A Commercial Insurance Client recently asked me to quote a location change. The client only had Business Personal Property Insurance since she was a tenant.
I asked her for the address of the new location, the age of the building, the replacement year for the roof, whether the building has a sprinkler system, who the other tenants are, and a few other things.
She said I am not insuring the building; why do you need all this information?
I explained to her that even though we are not insuring the building, we need the extra information because the Insurance company will use that to classify the risk.
For example, if another tenant is a restaurant with a deep fryer, there is a higher chance of a fire. If the roof is old, it could leak and ruin her equipment. If there is a sprinkler, there may be less damage from a fire.
There are a lot of factors that go into determining rates from an insurance company. The more information you can provide, the better your chance of obtaining the correct coverage and not having any surprises at claim time.
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Retirement is one of the most important times in anyone’s life. Unfortunately, Social Security and Medicare are not always reliable sources of retirement income or healthcare coverage. Therefore, it’s important to create a retirement and healthcare safety net without relying on these programs. Here are some tips from D Winters Insurance Services to help you get started!
Reviewing Coverage Options
One way to supplement your retirement income is to purchase disability or long-term care insurance. These policies provide a regular stream of income during periods of illness or injury, as well as provide coverage for serious medical expenses that are not covered by traditional health insurance plans.
Investing in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investments can help you create the financial security you need for your retirement years. It’s important to do your research and invest wisely in order to ensure that your investments will generate a steady income for you during retirement.
House-flipping is another potentially lucrative investment you could consider. Basically, this involves thoroughly researching your local housing market, purchasing a fixer-upper, then selling it for more than you paid (even with repair and upgrade costs factored in). This requires some planning, though, so make sure you do your due diligence!
Opening a Health Savings Account (HSA)
Optum Bank explains that an HSA allows you to save money in pre-taxed dollars for medical expenses in the future. This is an excellent way to save money on medical expenses that may arise during retirement, such as prescription drugs or doctor visits.
Working with a qualified financial advisor can help you create an effective retirement plan tailored specifically to your needs and goals. A good money coach can help you make wise investments, manage your finances effectively, and set realistic goals for your future.
Find Ways To Save
As you approach retirement age, it’s important to start looking for ways to save money wherever possible. This could mean cutting back on unnecessary spending or finding ways to reduce monthly expenses such as groceries and utilities.
Postpone Social Security Benefits
In some cases, as the Journal of Accountancy points out, delaying when you begin collecting Social Security benefits can result in larger payments down the line when compared with starting early at age 62. Delaying until age 70 means that benefits will increase by 8% each year past the full retirement age.
Keep An Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is a crucial part of every retirement plan. It can provide added protection for sudden, unforeseen expenses such as home repairs, medical bills, or job loss. Without an emergency fund, it can be difficult to manage these sudden expenses without depleting your savings and putting yourself in a precarious financial position.
Staying healthy in retirement can help save money by reducing medical expenses and encouraging an active lifestyle. Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and staying social are all ways to stay mentally and physically healthy without spending a lot of money. Making time for relaxation activities such as yoga, reading, or journaling can also be beneficial for both your physical and mental health. Taking preventive measures such as getting regular checkups is an important part of maintaining good health and it can help save money in the long run.
Initiating A Startup
Starting a business in retirement is an appealing option for many people looking to supplement their incomes. However, the success of doing so will depend on a thoughtful business plan and marketing strategy. Consideration should also be given to capital outlay and the benefits of an LLC designation for business entities. With careful planning, many retirees have found that starting an LLC can provide additional sources of income and help maintain financial security throughout retirement.
Next, don’t forget about marketing! In addition to spreading the word via popular social media platforms, you can help expand your customer base by creating a brochure that reflects your company and provides a more tactile reminder of your services. You can hand these brochures out at meetings or leave them at places where people gather, like coffee shops and restaurants. When looking for a free online tool that allows you to design a brochure yourself, look for one that allows you to customize templates to fit your business.
Boost Skills Now to Save for the Future
Going back to school to increase income potential can seem like a daunting task, but online degree programs provide the opportunity and flexibility that make it easier than ever before. With the right online degree program, individuals can gain valuable skills and knowledge while juggling existing commitments.
Advancing one’s education in vocational and academic fields helps to open up new job opportunities and provides an avenue for increased earning potential. That extra income can then be put away for retirement, helping to ensure a secure financial future. Going back to school online is now achievable for working adults with busy lives, giving them the shot at achieving greater financial security.
Retirement isn't just about enjoying leisure activities; it's also about maintaining financial stability without having to rely on Social Security or Medicare alone. With proper planning, you can create a secure, comfortable future. By following these guidelines, including starting your own business, you'll be able to set yourself up for success in both health and wealth for this next stage in life!
CRASH AND FATALITY STATS ON THE RISE
According to the most recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) CrashStats Report, 42,939 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes on US roadways during 2021. This is the largest number of fatalities since 2005. It also represents a 10-percent increase from 39,007 fatalities in 2020, or 3,932 more people killed in traffic crashes in 2021. The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) increased by 2.2 percent and the estimated number of people injured on our roadways increased in 2021 to 2.50 million. While the total VMT increased in 2021 to 3,140 billion, it was similar to 2019. VMT in 2020 was lower at 2,904 billion due to pandemic related travel declines. Key findings From 2020 to 2021: • Fatalities and people injured increased in most categories. • Speeding-related fatalities increased by 7.9 percent, alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities increased by 14 percent, and seat belt non-use fatalities increased by 8.1 percent. • Urban fatalities increased by 14 percent; rural fatalities increased by 4.7 percent. • Female fatalities increased by 12 percent, and male fatalities increased by 9.2 percent. • Nighttime (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) fatalities increased by 11 percent; daytime (6 a.m. to 5:59 p.m.) traffic fatalities increased by 9.7 percent. • Cyclist (not motor) fatalities also reached a 46 year high at 966 • Forty-three States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico had increases in the number of fatalities.
You may have heard of the recent uptick in thefts of Kia and Hyundai models after a hack was published on Tik Tok demonstrating how to steal certain models. In response to the increase in thefts, both Hyundai and Kia have developed theft deterrent software and will provide it to vehicle owners at no cost.
If you own a KIA or Hyundai model years 2011-2021 with a twist to start ignition system, I urge you to contact Kia and/or Hyundai to install the available security updates as soon as possible.
Helpful Contact information:
Stay Safe out there.
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Whether your goal is to be financially independent, purchase a home, or start a business, money is required to fulfill all of these. Earning money through jobs or side hustles is just one part of the process, the other part is developing a healthy money mindset allowing you to make sound financial decisions and achieve your life goals. In this article by Catherine Workman, we’ll explore some practical ways to develop a positive money mindset and tips on increasing your earning capacity.
Understand and Overcome Negative Biases
Understanding the psychology of money is key to overcoming biases that negatively affect financial outcomes. This is because having more or less money than one desires can lead to a host of problems if not managed properly. Let’s dive deeper into some common biases you should understand and overcome:
Learn to Save More than You Spend
Regardless of what your financial goal is, learning how to save will play a major role in achieving it. Here are a few ways to save more starting today:
Increase Your Earning Capacity
Following the above-mentioned strategies will help you develop a positive money mindset as you’ll be able to cut through the noise and make sound financial decisions. A great addition to this learning will be working towards increasing your earning capacity in the following ways:
Now that you know about common negative biases and the best strategies to earn and manage money, it's time to put your knowledge to use. Creating a monthly budget will be a good first step which can be followed by planning to go back to school to make a career switching to a higher-paying industry.
Always dream of starting a business in your neighborhood? When you know what you're doing, it doesn’t need to be a challenge.
Establishing a business in your community allows you to not only give back to those around you but also establish yourself as a leader as you work to connect with local folks. A community leader can become a prominent figure, creating lifelong friendships and connections with other community leaders.
Discover how to set up your business, how to market your new business, and how to use SEO to reach hundreds of new customers in your area. D Winters Insurance Services shares some tried and tested methods.
Registering an LLC
Creating a Limited Liability Company could not be easier! Someone wishing to get started quickly without a lot of hassle can simply file “articles of organization” (also known as “certificate of organization”, or “certificate of formation” in other states) with the business division of their states. They can then simply pay the filing fees and be quickly approved.
Articles of organization can be as simple as one page to an entire document depending on how many people are applying to be a part of the LLC and what the LLC is for. Unlike other formats, a simplistic LLC can be applied for within under an hour.
Although the very essence of an LLC is limited liability, your business assets should be insured. So reach out to an experienced and knowledgeable agency like D Winters Insurance Services to get signed up for business insurance.
How to Market Your Business
As soon as you have an idea that will help your clients get what they want, you will need to find a way for them to find out about and purchase your products. Successful marketing helps connect you with the heart of your business, the consumer in your local community.
Investopedia explains that marketing allows your products or services to be discovered by customers. As you collect wealth, you'll be able to expand or improve the business as you see fit. Successful businesses aren't only market leaders in their fields, but also in their communities.
The easiest way to boost your marketing efforts is to design a great logo for your business, notes Wix. It makes a good first impression, makes you stand out from your competitors, and helps create repeat business through brand recognition.
If you don't want to spend a lot of money on a designer, you can create your own logo using affordable software. These programs allow you to pick the style, icon, color scheme, and text you want to put on the logo.
Don’t Neglect SEO
Credibility is one of the most important components of having a successful business. A website or business that performs well on Google and other search engines is more likely to be chosen and is also considered more reliable.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can increase your standing through the search algorithm. You might even discover opportunities that you did not know you had. The customers and companies that visit your website will seek out your products, information, and possibly even collaborate with you. The more interaction you have, the higher your website will rank. Using SEO can create traffic that will help you grow your business. To start, work with reputable local SEO services to craft a solid campaign for your business.
Beef Up Your Skill Set
If you still have reservations about launching your business right now, another way you can move your entrepreneurial dreams forward is by going back to school for a master's degree such as an MBA. Fortunately, online degree programs make it easy to achieve your diploma while still working full-time or tending to family obligations. When looking for an online school, ensure it's accredited and that it offers competitive tuition rates.
The process of launching a local business can be immensely rewarding, but there are a few things to keep in mind. By starting an LLC, focusing on marketing, and using SEO, you’ll set yourself up for success. So, what are you waiting for?
D Winters Insurance Services is able to present you with a range of options in a no-pressure environment that ensures you get precisely the coverage you need at a price your budget can support. Contact us today for more info! (612) 325-3516 or (612) 430-9170
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Forbes is expecting a wedding boom in 2022. They cite a new survey from The Knot that estimates 2.6 million weddings this year alone. Getting engaged is a beautiful moment for a couple which is sure to be the source of many stories in their future. It also triggers an essential conversation between you and your agent to ensure you're appropriately covered as you are prepared to say "I do."
Lately, I have been asked about Personal Umbrellas and who needs one.
Personal Umbrellas will help protect you from the rare but expensive claim which exceeds your liability limits.
Umbrellas are for everyone.
All of you need this policy — even if (and especially if) they're not millionaires. Do they drive? Have kids? A dog? Own rental properties? A loss can happen to anyone at any stage of their life. I bought my first Umbrella Policy when I was in my 30's, and one of my dad's friends asked why? "you don't have $1m in assets to protect.
I replied I was protecting my future income. He replied, Didn't think of that, smart move.
An umbrella pays for medical and legal expenses beyond homeowners/renters and auto.
An umbrella sits on top of homeowners/renters and/or auto policies, adding an extra layer of coverage above and beyond those limits. Insureds may not know their current policies may not be enough when a loss occurs. Even with limits of $250,000/ $500,000, you may exhaust your limit. How much does an air ambulance ride to the hospital cost?
When a covered loss occurs, the Umbrella kicks in to protect assets and pay expenses.
An accident can wreak financial havoc quickly – how high will a judgment go? Anything above their homeowners/renters and/or auto policies limits will come out of their pocket. And a full 75% of folks recently surveyed said they didn't know an umbrella can protect them from financial loss, but it sure can!
The critical part of the Umbrella that some people often miss is to add Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage to the Umbrella. This protects you if the at-fault party has lower limits. Your Umbrella will pay you if you need it.
Send your questions to davidwinters@Mnipn.com
One of the most common types of personal lawsuits involves defective products--and the number of cases filed continues to grow.
In September 2021, the number of civil lawsuits filed in federal court ticked upward to more than 32,000, the highest number since December 2020, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRACs), a data gathering, data research and distribution organization at Syracuse University. This number was driven largely by the number of personal injury product liability cases, TRACs said.
But why would a small business or a home-based business need product liability or product recall insurance?
“Small business doesn't mean small exposure," says Darryl Holmes, vice president, corporate underwriting, Selective Insurance. “A lot of people look at a small business and compare them to larger businesses but do not understand the level of exposure. Every business producing a product needs product liability, even small businesses."
Half a million new businesses started in January 2021 alone, according to Salesforce.com. The majority of these new small businesses were business-to-consumer (B2C) endeavors selling everything from physical products, such as retail goods, face masks, and Etsy-style crafts and clothing, to software apps and in-person and remote services.
When it comes to “home-based businesses, the discussion becomes even more complex because a lot of them may be going bare—they may not have any product liability insurance," Holmes says. “For agents, it is really important to try to educate a startup business about the importance of product liability, about the importance of having the right literature that provides labels and warnings and how to use the product because small businesses are extremely vulnerable."
Despite the hard work and the good intentions that small businesses put in to manufacturing high-quality products, there is always the chance that products could fail to work properly and cause harm to a consumer.
Additionally, if an insured is buying product liability coverage, they should be buying product recall coverage as well—“the two go hand in hand," says Alex Marti, product recall focus group leader - U.S., Beazley.
“The product liability is going to pick up the bodily injury and property damages a product causes, while a recall policy is also going to pick up an insured's financial loss from having to remove a product from the stream of commerce, which is a costly endeavor," Marti says. “Without a recall policy they are going to be on the hook for those costs on their own."
The impact of social media influencers can be hugely beneficial for a small business operating on tight margins. However, “if they have a relationship with the business and it's contractual, then that is a bigger issue than if they're just trying to influence on their own," Holmes says. “If an influencer is connected with the company, there's some vulnerability in terms of the representation. That's a verbal representation that someone can actually use against them."
“One of the craziest things about product liability is a business has to anticipate how someone might misuse the product," Holmes continues. “As a product manufacturer, you have to anticipate, for example, that a detergent pod could be an attraction to children—it makes the product liability space very complex for business owners, insurers and for manufacturers as a result."
Of course, when it comes to growth, an influencer can have a positive or negative impact on a business, bringing with it additional considerations for business owners. “If an insured looks like they could scale very quickly, they could see a very large additional premium charge at the time of audit," says TJ Collins, senior vice president, Amwins Brokerage of the Midwest. “I would suggest agents address this while negotiating terms with carriers, asking for free growth and tiered rating structures to help soften the blow of large growth."
Selling a defective product can cause big trouble for businesses, whether big or small.
credit to: Olivia Overman is IA content editor.