Small Business General Liability Insurance Guidelines

Opening a small business is no small task. One of the most important things to consider is insurance. There are numerous types of insurance you will need for your small business, and this post is going to talk about general liability insurance, also known as CGL (Commercial General Liability) insurance. Any of our agents at Baldwin Woodville Insurance would be happy to discuss your specific needs, and below is a general description of what General Liability Insurance covers.

Purpose of General Liability Insurance

General Liability Insurance is what you use to protect yourself from third-party lawsuits, which includes those brought against you by a non-employee, such as a customer, vendor, landlord, etc. There are five types of situations this type of insurance covers.

Bodily Injury

If anyone who isn’t your employee (employees are covered by worker’s compensation) comes to harm on your business property, your CGL insurance will pay the damages awarded. Also included can be product liability coverage, which protects you against claims made if one of your products somehow causes a person harm.

Property Damage

The property covered by General Liability Insurance does not include your property. It will cover damage to a building you lease for your business, or any other thing your business uses but does not own, such as furniture, fixtures, or potentially the property of a customer.

Personal Injury

This covers slander and libel claims against you and your business. Slander involves making a false, spoken statement that defames the character of a competitor’s business or person. Libel is a written statement defaming the character of someone or a business.

False or Misleading Advertising

Sometimes a business will be sued when they commit false advertising schemes, such as advertising a certain version of a product at an unbelievably low price, when in fact, they don’t have any of that specific product in stock, but have something similar to it at a much higher price. This is known as bait-and-switch, and you can be sued for it if your business uses these types of advertising techniques.

Copyright Infringement

General Liability Insurance covers you if you are sued for advertising that is copyright infringement sealtoo similar to a competitor’s advertisement, and can involve copyright infringement. You could lose a case like this, even if your business logo or other advertising products are similar to another business without your having known.

Owning a small business can be very stressful. Let your Baldwin Woodville Insurance agent help take on the worries surrounding these possible lawsuits by providing your small business with General Liability Insurance in Wisconsin or Minnesota.


How to Increase Your Auto Insurance Premium

Who in their right mind would want to raise their Minnesota or Wisconsin auto insurance premiums? Of course, nobody would. However, there are certain things that may cause your premium to raise. Some of them, you can avoid. Some, not so much. Here are some things that lead to higher insurance premiums.

grandma and grandsonBe Under 25 – Or Turn 50

Apparently, there is a magic age range between 25 and 50 years where you are considered a good driver. Those under 25 and over 50 are higher risk, according to many insurance companies. This is despite the fact that the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) says that drivers between ages 64 and 69 years are the safest. Go figure.

Have Poor Credit

Your credit rating affects nearly everything in your life. It’s not just institutions that want to extend a loan or credit line to you that need your credit score. Whether you’re applying for a job, renting an apartment, or buying auto insurance, your credit score could affect the terms. Talk to your Baldwin Woodville agent about how credit may affect your premiums, as this is a controversial factor in determining rates.

Drive More Miles

People who drive more have a higher chance of getting into accidents. This shouldn’t stop you from taking that amazing job 35 miles further than your current job, but it is something to keep in mind.

Lend Your Car to Someone – Who Crashes Itcrashed car

It hardly seems fair that your rates raise if your friend crashes your car. The fact is, you are responsible for your car, and your coverage is responsible for what happens to your car. This can have harmful effects on a friendship, so think before you loan your car out.

getting a traffic ticketGet Plenty of Tickets

Tickets for moving violations in Wisconsin or Minnesota are expensive. But the cost of the original ticket is only part of it. Depending on your coverage, your insurance premium could increase 11% to 40% for up to three years after the violation. Add that to the cost of the ticket, and it’s really not worth it. Obey driving laws.

There are other things that can affect your insurance premiums, such as grades (if you are still in college), your zip code, any lapse in insurance coverage, or other things. Be sure to discuss with your Baldwin Woodville agent what things could increase your premiums on your specific policy. Some policies offer accident forgiveness for excellent drivers. Some have discounts for good driving behavior.

In the end, the best way to maintain the best insurance premiums is to drive safely.

Benefits of Term Life Insurance

What is term life insurance? Why should you buy that instead of whole life insurance? Your Baldwin Woodville agent will be happy to discuss term life insurance in Wisconsin or Minnesota with you, but here we’ll answer some of the most basic questions about this type of life insurance.

Term life insurance has a limited period of coverage. When the term of the insurance ends, you then decide to renew it, to change the coverage of the new policy, or to choose a different type of life insurance policy. Whole life insurance is something you pay into for your whole life, as opposed to a specific term.

Why Choose Term Life Insurance?

  • First, you can receive a higher death benefit, while paying the lowestpiggy bank and money premium, compared to whole life coverage. Of course, if you don’t die before the term ends, it may feel like you paid all that money for nothing. This may be the only case where you feel like you “lose out” by remaining alive.
  • On the other hand, if you have temporary life insurance needs, for less than 10 years, term life insurance is the best choice. A general rule of thumb is, if you are under the age of 45, term life insurance is the best value.
  • Term life insurance is also flexible. You can convert it into whole life insurance if you decide that is the best choice. Working closely with your Baldwin Woodville agent will help you know if and when this change is a good idea.
  • Additionally, you can add different types of term life insurance, such as level, increasing, or decreasing, as a rider to other insurance policies.
  • One of the biggest benefits of term life insurance is that the way it’s set up, the beneficiary can be paid without delays that would otherwise be faced during the administration of the estate, and the beneficiary will not have to pay federal income tax or state inheritance taxes on the benefit.
  • Term insurance can be used in some cases as collateral for personal loans, the same as permanent policies.

signing contractIs Term Life Insurance Right For Me?

With all these benefits in mind, each person has to make sure they purchase the life insurance policy that is best for them. You can get some idea from the tips above as to whether it is right for you, but the only way to be really sure is to discuss it with your family and your agent.

At Baldwin Woodville, we’re always happy to help you wade through the choices and pick the right product for your life insurance needs.

Dangerous Driving Habits Up Close – Distracted Driving

What are some of the most dangerous driving habits? Over the next few months, we’ll be taking an up close look at a number of them. The most dangerous driving habit is distracted driving. This comes in many forms.

Lucky distracted drivers will have to meet with their Baldwin Woodville agent about potential increased insurance rates. Unlucky distracted drivers may not have to worry about anything – but their families will have to deal with their life insurance, as they plan for their burial.

Distracted Driving Laws

Wisconsin and Minnesota distracted driving laws both forbid drivers from texting, or accessing the Internet. This is a leading cause of fatal accidents each year.

Novice drivers – those holding learner’s permit or intermediate license in Wisconsin, and those under 18 in Minnesota – are not allowed to talk on a cell phone, even using hands free. If there’s an emergency that requires calling 911, pull to the side of the road and make the call.

Man shaving while drivingOther Types of Distracted Driving

Eating while driving is common, even feeling necessary sometimes. Whether eating a many-layered, dripping burger with pieces falling out, or chips out of a bag, eating (or drinking) takes attention.

Putting on makeup while driving is also a common activity. There is no way to put on eye shadow while keeping your eyes on the road.

Reaching in the back seat to hand your child a snack, pacifier, toy, or bottle is distracting. The same goes for dealing with unruly children in the back seat.

Consequences of Distracted  Driving

Anything that takes your attention from driving is dangerous. Even if traffic is slow, nobody is in front of you for a hundred yards, it is dangerous. Many times, you will “get away with” distracted driving, leading to a complacent attitude about multi-tasking in the car.

But what if you round a bend, and traffic is suddenly at a dead stop? It’s hard to stop in that situation if you’re not distracted. If you are? You may be dead from running into the big truck in front of you before you even notice.

The Bottom Line

Distracted driving is dangerous. Period. Your consequences may be a dented fender, an increase in insurance premiums, a lawsuit, or death. What if the death isn’t yours, but somebody else’s? Can you live with that? Pay attention to the road, the traffic around you, the flow of traffic, and what other drivers are doing. Everything else can wait.

Catch us in a few weeks for the next post on dangerous driving habits up close.

5 Remodeling Ideas to Increase the Value of Your Home – Indoor

Are you looking increase the value of your Wisconsin home without spending tens of thousands of dollars? Maybe you’re moving. Maybe you want to live in a nicer house. Either way, you can do simple things to make your home more valuable, and more enjoyable to live in. One hint is to use “green” materials and products, as that is better for our world, and a good thing to tell potential new owners. Also, once your house is upgraded, be sure to contact BW Insurance to see if you need to update the value of your coverage.

accent wallPaint

An inexpensive thing you can do to brighten up any room. Fresh paint always improves the look of a room. In a room painted a neutral color, paint one wall with an accent color. This can take a room from “nice” to “WOW”, for about $50 and a little bit of work.

New wallpaper

A great way to give your kitchen or bathroom an updated look. The choices are nearly endless, and today’s wallpaper is easier than ever to install.

Tile backsplash

There are so many beautiful tiles you can choose from for a backsplash behind your stove. Various shades of blue, yellow, or pearlized color are popular. If you’re crafty, choose light colored tiles, and paint a sunflower, lady bug, or different fruits and vegetables on a few of the tiles. Tiles are easy to clean, so no more unsightly grease stains.

Water filtration system

There are many benefits to a simple system installed in your kitchen, and possibly bathroom, sinks. First, you’ll have much cleaner water. Also, you don’t have to pay for bottled water to get quality drinking water, which saves you money. And when it comes time to sell, a water filtration system, though it didn’t cost you a lot, is a great selling point.

new stain hiding carpetNew carpets and rugs

This can be a bit more costly, but it’s worth it for many reasons. For one, it improves the quality of the air in your home. No matter how well you clean, carpets eventually hold dust and allergens, not to mention pet odors and hair. Additionally, you will improve the look of a room by choosing the right carpet. One idea is to use a carpet that is multicolored, so make it less obvious when the inevitable spills do happen.

This is definitely not an exhaustive list, but a good start towards increasing the value of your home. As always, if you have questions on other ways to improve the value of your home, your Baldwin Woodville agent will be happy to discuss these with you.

Check back in the spring for ideas on how to improve the value of your home by making changes outdoors.