Protect Your E-Business with Special Insurance

The Internet has made many things possible, and one of these is running a business from the comfort of your home. For many, the dream of becoming one’s own boss is now a reality, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need comprehensive commercial insurance. While some of your insurance needs are the same as those of a regular storefront, you also face different risks that standard insurance policies might not address.

The majority of businesses today obtain insurance coverage through a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP), which lumps several different types of policies into one plan. Luckily, this can be tailored to meet your needs; but exactly what kind of insurance does an e-commerce business need?

First, you’ll still need to invest in standard policies such as:

Property insurance: Just because you aren’t operating a physical business doesn’t mean you don’t need property protection. What if your headquarters/home were to catch on fire? This type of insurance would help pay for repairs, but it can also help cover computer issues and data loss.

Liability insurance: If someone tries to sue you, whether it’s from data loss or libel, liability insurance will help pay for defense costs as well as for settlements against you. It’s extremely important to set the appropriate limits for this coverage, as lawsuits can sometimes climb into the millions of dollars.

Workers compensation: If you have one or more employees, it’s likely required by your state that you offer them workers compensation. If someone is injured while at work, this benefit pays his or her medical expenses and protects you from being sued. Make sure you check with your state board to ensure your policy meets the law’s standards.

Then there are other less common forms of insurance you should consider, including:

Intellectual property insurance: A form of liability insurance, this coverage protects you in case you’re sued for copyright infringement. Even if you’re certain your idea or trademark is 100 percent original, many claimants simply take businesses to court because they know those companies don’t have the money to pay for a court case.

Transportation insurance: Many e-commerce businesses are retail based and rely on second-party shipping and handling to transport goods. Although many shipping facilities have insurance policies of their own, you need to be sure your goods are covered. This policy helps you recover from losses resulting from a failed shipment.

Business interruption insurance: While it’s true the Internet never sleeps, there’s always a chance that a glitch could knock you offline for days, whether it’s a natural disaster or a third-party problem. If it’s a long enough interruption, you could suffer profit losses. This type of policy can help you recover once you’re back online.

It’s important to connect with your insurance agent when searching for e-commerce insurance products. Data and Internet security is a top priority, and malware isn’t the only threat lurking around the Internet. Like the Internet, insurance has no physical presence, but when you need it, it’s there.

Key Person Insurance Could Save Your Business

Even in this era of teamwork, it’s only realistic to acknowledge that some people contribute more to a business’s success than others. If one of your employees were to leave your company, are you worried it might not recover from the loss? If so, this employee is considered a “key person,” and there is insurance to deal with his or her loss should it occur.

Who is a key employee?

These policies are usually intended for business owners, but they might also be appropriate for top salespeople or anyone else deemed “key” to the business’s success.

How does this policy work?

In key employee insurance, the company pays premiums for an employee because it would experience a severe setback if something happened to that individual. The benefits would help the company weather the tough times resulting from the employee’s loss until it could find its footing again.

Depending on the type of policy purchased, key person insurance may be considered an employee benefit. It would build cash value during an employee’s time at the company, and the company might agree to give a percentage of that cash value to the employee on retirement-which gives the employee an excellent reason to stay.

In this is a policy the details really matter. You’ll need to decide who you can and can’t do without and what type of policy is best for your business. Your insurance agent will tell you more about how key employee insurance works and advise you on which policy makes sense for you.

Title Insurance May Prevent Delays at Closing

Buying a home is an exciting event. The search is over, the paperwork is almost done, and you’re on your way to owning a home!

For many home buyers, the process is painless; but for some, plans are delayed due to title issues.

A title professional is responsible for searching public records to ensure that your home is free of liens before you close on it, but sometimes things slip through the cracks. This is why it’s important to have title insurance.

What is title insurance?

If for some reason someone disputes your title claim, title insurance will help provide financial and legal assistance as you get the matter sorted out. There are two types of title insurance (Owner’s Policy and Loan Policy) but as a home buyers you should focus on obtaining an Owner’s Policy during the closing period of your home. It can be purchased for a one-time fee, although prices vary depending on state and region.

Why do I need title insurance?

There are some people in the real estate market who try to take advantage of eager home buyers. Public records can be forged and titles tampered with; as a result of the growth in online real estate sales, fraudsters can easily find targets.

On the other hand, title issues can come out of the blue and from a completely nonthreatening place. Perhaps the original owner filed multiple wills which conflict, or a previously missing heir claims entitlement.

You may think title issues only arise with older homes, but that’s not the case. Even a new house could have problems if the land it’s on has title issues.

Title insurance is considered a good investment for most buyers, as it provides protection for as long as you or your beneficiaries own the home.

Buyers can have peace of mind with title insurance. Talk to your insurance agent for advice.

Inherited a Home? Make Insurance Job Number One

During times of grief, insurance and taxes are the farthest things from your mind, but they must be dealt with at some point. If you’ve recently inherited a home from a loved one, there are some important details that you may not have considered.

Think insurance first

One of the first things you’ll need to do is contact your insurance company. Just because the occupant of the house expired doesn’t mean the policy has as well. Ask the insurance company to add your name as the primary insured person, and check to see how long the policy will remain active. This will ensure that any claims filed during this period will be covered.

If you choose to keep the inherited property, it’s a wise move to review the insurance policy before automatically opting for the same coverage. Depending on the area, a home could have appreciated greatly over the years, and the coverage amount needs to reflect current value.

If you rent it

If you choose to rent out the property, speak to your insurance agent about additional coverage specifically tailored to rental properties. You’ll likely need to increase your liability coverage and revise the personal property section of your policy.

Although your insurance policy regards a home as a structure, your insurance agent doesn’t; he or she understands the stress and can help you through the tough decisions so your inheritance will pay off, either as an option to live in or as a source of rental income or cash from its sale.

A Virtual ER Visit Is Virtually Painless: Try it

Years ago, would you have imagined an online emergency room that could treat your symptoms effectively and save you money? It’s happening right now. Savvy medical professionals have now established virtual emergency rooms for consumers that are easy, quick, and effective.

Licensed emergency room physicians are available online 24 hours a day to consider your symptoms and provide medical advice, including prescriptions. And you’ll save time: this advice comes with an estimated 10-minute wait time, all from the comfort of your home computer.

According to statistics, 40% of ER visits occur on weekdays during normal working hours, so your virtual visit could save you hours in a crowded waiting room.

According to The Atlantic, the average cost of a U.S. ER visit in 2015 is $2,168. And even if you have health insurance, your deductible for an ER visit can range from $50 to $150 out of pocket, with additional copays. The virtual ER model usually charges much less-about the amount of an office visit copay.

What symptoms point to a virtual visit? If you break a bone, you should head to the ER. Your regular doctor should treat a chronic illness flare-up. But if you have the following symptoms, a virtual visit may be a good option:
• Flu-like symptoms
• Migraine
• Rash
• Respiratory infection symptoms
• Sore throat
After your visit, the virtual ER site will notify your primary care provider and you can make a personal visit if needed.

As consumers increasingly try to manage health care expenses, experts predict virtual visits will grow over the next few years. If you want to save money on your next medical event and think a virtual visit will work, contact your insurance agent to see if this technology is offered on your policy. If not, he or she will work with you on your options.

Cancer Insurance Can Supplement Your Health Policy

According to the American Cancer Society, more than one million Americans are diagnosed with cancer annually. For many victims, the support of family and friends helps cushion the impact, but not everyone is so lucky.

In a recent U.K. study conducted by the MacMillan Cancer Support group, researchers found that those with cancer living in isolation were more likely to skip meals or not eat properly, and had even missed prescription pick-up appointments.

For these individuals, cancer insurance makes sense. But cancer can make even the most independent people vulnerable in ways they don’t expect; they too may want to consider cancer insurance, precisely so they can remain independent and ensure that they have options besides asking friends or family for help.

If you want to make sure you’re well taken care of during treatment, this supplemental health insurance policy can cover:
• Out-of-pocket expenses
• Travel and lodging if required for treatment
• Childcare and/or household help
• Daily living expenses
Before purchasing a policy, review your current health insurance coverage. If it doesn’t provide the cancer coverage you might need, a supplemental policy may be the way to go. Note that cancer insurance may not cover preexisting cancer. And if it does, there may be long wait times.

As with any insurance policy, it’s always wise to read the fine print; your insurance agent can help you decode it.

Who Needs Life Insurance in Retirement?

Many people don’t need much life insurance once they retire; their children have grown up and moved out, and their spouses have enough money to live on from their own pensions, Social Security, or savings.

However, many people do need life insurance after retirement. Take, for example, individuals in the situations listed below:

People who won’t be able to leave sufficient liquid funds to cover their final expenses. Funerals can be costly, and you may not want your family to bear the cost. You can buy a small life insurance policy to cover these final expenses, making it easier for your family at this difficult time.

People with a dependent who won’t have enough money to live on after their death. If your spouse relies on your pension payout and you’ve chosen the life-only payout option (which provides more money during your lifetime, but leaves nothing for your spouse), you may want to consider using some of your extra pension income to buy a life insurance policy for him or her to access after your death.

People who anticipate high estate taxes. If you have an estate in excess of $5 million, you may want to consider buying a life insurance policy to pay the estate taxes that will be due. That way your heirs won’t be stuck with the tax bill-which may be hard for them to pay, especially if your other assets aren’t liquid.

When it comes to life insurance, you have the option of permanent or term: permanent covers you for your entire life; term, for a specific time period.

If, as in the examples above, you don’t need insurance for your entire life, a term policy-which is cheaper than permanent-might be perfect for you.

Your agent will be able to advise you on which kind of life insurance is most appropriate given your individual circumstances.