Commercial Insurance: A Must for Small Businesses

As a small business owner, you have a wide range of options for insuring your business. Your choice of commercial coverage will depend on the type of business you run and the risks you face in conducting your business affairs. If you’re starting out, consider the following basic commercial insurance coverage from Dern & Company in Milwaukee, WI to protect your interests. 

Business Liability

Business liability coverage is essential to protecting your business against lawsuits. If a customer or client has an accident on your business property, he or she can sue you for injuries or damages. Business liability insurance covers your legal fees and the cost of a settlement. Business liability will also pay for medical expenses of those injured on your business premises, so these costs don’t come out of pocket.

Worker’s Compensation

Many states require workers’ comp insurance for businesses that have three or more employees. This coverage pays for medical care of employees injured on the job and helps cover lost wages during their recovery. By protecting the interests of your employees, workers’ comp coverage can reduce your risk of lawsuits.

Property Insurance

Whether you own or rent your business property, there’s always the chance of it suffering physical damage from fire, flood, wind, hail, or other natural disasters. Property insurance will protect your business building along with what’s inside, i.e., business equipment, furniture, and inventory, so you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars in repairs on your own. With property insurance coverage, you will have the help you need to get back on your feet quickly, so your business doesn’t suffer financial loss.

The right commercial insurance policy from Dern & Company in Milwaukee, WI can make a world of difference in protecting your small business and helping it grow. Reach out to our agents to have your questions answered and learn how to get started.

Renters guide on liability insurance

For most tenants, renters insurance is a formality in a lease agreement. However, other than being one more expense in the quest of getting an apartment of choice, renter insurance coverage plays a significant role in protecting the tenant, their assets, as well as third parties such as visitors. In Milwaukee, WI, Dern & Company offers guidance to renters with information in regards to liability insurance.

Firstly, it should be taken into account that most landlords take up landlord’s insurance coverage that indemnifies them from any losses that may land them in court. Secondly, renters are accountable for liabilities that occur within their homes. Subsequently, the issues presented should always be considered when purchasing renter’s insurance.

Always take into account Personal Liability Coverage

According to most renters lease agreements, unless negligence is proven, a landlord is usually never responsible for any loss from theft of a tenant’s personal property. With this taken into consideration, all losses are to be covered by the renter. For example, in a case where a tenant’s house is broken into as he or she losses a variety of belongings that include building appliances without any fault from the landlord, he or she is expected to pay the compensation. If the tenant has a renters insurance policy, the agency will offset all losses on his or her behalf.  

Renter’s insurance policies cover Third-Party Property liability

There are instances where a tenant accidentally damages property belonging to another landlord. In such a case, renters insurance covers all costs and protects both the parties involved. Additionally, landlord insurance policies are known to protect property owners from third-party damages; for instance, if the tenant is found legally responsible for a visitor’s injury in the home. However, if the tenant has renters insurance, all liabilities are transferred to the insurance agency.

For more information on renters insurance, please contact the agents of Dern & Company in Milwaukee, WI. We can help you get the answers you need and the insurance you want.

Does My Boat Insurance Cover Travel to Canada or Mexico?

Dern & Company knows your boat provides the key to exploration and you’ll probably want to take it much further than the waters local to Milwaukee, WI.

Navigable Waters Covered

Your policy states which navigable waters it covers, called the navigational warranty. Policies differ so some cover the neighboring countries of Canada and Mexico, while others do not.

Also, most policies offer damage coverage, but not liability outside of US waters. That means you need other liability insurance. For example, Mexico requires boaters in its waters to carry Mexican liability insurance.

Obtaining Foreign Insurance

You can’t wait until arriving in Canada or Mexico to obtain insurance. Dern & Company can help you get an appropriate policy written by a company in the country you want to visit.

Travel to Other Countries

Boating to a foreign local provides an adventure. You explore waters new to you, but it’s important to familiarize yourself with that country’s laws. Those still apply even if you’re floating in their inland waters.

You’ll also need to plan for your arrival. Research which ports have a customs house. Navigate directly to this port with appropriate documentation when entering that country. Each country requires different entry requirements, but at a minimum, you’ll need your passport, license, registration, proof of insurance, and vaccination records. Some countries require a visa.

Remember to fly your country of origin’s flag. For vessels, except sailboats, fly it off the stern. For a sailboat, fly it off the leech of the after-sail.

Contact Dern & Company when you decide to explore beyond the local waters of Milwaukee, WI. We’ll help you insure your boat to ensure you have a relaxing trip.

Things to Consider When Purchasing Home Insurance

One of the major tests for home insurance agents is how they handle claims, according to Consumer Reports. At Dern & Company’s in Milwaukee, WI, our home insurance agents provide a highly satisfied level of service to their clients. Consider the satisfaction reports of the company before you purchase your policy, as low-rated insurers tend to have low-satisfaction reports, and claimants often feel like their claims’ damage estimates and final settlements are too small or not handled in a timely manner.

Often, an insurer and a claimant don’t see eye to eye on damage amounts or how a claim should be handled after a qualifying event. Do your homework before you buy, and make sure you’re buying the right insurance for your situation. Jeanne Salvatore, vice president for consumer affairs at the Insurance Information Institute, recommends making sure you’re covered for the structure of your house, your most valuable belongings, your liability to others, and your living expenses if you’re forced to make your own home livable and/or living somewhere else while your house is being renovated or repaired (or, worst-case scenario, rebuilt.)

Most common levels of coverage:

  • HO-2: Broadly protects against 16 major perils

  • HO-3: A slightly broader policy that protects against all perils, except those specifically excluded

  • HO-5: This is the most common level for newer, better-maintained homes, and covers most perils*

  • HO-6: Co-Ops and Condominiums have different insurance needs, and usually need to include personal property coverage, liability coverage, and improvements to the owner’s unit

  • HO-7: Mobile Homes need specific insurance, and insurance for them usually protects against most perils*

  • HO-8: Older homes usually need to be insured differently than newer, differently-built homes. Read over what your policy covers – some only cover the cash value to replace the structure itself, while others also cover personal property

*(except those specifically excluded)

In Milwaukee, WI, Dern & Company has a variety of coverage options that will help you ensure that your property is protected to your satisfaction. When you’re ready to buy and want the best level of service possible, Contact Us. We can get you a quote or you can try our online rating tool to get a quote from home.

Workers’ Compensation Coverage in Milwaukee WI

Every so often, workplace injuries make the news. Machine entanglements, falling objects, slipping — these are some of the more common injuries. Sometimes employees die as a result of their injuries. The possibility of public outrage is a powerful motivator for companies to protect their employees. Many accidents can be avoided. However, the prospect of unforeseen situations calls for commercial insurance solutions against workplace injuries.

Requirements

Workers’ compensation insurance is more than just a good idea for employers. In Wisconsin, it’s almost always required. One part of the law states it’s required if "employers have 1 or more full-time or part-time employees and has paid gross combined wages of $500 or more in any calendar quarter for work done in Wisconsin".

This requirement protects both the employer and the employee. If a workplace injury is severe, and the employer doesn’t have this insurance, the employee will probably sue the company. The financial impact to the company could bankrupt it. This could be the end of the company and the employment of any other people with the company. Injuries don’t even have to be severe for an employee to start legal proceedings against an employer that is not insured.

If an employee suspects their company does not offer workers’ compensation, they are encouraged to contact the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Division.

Contact Us

The licensed professionals of Dern & Company have served the Milwaukee, WI area for over 25 years. We can help protect your company and employees through offering workers’ compensation insurance.

Because we facilitate insurance through numerous companies, we are able to offer a larger number of coverage options. Contact us today and a Dern & Company professional in Milwaukee, WI will be able to answer any question you may have regarding workers’ compensation coverage.

Top Reasons for a Renters Policy

Many tenants overlook purchasing renters insurance as they do not understand the benefits that renters insurance can offer. If you are a renter in the Milwaukee, WI area, you should consider purchasing a policy for many of the following reasons.

Why Do You Need Renters Insurance from Dern & Company?

Many consumers skip renters insurance because they assume their belongings are not worth much. However, many people are shocked to see how much it would cost to replace all of their belongings. Our Dern & Company agents always suggest making an inventory list of your possessions. Once you have your inventory list, you will be able to choose the appropriate insurance level for your belongings. Be sure to mention any rare or specialty items you may have as you might need to purchase an add-on to cover those items.

Renters insurance may also protect you from liability related claims in your home. If you have a friend over and they slip and fall, you could be held liable in court. Renters insurance can assist with your legal bills as well as potential damages. If you have a dog, you should consider a policy that includes liability coverage in the event your dog were to bite someone. Dog bite claims can quickly add up and will drain you of your financial resources.

Another benefit offered by renters insurance is it can assist you with your expenses if your home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered peril. Events like a fire could leave you without a place to stay for months. A renters insurance policy can assist with the costs of temporary housing and can accommodate for food and other expenses.

If you are interested in learning more about renters insurance, please reach out to an insurance specialist at Dern & Company today. We proudly serve the Milwaukee, WI area and are ready to answer your questions.

3 Tips You Need to Look For When Deciding to Purchase Boat Insurance

Are you an actual or a potential boat owner living in Milwaukee, WI? If this is the case, then there are many things that you need to consider, purchasing boat insurance being one of them. The insurance policy that you will purchase will not only cover or protect your boat but also personal liabilities.

In Milwaukee, WI, apart from Dern & Company, there are hundreds of contact companies that have proven track records of not only insuring sailors but also paying claims. What then do you need to look for when deciding to purchase boat insurance? The following are three important tips to consider.

1. Windstorm Coverage

This is arguably one of the most necessary insurance policies that you need to consider. Tornadoes, storms, and floods could hit Milwaukee at any time, and windstorm coverage is an important tip to consider when purchasing boat insurance. Such eventualities could hit Milwaukee, and if you are an actual or potential boat owner in Wisconsin, you need to consider insurance companies such as Dern & Company.

2. Deductibles/Excess

Deductibles or excess is the amount you pay for in the event of a claim. Before deciding whether to acquire boat insurance, you need to be aware whether an insurance company of your choice is in a position to pay for a reasonable portion of the repairs, partly with your contribution, that you may need.

3. Cruising Area

It is important to keep in mind that the extent of cruising will have direct impacts on your premiums. Wider cruising areas call for higher premiums. If you fancy cruising into broader areas then you need to consider whether your contact company can cover such costs.

Reach out to Dern & Company to learn more about boating policies. Our agents can answer any questions you may have and further explain the benefits of an insurance policy.

Three Questions Answered About Your Homeowner’s Insurance

Owning your home is a wonderful feeling. It means you are independent, you have your own space, and you have moved up in life. Whether you own a large or small home, it’s yours and that’s what counts.

However, what if something were to happen to your home in Waukesha or Milwaukee, WI? That’s where Dern & Company insurance comes into play. Of course, you have coverage, but do you really understand it? Do you know what it does or does not cover? If not, you probably need to sit down with your Dern & Company insurance agent and ask these 3 questions.

What all is actually covered on my homeowner’s policy?

Your policy will cover your home’s structure, outdoor buildings such as garages, sheds, and so on, as well as your personal property within all of these structures. You need to have documentation of what personal property you own.

What if I have to leave my home while it gets fixed?

No one likes to think that their home will suffer serious damage, but sometimes that does occur. Your home may become unlivable due to an accident, act of nature, fire, or vandalism. If this should happen, you probably won’t be able to stay in your home. Do you know if your insurance covers your living expenses while your home is repaired? Dern & Company is happy to let you know that this can be covered under homeowner’s insurance.

What if someone gets hurt on my property?

Everyone has heard the horror story of the kid that comes over to visit, slips on the grass in the backyard, and breaks his leg. His parents end up suing you for all you’re worth. This story is probably why we tell kids not to run when they’re at our house. But the truth of the matter is, if someone were to get injured on your property, Dern & Company says reasonable medical expenses under liability limits are covered for the injured party. So, let the kids run!

Any more questions? Contact Dern & Company in Milwaukee, WI today!

Why Risk Management Is Important For Commercial Policy Owners

Risk Management with Dern & Company

Business owners in Milwaukee, WI are always interested in ways to improve safety while cutting costs. Many have a commercial insurance policy to protect their business assets in case of an unforeseen claim.  At Dern & Company, we strive to help our commercial policy customers make the most out of their business practices, especially when it comes to safety and standards. Here are some fantastic tips we’ve discovered, recommended by the State of Wisconsin’s own Commissioner of Insurance, to help your business with risk management.

What is risk management?

These are practices that help to limit the possibility of exposing yourself and your business to a future liability. Simply put, these measures increase safety in the workplace, which reduces the potential for an accident that you could be held responsible for. In most cases, these strategies are simple and easy, making them incredibly worthwhile.

Risk Management Tips

Here are just a few things you can do to improve safety in your workplace:

  • Commit to regular safety inspections, especially in areas of high-traffic for both customers and employees.
  • Invest in certified first-aid training for employees to limit the extent of injury in an accident.
  • Have wiring and other potential fire hazards inspected regularly. Make sure your fire alarm system is in proper working order, and consider installing a sprinkler system to help mitigate potential fire damage. 
  • Make sure employees are aware of any potential hazards in the workplace. Clearly designate certain areas that are most dangerous. Train your employees on the proper way to handle heavy or dangerous materials.

Let Us Keep You Covered

Dern & Company wants you to have peace of mind when it comes to the future of your business. We invite all Waukesha and Milwaukee, WI business owners to contact us to discuss commercial insurance and ways you can implement risk management to reduce your chance of liability claims.

Why Is It Important to Have Renters’ Insurance Coverage?

Many renters in Wisconsin erroneously assume that their property is covered by their landlord’s policy, but that only goes as far as the building is concerned. Your personal belongings, as a renter, require a separate coverage. Many people underestimate the value of their belongings, but it could rise to unimaginable value. Dern & Company, based in Milwaukee, WI, can explain this.

While a renters’ insurance coverage is affordable, depending on how much coverage you require, type of coverage you go for, and the amount of the deductible, it still covers for losses to your personal property. The property includes electronics, clothes, furniture, jewelry, computers, and luggage. A standard policy covers for damage caused by aircraft, water, vehicles, falling objects, explosions, windstorm, smoke, theft, and civil commotion. However, losses arising from floods and earthquakes are covered in a different policy.

The coverage again comes in handy by providing protection for someone injured in your home. This is called liability coverage, and it also pays for any court judgment or legal expense up to the stated policy limit.

Many cases of theft and vandalism are reported when people are away from home, say for a vacation or other needs. The good thing about a renter’s policy is that your property is compensated whether you are at home or anywhere else outside of Milwaukee, WI or around Wisconsin. Additionally, if your house is damaged by any of the factors earlier stated to a point where it is uninhabitable, the policy may cover the associated costs such as food and the cost of living that you will incur in your temporary residence.

If you want to apply for a policy or want to clear up some things about your existing one, you can visit Dern & Company at any of our offices. We are here to serve all your insurance needs directly and reliably.