Cancelling your car insurance? Did you know you could receive a hefty fine from the North Carolina DMV if you neglect to send in your license plate tags after cancelling your liability insurance? This amendment is rarely mentioned by the DMV however, every car driver in North Carolina is at stake!
According to the DMV “state law requires continuous liability insurance on all registered vehicles, a vehicle owner should cancel their insurance only after they have turned in their North Carolina license plate to the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles. Canceling insurance before turning in the license plate will result in a fine for failure to maintain continuous insurance coverage.
THE DMV WEBSITE STATES: Vehicle Storage: An owner storing a vehicle for an extended period should also return the vehicle's license plate before canceling liability insurance coverage.”
At Snotherly Insurance we do our BEST to remind all of our customers this information, however, it is also the responsibility of every driver to not only be aware, but put this advice to take action. When selling, disposing or simply deciding to halt usage of a vehicle, please remember to send your license plate tags to NCDMV alongside cancelling your North Carolina Car Insurance policy.
For further information a link to the North Carolina DMV's law can be accessed by clicking here.
As originally posted in a blog by Builders Mutual
The Ultimate Gamble: Failing to ask for your Sub Contractor's Insurance
Not long ago, general contractors (GCs) would have been hard-pressed to build a house if they required their subcontractors to use fall protection. Subs would simply work for a less stringent GC. Fall protection, although practical, was anything but popular. Nowadays, the unpopular has become the norm. If you stop by a job-site, you will find workers protecting themselves with harnesses, Safety Boot® Guardrail Systems, WallWalkers® and other types of safety equipment.
What is seemingly unpopular these days on the job-site? Requiring subs to have insurance, specifying minimums for limits, and requiring that they periodically provide proof of such coverage. Many GCs have concerns about losing subs if they mandate insurance requirements. Nevertheless, GCs who fail to require their subs to carry adequate insurance open their businesses to great financial risk.
The Dangers of turning a blind eye
What if water damage ruins the recently laid hardwood floors because of the plumber’s mistake? What if the electrician accidentally burns down the nearly completed house? Their limits of insurance will suggest whether the claim will be paid in full or in part, if covered at all. Who pays the difference? “Typically, the GC will be responsible for paying either the difference or covering the loss completely if the sub has no insurance coverage,” states claims expert Ken Bunn. These types of unnecessary risks can be avoided by GCs who clearly specify and enforce insurance requirements for their sub contractors.
At a minimum, subs should have policies for workers’ compensation, general liability, and auto (if they have owned, hired, or non-owned vehicles). More specifically, GCs should ensure that their subs are carrying appropriate minimum limits. Typically, limits of $1 million per occurrence and $2 million aggregate are adequate for general liability.
As a GC, you should work with your agent to determine if your requirements should be higher. Think about the price range of the homes you are building and ask yourself, “How much damage can my subs do?” If you build $2 million homes, then you definitely need your subs to carry higher limits. In your subcontractor agreement, you should require that your company is named as an additional insured on the subs’ general liability policies. For answers to all of your coverage questions, contact your insurance agent in addition to discussing with legal counsel as needed.
Proper Certificate review
How can general contractors be certain their subs carry the recommended insurance? Certificates of Insurance(COIs) offer this peace of mind. If you refuse to pay subs until they provide a COI, you leave your company at considerable risk. Do not let a sub start a job without a COI! Your superintendent should call you or your office to verify that you have a COI on file for all subs before any project begins.
For subs with whom you have long, established relationships, update your records once per year with a new COI 30 days prior to the policy expiration. Make sure you obtain a certificate of insurance for each “project.” This may protect you in case of cancellation of insurance during the project.
For new subs with whom you have just begun working, require a COI before the sub begins. It is best to ask for the COI directly from the agent. Then, every 30-45 days, call the agent of record to verify coverage and request a new COI. Pay close attention to any late notices and notices of policy cancellation you may receive. Follow up immediately to confirm the status of the policy.
When you have the COI in hand, look for a binder or policy number. If you see “TBD” in that field, call the agent (also listed on the COI) to request the actual policy number. Check for the policy expiration date, and be prepared to request another COI prior to expiration. Remember to check for coverage on auto, general liability, and workers’ compensation and be sure the proper limits of coverage are in force. While this might seem overwhelming, there are a variety of vendors available that specialize in helping you manage all of your subcontractor certificates.
Bottomline: don't gamble on insurance
Before long, your subs will not think twice about carrying the insurance you require. Until then, you may be a bit unpopular for specifying insurance requirements, but you will sleep well knowing you have mitigated your company’s financial risks and confirmed coverage is being provided for all who are on the job-site.
Snotherly Insurance offers Contractors Liability Insurance & Workers Compensation for General Contractors as well as their Sub Contractors.
This original article posted by Builders Mutual can be found by clicking here
The small business owner also known as the Facilitator, Leader, Decision Maker, Risk Taker, invoice payer, shall the list of titles continue?
As a business owner one must embrace numerous responsibilities and be prepared to take on roles and tasks which may be essential to running your business. These specific duties will most likely be in addition to and outside of your standard business operations; however, the role of insuring your small business should not be a task that an entrepreneur should forego alone. In fact, failing to choose the most accurate insurance for a small business could result in financial ruins in the event of a loss or claim. Hence, in this post we review 5 advantages small business owners receive by choosing a local insurance agency for their commercial business insurance needs.
1. Expertise & knowledge
Commercial insurance can be extremely intricate and technical. Furthermore, it is likely that most small business owners are only slightly educated concerning this field. The assistance, knowledge and advice of a local commercial business insurance agent can be an essential resource to any small business. Not only may a local insurance agent educate and suggest to a business owner the necessary protection required for their venture, the agent may also identify risk hazards and address questions and concerns an entrepreneur may have regarding their business
2. Local agents are accessible
Everyone just loves automated voice answering systems don't they? Especially when an insurance dilemma such as a possible audit, inspection, claim or accident occurs. The advantage of having a local insurance agency for your small business to contact for assistance when these difficulties arise are beneficial for every small business owner. Additional services that a local insurance agency can and may provide for a commercial business policy includes servicing (such as issuing certificates of insurance for vendors, land lords, banks, DMV) monitoring billing and payment activity, and even consulting when changes such as additions or decreases to the policy are needed.
3. Save your business time & are more convenient
4. An agent is someone an owner will know & Trust
A business requires a tremendous amount of work, time, stress and focus to run successfully. Any small business owner could risk losing everything by neglecting to purchase the accurate and necessary insurance coverage's. Simply purchasing a policy online directly from an insurance company can be compared to steering a boat into an uncharted waters. It is critical to have an insurance professional available that is responsible as well as reliable in understanding your small business. Additionally, when questions, claims or problems that are insurance related emanate in your small business, entrepreneur's tend to prefer an assigned and approved individual (aka an agent) to resolve the task at hand instead of a random customer service representative (whom may be unfamiliar with the business as well as the business owner) that a direct policy purchase will provide.
5. Local Agencies can support you and your small business
Alongside the service, recommending the accurate protection, and potentially saving your business time and money, most local insurance agencies desire to see their insurance customers thrive. Not only do we as an agency desire for fellow small business owners to grow and be successful in their business ventures, we also strive to support our local business customers when possible. It is not uncommon to find Snotherly Insurance agents dining at our insurance customers restaurants, shopping at their retail stores and even recommending our contracting customers to fellow friends, neighbors and family members whenever possible.
Consider this: Behind the majority of successes can be found a team of professionals available to aid when necessary. Michael Jordan had Phil Jackson, Michael Phelps is coached by Bob Bowman, even Batman had Alfred and Robin. As a business owner it is essential to have a team of trustful and knowledgeable professionals available when needed to aid you in your small business. A local insurance agent whom specializes in commercial business insurance can be a vital key to any business team. Furthermore, the above 5 factors easily illustrate why every commercial business owner should consider purchasing their insurance policy through a local and trusting insurance agency.
So, what next? Before purchasing a policy through a direct carrier, asses these advantages and contact a local insurance agency for your small business insurance needs today.
Snotherly Insurance Agency specializes in Commercial Business Insurance throughout North Carolina including office insurance, restaurant insurance, contractors liability insurance, professional liability insurance and workers compensation.
Snotherly Insurance can be reached at email@example.com for further questions or tips.
Immediate commercial insurance, liability insurance and business insurance quotes can be derived by completing "Contact Us" form here
The news is out! The North Carolina Rate Bureau has released a statement that nearly all home owners insurance rates could increase in North Carolina nearly 18%. With this increase many current home owners may be reevaluating not only their current home owners insurance policy, but also shopping their house with a variety of different carriers in order to keep cost down. Fortunately, Snotherly Insurance is aware of this house insurance increase and our staff members are reviewing our current homeowners database in order to insure that our existing customers are still receiving the best rate for their homes. In addition to carefully reviewing these home insurance policies which we advise all home owners to perform, we will be recommending these 5 key elements that not only our customers, but all home owners can utilize in order to save money and potentially lower their current household insurance policy.
1. Consider Raising your home insurance deductible
Are you familiar with your current house insurance deductible? Could you afford to keep a higher reserve of cash on standby to pay a higher deductible in the event of a loss? All home owners should consider this concept prior to making a decision, however, a higher deductible could result in lowering one's current home insurance rates.
2. Make Your home disaster resistant
Many home insurance companies may provide a discount for home's that are disaster resistant. It may be wise to consider asking an insurance agent, builder or home re-modeler for advice and steps that one may carry one to make their home more disaster resistant. Actions such as reinforcing the roof, installing storm shutters, and even modernizing the heat, electrical and plumbing (to lower the risk for water and fire damage) may provide savings to your house insurance policy.
3. Maintain a good credit record
Not only may maintaining a good credit score be advantageous for future loans and financial stability; a home insurance company may frequently factor an individuals credit score when determining the overall premium to charge for a home insurance policy. A good credit score may very well result in a lower home insurance rate.
4. Install or update security
Installing or simply updating the security system in one's home may produce a home insurance discount. Purchasing a new security alarm, installing sprinklers or even new smoke detectors can assist in lowering your house insurance annually.
5. Consider the same company for all of your personal insurance needs
Come on! You knew this point was approaching! Many of your large insurance companies consistently advertise the message “combine your home and auto to save” and guess what? It's True..most of the time. Attempting to combine your home owners insurance with your personal auto insurance may result in lowering premiums for both policies as additional “multi policy” discounts can be applied.
Summing up, by practicing 1 or even all 5 of the actions provided above, a home owner could prepare to save when the majority of NC home owners will be spending! For more information concerning the North Carolina Home Owners insurance rate increase, feel free to visit this article published by the News & Observer. For a home insurance quote or further advice concerning saving money for your house insurance feel free to complete our “Contact Us” form by visiting us here.
Additional inquiries may reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure when there's snow, Ice & sleet you're home is covered.
As we write this post our office is closed officially today for a Snow Day! Who doesn't love a Snow Day every once in a while? A temporary break from the work week, a time to stay home in the warmth and even an opportunity to capture a few fun moments with loved one's by playing in the snow! Among all of the fun activities a Snow Day can provide, home owners should be wary of these critical items which could occur during cold temperatures such as Snow, Sleet and Ice that a homeowners policy may not cover.
1. a CAVED IN ROOF:
2. Ice Damming:
3. Roof Leaks due to Incorrect Installation
4. Frozen Pipes Burst:
Did you know in order for a homeowner to have insurance protection from freezing plumbing, heating, air conditioning, automatic fire protection, or of a household appliance the named insured should t take precautions to maintain heat in the building or shut the system off and drain the appliance. If these precautions are not taken and a homeowners insurance policy experienced a claim due to frozen pipes, insurance coverage may be excluded.
5. Damage from frozen tree branches
Trees, shrubs, plants and lawn damages are often not covered by hail, weight of ice/snow and wind. Open perils coverage will cover any unnamed perils. Homeowner Insurance policy holders should know that the structure damage could however be covered if a situation involving a tree or a branch falls on the house and/or garage.
6. Winter sTORM power Failure:
All homeowners should be aware of these listed house threats that a winter storm could pose. For further questions, homeowners insurance exclusions and even home owner insurance quotes feel free to contact Snotherly Insurance directly by clicking this link or emailing us directly at email@example.com.
Consider this for Liquor Liability Insurance coverage?
Let's get ready to Rumble! Not exactly the words that a bar nor dram business owner desires to hear at their tavern, restaurant, brewery or bar, however according to a recent study nearly 30% of all accidents that occur at these style venues is due to assault and battery.
Hence, the necessity for not only General Liability insurance, but also Liquor Liability to protect from a business from the possibility of such as risk. However, alongside these 2 lines of insurance, no business owner should simply assume that all charges concerning assault and battery that could occur at their establishment may be covered. In fact, if a business owner carries General Liability with one company, and Liquor Liability with a completely separate carrier, determining which line of insurance may pay for bar fight can be complicated. Consider the following: Bodily Injury and Property damage through a basic general liability policy may allow coverage if a patron or customer were to slip and fall, it is however very likely that a general liability policy will exclude these items if liquor or alcohol is involved. Liquor Liability on the other hand may provide Bodily Injury and Property Damage if a patron is over served, consumes too much, or if there is selling of alcohol to a minor, but could very exclude assault and battery exposure.
The solution, mentioned by Sandra Haley, the senior vice president of underwriting and marketing at Hospitality Insurance Group in a recent IIABA Insurance publication mentions securing a General Liability and Liquor Liability policy through the same carrier. Snotherly Insurance offers General Liability and Liquor Liability for breweries, restaurants, dram shops, craft beer stores, and even bars and taverns throughout North Carolina. For more information concerning coverage in case of bar fights, we recommend seeing the below article which was used as a reference for this specific post.
Clearly a homeowners policy will provide care for your belongings along with your home, but what about everything else in your neighborhood? Additionally, how comprehensive should a home owners association insurance policy be? It simply protects common area items in the neighborhood such as the neighborhood entrance sign, right? In actuality, a neighborhood homeowners policy can provide coverage for any and/or all of the following
- Buildings as well as Contents the neighborhood may be responsible for (such as a clubhouse, pool house or even gym)
- Lakes and Golf Course exposures
- Outdoor Structures and Items including playground equipment, fences, retaining walls, pools, and even trees and shrubs
Below we list 5 Main Reasons a Neighborhood can benefit in having an extensive Home Owners Association Insurance Policy
1. Crime/Employee Dishonesty coverage can be offered and even provide coverage to property manager and/management company
2. Coverage is available pools, lakes, playgrounds and even neighborhood trails
3. Volunteer workers and association members can be covered while performing duties for the association
4. Protection for Neighborhood events such as Picnics, pool parties, Easter Egg Hunts, etc are available
5. A specific D&O (also known as Directors and Officers) endorsement can be added to most home owners insurance policies to provide liability protection for the board members representing the association
Above facts and points were provided via Philadelphia Insurance represented and used by Snotherly Insurance. Snotherly Insurance Agents insure a vast number of condominium associations, as well as homeowners associations in the Raleigh, Wake County area as well as throughout the state of North Carolina. For more information regarding HOA Insurance policies, please feel free to send our office an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ghost Policy, a term very well known in the construction and contracting industry, however, the amount of contractors that do not understand nor know what this specific policy does or is can be quite frightening. It is no secret, that many contractors find themselves in need of Workers Compensation to appease the insurance requirements of large general contractors, or even other contractors that are hiring their professional for a specific job. Although, Snotherly Insurance does advise all business owners including contractors to carry a Workers Compensation policy in place many and most often one to two men contractor operations opt out to on carrying on a Workers Compensation policy with the intent on saving on insurance cost. Most of the time these individuals in fact do not even have employees to carry an actual Workers Compensation policy on. Nevertheless, with no employees, nor payroll exposure, these certain individuals in order to be hired by a general contractor may purchase what is known as a Ghost Policy. A ghost policy can be a quick solution in purchasing a Workers Compensation policy and for many, this specific policy may be a more affordable alternative to purchasing a standard Workers Compensation policy. However, similar to a haunted house, this specific policy can be viewed as not only dangerous, but also quite financially frightening! Below we offer a few reasons why ALL CONTRACTORS should be educated as well as wary of Ghost Policies.
1. A Ghost Policy protects.....
When working with contractors we hear something similar to the following statement consistently "I am fully insured, I don't have any employees, but I do carry Workers Compensation and it covers me". This statement could not be further from the truth. In actuality, A Ghost Policy DOES NOT protect the owner of the policy. The policy is termed "If Any" and actually excludes the policy owner (aka the contractor in need of the policy). In most cases, a Ghost Policy protects no one at all.
2. No Coverage if the owner is injured
Due to the fact that a Ghost Policy neglects to protect the policy owner/contractor, there consequently is no coverage if the ghost policy holder were to be injured on the job. Carrying this specific policy does eliminate the responsibility of any general contractor's or large vendors at a project or job site from protecting the contractor if a Workers Comp injury were to occur.
3.considering hiring employees? WATCH OUT!!!
Alongside there being no coverage for the contractor/policy holder which carries the Ghost Policy, this specific policy not so surprisingly lacks coverage for any additional sub contractors or future employees that the policy holder may work with throughout the year. Hence, if an injury were to occur to an employee or sub contractor, the Ghost Policy holder could be responsible for paying all medical bills out of pocket!!!
Additionally, financial audits are required after the policy term for all Ghost Policies. If the insurance company has learned that sub contractor's or employees were hired by the Ghost Policy Holder at anytime throughout the year, additional audit charges will be applied to the policy holder. These audit charges can typically equal thousands of dollars and higher.
RUN LIKE YOU'VE SEEN A GHOST when you see or hear of a ghost policy!! In addition to the reasons listed above, there are multiple disadvantages to owning a ghost policy including possible disgruntled general contractors, difficulties with audit information, and purchasing a policy without performing the necessary audit and application compliance requirements could deter one from being able to legally purchase a standard Workers Compensation in the state of North Carolina. The best solution whenever possible is to carry a standard Workers Compensation policy.
Snotherly Insurance Agency can assist small business owners including contractors with their Workers Compensation needs. We do have authority to sell Ghost Policies when absolutely necessity through our agency, however we do strive to educate all of our customers on the dangers of these policies prior to purchase. For further Ghost policy, workers compensation or business insurance information please feel free to email us at email@example.com.
An analogy for auto insurance
Hey, you! Boy you're a brave soul! You must be a wild child!! Some would call what you do brave, other's would call it daring, we as agents consider your choices & actions frightening! Did you know you were so exposed? Think we're referring to the picture of Will Ferrell Streaking? Not at all! In fact, we're referring to every driver that carries minimum auto insurance liability limits of $30,000/$60,000 per accident!
Interestingly enough, the similarities between being under insured and streaking are quite comparable. We list 5 comparisons below!
No Explanation needed for this one!
2. being covered is the law
It is required by law to be clothed, just as it is required by law to carry auto insurance if you own and operate an automobile. Similarly enough, there are plenty of those that do not follow the law including driving without insurance and running around unclothed from time to time.
Individuals can acquire extreme penalties for streaking, meanwhile, if a large automobile insurance claim were to occur resulting in catastrophic damage an under insured individual may face severe cost as well!
4. Are you covered?
Lastly and most obviously is the analogy concerning being covered whether that means with clothing (for you streakers) or with the adequate amount of insurance (for you $30k/$60k drivers).
In contrast to the many similarities that streaking and underinsured drivers may share, 1 vast and inarguable difference between the 2 concerns safety. Although, carrying the North Carolina State minimum $30,000/$60,000 limits on your car insurance policy is not exactly recommended, it certainly is much safer than making the choice to go streaking!
For all of you underinsured drivers, we recommend 1 thing....Get covered! Friends don't let friends carry 30/60 limits on their auto insurance. It's wild, it's dangerous, and it's just not smart guys! Don't be caught with your pants down...get coverage!!
The most sophisticated technology owned by consumers today isn’t held in their hands; it surrounds them every time they get into their vehicles.
High-tech touches that previously were reserved for luxury vehicles are becoming commonplace even in the most affordable models, and those features will continue increasing as costs come down while interest and demand in the features grow.
When buying a car, many are now asking about such features as smart phone integration for hands-free driving, lane departure warnings, automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control – just to name a few.
With more technology on the horizon, drivers will have more features to choose from than ever before. That’s good news, given the effect that technology has had on safety.
“There’s a confluence of technology that has evolved at such an incredible speed that it’s created a fusion of opportunity nobody could have imagined,” says Gary Silberg, head of automotive for global auditing firm KPMG
The advent of techmobilesToday’s cars are the incubators of some of the richest and most robust technology available, and the speed at which new innovations are being introduced to the automotive industry only continues to accelerate. The touchscreens, displays, reverse cameras and navigational devices that are becoming standard features in today’s vehicles provide drivers and passengers with not only a more sophisticated ride, but a safer one.
“I haven’t seen anybody come out with technology designed specifically for the auto industry that hasn’t been developed somewhere else,” Brugh says. As an example, he pointed to the backup camera, which soon will be as mandatory as seat belts and airbags.
Long before it made its way to the automotive industry, cameras were used for security, and that has given developers time to improve their features while at the same time bringing down the cost. Ditto for the touchscreen interfaces that are already ubiquitous on iPads and other mobile devices.
The automotive industry has then been able to adopt the technology and adapt it to what drivers want and need. In today’s high-tech world, the challenge isn’t necessarily getting all the features you want; the challenge lies in understanding and mastering the features you have.
“We are in an amazing era where the technology exists to actually help drivers prevent crashes,” says Alex Epstein, senior director of digital strategy and content for the National Safety Council. “In the past, it was about mitigating the damage. Now, the car may actually help drivers avoid an accident.”
Because of the rapid changes in technology, the National Safety Council partnered with the University of Iowa to address a new wrinkle that has developed due to the increase in technology: the lack of knowledge about how to use all the safety features on today’s cars. MyCarDoesWhat, a program dedicated to educating consumers about their vehicles’ safety technologies, helps drivers adopt safer driving habits by more effectively using the technology available to them.
“It’s the responsibility of the driver to know what their cars are capable of doing,” says Epstein. “There’s some fairly amazing new technology that’s starting to appear, but of course that’s only going to be effective if the driver learns how to use what is available to him.”
Knowing what’s at handDaniel McGehee, Ph.D., director of the Transportation and Vehicle Safety Research Program at the University of Iowa, is behind much of the research cited in the university’s National Survey of Consumer Driving Safety, showing the gaps between existing technology and consumer’s knowledge of how to use them.
“These technologies increase safety and assist drivers by preventing or lessening the severity of the crashes,” MeGehee notes, adding that the implementation of the online program “is designed to raise awareness of the technologies and how they can be used to keep us all safer on the roads.”
Results of the national survey revealed that 40% of drivers had found themselves in situations where their car behaved in a way they didn’t expect – or didn’t know how to respond – and it also showed a high level of uncertainty when it came to what technologies had to offer.
“This finding points to a huge opportunity to improve driver safety by increasing consumer understanding of these technologies,” the survey concluded.
Some of the most common new technologies being used – but also underutilized today are:
McGehee’s research found drivers who don’t learn to use the available technology within the first 90 days of owning the car are unlikely to fully and properly use it. But for some it’s a matter of not knowing where or when to ask the questions.
The national survey found most drivers turn to the Internet when they’re looking for information on how a certain feature operates. Whether it’s through Google or another search engine, or by watching videos on YouTube, there are a number of ways to access more information.
MyCarDoesWhat.org offers videos, games and infographics to provide consumers with more information on how their vehicles’ high-tech systems work and how to make the most of them. The organization also has partnered with the National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) to help raise awareness of the available safety features and how to use them.
But the National Safety Council’s Epstein says that two of the best ways to learn more about your car’s technology and safety features are decidedly low-tech.
“The No. 1 go-to source for information should be your owner’s manual,” Epstein says. “Each car has a different set of capabilities, so you, as the operator, need to know when it works, how it works and its range of operation. The manual is a way to get the specifics on your exact car.”
Asking the dealership where you bought the car is also an option. Epstein says they are trained on the features of each car and some will even offer classes or workshops to familiarize consumers with the features of their new car. Regardless of how consumers learn these new features, the most important thing is simply that they take the time to do it.
No matter what kind of car you drive, the right coverage is still crucial. Learn how Snotherly/Nationwide auto insurance can help protect you in the event of the unexpected.
Here we will be publishing articles, tips and information regarding insurance on a regular basis. Make sure to tune back in to see our first blog very soon!