Category Archives: Business Insurance

Business Insurance for Young Entrepreneurs

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Congratulations, you started a YouTube channel and one of your videos has gone viral and you have morphed into an entrepreneur.  You now have a product or service to sell; you are on the right path to building a successful business.

As a business owner you realize you have a multitude of moving pieces that must be taken care of – one being the need to insure your new venture and assets.

Important components to insure:

  • Your property
    • Your computers, office furniture, equipment, and any other business personal property you need to run your business
  • Your space
    • Home-based operations? Your homeowners or renters  insurance may not cover you if you are operating a business
    • Renting space? Your landlord may require you to submit a certificate of insurance and name them as Additional Insured
    • Purchasing a building or condo for your business operations and taking out a mortgage?  You will be required to purchase insurance prior to the closing. And if you do not have a mortgage, it is important to insure your investment
    • Whether you are renting or purchasing you must insure your location
  • Your liability
    • Insurance will protect and provide you with defense against lawsuits arising out of you or your employee’s negligence. For example:  personal injury or property damage claims such as your product causes injury to someone or an entity,  someone trips and falls while visiting your business location, or your product damages someone else’s property.

You can bundle these valuable coverages into one policy, often referred to as a Business Owners Policy (BOP) or a Commercial Package Policy (CPP).

Other components:

  • Workers’ compensation– If you have employees, you are legally required to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance. This covers lost wages and medical costs due to an on the job illness, or injury.
  • Disability benefits insurance – covers lost wages due to an off-the-job injury or illness.
  • Professional Liability– Do you give professional advice or provide a professional service? If so, you should consider purchasing Professional Liability insurance.

Has this got you thinking?  Getting all your answers from Google may not be as easy as you think.  Google does not know your business.  However, by contacting an Independent Insurance Agent  like ourselves, will connect you with an insurance consultant that will provide you with ALL your answers !

Please don’t let your dream be destroyed by an uninsured event.   Think about it and contact us today!

Does Your Insurance Representative Understand Your Business?

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During a recent Commercial Lines Insurance survey, clients were asked, “What is the most important thing you want from your Commercial Insurance Provider?”  The respondents overwhelmingly replied that they wanted their insurance agents to have a thorough understanding of their business operations.

How do you know if your agent is really trying to understand your business? Can you answer YES to all the following questions:

  • Is your broker performing onsite visits?

  • Is your broker available to meet key principals whenever needed?

  • Is your broker conducting a pre-renewal meeting?

  • Are they providing you with risk transfer options?

  • Do they provide you with claims assistance?

  • Do they perform loss analysis and loss control?

A no response to any of these questions should set up a red flag.  Is this the right person to protect your assets?

At Petschauer Insurance, we make it a priority to understand your business and make sure that all the above questions are answered “yes” by our clients. Contact us to find out how our consultative service can fulfill your business insurance needs!

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377 Oak Street, Garden City, NY 11530
516-419-5050
info@jpins.com

Annual Insurance Review: Check Up On Your Policies

240_F_78183193_B9rMAcbdIxfWoVLdPD1u49aTgUTvTJGVWhile we all lead very busy lives, one thing we do not want to neglect is the condition of our insurance policies. Not reviewing your policies with your insurance agent is like never visiting your doctor for at least your annual checkup. You may get away with it for a while, but it could lead to serious problems in the future.  We recommend an annual insurance review and here are our 5 suggestions for you:

1.Request a current Schedule of Insurance. This will provide you with a snap shot of your coverages at the time of your request. Once you know what coverages are in place, you can discuss the need for any additions, deletions or changes with greater confidence and understanding.

2. Schedule a meeting or a telephone call with your agent to review ALL your policies. This will include an overall review of your Personal, Commercial, as well as Life and Health insurance needs. This is a great opportunity to review your entire portfolio including property values, deductibles, and any need for additional (excess) liability coverage. We recommend the best time to schedule this call or visit is at least 30 days before your renewal date or if you are thinking about purchasing a new location, vehicle, boat or any other type of major purchase.

3.Speaking to your insurance agent is another opportunity to discuss any changes that have occurred in your life, such as the purchase of a primary home, a rental property, a vacation home, the birth of a new baby, a new business venture or even a change in your current business operations, or personal status. This may be a good time to also discuss health care options, long term care insurance for you or your parents, life and/or disability insurance or retirement planning. Your agent can assist you in making the right choices for you and your family.

4. If you are a business owner, perhaps your business is in growth mode and you are expanding by hiring more employees. You may be required by law to provide Workers Compensation Insurance and Short Term Disability or face steep penalties depending on your state laws.  

5. Be sure to discuss areas where there may be opportunities for discounts such as multi-car, defensive driving, packaging auto, home and umbrella policies, non-smokers,burglar alarms and mature market discounts just to name a few. In today’s economic climate, any means of saving money is sure to help a family or business’ insurance budget.

A regular insurance “checkup” is like the old saying by Benjamin Franklin …. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.  Give us a call today and let our insurance consultants here at Petschauer Insurance assist you in making good insurance decisions for you and your family.

The Rising Need for Cyber Liability Insurance

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With the reliance on technology in today’s data driven world the number of cyber-attacks are on the rise.  The media focuses on the larger companies suffering breaches; however, small to mid-size companies are not exempt from hackers.

Are you prepared to take on the cost of credit monitoring for your customers, as well as handling the cost of hiring a public relations firm to restore your reputation should your network suffer a breach?

An entity which gathers and stores any type of confidential personal information needs to be aware that this sensitive information may be stolen from an internal employee as well as outside hackers.  Examples of such entities include but are not limited to: Financial Institutions, Insurance Agencies, Insurance Companies, Accounting Firms, Mortgage Companies, Tax Consultants, Doctor Offices, and Dental Offices.

 The black market price of personal information, including health insurance coverage, is on the rise.

Available Coverages:

  • Network Security
  • Data Breach Notification
  • Crisis Management
  • Credit Monitoring
  • Communications and media coverage
  • Regulatory Notification
  • Legal Professional Services
  • Business Interruption
  • Privacy Notification Expense

A diligent effort should be made to explore the cost of Cyber Liability Coverage.  In today’s changing times Cyber coverage is no longer a luxury but a necessity.

When in doubt check it out!  Call – 516-419-5050 – or email us – info@jpins.com – with your contact information  today and we will be happy to consult you regarding your risk of suffering a Cyber loss and how to protect yourself from financial loss.

By: LuAnn C. Schook, ACSR, AAI, AIS 

Commercial Lines Manager at Petschauer Insurance

516-419-4263 | lschook@jpins.com

Risk Management: Preventing Black Ice

download (1)You don’t know it’s there until you or someone slips and falls. This is the scariest part about black ice…  The chances of you slipping on black ice areso much higher than on regular ice covered pavements. If someone were to fall on your property, you can be held legally responsible for their injuries. To avoid these types of potential law suits, here are some important safety tips from our partners at Chubb Insurance:

  • Shovel/ plow snow towards lower leveled plains, so there is no snow melt runoff.
  • Position your gutters so that it drains into planted areas, or into a water drainage system and not onto sidewalks or driveways
  • Don’t wait for the temperatures to drop to start putting down salt, sand or ice melt. Place the substances down before the freezing may occur.

We also suggest that you review your liability coverage with your independent insurance agent to be sure you have adequate protection as accidents do happen.

Does Your Company Have A Business Contingency Plan?

Super-storm Sandy, hurricanes, Ebola, influenza epidemics, product malfunctions or any event that may negatively affect a company’s health, image or productivity call for a  business contingency plan. Risk Management should certainly be a concern for all business owners to ensure the continuance of your business operations even under the most unfavorable conditions. Here are some scenarios to consider:

  • An interruption in your business operations can happen even if there is no physical damage to the property. Note that in order to trigger the business interruption coverage, there must first be damage to the property from a peril defined in the policy. Thus, without physical damage, recoveries are not “a given” and, therefore, contingency planning is an imperative to keep the doors open and business flowing.
  • What type of plan do you have in place if your employees are unable to get to your physical workspace, or if the workspace becomes uninhabitable? Can your employees work from home? Do you have an alternate remote location in place?
  • What about reputational damages? In today’s world of news coverage being dispersed worldwide in an instant, media spin can turn an unfortunate occurrence into a full blown crisis in no time. A planned response, trained spokespersons, and crisis intervention is certainly well worth the cost. An example, are the recent cyber-attacks suffered by major retailers. Remember that reputation and good will are extremely important, and there are insurance policies that provide coverage for reputational damages.
  • Reliance on government doesn’t always line up with the objectives of privately owned and operated businesses. While it is important to follow governmental directives in a crisis, it is also necessary to ask questions and not just blindly follow along.
  • As was recently seen in the Ebola crisis, healthcare systems such as hospitals are not failsafe regardless of how top notch their rating might be. Don’t rely on them to bail you out in case of such a crisis.

In our office we have Team Leaders who are ready to swing into action and implement our very detailed continuity plan so that we can remain operational to our clients if anything were to ever happen. You should too!

Karen Skoler, CPCU

Business Activities Are Not Covered Under Homeowner Policies

home businessIn today’s challenging economic climate, with companies cutting back on their workforce, we find that many of our clients who have been affected by this have become very creative and resourceful. To put it succinctly, they are starting their own businesses right out of their homes to supplement their income so their bills can get paid. Garages, playrooms and even bedrooms are being converted into office space in order to run these business activities. We are finding these same clients are not aware that all Homeowner, Renters, Co-op or Condo policies contain an actual exclusion for any liability arising out of business activities of any kind. Not only is Liability excluded; but, additionally there is also very limited, if any, coverage for business property in the home as well.

The term “Business Activities” is not always so clear cut. The courts are full of instances where they have had to rule on the exact meaning of the term. There are specific features to a business activity:
(1) the hope that it will produce income; and
(2) the insured’s continuous participation in the activity constituting the business.
With reference to the desire to make money, that isn’t always applicable to the definition of the business since there are a great number of businesses that don’t get off the ground and others which never make any profit despite every effort made on the part of the entrepreneur to make it a success.

Remember, failure is not the inability to succeed; rather it really is the inability to try.

Here are some examples of In-Home Business Activities:
• Consultants – Attorney’s, Accountants, Organizers, Engineers, Architects, etc
• Whole Sale & Retail Sales: Cosmetics, Tuperware, Toys, Real Estate, Cookies, Bread, Home Renovations, Childcare, etc
• Manufacturing: Hand Crafted Jewelry, Baby clothes, Accessories, Clothing, Plaques, Furniture, Editing, Publishing, etc

The sole intent of a Homeowner’s policy is to provide coverage for all actions arising out of personal activities. There are, however, In-Home Business Endorsements which may be available to add as a rider to your existing Homeowner’s policies for only SOME of the business Activities listed above.

If you are lucky enough to have your small business grow to the point where you need to start hiring employees and /or purchasing extensive computer equipment, inventory and business furniture then you need to STOP RIGHT HERE! This is the time to call your insurance agent immediately as you may need a Businessowner’s Policy !

As the number of in-home business ventures explodes along with the need for supplemental income, we strongly suggest that you check your present Homeowners, Renter, Co-op or Condo policy for any limitations.

Speaking to your insurance agent on, at the very least, an annual basis to discuss changes in your occupation, or any other changes in your life or to your home for that matter, is vital to having all property and assets insured the way you want and need them to be insured. After all, that is what your agent is for—to assist you in covering your exposures to loss whether you recognize the need or not.

– Karen Skoler, CPCU

Square, one of the latest sensations in the business world

Square, the mobile credit card transaction processor, has been a new sensation in the business world. CEO of Square and co-founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, created a mobile technology that is very practical, functional, and user friendly — so easy that it only takes about 15 minutes to create and be able to use your account. As of June, Square, processed $6 billion a year in payments. This number will grow exponentially, as major corporations like Starbucks begin using the technology.

150px-SquarelogoSquare is now being sold at Apple, Wal-mart, Best Buy, and Target and will soon be sold at AT&T stores to allow greater exposure. Square costs $9.99 in stores, but comes with a $10 redeemable credit, which makes the switch to Square basically free for business owners.

With Square, business owners have the option to pay 2.75 percent per swipe or choose the flat rate of $275 a month with no added fees. Charging capabilities are up to $250,000 annually.

Square has a feature where business owners can display items purchased right on the receipt. This feature can be used to track sales and identify trends.

Transactions are completed quickly and businesses often are paid the following business day.

Petschauer Insurance in New York, offers insurance products for you, your family and your business. We are proud to offer a wide variety of blog topics that relate to family and business as a whole. Check back to the blog for more interesting articles and feel free to contact Petschauer Insurance with any of your insurance questions or concerns.

Must You Provide Insurance For Your Nanny or Housekeeper?

I have a friend who is a single mother of two young children, two puppies, a turtle, a cat, and a frog aside from running her own business. Trying to manage her career, the social life of the boys and the health and well being of their pets was wearing her out so she employed the services of a Nanny. Everything was going well until the Nanny tripped over one of the dogs and injured her knee resulting in arthroscopic surgery and months of visits to a physical therapist. What a shock when my friend found out that as the Nanny’s employer she was responsible for the medical bills. Are you aware that full time employees(those on your premises 40 or more hours a week) must be provided with Workers’ Compensation and, in some cases, New York State Disability?


My friend never gave this a thought prior to the accident. She just figured that her homeowner’s policy would cover the medical bills because the accident happened in her home. However, the Workers’ Compensation rider of a homeowner’s policy doesn’t cover any domestic employees (defined, but not limited to, Maids, Cooks, Housekeepers, Laudresses, Butlers, Companions, Gardeners, Chauffeurs, Nannies, Home Health Aides, Au Pairs, Nurses, Baby/Pet-sitters) nor does it cover people working for individual(s) in a home-based business. And on top of all this, the government can impose significant monetary penalties for not having this mandated coverage in place should an accident occur.

Another friend of mine always employs PetSitters to watch her menagerie of pets when she goes away on frequent vacations. She recently was advised that if the PetSitter stays in her home continuously from Friday evening until Sunday evening, a period of roughly 48 hours, that both Workers’ Compensation and New York State Disability would be required.

I checked the New York State Fund website and it actually states that “Workers’ Compensation and New York State Disability are required from the first day of the first week in which a domestic puts in 40 or more hours while either working or living on the premises.” There is an exception for Disability in that benefits aren’t required if the domestic (s) works in a private household less than 40 hours a week and doesn’t live on the premises.

So, let’s not be “penny wise and pound foolish” and let’s “be prepared” because we never know when a maid could trip over her apron strings, the butler could close the door too quickly causing injuries to himself and the chauffeur could collide with a SmartCar filled with clowns!

– Karen Skoler, CPCU

Protect Your Business with Proper Insurance

stock-photo-14434276-insurance-fileWhen creating your business plan and factoring in all of your start up expenses, don’t forget to include insurance costs in your start up expense totals! Along with the rent, filing fees, utilities, deposits, marketing, personnel costs, software, and other miscellaneous costs associated with starting a business – commercial general liability insurance in NY is something a business owner must budget in. Securing appropriate commercial general liability insurance is in fact one of the most crucial components to having successful business – from the start.

Commercial general liability coverage (or CGL) in a commercial setting will protect a business owner when property is damaged on the premises of the insured business. CGL also protects an owner from lawsuits due to injury on the job, personal injury (including slander and libel), and false or misleading advertising.

Commercial General Liability Insurance is a necessity for every business, large or small. When compared to the risk that your business is protected against, the cost of coverage is low. Potential risks in the workplace may increase as your business grows, so be sure to speak to a professional fromPetschauer Insurance located in NY to ensure that your insurance coverage is right for your specific risks. We can be reached at: (718) 386-5050 or via email at: info@jpins.com.