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    Like many entrepreneurs, you may have begun your catering business as the sole cook and bottle washer. But at some point, you will discover that going it alone not only impedes growth, but is a recipe for burnout and collapse. And you’ll face the question of every successful catering business: How do I find and […]

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How to Set Up a Home-Based Business Office

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Homepreneure-e1376337238809There’s no denying that home-based businesses are on the rise. Right now, it’s estimated that there are 38 million home-based businesses that generate $427 billion a year in the United States.

Perhaps you already have an idea for a home-based business—and maybe you’ve even thought through the risks as well as logistics like buying business insurance. If so, you’re probably focused on one of the more enjoyable aspects of your new enterprise: setting up your home- based business office.

Whether you have a spacious wing of your house or simply one end of your kitchen table, it’s your space. Not sure where to start? Then read on to get some tips to set up your home-based business office.

Supplies for your home-based business

  • Set a budget and stick to it. Chances are you don’t have an abundance of funds if you’re just starting out. That’s why it’s important to create a budget and commit to it. Thrift stores, clearance aisles and yard sales are all great ways to score good buys if you’re on a tight budget.
  • Keep your receipts. You can deduct from your taxes many items that you purchase for your home-based office.
  • Think about the equipment you really need. If you’re going to use a piece of equipment on a daily basis, buy it. For equipment you use less often, a trip to a copier or office supplies store may be more economical.
  • Invest in ergonomics. A chair is one thing you don’t want to buy online—go test a few to find one that’s a good fit. Also consider a standing desk—research shows that it’s not healthy to sit all day.
  • Stock up. Whether it’s paper, pens, printer ink or boxes, make sure to have plenty of supplies on hand. Constantly having to buy one thing at a time cuts into your productivity—plus, you can usually pay less if you buy in bulk.

How to set up your home-based business

  • Try to get some natural light. One of the best parts of not being cube-bound is having access to light that isn’t exclusively emitted from fluorescent bulbs. Beyond just looking nicer, natural light has many positive health benefits for office workers.
  • Consider noise level. Think about the noise levels both inside and outside your home for each space you’re considering. White noise can help reduce distraction as well.
  • Indulge in some aromatherapy. Scents can have a pretty big impact on your stress level and focus. Consider a room spray, potpourri or an oil diffuser. Lavender reduces stress, peppermint boosts energy and lemon is calming.
  • Don’t forget colors. Like scents, colors influence you more than you think. Learn about how color affects mood before you commit to a color for your office.
  • Get plants. Did you know that plants can make you 15 percent more productive? You don’t need a green thumb to enjoy the benefits of plants—varieties like succulents and bamboo are easy to care for.
  • Create a separation from the rest of your house. If you don’t have a separate room in your house, try to partition part of your home. Having physical boundaries helps create mental boundaries when the temptation to work around the clock hits. Having a clock in clear view and set office hours will also help you establish a line between your personal and professional lives.

Many home-based business owners don’t realize that their homeowners insurance does not protect their business in most cases. For that reason, it’s best to check with an insurance professional at Melendez Insurance. He or she can tell you more about your business insurance options and get you a free quote.

Large Losses Are a Threat to Every Business

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

UmbrellaPolicyMany trends in today’s business world are exciting and encouraging. Unfortunately, the number of lawsuits and high-dollar awards in liability cases are not one of those positive trends. Here are a few recent news headlines from around the country:

  • Pennsylvania hotel sued for concussion from shower slip.
  • Fatal two-truck accident case in New York results in $3.97 million settlement.
  • Virginia victims get settlement checks (about $9 million) over toxic drywall.

There’s no way to prevent lawsuits like these entirely, but you can manage the impact. A business catastrophe liability policy serves as financial protection, or a cushion, against a legal judgment for a covered loss, beyond the limits of your underlying insurance policies.

A business catastrophe liability policy functions in a similar fashion to a personal catastrophe liability policy.  Personal catastrophe liability —commonly known as “umbrella” – coverage can provide an extra layer of liability protection over and above your auto and homeowners policies in the event that a covered claim is made against you (or a covered family member).

Like a personal catastrophe liability policy, a business catastrophe liability policy doesn’t replace your present policy. Instead, it bolsters it with an additional $1 million (or more) in liability protection.

Examples of business liability claims

Research shows that four out of 10 small businesses are likely to experience a claim in the next 10 years. While most of these claims will be covered by an underlying policy, some claims will exhaust a business’s underlying policy. If that happens, the very future of a business could be at stake if applicable coverage under a business catastrophe policy is not in place.

Here are some types of situations that could lead to costly claims:

  • Product liability
  • Customer slip and falls
  • Reputational harm like libel or slander
  • Someone being struck by an object

Protect your business

Not having enough liability coverage for your business could spell trouble down the line. Protect what you worked so hard to build by contacting Melendez Insurance.

Five Common Tax Breaks for Business Owners

Friday, January 29th, 2016

tax-breaks-for-business-ownersMany people today are enjoying the benefits of being their own boss and running their own company. According to the U.S. Census, there are currently more than 5 million companies with fewer than 20 people actively operating in this country. Whether you freelance or you have created a company that employs others, you can take advantage of a variety of tax deductions on your business income.

Owners of large corporations have accountants and tax experts working for them, but many small-business owners and freelancers cannot afford that added expense. If you complete your tax returns on your own each year, make sure that you are aware of the tax deductions you can use to save. Some of the most common business deductions are listed below.


Home office

According to Entrepreneur Magazine, approximately 52 percent of all businesses in America are operated out of the business owners’ homes. The home office deduction, therefore, is one that may be useful to many.

Of all available business-related tax deductions, this one is the most complicated. You can deduct a portion of your heating, cooling, home insurance, and rent or mortgage costs from your taxable income, based on the percentage of your home that is used for business purposes only. Recent changes in the tax code have simplified the calculation of this deduction by allowing business owners to opt to deduct $5 per square foot of office space, up to 300 square feet.

To be eligible for this deduction, you must have a room that is used for work-purposes only. If your computer is set up in a guest bedroom, for example, you may not deduct the entire room as a home office.

If the portion of your home that is used for your business is very small, many tax advisors will recommend that you forego this deduction. This is because the amount of money you will save will be minimal and not worth the complications that may arise because of an audit. If you are uncertain whether this business deduction is right for you, speak with a lawyer or tax advisor before making a decision.


Office Supplies

Whether or not you are deducting a home office from your taxes, you may deduct the cost of office supplies that you use in the course of your business. This includes everything from pens and pencils to toner cartridges for your printer. Be sure to save all your receipts. Many people find it very helpful to have a credit card that is used strictly for business purposes.

Some examples of things you may deduct include:

  • Writing materials including pens, pencils, markers and highlighters
  • Paper, notebooks, file folders, binders and notebooks
  • Business cards, stationery and promotional items with your business name on them
  • Office furniture, file cabinets and desktop telephones
  • Computers, flash-drives, recordable CDs and software
  • Envelopes, postage and packing supplies

Internet Connection and Phone

If you rely on email and internet use as a part of your daily business operations, you may deduct the cost of your internet service from your taxable business income. The same holds true for your land-line or cell phone service if your phone number is your business line. This includes cell phones that have a data plan.

Unlike a home office, it is not necessary that you use your internet or phone service for business purposes only. This is because your service most likely comes at a flat fee, regardless of usage.


Health Insurance Premiums

The Affordable Healthcare Act requires business owners who have more than 50 full-time employees to provide them with affordable healthcare options. Policies may be purchased by business owner or individuals at lower group rates through the healthcare exchanges set up by each state. For information about this is being offered by the SBA through scheduled webinars.

Whether you are providing health insurance to your employees or you are simply purchasing a policy on your own, you may be able to deduct 100 percent of the incurred expenses from your business income. However, there are some caveats:

  • If your healthcare expenses exceed your business’s net profits, you may only deduct an amount equal to net profit.
  • If you are eligible for healthcare coverage through your spouse, you may not deduct the cost of purchasing your own coverage.

If your spouse works for you, you may deduct 100 percent of the cost of insuring him or her as well as your children, but your spouse must be an actual, documented employee of your company and you must offer the same health insurance coverage plans to all of your employees.


Mileage

People who drive frequently in the course of business are most likely to be aware of this deduction, but those who drive only on occasion often overlook it. If you make trips for supplies or to make deliveries, or if you drive somewhere to meet with a current or prospective client, you are entitled to deduct the mileage you have accrued while doing so.

If you plan to take this deduction, it is imperative that you keep extremely good records of your business-related driving. Record the date, your destination, the exact number of miles driven, and the purpose of your trip in a log or journal. When compiling your taxes, add up the number of miles driven. For tax purposes, you are entitled to deduct 56.5 cents per mile driven. This deduction includes fuel costs so you may not deduct the cost of gasoline as well.


Business Travel Expenses

If you take a business trip, such as to attend a conference or to meet with an important client who lives out of town, you may deduct the associated costs from your business income. These costs include:

  • Mileage driven
  • Airfare, train or other transportation costs
  • Hotel charges
  • Meals
  • Entertainment costs, if entertaining a client

Be aware that travel and hotel costs are 100 percent tax-deductible, but meals and entertainment costs are only 50 percent deductible. Also, you are permitted to deduct the cost of a gift to a client or employee but only up to $25 per person.

How to Organize Your Important Paperwork, Once and For All

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

The Ultimate Guide to Organizing Your Important Paperwork

First things first:

  • Invest in a good shredder. Identity thieves have been known to comb through trash (gross) to find bits and pieces of your discarded personal information. Shred any documents with personal information in them so they don’t get the opportunity.
  • Invest in a sturdy safe deposit box. On the other end of the spectrum, there are records you want to hold on to forever–so buy something solid to keep them protected from theft, water damage or fire. Also keep an inventory of what’s in there, and review it once a year.
  • Establish a trusted system, and stick to it. What good is an organization binge if the papers will just pile up in another week because you don’t know where to put them? Find what works for you–a bill box, a filing cabinet, a desk drawer–and stick to it.
  • Think about going digital. Consider receiving your bills and statements electronically to reduce the paper pile-up. Bonus: Many owner’s manuals and mail-order catalogs can be found online, so don’t feel too bad about tossing those.
  • Get organizing. Your financial paperwork can be divided into two big categories:
    • Short-term storage is for those papers you need to access fairly regularly, so keep them in a filing cabinet, drawer or accordion file. That includes stuff you keep for a year or less (like your insurance policies) and stuff you shred when you get rid of the item it relates to (think big purchases, like a car or a laptop).
    • Deep storage is for the stuff you need to access less frequently, but should still keep. These things are better off in a safe-deposit or fire-proof box. They include tax records (save these for seven years) and official documents (like your birth certificate and Social Security card).

Keep this stuff for a year or less:

  • Bank records, like your monthly checking and savings statements. If you reconcile your deposit and ATM receipts with your statement, you can shred them right after.
  • Credit card bills. Once you’ve paid ‘em, shred ‘em. An exception is when you need a record to support a charitable donation you will be deducting on your taxes.
  • Documents you need for your tax return. There are a lot of different forms and papers that may or may not apply to you. Here’s a list from TurboTax.
  • Insurance policies. Shred the previous year’s policy when your agent sends you a new one. (While we’re chatting, make sure to schedule an annual review with Melendez Insurance to make sure you’re properly covered and getting all the discounts you qualify for.)
  • Annual investment statements. Shred the monthly and quarterly statements from your 401(k) or IRA, but keep the yearly ones until you sell the investments.
  • Pay stubs. Keep these until you reconcile them with your annual W-2.
  • Most receipts. Let’s get real about receipts: If you’re not actually using them to track your spending or to reconcile your statement, you can pitch them right away. But if you plan to return a purchase or itemize a tax deduction, it helps to keep them all together in a folder.

Keep this stuff on file (but review it once a year to keep it up to date):

  • Paperwork from big purchases like furniture, electronics or appliances. This includes warranties, receipts and instruction manuals.
  • Loan documents. Shred closing documents for mortgage, vehicle, student and other loans when you pay them off. (Hooray! No more loan.)
  • Savings bonds. Save them until you cash them in or convert them to electronic form.
  • Vehicle records. Hang on to receipts, titles, registration information, and maintenance and repair records for as long as you own the vehicle.
  • Personal health record(s) for you, your spouse, your kids and– yes, even your pets. Keep a list of important events and information about each person’s medical history, like immunizations, medications, surgeries and lab/X-ray reports. Get started with this checklist from the American Health Information Management Association.

Don’t even think about throwing these things away:

  • Birth certificates
  • Death certificates
  • Marriage licenses
  • Divorce decrees
  • Social Security cards
  • Military service records
  • Pension-plan documents from both your current and former employers
  • Estate-planning documents, like wills, trusts and powers of attorney
  • Life insurance policies. Insider tip: It’s best to keep copies in at least two places to ensure your beneficiaries will find them.

Knowing the basics of what to keep and what to shred gave me peace of mind now that my personal information is under control. I’ll be the first to admit I’m no expert, but my system works for me–even if it’s not Pinterest-perfect. (On that note: Who honestly has a room fully devoted to chic, color-coded filing cabinets? Do these people sleep?!)

Eight Tips to Help Avoid Costly Slips, Trips & Falls

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

No one wants to see employees hurt on the job, especially if an accident was preventable. Unfortunately, slips, trips and falls can be major and costly accidents in the workplace.

Nearly 20 percent of the workers’ compensation claims filed last year were due to slips and falls. About one-third missed work for a significant time because of their injuries, which can increase the cost of claims dramatically.

With a proper safety plan in place, you could avoid accidents or reduce the severity of accidents, decrease an injured employees’ time away from work and avoid productivity drops. You could also keep your costs in check.

What are the common causes of slips, trips, falls?

Slips, trips and falls can occur on a variety of walking surfaces as well as on ramps and stairways. Some of the major hazards associated with these accidents can include:

  • Slippery, broken or uneven surfaces
  • Inadequate spill cleanup
  • Poor drainage
  • Weather conditions
  • Loose rugs or wrinkled carpet
  • Clutter, poor lighting or obstructed views

8-question checklist for evaluating floor safety

So are the floors at your business safe? To help you find out, answer yes or no to the following questions, developed from Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines.

  1. Has your organization selected a floor material that is appropriate for the environment in which it will be used?
  2. Are the adjacent walking surfaces in your business similar?
  3. Does your business have a program for regularly cleaning its floors? Is your floor cleaner certified by the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI)?
  4. Does your business use different mops for cleaning and disinfecting?
  5. Are your floors treated with a high-traction finish?
  6. Does your organization strip an old finish following the manufacturer’s instructions before applying a new one?
  7. Does your organization require employees to wear appropriate footwear?
  8. Does your organization use proper warning signs for slip/trip/fall hazards?

Based on your answers to these questions, what are opportunities for improvement? What actions do you need to take?

Don’t slip up

Erie Insurance’s staff of risk control consultants can help you identify slip, trip and fall exposures and solutions to help prevent them. Ask Melendez Insurance about how to develop a customized risk control plan for your business.

Can Your Business Afford to Lose $3,000 a Day?

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

business_interrupt_thinkstockphotos186928593The recent storms that swept across the country shut many businesses down for days on end.

Downtime like that can cost your business big bucks: The Symantec 2011 SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey revealed that disasters cost inoperable small businesses an average of $3,000 a day.

Most people would never consider opening a business without coverage for things like fires and weather events. But many small business owners don’t think about how they would manage if a fire or other disaster made their building temporarily unusable. A business that has to close down completely while the premises are being repaired may lose out to competitors—or even end up going out of business.

The good news is that you can protect your business with business interruption insurance. Business interruption insurance covers the revenue you would have earned (based on your financial records) had the disaster not occurred. The policy also covers continuing operating expenses (like electricity) that continue even though business activities have come to a temporary halt.

Business interruption coverage is not sold separately—it is added to a property insurance policy or included in a package policy. Talk to an insurance professional at Melendez Insurance to learn more about it and to get a free quote.

The 5 Biggest Financial Threats to Your Small Business

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

Biggest-Financial-Threats-for-Small-BusinessRunning a business is about balance. You have to balance your weaknesses with greater strengths. You have to balance your team with talented candidates in many different disciplines. You have to balance threats with opportunities, or at least proactive measures to reduce those threats.

Threats to your business can come in many forms, from conceptual failures to real physical consequences. Some of the most dangerous threats are financial threats, which can escalate your costs, stifle your revenue growth, or in some other way compromise your profitability.

As you grow and develop your business, be sure to avoid these five major financial threats.

1. Losing a Major Client

Once you get your business up and running, you’ll probably have a handful of major clients or a major segment of your audience that you rely on for the majority of your revenue. The Pareto principle applies here for most businesses—approximately 80% of your business (or revenue) will come from 20% of your customers. Losing the bulk of that 20% of your customer base could be devastating for your revenue, leaving you with all the expenses of your original model without the income to offset them. Depending on the size of your business and the contingencies you have in place, it could spell disaster for your company in a matter of months.

The solution: The easiest way to prevent such a potential disaster is to strategically build your customer base. If you have one major client that provides the bulk of your revenue, try to find another that can balance them out, or build a backup of several dozen smaller clients so you aren’t as dependent. Similarly, you can expand your target demographics so you aren’t dependent on sales from one niche market. Either way, make sure you have formally drawn-up contingency plans that allow you to either drastically cut expenses or change strategies should your revenue suddenly diminish.

2. Overspending

It’s easy to overspend, especially when you’re excited about developing your business, but spending too much too quickly could wind up devastating your bottom line. The two main culprits here are marketing and hiring. On the marketing front, companies tend to overestimate the impact of their marketing campaign without grounding the numbers in research. As a result, they’ll throw thousands of dollars into a campaign they know nothing about, and might be forced to leave before they see any real results. On the hiring front, companies might hire a full team of full-time workers, anticipating increased demand, only to find their revenue growing far more slowly than expected.

The solution: There are two solutions to this financial threat. The first is doing more extensive research. Force yourself to logically and statistically defend your spending decisions with real research—it can prevent you from making impulsive or speculative decisions. The second is scaling more efficiently. In hiring, marketing, or any other spending area, start out small and start out slowly. Monitor your progress and only ratchet up your spending as necessary.

3. Poor Cash Flow Management

Cash flow is another business killer. In addition to making sure the bottom line for the business shows a profit, companies need to actively manage their incoming and outgoing cash so they can continue to pay their bills and their employees without jeopardizing the entire operation. Neglecting to actively manage your cash flow could lead you to run out of money—even if your total projected numbers still land in your favor.

The solution: Keep a close eye on your cash flow, and do whatever it takes to keep it positive. Negotiate terms with your vendors and suppliers, and only pay bills on the day they’re due. Give limited terms to your customers, invoice early, and send follow-ups to ensure timely payment. Report regularly, and know where you stand at the end of every day. Most cash flow problems can be corrected if caught early.

4. Pricing Errors

Pricing problems are some of the most difficult financial threats to prevent, since there are so many unknowns when developing an initial price model. In your business plan, you likely outline the reasoning for the prices of your products and services, estimating the total resource and human capital costs for production and distribution. However, there are many unpredictable factors that could get in the way of successful implementation of your model. Pricing too high could severely throttle your customer base, while pricing too low could make your profit margins too slim to see any real eventual benefit.

The solution: There will always be unknowns and market changes, so it’s impossible to effectively predict every aspect of your pricing structure. However, if you extensively research your pricing and stay flexible enough to adapt when new factors emerge, you’ll be able to build an ever-changing pricing model that puts you in the best possible ongoing position.

5. Legal Problems

It could be a disgruntled employee trying to take you for all you’re worth. It could be a harassment or discrimination suit filed against you by an employee. It could be a copyright or patent violation. It could be an angry customer trying to get revenge. Whatever the case, there’s a very real possibility that your business will face some type of legal action at some point during the course of its development. Getting sued could cost you thousands or millions of dollars, which you might not have, forcing you to close your doors forever.

The solution: Being proactive is the key here. Offering training seminars to prevent your employees from engaging in actionable offenses is a good idea, but you’ll never be able to prevent every possible lawsuit. If you’re interested in protecting your business from these threats, general liability insurance will help provide an additional layer of support.

Threats are only powerful if they aren’t anticipated. Keeping a steady read on the pulse of your business, identifying potential problems before they escalate, and constantly refining your approach will all help you mitigate the possible impact of these critical threats.

America’s Best-Kept Secret About Business Insurance

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

best-kept-secret-business-insuranceThe vast majority of successful business owners enjoy that status by working hard and making smart decisions. One of the best decisions any company can make is finding experienced, qualified people for key positions. One position that can greatly impact any business investment’s chance of success is its insurance agent. Do you want an agent who works for your business, or the insurance company?

To protect your investment and future, purchasing from a quality business insurance company is imperative for the long-term success of your business. As a business owner, however, it can be difficult to know what actually constitutes a “quality” company, given the variety of options available to you. This article will serve as a primer to help guide you in the right direction.

Captive Versus Independent

There are two primary types of insurance agents who will handle your business insurance needs. Understanding the differences between the two will help you determine which one is best suited for your business and your needs.

Captive Agents

A captive agent is someone who represents a single insurance company. Part of a captive agent’s agreement is that only one company’s coverage, services and products are offered to clients and potential clients.

Independent Agents

Independent agents, such as those on the Trusted Choice® network, can offer coverage from a variety of different providers. In most cases, independent agents can provide clients with more options, as well as cost savings, given the variety of insurance providers they represent.

Independent agents are able to shop around to ensure you get the best possible blend of coverage coupled with rates. You are most likely busy operating your business. Instead of spending endless hours finding quotes from insurance companies, you can let an independent agent take care of this for you.

In addition, an experienced independent agent can provide you with guidance as it relates to your particular business insurance needs. There are many situations when combining various types of insurance policies can save your business substantial amounts of money. As no two businesses face exactly the same risks, knowledgeable independent insurance agents can help identify your unique liabilities and insurance needs.

Independent Insurance Agencies Meeting Your Business Insurance Needs

A recent study of The South Group, an independent insurance company in Mississippi, shows that 70 percent of their current clients are business owners. This is a significant increase for the company, which mostly dealt with personal insurance policies in the past. In fact, some independent insurance agencies, such as Trusted Choice, are devoted to retaining knowledgeable agents who have carved out an expertise in certain industries, such as the agriculture business, jewelers, and anything in between. These agents can give clients niche-specific service to ensure they receive the coverage and protection they need.

Advantages of Using Independent Insurance Agents for Your Business Insurance Needs

Savvy business owners are turning to independent insurance agents for their business insurance needs because they:

  • Offer a Larger Selection

One of the most obvious advantages of working with independent agents is that you have access to more choices. Independent agents will present you with a number of options, which means you’re likely to see policies that will cover the needs of your business at prices that fit your budget.

  • Are More Affordable

Business insurance purchased from independent agencies typically involves cost savings. An independent insurance agent will work to find the best deal for you, instead of focusing on the product selection available from a single provider. This will you save money on premiums, while still giving you the protection you need.

  • Offer Unbiased Advice

When you work with captive insurance agents, you need to keep in mind that they are limited by the options that they can present to you, since the only things they can sell you are products from the companies they represent. When you use an independent insurance agency, your business insurance agent will provide you with unbiased advice. The agent works for you, not those other guys. Some Trusted Choice agents are trained experts in the field and can provide you with the most relevant information possible so that you can make smart decisions regarding your business and your insurance needs. They will work with you to narrow down available options based on your requirements.

  • Can Assist with Claims

When you have an insurance claim, an independent agent will help you through the process. Unfortunately, more often than not, a captive agent will leave you to wade through the waters alone. It’s also important to note that independent agents don’t have to adhere to the strict protocols that typical traditional agents must follow. With the complicated nature of the insurance world and the specialized language, having a person you can call to ask for advice is a huge benefit.

Even more beneficial, however, is the fact that independent business insurance agents are advocates for their clients. Remember, a Trusted Choice agent works for you, not the insurance company, ensuring the best possible outcome in your interests.

Captive Agent Disadvantages for Business Insurance Policies

If you make the decision to work with a captive agent, you may run into a number of problems that are difficult, if not impossible, to overcome, including the inability to:

  • Purchase an insurance product because the parent company does not offer it
  • Take advantage of competitive prices due to a limited number of options

Additionally, there are many instances when captive insurance agents are forced to sell a certain product simply because the parent company asks them to do so. This can lead to pressure tactics that attempt to sell you more insurance than you truly need.

Independent Insurance Agencies – Are They Right for Your Business?

The big question that you have to ask yourself when it comes to finding the best business insurance is what is best for your business. The complexity of the issue stems from the fact that the answer is not the same for every business; your company will have a unique set of needs that is yours and yours alone. If you want flexibility, options and superior customer service, independent agencies on the Trusted Choice network are the perfect choice. After all, when it comes to running your business, time is money, which means you need to optimize every minute of every day.

These agents ensure your business is protected with the coverage that you need to safeguard your investment. Working with an independent business insurance company means personalized service, a variety of options and flexibility to choose a policy that will provide you with the best possible coverage at the best possible price, which will ultimately benefit you – and your business.

What You Need in Restaurant Insurance

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

As a restaurant owner, what you need in restaurant insurance probably includes coverage for your building, your business personal property, the personal property of others in your care, liability and employee on-the-job injuries.

And that is probably just the beginning since restaurants face some pretty unique risks. Below are some common industry risks that can help you think about what you need in restaurant insurance. Not every insurer or policy offers coverage for each one, so it’s important to have an idea of what you really need in restaurant insurance when you’re shopping for coverage.

This is a chart of what you need in restaurant insurance.

A few of the other coverages that restaurant owners often need include coverage for property damage related to an off-premises utility failure; employee dishonesty and theft; sewer and drain backup; and dish and glass breakage.

As you can see, restaurant insurance is important—and complex. To get some peace of mind about your coverage, it’s important to speak with an insurance professional. Melendez Insurance has a program that includes products and services specifically developed to provide restaurant owners with the protection they really need. Contact us for a free quote.

Video: What You Need in Business Insurance

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Whether you’re the owner of a small home-based business or the owner of a company, you face unique risks as a business owner. That’s why it’s so important to have the right coverage and to find a trusted insurance agent who will help you close any potential coverage gaps.

Watch the video above to learn about which coverages you need in business insurance. Also keep in mind that certain changes and situations should prompt you to review your business insurance policy.