The Top 3 Most Underrated Insurance Policies

“Never risk more than you’re prepared to lose,” as written in Insurance for Dummies. When getting insurance for your property, you want to cover your bases. So, insurance policies are bought primarily in five areas: health, home, lawsuits, disability, and life. There are other forms of insurance which many would disregard as excessive and unnecessary, but extra coverage may become very helpful in securing your future finances. There are policies that may be valuable based on what you do and where you live. Here are three insurance policies that have more value than you think.

Backup Of Sewer And Drain Coverage

Here, this policy covers any damage coming from the backup of the local sewer system and drainage. Flooding for heavy rainfall during a power outage can get into your home and cause physical wreckage to private property. Coverage for a drain backup is highly recommended if the home is connected closely to the public sewage system and has a basement right by. The need is higher if the area is notably wet with a lot of annual rainfall. Coverage for sewer and drain backup is inexpensive and can be useful for events that can happen overnight suddenly.

Business At Home Coverage

This coverage protects all home office furniture and supplies used for business at home, per its name. Thus, it may be a good idea for anyone who works at home with pricey equipment inside to get a policy to cover things at worth $1,500. Most home insurance policies cover property that is not used mainly for business; others won’t cover any business-related property at the home at all. The cost for this coverage varies in large part on what business is taking place and the value of property related. Coverage can be from $75 per year towards $300.

Car Loan/Lease Coverage 

The value of a new car drops $3000 once it is driven off the lot. In the event of an accident not long after the car’s purchase, the auto insurance policy will only reimburse the amount depreciated and owners are still responsible for the full amount of the loan/lease. For those who buy or lease a new car, this coverage is very helpful. This policy is usually offered by the car dealer, but drivers can save money by purchasing it from the same auto insurance agency. It isn’t worth it to others if the car is used with not much economic value.

Insurance is there to protect you when the unexpected happens. Entire life savings can be wiped out with just one moment and insurance is there to prevent a fiscal disaster. So, you get the basics, but there are other extensions worth considering. Some of the more underrated policies is worth a lot to these specific properties and should not be ignored because it sounds wasteful and redundant.

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Which Insurance Covers Your Roof?

A house is a major investment for most people as a great deal of time and money is spent on making it into a home. However, houses and other properties can also be destroyed in a matter of minutes by disastrous weather events or unfortunate accidents. This is where insurance comes into play.  Homeowner insurance could be very helpful in any of these situations as it covers most of the damages. However, when this damage is on the roof, there are some conditions that homeowners need to take into account to know if the damage is covered by the insurance or not.

What is roofing insurance?

Roofing insurance is a component of homeowners insurance. It is the insurance that accounts for those instances where major restoration or complete replacement is to be done on the roof after it has been damaged. This insurance covers roof damages caused by “acts of God” or harsh weather like tornadoes and hurricanes; conditions outside the homeowner’s control like vandalism or a fire outbreak; as well as other damages that had been caused by typical weather occurrence or other unavoidable events like wind, hail and rain.  However, in cases where the roof damage stems from an unnecessary or avoidable event, the roof insurance might not cover the damage.

Instances when roof damage isn’t covered by homeowners insurance

Here are some instances where your roof damage wouldn’t be covered by your homeowners insurance.

  • Roofs that are over 20 years old. These roofs are considered to be way past their life expectancy, and insurance companies may reimburse only a fraction of the repair/replacement costs, or they may not cover any cost at all.
  • Roofs that are improperly maintained or neglected.
  • Roofs that are constructed from costly roofing materials like recycled shake shingles or slate.
  • Roofs built with roofing materials of more than two layers.
  • The geographic location of the house (not in all cases)

When you may need to replace your roof

The National Roofing Contractors Association has urged homeowners to perform routine roof inspections at least biannually and regularly after a major weather occurrence. Some of the signs to look out for that may signal when damage is imminent are:

  • Weakened or missing shingles.
  • Overflowing or loaded gutters, and the presence of granules in roof shingles.
  • Cracked paints, peeling wallpaper, attic insulation becoming damp, or discolored
  • Clogged roof ventilation which could cause shingles to buckle and make insulation become weakened.

Filling a roof insurance claim

In cases where there is roof damage, homeowners can file for a roof insurance claim by contacting their insurance company to have them inspect the roof for proof of damage. After which an estimate will be provided.

Homeowners can make this process a lot easier and quicker by providing as many documents and evidence of the home insurance policy, repair work receipts, previous home inspection reports and photo of damages before-and-after repairs.

The wholeness and safety of every house is dependent on the strength of its roof. And trivial roof damage if left unchecked can culminate into major issues that will cost time and money to fix. All homeowners are advised to take the necessary steps and precautions to make them eligible to file for a roofing insurance claim in cases of unavoidable roof damages.

Yes, Your Business Does Need Cyber Insurance

Technology and the Internet have tremendously influenced how most organizations do business today. Unfortunately, along with these technological advancements are cyber crimes which have put businesses into higher risks for security and data losses. This is where cyber insurance plays a key role — to protect businesses from severe financial loss in the event of a cyber attack.

Cyber Insurance ‒ What It Is Exactly

Cyber attacks have become all too common today. Many organizations suffer from moderate to severe losses resulting from a data breach. Cyber insurances are specifically designed to mitigate the financial risks involved from the consequential costs of cyber attacks including the offset costs needed for recovery. Today, there are already different types of cyber insurance policies and cover any of the following:

  • Losses from threats of cyber extortions
  • Identity recovery protection
  • Data compromise and monitoring protection
  • Notification costs which refer to the costs needed to inform the parties potentially affected by the data breach
  • Damage to your organization’s reputation

7 Important Reasons Why Your Business Should Have Cyber Insurance 

In some cases, cyber attacks can cause a halt in production and affect an organization’s productivity and ultimately profitability. But that doesn’t end there. Often, data breaches can do more harm in terms of damaging an organization’s reputation and putting their employees and customers’ sensitive information at risk.

The following are seven of the top reasons why an organization needs cyber insurance coverage:

  1. Cyber crimes are real, and they are rapidly growing today putting both small and large organizations at risk at an increasing rate.
  2. Every organization that uses internet connection has a network and possesses sensitive information including account numbers, credit card information, contact numbers, Social security numbers, driver’s licenses, and many others which are at risk of cyber attacks.
  3. Your organization will be held legally and financially liable should a third party data be compromised by a data breach.
  4. Security breaches are costly and could seriously compromise your business’s financial viability. The costs associated with a data breach can be unpredictable; cyber insurance policies can help offset these costs.
  5. Cyber insurance offers the next level of protection to your business and promotes your business sustainability from the crippling costs associated with cyber crimes.
  6. Cyber liability insurance is a smart risk management and offers the much–needed protection should a cyber incident occur.
  7. General liability insurance typically only covers property damage, but cyber insurances cover first party and third party damages and claims caused by cyber attacks.

Setting the Path Towards Becoming a Cyber Resilient Business

You might think that cybersecurity would be the last thing your small or medium scale business should be concerned about because cyber thieves are only after large enterprises, then it’s time you think again.

Remarkably, even small businesses are susceptible to data and security breaches. That said, every organization regardless of size or industry should take action to protect themselves from the crippling financial losses in the event of a cyber attack.

The next cybercrime could be targeting your business, so protect your business today by purchasing a cyber insurance policy.

Cybersecurity Insurance FAQ

In the digital age, data is worth more than gold. News of a breach in security and the leaking of customers’ private and confidential information can bring down the value of stocks (just think of what happened to Facebook!). Companies can also lose valuable business information, while e-commerce companies will have to shut down websites and lose their profit until the security breach is resolved.

That’s why cybersecurity insurance (sometimes called data-breach liability insurance) has become so critical to businesses today. It’s one of the newest types of insurance coverage, so a lot of people struggle to understand what it does and the kind of protection it offers. This simple guide to cybersecurity insurance can help.

What Is Cybersecurity Insurance?

This insurance policy provides coverage for instances when companies lose data because of a security lapse, cyber attack, or a problem with the network. Since these problems can impact revenue, and cost money to resolve, cybersecurity insurance coverage can help mitigate the financial loss.  

How do I know my company needs Cybersecurity Insurance?

While big commerce companies like Amazon or corporate giants like Facebook or Citibank obviously have cybersecurity insurance, even small or medium-sized companies can benefit from it. In fact, studies show that 7 out of 10 cyber attacks are actually directed at smaller organizations, which don’t have very high-tech security systems or internal IT departments that can resolve the issue quickly.

Smaller companies are not only more vulnerable to attacks but are more likely to be financially affected. The cost of investigating and fixing a cyber issue, or shutting down business until it’s resolved, has a huge impact on businesses that already have modest revenue margins. Cybersecurity insurance is a much-needed safety net.

What are the kinds of Cybersecurity insurance?

Insurance companies usually offer a combination of first party and third party cybersecurity insurance. First party coverage includes any data or software that was damaged or has even become irretrievable and any revenues that may have been lost because of the cyber attack. Third party coverage addresses the impact on employees, customers, and public relations.  

However,  it is difficult to put a concrete monetary value on “loss of reputation, brand equity or business opportunity”. That’s why it’s often not included in cybersecurity insurance, or must be quantified with several insurance riders. Most providers will have a list of scenarios that will be covered, and leave out gray areas like stolen product designs. After all, who would be able to know how valuable a yet-to-be-executed idea or strategy is?   

How do I get cybersecurity insurance?  

Many large insurance companies already offer this, so just ask your existing provider about the available plans. However, include your corporate lawyer and the person in charge of your digital assets to join you in the meeting and identify what level of cybersecurity insurance you need.  

It’s also important to compare quotes from different insurance providers since the cost of cybersecurity insurance varies wildly. Since it’s a new type of coverage, there’s no typical industry rate, and even the kinds of protection they offer can be quite different. Shop around to find the policy that best suits the needs of your business.

The Consequences of Not Properly Classifying Your Employees: The Differences Between 1099 and W-2 Classifications

There’s no denying the fact that some companies classify their employees incorrectly, often by listing them as freelance workers rather than regular full-time employees (meaning that they receive a 1099 rather than the W-2 form that most people are accustomed to receiving).

There are quite a few consequences to misclassifying employees, and some of them can be quite serious (both for you and your employees) so in order to better help you understand the ramifications of classifying your employees we’re going to discuss the differences between these two classifications and then go over some of the consequences for improper classifications.

Regular Employees versus Independent Contractors: What’s the difference?

Most improper classifications occur when ordinary employees (who work either full-time or part-time for a company) are classified as independent contractors rather than regular employees.

The primary difference between these two classifications comes down to payroll taxes. When you’re an ordinary employee, your payroll taxes are calculated and deducted automatically out of your regular paycheck (and this amount will later be shown on the W-2 you receive from your employer). When you’re an independent contractor, however, you receive a 1099 and are responsible for calculating your own payroll taxes and then keeping your state government apprised as to the specific amount.

In regards to determining who is an employee and who is an independent contractor, the primary question to ask is “who is this person working for?”.

If they are employed directly by your company (for example, if they report directly to someone for assignments, have a set schedule, tools for the work are provided by the company, and so on), then they are probably an employee. Alternatively, if they are someone the company has hired from the outside, such as a freelancer (who has other clients, works according to their own timetable and using their own methods, could turn down assignments or walk away entirely if they felt like it, and has no real boss other than themselves) then they are likely an independent contractor.

In any case, employee misclassification occurs when regular employees are classified are independent contractors or vice versa.

This is sometimes done accidentally, but also sometimes deliberately (generally in an attempt to save money on the company’s part but also for certain tax reasons). Either way, there can be serious consequences for both employee and employer when workers are not properly classified; we have some of these potential consequences listed up next.

Consequences of Not Classifying Employees Properly

There are quite a few serious consequences that can come from misclassifying employees, regardless of whether it happens accidentally or is done deliberately. Some of these potential consequences are as follows:

Your employee has not been paid correctly. Often, an employee who has been incorrectly classified does not receive the pay that they are due (a lack of compensation for overtime, in particular, is a common problem).

Taxes have not been reported correctly. When an employee is misclassified, it causes problems for the employee’s taxes (as well as for your company’s taxes where that employee is concerned).

Appropriate benefits have not been given to the employee. If an employee is misclassified as a contractor, they might miss out on retirement and health insurance benefits that they are entitled to. They might also end up exempt from OSHA safety measures that they should be protected by.

You will have to pay fee and fines for incorrect classifications. The government has very steep fines when it comes to incorrect employee classifications. In fact, according to various sources (including the IRS), an employer can end up paying over forty percent of a worker’s wages in the form of back taxes if they are misclassified. Furthermore, if this improper classification was done deliberately, the company may even face criminal charges.

Ultimately, it’s far preferable to take the time to classify your employees correctly from the start; this will save both your and the employee in question a lot of time and stress.   

Saving money is a vital concern for nearly everyone in these difficult times. Because of this, it is important that you find the best possible rate for your auto and homeowners insurance policy. Luckily, it is much easier to find a great rate for insurance now than ever before. Give Enloe & Associates Insurance Agency a call today (405-261-1010).

Different Types of Insurance

There are several types of insurance that you need to know about. It is important to get the right insurance to meet your needs. You should talk to a financial advisor or other professional about insurance. Here are the various types of insurance you benefit from having a clear understanding.

Life Insurance

When you get life insurance, you are providing the people that you leave behind when you pass away. This sort of insurance is critical if you are the person in the home that is making the money and paying the bills. Your insurance policy will help pay for funeral expenses, cover existing expenses, and it provides a cushion for your family so that they can recover after you have passed away. It is important to get insurance that will not only cover funeral expenses, but will cover other expenses such as regular living expenses, credit card, mortgage payments, child care, and other expenses. You can talk to an advisor about the different types of life insurance that would be well-suited for you.

Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners insurance will cover damages and losses to your home and assets within the home. Homeowners insurance also covers liability for accidents on the property or in the home. When you apply for a mortgage, the lender is going to want proof that you have insurance on your property. You usually get this from a bank or it can be purchased separately. It is important to know the various options of homeowners insurance before you sign up as policies can be different.

Health Insurance

It is also important to have health insurance as illness can be very expensive. You should try to get the best coverage possible. You may get health insurance through your work, but if you do not have it already, you should consider getting it as soon as possible, as it is a type of insurance that you want to have. You may find yourself bankrupt if you get sick and do not have insurance because you may be unable to pay your bills. If you cannot afford a robust policy, even a policy with minimal coverage can be beneficial. Other types of health insurance may include long-term disability coverage if you happen to have a long-term illness or disability that prevents you from working for a significant period of time.

Auto Insurance

In most places, you cannot drive a vehicle without having auto insurance. This not only protects you, but the other drivers on the road. If you do not have insurance, you will most likely be liable for an accident, and this may include paying for injuries of other parties. In some places, if you try to drive without insurance, you may have your license suspended or even taken away. Like homeowners insurance, auto insurance is there to protect you.

Summary

These are the basic types of insurance that you should know about. Talk to your financial advisor or another professional about the various options available to you for insurance. There are many different policies, so you want to get the best one that works for you.

The Danger that is Uninsured Motorists

No one is safe from car accidents. No matter how well one drives, they are just one driver out of millions in the United States, and the risk of getting into an accident remains. This is why minimum liability insurance is the bare minimum policy that is required by law in every state with most states requiring higher amounts of protection.

A frightening trend is that uninsured motorists are back on the rise in the US. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the newest set of data indicates that 13%, or just over one in eight, of drivers were uninsured in 2015. While also violating the law, these uninsured motorists put themselves and the drivers around them in financial danger by continuing to drive uninsured.

Dangers to Themselves

Uninsured motorists are putting themselves in the most danger. From a legal perspective, being caught driving uninsured has severe consequences that vary from state to state. These can include thousands of dollars in fines, having the driver’s license suspended or revoked, or jail time.

There is more than only legal danger for uninsured motorists. Driving without an insurance policy means that there is no financial protection from an insurance agency should the driver get into an car accident. An uninsured motorist can find themselves liable for thousands of dollars in repair costs for both vehicles if they are at fault in an accident with another vehicle.

Dangers to Other Motorists

Uninsured motorists are a danger to those around them. While uninsured motorists should be liable for accidents they cause, often it is insured drivers and their insurance companies that are left paying for repairs.The only real way to recoup expenses for the insured driver is to take the uninsured driver to court.

According to CBS, drivers in the US end up paying about $12 billion due to uninsured motorists per year, and this figure does not include legal fees of taking uninsured motorists to court. Uninsured motorists add $67 to a typical policyholder’s annual bill.

Conclusion

While uninsured motorists put themselves in potential severe legal and financial danger by driving without a policy, they are also a danger to insured motorists. While there are measures that can be taken such as uninsured/underinsured protection coverage, uninsured motorists pose a danger to those around them. No one is safe from an auto accident, and with 13% of US drivers being uninsured, insured motorists have a dangerous chance of getting into an accident with them. With the number of uninsured motorists back on the rise, it is unknown how much more financial damage will be caused in the coming years.