What type of insurance coverage should I get for rented contractors’ equipment?

A lot of people don’t understand the policies that insure them, and this is particularly true of commercial enterprises. Business owners often get commercial insurance and assume that everything in their business is covered. While this is true of tools and buildings that the company owns, this is not true for rented equipment–that requires a different type of coverage.

The equipment that contractors use, items such as loaders, backhoes and bulldozers, is usually very expensive–often too expensive to buy. Unfortunately, when you rent this kind of equipment, you need a special type of coverage called a contractor’s equipment policy. This type of policy is designed to cover big, expensive equipment, but smaller hand tools can be grouped together and included in a policy, as well. Just the policy is not always enough to insure rented equipment, however–you will sometimes need to include a rider called a "rented and leased equipment rider." Sometimes it is included automatically with the policy, but sometimes you have to ask for it.

You may also have the option to purchase insurance directly from the rental company on a per-item basis. The advantage is that the coverage is tailored to the equipment you’re using for the exact time that you’re using, but the disadvantage is that the price is not always competitive with other insurers.

Renting and insuring contractors equipment can be complicated, but it is very important to make sure that the equipment is insured because it is so expensive to repair or replace. Before making a decision, you should contact us. As your independent agent, we can make sure that your rented equipment is properly covered and that you are getting the best possible rate.

Can I Designate Whomever I Want to be a Beneficiary on my Life Insurance Policy?

The rules for designating beneficiaries on a life insurance policy depend upon the situation and where you live. It is important that you speak with your insurance agent to better understand the laws in your area before you try to make any changes in your life insurance policy.

Generally, your spouse (if you are married) is considered to be the obvious beneficiary. If you want to name someone other than your spouse as the beneficiary of the policy, explain this to your insurance agent to get direction on how to do this most effectively.

Many people want to name their child or children as the recipient of their policy proceeds, but this can be complicated depending upon the ages of the children. If your children are minors, you will need to arrange for a trustee to manage the policy proceeds for your children until they are legally adults and can handle the money on their own.

If your policy is connected to a pension plan or is purchased through your job, you may be required to name your spouse as the recipient of the policy upon your death. This requirement can sometimes be waived, however. For example, if you want to name your nephew as the recipient of the policy you could potentially have your spouse sign papers stating that they are aware of this, and you could then make your nephew the recipient legally.

In most cases, you may be able to name the person or persons of your choice as the recipient of your policy upon your death. However, it all depends upon the individual situation and it is imperative that you work together with your agent to make the best decision for you and your beneficiaries.

My business isn’t safe to keep open because of the damage from the burglary. What should I do?

A burglary is a problem that impacts small businesses every year. Depending on the extent of the damages and the thefts that took place, the solutions that are most appropriate for your business may vary.

Contact the Police

After you discover a burglary, contact the police and make a formal report. Do not stay in the building. Allow the police to check that the burglar has already left so that you are not taking any risks.

You will need to keep your small business closed for the day to avoid any potential accidents or injuries. Even if the damages seem limited, it is best to avoid further complications by opening up the company when the property has been damaged.

Contact Your Insurer

Make a claim with your business insurance policy. The claims process may require that you provide proof of the burglary and the damages. You can send a copy of the police report as well as any photographic evidence of the damages to the building.

Keep in mind that your coverage may vary, so the details of your plan and the limitations on your claim may depend on the situation and the total coverage that you have purchased. The insurer may send out a professional to evaluate the damages and provide an estimate repair cost before you are able to move forward. Your coverage can impact the total amount that your insurer will allow you to claim.

A burglary is a problem, but it is best to stay calm and carefully evaluate your situation before you panic. Make a formal police report and then contact your insurer so that you can rebuild and start fresh. Contact us to speak to an agent for more details.

When I buy an additional car or replace a car, does my policy automatically cover it?

A big worry among many car buyers is that brief period when their vehicle is not covered under any insurance. This could potentially happen if you’ve purchased a second or third car or if you’ve just completed a vehicle trade. In the event that something does happen, being caught without insurance could expose you to financial liabilities, in addition to leaving you on the hook for any vehicle repairs.

In many cases, your insurance policy may automatically provide coverage if you purchase an additional vehicle or replace an existing vehicle. Such automatic insurance is meant to be temporary, giving you time to arrange for proper insurance with the best available options.

Any vehicle you’ve purchased will automatically receive the same insurance as the vehicle with the broadest insurance on your current policy. That means if your first car has liability insurance while your second car has liability, collision and comprehensive, any additional vehicle you purchase will automatically be covered the same as the second car, since it’s the broadest insurance available.

Meanwhile, any replacement vehicle you purchase will have the same coverage as the vehicle it replaces. For instance, if you use an older vehicle that’s covered only with liability insurance as a trade-in, the new car will automatically have liability insurance.

Most auto insurance providers require that you notify them as soon as you have purchased an additional car or if you replaced an existing vehicle, usually within a specific number of days. It’s a good idea to get in touch with us to speak to an independent agent, who can then help you secure the best available insurance for your unique motoring needs.