Top Six Ways of Reducing Small Business Insurance Premiums

Here are the top six ways to reduce your premium while still ensuring quality coverage.

1. Thorough Background Checks on Workers

The key to lowering premiums is to reduce the number of liability claims against your business. One of the steps to limit claims is to do a thorough background check before hiring employees because workers with past criminal records may increase the risks of liability claims against your business.

2. Bundled Policy for Multiple Coverages

There are various types of insurance coverage for businesses. The most cost-effective way to purchase coverage is by bundling all your purchases into a single package like the business owner policy (BOP). A bundled policy can reduce the premium rate by purchasing coverage from a single agent rather than individual policies from multiple insurance companies. You may enjoy even more discounts by bundling personal and business coverages all into one policy.

3. Employ Adequate Safety Measures

Imputing top-notch security and safety measures like fire alarms and extinguishers in your business may reduce the risk of damages and, as a result, help lower your premiums. Emergency measures and preparations for natural disasters may significantly reduce the premiums that a business has to pay compared to its contemporaries.

4. Maintain Good Credit

Insurance companies will consider your business’s credit history before deciding on a quote. Building and maintaining a good credit score will lead to higher insurance limits and reduced premiums. An excellent credit rating for your small business is even more important when you have a low personal credit score.

5. Stick With the Essentials

Insurance agents may try to sell their products by convincing you that you need multiple coverages for maximum protection. While having extra coverage is not bad, it does lead to an increase in your premiums. It is essential to avoid unnecessary coverage if you aren’t willing to deal with higher premiums. There are some coverages with similar or overlapping benefits, which may amount to waste if more than one policy is purchased. It is advisable to study what each policy entails to have a clear understanding of the ideal coverages for your business.

General liability, auto and property insurance rank in the top spots for necessary coverages for any small business.

6. Compare prices

Being a savvy shopper is important when looking to purchase insurance. Be sure to explore multiple insurance companies to compare prices before deciding on your business’ best offer.  Contact the experts at James Page Insurance today. We have access to dozens of insurance companies.  We look forward to helping you with all your coverage needs.

Who Qualifies for a Business Owners’ Insurance Policy

Businesses of all shapes and sizes have the right to purchase insurance to protect their investment and keep their livelihood on track. All types of businesses have some degree of liability. Many have a large number of assets and employees to consider, as well. Having a business owner’s insurance policy is the best way to prevent financial loss that would accompany an accident. Liability, theft, health, and workers’ compensation are all forms of insurance a company may require.

Any Size Company

No matter how big or small a company is there is a risk of liability that should not be ignored. General liability, product liability, and defective workmanship are all forms of liability that can hurt your business. Even if you only have a handful of employees, provide them with sufficient workers’ compensation and health benefits. This will ensure that your company doesn’t have to pay medical bills out of pocket for injuries related to an employee’s duties. Health insurance policies for employees and their families are also a must for many companies.

Sole Proprietor or Large Corporations

A sole proprietor of a business or a team of management members must all consider the impact of not having a valid commercial insurance policy in place. It is extremely important to have a business owner’s policy if you plan on maintaining your success. At some point in your career span, your company may be forced to file a claim. Having a sufficient amount of insurance in place is the best way to ensure that your company’s assets are protected and that your employees have what they need to feel secure. A sole proprietor and a large corporation both face similar liability and asset protection risks.

Self-Employed or Independent Contractors

Self-employed business owners or independent contractors should also consider purchasing a business owner’s policy. Even if they don’t have a large number of assets, they may be at risk for certain types of liability. If you are unsure what type of insurance an independent contractor may need, call your insurance agent. They will be able to work with you so that you know what types of insurance are available for you and your business. Understanding what types of business owners policy coverage your company may need is half the battle won.

Business owners insurance can be a lifesaver if an accident occurs. James Page Insurance agents have the answers you need if you are opening a business or are looking for a new business owner’s insurance policy. Don’t wait until an accident happens to find out that you are not adequately covered. Call an agent today and find out how we can help your business get ahead.

5 Hidden Costs of Renting an Apartment

If you are moving into a new apartment in another city or state, you would be worried about the utility bills, moving expenses, and, more importantly, the rent. When it comes to apartment renting, hidden costs often land tenants in trouble. Here is what you should know.

1. Renters Insurance

Your landlord’s insurance does not cover every accident or incident that occurs in the apartment while you are a tenant. Some homeowners make it mandatory to opt for renters insurance before you move in. The exact cost depends on the neighborhood, but it ranges from $15-30 a month on average.

2. Security Deposit

Landlords usually charge a fixed rate or some multiple of the rent as a security deposit before you move in, so account for this expense when you plan the cost of apartment renting. The purpose of such a deposit is to protect the landlords against unreliable tenants who default on payments. Deposits are usually refunded at the end of your stay if you return the house without any damage.

3. Trash Cleaning Service

In most places, valet trash services are provided to the entire community, and each resident has to pay their share. Since the price varies based on your location, it’s advisable to ask your landlord for the exact rates.

4. Cable and Internet

Today, everyone needs access to the internet and television. Some generous landlords could throw in a free Wi-Fi pack or cable connection as well, but otherwise, these are additional expenses.

5. Water and Electricity

Based on how much water you use, communities charge you a monthly bill for water and sewage services. Electricity charges for household appliances, heaters, and air conditioners are separate. If you feel smart thermostats or CFL bulbs will cut costs, ask your landlord if they can pay for the new devices.

These are some of the hidden costs of renting an apartment. If you are looking for a new house, make sure you have the right homeowners or renters insurance in place. If you have any questions regarding your home coverage needs, contact the experts at James Page Insurance today.

All You Need to Know About Freelancer Commercial Insurance

Freelancing is becoming increasingly common across the United States—about 35% of the American workforce belongs to freelancers. A full-time freelancer is, in effect, a small business owner and susceptible to the same risks as any enterprise would be. So, a freelancer also needs business insurance.

Why Do Freelancers Need Insurance?

You can get commercial insurance to protect yourself in the following scenarios:

  • Financial losses due to ill health
  • Errors or omissions that cause clients financial loss
  • Damage from natural disasters such as a fire or flood
  • Cybercrimes like hacking, phishing, and data theft

Sometimes, your clients may insist on a liability insurance policy in place for your freelancing business.

What Insurance Do Freelancers Need?

If you’re looking to buy insurance for your freelancer job, consider the following options.

General Liability Insurance

This type of commercial insurance for freelancers will cover you if someone gets injured on your premises and sues you. It also includes libel and copyright infringement.

Professional Liability Insurance

The other name for this insurance is “errors and omissions.” It will cover your legal expenses if a client claims that they suffered financial loss due to your negligence.

Cyber Liability Insurance

This type of commercial insurance for freelancers covers the expenses incurred due to data breaches or theft of the client’s sensitive information and associated legal fees.

Property Insurance

A property insurance policy covers the loss of any property or equipment you own that is part of your freelancing business through events like fire and theft.

Commercial Auto Insurance

If you use your personal vehicle to visit clients, it may not be covered for business purposes. Hence, commercial auto insurance can keep you covered.

Health and Disability Insurance

Since you don’t have an employer to take care of your health benefits, you need to make your own arrangements. A suitable health and disability plan will cover you at times of ill health or in case of disability.

These are the different types of commercial insurance for freelancers. As a freelancer, you are liable for insurance and should get the best policy for your needs. If you have any additional questions about business insurance, contact the experts at James Page Insurance today.

How to Secure Your Business During the COVID- 19 Outbreak

The spread of COVID- 19 has forced many businesses to temporarily shut down or have their employees work from home. Such prevention measures are unavoidable to make sure everyone is safe. However, most people are concerned about the safety of their businesses.

Here are some crime prevention tips for businesses during the COVID- 19 outbreak:

Alarms and Security Cameras

Installing an alarm monitoring system makes your workplace more secure. Make sure your alarms function well, and the emergency contact list is updated.

Security cameras play a vital role in the overall security of your workplace. Install a surveillance camera that can be accessed remotely and records the activities of a particular area.

Lighting and Business Sign

Make sure both exterior and interior lights are switched on, especially around the premises. Don’t forget to replace the faulty bulbs with the new ones.

A handy small business crime prevention tip is displaying signboards outside your company. For example, you can use “24 hour surveillance” or “No cash on-premise” signs.

Secure Costly Items

Store your valuable and expensive items safely. Take them home or keep them away from access. You can close the windows to keep all your essential objects out of sight and safe.

Get Ideas from Near-by Businesses

Don’t keep rocks or any other heavy objects near the premises that intruders can use to break windows. Also, talk to your neighboring businesses to learn how they are protecting their costly items and ensuring their business security. You can get some ideas from them or help them with your own ideas.

These are some of the crime prevention tips that you can follow for your business. Apart from following these tips, buying commercial insurance can be an added advantage to secure your business. To learn more about business insurance, contact the experts at James Page Insurance today.

How CARES Act Loans Will Save Small Businesses

The COVID- 19 outbreak has affected the global economy, especially small businesses like never before. The federal government has enacted CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) to help small enterprises survive the pandemic.

Here is what you need to know about CARES Act loans for small businesses:

Types of Loans

There are currently two types of loans available: Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Loans (PPP). EIDL offers up to $2 million, whereas PPP offers up to $10 million. You can apply for both loans, but you cannot use them for the same purpose.

Small businesses, non-profits, and veterans can qualify for the loan, irrespective of their location.

Forgiveness Amount

After your loan is approved, you need to track your expenses for eight weeks and document them to the lender.

They will forgive the portion of the loan used for expenses after reviewing your documents. This portion becomes a grant that you do not need to repay. The interest rate for the remaining loan is 1% for a two-year term. There is a 6-month moratorium on the first payment and no prepayment penalty.

If you have requested a $10,000 grant in EIDL, the amount will be subtracted from the forgiveness amount.

Minimum Requirements for Maximum Relief

The SBA is trying to provide support to as many small businesses across the country as possible. The SBA will be lenient even if you do not have a good credit score. Also, you don’t need a personal guaranty or property to secure a CARES ACT loan.

An initiative by the government to help small businesses, CARES ACT loans will help you survive during the pandemic. Having the right commercial coverage is another way to keep your business safe. For assistance with all your business insurance needs, contact the experts at James Page Insurance today.

Precautions to Prevent Common Business Insurance Claims

Tips to protect your business against common insurance claims.

As a business owner, you want to protect your company from all the risks that it faces.  This is why it’s so important to have the right commercial insurance protection to fall back on.  That being said, most business owners would rather not access their insurance if they don’t have to.  If you want to avoid some of the most common types of business insurance claim events, then here are some of the precautions you should take.

Burglary and Theft

  • Install a security system– Installing burglar alarms and surveillance cameras and publicizing these security measures will reduce the chances of your business being targeted for theft.
  • Illuminate your business– Burglars prefer to work under the cover of darkness. By installing bright lights outside of your business, you can deter all but the boldest thieves.
  • Encourage anonymous reporting– Oftentimes, businesses are robbed by their own employees. By encouraging staff members to keep an eye out for suspicious behavior and setting up a system for anonymous reporting, you can catch and fire employees who are defrauding your company.

Slip- and- Fall Injuries

  • Clear walkways– To reduce the chances of employees or customers tripping and injuring themselves while on your business’s property, you should make sure that hallways and walkways are clear of clutter and other tripping hazards.
  • Install proper lighting– Dim lighting can cause an employee or customer to miss a fall risk. Installing bright lights throughout your business’s property can help you avoid this risk.
  • Clean up spills and fix leaks– If you have a leaky faucet or if there is a spill in a common area, then make sure you address these issues right away. This will ensure that employees and customers don’t slip and injure themselves.

Employment Practices Liability Issues

  • Train supervisors and managers– Everyone in a supervisory or management position should receive training on how to treat the employees working under them. This training should include appropriate modes of communication, how to handle employee complaints, and how to respectfully conduct themselves in a professional setting.
  • Plan for interviews– Before interviewing a potential candidate, you should check to make sure that your interview questions do not constitute discrimination or compromise the rights of protected classes.

These are some of the precautions that you should take to avoid some of the most common small business risks.  Remember, having the right commercial coverage is another way to keep your business safe.  For assistance with all your business insurance needs, contact the experts at James Page Insurance today.

Tips for New Female Business Owners

Try out these suggestions to get your business off the ground.

With International Women’s Day coming up on the 8th, you might be feeling inspired to accomplish your dream of opening your own business.  Ready to get to work on building your business empire?  Then try out these suggestions to help with your launch.

  • Give Your Vision Focus

Before jumping in headfirst, you need to have a clear idea of what your business will be.  Just because you can do a little bit of everything doesn’t mean that you should.  Rather than stretching yourself too thin, think objectively about what you are good at and what you would like to devote your life to doing.  Once you have a solid idea of what your business will specialize in, this will guide all your other business decisions.

  • Know Your Weaknesses

Many entrepreneurs try to handle everything on their own.  However, this isn’t reasonable or sustainable.  One of the first things that new business owners should learn is how to delegate and outsource.  While many women feel like admitting their weaknesses is a sign of failure, it’s important to look at the big picture.  By hiring other people to handle things you aren’t good at, you can save yourself time, effort, and avoid serious mistakes.

  • Focus on Creating Positive Customer Experiences

When your business is small, you can’t realistically think of competing with big-name, national corporations.  However, there are some advantages of being a smaller operation.  By being responsive, polite, and ready to go the extra mile, you can attract a base of loyal customers.  This can help you generate a stable income that will help your business grow and succeed.

These are some of the suggestions that aspiring female business owners should try.  Remember, having the right commercial insurance is another way to set your business up for success.  For assistance with all your commercial coverage needs, contact the experts at James Page Insurance today.

Ask Your Agent These Commercial Insurance Questions

Understand your business insurance by asking questions.

As a business owner, you are an expert in your industry.  However, this does not mean that you are an expert on your business’s insurance needs.  This is why it’s important to work with a reliable insurance agent who specializes in commercial lines.  To help you make informed coverage decisions, ask your agent these questions about your business insurance coverage.

  • What are the essential types of coverage?

General liability, commercial property, and workers’ compensation are the most basic business insurance options.  However, your business will need more coverage than these base policies can offer.  Your coverage needs will differ depending on the type of business you operate, your business’s location, and other important factors.  So, speak to a qualified agent to ensure that you have the comprehensive commercial coverage that your business needs.

  • When is it appropriate to file an insurance claim?

Filing too many insurance claims in a short period of time will raise your insurance rates and can even result in a policy cancelation.  This is why you shouldn’t file a claim for every little issue that your business faces.  For instance, you should only file a claim for damage events that exceed the cost of your insurance deductible.  If the damage costs less than your deductible, then you are better off paying for repairs out of pocket.  Please note that you should always file claims for liability and workers’ compensation issues.  Even if these problems seem low-cost, they can quickly lead to expensive lawsuits.  Failing to file a claim as soon as the issue arises would leave you stuck covering all your legal and settlement costs out of pocket.

  • How much will my insurance cost?

The cost of your commercial insurance is dependent on a variety of factors.  The type and amount of coverage that you have, the number and type of risks that you face, and the location of your business are just of few of the many factors that can affect the cost of your coverage.  To ensure that you aren’t overpaying for your coverage, make sure you compare quotes from several different insurance providers.  Additionally, ask your agent about ways to save.  Business owners can usually save on their insurance by increasing their deductibles and employing safety measures in their workplaces.

These are some of the important commercial insurance questions you should ask your agent.  Do you need help with your business insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at James Page Insurance.  Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

How to Create an IT Disaster Plan for Your Business

Help your business bounce back after an IT emergency.

Today, businesses are reliant on data, digital systems, and hardware.  In fact, without a functional IT system, your business’s operations would probably come to a screeching halt.  This is why it’s so important to have a plan for dealing with unexpected IT emergencies.  To ensure that your business can recover from a major system failure, here are some of the steps that you should take now.

  • Know Your Risks

To develop an effective IT disaster recovery plan, you need to know which cyberthreats to prepare for.  One of the best ways to determine your risks is by working with a cybersecurity auditor.  They will be able to review your security systems and protocols to identify weaknesses in your plan.  Additionally, the auditor can help you develop risk mitigation strategies to address your most pressing cybersecurity risks.

  • Back-Up Your Data

Backing up your company’s data frequently will minimize your losses during a major IT disaster.  To ensure that your backups are effective, you need to determine which files need to be backed up, where they will be backed up to, and who is responsible for handling the backups.  When you have a secondary cache of your business’s most important information, an IT disaster will be much less damaging to your company’s operations and reputation.

  • Create an IT Disaster Recovery Team

Should an IT disaster strike, you need to take action immediately.  This is why it’s important to put together a response team ahead of time.  Your IT disaster recovery team should consist of IT and operations employees who are always ready to jump in should an issue arise.  Each team member should have a designated role to avoid miscommunication and inefficiency.  By having a ready-made team to deploy, your business can minimize the losses associated with an IT disaster event.

These are some of the suggestions that you should try to create an effective IT disaster recovery plan for your business.  Want another way to protect your company from disaster?  Then make sure you have the right business insurance in place.  For assistance with all commercial coverage needs, contact the experts at James Page Insurance today.