Commercial Insurance and Damaged Items

Commercial insurance is a must for anyone with a business. It helps to protect your company, your employees and patrons, and your merchandise as well. Even though commercial insurance covers all these things, it also covers damaged items to a certain extent in your commercial business. For those that live in the Aliso Viejo, CA area, the agents with BenefitSource Insurance Services Inc. can help you find the coverage that works for you.

Your commercial insurance covers a huge range of things and damaged items are included. This means that if your merchandise, the computers you use for your business, even components of the building are damaged, your insurance might cover it. There are certain limits to this. For instance, your insurance is not going to cover minor damage to an item that you caused, but if you have a large number of items or a display for instance that was totally destroyed you may be able to get insurance to help cover the cost of repair or replacement. Your commercial policy is in place to make sure that you are able to keep your business operating and that you are not going to have to spend an arm and a leg to recover should something happen to your business.

Your coverage does not work for damages that were intentional or that were caused by negligence on your part. It’s important to remember that your commercial policy is not there to fix every little booboo or mishap but rather to help handle larger issues. For those that live in the Aliso Viejo, CA area, the agents with BenefitSource Insurance Services Inc. can help you to get your policy hammered out and to help you find the commercial policy that is going to work for you.  

After the Storm–What to Do if Your Home is Damaged by a Summer Storm

Summer storms in Aliso Viejo, CA can pack a surprising punch, leaving homeowners with damaged homes, outbuildings, or downed trees.  Use these tips from BenefitSource Insurance Services Inc. to know how to handle the damage once the storm passes.

Call Your Agent

After you and your family are safe, call your insurance agent, even if it’s after hours. You can call the national phone line for your insurance company and follow the prompts to get started filing your claim. Try to have your policy number nearby to expedite your claim. You should make notes about the time of your call and who you talked to. Be sure to write down your claim number if they give you one. 

In the days after the storm, the insurance adjuster will come by and look at your damage. Be sure to point out all damaged items, and make sure that the adjuster has your name, address, and policy number correct. Keep track of all paperwork in a folder or envelope and make notes any time you talk with someone from the insurance company.

Don’t Start on Repairs Unless Damage Is a Danger

While it’s tempting to get started right away putting things to rights, if you are planning on making an insurance claim, you may want to hold off on fixing things. Your insurance agent will want to see the damage in full before things are repaired.

You can temporarily repair things if your home is in danger of further damage. For instance, you can tack a tarp or piece of plywood on your damaged roof to temporarily keep the rain out. However, you should hold off on making permanent repairs.  If you have to buy items for these basic repairs, keep your receipts. You may be able to be reimbursed by the insurance company for anything that you have to buy to protect the structure.

Only Use Reputable Contractors

Sometimes, contractors will go door-to-door after storms to try to drum up work. The problem is that you have no way of knowing if these people are reliable and do good work. Ask your agent for a referral if you don’t know anyone who can make these repairs. Be patient and wait for someone who knows what they are doing. Shoddily done repairs with poor quality materials are worse than having to wait a week or two to have your project completed. 

If you need advice about storm damage in Aliso Viejo, CA, contact BenefitSource Insurance Services Inc..

How Car Insurance Protects Passengers in a Vehicle

Car accidents can be terrifying, even minor ones. Although serious vehicle damage can result, it’s even more heartwrenching when people are hurt. Without the proper auto coverage in Aliso Viejo, CA, it can also lead to extreme financial difficulty. Ask a BenefitSource Insurance Services Inc. agent what coverage you need to protect passengers in your car and in other vehicles in order to drive responsibly.

What’s Required by Law in Texas?

If you have passengers in the car during an accident, different coverage applies, depending on whether you or another driver is at fault. To protect the drivers and passengers on public roadways and preventing financial hardship, most states, including Texas, require each driver to buy liability coverage, which provides a measure of protection to passengers in another vehicle if you cause an accident.

What’s Required by Insurance Companies?

If you still owe money on your car, your lender will require collision or comprehensive coverage. This coverage ensures that the insurance company can recoup its loss if you are in an accident. 

How Can You Protect Passengers in Your Car?

Liability coverage only protects passengers in other vehicles if you’re at fault. Medical and PIP insurance help you protect passengers in your own vehicle. 

Personal injury protection (PIP) pays your and your passengers’ medical bills. It also covers lost wages and some nonmedical costs. The good news is that all Texas policies include PIP coverage. Drivers have to turn it down in writing if they don’t want it.

Medical payments coverage takes care of passengers’ medical bills. It also covers you if you’re injured while riding in another vehicle, biking or walking.

Knowing that an accident won’t lead to financial ruin for a driver or their passengers leaves insured drivers with peace of mind. Contact BenefitSource Insurance Services Inc. today to make an appointment for a free quote on auto insurance in Aliso Viejo, CA.

Do you need boat insurance if the vessel does not have a motor?

A boat is one of the greatest investments that you can make. There is much to love about the independence that comes with owning your watercraft. Still, there are certain responsibilities that come with having a boat that you can use at any time in Aliso Viejo, CA.

The agents at BenefitSource Insurance Services Inc. can help you find the boat insurance policy that works best for your lifestyle. Read on to learn whether you need watercraft assurance if your boat does not have a motor.

Do you need boat insurance if the vessel does not have a motor?

Technically speaking, you do not need to have boat insurance if your boat does not have a motor in Aliso Viejo, CA. In actuality, boat insurance is not required in California at all. Such is not the case, however, in other states. 

Arkansas and Utah require watercraft owners to obtain assurance policies if they own boats with motors that have more than 50 horsepower. Arkansas requires boat owners to have at least $50,000 of liability coverage. Utah requires watercraft owners to have $25,000 for bodily injury and $15,000 for property damage.

You should invest in boat insurance

A watercraft is expensive, which means that you should do everything possible to ensure that your investment is safe. The agents at BenefitSource Insurance Services Inc. can help you find the watercraft assurance policy that works best for your situation. They have been in the business of insurance for many years and work with you to understand your needs so that you get the most out of your plan. Contact the agents at BenefitSource Insurance today to get started with a quote!

Myths about Umbrella Insurance

An umbrella policy in Aliso Viejo, CA can provide an extra layer of insurance protection, but there are a lot of misconceptions about this type of policy.

Premiums for umbrella policies are too high.

You may be surprised to find out how affordable umbrella insurance can be. For just a small amount, you can add $1 million or more of liability coverage. There could be a number of risk factors, including the number of automobiles, homes, and recreational vehicles you own. You can have peace of mind with so much extra liability coverage for just a few dollars a month.

Only the rich need umbrella insurance.

Umbrella insurance can benefit everyone. It’s even more important for low- and middle-income families that may not have enough assets if they face a lawsuit. Many standard policies won’t cover the money for a lawsuit, while an umbrella policy will. Not only will umbrella insurance provide an additional layer of protection, but it also provides some additional coverage.

An umbrella policy will be the first policy paid out.

Umbrella policies are secondary coverage. It won’t kick into until the primary home or auto policy has been exhausted. You won’t even be able to get umbrella insurance without having certain minimums for these policies already in place.

Umbrella policies are hard to coordinate with other policies.

If you have policies with other insurance companies it can be hard to coordinate coverage, but if you want to take the guesswork out of your coverage you can consolidate policies with BenefitSource Insurance Services Inc.

Umbrella policies will cover personal belongings.

Umbrella policies are liability policies, which means that they won’t cover any property such as the home, the contents, or your autos. Umbrella policies are there to provide extra protection for expensive items, such as art or jewelry.

Contact BenefitSource Insurance Services Inc. serving Aliso Viejo, CA, to get a quote on umbrella insurance. 

What types of water damage does flood insurance cover?

In Aliso Viejo, CA, the agents at BenefitSource Insurance Services, Inc. are always willing to help their clients understand the ins and outs of flood insurance. There may be circumstances in which certain types of water damage may be mistaken for flood damage. The agents can answer questions and help clients make sure they have the right type of insurance in place, especially if they live in a floodplain.

Flood Damage

Flood damage is caused by rivers, lakes, or other natural bodies of water overflowing due to heavy rains. Heavy rain can also cause standing water to form in low-lying areas or floodplains and eventually make its way inside your home or basement. Homes that are in a floodplain are more likely to receive flood damage, even if they only bear a minor risk. 

Other Types of Water Damage

Many other types of water damage are not considered to be “flood” related. A backed up sewer system can force water back into your home, but unless it is directly related to flood waters, it may not be covered by flood insurance. Water damage that is caused by standing water around your foundation is also another type of water damage that will more than likely not be covered as flood-related. In this case, you need to use extenders for your eaves to direct water away from your foundation.

In Aliso Viejo, CA, residents can call the agents of BenefitSource Insurance Services, Inc. to find out if they live in a floodplain and, if so, what types of insurance would be most beneficial in protecting their home. Call today and talk to an agent!

 

Don’t Snooze On Condo Insurance!

If you own a unit within a condominium complex, you likely pay your Condo Association each month for insurance coverage. Typically, this coverage only applies to the structure of the condo building itself and any common areas that are owned on a collaborative basis. In the usual situation, any damage that may occur in your unit will be your responsibility. California law requires that you have adequate insurance coverage for your own unit in addition to the more general coverage that your Association will carry. If you are not sure of the requirements for your condo in the greater Aliso Viejo, CA area, the team at BenefitSource Insurance Services, Inc. is here to help!

Protect Your Condo and Your Material Possessions

California has a lot of different types of requirements when it comes to protecting your condo. It is imperative that you work with a licensed agent in order to make sure that your policy meets all of the requirements in your area and provides the protection that you need. Don’t leave it up to chance, makes sure your policy is the right one!

If an incident occurs in a neighbor’s unit or happens in a common area and then goes on to affect your unit, you will likely be responsible for fixing any damage. Therefore, it is of key importance to carefully review all of your possessions and make sure that your policy provides the coverage that you need in the event of a situation that causes damage or destruction.

Make sure that you have the coverage that you need and that your policy meets the requirements of California insurance law! If you are in the greater Aliso Viejo, CA area, call or stop by BenefitSource Insurance Services, Inc. today to learn more about your condo insurance policy options.

What is the Difference Between an HMO and PPO Plan?

Choosing a healthcare plan can be difficult, especially when you are not only making the choice for yourself, but also choosing for your family. You want to make sure that your family has the best care possible. With so many options out there, it is tough to decipher what makes one better than the other. One inquiry that comes up for BenefitSource Insurance Services, Inc. in Aliso Viejo, CA quite often is how to tell the difference between a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) policy and a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) policy. Here are some highlights of each policy in order to help with understanding the differing characteristics:

HMO Plans

An HMO policy allows you to see any doctor or visit any hospital as long as it is within network. The providers that make up the network have agreed to lower prices for its members, in addition to providing quality service and standards. There are also more coverage restrictions associated with HMO plans, such as the amount of tests or visits that a policyholder can have within the policy timeframe. Another feature of an HMO plan is that if you need to see a specialist, you will have to visit your primary care physician (PCP) first for a referral.

PPO Plans

A PPO policy offers fewer restrictions when choosing a provider or medical facility. They, too, have a network of preferred doctors, however, you do have the ability to see someone outside of the network. That said, fees will most likely be higher than those associated with in-network physician visits. Another key feature of a PPO plan is that you can go directly to a medical specialist without going to a PCP for a referral.

Trying to decide between health insurance policies is a difficult task. The best thing you can do is as much research as possible on the plans that you might be interested in. If you still need help choosing the right healthcare plan, please contact BenefitSource Insurance Services, Inc. in Aliso Viejo, CA. They will be able to explain your options in detail and advise you on which policy is best for you and your family.

Tweaks and Tricks for Your Commercial Insurance

Getting a new commercial insurance policy with us at BenefitSource Insurance Services, Inc. can be a challenge if you aren’t sure where to start. So if you live in Aliso Viejo, CA and are starting a new business, here are a few tweaks and trips you can take advantage of to improve your insurance and ensure that you don’t pay too much.

Cut Unnecessary Coverage Types

Your commercial insurance should vary depending on the type of business you operate, and your insurance should only cover what you need. For example, vehicle coverage is not necessary for companies that have only one or two vehicles. You can also cut flood insurance coverage if you are nowhere near a flood zone.

Maximize Your Liability Insurance

Conversely, you should always have as much liability insurance as possible for your business. Even if you have to take out extra supplemental policies, you need to ensure that your company is protected from lawsuits. For example, a customer could spill food on their lap and attempt to sue you for it because it was prepared too hot. With liability insurance, you can cover most, if not all, of the damages.

Don’t Neglect Cyber Insurance

Whether you are up to date with technology or not, you need to get cyber insurance for your company. Hackers are everywhere, and they can take advantage of weak cyber coverage. Thankfully, cyber insurance will kick in and protect you if you get hacked, and you or your customers suffer from any financial hardships.

These tweaks and others – such as business interruption insurance and policies for your freelancers – are necessary if you want your Aliso Viejo, CA business to succeed. Please contact us at BenefitSource Insurance Services, Inc. if you operate in this city or anywhere in the surrounding area.

How Should I Estimate My Home’s Worth?

Protecting you is our Sole Purpose!

Residents that live in the Aliso Viejo, CA area are not required by law to purchase homeowners insurance. Most lenders, however, will compel a homeowner to purchase coverage, which will help to protect their investment. For those without a lender, we still highly recommend that you acquire home insurance coverage to protect yourself from liability and damages that could result in financial strains from paying out of pocket. Below are some of the reasons we suggest a home insurance policy and help from one of our agents to make sure you are fully covered in any situation.

Count the Cost

If your home should become a total loss and need rebuilding, you are going to want your home’s estimate to reflect that reality. This is why it is vital that you not insure it for the dwelling’s current market value. The price that somebody would pay to buy your home may not be equal to the cost of building it from the ground up, as the total may be more, or it may, actually, be less. For this reason, it is good to be aware of the building codes in your area so that if construction rates change, you can keep your policy up to date.

It is vital to insure your structure for at least the amount that is owed on the mortgage, and you will need to update your figures if you have added on or performed renovations to your house. Other factors that affect your home’s replacement value are the footage of the home, type of roof, number of floors, exterior materials, types of interior features, and enhancements like garages and fireplaces.

BenefitSource Insurance Services, Inc. is There for You

BenefitSource Insurance Services, Inc. proudly serves the people of Aliso Viejo, CA, and we consider it a privilege to work for you. We invite you to call us or to visit our location to speak to a friendly representative about the insurance package that is right for you. Get a quote and a helping hand while we walk you through the insurance process.