COMMON INSURANCE QUESTIONS, ANSWERED.

Got insurance questions? We’ve got the answers to the most common questions we are asked, everyday. And to make navigating the answers easier, we’ve broken the frequently asked questions into several categories. Nice and simple.

Business Insurance

IS BUSINESS INSURANCE TAX DEDUCTIBLE?

Business insurance is tax deductible, as long as the coverage is for the purpose of operating a business, profession, or a trade. Businesses may not deduct their business insurance premiums if the coverage is for the purpose of a self-insurance reserve fund or a loss of earning insurance policy.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GENERAL LIABILITY AND PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY?

At a 10,000 foot view general liability is slips, trips and falls meaning bodily injury and/or property damage to a 3rd party. Professional liability is protecting your business against bad advice or guidance. Any time you give professional opinion, advice or guidance you are opening yourself up to a professional liability claim.

SHOULD MY SMALL BUSINESS HAVE BUSINESS INCOME INSURANCE?

Business income provides reimbursement for lost revenue after a covered insurance loss. For a company that does not have a physical address that is crucial to its business, such as a contractor, business income is probably not necessary. For store front or main street businesses, like a coffee shop, business income is a must.

Employee Benefits

WHAT DETERMINES WHETHER I AM A LARGE OR SMALL EMPLOYER?

An employer’s size is based on the number of its employees. Generally, an employer with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalents (FTEs), is considered a large employer. If you have fewer than 50 full-time employees or equivalents, you are considered a small employer.

DOES HEALTH-CARE REFORM APPLY TO OUR COMPANY?

Effective January 1, 2015, companies that employ 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees, must offer an affordable group health plan to their full-time employees (and dependent children up to age 26) or possibly be liable for a penalty.

Small businesses, those with fewer than 50 full-time employees, are not subject to this provision. In fact, small businesses have the option to purchase plans on state-run or federally run Exchanges and may qualify for tax credits.

CAN EMPLOYEES PAY FOR OR SHARE IN THE COST OF HEALTH CARE?

Yes. You as the employer may choose how much of the cost you would like to share with your employees. This gives you tremendous flexibility to tailor a benefit package for your company.

Specialty Insurance

WHEN IS AN APPRAISAL REQUIRED ON A CLASSIC CAR?

We typically do not require appraisals. If we need further documentation supporting a vehicle’s value, we will contact you during the underwriting process.

HOW DO I INSURE MY JEWELRY COLLECTION?

While nothing – not even jewelry insurance – can completely replace the sentimental value attached to a special piece of jewelry given to you by a loved one if it is ever lost or stolen, a good jewelry insurance policy can help you do the next best thing: repair or replace your jewelry should something unfortunate happen to it.

WHAT MAKES A HOME HISTORIC OR ANTIQUE?

The most standard practice of discerning the scope of coverage and premium is having a specialized risk assessor visit the home. Typically homes built before 1945 will have some type of extended insurance, while homes built before 1900 will have a highly comprehensive package. However, individual cases are considered and judged by the assessor in question.

Personal Insurance

SHOULD I HAVE MY HOME AND AUTO INSURANCE WITH THE SAME COMPANY?

Absolutely YES! If you can package your home and auto together with the same insurance company you should do it. There could be significant benefits involved.

DO CLAIMS AND TICKETS AFFECT MY INSURANCE PREMIUMS?

Yes. Claims for homes and claims and violations for autos do make a difference in the rating of your policy. The impact depends on the severity of the claim and if you were at fault. Tickets and accidents will impact your premiums for a three-year period while major tickets such as DUI’s and careless driving can impact your rates for five years.

IS MY CREDIT CONSIDERED WHEN RATING MY POLICIES?

Yes. Your credit will be checked when an insurance company is rating a home or automobile policy for you. This is an insurance score, which is slightly different than your credit score. The insurance score does not show as a “hit” on your credit, like other credit inquiries (multiple credit inquiries can actually lower your credit score).

General

WHAT IS AN INDEPENDENT INSURANCE AGENT?

What defines an Independent Insurance Agent is our ability to shop your insurance through multiple insurance companies. Our job is help you create the best coverage package to meet your needs and then go to the market and find the most competitively priced insurance company for those coverages.

DOES CHANGING MY INSURANCE COMPANY AFFECT MY CREDIT SCORE?

Changing your insurance carrier has NO effect on your credit score. You can change as often as you like and it makes no matter to your credit score.

I HAD A CLAIM, NOW WHAT?

We know that “stuff happens” and there will be the unfortunate instance where you will have a claim to report. The majority of our companies have 24/7 claim centers and we would first advise you to call your insurance company in which you had the claim and report it to an authorized representative. That being said, there are some advantages to calling our office to speak to us about your claim. Our dedicated agents can advise you on what the effects of filing your claim would be, and explain how the claims process works. Hopefully taking the headache out of what already is a painful process. If it is an emergency, you should call your insurance provider directly, to expedite the process.