Home and Auto Insurance Quotes Odessa, TexasWhat better way to kick off a New Year than to review your home and auto insurance policies to make sure you’ve got everything sufficiently insured. Okay, maybe you would much rather be playing with the new electronic gadget you got for Christmas, but this is important. Here are some tips to get you started.

To start with, make sure you’ve got current contact information for your insurance agents, and that they’ve got your current information if you’ve moved or changed phone numbers in the past year. Here are some suggestions to help you make sure you’re getting the most from your insurance coverage.

Are you paying for collision and comprehensive coverage on an older car? If you’re in an accident, most policies will pay up to what your car is worth, minus your deductible. You may want to evaluate the car’s value against what you’re paying for that coverage to decide if it still makes good financial sense.

Did Santa bring the family a new car this year?  If so, make sure you have added it to your policy and include all the drivers.

Is the value of your home different due to renovations or rising property values in your neighborhood? If so, check to ensure you still have enough coverage to rebuild in case of a fire or disaster.

Do you need flood coverage or earthquake insurance? Homeowner’s policies don’t cover damage from flooding so it’s a good idea to periodically review your need for flood coverage or earthquake insurance depending on which part of the country you live in.

Do you know what discounts are available with your insurance company? Sometimes insurance plans include discounts, so it’s always a good idea to look over the available list or ask your insurance agent  about any new discounts you may not know about.

Once you’re sure all of your insurance coverage is as it should be, you can get back to playing with your new electronic gadgets.

Business Insurance Options in Odessa, TexasOne of the responsibilities of being a business owner is managing the taxes of business-related insurance. What can you deduct? How do you handle insurance reimbursements? Here are some tips to help.

A business can deduct certain business expenses that it has properly paid. To be deductible, business expenses must be both ordinary (i.e., common and accepted in your field of business) and necessary (i.e., appropriate and helpful for your business). Your company may be able to deduct–as a business expense–insurance premiums paid for a variety of coverages. These include:

  • Fire, theft, flood, or other casualty insurance
  • Employee group medical insurance
  • Life insurance provided for the benefit of employees
  • Business liability insurance
  • Professional malpractice insurance
  • Business interruption insurance (pays for lost profits in certain cases if your business is shut down)
  • Auto and other vehicle insurance used for business (unless the standard mileage rate is used to figure car expenses)
  • Credit insurance (covers losses from unpaid debts)

However, if your business is the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, it cannot deduct the life insurance premiums it pays on behalf of an owner, employee, or any person who has a financial interest in the business.

If your business suffers a property-related loss, your policy should explain the types of property coverages, the specific risks that your business is insured against and conditions you must meet.

In many cases, your business insurance policy will reimburse your business for a given loss. Sometimes, though, you’ll be only partially reimbursed or not compensated at all. In such cases, your business may be entitled to some tax relief. In general, a reasonable insurance reimbursement is not taxable. If you receive reimbursements, subtract them from your total loss. The unreimbursed portion of your loss may be deductible. But if the amount of your reimbursement exceeds the loss, you may have to report taxable income. A tax professional can tell you if there are exceptions to this rule.

If your business property is damaged or destroyed in an accident, by an act of nature or through theft or vandalism, and your policy does not completely reimburse your business for the loss, your business may be entitled to claim a casualty loss tax deduction.

If there’s a casualty loss, a company can deduct 100 percent of the loss against business income if there’s no insurance reimbursement. To compute a business casualty loss deduction, you’ve got to know three things:

  • The decrease in the fair market value (FMV) of the property as a result of the loss
  • Your adjusted basis in the property before the casualty or theft
  • The amount of the insurance reimbursement that you receive

If your property was damaged but not destroyed, the casualty loss equals the decrease in the property’s FMV as a result of the damage, minus any insurance reimbursements. If your property was completely destroyed, ignore the FMV and compare the adjusted basis of the property before the incident to the insurance reimbursement. You can deduct the amount by which the adjusted basis exceeds the insurance reimbursement.

Remember, if your property is covered by insurance, an insurance claim must be filed; otherwise, the casualty loss deduction is not allowed. Use IRS Form 4684 to calculate and report all casualty losses or gains.