Common Misconceptions about Commercial Auto Coverage

Common Misconceptions about Commercial Auto CoverageWhat you don’t know can hurt your business – specifically its bottom line. If you think all Orlando FL Commercial Auto Liability policies (and all commercial insurance providers) are basically the same, think again. Don’t fall victim to these three common misconceptions about commercial auto coverage.

 

All Commercial Auto Policies Automatically Cover all Employees

This is definitely not true. You can absolutely purchase a commercial auto policy that specifies it covers any employee who is driving the vehicle. That type of policy will cost you more, but should an employee ever become involved in an accident, the benefits of such a comprehensive policy will outweigh the costs. Don’t assume that your policy has this broad coverage. Most policies cover only drivers whose names are listed on the policy. Make sure to discuss your wishes in detail with your insurance provider so you end up with a policy that covers what you want it to cover.

It’s Safe for Seasonal Business to Cancel Their Vehicle Insurance during Non-peak Seasons

Your company vehicle may not be driven during a particular season, but it’s still at risk of theft, vandalism, fire, and weather-related damages due to flooding and hail. According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, the largest hailstone on record in the United States weighed nearly 2 pounds! Imagine chunks of ice that big falling from the sky onto your vehicle, and you’ll certainly understand the wisdom of carrying vehicle insurance year-round. Another reason not to cancel your policy during the offseason? You may discover that reinstating your policy during your peak-driving period could cost as much as double the price as the policy you canceled.

You Have to Pay Commercial Insurance Premiums In Advance

Again, not all policies or providers are the same. If you work with an insurer who values customer service and relationships, you’ll probably be pleased to find flexible payment plans that allow you to pay premiums on an installment basis.

At Newman Crane & Associates Insurance, customer service is our top priority. We pride ourselves in helping individuals and businesses protect their interests with comprehensive insurance coverage they can afford, and the ability to file claims 24 hours per day. Call us at (407) 859-3691. We’d love to work with you!

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Advantages of Hiring Overqualified Workers

Advantages of Hiring Overqualified WorkersIf you’ve ever interviewed a candidate for a position and dismissed her solely because she was overqualified, you made a big mistake! It’s counterproductive to overlook a stellar candidate because, well, she’s a stellar candidate. There are many advantages of hiring overqualified workers. For example, if you hire a seasoned human resources professional with an abundance of experience, he or she will be able to jump right into critical job responsibilities and forego the learning curve of inexperienced candidates. It’s risky to procrastinate about essential tasks, such as negotiating a comprehensive Orlando Commercial Insurance Program, while waiting for a less-experienced hire to learn what your business needs.

You may end up paying an overqualified job seeker more than a newbie (but that’s not a certainty). Regardless of what compensation package you negotiate, here are three valuable traits you can expect from a seasoned new hire.

Enthusiasm

There are reasons why someone who is overqualified applies for a lower-level job. One of the biggest reasons is that he or she is truly interested in the position. Perhaps your job opening allows them to pursue their passion. That will definitely them an asset to your company. Many, but not all, overqualified job seekers are older workers. According to the Vital Aging Network, older workers prefer part-time work. They bring to the table their vast experience, but are willing to take a job they’re overqualified for in return for a more flexible schedule. It’s a win-win for employer and employee!

Solid Contributions

A candidate who has been in the workplace for a while will bring with them their valuable on-the-job experiences and skills. You may find them training your existing employees rather than the other way around.

Big Impact in a Small Amount of Time

Many employers worry about hiring overqualified workers because they fear they will just use the position as a stepping stone until something better comes along. That may or may not be the case. Even if it is the case, consider yourself fortunate to have an outstanding employee assisting your business, even if it is only for six months or a year.

Fearlessness

Employees who are confident in their abilities to effectively perform their job will jump in with both feet, work quickly, and not be afraid to take on new challenges. Inexperienced workers may feel overwhelmed and unsure of themselves. Overqualified employees will be ready to roll up their sleeves and conquer the job at hand knowing they can handle whatever hurdles they encounter along the way.

At Newman Crane & Associates Insurance we are happy to worker with customers who are knowledgeable about insurance as well as those who have never organized a policy before. Call us at (407) 859-3691 for your company’s insurance needs.

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Should Your Family Business Seek Outside Leadership?

Should Your Family Business Seek Outside Leadership?If you run a small business, you’ve got big responsibilities. You’re probably responsible for staffing, marketing, logistics, and administrative tasks such as making sure your business is fully protected by a solid Orlando Small Business Insurance policy. If you run a family business, you probably endure added stresses related to managing family conflicts and treading lightly so you don’t hurt relatives’ feelings. According to The University of Vermont’s Grossman School of Business, between 10% and 15% of U.S. family firms are managed by non-family executives. Should your family business seek outside leadership? That depends.

How Dysfunctional is Your Family?

Just as some families are dysfunctional, so are some family businesses. Do your employees treat one another with respect – or spend the workday bickering? Is the at-work atmosphere toxic and explosive or positive and professional? If familial tensions are affecting employees’ abilities to do their jobs effectively, bringing in an outsider may reverse that. Adding a non-relative to the leadership team will add a level of professionalism. The dynamic usually shifts when family members know an “outsider” is listening and evaluating their performance.

Outside Input Can Bring Fresh Perspective and New Ideas

The longer a family business stays in business, the greater the risk that complacency will set in. Knowing that their jobs are secure because family is unlikely to fire family, there may be no real incentive to innovate. If things are moving along “just fine,” an all-family cast of characters may share an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. The danger in this line of thinking is that while your family business is comfortable staying the same, your competitors may be doing innovating and chipping away at your customer base. An outsider will look at your business with fresh eyes and insights those too close to the status quo may fail to have on their own.

Running a small business, whether it is a family affair or not, is challenging. At Newman Crane & Associates Insurance, we can put your mind at ease about one of those challenges: a solid insurance policy. Call us at (407) 859-3691 for a free quote.

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Assignment of Benefit Fraud Affecting Florida Homeowners

Assignment of Benefit Fraud Affecting Florida HomeownersIf you have Orlando Homeowners Insurance and have had weather-related damage to your home in the past decade, you may have learned the hard way what “assignment of benefit fraud” means. According to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, assignment of benefit fraud affecting Florida homeowners has increased each year since 2005.

Assignment of benefits (AOB) refers to the practice of insured homeowners signing over their insurance claims to contractors who they’ve hired to handle the repairs. When used as intended, AOB saves homeowners time and out-of-pocket expense, because contractors deal directly with insurance companies. Unfortunately, many Florida contractors aren’t using AOB as it was intended.

What is AOB Fraud?

In Florida, there has been a disturbing spike in AOB fraud. Here’s how it happens. Contractors approach homeowners, often after a severe weather event like a flood or hailstorm, and promise to repair weather-related damage quickly and even waive the homeowner’s deductible (as a sort of “bonus” for signing on as a customer.) All the homeowner has to do is sign a legal document assigning his insurance benefits directly to the contractor. The contractor usually explains that this is necessary to reduce red tape and get repairs completed more quickly.

The problem is that many of these contractors, armed with legally binding AOBs, either fail to complete the work they were hired to do, do a shoddy job, or pad a legitimate insurance claim by charging the insurance company with phony services and materials. Should the insurance company catch on to the scheme and refuse to pay the contractor what he has billed for, the contractor can actually place a lien on the value of the insured party’s home!

What Can You do To Protect Yourself?

Do not fall for this ploy. Never agree to sign an AOB when a contractor pressures you to, be leery of contractors who knock at your door wanting to inspect your roof after a storm, and never believe a contractor promising to get you a “free roof.”

Despite the fact that the trickle-down effect of rampant AOB fraud costs everyone who has homeowner’s insurance, going without it is simply not an option. Call Newman Crane & Associates Insurance at (407) 859-3691 for a quote on comprehensive, affordable, homeowners insurance. Our knowledgeable, friendly team will look at your unique situation and recommend a policy that will provide the best coverage at a competitive price.

Posted in blog, Central Florida News, Flood Insurance, Florida Hurricane Season, Homeowners Insurance, policies, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Financial Management Advice for Small Business

Financial Management Advice for Small BusinessRunning a small business is a dream come true for many. It can be personally rewarding and economically rewarding, but it also can be tough at times. Every business is subject to ups and downs, but small businesses feel them more. The best financial management advice for small business owners is to enjoy the good times but make a plan to weather the bad. Besides the obvious safety net of purchasing Orlando Commercial Insurance, here are three tips to remain financially sound.

Don’t Proceed Without a Budget

Running a business without a budget is like jumping from an airplane without a parachute (not smart.) Budgeting requires time and number crunching, but in the long run it will keep you on track during financial highs and lows. A budget is like a financial advisor, only you don’t have to pay each time you consult it. The more care you put into crafting a budget, the more useful it will be in guiding your financial decisions.

Be Conservative, Especially in the Early Years

You’re a business owner. You’re the boss. You deserve a luxurious company car, tailored suit, and a high-end espresso machine, right? You may deserve these luxuries, but resist the temptation to splurge on them. Don’t overextend your finances with non-essential expenses. Save that money and create a cushion to get you through the lean months. According to the Financial Accounting Standards Board, most small businesses are operating with precariously insufficient cash reserves on hand.

Increase Your Payroll Only as Needed

To remain financially healthy, your mantra (in the beginning anyway) should not be “Why do what I can hire someone else to do?” It should be “Why hire someone to do what I can do?” Even if your employees are paid minimum wage, they come with indirect costs. Depending on your business, they’ll need a uniform, computer, vehicle, desk, company cell phone … it all adds up. Why take on these expenses until you really need to?

Running a business is tough. There’s one challenge we can take care of for you: all of your insurance needs. Call us at Newman Crane & Associates Insurance, (407) 859-3691 for a quote on comprehensive, affordable, quality small business insurance.

 

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PIA of Florida Joins the CPC to Combat Benefits Abuse

Combating Commercial BriberyIt’s a problem that costs you and every other insurance policyholder money. Fraudulent insurance claims ranging from Orlando Employee Benefits claims to weather-related homeowner’s benefits claims are rampant in South Florida. That’s why news that PIA of Florida joins the CPC to combat benefits abuse is making headlines. In mid-January, the Professional Insurance Agents of America joined forces with Florida’s Consumer Protection Coalition to fight the unscrupulous practice known as assignment of benefits (AOB) abuse. Overall, conservative estimates place insurance fraud losses at $80 billion per year. These losses are absorbed by insured individuals and businesses in the form of higher premiums.

What is AOB?

Assignment of benefits refers to the practice of policyholders transferring their insurance benefits to a third-party (often a vendor). Policyholders opt to do this because it expedites the processing of their claims, since once they transfer the benefits they aren’t required to pay any money upfront to have repairs completed. What policyholders don’t realize is that unscrupulous lawyers and vendors are using AOB to file bogus lawsuits against insurance companies. The money insurers must pay to fight these wrongful suits is eventually passed on in the form of higher premiums across the board.

You Can Fight Back

State Sen. Dorothy Hukill and Rep. Matt Caldwell have filed legislation to combat AOB abuse. The CPC, led by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, supports this legislation and has created a website (FightFraud.Today) to spread awareness of the issue and educate the public about how to avoid falling victim to these scams. Additionally, the website includes an online position you can sign registering your outrage of AOB abuse and urging lawmakers to pass reforms.

Don’t Sign Away Your Rights

The next time you have an insurance claim, make sure not to fall victim to AOB fraudsters. Call us at Newman Crane & Associates Insurance, (407) 859-3691. We are familiar with this rampant issue and are happy to direct you to reputable, honest service providers who have your best interests in mind, rather than the ulterior motive of lining their pockets by committing insurance fraud.

 

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