Category Archives: Insurance

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Thanksgiving Games (and cool history)

Thanksgiving Games that will make this wild and crazy holiday a little wackier!

Did you know that the author of the first song recorded by phonograph fought (lobbied) for 36 years before Lincoln declared the November national holiday named “Thanksgiving”?

Move over gravy, it’s time to spice up this Thanksgiving holiday with some fun games and facts sure to make this year the best holiday in memory (or at least different than the last few in memory). In case you’re in a hurry, we’re including a link to this blog in Word and image format, because not every Thanksgiving dinner …

Thanksgiving Games that will make this wild and crazy holiday a little wackier!

Did you know that the author of the first song recorded by phonograph fought (lobbied) for 36 years before Lincoln declared the November national holiday named “Thanksgiving”?

Move over gravy, it’s time to spice up this Thanksgiving holiday with some fun games and facts sure to make this year the best holiday in memory (or at least different than the last few in memory). In case you’re in a hurry, we’re including a link to this blog in Word and image format, because not every Thanksgiving dinner table has WiFi or cell service. Even though the 1600s witnessed the Pilgrims celebrating Thanksgiving after a drought, their thanksgivings were days of religious fasting (rather than feasting). The 1700s watched George Washington issue the USA’s first Thanksgiving proclamation. John Adams, and James Madison (Washington’s successors) also dedicated thanks days.

How Thanksgiving came to be a national holiday:

  • In 1827, Sarah Josepha Hale started her quest for an official Thanksgiving holiday. It wasn’t until three years later that she would write the nursery rhyme (based on a true story), “Mary had a little Lamb”. Being a woman with no right to vote did not stop this powerhouse of tenacity from making her voice heard. Lacking email, social media, and telephones – it was paper and pen. Letters written to politicians of all types from the governor’s mansion to senator offices, and all the way up the street to the President of the United States.
  • In 1863, Lincoln scheduled the last Thursday of November a national holiday. Yes, you’re right. It’s currently the fourth Thursday, but that is because in 1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week. The Great Depression was at the end, and an extra week of Christmas shopping could only help to build the economy. As with most political changes, it was given a nickname – “Franksgiving”. By 1941, the president signed a bill compromising for the fourth Thursday in November to be Thanksgiving. Now you know how we got here – let’s get to the games.

Thanksgiving games to start before eating:

  1. “Gratitude Jar” upon arrival, set out a jar or bowl (or container of some type) with a pen and paper next to it. Through the day, anyone can write their note and leave it for later. At the end of the dinner, have each one read. Enjoy being thankful together.
  2. Schedule to Volunteer together. The timing of this one is rather important. If you wait until during or after the feasting, all that nervous energy (which will inspire people to sign up to volunteer together before the dinner) will probably be gone once our tummies are full. If you all agree on a scheduled volunteer together event – promise each other you won’t cancel it when you’re all sleepy after dinner. Look for opportunities to give.

Thanksgiving Games to play at the table:

  1. “I’m thankful for this small thing” Certain days are easier than others to recognize the small stuff and tell yourself that you’re thankful for it. As the food’s being passed, take turns completing the statement, “I’m thankful for this small thing….”
  2. Count-up your blessings. The first person to start points out one (1) thing that they are thankful for. The person next to them points out two (2) points of gratitude, and 3 and 4 and so on. The fewer rules on how to come up with the next number – the better. What am I grateful for right now? People and things and events and experiences are good to remember together.
  3. Diamond Award – We are often most grateful for those things which came through a struggle. Look back at past struggles and trials which have turned into diamonds through pressure. Mention challenges which have helped you.

Thanksgiving Games to play just before turkey coma:

  1. “Silent appreciation” We all know the time between turkey and sleeping to football. When you’re still awake, find someone on social media or email or text, and tell them that you are thankful for them. It’s not hokey, because it’s Thanksgiving – that’s what we’re supposed to do.

Thanksgiving Games to play while you’re eating cold turkey that night:

  1. “Thank your network” There are people we all work with each day and there is often not a reason to thank them, because they’re just doing their job. Even business is based on relationships, and an unsolicited kind word on one day can stop a confrontation in the future. Tell them that you appreciate them.

Whether you play any of our games, or not – we want to thank our clients for allowing us the chance to serve you. Of course, we would not be in business without our clients, but it is knowing we are helping care for you for which we are grateful.

Yes, “Mary had a little Lamb” was the first words recorded by phonograph. Although that “phonograph” was a tinfoil sheet wrapped on a cylinder that Thomas Edison figured out while working on improvements to the telephone and telegraph – when you can’t think of anything to say, it’s usually a nursery rhyme that comes to mind. Since nursery rhyme’s intent are often missed by the first few verses we all remember, here’s the entire “Mary had a little Lamb” verse to kickstart thinking of the people we can say thanks to.

Mary had a little Lamb

(it’s more fun if you sing it)

Mary had a little lamb,
whose fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went,
the lamb was sure to go.
It followed her to school one day
which was against the rules.
It made the children laugh and play,
to see a lamb at school.
And so the teacher turned it out,
but still it lingered near,
And waited patiently about,
till Mary did appear.
“Why does the lamb love Mary so?”
the eager children cry.
“Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know.”
the teacher did reply

Happy Thanksgiving from Insurance Town & Country.

Thank you!

Stay away from self-imposed exile

Stay out of self-imposed exile (debt)

Whether we have a little money or a lot – it is the commodity of our time. One of the great trials of handling money is it that it is a science which can be learned, but it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. If you have had past (or present) troubles with saving money and handling debt, here is a quick and simple guide to get you started.

Money uses Math – the addition and subtraction kind of math.

help with debt-self imposed exileBe encouraged – you have the skills! There is nothing about budgeting that is too complex… …

Stay out of self-imposed exile (debt)

Whether we have a little money or a lot – it is the commodity of our time. One of the great trials of handling money is it that it is a science which can be learned, but it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. If you have had past (or present) troubles with saving money and handling debt, here is a quick and simple guide to get you started.

Money uses Math – the addition and subtraction kind of math.

help with debt-self imposed exileBe encouraged – you have the skills! There is nothing about budgeting that is too complex… it just takes time and will power (and usually a written plan). Budgeting uses the same calculation as dieting, because it’s all about how much you take in and how much you give out. If we want to lose weight we have to burn more calories than we take in. If we want to have more money left over the day before we get our paycheck, then we will need to spend less than we make. Even though it is simple – it’s not always easy. This is where our will power comes in to play, but that’s a whole different blog post :-).

To ease the planning part of this, here is a simple guide to help get us started.

BUDGET EQUATION:
Income minus expense = money you are supposed to manage (and management includes more than spending)how to for growing money tree

  1. Know how much money you give out each month. Whether your goal is a trip next summer, or just that you’re tired of having to make your decisions based on how much money you have available at that moment. It is vital to know how much you’re spending. It is one thing to lower your debt, but knowing how much money you have going out (expenses) every month must be controlled, or debt will continue to sneak up on you. You can’t ever make more than you’re capable of spending.
  2. Know how much money you make each month… exactly. We realize this sounds silly, because – how can anyone go to work every day and not know what they’re making. The reality is that most of us don’t track what is on our paychecks. We are typically so happy to see money in the account that we don’t take the two minutes per paycheck to look at the stub and make sure the amount is accurate. Know how much you put in your bank and what frequency it is delivered.

Even though there are a number of other tools that help with budgets and tracking money, the above info is what goes into a budget. This is as simple as what you make (income) minus what you spend (expenses), and the remainder is what you have to give and save and spend.

**if you are finding that you have less money than you need after doing this “money earned & money spent” equation – that is when you need to bring your expenses inline with your income. Sometimes budgets aren’t fun to do, because we want to pretend that we should live like we are richer than we actually are*** (sorry)debt free prison escape

 

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uninsured under-insured driver
uninsured under-insured driver

If you can see 5 cars – 1 of them probably doesn’t have insurance (statistically speaking)

Here’s the scenario; You were in a car accident, and it’s not your fault! (that felt more like a commercial?!?) – the other person wasn’t able to pay their bills the last couple months and doesn’t have any insurance. Often it’s not only the uninsured individual who can cause risk, but also the under-insured individual. If someone has the bare minimum insurance and your accident has more than the bare minimum of costs – this is not the situation any of us want.

Unless you live in Virginia, it’s illegal to drive a car without insurance. Every state has …

Here’s the scenario; You were in a car accident, and it’s not your fault! (that felt more like a commercial?!?) – the other person wasn’t able to pay their bills the last couple months and doesn’t have any insurance. Often it’s not only the uninsured individual who can cause risk, but also the under-insured individual. If someone has the bare minimum insurance and your accident has more than the bare minimum of costs – this is not the situation any of us want.

Unless you live in Virginia, it’s illegal to drive a car without insurance. Every state has their own laws. From Maine’s 4.5% to Florida’s 26.7%, our country’s uninsured motorists are present (and should be accounted for). Colorado’s uninsured motorists are not in the top or bottom few, but that placed Colorado’s drivers in the mid-percentages of risk.

uninsured under-insured driverIn this article we want to give a shout out to New Mexico for dropping from 29.8% in 2006 to 20.8% in 2015; well done. We’re all better if we can play by the same rules. There are some stand-outs, but the rates for uninsured motorists in most states increased between 2010 and 2015.

Elizabeth A. Sprinkel (senior vice president of the IRC) stated, “While some states saw significant drops in their uninsured motorists rates, overall, the rate is increasing nationwide”, and “This can mean added risk for all motorists.”

“Nearly one in eight U.S. motorists is driving around uninsured and putting insured drivers at greater risk in the event of an auto accident”, according to a study. In 2003, uninsured motorists percentage peaked at 14.9%. By 2010, we dipped to 12.3% after seven years of going down. This bounce in 2015 that found 13 percent of all U.S. motorists were uninsured is not what many hoped to see.

The president, personal lines, at The Hanover said, “The results of the survey sound an alarm. Uninsured motorists represent a significant risk to insured drivers.” According to Halsey, the average cost of an uninsured motorist claim is about $20,000 (and that doesn’t include physical damage to the vehicle).

We at Insurance Town & Country would hope all of our community’s drivers discuss uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage with their independent agents. It’s not a bad idea.

A good rule of thumb is to have equal uninsured and under-insured motorist coverage as bodily injury coverage, according to the insurer.

 

 

_______

– The research was directed by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) and co-sponsored by The Hanover Insurance Group.

– The IRC study, Uninsured Motorists, 2017 Edition, examined data collected from 14 insurers representing approximately 60 percent of the private passenger auto insurance market in 2015.

Boat Launching Tips for Summer

Boat Launching Tips

Pickup truck at the end of water-a boat ramp with boat in water

When you trailer your boat to a lake, there’s only one thing between you and the water—a boat ramp! I know you’re eager to go, but be patient—you need to practice the art of boat launching first.

Some people make boat launching look easy. But it’s a touchy, tricky business, especially for new boaters. If you’ve struggled in the past, don’t give up in frustration. Practice makes progress! And with a little more experience, you’ll soon be the Captain Jack Sparrow of the boat launch.

Here are eight tips for getting your boat back to its natural …

Boat Launching Tips

Pickup truck at the end of water-a boat ramp with boat in water

When you trailer your boat to a lake, there’s only one thing between you and the water—a boat ramp! I know you’re eager to go, but be patient—you need to practice the art of boat launching first.

Some people make boat launching look easy. But it’s a touchy, tricky business, especially for new boaters. If you’ve struggled in the past, don’t give up in frustration. Practice makes progress! And with a little more experience, you’ll soon be the Captain Jack Sparrow of the boat launch.

Here are eight tips for getting your boat back to its natural habitat!

  1. Practice, practice, practice.
    With experience comes confidence. Instead of getting this experience at a crowded boat ramp with an overabundance of impatient, opinionated spectators, consider going to an empty parking lot—you can practice by backing the trailer into a parking space.
  2. Nonverbal communication is key.
    Sometimes the sounds of engines, stereos and other noises drown out verbal directions from your co-captain. Avoid this frustration by agreeing on a few common hand signals for “stop,” “left,” “right,” “start over” and “perfect.”
  3. Slow and steady’s the way to go. 
    Take a deep breath and disregard the pressure to move fast. This will only lead to mistakes. Take it slow—there isn’t a time limit—and control the majority of vehicle movement with your brake pedal.
  4. More brake, less gas.
    Backing down a ramp requires only a little gas. Instead, focus on using your brakes and checking your mirrors. For optimum maneuverability, make adjustments with your brake applied—hold the brake, turn the wheel to where you want it and then release.
  5. Consider 8-4 instead of 10-2.
    Backing up with your hands in the traditional 10-2 position is OK, but many prefer switching to 8-4 instead. With hands at the bottom of the wheel, you push in the direction that the trailer moves, which can feel more natural.
  6. Get used to different trailer sizes.
    Recognize that not all trailers and boats behave the same when being towed. Generally, a longer boat trailer is easier to back up and harder in forward turns; a shorter boat trailer is the opposite.
  7. Try correcting a jackknife before restarting.
    While holding the brakes, turn your steering wheel all the way in the opposite direction of the jackknife. Then pull forward slowly—if effective, your tow vehicle and trailer will realign.
  8. Don’t forget the guide poles. 
    Placing guide poles on your trailer will increase visibility, making it easier to maneuver. Try using them and see if they give you the confidence of a boat-launching pro!

Now that you’ve brushed up on boat launching, jump into another refresher with our blog about boat trailering.

Fun Auto Purchase Ideas…What is a bug worth?

It’s so easy to love a bug. Check out our new value guide

Last July we told you about a new way we’re engaging with members over our shared love of cars: a resource we call the Hagerty Make/Model Price Guide. Our newest guide is all about the VW Beetle. At a time when cars were being built for power and pride, the Beetle made a huge statement by being small and driving slow. And that’s where the fun began.

Our valuebug-value guides were made using the Hagerty Valuation Tools®. It’s easy for you and members to use these …

It’s so easy to love a bug. Check out our new value guide

Last July we told you about a new way we’re engaging with members over our shared love of cars: a resource we call the Hagerty Make/Model Price Guide. Our newest guide is all about the VW Beetle. At a time when cars were being built for power and pride, the Beetle made a huge statement by being small and driving slow. And that’s where the fun began.

Our valuebug-value guides were made using the Hagerty Valuation Tools®. It’s easy for you and members to use these tools to help when quoting Nationwide/Hagerty insurance and to keep track of how values change over time. Use it to engage and retain classic-owning members.

See the VW Beetle guide » 17_oct_hpg_beetle

Ready to discuss auto insurance options for you or your business? Contact our team today at our Denver office at 303-388-7216 or our Castle Rock office at 303-688-1251. You can also send us a message any time and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Auto Insurance Tips for the Collector Car Market

Take advantage of the collector car market that’s killing it

In the midst of the fall season, the “upper middle” market (cars valued between $250,000 and a million) continues its long slowdown. This year, only six of the 10 upper-middle vehicles Hagerty® inspected at public auctions sold, down from eight out of 10 in 2015. At this year’s Amelia Island’s Concours d’Elegance, 60% of vehicles were auctioned for less than current Hagerty Price Guide values.

But there’s another market that’s killing it right now: entry-level collector vehicles (valued at $50,000 or less). Nearly 85% of entry-level vehicles Hagerty inspected at public …

Take advantage of the collector car market that’s killing it

In the midst of the fall season, the “upper middle” market (cars valued between $250,000 and a million) continues its long slowdown. This year, only six of the 10 upper-middle vehicles Hagerty® inspected at public auctions sold, down from eight out of 10 in 2015. At this year’s Amelia Island’s Concours d’Elegance, 60% of vehicles were auctioned for less than current Hagerty Price Guide values.

But there’s another market that’s killing it right now: entry-level collector vehicles (valued at $50,000 or less). Nearly 85% of entry-level vehicles Hagerty inspected at public auctions sold this year, up from 75% two years ago, while only 20% of these vehicles sold for less than current Hagerty Price Guide values.

This translates to a huge opportunity for agents. Many members own “fun” cars (including cars from the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s) in addition to their daily drivers, most of which are insured on a standard auto policy. Protect the cars they love properly by placing them where they belong – on a collector car policy – and you’ll build loyalty and retention.

Ready to discuss auto insurance options for you or your business? Contact our team today at our Denver office at 303-388-7216 or our Castle Rock office at 303-688-1251. You can also send us a message any time and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

See a sampling of “fun” cars we protect »green-car

Auto Insurance Frightful Facts from Christine

10 things that won’t kill you to know about Christine

Stephen King tachristineught us some important lessons as he ascended the throne and took his rightful place as America’s most prolific author of horror and supernatural fiction. You know, things like: don’t play any pranks on Carrie, never stay at The Shining‘s Overlook Hotel (“Here’s Johnny!”), and for goodness’ sake, tread lightly when dealing with a 1958 Plymouth Fury named Christine.

King takes the classic tale of boy meets girl to frightening heights when a geeky teenager named Arnie falls head over heels in love with a red Plymouth …

10 things that won’t kill you to know about Christine

Stephen King tachristineught us some important lessons as he ascended the throne and took his rightful place as America’s most prolific author of horror and supernatural fiction. You know, things like: don’t play any pranks on Carrie, never stay at The Shining‘s Overlook Hotel (“Here’s Johnny!”), and for goodness’ sake, tread lightly when dealing with a 1958 Plymouth Fury named Christine.

King takes the classic tale of boy meets girl to frightening heights when a geeky teenager named Arnie falls head over heels in love with a red Plymouth Fury with a sketchy past. Christine falls hard for Arnie, too, which would be roses if it weren’t for one tiny detail: the car is a killing machine with a long memory and a short fuse. Moral of the story: Never underestimate the fury of a Fury that just… won’t… die.

As we hand out Halloween candy to all the miniature ghosts and goblins out there, here’s a little something for the big kids – 10 things you may not know about the original Christine movie.

Click to see and share the full list »

Why You Need Liability insurance For Your Business

Why You Need Liability Insurance For Your Business

itc-liability-insurance

One of the most important things you can buy for your business is liability insurance. Hopefully, it’s something you’ll never need to use, but you’ll be glad to have it if you need it.

No business is perfect and when something does go wrong, you want to know you have some form of protection on your side. This is why you need liability insurance for your business.

From property damage to bodily injury, anything could happen. No business, big or small, is immune from liability issues and it’s always best to be …

Why You Need Liability Insurance For Your Business

itc-liability-insurance

One of the most important things you can buy for your business is liability insurance. Hopefully, it’s something you’ll never need to use, but you’ll be glad to have it if you need it.

No business is perfect and when something does go wrong, you want to know you have some form of protection on your side. This is why you need liability insurance for your business.

From property damage to bodily injury, anything could happen. No business, big or small, is immune from liability issues and it’s always best to be prepared.

What Is Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is also referred to as general liability and commercial general liability insurance. It’s designed to provide coverage for legal defense, damages and other expenses related to liability suits. These policies typically cover damages to property if you rent, injuries related to advertising, physical and bodily injury and slander or personal injury.

People Love To Sue

People love to sue businesses and each other. If someone was to slip inside your place of business, they could sue you for medical expenses, lost wages if they couldn’t work and general pain and suffering. If your advertising could be misinterpreted and someone is injured as a result, you could face a lawsuit. The lesson is no matter how small your business might be or how hard you try to keep everyone happy, people love to find reasons to sue and it could easily happen to your business.

Things Do Go Wrong

Having liability insurance for your business means you have protection when things go wrong. Perhaps an employee didn’t secure a shelf properly and it fell on someone when they walked by. Even though it was an accident, you’re still responsible for your employee’s negligence.

What happens if someone’s microwaving something on a break and the microwave catches fire and burns down part of the building you’re renting? Liability insurance can help cover the damage and prevent costly out of pocket repairs. Trying to predict what might happen is like trying to predict the weather – it’s not a perfect science. It’s better to be repaired than wish you were after the fact.

You Can’t Afford A Lawsuit

Think about the cost of medical expenses. A simple broken leg can cost thousands. Add legal fees to this and you’re looking at an expensive lawsuit. It’s not uncommon for a lawsuit to cost well over $100,000. Legal fees, medical expenses, settlements and more all add up quickly. Could your business honestly afford to pay out of pocket for all of this?

Most liability insurance policies for small businesses are under a few thousand dollars a year. Obviously, that increases for higher coverage limits for larger businesses. However, annual premiums just a fraction of the cost of a lawsuit. Paying a little now helps ensure that you can afford a lawsuit if it does happen to you.

Protect Your Business’s Future

Sadly, many businesses look at the cost of premiums and feel like it’s an unnecessary expense. Instead of seeing it as an expense, look at liability insurance for your business as an investment in your business’s future. You already invest in maintaining a nice business, hiring great employees, marketing products and services, securing your business and more.

Why not invest in protecting your business’s future too? A single lawsuit could bankrupt your business if you’re not prepared. Even if you could handle a single suit, what happens if multiple incidents happen at once? Consider this – if annual premiums seem expensive, imagine how you would pay for a lawsuit? Hundreds of thousands of dollars could spell the end of your business. With liability insurance, lawsuits still aren’t fun, but they won’t mean your business is done and over with.

Want to learn more about liability insurance for your Colorado business? Contact the friendly team at Insurance Town & Country today to discuss your coverage needs. You can also call us directly at our Denver office at 303-388-7216 or our Castle Rock office at 303-688-1251.

roofers checklist
roofers checklist

11 POINT CONSUMER RE-ROOFING CHECKLIST

Spring in the Rocky Mountains

That means …crazy weather.

The power of nature can be beautiful, but it can also be destructive.  Many of these storms are chased by good and bad roofing companies. Some are great and exactly what you need, and some are to be avoided. How do you know where to start?

Here’s a checklist to help:

Only accept bids from local contractors you have called. Only accept bids with price, scope of work and materials written on them. Homeowners have a 72-hour rescission/cancellation period. Never sign anything that has a cancellation fee! Request five (5)…

Spring in the Rocky Mountains

That means …crazy weather.

The power of nature can be beautiful, but it can also be destructive.  Many of these storms are chased by good and bad roofing companies. Some are great and exactly what you need, and some are to be avoided. How do you know where to start?

Here’s a checklist to help:

  1. Only accept bids from local contractors you have called.
  2. Only accept bids with price, scope of work and materials written on them.
  3. Homeowners have a 72-hour rescission/cancellation period.
  4. Never sign anything that has a cancellation fee!
  5. Request five (5) local references that the Estimator personally worked with over 1 year ago.
  6. Ask for copies of the roofers Workmen’s Comp. and General Liability Insurance.
  7. Make sure the name on the insurance certificate matches the name of the roofer.
  8. Make sure the roofer pulls a building permit and has the new roof inspected.
  9. Do not pay for material in advance.
  10. It is illegal for a contractor to offer to pay, waive or rebate your deductible.
  11. Never turn over insurance checks or pay any money until the job is complete.

 

Reminder: Homeowners have up to one year to complete roof repairs.

Be patient.

…wait until the rush is over …

you will not regret waiting.

small business insurance claims
small business insurance claims

Common Small Business Insurance Claims And How To Prevent Them

When thinking about the type of insurance your small business needs, it’s important to understand the most common small business insurance claims. What’s even more important is learning how to prevent them. Even with insurance, it’s still time consuming to deal with business damage or lawsuits. Overall, there are five types of claims that happen the most often. While you hope they never happen to your business, it’s always better to be prepared.

1. Burglary

Burglaries account for 20% of all small business insurance claims. It’s disheartening to drive up to your business and see a busted window or …

When thinking about the type of insurance your small business needs, it’s important to understand the most common small business insurance claims. What’s even more important is learning how to prevent them. Even with insurance, it’s still time consuming to deal with business damage or lawsuits. Overall, there are five types of claims that happen the most often. While you hope they never happen to your business, it’s always better to be prepared.

1. Burglary

Burglaries account for 20% of all small business insurance claims. It’s disheartening to drive up to your business and see a busted window or broken lock. It’s even worse seeing the damage inside and missing products and money. A few things you can do to prevent this costly type of claim include:

  • Installing a security system
  • Using remote monitoring during off-hours
  • Use pull-down metal screens over doors and windows after closing
  • Keep the area well-lit at all hours

While there isn’t a fool-proof way to prevent theft, taking precautions does reduce the risk.

2. Equipment Failure

All it takes is one piece of vital equipment to render your small business helpless. Whether it’s an equipment malfunction, normal wear and tear or vandalism, your business can’t afford to be without the equipment it needs. These small business claims are usually preventable by doing regular maintenance on the equipment. Ensuring the equipment is stored and used properly helps it last longer and keeps your business up and running.

3. Environmental Damage

Natural disasters are one of the worst things that can happen to a small business. After all, it’s difficult to safeguard your business from a tornado or flash flooding. In 2016, insured losses due to natural disasters topped $23.8 billion and that’s just in the United States. Severe thunderstorms and floods caused the most damage, with winter storms and wildfires coming in a close second.

A few things you can do to help at least reduce damage include:

  • Using strong surge protectors to prevent electrical damage during thunderstorms
  • Storing equipment higher if you’re in flood prone areas
  • Move out as much equipment, furniture and files as possible if your business is threatened by wildfires in the area

Natural disasters aren’t exactly predictable. They’re also a strong reason to always make sure you have small business insurance that covers you fully in the case of the unpredictable.

4. Property Damage

Both accidental and malicious property damage are common small business insurance claims. For instance, an irate customer could come back after hours and break windows or spray graffiti on the front of your store. Of course, an employee could just as easily back a forklift into a wall, causing structural damage. You honestly never know what might happen. You may not always have control, especially when it comes to malicious damage, but a few prevention methods include:

  • Actively maintaining the property
  • Placing clear warning signs in dangerous areas
  • Ensuring all employees are properly trained

Having security cameras in place with signs that state the premises is being monitored may also prevent some malicious incidents.

5. Liability

The final most common small business insurance claim is liability claims. These can also be some of the most costly claims and without insurance, they could cripple or destroy all you’ve worked hard for. All it takes is wet spot in the floor to cause a customer to fall and suddenly you’re left paying thousands in medical bills. An employee could trip over an extension cord that wasn’t tucked out of the way and get seriously injured.

The truth is, you never know what might happen or when. eHealthInsurance provides a detailed list of ways to prevent common liability claims, such as:

  • Ensuring walkways are clear
  • Providing bright lighting
  • Cleaning up messes immediately
  • Securing stairs, such as adding handrails and non-slip components
  • Ensuring any carpeting or rugs aren’t rolling up

Working to make sure your business is a safer place to work and shop helps prevent time consuming claims and allows you to focus on growing your business.

While you hope to never have to use your small business insurance, it’s always best to be prepared. Take precautions whenever possible, but if the worst does happen, you’ll be covered.

Ready to protect your small Colorado business? Contact us today with questions you might have at our Castle Rock office at 303-688-1251 or our Denver office at 303-388-7216. You can also send us a message and we’ll get back to you quickly.