,

How to save money by improving your Insurance Score

For many people, the formula used to determine insurance rates may look like a mythical magic 8-ball type of voodoo. But in fact, there are highly-evolved formulas that help insurance companies identify the risks they are taking on when issuing your insurance.

You may have an identical driving score, the same number of tickets, driving experience, etc. as someone else, but a wholly different insurance score. That score determines how low or high your insurance premiums will be.

What is an Insurance Score?

Before you can understand how it affects your premium, you first need to know what is an insurance score is and how it’s determined. The truth is that it varies from one insurance company to the next. Each company has its own formula for determining your insurance score and how much weight individual components will carry in the formula.

Some of the factors that could impact your score include things like:

  • Credit Score
  • Collections
  • Length of Credit History
  • History of Late Payments
  • Outstanding Debt
  • Driving Record
  • Type of Employment
  • Miles Driven on Average Week
  • Value of Vehicle
  • History of Insurance Claims

What insurance companies are really interested in when it comes to determining your insurance score is how likely you are to file a claim. The less likely their formula determines you will be to have an accident or file a claim, the lower your premiums will be.

There are also factors, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, that cannot be used in determining your insurance score. These include:

  • Race, color, national origin
  • Religion
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Age
  • Income, occupation or employment history
  • Location of residence
  • Any interest rate being charged
  • Child/family support obligations or rental agreements
  • Certain types of inquiries of your credit report like account review inquiries, employment inquiries, promotional inquiries from credit companies, etc.
  • Whether or not a consumer is participating in credit counseling of any kind
  • Any information not found in the credit report

It should be noted that this is the case for insurance companies operating in the state of Florida. Other states may have different policies and laws regarding what can and cannot be used in determining your insurance score.

What is a Credit-Based Insurance Score?

A credit score is a snapshot of your credit at one point in time. Credit-based insurance scores were introduced in the early 1990s and use certain elements of a person’s credit history to predict how likely consumer is to have an insurance loss, as research shows there is a correlation between credit characteristics (credit-based insurance scores) and insurance losses. According to FICO, a major company that generates credit-based insurance scores, approximately 95% of auto insurers and 85% of homeowners insurers use credit-based insurance scores in states where it is a legally allowed underwriting or risk classification factor.

How can an insurance company use your credit-based insurance scores?

An insurance company can only use your credit-based insurance score as one factor in its underwriting process. It will be considered with several other factors that vary by insurance type. For example, with auto insurance other factors could be your zip code; the age of the operators; the make, model and age of the car; and even the miles you drive annually. You can ask your insurance company if a credit-based insurance score was used to underwrite and rate your policy and which risk category you were placed in after you receive a quote.

What kind of information goes in to my credit-based insurance scores?

There are several different companies that create credit-based insurance score reports for insurers to use. FICO looks at five general areas it believes will best determine how you manage risk. This is the breakdown of what it considers and how much the information generally weighs in figuring your credit-based insurance score:

  • Payment History (40%) — How well you have made payments on your outstanding debt in the past
  • Outstanding Debt (30%) — How much debt you currently have
  • Credit History Length (15%) — How long you have had a line of credit
  • Pursuit of New Credit (10%) — If you have applied for new lines of credit recently
  • Credit Mix (5%) — The types of credit you have (credit card, mortgage, auto loans, etc.)

What is a Good Credit Score for Insurance?

The bottom line is that your credit score plays a larger role in your insurance score than you might expect. In many instances, a bad credit score can be the single most influential factor in providing you with a less than favorable rating – even if you have a clean driving record and no history of filing claims in the past.

How Can I Improve My Insurance Score?

The single most important thing you can do to improve your auto insurance score is to improve your credit score. That may take time, leaving you with higher than average premiums while you work to make your credit score better by doing the following things:

  • Keep your balances low.
  • Pay your bills on time. This includes credit cards, loans, and even your home utility bills as they can all have adverse effects on your credit history when late payments are reported.
  • Avoid allowing bills to go into collections.
  • Keep your credit accounts to a minimum.
  • Monitor your credit report annually to make sure there are no mistakes and that your information is accurate.
  • Maintain accounts for longer periods of time.

In other words, you must take control of your credit and change it for the better – one account at a time, if necessary. Another thing you should consider is avoiding maxing out your credit cards. You want the limit available on your cards to be high (meaning you have plenty of credit available that you aren’t using) and it is better to have a few accounts open in good standing – especially if they are long-term credit accounts.

Other things you can do to improve your auto insurance score that may be beneficial include things like taking defensive driving classes, driving safely and avoiding tickets.

You should also avoid making numerous credit inquiries in a short amount of time when you’re attempting to apply for auto insurance as this might be a red flag for some insurance providers.

The key is to take the time, now, to begin improving your credit score (and, consequently, your insurance score) so that you can get a better premium when the time comes to apply for auto insurance of your own.

Give us a call to learn more about how your insurance score impacts your premium and how to save money.

5 MYTHS ABOUT CYBER LIABILITY INSURANCE

Cyber is only for online businesses or web stores taking online payments. FALSE

Cyber liability coverage protects the business in the event it exposes any personally identifiable information. The protection ranges from liability (of course in case someone sues), regulatory compliance defense, IT forensics investigation, extortion of data, business interruption due to cyber event, repair/replacement of damaged data, reputation and brand protection, legal defense, public relations, and expert breach consultation. In fact, architects and developers have purchased the coverage to protect privileged business information about other high profile businesses. For instance, if McDonald’s has contracted with a local developer to build a new store, they may not want that information getting in the hands of competitors. Cyber policies can even include coverage for exposing protected business information.

My credit card processing company is responsible for notifying my customers if a data breach occurs. FALSE

This is something most insurance experts hear far too often and one of the biggest myths of them all. States have privacy data breach laws that require businesses to notify an individual when the business has breached a customer’s information. Think about it this way; if your business was not there to take the customer’s information, then it would have never ended up in any other system.

Let’s say the credit card processing company is hacked and all of your customer’s credit card information is stolen. The credit card processing company has a duty to notify their customers, i.e. your business and other businesses that use their services. Your company then has a duty to notify all of your customers until the affected customer has been notified. Some states require businesses to offer credit monitoring for up to three years after the incident. Notification duties fall on the entity initiating the transaction regardless of where information is then subsequently stored.

 

I have a small business; nobody cares to hack my data. FALSE

Most small businesses are more vulnerable than their larger counterparts simply due to the lack of money and man power available to thwart potential threats. Often times, the smaller businesses are contracted out by larger companies which usually do not have the proper controls in place. Take for example the following data breach: A 17-year-old high school student from the Ukraine created a malware program and infiltrated a refrigeration company’s IT system. The refrigeration company happened to be contracted about by Target Corp. (TGT: NYSE) to monitor the coolers in their stores. The malware program was able to bypass Target’s security system and hack 70 million customer records and 40 million credit cards.

 

There has been a steady increase in the amount of cyber extortion incidents. Hackers realize that the business’ information is most valuable to the business owner. So hackers are now holding computer systems/servers and company data hostage in exchange for ransom. In most cases, a cyber policy will cover the costs of this type of business extortion.

 

I can barely afford my current insurance policies; this is just another product I’m being sold. FALSE

Insurance professionals are held to the same ethical standards as any other profession. Except in most cases if an insurance professional fails to offer coverage, the agent’s E&O insurance could end up becoming the client’s missing liability policy. It’s important to understand the benefits of the cyber liability product before you check the ‘REJECT COVERAGE’ box. An average data breach event for a typical small business generating under $5M in revenues costs $65,000. The average cost of a cyber policy for the same business with $500,000 limits is around $750 annually. When comparing the two costs, it would take approximately 86 years at $750 annually to equal the cost of one potential data breach.

 

It can’t/won’t happen to me…FALSE, FALSE, and MORE FALSE

If you believe you have the best IT security system or that you will never be a victim of a data breach event, then you will mostly likely end up becoming part of the growing statistic: 60% of SMB’s that lose their data will shut down in 6 months. Even if you were able to afford the cost of the data breach, will your business sustain if you lose revenues due to a tarnished reputation. Target lost 46% of their revenue after the breach occurred due to customer mistrust. Could your business take a $65,000 hit in addition to losing more than 46% of revenues all in the same year and still survive?

 

Read: NY insurers, banks prepare for February cybersecurity deadline

 

Cyber security continues to be the largest growing threat to small and medium sized businesses year after year. As the environmental exposures around your business increase, so too should your protection. Many people still consider their General Liability policy or Business Owners Policy to be the ultimate form of protection. When your industry becomes the next target of data breaches, will it be you or your competitors who are better equipped to handle? Contact a Blankit professional so you can answer those questions confidently.

,

Blankit’s Easy Condo Insurance Guide: What is Covered by Who?

To state the obvious, a condominium is not the same thing as a house. Usually, there’s no backyard or basement, and you don’t have to worry about cutting the grass or shoveling a front walk.

Insurance is another area where homes and condos differ. Condo owners are typically responsible for insuring just a portion of their property on their own. However, rules differ from complex to complex, and it’s important to ask the right questions to ensure you have proper insurance coverage.

Here are six things you need to know about insuring your condominium and how Blankit protects you.

6 questions about condo insurance

Condominium owners have unique insurance needs. Ask yourself these questions to make sure you are properly insured.

  1. What does your master policy say?
  2. How expensive is the association deductible?
  3. How much coverage is appropriate?
  4. Cash value or replacement cost coverage?
  5. Have you insured contents and structure?
  6. Are you covered for flood and wind damage?

myblankit flood

1. What does your master policy say?

Owners of condominium units obviously do not own the entire condominium complex. Typically, they own their own unit outright and share ownership of the rest of the complex with all the other owners.

From an insurance point of view, that means all individual unit owners have a collective responsibility for insuring areas of the complex owned in common.  This includes building exteriors and hallways, the pool area, parking garage, entry, club houses, etc. A condominium association typically collects monthly dues from unit owners and uses a portion of these funds to insure common areas.

Meanwhile, the unit owner typically is responsible for separately insuring everything within the four walls of his or her individual unit.

The condo association’s master policy, as well as association rules, should spell out clearly which parts of the complex are insured through association dues, and which parts are not. There are two broad categories of master policies.

Two types of master policies

This is some boxed off content with a gray background.

  1. Bare walls-in. Covers all real property from the exterior framing inward, but does not cover the fixtures and installations within the condo unit. So, things like granite countertops, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, and the flooring are not covered by the master policy. This condo owner will probably have the greatest coverage need.
  2. All-in. Covers fixtures, installations or additions within the interior surfaces of the perimeter walls, floors and ceilings of individual units. This condo owner will probably have a more limited coverage need.

There are also variations of the two types. These details should be spelled out in the condominium association bylaws.

2. How expensive is the association deductible?

Condo association insurance typically includes commercial insurance coverage for the commonly shared building and common areas. Such policies typically have an association deductible.

Basically, in the event of a natural disaster or hurricane or whatever, it is spelled out in the policy. If the condo association needs major work or there is major damage to the structure, the condo association will tender the claim to their commercial insurer and they would get covered for their loss.

But there would be a deductible and that deductible would be assessed against all unit owners — so if there are 10 unit owners, it would be divided 10 ways.

A recent trend in many states toward more expensive condo deductibles. We are looking at wind now at 3%.

The coverage should be spelled out in the association’s bylaws.

Step 1: Always read your bylaws. Always 

A copy of the association’s insurance agreement should have been given to the unit owner at the time of purchase. It specifies the responsibilities of the association and the individual owners.

If the owner does not have a copy, he or she can obtain one from the association’s board of directors, its business manager or anyone from the association responsible for addressing individual unit owner questions. The owner’s condo insurance sales representative should be able to assist in answering questions about the insurance agreement.

3. How much coverage is appropriate?

Once you’ve determined exactly which parts of your condominium unit you must insure individually, you need to decide how much coverage to acquire.

You can estimate coverage by paying attention to how much other owners in the development paid for recent upgrades, such as new flooring, cabinetry and countertops.

Another way we can roughly estimate that is we go by about half the market value for interior structures. So, if there’s a fire, for instance, people have enough to replace their flooring, their cabinetry and their walls — anything else that’s actually considered their personal responsibility. That’s a pretty good way to estimate it. Some buildings may have you cover the windows and walls, so please, read your bylaws when calculating sufficient coverage.

4. Cash-value or replacement-cost coverage?

Once you determine the appropriate amount of coverage, you’ll need to decide how much coverage to purchase. You need to pick between two basic categories: cash value and replacement cost.

What’s the difference? Thousands of dollars, in many cases.

Cash-value coverage only replaces the value of the insured item minus depreciation.

With actual cost-value coverage, there’s depreciation based on the age of your contents. If the TV was 2 or 3 years old, we’d go see what it costs today and calculate the depreciation.

In this example, the person who lost the TV would receive a check for the amount that the TV was worth after two or three years of wear and tear.

By contrast, a person with replacement-cost coverage would receive a check for what it would cost to replace the old TV with a new model. Depreciation is not used in the replacement-cost model.

We strongly recommend replacement-cost coverage for your contents, especially in a condominium association. So if you had a loss, the insurance compensation would replace what it would cost if you were to buy it today.

myblankit fire

Are you covered?

5. Have you insured contents and structure?

When insuring your condo, make sure you have coverage for contents and structural items.

What’s the difference?

Content vs. structure

Examples of content: furniture, area rugs, electronics, jewelry, valuable artwork/collectibles

Examples of structure: flooring, cabinetry, countertops, carpeting, lighting

We often tell our customers that if they were to turn their condo upside down, everything that falls out is a ‘content. Everything that stays is ‘interior structure.

Condominium owners should approach insurance needs from a slightly different perspective compared to owners of single-family homes. Someone who owns a standalone single-family home typically looks at the price of replacing the structure (usually a house) first before determining insurance coverage for the possessions or content inside the structure itself.

In contrast, condominium unit owners should take the reverse approach.

Condominium coverage is really built off your contents,  you look to see what you have: electronics, furniture, furnishings, rugs, etc. That would be the first thing you need to assess to determine the value of your contents.

Next, determine which structural items inside your four walls you are responsible for insuring.

You definitely need to gauge what all those things would cost if you had to replace them today.

There are gaps between what the condominium association covers and what your personal condo policy covers.

We often ask customers to fax Blankit the part of their bylaws that describes the common elements so we can figure out if they need anything in between or expanded coverage.

For example, people need coverage if there is damage to the building that begins in a common area but continues through a unit owner’s front door and into the unit.

There are so many different possibilities of where there could be a gap in recovery.

Always consider that there is the need to insure special items, such as artwork, jewelry and furs separately listed.

Every customer should be aware and talk to their Blankit agent about any special items and possessions they might have. An agent will typically ask about art or jewelry or fur, but things like baseball card collections, stamp collections and things of that nature may not come up in conversation. You should really think about what you have that is important to you so you can make sure your covered. Jewelry, for instance, can often be limited unless you get expanded coverage.

6. Are you covered for flood and wind damage?

The U.S. government offers flood insurance to all homeowners. This coverage is often optional, but may be mandated by the mortgage holder if the property is in a flood zone.

These would all be discussions you’d typically want to have under the guise of an association. A flood will generally affect the actual structure of the building, so it would fall under the condo association’s master policy.

It is also worthwhile to consider personal flood insurance as a condo unit owner.

The individual unit owner can buy their own flood insurance because the association’s flood coverage probably won’t cover anybody’s personal contents or the interior structure. The association insurance will rebuild the building.

If you’re in a flood plain and the mortgage company requires the condominium association to have flood insurance, they’re going to require the unit buyer to bring a certificate saying you have flood insurance to the closing.

This is a warning light to the buyer and the customer to get personal flood insurance.

Please be careful to note that there is a difference between flood insurance and water backup coverage.

Water backup coverage isn’t federally mandated, but it’s a very good idea to have if you’re in a space where perhaps the basement has a lot of storage area and there’s potential for damage to your personal items if water backs up through your sewers and drains. Sometimes people get this mixed up with flood insurance.

Coverage for windstorms will generally be covered under the standard condominium policy unless there is a specific exclusion attached to the policy. If windstorm is excluded, the consumer may purchase wind coverage through the state’s wind pool association.

For the best rates on your Unit and your Building’s Insurance, contact Blankit today for all your needs! 

,

Small Business Insurance Needs?

As A Small Business Owner, What Insurance Do You Need?

Updated: February 2017

When you own a business, you have a lot to protect, and the right small business insurance coverage can be important to your continued success. Luckily, there are a variety of coverages to choose from when it comes to protecting your business.

Clothing Store Owner.

But, do you know what types of business insurance coverage options are out there? And, which of those coverages could help protect your particular business?

Here’s a rundown of the things to consider when it comes to buying your small business insurance policy.

Small Business Property Insurance Coverage

Perhaps the most obvious reason to purchase small business insurance is to protect your tangible investment—from your merchandise to the tools you use to make your business work. What would you do if, for example, a fire destroyed your place of business, making your equipment unusable and your products unsellable?

The property coverage in a business insurance policy can help protect the physical property of your business against certain causes (they vary and are specified in your policy). This coverage may protect the actual building in which your business is housed, as well as inventory, equipment, furnishings and other property you have there. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), it may also cover other costs, such as equipment breakdowns or the cost of removing debris after a covered loss.

Small Business Liability Insurance Coverage

No matter how careful you are, you may find yourself in a variety of situations that could result in a lawsuit against your business, so it’s a good idea to be prepared—just in case. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) outlines three types of business liability coverage:

General liability coverage: This type of coverage protects you in case you are sued because of accidents, injuries or claims of negligence. For example, if someone is injured on the premises of your business and files a lawsuit against you, this type of coverage may (depending on the situation) help cover some of the related costs.

Product liability coverage: If your company manufactures or sells a product, this type of coverage may come in handy. It protects you in case your product is defective and causes injury or damage.

Professional liability coverage: Businesses that provide services often purchase this type of coverage, which protects against errors and negligence. One example, according to the SBA, is the malpractice insurance that doctors are required to carry.

Small Business Insurance Coverage Relating to Employees

Depending on the number of employees you have, as well as other factors, there may be additional insurance considerations. Employment practices liability coverage, for example, helps protect you in case a former employee files a groundless claim against your company.

Also, according to the III, all states except Texas require businesses with a certain minimum number of employees (at least three to five, depending on the state) to have workers compensation coverage, which may help protect them in the event that an employee is injured on the job.

Small Business Insurance Coverage for Business Vehicles

Just like your personal car, your business’ vehicle needs to be protected. Business auto coverage is available to help protect your company against liability arising from accidents in your company’s vehicle, as well as other features, depending on the policy.

Small Business Data Compromise Insurance Coverage

Data compromise coverage, or data breach coverage, is another way to protect your business. This type of coverage helps protect against any associated legal or other costs in the event that personal data of employees or customers is stolen or accidentally released by your company.

Other Considerations

As you shop for a small business insurance policy, there are many things to think about.

If you run your business from home, for example, your homeowners insurance policy typically offers limited or no coverage for business-related property, such as supplies, tools or customers’ items stored for repair, or for business-related liability. So, it may be a good idea to consider purchasing a business insurance policy.

In addition to the coverages described above, there may be even more business insurance options to consider. A conversation with your business insurance agent can help you determine the best way to protect your company.

Employees are your greatest business asset, and sometimes liability…

October 2017

Like many business owners, you’ve probably been required (at some point) to carry general liability, perhaps workers compensation insurance, and maybe business auto or liquor liability insurance depending on the size and type of business. But the largest risk exposure you face as a business owner, is actually managing your employee relationships.

That’s right, one of your past, present, or future employees at some point could sue the business for any number of reasons. For example, let’s take a service business which employs two people. Have you considered a scenario where an employee claims they work in a hostile workplace due to a manager’s or employee’s behavior? Or an employee who offered to do things on their personal time is now demanding to be paid. What if your business is shut down and you still have to pay your employees?

Mr. Z’s hard lesson

That is exactly what happen to one unsuspecting new attorney (whose name will be changed for privacy reasons). During hurricane Irma Mr. Z was forced to shut down his practice for nearly two weeks which kept his paralegal without work for that time.  Upon the storm’s passing, Mr. Z’s paralegal advised that they would be taking a new position with another firm effective immediately for higher wages. Mr. Z, in an attempt to salvage his business, withheld the remaining pay because he believed work was not performed during those days. Three weeks later Mr. Z received a letter from another law firm advising that Mr. Z’s former employee is alleging back pay and is owed the withheld wages along with any attorney’s fees. The claim is currently pending litigation and could cost Mr. Z more than he realized.

The truth is in the numbers

According to the Trusted Choice (Independent Insurance Agents Association), 7 out of 10 business are without employment practice liability (EPL) and even scarier, 6 out of 10 think they are covered by another policy. There is no way to sugar coat it, it is twice as likely to have an employment related claim than a slip-and-fall claim. Florida courts typically favor an employee over an employer. With billboard signs flooding the highways, practically demanding to sue for uncollected wages, it’s inevitable that even the best business could be faced with an employment related claim.

Released by Advisen in a white paper regarding employment practices liability (EPL) insurance, defense costs top out on the high end at $300,000 and typically come to resolve between 18 and 24 months. Here is a list of the four most common employment related claims and one growing concern:

 

  1. Pregnancy Discrimination – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has deemed pregnancy-related discrimination one of the highest priority problems outlined in the latest Strategic Enforcement Plan. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1964 mandates that employers may not treat pregnant women with any prejudice while being employed (as long as they are able to perform their functions), or while applying for employment.

 

  1. Illegal Background Checks – Illegal or improper background check lawsuits have become more prevalent in recent years. The key to avoiding an issue as an employer is to fully comply with all federal, state, and local laws including but not limited to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Background checks must be across the board for all hires, not just certain applicants. The biggest concern is that inaccurate/incorrect information in the reports could affect the hiring decision.

 

  1. Unpaid Interns – The Department of Labor has set forth parameters for companies to determine the status of an intern. Some of the factors in the determination of a true internship program is the educational component, and whether the roles are similar to an employee. A review of your company’s internship program is highly recommended by industry experts. There have been several class action suits and settlements related to intern programs, so make sure you’re in compliance.

 

  1. Genetic DiscriminationGINA is the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Information Act which prohibits employers from using genetic information in employment related decisions, or generally requesting any genetic information from employees. The best way to avoid a lawsuit, hire an expert to review your policies and procedures, and make any necessary corrections immediately.

 

  1. Social Media Discrimination – We should expect that the rise in social media use could spell potential problems in the workplace. Its anticipated that claims of employers attempting to regulate employee’s work-related social media posting will continue to rise. Interestingly, social media has found a way to create hostile work environments similar to the cyber bullying found in schools. Carriers recognize the growing concern and are swiftly offering forms of protection.

 

The sunshine state of employment liability

Based on an EEOC 2016 report, Florida had the second highest charge count in the country at 7,610 charges, far exceeding the national average of 1,528 charges. This means you are 5 times more likely to have an employment practice related claim in Florida than any other state, based on the national average. If an employee claims Wrongful Termination, Harassment, Discrimination (which can take on many forms), Breach of Contract, Emotional distress, or any number of employer related issues, an employment practices liability (EPL) policy will be your best form of defense. An EPL policy will often cover 3rd party claims in the event a customer, vendor, or applicant sues your company for discrimination or even harassment.

No two businesses are alike, which is why each policy should be tailored to meet specific needs of the company. For instance, restaurants and other industries with a higher than average turn-over rate, should strongly consider an employment practices liability policy including a wage & hour endorsement. Just like our example with Mr. Z, even having 1 or 2 employees could cost your company thousands so make sure your business is protected. Contact an expert who understands the coverages and more importantly the impact it could have on your business.

 

 

How Do I Insure My Business?

How Do I Insure My Business?

Last Updated August 2017

As a small business owner, protecting yourself against liability can ultimately mean the difference between success and failure. With the increasing exposures business owners face today, it is important to understand the insurance options out there and how they will cover your company.

Do you know what types of insurance products you will need?  I have a Commercial General Liability policy, what else do I need?

The reality is, a Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy or even a Business Owners Policy (BOP), may not be enough.  Having a clear understanding of your operations will help to identify the potential exposures and address them with the correct insurance policy.  Of course, you should always consult a Blankit Insurance Professional to ensure proper protection.

 

Blankit

Blankit Protection

Property Insurance

The most obvious exposure for a business is the business property, equipment, and assets.  Understanding what is covered and how your commercial property policy will respond, could mean the difference between temporary and permanent closure. For example, how would your business survive if a fire or hurricane destroyed your property?

The property coverage in a business insurance policy can help protect the actual building in which your business is housed, as well as inventory, equipment, furnishings and other property you have there. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), other covered costs may include, equipment breakdowns, the cost of removing debris after a covered loss, as well as business expenses during covered interruption periods.

 

Liability Insurance

Despite your best efforts to mitigate risk, you may still be faced with a lawsuit claiming damages for liability. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) outlines three common types of liability insurance for businesses:

General liability coverage: Also known as “Slip & Fall” Insurance, this type of coverage protects you in the event you are sued because of accidents or injuries resulting in a negligence claim. For example, if someone is injured on, or in some cases off-premises of your business, and files a lawsuit against you, this type of coverage may (depending on the situation) cover some or all of the related costs.

Product liability coverage: The coverage is intended to protect manufacturers and distributors of products, in the event the product is defective and causes injury or damage.

Professional liability coverage: Service based businesses often purchase this type of coverage, which protects against errors and omissions as it relates to their expertise.  As an example, doctors, lawyers, architects & engineers, insurance agents, real estate agents, and consultants, just to name a few.

 

Employer Related Insurance

Depending on number of staff members, and structure of the organization (as well as other factors), there may be other insurance policies to consider.  Employment Practices Liability, for example, helps protect the business in the event an employee was to sue the employer for any employment-related issues such as; discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and in some cases wage and hour issues.

In addition, according to the Insurance Information Institute, all states (except Texas) require businesses with a certain minimum number of employees (at least three to five, depending on the state) to have workers compensation coverage, which may help protect the employer in the event an employee injures themselves during the scope of business.

 

Business Auto and Garage Liability Insurance

Similar to personal auto insurance, businesses also have vehicles they must insure while in stored and in operation. Depending on your business, there may be additional coverages such as a Garage Policy for vehicles while they are in your care, custody, and control.  The business auto policy is intended to protect the business against liability arising from your company’s vehicle(s).

 

Network and Data Breach Insurance

Better known as Cyber Liability Insurance, data breach coverage helps protect your business from unwanted and unwarranted access of confidential/private information.  This could include stolen credit card information, compromised client or employee records, and in some cases confidential business information.  The intention (depending on the type of policy) is to cover the costs associated with a data breach event such as IT forensics, notification costs, public relations, and liability.

 

Other Considerations

Many factors should be considered when searching for the appropriate coverages.

For instance, if you run your business from home, typically your homeowner’s insurance policy will limit or exclude coverage for business property, including tools and equipment used in the course of business as well as customer property while being repaired. There are business owner policies designed specifically for home-based businesses.

There may be even more business insurance options to consider in addition to those covered throughout this article. It is important to talk to your Blankit Insurance Professional when determining the appropriate coverages and adequate limits.

 

By Chris Orletski

 

FLORIDA FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE OFFICER SURETY BOND / FRO BONDS

What is a Florida Financially Responsible Officer Surety Bond (FRO Surety Bond)?

Financially Responsible Officer Bond (FRO Bond) is a $100,000 surety bond ($50,000 for individuals who were registered prior to Feb. 1, 2007) that is required to be posted by an officer of a construction company in order to be licensed as the Financially Responsible Officer for the company.

A Financially Responsible Officer is a person that takes on the financial responsibility. Including responsibility for all financial aspects of the business organization and may not be designated as the Primary Qualifying Agent.

The designated financially responsible officer shall furnish:

1. Evidence of the financial responsibility

2. Credit, and business reputation of either himself or herself, or the business organization he or she desires to qualify, as determined by the Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB)

Surety Bond?

The surety bond is needed when the Qualifying Agent (licensed contractor using their license to qualify a business). The person named by the construction company’s license, is not also the Financially Responsible Officer. Whenever there is a change in FRO, a new application and surety bond must be filed. Although the individual FRO is named as the Principal of the Surety Bond, the construction company is given responsibilities in the form and executes the surety bond along with the Principal.

The Financially Responsible Officer (FRO) is typically the owner (or majority owner) of the construction company. And the Primary Qualifying Agent is typically the license holder that qualifies the company.

If you need and FRO, Surety, or any other type of bond, Contact Us today for your best rates and fastest turn around time. Get your bond now!

,

Payment Refund Order #D01-9294635-404748 BIG PAY DAY?

You just got a big refund in your account! Do you remember the transaction? Did you check? Don’t just Click

The email, which looks like it’s genuinely from Amazon, tricks customers into thinking there is a problem processing their order or asks them to log in to change details on their account. It then asks you to click on a link and confirm your account details. The phishing scam then collects up your personal information – giving fraudsters access to your personal and financial information.

An Amazon spokesperson said: “These can look similar to real Amazon emails but often direct the recipient to a false website where they might be asked to provide account information such as their email address and password combination.”

 What not to do:

  • Look for grammatical and spelling errors; fraudsters are notoriously bad at writing proper English. If you receive a message from a “friend” informing you of a freebie, consider whether it’s written in your friend’s normal style.
  • If you’re invited to click on an URL, hover over the link to see the address it will take you to – does it look genuine?
  • To be on the really safe side, don’t click on unsolicited links in messages, even if they appear to come from a trusted contact.
  • Be careful when opening email attachments too. Fraudsters are increasingly attaching files, usually PDFs or spreadsheets, which contain dangerous malware.
  • If you receive a suspicious message then report it to the company, block the sender and delete it.

Is it for real? 

If it looks suspicious at all, go directly to the websites main website and address any issues through there. Never confirm Username or Password information through any email link. Blankit is here to help you stay secure, whether personal or business, we have Cyber liability policy’s to cover any breach of you or your clients information. Contact Blankit today for an explanation of these Cyber Plans.

How to tell: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=15835501