What is professional liability insurance?

Professional liability

Professional liability

Communication may be the key to any business, but if it’s the sole backbone to your company, you may want to consider professional liability insurance. Words can be taken the wrong way or left out or miscommunicated all the time. So, it’s important if you’re consulting or giving professional advice, that you’re protected from the things that you say or don’t say. But how exactly can professional liability insurance protect you? Let’s take a look.

What is professional liability insurance?

Professional liability insurance is a type of business insurance that can help you if a client loses money due to your advice or lack of advice. It can also help you cover the legal costs of defending your business in court, whether you’re actually at fault or not.

Professional liability insurance is known by many names, including Errors & Omissions insurance or Professional Indemnity insurance. This coverage can also be industry-specific. For example, a doctor’s office may have medical malpractice insurance, or a lawyer might know it as LPL insurance.

What does professional liability insurance cover?

Sometimes the losses to a client aren’t due to property damage or bodily injury. Therefore, it falls outside of what a business’s general liability insurance can cover. If a client claims that they’ve lost money because of a slip of the tongue on your part, you could be held responsible for the extra money they’ve spent.

The most common claims that professional liability insurance can cover are those where a client claims:

  • That a professional was negligent
  • Misrepresentation
  • That the professional was not dealing in good faith
  • That the client was given inaccurate advice

In some cases, these types of claims are reported by the client months or even years after the incident occurred. So, it helps that professional liability insurance can have retroactive dates of coverage. In this case, it means that your policy may only cover incidences that happened after a certain date in the past.

Who needs professional liability insurance?

There are tons of professions that can benefit from professional liability insurance. However, the most common occupations that have this type of insurance are:

  • Doctors
  • Lawyers
  • Architects
  • Home Inspectors
  • Real Estate Brokers
  • Accountants
  • Financial Planners
  • Print Shops
  • Marketing Agencies
  • Web Hosting companies
  • Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Wedding Planners
  • Professional Organizers
  • Interior Designers
  • Engineers
  • And more!

Professional liability insurance, no matter the name, can also cover different types of risks depending on the industry. So, it’s important to get the right type of policy that fits your specific company.

How can I get the right professional liability insurance for my business?

When considering the type of professional liability coverage you need, you’ll want to consider the answers to the following questions:

  • What types of services does my policy cover?
  • What time frame is covered by my policy?
  • Will my coverage change if my business is sold, merged with another business, or if my position changes?
  • What’s excluded by my policy?
  • Is there an option to extend the reporting period for incidents?
  • Can the policy be customized or modified?
  • Have there been any incidents that happened in the past that may result in a claim now?

Answering these questions can help your insurance agent get more accurate quotes and policies for the coverage you need.

How can I reduce the risk of professional liability claims for my business?

As a consultant or similar profession, you may have implemented various policies to avoid misleading your customers. Just make sure you follow these best practices for avoiding professional liability claims:

  1. Put everything in writing.
  2. Establish a high standard for quality control of your product or service.
  3. Keep your company records up-to-date with regular audits.
  4. Train your employees thoroughly and properly.
  5. Check in with your client regularly
  6. Answer any questions, concerns, or comments in a timely manner
  7. Get your customer’s informed consent. In other words, make sure that your client understands the product or service they’re receiving and get their explicit consent to perform your duties (when necessary).

We’ve all had to be wary of our words at some point or another. But when your business depends on more accurate communication than most, it’s important to stay clear and consistent with your clients and have the right type of insurance as a safety net. So, don’t miss out on the affordable professional liability insurance that can help save your business! Our agents are experts at finding great rates on the coverage that fits your services. To start your free business insurance quotes, call us today, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with an insurance specialist today!

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.

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 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 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.)

Ready?

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 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 usually 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.

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.

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.

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 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.

Protect your business from four different types of theft

You business faces several different types of theft.

You business faces several different types of theft.Sometimes people really want things that don’t belong to them, and your business faces numerous types of theft. There are various threats out there, but by being aware of them and taking steps to lower your risk you can protect your business from theft. We’ll go over four types of crime that businesses face and offer tips to help you prevent them.

Protect your business from burglary:

Burglars are extremely crafty, which means that you need to be craftier to foil their efforts. Protecting your business from burglary takes some planning, but it’s important to do – burglary can be disastrous for business. To keep unwanted thieves out of your building, check out the following tips.

  1. Make sure you have plenty of interior and exterior lighting, especially around any entrances.
  2. Keep your trees and bushes trimmed. By doing so, you eliminate hiding places for any would-be burglars.
  3. Have a monitored alarm system installed, along with security cameras. A commercial security system can be a deterrent to thieves.
  4. Secure your windows with shatter-proof glass and strong window locks.
  5. Have strong doors installed, preferably ones made of steel.
  6. Get a fence around the perimeter of your business.
  7. Have a safe for valuables. The safe should be hidden and secured to the ground.

Protect your business from robbery:

The concept of robbery is terrifying. It’s something that every business owner hopes fervently won’t happen to their business and their employees. To try to keep everyone – employees and customers both – safe in the event of a robbery, try the following tips:

  1. Spend time training your employees about robbery and what to do if the business is ever robbed. Stress that their lives are the important thing, not the money.
  2. Get in touch with your local police department for help with creating a training plan. They will most likely have some good advice for you and can give suggestions for training and robbery prevention.
  3. Don’t keep large amounts of cash in the register. You can post signs that state clearly that the register is emptied regularly to discourage robbers.
  4. Have a safe that’s hidden.

Protect your business from employee theft:

Unfortunately, employee theft is more common than we might like to think. Even small businesses are at-risk for employee theft – it’s not just large corporations. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the possibility and protect your business from employee theft. Try the following tips:

  1. Have video cameras installed.
  2. Keep an eye on your finances and bookkeeping.
  3. Do inventory frequently.
  4. Create a return and void procedure.
  5. Foster positive relationships with your employees and encourage a happy, pleasant workplace atmosphere.

Protect your business from cybercrime and identity theft:

Data breaches and cyber risks are becoming more and more serious for businesses. If a hacker steals the personal identifying information of your clients, your business could be in big trouble. Check out the following tips to prevent a data breach and reduce your business’s cyber risks:

  1. Have a firewall on your computers to repel unwanted visitors.
  2. Get anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
  3. Educate your employees about cybersecurity.
  4. Make sure your Wi-Fi network is secure.
  5. Protect computers with strong passwords.
  6. Consider getting cyber liability insurance.

Burglary, robbery, employee theft, and identity theft are very real possibilities for businesses. We hope that you never have to deal with any of these devastating losses, but nonetheless, it’s important for you to be prepared and to take steps to protect your business from these various forms of theft.

Another way to protect your business is with business insurance. It’s important to have enough insurance to fully protect your business from all of your risks, and our team of commercial insurance agents can help you identify your risks and get the coverage you need to protect your company from them. All you have to do to get business insurance quotes is fill out our quick online form or give us a call today.

6 ways to lower your workers’ compensation premiums in Atlanta

Improving safety can help you save money on your workers' comp insurance.

Improving safety can help you save money on your workers' comp insurance.

As an employer, you might absolutely dread one of your employees getting hurt. You care about your employees, of course, and you don’t want to see them in pain because of a workplace accident (and, well, there’s an awful lot of paperwork involved with workplace accidents.) Ensuring that the employee gets the medical attention and care they need is the most important thing, so as a business owner it’s important for you to have enough workers’ compensation insurance to provide for your employees if they get hurt – workers’ comp is probably one of the most important types of business insurance. But there are things you can do to control and manage the cost of the workers’ compensation insurance you need. Below are six tips that explain how you can lower your workers’ comp premium.

1. Place an emphasis on safety.

The best way to avoid workers’ comp claims (and the potential rise in your insurance rates that follows) is to prevent the accident in the first place. And that means taking the time to properly train your employees in safety protocol – for example, how to stay safe while working with ladders. Every member of your team should get the training they need to stay safe on the job. It’s kind of hard to avoid accidents and danger if you don’t know where to look for it, which is where training comes in. Anyways, it’s important to talk about safety, too, to keep it fresh in everyone’s mind. Safety is a team effort.

Here are some basic safety tips you can consider for your business.

  • Identify hazards around your workplace and take steps to minimize them.
  • Choose a flooring material that won’t make everyone slip and fall – you need a floor surface that has good traction.
  • Reduce distractions on the job.
  • Implement ergonomics at your workplace. Ergonomics means tailoring a workspace to the jobs that are performed there to reduce the chances of strain and injury. There are even benefits of implementing ergonomics at an office.
  • Teach and emphasize proper lifting to help employees avoid back problems – lift with your legs, not with your back, everyone.

2. Create a return to work program.

A return to work or modified duty program allows employees who have been hurt to come back to work. They will be assigned tasks that have been customized for their physical capabilities while they’re recovering from their injury. Keep in mind that it’s essential to make sure that the employee is getting the medical attention and support they need.

Now, having a return to work program might make it seem like you’re just trying to exploit an injured person. That’s not the case. The goal of a return to work program is to support the employee as they come back into the workplace and resume their job duties. So, when you’re creating the new tasks that are tweaked for your employee, make sure that the work is meaningful and genuinely contributes to your business so that the employee doesn’t feel punished or unnecessary. It’s important that they know how much you value them.

Understanding your mod can help you figure out how your workers' comp premium is calculated.

3. Understand your workers’ comp mod.

Your company’s mod, or modification factor, is a method of figuring out how “risky” your company is by comparing it to other businesses in your industry. It gives insurance carriers a way of seeing whether your workers’ comp losses are better, on par, or worse than what they’d expect. (The size of your company, unexpected big losses, the frequency of losses, and the severity of your losses are all ways in which your business is compared to others.) The data used by most states for calculating mods is collected by the National Council on Compensation Insurance.

Okay. The significance of your mod is that it can either make your workers’ comp premium higher or lower. If your mod is above 1.0, you have a debit, which means that your losses are worse than what they should be. If your mod is below 1.0, you have a credit, which means your losses are better than what is expected. A debit means that you could have higher workers’ comp premiums while a credit means that you could get lower workers’ comp premiums.

4. Investigate accidents and near-misses.

It’s really important that you put on your detective hat and conduct an investigation of any accident or near-miss that happens at your workplace. Talk to witnesses and get their accounts of what happened. Check out the area where the accident occurred and observe what could have caused it. Try to get to the bottom of what happened and keep a detailed and organized record of your discoveries. The idea is to find out why the accident happened so that you can prevent another accident from happening in the future. Knowing why it happened will help you take steps to avoid another injury or accident.

Pro tip: Try to conduct your investigation within 48 hours of the incident. The witnesses will have a clearer memory of what happened, and besides, it’s best to take action immediately to prevent future accidents.

5. Report injuries that need to be reported promptly.

If the accident is a reportable one, you need to file that report as quickly as you can. It’s best to do this ASAP to help the investigation and claim move forward as smoothly as possible. The Department of Labor requires you to file several reports – for instance, the First Report of Injury or Occupational Disease must be completed according to your state’s workers’ comp laws. Find out what paperwork and reports you have to fill out and go to town.

Pro tip: Make sure your employees know that they need to inform their supervisor (or you) about any workplace accident or injury as soon as they can.

6. Check your payroll.

Make sure that all of your job classifications and your payroll are correct. All of this needs to be accurate so that you’ve got the right amount of workers’ comp insurance.

Your employee is the priority when it comes to your workers’ comp insurance. Taking steps to improve safety at your workplace is vital so that you can prevent accidents and injuries. A bonus of emphasizing safety is that you can lower your workers’ comp premiums. So, the simple truth is that preventing workers’ comp claims is really in everyone’s best interest.

Another way to save money on business insurance is to shop around and compare rates. Our team of insurance experts can help you with that. We can get multiple quotes for workers’ comp insurance so that you can compare coverages and prices. All you have to do to get workers’ comp quotes is fill out our form or give us a call today.

What is inland marine insurance and does my Atlanta business need it?

Inland marine insurance can be helpful for businesses to cover gaps in their insurance.

Words can be a lot of fun, especially when they say something that seems to be contradictory but really isn’t (a.k.a. an oxymoron.) Business insurance has its fair share of funny words, and one of those phrases is “inland marine insurance.” How can marine insurance be inland? You may think that the name doesn’t make a terrible lot of sense, and you would be correct. However, we can explain what inland marine insurance is and even why it has such a funny name.

What is inland marine insurance?

Contrary to what the name suggests, inland marine insurance does not have anything to do with boats. Basically, inland marine is a way for businesses to fill gaps in their insurance coverage. Certain parts of your business might not be covered anywhere within your other insurance policies, which is why you may want to think about inland marine when you’re buying business insurance. We’ll explain what inland marine insurance covers in a moment.

Where does the funny name come from?

Okay, here’s the deal with the name. Once upon a time, shipping used to use boats – hence why it’s caused shipping. Marine insurance was a way to protect ocean shipping businesses from loss. But then “shipping” became less dependent on the ocean because the cargo was loaded onto barges to be transported inland. And, since the cargo still needed coverage, a new form of insurance evolved – complete with an oxymoronic name.

But that’s not where the word fun ends. Within inland marine insurance, there’s something called a floater that protects cargo while it’s being moved from place to place. Guess where the name came from? In the days where shipping meant ships, the cargo that “floater” policies protected was actually, literally floating. Nowadays, the property that’s protected by a floater policy doesn’t have to be floating or levitating. Though that would be pretty neat.

What kind of business uses inland marine insurance?

Many types of business have inland marine insurance so that they can cover the gaps in their business insurance. There are different forms of inland marine insurance, such as bailee insurance (which is not just for people named Bailey) and contractor’s equipment.

We’ll give a few examples. If your business ever has your clients’ property in your care, you may need bailee insurance – for example, a computer repair shop where clients drop off their devices. If you ever transport property or equipment, you might need a floater policy. If you install products in your clients’ homes, you might consider installation coverage.

What we’re trying to say is that a variety of businesses, like construction business, technology or communications businesses, and transportation businesses, can benefit from inland marine insurance. Here’s a breakdown of different forms of inland marine by industry:

  • Construction
    • Builder’s risk: Protects buildings that are being constructed or repaired.
    • Contractor’s equipment: Protects tools and equipment used in construction that aren’t covered under builder’s risk.
    • Installation: Covers machinery and equipment while it’s being moved and during installation.
    • Rigger’s liability: Coverage for when you’re acting as a rigger for someone else’s property.
  • Technology and communication
    • Cable television: Covers property that is needed for cable television service.
    • Electronic equipment: Insures certain pieces of electronic equipment.
    • Medical imaging equipment: Covers medical equipment that is mobile and used by hospitals, clinics, etc.
    • Physicians and surgeons: Covers medical, surgical, and dental equipment used by those professions.
    • Telecommunications equipment: Protects phones, fax machines, audio and visual equipment for video conferencing, and computers.
  • Transportation
    • Commercial transport: Coverage for truckers and warehouses that protects goods while they’re being transported.
    • Legal liability: Covers the expenses you’re legally obligated to pay for a covered loss if you damage someone else’s property.
    • Motor truck cargo: Protects trucking businesses against losses to their cargo and their property while it’s in transit.
    • Railroad rolling stock: Protects rolling stock that’s owned/leased by railroad or other companies.
    • Tank storage: Protects tanks and pipes while they are in the policyholder’s care, custody, and control.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Bailee insurance: Covers your clients’ belongings while they’re in your care, custody, and control.
    • Armored cars: Protects against losses related to armored trucks.
    • Furrier’s block: Protects items that include fur while they’re in the care of department stores, furriers, retailers, etc.
    • Jewelers block: Covers jewels and gems used in the policyholder’s business.
    • Floaters: Covers movable property.

So, to conclude, inland marine insurance doesn’t relate to boats at all. Yes, the name is confusing. Anyways, inland marine insurance is meant to help businesses close the gaps in their insurance by providing coverage for areas that don’t have any. There are many kinds of inland marine insurance out there, so you might want to think about inland marine when considering what type of insurance your business needs.

If you want to save money on your business insurance, we can help. We can shop for the best rates for your commercial insurance so that you can be assured that you’re getting the coverage you need at the best possible price. All you have to do to get business insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today.

What is commercial umbrella insurance and do I need it for my Atlanta business?

Umbrella insurance adds liability coverage for your business.

Umbrella insurance adds liability coverage for your business.Thinking about worst-case scenarios can be frightening and unnerving. When your business is cruising along and doing well, everything is great. But sometimes things happen and disaster can strike. Of course, you have business insurance to protect your company, but what if a claim comes along and blows your insurance limits right out of the water? Being stuck in a situation in which you don’t have enough insurance would not be good. However, there is a type of coverage that can supplement your current levels of insurance and even provide coverage in areas you don’t have it. It’s called umbrella insurance, and no, it’s not insurance for umbrellas (the name is a bit misleading.) We’ll explain what umbrella insurance is, how it can protect your business, and why you shouldn’t overlook it when you’re buying business insurance.

What is commercial umbrella insurance?

Commercial umbrella insurance can protect your business from gaps in your coverage and from expensive lawsuits. Basically, businesses use umbrella insurance to expand and back up the coverage they have with their existing policies. It’s a way to add extra coverage to your insurance.

What does commercial umbrella insurance do?

There are a few ways in which umbrella insurance can help your business. Umbrella insurance…

1. Provides extra coverage if you have a claim that goes above the limits of your existing policy.

Umbrella insurance is, to put it simply, extra coverage that sits on top of your underlying insurance policy. It can help protect your business from huge lawsuits that could be financially devastating to a business by adding coverage to your policy.

It’s easiest to illustrate with an example.

Let’s say that you have a whopper of a general liability claim – like a $4 million claim. It’s not good. Your business, of course, has general liability insurance, but your policy is only for $1 million. So, to do some quick math, that means there’s still $3 million to be accounted for. Now, let’s say that your business has a $5 million umbrella policy. What would happen is that your general liability insurance would pay its $1 million and your umbrella would then pay the remaining $3 million. So, there you go – an example of how umbrella insurance can help you out of a tight spot.

2. Can give you coverage in areas where you don’t have coverage.

If you have a claim in an area that’s not covered by your underlying policies, umbrella insurance can provide you with the coverage you need. But if you’re using your umbrella insurance in this way, you may have to pay a self-insured retention (or SIR) which is similar to a deductible. Basically, it means that you’re responsible for paying a portion of the claim.

Umbrella insurance and lawsuits.

Our society has become more and more likely to launch lawsuits, can come with some hefty financial judgments or damages. Even if your business has done absolutely nothing wrong, it’s expensive to defend yourself against the claim. Legal defense fees can be super expensive and potentially devastating to a business. And what if your business is found liable? You could be facing court-ordered damages or a settlement. And that’s an entirely new set of expenses. But that’s where umbrella can help you by covering those legal fees and other financial obligations.

Umbrella insurance is a way for business owners to get an additional measure of protection for their companies. It gives extra liability coverage that sits on top of your existing insurance policies. Yes, the odds of a huge, catastrophic claim happening to your business might be low, but it’s still important to anticipate and prepare for the worst. You never know what’s going to happen (unless you can see the future, which would be great), and umbrella insurance can protect your business.

If you’d like to save money on your business insurance, we can help. Our team of agents can help you shop for the best possible rate for your insurance – and we’ll do our best to make insurance easy. All you have to do to get business insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today.