How to Know if I Need Umbrella Insurance in New York

If you are a Selden or Mastic business owner, it can pay to look into umbrella insurance. In New York, lawsuits can be costly, and it only takes the action of one litigious individual to jeopardize the financial health of your business. Learning about the features of an umbrella policy is the first step in determining whether this form of coverage is right for you.

What is Umbrella Insurance?

Umbrella insurance is a form of liability insurance that protects the policyholder from a lawsuit. Umbrella coverage can be extended to cover the liabilities of other designated individuals on the plan. Small businesses often purchase this form of insurance to protect their businesses from lawsuits resulting from an accident.

The Benefits of Umbrella insurance

If you conduct business in your home or use your vehicle for business purposes, you stand to benefit the most from an umbrella policy. If an employee or business partner causes an accident while driving your car or a client is injured after visiting your home office, you could be held accountable in court. However, a typical umbrella policy will offer you between $1 million and $10 million in protection. The premiums for an umbrella policy range between $200 and $600 per year, making umbrella insurance one of the best values for business owners.

The Drawbacks of Umbrella Insurance

While umbrella insurance is usually indispensable, trouble arises when policyholders purchase a plan that is inappropriate for their needs. Low-risk businesses that purchase too much insurance are at risk of wasting money. However, it is more likely that policyholders will skimp on coverage, leaving dangerous holes in their policy. Because of the complexity of assessing risk, expert advice is vital to selecting an appropriate plan.

How an Independent Agent Can Help

Our independent agents can help you assess your needs before you select an umbrella insurance policy. We offer several plans for comparison to help you find the right amount of coverage for your business at the best value.

What to Consider when Purchasing Commercial Coverage in Mastic, New York

Keeping a business running and profitable is a priority for any business owner so having the right commercial coverage should also be regarded as important. If severe weather conditions, fire, theft, vandalism or other events impact a business building or the land it occupies, a commercial property policy can help cover loss.

When considering a commercial insurance purchase, you should take the amount of risk associated with your business location and the people who participate in your endeavor. An independent agent can help you understand the risks associated with your local area and how to protect yourself from injury claims. For example, Mastic, New York, business owners whose businesses are located near Mastic Beach may find that their independent insurance agent recommends a higher amount of flood coverage for them than they do for others with businesses located further inland. An agent can also recommend commercial coverage that can protect you in the event that a client or staff member gets injured while visiting your location or performing his job duties.

You should also consider risks associated with your particular type of business. If you have a business that uses drivers, you’ll want to make sure that your commercial policy covers vehicles. If you store expensive merchandise on-site, you’ll want to be well covered in the event of theft or vandalism. Location can come into play when making these considerations as well. A business located in a neighborhood near a high traffic area like Brookhaven Airport could bring plenty of customers to your door, but it could also have more break-ins than a residential neighborhood. For this reason, your local agent may recommend additional coverage for theft as well as the installation of an alarm system to keep your rates reasonable by reducing your risk.

Consider your business and evaluate your commercial coverage needs based on the risks associated with your business location and type. A local independent insurance agent can help you do so.

New York Homeowners: What Is Protection Class on a Homeowners Insurance Policy?

Any person purchasing homeowners insurance in Selden or Mastic New York may hear the term "Protection Class" — this is actually a shortened form of the term Public Protection Class (PPC). Protection Class essentially measures how fire safe that a homeowners insurance provider deems the policy holder’s community to be. The insurance provider has to use a rating system based upon certain factors.

Every United States community will get a Public Protection Class rating based upon its ability to fight fires. The Insurance Services Office, which prepares assessments and sets forth rulings related to Public Protection Class, is located in New York. The Insurance Services Office assigns ratings from 1 to 10, with a rating of 1 being the ideal amount of fire preparation and protection, and a rating of 10 being the worst (no fire protection or preparation in the community.)

A major consideration in how a city ranks for Public Protection Class is the quantity of fire stations in the area. Additionally, to get the best possible rankings the fire stations need to have updated and properly working equipment. Another big consideration in determining Public Protection Class rating is how many fire hydrants are in the city, and how accessible these are for the homes in the area. Lastly, the Insurance Services Office examines the response times for the local fire department. The fastest response times to emergency fire calls will generate the best ratings.

Your insurance rates may change based upon your town’s Public Protection Class ratings. If, for example, your town has a rating of between 1 and 4 and the fire protection is upgraded, this may entitle you to a discount. Your independent agent will need to verify that your home is situated no less than five miles away from your closest fire station and that there is an accessible fire hydrant no more than 1,000 feet away from your house as well.

Be sure to ask your local independent agent if your town’s PPC rating can help you secure lower homeowners policy rates. Call us today to see how we can help you to lower your premiums!

Get the Facts on the Minimum Auto Coverage Requirements in New York

Selden and Mastic drivers should make sure that they meet the minimum auto insurance requirements before taking their cars out on the roads. The state of New York has some of the strictest auto insurance laws in the country, and drivers need to arm themselves with the facts so that they can comply with the law. A quick way to understand New York’s insurance requirements is to determine which are common across the country and which are unique to local drivers.

What Are the Standard New York Coverage Requirements?

In many ways, the state’s car insurance requirements are similar to the requirements found in any other state. You should expect your policy to include a minimum of $25K per person and $50K per accident in liability coverage. Drivers are also required to carry personal injury protection to personal injury protection in their policy.

The state also requires drivers to carry a minimum of $10K allocated toward the property damage that can be caused in one accident. In many cases, drivers might find this minimum inadequate for covering extensive damages after an accident, so it’s always a good idea to exceed this minimum.

What Are New York’s Special Requirements?

However, New York is unique from other states because of it is "no fault" state. As a no fault state, New York requires your insurance policy to cover the expenses of an accident that you are involved in, no matter who is at fault. The insurance policy of New York drivers must carry no fault insurance that will cover your medical expenses following an accident.

Another distinct feature of the state’s insurance laws is that drivers must carry uninsured motorist coverage. This type of insurance goes into effect if you are involved in a collision with an uninsured driver or a hit and run accident.

Contact an Independent Agent

The key to purchasing insurance is to know when you should go with your state’s minimum requirements, and when you’ll need additional coverage. Contact an independent agent today and we can help you sort out the facts on New York’s insurance laws and receive the right amount of protection.