How to get Atlanta landscaper insurance

How to get landscaper insurance

How to get landscaper insurance

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’ compWorkers’ 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.

18 business insurance words you should know

What business insurance words should you know?

What business insurance words should you know?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?)

Read more18 business insurance words you should know

7 tips for employee training

Employee training tips

Employee training tips

Employee training can be a tricky subject if your business is just now needing an extra set of hands. Hiring is a vital part of keeping your company running smoothly. Before a new employee starts, though, they have to know how to fulfill their role in your company. How do you know you’re giving your employees the tools they need? Here are 7 tips.

7 tips for employee training.

1. Think about your employees’ day-to-day.

When you’re making an employee training plan, consider what they’ll have to do every day. Write down the tasks that each position will need to do during the day or the week. Then, break those tasks into sections so it’s easier to write specific instructions on how to do them. This will form a good base for deciding how and when to teach new employees certain skills.

2. Train for your employees’ skill level

Different employees have different experience levels and may be used to different processes than your own. When training, account for these differences in skill level to make the process easier or more quickly understood.

For example, there may be a new hire who has experience with a similar computer system to yours. In this case, it’s important to remember that they have a vague knowledge of how the system works, but not the specific details. This way, you can train them to translate their existing general knowledge to your particular system instead of working from the bottom up, as you would with someone unfamiliar with the system.

3. Give people enough time to retain the information

It can be tempting to jam-pack a lot of information into a few training sessions. However, especially when it comes to safety training, this mindset can be dangerous. You’ll need to make sure they retain their training knowledge while they’re on the job. So, create a training timeline that actually allows new hires time to take in what they’ve learned.

4. Consult your seasoned employees

Of course, you don’t have to do it all yourself. If you have long-time employees, enlist their help to help you train, to consult on what knowledge has helped them, and to pass on their expertise about the job to trainees. If your seasoned employees do volunteer to train new employees, offer incentives for their hard work – whether it’s a raise, a bonus, extra vacation days, or another great perk.

If you don’t quite have seasoned employees, consult connections in similar industries. Ask what types of knowledge were valuable in their training. Then, tailor that advice to your particular business.

5. Cross-train your workers

Cross-training employees offers more benefits than helping a short-staffed business owner. It can give your employees a broader view of how your company works. They’ll know what your company goals are and how they help execute them. Cross-training can also teach skills that translate to an employee’s primary role. You’ll be able to offer new employees new perspectives on different departments and teach others how to seamlessly work with other departments to improve the business.

6. Take stock in how effective your training is

Your work isn’t done after just the initial training. You’ll need to monitor employee progress by forming both SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) and qualitative goals for what they’ll learn. Schedule review periods to measure the effectiveness of your process or materials.

Gathering feedback from new hires about training can also be useful. Ask how practical people think the training was after being on the job. Inquire which areas they may have needed more information on. Then, use this information to adjust your training methods for the next group of hires.

7. Refresh and retrain regularly

Continuing education is a staple in most professions, and it shouldn’t stop with yours – even if you don’t need a special license for your line of work. Refreshers on policies and precautions can be an excellent way to make sure that all your employees are on the same page and consistently aware of your business’s basics.

It’s important to invest in your employee training in order to prevent hiccups in your operation, avoid dangerous accidents, and show your employees that you care about their success.

It’s also vital to invest in the right business insurance for anything that’s out of your control. Our experts can help you find the best business insurance to protect you from the unexpected perils of business ownership, especially with employees. To start your free, customized quotes, give our experts a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with an agent today.

Source:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikekappel/2018/02/07/5-tips-for-successful-small-business-employee-training/#236c2d835cc9

8 things that insurance agents want you to know about commercial insurance

Commercial insurance 1

Commercial insurance 1Business insurance can be kind of confusing and complicated. There’s a lot of coverages, jargon, and policy information to learn. It’s completely understandable if insurance isn’t your favorite thing. We thought that we’d put together a list of a few things commercial insurance agents want you to know about business insurance – kind of like a cheat sheet.

8 things commercial insurance agents want you to know.

1. Your business insurance rates depend on a lot of factors.

The first thing that insurance agents want business owners to know about commercial insurance is that insurance rates are not one-size-fits-all. Every business is unique, so each business is going to have different insurance rates. Your premium can depend on things like where you’re located, the size of your business, what industry you’re in (the risk associated with your kind of work), and the coverages you need. Your loss history can also influence your rates.

What we’re trying to say is that your business’s insurance rates aren’t going to be the same as one of your competitors, even if that business looks a lot like yours. So, there’s no real “ballpark” for your commercial insurance.

2. The coverages you need are impacted by the work you do.

That one makes sense, right? Different types of businesses need different types of insurance. The type of insurance you need is influenced by the risks you face in running your business. The goal is to cover all of those risks with the proper insurance. So, be sure to evaluate your business’s coverage needs when you plan your insurance.

3. A BOP could help simplify your insurance (and potentially save you money).

A business owners’ policy, or BOP, is intended for small to medium-sized businesses. It combines general liability, property insurance, and business interruption insurance into one convenient policy. Those are three coverages that businesses commonly need, so it’s just easier to pack them into one policy. (Though, of course, it’s important to get additional coverages as needed – certain things, like workers’ comp, need to be purchased by themselves.)

Commercial insurance can feel overwhelming.

4. General liability doesn’t cover your employees.

So, here’s the thing about general liability – it can cover claims of bodily injury and property damage liability if someone gets hurt on your premises. But this coverage doesn’t extend to your employees. They’re covered by workers’ comp insurance. If an employee gets hurt on the job, workers’ comp coverage can help cover their medical bills, plus a portion of the wages that the employee lost while they needed to take time off work to recover.

5. The state may require you to carry workers’ comp.

It’s important to take care of your employees! Besides, workers’ comp is great – like we said, it can pay for your employee’s medical bills if they get hurt on the job, and it can give them a portion of their lost wages if they need time off to recover. At any rate, make sure that you know the requirements for what insurance you must carry.

6. Your business needs an insurance plan that’s tailored to your business.

We talked a little bit earlier about how each business is different. It stands to reason that each business needs to have a customized, specially tailored insurance plan that’s designed to cover the risks that your business faces on a day-to-day basis.

(That’s where we can help – our team can help you with creating that insurance plan! Fill out our online form, give us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat.)

By having a customized plan, you can ensure that there are no gaps in your coverage. (Which is really important.)

7. It’s important to do an annual review of your business insurance and mitigate your risk.

Insurance agents also want business owners to know that you should review your insurance coverage periodically to make sure that your coverage still fits your business. Your business probably doesn’t look the same as it did a year ago, right? Maybe you’ve hired more employees, or maybe you’ve expanded. At any rate, it’s important to check that your limits of coverage – not to mention the coverages themselves – are still appropriate.

It’s also crucial that you take the time to mitigate your risk. This can help you put your business into a better insurance situation. Risk management is essential for any business.

8. Umbrella insurance can provide you with additional coverage.

The insurance you have definitely protects your business, but there is a way to get coverage that goes above and beyond the limits on your underlying liability policy – and that’s umbrella insurance.

Umbrella insurance sits on top of your underlying policy (like an umbrella). If you have a claim that exhausts the limits on your underlying policy, your umbrella insurance can kick in to start covering you. To illustrate, let’s say you have a $1 million general liability policy. That’s a lot of coverage, but you also have a $1 million umbrella policy. Let’s say you have a huge claim, like $1.5 million. The claim is a covered loss, so, fortunately, your general liability kicks in to cover its $1 million. Then your umbrella can cover the remaining $500,000. At any rate, it’s worth considering umbrella insurance as a way to add in-case-of-emergency coverage for your business.

The world of commercial insurance can be complicated, but our team can help. We have agents who are business insurance pros, and they’d be happy to help you get some business insurance quotes and answer any questions you might have about your coverage. Get started with your quotes by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat.

6 reasons to do a business insurance review every year

It's important to do an annual business insurance review.

It's important to do an annual business insurance review.

If you have a small business, it’s important to keep track of your insurance. Every year, you need to get an “insurance” check-up. It’s kind of like going to a doctor for your annual wellness checkup. Those checkups are to make sure that everything’s good and that you’re healthy. The same thing applies to your insurance – you have to make sure that it’s still a good fit for your business. Here are a few reasons why it’s crucial to do an annual business insurance review.

6 reasons to do an annual business insurance review.

1. Businesses change and grow.

The goal of having a business is to see it grow and thrive, right? But if you’re growing your business, you’re also going to need to make some adjustments to your insurance coverage. Maybe you’ve added some more employees. Maybe your payroll has increased. Maybe you’ve gotten new equipment, or maybe you’ve expanded the type of work you do and thus added some liability risks. These changes matter when it comes to your insurance, so you can’t overlook them.

2. Your coverage needs might change.

With all of the potential changes your business might go through from year to year, your coverage needs might change. It might be time to increase your limits of coverage or even add different coverages to close potential gaps. Doing an annual review of your coverage can help you make sure that your insurance is still fully protecting your business. The goal is to ensure that there are no gaps or holes in your coverage that could leave your business vulnerable to a major loss.

3. Your annual review can help you see potential areas of vulnerability.

On a related note, an annual business insurance review gives you the chance to evaluate the changes to your business to see if these changes have resulted in any vulnerabilities for your business. Do you need to adjust your insurance? You can also take the opportunity to do some risk management. How can you improve safety at your business to reduce the chance of a loss? What things leave you open to a possible loss – in other words, what risks do you face, and how can you mitigate those risks?

Conduct an annual business insurance review.

You can also go over any claims that you’ve had in the last year, be they property insurance, workers’ comp, or general liability claims. Is there anything you can do to lower the risk of that particular thing happening again? Some things are out of our control, but other things we can make safer or take steps to manage.

4. It gives you the chance to read through your policy.

Doing an annual business insurance review can also give you the chance to actually read through your policies all the way. There’s a lot of important information in there, so it’s a good idea to go through the policies carefully. You can see what losses are covered, what losses are not covered, and find out what your obligations are as the insured. Understanding the ins and outs of your insurance is crucial. And you never know – maybe you’ll discover a few questions about your coverage that you want to ask your agent. At any rate, knowing what your insurance policy says is probably a good thing. Nasty surprises when it comes to insurance really are not fun.

5. Insurance isn’t a one-time thing.

Insurance isn’t something that you can just buy once and then forget about it. It’s something that’s more of an ongoing process, really. In that regard, it’s sort of like taking care of your physical health. You don’t just go to the doctor once and then never go again. You go every year even if you don’t think there’s anything “wrong” per se because you want to monitor and keep an eye on things. Catching problems early is better than finding out later on, and the same idea applies to your business insurance. It’s best to find and correct a problem before it turns into a disaster.

6. You can look into different options.

By shopping for your rates every year, you might uncover different options for your insurance. You might be able to get a better price for your insurance. (Insurance is probably a big chunk of your business’s budget, after all.) Of course, it’s important that you don’t sacrifice coverage for the price – be sure to compare apples to apples when you’re looking at insurance.

Our team of business insurance agents can help you with your insurance review, and we can also help you compare business insurance quotes so you get great coverage at a great rate. Get started with quotes by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us.

What you need to know about commercial flood insurance

Commercial flood insurance

Commercial flood insurance

If your business is in a coastal area, you may be fully aware of the benefits of commercial flood insurance. However, even if you’re not in a flood-prone area, there are still tons of factors that could cause your business to flood. The worst part is, your standard commercial insurance policy won’t cover the damages due to this unforeseen incident. But how much of a risk does your company really have of flooding? Why aren’t you covered for flooding in a business insurance policy? And how can you protect your business and livelihood from flood damage? Here’s where we’ll give you a rundown.

What is commercial flood insurance?

Commercial flood insurance is a type of business insurance policy that can help you repair damages to your company building due to flooding and help you replace your inventory or office equipment because of flooding.

You may be thinking, “Doesn’t my regular business insurance policy cover the structure of my business location and my commercial property?” Yes, it does. The big BUT, though, is that business insurance policies specifically exclude flood damage. A regular commercial property or liability policy doesn’t include coverage for certain types of water damage, including flooding.

What does commercial flood insurance cover?

We’ve learned that a typical business insurance policy won’t cover damage due to flooding. So, when you add flood insurance to your coverage, what exactly does it cover? Well, flood insurance for a business can cover expenses like:

  • Replacing inventory & merchandise
  • Replacing or repairing machinery
  • Helping with 10 percent of the cost of improvements to a building that your business doesn’t own.
  • Debris removal
  • Mold (evaluated on a case by case basis)

Note that a commercial flood insurance policy may not cover costs that you may have to pay still while you’re out of business. Those expenses could be taken care of by your business interruption insurance. Commercial flood insurance also doesn’t cover anything outside of your business building. So, any landscaping systems, sewer systems, or company vehicles won’t be covered under your building’s commercial flood policy.

Do I need commercial flood insurance?

Again, if you’re not in a flood or storm-prone area, you may ask yourself, “Why would I even need flood insurance?” However, statistics show that all 50 states have experienced floods and flood damage. Data also shows that:

  • 25 percent of businesses shut down from flood-related natural disasters and never reopen.
  • The average amount of a flood claim from businesses in the past 5 years has been $89,000.
  • The average amount of commercial property damage sustained due to flooding totals to more than $3.5 billion each year.

Plus, flooding isn’t only a result of hurricanes or heavy rains. Floods can happen because of:

  • Overflowing bodies of water
  • Mudslides
  • Melting snow
  • Ice jambs
  • New construction & Land development
  • Improper drainage

So, yeah. Flood insurance can be an extremely important addition to your business insurance.

How do I get flood insurance for my business?

Valid flood insurance can come from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). However, you can’t buy it directly from the organization. You must purchase a policy from an agent or agency that participates in the NFIP (like us! Give us a call today to start getting customized flood insurance quotes for your business.)

There are a few things to keep in mind before you buy, though. If you’re in a high-risk area for flooding, you may be required to get commercial flood insurance for your building. If you’re in a low-risk area for flooding and you still want to get flood insurance, you may qualify for a Preferred Risk flood insurance policy, which can cost and cover a bit less. Flood coverage also may have a 30-day waiting period before coverage takes effect. So, buying flood insurance at the last minute before a storm or hurricane could still mean trouble for your business.

How much does commercial flood insurance cost?

Flood insurance policies can vary. This is because the cost of flood insurance will be different from business to business, depending on certain factors. Usually, carriers determine the price of your commercial flood insurance from factors such as:

  • Your building’s height and age
  • Your building’s maximum occupancy
  • How many employees you have
  • Your company’s location within a building (if you’re renting a space in an office complex)
  • The location of your lowest floor in relation to the elevation requirement on the NFIP flood map
  • The deductible and amount of coverage you choose for your building and contents coverage.

The good news is that NFIP commercial flood insurance policies can cover up to $500,000 of your building’s contents and $500,000 for the structure of the building itself.

How can I prevent my business from flooding?

You can also save money on your commercial flood insurance by taking preventative measures. Some of the most effective are:

  1. Buying flood boards to install over your doors when a flood may be coming
  2. Sealing floors to prevent water from seeping in through the ground
  3. Installing non-return valves to drains and pipes inside and outside of your business
  4. Checking and raising electrical sockets to a full foot above the 100-year flood level in your area
  5. Keeping a water removal pump handy
  6. Stockpiling useful materials like plastic sheeting, plywood, sandbags, nails, hammers, and shovels.

Additionally, you’ll want to form a flood emergency plan for your business to make sure your employees are safe and that damages to your company are minimized. Some tips you may want to consider are:

  1. Know how to turn off your utilities

In a pinch, you’ll need to know exactly how to shut off your company’s electricity, water, and gas. This way, none of these power supplies can cause more damage to your property and the flood water damage to those utility lines.

  1. Have a list of important phone numbers on hand

You should already have a contact list of numbers and other ways to reach your employees in an emergency. Additionally, your flood plan should include a list of useful phone numbers for your company posted in an easily found location. Include the numbers of your local government, your insurance carrier, additional flood warning systems, services for your building, your building manager, your suppliers, and any emergency contacts for your business overall.

  1. Train your employees on flood safety

As a part of hiring or continuing education for the employees of your specific business, include proper flood safety measures for individuals, flood protocol for your company, and evacuation procedures. Make sure everyone knows where to find pertinent phone numbers and establish a meeting place is everyone suddenly needs to evacuate.

  1. Create a stockpile of important supplies

Finally, create an emergency supply for your business. It will look a little different from your personal home emergency kit, but there are still some vital pieces you’ll need to have stocked at your commercial location. Stock up on materials like first aid kits, plastic sheeting, plywood, flood boards, sandbags, nails, hammers, and shovels. That way, the materials you need are on hand, and no one is running out to get an important supply in dangerous conditions.

Keep your flood plan in an easily accessible location so everyone can refer to it at any time.

Make sure your employees are trained on proper flood safety procedures. Designate an emergency flood contact and a safe meeting place if everyone suddenly needs to evacuate. Create a flood continuity and contact plan for your suppliers and clients.

You can get started on business insurance quotes by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat.

8 website tips for your business

Check out these tips for your business's website.

Check out these tips for your business's website.

Building a website for your business now can be a lot like putting your name out there on a billboard or print advertisement a few decades ago. However, it’s not enough to place information on the internet. Just as there were certain practices and key points to include in traditional advertising, there are just as many factors to consider when curating your company website. So, here are some tips on just how to make the best digital footprint for your company.

8 tips for your business’s website

1. Pay attention to SEO

If you’re not paying attention to search engine optimization (SEO), your website is as good as nonexistent. Optimizing your business’s website for search engines is the main way to have your brand seen over everyone else’s. However, SEO is much more than loading up your webpage with keywords. In fact, doing so could hurt your website more than help it.

Instead, optimize your content by:

  1. Using variations of words and phrases to describe your product or service, and
  2. Using more specific keywords to draw in the exact clients you want.

For example, a “website developer in Chicago” is a lot vaguer and will have a lot more competition for the top search result than “a full-stack PHP developer in Naperville.”

2. Make your website easy to navigate

If people don’t like using your website, they’re not going to stick around to learn more about your company. Heavily loaded navigation bars and demanding plugins can make a website look complicated and run at a snail’s pace. People don’t hang around waiting for things to load – every second of speed counts.

So, check your website speed with an online tool every so often. Make sure the information you want your clients to find is easily visible and/or readily available. If you add a navigation bar at the top of your page, everything should be clearly labeled without too many drop-down menus stemming from one section. Use plugins as sparingly as you can, and use picture resizing tools to make larger images load quickly.

3. Make your website easy to read

Most people only skim websites for the information that they’re looking for. If there’s a huge block of text, most people probably won’t read it at all.

To create content that’s easy to digest, use header tags to break up bits of information and draw attention to important points. Doing so gives potential clients a way to more readily find the information they need. Plus, header tags are a vital part of how Google determines the main ideas of your site to rank your webpage higher in its search results.

Additionally, if you must put a large amount of text under one header, break your thoughts into smaller paragraphs, lists, or graphics. The less intimidating your text looks, the better.

It's important to build a strong website for your business.

4. Don’t get too design-happy

With the ease and accessibility of website builders, it can be tempting to go a little crazy with templates, designs, fonts, etc. However, this can be a kiss of death for a website. Not every element available for a webpage compliments the other. If you include too many different pieces, your webpage could give your potential clients too much visual “noise.” Too much visual “noise”, and your clients can’t determine which information is relevant to what they’re looking for and what isn’t.

Instead, choose two or three colors that compliment your web design. Color schemes shouldn’t be too bright, but not every color has to be neutral. Go easy on using different font types, too.

5. Make it mobile-friendly

We have the power of supercomputers in the palms of our hands. It’s no wonder that most people today use their phones to access the internet. Therefore, not having a mobile version of your site severely cuts down the number of clients you could reach.

Meet your potential customers where they are by making your website mobile-friendly. It may sound super complicated, but these days, most website builders can do it automatically. It can be as easy as adding a mobile-friendly website to your regular webpage domain, or it may be included in a design template you’re already using.

6. Make sure your visitors know how to contact you

Your business website doesn’t do any good if people don’t know how to contact you to actually buy your product or service. So, make sure that your contact information is readily available throughout your website. The easiest way to do that is to include the name of your company, your business address, your company phone number and your email in the header and footer of the site. If your business has social media channels (and it should), include icons for people to engage with you on those platforms as well.

7. Add valuable content

Having valuable content on your website can be a great way to build your brand and keep your website active. The more active your website is, the more likely Google is to recommend and rank your page highly. Google wants to show people current information because it’s usually more relevant. Think about it – would you be more likely to visit a website that hasn’t been updated in 15 years or 1 year? Of course, there are some bits of information that will remain true throughout the years, but for the most part, Google recognizes the types of content that stay updated regularly.

Updating your website with articles about your industry, office activities, and insight is not only an easy way to keep your webpage updated, but an amazing way to market your business as a whole. No one else has your perspectives on your industry or your specific experiences. Creating articles and content around these aspects allows potential customers to see your passion and expertise, distinguishing your company above the rest and adding a personal touch.

8. Take notes from other businesses

Even if you have a unique business, there may still be several others in your industry who you could learn from. Look at other successful businesses in your industry to see how they’ve laid out their websites, how they’ve optimized their online presence, and what kind of content has proven valuable to their customers. Seeing examples could give you a better idea of what your target audience will search to find you. That way, you can put your own spin on what works.

Overall, your online presence could take some time to curate, but building a webpage that works for you can be well worth the time and effort. A professional looking site builds a trustworthy image for your business before you even communicate with a customer. So does having the right business insurance. Our agents have decades of experience under their belts to help you grow your company and protect you and your customers for whatever comes your way. To start getting free, customized quotes on affordable business insurance, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with a specialist today!

What Atlanta auto shops need to know about workers’ comp insurance

Workers comp for auto shops

Workers comp for auto shops

If you have an auto body shop, the days are busy. You’ve got a revolving door of cars and clients, and maybe it feels like there’s barely organized chaos going on at any given time. It’s understandable. However, you’ve got to make sure that your shop is a safe place for your employees to work. Not only is this for their health and wellbeing, but it’s also a way to lower your workers’ comp risk. We’ll go over what you need to know about workers’ comp insurance for auto body shops.

Wait – what’s workers’ comp?

Workers’ comp is the coverage that protects your employees if they get hurt on the job. Unfortunately, auto shops aren’t always the safest places to work. Working with cars means working around some potentially dangerous equipment, so this is an important coverage for auto shops.

Anyways, workers’ comp protects your employees by providing a portion of their lost wages if they get hurt on the job and have to take some time to rest and recover. It can also cover their medical bills so they won’t have to stress about paying for the medical care they need. That way the only thing your employee has to worry about is getting better. (Take note that Georgia law may require you to carry workers’ comp insurance if you have three or more employees.)

To give an example, let’s say that one of your mechanics is on the shop floor when they accidentally slip and fall. They not only hit their head and need stitches, but they also break a leg while they’re at it. They need some pretty extensive medical care and physical therapy, not to mention they need some time off from work. Workers’ comp could swoop in to save the day. Kind of like a superhero.

How can auto shops lower their workers' comp risk?

Tips for auto shops to lower workers’ comp risk.

There are a few things that you can do to lower your workers’ comp risk – meaning lowering your chances of having a workers’ comp insurance claim. (Basically, how can you prevent your employees from getting injured on the job?)

Provide proper safety equipment and make sure your employees are using it.

You’ve got to make sure that your employees have access to the safety equipment they need, and that they’re using the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) properly. Have eye protection and hearing protection available for your employees to use. If your employees will be using paint, make sure they have breathing protection. Have dust masks if employees will be sanding or grinding things.

Make sure hoists and jacks are well maintained.

It’s really important to make sure that all the hoists and jacks that are used to lift the vehicles are well maintained. Crawling around under cars can be dangerous, so make sure that all the equipment is functioning properly to avoid accidents. Also, ensure that all of your employees know what a properly supported vehicle looks like so they know not to work underneath one that isn’t.

Prevent slips and falls.

You also need to look out for the more mundane dangers out there. Your employees should keep the workspace tidy and clear of anything that could cause someone to trip or slip. When you’re rushing around trying to get work done, it’s easy to fail to notice something on the floor that could send you flying. Head that off by making sure that walkways are clear.

Train employees on proper lifting.

It’s really important to train employees on proper lifting to avoid back injuries and strain. You don’t want anyone throwing their back out because they tried to lift something. Back injuries are no fun.

Train, train, train.

You’ve also got to commit to spending some time on safety training. Make sure that your employees know how to properly use every piece of equipment and tool that they’ll be expected to use in the course of their jobs, and make sure that they know they can ask questions if needed. There are some simple things that your employees should know, such as…

  • Keeping sparks away from car batteries, which can explode.
  • Being careful of any moving parts, such as belts, pulleys, and fans.
  • Not touching/opening the radiator when the car is still hot.
  • Not unplugging electrical parts when the engine is still running.
  • Taking care when opening fuel lines.
  • Disconnecting one of the battery cables when doing electrical work to avoid shorting anything or starting a fire.
  • Not smoking around flammable things.
  • Not wearing loose-fitting clothing that could get caught in something.
  • Tying back long hair.

Yes, these may seem like very simplistic things, but it’s important that your employees understand basic safety around the shop. If your employees feel that they’re unable to perform a task safely, make sure they feel comfortable telling you or their supervisor about it.

How to get workers’ comp quotes.

One way you can save money on your workers’ comp insurance is by comparing quotes. How do you do that? It’s easy!

  • Let us know you’re looking for insurance by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat.
  • Chat with one of our agents so that they get to know you and your business. They just need to ask a few questions so they can best assist you with your insurance needs.
  • We’ll gather some quotes for you.
  • The agent will go over your quotes with you and present your options.
  • We’re here to help with any of your insurance needs or questions.

So that’s the scoop about workers’ comp insurance and auto shops. If you want to see if you can save money on your business insurance, let us know. Our team of insurance experts would be happy to help.

10 budgeting tips for businesses

Business budgeting tips

Business budgeting tips

One of the biggest things that can put someone out of business is failing to properly budget. In a city like Atlanta, setting up a business can seem entirely too expensive. However, business in the big city doesn’t have to have a big budget if you know how to plan. So, we’ve put together 10 tips for proper budgeting.

10 budgeting tips for businesses

1. Do some research

Just as there are with business plans, there are tons of resources on the internet to show you sample business budgets. Search for these types of budgets or the actual budgets of other companies in your industry to get an idea of how you’ll need to spend your money. Of course, you’ll need to customize your budget based on location, specific inventory or practices, etc. But those resources are a great place to start.

2. Learn what the average spending is for your industry

You’ll need to know exactly what you need for your business and your industry. So, when you look at the sample budgets you’ve found, list the things that you know for a fact you’ll need to account for. Make note of the things you need to buy right away and what you can save for later.

3. Make sure everyone is on the same page

Your team, especially your management team, should be on the same page when understanding where your money is going and why. Be as specific as possible when explaining the budget and answer any questions that arise. It can help bring up specifics that you forgot to address and help everyone abide by the master plan long-term.

4. Create a budgeting team

Similarly, it may help to have a team specifically for budgeting and accounting. Hire and partner with the people in your company who are good at numbers and money and all that fun stuff. Knowing that you don’t have to do it alone can help you think more clearly and get great advice from people with more experience. Make sure your budgeting team knows the specifics of your business too so that you plan a budget that fits your business, not just a generic outline.

5. Be realistic

It’s easy to get lost in big dreams about starting and growing your business. It’s also easy to buy or hire more than you need. So, make sure that you’re growing steadily and budgeting within your means. Use past data and make data-driven projections to make your budget, not just estimates.

Additionally, being realistic means being prepared for disaster. So, when things are good, make sure you’re saving some of those profits for when the going gets rough.

Budgeting can be a challenge!

6. Know that it’s okay to adjust

You probably don’t have the financial needs that you needed 2 or 5 years ago, so you shouldn’t expect your business to either. If you’ve been in business for a while and you haven’t revised your budget based on your current needs, it may be time to review and adjust the way you need to.

7. Shift accordingly

If you do need to shift your budget to different places, understand that you only have a certain amount of money. So, if you have to move money to one department or one resource, then you have to take it from something else. Everything about your business has to be about balance and flexibility. So, don’t be afraid of the changes you may have to make!

8. Be organized

Not being specific with your goals and where you put your funds can be a recipe for disaster. It’s okay to assign your budget generally, but then break it down to bite-sized pieces. If you have a budget for your Marketing department: How much will you dedicate to salaries? How much will you devote to materials? What amount will it take to build your brand? How much will you spend each month on supplies? Will you dedicate money to travel? Think about all of the little details that go into one large section before you plan for another.

Additionally, make a system to keep track of where your funds go. Whether it’s software, file cabinets, or something else, make a system to keep up with receipts, expense reports, etc. Designate a specific time to review your expenses. Don’t let things pile up during the year to cause a headache later. Create a quarterly or even a monthly schedule to go over your reports and adjust if needed.

9. Use the software that’s best for you

There are tons of budgeting software options. Many people use Quickbooks to balance their business budget, but that may not be the best system for you. Electronic systems are the best way to keep everything organized, searchable, and in one place. However, the most popular type of software used may not be the one that works for you. Do your research, schedule demos of different products, and learn which software would work best for how you operate on a daily basis.

10. Don’t forget insurance

One of the most important expenses you may have as a company can be business insurance. You’ll need to consider what types of coverage you need generally and for your specific business. Take note of your local laws for coverage, and how high of a coverage limit you’ll need for something catastrophic. Consider what would happen if your business shut down and you couldn’t pay rent. How much money would it take to replace your inventory after a storm? What would happen if a customer sued you because you unintentionally gave the wrong advice? These are some of the questions you would need to ask yourself or that your agent would ask you to get the right business insurance.

We understand that, as a business owner, you have a lot on your plate. That’s why our insurance experts take a bit of your time to get to know your business and its specific risks to get the best quotes at the best rates for you. To start getting customized business quotes, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with a specialist today!

Source:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lawrencelight/2018/02/18/10-budgeting-tips-for-your-business/#4f160df6b331

How to get business insurance in Atlanta

How to get business insurance

How to get business insurance

So, you’re ready to start a business and make your passion projects profitable. However, there are a lot of ways that things can go wrong and cost you a lot of money. Luckily, there are various types of business insurance available to protect your company. But how can you make sure you’re getting the right type of insurance for your Atlanta business? Start by taking a look at this guide.

How to get business insurance in Atlanta.

1. Find a business insurance agent

Ultimately, the easiest way to get the insurance you need will be to work with an independent insurance agent. Independent agents (like us!) have relationships with different carriers. We know all about the Georgia regulations for insurance, we’re familiar with the discounts you may be eligible for, and our experts have many years of experience with various industries. So, we can pair you with an expert in your business’s industry, identify your specific risks, and do all of the shopping for you so that you only get quotes on the best policies for you.

2. Know your risks

There are a ton of different factors that determine the type of risks you’ll need to protect your company against, including your business location, business age, number of employees, etc. Restaurants face different dangers than auto body shops. Professional organizers face different risks than event planners. Even a tow truck company is going to have different concerns than an auto hauler operation. So, it will be important to sit down, take a moment, and think about the worst-case scenarios that your business may face.

3. Find out what type of business insurance is required

Just as there are certain permits, licenses, and regulations to abide by when you form a business, there may also be requirements for the types of insurance you must have. Usually, it’s a good idea to start out with:

General Liability

General liability is the form of coverage that can help you cover the cost of medical bills if someone is hurt on your business’s property. It can also help pay the legal fees if the person sues you for the injury.

It's important to get business insurance for your company

Commercial Property

Regardless of if you sell goods or services, there can be a lot of equipment that goes into running your company. If something were to happen to it, you wouldn’t want to go into personal financial ruin trying to get your business back up and running. Commercial property coverage can help a business repair or replace property if it was damaged due to a covered loss. Covered losses for a business typically include:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Windstorms
  • Vandalism

However, coverage differs from policy to policy. So, check your declarations page, your policy, or ask your agent about exactly what is covered in your particular business insurance policy.

Workers Compensation

Georgia actually requires that a company with more than three workers, including part-time employees, must have workers compensation insurance. Your coverage must be able to pay an employee a portion of their average weekly wages while they are medically approved or required to take off work. There may be more in-depth regulations for your specific industry, but those are the general basics.

You may also be required to have certain types of insurance specific to your industry. This can be especially true of contractors. Some clients will mark certain types of insurance as “required” in order to do business with them. Be sure to look through your contract to find out what types of coverages you need to do the business you want.

4. Be prepared to answer a few other questions

Again, there are a ton of factors that can determine the type and amount of business insurance you need. The most common questions that an agent will ask you to find you the right coverages are:

  • What type of business do you have?
  • Do you have any past claims?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Where are you located?
  • What type of building are you located in? How large is the space?
  • How many full and part-time employees do you have?
  • What is your gross annual revenue?

These questions can vary depending on your industry and how you operate. Risk is determined in different ways depending on the industry, after all. Still, it’s nice to have an idea of what you may need to answer to get the best rates.

5. Calculate how much coverage you need

Sure, you need insurance. Only going for the minimum amount of necessary coverage, however, could be disastrous. Instead, consider how much money you would need in a catastrophic situation to get going again.

Consider how big your business is. Do you have enough coverage to replace vital equipment? Do you have enough coverage to take care of an employee or multiple employees if they’re injured on the job? Do you have enough money to handle a lawsuit? Anything that could sink your business financially is a potential type of insurance you’ll need to include in your business insurance policy.

6. Determine your budget for coverage

Now that you know about how much coverage you need, budget how much you’ll need to get that type of insurance. That number can vary greatly depending on your location, your industry, and the types of risks you’re exposed to.

Don’t forget to include the rates of things like workers’ comp, professional liability, and flood insurance. So, you’ll need to be prepared to pay for at least the insurance that’s required by the state plus what may be necessary for your industry.

So, there’s the run-down on what it takes to get the business insurance you need. It may seem like a lot to consider, but our agents are ready and raring to get you affordable rates on the coverage you need. To start get competitive quotes on the best business insurance for you, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with our experts today!