Did you know that your homeowner’s insurance policy is unlikely to protect your home-based business? Tri-Star Insurance knows. It’s estimated that more than half of home-based business owners are underinsured and the Independent Insurance Agents of America say that nearly 40% of those they surveyed are uninsured primarily because they thought their homeowner’s policy covered their business. Insurance can be expensive, but not having insurance is an unacceptable position for your home-based business. TriStar Insurance understands how to protect your valuable business assets as well as all your insurance needs.
There are two types of insurance that your home business must have: First, liability coverage if you provide services directly to clients or your business will have visitors at your home, including delivery people; and second, protection for your business assets.
Liability coverage protects your business if it is sued for something done (or not done) that causes injury or damage during the performance of your duties or the operation of your business. A General Liability package policy protects your business in the event that a client is injured on your premises or if you or one of your employees injures someone or damages property at another location. Liability insurance may be purchased separately or as part of a small business insurance package.
If you are providing professional services to clients as part of your home business e.g., counseling or tax work, you should continue to maintain Professional Liability Insurance in addition to your General Liability Insurance. Finally, if you have not incorporated your business as a separate entity from yourself, you may want to consider Excess Liability Insurance which has a higher payout than a General Liability Policy.
Property insurance protects the tangible assets of your business from theft or damage. Typically homeowner’s policies provide only limited coverage for business property, such as inventory, office equipment, and computers. Therefore, you will need a separate policy or an insurance rider to cover your business property.
Vehicle insurance typically covers both liability and property coverage. However, you may need to amend your current automobile insurance coverage to reflect a change in mileage and liability that results from your home-based business.
Other insurance considerations:
Workers’ Compensation insurance: If your home-based business has full time or part time helpers who are considered employees, you may need to have workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance covers medical expenses of your employees in the event of work-related accidents. Workers’ compensation coverage also provides benefits for wage loss resulting from temporary or permanent disability caused by a work related injury.
Don’t forget Health Insurance. Although there is no requirement that your home-based business offer its employees health insurance, it is a benefit that everyone appreciates.
Getting the right insurance to protect you and your home-based business is complicated and there are many choices of single and packaged insurance available. The insurance professionals at TriStar Insurance are there to help you make the right decisions to protect your home-based business. TriStar Insurance has offices in Plano, North Dallas, and Frisco, Texas – give them a call. You will breathe easier knowing that TriStar Insurance is there for you.
Insurance Agents & Brokers of America
My Own Business
When you chose your homeowners policy, did you remember to consider your jewelry, antiques or coin collections? It can be easy to forget to add items like this when choosing insurance, but if you have a loss of your valuable belongings, you will wish you had taken the time to be certain everything was covered. Your basic homeowner’s policy provides some coverage for the loss of personal property, but there are limits and deductibles that may leave your jewelry or coin collections unprotected. The limit for jewelry coverage on many homeowner’s policies is often in the range of $1000 to $1500 total coverage. If you have an extensive collection of fine jewelry, or even just a few nice pieces, you may need to consider adding a rider to your policy or even a separate jewelry policy.
Tri-Star Insurance offers these suggestions to make sure your insurance coverage is sufficient for your needs:
- Begin by carefully reading your homeowners policy. What type of coverage does it offer for loss or theft of items like jewelry or coin collections? Many times a homeowner’s policy will protect your jewelry up to a preset limit of $1000 if that jewelry is stolen, but not if the jewelry is lost or damaged. Talk to your insurance agent to make sure you understand the limits of your policy.
- You can usually purchase additional coverage for your precious jewelry or coin collection investment. Perhaps you have an assortment of antiques in your home- these may also need additional coverage. Be sure to ask plenty of questions when discussing this coverage with your agent. For example, is there a deductible? How much is it? Different deductible amounts will vary the cost of your premium, so it's worth the time of considering several options.
- Does the policy protect your valuables from loss or damage? Are repairs covered? Will you get the full replacement cost if your jewelry is lost, stolen or damaged? What about a cash settlement? Must you replace the jewelry or can you take the cash?
- Many times, you will be required to get an appraisal for your jewels before they can be insured. This is a good idea, even if it isn't required. You should consider having your valuables appraised every few years, especially if it is likely that your property is increasing in value over time. Make sure your agent has a copy of the most current appraisal.
- It is also wise to take photos of your insurance and provide your agent with a copy of the photos as well. Take several photos of each piece, from different angles, to make identification easier.
- Along with making sure you have the appropriate amount of insurance coverage for your fine jewelry, take steps to keep it as safe as possible. Keep your jewels in a safe place. You may want to consider a safe deposit box or perhaps a home security system, if you keep your valuables at home.
- Keep all of your receipts and appraisals in a safe place, especially if the value of your property is increasing.
To make sure you have the appropriate amount of insurance to cover all of your jewels, antiques, coin collections or other valuables, contact Roger Harkins at Tri-Star Insurance today. Visit Tri-Star Insurance on the web at www.tristarins.com or call 214-387-0600 and make sure your precious valuables are protected.
Law & Coins
Jewelry Appraisal Services
If you live in North Texas, you undoubtedly know that Texas-sized hailstones can wreak havoc on your roof. It’s nearly impossible to avoid hail damage around this part of the country, but how do you know if the damage is just cosmetic or if you need to have your roof repaired? Tri Star Insurance wants you to know when you need to call your homeowner’s insurance agent and offers you these suggestions for evaluating the level of damage to your roof.
Most homes have roofing made from asphalt shingles, wood shingles and shakes or roof tiles. Asphalt shingles are the most common, covering over 80% of the homes in this country. Asphalt shingles are tough and can stand up to plenty of beatings from hail, but Texas-sized hailstorms can leave their mark on even the strongest roof. Hail damage to asphalt shingles can happen in two different ways: the reinforcing mat can be ruptured or the granules on the shingles are knocked off which exposes the bitumen underneath. If the reinforcing mat is ruptured, the shingle’s ability to shed water is lowered and if the shingles begin losing these granules, the life of the shingles is drastically reduced. These problems can result in water entering the interior of your home, dramatically increasing the amount of water damage to your home.
The problem is that roof damage isn’t always obvious to the naked eye, especially from ground level. There are a few signs though that your roof requires a closer inspection. Be careful about getting on a ladder to inspect your roof. Don’t climb onto the surface of the roof, because damage could make the roof unstable and you may not realize it until it’s too late. Instead, get out your binoculars and look for these problems:
- Torn or missing shingles
- Warped or dented spots in the roof
- Broken tiles or tiles knocked out of place
- Missing metal roof panels
- Water spots or other signs of water in your attic
Generally, if you have hail damage to your vehicles or other property your roof could be damaged as well.
If you notice hail damage to your roof, or a significant amount of hail damage to other property, it’s time to pick up the phone and call your insurance agent. When you are working with a reputable agency, they will be happy to send out an adjustor to look at your home and determine whether you do have hail damage to your roof. If you live in the North Dallas, Plano or Frisco, Texas areas, you can depend on quality customer service from the folks at Tri-Star Insurance Professionals. Call Tri-Star Insurance Professionals, Inc., today at 214-387-0600 or toll-free at 1-800-880-4600 for homeowner’s insurance to provide the coverage you need to protect your home from hail damage. When you live in Texas, you know the hailstorms will likely continue throughout the summer. Make sure your home is protected with sufficient homeowner’s insurance before your roof takes a beating from the next hailstorm.
My Free Estimates
DFW Roofing Companies
2008 has seen the outbreak of several severe storms with damaging hail throughout the Dallas-Ft Worth area. Current estimates are that more than 10,000 homes and vehicles sustained some hail damage from these spring storms. Mike and Sarah’s two year home in Frisco was one of them. “It was terrifying” explained Sarah. “I could hear the hail hitting the roof. It made this horrible popping sound that did not stop for five or ten minutes. The windows shuttered, I thought they would break. I just hid in the bathroom.” When the storm was over a panicked Sarah called Mike at work. He told her not to worry he would be right home. On the way he called his Tri Star insurance agent. He was reassured by his agent that his Tri Star homeowner’s insurance policy provided replacement cost for any roof damage from the hail storm. The important thing was that his family was all right.
Mike and Sarah’s experience is not unique according to the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes. “In an average year, hail causes more than $1.6 billion worth of damage to residential roofs in the United States, making it, year in and year out, one of the most costly natural disasters.” Unfortunately, Texas is in the middle of hail alley and a home owner can expect a hail producing storm in the area several times each year.
Mike and Sarah’s Tri Star Insurance agent asked them to check for hail damaged windows and possible roof damage. He suggested that they look at trees, shrubs, and plants near the house. If plant leaves are shredded, there is a better than average change that there is roof damage. He also suggested that they check fences and cars around their house for dents, another indicator of possible hail-induced roof damage. He told Mike to also check on the sidewalk and around the house for a significant number of asphalt granules washed from the roof. Finally, the Tri Star agent recommended that Mike visually check the roof, if he was comfortable doing that, and to call the agent back with his findings.
Mike and Sarah’s damage was severe. Although there were no visible holes in the roof, there were randomly spaced strike marks in several places, a significant loss of asphalt granules, and bruising marks on many shingles. Mike also found dents in their roof vents. When Mike talked with his next door neighbor, who had shake shingles on his roof, the neighbor reported that several of his shakes were split indicating hail damage. Mike called his Tri Star Insurance agent and reported the damage. They scheduled an insurance adjuster to come out to their house to document the damage, and discuss replacement costs and options.
Mike and Sarah were so glad they had Tri Star insurance. Their agent was immediately available, told them what to do, and provided comforting assurance that their policy would cover the cost of replacing their roof and vents. No one wants to be the victim of a hailstorm, but they happen and sometimes frequently in hail alley. Mike and Sarah’s homeowner’s policy covered them; does your policy protect you? Call 214-387-0600 to find out.
Hail and Storm Reporting
Federal Alliance for Safe Homes