Click ⊕ sign to view full articles

August 2020; Business Interruption Insurance and COVID-19

Business Interruption Insurance and COVID-19

By: Stephen Dornewass, Mullica Hill Insurance

 

With businesses all over South Jersey examining their bottom lines, many business owners are asking if their business interruption (BI) insurance will cover any potential losses.

 

What is business interruption insurance?

To put it simply, business interruption insurance is intended to replace lost income in the event that business is halted, and may entitle the insured to recover additional expenses that would not have been incurred during the ordinary course of business. Generally, this means that your business is covered for any loss suffered as a result of direct loss, damage, or destruction to insured property. BI policies generally include the following coverages.

The Civil Authority Clause within a BI policy indicates whether the insurer will pay for business income losses in the case that a civil authority prevents the policyholder from accessing the premises covered by the policy. In New Jersey the state mandated closure of businesses has directly affected countless small business owners.

Supply Chain Coverage, more commonly called Contingent property or dependent property coverage, is designed to cover the loss of income or increase in expenses resulting from damage from a covered cause of loss to the premises of another organization on which the insured depends, such as a key supplier or customer.

We are living through unprecedented circumstances with COVID-19 and it still remains to be seen whether the presence of the virus or the threat of contamination will prove sufficient cause for BI coverage.

 

What happens next?

The New Jersey State Legislature is currently considering a bill that would ensure coverage for business owners lost income due to COVID-19. New Jersey Bill A-3844, could force insurance companies to pay COVID-19 related BI claims, even when “viruses” are specifically excluded from many BI policies. The bill currently has 18 sponsors and is undergoing its second Reading in the Assembly. The bill would apply to businesses covered by such a policy with less than 100 eligible employees in the State of New Jersey.

 

What can I do now?

For now, until the State of New Jersey makes a decision there are a few things business owners can do to prepare.

 

Take steps to mitigate the losses:

As an example, restaurant owners that have pivoted to focusing on take-out and delivery might want to develop a “visible” plan to make customers feel safe supporting your business. If your business is dependent on another business you might want to consider finding alternative suppliers.

 

Stay Informed:

Keep up with the latest regulations & restrictions coming from state and federal governments so you can be sure that your business is operating within compliance.

 

Review all of your policies:

Take some time to be sure that you have complete copies of all of your insurance policies and review them in order to be familiar with the coverages you have as well as to be sure that you have the correct coverage for your business.

 

Document your losses:

Take stock of what you believe your losses are specific to the COVID-19 pandemic so that if the day comes when you can make an insurance claim you are ready.

If you have any specific questions or concerns regarding your current policies Mullica Hill Insurance is here to help other small businesses in South Jersey, feel free to call our office at your convenience.

September 2020; Contractors & Inland Marine Coverage

Contractors & Inland Marine Coverage

By: Stephen Dornewass, Mullica Hill Insurance

 

Inland marine insurance is a type of business insurance that is designed to cover products, materials and equipment while they are being transported on land, such as by truck or train. Commonly referred to as Tools & Equipment Insurance, this coverage is meant to help protect business property that is movable or used for transportation or communication purposes. Inland Marine Coverage is a supplemental policy designed to fill the gaps sometimes left in Businessowners Policies and Commercial Package Policies property coverage.
Why should contractors be sure their policies include inland marine coverage?
Inland marine coverage provides valuable protection for contractors and tradesmen who frequently travel for work with tools and equipment in tow. If a piece of equipment owned by you or one of your employees were to be damaged or stolen – you’re covered.

Specific types of covered property:
• Property moving over land
• Property stored off-site
• Property stored in a moving vehicle
• Property owned by another party being stored @ your facility
• Property that is part of infrastructure (e.g. communication towers that an insured owns)

Inland Marine Coverage does not cover:
• Vehicles listed under a business auto policy
• Damage from an earthquake or flood
• Property shipped by sea/air
• Property damaged prior to shipment

As a contractor, with inland marine coverage you can be comfortable knowing that your valuables are protected when they are being; transported between locations, stored in a commercial vehicle, stored on the jobsite, and even shipped by land.

If you are a contractor and you would like to make sure that your business assets are protected, or if you have questions regarding your current exposure contact Mullica Hill Insurance today to discuss your coverage options. We would like to be the place to turn for all general contractors in South Jersey, and our experienced commercial agents are here to help.

October 2020; Plymouth Rock Assurance & Rider Insurance Co.

Plymouth Rock Assurance & Rider Insurance Co.

By: Stephen Dornewass, Mullica Hill Insurance

We are proud to announce that Mullica Hill Insurance can now offer Rider motorcycle insurance products via Plymouth Rock Assurance. Based in Woodbridge, New Jersey, Rider is the largest motorcycle insurance provider in the state and the only carrier serving the motorcycle community exclusively.

“We look forward to focusing on the motorcycle insurance segment of the business and expanding our current product offerings,” said Gerry Wilson, President and CEO of the Plymouth Rock Management Company of New Jersey. “Plymouth Rock and Rider share a common history built on trust and reliability, and we’re excited to welcome a new group of customers and riding enthusiasts to Plymouth Rock.”

Founded in 1971, Rider specializes in affordable Motorcycle Insurance and ATV / Off-Road Vehicle Insurance. They have been proudly serving new Jersey and Pennsylvania for almost 50 years. Rider offers products to cover a wide range of motorcycles including standard bikes, cruisers, sport / high performance motorcycles, enduros, and off-road vehicles in addition to scooters and mopeds, ATVs, UTVs & Off-road vehicles, off-road and trail motorcycles, and dirt bikes.

Plymouth Rock, rated A- (“Excellent”) by A.M. Best has previously specialized in auto and home insurance across the Northeast. Since acquiring Rider back in October of 2019, Plymouth Rock now writes and manages more than $1.4 billion in auto, motorcycle, and home insurance premiums across Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

This partnership could mean big savings for Mullica Hill Insurance clients when they sign home, auto, and motorcycle policies together with Plymouth Rock Assurance. For more information about the products offered by these carriers you can visit their websites or call us at Mullica Hill Insurance to get a quote.

November 2020; Auto Insurance Buyer's Guide

Auto Insurance Buyer’s Guide 

By: Stephen Dornewass, Mullica Hill Insurance

In New Jersey, carrying adequate car insurance is both a legal requirement and protection for your peace of mind. If your auto insurance renewal is approaching, or if you’re buying car insurance for the first time – shopping for the right coverage for the best price is simple with Mullica Hill Insurance. This guide can help make sure you know what to look for when comparing polices from different carriers by outlining some important aspects of shopping for auto insurance.

Personal Auto policies are made up of different types of coverages. You want to purchase enough liability coverage to pay someone else for their property damage, medical care and other costs that you may cause. Accidents happen, even to the best drivers. You should buy as much liability coverage as you can reasonably afford to protect yourself financially. If you are looking to purchase auto insurance for the first time, be sure that you understand each liability coverage and how they apply in your policy.

In New Jersey every driver is required to carry the following minimum coverage amounts:

BODILY INJURY LIABILITY – Applies to injuries that you cause to someone else. You (and anyone else listed on your policy) are covered for your liability for damage and injuries caused in an accident, up to your policy limits. NJ Minimum Limits: $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident

PROPERTY DAMAGE LIABILITY – Pays for damages you cause to someone else’s car or to objects & structures your car hits. In some states your policy could cover others not listed on your policy, up to your policy limit, if they drive your car with your permission. NJ Minimum Limits: $5,000 per accident

PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION – Pays to treat injuries to you and your passengers, but also can cover such things as lost wages and funeral costs. NJ Minimum Limits: $15,000 per person or accident

UNINSURED/ UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE – Pays for your bodily injuries & those of your passengers, or property damage caused by an underinsured driver who is at fault. Coverage is available up to amounts selected for liability coverage

Property (Physical) Damage Coverages

COLLISION COVERAGE – This coverage pays to repair your car. Or if the insurer decides your car is “totaled,” it pays you your car’s actual cash value. This coverage usually has a deductible, which is the amount of the claim that is your responsibility.

COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE – This coverage pays for damage to your car that is NOT from a collision. This usually includes damage caused by fire, theft, vandalism, falling objects, hail, flood or an accident involving a bird or animal. This coverage usually has a deductible, which is the amount of the claim that is your responsibility.

Other Optional Coverages

You also may be able to choose other optional coverages. Some of the common optional coverages are described below. Ask your insurance company or agent about what coverages you may want or need.

RENTAL REIMBURSEMENT– pays a limited amount for daily rental car charges while your car is being repaired for covered damages. Policies usually limit the dollar amount and the number of days covered.

TOWING COVERAGE – (also could be called Roadside Assistance) reimburses you for your costs if your car is disabled. For example, the coverage might pay if you have your car towed to a service facility or you lock your keys in the car.

Once you’ve decided what amount of coverage you are looking to purchase, you can begin gathering quotes from ‘A’ Rated National Carriers by giving them some information about yourself, other household residents including students away at school, your car and how you use your car. The premiums you are quoted are based on your answers to the questions that you are asked. Premiums for auto insurance are tailored to each individual and each insurer uses different rating factors. Premium rates are often lower if you have more than one policy with the same insurer, like a home & auto bundle. Rates also are lower if you keep a car insured continuously rather than if you have never had coverage or have a lapse in coverage.

Some companies offer discounts to good students and those with defensive driving training. Your rates may be lower if you qualify for a discount as a member of an organization such as an alumni association, a union or another club or a purchasing group. So, it is likely your premium will be very different at each insurer. That is why it is so important to shop around! Some people choose to get quotes from different carriers directly online or by phone, while others find the convenience of contacting an agent or broker appealing because they can get quotes from multiple carriers at once in order to compare coverages and premiums more easily.

If you are a first-time shopper or looking for a lower rate on your auto insurance, you could have quotes from more than ten different national auto insurance providers. Contact Mullica Hill Insurance for an auto quote today, we are here to help!