How Should I Insure My Home-Based Business?

Residents of Fort Myers, FL are required by law to have two types of commercial insurance on their home-based businesses if applicable. The first type is commercial vehicle insurance if a business owner has a car, truck, or van that is used for purposes pertaining to the enterprise and that is driven by him or herself or by employees. The second type is workers’ compensation insurance that will provide the insured with benefits in the event that his or her employees need time off  work due to injuries sustained on the job. The number of employees required to necessitate coverage will vary from one to six, depending on the type of industry you are in. 

What Type of Business Do You Run?

Each home-based business has its own particular set of risks that you will want to be insured against. Your homeowners insurance may provide, to a limited extent, some coverage, but a general liability policy will help protect you in the event that a customer is injured on your property, if you are sued for copyright infringement or reputation damage, and if losses occur to somebody else’s property for which you are held responsible.

A professional liability insurance policy can help take care of costs related to mistakes made by your business, and commercial property insurance can provide indemnification benefits for damages that occur to your own property. In addition, product liability insurance is there to assist in covering costs related to lawsuits pertaining to products your company produces.  

SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. is Here To Help You

SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. has experience providing Fort Myers, FL residents with the commercial insurance options they need to effectively run their businesses. We can answer any questions you may have about insuring your home-based business, and we welcome you to contact us and to schedule an appointment today. 

Your Company Got Sued. Now What?

A lawsuit can happen at any time. This is a small business owner’s nightmare. Somebody walks into your business and hands legal papers that say you are being sued. Umbrella insurance coverage provides some protection for these events. The agents at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. serving Fort Myers, FL can give some sound advice about how umbrella insurance coverage provides necessary protection from such surprising legal troubles.

One of the reasons this is a big concern for any business owner is because a lawsuit might arise due to no fault of the business. An example of this is some defect in products that are being sold, which is caused by the manufacturer. Even if the problem is with the product and its manufacturing process, the business selling it will also usually be named in a lawsuit if someone is harmed.

Some lawsuits are frivolous and have no merit at all. They are just based on made up excuses to try to extort money from a business owner. Even in the case of a frivolous lawsuit there may be legal fees to pay just to defend against it.

Another common thing that can cause a lawsuit for a business is something done by an employee. This could be a simple mistake or serious misconduct. Employee conduct can cause liabilities for the business owner.

Umbrella insurance coverage adds coverage that is above the limits of other policies and also can cover some things as primary insurance that is not covered in any other insurance policy. It is a good idea to talk over the specifics of your business operations with your insurance agent to better understand the risks and what can be covered by umbrella insurance.

Contact SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. serving Fort Myers, FL and the surrounding area to get a quote for umbrella insurance and to understand more about why this coverage is now very important for any business.

Commercial Insurance and Business Tax Deductions

Small and micro businesses in Fort Myers, FL worry regularly about operating costs and keeping budgets tights to maintain new profits. These controls are critical to be successful in the first years of operation, especially when the owner and employees depend on the business to earn a paycheck. However, in the scrutiny of cost justification, many companies defer or do without liability coverage and commercial insurance. And this can be a big mistake.

Not only does commercial insurance represent critical financial protection from possible liabilities, it can also be a very valuable tax deduction for the business. According to the Internal Revenue Service, commercial insurance can be a viable tax deduction. The key factor in the IRS’ perspective, per the federal tax code, is that the expense claimed as a deduction needs to be "ordinary and necessary" for the business. While commercial insurance can represent a valuable liability protection it also needs to be obtained in a policy form that is clearly for the business only. Personal liability coverage is not allowed and can be a big mistake in a tax audit if found to be declared in a misleading manner by the business owner and tax filer.

According to the experts at SWFL Insurance Agency commercial insurance represents a critical safety net for new small businesses. It provides the means to fend off potential liability risks when a new company does not yet have the resources to fully stand on its own. And SWFL Insurance Agency has seen multiple businesses in Fort Myers, FL have to resort to bankruptcy without insurance protection. And that can be a sad ending for an incredible amount of work, energy, sacrifice and more. To avoid this kind of abrupt ending and enjoy viable tax deductions for a business at the same time, contact the staff at SWFL Insurance Agency to find out more.

 

Why take up a renters insurance cover?

As an apartment renter, you need to ensure that you are protected in the event of the unexpected, because your landlord’s insurance will only cover damages to the structure of the building, and not the contents therein. The implication is that your belongings will not be included in this case. Most landlords will require you to purchase renters insurance for your new lease, while some will not demand this, but this is something you should consider.

Coverage For Personal Belongings
In the course of your stay at the apartment you are currently renting, your belongings are exposed to many risks, some of which may be hard to prevent. If there is damage or theft of your possessions, your landlord’s insurance will not cover for these, but your renter’s insurance will do. As such, it may be wise to take an inventory of all your belongings as well, as a record for the insurance company. 

The record will be helpful in case you need to make a claim. Such a document should be kept safe either at a friend’s or relative’s house or an online platform and not your house.

Cushion Against Loss Or Damage
At SWFL Insurance Agency Inc.  Fort Myers, FL we understand that you may have put in a lot to furnish your home, and saving enough money to replace the same after loss or damage may take a while. For that reason, we will offer compensation when that happens, to help you recover fast without having to spend more from your bank account.

Insurance Solutions To Suit Your Budget
Since the lifestyle of one individual is different from that of another, their financial muscle will also vary to some extent. SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. Fort Myers, FL renters insurance solutions are customized to satisfy these requirements, and one that suits you is available.

Some tenants imagine that renters insurance is expensive, which keeps them from purchasing it, when it may cost them much more later. This is a myth you should not trade for your possessions.

 

Why Parents of Teen Drivers Should Have an Umbrella Policy

When it has taken you a lifetime to assemble assets and attain your financial goals, the last thing you want is to see all those assets consumed by a lawsuit. Although accidents occur daily, parents become more at risk when their teenagers start driving, particularly in today’s lawsuit environment.

Many parents in Fort Myers, FL, may either be ignorant or deficient of the fact that if their teen is not yet of age of maturity (at least 18), then all the liability for damages caused by any accident falls on them. In fact, young drivers make up over 30% of vehicle accidents that result in injury. This is why SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. encourages parents to take a second look at their insurance coverage and decide whether an umbrella insurance is necessary.

As a resident of Fort Myers, FL, an umbrella policy will add an extra layer of insurance protection over your auto or homeowners insurance. Specifically, an umbrella insurance protects your personal assets in an event that a major claim surpasses the coverage limits of your other insurance policies cover.

How Much Coverage Do I Need on My Umbrella Insurance?
Your umbrella insurance will vary depending on numerous factors. SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. presents you with various options that are best suited different types of situations. Your initial step should be to assess your current policy and see how much coverage you have. The next step will be to search for information on the maximum liability your insurer will cover, and then consider how much more coverage you require to be on the safer side.

Alternatively, you can contact Fort Myers, FL, SWFL Insurance Agency Inc.  to quickly and easily explain the varied options to you, including their benefits and challenges.

 

Does Renters Insurance Cover Things Outside the Home in Fort Myers?

Many people understand how important it is to have renters insurance in Fort Myers, FL. However, they don’t understand just how much renters insurance really protects them. It doesn’t just protect things in your home. At SWFL Insurance Agency Inc., we think it’s a good idea for you to understand how renters insurance can protect your off-premise property

Personal Property is Still Personal No Matter Where It’s At

Your personal property belongs to you no matter where it’s located. Understanding that can help you understand how your renter’s insurance can cover your things, even when they’re not in the home.

How an insurance company covers off-premise items can vary, so it’s important to discuss the possibilities beforehand. It’s certainly possible for your renter’s insurance to cover some or all the following:

  • Items in a storage unit
  • Lost, damaged, or stolen luggage when traveling
  • Lost, damaged, or stolen items from your vehicle

Things immediately outside your home may also have coverage. For example, items in a shed or on the lawn are outside the home, but they’re still your personal property.

Often, insurance companies will only cover a portion of the value of property not at the home. This can vary, but even some assistance is better than none at all when it comes to recouping a loss.

You May Have More Coverage for Your Personal Property Than You Know

As mentioned, your policy may not cover all off-premise items, but it will cover some. Even if your policy or agent doesn’t specifically say you have certain forms of off-premise coverage, it never hurts to ask.

A situation may arise where something belonging to you becomes damaged, stolen, or lost while you’re not at home. Contact your renter’s insurance carrier to see if they can help you out.

Renters insurance is incredibly versatile. If you rent in Fort Myers, FL, you should consider renters insurance a necessity. To learn more about how renters insurance can cover you, contact SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. today.

Do You Need More Motorcycle Insurance if You Are Under the Age of 18?

When it comes to owning a motorcycle some of the biggest concerns of riders are insurance policies and having the proper amount of coverage. That being said, coverage needs to change based on age, the type of motorcycle you own, and your loan status on the bike. You should take the time to find out just what coverage you need before you start riding. For those that live in or around the Fort Myers, FL area, the agents with SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. can help you find the perfect coverage.

For riders that are under the age of 18, there are some different coverage needs than someone that is over the age of 18 or even that owns other valuable property. Insurance is put in place to protect your physical body as well as your personal property and if you have a bike and a home and are over the age of 18, you may need more coverage to help protect your valuable belongings should you get into an accident where another driver is injured.

As a basic rule, your coverage needs are going to be mainly based on the type of bike you own and on whether or not you have a loan on your bike. You are going to need enough coverage to replace your bike so those that are higher cost are going to need more coverage. Similarly, if you own your bike outright you are going to need less coverage than you would need should you be required to pay back a loan on a wrecked bike.

For those that live in the Fort Myers, FL area, the agents with SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. can help you determine what coverage is right for you each and every time.

Four Reasons Flood Insurance is Important

If you haven’t yet bought flood insurance to protect your property, you might want to begin looking into this important purchase. The following are four of the most important reasons why you should purchase flood insurance today:

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States.

In the United States, flooding is the most common natural disaster that occurs. It’s also important to note that you don’t have to be in an area that’s known for flooding dangers to be hit with a costly flood. In fact, more than 20 percent of flood claims in the US came from areas that are not located in geographic regions that are typically associated with flooding.

Flood insurance premiums tend to be fairly affordable.

In 2017, the average cost for flood insurance through the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) was only $672. This makes flood insurance in Fort Myers, FL and elsewhere in the country fairly affordable in comparison to other more expensive types of insurance such as auto insurance and homeowner’s insurance.

Flood damage is not typically covered by the average home insurance policy.

One of the most important things homeowners need to realize is that their home insurance is probably not going to cover flood damage. In order for home insurance to cover flood damage, homeowners usually need to expressly specify that they want flood insurance, and they will usually have to pay higher premiums if flood coverage is added on.

Many mortgage companies require flood insurance.

Depending on where you live, your mortgage provider may insist that you purchase flood insurance from a provider like SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. Even federal law requires homeowner’s to have flood insurance if they are living in areas of the country that are designated as "high-risk".

The Difference Between Condo Insurance and Homeowners Insurance

If you’re interested in the purchase of a new condo or already own one and are looking to purchase insurance, you may have some questions about your coverage options. The first thing to remember when it comes to condos is that insurance for condos can be different than insurance for homes.

Here’s what you need to know about the difference between condo insurance and standard home insurance.

Six components are different to these type dwelling types.

There are numerous components to every dwelling insurance policy, and any particular policy will be determined by who owns what.

In a condo, you do not actually own the entire structure. Instead, you own the area encompassed by the drywall. On the other hand, if you own a home, you own the complete structure.

When it comes to your insurance plan, this means that some things will be different. Six components will be different to be exact. Here are the coverage types that you should expect changes in:

• Primary dwelling coverage
• Other structures coverage
• Personal liability coverage
• Loss of use coverage
• Personal property coverage
• Medical payment coverage

All condo insurance isn’t alike either.

Furthermore, remember that the policies and rules associated with your particular condo complex will be different than other complexes. You’ll need to check with your particular complex’s plan to make sure that you understand what’s covered and what’s not.

Contact SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. for More Information

If you’re a Fort Myers, FL resident who’s interested in condo insurance, rest assured that our agents at SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. can help you find the perfect condo insurance plan. We serve residents of Fort Myers, FL and the surrounding areas and would be glad to discuss any and all coverage options with you. Give us a call today or stop by one of our locations for a quote.

What Does Boat Insurance Cover?

SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. can help you with all of our insurance needs in the greater Fort Myers, FL area. If you are preparing to purchase a boat, you are likely looking into purchasing boat insurance. If you have never purchased this before, you may be unsure of what all boat insurance covers. Here are a few of the things that are covered by boat insurance.

Theft

It is much harder to steal a boat than something like a car or motorcycle. But this does not mean it cannot be done. Boats can be stolen and if yours happens to be a victim of theft, you want to ensure you are covered. Boat insurance helps to cover you against theft so you don’t invest in something and lose out on that investment.

Accidents

Accidents happen when you are on the waterways. If you hit a boat or a boat hits you, damage can be done. Boat insurance helps to pay for any damage you do to another owner’s boat, any damage was done to your boat by an uninsured watercraft, or even any damage is done if a vehicle rear ends your boat while you are transporting it to a waterway.

Bodily Injury

Waterways can be crowded. People are boating, on jet skis, tubing or swimming. Unfortunately, people are not always visible. There are blind spots when you are navigating a boat, just like there are cars. You can hit a person who gets in your way or that you do not see. These accidents can be catastrophic, not only to the person but to your wallet as well. Boat insurance helps to protect you financially against lawsuits brought on by these types of accidents.

If you are ready to purchase boat insurance in the greater Fort Myers, FL area, call SWFL Insurance Agency Inc. today. Let our trained professionals find you the best boat insurance policy to fit your needs.