Business Garage Insurance

Business Garage Insurance

How does insurance help my business garage?

Whether your garage is a small shop or a large specialty garage, it’s important to make sure that you’re properly insured. All the usual insurance policies like liability and building insurance are necessary, but a business garage may want to consider some additional policies to help them minimize their risk.

What policies should I consider?

General Liability

A general liability policy is sometimes called a “slip and fall” policy, because it can protect your business if an employee, vendor, or customer slips and falls on your premises. But a general liability policy provides protection against liability claims for any damages that you or your employees might cause.

Commercial Building Insurance

Much like homeowner’s or renter’s insurance for your residence, commercial building insurance covers your building or property and many of its contents. Fire, theft, vandalism, and other risks can damage your business, your equipment, or your customer’s property. Commercial building insurance protects against many of these common concerns.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation covers your employees if they’re injured on the job. It may cover replacing their wages and paying for medical or recovery-related bills. Having adequate workers’ compensation coverage helps to prevent your employees from suing your company in the event of an injury. In an industry like automotive repair, worker injuries are not rare, so it’s important to have a plan in place to help your employees if they are injured at work.

Commercial Auto

Your personal auto insurance usually won’t cover you if you’re using your car for business purposes, but a commercial auto insurance policy will cover you whether your vehicle is personally owned or owned by the company. Not all business garages will need this coverage, but many will. If you send your employees to the parts store, they’re using a vehicle for business purposes, and you should consider commercial auto coverage.

Business Interruption

Your general liability policy will usually cover the cost of repair or replacement for things like computers, equipment, and furniture that’s damaged due to certain accidents. However, what happens when the fire destroys the business’s ability to remain open? If your business must close for repairs due to a covered event, business interruption insurance will help you to cover the loss of income that a business interruption will bring.

Directors and Officers Insurance

This policy may not be necessary for all business garages, but some small businesses may want to consider this policy for additional protection, especially if they’re running under a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or an LLC. In some cases, a person suing the company may attempt to go after the personal assets of the directors or officers. This type of policy protects those assets.

Cyber Liability

You don’t have to be Amazon to need cyber liability or data breach insurance. Even small garages often use computerized systems that contain personal information about their customers, and if this information is attacked or stolen, the company may be liable for failing to adequately safeguard the information. Not all business garages will need this type of coverage, but some will benefit from it.

Equipment Breakdown

Many small garages use tools and equipment that is reliable, easy to fix, and not too expensive to replace. But some of the more modern garages are using equipment that is extremely expensive, temperamental, or hard to fix. If these costly machines break down, will your garage lose money? If the answer is yes, you might want to consider equipment breakdown coverage, which helps to repair or replace damaged equipment and compensate you for some business losses.

Health Insurance

Most garages are small outfits, and in many states they are not required to help their employees with health insurance. However, providing some health insurance coverage for your employees is not only good for morale and overall health; it can also save you money. If your employee can visit a doctor after tweaking his ankle on that weekend hiking trip, he’s less likely to fall and sprain his ankle while working in your garage. Health insurance can also help you to recruit and retain good employees.

Environmental Impairment

Most garages won’t need this type of coverage, but if your garage works frequently with the type of materials prone to cause environmental damage, this type of policy can help you if you’re ordered to perform environmental cleanup of any hazardous or toxic spills or leaks.

How can I make sense of this all?

There’s a lot of information about insurance policies, and CoverWallet can help you understand what will work best for you and your company. We can put together a Business Garage policy that incorporates several different types of coverage to help you get the insurance you need to keep your business safe and profitable.

Not every garage needs the same coverage. You have unique needs, because your business, your location, your employees, your customers, and your services are different from the other garages in your local area. A CoverWallet representative can help explain the different policies to you so that you can put together a plan that works for you, not something designed for your closest competitor.

What does Business Garage insurance cover?

The coverage of your policy will depend on which options you’ve selected. CoverWallet can get you quotes from many different insurance providers and put them all together in a single insurance package. This way, you have one bill and one point of contact, but you have the ability to check premiums and coverage levels from several different policies.

At a minimum, Business Garage packages will include general liability insurance, commercial building/property insurance, and workers’ compensation. Additional policies may be added to increase coverage and help you minimize losses from specific risks.

What are the limits of Business Garage insurance?

The limitations will vary depending on which policies and which options you select. If you have specific concerns like flooding, employee dishonesty, crime, or expensive equipment, make sure to speak with your CoverWallet representative to make sure that your concerns are covered.

How much does it cost?

The cost of your overall policy varies based on several factors:

  • The state your business garage operates in;
  • The number of policies you select (usually, more policies result in higher cost);
  • The type of policies you choose (some policies are less expensive than others);
  • The size of your business (number of employees and average annual revenue);
  • How long you’ve been in business; and
  • What types of products or services you offer.

As a general rule, the right amount of insurance falls into a “sweet spot” – it’s enough insurance to keep you covered but not so much that you’re overinsured. It can be challenging to strike the right balance between having enough insurance and having too much, but your CoverWallet representative can help you find the right ratio of cost to benefit.

Please follow and like us:

Qualified Longevity Annuities

Crown Atlantic – Email Article on Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts

Crown Atlantic Insurance, a national insurance and annuities company, needed some articles to be sent to their email subscribers. Their focus was on marketing to Baby Boomers who were approaching retirement age or thinking about life insurance, and their primary concern was that the copy we produced be entirely compliant with regulatory rules. On this piece, we needed to meet the requirements of insurance marketing and annuities marketing (which is governed by the SEC).

Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts

An American man who makes it to the age of 65 today can expect to live until the age of 84 or later, and women can expect to live until almost 87. About one of every four of those 65-year-olds will live beyond the age of 90, and one in ten will survive past the age of 95.i Today’s 65-year-olds are also more likely to remain active and working. In 1995, the average age of retirement in the United States was 60; in 2015, it was 66.ii These trends aren’t new, and they’re not expected to go away any time soon.

Advances in medical technology, changes in the way we do our work, and fluctuations in the economy mean that people are living longer and retiring later as time marches on. If you’re planning to finance your retirement with an IRA, a 401k, or a 403b, you can start taking your distributions at any time, but you must start taking your required minimum distributions (RMDs) when you turn 70 ½. If you wait until the age of 70 to take distributions and you’re one of the lucky ten percent who lives to be 95 of older, your retirement must last you at least 25 years.

If you know in advance that you’re going to live to be 90, you can build your income strategy with that in mind. But what happens to people who plan their retirement to last 20 years and then live to be 100? Fortunately, there is a way to help make sure that your retirement income lasts as long as you do.

Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract

A qualified longevity annuity contract (QLAC) is an annuity product that helps ensure that retirement income lasts as long as retirement. With a traditional retirement account (like an IRA, 401k, or 403b), you cannot avoid taking your required minimum distributions once you hit 70 ½, regardless of whether you feel that you need it or not. When you convert part of your traditional retirement account into a QLAC, you are purchasing an annuity which kicks in when you reach a specified age. With a QLAC, your annuity payments could continue for the rest of your life, regardless of how long that is. A longevity annuity could theoretically be purchased with after-tax dollars, but for many people who are approaching retirement, their retirement savings are largely held in retirement accounts that provide beneficial taxation. Until 2014, longevity annuities could only be purchased with after-tax dollars, but the Treasury Department made some adjustments that allow people to purchase a QLAC with their qualified retirement dollars.

What makes it qualified?

In order to qualify as a QLAC, an annuity must meet certain requirements.

  • You can’t put in more than 25% of an employment retirement plan (401k or 403b), or more than 25% of all pre-tax IRAs, into a QLAC.
  • You can’t put in more than $125,000 OR 25% (whichever is less). The $125,000 may change with inflation, so check with your financial advisor for the most current restrictions.
  • Each spouse who has their own retirement accounts may devote up to the limitations; these are individual limitations and not joint.
  • Payouts must begin by the age of 85 or earlier.
  • QLACs must have fixed payouts; they can’t use variable or equity-indexed annuities. However, the QLAC may have a provision for a cost-of-living adjustment.
  • The QLAC must be irrevocable, which means that you can’t surrender it for cash after it’s purchased. Some QLACs have a return-of-premium death benefit that’s paid to your heirs.

Advantages of a QLAC

When your required minimum distributions (RMDs) are distributed, the value of the QLAC is excluded from that calculation. This can help a retiree to hang on to a larger portion of the retirement account, as it reduces the amount of RMDs required. When a retiree reaches the age at which the QLAC begins making payments, the QLAC payments will not count for a retiree’s RMDs. As long as their retirement account is still funded, they will be receiving their RMDs and their QLAC payment for the same time period. A QLAC can supplement your current retirement strategy to help ensure that you don’t outlive your retirement dollars.

Disadvantages of a QLAC

***REDACTED***

Is a QLAC right for me?

If you’re considering a QLAC, your best option is to consult with your local annuities agent, or your personal financial advisor. These professionals can look at your retirement strategy and give you individual, tailored advice for your specific needs and objectives.

However, you might consider getting a QLAC if:

  • You have a family history of living past the age of 85
  • You have reason to believe that your medical or living costs may increase after the age of 85
  • Your retirement account may not have the money available to pay for your living expenses for more than 10-15 years
  • You have a strong desire to remain in your own home for the rest of your life and do not want to be forced into a nursing home or living with family because your retirement account runs out
  • You intend to remain active and retain a similar lifestyle as you age and want to ensure that your retirement account can support that
  • You do not have children who are financially capable of supporting you if you outlive your retirement income, or you do not want to ask your children for financial support if that happens

Learn More

To find out more about a QLAC, you can contact your Crown Atlantic agent for a free, no-obligation consultation.

i Social Security Administration, https://www.ssa.gov/planners/lifeexpectancy.html

ii Gallup, http://www.gallup.com/poll/168707/average-retirement-age-rises.aspx

 

Please follow and like us: