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I have car insurance, but the driver who hit me has limited coverage

 

Purchasing the right auto insurance is one of the best things to protect yourself in the event of a car accident, but did you know that in some cases you have to pay to damages out of your own pocket?

f350-grFor example, let’s say you drive a suped-up $85,000 Ford F350. Unfortunately, one day while out and about running errands, another driver runs a red light and hits your truck right behind the passenger side door.

Everyone is thankfully okay, but the damage to your truck will cost about $40,000 to repair. The driver at-fault only has the state minimum insurance policy coverage, which covers up to $20,000 in repairs. Where will the additional $20,000 come from to repair your truck? Without underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), the $20,000 will come out of your pocket.

However, with an underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage policy, insurance will pay the difference.

What exactly is uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance?

Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance (UM/UIM) provides coverage if you are in an accident and the driver that causes the accident either doesn’t have insurance, or doesn’t have enough insurance to fully cover the damages.

There are two different types of UIM policies: UIM bodily injury and UIM property damage.

  1. UIM bodily injury insurance is similar to the bodily injury coverage that is provided in liability insurance. It will provide additional coverage if the person who caused the accident doesn’t have enough insurance or doesn’t have insurance at all. UIM bodily insurance will pay for medical bills and other injury related expenses. It will also provide coverage in the case that the at-fault driver can’t be identified, i.e. a hit-and-run.
  2. UIM property damage provides coverage for vehicle repairs in case the person who hit you doesn’t have enough insurance or any insurance at all. Unlike UIM bodily injury, UIM property damage won’t provide coverage if the at-fault driver can’t be identified, so a hit-and-run is not covered.

Is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage right for me?

Even if you are the best driver in the world and have great insurance coverage, there is always a chance an accident can happen with an uninsured or underinsured driver. While it may not happen often, it only takes one accident to suffer the consequences of not having uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance. Without it, you run the risk of having to pay for damages out of your own pocket.

 

 


 

 

Top five fall home maintenance tips for living in Jackson, Missouri

 

5 tips for fallWith fall right around the corner, everyone in Jackson is preparing for colder weather and all of us at Golden Rule Insurance are doing the same. While Golden Rule Insurance has plenty of insurance options that offer protection in case you have a fall or winter home emergency, we also have a few tips and tricks to share that can help prevent any home emergencies.

Here are five home maintenance tips Golden Rule Insurance suggest all homeowners do this fall:

  1. Check smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and first aid kits

In the event that you have a small fire, like a kitchen fire, or if one of your kids accidentally cuts themselves while helping prepare dinner, it’s important that all your smoke detectors have fresh batteries, your fire extinguishers are up to date and your first aid kits are stocked. Need someone in Jackson to come check your smoke detectors and fire extinguishers?

Try Accent Security Alarms (http://www.accentsecurityonline.com/). You can also find plenty of items to stock your first aid kit at stores like Walmart and Target. Here is a list of items to have suggested by Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/get-kit/anatomy.

  1. Have your fireplace and chimney cleaned

It’s a good idea to inspect and clean your chimney twice a year to ensure there’s no debris or soot blocking the chimney. Here are a few chimney cleaners to check out:  Fireplace Chimney Sweep Solutions (http://chimneysweepms.com/) or The Chimney Man (http://www.thechimneyman.net/)

  1. Check your windows for potential holes or spaces

Inspect your windows for any gaps or spaces that can leak out hot air or let cold air in. Also, if you live in an older home, consider installing new windows. Thicker paned glass means better insulation and make a big difference in lowering your heating bill each month.

Here are a few window companies in Jackson to check out: Window World (http://www.windowworldcape.com/) or Cape Glass and Tinting (http://capeglassandtinting.com/).

  1. Have your roof inspected

Have your roof inspected for any holes or weak areas. Nothing ruins a winter quite like a leaky roof! Here are a few roof companies to check out: Michael Evans Roofing Contractor (573-243-2587), JMAR Construction LLC (http://www.jmarconstructionllc.com/).

  1. Inspect your heating system

Test out your heating system to make sure it’s in working order (and to make sure you can enjoy cold winter nights snuggled up on the couch). If your heating system isn’t performing up-to-par, try contacting Ziegler Plumbing & Heating (573-243-1188) or Peters Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. (http://www.petersheatingandair.biz/).

What other fall maintenance tips do you have? Share them in the comment section below!

 


 

 

What the ruling on Obamacare means for Small Business Owners

Obamacare-small-business-sign

The King v. Burwell lawsuit

On June 25, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the Affordable Care Act in the King v. Burwell Lawsuit. What does this mean?

Basically, this ruling means that health insurance subsidies will remain available no matter if health insurance is purchased from the state or federal insurance exchange.

This ruling specifically addressed some misinterpreted wording in the Obamacare law that stated subsidies are available to those who buy insurance “established by the state.”

If subsidies were ruled to be indeed only available to those who purchased insurance through the state, then roughly 8 million people who purchased their health insurance through the federal exchange would be left without affordable health insurance.

Obamacare and small business owners

This ruling means that affordable health insurance will remain available to entrepreneurs and small business owners. While new stipulations within Obamacare require businesses of a certain stature to provide health insurance for employees or suffer from a fee (which created a pretty significant cost for small businesses) entrepreneurs and startups that typically have low income during the beginning phases of the business get to reap the benefits of affordable health insurance.

Without Obamacare and health insurance subsidiaries, entrepreneurs and startups have two other options – opt to have no health insurance at all and hope to stay healthy, or find a job that offers health insurance benefits.

As a small business owner, what if I DON’T provide health insurance for my employees?

If purchasing insurance for your small business employees seems too costly and you decide not to purchase insurance, be aware that you could be fined:

  • 2 percent of your yearly household income
  • $325 per person (and $162.50 per child) for the year

You can learn more about that on HealthCare.gov’s Fees & Exemptions page.

What is your experience with Obamacare as a business owner? How has it impacted the way you run your business? Share in the comment section below!

 


 

 

Is Your Online Business Secure?

 

online store

Who here is an entrepreneur? Or a business owner? If you have an online business or conduct your sales through the internet, don’t underestimate the need to keep your business secure.  What happens when technology fails or an employee goes rogue with private business information? In instances like this, the right online business insurance and best online practices can make a world of a difference. 

There are a number of strategies you can implement to reduce your exposure to an online catastrophe. Anticipating potential risks will help you avoid expensive problems later. Do any of these situations sound familiar? 

  • An unauthorized, upset employee gains access to the file with passwords and information for all employees and the accounting system and begins secretly stealing money from employees
  • The owner or CEO refuses to change his password because it’s “too hard to remember,” resulting in a security breach and hacker stealing vital information from the CEOs password protected files.
  • The back-up hard drive crashes and looses the past 10 years of your company’s data.

There are a number of ways you can prevent or reduce the likelihood that any of the above examples will ever happen. 

Here are a few strategies to keep your online business safe: 

  • Conduct security audits:  Find where the “holes” are in your system by hiring a security expert to examine your network and servers. Be sure to let your insurance company know you are doing this, as reducing your risk can result in potential discounts on your Internet business insurance.
  • Manage risk: Creating policies and procedures that establish responsible practices within your company can prevent cyber breaches caused by hackers and human error. Make sure your firewall has the appropriate protection and change passwords periodically.
  • Use cloud and off-site backups: Data protection is so important to an online business. Implement extra data protection like using remote backup storage that will protect against major data loss after an unexpected event like a tornado, hurricane or unexpected power outage.

Best practices plus the right insurance is the key to protection

In addition to do doing everything you can to prevent a digital dilemma, make sure your insurance coverage is up-to-date. Take time to research different insurance companies and the products they offer to ensure your online business is covered for the catastrophes that cannot be prevented.

Protecting business in an online world that is ever changing is hard to do, but finding the right insurance and protection can help to relax your mind and potentially save your business. If you don’t know what kind of coverage you need, feel fee to reach us at Golden Rule Insurance: 844-272-0283.

 

 


 

 

What type of insurance does my non profit need?

 

non profit group meeting

A non profit is an organization that does not pay out its extra earnings to investors or a board of directors but reinvests that money into the business to accomplish its mission.

Non profits can include a variety of different groups, from dog rescue organizations to Aquariums, and although each has its own unique mission and purpose all have to operate by certain standards and implement certain best business practices.

One of the practices that all non profits will have in common is insurance. Non profit business insurance plans will vary in size and policy types depending on the size of the non profit. 

What type of insurance does a non profit need?

There are a lot of different types of insurance that non profits should look into, but the 3 most important are commercial business insurance, vehicle insurance and property insurance.

These 3 types of coverage can handle most of the non profit’s needs in case there is an incident like an employee that is injured on the job, a car accident in a company or personal vehicle or property theft.

Non profit organizations can also look into purchasing directors and officers insurance, which provides coverage for your management team in case they are accused of improper actions. These types of claims can range from sexual harassment charges to discrimination or wrongful termination.

Regardless if the claims have merit or not, legal fees can be incredibly high and make a financial impact on any non profit organization. 

How do I know what type of insurance is best?

There are a lot of online resources for non profits from the federal and the state government that cover non profit related topics including fundraising, legal structure and insurance needs.

Research multiple sources before deciding what is best for your non profit, and consider speaking with an attorney to help you accurately assess risk. Always get a few quotes from several insurance companies to compare pricing and plan options, as the cheapest plan may not be the best fit for your organization.

 


 

 

Boat-Towing Insurance

 

lake at sunsetHave you had the chance to get out on the lake this summer?

Summer is now on the wane but it’s not too late to get out, relax with a cocktail, catch some sun, cast a line, or get in the water.

But before you hit the lake, be sure you have the right kind of coverage for your boat, even for small accidents like running out of fuel.

Unfortunately, boat accidents are more common than you’d think. Thankfully, this is where boat-towing insurance comes into play.

What is boat-towing insurance?

Boat-towing insurance is an add-on policy to your boat coverage that will cover various scenarios when your boat needs to be transported. Depending on your insurance company, you can typically buy basic coverage, or increase your coverage for greater distances.

There are two types of boat-towing insurance to consider:

  1. On-road towing: This covers the costs of towing if you have a problem while trailering your boat on the road. On-road towing is sometimes covered in a standard auto insurance policy, but be sure to check the fine print of your policy to double-check. If your auto insurance doesn’t cover boat-towing and you’re involved in an accident, you could face some major costs to have another company move your vessel.
  2. On-water towing: This covers the costs of towing if you have a problem on the water and need your boat towed in to shore. On-water towing will cover the hauling of your boat to a service area if it is stuck, runs out of gas or is in an accident.

Protect your boat 

While you may be an experienced boater with a perfect track record, there are many other boaters on the water and on the road who aren’t as safe. You can’t predict the actions of other people, nor predict a mechanical failure on your boat that could leave you stranded in a busy waterway.

The only real solution to prepare yourself for this potential scenario is to make sure you are protected with the right boat-towing insurance. The right insurance gives you a plan, saves you time, money, and peace of mind allowing you to fully embrace your time spent on the water.

 


 

 

Is Your Backyard Safe? Backyard Safety Tips for Homeowners and Renters

 

backyardAs a homeowner or renter, there is no better feeling than throwing your first backyard get together!

 

Complete with BBQ’d food, drinks, chips and dip and plenty of seats to bask in the sun or the shade, backyard parties make summer complete.

Do you plan to throw a party in your backyard before the summer ends? If so – there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure your guests (and you) have the best time possible.

Other than having plenty of food (which can be solved by having a potluck style party) and plenty of drinks (BYOB), here are a few simple safety tips to check out so the focus of the party remains on relaxing and never shifts to a trip to the ER or a crying child. 

Here are five safety tips for your backyard parties: 

  1. Don’t allow any unsupervised swimming in your pool. Always make sure there are at least two people swimming at a time and NEVER let kids swim without adult supervision.
  2. According to the National Fire Protection Association, gas and charcoal grills have been involved in an average of 8,800 home and outside fires each year. Don’t join this statistic! Be sure to keep the grill clean, never place it close to anything combustible, and never leave the grill unattended.
  3. Trampolines are every kids dream come true! But, did you know according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, they cause nearly 100,000 injuries each year.  Be sure to limit the number of jumpers at a time, never leave children unsupervised and make sure the trampoline is anchored properly to the ground.
  4. Playsets are fun for kids of all ages, but can be very dangerous if they aren’t kept up to code. Regularly check for sturdiness, rusty bolts and wood rot and make any necessary repairs.
  5. Warm nights are the perfect time to roast marshmallows over a fire pit, but out-of-control fires can cause injury. Always make sure the fire pit is in a safe spot away from your home, deck or trees with low hanging branches. Use sand to fully extinguish the fire and let the coals cool completely before disposing of them in a metal container. 

Make this summer one to be remembered for good times, not accidents.

We’re not just here to be your source of insurance.  We want to give you the information to help you take the necessary precaution so you can avoid even having to call us.  Taking simple safety precautions when playing or partying in your backyard is necessary in order to have a safe, good time. Once you’ve deemed the area safe, pop a top, sit back and enjoy your summer. Cheers!

 

 

 


 

 

3 types of insurance that all summer camps need to have

 

Putting on a summer camp this year? Great! Congratulations, you are going to give great memories to a lot of excited kids and teens – after all, doesn’t band campeveryone have the best stories from “that one time” at summer camp?

Before kicking off camp, there are a lot of things that need to be done – hiring counselors, planning daytime activities, purchasing food and snacks, and finding the right insurance. Just like choosing what types of food to purchase, there are a lot of insurance policies out there and it takes a bit of research to find the insurance coverage that make the most sense for your summer camp.

Here are 3 types of insurance to consider for your camp this summer:

  1.  General liability policy: This policy will provide coverage for any bodily injury that happens to someone that is injured on the camp premises. Without it, the camp will be held liable for any medical costs or pain and suffering charges.
  2. Property liability: This policy covers any property damage caused to a 3rd party by you, your camp employees or your camp operations. This coverage will pay the medical expenses of those injured on your property. Sometimes, these policies will exclude campers, so be sure to check with your insurance agent as to what is or isn’t included.
  3. Business owners insurance policy: This is the best asset to a camp, it’s coverage includes replacing your income if camp operations are interrupted for a covered loss and includes paying wages to employees in addition to other operating expenses. This policy will also cover cars, buses or other camp vehicles that are used for business purposes, plus workers compensation which provides coverage for your employees if they are injured, become ill or die because of a work related activities.

Before purchasing any insurance plans for your camp, be sure to talk to your agent to help you figure out what you need and if there are any holes in your insurance coverage that need to be filled with additional policies. Running a camp is fun, rewarding and takes a lot of work – don’t skimp on insurance and risk ruining all the hours of effort from you and your camp team.

 


 

 

What You Didn’t Know About Permanent Life Insurance

college

Funding a college education or starting a business are two things most people don’t think about when they think of life insurance. But if you have permanent life insurance (which is designed to last a lifetime) you can take advantage of its funds to help you get started on some of life’s most important adventures!

What is the difference between permanent life insurance and term life insurance?

Term life insurance provides coverage protection for a specified period of time such as 10 or 20 years and typically only pays out if you die during the term.

Permanent life insurance, on the other hand, provides protection for a lifetime as long as you continue to pay the premiums. It is designed to last a lifetime and accumulates a cash value. Because it accumulates a cash value, this means there are some benefits to permanent life insurance that you can take advantage of during your lifetime. 

How can I pay for college with my permanent life insurance?

As time progresses, your permanent life insurance policy accumulates cash value and you can borrow against that value to help you pay for college. When it comes to college this can be especially helpful because it may eliminate the need to apply for a student loan or apply for financial aid.

What about starting a business? Can I use the money for that too?

One of the hardest aspects of starting a business is getting buy-in from banks to lend you the money. If you are unable to show that you have steady revenue, you will need to look at alternate options to get your business off the ground. If dipping into your savings isn’t an option, consider tapping into the cash value of your permanent life insurance policy. 

Life Insurance is More than Death Coverage

Most people don’t realize that life insurance can be used as a financial vehicle, and that your policy’s cash value may be a good option to help you fund an important situation or milestone in your life.

Once you cross that bridge, check with your insurance agent (844-272-0283) and financial advisor to make sure it’s the best option for you. One important take away, however, is to know that life insurance can be used for more than just paying out a death benefit.

 

 


 

 

Why Do We Use Fireworks on Fourth of July? (Plus Tips to Use Them Safely)

american flag with sparklers

Did you know, the very first celebration of Independence Day was in 1777? That was years before Americans even knew they would survive the war. Fireworks came into the picture to give people a glimpse of hope, to give them a little light in a dark time and encourage them to stay faithful that they would one day would be their own nation.

It seemed to only make sense in 1789 to celebrate George Washington’s inauguration with a beautiful and bright fireworks display. The Americans had succeeded!  Since then, fireworks have been used to celebrate holidays and large events all over the country.

Celebrate safely this year

The techniques and products used to create and shoot-off fireworks have changed drastically over the years – today it’s possible to have a show that lights up the sky in the privacy of your own backyard – but the one thing that has remained the same about fireworks over the past hundreds of years is the fact that they can be very unsafe.

According to the Consumer Product Safety commission, in the weeks around the Fourth of July an average of 200 people A DAY go to the emergency room with firework related injuries. Don’t be part of the average this year!

Take note of these few safety tips and have a fun and injury free Fourth of July celebration!

  1. NEVER allow young children to handle or use fireworks. Even teenagers should be closely supervised.
  2. Fireworks belong outside, never light them off indoors.
  3. Always have a bucket of water or a hose close by in case a fire erupts
  4. Read the caution label before setting the firework off – it have have safety instructions specific to that firework
  5. If fireworks aren’t legal where you live… don’t use them! Leave lighting up the sky to the professionals and enjoy the show at a park or from the comfort of your backyard.

Fireworks are an American tradition. The beautiful displays in the sky remind us to celebrate our victories and looks forward to the future. Celebrate America safely this year and follow these simple safety tips.

Do you have any Fourth of July tips or fireworks stories? Share in the comment section below!

 

 


 

 

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