outdoor dining busy street

How Restaurant Insurance Changes for Outdoor Dining in the Summer

Summertime presents a unique opportunity for restaurant owners to diversify their operations and enhance their customers' dining experiences as the sun shines brighter and temperatures rise. One increasingly popular way of doing this is by expanding dining services outdoors. Outdoor dining can help restaurants accommodate more customers and offer an appealing, open-air dining experience that attracts a crowd eager to enjoy the season's pleasant weather.

However, along with the unique charm and potential profits of outdoor dining come unique challenges and risks. It requires careful planning, from reconfiguring your space to meet safety standards, to adjusting your operations to handle an increase in customer flow. Among the most crucial considerations is the change in insurance needs. Extending your services outdoors could present a new set of risks and liabilities that your current insurance policy may not adequately cover.

Let's look at a few of these considerations, highlighting how your restaurant insurance needs may change with the introduction of outdoor dining in the summer. We'll begin by understanding the coverage of your current restaurant insurance policy, then delve into the specific implications of outdoor dining on various types of insurance, and finally explore additional coverage options to consider.

Understanding Your Current Restaurant Insurance Policy

Before considering the changes that outdoor dining may bring to your restaurant's insurance needs, it's important to understand what your existing policy covers. This will serve as your foundation in identifying any potential gaps that might be exposed by extending your operations outside.

In this section, we will explore the core components of a typical restaurant insurance policy and discuss whether they can adequately cover outdoor dining.

Basic Coverage of Your Current Policy

The first step is to understand what your current restaurant insurance policy covers. Typically, it includes general liability insurance, property insurance, and workers' compensation. These protections may not be sufficient when you extend your operations outdoors.

Does Your Current Policy Cover Outdoor Dining?

Review your existing policy to see if it covers outdoor dining. If it doesn't, you may need to extend your coverage. Outdoor dining introduces new risks that may not be covered under standard restaurant insurance, such as accidents that occur in your outdoor dining area.

Insurance Implications of Outdoor Dining

Switching to or incorporating outdoor dining during the summer months can significantly change the risk landscape for your restaurant. From increased general liability concerns to property and liquor liability adjustments, there are several insurance aspects that need careful consideration.

In this section, we'll delve into these implications, providing insights on ensuring you're adequately covered for the unique risks associated with outdoor dining.

General Liability Insurance

With outdoor dining, there's an increased risk of accidents. Customers might trip over uneven ground or get injured by falling umbrellas. Extended general liability insurance can cover any bodily injury or property damage suffered by customers in your outdoor dining area.

Property Insurance

Outdoor furniture, décor, and equipment are exposed to different risks, including theft and weather-related damages. Ensure that your property insurance covers these items and consider whether you need additional coverage.

Liquor Liability Insurance

If your restaurant serves alcohol and extends this service to your outdoor dining area, you need to review your liquor liability insurance. This coverage protects you if a customer causes damage or injury after consuming alcohol at your establishment.

Workers' Compensation Insurance

With outdoor dining, staff may be required to navigate different terrains, potentially increasing the risk of workplace accidents. Review your workers' compensation insurance to ensure it adequately covers your employees.

Additional Coverage to Consider

While standard restaurant insurance can provide significant protection, introducing outdoor dining might necessitate further coverage. These additional insurance options can help safeguard your establishment against the risks of outdoor operations.

Let's explore some types of insurance that you may need to consider for the comprehensive protection of your summer outdoor dining business.

Commercial Umbrella Insurance

Commercial umbrella insurance can provide additional liability coverage beyond your standard policies' limits. This can be beneficial if a lawsuit exceeds your general liability coverage limits or other liability policies.

Business Interruption Insurance

Summer weather can be unpredictable, and severe weather could temporarily shut down your outdoor dining area. Business interruption insurance can cover the loss of income during this period.

Special Event Coverage

Special event coverage may be necessary for hosting special events in your outdoor space, such as live music or parties. This insurance covers injuries or property damage that may occur during these events.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance becomes crucial if your restaurant offers delivery services, especially with the increase in outdoor dining during summer. This insurance offers protection if your delivery vehicle is involved in an accident. It's important to note that personal auto insurance policies typically exclude coverage for vehicles used mainly for business purposes.

Cyber Liability Insurance

With the shift towards outdoor dining, you may find an increase in digital transactions, such as customers making reservations online or paying via digital wallets at their tables. This increase in digital activity could potentially expose your restaurant to cyber threats. Cyber liability insurance can protect your business from losses related to data breaches or cyber-attacks.

Equipment Breakdown Insurance

Outdoor dining often involves using additional equipment like patio heaters or outdoor cooking appliances. These items can be expensive to repair or replace if they break down. Equipment breakdown insurance can cover the costs of repairing or replacing equipment that breaks down due to power surges, motor burnout, boiler malfunction, or operator error.

Key Takeaways

The summer season presents a beautiful opportunity for restaurant owners to extend their services outdoors, enhancing customer experiences and potentially boosting revenue. However, along with the change in the dining environment, new risks and exposures need to be adequately covered by insurance.

Whether it's extending your general liability insurance, ensuring your property insurance covers outdoor assets, or considering additional coverage like a commercial umbrella or business interruption insurance, every aspect plays a vital role in safeguarding your establishment. Reviewing your workers' compensation and liquor liability coverage if applicable, is crucial.

If the process feels overwhelming, remember that working with an insurance agent can make it easier. They can provide expert guidance tailored to your restaurant's unique needs, helping you navigate through the options and ensuring your outdoor dining venture is well-protected.

beach houses on the shore

What Homeowners Should Know About Insurance Before Renting Out a Home on Airbnb or Vrbo This Summer

As a homeowner, renting your home out on platforms like AirBnB or Vrbo can be a fantastic way to generate extra income, especially during the summer.

However, before taking this leap, it is essential to understand the insurance implications and the financial protection you need to safeguard your property and personal belongings.

Understanding the Basics of Homeowner's Insurance

Before delving into the specifics of home-sharing and rental insurance options, it's crucial to first understand the basics of homeowner's insurance. This foundational knowledge will equip you with the necessary background to make informed decisions about the additional coverage you might need when renting out your home.

Let's first examine what your current policy likely covers and explore how typical home insurance may interact with home-sharing activities.

What Does Your Current Policy Cover?

Your homeowner's insurance policy protects your property against damage and you against liability for accidents that injure other people or damage their belongings. However, most standard homeowner's insurance policies do not cover short-term rentals.

Renting Out and Homeowner's Insurance

When you rent your home, even on a short-term basis, it may be considered a business activity, which is usually not covered under a standard homeowner's insurance policy. Therefore, if a renter is injured on your property or your property is damaged during the rental period, you may be financially responsible for the cost.

Navigating AirBnB and Vrbo Insurance Options

Renting out your home through platforms like AirBnB or Vrbo isn't just about creating an appealing listing. It's also about understanding the insurance coverage these platforms offer. AirBnB and Vrbo have distinct insurance programs to provide some level of protection for hosts.

In this section, we'll dive into these programs to help you understand what is covered, what isn't, and how these protections interact with your existing homeowner's insurance.

AirBnB's Host Protection Insurance

AirBnB offers a Host Protection Insurance program, which provides primary liability coverage for up to $1 million per occurrence in the event of a third-party claim of bodily injury or property damage related to an AirBnB stay.

Vrbo's $1 Million Liability Insurance

Like AirBnB, Vrbo also offers homeowners up to $1 million in liability insurance to protect against personal liability claims, such as a guest getting injured during their stay or causing damage to neighboring properties.

The Limitations of AirBnB and Vrbo Insurance

While these insurance offerings may seem comprehensive, they do not cover personal property, loss of income, or certain types of liability. They also have specific exclusions, limitations, and conditions that can leave gaps in coverage.

Additional Insurance Options for Homeowners

While the coverage provided by platforms like AirBnB and Vrbo is certainly beneficial, it may not offer comprehensive protection for all possible scenarios. Therefore, it is important for homeowners to consider other insurance options that can provide additional coverage where these platforms leave gaps.

This section'll explore several of these supplementary insurance solutions, including home-sharing endorsements, commercial property insurance, umbrella policies, and the value of consulting with an insurance agent.

Let's delve into these options to secure your assets better when entering the home-sharing space.

Home-Sharing Endorsements

Some insurance companies offer home-sharing endorsements that can be added to your current homeowner's insurance policy to cover short-term rentals. These endorsements can fill in the gaps left by your existing policy and the coverage provided by the hosting platform.

Commercial Property Insurance

You may need a commercial property insurance policy if you frequently rent out your home or plan to do so for extended periods. This policy provides coverage similar to a homeowner's policy but is designed for rental properties.

Umbrella Insurance Policy

An umbrella policy is a form of liability insurance that can supplement the basic liability coverage in your homeowner's and host protection insurance. This can be beneficial if a guest sues you for damages exceeding your primary policy's limits.

Working with an Insurance Agent

As a homeowner planning to rent out your property on platforms like AirBnB or Vrbo, navigating the maze of insurance options can be daunting. Working with an insurance agent can considerably ease this process, offering invaluable insights tailored to your situation.

Insurance agents bring a wealth of knowledge about diverse insurance products and how they can best apply to your home-sharing situation. They are skilled in demystifying complex insurance terminology, answering queries, and providing expert advice tailored to your needs.

In the context of home-sharing, insurance agents deeply understand the variances between different types of coverage, the potential risks that come with home rentals, and any holes that might exist in your current insurance coverage. They can also dissect the insurance provided by AirBnB and Vrbo, enabling you to grasp what is encompassed in their policies and what is left out.

Key Takeaways

The decision to rent your property via platforms like AirBnB or Vrbo can be exciting and profitable, especially during the popular summer season. However, it's critical not to overlook this business venture's potential risks and responsibilities. Ensuring you have the right insurance coverage in place can make all the difference in your home-sharing experience.

Seeking advice from an insurance agent or a professional in the field can be an invaluable step in the process. They can guide you through the insurance landscape, helping you understand each policy's terms, conditions, limitations, and benefits. This way, you can decide and choose the coverage that best aligns with your needs and circumstances.

Ultimately, your goal as a homeowner venturing into home-sharing should be to protect your property and personal assets, while providing a safe and enjoyable experience for your guests. Comprehensive, well-planned insurance coverage is a key component in achieving this goal.

As you embark on this journey, remember the importance of understanding, evaluating, and managing potential risks, and ensure that your insurance coverage adequately reflects the unique challenges and rewards of home-sharing.

tools laid on blue background

Insuring Your Equipment: How Business Owners Can Protect Their Gear During Travel

Whether you're a photographer with pricey cameras, a musician with valuable instruments, or a consultant with essential tech tools, your equipment is crucial for your work as a business owner.

The risk of damage, theft, or loss to this equipment can significantly increase when traveling. It's essential to understand how to insure your equipment to protect your business properly.

This blog will delve into the intricacies of insuring your gear and provide tips on safeguarding it during travel.

Understanding Business Equipment Insurance

Before we delve into strategies to protect your gear, it's vital to understand what business equipment insurance is and how it works.

Business equipment insurance, also known as inland marine insurance, covers loss or damage to your business equipment when it's in transit or away from your primary business location. It can cover a wide range of events, including theft, accidental damage, loss, and natural disasters, providing financial protection that allows you to replace or repair your equipment quickly.

Choosing the Right Business Equipment Insurance

When it comes to choosing business equipment insurance, there are several considerations to ensure you have sufficient coverage.

Understand Your Needs

First, identify the equipment you regularly use for your business operations and how much it would cost to replace. This helps determine the coverage amount you need.

Evaluate Different Policies

Different insurers offer different terms and conditions. Some may cover specific perils, while others offer an all-risk policy. Some might provide worldwide coverage, while others may limit coverage to certain territories. Ensure you understand the terms before choosing a policy.

Check the Excess

The excess, or deductible, is the amount you have to pay towards a claim. Policies with higher excesses often have lower premiums, but you'll need to pay more out of pocket if you need to make a claim. Choose an excess that suits your financial circumstances.

Tips to Protect Your Business Equipment While Travelling

Even with insurance, it's essential to take steps to protect your equipment and minimize the chances of loss or damage.

Pack Your Equipment Correctly

Invest in sturdy, protective cases designed for your specific equipment. These cases can help shield your gear from physical damage during transport.

Keep Your Equipment Close

Whenever possible, keep your equipment with you. Bring it as carry-on luggage to reduce the risk of loss or damage if you're flying. Pack it securely if it must be checked and consider using a GPS tracking device.

Be Mindful of Theft

Always be aware of your surroundings and take precautions against theft. Never leave your equipment unattended in public places and secure it in a hotel safe when not in use.

Regularly Maintain Your Equipment

Regular maintenance can prevent malfunctions and extend the lifespan of your equipment. Also, well-maintained equipment is less likely to be damaged in transit.

In Case of Loss or Damage

Despite all precautions, accidents happen. If your equipment is lost or damaged, take the following steps:

Document the Incident

If your equipment is stolen, report the theft to local authorities and obtain a police report. If it's damaged, take pictures of the damage.

Contact Your Insurer

Contact your insurer as soon as possible. Provide them with a detailed account of the incident, including any supporting documentation like police reports or photos.

Follow Your Insurer’s Instructions

Your insurer will guide you through the claims process. Follow their instructions carefully to avoid delays in claim settlement.

Insuring your equipment and taking steps to protect it during travel can save you from significant financial loss and business interruption. So before you embark on your next business trip, ensure your gear is covered and protected.

Equipment Register

Maintain a detailed register of your business equipment. This should include the make, model, serial number, and any identifying features. In case of theft, this information will be helpful for law enforcement and insurance claims.

Equipment Tracking

Consider using tracking devices for your high-value equipment. GPS trackers can help locate equipment if it's lost or stolen. Some also offer features like movement alerts and geofencing that can provide early warnings of theft.

Data Security

If your equipment includes computers or devices containing sensitive business information, ensure this data is protected. Use strong passwords, encrypt sensitive data, and regularly backup data to a secure location.

Exploring Additional Insurance Options

Depending on the nature of your business and the type of equipment you use, you may want to consider additional insurance coverages.

Commercial Property Insurance

While business equipment insurance covers your equipment while it's in transit or used offsite, commercial property insurance covers the equipment at your primary business location.

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance can provide coverage if you're in a profession where equipment malfunction could lead to a financial loss for your client. This can protect you from claims of negligence and the costs associated with legal defense.

Equipment Breakdown Insurance

Also known as boiler and machinery insurance, equipment breakdown insurance covers the cost to repair or replace equipment that breaks down due to power surges, motor burnout, boiler malfunction, or operator error.

Key Takeaways

As a business owner, the importance of your equipment cannot be overstated. These items facilitate your business operations, whether it's costly machinery or invaluable tech tools. Especially when traveling, securing your equipment physically and via comprehensive business equipment insurance is crucial.

This blog has shed light on the intricacies of business equipment insurance and provided a roadmap to help protect your gear during travel. By integrating these strategies, you can significantly mitigate the risk of damage, loss, or theft, keeping your business operations uninterrupted and safeguarding your bottom line.

Safe travels and secure operations!

living room with couch

Regular Maintenance Habits that Can Lower Your Home Insurance

Your home insurance rate is influenced by various factors, one of which is the condition of your property. Regular home maintenance can help prevent potential damage, making your home less of a risk in the eyes of insurance companies, and this can lower your home insurance premiums.

This blog post will discuss the regular maintenance habits that can help reduce your home insurance costs.

Why Regular Home Maintenance Matters

Home maintenance can seem like a never-ending task, but it's an essential part of homeownership. Regular maintenance keeps your home in good condition, preventing minor issues from escalating into major, costly repairs. Insurance companies take note of how well a property is maintained. Homes that are less likely to incur damage claims due to good upkeep often enjoy lower insurance premiums.

Maintenance Tasks that Can Lower Insurance Costs

There are several maintenance tasks that, when performed regularly, can help lower your home insurance costs.

Roof Maintenance

Regular Inspections

The roof is one of the most critical parts of your home. Regular roof inspections can catch potential issues early before they turn into expensive problems. Look for signs of wear and tear, such as missing or damaged shingles, and address any issues promptly.

Cleaning Gutters

Keeping your gutters clean prevents water damage to your roof and home's foundation. Overflowing gutters due to debris can cause water to back up, damaging your roof and causing leaks, which can result in higher insurance claims.

HVAC Maintenance

Regular Servicing

Regularly servicing your HVAC system can prevent system failures that could cause property damage. A well-maintained HVAC system is also less likely to cause fire or water damage, both of which can lead to insurance claims.

Cleaning and Replacing Filters

Regularly cleaning or replacing your HVAC filters can increase the efficiency and lifespan of your system. It also reduces the risk of fire, which can lead to a lower home insurance premium.

Plumbing Maintenance

Regular Inspections

Regularly inspect your plumbing system for leaks. Even a small leak can lead to significant water damage over time, increasing your potential for insurance claims.

Insulating Pipes

Insulating your pipes can prevent them from freezing and bursting in winter, a common cause of home insurance claims.

Electrical Maintenance

Inspecting Wiring

Regularly inspect your home's wiring, especially if you live in an older home. Faulty wiring can cause electrical fires, leading to significant damage and insurance claims.

Home Security Maintenance

Regularly Test Security Systems

Regularly testing and maintaining your home security system can also reduce insurance premiums. A functional security system decreases the likelihood of theft, a common home insurance claim.

Regularly Change Locks

Regularly changing locks, especially after losing keys, can prevent unauthorized entry into your home, reducing the potential for theft claims.

Fire Safety Maintenance

Regularly Test Smoke Detectors

Regularly testing your smoke detectors and replacing batteries when needed ensures they're always ready to alert you in case of a fire. This proactive step can prevent extensive fire damage and thus, high insurance claims.

Regularly Inspect and Maintain Fire Extinguishers

Regular inspection and maintenance of fire extinguishers ensure they're operational when needed, helping to prevent extensive fire damage.

Record Keeping

In addition to performing these maintenance tasks, keep detailed records of all home maintenance and repairs. These records can be useful when negotiating your home insurance rates, as they demonstrate your commitment to maintaining your property.

Additional Maintenance Habits

Apart from the tasks mentioned above, there are additional maintenance habits that can help you lower your home insurance rates.

Maintaining Appliances

Regularly service appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, and refrigerators. Malfunctioning appliances can cause water leaks or even fires, both of which can result in expensive insurance claims.

Maintaining Drainage and Water-Proofing Systems

Ensure your drainage system is functioning properly, especially if you live in an area prone to heavy rain or flooding. Similarly, if you have a basement, regular waterproofing system maintenance is essential to prevent water damage.

Maintaining Trees and Landscape

Regularly prune trees and remove dead branches that could potentially fall on your house, especially during severe weather. Ensure that your landscaping does not create a risk for flooding or fire.

Regular Inspections

A professional inspecting your home regularly can catch issues you might miss. This includes checking the structural integrity of your home, as well as its electrical and plumbing systems.

Upgrading Old Systems

Insurance companies generally see older homes with outdated electrical, plumbing, or heating systems as higher risk. If possible, consider upgrading these systems. Not only will this make your home safer, it could also result in lower insurance premiums.

Home Maintenance and Insurance Discounts

Many insurance companies offer discounts for certain home maintenance activities. For example, installing a home security system, adding storm shutters, modernizing heating, electrical, and plumbing systems, and installing a reinforced roof may all qualify for discounts.

It’s worth discussing your home maintenance routine with your insurance agent. They can provide advice on what activities might lower your premiums and may be able to offer discounts based on your current home maintenance habits.

Final Thoughts

Regular home maintenance is essential in preserving the value of your home and reducing the likelihood of costly damages. By implementing the maintenance habits discussed in this blog post, you can help ensure your home is in good condition, minimize the risk of damage, and potentially enjoy lower home insurance premiums.

Remember, maintaining your home is not just a responsibility but an investment in your property's safety, longevity, and financial well-being.

So make a maintenance schedule, stick to it, and know that your effort is helping to protect one of your most valuable assets.

hurricane forming over the ocean clouds

Most Common Natural Disasters in New Jersey

New Jersey, known as the Garden State, is home to beautiful beaches, bustling cities, and a diverse landscape. However, like any other state, it's also prone to various natural disasters.

In this blog post, we'll explore the most common natural disasters that impact New Jersey and discuss how residents can prepare for and respond to these events. By understanding the risks and taking appropriate precautions, New Jersey residents can minimize the impact of these disasters on their lives and communities.

Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

New Jersey is no stranger to hurricanes and tropical storms, with its long Atlantic coastline making it vulnerable to these powerful weather systems. While the state doesn't typically experience the most severe hurricanes, it can still be significantly impacted by high winds, heavy rain, and storm surges. Some of the most notable storms to affect New Jersey in recent history include Hurricane Sandy (2012) and Tropical Storm Irene (2011).

Hurricane Sandy was a particularly devastating storm for New Jersey. As the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, Sandy caused extensive damage along the East Coast, with New Jersey among the hardest-hit areas. The storm brought record storm surges to coastal communities, flooding homes and businesses, causing widespread power outages, and resulting in numerous fatalities. In addition to the significant property damage, the storm had lasting economic and environmental impacts on the state.

Tropical Storm Irene also had a substantial impact on New Jersey. Although not as severe as Hurricane Sandy, Irene still brought heavy rainfall, flooding, and strong winds to the state. The storm caused widespread power outages and damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure, with some areas experiencing record flooding levels.

To prepare for hurricanes and tropical storms, homeowners should consider installing storm shutters or impact-resistant windows, reinforcing garage doors, and ensuring that gutters and downspouts are clear of debris to help prevent water damage. Additionally, residents should trim back any trees or branches that could pose a risk to their homes during high winds.


Flooding in New Jersey is a prevalent issue, with coastal and inland areas vulnerable to its effects. The state's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, its flat terrain, and its extensive network of rivers and streams make it particularly susceptible to flooding events. Heavy rainfall from severe storms, hurricanes, and even snowmelt during the spring can contribute to an increased risk of flooding.

In recent years, New Jersey has experienced several significant flood events, causing damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure. These events can lead to road closures, making travel difficult and potentially dangerous, and can disrupt essential services such as water and electricity.

To protect themselves from the impacts of flooding, New Jersey residents should be aware of their flood risk, which can be determined by consulting flood maps provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Homeowners living in high-risk flood zones should consider purchasing flood insurance to protect their properties, as standard homeowner's insurance policies typically do not cover flood damage.

Additionally, residents can take steps to reduce the potential for flood damage by elevating critical utilities and appliances, installing flood vents, and using flood-resistant building materials for renovations or new construction.

Winter Storms and Nor'easters

New Jersey experiences its fair share of winter weather, including snowstorms, ice storms, and freezing rain. Nor'easters, which are strong low-pressure systems that affect the East Coast, can bring heavy snow, strong winds, and coastal flooding to the state.

Winter storms can cause power outages, hazardous travel conditions, and property damage. Residents should prepare for winter weather by winterizing their homes, having an emergency kit on hand, and staying informed about weather conditions during the winter months.


Although tornadoes are not as common in New Jersey as they are in other parts of the United States, they still pose a risk to residents. Tornadoes can cause extensive damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure and pose a significant threat to public safety.

To prepare for tornadoes, residents should develop a family emergency plan, have an emergency kit on hand, and understand the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning.


Wildfires are a growing concern in New Jersey, particularly in the state's heavily forested regions, such as the Pine Barrens. Dry conditions, high winds, and lightning can all contribute to the risk of wildfires. These fires can spread rapidly and cause significant damage to homes, businesses, and natural habitats. To reduce the risk of wildfires, residents should follow fire safety guidelines, create defensible spaces around their homes, and stay informed about wildfire conditions in their area.


While earthquakes are relatively rare in New Jersey, the state does sit on several fault lines, including the Ramapo Fault, which runs through parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. Although most earthquakes in the region are minor, there is always the potential for a more significant seismic event.

Earthquakes can cause structural damage to buildings and infrastructure, as well as pose a threat to public safety. Residents should secure heavy objects in their homes to prepare for earthquakes, develop a family emergency plan, and have an emergency kit on hand.

Key Takeaways

New Jersey residents face various natural disaster risks, including hurricanes, floods, winter storms, tornadoes, wildfires, and earthquakes. While it's impossible to predict exactly when or where these disasters will occur, being aware of the risks and taking steps to prepare can help minimize their impact.

By developing family emergency plans, assembling emergency kits, and staying informed about potential threats, New Jersey residents can help protect themselves, their families, and their communities from the effects of these natural disasters.

Reach out to Keller Insurance today to learn more about how these natural disasters may impact you and which insurance options can protect you if they do.

workers on construction site with safety equipment and cement mixer

12 Most Dangerous Jobs in America

Every day, countless individuals across the country head to work, many of them taking on high-risk occupations that expose them to various dangers. While some jobs offer a safe and secure work environment, others come with inherent hazards that demand heightened safety measures and a constant awareness of potential risks. In this article, we delve into twelve of the most dangerous jobs in America, highlighting the unique challenges faced by the courageous workers who perform these essential roles.

Our exploration includes occupations in industries such as logging, fishing, construction, and law enforcement, among others. By understanding the risks associated with these professions, we can appreciate the dedication of these workers, who put their lives on the line to contribute to our society. It is crucial for employers and employees in these high-risk fields to prioritize safety, follow regulations, and implement appropriate training programs to mitigate risks and protect workers.

In this article, we'll explore the twelve most dangerous jobs in America, shedding light on the challenges and hazards that workers in these fields face.

Logging Workers

Logging is a crucial industry, but it's also one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Logging workers face hazards like falling trees, heavy equipment accidents, and challenging terrain. Long hours, remote locations, and inclement weather conditions can further increase the risks associated with this profession. To mitigate these dangers, logging companies must prioritize safety training and provide proper protective equipment for their employees.

Fishers and Fishing Workers

Commercial fishing is a high-risk occupation due to the unpredictable nature of the sea and the physically demanding work involved. Fishers and fishing workers must contend with hazardous weather conditions, heavy equipment, and the risk of drowning. Ensuring that workers have appropriate training, safety gear, and emergency response plans is essential to reduce the risks associated with this profession.

Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers

Aircraft pilots and flight engineers face various dangers while working in the aviation industry. These hazards include mechanical failures, adverse weather conditions, and the potential for human error. Accidents can still occur despite the rigorous training and strict regulations surrounding aviation. Continuous education, adherence to safety protocols, and regular equipment maintenance can help minimize the risks in this profession.


Roofers are exposed to various hazards while working at heights, including falls, heat-related illnesses, and injuries caused by tools and equipment. Slippery surfaces, strong winds, and extreme temperatures can further increase the risks associated with this profession. To protect roofers, employers should provide proper fall protection equipment, enforce safety guidelines, and schedule work during more favorable weather conditions when possible.

Structural Iron and Steel Workers

Structural iron and steel workers are responsible for constructing and maintaining the steel framework of buildings, bridges, and other structures. They face significant dangers, including falls, being struck by objects, and electrocution. Providing comprehensive safety training, utilizing proper fall protection systems, and enforcing strict safety regulations can help minimize the risks in this profession.

Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors

Refuse and recyclable material collectors are vital in keeping our communities clean. However, this job comes with inherent dangers, such as exposure to hazardous materials, heavy machinery accidents, and the risk of being struck by vehicles. To reduce these risks, waste management companies should provide proper safety training, enforce personal protective equipment (PPE) use, and implement safety procedures for workers on the road.

Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers

Electrical power-line installers and repairers face numerous hazards, including working at heights, exposure to high-voltage electricity, and working with heavy equipment. Injuries can result from falls, electrical shocks, and being struck by objects. Ensuring workers have appropriate safety training, access to proper PPE, and a strong understanding of safety regulations can help minimize the risks in this field.

Truck Drivers and Delivery Workers

Truck drivers and delivery workers face risks such as traffic accidents, vehicle-related injuries, and repetitive stress injuries from heavy lifting. Long hours on the road and tight deadlines can also contribute to driver fatigue, increasing the likelihood of accidents. Employers can help protect their workers by enforcing safe driving practices, providing ergonomic equipment, and promoting proper lifting techniques.

Farmers, Ranchers, and Agricultural Managers

Agriculture is a vital industry, but it's also fraught with dangers. Farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers are exposed to risks like heavy machinery accidents, exposure to hazardous chemicals, and animal-related injuries. Long hours, strenuous labor, and changing weather conditions can also increase the likelihood of accidents. Implementing safety training programs, using appropriate PPE, and maintaining equipment can help reduce risks in this profession.

Grounds Maintenance Workers

Grounds maintenance workers, including landscapers and tree trimmers, face a variety of hazards in their daily work. These dangers include exposure to chemicals, injuries from tools and equipment, and risks associated with working at heights. Employers can help protect their workers by providing proper safety training, ensuring access to PPE, and enforcing safety guidelines.

Construction Laborers

Construction laborers are involved in various tasks on construction sites, from operating heavy machinery to working with hand tools. The dangers they face include falls, being struck by objects, and exposure to hazardous materials. Additionally, construction sites are often loud, busy environments, increasing the risk of accidents. Employers can help protect their workers by providing thorough safety training, ensuring access to PPE, and enforcing strict safety guidelines.

Police and Law Enforcement Officers

Police and law enforcement officers put their lives on the line daily to protect and serve our communities. They face numerous dangers, including confrontations with criminals, exposure to weapons, and high-speed pursuits. This profession's physical and mental demands can also take a toll on officers' well-being. Law enforcement agencies can help protect their officers by providing appropriate training, ensuring access to protective gear, and offering resources to support mental health.


While these occupations come with significant risks, they also play crucial societal roles. It's important for employers and workers in these industries to prioritize safety by following regulations, implementing appropriate training programs, and using the proper protective equipment.

By taking these measures, we can help protect the workers who take on these dangerous jobs and ensure they can continue contributing to our communities safely.

For more information on dangerous jobs in America and to learn about the best insurance options to protect yourself and your company from liability claims, reach out to Keller Insurance Agency today!

carpenter insurance keller

Top Insurance Policies for Carpenters

Carpenters play a crucial role in constructing and maintaining residential and commercial properties. With their skilled craftsmanship, they bring structures to life and ensure their durability. However, like any trade, carpenters face potential risks and liabilities while working. Therefore, it's essential to have the right insurance coverage in place.

This blog post will explore various insurance options for carpenters, helping you choose the best coverage for your needs.

Understanding the Importance of Carpenter Insurance

Carpenters are exposed to several risks during their daily work, such as workplace accidents, property damage, or legal claims arising from faulty workmanship. To protect themselves and their businesses, carpenters should invest in insurance coverage tailored to their unique needs. Carpenter insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind, allowing you to focus on delivering quality work.

Carpenter insurance offers a range of benefits that protect carpenters and their businesses from the potential financial impacts of unforeseen events. Here are some of the key advantages of having comprehensive carpenter insurance:

  1. Financial protection: Carpenter insurance provides financial coverage for various risks associated with the carpentry trade, such as property damage, bodily injury, and professional errors. Having the right coverage in place can safeguard your business from the financial burden of claims, lawsuits, or unexpected losses.
  2. Legal compliance: Many states require carpenters to carry specific types of insurance, such as workers' compensation or commercial auto coverage. Having the necessary insurance helps you comply with legal requirements, avoid fines, and maintain a professional reputation.
  3. Peace of mind: The uncertainty of potential accidents, property damage, or legal claims can cause stress for any business owner. With comprehensive carpenter insurance, you can work with peace of mind, knowing that you have financial protection to handle unexpected situations.
  4. Business continuity: In the event of a covered loss, such as a fire or theft, carpenter insurance can help cover repair or replacement costs, as well as lost income due to business interruption. This support ensures that your carpentry business can recover and continue operations.
  5. Attracting clients: Having the appropriate insurance coverage demonstrates professionalism and responsibility, making you more attractive to potential clients. Customers can trust that they are working with a reliable and trustworthy carpenter who takes their work seriously and has the necessary protections.

Carpenter Insurance Policies to Consider

There are several types of insurance policies that carpenters should consider, depending on their specific risks and requirements. We've compiled a list of the most important insurance options for carpenters below.

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance is a must-have for any carpenter. It provides coverage for third-party bodily injury, property damage, and personal or advertising injury claims. For example, if a client trips over your tools and is injured or if your work accidentally damages a customer's property, general liability insurance can help cover the costs of medical expenses, repairs, and potential legal fees.

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance, or errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, protects carpenters against claims arising from mistakes or negligence in their work. If a client claims that your work was substandard or led to financial losses, professional liability insurance can help cover the costs of defending yourself and any resulting damages.

Commercial Auto Insurance

As a carpenter, you likely rely on your vehicle to transport your tools and materials to job sites. Commercial auto insurance is designed to cover the risks of using your vehicle for business purposes. This coverage can help pay for repairs or replacement if your vehicle is involved in an accident and liability claims if you cause an accident that results in injury or property damage to others.

Workers' Compensation Insurance

Workers' compensation insurance is a legal requirement in most states if you employ other carpenters or workers. This coverage provides financial protection for employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses, covering medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs. Additionally, workers' compensation insurance can protect your business from potential lawsuits filed by injured employees.

Property Insurance

Property insurance is essential if you own a workshop or store your tools and equipment in a dedicated space. This coverage helps protect your business property, including buildings, tools, equipment, and inventory, from damage caused by fire, theft, or natural disasters. Some policies may also offer coverage for business interruption, which can help cover lost income and additional expenses if your business is temporarily unable to operate due to a covered loss.

Tailoring Your Carpenter Insurance to Your Needs

Every carpenter's business is unique, and so are their insurance needs. To ensure you have the right coverage in place, consider the following factors:

  1. Evaluate your specific risks: Assess the potential hazards and liabilities associated with your carpentry business, including the types of projects you undertake, your work environment, and the equipment you use. This will help you identify the insurance policies that are most relevant to your needs.
  2. Determine appropriate coverage limits: The amount of coverage you need will depend on the size and scope of your carpentry business and the value of your assets and potential liabilities. Consult with an insurance agent or broker to determine the appropriate coverage limits for each policy.
  3. Consider additional endorsements or riders: Depending on your specific needs, you may want to add endorsements or riders to your policies to provide additional coverage for unique risks. For example, you might consider adding an inland marine policy to cover tools and equipment while in transit, or a builder's risk policy to cover materials and structures under construction.
  4. Shop around for the best rates and coverage: Insurance rates and coverage options can vary significantly between providers. It's essential to compare quotes from multiple insurers to ensure you get the best coverage at the most competitive price.
  5. Regularly review and update your insurance coverage: As your carpentry business grows and evolves, your insurance needs may change. Review your policies annually or after significant business changes, such as hiring new employees or expanding your services, to ensure your coverage remains adequate.

Protecting Your Carpentry Business with the Right Insurance

In conclusion, carpenters face various risks and liabilities in their daily work, making it essential to have the right insurance coverage in place. By investing in comprehensive carpenter insurance, you can protect your business, your assets, and your livelihood from potential financial losses.

Consider the key insurance options outlined in this guide, such as general liability, professional liability, commercial auto, workers' compensation, and property insurance, to create a tailored insurance package that meets your needs. By evaluating your specific risks, determining appropriate coverage limits, and regularly reviewing and updating your policies, you can ensure that your carpentry business remains protected, allowing you to focus on delivering quality craftsmanship with peace of mind.

For more information, reach out to Keller Insurance today!

Does Homeowner's Insurance Cover DIY Repairs and Renovations?

As a homeowner, you may be tempted to tackle DIY repairs and renovations to save money and add value to your home. However, it's important to understand how your homeowner's insurance policy may come into play if something goes wrong during the process.

In this blog post, we'll examine whether homeowner's insurance covers DIY repairs and renovations and what you can do to protect yourself and your home.

What is Homeowner's Insurance?

Homeowner's insurance is a type of insurance policy that provides financial protection for your home and belongings in the event of damage or loss. This insurance policy typically covers property damage and loss caused by hazards such as fire, theft, and certain natural disasters.

Homeowner's insurance also typically provides liability coverage, which means that if someone is injured on your property or you accidentally damage someone else's property, your insurance policy may cover legal fees and damages.

It's important to note that homeowner's insurance policies may have exclusions or limitations on coverage for certain types of damage or loss. For example, flood damage may not be covered under a standard homeowner's insurance policy and may require a separate flood insurance policy.

In addition, homeowner's insurance policies may also have limits on the amount of coverage provided for certain types of property, such as jewelry or artwork. Homeowners can purchase additional insurance coverage for these items through a rider or endorsement of their policy.

Does Homeowner's Insurance Cover DIY Repairs and Renovations?

The answer to this question is not straightforward, as it depends on the specific circumstances of the DIY project and your insurance policy. Generally speaking, most homeowner's insurance policies will cover damage that occurs as a result of DIY repairs and renovations, as long as the damage was unintentional and not caused by negligence or intentional actions.

For example, if you accidentally damage a wall while trying to install a new light fixture, your homeowner's insurance policy may cover the damage. However, your insurance policy may not cover the damage if you intentionally knock down a wall to create an open floor plan.

It's important to note that some homeowner's insurance policies may have exclusions or limitations on DIY repairs and renovation coverage. For example, some policies may not cover damage that occurs due to unlicensed work or work that does not meet local building codes.

It's also important to consider the type and scope of the DIY project. If you're making minor repairs or cosmetic updates, your insurance policy may provide coverage for any resulting damage. However, if you're undertaking a major renovation, such as adding a room or building an addition, you may need to purchase additional insurance coverage or obtain a builder's risk insurance policy.

How to Protect Yourself and Your Home

To ensure that you're properly protected when undertaking DIY repairs and renovations, there are several steps you can take:

Check Your Insurance Policy

The first step is to review your homeowner's insurance policy to understand what is and isn't covered when it comes to DIY repairs and renovations. If you're unsure about the specifics of your policy, contact your insurance agent for clarification.

Obtain Necessary Permits and Licenses

If you're undertaking a major renovation or construction project, make sure to obtain any necessary permits and licenses from your local government. This can help ensure that your project meets local building codes and safety standards and may also help protect you from liability in the event of an accident or injury.

Hire Professionals for Complex Projects

If you're not experienced in a particular DIY project or a complex one, consider hiring professionals to complete the work. This can help ensure that the work is done safely and to code and may also provide an added layer of protection in case of damage or liability issues.

Take Safety Precautions

Regardless of the scope or complexity of the DIY project, it's important to take safety precautions to protect yourself and your home. This may include wearing protective gear, using proper tools and equipment, and ensuring that the work area is well-ventilated and free of hazards.

Document the Process

Finally, it's important to document the DIY process, including taking photos and keeping records of any materials or equipment used. This can help provide evidence of the work done in case of any disputes or insurance claims.

Consider Additional Insurance Coverage

If you're undertaking a major renovation or construction project, it may be worth considering additional insurance coverage to protect yourself and your home. Builder's risk insurance, for example, can provide coverage for damage or loss during construction. Similarly, if you're hiring contractors to complete the work, make sure that they have their own liability insurance to cover any damages or injuries that may occur.

Keep Your Insurance Company Informed

Finally, keeping your insurance company informed throughout the DIY process is important. If you're planning a major renovation, let your insurance company know in advance so that they can advise you on any additional coverage you may need. Similarly, if you experience any damage or loss due to the DIY project, report it to your insurance company as soon as possible.

Key Takeaways

Homeowner's insurance can provide important financial protection for your home and belongings, but it's important to understand the limitations and exclusions of your policy when it comes to DIY repairs and renovations. By taking the necessary precautions and ensuring that you have adequate insurance coverage, you can protect yourself and your home during the DIY process.

For more information on homeowner's insurance or to ask about your insurance options, contact one of our superstar insurance agents today.

benefits of general contractor

8 Benefits of Hiring a General Contractor

If you’re building a home, office, cafe, or other building, you may want to consider hiring a general contractor to oversee the project for you–especially if you’re not familiar with all of the working parts involved with the site. 

A general contractor can relieve you of that burden by managing every part of your project, from sourcing the smallest materials to hiring the best subcontractors in the business. 

If you’ve been considering whether or not a general contractor is right for your project, check out these top eight benefits of hiring one today.

What is a General Contractor?

A general contractor serves as a coordinator and supervisor for building projects. They work for site owners to purchase materials, hire workers, schedule out different aspects of a project, and oversee the work done by subcontractors they’ve recommended for the project. Additionally, they can coordinate with your city or district to ensure that your project is up to code and all work being completed is done with code-correct materials and the right permits.

However, the biggest responsibility of a general contractor is to serve as the go-between for project owners and all other moving parts relating to a project. That way, the project owner can rest easy knowing their building is in the hands of a professional.

8 Benefits of Hiring a General Contractor

They’ll Save You Money

Many people may assume that hiring a general contractor means they’ll spend more money, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, despite the extra salary you’ll be paying, you will save significantly more money on the project by working with a contractor because you’ll be able to benefit from the network of suppliers general contractors come equipped with.

This network will be able to grant your contractor discounts on bulk supplies and reduce materials costs that you will not have access to without them.

They’re Efficient

Unlike most project owners, general contractors know exactly what goes into any building project. They understand the timelines for various moving parts in the project, from how long certain materials are sourced to the timeline for each step of project completion. 

This gives them the unique ability to organize everything in the most time-efficient manner and have back-ups in place to have a better chance of completing the project within a given deadline.

They Understand What Needs to Be Done

Homeowners and project owners may think they understand what goes into their new project well. Still, their understanding cannot compare to the wealth of information general contractors come equipped with.

General contractors spend their careers focused on one thing: managing project sites. This gives them invaluable insight into every possible element a project may entail, including what to do if things start going wrong.

They Have the Right Connections

In addition to coming to your project with a network of suppliers for all of the project materials you may need, general contractors are also equipped with a wide range of connections across the building industry that you can benefit from. These can include specialist subcontractors, tradesmen, and other individuals with unique skill sets.

While you may be able to find some individuals who can get the job done sufficiently on your own, your general contractor will ensure that exactly the right subcontractors are hired for the job. This way, you’ll get the highest quality of work in exchange for a budget-friendly fee.

They Provide a Single Point of Contact

General contractors serve as go-betweens for the project owner and any subcontractors, tradesmen, and suppliers who work on the project. This means that instead of trying to juggle five, ten, or twenty different people to find the answer to a question or solve a problem, you only need to communicate with a single person. 

They’re Insured Against Disasters

Project owners and homeowners can take out some insurance policies to offset liabilities and damages when they run their own projects, but the coverage they take out is often lacking when compared to the wealth of insurance coverage general contractors come equipped with.

By hiring general contractors, you absolve yourself of the majority of liability associated with your project and leave it to individuals who have safeguards in place against general damages and specific instances, including workplace accidents, theft of materials, weather damage to the project site, and more.

They Can Customize Your Project

General contractors have the ability and freedom to customize your project to your exact specifications every time. Unlike other building professionals, they aren’t bound by certain restrictions that may affect the project’s outcome.

To get the building of your dreams–whether it’s a new home, restaurant, or other business–all you have to do is clearly communicate your needs, desires, and goals with your general contractor, and they will ensure that the project is completed to the exact specifications you require for long-term satisfaction.

They’ll Give You Peace of Mind

More than anything else, a general contractor can give you peace of mind. They take care of every part of your construction project, from sourcing materials and subcontractors to doing damage control if things go wrong, so you don’t have to worry at all.

They make sure to keep you informed about every aspect of a project and maintain an open line of communication with you if you ever have questions.

Key Takeaways

General contractors make life easier for project owners, plain and simple. They take care of all of the jobs you don’t want to do, and they make sure they’re done right every time, from time management to budgeting, material sourcing, hiring subcontractors, and more. 

If you want to learn more about general contractors and the insurance options you should look for when hiring one, reach out to one of our top-tier agents today!

Unlock the Benefits of Commercial Auto Insurance

Are you a business owner who needs insurance? If so, commercial auto insurance may be the perfect solution. But what exactly is commercial auto insurance, and how much does it cost?

Let's begin our exploration of commercial auto insurance, from what it is to how much it costs, so you can develop a solid understanding of this type of coverage.


What is Commercial Auto Insurance?

Commercial auto insurance is a type of coverage that protects businesses and individuals who own or operate vehicles. In addition, commercial auto insurance may assist with costs related to an incident, such as medical expenses, property destruction, and court charges.

What Does it Cover?

Commercial auto insurance covers liability for property damage and bodily injury caused to others by the insured vehicle or its driver. It also covers physical damage to your car from collision or theft and UM/UIM protection if someone hits you without adequate coverage. In addition, some policies provide medical payment coverage to cover medical expenses resulting from an accident, regardless of fault.

Furthermore, rental reimbursement pays a certain amount per day while the vehicle undergoes repairs and tow, and labor cost covers any expenses incurred due to an accident.

Who Needs Commercial Auto Insurance?

Anyone who owns a business using vehicles should consider purchasing commercial auto insurance because they may be liable if one of their employees causes an accident while driving on company time--even if they weren't behind the wheel.

Businesses that use delivery services may also need commercial auto insurance since those drivers will likely be considered "on duty" while making deliveries for their employer's business activities, regardless of whether they use their personal vehicle.

Why Do You Need It?

Commercial auto insurance can safeguard against financial losses from accidents involving vehicles used for business, whether company-owned or those driven by employees on the job. Without proper coverage, one incident could result in serious financial consequences, including expensive repair bills and legal fees associated with lawsuits filed against your organization following an accident caused by one of its drivers or a rented vehicle used for business purposes.

Not having adequate commercial auto insurance can put your entire operation at risk since it may be challenging to obtain additional funding without proof of sufficient protection against potential liabilities stemming from vehicular incidents. Additionally, most states require a certain minimum level of commercial auto coverage before allowing businesses to operate their vehicles on public roads. This type cover also ensures compliance with local laws.

Suppose you use your car primarily for personal purposes but occasionally conduct business-related activities (such as picking up supplies). In that case, you may still need commercial auto insurance depending on how much risk these activities involve and what kind of policy limits you require.

Key Takeaway: Commercial auto insurance covers medical expenses, property damage liability, collision coverage, and more, so business owners can know they are covered if something goes wrong on the road.

Benefits of Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance is essential for any business that utilizes vehicles in its operations, granting financial coverage, assurance, and compliance with the law. Not only does it provide financial protection, but also peace of mind and legal compliance. Let's look at each of these benefits in more detail.

Financial Protection

Commercial auto insurance offers businesses financial protection from costly liabilities associated with vehicle accidents or damage to the vehicle itself. In addition, it can cover medical expenses for those injured and property damage costs incurred by the other party involved in an accident.

This coverage is indispensable for firms utilizing cars on public roads and can spare them substantial sums if they are ever made to pay out for harm caused by a driver or vehicle of theirs.

Peace of Mind

Commercial auto insurance provides a sense of security, knowing that you are protected financially should anything happen while your employees drive company cars or trucks. With this kind of coverage, you don't have to worry about being stuck with enormous bills if someone gets hurt or something gets damaged due to an accident involving one of your vehicles—the insurer will take care of it all.

Legal Compliance

In many states, commercial auto insurance is essential for financial protection and is legally required. Failure to carry adequate coverage could result in hefty fines and even criminal charges depending on the severity and circumstances surrounding the incident(s). So not only do you need commercial auto insurance to protect yourself financially, but you may be legally obligated to carry it as well.

Key Takeaway: Commercial auto insurance provides a financial assurance and conformity with legal regulations. You risk incurring hefty fines or even criminal charges without adequate coverage, so don't take the gamble.

Types of Commercial Auto Insurance Coverage

Liability Coverage

Commercial auto liability insurance is the most basic and essential type of coverage you can get for your business vehicles. It covers any costs related to bodily injury or property damage caused by accident involving one of your company's vehicles. This includes medical bills, legal fees, and repairs for the other party involved in the crash.

Collision Coverage

If you have collision coverage on a commercial vehicle policy, it will cover damages to your car after an accident, regardless of who was at fault. So, for example, if a driver rear-ends another car while driving their work truck, they are covered even though it was their fault because they have collision coverage.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage helps protect against non-accident-related losses such as theft or vandalism. So if someone breaks into a work van and steals equipment inside, then comprehensive would cover that loss as long as there is proof of theft or vandalism.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance protects drivers when another driver does not have enough insurance or none to pay for damages caused by an accident with them. UM pays out when you're injured in an accident by someone who doesn't carry adequate auto liability insurance--or any at all.

How Much Does Commercial Auto Insurance Cost?

Regarding commercial auto insurance, the cost can vary widely depending on several factors. Therefore, knowing the elements that affect commercial auto insurance rates is crucial for securing adequate coverage at an economical price. Here's what you need to know about how much retail auto insurance costs and what affects the cost.

Factors that Affect Cost

Several factors will affect the overall cost of your commercial auto insurance policy, including:

  • Type of vehicle
  • Age and condition of the vehicle
  • Driver experience level
  • Driving record
  • Use of vehicle (business or personal)
  • Distance drove annually
  • The deductible amount was chosen for each coverage option
  • The location where vehicles are operated from
  • Discounts offered by the insurer

For example, if you have multiple drivers with clean records who only drive short distances in well-maintained vehicles for business purposes, then your premiums could be lower than someone who drives long distances in older cars with inexperienced drivers. Additionally, if your business is located in an area with low crime rates or has safety features such as alarms or tracking devices installed, this could reduce your premium rate significantly.

Key Takeaway: Commercial auto insurance costs can vary widely depending on several factors, and each should be taken into account to get an affordable policy that provides adequate protection for your business

 FAQs in Relation to Commercial Auto Insurance

Why is Commercial Auto Insurance Important?

Commercial auto insurance is essential for business owners and homeowners alike. It provides financial protection in an accident involving a vehicle used for commercial purposes, such as transporting goods or providing services.

This coverage can help cover medical expenses, property damage, legal fees, and other associated costs that may arise from an accident. Without it, businesses could be left open to potentially hefty financial losses if they are found liable for any damage caused by their vehicles.

How Big is the Commercial Auto Insurance Market?

The U.S. commercial auto insurance market is estimated at around $160 billion. It is a significant property and casualty insurance sector component, with an approximate 20% share in total premium volume.

Commercial auto policies encompass many vehicles used for business activities, such as cars, trucks, vans, and trailers. As businesses rely increasingly on their vehicles to transport products or services between states or even abroad, the commercial auto insurance market has been expanding at an impressive rate annually.

What is Commercial Auto Liability Insurance?

Commercial auto liability insurance is a type of business insurance that covers the financial costs associated with an accident involving a vehicle owned by your company. This policy shields you from third-party bodily harm and property destruction claims from using your commercial vehicles, including those caused by operators or other individuals while driving them.

This policy also protects you against legal fees if you are sued due to an accident.


Commercial auto insurance is an essential part of protecting your business. It can save you and your employees while on the road and help keep costs down in case of any accidents or damages.

Finding the right policy that covers all your needs is essential, so be sure to compare different providers and costs before deciding. Make sure to research other providers before making a decision and consider cost when selecting a plan--this will ensure you get the best possible deal on commercial auto insurance for your business.

Keller Insurance Services offers comprehensive commercial auto insurance solutions tailored to your business needs. Contact us today for a free consultation and quote.

Unlock the Secrets of Workers' Compensation in New Jersey!

Do you need to know about workers' compensation in New Jersey? If so, check out this all-inclusive article to learn how to file a claim, what penalties you may face if you don't have insurance, and even how much it can cost.

So let's dive right into our comprehensive guide of workers' compensation policies in New Jersey.


What is Workers' Compensation?

Workers' compensation is a type of insurance that provides benefits to employees who are injured or become ill while on the job. The policy covers medical expenses, lost wages due to time off work for recovery, and any other costs associated with the injury or illness. It also protects employers from being sued by their employees if they suffer an injury at work.

Additionally, employers must provide workers’ compensation coverage if they have one or more employees, even if they only have part-time or seasonal workers.

Who is Covered by Workers' Compensation?

In New Jersey, all employers are required to provide workers' compensation coverage for their employees regardless of size or industry. This includes part-time and temporary workers as well as independent contractors who perform services under contract with the employer in question.

Additionally, family members employed by the business may be covered depending on certain criteria such as hours worked per week and whether they receive paychecks from the company itself rather than through another entity like a payroll service provider.

Key Takeaway: Workers' compensation in New Jersey provides financial and legal protection to employees who are injured or become ill while on the job.

How to File a Claim for Workers' Compensation in New Jersey

Filing a claim for workers' compensation in New Jersey can be an intimidating process. It’s important to understand the steps and documents needed, as well as the timeframe for filing.

Steps to Filing a Claim

The first step is to notify your employer of any work-related injury or illness within 30 days of its occurrence. You must then fill out Form WC-14, which is available on the NJ Department of Labor website.

After submitting this form, your employer will have seven days to file it with their insurance carrier or self-insured fund. Once that has been done, you should receive notification from either the insurance company or self-insured fund about whether your claim was accepted or denied within 21 days of submission.

Timeframe for Filing a Claim

In order to ensure that you are eligible for benefits under New Jersey law, it is important that you follow all deadlines when filing a claim for workers' compensation. This includes notifying your employer within 30 days of any work related injury or illness and submitting Form WC-14 within two years of the date of injury/illness (or death). If these deadlines are not met, then you may be ineligible for benefits under state law.

Documents Needed To File A Claim

When filing a claim with either an insurance company or self insured fund in New Jersey, there are certain documents required by law including medical reports from treating physicians, proof of wages, and other documentation such as accident reports and witness statements if applicable.

Key Takeaway: Filing a claim for workers' compensation in New Jersey requires notifying your employer within 30 days, filling out Form WC-14, and providing medical reports, proof of wages and other documents. Follow all deadlines to ensure eligibility for benefits.

What Are the Penalties for Not Having Workers' Compensation Insurance in New Jersey?

When it comes to workers' compensation insurance in New Jersey, employers must comply with the law or face serious consequences. Failing to have this type of coverage can result in civil and criminal penalties, as well as other negative outcomes.

Civil Penalties for Noncompliance with NJ Laws

Employers who do not carry workers' compensation insurance may be subject to fines of up to $5,000 per employee that is not covered by a policy. In addition, they may also be required to pay any medical bills incurred by an injured worker due to their negligence.

Furthermore, if an employer fails to provide proof of coverage when requested by the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DLWD), they could face additional fines that may increase every day until such proof is provided.

Criminal Penalties for Noncompliance with NJ Laws

If an employer willfully violates the laws regarding workers' compensation insurance in New Jersey, they could be charged with a fourth-degree crime which carries a potential sentence of up 18 months imprisonment and/or fines up to $10,000 depending on the circumstances surrounding the case.

Additionally companies who don’t comply will likely experience difficulty attracting quality talent since most job seekers prefer organizations that demonstrate commitment towards providing safe working conditions through adequate benefits packages like those offered through workers' comp policies.

Keep in mind that having proper workers' comp coverage isn't just about avoiding hefty fines or jail time, but also about taking care of your employees - something every business should strive towards.

Key Takeaway: Employers in New Jersey must have workers' compensation insurance to avoid civil and criminal penalties, as well as other negative outcomes such as liability for medical expenses, difficulty attracting quality talent, etc.

How Much Does it Cost to Get Workers' Compensation Insurance in New Jersey?

Workers' compensation insurance is a must-have for employers in New Jersey, but it can be expensive. The cost of coverage depends on several factors, including the size and type of business, the number of employees, and the amount of risk associated with their work.

Factors that Affect the Cost of Coverage

Businesses are assigned an experience rating based on past claims history, affecting their workers' compensation premium rates.

Additionally, businesses with higher payrolls or more hazardous occupations will typically pay more for coverage than those with lower payrolls or less hazardous occupations. Other factors such as safety programs and claim management practices may also affect premiums.

Average Cost of Coverage in NJ

According to recent studies conducted by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), New Jersey employers can expect to pay an average annual premium rate ranging from $1 per $100 in payroll depending on industry classification codes and other variables. This means that a business with a total annual payroll of $500,000 could end up paying anywhere between $5,000-$10,000 annually for workers' compensation insurance coverage.

Key Takeaway: The cost of workers' compensation insurance in New Jersey varies depending on the size and type of business, number of employees, risk associated with their work, experience rating, payrolls, and hazardous occupations.

FAQs in Relation to Workers' Compensation New Jersey

Is Workers' Compensation Required in New Jersey?

Yes, workers' compensation is required in New Jersey.

Employers with one or more employees must have a valid workers' compensation insurance policy in place to cover their employees for any work-related injuries or illnesses. This includes full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees as well as independent contractors and subcontractors who are not exempt from the law. Failure to comply can result in significant fines and penalties for employers.

How Do I Get Workers' Comp in NJ?

To get workers' comp in NJ, you must purchase a policy from an authorized insurer that meets the state's requirements. You will need to provide information about your business, such as payroll data and the number of employees when applying for coverage.

Then, your insurer will determine the cost of the policy based on this information. Once purchased, you'll be able to file claims with your insurer if any of your employees become injured or ill while working for you.


Workers' compensation in New Jersey is an important form of insurance for business owners. It can be a costly endeavor to get the coverage you need, but it's worth it when considering the potential penalties for not having it. Knowing what your rights are as an employee or employer will help ensure that everyone is taken care of if something goes wrong on the job.

Are you looking for a reliable and experienced insurance agency to help protect your business with workers' compensation in New Jersey?

Keller Insurance Services is the perfect solution! Our team of experts will work closely with you to ensure that all of your needs are met, while also providing competitive rates. With our comprehensive coverage options, we guarantee that you won't find better protection elsewhere. Contact us today and let's get started on protecting your business now!


11 Top Blue Collar Careers to Start in 2023

Blue-collar careers are an excellent career choice–especially if you prefer skill or trade-based jobs. They can work well for a wide range of individuals from numerous backgrounds, and certain blue-collar careers can make individuals excellent yearly salaries.

Let’s look at what exactly defines a blue-collar career before diving into the top eleven blue-collar careers for 2023.

What Are Blue Collar Careers?

Blue-collar careers usually involve manual labor, physical tasks, or skilled trade. Many of these positions are more heavily reliant on experience and skill rather than education with the majority of positions only requiring a high school diploma or GED. And while a few blue-collar positions require special certifications, training, or licenses, many don’t require a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

General Contractor

General contractors make up to approximately $110,281 per year and unlike other professions on this list, they must maintain valid licensing to continue working. General contractors primarily work as team leaders that oversee the management of project execution. They typically work to ensure that construction and renovation jobs run smoothly so that standards are upheld and schedules are abided by.

Production Manager

Production managers operate in a role similar to that of a general contractor, but their primary field of operation is different. While general contractors primarily work on building or renovation projects, production managers oversee the production of products.

Typically, they oversee production schedules, estimate and maintain budgets, negotiate with clients, and work as team leaders to ensure that their team’s operations run smoothly.


Painting is a great blue-collar job. Typically, painters can set their own schedules and work on a per-project basis. They work with homeowners, project managers, and other relevant individuals to strip, sand, clean, and paint various surfaces including homes, businesses, and more. Painters are also responsible for selecting the right materials and paint types for the job to ensure that the paint lasts and satisfies the customer.


Welding is a highly skill-oriented profession making approximately $44,407 yearly. Welders work to join pieces of metal together using special soldering techniques to either create new products or repair equipment. They typically review blueprints, choose appropriate materials, measure components, maintain their equipment, and uphold safety standards on the job. 

Wind Turbine Technician

Wind turbine technicians work to install, maintain, and repair wind turbines and other green energy equipment. With an average yearly salary of $56,974, these techs fulfill several different tasks and responsibilities in their work including:

  • Diagnosing equipment malfunctions
  • Inspecting wind turbine structures
  • Testing electrical components
  • Maintain tool and part inventories
  • Review maintenance work orders
  • Upkeep turbine generator systems
  • Perform preventative maintenance


Woodworking is a trade that requires a significant amount of skill. Woodworkers typically are known for creating household items including cabinets and furniture, but they also fulfill many other essential roles.

Woodworkers also analyze architectural drawings and blueprints to ensure customer satisfaction, work with construction companies for specific jobs, and work with art installations to install artwork.

Diesel Mechanic

With an average yearly salary of $56,957, diesel mechanics can earn a good living at their work. Their main job is to maintain and repair a variety of diesel-powered vehicles including trucks, tractors, and semis. They must maintain certifications and licenses to perform diagnostic checks and inspections on equipment as well as being able to replace engines, test lighting systems, and ensure safety standards in vehicles are upheld.


Electricians work to install, maintain, and repair electrical systems and equipment. They work with other job site professionals to analyze blueprints so that electrical systems can successfully be installed in appropriately safe places in buildings. 

Further, they work with transformers, inspect circuit breakers, analyze electrical outlets, and ensure safety measures are maintained so that power outages and electrical fires may be prevented.


One of the most popular blue-collar careers is plumbing. With an average yearly salary of $56,095, plumbers work with pipes, faucets, and other plumbing equipment to ensure that systems run properly. Plumbers typically need to have apprenticeships before they’re able to begin work so that they gain experience with assembling, testing, repairing, and restoring plumbing. 

This career is ideal for individuals who want to ensure job security because plumbing is an industry that will pretty much always be around.

Solar Photovoltaic Installer

Solar photovoltaic installers, also known as solar installers, make approximately $67,007 per year. They work to assemble, install, repair, and maintain solar panels and systems. They must be able to climb on roofs or other structures where solar panels are located to troubleshoot or repair systems so that they work according to established green energy standards.

Aircraft Mechanic

Mechanic work is a popular option among blue-collar workers, and working as an aircraft mechanic is no exception. With an average yearly salary of $75,256, aircraft mechanics primarily work to inspect and repair aircraft structural and operating systems so that aircraft can function safely. 

Additionally, aircraft mechanics schedule and perform regular maintenance checkups, keep teams notified about a plane’s conditions, source aircraft parts, prepare diagnostics reports, and work to improve efficiency with repairs and regular maintenance. 

Key Takeaways

Blue-collar careers can be an excellent choice if you’re looking for work. Many of these job types don’t require higher education, so individuals won’t have to worry about spending four years in college and taking out excessive loans to cover the cost of their education.

Additionally, there are several different job types within the blue-collar community, so you don’t need to worry about potentially needing to commit to a career that you won’t like long-term. 

If you want to learn more about blue-collar careers or the insurance options that would be best for each one, reach out to our skilled agents today. 


7 Things You Need to Know About Worker's Comp

Worker’s comp is a handy benefit that can help both employees and employers shoulder the financial costs associated with workplace injuries and illnesses. 

If you’ve ever wondered about worker’s comp insurance, read on to learn seven key things you should know about a worker’s comp policy including what it covers, who pays for it, and how you can get a worker’s comp policy today.

What is Worker’s Comp?

Worker’s comp, otherwise known as worker’s compensation or workman’s comp, is a kind of insurance that helps protect both businesses and employees from financial loss. Specifically, it protects them when an employee gets sick or is injured due to a work-related incident. 

Worker’s comp provides both benefits and/or medical care for covered employees in the form of medical expense coverage, lost wage recoupment, and rehabilitation costs among others. For employers, worker’s comp serves as a buffer between the company and potentially crippling lawsuits that may arise after an employee is injured on the job.

What Exactly Does Worker’s Comp Cover?

Traditionally, worker’s comp covers costs relating to four main categories: medical expenses, lost wages, ongoing care costs, and funeral expenses.

Medical Expenses

Whether an employee is injured or becomes sick as a result of job-related incidents, worker’s comp can step in to cover the majority of related medical expenses. These can include a wide range of items including prescriptions, surgeries, emergency room visits, and more.

Lost Wages

When an employee is unable to perform their regular job duties as a result of a work-related incident, worker’s comp can step in to ensure the individual and their family are still receiving at least a percentage of the employee’s salary during their recovery period.

Ongoing Care Costs

In some extreme cases, a work-related injury or illness may be so great that the employee needs multiple treatments or continuing rehabilitation to recover their full strength. Worker’s comp, then, can step in to help offset costs relating to therapy and other treatment types.

Funeral Expenses

If an accident or illness is so severe that it costs an employee their life, worker’s comp coverage will step in to help with the cost of the funeral and provide death benefits to the remaining dependents, beneficiaries, and family members of the employee.

What Isn’t Covered Under a Worker’s Comp Policy?

While the majority of work-related accidents are protected under a worker’s comp insurance policy, there are still some incidents that will not be covered under this policy type, even if they occur in the workplace. Note that these exclusions will differ between states, but there are a few incidents that most worker’s comp policies do not provide coverage for. These can include: 

  • Injuries that relate to a fight started by an employee
  • Injuries that result from an employee being under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the workplace
  • Injuries an employee intentionally receives
  • Emotional injuries that are not paired with physical injuries

Who Pays for Worker’s Comp Benefits?

Employers usually purchase worker’s comp plans for their employees. Sometimes, this is done to attract more top-tier job candidates to a position, but more often these benefits are purchased because state laws and regulations require employers to carry this insurance type.

Each state that requires employers to carry worker’s comp policies may have additional stipulations that dictate how much coverage an employer must have for this policy type, and there are many factors that can contribute to the final coverage amount including the size of the business and how many employees it has, what kind of work the employees do, and any possible job-related risks.

How Should an Employee File a Worker’s Comp Claim?

If an employee gets sick or becomes injured as a result of a workplace incident, they need to report it immediately. This report must include the date, time, and circumstances of the injury as per their state’s individual requirements. Typically, the report will need to include the following information:

  • Company-specific information including the employee’s account number, the specific company location if multiple branches exist, and the policy number.
  • The employee’s information including their name, date of birth, address, contact information, social security number, and gender.
  • Incident-related details including the date of injury or illness, what the injury consisted of, what body part was harmed, what caused the injury, how long the employees expect to be out of work, when they expect to return, and any information about potential witnesses.

Once an employer has all of this information on hand, they need to quickly call up their insurance provider and file an official claim. The speed at which an employer files can be especially important if they live in a state where a reporting time limit is imposed. These limits may exempt the insurer from having to pay a claim if it’s not reported in a timely manner.

Can Employees Receive Other Related Insurance Benefits if They Have Worker’s Comp?

Worker’s comp claims cover incidents that may also be covered by disability insurance, social security payouts, and unemployment, so you may wonder whether an employee can collect on more than one of these benefits at a time. Well, in many cases, an employee may collect on two or more of these benefit types, but it will entirely depend on their policy’s specifications.

How Do Companies Get Worker’s Comp Insurance?

It’s very easy for employers to purchase worker’s comp insurance. All you need to do is note how many employees you have, how many of them need coverage, what kind of work they’ll be doing, and how big your payroll is. 

Then, with this information, you can contact your preferred insurance provider–either a private insurance company or a state-funded provider–and set up a plan that will work best for you and your employees.

If you want to learn more about worker’s comp policies or get an estimate about how much a plan may cost you, contact our stellar team at Keller Insurance today!

Plumber with tools, plumbing insurance

The Best Insurance for Plumbers

Plumbing insurance is a combination of several different policy types that work together to protect your business from many potential damages. These can include anything from lawsuits to equipment replacement, vehicle coverage, client injuries, and more. But what insurance options are going to be the best choices for your business? 

Well, while there are specialized insurance options that may help niche aspects of your business, there are also several common commercial insurance options that can work together to ensure you’re getting all of the coverage you need. 

Let’s take a closer look at who needs plumbing insurance before diving into the best insurance options for plumbers.

Who Needs Plumbing Insurance?

“Who needs plumbing insurance?” may seem like a question with a very obvious answer, but the variety of professionals who need plumbing insurance may surprise you. Plumbers and plumbing contractors are, of course, at the top of the plumbing insurance list, but the following professionals may also need plumbing insurance as their work directly relates to plumbing in some way:

  • Septic System Workers
  • Piping Contractors 
  • Drainage System Installers
  • Sewer Hookup Contractors
  • Sprinkler Installers
  • Sump Pump Installers
  • Sump Pump Servicing Contractors
  • Water Pump installers
  • Water Pump Servicing Contractors
  • Water System Balancing Contractors
  • Water System Testing Contractors
  • Home Builders
  • Home Developers
  • Home Renovators
  • Handypersons

Note that some of these professionals may be required by their state’s laws to carry plumbing insurance to work on either residential or commercial projects in addition to a valid plumbing license.

Best Insurance Options for Plumbers

There are many excellent insurance options plumbing professionals may want to invest in, but if you’re looking for the best insurance options for your industry, the following seven policy types are going to be the most beneficial to your work.

General Liability Insurance

At the very least, plumbers need to carry a general liability insurance policy. This coverage type can protect your business from several different potential sources of damage including third-party claims of bodily injury, property damage, and personal or advertising injury.

So, if you’re working on a residential bathroom and a client trips over pipes you’ve left laying out, breaking their leg in the process, a general liability insurance policy will help cover their medical expenses, legal fees if applicable, and any settlement fees that result from a lawsuit.

Similarly, general liability insurance can cover the cost of replacing items you damage during your work on a client’s property such as a window you may have cracked or shattered while installing a toilet or sink.

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance can work to offset your financial risk if you are faced with claims of professional negligence, error, breach of contract, or failure to deliver service on time.

If, for example, you quote a client’s project with a two-week timeline, and you exceed that limit, professional liability insurance can step in to cover any resulting legal or settlement fees if your client takes legal action against you.

Alternatively, if you make a mistake during an installation that causes damage to the system or other parts of your client’s property, professional liability insurance can also provide assistance.

Business Property Insurance

Business property insurance protects both your buildings and property from damages. These damages can include certain accidents, stipulated weather events, and other hazards that damage part or all of your property.

If a small fire breaks out in your office, business property insurance can cover the costs of repairs to your structure and replacements of your computer, desk, and anything else that was damaged in the room. If that fire gets out of control and spreads to the rest of your building, destroying all of your work equipment in the process, business property insurance can help you recover or replace everything that was damaged.

Worker’s Compensation Insurance

If you have any employees, worker's compensation may be a non-negotiable policy type for your business. Workers comp provides coverage to offset the costs of medical expenses that your employees incur when they are injured or get sick on the job

Typically in the United States, workers comp is required by law for businesses, so if one of your plumbers falls off a ladder while installing piping or picks up an illness from either a fellow employee or client, financial assistance is available to cover any necessary medical expenses.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto coverage can provide insurance for any vehicles you use for business. This coverage works to offset costs relating to accidents that result in injury, death, or property damage.

So, if you’re driving to a client’s property to fulfill a work order and accidentally side-swipe another vehicle on your way, commercial auto insurance can step in to repair the other driver’s vehicle.

Product Liability Insurance

If you face claims of bodily injury or property damage relating to a defective product, product liability coverage may be a solution for you. Product liability works to cover you against claims relating to flawed products which may include pipes, tanks, or other related items.

So, if you unknowingly install a defective pipe in a bathroom, and the pipe breaks, causing water to flood your client’s home, product liability insurance can step in to cover the costs of repairing the issue as well as any resulting water damage or other injuries in addition to legal and settlement fees.

Tools and Equipment Insurance

Tools and equipment insurance works to safeguard you against the theft, loss, or damage of the implements you need to do your job. Typically, this insurance type can be included with other policy types–like general liability insurance–but if it’s not, you may want to consider investing in it separately.

Key Takeaways

There are many great insurance options for plumbers on the market, and they work together you protect you from liability in several ways. Whether you’re thinking about investing in general liability insurance or you want to go all-in with each one of these options, reach out to our skilled agents at Keller insurance to discuss the best plumbing insurance options for you.

Red 18-wheeler trucks lined up

How to Get the Best Commercial Auto Insurance in NJ

If you have work vehicles, you have to have commercial auto insurance. Without it, you can be left liable to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages if an accident happens. But how do you get the best commercial auto insurance in New Jersey?

Let’s take a closer look at what exactly commercial auto coverage entails before diving into four ways you can ensure you’re getting the best insurance and the best rates.

What is Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance is very similar to personal car insurance in that they’re both designed to provide coverage for vehicles. But while personal auto insurance only covers vehicles used for personal use, commercial auto can apply to both vehicles purchased for your business and personal vehicles you use for business-related purposes. Typically, commercial auto insurance is designed to cover specific vehicle types including:

  • Delivery vehicles
  • Work vans
  • Dump trucks
  • Construction-related vehicles
  • Food trucks
  • Service utility vehicles
  • Box trucks
  • Company cars

Commercial auto coverage traditionally provides both liability and collision damage insurance options at higher coverage limits than personal vehicle insurance may offer which can be beneficial if you face a lawsuit relating to an automobile accident.

Determine Your Coverage Needs

When you’re looking into the best auto insurance coverage options for your business, the first thing you need to do is determine what your specific needs are. Commercial auto insurance options cover a much wider range of potential damage claims than personal vehicle insurance options including:

  • Medical payments and personal injury claims relating to an accident
  • Theft of vehicle or items within
  • Vandalism
  • Weather damage
  • Damages caused by uninsured or underinsured drivers
  • Trailers used with business vehicles
  • Rental costs
  • Employee vehicle coverage if the car is used for business 

Each of these potential damages may be insured under different coverage types within a commercial auto policy. Liability and collision coverage options are usually a given for these policy types, so additional coverages including rental reimbursement, comprehensive coverage, personal injury protection, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, and medical payments coverage options may be added to your policy depending on your unique needs.

Research Your Options

When looking for the best commercial auto insurance providers in New Jersey, make sure you do your homework. Carefully research a few different insurance providers you’re considering and get a feel for how well-liked they are by individuals and businesses who use or have used their services. Also, take the time to evaluate their offerings against your predetermined coverage needs.

If you find a provider who has excellent liability coverage, but lackluster rental reimbursement options, they may work very well for your business if you rarely need to use rental transportation. Similarly, if you’re located in a bigger city like Newark and need to prioritize collision insurance, make sure you find a policy that can meet your needs.

Become Eligible for Potential Discounts

One of the best ways you can get better commercial auto insurance rates is by shopping around and comparing pricing between multiple different providers with your agent. And while you’re looking for better rates, keep in mind that there are a few things you can do ahead of time that may increase your eligibility for certain policy discounts.

Be a Safe Driver

If you’re a safe driver with no record of accidents, tickets, or other related fines or fees on your license, you can exponentially increase your chances of becoming eligible for discounts. A safe driving record shows your potential insurance provider that you are far less likely to be involved in an accident than other drivers and a lower-risk investment for them.

You can maintain your status as a safe driver by maintaining speed limits, following posted driving regulations, and avoiding multitasking while driving.

Invest in Safety Tech

Another way you can prove your safe driving commitment to insurers is by investing in technology designed to lower your risk of accidents or injuries. These can include a wide range of items such as dash-cams, anti-theft devices, airbags, steering wheel locks, and much more.

Work With an Insurance Agent

Insurance agents will be able to understand your needs, analyze the market, and communicate with providers far better than you may be able to, so working with a trusted local agent is one of the best ways to ensure you get the best coverage. 

They can make the process flow much more smoothly and relieve you of potential confusion by taking care of the more complex, technical aspects of finding and comparing rates. Then, they’ll leave you with high-quality advice and recommendations that provide you with policy options that comprehensively meet your needs without breaking your budget.

Selecting Your Commercial Auto Insurance Carrier

When your insurance agent presents you with your best plan options, they will likely have a few different carriers you may choose between. Make sure to choose the plan that works best for you now, and not one you expect to grow into over the coming months. 

After all, policies can be adjusted or completely changed from year to year, and you are typically under no requirement to stick with the same provider from one year to the next. Progressive may feature an option that works to meet your needs this year, while the following year Nationwide or another provider may be able to meet different demands you have. 

Key Takeaways

Commercial auto insurance is a must-have for any businesses that rely on work vehicles. Finding the best insurance policy for your business may take a bit of effort, but if you work with the right insurance agent to determine your needs, research your options, and optimize yourself as a low-risk investment, it shouldn’t be too difficult.

5 Construction Safety Strategies to Reduce Worker’s Comp Claims

If you run a construction company in New Jersey, then you should know that worker’s compensation insurance is required by law within the state. If you want to reduce your risk of accident or injury, then you need to understand how the system works. This will allow you to better safeguard your company and employees against risk to protect not only their lives but also your assets.

Ensure your Job Classifications are Accurate

Code misclassifications can cause your premium to exponentially increase. In fact,  70% of companies overpay on their insurance premiums largely thanks to these misclassifications. By classifying your jobs appropriately, your insurer will be able to figure out your expenses or loss that relates to your general risk of being injured.

It’s important to know that there are hundreds of classification codes, and this makes it very easy to misclassify each job. That’s why it’s so important to work closely with your insurance agent. They will make sure your information is accurate and your coverage is sufficient without forcing you to overpay on premiums or miss out on vital coverage options. 

Create a Culture of Safety

The best and most effective way for you to significantly reduce your worker’s compensation claims is by creating a culture of safety. 

The easiest way to do this is by getting your team involved in the creation of your workplace safety program and providing them with solid training opportunities. After all, if you try to tackle everything alone, you won’t be able to keep up with safety demands and you won’t be efficient with your time management. Additionally, evaluating your program regularly will also help you to improve as you can become more aware of issues as they arise.

Educate your Team

When it comes to workplace safety, you need to make educating your team a top priority. If they’re aware of the dangers in their environment, they’ll be empowered to reduce risk factors where they can, which will improve your overall workplace safety. Help your team recognize their role when it comes to their responsibilities in preventing harm and maintaining workplace safety.

By making safety education part of your onboarding process for employees, you let them know just how much value you place on their safety. Additionally, you establish a base standard for your staff so that everyone is on the same page, and each person carries an equal amount of responsibility for maintaining a low-risk environment. And the lower your employee’s risk is, the lower your chances of receiving hefty worker’s compensation claims will be.

Focus on Accurate Reporting

Accurate documentation and reporting are vital in worker’s compensation cases. This helps ensure that claims are processed quickly and that you have all of your ducks in a row so that you can avoid penalty fees, lawsuits, and potential prosecution.

To have accurate reports, you need to make sure that your team is appropriately classified on your payroll. Office workers, for example, have significantly fewer safety risks than heavy equipment operators. By ensuring that your documentation is correct, you can avoid heftier premiums and fees and keep your more at-risk employees safer with appropriate coverage options.

Additionally, it is imperative that you record any communication that you have with your claims adjuster, and that you also take note of what your medical provider has said as well.

Work with Your Injured Employees

By developing a program for your injured employees, you can establish norms that will both help them get back to work and reduce the number of workdays you lose when your team member is absent due to an accident or injury.

A solid RTW (Return to Work) program should be centered around getting your team back to work in the fastest and safest way. This may require that you put your team on light duty or part-time shifts until they can recover. 

The main reason this will help you with your worker’s compensation costs is that it reduces the need for you to train and hire replacements and the amount of overtime you may pay team members who have to pick up the slack. 

Remember, if you can prevent a drop in morale or stop productivity from being impacted by giving your team peace of mind, then this will help them to ease back into their original position.

Key Takeaways

There are many things that you can do to try and lower both the amount of worker’s compensation claims you have to make and those you have to file for. By working to improve your safety standards and practices, you can simultaneously reduce your risk factors, improve employee morale, and reduce worker’s compensation claims which may significantly cut your insurance premiums in the long run. 

Speak with an insurance agent to learn more about your safety risks and how you can improve them today.

20 Insurance Terms Everyone Should Know

Insurance, like any other field, comes equipped with its own special phrases and jargon that can take years to fully absorb and comprehend. But when individuals debate insurance, the stakes can be considerably higher than those other fields have to navigate. In insurance, these debates center around safeguarding people’s possessions and even their lives, so it’s crucial to comprehend what these terms mean in insurance.

Actual Cash Value

There are a few different ways your policy's configuration can affect how much money you receive when you file a claim. One such approach is to determine the property's actual cash value by deducting the amount of depreciation from the purchase price. Depreciation is typically computed by taking an annual percentage out of the asset. Nevertheless, not all insurance companies determine depreciation in the same way.


A gain in money or resources that is under the authority of someone or something. In other words, these items you own that are currently worth money or have the potential to be worth money in the future. When buying some insurance plans such as life insurance and liability insurance, assets like your home, car, savings account, and investments are taken into account. 


This is another term for "insured" or "policyholder," which refers to a person who holds an insurance policy. 


The term "at-fault" refers to the party responsible for harming a person or property. In other words, this is the party that was at fault for the accident or is legally liable for it.


A beneficiary is chosen to receive a payout, such as a life insurance benefit. 


A binder is a temporary agreement that provides individuals with insurance coverage until their policies can be written or delivered so that they are still protected.

Bodily Harm

As the name implies, this term refers to any physical, bodily harm an individual experiences. Bodily damage liability insurance is intended to cover the costs associated with injuries incurred in car accidents or other similar instances.


This is another term for the insurance provider who gives you your policy. 


The sum of money the insured must pay before the insurance company assumes responsibility is referred to as a deductible. For instance, if your auto insurance policy has a $500 deductible and you’re in an accident that causes $5,000 in damages, you would pay $500. The policy would pay either the remaining $4,500 or the maximum payout they permit, which may come in lower than the necessary $4,500 causing you to pay more out of pocket.


The term "dwelling" largely applies to house insurance policy types and refers to a residence. It specifically refers to the building itself and may include any structures affixed to it, like a deck or a garage but not free-standing structures like barns, workshops, or detached garages as they are insured separately. As the residence and other structures are frequently protected against many risks, it is crucial to understand what a policy precisely defines a dwelling.

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) 

The insurance company electronically puts the claim money into your bank account using this mode of payment. There are several circumstances in which claim adjusters may be able to write checks on the spot. For example, money may be transferred straight by EFT if the claims procedure is handled through a mobile app rather than a physical inspection. 


An exclusion is a predetermined scenario or incident that an insurance policy does not cover. Exclusions can be used by an insurance company to better define the scope of a policy's coverage, but they can also be used by a policyholder to tailor their protection. For instance, a policyholder may in some circumstances use an exclusion to eliminate coverages from a policy that would not apply to their circumstances.

Grace Period

This term refers to a specified period of time where premium dues can be paid even after their due date passes. It protects against coverage loss when premium payments aren’t met on time, and usually only applies to life and health insurance policies.

Insured by Name

This term, like "insured," refers to an identified person or organization that an insurance policy covers; this is the individual or business listed on the declaration page. However, there are several situations in which they can be different. For example, the "named insured" as specified on the declaration page might be a firm if it has general liability insurance. Technically, the insurance provided by that policy would apply to the company's employees, but only while they are working as employees.


An insurance company's maximum payment for a particular policy in a given claim is referred to as a limit. This sum is specified on your policy declaration page and is agreed upon before the policy is issued.

Medical Expenses

When the term "medical expenses" appears in policy language, it refers to costs associated with medical care resulting from a specific incident. This can be found in liability coverage as well as a personal auto policy. 


The causes of harm to your insured property that your policy covers are known as perils, like fires, lightning, and earthquakes. Basic insurance will typically cover a specific list of risks, and endorsements frequently expand on that list. 

Policy Holder

Another term that frequently pops up in insurance conversations is “policy holder.” This refers to the person or thing that an insurance policy covers, and it’s similar to the term "insured." 


A rider, like an endorsement, is an add-on to basic insurance that can be made to change, usually for an additional premium. 


Risk determines the likelihood that you will suffer a loss like your house or car being damaged or robbed. The level of risk can affect how or if coverage is supplied, and it is used to calculate coverage costs or premiums.

Read our blog or contact us for more information.

person using uber on phone

Do I Need Commercial Auto Insurance When Driving for Uber?

While personal auto insurance may offer some coverage while driving for Uber or Lyft, if you get into an accident, your personal car insurance policy will probably not pay for damages or injuries. That's because most personal car insurance policies have commercial activity exclusions that remove coverage for vehicles used to make money.

That's why it's important to have commercial auto insurance when driving for Uber (or any other rideshare company). Commercial auto insurance covers vehicles used for business purposes. So, if you use your vehicle to drive for Uber, commercial auto insurance will cover you in the event of an accident. It's even required in most states.

In this article, learn all about auto insurance when driving for a rideshare company.

Types of Commercial Auto Insurance Coverage

As a rideshare driver, your personal auto insurance will not provide coverage if you get into an accident while on the job. When you sign up to drive for a rideshare company like Uber or Lyft, to protect yourself you must have commercial auto insurance. Commercial auto insurance differs from personal auto insurance in several ways and provides more comprehensive coverage for vehicles used for business purposes. Here are some coverage typically included in a commercial auto insurance policy:

  • Liability Coverage: This type of coverage will protect you financially if you are found at fault in an accident. It will pay for damages to the other person's vehicle and any medical bills they incur. In some states, you may require a certain amount of liability coverage.
  • Collision Coverage: This type of coverage will pay for damages to your vehicle if you are in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. If your vehicle is totaled in an accident, this type of coverage will pay to replace it.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: This type of coverage will pay for damages to your vehicle that are not caused by accident, such as theft or vandalism.
  • Personal Injury Protection: This type of coverage will pay for medical bills and lost wages if you are injured in an accident. It will also pay for funeral expenses if you are killed in an accident.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: This type of coverage will pay for damages to your vehicle if you are in an accident caused by a driver who does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover the damages.
  • Personal Loss Coverage: This coverage will reimburse you for personal belongings damaged or stolen from your vehicle.

Why Do I Need Commercial Auto Insurance When Driving for Uber?

Outside of the law requiring commercial auto insurance in many states, you might need commercial auto insurance when driving for Uber for several reasons.

  1. If you cause an accident while carrying passengers, your personal auto insurance policy will not cover their medical bills and other expenses.
  2. If you damage another vehicle or property while working, commercial auto insurance will help to pay for the repairs.
  3. Commercial auto insurance can protect against lawsuits that may be filed against you because of an accident.

What Are the Risks of Not Having Commercial Auto Insurance?

If you cause an accident while driving for Uber without commercial auto insurance, you will probably be personally responsible for any damages. This could include medical bills, property damage, and legal fees. You might also lose your personal auto insurance coverage if your insurer finds out that you were using your car for business purposes.

Driving without commercial auto insurance is a risky proposition, and it's not worth taking. However, if you are involved in an accident while working, commercial auto insurance can help to protect you from financial ruin. Be sure to speak with your insurance agent about getting the coverage needed.

What Is Rideshare Insurance?

Rideshare insurance is a less expensive alternative to commercial car insurance and is available to Uber and Lyft drivers. Rideshare insurance is designed to cover you when you are working, but will not cover you when you are not working. This type of insurance is typically less expensive than commercial car insurance because it only covers the time you are actively working.

While a cheaper might sound appealing, you'll also need to have personal auto insurance, so overall it might not actually be cheaper. Also, cheaper isn't necessarily the route you want to take with insurance. Talk to your insurance agent to find out what auto insurance option is best for you based on coverage and pricing.

Contact An Insurance Agent

If you're considering driving for a rideshare company, the first step is to contact your insurance agent to ensure you have the right type of coverage in place. Depending on the state you live in, and the time you spend driving for Uber or Lyft, you may need a commercial auto policy or a special endorsement to your personal auto policy.

Keller Insurance Services specializes in commercial auto insurance, and we can help you find the right policy to protect you, your vehicle, and your passengers. Contact us today to get started.

person signing a contract

When and Why Should I Purchase Bond Insurance

When a business is said to be "bonded," it means that the company has obtained a surety bond. A surety bond is a financial guarantee that protects the customer from losses incurred as a result of the business's poor performance.

So when would your business need bond insurance, and why exactly should you purchase it? Keep reading to learn this and more.

What Is Bond Insurance?

Bond insurance protects investors from the risk of a bond issuer defaulting on interest or principal payments. Instead, the bond issuer purchases the insurance policy, and the premium is paid out of the bond sale proceeds.

Bond insurance was originally designed to protect investors in case of a corporate default. However, the coverage has since expanded to include other types of bonds, such as municipal bonds and asset-backed securities.

Investors often view bonds with insurance as being less risky than bonds without insurance because they know that if the issuer defaults, they will still receive their interest and principal payments. This can make it easier for issuers to sell their bonds, as investors are more likely to purchase them.

A few different bond insurance policies are available, which can confuse business owners. In addition, each bond insurance policy comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

The Most Common Types Of Bond Insurance

Credit Enhancement Bonds

Credit enhancement involves adding a third party to the bond agreement, which agrees to make payments in the event of a default. The most common type of credit enhancement is a letter of credit, which a bank provides.

Credit enhancement works by transferring the credit risk associated with a bond from the issuer to the insurer. This type of policy can help lower the interest rates on the bond and make it more attractive to potential investors.

Surety Bonds

Another type of bond insurance is known as suretyship. This type of policy protects the bondholder from loss if the issuer defaults on its obligations.

A surety bond is a three-party agreement between the obligee, the principal, and the surety (the insurance company). The surety agrees to pay the obligee if the principal cannot meet their obligations.

Suretyship policies can be primary or secondary. Primary suretyship policies provide protection in case of a default, while secondary suretyship policies only come into effect if the primary insurer cannot meet its obligations.

Financial Guarantee Bonds

A financial guarantee bond is a three-party agreement between the obligee, the principal, and the insurer. The insurer agrees to pay the obligee if the principal defaults on a loan or contract.

Financial guarantee insurance is purchased from an insurance company and pays out in the event of a default. Financial guarantee insurance is more expensive than credit enhancement, but it provides greater protection for investors.

Fidelity Bonds

A fidelity bond is a two-party agreement between the principal and the insurer. For example, the insurer agrees to pay the principal if an employee causes financial loss because of theft or dishonesty.

Who Needs Bond Insurance?

Most businesses need a bond, whether it's for a construction project or to get licensed and insured. There are three primary types of commercial bonds:

  • License and permit bonds
  • Contract bonds
  • Court bonds

Each type of bond has a specific purpose, but they all essentially work to protect the obligee—the entity that requires the bond—from financial loss if the principal (the person or company who purchases the bond) cannot uphold their obligations.

When To Purchase Bond Insurance?

Most businesses will need to purchase bond insurance at some point, however it's important to note that not all businesses are required to have bond insurance. Whether you need it will depend on your industry and the laws in your state. However, even if bond insurance isn't required, there are still many benefits to having it.

Some of the most common reasons businesses purchase bond insurance include the following.

To Get Licensed and Insured

In many industries, you need to be both licensed and insured before you can legally operate. Therefore, bond insurance is often required as part of the licensing process.

To Protect Against Financial Loss

If you're working on a project with high risk, bond insurance can protect you from financial loss if something goes wrong.

To Attract New Customers

Having bond insurance can make your business more attractive to potential customers in some industries.

To Improve Your Business' Reputation

Having bond insurance shows that you're a responsible business owner who takes precautions to protect yourself and your customers.

Purchasing Bond Insurance

If you're considering purchasing bond insurance and would like to learn more, your best option is to work with a reputable insurance agency. Keller Insurance Services is adept at securing bond insurance policies for businesses, and would be happy to do so for your business.

To learn more about being bonded and insured, visit this blog post.

man holding business section of newspaper

The Ins and Outs of Purchasing Commercial Insurance

If you run a small business, whether online or out of a traditional brick-and-mortar store, you need commercial insurance to ensure you're fully protected from an array of unexpected problems. However, we understand this process can seem complicated, especially for new and smaller businesses that do not have as much experience.

In this guide, we will walk through the ins and outs of purchasing commercial insurance to help you find the optimal policy and coverage for your needs.

What Is Commercial Insurance?

Commercial insurance is designed to protect the enterprise, owner, and employees. It's a broad term and covers a plethora of policies, which is why it’s important to know the specific insurance your business needs.

Why Is Commercial Insurance Important?

Commercial insurance is an essential component of setting up a business. By obtaining this insurance, business owners can enjoy the crucial peace of mind that their company and their employees are protected.

The primary benefits of commercial insurance are how it will provide essential protection from common business emergencies. These can include property damage or theft, liability, and employee or customer injuries. Depending on the type of commercial insurance you select, the scope can be even wider and can cover cybersecurity, auto insurance, and bond insurance.

When to Get Commercial Insurance

Every business should have commercial insurance. It is always better to get this insurance as soon as possible, but there may be some specific scenarios when it is even more vital.

The most common times to ensure you have the correct form of commercial insurance for your business include:

  • Policy renewal
  • Hiring or laying off employees
  • Business relocation
  • New equipment purchase
  • New products or services
  • Significant increase or decrease in income

Business owners should also know the best time to get commercial insurance. The general rule is the best time to get this insurance was when you started your business, but if you haven’t done this, the second-best time is now. Depending on your situation, there are several key moments where commercial insurance makes the most sense. These are:

  • Knowing which month you want your policy renewed (the holidays or the start of the next fiscal year)
  • Consider which time of the fiscal year is most appropriate for purchasing insurance (new product launches, etc.)
  • Varied cash flow occasions (how much of your budget you can assign to insurance policies)

What to Know When Purchasing Commercial Insurance

Knowing how to get business insurance will increase confidence in your business and give you and your employees the peace of mind they need.

When selecting the right commercial insurance, there is a simple four-step process to follow that will help you identify the best type of insurance and the most suitable insurance company for your company’s needs.

Evaluate Your Risks

Risk evaluation allows you to outline and highlight the most common hazards and risk factors within your small business. The scope of these risks depends on your business. A construction business will pose more risks than a small business that operates from home and does most of its business online. However, this isn’t to say that online businesses still do not encounter threats, with cybersecurity issues being a potential risk.

When evaluating your risks, consider what liabilities the business could be prone to. Think about how and where you operate and whether you have any employees, as they will need coverage, too. A physical store is more likely to experience property damage than your home-based business, while manufacturing defects could increase the risk of a lawsuit.

Once you have determined these risks, you can look at which type of commercial insurance is right for you.

Shop Around

You should never rush to pick the first policy you come across. Shopping around gives you the chance to get quotes and consider which services at what price are most beneficial. It can be overwhelming for small businesses, so consider using an insurance broker or marketplace to get an aggregation of the best deals for you.

If you are confident that you know what you want, contacting a company, such as Keller Insurance Services, directly will help you speed up the process.

Compare and Determine What’s Best for Your Business

Once you have a shortlist of commercial insurance options and quotes, it’s time to decide which policy is best for your business. There are several factors to consider when choosing the right policy.

These factors include:

  • The overall policy coverage
  • The liability limits
  • The premiums and deductible
  • Payment options
  • The overall company rating

Don't select the highest-rated company or cheapest quote blindly. While it can be a good place to begin, you may be better off by selecting a commercial insurance company that specializes in your industry or has specific qualities that will benefit you. It may also be possible to bundle multiple coverage policies together, which can lower your premium.

Purchase Your Policy

The last step of the process involves completing and purchasing your policy. Depending on the company you chose, you may have an array of options regarding payment frequency, so decide if you want to pay the entire cost of the policy course (usually a year) upfront or if you prefer to pay month-by-month.

You should also discover how to file a claim when needed, as this will save time if your business ever encounters issues, such as property damage or liability. The quicker you can make a claim, the sooner you will solve any problems.

The company may put you in touch with a designated agent who you will work with throughout the duration of your policy, so get to know them and send questions you have before you complete your purchase.


Keller Insurance Services offers a wide range of commercial insurance options for businesses operating in New Jersey. If you want to learn more about how we can help ensure full coverage for your organization, contact us today to speak to one of our agents.

teens pouring drinks into each others mouths at party

How To Host A Fun And Safe Party For Teens

Parties play a large role in the social lives of teenagers. There might be occasions where your teen gets invited to a party or wants to host a party. The latter can be overwhelming as a parent because, along with worrying about giving your teen a cool party, you would also have to worry about any damages, loud music, and gatecrashing. However, planning a fun and safe party for teens is possible.

It also presents the perfect opportunity for you to bond with your child. Plus, they learn important life skills like planning, decision-making, and being responsible for themselves and others. It can be a win-win situation when done right.

Ensure You Are On the Same Page With Your Child

As a parent with a teen hosting a party at home, you are legally responsible for taking care of the guests. Before beginning the party planning process, talk to your child about your expectations to ensure that you are both on the same page. Be clear on what you expect during the party regarding various activities, such as alcohol drinking, smoking, and drug use.

Send Out Invitations and Create Guest Lists

When teens plan a party, it's very easy for that news to spread quickly through social media. As a parent, you have to be wary about how news spreads, especially if you are concerned about eventually having a guest list that you cannot control.

One of the best things you can do to limit the number of guests is by creating a guest list with your teen. The number of guests depends on several factors, but the most important ones often include your budget and the type of relationship your teen has with each guest.

Encourage your teen to be more conscious of who they will invite and call people they truly want to see and hang out with. You should also do so with a limited number in mind to ensure you do not have an enormous crowd.

Another great way to have a more organized party is by sending out invitation cards. Invitation cards give important information such as the party's location, time, dress code, and point of contact. Ensure that your contact information is included on the invitation card. Other parents can RSVP on their kids' behalf and reach out to you for any important information.

For these measures to effectively control the crowd, make the party strictly by invitation and have guests show their invites at the door.

Choose a Suitable Venue

It would be best if you choose a suitable venue for your teen's party. One that can accommodate the number of people they intend to invite. You must also make sure that the venue is safe and satisfies the concerns of other parents. Suppose you are concerned about alcohol consumption, for example. You can opt to have a party at licensed premises where staff will serve alcohol to guests over 21 years.


It's no secret that teenagers like to drink alcohol at parties. However, as a parent, you would land yourself in trouble if caught serving alcohol to underage people. To discourage such illegal and unsafe activities, you should have a line-up of fun things to do at the party. For example, you can consider creating a themed party which would be great fun, help your children bond with their friends, and create a safe, memorable night.

You can also consider including age-appropriate games and activities like karaoke, dancing, and other fun, competitive games. Why not give your teen center stage when planning activities for better results, especially since they know what their friends like? Plus, they would feel more involved.


As a parent, you will be the party's host, and part of your duties is to ensure that your child's guests get home safely after a party. Make it a point to ask their parents how their kids plan on getting home and who is driving. You can create a list to help you know who is doing what.

You must also encourage parents with younger teens to pick them up directly after the party. If a designated driver is attending, ensure that you watch them and make sure they are sober when leaving.

Sign Agreements

As a host, you must do your best to limit the occurrence of injuries and damages to guests. Your protection is important; therefore, you must think of ways to limit your liability. You can ask parents to sign waivers that grant you little to no responsibility for any harm.

Oral agreements are good, but written agreements or contracts are more binding and can be used as evidence if a problem arises. Agreements or waivers are especially good for parties that celebrate milestones like high school graduation. Your waivers must also include rules that restrict the use of alcohol, smoking, off-limits rooms, and start and end times.

Final Thoughts

If your teen is planning a party at home or an event center, you must recognize yourself as the host. You are legally bound to ensure the safety of all guests. You could be held responsible if anything goes wrong during or after the party.

To protect yourself further, make sure your homeowners insurance plan covers property damage to your home and injuries to guests during parties. Remember that the more people you have in your home, the more liable you are. In such an instance, why not look into other policy extensions that cover what a typical homeowners insurance policy cannot? You can also look into customizing your homeowners insurance for more comprehensive coverage.

It's your teen's day. While you must keep an eye over the guests, ensure that you pick a spot where you can observe without getting in the way.

doctor reviewing medical records

How Group Health Insurance Helps Businesses

Most successful businesses offer their employees' health insurance. However, they might not always be doing it the best way. The solution to this is group health insurance plans.

Group health insurance plans help to keep costs down while also providing owners with more flexibility. In this post, we ask what group health insurance is and how it can help companies get closer to their goals.

What Is Group Health Insurance?

Group health insurance plans provide coverage to a group of employees or members of an organization. The individual cost of each policyholder is lower because the insurer can spread risk over everyone. While it is likely that one employee may end up in bad shape health-wise every year, it is unlikely that ten will, allowing insurance companies to keep costs low.

How Group Health Insurance Works

Employees cannot buy group health insurance policies individually. Instead, they sign up to insurance plans managed by their employers. Most require at least 70 percent participation to be valid. There are many types of plans, terms and conditions, and no two are ever the same.

Once an organization or company sets up group health insurance, it’s then up to individual members to decide whether they want to accept the policy. Naturally, most workers will accept it, as it's a valuable perk.

Plans come in tiers, like regular health insurance products. Basic health coverage provides coverage for all essentials, such as things patients need to overcome diseases, while premium insurance may add cosmetic procedures or experimental treatments.

Some plans may also extend health insurance coverage to the worker’s family, including their spouse and children up to a certain age. This feature may be a standard element of the policy, or an add-on.

Benefits of Group Health Insurance

There are many ways group health insurance plans can benefit businesses. These include:

Improve Morale and Productivity

Working for a company that doesn’t provide adequate health insurance can be a depressing experience for many workers. They’d like to believe that their employer cares about them enough to offer coverage, but sometimes they don’t.

Offering group health insurance improves employee relations. With health coverage, employees can’t say that you don’t care about their wellbeing. In fact, you’re proving that they matter to you while also giving them peace of mind.

Keep Quality Workers

With the great resignation in full swing, holding on to your best workers is more challenging than it ever was in the past. Everyone these days believes that the grass is greener on the other side (even if it isn’t).

In a job market like this, whether you offer health insurance is a big deal. Companies that offer health insurance are often seen as much more desirable by employees than those that don’t. It means that workers don’t have to pay out of pocket for their own health insurance, which is often much more expensive individually.

Keep Costs Down

As mentioned above, paying for employee health insurance individually is expensive, but when firms group workers together into a single policy, it becomes much cheaper. Insurers charge lower premiums because the risk is more predictable. Even if one employee has some dreadful chronic disease that requires constant medical attention, the chances of something similar happening for the rest is low.

Sometimes, insurers can lower their costs further through health management organizations (HMOs). These entities create contracts with insurers to provide a certain level of care to members. The benefit is lower prices, but the downside is that employees may have less choice over their care and which doctor they choose.

Organizations that want to offer their members more choice might want to opt for preferred provider organizations (PPOs). These give patients more options for the medical care they receive, but the price is higher.

Secure Your Company for The Future

Most business experts recommend companies get established first before offering their employees group health insurance. This avoids paying out high premiums and running down your capital too quickly.

However, if you operate a more established brand, then getting group health insurance can actually help you survive over the long-term. Businesses should aim to hold on to their best and most knowledgeable people, and health coverage can help achieve that. It's harder for people to jump ship when they already have the benefits that they need.

How Much Does Group Health Insurance Cost?

Group health insurance is expensive, but it costs considerably less individually than what an employee would pay in premiums otherwise.

The average cost of a group health insurance policy is $7,400 per member per year. Employers foot 80% of the bill, on average, with employees contributing the rest.

What Does Group Health Insurance Provide?

Group health insurance provides many of the same benefits to organization members as conventional health insurance. Policies typically cover regular medical care plus dental, vision and pharmacy services. Sometimes, you pay for these add-ons separately, but most insurers will include them in a bundle.

How Many Employees Do You Need To Qualify For Group Medical Cover?

You don’t need to be a big business to qualify for group medical insurance. Most insurers will cover firms with over one employee. Therefore, even if there are only two of you, you can still get a group insurance policy, and then expand it as you hire more people to your firm.

The size of your business depends on the type of plan you’re on. Coverage tends to become more comprehensive as the number of people on the policy goes up. For instance, insurers might offer a low level of coverage for organizations with fewer than ten members, but much more coverage for those with more than that. As a business leader, it’s up to you to read policy documents and decide which is best for your firm.

For more information on best insurance practices for your business, visit our blog.

an electrician fixing a fuse box

What Insurance Do Electricians Need?

An electrician is a role that is essential for society to work as it does. On a day-to-day basis, the vast majority of people rely on electricity to help them lead productive and comfortable lives. From lighting to electrical kitchen appliances, electric showers, electric heating, personal care appliances, entertainment devices and even electric vehicles, we rely on electricity to power many facets of our lives.

Now, of course, sometimes issues arise with electric supplies or electrically powered items that require a professional’s help. This is where electricians come in.

To become an electrician, lots of training is required, as it’s a dangerous job that needs to be completed to a high standard not only for your own safety, but for the safety of anyone who later interacts with your work afterwards. Once your training is complete, you still need to invest in insurance that will cover you, your work, and anyone who might work for you. This will help to protect you against any costs that can result from mistakes, errors, or other problems in your professional life.

It’s important that you know which types of insurance you need for your trade in order to choose the right insurance policy, so here’s some more information regarding what insurance electricians in NJ need.

The Importance of Insurance

Insurance is essential for anyone working in a trade, especially one that is as potentially dangerous as electrical work. There are many things that can go wrong in trade related jobs - ranging from harm coming to yourself to others experiencing harm because of your work. Since electrical faults can cause major damage, they can lead to large claims, which would be impossible for you to pay personally.

Insurance will protect you and your customers or clients.

General Liability Insurance

Let’s start with one of the absolute essentials with electrician’s insurance. The NJ Board of Electrical Contractors requires electricians to take out general liability insurance covering a minimum value of $300,000.

If you haven’t heard of liability insurance before, it is a type of insurance that will provide you with protection against claims resulting from injuries and damage to other people or property. If you carry out electrical work that harms someone physically or mentally, or damages their property, because of error or other problems, having a good liability insurance policy will ensure that you don’t personally have to cover the legal costs and payouts that will follow.

Of course, it’s important to remember that intentional damage and contractual liabilities are not usually covered in liability insurance policies. The policy will also usually pay the third party directly, rather than you receiving the payout and passing it on.

Of course, you probably don’t want to stick with the absolute minimum. When it comes down to it, most contractors take out higher coverage, as there isn’t an enormous difference in cost between you covering yourself to the sum of $300,000 and covering yourself for the sum of $500,000 or even $1,000,000.

It’s important that you look for quotes that really suit your needs and protect you against potential claims in worst-case scenarios.

Workers' Compensation Insurance

If you have any staff working for you, workers' compensation insurance is also going to be essential. As we’ve already established, being an electrician is dangerous work. As an employer, you will be legally obligated to ensure that your workplaces are safe and that your workers are safe while doing their job.

Unfortunately, no matter how careful you may be, accidents do sometimes occur. Therefore, you need to take out workers' compensation insurance.

This type of insurance policy has two main purposes. The first is that it ensures that your workers can get any medical care they need without worrying about the cost and that they receive compensation for a portion of the income they lose while they cannot return to work.

It will also protect you from any lawsuits from workers who have experienced any form of injury while working. The insurance will cover the compensation and payout if things get to this stage, rather than you having to pay the money yourself.

It’s important to remember that workers will receive benefits regardless of who was at fault in the accident and that if a worker dies while working, workers' compensation will also provide death benefits for the worker’s dependents. The rules regarding worker’s compensation vary from state to state.

The State of New Jersey passed its workers’ compensation law in 1911, making coverage mandatory for all employers. Workers’ compensation in NJ should cover:

  • Medical Treatment - To help injured workers receive the medical care they need and recover. New Jersey law gives you or your insurance company the right to choose the healthcare provider for treatment.
  • Lost Wages - To ensure that workers can financially afford the time off required to recover.
  • Ongoing Medical Care Costs - Including physical therapy or surgeries.
  • Temporary Total Disability Benefits - If your employee can’t work for over seven days.
  • Permanent Partial Disability Benefits - Dependent on the type and severity of your employee’s injury.
  • Permanent Total Disability Benefits - If your employee lost two major body parts or can’t work at all.
  • Death Benefits - Such as funeral costs if your employee died because of a work-related incident.

These are just two types of insurance that you will need to consider if you’re undertaking work as an electrician. Keep them in mind, do some research and find the right provider to meet your needs. It’s essential that you do this and find the right policy before taking on any electrical work.

car jack and tool box

Purchasing Insurance for Your Trade: What Do You Need?

Purchasing insurance can be a minefield if you haven't had to purchase it for your trade before. Whether you are an electrician or plumber, builder or carpenter, if you are working for yourself in a trade, you need to have the right insurance to ensure that both you and your customers are covered when you are working for them.

If you are a sole trader, you will be a self-employed individual that is running a business with a sole trader's legal structure. This means you handle all earnings and losses, but it also means that you are responsible for insuring yourself and your business.

Why Do You Need Insurance?

In an industry that’s littered with potential lawsuits, you need to protect yourself and your customers. To do that, you need insurance. When you are purchasing insurance for your trade, you need to ensure that you are buying the right policies. The world is not without risk, and as someone working for themselves, you are responsible when disaster strikes.

Insurance helps to protect you against a range of issues that can pop up at any point. There are hundreds of reasons that you need to have insurance, such as anything from a damaging natural disaster to business theft. You need to be covered so that you don't lose out if you were to be sued. You could lose profits if legal liabilities are unfulfilled, especially for a business dealing with expensive equipment and items.

Without insurance, you could lose out on clients, too. Most clients require a sole trader to have insurance to cover both themselves and the business itself. There are even some contractual obligations stating that sole traders must be insured before business deals begin.

If you’re renting a business facility, insurance is something you should get even if your landlord has insurance for the premises. Your contents insurance will be your responsibility.

Having the right insurance can make a difference between you being a success, and your business losing everything because of an injury, act of God, or a lawsuit brought about by an unhappy customer.

What Insurance Do I Need?

As a sole trader, you will need a range of insurance policies to cover you from many risks. These include:

Professional Indemnity Insurance

This is the type of business insurance that will protect you against any third party claims. If there is a breach of professional duty or you do not fulfill your responsibilities that are covered by the contract you have or the work you’ve agreed to do, you could face action. When you have professional indemnity insurance in place, you will be able to better defend your business and prevent financial losses where possible.

Public Liability Insurance

You might not think you need this, but given that your work is in a trade, what you do can directly affect the public or your client. Using this, you can protect your business against claims for injury, damage, and other issues that are caused by your job or your business.

You don't have to be in a fixed office to need public liability insurance, because if an accident happens, and an injury occurs relating to your workplace, you could be accountable for it.

Accident & Illness Cover

As a sole trader, you have the awful downside of don't work, don't earn. If you don't work for a day, you will lose the money for it. With the right accident and illness coverage, you can avoid losing out just because you need to take sick days. With the pandemic, this is even more important than it ever has been and you deserve coverage. You should check with your insurance provider whether they offer this level of insurance and if so, you won’t have to lose your income because of an accident or illness.

Equipment & Tools Cover

As a tradesperson, you’ll be using a vehicle to get around, along with specific tools to ensure that a job is done quickly and correctly. You must protect these assets because without them, you won’t have a job. Your equipment is just as much at risk of theft and damage as any other business, and when you are on the road and traveling between jobs, you need to know that you have everything covered as much as possible.

You also want to ensure that your equipment and tools are under coverage too, because you need to know that you can come back from burglary. Insurance will then pay out if you have your tools stolen, and it also protects against things like fire damage, violent entry to your vehicle, vehicle collision and more.

Choosing The Right Provider

Choosing the right insurance provider is vital if you want to make sure that you are fully covered for the right price. Insurance may be an extra business cost to factor in, but without it, something damaging could leave you even further out of pocket. You're going to want to avoid this if you can.

Your business is best protected when you have insurance, and you now know some of the insurance types that you need. Choosing the right provider involves shopping around and comparing policies. You should do your due diligence with an insurance broker so that you can get the best deal when purchasing insurance for your trade.

signing a contract

What Does Bonded And Insured Mean?

It is pretty common to come across the term bonded and insured. In most cases, it may require you to take out one of the two for your business. Perhaps even both. Some customers can be particular and prefer to work with businesses that meet both requirements.

So what does it mean to be bonded, and what does it mean to be insured? This article delves into both, so you will have a full understanding of the two.

What Does It Mean To Be Insured?

As a business owner, it is best to have your company insured. This means you get to transfer any potential risks your business may face to a third party. What insurance does is protects your business from liabilities such as theft and lawsuits, and incidences such as fire.

An insurance policy pays for any liability costs, such as an employee getting injured while working for a contractor. It also covers property damage. You should know that your insurance policy will not compensate you in the event of faulty work or negligence.

Most customers prefer contractors with an insurance policy. This is because the liability of someone getting injured does not befall them.

A general liability insurance policy can help your business' financial position. The policy caters to lawyer costs and legal fees if you get sued. This way you don't incur out-of-pocket costs.

What Does Bonded Mean?

When a business is bonded, it has purchased a surety bond. A surety bond protects the business from liabilities because of working with a third party. For example, if you hire a contractor for construction, you can take out a surety bond that protects you from theft, damage, or incomplete works.

A surety bond is typically an agreement that takes place between three parties; the principal, the obligee, and the surety.

The Principal

This is the company that buys the bond. It is primarily the business that provides its service to others. A good example is a construction company.

The Obligee

The obligee can be a municipal institution or the state. The obligee mandates the requirement of bonds by the principal. In most cases, the oblige grants permission to the principal to do business after obtaining a bond.

The Surety

The surety refers to the company that issues out the bond. In most cases, sureties are insurance companies.

If damage occurs while the principal is at work, they can apply for compensation from the surety. A bond protects a business from negligence within the workplace. For example, if someone partially completed the work, the obligee can file a claim to the surety for the cost of finishing the work under a different contractor.

Main Difference Between Being Bonded And Insured

Although the two seem similar, there is a thin difference between the two.

A bond protects a client from a loss after hiring a third party to carry out a particular task. At the same time, an insurance policy protects your business from financial losses resulting from damage or theft. Bonds relate to actions from third parties that can affect your business, whereas insurance policies safeguard your business from unforeseen losses.

Also, in case of loss or damage, the insurance company will compensate you at no cost. However, with a bond, the surety will pay for the claims to be reimbursed later by the principal.

What Is The Cost Of Getting A Bond Or Insurance?

Cost Of A Bond

Typically, for most bonds, you have to purchase them through premiums. You have to pay a percentage of the coverage amount you desire for fidelity bonds. This could be 0.5% to 1% of the amount.

A surety bond compares to loans. The main factor most sureties consider before issuing out a bond is your company's credit history and financials. Since most sureties avoid issuing out payouts, they avoid parties with high claims.

Cost Of An Insurance Policy

The cost of an insurance policy varies with the value of your property, the type of policy you choose, your business size and revenue, and some of the unique potential risks your business could face.

A Guide To Being Bonded And Insured

A bond or an insurance policy is a necessity in any business. It is common to experience incidences and accidents when you least expect it, so it is best to protect yourself and your business from these tragic outcomes. As a business, you can visit the Small Business Administration to guarantee your surety bond.

For more information on bonds and insurance policies, read our blog post on how being bonded and insured helps complete projects.

rain drops hitting water on the ground

What To Do Before and After Flooding

Do you live in a floodplain? By which we mean, do you live on an area of land that is susceptible to flooding, perhaps because of heavy rainfall, burst riverbanks, or living near the ocean? If so, you will understand how dangerous this can be. Not only are the lives of you and your loved ones at risk, but your property will be in peril too!

Don't take the risk of a flood lightly if you live in an area where flooding is possible. And don't assume that your homeowner's policy will cover your home if flooding occurs. While it will protect your home from theft, fires, and certain forms of property damage, it won't cover you if a flood occurs. For this, you need additional flood insurance.

Getting insured is just one thing you can do before flooding occurs. However, there are other ways to prepare, as we will discuss below. There are also things you need to do after flooding has taken place, which we will also discuss here.

Before Flooding

Maybe your home isn't in a floodplain at all. In such an instance, you need to ask yourself: Should I purchase flood insurance?

Even if you're not on a floodplain, you might still consider the option. A poor drainage system, a broken water main, and a sudden change in weather can all cause flooding, so it's still advisable to consider it.

But as we mentioned, getting flood insurance is just the start, especially if you know flooding is likely. You can find out the likelihood of your home by checking the FEMA Flood Map Service Center, as this will let you know the flood risk in your area.

If you know you are at risk, do what you can to protect your home. You can floodproof it by applying water-resistant coatings and sealants to the outside of your property, and you can stock up on sandbags in readiness too.

It's also a good idea to install air brick covers to prevent water access through the vents on your exterior walls. Depending on the gradient of your land, you might also want to install a flood defense gate at the bottom of your driveway.

We also recommend renovations inside of your home for the following. To prevent electrical damage, ask an electrician to move your electrical sockets up by 2-3 feet. Raising your storage options is also a good idea, as you will need to protect your valuable items from water damage. The same applies to your appliances, as you want to keep them as far away from the floor as possible.

With the aid of a local tradesperson, you could arrange for them to install a kitchen plinth to lift your dishwasher, fridge freezer, and other appliances from the floor.

There are other things you can to do to prepare your home for flooding, so talk to local tradespeople in your area for advice.

Is there anything else you can do before a flood? Of course! You should learn and practice your evacuation routes with your family and give your family instructions on what they need to do to stay safe.

You should also gather items needed for a flood survival kit as you will need these should you become displaced from your home.

When Flooding Starts

If you suspect your home is at risk when news of flooding starts, it's time to take action. Barricade your home with sandbags, move rugs, furniture, and valuable items to a higher place in your property, and shut off your electricity. If it isn't raining, open your windows to allow airflow through your home.

If you have a sump pump, turn this on, as it will work to water that comes into your house. And if there is water coming in, photograph the damage that is taking place as this will help defend your claim when you speak to your insurance provider.

In many circumstances, it may be necessary to evacuate your home, so make sure you have your survival kit handy. It's likely that places of shelter will have been set up, so listen to your local news station for advice on where you need to go to.

Alternatively, make arrangements to stay with friends or family members that are in areas that are out of danger. If you travel, adhere to the safety tips that we connected you to earlier.

After Flooding

If your local area is flooded, avoid driving, especially through areas of high flood water. You should also rely on information provided by your local government if you have found shelter elsewhere. They may advise you to wait before traveling, so heed any advice given for the safety of you and your family.

When you enter your home, be extra cautious. There may be areas of hidden damage, so be on the lookout for these. Clean and disinfect what you can, being sure to protect yourself with rubber gloves, rubber boots, and perhaps even a face mask if the air is damp and foul.

For anything that can't be cleaned and disinfected, throw them out. This includes items that have absorbed water, as well as foods, beverages, and medications that may have come into contact with floodwater.

If the job is too big for you to handle, call a flood repair service. They will advise you on what you can and can't keep and will handle the restoration of your property for you.

Provided you have flood insurance in place, you will be able to claim for damages and losses caused by the flood. Check your policy to find out what you can and cannot claim and then get in touch with your insurance provider. The sooner you do, the sooner you can salvage your finances if your claim has been successful.

For more advice, check local government guidelines for your area, as the more knowledgeable you are, the safer you, your family, and your home will be.

man paying respects at gravestone

Personal Benefits of Life Insurance

We all have people we care about and who care about us, but how would they cope if you were gone? The loss of a loved one carries with it its own set of painful difficulties, possible financial troubles being one of them. Being unable to fulfill financial obligations, such as your mortgage and utility bills, can have a serious impact on the people left behind.

The primary goal of a life insurance policy is to give money to family members to cover bills and costs while longer-term solutions are sought. A life insurance policy should ease the immediate worry about where the money will come from, typically by paying off obligations such as a mortgage. Yet there are other benefits to getting a good life insurance policy in place. Read on to find out what they are.

Peace Of Mind

The first advantage of life insurance is that it gives you peace of mind that your family will not be financially ruined if the worst happens. While there are many reasons you may choose to get life insurance, we can sum most of them up as 'peace of mind'.

There are many life insurance plans to select from, each offering peace of mind in its own unique manner. The best thing to do if you're unsure which kind of life insurance is going to suit you best is to speak to experts who understand what you need and can help guide you in the right direction.

We Have A Lot Of Financial Obligations

The quantity of financial obligations we all have seems to increase on a yearly basis. Virtually everything now seems to be linked to a contract or subscription.

Of course, when we make financial commitments, we rarely consider dying before we can fulfil them, but what if the worst were to happen? How will such obligations be met? One advantage of life insurance is that it will assist your loved ones with these costs.

You're Buying A New Home

If you die before your mortgage is paid off, the duty of making the remaining payments will pass to someone you care about. Life insurance allows you to be proactive in ensuring that people you care about can fulfill their financial obligations when you're gone.

Life insurance is a kind of coverage that can be beneficial if you have a repayment mortgage or other significant decreasing debt. The longer your policy is in effect, the less money is paid out. This is due to the fact that your debts are reducing, and the insurance is there to help cover these payments.

Monthly premiums for this kind of insurance may be cheaper as well. If you have an interest-only mortgage, level-term life insurance may be more appealing. This is when the payments are fixed, and the policy is in effect for a certain period.

Some mortgage providers insist that you have a life insurance policy in place before they will lend any money, so it will be crucial no matter who you are living with or what your family situation might be.

Planning For Your Funeral

In 2020, the typical funeral cost was about $8,000 - a 0.7 percent rise over 2019. Life insurance for those over the age of 50 may help pay off this debt. Contributions for this kind of life insurance are often cheaper than for others since the pay out is considerably lower.

Over 50s life insurance differs from term life insurance in that there is no set period of coverage; it just exists as long as you live and pays out upon your death. If you're worried about how to pay for your funeral when the time comes, having a dedicated life insurance policy can solve that issue and, again, give you peace of mind.

You're Planning To Get Married

Before you go down the aisle, there are a few things you should think about. Will you, for example, have individual or joint life insurance policies?

Certain life insurance plans, known as joint life insurance policies, are designed specifically for married people. Joint life insurance is helpful for high-wealth couples looking to reduce the effect of estate taxes on their heirs, for example. Although you don't have to be earning a specific amount of money to take out a policy like this.

If either party brings children from a prior relationship into the marriage, there should be a conversation regarding safeguarding the children's assets and inheritance. Because a child cannot receive the funds of a life insurance policy if they are a minor, a trust should be created.

You Have Private Student Loan Debt

If your parents co-signed your private student loans, life insurance ensures that they won't be saddled with the burden if you pass away. Even if your parents were not co-signers, you don't want the ramifications of debt being passed to your estate, particularly if you're married.

Borrowers' federal student loans are discharged when they die. Private student loans, unfortunately, become part of your estate’s liabilities, and whether they discharge your loan is at the discretion of the private lender. This will not be a problem if you have life insurance coverage, regardless of what the lender determines.

You're Self-Employed

If you're self-employed, a life insurance policy is an excellent idea. In fact, if you need to get a business loan, most lenders will demand life insurance, such as decreasing term life insurance, where the bank is the beneficiary to pay off the debt if the company owner dies. As we've mentioned above, it's comparable to getting life insurance to cover private student loan debt.

So if you want to start your own business, you'll need to have life insurance, even if it's not something you would normally think about.

Speak to an expert for more information so you can make a sound decision in terms of what you should do next.

front exterior of home

When Should I Update My Homeowners Insurance Policy?

We don’t need to tell you why home insurance is important, yet updating your policy probably isn’t something at the forefront of your mind. However, knowing when to update your homeowners insurance policy is important because changes to your lifestyle could affect your policy, your coverage, and how much you're paying.

When Do I Need to Update My Homeowners Insurance?

You’ve Renovated Your Home

It's essential to notify your insurance provider when you renovate your kitchen, install a new roof, or add a bathroom to your home. Home renovation improvements can have a major influence on the value of your home, requiring your insurance carrier to adjust your property coverage limits to match the replacement expenses. While this may increase your premiums, it is definitely worth it to have adequate coverage in the event of a claim.

You’ve Invested in Better Security

You're in for a pleasant surprise if you've added or upgraded your security system since you last looked for the best home insurance prices. Many homeowners insurance providers give clients who have a monitored security or fire alarm system a discount.

You’ve Bought a Dog!

Liability coverage for dog bites are included in many homeowners insurance policies. The catch is that you must notify your insurance company about your new family member. If you haven't informed your insurer about your pet before filing a claim, it could affect your policy's coverage.

Your Circumstances Have Changed

If you’ve retired, changed your career, or now work from home, let your insurance provider know. Providers are usually more lenient to those that spend a lot of time at home since it’s less likely they’ll be have their home invaded.

You Have Something Valuable in Your Possession

If you’ve purchased or been given something worth a lot of money, it’s always a good idea to let your insurance company know. They can adjust your premium to protect you should something go wrong. The same works if you sell or give away something valuable. Call to drop your premium!

What To Do Next

Work Out How Much Coverage You Need

Reviewing your homeowners insurance might not be at the top of your home improvement to-do list. However, following the five guidelines described below will save you time and money in the long run.

Following a series of catastrophic disasters, average yearly premiums are estimated to exceed $1,000, with some homeowners facing double-digit rate increases. Have you taken a thorough look at your insurance coverage recently? No? Then dust it off and turn it into your next project.

Your home itself must be your top priority. However, don't base your coverage on the appraised worth of the home, which includes land costs. Instead, use the most recent per-square-foot replacement rates in your area, as provided by your local homebuilders association. The disparity can be substantial.

According to the Lincoln Institute, land accounts for 9% of the average home's worth in New York state. It accounts for more than half of the population in Hawaii.

Is your area vulnerable to extreme weather? Calculate the cost of extended or guaranteed replacement plans, which protect you from inflated labor and raw material costs in the event of a disaster.

Find Out What You’re Not Covered For

If you live in a flood prone area, you may be required to purchase extra flood insurance, which can cost anywhere from $1,700 to $3,300 for a $150,000 building and $50,000 in contents.

Also, keep an eye out for typical exclusions like mold and even broken pipes because of a lack of periodic maintenance. You're aware of the annoyances that can be found in your home. Use everything you've learned to add "endorsements" to your coverage. Have you encountered sewage backups that aren't covered by most standard insurance policies? For roughly $100 to $250 a year, you can insure yourself against them.

Check the Deductible

It's possible that it won't be the same as it was a year ago. Many insurance companies are changing their deductibles from fixed dollar amounts to percentages, which can be a significant adjustment.

To minimize your premiums, opt for the greatest deductible you can afford. However, keep in mind that not all insurers switching from dollars to percentages are lowering prices at the same time. Also, keep in mind that these deductibles are based on the insured worth of your entire property, not just the damage that has to be repaired. So, if your house is worth $400,000, even a 5% deductible may be too much to pay, and you should shop around.

Haggle Down Your Premium

When it comes to renewals, insurers rarely specify how much your premium has increased. So get out last year's documents and make a comparison. If your prices have increased by more than 5%, contact the company for an explanation.

Knowing whether the rise was because of changes in your risk profile or to market-wide increases will aid you in negotiating and comparison shop, which you should do at least every couple of years.

Besides raising your deductible, you can save money by bundling your car and home insurance, which can save you anywhere from 5% to 15% on your premium. Another 15% can be saved by installing security systems, storm shutters, or a new roof.

Get Everything in Line

Once you’ve let your insurance provider know of any changes, be sure to document and file everything that’s happened during the process - including your new premium rates. This way, you can return to this a few years down the line (or sooner if circumstances change). You can return to your documents and ensure you’re always paying the lowest premium for the coverage you need.

Scanning and storing all of that data digitally in the cloud is a good idea. You don't want this vital information to be lost if disaster strikes.

Let's Review Your Situation Together

Contact us and we'll be happy to discuss your current homeowner's insurance policy and how we can improve it. Whether you purchased the policy a long time ago despite changes to your home since or if you blind bought a policy based on a random quote online, we can update your policy so it reflects your current situation and needs.

workers standing in front of commercial vehicle

Protect Your Business With Commercial Auto Insurance

No matter the size of your business, if you have a fleet of vehicles that are used for work, then you need to get commercial auto insurance. You can face a number of risks when your business involves driving, so you need to make sure that you are covered. If you’re not sure why commercial auto insurance can be a benefit to you, or you aren’t sure how it differs from personal auto insurance, you can find those answers and more here.

Risks Faced Without Commercial Auto Insurance

When you have employees out on a job in one of the company’s vehicles and it isn’t insured with commercial auto insurance, it can be a disaster. When the vehicle is being used for the purpose of work, then any personal insurance that an employee has, for example, is no longer valid, so that can’t be something to rely upon.

You can’t cut corners in your business and rely on personal auto insurance for employees to reduce costs because it can come back to affect the business in big ways if there is a work-related incident. As a result, without the right commercial auto insurance in place, the business could face major financial issues. These include:

  • Covering the costs of any damage that occurs to your vehicle, as well as any other vehicle. The costs would need to cover damage to property too.
  • Damage caused by vandalism or accidental damage such as a falling tree.
  • The medical costs associated with accidents that occur to employees, as well as the public, that happen through a collision or when loading or unloading.
  • Damage to your own fleet of vehicles if they are in a collision with another uninsured driver.

Depending on your policy, these are all costs covered by your commercial auto insurance. If you needed to make a claim, it would be much more than the cost of your policy, so from a financial point of view, it can definitely be worth it.

Why Does a Business Need Commercial Auto Insurance?

Getting commercial auto coverage for your business will protect businesses of all sizes against any litigation. This can occur when employees are out on jobs driving your fleet of vehicles, and anything from a fender-bender to a serious accident occurs. There can be medical costs to consider, as well as vehicle repairs, especially if one of your drivers was at fault.

Auto insurance also covers theft or vandalism. Many trade business vehicles can be at risk of theft and vandalism as the vehicles may contain valuable items such as tools and equipment. While your team likely cleared the vehicles overnight, that wouldn't stop a would-be thief from trying to break in. If the worst happens, at least you would be covered with commercial auto insurance.

Benefits to Small Businesses

Small businesses face several challenges, and one of them is the expenses they have to face. Employees are one of the biggest expenses, as you need to make sure that you are paying them fairly and giving them the benefits they want, so they keep working for you. This kind of stability can be expensive for a small business.

If you are not protecting them by making sure that medical costs would be covered if they are injured in one of your vehicles, it can lead to greater costs and potentially put you out of business.

Having commercial auto insurance for a small business is something that can be paid for each month, but still be affordable to suit the budget of the business. You will protect yourself from being sued if an accident occurred, as well as other costs already mentioned. Also, a small trade business would mean some projects or jobs would have to stop if tools were stolen out of the vehicle or someone vandalized the van overnight.

We know that no small business, or business of any size, wants to face these kinds of incidents. However, you never know what could happen in the future, which is why it is best to protect the business with the kind of auto insurance that will help.

You can hire a team of employees who are the most careful drivers out there, but you never know what can happen when they’re out on a job and there is a snowstorm, a jaywalker, or an uninsured driver. By getting commercial auto insurance, you are helping your business and doing all that you can to minimize the risks.

With monthly payments that are affordable, it can be a cost-effective way to protect your business and protect your employees, and keep the business moving even if an incident with your fleet occurs.

Commercial Auto Insurance for Your Business

Having commercial auto insurance means your business is covered when accidents and incidents occur while employees are out driving your fleet to work. It is something that should be standard, especially for trade businesses. If you wouldn’t be able to afford to deal with a costly lawsuit against the business, leaving you at risk of losing your business, then you can’t afford to not have commercial auto insurance.

If you want to find out more about the commercial auto insurance that we offer for businesses based in NJ, then contact our team today. We look forward to hearing from you.

person working on electrical circuit board

The Importance of Insurance in Trade Occupations

If you work in a trade, it is imperative that you have insurance in place to protect your business. Of course this is something that is critical across all businesses today, but most people would agree that this is even more critical when it comes to trade occupations. So, with that being said, let’s take a look at this in further detail.

From Flooring Experts to Plumbers; Insurance Is a Must

Of course, when we talk about insurance in trade occupations, we are referring to the importance of insurance for plumbers, electricians, HVAC, flooring, masons, drywall, kitchen & bath, and door & window professionals, among others.

These sorts of professionals all have their own specific aspects needing to be insured, and this is something that your insurance expert will be able to assist with. They will make sure that all of the risks pertaining to your job are covered by the insurance plan.

Some of the World’s Most Dangerous Jobs

The main reason why people working in trade occupations require insurance is that trade occupations tend to be incredibly dangerous. Some of the most dangerous jobs in the world are as follows:

  • Commercial fishermen
  • Roofer
  • Airline pilot
  • Semi-truck drivers
  • Farmers
  • Taxi drivers
  • Steel workers
  • Construction workers
  • Police officers
  • Telecommunications line installers
  • Mechanics
  • Painters
  • Welders
  • Carpenters
  • Firefighters
  • Security guards
  • Plumbers
  • Removalists
  • Loggers
  • Wastewater treatment workers

As you can see, a lot of the most dangerous jobs around the world fall into trade occupations. This is why insurance is so critical.

Different Insurance Policies Required in Trade Occupations

Firstly, it is vital to recognize that there are a lot of different insurance policies that you are going to require while in the trade industry. This includes employment-related insurance, property insurance, liability insurance, and much more. There are many facets to this, and that is why we recommend you hire an insurance expert.

What Will Tradesman Insurance Cover?

The level of coverage will depend on the specific policy you have and your provider. It will also need to be tailored to suit your specific needs. After all, every business is unique. However, some of the different areas that this type of insurance can cover are:

  • Working on-site
  • Working abroad
  • Quoting
  • Consulting
  • Private jobs
  • Public contracts

Working with an insurance adviser is critical, as they will help you understand the varying levels of coverage that are available to you. They will then be able to provide you with a bespoke quotation to suit your needs.

Some coverage options to think about are efficacy coverage, tools, personal accident, and jury service.

Efficacy cover is designed to protect you against an insurance claim whereby a customer has received a service that did not achieve the job they intended it to. For example, let’s say that you run a security firm and the installation was faulty. If the customer experienced a burglary because of this, they could hold you liable, so efficacy insurance will assist with this.

In addition to this, you can add on insurance for your tools to cover your business against the loss, damage, and theft of them. You can also have the ability to cover tools if they are left in your work vehicles overnight. This is an important add-on to consider if the tools you use are of a high value and would cause significant loss to your business if they were damaged or stolen.

Besides this, there is jury service, which protects your income should you be called up to be part of jury service during a contracted job.

Finally, you'll want to consider personal accident insurance, which will cover you if there has been an accident that has caused serious injury or death on your property. More about this in the next section.

Protect Your Business From Accidents

One of the main reasons you need to have insurance in place is so that you can protect your business should there be any sort of accident that happens on your premises. If a person or an employee ends up getting hurt on your premises, you need to have insurance in place to make sure you can cover the cost of this.

After all, the person is going to need to be adequately compensated for the injuries that they have experienced as a consequence of the accident that has happened.

Accused of Treating an Employee Unfairly?

You also need to make sure that you have insurance in place if you have been accused of treating an employee unfairly. If you have terminated an employee without right, for example, this could be a reason for needing to have insurance in place to give your business protection.

Don’t Forget About Fleet Insurance

It is also likely that you are going to have a fleet of vehicles in your business, and this is something else that requires adequate insurance and protection. After all, you need to make sure that you are protected should your vehicle be involved in an accident or if someone steals one of your vehicles.

Insurance For Trade Workers Is Essential

As you can see, the benefits are plentiful when it comes to having insurance for your trade business. One of the greatest risks that any business owner can have is running their company without the required protection in place. This could result in thousands or even millions of dollars lost. In dangerous trade occupations, the importance of insurance is more critical than ever before.

If you would like to find the perfect trade insurance plan for you, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today for more information. We will be more than happy to assist you and ensure you end up with the perfect policy for your specific needs.

man wearing a hard hat at a job site and speaking into a walkie talkie

Why Buy General Liability Insurance for Contractors?

As a contractor, there are a lot of different hats you need to wear! One thing you need to do is make sure that your business is safe and compliant. This is where insurance matters come into play. Ensuring that your company has the right level of insurance protection is of critical importance. Failure to do this could see your business in a huge financial hole should something go wrong.

Considering that, continue reading to find out everything you need to know regarding general liability insurance and why you need to buy general liability insurance for contractors. This will give you a better understanding of what to expect from this type of insurance policy and how to choose the right plan for your needs.

What Is Liability Insurance?

When it comes to insurance options for your business, liability insurance is something that is widely considered as essential. Its importance is something that cannot be underestimated. If you have not taken out a liability policy, then you are putting yourself at serious risk and you should seek to find an insurance option as soon as possible.

First and foremost, it is crucial to define what this type of insurance is for those of you who are unaware. In basic terms, liability insurance ensures that a business is protected from any claims that an individual or business may make against them. This means that it protects against anything to do with injury or damage that has been caused on your work premises or because of activities related to your business.

If you do not take out this type of policy and something does go wrong, you will probably find yourself having to pay out a lot of money and your business will suffer immensely because your reputation will be highly tarnished. It's possible your business never even recovers over something entirely preventable.

Why Buy General Liability Insurance for Contractors?

Now that you know what general liability insurance for contractors is, we are going to take a look at the different reasons why you need to have this type of insurance in place. As a contractor, it is highly probable that you are going to have clients visiting you on your own premises or you are going to be visiting client sites. You need to have insurance to cover these situations.

A liability insurance plan will cover you should a third party be injured while you are carrying out work. You will also be covered if property belonging to someone else is damaged as a result of your work. For instance, should a ladder you were using fall onto someone passing by and injure them, your general liability insurance plan will cover this.

It is vital to make sure that you have this type of insurance in place to make sure that your business is protected should a claim be brought up against you. If someone was to make a claim against your business, and you did not have this sort of insurance in place, you would be faced with a massive bill.

This is without even factoring in the reputational damage that would come your business’s way. This is why it is critical to make sure that you have the right protection in place so that your business does not end up being vulnerable.

How Do You Find the Best General Liability Insurance?

There are lots of things that you need to consider when seeking a liability insurance policy. After all, there are lots of different types of this policy available. Moreover, there are a whole host of different companies in the US that offer this form of insurance. Therefore, it is crucial that you contemplate your options very carefully in order to effectively narrow down your search for this insurance policy so that you are left with one desired option.

The first thing that you need to consider is the cost of the insurance policy in question. It is recommended that you search online and get several quotes from different companies; this is so you will get a feel for the average cost of similar policies and you will be able to compare them against one another to find the best option.

Nevertheless, it is worth noting that it is not always good to go for the cheapest option because this is likely to indicate that you will not be covered for as many things as you should be. It is also advisable that you sit down and devise a budget before you begin to search for a policy. After all, you need to make sure that the option you go for is something which you can comfortably afford.

In addition to price, you should also make sure that the insurance company in question is a credible one. You should make an effort to find feedback and reviews regarding the business in question. This is one of the best ways in order to find honest and genuine insight. Moreover, it will make you feel safe in the knowledge that the insurance policy you are going to take out is with a company that is credible and highly sought after.

Furthermore, the insurance company in question should be able to provide you with a wealth of information and their customer service should be readily available whenever you have a query. A lot of insurance companies offer tons of policies nowadays but they never truly explain what they are all about. Websites that provide an in-depth and easy-to-understand insight into liability insurance are always the best to go for.

To conclude, liability policies are something which each and every business should take out if they want to protect themselves properly. If you run a construction business of any nature, you need to make sure that you have the right insurance in place to protect yourself and your business. Contact us and we'll make sure you know exactly what you need.

male construction worker reviewing blueprints with female client

Being Bonded and Insured Helps Complete Projects

If you run a company in the construction industry or have responsibility for a municipality, chances are you want to get your projects completed quickly and efficiently, with as few hiccups as possible. Being fully bonded and insured will help you with this.

Know little about bonding and insuring, or how it can help you get your projects done? Read on to find out all you need to know:

What’s the Difference Between Being Insured and Being Bonded?

A company that is licensed, bonded, and insured is a business that has all the correct licenses required for them to operate, as well as the correct business insurances required to work legally. In addition, it also means that they have paid for another layer of coverage with a bond.

What’s a Bond?

Basically, it’s an extra level of insurance added to your coverage plan. It will guarantee to pay out a specified amount if specific conditions are, or are not, met in the work contract you’ve committed to.

One example of this would be if you were a contractor with a general liability insurance policy. This will protect you against all the usual incidents like trips, slips, falls and machinery based injuries, but it won’t help you pay for extra liabilities such as claims against work that has not been completed to a high enough standard or even completed at all.

Bonds also cover various other things that normal insurance policies don’t cover, ensuring you can get on with the job without fear of losing everything in a lawsuit.

Are There Different Types of Bonds?

Yes, if you’re thinking about being bonded and insured, it’s important to know that there are several kinds of bonds you can use to help complete projects. They include:

Surety Bonds

Surety bonds are contracts drawn up between a minimum of three parties. They are used to protect against any losses caused by one of those three parties not living up to their contractual obligations. So, if you’re a contractor, you would have a bond with your customer and the surety (the organization or individual issuing the bond). If you cannot meet your contractual obligations, the surety will pay your customer the agreed sum.

License and Permit Bonds

License and permit bonds are bonds that are sometimes required by government agencies at all levels. These kinds of bonds can be valid for between one and five years and guarantee the government agency that your company will adhere to all regulations in order to protect the agency and its consumers.

Contract Bonds

Or performance bonds, as they are sometimes known, are a contract bond that guarantees the fulfillment of a company’s contractual terms. They were set up to assure the customer that they would get a certain standard of performance from the commercial contractors they used.

Each party in this kind of bond can specify the materials that will be used for the project, how long the project will take (including a fixed completion date), and any other factors that they feel are important.

These kinds of bonds are normally issued by insurance companies or banks and are typically purchased by contractors in order to secure a particular project. It’s a great way to ensure that customers are protected from a wide range of things, including contractor bankruptcy.

What Are the Benefits of Being Bonded and Insured?

As you can see above, being bonded and insured differs from simply being insured. Insurance policies tend to focus on the contracting company, ensuring that they are covered against litigation, whereas bonds, although they can certainly help to protect contractors, are typically far more focused on the customers.

They give clients various insurances that their work will be completed to a high standard and that, should anything go wrong, they will not lose out financially, and may in fact be compensated.

This makes many more clients far more inclined to hire a particular contractor or commercial contracting company. It’s a fast way to make everyone feel comfortable about the job.

How Much Does It Cost to Get Bonded and Insured?

As you might imagine, the cost of getting bonded and insured can vary significantly depending on a number of factors, including which profession you work in, how much coverage you need, which state you’re operating in, and what type of bond you require.

Often, bonds are paid in premiums, but sometimes you will need to pay a small percentage of the coverage sum amount to secure your bond. So, if, for example, you required a $100,000 bond, they may require you to pay a starting price of $1000.

Surety bonds typically cost more, with 15 percent of the project coverage sum being the average annual premium cost.

Does My Company Really Need to Be Bonded?

Most companies can get by with a standard insurance package, and unless they want to be bonded and insured, there is no actual need to do so.

However, companies and individuals working in the construction industry are far more likely to be bonded and insured. This is not only because it's often a legal requirement, along with the basics like general liability insurance and worker’s comp, but also because it gives customers confidence and speeds the process up.

Of course, if you’re simply mowing lawns and mending cracks, rather than building houses, you may not need to be bonded at all, so always check with a knowledgeable insurer or legal professional before buying a bond.

Keller Insurance Services Offers Bonds

Want to get bonded and insured, while ensuring that you get the right level of coverage for your needs? Whether you’re a municipality looking to protect your interests or a contractor looking to speed up a job, contact Keller Insurance Services today.

parents and kid carrying boxes inside new home

How to Customize Your Homeowners Insurance Policy

One of the most sensible financial decisions a homeowner can make is to purchase homeowners insurance. In many situations, it is absolutely mandatory by a mortgage lender, and it will put you in the best possible financial standing down the road.

But when you are looking for the right homeowners insurance policy for your needs, it can be challenging to find the right one every time. One thing you will want to keep in mind is the possibility of customizing your policy, which you can always do by shopping around and looking at the different options being offered, and most of all by making use of NJ insurance agencies.

Here is just how a decent insurance agency can help you, as a homeowner, find the best insurance policy for your needs.

1. Check on the Necessary Provisions

Homeowners insurance policies vary in what they can provide you, and you need to be fully aware of what you are being offered in each case. Of course, using an insurance agency means that this is going to be easier than ever, but it’s still worth having a sense of it yourself as well. There are some essential things that are sometimes covered by these policies, including:


One of the fundamental things you would expect to be covered is damage to the property, both internal and external, because of reasons beyond your control such as fire or hurricanes.


Often, policies will protect you when it comes to personal liability for injuries caused by situations in the home. However, this is not standard, so it's something you will need to discuss with your agent. If so, you’ll need to seek out the appropriate policy with the agent’s help.

Hotel Rental During Repairs

Sometimes you will need to move elsewhere for a period while your home is being repaired. This of course costs you money, so you might feel it is necessary to seek a policy that provides you with the costs of hotel rental while repairs take place.

More Items Covered

It’s always a good idea to speak to your insurance agency to make sure that you are getting all the provisions you need in a policy.

2. Understand the Major Types of Policies

As well as having a good grasp on what is generally going to be covered in an insurance policy for homeowners, it’s a good idea to know about the major types of policy too. If you are keen to learn more about any of these, then speak with an insurance agency in NJ to see whether they can help you out.

They will already know which type is likely to suit your needs after you speak with them, but understanding the differences yourself is also going to help the process along somewhat.

There are basically three levels of coverage that you need to be aware of:

Cash Value

With this level of coverage, they cover you for the actual cash value of the property in question, as well as the value of all of your listed belongings. Remember, however, that you need to subtract depreciation from this.


At this level, you are getting the actual value of your house and belongings, as above, but without the depreciation taken away. This might be preferable sometimes.

Guaranteed Replacement

This is the most complete and comprehensive coverage, and it gives you a guaranteed amount for whatever it might cost to fully repair your home, even if that goes above the official policy limit.

Ultimately, it is up to you to speak to your NJ insurance agency and decide which might be relevant for you. They are the experts, so speaking to them should explain exactly what level of coverage you are going to need and benefit from, and what they might consider too much or not enough.

3. Choose a Company

This is the major way in which an insurance agency is going to help you out, along with those mentioned above as well, of course. You will find that there is an enormous difference offered between the different insurers in your area, so the choice between them can be quite difficult to get right.

However, with the help of the right agency, you should be able to make this decision a lot more easily, and that is owing to several reasons.

First, your insurance agency is going to have a wider list to choose from, as they have access to many insurance companies which you just don’t have access to.

Plus, they will know about all of the hidden costs and other surprises that might be hard to discover, and they can ensure that they are leading you towards the company that will work out best for you.

With all the headache that can come from trying to find the best provider, having an insurance agency is definitely one of the most sensible decisions you can make. You are going to save yourself a lot of trouble this way, so it is really worth looking into in some detail.

4. Be Flexible

There might be times where you have to allow yourself to be a little flexible with the policies you are coming across. It’s important that you aim to do this as best as you can, as it could help you find the perfect policy much more easily. There will be certain things you don’t want to move on, but as long as you are flexible that should help the agency help you out as best as they can. Ultimately, you can work together to find the best choice for you.

construction worker in hardhat hammering a nail

Workers' Compensation in the Construction Industry

Workers' compensation is essential in the construction industry for companies in New Jersey. Naturally, you may have numerous questions relating to this topic, so we will aim to answer as many of them as possible throughout this guide. By the end, you should have a more thorough understanding of what worker's compensation is, why it's important, and what affects the premiums.

What Is Worker's Compensation?

Worker's compensation is a type of insurance that offers coverage in the event of employees injuring themselves during employment. As a result, it can prevent instances where employees sue the employer for compensation, as it provides benefits for them. This can include paying for medical bills, lost wages, etc.

In New Jersey, the current law is that all New Jersey employers - who aren't covered by Federal programs - must have some form of worker's compensation in place. It's seen as a way of protecting both the employer and the employee if workplace incidents happen.

Why Is Workers' Compensation Vital for the Construction Industry?

While the law enforces all companies to have worker's comp in NJ, it is even more important for construction business owners. When you consider the function and purpose of this insurance, you instantly understand why it's extremely beneficial in this industry.

The construction industry is one of the most dangerous and risk-heavy sectors in the world. Consider all the equipment and machinery that's used every day and the potential hazards you see when operating them. Then, factor in all the other elements of a construction site, and you very quickly have a long list of risks to deal with every day. The simple fact is that a construction company will have more chances of accidents happening than almost any other business in any other industry.

Consequently, the need for coverage is greater than anywhere else. By having worker's compensation, construction companies have a little bit of a safety net in place for the inevitable accidents that will happen. Even with the most stringent health & safety measures in place they will happen. It's not a poor reflection on your company, but more a reflection of how dangerous the industry is!

What are the Benefits of Worker's Comp for Construction Businesses?

By now, we've established that you need to have this insurance, regardless of how you feel about it. As a result, many construction business owners are somewhat annoyed at having to pay for it. They see it as an extra cost that they're forced to pay, so perhaps it will make you see things in a different light when you learn the benefits of having worker's compensation for your construction business.

Protects Your Business From Financial Hardship

Worker's comp works similarly to all other insurances in that it protects your business from serious financial hardships. What would happen if your company didn't have this coverage, and an employee was injured on-site? Legally, they have more than enough ammunition to sue for a lot of money. The fact that you're breaking the law by not having this mandatory insurance is one thing, let alone the compensation claims they can make because of their injuries.

When you calculate the costs of having worker's compensation vs. the costs of not having it, you realize it is a much better financial move. The benefits provided to your employees ensure that they have no reason to go out and sue you. Also, you're almost protected from any legal trouble because you can prove that you do have the insurance in place.

Stops You From Damaging Your Reputation

Similarly, lawsuits are always awful for your reputation. Construction workers injure themselves all the time, but you hardly ever hear about it. This is because the companies have worker's comp, so their wages are covered, and medical bills paid for. It doesn't become a news story as the employee is happily recovering without worrying about their financial situation.

Therefore, your reputation remains intact. However, if you didn't have worker's comp, and they filed a lawsuit, it would make the local news. More people would hear of the incident and your construction company would be painted in a poor light. You could end up with a reputation that's impossible to repair. Thus, any future work opportunities will be few and far between.

How Much Does Worker's Compensation Cost?

Like all insurance types, worker's compensation varies in costs depending on numerous factors. However, we can say that it tends to be more expensive for construction companies, purely because it presents a higher risk for the insurer. There are more chances of accidents happening on construction sites, therefore more chances of having to pay compensation through insurance.

Nevertheless, here are some main factors that influence your premium:

  • Working with heavy equipment or dangerous tools can increase risks, thus raising your premium
  • Working at heights of 15 foot and above will increase the premium because your business presents a greater risk
  • The specific type of work you do can either increase or decrease the premium, depending on how risky it is

Regarding that last point, most construction businesses will have different work class codes that explain the roles of the employees. This includes:

  • Masonry workers
  • Plumbers
  • Carpenters
  • Electricians
  • Other specialty traders

When requesting a quote for worker's compensation, you need to classify all of your employees according to their work class codes. This is because it can have a tremendous impact on your premium - for instance, if you have lots of electricians, the premium can go up as working with electricity is a high-risk job.

How Do You Get Worker's Compensation in New Jersey?

Keller Insurance Services is one of the leading insurance agencies/brokers in the New Jersey area. If you're looking to acquire worker's compensation throughout NJ, please contact us today. You can send us a message via our website, or contact us directly via telephone to talk about your options.

two male and two female contractors looking at plans

Why Is Commercial General Liability Insurance Necessary?

Generally, the following are advantages of an insurance policy:

  • Provision of economic protection
  • Risk Sharing
  • Maintenance of living standards
  • Elimination of dependency
  • Creation of employment
  • Promotion of foreign trade
  • Promotion of the saving culture
  • Enhances a smooth operation of business activities
  • Helps in reduction of inflation rates

General liability insurance (GL), typically known as business liability insurance, is a policy that offers protection from various claims such as bodily injury, personal injury, property damage, and other losses or damages that arise during the operations of your business.

Commercial general liability is structured to protect your business properties when an incident occurs because of a non-professional act that can cause your business to be sued by a third party. The quotes of general liability typically include:

  • Property damage and bodily liability
  • Damage to properties rented to you
  • Medical payments
  • Advertising and Personal injury
  • Products finalized operations

Who Requires General Liability Insurance?

General liability insurance coverage is regularly joined with assets insurance in a Business Owners Policy. Nevertheless, the package is also available to several contractors as a single coverage via the Progressive Advantage Business Program.

As a business owner or a contractor, you are required to have business liability coverage to protect your business activities. A single accident can lead to a lawsuit where you may face challenges while handling.

The best way to safeguard your business is to ensure you have liability coverage that suits the level of the risks that your business faces.

Some clients and employers might also need you to possess a particular amount of general liability before forming a partnership.

General Liability Insurance for Small Businesses

If you operate a small business, you must have general liability insurance, particularly if you own or have rented an office or a commercial building. In most clients’ contracts, general liability insurance coverage is a necessity.

Regardless of whether this requirement applies to you or not, commercial general liability insurance has numerous benefits to small businesses that work directly with clients.

This insurance policy maintains your business's financial stability in case a competitor or a client sues you.

Since general liability insurance offers essential coverage, most small business owners purchase the policy after opening their business. Generally, general liability coverage is not a legal requirement.

However, it is compulsory for specific industries such as construction. Besides, it may be required by clients, mortgage companies, and landlords.

General Liability Insurance for Contractors

If you are a contractor, you may only need general liability coverage rather than a complete BOP. For instance, you may not possess a commercial property that needs property insurance, to cover employees' payments or other operational costs.

However, you are still prone to liability risks due to your work. You may be entitled to receive general liability insurance coverage without the additional packages in a BOP. The Progressive Advantage Business Program facilitates this.

General Liability Insurance Cost

As of 2019, the average monthly cost for a general liability insurance coverage was $53. Note that this is just an average figure, not what you will be required to pay. The specific features of a business determine the rates.

It is also crucial to use money-saving tips and policy rating factors to enable you to determine how to protect your business at a fair price.

Business Owners Policy or BOP

General liability plus other insurance packages are available in BOPs as facilitated by the Progressive Advantage Business Program.

If you require protection of things such as personal property used for business or commercial properties like storage facilities and garages, you may need the protection offered in a BOP.

Importance of General Liability Insurance Coverage

A general liability insurance policy is essential in protecting your business. The following are some reasons why you should consider purchasing the policy:

Protecting the Assets of your Business

As you operate a business, you will have to interact with your supplier, customer, vendors, other companies, and the general public.

In business, there are various human errors since nobody is perfect. Negligence or mistakes can lead to an accident that may cause injuries to the people you are dealing with.

When something goes wrong, your business will be responsible for the losses and damages. Although some claims are manageable, a costly claim can lead to an enormous cost to your company.

For instance, an accident that involves hazardous materials can spoil the surroundings and cause serious injuries to the individuals around.

This can result in an expensive claim. But, if you possess a general liability policy, you can protect your business and its assets by transferring all financial and legal responsibilities to your insurance provider.

Protecting Your Clients

Possessing an appropriate insurance policy provides a positive picture to your customers. Potential clients are most likely to opt for a business with general liability coverage. They consider the business as a dependable company in case smoothing goes wrong.

By possessing a commercial general liability insurance coverage, you can reassure your clients that they are protected. This will boost their confidence in your business.

Helps in Enhancing Client Base

Today, every business is prone to various risks. Therefore, customers expect companies to be appropriately insured before partnering with them. Some businesses, such as construction companies, are exposed to more risks compared to others.

Possessing insurance coverage can be an excellent tool to deal with your competitors. Being properly insured can attract many clients and improve your customer base.

Enhancing Your Business Reputation

You can use your general liability insurance to promote your company by stating you are fully insured and licensed.

It can give your clients an official guarantee. GL is mostly useful for small companies. This type of promotion can improve the reputation of your business.

Peace of Mind

Besides anything else, having general liability insurance for your business can guarantee peace of mind. Currently, all industries in the business world are stressful; therefore, you need a sense of safety.

General liability coverage can enhance your business growth since you will not have many things to think about.

new jersey license plate in a green bush

Finding An Insurance Agency In Gloucester County, NJ

About Gloucester County, NJ

Keller Insurance Services have operated in Gloucester County for 36 years, meeting the insurance needs of thousands of companies and individuals in the Gloucester County area.

Gloucester County is located in the state of New Jersey, with a county seat in Woodbury. The latest Census, conducted in 2019, estimated a population of 291,636 people.

Atlantic City is just northwest of the county, with Philadelphia to the south. Gloucester County belongs to the Camden, New Jersey Metropolitan Division, covering 337.18 square miles in total.

Two of the earliest settlements in NJ were Bridgeport and Swedesboro, which were part of the New Sweden colony in the 17th century.

Gloucester County was officially formed back in 1686 and then declared as part of West Jersey in 1694. Portions were later set off to become Camden County and Atlantic County.

The local economy in Gloucester County NJ

Gloucester is a thriving county of over 12,000 companies and plenty of potential for small business growth.

The local economy in Gloucester County NJ is a diverse mix of many industries, including commercial enterprise, new tech businesses, manufacturing, agriculture, and more.

Growing businesses need top-notch insurance solutions, which is why Keller’s insurance agency is such an important part of the community. We are proud to offer quality support for the local businesses in Gloucester County.

Besides the bustling economy, Gloucester County has much to offer, including plenty of activities to entertain tourists. Visitors love to enjoy the South Jersey wine trail or take a walking tour to marvel at the Victorian architecture.

How does Keller Insurance Services help businesses and individuals?

Keller Insurance Services helps local businesses by providing excellent insurance options, to protect investments and support growth.

Our insurance agency in Gloucester County NJ also offers insurance for individuals. Our various services include:

Auto Insurance

Residents of Jersey need the right kind of auto insurance coverage to protect their vehicles, and Keller Insurance has the expertise to deliver.

Our team of talented insurance agents can help you to find a package that meets your needs, whether that’s minimum coverage or comprehensive coverage.

Flood Insurance

For residents of New Jersey, flooding is a constant possibility, which is why it’s important to protect your property and your family.

Flood insurance packages often vary, depending on your location in Gloucester NJ. With the help of our highly experienced insurance professionals, you’ll get the perfect insurance cover for you.

Business Insurance

Keller Insurance Services can provide you with the coverage you need, at an affordable price. As an independent agency, we work for your business, offering support to locate the best coverage, from multiple providers.

We can help your business to find the right Commercial General Liability Insurance or Commercial Property Insurance. We also offer a New Jersey Business Owner Package, allowing you to access multiple types of cover, at one fixed rate.

Group Health Benefits

Keller Insurance Services provide an all-in-one insurance package for Employee Benefits, Commercial Insurance, Payroll, HR, and Benefits Communications.

Keller’s also provides Health Insurance options for individuals. We’ve helped numerous families in Gloucester County to find the best rates and put their health first.

Medical expenses are a frequent cause of bankruptcy in the USA, which is why it’s vital to find the right protection.

Along with these options, Keller Insurance Services provides Bond Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, Personal Umbrella Insurance, and Worker’s Compensation Insurance in NJ.

Which types of businesses does Keller Insurance Services support?

Keller Insurance Services supports a diverse range of businesses, including plumbers, snow removal businesses, landscapers, and retail stores.

Keller’s services are also here to support homeowners, providing insurance coverage to financially protect your assets. Our knowledgeable agents can explain why homeowners insurance is important, and help you find the best options.

Our insurance agency in Gloucester County NJ, supports the local community in many different ways. Whether you’re a startup or an established business looking for a new solution, we can help.

Why do businesses need the right insurance cover?

No matter which type of industry you operate in, General Liability Insurance is essential.

If your company is sued, for accidental damages or incidents, it’s important to have cover. Examples include instances of property damage, bodily injury, personal injury, or medical bills.

According to Forbes, "Statistics show that somewhere between 36%-53% of small businesses are involved in at least one litigation in any given year and 90% of all businesses are engaged in litigation at any given time."

Business insurance policies vary, and the type of cover you need will depend on your industry and operations.

There are many different types of business insurance, and Keller Insurance Services can offer expert advice, to help you find the coverage that’s most suitable.

Why choose Keller Insurance Services?

There are plenty of benefits to purchasing with Keller Insurance Services:

We put clients first

Keller Insurance Services are proud to be an insurance company with a difference. We only do business with ‘A’ rated carriers, and we don’t use brokers only direct contracts or middlemen.

Operating in this way allows us to do what is best for the client, and provide a top-quality service.

We are a highly experienced agency

Keller Insurance is a family-owned agency. As we deliver on our client’s needs, we strive to treat them as part of the family too.

Robert Keller has worked as an insurance agent since back in 1979, and Theodore Keller, since 2001. The rest of our team includes plenty of highly experienced agents, delivering an amazing service every time.

We make insurance simple and affordable

Keller Insurance services strive to be the best insurance agency in Gloucester County NJ. We aim to make insurance easy and affordable, whether you’re a business or a homeowner.

With 24/7 billing and an online service, insurance solutions have never been simpler. For more information about our full range of insurance services, reach out to us today.

dog with sunglasses driving car

Car Insurance in NJ: Tips for Getting the Best Coverage

Like any insurance, getting cover can be really helpful in times where you might need to make a claim. That financial compensation can help provide support when it’s needed to replace your most loved and valuables items.

Your car is something you definitely want to get insurance for as there can be many dangers and damage that can happen to your car and to your loved ones while in them.

With that being said, let’s go through the best tips and advice when getting car insurance in NJ.

What is Car Insurance in NJ?

Car insurance is something that we all need in order to be able to drive on the road legally. Without it, you’re tempting fate that could result in an accident where you don’t have coverage to repair your car.

You could also face a hefty fine or even legal action that can result in the loss of your license. When getting car insurance, it can help you get a payout if your car gets stolen, if it’s vandalized, catches fire or you’re involved in an accident.

You could be the safest of drivers, but when it comes to insurance, you will be protected against anyone that might damage your car or may cause you to damage your own car.

When it comes to claims, you only must do it if you’ve had an accident and the fault is on your own. If it’s not and it’s caused by someone else, it should be their insurance that pays out instead.

Why is car insurance important?

Car insurance in NJ is certainly important, as it provides that financial payout when you find yourself without a car or one that’s been severely damaged.

A car is an expensive commodity, and for many of us, we rely on it to get about in our daily life. So what types of car insurance are out there and worth knowing about?

When living in NJ, care insurance has a minimum requirement for the most basic of policies. This provides $15,000 for personal injury protection and then property damage of up to $5,000.

There are also additional add-ons worth considering too. As this is a basic policy, there is going to be plenty of upgrades that you can make in order to help prevent further losses to you as a driver.

When purchasing auto insurance, there are certainly some top tips that can help you get the best coverage possible.

Tips to get the best coverage

The more coverage you can get, the better. You want to think about what you need for your car and your personal circumstances.

So with that being said, in order to get the best coverage, here are some tips to get the best coverage.

Shop Around

There are so many different offers and providers of insurance on the market that at times it can be pretty overwhelming.

However, in order for you to get the best coverage, you want to find something that covers all your needs but that’s affordable.

The balance can be difficult to find, and so it might be useful to look at comparable websites that you enter all your information, and it pulls up all the relevant providers who can offer what you need.

Rates can also change and vary, so it’s important to keep an eye on your insurance, and when it goes up with your current provider, explore the market again.

Beware Of Scams

We all like to believe that everyone we meet and interact with is a genuine individual, but there are those out there with ill intentions

That also means that there are a lot of scams and crooks out there who will want to take advantage of those who might be less experienced or naive to what is legitimate or not.

In order to avoid this, you want to look out for telling signs of a not so genuine company and go with someone who has a good reputation.

Drive Safely

It’s always important to drive safely.

Keeping at a safe speed, being wary of those around you, and remembering the core lessons that you learned during your initial driving lessons are all essential.

If you find yourself forming bad habits when driving, then correct yourself on these, sooner rather than later.

Maintain A Good Credit Score

A good credit score is important to have because it’s going to affect what types of insurance are available to you.

Credit checks are often run when you’re taking out insurance or borrowing money, so it’s always good to stay on top of what your score is and what you can do to improve it.

You can improve your credit score by getting a credit card, registering to vote, and also paying back any loans on time.

Use A Broker

You can get brokers for a lot of the things you buy in life, especially when it comes to the pricier purchases.

Car insurance brokers can be a person or a company that researches the market to find you the best deals.

It cuts out the effort for you so you can sit back, relax, and know you’re covered whenever you get into the car.

You tell them what you require, and then they’ll go out and find the best option for you and your needs. A broker is definitely a good option!

Pick The Right Car

The type of car and age of your car particularly can influence how much insurance you pay and what deals you get access to.

It’s very important to consider the car you purchase and if there’s one that is going to be better financially with insurance, then opt for that one.

Getting car insurance in NJ is important, and it’s good to know exactly what you need when it comes to insurance in NJ. Make sure you are getting the right coverage for your car, no matter what.

retail store with open sign out front

Retail Insurance in NJ: Storefronts That Need Coverage

If you are the owner of a retail store in New Jersey, you must take the right steps to protect the future longevity of your company.

Your business could be more vulnerable than you might assume and there are various costly issues that could hurt your company in the long term.

The best way to guarantee that your business is protected will be to ensure that you do have the right insurance in place.

There are many forms of retail insurance in NJ that could apply to your local business, so it is important that you explore all the options available and that could be relevant for your company.

Type Of Retail Insurance Policies

It’s important to note that there are numerous different types of retail insurance policies. Some of these could be more relevant to your business than others.

You might find that certain elements of retail insurance in NJ are covered through your business owner policy. However, this won’t be the case for every type of retail insurance that could be useful for your company.

For instance, you might have signage around your business. Signage can be a vital element to get foot traffic for your business and it could be a vital part of your business brand identity.

With retail insurance, you can protect expensive signage and ensure that you can replace a sign that is lost. You might also require insurance that covers your loss of income.

This could be because of the suspension of operations for your retail store and it might also cover any additional expenses that came into effect after your business closed down.

You might also need to consider protecting computer property in your business. This includes any computers that are relevant or vital for your business model and could include cables and software.

Be aware that you can typically customize your policy to include everything that you want or need. For instance, if you are holding a vast amount of data on your customers, then coverage for data compromise could be relevant for your business.

You might also want to cover for employee dishonesty. This will provide financial coverage in the event that dishonest acts by an employee result in significant financial loss.

Why Are They Important?

The primary reason that this type of insurance is important is to protect your company from a potentially massive financial loss. As you can see, there are many threats that could affect your business.

You need to be aware of these issues and take the right measures to protect your business. With the right coverage in place, then you won’t have to worry about ending up with a heavy bill that you won’t be able to afford.

Larger businesses will typically be able to cover some of the costs we have mentioned out of their own pocket. However, smaller retail stores can run into great difficulty here and could ultimately find that they cannot recover.

What Are The Risks Of Not Being Covered?

If you don’t have the right coverage in place for your retail store in New Jersey, then you will have two options. You can first consider paying the costs out of your revenue stream.

If you are unable to do this, then you might need to take out a loan to cover the costs we have mentioned. Either option could ultimately leave your business in the red and leave you struggling to remain open.

Once the debt starts to build, it’s difficult to keep it under control. Even a couple of these issues could leave your business in a difficult situation and struggling to stay afloat.

Don’t forget, there are numerous risks that you won’t be prepared for or covered if you don’t have this insurance in place. If your property is damaged due to natural issues such as a tree falling in a storm, then you won’t be able to claim to cover the costs.

Instead, you’ll need to pay the damages and this could result in renovation work that costs thousands of dollars. Alternatively, it’s possible that a customer or employee is injured on your premises.

Don’t forget, you will be liable for the damages from an injury like this, particularly if the accident occurred because of a hazard that you should have corrected.

A claim like this could cost hundreds of thousands in damages, depending on the extent of the injury, and will be enough to force you to close your doors. With the right insurance coverage, you can avoid this issue completely.

What Small Businesses Will Require This Insurance?

It’s difficult to narrow down the types of small businesses that could require this insurance. Ultimately, if you are running a small business that sells products on the market, then this coverage could apply to you.

Clothing boutiques, bridal stores, gift shops, auto part stores, game shops, toy stores and much more could all benefit from this type of insurance.

Without this type of insurance in place, then you will put your business at a significant level of risk. Ultimately, you could struggle to keep your doors open, even after just a couple of claims.

We hope this helps you understand the key considerations that you need to keep in mind when you are selecting retail insurance in NJ for your company.

In doing so, you will guarantee the longevity of your business and ensure that you don’t end up with heavy financial costs that will be impossible for you to recover from.

Without the right insurance, a significant legal claim could knock your business off the market completely. It is worth carefully researching the different types of retail insurance options available to find the right coverage for your needs.

It’s possible that you won’t be able to afford every type of coverage so it’s important to prioritize here. You might also need to think about protecting your business from the issues that come with the greatest level of risk.

a female in the kitchen fixing pips

Plumber Insurance: Fixing Pipes & Protecting Your Business

Any plumbing business needs insurance coverage, just like any other business. Before delving into the basics of plumber insurance, keep in mind that:

  • The type of insurance you need depends on your type of business
  • Some insurance covers are required by law
  • Policies range from property damage, accidental injuries to vehicle and equipment

The plumbing trade is lucrative, but it has its fair share of risks and challenges. It can be affected by many hazards like injuries in the line of duty or damage to the client's property.

Plumbing insurance comes in handy to protect your business against certain perils.

There’s a coverage designed for every type of risk your business is likely to face. This absolves you of the liability of meeting the cost of the expenses that follow an unfortunate event.

Whether you're a plumber, pipefitter, bathroom installer, or heating engineer, the law requires you to have some types of coverages.

Types of Plumbing Insurance

There are several standard insurance policies available for plumbers. Knowing what each entails is an essential step towards finding the right coverage for your business.

Some of the policies are as follows:

Business Owner Policy (BOP)

Ideally, when looking for plumber insurance start with the Business Owner's Policy.

It covers your business just like homeowners insurance protects your home and possessions. This option helps you cut down on insurance costs as it provides three crucial coverages in one.

General Liability Insurance

The first coverage is General Liability Insurance that meets the costs of personal injury and property damage. It covers a client who gets injured while at your shop or any damages to the client's property.

The coverage also protects you from some claims of slander and libel. However, it doesn’t cover your own mistakes in plumbing services. For such coverage, what you need is a professional liability policy.

Commercial Property Insurance

This policy is for the physical location of your business. It also covers the equipment, whether the property is owned or leased.

Business Income Insurance

This policy can help you recover any income lost. It comes in handy when your business encounters damages like a fire outbreak.

Commercial General Liability

This policy covers accidental injuries and damage to property in the course of work. In some jurisdictions, you can obtain a plumbing contractor license without proof of general liability insurance.

The insurance is imperative and includes:

  • Costs of repair for property damage to a client’s home
  • Physical injury to customers, leading to a court case
  • Problems with plumbing installation

Worker’s Compensation Insurance

Workers' comp is directed towards covering the medical bills or employees injured at work.

It also meets the payroll costs for the period an employee is away from work. It helps in ensuring your employees get medical care and can still support their families following an injury.

Good enough, this policy protects your business from possible lawsuits. Remember, these can be costly and time-consuming.

In many states across the United States, you may not operate a plumbing business without this policy. However, the requirements differ from state to state, especially for companies that hire contractors.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Your technicians spend much of their time on the road in company vehicles from one job to another.

If an employee from your company is at fault in a car accident, the consequences can be costly. This is especially true where there are injuries caused to another motorist.

In most states, all registered vehicles have to carry liability insurance; the same way personal vehicles have insurance coverages.

The policy protects your company vehicles and employees in case they get into an accident. It protects it from damage, medical bills, and theft, or vandalism.

Commercial Property Insurance

Plumbing businesses need property insurance to protect commercial property investment.

This includes the tools and equipment, as well as the office space. It covers both owned and leased property within the premises from fire and vandalism.

Product Liability Insurance

Public liability insurance isn't a legal requirement, but it's a wise idea to have it.

It's instrumental in protecting you against financial liabilities associated with faulty products. It comes as part of the standard Tradesman Saver package.

If your business installs or sells a product that later causes damage to a client's property, this insurance comes into play.

For example, you may install a radiator that leaks and causes extensive damage to your client's property. The client can file a lawsuit against you.

If the leak is a result of a fault in the radiator, the insurance will compensate.

However, this insurance won't cover leakages as a result of faulty installation. The claim will be passed back to the manufacturer but will first be made to you as the plumber.

Inland Marine Insurance

This policy provides financial protection for a plumbing business that doesn’t remain in a fixed location.

Only get the policy if your business is not covered under the standard commercial property insurance. The coverage is for tools, supplies, equipment, and anything else the company frequently transports.

The range of equipment ranges from drain snakes to caulking and soldering machines. The policy coverage compensates you if the tools are damaged in transit or on the job site.

The list of plumber insurance coverages available is non-exhaustive. You must know what your business needs most.

If you can't afford every policy, consider buying the policies required by law first. With time you can diversify your options.

Find the Right Insurance for Your Business

After familiarizing with the types of plumbing insurance you need for your company, you need to find a reliable provider. Insurance companies are in plenty, but their services differ.

One factor that differentiates them is the cost of the policies.

Some factors insurance companies consider when giving you a quote include the location, business size, number of employees, and claims history.

Ensure you shop as far and wide as you can before settling for any insurance company.

For your plumber insurance needs in West Deptford, NJ, look no further. Talk to Keller Insurance for reliable and affordable plumbing business insurance services.

A truck with a snow plow removing snow

Snow Removal Insurance for Landscapers & Contractors

When winter is on the way, it brings with it some dangerous conditions that can impact your life as a landscaper or a contractor or your business as a snow removal business.

When you have a small business, you need to carry on with what you are doing, no matter what the weather is doing, to grow the business and to thrive.

If you work in snow removals, then you need to run your business effectively to serve your local community and your customers.

Winter Risks

There are some additional risks in winter, as you will want to keep yourself and those around you safe, when you face scenarios like excess snow.

You would need insurance to help protect you and your business, because there can be risks to your employees and customers with slip-and-fall accidents. This could be due to equipment, or because of an injury that has resulted from snow removal.

There are also some other risks that you might not have thought about before, such as property damage that could be caused by what you do, and things like slanderous comments that a member of the team could make about a customer.

No matter what your business does, if it involves landscaping or being a contractor as winter approaches, snow removal insurance is a must. With the right insurance you can feel empowered to do your job, and know that you are covered should something occur.

Types of Coverage

We at Keller Insurance Services know and understand the specific risks that are associated with small businesses in winter, which is why we can help to customize the kind of business insurance or snow removal insurance that you will need to be specific for your business and your needs.

The kinds of insurance that we could help cover you for are listed below, but what will be relevant to your business will depend on your individual business needs.

General Liability

When you are looking for snow removal insurance, there will be some basic coverage to cover things like minor injuries, damage to property, and other areas of liability.

This is the most basic kind of insurance to have. In fact, some customers may not let you start work without it.

When you have general liability insurance in place, you can easily expand on it by getting some more detailed or comprehensive coverage later down the line.

Commercial Umbrella Liability

Commercial umbrella liability insurance is a kind of insurance that can be treated as an add-on to your general liability insurance.

A lot of insurers will use this kind of insurance to give you a little bit more comprehensive coverage to any existing liability policy that you have.

This is something that is so important when there are any legal issues that arise, such as a major injury to yourself or others, as the payout can help with medical bill costs and deal with any settlements, should that be the case.

It can be a good ‘extra’ to have when you look into snow removal insurance, and more often that not, it isn’t too expensive to add it on.

Commercial Property Insurance

As a small business owner, you may have a commercial property where you do your work from.

As a landscaper or contractor in snow removal, you might not have an office to work from, though you may have a warehouse or building where you store your equipment, tools, and materials.

Having this kind of insurance for a commercial property means that the property will be covered should there be something like water damage to equipment and tools from a flood, a fire in the warehouse, or theft.

If you want to make sure that your business can carry on as usual, should a disaster happen, then you will need this kind of commercial property insurance to make sure you are covered, and can get equipment or tools replaced, as well as the commercial property taken care of.

Commercial Auto

You are likely to have vehicles that you use for your landscaping or contractor business, and have some specific vehicles used for snow removal.

Anything that you use for snow removal, as well as vehicles used as trailers for mowers, need to be covered with a commercial auto policy.

When you use them for work, it is different than getting regular car or vehicle insurance. Vehicles that are commonly covered under these policies tend to include vans, trucks, utility vehicles, and snow removal vehicles.

Business Owner Insurance

When you are a business owner, having some specific business owner insurance is important.

Generally, this kind of insurance is a combination of general liability insurance and commercial buildings insurance.

It means that you will be covered should anything happen to your business, as well as customers, employees, or your commercial property, no matter where you are.

Worker’s Compensation

If you have a team of people that work for you as part of your landscaping business or your snow removal business, then being covered for worker’s compensation is a great idea.

In the hopefully unlikely event that you have employees that get injured doing their job, then something like worker’s compensation will help to cover the cost of any related medical fees, time off work, and other expenses that are related.

If you use some dangerous equipment for your landscaping or snow removal business, which is likely to be very high in these industries, then worker’s compensation really is a must, as it is better to be safe than sorry.

If you need any more advice on what would be needed for your landscaping or contractor business, then don’t hesitate to get in contact with us today.

With years in the industry and local knowledge specific to the winter conditions in New Jersey, we can help to advise you on the insurance policies that can be a benefit to your business for snow removal.

What is the Purpose of Workers' Compensation Insurance in NJ?

What is worker’s compensation? Worker’s compensation insurance in NJ is coverage designed to grant harmed or injured employees with a set form of monetary allowances.

The laws are set up to prevent the incurred costs of being made unable to work, as well as the necessary coverage to help with recovery costs.

Worker’s compensation also protects businesses in that it has been designed as a means to properly provide injured employees with the means they need to move forward.

This discourages and actively bars the legal standing for resulting lawsuits.

In this way, it’s better for companies, it provides employees with the necessary grounding and payout to forgo worry about finances thanks to wage replacement or easier access to disability compensation, and it also provides both parties with a solid path forward.

To that end, it’s no wonder these laws have been designed and enforced.

Remember that each state may hold their own specific laws surrounding what form worker’s compensation insurance will take in NJ. That being said, all states do require this as a form of necessary insured protection.

In New Jersey, worker’s compensation can be provided by Keller Insurance Services.

How Is Worker’s Compensation Insurance Affected By New Jersey Law?

Worker’s compensation requirements are defined by injuries that occur while performing a work task. If the injury itself requires more than a first-aider’s response, and is suffered by someone earning a tax-deductible income, the coverage applies.

If you hold one or more employees in your business, you are required by New Jersey law to provide worker’s comp insurance.

This will include temporary employees, or those on a part-time basis. If they accept salaries or hourly wages, and pay tax contributions, they require worker’s compensation insurance.

That being said, additional employment types, such as subcontractors, volunteers, and interns do not require this sort of coverage.

Another nice element of worker’s compensation insurance in NJ is that employees will be entitled to said compensation no matter where the fault lay in the accident or event leading to the injury.

A change to the law has also shown that workers can not directly sue the company for accidents contributed to via company negligence. The employee must move through the correct worker’s insurance compensation to make their claim.

DWC, the Division of Worker’s Compensation, is the legal body that oversees for the administration of New Jersey Worker’s Compensation Law (N.J.S.A. 34:15-1).

In the year 1911, the State of New Jersey enshrined worker’s compensation coverage as mandatory in employment law, putting coverage responsibilities on the direct shoulders of those hiring staff. This holds limited exceptions, such as if certain staff are already protected via federal programs.

Sixty-eight years later, in 1979, further reforms took place. The State of New Jersey found it appropriate to adjust the coverage sums to provided further necessary financial compensation to those suffering from disabilities sourced from injury.

This was designed to ensure those who could not return to work for a time were able to keep up with the rising cost of living.

In the same stroke, they also reduced disability benefits for those who were expected to make a full recovery or those who were only temporarily taking time off work.

Does My Business Require This Coverage?

If you plan to hire employees to the point where tax deductions are subtracted from their income, then yes, you require the coverage. As mentioned prior, certain exceptions include hiring unpaid interns, volunteers, subcontractors, or consultants.

How Is This Coverage Calculated?

It’s important to know the nuts and bolts of how coverage will be calculated because this is a fundamental part of your operational and budgeting framework. The statute of limitations precluding a claim is set at two years.

Here are some general guidelines:

  • An award totaling 70% of weekly wages (set at a low of $216 up to a maximum of $810), are given to those suffering a partial or permanent disability.
  • Coverage is defined by your particular company’s class code. These are used by insurance providers to designate your provision of a particular risk. As you can imagine, jobs that involve exposure to heavy machinery or intense physical labor are considered risker than office jobs. It’s important to give full and complete details of your company’s operations in order to provide the clearest risk analysis possible. You can click here for information relating to New Jersey’s classification codes.
  • Compensation calculations may be affected by how long certain employees have been at your firm and receiving a tax-deductible income. This includes seasonal terms.

How Do Claims Usually Proceed?

If you’re going to be covered by important insurance, it’s crucial to know how this will operate in the event of an employee’s injury. Of course, we must always design for our annual injury rate to be zero, but we must also plan for reality.

So, how do claims usually proceed? Well, to begin with, under New Jersey law employers are able to select the physician(s) that will attend to injuries should they occur.

After the accident first takes place, it will first be reported to your management. After management makes the necessary arrangements for immediate care, they must report this accident to the insurance carrier.

This is named the First Report of Injury. That will then be filed with State apparatus.

Next, your insurance provider will evaluate the claim and verify it against New Jersey worker’s compensation law. If this is in keeping with the set requirements (we have discussed those above,) the next part of the process is followed.

This includes the insurance carrier taking the time to contact all involved parties, such as the injured worker (or familial representative), you as the employer, and the medical provider tasked with processing this care.

The medical provider is the main authority regarding the classification of injury, and they will produce a report with all of the particulars.

After seven days, the employee will have been receiving treatment and thus the eligibility of their worker’s compensation claim will be valid. Should disputes take place, the DMC will then involve themselves.

This process usually generated by the injured employee, and directs the DMC to handle claim petitions or open hearings regarding the complaint.

With this information, we hope you can more easily understand the purpose of worker’s compensation insurance in NJ.

You can contact Keller Insurance Services to find out more information.

Tropical Storm Isaias: Reporting Property Damage

Today, many of you were hit by Tropical Storm Isaias, and some of you have been left without power and potential property damage.

If you’ve experienced property damage, we want to provide you with what to do next. See below:

  • Contact your carrier
  • Document everything with pictures and video
  • Make necessary repairs to reduce further damage

While you are doing this, please make sure you are doing so safely. If you have minor damages, are not sure if you should call your carrier or still have questions, you can always contact us by:

We are here to help, so please stay safe and take care!

a white male landscaper trimming grass

Landscaper Insurance: Lawn Care, Tree Service and Designers

If you’re in the landscaping business, you want to make sure you protect every aspect of your livelihood, from your equipment and materials, to your employees, and naturally, yourself.

That’s true whether you’re running a small two-man operation out of your garage, or own a large-scale landscaping business with a team of employees and a fleet of equipment.

Protecting your business is so very important. That’s why you need a good insurance policy that protects you every step of the way, with affordable premiums and all the benefits you require.

Why Landscaper Insurance Is Important

One reason having landscaping insurance is so important is that landscaping is a job that poses some risks. Damaged equipment, injuries on the job and weather-related issues are all problems that landscapers face on the regular.

Repairing and replacing damaged equipment isn’t cheap, and neither are medical bills. Having an insurance policy helps protect you and your finances from the unexpected.

Many landscaper insurance plans are custom-designed to meet the needs of the business.

The drafting of your plan will take into consideration details such as the size of your business, your coverage area, the materials and equipment you use, the services you provide, the size of your staff, and what your individual coverage needs are, based on all of this information.

Other factors they may consider include the location of your business, your annual income/revenue, payroll costs, property value of your business, the types of vehicles you use, the value of said vehicles and materials/equipment, and more. It sounds like a lot, but all of these details give them a larger idea of what type of coverage you need.

For instance, a larger scale company that provides a whole host of services will have a much different coverage plan than a smaller company that only does mowing and light gardening. An agent will go over the details of coverage with you to help you get the best insurance plan for you.

They will also take into consideration your claims history. So if you’ve had issues before, whether legal or otherwise, the insurance agent will take that into consideration when planning your coverage.

What types of landscaping businesses need insurance? In short, all of them.

But if you’re on the fence about whether or not your business really needs a policy, call an agent to chat and find out more information. Many types of landscaping/yard/lawn businesses utilize landscaper insurance.

Types of Landscapers

The following are common types of landscapers:

  • Lawn Care Services/Maintenance - Mowers, landscapers, weeding and some gardening;
  • Tree Pruning/Removal Services - Branch and stump removal, tree removal, pruning, limb maintenance, and more. This is a job that contains a high risk of injury, so having insurance in place is very important;
  • Excavation/Grading - Excavation and ground grading to create level ground, digging, creating a drainage system, etc;
  • Hardscape Design - This includes landscaping that works with rocks, boulders and other types of heavy outdoor items using heavy-duty equipment.

All of these business types fall under the category of “landscaping” and should have a basic landscaping insurance policy in place to help protect against the unexpected.

These plans not only take care of expenses in the case of injury or damage to equipment, but can pay legal fees in the event of a lawsuit or legal issue with a client, will handle lost wages/expenses in the event of a natural disaster, and more, depending on the type of coverage you choose.

While every plan differs, there are a few basic types of landscaping insurance. Your policy will likely fall into one of these categories, based on your needs.

General Liability

The most common form of landscaper insurance, it includes basic coverages such as bodily injury, property damage and other types of liability.

This is the most basic type and the one that you should always have (some clients may even require you do so). If you have general liability in place, you can then expand upon it with more detailed coverage.

Commercial Umbrella Liability

This type of insurance is an “add-on” to general liability insurance. Many companies use this to add on a bit of extra coverage to an existing liability policy.

These are helpful in the case of legal issues or injury as they can pay the extra money needed to cover a settlement or pay medical bills.

Adding this extra bit of coverage to a policy is a very good backup protection to have, and often they aren’t that expensive.

Commercial Property Insurance

This insurance protects your actual physical business (so the warehouse/office/building you work out of), as well as the materials, tools, equipment and vehicles housed within.

This is a good idea for any business regardless of industry, as it protects against natural disasters and accidents such as fire, flooding and in most cases, even theft.

Bear to mind though, it only covers damages at the physical property, so if something is damaged elsewhere, or equipment is stolen off the truck, you may or may not receive coverage.

Commercial Auto

Vehicles that are used for landscaping purposes, to transport equipment such as mowers, clippers, tractors; to drive to and from client’s homes, etc, can be covered under a commercial auto policy.

Vehicles commonly covered under these policies include work vans/service vans, dump trucks, trucks and utility vehicles/trailers.

Business Owners’ Insurance

This policy is a hybrid between general liability coverage and a basic commercial buildings and personal property plan.

Workers' Compensation

Having a workers' compensation package in your insurance coverage is very smart, especially if you have employees.

In the event that they become injured on the job, workers comp will pay for their medical bills, treatment and expenses, as well as lost wages.

For professions where the risk of injury is higher, due to dangerous equipment and materials (landscaping definitely falls into this category), having a workers comp plan in place is a must.

Surety Bonds

Most landscaping businesses, as with many service companies, must be bonded and licensed in order to operate. While surety bonds are different than insurance, often they are discussed and agreed upon when you apply for your insurance policy.

If you’re unsure about these types of bonds, speak to a reputable agent, who can help walk you through the process.

You will purchase the surety bond through your insurance agent. The protection offered by a surety bond can range from $10,000 to $100,000, depending on the type of coverage.

What Else?

You may be wondering about the other costs associated with landscaper insurance. Luckily, most basic landscaping insurance plans are generally pretty affordable.

Most of the lower-priced plans run around $400 per year for a smaller landscaping business, but policies can go upwards of several thousands of dollars for the more comprehensive coverages/large scale businesses.

Of course, the size of your business and how many you have on staff will contribute to your premium. This is something you’ll discuss with your agent.

If you have budgetary concerns, or want to ensure that the coverage meets all your needs, you should give them detailed information about your expectations.

How We Can Help

Luckily, there are many insurance companies and agents out there who offer affordable landscaping insurance coverage, and it is a good idea to compare quotes and policies from all of them.

You can easily obtain this information online or over the phone if you’re willing to provide a little bit of information about your business. If you’re looking for a reputable insurance company in New Jersey, Keller Insurance is a great choice.

Insurance agents can also speak to you about group health insurance plans for your employees. Many business owners choose to provide health insurance coverage for their staff and themselves via a group health insurance plan.

These are often a great idea and can provide coverage for people who normally wouldn’t be able to afford the best coverage.

Talk to your agent about group plans for business owners and find affordable coverage for you and your staff that include the benefits you find important, whether that’s a dental and vision plan, disability insurance, or something else.

You value your employees, so of course, you want to help them be protected, too. After all, taking care of your employees' needs is a proven way to increase productivity and morale on the job.

Whether you are the owner of a small landscaping business, or have a large chain of companies, having a great landscaper insurance policy in place is so important.

Protecting your business - including its employees, equipment, merchandise, materials, and of course, yourself - is a key part of running a successful company.

If you’re looking for landscaping insurance in the New Jersey area, you’ve got plenty of reputable insurance agencies vying for your business.

Take the time to compare quotes and find the best type of insurance policy for your landscaping company, through a reliable, knowledgeable agent today. Protect your landscaping business every step of the way. You’ll be so glad you did.

a husband carrying his daughter on his shoulders

A Guide to Buying the Best Home Insurance in NJ

If you are looking for home insurance in NJ, then you might be looking for some advice about how you can get the best.

It can feel like quite a challenge to locate and get the best home insurance possible, but luckily for you, we’ve got some advice.

Down below, we will look at how you can get the best home insurance, so keep reading to find out more!

Get A Quote From Multiple Companies

The first thing that you should do is to get a quote from several companies. To do this, using a broker like Keller will enhance your chances of finding something incredible.

Sometimes brokers can locate deals that you might not have been able to find on your own, so it’s a good idea to use one to give yourself the best possible chance.

You can also do this on your own though, and all you have to do is go online or get in touch with an insurance provider, input your details, and they will generate a quote for you.

It will not be possible to know whether or not a price is good if you only have one quote.

Keep a note of all the quotes you have, and then you can figure out which will be the best option by comparing prices and what’s included in the policy.

Find The Right Policies

The right policy is that which covers everything you need at the best price. There are several areas that home insurance in NJ covers, and one is damage to the interior and exterior of your home.

If something such as a hurricane, fire, vandalism or other disasters damage your home, then your policy likely covers it.

However, when it comes to disasters such as floods, poor home maintenance or floods, this is where you’re not going to be covered.

It’s important that you look through everything that is and isn’t covered before you choose a policy or you could find yourself trying to make a claim down the line, only to find your insurance isn’t what you thought it was.

You’ve also got to consider the cost. Once you’ve read through what’s included, look at the cost and then compare this to the other quotes that you have.

Work out what offers you the most for the best price, and then you can decide what the right policy for you is.

Include Add Ons

If you want your home to be covered for extras that aren’t covered in the general home insurance, then you’re going to need add ons.

Some of the add ons that you can purchase are things like accidental damage cover, which covers you if you’re quite clumsy.

Say you spill something on your lovely white sofa, accidental damage will be your best friend. Also, if you have children, this is certainly something you may want to consider.

Another add on that you can consider is the home emergency add on. This will be helpful if your home is particularly susceptible to cold snaps.

If your boiler breaks down, this cover will pay for the emergency call-out and repair. Some even cover other costs associated with this but check your policy just to make sure.

There are several other add ons that you can consider, and if you want to get the best insurance then you need to look through them thoroughly.

If you think you will need an add-on, it’s best to have it just in case something goes wrong. It’s always better to have it and not need it than the other way around.

Increase Deductibles To Lower Premiums

If you’re worried about those monthly payments, then one thing you can do is increase your deductible. By doing this, your premium will be lowered, and you’ll be able to afford the payments more easily.

Keep in mind though that by doing this, you’re offering to pay more money in case of a claim before the insurance will pay anything.

Considering you might never need to make a claim, this can be quite helpful when paying in the long run. However, if you do have to make a claim, you need to be able to afford your deductible.

Limit The Number Of Claims That You Submit

Something that you should know is that the more claims that you submit, the less likely you are to get the best insurance. Companies use risk assessors to determine how much of a risk you are to insure.

If a company thinks you’re going to be claiming numerous times, your insurance rate will be higher than if you don’t make claims often.

As such, when you have an issue, you want to think carefully about whether it is worth making a claim. If you’ve already made a claim recently, then you don’t want to do this unless you absolutely have to.

When you experience some kind of damage, if it’s minimal, then it will be worth sorting the repairs yourself.

It makes little sense to claim for a repair that you could easily take care of yourself, especially seeing as this goes against you when it comes time to renew the policy.

The longer you can go without a claim, the better it looks to your insurance.

You want to be as low risk as possible if you’re looking to get the best policy on the market, which means keeping your number of claims as close to zero as possible.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see how you can go about buying the best home insurance in NJ!

Follow these steps, and you will come out of this with the best policy and cover possible. If you have questions, feel free to reach out for assistance.

COVID-19 Back To Work Resources Bundle

As states begin to loosen restrictions and many businesses and individuals are getting back to work, or are at least planning to do so in the coming weeks, we wanted to make sure everyone is prepared as possible.

With that in mind, we compiled a bundle of re-opening information to benefit general workplaces, as well as several industry-specific resources for businesses in retail, hospitality, manufacturing, healthcare and more.

For information on each individual resource, continue reading below.

General Workplace Guidance

Fisher Phillips LLP: 5 Steps to Reopen Your Workplace

Fisher Phillips, LLP, has compiled a list of five steps to reopen your workplace, according to the CDC's latest guidance.

OSHA: Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

This detailed packet from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), contains recommendations as well as descriptions of mandatory workplace safety and health standards.

CDC: Guidance for Cleaning & Disinfecting

An overview from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on general guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools and homes.

CDC: Devising a Cleaning & Disinfecting Plan

A more thorough version of the above CDC guidelines, with details on developing, implementing, maintaining and revising your plan.

CDC: Reopening Workplaces During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Questions to ask yourself as an employer when deciding if you should return to work and to help protect workers, especially those at high risk of illness.

Vehicle Cleanliness

Wheels, Inc.: Vehicle Cleanliness Tips

Vehicle cleanliness tips from Wheels, Inc., a large, privately-held automotive fleet leasing and management company.

Industry-Specific Resources

Along with the general business resources above, we've compiled several industry-specific resources and guides. Check them out at the links below.

Retail Stores

OSHA: COVID-19 Guidance for Retail Workers

In this OSHA alert, retail employers can find tips can help reduce their employees’ risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

Hospitality & Hotels

American Hotel & Lodging Association: Hotel Cleaning Standards

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) has published a guide with the latest enhanced industry-wise hotel cleaning standards in response to COVID-19 to keep employees and guests safe.

Manufacturing & Factories

OSHA: COVID-19 Guidance for the Manufacturing Industry Workforce

For employers and workers in the manufacturing industry, the following tips from OSHA can help reduce the risk of exposure and illness.

Construction & Contractors

JE Dunn Construction: Safety Slide Deck

This template from JE Dunn Construction Group highlights what their own personnel will be doing in their general approach to COVID safety and preparedness.

OSHA: COVID-19 Guidance for the Construction Workforce

When working in the construction industry, these tips can help reduce the risk of exposure to Coronavirus.

NFPA: Construction Site Safety During Emergencies

Buildings under construction, alteration or demolition are facing new challenges. Here's how owners can safely prepare, execute efforts and minimize risk.

Healthcare & Medical

CDC: Get Your Clinic Ready for COVID-19

Here are 10 precautions you can take before, during and after seeing patients in a medical practice.

NJ Office of the Attorney General: COVID-19 Advisory for Dental Professionals

The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General Division of Consumer Affairs (State Board of Dentistry) published a COVID-19 advisory for NJ dental professionals.

Golf Courses

We Are Golf - Back2Golf

To return the game of golf responsibly, allied organizations have established “Back2Golf,” a plan outlining operational guidelines for the golf’s 16,000-plus golf facilities that adhere to nationally established protocols and best practices.

USGA: COVID-19 Golf Course Care

The United States Golf Association (USGA) has created this resource page to provide useful information for everyone within the golf community on how to play and manage the game safely.

Essential Considerations for Returning to Work - Video & PDF

Webinar Summary:

Recently, Governor Murphy sketched out the benchmarks New Jersey will have to reach before the COVID-19 lockdown can be lifted. The stay at home order will remain in place until further notice, but the Governor said he expects the timeline for reopening to be measured in weeks, not months.

Returning to work will bring new legal and practical challenges for employers in all industries. The New Jersey Agents Alliance and its Member Agencies are pleased to invite you to a complimentary webinar by Clark Hill and HR/Advantage Advisory Services and hope that you will join us for an engaging discussion on the following topics:

  • Safely returning your employees to the workforce
  • Relevant federal and state guidance
  • Best practices for dealing with vulnerable workers, refusal/reluctance to work, and employee anxiety
  • COVID-19 positive workers and claims of workplace exposure
  • Why it’s important to formulate your workplace policies now
  • How we can help

Please share any questions that you may have about your returning workforce when you register.

young male small business owner

What is a Business Owner's Policy & Why Do I Need One?

There are so many things to consider when it comes to running a business. If you’re running a small business then you may think that you are priced out of the market due to high premiums or eligibility.

That’s where Business Owner’s Policies come in. They’re designed to cover the business-critical elements of your business while also being affordable.

Let’s look at why this type of policy could be right for your business.

What is a Business Owners’ Policy?

In simple terms, a Business Owner Policy is an overarching insurance policy that rolls all essential coverage into one single policy.

A standard Business Owner's Policy incorporates a declaration, form, common conditions statement, and any relevant endorsements.

As the policy is not bespoke and designed to offer a package of support to a pre-defined target market, it is a lot simpler to set up than other insurance policies.

The cost of the policy is generally a lot less of a financial outlay than if buying each individual insurance separately.

Perhaps now, more than ever, businesses are keen to protect themselves from unexpected events and conditions.

What is covered under the policy?

A standard policy typically included protections against:

Property damage - more commonly described as ‘named-peril coverage’.  This covers the costs for damage caused by specifically named events including fire, flood, vandalism, and explosion.

If you are looking for a Business Owner's Policy that covers all eventualities for property damage, you will need to find a company that offers this level of coverage.

Property covered can be owned or rented and you are also covered for items owned by a third party but stored in your property.

Liability - if your company is found legally responsible for inflicting damages on others through defective products,  faulty installations. injury, and property damage.

Business interruption - reclaim and business income lost through disaster, fire, or another catastrophic event.

Some insurers allow businesses to take out additional coverage as part of their Business Owner's Policy for a low premium.  These can typically include:

  • Cybersecurity and electronic data
  • Civil Authority
  • Business Income
  • Interruption of computer operations
  • Accounts receivable

Figures from Statista show that between 2013 - 2018 24% of all insurance claims were due to damage and losses from fire or explosion.

What is not covered by a business owner’s policy?

There are several areas that are not typically included in a Business Owner's Policy for which businesses will need to take out separate policies. These include:

  • Health and disability
  • Professional liability
  • Worker’s compensation
  • Automobile insurance

Does my business need it?

Pros - SMEs benefit from being able to obtain a high level of coverage for a low-level premium. The cost of buying all the insurance policies separately could be prohibitive for some businesses.

You’ll also save time and money on research and admin by rolling everything up into one policy with the same insurer. In SME’s, money and budgets need to stretch a long way and this helps with that cash flow situation.

Unlike a Business Owner's Policy, standard policies do not include business income as part of their property section.

Cons - as Business Owners Policies are packaged to offer broad support to a certain type/size of the business, it is not as flexible in its terms or modifications as standard policies are.

Features such as professional liability are often used as a ‘perk’ to employees in certain sectors. Seeking this out separately can be a costly outlay for a small business.

The named-peril clause within the property portion of the policy can be restrictive. You are only covered in the event of a few, specifically named, incidents. You may want to consider your risks before signing an agreement.

It is strongly recommended that before taking out any kind of insurance policy, you perform a thorough risk assessment on your business. This will allow you to choose the right level of coverage for your particular set of circumstances.

A risk assessment will prevent you from taking out overly expensive policies that you don’t need or underinsuring your business with potentially devastating consequences.

Is your business eligible?

Business Owner's Policies are not available to every business. They are targeted at SMEs who need to meet certain eligibility criteria to be accepted for a policy.

These criteria can differ slightly between insurers but often include the geographic location, annual revenue, size of the property, and business sector.

Businesses from many sectors are eligible, including:

  • Fast food restaurants/cafes (minimal cooking)
  • Retail stores
  • Hotels
  • Salons and barbershops
  • Small residential contractors
  • Landscape gardeners

For the property portion of the Business Owner's Policy, there are certain restrictions on the type and size of property that is covered under the policy.

Office buildings cannot be taller than 6 stories or exceed 100,000 square feet. Buildings used for retail, wholesale, or services cannot exceed 35,000 square feet.

As a Business Owner's Policy is packaged together to offer insurance services to companies with a similar level of risk, this excludes certain sectors including:

  • Cinemas and theatres
  • Banks
  • Factories
  • Garages and mechanics

These types of businesses have a higher risk profile and need a more specialized range of policies to cover their specific needs.

Business Owner’s Policies from Keller Insurance Services

Our experienced team can help you find the right Business Owner's Policy for your business at an affordable premium.  As an independent agency, we look to find you the best coverage at the right price from our network of insurance providers.

If you’re unsure whether or not your business is eligible, we can help you

We offer a range of additional coverages to complement your Business Owner's Policy for true peace of mind. Start protecting your business today.

COVID-19 Updates: Personal & Auto Insurance

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues, we wanted to give you some updates on what insurance carriers are doing to help customers out.

Many are allowing customers to defer payments or pay in smaller installments. Some personal auto providers are even giving back credits on insurance premiums and are offering additional benefits.

If you have questions or concerns about your insurance policy, we're here to help.

Keep reading below for the latest information on what carriers are offering. This information is taken directly from them.

We’ll be adding more updates to this page as we receive them.


Updated 4/13/20:

We are bringing to your attention the Auto Premium Credit announcement that has just been released. This is another step Chubb has taken to properly service clients during this pandemic.

We will communicate in greater detail the effective dates for your clients as we work through operationalizing this program and complying with any state regulatory requirements. Thank you for your patience and for all that you're doing to serve clients during these rapidly changing times.

Please stay safe and healthy.

Official News Release:

Chubb Announces Premium Credit for U.S. Auto Policyholders to Reflect Changing Driving Habits Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic - Savings for U.S. personal auto clients to average $110 per vehicle

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. April 13, 2020- Chubb is providing its personal auto insurance clients in the U.S. with a credit on annual renewal premiums as a result of reduced driving activity.

Upon renewal, clients will receive a credit reflecting a 35% premium reduction for the months of April and May, with additional discounts for subsequent months, as the situation warrants. Across Chubb's portfolio, the average credit is expected to be $110 per vehicle. Clients will not have to request the credit, it will be applied automatically at renewal. All premium and rate adjustments are subject to regulatory approval. 

"In these rapidly changing times, we have been thinking about our clients and the challenges they are facing. We recognize that there has been a reduction in our clients' driving activity as a result of this pandemic," said Fran O'Brien, Division President, North America Personal Risk Services. "This credit reflects our commitment to providing a fair premium adjustment to our clients, while ensuring they continue to receive Chubb's best-in-class auto coverage."

Updated 4/9/20:

Chubb PRS: Examining the impact of lower auto usage.

Recently we have received questions regarding carriers who have made the decision to provide their clients with refunds based on their changing driving behaviors in this unprecedented environment.

As a matter of course, changes in loss frequency would be included in our annual rate reviews and reflected in our pricing.

We recognize that the current situation may have a long timeline with a prolonged dip in frequency depending on the speed of economic recovery.

We are currently evaluating the situation to determine an appropriate course of action for our clients. In the meantime, please be assured that our top priority is servicing you and our clients.

We are proud of the way in which our industry has responded in this crisis. At Chubb, just as you have, we have fully transitioned to working from home.

Our team has implemented virtual risk consulting visits and claims adjustments while staying very engaged with our mutual clients.

Your clients who suffer a claim or need billing assistance will be glad that your firms are there to advise them and have recommended broad coverages from a company known for high levels of service.

We are also proud of Chubb's $10 million pledge for pandemic relief and our commitment to our employees that there will be no layoffs during this time.

We remain committed to helping you and your clients through this crisis. Please stay safe and healthy.


Updated 5/27/2020:

Great news: the Shelter-in-Place Payback is being extended through June 30, 2020, for personal auto customers. There are a few differences from previous paybacks – read on to learn more.

We led the industry by providing customers with a payback program, and have returned more than $600 million in April and May (May and June in New York), along with our Special Payment Plan and commercial auto endorsement. As our data shows customers continue to be driving less and getting in fewer accidents during the pandemic, we are extending the Shelter-in-Place Payback through June 30, 2020, for personal auto insurance customers. And more great news – motorcycle customers are included in the June payout as well!

And it should be noted that over the three-month period, Encompass is returning approximately $1 billion to our customers, without impacting agency commissions.

Important details about the June payback:

  • Motorcycle insurance customers are included.
  • Customers will receive an automatic credit to their accounts, with most receiving 15% of their monthly premiums.
  • The amount reflects Encompass’ disciplined analysis of available data. The average cost per accident has increased, partially offsetting cost savings.
  • You will be kept informed of the final amount as filings are submitted and approved.
  • We are applying the June payback to the customer’s Encompass account. Certain customers, like those who paid in full, will have their June paybacks applied to a bank account, credit card or via check – see the FAQs linked below for the details.
  • In New York, the paybacks will be one month later. Eligible customers with an active policy in force as of April 30, 2020 should have received the May payback in mid-May and those with policies in force as of May 31, 2020 can expect the June payback in mid-June. We also expect to issue a third payment in July for policies in force as of June 30. The 15% payback will be based on the monthly premium as of those dates. Other than the payback dates, there are no changes to the program for New York.
  • Communications about the June payback will occur at the end of May. Keep an eye on Encompass Express.
  • The sign-up period for free identity protection for all U.S. residents will also be extended to June 30, 2020.

The Shelter-in-Place Payback can be a great opportunity to reach out to customers and prospects and increase retention, uncover cross sell opportunities and grow your book of business.

Please visit Encompass Express for more information and FAQs.

Updated April 2020:

Eligible auto customers will get an average payback of about 15% based on their monthly insurance costs during April and May.

Payment Relief

Encompass customers experiencing financial challenges can call Encompass to learn how to delay payments without penalty.

The Special Payment Plan gives auto and homeowner insurance customers the choice to delay two consecutive premium payments.

Customers also can choose to pay what they can afford

Mercury Insurance

Recognizing that many customers are driving their vehicles less as a result of shelter-in-place actions, Mercury plans to give back 15% of monthly premiums for April and May 2020.

This applies to all Mercury Private Passenger Automobile policyholders. Customers will receive their Givebacks in the same manner their premiums were paid.

As soon as we receive guidance and approval from the Department of Insurance, we expect to begin processing the payments.


Recognizing the economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, MetLife is taking action to help its customers during this challenging time.

The company’s property and casualty business, MetLife Auto & Home®, is providing financial relief, preserving coverage in the event of missed payments, and processing claims remotely to ensure social distancing.

“Being there for our customers when they need us the most is the promise MetLife delivers on every day,” notes Darla Finchum, president, MetLife Auto & Home®. “People are struggling, through no fault of their own, and we can help.”

MetLife Auto & Home® is offering the following to its customers nationwide:

Payment & Billing Leniency

Effective immediately, MetLife Auto & Home® will not cancel policies due to non-payment through July 1, 2020.

Customers experiencing difficulties with payments can contact MetLife Auto & Home® directly for assistance.

MetLife Auto Premium Relief

Active MetLife Auto customers who are paid to date will receive a 15% credit for April and May based on their monthly premiums.

No action is required by customers to receive the credit. MetLife Auto & Home® will apply a future credit to the customer’s account.

Extension for Personal Auto Delivery Coverage

Many of MetLife Auto & Home® auto insurance policies already provide coverage for people using their personal vehicles for delivering medicine or food.

MetLife Auto & Home® is extending coverage under all personal auto insurance programs at no additional charge while customers are making deliveries in response to the crisis, effective March 20, 2020, through May 1, 2020.

Expanded Identity Protection

With increased usage and exposure online for virtual school, work, banking and e-commerce, MetLife Auto & Home® recognizes the increased risk of cyberattacks. To help, MetLife Auto & Home® is extending its existing cyber security services through CyberScout to immediate family members of current customers through August 2020*.


MetLife Auto & Home® is available 24/7 to respond to customers’ claims needs. As the health of our customers and associates remains our highest priority, MetLife Auto & Home® claim adjusters will only conduct contactless reviews to reduce person-to-person contact during these times. Customers can file claims by contacting MetLife Auto & Home® at 1-800-854-6011.


We realize that not all of our customers can make the pivot to usage-based insurance right now, yet many customers are currently experiencing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To get relief in the hands of our customers quickly and simply, we are offering a one-time premium refund of $50 per policy for personal auto policies active as of March 31, 2020.

Customers don’t need to do anything. Refunds will automatically be credited to the customers’ most recent method of payment (automatic withdrawal, credit card, personal check) within the next 30 days.

We are offering this rapid relief at a time when drivers are making the right choice to stay off the road and remain home to help “flatten the curve.”

The refund applies to all personal auto policies including Private Client. The premium refund and timing are subject to individual state Departments of Insurance approval.

Here are additional important pieces of information and tips to support you and your customers and your business:

  • PL livery coverage extension: For losses occurring on and after March 23 through April 30, Nationwide will waive application of the delivery exclusion and extend coverage to some restaurant and pharmacy employees delivering food or medicine/essential needs on behalf of the restaurant or pharmacy. This coverage extension demonstrates the extraordinary care that Nationwide is providing customers during this COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 60-day policy hold: If a personal lines customer or their immediate family member has been impacted medically or financially by COVID-19 and they are unable to pay their bill on time, we are able to place the impacted billing account on a 60-day hold. To have an impacted account placed on hold, please email PLService@nationwide.com.
  • 24-hour claims hotline: Nationwide has taken steps to ensure we are there for customers. If customers need to start a claim for their business, they can call our 24-hour claims hotline at 1-800-421-3535 or visit nationwide.com.
  • Free resources for small businesses: Digital ad credits, videoconferencing services, cybersecurity tools and more — check out the free resources collected in this article for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Via Inc.
  • Improve your social selling skills: It’s not too late to register for the free webinar on Apr. 17 to learn how to leverage Nationwide’s agent social media program, featuring Hearsay, and its free social media content to attract and retain customers, deepen relationships and grow your business.
  • Rapid relief for personal auto customers: To get relief in the hands of our customers quickly and simply, we are offering a one-time premium refund of $50 per policy for personal auto policies active as of March 31, 2020. Customers don’t need to do anything. Refunds will automatically be credited to the customers’ most recent method of payment (automatic withdrawal, credit card, personal check) within the next 30 days. The premium refund and timing are subject to individual state Departments of Insurance approval. Agency commissions won’t be impacted by this refund. Read the communication.

Penn National

Penn National is returning premiums to assist our Personal Auto policyholders during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruptions to our normal routines and unimaginable losses to some of our friends, family members and local communities. Social distancing policies have required restaurants, offices, small businesses and schools to close.

These closures along with government-mandated stay-at-home orders for non-essential travel have resulted in a decline in vehicle use and miles driven. It is estimated that there will be significantly fewer miles driven during the months of March and April nationwide.

Pending regulatory approval, a credit of 15% will be applied to two months of premiums for those policies in force as of April 30 in recognition of the temporary reduction in vehicle miles driven.

The credit will automatically be applied to the policyholder’s next premium balance or refunded if paid in full. Premium returned benefits our 165,000 Personal Auto customers.

While the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic remains uncertain, we know customers are driving less and the fewer accidents are reflected in our return premium.

Helping support our policyholders and our community

In addition to providing refunds and premium credits to policyholders, we continue to support our customers and the greater community in a number of ways.

  • Flexible billing – We are providing an extended 30-day premium grace period to allow customers more time to pay before cancellation notices are sent. We are waiving late fees and reinstatement fees. Our Customer Contact Center representatives also have the authority switch a policyholder to a more convenient payment plan.
  • Uninterrupted customer support – Thanks to our technology and business continuity preparations, we continue to be available during normal business hours. Also, our customers can report claims 24/7.
  • Support for front-line healthcare workers – We recently donated over 19,000 respirator masks to Geisinger Holy Spirit Healthcare. We appreciate the tireless work of all healthcare professionals and will continue to look for ways to support them.

We will continue to keep you informed of new developments.

Plymouth Rock

Plymouth Rock was founded on the principle of doing the right thing for our customers and agents. That means going above and beyond to provide more than just insurance – most importantly during difficult times like the one we’re living in now.

We understand that nearly everyone has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic in some way, and many are experiencing serious financial hardship. We want to do everything we can to help our customers, particularly those who are most in need.

We have issued a press release detailing our planned relief efforts for customers. As a part of the announcement, we will introduce our “pay it forward” option, which gives anyone who wishes the ability to donate their auto insurance premium credit to a non-profit that is providing relief for those hit hardest by COVID‑19. It’s a simple way to help those most in need.

Additionally, Plymouth Rock plans to offer the following relief to its customers, subject to regulatory approval:

  • A 25% premium credit on Liability and Personal Injury Protection Coverages
  • The option to “pay it forward” by donating auto insurance premium credit to a non-profit organization
  • The waiver of comprehensive and collision deductibles for any health care worker involved in an accident while driving to and from work, or in the line of duty
  • Application of the home insurance Additional Living Expense Coverage to any health care worker required by illness or job requirements caused by COVID-19 to temporarily reside somewhere other than their primary residence when payment for these expenses is not provided by the health worker’s employer or another source
  • Continuation of our payment flexibility, including waiving of late fees and a 60-day grace period (longer in some states), holds on cancellations and non-renewals for non-payment, per state guidelines
  • Extension of our food and legal medicine delivery accommodation
  • All relief will be available to current policies and new business, effective April 1 and extended until each state’s individual stay-at-home orders are lifted.

You can read our press release in detail on the Plymouth Rock website. And for all of our COVID-19 related information, please visit the COVID-19 Independent Agent Message Center.


Progressive returns $1 billion in premium to customers.

Today we announced that we’re providing credits of approximately $1 billion in premium to Progressive personal auto customers as a result of fewer claims that come with less frequent driving.

Subject to approval by state regulators, Progressive personal auto customers who have a policy in force as of April 30 will be credited 20% of their April premiums in May and personal auto customers with a policy in force as of May 31 will be credited 20% of their May premiums in June.

We estimate that the sum of these two credits will total approximately $1 billion. We may offer additional credits in the upcoming months.

Customers will not need to take any actions to receive the benefits. The credits will be applied automatically to the customer’s policy and those customers who have paid in full will receive a payment of the credited amounts.

If they have a balance on the policy, we’ll apply the credit directly to the remaining balance. And if they’ve already paid in full, we’ll return the money to the payment account we have on file— please make sure your customers’ payment details are up to date.


In efforts to provide relief to insureds during these uncertain times, customers with personal and business auto insurance policies will receive a 15% premium credit for April and May related to the various COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders.

Please see attached press release and Q&A document for further details. We've included some of the more pressing questions below.

Who will qualify for a COVID-19-premium credit? 

The COVID-19 premium credit is only for customers with personal and business auto insurance policies in force as of April 30, 2020 and May 31, 2020.

How will the COVID-19 premium credit be applied?

15% of the monthly premium for the months of April and May will be applied as a credit to the account of each customer who has an in-force personal and/or business auto policy as of April 30, 2020 and May 31, 2020.

How can a customer find out exactly how much of a COVID-19 credit they’ll receive?

Customers who use our self-service portal and have shared their email address will receive a personalized email with their calculated COVID-19 premium credit, and any applicable credit will appear on a customer’s bill.

When will customers receive their COVID-19 premium credit?

We are currently working with state regulators on our planned premium credit, but we expect to apply the 15% credit for customers with an inforce auto policy as of April 30 in early May and as of May 31 in early June.


We know that many of you are doing your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home.

That means many of you are driving fewer miles, resulting in a decrease in auto claims.

With that in mind, we have launched the Stay-at-Home Auto Premium Credit Program, which will automatically give you a 15% credit on your April and May premiums.

It’s our way of supporting you, and we hope it helps ease some of the financial burden many are experiencing.

And the best part: You don’t need to do anything. If you pay by monthly installments, you will receive the automatic credit on future bills. If you have already paid in full, you will receive a direct payment.

Man at desk drinking coffee with a tablet that says

Time for Your Insurance Renewal? What You Need to Know

Taking out insurance policies and ensuring that you have the correct insurance cover is crucial to protecting the important things in your life.

Insurance is available to protect all the valuable things in life, including your health, your business, your automobile, and your home.

Insurance offers the reassurance that when things go wrong, you are covered.

Without insurance, if something goes wrong, all the most important parts of your life could be at risk.

This includes your health and livelihood, and material possessions such as your car, and the contents of your home.

Not having any insurance coverage, or having inadequate insurance coverage can have a devastating impact on your life.

When your insurance renewal is due to come along, it is vital to take the time to give your renewal some attention.

With so much at stake, it is more than worth spending a little time ensuring that you have the right level of coverage and at the most affordable price.

Policy Renewals

Insurance renewals typically happen annually, in most cases, 12 months after you first took out the insurance policy.

One year is the standard duration of an insurance policy for most types of insurance, including automobile insurance, home insurance, medical insurance, and business insurance.

When you take out an insurance policy, your policy documents will state a start date on them.

The start date is the day from which your insurance policy is valid.

The document will also specify a date that your current policy expires, and your insurance renewal is due.

It is crucial to be aware of these dates and to know when to expect your insurance renewal so you can make sure that you, your business, and your belongings have the appropriate level of insurance cover at all times.

If your policy lapsed, and you haven’t renewed it, you would be unable to make a claim to recover costs.

During the 12 month duration of your policy, your insurance policy usually remains unchanged.

It is rare for a policy to change over the policy term unless you have changes to your circumstances.

This means that throughout the terms of the plan, the amount you pay shouldn’t change, and your level of cover should remain the same as agreed when the policy was first taken out.

Typically, you shouldn’t need to think too much about your policy at all unless you need to make a claim, or your circumstances change.

What to Do When Your Insurance Renewal is Due

Around four to six weeks before your insurance is due for renewal, you should receive a reminder either through the mail or via email.

The reminder will let you know the exact date that your current policy is due to expire.

A declaration page will also be included with your renewal documents.

You will need to read through the declaration page thoroughly for two reasons.

First, to make sure that all the personal information contained within it relating to yourself, your circumstances, and your level of cover remains correct.

Second, your declaration page can be used for comparing insurance policies when you are shopping around for a quote.

Comparing policies will help you choose the policy most suited to your needs and at the most affordable cost.

Renewal time is your opportunity to adjust your policy to suit your needs, and it is also the best time to shop around for the most competitive deals.

It is advisable to shop around for quotes before your insurance renewal is due, as you don’t want to leave any gaps where you are not covered.

Speaking to an independent insurance agency is one of the best ways to find a policy that provides the right level of cover and at the best possible price.

Unlike going direct to an insurance company, an insurance agent will be able to offer you a personal service and a range of policies so that you can select the option that best suits your requirements.

Insurance Renewals and Price Changes

When your insurance renewal shows up in your mailbox, you may be surprised to find that the cost of your policy has changed from the previous year.

Noticing a rate increase on your renewal quote is frustrating, especially if you feel that it isn’t justified.

There are many reasons that can impact the cost of your insurance. For example, your auto insurance renewal costs may increase if you were involved in an at-fault accident during the previous year of your cover, or even if you have added an extra driver to your policy.

For businesses, insurance costs may increase if you take on more employees, or you stock higher value goods or equipment.

External factors can also influence price hikes on insurance renewals.

For example, if your home insurance costs increase, this may be because there has been a rise in the number of claims made for burglaries in your area.

In this situation, your insurance company may increase the perceived level of risk of insuring a home in your neighborhood, and the price of your insurance renewal would reflect this.

Using an insurance agent to shop around for your quote can help you lower your insurance rates, and you may be able to save money on your automatic renewal quote.

Changes Your Insurer Needs to Know About

There may be times during the duration of your insurance policy that you need to make changes to it.

It is crucial that you inform your insurer right away about changes that affect your policy.

Otherwise, your policy may be invalidated.

It is vital to let your insurer know about changes to your personal information such as a change of name through marriage, or a new address.

Informing your insurer of changes in your circumstance is also crucial to keep your policy valid.

Let your insurer know right away if you change jobs, your medical history changes, or you have children, as these can all affect your policy.

If it's time for your insurance renewal and you want to chat with us about your policy, contact us here.

doctor with a notepad and a family in the back

Group Health Insurance in NJ: 5 Primary Coverages

Your business is known for a lot.

It’s known for the products you sell and/or make.

It’s known for the branding that resonates with your target audience.

It’s known for the standard of service your customers expect.

...But all of that means nothing without the people who make your business great.

Your employees’ hard work and endeavors make your business what it is.

Protecting them at work can help to show them how much you value them while helping them to remain productive.

This starts with the right group health insurance policy.

Here we’ll discuss all things group health insurance, why you need it, its primary coverages and how to get the most cost-efficacy out of your policy year-on-year.

What is Group Health Insurance?

Group health insurance is coverage that workplaces can put in place to make healthcare more affordable for their employees.

This is because risk is spread across a group of employees, and insurance providers have a better idea of whom they are covering, allowing them to provide better rates than they could offer for individual policies.

However, group policies need at least 70% participation in the plan for the coverage to be valid.

Group health insurance has been around since the Great Depression when healthcare costs were exceeding most patients’ ability to pay.

Employer-sponsored group health insurance plans came about in the 1940s when wartime legislation demanded flat wages yet employers needed attractive benefits to offer their workforces to make themselves more appealing to new candidates.

What Does it Cover?

Group health insurance covers a range of healthcare needs, including pre-existing or chronic health conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and cancer, although coverage may vary depending on the individual policy and provider.

Some policies may also cover the healthcare needs of employees’ spouses.

Not everyone is covered under a group health insurance plan and the Affordable Care Act is designed to provide healthcare for those who are unable to take advantage of group coverage.

There are several different plan types including;

  • Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) - These use a primary care doctor as a main point of contact who refers the patients to specialists within the insurance company’s care network as needed.
  • Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) - These plans do not require policyholders to pick a primary care doctor and allow them to choose healthcare providers outside of the insurer’s network (usually at extra cost).
  • Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPO) - These plans are a combination of HMO and PPO plans.
  • Other Options - There is a huge range of other plan types that are often eligible to use alongside Health Savings Accounts. Point of Service (POS) plans are a good example of this and also combine elements of PPO and HMO plans.

Levels of Coverage

Within each plan, there are different levels of coverage that dictate the proportion of healthcare costs that are subsumed by the insurer.

  • Platinum - Covers 90% of projected healthcare expenses for the average enrollee. You pay the remaining 10%.
  • Gold - Coverage drops to 80% of projected healthcare expenses for gold policies. You pay the remaining 20%.
  • Silver - 70% of projected healthcare expenses. You pay the other 30%.
  • Bronze - 60% of projected healthcare expenses. You pay the other 40%.

More comprehensive policies will come at a higher premium, but out-of-pocket expenses will be significantly reduced.

It’s up to businesses to decide which level of coverage strikes the right balance between meeting the needs of the workforce and maintaining healthy cash flow.

Remember that the portion of the coverage that you bear can be supplemented by your employees.

Why Your Business Benefits from Group Health Coverage?

Believe it or not, small businesses (those with 50 employees or fewer) have no legal requirement to offer group health insurance.

The law requires very little from you, aside from allowing your employees time off for military service, voting or carrying out jury duty.

Still, just because you aren’t legally required to provide group health insurance doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t.

Companies who provide group health insurance are more attractive to top-tier candidates, and if you don’t offer it, you may lose a promising candidate to a competitor who does.

You’ll also save money because you’ll retain employees for longer and won’t have to pay out the expenses associated with recruiting and onboarding new team members when employees leave you for companies with better healthcare coverage.

Group healthcare insurance shouldn’t be viewed as just another overhead.

It has the potential to increase employee productivity, reduce turnaround and improve your bottom line in the long term.

Additional Benefits

With the right partners, you can also gain access to a range of other employee benefits that are not covered under group health insurance policies.

These include dental, disability, life and vision insurance.

You can offer your workforce and their dependants assurances in every aspect of their health and wellbeing!

Why Work With a Broker?

Businesses face a daily battle to stay cost-effective and keep their overheads manageable.

Insurance companies know this, and will rarely reward businesses for turning over and renewing their policies.

An insurance broker can keep your business cost-effective in ways that don’t come at the expense of the coverage your employees need and value.

A broker can get access to the best deals on the market, including deals that may not be available to you without them.

They work with a wide range of carriers to get you the best deal year on year.

Protecting your workforce without impinging on your profitability.

Who Are We?

We are Keller Insurance Services, and we strive to bring clients the best value for money on their group health insurance policies in and around West Deptford, NJ.

We have great relationships with a wide range of carriers to ensure that you get a great deal that’s suited to the needs of your workforce.

Give Your Workforce the Gift of Benefits

We also work with a trusted partner, Alliance Benefit Solutions to provide even greater value for employers.

With assistance for everything from disability insurance to retirement planning their portfolio of services combined with our own ensures that your employees always get the best deal and your business gets the most attractive portfolio of employee benefits at manageable costs.

two businessmen shaking hands and exchanging money

The Difference Between Being Bonded vs. Insured

Being bonded vs. insured are both forms of financial guarantee.

They are designed to protect a person or a business in the event of something going wrong.

However, they are not the same thing.

Being bonded is not insurance.

It can be a little confusing when the terms bond insurance, surety bond insurance are being used, but being bonded is still not the same as being insured.

Being bonded is more like credit, where the risk with the bond lies with the principle, meaning the person buying the bond, not with the insurance company.

Let’s break down being bonded vs. insured a little more:

First off, what is insurance?

There are various forms of insurance.

However, in a nutshell, it is a policy you take you with an insurance company, insurer, underwriter, which will protect you financially in the event of something unforeseen happening.

This can come in the form of a car accident, lawsuit, personal injury, life, etc.

It is a way a person or a business can mitigate risk.

What is bond insurance?

Bond insurance is like an extra level of coverage.

The bond issuer purchases a bond.

By doing this they guarantee that they will repay the principal the sum owed, and any, and all related interest payments in the event of a default, or if some or all of the conditions of a contract are or aren’t met.

A bond may cover additional damages or claims, for example.

Bonds are also used to enhance credit ratings.

What does being bonded mean?

There are many different ways they can bond you, as there are many bonds for you to choose from.

So, let's have a look at a few:

Surety bond

This form of bond has the effect of protecting you against certain claims of unlawfulness, or breach of contract.

These include claims of unsatisfactory work being done or an uncompleted project.

It can also protect against a claim saying that you failed to work within the law and the regulations of the business.

It also protects against claims of theft and fraud.

A surety bond is a contract between three different parties:

  • The principal is the business who purchases the bond
  • The obligee is the customer who has asked for the bond.
  • The surety  is the company used to underwrite the bond

Basically, you are paying a guarantor to take out a bond.

Bonds are used to cover you against professional negligence claims.

The surety, however, unlike an insurance company, will be reimbursed after it has paid the claim.

License and permit bonds

These are the bonds required by a government body so you can license your business.

These can be in the form of municipal, state or federal level.

Every profession has its own type of licensing bond, and the bond can be valid for a term of one to five years.

The bond is a guarantee that your business will operate in coherence with all the laws and regulations in place to protect citizens of the state.

This bond falls under the wider category of a surety bond and can be called a contractor or construction bond.

Contract bonds

This is also another form of surety bond.

It is a bond that acts as a guarantee that you will fulfill all the terms of a contract.

This bond is sometimes called a performance bond and ensures that an expected standard agreed between the customer and contractor is met.

Since it's based upon performance, they can agree on timescales, materials used, etc.

The bond is usually given out by the bank or an insurer and the contractor purchases the bond per contact as part of negotiations between the customer and contractor.

It is used to protect the customer and is used to build trust.

It can also help in the event of the contractor goes broke.

Fidelity bond

This bond protects the bondholder against fraudulent acts.

The IT sector uses these types of bonds a lot as it means that their businesses are protected against accusations of theft, fraud, and things such as the accusation of unlawful data transfer, etc.

There are two types of fidelity bond:

  • First-party will protect you if an employee is corrupt and defrauds you or steals from you. It will cover the cost to the business in terms of the theft itself, but it will not protect any damage caused to the client.
  • Third-party protects your clients for the same thing. Some clients will ask you to get a third-party fidelity bond, so they are protected. For your interests, you need a first-party fidelity bond.

Janitorial bonds

These are used by professional cleaning companies.

These bonds reimburse clients in the event of the work being seen as incomplete or unsatisfactory.

They also cover them against any accusation of theft.

How insurance and bonds benefit your business

If you want financial protection and the peace of mind that offers then you need insurance policies and bonds.

Insurance policies all have the same purpose, to protect you from financial loss and damage.

If you do not have insurance and bonds, you will know all about it when things go wrong as the costs mount up.

Lawsuits, for example, can be expensive.

Is it worth the risk?

Bonds offer the client peace of mind too, so it is a way of building trust with them, and may be the difference between you getting a job or one of your competitors.

Does my business need to be bonded vs. insured or both?

Most businesses will already have general liability insurance or professional liability insurance.

However, a bond is generally used to cover additional damages or claims.

There are several factors to think about with getting additional bond coverage depending on the clients, the industry you work for, if you employ staff, if you drive a lot for work or if your company deals in handling sensitive data.

If you have additional questions about being bonded vs. insured, contact us at Keller Insurance Services.

Person holding car keys

What New Car Owners Should Know about Auto Insurance

Obtaining a driver’s license and the car is a step towards greater independence. Before you take off with your newfound freedom, however, don’t forget to purchase auto insurance. Auto insurance will protect you, your vehicle and others against accidents on the road. At Keller Insurance Services in West Deptford, NJ, we can help you select auto coverage suited to your budget and lifestyle.

Car Insurance Requirements for New Jersey

New Jersey is a “no-fault” state, meaning car owners are required to obtain Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. If you (or your passengers) are injured in an accident, this insurance will help cover your medical costs, regardless of who’s at fault.

You’re also required to have a minimum of $5,000 property damage liability coverage to cover the cost of damage to someone else’s vehicle if you’re responsible for an accident.

As a new car owner and driver, you may want to obtain more than the bare minimum PIP and liability coverage to protect yourself against serious accidents.

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage is optional in New Jersey. It covers the cost of repairing your vehicle in the event of an accident. If you’ve taken out a loan for your vehicle, your lender may require that you obtain collision coverage to protect his interests.

Ideally, this coverage should be enough to repair or replace your vehicle in the event of a total loss. If you choose a high deductible for this coverage, you’ll pay less for your premium.


Comprehensive insurance protects your car against theft, vandalism, and damage caused by adverse weather. If you’re into road trips or travel long distances for work or pleasure, this coverage can come in handy to protect you on the road.

For greater insight into car insurance options and costs, contact Keller Insurance Services in West Deptford, NJ.

Mom hugging baby feet

Protect your family with life insurance

As you start your family, there can be a lot of exciting moments and times when you can maybe feel a little bit overwhelmed. When you have adequate life insurance in place you can rest easier knowing your family will be cared for in case anything should happen to you. At Keller Insurance Services we understand how vitally important it is for you to protect your family, and we’re proud to provide life insurance to the greater West Deptford, NJ community.

Protect your family with life insurance

A growing family requires a lot of care and attention, and securing the right life insurance now can help smooth the road later. It is difficult to consider, but it’s important to plan in case something happens to you or your spouse while your children are still young. With the right policy, your family can continue to live in the family home and not have to experience any further disruption after your death. There are different types of life insurance from term policies to whole life coverage. Depending on your needs, you can find the policy type that is right for your family. With the exception of term life, you can even utilize your policy to pay for major life expenses such as college tuition. There are many options available, and the most important thing is that you have something in place that protects your family, no matter the circumstances.

Is it time for you to find out more about the ways that life insurance can protect your family? If you are a resident in West Deptford, NJ or the surrounding area, contact Keller Insurance Services today to schedule a consultation. We want you to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your family is protected.

Woman sick on couch

What West Deptford, NJ Residents Should Know About Preventative Healthcare

Many residents in New Jersey are under the impression that if they do not feel sick and appear healthy, health insurance is not necessary. However, they do not understand the benefits of preventative healthcare and how it can improve your life quality. Below are reasons why preventative healthcare is essential and why you should consider a health insurance policy from Keller Insurance Services today.

Regular Doctor Visits

While you may feel well and believe that the common headache you are receiving daily is not anything major, seeing a regular doctor who is making a note of these changes can catch a major issue before it happens. When you have a regular doctor, you are able to build a medical history that gives them insight into changes in your body and potential dangers that could be lurking. You are also able to maintain immunizations with regular doctor visits and fight against potential illnesses obtained in the public.

Lower Healthcare Costs

Due to consistent healthcare visits with your general physician and catching any long-term dangers before they happen, you are able to save yourself a financial burden in the coming years due to a healthcare scare. Also, using emergency rooms for all of your healthcare needs as opposed to obtaining health insurance and visiting a regular doctor can be more costly over time, as well.

Is It Time To Get Covered?

If you would like to have maintenance care for your health and save money over the course of your lifetime, then it is time to purchase a health insurance policy. At Keller Insurance Services, our agency proudly serves West Deptford, NJ and surrounding areas, providing health insurance. Give us a call or visit our office today to quote a policy that fits your health needs.

Riding motorcycle

The Basics of Motorcycle Insurance

In  New Jersey, almost any wheeled device used for transportation, with an engine attached, has to be licensed and any licensed vehicle as to have insurance.  In most cases, it is obvious what a motorcycle is, but even a bicycle or tricycle with a motor attached is considered a motorized cycle in the state. The state definition says it must have a motor and seat to require licensing. At Keller Insurance Services in West Deptford, NJ, you can get all your motorcycle insurance questions answered and then get the insurance you need.

The insurance is similar to that of automobiles. Basic liability insurance is required. In New Jersey. There is "basic" insurance which meets legal requirements but does not offer much protection. "Standard" insurance is what most people get and that is more like car insurance. There is liability coverage that is required, bodily injury coverage, and you have the option of adding more coverage as well.

Similar to auto insurance, you may add collision and comprehensive to your coverage. Collision covers your bike if you have an accident and comprehensive covers everything else. You may also raise the amount of coverage above the minimums that are required.

You must have proof of insurance with you at all times while driving your motorcycle. It is also required to wear a helmet while riding. Having proof of insurance is called "establishing financial responsibility," which is what the state law requires.

You can visit Keller Insurance Services in West Deptford, NJ in person, or online, and get expert advice on the best coverage for your motorcycle.  New customers can find out what is required and find the best policy for their situation. If you have automobiles and motorcycles you could consider a package deal. Current customers should stop by to update their policy if they get a new motorcycle. You will have to have insurance before you can register the motorcycle in New Jersey.

Keys home money

What Can My Beneficiary Use the Life Insurance For?

How often have you watched an ad on TV talk about using life insurance for final expenses? The folks at Keller Insurance Services want to remind their neighbors in the West Deptford, NJ area that life insurance isn’t just about paying for a fancy funeral. Let’s check out what else that policy can do for your spouse, children, and loved ones.

  • Pay Off the Mortgage: This is especially important for families where one parent is lost. Make sure your children have a roof over their head for the next twenty years.
  • Keep the Kids in College: Help them build a brighter future even without that second income providing a source of monthly savings while they grow up.
  • Cover Health Care Costs: Relieve the burden of facing broken legs, ear infections, and even coughs and colds by making sure health care premiums are covered and there is still a savings account for the bigger challenges.
  • Take Care of the Monthly Bills: Provides a helping hand with heat, electricity, telephone, TV, and internet.
  • Cover Transportation Costs: That car is going to need replacing in a few years. There should be enough for a monthly lease or loan payment.
  • Guarantee there will always be something Under the Tree: With the right life insurance policy and installment payments, you can make sure that the holidays are times of joy in the future, instead of economic uncertainty.
  • Little League, 4H, Science Club, and Trumpet Lessons: If you want your family to continue to experience the same standard of living, a life insurance policy can help them have enough in the kitty to spare some cash for the fun times in life.

For more tips and information on term life policies in the West Deptford, NJ area and what size policy you wish to purchase, talk to your Keller Insurance Services representative today.

Shaking hands auto insurance

Building a Good Relationship With Your Auto Insurance Provider

Auto insurance should be much more than a financial transaction with an auto insurance provider. Finding an insurance agent willing to go the extra mile for you and your family can be an extremely valuable asset, especially when it comes to filing a claim. Many times, it is when clients go through a crisis with their insurance provider that trust is built, breeding confidence for a long lasting business relationship. Here at Keller Insurance Services serving West Deptford, NJ, we are all about building trust with our clients. Here’s a look at two tips for building a good relationship with your auto insurance provider.

It Takes Time

It is possible to build a trusting relationship with your auto insurance provider over time. It’s not likely to happen overnight. This starts by getting to know them and allowing them to know you on a first name basis, as well as your spouse and children. In order for a provider to meet your needs, they must know personal and private information, so an agent should be someone you feel comfortable talking to.

They Should Be Fully Accessible

There may be times when you have questions about your coverage or you need answers regarding a certain aspect of a claim. Your agent can provide you with the right answers and protect your best interest. Communication is key to any good relationship and in order for your insurance provider to know your specific needs, you have to communicate them. This provides the agent with an understanding of your personal situation in the event of an accident or a change in your situation. This means your agent should be fully accessible at all times.

Contact Keller Insurance Services serving West Deptford, NJ to learn more about building good relationships with your insurance company and your agent.

Understanding spelled out

Understanding Term and Whole Life Insurance

You’ve been told again and again that you should invest in some type of life insurance policy. Now that you’ve started shopping for a policy, though, you are feeling a bit overwhelmed because you don’t understand all of the life insurance lingo. That’s okay because here at Keller Insurance Services, we are here to simplify finding a policy that can best meet your needs. For now, let’s take a look at what it means to buy a whole or term life policy in West Deptford, NJ.

What does it mean to buy a term life policy?

When a person invests in a term life policy, this means the policy itself is only good for a specific number of years. A lot of term policies are good for 30 years or less. If the policyholder does not pass away during this period of time, then the policy ceases to exist and there is no cash value for the policyholder to take advantage of. And while this is a downside to a term life policy, it does have an upside — term life insurance is incredibly inexpensive when compared to most whole life insurance policies.

What does it mean to buy a whole life policy?

When you invest in a whole life policy, this means you are buying a policy that does not cease to exist until you (the policyholder) passes away. And when you do pass away, the payout is passed down to your beneficiaries. Also, with a whole life policy, a cash value will build up throughout the life of the plan, meaning if you want to tap into the premiums you have invested, you can. Since a whole life policy is guaranteed to pay out, it tends to be quite expensive.

If you would like to learn more about whole and term life insurance, please contact Keller Insurance Services serving the West Deptford, NJ area today.

Stamping paperwork auto

How to Get Your Teenager On Your Auto Insurance Policy

All drivers in New Jersey must have car insurance, regardless of how old they are. This means that if you’re a parent with a teenager who is just learning how to drive or recently got their license, it’s time to get them insured. Getting a teenager their own auto insurance policy is far more expensive than an adult’s, however, so you should consider putting them on your already existing policy. Those who are still on instructional permits in New Jersey cannot have their own separate insurance policies anyway. Serving the West Deptford, NJ area, Keller Insurance Services is here to help you get the information you need.

The Basics

Teen drivers on your insurance policy still are subject to the same legal requirements as other drivers in New Jersey, and therefore you need to make sure that your policy has enough coverage for both of you (for example, $40,000 per person per crash for Personal Injury Protection). All you need to do next is to talk with your insurer about adding your teen as a driver under your policy. If you are starting a new auto insurance policy, be sure to include them from the beginning but make sure you are the primary policy holder.

How to Keep Costs Low

There are actually a variety of ways to keep your insurance premiums from going up too much after you add your teen driver. For example, it is a good idea to not get them their own car right off the bat, at least not until they have another year or two of experience under their belt. After all, you will see a significant difference in cost if you classify your teen as only an occasional driver of your own vehicle vs. making them the primary driver of another. Likewise, if you have more than one car in your possession, limit them to driving the one that is lower in value and/or already has lower insurance costs. Last but not least, studies show that the more involved parents are when their teen is learning how to drive, the better a driver the teenager tends to be. Do whatever you can to help them avoid getting into an accident– once they do, insurance costs could skyrocket.

If you live in the West Deptford, NJ area and want to learn more, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Keller Insurance Services today.

Motorcycle putting helmet on

Four motorcycle safety tips that could make your insurance cheaper

Motorcycle insurance is a necessity if you want to enjoy taking your bike out on the roads. However, there are a lot of things you can do to minimize the costs of motorcycle insurance while also making it safer for you to the rider.

The following are four motorcycle safety tips that could make your insurance cheaper:

Take an educational rider training course

You may be able to enroll in a training course run by an area organization or your DMV to take advantage of safe driver discounts. This is an especially good idea if you’re a rookie rider.

Buy a bike that’s appropriate for your skills and experience

A lot of riders go overboard when they purchase their bikes. Your insurer is going to look at the bike model you purchase when evaluating how much your insurance premiums are going to cost. It’s generally going to cost more to ensure more expensive motorcycles and motorcycles that offer more power.

These days, motorcycles with smaller displacement engines are often just as fast and powerful as older models with larger engines. Purchase an efficient model rather than an excessively heavy and powerful model to keep insurance costs down.

Have antilock brakes

Motorcycle models are often built with antilock brakes these days. Many motorcycle insurance providers will offer discounts on premiums to riders who have bikes with antilock brakes. Consider getting such a model to take advantage of the discount.

Make sure you maintain a "preferred operator" status

A preferred operator is a biker who has a clean driving history. Over time, you can build up to preferred operator status to minimize your premium costs.

Those residing in the West Deptford, NJ area can contact Keller Insurance Services to learn more about motorcycle insurance policies.

Flood warning

Should You Purchase Flood Insurance, and Is It Necessary?

When it comes to flood insurance, there can be a lot of questions and misconceptions. Among those is the idea that this type of insurance is automatically included in standard home insurance policies. These policies include a lot of different types of coverage, but flood coverage isn’t one of those types. Instead, if you need or want flood insurance to protect your West Deptford, NJ home you’ll want to work with Keller Insurance Services to get the specific coverage you need. Some homes will require a flood policy if they are in a flood plain and there is a mortgage.

For houses that aren’t in a floodplain, or those that are paid for and there is no mortgage present, flood insurance isn’t required. However, some homeowners still want to have this coverage. Anywhere it can rain, it can flood, so homeowners who want strong protection for their home will often keep a flood insurance policy on that home. That’s especially important if they have a house in the floodplain and less of a concern for homes on higher ground. By working with a good agent, it’s easier to make a decision as to whether a flood insurance policy is really needed for your home.

Keller Insurance Services can help with your West Deptford, NJ flood insurance needs. Whether you want to get a policy, make changes to an existing one, or just ask questions, knowledgeable agents can advise you on the types of options you have for your situation. That way you can decide what type and level of coverage you want, and can focus on the peace of mind that having the right insurance will bring you. It’s an excellent way to have your home financially protected and to ensure that you have a trusted company behind you.