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.
The below article was originally published via Hagerty's Classic Car Insurance publications.
Snotherly Quite the Saab story.
A total loss has a way of putting an insured's policy into perspective. The following story is a perfect example of why providing proper coverage is so important:
A car ran a red light and t-boned a beautiful, low mileage and all-original 1980 Saab 900. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but when the owner went to file the claim, he was dumbfounded by the payout. He had a stated value policy with a standard carrier that set the value of his Saab at $12,000. After sending in pictures, they referred to Kelly Blue Book and tried to find his car. The closest they came was a 1992; they assumed it had 145,000 miles on it and set its worth at $1,635 in Excellent Condition.
When the Saab owner expressed his displeasure, his insurer used NADA, which actually had a 1980 Saab 900 on the books. Being the correct car, they honored this payout, but in Excellent Condition they set its worth at about $3,500. The Saab owner checked a classic car auction website and found a car almost identical to his that sold for $13,500. But because it was a stated value policy, the insurer would not consider this a valid resource.
He's hired a lawyer and has a lengthy legal battle ahead of him.
No one – not you or a member – wants this experience. A quote with Nationwide®/Hagerty®, given his information, would set the value at $13,500. The premium would be $356 for the year and he would be 100% covered for that whole amount. From the initial peace of mind to final payout, a Nationwide/Hagerty policy recognizes a vehicle's value and is designed for people who love their cars.
Snotherly Insurance Agency is an official Nationwide/Hagerty Auto Insurance Carrier. Contact us for more information concerning how we can assist you with your auto insurance or classic car insurance.
What does Workers Compensation and Hurricane Irma have in common? Well if a contractor or fellow business owner that you know is considering going to Florida to assist in the disaster relief, the state of Florida does have many specific out of state contractor requirements that a contractor should be wary of. Many of them include:
More importantly, due to the potential risk of suspected help that the State may receive from out of state contractors, Florida will be performing onsite inspections from a specific group of investigators formed by the Division of Workers Compensation. With that being said, contractors and businesses that are found to be working without Workers Compensation in place will not only receive a "stop work order" but must also pay a hefty $1,000 penalty fee before normal business operations may progress. The State of Florida is even offering rewards of up $25,000 for those that can supply information to the State of those committing insurance fraud including businesses not carrying appropriate Workers Compensation coverage .
Information originally posted from the below article concerning Workers Compensation Insurance in the State of Florida
Note: Original article published by Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety not by Snotherly Insurance. Access to the full article can be found by clicking here!
Shut the doors on hurricane irma
Following rigorous scientific wind testing on a full-scale, 1,400 square foot single-story home in its unique laboratory this summer, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) has important new guidance for all homeowners preparing for major wind storms such as Hurricane Irma: close all interior doors, in addition to all windows and exterior doors.High winds, such as those currently expected from Hurricane Irma, place homes under intense pressure. Wind entering the home through an open or broken window, can create strong upward pressure on the roof. Closing interior doors helps compartmentalize the pressure inside the home into smaller areas reducing the overall force on the roof structure, which gives the roof a better chance of staying intact.
“The roof is your first line of defense against anything Mother Nature inflicts on a home, and during a bad storm your roof endures fierce pressure from wind, rain, and flying debris that may be outside,” said Julie Rochman, IBHS president and CEO. “But the roof also must withstand internal pressure if winds get inside. The pressure in your home can build like air in a balloon, eventually causing the roof to fail and blow apart, which – particularly in a hurricane – allows water to come pouring in.”
As the eastern United States and Caribbean islands prepare for Hurricane Irma, IBHS urges homeowners to follow all evacuation orders and be sure to shut the doors on Irma to increase its ability to withstand the storm.
Is Your Insurance a person, a peace of mind, or a promise of protection? If you did not answer all 3 to the above question, then perhaps one should consider utilizing the advantages of a trusted independent agency. In the event of a loss, purchasing the correct insurance can be the benefactor in determining if you're appropriately protected. Furthermore, not carrying the correct insurance can potentially ruin your financial well being. Should you really place that trust in simply your instinct (or your gut) when shopping online for insurance? At Snotherly Insurance it is our goal to not only provide you and your family and/or business with the appropriate coverage plans at the best value, but to also be a part of your personal team. Similar to your accountant, lawyer, and doctor, we play our part in handling your insurance matters, with your best interest in mind. In addition, as an independent agency we offer a variety of insurance services alongside just selling you an insurance policy. Below are our top 5 reasons why we recommend choosing a Trusted Choice Independent Agency for your insurance needs.
1. We are experienced and licensed advisers
It's no secret that insurance terms and lingo can be extremely complicated. More importantly, as an insurance policy holder it is essential for you to not only focus on what's included in your insurance policy, but also what is excluded. This pertains to Car Insurance, Business Insurance, Professional Liability and even Life Insurance. A trusted independent agent can serve as your consultant and adviser in recommending the best insurance policy protection for your specific needs. Furthermore, as a licensed adviser, an independent agent is available for inquiries, and assistance throughout your policy term, which brings us to item #2
#2 Insurance Service
In a world where everything is digitized, we realize that it is convenient to assist our customers directly with all insurance service matters allowing them more free time to focus on other focuses in life. In the event that you need to contact your insurance company for a simple service call such as paying a bill, changing an address, or making a policy change (such as buying a new car for example) would you personally prefer to call a 1-800 number, receive a voice message system from your insurance carrier and potentially stay on hold for a length of time or simply call your agent directly and trust that they can handle this change for your accordingly? Most would choose option #2 undoubtedly! Our agency has customer service representatives as well as agents accessible to service your insurance needs so you don't have to.
#3-Insurance options & CHOICES
An an Independent Agency we have the availability to present a number of options for your insurance needs. We are not hindered by captive insurance companies allowing us the freedom to locate the best quotes for your insurance policy through a variety of markets and insurance carriers. Just call us your One Stop Shop for your insurance protection. Additionally, it is important to note that as a representative of a variety of companies we can also provide insight and wisdom to you as our customer concerning the companies, such as their financial rating, methods of payment, insurance practices and overall ease of use in regards to claims, audits, etc.
#4. We are local
Located in Raleigh just minutes from the Beltline, our agency is a local business and we therefore support local businesses in the Raleigh and North Carolina community. That means we understand, experience, and can advise our customers on the best insurance matters that may arise here in Wake County. When a hurricane, snow storm, flood or similar unfortunate occurrence transpires in the area, chances are high that our business and agents experience the event as well and therefore can sympathize and comprehend your immediate insurance needs. Furthermore, doing business with a local agency allows us to often meet you, our customer face to face so that we may get to know you personally. You're more than just a policy or customer number to us, your part of our family. Lastly, being local allows our customers access to our local Raleigh office for quotes, inquiries, billing and payments and more.
5. Your Counselor through life for insurance
Not only do we as independent agents review your insurance coverage and policy annually to determine if you are receiving the best value and coverage plans, but we also understand that as life progresses so may your insurance needs. Being an insurance agency in the Raleigh area since 1964, we have witnessed and insured families as well as businesses as they grew and expanded. Moreover, we have experienced and many changes in the insurance industry since we opened our doors as well. With that being said, we anticipate changes in your insurance policy and are often in touch with you directly to simply insure that these changes should take place. Often times business owners for example may strive for growth which may include increasing their Workers Compensation payroll, opening a new location or even vice versa, shutting down a location to potentially work from home and spend more time with family. Similarly, if you are a car insurance policy holder, you may desire to increase your insurance coverage, purchase a new automobile, or even lower your liability coverage as life progresses. We as your insurance agent are there to assist, advise and change and even offer the correct policies and protection throughout your life when these changes are needed.
Snotherly Insurance serves insurance solutions in the Raleigh, Wake County and North Carolina areas. The agency specializes in Automobile Insurance, Business Insurance, Home Insurance, Workers Compensation, Tenant Insurance, Condominium Insurance and more. For further information regarding their agency or for questions please feel free to leave a comment below or reach us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading!
It is an annual deed every business owner that carries a Workers Compensation policy must perform. Business owners know it's coming, however, their Workers Compensation audit always seems to be one dreaded tasks that most would avoid if possible. Although, many fellow entrepreneurs and business owners may delegate this task to their CPA or accountant, even still the surprise of an audit invoice due to an increase in payroll and/or a successful business year is usually never desired. No need to fear fellow Business Owners, below we share 3 fantastic tips that we advise all of our clients to practice to avoid any large shocking audits at the end of their insurance year.
1. Pay Attention to the Workers Compensation Policy
It is extremely rare for a Workers Compensation company to waive the audit process. Furthermore, the payroll listed on the policy is essential as it is tied to work loss benefits if a claim arises. Throughout the policy term year, workers compensation insureds should be wary of the payroll listed on their policy, and advise their insurance company or insurance agent if this payroll adjusts drastically throughout the policy year.
2. Keep great records of all of your w2'S
Business Owners should always keep organized, detailed and safe records of all W2's not only for tax purposes, but also for Workers Compensation audit purposes. In addition, Copies of your Quarterly 941 tax filings are top priority and payroll summaries for each employee are often necessary for the audit processing. By keeping a regular and maintained track of this information throughout the year, a business owner can avoid scrambling to locate and organize all of this information prior to their audit appointment.
3.Using Subcontractors? Better keep up with that paperwork too!
It is always a great idea to obtain a proof of insurance as well as additional business paperwork from any subcontractor that a business hires throughout the year. If an uninsured subcontractor is hired, your business could be held responsible for not only the payroll of the subcontractor while hired for the specific project, but also for overall workers compensation insurance coverage of the subcontractor and even their team of employees! In order to avoid an excessive and shocking audit invoice at the end of an insurance policy term, all business owners should keep and maintain documentation of all subcontractors insurance that are hired throughout the year. This may include 1099 and even 1096 forms for the audit process.
The 3 actions listed above may be elementary to any experienced business owner, however, for new entrepreneurs or owners that have recently gained employees for their company or business, these tips are critical and will prove to be extremely helpful when that Workers Compensation audit time comes around.
For further tips, advice or questions concerning your Workers Compensation policy or audit, feel free to send us a call at 919-832-5832.
Graduation has passed, and many students, young adults and families of all ages may be looking for a new place to call home this Fall and Winter season. For many renters, renter insurance is not exactly a top priority on their list of "To Do's", however, the price for a simple Renter's Insurance policy is extremely affordable and can certainly protect a renter from losing their belongings in an accident or claim. In this post we list 5 reasons all renters should have a renters insurance policy in place.
Renters need liability coverage
High Replacement Cost
It's very unexpensive
Most policies are made to fit a person’s tight budget. You only should pay for what your property is at risk; for example, a person not located in a flood zone would have a lower premium simply due to their location and lower risks of experiencing a flood as they would not require flood insurance
Replacement Cost payoffs give more payoff for your $
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!