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10400 Eaton Place, Suite 320
Fairfax, VA 22030

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Umbrella Liability Insurance Offers Extra Protection for your Business

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, July 26, 2018

As is the current business trend, you might seriously consider additional commercial insurance protection to your existing liability insurance policy given the latter often does not cover all expenses.  Typically the under insured choose umbrella liability insurance. Business umbrella insurance provides additional protection where your existing policy leaves off.

Hopefully you will never find yourself in the position of needing your business insurance policy. But in the scenario where you do, umbrella liability insurance gives your business another layer of protection. Excess liability policies add additional coverage to your general liability insurance. Umbrella liability insurance will help ensure that your business is protected.

If you are looking for the most affordable way to get higher policy limits on small business insurance policies, excess liability insurance is generally the route to take.

For information on how Umbrella Liability Insurance can help your business in VA, MD, or DC, contact TriState Business Insurance.

Proceeds of Life Insurance Policies can Pay More Than Estate Taxes - Fairfax, VA

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The life insurance policies we write for our clients in VA, Maryland, and DC can be customized to prepare your family.  We ensure coverage  for multiple death benefits which are critical to cover many unexpected costs to include sometimes brutal estate taxes. Some families are crushed by estate-tax payments that approach 50% of the total value of their estate. That is why the life insurance annuities policies that we write throughout VA, MD, DC get  you covered. The proceeds of the policy that you chose and customized with an independent agent are payable immediately and the amount your family will receive are designed to cover (at the very minimum) the estate taxes, funeral costs, and a variety of other "must pays".

We can't emphasize enough the need to plan for the tax inevitability, and you do this smartly by seeking life insurance researched and shopped foe you by an independent agent. You will be given options that are applicable for you and your family and tailor-fit it to your specific needs. If properly structured, your life insurance will be generally income tax-free and will not add to your estate tax liability. This only means that your heirs will take care of the estate taxes and other liabilities without having to hastily liquidate other assets which is often at a fraction of their true monetary value.

To find out more about your options on optimizing your life insurance policies, contact TriState Business Insurance.

Commercial Auto Insurance for your Business – VA, DC, MD

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, July 19, 2018

If you use an automobile in the service of your business, any auto whether it (or they) are personal cars or cars owned by the business, you are highly advised to investigate the need for commercial auto insurance. Commercial auto insurance provides protection for your business in the event of accidents, property damage, theft or vandalism.
Unfortunately, the potential for liability that can arise as a result of your or your employees driving company vehicles are endless and can include injuries to the employee or other individuals. If an employee causes damage with a company car, additional damage may be your company’s responsibility as well.

If you use your car frequently for business purposes, then your personal auto coverage may not provide coverage in the event of a loss. Certainly if your business owns a fleet of vehicles, you need a commercial auto policy.  However, be sure that your commercial auto insurance quotes are very clear and that they specify all of the policy limits and coverage levels. Financial loss as a result of an auto accident or injury can often be more than a business can bear.

Commercial auto insurance brokers can design an insurance policy that will protect their vehicles and cover any liability that could occur during the course business operations. Be sure that you shop around for your business auto insurance quotes, contact TriState Business Insurance.

Boat Insurance: A Must Read for Every Boat Owner

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, July 18, 2018
TriState Business Insurance - boat insurance for rental recreational vehicles

It’s summer again, and as typical, our phones heat up with questions regarding boat insurance. We put this blog post together in the hope that we answer questions that we know a lot of you have out there. Should the time come for you to acquire new (or replace your existing) boat insurance coverage in (VA, MD, or DC), know that your independent insurance agents and friends at TriState Insurance are just a phone call away.

Do you need boat insurance?

Your home insurance policy covers your boat in some cases, but it doesn’t go far. Homeowners policies typically cap boat coverage at $1,000 or 10% of your home’s insured value. And liability coverage — which pays for damage your boat does to others — typically isn’t included under home insurance. So a home insurance policy might help you only if your boat is small, slow and inexpensive.

What boat insurance will pay for:

You can typically buy liability insurance — which pays for damage your boat does to others — in amounts from $15,000 to $300,000, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Check about additional coverage for trailers and accessories, for towing and for damage caused by an uninsured boater.

You can buy two types of damage coverage for a boat:

  • Actual cash value. This pays the value of your boat at the time of the damage. If your boat is destroyed, your insurance company determines its market value.
  • Agreed amount value. If your boat is destroyed, your insurer pays you an amount that you and the company agreed on beforehand. If your boat can be repaired, your insurer replaces old items for new ones without deducting for depreciation.

It’s also important to understand what your boat insurance covers before heading out on the water. Check whether your policy covers these scenarios:

  • Mechanical breakdown coverage. Pays to repair or replace your outboard motor as long as it’s not due to wear and tear.
  • Salvage. If your boat becomes disabled and a basic tow won’t help, you might need to call a salvage company to recover it. Typically a salvage company will ask for a percentage of the boat’s value as payment, which can be quite expensive. Not all insurance companies offer this coverage.
  • Gadgets. Not all boat insurers cover expensive accessories like fishing equipment or fancy coolers unless they’re permanently attached to the boat. Endorsements, which are additions to your policy, are available if you want to increase the value of your personal property limits.

Some important things to know about boating and your policy:

  • Navigational limits: If you own a yacht or a larger boat, your policy will have limits outlining where you can navigate your vessel. If you venture outside of the territory you agreed to in the policy, your insurance may not cover you. Typically, the broader your navigation area is, the higher your insurance costs will be.
  • Layup periods: Taking your boat out of the water is typical during cold weather, and most insurance companies will give you a credit because it’s not being used. But take the boat out for a spin before the layup period ends and you won’t be covered by your insurance policy.
  • Marine inspections: If your boat is an older model, most insurance companies will want you to have it inspected by a marine surveyor in order to assess the vessel’s condition and market value. For safety’s sake, consider a marine survey even if it’s not required.
  • Underage operators: You might be tempted to let your 12-year-old drive the boat every now and then. But if your child doesn’t meet age and license requirements in your state, your boat insurance policy might not cover you. Age and license requirements for operating personal watercraft vary from state to state. In Virginia, for example, no one under 14 may operate a personal watercraft. For requirements where you live, check with the boating regulatory agency in your state.

If you own a boat or personal water craft and have questions about any of the considerations discussed above, or if you simply wish to secure new insurance for your boat that is based in VA, MD, or DC, call us!

Business Owners Policy: Insurance Myths & Tips

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, July 12, 2018
Small Business Insurance Considerations Provided By Tristate Business Insurance

Setting up a business can be a very exciting time for anyone. The sense of achievement and success you get in running your own company is hard to beat. One question that that is asked very often by business owners both old and new is “Do I need business insurance?” The answer to this question is simple. Yes you do. This raises another crucial question that needs to be addressed. It is “What business insurance do I need?” There are many different types of insurance available to the business owner. Five types of insurance that all businesses should definitely consider:

  1. Property Insurance
  2. Liability Insurance
  3. . Health and Supplement Insurance
  4. Business Vehicle Insurance
  5. Workers Compensation Insurance

There is an option available to business owners to get a customized insurance package that includes all the necessary insurance for their business. This comes under the name of Business Owners Policy Insurance. This is advantageous to business owners looking to cut costs as the price is usually lower than if the individual policies were bought separately.

A lot of business owners are put off buying business insurance for many reasons. A lot of these center around myths about business insurance. We have organized five myths about business insurance that are regularly asked by business owners.

Myth 1: My business is a corporation. The corporate format protects me from liability, so I don’t need insurance.

This myth is completely false. Being a corporation only protects the individual investors, the owners, and the officers from personal liability for the actions and debts of the corporation for corporate purposes. There are laws that allow the ‘corporate veil of protection’ to be removed under certain circumstances. If this happens, the owner could be personally liable and must answer a court judgment with personal assets, such as their house, car or even their life savings. When this can happen varies from state to state. A simple way to look at this is the smaller you are the more likely this can be.

Myth 2: Nobody will sue me, my business does not make a lot of money, and “you can’t squeeze blood from a turnip.” My business is not collectible.

Again this myth is false. Anyone and any business can be sued at any time. Once a money judgment is rendered against them by a court of law, it must be paid out. Judgments do not go away. It certain situations judgments can be renewed. Everybody is collectible at the hands of a persistent attorney.

Myth 3: If I die or become disabled, my family and my business partners are friends and they’ll just work it out.

The plain and simple fact is that a lot of small businesses rarely survive the death or disability of one of the main members. Most businesses do not have the cash flow necessary to pay the estate of a deceased member for its interest in the business. It is also rare that family members and business partners rarely work things out or come to an agreement after the death or disability of a member.

Myth 4: The use of my car for business purposes is covered under my existing auto insurance. 

Unfortunately this is, again, false. If you use your personal car for business use your current auto insurance policy my not cover you. You may need to extend the policy to include business use to it. It’s a good idea to check your current policy to see what kind of business use is covered. If your employees use your car for business use, you may need to get a separate insurance policy to cover them.

Myth 5: An expensive business owner’s policy is your only option for complete coverage for your home-based business. 

This is one myth that many people fall for. This is also a reason why people tend to stay away from a business owner’s policies. In fact getting a business owner’s policy is often cheaper than getting all the insurance you need separately.

If you have questions about any of these myths or any question at all about how to insure your new or existing business in Virginia, Maryland, or DC, call us!

5 Small Business Insurance Mistakes that Cost You Money

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, July 05, 2018
TriState Business Insurance - cyber liability insurance in VA, MD, and DC

Independent insurance agents are your best bet for finding true value for your insurance dollar. That’s one of the reasons that your friends here at TriState Business Insurance maintain this blog as a service to all of you. We believe that a well-educated business insurance consumer will ultimately seek out the advice of trusted independent insurance agents such as TriState serving all of VA, MD, and DC. Should you wish to talk to any of our independent agents about these five money saving topics, feel free to call.

Here are five small business Insurance Mistakes that Cost You Money.

  1. Not Having the Right Insurance for Online Sales
    Online sales help boost many small businesses’ revenue. However, defective products can lead to expensive lawsuits. Business owners should have a product liability insurance to help protect them against these types of lawsuits. Also, a contingent business income (CBI) coverage can protect policyholders against economic losses caused by damage to property owners.
  2. Not Checking Your Business Credit Before Getting a Policy
    Small business owners often don’t realize that the insurer may check their business credit profile as part of the underwriting process. A poor business credit history may make it difficult or more expensive to get the insurance they need. Before you apply for any kind of business insurance, consider checking your business credit profile to see where you stand.
  3. Not Taking Advantage of IRS Code Section 162
    Section 162 allows for an Executive Bonus plan. An executive bonus plan is a fringe benefit, funded with life insurance, given to a select group of key employees and/or business owners. It provides protection to the executive’s family during their working years, and when it’s funded with permanent life insurance, it can also provide tax-advantaged supplemental retirement income.
  4. Not Having a Cyber Insurance Policy
    Cyber insurance protects businesses and individual users from internet-based risks. It is designed to help an organization mitigate risk exposure by offsetting costs involved with recovery after a cyber-related security breach. Unfortunately, only around 58% of small businesses have cyber insurance. There are businesses who incur losses due to cyber-security risks and having a cyber insurance can help you prevent such risks and losses.
  5. Buying a Policy Based on Price Rather than Value
    Most small business owners treat insurance as a commodity and as a result, are buying based on price rather than value. When it comes to buying business insurance, one size does not fit all. It is critical that the insurance carriers understand your business and craft the coverage to meet your needs. Cheap policies are not always the best policies for your business.

If you have questions about any issue at all regarding securing insurance for your business, call us! We are independent insurance professionals serving all of Virginia, Maryland, and DC.