Betters Insurancehttps://bettersinsurance.com Reliable, Affordable InsuranceTue, 23 Feb 2021 07:37:48 +0000en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.6.2https://bettersinsurance.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/better-insurance-favicon-80x80.pngBetters Insurancehttps://bettersinsurance.com 3232The 9 Best Small Business Networking Groups in USAhttps://bettersinsurance.com/small-business-networking-groups/ https://bettersinsurance.com/small-business-networking-groups/#respondTue, 23 Feb 2021 07:30:23 +0000https://bettersinsurance.com/?p=13642Small businesses are privately owned companies. They have formed when a single entrepreneur (sole proprietor) or a group of entrepreneurs (partnership/PVT LTD) organize to achieve mutual goals. Small businesses have fewer employees, lesser investment, lesser revenue, and much stronger control than any regular-sized company. As per regulations in the US, to qualify for the small

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Small businesses are privately owned companies. They have formed when a single entrepreneur (sole proprietor) or a group of entrepreneurs (partnership/PVT LTD) organize to achieve mutual goals.

Small businesses have fewer employees, lesser investment, lesser revenue, and much stronger control than any regular-sized company.

As per regulations in the US, to qualify for the small business administration program, a company should have less than 500 employees.   But there are other ways to classify companies as small organizations based upon their capital, revenue, business industry.

Business Networking:

Business Networking

Business networking is a socio-economic exercise. Businesspeople and new entrepreneurs gather to recognize business opportunities. Today we the term social capital and networking help in developing goodwill and solid marketing grounds. 

Business networking is a part of any business marketing plan and helps develop substantial positive feelings and trust. A well-organized and connected business network may serve as a competitive advantage.   

The thought behind Business networking events is to introduce businesses to each other. For example, you are looking for a supplier of food coloring and flavor; Your local chamber of commerce organizes exhibitions for food vendors where you can come across your future supplier for the required chemicals.

The above example is just one of the scenarios. With the advent of social media, major online networking groups are working to provide both business and technical support for your small businesses.

You can find loads of networking opportunities if you observe vigilantly.

Recommended: How Much Will Insurance Cost For My Small Business?

Best Small Business Networking Groups:

Here are 9 of the top small business networking groups for finding networking opportunities.

1. Chambers of Commerce

Chambers of Commerce

The first on the list of the best small business networking groups is the local chamber of commerce.

As defined by Investopedia: A chamber of commerce is an association or network of businesspeople. It has the purpose of promoting and protecting the interests of its members that are small and medium-sized companies.

A chamber of commerce, also called the board of trade, is usually composed of business owners with mutual interests. They will choose leadership, name representatives, and debate which policies to espouse and promote.

The chamber of commerce of your locality is the best place to start your small business networking program. It actively promotes networking by publishing member directories, holding regular meetings, and sponsoring mentoring programs, organizing exhibitions and other professional development opportunities.

2. Small Business Administration Community Groups

Small Business Administration Community Groups

The second community on the list of the best small business networking groups is the community groups of SBA (Small Business Administration)

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a United States government agency supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses.

The mission of the SBA is to:

“Maintain and strengthen the national economy by enabling the establishment and viability of small businesses” mentioned in the SBA preamble.

SBA does not only provide financial assistance but helps in marketing and networking. SBA also organizes community groups for small business owners of a locality. It holds seminars, discussions, and professional luncheons for business networking and development opportunities.

3. SCORE:

SCORE

As per the SCORE web page:

SCORE is the largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals.

SCORE provides training, mentoring, networking services for small businesses and companies.

It arranges for both mentoring and “meetup” sessions. It helps smaller entrepreneurs to market their products and services.

Speaking of meetups, the next on the list of best small business networking groups is meetup.com.

4. Meetup.com:

Meetup.com

Referring to the website itself;

Meetup is a platform for finding and building local communities. People use “Meetup” to meet new people, learn new things, find support, get out of their comfort zones, and pursue their passions, together.

Meetup is not a typical association. It is an online service that helps you connect with small businesses in your area and concerning your industry.

The web forum helps you connect with businesses and services that are: in a similar industry as you or can be your suppliers, distributors, or consultants, etc.

5. BNI

BNI

Business Network International, or BNI, is one of the best small business networking groups for entrepreneurs who are serious about networking.

BNI is a franchised networking community and has approximately 7,500 divisions for networking events for small business owners.

BNI has a membership program that is different than other small business groups. The companies apply and wait to be approved to join BNI, and only one member per industry is allowed in each group and session.

So if BNI has approved you, the results can be outstanding for your small business. Your company will represent the industry, and your small business will seem more authoritative for it.

6. Entrepreneurs Organization (EO)

Entrepreneurs Organization

Referencing EO’s webpage:

Organized in 1987, members of EO are building a global network. The network is purposed to serve the unique needs of the entrepreneur. This innovative process has sustained a growing organization that has withstood even flourished during times of economic uncertainty and now with a global footprint in more than 61 countries.

EO provides training, learning, and mentorship programs and has over 12000 members from different industries. The members volunteer to develop and market small businesses.

7. Rotary International:

Rotary International

Rotary International is a service organization with the sole purpose of bringing businesses and organizations together on one platform. With more than 1.2 million members and 35000 rotary club venues worldwide, the Rotary club plays a significant role in small business networking.

Rotary clubs brings professionals and organizations together and helps in developing and marketing business and their products. The members of RI also work on humanitarian causes.

Some Honorable Mentions

The following groups or communities are quite significant, But cannot take the top 7 spots in the best small business networking groups in the USA.

8. Young Entrepreneurs Council:

Young Entrepreneurs Council

If you are under 45 and planning to network your business, YEC may be the solution you need.

The council organizes gatherings, events, seminars, and luncheons with the specific aim to connect young businesspersons. Membership by invitation only and YEC can serve as a concierge for your organization.

9. Social Media Platforms:

Professional social media platforms such as LinkedIn are to connect businesses and professionals.

Many other active small business networking groups are; Startup Nation, e-Women Network, National Federation of Independent Businesses. It includes all other trade and feasible industry associations and groups helping your small business networking plan.

The Final Word:

There is no disadvantage of joining a networking group or association.  You will be able to gain knowledge from the experiences of the group members.

The wise thing to do is; set and outline your goals for joining the groups and think carefully before joining any group. Think about how the group can connect you to your future stakeholders.

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What is the difference between a contractor and a subcontractor?https://bettersinsurance.com/contractor-and-subcontractor/ https://bettersinsurance.com/contractor-and-subcontractor/#respondTue, 23 Feb 2021 06:59:55 +0000https://bettersinsurance.com/?p=13638Any project today requires expertise for efficient and effective completion. The investor’s goal for the project is to complete the project within the specified budget and maximize resource utilization. The investors then contact contractors for the achievement of the objectives. Understanding the role of the contractors and subcontractors is necessary for the optimization of your

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Any project today requires expertise for efficient and effective completion. The investor’s goal for the project is to complete the project within the specified budget and maximize resource utilization. The investors then contact contractors for the achievement of the objectives.

Understanding the role of the contractors and subcontractors is necessary for the optimization of your business project.  

Contractors and subcontractors are essential for the success of your project.

Definition of Contractors and Subcontractors:

Contractor:

A contractor is an entity that conducts business by carrying out work described in the contract by the investor. A contractor is similar to being a business owner – You bargain on business projects, provide quality services, build a clientele, and receive a pre-agreed remuneration.

A Contractor has the expertise and the contacts of various fields that he performs for the client as per the agreed contract. 

A contractor takes up all the tasks of the project. For example, a group of investors may hire a construction contractor to develop a shopping mall. 

The investors will participate in the development process and will lay down their budget limitation and the construction contractor will:

  • Develop a feasible architecture plan for the shopping plaza.
  • Arrange for all material and the machinery.
  • Maintain and record the inventory of material and keep the supply chain updated and active.
  • Arrange for the human resource required to complete the building process. This human may include masons, carpenters, plumbers, glass workers, electricians, IT technicians, etc.
  • Develop and test the project.

The theory is that general contractors generalize. It means they provide their services for a wide range of applications and purposes. 

Recommended: Understanding Builder’s Risk Insurance

Definition of Contractors and Subcontractors

Contractors of specific fields like construction or IT have complete knowledge of the process and resources required to complete the project effectively and efficiently. They have the means and the resources to arrange for the right man at the right job. These contractors work on a timed schedule and can complete the task within an estimated time frame.  

Contractors are usually assigned to lead the project and are responsible for the control and monitoring.

Subcontractor:

A subcontractor is a secondary help hired by the primary contractor because of the subcontractor’s expertise in a specific field. 

Subcontractors also work on a contractual basis with pre-agreed terms and conditions, and they also bring particular sets of skills that they perform for the contractor.

The chief consideration about subcontractors is that they are under contract agreements with the contractor, not with the customer. 

Subcontractors often specialize in one specific project area and network with contractors who deal with broader projects that include this specialty. 

Consider the construction project exampled above. The general contractor (also called the primary contractor) may contract a subcontractor to complete the plumbing system. 

As per the agreement, the “subcontractor’s” assignment is to complete all the water, sewerage, storage, disposal of water. Again as per the contract, the subcontractor will finish all the toilets, bathroom, swimming, fountains, etc.

Attributes of Contractors and Subcontractors:

A primary/general contractor is essential for any construction project.

The chief function is to provide the essential coordination and control to complete the project within the estimated budget and time. Contractors will focus mostly on the customer/owner.

A contractor is in charge of hiring subcontractors and monitoring their work. 

However, it is also possible that a developer hires a general contractor, a construction manager, an architect, or some other person on a project.

The primary contractor is the captain of the project, and subcontractors are the sailors. 

The subcontractors are running the ship. And have the task to complete smaller goals for achieving the ultimate objective.

A subcontractor can be an organization or an individual. A subcontractor’s work is more focused on the task at hand. 

Subcontractors are specialists and experts in trade such as plumbing, HVAC, roofing, etc.

Due to their expertise in a particular skill, they can deliver quality. Subcontractors know what resources are required, where to get them, and the time to complete the task, not to mention access to potentially expensive tools or equipment.

Recommended: What Is Public Liability Insurance?

Difference B/W Contractors and Subcontractors:

Contractors need referrals and prefer networking with clients to develop business. 

Subcontractors are mostly working with the contractors. Contractors are far more customer-focused than subcontractors to function efficiently.

A contractor needs to see the broader image of a project. Contractors require a clear understanding of financials, profit/loss, cost accounting, time value, and a hell of a lot of minute considerable details.

Subcontractors specialize in one specific skill, like tiling, insulation, electronics, and other trades. Hence subcontractors deliver quality in their area of expertise. 

Liability and coverage of Contractors and Subcontractors:

If you have read all the above, you now have a clear idea about the contractor’s responsibility. The contractors manage multiple projects at a time. There is a high possibility that any error or omission may occur, or there is negligence about the quality of work, other ethical and professional issues may arise.

The owner or the investor is in communication with the contractor. The contractor has a contract with the owner and hence is answerable for any discrepancy relating to errors, losses, and other professional misconduct.

The project owner will hold the contractor liable for the damages, not the subcontractor. 

The contractor must have coverage for the protection of such claims from his clients. Contactors usually purchase professional liability and errors & omission insurance plans for projects. Such purchases are made in anticipation that the subcontractors intentionally or unintentionally can cause a grave mistake damaging the project.  

There can be other causes as well. The contractor firm may suffer from management issues and cannot continue to work on the project. Abandoning a project can lead to grave financial consequences for the investor, and he may take the contractor to court for settlement. Insurance plans, in such cases, help you clear the claims without paying out of pocket.

If the projects are of high investment value, investors may require contractors to furnish surety bonds. Surety bonds are for the protection of the investor. 

Contractors may also add subcontractors to the insurance plans concerning the project.

General Contractors Insurance Plan:

Since contractors face multiple risks of injuries, accidents, property damage, material losses, and quality concerns from the customers, that demands remediation plans, a type of insurance that can cover their general and professional liability.

The contractor liability insurance provides the following benefits to the contractors and assures their business is financially protected:   

  1. Provides injury and accident coverage for the laborers and employees working on the projects
  2. Assists in court settlements and lawyers fee
  3. Provides coverage if the project owners prove and claim property and financial damages
  4. Provide many other options included in general business liability products.

For information and consultation concerning contractor liability insurance plans for your business, contact Betters Agency. 

Betters Insurance is an independent insurance agency. We provide a wide range of insurance policies, catering to the business requirements of our clients. Our experienced professionals can help you select a comprehensive insurance package. We will evaluate your specific needs and recommend the right policy for your situation and budget.

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What Does it Mean to be Bonded and Insured? (Bonded VS Insured)https://bettersinsurance.com/what-does-bonding-mean/ https://bettersinsurance.com/what-does-bonding-mean/#respondFri, 19 Feb 2021 18:12:17 +0000https://bettersinsurance.com/?p=13634A business requires the confidence of its clientele to operate. The customer’s or client’s trust is arduous to get and easy to lose. A single default or an intentional act of defect can cause serious defamation, loss of goodwill, and credibility in the customer’s eye.  For discrepancy resolution, a business often adopts measures to create

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A business requires the confidence of its clientele to operate. The customer’s or client’s trust is arduous to get and easy to lose. A single default or an intentional act of defect can cause serious defamation, loss of goodwill, and credibility in the customer’s eye. 

For discrepancy resolution, a business often adopts measures to create confidence and a feeling of assurance in the customers; that they will not have to suffer from financial losses. 

Such confidence-building measures include getting bonded, having insurance, and licensing. These Bonds, insurance coverage, and licenses are the most common terms that organizations advertise. You will often hear or read about a company selling its services with the words bonded or licensed.

Let us discuss in brief detail what does bonding mean? And what is the difference between getting bonded and getting insured? 

What does bonding mean? | The Definition of Getting Bonded:

What does bonding mean? To answer this question in the least words, you can say that the business or the company has purchase surety bonds. 

What does bonding mean

Getting bonded means; the bonding company (the principal) has purchased surety bonds from the regulatory authority or the bond issuing organization (the obligee) to secure a specific sum of money to reimburse the “bonding company’s” customer. 

When the customer of the company files claims, the bond issuing organization reimburses the amount of the damages. The bonded company has either become bankrupt or has conducted unethical business practices resulting in financial losses to the client. The issuing authority then cashes in the bond to compensate the claiming customer.

You might understand to an extent now, what does bonding mean? Let us now discuss the Surety bond itself. 

What does bonding mean? | The surety bond:

As defined by Investopedia: Surety is the assurance of the liability of one party by another. A surety is an organization or person; that undertakes the responsibility of paying off the dues if the debtor defaults or cannot make the payments.

A surety bond is a written agreement between:

  • The principal; The business purchasing the bond 
  • The obligee; The entity that has requested the bond, usually a government entity
  • The surety; The underwriting company, The surety company provides a credit line if the principal cannot fulfill the obligations.

What does bonding mean? | The need of getting bonded:

The basic idea behind getting “bonded” is creating confidence in the minds of prospective customers. 

As per the state or the municipal laws purchasing a surety bond is compulsory to start operating and conducting business. 

The bond allows a layer of trust between the customer and the company. The customer is at peace of mind. The compensation of any damages is assured and claimable. 

Business deals often involve large sums of money. Clients can ask the service provider or the vendors to purchase and submit surety bonds of a reasonable amount. 

You will observe in most of the expression of interest (EOIs), organizations offering tender require service providers to submit surety bonds before the work commences.

Bonds also serve as a guarantee that your business practices are highly ethical and as per industry standards. It develops a sense of trust among the clients; that during the conduct of business, your firm will not indulge in any illegal or illicit activity.  

What does bonding mean? | Who needs to get bonded?

Bonds are usually regulatory requirements for consumer protection purposes. But the industry you are involved in derives the need. Since almost every industry is in the US is regulated, bonding requirements and limits are present in the industry rules, regulations, and bylaws. 

Some of the chief service sectors that require the purchase of bonds to operate legally and obtain a license and permission to conduct business are:

  1. Janitorial services
  2. Contractors and Sub-contractors
  3. Insurance brokerage agencies
  4. Janitorial and House help services
  5. Notary public

Organizations involved with an industry that doesn’t have any specific requirement regarding surety bonds can also purchase bonding facilities like business service bonds beneficial in financial and reputation terms. Business owners in such instances do not want and never hope to use their bond clause, but a backup plan for financial remediation is the most likely cause for such bond purchases.

What does bonding mean? | The cost of getting bonded:  

Various factors influence the cost of surety bonds. Your company’s previous credit history and market reputation is the chief influencer. 

The type of bond, the amount of guarantee, and the risk appetite are influential factors.

There are multiple types of surety bonds, and each type has a different method for calculating cost. 

One thing is for sure that in most cases your company does not have to pay the total price as a single payment. The payment at contract signing is an industry average of 10% of the total cost.  

What does bonding mean? | The difference between getting bonded and getting insured:

Surety bonds and Insurance coverage serve different purposes. Insurance plans are to protect the insured against any financial claim. The insurance policy provides coverage to the business/company or the individual who has purchased the product. 

On the other hand, the bonds protect the rights of the clients or customers of the company. 

Insurance companies divide the risk among the group of customers who bear similar risks. Whereas; a bond is for a particular client. 

Businesses purchase insurance in anticipation to claim the instrument to protect themselves from bearing financial losses. On the other hand, you buy bonds hoping that you never have to redeem the bonds.

One more mentionable difference is the claims process. In insurance claims, the insurance company reimburses the insured or directly settles claims with the affectee. The insured does not pay any amount to the insurance company other than the insurance premium. 

But for the bonds claim process, The obligee settles the claim amount if the claimant has proved financial damages. The principal then has to pay the claimed amount back to the obligee. The advantage here is the pressures of time are relieved, but the principal does have to pay the money back, which is a financial burden.    

The suggestion is to consult your legal aid and independent insurance agent for better and rational guidance. 

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What is Workers Compensation and How Does it Work?https://bettersinsurance.com/what-is-workers-compensation/ https://bettersinsurance.com/what-is-workers-compensation/#respondThu, 18 Feb 2021 10:27:33 +0000https://bettersinsurance.com/?p=13631Life is very uncertain. An accident or injury is inevitable. Sooner or later, at your workplace, the environment and the surroundings take a toll on your body. With ever varying business processes, the effects on our physical and mental health are significant.  Some jobs today require you to be in the comfort of your home.

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Life is very uncertain. An accident or injury is inevitable. Sooner or later, at your workplace, the environment and the surroundings take a toll on your body. With ever varying business processes, the effects on our physical and mental health are significant. 

Some jobs today require you to be in the comfort of your home. And some are as dangerous as working in a minefield. For example, you are an electronics technician working on directional telecom antennas. Sounds risky, doesn’t it. The fact of the matter is even with exceptional advancement in technology, ergonomics, and workplace safety standards, the dangers of accidents, injuries, and health hazards are still very much a reality.

In anticipation of such circumstances, organizations come forward for the welfare of their employees who are susceptible to injuries, accidents, and ill-health. 

The worker’s compensation plans support the medical needs of the employees whose health has suffered on the job. Let us discuss in brief detail “what” is worker’s compensation? And how does it work?

What is worker’s compensation?

Workers compensation, also known as work injury compensation, is a mandatory obligation devised by all the states in America. It is a social welfare program derived for the benefit and support of employees who have suffered grave health issues, diseases, and accidents on the job.

When we talk about “on” the job, it means during any process or assignment which was the cause of the accident or health hazard. The incidents don’t need to occur at the company’s office or the manufacturing or service units. The employer is responsible and liable if an accident or injury occurred when the employee was disbursing his duties. Let it be clear, an accident when an employee is on the way to or from home will not be considered on duty and cannot claim worker’s compensation.

Worker’s compensation is a compulsory requirement in all the states of the US. There is a slight variation in what the states consider standards of workplace safety and compensation rates. 

Recommended: Dallas Cyber Liability Insurance

What is worker’s compensation? | The Benefits

The answer to the question of what is worker’s compensation must mention the benefits for both the employees who claim the indemnification and the employer fulfilling his legal and social obligation.

The benefits of the employee are of much greater importance. If an employee has suffered an injury or is disabled on duty, the medical expenses for hospitalization, rehabilitation, and the loss of income during hospitalization require a lot of money. 

The worker’s compensation plan provides for all the costs and expenses. The employee will have to bear on his/her if no such compensation exists. The employer is responsible and pays for all the hospitalization, rehabilitation, and loss of income costs as; per the employment contract. Such workers compensation agreements secure the future in case of any disability, permanent or temporary.

In the very same manner, the employer is also secure. If there is no workers compensation program in effect in the organization, the business is liable for an accident or injury to the employee. The employee may file lawsuits to claim gross negligence and subpar workplace safety standards. The employee who has suffered can take the company to court, resulting in much higher settlements plus the lawyers and court fees. 

The court can also impose huge, and we mean huge fines if the company has not adopted safety standards. All this can cost large sums of money and defamation.

Employers hence choose to adopt and update worker’s compensation plans at their organization. The employer pays for all the hospitalization, rehabilitation, and loss of income, the funeral and burial service costs at pre-agreed terms and conditions. In financial terms, the expenses significantly reduce and the employees are also satisfied.

What is worker’s compensation? | The need

Let it be crystal clear; having a workers compensation program in effect at your organization is mandatory by laws of the state. Every employer must ensure and cover the employees before an injury or illness. You may face penalties if your organization does not comply with state regulations.  

What is worker’s compensation? | Workers compensation insurance:

Since worker’s compensation plans are mandatory and you cannot deny that accidents can happen at any time, your business needs to be covered. 

Your organization needs protection from the costs you might incur when such an accident occurs. And your employee has suffered. You know, you are liable for all the expenses for his medical treatment. The worker’s compensation insurance plans allow you to fulfill your obligation towards your employees and pay for whatever the pre-agreed costs are.  

Worker’s compensation insurance coverage provides ample support for both; the medical care needs of the employees and the loss of income if an employee has suffered disability (partial or complete).

Depending upon the state regulations, workers compensation insurance can cover:

  • Medical expenses such as hospital visits, medications, and emergencies.
  • Loss of income if your employee takes time away from work to recover.
  • Ergonomic arrangements when your employee returns to work.
  • Disability benefits if a work-related injury causes a partial or permanent disability.
  • Rehabilitation costs, such as physical therapy.

Worker’s compensation insurance also supports the insured by bearing all the lawyer and court expenditures if an employee has sued the company for negligence and causing injury or permanent health issues. 

 Workers compensation insurance | The costs:

The worker’s compensation costs differ from state to state in the US. With as low as $ 1 per $100 of payroll. The average premium costs in the US for the year 2021 is $1.56. 

The number of employees on the payroll, the state law (which differ in all the states), the worker’s compensation class codes influence the cost of the worker’s compensation.

The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) or your state assigns workers compensation class codes. Each employee gets a unique code based on the type of work they do. 

What is worker’s compensation? | The claim process:

The employee must immediately report to the HR department of the organization about the accident or injury. The employer should take the following steps to ensure the employee’s safety and well-being. 

  1. Take the employee to a licensed medical professional, have all the tests and the diagnosis documented. The first step should always be the treatment of the injury that assures the employee’s well-being.
  2. Contact the insurance company for the reimbursement of the medical expenses incurred for the treatment. Provide any necessary details. The employee should file a formal claim with the employer’s insurance company.
  3. The employee receives the benefits of the workers’ compensation plan, recover and return to work.

What is worker’s compensation? | How to select the appropriate coverage:

The state laws are primary guidelines for the worker’s compensation plan for your organization. The employer must have updated knowledge of the state laws on worker’s compensation. A complicated situation can arise if your organization operates in more than one state since, in every state, the regulations are different.

In such cases, an informed and experienced insurance agent is the best option. A preferable choice is an insurance company or agent that has a nationwide approach. 

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What is an Independent Agent | Independent Insurance Agents near mehttps://bettersinsurance.com/independent-insurance-agents/ https://bettersinsurance.com/independent-insurance-agents/#respondFri, 12 Feb 2021 17:39:45 +0000https://bettersinsurance.com/?p=13628Life is very uncertain, and anything can happen at any time. If you have prepared for the ordeal, survival becomes quite viable.   Securing the future from any mishap is a difficult decision. You have to decide; what type and level of coverage you need for yourself, your business, your property, and your family.  You also

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Life is very uncertain, and anything can happen at any time. If you have prepared for the ordeal, survival becomes quite viable.  

Securing the future from any mishap is a difficult decision. You have to decide; what type and level of coverage you need for yourself, your business, your property, and your family. 

You also have to analyze; what risks do you face? And what measures can you afford to mitigate those risks? 

For a layman like most of us, especially those who do not work with finance, it is quite difficult to compute and assess the risks, tolerance levels, and coverage required. Here is where the independent insurance agents arrive at the game.

Independent Insurance Agents

Independent insurance agents, also called insurance sales agents, are professionals, experts in various insurance products and services as intermediaries between the insurance company and the insured. They have the skills to assess the risk profile of their clients and their coverage requirements and suggest insurance products accordingly.   

Independent insurance agents are in contract with various insurance companies or carriers. These professionals have exhaustive knowledge in insurance matters and laws and are more than able to advise their clients with appropriate coverage plans. 

Independent insurance agents do not exclusively represent a single insurance provider rather represent multiple companies together.

There are specialized independent insurance agents that serve specific sectors of the risk coverage market. Some deal with business and related products. Some sell property coverage plans, and some provide their service in Life and Health insurance market.

How Independent Insurance Agents Function

Independent insurance agents work much like financial advisors and consultants. IIAs are experts in recognizing the risk mitigation needs of their clients. And suggest the most feasible insurance plan. 

Independent insurance agents consider the cost of the insurance the customer is willing to afford and advise accordingly. 

These independent agents are authorized to sell products of many insurance carriers. They can suggest clients with mitigation plans that can involve more than one insurance product offered by more than one insurance company. 

To understand this more clearly, consider that you are a prospective buyer for property insurance plans, and you need to cover your car, the house where you live, and the condo you have rented to a couple. Your independent insurance agent might design a protection plan that includes auto insurance from ABC insurance company, home owner’s insurance plan from XYZ insurance LTD, and Landlord’s insurance from MNO Insurance inc. Three different products from three separate insurance organizations. 

Insurance agents often sell mutual funds, annuities, and products that address wealth management, retirement, and estate planning. 

Various organizations support and govern the IIAs like The National Organization of Life and Health Agents (NOLHA), the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (The Big “I”), the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA), and Agents for change, etc.

 

Insurance Companies & Independent Insurance Agents:

The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) has listed the following insurance companies that conduct business and sell their insurance plans via independent insurance agents:

  1. Allied Property and Casualty
  2. American Strategic Insurance
  3. Auto-Owners Insurance
  4. Chubb
  5. Cincinnati Insurance Company
  6. Citizens
  7. Colorado Casualty Insurance Co.
  8. EMC Insurance Companies
  9. Frankenmuth Insurance
  10. General Casualty Insurance
  11. Grange Insurance
  12. The Hanover Insurance Group
  13. The Hartford Insurance
  14. Integrity Insurance
  15. Ohio Casualty
  16. Peerless Insurance
  17. Penn National Insurance
  18. Progressive
  19. Safeco
  20. The Travelers Companies
  21. The Republic Group
  22. West Bend Mutual
  23. Westfield Insurance
  24. Zurich North America

Advantages of Independent Insurance Agents:

1.   Licensed experts: 

No one cannot just open up an independent insurance agency. Independent insurance agents make a career out of assessing their customer’s insurance needs and matching them with the insurance carrier best equipped to meet those needs at a price the customer can afford. Consulting a licensed insurance agent is similar to taking legal issues to your lawyer. The insurance agent who has comprehensive experience and expertise in the field can derive the most appropriate solution for your risk mitigation needs.

Independent insurance agents work under ethical standards and business practices.

2.   The alternatives you gain:

 Independent insurance agents sell coverage products from multiple insurance companies offering plenty of coverage options and insurance premium prices. An industry average for independent agents is to represent five to eight different insurance companies. The agents execute the comparison for you. They are well-versed with each company they work for and can show you alternatives that satisfy your risk appetite at your price point. They do the insurance shopping for you, making the insurance coverage much more efficient and better value.

3.   Impartial advisers:

Agents not only find you affordably priced options, but they also make sure you are amply covered. Independent insurance agents serve as your adviser, taking the time to understand your individual needs and risks. IIAs take up the job of not just about finding a price you can manage; but also making sure you are sufficiently covered.

4.   Clients’ advocate:

If you have a billing or claim concern or need to change your coverage, your agent can be your advocate, working with the insurance company on your behalf. Captive agents of one company are often restricted. An independent insurance agent affiliated with the customer instead of a single company. The advantage is when you file claims, they can become complicated, and the insured can get lost in the process and the technical terms. An independent insurance agent is a highly trained professional working on your behalf, resulting in a much feasible claim settlement.

5.   One-stop shopping:

Independent insurance agents can provide for all of your coverage needs with the companies they represent. IIAs provide auto, home, landlords, and business coverage and also offer life and health insurance all under one roof. Think of it as going to Walmart or Target for grocery shopping.

6.   Advisors for life: 

Independent insurance agents periodically review and update your protection plans. They continuously assess all the changes in your life, whether you are going from renting an apartment to buying a home, starting a business, getting married, renovating your home, IIAs suggest adjustments in your insurance policies.

IIAs are right around the corner of your neighborhood; most probably are part of the community. 

How to Find an Independent Insurance Agent near you:

Buying insurance does not have to become a hassle; that is why you will find insurance agents among the people you know. The following are some tips to find a reliable insurance agent near you. 

  1. Google it: Today, the answers to most of the questions are available on google. Search for the best rated independent insurance agents in your area. Results according to the customer ratings, along with the customer’s comments, will be available to you in less than a second. 
  2. Inquire your friends and family: People around you, your family, friends, and office colleagues must have bought insurance policies. Inquire them about their insurance agents. Usually, the best recommendations are from word of mouth. 
  3. Be a bit observant: Observe the surroundings around you. Visit the business district in your city, ask around for IIAs. Check your local listing, magazines, and advertisements for insurance ads.

Independent insurance agents provide unbiased and dedicated services to their customers and focus on building long-term relationships. They make your insurance and coverage shopping hassle-free. 

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Tips How to Winterize a House | Tips & Resources | Betters Insurancehttps://bettersinsurance.com/how-to-winterize-a-house/ https://bettersinsurance.com/how-to-winterize-a-house/#respondFri, 12 Feb 2021 16:54:13 +0000https://bettersinsurance.com/?p=13625So, winter is arriving. Cold winds, freezing temperatures, snowstorms, and blizzards are heading your way. You feel protected because you have the shelter of your house. But are you sure that your place can handle the onslaught on the season? The structure sure can but is your house winter-proof. If not, your home can suffer

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So, winter is arriving. Cold winds, freezing temperatures, snowstorms, and blizzards are heading your way. You feel protected because you have the shelter of your house. But are you sure that your place can handle the onslaught on the season? The structure sure can but is your house winter-proof. If not, your home can suffer from serious issues that can make you quite uncomfortable in the winters.

Don’t worry! We have got this covered for you. We have compiled an exhaustive list of how to winterize a house. The steps include checklists for preparation and DIY hacks to assuring your home is all prepped up for the winters.

Our checklist on “how to winterize a house” is divided into “4” categories covering all the essential elements that make sure that you spend the season comfortably with reduced utility and repair bills. The four classifications are:

  1. Taking care of the Plumbing and Sewerage
  2. Taking care of insulation and weather stripping.
  3. Taking care of the heat in the house.
  4. Making the place safe and comfortable.

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How to winterize a House:

Let us start the discussion with the first and essential category taking care of the plumbing and the sewerage.

Your home’s plumbing and sewerage lines are all vulnerable to freezing temperatures and may suffer serious leaks, bursts, and blockages. Water and sewerage are essential for your survival in the winters, and the prevention of these lines and pipes is of priority when winterizing your place.

Steps to Winterize your Plumbing and Sewerage:

  1. Install control valves on all water outlets and inlets. Even consider the pipes going towards the water heating systems. Installing such valves is a one-time task. These valves work well for many years.
  2. Drain the faucets and water outlets that are outside the house and make sure their valves are shutoff. Draining the water in the lines outside will make sure the lines are clear and not frozen. 
  3. Install emergency pressure release in the plumbing to ensure lines don’t burst if blocked with frozen water.
  4. Make sure all the pipes that are unconcealed are insulated well. Insulation sleeves and slip-on foam covers are available at your nearest hardware store. Use them to wrap and leave no open ends. Use duct tape to cover ends.
  5. You cannot empty the water storage tanks since you are in the house. A wise suggestion is to insulate the access points of the tanks so cold temperatures have minimized effect.
  6. Install guards on the roof guttering to avoid any blockage and frozen water.
  7. Clean the gutters before the season’s arrival to ensure no excess water is present in the system when the cold reaches.  
  8. Have an expert check and diagnose issues with the plumbing and sewerage system and resolve the problems before the winters come. 

Taking care of the insulation and weather stripping is the next step in the process of how to winterize a house. Insulation and weather-stripping will make sure that external environmental factors have reduced effects on the internal atmosphere. The steps will help in keeping maximum heat inside the home.

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 Steps to Weather-strip and Insulate:

  1. Install double-paned storm glass on the windows of the house. The storm windows allow lesser freezing temperatures to affect the home.
  2. Properly insulate the attic in your house. As per EPA guidelines, use R-38 insulating material in attic insulation. Insulated attics don’t allow the heat from the rooms below to escape the house. It helps in keeping the overall temperature of the house at quite a comfortable level at all times.
  3. Use caulk and sealants to seal any gaps in the windows and the openings. Sealing such openings hinders the path of cold weather entering the house.
  4. Close all large ventilation vents. Keep at least one vent open to allow fresh air inside the house. You need fresh oxygen to breathe, don’t you!
  5. Install weather strips and ice scrapers on the edges of the doors.
  6. Cover your air-conditioning units with tarps. Covering ACs reduces drafts that get in from the AC vents and stops rodents and insects from living inside the machine. 
  7. Install electric socket gaskets.

The heating inside the home is at the 3rd spot on our list of how to winterize a house. Heating and heating equipment cost serious money, and the above steps in the list can help you reduce the heating bills. But without proper heating, you cannot survive the winter season. 

Recommended: Home Emergency Plan

Steps to Make Sure you Have Heat in the House:

  1. Have a professional tune-up of your heating systems and furnaces before the season arrives.
  2. Change the filters of your furnace blowers and heating vents at least every two months. Blocked filters hinder the flow of air that causes the furnace to bear higher loads, and reduces its efficiency.
  3. If you have a boiler installed, have it thoroughly checked and insulate inlet pipes to prevent the water inside from freezing.
  4. Reverse the direction of the fan to anticlockwise. Anticlockwise rotation allows the warm air to flow throughout the room rather than on the ceiling.
  5. Install an automatic digital thermostat and connect your heating systems to it. Automated thermostats keep the temperature maintained as desired and save energy and fuel.
  6. Hang insulated curtains on the windows to enhance the efficiency of the heating systems inside the house. 

The last thing you want during the snowy season is an accident around the home. But you cannot deny the fact the mishaps can happen. Our list on how to winterize a house does suggest some measures to prevent such occurrences.

Making the House Safe and Comfortable During Winters:

  1. Have the driveways and sidewalks cleared of snow and ice and not allow water to gather on spots.
  2. Have the handrails and supports strengthened. Railings are something to grab on and help yourself when walking on snowy paths or climbing stairs.
  3. Check the fire and smoke detectors in your home. Replace all the batteries, and all are in working order.
  4. Keep extra batteries, chargers, emergency lights, your phones charged. Have some extra fuel for the generators in case of a power outage. 
  5. Trim the trees and the dead branches. They may fall upon someone since they become week due to moisture and cold and may cause serious injury.
  6. Install emergency release on at least one door leading outside.
  7. Be careful.
  8. Have your home owner’s insurance options reviewed. 

How to Winterize your Motorhome or Trailer:

In case you live in a motor home or a trailer, the steps to winterize are similar to a house

You do have to take care of the power and the heat inside to prevent you from freezing. Diesel heaters and generators are available in the market. These are portable enough to fit in your motorhome/trailer snugly and provide you with heat and electricity. 

Authorities do suggest parking at proper facilities for motorhomes that provide power and have toilets and disposal units. 

Home Owner’s Insurance and Winter: 

Home owner’s insurance plans provide coverage for any damages sustained due to the onslaught of the freezing season. It is better to be cautious and review your insurance policies and consult your independent insurance agent regarding your insurance plan.

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What to Look for When Buying a Used Car (Complete Guide) | Betters Insurancehttps://bettersinsurance.com/what-to-look-for-when-buying-a-used-car/ https://bettersinsurance.com/what-to-look-for-when-buying-a-used-car/#respondWed, 10 Feb 2021 17:38:17 +0000https://bettersinsurance.com/?p=13622Buying a used car is the most affordable option for many of us. We all need means of transportation at a reasonable price and with substantial reliability. A new base model Toyota Corolla is almost $21,000/-, making it way out of reach for many of us. Some older great cars like Ford Mustangs, Buicks, and

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Buying a used car is the most affordable option for many of us. We all need means of transportation at a reasonable price and with substantial reliability. A new base model Toyota Corolla is almost $21,000/-, making it way out of reach for many of us. Some older great cars like Ford Mustangs, Buicks, and Pontiacs are not available brand new. You have to buy them used. 

But sometimes, a used car purchase can end up in a disaster, and the cost of repairs may be more than the actual worth of the car, rendering the thing depreciated completely and parted out at junkyards. 

A wise decision when making such a purchase decision is a must. Here is our complete guide to what to look for when buying a used car to enable you to decide wisely.

What to Look for When Buying a Used Car:

Find a perfect used car is a treasure hunt. And finding a used car that fits your budget and needs is a needle in a haystack situation these days. The used car market is the largest segment of the US economy. Following is a complete guide to what to look for when buying a used car. 

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Step 1; set a budget and a buying preference:

As mentioned earlier, buying used cars is more affordable than purchasing new vehicles. It is much cheaper, quicker, and costs much less in insurance and title transfer. 

You buy your used vehicle either in cash or lease the thing from a financial institution. Consider your budget in both scenarios. You must set aside some of the money for general maintenance and personalization of your car. Similarly, it is wise to have a pre-sanctioned loan that assures you quick payments to sellers. Contact your insurance agency and ask about your auto insurance options.

A point here in consideration is what vehicle you are buying. Is it a sedan, a two-door coupe, a station wagon? Is the car a Japanese brand or an American, or you have something german in mind. Answers to these questions affect the price as well as the maintenance and other costs.

For Example, German vehicles are great to drive. They have better build quality and are considered a status symbol. But they are more expensive to purchase, insure, maintain, and specialized dealers repair these cars. 

Step 2; choose wisely:

There are many online services today like Autotrader that show you various vehicle falling within your budget. Choose the cars you consider perfect for your need and pay a visit and inspect yourself.

Some considerations on what to look for when inspecting any used car are as under:

Inspecting the mechanical and electrics:

The first inspection on our list of “what to look for when buying a used car” is of mechanical and electrics. If you do not know how to do this, do some homework first. Mechanical (engine, suspension, and drivetrain) and electrical component repairs cost a bulk of money for repairs and maintenance. You must consider the points below for inspecting the car’s mechanical and electrics: 

  1. Take a portable OBD-II scanner with you when inspecting the car.
  2. Check for any warning indications on the instrument binnacle. Warning indication may include a check engine, ABS warning, power steering warning.
  3. Check for any oil leakage under the hood or from the transmission and suspension. Power steering fluids also tend to leak if not maintained. If you find any, make a note and discuss it with your mechanic.
  4. Check for any abnormal sound or vibration from the engine when the car is idling. A rough idling engine can have serious issues with the ignition and fuel injection systems.
  5. Check for engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and coolant. Ask the owner what brand he has poured in and when were these fluids changed the last time. The brand and duration will tell you about the care given to the car. Also, notice if there is any decrease in these fluids that suggests a leakage in the system. 
  6. Check the radiator and engine oil filler cap for foamy residue. The Foamy residue is a symptom of a failing head gasket that can cause complete engine failure.
  7. Check the air conditioning and the heater of the car. If there is no cold or hot air, there is a noise from the blower motor or a foul smell when the unit switches on; there might be issues that will cost you.
  8. Check the headlamps (high and low beam), the rear lights, brake lights, indicators for proper functioning. Also, check the cabin lights, radio, and other accessories.
  9. Check the wiring in the engine bay and the trunk for damages. Cheap repairs and DIY can lead to fire hazards.
  10. Check the suspension for irregular play in the steering, the track ends, and ball joints. Check if the car is swinging on sides when being driven. 
  11. Check if there is any noise from the shock absorbers or dampers. Note if they are aftermarket or genuine parts. Check For any leakage in the power steering rack. If the steering is electronic, it will show up an error on the instrument cluster. 
  12. Check the exhaust system for rust, holes, and abnormal sounds.
  13. Check the brakes. Checking the brakes includes inspecting the brake pads and disks, inspecting the brake master cylinder and the ABS unit. Usually, if there is a problem with the ABS systems, check light indicates it on the cluster.
  14. Scan the car with the portable scanner you have brought. It confirms if the car’s computer has recorded issues and codes. If there is no code at all, check when the owner has cleared the codes.

Inspecting the exterior and interior:

Examining the car’s aesthetics comes second on our list of what to look for when buying a used car.

Minor scratches and small dents on the body of the vehicle are not costly issues. But:

  1. Check the car’s chassis from inside the hood, the trunk, and the undercarriage for rust and accident damage. If the chassis suffered an accident or there are significant rust issues. Forget the car and move on.
  2. Check the body for Bondo and body filler. Minor spots of dent and body repair are negligible. But, if the body filler patches are abnormal, then there might be rust damage.
  3. Check the paint for cracks and fade. You can buff out the faded paint, but paint cracks need more extensive detailing.
  4. Check the bumpers for damage and alignment.
  5. Check the gaps between the body panels. 
  6. Check the locks and the hinges of all the doors, hood, and trunk lid.
  7. Check if the sunroof has leaks. Rust around the sunroof is a clear sign that the sunroof is or will soon be leaking.
  8. Check the interior for cleanliness, hygiene, and foul smells.
  9. Check if the upholstery of the seats, the door trims, and the dashboard are intact. If there damages, upholstery can cost you a significant sum of money to restore.
  10. Check if all the switches, knobs, and buttons are in working order.
  11. Check the tires.

Ask for the vehicle maintenance record. Make a note of where the vehicle is maintained. The data will also represent how reliable the car has been and what is the regular maintenance schedule? 

Step 3; take a test drive:

The next step in our list of what to look for when buying a used car is taking a test drive.

After a physical inspection of all the above aspects, take a test drive of the vehicle. A test drive will make you more aware of the car. 

The test drive will show you how the car behaves under driving conditions. You will get to know the smoothness of the transmission and engine. You will observe if there is any sluggishness in acceleration. You will check the brakes, the suspension, and the maneuverability of the vehicle.

Take a buying decision after the test drive. 

We highly recommend inspecting and test driving the car in broad daylight with the sun shining. Checking the vehicle in the daytime will ascertain a clear and more observant vision.

Step 4; verify the title documents and the VIN:

National highway traffic safety administration provides online support for vehicle’s title and vehicle identification number. Verify the ownership from NHTSA.

Step 5; negotiate on the best price:

Do your complete research regarding the market value of the vehicle for the condition of the car. Explain to the owner what you have researched and the issue you have observed with the automobile. Tell the guy how much you will have to spend to bring it into pristine condition.

Make it clear to the seller about the method of the payment and the time. If you are purchasing in cash, make sure to keep a signed copy of the receipt. If you are routing the transaction through your Bank, tell that to the owner as well.

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Some more tips on what to look for when buying a used car:

  1. Consider low mileage newer model cars. Yes, they will cost a little more. But they will prove to be beneficial when it comes to annual maintenance and trips to your mechanic.
  2. Always compare the prices of the vehicle of your choosing.
  3. Authorized or company maintained cars are the most sought after and should be the preference.
  4. Consider cars that have slower depreciation. Some classic vehicles appreciate overtime Like, Mercedes Benz 300SL and earlier BMWs 3 and 5 series cars.

Best of luck!

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Top 10 Largest insurance brokers in USA 2021https://bettersinsurance.com/top-insurance-brokers/ https://bettersinsurance.com/top-insurance-brokers/#respondMon, 08 Feb 2021 16:30:45 +0000https://bettersinsurance.com/?p=13609Insurance brokerage firms are organizations acting as a negotiator between their customers and insurance companies.  Brokerage firms provide assistance and consultancy to prospective clients regarding coverage plans and broker insurance policies that ensure the maximum coverage of the risk.  Insurance brokers have vast experience and knowledge in business. They can provide clients with policies that

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Insurance brokerage firms are organizations acting as a negotiator between their customers and insurance companies. 

Brokerage firms provide assistance and consultancy to prospective clients regarding coverage plans and broker insurance policies that ensure the maximum coverage of the risk. 

Insurance brokers have vast experience and knowledge in business. They can provide clients with policies that best suit them while also analyzing which insurance companies give the most coverage at the best rates. Insurance brokers make money through the commission earned from selling insurance policies.

Recommended: Download Privacy Policy Agreement

The following are the top insurance brokers in the USA. We have developed this list after careful analysis of the companies and their services. “AM Best” data has also assisted in the findings.

Top insurance brokers in the USA:

1. MARSH AND McLENNAN  COS. INC.

MARSH AND McLENNAN  COS. INC.

Revenue: $14.20 billion

Headquarters:

1166 Avenue of the Americas

New York City, New York 10011

Tel.: (212) 345-5000

Website: https://www.mmc.com

Marsh & McLennan Companies, Incorporate established in the year “1905” is one of the oldest insurance brokerage firms currently in the USA. With a revenue of $ 14.20 billion, the company has more the 76000 dedicated employees. The company has held the number 1 spot in the list of largest insurance brokers since 2017. Its impeccable customer services and expert consultancy and advisory has served businesses and individuals throughout the country.  

2. AON PLC.

AON PLC.

Revenue: $10 billion

Headquarters: The Aon Centre, The Leaden hall Building 122 Leaden hall St.

London, England EC3V 4AN

Tel.: +44 (0)20 7623 5500

Fax: +44 (0)20 7621 1511

Website: http://www.aon.com

Aon Plc. established in the year 1982. Headquartered in London, United Kingdom, the company specializes in financial risk mitigation and consultancy services. 

The company started its operations in the USA after merging with the Combined Insurance Company of America. The company has approximately 50,000 employees and $ 5 Billion of equity. It provides insurance brokerage, pension administration, and other risk mediation services in around 120 countries. In 2020, Aon Plc. acquired Willis Towers Watson for about $30 billion.

3. WILLIS TOWERS WATSON PLC.

WILLIS TOWERS WATSON PLC.

Revenue: $9 billion

Headquarters: The Willis Building, 51 Lime St. London EC3M 7DQ

Tel.: +44 (0) 203 124 6000

Website: https://www.willis.com

Willis Towers Watson is an Insurance Brokerage and advisory company. The company went global in 2016 and earned revenue of $ 9 Billion. With about 46000 workforces, the company provides risk management, insurance brokerages, and consultancy services. In 2020, the company merged with its competitor Aon Plc in an all-equity stock deal of $ 30 Billion. Combined, both companies make the world’s largest brokerage firm.

4. ARTHUR J. GALLAGHER & C0.

ARTHUR J. GALLAGHER & C0.

Revenue: $6.16 billion

Headquarters: 2850 Golf Road Rolling Meadows, Illinois 60008

Tel.: (630) 773-3800

Website: https://www.ajg.com

Arthur J. Gallagher and Co. is an insurance brokerage and risk management firm established in 1927. It is one of the largest insurance brokerage firms in the world. The company has earned $6.16 billion in revenues and employs approximately 31,000 people.

The company provides insurance and reinsurance are the services. It holds the number 4 spot on our list of top insurance brokers. 

5. BROWN & BROWN INC.

BROWN & BROWN INC

Revenue: $2.38 billion

Headquarters: 220 South Ridgewood Ave. Daytona Beach, Florida 32115

Tel.: (386) 252-9601

Website: http://www.bbinsurance.com

Brown and Brown Inc. provides a wide range of insurance services to individuals and businesses, currently ranking 5th among the largest insurance brokerages in the United States. The company also has the title of eighth largest insurance brokerage firm in the world. With about 10,000 employees, the company is one of the members comprising the S&P 400 stock market index.

6. Betters Insurance

betters insurance logo

Dayton, MN 55327
Tel: 1 (612) 438-3377
Email: Nathan@bettersinsurance.com

Betters Insurance is an independent insurance agency. We represent a wide range of insurance plans and types, catering to the individual needs of our clients. Our friendly, experienced professionals can help you select a comprehensive insurance package.

7. TRUIST INSURANCE HOLDINGS INC.

TRUIST INSURANCE HOLDINGS INC.

Revenue: $2.27 billion

Headquarters: Truist Center, 214 N Tryon Street Charlotte, NC

Tel.: 1-336-733-2000

Website: https://www.bbt.com

Founded in the year “1872” as BB&T, The Company has merged with Sun Trust bank, forming Truist Financial Corporation in 2019. 

The company’s insurance brokerage unit new ground for growth resulted in its current 6th ranking among the top insurance brokers in the U.S.

The company has$ 11 billion in revenues and an approximate workforce of 37,000 employees. The company provided financial risk mitigation and management services to businesses and individuals.

8. HUB INTERNATIONAL LTD.

HUB INTERNATIONAL LTD.

Revenue: $1.8 billion

Headquarters: 300 N. LaSalle St., 17th Floor Chicago, Illinois 60654

Tel.: (800) 432-2558

Website: https://hubinternational.com

Established in the year “1998”, Hub International provides brokerage and consultancy of property, casualty, risk management, life and health, employee benefits, investment, and wealth management products and services. 

With $1.8 billion in revenues and 10,000 employees, the company is ranked 7th on our list of top insurance brokers in the U.S. The company has recently acquired asses of Linton & Associates Insurance Agency in 2020.

9. USI INSURANCE SERVICES LLC

USI INSURANCE SERVICES LLC

Revenue: $1.81 billion

Headquarters: 100 Summit Lake Drive, Suite 400 Valhalla, NY 10595

Tel. (914) 749-8500

Website: https://usi.com

Understand, Service and Innovate, or USI provides diversified insurance and professional services. 

It provides services such as casualty insurance, employee benefits as well as retirement consulting. 

The company has offices at more than 200 locations throughout the country and revenues of $1.8 Billion. The company has the 8th spot on our list of top insurance brokers in the U.S.

10. ACRISURE LLC.

ACRISURE LLC.

Revenue: $1.71 billion

Headquarters:

5664 Prairie Creek Dr. SE Caledonia, MI 49316

Tel.: (616) 541-1294

Website: https://acrisure.com

Acrisure LLC is an insurance brokerage firm founded in 2008 and has since climbed the ranks to become one of the largest insurance brokerages in the United States and the world, ranking at number 9 in the U.S and number 10 in the world. It provides services such as reinsurance, employee benefits, and personal and commercial lines. The company also invests in artificial intelligence and technology. 

11. ALLIANT INSURANCE SERVICES INC.

ALLIANT INSURANCE SERVICES INC.

Revenue: $1.57 billion

Headquarters:

1301 Dove St., Suite 200

Newport Beach, CA 92660

Tel.: (949) 756-0271

Website: http://www.alliant.com

Alliant Insurance Services is an insurance brokerage firm providing services like commercial and employee benefits, risk management, construction, and industry solutions. The company had established in 1997 and since been providing solution-focused brokerage and consultancy service in the country. The company holds the 10th spot on our list of top insurance brokers in the U.S.

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How Much Will Insurance Cost for My Small Business?https://bettersinsurance.com/small-business-insurance-cost/ https://bettersinsurance.com/small-business-insurance-cost/#respondThu, 04 Feb 2021 03:58:29 +0000https://bettersinsurance.com/?p=13601Small Business Insurance With a pandemic lingering on our heads, the world has now become more uncertain. This uncertainty, or should we say the risk is inevitable. Sooner or later, you or your organization will have to face a particular risk, which can cost you a substantial sum of money and may harm your market

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Small Business Insurance

With a pandemic lingering on our heads, the world has now become more uncertain. This uncertainty, or should we say the risk is inevitable. Sooner or later, you or your organization will have to face a particular risk, which can cost you a substantial sum of money and may harm your market reputation. As an intelligent entrepreneur, your small business needs protection. Small Business Insurance plans provide you coverage from uncertainties that may lead your small organization towards bankruptcy.

At a fraction of cost, the coverage of small business insurance policies is an amalgamation of many types of coverage designed to mitigate the risks your firms may face. Sometimes referred to as commercial insurance, small business insurance plans provide sufficient protection to the property and data. It covers the liability that you or the business may face. Such policies also have provision for income support to business owners suffering from losses. 

Click on https://bettersinsurance.com/business-insurance/ to develop a deeper understanding of business insurance plans.

Depending on the coverage you choose and the excess options you need, your small business insurance costs may vary. 

Small Business Insurance Coverage and Cost | Betters Insurance

Small Business Insurance Coverage and Cost

The usual protections that come under the banner of small business insurance with their average costs are:

General liability coverage: The basic necessity of any risk mitigation plan is “general liability” insurance. Damages and injuries that your organization has caused have the protection of the general liability insurance plan. The damages may include property impairments of the clients and the stakeholders. For example, you might own a cable t.v operator service, and your employee damages a customer’s expensive entertainment system. You are liable to have the systems repaired or replaced.

General liability coverage takes up a larger chunk of the small business insurance costs. The “general liability coverage” influences the small business insurance costs. It depends upon the level of coverage you have opted for your small business entity and the risk your company faces considering general liability. The market average for General liability coverage in small business insurance plans is around $450 to $500, with most customers opting for at least one million dollars indemnity. 

Business Owner’s Coverage:

The advantage of this coverage in the small business insurance policy is that This option provides protection on business or commercial property and the business income risk with one single cost. The Commercial property rider may include damages to your entity’s office building, equipment, factory, and fixtures covering accidents and fire damage.

On the other hand, the coverage also assists your business in recuperating from losses. 

The average addition in dollars to your small business insurance cost is about $650 to dollar $700. Some small firms that face higher risks opt for higher coverage taking the premium up to $1,500.

Workers Compensation Coverage: 

Worker’s compensation coverage is an obligation, not a choice. This particular coverage protects you (the owner of the organization) and your employees. The purpose of including Workers Compensation Coverage in your small business insurance policy is easy to comprehend. The sole reason is to pay for any occupational injuries or disease that you and your employees might suffer on the job. 

Medical and rehabilitation expenses, income support; have the coverage of Workers Compensation. It is an essential part of your small business insurance plans since any business you conduct does affect the health and might involve perils of accidents, electrocution, and other injuries.

Yes, the worker’s compensation arrangement adds up to the small business insurance cost. Depending upon the industry you serve, your worker compensation coverage costs can range from a mere $ 600 per annum to a whopping $3,000 per annum. This difference in premiums is due to the reason that every industry has its own occupational risk. Employees and workers at a construction company face far more danger than employees at an information technology firm.

Some of the factors that influence the cost of your worker’s compensation plan are:

  1. The accidents and claims history your organization has.
  2. The location or the area where you provided your services or produce your products affects the cost.
  3. The number of employees and workers your organization has hired.
  4. Lastly, the type of business your organization conducts.
Workers Compensation Coverage

Cyber Liability Insurance: 

Yes, your small enterprise needs this too. The fact of the matter is whether you own a small company or you have a large corporation, cyber liability coverage is an essential survival tool.

Cyber liability coverage protects you from damages claimed if any of your customers, stakeholders, or employees suffer from a data breach or hacking. Cyber liability also provides sufficient funds to recover from your property losses and goodwill damages.

Recommended: Dallas Cyber Liability Insurance

With an average cost of $ 750 per annum, Cyber liability coverage with your small business insurance policy may cost you around $ 500 to $1200 per annum.

Many factors influence the cost of cyber liability coverage. The most important factor is what kind of business you conduct and what information you store in your systems. 

You can reduce costs if you have installed better protection measures and firewalls and keep a check on social media.

Check out more details about cyber liability and cyber insurance plans at https://bettersinsurance.com/category/cyber-liability/.

Commercial Auto Insurance:

Let us put this in the simplest way possible. If your company owns commercial and official vehicles, you have to have a commercial auto insurance plan. 

The reason is something you very well understand. Your commercial vehicle, truck, or van can have an accident. Your car can get hit or hit someone. You will suffer financial claims and payout of pocket if the commercial auto coverage plan does not cover you. 

On average, organizations pay about $700 per annum per small vehicle. By a small car, we mean this does not include trucks but includes vans. If you have trucks, the premium may go up to $1,800. The Commercial Auto Coverage costs depend upon the make and model of your vehicle and your usage. 

Click on https://bettersinsurance.com/commercial-auto-insurance/ to read more about Commercial Auto Insurance.

Recommended: What Is Cyber Insurance

Umbrella Coverage: 

Commercial umbrella coverage is the cherry on the top. The umbrella coverage serves as the cover for all your insurance policies. The idea behind this is to allow enhancement in the coverage limits. The cost of the umbrella coverage is dependent upon the nature of your business. With an average of about $1,000 per annum, the umbrella premiums can range from about $600 to $1600. 

Check https://bettersinsurance.com/commercial-umbrella-insurance/ for considering your umbrella coverage.

Factors Influencing Small Business Insurance Cost | Betters Insurance

Briefly explained below are the factors under consideration while calculating the Small Business Insurance cost

  1. The small business insurance costs have coherence with the number of employees and workers at your organization. It is not always the more, the merrier. The more employees your organization has, the chances of errors increase. Hence the more employee you have, the costs of general liability and worker’s compensation go up.
  2. The industry you serve also contributes to the insurance costs. If your firm is in high-risk businesses like construction, sanitation, or you have manufacturing units, the insurance costs are higher. With a low-risk business like software development and retail stores, the risk is comparatively low, reducing insurance costs.
  3. The coverage limits your business requires. The higher the requirement, the higher is the cost of insurance. 
  4. The locations you work or operate from, properties your organization wants to be covered, and the revenues your company earns all influence the small business insurance costs.

Please feel free to contact “Betters Insurance” agents to understand in detail the risk at your organization and the insurance coverage you need. 

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Why ESI Employee Assistance Programs are Essential to a Productive Work Forcehttps://bettersinsurance.com/why-esi-eap-is-essential-to-a-productive-work-force/ https://bettersinsurance.com/why-esi-eap-is-essential-to-a-productive-work-force/#respondWed, 03 Feb 2021 16:45:00 +0000https://bettersinsurance.com/?p=13291Why ESI Employee Assistance Programs are Essential to a Productive Work Force Businesses with employees must have workers’ compensation insurance. Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) go hand-in-hand with work comp insurance and HR management tools. This type of additional product can seem like a hassle to a new business owner or one who is upgrading their

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Why ESI Employee Assistance Programs are Essential to a Productive Work Force

Businesses with employees must have workers’ compensation insurance. Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) go hand-in-hand with work comp insurance and HR management tools. This type of additional product can seem like a hassle to a new business owner or one who is upgrading their workforce or insurance policies. However, with ESI EAP your workforce will improve production drastically.

Everyday life is incredibly unpredictable. Accidents happen, family members get sick, and financial loss occurs daily for many people. As these unpredictable issues happen, they take a toll on the individual employee’s mental health, physical health, and overall productivity. This means an unsupported employee can put a drain on your business’s productivity. It is impossible to eliminate these issues, therefore having appropriate EAP’s for your business is essential to having a productive workforce. ESI delivers the tools, technologies, and processes to help employers overcome these obstacles.

How does our EAP’s Directly Help the Employee?

EAP’s are there to provide support to employees who need it. In the modern world, we are realizing how important and relevant mental health is. EAP’s provide access to counseling services that can be used by your employees to maintain their mental health. A happy and well-functioning employee is an employee that is creative and diligent.

Alcohol and drug addiction are sinister pandemics that take more lives and affect more families than Covid-19 ever could. Addiction affects business efficiency because employees who are addicts take time off work, are untrustworthy, unreliable, and ultimately very ill. EAP’s provide access to addiction management programs, rehabs, addiction-targeted counseling, and continuous support programs that can save your employees’ lives and, in due course, improve business productivity.

Young employees are some of the most productive employees a business will have. They have fewer familial concerns and are career-driven. However, young employees are some of the most at risk in terms of circumstances that cause debilitating mental health issues. They:

  • have huge amounts of student debt,
  • are struggling with suitable housing conditions or home loans, and
  • are dealing with being caregivers to elderly family members or younger siblings and cannot afford professional care.

Your Employee Assistance Program offers services that can help with all of these problems. Implementing suitable Employee Assistance Programs will create a loyal and highly productive workforce. Your ESI Employee Assistance Program can include services such as:

  • financial education,
  • wellness services, and
  • lifestyle savings benefits.

How does ESI’s Employee Assistance Program Directly Help the Employer?

Your ESI EAP is not only there to help your employees directly. It is also there to help you, the business owner, manage your employees in such a way that decreases the amount of stress and additional admin work that you have to do. Examples of ESI Employee Assistance Programs that will help the employer are:

  • HR consultations,
  • Harassment training and resources,
  • Background search services,
  • Compliance training,
  • Mediation services, and
  • Peak performance coaching.

As an employer, you cannot simply stop life’s problems from getting in the way of your employee’s work life. However, you can help them manage these issues in such a way that you benefit in the long term. Employees who have access to good ESI EAP’s are absent from work less, have less work-related accidents, claim less worker’s compensation, and provide higher quality work to their employers. Having ESI EAP is essential to a productive workforce.

Contact Betters Agency to find out how we can help improve your workforce with the help of ESI EAP.

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