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R. David Bulen Insurance Blog

R. David Bulen Insurance Agency Paying too much for your Insurance? Not sure? Call us to compare. It’s fast, easy and best of all there is no cost to you! Experienced and licensed staff working for you to provide the best company, coverage and price available. You will always have a service team assigned to you. At each renewal we will quote your current policy to make sure you are still receiving the best coverage and price. Multiple policy discounts available. R. David Bulen Insurance is a professional team of caring individuals committed to providing superior products and service to our valued growing customer base. Are You A Business Owner looking for Competitive Insurance? Whether you’re looking for workers compensation insurance, commercial auto coverage, general liability or professional liability for your business, R. David Bulen Insurance is committed to finding you affordable and comprehensive insurance coverage, never compromising on protection or quality. You’re never just a number to us – and when you need your insurance coverage to respond, it’s like having family in the business. Looking For Personal Insurance? We have strong relationships with the most competitive carriers you’ll find anywhere. These strong relationships help us get you the valuable protection you need, and the fast – responsive claims handling service you expect when you need us most.

Global Road Safety Week

Author LisaMosby , 5/6/2015
Every day more than 500 children around the globe lose their lives in traffic accidents and tens of thousands are injured. It's Global Road Safety Week. Help ‪#‎SaveKidsLives‬ Sign the Child Declaration for Road Safety. http://www.savekidslives2015.org/

TAXES - AND YOUR AUTO INSURANCE

Author LisaMosby , 4/15/2015
1Its tax time again. As you travel down the bumpy road of deductions, you might be able to write off some of your car expenses, including a percentage of your insurance premiums:
    • Business use of your car If you're self employed and drive your vehicle for work, or if you have a job and use the car for work-related reasons without reimbursement, you might be able to deduct part of your premium. Determine the percentage of time that you use the vehicle for work and then base your deduction for auto expenses (including insurance premiums, as well as gas, oil, repairs, registration fees, lease payments, depreciation, parking and toll fees) on this percentage. To qualify for these deductions, they'll need to total more than 2% of your adjusted gross income. The alternative is to take the standard business mileage deduction (currently 55.5¢ a mile).
 
  • Loss, theft, or damage You may be able to claim a loss deduction if your car is stolen, damaged, or totaled in an accident, provided your policy doesn't reimburse you for the full loss. You may also be able to write off your insurance deductible as part of a theft or casualty loss. However, you can take the deduction only if an individual loss comes to at least $100 and the total loss for the year tops 10% of gross income.

Be sure to keep all relevant receipts, including expenses and police reports, in case the IRS or insurance company asks for verification.

If you have any questions about getting the most mileage out of possible Auto insurance deductions, feel free to get in touch with the specialists at our agency. As always, we're here to help!

 

What's the best way to cover your business equipment?

Author LisaMosby , 4/8/2015
Business equipment covers a variety of assets. Word processing, production machinery, air conditioners, boilers, even bulldozers and excavators describe business equipment. So let's answer this question by going through the different property policies.
  • Contents policy. This coverage, generally found in the property section of your package policy (general liability and property combined), protects you from losses due to covered perils (fire, lightning, smoke, hail, windstorms, civil commotion, and others). Generally, office equipment, laboratory equipment, production equipment or any other device or machinery that stays on location is best covered under contents. The policy is designed for exactly this purpose.
  • Inland Marine. This policy form covers the property value of equipment that moves. For example, construction equipment like backhoes or bulldozers travel to and remain on jobsites. Contents policies limit the value of some types of property off premises; inland marine allows transportation and off-premises usage.
  • Boiler and Machinery. This property coverage has elements of liability as well. Basically, boiler and machinery policies provide an inspection service for equipment to assure it is in good working order. Then, if a boiler breaks down or explodes, the policy covers damage caused to others and mechanical breakage of the boiler.
  • Cargo. This policy covers your property while in transit. For example, if your shipping machinery across the country or an ocean. Contents policies have exclusions and low limits on in-transit goods. The policy does not anticipate this type of risk. Cargo policies do, and they are designed around freight carrier responsibilities in the event of a loss.
Property coverage seems like it's simple, but many subtle clauses create niche coverage issues. Call us today!  

Children's Fair & Egg Hunt

Author LisaMosby , 4/1/2015
Easter Egg HuntChildren's Fair & Egg Hunt
Date: 4/4/2015 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Cost: Free
Join in the hunt at 10 a.m. sharp as kids ages 1 to 8 years try to find their share of 8,000 candy stuffed eggs. Visit the Children's Fair after the hunt from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for free activities, live entertainment, bouncers and food vendors. Don't miss this spring extravaganza and the chance to take a picture with the Easter Bunny from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.! Please call (951) 674-3124 ext. 292 for more information on this event.

Vacation Insurance: Do You Need It?

Author LisaMosby , 3/18/2015

As you start making spring break vacation plans, think about vacation insurance. It's available on almost any trip you might take, whether you travel a few hours away from home or across the globe. Before you buy vacation insurance, though, decide if you need it. Trip Cancellation Insurance You'll pay five to seven percent more for your vacation if you buy trip cancellation insurance. However, you could lose more money than that if your child contracts chickenpox the day before your vacation, you're called to jury duty, a work emergency comes up or you otherwise can't take your trip. Travel Health Insurance Traveling is safer now than ever before, but your current health insurance coverage may not cover a life-saving hospital treatment or medical evacuation as you travel internationally. Likewise, if you travel frequently, are pregnant or suffer from a chronic health condition, travel health insurance makes practical and financial sense. Baggage Insurance If you travel with valuables worth more than a few thousand dollars, consider baggage insurance. It costs five percent of the total cost of the items you wish to cover. While most airlines will reimburse you for lost baggage, that money may not cover your lost, stolen or damaged expensive valuables. Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance An adequate life insurance policy typically makes this type of vacation coverage unnecessary. However, check with your insurance agent before your trip to be sure. Rental Car Insurance Check with your rental car company to see if your auto insurance policy covers your rental car. If not, purchase additional coverage. Especially for your expensive, once-in-a-lifetime or international trips, vacation insurance provides the peace of mind you need. Just be sure to buy insurance not a waiver or protection plan. Your insurance agent will help you make sense of all the options and discover which vacation insurance is right for you.

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING 101: CLEAN, ORDERLY – AND SAFE

Author LisaMosby , 2/11/2015
A clean, neat, and orderly workplace contributes to the health and safety of employees, improves their morale – and can grow your business! To help the cause, make sure that employees follow these housekeeping guidelines:
  • Keep floors spotless. Clean up spills promptly to prevent slipping accidents and sweep up or vacuum dust or metal fragments that could cause respiratory problems, if inhaled.
  • Eliminate clutter. A pile of oily rags left outside a properly closed container can easily ignite a blaze. Get rid of cartons, discarded parts machinery, or general debris that could block exit routes and doors. To prevent slips and trips, dispose of these items promptly in the appropriate waste containers.
  • Make sure workstations are kept neat. They should be cleared of everything not involved in the immediate project to keep a heavy tool or object from dropping off a workbench onto a worker's foot.
  • Keep storage areas and cabinets clean and orderly. If workers "tidy up" their stations by sweeping a jumble of tools, materials, and unfinished products into bins, the result might look neat – but it's neither orderly, nor safe. Separate substances subject to dangerous interactions, and arrange materials so they won't fall off shelves, creating a tripping or injury hazard.
  • Put items in their proper places out as soon as they're no longer in use. Supervisors need to make this behavior automatic in all employees by instruction, setting an example, and enforcement.
Clean and pleasant surroundings help maintain morale among workers, while impressing visitors and customers. What's more, if the condition of your workplace creates an image of pride and efficiency, it can help garner more business, which helps both you and your employees. For more information, feel free to get in touch with us.

Five Tips for Safe Driving for your Business

Author LisaMosby , 2/4/2015

self-drivingDid you know that the average work related car crash costs $74,000. That includes medical bills and time off from work. It does not include the emotional turmoil of the worker, his or her family, or the employer. If you drive as part of your job, or you employ people who must drive as part of their work, following are five tips to share with them so that they drive more safely. Focus on Driving Each time you are behind the wheel, the most important thing you do is keep your focus. If your work includes driving or operating heavy equipment focus is even more important to you. Taking a sip of coffee, a bite of a sandwich, or adjusting the radio tuner steals your focus long enough to involve you in a crash that injures you and others. Stay Alert In addition to staying focused, you must stay alert. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of American Drivers admit they drive while drowsy. Even scarier, is that 37 percent of United States drivers admit they have fallen asleep behind the wheel. Drowsy driving is dangerous, especially so for long-distance truckers, delivery people, and others who spend a great deal of time behind the wheel for work. If you do become sleepy, get off the road and take a nap. If it happens often talk with your employer about a shift change. Do Not Use Your Cell Phone Cell phones, like alcohol, and driving do not mix. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control, cell phones have responsibility for more than 1,000 traffic deaths each year, as well as 24,000 injuries. Because of the known dangers of using a cell phone while driving many states have outlawed using one while driving, a few even if it is hands free. In 2010, laws passed that prohibit texting while driving. Recognize Impaired Drivers Whether sleepy, high on drugs or drunk, the behavior of an impaired driver is consistent. They tend to vary their speeds, drive very slowly, weave and swerve. If you see some a person driving this way, keep your distance. If possible, pull off the road and call the police. You just might save the driver and innocent people from injury or death. Use a Global Positioning Device (GPS) Use a GPS with voice navigation. These devices can plot your route and using an artificial voice give you directions as you drive. No longer is it necessary to drive and try to read a map - a very unsafe practice. Use these tips and travel safe!

 

Getting Ready to Renew Your Worker's Compensation Insurance

Author LisaMosby , 12/16/2014
R. David Bulen Insurance, CA, Workers compensationThe time of year is quickly approaching when your business will need to think about the renewal of its worker's compensation insurance. Start thinking ahead now to streamline this process and keep yourself and your management from the last minute scramble. Your insurance agent is a part of your team and wants to get you the best deal on insurance. However, if he or she does not have the appropriate information, he will not be able to advise you to the best of his ability. Here are a few considerations you should keep in mind as you get ready for worker's compensation renewal time. Basic Information Your agent needs to have the basic details of the business correct before he can proceed. Has your business changed its name in the past year? Have you added a new owner or other position of authority? What about legalities? If your company's legal entity has changed, perhaps through incorporation or becoming an LLC, your agent needs to know about it. Have the needs of your business changed? Is the focus of your business still what it was the last time that you signed up for worker's compensation insurance? Have you hired on additional employees or were a few positions eliminated in the past 12 months? How many employees do you have and what are their job classifications? All of these questions give your agent a clearer picture of what your worker's comp insurance needs may be. Past Claims History Your agent probably has your past claims history, and these facts can change your worker's compensation costs. Look through your own records and review all past worker's compensation claims for the past two or three years. Then compare the information in your own files with that of the insurance agent's files. A mistake on the agent's part could cost your company thousands, so it pays to be aware of any errors and ask the simple questions. Payroll and Income Estimates for the Upcoming Year Although it can be hard to estimate what your payroll and gross receipts will be over the next year, you should at least make a stab at it. These forecasts give your agent a fuller picture of the nature of your business. If you need advice on renewing your worker's compensation insurance, call R. David Bulen Insurance Agency today! Sources: http://www.leaderschoiceinsurance.com/blog-0/bid/97646/Workers-Comp-Renewal-Time-Use-The-3-R-s-Checklist http://relmarkgroup.com/pdf/Insurance%20Renewal%20Prep%20Checklist.pdf http://businessandinsurance4you.blogspot.com/2011/02/commercial-insurance-checklist-get.html

What Insurance Policies Do New Businesses Need?

Author LisaMosby , 12/16/2014
R David Bulen Insurance AgencyWhen you start a business, one crucial consideration is what kind of insurance you should buy. Make no mistake, improperly insuring your business can put your business on the line for thousands of dollars in claims. But, what kinds of business insurance does your new business need? 1. Worker's Compensation Insurance Every business needs worker's compensation insurance to cover medical bills, lost wages, and even death benefits to employees who are injured on the job. In most states, businesses are required by law to have worker's comp insurance. 2. General Liability Insurance Many businesses may believe that, if they don't have clients or workers at their office, they have no need for liability insurance. However, your business could still be liable for injuries if a deliveryman or even just a random stranger is injured on your business property. General liability can help your business avoid thousands of dollars in expenses if there is an injury on your property. 3. Property Insurance Property insurance protects your business property from losses due to theft, fire, or another type of damage. Be sure to protect your supplies, furnishings, and business equipment by buying business property insurance. 4. Business Interruption Insurance If a natural disaster or fire closes your business down for more than a day or two, you could stand to lose thousands of dollars in revenue. Business interruption insurance will help pay your bills and keep your business afloat while your area recovers from a disaster or while your building is repaired. 5. Business Owner's Insurance A business owner's insurance policy is kind of a hybrid insurance that often combines property insurance, business interruption, and liability insurance. These policies are usually cheaper than paying for separate property, business interruption, and liability policies. 6. Employment Practice Liability Insurance Frivolous lawsuits are rampant these days, and just because an accusation is ridiculous and unfounded, doesn't mean that your business won't face the hassles and expenses of a lawsuit. Employment practice liability insurance can cover legal expenses and allow you to focus on running your business if you are unfairly accused by a former employee. If you have questions about your new business and its insurance needs, contact R. David Bulen Insurance Agency today!   Source: http://www.inc.com/magazine/20080901/how-to-buy-the-right-business-insurance.html

Texting & Talking on a Cell Phone is the #1 Cause of Distracted Driving for Teenagers

Author LisaMosby , 9/24/2014
Cell PhoneTeenagers The roads in the United States are home to many drivers using their cell phones. Use of cell phones is linked to higher rates of serious and fatal auto accidents, and teens are more likely than other age groups to use cell phones while driving. These accidents are avoidable, but there are many drivers who ignore distracted driving laws and place other drivers at risk. While texting is generally considered more distracting, talking on a cell phone is also a distraction. Texting When Driving -- the Dangers Mobile devices are more popular than ever today, and they can lead to dangerous consequences. Mobile communications have been linked to a large increase in incidences of dangerous distracted driving, which may result in injury or death. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2013 reported that distraction of drivers was the primary cause for over 15% of all crashes with fatalities. Over 3,000 people were killed in distracted driver accidents, and over 400,000 were injured. Talking or texting has been determined to be the top cause of distracted driving among teenagers. The Statistics Tell the Story 40% of teens in the United States report that they have been passengers in vehicles when the drivers used their cell phones to the detriment of safe driving, according to a recent Pew Survey. Southern California Transportation Institute reports that texting creates a risk for automobile accidents that is nearly 35% higher than when driving undistracted. Over 10% of drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 in car accidents who survived admitted that they were texting when the crashes occurred. Distracted driving is dangerous to property and life, and the current losses and injuries are not acceptable. Although many states have banned all but hands-free cell phone use, no federal laws prohibit it. What Can Be Done? If you are a parent or guardian, give your teenage drivers concise instructions that wireless devi ces should not be used at all when driving. Reiterate the fact that even a few seconds driving without watching the road could potentially be fatal. Parents should also not talk or text while driving. This will set a positive example for teenage drivers. Content provided by Transformer Marketing. Source:  http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html, http://www.fcc.gov/guides/texting-while-driving,http://www.cdc.gov/Motorvehiclesafety/Distracted_Driving/index.html