Thursday, May 28, 2015

Open vs. Named Perils

When it comes to filing an insurance claim, it is important to know what is covered and what is not. The causes of loss covered in a property policy can be listed one of two ways: either on a "named peril" or an "open peril" basis. To fully understand your homeowners insurance at the Lake of the Ozarks, you'll need to understand the difference between the two.

Named Perils


A "named peril" insurance policy at Lake of the Ozarks will specifically list the causes of loss that are covered under that policy. This means that anything not listed is not covered. While some named peril policies may also include a list of example exclusions, do not mistake this as an exhaustive list. Exclusions will be determined based on whether they are listed as named perils or not. These types of policies include the "Basic Form" and "Broad Form" property policies. The Broad Form names all perils listed in the Basic form, plus a few more and therefore offers wider coverage. In this case, the burden of proof in submitting a claim is on the claimant, who must show that a loss was caused by a listed peril.

Open Perils


An "open peril" policy is just the opposite. In this type of policy, everything is covered except those perils listed as exclusions. Open peril policies tend to contain long lists of exclusions. However, they tend to offer more comprehensive coverage than do named peril policies. Open peril policies can also be referred to as "All Risk" or "Special Form" policies. In this case, the burden of proof is on the Lake of the Ozarks insurance company to show that coverage is excluded.

Examples of Perils


"Perils" is the insurance industries name for what's covered in a property policy. In other words, they could be described as causes of loss. Below are some common examples of perils you may see listed in your homeowners policy:
  • Fire or Lightning
  • Windstorm or Hail 
  • Earthquake 
  • Flood
  • Explosion
  • Riot or Civil Commotion
  • Smoke 
  • Vandalism or Malicious Mischief
  • Theft 

When looking over your current insurance policy, it is important that you understand if the policy is stating what is included or excluded. For help with your Lake of the Ozarks homeowners insurance, contact Insure the Lake at 573-348-2794.


Request a Free Quote Online! Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 



About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.

Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral


T: 573-348-2794
F: 573-348-0191

stnaught@naught-naught.com


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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

5 Advantages of Choosing an Insurance Agency vs. Online Insurance

Insurance is just insurance, all the same, right? Not right. Insurance is too important of a choice to gamble on. In the event of a loss, you don't want to find out you don't have the coverage or can't get the service you need. By working with a Lake of the Ozarks insurance agent, people are able to receive a unique and down to earth experience that could save them money, time and stress. Here are 5 advantage to working with an insurance company at the Lake of the Ozarks instead of one online:

1. Unlimited Options. 


An independent insurance agent is able to give you choices, whereas an online provider may be limited to a particular brand of insurance. Since independent agents represent a variety of brands, they're able to offer you an array of options to fit your insurance needs. Instead of getting one quote for your homeowners insurance, they can provide you with multiple quotes to compare. They will also give you the carrier's financial rating and let you know how they respond to claims.

2. Bundling. 


An obvious advantage of going through an independent agent is that you can most likely have all your coverages in one place.  In some cases, bundling your insurance policies may be able to save you money. An independent agent will be more likely to get you a custom-made policy rather than a cookie-cutter plan that might fall short of your family's needs.

3. Personal Service. 

Independent agents will talk to you face-to-face and get to know you. Generally, independent insurance agents at the Lake of the Ozarks are vested members of the local community. These agents are committed to their work and will act as your advocate when needed. Most importantly, independent agents are licensed professionals. Providing excellent customer service is key. Since they are invested in the community, they can be trusted to handle your business and you can count on them year after year.

4. Claim Assistance. 


Claim assistance goes along with that personal service. If you bought insurance from the guy in the corner of a call center, who do you call when you need help filing a claim? Independent insurance agents will likely be able to suggest a trustworthy body shop, home contractor or other repair service that you need.

5. Annual Coverage Review. 


Your insurance needs will change as your life changes. Working with the same, local agent over time allows him or her to suggest products that make sure your possessions and family are protected in every stage of your life. Also, if your insuring company terminates coverage at renewal or your annual premium jumps, an independent agent will shop around to find another comparable company for you. There's no need to find a new agent!

Online Insurance


While technology is indeed quick and easy, it can also be bland and confusing.
Some of the common pitfalls of online insurance programs include:
  • No office 
  • Lack of personal relationship 
  • Difficulty navigating insurance company phone system or website
  • No duty to advise a policyholder of coverage adequacy
  • Financial ratings not always disclosed
  • No personal advocate to act on your behalf 
  • Lack of knowledge when dealing with call centers
  • Insurance is state-specific and not all online insurers provide your state's benefits

Buying the wrong insurance could effect every day for the rest of your entire life. Remember that next time they tell you to save 15% in 15 minutes. Instead, call Insure the Lake at 573-348-2794. We can take care of all your home, auto, health, life and business insurance. Our goal is to meet with clients about their specific insurance needs and how to best protect them!

Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 



About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.





Steve Naught, CIC

NAUGHT-NAUGHT AGENCY
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral

T: 573-348-2794
F: 573-348-0191


stnaught@naught-naught.com

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Deductibles 101

Whether you're looking at homeowners, auto or health insurance at the Lake of the Ozarks, you're going to have some type of deductible. What exactly is a deductible? Well it is a way for you to share a portion of your costs with your insurance company before your insurance coverage kicks in every year. Below we bring you the basics you need to know about deductibles.

What is a Deductible? 


A deductible, in regards to insurance policies, is a specified amount of money that the insured must pay before an insurance company will pay a claim. Depending on the policy, the deductible amount is typically calculated yearly, therefore you must meet that amount for each year of the policy. However, the amount could apply to each covered incident. After you have paid your deductible amount, your insurance benefits kick in and you're then only responsible for paying monthly premiums and coinsurance if applicable.

Deductibles and Monthly Premiums


Deductibles are typically used to deter the large number of trivial claims that a consumer can be reasonably expected to hear the cost of. A plan with a high deductible will have a lower monthly premium, but you'll pay a lot upfront when you file a claim. A lower deductible will have higher monthly payments, but you won't have to pay a ton upfront if something major happens. If you have bad health or live in a congested area where car accidents are more frequent, a lower deductible could be less expensive in the long run. There are pros and cons to each.

Choosing Your Deductible


When choosing what your deductible should be, there are several things to consider:
  1. Your financial ability to pay the deductible in any given year. 
  2. Your comfort level with paying the monthly premium amount. 
  3. Your risk whether it be your health or the likeliness of an accident/natural disaster occurring. 
Several different deductibles can be set by the Lake of the Ozarks insurance company based on the cause of the claim. For example, a single homeowners insurance policy may contain multiple deductible amounts for loss or damage arising from theft, fire, natural disasters, etc. 

Talk to your Lake of the Ozarks insurance agent today about choosing the right deductible for your situation. At Insure the Lake, we can take care of all your insurance needs. From homeowners policies to health insurance coverage, we're here to help! Give us a call at 573-348-2794 today!

Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 



About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.





Steve Naught, CIC

NAUGHT-NAUGHT AGENCY
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral

T: 573-348-2794
F: 573-348-0191


stnaught@naught-naught.com

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Top 10 Small Business Threats to Watch Out For

As a small business owner, you're often faced with many different challenges. While there are ways to respond to these challenge, it's best to do everything you can to minimize problems in the first place. Wise business owners learn to manage their risk. Be sure to watch out for these top 10 threats to small businesses.

1. Property Losses


For many business owners, property is the largest asset. Be sure to take a complete inventory to determine how a loss might affect your business and how much Lake of the Ozarks insurance coverage you need. Leaving your small business underinsured is too large of a risk to take.

2. Business Interruption


The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that more than 40% of business affected by a disaster, such as a flood or fire, never reopen. With proper insurance, you would be able to continue operating your business at a temporary location during the repair process.

3. Liability Losses


The only way to completely avoid liability is to shutter your business; however, the next best thing is to carry Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance coverage at the Lake of the Ozarks. CGL is a standard insurance policy issued to business organizations to protect them against liability for bodily injury and property damage arising out of premises, operations, products and completed operations, and advertising and personal injury liability. The policy allows you to continue normal operations while dealing with the claims.

4. Key Person Losses


Many small business have few employees, many of which hold key roles. In the event that one of those key people departs unexpectedly, would your business be able to continue functioning properly? Key Person Insurance can provide financial stability in a time of stress, allowing you to keep your business running properly.

5. Injuries to Employees


Workplace accidents can have a huge effect on your business. Beyond initial treatment costs and lost production time, on-the-job injuries have an impact on insurance premiums, which can increase your costs for years to come. By managing exposures and promoting safety, it is possible to control workers compensation premiums.

6. Electronic Data Breaches


Many small businesses lack an IT department, leaving themselves vulnerable to cybercrime. The cost of a single data breach can be devastating for a small business. In addition to taking preventative measures to reduce Internet-based exposures, specialized technology coverage, such as Cyber Liability Insurance can help protect your business against damage from cyber attacks, data breaches and other Internet-based exposures.

7. Environmental Exposures


While large manufacturing companies may be at a higher risk, they're not the only industries at risk for environmental liability losses. It is important to perform a comprehensive risk analysis because most commercial insurance policies contain pollution exclusions. Consider carrying Environmental Insurance for coverage against these exposures.

8. Employment Practices


Did you know that 3 out of 5 employers will be sued by a current or former employee while they are in business? While many lawsuits are groundless, defending against them can be very costly. Employment Practices Liability insurance will protect your company against wrongful termination, discrimination or sexual harassment lawsuits.

9. Contracts


Many new business owners don't have the time or expertise to adequately evaluate everything they're signing. While it's tempting to shave costs by skimping on legal fees, oversight can cause major problems down the road. Making sure your business isn't accepting additional and unnecessary risk can save you in legal costs and insurance coverages.

10. Auto Liability


Every business has auto liability exposures that can put the business future at risk regardless of if the business owns any vehicles.  Non-Owned or hired vehicles used on behalf of the business can just as easily bring rise to a claim as autos owned in the business name.  Make sure your commercial auto policy includes Hired and Non-Owned auto coverage.  If you do not have a Business Auto policy then ask to add a Hired and Non-Owned endorsement onto your General Liability policy if available.

Lake of the Ozarks business insurance is a key component of any comprehensive risk management plan, but successful risk management also involves prevention, training and contingency planning. Contact your insurance agent at the Lake of the Ozarks to learn more about the tools and resources we can offer to help you manage risk, advance safety procedures and boost employee morale.

Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 



About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.





Steve Naught, CIC

NAUGHT-NAUGHT AGENCY
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral

T: 573-348-2794
F: 573-348-0191


stnaught@naught-naught.com

Monday, May 4, 2015

Building Improvements & Betterments

Building improvements and betterments are additions made by a tenant that increase the building value. When a tenant permanently installs improvements and betterments to a building, these typically become the property of the building owner. The tenant is likely required to leave the betterments when they leave at the end of the lease.

Insurance on Improvements & Betterments


Many building owners require the tenants to insure the improvements & betterments for the tenant’s insurable use of the property; however, there is a coverage problem that can develop for the building owner. Although the building owner may have the structure insured at 100% to value, they could possibly incur a coinsurance penalty at the time of loss as the tenant’s improvements and betterments may increase the total building value. For example, a $500,000 building with $200,000 improvements would be underinsured unless the total building value plus betterments are insured within the coinsurance limit.

Additional Property Not Covered


Another possible option to avoid the penalty would be to endorse the policy by adding Additional Property Not Covered which can be used to exclude the improvements & betterments property. The endorsement protects the building owner from a possible coinsurance penalty, yet does not give any coverage for the betterments. This avenue is taken by owners that do not want the additional premiums from insuring the building to the higher limits or the penalty involved in not increasing the building limits. The appropriate way to cover the structure would be for the owner to insure the total building including the betterments so as to not rely on the tenant to insure those improvements. 

Communication between both parties is the key to insuring the property correctly. If you are a building owner or a tenant in a building and have questions about the building insurance, contact our Lake of the Ozarks insurance company at 573-348-2794.

Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 



About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.





Steve Naught, CIC

NAUGHT-NAUGHT AGENCY
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral

T: 573-348-2794
F: 573-348-0191


stnaught@naught-naught.com