near-misses.

If there is ever an accident (or a near-miss) you’ve got to get out your magnifying glass and do some detective work. Launch an investigation and unleash your inner Sherlock Holmes. Talk to witnesses and try to get to the bottom of what happened and why. That way you can do everything in your power to stop it from happening again. Conduct your investigation promptly – your witnesses will have a better recollection of how things unfolded.

But don’t stop there – carry on with improving safety by using our next tip…

9. Be an expert record-keeper.

It’s important to log and record any safety-related happening, whether it’s an accident, first-aid treatment, near-miss, training session, investigation, or inspection. Keeping these records will help you keep track of everything – our memories, sadly , are not perfect. Being organized with your paperwork can also help you notice areas for improvement for safety.

10. Remember that safety and productivity aren’t mutually exclusive.

Just because you commit to a safe healthy workplace, doesn’t mean your productivity will nosedive. Safety is in everyone’s best interest and it’s totally worth it to spend a little extra time to ensure that everyone’s staying safe.

So, those are our ten ways to improve safety in the workplace. Preventing workplace injuries can help you lower your workers’ comp costs, but it’s also about looking out for your people. Your team is a vital part of your business, and they deserve a safe workplace. So. Go forth and make your workplace safer.

And if you want to save money on business insurance, we would be happy to help. Our team can help you shop for the best coverage at the best possible rate. All you have to do to get business insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call. We’re here to help with any of your insurance needs.

10 pro tips for buying homeowners insurance in Atlanta, GA

We've got some tips for buying home insurance.

When buying home insurance, it's important to make sure you have enough coverage to completely rebuild your home.

Home insurance may not be your favorite thing to think about. We get it – home insurance can get complicated. Maybe you had a stressful experience in the past, or maybe you’re getting coverage for your first home and you’re a little overwhelmed. Or maybe you’re shopping for rates.

But don’t worry: we’ve got eight pro tips for buying home insurance coming your way.

1. Bundle your home and auto insurance.

Bundling is when you get multiple types of coverage from the same company. Some companies offer discounts for bundling your home insurance and auto insurance, so this could be an easy way to get some savings. Of course, it’s still a good idea to get multiple quotes for home and auto insurance and shop around to make sure you’re getting the best coverage at the best price.

2. Don’t sacrifice coverage for price.

It might seem like a great idea to jump at the lowest price you can find. But before you do, you need to take a good look at the various coverages and limits offered by each policy. One policy may be more expensive, but it might include more extensive coverage and protect you from more losses than another, less expensive one. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. And don’t sacrifice coverage for the sake of paying less – this is your home you’re insuring, remember.

3. Be aware of any exclusions.

Knowing exactly what your policy does and does not cover is important.

Here’s the thing:

Home insurance comes with certain exclusions (or losses that simply aren’t covered.) For example, flooding is a common home insurance exclusion. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with any exclusions and limits in your policy so you can add coverage as needed, such as extra coverage for jewelry or valuables. It’s always best to be prepared, right?

4. Insure your home for its reconstruction value.

If your home was destroyed by a fire, you would want all of the expenses of rebuilding it to be covered, yes?

To make sure homeowners insurance will give you a brand-new house, you need to take reconstruction costs into account. That means the expenses of demolition, clean-up, and construction. Covering these (surprise) expenses means insuring your home for its reconstruction value, not its market value (which would leave you high and dry where those construction costs are concerned.)

When buying home insurance, it's important to make sure that you have enough coverage.

5. Insure your belongings for their replacement cost, not their actual cash value (ACV.)

Here’s the difference:

Replacement cost coverage allows you to replace your belongings at today’s prices.

Actual cash value only gives you the cost of your belongings at the time of the loss. Since depreciation is the fact of life, chances are that amount you get from insurance will be less than what you paid for your belongings…and probably not enough to replace them at today’s prices.

6. Don’t skip your home inventory.

A home inventory is basically a list of all your belongings and their value. Taking a home inventory helps you get an idea of how much coverage you need to for your personal property. It can also help you if you ever have to file a claim – you’d know exactly what you need to claim, and having an inventory (preferably with pictures) adds credibility.

7. Do some research on the company you’re considering.

This is the company you’re trusting to have your back if you have a claim. Be sure to check out their financial stability, customer service record, and claims-handling process and reputation. You want a company that’s going to be there for you, so do some research about Georgia home insurance companies.

8. Don’t forget to ask about discounts.

Discounts are a great way to save money. Basically, you get a reduced price for meeting certain qualifications. For instance, you could get a discount for having a monitored burglar alarm or for bundling your home and auto insurance. Now, different companies offer different discounts, so be sure to ask about potential savings when you’re shopping for insurance.

9. Ask family and friends.

Why not ask your family and friends for home insurance recommendations? It can be hard to know where to start with insuring your home, but you might get some leads by asking around. It never hurts to ask.

10. Shop around.

Shopping around for home insurance can help you save money on your rates and find out what options are out there. Every insurance carrier evaluates risk differently, so it can pay off to get multiple quotes. You don’t have to feel obligated to take the first option you find.

Our team would be happy to help you shop for your home insurance. Our goal is to make insurance easy and help homeowners save money. To get home insurance quotes, fill out our online form or give us a call today.

Does my Atlanta restaurant or bar need liquor liability insurance?

Liquor liability insurance can protect your restaurant from the risks associated with serving alcohol.

If your Atlanta dining establishment serves alcohol, you’re open to a number of risks. What if a fight breaks out because one of your patrons is intoxicated? What if one of your patrons leaves and gets into a car accident that injures the other driver – and what if your patron is found to be legally drunk? Your business could be found responsible on the basis of being the place that served the alcohol. But that’s where liquor liability insurance comes in. We’ll explain how liquor insurance can protect your business and what to look for in a policy.

First of all: What is liquor liability?

Okay, before we go any further, let’s define what liquor liability insurance is protecting you from. Liquor liability is the legal responsibility of a business that serves or sells alcohol for the actions of patrons who drank said alcohol at their establishment. That means that you could be found responsible if one of your patrons causes someone bodily harm or causes property damage. So, restaurant safety should include training for employees about serving alcohol.

Why do I need liquor liability coverage?

General liability insurance may provide host liquor liability for occasional instances where alcohol is served (like as a company holiday party.) However, this host liquor liability is not enough for a business that sells and serve alcohol. As we mentioned above, alcohol comes with many risks, and you need to make sure that you’re covered for any mishaps that happen because of serving it.

What does liquor liability insurance cover?

The short answer to what liquor liability insurance covers is that it can protect you if you get sued because of the actions of an intoxicated patron. For example, some things that may be covered by liquor liability insurance covers are…

1. Unruly customers. Alcohol can make people unpredictable, and it can even make them violent. You can include assault and battery with your policy (we’ll explain more about this in a moment.)

2. Legal fees and court defense costs. If you’re on the receiving end of an alcohol-related claim or lawsuit, the legal fees and damages that you’re obligated to pay can become astronomical. But liquor liability may help you cover these expenses.

3. Your employees. You want to trust your employees to serve alcohol responsibly and follow any protocols you have set up – and not to drink on the job – but your policy can provide an added protection for your employees.

How to choose the liquor liability policy that’s right for you:

It’s extremely important to note that not all liquor liability policies are the same. Some may exclude certain scenarios, meaning you would need to add coverage to be sure that your business is fully protected. Be sure to check for the following in the policy you’re considering:

  • Assault and battery coverage: Many policies actually exclude assault and battery, so make sure that you add this coverage to close the gap. You can usually extend assault and battery coverage to include specific situations, such as shootings, stabbings, or sexual assault.
  • Defense costs: You need to make sure that your policy will cover defense costs outside of the policy’s limit. Legal fees can add up and they can eat up your policy’s limit quickly, leaving no money to cover damages you have to pay. Basically, you need to check if the cost of defending yourself against a claim is covered in addition to the limit on your policy.
  • Coverage for employees: Earlier we mentioned that your employees can be a risk to your business if they don’t serve alcohol responsibly or if they drink on the job. It’s a good idea to make sure that your policy accounts for your employees and covers them just like it does your patrons.
  • Coverage for claims of mental damages: If a third-party is involved in an alcohol-related incident caused by one of your patrons, they could sue for stress, anguish, or psychological injury even if they were not physically injured. Check and see if the policy you’re considering covers these sorts of claims.

A note about serving alcohol to minors:

The drinking age in the United States is 21. There’s no arguing with it. If you have a liquor liability claim that arises from serving alcohol to a minor, that claim will not be covered. It’s crucial that all of your employees know to ID people and how to identify fake IDs. Everyone needs to understand that serving alcohol to minors will not be tolerated at your establishment.

So that’s why liquor liability insurance is so important for restaurants and other establishments that serve alcohol. Serving alcohol opens your business to a number of risks, which is why having the right insurance is key to your business. To find out what kind of insurance you need for your business, you can fill out our online form or give us a call today. We would be happy to discuss your business and your insurance with you. We can also help you shop for the best rate for your insurance and get business insurance quotes for you.