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How Much Business Auto Insurance Does My Company Need?
You probably realize you need insurance on your business vehicles. What you may not know, however, is what commercial auto insurance covers, what vehicles need coverage, and how much insurance you're actually going to need. To help, here's a quick overview of commercial vehicle insurance:

What it covers: A business auto policy provides coverage for physical damage and liability costs incurred in an accident involving a company vehicle. This includes the cars, trucks, trailers, vans, and other vehicles used on public roads that your business owns, hires, or leases for business purposes.

When it's needed: Keep in mind that your personal auto policy may provide some coverage for business use of a vehicle, but if a vehicle is primarily used for business purposes, a separate commercial policy is required. Also, basic business owner's policies (BOPs) do not include coverage for vehicles. So, if you use vehicles in your business, you should have a commercial auto insurance policy. If you're unsure whether a vehicle qualifies, you should discuss it with your commercial insurance agent.

How much is required: The fact is you probably need a commercial auto policy. But it's not always easy to decide how much business auto coverage to get. The rule of thumb is that all businesses should carry a minimum of $500,000, but most companies opt to carry $1,000,000.

Consult with your agent on your individual business needs. By asking detailed questions about your needs and vehicle usage, he or she can determine exactly what type of coverage is best for you.

Clearing Up Some of the Confusion Over the Cloud
Everyone uses cloud computing, but not everyone gets it. Simply put, whether you're searching online, creating documents with web-based software, or accessing a web-based e-mail account, you're using the cloud.

Cloud computing means that the infrastructure enabling your web tasks is accessed via the Internet. The processing, storing, and filtering of information is done through a server that may be thousands of miles away or just next door. And as this activity happens seamlessly and invisibly, it seems to be happening "in a cloud."

The pros of cloud computing are many. With cloud services, you eliminate the up-front capital cost of computers and peripherals, as well as the need to buy and maintain software licenses. Others have to worry about virus attacks, and you don't have to back up files. Plus it's quick and easy to add applications and purge those no longer needed.

But convenience has a downside. Up-front capital savings will likely become ongoing operating costs. And with cloud services, you may be limited to off-the-shelf solutions rather than tools designed for your specific needs. As well, suppliers may stop supporting a product you depend on, and there are privacy and security issues that arise because your data is on someone else's system in an unknown location.

The search for a "better" cloud has been under way for many years. Edge computing, which brings the processing of data closer to home, is one alternative. And there will be more: these days the cloud - or something like it - has become virtually indispensable.


What's your view about liability insurance for risk management?

Generally, we are all for it. But you need enough insurance. Too little coverage will still expose you to a judgment in excess of your coverage. And a good plaintiff’s lawyer can manipulate a jury to make an outlandish award far beyond your policy limits.

You can’t predict what you can lose once you are sued. Years ago we could, with reasonable accuracy, predict the outcome of a lawsuit. Juries were sane. Judges cut excessive awards. Punitive damage claims that awarded a plaintiff millions for no damages were unheard of. That was then. The courts compensated actual losses. Not today. Courtrooms now redistribute wealth. You can’t be confident that your million-dollar policy is enough. No matter how much liability insurance you carry, some litigant will sue you for more.

Most cases do settle within the policy limits. But until that happens, you will anguish that possibly you will be hit with a judgment that will exceed your coverage. You will then lose your assets despite your insurance. You will also have to hire your own lawyer to defend yourself against your potential excess liability.

So how much liability insurance is enough? That's a tough question to answer. If insurance were free, we would say to buy all you can. But insurance isn't free. The more you buy the more you pay. You must then balance the cost of increased coverage against the risks from less coverage. You must not only consider the probability of an excess judgment against you but also what you could lose if you did face a judgment beyond your policy limits. Since you can never buy enough coverage to insulate yourself against today's insatiable litigation demands, your only solution is to also protect yourself by means other than insurance.

This article was written by The Presser Law Firm, P.A. located in Boca Raton, Florida. They can be reached at (561) 953-1050.

How to Lower Your Property Insurance Costs
Property ownership is a significant investment. The purchase price is only the beginning: maintenance, repairs, and property taxes add to the price of owning a commercial building - as does obtaining the proper insurance coverage to keep your investment safe.

Insurance coverage can influence where to locate a building, what upgrades to install, and how the building is constructed. At least, it should. Many property owners don't realize how much these factors can affect property insurance rates. To save on insurance, owners should understand what influences property rates and what to do to reduce their insurance costs.

Following are seven factors to keep in mind. As you consider investing in a new building or research insurance options for a current property, ask yourself:

How old is the building? Older buildings typically cost more to insure, as they're more susceptible to damage from issues such as old wiring or worn structural components. Additionally, if a building must be brought up to code, this can translate into costly repairs. All of these factors will drive up the premium.

What type of equipment does it house? If your building is home to older equipment that is harder to maintain and repair, this will increase your insurance costs. However, you should weigh the pros and cons of paying this rate and keeping the equipment you have versus investing in new equipment, which may be even costlier. The type of equipment is also a factor, since heavy industrial machinery is typically more expensive to insure than office equipment.

Where is the building located? Buildings in low-crime areas are generally cheaper to insure than those in high-crime neighborhoods. Also, locating in areas prone to natural disasters, such as hurricanes or tornados, will also affect insurance rates. Choosing an investment property in a safe area will save on premiums.

What security is in place? A building that is well-protected from vandalism and theft generally earns lower premiums. If your building offers low-security measures, consider investing in a better system that will help you save on insurance costs.

How much space do I really need? If you rent a small space for your business, your insurance policy will cost less than one for a large office or factory. Consider how much space you realistically need in your operations. Unnecessary space raises insurance premiums and property taxes.

Do I want replacement value or actual cash value coverage? Too often, property owners overlook this distinction. Replacement value pays what you need to replace the damaged goods with brand-new items. Cash value pays what your depreciated property is worth. Logically, replacement-value coverage costs more, so you must determine if this coverage is worth the higher premium.

Can I combine my coverage? A business owner's policy (BOP) may offer potential savings. This combines your coverage for property insurance with other types of business insurance coverage. The bundle is designed to provide adequate coverage plus savings for business owners. Consult with your insurance agent to review the options for your business.
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Back to Basics
As a business owner, you wear many hats. How can you decide where to focus your efforts for personal and professional development? Try going back to the foundation of successful entrepreneurship. The following links can provide the building blocks:

What do you need to succeed? Discover the top five essentials:
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You've heard communication is key to unlocking business success. Try these to improve your communication skills:
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Learn from the mistakes of others by identifying four crucial skills most entrepreneurs fail to master:
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Remember starting up? This start-up primer may reenergize and reinspire you:
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This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter.
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