2021 Business Insurance Planning

 

Part of your business planning for 2021 should include an annual        business insurance review. Your business changes, and so do your exposures. After you review some of these items, call our office, and we will be happy to discuss these and more with you.  I

COVID-19 Planning

  • Do you have remote work policies and procedures?
  • Make sure you have a cleaning protocol in place.
  • Check your business interruption coverage; it may need to be adjusted and increased.
  • Make sure your business follows OSHA guidelines.
  • Do you have the right kind of insurance to cover business equipment off-premises?

Items to Consider When Completing a Business Insurance Review

  • Review sales and revenue- Have your company’s annual sales increased or decreased? The more business you do, the greater the potential liability you face.
  • Property Values- Have you added any new equipment, purchased or leased a new building?
  • Did you purchase any new vehicles?
  • Is your safety and loss control program up to date?
  • When was the last time someone reviewed your SIC codes for accuracy?

Have you added any new partners? There might be a need for life insurance.  As a business owner, you can ensure that your company is protected by keeping your general liability insurance, workers’ compensation  insurance, and commercial auto policies updated to reflect changes in your business.

Oakwood Insurance operates as an independent insurance agency, selling an extensive spectrum of           insurance to businesses, families, and individuals.  Our competitive advantage comes from the objective and professional service that we provide our access to a wide range of carriers, and our extensive knowledge of the insurance marketplace.

 

Even Small Businesses Need Commercial

Liability Insurance Coverage

 To protect a small business from potential lawsuits, liability insurance is necessary. Policies vary greatly, and they cover different classifications of risks for varying costs. Before shopping for a policy, it is important to educate yourself about liability insurance.

Commercial General Liability, which is also called CGL, is a very broad insurance product. It covers claims from accidents, injuries, or negligence when the business is at fault.  Small businesses may face a wide array of damage charges. Personal injuries, property damage, libel, and slander are just a few examples.

Product Liability insurance covers legal fees for litigation involving a faulty product.  It also covers any personal or property damage charges caused by the defective product.

Professional Liability coverage pays for damages caused by services.  It is also called “errors and omissions” coverage.  This is for companies that market a service instead of a product. For example, professionals in medical clinics must have medical malpractice coverage.

An Employment Practice Liability Insurance policy offers insurance protection against claims and lawsuits that are brought against a business, its officers or directors, or its employees and managers, against harassment, wrongful termination, breach of employment contract, discrimination, invasion of privacy, compensation issues, and employee benefits administration.

Oakwood operates as an independent insurance agency, selling an extensive spectrum of insurance to businesses, families, and individuals.  Our competitive advantage comes from the objective and professional service that we provide our access to a wide range of carriers, and our extensive knowledge of the insurance marketplace.

 

What Does Your Agent Talk To You About?

When you meet with, or talk to, your insurance agent, what are the topics of conversation?  Do you only talk about your bill, or why your premium has increased?  Is the only time you hear from your agent when they try to sell you additional coverage? Some agencies even try to dissuade you from talking to your agent!

We are here to provide a different approach.  We recommend talking to your agent at least once a year—or even more if needed.  Communication is the key to all good relationships. We will reach out to you and talk to you about the following:

  1. How is your claim being processed?  Can we assist you with the process?
  2. Did you receive a copy of your policy?  Do you have any questions?
  3. Have you made any major purchases like a new car, boat, or other high-end items?
  4. I know you have a wine collection; did you purchase any new bottles that need to be insured?
  5. Your son Travis is heading off to college; we might want to review your auto coverage.
  6. How is your new job going? Do they offer life insurance, or would you like to look at some options?
  7. Have you thought more about identity theft coverage?
  8. These days, many people are driving for a ride-sharing company, is there anyone in your house doing this?

These are just some examples of what our conversations might look like. Of course, we always start our conversations with “Good day it is great to connect,” and end with “Thank you for your business, we value our relationship and love serving you.”

In 1989, Oakwood’s founder, Bruce L. Sogn, set out to establish a business that would give him the opportunity to serve the community and to fulfill a need in the marketplace. Today as an independent insurance agency, Oakwood does just that.

After researching the insurance industry, he found that by becoming an independent insurance agent, he could offer a comprehensive range of insurance products and services to his clients. By maintaining focus on competitive products, Oakwood has kept its commitment to service, professionalism, and the highest integrity.

COVID-19 And Your Business

COVID-19 And Your Business

Most of us are doing our best to comply with the COVID-19 stay at home order.  However, there are also many of us who still must go to our place of work.  Here are some things you can do to help maintain safety and financial health for your business, employees, and clients in the workplace during this time of uncertainty.

We recommend you check with your City, County, State, OSHA, Department of Health, and other agencies for provided employer guidelines, as during this COVID-19 event, policies can change daily.

COVID-19 Workplace Safety Tips

  • Do not leave any valuables clearly visible or accessible.
  • Mandate all employees wash hands frequently and provide antibacterial supplies.
  • Develop an Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan.
  • Restaurants that offer takeout services should remove all tables and chairs.
  • Provide gloves for staff to use when cleaning, and frequently clean rooms and any areas to which people have access.
  • Limit food sharing.
  • Disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, tables, desks, and handrails regularly.
  • Use videoconferencing for meetings when possible. When not possible, hold meetings in open,       well-ventilated spaces.
  • Add COVID-19 information and updates on your webpage and social media sites.
  • Consider regular health checks including temperature and respiratory symptom screening, of staff and visitors entering buildings (if feasible).
  • Require workers who are ill to stay home.
  • Consider posting “NO TRESPASSING” signage.

Oakwood operates as an independent insurance agency, selling an extensive spectrum of insurance to businesses, families, and individuals.  Our competitive advantage comes from the objective and professional service that we provide our access to a wide range of carriers and our extensive knowledge of the insurance marketplace.

 

Small Business Insurance

As a small business owner, you wear many hats, including owner, manager, human resource manager, sales manager—and even window washer.  Because there is so much to do, you may not spend time thinking about your business insurance, but you should.  Recent studies by the Insurance Information Institute found that over 50% of small businesses never reopen after a severe loss.

Commercial General Liability & Auto Insurance covers claims from accidents, injuries, or negligence when the business is at fault.  Small businesses can face a wide array of  damage charges like personal injury, property damage, libel, and slander.

Cyber Liability Insurance covers the risk posed by conducting business over the Internet, over other networks, or using electronic storage technology.  It covers third party losses from hackers, theft, and loss of information including sensitive client or individual personal information.

Directors and Officers Liability covers costs, damages, and defense protection for directors and officers of a company for lawsuits and judgments arising out of poor management decisions, employee dismissals,    shareholder grievances, and other such acts committed in good faith.

Employment Liability Insurance provides protection for an employer against claims made by employees, former employees, or potential employees.  It can cover discrimination (age, sex, race, disability, etc.),  wrongful termination of employment, sexual harassment, and other employment-related allegations.

Professional Liability Insurance is designed to cover third party claims and damages arising out of providing professional advice.

Workers’ compensation insurance is usually required by law for small businesses with employees.  This insurance provides benefits for employees who are injured or die from job-related causes.

Oakwood operates as an independent insurance agency, selling an extensive spectrum of insurance to businesses, families, and individuals.  Our competitive advantage comes from the objective and professional service that we provide our access to a wide range of carriers and our extensive knowledge of the insurance marketplace.

 

Business Insurance Planing

Is Your Business Ready For 2020?

The world is changing, and we understand the issues your business faces every day. There is constant competition for your customers, there are challenges in attracting and retaining top employees, and your cost of goods keeps going up. Part of your planning should include an annual commercial insurance review. Your business changes, and so do your exposures. Here are some of the major kinds of coverage found in most commercial insurance programs.

Commercial Insurance for Businesses

Liability Insurance– Covers your business against claims of negligence that resulted in loss or injury to a customer or visitor to your business.

Worker’s Compensation– Protects your business when an employee becomes injured on the job. It is required by law.

Commercial Auto– Covers against loss for your business vehicles and any liability your business incurs as a result of an accident.

Property– Insures against loss for your buildings and equipment.

Employment Liability– Covers your business and managers from claims of harassment, discrimination and other civil rights as afforded under state and federal laws.

Cyber Liability– Protects your liability interests when data or sensitive client information is stolen or accidentally lost by your business.

Professional Liability-Protects your business when a third party accuses your business of being negligent or making a mistake in providing professional services.

An Independent Agent Who Understands Commercial Insurance

When you purchase business insurance through an independent agent you are working with a licensed professional who specializes in the products and services you need. We have access to many insurance companies and know which ones are designed just for your business. Independent agents are local business owners who employee your neighbors to serve your needs.

 

Start 2020 With An Insurance Review

If the last time you had an insurance review was when the Lakers won an NBA Title it is time to have us review your  business and personal insurance. Our team is ready to help you understand how your insurance needs have changed over time.

Here are a few examples of how life changes may impact your insurance.

  • How often do you travel out of the country?
  • Do you have any domestic employees?
  • Have there been any changes in marital status?
  • Are you involved in any nonprofit organizations?
  • Do you own a business and operate from your home?
  • Do you own a second home?
  • Do you drive for Uber?
  • Do you own any unique collections of art, wine, cars, or guns?
  • Are there any children in college?

Your insurance needs to change with your life. We offer a broad range of personal insurance products that are designed to meet your individual needs. We can help you find an insurance        product that suits your individual needs. Don’t wait for another second to ensure your home is adequately insured. Call us today for more info on your options for personal insurance coverage.

Oakwood operates as an independent insurance agency, selling an extensive spectrum of insurance to businesses, families, and individuals.  Our competitive advantage comes from the objective and professional service that we provide.

Oakwood is involved with numerous local, state and national insurance associations and communities. The agency encourages employees to devote time to these endeavors. Oakwood’s approach is one of total risk management, encompassing the areas of property & liability insurance, automotive insurance, worker’s compensation, professional liability, individual or group accident & health insurance, life insurance, contract surety bonds, and personal insurance. Oakwood provides an in-depth range of insurance products and services to assist in securing our clients’ future. We are an agency committed to excellence, founded on the principle of integrity.

 

Don’t Let the Company Holiday Party Turn Into an Employment Claim

Don’t Let the Company Holiday Party Turn Into an Employment Claim

Your company Holiday party was going great, and everyone was having a wonderful time.  Except one of the female employees said that a manager touched her and made unwanted            advances.  Now she is filing an employment liability claim.  This is a scenario that no one wants to happen.   Your business insurance may not cover this lawsuit unless you have employment practices liability insurance.  Call our office for a review of your commercial insurance today.

  • Limit use of alcohol; offer two drink tickets per person.
  • Make sure you have food at your party.
  • During the party, monitor alcohol consumption. Quickly try to diffuse any situations or displays of inappropriate behavior.
  • Consider having the party at a restaurant. This is a good way to transfer liability.
  • Make the party optional.
  • Arrange for cab rides or transportation home for guests who may need it.
  • Prior to the party, review harassment policies with all employees as a reminder of proper behavior.
  • Encourager managers to set a good example.
  • Consider inviting spouses, which is a good way to reduce romantic hook-ups.
  • Know your state laws.
  • If you have employees bring food, be sure the food is labeled by type. Some people may have food allergies.

Oakwood operates as an independent insurance agency, selling an extensive spectrum of insurance to businesses, families, and individuals.  Our competitive advantage comes from the objective and professional service that we provide our access to a wide range of carriers, and our extensive knowledge of the insurance marketplace.

Oakwood is involved with numerous local, state and national insurance associations and communities. The agency encourages employees to devote time to these endeavors. Oakwood’s approach is one of total risk management, encompassing the areas of property & liability insurance, automotive insurance, worker’s compensation, professional liability, individual or group accident & health insurance, life insurance, contract surety bonds, and personal insurance. Oakwood provides an in-depth range of insurance products and services to assist in securing our clients’ future. We are an agency committed to excellence, founded on the principle of integrity.

 

 

Employment Practices Liability Insurance

Employment Practices Liability Insurance

The number of lawsuits filed by employees against their employers has been rising. While most suits are filed against large corporations, no Missoula EPLI Insurance company is immune to such lawsuits. Recognizing that smaller companies now need this kind of protection, we provide this coverage as an endorsement to our Business owners Policy (BOP).

EPLI provides protection against many kinds of employee lawsuits, including claims of; Sexual harassment, Discrimination, Wrongful termination, Breach of employment contract, Negligent evaluation, Failure to employ or promote, Wrongful discipline, Deprivation of career opportunity, Wrongful infliction of emotional distress,  Mismanagement of employee benefit plans

The cost of EPLI coverage depends on your type of business, the number of employees you have and various risk factors such as whether your company has been sued over employment practices in the past. The policies will reimburse your company against the costs of defending a lawsuit in court and for judgments and settlements. The policy covers legal costs, whether your company wins or loses the suit. Policies also typically do not pay for punitive damages or civil or criminal fines.  iabilities covered by other insurance policies such as workers’ compensation are excluded from EPLI policies.

Oakwood operates as an independent insurance agency, selling an extensive spectrum of insurance to businesses, families, and individuals.  Our competitive advantage comes from the objective and professional service that we provide our access to a wide range of carriers, and our extensive knowledge of the insurance marketplace.

 

What To Do After An Auto Accident

What To Do After An Auto Accident

Don’t Let an Auto Accident be a Pain

Automobile accidents happen every. Although no one wants to experience an auto accident, knowing what to do in case one happens to you could soften the impact on your life in the days and weeks to follow. You purchase auto insurance to help you through accidents when, or if, they happen.  If you have an auto accident, we are here to help you.  You may always call us to help you through the process.

  • If you are involved in an accident, think about your safety and those around you before thinking about insurance. The first priority is to check for injuries at the scene. Call 911 for medical help if anyone at the scene is injured. Notify the police as soon as possible.
  • Try to protect the scene; don’t move vehicles unless the police instruct you to.
  • Obtain the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all persons involved, including passengers and witnesses. It is a good idea to look at drivers licenses. Record the license plate numbers of all cars involved. Get complete Insurance information, including policy numbers. Having the agents name and number is also beneficial.
  • Never admit an accident was your fault, even if you think it was. An apology can be construed as an admission of fault. Let the authorities determine who was responsible. Auto accidents can be disorienting even if you are not physically injured. You may not be aware of all factors leading up to the crash.
  • Contact our office, we are here to; help. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible, even if damages are minor.
  • You have the right to take your car to the repair shop of your choice. It can be beneficial to get two quotes as pricing and quality vary.
  • Use your smart phone to take pictures before vehicles are moved. It provides documentation.

We are here to help you with your auto insurance needs. We have access to many insurance products and can provide you with competitive premiums. We offer auto liability, auto collision and auto comprehensive coverage.

In 1989, Oakwood’s founder, Bruce L. Sogn, set out to establish a business that would give him the opportunity to serve the community and to fulfill a need in the marketplace. Today as an independent insurance agency, Oakwood does just that.

After researching the insurance industry, he found that by becoming an independent insurance agent, he could offer a comprehensive range of insurance products and services to his clients. By maintaining focus on competitive products, Oakwood has kept its commitment to service, professionalism, and the highest integrity.