Lallis and Higgins Blog

Does your Business Need Umbrella Coverage?

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Can your business weather a potential multi-million dollar lawsuit?

Lallis and Higgins Insurance, Weymouth, MABusiness owners don't need another reason for a sleepless night, but here's a big one: in our experience, nearly 80 percent of businesses are not covered against potentially business-ending lawsuits and catastrophic losses. That's because they fail to add commercial excess and umbrella insurance to their coverage package. The reality is that when it comes to protecting businesses, umbrella coverage is a necessity, not an option.

Umbrella coverage provides that extra protection a business needs for big, unexpected events that can quickly exceed its primary insurance limits — from devastating multi-million dollar lawsuits to liability claims, employee auto accidents, and more. And coverage is surprisingly affordable. Just keep in mind that an umbrella is a supplemental policy, not a standalone policy. Liability is simply a factor of doing business. And every business that plans on remaining solvent and competitive should have an umbrella policy for proactive peace of mind. It offers extra protection needed in the event of a catastrophic loss or lawsuit, with limits that go well beyond standard general liability limits.

Five reasons why your business may need umbrella insurance

  1. You could go bankrupt without it — especially if your business is in a litigation-prone industry. One large jury award could quickly put you out of business, if it exceeds your policy limits.
  2. Your customers require it — if an accident occurs, they want to make sure your business has enough coverage to handle it.
  3. Your business is inherently dangerous — you manufacture hazardous materials, or have a high risk of occupational injury to your employees.
  4. You have company vehicles or employees who drive their personal cars for business — which brings liability on every mile traveled.
  5. You have a physical presence — one slip, fall or other accident on company property is all it takes.

Make sure your business plans for that rainy day

Consult Lallis & Higgins Insurance, an independent insurance agent, to learn more about tailoring a commercial umbrella policy for total business protection.

Hanover


Understanding your Home's "Replacement Cost"

Joseph Coupal - Friday, April 20, 2018

Lallis and Higgins Insurance, Weymouth, MAYour home's replacement cost is a major factor in making sure you are correctly insured.

Here's a statistic that may surprise you: more than half of homes in the US are underinsured. This may be because home insurance policies are often believed to provide coverage based on a home's market value, as opposed to its replacement cost. Understanding the difference between these two concepts is a key factor in making sure your coverage is up to the high standards of your home.

Replacement cost versus market value

When you think of what your home is worth, you tend to think of either what you paid for it, or the price you can sell it for on the open market. This may be affected by factors beyond the size and features of your home, such as its neighborhood, school system, market demand and other external considerations.

But insurance carriers are more concerned with the replacement cost of your home. This is essentially the amount it would take to rebuild your home from scratch in the event of a total loss. There are many factors that go into determining this figure, and as a result, a home's replacement cost often (and sometimes greatly) differs from its market value.

Here's an example (for illustration purposes only). Let's say you purchased your home for $225,000, and you opt to insure it for this amount. But then, unfortunately, a fire destroys your home completely, and the cost to rebuild it, factoring parts and labor, comes to $280,000. You would be underinsured for $55,000 – which means you may not have enough funds to rebuild your home the way it was.

Some factors that go into replacement cost

  • Roof and shingle style and quality, which can vary widely from home to home
  • Exterior features like porches, decks, and breezeways
  • The age and quality of your heating and cooling systems
  • The materials used in your kitchen and/or bath
  • The style of your garage, and whether it is attached
  • Present-day costs of building materials and labor
  • The costs of debris removal, which are not included in new home construction

Replacement costs can change during the life of your home. That's why it's important to make sure you have the coverage you truly need should you ever suffer a total loss. Contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance, your independent insurance agent, we have the tools and expertise that can help you determine the right replacement cost for your home.


Better Home Insurance in New Hampshire

Joseph Coupal - Friday, April 13, 2018

Lallis and Higgins Insurance, Weymouth, MAIf you own a home or are in the market to buy a home, you’ll be happy to know that Lallis & Higgins Insurance new services all of New Hampshire. Winner a Reader’s Choice Award in Massachusetts for the last three years we are happy to bring our knowledge, customer service, and menu of insurance providers to the New Hampshire area.

Lallis and Higgins Insurance can help you with all of your home, condo and renter insurance needs. In fact, because of our menu of providers, we can match you up with the best home insurance option for your situation. The insurance companies we represent allow us to help families from the Cape to Quincy shore, from Salem to Sudbury and now, from Nashua to New Hampton and beyond. We have the ability to get the best product at the best price for you and your family.

But, don’t just take our word for it, see what some of clients are saying:

"Couldn't be happier! I shopped around to multiple insurance agencies and by far found the best price. In addition to the best price, Anthony took the time to really look at each of my policies to make sure I was properly covered and suggested adjustments that made sense. I finally feel like I have the proper coverage and have someone who cares. Thanks again!"

"Derek was so easy to work with and really knows his stuff. He allowed me to get things done at my own pace and prepared everything for me and explained all the products and suggested what was best, all while saving us money. Very happy with my home policy and our new awesome agent."

"Derek Higgins is an amazing agent and was able to save me money and also increase my coverages to protect me against any future incidents. If you are using a national insurance company, you need to rethink your insurance and give Derek a call ASAP!"

"Hands down the best customer service! They make you feel as though you are part of the family. Always readily available to assist and accommodate your needs and requests. Very professional team!"

"By far the most helpful, kind, professional people on the planet. Plus I’ve saved more money than imaginable!"

Need home owner's insurance or want a review of your existing coverage? Contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.


Insurance Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Lallis and Higgins Insurance, Weymouth, MANothing is as exciting or overwhelming as buying your first home. Which do you do you first: look for the perfect property or chase the right mortgage?

There’s so much to consider that many first-time buyers don’t think about home insurance — a factor that will be important when it comes to closing on their house.

You should factor the ongoing cost of home insurance into your home-buying budget, because it will probably show up in your monthly mortgage payment along with payments on your loan principal and interest and your property taxes. That means you should go into your search knowing the basics about insuring your house and what can drive up the cost of coverage.

Once you choose the house and make an offer, it will be time to find an insurer. There are a few things to take into consideration before settling on a provider — all policies are not the same. Using these tips can help you save money and ensure that you have quality coverage to protect your largest investment.

Credit

You know credit matters when it comes to getting a favorable interest rate on your mortgage. But did you know it also matters for home insurance? That’s because home insurance providers use your credit report as part of the formula for assessing the risk you pose as a policyholder. Their models show that consumers with good credit are much less likely to file claims.

Before you get too far into the buying process, assess your credit and take steps to improve your score. At the very least, make sure to correct any errors. Improving your credit score can result in big savings on your mortgage and your home insurance premiums.

Work with an Agent that has options

The price of home insurance varies widely from carrier to carrier. That’s because each provider has a different algorithm for determining customer premiums. This is one reason why it’s a good idea to use an insurance broker to comparison shop. You could end up saving yourself hundreds of dollars simply by getting a few different quotes.

Don’t skimp on coverage

While you want to save money on home insurance, it’s important not to skimp on coverage. Standard home insurance policies typically offer protection from a variety of potential risks, ranging from liability to damage from weather-related perils. However, you may want to adjust or add coverage depending on your needs.

In particular, pay close attention to is your amount of dwelling coverage — the part of your policy that protects the structure of your home. You should have enough dwelling coverage to rebuild completely in case the house is destroyed by a covered peril. That amount, however, is often different from the purchase price. An online dwelling coverage calculator can help you estimate the amount of dwelling coverage that’s right for you.

Bundle your policies

Buying home and auto insurance from the same provider can save you as much as 20% on your annual premium. Do you have multiple vehicles? Or even a boat? Talk to an insurance agent about bundling all of these items with one carrier.

Evaluate risks as you look

When you’re evaluating potential homes, consider the risk each proposes. Is the house in a high-risk flood plain? Standard home insurance doesn’t cover flooding. For this protection, homeowners must purchase a separate policy. Just a few inches of flood water can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

Does one of the homes you’re considering have a swimming pool or trampoline on the property? Either factor can increase the amount you’ll pay for home insurance.

Remember, take your time, ask plenty of questions and keep your eyes open for potential problems, and you’ll be well on the way to finding the perfect first home.

For more information contact Lallis & Higgins Insurance.

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