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
  • Debris removal

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
  • 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 practical

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!

What coverages do I need for my Atlanta auto shop insurance?

Atlanta auto shop insurance

Atlanta auto shop insurance

If you run an auto shop in Atlanta, your days are pretty packed. There are cars coming in, cars being repaired, cars getting collected by their grateful owners. But in all the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day of running an auto shop, it’s also important to consider how your shop is protected. Meaning Atlanta auto shop insurance. Insurance can feel complicated and overwhelming, and you might be wondering what coverages you need to consider for your business. There are plenty of risks that you face, and you need to protect yourself from them. We’re going to break down a few of the coverages you can consider.

What coverages do you need as part of your Atlanta auto shop insurance plan?

It’s important to note that while these are some of the coverages you can consider for your business, they’re not the only coverages that could come in handy for your Atlanta auto shop. However, this is a breakdown of some of the coverages you should know about.

General liability:

General liability can help you if there’s a claim of bodily injury or property damage from a guest. It can help you cover the injured party’s medical bills – and your legal expenses if they decide to sue you. For example, let’s say that one of your customers is coming to drop off their car. They go into your lobby, but they trip over something and take a bad fall, breaking their arm and smashing their nose. Your general liability could help cover their medical expenses – and the legal expenses of the ensuing lawsuit.

Workers’ compensation:

Auto shops aren’t necessarily the safest of places. Workers’ comp can help if one of your employees gets hurt on the job by paying for their medical bills and giving them a portion of their lost wages. To give an example, let’s say that one of your employees is in the back, working on a car, when they slip and fall. They hit their head badly and need stitches, so they need some time off work. Oh, and they sprained a wrist pretty badly. Anyways – workers’ comp could help by covering those medical bills and giving that employee some of the wages they lost while unable to work due to the injury.

Property:

Property insurance can help protect the physical structure of the shop itself against losses like fire. Since there are a lot of flammable things in your auto shop, this is definitely a coverage to consider. Let’s say that you close up the shop for the night, and overnight a fire starts, burning the shop to the ground. It’s the stuff of nightmares, but your property insurance could help you recover from the loss.

Garagekeepers:

Garagekeepers insurance is another important coverage to consider because it can help protect the cars in your care, custody, and control. Since you hold on to your clients’ cars so you can repair them, this coverage is crucial. It can protect against losses like fire, theft, and vandalism. If you had a fire while you were also storing a bunch of cars for repair, your garagekeepers coverage could help you when it comes to recovering from the loss of the clients’ cars.

Umbrella:

Umbrella insurance sits on top of your underlying liability policy and provides coverage above and beyond what the underlying policy offers. To illustrate, let’s say that you have a general liability policy with a limit of $1 million. You also have a $1 million umbrella policy. But then you have a $1.75 million general liability claim (it was a very big claim.) Your general liability kicks in to cover its $1 million, but then your umbrella could take over and cover the remaining $750,000.

Some other coverages you can consider as part of your Atlanta auto shop insurance plan:

Like we said, the above coverages aren’t the only ones that you can get to protect your business from risk. Here are some others:

  • Business interruption
  • Employment practices liability
  • Hired and non-owned auto liability
  • Cyber insurance
  • Employee dishonesty
  • Environmental impairment
  • And many, many more!

How to get Atlanta auto shop insurance.

The next question is how to go about getting Atlanta auto shop insurance. Well, we can help. Our team does our best to make the insurance process as easy as possible. Here’s how it works:

  • You reach out and let us know you’re looking for auto shop insurance. You can fill out our online form, give us a call, or message us.
  • One of our agents chats with you to ask some questions about your business. We need to collect some intel about your business so we can get you the right coverage and get you the best quotes.
  • We get your quotes. We work with a lot of insurance carriers, so we’ll bring you some quotes.
  • We go over your options with you and help you finalize your coverage.
  • We’re here to answer any questions you have or address any concerns you might have about your insurance.

See? Easy. We’re here to help you with your insurance coverage. We know that the world of business insurance is overwhelming, but you don’t have to go it alone.

Get started with your quotes by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat.

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 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 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.