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Fire Safety & Commercial Insurance - 6 Ways to Reduce Risk

Posted by David Ross on Mon, May 26, 2014

What a Tragedy Taught us About Fire Safety & Commercial Insurance

Reduce your long term workers compensation insurance and commercial liability insurance costs by following these fire safety tips. We serve Reading, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Allentown, York, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond with quality commercial and workers compensation insurance.On March 25, 1911, the US witnessed one of the deadliest industrial disasters in American history – the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City.  The fire resulted in the deaths of 146 garment workers – 123 women and 23 men – who were working on the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors.  Some died from the fire, but many were killed by smoke inhalation or falling or jumping to their deaths.   

This horrible tragedy led to legislation that improved worker safety standards, including better building access and egress, fireproofing, fire extinguishers, alarm systems, and automatic sprinklers.  More than one hundred years later, the lessons learned from this tragedy still apply. 

Here are some reminders on how to avoid workplace fires and injuries, thereby reducing the long-term cost of your commercial and workers comp insurance by minimizing both the number and severity of your insurance claims.

6 Tips to Avoid Workplace Fires & Injuries

Give them a way out. If the doors to the stairwells and freight elevators in the Triangle Factory weren’t locked to prevent theft, many of the 146 workers who perished would have survived.

Enforce smoking bans. Although smoking was banned on the Triangle Factory floor, it was common knowledge that workers often snuck cigarettes in.  The suspected cause of the Triangle fire was a discarded match or cigarette.

Quickly get rid of scrap material. Two months’ worth of highly flammable fabric cuttings (hundreds of pounds) were in the scrap bins in the Triangle Factory.

Keep them separated. Fabric hanging close to the scrap bins helped the fire spread more quickly.

Make it easy to spread the word. There were no working telephones on the ninth floor of the Triangle Factory, so workers there didn’t know about the fire until it had reached their floor.  Working, audible fire alarms and emergency communication systems could have made all the difference.

Regularly inspect your fire escapes. Twenty people died when the flimsy fire escape at the Triangle Factory collapsed.

Be Prepared with the Right Commercial Insurance

Contact an American Insuring Group agent at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 to ensure that you have the proper workers compensation insurance and commercial insurance to protect both your employees and your business. As independent agents we offer insurance solutions from over 25 competing insurance companies to give you the best options at the best price. Serving Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Allentown, York, PA and far beyond. Call today.

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, Commercial Insurance Allentown PA, Commercial Insurance Lancaster PA, Commercial Insurance Harrisburg PA, Fire Safety, Commercial Insurance, Commercial Insurance Reading PA, Business Insurance, Commercial Insurance Philadelphia PA, Commercial Insurance York PA, Commercial Insurance Berks County

12 Ways to Avoid Electrically-Related Worker's Comp Claims

Posted by David Ross on Mon, May 05, 2014

Get the right worker's compensation insurance to cover electricians. By American Insuring Group, serving Reading, PA, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Lebanon, York, Harrisburg, Allentown, the Lehigh Valley and beyond with affordable, high quality workers comp insurance.Electrically-Related Worker's Comp Injuries

Electrical hazards cause more than 200 electrocutions (death by electric shock) and 4,000 workplace injuries each year, costing businesses millions of dollars in Workers’ Comp claims, fines, medical costs, litigation, lost business and equipment cost.  “While electrical hazards are not the leading cause of on-the-job injuries, accidents, and fatalities, they are disproportionately fatal and costly,” according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI). 

The good news is that most electrically-related injuries and the resulting workers’ compensation and fire-related rebuilding costs can be avoided with a comprehensive electrical safety program. That's good news for electrical contractors and other businesses whose employees perform electrical maintenance and installation services.

12 Ways to Avoid Electrical Injuries and Reduce Worker's Compensation Insurance Claims

Whether you’re in an office, a warehouse, or a manufacturing facility, there are things you can do to avoid electrical injuries and costly worker's comp claims:

  • Avoid using electrical equipment in unsuitable conditions, such as a wet or dusty workplace.
  • Ensure electrical panel doors are freely accessible and unblocked by furniture or clutter.
  • Tuck cables and cords away so they don’t create tripping or slipping hazards.
  • Place electric cords where there is air circulating to prevent overheating.
  • Keep electrical cords away from heat sources, such as radiators and space heaters.
  • Ensure that the electrical load of equipment such as computers, printers, scanners, faxes, shredders, and telephones is spread over several circuits.
  • If you are using extension cords as a permanent source of power, consider having additional circuits installed.
  • Plug office electronics into a surge protector.
  • Ensure grounded (3-prong) appliances and equipment are plugged into grounded outlets.
  • Avoid spilling beverages on electronics, and if it happens, be careful, as electrically powered devices may become live to the touch if they become wet.
  • Pull on the plug, not the cord, when unplugging equipment.
  • Get rid of old, unsafe or poorly maintained equipment, such as old coffee makers, radios, lamps, and space heaters.

Improve Electrical Safety in your Workplace

ESFI offers the following steps:

Step 1: Awareness

What does electrical safety mean to you?  The How Do You Know? video modules demonstrate how safe electrical practices are vital to everyone in your business.

Step 2: Assessment

Are you confident that your company's electrical safety program is up-to-date and comprehensive?  Evaluate your program with ESFI's Electrical Safety Self Assessment. It's an easy to use tool that will help you review and analyze your company's electrical safety practices related to facilities, personnel, and procedures.

Step 3: Improvement

Once you identify areas that need to be addressed, what's the next step?  ESFI has compiled a library of safety resources and links to help you find the information you need.

Worker's Compensation Insurance - Do You Have the Right Coverage?

Get the right worker's comp insurance from American Insuring Group. Call today.Following these suggestions will help ensure the safety of your employees, reduce workers comp claims, and avoid fire-related business costs. 

However, even the best laid plans sometimes fail.  When that happens you need to have the right insurance to protect your business from those unforeseen incidents.  Contact American Insuring Group at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 for help in obtaining the right worker's comp insurance to properly cover your business from loss.  We can help you with all your business-related insurance needs.

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, Small Business Insurance, Commercial Insurance Allentown PA, Commercial Insurance Lancaster PA, Commercial Insurance Harrisburg PA, Commercial Insurance, Commercial Insurance Reading PA, Commercial Insurance Philadelphia PA, Commercial Insurance York PA, Commercial Insurance Berks County

Food Safety and Restaurant Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Mon, Apr 28, 2014

Get the right restaurant insurance to protect against food-related illness claimsWorking in the food service industry often means hard work and long hours.  You also face many unique challenges, including the responsibility of ensuring that the food you serve to your customers is safe.  As any restaurant owner knows, a foodborne-illness can cause the loss of thousands of dollars and, in some cases, your entire business. 

The National Restaurant Association estimates the average cost of a foodborne illness outbreak at more than $75,000.  This doesn’t even take into account the human cost. Does your restuarant have the proper insurance to handle such an occurence?

Millions of people become sick each year and thousands die after eating contaminated or mishandled foods. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated in 2011 that contaminated food caused 47.8 million illnesses a year in the United States (that includes food eaten at home and other places besides restaurants).

Ten Factors That Often Cause Food-borne Illnesses, According to the CDC:

  1. Improper cooling of foods — the leading cause of foodborne illness outbreaks.
  2. Advance preparation of food (with a 12-hour or more delay before service).
  3. Infected employees who practice poor personal hygiene.
  4. Failure to reheat cooked foods to temperatures that kill bacteria.
  5. Improper hot holding temperatures.
  6. Adding raw, contaminated ingredients to food that receives no further cooking.
  7. Foods from unsafe sources.
  8. Cross contamination of cooked food by raw food.
  9. Improper use of leftovers.
  10. Failure to heat or cook food thoroughly.

Here are five steps you can take to minimize foodborne illnesses in your restaurant and decrease the risk of an insurance claim:

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Thoroughly wash all produce, since it is often served uncooked.
  3. Maintain a temperature at or below 40°F in your refrigerators to minimize bacterial growth.
  4. In order to kill any bacteria present, cook foods to the minimum recommended internal temperature and sustain that temperature for at least 15 seconds.
  5. Clean and sanitize all food contact surfaces, such as countertops, cutting boards, utensils, pots, and pans.

Have the Right Restaurant Insurance When All Else Fails

If, in spite of all your efforts to keep your food safe, your restaurant does experience an outbreak of a foodborne illness, there’s only one thing that can save you – the right insurance.  One option you may want to consider adding to your basic policy is business interruption insurance to help your business stay afloat if you’re forced to shut down for any length of time.  Another good option is food contamination coverage, which covers your restaurant from financial loss and helps rebuild your restaurant’s reputation.

Don't Leave it to Chance: Contact us Today

Get the right restaurant insurance. Providing restaurant insurance for small businesses in Berks county, Philadelphia and Montgomery county, Allentown and the Lehigh Valley, Harrisburg, Lancaster, PA and beyond.You’ve worked hard to establish your restaurant business. Don't leave things to chance. Be sure you can survive any potential issues with a comprehensive restaurant insurance policy tailored specifically to your business.  The agents at American Insuring Group understand your unique challenges. Contact us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.   

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Business Insurance Reading PA, Business Insurance Berks, Business Insurance Philadelphia Pa, Business Insurance Lancaster Pa, Business Insurance Harrisburg Pa, Business Insurance York Pa, Small Business Insurance, Commercial Insurance Allentown PA, Commercial Insurance Lancaster PA, Commercial Insurance Harrisburg PA, Commercial Insurance, Commercial Insurance Reading PA, Business Insurance Allentown PA, Business Insurance, Commercial Insurance Philadelphia PA, Commercial Insurance York PA, Commercial Insurance Berks County

Business Insurance for Heavy Equipment: What You Should Know

Posted by David Ross on Thu, Feb 27, 2014

Get commercial insurance protection for your heavy construction equipment like tractors, forklifts, and backhoes. We insure construction firms in Reading, PA, Philadelphia, Allentown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond. Call today for a free construction insurance consultation.If your business requires the use of heavy equipment - such as tractors, backhoes, and forklifts – chances are a large percentage of your business assets are tied up in that equipment, making the protection of that equipment from damage or loss a high priority for you and your business. 

According to the 2012 Equipment Theft Report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB), the total value of stolen equipment in 2012 was close to $300 million.  Those numbers don’t include losses from business interruption, project-delay penalties, and wasted workforce time. 

Here are some eye-opening statistics from the NCIB report:

 

  • In 2012, a total of 10,925 heavy equipment thefts were reported to law enforcement in the U.S.
     
  • Texas ranked number one in 2012 with 1,401 reported thefts. In second place was North Carolina with 1,037 thefts, followed by Florida in third with 890 thefts. 
     
  • The three most stolen heavy equipment items in 2012 were mowers (riding or garden tractor: 5,363), Loaders (skid steer, wheeled: 1,943), and Tractors (wheeled or tracked: 1,459).
     
  • Heavy equipment manufactured by John Deere was the number one theft target in 2012 followed in order by Kubota Tractor Corp., Bobcat, Caterpillar and Toro.
     
  • Most often, equipment was stolen from a work site where there is usually less physical security.

A Poor Recovery Rate Means Construction Company Insurance for Heavy Equipment is Critical

Perhaps the most alarming statistic in the report was the recovery rate - “Of the 10,925 reported equipment thefts in 2012, [the National Crime Information Center] NCIC reported 2,204 recoveries.”    With a 20 percent recovery rate, the loss of stolen equipment is costly to insurance companies and equipment owners alike.  In fact, theft is the most frequent cause of heavy equipment loss. 

Theft Prevention Strategies

The good news is that in addition to protecting your equipment with the appropriate insurance, there are also measures you can take to significantly decrease the chance of a theft in the first place.  Here are some theft prevention strategies from the NCIB. 

  • Install hidden fuel shut-off systems.
     
  • Remove fuses and circuit breakers when equipment is unattended.
     
  • Render equipment immobile or difficult to move after hours or on weekends by clustering it in a “wagon circle.” Place more easily transported items, such as generators and compressors, in the middle of the circle surrounded by larger pieces of equipment.
     
  • Maintain a photo archive and a specific list of the PIN and component part serial numbers of each piece of heavy equipment in a central location. Stamp or engrave equipment parts with identifying marks, numbers, or corporate logos.
     
  • Use hydro locks to fix articulated equipment in a curved position, preventing it from traveling in a straight line.
     
  • Use sleeve locks to fix backhoe pads in an extended position, keeping wheels off the ground.

Play it Smart: Insure Your Heavy Equipment

Call us today to get insurance for your heavy equipmentSince no amount of prevention will stop every thief, it’s important that you contact an American Insuring Group agent at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 to make sure that you have the right insurance for your expensive heavy equipment in the event of a theft.

Tags: Construction Equipment Insurance, Commercial Insurance Allentown PA, Commercial Insurance Lancaster PA, Commercial Insurance Harrisburg PA, Heavy Equipment Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Commercial Insurance Reading PA, Business Insurance, Commercial Insurance Philadelphia PA, Commercial Insurance Berks County

Key Person Life Insurance and Million Dollar Legs

Posted by David Ross on Thu, Feb 06, 2014

What do Legs Have to do with Key Person Life Insurance?

WLearn why key person insurance may be right for your business. We insure large and small businesses in PA, including Reading, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Erie, Lancaster, Allentown, Hershey, York and beyond. Call for the best advice on key person life insurance.e’ve all heard stories about celebrities insuring various body parts for ridiculous sums of money - most famously, Betty Grable’s legs were insured for a million dollars. Why would anyone insure such a thing? The fact of the matter is, her studio made a lot of money off of Betty Grable’s appearances, and a large part of her appeal were her fabulous gams. If her legs had been marred in any way, her ability to sell movies and posters would’ve been greatly reduced.   

Now, think about this.  Are there any parts – such as key person - of your business that, if lost, would significantly impact your bottom line?

Who is a Key Person?

A key person in your company is like Betty Grable’s legs. That person could be one of your executives, your best salesperson, your gem of an office manager who keeps things running smoothly, or an old hand who knows where all the skeletons are buried (figuratively, of course!). A key person is any employee who, if he/she suddenly passed away or became unable to work, would cause your business to struggle. Look around your office – who couldn’t your business afford to lose?

The Vulnerability of Small Businesses and the Need for Key Person Insurance

Getting Key Person Life Insurance is especially vital for small businesses, both because they generally have a thinner line between success and failure, and because they have smaller workforces. A giant firm with offices all over the country may not have any employees who are irreplaceable; since they are all tiny cogs in a giant machine with many redundancies, while a small company with only a few employees has less overlap in responsibilities.

With a small workforce, employees often have unique and specialized knowledge and connections that may not be easily replaced. Also, for businesses just starting out, if one of the partners has an accident, the poor fledgling company would be doomed to fail unless there was some kind of cushion. That cushion could be a Key Person Life Insurance policy.

Grieve without the Worry

Of course, the loss of any employee’s life - regardless of how essential they were to your business - is an awful thing to contemplate. A Key Person Life Insurance policy can allow you to grieve, without the worry of how you’re going to be able to keep the company afloat until you find or train a replacement.

Is Key Person Life Insurance Right for Your Business?

Is key person insurance right for your business? Call us for answers.If you have people who are as valuable to your business as Betty Grable’s legs were to her, contact American Insuring Group at (610) 775-3848 or (800) 947-1270 for information on Key Person Life Insurance policies for your business!

Contact us to learn more about Key Person Insurance. We serve Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Allentown, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Erie, Scranton, and all of Pennsylvania and beyond with quality business insurance at affordable prices.

Tags: Small Business Insurance, Commercial Insurance Allentown PA, Commercial Insurance Lancaster PA, Commercial Insurance Harrisburg PA, Key Person Insurance, Commercial Insurance Reading PA, Business Insurance, Commercial Insurance Philadelphia PA, Commercial Insurance York PA, Commercial Insurance Berks County, Life Insurance

Minimum Wage Increases - Impact on Workers Comp Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Mon, Dec 30, 2013

How to assess the impact of minimum wage increases on workers' compensation insurance costs. Contact us for help. Serving Philadelphia, Lancaster, Allentown, Erie, Pittsburgh, Reading, Harrisburg, Hershey, PA and beyond with workers compensation insurance coverage.Workers' Compensation Insurance and Minimum Wage Increases

Everyone earning minimum wage or paying minimum wage is surely paying attention to discussions in Washington and state capitols across the country about increasing federal and state minimum wage. This is great news for those currently earning minimum wage ($14,500 a year for a full-time employee), but business owners are perhaps a little less enthusiastic at the prospect. Not only does a required increase in salaries cost more in wages, it also has the potential to cost more in workers' compensation payouts.

For or Against Minimum Wage? It's Still the Law

We all know the arguments for and against increasing the minimum wage. Whichever side you agree with, if the law changes, you need to be prepared to roll with it. If you are an employer, look on the positive side - you will be able to retain experienced workers longer, and you will have a larger (and hopefully better quality) pool of applicants to choose from,  since people who have been unemployed will now have more incentive to put their kids in daycare and drive to work for you.

Minimum Wage Down Side - For Every Silver Lining, There's Got to be a Cloud!

The drawback to people coming back to work after a long break is that newly rehired workers are more likely to get injured while they're getting back into the swing of things. Many minimum wage jobs are also the most physically demanding. Your new workers may be out of shape and just not in the "safety first" mind-frame anymore. New hires may also be afraid to make an injury claim right away, so a simple muscle strain can turn into a major issue requiring expensive surgery.

The major argument against increases in the minimum wage is the prospect of layoffs. Current employees afraid of getting laid off, either out of desperation or the urge for a little revenge, tend to make more workers' comp claims to give themselves more of a cushion while they seek new work. Spikes in claims like these can make insurance underwriters rather unhappy.

Protect yourself! Who else is going to? (Oh yeah, your insurance company!)

The best way to protect your company from these changes is to keep the lines of communication open with your insurance provider.  If they insure your workers' comp claims, they also have a stake in keeping claims as low as possible.  Also, be proactive with new recruits with drug testing, background checks, safety training, and pre-employment physicals.

Need Help Making Workers' Compensation Insurance Decisions?

We can help you keep your workers’ compensation insurance premiums and claims in line – regardless of pending changes to the minimum wage.  Call us today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or Contact Us by email.

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, Commercial Insurance Allentown PA, Commercial Insurance Lancaster PA, Commercial Insurance Harrisburg PA, Commercial Insurance, Commercial Insurance Reading PA, Commercial Insurance Philadelphia PA, Commercial Insurance York PA, Commercial Insurance Berks County

Stuff Happens - Is Your Business Insurance Backing You Up?

Posted by David Ross on Wed, Dec 18, 2013

How Much Commercial Insurance Protection Do You Need?

Free business liability insurance guide: 7 Things You Must Know to Protect Your BusinessIf you’re considering starting or have already established a business, you may be wondering, “Do I really need any special liability insurance for my business?”  Establishing and growing a business is hard work.  It’s an investment of time and money, and it’s important to protect that hard work against unforeseen circumstances.  Even though we may not want to think about it, like Forrest Gump said, “stuff” happens. Even if you work from home and think your home owner’s insurance covers you or if you’ve filed as an LLC to protect your assets, your business may not be as safe from catastrophic loss and possible bankruptcy as you think.

Business Insurance When You're Unable to Work

What if you become sick and can’t work?  What if one of your customers sues you?  What if a fire forces you to shut your business down for a period of time?  Have you thought about how you will protect your finances, your business, and your employees?  The right insurance can help protect these very important assets.  Here are four major categories of business insurance protection you, as a business owner, need to consider. 

Business Liability Insurance (A.k.a. Commercial General Business Liability)

Liability insurance helps protect your company if someone gets hurt on your property or if you or an employee causes property damage or injury.  Liability insurance also protects you as a tenant if you cause damage to a property you rent, and it covers claims of false or misleading advertising, including libel, slander, and copyright infringement.  This insurance helps cover medical and legal defense costs and settlements if you are successfully sued. 

Many small business owners can’t imagine ever being sued, but the fact is that we live in a very litigious society.  Liability insurance is a wise and affordable investment for any business.  It can be purchased individually or included as part of a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) that combines liability and property insurance into one policy.  It’s a good idea to make sure you have enough liability coverage if you have a BOP. 

Umbrella Liability Insurance

Umbrella liability insurance is designed to protect your business against catastrophic losses that exceed the limits of other policies or for losses not covered by other policies.  Think of it as an upgrade to your existing business, homeowners, and auto insurance that goes above and beyond.

Business Interruption Insurance

Business interruption insurance helps protect against financial loss in the event that your business is prevented from generating revenue. It helps pay for operating costs (such as rent, utilities, and payroll) and lost profits if your business is forced to shut down for an extended period of time, such as during a natural disaster that either forces your business to close or requires repairs to be made to the property before business can resume.  Business interruption insurance can be added to your property insurance policy or purchased as part of a BOP.  

Overhead Insurance

Overhead insurance is designed to protect the operations of your business if you suffer from a major accident or illness and become unable to work.  Overhead insurance helps cover business expenses such as salaries, utilities, interest payments, insurance premiums, and rental payments.

Putting Together a Business Insurance Plan

You’ve worked hard to make your business a success.  Don’t let someone or something take it all away from you.  Take the necessary steps to protect it with the right business insurance.

Free Report: 7 Things You Must Know to Protect Your Businesss 

For more information, click here for our report, 7 Things You Must Know to Protect Your Business

Free business liability insurance guide: 7 Things You Must Know to Protect Your Business

Need help in figuring out the right level of insurance to properly protect your business? Call us today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or Contact Us by email. We're independent agents representing over 25 brands of insurance. We'll find the right coverage at the right price to meet your needs.

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Business Insurance to Attract Employees and Protect Your Business

Posted by David Ross on Thu, Nov 14, 2013

Business Insurance that Attracts & Retains Employees

Business insurance to attract and retain employees and to protect your business, from key person insurance to insurance for better employee benefits. Available from American Insuring Group, serving Reading, PA, Allentown, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, Erie, Pittsburgh, PA and beyond for over 25 years.Great employees can be the fuel to move your business ahead of the competition. Dedicated employees add more and more value over time as they gain increased knowledge and experience. While everyone likes a company that offers great benefits, the best employees and job candidates are likely to view the quality of the benefits you offer as a compelling reason to join, remain at, or leave your firm.

With today's cost of purchasing individual insurance, employees are likely to view well-designed employer insurance packages as a deciding factor in selecting one company over another. Furthermore, strong benefits packages help retain your best employees, reducing the high cost of employee turnover.

Designing an Attractive Employee Benefits Package

That's why smart business owners create attractive employee benefits packages that not only include health insurance, but often life insurance, extended disability insurance, dental insurance, and generous retirement plans, among other options. Executive compensation packages may also include deferred compensation plans and higher levels of insurance coverage to retain your best talent. It pays to be well informed on the range of insurance options available to your business.  Your independent insurance agent can be a key resource to help you craft an employee benefits package that attracts better employees at a price you can afford.

 

Commercial Insurance to Protect Your Business in Ways You May Not Have Considered

General liability insurance, property insurance, vehicle insurance, and workers' compensation insurance form the foundation of your business insurance protection. However, there are other types or subcategories of commercial insurance to consider. Among these are key person insurance, individual insurance, and insurance-backed buy-sell agreements.

Key Person Insurance: Thinking Beyond Job Titles Alone

Key person insurance, also known as key man insurance, is designed to reimburse you for the loss of sales or earnings due to losing an executive, business partner, or other key employee due to disability or death. When considering key person insurance, think beyond titles and identify those employees in your organization who, if unavailable, would dramatically impact your sales or the continuity of your business operations.

These may include high-performing sales reps and customer service personnel, as well as employees with deep technical knowledge of your industry or complex internal processes. Such people may be very difficult to replace with someone of similar knowledge or talent, resulting in reduced productivity or lost sales revenues for your firm for years to come. Your independent insurance agent can help you put together a smart key person insurance package to protect your business financially from the impact of losing a key employee. 

Backing Buy-Sell Agreements with Business Insurance Protection

In the excitement of starting a new business with your business partner, business owners often overlook the need to work out all the details of a buy-sell agreement that comes into effect as a result of the loss of the other business partner due to retirement, death, or disability. While an attorney may be invaluable in putting together such agreements, don't neglect the need to obtain the proper life insurance on each partner to carry the remaining partner through the transition period and to keep the business financially healthy. The insurance coverage should be sufficient to buy out the departing partner's share of the business due to any of the circumstances mentioned above.

Life Insurance for Business Owners: Obtaining the Right Amount of Coverage

Business owners should carefully determine the amount of personal life insurance protection needed. Unlike employees, owners often have significant personal assets tied up in the business, such as a second mortgage that may have been used to finance the business. If the surviving family members' income drops significantly due to the death of the business owner, the results can be disastrous not only for the family, but for employees as well, even if significant personal loans and assets have not been invested in the business.

Low levels of life insurance may threaten not only the entire business, but also the careers of all employees by potentially forcing the surviving family members to liquidate or sell the business to pay the personal debts of the deceased business owner, or simply to provide the income needed to keep up with day-to-day financial obligations.

We Can Help with All Your Business Insurance Needs

We can help you make sense of your many business insurance options, from key person insurance, to life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, dental insurance, and other forms of personal and commercial insurance to protect your business, and to attract and retain employees. We serve businesses in Reading, PA, Philadelphia, Allentown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, State College, Pittsburgh, Erie and points in between and beyond. 

Contact us

(800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 

Take the challenge - get a quote. We offer the best insurance protection at the best price.

Take the challenge. Get a business insurance quote.

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Commercial Property Insurance & Storm Preparedness Tips

Posted by David Ross on Thu, Nov 07, 2013

Having the right commercial property insurance is one important step to protecting your business, but creating an emergency response plan and other actions are key as well. Learn tips to protect your business.It's obvious that having the right commercial property insurance is key to protecting your business against unforeseen risks. But have you taken practical steps to reduce the potential impact of storms, floods, earthquakes, or other natural disasters beyond obtaining insurance?

By combining the right property insurance with responsible disaster planning you greatly increase your odds of weathering a disaster with minimal loss to your business.

While reducing your business exposure to major disruptions from natural disasters takes careful planning, it is not necessarily expensive. Having solid plans can make the difference between days vs. weeks of serious business disruption and loss of income.

Here are some tips to help your business recover more quickly from a natural disaster:

Perform a Risk/Impact Analysis & Create a To-Do List

Begin by creating a list of natural disasters that could impact your business. Rank them from high to low in terms of likelihood, and then separately by the amount of impact (harm) they could have on your business. Next, identify what can be done to address the more likely ones first. Of the more likely ones, address them in order of the potential harm they could cause your business.

Example:
If your business is in a flood plain or low lying area then your exposure to flood or water damage will be greater than if you are located on high ground. If a flood were to occur, how much damage could be caused? How long would it take to recover? Do you have expensive electronic equipment on the first floor or basement? Could it be moved to the second floor? Could you alter the landscape in such a way as to divert water away from your building so as to avert damage?

Example:
Are you in an area susceptible to damaging high winds, hurricanes, or tornadoes? Could a heavy snowfall of a foot or more cause damage or leaks to your roof that could ruin equipment or force portions of your office or factory to become unusable for a period of time? 

Create a Disaster Emergency Plan

Your emergency plan may not have to be elaborate. Even a simple, well-thought-out plan can be of tremendous benefit when needed. Be sure that your employees know their part in the plan, and have easy access to the documentation (I.e., to the portion of the documentation that applies to them or to their department). Among other details, your plan should include:

  • An evacuation plan and designated meeting location.
     
  • A list of cell and home phone numbers of managers and key employees.
     
  • A description of who is responsible for taking various actions, including identifying the point person(s) responsible for contacting the media, emergency personnel, key customers and suppliers, department heads, and employees.
     
  • A data recovery plan (consider backing up all data on the cloud daily so it can be accessed remotely even if your internal computer system is destroyed). Identify and rank the key types of data in terms of importance to your business continuity.
     
  • A description of how the business will perform certain key functions off site, including things that could be outsourced. Break it down by department (customer service, accounts payable, accounts receivable, production planning, manufacturing, distribution, I.T., etc.).

After you have completed the basic plan above, or at least an outline, consider contacting a disaster recovery specialist who can identify weaknesses in your plan, and suggest appropriate remedies.

Perform a Commercial Property Insurance Review

Your independent insurance agent can perform an insurance vulnerability analysis for all types of insurance coverage across your business that may be needed in the event of a natural disaster. This includes basic property insurance, business interruption insurance, spoilage insurance, inventory insurance, and other forms of expanded insurance coverage. Your level of coverage should not only be adequate for your current level of business, but also for the projected level of business to cover you properly until the date of the next scheduled insurance review (annual or otherwise).

Contact Us - We're Commercial Insurance Experts You Can Trust

When it comes to commercial property insurance and other types of business insurance, you can't do better than the independent agents at American Insuring Group. As independent agents, we work for you, not an insurance company. We'll identify the right combination of business insurance policies from many insurance carriers, and put together a plan that fits your needs and budget. See why more business owners in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie and beyond rely on us for all their commercial insurance needs.

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5 Common Sense Ways to Reduce Disability Insurance Claims

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Nov 02, 2013

Reduce the risk of disability insurance claims to your business by following these simple tips. Serving the disability insurance needs of businesses and individuals in Reading, PA, Berks County, Philadelphia, Lancaster, York, Allentown, Erie, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and beyond.Dirty Harry Was Right About Disability Insurance

Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry character could have been speaking about disability insurance when he said those famous words, "Do you feel lucky, punk? Well, do ya'?". Whether you are an employer looking to reduce the cost of disability insurance claims, or an individual looking for a better quality of life, it pays to work on reducing your exposure to the risk of being disabled.

The thing about the sage advice you are about to receive is that your grandmother or anyone with a gradeschool education probably could have figured this out. Nothing against grandmothers (they tend to be very wise after all), but this stuff isn't rocket science!

Let's take a look at the things employers should consider when developing employee incentives to reduce liability insurance claims, which are the same things individuals can do to become healthier and safer.

#1. Lose Weight. Do it Now. 

We may have started with the toughest item first, but getting down to a healthy weight is key to avoiding disabling diseases and accidents. Things like blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure, and the risk of falling increase dramatically as our weight gets out of control. Hey, you've been wanting to do this, right? Now you have some additional motivation. Think Nike: just do it (diet and exercise, that is).

#2. Throw Out the Cigarettes. And Cigars. And oh Yeah, the Pipe Too. 

Do you like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath? Does anyone really think it's worth polluting your lungs and bloodstream by smoking? According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the risks of smoking include:

  • Thicker blood that carries less oxygen
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate (can you say "heart attack"?)
  • Lowers good cholesterol, increases bad cholesterol
  • Damages blood vessel walls (hey, they only carry the essence of life!)
  • Increased inflammation leading to plaque buildup in your arteries (so you can help fund the drug companies with all that extra medicine you'll need!)

#3. Get Regular Checkups and Screenings.

Even if your fear of getting a full physical exam rivals your fear of death or cliff diving, you really must get a checkup at regular intervals to do your part to avoid a disability claim. Unlike fine wine, physical problems and diseases do not get better with time. Get your checkup and you have a good chance of nipping that problem in the bud. If you have a family history of cancer or other diseases, get a screening as often as your doctor recommends.

#4. Drink Responsibly or Not at All. Wear Seatbelts.

There are plenty of articles written about the benefits of red wine and other types of alcohol when consumed in moderation. That goes out the window when drinking becomes excessive. WebMD lists 12 risks of chronic heavy drinking. It's not pretty, and it's not worth it. And when you drink excessively and drive you can go beyond disability insurance claims all the way to life insurance claims.

#5. Take Care of Yourself. Avoid the Key Causes of Disability Insurance Claims.

WebMD lists arthritis, back pain, heart disease, cancer, depression, and diabetes as leading causes of disability insurance claims. Work on anything that reduces your risk of these, and you are moving in the right direction. In other words, take care of yourself.

 

Sage Advice

Whether you are a business owner or manager looking to reduce your company's exposure to disability insurance claims, or an individual looking to avoid using your disability insurance, following these common sense tips makes for a better life and a more productive company.

 

Get the Right Disability Insurance Protection

Need help in selecting the right disability insurance to reduce costs while improving protection? We're an independent agency who can select the best insurance solution for your unique needs. Our independence allows us to research multiple insurance companies to find the best insurance policy. We work for you, not for any insurance company.
Contact us today to learn more.
Affordable disability insurance for business and individuals. We're located near Reading, PA in Berks County, and serve the surrounding areas of Philadelphia, Lancaster, Harrisburg, York, State College, Allentown, Pittsburgh, and Erie, Pennsylvania and beyond. Contact us today.

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