Painters

Painters or painting, staining and decorating contractors fill a great role within the construction industry. As the economy continues to recover the need for painters continues to grow. With the growth in this industry comes an increase in risk and a need for more insurance coverage. Here are 5 policies every painting contractor needs to secure in order to completely cover them and their employees.

Find the best info about insurance coverage for painters at My Insurance Question.

 

General Liability

General liability insurance is normally the first coverage any small business purchases. This is no different for a painting contractor. In most states this coverage is required by law to be in business. General Liability coverage will cover your liability to third parties for accidents that occur as a part of normal business operations. For painting contractors who work at remote locations, it is important to speak with your independent insurance agent about what exactly is and is not covered when you are operating on the premises of a third party. If you interact with a general contractor who has many contractors operating at one location it is important for you to make sure all of the other contractors have the proper insurance required for the work taking place.

Inland Marine Coverage

Inland marine coverage will cover any specialized equipment you or your employees use as part of your daily operations. This is an important coverage to secure, especially if you have expensive specialized equipment, because most basic policies will not cover this equipment when it is damaged. For instance if you have a van or a vehicle with a trailer carrying extra tools, when a wreck occurs your commercial insurance policy will cover your liability to the other person hurt in the accident and to fix your vehicle, but it will not pay to cover your specialized equipment. This is a coverage your agent can help you determine if you need it or not. Depending upon how much the equipment costs, you may be able to do without this coverage.

Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial property insurance is different from your personal home owners insurance policy. It is different primarily because it is sold one of two ways: Replacement cost or on an agreed upon value of the property. It may be tempting to go with an agreed upon value to save on premium, but this is almost always a mistake. This is because the agreed upon value is usually what the property is appraised at currently. This amount does not include the cost to tear down the dwelling and remove all the debris after a disaster occurs. This additional cost can be extensive.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance is also different from a personal auto policy. Commercial auto can be purchased for vehicles your business owns, but it can also be purchased for employees who drive their own vehicles or rented vehicles while on the job. This type of policy is called hired and non-owned auto coverage. Again, with this coverage it is important to take some additional time to speak with your agent about the daily operations of your business. If you are honest with them about what you do on a daily basis they can do their best to prevent occurrences from taking place where your business or your vehicles are not covered.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers compensation insurance is the second coverage a business purchases because like general liability insurance it is required by law in most states. Workers compensation is like general liability, but it applies only to your employees and not to third parties. If your employees are injured at work as a part of what would be deemed normal business operations, workers compensation coverage will pay them for some of their lost wages (typically 60%) and medical expenses. Depending upon the state in which you operate in and the accident occurs, there are time limits on how long the employee can collect workers compensation benefits. Having adequate safety programs and a strong return to work program will help your business from experiencing excessive damage to your experience modification rating.

 

Here at My Insurance Question you can find the best advice on the insurance policies all painters need.

Recommended Insurance Programs for Painters

Minimum recommended coverage:

•   General Liability

•   Inland Marine Coverage

•   Property Insurance

•   Commercial Auto Insurance

•   Workers’ Compensation

Other coverages to consider for Painters:
Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Contractors’ Equipment (Inland Marine), Umbrella Liability, Commercial Auto Liability, Goods in Transit, Environmental Impairment Liability, Stop Gap Liability.

4 Ways Your Business is Exposed to Risk

Employee Related Risk

First and foremost, in order to combat risk you have to find the right staff. Sometimes finding the right staff is more than just identifying the most qualified and offering them the highest salary. Sometimes the best fit for your business is not the person with the best resume, the most experience or the best education. Employee turnover can be very expensive. If you are looking for a person to be committed to the business it is in your best interest to ask pointed questions about the candidates short, medium and long term goals for themselves and the company.  You should be very careful about the ways in which you state these questions because the wrong wording can cause your business to wind up in the middle of an employment lawsuit.  Once you have found the right staff it is just as important to keep them satisfied enough to remain with your organization for an extended time. This includes not only salary and benefits, but determining what is important to them individually and finding creative, cost-effective ways to satisfy those needs.

Depending upon what industry your business operates in, you may face an enormous amount of risk. Learn about the best ways to protect your business from those risks by reading My Insurance Question.

Revenue/Financial Risk

Direct financial risks have to do with how your business handles money.  Do you offer credit to a customer. Do you bill your customers after every interchange, monthly or quarterly? Keeping your income coming in from a diversity of clients and not just 2 or 3 can help prevent dramatic cuts in revenue from losing one client. Financial risks can also include interest rates and foreign exchange rates depending upon your industry. Having a plan in place for these risks will ultimately contribute to the long term success or failure of your business.

Skydiving is one type of risk many people face in their business life. Find out how to mitigate risk at your small business by reading My Insurance Question.

Operational Risks

Operational risks result in many ways. Many start with internal failures. An internal failure starts with the internal processes, people or systems and can cause damage internally or externally to clients and vendors as well. Operational risks can also result from unforeseen external events such as transportation systems, internet, power or communication systems failure.  These can cause a delay in or failure to deliver goods or render services. Having a plan in place for when these situations arise is crucial to the long term success of your business.

Downhill Skiing is another way many people face risk in their personal lives. In the business world you can learn about protecting your business from risk by reading myinsurancequestion.com.

Reputational Risk

Losing your company’s reputation or community standing can cause damage to your company that is not repairable. Reputations take a long time to build and they can be crushed at a moments instance. During a time when social media has the ability to cause negativity to spread like while fire more quickly than ever it is crucially important to constantly monitor your reputation.  Your reputation is important both on and off line. google alerts is one way to monitor when and if your business is mentioned online, but there are also companies that offer software as a service products to monitor your businesses reputation and notify you quickly when damaging situations occur online. If you are going to have a presence on social media you need to have trained professionals to regularly monitor it and have systems in place for how to deal with negative reviews or comments.

 

Rental Property Insurance

When you own rental property with it comes a certain amount of risk. There are ways to lessen the amount of risk your or your business faces by properly preparing your business and purchasing adequate insurance coverage.  Here are 3 types of insurance you or your business need to secure when you own rental property.

If you own Rental Property, you need to determine what kinds of insurance your business actually needs?

 

If you or your business own rental property, there are certain insurance coverages you need to secure. Find out the best info at My Insurance Question.com

Three Policies every rental property owner should have. 

General Liability Coverage

General Liability Insurance in most cases is the first type of insurance a business or investor purchases. General Liability and Workers’ Compensation Coverage are required by law in 48 out of 50 states. For this reason, most business owners start with these two coverages and later determine if they need additional insurance.  GL Insurance covers a property owner for any liability they might face to thirds parties.  Some liabilities you may face include when a tenant or visitor are injured due to the landlord’s negligence, when a property maintenance issue results in a tenants’ injury or personal property loss or when a tenant is injured as a result of the landlord’s failure to keep the premises safe and in good working order.  Now these are just a couple of the types of liability a property owner may face.  Other risks you or your business face include losses due to fire, storm, tenant or employee theft and even discrimination lawsuits filed by tenants or employees. A lawsuit does not have to be legitimate to cause you or your business to incur enormous legal costs. Having the proper insurance in place can limit the damages to you or your business if you do face a lawsuit.

Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial Property Insurance is frequently the second coverage a property owner will secure.  When looking to acquire a commercial insurance policy it is important to secure an accurate valuation of the property. A Commercial Property Insurance Policy are just a little bit different than a personal home owners policy in that they are sold on either a replacement cost or on an agreed upon value. For most businesses the replacement cost policy is almost always the best type of policy to secure. This type of policy will pay to not only rebuild the property but also to demolish and haul away any and all debris. This additional cost can be substantial.

Business Loss of Income

Business Loss of Income Coverage is the third and final type of insurance all rental property owners should purchase. A business loss of income insurance policy will cover you or your business for the income lost during the period when a rental property is uninhabitable.  For example, if your building is damaged by a hurricane; this coverage kicks in to cover missed rent payments you or your business would have collected while the property is being repaired. Frequently this coverage is paid based upon documented actual revenue, which is good for property owners because you have a lease stating how much revenue the property generates.  Depending upon the policy you can collect payments for lost rent for up to 12 months after a loss.

 

Can Natural Disasters hurt your small business?

Here are 5 Natural Disasters that can wreak havoc on your Small Business.

 

With the presence of hurricane season upon us and the two examples we have in Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, now is a good time to have a conversation with your insurance agent about just what risks your small business faces when it comes to natural disasters. The risks are going to be different depending upon where your business operates, but now is as good of a time as ever to determine what risks you face and what coverages you may or may not need. Here are 5 types of disasters every business should prepare itself for.

Key West is one area that frequently gets hit by hurricanes. Small businesses in this area have a knack for dealing with natural disasters.

Hurricanes

Obviously, if you live in the Midwest, you may not need coverage to protect your business from a hurricane.  But the effects of a hurricane can travel very far inland, depending upon the strength of the storm. The states of Tennessee and Kentucky do not have a coast line, but they are feeling the effects of Hurricane Harvey at this very moment.  If you live in a coastal community, it is important to find out what exactly your hurricane policy does and does not cover. You may need an additional flood policy to deal with storm surge and flooding that comes after the tornado.  A short conversation with your agent should help you determine what all policies you need.

Tornadoes

Tornadoes are a type of natural disaster that can reach far and wide. They are not isolated just to the Midwest. Tornadoes can impact a small area of one small town or they can damage many areas through a state or region. Predicting them is difficult and the only true way to protect your business is to have the proper insurance coverage in place. Tornadoes are another type of disaster that also have a need for flood insurance.

Forest Fires are one type of Natural Disaster. Fires

Fires can come in the form of forest fires or local fires due to man-made causes. Certain areas in the Western United States are more prone to fires because of the dry nature of the climate in this part of the country. Forest fires can damage wet areas too as was seen last fall when many areas in Tennessee and North Carolina were ravaged by forest fires near Gatlinburg, TN and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Earthquakes

Earthquakes are areas that are little more predictable to know if you need the coverage or not. Areas that are on or near a fault line are more likely to need this coverage. Some faults are more likely than others and carry more risks. Also, with the growing popularity of fracking technology to dig for oil in some areas of the country, earthquakes are now appearing much more frequently and in areas that are not near a fault line. If this type of technology is being used in your area, it is something you should speak with your insurance agent about in order to properly protect your business.

Fllods are another type of natural disaster that can have a negative impact on small businesses. Floods

Floods are another type of natural disaster that should be prepared for. In most communities, if you live in or near a flood zone you are required to carry coverage.  These are not the only businesses who would be wise to purchase this coverage. The damage from floods can be far-reaching and in many cases it can cause a business to close its doors permanently.

Natural Disaster Preparedness

How can you prepare your business for the next natural disaster that may come your way?

The devastation that can be caused by a natural Natural Disaster is all of the news media recently. After seeing the impact Hurricane Harvey has had on the communities of Southeastern Texas and now seeing the panic setting in throughout the state of Florida now might be a good time to plan for if a natural disaster were to strike your community. This is a good time to prepare for both what you would do to protect your family and friends, but also how to properly protect your business in the event of a natural disaster. Here are 5 tips for preparing your business in the event of a natural disaster.

Hurricane Harvey shows the need to prepare your business for a natural disaster.

Call your insurance agent

Now is a great time to give your insurance agent a call and find out what exactly are the risks your business faces in relation to natural disasters and if you are protected from them. Now is a time when many other people are probably thinking the same thing, so have a bit of patience with your agent at this time. Schedule a good 20 to 30 minutes to have a long and honest conversation with them about your business. Spending a few extra minutes discussing your risks now can mean the difference between your business being closed for a few weeks and your business having to close its doors permanently because damage from the natural disaster was not covered by your insurance policies.

Create a Disaster Kit

Now is a good time to determine what you and your employees will need in the event you have to spend an extended amount of time at on your property without electricity. You should also have a plan in place for how you plan to secure all valuable items within the business like the internal server or important customer documents. There are many ways to do this, but the time to decide how you will secure these valuables is not in the few days before disaster strikes.

Hurricane Irma has shown Florida the need to prepare for natural disasters.

Develop a communication plan and practice it

The leaders of your business need to have a plan in place for how they will communicate with your employees during a natural disaster. Safety is always a first and foremost priority, but you need to have a plan in place for how you plan to let them know when you plan to come back to work after a disaster. randomly practicing this communication plan is a great way to ensure it is effective when disaster strikes. Also, there may be ways you or other employees can help each other through the disaster. Facilitating this help can create loyalty among your staff that is invaluable to your business.

Create a Business Continuity Plan

Having a plan for how your business will continue to operate in the event of a natural disaster is crucial to the success of dealing with a disaster.  For example, if your business operates online orders may continue to come in.  You need to have a plan in place for how you will deal with the delays that will come with these orders. This is especially important if you are a nationwide or international business. People on the other side of the country or the other side of the globe may be going on with their day to day operations. You need to have a plan in place for how you will accommodate these customers in the event of a natural disaster.

Hurricane Irma in Florida has shown the need for businesses to prepare for a natural disaster.

 

Keep your insurance info and other vital docs safe

It is very important to keep your insurance information available. This should include contact names, phone numbers and email addresses of those you will need to communicate with.  You should make sure more than one person knows where to access this information in the event of an emergency.  This can expedite the claim process in the event that you need to file a claim.  Protecting vital business records is also crucial.

Technology to help Hurricane Harvey Victims

How technology is helping flood victims recover from Hurricane Harvey.

Hurricane Harvey has dumped the most water on Texas of any Hurricane in modern US History. According to Matthew Cappuci, a current student at both Harvard and MIT, ‘If you took the Empire State Building, more than a hundred stories tall, you could fill that entire volume 33,000 times with the water that fell on Houston and the surrounding areas’.  This massive amount of water has and will take an enormous effort to recover from. Technology will play a tremendous role in the rebuilding efforts. Here are four ways technology is helping Hurricane Harvey Victims.

Communication Challenges for First-Responders.Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

During the first few days of relief efforts, in response to the Hurricane, First Responders were having to get creative in order to communicate with each other and victims needing help.  In the hours and days after the hurricane, many 911 call centers and radio centers were out of commission. The disrupted networks also left more than 250,000 people without phone, TV or internet access.  As a result of this disruption in telecommunications, the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) set up more than two dozen mobile communication office vehicles throughout the damaged areas. These areas had satellite-connected trucks helping FEMA employees and first responders with voice, video and data networks.

Social media as a way for Hurricane Victims to communicate with police and first responders.

In the early stages of the relief efforts, many victims were finding it difficult to get through to 911.  Dajauh Zhane Henix was separated from her daughter during rescue efforts and posted a message to Facebook that was shared more than 32,000 times. With the help of search and rescue and the power of social media, Mrs. Henix was reunited with her daughter. This is just one of many examples of the power of social media to reach many people quickly in a moment of need. Unfortunately, this power can be used in negative ways when videos or pictures go viral with inaccurate information.

Facebook is even matching up to $1 Million in donations made through the site.

Text to Donate to Hurricane Harvey Relief efforts.First Responder coming to the rescue after Hurricane Harvey.

This is not such a new technology, but mobile devices now make it easier than ever to donate to relief efforts.

The Red Cross has usedtext messages asa way to donate inmany disaster relief efforts.  For Hurricane Harvey they are asking people to Text: “HARVEY” to “90999” to automatically donate $10.

If you would rather donate to a local charity, you can Text: HARVEY2017 to 91999 to support the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

Drones are helping the insurance industry process claims.

Hurricane Harvey Weather MapWhen disaster strikes, the speed at which insurance companies process claims can be slowed dramatically. This process is important because the more quickly this process gets done, the more quickly the victims can get back to everyday life. Drones are helping insurance carriers process claims at a much faster rate than in the past. This is because an insurance carrier can now use a drone to view the damage of an area several times as big as in the past in a matter of hours. In the past the carrier would have had to have someone physically inspect the property.  They may have had to wait several days if not weeks for flood waters to recede enough to get in to the impacted areas. Now this can be done with a drone over an area inspecting ten or more covered properties at one time.  This can all be done either from a remote location or even at a location near the disaster area. Drones can allow the carrier to have a visual representation of the impacted area in a matter of a few hours instead of it taking days if not weeks only five or ten years ago.

Gun Clubs and Shooting Ranges.

What are the liability concerns for Gun Clubs and Shooting Ranges?

Gun Clubs

Gun Clubs and Shooting Ranges are businesses that provide places for firearms enthusiasts to practice firing various types of firearms.  Some gun clubs and shooting ranges are indoors and allow shooting primarily with handguns at close distances. Other facilities are much larger. They may include outdoor facilities that allow shooting at long range distances.  A majority of these facilities offer lessons and concealed carry classes for beginning firearms enthusiasts’.  Not all facilities offer sales of weapons and accessories, rentals of weapons and even repair for damaged weapons; but those that do face additional liability.  Still other facilities offer periodic tournaments and competitions. Each of these aspects of the business bring with them additional risks.  Depending upon the business activities of each individual gun club or shooting range the liability needs for each business can be drastically different.

Gun Clubs and Shooting Ranges are rising in popularity. Make sure your business is covered properly by reading myinsurancequestion.com

Workers Compensation Risks for Gun Clubs and Shooting Ranges

Workers Compensation Exposures at gun clubs and shooting ranges are similar to many facilities open to the public, but are different in some aspects. Slips, trips and falls are common causes of injuries in these facilities, but there is an increased level of risk when a firearm is involved.  Injuries that involve a firearm tend to be much more severe in nature.  Businesses that operate in this industry typically have a normal frequency of claims, but those claims do tend to be more severe. Because of this elevated amount of risk, all staff need to be thoroughly trained and required to wear proper safety equipment.

Find the answers to your liability questions about Gun Clubs and Shooting Ranges at myinsurancequestion.com

Safety concerns for Gun Clubs and Shooting Ranges

Employees at gun clubs and shooting ranges face both short term and long term risks. Firearms are loud.  Very loud in some cases.  Ear protection is important to protect the long term hearing health of your staff.  Providing the ear protection for your employees and having a program in place to ensure they are actually wearing ear protection is essential to the long term health of your employees and the health of your business. Also, eye protection should be worn when in the presence of live fire. Again, it is wise investment for the business to provide proper safety equipment because it will ensure your employees are wearing the proper equipment.  Additionally, if you require the employees to purchase their own equipment it can develop a bad attitude among the employees about the safety equipment. Spending additional investment on adequate safety and training programs can go a long way towards keeping your staff safe.  A safe staff is a happy and productive staff. Taking additional time to protect your employees will help them be more productive and can prevent a costly insurance claim.