The Differences Between Business Liability and Errors and Omissions Coverage

Many business owners are confused about the differences between General Liability (GL) and Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance. If you don’t know what each type of coverage does to protect your business, you could incur more than you may expect. There are obvious differences between the two, and if you want to get the most out of a claim, it’s important to understand them.

What’s Covered Under General Business Liability

A general liability policy will cover both bodily injury and property damage that may be caused by your business’s operation, but it won’t cover any intangible property (like computer data). It also won’t cover any claims that involve the economic harm to a third party that resulted from what your business has to offer. A business liability policy won’t cover any losses that resulted from a property that has been rendered useless because of your product or service, and it won’t cover any losses that resulted from a recall.

If you need a liability policy for your business in Urbandale, IA, then you need to get in touch with BLC Insurance. We have agents with a great deal of experience in commercial insurance, and they can help you get the coverage you need.

What’s Provided by Errors and Omissions Coverage

Errors and Omissions policies are meant to cover any liabilities that are associated with an economic hardship that resulted from a third party. This means the policy can cover any damages to a third party if it has been caused by your product or service. Errors and Omissions insurance can also cover any damage to intangible property, which can include any computer data that has been lost. It can also cover any damages to a piece of property that resulted from your product or service if it has been deemed defective. However, Errors and Omissions won’t cover the following:

•    Bodily injury
•    Property damage
•    Personal and advertising injury

These are often covered by the General Liability portion of a commercial insurance policy.

If you need a solid commercial policy that can suit your business’s needs, then you need to contact the office of BLC Insurance. We happily serve the people of Urbandale, IA and we understand the needs of our community. If you want a commercial insurance policy that your company can rely on, be sure to contact our office today!

Filing Complex Auto Insurance Claims

Auto insurance claims of any degree are difficult to file if you are not sure how to go about the process. The first step of any claim is to take the time to report the incident. If you live in the Urbandale, IA area, the agents with BLC Insurance can help you organize and file your claim for the most efficient results.

The first step of any claim is to make sure you document the incident. If it is an auto accident, you want to take the time to call the police and have them make a formal report. You also want to make sure the accident is photographed and that it is documented well both at the scene and, if you have any injuries, when you reach the hospital. If you are dealing with something like vandalism you also want to make sure your incident is well photographed so that the insurance adjuster can get the best idea of the damage and of what happened.

The second step is to contact your insurance agent or agency. They will provide you with the documents, the files, and the proper channels that need to be followed in order for you to file your claim. You are going to most likely need to meet with an adjustor, so you need to make sure you contact your agent so you can set up the meeting.

The last step is to follow through. If your agency needs more information, be sure to provide it. You may have court dates or other meetings you need to make. Make sure you go through with all the steps and that you keep in contact with your agent through the process. If you live in the Urbandale, IA area, the agents with BLC Insurance can help with each and every step of the process. Contact us by phone or stop by our office to set up an appointment with an agent today!

Exotic Domestic Animals And Your Home Insurance Policy

What Strange Critters Lurk Behind Your Neighbors Doors

You will be surprised to know the types of exotic pets that your neighbors own. To learn exactly what is registered here in Urbandale, IA you would have to look up the details at the Urbandale, IA American Society to Prevent Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) branch or the Urbandale, IA Humane Society. Here is a short list of some of the more exotic animals that reside in your state. 

  • Sugar gliders
  • hairless sphinx 
  • miniature horses
  • Skunks
  • chinchillas
  • hedgehogs
  • baby monkeys

If you decide to make a wholly mammoth your domesticated pet, your home insurance policy will be duly affected because Iowa has state laws that must be adhered to regarding how you house your pets. In addition to saving the community from the danger of exotic pets, Iowa has laws regarding how your exotic pet is cared for and professionally maintained with veterinarian visits. 

Chain Them Up And Lock Them Tight

Depending upon the type of exotic animal that is involved your home insurance policy will be affected by a decision to own one. BLC Insurance agents are familiar with the types of extra insurance protection that may be necessary if you own an exotic pet.

Look at the ramifications of owning miniature horses or regular horses for that matter. Your home insurance will have to reflect their presence if they are housed on your property. Aside from the town and county permits that will be necessary to properly take responsibility for your exotic animal, home insurance will have to provide for their protection as well.

BLC Insurance Agency agents look forward to speaking with you soon and definitely before you acquire your exotic animal. Contact us today to discuss how our agency can serve this and all of your insurance needs.    

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Excluding a Driver From Your Auto Insurance Policy

If your spouse has been convicted of drunk driving, has a lot of accidents or has numerous traffic tickets, their bad driving record may weigh on you. Excluding them from your policy can help make your rates more affordable. But what exactly does this mean? Read on to learn more!

When you exclude a driver from your auto insurance policy, you are telling the auto insurance company that that driver will never drive your car. This helps to give the auto insurer peace of mind that the poor driver will not be driving your vehicle, and thus, they may ensure that bad driver’s record does not affect yours.

The downside to excluding a driver from your policy is that they are not covered when driving your car. This means that your husband cannot drive your vehicle to pick your kids up from school or even to move it out of the driveway. If he is excluded and does this, your insurance will not cover any damage he does to your car or another if he is involved in an auto accident.

Excluding a driver you live with, such as your spouse or husband, can help ensure their bad driving record does not affect your auto insurance rates. However, it also prevents that driver from being covered by your auto insurance policy while behind the wheel of your car.

If you are interested in a new auto insurance policy in the greater Urbandale, IA area, contact BLC Insurance. Our professional auto insurance brokers can help you determine why it may be beneficial to exclude or include a driver on your auto insurance policy. Give us a call today to get price quotes with both an included and excluded driver.

Tips for Home Safety

Accidents in the home cause more than 10,000 deaths annually. Keeping your family safe is your number one priority, and BLC Insurance knows that some accidents can be prevented with a little guidance.

Avoiding Accidental Falls

Falls can easily occur on a staircase. Use non-slip mats on each step as an extra measure of caution for anyone walking up and down the stairs. For young children, place safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs. The gates must be the appropriate size and type for your staircase.

Windows can be your best escape in an emergency, but you or a small child could fall if they are not secured properly. Install window guards if you want to have your windows open during the day.

Poison Prevention

The majority of unintentional poisonings happen at home. Prevent your family members from getting their hands on dangerous substances by storing cleaning products and pest control canisters in unreachable or locked cabinets.

Always follow the instructions labeled on over-the-counter and prescription medications. Taking more than is recommended can lead to an overdose of medicines. Consult with your physician if you are taking more than one type of drug. Some medications have negative interactions when taken together.

Carbon Monoxide Safety

In Urbandale, IA, it is important for every household to have a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a deadly, clear, and odorless gas. This gas can build up,l in your home from fumes produced by gas stoves, grills, cars, fireplaces, and generators. With CO in your home, you could easily fall asleep and never wake up. Install a CO detector next to every bedroom and test it once a month.

Check with your independent agents in Urbandale, IA at BLC Insurance to make sure your home is safe and that you have the right coverage for your property.

Can Renovating Your Home Reduce the Cost of Homeowner’s Insurance?

Renovating your home can not only improve its function and aesthetic appeal, but can earn you discounts on homeowners insurance. Here are just a few renovations that could help Urbandale, IA, homeowners qualify for discounts on their homeowner’s policy.

New Roof

Putting a new roof on your home will protect your Iowa home from property damage due to snowstorms, rain, hail and wind. This extra protection against damage and loss could result in a reduction of your insurance premium. Talk to a BLC Insurance agent to see what kind of discount you can gain by replacing the roof on your home.

Storm Shutters and Doors

In like manner, professional installation of storm shutters and doors will keep your property safe from adverse weather that can cause structural or water damage to your home. By taking these steps to safeguard your property, you can help lower insurance costs. Be sure to save receipts of the installation job to verify to your insurer that this work was professionally done.

Plumbing and Electrical Updates

Old homes often have antiquated pipes or wiring that can cause accidental flooding or fire. Plumbing and electrical system upgrades can reduce the risk of water and fire damage, which could enable you to benefit from a reduction in your insurance premium.

Security System

By installing a central alarm system, you add an extra layer of protection against theft and vandalism to your home. An alarm system will greatly enhance your home’s security, which could keep your family and goods safe from harm.  Such safety measures could qualify you for a discount on your home insurance cost.

Before making major home improvements to your property, talk to your BLC Insurance agent in Urbandale, IA, to see how renovating your property can help you save money on home insurance costs.

 

How to Find the Right Homewoner’s Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance in Urbandale, IA from BLC Insurance is designed to protect the biggest investment you will ever make – your home. After all, you have likely worked extremely hard for what you have. If you don’t have adequate coverage, a single disaster could wipe all this out. If you are ready to purchase this coverage, then you may benefit by getting to know some tips that will help you along the way. 

Determine Your Home’s Value
An important factor to understand from the beginning is how much insurance you actually need. To determine this, you have to know the value of your home. If your home is destroyed or damaged, you need to know what the cost will be to replace it. An assessment company or home builder can give you an accurate value.
Keep in mind, this is not something you should guess. Determining the value of your home is not a DIY project. 

What Risk Factors is Your Premium Based on? 
You need to understand that the premium you pay is based on the risk that the insurer takes by selling you the insurance. This means that the higher the risk is that something is going to happen and that they are going to have to pay for damages, the higher your premium is going to be. 

Find Out How to Save Money on Your Premium
There are many risk factors that can increase the cost of your homeowner’s insurance premium. There are also factors that can help you save money on the policy. Some factors that may help you receive a discount include dead bolt locks, a burglary alarm system, new wiring in the home, a home that is close to a police department, etc. 

If you are in the market to purchase homeowner’s insurance, being informed is the best way to ensure you get the right policy and a sufficient amount of coverage. You can learn more by contacting BLC Insurance in Urbandale, IA.

 

How to Prep for a Winter Storm

Even if you have lived through a winter storm before in Urbandale, IA, you may not know all of the things you need to do to best prepare for it. Before a winter storm even hits, you need to be prepared and have a few items in the home. This year, get a head start on it and get everything you need ahead of time. Use these tips to prep for the next winter storm.

Stock Up on Food and Water

With winter storms, you never know when you will be stuck in your home for a few days. You should stock up on plenty of food and water so that everyone is set for at least a few days. Choose items that can be eaten without cooking in case you lose power.

Stock Up on Other Supplies

In case you do lose power, you should have other items in your home including batteries, flashlights, blankets, and anything else you may need to a few days. Also, make sure your emergency kit is fully stocked in case you need it.

Prep Your Fireplace

If you have a fireplace, you should take the time to get enough supplies to keep it running for a few days. It will help keep you warm in case you do lose power through the storm, and it is also a good source of light.

Even when you are very prepared for the storm, there are still some unexpected things that can happen. Be sure to protect yourself and your home by getting a home insurance policy. Our office serving Urbandale, IA, can help you find the ideal policy to meet your needs. We can even get you a quote that fits within your budget. Contact us today to learn more.

Buying Homeowner’s Insurance, The Basics

When it comes to home insurance everyone can use a bit of help here and there. Home insurance is a must for anyone that owns a home for a few different reasons. For those in the Urbandale, IA area, BLC Insurance can answer any questions that you may have about what policy is going to work best for you.

Home insurance is something that every homeowner needs to invest in and if you have a mortgage, you are going to be required to hold a home insurance policy to protect the lender’s investment. Home insurance is in place to help protect your home from things like fire, earthquake, flood, break ins, and other damage that may occur from both natural disasters and from other people.

Your homeowner’s policy is going to be tailored to the investment that you have in your home. If you own a home that is valued at $200,000 the policy you hold is not going to be for $200,000. Instead, homeowner’s policies cover the amount of money that it would take to rebuild the home that you have in the current economy. This is meant to help protect the homeowner as it is always impossible to build back for the amount that the home is currently valued at.

This cushion so to speak is built in so that you can make back the investment and rebuild despite things like inflation the cost of materials and labor going up as the cost of living increases as well. Your policy is going to cover basic events like damage from wind, fire, and theft and break in. It is also going to help cover the cost of replacing the contents of your home if they are damaged.

If you are at all unsure of your homeowner’s policy or you have questions about what policy is going to work best for you, what policy you should choose, and how to proceed, you can contact the helpful agents with BLC Insurance serving the Urbandale, IA area.

What you can do to prepare your outdoors for fall

The changing of the seasons is an important time for homeowners in Urbandale, IA.  In addition to the cooler temperatures, though, it’s important to take this time to get your years ready for the upcoming season.  Fortunately, at BLC Insurance we know what you need to do to get ready for the fall.

  1. Put away your summer toys.  Small patio furniture and other items can become hazardous when they’re left out during a storm.  Bring them in now, and you’ll have one less thing to do when bad weather approaches.  While you’re doing this chore, pay attention to the condition of the furniture and toys you bring in.  Summer heat can cause a lot of damage, and you may have items that are no longer safe to play with.
  2. Take car of your roof.  If you have trees on your property, make sure that all branches, leaves, and other debris is cleaned off of it. This will prevent this material from decaying on your roof and releasing acids that can eat through your shingles.  A small amount of maintenance now can save you a lot of money down the road.
  3. Trim back trees.  Branches that are hanging over your property are potential hazards that can fall and damage your home, car, or other property.  Take the time to trim back these trees while the weather is nice.  If necessary, hire a tree service to remove large, diseased branches.

This fall, if you’re thinking about getting a new home owner’s insurance policy, or if you just want to save money on the policy you already have, call the agents at BLC Insurance.  They have years of experience helping people just like you find the policy that’s right for them.