Why Educators Need Professional Liability Insurance Coverage

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Do teachers need professional liability insurance to teach or work in a school? Following are some valid reasons why you may want to take out a professional liability insurance policy.

It can be confusing about whether teachers need professional liability insurance to teach or work in a school. Many believe that because their district, union, or professional organizations covers their liability insurance, they are well protected.  However, that’s not necessarily the case.

Depending on the school district in which you work, you may not be protected individually as a teacher or school employee.

Following are some valid reasons why you may want to take out a professional liability insurance policy:

Technology Effects

With social media and cell phones being prevalent in and out of classrooms, teachers are concerned about how their actions are perceived by students. Any kind of lawsuit that results is difficult to overcome and can affect a teacher’s career.

The Unexpected

Accidents happen and if a well-meaning teacher inadvertently knocks a student’s laptop to the ground and property damage occurs, guess what? A professional liability policy would help cover the cost. If a field day with students playing softball results in a student’s injury, the teacher could be liable. Another reason to have the right insurance.

Fibs and Falsehoods

It’s fairly, normal for kids to get into altercations at school. But if a teacher is accused of not properly supervising the students, things can escalate. Accusations of wrongdoing by the teacher or inappropriate behavior can be a major problem. Some teachers say keeping their door open while meeting with students individually helps quell this situation to some extent.  In either incident, professional liability insurance could be helpful.

Rely on Yourself

If teachers face a litigious charge, they cannot always count on peers and supervisors to stand by them. That’s even more reason to have a professional liability insurance policy that protects a teacher in these instances.

Teachers as Civil Lawsuit Targets

While most schools usually run smoothly without severe problems, there are thousands of fraudulent lawsuits filed each year against teachers with no basis in fact. The past few decades have seen a rise in litigation against educators.

Teachers have enough on their plate to do a good job teaching without the worry of lawsuits. Professional liability coverage is a support that gives teachers the comfort of having more control in their classrooms and their professions.

Ask your local independent insurance agent about professional liability insurance and get the best rates possible.

Umbrella Insurance Can Protect You from the Unexpected

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

What is Umbrella Insurance, and how can it benefit you? Here is information that should clear up any questions you may have.

What is Umbrella Insurance, and how can it benefit you? Here is information that should clear up any questions you may have.

Umbrella insurance is a liability insurance supplement to your basic liability policies that would include your auto, home or renter’s insurance. An umbrella liability policy is extra protection that covers a much higher limit than basic auto or home claims.

You will be protecting your assets with an umbrella insurance policy in case of an unforeseen event. For instance, a tragic accident in which you are held responsible for damages or bodily injuries would be covered by your umbrella policy.  If you are faced with a lawsuit, your umbrella coverage will pay for the damages which are your legal responsibility, up to the limit of the policy.

An umbrella policy provides what is called “excess liability”. If you are faced with claims for bodily injury liability or property damage liability, your umbrella insurance will cover these. Umbrella policies also provide a more extensive coverage and can help cover legal fees, false arrest, libel, and slander.

An umbrella policy only pays once your basic liability limits have been exhausted or the claim is excluded from the basic liability coverage. The claim will be made against you, the policyholder, on behalf of the wronged party. Then your insurance company may pay the settlement amount up to the limits of your coverage. If the settlement amount exceeds your coverage limits, you are responsible for paying the remaining amount out of pocket.

Everything you own: your house, car, investments, stocks, checking and savings accounts and even your future income are all assets. It’s good to consider that if you are sued for a large amount of money and your liability insurance won’t cover your loss, and you do not have umbrella insurance, all your assets are at risk.

An umbrella insurance policy could prevent financial ruin if you were faced with an unexpected event. People who choose to carry umbrella insurance can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing they are protected against an unforeseen, damaging scenario.

If you still have questions, give us a call to find out more from your reliable, independent insurance agent.

Do Babysitters Need Liability Insurance?

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

There are a number of things that you need when you babysit - the safety checklist, the contact numbers, the bag of games, but what about one question that comes up - whether a babysitter needs liability insurance.

Very often, babysitting is a young person’s first job, usually starting with siblings, cousins or close friends. Usually 11 to12 years of age is considered the youngest recommended age, depending on the babysitter’s level of maturity and responsibility. And there are a number of things that you need when you babysit - the safety checklist, the contact numbers, the bag of games, but what about one question that comes up - whether a babysitter needs liability insurance.

In Texas, the answer is no. A homeowner’s policy can cover a babysitter while visiting your home; however, be sure to check your policy for limits and exclusions. If you feel the coverage is not enough, you may want to adjust your policy accordingly. Your independent insurance agent can advise you on what’s best.

Of course, babysitting every week or two in someone’s home is very different from providing professional childcare in your home or in an independent building. In Texas you can care for up to four (4) children at a time without a license. However, if you provide regular child care for fewer children than this, you may only need to list your home with the state, but need no license. Childcare centers are required by law to carry professional childcare liability insurance.

If you occasionally need a babysitter, there are several good things to know when start looking:

  1. Check the sitter’s references thoroughly
  2. Ask relevant questions that pertain to your children, their needs, and yours
  3. Find a babysitter that fits what your requirements, location and timewise
  4. Have the sitter over to meet your children and see how they interact
  5. Trust your instincts and if it feels odd, keep looking

It’s comforting to know you have someone reliable and trustworthy to call on for babysitting, allowing you to have some free time. Just remember to do the groundwork to settle on the right person for your personal babysitter.

 

Does Your Family Have an Emergency Plan?

Friday, October 19, 2018

If your family does not have an emergency plan, you should make one today. Discuss the following with your family, friends, or anyone in your household to begin creating your individual emergency plan.

 

It’s the middle of the night and the knock at the door tells you it’s time to evacuate. Immediately. There is no time to think about what you need to do. If your family does not have an emergency plan, you should make one today. And it’s important that ALL your family members know how to respond, no matter what type of disaster it is. There will be different scenarios for different emergencies, so be aware of the kind of disasters that are most likely to strike in your area, e.g., tornado, flood, hurricane, wildfire, etc.

Since there’s a chance your family may not be together if a disaster occurs, have a solid understanding of how you will contact each other and reconnect if separated. Determine a good family meeting place that is easy to find and familiar.

Discuss the following four questions with your family, friends, or anyone in your household to begin creating an emergency plan.

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  2. What is my shelter plan?
  3. What is my evacuation route?
  4. What is my family/household communication plan?

Consider each person’s needs in your household. As you prepare your plan, remember certain supplies, medications, etc., that each person needs. Discuss responsibilities and how each of you can support one another whether by communication, childcare, business, pet care, or operation of medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas of your community where you need assistance and assess whether you will be able to assist others.

These are important factors to remember as you create your plan:

  • Each household member’s age and mobility
  • Special dietary foods needed
  • Medical prescriptions and/or equipment
  • Disabilities or challenges that require certain equipment or monitoring
  • Languages spoken
  • Cultural and religious considerations
  • Household pets or service animals
  • Households with school-aged children

Once you have created your emergency plan, practice it with your family/household; have a dress rehearsal to make sure it works for everyone. It’s a way to iron out any problems.

Keeping your insurance current is obviously important anytime, but it is especially important if you’re faced with an emergency. Stay in touch with your local independent insurance agent to double check periodically that all of your insurance policies are active and cover everything they should be.

What Type of Truck Insurance Do Truckers Need?

Friday, October 12, 2018

You’ve passed your testing requirements, you have your truck, and you have your route. Be sure you have your truck insurance requirements as well.

You’ve passed your testing requirements, you have your truck, and you have your route. Be sure you have your truck insurance requirements as well.

Interstate Truck Insurance is a requirement by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. To get an Operating Authority/MC number. the FMCS requires that you first get public liability insurance which has coverages for both bodily injury and property damage.

Public liability Insurance protects truck drivers and the public from accidents where the trucker is at fault. The bodily Injury portion of liability insurance pays for hospital bills incurred by pedestrians or other motorists who are hurt in accidents. Property Damage, pays for repairs to other people’s property damaged in an accident.

The FMCSA requires interstate truckers to meet minimum limits of coverage which depends on the type of freight being hauled.

Type of Freight with Minimum Limits:

  • Non-hazardous freight moved in vehicles under 10,001 lbs. - $300,000
  • Non-hazardous freight in vehicles over 10,001 lbs. - $750,000
  • Oil moved by For-Hire & Private Carriers - $1,000,000
  • Other Hazardous Material moved by For-Hire & Private Carriers - $5,000,000

These represent bare minimum limits. Many shippers and brokers require you to have at least $1,000,000 as a liability limit, regardless of what type of material being hauled.

Other Insurance for Interstate Truckers

Cargo Insurance  

Depending on the type of cargo you haul, the cost of insurance can vary. Cargo insurance covers the goods hauled in your trailer, and while not required by the FMCSA, interstate owner operators need it anyway. Most shippers will not do business with you without it.

Bobtail

If you’re an owner-operator with primary auto liability insurance, then you are not required to get bobtail insurance. But, if you’re leased onto a motor carrier and you are running under their authority, you might need it. Your lease agreement should spell this out.

Physical Damage

If you’re financing your truck, Physical Damage Insurance is required. It protects against accidents on the road. However, if you own your truck, it is not required, but it’s still good to have this coverage. All it takes is one accident to create a financial disaster.

Contact your local independent insurance agentto get the best possible rates on your truckers’ insurance. They will do the shopping for you and make it easy, fast, and affordable.

And be sure to be safe and alert out there!

Getting Your Vacation Home Ready for Holiday Rental

Friday, October 5, 2018

Now is the best time to prep your vacation home for rentals during the holiday season.  Making sure your property insurance is current and coverage is complete should be priority one.

Now is the best time to prep your vacation home for rentals during the holiday season, starting with a call to your independent insurance agent.  Making sure your property insurance is current and coverage is complete should be priority one. And while it may seem too soon to start to prepare, it isn’t. Giving yourself the full month of October to evaluate what needs to be done is a smart idea to have it ready by November.  After all, if anything major is needed beyond fix-ups, like replacing appliances, repairing water damage, roof problems, and such, you’ll have plenty of time to get it resolved.

When you rent out your vacation home or apartment, make sure it’s equipped to make your guests stay as nice as possible. Here are a few quick tips to check off your list:

  • clean towels and linens (not necessarily the same ones your family uses, but you should have a set of at least two towels, hand towels, and washcloths for each guest
  • extra blankets and pillows
  • an ironing board and iron
  • dishes, silverware, and pots and pans for the maximum number of guests you host
  • kitchen towels
  • a microwave oven
  • coffee maker, teapot, and toaster
  • cleaning supplies including hand soap, dishwashing liquid
  • basic toiletries like toilet paper, paper towels, and tissues
  • a first-aid kit
  • a fire extinguisher
  • functioning smoke detectors
  • all remotes necessary to operate the television and other devices
  • trash can liners
  • pillow protectors and mattress pads
  • extra light bulbs
  • flashlight

Most guests will expect to have access to the Internet. If it’s not available, make sure you let them know up front.

The more written instructions you leave for your guests the better, such as how to operate various appliances and devices. If you have ‘house rules’  (and you should) make sure they are clearly understood and posted somewhere on the premises. Things like whether smoking is allowed or if you allow pets and what specific pet rules there are.

Finally, be sure to leave your contact information -- email and phone -- if your guests need to get in touch with you. Also provide local emergency numbers and the address and number of the nearest hospital.

A Day in the Life of an Independent Insurance Agent

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Step into a day in the life of an independent insurance agent.

It’s 6:00 a.m. and the familiar buzz of the alarm clock gets me up. Time for a few runs on the treadmill and a shower. Coffee and juice, with a raisin muffin and yogurt and that’s breakfast. Time to head out to the bank and post office, then it’s off to the office to meet my first insurance customer of the day, a local fellow who’s starting his own catering business.

The office is buzzing with good morning greetings when I arrive, and the smell of freshly brewed coffee is in the air. I have time to grab a cup, get my computer up and running, check my emails, and review my notes for the meeting at 9:15 a.m.

My new customer arrives right on time and we sit down in my office to talk about his new startup – a catering business. He will have six employees to start out and two delivery vans. What kind of insurance will he need?  Well, let’s see…

Standard restaurant/catering insurance usually includes the following, so that’s what we’ll cover.

  • General Liability: With general liability you’ll be protected from usual complaints filed by your customers. For instance, if a customer slips and gets injured inside your business, they can be covered by this policy.
  • Food Contamination: This is important for restaurant or catering owners in cases of food spoilage, the policy coverage will replace the total content of your freezer and refrigerator. It also supports other expenses pertaining to food.
  • Property Liability: The property liability protects you and your property from natural disasters and fire. Flood and earthquake insurance are add-ons.
  • Automobile Liability: Your automobile insurance policy will cover your company vehicles for accidents and break downs. As you grow your catering business, we can discuss auto fleet rates.
  • Workers Compensation: If one of your employees gets hurt while doing their job, this policy protects your business. Most states require this policy.
  • Life Insurance: As the business owner, you may want to have this policy in case something happens to you. It helps your family and/or successors in stepping up to run the business.

I thought it was important to also mention this to my new customer:

“One other point is good to know. If at some time you want to roll some of these policies into a BOP or Business Owner’s Policy, we can review that when the time comes.

So, if you’re ready to go forward, let’s get some paperwork signed and you will be good to go, insurance-wise.

Thanks for choosing Killebrew Insurance as your preferred independent agency.  We appreciate you and your business. We’ve been around a long time and look forward to having you as a customer. Let us know how we can help, whether it’s business insurance or personal. We will take care of you!”

It’s been a good day all the way around. New customer, several old customers stopping in to renew or make changes to their policies. And, it was my turn to be taken to lunch by one of my associates.  Headed home now, realizing you can’t beat a day like this!

 

Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cost More with Solar Panels?

Monday, September 24, 2018

Have you done any checking into solar panels for your home? If so, you are not alone. And one important thing to consider is do solar panels help or hinder their homeowner’s insurance rates?

Have you done any checking into solar panels for your home? If so, you are not alone. As of 2018, more than 500,000 homes in the U.S. have solar panels on their roofs. There are many benefits to solar panels, such as reducing electric bills (on average, $80 per month in Texas) and adding significant value (in the thousands) to your home. And one important thing most people want to know is - "do solar panels help or hinder their homeowner’s insurance rates?"

Most homeowner’s insurance covers solar panel systems; however, insurance policies vary, so it’s best to speak directly with your independent insurance agent to get your questions answered.

It’s very likely your homeowner’s insurance will cover your solar panel system, but there are a few things to think about first:

  • An add-on or separate policy might be required for certain types of solar panel systems
  • Rooftop mounted solar panels are usually covered in a standard home policy; however, other types such as ground mounted solar panels and solar panel carports may not be covered; or might require an add-on or separate policy.

You may want to raise your coverage limits once solar panels are installed. With the average cost of an average 5-kilowatt solar panel system, you will pay around $10,000 (after tax incentives and rebates). Covering your solar panel investment is important and though you may pay slightly more in homeowner’s insurance, the solar panels are dramatically increasing the value of your home overall. Take the advice of your reliable independent insurance agent to be confident you’re covered for all potential risks.

Find out if your insurance will cover damage caused during the installation process. Sometimes a workmanship warranty is offered by the installer, covering the unlikely event of damage done during installation.

Most reputable solar panel manufacturersrigorously test their products and offer warranties with options. A strong solar panel warranty helps you to know your system is reliable and will produce clean, less expensive electricity for years to come.

Poor Gutter Maintenance Can Affect your Home Insurance Cost

Monday, September 17, 2018

Your home’s rain gutters and downspouts drain water away from the foundation. If leaves, dirt and other debris get jammed inside, you can have problems. Here are some tips to help avoid the worst.

Soon the autumn leaves will begin to fall and cleaning out your rain gutters suddenly jumps to the top of the “Honey Do” list. You could put it off or skip the arduous chore altogether, but you’d be asking for trouble; especially if lack of maintenance causes your homeowner’s insurance to go up. Falling gutters, flooding or a fractured foundation are expensive problems to fix. Here are some tips to help avoid the worst.

Your home’s rain gutters and downspouts drain water away from the foundation. If leaves, dirt and other debris get jammed inside, you can have problems such as:

  • Yes, gutters can pull away from the house and fall if overloaded with debris and especially ice.
  • If water is prevented from flowing properly down the spout, it can spill over the sides and drain into a basement or foundation, increasing the risk of basement flooding.
  • Cracks can easily form if water seeps into the foundation and freezes.
  • When water freezes inside clogged gutters, ice can push against the roof and walls, and increase the risk of mildew or rot.
  • Discoloration can occur on the exterior of your home, if water spills over the sides of blocked gutters.

It’s easier to clean your gutters when the debris is dry, so don’t wait until it rains. Some of the tools you will need for the task include these:

  • Sturdy ladder with extension if needed
  • Tarp
  • Plastic bags with handles
  • Safety goggles or glasses
  • Work gloves
  • Trowel or handled scoop
  • Garden hose with spray nozzle
  • Screwdriver to remove and reattach downspout if it runs underground
  • Optional plumber’s snake for stubborn downspout clogs

Be safe and make sure your ladder if firmly planted on level ground before you climb.

Don’t carry tools or anything sharp inside your pockets when climbing a ladder. Put your tools in a bucket or handled plastic bag and carry it up the ladder then hook it onto the ladder. And be sure you are wearing reliably, sturdy shoes. Safety goggles protect your eyes from loose debris.

After you have done the dirty work, remember to inspect your gutters and spouts next time it rains to be sure you’ve tackled on the problems. Good maintenance on your gutters and downspouts will keep your home in better condition and save on costly repairs that may or may not be covered in your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Why an Insurance Agency Wins Out Over Online Insurance

Friday, September 7, 2018

There are many questions to consider when you purchase your insurance – do you buy from an insurance agency or go it alone and buy online? We hope this will answer some questions for you.

If you’ve ever wondered which is the best choice when it comes to buying insurance, you’re not alone. There are many questions to consider, and the first one is how do you purchase your insurance – do you buy from an insurance agency or go it alone and buy online? We hope this will answer some questions for you.

Your personal insurance agent

There are many advantages to getting to know your insurance agent. That may sound old fashioned, but they have expert knowledge about insurance products that you don’t. If your insurance agent is an independent that’s even better because they have access to many different underwriters and can find you the best policy for your dollar. They will get you multiple quotes to ensure you’re getting the lowest price point.

Working with an insurance agent who works for one insurance company limits your options somewhat. While they may be keenly aware of their company’s products, policies, and discounts, remember, they are limited to the one company they represent.

Your online insurance options

Getting an insurance online is fairly fast and you can even make the purchase without even speaking to an agent. It’s true you might find it easier, faster, and more convenient to buy your insurance in your own good time. Nobody is making a commission when you buy online, so you can avoid the sales pitch.

Buying insurance online means you’re on your own. You don’t have anyone pointing out what to look for or what to avoid. You won’t have the one-on-one interaction and personal attention you get from a personal insurance agent.

You might save a wee bit buying online, but be sure you understand fully what you’re buying. Or you can connect with your local independent insurance agent, get the help you need, find the lowest rates, and begin a business relationship that could last for many years.

Killebrew Blog View Blog

Why Educators Need Professional Liability Insurance Coverage

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Do teachers need professional liability insurance to teach or work in a school? Following are some valid reasons why you may want to take out a professional liability insurance policy.

Umbrella Insurance Can Protect You from the Unexpected

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

What is Umbrella Insurance, and how can it benefit you? Here is information that should clear up any questions you may have.

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