Thursday, January 29, 2015

Insurance for the Small Business Owner

From the Insurance Information Institute A Business Owner Policy, or BOP, may be what your need as a small business owner. A BOP covers your business for property and liability and helps keep your assets safe.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Use Home Heating Equipment Safely to Prevent Fires - Put a Freeze on Winter Fires

Heating equipment is the second leading cause of U.S. home fires and home fire deaths. Fortunately, the vast majority of home heating fires can be prevented by following some simple steps and guidelines.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Avoiding Insurance Mistakes: Five Tips

Five big mistakes to avoid when making decisions about your insurance. I.I.I. offers tips on how to save money and still properly protect yourself.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The i's on Insurance: The Claim Game: Auto

Filing an auto insurance claim is never fun. But with these simple steps from the Insurance Information Institute (, you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble.

"The I's on Insurance: The Claim Game, Auto" will put you on the road to a satisfactory claim filing experience, giving you the basics on what you should know, what your policy covers and the most important information to record when you're in an accident.

"The Claim Game" will help you to get the most value from your auto insurance policy. And be sure to tune in to the other videos in "The I's on Insurance" series for helpful knowledge for drivers, homeowners/renters, and small business owners.

See Insurance Through the I's: Subscribe to our YouTube channel: iiivideo for more videos about how to be safe, secure and covered for the unexpected. You can also follow us on Twitter @iiiorg to stay plugged in to the latest information and news about your home, auto and business insuranc

Friday, January 16, 2015

Air Bags

Air bags have prevented millions of serious injuries, but passenger side airbags can injure and even kill a small child, which is why children should always ride in the back seat. Dr. Till Jolly is an emergency room physician and an expert on airbags. He says that airbags were designed for adults, not children. The Insurance Information Institute urges parents to always place children in the back seat. If you must place an older child in the front seat, make sure that the seat is as far back as possible, and that the child is properly belted. And never place a rear-facing infant seat in the front seat, the force of the deploying airbag can kill or injure your child. Brian O'Neil of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says it may be very tempting for a new parent to place their infant in the front seat, where they can see it. He warns that the force of the deploying airbag can kill or injure that infant.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What Is Contractor Insurance?

To those unaware of the ins and outs of professional insurance products, dangers in the workplace and of course the many legal loopholes within our busy business world, never fear, as you are certainly not alone.
In everyday life, insurance exists as a means in which individuals can protect themselves against most of life's misfortunes. This is of course, what insurance companies and money lenders tell people, and although rightly so, often falls on unwanted ears. To most of us, insurance is a word that is met with a sigh, our minds conjuring up pictures of faceless men in suits, with outstretched arms and briefcases of bad news. This is of course a natural reaction, but in reality, insurers do, and insurance does work in our best interests... In a roundabout way.
Contracting is a popular profession in the 21st century, contractors working alongside employees as if they were the same, but in reality (concerning tax, status and of course insurance) they are quite different. Contractors are not employed by the companies that are hiring them, instead they work for their own limited companies, and it is these companies that are hired by firms who require the contractor to work. This is an overtly confusing concept to those who are not directly involved in contracting, but it is a professional way of life that exists and works well.
Contracting brings with it a number of perks to the contractor, their hours are versatile and they are beneficial to a lower tax bracket than the average employee. This being said however, as technically self-employed professionals, contractors are required to take out a number of specifically designed contractor insurance policies, each tailored to the professional risks of contracting.
Contractor insurance is so important, as being self-employed sole traders; contractors are 100% liable to any mistake or misfortune that may occur within the workplace, making the financial risk a potentially huge overhead. The policies themselves that are available to contractors range from cover designed to protect professional indemnity, to accident and sickness insurance should a contractor fall ill.
What makes contractor insurances unique however are its relevance to contractors and its advantages to limited company professionals. Each policy is designed to cover an eventuality that concerns contractors specifically, and each insurance cover aids contractors in different ways. Take PI insurance for example, which is a contractor policy that may not be required by an average employee. It would cover a contractor in a case of professional negligence that would result in financial loss. This would not be necessary for an employee to have for example, as their employing company would most probably have a policy similar to employer's liability that covers any employee's mistakes.
If you are a contractor, then insurance I'm afraid to say, is a necessary and advantageous commodity to have within your arsenal of professional weapons. Acting as a shield to protect your limited company assets and finances, contractor cover still remains a must-have form of protection, and its importance should never be overlooked.

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Teenage Drivers

Teenage drivers are involved in four times as many fatal crashes than any other age group. On average, six thousand teens are killed each year in crashes that often involve alcohol. Neil Bernstein, adolescent psychologist, says teens are often reckless and think they are invulnerable. Dr. Allan Williams, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says laws establishing night time curfews, lowering the legal blood alcohol content, and raising driving age are helpful. He also says driving privileges should be phased in through graduated driver's licenses. This video is from the Insurance Information Institute.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Contractor Insurance - Overview

Contractor insurance is an essential element of running a contracting business and comprehensive insurance cover can mitigate the impact of events such as thefts, an investigation by HMRC or even the threat of legal action and compensation arising from client accusations of negligence.
Umbrella company contractors are normally covered by their umbrella company employer's policy, but limited company contractors must make their own arrangements to ensure they have adequate cover in place to satisfy business and client requirements.
Insurance types to consider
There are three main categories of insurance that contractors should consider:
  • Office
  • Professional indemnity
  • Tax investigation.
A comprehensive office policy would normally include public liability and employee liability, legal requirements for trading limited companies, plus home office contents and portable equipment cover for business equipment, such as laptops and mobile devices.
Professional indemnity insurance, also known as 'PI', will provide the funds to cover legal advice if a client levels accusations of negligence against a contractor, and may also cover any payouts for compensation. Most clients, particularly those in the public sector, require that a contractor limited company has at least £1m in PI cover.
Tax investigation insurance covers the cost of accountants and other expert assistance in the event of an investigation by HMRC. A routine compliance visit by an inspector may only cost a few hundreds of pounds in an accountant's time, but if the investigation develops into a full-blown IR35 case, the cost of an expert defense can run to tens of thousands of pounds, which could financially ruin a contractor who does not have insurance.
Choosing the right policies
Not every contractor's insurance needs will be the same. Some contractors may have requirements unique to their sector, or could have business premises, such as an office or workshop, that require specialist cover.
A specialist small business insurance broker will usually assess a contractor's insurance requirements as part of their service and then actively seek out the most appropriate policies for the contractor's specific needs from the market.
Alternatively, it is possible to obtain a comprehensive package of insurances directly from an insurance company, but contractors should ensure the insurer understands the contractor marketplace and has a track record in providing contractor insurance products.
Contractor insurance costs
As most policies will be individually tailored to a specific contractor's needs, each policy is priced accordingly. Buying insurance in a bundle direct from an insurer or via a broker is usually more cost effective than buying different policies direct from different suppliers.
As a rule of thumb, a comprehensive office policy costs a few hundred pounds, PI insurance from a few hundred to several thousands, depending on the amount of cover required and the type of services the contractor provides.
Tax investigation insurance comes as a benefit of PCG membership. If bought separately, it can cost a few hundred pounds a year, and compared to the potential cost of an investigation, it is generally a worthwhile investment.

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Thursday, January 1, 2015