Saturday, May 31, 2014

Sparky®'s ABCs of Fire Safety DVD

Watch a clip from NFPA®'s new Sparky the Fire Dog®'s ABCs of Fire Safety DVD! It is the perfect way to introduce young children to life-saving safety concepts.

This exciting new journey of fire safety discovery for little learners features the Sparky the Fire Dog® puppet, who leads kids on a journey into Letterland, a magical world where anything is possible! Using a fun song, Sparky® helps children remember what to do when the smoke alarm sounds. The programs ends with a director's cut of laugh-out-loud bloopers and a short Sparky "Pup Quiz."

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Contractors Insurance Protects Your Business

General contractors call the shots in most construction projects, taking the lead in all important operations including coordinating subcontractors, supervising job sites, and many other responsibilities to ensure projects stay on time and within budget. The many risks involved with leading these projects makes contractors insurance essential to protect the business against losses that may result from a lawsuit.
One of the common misconceptions of contractors insurance is that it only applies to general contractors. But subcontractors such as carpenters, roofers, landscapers, masons, electricians, plumbers, and other trades are all liable as well. Since they are often involved in complex business relationships, contractors need to be able to rely on an insurance company that has their best interests in mind.
Most contractors understand the common risks of construction projects, such as injury to subcontractors, not being paid on time, not adhering to timeframe agreements, and other risks that should be considered when drafting the general construction agreement. A contractor's insurance policy may include provisions for issues such as negligence and workplace safety.
Speaking of contracts, all contractors should carefully read every contract and even ask their attorney to review the agreement before they sign on the dotted line. Depending on the size and length of the project, certain clauses can hold hidden fees and liabilities for which the contractor is unclear. This oversight can ultimately result in a situation that isn't covered by contractors insurance and therefore becomes out-of-pocket costs that can seriously damage a business.
Whether you're a contractor or subcontractor researching business insurance, coverage typically involves general liability, commercial automobiles, workers compensation, builder's risk, tools and equipment, bonds commercial umbrella, and employee benefits.
Remember to keep the following risks in mind when you speak with your contractors insurance company:
• Defective products: As a general contractor, you're responsible for all of the work performed by your subcontractors. So, what if, for example, your electrical subcontractor installs a kitchen light that catches fire and burns part of the ceiling? The manufacturer is ultimately responsible, but both you and the electrician will also likely be included in a costly lawsuit.
• Construction contracts: Everyone enters into a contract with the best intentions. But when things go wrong, fingers start pointing. As a contractor, you should make sure that the contract is reviewed by a lawyer to make sure your business has the right insurance for each and every job.
• Litigation costs: Whether you're a sole proprietor performing general remodeling, a specialty tradesman or anyone in between, you need to protect yourself from litigation by having a policy with an insurance company that has your best interests in mind.

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Memorial Day Tribute

A tribute to the men and women who fearlessly defend the freedoms we all enjoy. God bless them.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Top 3 Reasons You Need Contractor's Insurance

Most contractors are familiar with license bonds since many states require them in order for the contractor to be licensed. License bonds are NOT insurance as they serve as protection for your customer, not for you, the contractor. There are many different types of contractor's insurance, including general liability insurance, worker's compensation insurance (also referred to as workman's comp), commercial auto insurance, builder's risk insurance, equipment and tools insurance, and much more. If you don't already have contractor's insurance read on to learn the top three reasons why you need it.
1. Get on the Job
It has become more the rule than the exception that you show proof of liability insurance when you are bidding for a job. Almost all government agencies and most general contractors will require that you carry general liability insurance. If you are unable to show proof of this coverage with acceptable limits (usually $1 million/occurrence), you will likely lose out on that job.
2. Protect Your Assets
Whether due to human error, faulty materials, or weather-related incidents, accidents and injuries occur on construction job sites every year. Even with the most careful planning, getting involved in a court case with a client at some point in your contracting career is generally not a matter of if, but when. Additionally, as an employer you are held liable for the occupational injury, sickness, or death suffered by anyone you hire. Whether your business is at fault or not, the cost of a defense against a lawsuit can be devastating - and often significantly higher than the actual property or injury damages.
Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance and workman's comp insurance were developed to provide protection to businesses for expenses of injuries to others and property damage. Don't risk everything you've worked for! If you don't have contractor's insurance and someone files a lawsuit against you, you could not only lose all of your company's assets, but your personal assets too. Protect yourself against lawsuits with contractor's insurance.
3. It's the Law!
In many states contractors are required by law to have commercial general liability insurance before they can even bid for a particular job, or at the very least they must disclose to homeowners whether or not they carry contractor's general liability insurance. If you disclose to homeowners that you don't have contractor's insurance, they are likely to choose another contractor.
Don't get caught without contractor's insurance. Protect your assets, gain more revenue, and maintain peace of mind with contractor's general liability insurance now.

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Top 10 Insurance Buyers Mistakes

Car insurance, or any type of auto insurance for that matter, is something we simply cannot avoid. In most developed countries, it's illegal to drive a vehicle on public roads without appropriate cover, so we really have no choice but to bite the bullet and cough up.
With that said, the average person continues to pay more than they need to, simply because they make the same mistakes over and over again. Here are 10 mistakes to avoid when it comes to car insurance:
1. Failure to Shop Around
Many people take out insurance with a particular company simply because the company was recommended to them by friends or family. This can prove to be a very costly mistake because there are so many variables involved, and besides, just because that may have had the best rates last year, doesn't mean they're still offering the best rates this year. You need to get quotes from at least six or seven providers before you make a decision.
2. Choosing the Minimum Deductable
The deductable is what you pay out of your own pocket should you submit a claim. The lower the deductable, the less you pay in the event of a claim, but the higher your premiums will be. Increasing the deductable amount, within reason of course, can lower the cost of auto insurance considerably.
3. Keeping the Same Level of Cover
Sure, if you buy a new car, or even a relatively new one, you'll want maximum cover, so you buy fully comprehensive cover. This type of cover will cover you completely, no matter what, but it costs. But, once your car has aged a bit, and decreased in value, do you really need maximum coverage? After all, you could end up paying more for insurance over a two year period than what your car is worth.
4. Failure to Inquire About Discounts
Don't assume your insurance provider is going to keep you updated regarding new discounts or special rates. Why would they want to voluntarily lose money?
5. Including Unnecessary Drivers
If you have more than one driver in your home, only include those who use your car regularly on your car insurance policy. This is particularly true in the case of teens. If your teenager only uses the car once or twice each year, rather opt for temporary cover when it's needed.
6. Including All Drivers as Fulltime Drivers
If your partner or child only uses your car occasionally, ask your insurance provider if they offer discount rates for occasional drivers or limited mileage.
7. Failure to Check Driving Record
While it may not be a common occurrence, many people end up paying more for insurance because their driving record shows a history of traffic violations and/or accidents, when in fact they have never had any such violations or accidents.
8. Poor Credit History
Contrary to what many people believe, many insurance companies, but not all, will run a credit check, and if you have a poor credit history, it can push up the costs of auto insurance dramatically. If your credit score is less than perfect, choose a provider that doesn't factor in a person's credit score.
9. Claiming for Minor Incidences
Don't submit a claim for minor things. If you can pay for minor repairs out of your own pocket, you'll stand to benefit more in the long run. The more you claim, the higher your premiums are going to be.
10. Not Researching Before Buying a Car
Certain makes and models cost more to insure simply because statistics show they are more likely to get stolen. Check with insurance providers to find out what cars are best avoided before you actually buy a car.
Car insurance is here to stay, but if you avoid these common mistakes, you may just be pleasantly surprised at how affordable cover can be.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Get to Know About Contractors Insurance

Contractors insurance is a specialized coverage for risks associated with contractor's work as a result of a contract. The purpose of purchasing this insurance policy is to protect contractors against liability arising from personal or employee injury, property damage or in the event of any damage or injury to a third party, for which the contractor is held liable.
Contractors face the liability of being sued because of errors
As a contractor, your workplace is prone to certain hazards such as accidents or injuries and thereby you are likely to be affected by third party claims. It covers medical, legal and compensation costs. Let's take a look at some of the liabilities CI covers.
• General liability: Claims made by clients or third parties for bodily injury or property damage, that are caused due to the negligence of contractors are covered under general liability. For example, an employee accidentally injures a bystander while at work and the bystander sues contractor for causing injury. During such situation, general liability insurance will protect you against lawsuit and also pays for medical bills.
• Employers' liability: In employers' liability, employers are held liable for an employee's accident, illness or death during employment for which the parties may sue you. It covers the compensation for loss of wages and provides medical expenses to the injured employees.
• Public liability: Public liability provides coverage for the risks of being liable to pay damages to third parties or damage to their property. Note that it doesn't provide coverage for claims made by your employees.
Things covered by contractors insurance
It covers for injuries or damage to property of others (not the employee or the contractor himself) that is caused by the negligence of the contractor or employees of the contractors. Things that are covered under contractors insurance are:
• Professional indemnity: This insurance is also known as errors and omissions insurance. This insurance will cover you against claims made by any client who suffered financial loss as a result of your negligence, loss or damage of professional documents, dishonesty, infringement of intellectual property and the like.
• Protection of income: In case you are suffering from ill health or severely injured and you are unable to work, financial compensation is offered for the lost income until you recover.
• Covers expenses of litigation: Lawsuits are expensive because you need to pay court fees, attorneys fees and other costs in connection with a lawsuit. Having been covered under contractors insurance, you need not worry of litigation, and can stay in peace of mind.
Points to consider while purchasing contractors insurance
Now that you understand the importance of having contractors insurance, you need to purchase a coverage according to your occupation. Make sure that you check for exclusions, if any, and also, if any liability the policy does not cover.
To get a clarity on what is covered and what is not, you need to be fully aware of your occupation's requirements and then discuss it with reputed brokerage agencies. They will give you professional advice on which and how much coverage is required for you, as a contractor.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Boat Theft

Don't help boat thieves steal your boat! Always lock your boat and take the keys with you, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Boat theft is big business says Robert Bryant, Institute for Business and Home Safety. Thousands of boats are stolen every year and half of them are recovered. Marine police says that leaving keys in the boat is the biggest mistake boat owners make. So if you like your boat, and most boat owners do, lock it and take your keys with you.

For more information about insurance, go to the I.I.I. Web site at

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Lynne McChristian, Analyzing Your Insurance Coverage

Lynne McChristian of the Insurance Information Institute ( on Action News at 6 speaking on how to analyze your insurance coverage.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Auto Insurance Quiz

Auto Insurance Quiz from the Insurance Information Institute. For more information about insurance, go to the I.I.I. Web site at

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The I's on Insurance: [Not So Risky] Business

Being an entrepreneur makes you the boss! But along with getting to choose your own hours, location, and business plan, it also means that you're responsible for a lot of other things, like commercial business insurance. There's a lot more to business insurance than getting the lowest business insurance quotes. It means understanding your business's unique needs and the potential hazards that can threaten its success.

"The I's on Insurance: [Not So Risky] Business" instructs you on the ins and outs of small business insurance—including coverage for business disruption, theft/loss, and business liability insurance. Why not spend a couple of minutes learning about the different types of business insurance to make it easier to have a productive discussion with your business insurance agent or broker.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Per Project General Liability Insurance for a Contractor's General Liability

A big expense factor in a contractor's construction bid will always be the cost of the liability insurance for the project. The contractor's existing general liability policy may not be sufficient to meet the requirements of a specific job being bid for but upping the coverage on his regular liability insurance could leave the contractor in a grossly over-covered position after the job is done. A per project policy is ideal for construction bid circumstances like this.
A per project liability insurance policy is exactly what it reads as. The contractor can get a liability quote for precisely the required amount and for only as long as the specific job is underway. This means the contractor will have the correct amount of insurance at the right time. He will not have too little during the job and will not have too much after the work is finished either. Per project general liability is ideal for a contractor's general liability.
Two critical factors should be considered when looking into per project insurance. The first is the maximum payable amount and the second is the actuarial claim rate.
The individual or more likely the corporation tendering out the bid will stipulate the minimum amount of liability insurance requires. Let's say the required insurable amount is for twenty million dollars. That total coverage may be required for the bid but during the general business of the contractor, perhaps ten million is more than sufficient. A per project general liability package could be put in force just for the term of the contract.
The other factor is the actuarial. That is the incidence of claims for a particular type of application. For instance, if the contractor is doing dangerous work like welding underwater the claim rates are much higher than work as an interior painter so the rate per thousand dollars worth of insurance will naturally be greater for the underwater welding. A contractor needing liability insurance may often be quoting for work that is of a different actuarial rate.
Administration of the contractor's office and his doing quotes involves much less risk than completing the contracted work does so per project general liability would certainly be a better value than a global policy that doesn't address the differing needs.
Per project contractor general liability insurance isn't an entirely new product but it isn't a policy that most insurance underwriters have not been overly eager to offer. Insurance agents prefer a long-term deal like a life insurance policy that simply has premiums running to eternity and beyond. Per project coverage requires the insurance for only a fixed term and at a fixed rate. Per project general liability insurance is optimal for the contractor's insurance and per project general liability insurance can still be found, and is certainly worth finding, even if it takes some extra looking.

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