Minimum Requirements for Your Florida Commercial Auto Insurance Policy

Commercial auto insurance is a requirement if you’re using a vehicle for business-related purposes. Often, the coverage limits for a commercial policy have much higher limits than your personal policy because there’s increased risk for covering commercial vehicles. Unlike a personal policy, which is often separated into categories like personal injury and property damage, a commercial auto insurance policy typically has a combined single limit. The minimum requirements for your policy can vary depending on your business, and if you want specific information, contact Connect America Insurance Agency, which serves Jacksonville, FL.

General Requirements

As most commercial auto insurance policies have a combined single limit, it’s common to see policies ranging from a half-million to multiple millions of dollars. Some smaller companies may be able to get a policy that starts at $100,000, but most businesses will find themselves needing more coverage.

There are some benefits to having your commercial policy under one limit. For example, if you’re responsible for an accident that causes a great deal of property damage and little or no bodily injuries, you can use the entire limit of your policy to pay for the property damages.

Minimum Coverage for Taxi Drivers

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, self-employed taxi drivers who have a taxicab as their only vehicle must have bodily injury liability coverage of at least $125,000 for each person, $250,000 per occurrence, and $50,000 for property damage liability coverage.

Other Useful Information

When you’re getting insurance quotes, you may notice that many companies will only permit you to get limits that are higher than the state or federally-mandated limits. While this may seem confusing, it’s because the minimum requirements are often not enough to cover commercial liability. For information that’s tailored to your business, reach out to Connect America Insurance Agency, which serves Jacksonville, FL, today.

Should small business owners invest in cyber liability insurance?

You never think that data breach can happen to you until you are violated. The consequences of such crime can be more significant if you are a small business responsible for handling the pertinent information of your clients. You may find yourself on the receiving end of a lawsuit if you are found at fault of negligence that leads to financial loss for customers who endured identity theft because of a data breach within your company ranks. Such is the reason for Connect America Insurance Agency helping you find the right cyber liability insurance policy in Jacksonville, FL.

Small businesses are at risk
Many entrepreneurs think that they are the least likely to fall victim to identity theft in business because their companies are so small. In actuality, cyber thieves search out small businesses first because of weaker security lines that allow for quicker penetration of the system. 

A thief may not be able to infiltrate the Target security system holding the accounts of various consumers. A criminal may, however, be able to obtain credit card numbers from a “Mom and Pop” shop who purchased their machine independently and pays a third party a monthly subscription fee to use the service. Data breaches cost small business owners an average $86,000 to correct. You stand to pay that full amount from your funds without cyber liability insurance.

What is cyber liability insurance?
A cyber insurance policy helps your company move forward after a data breach by relieving you of some of the economic tension associated with such event. This type of insurance pays customers on your company’s behalf if they suffer financial loss due to identity theft because of information being compromised by your business. 

One of the many benefits of cyber liability insurance is, of course, peace of mind. Another perk is knowing that you are protected from lawsuits related to an unfortunate data breach. 

You should not operate a small business in Jacksonville, FL without general liability insurance. In the same manner, you should not take charge of customers’ pertinent information without having some form of protection in the instance of a data breach. Connect America Insurance Agency can make sure that your small business has everything it needs to thrive in the city. Call us today to figure out what insurance policy is right for your company. 

What You Need To Know About Workers’ Compensation Insurance As A Florida Business Owner

The city of Jacksonville, FL is a part of a broader state region that is business-friendly. Florida has many laws in place to protect business owners from the wiles of employees trying to take advantage of the workers’ compensation system. Here are a few things that you should know about the insurance plan before calling Connect America Insurance Agency for help. 

Workers’ compensation insurance is required if you have employees
You need to purchase workers’ compensation even if you are a home-based business with one assistant. The amount of coverage you must purchase grows with every new worker that you add. 

Your insurance company selects the doctor when incidents occur
An employee who claims an at-work injury must have the severity of his impairment assessed by a medical doctor. The good news is that your indemnity company chooses the physician, which effectively prevents a dishonest worker from receiving more recompense than needed. It is, after all, the doctor’s evaluation that determines the length that a person can claim workers’ compensation. A physician chosen by your insurance company will have your business’ better interest at heart. 

Florida law sets limits on the length of time employees can receive workers’ compensation
The compensation checks stop once the doctor that your insurance company has chosen clears the employee to return to work duties. The good part about workers’ comp in Jacksonville, FL and other parts of the state is that a physician can deem an employee suitable to return to the company and not necessarily the job they were doing when they were injured. You can assign a recovering employee a different task that does not threaten his welfare or quality of work and still be in compliance with state laws.

Workers’ compensation may be required in Florida, but you don’t have to pay through the nose for the assurance plan. Call Connect America Insurance Agency today to see how we can help your company!

Umbrella Insurance – When it rains, it pours!

Umbrella Insurance is simply an alternative name for the line of insurance known as personal liability. Connect America Insurance Agency offers Umbrella policies to cover an insured when their injuries and damages exceed the liability limits of their existing policies. 

To determine if an Umbrella Insurance policy is right for you, assess the risks regarding the specifics of your personal situation, like:

  • Do you own a dog?
  • Does your home have a backyard pool?
  • Do you have teenagers driving your cars?

Then, contact Connect America Insurance Agency, the experts serving the communities in and around Jacksonville, FL.

Next, set aside the time required to inventory all of your assets. This exercise is Well Worth Your Effort!

The next step is to review the amount of liability protection offered to you by your current insurance policies, if there are any.

If the current liability coverage for your home (in and around Jacksonville FL), does not sufficiently cover your total assets (remember, you inventoried them), it signifies that you are in need of additional personal liability coverage.

How much coverage can you afford?

Preliminarily, it is important to note that an abundance of insurance companies require that the applicant have certain minimum liability limits if they offer Umbrella Insurance coverage to you. The limits apply to:

  • Automobile Insurance
  • Homeowner’s Insurance

Finally, compare your current exposure to risk with the Umbrella Liability policies offered within the marketplace.  It is noted that the majority of umbrella policies begin with $1 million. If it appears you will need more liability coverage, inquire about additional coverage.

Potential Mistakes to Avoid When Searching for Umbrella Insurance

  • Overlooking the Fine Print.
  • The premium cost is the only factor considered.
  • Choosing coverage that just meets the value of your assets.


How is Cyber Liability Insurance Beneficial to Your Business?

One of the newest forms of insurance that Connect America Insurance Agency, serving the Jacksonville, FL area, offers is cyber liability insurance. This is an insurance policy that business owners should consider purchasing. If you are a business owner, you may wonder what the benefits are to this type of insurance. Here are a few of the ways that cyber liability insurance can be beneficial to your business. 

What it Protects Against

Cyber liability insurance protects against hackers and bots that can destroy your online business or ruin your reputation. This type of insurance helps protect you in case your system is attacked and infected with ransomware, a hacker steals your customers information or your business identity, the theft of sensitive data or intellectual property, or if you are accused of spam-related crimes because of the actions of someone else. 

How it Can Be Beneficial

All of the above things can impact your business and cause you to lose out on money. If your customer data base is breached, customers may stop shopping with you. If your intellectual property is stolen, you may lose out on money. Cyber liability insurance helps to cover any losses you sustain as the result of actions that someone takes over the Internet. This helps your business to stay afloat during rough times, ensuring your business does not go under as a result of all of this. 

If you are interested in learning more about cyber liability insurance or want to get a quote, contact Connect America Insurance Agency, serving the greater Jacksonville, FL area today. Our agents can help determine what your needs are and put together a policy that offers you the coverage levels you should have. 

Comparing Worker’s Compensation Insurance: Coverage vs. Cost

One of the main questions when discussing worker’s compensation insurance and more broadly, insurance in general, is weighing the cost of the policy against the level and quality of the coverage it provides. For those who are seeking workers’ compensation in Jacksonville, FL, or in any other city, the optimal balance is to obtain worker’s compensation insurance with the highest quality and level of insurance necessary for the lowest cost possible. However, doing this can prove quite difficult, especially if you have never gotten insurance before or if you are looking for a very specific policy.

The first step to balancing the cost and coverage of an insurance policy is to find a reputable insurance agency. One indication that an insurance agency is reputable is that they will have their information readily available if you call or visit their website. It is wise to stay away from insurance agencies that make it more difficult than necessary to access their information. Another excellent source of information for finding reputable insurance agencies is the Better Business Bureau, a non-profit organization which helps settle disputes between consumers and businesses.

Once you have found a reputable insurance agency, you should evaluate the worker’s compensation insurance in terms of coverage provided vs. cost incurred. Different individuals and agencies have different standards, but whether you are working with Connect America Insurance Agency the general rule is to match coverage with cost. For example, if a worker’s compensation insurance policy only offers moderate coverage, then generally the cost to you should be moderate. One final question you might be asking is if your employer offers workers’ compensation insurance.

If you live in Jacksonville FL, or any other city in the state, Connect America Insurance Agency can help. Worker’s Compensation insurance can save you a great deal of pain and suffering, so make sure to call Connect America Insurance Agency if you are interested in more information.

How Umbrella Insurance Helps You Avoid Costly Liability Suits

Understanding insurance and how it works to ultimately save you money can be complicated and confusing. One type of insurance that is often difficult to grasp is umbrella insurance.

With that being said, umbrella insurance is one of the most helpful and important types of insurance to look into as you shop around. Let’s explore what umbrella insurance is and how it can save you money by helping you avoid costly liability suits.

Understanding Umbrella Insurance

Umbrella insurance is a type of insurance that goes above and beyond standard insurance policies, such as homeowners insurance or auto insurance. It adds extra liability coverage to your plans, and this is ultimately why it’s so important.

Most auto insurance policies and homeowners insurance policies do have a certain amount of liability coverage. Naturally, this will depend on the plan that you have, but the truth is that the liability coverage for most standard plans is not very much. Umbrella insurance can help take care of the rest.

Here’s an example. Let’s say that you got into an auto accident that was ultimately your fault. Your standard auto insurance plan might cover up to $100,000 in damages for the other party, but if the actual amount of property damage, medical bills, and other costs exceeds $100,000, you’ll be left in the lurch. In this case, liability insurance from your umbrella insurance plan would swoop in and take care of these costs, saving you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Call Connect America Insurance Agency Today

If you are a Jacksonville, FL resident and you’re interested in learning more about umbrella insurance or adding umbrella insurance to an already existing plan, give Connect America Insurance Agency a call today or stop into our nearest agency location. We are proud to serve the residents of Jacksonville, FL, and one of our agents would love to sit down and discuss your insurance options with you.

Refinancing and Special Insurance Coverage Escrows

With rising home prices and historically low mortgage rates in Jacksonville, FL, refinancing tends to be a very attractive option for homeowners to either lower their outstanding property debt or to pull out equity to make big changes and repairs on the home. However, the refinancing process has changed significantly since the 2000’s, and a number of new rules have been put in place since the 2009 real estate recession. One of those rules has to do with flood zone areas and flood insurance, according to Connect America Insurance Agency.

Typically, a financed home in Jacksonville FL has to have some kind of homeowners insurance plan in place to protect it. This ensures that the lender’s collateral, the home, is protected and remains valuable in case the home loan can’t be paid back (the lender would then foreclose on the home and sell it to recover the debt). In flood zones, however, general homeowner insurance does not protect a home. A homeowner has to obtain a special flood insurance policy coverage from the National Flood Insurance Plan (NFIP). For a refinance lender, this is a critical protection, especially in areas that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has designated risk areas for flooding.

As a result, those refinancing or going to find that while they may be able to avoid an escrow account requirement for property taxes, they may have to pay an escrow for flood insurance on top of their regular mortgage payment. This type of issue doesn’t appear or become known until the applicant is getting ready to sign the final paperwork on the refinance. To understand how this sort of issue works and get more details on flood insurance, in particular, the folks at Connect America Insurance Agency can help. Email or call today!

How Does Condo Insurance Differ From Home Insurance?

If you have just purchased a condo, you may be looking to obtain home insurance to protect your investment and fulfill your lender’s requirement to carry insurance on the property. However, many people are surprised to know that there is actually a condo insurance product, covering condos. At Connect America Insurance Agency, serving the greater Jacksonville, FL area, we are often asked what the major difference between condo and home insurance is. Here is some information.

The biggest differences between condo and home insurance is what is covered. When you buy a condo, you are typically responsible for maintaining the inside of your unit. You are not required to maintain the exterior of the building or items such as the roof. As such, condo insurance is modified to only cover the items that would apply to you as a condo building, such as only covering the things that are found within your four walls of the building. Because you are not responsible for many things in a condo that you would be in a home, condo insurance is typically cheaper than home insurance as well, which is a welcome sign to many condo buyers, especially those who are just buying their first place.

If you are looking to obtain a condo insurance policy in the greater Jacksonville, FL area, Connect America Insurance Agency would love to help. We can go over your purchase agreement and homeowners association agreement and find out what you are responsible for and what you are not responsible for as far as repairs and maintenance goes in the condo. We can then put together an insurance policy that fully covers you and your investment into the building. Call us today to get a free estimate or to schedule an appointment to put a policy together for you.

Commercial Insurance for Your Home-Based Business

If you have a home-based business, you may need specialized insurance to keep your company running if something unexpected happens to your merchandise or equipment. In Jacksonville, FL, the independent insurance agents at Connect America Insurance Agency would like you to know how to keep your home business secure.

Homeowners Policy Endorsements

Typically, a homeowners policy will not cover all of the expenses that you have for your business at home. You could always add an endorsement to your current policy, but this type of addition has limits. An endorsement is an optional coverage that offers you additional security over your homeowners plan.

For example, in Florida, you can acquire an endorsement for a home day care facility. You can get greater coverage for your home, but the liability is limited. Talk with your insurance agents to go over your limits if you decide to add an endorsement to your homeowners policy.

In-Home Business Policy

For a higher premium, you can secure your at-home business property. This type of policy may cover the lost income if your business has to stop running because your home is damaged. It could also cover the loss of equipment, valuables, and accounts receivables.

Business Owners Package (BOP)

Another type of insurance that you should consider for your home business is Business Owners Package (BOP). Usually, for small and medium-sized businesses, BOP offers coverage that can include materials, equipment, and other items necessary to run your business. If you customize dresses in your home and there is a fire, the material and equipment could be covered under the BOP policy.

Come by the Jacksonville, FL offices and request information concerning your home-based business. Connect America Insurance Agency can offer you advice and start you with the right amount of coverage for your commercial business.