How to find the Atlanta renters insurance that’s right for you

Renters insurance can help you protect your belongings.

Renters insurance can help you protect your belongings.

If you rent an Atlanta apartment or home, you may be considering getting renters insurance. The world of insurance can be overwhelming, and you might have some questions about renters insurance, such as what it covers, how much it costs, and what to look for in a renters insurance policy. And then there’s the question if whether or not your landlord’s insurance will already cover your belongings. So, here we go – we’re going to answer those burning renters’ insurance questions!

Does my landlord’s insurance cover me?

No. In most cases, it does not. Their policy will only cover the structure itself, not your belongings and treasures. That’s why it’s so important to consider renters’ insurance. If there was a fire or you get burgled, your belongings would not be covered, and replacing the possessions that were lost could be a substantial financial hit.

So, what is covered by renters insurance?

Your insurance will protect you against losses like fire, smoke, lightning, vandalism, and theft. The cool thing is that your renters’ insurance will most likely follow your belongings – and you – wherever you go. So, if your laptop and some other belongings got stolen out of your car, you’re good.

Renter’s insurance also covers your liability, meaning your legal obligation if you’re found responsible for causing someone bodily harm or property damage. So, you’re most likely covered if a guest trips over a rug, breaks their wrist, and decides to sue. Legal defense and judgments are also covered, no matter whether the incident happened at your residence or not.

How much does renters insurance cost?

Renters insurance is most likely not as expensive as you might fear. You’re only covering your belongings, not the structure itself (that’s the landlord’s purview.) If you decide to get a renters insurance quote, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised at how affordable it is.

What other factors do I have to consider?

Do you have a dog? Some insurance companies can be funny about covering certain breeds or sizes of dogs. You’ll have to make sure that your fluffy friend is covered under the policy you choose and see how a dog may affect your insurance rates.

Can you bundle and save? You might be able to bundle the renters’ insurance with your auto insurance or life insurance and save money. Insurance companies like it when you get more than one policy from them, so they might give you a discount. And who doesn’t love a good discount?

Are there any exclusions? Make sure you know exactly what is and is not covered under your policy. For example, flooding is most likely not covered by renters insurance. If there are any exclusions or gaps, you may have to add extra coverages to your policy.

Is relocation covered? You need to know what would happen if something changes and you have to move out of the apartment or house. Will your policy help you cover the costs of relocation?

Do you have valuables such as jewelry? If you have any valuables, you’ll need to make sure you check the limit of coverage for them to see if it’s enough. If it’s not enough, you’ll have to find out how you can add extra coverage for your jewelry.

Renters insurance will protect your belongings while you’re renting a place. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your landlord’s insurance covers your belongings, only to discover that it doesn’t. Instead, take matters into your own hands and look into getting a renters insurance policy. It might take a little bit of looking to find the one that’s right for you, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind you’ll enjoy. And you’re not in it alone – we can help you find the renters insurance plan that’s right for you. To get renters insurance quotes and shop for the best rate, all you have to do is fill out our quote form or give us a call today.

How to reduce cyber and computer risks at your Atlanta business

Are you controlling your business's cyber risks?

Are you controlling your business's cyber risks?

It’s impossible to escape the influence of technology in our lives. If you’re a small business owner, you may have had to make changes to adapt to the constant evolution of technology. While technology and computers certainly make our lives easier and help us be more efficient, they also present risks to your business in the form of viruses, hackers, and data breaches. You know to protect your business from risks like burglary, but what about invisible risks? Many businesses, including small businesses, have been targeted by hackers. Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to protect your business against cyber risks.

1. Train your employees in cybersecurity.

It’s worth it to take some time to educate everyone about how to be smart online. You can inform your employees about scams and how to identify suspicious emails and websites. Remember the GoogleDocs phishing scam that went around a while back?

2. Get antivirus and antispyware software for every computer.

It’s important to protect your computers against viruses and hackers. You need to keep your antivirus software updated and current. Make sure that you don’t skip any computers – devices that aren’t protected could become infected, and they could spread the virus to the healthy computers.

3. Don’t skip the firewall.

Firewalls are great at keeping snoops out of your computer systems. You can even get a network firewall if you have over five devices to protect your entire network.

4. Have backup copies of important data.

If you lose your business’s valuable records or data due to a cyber attack, you’d be in a real bind if you don’t have backups. At least one of your backup sets should be kept off-site in a secure location that only a few trusted individuals can access. Lock up your backup data.

While they are invisible, cyber risks are very real and need to be mitigated.

5. Control access to your computers and networks.

How many movies have you seen where the hacker or super spy poses as a janitor and then hops on a computer, stealing information by downloading it onto a flash drive in the nick of time? Make sure you know who’s coming in and out of your business and don’t let people play with your computers.

6. Secure your Wi-Fi network.

Your Wi-Fi network should be password-protected. Wi-Fi networks are easy ways for hackers to gain access to things that you would rather they didn’t. The password needs to be strong and something not easily guessed. Throwing in some numbers and special characters can’t hurt, either.

7. Have individual accounts for all employees.

It’s a good idea for each employee to have their own sign-on account to your computers. That makes it easier for you to keep track of who’s doing what online.

8. Limit authority to install software.

If one of your employee’s computers does get compromised, imagine the look on the hacker’s face when they realize they can’t download software. Their plot would perhaps be foiled. Only authorized personnel should be able to download things onto your business’s computers.

9. Have a password policy for your business.

A simple way to protect your computers is to have strong passwords on them. Your password policy can encourage employees to change their passwords every three months and to make them hard to guess. Like we said, it’s important that passwords include letters, numbers, and special characters. That makes them harder to crack than a simple password like abcde.

Another simple means of protecting your passwords – make sure your employees aren’t in the habit of writing them down and leaving them lying around. This is why passwords should be easy to remember but hard to guess.

10. Consider cyber liability insurance.

Cyber insurance protects you in the event of a data breach or hack that renders your computers broken. It will protect your business from breaches, system failures, and cyber extortion (hackers have gotten quite creative and will sometimes take over a system, demanding ransom for the computer’s release. Scary.) If your business relies heavily on computers or stores the personal information of your customers, you might want to consider adding a cyber policy to your business insurance plan.

Cyber liability insurance can help protect your business from hacks and data breaches.

Yes, computers are great. They can do lots of cool things and help us run businesses more efficiently. Plus, they help businesses connect with clients. However, they’re also a huge liability. The plastic and metal box sitting on your desk might seem nice and secure, but the danger lies on the inside. Don’t forget about your computer risk when you go about creating a disaster response plan for your business. Make sure that you take steps to protect your business’s computers and limit your cyber risk.

If you want a quote for cyber insurance or business insurance, we can help! All you have to do is fill out our online quote form or give us a call today and we’d be happy to get you a business insurance quote. We can help you identify your risks and stay protected from them. We’ll help you create a customized insurance plan that’s just for your business.

Does my nonprofit need D&O liability insurance?

nonprofit insurance

Nonprofits strive to make the world a better place. They’re committed to helping people and making a difference. Lately Atlanta has become a real hub for the nonprofit sector. Georgia itself has 16 nonprofits ranked in the top 400 nationally. Five of those nonprofits (all located in the metro Atlanta area) are in the top twenty. Some well-known, powerhouse nonprofits like The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, The American Cancer Society, and CARE have their headquarters in Atlanta. That’s quite an accomplishment.

While the mission of the nonprofit is to make some sort of difference, there are times when things might get off-track. People bring lawsuits against nonprofits for a variety of reasons, and the truth of the matter is that nonprofits don’t always have the money to defend themselves in these situations. Besides, lawsuits can come from anywhere—shareholders, employees, competitors, regulatory bodies, other corporations. But there’s good news: you can invest in D&O liability insurance for your nonprofit organization.

What’s D&O insurance?

D&O stands for Directors and Officers Insurance. Any company, public, private, or nonprofit, can purchase it. The point of D&O insurance is to cover the cost of defending a director or officer of an organization’s board if they have charges brought against them.

D&O insurance gives you coverage for things like errors and omissions, misleading statements, neglect, or breach of duty. Sometimes miscommunications and accidents happen. When they do, D&O takes care of the defense costs and indemnity coverage for the party who’s specified on the policy.

What does D&O do?

When a D&O policy is written, there are usually three parts, or branches. These branches show the insurer’s promise to cover the insured, and they also specify the amount of coverage the organization has.

Think of D&O like a triangle. It has three parts to it, and these parts are known as sides. The three sides that make up the D&O policy are:

  • Side A (D&O Liability Coverage)—This piece of the D&O triangle protects individual directors or officers against losses. Usually a nonprofit will protect their director in the case of a legal mishap—sometimes this is written into the organization’s bylaws—but sometimes they don’t have the funds to cover the costs of doing so. In that case, the director would be in a bit of a pickle, as their personal assets would be at risk. To get to the point, Side A protects the personal assets of the directors and officers. A lot of the time people won’t join boards of nonprofits unless they have D&O coverage, so Side A goes a long way in drawing qualified people to work for the organization.
  • Side B (Corporate Reimbursement Coverage)—Side B of D&O reimburses the nonprofit or organization for the expenses of legally defending its director. These expenses can quickly overwhelm any company, so this part of the puzzle is important.
  • Side C (Entity Coverage)—This section of D&O protects the nonprofit itself. Sometimes the organization is pulled into the mess along with the director if someone brings charges against the entire organization. If that were to happen, Side C would protect the nonprofit’s assets and cover the cost of legal defense.

What’s excluded from a D&O policy?

It’s extremely important to look at your policy closely. Study it with a magnifying glass. Not all D&O policies are the same, and they all might have different exclusions tucked away within the pages of fine print. You really need to understand your exclusions and clarify and questions that you might have.

Here are some of the common exclusions that you might find in a D&O insurance policy:

Exclusions relating to the time of the offense…

  • Known circumstances: Insurance won’t cover a claim about an incident that happened before the beginning of the D&O policy. Typically the premium will not be refunded to the company.
  • Rescission: There’s a section of the insurance application called the Warranty Questions, and these ask if the insured are aware of any situation that could lead to a claim. The carrier will void the policy if they find out that the insured falsified information on their application, although they will usually give the premium back.  
  • Prior acts: This states that the insurer is not responsible for protecting the insured against any wrongful acts that occurred or were attempted before the coverage began.

Exclusions relating to duty to defend…

The insurer might have what’s called right to duty to defend. This gives them the right to choose the insured’s defense and that they have more say in the legal fees and payment method.  

  • Reasonableness of defense: The insurer is only responsible for paying legal fees that are deemed reasonable and necessary.
  • Consent to settle: This means that the insured has to have written permission from the insurer before they settle a claim.
  • Hammer clause: Sometimes the insured wants to keep fighting even though the insurance company has called it quits. If the insured decides to disregard the insurer’s request to settle, the hammer clause means that they’re pretty much on their own.

Exclusions relating to other coverages…

  • “Other insurance”: The D&O insurance policy assumes that the organization has more coverages than just D&O. They may exclude claims that would be covered under a different form of insurance. This is where it becomes really important to be upfront with your agent about what kind of coverage you have and what coverages you don’t.
  • Contractual liability: Policies don’t have to cover claims that relate to a contract between the organization and another party because the contract was entered voluntarily.

Exclusions relating to deliberate actions on part of the director…

  • Conduct exclusions: The insurer does not have to cover claims dealing with allegations of fraudulent or criminal behavior or defend against claims of illegal profits.  

Insured vs. insured exclusion…

  • Insured vs. insured: Insurance claims get messy when one insured party goes after another—for instance if one director who’s insured picks a fight with another director who’s insured. Normally insurance companies like to keep their noses out of office politics. However, if one of the directors was a whistleblower of the allegation, they’ll most likely cover it.

Atlanta is a major center for nonprofits. The city houses many charitable organizations that strive to make a difference. Unfortunately, the good intentions of nonprofits don’t make an organization exempt from a killer lawsuit. That’s why nonprofits need to consider D&O insurance. When looking into getting a D&O policy, it’s important that your agent is highly knowledgeable about D&O and that the insurance company has the financial capability to protect you.

AtlantaInsurance.com has plenty of experience with insuring nonprofits, and we’d love to get to know you and your organization. We can help you identify your risks and find the coverage you need, and we can even provide you with a free quote.

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