Homeowners insurance house with coins

What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

Homeowners insurance is one of the most common insurance types. It helps homeowners offset costs relating to a wide variety of damages and liabilities involving their household and property. These coverages are typically limited to repairs to your home and freestanding structures, repair or replacement of personal belongings, temporary relocation costs, and liabilities associated with injury or damage you cause to another person.

Homeowner's insurance isn’t legally required by the government in most cases, but if you have a home mortgage of any kind, your bank or lender will likely insist that you have appropriate insurance protections in place. But even if you don’t have a mortgage lender you need to be held accountable to, getting a homeowners policy is still a good idea.

To better understand the many benefits associated with homeowners insurance, let’s take a look at some of the top coverage options this policy type provides. Then, we’ll examine a few areas of coverage that homeowners policies may not be able to protect you.

What Homeowners Insurance Covers

Homeowners insurance, as you may have realized, comes with many key benefits that can seriously benefit you if you face damages or liabilities relating to your policy’s covered protections. Let’s look at just a few of the coverage options most homeowner's policies come with.

Home Structure

If your home’s structure is damaged, most homeowners' policies will cover any damages that are not specifically excluded. This means that if your walls, floors, windows, roof, or attached structures like porches are harmed in a covered incident, you will be granted enough money to repair the damage up to and including the complete rebuilding of your home.

Other Structures

Unattached structures like garages, sheds, fences and playhouses are covered under this policy type as well. Typically, the amount permitted is up to 10% of the total cost of your dwelling.

Personal Belongings

If your personal property and belongings are damaged or stolen, a homeowners policy can reimburse you anywhere from 50 to 70% of the cost of your home’s coverage. These belongings can include furniture, clothing, electronics, appliances, and much more.

Loss of Use

Otherwise known as “Additional Living Expenses,” loss of use coverage works to offset the costs of hotel stays, restaurants, transportation, and more if you are forced to relocate after a disaster makes your home uninhabitable.

Liability Protection

Your homeowner's policy can extend to protect you against more than just damage to your property. In fact, it can also act as liability coverage if someone sues you for harming them or their personal property. Additionally, this coverage isn’t limited to the homeowner. Anyone who lives in the home–including pets–may also be covered. This means that if your pet bites a neighbor, you may have protections included to help with any lawsuit-related costs.

Medical Payments

Similarly to liability coverage, medical payments coverage can provide you with financial protection if you cause an injury to someone else–even if it’s outside of your home. This can come in handy if you face a lawsuit relating to the injury, but no lawsuit is required before payouts can be made.

What Homeowners Doesn’t Cover

No matter how thorough your homeowner's insurance policy is, there will always be liabilities or damages that it simply cannot cover. There are supplemental plans you can purchase to make up for that extra protection, but it’s important to be aware of what coverages you may be missing before you begin looking for additional coverage. Here are just a few of the main damages and liabilities that are not covered in a typical homeowners policy:


If you live anywhere near Ocean City or Toms River, there is a higher-than-average risk that you will experience flooding. Still, despite this, the average homeowner's policy will not provide you with any flood coverage. The same is true for any water damage caused by drains or sewer backups in your area. 

Essentially, this means that if your home is damaged by water, you may have to bear the brunt of any costs entirely on your own if you don’t have a supplemental flood insurance policy.

Earthquakes, Landslides, and Sinkholes

Earthquakes, landslides, sinkholes, mudflows, mudslides, and any number of similar natural disasters are not covered under a homeowners policy. These disasters, known in insurance as “earth movements,” require separate supplemental policy types that are available through the majority of homeowners insurance carriers.


If you’re facing an infestation of almost any kind–birds, vermin, fungus, mold, or whatever else–-keep in mind that the average homeowner's insurance will not help you tackle the problem in any way.

Wear, Tear, and Intentional Damage

Over time, most properties decay in one way or another. This decay is not covered under your homeowner's policy, though supplemental policy types are available. Additionally, any damage to your home that occurs as a result of neglect or intentionally inflicted harm will not be covered.

Do You Need Homeowners Insurance?

Homeowner's insurance can be an invaluable resource. It provides homeowners with many fundamental damage and liability protections in a convenient bundle that may be difficult to obtain otherwise. 

If you’re interested in investing in a homeowner’s insurance policy, contact our helpful agents today!

New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Explained

Worker’s compensation provides a useful safety net for business owners. It provides benefits to employees for work-related accidents, injuries or illnesses. The product may also be referred to as workers’ comp or workman’s comp. 

In the State of New Jersey, workers’ compensation dates back to 1911 and is a mandatory requirement for all employers. As such, you need workers’ comp to remain legally compliant. 

In this article, we’ll discuss some of employers' most commonly asked questions. 

What Type Of Injury Is Covered Through NJ Workers’ Compensation Policies? 

Workers’ compensation in New Jersey will provide financial support if an injury or accident happens on the job. For example, if an employee gets hurt and visits the emergency room because a piece of metal falls on them while working in a warehouse. This would be covered by your workers' compensation policy.

It can also provide financial support for those who suffer from an illness due to the work environment. For instance, it’s widely known that asbestos is linked with the development of mesothelioma. 

Furthermore, workers’ compensation for New Jersey employees may also provide financial support for those suffering from Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI). RSI is quickly becoming the most common type of injury sustained by workers across America. Repetitive stress injuries are caused by repeating the same action multiple times. For instance, typing for long periods can lead to pain in the wrists.

How Does Workers’ Compensation Support The Employee In New Jersey? 

NJ workers’ compensation can benefit employees in numerous ways. For instance, it can be used to provide medical treatment and ensure that an injured worker improves over time. Under New Jersey law, the insurer or employer can select the right healthcare provider to provide treatment for an injured team member. 

Workers’ comp can also be used to support lost wages or the cost of ongoing medical care if an individual cannot return to work for an extended period. This can include surgery and physical therapy depending on the requirements of the individual. 

Benefits depend on the injury/illness. Below are the workers’ compensation disability classifications: 

  • Temporary Total Disability - a worker’s ability to earn is totally lost, but only temporarily. 
  • Temporary Partial Disability - a worker’s ability to earn is partially lost, but only temporarily.
  • Permanent Total Disability - a worker’s ability to earn is permanently and totally lost with no chance of returning to work.
  • Permanent Partial Disability - a worker’s ability to earn has been partially lost. The benefits are temporary and depend on the injury or illness and the body part.

Do You Require Workers’ Compensation In New Jersey?

As stated before, if you are running a business in the State of New Jersey workers’ comp is a legal requirement. It is a mandate that every employer operating a business carries this type of insurance. 

This is true regardless of the type of business you are running. You will still need to arrange workers’ comp for anyone operating within your business, including part-time, full-time or seasonal. 

If you fail to provide this level of coverage, then you could be required to pay a fine or face criminal charges. Penalties differ depending on the decisions made by the court. 

Are There Any Exceptions That You Should Be Aware Of As A Business Owner? 

There are exceptions to New Jersey workers’ compensation laws. This includes:

  • Unpaid volunteers
  • Unpaid interns
  • Independent contractors*
  • Sole proprietors

*If you have contractors/1099 employees you are still responsible for paying for workers’ comp coverage for them unless they have their own policy.

If you have workers who are not paid or have no workers, you likely do not require workers’ compensation. However, it’s still best to check with a legal or insurance advisor to guarantee you are in compliance. 

How Are Premiums Calculated? 

To understand the worker’s compensation premiums, you need to understand how they are calculated. Insurance companies explore a range of factors when deciding the workers’ compensation rates. The best way to work this out is to follow the formula:

Employee Classification Rate X Employer Payroll (Per $100) X Experience Mod Rate (Mod) = Your Workers' Comp Premium

Employee Classification Rates depend on your industry, which you can find at NJCRIB

Experience Modification Rating is a calculation used by insurance companies to price the cost of your workers' compensation premiums. It’s calculated using claim history and injury costs to predict future costs. 

What Is The Minimum And Maximum Payroll For Workers’ Compensation?

The State of New Jersey has a minimum and maximum payroll for workers’ compensation coverage. The minimum is $34,320 per year and the maximum is $137,280 per year. 

Where Can You Arrange New Jersey Workers’ Compensation?

To get workers’ comp insurance, you can contact individual insurance companies or work with one of our insurance advisors to get a quote. We work with dozens of carriers and have decades of experience working with businesses in NJ. With our experience, we can save you time and money when shopping for a workers’ comp policy.

Commercial Auto Insurance for Your Business Explained

Commercial auto insurance differs from personal auto insurance in many ways, so let’s dive into what it is, how it's different from personal auto insurance, costs, the minimum coverage requirements for New Jersey businesses, and the consequences of not having commercial auto insurance.

What is Commercial Auto Insurance?

Commercial auto insurance covers vehicles used for business purposes, and it’s invaluable for companies requiring business-related transportation, including retailers, service providers, and transportation companies. The coverage can also be applied to a wide range of vehicles, including cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, and assorted service vehicles.

What’s The Difference Between Personal and Commercial Auto Insurance?

Commercial auto insurance policies are different from personal auto insurance policies in many ways. For example, commercial auto insurance typically has higher liability limits than personal auto insurance. This is because businesses are more likely to be sued for damages caused by their employees while driving on company business rather than just held accountable for damages.

Another difference between commercial and personal auto insurance is that commercial policies cover vehicles used for business purposes only. Hired and non-owned auto insurance (HNOA) provides protection for employees who use their personal vehicles for company business. This means that if you have a personal vehicle that you also use for business, you will need to purchase a separate policy for that vehicle.

How much does commercial auto insurance cost?

Commercial auto insurance typically costs more than a personal auto insurance policy. This is because commercial policies have more coverage in the event of an accident. Remember, a commercial auto policy covers the business, not just the individual driver. 

Factors that go into the cost of your insurance include the following:

  • Industry risks
  • Type and number of vehicles you own
  • Utilization of the vehicles
  • Employee driving records
  • Type of coverage and policy limits you choose
  • Previous auto insurance claims history

Implementing internal operational changes, such as no texting while driving and general ongoing safe driving practices can go a long way in reducing the cost of insurance. 

New Jersey Businesses: Minimum Coverage Requirements

If you own a New Jersey business, you must purchase commercial auto insurance if you have vehicles for your business.

The state law requires all commercial auto policies to have a minimum liability limit of $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident for bodily injury and $5,000 for property damage (i.e. 15/30/5).

Consequences of Not Having Commercial Auto Insurance

If your business does not have the minimum amount of commercial auto insurance required by law, you could be subject to several penalties. For example, if one of your employees is involved in an accident while driving on company business, and it is determined that your business did not have the proper insurance coverage, you could be sued for damages. 

In addition, your business could be fined by the state of New Jersey for not having the required insurance coverage. The fines for not carrying the minimum commercial auto insurance can range from $500 to $5000. Further, if your business is caught operating without commercial auto insurance, your business license could be suspended.

Businesses need to have the proper amount of commercial auto insurance in place. If you are unsure if your business has the right amount of coverage or if you have any other questions about commercial auto insurance, we encourage you to contact our office and speak with one of our experienced agents.

Calhoun Agency Can Help You Get the Coverage You Need

Now that you know more about commercial auto insurance, you may be wondering how to get the coverage your business needs. The best way to find out is to speak with an experienced insurance agent who can help you understand your options and choose a policy that meets your needs.

At Calhoun Agency, Inc., we have been helping businesses in New Jersey find the right insurance coverage, and we take pride in providing our clients personalized service and attention.

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A Breakdown of Inland Marine Insurance

If you're running a business, then you know accidents can and will happen. That's why it's important to have the proper insurance in place to protect your company from financial losses in the event of an accident or disaster.

This blog post will discuss inland marine insurance and what it covers. We'll also provide a breakdown of some of the most common types of inland marine policies. So, if you're interested in learning more about this type of insurance, keep reading!

What Is Inland Marine Insurance?

The first question you might be asking is, "what is inland marine insurance?" Inland marine insurance is a type of business insurance that covers products, materials and equipment when transported over land. It primarily helps protect your company's property and equipment from damage or theft.

In addition, inland marine insurance can provide coverage for business property that is located away from your company's premises. This can include things like materials that are being stored at a construction site or equipment that is being used at a customer's location. So, as you can see, inland marine insurance is a very important type of coverage for businesses to have in place. So, now that we've answered the question "what is inland marine insurance," let's look at some of the most common types of inland marine policies.

There are two main types of inland marine insurance policies: all-risk and named-peril. All-risk policies provide broad coverage for your company's property and equipment. This means that if your property is damaged or stolen, you will be covered as long as the cause of the damage is not specifically excluded in your policy. Named-peril policies, on the other hand, only provide coverage for specific types of damage or theft that are listed in your policy.

Some of the most common types of inland marine insurance policies include:

  • Contractors' equipment insurance - This type of policy covers the tools and equipment that you use in your business, such as excavators, bulldozers, and cranes.
  • Business personal property insurance - This type of policy covers items like office furniture, computers, and inventory that are located at your company's premises.
  • Transportation insurance - This type of policy covers items that are being shipped from one location to another. This can include things like raw materials, finished products, and equipment.
  • Storage insurance - This type of policy covers items that are being stored at a location other than your company's premises. This can include things like inventory that is being stored at a warehouse or construction materials that are being stored at a job site.

As you can see, there are many types of inland marine insurance policies available to businesses. The best way to determine which type of policy is right for your company is to speak with an experienced insurance agent who can help you assess your risks and choose the coverage that best fits your needs.

Who Needs Inland Marine Insurance?

Inland marine insurance is not just for businesses that transport goods or store inventory off-site. Any company that has property or equipment located away from its premises should consider this type of coverage. This includes businesses such as:

  • Contractors
  • Manufacturers
  • Retailers
  • Service providers

If your company owns any property or equipment that is used in your business, then you should speak with an insurance agent about inland marine insurance. Even if you don't think you need this type of coverage, it's always better to be safe than sorry. You never know when an accident or disaster could strike, and you don't want to be caught without the proper protection in place.

No matter what type of business you have, inland marine insurance is essential coverage to consider. This type of policy can protect your company's property and equipment from a variety of risks, including theft, damage, and loss.

Invest in Inland Marine Insurance

There are many benefits to having inland marine insurance, including peace of mind, financial protection, and coverage for a variety of risks.

If you have questions about inland marine insurance, or if you need help choosing the right policy for your business, contact an experienced agent at Calhoun Insurance Agency today. We would be happy to answer your questions and help you find the coverage that best fits your needs.

many different color umbrellas

Top Reasons To Buy Commercial Umbrella Insurance

Business owners typically purchase commercial umbrella insurance to satisfy a contract that requires more coverage than what a standard policy provides. Commercial umbrella insurance provides additional liability coverage for the most costly lawsuits, which is crucial irrespective of your type of business.

For example, if your business is sued for $5 million and your business liability coverage is limited to $4 million, the commercial umbrella insurance policy will cover the $1 million difference.

That $1 million can be the difference between your company staying in business or closing. Now let's look at some of the other top reasons to purchase commercial umbrella insurance.

Top Reasons to Buy Commercial Umbrella Insurance

High Risk for Lawsuits

Buying commercial umbrella insurance is a straightforward decision if your business is at high risk for a lawsuit. Interestingly, almost all businesses fit this description, as employees and clients make a lawsuit a strong possibility.

Every business has severe exposure. For instance, your retail business stakeholders could be exposed to premises safety. Restaurants face foodborne illness concerns, while contractors are exposed to risks such as falling from high places.

Guarantee Business Continuity

Many businesses struggle to settle liability claims levied against them. For instance, judgment awards, legal costs, and claims outside the existing policy limit can collapse a business. Commercial umbrella insurance can provide the added cushion to guarantee business continuity by paying for defense costs, large claims, and those in faraway jurisdictions.

Increasing Losses

Multimillion dollar settlements are becoming more prevalent in recent times. For example, medical technology and prescription drug advancements have increased the expense of medical treatment, and international liability is on the rise.

Commercial Property Is Open to the Public

You are exposed to risks when your commercial property is accessible to the public and outsiders are welcome to your premises. It doesn’t matter whether you own the premises or rent it. Anybody who walks onto your property, including your staff, customers, vendors, and even trespassers, has limited protection under your commercial premises liability policy.

Litigation can arise if somebody is injured on your premises or a staff member behaves inappropriately. Unfortunately, the litigation can quickly deplete your general liability coverage, and that is where your commercial umbrella insurance can come in handy.

Contractual Obligation to Carry Commercial Umbrella Insurance

Commercial umbrella insurance may not be necessary unless a contract or landlord demands it. Some businesses are contractually obligated to carry commercial umbrella insurance, which is usually the case with most government deals.

However, some customers may also require your business to carry commercial umbrella insurance. Even when it is not obligatory, business umbrella insurance can protect both your business and client if exposed to potentially large liability risks.

Auto Exposure Protection

Recent statistics suggest 671 accidents occurred since 2021 with 702 fatalities. Automobile accidents are a major reason for umbrella claims. The more miles you drive, the more likely you are to be in an accident involving your business. Large commercial trucks are equally likely to be involved in a serious collision as compact cars because of the increased distractions caused by GPS, phone calls, and texting.

It can be useful for businesses with a fleet of vehicles to safeguard against the costs of auto accidents.

Staff Work on Other Properties

Your business may require you or your staff to work on others’ property. While on their property, accidents may occur. Even unintentional property damage may cause costly lawsuits. For this reason, having a commercial umbrella insurance policy can give you and your staff the peace of mind you need to perform your daily business activities.

Cost of Commercial Umbrella Insurance

According to an insurance marketplace, commercial umbrella insurance costs roughly $40 per month for every $1 million in coverage. However, charges vary depending on your industry. Manufacturing and construction businesses are likely to pay more than professional services and low-risk businesses.

However, understand that no insurance policy offers unlimited coverage. Some things not covered under commercial umbrella insurance include errors and omissions, penalties or lawsuits from breaking the law, claims exceeding umbrella policy limits, and failing to have proper underlying policies.

How to Purchase Commercial Umbrella Insurance

Since many insurance providers offer discounts for insurance bundles, it would be best to begin your search with your current provider. Likewise, it is more convenient to deal with a single provider if you need to file a claim. Most insurance companies provide business umbrella insurance plans.

Major Takeaways From Commercial Umbrella Insurance

As we've detailed, commercial umbrella insurance can benefit your business. However, it's important to keep the following points in mind when comparing commercial umbrella insurance rates and to weigh your options:

  • Before purchasing commercial umbrella insurance, you need at least one general liability, commercial auto insurance, or employer's liability policy.
  • Business umbrella insurance does not operate with commercial property insurance. It may supplement other policies such as commercial auto insurance, general liability, and employer's liability, yet you cannot use it to cover damage to company property.
  • Commercial umbrella insurance is available in $1 million increments. Small businesses can enhance their litigation protection in $1 million increments, allowing them to purchase the exact coverage they require.

Despite the misconception that commercial umbrella insurance covers everything, your business still needs other business coverage. Consider commercial umbrella insurance as a safety net for any claims exceeding your primary policy.

exterior of apartment building

The Difference Between Homeowners And Rental Insurance?

Regardless of where you live, having insurance for your belongings is one of the most important things that you will ever need. You never know what could happen, so being insured will at least give you peace of mind, knowing that you have some relevant protection to fall back on if needed.

An important consideration in all this is making sure you know which kind of insurance you need, so you aren't hurting yourself financially by purchasing the wrong insurance policy.

Two of the main policies that you might need for your home are homeowners insurance and rental insurance. But what are they, and what are the major differences between them? By the end of this post, you will be well informed on these two types of insurance, and you’ll know which you might need for yourself.

The Similarities Between Homeowners and Rental Insurance

Before we get into how they differ, it might be helpful to go over what the similarities are between these two types of insurance.

The biggest similarity is that they both protect your belongings. However, how they do so differs a lot, as you shall shortly see. They also both require regular payments, either monthly or in a single lump sum. In both cases, the payment schedule must be in good standing in order to receive compensation on a claim.

As you can see, there are some similarities, and they are features which are shared by most insurance policies of all kinds in every sector. Now let's look at their differences.

The Difference Between Homeowners and Rental Insurance

The differences are important to note, and will determine what coverage you are getting. The main difference to remember is that homeowners insurance covers the actual building that you are living in, as well as all the belongings inside, up to a certain value laid out by the policy, while with renter’s insurance, the landlord pays for the insurance of the building, and your insurance covers only your belongings inside the home.

For homeowners insurance, you will normally have to have such a policy in place if you are hoping to take out a mortgage. It's normally a requirement of the lender to have it, as it protects their interests as well as yours. It is also typically more expensive than rental insurance, as you are covering a building and not just personal property.

With renter’s insurance, tenants take it out, covering items and liability, which is not the responsibility of the landlord. So, as well as helping to protect you from losses, it also acts as an important legal buffer for the landlord and the tenant. You can never assume that a landlord’s insurance will cover anything inside the property, so rental insurance can fill in the gaps.

Going Deeper into Homeowners Insurance

Now that we have outlined the essential differences between the two types of insurance, let’s look deeper into each to see some details that you might need to know before taking out a policy for yourself. First, we’ll look at the ins and outs of homeowners insurance.

A homeowners policy is always taken out by whoever owns the home itself. The amount of insurance will cover both the property and any belongings within the property. That includes furniture and white goods, clothing and kitchenware, and so on, alongside any garden items. It also includes valuables such as jewelry.

It is also sometimes possible to have extra liability insurance added for belongings, even ones lost outside the home, and this will add to the premium that is being paid for the policy.

The Details of Rental Insurance

Now let’s look a little more at rental insurance. With this, the property itself is not being covered. Instead, this kind of insurance assumes that whoever owns the building or complex has insurance. Rental insurance instead covers all the tenant’s belongings within the home.

With rental insurance, you are covered for the cost of replacement of any items that are lost or damaged on the property. Many times, it can be extended to items stolen from your car or at work for an additional premium.

Should You Get Homeowners or Rental Insurance?

It’s important to understand when you need to get insurance, so you can make sure that you are as fully protected as possible at all times. If you own property, it is wise to get homeowners insurance. It is not a legal requirement except in certain niche circumstances, but you will do well to protect yourself in this manner.

Likewise, anyone renting property should consider rental insurance if they want to protect their belongings from theft, loss or damage. Again, it is not a legal requirement, unlike some kinds of insurance, but it is typically worth the premium if something ends up happening to your belongings.

If you are wondering about homeowners or rental insurance, speak to the professionals. Getting in touch with a professional insurance broker is the best way forward if you are considering getting insured. They will help you find the right policy for your needs, so you're protected.

small business entrance with

Types of Liability Insurance Your Small Business Needs

As a savvy business owner, you are undoubtedly aware of the importance of operating with adequate insurance coverage. You need various business insurance policies to cover the costs accompanying liability claims and property damage. Without insurance, you will have to cover all costly damages and legal claims against your enterprise out-of-pocket.

There are different types of business insurance policies you can take out, but this article will focus on liability insurance. This type of insurance protects you from various risks that may pop up during normal business operations. Specifically, liability insurance protects your company's financial interest from penalties it may face because of litigation against it and covers the associated legal costs.

Here are the various types of liability insurance and which ones to consider for your small business.

Types of Liability Insurance

As mentioned above, there are various types of liability insurance structured to protect your small business from every possible claim or litigation angle. Some of the most common liability insurance policies include:

  • General liability insurance
  • Employment practices liability insurance
  • Professional liability insurance
  • Cyber liability insurance
  • Product liability insurance
  • Public liability insurance
  • Liquor liability insurance
  • Commercial auto insurance
  • Worker's compensation insurance

Which Types of Liability Insurance Do Small Businesses Need?

Some liability insurance policies benefit all businesses, while others offer protection against risks unique to specific companies. Therefore, small businesses need all the above-listed coverages, but your specific small business must handpick what applies to your company based on its circumstances and risks.

For example, liquor liability insurance is unnecessary if your business does not serve or sell alcohol. That said, here's a breakdown of the various kinds of liability insurance policies that could benefit your business.

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance is a blend of public liability insurance and product liability insurance. Therefore, this insurance will protect you if a person or their property gets damaged while visiting your company or store by paying for their medical bills and lost wages. It also covers damage caused by a product your company makes or sells. In addition, general liability insurance will handle advertising injury, reputational harm, and copyright infringement claims.

Nearly all small businesses need this insurance, particularly if they rent or own an office or commercial space. Many client contracts also require general liability insurance, so you will miss out on a lot if you don't take out one. This type of insurance is a great way to get essential coverage in one policy.

It is no surprise that many experts recommend it as the sole business insurance to take out if your business can only afford only one type of liability coverage.

Public Liability Insurance

Public liability and general liability insurance are often thought of as the same thing, but this is not exactly true. This insurance is a type of general liability coverage, but you can take it out on its own as its narrower scope best suits your business.

Public liability insurance coverage applies strictly to accidents, property loss, and injuries suffered by members of the public (including customers, delivery personnel, and mere visitors) on your company's premises. Consequently, you need this policy if your business occupies premises frequented by many people.

Theaters, shopping centers, hotels and resorts, restaurants, white-collar firms, markets, and sporting venues are businesses that need public liability insurance.

Product Liability Insurance

A product liability insurance policy is worth taking if you are a manufacturing business or retailer. Products you make or sell can be defective and potentially harm consumers by causing bodily injury, property damage, illness, and even death. Consequently, this policy covers you against potential damages if your products cause unintended harm and are caught up in a legal battle.

You can purchase it as a standalone policy or enjoy it as part of your general liability coverage.

Professional Liability Insurance

Your business needs professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance, if it profits off someone's expertise or professional services.

Consultancies, architectural and law firms, accounting agencies, engineering firms, and therapists are some of the biggest beneficiaries of this type of insurance. Unfortunately, even the most cautious and experienced professional service providers make mistakes.

Sadly, some clients may not be very understanding if your errors cost them significant revenue, time, or worse. Therefore, this policy is worth taking to protect you from these unsatisfied clients who might want to sue you if you miss a crucial deadline, provide futile business advice, or make an omission in your work. Your professional liability insurance will cover legal defense expenses up to your policy limits, helping you save cash in claims costs.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)

Your small business needs EPLI if it hires, manages, and fires employees. Specifically, this liability insurance covers wrongful acts that arise from your employment process. The most common claims covered under an EPLI policy include wrongful termination, sexual harassment, discrimination, wrongful demotion, privacy invasion, mismanagement of benefits, breach of employment contract, and retaliation.

It covers any attorney's fees, settlement costs, legal judgments, and administrative expenses your business may incur when an employee sues it.

Cyber Liability Insurance

Many small businesses assume they don't need cyber liability insurance, but you need this policy because the world has become increasingly digital. Your small business likely uses IT equipment and systems, which can be compromised from data breaches and malware attacks.

These breaches and attacks are quite costly and damaging. 60% of companies fold within six months of falling victim. Cyber liability insurance will help your businesses recover from financial damage caused by data breaches and cyber attacks. It can pay for credit monitoring, customer notification, legal fees, and fines.

Cyber liability insurance should be non-negotiable if your company handles credit card numbers and sensitive data, works in the cloud, or operates in areas like healthcare, retail, and financial services.

Calhoun Agency for Your Small Business Liability Insurance Needs

We are an independent insurance agency and broker with access to a carefully handpicked group of reputable insurance providers. Therefore, we find the best insurance policy based on your needs. We also have over 90 years of experience in serving the insurance needs of our cherished clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Contact us today at 856.428.8090 to learn more and get started.

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Facing The Threat Of Cyberattacks

The impact of a conflict can spread much further than the countries at its center. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has already seen consequences for the global economy, cultural events, and more.

The U.S. has imposed several sanctions on Russia as a consequence of the invasion, leading security professionals to warn of increased cybersecurity threats at this time. These types of attacks are designed to cause severe disruption, potentially affecting individuals as well as businesses and organizations.

While the risk to small businesses is low, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re fully protected against cyber attacks and know what threats to look out for.

Take a look at the following steps to take to protect your business from cyber attacks.

Follow Cybersecurity Best Practices

It’s easy to take online security for granted, but there are a lot of basic measures you can take to help protect your business, as well as your personal accounts and information. Give your business additional security by adopting measures such as:

Multifactor Authentication

Multifactor authentication will make it harder for intruders to get into your accounts. You’ll need to confirm your ID when logging in through text message or another method to give your account some added protection.

Use Unique, Complex Passwords

Using the same passwords for all of your accounts and systems puts everything at risk if your password was leaked somehow. Using unique, complex passwords for all of your accounts provides you with a lot of protection. Creating strong passwords should be advised to everyone within your business, including customers if they have an online account with you.

Protect Files

Encrypting your files may be necessary if you deal with personal data. Creating a data management plan should help you decide how you’ll store different types of data, so that you can put the right protection in place for your files if needed.

Ensure Portable Devices are Fully Secured

If your business issues portable devices such as laptops, phones, tablets, etc., you should ensure that the devices are fully secured.

Provide Awareness Sessions to Employees

Raising employee awareness is an effective strategy for preventing cyber attacks. Attacks can happen as a result of human error, such as clicking links in a phishing email or using a weak password. By educating your team about the risks and how to prevent them, you can boost your company’s defenses.

Run Software Updates

Updates may be a source of frustration, but they are necessary to ensure your systems benefit from the most up-to-date protection. From your antivirus products to your applications, make sure your everything is running the latest versions. As new threats emerge, companies are quick to release new updates that put protection in place and keep systems secure.

Make Flexible Working a Secure Way to Work

Many businesses have adopted flexible working because of world events. Employees may work from home, in the office, or a combination of both. However, your network and data could be compromised because of your employees' home networks.

Reviewing IT security for both office and home can ensure that flexible working remains a secure option for your business.

Ensure Your Backup System Is Robust

A system outage can have some serious consequences for your business. Having plans in place to back up your system and data in an emergency can give you confidence that your business can continue to operate after an incident.

While cloud computing provides a simple way of backing up your files, you should also consider using secure external drives to back up your most important documents.

Consult with IT Security Experts

As a small business, you may find the prospect of cybersecurity overwhelming. Outsourcing your IT management can help ensure you have up-to-date protection in place that meets your business needs. It can also mean expert help 24-hours a day, helping your company resume services quickly in the event of an outage.

Working with an IT company can help protect you from the latest threats and deal with monitoring and updates on your behalf.

Insure Your Business

Business insurance is a must to protect your business from many threats. Business insurance not only protects your premises, equipment, etc., but it can also protect you from liability claims that could be made against your business. Being without it leaves you at risk of some significant costs if something were to happen.

It will be vital in the event of a cyber attack where your business is interrupted or you have to deal with a data breach. Cyber liability is important for small businesses, giving you extra security. Now is a good time to check your policy and make sure it provides your business with everything it needs.

Calhoun Agency is an independent insurance agency specializing in different insurance, including cyber liability. If you want to find out more about any of our business insurance services, request a quote today and our team will be in touch.

key hanging in front door of home

4 Ways Homeowners Insurance Can Protect You

Your home's physical structure is usually the most significant investment you'll make in your lifetime. Homeowners insurance helps protect that investment by covering repair or replacement costs if your home is damaged or destroyed.

However, many people don't know that homeowners insurance can also protect them in other ways. In this blog post, we will discuss four different ways homeowners insurance can help you in the event of an emergency. The goal is for you to understand what it covers and how it can help you.

So what exactly does homeowners insurance protect?

Liability Coverage

This type of coverage is designed specifically for accidents that can occur on your property. If someone is injured while visiting your house (such as a child falling out of your tree), then this policy will pay out per person or per accident based on the limits in the policy.

Home Structure Coverage

This type covers damage caused by fire, windstorms, hailstorms, or snowfall. It also provides coverage for structures attached to your home, such as a garage. The goal of this coverage is to protect the physical structure of your home in case of damage, theft, or vandalism.

Personal Belongings Coverage

Homeowners insurance will cover your belongings in case of a burglary, and it even will protect you if your items are stolen away from your home. For example, if someone breaks into your car and steals your laptop, the homeowners insurance policy will help to replace it. Check your policy documents for the exact limits they cover you for.

Additional Living Expenses

If something happens to your home and you can't live in it while it is being repaired, then additional living expenses (ALE) coverage will help to pay for the costs of living somewhere else. This includes hotel rooms, restaurant meals, and even laundry services. Most policies have a limit of about $2000 per month. Again, check your policy documents to know the exact limits they cover you for.

Review Your Policy Annually

Make sure you review your homeowners insurance policy regularly to ensure that it still meets your needs. You may want to add or remove coverage depending on changes in your life. For example, if you have children who are now adults, you may no longer need coverage for their personal belongings.

For more information about homeowners insurance, please visit our website or contact us today. We at Calhoun Agency, Inc. would be happy to answer any questions you have.

a man with broken arm in a sling

Benefits Of Pay-As-You-Go Workers' Compensation

What Is Workers' Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that covers lost wages and medical expenses if an employee becomes sick or injured. Under some circumstances, the coverage will also include death benefits and rehabilitation support.

What Is Pay-As-You-Go Workers’ Compensation?

Pay-as-you-go workers' compensation insurance calculates premiums using payroll in real-time. The result being that employers can access more accurate payments.

Traditional workers’ compensation payments have businesses pay a lump sum upfront, and many end up overpaying throughout the year. As Zenefits puts it, ‘Pay-as-you-go workers’ comp alleviates the inaccuracies and cash flow burdens that often accompany traditional workers’ comp payments.’

How Does Pay-As-You-Go Workers’ Compensation Work?

Pay-as-you-go workers' compensation is based on your payroll runs. For example, if you pay your employees monthly, you’d figure out the premiums per monthly payroll. Using this system, employers can calculate exactly how much money is due for that period.

A traditional workers' compensation policy works a little differently. Usually, employers are required to pay a lump sum to their insurance provider. This payment typically represents about 25% of the employee's estimated earnings for that policy year. The employer is required to pay the remaining premiums either quarterly or monthly.

Pay-as-you-go workers' compensation works differently from traditional workers' comp insurance, but your responsibilities are exactly the same. As The Hartford explains, ‘It’s not different insurance, and it doesn’t replace workers comp insurance or your responsibility to pay premiums.’ Both traditional workers comp and pay-as-you-go insurance are purchased through licensed insurance providers.

Do All Businesses Need Workers' Compensation Insurance?

Yes! If your business has 1 employee or more, you need workers' compensation insurance.

What Does Workers' Compensation Insurance Cover?

Workers’ compensation insurance covers four different benefits:

Medical Benefits

If employees are injured on the job, or they experience a work-related illness, workers' compensation covers associated expenses. These medical costs might include medications, physical therapy, doctor visits, or management techniques for chronic pain.

Disability Benefits

If an injured member of staff can no longer work, disability benefits can cover their wages or part of their wages. The wage replacement will be calculated based on the disability, state regulations, and employee earnings. Depending on the extent of the disability, the benefits may be temporary or permanent.

Rehabilitation Benefits

These benefits are designed for injured workers with permanent disabilities. When permanent disabilities prevent an employee from returning to their job, rehabilitation benefits support employees in gaining new skills. These benefits might cover vocational training, job placements, learning materials, skills assessments, and tuition.

Death Benefits

If a staff member dies because of a work-related incident, workers’ compensation insurance pays benefits to any dependents, such as the employee’s children or spouse, for example. These benefits can also cover funeral expenses or loss of income.

What Are The Benefits Of Pay-As-You-Go Workers' Compensation?

There are many benefits of pay-as-you-go workers' compensation.

No Upfront Payments

Unlike traditional workers’ comp policies, you don’t have to make an upfront payment. With the pay as you go option, you can keep more money, and improve your cash flow. When you’re required to make large yearly payments, this can negatively affect your budget.

No More Guesswork

Using a pay-as-you-go policy, you won’t have to provide an estimate and risk inaccuracies. The premium is based on your payroll data in real-time, whether bi-weekly or monthly.

Adjust To Changing Needs

When you opt for a pay-as-you-go plan, you can make adjustments along the way. Pay-as-you-go ends up being a more flexible plan. For example, when employees leave or join the company, you’ll be able to adjust your plans accordingly.

Simple Audit Procedure

Any money you’re required to pay is based on your payroll. This way, you can ensure that your premiums are accurate. When your premiums are accurate, you’re less likely to provide incorrect estimates. As a result, your audit procedures will be more simple.

Avoid Missing Deadlines

With a pay-as-you-go plan in place, it’s easier to stick to deadlines. Employers can easily set up automated payments to stay on track. When you integrate your premiums and your payroll system, you can simplify the payment processes.

What Must The Employer Do When An Employee Becomes Injured?

When an employee reports an injury, the company needs to notify their insurance carrier and file a report with the State. The insurance carrier will assess the claim, while communicating with medical providers, the injured worker, and the employer. Once a claim has been accepted, they will direct the worker to a medical provider for treatment and support.

What Types Of Injuries Are Not Covered Under Workers’ Comp?

Certain types of illness and injury will not be covered under a workers’ compensation policy. These include:

  • Self-inflicted injuries.
  • If the injury occurred while the employee was committing a crime.
  • If the individual violated company policy, and was injured as a result.
  • If the staff member was not working when the injury occurred.

What Is The Dispute Procedure?

If there is a dispute, the employee can file a Claim Petition. Alternatively, they can apply for an informal hearing with the Division Of Workers’ Compensation.

Find Out More

To find out more about workers' compensation insurance, contact the Calhoun Agency. With the Calhoun Agency, businesses can access many types of insurance, including workers’ comp, property insurance, liability insurance, and commercial umbrella. To protect your business interests and assets, it’s important to have the right insurance policies in place.

The Calhoun Agency can answer any further questions you have about workers’ compensation insurance.