Let’s say you run a small business from your home. You don’t have employees; customers don’t come into your store (so no risk of them slipping on a wet floor and suing you); and your custom-designed hair bows aren’t going to injure anyone. Does your business need insurance?
What Are Commercial Bonds and Why Would I Need One?
Many times a client will come to me questioning why someone is requiring them to have a commercial bond. This article will provide some information to help explain what commercial bonds actually are, who they are protecting, and what types of commercial bonds are most commonly written.
Bonds function much like insurance in that they guarantee that obligations are fulfilled. If a promise is breached, the bond will pay to fulfill the promise. There are generally 3 parties: The bond holder (principal), the party for whom the work is being done (obligee), and the company providing the bond (surety company).
The two most common bond types are Surety Bonds and Fidelity Bonds. The basic difference is that a surety bond protects the public. A fidelity bond is employee dishonesty insurance coverage. In a nutshell, if someone is requiring you to provide a bond, you are looking for a surety bond. If no one is requiring the bond, you are more than likely looking for a fidelity bond.
When it comes to insurance, most people think about protecting physical objects from loss or harm, but there’s something else—something vital—that your small business needs to put under lock and key: your data.
“But Data Breach and other types of cyber crime only happen to giant firms like Dairy Queen and Target. I don’t have the kind of records the bad guys want. Plus, who would even think to target little ol’ me?”
Every day, insurance professionals hear comments like this from their clients. But the truth is, data breach and cyber ransom issues effect an ever-increasing number of small businesses (that is, firms under 100 employees) in the United States. Often, these victims are “Mom & Pop” operations with under 20 employees. In fact, small businesses are actually the perfect target for cyber criminals. Read more →
Sifting through all of the different coverages that are part of insurance policy can be a very confusing task. There are things that pay for injuries to you. There are parts that pay for injuries to others. There are coverages that pay for damage to your belongings. There are elements that pay for damage to other peoples’ things. The list goes on and on. Today we’re going to look at Medical Payments and how they can help you avoid costly fees after an accident. Read more →
Even though Hurricane Matthew’s exact path is still uncertain it is better to be prepared than to be caught without a plan! Harry Levine Insurance is here for you if and when the storm strikes. As insurance professionals our job is more than just showing up to the office every day. Our job is to be there for our clients when they are in their most difficult moments.
We urge you to adopt a Hurricane Preparedness Plan (see below). We urge you to monitor the storm. We urge you to take photos of your home and belongings and to find your insurance policies. Keep them dry and safe! You will find a listing of all of our insurance company partners’ claims contact information here on our website. Please make a note of your carrier’s contact information. Read more →
As Workers Compensation rates in Florida soar, with more potential double digit rate increases looming, small businesses are trying to find creative ways to cut their costs on workers compensation coverage. The end result can be very costly for the business owner. Some people are trying a new, creative way to cut costs and that is to report lower than actual payroll, so that the initial cost will be lower. There are agents out there that will allow this, and will sometimes encourage it to get your business in the door. Don’t do it. It is a trap! Read more →
A problem that not many people talk about in the insurance world is windshield repair fraud. If your automobile glass cracks or gets chipped, it is very important to get it fixed. The State of Florida even makes it easy by requiring that insurance companies waive deductibles for windshields if you have Comprehensive Coverage as part of your car insurance policy. That’s right, if you have coverage, then you have an automatic deductible of zero for your windshield. Repairing or replacing a damaged one can be free! Read more →
Every time something useful, cool, and new is invented, there are new dangers that come along with it. Newton’s Third Law of Physics even states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Well, guess what? Drones may be the hottest new present for children and tech enthusiasts, and a cutting-edge business tool, but an estimated 80% of them are operating without proper FAA approval or appropriate insurance protection.
Photo Credit: khunaspix on freedigitalphotos.net
Drones at home are less of a problem than drones used for business. Remember, once Bob the neighbor pays little Johnny $10 to take an aerial picture of his house, there has been a business transaction. You may not agree, but there was a transaction in the eyes of the court! Insurers are struggling to deal with the new risk posed by drones, whether it is drones running into each other, drones being flown into people or property, or drones having mechanical failure and crashing into people or property. There’s also that whole spying on people thing, despite plenty of existing laws and legal precedents to deal with that (just think cell phone cameras). You may think of drones as harmless, but rest assured, there are some very important things for homeowners and business owners to know about this potential insurance issue. Read more →
It seems like every year homeowner insurance costs more. We have talked about this before, but it is still happening and your rates are still going up. Our goal is to make sure everyone is educated about what is happening so you can make informed decisions about your home.
Normally, when people spend money they like to receive something of value in exchange for it. It’s difficult for insurance to provide obvious or immediate value because no one ever wants to have to use it. Everyone’s financial sensibility is vulnerable to ads like the one below that seem to bring that value. A new roof on your home can cost anywhere from $5,000.00 to $50,000.00 depending upon size, materials and contractor. The free roofs that are being promised all across Florida in ads like these, however, are not free at all. In fact, they are incredibly costly to the homeowner and the general public. Read more →
A stranger knocks on your door. You apprehensively answer. They tell you that they can get you a entirely kitchen worth $25,000 or more if you’ll let them inside. You laugh, say it’s too good to be true and send them on their way. So why do people allow those making such outrageous claims to climb on their roofs, have access to their insurance policy information, and ultimately to involve them in a rapidly growing fraud scam? I suppose it’s because they aren’t be asked to actually invite the perpetrators in, but they are being promised a new roof typically valued anywhere between $10,000 and $40,000.
Insurance is there to protect homeowners from sudden and accidental damage. Unlike a home warranty or maintenance contract, insurance does not cover wear and tear or an item reaching the end of its useful life. Insurance is designed and priced to repair or replace a roof if a tree falls on your house, a hail storm causes damage or another sudden, accidental and unforeseeable event damages your home. Unfortunately, opportunistic and criminally liable contractors are looking for homes with shingle roof at or around 15 years old all over Florida. These roofs are naturally reaching the end of their lives, and most homeowners dread having to purchase one from within their household budget. Knock, knock… Read more →