Business Insurance

When do I need workers compensation insurance?

In most cases, workers compensation insurance is necessary, as your business is responsible for all on-the-job injuries, regardless of who is at fault.  Not every employer needs worker’s compensation insurance.  In some stats, companies with 3-5 employees or less don’t.  Other states also give the employer the option to cover the costs of on-the-job injuries themselves, but this may not be a good idea from a business standpoint.  

What you pay in terms of a monthly premium depends on which of the 700 occupational codes your company falls into.  A low-risk occupation like administrative assistant would cost around 30 cents per $100 of payroll, while contractors cost around $4 per $100.  

If your business doesn’t make claims very often, you might get offered discount rates.  To learn the specifics for your business, it’s best to talk to a qualified insurance agent. 

What is an experience modification? What can I do to lower it?

Experience modification is a term used in workers compensation insurance to describe the adjustment of your insurance premiums based on previous loss experience.  The number gauges the past cost of injuries and the future chance of risk.  The lower this number is, the lower your annual premium is.  

The experience modification number gives more weight to the frequency of injuries in your workplace, and less weight to the severity.  To keep this number low, your company must maintain a loss record lower than the industry average.  

Will my personal auto policy cover me if I use my vehicle to plow or for other business activities?

If you are using your vehicle to plow for business purposes, your personal auto insurance does not cover your snowplow.  You will need to carry commercial vehicle and general liability insurance to provide a minimal amount of coverage.

I have a home based business, do I need commercial insurance?

Most home-based businesses do need insurance, but the types of insurance required depend largely on the type of business.  Speaking in a very basic general sense, you should consider one or more of the following types of insurance:

  • Rider to a homeowner’s/renter’s insurance policy – A rider expands the coverage of your homeowner’s policy by around $2500 per year, while costing around $100.  If you have a minimal amount of equipment, this could be a great fit.
  • In-home business policy – This could cover many situations, but what you’re looking for is coverage up to $10,000 for theft or loss of critical documents or injuries to people coming and going.  
  • Business owner’s policy – If you need more than $10,000 n coverage, you need a more comprehensive policy similar to what brick-and-mortar stores use.  You can cover millions of dollars of equipment breakdown, theft, or damage, for example.  

Be sure to discuss your needs with the agents at Core Insurance to receive a specific recommendation for your business. 

Personal Insurance

How can I get health insurance coverage if I have a pre-existing condition?

We’ll be totally honest with you:  getting coverage for a pre-existing condition is difficult, if you get any coverage at all.  Most likely you will be denied insurance coverage for that condition entirely, and if you’re lucky, you will experience a waiting period before coverage begins, or higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs.  

The good news is that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will force insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions beginning in 2014.  However, we can’t promise how that will actually play out once the law comes into effect.

In the meantime, the words you should become familiar with are Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP).  Coverage under PCIP is provided by the federal government, but it’s still fairly expensive.  However, at least you will have coverage that protects you from catastrophic medical costs.  To quality, you must have a pre-existing condition, no insurance coverage for that condition for 6 months, and a private insurance company must have denied you coverage. 

Visit this URL to learn more about PCIP and how it works in your state.

Should I Consider a High-Deductible Health Insurance Plan?

If you are healthy and have decent savings in the bank, a high-deductible insurance plan is the perfect fit for you.  Specifically, if you rarely need prescription drugs, don’t have a pre-existing condition, and don’t plan on being pregnant, consider a high-deductible plan.  

To remain financially protected, set aside $1,000 - $5,000 to cover emergency out-of-pocket expenses.  Pairing your high-deductible plan with an IRS qualified health savings account makes for a powerful solution for healthy individuals.

Why Should I Have Health Insurance?

You probably already know medical expenses have skyrocketed dramatically in past decades.  If you experience a serious medical condition and have no medical insurance, you could be hit with medical bills that take you years to pay off.  If you have inadequate coverage or coverage that doesn’t cover your particular medical conditions, you can experience a financial catastrophe as well.