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Protecting Your Home Based Business

You may be like the growing number of people who have left their job to start a home business. When you create a small home business, you need equipment such as a computer, printer or printer, or specialized equipment.  All those items are probably covered by your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, but there is more cost.  Having your computer damaged or destroyed costs time and most likely will result in lost revenue and data; homeowner’s or renter’s insurance does not cover lost profits or intellectual property.  There is good news if you own a small home business, you can protect it; let’s take a more in-depth look.

Options to Protect Your Small Home Business

In-home Business Policy

An in-home business policy gives a more comprehensive coverage for business equipment and liability than a homeowner’s policy. An in-home business policy can provide scope for lost income. In some guidelines, the range covers losses or damage from business activities at the insured’s home or rental residence and off-site at a different place. This added benefit means the business property is covered while a business owner is in transit and gives liability coverage at business-related activities at a trade show or a customer’s home. These policies, also known as in-home business endorsements, can differ significantly depending on the insurer.

Increased Business Property Limits on Homeowners Insurance

Another option that small home business owners have available is to increase coverage limits on their homeowner’s insurance.  A homeowner’s policy could cover as much as $1,500 of personal property. Things like vitamin samples, tools, and office furniture may be included. The coverage protects the business merchandise or equipment you keep at home. It may also offer additional coverage for your business property while in your car or at a customer’s home. If this is not enough coverage, you may have the option to increase coverage with what is known as a homeowner’s policy endorsement.  It would be a wise choice if your small home business meets the following criteria:

  • You will have less than $4,999 of business property in your home.
  • You meet with customers exclusively at their homes or at a neutral location like a coffee shop.
  • You don’t have more than $750 worth of personal property intended for use in business away from your home.

A Business Insurance Policy

Some home-based businesses are not eligible for additional business property or in-home business coverage due to the kind of business or its annual Income. In such cases, a business insurance policy is the best choice. This fact is especially actual if you have clientele visit your home.  If a client is injured while involved in a business-related transaction or activity, homeowner’s or renter’s insurance may not cover the injury. Here are some other things to consider when deciding if you need a business insurance policy:

  • If you execute business transactions with customers at your home, such as bookkeeping or tutoring, which may require additional specialized liability coverage
  • If you plan to keep at least $5,000 of business property in your home.
  • If you depend on income from your small home business to support your family.

There are a few other things to consider when deciding what insurance options for your small home business.  Factors such as being zoned for business, licenses, permits, vehicles used for your business, and taxes must be investigated. Your agent can help you to wade through all of the regulations and help you to determine what is the best way to protect your small home business.

If you have any questions about protecting your small home business, contact us via email or at (863) 646-LOCK.

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Preventing Slip and Fall Incidents at Your Home or Business

We may not get much ice in Central Florida, but many other potential hazards can cause someone to slip and fall at your house or your office. Central Florida also has a large elderly population who are all potential fall victims. Steps must be taken to keep them from falling. Prevention is the key to eliminating slip and fall hazards and preventing serious injury from occurring due to negligence. Here are a few ways that you can make both your home or business safe from slip hazards:

Tips for Preventing Slip and Fall Accidents

  • If a slippery substance such as oil, grease, or a household cleaner spills at your home or business, it should be cleaned immediately. As you undertake cleanup, ensure adequate signage is used to alert customers, employees, or family that a slip hazard is in the area. 
  • Regular inspections and cleaning of high-traffic areas or work areas where oil and grease are used should be made.
  • Ensure sufficient lighting is around your home, in parking lots, on sidewalks, walkways, and in stairwells to ensure they are visible. LED lights are best for commercial settings because they light a wider area and deter crime.
  • Bunched carpets, loose tiles, and uneven flooring can all cause someone to trip and should be repaired.
  • Potholes that are not filled present a hazard where someone could twist or break an ankle or fall and break a bone.
  • Water that runs into a parking area can quickly become slippery, and the source of the runoff should be dealt with to prevent any slipping.

Stairs and Ramps

  • Handrails are an effective way to prevent the disabled and elderly from falling.  Installed securely in stairways, ramps, halls, and bathrooms, they can help people to have a sense of independence while at the same time eliminating the potential for a fall.
  • Broken or loose steps in a stairwell are a recipe for a lawsuit if someone falls due to disrepair.
  • Make sure stairwells are lit well and have something that will increase friction, such as carpet or non-slip treads.

Lawn Areas

  • Ensure lawn areas are kept mowed to 7 inches or less so that hidden items such as a sprinkler or tree roots are visible.
  • Don’t leave old toys, tools, or portable sprinkles on the lawn, so they do not become trip hazards.
  • Make sure to keep lawn areas and the exterior of homes free of stinging insects like wasps so that customers or family members are not stung.


  • Clear your walkways of ladders, tools, or anything else that could be a potential trip hazard.
  • Make sure walkways are even and have no large cracks. Repairs should be made if either one of these conditions exists.

What to do if a Slip and Fall Happens on Your Property

  • Seek medical attention for the injured party if needed.
  • Gather critical information such as the injured party’s name and the time of the day the slip or fall incident occurred. The location of the incident. What happened at the time of the accident (was it the injured party’s fault?) Take pictures of the scene and, if possible, of the injuries sustained by the person who fell.
  • If you or someone who experienced the accident must file a claim, contact your insurance company promptly. Follow the insurance company’s instructions to document the claim correctly.
  • If a severe injury occurs due to a slip or trip, contacting an attorney may be in your best interest.

All that is needed to stop slip and fall accidents is to care enough to prevent them. If you have any questions about Liability Insurance, contact us via email or at (863) 646-LOCK.

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Professional Liability Insurance

ThreePeople952x357Whatever your profession, protecting yourself with professional liability insurance is not just an intelligent thing to do but a necessity in today’s litigious society. You have worked hard and put in years of education and work to get where you are in your career. You could lose everything you have worked so hard to achieve without the right coverage for potential negligence suits.

What It Covers

General liability insurance can protect you from various claims against you and your business. Still, it will not protect you from the type of lawsuit that can result from the simple errors we are all capable of making. Nor will it protect you from claims made against you that are unfounded. Remember that even if there is no truth to the accusations against you, you can still find yourself in court defending yourself and your professional reputation against them at a very high cost to you.

Those who provide a service or advice, or any other way, use their knowledge and experience to help others who need professional liability insurance. This includes errors and omissions insurance and malpractice insurance, both of which are types of professional liability. The similarity is that the types of lawsuits brought against professionals are usually based on actions, advice, or services that may not have caused property damage or direct injury but can in some way be shown to be a result of the professional’s negligence.

Don’t Take Chances

You do your best to provide sound advice and ensure that everything you do and offers to your clients is as accurate and helpful as possible, but everyone makes mistakes. And even when you didn’t make a mistake, all it takes is someone unhappy with the outcome to turn on you and put the blame at your feet. These lawsuits can cost professionals incredible money, even if you win. Paying out on such a lawsuit can easily bankrupt even the most well-off professional.

Professional liability insurance allows you to defend your good name in court against accusations and payout on settlements when you are found to be negligent. Without it, you could find yourself not only out a lot of money, but your reputation could be on the line because you cannot fight an unfounded lawsuit. Don’t take chances; protect everything you have worked so hard for with the right professional liability policy for your industry.

Your insurance agent can help you ensure you have the coverage you need for complete peace of mind.

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Product Liability Insurance, Do You Have Enough Coverage?

You know that if you manufacture any product, you must carry a particular type of liability insurancerisk called product liability. This is designed to protect you from any claims against your company based on injuries or damage your product might cause to the public. Every company owner has seen the type of lawsuit that product liability protects against, but most believe it is unlikely to happen to them. This could be true, but wouldn’t you be prepared if it did happen to you?

Don’t Take A Chance

Do you believe your product is safe; of course you do. You have gone through all the necessary procedures to make sure it is. So while you acknowledge that you should have product liability, you probably think minimal coverage should be acceptable. This thinking is prevalent in products not seen as potentially dangerous. After all, you don’t make chainsaws. You make stuffed toys!

While it is true that the type of product you make can determine how likely it is that you will one day be facing a lawsuit, this shouldn’t be the deciding factor in how much coverage to carry. When you take out a lower policy based on your belief that you are not in a high-risk category, you are taking a chance that is not worth taking.

How Much Coverage Do You Need?

The answer to this is straightforward. As with any liability policy, removing as much as possible is the best action. If you make a product that isn’t considered high-risk, your premiums should be quite affordable. And if you make a product with potential dangers, you need to pay that premium no matter how high because a lawsuit will cost much more.

Liability insurance is one of those coverage options where the people who claim they can’t afford it are the ones who need it most. Paying for the insurance now is much better than paying for a settlement later. Sit down with your insurance agent and find out how much coverage you have for product liability and how high you can go.

Product liability is an area of insurance constantly growing as recalls are increasingly common and lawsuits even more expensive. No matter what your product is, this is not an area of your insurance that you should not cut back on.

Call us today to Discuss.

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Workers Comp Insurance Do I Need It For My Business?

Whatever industry you are in, injuries at work can happen. If one of your employees is hurt on the job, youworkcomp can be held responsible for the medical bills. Workers comp insurance provides a safety net for both you and your employees, ensuring that if an injury should occur, neither of you will have to bear the financial burden.

How it works

Workers’ comp insurance is designed to provide financial assistance to employees who are injured in the course of their work. Every business should have it, even though you may believe your employees are not at a high risk of injury. The injury doesn’t have to be the kind of workplace mishap we commonly think of, such as being injured by manufacturing machinery or in dangerous jobs. If a wet spot on your office break room floor and one of your employees slips on it, that too can be a workers’ comp claim. Any injury at your business during business hours, no matter what or how it happened, is a matter for workers’ comp.

Carrying workers’ comp insurance protects you from having to personally pay out for medical bills and lost wages when an employee is injured on your premises. Whether or not you feel the injury is your fault or that your company is responsible, the fact is that if it happened to an employee who is there to work for you, you could be the responsible party. Failure to carry workers’ comp means you could face a lawsuit and pay out of pocket on the claim.

Protect Yourself, Protect Your Employees

Carrying workers’ comp not only protects you, but it also protects your employees. They will not have to deal with the financial burden of missing work and paying medical bills due to an injury. And they will feel confident working for you, knowing that if something happens, they will be taken care of.

In many cases, carrying workers’ comp is not merely a good idea. It is the law. Ensure you have a policy in compliance with all the regulations for your state and industry. You could face a serious lawsuit if you do not. Innovative businesses know that taking care of their employees makes good sense. Protect yourself and protect the people who work for you with workers’ comp!


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Employment Practices Liability Coverage

It is so common today that all businesses are at risk. That is why Employment Practice Liability Coverage is so ManWomen314x210 (1)essential.  You have probably experienced firsthand or heard about a situation where an employee has filed a lawsuit against a company for unfair employment practices.

The laws to protect employees are in place for a reason; so is employment practices liability. This policy can protect you from a significant expense should you become the target of a lawsuit for discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, or other employment-related issues.

Many employers believe they do not need this sort of coverage because they treat employees fairly, never discriminate, and avoid inappropriate workplace actions. Unfortunately, this does not protect you from a lawsuit. No matter how hard you try to keep your company a fair place where employees feel they are treated right, mistakes can be made. All it takes is a misunderstanding to put your company at risk. Worse, although none of us like to think about it, the fact is that sometimes unhappy people file completely unfounded lawsuits against their employers.

Whether or not you feel a lawsuit is founded, you must defend yourself if it occurs. And the odds that it will happen at some point are not in your favor. No matter how hard you work to avoid it, people cannot be controlled, and if you do face a lawsuit, you will be glad to have financial protection for yourself and your company.

An employment practices liability policy is designed to cover you when a lawsuit related to employment occurs. Anyone who has employees-no matter how many employees-needs, such a policy. Without it, you leave yourself and your company vulnerable to an expensive lawsuit that could seriously hurt you even if you win in court.

Choosing not to carry this essential coverage is like saying you don’t need auto insurance because you don’t plan to be in a car accident. No one expects to be in a car accident, just as no one expects to be sued. But if and when that day does come, having the right insurance can make all the difference. You can help your company to defend against an unfounded suit or to deal with the fallout of a mistake that leads to a loss in court.

It is the reality of running a business that you take on some risk in hiring employees. Insurance protects you from the many situations you can’t predict, and employment practices insurance is necessary. Contact us today for more information.


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Workers Comp and the legalities of not having it.

Carrying a good workers comp policy is a smart choice for your business. An injury to an employee on yourLakeland Commercial Auto Insurance premises can hurt both of you financially if you fail to carry the right coverage. Your employee will miss work and struggle to pay medical bills. You will be on the hook for those bills and could face a lawsuit from the employee. But that’s not the only legal trouble you could be facing.

Worker’s Comp And The Law

In many cases, it is not just recommended that you carry a workers’ comp policy; it is actually required by law. In order to protect employees from the life altering possibility of an injury on the job, many states require that businesses carry a certain level of workers’ comp coverage. Should you fail to comply with this requirement, you may find yourself in a wide variety of legal troubles.

First of all, if workers’ comp is a legal requirement, you will probably be required to present proof of your policy to your state licensing board for your license to do business. Failure to do so can result in the revocation or non-renewal of your license.

Lawsuits From Injured Employees

If you fail to carry workers’ comp and an employee is injured on your premises, you will very likely find yourself in court facing a lawsuit. You could be forced to cover all of the medical bills and missed wages for that employee out of your own pocket. Furthermore, the judge will not look kindly on you for failing to follow the law regarding your workers’ comp policy. You could face penalties that are far more expensive than simply paying for the policy in the first place.

Workers’ comp is one of those insurance policies that are simply a must for any responsible business. The fact that it is required by law is only one side of the coin; you are responsible for what happens to your employees when they are in your place of business and on the clock. Providing an insurance policy for potential injuries protects them, and it also protects you. Be certain that you are meeting all of the legal requirements to do business in your state by discussing your workers’ comp coverage with your insurance agent and checking regularly to ensure everything is up to date.

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Do You Need A Commercial Auto Insurance Policy?

commerical autoIf you run a business that requires the use of vehicles for company activities, you need a commercial auto insurance policy. Commercial insurance policies are designed to protect you against the wide variety of liability issues you face when you have employees on the road using your vehicles.


What Happens Without a Commercial Auto Policy?


Without a commercial auto policy, you and your company will be held accountable for property damage and injuries if an accident occurs. Only a commercial policy can protect you and your business from financial disaster.


How Many Cars/Trucks Do You Need For a Commercial Auto Policy?


Whether your company has one car or a hundred delivery vans, there is a commercial policy that will suit your needs. You can obtain individual commercial policies for each vehicle the company uses or choose a fleet policy if you have more than a few cars.


You have other insurance policies to protect your company from liability, fire, theft, and other potentially ruinous events. Commercial auto is the policy that will protect your company when you or your employees are on the road.


Don Westerfeld 11/13/2014 2:47:00 PM

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Is Your Business Property Covered?

business propertyTake a minute right now to look around your office. What do you see? Most likely, you see furniture, a computer, a printer and other electronics, and all kinds of office equipment-all items that cost quite a bit. Now think about the rest of your business property outside your office door.


All of the furniture and equipment used by your employees, whether in an office or a manufacturing setting-how much is it, all worth? Add it all up to get a rough estimate of what it might cost to replace it, and you will know how vital property insurance is for your business.


Do You Have Enough Coverage?


You might think you have enough coverage; some might even be included with another commercial policy you hold. But is it enough? Remember that you must replace everything at today’s prices if you lose everything. And you will have to replace it all at once; if you want to get back to business quickly, you can’t take the same amount of time you did when building your company from the ground up. Your customers have expectations, and you can’t risk losing them while trying to figure out how to buy all the necessary equipment.

A good business property policy will provide enough coverage to ensure you can return to business in as little as possible after a loss. It will also pay the replacement value of everything your business needs and not a depreciated value. Don’t forget this important detail when purchasing this coverage!


The More, The Better


A good rule of thumb when choosing coverage is always to carry more than you think you need. You never really know how much is required until you have to use it; many people discover too late that they don’t have the coverage they need. Once a loss has occurred, there is nothing you can do. Plan by adding extra coverage; the more coverage you have, the better off you are.

It is easy to forget about the many small things you use daily as a part of your business, which add up quickly when you have to replace them. Underestimating what it would take to replace everything is a common pitfall; don’t risk it. By carrying more coverage than you think you need, you can get back on your feet more quickly after a loss and get right back to business.

Don 10/20/2014 11:44:00 AM

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