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Gates-Cole Insurance

Gates-Cole Insurance is an independent insurance agency with 10 locations in NY representing over 45 regional and national insurance companies. Our team of professionals has in-depth knowledge and experience in Auto Insurance NY, Home Insurance NY, Business Insurance NY, Boat Insurance NY, Motocycle Insurance NY and all other areas of insurance. We have a genuine interest in finding the right solutions for you. We would like to become part of your insurance program, and participate in the planned growth of your future.

Trade Credit Insurance: Cover Your Largest Asset

Author ShawnaKreis , 1/4/2016
Most companies insure virtually every aspect of their business. Yet, believe it or not, fewer than 10% of American businesses protect their primary source of income: their outstanding invoices or accounts receivable (A/R) - even though losses from customers failing to pay invoices are more common than those caused by fire or theft and can be equally, if not more, devastating.

The solution: Trade Credit insurance, (also known as Accounts Receivable insurance) which guarantees payment, up to the amount under the policy, of A/R owed by customers whose receivables are past due, are unable to pay or refuse to do so, or who are in default, This coverage is essential if a significant percentage of your sales are credit based and/or you sell regularly to new customers.

    • By protecting you against losses from bad debts, it enables you to provide more credit to more customers - which means higher sales.
 
  • A Trade Credit policy protects your company against the financial impact of a customer going bankrupt because the insurance company must pre-approve all orders, carrying Trade Credit coverage provides you with valuable information on the financial stability of your customers. This enables you to offer more aggressive terms and/or solicit larger orders. Trade Credit insurance allows you to increase the size of your working capital. For example, banks might be willing to lend against 90% of your receivables rather than 80%. In today's restricted financing environment, banks will be more likely to lend to you and to offer better terms.

What's not to like?

Our insurance professionals would be happy to offer their advice on the Trade Credit policy that's best for your business. Please feel free to get in touch with us at any time.


Happy New Year!

Author ShawnaKreis , 1/1/2016
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May this year brings all the desired success and happiness in your life that you can cherish always. Wish you a successful and prosperous 2016.


Cold Weather Checklist—Be Prepared!

Author ShawnaKreis , 12/30/2015
Cold weather will be with us for a few months which can cause a variety of problems for contractors and their employees who work outdoors in winter weather. To help your workers stay warm and safe on the job, follow these precautions:
  • Make sure that they keep their body temperature at or about normal by wearing layers of clothing, both inside and outdoors.
  • Provide proper rain gear, gloves, good waterproof boots, and an extra pair of clean, dry socks.
  • Have workers protect their neck and ears; they can lose a lot of heat from these areas.
  • Treat frostbite properly. The most important symptom is a numbing effect, which many workers tend to ignore. Other symptoms can include red skin turning to white, poor blood circulation, and blisters. To provide first aid: 1) never rub the frozen part in snow or immerse it in hot water (you can use warm water); 2) cover the affected area with extra clothing or a blanket; 3) get the worker out of the cold; 4) apply loose fitting, sterile dressings and splint and elevate affected extremities if possible; and 5) seek immediate medical attention.
  • Make sure that portable heaters are maintained and inspected on a regular basis. Defective ventilation and incomplete burning of fuel can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Locate fuel containers, regulators, piping, and hoses and secure them in sites where they won’t be subject to damage. Protect the valves from damage also.
Remember, the more effectively you help your employees stay warm and safe on the job, the higher their productivity,– and the lower your insurance premiums. For more information, please feel free to get in touch with our agency’s Construction insurance specialists at any time.

Green May Be The Way To Go, But How Will Your Insurance Apply?

Author ShawnaKreis , 12/28/2015
Environmentally-friendly construction, also known as "green" construction, is increasing rapidly in the United States. Concerns about global climate change, U.S. dependence on foreign sources of energy, and rising energy costs are inspiring individuals and businesses to construct buildings with a reduced carbon footprint. This trend has important implications for settlement of insurance claims when green buildings suffer damage. A green building is one that has met the requirements for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The U.S. Green Building Council developed LEED in 1998 as a way to help building owners identify and use practical and measurable designs, construction, operations and maintenance practices that are environmentally-friendly. Green buildings are, compared to standard buildings, more energy and water efficient, produce less carbon dioxide, and have a healthier indoor environment. Some states and municipalities have begun to adopt building codes that require elements of green construction. California has imposed tougher water efficiency standards on new residential construction; New York City is considering more stringent energy-use standards for large buildings. The impact of these requirements on construction costs will vary by location. Green construction might require specialized materials and methods; in the near term, contractors with expertise in these methods may be relatively scarce. Therefore, in some places the cost of complying with green building codes could be higher than building with standard materials and methods, and that will impact insurance coverage. (...continued) The factors that will influence the claim include:
  • Whether the green building code applies to new construction only or also to major renovations.
  • What the code defines as a "major renovation." Some codes might consider renovations affecting more than a specified percentage of the building's area as a major renovation.
  • How will use of green building materials affect the building's appearance? The property owner might lose enthusiasm for a repair if a change in appearance will lower the building's market value.
  • How will the new materials interact with the existing building components? Will integrating the new materials increase rebuilding time and cost?
  • Are qualified contractors available in the area?
  • Will wait times for green contractors and materials result in costly project delays?
  • How does the building code apply in the event of a large natural catastrophe, such as an earthquake or hurricane? Must property owners meet the higher standards at a time when hundreds of properties have suffered damage?
  • After a catastrophe, will there be long wait times for contractors to haul away debris because of overwhelmed landfills and recycling centers? Will there be long wait times for building inspectors to visit and approve all of the effected properties?
Standard personal and commercial property insurance policies provide very limited amounts of coverage for ordinance or law" losses -- extra costs incurred to meet local building requirements. Additional coverage is available; property owners in areas with green building codes should speak with our insurance agents about options and costs. Research and publishing company McGraw-Hill Construction has predicted that the market for non-residential building retrofitting with green construction will grow to $15 billion by 2014. Property owners and insurance companies will have to address these questions much more often in the near future; the time to answer them is before the losses occur.

Happy Holidays!

Author ShawnaKreis , 12/23/2015
GC - Merry Christmas

It’s the Holiday season and we just wanted to say ‘ Thank You ’ and that... It’s been a pleasure working with you this year... Hope you and your family have wonderful Holidays and... A Happy New Year.

     

Three Ways To Boost Your Workers’ Financial Health

Author ShawnaKreis , 12/21/2015
The financial well-being of your employees affects their health, their productivity and your bottom line! A recent nationwide survey by Purchasing Power, Inc. found that:
  • A high percentage of employees suffer significant financial stress. More than one in four workers surveyed (28%) find it hard to meet monthly household expenses and nearly half (44%) have less than $2,000 in emergency savings.
  • They bring these concerns to the job. More than four in ten (44%) worry about personal finances during work hours.
  • This stress leaves them less engaged at work and reduces productivity. Nearly three in ten employees (29%) deal with personal finances during work hours and almost half of these (46%) average two to three hours a week on money issues.
Purchasing Power Chief Revenue Officer Elizabeth Halkos offers some recommendations to help your workers maintain their engagement and productivity at the office:
  1. Help them reduce debt by offering education, either in groups (through webinars or with a live speaker) or individually so that workers can learn about topics such as budgeting, intelligent use of credit and savings programs. A referral to a qualified credit counseling agency can provide a useful follow-up.
  2. Give them access to responsible budgeting tools. Offering non-traditional voluntary benefits, such as employee purchase programs ( which allow workers to acquire high-ticket items and educational services on a “forced saving” basis through payroll deduction) can help reduce their financial stress significantly.
  3. Encourage employees to participate in retirement programs such as a 401(k) plan. However, before workers do this, advise them to deal with debt and budgeting issues and tuck away a nest egg.
Our Benefits experts stand ready to help you ensure financial peace of mind for your workers. Just give us a call.

Survey: Employers Neglecting Wellness Best Practices

Author ShawnaKreis , 12/18/2015
In their efforts to control health care costs, most businesses offer their employees wellness programs, which often use incentives to boost participation. A recent nationwide study done by benefits software and solutions provider Bswift, found that more than half of employers that had been surveyed, are overlooking crucial practices that could increase worker involvement in these programs that would help keep employees healthy, reducing costs and boosting productivity. “High levels of participation are critical for success, but companies are falling short when it comes to outcomes based incentives that reward participants for their actions and increase engagement.” says Bswift Executive Director Brad Wolfsen. “To move the needle on wellness, assessments must be objective, progress must be measurable, and employees need to invest in their own wellness success.” The study reports that while 85% of large companies and 81% of smaller companies offer wellness programs, only 44% have more than half of their employees using them. Although more than three in four large companies (78%) and nearly seven in ten smaller ones (69%) use incentives to spur participation, the message apparently isn’t getting through. Bswift recommends that employers shift their focus to results-based incentives. For example, only 15% of large business offer employees “carrots” or “sticks” based on biometric thresholds, even though more than three in four (77%) have automated biometric testing in place, up from 61% last year. “What it boils down to is that many companies are making benefits administration too difficult,” says Bswift CEO Rich Gallun. “As businesses peruse such strategies as wellness programs to control health care costs, they’ll need to make more effective use of automation to measure outcomes and encourage employee participation. Our agency’s employee benefits specialists would be happy to review your program and offer their recommendations, free of charge.

Protect your investment

Author ShawnaKreis , 12/16/2015
Not too many people consider their vehicle an investment, but it is. In fact it could be your most important investment. Your vehicle gets you to and from your employment. Your vehicle offers a safe and accessible way to travel. As your investment, you take care of it. You put gasoline in the car. Diligently, you pay attention to the maintenance schedule for your oil changes and milestone check-ups. Rotating your tires, parking your car in a garage or a covered parking area, getting your car detailed, and other long term preventive measures are on your to-do list. You make sure your car is in tip-top shape. Getting the right kind of car insurance should be on that list as well. Sadly, that is not the case. Many people like to get liability insurance to satisfy the requirements of the bank or the state. Realistically, however that basic coverage may not be enough coverage for expenses incurred in case of an accident. Liability insurance is basic insurance that only offers coverage for the other person in case of an accident. If you have damage to your vehicle and/or injuries you are out of luck. Protect your investment and don’t skimp on auto insurance coverage. Get the best possible policy that covers your investment. Give us a call today to get a review of your auto policy so we can help you fill in the gaps.

Holiday Prep and Safety

Author ShawnaKreis , 12/14/2015
home-1080272_1920The holiday season is here, and it's time to celebrate. As you prepare your home, follow several safety tips that help your holiday season be merry and bright. Indoor Decorations Miniature houses, ceramic reindeer and scented candles add a festive dimension to your home during the holiday season. Be sure to keep fragile items away from the edge of tables or mantles and out of small children's reaches. Extinguish any candles before bedtime or leaving the house, too. Christmas Tree A traditional symbol of the holiday, your Christmas tree looks pretty as its light twinkle. Keep your family safe when you secure the tree into a sturdy stand. Water your real tree regularly or choose a fire-resistant artificial tree to prevent a fire. If you use lights, don’t use frayed strands, hide the light power chord under a rug to reduce the tripping hazard and unplug the lights before you leave the house or go to bed. Remember to hang ornaments out of reach or place a baby gate around the tree, too, to protect children and pets. Gifts Share joy this holiday season when you give gifts to your loved ones. Remember to keep all gift wrapping supplies away from pets that may eat shiny ribbons and get sick. Also, purchase adequate insurance for jewelry, art and other expensive gifts. To prevent thieves from stealing your holiday joy, hide gifts until Christmas morning, secure your house with a security system and keep the windows and doors locked. Outdoor Decorations Whether you go all out when decorating your house and lawn or simply hang a wreath on the door, follow outdoor decoration safety. Always use a ladder to hang lights on your house. Don't overload electrical outlets, either. As a rule, connect only three outdoor extension cords together in one strand. Visitor Prep Welcoming visitors is part of the season's fun. Clear the walkways of ice and debris before guests arrive. Consider installing extra lighting, too, to prevent falls and trips. When preparing food, follow food safety guidelines. Store fresh foods at the correct temperature, cook foods thoroughly and place leftovers promptly into the fridge. The holiday season is a joyous time of celebration. Follow these safety tips as you decorate your home and welcome guests. Contact your insurance agent, too, to update your home insurance policy and insure all your gifts.

HO, HO, HO, Host Liquor Liability

Author ShawnaKreis , 12/11/2015
The holidays are almost upon us and alcohol will be flowing at company parties throughout the land. Beware! If an employee or guest gets inebriated at a social function sponsored by your business and then injures another person, you could be held liable. Consider this scenario: After polishing off four eggnog's in an hour at the company’s Christmas party, one of your workers toddles off to his car. The employee almost makes it home when he runs a red light and T-bones a car. The car is damaged and injures the driver. The driver then sues your business for negligence in allowing the employee to drive home although he was clearly “under the influence” at the company party. What’s more, under state and local “social host” laws, your business might face a fine or even imprisonment for continuing to serve alcohol to an adult who is legally drunk. Under your comprehensive general liability policy is a clause for host liquor liability. The insurance company will pick up the tab for property damage and bodily injuries, up to “each occurrence” or “general aggregate” limits for the CGL. This coverage will also pay for court costs, legal fees, and other expenses – and these payments will not apply to the limits. Be sure not to confuse host liquor liability insurance with Liquor Liability coverage, which protects businesses that manufacture, serve, or sell alcoholic beverages (such as liquor stores, bars, and taverns) against claims for injuries caused by intoxicated customers. If you’re in one of these businesses, you’ll need both types of policy. To learn more, feel free to get in touch with our agency at any time.