Many employers in Atlanta are intending to make remote working the “new normal.” After all, many firms have already invested in the infrastructure necessary to let people work from home — and consequently, they want to use it. But that carries with it some additional risks. Let’s take a look at the technological risks that work-from-home employees engender.
Do you need to change your insurance when setting up a home-based business? You absolutely do, but the process doesn’t have to be intimidating. When you set up a home-based business, your risk factors are changing. You will need additional coverage. But Atlanta’s home-based businesses are thriving today and many people are interested in getting started. Here’s what you need to know.
Atlanta is a rapidly growing city, which is leading to a real boom in the real estate market! The construction of the Belt Line has been successful in shaping Midtown and the surrounding areas, and in making Atlanta a more accessible city. There’s also two brand-new state-of-the-art stadiums for both the Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta Braves. Atlanta is also now one of the top film industries in the world, which means there’s an influx of people moving to town, at least temporarily. These factors coupled with the affordable cost of living in the South add up to make Atlanta an ideal location for property investors.
However, if you are a property manager looking to invest in Atlanta, you also need to consider the area and how to best insure your rental dwellings. How do standard insurance carriers decide whether they want to insure a property? What are some factors to pay attention to for local buildings? The following are seven details that can keep your property in the standard insurance market – and help Atlanta property investors like you avoid paying higher premiums.
What can help Atlanta property investors stay in the standard insurance carrier market?
1. Wiring and plumbing.
Remediate any aluminum wiring.
Aluminum wiring is not something that standard insurance carriers want to see in a multi-family building because it’s a known fire hazard. (Copper is used now, and it is not a fire hazard). Pay close attention to any buildings that were built in the 1970’s, as that was prime time for aluminum wiring usage. The risk of fire that your building presents has a huge impact on what kind of insurance you can obtain. You may be able to undergo remediation if your Atlanta building still has aluminum wiring, but you have to take care to do this right so that your building will be acceptable to insurance carriers. Going through the appropriate remediation can help Atlanta property investors re-enter the standard insurance market.
Remediate polybutylene plumbing.
During the late 1970s through the early 1990s, polybutylene (“PB”) piping was used during new construction in order to save costs, but it was soon evident that this material was likely to expand, burst, and otherwise cause problems. There was even a class-action lawsuit against the manufacturers of PB piping, although that lawsuit has expired. Standard insurance carriers don’t like to see PB piping because they see that as raising your chances of filing a claim. (And a water damage claim at that – since water damage can impact more than one unit in an apartment complex, it becomes a real hassle and nightmare.) If you have PB piping in any of your rentals, you will want to look into remediation methods in order to get your building updated.
2. Occupancy rate.
Occupancy rate is an important factor when insuring a rental dwelling. Standard insurance carriers often have a certain percentage where they see the building as being “occupied” versus “vacant”. This matters because vacant buildings present a higher risk of a claim since there are fewer people around to catch any potential issues, and standard carriers are wary when there is little oversight. (We’re establishing a trend here, right?) A vacant building is at a higher risk of vandalism, for example, and there wouldn’t be anyone there to call 911 in the event of a fire or raise the alarm about a burst pipe. Yes, your tenants present their own brand of risk, but in this case, the tenants are also quite helpful to the landlord since they are able to notice any issues.
A major appeal of the city of Atlanta is the fact that there’s a lot of green. Atlanta has a lot of trees, but trees themselves can pose a risk when they are located next to your rental properties. Any insurance carrier is going to want to see that trees (even the healthiest trees in the world) are properly trimmed back away from the roof, and that the roots don’t pose a risk to the foundation.
Unfortunately, roofs are not yet made to be indestructible. Their average lifespan is between 30-40 years, so pay attention to when the roof was last completely replaced. If you’re looking at a property that hasn’t replaced the roof in 30 years, that’s something you must budget for. Insurance carriers will always ask when the roof was last replaced since roofs, after all, protect buildings against heavy storms – all too common in Atlanta – and animals. If your roof is on the newer side or if it’s been well cared for, a standard insurance carrier will be more willing to insure your building.
You also have to take care to maintain the grounds of your building in order to reduce unnecessary liability risks. Standard insurance carriers want to see that you have taken steps to prevent people from getting injured on your property, which means taking care of any potential tripping hazards, such as protruding tree roots, and cracked cement/asphalt on the driveways, walkways, and patios. Maintaining the grounds can help to reduce the risk of property claims, like fire, but it’s the liability claims, like trips and falls, that maintenance can help prevent.
One other groundskeeping point: Atlanta loves its pinestraw, but it’s necessary that you make sure your landscapers aren’t piling pinestraw against your building. Pinestraw is actually quite flammable, so this comes up on inspection reports a lot.
4. Wood-burning fireplaces.
If your building has wood-burning fireplaces, you should know that standard carriers aren’t fans. You may not even allow your tenants to even touch the fireplace, but that doesn’t matter. Just the presence of the fireplace is enough for a standard carrier to bow out. (Again, it’s all about fire risk. Wood-burning fireplace … probably not something an insurance carrier is going to approve of. Lowering your fire risk is important if you’re trying to stay in the standard insurance market.) Look at either boarding up the fireplace so it is not physically accessible, or change the fireplace into gas.
If you have an apartment complex, it’s imperative that your leases are clear that any grills must be kept in common areas. Your tenants cannot keep them on balconies or patios. It’s not that insurance carriers don’t like barbeque – it’s that they see the fire risk, yet again. (Especially if your building has frame construction. Yikes!) The grills should also always be kept safely away from the flammable materials.
6. No smoking inside.
Smoking presents its own set of fire risks. Cigarettes might be tiny, but in an instant a butt that isn’t completely out or sparks falling onto a heap of pine straw can turn into a major fire. So – the reasons for prohibiting smoking inside the building are twofold: First, it helps to keep your tenants safe. Second, it helps keep your buildings safe, and anything you do as a landlord to protect your buildings is ultimately going to show in your insurance premiums. For multi-family risks, make sure to provide appropriate disposal methods that are easily accessible in common areas for your tenants to use so they have a place to dispose of their cigarettes.
7. Pool safety.
It’s no surprise to most to hear that Atlanta has a very temperate climate, and the weather is right for outdoor swimming for up to 6 months out of the year. If you have a pool at any of your rental properties, it is imperative that pool safety is a top priority. Putting proper safety measures in place reduces your liability risk, which standard insurance carriers not only like, but require. Keep the following in mind:
Fence-in your pool and only allow tenants access by means of a key card or key fob.
Post pool rules: No running, no glass, no alcohol, no swimming outside of posted hours, etc.
Keep hours limited to day time. Make sure that the pool hours follow natural daylight – no swimming after dark.
Clearly visible depth markers prevent people from thinking either that the pool is deeper than it is, since diving into the shallow area of the pool leads to some bad injuries, as well as allows those trying to keep young kids safe away from the deep end.
Make sure that safety equipment is not only visible, but also accessible. In case of an emergency, people should be able to easily see and grab the safety equipment around the pool.
Two means of egress: Having at least one ladder at each end of the pool means if someone gets into trouble while swimming, they’ll have an easily accessible way out.Keep hours limited to day time. Make sure that the pool hours follow natural daylight – no swimming after dark.
Have clearly visible depth markers. That’s extremely important.
Make sure that safety equipment is accessible and visible. In case there is an emergency, people should be able to easily see and grab the safety equipment around the pool.
There are plenty of advantages Atlanta property investors to be able to stay in the standard insurance market, of course. But that means you need to put some effort into reducing your risk. That could be your fire risk or other property risks, or that could be your liability risk, like someone face-planting on to the concrete. Rather than waiting for a catastrophe to happen, you can take steps to head it off and prevent it. The key to keeping your insurance rates down is to stay ahead of any potential issues!
If you’re a contractor, you have a lot on your mind. There are a lot of jobs to get to, and there’s a lot of work to be done. But things don’t always go as planned. Not to be a harbinger of doom, but there are a lot of potential catastrophes you have to protect yourself from. Contractor insurance is a great plan, but how do you get Atlanta contractor insurance? Well, it might appear to be a daunting process, but we’ll break it down.
How to get contractor insurance.
1. Know your risks.
Well, you first have to know what you’re up against. What sort of risks do you face on a day-to-day basis? The risks depend on what kind of business you have – do you do drywall installation, HVAC work, or handyman services? You need to be prepared to protect yourself from these things. For example, do you have an office containing your tools and business equipment? Do you have a truck for your business? Do you bring your tools back and forth from jobs? Do you have to leave materials at the job site? Do you have employees? Could you accidentally cause damage to someone’s property – or, well, someone? Chances are that the answers to at least a few of these questions are yes. But fear not – that’s why there’s business insurance!
2. Know what insurance coverages you may need.
It’s not a bad idea to familiarize yourself with the various insurance coverages you may need for your contracting business. Here are a few you may want to consider:
- Business personal property
- Contractors tools and equipment
- Goods in transit
- Installation floater
- General liability
- Auto liability and physical damage
- Workers’ compensation
- Employee dishonesty
However, these may not be the only coverages you want to consider for your business. That’s where our agents can help – we’ll help you get the coverages you need to protect your business.
3. Get started with Atlanta contractor insurance quotes.
The prospect of getting insurance for a contracting business might seem a little intimidating, and there are a lot of aspects about it that could feel overwhelming. That’s why we strive to make insurance as easy as possible. We want to make the process of getting contractor insurance in Atlanta painless. How do we do that? Here’s a look at our quoting process.
You let us know you’re looking for contractor insurance.
The first step happens when you let us know that you’re in need of quotes for Atlanta contractor insurance. We have a few ways you can get in touch with us – you can use our online quote form, give us a call, or message us on LiveChat. You can choose the most convenient method of contact for you, and we can even text or email with you if that works best for you. Like we said, we want to make insurance easy.
One of our agents gets to know your business.
One of our agents will talk with you and ask a few questions so we can help you get the insurance you need. We know you’re busy, so we don’t keep you on the phone too long. We just want to be able to properly assist you with your contractor insurance by understanding your Atlanta business.
We get your quotes.
The next part of the process is us getting some Atlanta contractor insurance quotes for you. We work with a lot of carriers, so we’ll gather some different options for your insurance. Our agents are great at shopping for business insurance quotes, and we can help you create an insurance plan that’s customized to your business’s unique needs and risks.
We’ll go over your insurance quotes with you.
We’ll keep you posted on the status of your quotes, and we’ll go over your options with you. Our team can also answer any questions you might have about the coverages and limits you’re considering. We know insurance can feel complicated, so we’ll break down the coverages and clarify anything that needs clarifying.
We’ll be here for your insurance needs.
We won’t just vanish after we get your quotes. Our team will be here to help answer any questions you may have about your coverage, and we’ll be here to handle any issues that arise. We’re only an email or phone call away if you need anything. You’ve got our team to run “tech support” as needed on your insurance policy, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us!
Getting contractor insurance might seem impossible and dreadful, but you don’t have to worry when you work with our agents. We want to help you get affordable Atlanta contractor insurance – not make you pull your hair out in frustration. So what are you waiting for? Fill out our online forms, give us a call, or send us a LiveChat. Find out just how easy contractor insurance can be.
Opening a daycare can seem overwhelming. Daycare owners must not only watch out for the risks of a normal customer service business, but also for kids generally being their rambunctious selves. So, as a daycare business owner, how can you protect yourself from the specific day-to-day hazards? Let’s take a look at how to get the best daycare insurance for you.
How to get daycare insurance.
1. Think about your risks.
There are numerous risks to consider at a daycare – both for parents and children. So, to start searching for the right insurance, you’ll need to ask yourself about the situations you could be held liable for. For example:
- What if a child is seriously injured?
- What if a parent is injured while visiting the property?
- What if my employees are injured at work?
- What if something happens to my building, and I have to close for repairs?
- What if someone is robbed or their car is broken into in my parking lot?
- What if I give out a snack that makes a child sick?
- Can and have I properly secured cleaning products and other materials out of the reach of the children?
- If I offer shuttle services, what happens if I’m in a wreck?
These are just a few of the things that daycare owners will have to consider before opening and during their operations.
2. Consider the coverages you may need
Once you’ve assessed the daily risks you may face, it’s a good idea to get a general sense of the insurance that can help if you’re faced with those dangers. Typically, businesses will need:
General liability coverage can help businesses with expenses, such as medical bills and legal fees, if a visitor is hurt on the property. (For your daycare, make sure you understand who would be covered under your general liability policy.)
Property coverage can help repair your company’s building if it is affected by a covered loss like fire. Remember, though, that commercial property insurance doesn’t cover all disasters. For instance, floods are typically not covered by a business insurance policy. Coverage for that requires an entirely different flood insurance plan for businesses.
Speaking of disasters, there can be tons of continuing expenses that occur while you’re rebuilding your business. So, you’ll want to consider business interruption coverage to help cover costs such as lost income to your daycare or expenses associated with relocating your business temporarily if you’re hit by a covered loss.
Another important coverage to consider (in fact, you may be required by law to have it) is workers compensation insurance. If one of your employees is hurt on the job or for job-related purposes, that would be terrible, but workers’ comp can help pay for their medical bills and part of their salary while they’re out.
Professional liability coverage can help cover legal costs due to an employee giving out improper information or neglecting a child in the classroom. Even if the employee had taken the proper measures and care, if a parent sues, professional liability insurance is a great coverage to have to cover the costs of defending the employee and your daycare business.
Commercial auto insurance
If you want to take your tykes on field trips, you’ll need to consider commercial auto insurance coverage for your daycare van or other mode of transport. Personal auto policies are typically built for handling the risks of casual driving and commutes, not other business purposes. So, having a commercial auto policy when using any type of vehicle for business purposes can be a great investment.
Other coverages to consider
Although the previous types of common business insurance coverages can cover daycares in different ways, there are still certain, specific policies that daycare owners must also consider to properly protect their company, such as:
- Abuse & molestation liability
- Accident medical insurance
- Cyber liability
- Crime insurance
- Umbrella insurance
3. Get quotes on daycare insurance
Thinking about these risks, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the daycare insurance you need while paying the best price. It’s important to properly manage the risks of parents, visitors, and children to your daycare. However, sifting through various types of insurance plans and carriers with different types, amounts, and conditions for coverage can seem like a stressful, never-ending process.
That’s why our experts strive to make the insurance process as easy and pleasant as possible with these 5 steps:
1. Contact us.
We want to make sure we’re easily accessible to you from the very start. So, give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with one of our specialists – whichever is easiest – so that we can start to understand your business.
2. We’ll have a quick chat.
Once we’ve heard from you, one of our agents will have a quick conversation with you to hammer out some minor details that they’ll need to get you the best insurance for your business.
We know that getting to know your business inside and out is the best way to get the most accurate rates and shop for the perfect coverage fit for you. However, we also know that you’re busy – with tots, parents, and more. So, our agents are accessible through phone, email, or text message. Just let us know what you prefer!
3. Our experts start shopping for your quotes.
Like we’ve said, we know that you’re a busy bee. So, we’ll take the time to shop for the daycare insurance that fits you. That way, you don’t have to take tons of time out of your busy day to get wrapped up in insurance coverage options. Just leave it to us!
Our agents have tons of experience and tons of connections to the best of the best insurance carriers and plans. So, you can rest assured that after we get to know your business, we’ll pair you with the best carriers and plans that fit your needs.
4. We’ll go over your options.
Once we’ve gotten your daycare insurance quotes, we’ll present you with only the best business insurance options. Our experts will go over the best policies that can handle your specific risks. We want you to know how your insurance will work for you and that you’re getting the best rates on quality coverage.
5. We’re always here to help!
After we’ve paired you with your perfect policy, don’t worry, we’re not going to just ride off into the sunset. Our agents are always here to help if you have questions, concerns, or changes to make with your policy. We’ll even shop your rates year after year so that you can rest assured that you’re getting the lowest rates on great daycare insurance.
Getting your daycare properly insured can seem completely overwhelming, but our specialists are here to make business insurance easy. To start getting free, customized quotes on affordable daycare insurance, call our experts today, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with an agent today!
Businesses need a lot of different insurance coverages in order to protect themselves from different risks. One common business insurance coverage is general liability insurance. (It’s a really important coverage for business owners.) While this coverage is common, that doesn’t mean people don’t have questions about it. One frequent question is this – does general liability insurance cover employee injuries? We’ll take a look.
Does general liability insurance cover employee injuries?
General liability can help protect your business against claims of third-party bodily injury or property damage. It can help cover things like medical expenses, lawsuits, settlements, and attorney fees. (Of course, the claim must be a covered one.) This is such a fundamental coverage that it’s typically included in a BOP (business owner’s policy), which is intended for small to medium-sized businesses.
To give an example, this is the coverage that could come into play if one of your customers slips and falls, injuring themselves on your premises. (People can sustain serious injury from a simple slip-and-fall. It can be a big deal.)
Anyways, lawsuits can be devastating to businesses, so it’s important to protect against them. But let’s get back to the question at hand – does general liability cover employee injuries?
To give a simple answer…no. Typically general liability insurance won’t cover an employee injury. That’s not what it does. So that might leave you with a follow-up question: what is an employer to do if an employee gets hurt on the job? The answer lies with worker’s comp insurance.
What does worker’s compensation insurance do?
Workers’ comp is the coverage that can help if an employee is injured on the job. So, though general liability won’t help if an employee takes a spill, slices their hand, or falls down a flight of stairs, that’s what workers’ comp is for. It can provide benefits if an employee is hurt or gets sick because of their job.
Workers’ compensation can cover the following if an employee is hurt on the job.
- Medical expenses. If an employee is injured while on the job, workers’ comp can take care of their medical bills. It can also cover the cost of rehab if the employee needs it. Considering how expensive medical expenses can be, this could be very helpful.
- Disability. If an employee is disabled because of a workplace injury, workers’ comp can help by paying disability benefits based on the severity and permanence of the disability.
- Lost wages. Workers’ comp can also help by paying an employee a portion of the wages they lost if they need to take tine off to recover. That way the employee doesn’t have to worry about the bills piling up.
- Death benefits. If the worst happens and an employee is killed on the job, workers’ comp can pay death benefits to their dependents.
So, you can see why workers’ comp is so important that Georgia may require you to carry it.
Quick tips to lower your workers’ comp costs.
- Check your insurance policy. Make sure your job classifications and payroll information are accurate.
- Invest in safety to reduce the chance of an accident. This can help you improve your claims history, which can help lower your costs.
- Have a return-to-work program. A return-to-work program helps employees come back to work by providing them with tasks that have been modified according to what they’re able to do as they recover.
- Make sure that employee injuries are reported promptly. This is really important.
- Take the time to do some detective work and investigate the incident. You can discover ways to prevent the same incident from happening again in the future.
- Train your employees. Be sure that you spend ample time teaching your employees to do their jobs safely. Make sure they know how to properly use the tools they’ll need to do their jobs.
So, there’s the answer to the question of whether general liability covers employee injuries. Most likely it will not, but workers’ comp is there for that reason. And whether you need workers’ comp insurance, general liability, or both, our team would be happy to help you get the right coverage for your business. Just fill out our online form or message us to get started with your business insurance quotes. Prefer to talk on the phone? No problem – just give us a call.
SEO is a marketing term you’ve probably heard of so much that you’re sick of it. It can seem like a vague, unreachable concept for small businesses, but don’t let the words of others scare you. Optimizing your business for search engines is easy and necessary if you want your company to flourish. So, here’s an easy guide to what SEO is and why your business needs it.
If you have an auto shop, it’s important to make safety a priority. Auto body shops aren’t devoid of hazards, and these things can hurt your customers or your employees. You need to be conscious of the risks of your shop so you can take steps to mitigate them. That being said, here are a few tips to help you lower the risk of something happening to either one of your employees or one of your customers.
If you have an Atlanta landscaping business, you’re probably pretty busy. You might not have too much time to spend fussing over landscaper insurance. And you might wonder what the most efficient way is to go about getting landscaper insurance. How can business owners make sure they get the right coverage to protect their business? We’ll explain how to get landscaper insurance.
How to get landscaper insurance.
1. Know the coverages you need.
Before you venture into getting insurance quotes, you might want to review the coverage you need for your business. There are many types of insurance that you’ll want to consider for your landscaping business. Here are a few:
General liability – GL insurance can protect you against claims that your business caused someone bodily injury or property damage. It can help you cover the costs you’re legally obligated to pay to the injured party, and it can help cover legal expenses if they sue.
Workers’ comp – Workers’ comp can help your workers if they get hurt on the job. It can cover their medical bills and it can give them a portion of their lost wages if they need to take time off because they need to recover.
Commercial auto – Commercial auto insurance can help you if you have business vehicles to protect. There are different coverages you may need for your vehicles.
Umbrella insurance – This can provide additional coverage that goes above and beyond the limits on your underlying liability policy.
These might not be the only coverages you need. You may also want to consider…
- Contractors Tools and Equipment
- Employee Dishonesty
- Goods in Transit
- Installation Floater
- Employment Practices Liability Insurance
At any rate, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have a customized insurance plan to protect your business from the risks you face. Each business ought to have its own insurance plan that’s set up to meet its coverage needs. We understand that the prospect of getting commercial insurance can seem daunting, but we like to keep the insurance process as easy as possible. There isn’t too much to it – we’ll explain.
2. Our quoting process.
1. You reach out to us.
First of all, you tell us that you’re in need of insurance for your landscaping business. If you like to talk on the phone, you can call us. If you want to fill out our quick form so we’ve got some details about your business, you can do that. And if you want to message us, that’s also fine! Whatever way you’d like to communicate is fine by us. (As we said, we want to make this as convenient as possible.)
2. One of our agents gets the necessary details.
One of our expert insurance superheroes will get the information necessary to get your insurance quotes. They’ll ask some questions so they can get to know your business and better understand the risks you face. We want to be able to get you the most accurate quotes possible and best assist you with your insurance.
3. We get your quotes.
The agent can then get to the heart of the fun – going shopping! We’ll help you get some quotes from the carriers we work with. We’re kind of like your personal shoppers – we’ll do your shopping for you!
4. We’ll present your quotes.
Next, we’ll go over your quotes with you and answer any questions you might have. We’ll explain the different options we have available for you and we’ll help finalize your coverage. Don’t worry – we’ll be here every step of the process.
5. We’re here to help.
Our job isn’t done yet, though – we won’t abandon you once your coverage is bound! Our team is always here to help. If you have any questions, concerns, or changes to your business, we’ll be here to help. We’ll make sure that your insurance still suits your business. If you’ve got any questions, we’re only an email or phone call away.
So, that’s how you can get started with getting landscaper insurance. Don’t worry about getting insurance – we strive to make insurance as stress-free as possible. Get started with quotes by filling out our online form.
If you’re a business owner, you know that there’s a lot to find out about commercial insurance. It can be overwhelming. At any rate, there are a lot of fancy words that can be confusing and technical. We’ve picked out some business insurance words that we’ll give quick, simple definitions for. (We put them in alphabetical order, because why not?)