Major Catastrophe Planning Includes a Commercial Insurance Evaluation

An industry survey of 150 risk professionals, who are in charge of risk analysis for major companies, gave some startling results when they were questioned about their emergency plans for catastrophic events.

One of the questions asked by the survey was if the company had run a simulation drill for a catastrophic loss that included an analysis of the effectiveness of the coverage by commercial insurance to mitigate some of this risk.

The surprising answers to this question show a very low amount of preparedness:

  • Only about 25% had conducted such a simulation drill during the past two years.
  • Only 11% reported that there was such a drill conducted during the last five years.
  • Over two-thirds say they never conducted such a drill.
  • About 28% reported that they were not sure if the company ever had such a drill.

Best Practices for a Commercial Insurance Review

Work with your agent at Dern & Company, serving the Milwaukee WI area, to analyze the commercial insurance for the business and to discuss the scenarios possible that may cause a catastrophic loss.

The considerations for adequate commercial insurance include:

  • Review all policies before a loss.
  • Understand the coverage that would be available for a loss.
  • Analyze the detailed definitions in the policies in order to understand the exact terminology and what it means.
  • Make a plan for documentation of the information needed before and subsequent to a loss.
  • Upgrade and add to commercial insurance as necessary to make sure it is adequate.

Things to Look Out For

There are many things to consider with the help of your insurance agent that include total policy limits, sub-limits for specific items, deductibles and how they are applied, how property is valued, and how claims will be resolved if more than one policy applies to a loss.

Summary

In a catastrophic drill, imagine the worst-case scenarios. Get a comprehensive review of commercial insurance with the help of your agent at Dern & Company in Milwaukee, WI. Make sure the coverage is appropriate and adequate for the company’s needs before a loss occurs.

Tips on Getting the Best Home Insurance

In any way you look at it, the majority of people will spend most of their lives at their home. Homes serve as the number one investment. Therefore, to ensure you provide adequate assurance for the future, it is advisable you insure your home. Many people are not well informed about how the insurance works. The only time they will look for insurance services is when a lender lists it as a requirement. For the residents of Milwaukee, feel free to visit us at Dern & Company to guide you on buying the best home insurance. The following are tips on getting the best home insurance in case you feel the need to.

Get a reputable company

There are many companies that offer this services. It is advisable to consult friends who have insured their homes. They will provide the best testimonies. The insurance provider should be readily accessible and be stable financially. The company should also provide a wide coverage of insurances. In some cases, some companies do not live up to the expectations. A reputable company will offer you the peace of mind as you will not be worried as to whether they will honor the agreement.

Choose between actual cash and replacement cost

It is very important to decide whether you will want your property to be replaced or alternatively get the cash. In some cases, the replacement cost will be the best option if the property to be replaced is over a long distance. Actual cash can also be good because you may end up saving some money. If you are living in Milwaukee, WI, you can visit us at Dern & Company to help you get the best home insurance.

 

Should Short Term Renters Buy Renters Insurance?

If you are renting a home for a long period of time, you likely know the importance of purchasing renters insurance. But, not everyone rents a home for a prolonged period of time. You may be renting a home for a couple months while a new home you are having built is constructed. You may be renting a home for a month while traveling. Or you may be renting a space for a couple months while overseeing a business project. One of the questions that we at Dern & Company, serving the greater Milwaukee, WI area are asked is whether short-term renters should buy renters insurance. Here is our advice. 

When you are deciding whether to purchase a renters insurance policy, the first thing to consider is what belongings you are storing in the home. Some people may be renting a space that is completely furnished for them. As such, they may just have a suitcase filled with the clothing that they bring with you. If you don’t have much in the house, you really don’t have anything of value that will get damaged or stolen. As such, you may not really need a renters policy. 

On the other hand, if all of your belongings are in the house, regardless of how long they are there for, and/or you have items of value that can be damaged or stolen, it is a good idea to invest in a renters insurance policy. Most renters insurance policies are month-to-month, so you can buy one for a short period of time. 

Whether you are looking to buy a policy for the long term or a short-term renters policy in the greater Milwaukee, WI area, Dern & Company would love to help you. Contact us today to get started. 

FAQs About Boat Insurance in Wisconsin

There is no better way to enjoy one of Wisconsin’s 15,000 lakes than in your own boat. At Dern & Company, we want to make sure you are protected when you take your boat out this season. We proudly serve Milwaukee, WI, and the surrounding areas, so if you have any additional questions about boat insurance, come on in to discuss them with a representative. 

Boat Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can my child drive the boat, and still be covered?  If your child or guest is born on or after 1989, then it is required in Wisconsin to complete a boating safety course in order to operate any motorized boat while in Wisconsin, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. If the boat operator is within their legal rights, then you will likely be covered. 
  • What if I loan out my boat for the weekend? Your friends will not be covered while they borrow your boat. This is where an umbrella policy that specifies such a situation is a good idea for extra protection. Discuss your need for an umbrella policy with one of our experts to find out more. 
  • Should I carry insurance during the offseason? It depends on if you will ever use it. At a minimum, it is a good idea to make sure it is covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy while it is parked. If there is a chance you will use it even for one weekend, it is better to be safe than regret not having coverage later. 

Call Dern & Company today to discuss your insurance needs. We serve boat owners in Milwaukee, WI and the surrounding areas with quality no-hassle insurance. 

3 Factors that Will Affect Your Homeowners Insurance

If you are looking for the right homeowner’s insurance for your Milwaukee, WI home, you need to get the opinion of a professional insurance agency such as Dern & Company to ensure that you get sufficient coverage. Homeowners insurance offers you financial compensation in case of a covered peril.

What Affects Your Homeowners Insurance?

The Type of Dog You Own

Your dog may keep you from getting the home insurance policy that you need. Some insurance companies do not offer homeowners insurance to homeowners with breeds of dogs that are considered aggressive or dangerous. Others may deny you insurance even if your dog does not belong to breeds that are considered dangerous. They may analyze the behavior of the dog to determine whether or not it is vicious. You may be able to get insurance from such companies if you choose to cage or chain your dog or take it to behavior modification classes.

Your Insurance Score

Your insurance score does not only affect your ability to secure homeowners insurance. It may also determine the number of premiums you pay. If you have a bad insurance score, you may not be able to secure homeowners insurance. Even if you do, your premium rates could be higher than they need to. If you want to improve your insurance score, try to pay your credit card bills on time, and do your best to avoid bankruptcy and a tax lien.

Marital Status

Being married may be a good thing when it comes to homeowners insurance. Most providers view married people as low-risk and less likely to file claims than single people. The premium rates for singles may be higher than for married couples.

Contact Dern & Company in Milwaukee, WI to discuss your new homeowner’s insurance quote.

 

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.