Did You Get an Engagement Ring or Other Expensive Piece of Jewelry for Valentine’s Day?

If you receive an engagement ring or other expensive piece of jewelry this Valentine’s Day, who are you going to call to tell about it? Your mother? Your best friend? Maybe you’ll post your good fortune on Facebook? While these may be your first impulses, if you want to protect your sparkling new gift, the most important call will be to your insurance agent or company representative to make sure you have the necessary insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute(I.I.I.).
Standard homeowners and renters insurance policies include coverage for personal items such as jewelry and other valuables. However, many policies limit the dollar amount for the theft of valuable personal possessions such as jewelry, furs and precious stones to $1,000 to $2,000.
“To properly insure jewelry, consider purchasing additional coverage through a floater or an endorsement,” said Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president and consumer spokesperson for the I.I.I.
In most cases, this would also be covered you for ‘mysterious disappearance’. This means that if your ring falls off your finger or is lost, you would be financially protected. Floaters and endorsements carry no deductibles and frequently provide the option of having the insurance company replace the item for you.
Floaters and endorsements are available as additions to homeowners and renters insurance policies. Some companies also offer a stand-alone policy to cover jewelry without having to purchase a full homeowners or renters policy.
“While there is no way to insure the sentimental value of jewelry, at least having it properly insured will provide financial protection in the event it is lost or stolen,” noted Salvatore.
To make sure your jewelry is adequately protected, the I.I.I. suggests the following:
  • Contact your insurance professional immediately
    Let your agent or company representative know that you are now in possession of an expensive piece of jewelry. Find out how much coverage you have and if additional insurance is needed.
  • Have the item appraised
    Heirlooms and antique jewelry will need to be appraised for their dollar value. Ask your insurer for recommendations regarding a reputable appraiser. It is important that expensive items be appraised properly—if you purchase a floater or endorsement, you will pay a premium based on the appraised value and in the event of a claim, will be compensated for this dollar amount.
  • Keep a copy of the store receipt
    Forward a copy of the receipt to your insurer so that the company knows the current retail value of the item. Keep a copy for yourself and include it with your home inventory.
  • Store valuables in a secure location
    Protect your jewelry by storing it in a secure location in your home. If you do not plan to wear the item regularly or are holding it for a child, consider keeping it in a safe deposit box. You may save money on the cost of insuring it, as some companies offer ‘in vault’ coverage. If you want to wear the jewelry for a special occasion, many insurers will offer the option of purchasing additional coverage for the time it is out of the bank. You would, of course, have to notify your insurer ahead of time.
  • Update the value of your jewelry
    Expensive items can go up or go down in value. Talk to your insurance professional about how to make sure the dollar amount of your floater or endorsement reflects these changes. Prices for floaters and endorsements will vary depending on the type of jewelry, the insurance company you choose, where you live and where the item will be kept.
  • Take a picture of the item
    Get into the habit of keeping a visual record of all of your personal possessions. This helps to document your loss and speed up the claims process. It is also useful to document antique and unusual pieces of jewelry
  • Add the item to your home inventory
    Everyone should have an up-to-date inventory of their personal possessions. An inventory can help you purchase the correct amount of insurance and speed up the claims process when there is a loss. The I.I.I. has created free, online software, Know your Stuff® – Home Inventory, to make creating a home inventory easier. You can also add a digital photograph of your new gift and save scanned receipts. Computerizing your inventory makes updating easier and more efficient.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT INSURANCE: Nielsen and Geenty

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Great Source of Information for Policyholders

If you have an insurance claim or are interested in insurance law, call us … or ignore that shameless plug and take a look at the United Policyholders website, which is loaded with helpful information.   As explained on their site, their mission is to educate the public on insurance issues and consumer rights.

We insure, but we also strive to share and keep you connected.

 

Nielsen & Geenty Insurance

“Our business is protecting yours.”

 

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CA Professional Practices

Professional Practices

Professional practices need the same types of insurance as any other business for property, workers compensation and vehicles. Many professionals view professional liability insurance as an even more critical coverage. Professionals are concerned that in today’s litigious society, every mistake, suspected mistake or incident of client or patient dissatisfaction can lead to a lawsuit. Professional Liability Insurance protects them from the potentially ruinous economic consequences of this risk.

For many specialties, the most cost effective and efficient way to obtain property and liability coverage is with a specialized Businessowners Policy(BOP). Insurers have put together combinations of coverage specifically tailored to the needs of physicians, architects, accountants, attorneys and many other practices. These policies typically have provisions similar to the property insurance and liability insurance sections of the BOP.

PROPERTY INSURANCE

A package policy covers real estate and other property your business owns. If your practice rents or leases its premises, the policy provides coverage for tenants’ improvements and betterments. These are fixtures, alterations, installations or additions that you have put into the space that cannot legally be removed from the landlord’s premises.

The policy will probably include two coverages that are often critical for business recovery after a disaster: Business Income and Extra Expense Insurance (also known as Business Interruption Insurance). Business Interruption Insurance helps pay ongoing expenses while your business is unable to function after a loss and also helps make up for lost profits. Extra expense coverage helps you recover as quickly as possible by paying extra expenses caused by the loss—such as rent for temporary quarters.

With electronic data playing such an important role in business today, the policy will likely include such coverage as Computer Operations Interruption Coverage to pay for business income lost and extra expenses incurred as a result of computer problems. Electronic Data Loss Coverage pays the cost to replace or restore electronic data destroyed or damaged as the result of causes of loss named in the policy. These include a computer virus or harmful code. As needed, you can add even more coverage through endorsements. You should discuss your needs with your agent.

Coverage can easily be added to these policies for such items as special equipment, fine arts, valuable papers and records, and accounts receivable.

Professional practices should also consider adding Employee Dishonesty Insurance Coverage to protect against theft by their own employees.

LIABILITY INSURANCE

When you provide any type of advice, expertise or professional service you risk being sued by a customer, client or other third party who claims he or she was injured due to your negligent act, error or omission. Professional Liability Insurance, also known as Malpractice Insurance, and Errors and Omissions Liability Insurance pays the cost of your defense and any damages awarded, up to policy limits. Insurance companies have developed many specialized policy forms that respond to the individual risks characteristic of particular professions.

A practice also needs coverage for other potential liability risks it has in common with many other types of enterprises, such as a slip and fall claim or a libel or slander claim. Contact Nielsen & Geenty for information about the protections typically provided by liability insurance and about optional coverages you may wish to add.

BUSINESS VEHICLE INSURANCE

Your personal auto policy probably provides coverage for some business use of your vehicle. A personal auto policy is unlikely to provide coverage, however, if the vehicle in question is used primarily in business. It will not provide coverage for any vehicle owned by a business. For those vehicles you must have a business auto policy.

Should you be driving your personal auto for a business purpose and get into an accident for which you are liable, an injured person could sue you personally. Will your personal auto policy have enough coverage to pay all the damages? If not, a lawsuit may be filed against your business. If you use personal vehicles for business, you want to be sure you have high enough limits to protect your business. You should discuss this with your insurance agent.

WORKERS COMPENSATION INSURANCE

States have varying rules about when an employer must provide workers compensation insurance. If you have three or more employees, you should check with your state department of workers compensation to see if you are required to provide workers comp insurance.

 

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CA Litigiousness

INSURERS’ LEGAL DEFENSE COSTS

Lawsuits against businesses affect the cost of insurance and the products and services of the industries sued. According to Towers Watson, an actuarial consulting firm, the American civil liability (tort) system cost $247 billion in 2006, down 5.5 percent from $261.4 billion the previous Of those that are tried and proceed to verdict, Jury Verdict Research data show that in 2006 the median, or midpoint, plaintiff award in personal injury cases was $35,000, $10,000 less than the previous year. year. The decrease in 2006 costs is the first since 1997. Most lawsuits are settled out of court.

Nielsen & Geenty through their Insurers  are required to defend their policyholders against lawsuits. The costs of settling a claim are reported on insurers’ financial statements as “defense and cost containment expenses incurred.” These expenses include defense, litigation and medical cost containment. Expenditures for surveillance, litigation management and fees for appraisers, private investigators, hearing representatives and fraud investigators are included. In addition, attorney legal fees may be incurred owing to a duty to defend, even when coverage does not exist, because attorneys must be hired to issue opinions about coverage. Insurers’ defense costs as a percentage of incurred losses are high in some lines such as products liability and medical malpractice. There are many possible reasons for this: cases are becoming more complex; insurers are spending more money to defend individual cases; and the cost of defending certain types of lawsuits, such as asbestos cases, may be increasing.

 

COST OF U.S. TORT SYSTEM, 1990-2009
($ billions)

COST OF U.S. TORT SYSTEM, 1990-2009

Source: Towers Watson.

 

 

 

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Business Insurance in California

Business Insurance Rates in California and How to Protect Your Human Resources

If you’re checking out business insurance rates in California, the chances are you’re a person who likes to protect their assets. You probably also know that your greatest asset is your workforce. Did you know that keeping your workforce healthy is one of the best ways to protect your assets? It can also help keep your insurance rates down. After all, unfavourable working conditions can lead to stress and low productivity.

Ergonomic experts, for instance, can study manual processes in your workplace and provide advice on ways to reduce the risk of injury. Ergonomics can also be used to increase the efficiency of a process. An ergonomics professional may assess your workplace and advise on:

  • Load reduction
  • Job design
  • Workspace improvement
  • Equipment updates
  • Job rotation
  • Employee gymnastics
  • Automation

Of course, they can’t magically remove every conceivable workplace risk. Accidents happen.

You may also be able to improve the way your business responds to worker injuries in the following ways:

  • Figure out methods to modify that worker’s tasks, while that worker is healing;
  • Team up with your healthcare provider to help hurt workers return to the job as soon as it is reasonable to do so;
  • Stay in touch with workers out on injured leave so they don’t feel separated from the workplace.

Contact Nielsen & Geenty Insurance today for affordable business insurance rates in California and we’ll do our bit to protect your assets too.

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