10 tips to start a business in Atlanta

Starting a business in Atlanta

Starting a business in Atlanta

The Atlanta area is prime for starting a business. Everywhere you look, there are budding entrepreneurs and new businesses popping up in the city and all over its suburbs. But what does it take to actually set up a successful business in such a big city? We’ll take you through a few tips on how to start your successful business in Atlanta.

Tips for starting a business in Atlanta.

1. Create a business plan

Everything that lasts starts with a good plan, and a business is no different. Before you start anywhere else, you need to know the ins and outs of how you’ll operate your business. Start with the general idea of your company and then ask yourself:

  • What are my business goals?
  • What are my business’s values and mission?
  • What are the risks my business will face?
  • What kind of customers do I want?
  • What kind of objections to my company will I face, and how can I overcome them?
  • What kinds of materials will I need?
  • What materials and how much do I need to start out?
  • What can I compare my business to?
  • Who are my competitors?

These are just some of the basic details you’ll have to initially define for your company. Some of them, we’ll help you answer here. If you don’t know how detailed your answers should be, look up “mock business plans” or “sample business plans” on Google. Then, use those models to create your very own plan! This can be helpful for starting a business.

2. Define your Value Proposition

This term may sound scary, but it’s basically a fancy way of saying, “What makes you unique?” There are tons of businesses in Atlanta. So, what makes yours stand out? And how can you describe the difference to others?

If you’re an artist, then your value proposition may be your unique style. If you’re a consultant, it could be a different type of coaching method. If you’re a chef, it could be your signature dishes and the spin you take on traditional foods. In any case, you need to know what you bring to the table and how to properly express it to people in a way that sparks interest.

3. Build a brand

Now that you’ve identified what makes you unique, you need to be able to build a brand around that. Decide on a catchy business name, a slogan, and the type of personality you want your business to put out into the world. Are you a casual or black-tie kind of business? Do you want your tagline to be sassy or classic? What kind of voice do you want your business to have? All these are important things to consider when you’re starting a business.

Choose the options that will appeal to the customers you want, and then add a bit of your personal flair. Once you’ve created your brand, make sure that any marketing or company materials are consistent with that vision.

4. Be detail-oriented

While you may have an idea of the “big picture” of your company, there are tons of little details that go into day-to-day operations. What is your budget for everyday supplies? What type of training do your employees need? What is the step by step process of ordering t-shirts? How much will it cost to host your website? What are the safety measures you want to take? Some aspects may not need your attention until later. Until then, go through a typical day in business and pick apart the details of everything that an employee would do.

5. Budget out everything

When you’re starting a business, you’ll need to lay out all the supplies and services you’ll need to keep your business going and how much they cost. Map out how much money you have to start your company and how your start-up expenses fit into that budget. Are there things that you absolutely need right now? Or can something wait until you build up revenue?

Plan out how much you’ll need for behind-the-scenes operations costs like licenses, permits, and insurance. Account for the little things and for emergencies. Have a separate bank account for your business income and expenses so that everything stays organized. It’s important to find an accounting software that works for you, whether it’s an online spreadsheet or the top-of-the-line accounting program.

If you're starting a business, make sure you have the right insurance.

6. Get the right designations

If you need a certain license to start your business, find out the steps to take to get that designation. Know the legal designation of your business as well – whether it’s a sole proprietorship, an LLC, a corporation, etc. Your personal and business designations could determine how you’re allowed to operate.

Additionally, the legal designation of your company allows you to shift the liability of the business from you as an individual to your company as an entity. So, this step can be vital in making sure your personal finances take less of a hit if any.

7. Know what your tax situation will be

As you’re starting a business, make sure you’ve registered with the correct state and federal tax forms for your company. Allow room in your budget to be able to pay taxes. The best plan for getting your taxes in order is probably to partner with an accounting firm or a business tax professional. That way, you don’t have to worry about overpaying/underpaying your taxes or misunderstanding complicated laws.

8. Build a website

Now, you can start marketing your company using one of the easiest methods of the modern-day: building a website. There are tons of online programs that allow you to design a website or connect to developers to make you a custom site. This is a chance to spread your brand’s message to thousands of people pretty easily. It also presents an opportunity to showcase your work.

These days, most consumers won’t even consider businesses without a website or one with a site that looks slapped together. So, make sure your site looks clean and polished, and that it’s easy to navigate. Optimize your website loading times, and make sure that there’s a mobile-friendly version.

It’s also important to SEO optimize your site so that people can actually find your business in a web search. Don’t randomly insert keywords into your site’s content, though. Google can see right through keyword-stuffing and will knock you out of the top search results. Instead, vary your word choice and make sure that your content flows conversationally. Take an in-depth SEO course online and read up on tips to optimize your site.

9. Choose a location

You need somewhere to meet your customers, right? So, make sure that you choose a prime location for your business. Choose a location that’s convenient and easily seen. Look at locations that are local to your target customers and where the rent fits into your budget.

10. Get the right insurance

At the end of the day, a good business owner hopes for the best but prepares for the worst. Business insurance can be the best way to make sure that you have the tools to rebuild your company if something catastrophic happens. Forming a business means that it’s not just you anymore. So, you shouldn’t have to shoulder the brunt of a business disaster all on your own. Anyways – what we’re trying to say is don’t forget insurance when you’re starting a business.

Depending on the type of business you have, there are tons of different coverages you can get to protect your company. First, you may want to start off with a Business Owner’s Policy or BOP. A BOP is one way to get the basic amount of coverage you’ll need for a business at a better rate than purchasing the policies separately. BOPs usually include coverage for general liability, property damage (for your building), and business interruption insurance.

You may also want to consider coverages that are specific to your business, such as:

We know that starting a business can be an overwhelming and stressful process. However, our team can put your mind at ease by finding the right coverage for your unique company at the best rate possible. So, make sure you’re not missing out on game-changing coverage for your revolutionary business! Call us today, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with an expert today to start your free Atlanta business insurance quotes.

Do I need physical damage insurance for my Atlanta tow truck business?

It's important to consider physical damage insurance for your tow truck business.

It's important to consider physical damage insurance for your tow truck business.If you have a tow truck business, you’re probably wondering what kind of insurance you need to tow cars. Is just having auto liability insurance enough, or is there other insurance you need? One coverage that you might want to consider to protect your business’s bottom line is physical damage insurance. But what exactly is that, and why do you need it for your Atlanta tow truck business? We’ll explain what physical damage insurance is and why it’s important to think about when considering insurance for your business.

What is physical damage insurance?

Physical damage insurance is the coverage that can help you get your tow truck back on the road following an accident or another loss. Basically, if your tow truck gets smooshed, scratched, squashed, or otherwise damaged, your physical damage insurance helps with the repairs (or, in dire circumstances, replacement) of your vehicle.

The thing to keep in mind about tow truck insurance is that auto liability insurance won’t cover the repairs of your tow truck. If you’re at-fault in an accident, liability insurance pays for expenses like the other driver’s medical bills and car repairs – and it can help cover your legal expenses if you get sued over the accident. It protects the other driver…not your vehicle.

Bodily injury liability helps cover the other driver’s medical expenses. Property damage liability helps cover the repairs or replacement of the other driver’s car (or other property you might damage.)

Moving on, physical damage insurance consists of two parts: collision coverage and comprehensive coverage.

What is collision coverage?

Collision coverage helps you repair or replace your tow truck if you’re in an accident (or if you collide with something else, like a tree or telephone pole.)

For example:

You’re driving along on the way to help a driver whose car has broken down. On the way there, you accidentally run a red light and get into an accident. Fortunately, everyone is fine, but your tow truck is pretty smashed. Your collision coverage can help you cover the repairs.

What is comprehensive coverage?

Of course, getting into an accident isn’t the only way your tow truck could come to harm. If your truck is damaged by something other than an accident, comprehensive coverage helps you cover the repairs or replacement of the tow truck.

Covered losses can include…

  • Fire
  • Vandalism
  • Animal strikes
  • Falling objects (i.e. trees)
  • Theft

To give an example, let’s say that you park your truck outside in the yard. You happen to be located in a spot that’s near a lot of trees. That night there’s a surprise storm that knocks down a bunch of the aforementioned trees…and a huge tree branch crash-lands right into your tow truck. Which now resembles a pancake. Comprehensive coverage can help you repair the truck and get it back on the road.

Why is physical damage insurance important?

So, here’s the deal:

If you run a tow truck business, you’re kind of dependent on, well, your tow trucks. You can’t have a tow truck business without vehicles. If something were to happen to one of your trucks – for example, you get into an accident that’s your fault or your truck gets stolen out of your yard – you would need to get that tow truck either repaired or replaced and back to work. You need all of your trucks operating to protect your bottom line and keep your business running smoothly.

The only problem is that tow trucks are expensive. That’s why having the proper coverage for your tow trucks is essential. Those trucks are a major investment, and physical damage insurance is a crucial part of protecting that investment. If you only carry auto liability insurance, you would not be financially protected if something happened to your tow truck – meaning that the repairs or replacement of your truck would fall on your shoulders.

So, that’s what physical damage insurance is and how it can protect your bottom line and your business’s finances. Collision insurance helps you repair or replace your tow truck if it’s damaged in an accident. Comprehensive insurance helps you repair or replace your tow truck if it’s damaged by a loss other than an accident, such as a fire, falling trees, animal strike, vandalism, and theft. When you’re getting Atlanta tow truck insurance, be sure to consider physical damage insurance for your business.

To get started with tow truck insurance quotes, fill out our online quote form or give us a call. We can help you get great tow truck insurance at a great rate by getting quotes from multiple insurance carriers.

How do I get Atlanta tow truck insurance quotes?

Get tow truck insurance quotes.

Get tow truck insurance quotes.

If you have a Georgia tow truck business, you’re probably wondering how to go about getting tow truck insurance. You know you need to get insurance, but you’re really not looking forward to it – there are a lot of tow truck insurance coverages to consider, and you’re worried that your insurance might be expensive. But first of all, what’s the best way to get quotes for tow truck insurance? We’re going to explain how to get Atlanta tow truck insurance quotes and why it’s so important for you to get multiple quotes.

How to get tow truck insurance quotes:

Are you a little worried that getting tow truck insurance quotes will be complicated or overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be – actually, it can be quite easy. We’ll explain how the quoting process works so you know what you’re getting yourself into.

1. You fill out our online quote form or give us a call.

The first step in getting tow truck insurance in Georgia is filling out our online quote form or giving us a call. This lets us know that you’re in the market for insurance. We have a team of tow truck insurance experts who can help you get quotes for your insurance – you just have to reach out to us.

2. One of our agents asks a few quick questions.

So, the next thing that happens is that one of our agents will ask a few quick questions to gather some general information about your business. We need to ask these questions so that we can get you the most accurate quote possible. But don’t worry – we’ll be quick and we won’t take too much of your time. We know that you’re busy – you have a tow truck business to run, after all. We like to make insurance easy.

3. We go get your tow truck insurance quotes.

Next comes the fun part – we go to the various carriers that we work with to collect some tow truck insurance quotes for you. We have relationships with many different insurance companies, so we can get competitive quotes and help you get the quality coverage you need. (Shopping around for tow truck insurance quotes can help you save money on your rates, by the way.)

4. We come back with your quotes.

We’ll go over your quotes with you and present your options. We’ll help you finalize your coverage and get everything squared away so you can hit the road with peace of mind. Our goal is to help you get great tow truck insurance at a great rate.

5. We’re here to help you with any insurance-related questions.

You can reach out to us any time with questions or issues pertaining to your insurance. You don’t have to go it alone. We’re available by phone, email, and LiveChat so you can get in touch in whatever manner is most convenient for you. Need to add a truck to your policy? Sure! Need to make an adjustment to your driver list? Not a problem. We’re here to take care of any concerns in a timely manner and with great customer service.

Why is it important to get tow truck insurance quotes?

Maybe you’re wondering why it’s important to bother with this entire process. Perhaps it feels like a bit of rigmarole. You might just be looking to get a ballpark estimate. However, the issue with “ballpark” estimates is that they tend not to be terribly accurate. There are a lot of factors that affect tow truck insurance rates, so rates vary a lot from business to business. The reason is that insurance companies need to find out how much of a risk you would be to insure and how likely you are to file a claim.

For example, things like your drivers’ MVRs, speeding tickets, your claims history, your location, your tow trucks, your towing radius, and so on can affect your rates. Thus, not every business is going to have the same rates – all of these details can play a part in your premium. Besides, every business needs different coverages and a customized insurance plan. Tow truck insurance plans aren’t exactly one-size-fits-all. You can’t go by a ballpark number because that number might not accurately reflect your business’s insurance needs.

So, that’s how you can get Georgia tow truck insurance quotes and why it’s important to get those quotes in the first place. Like we mentioned, getting started with those quotes is easy – all you have to do is fill out our online quote form or give us a call.

What kinds of insurance coverage do tow trucks need in Atlanta?

Get the right insurance coverages for your tow trucks.

Get the right insurance coverages for your tow trucks.

Towing can be a risky business to get into. So, whether you’re starting up your own Atlanta tow truck business or you’ve been in business for a while, you want to make sure that you’re properly insured. However, a lot more goes into insuring tow trucks than covering your drivers and your towing hook. So, here’s a rundown of the major types of insurance coverage you’ll need for a tow truck.

What insurance coverages do I need to tow cars in Atlanta?

Auto Liability Insurance

The auto liability portion of your tow truck insurance is a vital part of what protects your business in an accident. Auto liability insurance is usually broken up into two parts: Bodily injury liability and property damage liability.

The bodily injury portion of this coverage can help you cover the medical bills of another driver if you’re in a wreck. It can also help you pay the legal fees that come along with the accident if the other driver decides to sue. The property damage portion of auto liability can help you pay for the cost of repairs or the cost to replace the other driver’s car.

In the state of Georgia, all tow trucks are required to have:

  • A $100,000 coverage limit per person for bodily injury or death
  • A $300,000 limit per accident for each person injured or killed in an accident, and
  • $50,000 in property damage coverage per accident.

Although these are the minimum limits for tow truck auto liability in Georgia, your towing contracts may have different coverage requirements. So, be sure to check with the people you’re contracted with and tell your agent about these limits when getting insurance quotes for your business.

It’s very important to note, though, that auto liability for tow trucks only covers the damage done to the other vehicle. So, what do you do if your tow truck is damaged in an accident?

Physical Damage Insurance

Physical damage insurance is the part of your coverage that can help you cover repair and replacement costs for your tow trucks. This type of insurance is also usually broken up into two parts: collision and comprehensive coverage.

Collision coverage for tow trucks can help you cover the costs of repairing your truck specifically if you’re involved in an accident. Comprehensive coverage can help you handle expenses from basically every other incident that could befall your tow trucks, including: fire, vandalism, theft, lightning, hitting an animal, hitting an object (like a tree or building), and more.

On-hook/in-tow coverage

Regardless of the type of towing contract you have, if something happens to a client’s car, you could be held liable for the damages. Auto liability and physical damage coverage won’t help you cover that kind of risk. That’s what on-hook-in-tow coverage is for.

Let’s say that you’re driving to your yard with a client’s vehicle and it’s raining hard. Something happens and your tow truck loses traction. The truck itself and the driver are safe, but the client’s car got tossed in the chaos and has severe damage. You could be held liable for these damages, but your on-hook/in-tow coverage can help you cover the cost of the car’s damages.

Again, our insurance agents will be able to take into account the minimum requirements that Georgia has for on-hook/in-tow insurance, the minimum requirements of your towing contracts, and how much coverage you actually need for your business when you call in to get your quotes.

Garagekeepers insurance

Garagekeepers insurance can help you cover your clients’ cars while they’re in your care, custody, and control – for example if they’re on your premises. Garagekeepers will generally help you cover the cost of damage to a customer’s car due to:

  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Lightning
  • And more depending on your specific policy

For example, if one of the cars in your yard has been tagged with spray paint overnight, your tow truck business’s garagekeepers insurance can help you cover the costs of painting over the damage to the customer’s car. Any tow truck operator in GA must have at least $50,000 in garagekeepers coverage limits, which covers the amount of the stored vehicles and their contents.

Garage Liability insurance

Garage liability coverage, however, is important because it can help you cover the costs of liability issues that come about because of the services you provide. This part of your tow truck insurance can help you cover you if the services you provide cause property damage or bodily injury.

For example: Let’s say that you provide roadside assistance, and you’re called in to help a customer change a tire. You drive out to them, change the tire, then the driver thanks you and drives off. However, a few miles down the road, the tire comes off, which results in an accident. You could be held liable for the accident since you changed the tire.

In the state of GA, all tow truck operators must have at least a $50,000 coverage limit for their garage liability insurance. Keep in mind that these are only the minimum requirements for garagekeepers and garage liability insurance in Georgia. Depending on the factors of your specific business, such as the type of cars you handle, the size of your business, and your towing radius, you may need more coverage. (But that doesn’t have to mean that your coverage will be more expensive – especially when you work with our agents to find quotes.)

Wrongful repo insurance

If your tow truck business also handles the repossession of vehicles, you’ll need a type of coverage that can protect you against human error. Tons of things can go wrong when repossessing a vehicle (besides a few angry customers):

  • You may not have checked with the bank before you picked the car up. The person may have already made their payment and the bank was a bit delayed in relaying this information to you. Wrongful repo insurance may cover the costs of any legal fees that happen because of the misunderstanding. However, to avoid this mishap, make sure you check with the bank before you leave to tow the car.
  • There was no written notice to you or the customer about the repo. A spoken agreement between you and the bank is not enough to tow the car. So, make sure you have written consent.
  • You could just take the wrong car. Accidents happen, but this oops could have very dire consequences for your business if you don’t have the right coverage.

These may seem like a lot of coverages to have for a tow truck business, but they’re vital for keeping you, your drivers, and your business safe and out of a major financial pickle. It can be tough to look for all of these types of insurance by yourself and get the right amount of coverage for your particular towing business and tow trucks.

That’s why our insurance experts are here to help. Call us at 404.352.0304, fill out our online form, or chat with us to find out why we have a 9.8/10 review on TrustPilot after helping tons of towing companies get the Atlanta tow truck insurance they need.

Source:

http://www.gamccd.net/NctFaq.aspx

What you need to know about Georgia tow truck insurance

Here are some answers to some common Georgia tow truck insurance questions.

Here are some answers to some common Georgia tow truck insurance questions.

If you work with tow trucks in Georgia, you know that there’s a lot of adventure that goes along with towing cars. Which is exactly why there’s tow truck insurance – when accidents happen or things go wrong, having the right insurance can really save the day. So, you know that you need to get tow truck insurance, but there are plenty of questions that go along with it. We’re going to tackle five common tow truck insurance questions to shed some light on the strange thing that is Georgia tow truck insurance.

Do I need tow truck insurance?

There are a variety of businesses that could benefit from tow truck insurance. Basically, if your line of work involves a tow truck or a wrecker, you’ll probably need to consider getting specialized insurance that includes specific coverages to protect your vehicle.

Businesses that might need Georgia tow truck insurance include (but are not limited to):

  • Auto body shops
  • Roadside assistance businesses
  • Towing services
  • Repo companies

What insurance coverages do I need to tow cars?

As you can imagine, there are plenty of business insurance coverages to consider to protect your towing business. Some of the coverages towing businesses get include…

  • Auto liability insurance: Auto liability insurance can help cover your legal obligation to the other driver and their passengers if you’re at fault in an accident. It can help you if they decide to sue you.
    • Bodily injury liability: This part of auto liability insurance can help you cover the medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages of those that you injure in a car accident.
    • Property damage liability: This part of auto liability insurance can help you cover the costs of repairing or replacing the property of others that you might damage in an accident – for example, the other driver’s car if you’re in an accident.
  • Physical damage insurance: This coverage can help you get your tow truck back on the road ASAP if it gets damaged. (Liability insurance won’t cover damages to your own tow truck.)
    • Collision insurance can help you repair or replace your tow truck if it’s damaged in an accident in which you’re at fault or if you otherwise collide with something.
    • Comprehensive insurance can help you repair or replace your tow truck if it’s damaged by something other than an accident, such as fire, theft, vandalism, and falling objects (i.e. trees).
  • On-hook/In-tow insurance: On-hook insurance can help protect you if one of your client’s cars is damaged while it’s attached to your tow truck.
  • Garagekeepers insurance: Garagekeepers can help protect you if you ever have care, custody, or control of your clients’ cars (for example, if you ever have to store them on your premises.) Examples of covered losses include fire, theft, and vandalism.
  • Garage liability insurance: Garage liability can protect you against claims of bodily injury or property damage arising from the day-to-day operation of your business and the services you provide.
  • Wrongful repo insurance: Wrongful repo insurance can protect you if you accidentally manage to repossess a car that you’re not supposed to.

How much does tow truck insurance cost?

You’re probably wondering how much Georgia tow truck insurance costs. The thing is that tow truck insurance rates depend on a lot of different factors. Insurance companies look at a lot of details about your business because they want to know how much of a risk you are to insure. (Businesses who present more risk will probably have higher rates.)

Some of the details that affect tow truck insurance rates are…

  • Your location
  • How long you’ve been in business
  • Your tow truck
  • Loss history/Claims
  • Tickets and traffic violations
  • The kind of towing you do
  • Your drivers and their MVRs
  • Your towing radius

How can I save money on tow truck insurance?

Another thing that you might be wondering about is how to save money on Georgia tow truck insurance. It’s important to emphasize safety at your towing business – this will help you avoid claims and therefore save money on towing insurance. The following can help you save money on your premium:

1. Have written workplace safety policies to outline driver behavior and safety expectation.

2. Have a pre-trip vehicle inspection procedure.

3. Have a thorough hiring process and hire safe drivers.

4. Conduct regular safety meetings with your employees.

5. Don’t forget to ask about tow truck insurance discounts.

6. Raise your deductible if you’re financially comfortable doing so.

7. Avoid filing minor claims against your insurance.

8. Get multiple quotes for tow truck insurance.

How do I get Georgia tow truck insurance quotes?

It’s important to get multiple tow truck insurance quotes so you can compare coverages and pricing. But how does one go about doing that? We’ll explain our quoting process.

1. You fill out our online quote form or give us a call.

2. Our agent gets some details about your tow truck business.

3. We go shopping and get you competitive quotes from different carriers.

4. We go over your insurance options with you and you decide which policy will work for you. Then we help finalize your coverage.

5. We’re here to answer any questions you may have and to assist with any insurance-related queries you may have.

So, those are the answers to several important tow truck insurance questions. If you need tow truck insurance quotes, we would be happy to help. Our tow truck insurance experts can help you get the business insurance coverage you need to protect your company from risks. We’re also pros at making insurance easy. To get started with your quotes, fill out our online quote form or give us a call today.

6 things you need to know about voluntary benefits

You can offer voluntary benefits to your employees.

You can offer voluntary benefits to your employees.

If you have a small business, you’re probably trying to make heads and tails of group health insurance. Which may be easier said than done. One aspect of group health insurance that you might be thinking about is voluntary benefits. What exactly are voluntary benefits? Should you offer them? How does it work? We’ll explain six things you need to know about voluntary benefits.

Read more6 things you need to know about voluntary benefits

6 Group Health Insurance Terms You Need to Know

We'll explain 6 group health insurance terms.

We'll explain 6 group health insurance terms.

If you’re worried about choosing a group health insurance plan, you’re not the only one. Finding the right health insurance plan for your employees can be especially tricky, and all of the terms involved in healthcare don’t make the choice any easier. Figuring out health insurance lingo like premiums, coinsurance, copays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums can seem like learning a new language. In many ways it is, but we’ve broken down some of the basic terms to give you a starting point. So, let’s start your group health insurance 101.

Read more6 Group Health Insurance Terms You Need to Know

6 tips for choosing a group health insurance plan for your small business

It's important to evaluate each plan when you're choosing Atlanta group health insurance.

It's important to evaluate each plan when you're choosing Atlanta group health insurance.

f you’re a small business owner in the Atlanta area, you might be considering getting group health insurance for your employees. But there are a lot of options out there – and we mean a lot. Which begs the question, how does a small business owner go about choosing a group health insurance plan? We’ve got six tips to help you evaluate and choose Atlanta group health insurance for your small business.

Read more6 tips for choosing a group health insurance plan for your small business

What is short term vs. long-term disability insurance?

You can offer disability insurance to your employees as a benefit.

Even though Georgia isn’t one of the states that require employers to have long or short-term disability for their employees, offering them as benefits still give you a leg up on the competition when hiring great people. But how exactly do short and long-term disability work? What are the differences? And how can you use them for the benefit of your business?

Short-term disability insurance

Short-term disability lets an employee get paid a portion of their wages if they’re unable to work for a while. It makes sure that an employee can still cover their living expenses if they have a serious illness or injury. We’re talking about injuries from a car accident vs. a small burn or lung surgery vs. a cold. The latter of these can usually be taken care of through sick leave and not consistent monitoring from a doctor.

Some other conditions that can be covered by short-term disability are:

  • Back problems
  • Arthritis
  • Pregnancy leave and childbirth

Short-term disability coverage can last anywhere from 9 weeks to two years, depending on the policy. However, short-term disability payments usually won’t kick in until about a week or two after the employee is unable to work. These payments are made weekly and again, depending on the policy, could pay out a flat rate of about 40-60 percent of the worker’s wages, or it could start out at 80 percent of the worker’s salary and taper off to 40-60 percent.

Once short-term disability runs out for an employee, it may be time to move them into a long-term disability plan if they still can’t come to work.

Long-term disability insurance

Long-term disability is an extended version of short-term disability. This benefit would cover any type of injury or illness that keeps someone from working for over one or two years (you guessed it – depending on the policy).

First, long-term disability usually covers 50-70 percent of an employee’s salary. The typical length of long-term disability is 5 – 10 years, but a worker can claim disability as long as they are disabled or until they’re 65 and social security benefits kick in.

Conditions that are usually covered by long-term disability are:

  • Cancer
  • Musculoskeletal disorders (such as severe tendonitis or fibromyalgia)
  • Nervous system disorders (like epilepsy or a stroke)
  • Severe car accident injuries

Additionally, due to recent regulations regarding mental illness as a disability, severe, long-term mental health issues that prevent a person from working can also qualify as a disability.

Some details can still be a little fuzzy when you’re deciding whether to offer short-term disability insurance, long-term disability insurance, or both to your employees. It’s important to consider your industry, your budget, and the size of your business when including benefits in your company offerings. Our insurance agents are experts at figuring out the particular details of what will fit your business. So, give us a call at 404.352.0304 or fill out our online form to start getting customized quotes on benefits that could be crucial to your business!

What does an employee need to claim disability?

To claim disability, the employee will need a letter from their doctor to confirm their injury or illness. Georgia law also states that if you do offer sick leave or disability benefits, the employee must work for your company for more than 30 hours a week.

From there, a lot of things are left up to the employer to decide regarding taking disability leave. Some employers require the employee to work for them for a certain amount of time before being eligible for the benefit. Some employers require that the employee use all of their sick days before they qualify for disability. Some employers require full-time status or even additional paperwork for the employee to claim disability.

When you apply for short and long-term disability insurance, your carrier may also place certain exclusions on pre-existing conditions or conditions where disability won’t really help the employee’s condition. So, it really just depends on how you would want it to work for your individual business.

How is disability insurance different than workers comp?

Workers comp is specifically different from disability benefits because the former takes care of injuries or serious illness that happens at work or due to work-related activities. Disability benefits are for injuries that happen outside of work but are still severe enough to put someone out of commission for a while. They’re a great benefit to offer, but unless you’re in:

  • California
  • Hawaii
  • New Jersey
  • New York, or
  • Rhode Island

you’re not required by the national or state government to offer long and short-term disability. There are massive benefits for your business should you choose to offer disability benefits, though.

Why should I offer short or long-term disability?

Companies that offer disability insurance and even other group benefits have major advantage when they’re hiring and retaining talent. According to certain studies:

  • 57% of job seekers consider employee benefits as a determining factor in whether they take a job or not.
  • 84% of employees that are satisfied with their benefits are also more satisfied with their jobs and more loyal to the company.
  • 80% of employees would actually prefer more benefits over a raise.

Employees are also likely to be less stressed, and thus, more productive if they know that they would be taken care of should something happen. You may even be eligible for a tax deduction for offering group benefits.

So, why wait to improve your business from the inside out? Connect with one of our insurance experts today, so that they can get to know you, your business, and what will make your employees the happiest! Just give us a call or fill out our online quote form to get in touch with our team.

 

Sources:

https://www.patriotsoftware.com/payroll/training/blog/difference-short-term-long-term-disability-insurance-coverage-qualify/

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/what-is-long-term-disability-insurance-1918178

https://www.officevibe.com/blog/10-statistics-compensation-benefits

Atlanta group health insurance: HMO plans and PPO plans

Two options for Atlanta group health insurance are HMO plans and PPO plans.

Two options for Atlanta group health insurance are HMO plans and PPO plans.

If you’re a small business owner in Atlanta, you might be considering offering group health insurance for your employees. Unfortunately, all the terms, abbreviations, acronyms, and so on can be bamboozling. In considering what sort of plan you want to offer, you’re wondering what the difference is between an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) plan and PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) plans. Well, apart from having different letters, that is. Anyways, we’ll explain what HMOs and PPOs are and why they’re different.

What is a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan?

One type of Atlanta group health insurance is offering an HMO plan to your employees.

Basically, the Health Maintenance Organization creates a network of healthcare providers that work with them. These providers have agreed to be paid set amounts for the services they provide. This means that the HMO is able to keep costs fairly low for people who are on these plans, making it an affordable health insurance option. The premiums and copays (fees for visiting a doctor or specialist) can be more affordable than those of a PPO plan.

However, there’s a catch:

Remember how we mentioned the network of healthcare providers? If your employees are on an HMO insurance plan, they can only go to doctors who are in that network in order for expenses to be covered. They can’t see a doctor who is out-of-network unless it’s a complete medical emergency.

So, employees could see lower costs as far as premium, copay, and out-of-pocket expenses, but they lose the flexibility of being able to see whichever doctor they please.

Another thing about HMO plans is that the employee will most likely to be required to choose a Primary Care Provider from the network provided. This doctor will become their doctor, who they’ll go to for check-ups, when they get sick, and so on. And if there’s ever a time that they need to see a specialist, the Primary Care Physician would refer them to a specialist in-network. (The referral is a must – kind of like a Golden Ticket.) The specialist’s care would be covered after the copay and deductible are met by the employee.

So, HMOs could work for your employees if they’d rather pay lower premiums and they’re okay with being limited to choosing doctors in the network. Generally, HMOs can work for people who don’t need more than basic care in the form of checkups, vaccinations, and so on.

(We can help you get the Atlanta group health insurance that’s right for your business. Get started with your quotes by filling out our online form or giving us a call today.)

What is a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan?

Another Atlanta group health insurance option is to offer a PPO plan to your employees.

A PPO plan also consists of a network of healthcare providers, and these providers have agreed to offer set rates for their services to members. However, the employee would have the option to go to a doctor or hospital that’s out of that network. (Although choosing one of the in-network providers will most likely cost less.) Basically, you can go to any doctor, in-network or out-of-network.

These plans offer more flexibility and options as far as doctors go, but the premiums can be higher, as can the copays. (But, like we mentioned, choosing an in-network doctor can help save money.) These plans usually require enrollees to pay a co-pay when they visit a provider, and there may be an annual deductible that needs to be met before insurance will cover certain claims. There are more options with these plans and it can be easier to see a provider when away from home or if there’s an urgent medical situation.

Another way that these plans offer more flexibility is that the employee doesn’t have to choose a primary care physician and don’t need a referral to see a specialist. They can just go without needing a primary care physician to act as a liaison. If you offer a Preferred Provider Organization plan as group health insurance for your small business, employees would most like to be able to keep their current doctor, which is helpful if they wouldn’t want to switch.

So, PPOs can provide more flexibility and choices for your employees since they don’t have to visit an in-network health care professional, but they’re often a little more expensive. It’s a trade.

And that’s the difference between an HMO plan and a PPO plan. When selecting Atlanta group health insurance for your small business, it’s important to consider what your employees would prefer and how the plan will help them get the care they need. Your employees need group health insurance that will work for them.

If you’re looking for small business health insurance, we can help. We’ll go over your options for Atlanta group health insurance and help you find the right benefits package for your employees and your business. We can also help you get workers’ comp insurance, general liability insurance, and more. Get started with your Atlanta business insurance quotes by filling out our online quote form or calling us today.

Sources:

https://www.humana.com/all-products/understanding-insurance/what-is-hmo

https://www.humana.com/all-products/understanding-insurance/hmo-vs-ppo