Self-Driving Cars in our Future?

Google Robocar Racetrack RideI don’t know about you but I like the idea of a driverless car. While my commuting days are behind me, I can definitely see the advantages. I think the reality is that California missed the boat when it comes to mass transportation and we need something that uses what we have to deal with the constantly increasing number of people that need to get from point A to point B and self-driving cars might just be the ticket. Plus, I like the idea of taking a nap on the way.

Future Impact of Self-Driving Cars Would Be Big: Study

“Know Your Plan” App Makes Disaster Prep Easy

Damaged house following Feb 22 quake by martinluff, on FlickrSince the basic idea of insurance is “what if?”, disaster preparedness is a natural topic. With some events, like earthquakes, it’s not a question of if but when. Preparedness isn’t a goal but a process. The idea is to keep working on it little by little. While our family may be better prepared than most, I still find it hard to stay with it. The Insurance Institute has put together an iPhone app that helps you work through a plan to get yourself and your family prepared.

“Know Your Plan” from the Insurance Institute

Workers Compensation rates on the rise in 2012

stack-of-moneyWhen payrolls are low, rates tend to go up since there’s less payroll to spread out the costs of injuries. Here in California, we have seen a couple of double-digit increases in the advisory rates put out by the WCIRB and the Department of Insurance in the past year and it looks like there’s another one coming.

California bureau to recommend 12.6% increase for workers compensation premiums

There is apparently some work being done behind the scenes in Sacramento to address the escalating cost of Work Comp, so hopefully there will be some relief soon.

Workers’ Comp Deal in the Works for California

US Open of Surfing 2012 Awards in HB

Events like this are why I stay on our, quieter, side of HB during much of the summer.

Spectators lined the pier and filled every inch of sand in Huntington Beach for front-row seats to watch as nine-long days of surfing action came to a close Sunday afternoon with the finals of the prestigious U.S. Open of Surfing.

Why do I need General Liability insurance?

This is a question that I’m sure is on the mind of most businesses that have let their insurance lapse for one reasons or another. It’s understandable; no one enjoys paying for insurance, not even insurance agents. But it really is a necessity for nearly all businesses.

So, just what does a Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy cover? Well, here is one definition: “A standard insurance policy issued to business organizations to protect them against liability claims for bodily injury (BI) and property damage (PD) arising out of premises, operations, products, and completed operations; and advertising and personal injury (PI) liability.”

Show your customers that you are serious

Having General Liability insurance shows your customers that you take your responsibilities seriously. True, there will always be fly-by-night outfits that quote the cheapest prices. What if an accident happens? Their price probably won’t seem so low if there is no insurance to pay for damages or injuries. We’ve personally seen claims on $1,000 policies that run upwards of $250,000. If you are unfortunate enough to have one of these accidents, that $1,000 policy won’t seem so expensive, will it?

Make your landlord happy

Most landlords require General Liability insurance to protect themselves in the event someone or something is harmed by you. If yours hasn’t been watching it’s really only a matter of time before they do.

Foundation of any business’ insurance program

A standard CGL covers everything except what is excluded. There are various exclusions, such as automobile (’cause it’s normally on a separate policy) and pollution (for hazardous materials such as asbestos since most businesses wouldn’t want to pay for the coverage anyway). What’s good about the CGL policy is that it covers all bodily injury or property damage claims unless it’s specifically excluded and that’s why it is the foundation for most businesses. If some of the risks excluded apply to your business you can add those particular coverages.

Helps prove that a subcontractor isn’t just an employee on a 1099

For those of you in the construction trades, the issue of Employee versus Sub-Contractor has been raging for a very long time. Many times an employer will want to declare an employee to be a subcontractor in order to reduce their Workers Compensation or payroll tax costs. However, government agencies such as the IRS, EDD, CSLB and WCIRB are well aware of the temptation. Unfortunately, each has their rules and guidelines. Maintaining their own CGL policy is one strong factor that shows that your subcontractors really are subcontractors. We also recommend that you insist on them adding you as an Additional Insured on their policy for your protection. Then, it would be their policy to provide defense in the event of an accident involving them.

As I mentioned earlier, nobody enjoys paying for insurance. If you never have any claims, it’s just a worthless piece of paper. On the other hand, if there is an accident that piece of paper will be golden.