A strong safety and security plan isn’t just about doing your due diligence as a gas station owner — it’s also about protecting your investment.
The truth is that gas stations face far more threats, and operate in a much more hazardous environment, than many might initially expect. From a new rise in workplace violence to more consistent dangers like fires, you need to ensure that your current workplace safety strategy is prepared for a variety of situations.
Unfortunately, you may not be quite as ready as you think you are. This post is here to change that. Read on to learn how to make your gas station a safer place for everyone — and understand how getting the right insurance policy can help take some of the burden off of you as the owner.
Basic Gas Station Safety
Let’s quickly go over some basic gas station safety rules that your employees need to follow. We also recommend creating signage near the gas pumps, so that your customers can stay safe, too.
First of all, always ensure that cars are completely turned off when a car is being refueled. Absolutely tell customers and employees not to smoke, use matches, or lighters on the premises. Remind customers to avoid entering and exiting their cars during the refueling process, as doing so can sometimes create a charge of static electricity.
Use only approved containers for storing and selling your gasoline. Always keep these containers in a upright position, and do what you can to prevent customers from handling them without supervision. When you fill a portable container, only do so when it’s on the ground.
Unfortunately, there are over 7,000 fires at gas stations every year. If you create the right signage and train your employees to recognize and intervene when they see irresponsible behavior, you can make sure they don’t happen at yours.
Developing a Strong Security Plan
Let’s talk about the ways in which you can better monitor what’s going on at your gas station.
First of all, remember that visibility is key. Employees need large windows so that they can see what’s happening at the pumps at all times. Your customers also need to be protected at the pump. Invest in high-quality lighting so that they feel safe getting gas at night.
Install security cameras at several parts of the station, and invest in convex mirrors to give you even greater visibility.
Remember that safety is also about cleaning up any gas spills as soon as they happen. Develop a strict policy when it comes to cleaning up spills. Remember that “topping off” often leads to overflow and spills — so make sure that your employees don’t do it if they’re filling up the tanks.
You also need to ensure that customers can clearly see where they need to turn to enter or exit your gas station. Invest in reflective tape, make sure to keep the exits clear from debris or signs, and do what you can to create a good guide for traffic flow.
An insurance provider may also be able to help you develop the right security plan and identify risks. We’ll talk more about insurance later on in this post.
If You Also Own a Convenience Store
Adding a convenience store to your gas station is an excellent way to drive up your profits and connect with your customers on a deeper level.
It also means that you’ll need to be prepared to deal with new safety and security risks.
First of all, make sure your store’s interior is designed to prevent slips, trips, and falls.
This means that aisles should be well-lit, not overly crowded, and that any spills should be cleaned up immediately, with proper signage. Put mats at the entrances and exits to your store. Avoid stacking boxes too high on shelves, and make sure customers don’t reach for higher-up items themselves.
If employees are preparing hot food/drinks, train them on how to prevent burns. Instruct them on proper sanitation requirements, as well, like wearing gloves, using tongs, wearing hairnets, and washing their hands.
When it comes to the inventory itself, ensure that you do everything you can to buy non-expired, high-quality products. We suggest investing in food spoilage liability insurance to protect yourself if a customer somehow gets sick from eating spoiled food.
Remember that, if you decide to sell liquor, you’ll likely need to take proper security measures — in addition to securing the proper licensing in your state. Getting liquor liability insurance makes things easier. Depending on your location and operating hours, you may want to buy bulletproof glass or avoid having workers in the store on their own during certain hours.
Unfortunately, armed gas station robberies (of both merchandise and cash) happen all the time. You need to be prepared — and often, this means training your employees in de-escalation tactics. Also, remove cash from the register at the end of the evening, and set firm limits on how much cash you’ll have on the premises at any given time.
Play It Safe With Gas Station Insurance
Even if you feel like your safety and security plan is airtight, accidents can still happen. Sometimes, you won’t be able to clean up liquids in time. A customer may be negligent, and damage your equipment. Someone could decide to randomly vandalize your store.
From helping you to understand how the right coverage can protect you in the event of a gas spill to pointing out potential risks, working with the right insurance representative can make all the difference.
We can help you to get the insurance you need to protect your investment. Reach out to us to get a quote today.
You’re ready to own your own business, and have decided that a gas station and convenience store is the perfect opportunity for you.
You want to make sure you’re a responsible business owner, but you also want to know the steps you should start taking now to create a profitable business model. You know you need a business plan and a marketing strategy — but just dreaming up plans in your mind doesn’t guarantee success.
From making sure that you have the right insurance policy to developing a strong employee training program, follow the advice in this post to create a profitable gas station.
Location Is Everything
One of the most important things you need to do in order to have a profitable gas station?
Secure the perfect location.
For both safety (especially if you plan to keep your business open 24 hours) and to ensure you always have an influx of customers, opt for a location on a busy street. If possible, aim to find a gas station (or build your own) on the right-hand corner after a light.
Your customers will be able to avoid making left-hand turns.
Make sure you also take the time to research your competitors in the area. Though you can’t always control your gas prices, you can learn from then — and realize what you have to offer customers that they don’t.
Independent Ownership vs. Franchising
One of the biggest decisions you’ll make when it comes to owning a gas station is deciding whether you’d like to operate an independent business, or become a part of an established franchise.
There are certainly pros and cons to each.
Franchising often means that at least a portion of the financial responsibilities will be taken off your shoulders. They also come with the benefit of brand recognition. Additionally, when you join a franchise, they may have strict requirements about the types of gas station insurance you need to have — and often, they’ll cover most of the cost of that, as well.
However, you’re obligated to follow all the rules of the franchise, including buying all of your gas from them. When you buy a franchise, you’ll also need their approval should you ever need to sell in the future.
When you run an independent gas station, you’re in absolute control of everything from marketing to securing your gas. Especially if you want to add on a convenience store, you’ll have much more freedom over the products you can stock. You’ll also have the freedom to sell on your own at any time. You’ll also be able to negotiate with the seller of the gas station you’re interested in buying, potentially getting a better price.
Of course, this means that all of the responsibilities fall completely to you, including buying your own insurance.
Proper Employee Training
Businesses that have excellent customer service are able to achieve customer retention rates as high as 92%.
Whether you’re joining a franchise or buying an independent gas station, you need to ensure that you’re paying close attention to the way in which you train your employees. Teach them how to respond if there’s an accident, or even if they see a customer misusing a pump or causing another issue.
Ensure that they know how to work the security cameras, that they’re willing to help those that need assistance pumping their gas, and that they want to take the time to get to know repeat customers on a personal level. You should also make sure your employees know to empty the cash register every night, and that they’re clear on how often to make bank deposits to avoid having too much cash at the business.
Develop a strong safety plan, and make sure they stick to it by offering incentives. Make sure your team knows that they should only wear clothing made from cotton, as synthetic fabrics can cause fires. Instruct your employees to avoid using a flashlight near the tank, and even tell them to refrain from powering on cellphones while at the pump.
Remember that well-trained employees may help you to save on the cost of your insurance, because you can prove that you have a response plan in place in the event of an emergency.
Get Gas Station Insurance
You have health insurance and life insurance to protect yourself and your family members if something happens to you.
You can’t run a successful gas station — or any business at all — without the proper insurance. First of all, it’s just part of being a responsible business owner. But it also protects you from having to cover the costs of property damage, vandalism/theft, accidents, the consequences of customer negligence, and even medical bills.
If you have to pay for these things out of your own pocket, you may end up having to sell your business.
Look for an insurance plan that includes worker’s compensation, general liability insurance, service station coverage, pollution liability insurance, and much more.
Follow These Tips for a Booming Business
From making sure you’ve picked the perfect location to selecting the right insurance plan to protect your investment, you now know the top steps you need to take to ensure you have a profitable business.
We’re here to help make the process of buying gas station insurance as simple and stress-free as possible.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about the kinds of insurance you should have. We’ll compare options from some of the best coverage providers out there, and give you a quote we know you’ll love.
Read on to learn more about why pollution liability insurance isn’t something your gas station should open its doors without.
What is Pollution Liability Insurance?
First, let’s make sure you have a strong understanding of what pollution liability insurance actually is.
This insurance helps you to cover environmental losses that are caused to your gas station, as well as losses your gas station may cause to other businesses/people. In a gas station, this kind of coverage is mainly designed to protect you against losses due to gas spills/fuel leaks.
This insurance helps with on and off-site clean-up expenses, bodily harm or damage to property that occured because of a gas spill, and legal defense costs and revenue losses that may arise as a result of lawsuits and other claims.
Pollution liability insurance covers your gas station whether you own or rent your business.
There are several factors that will likely influence the overall cost of your policy.
They include how you’ve handled any spills in the past, your gas station’s location and construction, the different types of quantities of pollutants your gas station uses, and the kind of services your gas station offers.
The Benefits of Pollution Liability Insurance
Remember that pollution insurance is not included as a part of your overall commercial liability insurance policy.
However, in many cases, you may be legally required to show proof of pollution liability insurance before you can open your business.
But even if you’re not legally required to have pollution liability insurance, it’s still something you should invest in.
First of all, because it’s an incredibly comprehensive policy, offering coverage for both first and third parties. This means that, whether someone on your team is injured in a gas leak, your property has been damaged due to a spill, or if a customer’s negligence causes property damage to your gas station, you’re protected.
You’ll also be able to offset the costs of gas spill cleanup, building or car repair, and even medical bills or other equipment damage. You don’t want to have to pay for these expenses out of pocket — especially if the accident wasn’t your fault.
Finally, investing in a pollution insurance policy just helps you to sleep better at night. You already have enough things to worry about. Your insurance coverage shouldn’t be one of them.
Common Claim Examples
Let’s take a look at some potential claim examples when it comes to pollution liability insurance.
Of course, one of the most common scenarios happens when a car backs into a fuel pump at your gas station, spilling gas all over the property. You’ll need to clean up and contain the fuel, clean up anything that it came into contact with, (like other cars) and potentially repave part of your lot.
Or, one of your customers could accidentally drive away while the pump’s nozzle is still in the car, causing a huge mess. You’ll need to clean up not only your gas station, but also the area surrounding it that was impacted by the leak.
Perhaps a customer is trying to sue your gas station for negligence, because a hose split open while they were pumping gas, spraying fuel all over them and their vehicle. However, you properly maintain all of your equipment, and suspect that the fault lies with the way the customer handled the pump.
Finally, your gas station could be dealing with a leak coming from one of your underground tanks. Perhaps someone is trying to prove that this leak contaminated the local environment in some way.
The amount of coverage you’ll receive depends on the outcome of these cases, if cause or negligence can be established, and much more.
Having pollution liability insurance in situations like these can mean the difference between having to close down your gas station for good due to high costs and fines and being able to stay open.
Questions to Ask When Shopping for Coverage
There are several things to keep in mind when shopping for the right pollution liability insurance policy.
First, make sure you understand the kind of optional coverage the company may offer. This can include things like damage to your reputation, transportation of pollutants, an interruption in your business, and more.
Next, ask how the insurance company plans to find the right policy for you. How will they get to know the needs of your gas station and fairly evaluate your risk? Do they have relationships with several insurance providers that allow them to compare/contrast specific policies? Are they able to offer multi-policy discounts? What other kinds of coverage do they offer that your gas station could benefit from?
The more questions you ask, the faster you’ll be able to determine whether or not you’re truly working with the right company.
Are You Ready to Purchase Pollution Liability Insurance?
Now that you understand why pollution liability insurance is so important, let’s talk about how you can find the best possible plan for your gas station.
At Ovation Insurance, we’ve worked hard to make relationships with over 25 A-rated insurance providers. This means that we can compare your insurance options, saving you time and stress.
In addition to pollution liability insurance, we’ll help you to make sure your gas station has all the coverage it needs when it comes to your employees, your equipment, and even potential crime.
As a gas station owner, you know just how important it is to create a safe and secure environment. You work tirelessly to keep your inventory high, train your employees to provide customers with the help they need, and get to know the people who do business with you on a personal level.
You take pride in what you’re able to offer your customers — but are you doing everything you can to protect yourself? If you don’t have a comprehensive insurance policy for your gas station, then the answer is “no.”
A shocking ¾ of American businesses are underinsured by at least 40%, with many citing the high costs of insurance as the top reason why there are gaps in their current plan.
This post is here to help you get the coverage you need for the best possible price. Read on to learn what you can do to reduce your gas station insurance cost.
Take a Proactive Approach to Risk Management
There are over 5,000 fires per year at gas stations around the country. Within a year, more than 14,000 crimes resulting in some sort of property damage also happen at gas stations.
We don’t tell you numbers like this to scare you, but rather to convince you of the importance of risk management. It’s not just a way to keep your gas station insurance costs down. It also helps you to protect your investment, and keep both your customers and your employees safe.
So, what are some of the biggest risks to gas stations?
They physical layout of your gas station can sometimes make it tough to see what’s really happening inside of outside your store. Add convex mirrors and cameras to make sure you’re able to keep watch on everyone who enters and exits the gas station. If a convenience store is a part of your gas station, make sure you’ve installed excellent lighting, large windows, and can clearly see what’s happening in the aisles from the register.
Consider the location of your gas station as a whole. If it’s in a popular area, you’re less likely to deal with criminal activity — but perhaps, due to high traffic volume, more likely to experience accidents. Add signage so that the entrances and exits to the station are clear, and make sure you understand the crime rates in the neighborhood where your business is located.
Ensure that you’ve properly trained your employees when it comes to incident response. If someone is injured or the victim of a crime, do employees know how to react — and how to react as quickly as possible?
Finally, evaluate your approach to cash control. If you don’t keep much cash in your register, you’re much less likely to be the victim of a robbery. Explain to insurance companies that you make cash deposits several times a day if needed, that you have policies in place when it comes to access to a safe, and even install things like bulletproof glass to protect merchandise if needed.
Provide Insurance Companies with a Business Plan
Your business plan is certainly an excellent opportunity for you to evaluate your operating costs, understand when you can expect to turn a profit, and allows you to explain why you’re qualified to be a gas station owner.
However, it also gives you an opportunity to explain the kinds of security measures you plan to put in place, and the specific risks you’ve identified.
For example, your business plan could include a section on where you plan to install sprinklers, the layout of your gas station, your methods of employee training, and how you’ll respond to an accident.
If you’ve experienced losses in the past, you should also mention how your new business plan will prevent them from happening in the future.
When you create your business plan, you’ll also have a better understanding of how much you can actually afford to pay for coverage. You can decide if it’s financially feasible for you to pay your premium up front, or if you’d like to pay a higher deductible in order to keep your premiums as low as possible.
You may even want to consider hiring an attorney to look over your business plan. They can help you to make your plan more attractive not only to your insurance provider, but also to potential investors.
This guide is an excellent starting point when it comes to learning how to create a strong business plan for your gas station.
In addition to giving your insurance provider a strong business plan, you can even show off great online reviews from your customers on platforms like Yelp and Google My Business to prove that you have a history of doing excellent business.
Shop Around for a Comprehensive Policy
We understand that affordability is one of your biggest priorities when it comes to getting insurance coverage for your gas station.
However, it’s important to ensure that you’re getting a comprehensive policy. While you certainly shouldn’t pay for coverage you truly don’t need, remember that gaps in your insurance plan could leave you in terrible financial shape if there’s an accident or crime that you don’t have coverage for.
You should consider getting general liability and worker’s compensation insurance. You’ll likely also need crime/vandalism coverage, property damage insurance, and service station coverage to protect your underground piping, fuel storage, and pumps.
You may also need a liquor liability insurance if the convenience store attached to your gas station plans to sell liquor.
There’s no shame in shopping around and taking your time to find the best possible policy. Compare the costs of the plans, as well as the amounts of coverage they have to offer. Always evaluate any new risks to your business, and take another look at your policy each year to ensure that it’s still the right fit. You may need to add on additional coverage as your business grows. Make sure that you ask about multi-policy discounts!
Remember that your best bet for keeping costs as low as possible is to use one insurance company.
Need Insurance Coverage for Your Gas Station?
Now that you have a better understanding of how to lower the cost of your gas station insurance, you’re ready to begin reviewing your coverage options.
We’re here to help you with that.
We work with over 25 A-rated insurance providers, which means that we’ll compare all of your options for you, using our expertise to ensure that you get the best possible plan.
Reach out to us to get a quote today, and make your gas station a safer and more profitable place.
Joel Dunham, President of Ovation Insurance recently was awarded the designation of Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA), a professional designation conferred by the American Insurance Marketing and Sales Society (the AIMS Society).
Dunham successfully completed three Insurance Success Seminars. The CPIA designation stands for professionalism, commitment to sales training and results, and technical knowledge.
Position for Success (CPIA 1) assists participants in implementing risk identification strategies and systems that will prevent errors and omissions during the insurance prospecting process.
Implement for Success (CPIA 2) focuses on the development of the technical knowledge and skills needed to design a complete, yet innovative, insurance program for prospective clients. Participants will leave with detailed information for providing solutions that benefit consumers in the complex insurance marketplace.
Sustain Success (CPIA 3) provides participants with specific methods for maintaining high legal and ethical standards of operation while developing the agent-client relationship.
The AIMS Society is the only insurance organization dedicated solely to recognizing training and service quality among property and casualty insurance personnel. The mission of the AIMS Society is to improve the selling skills and insurance knowledge of its members by upgrading professionalism through information and education, which will result in providing better service to the insurance-buying public.
For more information about Insurance Success Seminars, the CPIA designation program or membership in the AIMS Society, contact the AIMS Society national office at 877-674-CPIA (2742) or visit www.aimssociety.org.
Ovation Insurance was founded in 1961. Serving the states of Indiana and Ohio, Ovation Insurance has been recognized for exceptional insurance services and best practices throughout both states, featuring the 2018 PIA Indiana Young Insurance Professional of the Year (Joel Dunham) and the 2018 National Alliance Outstanding Customer Service Representative of the Year for the state of Indiana (Amanda Stoller).
For more information about Ovation Insurance, contact the agency at 260-749-4970 or visit www.ovationinsure.com.
First-time FAQs: Do I need a home warranty or home insurance?
While first-time homebuyers often get home warranties and home insurance confused, the reality is that it’s not an either / or situation. You have to have home insurance before you close on your new home, but a home warranty can be bought any time.
Breaking it all down:
What exactly is home insurance?
Homeowner’s insurance provides you financial protection against disasters. It protects the house itself and everything in it, as well as provides liability coverage in case anyone injures themselves in your home or on your property.
Getting home insurance must happen before close of escrow, and lenders will insist on it.
Okay, so, what’s a home warranty?
A home warranty typically provides coverage for air conditioning units, heating furnaces, and other home appliances/systems like the oven or range if they fail due to normal wear and tear.
Additional coverage can be purchased to cover a swimming pool and spa pumps. Note that coverage typically lasts only one year.
It’s common practice for a seller to pay for a home warranty, but a home warranty isn’t always necessary and can just as easily be bought at a later date.
What does home insurance cover, and what’s excluded?
Your policy covers both damage to your property and legal responsibility for any injuries you or your family cause to other people in the house.
The structural protection normally includes damage or destruction due to fire, hurricane, lightning, hail or other disasters outlined in your home insurance policy.
Most policies will not pay for damage caused by earthquakes, floods or lack of proper maintenance. You can purchase additional coverage or a separate policy for those.
Make sure detached buildings like garages and storage sheds are included, even if that costs a little extra.
A good rule of thumb is to buy enough coverage so you can rebuild your house if disaster strikes.
Your personal belongings inside the home, including furniture, electronic and sports equipment, and clothes are covered for theft and other insured disasters, but high-end items like jewelry, art and collectibles will require additional coverage if you want to insure them for their full appraised value.
Policy types: actual cash value vs. replacement cost
You have two choices when insuring your home and belongings.
If you opt for “actual cash value,” you receive the amount of money needed to repair or replace your home after depreciation is factored in. With a “replacement cost” policy, your home will be restored to “like new” condition using materials of similar quality, without considering depreciation.
The liability protection of your home insurance policy includes such accidents as someone slipping and falling on your driveway, or your dog biting a visitor in your living room. It covers you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you or your family members (and pets) cause to other people.
Additional types of home insurance coverage
You can read more about other home insurance options on our list of Top 10 Optional Homeowners Insurance Coverages. Other considerations, depending on where your dream home is located, such as the history of claims in your neighborhood and on your property, may make home insurance difficult to obtain; i.e. if you chose an area prone to wildfires or mudslides.
Deciding whether you need a home warranty is a less pressing matter, but if you’re closing on a home or thinking about making an offer soon, it’s important for you to find the right home insurance provider.
In fact, everyone is in a flood zone. Some just happen to be in a ‘preferred’ area, known as an ‘X’ zone. If you live in an ‘X’ zone, you are typically not required by your mortgage company to carry flood insurance. But is that justification that you need not carry flood insurance at all?
What exactly is covered on a flood policy?
Why should you carry flood insurance if you’re not in a flood zone?
How much does flood insurance cost?
What is covered?
First and foremost, flooding would be covered on a flood policy. A flood is defined by the National Flood Insurance Program as ‘a general and temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mud flow.’
This would not be covered on a homeowners policy – in fact it is specifically excluded, and that is important to note. To have coverage in the event of a flood, you must carry flood insurance.
It also covers rising surface water.
Two examples of this:
A hurricane pushes water inland. This water is further forced upstream via rivers, and from the rivers into homes, leading to considerable catastrophic water damage. This would not be considered storm damage as covered by a homeowners policy – it would be considered rising surface water. Your homeowners policy would not pay this damage, but a flood policy would.
A water main breaks in a city. When it breaks, water is forced into the street at an alarming rate, and three feet of water rushes into the homes of several families causing considerable water damage. So who is responsible for this? The homeowners policy unfortunately would not cover this as it is also considered rising surface water. The city COULD accept some responsibility for the damage, but it’s very unlikely that they would. However, a flood policy would cover this exposure and restore the homes.
Why should you carry flood insurance?
Well – as mentioned earlier, you’re already in a flood zone. It’s just a matter of you being in a ‘preferred’ zone (X) or a ‘standard’ zone (AE, etc)
Do you live near a river?
Do you live in town near a water main?
What flood zone are you in?
Do you have a basement?
How often does it rain near you, and what happens when it does?
These are just the basic questions to consider when making the decision of whether or not to purchase this insurance plan.
Who offers flood insurance?
Traditionally, flood insurance is offered through the National Flood Insurance Program via many standard insurance carriers, but there are some private markets available that may be an option as well, particularly if you live in a standard flood zone.
Keep in mind though, flood insurance has a 30-day waiting period unless you are purchasing a new home and the mortgage company is requiring you to carry flood insurance at closing. You can’t wait until the next big storm is on the horizon to add it – you have to put the 30 days in first.
How much does it cost?
Honestly, it varies. If you’re in a preferred zone, you can get a basic plan for as little as $150-$200 depending on whether or not you have a basement. But again, it depends on how much coverage you want or need and what zone you’re in.
In summary, if you live in Indiana and Ohio we recommend that you buy flood insurance. And even if you live in a preferred flood zone it’s a great thing to consider. Hopefully you will never be put in the position where it is needed, but if you are then we want to make sure you have what you need to restore what you have.
Getting a flood quote is easy. Ready to get started?
One of the most common questions I get asked is this:
“Is there any other coverage I should know about that I don’t have?”
I’ve compiled a basic list of 10 of the best insurance coverages, along with some average pricing to help with your budget. Keep in mind that every company is different and the pricing estimates in this quote are in respect to Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio, so the pricing of a few of these options may look very different to you depending on where you live. Also keep in mind that not every insurance company will offer every one of these options, so make sure you discuss with your agent to determine whether not your current company offers these options as well.
Guaranteed Replacement Cost: Most homeowners policies will already list your home at replacement cost, and if communication between you and your agent is ongoing about it, there’s a good chance that it’s listed at an accurate number and if your house burnt down you’d be in good standing. But what happens when there’s a major catastrophe? What happens when everyone in the mile radius of yours has their house destroyed at the same time and the cost of labor and materials skyrockets based purely on circumstance? Well, guaranteed replacement will essentially guarantee that as long as your replacement cost estimation is accurate, the insurance company is willing to go above and beyond your listed coverage to make sure that your home is fully replaced. Estimated Annual Cost (EAC): $30-$50
Cash-Out Option:I’ve already gone into this extensively here, but let’s say your house is completely destroyed and you decide that instead of rebuilding, you’d rather just cash out and move on. You can do that anyhow, but if you do not have this endorsement you will likely received a diminished value when you do. However, with the Cash-Out Option, you’ll receive the full replacement benefit and can rebuild elsewhere. EAC: $200-$400
Service line: You know how you get those notices from the gas and/or electric company every couple months stating that you are responsible for covering the service lines that go under the house? Well… that’s true. This coverage is somewhat of an answer to that. It will cover the service lines under your house if they are damaged or destroyed, and in most cases will also cover the excavation costs to get to them, which can be a huge deal if you have a slab foundation! EAC: $15-$20
Equipment Breakdown: Until recently this has been more commonly found on commercial policies, but it’s becoming much more prevalent on homeowners policies now too. It essentially covers your systems – heating, air conditioning, washer, dryer, etc. in the event of unexpected breakdown. It will not cover wear and tear and/or aging, but if the unexpected happens, you’d be looking at a payout. EAC: $20-$25
Identity Theft: Most companies offer this now as well at a low amount and some actually include it as part of the policy for free, but this would be a reactive service to someone stealing your identity. They’d essentially pay the recovery costs to restore everything. Note: This will not monitor your accounts, it would only be there as a backup! EAC: Free-$35
Earthquake: Not much explanation needed here, but you should know that this is not automatically included in your plan. Cost can vary widely on this, depending on the company and construction of the house. You’ll typically see a higher cost if you have a brick house, for instance. EAC: $15-$400
Matching of Siding and Roofing: If you have an older, ornate, or unique home, this could be a very big deal. Insurance companies repair or replace your roof and siding with reasonably similar materials to what you have. But what happens if your particular materials are hard to find? Imported? Discontinued? The cost could be significantly higher. This endorsement would ensure that the company is willing to seek out and pay for materials that will match what you have. EAC: $50-$150
Water Backup: This is absolutely critical if you have a basement with a sump pump, but can also be relevant without one. It will pay for water damage resulting from water overflowing from the sewer and/or drains, or sump pump overflow. Safety features matter on the pricing of this. EAC (for $5,000): $25-60
Inland Marine: No, I don’t mean anything to do with boating. This is something you can add to your homeowners policy to cover your high valued items specifically. Engagement rings, expensive firearms, musical instruments, collections, even cell phones and tablets, depending on the company – they can all be listed here and covered with little to no deductible. Pricing varies greatly between items (a fine arts painting it less likely to be damaged than a computer or cell phone based on usage), so pricing this would be very tricky. EAC: TBD
Refrigerated Products: This isn’t a huge coverage but is very convenient when the event hits. Assuming you lose power for a week, what happens to the food in the deep freeze? Chances are it’s gone, and you could have up to $500 in food in the freezer alone. It’s enough to be a significant annoyance, but less than the deductible. With this endorsement, which often times is included in the policy from the beginning, the deductible would be minimal or none. EAC: Free-$15
Not all of these may be relevant to you know – but they could be later. You may be planning your next home purchase, and it could be significantly different than your home now which means that your need of certain coverages will change. Furthermore, every insurance carrier is different, and not every company will offer every one of these options. That is why it’s crucial to keep ongoing dialogue with your agent, and an independent agent like Ovation Insurance will allow you the freedom to change plans based on your needs.
Ovation Insurance is pleased to announce owner Joel Dunham and associate Amanda Stoller have both received statewide awards for outstanding service. Dunham is the 2018 Young Insurance Professional of the Year as awarded by the Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) of Indiana, Inc., a recognition of outstanding achievement by an employee, owner, or principal of a member agency who is under the age of 40. The recipient then competes with other state association winners for the Young Insurance Professional of the Year award at PIA National’s Federal Summit held in the spring. Stoller has received the 2018 Customer Service Representative (CSR) of the Year Award from The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research, recognizing participation in the insurance community and outstanding dedication, ability, and commitment to customer service.
Ovation Insurance, previously known as Stoller-Dunham Insurance Agency, was founded in 1961. Dunham recently stepped into the role of president and owner after 10 years with the agency. Ovation has raised the bar this past year by implementing the following changes: a fresh and modern agency rebranding, innovative marketing strategies, a focus on digital client communication, actively engaging in social media campaigns, and various customer service improvements including comprehensive annual policy reviews.
Ovation Insurance is proud to receive this state-level recognition and will continue striving to be a leader in independent insurance. Ovation Insurance serves clients in the states of Indiana and Ohio offering auto, homeowners, business, life, and ministry coverage.
From helping you to understand how the right coverage can protect you in the event of an insurance claim, working with the right insurance representatives can make all the difference. Even if you feel like your insurance plan may be fine and that all of your assets are protected, if you’re not sure it’s always worth a look.
We can help you to get the insurance you need to protect your investment. Reach out to us to get a quote today.
You have all heard the horror stories, or maybe even had one happen directly to you. A claim isn’t paid due to a very vague interpretation of the policy. A great deal on a new policy that turns out to be a scam. A policy you thought you had signed up for turned out to have never been issued because the agent pocketed the money instead of issuing the policy.
It seems to be far too common in the insurance and financial realm. Regulations have greatly increased over the past few years to help encourage the success of reputable agencies and companies, but it is next to impossible to remove them all.
So how do you know you have a reputable insurance company? A reputable insurance agency?
Here are some tips to help you discern the good from the bad:
Check with the Better Business Bureau to find out what complaints have been filed, if any. You can further see if and how they were resolved.
Verify with the state insurance department that the agency or company is licensed and in good standing
Research online the agency or company in question to see what articles or complaints appear. Pay special attention to the words ‘scam’ and ‘ripoff.’ Again, you can also see how the company responds as well.
Check the company’s rating with AM Best, Standard & Poor’s, and Moody’s
Choose an independent agency that can work with multiple carriers, and takes the time to explain the coverage, the processes, and questions you may have about the company
Regardless whether you’re purchasing home and auto, business, ministry, or life insurance, the same rules still apply. Do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
We can help you to get the insurance you need to protect your investment. Reach out to us to get a quote today.